Verilore was seated at breakfast in the informal dining room of his ancestral home in Silvermoon. The house maid, Elonia, approached him. Beneath her proper demeanor, Veri sensed the golden-haired elf was agitated.
"My lord. A package has arrived for you."
Verilore set down his delicate, porcelain coffee cup. "Where is it?" he inquired.
Elonia dipped a curtsey. "It's in your office, my lord."
That the package had gone straight to Veri's hidden workroom -- his 'office' -- meant that it was coming through his demons. Which meant it was Argent Dawn business. "It's urgent, then?" Verilore started to get up from the table.
Elonia hesitated. "Not... exactly... my lord."
Veri paused eyeing Elonia. He decided that further questions should wait. While he was reasonably confident that his household was secure and free of spies, Argent Dawn business required secrecy of extraordinary degrees. He brushed a stray lock of long, silver hair back over his shoulder. "Very well then, I shall meet you there."
Verilore's 'office' was a cozy, airtight space, hidden between the nobleman's bedroom and its adjoining bath and wardrobe. The solid, stone walls were devoid of any opening, door or otherwise. The only way in or out was a matching set of complex runes, which created a temporary portal. The room was shielded and warded to prevent magical detection. Outside of Verilore, only the household demons were allowed to move back and forth freely.
Within moments, the runes flared, and the scion of Felwraithe appeared. Elonia was waiting beside Verilore's succubus, Kalynn. On the small desk tucked at the far end of the room was a package. It was not the standard transmission of Argent Dawn reports. Verilore eyed Elonia and Kalynn in turn. "Who is this from?" he asked, sharply. That anyone would be using his demons as messengers was very disturbing. It could mean he had somehow been compromised.
Elonia cleared her throat. "It is from one of your more common Contacts."
Verilore's expression became stern and more than a little worried. This was highly unusual, and with the variety of unpleasant things going on among the Horde and Alliance lately, it wasn't likely to be anything good. He eyed the package warily and sat behind his desk. "Warded?" he asked simply.
Kalynn shook her head. "No my lord. None that we could detect."
Verilore started to pick up the package, when Elonia plucked it out of his grasp. At his surprised expression, the maid said simply, "Dame Felwraithe's tortures are impressive, even by Man'ari standards. I do not want to find out how inventive she might be if I allowed her only son to fall victim to a trap." Verilore, recognizing the futility of debate, did not protest as Elonia moved to the far end of the room with the package and broke the seal.
Nothing untoward happened. She pulled out first one scroll, then another. A loose sheaf of paper followed. Elonia scanned the note, then handed it to Kalynn, who in turn passed it to Veri. In a very familiar Eredun script, it read:
Dear Pen-Pal --
I know this is awkward, but I couldn't think of any safer way to send this. It isn't our usual business, I know, so I understand if you're upset. Or if you don't want to help. I suppose that's possible too, but I was really hoping you would. I need to get these scrolls to someone named Stonezgrinda, and I figured you could figure out how to do that. I'm certain he's an orc, and I'm pretty sure he belongs to Bloodfury.
There's nothing that should get you in trouble. Just personal stuff. If you can't help just please send everything back the way it came and I'll figure something else out. Oh, and I hope you liked the newspaper.
-- The Writer On the Other Side
Verilore looked at Kalynn and Elonia in turn, eyebrows raised in a silent question. Kalynn was the first to respond.
"I don't like it," she said simply. "It smells like a trap."
Elonia appeared to mull the situation for a bit before responding. "It is very suspicious. But at the same time the Man'ari who brought this are known to us. We of anyone should be able to see signs of treachery that mortal eyes would miss." she paused to incline her head to Verilore. "I think the request is genuine."
Verilore nodded towards the scrolls held in Elonia's hand. "Are those warded?" Elonia regarded them a moment, then shook her head. Verilore made a slight grabbing motion with his hand. "Then let's have a look at them. As much as I'd like to trust our distant friend, I have to be sure that if these get intercepted somehow, there's no information in them that could be twisted into treason." Elonia broke the seals and experimentally unfurled a few inches of each scroll in turn before bringing them over to the nobleman. Veri opened the first scroll and began reading. With each passing moment confusion grew on his features. "What is this? Poker-by-mail?"
This time, Kalynn eased around the desk to peer at the runes over her master's shoulder. "It looks to be some kind of divination." She stood up with a half-smile. "Fortune cards."
Verilore made an exasperated noise. "By the Sun! First Farion and his wild 'visions' and now this? I may as well set up a booth at the Darkmoon Faire and broker fortune-tellers!"
Before him, Elonia gave him a small shrug and a sweetly sarcastic smile. "No one would accuse you of spying," she offered.
Verilore gave her a half-hearted glare. "I still don't like it, and I'd rather not set a precedence for this kind of... silliness." He drummed his fingers on the desk as he considered the situation. Finally, he sighed. "I suppose we've gone this far. Kalynn, I'd like you to find some way to disguise these scrolls. I'd rather it not be obvious what they are in case they are being tracked for some reason. Elonia -- I would like for you to gather as much information for me as you can on this 'Stonezgrinda'. I need to come up with a way to meet him that even he won't recognize as anything but a chance encounter."
Both demons bowed deeply to the warlock before disappearing in a flash of runes.