Tayr – World of Warcraft
Of Blood and Magic (excerpt)
World of Warcraft – Horde Faction
Tayr is a young blood elf vamp; vain, beautiful, cunning and smart. Raised in the pomp and splendor of the Sin’dorei capital of Silvermoon, she moves effortlessly in that viperous society, and has every intention of exploiting each opportunity that comes her way (whether they be of her creation or her manipulation). For most of this story, she has been drawn into a sprawling adventure with a diverse set of unwilling companions – most, for honor and glory. But not Tayr – she is along for the excitement and potential gain. Faylis is a street-wise rogue elf with terrible secrets in his past. Veghas is the gruff Captain of the Guard who more or less leads the companions on their quest (both characters were created and driven by other WoW players). This is an excerpt where the company has returned to civilization – the orc capital of Ogrimmar – before setting off on the next leg of their journey.
After weeks of deprivation and squalid conditions, Tayr was most pleased with the new robe. She rewarded Faylis by inviting him to accompany her to a soiree that had been arranged for her by a small enclave of Sin’dorei nobles (minor though they be) that had settled in the orc capital. Although she doubted his excitement in accompanying her, she did notice how he reacted to seeing her, after she had bathed and primped her skin soft and luminous, and sweetly scented. Her hair, which had been coarsened by the elements, was silky again, and smooth, and oh, so deeply black. Bruises, calluses and roughness had been pumiced, manicured, or discreetly covered, so all that showed was the softness and the suppleness and the promise of more.
The robe fit her like a glove. It highlighted her toned and supple body, and she wore it with the added confidence of finally returning to her element- the intrigue of society. In fact, she felt so magnanimous that she actually left a tip for her orc housekeeper, who had only done a cursory sweep of her room, but nevertheless had made her laugh when the green skinned behemoth had given Tayr a few well meaning but coarse suggestions on what she could do with the golden elf. She wasn’t so sure that Faylis was as amused as she was when she relayed the story to him.
She swept into the appointed inn on Faylis’ arm, and felt all eyes on her, but in imperious fashion she refused to acknowledge anyone, staring straight ahead with a bemused smile on her lips (and therefore she missed seeing Veghas nursing a drink in that very establishment; Faylis, however, met the captain’s raised eyebrow with a roll of eyes and a smug smile). Upon alighting on the upper landing and sweeping into the ornately decorated inner chamber, she was immediately the center of attention, receiving courtly bows and ardent kisses to her hand by the men, and cooing (yet cool) pecks on the cheek from the women.
The evening started out as well as any she had ever entertained in her life. Always before she had been forced to coax attention out of the assembled glitterati (although her reputation had grown, once she had latched on to Firth), but now she found herself the proverbial belle of the ball. Everyone seemed to want to draw her into a conversation, and they hung on her every word. Men vied for her attention, and one gorgeous young buck in particular spent most of the evening fetching her tidbits and dainty cups of sweet nectar, or else sitting at her feet in rapt attention as she spun stories of her adventures, much to the consternation of his elder sister, who could barely cover her seething at the back of the room. Tayr couldn’t decide which pleased her more.
Faylis had disappeared long ago, with some excuse (and veiled admonishment that she only sniffed at) about needing to be ready to leave in the morning. She was not surprised that he had left – although he had been on his best behavior (meaning he had not lost his temper nor drawn his daggers within the first few minutes), he still was like a fish out of water with this crowd. Indeed, he had been treated more like a curious souvenir than her fellow adventurer. She had tried to set them straight, but after the third or fourth “oh, but my dear – he’s a rogue!” she gave up trying.
About midway through the evening, though, she started to realize that she was bored. The gathered company seemed more concerned with how the wooden shutters in Ogrimmar kept the current fashion of ironweave gossamer-filigreed curtains from being fully appreciated, and how the vice countess at last week’s lyric event (knowing heads all nodding) was almost scandalous at how she had the most unbecoming lines underneath her… she had not dressed well, rather than how she had consorted with naga (“goodness, didn’t the seawater wreak havoc with your hair?”) or battled with the Alliance (“do you prefer imps or voidwalkers, my dear – our warlock guild is quite split on the matter…”). It seemed like they could take the most deeply reaching and expansive ideas and make them so trivial and peevish. “Could I ever truly have been like this?” she thought to herself. “Were my aspirations as empty, as meaningless?” No! she assured herself, it could not be. Surely not…
A motion caught her eye, as Faylis stood again at the doorway, his manner careless and challenging to the fluttering around him. She almost laughed in delight at seeing such a genuine response to all the airs, but was too well conditioned to let down her guard, so she appeared to remain aloof as she consented to draw him aside and listen to his reason for return. The rogue, however, was not amused. Had he not felt quite so out of place, he may have noticed how earnestly she looked directly into his eyes, or how she reached out to grasp his hand (which set a few tongues wagging), but all he saw was her tilted chin and lofty demeanor, and he responded with a chill in his tone. “I came to inform you, Lady Whisperwell,” (with a sarcastic tone to the “lady”), “that I have learned from Captain Veghas that we intend to head out again in the morning. We meet here, downstairs, at first light.”
He waited for a moment to see her reaction, but she remained impassive. The soft hum of voices behind her, and the stunning way the candlelight played off her face, with the flush of the evening coloring her cheeks infuriated him, in that she could be such a creature so foreign and yet so… so… He wanted to tell her that he hoped she would join them, that for some reason he needed her, but at that moment he felt that she was miles away and completely unattainable. How could he vie with such wealth and influence, regardless of the cause? So his hurt psyche responded instead.
“I’m sure you could still tag along with us, if you could force yourself from all….. this…..” He let the words hang there, accusatory and harsh.
Her taunt temper flared at the perceived slight but she drew herself up and formally thanked him for his message, then turned on heel and stalked away. Immediately, the young noble who had been hanging on her every word was at her side. “I hope that was not some unpleasant news, Lady Whisperwell,” he implored to her sincerely. “If he has upset you, just say the word and I will find him and take him to task for vexing you, for a brow as divine as yours should not be clouded so.” She laid a hand lightly on his arm, and smiled warmly. “I thank you for your concern, Duke Emberspark, but it was nothing, think nothing of it. And please, call me Tayr.” Her eyelashes fluttered demurely.
The young paladin noble almost squirmed like a puppy at her attention and she turned to see if Faylis had noticed, but he was gone. “As if it matters!” she exclaimed to herself, and turned her attention back to the paladin, who had been emboldened to place his hand over hers, and respond fervently to her, “My dear Lady Tayr, it would be my greatest pleasure if you would do me the honor of knowing me not as Duke Emberspark, but Daeron.”
“Daeron – what a wonderful name,” she crooned, and the poor paladin was completely lost. Then an idea and a desire rose up in her, and she wished that this would all come to an end. “I fear, though,” she addressed the besotted noble, but loud enough for those around her to hear, “that the hour is late and I must retire.” She smiled inwardly at the groans that sounded around her, as if they were truly sorry that she was leaving. For a moment, she let herself believe it was so. “But I need someone to walk me back to my apartment, for I am not sure I know the way. Would you please honor me now, Duke Emberspark… er, Daeron, and escort me home?”
Of course he did, and with a look of utter bliss on his face and utter fury on the face of his sister (which made Tayr hang on to his arm even more tightly as they departed), she allowed him to lead her through the winding streets of Ogrimmar, perhaps not as directly as possible. All the time she imagined that other eyes had marked their passage and had taken in how delighted she appeared to be in his company, and the laughter came freely to both of them. When they finally got to her door, she realized that the headiness of the night and the wine, and the power of her submerged emotions were still strong In her, and she led the poor young paladin to her door and beyond, allowing him far more of heaven than he had ever dreamed of or hoped for.
Hours later, she lay amongst the disarrayed silks and disheveled satin sheets, listening to his soft breathing as he slept. She felt no shame at using the hapless noble to assuage her inner demons, and he certainly had given her no objections (none to anything, in fact). This night she had made a turning point in her private journey, and had celebrated it with abandon – now she was truly ready to move on.
She slipped from Daeron’s sleeping embrace and quickly dressed, her attire now more utilitarian and useful; but the robe from last night she still tucked in to the bottom of her pack, as a talisman of her new self-realization. Her former life had not been wasted, she thought, as the younger man turned in his sleep and sighed contentedly. It simply was not worth lingering over. She closed the door behind her, leaving nothing behind her but the sensual memories of a tender noble, who would most likely never rise again as he had that night. As for Tayr, she had far more important things to look towards. She moved with the flickering light of dawn towards the meeting place of the company, renewed and feeling strangely fine.