The dusky-skinned ren’dorei man stood outside the Legerdemain Lounge, casually leaning against a wall. He watched the passers by; a picture of a man killing time. From the south, a woman approached; ren’dorei as well, her skin was a paler blue and her hair the color of pewter. The man watched her approach, lifting a single eyebrow as he observed her nervously flicking her eyes from side to side. She stopped to one side of him and bowed low.
Frowning at her, he said, “Where is your uniform?”
Still bent double in her obsequious curtsy, she said, “It did not arrive with me, sir. I was forced to acquire something locally.”
His frown deepening, the man asked, “When did you arrive?”
“In the early morning hours yesterday.,” she replied, still bent low.
Sounding annoyed, the man responded, “Yesterday?! I arrived only moments ago. What the…” he interrupted himself, sighing with exasperation at her. “Oh, shadows, stand up.”
She did as he instructed, but as soon as she got a good look at him, her jaw dropped and her face went paler than usual. Stuttering, she said, “Y-yyou are…you…you are the Hierarch of the Caun.” Once she had choked out the words, she bowed again.
“Stand up, I say,” he hissed, “Do not use titles and do not mention the Order by name again. Use my name: Borænin.”
Rising again, she replied softly, “Yes, Borænin.” She blushed a deep violet.
Must be nerves, he thought dismissively. “And you are,” he inquired.
“Novice Sellynna, H…Borænin.”
“Once again, no titles, my dear,” he admonished. Frowning suddenly, he added, “Wait, did you say Novice?”
“That is…unusual,” he said. Shaking his head, he went on, “But we have much to do right now, we can discuss it later. You said you have already been here a full day?”
“Are you aware of why you were sent so much earlier?”
Scowling, he said, “Sellynna, when you speak with your friends, do you say their names every time you answer a question?”
“Then, why, pray tell, are you doing it to me.”
“You…you are not my friend, Borænin.”
Raising both eyebrows in mock outrage, he teased her, “You wound me, my dear.” Sellynna blushed furiously, stammering out excuses. He chuckled lightly and added, “Calm down, my dear, I jest. My point’s this, we are incognito here. You must speak with me as you would an acquaintance or a friend. No titles, and little formality, yes?”
“Oh, of course, H..er,B..of course.”
Stifling laughter, he asked, “Is this your first time being sent to a new Realm?”
She nodded, saying, “This world is…different, but not.”
“It is ever thus. This Realm has more in common with our own than others I have visited.”
“How many times have you done this?”
“Far too many. And yet, the Lord Protector does not often bring me through.”
“What is different? Why is he doing it now?”
“It varies, in this case, I have not yet been briefed.”
Chewing her lip, she said, “I see.”
“I assume you have not either?”
“No. I was told to familiarize myself with the Alliance cities.”
Nodding, Borænin replied, “The Lord Protector will inform us when he is ready.”
Sighing dramatically, Sellynna said, “I do not like this.” Seeing his raised eyebrow, she added, “Do not worry, I shall still do as I am ordered.” She hesitated a moment, then muttered, “But I don’t have to like it.”
Using a stern tone, Borænin replied, “I suggest you keep your misgivings to yourself as much as you can. The Lord Protector is not fond of dissent within his ranks.”
Nodding stiffly, she said, “As you say. Forget I said anything.”
Borænin eyed her curiously for a moment, then asked, “May I assume you have not served him directly before?”
“I have not.”
Nodding, Borænin said, “Fear not, I do not bear tales. My warning was for your own good. Serving the Lord Protector directly is very different from your usual duties at the Priory.”
“What will be expected of me? Do you know?”
“I am unsure as of yet, and the same goes for me. I can tell you only that the Lord Protector expects his wishes to be carried out, correctly, the first time. He does not tolerate failure, dissent, or much of anything else.” Sellynna winced at this. All her body language screamed worry. In a lighter tone, Borænin added, “He is, in a word, an enormous asshole.” Seeing her mouth fall open, he gave her a wide grin and said, “But don’t tell him I said so.”
“Won’t he kill us for saying such things?”
“Well, you won’t hear me saying it if he is around.”
Nodding nervously, she asked, “So what have you been made to do for him in the past?”
Borænin gazed at Sellynna flatly for several minutes. Eventually, he said, “Things you would probably prefer not to hear.” Putting on a small smile once more, he added, “But it is not always so bad. Oft times it is just research.”
With a frown, Sellynna asked, “What kind of research? Something purely in books or would this be why someone like me was called in?”
“Well, if I were in the habit of guessing, I would say our presence is related to the ren’dorei of this Realm.”
Nodding, she replied, “I guess that makes sense. So this will be about infiltration?”
“Just so, the little I was told indicates they serve the old Alliance of Lordaeron here.”
“Hence my requirement to scout their cities?” He nodded at her, and she held up a coin purse, saying, “And I was given a small amount to handle sleeping arrangements.”
“Members of the Order are always bankrolled, my dear.. We won’t be sleeping rough, at the very least.”
“Thus far I have looked at the Dwarven city. I should not like to spend my nights there. It stinks,” she proclaimed, her nose wrinkling. He chuckled, and she mused, “It’s incredible, actually. How they can live underground with those forges going and not be completely insane from the fumes?”
With a shrug, he said, “It is their nature.”
“I am going to the the human city, Stormwind, next. Would you care to join me?” Suddenly, Borænin’a head jerked upward, his glazing over. Seeing this, Sellynna muttered, “Shit.”
“As you see, I must decline my dear. The Lord Protector is summoning me. It seems I will be learning our purpose here.”
Nodding, she said quietly, “Good luck.” He inclined his head and turned, hurrying away.
She bowed, but he his attention was already elsewhere.