Thalo wandered through his sister's room, frowning deeply; her comings and goings were getting more and more frequent, and she bore the marks of combat. While he understood her return to the ways of the Illidari, with the rampaging Legion returned, he wasn't quite as certain of her ability the way Granth was - the teenage Orc had convinced her to pick up the glaives again, his hero worship of the Illidari all but too apparent.
Granth's training with the glaives also concerned the former captain. It made him recall the day that his sister was taken from him, a member of the retinue the then-Prince took into the Outland; he had expected her to return a changed woman, but a broken Illidari was not what he had expected, which only made the day of her departure all the more painful.
A leatherbound tome sitting on her bedside table caught his eye then, and he found himself reaching for the book and opening it before thinking too clearly, a journal of his sister drawing him in like a moth to a flame. Words danced on the pages in a cipher script of the Illidari, but he had learned to read them long ago.
Things went about as expected with looking into Roger Rackham, to a degree.
I had expected that Rackham was going to be just a lesser sailor in the Kul Tiran, rather than an officer, while actually being Redwater the Pirate all those years ago. Turns out he was actually never in the Kul Tiran at all, as they’ve no record of such a person being one of theirs at all - it was all a grand ruse perpetuated to his family to hide what was really happening.
Getting the information was a bit awkward…and bruising.
Visiting my brother has always been uncomfortable. He doesn’t quite understand why I forsook our family name, and even my own first name, given that nearly all of them died in the Scourge attack not long after I returned; I’d given them up quite a while before then, he just believes I should have taken them back after everyone was gone, since he didn’t care - he doesn’t understand that it could all still come back to haunt him.
Still, the Thalassian Navy proved to be as staunch about records as I expected, despite how easy going my brother might be. There were plenty of records on the Kul Tiran from the time in question, all of the known officers and noteable crew recorded. However, that wouldn’t be enough, as one could simply state that the Thalassians hadn’t had any skirmishes with Rackham’s ships.
This left me with the far more uncomfortable prospect of having to reach out to the few in the Silver Hand who’d not abandoned their ties with me upon my return; the Quel’dorei and the Sin’dorei had parted ways upon Kael’thas’ creation of the “blood elves”, and the subsequent departure of most of those who followed his ideals into the Outlands, but this may work to my advantage, if they’d be willing to help my ‘altruism’.
Upon arriving in Dalaran, I went to the Kirin Tor, and asked for their assistance with contacting the Silver Hand, given their offices were within Greymane. A representative went in my stead, and contacted a lesser ranking member who still thought somewhat favourably of me, however that was not who returned with him.
Yolana Silversong, my former commanding officer, arrived with the representative instead; of all the times to have the message arrive, Yolana had been present, and like the demanding bitch she was, refused to leave since it involved the Kirin Tor.
Given that I wasn’t going to get any other opportunity with the Silver Hand, I told Silversong that I had met a Forsaken from Gilneas who had left before the Worgen outbreak, and that recently we had returned to the ruins of Stormglen trying to discern what had happened to his family - he’d not returned to his family, particularly after the Scourge business and becoming Forsaken, but had learned of the outbreak, and feared that his family, whom he thought had been safe and sound all these years, may have not been.
I further explained that we discovered traces that one of the Fel pirate groups may have actually done them in prior to the Worgen incident, as they lived on the coast. His father had been an officer in the Kul Tiran, so it was very like that he’d made an enemy or five of the pirate groups in the area, so when the Legion had offered up powers at the end of the Second War, one of his enemies may have taken it and used it against him and his family. While the pirates were likely dead and gone due to the Worgen outbreak and all that’s taken place since, I was attempting to at least give the Forsaken some sort of closure on the matter with as much information as I could find.
Silversong, being as she was, agreed to give me what information she could find about Rackham and any battles along the coast of Stormglen in particular, and Gilneas in general…if I was willing to spar with her. Magical protections, but no holding back.
I suppose I should have seen that coming. Yolana had always been angered that I had agreed with Sunstrider’s ideals after the Sunwell was corrupted. She was even more angered to find out that not only had I become a Sin’dorei, but that I had gone into the Outlands and become a Hunter, giving up my blade and she had thought the Light; my talent for it had been natural, hence being brought to the Hand at all when I wanted to join the Navy, and Silversong was always forcing me towards the heights of my potential.
Even after I had returned and it was noticeable that the Light was never exactly forsaken, and that I had taken up my blade again, she still never quite forgave me for what was done to become a Hunter. I suppose that’s only natural - most on Azeroth never will, though for Yolana, it’s rather personal.
Unfortunately, it was either decline, and possibly have Roscoe turn into a gibbering idiot in our fight with Redwater, or accept and possibly get the shit kicked out of me - I had no idea how much Silversong’s talents had advanced in the years since we’d last fought together.
And so it came down to having two priests keep us shielded as we fought against one another. She would have likely won if I hadn’t metamorphosed, as that is what finally made her falter. I nearly took her head off, even with the shields, and ended up having to throw my glaive around her neck instead - having one’s opponent stop mid-combat is always disorienting.
She admitted that seeing the Light fighting the Darkness of the demon was not something she was prepared for, afterward, as one of the Kirin Tor leatherworkers was stitching up my clothing; I may have been protected from her blade, but what I was wearing certainly wasn’t, and it was almost in tatters by the time we’d stopped fighting. At least there was someone on hand to repair them, as it would look ridiculous to have to wander about with that kind of thrashing to them.
It took a couple of days, but Silversong gathered far more records than my brother could. But she was rather disturbed by the distinct lack of Rackham’s name in any listings of the Kul Tiran - so had the officer she spoke to at their offices. There had literally never been a man by that name in any part of their navy, at any time, not just the time I was asking.
Given that I show little emotion, it took little effort to seem taken aback by the information. I suggested that maybe the man had lied to his family to hide some sort of less than desirable dealings he was involved with himself, and Silversong agreed, stating that it wouldn’t be the first time she saw such. She suggested that Rackham had been some sort of pirate, but hid the fact he was by passing himself off as one of the Kul Tiran, perhaps using the decorations and effects of the naval members he killed to keep such as authentic as possible. Yolana even stated that a commoner wouldn’t really be able to know that a person wasn’t a member without joining themselves, as records were off-limits to the public unless a family member died.
Silversong was a bit softer with her goodbyes than she had been with her greetings, and left me a way to contact her directly should something happen again. I suppose much of her problem had been a loss of the Light, and since it wasn’t exactly so, she was feeling a bit better for it.
The Kirin Tor helped me bind both sets of records into a ledger, so as not to lose them in the winds at high elevations. I didn’t quite tell them I was going to be travelling by netherdrake, but they’re aware of the griffons of the Horde and our airships, so there wasn’t much persuasion needed.
Lastly, I stopped back by the Felhammer to take some time to sketch the face of the man I had seen with the Sight. I was allotted a small corner of a more slow part of the ship, and it took quite a bit more time to draw a person’s face than it did a schematic, but I took as much time as necessary to draw as exacting of a replica as I could. I also showed the drawing to the archivists, just to be sure that it was not any of the rogue Illidari - or even a member of the time.
Of course, it was not.
I summoned Niyali from the floating island the gate to the Felhammer was on, and headed out to the Meridian from there. I had little doubt that Roscoe was going to accept this easily, but what was done was done. It was better to for him to find out now, then to have Redwater assume his old face in the middle of battle.
As for faces…there was another face I’d need to look for once things were managed back on the Meridian…
Thalo stared at the words he had read, taking time to re-read them again; the revelation of why his sister changed her name hit him like a blow to the stomach, causing him to nearly forget how to breathe. That it had all been for his sake, to keep her deeds from reflecting upon him...it was more than he ever expected, and he felt something akin to humiliation over his lack of recognition of what Zalika had been doing.
He was surprised by the lengths his sister would go to in order to get something done. Her dealings with Silversong shocked him as well, as Yolana had complained many a time to him about his sister's "fall". There was a faint sense of hope that perhaps his sister could return, leave the Horde behind, and rejoin the Alliance...but it was only faint. The stigma of being both a Sin'dorei and a Demon Hunter was quite overwhelming, socially, and it was like that she would be unaccepted, no matter who spoke for her.
With a sigh, Thalo sets the leatherbound tome back where he found it, shaking his head as he began to leave the room. The activities surrounding this Redwater explained why Zalika had been arriving and leaving as she had been for weeks, and the situation made him wonder if she wasn't preparing Granth to fight along side her sooner than the former captain expected.
He wasn't prepared to let the teen leave, fearing that the boy's short time with the glaives would prove to be not enough. He further feared that should his sister elect to allow the boy to become a Hunter, that the ritual to bind him to a demon would slay him, as it was wont to do. Thalo wanted to believe that Granth's will was strong enough to withstand the binding and the demon's intense whispers in those moments, but he had come to love the Orcish teen as though the lad was his blood nephew, and his concern blinded him - as it often did.
Dark days were upon them, and the former captain wished for the silver lining...