I have this and the next part, still working on the conclusion.
* By reading this, you agree not to laugh at my lame attempt at a last name or harangue me too badly on errors of lore. Warcraft is property of Blizzard Entertainment. This story is an original fan work and any similarity to other works is accidental because I've never read any Warcraft fiction, either official or fan-made. Details of lore gained from All the World's a Stage guides along with Wowwiki. *
“Have you ever slept with an undead?” Dustfire asked Tylana over a goblet of spiced wine, giving her shoulders a delicate shudder. “He let me have the lexicon for half market price, and I know part of that is because it was stolen, but for sun’s sake I paid for it. His skin was loose, it actually slid around when I touched it, and the dangling eyeball really helped the mood, I assure you.” She tossed her hair back over her shoulder and glared at the far wall, hands clenched around her goblet. A tauren in the way looked confused and quickly shuffled to his table. “Somebody is going to pay.”
Tylana looked at Kizmet, a delicate blonde they kept around out of pity, who set her cup down as if she’d lost her appetite, ran her pink nails over it, and grimaced. “You actually . . . did it . . . with one of them?”
Dustfire pressed her lips together. “Don’t tell Nevari. I’d never hear the end of it.” She shifted in her chair and allowed herself a smile. “Though, to be honest, I bet she’d be jealous. She has a thing for bags of bones.”
“Kinky,” said Tylana.
“Disgusting,” said Dustfire. “At least I saved money off of the deal. She’d do it for fun.”
“Was it really worth the money?” asked Kizmet. Her face had flushed bright red and she hadn’t looked away from her drink.
“I saved twenty-five thousand,” said Dustfire.
“Worth it,” laughed Tylana. A human man at a nearby table watched her chest as she laughed. She had admirable curves and a come-hither mouth. Normally, Dustfire would hate her, but they got along too well.
Dustfire nodded at Tylana, the shared bond of pragmatists.
Kizmet raised her eyes and Dustfire mentally sighed at her. If she wasn’t going to be more active in the conversation, why did they sit with her? Honestly, was it too much to ask that she at least be interesting?
She leaned back in her chair and ran her fingers over her abdomen, taking a moment to stretch. The man who’d stared at Tylana glanced her way and smugness uncurled in her stomach. “I’m going to have to start healing again,” she said, toying with the embroidery at her neckline. Tylana noticed and subtly surveyed the room, turning back with a knowing glance when she found the man staring at them. “You know how I loathe it. But there’s no money in dark magic these days.” She pushed red hair behind one long ear and her earring tinkled. “Speaking of dark magic, have either of you seen Manasseh lately?”
“He was in here last night, with my sister,” Kizmet said.
“Ugh,” said Tylana, shaking her glossy dark hair out and drawing the man’s gaze her way. Dustfire suppressed annoyance. She always did that! “Those two are so creepy. It’s unnatural.”
“They’re not really together,” said Kizmet, always eager to defend her sister. In a quieter voice, she added, “Though I do think it would be sweet, fearlessly crossing racial boundaries for love.”
Dustfire wrinkled her nose. “Have you been hanging out with the white robes behind our backs again?”
Tylana laughed. “Of course she has. She’s a priest, isn’t she? You can’t get away from white robes at the cathedrals. They swarm.”
“They’re nice people,” murmured Kizmet.
“Speak of the devil,” said Tylana.
They turned toward the door as a blank-faced elven woman entered the bar. She carried a tall, plain priest’s staff and wore a simple silver coronet on her blonde hair. Following protectively behind her, an orc in plate scanned the room and frowned when he caught sight of their table.
Dustfire raised her goblet to her lips and murmured low enough for just her friends: “Just like murlocs, always traveling in packs.”
Tylana chortled and rested her elbow on the table and chin in her hand. Kizmet stiffened in her chair.
The priestess made her graceful way toward them, her bulldog of an overarmored orc following close behind. “Priestess Kizmet,” she greeted. Her voice was light and ethereal, her expression detached from the dim ordinariness of the room.
Kizmet stood and performed an awkward curtsey. “Priestess Hoenu.”
“We missed you at prayers this morning.”
“Yes,” she said, a panicked look entering her eye. “I . . . I . . . My friend was robbed!”
Dustfire sent Kizmet a sly glance. The robbery had happened well after prayer service.
“Oh?” said Hoenu, sympathy invading her aura of distance. She turned to Dustfire and Tylana. “I’m so sorry.”
“Thank you,” said Dustfire, tilting her head coquettishly and offering a smile that she hoped would make the priggish Hoenu uncomfortable. She’d found years ago that any sign of sexuality would fluster a proper holy priestess. Her teachers had despaired of her, especially after she’d corrupted her third priest, and her parents had finally sent her to train in the ways of the shadow. She knew enough of healing to get a moderately well-paying job, but she frankly preferred (and had more skill in) the black arts. They were so much more fun.
Hoenu didn’t seem to notice anything amiss, bade them good day, and wandered toward a table and a smiling barmaid.
Once they’d gone, Dustfire handed Kizmet her goblet, vexed that Hoenu had ignored her. “Buy me more wine. I’ve had a horrible day.”
Kizmet picked the goblet up and hesitated. “The bartender scares me.”
Dustfire just stared at her until she hung her head and left. “Honestly,” she said to Tylana. “It’s like she doesn’t want me to feel better. And what’s so frightening about the bartender? He’s just a death knight.”
“He’s undead. It’s unsanitary for them to even be near food,” said Tylana.
Dustfire considered. “No,” she decided, “I can’t let you talk like that. Even if you have an excellent point, you should never say anything to offend the person who handles your drinks. You don’t know what they might put in it.”
The two women shared a look and turned as one to watch Kizmet with the bartender.
Some drunk jostled Dustfire’s chair and she craned her neck to glare at him.
“Sssorry,” he hissed, barely glancing at her. He’d almost passed their table when the bar owner, Velandrea, grabbed him by his tunic. She was sturdy by blood elf standards, which meant well-defined muscle along her slender body, a wide stance, and a no-nonsense expression.
She held out a hand. “Her purse.”
He glowered and handed Dustfire’s remaining pocket-money to the woman.
Dustfire stood so fast her chair fell backward and lunged, too enraged to even remember she had spells. “I’ll kill you!”
“No killing in my bar,” Velandrea said, grabbing Dustfire and holding her with her free arm, the one with the money.
“Did someone mention killing?” a familiar voice asked from the entrance. Light spilled in and cut off as the door closed. “Can I watch?”
“You can help!” Dustfire snarled, scratching ineffectively toward the thief, who’d skipped nimbly out of reach and left Velandrea alone to hold Dustfire. Her feet didn’t touch the floor anymore. She gave a good, hard wriggle and received a bruised rib for the effort.
“Oh good!” said Manasseh, coming forward and following her gaze to the thief. They sized each other up, the thief wary, Manasseh cheerful. “Can Luudy help?” A plump red beast trotted up and rubbed its spiky head under Manasseh’s hand.
“No one’s killing anyone,” said Velandrea.
Manasseh looked at her and frowned, muttering sullenly under his breath. “I could kill you.”
“Just go over there and sit down.”
Dustfire allowed Velandrea to set her on her feet, annoyed that she stayed between her and her prey.
“Here’s your pouch. No harm done, now sit down.” Dustfire immediately opened it and counted the coins. Velandrea turned her head. “You. Brainiac. Get your bony butt out of here before I call the guards.”
He slouched off, the expression on his face unreadable. Dustfire memorized him, his clothes, the way he moved, the hissing way he spoke. If she ever saw him again . . .
Her hands flexed with the desire to hex.
Visibly disappointed at the lack of violence, Manasseh wandered toward the bar. Dustfire turned on her heel and followed him.
“You want to do me a favor,” she said, sliding onto a bar stool beside him.
The bartender slid Manasseh a mug that smoked. He looked into it. “Not that I remember.” He tilted his head. “But I don’t remember well. Do I want to do you a favor?” He asked it to his mug.
“Yes,” she told him. Crazy moron. But this crazy moron was the most powerful spellcaster she knew, so she tamped down her annoyance and plastered a smile on her face.
“That’s interesting,” he murmured, sipping at his mug. “I thought I didn’t. Hm.” A moment more, and he smiled. “What favor do I want to do for you?”
She smiled. “You want to help me find out who stole my things.”
He frowned. “I don’t know why I’d want to do that.”
She touched the back of his gloved hand. “Then you want to help me kill them. It will be a game. Your . . . pet . . . can even help.” She looked at the fanged red beast curled on the floor by Manasseh’s feet and grimaced. She hated fel hounds. All teeth, no brains.
He perked up. “When?”
Part 3: Persuade ---->