Tayr/Sariah – World of Warcraft
Another post from World of Warcraft’s Blood and Magic thread from the Aerthyrian Sovereignty, showing another aspect of my blood elf character, Tayr. Jaynie (Jayneth) was created and masterfully developed by player Vicarious of the Argent Dawn server.
The name froze her in her tracks. That Jaynie still equated her with that… that horror which had manifested itself in the jail was anathema to more than just her vanity. Tayr had not reached her standing in Sin’Dorei society by shying away from messy situations. However, this was more than the offal of a lover’s indiscretion or fallout from a political liaison turned sour. This was a primal abomination, something vile and full of dangers that were not of her normal ken; nevertheless, one that she was entwined in – for the moment, still.
She waited for Jayneth to catch up with her, but she still could not think of what to say, how to twist this situation into something she could control. She was saved, momentarily, by a salutation from – who was it? Ah, yes, the archer who had carried her note. He deserved her better thanks, assuredly. But she was still distracted, and could do no more than acknowledge him with a nod as Jaynie sidled up to her and took her elbow.
The waif was almost trembling with excitement, but Tayr was able to guide her to one of the coifed benches before she bubbled over.
“Oh, Sariah, are we really going to go see my Daddy?!?”
Tayr forced a smile. “It appears so, little one.”
“But where is he? You said he wasn’t dead and that we had to find him!”
Tayr inwardly took a deep breath. This was going to take some careful navigation. It was obvious that the diminutive Sin’Dorei was completely unaware that Sariah was some type of malevolent spirit inhabiting her own body, and that Tayr was an unintentional interloper. The dark haired warlock wanted nothing more than to cry out that she wasn’t Sariah, that Jayneth was mistaken, and to wash her hands of the whole matter, to walk away and never look back at the tram wreck that was bound to happen. But self-preservation swelled deep in Tayr, and she was not sure she could safely extricate herself from the web that had been woven around them all without being caught and consumed. So she wracked her brain for a suitable reply.
“We do have to find him, my sunfire. But I do not know where he is.” Jaynie looked crestfallen, and her brows began to knit together as though a storm was approaching. Tayr’s pulse rose, but thought quickly and forced her voice to be light.
“It is going to be like game – a game of hide-and-go-seek, yes? You remember when you used to play that with your daddy, right? Just the two of you?” (“Light, please let it be that you did!” Tayr breathed to herself.)
Jaynie laughed and clapped her hands again. “Oh, yes, yes!” she exclaimed, “and when I found him he would throw me up in the air and laugh, and we would have sweet tea and sunny mints, and Mommy would laugh, too.” Her smile was radiant, but then it faded slowly, as her memories took her deeper. She hugged Tayr’s arm tucked in hers more tightly, and whispered, “He said he could never hide well enough that I would not find him, I would always find him….. but then he was gone, and mommy stopped laughing; she cried, she was always crying….. and then the screaming started and you came, and I hid, I hid, and no one could find me, only you, Sariah…..”
“Shhhhhh….” Tayr crooned, and she smoothed back the hair that had fallen around Jaynie’s face. “This will be the fun game again, Jaynie, my love, and when it is over, we will find your daddy again.”
Jaynie looked up at Tayr, and even the calculated warlock’s heart caught at the look of utter hope that shone from the near-wretched’s face. “Promise?”
“Take a care, Tayr,” the dark-haired beauty warned herself. “This is a dangerous game you play.” To Jaynie she replied, “I will do everything in my power, sunfire,” and she squeezed Jaynie’s hand until the waif relaxed and smiled again.
“So let’s start at the beginning, shall we?” Tayr asked brightly. “Can you take me to your home?”
Jaynie looked at Tayr quizzically. “But you know where I live, Sariah – you came there, you found my safe place for me!”
Truly puzzled now, the sly warlock decided in an instant to let this course play out on its own – sometimes the best manipulation was to keep one’s hands off. “But it’s a game, remember? You be the leader first, Jaynie, my love.”
Jaynie thought a moment, and then her brow cleared and Tayr’s heart began beating again. “Ok!” she bubbled, and bounded up off the bench, taking Tayr’s hand and pulling her back into the avenue.
Around the winding streets of Silvermoon Jaynie led Tayr, taking a convoluted route that Tayr had to assume was a pathway of those who do not wish to be seen. Darkened alleys, hidden alcoves, side streets and back doors were accessed and abandoned as Jaynie took her further and further from the city center. Tayr gave up trying to remember the exact steps they followed, and instead concentrated on the landmarks that were known to her. The thought occurred to her that Veghas would no doubt have put a tail on them, and she found that thought almost comforting, if the man was good enough to follow the dartings of the girl in the lead.
At one point she caught sight of foppish golden hair in the crowd, and thought of the young rogue Faylis. It was not he she had seen, but she wondered if perhaps he, too, were out there, watching, waiting, biding his time. But she put that thought out of her mind; she was too savvy to pin any of her hopes on persons or events unknown – the best way to survive was not on hope, but on cunning, and matters at hand – and by relying on oneself, only, with all others as tools.
Finally the pair found themselves in a dark and shabby area on the edge of town. Once it may have been a neighborhood full of affluence and wealth, but it had been wrecked in the great burning and had continued in decay unabated. Tayr desperately wished to bring out Grimir, and feel his disapproving presence dance along side her, but at no time was there a chance to perform a summons, and she did not wish to draw attention to herself in any way – her sumptuous (if somewhat bedraggled) clothes already signaled to all who noticed that she did not belong in this quarter, and she knew very well what befell those who strayed outside of their known haunts. Light be praised that she had not put on the vibrant red dress that was her normal attire when she last left her rooms! She would not have made it this far if she had….
Suddenly Jayneth stopped and with a small chirp of triumph cried out, “Here we are!” Tayr looked around in confusion – they were astride a wide footbridge, with no structure in reach. Had the blood elf gone completely mad? Yet rather than show her disconcert, she merely said, “Well, shall we go in, then, and see if he is there?”
“Silly Sariah!” Jayneth laughed. “Daddy has never been here!” and without warning, swung herself over the crumbling wall at the side of the bridge and landed, catlike and crouched on the earthernworks, below. She paused, unmoving, silent, determining if it were safe, and then she motioned to Tayr to follow. Pushing back revulsion at the slime that met her touch as she laid her hands on the wall, she pulled herself over and let herself drop lightly next to Jaynie, her skin crawling as her senses were open wide and alert. Yet even as she registered the rot and the decay, she felt a flare deep inside her being. Even in the filth and wretchedness of this place, it was possible to feel oneself becoming fully aware and alive.
Jaynie pushed aside a dark metal grating and squirmed into a small opening under the bridge, turning back only long enough to motion Tayr to follow. Senses wide open, the dark haired elf followed, wondering slyly to herself what Lord Saltheril would think if he were to see her now, in this compromising situation. Perhaps this experience would spawn different games…. Shaking her head to clear it of unnecessary and distracting thoughts, she followed Jaynie through the opening.
She found herself in a small, dank hovel, lit only by the sickly light that came in from the displaced grate. As her eyes became adjusted to the darkness, she became aware of a small pallet of decaying rushes in one corner, and a squat barrel that served as a table, the only furnishings there. The barreltop was spread with a grimy paper that held some half-eaten bloodfruit. Flies buzzed around the rotting fruit and the stench of bloat and decay was stifling.
Jaynie seemed unaffected by her surroundings, though, even appearing to be at ease in this squalor. Tayr stifled the bile that was rising in her throat and forced herself to look around. This is where Jaynie had been living? This was her refuge? No wonder the poor thing had gone mad….
“Jaynie, sunfire, this is not your home anymore, you know that, yes?”
Jaynie looked confused for a moment, and then her countenance lifted. “Yes, I live with you now” she said, almost matter of factly. “But let me….let me….” and she rummaged around under the squalid pallet. “Ah! There you are!” she said triumphantly, and held up a well worn rag doll. “She is Sariah, too!” Jaynie crowed, and drew the doll to her, cradling its indistinguishable features. “This Sariah kept me from being lonely when I was little, and now you keep me safe… now you…..” She faltered.
“Yes, Jaynie,” Tayr said.
That was all the waif needed. She prattled about with nothing for a moment and then looked at Tayr. “Can we take the pretty pictures, too?”
“Pictures, my sweet?” Tayr queried, looking around at the seeping walls.
Once again Jaynie reached under the squalid pallet, this time dislodging a few fat black beetles. Tayr could not keep from blanching and quickly flicked the disgusting insects away, fighting the feeling that something vile was creeping along her alabaster skin.
“See!” Jaynie exclaimed, and she held up a few folded parchments.
Carefully taking the documents from the girl (for Tayr could not keep herself from thinking of Jaynie so), she unfolded one and held it up so that the fetid light could fall upon it. It was a map, carefully drawn, with intricate writings on its surface, colored markings indicating locations and routes. The legend was detailed and graceful, but in the poor conditions, Tayr could find no solid points of reference. Jaynie crawled until she was peering over Tayr’s shoulder. “It’s lovely,” she crooned, and a dirty finger reached out to trace one meandering red line that transversed the map.
“It is,” Tayr agreed honestly. “Where did you get these, Jaynie?”
“Oh,” said the waif unconcernedly, “from the fat merchant who’s purse should have held more coin from the size of his waist.”
“And why did he give them to you?”
Jaynie cackled with a mirth that chilled Tayr to the bone. “He did not give them to me, Sariah!” she claimed, delighted. “I cut him, like you taught me. I cut him quick and smooth, and he tumbled without a sound. You were so proud of me, you were, remember? And I was careful not to track in the blood, as you warned, I was good! No one knew until I was gone. I was sad to see he could not make me rich, but he yielded up these pretty things, and that made me happy, so I did not mind that there was scant coin.” She looked up at Tayr beseechingly. “You were proud, weren’t you? You told me you were…..”
Tayr’s heart was beating rapidly again. “Murder!” she thought. “Cold blooded murder and pride at having done so!” But no one knew, and she could not have Jaynie doubting her, especially now that the stakes had moved up yet another notch. Of course, Sariah would have been proud. And to Jaynie, she was Sariah.
“Yes, Jaynie,” she said, hating herself for saying so and yet finding a deep satisfaction in the words. “You are very clever, and you listen so well. But let’s keep these a secret, just between you and me, shall we?”
Jaynie nodded and grinned, the conspiracy yet just another part of the game. Tayr did not dwell on the line she had crossed, and quickly folded the map back up, adding it to the others in her hand. Looking at Jaynie’s bedraggled condition, she pressed, “May I hold these for you, love?” and when Jaynie nodded, she carefully tucked the maps down the bodice of her dress, below her breasts, thankful that the low cut garment did not reveal them to casual view. Then, seeing that the beetles had regained their footing and were once again on the march, she held out her hand to Jaynie.
“Say good-bye to this place, Jaynie, my love. It served us well, but now we leave it behind. Let’s go find your father.”
Jaynie took her hand, and together the two sullied Sin’Dorei left the hovel behind, climbing out of the muck of the standing poverty, and moved back towards town, one in a state of grace, and the other reveling with strange excitement having fallen far from it.