The drag was as dark as night, the tiny building hidden in the shadows far from prying ears. Draeka’s old troll friend stood guard as she stood, speaking with an elven girl. The orc towered over her, her armour and posture imposing, her hands firmly on her hips as she paced.

“The Old Ones are powerful, an’ givin’ to those worthy, Sin’Thol. They appreciate those that are willin’ to follow,” Draeka’s eyes flashed, a little grin on her dark green lips, framed by bright, white tusks, “which I know you can do oh so well.”

Sin’Thol stood in a formal, high collared robe, a rich red colour, its fabric obviously expensive. Her brown hair was brushed, her headband keeping it from her face, her bangs brushing the top of her eye brows. Her arms hung loosely at her sides, her posture tall and proud, with a certain air of being unnaturally relaxed around the tall orc woman.

“I left you. Abandoned you an’ Gorth, an’ I intend to repay you for the services you have still provided for me, though you ain’t had cause to. But the best way I can do that, is show you the path to the old ones. They have rules, see, cryptic rules that I’ve come to understand, an’ I’m willin’ to help you ta understand to. Do you understand what I’m tellin’ ya so far, girl?”

Sin’Thol paused for a moment, tilting her head to the side in contemplation, her glowing green eyes scanning Draeka’s face, before looking her straight in the eye and nodding. “I understand, Sergeant Draeka.”

The two looked at one another sternly, both so similar is some ways and so different in others. Both were prideful and intelligent, but one was destined to lead, the other to follow. It was with this knowledge that Draeka had come up with the scheme.

The Tribe had rejected the idea of the mercenaries, sure, but allies were scarce, and there were some things they needed puppets for. Draeka and Zij were in agreement that though the idea of turning to others for aid was disagreeable, Draeka had no trouble with using all those who swore allegiance to the Horde, and Zij had to trouble with using others as pawns.

Earlier in the day, Draeka and Zij stood in Alterac Valley in one of the bunkers, protecting it from any stray alliance coming to claim it. In a low voice, she spoke, leaning in close to him, her armour brushing against his.

“Zij… I was thinkin’. You know how we were talkin’ ’bout the mercenaries?”

“Ja? Was shot down pretty good…”

“An’… you know how we were talkin’ ’bout that pliable elf that’s under an orc that I know?”

“Ja?”

“I was thinkin’ ’bout combinin’ the two.”

“So what ju got in mind, Drae?”

“Gromth an’ I once ran the Fiery Hand. Never did much with it. But I was thinkin’ ’bout bringin’ it back, doin’ it right. The Tribe don’t gotta know, an’ the Hand sure as fel won’t know… Won’t know who they’re workin’ for, anyways.”

“Now den… dat’s an excellent proposal.”

“I was thinkin’… instead of doin’ the… alterin’ their minds, we could… lead them to believe in somethin’ greater.”

“Such as?”

“Us. But… not like that. They wouldn’t know… as such. Pawns, if ya will.”

“No, I get what jour sayin’. A cult ta us. But wit’out namin’ us specifically.”

“Cults don’t generally talk about who they’re followin’ anyways… just, like… the “Higher Power” or the “Great one”. The vagueness of it wouldn’t be a problem.”

“De Old Ones! Us who came first!”

“Sure, Zij. I don’t really got any specific plans like that, but I’m sure I can talk ta the girl. Would kinda make it less likely to be tied to us if an elf is in charge.”

“Certainly. Easiah ta create distance between us in de eyes o’ de public, de Tribe an’ de Hand!”

“So…. ya think… ya think it’d be somethin’ you’d be interested in, Zij?”

“Certainly! It’d give more powah to de Tribe. A mighty weapon ta wield.”

“When did you want me to talk to her?”

“No time like de present!”

“I’ll arrange a meetin’ with her later this evenin’. Tell them of the great power that will give them what they want. That ’cause they worked for me that I only thought it fair they know there’s another power they can serve.”

“Certainly. I trust in jour judgment, my love. An’ I adore jour plan.”

“That all sounds fine ta you then, Doctor? It’ll be best if you ain’t there, I think. Would be really suspicious.”

“Certainly. Ju ‘andle it, it’s jour idea, jour connection.”

“I asked you here alone,” Draeka paced, “because I think you’re more in touch with such things, what with yer healin’ abilities. You’ll be able to easier feel the power of the Old Ones than Gorth,” she smiled, her eyes flicking over the elf’s tiny body, “can ya feel it.”

Sin’Thol closed her eyes briefly, the absence of the green glow darkening the building even more, before she flittered them open again and shook her head. “No, Sergeant Draeka, I do not feel any presence, externally or internally.” Draeka nodded, her face turned sternly. “I expected that. It will take some practice of meditation, that I’ll teach you. You’ll, in turn, teach yer followers. You will have meetings of prayer an’ pay homage to the Old Ones. Do you understand?”

Sin’Thol looked at her skeptically, not speaking for a few moments, “I am to lead? Why can’t Gorth?”

“Because, you’re a priestess. You’re the leader. It’s been dictated.”

Sin’Thol’s eyes widened a little, then flitted back into a skeptical look, her head tilted to the side again. “By who?”

Draeka let out a loud, exasperated sigh, “by the Old Ones! In the ancient texts! They foretold of an elven priestess, a natural follower, being set to lead others to greatness in worship of the Old Ones!”

“You know, of course, that I must speak with Gorth before I could possibly agree with or disagree with the things that you are saying. It would have saved both you and I time should you have allowed him to escourt me,” Sin’Thol spoke evenly and calmly, gesticulating in tiny, careful movements.

“You an’ I had to be alone for me to teach you the proper prayers an’ meditations,” Draeka replied in the same, even tone.

The elven girl nodded slightly, “then you will teach me quickly, and I will then decide if I can properly feel this presence. I will then return to Gorth and he will contact you regarding his decision.”

Draeka nodded, closing her blue eyes and taking in a deep breath, waiting for Sin’Thol to do the same. She heard the tiny inhalation, and placed her hands on Sin’Thol’s narrow shoulders. Pressing her fingers in to the girl’s neck, on either side, she spoke softly, “keep breathing, deeply and regularly. I will guide the spirits of the Old One to you. You must do this to all who wish to join you.”

Sin’Thol didn’t move, but obeyed, breathing through her nose.

In a deep, sinister voice, Draeka chanted softly, in uncharacteristically well spoken orcish “I lead you, the Old Ones, to a new spirit, one that is open and willing to guide and follow, every movement dedicated to service of You. I lead you, the Old Ones, to a new spirit, one that is capable and strong, with a strong bond to the spirit world and asks for guidance from you. I lead you, the Old Ones, so that you may lead the lost and stray who do not yet know your grace.”

Draeka massaged the pressure points on Sin’Thol’s neck as she spoke, and felt the elf’s body relax slightly. She stepped away, putting her hands back on her waist and stared down at the elf. “Ya feel it?”

Sin’Thol still looked skeptically up at the orc, her eyelids heavy, her body slumped slightly, looking a little drunk. “I don’t know,” she spoke more casually than natural for her.

Draeka quickly moved her hands and pushed down on Sin’Thol’s shoulders, whose legs crumpled beneath her and she made a tiny oomph sound, not bothering to fight it or stand up. “Take some more deep breaths, and concentrate.”

Nodding, the girl obediently obeyed, breathing in and out for what seemed like several minutes before her eyes popped open, looking confused. “I saw a light.”

Draeka smiled, and nodded. “You’re the one.”

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