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Postby Phileas » Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:03 pm

Phileas sat by the bed in the small room in Dalaran, watching Aelflaed sleep and listening to the chatter from the buzzbox, the volume turned low. All night, the notes of despair in the voices of his friends had rung in his ears, sounds of pain and anger rubbing his nerves raw. At one point, he'd sworn and snatched up the small box, about to throw it across the room and into the wall, but managed to stop himself. He'd not gotten the thing too long ago, after all, and he wasn't sure if he could wheedle a replacement if he broke it in a fit of temper.

Feck. Missus Threnn in wretched bad trouble, and nowt I can do. She did fer me...she give me a chance when no eyther man woul'. Got tae be summat I can do. But what? Naebody tae ask...ask her mannie, and I be like tae draw back a nub. Nae answers there, no' righ' now, any road. So what does a murderin' rogue do when th' problem's dreams an' druids? The young rogue looked around the room and sighed. Nae owermuch, make Aely feel safe enow tae sleep. Ligh' ken she needs it.

Several more hours ticked by, and Phileas was getting twitchy by the end of them. Dalaran was quieter than Stormwind had been, and that quiet was starting to get to him. He'd tried reading a book, but couldn't keep his focus on it. For a while, he stared out the window, watching the occasional passer-by in robes or armor on the street. Finally, Phileas resorted to counting the neat boxes of herbs that Aelflaed had brought with them from Stormwind, ticking off each of the names in his head as he scanned over the containers.

Black Lotus, Blin'weed, Bloodvine, Dreamin' Glory, Dreamfoil, Earthroo', Felweed...

Phileas blinked as the something about the words occurred to him. He looked at the boxes and frowned. He counted back across the boxes until he found the one he'd pulled out the last time he'd gone poking about in Aely's herbs and stared at the label until the word almost didn't make sense to him, becoming a random squiggle of lines on paper. He set the box back down and went to the small stack of books he'd brought. After a moment's searching, he found the one he wanted and began to look for a specific entry. As he read the entry, the seed of an idea in the back of his head took root and began to grow.

transitive verb
a: to prevent from attaining an end : defeat <always able to foil her enemies> b: to bring to naught : thwart <foiled the plot>
synonyms: see frustrate

As Phileas looked at the dictionary entry, the voice of one of his teachers entered his head - Willis was an irascible little man, but had dealt with deadly concoctions so long that his students suspected him of being completely immune to such things. "Any herb c'n be made ta a posset ta heal, boy...and any herb c'n be made ta a poison ta kill. All depen's on how ya deal with 'em. So look sharp, no matter what yer messin' with."

Any herb c'n' any herb c'n kill. Dreamfoil. Dream...foil. Mayhap tha's wha we cn' do, Aely an' me. Cannae hunt th' bastard oursel's...but a poison for those as can an' are huntin' tae use...nae much, but 'tis summat. Tha's what we c'n do, th' two of us.

When Aelflaed awoke, Phileas was there, the box of dreamfoil and a dictionary in his hands and a rogue's predatory grin on his face.

"I thin' I got summat, Aely. Get thysel' awake, an' I'll explain i' tae thee."

She blinked, rubbing the sleep out of her face and sitting up. Running her fingers through her hair and beginning to re-braid it, Aelflaed looked over at the grinning rogue.

"Oi, wi' a look like tha', ye've go' somethin' plotten' - hope 's I'm nae a' th' bottom a' this one." She noticed the box of herbs in his hands. "An' I thowt we were done wi' Dreamfoil?"

"We were...'less it's summat damn dire, tha said. An' there's nae better word 'n that tae describe Missus Threnn's situation, now is there?"

Phileas dropped the dictionary onto the bed and gestured to the dogeared page as he handed Aelflaed the small box. "Read yon definition, look a' th' label,' think like a rogue, if tha can."

As Aelflaed read, Phileas paced the room, returning each time to the shelf of herbs to read over the labels. " 'Bout four a' th' morning, I quit worritin' abou' th' problem an' started thinkin' abou' it. I'm only a rogue...I cannae figh' dreams, or thin's of 'em. 'S nae my place. But since I am as I' one thin' I do ken is poisons."

She looked down at the box of dreamfoil and the tattered dictionary page, grabbing an apple to munch on while she scanned down the page.

Fly. Foal. Foam. Fob. Focus. Fodder. Foe. Fog. Foil.

Foe. Fog. Foil.

Dream foil.

Realization washed over her face as she looked up at the rogue, still nosing around in her cabinet of herbs. "Ligh' Phileas... I dinnae ken 'f we can do it, but if we can - 's bloody brilliant. Y' got anythin' t' go on, or we back t' herb books? I've go' several, an' some less savory than others."

She got up and went to an overstuffed bag pulling out three or four leather bound notebooks, two of which appeared to be handwritten, and handed them to Phileas.

"Think 'bout th' only thing we cannae use 's Nightmare Vine. Or rather, if we do, 's risky business. Tha' damn plant's tied up wi' th' damn Dream, an... well, mishaps aren'a pretty on tha' front."

Phileas took the book and shrugged. "Dinnae ken, really. Books, brains tae pick, owt tha can think of tae get the thin' tae come together righ'."

At her mention of Nightmare Vine, he raised an eyebrow. "I was thinkin' we migh' wan' tae put that in for jus' that reason, love. Tha said this druid lives in Dreams, aye? But I dinnae ken for sure. Better t'ask some'un wi' more knowledge than me on th' subjec', 'cause if this works, it'll be a toxin like th' world has nivver' th' Cenarions ain' likely tae be owerjoyed we come up wi', come tae thin' on it."

"Hrm. Aye - dinnae think on tha' a' first, bu' aye, we'd best no' spring tha' on sommat wi' out talkin' t' someone wha' kens th' situation better. Aleros 's like as nowt a good place t' start. An' maybe Annalea - she's reputed t' be a fair hand wi' poisons her ownself."

"I've talked wi' Aleros a bit a' late - he's th' one wha' made those fur gloves. Was on th' box las' night too - le's see if we can get a word or twa wi' him, an' see 'f he's go' any suggestions, or 'least ways can clear this Dream an' Nighmare business a' bit."

She pulled out a few assorted potion making supplies, looking at them for inspiration. "Oh, an' I"ll need t' pick up a sep'rate set a' tools fer this. Dinnae wan' t' end up poisonin' some 'un tha' wants a mana potion."

Phileas nodded. “I thin’ my ol’ toxin kit’s still i’th bank vaul’ some’ere…may be bits in there tha can use, rather than thy own. I’ll hae a look later. Now, though…I’ve had my all-nigh’er, an’ I’m havin’ a nap while tha tracks down Aleros an’ al’Cair th’ junior.” The rogue flopped onto the bed, kicking his boots off and turning the volume on his buzzbox back up. “Hail me if tha needs me…tha’lt wake me if tha calls.”

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Re: Foiled

Postby Phileas » Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:36 pm

Phileas sat down at the table in his small room in Dalaran. Before him, the moleskine he’d purchased when he’d first had his idea was held open by one of his daggers laid crosswise across the pages. Next to it, the metal box that held his toxin kit and a small assortment of Aelflaed’s boxes of herbs. In a small pile at the top of the table, several small green scales winked in the lamplight.

It had taken him about a week to figure out where to start. A trip to Seradane and an entanglement with a green drake had won him the dragonscales and the knowledge that his “normal” repertoire of poisons did next to nothing to Ysera’s brood. Now, he thought he had everything he needed to try and poison a dream.

Taking a deep breath, he opened the lid on the toxin kit and pulled out the mortar and pestle within – metal, so as not to hold evidence of what had been prepared. Working carefully, the rogue began to measure out and crush the herbs – Briarthorn, Black Lotus, Nightmare Vine, Fel Lotus, Fadeleaf, Adder’s Tongue, Grave Moss, Dreamfoil, and a few precious sprigs of Maiden’s Anguish from the small backstock he’d thought to keep when they outlawed rogues from brewing their own toxins. He had to borrow the small hammer Aely used to knock the tiniest of dings from her armor to crack the dragon scales so they would powder in the mortar with the herbs.

When he was satisfied with the consistency of the mixture in the small metal bowl, he tipped it into a second small bowl, added water and set it to heat slowly so as not to spoil the potency of any of the herbs. While the mixture brewed, Phileas cracked the window to vent fumes and returned to the mortar and pestle to mix a second batch, this one with Deadnettle added to keep the Briarthorn from being truly lethal. He failed to see the point in a poison that wasn’t designed to kill, but Aelflaed had been insistent that it be at least attempted. Since it’s nae me as’ll be usin’ th’ stuff, I suppose we’d best give ‘em th’ choice…even if I wouldnae give th’ damn druid th’ mercy o’ the second batch ‘f it were my own druthers.

Setting the second batch of toxin to heat as well, Phileas returned to his notes and Aely’s herb boxes to create one other brew…an antidote. Again, dinnae see th’ poin’…but I reckon coul’ be good for blackmail or i’case of a mishap or summat.

Once more, he put the formula together, but changed the herb ratios, adding more Deadnettle this time, as well as Bruiseweed and Wintersbite…as well as Kingsblood, purely on a whim. Lessee ‘f ol’ Wrynn’s blood be good for owt at all…coul’ be th’ herb’s as much of a waste as th’ man hisself is.

As the toxins and counteragent finished brewing, Phileas carefully strained the liquids into three separate small bottles. Thoughtfully, he held them each up to the light. The poison to kill was an intense yellow-green, almost the same color as the eyes of the dragons he’d seen in the Hinterlands. When he gently agitated the bottle, the contents shifted cloudily inside. On the whole, it didn’t look all that different from the poisons he’d made when he was brewing his own, apart from the odd color. The toxin to harm, but not kill was a rich emerald green, and seemed thicker than the other – almost soupy. That concerned him, but he figured the Deadnettle must be thickening the mixture. The antidote was a bright blue-green color that reminded him of the sea off the shores of Tanaris – a cheerful color.

Corking the bottles and labeling them, the rogue made a few last notes in the moleskine as to compositions and antidotes, then slipped it into his jacket. Looking down into the metal box, he sighed. This had used all but a tiny bit of the Maiden’s Anguish that had been in there…but for this cause, Phileas deemed it a worthy sacrifice. He put the three bottles in another small box and latched it shut, ready to go to whatever meeting on the subject was required. Nae, f’r Missus Threnn’s sake…f’r th’ bairn’s sake…f’r all our sakes…le’s hope this stuff works as intended.

He grabbed his buzzbox and tuned it to Aelflaed’s private channel. Speaking quietly, he only said two words, sure that she’d know what he meant. “’Tis done.”

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