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Everything posted by Vionora

  1. Vionora

    Xara sketches

    Just a sketch from class tonight.
  2. Vionora

    Nightmare: One Last Breath

    Vionora spent the morning of the Eclipse at the Darkmoon Faire. She'd never been before. Curious, she wandered around the fairegrounds, looking at the various booths. There were games of questionable safety, foods of dubious origin, and acts of arguable quality. And people of every race and calling one could imagine, many with unique qualities she'd never seen before. Here, Vionora didn't even stand out with her gray-glowing gaze and dark skin with bright hair and well of fel and seal-marked soul. It was strange, but at the same time, affirming. Maybe, she thought, if she lived, she'd join the faire. A torch-juggler on a unicycle wheeled by. It was strange, now, to care whether she lived or died. She had spent seven years not caring, living her life by rote, by what she was supposed to do. Before those seven years, she had struggled; after those seven years, she had given up. And now it was different. She stopped on the edge of the dock, looking over the mist-wreathed waters, and took in a deep breath, filling her lungs with the cool air. Alive. She wanted to be alive. The Blue Child was steadily making its way up from the horizon.
  3. Vionora

    Nightmare: One Last Breath

    The Nightmare realm was disintegrating. One by one, those who had been drawn in overcame or fell to their own inner demons. Structures, people, worlds built of feral, fel-tinged twilight unraveled, exposing more and more of the twilight realm's featureless horizon. The shade of Vionora observed, so much as something without opinions can observe, but there was something more, now. The faintest hint of expectation. Of waiting. A whisper of intention. At last, there was only one nightmare left. Naheal struggled to fend off his own nightmare after assisting with others. Perhaps focusing on others had only served to delay his facing of the insurmountable. But as it turned out, he wasn't alone. Sinaku was there, as were Aaren, Taozhu, and Caldrien, having plunged back into the twilit nightmare to save him. Together they faced the last active fragment of Accalia in a bitter battle. The shade of Vionora watched as the tide turned against the Beast-God and the last nightmare began to unravel. At the last moment, Accalia turned to flee. There was enough of Accalia's essence left, undefeated, that if this part escaped, she would recover in time. The cycle of the curse of the Eclipse would continue. Vionora's suffering, her life, and her death, would have all been in vain. Nothing she had done would have made a difference, her every action, her every wish and desire, negated and discarded by the world. And the part of her self that had never given up, had refused to change despite the suffering that resulted, and which carried just enough will to have survived being absorbed by Accalia, acted. When she materialized this time in Naheal's nightmare, she knew that she was truly herself. She wasn't being formed of Naheal's perceptions of her, or anyone else's. She was barely there, a ghost of a ghost, but her will persisted. And it was sufficient to hold Accalia in place. Accalia howled and struggled but was too weakened to escape. The others didn't waste any time questioning her presence. With the use of the Sacren Stone, they gathered the energy of the collapsing Nightmare realm and turned it against Accalia. Vionora felt it as the energy came rushing at the remnant of the Beast-God. She was still holding Accalia in place; but the truth was, even if she had let go, she would have been swept into the energy regardless. She was a part of Accalia now, and only existed within her. Vionora closed her eyes as the power overwhelmed them. Accalia would be defeated, once and for all, this day. It was enough. Into the Twisting Nether the last remnant of Accalia fell, and with her the faint shade of Vionora. ****************** On Darkmoon Isle, under mist-wreathed trees, a discarded soulstone glimmered ever so faintly.
  4. Vionora

    Nightmare: One Last Breath

    Vionora tried to hold on, to remember why it mattered, to not lose how those precious moments felt… but Accalia’s power faded with the crumbling of the nightmare, and the will of another alone was no longer capable of holding her together. She dispersed back into the darkness, and it swallowed her once more in the peace of numbness. Only the faintest impressions remained; an echo, perhaps, of the person she had been. There were brief wonderings, almost thoughts, but not quite. One such almost-thought reflected on how it was impossible to say if she had truly seized the chance to help someone she had cared about. How much had been the true Vionora, and how much had been the person Tirien had wanted to believe she was? As with Malhavik, it had been Tirien’s will that gave her form again, because there was simply not enough of her left to have a will of her own. What she had done, what she had been, for a little while, was probably more a product of Tirien’s wishes than anything else. In the end, an echo sounded different depending on what reflected it. Yet something about this vaguely acknowledged concept disturbed whatever remained of Vionora. It was like the stirring of the lightest breeze, or a barely discernible ripple in water. Her life, her entire, miserable life had been spent suffering the rejection of who and what she was. She had been blamed for her heritage, reprimanded for showing distress, and despised for the actions she was driven to. Yet there had always been a part of her that knew it was unfair. There was a part of her that refused to ever internalize what she was told – to try to change and become whatever it was the rest of the world wanted her to be. It was true she knew she couldn’t be anything other than herself, anyway, and that trying would only be futile… but she also knew she shouldn’t have to be. She wanted to be accepted and loved just the way she was. Everyone did. At the end, she had believed that she would always instinctively seek out self-destruction, and that that would endanger those she cared about. But that self-destructive bent had been instilled in her by the cruelties of the world. It wasn’t what she wanted, but what she had come to believe she deserved, and believed too deeply to be saved in time. She understood that now, when it was far too late. When, then, had she had a chance to be what she really was? Malhavik had outright tried to make something of her she wasn’t. And while Tirien had tried to help her, no one could have saved her from herself at that point, and now all he could see was what he wished she’d been able to become. Which wasn’t real – it was cheating. She hadn’t done it on her own. All of this was merely a trembling in the twisting nether, a vibration in the energies within Accalia’s twilight. But it was all she was. And this… this one the one thing she would never give up.
  5. Vionora

    Vionora Minara

    Deceased Stats Full Name: Vionora Minara Former Name: Tassha Rain Minara Nicknames: Vi, Vio Age: Young adult Race: Quel'dorei/Kal'dorei Gender: Female Hair: Blonde Skin: Dusky tan Eyes: Gray Height: 5' 11" Weight: 150 lbs Description Vionora is a strange sight for various reasons. She is taller than the average Sin'dorei or Quel'dorei female, but has the slender physique and ear shape of one. Yet her skin is a dusky tan, much darker than typical, contrasting against her bright blonde hair. Because of this, at a casual glance, it might be possible to take her for any of the three races of elves. However, the defining feature that might be used to identify her race – the color her eyes glow – is the strangest part of her appearance: they glow gray. Her hands are often covered by gloves, but when they are not, glowing marks are visible on the backs: on the right, two amber circles nearly overlapping, and on the left, a purple demonic rune of sealing. History Early Life Vionora, born Tassha, was raised in a troubled environment. Her mother, Yolanta, was a Quel'dorei mana addict and prostitute who fell in love with a night elf. However, when she got pregnant, the night elf left her to raise Tassha alone. Yolanta seemed to have some support from her brother, but he was actually horribly abusive. Not only was he molesting his own daughter Shaena and abusing Tassha, but Shaena was actually the product of his assaulting Yolanta. Yolanta eventually killed herself, and in front of Tassha, only not killing Tassha first because she lacked the courage. Tassha was outcast in Silvermoon due to her half-bred heritage, which only exacerbated the behavioral issues she already had due to problems at home, which then resulted in harsher treatment. Before the age of majority, she ran away and joined the Rangers by lying about her age. There she met Jazziks and Sinaku Wolfrunner, a very close pair of siblings who were charismatic and talented. Tassha quickly became infatuated with Sinaku, who had no interest in her, but who was happy to manipulate her to his own ends. The First Eclipse After a traumatic event happened to his sister, Sinaku started studying dark magics and broke away to form the Rangers of the Dark Sun. Tassha followed, even when he drove off Jazziks by setting down a path to summon Accalia, a powerful, hungry god who wanted to prey on the entire world; Tassha was happy to watch the world burn if that was what he wanted. Sinaku rewarded Tassha's loyalty with a stronger version of Accalia's mark than any other Dark Ranger had received. She used this power to deliberately infect a good number of people in Silvermoon with the curse, and later returned under the sway of Accalia's power to kill them all. Though those actions hadn't been her own, she simply shrugged it off. Tassha then concocted a plan to infiltrate the ranks of Jazziks' allies with a convincing story of abuse at Sinaku's hands. However, although her acting was flawless, she discovered that those she had tormented were entirely unmoved by her story... that they didn't care how much she needed them, because of the kind of person she'd been all her life. This bothered her on a level she was unable to acknowledge until she faced Jazziks and the girl turned away with nothing but scorn despite what she had actually endured. Tassha took a knife to herself and would have died if Diomades and Thoraggar had not intervened. Many remained dubious of Tassha's true intentions, but Thoraggar began to believe there was something more to the girl than the selfishness and cruelty she had always displayed. He took the unwilling girl under his wing, and surprisingly, under his guidance she began to show promise. However, one of Jazziks' allies, Elek, had a particular disgust for her, and every time they met Tassha reverted to her former self, becoming horrid and trying to provoke everyone around her, especially him. Believing the girl had valuable intelligence on Sinaku's intentions and whereabouts, Elek demanded that Thoraggar give Tassha into his custody for a short time. Thoraggar would not have allowed it except that Tassha was compelled to plead for him to. Defeated, her let her go. In Stratholme, Elek tortured her until her spirit was broken; but when they came back, they were both irreversibly changed. Tassha, subdued with no sign of her former antagonistic self, abandoned her post as a Ranger and began studying to be a priestess. She was briefly controlled by Accalia's power when Sinaku was confronted, but survived. For many months after she spent her time studying the Light, practicing her magic, and cooking for Thoraggar. However, the curse of the Eclipse was not yet over. She began to be haunted by nightmares, and the night Accalia was defeated, she awakened to find herself living one. Somehow back in Stratholme with Elek, she was trapped with him in an unchanging hell, unable to escape, change anything around them, or even die. There, both embraced the darkest within them, venturing far beyond at the point from which anyone should have been able to return to humanity or even sanity. But it was there that Tassha was able to come to the understanding that her suffering didn't help anyone else. She and Elek became very close, and together were finally able to break free of the hell Accalia had created for them. Seven Quiet Years Tassha returned after living two years in the nightmare world to find that only two days had passed in the mortal realm – and that Thoraggar had died to save his friend Leoren. The priestess quietly moved on, seeking her own path in life. To get away from her past, she gravitated to the Alliance, where she was able to pass as a Kal'dorei due to her dark skin, and changed her name to Vionora Minara. For a time, she worked as a healer in relative obscurity. However, over the years, the sense of meaning in life she'd grasped upon escaping from Accalia's dream prison slipped away, as she came to realize that she was surrounded by suffering, and that nothing truly made a difference in the end. She continued her work out of a sense of obligation, but ceased to care about anything. The Second Eclipse A warlock named Malhavik abruptly broke her lethargy when he kidnapped her to use in his experiments. Vionora was once more tortured, this time with the fel, something she abhorred on a primal level, and then Malhavik's experiments led to him putting a seal on her soul that prevented her from being able to absorb magic from her environment as all elves need to do to survive. However, unaware of her past, Malhavik did not realize the potential she possessed due to bearing the inert mark of the Eclipse, and when enough power was forced into her, it reforged the connection between Accalia and the mortal realm. Vionora was made the Predator-God's new avatar, and at the same time, she came to the realization that the fact that the world was made of suffering meant that the only reasonable thing to do would be to end it all. Vionora set about spreading the curse in order to empower Accalia and summon her to destroy the world. However, two veterans of the last Eclipse quickly wised up to what was going on and started organizing a defense, bringing in many others to resist. Nonetheless, the curse spread, and with great power granted by being Accalia's Herald, Vionora was near-unstoppable. At the same time, she was drawn back to Malhavik, who was developing a fascination with her after having had all his expectations destroyed. He saw a potential in her to become an agent of strife and to glory in it as he did. However, Vionora only cared about the upcoming end of the world; an end she knew would come to her personally with either Accalia's victory or defeat, as Accalia's power was the only thing sustaining her with the seal permanently burned into her soul. Malhavik, disliking this, took the opportunity, after Vionora was seriously wounded in a battle, to bind her soul to a soulstone, ensuring that even when she died her spirit would survive. Vionora's hopes for an end to her suffering were turned upside-down, and she became convinced only Malhavik could teach her how to bear the suffering of life that was forced upon her. Things changed when she met a human man named Tirien. He was kind, sympathetic, and didn't judge her. Though others had seen how troubled she was and had tried to reach out to her, she hadn't believed any of them really understood or didn't condemn her. With him, she finally believed. Learning to care for another, she finally found something to live for. Vionora began trying to reverse what damage she could, although it was evident Accalia had already gathered more power than she had the last time and would undoubtedly be entering the mortal realm when the next eclipse came. A surprising number of those who had been ranged against her welcomed her change of heart, but Malhavik was troubled by her new independence. However, Vionora realized that there was a part of her that wanted the kind of relationship she and Malhavik had, and she embraced it. Malhavik decided to try to remove the seal in the moment of Accalia's breaking through to the mortal realm, the only time when it might be possible to do so without killing Vionora in the process. In the last moments of the battle against Accalia, Vionora realized that despite what she had accepted about herself, her nature was still self-destructive and in the end would always harm those around her. Even if she survived the Eclipse, she would never be able to escape that. But the end came then when Accalia, on the brink of defeat, devoured Vionora's soul whole, ending her life. However, the soulstone that Malhavik had created remained... Theme Songs In chronological order "Silver and Cold", AFI "In the Limitless Desire", Megumi Hayashibara "This Night", Black Lab "Hurricane", 30 Seconds to Mars "Shot in the Dark", Within Temptation "Unbreakable", Fireflight "Razors Edge", Digital Daggers "Stairway to the Skies", Within Temptation Stories In chronological order The Curse (Sinaku becomes possessed by evil magic, and Tassha gladly aids him.) Notice (The Infection) (Evil spreads in Silvermoon.) Penumbra (Tassha has withdrawn from daily life, but is not yet free from the curse.) Reveries (Tassha finds herself trapped in her own personal hell. But she is not alone.) Legacies (Tassha lives on, though she misses those who do not.) Long Days, Longer Nights (Many years later, Tassha has taken a different name.) The Beginning of the End (Xara bumped into Vionora a year before the new Eclipse began.) The Catalyst (Finally, it's too much.) Incarceration (She chooses her allies.) Quarantine (A warlock makes her an offer she can't accept.) Curse These Old Bones (Smithe attracts Vionora's attention.) A Night of Broken Faith (Vionora ignites a conflict.) Ruthlessness (Vionora and Naheal talk...) The Mark of the Predator (Over seven years prior, Sinaku unleashed Tassha on the world.) Things to Fear (Vionora appears in Warspear, and battle breaks out.) To Wax or Wane (Vionora gains control of a powerful artifact, but the victory is not lasting.) Umbral Shadows (Vionora falls completely under Malhavik's influence.) The Fall (Vionora speaks to someone genuinely sympathetic.) The Battle at the Sunwell (The effort to destroy the black book is disrupted by Vionora.) Divergent Darkstorm (The alternate Fhenrir accepts Vionora's offer.) Battle at the Docks (The Righteous Light confronts Tirien and incites Vionora's wrath.) Time to Strike (The ritual to stop Vionora begins.) Unexpected Alliances (Vionora tries to stop Smithe.) Between Shadow and Darkness (Vionora chooses something she never knew was a choice.) Shadows Held Dear (Vionora comes into conflict with Hunter.) Just ain't the same (Tirien's viewpoint of Vionora.) The Eclipse (The final battle.) One Last Breath (Vionora's end.) Priorities (Malhavik sees Vionora in the nightmare.) Art Vionora and Tirien (drawn by Tirien and colored by Xara)
  6. Vionora

    Nightmare: One Last Breath

    She returned to peace after that. There was nothing more that could be done. Whatever chances she'd had were gone now; whatever regrets she had were moot. And though nothing mattered anymore, that was not a bad thing. It simply... was. But there was another trapped in the twilight whose thoughts called to her, summoning the remnants of her essence. She was given a chance to make a difference.
  7. Vionora

    Just ain't the same

    It was Tirien. Knowing him even with the age upon his features and the dark robes cloaking his figure, Vionora’s heart had sunk to see him, though she couldn’t pull her eyes away. She didn’t know at first where she was supposed to be or what was ostensibly going on, but she knew what this was, and to see him here meant she hadn’t sent him far enough away. It meant that there hadn’t been anywhere far enough to keep him safe. But she was here too. Something had breathed life into her again; something had pulled the scattered fragments of thought and lost wishes together. Or maybe she was just an echo, Tirien’s memory of what she was, and not so much the person she had actually been. Vionora didn’t care. She had a chance to save him. The webs and windings of the nightmare surrounded her, visible to her and only her as lines of feral twilight spinning through every structure and person and flickering flame. The things Tirien did not focus on were shadows and suggestions, no more, the world itself beyond Stormwind disappearing into utter void. Even when she looked down at herself, it was the same as it had been with Malhavik: although he didn’t even recognize her now, she only appeared as Tirien, on some level, had seen her. One way or another, Vionora was no more real than this nightmare world. In this world, Tirien was a warlock. He was everything his father had been. Of course that was his nightmare. She didn’t dare just try to talk sense into him; Accalia’s influence had twisted and blinded him. He would react like a sleepwalker suddenly confronted and lash out, as she had discovered. No, if she wanted to help him, all she could do was play along, and try to remind him of who he really was. Some part of him had to remember. Because, she knew on a level deeper than instinct, why else would she be here? And yet for him to treat her so cruelly… The pain he had inflicted simply to teach her a lesson burned brightly in her memories, though the marks had faded the moment he’d left. It was more agonizing than it had been when Hunter had worn Tirien’s face and hurt her in the past. She had known that wasn’t really Tirien. And while this wasn’t either, it was a Tirien who could have been, that some buried part of him understood his potential to become. And cruelty from the one who had refused to ever hurt her had cut deeper than her dreamed-up flesh, sinking to the deepest part of what her soul had once been. It was only the knowledge that she had to save him that kept it from overtaking her, that kept her from submitting to, to welcoming, the sublimity of suffering once more. But maybe, she thought, that she even felt that desire meant she really was herself… Or was that a part of her Tirien had understood? Distantly, Vionora thought she could hear a howl. She waited in the tavern above the catacombs. Her surroundings responded grudgingly without Tirien present, but she exerted her will and the twilight drew on Tirien’s knowledge and expectations accordingly. It was like lucid dreaming with someone else’s mind. She had to tread carefully, lest the dream be pushed too far and be caused to snap back to its original shape – without her. But Tirien expected her to find Michael, and so she did. He ducked inside, out of the heavy rain. The resemblance he shared with Tirien was uncanny to her, made all the more so by the realization that she recognized the way he moved from the times she had seen him in control. It was like seeing an impostor Michael, and perhaps he was, because looking at him, Vionora could only see more lines and threads of twilight. In contrast, Tirien had shone like the sun, albeit buried beneath the muffling, suffocating layers of twilight. It was evidence that Tirien was the only thing here that was real. Michael looked around and saw her. She held his gaze until he was sure she was his contact. He walked over to the table, and she rose to curtsey. “Lord Forewell,” she said. “Just Michael, please,” he responded. Those words and his open expression, though showing a little concern, made Vionora smile. The nightmare hadn’t tarnished Tirien’s image of his brother in the slightest. Then he asked, “I understand you have something for me regarding my brother?”, and her smile faded as she came to grasp the implications of that fact. He waved her to a seat, and they sat across from one another. Vionora arranged her skirts and considered where to begin. It would probably be best to start with the conflict that she saw; the pattern of the web enfolding them. “How long have you and your brother been at odds?” she asked. Michael reeled back a bit. “Uh… Hm…” He folded his arms. Something about the gesture reminded Vionora powerfully of Tirien, especially since this Michael was much closer to what Tirien’s age was supposed to be. “More than a decade, I know that,” he said. “You two used to be so close… or so I understand,” she said with care as the threads vibrated in warning. Her presumptions were barely tolerated. “We were,” he said with emphasis on the second word. “When did he… turn to the fel?” It was still so impossible to imagine him doing that, even though she’d seen it with her own eyes. “And why?” she had to add. “He hated it...” A sad look touched Michael’s expression. “So it’s true, then,” he said. Vionora inclined her head, and he clicked his tongue the way the Forewells all did and kicked at the chair. “I’ve heard rumors, everyone has, that he employs demons to deal with his enemies,” he said. “There was a time he would have never, ever consorted with demons, or anything fel,” Vionora said. “Yeah. I thought that part of him still held true which is why I hoped…” His voice trailed off, and he rested his forehead in his fingers. Vionora looked at him, at this conception of a young boy that Tirien loved with all his heart, grown into a young man Tirien was destined to not understand and see only as a threat. What answers could he give her, plucked from the depths of Tirien’s psyche? “What happened?” she asked after a moment, daring to probe deeper despite the web shifting around them. “How did you get free?” “I have no idea,” he said. That he grasped of what she spoke so easily, without question, reminded her that this was a dream; that she spoke to a ghost. “It just felt like a miracle of the Light.” “And Hunter…?” she asked. “Is he… gone?” Michael nodded. “Of that I am positive,” he said. “He died fighting Accalia in a vain attempt to steal her power. I saw it, Hunter’s nightmare.” The web shuddered in protest, but it rang with truth like the rest hadn’t. Tirien had seen it. Hunter was truly defeated. Vionora’s hopes rose. Hunter had once said that his and his sons’ souls were fused, never to be separated, but here, even a wisp could be reformed; to unfuse souls was not beyond the realm of the twilight. If she could free Tirien from his nightmare, he would truly, truly be safe, even from the things Vionora could no longer hope to affect. If she could free him. She thought she heard another howl, closer. “Accalia consumed him too?” she said distractedly, and Michael nodded – again, she realized, taking the conflicting implications at face value. Yet that made her realize something else. If this was not the true Michael… then where was he? “Did you have a nightmare?” she asked, focusing on him. “No, I didn’t,” he said, calmly; too calmly. The web didn’t react in any way, almost as though tensed and waiting. Vionora intuited, then, with a flash of insight, the greater pattern of the web that stretched far beyond the hazy borders of this nightmare, spanning through the twilight realm where others still lay trapped in its snarls. Even though Michael’s soul was not here, his fate still hung in the balance. If Tirien was not saved, he could not save Michael. She took a soft breath, and dared push as hard as she could. “What about… Tirien?” Michael thought. He looked troubled. “I’ve asked him about it, but he would never go into detail. I don’t think he remembers it.” A tendril of the web snapped. Vionora would have flinched if she could have, but she couldn’t. She had gone too far, and now the strands tightened around her in response. “So, what news do you have of Tirien?” Michael asked. He looked hopeful. She pressed forward, ignoring the web closing in. “I need your help to turn him back from this path he’s on. It’s the only way to save him. He’s going to… do something he’ll forever regret.” Her hands fisted in her skirts as howls sounded, unheard by anyone else. Michael leaned forward, earnest and eager to help; vulnerable. “Anything,” he said. “What do you need me to do?” And Tirien’s nightmare imposed itself on her. There was only one way this meeting was supposed to end, and it wasn’t with Michael coming to her aid to save his brother. “He wants me to kidnap you,” she whispered. He stared at her. “He wha—” The howls had closed in. The webs formed the jaws of worgs closing on her wrists and neck, directing her actions. Somehow, Vionora called forth demonic terrors to tear open a portal behind Michael. A dark force yanked him back from his seat. He only had scant seconds to mouth ‘no’ in disbelief before he was gone.
  8. <p>Who is Zakael?</p>

  9. <p>Gahhhhhhhhhhh</p>

  10. <p>What is happening!!</p>

  11. [[ Trigger warnings: violence, suicide, and extensive abuse, including implied sexual abuse and rape. ]] On one side of her there was shadow; on the other, darkness. The light was never an option. She was told it was there; sometimes she was even told how to reach it, though it always proved impossible. And once, she thought she found it. In the end, she had realized it didn't actually exist; or if it did, it just wasn't meant for her. The path to realizing it began on the day her mother committed suicide in front of her. *** Her earliest memories weren't terrible. Her mother was kind. Anxious, high-strung, but concerned enough about Tassha's wellbeing. Yolanta struggled a little to make ends meet, but her brother's family helped sometimes by watching Tassha, and Tassha got to play with Shaena then. Shaena was strange in some ways, acting out and causing trouble, but she was Tassha's only friend. And sometimes when her aunt wasn't home, Tassha's uncle locked her in a closet and didn't give her any food, and threatened worse if she ever told her mom, but that was just the way things were. Shaena was always subdued by the time Tassha was let out. It changed when Tassha was old enough to start attending schooling. ***
  12. Vionora

    Eclipse: Between Shadow and Darkness

    Malhavik was infuriated with her for rescuing Aaren and throwing his plans with Fhenrir into jeopardy. But she calmly told him to not expect her to stand by and let someone she cared about die – because he wasn't the master of her. To which he asked who was, and she told him: herself. Even if she gave herself to him, it was her decision; she was ultimately in control of her own life. Maybe it had been true all along. Life had heaped everything from indignities to unspeakable cruelties on her, but the choice of how to react to them had always been hers to make. While the choices she'd made were understandable, a great part of them something it would hard to blame her for, it had taken her this long to believe she could even be anything besides a victim. It wasn't going to be easy, learning to fight the instinct to give up. There were pitfalls she couldn't even fathom down that path. Chief among them was taking responsibility for how her actions had and would hurt others. But she was determined. Yet Accalia was coming. A new perspective wouldn't be able to save her from the choices she'd already made. And the light she'd found, reflected by those around her, would illuminate the truth of why she'd taken the path she had. *** fin
  13. The Beast is never satiated... Announcing the opening of an epic storyline... Well, at least I hope it'll turn out epic! A small introduction – I'm best known as Xaraphyne, though some might know me better these days as Julilee, and I've been a roleplayer on Twisting Nether Horde since 2007. I've been roleplaying in one way, shape, or form for about sixteen years. I'm currently the GM of one of Twisting Nether's bigger roleplay guilds and am very involved in the merged Twisting Nether/Ravenholdt roleplay community. Now, I'm in the process of developing a wide-spanning story that has room for as many people as want to get involved – and the more, the better! The story is a sequel to a plot that ran on Twisting Nether some seven years ago, known as The Eclipse. You don't need to know anything about the old plot to get involved; in fact, you'll probably have more fun putting together the pieces if you don't. There will be storytelling on our community RP forums as well as in game. While the start of the story will be on Horde, there will be cross-faction action given the interest. Alliance characters are welcome to get involved, as they did in the original plot. Plot Premise & Roles The premise for the story of The Eclipse centers around an ancient god by the name of Accalia, the Beast, Worg-God of the Hunt, who was banished to the place between night and day when she turned on her companions. There is nothing Accalia wants more than to hunt... everything and everyone, to extinction. I'll leave the rest for the players to discover, but for the purposes of the plot, three types of roles are needed: villains, those who seek to free Accalia; victims, those who are afflicted by her and her minions; and investigators, those who take an interest in the happenings and seek the solution to stopping Accalia. Villains may have any number of motivations in choosing to side with Accalia. Maybe they just want to watch the world burn; maybe they think they can bend her power to their own ends. Or perhaps they don't fully realize the consequences. Some will be marked with a special power, but it comes with a price. Read further for more information about the mark. Victims can be merely unfortunate, in the wrong place and the wrong time, or deliberately targeted by one of the villains. Victims will be marked by a debilitating curse and be exposed to serious struggles. Read further for more information about being marked. Investigators manage to avoid being marked, but are still involved in the events through their own choosing. They might be immune to the mark. Investigators may be drawn into the conflict because someone they care about is afflicted, or they just want to save the world. Victims can be investigators too, but investigators don't have to be cursed. The main mechanic for this plot is a mark. The mark can only afflict individuals if they meet one of the following conditions: they are a class with mana; they are a race strongly imbued with magic (elves); or they carry a fel taint of some kind (orcs, or otherwise tainted by demons or demonic magic). The mark can be a source of power or a curse – or both. Combat There are various ways to handle in-character combat. Dueling is an option; so is free-form emoting. In Eclipse, the most important guideline players must follow is that all players involved in a battle must agree on a method. Players cannot be forced into duels, or into emote combat, if they do not want to use that method. There is also a third method available, which is a mix of GM direction and a randomization element to help balance characters. This basic combat system for use in game with the assistance of an arbitrating GM and employs the /roll feature. Read here for how it works – or try it out in game, as it is easy to explain on the fly! Code of Conduct In order to ensure a drama-free roleplay environment, these are the rules and expectations for all players in the Eclipse plot. As this plot involves non-canonical lore and mechanics beyond the game interface, be willing to indulge in suspension of belief and flexibility with official lore. Involve yourself with others and they will be happy to return the favor! Only describe your character's actions and let others decide theirs. Be ready to allow the plot GMs (game masters) to take liberties when necessary for the greater story. Keep out-of-character and in-character knowledge separate. Be prepared to work around the mistakes or inconsistencies in the story that will occur. When conflicting interests arise out of character, be solution-oriented and ready to work together to find a resolution. Ensure in-character interactions aren't taken personally. When an antagonistic scene occurs, communicate OOC to ensure that everyone is willing and having a satisfactory roleplay session. Collaboration & Changes The case with large plots is that they tend to take on a life of their own, and that's completely welcomed here. Characters may involve their own story elements and personal issues, and bring their own spin to the plot. It's a highly collaborative effort, and I'm open to changes and flourishes to the overarching storyline. In fact, I'll need the help of all players to tell a good, compelling story, and make sure people have as much fun as possible. Players who are able to involve themselves will get the most out of this plot as with any other similar event. Anyone who ends up feeling lost or left out is encouraged to reach out to an Eclipse plot GM or any active player to brainstorm ways to get more involved. You should also come to the GMs or other players with any ideas you have so we can work them in! Interested? To get started, you can post in this thread, and/or message me here on the forum or in game. You can also contact Naheal as he will be co-GMing this plot. Happy hunting! Eclipse Threads SUMMARY (TNG) The current summary of events. Moonlight's Shadow (TNG) Naheal and Xaraphyne are drawn to Moonglade. 2/17 – 2/22 The Catalyst (TNG) Malhavik does not research his victim properly... 2/14 – 2/21 TERROR IN TIRISFAL (TNG) A sudden panic seizes all of Tirisfal. 2/21 – 2/27 A dinner interrupted! (Sanctum) Jenasis feels Accalia's release. 2/24 A PLAGUE IN STORMWIND (Sanctum) A plague strikes the human capitol. 2/21 Investigation (Sanctum) Darrethy finds out what triggered these events. 2/22 Just ain't the same (Sanctum) Tirien finds himself amidst the trouble. 2/22 – 4/16 Quarantine (TNG) Darrethy isolates himself to keep from spreading the curse. 2/22 – 3/1 Warnings (TNG) The Commander of Sanctuary seeks to warn other organizations. 2/23 – 2/26 Safeguard (TNG) Konro escapes from confinement. 2/23 – 2/25 "Bad Ideas Are Never Good" (Sanctum) Fidjit sees an opportunity for profit. 3/3 – 3/31 Down in a Hole (TNG) Khorvis is afflicted. 2/24 – 3/4 Questions (TNG) Leyu'jin goes to ask a veteran of the last conflict what she knows, but a third arrives. 2/24 – 3/4 Incarceration (TNG) Malhavik, Konro, and Lupinum are visited in prison. 2/24 – 2/25 Broken History (TNG) Taozhu and friends look for historical knowledge of Accalia. 2/26 – 3/5 Light's Flame (Sanctum) Stepanos hears about the curse and marshals his forces. 2/24 – 4/14 Curse These Old Bones (Sanctum) Smithe decides to experiment on the afflicted, and attracts attention. 2/24 – 3/8 A Rumor About Konro's Broken Horn (TNG) Is it true? 2/25 The Holy Light (TNG) Naheal looks for a way to cure the festering wounds. 2/25 – 2/26 Armor (TNG) Kex'ti and Brammorn seek to protect those who need protected. 2/23 – 2/27 Prophecy (TNG) Malethia has a bad feeling about something. But it's probably nothing. 2/27 – 3/16 Chasing Wind (TNG) The Horns of the Shu'halo struggle with a problem member. 2/28 – 3/2 Purging. (TNG) Darrethy goes looking for answers, and hears a name mentioned he dreads to have involved. 3/1 – 3/3 The Wordbearer's Rage (TNG) Leyu'jin is infuriated that Konro escaped. 3/2 Firestorm (TNG) After Bellame is afflicted, Grimal goes searching for the culprit. 3/2 – 3/13 Bliss (TNG) Kerala studies healing and tries to learn more about the curse. 3/3 – 3/9 Another Side (TNG) Taozhu uncovers more and more about Accalia. 3/5 – 3/19 A Night of Broken Faith (TNG) Vionora gives Konro superhuman powers; he wreaks havoc. Naheal loses faith in Sanctuary. 3/6 – 3/12 Grim encounters... (TNG) Malhavik has a run-in with Faelenor and Amalyn. 3/6 – 3/8 PLAGUE STRIKES DALARAN AND ASHRAN (TNG) Self-explanatory. 3/6 Drawing the Line (TNG) Juli addresses Naheal, and he her. 3/7 Anesthetize (TNG) Darrethy has concerns about Konro. 3/7 Rage (TNG) Kex'ti and Syreena enter conflict anew as Syreena tries to get at something important to him. 3/7 – 3/9 Resistance (TNG) Aaren fights back the curse. 3/8 – 3/9 Betrayal (TNG) Malhavik plans to do whatever necessary to get ahold of the black book. 3/8 – 3/12 Ruthlessness (TNG) Naheal will do whatever is required to defeat Accalia. 3/6 – 3/12 Coldsnap (TNG) An old associate of Kex'ti's seeks him. 3/9 – 3/15 Discretion (TNG) Breygrah is done dealing with Konro. 3/9 – 3/20 The Mark of the Predator (TNG) Seven years ago, Vionora was an entirely different person. 3/11 – 3/13 Anima (TNG) Darrethy works to isolate the curse. 3/12 Interrogations (TNG) The Grim seek to ensure the integrity of their membership. 3/13 The Jaws of Madness (TNG) Naheal struggles with madness from the curse, but he finds the book. 3/13 – 3/16 Things to Fear (TNG) Vionora appears in Warspear, and battle breaks out. 3/14 Hibernation (TNG) Darrethy seems to accept his fate. 3/15 Does Not Play Well With Others (TNG) Kerala summons the Skytotem healers to help combat the curse. 3/15 – 3/16 Mind Games (TNG) Konro falls to the worg spirit's control. 3/16 Voice and Vice (TNG) Kex'ti catches up with an old childhood friend. 3/16 – 3/18 Inquisitor (TNG) Saphiara considers taking up the righteous path again. 3/17 To Wax or Wane (TNG) Vionora takes the book from Naheal, but the victory is not lasting. 3/17 – 3/23 Maps and Plans (TNG) Naheal makes plans to work with Khorvis. 3/19 The Beast Within (TNG) Xara tries to help Konro. 3/19 – 3/20 Death of a Warrior (TNG) Breygrah and Konro face off in mak'gora. 3/20 One Last Gift for Kex'ti (TNG) Syreena and Kex'ti face off. 3/20 Die Hard (TNG) Konro's last moments provoke a response from his old brigade. 3/20 Pavor Nocturnus (TNG) The burdens of her actions weigh heavily on Breygrah. 3/17 – 3/29 Flying Against the Hurricane (TNG) Kerala tries to cope with the results of the mak'gora. 3/21 Stolen Time (TNG) Naheal's dubious past practices come to light. 3/21 Unleashed (TNG) The worg spirit finds a new host. 3/22 The Beginning of the End (TNG) Xara bumped into Vionora one year ago. 3/24 The Truth of Sacrifice (TNG) Kerala makes peace with some elements of her past. 3/24 Poor Brey (TNG) Different sides harass each other at the Wyvern's Tail. 3/24 Desperate Times (TNG) Sanctuary garrison is besieged. 3/16 – 3/25 Visions (TNG) Aaren speaks to the Naaru for help. 3/25 Breaking Point (TNG) Darrethy is acting a little strangely... 3/23 – 4/9 A FINAL RECKONING (Joke RP) (TNG) Lilliana and Leyu'jin definitely do not murder everyone in the 37th. 3/24 Idle Hands (Sanctum) Smithe bides his time, plotting. 3/24 – 4/5 Promises (TNG) Kerala negotiates to end the blood feud. 3/24 – 3/25 Broken (TNG) Suffering defeat after defeat erodes Syreena's psyche. 3/25 – 4/24 A Book on Loan (TNG) Malhavik gives the book over to the Grim. Khorvis decides to be rid of it. 3/20 – 3/25 Blood Pact (TNG) Ninorra is running out of options. 3/26 – 4/6 Follow Through (TNG) Kerala ensures others know she means business. 3/26 – 4/2 The Fall (TNG) Vionora speaks to someone genuinely sympathetic. 3/27 Hatred (TNG) Naheal nearly falls to the Sha. 3/27 – 3/28 Recovery (TNG) Lilliana is forced to recover Konro's Grim tabard. 3/28 Spirit Walk (TNG) A ritual to save Konro's spirit reveals much about his life. 3/28 Funeral of a Warrior (TNG) Konro's funeral suits him in a way. 3/29 Umbral Shadows (TNG) Vionora falls completely under Malhavik's influence. 3/30 Grim Retribution (TNG) Friends of Syreena exact revenge. 3/30 – 4/2 Hope (TNG) Naheal's past influences his future choices. 4/1 – 4/7 The Battle at the Sunwell (TNG) The effort to destroy the black book is disrupted. 4/4 Lost (TNG) Efforts are made to save Kerala. 4/4 – 4/16 Consumption (TNG) Kex'ti finds a difficult way to heal the worg wounds with a single healer. 4/5 – 4/8 Retaliation (TNG) Breygrah is kidnapped by Karthok. 4/8 Divergent Darkstorm (TNG) The alternate Fhenrir accepts Vionora's offer. 9/10 – 4/9 The Raptor's Tale (TNG) Kex'ti's raptor doesn't understand what happened to Kex'ti. 4/13 Battle at the Docks (TNG) The Righteous Light confronts Tirien and incites Vionora's wrath. 4/14 The Eye of the Earthmother (TNG) Lomani discovers something has happened to Breygrah. 4/10 – 4/14 Operation Clusterfuck (TNG) The Deadshots and allies mount a rescue. 4/10 – 4/14 Stepping Stones to Darkness (Sanctum) Reverend Smithe pursues his goals alone. 4/13 – 4/15 Shadows (TNG) Aaren struggles with shadows. 4/13 – 4/25 Dying Light (TNG) Friends act to recover Kex'ti. 4/16 – 5/5 The Beast (TNG) A newly infected individual is even less prepared to cope than most. 4/17 Progeny (TNG) Fhenrir and Xaraphyne move to eliminate the worg threat in Moonglade. 4/17 – 5/1 And Found (TNG) Kerala begins to recover. 4-17 – 4/21 Time to Strike (TNG) The ritual to stop Vionora begins. 4/18 – 5/1 Unexpected Alliances (TNG) Vionora tries to stop Smithe. Unexpected alliances form. 4/21 Between Shadow and Darkness (TNG) Vionora has never known light. 4/21 – 5/21 En Machina (TNG) Kex'ti considers how his experiences have changed him. 4/26 Elf Stabbing for a Purpose (TNG) Syreena realigns her priorities. 4/27 The Plague Intensifies [Open] (TNG) Self-explanatory. 4/27 Shadows Held Dear (TNG) Vionora comes into conflict with Hunter. 4/28 – 5/8 Antagonize (TNG) Kerala and others try to help Brast. 5/8 (log from 4/28) The Eclipse (TNG) The final battle... 5/3 Shokkra's Nightmare (TNG) Shokkra's nightmare: she is forced to fight her friends endlessly. 5/3 Brinnea's Nightmare (Sanctum) Brinnea's nightmare: her family turns on her. 5/3 Dissonance (TNG) Naheal's nightmare: paying the price for his sins. 5/3 – 5/16 Acid Rain (TNG) Kex'ti and Juli's nightmares: failing to live up to expectations, and no one believing. 5/3 – 5/8 The Siblings (TNG) Inzema and Qarosimae's nightmares: reliving traumatic pasts. 5/3 – 5/14 Alone (TNG) Ruuki's nightmare: being alone. 5/4 Creation (TNG) Bellame's nightmare: her existence is not her own. 5/4 – 5/20 Nightmares of the Righteous Light (Sanctum) Stepanos and Astraea's nightmares: their worst selves. 5/4 – 5/7 An Ember in the Dark (TNG) Grimal's nightmare: the ones he cares about turn on him. 5/5 Cloud Nine (TNG) Kerala's nightmare: back in the past she already overcame. 5/5 – 5/14 Arachnophobia (TNG) Lomani's nightmare: OHGODSPIDERS. 5/5 – 5/23 Anesthetic (TNG) Aaren's nightmare: a dark past twisted further. 5/7 – 5/27 Contentment (TNG) Darrethy's nightmare: everything is fine. 5/8 Priorities (TNG) Malhavik's nightmare: becoming a mindless destroyer. 5/8 – 5/27 One Last Breath (TNG) Vionora's end. 5/9 – 5/27 Hakkar's Kitchen (TNG) Alakroz's nightmare: a competition he cannot win. 5/15 Reunions (TNG) Syreena's nightmare: her friends do not support her. 5/18 – 5/28 The Fall (TNG) Xara and Fhen's nightmare: the Horde has fallen. 5/20
  14. Semi-final update of thread list. The list and summary will be updated one final time when people are done adding to their nightmares.
  15. Vionora

    Vionora Minara

    [[ Final update, barring last threads to be added. ]]
  16. Vionora

    Nightmare: One Last Breath

    Can you dream when you don't exist? Her soul had been devoured, torn into shreds and dissolved into energy to feed Accalia. But Accalia yet existed, and therefore, a shade of Vionora existed within her. She couldn't form complete thoughts, or feel much emotion; her memories were made vague and irrelevant. But she understood what had happened and her current situation, and through the twilight void that was both Accalia and Accalia's prison, the faint echo of her soul wandered. Vionora didn't know it, but her circumstances were not unlike those someone she had encountered had endured. All she really thought was that the absence of suffering was peaceful. Death was peaceful. Although she still existed in a way, the idea of ceasing to exist did not trouble her. She might have continued on this way until Accalia was destroyed, except that she wasn't alone in the twilight. The thoughts of another latched onto the echo of Vionora, and, for a time, gave her a semblance of life again.
  17. I thought I'd share some of the things I know and learned about running a large-scale, epic plot for anyone out there who might be interested in doing the same. It's a very rewarding thing to do, but it takes a lot of work, and there's a lot that can go wrong if you're not looking for it. I hope this will come in handy for anyone considering running their own plot. What is a Plot? I might be the only one who uses this term this way, so my apologies if it's confusing! I call it a plot when a bunch of roleplaying characters are all involved in a common storyline. However, what differentiates your everyday roleplay from a plot is a good question too. I guess it's a matter of scale. Everyone has storylines and character arcs and events going on. However, when the impact starts to be greater than a single character's development, it starts to be more... a plot, like a story has. It's when guilds rise or fall. It's when worlds are threatened. It's when things are changed forever. In free-form roleplay, as is customary on WoW, such plots can only be successful with competent direction. Otherwise, people will run around doing their own thing and no cohesive story will really take shape, or, worst case scenario, things go south and people end up unhappy with the story that does happen. Thus, a plot requires a GM, or game master, like in tabletop RPGs, to provide guidance and keep the story going in the right direction. But since it is free-form, players must agree to participate; no one can be forced into accepting guidance. Remember that any authority a GM has is endowed by the players and can be revoked by the same. GMing can be very, very rewarding. However, it's not easy. There are various requirements and challenges you should consider before you start up your own plot. Time & Scale First of all, I should warn you that it's extremely time-consuming. I spent several hours a day, every day, for three months on Eclipse. This included reading RP posts, writing my own RP posts, updating the summary and thread list, planning and coordinating events and plot points (I actually had to beg to get my PM limit increased on both TNG and Sanctum), chatting in the Eclipse group and channel to keep tabs on how everyone is doing, and, last but far from least, actual in-game roleplay. It's not for the already-busy if you want to run a plot on this scale. That said, not every plot needs to be so intense. You can run a plot that doesn't necessarily take center stage at a much more relaxed pace, which would also not necessarily draw in as many players, making it smaller and easier to manage. There are pros and cons to both, one of the considerations definitely being burnout if you go for something epic – and not just of the GM, but the players, too. But of course, there's something to be said for big and intense! Either way, having regular events, and an ending in mind, is crucial to keeping a plot from drying up. This includes a target end date, though you may need to multiply however long you think it's going to run by about 1.5 if experience shows right. <_< But do ensure the plot always keeps progressing, and know when it's time for it to come to an end so that other stories can have their chance in the spotlight. Laying the Groundwork Another thing to note was that it was extremely helpful to have guidelines written up that included OOC expectations. I pretty much didn't have to stop and explain to anyone that Eclipse included non-canon content and that as a GM I would need to be allowed to take liberties upon occasion, except those who encountered the plot in-game. People knew what they were signing up for already or I was ready to let them know right away. But I did have to think about ahead of time what people would need to be prepared to accept that wouldn't normally come up in day-to-day roleplay. Then, I had to be ready to ensure randomly encountered players understood that, and acquire their consent before proceeding in anything that would affect them. (Pro tip: a character who can just disappear at will is super handy.) One example is an earlier-on scene where a fight broke out in Warspear involving several characters against Vionora. Before the fight began, I acquired the consent of one player who had not formally volunteered for the plot in order to allow Vionora to be overpowered, and then also explained to a bystander who started watching that all players involved had agreed that my character could kick ass for the purposes of the greater story. Speaking of fighting, there was one thing I had to add to the guidelines partway through the plot, and that was how to handle combat. This can be a fraught issue in any kind of roleplay anywhere, including on WoW, so it's important to make expectations clear. While it may be impossible to please everyone, presenting an arbitrated option can help. As GM, you can take it out of the players' hands, which is invaluable in keeping tensions diffused. If you do decide to use an arbitrated system, the most important thing is being flexible, so as to ensure all players have fun and feel awesome. Also, I wouldn't suggest trying to arbitrate a group of larger than 10 or so. Lessons learned! Feel free to borrow the Eclipse combat system if you like and modify it to suit your own tastes. Just remember, when you start to lay the groundwork, that most of the time, people do whatever they like when it comes to their roleplay... so if you have something specific in mind that you want your players to respect, you'll have to ensure they know what's expected of them and consent to it before you proceed. That means you need to sit down and work out exactly what you're going to ask of your players ahead of time. Setting the Tone The OOC guidelines should also include conduct expectations for all players. I was fortunate to only have the very best participants, but the guidelines helped set the tone to attract those people: positive, mature, collaborative, and inclusive. Keep this tone not just in your OOC guidelines, but in your OOC conversations! Positive: Phrase things in only the most positive way ("let's do X!" rather than "don't do Y!"), and it will really pay off with the excitement and willingness you'll receive in return. Mature: Just state the obvious. Hopefully, most people won't need to hear it, but it will be reassuring to hear that you as the GM expect people to do things like be able to work out their differences. Do remember to be positive here! Collaborative: Try to keep a default answer of "sure!" and stay away from letting slip the "I dunno..." In the end, a little bit of inconsistency is totally worth players feeling like their ideas are wanted and valued. The story doesn't have to be perfect and completely without plot holes. Don't try to make it; be easy instead. People will be happier and that's what will make the plot successful. It's really about letting the players contribute. Ask players what they want out of the plot, what sort of challenges they want their character to face, and what they think would be interesting for their character to do. Just asking really facilitates collaboration. Inclusive: Do your best to reach out to everyone and actively draw them into the plot. Whenever someone showed some interest, I made sure to speak to them personally and suggest ways to get involved. And whenever I hadn't heard from someone in awhile, I reached out to find out how they were doing and if there was anything I could do to ensure they were having a good time and felt involved – and wanted. With something like a plot, an activity people are participating in, it's far too easy for some to get left by the wayside. It may happen even if you mean well; trust me, a lot can be going on and it's hard to stay on top of it all. I know I didn't do a perfect job, despite how much effort I put into it. But it's important to be proactive and considerate, especially for those who aren't so good at involving themselves. The moment it becomes a clique is the moment it stops being a good plot. In Conclusion GMs are only human and they're bound to make mistakes. I know I did with Eclipse. But if you keep your eye on the prize, and the prize is everyone having a wonderful time, it's very possible to be successful in that. Put people being happy ahead of telling exactly the story you wanted to tell, or being the center of attention, or ignoring the problems, and you'll be happy you did – and so will everyone else.
  18. Vionora

    Nightmare: Priorities.

    With her eyes closed, Vionora didn't see the despair twisting his features, but she heard it. She had tried so hard to keep his approval. For months, even when they were together, it had been a constant struggle. It was one seemingly between them; but in the end, it was only against themselves. Vionora could not be what he wanted her to be. Despite the immense cruelties the world had heaped on her, she had never really wanted anyone else to suffer the same. But it was the impossibility of it that had drawn her to him. Only now, after he finally rejected her, did she understand that that rejection was what she had been looking for all along. And yet she had spoken truly when she'd said he couldn't hurt her. In the end, she had been hurting herself. He had only ever been what she'd wanted. But there was no pain now. The only thing she felt was her own share of regret. So much wasted time. So many wounds never allowed to heal. She opened her eyes to see the shadows that stitched the illusory inn together were coming apart. So, too, was she. To the void she returned.
  19. Cast Xara (Vionora, Xaraphyne, Julilee, Filora, and Nokokomah) Naheal (Naheal, Naheal, and Naheal... j/k) Malhavik (Malhavik and Grinjowl) Breygrah (Breygrah and Aaren) Konro (Konro, Shokkra, Alakroz, Karthok, and Telerian) Darethy (Darrethy) Kerala (Kerala, Lomani, Anura, Coqui, and Chanchu) Kexti (Kex'ti and Tesonii) Cobrak (Taozhu, Cobrak, Caldrien, and Brammorn) Tirien (Tirien, Hunter, and Michael) Fhenrir (Fhenrir and Fhenrir... seriously) Syreena (Syreena and Maxissa) Stepanos (Stepanos, Fidjit, and Ja'breeve) Smithe (Smithe) Emmeran (Emmeran) Hegran (Hegran) Lupinum (Lupinum) Khorvis (Khorvis) Ruuki (Ruuki) Cen (Brast) Awatu (Awatu and Borghul) Inzema (Inzema and Qarosimae) Talfryn (Talfryn) Alfirin (Alfirin) Grimal (Grimal) Vilmah (Bellame) Leyujin (Leyu'jin) Lilliana (Lilliana) Brinnea (Brinnea) Civarra (Shaena and Civarra) Saphiara (Saphiara, Malethia, and Malethia) Gazreeth (Gazreeth... for GM) Selash (Selash) Faelenor (Faelenor) Amalyn (Amalyn) Mudhide (Mudhide) Jenasis (Jenasis) Astraea (Astraea)
  20. Several weeks later, finally writing a wrap-up post... Well, better late than never! Where to begin? Definitely first and foremost, I want to say thank you to every participant for your wholehearted support. It made all the difference in the world. I'm humbled by how fully my not-so-little idea was embraced by the community. Even people who didn't participate have said they thought it was cool. But Eclipse would not have been a fraction of what it was if folks hadn't jumped in unreservedly like they did. Simply put, my greatest hopes were exceeded, and it's all because of you guys. Thank you so much for letting me do this. It's sincerely been one of the greatest highlights of my WoW experience, which includes quite a bit. One thing I particularly appreciate is how everyone accepted, adopted even, Vionora – an "anti-villain" as Darrethy kindly called her, but more accurately a cliché pile of emo tropes that I can't believe no one ever rolled their eyes at. It was kind of sweet, actually, how no one ever pointed it out, like you were all afraid I didn't know and didn't want to burst my bubble. But it was very freeing to just play her as she was, and thank you all for that. That's really what Eclipse was about, though... No judgment; just having fun. It didn't matter how many people got kidnapped, threw themselves headlong into danger, appeared in the right place at the right time, or had whatever else happen that was way over the top. We weren't writing the next great novel, we were just doing whatever sounded the most fun at the time. And as a result, a whole lot of fun was had. As intended, Eclipse was just backdrop for everyone to tell their own stories and develop their own characters. That is what we're all in this to do, after all. If Eclipse ends up being a significant event in some characters' histories, and staying a small part of server lore for as long as any of its players are around, then I'll be honored. And maybe in another seven years, some part of it will still live on. Thanks go to the GMs of the original plot, Rannoch and Theira, who were kind enough to give me their blessing in carrying on the story they originally created. Also thank you to Naheal, the other veteran of the first Eclipse plot, whose support was invaluable. But again, the biggest thanks go to all the players. Thank you so much. Love, Vionora/Xaraphyne/Julilee/Filora Edit: oh geez I'm the worst wife. Huge thanks also to my husband for not only putting up with me spending almost every free minute I had for three months on WoW (at least I'm sure it felt that way!) but for taking an interest in the story and being an awesome collaborator. By the way, the reason Eclipse isn't the #1 highlight of my WoW experiences is because I met him on WoW.
  21. Vionora

    Nightmare: One Last Breath

    Vionora slumped in Malhavik's arms; gone. He stared down at her in disbelief. The soulstone rolled from his slack hand to the ground. Accalia fell, but she was not yet finished. Even as the sun was freed from the shadow of the Blue Child, and a spear of light shone down, she lifted her head weakly and spoke to those who yet lived. FOOLS... MORTALS... YOU THINK YOU HAVE DEFEATED ME? YOU CANNOT DEFEAT ME IF YOU CANNOT OVERCOME FEAR ITSELF! The forest floor opened beneath the defenders, a giant, slavering maw. Into a nightmare they all fell.
  22. Vionora

    Nightmare: One Last Breath

    The last of the daylight winked out, plunging them into utter darkness, and Accalia moved into the mortal realm. The power it took the Ancient to penetrate even the thinned veil between worlds was immense. Malhavik was prepared for it. He gathered the excess energy and focused it through the soulstone, sending it arcing through the seal on Vionora's hand and soul, and out through the mark of the Eclipse, back to Accalia in a feedback loop. Vionora gasped and clutched onto Malhavik as the massive amount of energy ripped through her, incising her soul. She was barely even aware of the great many-headed worg that loomed over them, that the defenders had attacked, who tore through with lunar power and mind alterations and swarms of minions. Malhavik ignored the pitched battle around them as he worked single-mindedly to lift the seal from Vionora's soul. It was the most excruciating thing Vionora had ever felt, and she had endured unimaginable things. But before Malhavik was done, Accalia turned on them. The Beast-God was weakening, torn down by the defenders despite her great power. Like seven years ago in Moonglade, her mortal form would be defeated this day. But also like then, she intended to retreat and survive to try again someday. And to destroy to as many as possible on her way out so that they would not be there to challenge her the next time the curse was unleashed. To that end, she grasped as much power as she could. THE HUNT NEVER ENDS. EXCEPT FOR THE PREY. Accalia's metaphysical jaws closed around the talisman-seal, still anchored in Vionora's soul, and tore it out of Mal's grasp like stealing candy from a baby. Vionora experienced a moment of weightlessness, of something beyond disbelief or acceptance or even relief. She had spent many long periods of her life not caring what happened to herself, to others, to the entire world; but now, none of it mattered in the slightest. Nothing mattered anymore. She had done everything she could, or ever would, do. In that moment, she experienced the ultimate surrender. Then, with another wrench, the Beast-God ripped her soul from her body and devoured it.
  23. Vionora

    Nightmare: One Last Breath

    She ran straight toward destruction, as she always had. The power to the north was growing staggeringly as the daylight waned. The sun was nothing but a sliver now, and more and more howls filled the woods, despite the many beasts brought down by the defenders. In the washed-out twilight through which Vi moved, the worgs glowed amber with a fel touch around the edges, a shocking and nauseous combination. They ignored her, focused on their prey. Even now, the mark of the Herald Vionora bore fed Accalia. Once again, her life was required. A sobbing laugh escaped her as she ran. Before an empty grove, Vionora fell to her knees, releasing the twilight. The colors and sounds of the unmuted world returned in full force, but they were nothing compared to the energies swirling in front of her, invisible to the naked eye but screaming on her magical senses. The mark on her right hand burned, brilliant and agonizing. She clutched it helplessly. Everything that had mattered was falling away. Naheal. Darrethy. Aaren. Malhavik. Tirien. All of the people who had tried to convince her that life was worth living. She had done this, she had brought this on herself, as she always had. They couldn't save her from herself. No one could. Time and time again, she had thrown her life away, and this time, she had gone too far. There was no going back, now. She could only wait and reap the consequences of her actions. And even if she lived this time... Malhavik's hand came to a rest on her shoulder; he knelt down next to her. It was time. Vionora looked at him again, at his black eyes, and the regret was crushing. He had only ever been exactly what she had wanted, and it had been monstrously unfair to him to have been caught up in all this. She had pulled him into her self-destructive spiral for which there was only one end. She thought of Tirien, safe on the other side of the world. Far away from her. If only she had understood sooner... But she hadn't been capable of understanding before. Only when the light inside of her had been lit did she understand that the only way to protect what it illuminated was to put it out. "Mal," she said, but whatever she would have said next was lost forever.
  24. <p>Too bad they didn't get to talk more.</p>