Keraph

A Golden Journal

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Keraph    16

My name is Cerryan Vyel, Blood Knight of the Sin'dorei, and this is my journal. I intend to use this as a log of my training and adventures as a servant to what remains of my people.

I have enlisted to be trained as a Blood Knight, in order to better protect the city I hold so dear to my heart. My pre-existing skills as a Knight have accelerated my progress, and I have already begun advanced training on tapping into the power that our beloved Prince has sent back to his subjects. He truly cares for us, our Prince, to send us such aid in our time of greatest need. I am determined to work hard, and master my control over this new power, in order to better serve our glorious leader. The officers in charge of my training have told me that my progress is quite consistently fast, and if I am fortunate enough, I will soon be eligable to serve Prince Kael'thas directly in the paradise he is making ready for us; to serve as an honored member of the Sunfury! I could hope for nothing more than to serve the Prince in any way I can.

The magisters have been checking in on us quite a bit, and insist on reading any journals we maintain or letters we wish to send out. They say that there are traitors in our midst, anarchists of some sort who wish to slander the good name of our beloved Prince Sunstrider. How anyone could wish him such ill will when he is doing nothing but sacrificing in our behalf is beyond me, but at least I can be confident that the magisters will find no dissent from me. I am, and will ever be, a loyal servant to the Sin'dorei.

Glory to the Sin'dorei! Glory to the Sun King!

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Keraph    16

I am not sure what to think or how to feel right now. I have just come back from a mission in what is now the Ghostlands, fighting in the front lines against the Scourge. However, it is not the combat that has me feeling so....empty. No, it has everything to do with that man. That madman. Draco Visca.

I am not unfamiliar with the Visca family; few who served in the military force of the Quel'dorei before the Scourge are. Some of the best knights Silvermoon has known have come from that line. I do not kow if it is mental trauma caused by the recent near-destruction of our people, or some sort of mana-withdrawal, or perhaps something darker, but this Visca, Draco is his name, is nothing like what I would expect from the family.

He spoke of lies, of treachery and deciet. The target of his slanderous accusations? None other than Prince Kael'thas himself! It is outright treason to speak such things, and yet he did so with such vindication you could almost believe it to be true! His words were...unnerving. His accounts of his adventures beyond the Dark Portal were nothing like what the Paradise promised to us by our Prince was described to be. He spoke of a shattered world, torn apart by demonic energies, and constantly ravaged by magical storms. He spoke of Kael's treacherous plots to ensure the loyalty of his servants in Outland. He spoke of vicious combat between factions of our own people; the "noble" Scryers, who he no doubt has sympathetic feelings for, and the "evil sunfury", who are well known to be the most loyal of our Prince's servants. He spoke of dark alliances, between our beloved leader and all manner or evil, vile creatures.

But that is not what shook me to my core. Such talk can easily be written off as the traitorous slander of a madman. No, It was what he spoke of next that truly affected me. He spoke of the conspiricies unravelling in our own city. Talk of people dissapearing, those that spoke out against the Prince or the magisters. Others who one day spoke of how our people are headed down the wrong path, and the next day had nothing but praise for those who were in control. He was only reminded of the flippant attitude the Blood Knights maintained toward the Light which they once revered. He was made ever more aware of the dark manners in which the Prince encouraged his people to stave off the magical addiction they all suffered. He spoke of things that I had always noticed, but never put much thought into. Brought into my center of view, there are many things that seem suspect...

But enough of this preposterous thought. I must only double my conviction towards my people, for tomorrow I am to be promoted to the rank of Adept amongst the Blood Knights, over a month faster than most who have taken up training. I do not know why, for I have seen others try just as hard as I do and only progress at a mediocre rate. It is as if the powers we draw off of are being given to me at a faster rate, or something of the sort. But I will not waste time trying to understand the intricacies of the power we use; that is for scholars and mages. My place is to serve, and serve I shall. My superiors say that they have a suprise in store for me after my promotion. I only hope that I am worthy of recieving such attention and praise.

The next entry is dated one day later

I have made my decision, without a shadow of a doubt. My heart is steeled towards this new goal, and somehow I know that it is the right path for me to take if I want to save my people.

After my promotion ceremony, I was escorted to view with my own eyes the source of the power we Blood Knights draw from. I had heard rumors and talk before that it was a sentient being that we were empowered by, but what I saw was not what I was expecting. As soon as I layed my eyes on the....being...I knew that something was amiss. The magisters surrounding it were constantly maintaining some sort of spell, a spell of restraint from what I understand. But what worried me the most came from the being itself, the "Naaru" as it is called. It did not speak, and I am unsure that it even can, so it was not words that I heard, exactly, but something more like a...feeling. But not like a feeling of fear, it was deeper that that. If words could be conveyed as feelings directly, I think it would be something like that. I felt like it was trying to tell me something, and at the same time, I felt my own thoughts, my own emotions, being pulled to the surface. It was then that I came to the realization that what was being done by my people was wrong, that we were on the wrong path. But I did not come to this epiphany through someone elses words; it was more as if I had held the knowledge of these feelings all along, and I was merely brought to face them directly. When I did, I knew that I believed in those feelings, and that if I truly wanted to be a protector of my people, I could not continue down the path I was heading.

I have made my decision. I will contact Lord Draco Visca at the first opportunity, and join the Order of Eversong. He spoke of his Order, and their goal to root out the corruption entangled within the politics of our people. I can only hope that he speaks the truth. In the meantime, to waylay any suspiscion, I will continue my training as a Blood Knight. I can only feel remorseful to know that every time i use my powers, I am stealing it from another sentient being, but I must continue for the time being. I have made my decision. I will find a way to use the power of the Light without resorting to theivery. I must. It is the only chance for salvation, both for myself, and my people.

The True Light will guide us to our salvation.

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Keraph    16

Lord Visca has arranged a special treat for members of the Order; he has enlisted the help of a powerful mage to make a portal leading to Shattrath, the city of Light, so that we may see for ourselves the strength of the Naaru, and meet with members of the Scryers to confirm the things that Draco has told us of our Prince and our People. Kirasa and I will be accompanying him as he gives us a tour of the city. I can't wait to see the things that Lord Draco has described! I will be preparing for the journey soon, we leave in a few hours.

The next entry is dated later in the same day

It was amazing. Every moment of being there was wondrous. The second we stepped through the portal, we were basked in the brilliant light of A'dal, leader of the Naaru in Shattrath. His being was much like Mu'ru, but he seemed so pure, so filled with light. I see now why they call Shattrath the City of Light. There were many other Naaru there as well, and they filled the city with such peaceful, soothing chimes that I felt safer than I ever have before. We spent much time in that room, the three of us, bathed in the light of the Naaru. I watched the Aldor priests (The Draenei servants of the Naaru) give a sermon, and found myself just as uplifted by their words as the rest of the audience. When it was over, Draco brought us to the Scryer's Tier, where our elven brethren resided within the city.

The Scryer's Tier seemed at the same time much like home, and yet completely different. There was the same sort of architecture there as in our own lands in Quel'thalas, but it was all set over the Draenei buildings that Shattrath is comprised of. It made for an odd contrast, but not a bad one. From the balconies of the tier you can look out onto almost the whole city, save the Aldor temple, which was a level above that of the Scryers. You could still see the beams of light coming from the center of the city, and it was quite a breathtaking sight. We moved on after a while, towards the Seer's Library, where the leader of the Scryer's, Voren'thal the Seer, was located.

Along the way we ran into a nice elven woman named Ninorra. We spent some time chatting with her, mostly about runes and other stuff of magic that was a bit above my knowledge, but it was nice all the same. She mentioned that her husband was a Blood Knight, which made us all a bit uneasy considering the reputation of the Order, but he seemed a noble sort, so we were alleviated. We parted ways after a while. I think it would be nice to meet her again sometime, and maybe her husband too.

We continued on into the library. It was quite large, and filled with activity as scholars and mages pored over various tomes and journals. We were led up to the second tier, where we were formally introduced to Voren'thal. There was something sort of... mysterious about him, like he could see things within us that others couldn't. But I suppose that is why he is called a Seer. We pledged our services to the Scryers, and he seemed pleased with our willingness to help. What the Scryers are doing is noble. They saw the corrupt path that Kael'thas was leading them down, and broke away from them before it was too late. That they were willing to pledge their services to A'dal, even though they had been battling the Aldor not days before Voren'thal had his vision, spoke greatly of their willingness towards the greater good. Knowing this, I look forward to serving the Scryers in their noble mission. I only hope that they can mend their ties with the devout members of the Aldor, and work together. I respect the Aldor as well, for their dedication to the holy Light, but my place is with my people, so I know which path to take.

I am at the inn on the Scryer's Tier now. It is a bit late to be heading home, and truth be told I feel much safer here than in the constricting walls of Silvermoon. The battle for our people continues, but at least tonight I can sleep soundly, among those who understand our cause and wish to protect it.

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Keraph    16

The next many pages detail in various degrees Cerryan's continued activities as a member of the Order of Eversong, including a number of sorties against the then-corrupt leadership of Quel'thalas, culminating in their open defiance during the trial of Leoren Evershine and subsequent banishment from their homeland. The pages regarding that exile speak to the paladin's depression in the face of rejection from the people he fought to protect, his initial interactions with the Argent Dawn, and a personal rediscovery of the Holy Light.

Following this is a series of entries detailing the Order's ongoing campaign against the corrupt powerbase of Kael'thas Sunstrider on the shattered world that was once Draenor, and Cerryan's progression through the ranks and eventual promotion to officership and primary confidant of Draco Visca. Between these pages and those detailing the extension of that bloody civil war onto the isle of Quel'danas, there are a number of references to the loss of friends and allies and Cerryan's guilt and assumed responsibility over not being able to do more to keep them safe.

The last written pages detail the hard-won victory over the last vestiges of the fallen prince's forces and their allies within the Burning Legion, the rejuvenation of the Sunwell and the Order's official recognition as a steadfast ally of Silvermoon and its people, and end with hopeful sentiments and a prayer for a true, lasting peace.

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Keraph    16

True, lasting peace.

Almost eight years ago I wrote those words. A prayer for peace, in a world bent on war. Three campaigns have come and gone since then, with the fourth nearing climax even as I sit here writing. Eight years, and we are still no closer to a true, lasting peace than we were at the end of the Sin'dorei Civil War. Every time we get close, every time we make real progress, THEY are there with their blades and their violence, fighting like rabid dogs against something that would herald the end of their kind's usefulness in the world. Instead, yet another civil war erupts, and it should scare me more than it does to know that this is one that I march towards gladly.

But I cannot march, not yet. Instead I am confined to Sanctuary's garrison by the order of Commander Julilee. We are in lockdown, focusing on survival and weathering this storm as we determine how best to strike back, to prove that we are not so easily cowed, that justice cannot and will not be killed at the whim of monsters and murderers. It is for our safety that we keep ourselves cloistered, but I cannot help but feel that the commander wishes me to remain here because otherwise I might do something rash, instigate further hostilities and get myself killed. She is not wrong.

So instead, I write. I found this journal in my old room while working to restore the Visca estate, and for a time it gave me a certain satisfaction to know how far I have come, to remember what has been lost along this road and why it is so incredibly important to see this through to the end. Now it fills me with sadness and anger that every sacrifice that I have made, that has been made by those who I have cared for and lost, seems to be in vain. For as long as monsters are allowed to roam amongst the flock, we will never truly know peace.

Looking back on those days of old, I am reminded as well that the Order of Eversong were once labeled anarchists and traitors. We fought the corruption of the Magisters using whatever means we could, knowing that our efforts were to secure a brighter future for our people. As the legitimacy of the Order was recognized and my own faith swelled, I began to argue that we could no longer justify any means to an end. That many of Draco's plots and intentions (those that he even deigned to inform me about, for I know that my fallen brother had more secrets than I could even begin to understand) were no longer acceptable, that they were too extreme, too focused on securing the future of our own people at the cost of anyone else, even our allies among the Horde. We must become a beacon of light that others can look to for warmth and support, and I will never question my conviction in that belief.

But perhaps I have forgotten that it was not acts of kindness and forgiveness that righted the course of our people. That we had to wear a very different mask during the dark times, to fight the corruption that few others were willing to acknowledge. That we laughed at the labels thrown at us by those fearful of our righteous cause, for we knew the truth of the matter. We knew that our loyalties, our convictions, were absolute. My brother never quite gave up that fight the way I did, he never stopped seeing the world through the critical lens of paranoia and vigilance. I thought that he had grown too hard from our experiences, but perhaps I had grown too soft. The brother who remains reminded me that there was much that we did not know about Draco while he yet lived. Much he was willing to do, and prepared to do at that, to protect his people, to rid them of enemies that would not relent. He reminded me of assets that we still have at our disposal, assets that I would have denounced and turned my back on, such a short time ago.

I cannot march to war against the enemies of peace. Not yet. But that does not mean I am powerless. We have sworn oaths to Sanctuary, to our Commander, and I will always believe in the spirit of the words we spoke when we committed ourselves to that cause. But some oaths broken can yet be forgiven, and some transgressions must not go long unanswered. I do not speak with the authority of our Commander, but she appointed me as Warden of Sanctuary because she had trust in me, faith in me. She believes in my conviction in our cause. If that is not tacit approval of the decisions I make in the name of peace, then I suppose I will have one more sin to answer for.

"Lay your pride on the altar of Peace." But one does not stand idly by while the altar is desecrated by the wicked.

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Keraph    16

Justice never sleeps, and it can never die. But apparently, it can be cancelled on a whim.

I was elated to hear that Commander Liene would not be passive about the recent transgressions against our fold. That war plans were being drafted and allies called in so that the wretches of the Grim could finally be held accountable for their countless sins. I am no fool; I do not think that even at our best we would be able to challenge our enemy head on and come out unscathed, but justice demands sacrifice, and that aside I am learning ever more about alternative methods of exacting retribution. I had hoped to share the knowledge and resources at my disposal with Julilee, but only a few days before our attack was to commence she abruptly and inexplicably called off the attack.

I cannot fathom how she could have such an immediate and contradicting change of heart, and instead let those who tried to outright murder us remain unpunished to grin and cackle at our weak convictions and spineless withdrawal. I do not believe that we are any safer by choosing armistice; it will only be a matter of time before the blades of their assassins attempt to find purchase in our backs. I do not intend to allow this to happen, whether or not the commander wishes it.

Fortunately, it seems that I am far from alone in my discontentment. I had the pleasure of meeting with a peculiarly dark-skinned elf in the garrison we are currently sharing with Borrowed Time, and he shared my disdain for the decision to choose passivity. Eboriah, as the poor man introduced himself as, had lost much to the wickedness of the Grim. In talking with him I came to realize that Julilee could not have simply had a change of heart, not with how strong I know her convictions to be, and something or -someone- must have influenced her. I recalled what I had heard about that vile Trolless, Lilliana, and her meddling with the Commander's mind. All in the effort to 'save' her, but what else might she have done while she was in there, as it were? The effect and control a master of the shadow can have over the mind is nearly limitless, so anything from subtle influence to direct subconscious command is not off the table. It would not be unreasonable or uncharacteristic to assume that Julilee's decision was not her own, but a manipulation of one who feared the justice we would bring, or wished to cast Sanctuary in a negative light. What else might be possible? Exploitation of a weakness at a critical moment? Influencing an order that could put herself or any of us in peril? I cannot wait long to find the truth of the matter, and must tread carefully in the meantime.

For now I have returned to Silvermoon, to Visca Manor, one of the only places I can feel truly safe. The famous paranoia of my dear departed brother has left the estate prepared to defend against all manner of attack, and for once I am grateful that he was always certain someone was trying to kill him. Many of his secrets still remain in this place, and Faelenor and I are quite determined to discover all that Draco had planned or prepared for. Any tool, any weapon to exploit against our enemies, and I know he was in possession of quite a few.

Eboriah's "gift" will remain untouched, for the moment. I trust the man, but I am reticent to utilize some mysterious power for the sake of accomplishing my goals. History has proven that to be quite dangerous a number of times, so for now it will remain here, until I can be more sure of its safety. But if it works as he said, it may become critical in seeing my plans come to fruition.

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I recalled what I had heard about that vile Trolless, Lilliana, and her meddling with the Commander's mind. All in the effort to 'save' her, but what else might she have done while she was in there, as it were?

((You are mean! Vile?!!!! Oh, Lilly gets revenge....yes..... <3))

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Keraph    16

Eboriah came calling at Visca Manor a few nights ago. This surprised me somewhat, but I suppose it is hardly a secret that the manor has become my permanent residence and a place that I have been spending more and more time of late. In truth, it was good to see him; we had not spoken since that first fateful encounter and I was unsure whether or not he was still keen on working together. His visit answered that question rather affirmatively, which should not have surprised me given all that he has suffered. Our vows of promised vengeance were renewed, and we had just started talking about what that really meant when Commander Liene arrived.

Her presence was less unexpected; I assumed that she would pay me a visit at some point since I had all but vanished in the wake of the attack's cancellation. I did not know what to expect of the visit though, whether or not she would be angry with my sudden departure or suspicious of the length of time I had been away or what I may have been doing during that time. It was not difficult to tell the truth of the matter, excluding unnecessary details regarding my current goings-on: I was angry and discontent with her decision and had recalled myself to Silvermoon both out of self-defense in the wake of heightened aggression, and to prevent myself from causing further conflict at a very sensitive juncture. I had even admitted my suspicions that her decision may not have been entirely her own, and my worry that mental meddling was a factor in play. She was not as offended or surprised by the theory as I feared, and her assurances and explanation of the actual events leading to the attack's cancellation assuaged the specific concerns around that troll's involvement.

It did little to mend my feelings around the plan's abortion however, and instead raises further doubts. To be fearful of the future of a world where Sanctuary and the Grim collide is to be fearful of every timeline that may be, for I see no future where a stand is not taken against the savage warmongering they represent. A commitment to inaction out of fear is not a stance we can afford to take, and it all but endorses the tyranny of our enemy with our unwillingness to stop it. And in a world where we are constantly at odds with factions and villains seeking to doom the whole of Azeroth, it does not make sense to me that we would be so fearful of some new, hardly known enemy any more that we would be of Gul'dan and his masters, or the unstable and untrustworthy within the Horde. It was only the second time that I had heard the name 'Serinar', and already I was tired of it. The recent past has not left us inexperienced in dealing with black dragons, and I'll put this one down myself if that's what must be done to return our focus to the real threats before us.

She had come to me seeking counsel, and there was little I could do aside from assuring her that I still believed in her and in Sanctuary, and would return to Draenor soon to continue supporting our cause in the conflicts of that world. If we must continue to play the defense and only react when we or those we defend are acted upon, so be it. In such cases I will fight with all of the righteous fury that was possessed of us during the Aerie Peak incident, and hope that will be enough to ensure our survival until other alternatives have been made ready. Almost as soon as she left Eboriah reappeared almost out of nowhere, having withdrawn to allow Julilee and I the privacy to have that much-delayed conversation. I suspect that he was listening in, but I did not mind it as he held the same doubts and anger around the Commander's decision that I had. I hope that her explanation was at least somewhat satisfactory to him, though it did not deter either of us from continuing our conversation. He spoke of an alliance of individuals, disillusioned and eager to act as ourselves, and invited me to join them. I am happy to stand beside any who bear the same desire for justice as I do, and I was not surprised to hear that his allies included a number of Alliance members, one of whom he has put me in touch with. My feelings on the needless conflict between the Horde and Alliance are hardly a secret, and I will be more than pleased to host an honored Worgen ally, should he come calling.

Note: Vigil is being infuriatingly reticent to disclose much of the information I'm seeking, surely Draco's doing as he would never have expected me to seek out his secrets with the intent to utilize them. I will need to seek Faelenor's assistance, as he is the only other person authorized to utilize Vigil to the extent that is necessary.

Additional note: Must do something about the external Arcane Sentries; their hostility towards perceived aggressors of the manor is a touch too sensitive.

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Keraph    16

((

))

They took her. They took Aaren and I don't know where she is. I want to find her, but Eboriah has advised that wherever she is, she is likely being defended against further attempts to reclaim her. The ones who kidnapped her, the dragons and that wretched mute who left Sanctuary for the Grim...who stabbed her in front of my eyes...they were not left in good shape, but they escaped and I don't know what other forces they have at their disposal. We are not exactly in any shape to pursue them; Eboriah and I did not escape the encounter without significant injury, nor did his...interesting associates. The ogre I'd never seen before, but the Worgen....by the Light is he skilled at the art of violence. I am glad that he is on our side, and not set against us.

All we were there to do was reclaim the knowledge that Aaren had taken from Eboriah. I am sure that she did not realize how dangerous it was, and that by simply sitting down and talking we would have been able to resolve the situation without conflict. But before we could even cross the gate we were set upon by a red dragon, who wasted no time in engaging us with fire and claw. I had hoped to somehow prevent the combat from escalating, but before I could blink the Worgen was sinking his blades ravenously upon the back of the beast. It was not long after that, as we were trying to keep the dragon at bay, that Aaren and the mute appeared at the gate. Perhaps fearing that whatever plot they were conspiring was at risk, I watched helplessly as the muted elf sunk her blade into the priestess. It was all I could do to close the distance between us, to try to defend Aaren from further harm, but the most I could accomplish was a firm hit to the attacking elf's face before the dragon's tail knocked me back once more. There was a moment where Eboriah was able to wrench Aaren from the crowd, and he tells me that he was able to extract enough of the knowledge for her to remain safe and for those who would seek to use it for ill to remain impotently frustrated, but her defense was short lived as a second dragon, this one black, arrived on the scene.

For a moment it seemed that the tide was turning, for the two dragons briefly sparred, but as it became clear that they had united in purpose it seemed that all hope was lost of protecting the priestess. It was then that, against my better judgement, I utilized the gift given by Eboriah. It...the effect it had on me...I am not fully ready to put it down in words, but all pretense of hesitation in doing whatever was necessary to get to Aaren was shed, and I remember very little of what followed. He tells me that I tried to tackle a dragon, but that seems absurd. I do recall feeling something, a strength beyond anything I've ever known, and I remember liking it. I wish that I didn't. It was to no avail as the dragons finally fled with the elves in tow and left us helplessly licking our wounds. There is nothing I will not to do fix this, to make sure that she is safe. The ones who are responsible for this will suffer, and when I am finished redemption will be to them as unattainable as the use of their fragile limbs.

The scales are still itchy, but Eboriah says that he can do something to help with that.

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