He had expected security to have been increased since the open rebellion but that was not the case. Entry into the Ghostlands was rather easy. No one gave him a second glance, just another elf returning from the front, nothing more. Once he had found it such a morose place. Yet now it reminded him of Duskwood and the woods clouded in shadow felt comforting.
He stopped in Tranquillien sending a missive to an old friend and his personal tailor while he'd lived in Silvermoon. As he waited, he recalled the odd couple that would soon greet him and help cloak his entry into the city; a goblin and her dead elf husband. How it even worked baffled him. To each their own he supposed. They had managed to establish a fairly profitable business in the bazaar. A tailor and a blacksmith, respectively, they had grown quite popular with the bloodknights of the city for their unique take on style. It was the perfect front for some of his dealings.
At first he thought Phanual had come alone leaving his wife behind. That was until she popped her head from behind him, finding Prayce in his elven form. "You sonofanogre! Ya know, I have th' right mind to slap you, buddy! No message, no letter, just up and leave without settling your account! No wait, my husband should slap you, g'on Phanny. He's got it comin' thinkin' he can come bac-"
That stopped her dead in her tracks.
Prayce inclined his head to the death knight. "I don't plan on being long, just if you two would be so gracious to escort me in. I will, of course, make it worth your while." He gave Phanual his most gracious smile.
Phanual sat unmoved by Prayce's offer. "Minnie, name our price." came the deadpan voice, eyes never leaving the warlock.
The goblin femme looked between the two, a look of consideration that would make anyone else nervous, before finally grinning once more. "Three hats. That's our price."
She giggled "Not just any hats; three new Larson's winter hats. This year's collection." Profits were to be made and designs were to be stolen after-all.
Smiling, Prayce nodded back. "You do drive a hard bargain but I'll take those terms. Three new winter hats for you, before Winters' Veil. Now, let us get started on our way. I'll explain once we are at your shop."
Phanual made no comment, only guided his charger back down the path. All the while Minnie continued to eyeball the former blood elf gone to the dogs. "I hope yeh don't plan on riding in dressed like that."
Prayce chuckled and shifted in the saddle without much flare or flash. Xinn--his windstrider--already used to such behavior, didn't pay him heed as he shrunk in size. He took the form of a goblin and flashed her a toothy grin. "I'm your cousin coming to visit."
"Ha, like anyone is gonna ask."
They had been helpful in getting into the city proper. Once questioned (and prodded and poked by his diminutive wife) Phanual did recollect a brash Sunreaver that had taken to boasting while getting sized for a new set of plate armor. Something about finding treasure on the Isle of Thunder but having the Magisters requisition it. Nothing out of the usual if it had been any location other than Pandaria. He had not expected them to know much so even this minor bit surprised him. Who he wished to speak to, though, was Bathorey Lightbender, one of the old cast of bloodknights, and a surprisingly crafty associate.
He waited until an hour before the closing of the shops for the night. Then he left the Duskwhispers' home and humble storefront headed towards Bathorey's apartment. Having retaken his elven form and a new set of 'borrowed' robes from Minerva's stockroom, he blended in nicely with the pedestrian traffic of Silvermoon.
The self-proclaimed blood knight had just returned, it would have been training, that creature of habit. Listening, he finally knocked on her door. Any greeting he would have given was lost as she immediately grabbed a fistful of robe and yanked him into her apartment. No doubt taking a moment to scan the area before closing the door and rounding on him, green eyes bright with indignation.
"You damn fool, what are you doing here?"
Prayce held out both hands before him, a gesture of peace ruined by his grinning. "Hush now, Bath, or the Magisters will hear."
"Sit." came her curt response. She pointed at one of the few chairs in her monastic living quarters before storming off to her bedchambers to shed her training garb. Moments later she emerged dressed in something likely a touch more comforting for her. "Tell me what you are here for. Our arrangements have clearly prepared for your inevitable flight of the city, so you obviously needn't come here to check on them."
Dear Bathorey, still focused and calculating, already deciding what his visit might involved before he even explained.
"I'm here on a different matter. I remember our arrangement holds and you are indeed moving the pieces in the city to my liking," Prayce replied. Bathorey's eyes flickered but remained hard and examining as he continue. "I'm actually here because you are in the know. There is a question I need answered, one that may prove profitable in the long run, and you know how I love those. Have the Sunreavers returned with any, let us say, spoils of war? Or more particularly the Magisters themselves? I know your lot enjoys snarling over your victories as much as they do, perhaps you two had a moment to compare?"
At first she shook her head "You have a love of risking your neck, not profit." but her mind already raced, no doubt calling up conversations and missives that had passed through her hands. Quite probably a few very interesting conversations came to mind that he doubted she would be in the mood to share. She fixed him with a sharp look, "I do this, we are even. Done."
"All debts paid. Yes, fine, but it does not end our business. I do hate to stray too far from a fiery beauty like yourself."
She shot him a glare.
"I know, I know, never stood a chance." He laughed "Yet, I do enjoy seeing that face."
"Stay here. Do not wander. I'll find out if there is anything to find."
The woman returned to her quarters reemerging shortly in the final pieces of her second skin. The plate shimmered in the light, meticulously cared for judging by the gleam. He found her a delight but certainly a woman well beyond his tastes. He would desire, but even if she wished the company of a man, that one was married to her blade and not inclined to sharing affections.
He waited patiently for her as she'd requested. It was not till early morn when she returned.
Leaving the old stomping grounds was not hard at all. He even picked up a bottle of wine on his way out. The ride south would be enjoyable at least, no point to rush. Pulling out his buzzbox he hit Lore's frequency "On my way home, love. Had a lovely time. Oh and I got us some wine."
He chuckled to himself as he rode down the old paths. To think, all this trouble for the simplest of answers; "A box."
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