Krelle leafed through some documents in the Bay's office. The guild meeting last night had been heavy stuff and she was glad to be finally doing something productive. She turned the page, smiling as she found what she was looking for.
She clicked her com over to the Silvermoon channel. Tellas and Krelle had taken to using the same channel they'd used in the raid for business affairs. It wasn't that they were keeping secrets, just that she didn't feel like burdening the entire family with minute details of every business dealing that went through the tailor's shop.
"Oh Tel-las?" she sang over the com, and audible grin in her voice. Her gaze scanned over the paper in front of her as she waited for his answer.
Tellas sat slumped in a chair, his feet resting carelessly on a priceless antique table. He'd have preferred to be out on a job, or exploring the wilderness or even sharpening his sword, but as none of these were "proper" passtimes for a wealthy sin'dorei merchant, he was bored out of his mind.
He was lazily picking an orcish tune out on his mandolin when he heard Krelle's voice over the comm. He continued to play, expecting this to be yet another check up call and said "Yeah boss?"
Krelle smiled as she recognized the melody. "Forward, troops." How appropriate.
"Tellas, dahling," she said in a bored tone, giving her best imitation of the vacuous Sin'dorei accent. "I don't suppose I could impose upon your noble self's kindness? I'm afraid I am going to have to ask you to bestir yourself from your comfortable chair in Scintillating Silvermoon and endure the hardships of a saddle for a time."
The plucking stopped. "Oh?"
"Oh yes," she said, dropping the haughty tone as a feral grin stole over her face. "We've got work to do. I need you to throw together a caravan - I got an order for elven silks here, if Keelen can fill it, but I don't care what's in those boxes. Ship me dirt if you have to. We're moving Shadra out of Silvermoon. Tomorrow."
Tellas grinned, his heels thumping on the floor as he leaned forward in his seat, putting the mandolin on the table. "You got it, boss. Where are we bound?"
"I've found a place for her to stay in the 'Bluff. Let him try to get an agent up there, I say. It's not a simple job though." She got up and went to the world map on the wall, tracing her finger along the route. "You'll warp on through to the Undercity and head to the goblin's fight deck. While we're loading the crates I'm going to make a switch in your crew. Shadra will get smuggled onto a ship headed west for Orgrimmar and be replaced with a human girl. I need you to sneak the human to Kya's house."
"Ah - in Stormwind?"
Krelle tapped her finger on Grom'Gol. "Not exactly. While Shadra dissapears to the west, the rest of your caravan will take the zepplin south to the Base Camp in Stranglethorn. You can head north - ostensibly bound for the Stonard." Stonard was a good destination for a two reasons. It took them past where they needed to go, and silks always fetched a handsome price in the heat of the jungle. No point in wasting a trip, after all.
"On the way through Darkshire I'll ask Kya to pick up the girl, so the only tricky part will be getting her through the Base Camp. You can continue on to Stonard without any major problems, I expect, and sell the silks there. There will be a shipment of gems waiting for you to take back up to Silvermoon, along with a few pieces of jewelry that Tai's Draeni has made." The raw gems could be carried through as an excuse. The taxes on the finished pieces of jewelery were much higher, so those would likely get smuggled into the shop.
"I'm sending Ben and Reims up to Silvermoon to head out with you," she continued. "They'll help get around the Undercity and Grom'Gol customs, not that either is terribly rigorous. Take Derona, she'll help get the gems back in. I'm sending up a new guy, too - name's Kayce. See what you can make of him."
"What's his deal?"
"Get this - he's half human, half night elf, but he got his mom's looks and his dad's colouring. I swear he looks exactly like a blood elf. Anyway, he speaks common, so he can talk to the human. He doesn't know what the company's really about though - he's just been hired as 'security' for the shipping company, so watch what you say 'round him til we get him figured out." Krelle grinned briefly, remembering the interview with the magic-touched warrior. "He's got a few healing spells, too, so between him and Derona, hopefully not too many of you will die," she joked.
"I think we can handle a little one-wagon caravan," Tellas said dryly.
Krelle immediately knocked on the wood wall to ward off bad luck. "Guess we'll see. Leave Ariyana in charge of the shop while you're gone - she likes being in charge of things, and she won't take any crap from Keelen."
"Sounds good. Who's the human girl we're smuggling?"
Krelle's smile faded, though her tone stayed light. "Ben's cousin - still living. She's in the loving care of the apothecaries at the moment," she said with heavy irony. Tellas made a noncommittal sound. "She's basicaly the prisoner of a warlock down there - and I'm not keen on warlocks having holds on any of us. "
"Another warlock?" he asked a bit incredulously.
"Is there a league of warlocks out to get us or something?"
"I think they're just harder to manouevre around than the average joe. Anyway. You may have an irate warlock on your tail - hence the sneakyness surrounding the personnel switch. As far as Lazruth is concerned, this girly is just gonna dissapear."
Tellas "hmm"ed thoughtfully. Krelle smilled, still gazing at the map. "Any questions so far?"
Tellas thought on the plan. Krelle had him coming back to Silvermoon, but at least it got him out of the city for a spell. Reims was quite capable and despite all the trouble that seemed to follow him, Ben had his uses. He was less sure of the new members, but he supposed this was a good test for them and would serve to prove his own ability.
"Seems pretty clear to me. I'll get the shipment ready and we'll meet Reims and Ben tomorrow morning. Anything else?" he asked as he hollered for Derona and Keelen.
"I think that's it for now," she said, pocketing the order for silks. She'd hand it off to Tellas when they met at the zepplin tower. "I won't be with you on the caravan journey. Arbatel and I are going to take Shadra on to the 'Bluff and make sure she gets there safely. She's the better part of the deed to Silvermoon and I don't trust Keelen. Oh - tell her her new name is Talara Brightmist. She'll be staying with the Timberwinds."
Krelle hmmed for a moment, running through the list of the caravan staff in her head. No officers, and Korttie had already promised to help with Litto's gig. She tapped her chin thoughtfully as she stared at the map again, not really looking at it. She could ask Nargesh to go, but...
"Tellas, you're in charge of this caravan operation. Make sure you keep track of Ben - I'm worried that the druid might have her eye on him. If you need more security on the way through the jungle and Deadwind, just ask. I'm sure there's a few other blades around the 'Bay who're as antsy for some action as you are," she said with a grin.
Krelle made a mental note to ask Reims to keep an extra close eye on Ben. Someone had to.
"Anything else?" his voice said over the com.
She gathered up her things, shoving them into her satchel as she spoke. "One last thing. The primary purpose of the caravan is to move these two girls around - but no sense in wasting the opportunity to make a profit. Feel free to pick up anything you think'll sell. If that's all, then I'll see you tomorrow. I have to get your human."
Tellas finished his conversation with Krelle and then went over to Derona.
"Grab Keelen and start packing crates with whatever silk we have in storage," he ordered.
Derona gave a smirk and said "I'll get right on that. We just opened an excellent bottle of Sungold Syrrah so..."
Tellas frowned and interrupted her. "Yeah. Clever banter time is over. There's a job to be done, so if you still want to keep working for the Tong, I suggest you set the drink down and head back upstairs, find Keelen and start packing crates with silks. We have a delivery to make first thing tomorrow.
He left the woman standing on the stairs and calling for Lelya to join him, left the shop for the safehouse where Keelen's sister was being hidden.
The large cat lay down in front of the door to the basement flat. "Guard," Tellas said as he scratched the fuzzy head. Ducking through the door, his eyes quickly adjusted to the dim light in the room.
The girl was sitting in her cage watching a row of small ants march across the wall.
"What are you doing?" he asked softly. Shadra whipped her head around and then lunged at him through the bars. It had been a while since her last magic fix and he could see the desperation in her eyes. He pulled a jar containing a small mana wyrm and showed it to her. The girl's eyes burned a dull green color as she fixed her gaze on the wriggling creature.
"Do you remember who I am?" he asked.
"Gatekeeper," she spat "Festering soul. May your demons consume your flesh!"
Tellas shook his head and held the jar out so she could get a better look.
"No. I'm your brother. Remember?"
"Brother. Yes. My brother," she said, calming some.
"And who are you?"
"I am.... I..."
The girl faltered, reaching out for the wyrm.
"You are Talara Brightmist. Remember?"
"No... Yes... please, I'm so hungry..."
Tellas pushed back the disgust at what the girl had become.
"Who are you?" he asked again
"Bright... Brightmist. Talara Brightmist," she answered.
"And who am I?"
Tellas smiled. "Good. Now. Tomorrow, you're going to take a little trip. We're bringing you to a place with lots of magic. If you can remember who you are and who I am, I'll make sure you get there. I'll give you more things like this. He loosened the lid of the jar. "If you forget, this will be the last mana you ever get. You'll die painfully. Understand?"
"Yes. I am Talara. You are my brother."
Shadra's eyes looked feverish as he handed the jar to her. She pulled it through the bars and tore off the lid. Grasping the mana wyrm with both hands she drained the energy out of it. She sighed and slumped down against the wall.
"Good. I'll see you tomorrow then."
He locked the door behind him and went back to the shop to make sure everything would be ready for tomorrow.
A young man, dressed casually with a sword at his belt walks into the shop. He looks very much like a blood elf, but his eyes are blue and somewhat human-looking. He appears to be very young, even for an elf, somewhere between an adolescent and young adult. He pauses when he sees no one in the room, so he stands waiting patiently with his hands in his pockets. Soon, a blood elf comes up the stairs. He smiles and extends his hand.
"Hello, sir. My name is Kayce. Miss Krelle said I ought to check in with you. I'll be helping to guard your caravan tomorrow."
Tellas looked up from his manifest and gave the young man a long look. "Ah. Yeah. The boss said you'd be coming. Welcome aboard then."
Krelle had been right. Kayce could easily pass for Sin'dorei. He wouldn't fool anyone who got too close, but if he kept his head down and his mouth shut, no one would look twice. If he's going to stay in Silvermoon, we're going to have to work on that accent though.
At least she hadn't sent him another blood elf and for that he was greatful.
"You can call me Tellas. So, Kayce... you seem... young. Have you ever done this kind of work before?"
When Tellas does not shake his hand, Kayce shrugs slightly and retracts his hand, shoving it back into his pocket. He decides this man must not be the friendly type and makes a point to stay "all-business".
"No, sir. I've never actually guarded a caravan before, but I have done some odd jobs here and there including rescuing a young tauren woman who was being held prisoner and escorting her through hostile territory in the Stonetalon mountains recently. We were ambushed by some Grimtotems, but I managed to fight them off and get her back to her family. I imagine a caravan must be similar, though over a longer distance."
Tellas set the book down and gave the young elf a smirk. "Ok then. Derona and Keelen are upstairs packing boxes with silk. We need as many crates as possible for tomorrow. You come with me. We're going to procure transportation on our end then we'll help them finish up here."
Tellas and Kayce walked quickly through the well lit streets of Silvermoon. Tellas was as anxious to make a good impression on his first mission as lead as he was to get out of Silvermoon. He ran over the plan in his mind repeatedly, making sure that no detail was overlooked.
With wagon arrangements in place and crates packed, Tellas looked cautiously pleased. He took Derona and Kayce aside and said "You guys did good work today. Derona, I extend the hospitality of this house to you although I suspect that you'll want to get to your inn and the bath that I'm sure is waiting for you. Kayce, if you need a place to stay, you are more than welcome to take your rest here. There's an excellent wine cellar and I think the gnomes are making something with sunscale salmon tonight. It's quite good."
Of the eight gnomish men who lived below the Tailor's shop, Ng was the eldest. He was also the wisest and the undisputed leader of the small group and was uncharacteristically quiet for a gnome. He used to be the most vocal but once, in a desperate attempt to salvage some dignity, he spoke harshly to Keelen. Keelen had his tongue cut out.
Ng sat, bent at his loom, casting a covert glance at Frit as the youngest made dinner. The succubus no longer watched them, whip in hand, but the habit of being discreet was deeply ingrained into the man. He idly wondered what Frit would be putting in Keelen's food tonight. Probably the pissauce again.
He paused in his work, sitting up straight, stretching his arms over his head and grunting as his back cracked loudly. Ki shot him a grin from his left, but kept working. Yeah, yeah. You'll be old one day too.
Ng deliberately paused, looking around the room. Five looms whirred nearby, the combined clickety-clacking almost hypnotic. Frit was cooking and Shu was folding the last of the silks for the final crate in the shipment. Oddly, the gnomes were producing more silks, and of higher quality, now that the succubus was gone. Funny how things turned out.
A lot had changed since the Horde (he had been here too long to consider the elves "Horde") had taken over the shop. The demons had been banished, for one thing. It was strange, he thought as he stretched again, that the barbarians would hate demons so. He wondered what was going on in the world out there. Times are changing, he thought.
He turned back to his own loom, his nimble fingers flicking along in the well practised dance. Weaving was easier now that the welts on his back had healed over. He was looking forward to when the last of the scabs fell off. It would make it easier to keep his shirts clean.
He wondered when that dead girl would be back. Her Gnomish was strange, but it felt good to hear it. I wonder where she picked up Gnomish.
Ng had a lot of time to wonder with. The looms clicked on.
Tellas handed the last crate to Derona and then followed the Blood Knight through the transporter to the platform outside the Undercity. Reims and Ben were waiting there and Kayce had already begun to move the crates to the Zepplin platform.
"Hey Reims," Tellas said "Where's Krelle? The zepplin will be here any minute and the large box there needs her... approval... before we head south."
Ben gulped suddenly, taking a half-step back as his eyes widened. Tellas and Reims looked sharply to where he was staring. Two figures were slowly coming up the hill, their faces hidden by the long cowls of their apothecary robes.
Reims' hands went to his daggers as they approached, but then he relaxed, his eyes showing his grin. Ben and Tellas also relaxed visibly as Reims gave a low, sardonic bow to the two women and Krelle pushed back her hood. The second "apothecary" gave a low cry and hurried forward - human hands now visible under the long sleeves of the gown. Ben stepped forward and met his cousin with a fierce hug.
"Ssst!" Krelle hissed, shooing them towards the tower. "Inside, kids, inside! Sheesh, you got a whole flight ta hug on."
They looked towards her, tears visible on both of their faces. "Thoink you, Kreol," Ben started, but Krelle just waved her hands in exasperation.
"Later! Go - inside!" She looked at Reims, who was grinning at her. "You! Keep an eye on them." She turned to Tellas as Reims gave her a nod and herded Ben and the human inside the tower. "Alright, here's the order from Stonard for the silks," she said, handing him a folded paper. "You'll pick up Nargesh inside Grom'Gol, keep him out of sight. He'll have a crate with Kennia's armour in it. Once you're around the first bend in the track, stop and pick up Kya while Ollie and Kennia sneak into the middle wagon. Keep Ben driving the back wagon and Kya on the middle one, and you drive the first."
Tellas nodded patiently as she told him things he already knew. "You got it, boss."
Krelle grunted, following him inside the tower. "Alright, show us to the elf-girl then, and we'll catch the westbound."
"Us?" Tellas asked.
Krelle grinned, nodding at something behind him. He turned around. He was a bit proud, later, that he didn't swear or jump. There was a huge orc behind him, dressed in black leathers with a dark mask around his face. The orc nodded shortly.
"Us. Arbatel and I are her escort, remember?" Krelle grinned, peeling off her apothecary robe and draping it over one arm. "So where's our little Talara?"
Tellas nodded toward the big box and said "She's sleeping it off in there."
Krelle raised an eyebrow at him and he added "I filled her up on mana this morning. She'll be docile as kittens 'til you get where you're going." He gave a half smirk.
"Zepplin's here. Anything else before we go?"
Krelle hesitated. "I doubt there's anything you'll be able to do but... you might mention to your shipment of blades that getting information out of a druid is easier to do before you kill her. Von might listen to Kennia," she said skeptically as Arbatel lifted the crate with a huff.
Tellas nodded slowly. Krelle sighed. Like they'd be able to talk sense into Von. Fel, she was surprised he and Tai hadn't gone at it last night. Oh well. If we keep her corpse, we can get answers out of that. It was too bad the living were so caught up in emotions. It really did interfere with sound planning. "Try to keep her head, at least. The necromancers can make it talk if we have to. "
Tellas lifted an eyebrow at her, but she just shrugged and left it at that. "Get movin, then," she ordered, turning away.
Krelle followed Arbatel up the winding staircase towards the westbound zepplin, frowning as she worried about Talula. She hadn't been gone that long. If this trap worked, they could wring her location out of that crazy druid and go save her. Tai had told her that Sunya had been beyond a priest's help when they found her, but Lu might be... well fel, she might be alive, for all they knew.
As for Nerrok... Nightshade was the perfect reason why you shouldn't write someone off as dead until you've seen the body. She'd hold out hope for Nerrok until she'd seen his.
She grimly set her jaw and climbed the steps to the boarding platform. She pushed thoughts of the druid aside. The others would deal with the cat. She had her own job to do.
Korttie walked into the shop more to just make the owner know that the Tong was around. She walked with her snake in tow. The first thng she did was glare and the demoness with the whip. Both Korttie and Vespa hates the shadow weavers and their minons. The Demoness seemed to know how the trolless and viper felt and kept her distance.
Korttie sauntered around showing her height as well as her axes. This was a pure show of muscle, and Kort loved it. Korttie stopped to look at the Gnomes. One seemed very quiet and that was odd in itself.
Keelen seethed as the troll sauntered into the shop. He'd been hoping to put this time without the interfereing Tellas to good use, especially with Ariyana also away in the Barrens. He'd even gone to the trouble of raising his succubus again.
He stalked into the basement to get away from her. Maybe she'd just wander around the shop for a bit and leave...
Keelen didn't really notice that all the gnomes found reasons to go upstairs as he and his succubus went down to the office. Who really cared what the gnomes did, anyway, as long as they wove the silk cloth he needed.
Korttie could not help but grin. She loved pestering this Elf mostly because he showed the irration on his face so well. Krelle made it clear to Kort what the rules were and the first order of business was the Demoness. Vespa already molting was irrated so what better way for her to vent off steam then to Kill a Demon? With a whisper Korttie sent the snake right after the Demoness. In the basement and in the back room all you would hear is some scuffling and maybe some cracking of a whip or bones. Vespa was getting really good at dealing with the foul things. One thing she did learn was not to eat the damn things.