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((Thought I'd post my first short story! This was a post I made in the middle of an RP with a friend with the intent of making it into a short story! I hope everyone likes it.))

Ashes fell from the orange-tinted sky instead of Darkshore's usual rain. Even here, the heat was felt. This was a place of death. It was a place of pain and suffering. It was her birth place. It was a place of hatred. It was the place Xaesha was meant to see. She knew it to be true.

Niala was filled with nothing but hate, despair, and self-loathing. She should have been able to stop this. It was her duty. Her purpose. She had failed. Now, she felt a new emotion. Anxiety and fear. She had stolen the soul of her love from the Night Warrior. She... knew the silver magic could have been nothing other than the Goddess' hand in her work. She had even spoken with one of the Temple's few remaining sisters. Sil'fer. She told Sil'fer what she had done. She'd told her of the silver magic. The woman seemed convinced it was the right path to take. She'd even offered to lend a hand; offered to send her to people that could help her with Elune's will. But those options... they took Xaesha from the one thing she was meant to see. They took her from the giant burning monument to her people's fallen. Niala knew this monument to their hatred was meant to be the torch that brought Xaesha new purpose. Sil'fer had given her a final piece of guidance in enacting the will they knew to be the Goddess'. Water from an un-desecrated moonwell.

Niala had gone to retrieve a vial of water from one of the few moonwells hidden deep in the forest of Ashenvale. Deep in the south by the Felfaren river. An ancient moonwell not touched in countless years. As she finally collapsed on the dry, ash-mixed sand of the shore in full view of the grave's burning eye, she held in her possession two things. Xaesha's blackened, dark glowing soul gem and in the other hand, the vial of light-blue, brilliant moonwell water. Everything else for the ritual, she would supply. She sat there in silence for a long moment, staring up at the mass grave, silently seething in rage and despair.

The kaldorei’s eyes shift now, up to the sky, taking in the faint outline of the moon. She furrows her brow slightly, having wished she was in full view of the Goddess… but she knew the Goddess could not be hindered by simple ash and smoke. The Goddess would have full view to judge her actions. Whether profane or guided by the Goddess, her judgment would come.

Her eyes fall once more to the dry mix of sand and ash before her. She quietly stares at it for a moment in thought. All she felt was rage and vengeance in that moment. Her gaze turned back to the tree once more. Their story was not over.

Niala pulled out the black-lit, glowing gem and held it tight in her right hand, slowly raising them as she began to chant her spell. Her hands began to glow with that same light-blue and silver light as they had when she’d taken Xaesha’s soul. Niala slowly began to pull the smaller ley lines surrounding her from their natural positions as she formed ward after ward with the sole purposes of pulling and pushing ley lines into place. Those with magical sight would see the true complexity of her work. The wards formed an incredibly complex pattern with the ley lines surrounding the body, giving the area an almost ritualistic feel. The patterns spiderwebbed out from the location just before her an impressive distance before finally reaching the edge of the spell’s manipulation, leaving the ley lines beyond in their original positions. Further wards were raised by the Kaldorei linking every single ward to the power of the ley lines. Azeroth’s life force took over the strain of the vast network of wards, freeing Niala to begin another, separate spell.

The failed protector of the Kaldorei knelt just “above” the head of the body she intended to form for her love, looking toward the burning reminder of her failure. Her eyes locked with it as she began to chant, threads of unseen arcane energy flowing through the sky and pulling the still burning ash from the sky near her, funneling it toward the ritual’s location. Slowly, but surely, the ash began to pile up over the ritual site, spreading across the length of where she would form her love’s body. It did not take the form of a body, but it did take up the outline as it piled up. After a few dozen minutes, the ash had piled up more than enough to meet the mass of her love’s body. The Kaldorei turns her gaze downward, finally lowering her eyes to meet the pile of ash.

She should be happy her love was returning. She should be elated to be doing this, but the only thing she felt was pain, hatred, and sorrow. Even more, she felt the judgment of the Goddess. The pale light of the moon penetrated the ash like an unstoppable gaze that upon one false action not according to her will would smite her where she knelt. This ritual was not born out of the Goddess’ mercy. It was not of her love. This was a ritual born of fury and wrath. This was a ritual of spite greater than even death itself.

Niala closed her eyes for a short moment and frowned. It was a ritual of sacrifice. So, it would be. The Kaldorei slowly pulled her mail chestpiece off, revealing a bandaged form. Countless cuts and bruises covered her body, but beyond that were several of her deepest wounds. They glowed with liquid mana, the substance leaking out of the kaldorei’s very body to replace the grievous, would-be fatal wounds she had sustained.

Niala’s eyes closed a little tighter from a painful discomfort as she begins to slowly peel her bandages from her torso, revealing the violet blood from her shallower injuries that coated her and the brilliant, light-blue glow of the mana that kept her alive shining out from deep wounds. One in particular, a spear wound from the night Teldrassil had burned went straight through the right half of her stomach and out the other end. A thick puncture wound that almost immediately began to flow, leaking the kaldorei’s very arcane essence from her body. Niala gently cupped her hands, a crystallized bowl of mana forming in them as she brought them closer to her injury. The Night Warrior would have a sacrifice. Niala would bleed for her profanity and bleed to prove her devotion. Greater than blood for this Kaldorei was her arcane essence. It was akin to her very soul now. This was a small price to pay to appease the fury of the Night Warrior.

As the bowl filled with her arcane blood, the Kaldorei looked once more to the flames of her people’s tomb, then to the Goddess’ faint outline in the sky. The smoke still covered it. The ash still hid it from view. But her eyes saw the Goddess clear as day. Nothing could hide the Goddess’ wrath. Nothing could save Niala if she failed her Goddess. Her face went almost meek at the sight, almost causing the Kaldorei to tremble for a few moments before she forced her gaze away, back to the fire. Wrath. She could not let herself fear. Her Goddess sought to unleash wrath. She had to be the Goddess’ hand. She had to feel that which the Goddess felt.

It was only once the bowl had filled that she let her gaze leave Teldrassil. It was only when her sacrifice for the ritual was made that she looked back to the pile of ash. Even with all the arcane blood she felt she needed for the ritual, she did not bandage herself again. She would bleed until this ritual was done. Her pain and loss would never be great enough to atone for her failure to protect her people.

Niala gently placed the bowl at the side of Xaesha’s would-be head and slowly moved the blackened gem of her love’s soul over the bowl. She gently released the gem into the light-blue glow of the arcane blood and the gem slowly started to shift the blood toward black, resulting in a somewhat dark violet color, glowing with the same intensity. It was akin to the violet, shadowy magics the priestess would use under the Night Warrior’s aspect.

Niala gently shifted her hands to the ash, beginning a chant. The ley lines around her lit up visibly in a vibrant light-blue, shifting a little toward silver as the Goddess’ gaze guided her magic and began to draw an intense volume of power from them. The monument to the pain of the Kaldorei before her; this pain-drenched ash was about to change. As the ley lines powered the mage’s spell, the arcane blood held in the crystallized, partially translucent bowl began to glow more intense than before with its violet light as the magic was pulled from the bowl and began to flow into the ash.

Xaesha’s spirit slowly bled free of the gem, instead being bound to the arcane blood Niala was infusing into the ash. The catalyst of Niala’s arcane blood slowly shifted the ash into mana as well, bringing with it the pain of her people as it slowly took on new shape. The ashen mana glowed with a mix of silver and violet light, as Niala began to form the body. It was at this stage that the Kaldorei held the spell with her left hand, finding the vial of moonwell water she had taken from the ancient moonwell in Ashenvale. She carefully popped the cork with her right hand, letting the moonwell’s water mix with the remaining arcane blood she was supplying, the mixture slowly being drawn into the body all the same. It wasn’t until only the bowl and gem remained that she finally brushed the bowl aside and away from the ritual.

She held the spell, bringing the body form in an intensely exhausting and long, drawn-out process, her eyes only having glanced once more to the searing gaze of Elune’s retribution that shone through the smoke unfazed by its very presence. After her meek glance, her eyes locked upon her people’s ever-burning grave for the remainder of the spell. After several dozen long minutes, her spell came to an end, leaving a body lying before her. Now she needed only wait for the spirit to fully bind to this new body born from not only her blood, but the blood, agony, and hatred of her people; now, she only needed to wait for this embodiment of the Goddess’ boundless wrath to awaken.

Edited by Moonthorn

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