Spirit Bound

Before the great cataclysm, during the height of the scourge invasion, two hunters, from vastly different backgrounds, find themselves being driven towards a common cause, by unseen forces determined to save Azeroth from an even greater lurking evil.

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3. Reluctant Alliances

"You have done well, Thaylla," Lycanus commended, his rasp of a voice barely intelligible through the clicking of the wire hinges holding his exposed jawbone in place.

Shuffling over to his work table, he dumped the contents of the pouches she'd acquired into a bubbling pot and seemed pleased with the results. At least, as pleased as one with half a face can appear.

In over five years of service, Thaylla still hadn't grown accustomed to any aspect of the Forsaken, but she'd learned to look past their tattered skin, protruding bones and hollow, often sightless eyes and focus on the more important aspects of Arthas' former slaves: their cruel, calculating brilliance and intense, maniacal devotion to their Queen, Sylvanas.

When she'd been personally called upon to serve under the Forsaken, it hadn't been a request. She had a preceding reputation for being loyal and deadly, which were desperately needed assets in such turbulent times.

The Horde was being reborn; Thrall's painstaking reformation binding together the outcast tribes of orcs, Darkspear trolls and tauren to form a tentative, if still shaky, alliance. Including the remnants of Lordaeron's and Quel'Thalas' people had not received overwhelming support, but it was nonetheless accepted as a relationship of necessity.

How Sylvanas Windrunner, the former Ranger General of the high elf kingdom of Quel'Thalas, had come to be the leader of an underground nation of once predominantly human victims of the Scourge onslaught was a long and sordid tale, one which hit Thaylla a bit closer to home than she liked to allow herself to venture. As a result, she put a great deal of effort into avoiding direct interaction with Sylvanas, whenever possible.

It was fortunate Sylvanas seemed to share the disinterest in fraternization, choosing to call upon her through messengers and minions almost exclusively. In fact, they'd only spoken directly once: when she'd first arrived at Lordaeron's crumbling gates.

Dealing with the Forsaken themselves had been a period of great adjustment. Beneath the rotting exterior of their reanimated corpses lurks a vindictive thirst the likes of which even her own people barely matched. In undeath, they'd focused themselves on the total annihilation of the Scourge, by whatever means possible. Most notably, the Royal Apothecary Society's quest for the ultimate plague - one that would wipe the Scourge from existence… and likely everything else with them.

Hence her position within the underbelly: as much a servant as a spy.

Loyal to her position under Sylvanas, but bound by blood oath to serve under the new Horde, she'd been tasked with reporting back to Orgrimmar with anything of interest that might indicate their undead "allies" were behaving in a less than honest fashion.

Given the things she'd seen during the course of her tenure, there was a fine, fine line between right and wrong within their culture and she was often hard pressed to determine the difference.

"Let me know if you require anything else," Thaylla offered, starting to make her exit with the hope of retreating to the Brill inn and the hot bath she'd yet to acquire since leaving Stranglethorn. When Lycanus made a dissenting noise, she bit back a weary sigh and turned to see him dangling another pouch off of a bony finger.

"Not escaping this project that quickly, hunter," he wheezed. Had he skin left below his nose, Thaylla swore he would have smirked at her. "There is something missing here. A reagent I don't have time to sniff out, so I require you to speak with someone more knowledgeable in this troll magic than I.

"There is a shaman in Orgrimmar by the name of Sian'tsu. She should be able to tell you what is missing. Find out what it is and acquire it for me."

Fighting a sharp retort, Thaylla took the pouch from the apothecary and offered a curt nod of assent before stalking from the foul chamber towards the upper level elevator that would take her to the surface for another ungodly long zeppelin voyage.

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