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Meadowrest
#1
Chapter One
Spoiler:
First off, I’m going to warn for various semi-mature implications in this one specific post. Nothing serious, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Secondly, I wish to say that I know that this post sucks. But, hey. I wanted to finish it anyway, as this is the Storyline I intent to write and continue in order to reboot a Guild of mine with which I intent to host events and more expansive storylines to involve more people.

[Image: oqen9k.png]

People always say you should prepare for the unexpected. This, honestly, never made much sense.

How can you be prepared for something if you’re not expecting or at least suspecting it to happen? Once you start preparing for something to happen, it’s not a question of if it’s going to happen.

Only when.


____________________________________________


Portal-jumping was an art in its own right, she thought. One that she’d yet to master, although she would rather spend her precious time mastering other arts if she had a choice about it. It’d been like this for years and it didn’t look like it was about to change anytime soon. It would never cease to surprise her.

Over the years, this once-a-week occasion had turned into a competitive event amongst their peers. Whoever could score the most points at the end of the month would have the grand honors, whatever that was. The scoreboard goes as follows:
Spoiler:
  • = Ten points if she screams. It’s more like a squeal, though. Regardless, it’s absolutely adorable.
    = Five points if she cries. Her cheeks blush when she cries.
    = Two points if she’s unprepared. There’s nothing quite like the surprised look on her face. She’s so cute when she’s shocked.
    = Five points’ deduction if she puts up a struggle. If she struggles, you weren’t quick enough.
    = Six points if she’s undressed. That’s always a bonus. Merit points if she’s all skin and no fabric.
    = One point if she’s asleep. She never saw it coming.
    = Three points if she throws up when she arrives. It’s funny every time.
    = Two extra points if she throws up in the portal. Which makes five points total, added up with the above.
This time, the culprit would walk away twenty-five points richer when the screaming, shocked, and nauseous girl crashed out through the portal in Dalaran and clonked heads with a nearby brick wall just ahead of dumping her breakfast in the grass of the small excuse of a park they had in the center of the city. The tears didn’t come until after she was done. He got five extra points for the wall-run. Laughter erupted around her as the three friends and long-time associates surrounded and towered above the crouched woman. One reached down to scoop her up and set her on her feet, quickly whipping out a handkerchief to wipe her mouth clean. Such kindness and chivalry.

If only we’d come a few hours earlier…

[Image: 2u60bas.png]

It was close to noon already, which was unusual for these occasions. Tardiness was greatly resented, and to pick up an errand at this time of the day was definitely something no one was used to. They could adjust, however. This was their defining golden trait and the main reason why they were still on the hook for this line of work. Since this business started, it had been greatly preferred to set things in motion before sunrise. Such was not the case this time, for reasons beyond the present minds.

A few hours later, the troupe gathered in the slums underneath the city. All parties involved had more or less recovered from the dramatic arrival through the portal and refilled their stomachs with fuel that they had been told would be well needed for what was to come. Today seemed to be unusual in more than just one way. Usually, the group would arrive in the city before dawn to be met by their taskmaster upon arrival. A few minutes later, they’d be sent to their target location with a set number of guidelines for the mission at hand. This time, there’d been no one to greet them but a young apprentice of the local Sunreavers who’d directed them to wait in the Legerdemain for further instructions. With the message received and paid for, the group had done as instructed and waited for hours in the designated location, spending most of their time drinking and staring idly to both exits out of the main lounge.

When the hours had passed, the flustered apprentice returned and directed the troupe to the Underbelly. That’s where they were now.

The upstory officials handed down new directives to us just yesterday and caught us unprepared.

Before the troupe stood a rather thick dwarven man they were all painfully familiar with since many years back. He worked together with the Kirin Tor in Dalaran since not too long ago and had always been the same stout, brash and rather unusual man. Granted, he wasn’t much of an arcanist unlike his peers, but he was a very knowledgeable man regardless. It was strange in so many ways that he still associated with this little troupe of scoundrels and no-good-ers. He was a man of strict routine and reason, which was probably why he was so useful for this kind of movement.

It’s not like them to not give us more time to prepare,” he bemoaned while unrolling a small scroll of parchment, “which undoubtedly means something in its own right. Regardless of their reasoning for making such sudden changes to the schedule, we will go ahead with their given instructions as per usual.

They nodded in unison.

____________________________________________


[Image: 2zjgis8.png]


Suddenly, she was on her own. It wasn’t all too strange or unfamiliar, but that didn’t mean she’d ever get used to this kind of thing. Every time she was torn from her home to be thrown into another assignment, it was unexpected and she was caught equally unprepared every time. It was hardly fair, but she’d never once complained or protested in the years that she’s been subjected to this kind of treatment. It was a close call, however, for she found herself wanting nothing more than to deny and escape as she was plunged into the lingering darkness of Duskwood. She crashed into a lamp post close by the road on her way out of the portal, tumbling down to the ground only moments after. The force of impact was enough to render her immobile.

She couldn’t possibly tell for how long.

Had it been her choice, she’d have lingered on the brick road for a while longer. However, an approaching patrol had her scurrying into the woods to seek cover. Despite its looks and environment, Duskwood was still under Alliance control and frequently patrolled by the former inhabitants of Grand Hamlet and nearby settlements. She was far from a welcome visitor, and she’d learned that since previous misfortunes in this region.

Why she’d been thrown into the woods on her own was a mystery to her. Usually, she would accompany her three associates on whichever operation they had in mind for their little troupe, but this time they’d decided to split the troupe up and send them to widely separated locations to deal with their own individual tasks. Hers was to wait for further instructions nearby the close to abandoned settlement of Raven Hill.

For years, she'd worked together with her three old acquaintances in taking various tasks and assignments from different masters every time, completing them for a single purpose: To reel in fame and fortune for the other three. Her? She wasn't particularly interested in the rewards of the trade, and she had never had much of a choice. It wasn't by her own incentive that she'd followed them around for all these years. They'd tugged her along, and it'd always been the same ever since the very beginning.

It all started in Lordaeron.

... But that's another story, entirely.

Alone, she made her way to the woods near Raven Hill and rested behind one of the larger trees close to the village. It was eerily quiet around the settlement this evening. If it was even evening. It was hard to tell in this environment since it was always dark either way. Either way… It was quiet and barren, save for the occasional scuttling down by the cemetery. A lone Forsaken strode about between the tombstones and patted the disturbed dirt back in place with his shovel, seemingly undisturbed by the restless spirits wandering about him without aim or purpose. It was a depressing sight. One that she’d never fully grow accustomed to, no matter how many times she was forced to see it.

This town was usually empty. That was not out of the norm. However, it was usually more alive than this. Lone humans or groups usually passed through on a regular basis and the town’s guardians were usually around to chase out vermin or go on the offensive against Horde visitors. Not this time, it seemed. The guardians weren’t always around, which had turned Raven Hill into an extremely popular meeting place for the less legal and honest organizations in the Eastern Kingdoms. Members of the Horde, like herself, took the opportunity to appear on these occasions as well to use the locales available in town to hold meetings and the like.

Today, the guardians were nowhere to be seen and it seemed no one had arrived to hold any meetings just yet. That was unusual and strange, indeed.

The silence that surrounded her was thick and suffocating. It was almost so intrusive that she felt reluctant to breathe in fear of breaking the silence. She wouldn’t have to, though, as the forest sighed around her. A sudden chilly gust travelled between the trees and sent them in sway, shaking out the dead leaves and some of the resident spiders tumbled out of their nets.

Moments later, the terrified girl mustered enough courage to stand up and stagger her way towards the empty village of Raven Hill. For all she knew, it was still empty and whoever she was waiting for had yet to arrive. However, she would much rather spend the rest of her wait inside a building than out in the forest amongst the spiders and the bad spirits that were sure to linger and roam the forests.

She never reached the village, though.

____________________________________________

[Image: 1217fir.png]

What made her lose consciousness escapes her entirely. She was headed towards the village and never made it there. She has no memory past stepping out of the forest, so she assumed she must’ve been intercepted on the way there. Somehow, and by someone.

It was cold and moist in here. Her limbs felt stiff and immobile and there was a shooting pain in her muscles every time she attempted to strain them in any way, for any purpose. Her mind was not entirely present when her body began to awaken again after the rather sudden slumber she fell into. Where was she, what was that smell, and what had just happened?

A faint mumbling nearby seemed to bring her mind back into the present. She floated back down into her body and her eyes pried themselves open to be greeted by darkness upon darkness and a drop of water falling into her right eye and splashing up against the bridge of her nose. She winced and closed her eyes again, bobbing her head away to protect her face from the dripping water coming down at her from above. It’s not like she’d have to use her eyes right now anyway, so it wasn’t such a great loss to have to close them again. There was nothing to see in this darkness yet.

But where did the sounds come from?

Her ears twitched attentively, her consciousness growing sharper along with her senses as she gradually came to. The dripping sound of the water echoed against the walls and almost drowned out the sounds of a conversation not too far away. Even though it was relatively close, she could hear, it was too faint for her to actually make out what was being spoken of. What a shame.

Drip... drop... drip…

No matter how hard she tried, her memories of the events prior to her waking up didn't seem to be growing any clearer. The more she tried, they became more faint and vague and it soon became a source of endless frustration. Her limbs were still not ready to move and the dripping water against the side of her head seemed not to intend to give her any peace anytime soon.

... drip... drop... drip... drop...

… coming… … … involve…

Her muscles wouldn’t obey her at all. She could feel them, but they wouldn’t listen to her and only ached when she attempted to move them. Water poured slowly down her body and she could clearly feel it pooling underneath her where she laid – she thought, at least – against the cold stone floor. Her being here was still a mystery to her, and she had no idea where she was supposed to be or how she got there. All she could know for sure was that something was wrong, and that she didn’t like it in the least. Today had been unusual in too many ways and the fact that she didn’t suspect something earlier grinded in the back of her mind. Well, she’d known that something wasn’t like it used to be, but she never properly took the time to think it through more carefully than that.

The signs were there all along. Though… the signs for what, exactly? While today’s events had been rather strange through and through, she still didn’t know exactly what it was that was happening. Or better yet – Why was this happening? What made today so unusual?

… check… … … she’s awake… … with…
… drop… drop… drip… drop…

Steps nearby. Something was on the move and the previous mumble she’d heard had ceased entirely. They were replaced by heavy footsteps against wet floors, gradually moving closer. Hadn’t her muscles been out of her control, she’d have grown tense with fear and anxiety by now. Instead, all she could do was clench her eyes tightly shut and hold her breath while focusing all of her attention on the approaching footsteps.

Two pairs, she reckoned.

They came closer, closer…
…and then they stopped.

She recognized this suffocating silence from somewhere. What felt like minutes passed after a thick blanket was seemingly pulled over her and when she sipped for air after a while she found it difficult to breathe. A strained wheeze echoed in the chamber she believed herself to be in, and it caused her to hold her breath once more until she finally realized the wheeze had been her own.

Suddenly and without warning, she was ruthlessly torn from the floor and her eyes instinctively fired open to be greeted by a bright light staring her right in the face. It burned against her retinas and she forced her eyes shut again with a pained whimper.

Two rough hands kept her standing up since her body refused to support itself. One around each arm. They would definitely leave her with neat bruises to stick around for a while.

… Open your eyes.

There wasn’t a shred of hesitation in her as she complied and pried her eyes back open. The light was dimmed, or at least not direct anymore. Once her eyes had opened fully, she could make out a shadowy silhouette standing in the middle of the light source, relieving her of some of the strain of actually keeping her eyes open at least.


[Image: 34hyw07.jpg]

"Tell us your name."
"... Py. It's Py."

To be continued.
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