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Mackinzie

Prayers of a Priestess: The Memoirs of Brianna Mackinzie

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Mackinzie    26

9th of January

It has been many moons since I've last picked up this dear journal of mine. I can not say for certain why I have forsaken my daily entries. I think perhaps, my life was content for awhile and I grew far too captivated in the delirious happiness of my days to stop for even a mere moment of reflection. Though today, the red walls of this keeper of secrets has beckoned me forth and I feel compelled to answer. I believe it shall do me some good to have an outlet for the tumultuous emotions I can no longer seem to keep secure. Light knows I do not wish to burden Rorrek so. Though I know he is more than capable and pleasurably willing, there are things I dare not speak to anyone.

Much has changed since quill last met parchment and yet, it would take far more energy than I am ready to part with to recount the tragedies that have befallen this household in such a short amount of time. Perhaps memories such as those are best left to the darkness and may it consume them without remorse. Instead, I shall begin anew, this 9th of January.

Such proved to be an eventful evening. Oh, my apologies, did I write eventful? I meant to say infuriating. Quite so! We hosted the first Ambassador meeting since Skylah's return, though only one member bothered to attend and belated at that. I shall not suffer myself to write upon the inactivity of this path but I will be speaking to Skylah about implementing actions against those Ambassadors that no longer find themselves capable of completing their work. Regardless, there were issues to address and we soon found ourselves swept up in the finer details of Koreth'annar's symposium. I was inclined to agree with his ban of arms, if only for the more of my enemies without weapons the better. However, I asked for an exception to be made concerning Skylah. Which was promptly denied, of course. Did I truly expect anything other than complete disregard? From that one, indeed not. Though I am not without regret for my harsh spoken words.

I grow ever so weary of having to explain myself. Do these wretched people have no sense of understanding? Would they truly act differently if one so close to them was molested, dismembered, malnourished, tortured mind and body? Their self-righteous misconceptions would certainly love to think so but I do not believe as much. Perhaps I am losing myself to the shadow. But so what!? If my choice is to live in the light and bend to the will of these insufferable leeches or stand my ground to defend and protect those I love, well then... I welcome the darkness.

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Mackinzie    26

10th of January

It is strange to think that forty days have come and gone. I may have saved her from physical scars but the ones that lacerate her mentality shall not be so easily healed. She remains withdrawn and refuses to remove the bandages from her maimed wrist, even though they are no longer needed. I can not say I blame her but I do worry and my heart does ache for the wounds that she feels she must bear alone. Partial hope rests in the prospect of a replacement device. We have been working with a trusted engineer to fit her with an arcane powered prosthetic. May it bring her at least a sliver of comfort when such is finished.

Most days she sleeps more than I would like. My slumberbloom potions run dangerously low and I know, with the utmost dread, that I must begin to limit her usage. Though the nightmares are gone, she is experiencing consistent drowsiness and increasing trouble concentrating. This morning she awoke with a headache, which I cured immediately, but my apprehension grows quickly.

It has crossed my mind that I am smothering her, though she assures otherwise. I am quite aware that it is impossible for me to remain at her side for the rest of our lives. We must carry on and return to our responsibilities eventually but I am not ready to let her out of my sight. Not yet. The recent attack upon the Caravan is testament to the fact that the Grim seek to mend their broken pride by lashing out. I will not make the same mistakes again.

The Huntress sends word. Her blades bathe in the blood of monsters that bear the colors of black and red. And our hearts do rejoice.

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Mackinzie    26

11th of January

Have I made a promise I do not intend to keep? Doubt creeps in and I wonder if I have made the right decision. Will those mysterious moss eyes still look at me the same once he knows the truth? Aye, my heart believes so. It is my mind that betrays me and it is my very mind that will lie exposed and vulnerable.

I must confess, it had never occurred to me to use my powers in such a way. Merely because I have never trusted or loved someone so much that I would wish to reveal my past memories. Even now, I am afraid I shall not be able to go through with the session. And yet, the prospect of finally being free of this terrible secret fills my soul with jubilation. Too long have I carried this burden. For what I can not bring myself to say, I will instead show...

My faith lies in our strength. We have come so very far over the years. I am actually quite surprised he suggested this idea, considering his fondness for keeping the past locked away as well. My curiosity to delve into his mind in return increases. What will I find there? A new journey awaits for the both of us, one that is equally terrifying and enchanting. I pray we are not crossing a line in which we may never return. What if the shadow twists his perceptions or feeds upon the hatred that I have seen so often in his eyes during battle?

Alas, I can not think any further on this. I must sleep. Tomorrow brings a new day of correspondence. The Starseer and the Huntress shall come for a visit. What tales shall they tell?

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Mackinzie    26

13th of January

“Do not let one missing piece corrupt the remaining pieces of beauty.” The Starseer's words are true enough and certainly quite apt advice. Yet they grate upon my nerves still. Must everyone be so repulsively positive? Indeed, I know what is healthy and believe me, I am well aware of the strides that lie ahead. I know I shall do Skylah no good if I do not attempt to maintain a balance but if I can tell no one else, at least let me speak to the silence of these pages. I find myself wishing more often than not to sever all ties concerning the world outside. Those that seek to lend unsolicited guidance when they truly know nothing of the situation frustrate me to no end. There was a time when I would have welcomed such, even trusted that the words were said in sincerity but, oh how times do change. I do not trust him, nor his followers. Though, in all fairness, I may say the same of most. However, there is something disingenuous about the man, he unsettles me.

And soon the mask of diplomacy shall once more make an appearance. We find ourselves in a precarious position, hearkening to the one held accountable for assisting in the escape of that venomous bitch. Tis a dangerous dance and I worry I am ill-prepared when it comes to the steps necessary. There is no reasoning for such an act that I shall find understandable, I am sure of it. The question becomes, will I be able to acquiesce? Will Skylah? For the sake of continued relations, we certainly are expected to. The Huntress asked of me recently, why we felt it pertinent to uphold ties with Sanctuary and I found myself unable to give good reason. As Magistra to the Ambassador path, I should say because our two organizations share similar ideals and we strive for friendship in the hopes of furthering visions of peace, but I no longer believe in the vision. At least not in the same way as before.

Has my mind truly changed or is it merely a product of the situations and hardships faced? Time shall certainly tell but I may speak with the utmost conviction this night. I will live to see them all dead.

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Mackinzie    26

17th of January

The last few days have been somewhat of a whirlwind. Thankfully, I find myself with a bit of quiet this early Sunday morning. I have arisen even before the sun and the manor is blanketed in a peacefulness that I only wish my heart could mirror. The memories of Friday evening haunt me still. No amount of heartblossom serum has quelled the discord. Here I sit, even now, unable to sleep; fretting by candle flame. Recalled so easily is the scorned voice that resonated throughout my mind and into hers. Never before has the shadow been so bold as to speak for me. To not even ask my permission or fear repercussions; such is unsettling, to say the least. But perhaps even more unsettling is the fact that I have yet to speak to the Huntress and right the shadow's mistake. She pledged an oath to see all monsters killed and I have signed the Monk's death certificate with my silence. Do I truly believe his actions, egregious as they were, deserve such a fate? Skylah does, and I suppose that is all that matters. I gave my word that I would stand behind her decision and until the day that I truly feel her vengeance undeserved, I will put aside my concerns and lend her my strength instead. I can only hope there is something left of us both in the end.

The rendezvous between the Monk and ourselves was successful. In that, there was no bloodshed and no immediate death. Our beliefs proved correct concerning the identity of the guilty. We listened to his attempt at sympathy and his reasoning for releasing the rotten corpse, but as I have mentioned before; after all was spoken, he no more had our understanding than we truly believed his remorse. I do not expect he is a stranger to diplomacy any more than I. The alliance between the Empire and Sanctuary remains, if only on the surface; and only for advantageous intentions at that. Though, I am quite certain that further negotiations shall come from Ambassadors other than myself. I wash my hands of their self-righteousness.

Rorrek rests tranquilly as I pen. He did not need the aid of slumberbloom this night. The tournament was exhausting enough, as were other celebrations had once we returned to our chambers. He emerged champion of the melee, as I had no doubt he would. While there were those that showed potential, they fell short. I confess a glee in knowing his skill was witnessed by many among the Alliance and the Horde, particularly. Let them remember who stands at the side of the Mackinzies and whose sword I command. In truth, I am lucky indeed to have such support. Not only in the way of combat, but for the strength he carries, the wisdom lent, and the love imparted. I have said it many times, I do not know what I would do without him. Although his views may differ from mine concerning certain things, I am never made to feel as if my wishes are illogical and I hold fast to his words of promise to tether me should the shadow ever take me too far from the light.

To that end, I feel I am in dire need of some good works. Too long it has been since I last visited Vatya. No doubt she has wondered if I have forsaken my promise to call upon her once more. Rorrek has decided, after consulting my opinion, to donate his winnings to the Stormwind orphanage so I shall be making a trip to speak with Matron Nightingale very soon regardless. Though, in all honesty, I miss Vatya dearly. A day of shopping, delicious delicacies, sweet treats, and innocence will illuminate my soul as I hope it shall hers as well. If only for a time.

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Mackinzie    26

21st of January

My eyes are open, yet I see nothing but the never ending darkness. I scream but no sound escapes me. The darkness enters my mouth, reaching down my throat and I can no longer breathe. It is searching for my heart. I can feel its claws shredding the soft tissue within as the blood starts to seep. There is a terrible weight upon my chest and I feel as though I am on the verge of being split in twain. The pain is indescribable. Just a few more seconds of suffocation and it will all be over. My arms are stretched wide, as are my legs. Soon I will be dismembered by the sheer force that pulls at me. Why is it not over yet? From the distance there is a horrific skittering and soulless red eyes emerge from the void. They are growing larger, coming closer at an alarming rate. Before I know it, the beast is upon me, sinking its venom drenched fangs into my flesh. As it begins to feast, the darkness grips my heart and I may no longer feel the beating. It has been ripped from my chest and all that remains is a gaping cavity, yet still I am aware. More of the beasts are coming. I can hear their movements and the desperate growls of a promised meal. Every inch of my body burns as hundreds of teeth tear the flesh from my bones. I scream and I scream but still no sound. There is no relief of this torture. I must simply wait until they have eaten me entirely and I am no more. There is a sickening crunch and I realize my bones are breaking, being ground by the razor sharp teeth. How much of me remains? I do not dare open my eyes. It is finally happening. I am losing consciousness. The sweet release of death has come to save me. There is no more pain. I can no longer hear the beasts, there is only silence. For a long long time I wait. What happens once you're dead? Is this it? Slowly, I risk a look. My eyes are open, yet I see nothing but the never ending darkness. I scream but no sound escapes me. The darkness enters my mouth, reaching down my throat and I can no longer breathe. It is searching for my heart...

Over and over the nightmare repeats until I wake up screaming, covered in cold sweat, with Rorrek gathering me into his arms. I feel foolish to disrupt his slumber so but I can not keep this particular nightmare at bay; no matter the amount of elixir I consume beforehand. I can assuredly draw parallels, I am being torn asunder in my daily life. First within, now without as well.

I must speak with Skylah of things unpleasant and hope she does not look at me with disappointment in those troubled azure eyes. Or worse, betrayal. Where vengeance has filtered my view, it has clouded hers. We both want the Grim dead, by all means necessary, and no one shall stand in our way; but the order to kill the Sanctuary Monk must be rescinded. And it must be rescinded by Sky, as I make no presumptions about who the Huntress would truly yield to. Stupidity does not warrant execution, else there would be a never ending line at the gallows. Perhaps with me at the forefront. I knew better, I did; but gods forgive me, the guilt over what happened to her leaves me paralyzed. The shadow grows stronger and I find myself wishing to allow it, if only for a reprieve of the constant struggle. But I must be stronger than this. I must do what is best for her, to lend forth my hand and guide her to better paths; for her well-being hangs in the balance between whims of wrath and true justice. "Fury is a flame, in need of guidance and tempering lest burn doeth all." My Knight speaks true and I must thank him properly for his council.

However, I carry no remorse for the blood spilt by the Huntress's blade concerning the monstrosities. Our focus remains and perhaps we have gained two more allies in our pursuit to see them all eradicated. Tayissa and Resileaf may prove to be quite useful indeed, though I must discuss with them further. It is one thing to speak of justice among a round of drinks and quite another to act upon those words in sincerity. Can they truly be trusted though? Things of this nature must be done in discretion and I know not what loyalties shall loosen their lips.

Perhaps it is best to keep to ourselves in the end.

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Mackinzie    26

2nd of February

Tis a new month, one of festivity and romance, and I find myself trudging through the catacombs of Raven Hill, up to my knees in gravemoss. All the while thinking, as I was creeping along those twisting burrows filled with apparitions and undead, how dreadfully disappointed I would be to die here before Rorrek and I have even enjoyed our first Love Is In The Air together. Terribly trivial, I suppose, but the mind does as it wishes in times of great stress. Gods be thanked, we made it out with only a few lacerations and frayed nerves in dire need of wildvine and a tall glass of red. I was able to collect the samples needed for my laboratory investigations but we encountered something much greater than mere corruption of the lichen in those corridors. And the bodies... those poor people. There was nothing I could do. Light keep them, they were beyond my healing hands. Whatever horror is down there, we are bound to see it once more as our business underground is far from concluded. Reinforcements may be needed before we return. For now, I await the results of my current experiments and ponder the upcoming events I'm unfortunately tasked to lend a hand organizing.

It is not so much that I resent helping but rather I feel quite overextended these days with things I do not truly care about. Or is it simply that I do not care about much these days? Perhaps I should be grateful for the distractions frivolity shall bring regardless. With the troubles in Duskwood, the duties of Ambassadorship, the subterfuge, managing the manor, Keeper expectations, the endless worry of Sky's well-being, and the lessons of shadow – well, what is a little party planning? All in a days work, I suppose. And let us not forget the rising problem of suspicions to contend with. At least the Huntress has agreed to keep her successes to herself from now on. I still do not trust her ending intent but she does get the current job done, and for that she remains included. With the new information coming in from the Captain, even more of them will meet her blades and I can not pretend I am not appreciative. Though, I always remember that it is her who sought us out, with her own vendettas to fulfill surely.

On a lighter note, Stardust is growing faster than I ever anticipated. She runs the stable lads ragged and has torn up my garden twice now from escaping their weary hands. She is half the size of our prize stallion and only six months old! I do not know much about Frostwolves but I am beginning to see why they are favored among the Horde. Her monstrous appetite aside, she is fiercely loyal and highly intelligent. Though, I can not help but wonder if she will be happy here? There is plenty of land for her to hunt upon, stocked with an abundance of game but, does the climate suit her? She seems content. Ella on the other hand, my poor darling. She is not in favor of the attention given to Stardust, by any means. I shall have to make sure to pick her up some more arcane raspberries and candied apricots.

Tomorrow.

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Mackinzie    26

16th of February

Is it too much to ask for one day where nothing goes wrong? Just one day, for the love of Light. I had hoped, perhaps foolishly, that Tayissa had merely come down with something trivial; but Ella has fallen sick as well, after eating one of those damned chocolates and it is beginning to seem as though the boxes may have been tampered with. The little darling is resting now. I had to give her a mild sedative once I healed her pain and administered an elixir of kingsblood and icecap, in addition to an infusion of black lotus. It quelled her vomiting and indigestion but she remained weak and dehydrated, and there was the beginnings of a rash developing on her stomach. I can not help but feel at fault. I should have left her at home when Skylah and I went to inspect the chocolates, but she wanted to accompany us. Her sweet tooth knows no bounds, even in the face of my orders. Not that fae are ever truly inclined to obey commands.

Though the others who partook of the chocolate have no such excuse. Did Skylah's warning to be wary of tokens gifted in the spirit of the holiday go so extremely unheard? I would not trust food given to me by Sanctuary to begin with but in light of the hostile tokens many have received in the mail recently, it should have been common sense. Each "gift" received at the manor was promptly destroyed by forge fire. I do not know for certain but I surmise who is responsible for those and it carries daggers and reeks of decay, the filthy bitch. I do draw some satisfaction in my interception of Skylah's intended token. She has been through more than enough misery for one lifetime and I refuse to allow her to be harassed by severed hands in the post. The guards have been instructed to destroy all unknown packages henceforth.

There is more I should write, of the troubles in Duskwood and my current experiments (and headaches) in cross-breeding bogblossom and prayerbloom, but I will save it for another day. I suppose the responsible thing to do would be to speak to the Council concerning these suspicions but the prospect of calling on them drains my will. Skylah can handle it, she is an officer after all. In the morning I will at least speak with Siané, she will hopefully have a bit more insight regarding the chocolates. Yet, for now, I shall check upon Ella. I pray she is feeling better come the morrow.

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Mackinzie    26

29th of February

Where to begin? It seems I have fallen into my usual routine when it comes to maintaining daily entries. Perhaps weekly would be a much more achievable goal. Or monthly, knowing myself as I do. In any case, I will begin with a bit of good news.

The sickness inflicted upon Ella was fleeting once proper medications were administered. Whatever corruption was manufactured amid the chocolates must surely have been done so by weak minds and unskilled hands. Everyone fancies themselves a chaotic mastermind these days. She is as sprightly as ever and such has had no impact in the slightest on her demeanor, or her desires of indulgence. All in all, a blessed recovery. Though I would delight in knowing who is responsible for the poisoning and leaving them to the fate of Stardust's ravenous appetite.

Very little of mirth to report in actuality I suppose. Had I not offered my services of healing to our little hunting party, perhaps I would be lying naked upon the beaches of Quel'danas right now; sipping coconut rum in the blissfully warm sun with Rorrek. Yet I have managed to ruin his surprise vacation with my ill-timed decision to lend aid. How was I to refuse? There is no one else to trust in these matters (at least not yet) and I shall not shy from the tasks given at our behest. I am no coward. I want the Grim eliminated and if I must dirty my own hands, so be it. What I was not counting on is Rorrek's one condition, though I should have known. I will bow to it of course, I owe him as much after what I've done. The guilt gnaws at me unrelenting for the burden I have placed upon him. I pray retribution sought comes swiftly, yet I know it can not.

The magnitude of such vengeance is all-consuming. Our lives often feel not our own. There is a continuous drive that disallows for anything else. At times I do not recognize the eyes that stare back at me when I glance in the mirror, though they pair with Skylah's perfectly. I am not complaining, for I will do what it takes. Merely do I unburden my doubts upon these pages, my concerns for my sister and the path we travel. We are changed and I am willing to embrace such, but I am not willing to lose her. There must be a balance. Always a fucking arduous balance. There shall always be more Grim, no matter if we kill every last one that exists now; another will rise in its place. Our goal must be amended, for it is a lifelong task. We shall strive for the ones directly responsible, exhaust our resources on those vile creatures first. The others, who merely bear the banner, shall be dealt with in opportune strikes. We shall remain ever vigilant of such without allowing zealous behavior. It is the only way to maintain any sense of life among an undertaking so grand. There is so much more I wish for Skylah. Happiness the likes of which she can not see yet, for the darkness has not yet dispersed and perhaps won't until justice is had. There is inherent evil among us all, even those that would pretend otherwise. It lurks patiently. Merely do some have more voracious appetites than others. Ever must we remember to feed ours sparingly.

The hour grows late and even writing has become tiresome. I shall end the eve with a cherished memory recently made. Rorrek and I spent a lovely afternoon in Darnassus, partaking in the festivities of the season; particularily the enchanted loveboats. Though ours did go slightly off course for awhile... Thank the Shadow for its many powers of illusion.

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Mackinzie    26

26th of March

And the days go by with much of the week spent in search. It has been Rorrek and I on our own. Where are those cowards hiding? Another Horde contact needs to be made but who? And how to go about finding one that can be trusted? A paradox. I am aware that Warspear and the Wyvern's Tail are popular haunts but even if my shadow were strong enough to get me in unseen, it would never get me out again and I'm not interested in dying along with them. No, they must come out to play if we are to have any fun together.

At least the Captain has been released and, so far as I could tell, feeling herself again. How ironic that I trust an ex-Defias. Well, trust is an overstatement but I would sooner have her at my back than the Worgen, who I am not sure still stands alongside us; she reports only to Skylah these days, if she reports at all. Perhaps it is not even a semblance of trust, but more so that I am confident in the Captain's assured loyalty. The crown would see someone with her affiliations hung. She knows that we know and such is good enough for now. Knowledge is, after all, power.

An interesting development this eve at the Pig and Whistle. Skylah was to meet with Blyce, who wanted to clear the air over the apparent misunderstanding that transpired at the Soiree. Rorrek and I accompanied her, as did the Captain. One can never be too careful where Skylah is concerned, and the man's previous actions were not exactly inspiring in any case. I blame the lagrave, but I can not recall his last name - or if one was even given. However, he brought along his ward, Prette, to corroborate his story no doubt. That one... hm, I just do not know. Clearly something is amiss. Whether it is truly fel affliction or something even darker, I know not; but where Nathrezim is said to be involved calls for a watchful eye regardless.

Yet that was not even the most peculiar part of the evening. I was about, oh, three glasses gone with our business meeting concluded, when in walked this man. His appearance had quite the affect on the Captain, as she struck him dead in the jaw. It was absolutely fantastic! (I must remember to check on her hand though.) A lover's quarrel perhaps? Well if so, she should find someone with better conversational skills and more believable excuses to their absence. He was drunk, he said. For six months! Light, it makes me laugh still. Luckily for the man, Rorrek stepped in just when the Captain was about to smash his head in with a mug. After that, well, I don't know. We made ourselves scarce, it seemed a touch too personal to be gawking at after all. Oh, I do hope the Captain doesn't get herself arrested for murder.

Hmm, I suppose I've written enough... and Rorrek is giving me that irresistible look. Again so soon, hm? Insatiable!

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Mackinzie    26

6th of April

We left their bodies to rot in the fel corrupted fields like the festering maggots they are, ripped of their tabards, with no last rites, and spit upon for good measure. I feel no remorse, they deserve far worse but I hadn't the time to inflict further suffering. Reinforcements were arriving and we had to make a tactical withdrawal. Most unfortunate considering their leader, the great gutless Tauren, finally removed himself from behind the walls and guards of Vol'mar. I would have liked to see that one fall, but we hunt again soon. May the Light favor us in our endeavors of justice.

The Captain is certainly a much better shot than I knew, with eyes like a damn hawk. She is a worthy addition to our company and proving such. Were it not for her, I do not think we would have found the three we did. She has stalked and studied a common pattern of theirs, for they have been seen in certain areas on certain days, week after week. Her secrets remain safe, as do ours. Still no word from the Huntress, though I hear she makes great strides in her tasks of community outreach.

Speaking of, I was able to attend one of the Alliance tavern nights this past week in the spirit of... well, no, mostly just to drink; but I did manage to put on a friendly face for the masses. Until those arrogant pricks from Jade Lion slinked in. Always talking of things they know absolutely nothing about. Aye, well, I suppose I should not be surprised when trash reeks of trash. They are what they are. We took the party elsewhere after their unwelcome arrival and had a grand time back at the estate. Time will tell if I make another appearance in the weeks to come.

And then there is Ala. ...Gods help me, I do not understand why she is so stubborn. We've the means to help her but she would rather toss her tabard and leave the Empire than let us do it. “You will die” she claims, but she clearly doesn't know whom she speaks to if she thinks we are afraid of her Order. They can certainly fucking try. Nevertheless, she stormed out before I could talk to her of my chronomancy research. I've sent a letter to her known residence in attempt to smooth things over, as I'm unsure what else can be done at this point. I won't force help that is not wanted.

Light, when is that vacation?

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Mackinzie    26

12th of May

It is a shame those poisoned pastries were not sent to the offices of the Bishop. How I would delight in watching him choke on the crumbs of his own hypocrisy. Still I am looked at with suspicion, called a blackhand to my face. After all these years have I not gave worthy penance? Do my good works go so grossly unnoticed to these wretched brothers of the Light? I wanted nothing but to help! The incident at the orphanage left two Matrons ill, a child gravely sick, and took the life of Matron Joscelyn, a damn good woman. My heartache only feeds the rage for the injustice of it all. The Church has forbidden me entry and bound my hands from helping the patients. They will tell me nothing of their status, nor allow me to even look upon them.

Yet I have something they can not brush aside so easily. Sir Rorrek Therrien, Knight-Captain of Stormwind, a true King's man. Even the arrogance of the Church would not deny his inquiries. And so I have come to know the terrible fate that befell Matron Joscelyn. A plague of sorts infected the elderly woman's fragile state, working rather quickly to see her twisted into a living corpse. At least, almost. The Church seized her at once and took her to the dungeons. They did not so much as attempt to cure her, nor let anyone else. She was executed, like an abomination with no rites. Their cruelty does not surprise me in the slightest. I have taken it upon myself to give Joscelyn the memorial she deserves. As for the others, I am told they are doing well; on their way to recovery and exceptionally cared for.

And all such under the Mackinzie moniker no less! While we have been cleared of any connection to the crime, of course, I find myself sick with guilt. We have many enemies, such is true, but the callousness and cowardice of this act speaks of the perpetrator as clearly as if the bitch signed her own name. Vengeance will be had, for Skylah, myself, and all those unable to do so.

Yet I wish to leave such darkness behind and speak of that which illuminates my soul. I have spent years in the company of Vatya and I have proudly watched her grow into a charming, intelligent, and compassionate little girl. She skillfully keeps a portion of my heart with her every time I must return her to the orphanage and such has proven harder and harder to do. I have wanted to adopt her many times over! But the dangers that seem to follow my household have always concerned me. I could not live with myself if I were ever the cause of harm to that sweet child. I had led myself to believe she was much safer there under the watchful eyes of the Matrons, but it is not true. It could as easily had been Vatya taken to those dungeons, a part of my heart executed coldly.

For days I had been mulling over the proper way to bring such desires of immediate adoption to Rorrek. We have spoke of children before but always as a future thought, always as something eventual but not quite ready for; her adoption included. In the end, I worried myself for no reason. As he oft does, he surprised me with an exact mirroring of my heart. I could not be happier! Tomorrow will see the beginnings of this joyous process. Light, I can not wait to tell Vatya!

Our child.

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Mackinzie    26

26th of May

I never realized how empty the house feels without Skylah. Quieter, yes. Stocked with more food, yes. (And certainly more wine.) But her absence leaves a noticeable loneliness about the halls, perhaps because I know the implications of why she had to leave and what is at stake while she is gone. In truth I simply miss her. I suppose that is why I found myself in her chambers today. I had only intended to step within for a few moments, to feel a bit closer to her – but I noticed the letter almost immediately. She had left it atop her jewelry box. (Probably because she thought I'd borrow things, hmph. Alright, I most likely will but that is beside the point right now.) I wish I hadn't read it. I know she surely wished for it to be a token of comfort but it is practically a fucking suicide note!! How could she possibly think this would be good to leave behind for me? Rorrek is the only reason I have not went to Winterspring to slap her silly face. “To hold closer would but smother and see that as her drift further from thy watch and grasp,” he had told me. The truth is clear enough but it is so very difficult to abide considering the situation. But she is there with the love of her life, just as Rorrek would be there with me were things reversed. I must trust in that love and leave them be. Skylah sounded cheerful enough when I spoke with her last but she has my talent for masks so I can not help but worry. And wonder. And worry.

I've informed both Katrynne and Tayissa of her time away, and explained as best I could; though I do not think Katrynne was too pleased with the sparse information given. Or perhaps it was the fact that Skylah had to leave in the first place, I can not say for sure. Only that I have noticed a subtle change in Katrynne. I do not want to place false trust in the woman and get burned but I admit I have come to realize the length of her loyalty and thusly believe I owe her more trust than I have been bestowing. Even with Skylah away, she came to Joscelyn's memorial service. It meant a great deal to me, more than she is aware I'm sure. I have invited her to the manor for a social visit, mayhaps I'll be able to find a way to say as much.

As for Tayissa, she worries me greatly. How someone in her line of business, with such a criminal past, has come so far without the ability to lie believably – well it's astonishing really. Vatya, in her nine years of age, could tell a better lie. I do not say such to speak ill of the Captain, but it is worrisome nonetheless. The General has her suspicions, I know because she asked me outright if I was hunting the Grim. If such is asked of Tayissa, her face is bound to betray us even before her shaken words! Lying is not something I am proud to do, nor take any pleasure in. Yet it is a necessary sin upon such occasions as we now find ourselves. The truth must be guarded if our cause is to continue successfully. And it must continue!

My anger from meeting with the General has calmed some, though I still find most of what she said incredulous. Hypocritical. Ignorant. Careless. Hmm, perhaps it has not calmed at all. She would have had Skylah and I placed beneath watch (at the very least!) – to ensure the good name of the Empire. Ha! The image of the Empire as seen by outsiders is the most important thing to her and the Council. What of the image of the Empire as seen by its members? For that image is surely tarnished. Besides, I do not believe for a second that the death of any Grim would have ill bearing on our reputation. If anything, I expect thank you notes and red roses would cascade upon our doorstep for taking out the trash. Perhaps our allied organizations would applaud us for growing a spine! Azeroth is a better place without their terror.

Like a snuffed flame, the anger turns to smokey disappointment. I could go on – I could fiercely defend our actions, I could debate until my face turned blue and it would never matter. It would never change a thing. And in all honesty, I do not want to harbor these feelings towards the General or the Council. If my station within the Empire requires me to place my professionalism above my personal feelings for the only real family I have, above their safety even – then I must face the fact that I likely do not belong here any longer. I -certainly- do not belong with the Keepers. How ironic that their oath is to serve and protect the Empire, yet I have been warned of my imminent removal should I get caught hunting the Grim. Are not those actions of protection!? This is not some petty disagreement of views, this is much more valuable – but I am reminded again of Rorrek's words near the lake. He is much wiser than I, with far more experience to pull from. Rash decisions often lead to regret, so I will think further on the matter.

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Mackinzie    26

9th of July

What secrets to divulge? I hadn't the will nor the want to write of late, but perhaps it is the four glasses of wine urging pen to my hand this evening. I had desired nothing more than to lose myself to the quiet, yet find that my mind seems to thrive on it instead – replaying over the events recently passed.

Skylah has witnessed the death of the elven slut at my hands. I shared with her the memory of such fateful night and everything that led up to it. My fear was twofold; that she would not forgive me for deciding to do so without her and that such actions would skew all the progress she has made in Winterspring. My fear was misplaced however. Her drive remains but the cloud of self-hatred has lifted. She truly seems happier, and her approval of my methods is the only opinion I care of on the matter. Aside from Rorrek, who stands with me as he always does. Everyone else may think what they wish, I do not care. Judge me for the actions I've taken, but I know the difference between what I did and what they do – even if others are too ignorant to understand. That blonde bitch got exactly what she deserved, for the unforgivable crimes against my family; that is the true difference. I do not lift my hand against the innocent, but against evil; and evil shall not be treated honorably.

Light, this wine does not mix well with such intensity of thought. If only there were something frivolous to burden my mind instead. Those days seem many lifetimes ago. Once again we are wrapped up in dangerous affairs, only this time I have no emotion invested. A blessing perhaps. For what ever reason, the Starseer has wormed his way into Skylah's heart and earned her loyalty. She has asked for my involvement and I do so for her, not for him. One thing is certain, if he wishes to remain unharmed he should leave his Caravan. They offer no protection at all, as Skylah has learned the hard way. I suppose I'll be accompanying her soon in any case – the plan is already in motion, if you can call it that.

But I still have the remainder of the night, and I have spent enough time thinking on such things. Perhaps now my mind will allow me rest. Mm, after a nice long bubble bath. Aye!

Edited by Mackinzie

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Mackinzie    26

13th of September

What a peculiar sensation to be in such vast debt to so many. An appreciative debt to be sure and one never forgotten, but I haven't the means to repay their efforts on any worthy scale. How could I? I owe them all my life. Every last one of them. Skylah. Rorrek. Violet. Tayissa. Myaka, Light guide her soul. Even Vatya, my darling child, and Ella did not leave my side. And then there is Nomu Highmountain, an Elder Druid of the Horde I am told – how unexpected he would risk his life to save mine. I hope to thank him in person soon, somehow. Tayissa, as well, and Myaka... I don't even know where her spirit was laid to rest. Light how I wish it had not turned out this way.

Everyone keeps speaking as to how I'm awake; I've awoken. I suppose in a sense I have, yes, but I was never truly asleep. I fought for my life just as hard as they, all unseen. It is an unimaginable terror to be trapped within your own body, one you can never understand until it happens to you. The demon kept me cornered and weak, urging me to give in relentlessly. Yet I could hear their voices, an anchor to what awaited me if I could only break free, and I held tight to that hope. In truth I am uncertain which words were reality and which conjured by the fel fever but I can still remember them in such dream-like quality, floating in and out of reach. I could feel their presence as well, and even thought I felt Rorrek's gentle touch among the pain; but I can not be sure and I dare not ask. It is over and I should not dwell. We have all been through so much and so much has changed.

Yet for me the waiting persists. Over a month I laid there waiting to open my eyes, waiting to see my family again, waiting to see if I would die instead. Now I wait for my body to regain strength. I wait for my magic to obey once more. I wait restlessly while all hands around me move with purpose. The world is fighting for it's survival and here I wait, to be of use. I have missed so very much already. It is infuriating! I am at my wits end as to what to do with myself in the mean time.

Or I was... until tonight. I accompanied Rorrek to Krasus' Landing to see him off for Skyhold. I've been trying to get more exercise and usually see to an evening walk about the mage city if I'm able. Though I'll make sure to accompany him every night from now on just to spite that smirking winged harlot. I realize as a Val'kyr she is required for his ascension into the palace but must she be so smug when her arms wrap around him? And for Gods sake, must she be wearing next to nothing!? ...Anyhow, it was then that I glimpsed it, as I peered down from the edge of the platform.

Suramar.

I have never seen a glimmering city such as this! It puts the opulence of Dalaran to utter shame with it's expansive vistas and enchanting shapes. I must know more about it and the people that inhabit such a beautiful place. My current condition allows for research if nothing else, amid my rehabilitation and Skylah's protective lectures; and I know Vatya would delight in helping me. She's a bookworm as well, I am proud to pen. Together we shall conquer the mystery of this alluring and most fascinating new metropolis. 

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Mackinzie    26

16th of September

It has been two days. Two eternally agonizing days and Rorrek is still entranced (for I've no other way to describe what seems to have befallen him) within this task the Valarjar have supposedly ordered. What could they possibly need his hands in particular to craft that theirs could not do one hundred times better? He has spoken of the Vrykul's runesmithing skills quite highly, and while he is talented beyond most, he does not possess such qualities. Are they using the warriors to fulfill meaningless tasks they themselves do not want to do? It is practically enslavement! And I can do absolutely nothing about it! I fear I am losing my mind waiting. Light and Shadow damn them to the nether, his body will not last much longer without nourishment! I am doing my best to be patient, to nurture hope that this task will end soon, and take comfort in Pralea's words that he remains unharmed and otherwise safe... but it is trying what very miniscule sanity I have left at the moment.

My strength has returned at least. Well, for the most part. I am able to aid Skylah within the Dalaran infirmary, even if I do need more breaks than I am used to. The routine assignments are greatly welcome and succeed beautifully in taking my mind from things I've no control over. Fractures, hemorrhages, diseases, wounds are all among the things I have the power to mend. Within the infirmary, I am in control. Gods it is good to get my hands dirty once more.

In doing so I have had precious little time to devote to my research of the city of Suramar, but I have found out some deeply troubling knowledge. It was an ancient jewel, preserved over thousands of years beneath an all encompassing veil. And yet, the luster now bears the marring of fel as I have learned of the dark bargain the city elders had struck with the Legion. And so have I learned word of the desperate plea given from a struggling rebellion. The plight of these "Nightfallen" calls to me and I know where I shall next set my hands to helping. But how exactly? I know not at this moment, but I will find a way.

I write lastly of a summons received today, for Skylah and myself, from ones known as the Conclave. I have heard talk here and there through my daily rounds with the other Priests but have not given much thought otherwise. I shall go of course and see what service is wanted of me, if any. But mostly to see if the rumors are true. Has the Cult of Forgotten Shadow returned at last? One can hope.

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Mackinzie    26

10th of December

I thought this dear journal of mine lost after the transition to Dalaran. Lamenting such and loathe to begin anew elsewhere, I have kept my thoughts neatly put aside. Which is no monumental task considering how dreadfully busy life has become. One hardly has the luxury anymore. Yet I have found the time to welcome my journal's reappearance properly. I imagine grubby little hands of lavender have had quite the time attempting to pry it open, as it was found hidden among Vatya's tomes for school. When asked, she merely peered up at me with round eyes as innocent and pure as freshly fallen snow. Perhaps those eyes would fool another but it is like looking into a reflection of my younger days. Quite the wily one already.

My regular shifts at the Dalaran infirmary have waned greatly, with focus shifting to Shal'Aran and the many refugees that call the cavern their home for quite some time now. I do my best to travel between the two as needed, but the necessity of one far surpasses the other. And the children, so many of them, orphaned and alone... I can not bear to leave them to suffer the chill of the night with no comfort to be found. Yet I have a child of my own at home. Shadow and Light be thanked that she herself was not left an orphan. Had I only remained within the city of Suramar for an hour more, had I not been called back to tend the wounded – I would be lost within that foul chronomancy myself. Fortune does not always favor my face but I am grateful for its mercy that day.

Mercy... I wonder if it is terrible of me to receive such myself and yet dispense none in return? No, I think not. Mercy at my hand is given to the deserving. My healing may only mend so much pain before that which all injuries stem from must be culled to prevent further harm. Such is the way of things, especially now. Whether it is wrong or not matters little to me. It must be done, and I would be lying if I said I took no pleasure from seeing their eyes dull to a lifeless stare. Their blades will harm no more innocents.

Rorrek and I have spent the last few days seeking those that would foolishly (no doubt it is pride to them, and lucky for us) wear the colors of their crimes - those of the so proclaimed Dread Horde Coalition. Two of the cravenly filths were cut down this very day, left as ill-flavored food for the stormdrakes that prowl the skies. Yet my hands must relinquish the shadow now and call upon the light once more, there are many still in need. The balance grows more effortless with each passing day – a testament to the teachings of Seline.

There seems to be no end to the forces which need to be cut down. The fanatics of the Horde and the proxies of the Legion will be treated as one in the same as they both seek to harm our world. Rorrek is often so very weary, and I am glad we may confide in one another equally. Regardless of my own weariness I will continue on if only to protect and glimpse again Vatya's smiling face. Or smirk, depending on which questions are asked of the little mischief maker.

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Mackinzie    26

17th of December

Most nights my potions work, but sometimes the nightmares are merely too relentless to hold at bay. Nights such as this one, where he awakens drenched in sweat and trembling; reaching for his weapons with a mixture of determination and desperation that I recognize at once. I need not ask what he dreams of; I know. All I can offer is the warmth of my arms and the comfort of my lips – and I pray it is enough. He is slumbering once more, what seems like peacefully, but I will not sleep again this night. He gets so little rest as is, I'll stay awake to watch over him. Light be praised, he truly is an exquisitely sculpted work of art to behold. Surfal'o ana, dalah'thalas. I will see you safe.

<There is a perfectly round inkblot upon the page, as if quill touched parchment with a thought that was merely held back too long and then cast aside. No more was written this night.>

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