We Had It All (part I)

He could recall his stay in Un’Goro, being in his camp, standing hunched over several scrolls and maps on an intricately carved table propped outside and adjacent to his small but lavish tent. Other druids were tending to large fields, the trees cleared and large vines curling upwards and against each other acting as a makeshift wall to prevent the herbivorous native reptiles from eating their crops. These crops were not for consumption.

It had taken him two years to convince the elders of Enclave to allow him set up his plantation. His dream spread out in neat little rows of earth with buds of green sprouting at the surface.

Morrowgrain had been growing steadily in these fields. Beurghes had been able to produce at least a sackful of the herb a week – and considering their meticulous and delicate requirements, this was a detail to be proud of. He kept his druids, a total of seven loyal individuals, working around the clock, each taking turns at morning, noon, and night intervals to ensure the production did not falter in pace. It was the same cycle. Hippogryphs were used as beasts of burden, being flown by their respective riders to the farther areas of Un’Goro to collect fresh soil – the best samples were always located near the volcano, but it was injudicious to have set up the plantation there – and shovel them into sacks, which were secured on the saddles and flown back so the tenders could use it on the fields. Druids who were more attuned with nature stood at the edges of the fields, kneeled with their hands on the soft earth, muttering their prayers and blessings, coercing the earth to siphon the energy out of the soil and nearby flora and into their fields. And by the looks of the gray, gnarled husk of trees, and the wide ring of barren dirt that surrounded the camp at the outskirts, it was working. Two more experienced druids kept a constant supply of fresh rainwater. Their hands high in the air, pointed towards the eternal gathering of clouds they had herded from the mountain ranges of the crater down to their fields. When the tenders had finished nursing the budding herbs, the rains would start at their command. Morrowgrain flourished under their constant care.

Of course, not without its consequences.

Though there were no immediate detriments at first, as the months passed a few of the tenders grew ill; difficulty breathing coupled with headaches. These ailments were minor and immediately discarded as nothing more than the physical adjustment to the thick, humid air of Un’Goro. Then others started to feel a similar weight on their persons; mostly the druids, who shared the symptoms on a stronger note. Beurghes had worried. There were a lot of ill-spread rumors about the true nature of morrowgrain, the most popular notion being that it was used for curses, and feared that his druids would start to believe that gossip on account of their declining health. He continuously assured them otherwise using other examples such as how kingsblood was poisonous in large amounts when consumed, and often gave rashes if handled with bare hands. This was the same. Morrowgrain, like any other herb, had natural defenses and it was not out of the norm to be subjected to them on occasion especially when in such large quantity.

Then he fell to the malicious herb.

He had sneezed into his hands after handling morrowgrain and by the end of the day he went to sleep off a headache. He did not wake up until a month and a half later, inside a Barrow Den in Moonglade; and only because he had heard his mate, Qerrathien, wailing her birthing pains through the Dream.

Even during his time of repose, where he had been able to spend time with his family and sons, the urge – almost a need – to return to Un’Goro and back to his plantation was strong, fearing that productivity had faltered in his absence and at the same time needing to admire his work. All his work in the name of the Enclave and ArchDruid Staghelm.

He left and returned to his plantation. And the work continued. More siphoned life-energy, more soil, more water, more attention, and more harvest just to send more morrowgrain up north to Darnassus on their swiftest hippogryphs. And he was happy. They did not make a spectacle of their work, did not publicly enlighten the general populace since they didn’t think it was of important note. They were just another cog in the service. A minor detail out of the collective good.

Beurghes had seen the many hippogryph riders fly in circles over their plantation one day, the sight brought to his attention by one of his druids. They weren’t his riders. These were female Sentinels atop their standard copper-feathered birds, the other with him a male on a darker plummed mount. Beurghes had greeted them when they descended, but the visitors were not here seeking hospitality. The Sentinels swiftly dismounted and ran up to the druids and keepers, lances held up to herd them together with cries of demanding subjugation and easily receiving it from the unwell druids, while the lone male approached Beurghes slowly, his calm voice explaining the reason for their being here and the subsequent ruckus: The Archdruid had descended into madness and was using the morrowgrain, be it from individual adventurers seeking good standing with Darnassus or from the Overseer’s plantation, to corrupt Teldrassil. They were here to detain them.

Large tongues of flame flickered and snapped in the air as the entirety of the fields was covered in a veil of fire, thick smoke rising black at the base and thinning out as it reached the imposingly tall canopy of the Un’Goro forest.

They were in different holding cells; or so Beurghes had deduced while sitting cross-legged on the floor of his lone chamber, which was nothing more than a crude room carved into the earth with the only source of light coming from oil lamps at the corners. The cuffs on his wrists were made of wood, the runes carved on them glowing green and preventing him from shapeshifting or reaching into the Dream.

He leaned forward, elbows perched on his knees and hands cupping his face, and released a lone, drawn-out sigh of defeat.

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Published in: on January 27, 2011 at 6:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Rude Awakening

Beranthoril raced to the Enclave has fast as his little legs could carry him, pumping his arms in a nearly exaggerated motion with each stride. A sharp grunt escaped his lips and substituted for each breath. The boy was running as if the Sundering itself was at his heels causing owlish looks from passerby’s to land on him awhile before returning to their own schedules. He is forced to slow down and stop a couple of times to catch his breath, almost wanting to cry out of a blend of tire and panic, but the look of pain his mother wore on her usually soft features, contorted in a discomfort that elicited fear from him, spurred the boy onwards. He didn’t know what was going on; only that he had to reach his an’da. Once he found his father he would know that to do!

Only when he entered into the druid district of the Enclave did Beranthoril felt more lost than when he was crossing the vast expanse of Darnassus. Treant sentinels ambled in a lazy step around the many wooden buildings that encased the Enclave as a closed community of sorts, the occasional roar of the saddle sabers nearby startling him momentarily, and so many adults around knowing where they were going and what they were doing confusing him. He couldn’t see his father at first sight so he opted to call out for him. Beurghes would hear him.

An’da!” the child cried out, turning around in place furiously in case he missed his father.

When there was no immediate response he cried out again. “An’da!”

A hand landed on his shoulder, he spun around expecting to see the sharp angular face of his father and the dark azure hair so unlike the boy’s own light hued mane, but was greeted by an elder female with green hair that sat on her heels beside him.

“Are you alright?” she asked, her voice soft and amiable but with a slight undertone of concern.

Beranthoril, in his childish panic, pulled the hand off his shoulder unceremoniously, taking a sharp step back. The female did not seem to take offense and remained sitting on her haunches to keep eye level with the boy. “What’s wrong…?” she asked again, unsure of why such a young boy would be in the Enclave unless it was either a game of hide-and-seek gone wrong or there was something truly amiss.

“An’da…!” was all Beranthoril responded.

The female could only blink at such a vague response – any male here could be the boy’s father – and attempted to pry more useful information. “Very well,” she started. “What is you’re an’da’s name?”

At this Beranthoril seemed to have his breath caught in his throat, a slightly stunned look on his fair face. He didn’t know…! He had always addressed his father as an’da and his mother as an’su and as far as he was concerned they were the only two people in the world who were addressed like that and they would be his parents; only his parents. If he responded with “an’da” then it MUST be his father who he was referring to. It may as well be their names.

A sudden revelation struck the boy and he reached back to retrieve out of his pocket the small wooden saber that his mother had given him from his father. Some druids carved effigies of their saber mounts as a sort of safekeeping memento, each figurine as individual as the person who carved it. He showed the carving to the female and she in turn picked it up, examining it momentarily before returning her attention back to the boy. She had recognized it. “Duskwhisper…”

She lifted the effigy slightly, pointing to it as her eyes met the boy’s. “Is your an’da… Beurghes?”

Beranthoril nodded furiously. “An’da! An’su wants him…!” He pointed back to the direction he came.

The female reached forward and picked up the boy in her arms, rising to her feet. Beranthoril seemed more at ease around someone who knew his parents and wrapped his arms around her neck for a better perch. Her face was slightly solemn, odd for someone who had figured out the boy’s cryptic message. She knew where Beurghes was. And it was not in Darnassus.

—————————

No matter how much he blinked he couldn’t lift the blackness from his eyes. It was aggravating. He knew where he was, even though it was black, he didn’t need visual confirmation, he just knew. He was here, in the now, and he was doing what he had to do, going where he had to go. It was the nothingness and the everything at the same time. The peace and turbulence. Opposites in harmony. He felt disturbed but overwhelmed by an equal calm, and continued to do whatever he did or didn’t do in this everything of nothing.

There was a sudden interruption in this nothingness. Something from so near yet afar. It was growing closer but softer, then erupted into a booming echo that was suddenly silenced. The noise returned, loud and shrilling, and he wanted to clamp his hands over his ears. Which he did. And still he heard it as if his hands were made of silk and even the softest of whispers could seep through. The noise softened and he could distinguish what was the noise but not where it was coming from. He wanted it to stop.

It was sharp and with sudden stops, then a drawn-out breath of air. Or maybe it was an actual breath.

It was crying.

Someone was crying. Crying then groaning, or groaning then crying. He wasn’t exactly certain; it all blended the same without a beginning or end. He wanted the crying to stop. But didn’t because it was not him who was crying. It was soft and feminine. His chest felt constricted as if every ragged breath he heard sucked the very air out of his lungs. If he wanted to move, he couldn’t. If he wanted to yell to counter the sound, his voice had left. His hands did nothing to muffle the noise.

And his lungs were left without breath. He knew.

He knew. He knew. He knew. He knew.

He wanted out. Out. Out. Out. Out.

He knew whose breathing it was, whose groans they were, who was crying.

Qerrathien…!”

Beurghes awoke with a start, his entire body thrust forward by the sheer force of waking, except thick blankets held him down. A sudden panic engulfed him at the restrictive feel and blindly thrashed momentarily. Eventually he realized that slowly peeling the blankets off him was more useful. His eyes felt swollen and as if they were about to pop out of their sockets, his head with a pressure that went beyond the common headache. His mouth felt dry and held a horrible taste. He felt stiff and heavy, as if his body was not really his own.

Groaning softly, he attempted to figure out where he was with the limited vision he held. The sight was askew and terribly blurry. He could make out that he was at least sitting on a flat slab of stone of some sort that was raised off the ground and was – his hands reached at the odd wall that surrounded him, almost like a cocoon – carved into the wall itself. A wall, he felt, of dirt.

A wall of dirt. Of earth.

Both his hands were required to keep himself balanced as he rose from the carved slab. He looked down at himself, his usual leather robes replaced by a linen one and reminiscing more of a nightgown. The scent of earth and mud overwhelmed his nostrils. It was cold, humid. His eyes eventually adjusted to the limited light and could figure out he was in a dark area, surrounded by a circular fissure that stretched into passageways up to his left, his own area a small grotto of sorts. Odd stone effigies that shone with their own ethereal light provided some luminosity. He knew where he was.

The revelation itself almost made him stumble back.

He was in a Burrow Den. A hand clamped over his mouth and his nose twitched at the odd scent it held. He pressed his palm to his nostrils and sniffed deeply, eyes narrowing. He shook his head sharply. His hands smelled of morrowgrain – in fact, they reeked of it.

Using the wall for support, Beurghes clumsily made his way up the passage. His body still felt off, as if he was leaving it behind and his spirit moved ahead – an inexplicable sense of separation he prayed to Elune would soon pass. His mind was elsewhere. All he did was move forward.

Un’Goro. He remembered being there, it was a little after the Noblegarden festival. He was still enjoying his chocolates. There were others with him, other druids. Yes. He was preparing a large area for morrowgrain plantation before he handed the responsibility to Jerolan. There was an encampment and he was in it. A few of those others were with him as well, and they were talking. Discussing while examining and handling a few of the recent harvest samples. His nose itched and he sneezed into his hands. Exhaling sharply and inhaling deeply. Sneezing and inhaling within his hands. Hands that had touched morrowgrain – that’s why they still smell. Then later that day there was that headache. It hurt, a lot. Made his vision blur, and feel nauseated. He went to sleep it off in his tent.

And woke up here.

Beurghes shook his head sharply, his dark azure mane cascading in front of his eyes. He didn’t know what was going on and all he wanted was out.

Qerrathien.

He had heard her. She was crying, groaning in pain. She needed him and he would go to her. He had to. Get to her. Find her. Embrace her.

There was movement ahead, a soft yellow glow that bounced up and down in the dark. It was lifted up and he could barely make out the features of another Night Elf. A custodian of the Den. Beurghes called out to him – more so croaked a dry groan in his direction and hoping he would be heard. The custodian gasped sharply when he sighted Beurghes and raced towards the druid, hooking his arm over his shoulder and helping the man walk up the passage. They both met another custodian further ahead and the first cried out to the second something urgent but that Beurghes could not decipher. He was tired and felt like sleeping again. A thought he immediately cast aside.

Qerrathien.

It was his mental mantra, each heavy step eliciting her name through dry, cracked lips. He had to reach her. He will.

Why did he felt he was late for something important…?

Published in: on May 8, 2010 at 9:45 pm  Comments (3)  

Ashenvale Hunt

 It was early evening in Ashenvale. The forest resonated with its soft cool colors of purples and greens and blues, the canopies tinted slightly amber at the leaves by the setting sun at the west. A soft, nearly inaudible melody seemed to reverberate softly through the trees and hillsides, crystalline and divine in sound. Harmonious in composition and as if it was the forest lulling itself to sleep.

In the small outpost town of Astranaar, Galavis Stormfury and Beurghes Duskwhisper conversed in peace, allowing the various travelers and adventurers to run by undisturbed. The local Sentinel sentries were active, more so at this time of day, but even the Overseer could tell that they were few in number. Less so than he would be comfortable leaving responsible the entirety of the forest to.

A third figure appeared walking towards them from farther down the township. It was the druid Jerolan Runeclaw, and he greeted both of them with an inclined bow.

“Afternoon”, said Jerolan.

Beurghes turned towards Jerolan, his brows furrowed together.  “Remember when I informed you both about that off chance of something happening in Ashenvale, Runeclaw?”

The druid remained silent but nodded.

“This may be that something.”

Both Jerolan and Galavis had a very veiled hint of doubt etching itself across their aged faces. Their Overseer had not been clear as to why he would believe anything would happen in Ashenvale anytime soon. Their scouts would’ve easily reported Horde movement if it came from the Barrens, as it was the only true entrance into Ashenvale that could easily accommodate a large assault party. The only detail they had to work with was the youth’s experience with that unknown druid – and even then he had hardly spat anything apparent as to why this day, of all days, would be any different from the day before or after.

“Call it a hunch.” Beurghes insisted, not entirely certain what to call it himself.

The elder elves remained silent awaiting Beurghes to give an order. Yet neither of the three said a word. The Overseer was just as baffled about it all as the rest of them, he was afraid to say something or do anything that would make him appear more insecure than he already felt, so he opted to say nothing at all and remain still. And the situation quickly turned awkward. It was Jerolan that eventually broke the silence with a soft cough into his fist and thankfully offered a direction of action.

“Right” said Jerolan. “Let me get Jeffrey.”

Beurghes and Galavis looked at each other with raised brows as the elder druid turned towards the stables farther off. That was a peculiar name for a saddle saber. The beasts were usually named after the proficiency of their riders, or a lesser divinity, or even a family name. ‘Jeffrey’ was much too… exotic; even for their standards.

The soft thudding against the earth accompanied by a barely noticeable shake baffled the two even more. Until they saw the reason for such. Jerolan returned atop a large borean mammoth. The old tack had been replaced with a Kal’dorei themed triple-seat saddle and bridle, similar in appearance to that of what sabers wore.

“Oh,” Galavis mouths, a brow raised and another furrowed as the eyed upwardly at the large beast. He didn’t quite know what to make of the choice of mount.

Beurghes, on the other hand, couldn’t help himself but plant his palm against his face in an audible smack, groaning softly. “Oh, Elune…”

“My daughter named him,” Jerolan explained. As if the choice of name affected the others’ overall impressions already established. “Just… nevermind. Climb up.”

The request was simple, but not easy to accomplish. The mammoth easily stood a little over twice their height – and Night Elves were already considered tall by the entire Alliance, close to Draenei – and attempting to mount on the saddle by traditional means with a leg on the stirrup and then pushing themselves up to the seat was near impossible. That particular type of saddle for passengers didn’t have stirrups for the back seats, for one. And even if it did there was no way anyone could’ve stretched their legs enough to do so. Both warrior and druid attempted various means of mounting all with the inevitable result of landing back on the ground – whether on their feet or on their rear was another matter. The various sounds of grunting, yelps, and thudding melded with that crystalline music of the forest. The soft giggles of the Sentinels playing audience from afar adding to the unorthodox orquestra.

Suddenly the beast trumpeted softly and lowered down on its front knees before folding its back legs as well, effectively lying down. With the distance between the ground and the saddle considerably reduced the two disgruntled elves could finally hop onto the seat, albeit still relatively akward. Jerolan peered behind him and offered an apologetic look before returning his attention forward and clicking his tongue so as to make the mammoth stand up once more. The jerky motion nearly tossed Beurghes, suddenly wanting to return to the ground once more. He had never realized how tall mammoths truly were until he could easily see the roofs over many of the smaller households in Astranaar.

At this height and with a beast this large and noisy – even when walking! –  it would be Elune’s miracle the entire legion of orcs on the other side of the damned forest didn’t know they were here.

“Subtlety is not your expertise, is it,” says Beurghes, his elbow rested on the large flat saddlehorn and cupping his cheek in his hand.

Jerolan seemed to have not heard his peeved Overseer. “Jeffrey, turn your fat arse around,” the elder druid asks as he increases his mount’s pace from a walk to a slightly faster walk. It only made the saddle sway to and fro even more sharply. “Where to?”

“I say we poke around Splintertree post,” suggested Galavis, unable to be seen by Beurghes on the other side of the mammoth but still noting the calm tone in the warrior’s voice. Beurghes agreed to the suggestion; he was growing dizzy so high up and at such an odd angle of seating, the forest of Ashenvale passing by in front of him, and would’ve much rather not think too much.

“Good idea,” the Overseer said with a slight belch from his upset stomach. “We can start at – urp! – Splintertree and work our way south and to the west.” He clamped a hand over his mouth.

“Fun,” said Jerolan, and something in his voice made Beurghes believe that he did mean it.

Though the mammoth could actually trot somewhat fast, almost reaching speeds as that of a galloping saber, it was not fast enough for the Overseer who has doing all in his willpower to not have the contents of his stomach hurl over the side of the saddle. All he wanted was for them to reach the orc outpost and get off the saddle so if ever did throw up it would be along the seclusion of the bushes. Galavis and Jerolan started questioning Beurghes about the so-called ‘vision’ he saw a few days ago back in Stormwind. He insisted they were not looking for orcs, but Forsaken.

“Corpses? asked an incredulous Galavis.

Beurghes nodded furiously, evidently annoyed. “Look. I’m working with very little, alright! I’m not a shaman. I don’t how to decipher this.”

They remained silent the rest of the ride down Ashenvale forest. Galavis leaned back into the saddle and began to snore loudly, clearly undisturbed by the ride. Beurghes, on the other hand, seemed to grow more ill by every turn and dip in the road, hanging over the saddle horn with his head down and groaning softly. The mammoth then took a sharp turn to the south when they reach a three-way fork in the road. By then Galavis had opened an eye when he noticed the sharper, dry wind of the Barrens thinning the Ashenvale air. He leaned into the saddle, swinging his arm at Jerolan.

 “Wrong way!” he bellowed.

Jerolan brought the mammoth to a screeching halt, stone and earth being upturned as the mammoth did all it could to keep its riders on. Every rider grunted sharply when they slammed into their respective saddle horns as the beast came to a stop, a soft rumble reverberating softly in the beast’s throat through its deep and labored breath.

“Bah!” says Galavis, looking back up from where they came. “Turn around.”

“I’m rather certain it was this way,” explained Jerolan, pointing forward as if wanting to continue going down the road. Eventually he reconciled and opts to not argue with the warrior, pulling on the reins to the side. The mammoth rumbled its displeasure, not liking making such a sharp turn in place.

“Well, you’re wrong,” hissed Galavis. “The post is north, not south.”

Jerolan snorted audibly. “I never come down this path anyways.”

“Did anyone bring a ruddy map!” exclaimed Beurghes, exasperated.

Jerolan grunted as he attempted to keep his mammoth under control. The beast underneath him had started to sway its huge head from side to side, a sign that it was growing anxious. “I always mess up on that turn.”

Beurghes leaned forward and stared at the elder druid. “This is Ashenvale, how can you get lost!”

“It has been a while,” Jerolan explained, more so trying to excuse himself. “Damned orcs making the trees screech and I can barely stand it.”

It seemed the warrior had enough of the ride. With a sharp grunt he dismounted the mammoth by hopping the saddle, his heavy armor clamoring as the landed. He peered towards the horizon and called out in a Darnassae so old that even Beurghes could not recognize it against the modern tongue. The call was answered by a roar from deep within the forest and between the darkened silhouettes of the trees and bushes a large black tiger galloped from the edge of the woods and met up with his rider. Galavis was such an expert rider and had bonded with his beast so well that he was able to mount and seat himself, picking up the reins, without the beast having to even slow down. The saber could pick up his rider in a fast canter and continue without faltering the pace, both making their way back up north.

“Try to push aside the trees’ lamentations. We need to focus,” Beurghes hissed, urging Jerolan to keep up with the impatient warrior.

Eventually all three elves reached the vicinity where the Horde had set up their own outpost in Ashenvale to oversee their work in the lumber camps, Splintertree post. The post itself was still distant, but it could be visible where they stood. Jerolan had set the mammoth aside, deep within the tree line’s edge so as it would not be seen, and much to Beurghes’ relief he could finally dismount (though ‘dismount’ is a relative term, many would’ve claimed he elegantly plummeted) and catch his stomach before it claimed freedom outside his body. The elves had the advantage of the Horde’s ignorance; the orcs were not expecting any Kal’dorei poking around their encampment today.

There was a single of scout making its round up the road, his pace lazy and disinterested. When the orc got too close to where the elves were hiding it was Galavis who sprinted out of the shadows and swung his weapon down with such precision that the orc most certainly was not aware he had been jumped on until it was too late. He could nothing to defend himself. The hacked body slumped forward with a gurgled groan against the mud and blood. Beurghes did not react fast enough to stop Galavis; he wasn’t even aware that the warrior would even do something so audacious. The druid ran after him.

No!”

Galavis spat on the orc’s corpse with open contempt. “Orcs…”

Beurghes grabbed the warrior’s shoulders and turned him around to face him, then follows by shoving the warrior in his ire. “We are not here for orcs!” he hissed.

Meanwhile, back in the veil of the forest’s edge, Jerolan shook his head still atop his mammoth. “And you said I was not subtle,” the old druid said aloud but soft enough so as to not be easily heard. Jeffrey rumbled.

“I wanted to poke at their defense and see what would happen. Flush them out. Let them know we are here.” Galavis had begun to casually clean off the blood from his weapon with the flap of his tabard.

The warrior’s explanation did not convince Beurghes. In fact, it made him even more furious. “We do not want to provoke the Horde! Not when we do not have the numbers to back our assault!”

The youth ran his fingers through his hair, exasperated, then pointed accusingly at Galavis. “We are here to find Forsaken!”

Galavis seemed unimpressed, but still nodded with reverence to his Overseer. “Fine.”

It was best to leave Splintertree aside. The orcs did not seem to be preparing anything that would’ve roused the elves’ suspicions – at least nothing that involved Forsaken. Beurghes was beginning to grow ill, and not just because he was back in the saddle on the mammoth. They had already spent most of the evening searching for Forsaken that may as well be specters because they were nowhere around. The Silverwing Sentinels would’ve reached them if they had found anything. And at this point he would’ve been content with orcs! He grew troubled at the thought of spending the entire night here, into the day after, and finding nothing. The humiliation would’ve been unbearable. He would’ve appeared just as much a loon as Stormfury! Soon they reached Forest Song, where Night Elves and Draenei had been working together for some time. Though they inquired the locals no one had seen any evidence of Forsaken incursion. Beurghes ran his hand down his face, his breath trembling slightly. This was not the answer he wanted to hear.

Beurghes had long since dismounted so soon as they reached Forest Song, and walking back to his elder comrades he shifted his form to favor that of a black panther – a small braid hanging at the back of the beast’s mane. In this appearance he could easily sniff out any scent that would be normally amiss in Ashenvale, not to mention being able to scale the large trees, or leap out of trouble. It would be a better advantage than wandering around as an elf.

“Runeclaw,” Beurghes the panther started, “can you commune with the forest?”

The elder druid stood by his mammoth, reins in hand, and shook his head. “Again, the screeching of the trees prevents any clear communication.”

Beurghes had to agree. He too found it difficult to have the spirits of the forest speak to them on account they were so close to the lumber mills and the trees’ collective grief veiled any other disturbance that could be happening elsewhere.

“Spread out,” said Beurghes, leaping to a tree and climbing the thick trunk by sinking his claws into the bark until he reached a high enough branch to perch on but still be able to be heard. “Contact me if any of you find anything. And I mean anything.”

He did mean anything. At this rate he was nearing the point of desperation.

Hours passed by and nothing. The communicator remained silent. The evening gave way into night, covering the entirety of the forest in a deep purplish hue with only the large moon peering through the canopies as the only true source of silvery light. Jerolan had remained at the northeastern border, Beurghes by the south, and Galavis was scouting the west. Every so often he could’ve sworn he saw something farther up ahead, but it always turned out to be a false alarm; either merchants making their way up the road, furbolgs out on a hunt, or the Silverwing Sentinels on their rounds.

By the time the sun was beginning to peer over the eastern horizon of Ashenvale the search had been called off, much to Beurghes’ dismay but to the collective – and silent – gratitude of the rest. It was almost noon when the Overseer walked into Astranaar and made his way into the local inn for a rest he knew would not come easily. Anxiety and depression bit at his nerves; he felt he had been cheated. And cheated good.

“Now do you understand the importance of discretion, Stormfury?” Beurghes fumed through his communicator at the only other individual that remained awake in the entire unit as he layed on the bed, his forearm splayed over his forehead. “If we were to have cried wolf to the Might we would’ve been seen as fools!”

Galavis did not respond.

“Oh, Elune… I coud just imagine the kind of apology I would’ve had to offer to Ashamal and his troupe of outsiders for taking them all the way out here for nothing. Nothing! I saw those Forsaken, I saw them…! In… In my head. I saw them in my head.”

He sighed, inhaling sharply through flared nostrils. He had been duped. He must’ve been. The entire Sentinels army was going to make him the butt of their jeers after this, he knew that, and by that reason he had no rush to return to Darnassus. Darnassus, where he knew his mate and commander, Qerrathien Osellea, was waiting. She had been issued bed rest after some minor complications in her gestation and he was not one to endanger the future of his legacy by stressing her more so than he could permit. He would not tell her of this, but even he knew she would find out eventually. Beurghes could only hope she could forgive him for his incompetence and paranoia. Had this vision been true and he had snuffed out the Forsaken then it would’ve been a mark of success to add to his name, a display of aptitude he could display to the collective Might and the Enclave itself.

For now, he tried to not dwell too much on his failure and how it could affect him negatively in the future. He needed sleep.

And indeed he finally slept, but did not Dream.

Published in: on April 12, 2010 at 2:14 pm  Comments (2)  

Noble Ambition in Noblegarden

((Holy FFFFFFFFFFF! Two in one day!))

At the edge of Dolanaar’s moonwell stood two druids, an elder individual with snow white hair that hung long down his back in an elegant braid, Jerolan Runeclaw, and an evidently younger counterpart with nearly black azure hair considerably cropped shorter, Beurghes Duskwhisper. Though the general citizenry and the occasional outsiders were busy running to and fro collecting colorful colored eggs that bestowed the holiday of Noblegarden, the two druids were more attentive to their respective conversation.

“I’m thinking about propositioning a fully operational morrowgrain plantation to the Enclave.” The younger of the two, Beurghes, starts. “But in order to have such an ambitious project approved – which may take a couple of years before the elders consider it – I need to ensure Un’Goro is properly prepared to handle the harvests.”

Jerolan seemed less enthusiastic, concern being a common trait in elder elves. “I wouldn’t recommend Un’Goro itself. Far too dangerous and distant. It would be best to import the soil here, to Teldrassil. It is only dirt after all, no?”

Beurghes shook his head. “Unfortunately, it is not only dirt. We have yet to decipher the properties of the soil fully, but morrowgrain has not been successfully harvested anywhere else.” He continued. “The Enclave has already attempted to relocate the soil, as you suggest, but those same properties are lost and it becomes just that – dirt.”

The older druid absently caressed his bearded jaw in thought. “Well, with the silithid in Silithus handled for the time being isn’t it possible to move some of the forces from there to Un’Goro and have them manage the task?”

The very mention of the silithid infested land made Beurghes grimace. Not so much because of the sentient bugs themselves, but because of the individual associated with it. “Eh. Silithus is a very delicate subject still. Though it is adjacent to Un’Goro and your proposition is reasonable, no one – not even I – is daft enough to surface such a subject to the Arch Druid.”

The other hummed in agreement, seeing the youth’s point. “Right… I suppose you’re asking me to step forward as a volunteer, then?”

“I want you to spearhead the project.”

“You… want me to what?” Jerolan inquired with disbelief.

“To spearhead the project.” Beurghes repeating. “Again, it may take time before the elders of the Enclave take interest in our project, but the more time we have to prepare the better we can present our proposition with the least of concerns for any detail gone awry. Take the druids of the Sentinels unit to have them aid you as they can, they are yours now for this project.”

Jeloran lowered his head in a half-bow, evidently grateful. “Thank you, Overseer. I am honored that you think so highly of me.”

Beurghes returns the gesture. “Hardly. It is I who should extend my gratitude to you for contributing to the Arch Druid’s research. The good of all of our people depends on his study. It has been his highest priority, as will be ours.”

Published in: on April 8, 2010 at 1:01 pm  Comments (2)  

Two Fronts

((For Leafsong, with <3. Oh and I have decided that I HATE AND ABSOLUTELY DESPISE first person IC blogs. So from now on they will be more as a story. And yes, now that I have come to face what I hate and accept it I will continue more blogging ))

The tavern of the Blue Recluse was low of light and of patrons, only the soft glow of each single candle upon the various tables was the source of two Night Elves’ shadows as they walked in. One was clad in heavy armor; a blend of mail, plate, and the thin leather undercoverings, and the tabard of Darnassus atop it all. The tint of the garbs was of a blue preference of different tones along with the gold outlining of each individual piece. The male was tall and imposing, well built, with the passing of time evident on his face, lines marking at his eyes and around the edges of his lips past the slightly sunken cheeks. His white silver hair confirmed the elder’s disposition. The warrior’s companion, a much younger male with dark azure hair and clad in elegant leather robes, was a druid who walked stiffly and with uneasy eyes – as if he had been spooked but attempted to veil his sentiment with a forced demeanor of composure. They were Galavis Stormfury and Beurghes Duskwhisper, respectively, emissaries from the 7th Sentinels unit to the new fighting force of the Enclave, the Might of Staghelm. Both walked up to the barkeeper where Beurghes ordered a mug much stronger than his usual preference, wanting to feel the burn of the alcohol ease his upset nerves, and sat down to the side under the stairs where their conversation would be best veiled – if anyone would have a sensitive ear for Darnassae, that is.

Both elves remained silent for a time, each apparently more interested in the content of their mugs than the concern at hand. Earlier that very day another druid of unknown name and allegiance had pestered the younger Beurghes about the Might – a detail he found irritating – and questioning the youth’s loyalty to the Circle – which he found unnerving. Though Beurghes had attempted to find Elder Aphel Ashamal about the prodding druid by the time he had found the Migh’s commander the other druid had beat him to it. There were accusations spat by either parties, which lead to no reasonable conclusion. He was accustomed to having the lesser of faith question, even be fearful of, the change that was necessary for the benefit of the entire Kal’dorei race even if it was to their benefit. Elves had never adapted well to change.

When the Elder departed, both druids were left to dismiss each other with the due respect of their craft but evidently veiling spite. The druid had outstretched his hand and offered it to Beurghes, wanting to shake hands with him before they departed. Though Beurghes found it odd for an elf to shake hands it was a minor detail he could accept and returned the gesture.

A folly move.

So soon as their palms clasped Beurghes’ mind was assaulted with a powerful, overwhelming sensation – as if having a dream speared through his mind with his eyes opened. Though it all happened in less than the span of a breath Beurghes had time to retrieve his hand sharply and clamp it over his throbbing head, groaning softly. By the time he even comprehended what has transpired the rest of the Might had returned to continue their harassment of the other druid, allowing Beurghes to excuse himself, looking somewhat ill as he still recuperated, and call over Galavis to escort him away. The elder elf had noticed something off about both the other druid and to his Overseer after the hand shake, and though he questioned Beurghes with concern he respected the youth’s request to move elsewhere to discuss the occurrence.

Beurghes was the first to break the silence, setting his mug down with a barely audible sound.

“I will tell you what I saw. Nothing more, nothing less. Make of it what you will.”  He started in a low tone.

The warrior nodded respectfully, both hands softly clamped around his own mug. “Aye.”

The druid sat back on his chair with an arm still extended and rested on his mug’s handle. He looked down but at nothing in particular, attempting to recall the images that felt as heavy as an old memory he had lived through but knew had not even lasted the blink of an eye. “Ashenvale. It is night. There are undead around; Forsaken, I believe. Where they stand the forest is scorched.”

He shrugged, returning his attention to the warrior . “That’s it.”

“This is what the druid showed you?” Galavis asked, no true feeling making itself evident on his old, worn face.

“Yes,” responded Beurghes, nodding. “It was but a flash, but it occurred so soon as we shook hands. I knew there was something off about an elf wanting to shake hands as a human!”

The warrior remained silent. Beurghes began to nervously pick at the skin of his bottom lip with his fingernails, peering at Galavis expectantly but with evident anxiety, respecting the elder’s silence for his own thoughts but still wanting to hear the comfort of words. For him to say something, anything. “So? What.”

Galavis leans back in his chair with a soft groan, scratching his beard.

“I won’t disclose this information to the Might,” Beurghes added, wanting to hear sound even if it meant thinking aloud. “It is the best if we are not the source of any external troubles.”

Still hearing nothing from the warrior he continued. “If it does involve Ashenvale it is best to send the Sentinels for this. They should suffice should a pocket of Forsaken should ever surface in the forest.”

After a slow, long-drawn exhale the elder elf finally spoke. “If it is a warning then it is no lie. He wanted you to know. Why do you think I have acquired the Key of Time? Sightseeing?”

Beurghes frowned, grimacing as he ran his hand down his face. Nobody knew what was the true age of the old warrior, but rumors suggested he may have been as old, if not older, than the High Priestess herself. Among the Sentinels it was not uncommon to have the elder at times blurt out maddening suggestions that may as well be blasphemous as well as offensive. It was not so much the ravings that worried the rest of the unit, it was the sincerity in which he believed them. For a race that had just recently gained mortality the sight of a senile elf was still a detail to get accustomed to. At the same time, Beurghes was at least relatively grateful the old elf had decided to display his lack of grip now than in front of Ashamal.

 “Stormfury…” the druid began. “I thought we agreed to lessen on the crazy.”

“I used it only once,” said the warrior nearly defensively.

Beurghes nodded, allowing himself to play along if it meant returning to the conversation at hand to a more evident path of logic and sanity. “Let’s leave it at that number.”

“Oh, very well. Such a damned waste.”

Leaning forward slightly Beurghes pointed at Galavis in a near accusing manner. “I want discretion and judicious practicality. Two details you seem to feverishly avoid.”

Galavis must have accepted the Overseer’s no-nonsense tone and deviated the topic. “Anyways,” the warrior said. “The Warsong orcs are gaining ground in Ashenvale as well. Word says they plan to burn Astranaar to the ground.”

“We need not to sit on our bums and let this happen, Overseer.” He added.

The youth rubbed the side of his temples with both hands and groaning softly as his fingers massaged the brows, elbows perched on the edge of the table. Life would be so much easier if everything didn’t want your people wiped out of existence every other day.

“The Warsong have been a constant presence for some time no, we can at least be assured that they are going to stay around a relative area of Ashenvale. But I don’t want these Forsaken, should they ever even appear, to prod around from anywhere else.”

“Deal with the more underhanded threat and once that has been snuffed out we can return to the orcs.” His tone invited no argument.

Galavis leans towards Beurghes, taking a more hushed tone. “Do you think it is a warning of a more imminent attack?”

“I have to assume it is,” he responded in an equally hushed tone.

Beurghes leaned back, running a hand over his hair as he exhaled audibly. “Inform Commander Osellea. And take a small defense force to Ashenvale during these next couple of days. Nothing big, we do not want to trigger any alarm from the general populace; much less from the Might. Remember, discretion. We can handle this.”

The old warrior nodded. Taking a last swig of his drink before getting up and offering a gesture of reverence to the druid with a soft nod of his head before excusing himself.

“Stormfury.”

Galavis stopped and turned around. “Yes, Overseer?”

“Can I trust you to take this small force of Sentinels to investigate? If your mind is too taxed I can offer the responsibility to someone else.”

“Possibly.”

“Your response hardly rouses confidence.”

Offering no further response, the elder elf left the young Overseer to the comforting seclusion of silence and his mug.

Published in: on April 8, 2010 at 11:11 am  Comments (1)  

Under Winter

(In accordance to Qerrathien’s: http://qerrathien.wordpress.com/2009/12/27/redemption-of-the-forgotten/)

It had happened swiftly enough. I was soon appointed as Overseer of Qerrathien’s Sentinels unit by blessing and mandate of the Enclave of Darnassus. Amazing how one’s social rank increases when a petty detail such as Thero’shan is no longer applied next to your name. I was a master druid, and in my days at DHETA I had enough time to study about politics and history – both of my own people and those of the outsider races. I knew the words to say and those to veil, I knew who to talk to and who to avoid. I knew who to barter with for favors and who would be easily swayed with blackmail. In short; I knew how to play the political game around the Enclave and how to get what I wanted from them. Granted, being a taskmaster to a unit of female combatants was not something the Enclave deemed as threatening to their ends so I suppose they held no true hesitation in granting me the permissions required to register in the unit. Nevertheless, it was a step in the right direction.

Later that day I ran into Qerrathien in Goldshire. That draenei gnat of a corpse-peddling husband nowhere to be seen. I was happy to see her again – I suppose her being alone lead me to falsely believe that things were just as I had left them, even if reality displayed otherwise. We conversed amiably under a rather pleasant evening even when nearing Winters Veil.

Qerrathien has a habit of severing anything pleasant.

In an act of foolishness she had revealed to me she was of highborne blood – followed by some sort of intricate story to go along with it, a detail I discarded – and somehow expected me to accept it with a shrug of the shoulders. The woman just had one disappointed after the other, didn’t she? I retorted with contempt, having lost yet another notch of respect for the female I had once called my mate. Not only had she deviated, but had lead the Sentinels under a highborne mindset? Elune knows how much damage she had inflicted already to the more impressionable youths! I had defended her as best as my pride allowed about her deviancy with the draenei. That it was a lapse and would soon return to her senses. But with each new revelation she made it harder and harder for me to continue to place any trust in her or have reason to continue defending her. My return to Darnassus was with intent to have her removed fully from command and place me as commander of the Sentinels unit instead, only to find the female was sharper than I had given her credit for. Qerrathien knew she couldn’t hold her head high as commander when the entire populace of Darnassus knew of her deviancy, and instead of waiting for the boot to find her rear she had resigned and placed a trusted companion as commander of the unit and her replacement; Silvania. Though a druid, I knew that female was more Temple-favored than I would’ve preferred. Yet with the unit already with a new commander I could not vouch for that position.

I could still pull a string or two yet to ensure Silvania knew of where her loyalties should lie.

I tossed a claim of no-confidence against Silvania, declaring that her loyalties as a druid were in question due to her arrogance against the Enclave. The elder druids offered me favor in my claim and had temporarily removed Silvania from active command until she had been fully investigated. I was then given full, if only temporary, command of the unit until her return.

Qerrathien found me in Darnassus a few days later, berating something about finding audacious that I had reprimanded our infiltrator, Lamiel Rainleaf, about the atrocious choice of garbs she wore. Perhaps if the female didn’t display so much bloody cleavage to the rest of the world then perhaps she wouldn’t have outsider males with eager hands after her. Just a thought. Qerrathien demanded what I wanted with the unit and why I insisted I remain.

Should I tell?

Oh, why not.

Feathermoon’s Sentinels army was in service to the Temple. It had always been since its founding. The Sentinels were primarily a female-only combat force that entrusted the security of the Night Elf territories and its people, though in recent times the restrictions have grown lax and males could join the Sentinels and not be jeered. Their ferocity and their loyalty was unwavering. Yet at the same time it was lacking aggression. Sure, it was a defensive force, but it could be placed of better use as an offensive army. I had full intention of seeing it as such one day. But I couldn’t exactly propose this to the Temple without an exile being disputed. So I decided with a smaller social experiment. With druids in command of this smaller Sentinels unit I could slowly influence the goals of the entire unit to deviate from the Temple and focus more on the Enclave’s aspirations. A more aggressive presence in Ashenvale – true retaliation against the Horde instead of merely countering their attacks – and in servitude to the ArchDruid’s ambitions. When the unit was unquestionably under the Enclave’s beck and whim, I could propose to the ArchDruid to have the entire Sentinels army removed from the Temple’s command and under the Enclave’s.

Qerrathien was not as thrilled with the proposal as I was. Typical female and her narrowsighted ambition. But she did offer an interesting request: She wanted me to return the Sentinels unit to her (mainly to Silvania) and was willing to barter anything to do so, claiming they were as “family” to her. Pagh.

At the same time… Anything?

There was only one thing I wanted. I pulled her to me and attempted to kiss her, expecting her to understand her end of the trade. But the pulled away from me, unwilling to return my sentiments and looking at me as if my skin had fallen off my face. Did she truly reject me so? Was my heart so wrong all these years that I had claimed the wrong woman as my mate – a mate I missed, a mate I so desperately wanted returned? I wanted to strike her, release my frustration in the easiest way. Instead I let her go, neither end of the verbal proposal agreed upon by either party.

I still had the unit. My ambition will bury my sorrow.

Published in: on February 2, 2010 at 11:14 am  Comments (1)  

Chronologicle Continuation (Fin)

Dolaanar

Most would believe that I’d be content over the fact that, hey, I found my father after Elune knows how long! No? No. I was far from that feeling. There was hardly any true sentiment I felt for this man other than the usual petty contempt of student against teacher. And now it had escalated. It was personal. My mother was at his feet, buried in that mound of ground, because of him. She died waiting for him. All I felt was rage. I felt confusion, and rage, and sorrow, and five other sentiments I didn’t even have names for. So many details had just suddenly crashed on me.

I was not Beurghes Rootgrip, I was Beurghes Duskwhisper.

Why didn’t he look for me? Why didn’t he return home?

Was he like I, too cowardly to return home for fear of accepting the reality?

Did he knew it was me all along…?

I responded accordingly as any druid confronted in this situation would react: I raged. I can’t even remember exactly how I did it; I just unleashed anything I had in mind. Spells, shapeshifting and physical attacks… Eventually the commotion caused the guards of Dolanaar to interfere and separate he and I from each other. Again, my mind grows blank when I attempt to recall details of that encounter. I shouted obscenities and insults, resisted against the guards, and even attempted to pull Qerrathien away – only to have her recoil against me and pry herself from my grip in a blend of anger and horror. I wager she couldn’t even recognize me in such a state, but I was so beyond logical reasoning I hardly cared. She was mine! The more I pulled against the guards’ restraints the more she shied away from me and I shrunk back into this mentality that not only had I lost my mother because of Gwylt but I was about to lose my mate as well because of him. He caused me to fume to such an uncontrollable degree. It wasn’t my fault!

The guards led me to Dolanaar, and they took Gwylt elsewhere – most likely Darnassus. It took almost two days before I could think of my Shan’do and not elicit a growl. I did not like all of this. Did not like it at all. It was all happening too fast. I had so much to learn still – would the Enclave grant me a new Shan’do? – and I had my trials for master druid in less than two years. This was too much of a distraction. I would’ve sacrificed almost anything to Elune if it meant that I could return to two days before this, with Gwylt and I practicing our communes with nature and my main priority being the trials at the end of my training. But I knew I could hardly be able to concentrate if I had a hundred and one questions and feelings brewing inside me. I wanted to talk to Qerrathien. To apologize to her. To prove to her that I was better than him – she saw it, right? I had Gwylt on the defensive in that scuffle. She must’ve seen how I was more superior.

Yes. Yes, she saw it. She knew. I was better.

I honestly cannot recall the time in between my stay in Dolanaar and suddenly finding myself in the Borean Tundra in Northrend less than three days later with Gwylt. He and I rarely spoke to each other, and were it not for the obligation we had as Shan’do and Thero’shan I’m certain to have left him in the frozen landscape until he was but a speck in the background. We were walking to our way further north, to where he said there was a small encampment of druids that required help with the local wildlife. He mentioned a name I do not want to remember, claiming it was my real name – that I had butchered the name in my ignorant youth until it became Beurghes – and I insisted on my preference to Beurghes; it was MY name. Just a single retort and the conversation ended.

We arrived at the DHETA encampment. It was so small and shoddy I thought Gwylt and I would easily get all the errands done; I was still training on my flying techniques but I was certain with both of us in the air we could traverse much faster for our tasks. But so soon as Gwylt finished talking to the organizer of the outpost he offered a small nod of his head at me and then flew off. That’s it. No words of encouragement or contempt or anything. Shape shifted to his raggedy old stormcrow form – as paling and aged as the elf it represented – and flew towards the north. He left me there.

Bah. I didn’t need him. I could stay with DHETA and learn from their druids until my end trials.

I can only wager he had thought the same.

Return to Kalimdor (in accordance to Qerrathien’s post http://qerrathien.wordpress.com/2009/10/23/wedding-crashers-and-sour-apples/)

A full year. A bloody full year I had spent in the Borean Tundra and its neighboring territories. I knew the entire map by heart and the DHETA druids had quickly entrusted me with the more risky errands against the furtive poachers. My training in flight had long ended and I was one of the fastest pairs of wings at their disposal. I could swoop down and claw at the poachers then fly up at the sun so as to blind them when they attempted to shoot at me and swoop down again, shift back to normal just as I neared the ground, and restrain them with vines while they still rubbed at their eyes. The other druids would then arrive and take them away. I earned a somewhat decent wage collecting poachers this way.

I had not heard from my father, Gwylt, since he departed. I could only assume he left to Northrend to find his fortune where menders would be better appreciated. But I hardly missed him. He was never a true father to me and I respected him as my Teacher only. At times I did miss our more casual banter, but they were so rare even when we were good natured that I never imagined that even if he were to have stayed with me we would’ve conversed as much. I was used to my independence. I preferred it that way.

I did miss Qerrathien. The DHETA outpost was so small it didn’t even have its own mailbox, and the elder druids discouraged us wandering too far away from the encampment.  We were low in numbers; the poachers had more than once attempted to overwhelm in a surprise attack – and at times nearly got the upper hand. So I didn’t even have the luxury of sending her a missive just to tell her my thoughts were always of her. I worried for her, she was always a wild type of female that loved adventure and the danger it brought just for the thrill of it. Danger could mean physical harm, and I wouldn’t be around to mend her and comfort her. So one could image my joy when the leader of the encampment approached me to say that I was to return to Kalimdor and undergo through my final trial. I didn’t even bother to recollect my personals from the outpost, it would only weigh me down as I flew towards the Alliance port, dropped a swift missive to her at the dock, and waited impatiently for the boat to Stormwind and then passage on the boat to Darkshore.

During some small talk with a sentinel on the boat that recognized the name Qerrathien and asked of my relation to her. I was her mate, I responded. And she looked at me with a cynical smile before responding that as far as she heard Qerrathien’s tastes had diverted slightly. I had no idea what she meant by that, but I was soon to find out after my trials.

I passed, of course. I was an official master druid in the eyes of the Enclave and those of the Cenarion Circle. A Druid of the Grove. My true aim was to someday become archdruid of the Grove, but that title was then acquired by my rival, Angaelus. My search for Qerrathien in Darnassus lead to utter confusion; the answers most of the sentinels gave me were cryptic and ended up with snickering when I departed. Even when I approached the Enclave druids with similar inquiry they chuckled as if this were all some joke I had yet to know the punch line to. One of the sentinels did mention she saw her by the edge of one of Teldrassil’s shore, just beyond Rut’theran Village. By the time I got to the village I only saw a large figure moving out of the corner of my eye towards the west, beyond the roots of the Great Tree. I followed – well, more exactly prowled in cat form since I didn’t want to be seen – and found some sort of ceremony or the like happening by the shore of the roots. I saw some females of the Sentinels unit Qerrathien was commander of, a couple of humans too, and a large draenei male that I figured was the figure I saw before. I wasn’t certain what this gathering was about, but they were all finely dressed and one of the humans garbed as one of the clergy as if in… a wedding? Teldrassil was a beautiful place and many outsider races chose it as a location for this particular type of ceremony. I suppose Qerrathien was just attending this draenei rite – though human lead, right odd. And so soon as my thought was of her, I saw Qerrathien. She came from further within the cove of land and was shocked to see that she had cut her lovely long hair that I had come to adore, but the dress she wore was so stunning on her that I quickly dismissed the unfavorable hairstyle. The dress was a pearly white with long sleeves that clung to her form, contrasting with her darker hued skin and azure hair. I noticed it was slightly different from the dress the other females were wearing, but then again Qerrathien was always a female that liked to outshine – and she did so without trying. I had all intention of allowing her the peace of enjoying the draenei ceremony before I revealed myself thinking she could only take so much excitement for one day, heh. But she didn’t stop to stand adjacent to the other females; she kept walking until she was at the draenei’s side that stood in front of the human leading the ceremony.

And it then struck me as if the Titans themselves offered their hand.

Qerrathien wasn’t attending the wedding ceremony as a guest; she was attending it as the bride

My heart sunk and my vision blurred. It couldn’t be. Not Qerrathien. Not MY Qerrathien. What was this…? What was going on? How could it have lead to…? What? I could only stay in my hiding spot as I saw the ceremony take place, too deep in shock and sorrow to even move. Qerrathien was known as a firm supporter of Kal’dorei culture and its beliefs, but what I saw contradicted to every word she had spat, every thought she had believed in, any cause she had defended. I felt lied to, betrayed. My hands dug into the dirt, feeling the earth bite on the inside of my fingernails. I wouldn’t have felt any more comforted if she had replaced me with another elf lover, but this… A Draenei?! She had deviated outside of the race. A worse offense.

I managed enough self-control to wait until the ceremony was over and most of the guests had departed to approach the unholy couple. Qerrathien stood in front of the draenei when she saw me – a blend of surprise at seeing me and fear at seeing the evident rage on my face. She knew. She well knew what she had done and what it meant. I was so beyond rage I talked a lot more calmly than even I would’ve imagined, but the message was the same: She had betrayed her people, her unit, and me. She then departed, that draenei gnat trailing behind her. I returned to Darnassus.

I would not stay and allow her to remain commander so long as I could prevent it. She wanted to deviate from her race – from ME? Then she would suffer the consequences involved. I would make damn sure of it.

Published in: on February 2, 2010 at 10:15 am  Comments (1)  

Chronological Continuation: II

The Coilfang

Needless to say, I felt on top of the world – so high up in my good fortune I was looking down at Teldrassil at my feet. I was slowly becoming a more established druid, confident in my newfound mending abilities, earning a stable wage working for the Cenarion Expedition, and with a female that would make envious most males. Things could only go for the better from this point on. I would make certain of it.

My Shan’do had allowed me a few days off to return to Darnassus and gather a few belongings before returning to Zangarmarsh. We were going to be guides to a small troupe of botanists from the Expedition into the coves of Coilfang, right under the marsh lakes, with no less than Qerrathien and another of her unit serving as escorts. The coves had already been emptied of the naga incursion for the most part, we didn’t expect them to return until they have gathered larger numbers – should they have ever decided it was worth to fight back for those caves – but we still took the precaution to ensure we had combatants and guides in case we ran into complications. I rummaged through my belongings with fervor, growing more frantic and nervous when the one thing I was looking for was not appearing. It had to be here, I knew it! I safekept it for so long I would’ve been damned to have lost it now in the bowels of my coffers! The item in question was a small pendant in the shape of a silver crescent moon with a teardrop diamond held up by the lower tip – gaudy and horribly out of style in this day and age – that once belonged to my mother. How did I acquire it? Years back I was in the market of Darnassus, just purchasing some fruits and meats, when I overheard some adventurers discuss about northern Ashenvale (now called Felwood, even then) and the deplorable condition it was in. I wasn’t moved at first, I knew full well the state of the forest and how it was considered incurable and outright dangerous. Some native elves still remained there, my mother included, and so long as I heard that the village was still standing I assumed she was standing as well. I never really did gather enough courage to return to my mother, or even send a missive to her. Wasn’t certain why; I missed her, but I had been independent from her for so long that it would seem conflictive to try and reconnect with her when I was certain she was so deep in the sorrow for the loss of her mate that I was secondary to her priority – maybe even already forgotten. It didn’t seem reasonable to burden her. But the adventurers’ words eventually did confirm that Felwood and all its townships had been lost to the corruption of fel magics. And I sighed deeply, returning the fruit I had absently picked up before and held in my hand with no intention of purchase. I returned home and saddled my saber, then took a boat from Ruther’an Village to Darkshore, and from Darkshore rode into Ashenvale – a trip that took almost a day by saddle – and eventually stepped into my old home territory. I was with my thoughts the entire time of the trip and I had come to terms with what had happened in Felwood and what that meant. My mother had kept her promise: She had waited for a man that would never return.

A couple of druids, both elven and tauren, that were establishing an outpost close to the border helped to guide me back to my home village by pointing it on the map. Long story short, I had found my mother and wrapped her in the sheets of a bed she probably hasn’t slept on in years (fel energies has unsightly consequences when in long exposure to the skin), hoisted her over the saddle and slowly made the long trek back through Ashenvale, Darkshore, the Village, and through Darnassus into Teldrassil where I buried her in Dolaanar and still remains to this day. From her I kept the pendant – the small jewel as beautiful as I remember her.

Eventually I found it and hurried back to Zangarmarsh, only waiting a day further before the entire troupe was ready and we ventured into the Coilfang. The venture itself was uneventful; there were hardly any true dangers other than the occasional bog’rok crustaceans protecting their newfound territories. The botanists could work with ease. The entire time I kept eyeing Qerrathien, strong and beautiful in her armor, and offered smiles whenever she looked my way. My hand kept resting atop of my shoulder bag, knowing the treasure it held within. The botanists, satisfied with their research for the day, were picking up their materials and collecting the last bits of samples, and I took the opportunity to lead Qerrathien with me under the false pretense that I wanted to explore a bit further. When I knew we were far enough from prying eyes I slowly took out a small bundle wrapped in a silk cloth and opened it in front of her, revealing the pendant within its folds. Even to this day I can’t remember the words I uttered to her, my mind racing with all the possibilities she could react to this present that my lips moved on their accord. But the response had been positive and accepted my proposal to have me as her mate. I was so blissful that I paid no attention to the detail that my Shan’do – ever aware that I’m usually up to no good – was at the far end of the inlet, barely visible over the curve of the wall that lead into the passage.

Qerrathien was my mate – in my mind, the first of many as I had an intention of establishing a pride as my father did – and even if the Legion were to sever the world in half at that point I would still be certain it would’ve been the best moment of my life.

Dolaanar

Our errands in Zangarmarsh had ended and my Shan’do and I returned to Darnassus for some well-deserved rest before we were sent out to our next errands by the Enclave. He and I remained in our barracks. I noticed that in those days he seemed more distant and reserved; his mind and attention worlds away with a blend of aloofness and slight sorrow. He moved in the usual manner and speed when he had to, but there was a sense of detachment – as if he were controlling his body from elsewhere, like those small tonk tanks from the Faire. I paid no true mind to it. He was old; it must’ve surely been some minor ailment in association with age. I was a mender druid, but even I couldn’t mend how time affected a body.

I was sitting by the foot of my bed, studying with a heavy tome at my lap while my Shan’do spent the umpteenth hour at his chair at the window. His voice was so unexpected that it startled me and I almost didn’t hear them – he had asked me about my name. I told him as I know; somehow confused he asked something he knew already. He continued asking me questions about my past, and it unnerved me. He had never showed any interest in me other than when I erred since he loved to enforce discipline. His prodding continued even to my mother and that was when I felt offended. It was hardly his concern. That was my mother, my past, and it had no relevance to my training. My Shan’do took no notice of my offense and even was audacious enough to ask to be taken to her burial place. I conceded on the request that if I were to do that he would be satisfied enough to never have to ask me again. So we saddled the sabers and took the ride to Dolaanar, up to her grave.

He approached the small mound, marked with a simple symbol, and remained at its side for so long that I didn’t even notice Qerrathien sneak up on us. She had seen us from her small outpost in Teldrassil and decided to check on us. Though I was happy to see her I was more concerned with the motives of my Shan’do, somehow convinced this was going to end up with me assaulting the old elf due to his impudence. To my surprise he closed his hand over his eyes and shuddered a soft sigh – crying so softly I couldn’t even recognize it as such at first. He turned around, overlooking me and offering his full attention to Qerrathien, speaking about that pendant and noticing how he thought of it beautiful when he saw her wear it in the Coilfang cove. With a chuckle he mentioned the detail that it was the only one ever made – a special commission. At first I was under the impression my Shan’do had once been a jewelcrafter and had been the one to craft the pendant, but his next words shattered my impression, my thoughts, and my world.

The pendant is as beautiful as the woman who wears it, just as I had thought when I offered it to my mate.”

The pendant he gave to his mate. The pendant that my mother wore.

Gwylt Duskwhisper, my mentor and Shan’do, was my father.

Published in: on January 5, 2010 at 4:33 pm  Comments (1)  
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Chronological Continuation

The Shan’do: Part II

All I want to remember from my training under Shan’do Duskwhisper is that the jeers of when I attempted to join the Sentinels was something I would gladly welcome again over the gnarling prattles and commands of the elder. He was hardly lenient – and I once believed the elder trainers of the Circle were stern in their teaching methods! The first to wake up and the last to sleep. I was under the impression he intentionally wanted to keep me exhausted in order to keep me under control. Well, he must be proud to know it worked. By the end of the day I was so tired I would’ve been willing to nap on a bed of thorns if it meant closing my eyes for half an hour. But I also recall that unlike my previous trainers whom I trained to be a combat druid with as those of the Claw, my Shan’do focused a lot more on meditation. I didn’t like those meditation sessions, sitting cross-legged on the stump of a large tree in Ashenvale with my eyes closed and hands rested at my knees. Just listening. Just staying still. It didn’t bode well with me. I was full of energy, willing to pounce and leap at the slightest crackle of the branches, and Shan’do Duskwhisper kept watch over me with a long and thin stem which he whipped at my back every time I shifted. His reasoning was that if I was so uppity that I expected something to happen at every sound then he would make that something happen. The forest is full of sounds; of animals grazing and flying, of trees and grass flickering in the wind, of the soft whispers of ancient spirits. I had to interpret all those sounds and accept them, but at the same time be alert to what it meant. It took time, but I eventually learned to not react to the sounds and actually listen what they were; how to recognize them and determine whether it was a passing deer or an actual threat. How did I learn the latter…? Shan’do Duskwhisper would play the part of the prowling forest beast while I remained on the stump and meditated. Since he is usually silent even as he was at my side with the stem I couldn’t tell whether he was actually at my side or elsewhere. Many times I was caught off guard or didn’t reach fast enough and he pounced me clear off the stump. Then I had to start all over again.

In a couple of months I caught the game. I had heard him approach – very faintly, barely audible – and before even I could think of the action my body acted on its own accord, lunging forward and leaping off the trunk, chest first into the ground, as the large panther sailed over me and landed on the opposite end. I admit, it wasn’t a very ceremonious dive, but I had passed this particular trial – and both he and I were proud.

Over the remainder of the year I stayed at his side, visiting Ashenvale with and learning from what the trees had to tell of the land. Trees do not talk, cannot communicate as we do, but they do speak. They’re like a shelf of books holding volumes of facts – just facts. Of what happened, nothing more. They cannot speak of feelings, cannot hold a conversation, cannot retain thoughts. I learned some of those trees were so old that the majority of the supposed memory they held was blank. There was a time that nothing had happened, literally. And that nothing had lasted for centuries. I was both overwhelmed and humbled. He showed me the orc lumber camps and the damage they caused to the forest – our forest. My eager self had slipped from my Shan’do’s side near the small outpost of Forest Song and prowled into the camp itself. Even today I was unsure of what I was trying to do in there. A blend of bravado and curiosity, I suppose; curious to know the finer details of those large and pointed contraptions used to cut down the trees and at the same time eager to dig my claws into one of those greenskins.

Naturally my bravado was louder than my caution. I will spare details, but my Shan’do had to retrieve me from the fray and furiously scolded me on my boldness.

I was not the best student. Many times I could not keep my attention on his lectures long enough to remember what was it about to begin with, my mind wandering to adventure and glory. Other times he would leave me near the Barrow Dens so that I could meditate near where the energy flux of the Emerald Dream was at its strongest. Then he would depart to do I don’t know what; errands, I suppose. He could leave me there for days and it would only succeed in me ending up with a headache. So at times I left. I took passage to Stormwind and wasted no time in indulging in the extravagances the humans had to offer for as long as I could. No matter how well I hid, the old druid always managed to find me and drag me back to Darnassus.

In Outland we worked with the Cenarion Expedition, attempting to mend the land that the orcs had destroyed. Hellfire was near impossible to recover. I have seen deserts before, such as in the Badlands and Tanaris, but this was more than that. It was truly dead. Barren beyond repair. So we focused in Zangarmarsh, trying to drive the naga back. It was there that we discovered I had a natural knack for healing rather than combat, and he insisted I focus on what was part of my nature – pun intended.

He was stern, brutish, unfriendly, and a slave-driver. But, I must confess, he knew what he was doing.

Qerrathien

Ah, Qerrathien Osellea. A name I will always keep close to my heart. Political complications have driven us apart, but there was a time we were inseparable.

It started when my Shan’do and I went as guests and emissaries of the Enclave to a Sentinels unit that was holding a meeting in their barracks. They wanted input and aid from the druids. I have a soft spot for female Sentinels, even up to this day. Their combined strength and discipline with their added femininity offers a beautiful blend. They can be as strong as any male and still be as caring as the most compassionate mother. The Sentinels in this unit all shared those features, each differentiated by various degrees of beauty. I made a point to acquaint myself with as many of them as I could – though my methods were crude and somewhat vulgar now that I think back on it, the human influence had caught up to me and was not giving me the effect I desired with these females. But I was confident. With so many females there was one that was bound to like me.

Then Shan’do Duskwhisper introduced me to their commander, Qerrathien Osellea. I admit, at first I didn’t think twice about this particular female. She was beautiful, but so was the rest of her unit. Her hair a similar hue of azure as mine and wrapped in a long braid that draped over her shoulder. No markings on her face – which was a bit of a put off for me – but it was hardly a detail I would add importance to. We shook hands, and her grip was firm and confident. I immediately liked her. After an amiable exchange of acquaintance she returned to addressing her unit, my Shan’do and I waiting and listening at the side. The confidence in her words and how they roused her combatants with similar assurance was another feature I learned to quickly admire. She caught me staring at her and I offered a smile. She smiled back before returning her attention to her audience.

The time after that I began to sneak out of the Enclave more often to visit the Sentinel’s barracks in hopes that I could see her. And whenever we coincided she did not turn down my company. Weeks were kept with just conversation and amiable banter alone. She always addressed me with respect and good-humor, but eventually it was not enough for me. I wanted to impress her.

I managed to convince her to follow me to the southern edge of Darnassus, past the Temple, and climb out to where the branches of Teldrassil extended towards the horizon. Some of those branches are so thick one could have a house built on and be as sturdy as ever. We eased out way to the edge, the very tip of the branch, and she stopped. She was not as confident out here. The wind was cold and sharp but it added to the excitement of the danger. Expressing her concern, Qerrathien insisted we turn back, but I would hear none of it. Tricking her into taking my hand so that she could pull me back from the edge I instead gripped it, pulled her to me, and jumped off. Her screams were lost to the whistling air at our ears – and I knew she eventually had to draw breath, there would be time for that. We fell for such a long while she had time to calm down somewhat and actually enjoy the fall. When I knew we were getting close to the end I held her to me and gripped her in such a way we would end up diving properly into the sea. We ended up resting on one of the roots. After her body stopped quivering from the excitement and anxiety I offered her a ride back to the Village atop my back as a seal.

The adventures became more frequent after that. I’m not aware if many people know, but elves tend to place value in a bond as greatly as the most guarded treasure. In our odd courtship I took the leading pace in taking her on our ventures, the fact she followed me indicated trust.

I even took her out into the Barrens and my in eagerness to impress her I ended up with half a Horde outpost chasing our sabers. After the chase was left behind we trotted in Mulgore. Taurens tend to be a bit more tolerant of elves in their land considering we share a common craft. So long as we offered respect we should not be given too much trouble. The Darkmoon Faire happened to have been visiting and we enjoyed the odd contraptions and wares offered to us. She took my hand and lead me to a spirit seer, a gypsy sort by the name of Sayge, holding up a fortune he had given her after answering a few questions and insisted I try it as well. So I did – halfhearted might I add, just spitting the first answer that came to mind. The little strip of paper that he gave me read that I would find a treasure in the cove known as Wailing Caverns. Then Qerrathien held hers, and it claimed she would soon find something dear to her heart – or words to that extent. I was skeptical. I didn’t believe in fortune tellers. But she did, so we ventured into the cavern. I had to hold my tongue because there was indeed a coffer with a few goods hidden away in one of the pockets in the cave. Now, whether the fortune teller was actually right, had planted the coffer for me to find, or I was rummaging through someone else’s belongings was a different matter. I joked about how swiftly I had found my fortune, grinning confidently and with faux pride at Qerrathien as if I had just won a game. As she walked up to me and showed me her strip of paper she said she had as well and kissed me in a manner only reserved for passionate lovers. I embraced her back and pulled her down with me on the cavern floor.

I had found my treasure, but not in any coffer.

I reserve the right to not disclose the more intimate details of that encounter. And my quill begs for mercy.

Published in: on January 2, 2010 at 12:59 am  Comments (1)  

I Am Who I Say I Am

The Druid

I am Beurghes Duskwhisper.

My age stands between “I told you so” and “I can jump that”. Somewhere past the flatteries of youth and newly stepped into adulthood, eager to prove my niche within my people’s society. My people being the Kal’dorei, the Night Elves. I will be dictating under the assumption that minor details of location and history are already a well-known verity. Clarifications of more relevant statements will be offered when they are surfaced.

Considering these accounts are being recorded well after they have occurred, I will be dividing them into small chapters, brief and concise, that detail them just to the point at hand until we arrive to the here and now of this particular log.

The Beginning

I was born and raised in what is now known as Felwood, but rest assured it had not always carried such an appalling name. It was part of Ashenvale, so Ashenvale it was known as. Just as there are people out there who couldn’t remember that Felwood was not always Felwood, there was a time I was not aware of who my father was. My siblings and I could barely recalled him, he was hardly ever around. My mother used to describe him as a warden – supposedly believing that warden was somehow easier to comprehend than, say, woodworker – and since I was an infant I could only nod my head and believe it truly was a grand and honorable duty; whatever it was. The family was divided between two other females besides my own mother, whom I addressed as aunts, that were the other females belonging to my father – as he preferred the social responsibility of a pride (I dislike the use of “harem”, too uncouth and human oriented) – and their own respective offspring. All in all we must’ve been around seven individuals sharing the Duskwhisper name. Have in mind I have little, outright minimal recollection of these individuals; I am only recording what has been told to me in return.

The woods soon began to grow ill, tainted by the demonic corruption due to the Legion which twisted the wood into gnarled… Well, I’m certain I can spare the quill of noting down details when all that’s required is a swift visit to the far north-eastern end of Ashenvale. Needless to say, we had to evacuate. Though the combatants had managed to drive the demonic forces back somewhat, it was only enough to gather what little we could and leave. But not all in my family left. One of my aunts was a soldier, so she had parted to join the assault, as did some of my elder siblings. Only my other aunt, my mother, and the younger siblings remained. The convoy of carts and wagons, pulled by sabers and elk alike, picked up the majority of the populace – myself on the front end of the convoy and my aunt and siblings in the back end. My mother did not stay. I remember pleading with her to come with us, that the demons were coming and would eat her. But she remained impassive, staring emptily out the window, and insisting that my father, their mate, would return, just as he had promised before he left to fight the demonic invasion. I did not take those words to heart. I was much too frightened to even want to bother comprehending her logic – or lack thereof. So I left.

I did not remember much of the trip. I suppose I would’ve slept through most of it. Fear can be very draining, and as a child the entire world outside your home may as well be composed of monsters and boogeymen – constant paranoia. Except that now the monsters were real and the paranoia justified.

When I did wake up the convoy had already set up a small camp deep in Ashenvale, a part of the forest I could not recognize. It was disorienting at first, I recall. A couple of sentinels were pacing to and fro at the edge of the site, staring at the night down the makeshift road where we had come from. Though they said nothing the tension was evident. It was an eerie calm. Then exclamations arose when movement was spotted ahead. When the shadow was revealed by the light of our fires it turned out to be a saber with half its harness on, cantering forward with an evident limp, breathing heavily in a ragged manner. Its fur was matted with blood and its harness partner missing – as was the cart they were pulling.

The cart that my aunt and siblings rode on.

I understand now that I was not the only one who had realized their loved ones were in that cart, and it was not until years later that I was informed it was not the only cart that had gone missing; another behind it never returned as well. It appeared that the road had grown difficult to traverse on due to rains, and that several of the carts grew farther and farther apart from each other.

I remember that even then I understood what death and loss was. Merely that it could not be acknowledged. For a child their parents, family, were supposed to be immortal.

The Shan’do

My later childhood was uneventful. I was not the only child who had no immediate family with them, so they effectively herded us together and the rest of the adults took care of us while we lived near the shore of Darkshore, far north. They did inquire of our names; I suppose in order to keep an archive of who belonged to whom – living or dead. And when it came to me I drew a blank. I knew my name was Beurghes, but what was my surname again…? Remember that I earlier addressed this passage with Duskwhisper under the assumption that petty anonymity for the sake of textual disbelief would not be required. A child had different priorities. I was more concerned with being the best in my games of chase and hiding and sports, of grabbing the last sweet treat before the end of the Lunar Festival, of watching my mother contort her face in shock as I rolled back on the mud fresh out of my bath. No one had ever called me by my surname, my siblings and I always being addressed as and responding to our first names – and for a brief second I was terrified that my mother had not thought one up for our family. So I took it upon myself to make up my own. Rootgrip. Beurghes Rootgrip. It sounded dignified and strong – much like myself. Somehow, I don’t right know why, I was certain my mother would magically know the name and that if she were ever addressed as such she would respond naturally.

When I grew older, a lanky adolescent, it was time for me to find my place in society. I found it in herding boars in the lush valley of Teldrassil, on the outskirts of Darnassus. It was a meager wage to be earned, but it was honest – and there was little else I could do otherwise. I learned my profession so well I was proud of it.

Except the female I had my eye on did not exactly feel the same sentiment towards my boars as I did.

So I did what every fool man in love does to impress a woman. I twisted my life around and bent over backwards just to have her look at me. At first I attempted to join the military as a Sentinel – Oh hush! – without realizing I was then living in a time where females were the combatants and males the support unit and menders. Needless to say, my enlistment did not last long. But my problem persisted: That female still did not respond to my advances. I had to find a way to rise to a social rank that was respected in errand and name. And the only craft I knew that males could attempt to achieve was druidism.

At first the elders of the Enclave were skeptical of my proposal, as most druids are either born with the talent or are recommended by another druid. And I had neither the pedigree nor the recommendations. Nevertheless, they figured they may as well get a few cheap laughs in letting me attempt the trials.

And laugh they did.

Though I suppose they saw potential in me (and I much thank my background as a herder for the more nature-influenced details of that trial) because at the end of those three months they allowed me to don the mantle of a druid – a fledgling, lanky, druid-in-training, but a druid nonetheless. And off I went to display my insignia of the Enclave with pride to my female. Certainly she could not refuse me now! When I did find her she was in the arms of another male. A ranger. I had forgotten females have a different concept of time than males. Three months for her may as well be three decades; with reason she could pretend I would never return and find solace with another.

My heart was broken, but I had offered my commitment to the Enclave and it would be just… No. Leaving the Enclave and letting them find out my joining them was for a pair of big goo-goo eyes? Scandalous. I had to endure. I managed to become a fledgling, that small detail in itself was an accomplishment and I grew confident thinking of just how far I could end up in this craft. That confidence made me return to the Enclave and continue my training. Females liked druids. Confidence turned to pride.

I was eventually allowed to leave Darnassus and join a small troupe of training druids to attend a couple of lectures being offered in the human city of Stormwind. I was indifferent to the newly found allies in these younger races, more eager to step out Darnassus and into adventure. Needless to say, I was soon enamored with the lax social lifestyle of the humans and eventually embraced it. I left my training at a standstill, knowing that females in this side of the world were easily impressed by novice spells so it’s not as if I required perfection in the craft, and focused on the physical opportunities of this new alliance. The insignia of the Cenarion Circle was my trademark signature when I approached these females, using it as a badge of honor, that they were in front of an important representative of a powerful political unit. If I had believed females of my kin liked druids, the humans revered them! It was a kind of magic they had never encountered before. Exotic. And they were drawn to it – mainly to me, provider of said magic. And I indulged. Oh, how did I indulged.

But news eventually ended up to the Enclave that I was using the name of the Cenarion Circle in an uncouth manner, and that I risked demeaning the name of the Circle due to my coarse behaviors. They responded by appointing a personal Shan’do to me. One I was not aware I even had until he tracked me down to Goldshire and unceremoniously hoisted me out and dragged my sorry self back to Darnassus. He was a tall individual with a wild mane of hair that fell just a little past his broad shoulders. The color was dark blue, a similar colored tuff of a goatee framing his chin, but the shadowy pigment was fading over to a lighter hue due to his age. Oh yes, he was old. A man who had seen the world and was sick of it. A bloody dink who clearly had not enjoyed his jollies since the Sundering. And he was my Shan’do for Elune knew how long.

I stared at him with narrowed eyes throughout the entire boat trip back to Darkshore, peeved that my fortune had gone so ill that I would be placed with him as my tutor. His name would be a curse I would mutter every night before I slept, I swore by it.

He seemed to have been reading my thoughts, for he looked down at me from the corner of the cabin with a face as stern and unfriendly as he had appeared up to that point.

“Shan’do Duskwhisper,” he said. “Gwylt Duskwhisper.”

And it appears I am running out of parchment. Fret not, I will have the accounts in their chronological splendor so soon as that detail is amended. And yes, the discontinuation at this point is intentional.

Published in: on December 29, 2009 at 3:21 pm  Comments (1)