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[Dolraan] Recovery

Drogar's picture

The first day was devoted to rest. Dolraan and Rhia, hidden deep beneath the covers in one another's arms, each of them convincing themselves that yes, this was real. They slept some of the time, some of it they talked, whispered conversations of what had happened while Dolraan had slept. Eventually, they grew restless, and reconnected in other ways.

The second day was a battery of tests, mundane and magical, to ensure that the toxin had been utterly purged from Dolraan's body, and that his mind had survived the experience of near-death. This was a very uncomfortable time, but the healers assured him that his objections were a good sign he was going to make a full recovery.

Now began the slow return to duty, starting with Alynore officially passing command back to him, overseen by Kunz. The ceremony was short and simple, the fortress abuzz with preparations thanks to a missive from Khadgar reccomending the construction of a shipyard in order to assault Tanaan and wrest control of Draenor's seas from the Shadow Council and their minions. Afterwards, behind closed doors, Dolraan faced down his executive officer.

"Permission to speak freely, Commander Dolraan." Kunz said, standing at attention on the far side of Dolraan's desk, doing his best to ignore Rhianon sitting at the window, feeding Pebble the tiny elemental gem shards and smiling as the little creature crushed and absorbed them with glee.

"By all means, Colonel. I've been catching myself up on the reports from my downtime. It seems that Commander Forrester did an excellent job during her short tenure. Located the spy in our ranks, and held together the local recruits despite their misgivings."

"Yes sir, that is what I wished to discuss. Sir Dolraan, do you wish my resignation from this post?" Kunz asked, looking Dolraan right in the eye.

"Your resignation? I wasn't aware you had tired of our work here so severely, Colonel. Please explain."

"You clearly do not trust me, Sir Dolraan. You left instructions that command of this fortress be given to Commander Forrester, who, while an impressive and capable woman, is not part of the Argent Crusade. All this rather than have me in command. I can only assume that you are merely tolerating my presence rather than welcoming it, and I see no point in continuing if that is the case."

"Colonel, I fear you misunderstand. You are an invaluable part of this command, and without you, we wouldn't stand a chance at success. But you are correct in one matter; I don't trust you to take full command of this base."

"Well then-" the human started, before being interrupted by Dolraan standing up.

"I don't trust you to take command of this base because there's no one here who can properly balance you, Kunz. You are an incredible administrator. You keep every report filed, every i dotted, every t crossed. You've taken the native volunteers and integrated them with our azerothian forces with laser precision. Thanks to you we know at all times exactly what supplies we have, where they are, and that there will be enough coming in the next convoy. But you are not a leader, Kunz. You see things in terms of beaureaucracy, reports, numbers, but you have trouble seeing things in broad terms. Political terms, personal terms. You lack vision, Kunz, and that's why I'm here. And it's why if something happens to me, I need someone of vision leading the Crusade here."

Dolraan stepped out from behind his desk, smiling at Rhianon before turning once again to face Kunz. "When you commanded the Crusade outpost in Zul'drak, you created an effective hardpoint, but your efforts to expand and secure the region stalled. This didn't happen because your forces lacked supplies, intelligence, or effective tactics. They stymied because of morale. The Crusade looks to you for stability, but you do not provide hope.

"I specifically requested you when they put me in command of this outpost Kunz, because I knew what you were capable of, and what I am. I am here to lead from the front, to inspire, and to carry forth our vision of a secure Draenor. You are here to make sure that the job gets done. Neither of us can do it alone. I need you Kunz. Just not as the one who will take control if I should fall again."

Kunz was silent a time, as Dolraan returned to his desk. For a while the only sound was Pebble happily crunching away, and the shuffle of papers on the desk. Finally he spoke.

"I dislike your reasoning Commander. I dislike your cavalier attitude, I dislike the way you play fast and loose with the command structure. However, I must concede you do have a point. I lack connection with the rank and file, as you say. I will remain, but I will require one thing of you."

"And that is, Colonel?"

"You are not permitted to fall, sir. So long as this is observed, I believe I will be able to tolerate the position until such time as our mission is complete."

Dolraan smiled. "That sounds acceptable."

Over the next several days, the procession of well meaning visitors that Dolraan was certainly happy to see, but still tiring to deal with began in earnest. Meddlers, Dragoons, crusaders and even a few people he'd only met in passing coming to wish him well. Before long the entire fortress was blooming with flowers delivered to him, and then arranged by Rhianon and the herbalists. Things were finally getting back to normal as Dolraan and Rhia sat down for dinner with Finkswitch and Kimzee, who was providing an update on the construction of the shipyard, and acquiring of ship patterns for the Crusade to deploy.

"So, we should be finished construction on the main dock soon, now that we're done salvaging the iron horde wreck that you arrived on after the portal blew up. Before long, you'll have a functioning shipyard, thanks to the Pinchwhistle Gearworks." Kimzee finished, grinning the grin of a goblin who was about to make a great deal of money.

"Good work Kimzee, that's just what we need. Glad you stuck around whil eI was down and out."

"No problem boss, someone's gotta keep an eye on tweaky here. He got real messed up while you were out." she grinned at Finkswitch, fangs showing. Dolraan chuckled at the display, once again envisioning the gnome and goblin someday going on a date. He could dream at least.

 

"So Fink, Kimzee, what ever happened to your TRUBL FNDR?" Rhianon asked, cutting off another chunk of talbuk steak. The gnome and goblin both stopped mid bite, then looked at each other, then back at Rhianon.

"That... is a good question."

The quartet looked around at each other for a moment, before simultaneously standing up and grabbing their gear.

Half an hour later, they crested the hill, finding the device sitting forlornly atop it, having suffered some obvious damage to its antennae and solar panels. Nearby was the burnt out remains of a campfire, and a filthy, slumbering orcish woman in a tattered tabard and worn armor.

"... Recruit Moonfang?" Dolran asked, staring in shock at the woman who started awake at the sound of his voice. 

"AWAY BEAS-, oh! Commander! You've returned!" she declared, blinking sleep from her eyes and jumping unsteadily to her feet, Dolraan looking on with an equal amount of respect and horror that she was still here. "I am sorry to report that the device has taken some damage from a pack of wolves that took offense to my presence. Rest assured the culprits were eliminated and their remains served the cause by providing my rations." the recruit declared, wobbling back and forth a bit.

"Recruit Moonfang, you have definitely done your duty and then some. Please, be at ease, we'll take you back to the fortress."

"Yes sir, I would like that sir, thank you sir." Moonfang said, flopping down onto her seat and letting Rhianon check her over. While Finkswitch and Kimzee began preparing their device to be moved, Dolraan pulled out a notepad. In it, he wrote "Note to self, Recruit Moonfang needs a raise and possibly a promotion."

Stowing the notepad, Dolraan looked to the north, towards Tanaan. The Shadow Council had come for him personally, hoping to tear his friends and forces apart by removing him. That would be their next destination.

All that was left to do in the meantime was speak to the man who'd nearly killed him, before he was given over to the Ebon Blade.