The setting is an outcropping of fel-tainted, blackened rock, offset from the road but accessible with an easy hike, in the ruined Argussian expanse of Krokuun. The smooth, flat plate juts severely out over a yawning chasm, a break in the entire landmass that falls away down into some ill-defined boundary between the world and the Twisting Nether. Across the way, partially obscured by dust kicked up by the constant felstorms in the area, floats another mass of land tethered to this one by a bridge to the east.
21:59 Vasedra stands quietly, her falsely glamoured azure gaze glowing from the shadows of her cowl as she stares across the broken split in the land toward the dust-shrouded far side. The Argussian 'night' around them is more cold than usual. Though, for once, it is not emanating from Vasedra. The frigid aura around her is compressed, under such thorough control that it only shows as a glimmer of frost against her armor and a wafting of fogged air when she moves.
Tza'kiel's newest weapon is splattered with demon blood here and there, her breathing pitched faster than resting. There are no corpses at her hooves, but plenty could be seen along the road leading from Destiny Point.
The demon patrols are quite thin, tonight.
22:05 Sakhari wore an irritable scowl, wire-laced ears twitching, as she guided Soulcatcher through the ruins of Krokuun. There was a nervous tension about her, more so than usual, and the fel beast she rode shared in his mistress' edginess... wings held tight against his body and a gutteral hissing at any untoward sound. The trail of bodies barely brought a raise of thin brow....dead demons were common enough, though Sa'khari did seem to search for a moment here and there as though seeking any familiar faces. They were soon enough dismissed as she pulled her beast around and up the short, steep, slope that lead to where Vasedra waits. Those long ears flatten briefly as she slides from her saddle and stretches. The fallen demon hunter's expression is carefully neutral as she pads toward her 'brethren in service' on malformed, taloned, feet.
22:06 Sakhari says: ...what is it that you want, Ice Strider?
22:07 Vasedra waits a pair of heartbeats after the question before she turns to Khari, pulling her cowl down.
22:07 Vasedra says: A word. A few moments.
22:07 Vasedra says: Thank you for coming, Sa'khari.
22:08 Vasedra smirks and tilts her head, asking a question to which she already knows the answer, "Should I call you sister, Avarice? Maybe Sorrow? Your preference."
22:08 Sakhari folds lean, scarred, arms across her chest and cants her head toward Vasedra. She gives the other woman a cagey, measured, look and shifts. There is a wariness here.
22:09 Sakhari says: Avarice was a hound that no longer hunts.
22:10 Vasedra says: Sa'khari, then, if I am to choose. -He- can call you Sorrow, but I think I will not.
22:11 Sakhari says: Bound then... I thought as much.
22:12 Sakhari slips something from the pouch at her hip...a slim, glass, vial. It is rolled for a passing second between taloned fingers before she uncorks it and considers the contents. It seems that old habits die hard.
22:12 Vasedra regards her with black, depthless eyes and fel-banded horns revealed without the glamour in her cowl. "Yes. You did warn me, but ... I will get what I asked for. It will be worth it. And that is where you come in."
22:12 Sakhari says: Where I come in?
22:13 Vasedra nods, her glance going to the vial. "Please keep a level head. That's unnecessary." Her blades chatter softly, muted.
22:13 Vasedra says: I need your help. I request it.
22:14 Sakhari raises the vial to her lips, her attention leveled on Vasedra, and then, with a dismissive snort, tips the vial and drains it. It is then tossed, idly, off to the side to shatter on the stone.
22:14 Sakhari says: With?...and why?
22:15 Vasedra 's lips tighten at the defiance, but that is all. She's being very polite, thus far.
22:16 Vasedra says: There is a threat, here. One that I'm sure the Master will appreciate us eliminating.
22:16 Vasedra gestures back over her shoulder, where, semi-camouflaged among Legion structures, a docked warship is barely visible in the distance.
22:17 Sakhari 's gaze flickers that way and then returns to Vasedra. She says nothing as she folds her arms across her chest once again. Dark lips thin over over predatory teeth and her attitude is one of world-weary waiting.
22:18 Vasedra says: You remember the Netherbane, I'm sure. The Machine that you helped ... thwart?
22:19 Vasedra somehow manages to look both pleased and frustrated about that, her dark eyes narrowing.
22:19 Sakhari says: A bit, yes.. I wasn't there for much.
22:19 Sakhari says: ...what little I do recall is when they decided to hold your collar.
22:20 Vasedra says: Mm. My -friend- decided to free me from Malfias', in a manner of speaking. In that vessel back there, a demon lord named Sraath the Eclipse, the World Devourer, has made a blade using the ruins of my device.
22:21 Vasedra 's fists tighten, the leather under her plate creaking as she continues. "And Sraath has my friend."
There is no careful neutrality left on her face at that, and Sedra's rage and frustration are as plain as if she projected them into Khari's head.
22:24 Sakhari 's eyes narrow behind the ebon strip of felstalker leather that hides her empty sockets. Somewhere in the distance there is a whining squeal as something meets its end. The felfallen jerks slightly at the sound, but her focus remains on Vasedra, her countenance pensive... considering. "You want me help you then... with this Sraath? With your friend?" It is obvious with how she said the questions that she knew she was stating the obvious, but her tone is low, her jaw set tight, and there is an audible scree as the massive talons that adorn her right foot flex into the rock beneath her.
22:26 Vasedra says: Not... precisely.
22:26 Sakhari says: Then what do you want with me.....Desire?
22:27 Sakhari the pet's name is spoken with something near scathing.
22:28 Vasedra brushes a finger along her filigreed horn, sighing. "We are ... family, Sa'khari. We serve the Master's goals, don't we? I want you to join the effort, but specifically so that you can help me face Malfias, who Sraath most likely controls."
22:29 Vasedra says: Sraath the Eclipse stands with the Void. He is mad with it, slaughtering the army that defended the Gate. He wants to destroy everything.
22:29 Sakhari raises her hands to her temples, touching them lightly, and then runs her palms over the rough curve of her bone horns. "This is the one with the... sword, no?"
22:30 Vasedra regards the felfallen demon huntress, her black eyes depthless. "Yes. Sraath wields a blade that ... it gives him the power to decimate and the power to Worldbend. He has stolen my Machine for himself."
22:32 Sakhari has an air of vague indifference as Vasedra speaks. Her 'gaze' sweeps over the wasteland around them before returning to the void knight. "And you think I can help you?"
22:32 Sakhari says: Or are we going back to that discussion we had about.. purpose?
22:33 Vasedra shakes her head. "I do not think that discussion will convince you. Let's have a different one."
22:33 Vasedra says: Master is displeased with you, Sorrow. You know it as well as I. You fear what he wants for you next, I believe.
22:34 Vasedra 's use of the name is quite deliberate, though without sneer or mocking. Just emphasis.
22:35 Sakhari tilts her head toward Vasedra and for a split second those dark lips peel away from her teeth in soundless snarl. She recovers, though the shadows she has cast behind herself in the dim light have begun to roil and tremble.
22:35 Sakhari says: His displeasure is that I don't want to give up what little I have left, Desire.
22:37 Vasedra 's swords laugh and mumble and sob at the same time, but she frowns and glances down at them. They fall near-silent, muted instantly. "What do you have left, Sa'khari?"
22:39 Sakhari doesn't answer immediately. She instead stares past Vasedra in the direction of where Azeroth would be. Slender fingers, a tremor evident in their tips, are raised to her temples and she then, once more, slides her hands over her horns.. lingering on the felsteel bands that encircle them.
22:39 Sakhari says: Very little...which makes it precious.
22:40 Vasedra wanders a few steps, circling around Khari in a quiet perusal. For a long moment, she is quiet.
22:41 Vasedra says: How old are you?
22:43 Sakhari is taken aback for a moment, the question seeming incongruous in regards to the situation at hand. She hesitates before answering.
22:43 Sakhari says: Why?
22:44 Vasedra tilts her head, her expression somehow... gentle. "It is relevant. Please? How old are you?"
22:46 Sakhari sighs and one hand drops, almost reflexively, to her scarred stomach... bone talons tracing the long-healed remnants of once savage wounds.
22:46 Sakhari says: Not even two centuries.... again, why?
22:48 Vasedra doesn't exactly answer the question, instead glancing back over Khari's shoulders at the scarred cliffside. Unseeing. Thoughtful.
22:50 Vasedra says: I have lived a long time, now. One of me... Perrix is the oldest part of me, and you remind me of that me when I was young. I was curious if the impression was true.
22:51 Sakhari rubs her face with the palms of her hands, a soft curse escaping her, and then allows her arms to fall once again to her sides. "I doubt that... part of you was ever caught in the same current, Ice Strider."
22:53 Sakhari says: What friend is it that this Sraath has of yours?
22:53 Sakhari veers off.. reluctant enough to speak, in depth, about what has kept her from Viskarri and earned her Tza'kiel's ire these past few months.
22:55 Vasedra 's lips press together and for a moment she glances in profile back over her shoulder. "He has Ary. She is ... something precious to me. I, too, have little enough, Sa'khari. I will do what I must to protect it. Her."
22:55 Vasedra allows her to shift the conversation, but her dark eyes spear the demon hunter.
22:55 Vasedra says: Help me protect what is precious to me, and I will return the favor.
22:55 Sakhari shakes her head. "You have less than what I do, Desire. Everything you are, I think, has already been warped, twisted, remade, and subsumed."
22:56 Vasedra frowns. "No. Everything I am has survived despite being warped, twisted, remade and subsumed. There is a difference."
22:57 Vasedra says: I am ancient. I remember three ancient lives.
22:58 Sakhari says: I remember one.. that I lost. That I can't have back. Fel... I can't even rebuild it.
22:59 Vasedra isn't completely unsympathetic in her expression, but she just nods. "No. Time doesn't go back, Sa'khari. But you are the keeper, now. You hold the memory of who and what you lost."
22:59 Vasedra says: As I do.
22:59 Sakhari says: Tell me, Ice Strider, of everything you lost... how much was inflicted upon you?
23:01 Vasedra smiles just a little. "Three ancient lives. I have lost in every way you can imagine and a few more you cannot. I have cost myself as much as others have cost me."
23:01 Vasedra says: How many nights should we stand here? I can tell you about my wife and children.
23:02 Vasedra says: And my parents, the ones that my Wolf slew.
23:02 Vasedra laughs softly. "Stop me when it gets confusing."
23:02 Sakhari says: And I can tell you about my selfish, mindless, need for vengeance that tore away any, and every, chance I had to not be a monster.
23:03 Sakhari says: I'm not here to swap tales of woe, Ice Strider. You are standing here and asking me to likely throw what little I have of -me- away to save your friend.
23:04 Vasedra rests a palm on the pommel of her right sword, and it gives a muffled whimper beneath her hand as she cocks her hip, shifting. "I am asking you to lend me your strength, put it beside mine. I will protect you as well, when it comes to it."
23:05 Vasedra says: Help me save her, and I will help you. Help me stop Sraath, and Master will appreciate the work.
23:06 Sakhari drops her gaze to the murmuring blades, pensive, and then glances back to Vasedra. Her expression is ineffably sad and tired. Broken.
23:06 Sakhari says: There is nothing you can protect me from. And the Bloodbinder's... appreciation...
23:06 Sakhari trails off as though she were trying to find words.
23:07 Sakhari says: You don't understand.
23:10 Vasedra sighs softly and slips her gauntlet offs. "Perhaps I don't. I made something resembling a choice. You've made different ones.... -had- different ones."
23:11 Vasedra says: Have some faith in me. For all that we have been ... amusing each other, I have not harmed you.
23:11 Sakhari says: I'm tired, Ice Strider.....I stumble and I fall.
23:12 Sakhari shakes her head. "It is not a matter of faith in you. And I don't know how to even explain it."
Vasedra whispers to Sakhari: Try. Try to explain and try to understand.
23:12 Sakhari says: Suffice to say... that I have only a few steps left before I lose what little I have left.
23:13 Sakhari says: I've stared too long into the darkness. It stares back.
23:14 Vasedra steps closer to Khari, reaching for her.
23:14 Vasedra says: Then you must be stronger than the darkness.
23:15 Sakhari chuckles, the sound dark, half-mad, as she leans away from Vasedra.
23:16 Sakhari says: It is not a matter of being stronger, Desire.
23:17 Vasedra bares her teeth, not angrily, but fiercely. "It is -always- a matter of being stronger, Sorrow. Always."
23:17 Vasedra clenches a fist nearish to Khari's cheek, and it's like the shadows pull away, silenced like her swords.
23:18 Sakhari flashes her own savage array of incisor and canine in return and gives a deep-chested, feral, snarl.
23:18 Sakhari says: Step back.
Sa’khari can feel the effects of Sedra’s void suppression. Relatively lightly done. Perhaps weakening her, but definitely lifting the fog of voices and mad things to some extent.
23:19 Vasedra does as asked, lowering her fist, but nothing else changes.
23:20 Vasedra says: Do not be weak. Do not lose. Fight to protect what is precious until the moment you are no more.
23:20 Sakhari shudders and exhales a shaking, hissing, breath. "You still don't understand what you are asking of me."
Vasedra whispers to Sakhari: Tell me. If I understand, then I can uphold my side of the bargain.
23:22 Sakhari says: ....first, do not do that again.
23:23 Vasedra says: As you wish. It's more efficient.
23:25 Sakhari presses her palms against the empty, hidden, hollows her her eyes and murmurs inaudibly to herself. A moment and then another pass as she gathers her thoughts.. her gaunt shoulders rounded and her entire stance giving the impression that she is somehow tiny, insubstantial.
23:26 Vasedra watches her quietly, muted mumbles of something coming from her blades.
23:26 Sakhari says: Imagine that you are stepping into deep water, deeper, and deeper still. It is cold, it is dark, you may drown... die, forgotten. The choice there, though, is that you can become something foul that lurks in the mud and each step you take brings you closer to being that creature...
23:26 Sakhari says: And there is no way back.
23:27 Sakhari seems stumbling in the metaphor, as though she is struggling for her own clarity.
23:28 Vasedra tilts her head, considering the other woman and her fear seriously.
23:29 Vasedra says: There is never a way back, Sa'khari. But why do you submit to becoming the monster? Become what you determine you will be, despite the mold that you are cast in.
23:31 Sakhari murmurs, wordless, and there is an audible grate of molars as she grits her teeth in irritation. Hands travel to temples, to horns, and then drop to her sides yet again.
23:31 Vasedra sighs softy and presses her fingers to her temple before they trace the band at the base of a horn. "You are so young."
23:32 Sakhari says: ...what do you want of me, Desire? You want me to help save your friend. To run at your side like another wolf of Viskarri.
23:32 Sakhari says: To sell what little I have left.
23:33 Vasedra says: I'm not asking you to sell anything, Sa'khari. I'm asking you to protect something. Of mine and of yours.
23:33 Vasedra says: Stand with me. Lend me your power against my former master.
23:34 Sakhari says: I have nothing to protect, Desire...
23:34 Sakhari 's tone has become sharp, bitter.
23:34 Sakhari says: You are asking me to protect something of yours.
23:35 Vasedra shakes her head. "I don't believe that. You are the keeper, now. The one who remembers what you had and lost. When you die, who will remember? If you lose yourself to the monster, who will remember?"
23:36 Sakhari says: The monster is not far removed from what took from me.
23:36 Vasedra says: That doesn't matter, as long as the monster is you.
23:37 Vasedra sighs in frustration, brushing a hand across her horn. "I cannot die, Sa'khari. I am the only one left who remembers the children that Perrix raised with his wife. The friend that Vasedra held as he bled to death in the Genedar."
23:38 Sakhari curls her hands into fists, bone shard talons piercing her palms, and she looked everywhere but at the woman that spoke.
23:38 Vasedra says: If I die, they die. If I am lost, they are lost.
23:39 Vasedra smiles, a tooth-gritting, determined smile. "And so I will not die. And I will never be lost."
23:39 Sakhari says: ...and if it were for the better?
23:40 Vasedra says: "The better"? Who defines that, Sa'khari?
23:40 Sakhari says: ...I don't know.
23:40 Sakhari says this with exhausted petulance.
23:41 Vasedra holds out a hand, palm up. "I am the keeper of a thousand connections. The last memory of tens of thousands of lives. Some I took. Some I saved at the time. Now I keep them all in memoriam."
23:42 Vasedra says: I have ended worlds. Now I am the only one who remembers their denizens.
23:42 Vasedra smiles. "So? I will not die, Sa'khari, because the loss would be too great. What would you lose?"
23:42 Sakhari says: Myself.
23:43 Vasedra says: Whose memoriam do you keep? Perhaps the one that earned you the name of Sorrow.
23:44 Vasedra pulls a sword out, sort of half-heartedly pointing it at Khari. "If I kill you now, whose memory dies with you?"
23:45 Sakhari takes a shuddering breath and looks toward Vasedra levelly. Her attention doesn't even shift toward the unsheathed blades. A series of expressions flit across her features before they finally settle into something resigned and weary.
23:46 Sakhari says: Memories that matter only to me, Desire.
23:47 Sakhari says: ....memories of those that if they were to see me now. Know me now. They'd see me as a monster.
23:47 Vasedra sheathes the sword, her point made (but not literally).
23:48 Vasedra says: But they don't see you now. They see you as you were, know the part of you that earned the Master's name. And if you die, they die with you. If you give up, they are lost.
23:49 Vasedra sighs and brushes a bit of frost through her hair, turning back around to the Eclipse in the distance.
23:49 Sakhari says: They have Elune's grace.. Desire. My existence is anathema.
23:50 Sakhari retrieves yet another of those vials from the satchel at her hip.
23:51 Vasedra makes a tsking sound. "Grace is oblivion. The moment you forget them is also oblivion."
23:51 Sakhari says: Oblivion is better than suffering.
23:51 Vasedra sighs softly and pulls her cowl back into place. "They don't suffer in your memory, Sa'khari... They live."
23:52 Vasedra says: I will ask you one more time: Will you please stand with me? Help me save my friend?
23:52 Vasedra says: Whether you believe me or not, I will help you in return.
23:53 Sakhari says: And I will ask you one more time... Do you realize what you may be asking of me?
23:54 Vasedra glances back over her shoulder, her face in profile for a long moment before she finally turns.
23:55 Vasedra says: I do. Whatever choice you make in the process, however you decide to lose or hold yourself, I will help you be what you wish.
Vasedra whispers to Sakhari: We are not so different. Only you are a child who has learned fewer tricks... maybe truths.
23:57 Vasedra 's slightly upturned lips and narrowed eyes reveal that she knows she's needling the other woman. Gently.
23:59 Sakhari studies Vasedra for a long moment. Her face gives little away of what is going through her head.... the latest intrusion brings a menacing growl.
23:59 Sakhari says: ...you insist on overstepping yourself.
00:00 Vasedra smiles. "Your first lesson."
00:01 Sakhari says: I do not need your lessons.... Desire.
00:01 Vasedra says: I think you do. But that will be your choice to make... Sorrow.
00:01 Sakhari says: You wish me to help with your friend and then insult me.
00:02 Sakhari says: It gives me little reason to accede.
00:03 Vasedra takes a deep breath and releases it, also releasing the void suppression she's been holding. "We're family, now, Khari. It isn't meant as an insult if I offer you ways to learn what you need to know. If fear is all you nurture, you are right."
00:04 Vasedra says: You will become the monster in the mud.
00:04 Sakhari says: And if that is what I deserve? Than what is lost?
00:06 Vasedra raises a hand and points to Khari's heart. "The memories that live on in you. And the ones that will be entrusted to you in the future."
00:06 You point at Sakhari.
00:08 Sakhari makes an irritable, tired, sound and shifts on her feet.. talons scraping stone. The vial is still in hand, gripped tightly, and the felfallen seems on the verge of fleeing, fighting, or just simply curling up in a ball and giving up. The emotions can be read well as they flit across her features. She glances back in the direction of Azeroth.
00:09 Sakhari says: You still don't understand, Ice Strider.
00:09 Sakhari says: ...give me a day and I will think on it. I have to consider too that I am being called to Viskarri and it has become insistent.
00:11 Sakhari looked back to Vasedra and exhaustion is writ well on her face.
00:11 Sakhari says: ...I am not eager to answer either right now.
00:12 Vasedra sighs and lifts both hands, brushing them across her glamoured, plain horns. "You have... " She pauses and glances back over her shoulder briefly at the other landmass. With a defeated sigh, she only says, "... time is short. Don't think for long."
00:13 Sakhari says: It's always short.. isn't it.
00:14 Sakhari whistles for Soulcatcher, the sound piercing. The beast lifts its head from where it has lain some little distance away and then rises to its feet to amble over.
00:14 Vasedra slips her gauntlets back on. "No. Quite often, it is far too long. Every second she is in his hands..." She doesn't finish the thought, only looking away over Argus as her teeth clench.
00:14 Sakhari says: You should prepare yourself, Desire... for the reality that no matter how soon it may be too late.
00:15 Vasedra steps away from Sa'khari, but not to summon her mount. "I have already prepared myself. I will either save her or keep her memory with so many others." Her shoulders hunch as she says it.
00:15 Sakhari steps on an extended foreleg and then slips into the saddle.
00:16 Vasedra says: Come back soon... sister.
00:16 Sakhari says: I'll think on it. I'm wary of paying this price for anyone.
00:17 Sakhari with that, her tone dark, she spins Soulcatcher about and nudges him into a lope.
00:17 Vasedra simply sighs and walks off down the ridge toward where a pair of demon scouts can be seen examining one of the bodies she left behind.