swiftdawn: (business)
[personal profile] swiftdawn
Out of Character Information
Name: Carly
Username: [livejournal.com profile] yaysunshine
Are you over the age of eighteen? y
Current characters in Baedal: Jones

In Character Information
Character Name: Alexia Swiftdawn
Username: [livejournal.com profile] alexiaswiftdawn
Fandom: World of Warcraft (OC)
Played By: (Heavily photoshopped) Becky Fillip
Icon: here

Original Character Section
Physical Description: She looks to be in her mid-twenties, although that could mean anything for a Blood Elf, since they don’t age beyond that. (She is actually in her early thirties, being one of the youngest elves still alive after the fall of Silvermoon and corruption of the Sunwell. She gets a little freaked out when people treat her as older, since in her culture she’s just barely an adult despite being more or less physically and emotionally mature by human standards.)

Her hair is black and comes down to about her shoulders and is often tied back or in pigtails. Also, of course, she has the trademark long pointed ears and green glowy eyes of the blood elves—although hers aren’t quite as bright as those of some of her countryfolk. She is about six feet tall—elves are a bit taller on average than humans—and has a lean build. It's obvious that she's athletic and doesn't do much sitting around, and if someone looks closely she's got a good number of faded scars.

Her style of dress is actually pretty casual, by her people's standards—she dresses more for practicality and ease of movement than anything else. She does like to dress up a bit every now and then, though, and enjoys being pretty; she just prefers that her clothing be both pretty and functional.

Sexuality: The sindorei, on the whole, are not too fussed about one's gender in regard to most things: we're all nobility here, after all. Alexia herself skews a bit more toward men than toward women, although she's never had much opportunity with either, having a tulmultuous young adulthood and, for that matter, being rather young as elves go.

She has recently been seeing a guy named Michael, who is a human dude she met in her adventure with the Argent Dawn. They have to see each other a bit on the down-low, since lol factions-practically-at-war; she manages to make some time for him when visiting Stormwind on diplomatic duties. They both are quite fond of each other, but have... not quite yet broached the discussion of how things are going to work out long term, if at all—they're waiting to see if there is a future, first and enjoying themselves in the meantime.

History: Alexia Swiftdawn was the first daughter of Lynessa and Ryodan Swiftdawn of the quel'dorei, who were starting to get to the age where they wanted to settle down and have a family. Both were archmages affiliated with the Kirin Tor; however, they were less content than some of their fellows to remain in Dalaran and study, preferring to travel the world and meet all its people to learn from them—not just magic, but understanding, as well. Both were old enough to remember numerous wars as well as old enough to be tired of them; they had initially become fond of each other after realizing that they shared an interest in both learning more about the world and using that knowledge to improve the world.

When Alexia was born, they were not quite ready to give up travel, and as a result young Alexia spent the first ten years of her life traveling the world with her parents, learning about all of Azeroth's peoples and places from Darnassus to Stranglethorn. Her parents also tried to teach her as best they could why they did what they did, and instill in her their values.

They returned to Dalaran when Lynessa was expecting with their second child, Ysolda, and raised the children there. Alexia turned out to be, like her parents, talented at magic, but also naturally bright and inquisitive. She liked to learn magic, but was also interested in everything else under the sun. As seemed appropriate, when she was old enough, her parents enrolled her in the Academy at Dalaran, where they had both taken up positions as lecturers.

Alexia and Maegwin Softrain met during that time; Alexia was a favored instructors' daughter and naturally talented at everything, even at the tender age of fifteen; Maegwin was going on her seventies and still in the beginners' classes, trying to appease her family who hoped she would be a mage but terrible at anything beyond book-learning.

Friendly Alexia had no idea of any of that and approached her, since she didn't have many friends, and friended at her. Other students warned her off, in the sort of teasing way of saying "careful, her fail might rub off on you~" but she kind of bitched them out for that and invited Maegwin over for dinner since Maegwin was living all alone in Dalaran.

Over time, Maegwin became something of a sister to Alexia and her little sister Ysolda. It was Alexia who suggested that Maegwin might have some sort of calling that wasn't magery; in her typical way of saying pithy things without ever realizing it, she noted that sometimes when you're not good at something, it's because you've got something else you're supposed to be good at. She pointed out that Maegwin happened to be particularly good with a sword and that healing magic came more easily to her, but neither thought much of it until later, when such things became necessary.

After the attack on Silvermoon, Maegwin became an orphan—her entire family had lived in the city. However, since they'd never been on such great terms, it was actually somewhat freeing for Maggie, in that she could live her life the way she wanted from then on. The Swiftdawn family unofficially adopted her; she came around often to help play with Yssi and do things around the house while Lord and Lady Swiftdawn were helping in the rebuilding efforts.

As many elves did in those days, though, Lord and Lady Swiftdawn eventually started to succumb to withdrawal from the magic of the Sunwell. Rather than risk turning into mutated Wretched, they quietly made the decision to self-terminate together, so as to preserve their dignity and keep their very young daughters safe from them, should they decide they made a good mana snack once they lost their mental faculties.

The loss of her parents sent Alexia into a deep depression; she was, after all, only eighteen at the time, which is young even by human standards. She stopped going out or doing nearly anything, interacting mostly only with Yssi, and Maggie, who came around to keep an eye on the two of them and do the household chores that Alexia couldn't do. She was this way for the better part of a year, until one day Maegwin stopped by to tell her that she was going to have to leave.

Maegwin had been training on her own, and had been accepted into the Blood Knights, the blood elves' elite order of paladins. Alexia was really pleased to hear this, enough to actually get excited about something—Maggie had finally found her calling! However, Maegwin had other news—she couldn't stay. After finding out about M'uru, she had a definite feeling that it was definitely wrong to keep him locked up and sapping his power, and thus quit. She had heard about the formation of the Argent Dawn, operating out of the Plaguelands, and was going to find them and ask if they would train her as a Paladin of the Holy Light.

Alexia had a lot of feelings about this, the initial one being WAIT WHAT YOU CAN'T LEAVE ME and the other being oh Light I'm not going to see her again, am I, she's going to get killed out there. On the other hand, she could tell that this really was what Maegwin felt was what she really wanted to do with her life, despite the danger and the consequences. Maegwin had always had a certain amount of dedication to the Light as well as a drive to do good for others, which Alexia had always admired. So: they bid Maegwin a goodbye (tearful, on Alexia's part), and Alex sat down to think about what she wanted to do with her life.

Not doing much of anything for a whole year had the oddly helpful side effect of basically helping Alexia cold-turkey stop doing magic—something she consciously decided she wanted to not do anymore, since she didn't want to share her parents' fate. Some parts were hard—magic, for quel'dorei and sindorei, tended to work itself into everyday life—but she started teaching herself to do things on her own, out of books.

It was clear that magery was something she was going to have to leave behind, at least for the moment. She started training in archery again—partially to have something physical to do, to get her out of the house, and partially because she wanted to have a martial skill; it seemed that in these sorts of times it was something more useful to have.

Practicing at the archery range, she often saw members of the ranger corps, the Farstriders, training; it turned out that archery came back to her easily and she started to earn compliments from them. One day one of them—likely not knowing her age or background—asked if she'd be interested in joining.

There were things to get in order, of course. Alexia looked up some friends of her parents, who were happy to do the little maintenance the estate required. (Well, have their servants do the maintenance.) Alas by that time Dalaran had been decimated by Archimonde; otherwise she'd have sent Ysolda back there. There were certain privileges afforded to the Swiftdawns' daughters, though; she was able to make sure that Ysolda would be educated and taken care of in her absence.

And thus she shipped out to the Ghostlands, the southern part of Quel'thalas now overtaken by the Scourge and the Amani trolls. It was not an easy duty; the lieutenant who did her initial training was killed the next week. However, despite the casualties and the possibility that they were fighting a losing battle against superior numbers, there was a certain determination among the joint sindorei and Forsaken forces in Tranquilien—and, perhaps, a kind of hope.

It took its toll, though, as one would expect living in near-constant darkness and having fallen comrades return as zombies under control of your enemies would. After a few particularly bad missions, Alexia briefly stopped sleeping altogether, keeping herself awake with coffee, until some of her comrades staged an intervention. There are things she saw there that she still has nightmares about. However, at the same time, it turned out that she was really good at being a ranger and being a fighter—something she hadn't really expected.

Promotions tended to happen... quickly in the Ghostlands, and Alexia soon found herself a Captain and actually in a position to lead others. She took to the responsibilities with a vengeance, and took it upon herself to do her absolute best to keep her people alive as best she could. Being a leader meant it hurt that much more when she lost someone—but if Alexia was anything, she was resilient. The Ghostlands forged her raw talent into honed skill and sharpened her wits to a razor's edge. So when the Outland campaign began, she shipped out to Thrallmar with the Horde forces.

While there was plenty of fighting to be done against the forces of the demonic Burning Legion as well as Outland's more hostile native peoples, there was plenty of other work to be done. Alexia found a bit of a niche in scouting; she convinced some goblins lending their assistance to the Horde to teach her how to operate their flying machines so she could go further afield. She also found she was pretty good at writing and analyzing intelligence reports.

Her scouting also brought her into contact with parts of Outland's native population, including the Sporelings and the Mag'har. What she'd picked up from her travels with her parents served her well, and she found that she actually had a bit of a knack for diplomacy. She made a number of friends--both for herself and for the Horde. For her work, she received an official commendation from the Warchief as well as an invitation to help form the Horde's diplomatic corps, which she graciously accepted.

Returning from Outland, Alexia immediately looked for letters from Maegwin, as she had been unable to receive or send post for some time and wanted to know how her friend was doing as well as tell her all about her adventures. However, she found that the last letter Maegwin had sent was dated several months ago, and she rarely skipped more than two weeks.

Thinking that perhaps Maegwin might have stopped sending letters as Alexia had noted that she would be away for a while, she sent a letter on, but received no response. She had not returned to Silvermoon, nor been in touch with anyone, nor given any indication that she would be unable to write, which was worrying. And there was still that bit of concern in the back of her mind that she'd had when Maegwin first left that said that they were never going to see each other again...

Her last letter had said that she was in the northeast part of what used to be Lordaeron, at a place called Light's Hope. Having a few weeks left of accumulated leave, Alexia decided to go take an impromptu road trip. She set out for the Plaguelands at the next dawn.

Thankfully road maps of Lordaeron were still semi-accurate, although no one had needed to mark locations of restless dead, abominations, etc. on it when it was made, which slowed progress. And then she got lost altogether when she ran into Scourge forces in Corin's Crossing and had to run. Wandering and not entirely sure where she was, she happened to run into an Argent Dawn patrol.

They were, naturally, suspicious; a number of them were also part of the Alliance and hence also suspicious of a blood elf roaming about all by herself. A human paladin among their number was ready to skewer her until she mentioned Maegwin.

Hearing that name, they all fell silent. Maegwin had, apparently, been beloved by everyone she'd met in the Argent Dawn, but her patrol had gone out a couple months ago, while Alexia had been in Outland, and never returned.

After a bit of awkward conversation, they offered to take her to Light's Hope, where hopefully she could arrange for transport. For her part, she recovered gracefully, making light conversation and trying to get to know her new companions better.

Traveling together, though, through hostile territory, brought them together somewhat; Alexia was not hesitant to step in and take watches and fight any Scourge they ran into, and soon acquired a certain amount of respect among her companions. That, and her perky was starting to get to people. There's only so much you can resist someone who really wants to be friends with you and is watching your back. The paladin, Michael, was the only holdout.

They were, however, all united in looking forward to some rest and safety at the Argent Dawn's operations base. However, since that would just be too easy, they had to take a few detours to avoid getting killed and, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, ended up getting piled on by a Scarlet Crusade patrol just a little south of their destination.

The Crusade, however, was a bit busy to pay them much individual attention right away, and more or less unceremoniously dumped them in their Shed o' Argent Dawn Prisoners. Apparently they'd been busy. Alexia hoped that Maegwin might be alive and among the prisoners, but the ones that could speak hadn't seen her. Meanwhile, some of the Crusade's officers came looking for information about what was going on outside their little town--called New Avalon, apparently--and wanted to... see the new group's leader.

Michael was the patrol leader, and had taken a bad beating. Alexia also realized at this point, that, without his armor, he looked like he might even be younger than she was. So she told them that she was the leader, without even thinking much about it.

She was never really sure how long she spent with the Scarlet Crusade's head torturer, LeCraft, since days and nights sort of blended into each other. It could have been hours, or days. At least she didn't actually have any information to worry about protecting. Mostly she made things up that sounded (at least to her) vaguely sensical and hoped they'd believe it.

Eventually they threw her back in the building in the others, only to bring her back to the cellar again the next day or so. The Forsaken members of the patrol were taken away and didn't come back. The days blurred together.

And then the Scarlet Crusade... disappeared. Occasionally a glimpse of someone in red livery would be seen, running by, but for all intents and purposes the prisoners were forgotten. Something was clearly going on. They were still locked in, though, and shackled; however, they started to think they might have a shot at making an escape attempt.

One day, though, there was a series of shouts out in front, and the clear sound of fighting. They thought at first that it might be the Argent Dawn, come to rescue them, but those hopes were dashed who broke open the door but one of the Lich King's Death Knights, who looked pleased to see them in a way that didn't seem particularly good for their health.

And none of them were prepared for who arrived next. It was Maegwin, newly-undead and made one of the Lich King's servants. She had, apparently, been given orders to finish off the remaining prisoners; however, seeing Alexia, the spirit that remained in her partially reawoke. Confused and horrified, Maegwin offered to hold off the other death knights as they made their escape, but Alexia hadn't come this far to lose her best friend, and, luckily, had a plan that was crazy enough to work.

A minute later, Maegwin staggered out of the building, which had gone up in flames, apparently by a vindictive trap set by the Scarlet Crusade, and Alexia and the surviving Argent Dawn prisoners staggered off into the shrubbery, making their escape around the edges of the town and into the foothills.

The group was on its last legs when they finally managed to stagger into Light's Hope. Alexia grabbed the first person she saw who looked like an officer by the collar, said, "I'm about to pass out, okay, but here's some stuff you should know really soon probably," rattled off a laundry list of every important piece of intel they'd gotten—up to and including that at least some of the death knights had a possibility of breaking free of the Lich King's control—and then fainted.

She slept through the actual battle of Light's Hope that ensued, in the cellar of the chapel, along with most of her comrades, none of whom were in fighting shape. It was only afterwards that she found out the person she'd fainted on was Tirion Fordring and that the death knights, including Maegwin, had been freed from the Lich King's control.

Her immediate priority was to find Maegwin, who no one so far had been able to coax into speaking. She basically threw herself at her old friend with a lot of "hey hey are you all right, can I get you anything, are you okay, HERE HAVE SOME HUGS."

Alexia, being friendly and used to playing the part of morale officer, also made a point to meet a lot of the other surviving death knights; they were prickly, but then again, she'd been like that once, and she hadn't even gone through the mess they had. She volunteered to give those that wished to return to the Horde an escort and a re-introduction to the Warchief; Tirion Fordring contributed a letter explaining things, and, after saying farewell to her new friends for the moment (and promising to write), they took a portal to Orgrimmar.

The Warchief was... surprised, to say the least. And the rest, of course, was history.

Maegwin, for her part, quietly disappeared; she's been occasionally seen in Northrend, traveling alone and never staying in one place long.

As that development happened, the war in Northrend was already moving forward; Warsong Hold had been established as a base of operations in the Borean Tundra, and Vengeance Landing the Hand of Vengeance's base in Howling Fjord. There were a lot of forces to coordinate—as well as coordination with the Alliance, as parts of both the Alliance and the Horde were starting to realize the value of allies in the face of a threat such as the Lich King. Other independent but interested parties such as the Dragonflights, the Taunka, and, to Alexia's delight, the Kirin Tor, newly-moved to Crystalsong Forest, were there and needed a liason, and as such Alexia set out to Northrend with aid from Lord Sunreaver and a newly-expanded budget.

She saw a fair share of fighting herself; she was never hesitant to help fend off attacks wherever she happened to be and took on several missions herself when she found that forces were shorthanded against the various enemies that Northrend had to throw at them. She was busy—but being busy was what she loved. And all the while she kept an eye out for Maegwin.

Having the embassy in Dalaran established with the assistance of Lord Sunreaver, Alexia finally had a base of operations and a convenient place to work with their Alliance counterparts on neutral ground. Returning to Dalaran, she found a number of old friends who at least remembered her parents' name fondly, if not her, which worked in her favor to a certain extent. Meanwhile, she was often flying out all over Northrend to get reports, coordinate with their neutral allies, and coincidentally run into Michael at Argent Crusade camps. Coincidentally. Of course.

As she wasn't on the front lines, she had no reason to oversee the actual assault on the Wrathgate herself, and really couldn't—she was busy enough as it was. Which was why she didn't hear about the disaster there until just before chaos broke out on the streets of Dalaran.

Both Alliance and Horde forces had been decimated—not by the Lich King, but by a rebel faction of the Royal Apothecary Society of Undercity, led by Grand Apothecary Putress and a newly-engineered plague. Not only that, but Undercity was no longer under Horde control, Lady Sylvanas was incommunicado, and King Varian Wrynn was planning on declaring war. She made a hasty call to Jaina Proudmoore, who'd been her senior at Dalaran and with whom she'd become friends with over the course of the Northrend campaign, and both of them tried to work on smoothing things over, emphasizing that the attackers were not working on the orders of the Horde and that both groups had been equally injured—but there had been damage done that could not be undone.

For the moment, though, there was Undercity to be retaken. Alexia volunteered to join Horde forces in retaking the city from Putress and Varimathras—this was, after all, personal. (Well, she felt it was personal, anyway.) All her careful work, getting the Alliance and the Horde to work together! This could make it all for naught.

She acquitted herself admirably during the battle, and Varimathras and Putress were slain—but not without casualties, the first of which was the tentative truce between the Alliance and Horde, which erupted in some places into outright hostility. She did not escape unscathed, either; despite being protected to some extent against Putress's plague, she has a bit of permanent exercise-induced asthma, which has effectively left her limited to desk jobs.

Not that she would stand to be uninvolved while the free world went up against the Lich King; she volunteered for duty on the Orgrim's Hammer as part of their support crew on the final assault on Icecrown Citadel, where they saw the end of Arthas as Lich King once and for all.

With the war against the Scourge over with Bolvar Fordragon's assumption of the mantle of Lich King, Alexia hoped for peacetime. Ha ha.

Tensions, unfortunately, were still high after the betrayal of the Royal Apothecary Society, and the outbreaks of violence between the two factions that followed, which kept her busy bandaging hurt feelings and working to get more supporters in their corner.

As the elements began to act in distressing, unnatural ways, Thrall thought it time to step down and become more in touch with his shamanic abilities, making Garrosh Hellscream Warchief in his place. She pretty much shares sentiments with Vol'jin, which is to say does not want.

That said, she is… getting used to him, in an odd sort of way. And he's not bad all the time; sometimes he's surprisingly, well, decent. And some days she wants to punt him off the Orgrim's Hammer (like after Cairne's death) but that's… neither here nore there.

She is also working out how exactly things are going to go with her and Michael from now on, seeing as neither of them are dead and they hadn't actually planned for that.

Currently taking an overnight stop on a flight to go meet High Priestess Tyrande in Darnassus for tea, she wakes up to find herself in an odd, green-tiled room...

Powers: Alexia used to be a pretty good mage, but she lays off the magic these days. Mostly all she’ll use is a couple little cantrips, like for lighting campfires and campsite wards. She also has a good sense for where magic is in use and what kind it is, having an affinity for the arcane like the rest of her people.

Talents/Abilities:: She is an excellent sniper and markswoman, good with poisons, and makes some damn good explosives. She's also a trained engineer, and a decent field cook and medic.

Personality: Alexia Swiftdawn is perky and friendly! And she would ~love~ to be your friend!

This is actually not a facade. Really, she actually is that friendly. As much as her people are credited with being subtle and wily, she is actually entirely genuine. She knows that while sometimes mutual understanding is hard to achieve (and sometimes seemingly impossible) it's far better to make friends with people that you don't need to be fighting with. Furthermore, she's just really interested in other people from a personal standpoint. They're all so interesting!

Alexia is almost constantly doing something—her brushes with death and despair have only served to convince her further that life is worth living to the fullest while you've got it. She used to keep herself busy to help keep her mind off of sadness and grief: now she just keeps busy because that's what she does.

She is also wholeheartedly an idealist. Her parents passed that value onto her, and despite the world she's surrounded with, she clings to the belief that she can make a difference—and even if it's the smallest of differences, that's a victory.

On the other hand, being good does not necessarily mean being nice. Alexia's a little like a pitbull, in that she will latch onto things and just not let go until she wins. She has learned in the course of her life that taking no for an answer and pulling punches does not really get you very far and now doesn't do that anymore, though occasionally it causes friction with other people who operate in the same way (see: Varian Wrynn, Garrosh Hellscream). Also, due to her cultural situation, she is not particularly fussed about some things like, say, killing people if it's what's necessary to Get Things Done and to preserve the safety of her people. She has, however, soured on torture recently.

All in all she is a very resilient person; she's survived a lot of crazy horrible stuff happening to the world and lived to have some pretty ridiculous awesome stories about it. She's also still young for one of her people, despite her apparent maturity, so she's adaptable and open to new ideas.

Object: Her crossbow. State of the art and do not touch, it is her baby.

Reason for playing: A) I love BDL and want to bring it more frands, B) I think she'd be fun to play in the setting (eldritch abominations, just another day in Azeroth oh god why are there silithids), and C) I think lots of fun CR could be had with someone like her.

Also I kind of love the backstory stuff I've written up for her, and I'll probably not get a chance to play her like I'd like to in, say, WoW RP, and in some ways LJRP is better in that... er, there are standards.

Gods: Ceith, maybe, because she's a diplomat and therefore relies heavily on both the spoken and written word to achieve the ends she seeks; Eliandre, as a hunter and ranger; maybe Gediron, as one who's fought wars and lived to tell about it (and oh god does she have the grit and determination to interest him).

Writing Samples
First-Person Network Post:

[Her hair is a little wavy, as if it's been in plaits that were previously wet. Someone's trying to look as serious as possible.]

I'm Ambassador Alexia Swiftdawn of the Horde, authorized to negotiate on behalf of Warchief Garrosh Hellscream. I do believe there's been some sort of misunderstanding, and I'd like to work this out as soon as possible. I'm sure neither of us is interested in this being misinterpreted as some kind of act of aggression, after all.

[Smiiiiiile. She is an amiable person! She would just like to be friends with you. There clearly need to be no troubles, amirite.]

First-Person Journal Post:
Hallo, Mum and Dad!

Well, things have certainly been busy, but I am back home from Northrend at last. It'll be lovely to get some more sleep and not be cold all the time!

It really has been a long time since I've written, but there was just never the time during the campaign. And so much has happened, too. Yssi's doing well; I've a friend in the Sha'tari Skyguard who's mentoring her now that things in Outland have calmed down a little, and apparently she's settled in nicely and everyone loves her. Which doesn't surprise me at all, since she's grown into the most adorable young thing.

I've actually gotten a bit of a promotion; I'm a proper ambassador now. I haven't gotten much of a raise--actually, I got a bit of a pay cut, since the budget's tight--but I'm doing good work.

I like to think I'm doing good work, anyway. Not everyone is… appreciative. Well, most people aren't, actually, haha. Ever since the Wrathgate incident tensions have been high and both the Horde and the Alliance, it seems, are just looking for an excuse. It's like--what's the point of defeating the Lich King, you know, if it's just going to end up like this again?

That's out of line, I'm sorry. It's just that--I'd kind of hoped that everyone would be able to realize that we really can work together both in the face of a common threat and in everyday life, sunshine and rainbows, etc., but… well, it seems there's no rest for the weary. I guess if it wasn't a lifetime's work, it wouldn't be worth dedicating my life to. And maybe even if Yssi can't grow up in a world entirely at peace, maybe her kids can.

I like to think that this is the sort of thing you guys raised me for, you know?

Well, things are still busy, so I'd best be going to see what vitally important thing is on fire now, because something always is. Until next time.

Love you lots and lots, forever and ever,


[She carefully burns the letter in a nearby lantern, and leaves.]

Third-Person Action Post:
She will have to wash her boots after this.

Part of her is slightly appalled that it’s gotten to the point where this sort of scene is so commonplace that those are all the feelings she can summon up about it. She’s not particularly inclined to feel sorry for the Scarlet Onslaught, though, with her month-long captivity in New Avalon still uncomfortably fresh.
So stupid, she thinks, her lips curling in distaste. So unnecessary. So many lives could have been spared, and yet they threw their lives away in a pointless battle against people they didn’t even have to be fighting. The freed undead should have been their allies, fighting a common enemy. But instead… this. She crosses the square, only making a token effort not to step on any of the fallen, and takes out her knife to cut down the bodies swaying from the gallows in the chill breeze.

“Cortland?” she calls, softly, to one of her escorts. “D’you have a pen and paper, please? I’m going to need you to write down some names for me.” This one was Lacey Turner, who worked as a smith and had a husband fighting in Howling Fjord. John Weston, who had trained countless warriors to fight the Scourge and had given her some pointers in swordfighting himself. Apothecary Carris—eh, no great loss, and Alexia had disliked him, but still. Cortland dutifully jots down the names; they will be needed later, when Alexia writes their next of kin with the unfortunate news.

The rest here were still dressed in Scarlet livery, likely executed out of Abbendis’s paranoia about spies in their ranks. Of course, if Alexia was right about what she smelled on some of their priests, the High General was actually close to correct for once—if looking entirely in the wrong direction. Her gaze lingers briefly on the human victims. To live one’s life in the service of something that would eventually betray your trust… She can’t help but feel a bit of pity for them as well, despite the fact that they’d been enemies. Not a good way to go.

There’s a sudden outburst of shouting from the direction of the barracks, and a handful of troops come running. “Ambassador,” rasps one—a Lieutenant, by her decorations. “You need to see this.”

Alexia nods, and decides not the sheathe her knife before following. She doesn’t like the sound, but that’s probably why it’s important.

The barracks are fairly standard, for humans; it’s what lies below the barracks that they want her to see. The Lieutenant takes point, and then after conferring with someone below, waves her forward, her face twisting into a scowl. “Here.”

Alexia steps into the cellar and freezes.

This room is familiar. Too familiar, and so is the man that the soldiers have shackled with what can only be his own restraints, because she knows this man and suddenly the room is far, far too small and everything in her is screaming that she needs to get out, get out get out get out, and yet she can’t move—

“Ma’am, are you all right?”

Cortland, who looks concerned even though he lacks eyes and most of the skin on his jaw. She looks up at him—oh. It seems that her knees have given way. The rest of the soldiers are looking on, their dead faces difficult to read. She places a hand gingerly on the wall to steady herself, and carefully raises herself to her feet.

“Thanks, Cortland,” she says, carefully schooling her voice into calm tones. “I am… I’m totally fine. I’m good. Well, this is kind of a horrible place, so not good in the sense that—you know what I mean. Don’t worry about it.” She shrugs, and smiles, in a way that she hopes is nonchalant. Her heart is still racing, but this time they are not in New Avalon, and now LeCraft is the prisoner.

Although not soon enough to spare the three Forsaken they’ve found down here his tender mercies, it seems. The Forsaken are hardy people, though, and two of them are, for better or worse, still among the unliving; she calls for the squad of what passes for medics in a society of the undead, and makes sure what help can be provided is given. The basement slowly empties, and soon it is only her, Cortland, the Lieutenant, and LeCraft.

“Ambassador,” says Cortland, “we should head back to Venomspite—”

“Just a sec,” Alexia cuts in. “There’s a little unfinished business here that I’d like to take care of.” She jerks her head in LeCraft’s direction.

She sees LeCraft's eyes widen; certainly his imagination is working overtime. (The Lieutenant seems to have caught that wavelength; she grins, wickedly, and nudges Cortland.) Captive, in his own dungeon, surrounded by his own torture instruments. And his eyes widen even more in surprise as Alexia plunges his knife deep into his heart.

He gasps, in a strangled sort of way, and his hands writhe in their bindings; he struggles to no avail. His mouth works furiously, sputtering half-formed words. "They all—begged... for their... lives..." he chokes out.

Something in her expression is almost like pity. But not quite. "And you didn't give it to them. And you didn't end their pain, but instead reveled in it. May the Holy Light have mercy upon your soul, though none you had for others."
There's a brief flicker of horror and the shock of the vanishing of seemingly infinite tomorrows into one last moment before the light in his eyes fades, and Alexia pulls the knife out, wiping it on a cloth she pulls from a belt pouch.

"We're done here," she says, to the onlooking Lieutenant and Cortland. "Give orders to burn the place. It smells something fierce." She does not look for their opinion or approval; she simply sheathes her knife, and starts up the stairs.

Cortland catches up to her, shortly, and they walk in silence back through the snow to Venomspite. After a moment he clears his throat.

"Yes?" says Alexia, mildly. Her gaze is on the sky.

There's uncertainty in his voice. "I... I don't understand, ma'am." It's not uncommon knowledge, her brief adventure after the Outland campaign, and for Forsaken, at least, knowing she was held prisoner by the Scarlet Crusade is more than enough to know what happened.

"I don't think anything I could have done to him could have matched the terrible things he did to more people than I can probably number," says Alexia, thoughtfully, not bothering to pretend she doesn't know what Cortland's talking about. She clasps her arms behind her back. "Best to just put him down like a rabid dog. Or maybe I just wanted to know that I was the better man. Woman. Elf. Whatever. Does it matter?"

Cortland shrugs his bony shoulders. "I suppose it doesn't." It's clear he doesn't really agree, but Alexia won't really begrudge him that.

They've reached Venomspite, though; it's not far. Alexia stretches. "Cor, I'm tired," she says. "I suppose it's been a bit of a day. I'm going to take a nap; I'll be back up in about an hour or so. Could you have the rosters on my desk by then?"

Cortland nods crisply. He's on firmer ground. "Will do, ma'am," he says, and strides off.

Alexia manages to stay awake just long enough to make it to her cot, and sleeps the sleep of the just.


Also, can she have her adorable little friend, Cupcake along for the ride? She is the sweetest, I promise.

I mean, look at her.

Don't you just want to hug her? Awww.