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January 7, 2013
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"I want to know who fired that shot, and I want to know it now!"

Shouting was painful. Llorrin could feel blood tickling out of his wounds, making his bandages wet and sticky. Their irritating touch only served to rile his anger further.

Llorrin paced back and forth behind his desk, staring his subjects down. He couldn't recall having ever been this beside himself. The looks he was given told him his companions were as alienated by his anger as he was, but there was nothing he could do to help it. Chuth, Irewyth and Wheann all stared at him as though they no longer recognized him, and he was certain Carekon would have done the same if he were here. The only one who didn't seem to care was Jeredan, but that didn't come as a surprise. The bastard could count himself lucky Llorrin had more important things to do than having him be thrown overboard for disobeying orders.

It didn't come as a surprise that Chuth was the first to open his mouth.

"I'm tellin' ya son, Cap'n Adane's orders were clear! That... elf was tryin' ta escape, he must'a been lyin'! We need ta return!"

If looks could kill, Llorrin's eyes would have frozen Chuth and blasted him into a million pieces right where he stood. Llorrin had never felt so alone. He knew he could've expected this reaction, especially from Chuth. Only he knew why the druid had really fled, but who was going to believe a Naga warrior had actually spoken to him? Llorrin wished they could've taken one of the Naga alive to confirm what the Myrmidon had said, but they had all fled or died. He changed the subject.

"I want to know who fired that shot" Llorrin said coldly. "Was it you?"

Chuth's frown ran deeper than ever before, his eyes matching Llorrin's gaze. The sniper's jaw clenched.

"Does it even matter who shot 'im? Orders 'r orders and orders were t' shoot that bastard if he tried ta run, an' run he did."

Llorrin resisted the urge to punch Chuth. Narrowly. The look the sour marine Chuth had appointed as his second-in-command wasn't helping either.

"Why do you think they retreated as soon as Elduin hit the water? It was him they were after! He must have realized they were coming for him..."

Llorrin's voice caught in his throat.

Why didn't he tell me? He could have told me...

Wheann raised his hands diplomatically, stepping in between Llorrin and Chuth.

"Wait a moment, Llorrin. The Naga have attacked us before, what makes you so sure it was Elduin they were after?" he asked, cautiously.

You shouldn't even be here Llorrin thought as he looked at the half-elf. No doubt Irewyth had simply brought Wheann along to insult hm.

"One of the Myrmidons told me" he said, breaking eye contact. He realized how unconvincing that must have sounded. The face Irewyth made told him as much.

Chuth's eyes were wide with disbelief. "Are you insane, boy!"

It wasn't a question. Llorrin slammed his fists into his desk as he leaned closer to Chuth, knocking over his ink in the process. His wounds stung and he was certain his bandages must have turned bright red by this point.

"He did it to save us! He saved us all!" Llorrin insisted, his voice heavy with emotion. He experienced Irewyth's gaze upon like the edge of a knife upon his skin, but didn't care.

Chuth stepped closer defiantly and slammed a fist on the desk as well, raising his chin in an attempt to make up for his shorter height. Llorrin could feel the sniper's disgusting breathe against his skin, but didn't flinch.

"The only reason he tried ta escape, was because he saw an opportunity ta run! He was lyin'! We need ta call off this mission! We'd be disobeyin' orders if we don't! We'd be branded deserters!"

Llorrin could see it now. The man was terrified. The reason the sniper had never risen through the ranks during his time with the navy was all too clear to him now. Llorrin cursed himself for ever believing Chuth could change. Men like him were followers, unable to take decisions when it mattered. They lacked the mindset that allowed one to aspire to greatness. Llorrin suddenly felt very calm. He had nothing to fear from someone like that.

"I'm in command here, and I'll be the final judge of Elduin's intentions, and if you disobey my orders, I'll be the one to brand you as a deserter. You think I'd risk your lives if I wasn't so sure about this? We're not going back. We sail on" he said slowly, enjoying the sight of Chuth's face paling. He thought he saw Irewyth smile for a split second.

Chuth backed down a little, but didn't give up just yet.

"Ye let that druid poison yer mind, son. All yer interested in is yer own petty vengeance against ta Horde. Ye'll get us all killed in ta end" he growled.

Chuth's words no longer reached him like they used to. This was just like their old discussions, simply on a different scale of importance. The sniper just wouldn't listen to logic. He had assumed Chuth was as eager to face the Horde and avenge Daelin's death as he was, but right now it seemed to him Chuth simply wanted to oppose him out of spite, cowardice, or perhaps something else. Who could tell? Maybe it was just force of habit. Llorrin wondered what was stopping him from flogging the guy for insubordination right then and there.

"Commander Llorrin" Jeredan suddenly said, only right on time. The respectful way he addressed him was surprising enough to gain his attention.

"If this… dwarf doesn't want to follow your orders, I could always take over his job" he offered, looking down at Chuth with contempt.

Were it not that he had lost all faith in Jeredan since the battle with the Naga, Llorrin might have actually accepted that offer. Relieving Chuth of his office seemed like the logical thing to do at first, but doing so would mean admitting he had made a mistake to everyone, and most importantly, to Irewyth. Demoting someone who had otherwise been doing quite well at the first signs of defiance didn't seem like the kind of thing a strong leader would do, and Llorrin had to make sure to keep the crew on his side.

"I don't think that will be necessary, Jeredan. I'm sure Chuth and I understand each other perfectly" Llorrin said calmly, keeping his eyes on Chuth, who had begun to clench his fists, but at least kept his mouth shut.

Wheann tried to play the diplomat again.

"I'm not picking sides, but it's true you're taking a big risk here, Llorrin. Captain Adane won't be very happy if it turns out you were wrong. I hope you've thought this through."

"I have thought it through. Believe me. The course is set" Llorrin said, using one of captain Adane's sayings on purpose. Certainly acting more like him would instill some respect in his men. He sat down and gestured towards the doorway. Only then did he notice the ink stuck to his knuckles and desk. He sighed, realizing he shouldn't let his anger get the better of him like this, but anger was the one alternative he had had to bursting out in tears.

"Yer gonna regret this, son" Chuth promised, but his voice already seemed distant, insignificant. The sniper turned and left, quickly followed by his sour-looking cronie. Llorrin resisted the urge of throwing something at them.

Jeredan regarded him with a strange kind of respect before turning away, and Wheann looked worried above all as he stepped outside. He caught a glimpse of Irewyth's familiar smirk, but he couldn't tell whether it was meant to encourage or mock him.
Wherein the story begins to take a darker turn...

To read on: fav.me/d5rhrtz

Gallery: teano.deviantart.com/gallery/3...

Summary: Enraged and disillusioned by the death of Elduin, Llorrin demands who the killer is, but gets no answer. Chuth believes that since Elduin tried to flee, he must have been lying, and they have to return to captain Adane, but Llorrin wants to hear none of it. He believes Elduin knew the naga were after him and was trying to protect them by fleeing, which makes Chuth more than unhappy.
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:iconpedigri:
Pedigri Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I like that it started in medias res.

Before this I thought that Irewyth was absent because she took a sloop to go and find the Nagas so she could give them the location of Elduin. It's ridiculous, I know, but the explanation for how they found him wasn't given yet, so...

A typo: it's "right were" -->should be "right where".

It did cross my mind that it could have been Chuth since it looked like the shot of an expert marksman, but the reason for him shooting Elduin was a nice surprise. I know, it was established by Adane's speech, but still.

I like how they don't recognize him when he's so furious. I also like that you incorporated the idea of Llorrin regretting that he let anger get the best part of him.

Why is it strange that the Nagas talk? Sea Giants talked and no one found it weird.
And how did that Naga in the previous chapter know Llorrin was in charge? Someone must've told them that...

I'm confused as to who speaks the part with "after him".

I like the face Irewyth made.

Chuth speaks too perfectly when he says "are YOU insane, boy!" A simple change to "ya" will suffice.

I love how Chuth pretended to be courageous, defiant and not give a f**k.

I love how Llorrin responded to Chuth and Irewyth's smile:)

This scene really feels like it needed a diplomat, so Wheann's presence feels appropriate.

I like the part with Chuth and Jeredan and the problem of admitting to a mistake. Jeredan's politeness wasn't out of place here. It feels natural that Jeredan resorts to a$$kissery to get what he wants.

I love the part with resisting the urge to throw something at them.

I wonder... is the sour-looking marine the same who didn't like Irewyth giving the orb to Llorrin?

I love the ambiguity of Irewyth's smile at the end.
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:iconteano:
Well, there is obviously a way the Naga found Elduin and knew he was on board, but it's good that you're theorizing about it, that's the idea.

Naga can talk, but they usually don't come to talk. Most of all though, it's an awfully convenient excuse for Llorrin to say that the Myrmidon told him and only him of all people they were here for Elduin. To the crew it simply seemed like another attack since they , like the reader,probably don't have a clue how the Naga even knew Elduin was on board. The crew would also rather believe they fought the Naga off than believe they owe their lives to Elduin. You see lots of reasons for them to be skeptical.

The Naga could have guessed Llorrin was in charge because they saw him shouting orders to the other ship.

You're probably right, but 'are ya insane' sounds terribly unnatural to me. I tried to say it and it's like I'm forcing it out, which is probably why I went with 'you'.

Oh, about the sour guys, that's a complete coincidence, lol... but since it got you to think I think I'll keep it. If Llorrin was supposed to recognize him, I would've put it in though. You know, no cheap Deus Ex Machina's with me (at least, I think...)
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:iconpedigri:
Pedigri Jan 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, I see. It makes sense that the one shouting orders looks like the one in charge.

I agree. It would sound kinda forced.
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:iconpedigri:
Pedigri Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You're on a roll, Teano! Another great chapter! Keep up the good work! More detailed comment coming soon.
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:iconthekreggorian:
I read this and then was interested enough to read the links for the prologue, parts 1 and 2...

This is pretty darn good. Do you have plans to keep writing it until it is a full novel, or is it going to be a serial? Either way, keep it up and nice work. At our workshop, we are always out looking for good writers with a fun attitude. I think it was your writing style that drew me to you most. You should think about joining us. We are just a fun group of friends who love writing and sharing ideas and discussions on the artform. you can find us here: [link] - I really hope you stop by.
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:iconteano:
Thanks, I'm glad you like it :)

I'm going to make it into a novel: the plot is finished, I just need to finish writing it out. I may have enough plot for a second novel in this series, but I can almost definitely say it's not going to grow bigger than 2 books.

Since this is essentially a fanfic, a lot also depends on how Blizzard progresses their own timeline and if I can get my story to work with that. It's a fanfic but I still want it to be plausible and compatible with the rest of Azeroth.

It sure looks interesting, I'll see if I can drop by on the forum once the exam period is over :)
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:iconthekreggorian:
Sounds like you have good plans for it. That's good.
And, yes, we really hope to see you over at the group. You'll like it I think. :)
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:iconteano:
You can count on it.
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:iconthekreggorian:
Cool... there's a lot of people who are sure to want to meet you. :)
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:iconwalt-marsters:
Walt-Marsters Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Maybe executing a bunch of people would help establishing his authority!
Just kidding. Those old geezers always have trouble following orders from freshly appointed young commanders, but I'm sure Llorin will keep them under control!
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