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Malethia

Smothering Shadows

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I am rebirth, I am flight. The troubles of my previous life fade into shadows alone. I was peace itself. I was good and just. I practiced my arts for the benefit of all and healed the land with the gifts of the Light, but the torment of my own dark self followed me. Within me was darkness, and hatred and envy. As I looked about, so too did this black shadow of mankind's soul seep slowly into all that I did, diluting its power and sapping its strength.

My own darkness, my own doubting, hatred and rage poisoned me as well; with so much done in the service of others, my own spite and pride tore at me in the back of my mind. In the end, it said to me, all there is, is death, and all these good works will be for naught.

Then came the vision. I saw a way by which I might rid myself of my own darkness. Indeed, might I not rid all mankind of its darker self? This would surely be perfection, joy and treasure. This was the Apparatus and once my mind conceived it, I could not rest until its completion.

=============================================================

Malethia slipped a bookmark at her current page and placed the antique book atop the stand at her side. Her mind reeled with the possibilities; it was an old cautionary tale, about a man who had built a machine to strip the evil from his soul. But here, amongst the books she had stolen from the Scarlet Monastery, was potential proof that the story was real.

The diary belonged to a Zarov Weathermay, a minor noble of old Lordaeron and a priest of the Church of Holy Light. According to what few records Undercity still held, he had lived in the days long before the First War, and was known as a generous and beneficent traveling cleric. He had spent much of his time, money, and influence serving the peasants of his nation.

This diary though... it admitted the dark secret so many servants of the Light held within them - the anger, the selfishness, the desire always kept bottled up, never released for fear of the damage it could do. That was the eternal struggle, the lie Malethia had lived through and had finally escaped from. If his story was true, if he really had built this "Apparatus" and expelled the darkness from his soul, then Malethia had to learn more.

After all... all processes could be reversed. Sometimes it just took a magical spark to do so.

=============================================================

Many nights did I work in the darkness of my secluded laboratory, my mind fevered with the immensity of what I would accomplish. Yet did success elude me! Failure after failure did I suffer. The key to the banishment of our darker self was ever hanging before me, without shape or substance; ever in a haze of taunting obscurity.

One night my tortured soul boiled with hate and anger. I cried out! "Why had the gods made man so? Why must we be tortured by contrast in this life, faced constantly with the choice of light and dark?" I would conquer this if I could. I would defy such law!

Then came to me with clarity the knowledge of what I must do. I saw the missing piece, its rod of crystal hewn just so; its length just thus. The sulphur sphere . . . it all made sense. I vowed to leave thus for a time the paths decreed by the just gods, for in the end much good could be accomplished . . . surely the gods would understand the need of that.

=============================================================

The diary was filled with diagrams, fevered sketchings clearly inspired by mad dreams and drawn in a trembling hand. The work took days, slowly translating Weathermay's random ramblings into a viable schematic. The Apparatus began to take shape, she could see it now. Still, there was too much missing; while she could easily duplicate the basic design of the machine, he had omitted too many of the arcane details that would enable it to fulfill its function.

Obviously, those details were the ones inspired by his madness, the insane leaps in logic that could never be recorded. She could never build the machine on her own.

Perhaps though... it was some sort of artifact, clearly. Such things were incredibly difficult to destroy. It might still exist. She would have to do more research.

=============================================================

Within a fortnight the deed was done. The Apparatus stood complete within my laboratory. The great sulphur ball in its mechanism, the receptors below all arranged properly about the lead glass sphere. The tests had all been successful . . . I could let no one but myself be the first within that chamber.

The power surged with the spinning sphere. Lightning laced the chamber. Arrows of brilliance flew from the receptors and pierced the glass . . . my soul! The darkness encompassed me . . . it screamed!

When at last I awoke, I was free. Yet the great experiment worked all too well. I could marry with good conscience the woman I loved and know that the darker self within me would be no obstacle to our joy and happiness. We were betrothed and the date was set.

I gave no thought then to where my darker soul had been sent. Where that part of me lived, I did not know. My pride had played one last trick upon me.

=============================================================

He claimed to have completed the Apparatus. He claimed to have undergone its process himself. He claimed that it had succeeded, and lived out his life free of the darkness within him.

The timeline was a jumbled mess, due to the spotty records surviving from that time period. Weathermay had been born in Cinderhome, moved to Darrowshire to join the Church. After his marriage, he had seemingly disappeared for a time, but eventually ended up in Corin's Crossing until his death.

Time to begin her explorations then! There was no point in continuing her work unless she was willing to enter the field and get her hands dirty.

((OOC Note: A complimentary free invisible McGuffin to whoever can figure out where the diary entries (and the accompanying plot device) come from.))

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WoWScrnShot_072010_215637.jpg

Cinderhome, once a quiet hamlet near Stratholme, was now in ruins. Not terribly surprising really, considering that nearly all of Lordaeron was in ruins thanks to the Scourge, but such a condition made it somewhat more difficult to follow a record trail. Cinderhome was now Terrordale, in the heart of Scourge territory.

She didn't expect to find terribly much here. Weathermay had spent only his early life in this place. Still, if he had left some clues to his personality behind, or perhaps had sent mementos back, it could prove useful later on.

According to the local census, Weathermay had been born in a small farmhouse on the outskirts of the village. A quick check of the building found nothing but decay. She cursed under her breath; a waste of time. She spun, and then she noticed it. At the bottom of a rotted out barrel was the slightest glint.

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She pulled a small medallion out from the rotted panels. It was in the shape of a small sunburst, surrounding a nearly perfect diamond.

"The Medallion..." It was a key piece of her plan. The Rod controlled the machine, but this medallion controlled its function. Without the Medallion, the Apparatus could only split souls. With it, however...

"I can get my soul back."

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Darrowshire was in even worse shape than Cinderhome, having been the site of a major battle. In this town, Weathermay had resided at the local church during his training. Her best hope was that a few more records might have survived, but it was somewhat of a forlorn hope. The building was in shambles.

She strolled through the wreckage, occasionally kicking at a piece of destroyed furniture to look beneath it. The bookshelves held nothing of value, and the dressers were just as bare. Things were getting discouraging.

It wasn't until she reached the chapel that her luck turned.

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Somehow, a chest had survived intact. Malethia carefully applied a bit of explosive, making sure not enough was used to damage the contents, and blew the lock.

Inside were stacks of journals, mostly financial records. She dug through them, flipping through the pages in search of anything that might prove useful. Finally, a single entry stood out:

Zarov Weathermay - 10,000 gp - Corin's Crossing, new facility

This was new. She had known that Weathermay had purchased a home in Corin's Crossing, but according to this he had built something there for the church as well. She'd have to find the location of this building.

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Corin's Crossing was still a key point in the region - except now, instead of trade, it controlled the flow of troops. Still, only weaker Scourge remained here, since most of the more powerful undead had been sent north to protect their master. That made it easy enough to dispatch the random patrols interrupting her search.

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The house, like everything else she had been exploring in the search for the Apparatus, was in shambles. A top to bottom sweep found nothing. Just as she was about to give up, Glynona's keen eye picked out a scrap of paper tucked into the wall. Malethia grabbed it, unfolding it to reveal some sort of journal entry. She pulled out Weathermay's diary, flipping through it until she found a place where a page was missing. The tear matched exactly.

========================================================

The creature came in my dreams, or at least I thought it was a dream. That I shared the same chamber with that darker self repels me. His presence frightens me. Even now, with the dawn coming, I fear to write these words, and may strip them away, for they reveal my shame.

I lay in my chamber. The lightning of an approaching storm filled the room with light, and in that hellish light he appeared, his dark shadow blocking the window. I could not see him in the dark, but the stench of corruption filled my nostrils, and the intermittent flashes lit his cloaked figure.

"Brother" spoke the creature, and laughed as I recoiled at the mere idea of this fell beast being of my blood and bones. "Oh yes - Brother, for it is you who gave me the power, the darker side of my existence, and you who so generously opened the path to bring me into your lands. A light-bringer stealing fire from the heavens, only to discover that when you have light, darkness seeps into every crack and shadow. Dead deluded Brother!"

"Thank you, dear Brother," it hissed, "for bringing me to this land of plenty, this new world full of rich cattle to feed me. I had stripped my old land almost bare, and now I will do the same to yours. Think of it Brother, all the poor, stupid, cow-like fools dying at my hands, feeding my power, and your name, filling their last gasping breath. Everyone I slay is to be laid at your doorstep Brother, until the mound of bodies is higher than the Chapel itself!"

He laughed, the lightning crashed, and I bolted awake in bed. Dressing quickly, I searched the manor. While I turned in restless dreams, the fiend had stolen my Apparatus! Without the Rod, however... he can never use it for evil again. I will take it to my grave.

========================================================

"Take it to your grave, hmm?" Well. This at least explained why the Apparatus wasn't here - it had apparently been stolen. At least her next target was obvious.

WoWScrnShot_072010_220812.jpg

Here lies Count Zarov Weathermay, Blessed of the Light.

He died of heart broken, at the loss of his loving wife and son.

May he find the rest in the Heavens that he never could on this earth.

"And may he have been literal when he swore to take that rod to the grave." She nodded, and a voidwalker summoned for this purpose shoved the lid of the sarcophagus aside. A cloud of foul dust escaped, dissipating quickly into the air. All that remained behind was a pile of bones - and a crystal rod.

"Well... here's his Rod. Now, where could this 'Creature' have taken the Apparatus to?" She pondered the question; if the Creature was the dark side of everything Weathermay, where would he have placed it?

...she herself was the Creature to her own Weathermay. She was the dark remnant of her own being. Given her previous life, where would she have found such corruption to be most offensive?

...until the mound of bodies is higher than the Chapel itself.

Of course. That had to be the building Weathermay had built for the Church on his arrival. It was his pride and joy, the statement of his faith. The creature would have gained endless amusement from its corruption.

The search didn't take long at all. The chapel was gone, but its foundation still remained. Also remaining were the stairs to the secret basement chamber that had been dug beneath it. And within that chamber...

WoWScrnShot_072010_191436.jpg

"We found it, Glynona..." She could barely breathe, her heart was pounding so hard in her chest. "The Apparatus. Now I can fix myself, and be normal again..."

She gestured to the voidwalker, which began the task of lifting the boxes and carrying them to the cart outside. Meanwhile, Malethia began the gentle process of detaching the Apparatus from the ceiling so it could be moved. Soon, she would have the pieces reassembled back in her home, ready to be waiting.

Then all she would have to do is find her new soul...

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Usually when Libelle got mail, it was from her cousin Exanimo, and it was a reminder that she wasn't allowed to talk to any of the boys in Silvermoon because he had already claimed them and they all belonged to him.

Either that, or it was propaganda from the priesthood in Silvermoon, informing her gently that she was on the roster but she wasn't showing up for the weekly meetings, and that good priests liked to donate their time and money occasionally.

Sometimes her mailbox just had rocks in it.

But today she was pleasantly surprised but a little perturbed to find a letter from an old friend of hers. An old friend who had recently gone completely crazy.

My Dear Friend:

I am terribly sorry about the way I treated you the last time we spoke. I hope you can understand the terrible stress I am under, given recent changes in my life. Still, I should not have been so rude as to take out my despair upon you.

I wish to make it up to you. I will have a lovely dinner prepared at my home, and I wish for you to join me. When we are done, I can escort you through the Halls of the Sun, with all the relics of the Light contained within, and perhaps you can find some texts or other materials that will help you in your training.

Please let me know when you would be available, and I will make sufficient preparations.

Signed,

Malethia Blazestone

Of course she couldn't refuse an invitation like that. She had known all along that Malethia wasn't actually evil. Libelle had gone through a phase like that in her fifties, anyway, when she wore a lot of black and wouldn't even try to talk to birds.

So she immediately set to work scribbling out a response. She would be going to see Malethia on the following evening.

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"Higher. No, higher. When I say higher, I mean actually move it, not tap at it and pretend the earth moved or something." It turned out that discovering the process of reassembling the Apparatus was actually less complicated than the actual reassembly of the device. This was mostly due to the ineptitude of her summoned servants, but there was little to be done for that.

Malethia's own task was tuning the delicate machinery that would provide the power and spells to complete the procedure. On the workshop before her was a large draenic crystal, which she was carefully carving into a perfect sphere. Glynona stood behind her, watching over her shoulder.

"Because I'm reversing it, remember? Sulphur was used for the split, so I'm trying a holy element for combination." She buffed out a minor flaw, then leaned back to study her work. "Of course I know what I'm doing. I've been working with this material for some time now."

The containment chambers seemed to be in the correct position now. The next step was the power source; while Weathermay had originally used lightning from a storm, such things were near impossible in the magical climate of Eversong. Instead, Malethia had set up a lightning generator to provide the voltage needed.

The time of trial was approaching. Soon, she'd find out if all this work was for naught. But, if she succeeded...

"Get moving, you lazy peons! Our guest will be arriving in a few short hours!"

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Libelle gazed uncertainly at the large manor before her. Malethia had mentioned the place before, but she had never seen it. Now that it came down to it, she was a little bit nervous. What would they talk about? Would Malethia start acting all crazy? Would they even be able to carry on a conversation?

Libelle swallowed.

Her face twitched in response to a tickling sensation at her cheek. Fluttersnuff, her white moth, landed reassuringly on her shoulder. His little feet pricked gently through the fabric of her gown.

Squaring her shoulders, she strode forward towards the manor's front door. If all else failed, they could talk about Fluttersnuff. That's what she usually did.

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The Halls of the Sun, primary manor of House Blazestone, sat along the coastline of Eversong Woods. Built in the shape of a "v", with a circular chapel in the center and large ballroom towers at the end of both wings, it had been designed to stand as a place of happiness and light. Given the transformation of its current owner however, the manor was now quiet and empty.

Malethia had brought the Apparatus to a secret chamber beneath the floor of the chapel. This room had been intended to serve as a ritual chamber for holy spells, and as a refuge in case of overwhelming attack. Now, she was taking a secret thrill from perverting her own intentions. Certainly, what she would do tonight would not remotely be considered 'holy'. Still, it had to be done.

A chime went off in her mind, a result of the warding spells covering her family's lands like a lattice. A single individual, entering via the main path - almost certainly her invited guest. Malethia turned to Glynona, who was eagerly anticipating what was to come.

"Go. Make sure the chapel is the most inviting place to enter the manor. Once she's inside, dispatch her and bring her here." Glynona licked her lips, which drew a backhanded slap from Malethia that sent the succubus tumbling to the floor. "Do NOT touch her besides carrying her to me. Do you understand me? I do NOT want her harmed or violated." Glynona's face was a mixture of rage and lust, but she nodded and stood once again, taking her leave to prepare for her task.

Malethia returned her attention to the final tunings of the Apparatus. It was all falling into place, and her excitement was getting to the point where it was becoming a distraction. She had to focus; no point in anticipating the reward until she had it in hand.

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Libelle stood in the courtyard formed between the two wings of the manner. Straight ahead, in the circular section at the manor's apex, seemed the most logical place to make an entrance. Fluttersnuff took off from her shoulder and flapped encouragingly ahead. Libelle followed.

As she approached the chapel, she saw that the tall door at its center stood wide open. This seemed a little odd, but she supposed that it was a rather nice day after all, and either Malethia or a servant was waiting inside, close enough to hear when she announced herself. Fluttersnuff disappeared through the door, and Libelle followed after.

The air inside the manor was oddly still. With a guilty glance at Fluttersnuff's flittering wings, Libelle found herself wishing that she had brought her guard-chicken instead.

"Hello?" Her voice echoed weakly through the entry way.

Something rustled behind her. Then came a sudden flash of light, and afterwards, blackness.

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Malethia was generous enough to wait until Libelle had emerged from unconsciousness. She was, if nothing else, aware of the traditional tropes that drove the sort of activity she was about to engage in.

As the mad scientist in this piece she was duty-bound to provide the speech detailing her plot. However, since she was also the heroine, there would be no escape during said speech.

"Awake? Good. I thought it only fair that you understand what exactly was about to occur here." She looked up at the right chamber of the Apparatus, where Libelle was bound inside. "You'll remember what happened in Silithus, hmm? How they tried to use me for their weapon? How the Light was ripped out of me, rather than let them fire it?"

Malethia's eyes were ablaze with fire, her face a mask of rage. "That was YOUR fault! Do you remember? YOU let yourself be mind controlled. YOU attacked me. YOU delivered me to them. THIS IS YOUR FAULT! YOU TOOK MY SOUL FROM ME" She was screaming now, her arms flailing wildly.

She took a deep breath now, regaining some measure of control. "But... that is the past. Nothing can be done to change it now. However, there's still a way for you to help me! Generous Libelle, always so loving, always so giving. This will be your most generous act yet."

Malethia spread her arms, taking in the entirety of the room-sized assembly. "This is the Apparatus, a wondrous piece of engineering. Its creator built it to strip the evil from his soul. Now, obviously I no longer have a soul, so what use is it to me, you ask? Well, let me explain my own little bit of genius."

She was half-muttering now, slipping free of the bounds of sanity. "I figured it out, you see. If he could split a soul, why couldn't you flip a switch and put them back together? That couldn't quite work for me though. I couldn't take my original soul back. No, that was how the Light controlled me. That's not acceptable."

She looked back up at Libelle, a maddened focus now clear in her eyes. "I need a pure soul if I'm going to go back to normal. And you, dear Libelle, are the purest soul I know. Do you see how generous you are? Do you understand now?"

The fires flickered in Malethia's eyes once again. "You're going to give me your soul."

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Libelle wasn't entirely sure what was going on. She was disoriented, bound inside of some sort of apparatus--and, as she slowly came to realize, Malethia was pacing about outside, talking animatedly.

"You're going to give me your soul."

Libelle scrunched her eyes. Her head pounded. She wasn't aware that giving someone your soul was possible. Maybe Malethia was speaking figuratively? She remembered vaguely that Malethia preferred women...was this Malethia's idea of romance? If so, she had really gone crazy.

This train of thought wandered away as something white caught her eye. It was Fluttersnuff, flittering in the back corner of the room, and alighting on the wall.

She couldn't think straight. Her head throbbed. She squinted at Malethia.

"What?"

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Malethia grumbled. A perfect master plan revelation, wasted on someone who wasn't even paying attention. "Well said."

She made a final check on all the equipment. The rod and medallion were aligned correctly. Energy seemed to be flowing through the crystal sphere without disruption. The generator was fully charged and ready to provide the power. Everything was ready.

Malethia climbed up into the Apparatus's left chamber, swallowing down the claustrophobia that threatened to leave her a whimpering wreck on the floor. Down below, Glynona hovered over the activation switch. Everything would be automated once that switch was flipped. There would be no turning back.

She looked over to the other chamber. "This is all for the best, you understand. I have so much good work left to do. I can't do it when I'm like this. I need a soul. Look at it as sacrificing yourself for the greater good."

Malethia looked back down again. "Glynona. Flip the switch."

The generator hummed. Lightning crackled. Suddenly a bolt shot out, striking the rod, traveling down through the medallion, and spreading out into the sphere. The energy split in two from there, connecting the two chambers of the Apparatus with a beam of pure power.

Malethia gasped. Then everything went white.

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The light dissolved into softness. Libelle was surrounded by nothing—but the nothing was close, snug, pressing in on her from the sides, supporting her from below. She was unconscious of the sensation that she was floating downward until her feet alighted on a hard surface. Her hair settled around her shoulders. The ground was rough through the thin soles of her shoes.

Libelle looked down. The ground beneath her feet was illuminated by a low light that had no discernable source or direction. A narrow cobbled road stretched ahead and behind. The grassy terrain to either side of the road withered into darkness.

Libelle squinted ahead. She could see a red, flickering light in the distance.

“I don’t like this,” Libelle muttered. She hugged her arms to her chest. “I really wish Spockbock or someone were here.”

“Bock,” said a voice. It was a young woman’s voice, high and clear, but it sounded like it came from the ground. Libelle flinched and looked down. Her slate-gray rooster, Spockbock, glared up at her with a glittering eye. His back was hard and featherless, and glowed in the dim light. Libelle bent and peered closer at him. A similar shell covered his breast, and his head was adorned with a small metal cap, slotted to let his comb poke through.

“You shouldn’t sneak up on me like that, Spockbock,” Libelle chided. “You scared me.” She frowned. “Where did you find chicken armor?”

Spockbock ruffled his stubby wings and gave a peremptory peck at the cobbles.

Libelle sighed, and looked towards the light ahead. “I guess we better go that way,” she said. She stepped forward. Spockbock’s talons tapped on the stone behind her.

The orange light was distant. Libelle squinted, but its source was impossible to make out. She took another step. The light rushed forward. A blaze exploded upwards on the left side of the road. Spockbock squawked in his woman’s voice. Libelle staggered sideways, covering her face against the heat. She peered through her fingers. Flames leapt up the trunk of a tree and into its spreading branches. She lowered her hands to cover her mouth, and backed away.

Movement flashed at the edge of her vision. Libelle wheeled around to see a dark, petite figure sprinting away down the road. The air in that direction was thick and dark, but Libelle could make out a cluster of large, square shapes on either side of the road, backlit by hot, unsteady light.

Spockbock crowed and charged after the girl. “But—wait!” Libelle cried. She wrung her hands and moaned. “Ohhhhhmygoodness. Fine. I’m coming.” She clamped her fingers together and stumbled after the rooster.

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Malethia groaned, pushing herself up off the floor into a sitting position.

Wait... why was she on the floor?

For that matter, where was she?

Her head felt like it was stuffed with cotton. Her thoughts were sluggish, as if she were fighting with herself to even form them in the first place. After a time, her mind began to clear, and the memories of the past few days returned.

She looked over to the other chamber of the Apparatus. It was empty.

"...it worked?" She looked down, where Glynona wore a look of slight disappointment on her face. Realizing she was being consulted, the succubus nodded.

"IT WORKED!" Malethia leaped out of the Apparatus, feeling lighter in body and soul than she had in months. She grabbed Glynona, dancing around the room with the startled demon in a waltz-ish sort of move.

Her energy levels were enormous; she felt as if she could run around all day, exploring the world through new eyes. She looked over at the voidwalker, waiting patiently at the entrance to the laboratory. "I think I want to go take a walk, and play with all the fluffy animals in the forest. You'll come protect me, won't you Spockbock?"

If voidwalkers could frown, this one was doing just that. Still, it shrugged its shoulders and followed Malethia out into Eversong.

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The shapes around Libelle were nebulous. Was she in a village? On a farmstead? She couldn't tell. The air was filmed with smoke and red flames danced at the periphery of her vision, always dancing away if she tried to look at them directly.

Spockbock's small black form retreated before her and she sprinted to keep up.

Then out of the haze lurched a tall, ravaged house. Flames spurted out of its windows. Spockbock tripped forward and crowed, pointing his beak at a figure standing by the doorway. It was a young elf girl--her face covered in soot and her hair disheveled. She gave Libelle a startled look and dashed through the gaping doorway into the flaming house.

"What--stop, don't go in there!" Libelle cried. Spockbock gave her a one-eyed glare and scrambled after the girl.

Libelle gaped into the red-tinged darkness beyond the doorway. She sucked in a deep breath and lunged after the girl and her chicken.

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"They're all dead, you know."

The room was filled with smoke, fire, and debris. It had been the grand front entrance of a noble elven manor once, but now it was nothing but ruined stone. The banner hanging on the opposite wall was red, its sigil a fiery mountain. House Blazestone.

"They put a giant claw through Mother's chest. Father disappeared, but I know they killed him too. They dragged him down and covered him up, all the corpses that walked." A young, blonde, elven girl was sitting on a large slab of stone, part of the ceiling that had collapsed. She patted the rubble beneath her.

"My brother's under here, and so am I. We're both going to die soon. Maybe from the fire, or the smoke. Or maybe the rest of the house will fall down and crush us. Do you think it will hurt?"

=========================================================

She had gone in there before. No big deal, right? Just a cave.

Caves are underground. Tons of rock above you. You're going to be buried alive.

"Stop it. I'm stronger than that. You can't scare me, I've beaten that."

Buried alive. Buried alive. Buried alive. BURIED ALIVE. BURIED ALIVE.

"STOP IT!" She fell to her knees, tears streaming down her face. "StopstopstopstopstopSTOP!" Her arm felt as if it were on fire. The scar, her brand from that terrible day, burst into flame once again.

She screamed, her body ablaze with the fires created from her imagined terror made manifest.

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Libelle's fists clenched at the little girl's words. She didn't know exactly what had happened, but she was sure that it had been horrible.

That wasn't important at the moment, though. She had to get the girl out of the house. Sparks were falling from the ceiling and smoke billowed around their heads, making Libelle's eyes water. Spockbock crowed and started pecking furiously at the rubble underneath the girl, attempting to free whoever had been caught. Libelle bit her lip.

"Don't worry, you're all right," Libelle said to the girl. "You aren't caught under anything." Maybe the smoke and the flames were making the girl a little bit crazy. "We have to get you out before the house keeps collapsing, though." She stepped toward the girl to take her arm and gently try to pull her away from the rubble.

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"She won't leave. She'll never leave. She's too scared to." A slightly older version of the girl - no more than a few years older - stood within the flames and smoke of the shattered doorway. She was dressed in a mage apprentice's robes, a deep scowl on her face.

The burning house vanished, replaced by what appeared to be a training room. There was still fire here, however, in the form of a burning mannequin wearing an Alliance tabard. The younger version of the girl vanished as well, but the older one remained.

"Not going to be afraid. We hate them all. Once we get the power we need, we'll kill them all. We'll make them pay for letting us suffer."

====================================================================

"Die."

He let your father die.

"DIE."

Your mother would still be here to care for you if not for him.

"DIE."

Make them burn.

She stalked on through the mountains of Alterac, leaving behind a lump of charcoal barely recognizable as a human corpse.

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Libelle blinked and gazed around the room. In this mind-space her perceptions were different, more immediate, and already her memories of the burning house were beginning to fade. Her gaze trailed towards the burning dummy and hung there for a moment until she turned away, shuddering. She eyed the girl apprehensively. Libelle did not do well with others' anger.

"Uhm...who is it that you're talking about?" This talk of killing was no good. She had to try to calm the girl down. Libelle felt a faint stirring of air at her cheek, and glanced over to see a white moth alighting on her shoulder. Yes, Fluttersnuff could help.

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