The Tome of Shadowbinding [Journal]

The stories and lives of the Grim. ((Roleplaying Stories and In Character Interactions))
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The Tome of Shadowbinding [Journal]

Unread post by Ulrezaj » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:33 pm

Tome of Shadowbinding
By Ul'rezaj
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Preface

I take it upon myself, Ul'rezaj of the Grim, Agent of Terror, and Shadowcaster, to render a full account of all the necessary acts that must be performed in the name of the Mandate that serves the Grim.

Peace through annihilation.
Last edited by Ulrezaj on Fri May 24, 2019 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Tome of Shadowbinding [Journal]

Unread post by Ulrezaj » Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:40 pm

Wreave
A Brief History

The Wreave was a product of the nathrezim invented on Azeroth several months before the invasion of the Legion. It captivated many of my own interests in how to empower the Grim or destroy our enemies.

To this day, I do not know which I prefer because both achieve the same end. Only, I must confess, I do not like the former as it takes the extra steps.

It possessed the user with a powerful addiction. It made them fast, strong, and smart for a time. It wracked the consumer's minds with profound lucidity—able to perform any task or win any battle. I believe what it did was stimulate the body by purging impurities. For the mind, I think it unlocked parts that were not in use.

The problem with this was that once the effect of Wreave subsided, the body's natural stimulation subsided, too, becoming dependent on the Wreave substance. After a time, livers, kidneys, and digestion would fail on their own, and minds would degenerate in unpredictable ways, but so long as the substance was supplemented in larger quantities, they would live.

The dreadlord invented a stabilizing element. He introduced a vial of Wreave with his own felblood. This mutated the user. Inside the body somewhere, a parasite grew that would feed on the user's blood, making them pale and sickly, but the Felwreave released them from ever needin' anotha dose of Wreave, so that was good. Unfortunately, the parasite would then chew its way out of the body of the ingested and free itself into the world, unleashing powerful energies not unlike Akunda's own storm lightning.

We of the Grim knew that Wreave was a vile substance. The nathrezim enticed some nightborne botanists to help with the production. Nightborne botany was prone to weird mutations, which gave the dreadlord his ideas. I never learned the dreadlord's name. It does not matter. He does not deserve the honor of such recognition as he ultimately failed in his plan to subdue the world quietly with the nightborne as his personal agents. I confess this idea was most excellent. He woulda made for a good follower of the Mandate if he had joined the Grim instead of the Legion.

Nevertheless, with a secret cult subservient to the Legion's will bound to him from Suramar, the nightborne botanists practiced their strange alchemy in secret within Zul'Gurub. The dreadlord took with him several key objects which be irreplaceable:
  • An archive disc from the citadel of Nathrezar
  • Ritual blood sacrificed to Hakkar
  • Gurubashi bijous
  • Nightborne parasite-fauna(?) from the Nighthold
These things interacted in various ways. The archive disc explained how the Wreave worked on the body and why it degenerated them. The ritual blood allowed for the cleansin' properties. The Gurubashi bijous empowered the user with a loa's wit. The parasite-fauna was the same fauna which some fanatical nightborne alchemists used to turn themselves part-plant. When this fauna merged with fel, I believe it created the Felwreave parasitic mutant we observed, but it be likely the parasite was introduced in earlier stages.

The Grim never learned the full secrets about the Wreave for several reasons. When it was exposed to us the source of this Wreave production, we sought to seize it immediately and end all evil. We entered Zul'Gurub and crushed the nightborne fanatics haplessly. The dreadlord escaped, though he must have fallen sometime after as we did not see him on the Broken Shore.

Weirdly, the Alliance learned about all this at the same time. It appeared the botanist fanatics had two traitors report to both factions. After the Grim seized the production facility, we were attacked. The Alliance freed their captives and killed bound fanatics we planned to interrogate. But, on that fateful day, we managed to preserve our supply of Wreave, the recipe, and the production. The Alliance assumed we were the producers. Hah! Stupid, stupid, stupid. This be why you cannot trust 'em—no good deed goes unpunished!

Nevertheless, the day was won. We never produced our own Wreave, only kept things at bay in case we needed it. Which, in time, I did try my own experiments. They turned out quite successful and, if we can be havin' our way again, they will be peak-performance examples of the Grim.
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Re: The Tome of Shadowbinding [Journal]

Unread post by Ulrezaj » Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:25 pm

The Interrogation of Human Girl
The Alliance's Fatal Philosophy

Sometime after, or perhaps durin', our siege of Zul'Gurub, we captured one human girl. She was from the Twilight Empire and I never learned her name. The Twilight Empire was an evil cult whose colors were purple, which symbolizes the mergin' of red and blue—Horde and Alliance colors. These people belonged to some kinda deep state.

The human girl was taken to the estate of Filora Livlet, who served as chief interrogator, in Silvermoon City. Filora was not a kind soul as I recall, even for a blood elf. Always eager to prove her brutality, Filora made a sport of the interrogation, focusin' more on torture than on interrogation.

I, however, was not interested in this course of action. I simply wanted to know one thing: what callin' binds the Twilight Empire'? When I approached her, I did exactly that. I raised no hand, no knife, brought no beast, or made any threat. She stood there, bound by wrists, bleedin', and waitin', but I gave no such relief as to satisfy some expected torture. I kept her in suspense.

I did not come to torture or interrogate, you see. I came to educate. On that day I spoke to her these words: "The Twilight Empire has gone and made a fool of themselves. They pick the Grim as their enemies while claimin' to be for unity." I knelt down beside her, mostly lucid and still conscious as she was. "Because I don't understand what be keepin' you united."

She looked at me curiously. I did not think she presumed to be reprimanded or punished at that moment.

"Peace through annihilation," I explained patiently. "It be the words of the Mandate, so that only the strongest of this world shall remain as its protectors. There be no time for slackin', no time for want, only to take what we need, and then kill those whose allegiances be tenuous on their best day. There always gonna be threats, but the greatest threats be from the rotten core of false alliances. We do not trust, so we suffer no betrayal."

The woman shook her head. She was tempted to protest or debate, but recognized she was in no position to do so.

"You have suffered much for your alliances," I told her. "You have suffered much for your friends. They're not worthy of such loyalty. They have no standards, but we do. End your sufferin' now, give Filora the answers she needs, and let it be done. Serve the Mandate and become a woman of principle. Do somethin' worthy of honor."

I thought I saw shock and horror in her eyes as she dangled from her ropes. "I will not betray my friends!" She spat.

"On what grounds," I asked, "On what basis do ya be servin' your own gods or Mandate? Hm? I have never heard a good argument for the Alliance's cause."

"I serve my friends. I love them. These are my loyalties and they cannot be broken."

I scoffed at that. "That will never make sense to me."

She grinned as if she caught me in a trap. "Maybe to you. But to me, it does make sense as my own truth. We are bound by our love for one another, it keeps us strong."

"The power of love and friendship, tch," I thought. But I answered her this: "Love fades, friends serve their own interests and drift away, but the Mandate be forever. It keeps our bonds strong, reminds us of our grim duty to serve when we be feelin' weak. It looks past fleetin' things like life, friendship, and love, and motivates the weak to strength and the strong to a higher callin'. Tell me, if we killed all your friends, would ya still be loyal?"

"I would honor their memory."

"What if they were not as devoted as you, and betrayed you in your position?"

"They are not in my position. Besides, I would still be understanding of them."

"And if they betrayed you willingly?"

"They would never do that," she said confidently. "But even if they did, I would love the memory I once had of them and keep that in the forefront of my mind for all my days."

But this be folly, I left her there and offered no help or support. She had been given her chance to redeem herself, but she clung to false hope. This love and friendship bond will be the cause of the Alliance's fall.

Unlike the Grim, they swear no oath. They be subservient to their emotions. Emotions be a fleetin' thing and a rather weak ethos. It does not call ya to any particular higher standard or a way of life, and would result in weakness and hard feelin' splinterin' them one day.

That be why, on good faith, we released the human girl to her people once more. We met at Northdale in the Eastern Plagueland, where about two dozen footmen and armed knights stood waitin'. She would be more of a threat to them, I thought, than any agent on the inside could ever be.
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Re: The Tome of Shadowbinding [Journal]

Unread post by Ulrezaj » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:29 pm

Diplomacy
A Plan to Win over the Shadowtusk Clan

Wreave has been a long detested word. It has poisoned, consumed, and destroyed many lives. That be why I have decided I am now opposed to it—under certain conditions.

When the Grim departed Zul'Gurub, we fled a deserted, unkempt section located at the Temple of Bethekk. We secured the tools of our enemies and left them there. With no one to use them, it all fell to waste. I remember what tools be used in its production, but the Alliance failed to destroy our supply of Wreave, so we had more than plenty to use in experimentation.

Zulric tells me that the Shadowtusk Clan has taken up residence in Zul'Gurub. This be a tribe of jungle savages and warmongerers, fierce and firm in their resolve. They protect the city and maintain it, fortify it from splinter tribes, and rarely permit the entry of outsiders except under certain circumstances.

If they found the tools used in Wreave production, I doubt they would even know how to use them. Whatever the case, we need our possessions and we need their trust. This means sacrifices could be made if we feel like it's worthwhile to do so.

Zulric mentioned that he wanted diplomatic ties with them for the Grim. This could well be in our interests to further expand the Mandate's influence. I also think that if we go to the Temple of Bethekk for mere tools veiled as loa worshippers, then too much suspicion be raised if we start pluckin' things out, leavin' our bags of offerings fuller than when we came.

This creates a dilemma.

None of the Grim's present Dreadweavers who know about this have received the plan to re-seize our own tools for Wreave production with much enthusiasm, despite our intentions on recreatin' and perfectin' it. I suppose it's possible that it was never meant to be perfected, given that it was made by a dreadlord who cared not much for the health and well being of Wreave consumers.

Although we could test it on Alliance, which be the terms Syreena put to Zulric, we would be wastin' good product if we fed it to an overpowered new enemy of our own design. On the other hand, if we killed the test subject in the process, we'd have to find another, and another, till we perfected it. The time investment be too much to make it worthwhile.

I got another plan which be far healthier for the Grim's long-term standin' and favor with the Horde as a whole. We need Syreena's help to do it. Hopefully, if she could contact the Twilight Empire, we could find someone, anyone, who hates the Wreave and remembers its history.

We could then tell them about where the Wreave be located. When they discover that the Shadowtusk Clan be producin' it, whoever has history from that time will remember that Zul'Gurub was the original point of mass production on Azeroth, makin' it quite believable. That person will call his men to arms, the Alliance will raise their banners, and then assault Zul'Gurub.

But we Grim will be there to help the Shadowtusk Clan out with this problem, drive back the Alliance, and save Zul'Gurub. We will win over partnerships and forge unbroken bonds with this group. Zul'Gurub will give us a good entry point into the Eastern Kingdoms apart from Silvermoon. Plus, it ought to be too close for comfort for the Alliance kingdom of Stormwind—makin' harrassin' their people and farms quite easy.

We only need the right offerin' for poor old Bethekk to make this work.
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Re: The Tome of Shadowbinding [Journal]

Unread post by Ulrezaj » Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:31 pm

Bwonsamdi
A Deal

A Dealmaker be someone who knows about Bwonsamdi puttin' a stop to death, but here's the thing: the death loa ain't there to help people live forever—that's why he's called the death loa. When people bargain with Bwonsamdi, Bwonsamdi always gonna come out on top of the deal. Everyone dies, but Bwonsamdi shall live on. This means that, no matter how great the deal, Bwonsamdi are always collectin'.

The Dealmaker bargains with Bwonsamdi, offerin' some unique leverage he possesses, and Bwonsamdi grants a wish of some type. Bwonsamdi knows that the Dealmaker comes in desperation, so it's always on less than favorable terms that this deal be made. Perhaps the Dealmaker does get a good deal and lives, gains protection, gains power, too, but perhaps Bwonsamdi also goin' to be gettin' a hard service in exchange for the forfeited death. But while Bwonsamdi puts people in these positions, it's always because he believes they can make his end of the bargain come true. If that cannot be done, he will take what he be owed.

Once, I fled through the swamp of Nazmir in desperation. I had just landed on the coast by Zul'Nazman. My companions had perished. I woke in my barge alone. Fate had a role to play in it, but it was not a happy fate. I did not land to treasure, raw power, and gold, but I landed to a feeble existence of dehydration, starvation, torn clothes, and hot, humid misery. One foot was always in this life; the other foot was in the next.

I knew that in my weakness I needed to make a deal. The Temple of Bwonsamdi was due west of me. It would be a good plan, but no easy travel. When I did arrive, Bwonsamdi tried to put on a show, but I did not have any fear. I stood my ground. I remembered my need, my place, and my role, and I informed Bwonsamdi that I had in my heart a great burnin' desire to serve him.

Bwonsamdi offered me to plunge down into the depths of his temple if I be so glad to join, but I refused. My goal was not to die, but to help Bwonsamdi. I made him purge the fel's taint from my body, so that I may be filled with his shadow magic. I would be the shade of Bwonsamdi, his eyes and ears, killin' and reapin' and huntin' and schemin'. Everythin' I would do would line up with the Mandate—Peace Through Annihilation—and this would give me plenty of good points in his favor.

But old Bwonsamdi did not want just that, he knew I needed more. He offered to be gettin' me back home to the Grim in safety, for a price. My deal with Bwonsamdi extended beyond becomin' an Acolyte. It required I live. He gifted me with no appetite, so that I may not hunger or die from famine and thirst, only for as long as my travels went. He did not put a sphere of protection on me. I could still be killed, and if I did die, it would prove the emptiness of my words.

He merely told me to head out, but when I leave... I must find candidates to bind to his power. To make others aware that only Bwonsamdi rules in death. No one may challenge his reign, only come into service.

We all be Bwonsamdi.
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Re: The Tome of Shadowbinding [Journal]

Unread post by Ulrezaj » Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:51 pm

Agreement
Glued-in Parchment
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Re: The Tome of Shadowbinding [Journal]

Unread post by Ulrezaj » Mon May 06, 2019 8:09 pm

Subterfuge
A Holy Different Problem

Zulric was talkin' too much at the Taste of Zandalar restaurant. The innkeeper thought it was suspicious when none of the Grim asked for any watermelons. This delicacy be their specialty, you see, and by not doin' that you offend the manager.

Well, one thing leads to another and that guy must have reported me to the officials, because soon after one of Zandalar's enforcers came. Tall, stoic and strong, this one approached and started askin' questions.

"Who you be?"

"Ul'rezaj," I answered him. Obviously.

"You standin' on tables?"

"No."

"Yes, you were. We had witnesses. Do you know de penalty for lyin'?"

"No."

"Dat's a 10,000 gold fine."

"Look. I don't want any trouble."

"Shoulda thought about dat before standin' on a table."

"It was important."

"What could be so important?"

I rubbed my chin thoughtfully. Clearly, I should not tell him that Zulric was promising to make Oralech into a Dragon Troll Emperor. "We were talkin' about feedin' big mojo to a Saurid to see if it can become a loa like Jani."

The troll's face turned a deep blue in fury. "You what? Dat is de worst blasphemy I have ever heard!"

"Oh," I said, scratching my neck. "Are you certain that's the worst blasphemy? I'm sure you've seen a lot nastier on the stree-"

"Do not change de subject," he snapped. "Is dis all your idea?"

"No." That was the only answer I could find.

"Den whose was it?"

"Zulric's."

The troll stared at me for a long moment. "Okay, den I will forgive you de first fine, only for dis truth and because I can see you clearly did not know at first. If I find out you be lying to me again, it shall be 20,000 gold pieces."

"Do you know Zulric?" He did not reply to that. His face was like stone.

"I know what a witch doctor is. And I know what to do with witch doctors who break de law."
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Re: The Tome of Shadowbinding [Journal]

Unread post by Ulrezaj » Sat May 18, 2019 9:36 pm

Poison and Daggers
Just Some Words

Zulric is an outwardly kind troll, as far as Zandalari come, but every compliment can be like a dagger to your throat, and every word of advice can be like poison seepin' into your veins.

Somethin' strange be goin' on about him. He spoke to me, sayin' these words: "Syreena told me much about what you did to Baalthemar. She was deeply troubled. I will say no more on this about what she said."

Or some such nonsense.

Deeply troubled? Hmph. I only do what I was trained to do, bring peace through annihilation. That is all. Everythin' I did was for the Grim. It makes no sense why anyone would find it suspicious that I proactively seek to empower others.

As I recall, I gave Baalthemar the Wreave to test its effects long before any Demon Hunter walked among us. The first subject was not so easy to find. Nobody wanted to be tryin' out that stuff. But him? Hah, I remember him beggin' for it and droppin' to his knees, "Give me Wreave! Please, let me prove myself to the Grim!"

So I did, though at a responsible pace of delivery, and far fewer supplements were given to him than he probably needed. He wanted somethin' to bolster him through his trials that could assist him in servin' our cause long after he finished bein' a Supplicant.

I sustained him on the rich formula for a long, long time, then gave him the Felwreave. That was when he grew larger, more powerful, and his body couldn't handle it anymore. It was tearin' apart at the seams on reachin' his limits.

Suddenly, our one-time enthusiast Supplicant thrashed about in a way that proved he was not truly ready: "You monster," he cried. "You poisoned me." For every oath sworn, and for every promise made, he completely renigged as though I had done somethin' out of nowhere to him. I offered to help nurture him through that hard phase in his life. Rituals and banishments and mutilations subdued the beastie that shoulda killed him. Those were my idea.

Baalthemar lives. He lives a bitter life, sadly. Instead of rejoicin' in his unusual strength and harnessin' combat skills, he drinks his sorrows endlessly, waitin' for the day he dies. He laments not bein' some fancy elf no more. Heh. That was his Trial of Sacrifice to the Grim. He was so eager and ready to prove himself, but in the end, he did not train or fight with us and let the real poison, his contempt for me, seep into him to spread his vile narrative.

Now then, I am unsure what Zulric's words mean. Were they warnings to keep myself on the lookout for sinister pryin' by Syreena, who was my mentor in all things Grim, or was he tryin' to spread paranoia to keep me on edge and reliant on his words? Mind you, he said these words within the same few hours he also threatened to kill me on the condition I act in any way outside of his supervision! Who does he think I am?!

Zulric is not Leyu'jin, who was savage, bloodthirsty, and chiefly invested in the art of war. Under the Wordbearer, all things were right so long as they empowered the Grim. But Zulric, I am not so sure. He is a Witch Doctor whose chief motivations have been explorin' how Grim interact with each other, how some potions work on the body and mind, and networkin' as broadly as possible. This makes for some suspicious premises. I would be curious to know how he plans to apply these contraptions to the subduin' and plunderin' of our enemies.

Right now, nobody happens to be in any immediate danger. Zulric's constant belief in the inferiority of the Farraki Tribe will protect me from any harm, despite that my shadowcastin' magic has proven to rival his own strange voodoo. He is blind to this fact, and so he does not fear me. That fear must be placed in him, one way or another, before he comes to bring himself in harm's way by my hand. Nobody threatens my life and gets off unscathed...

I must hurry to Nazmir, where nobody gonna be lookin' for me. There I must take quick action to set in motion my plan to prove if Zulric be here to undermine us, or pursue peace through annihilation, as he often prefers not to say in favor of too kind words.
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Re: The Tome of Shadowbinding [Journal]

Unread post by Ulrezaj » Fri May 24, 2019 6:28 pm

The Farraki of Zandalar
To Tame a Krolusk

I ventured on a skiff set out from Yojamba Isle in Stranglethorn Vale the Port of Zandalar. I knew we were near Zuldazar when I saw the obnoxious vibrant green colors of the fauna there. Upon docking, I set out for the Farraki Quarter to reacquaint myself with some old friends.

Durin' my absence from the Grim's activity on the Broken Isles, I had familiarized myself with my own tribe back in Vol'dun. I never ventured so far as the city, for I had deserted the Zandalari in the past, and I knew that my return would not be treated so kindly, and much less so than if they had merely captured an ordinary member of the Horde.

There I stayed once, in the desert, where I discovered my tribesmen at Atul'Aman, a magnificent pyramid that might well become a new Farraki capitol someday. They lived on the land, drinkin' water from cacti while eating scorpion and snake meat through long hunts. I myself did not hunt, but I did bring respect to myself by long stories of treachery durin' the Thunder King's reign.

Farraki love treachery and gossip. It is like honey, but for the ears. We are a tribe hardened by it. And we see straight through false cries of virtue, honor, and respect when some undeservin' nobody starts talkin' too loud. That always signals some weak fool be tryin' to invoke some sort of ethos outta the strong so he can play them to his advantage.

Respect is not a fact of life inherent in our culture given to just anybody. It must be demonstrated. Power struggles through the strength of will earn one a place of authority with my people, not inheritance or some stupid display of honor and smooth-talkin'.

That is why I frequently despise all members of the Horde outside of the Grim, and yet people scratch their heads and wonder why I be such an aberration, or so that is how they think. Ptah, if they had any common sense, they'd see straight at it.

Nevertheless, my time in Vol'dun got me in touch with some contacts who I desperately needed.

I set out for the Farraki Quarter and laid low. No guards questioned me, neither did any recognize me. My face mask and Bwonsamdi ornamented armor purchased me free passage through the city, for Bwonsamdi be the true boss-mon now.

When I arrived, I met a Krolusk Tamer named Krillok. He used to raise and train basilisks back in Zul'Farrak, but Zandalar has no basilisks on it. They got Krolusks instead. This was good with me, for I approached Krillok and bargained with him while ridin' my skeletal raptor, one that I had raised in honor of Bwonsamdi after I had returned to Dazar'alor.

Krillok looked at me with uncertainty, for I was already mounted. "What'chu here for?" He asked.

"Need a big ole biter, mon." I told him.

He merely snorted and gestured I follow him.

Together we went to the Krolusk pit in the Farraki Quarter. There were a few in the cage, two of which were aggressive males snappin' at one another while the females brooded over some eggs. "These be my selection." He pointed towards the middle of the pit. "De females aren't for sale. I need dem or my business will come to an untimely end."

"Lemme take one of those big ones off your hands."

He nodded and whistled. Four Farraki rallied by the pen. With long polearms, they unhinged a dense iron lock at the front of the gate. The gate itself was made of flexible Yojamba wood, givin' the pen a nice round shape. One row of Yojamba wood settled at the bottom, another for the middle, and another at the top of the pen. Some wood acted as supportin' beams, bendin' inwards towards the pen like the oasis trees they had once been. The wood beams supported barbed wire knotted into jagged points facin' inward towards the Krolusks. The pit itself was full of sand, the proper environment for raisin' them in.

The knots were by design, not only to keep the gate strong, but to keep rampagin' krolusks from breakin' down the gate and terrorizin' the Farraki. The barbed wire would scratch them up and send them flailin' back into the pit, preventin' them from tearin' up the Yojamba wood and bustin' down the gate. Krolusks be strong creatures, capable of buryin' deep into the earth, but their specialty be settin' up tunnelin' networks, not layin' siege to buildings.

"These two males contest with one another for matin' rights with the females. Both have had their fair share and I'm in no danger of runnin' into poor-quality inbred krolusks soon. Look around ya." He pointed with an outstretched arm to seven nested females protectively sheltering eggs along the sides of the fences. Every single one of them had anywhere between four or a dozen eggs, and they all looked with anxious fear at Krillok, seeming ready to bite him in two to protect their young.

Krillok saw my expression, which must have been one of defensiveness, before burstin' out in laughter. "No worries, mon." He said, unstrapping a whip from his side. Krillok possessed a barbed, dark lash made of thick leather and what appeared to be dried blood. He flicked it in the air, making a "thwack" sound, and instantly two growlin' mothers who misliked his steppin' through the pen eased back and buried themselves under a thin layer of sand.

"Hah hah hah, I always love doin' dat." He told me.

A roar shook the pen violently. It was so loud that I thought some of the Yojamba wood might come topplin' down, but the barbed wire keepin' the pen together merely allowed for the top row of wood to sway back and forth in the wind before settlin' back down to normal.

Krillok ducked and a powerful whiplash struck me as a cyclone of sand and wind knocked me off my feet.

"Get ready for some fun now, mon!" Krillok shouted, flailin' his whip around the sand pit.

For a moment, it seemed like they were all comin' for us.

I kept my head low and raised my face mask over my eyes. In a sandstorm, the vicious little grains could tear your vision right up. There be no use for eyes with a krolusk attack like this. The best thing to do would be to wait a moment, get a feel for what's happenin', and lash out where ya hear the closest sounds.

Krillok kept whippin' and whippin', eventually he snagged the shell of a krolusk. I could hear it, not see it. The din rose even louder as the male krolusk trampled about somewhere to my right. It screamed a hideous outcry of somberin' pain and agony.

"Now now now. We got guests. How'm I s'pposed ta sell ya if ya misbehave like this?" Krillok taunted the beast.

A hot blast of shiftin' air struck me as the krolusk eased itself in front of me. The beast was breathin' heavily, but it was bleedin' a dark red out from the top left side of its shell where a barbed hook was in it. I knew that was the end of its defiance right then and there. Krillok looked at me as I lowered my mask. "Yes, yes. I'll take it."

The troll sneered. "I didn't say de price."

"Clearly, you do not need such violence in your pit." I warned him.

"Ya be right about dat, but I'm gonna need no gold from ya."

"Oh?" I asked him, shocked. I wasn't about to do him any bounty work, odd jobs, or krolusk raisin' for him myself. I had a task at hand.

"I need ya skeletal raptor."

"I see." I told him flatly. "Do ya know I'm not exactly favored by de Zandalari? I need it to show my loyalty to Bwonsamdi. That is the only way they will not strike me down."

"Hmph. I do not see why you came here den."

"I need a mount that can dig."

"It will cost you."

"Take it." I offered with a whistle that sent the skeleton runnin' my direction. "It don't got no spirit. You don't need to be trainin' it either. Just let it do as you require."

"Yes. Dat is why I need it. We have an agreement?"

"I give you my reins, and you give me that whip."

Krillok handed it over to me. I unhooked a barbed end from the krolusk and laid a hand on its firm shell-side. It groaned and rested with its stomach flat on the ground. Though it had won the battle against the other male in the pen, it was badly injured, bleedin', and too tired to resist any further. If I had not personally been familiar with how aggressive these creatures be, I would've cursed Krillok then and there for his poor handlin' of such a majestic creature.

I could feel the spirit of the beast. Though it appeared outwardly weary, on the inside there was fiery hate. Its heart burned like a ragin' inferno, a fire with flames lickin' the sky in desperate hunger for more to consume.

Indeed, this mount was perfect. I thanked Krillok and hopped on its rigid spine. I knew just what to call it, too:

Spite.
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Re: The Tome of Shadowbinding [Journal]

Unread post by Ulrezaj » Fri May 31, 2019 3:03 pm

The Ancient One Survives
Visions of Demise
Ungoro Crater, Kalimdor — some years ago

The jungle, the heat, the humidity, it choked me.

My bow was wet. It had grown frail from use. The string snapped. The raptors screeched, the vipers hissed, the pterrodax's screamed, all of it was too much. My blood ran hot. My eyes darkened. My mind emptied of thought. The dark loa, crushin' me, feed us, they cried. That is what your kind is for. Provide for our children. Hear them, and fear, they were created faster, stronger, and far more savage.

The kind survive, but the strong thrive. It was the way of your people once before, now we forsake them. No solace will be found for them.

I fell into a pit of tar, runnin' for my life. A bog lord rose up from the marsh of Un'goro. It struck out against the predators that tracked my scent. The tar aberrations flailed about with moss-covered arms and beady black eyes, crushin' at snapping raptors and drivin' them away. I fell into a deep sleep in that moment, allowin' myself to dream.

An eye opened. It gazed a piercin' gaze, as if starin' into my own soul.

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"The hunt will not save you, child. You will betray and be betrayed. It is written. The bow is neither your freedom or salvation. Leave it. Yours is the shadow and flame—the immolation that burns the soul, and the darkness that raises the dead. These are the tools of the soul eater. For generations, your kind sent many like you into this Crater to train as Shadow Hunters. Most are fed to the raptors, improper, incompetent, and unworthy. They required better training, as you do, but the stars have aligned and you are spared by only the skin of your teeth. For that, we take note."

The eye stared. I did not. Around me, a host of scorpids clapping their talons together watched. Weary-eyed troll shadow hunters stood with Silithid tamed, both as mounts and as pets. The hive was all around me. It was above me in the form of wasps, turnin' the sky so dark it blotted out the sun. Below me, scarabs crawled across the ground, hungerin' for flesh, but denyin' themselves from me by the stay of the Ancient One. "You are a loa," I asked.

"Older, wiser, and stronger."

"Then if you be wise, guide me."

"Go. Flee the jungle. It is not your place, neither is the bow. Zul'Farrak belongs to the ancient gods. It will be a relic in the sands. Serve only the greatest power. The moment you choose principle over strength, you will fall."

I awoke and fled Un'goro. A coat of tar covered my scent from predators. When I returned, the Farraki were in retreat to Zul's ships, settin' sail for Zandalar. I was last to join. My heart darkened. My people had forgotten me to the sands. All of my wise instructors, necromancers, and shadow hunter trainers, not one recalled me. It was a detestable treason. I hate them for it.

Now I dip my feet in the blood magic of Nazmir. I will release myself from Bwonsamdi's chokin' grasp. He has his uses, but he is not the strongest. When I started down that path, I had not been aware he let good King Rastakhan die all alone to wolves. Bwonsamdi's no better then Farraki loa, sacrificin' the hunters to predators instead of providin' strength and council. No, no, no. Awatu be right. The loa are frail. Mebbe I've been lookin' at this all wrong.
Last edited by Ulrezaj on Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Tome of Shadowbinding [Journal]

Unread post by Ulrezaj » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:42 pm

The Turning Point
Blood, Honor, and G'huun

Zal'amak, Nazmir

The swamp was filthy with the blood of fallen trolls. Mosquito larva festered in squirmin' ripples as I set a foot in its filthy stagnant water. It was not as I remembered it when I had first ventured there, seekin' the help, aid, and power of G'huun once before. That price had been paid. It had not served as I willed it.

Stormwind should be in ruins now beneath a sheet of underrot and blood. Its petty kingdoms and races laid waste as trolls turned to this one-time source of incredible power. Instead, the Horde betrayed it, butcherin' the mighty beast like a sick dog while it was still gatherin' strength.

If the Grim had sought to utilize it for the Mandate's purposes, they would have seen this path required far less sacrifice. But no, they are far too righteous. For those who do not need righteous indignation, they would've said, "Oh, but G'huun would've turned on us next." I confess this could be true, but G'huun gave us his power freely.

Why would G'huun give trolls such power if it intended to eat them? Such cannibalism has been the way of savages, but if we harnessed it to our advantage, we could've stopped G'huun. Which is worse: an entire world against us, or one beast whose power we have already mastered?

Here lies the problem:

Too many Supplicants have passed as Grim without truly believin' in the Mandate. Peace through annihilation! They say, if they even bother to remember our words, but their hearts are too merciful, too kind, and too full of this warped sense of honor. What good is power if you do not use it to crush, destroy, and annihilate your enemies? No, no, no! They want to drink happy juice potions, they want to brood darkly in corners, but they dread trainin', craftin', killin', and doin' whatever it takes to honor their oaths to the Mandate.

That is why I have made this decision. It was not easy, as it would make me seem the villain in their pious hearts, but I will explain here below what I have nowhere mentioned to anyone from my practice of this blood magic.

When I set out, and was captured by High King Anduin's sea dogs, I had been with the mighty and glorious prophet Zul, who is now nowhere to be found. He was caught along with Queen Talanji and myself probin' Stormwind's vicinity for perceivable weaknesses. Talanji, of course, was there out of pure ignorance. "A simple mission of exploration and reconnaissance" was how King Rastakhan put it to her. She was so naive, lackin' any and all perception of what's really goin' on. I pity and envy her for bein' that ignorant. It must be nice.

I, under Zul's wisdom and guidance, was there as a no-named, anonymous crewmember to spread the Underrot contagion across Stormwind, renderin' the harbor uninhabitable to humans and spreadin' pestilence amidst their crops to starve them out. It would have been so easy, but no, Talanji was suspicious and such an opportunity never came.

I presumed both were dead when I returned, as I saw no sign of Zul anywhere, but then I met the "Talanji's Expediton," I did wonder about what had happened. No one bothered to explain. Luckily for me, I know how to put two-and-two together.

Talanji sold Zul out. Back in their cells in the Stormwind Stockades, Talanji begged for her life and surrendered Zul to the King of Stormwind. In exchange for freedom, she must have let go secrets about the Great Seal's treasure troves. As for weaknesses in the navy, she offered that information freely to save her sorry life. Worst of all, she must have also dictated that Zul was the true ruler of this mighty Empire. The Zandalari would never have gotten this far without Zul, not King Rastakhan. That is how the Alliance laid siege to the city so quickly and effortlessly.

On seein' Talanji's weakness, they must have freed her, weak as she is in heart and integrity, to Dazar'alor. Zul I suspect was probably murdered in his cell. On Talanji's way back, the Alliance must have entered Zandalar on false pretenses, as humans are prone to do when they are outmanned or outmaneuvered, and probed the pyramid for accuracy in Talanji's descriptions while laudin' themselves as heroes for restorin' the royal blood to her father. When Alliance scouts confirmed her reports, however, that would've been the time they struck and assassinated King Rastakhan.

I had arrived just in time to drive out the most dangerous siege weapons the Alliance used on Zuldazar. Our ranks were growin' thinner from the unusually savage and violent strike the Alliance performed against us.

Only by the Enforcer Turakh, who came to the swamp to purge blood trolls, did I learn that G'huun's fate had been realized by the Grim. A pity. G'huun was the strongest minion of the old gods I have seen since Queen Azshara.

Now I stand amidst the ruins of blood, bone, gore, and filth. The white-washed corpses of blood trolls who had innocently delved into blood magic to build a better world lay strewn about, bein' casually devoured by maggots and rot created by die-hard bloodthirsty mongrels thinkin' themselves to be the saviors of Azeroth. No doubt the slaughter occurred with equal if not more vileness in the attacker's hearts than the defendin' party had as they carelessly murdered my people. I hate them all.

Blood magic is mine. It is like a weapon to a warrior. When I turned to Bwonsamdi, I was like a warrior switchin' from a spear to a sword. Sure, it looks better, but with a spear your reach be longer and your foe must be quick or be dead.

I was a fool to think otherwise. The pact I made with Bwonsamdi is comin' undone. Fury is pumpin' through my veins. The hatred I once bore is creepin' back into my conscience. I have been too soft, too slow to act, and now I am returnin' to my true nature, the nature the Ancient Ones promised would grant me the greatest strength.
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Re: The Tome of Shadowbinding [Journal]

Unread post by Ulrezaj » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:50 pm

Reagents Sent to Grom'gol Base Camp
A List
Nazmir

Reagents:
  • 4 blood-gorged leeches
  • 3 blood maggots with pale skin and red-pocked markings
  • 12 fresh unblooded leeches
  • 2 jars of blood and muddied swamp water
  • A sack of bones
  • 3 strung Hippopotamus tails bound up as a rope
  • 8 carnelian rubies
  • A sickly saurolisk
At last, I have finished what I came here to do. Nazmir no longer holds the same value it did. Once, it was the land to begin anew. Now, it be a cursed place and a blemish upon the history of Zandalar for all its days.

I have salvaged what I can. I am satisfied with such endeavors.

Now I can turn my attention back to matters related to the Grim as a whole and proceed to put an end to the war. My powers be restored. My wounds healed. All that's left be to test my recent experiments.

And nobody gonna make war on Ul'rezaj, Harbinger of Terror...
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