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(Part 43) For the complete list of this series, please go here.

Keeping her head bent low, Aerissa made her way to the Court of the Sun.  She chided herself for making a fool of herself with the troll merchant.  I had no trouble bartering with Tomber… She wasn't sure if it was the intimidating look of the troll woman, her accent, or the crowd that had affected her.  All of the above, I suppose.

When she reached the Court of the Sun, she stopped to politely ask one of the guards outside the palace where she could find the orb of translocation.  He informed her it was just inside the palace, in the inner sanctum of Sunfury Spire.  He warned her to stay away from the portal room, which was the territory of the mages, by following the ramp up and keep to the right.

When Aerissa reached the room in question, she was a bit surprised to see that the room contained nothing more than two platforms and a brightly lit orb.  Cautiously, she approached the orb.  Her ears detected a low humming sound.  She had heard about orbs like this, but had never used one herself.  Aerissa leaned back as she stretched out her arms, her fingers inches from the orb.  She took a deep breath and placed her hands on the orb.

A tingling sensation shot through her fingertips and before she knew it, she was standing in a dank room with an identical orb nearby.  She eyed the gray bricks, shivering from the damp chill in the air.  She patted herself, convinced she had made it all in one piece.

That was fast…

Aerissa turned around and headed for the only doorway she could see.  As she stepped outside into the courtyard, she gagged.  Her eyes welled up, the stench of sewer and decomposition overpowering her senses.

This must be The Undercity, she thought as she pressed the cowl over her nose and mouth, breathing through the fabric.

She scanned the courtyard, taking in her surroundings.  Once the home of King Terenas Menethil, the former palace of Lordaeron laid in ruin.  The walls were worn and crumbling, pieces of brick missing in various places.  An unnatural, gurgling, green stream ran beneath the bridge that connected the courtyard to the gaping doorway.  Aerissa looked up, scrunching her face.  Even the sky had a sickly green overcast.

Watching her step, she crossed the courtyard and entered the doorway.  She passed by broken, discarded wooden doors and even a cracked bell.  The entryway was devoid of people, and she couldn't hear anyone nearby; only the echo of her footsteps.

As Aerissa entered the empty throneroom, she could feel the hair on the back of her neck stand up.  The room was eerily still, but she thought she detected a hint of murmuring.  She stood still, staring at the empty throne, remembering the stories she had heard about the death of the human king. 

How horrible it must have been… dying at the hand of his insane son…

She shook her head sadly and continued her way inward.  Once reaching the ramp to one of the elevators, Aerissa gasped at the sight of two abominations.  Startled, she pressed her back against the damp wall.  They looked as awful as the two abominations she and Locke had hunted down.

Oh Locke… Aerissa blinked away the wetness from her eyes.

The elevator door flew up with a clang, revealing a few passengers.  One of them was an elven man in full plate armor.

“E-excuse me,” she timidly addressed him.  Pointing at the abominations, she said, “What are they doing here?”

The elven man chuckled, flipping up the visor on his helm.  His sparkling green eyes piercing hers.  “They are guards.  The Forsaken make their own to control.  You have nothing to worry about, miss, unless you stir up trouble.”  The visor closed again with a flick of his hand, and he continued up the ramp.

She watched as the others passed by the abominations peacefully.  Mustering her courage, she moved forward and entered the elevator.  The door slammed down with a violent thud.  Aerissa almost lost her balance as the elevator plummeted down.  It abruptly stopped, her stomach following not far behind.

Her knees felt wobbly as she emerged from the elevator.  Down below the ruins, it was much busier.  She vaguely remembered Twyla telling her that The Undercity was set up in the crypts of the Lordaeron ruins.  Aerissa pushed the cowl back from her head, running her fingers through her hair.  She doubted anyone would recognize her here.  Rubbing her nose, she realized she was getting accustomed to the smell.  She wandered along the upper ring, seeing the bank and shops down below.

“Need directions to the Inn?” asked a Forsaken guard who was walking towards her.

Aerissa shook her head, clutching her pack close to her.  “No, actually… can you direct me to your Queen?”

The guard smirked, “You wish to see Lady Sylvanas, do you?”

Aerissa nodded, feeling uneasy under his gaze.  “Yes, please.  Could you direct me?”

He gestured with his hands, “Well, you'd go down those stairs and 'round to that ramp, and out to the outer circle…” he trailed off, seeing how lost she looked.  “How about I show you to the Inn instead?”

Aerissa's eyes widened in shock and disgust.  “Excuse me?”

The guard chuckled, shaking his head.  “The Lady won't be seeing anyone else for the rest of the evening.  I can show you the Inn, you can get a room, and someone can show you to her chambers tomorrow mornin'.”

Aerissa's cheeks tinged pink.  “Ah, yes, I suppose it is getting late.  That will do, thank you,” she murmured.

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We are a family of gamers. Mom (Darcy/Syrana) and Dad (Brian/Sideshow) have been gaming for as long as they can remember back when you only had a joystick to use and saved your games to cassette tapes.

They've been gaming together since they met in 2002. Sometime after 2006, they both started playing World of Warcraft and did that for many years. They started this blog, originally called Sideshow & Syrana which has now transitioned to the new Stay-At-Home Gamers site, while keeping all of the original content.

Starting in 2010, two more gamers came along (now known as Princess Boo and Mr. X) and they are now old enough where they both enjoy playing games and watching others play games. They are both excited to have others to watch them play their favorite games. Come along with us and let's enjoy these games together!