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Rough Neighborhood

Alynore's picture

Walking near the Dragoon offices in Stormwind, Alynore heard the sounds of a scuffle nearby. The Commander instantly turned on a heel and headed for the sound, one hand resting on the pommel of her sword. As she rounded the corner, she spied a young man on the ground and two men dressed in brown leathers standing over him, kicking him in the sides.

"Hey!" She shouted, taking an aggressive stance. "You wanna go two on one, I'm game."

One of the two kicking men looked up. He slapped his friend on the shoulder and pointed Nore out. The two turned to take off in the other direction.

"S'what I thought," she growled, hurrying over to the guy on the ground.

He probably hadn't seen 20 birthdays yet, a late teen at best. He was dressed like a paladin recruit of the Cathedral. His lip was busted and his nose was bleeding a little, but he didn't have any major, obvious injuries.

She checked his ribs, given the kicking. "Easy, buddy. Need a hand up?" She cast a Lay on Hands anyway, to be on the safe side.

The kid groaned as he looks up. It didn't seem that any ribs had been broken yet, but they certainly could've been bruised. With the casting, his lip and nose stopped bleeding.
"Thanks. Don't think I could take them both on."

"They did seem to have you in a bind." She helped the kid sit up. "Got a name?"

"Adam," he grunted as he sat up. "They came out of nowhere."

"Check your stuff, if they were cutpurses looking to make an easy grab--though that's not normal in this neighborhood, let alone to a paladin trainee." She noted as she crouched next to him.

"I don't really have anything worth stealing," he answered. Adam grunted lightly and slid his hand under his tunic to rub his ribs.

"Piss someone off lately?"

"My trainer maybe," he grinned half-heartedly. "He's always saying I'm going to get my head handed to me." Adam started to get up, pulling his hand from under his tunic. As he moved, a glint of light reflected off something in his hand.

Nore moved to get up as well, her gloved hand reaching to grasp his forearm, totally to help steady him. "Easy does it, bud."

Adam reached over with his free hand to pull his arm free from Alynore's grip. Doing so, she was able to see the syringe he was holding.

"Stop," she said, calmly. Her grip tightened a bit--and she's got a strong one.  "We can keep this friendly--or you're going to learn what a real beat down looks like."

Pushing himself up to his feet, he continued to struggle, trying to pull free of Alynore's hold. Seeing that she was not going to let go of his arm, he released his grip on her and brought his arm back.

She sighed and moved, twisting the arm she held as she stepped around, to turn it into a hold as she shoved him against the nearest wall. Adam dropped the syringe; he found himself off balance and stumbled face and chest first into the wall.

"Let's try this again," Nore said, keeping an eye out for the leather-clad-wonder-duo. "Your trainer mighta been right. Giving you a chance to explain yourself, you'd best make it real convincin'."

"Nothing," he grunted. "To tell you!" Adam twisted, pulling his free arm in to push off the wall.

"Pulling a syringe on a girl's considered rude some places, y'know." She just leaned in on him harder, feet planted. "What's in it? I mean, I could get my alchemists to check it, but it's easier to ask."

"Let me loose and I'll show you."

"Or you could just tell me. Honesty is a trait of being a paladin, y'know." She plucked at his outfit. Adam continued to struggle, making damage to his own arm more probable as he tried to get away. 

She sighed again and dropped a stunning hammer on him to keep him still for a minute. "This is not how I wanted to spend my afternoon, y'know." Adam slid down the wall, hitting his knees. She stepped away from him, tapping her bracer to summon her armor as she leaned down to pick up the syringe. It was filled with a clear liquid, with no identifying marks on the item.

"Right then. I'll take this, and you go on your merry way and hope you don't see me again."

Adam shook his head, trying to regain control himself. Seeing Alynore with the syringe, he lunged at her, his hands reaching out.

She stepped back and held it up and away. "If it's that important, you might wanna tell me before I haul your skinny ass into the Cathedral."

Adam clenched his left hand into a fist and struck Alynore’s jaw while his right hand reached for the syringe. 

The strike was more a glancing blow from an offhand, but did sting a bit. Alynore responded to punching by bringing her armored knee up to meet Adam's groin while he was lunging in and off-balance from reaching while trying to punch her. Adam crumpled to the ground and curled up in the fetal position.

Nore worked her jaw, a little Light glowing over her skin as she put the syringe in a belt pouch. She reached down and grabs Adam by the back of the collar and literally drug him to the Cathedral.

Nore smiled cheerfully at the first acolyte she saw. “Lord Shadowbreaker in?” 

The acolyte near the door stared at Alynore. After a brief pause, he nodded affirmative.

"Cool. I wanna see him. Now. His office?" She started heading that way, still dragging Adam.

The acolyte nodded. Nore didn’t stop 'til she got to the paladin's door, and anyone who got in her way got a glower, with sparks of angry Light crackling along her red braided hair. She made it to Shadowbreaker's door unmolested. She thumped on his office door with a gloved hand, checking on her buddy Adam; he was still rather out of it.

"Come in," called Shadowbreaker from inside.

Nore nodded to the acolytes following her, in a dismissive gestures she'd practiced the last couple years as a commander. She opened the door and drug Adam in. "Afternoon, Lord Shadowbreaker. Hope I ain't interrupting, but is this yours?"

Shadowbreaker stood up from behind his desk and looked at Alynore and then the young man on the floor. "Yes he is," Shadowbreaker answered. "He went missing several days ago."

She quickly, simply, explained what had happened to the older paladin. She showed him the syringe. "There're some trust issues right now, and I want my people testing this. Something nasty is going on around the Cathedral lately and I don't like it, sir."

Shadowbreaker frowned and glanced at the young man on the ground before calling out, "Rignomer!" A moment later, the door opened and a very large man came in. "Rignomer, we have our missing recruit. Seems he tried to assault Commander Forrester here."

Rignomer looked down at the young man, now looking up at them all with a vague look in his eyes. "May I take him, ma'am?" Rignomer asked, looking at Alynore.

"It's possible he's been tampered with, mentally and/or chemically. There's been a bit of that going around, centered around Cathedral folk." She eyed Rignomer up and down, not intimidated by his size. She released Adam. "I kneed him. In armor. That might wanna be looked to." She shrugged. "He also mighta hurt himself trying poorly to get out of a hold." 

Rignomer listened and nodded. Reaching down, he grabbed the kid by his collar and belt loops and picked him up off the ground, carrying him out of Shadowbreaker's office, muttering, "I told you, kid. Should've paid better attention during training."

"You have ideas on what happened then?" Shadowbreaker asked Alynore as Rignomer left with Adam.

"Look, we all know there was an infestation of cultists here a few years ago. Some of them mucked with peoples' heads. They've lately been rearin' up, or at least, someone in our...acquaintance," Nore grimaceda bit. "Has had run-ins, dealin' with some stuff for a friend of hers. Week and a half ago, Darlain Truthhammer was accosted and mentally altered to attack some people at one of her weekly socials."

"You're certain about this? You think it's someone here in Stormwind?" Shadowbreaker asked with a frown. 

"My understanding is a dead man showed up with a stroke, and then when he got a visitor in the Stocks, he went missing again," Nore said bluntly. "I'm kept informed. So you tell me, if those rats were removed from these halls, or if there needs to be a cleaning."

Shadowbreaker frowned again and sat back in his chair.  "You're pretty well informed." Then the paladin rubbed a hand over his face. "When Pachas arrived and was identified, as soon as he was stable he was sent to the Stockades. From what the healers tell me, the stroke did so much damage that he can barely talk and can't walk at all. From what we can tell, the person who broke him out wasn't from the Cathedral. And I would point out that the Stockades aren't under my jurisdiction, or the Cathedral itself either."

"But they were related to the Cathedral--and continuing to target Cathedral people. Or other Light-users." She frowned, armor clinking as she crossed her arms.

"First I'm hearing of either of these things."

"I think there's been some other stuff; girl who was in our care after some torture said her tormentor's pet succubus got into the infirmary and messed with her here, too. I think there's more, but you're familiar with Larethian and how damned tight-lipped he is." She shook her head. "Buncha crap all at once."

"I'd heard that accusation, but the priests in the infirmary were convinced that the girl had been suffering delusions because of her wounds and medicines."

"Given the story, and some events lately...I'm not so sure. I've met her, and while she's definitely got some trauma reactions, I don't think that was one of 'em."

"I'll have one of my men go check the infirmary again and see if any of the other patients there might have seen what happened.  I'd like to think she's safe with Larethian, but if it did get in here, I'm not sure what he could do to keep it away."

"Don't just rely on witnesses; send someone who knows to search for the fel taints. And I dunno, either. I'm just not liking the church being at the center of stuff like this."

"Agreed." Shadowbreaker said. "You'll let me know what you find out in that syringe?"

"Of course," she nodded. "Just be aware--cuz if this keeps up, I can think of a few hotheads who might think this stuff is tied still to the Cathedral, or being covered up, or assisted, or whatever else jackassery, and do something drastic and stupid. That would get nasty fast."

"Yes, it would," Shadowbreaker agreed. "I'll be looking into this matter personally."

"Thanks. You know where to find us, we're not far. Anyone else you gotta get hold of, we can probably get you in touch with as needed, too."

"Much appreciated, Forrester."

"You're welcome. And thank you, sir. I do hope the trainee's all right."

"Me too. I'll let you know what we find out."

"I should get back." She sighed. "And possibly go with the idea after all that our Light-users should be escorted when in the city. My husband's gonna have a field day, given all the crap I give him..."

Shadowbreaker nodded.  "I'll be canceling any leaves my people have, too."

"I'll keep in touch then. And I'll let the local guards know to keep an eye out for his friends, too; the ones faking the beatdown on him." She frowned as she turned to go, saying her goodbyes and striding out of the Cathedral to the Dragoon office.