Chapter I: Haunting At The InnEdit
The inn's rusted door swung wide open and fell off of the hinges, attracting the attention of everyone inside. Beneath the doorway stood a cloaked man whose somber silhouette was masked by the evening darkness behind him. The inn became silent. With each thumping step, the figure passed by tables of hushed men and made his way towards the bar at the back of the inn. There, a solemn innkeeper stood whose eyes had been locked on the mysterious man ever since he made his appearance.
The innkeeper bellowed from across the room "Are you going to pay for that?". The dark figure ignored him.
He pulled up a chair in front of the innkeeper and placed himself gently within it. "Well are you?". A gray hand rustled around in the folds of the figure's cloak and popped out of the side, slamming a pile of gold coins onto the table.
The innkeeper looked down at the coins with satisfaction. "Hm, what can I get for you, Mr... ?" The figure quickly answered "Manazoan."
Sound erupted back into the inn as the nervous men returned to their conversations.
"I'm looking for something... unique..." He responded equivocally.
The innkeeper reached down and pulled out a peculiar mug. "Nethergarde Bitter?"
"No, something special..."
"I have Stouthammer Lite."
"I'm afraid you don't catch my drift, innkeeper. I need..." Manazoan looked the innkeeper in the eyes and pulled back his hood ...information."
He became almost entranced by Manazoan's icy blue eyes as if they were knifes piercing through his soul. "So... He sent you?.
"Yes, now do you have what I need?"
"Of... of course." The innkeeper began to act frantic as if he had lost something important. Abruptly, he dropped beneath the counter and reappeared with a jug of bourbon in his hands. "Here you go... now tell him that I didn't mean those things I said... by the Light I swear!"
"He doesn't want your apologies, he's gotten over that already."
As soon as Manazoan grabbed the jug off of his hands, the innkeeper turned around and continued to repeatedly wipe a dirty mug with a rag.
Manazoan pulled the cork out of the jug and looked through the bunghole. Inside of it was a piece of floating paper with indistinguishable writing from the angle at which it was being looked at. He flipped the jug on it's side and poured the alcohol out into a nearby empty mug. After completely filling two different mugs, the soaked parchment finally flowed out into the third one.
Bourbon overflowed past the brim as Manazoan stuck his hand inside. He pulled the wet piece of paper out and examined it carefully. A frown quickly overcame his face and extinguished his excitement. "Damn the titans, the ink is smeared!"
Chapter II: MidnightEdit
Fair winds swept through the streets of Stormwind as the White Lady sat quietly above the city. It gave off a soft glow that barely illuminated the rooftops and the alleyways and the bridges. However, there was an even brighter light and it was wandering about the city with a watchful eye. It was a lantern, carried by a guard in front of his chest. The guard whistled songs and tipped over the occasional crate as he walked, just to make his night shift more interesting.
Suddenly, a flash of black moved in the corner of his eye. He paused for a moment before extending his lantern and facing it at the source of the movement. Turning towards his right he looked for further investigation, only to see an inconspicuous box and a Death Knight sitting on it. "Hello there, Death Knight." greeted the guard. "Evening."
Disregarding the interruption, he turned around and resumed his whistling patrol down the corner of road. The box began to shake violently as muttering cries were heard. Manazoan stood off of the box and let it flip upwards revealing a Forsaken. "Are you trying to get us killed?!" Manazoan scolded.
"Gah! This thing smells ghastly!".
"You're the one to talk, Ledrant." Ledrant spun his head around "Shut your face." Manazoan let out a light chuckle. "Erhm, isn't your friend supposed to be here by now?" inquired Ledrant.
"And you're sure he'll come?"
"He said he would. Though, he also said that he would prefer to arrive a minute late. Don't ask me why."
"I don't know."
The clunking hooves of a horse echoed from across the street just as the midnight bells rung. "That has to be him." whispered Ledrant. "Right?" "I don't know. Get in the box. Hurry!" Ledrant crawled beneath the box at which point Manazoan propped himself on top of it. The horseman made a steady turn around the corner and reduced his horse's speed to a light trot. His hair was black and long - longer than most Humans prefer to keep it - and a black tophat was roosted on top of his head. He also was clearly not the most physical type having arms as thin as a bastard sword.
Manazoan made the initiative and approached the horseman. "Araus Whitecobble?" The horseman halted and seemed rather unamused, whether or not that was his real name, Manazoan was unsure. His head tilted towards Manazoan. "Why yes. You haven't come to kill me, have you? If so, you're on a long list of many others." Manazoan interrupted. "No, it's me, Manawith, you asked for a meeting, remember?" Araus began wracking his brain. "Manawith... oh, the gentlemen from the letters, how are you?" "I'm fine, where should we do this?"
"Ah yes, follow me." Araus' cracked the reigns and walked his horse into an alleyway. He shouted from over his shoulder "In here."
Manazoan kicked the box and gestured Ledrant to get up. The box creaked open and was thrust into air once more. When Araus stopped in the darkened alleyway slightly lit by the moon, he turned around and leaped off of his horse. "First things first, I apologize for... ughhhh!" Araus glanced at Ledrant and became nearly frozen in fear. "Well, hello there." He extended a friendly hand towards Ledrant who then proceeded to put his disconnected appendage into the palm. "Ummm, yes very well then." Araus shook the twitching hand off and gave it back to Ledrant.
Manazoan nudged Ledrant. "Why must you always act like an idiot?" Ledrant shrugged, clearly not caring. "Don't worry about it." reassured Araus. He coughed. "Where was I - oh yes - I apologize for our unconventional meeting place. You see, it's best to be under the noses of the enemy rather than in front of their eyes." Ledrant murmured. "It was a stupid idea..."
"Ledrant!" Manazoan screamed. "What? It was a stupid idea." He folded his arms. Manazoan looked back at Araus. "Carry on." "Yes, well both the Horde and the Alliance have serious infiltration problems regarding the Twilight's Hammer. I already spoke with several independent organizations such as the Cenarion Circle and the Argent Crusade, but most of them don't believe the severity of this crisis. I highly doubt you had anything to do with the cult, Manazoan, because of your strong ties to the Scourge in it's prime era." Manazoan nodded in agreement. He didn't usually like talking about his past experiences with the Scourge because of the horrible treasons and murders that he committed, but he saw this task from Araus as an opportunity for redemption... an opportunity to be a hero again.
He snapped back into reality.
"I even tried seeking help from SI:7, but after speaking with Mathias Shaw, I realized that he's just another puppet of the Twilight's Hammer. You and your friend are some of the only few people I can trust in this matter."
A conversation about who's sword was the longest was being heard from outside the alleyway. Araus, Ledrant and Manazoan knew it was two guards coming. "it's too dangerous for us to keep meeting in person. Tomorrow, travel to Lakeshire and go into the inn. The innkeeper will have a message from me regarding your next mission." Araus mounted his horse and tipped his tophat to Ledrant and Manazoan. "Good luck, gentlemen" His horse made quiet a noise when it left the alleyway, but it distracted the guards long enough for the two to escape.