Riots in Stormwind

(( I don't often have the opportunity to get involved in large-scale open RP threads, but when this one came up with the Wildfire Riders (see the timeline), it was something I couldn't pass by. With my girls both having strong ties to people in Stormwind — for good or bad — and with Ovistine actually living there, it seemed more than likely that they'd be on the ground when the excrement hit the Ultrasafe Air Diverter. The rumor that the Cathedral fire might have been started by members of the Scarlet Crusade was kind of the icing on the cake. And so… ))

Ovistine sighed at the loud pounding on her front door. It was a little too easy to guess who the fist belonged to, but she supposed she'd put her mother off long enough. She swung the door open just as Nancie had raised her fist again; the two dwarves blinked at each other for a few seconds.

"Mum," Ovistine said, nodding.

"Lass." Nancie stood back, dropping her hand back to her side and clearing her throat. She didn't look much different, Ovistine thought–no new wrinkles, hair still up in its customary bun to hold it out of the way, still in the same fighting condition she'd been in last Ovistine had seen her. Her armor was a little different, and she wore a red tabard with two white mugs on it, the same sort of tabard Ovistine had seen on the other members of the Boomstick Gang. Ovistine had two such tabards–one red, one black–but hadn't been comfortable putting them on again just yet.

"Were you on your way somewhere?" Ovistine asked. She nodded at Nancie's armor. "Full gear, eh?"

"On me way back frae somewhere," Nancie admitted. "Jes' came frae th' tournament grounds. Still a lot o' folks what needs t' get shite off their backs before they can help Fordring an' company at th' Citadel. Still got a need fer folks t' keep th' peace."

Ovistine blinked at her mother. "An' that's you? Keeping the peace between us and the orcs?"

"Mostly," Nancie grumbled. "But–I didnae come t' talk about me. Wondered how ye were doin'."

"Well…" Ovistine sighed. "No closer to getting my memories back." Nancie winced and nodded. "But I have a little more incentive now, so I'm working on it."

"Aye–aye, that's good. We're all–me an' yer Da an' th' elf–we're all hopin' ye can find a way t' set things right."

"I wondered if I could talk to you about that."

"Which bit?"

"The–well." Ovistine glanced back at her door; nothing inside that wouldn't keep. "Have a walk with me?"

"Aye, o' course."

Some parts of Stormwind were much as Ovistine remembered them–the Dwarven District, for one, where her future self had apparently kept her flat, and the Library, and the Cathedral itself. Other parts were different; she didn't remember so many warships and steam tanks in the harbor, and the Park was full of elves–mostly druids, she'd learned. Agness had taken Ovistine to a knitting night at a bar in the Mage Quarter that Ovistine had no memory of at all, and for all there seemed to be a bit of a break between the shadow-users Agness was a part of and the arcane-types, it was easygoing enough.

As she and Nancie approached the bridge to Cathedral Square, things seemed anything but easy. A crowd was gathering near the courthouse; Nancie tensed and slid her shield off her back, leaving her axe at her side for now.

"What's all this?" Ovistine murmured.

"Dunno." Nancie was moving toward the courthouse, and Ovistine followed. Leave it to her mum to walk into danger every time, not away. Well, damn if Ovistine wasn't keeping up; maybe eight years ago she'd been too young, but Nancie wasn't trying to hold her back this time, and with all the things she'd learned about her powers in the last few weeks, no one could say she wasn't strong enough.

Four guards stood on the courthouse steps; Ovistine glanced at Nancie to see if her mum recognized any of them. "Babes," Nancie muttered. "An' not enough o' 'em, neither…"

There were whispers through the crowd, and Ovistine caught snatches of words that meant nothing to her. Plaguefather. Trial. Uthas…

"Feck," Nancie growled. She glanced at Ovistine. "Lass–this could be bad."

"Who's Uthas? Do I know him?"

Nancie's frown deepened. "Aye. Ye've traveled with 'im once or twice."

"Did he do what they're saying?"

"I used t' ask ye that. Ye never said." Nancie growled low under her breath. "Never understood why ye went workin' wi' th' so-called Ebon Blade, neither, but ye're me daughter. I stand by ye."

"I'm standing by you now," Ovistine said. She set her shoulders and lifted her chin. "If there's trouble, you'll have the Light backing your shield."

"Always do," Nancie said with a grin, but she grimaced at Ovistine's look of determination. "There's nowt I can say t' get ye t' go back home, is there?"

"Not a thing."

"A'right. Ye keep close, then."

"Aye, Mum."

Two men came out of the courthouse, and Nancie tensed all over again. "Feck." Her hand was on her axe now, and Ovistine heard her whispering out a prayer for strength, for the Light to shield her. Ovistine frowned. If it was just the two of them, then this Uthas was likely being released, and if he was innocent, why was her mother getting charged up for battle?

The crowd was sensing it too, now, and Ovistine forced herself to focus. The calm center of her was easier to find these days, as if years of discipline and training were as much a part of her as her braids, something that even eight years of memory loss couldn't steal from her. She was glad for that now.

The pardon was read, and as soon as Nancie heard In the name of King Varian Wrynn and Stormwind, so it is judged, she nodded. Ovistine had heard a lot of things about King Wrynn lately, but so far as her mother was concerned, it was clear that Wrynn had earned even deeper fealty in these last eight years–Wrynn's name was enough to seal a matter for Nancie, no matter what it might be.

The rest of the crowd was not so readily eased.

The first rocks flew and hit nothing, but by the time they'd landed, there were others. People were shouting, pushing, throwing anything they could get their hands on. Ovistine put up shields as quickly as she could, blocking people off from one another, protecting the innocent if she was able, but there were so many, so much anger, so many curses and shouts.

There was a crash of glass, and Ovistine whipped her head around to see what had happened. She could smell it before she saw it–smoke, and if there was smoke, then–

"Mum–Mum! There's fire–"

But looking around, she was beginning to see more than just that first plume of smoke. Her eyes went wide; riots, fire–Makers, what had Stormwind turned into while she'd been gone?

The grip on her braids jerked her out of her thoughts, and she sent a burst of holy magic into whoever it might have been–but it didn't shake the grip loose. She yelled as she got hauled off her feet, out of the crowd, and when she finally managed to get free and turn around, she glared at her mother. "I was helping–"

"Aye, an' we'll help a damn sight more if we get t' higher ground–"

Another crash of glass, but this time louder; Ovistine and Nancie both looked toward the Cathedral. One of the front windows had been smashed in, and Ovistine gasped out loud. Before Nancie could stop her, she was off and running, and Nancie could do nothing but keep up.

"Lass, no–"

"They're my friends–they'll be trapped–"

"Son of a fecking trogg–"

Up the stairs, then, past the crowd, Nancie's shield shoving through people and pushing them aside. The inside of the Cathedral blazed with light, mostly of the holy variety, but there were torches here, too, torches and furious people holding them. The paladins had already gathered into clusters, protecting the priests and–God help them all, the wee ones, the altar boys and girls were being guarded, too, the mob being too mindless by now to notice if children were getting caught in this. Ovistine rushed over to a group of paladins that were beginning to look overwhelmed, and Nancie joined her.

The lead paladin–someone Ovistine didn't recognize, damn it–swung her shield around, facing Nancie. "You," she snarled. "Come to help the rioters?"

"Ye want t' yell at me or ye want t' help people?" Nancie shot back.

"Still wearing red, Lighthammer? The more things change–"

"Shut yer feckin' trap and–"

The rock came in too high for Ovistine to see where it'd come from, and the lead paladin hadn't managed to get her helm on yet; the rock took her in the side of the head, and she went down. The torches were coming closer and closer, and Ovistine froze for just a moment as she realized just how many fecking banners and carpets and things you could bloody set on fire there were here–

She got a hand on Nancie's shoulder and squeezed, in spite of the fact that Nancie couldn't feel it through the plate. Her quick prayer for strength and fortitude was a little easier to notice, and Nancie drew herself up, shield at the ready.

"For me love an' me lass," Nancie muttered–Ovistine had never heard her mother's battle prayers before, but she knew what she was hearing all the same, "may th' Makers watch o'er me an' th' Light guide me."

For my parents, for my friends, the ones I know and the ones I don't, Ovistine thought, gathering all her power together and holding it close, holding it at the ready, and for the elf I'll go to when this is all over.

She pushed the first pulses of Light into her mother and prayed.

Jan 19th, 2010
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