Pix’s Note: I’m sure that some of you have noticed that we’re missing a couple weeks’ worth of Saturday Sideshow, and that Arms Warrior Elementary didn’t go up yesterday. Unfortunately, class and a group project got in the way, and I had to take care of that first. Hopefully next week, we’ll be back to a normal schedule, now that this class is over and the final project is done.
Anyway, enjoy today’s story portion, featuring Fate’s Legacy’s favorite snarkmistress (much of her actions come from Siasha’s player as much as they come from me, so you can thank her for her contributions)!
I hate the tram. Sure, it’s a fast way to travel between Stormwind and Ironforge, and yes, it’s a marvelous accomplishment between the Gnomes and Dwarves… but it certainly wasn’t built with the Draenei in mind.
Everyone knows of the Draenei by now. They’ve seen our leg structure, how we run, the fact that we have hooves… you know, the obvious. In battle, we’re stable fighters, but there are two reasons for that: one, we’re usually on unmoving ground, and two, we’ve trained long and hard on hoof placement, weight, and balance. On the tram, though… no, you know what? Anyone wanting to experience what it’s like being a Draenei on the tram should get on it one day wearing stilts just before it disembarks so you don’t have time to prepare for it. You’ll understand why I hate it.
Fortunately, the view coming out of the Deeprun tunnel into Ironforge distracts me from the sting in my rump. For someone who spent their childhood under the open skies of Draenor – sorry, Outland – Ironforge is always impressive in my eyes. The Dwarves are truly artisans at stoneshaping and tunneling, and the massive city-under-the-mountain always fills me with wonder and amazement.
There is little time today for wonder. I have to find a Gnome in Ironforge, which is roughly the same as finding a rethul in a balankar. Maybe I can find her over at Burbik’s.
I’m not sure if I should be glad that I’m right, or running in terror.
Siasha Thimblewidget. Seamstress. Storyteller.
And right now, impossibly loud for her size.
“NO! I ordered 200 threadcount linen! This is only 198! DEFECTIVE!”
Siasha is disarmingly adorable; a common trait among female Gnomes. It’s that innate cuteness that makes you want to scoop her up and just hug her until she turns blue. The problem with that is, she’ll set you on fire and curse your burning body into oblivion first. The short fuse is the Warlock part of her, and right now, that fuse has been lit. I can see her diminutive form, slightly contorted with Gnomish rage, slowly surround itself with flames. Inside Burbik’s, though, that might get a little out of hand.
“Now I DEMAND that you get me the cloth that I ordered, IMMEDIATELY! I’m only mildly upset right now, and you do not want -”
“WHAT?!” She screams, rounding on me like I’m about to kick her felhunter. The flames wink out and the fel fire in her eyes dies as she recognizes me, Esmerellda standing slightly behind me (and protecting herself with her shield). “Oh, it’s you. What brings you to – oh dear. Got your little lavender behind handed to you, didn’t you? I can see the change in your soul.” Siasha motions to indicate Esmerellda. “I guess I should thank Peaches for bringing you back. What happened?”
I came to her for help, but I don’t know if I should be answering this question with complete honesty. I want to save Malyss, but I don’t want an entire army behind the Fate’s Legacy banner hunting her down. If Siasha knows too much, that might be what happens. “Well, you see -”
“We need to know as much as you can tell us about souls.” Esmerellda steps up beside me, less fearful of our premiere Warlock now that she isn’t on fire. “It’s kind of important.”
She looks at me, sizing me up a little, which is understandably hilarious given that I’m easily four or five times her size. I manage to keep the smirk off my face, though, and she nods.
“Well, if it’s that necessary, then I’ll tell you. This could take a while, so let’s find a place to talk. Dwarves aren’t terribly fond of Warlocks, and even less so when we’re talking shop, so I’ll meet you back in Dalaran. That is, when I’m finished here.”
Poor Burbik. He might be out of business after today.
Esmerellda and I found Siasha sitting at her favorite table at A Hero’s Welcome. It’s tucked away under a staircase, which blocks the table from the daylight and keeps her well-hidden from most others entering the establishment.
It would be truly scary if I didn’t know that she has to push the table under the staircase every time she comes here.
We take up the other two chairs she brought over for us, and I watch as she looks around to make sure nobody is watching before she turns back to us and smiles in typical Siasha fashion. Her bark really is worse than her bite.
“Souls, hmm? Well, I’ll try to explain this to you. And I’ll try to use… smaller words.” I roll my eyes a little and shake my head, but she plows right on. “First off, if you want to know how to put a soul back into a body, ask Peaches there. That’s her area of expertise, not mine. I’m only interested in taking them out. Well, with one exception.”
Es is the first one to speak up. “Exception? What are you talking about?”
“Soulstones, of course. You see, soulstones create a metaphysical link between the soul and the body by impressing the aural image and personality index of the target onto the stone. This creates a tie between the living body and the spiritual self that, upon a person’s death, can be invoked by a remote call from a spiritual guide to return the soul to the body and trigger a restart of the system.”
I look at Es, she looks at me, and we both turn to Siasha, blinking in confusion.
She has the good grace to at least look abashed. “Oops, sorry. Small words. Right.” She pauses a moment to think, clears her throat, and tries again. “Soulstones keep the soul with the body. They don’t allow the soul to escape, and can trigger the reanimation process… oops. Sorry.”
I shrug apologetically at her, and she sighs in frustration. “We could go on like this all day. Why are you curious about souls all of a sudden, anyway?”
Esmerellda and I share an uncomfortable glance,
“This is about Malyss.” Siasha makes a face, one I’ve made myself many times when I wasn’t looking forward to something. “I was afraid of that.”
Siasha sighs, looking away for a moment. Turning back to face us, she shakes her head. “I don’t know if you want to hear this, but ever since she came back from Outland, I noticed something different about her. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but the change in her frightened me. On top of that, she made my fingers itch. I kept wanting to throw demon bindings on her, even though she isn’t one. She had such a good soul after you brought her back from Light’s Hope. Well, for a Death Knight, anyway. I don’t know what happened.”
I frown. This isn’t what I expected to hear, and the look I give Siasha says as much. “I think she’s been corrupted, Siasha. I have to help her… I have to find a way to get her back. I need you to help me figure out how.”
Siasha stares into her lap at her folded hands for a few minutes. “I hoped this day would never come. I’m just glad that Esmerellda isn’t asking me to help her save you.”
She looks me right in the eyes, as cold and determined as I’ve ever seen her before. “We have much to talk about, Lelissa. But for you to understand, I have to tell you what I see when I look at others.”