Xaraphyne

Eclipse - The Curse

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[[ Open to anyone involved in these events. This is what happened on the first night from Xara's point of view, as much as I can remember. Hopefully everyone else will fill in what I missed! ]]

Xaraphyne was standing on the walls of a tower in Karazhan, preparing to summon Nightbane with her guildmates and allies at her side, when a messenger bird circled down from the sky and delivered to her a long note.

It was from the new cabin girl, Toraneko... relaying what she and Rethsil (another cabin boy) had seen. Once Xara finished the letter, disbelief made her crush it in her hand. It seemed impossible that Sinaku could have attempted all those things... on his own sister, Jazziks, no less... but the urgency in Tora's words left no room for doubt. Once Nightbane was slain, Xara rode straight for Eversong Woods.

Xara was the one who located Jazziks in the tower far west in the Ghostlands. She arrived to find Jazziks being protected by two other Rangers of the Dark Sun, Jeshua and Ishiido. Neither posed much of a threat to her and she quickly made her way to Jazziks, who was unconscious and resting. Rand (head cabin boy and Xara's trusted friend), Rethsil, and a tauren named Rannoch arrived then, and Xara told Rand to take Jazziks to safety -- not trusting anyone who might have loyalty left to Sinaku, or whom she didn't know in the first place, with Jazzik's safety.

Thus began the chase.

The two rangers and Rannoch gave chase across the Ghostlands, but the pirates were swift and Xara made it clear she intended to protect the girl at all costs from any possible threat. She also swore she would kill Sinaku the next time she saw him and would not be argued otherwise. Vaande, another cabin boy, caught up to them at that time, as did Toraneko, another cabin girl. As they passed through Tranquillien, a certain Lady Videlle blinked at their passage, and closer to Eversong, a younger hunter by the name of Menalai caught wind of the action.

They flew through Silvermoon City, and Xara was busy sending out messages to all she could. Thus when they stepped into Undercity, her guildmate Desdemonah was waiting to teleport them to Orgrimmar. Their pursuers were stymied, but only briefly as they caught wind of the pirates' plans to take the zeppelin; after getting to Orgrimmar by means of their own, they managed to dive aboard just as the zeppelin was leaving.

Xara yelled at her crewmates to get to Stonard... but the windriders they took all turned to Booty Bay. Once there, Rand passed Jazziks into Xara's arms and went to find Dyiana, another cabin girl and a healer. The pirates took Jazziks out to the ramparts of Booty Bay and remained there for some time, undetected. Xara sent out more messages, calling on every connection she had because she knew their pursuers would be gathering more allies.

Dyiana arrived and began to tend to Jazziks... noticing that the girl had a strange marking on one hand. Two slightly overlapping circles, surrounded by another circle. "Eclipse..." she murmured after touching Jazziks' mind. Dyiana began to weaken.

Then, Menalai discovered their location, and shortly after Rannoch, Jeshua, and Videlle arrived. Tensions flared and it seemed conflict would ensue; two of Xara's allies also arrived, Elek (a guildmate) and Avielandil (of an allied guild). Elek joined Dyiana at Jazziks' side, inspecting the strange marking closely himself. Perhaps too closely. Tirana, another guildmate, arrived shortly thereafter, as did Tirael, a rogue friend of Xara's who was not amused to have been dragged into the situation. He brought his friend Rosalynd, and after Xara told them the situation was under control, those two left for other parts.

Xara told Rethsil to tell everyone what he had seen... what had driven Xara to such almost suspicions means herself to see to Jazz's safety.

Essentially, Rethsil had witnessed Sinaku forcing unwanted attentions on his sister, and he and Toraneko had both witnessed him causing her great pain and threatening worse violence. Upon hearing the story, those who had pursued Xara and her crew were deeply affected. Many could not believe Sinaku would ever do such a thing, but Jazziks' unconscious condition was evidence enough. The chase ended as everyone agreed that they shared the common desire for Jazziks' safety.

Elek seemed somewhat unwell at this point, as did Dyiana. Xara decided that Jazziks would be taken to the Bloodsail ship to rest in safety. When she heard that Jazziks had pleaded with others to not hurt Sinaku, her resolve to kill him seemed weakened. On the trip to Ratchet, Elek pulled Xara aside to tell her of the strangeness of the marking and its possible Highborne origins. He seemed to be getting more and more unwell at this point, but Xara didn't realize how serious it would become.

They arrived at the ship south of Ratchet, but before they could do much more than put Jazziks' in Xara's room, it became clear that both Dy and Elek had become profoundly affected by an ailment transmitted from the strange marking on Jazziks' hand. They began to act unlike themselves. Menalai determined that their possession was linked to none other than the magics of necromancy, perhaps of the far north...

Xara had Dy locked in her room, Jazziks locked in the captain's room, and Elek, who had began to lash out, hauled to the brig (it took several people to bring him down). Unfortunately Elek recovered and began to rampage back up through the ship, and this time no one could stand in his way. He was headed straight for Jazziks.

Having felt his hammer more than once, but restored by Avielandil's healing powers, Xara darted in as Elek destroyed the door and grabbed Jazziks before he could. Knowing better than to try fighting him again, Xara fled to the coast south of Ratchet. Jeshua and Avie followed, but Elek had an unnatural sense of where to find Jazziks, and they were forced to flee from their hiding spot and into Ratchet. Several were left behind on the ship, casualties of the violence.

Xara tried to put Jazziks someplace where the girl could rest; all the moving around was weakening her greatly. But Elek found them once again, and after taking Xara out, he gained possession of the girl. Rethsil tried to defend her but could not stop him.

However... once he had Jazziks, Elek did not harm her. At that time Dyiana arrived, also drawn to Jazziks, and Rannoch following. A strange scene ensued where Elek and Dyiana seemed to absorb energy from each other, and unfortunately, from the already weakened Jazziks. But after that they seemed placated...

A warlock by the name of Gorymoru arrived at that time, having been summoned by Menalai. Jeshua was able to take Jazziks from the unresisting Elek, and he took her and Xara the unconscious Dyiana to the inn to rest. Reth went to go check on those back at the ship, and Gorymoru headed to the ship as well. There it seemed that Videlle had come into too close contact with Elek during the fighting...

After speaking to Rannoch, and seeking out the still-not-altogether-there Elek, it became clear to Xara that they needed to investigate the Highborne library in Dire Maul. She wanted firstly to protect Jazziks; secondly to cure those who had become infected; and thirdly, to find Sinaku and demand some answers. But first they needed to know what means of infectious dark magic this was.

Jazziks and Dyiana were both badly weakened, and Tora seemed to have suffered on the ship while Xara was away, plus everyone else was either beaten up or badly shaken. Elek left straightaway for Dire Maul... where the others would shortly be following.

[[ DM tonight, 8:30 server! ]]

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The tale told from the perspective of Elek Serano Quentin:

The silence was deafening and it left a thick and heavy burden that felt like a water-soaked blanket thrown atop his shoulders. He stood there within the small ready-chamber beside two Tauren of Citadel, his teammates within the "Widowmakers" squad. There had been some controversy in the issue of his invitation to the group, even more that he had effectively assumed the role of command at any time those heavy doors flung open. For "such a small elf", compared to the larger Tauren, he had worked himself hand over foot to maintain his edge and keep his body honed to the top of his capacity.

A crackle of noise resonated from a small pack upon his belt, a voice speaking through the static and haze as it was projected through countless miles to reach him. "Elek? We need you to come to Stranglethorn, and hurry," were the words he could make out.

He looked to the two within the room, each one eager for the doors to part, anxious to do anything to break the stifling wait. "Now is not the time, Xaraphyne," he replied, fingers grazing across the rune-inscribed surfave of the Hearthstone.

"She needs our help and protection, someone hurt her!"

"Wait, who needs our..." was all he could say before a horn echoed through the halls and the barricades were drawn aside. "I'll be there in a bit!"

The hooves of the Tauren beside him gave the sound of rolling thunder, symbolic of the storm they brought with them. Their line fanned out to dominate the center of the Nagrand Arena, the hunter and the shaman slowing thier paces to engage at a range while the shorter Sin'dorei Blood Knight charged forward, indicating a target with the pointing of his hammer.

The gunshot was drowned out by the crack of lightning, two attacks that converged before Elek's path, followed up with an unrelenting uppercut swing and a roundhouse spin to continue the momentum. Protected in only cloth, the Priest didn't even have the time to scream before the inky darkness of death came to lay its claim. Unaware of their teammate's plight, the other two, a mage and a rogue, engaged the Tauren Shaman. Ukiah, a beastmaster and marksman of notable regard, needed no time to fix his sights upon the newer threats. While his shot had not missed, the gnomish mage managed to push through the pain and finish a spell. With a puff of magic and a cleansing swirl, the Blood Knight ensured that the effects of the Polymorph were minimal at best.

Skyseeker, working hard to avoid the Rogue's daggers, cried out in a roar and slammed the earthen floor with the might and fury of the Earthmother. The gnome joined his friend within the Nether shortly after, scuumbing to the concentrated strength of the Shaman's fellow gladiators. Outnumbered and outmatched, the remaining Kaldorei rogue backed away and went to her knees... there was no mercy, no pity, no quarter.

The sandy floor of Nagrand was stained in blood that night.

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

The war-wolf charged and bolted around hills and ruins as it carried its rider through the lush jungles of Stranglethorn Vale. The Sin'Dorei Knight did not know what was going on and ventured forth with post haste on what little he had: someone was in trouble. Elek had chosen the black wolf for the trip for a few reasons, among them, its footpaws didn't carry the noisy clatter of hooves, it didn't require a lengthly summoning and was much better suited for the treacherous hills and sharp turns that an equine could falter upon.

A black and red streak, all the way to Booty Bay.

It was not difficult to locate the group, apparently the commotion had become the talk of the town and a line of the short humanoids stood on the edge of the docks, peering towards the cannon pallisade built within the cape. "Xaraphyne, what is going on?" he asked once he finally managed to make his way.

"Ah, Elek, good. Dyiana will fill you in, see what you can do."

He sighed to himself, shaking his head and came to crouch beside what appeared to be a young elven woman. The knight conversed with the Priestess, nodding as Dyiana gave him the general story as the menagerie of others around argued over what each believed had happened. The story wasn't his concern, disturbing as it was. Removing his gauntlets, Elek reached his hand to press it upon the young woman's forehead, the other cupped along her cheek with his palm near her nose and lips. She was unconscious to be certain, each breath a faint in and out almost too light to have been noticed.

"There are some strange symbols on her hand, maybe you know what they mean?" Dyiana had asked him.

Elek held the girl's wrist in his hands and looked over the markings, brushing his thumb across the surface in efforts to see if it were something inked upon the flesh, branded, or perhaps inscribed under the skin. Upon contact, the Sin'dorei Knight felt a mix of sensations, the most prominent being a distinct and thorough draining. He could feel the very magical essence within him seeping out in a torrential rush and he recoiled away in shock of the event.

"Demonic symbols!" a voice suggested.

"The taint of Kel'thuzad!" someone argued.

They were all wrong. "Highborne," the ex-paladin said as he rose to a stand to address the onlookers who demanded an explanation. "Two circles, overlapping as how the moon would eclipse the sun." Eclipse... somehow the word was known to the reluctant contributors of the mob. "I know a bit about Eldre'Thalas, Dire Maul as it is called now, a center of Arcane study held by a group of Highborne called the Shen'dralar. If you want to know more, you will find your answers within The Athenaeum," he said, eyes returning to the lithe elven woman that remained so very still.

A hand came to rest upon his shoulder, drawing his attention away. Xaraphyne, a Trolless within the guild and an Officer of Citadel, wiped at the sweat that formed upon his forehead, "you alright?"

"Y-yes, I'm ah... I'm fine," he said, voice unsteady as a shiver crawled up and down his back.

"We're taking her to my ship, meet us in Ratchet, we head south from there."

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

Take me... before the others do. They seek to have me for themselves, you must not let them!

Beads of sweat continued to form upon the Knight's brow, dripping down among his eyes and cheeks as if he had contracted a high fever. His eyes had lost the green luster to them, hardly more than a pale dim shimmer, weak enough to actually see the whites. His hands twitched and he knew he was sitting on the verge of frenzy... yet the voice within his head continued to call for him.

So close... just beyond the door. Come, come and find your answer in me.

The arguing among the group failed to fade, each person pushed and demanded their say, each one a self-proclaimed 'expert' on the stricken elf's condition. Hostilities were beginning to draw and tension threatened to explode from within the confined area of the ship's hold. Elek spoke to Xara at his side, his expression blank and tone as cool as ice, "Xara... get me away from this door."

"...what?"

"Just... do it."

She gave him a push... and hardly moved him. "Give me a hand here!" the Trolless called, answered first by a fiery Sin'dorei woman with a penchant for violence. With their combined efforts, they toppled him with a trip and blackened the world around him with a quick strike to the temple. Dyiana kneeled down at his side, concerned and confused, and took up the Blood Knight's hands... spotting a faint replica of the strange symbols upon him as well.

The talk of curses, necromancy, highborne and the Scourge continued.... interrupted with an explosive interjection of violence; someone had tried to move him further from the door. Jolted from the restless sleep, Elek clashed against the strength of a a large Tauren clad in heavy plate, a 'friend' of the victim in the other room. Everyone scattered to give them space, shouts erupting and frantic running when the warrior had fallen at the feet of the frenzied Sin'dorei.

Xara yelled, sending her great cat forward to slow the Knight's approach as she readied her halberd. She would be the second to fall.

Quick thinking and less apt to hesitation, the Dark Warlock Videlle subdued him with a blast of shadow energies. Healers tended to the wounded and the decision was made to drag the unconscious elf to the brig below decks. Rethsil was ordered the task, dragging him carelessly while holding Elek's hammer in the other hand.

They are all against you, even now they pull you away and keep you from claiming me. Traitors, all of them! Will you let them defeat you?

"No..." the groggy Sin'dorei mumbled.

Are you weak? Too powerless? You wish failure? I was right there for you, right at your fingertips and now you allow them to lock you in a cage like some feral, stupid beast!

"No!" he said again, a little louder and catching the attention of the rogue who paused in the trip toward the brig to look curiously back.

Show them the wrath of the Sin'dorei! Claim me! Rise up, Champion, and make them know true power!

The stunning blast caught Rethsil unaware, dazing him enough for lose his hold of the hammer, crying out in time to alert the others before the strike to the head flung him into a heap along the cargo crates. Xara, sparked into action by the howl of a crewmate, met the Blood Knight at the top of the stairs. Despite her efforts to keep her distance from the hammer and relying on the ghost saber to occupy his attention, she had underestimated him again. Kathren, the great feline companion to the huntress, fell lifeless to the ground. With nothing to stop his approach, she had once again found herself at the wrong end of his hellish weapon. Videlle again entered the fray, her first bolt of the eldrich energies washing over him without remorse. Unphased and unslowed from his prior battles, he pressed on against any rhyme or reason, against all understanding and fatigue. No pain slowed the Sin'dorei male and no spell had seemed to hold him... the frail, slight warlock wasn't able to endure the hammer's swift retribution.

But... it was enough time for those who remained to grab the girl and run.

He pursued, drawn forth by some sinister calling, enraged and frenzied at the borderline of starvation to his addiction to magic. A line of bodies and chaos lined the coast clear to Ratchet. Wherever they ran, he followed... the Goblins wanted nothing to do with it, often refusing to offer any assistance. Their laws were clear... they were placed to prevent open conflict between the Horde and Alliance... nowhere did it say anything about Horde vs Horde.

One by one, Jazziks' defenders stepped forwards.

One by one, they were thrown to the ground until none remained to stand in his way.

Kneeling down at Jazziks' body, Elek lifted her within his arms, fingertips tracing along the soft skin of her wrist and hand, touching around the symbols that called to him.

Touch it. Feel it. Do it.

The Knight laid his hand over the marking, covering it completely as the battered, sore and bruised defenders made their way over as surprised as they were relieved that he didn't appear to be harming her. The draining sensation continued still, leaving a perverse desire within him to let is continue. Each moment fed into the hunger... but the mana tap of another Sin'dorei interrupted him.

His eyes, dark and ominous, looked to the source of the unwelcomed theft. Dyiana, who bared the same expressionless, hungry look as he did, glared furiously back. He returned the gesture, drawing the energies back into himself with a greater force, worsening her condition. back and forth they had done this, a losing battle for the stricken priestess until Elek shifted his stance, the girl still in arm, and brought the head of the hammer down upon the rival female's shoulder. She crumbled to the ground, the group surrounding unsure of what to do as vicous bruises and broken bones made any decision against him an undesirable path of action. He still carried her, and the risk of harm for her even, was simply too great.

Take me. Satisfy your hunger. Claim your prize.

It only took an instant... magic escaped the young elven woman and her body fell limp in his arms. Hushed gasps echoed around the group as people nominated others to 'do something about it.' Xara stepped forward, hesitant, careful... Elek didn't seem to notice her. Reaching out her hands, she took the girl from his grasp, meeting no resistance. Shuffling back, the passed the poor wretch to another, pointing the way to the tavern. While the others left in the wake, Xaraphyne remained behind, eyes watching the Sin'dorei cautiously and concerned. The strength he exhibited was unreal. Could this be the very thing his brother was capable of?

"Dire Maul," he said.

"W-what about it?"

"The Highborne are there, and they shall fear death once again."

He didn't wait for her reply...

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[[ Once again, this is just what I as Xara know of what happened. I try to keep on top of things but I'm sure there is much missing, especially when they go back to the ship. Hopefully someone else will contribute! ]]

As everyone rested though what remained of the morning and the afternoon, Elek fought his way alone through the Dire Maul. One by the one the pylons fell before his possessed wrath... bringing him closer to the swirling energies he could sense.

Back at the inn in Ratchet, Jazziks, Dyiana, Videlle, and Toraneko rested. Xara, Rannoch, and Jeshua kept watch. Tora was the first to stir... though she did not exactly awaken. Xara noticed she seemed to be in the throes of a nightmare, and then the girl's eyes began to bleed. Xara attempted to wake her, but though the girl stood up, she was not conscious, and she abruptly darted past Xara, making for the ship. Followed by Xara and Rannoch, Toraneko seemed to search high and low for something before collapsing with a wail of Rand's name. Rannoch worried that Tora had been too close to Jazziks... but Xara suspected that Tora's problems were of an entirely different nature. "She lost her life once... Never died," was all she would say to Rannoch. The girl's eyes had stopped bleeding and she seemed to be sleeping peacefully again, so they took her back to the inn. She woke a little while later and admitted her fears that her nightmares, in which she performed evil acts, were her true past, but Xara told her she didn't care if they were -- the girl she was now was the one that mattered.

At that time four others arrived at the inn -- Risticus, his right-hand man Chum, Rethsil, and a little rogue by the name of Slaid. Finding Videlle, Risticus and Chum began to inquire about what was going on, but just then Videlle began to stir. It seemed Gorymoru had not been able to completely eradicate the curse from her blood, and it was regaining strength; now the warlock needed to feed. Xara offered herself and Videlle feasted hungrily on the troll's mana, coming back to her senses after she was sated. Horrified, she told them to not feed the curse as it would only become more powerful, but Xara said they needed her "with" them now... as it was time to venture into Dire Maul. Risticus and Chum decided to join them, and since Tora wanted to come along Xara told her she could make her own choices. Xara took Reth and Tora and arrived in Feralas first; Rist, Chum, and Videlle took a longer route. Rannoch and Jeshua stayed behind to watch Jazziks and Dyiana.

On the grounds of the Dire Maul, they found Avielandil waiting for them... and another, a hunter by the name of Skafloc, who had been tracking Xara for some time. Risticus vouched for him and because they needed all the manpower they could get, Xara agreed he could come along. Skafloc also admitted of his wolf telling him of a pack that was not a pack... "The Wolfrunners?" Xara mused, remembering the signature both Jazziks and Sinaku used to sign their letters.

The group walked into the courtyard of the Dire Maul where enraged elementals and vengeful spirits awaited. As they made their way toward the library, they began to hear Elek's shouts. He had destroyed the last pylon and faced the demon Immor'thal alone. Avielandil showed everyone the way, and as Elek slayed the demon, the group caught up to him. Infused with mana, the paladin strode straight for the library, ignoring his companions' calls. Rand arrived at that time, but seemed displeased with Tora's attention. Videlle meanwhile began to struggle as the curse's hunger for mana grew once more.

They began to search the library for any mention of curses, necromancy, and especially an eclipse, but Elek strode on, headed directly for the Shen'dralar prince -- Tortheldrin. Xara and Risticus caught up as he attacked and aided him in bringing the powerful Quel'dorei down. Elek's rampage seemed to stop then... as he bent to take from the prince an item he had been wearing -- the [bracers of the Eclipse].

The madness faded from Elek, and his eyes changed from fel green to blue.

Xara investigated the personal belongings of the Prince as the others puzzled over Elek's state (he did not remember anything since first arriving in Booty Bay the evening before, and he had begun to hear the song of the Naaru again) -- and Videlle began to lose her struggle against the curse. Xara found a book open to a brief mention of the eclipse symbol, making references to omens and the Old Gods. As Videlle's condition worsened, Xara stuffed the book and the Prince's journal into her bag and grabbed one of the bracers from the confused Elek, forcing it onto Videlle's wrist.

Videlle's condition semeed to improve a little, but the bracer began to split apart, so Elek put the other bracer on her other wrist. At the same time Skafloc began to act erratically, seeming to be fighting an inner struggle. Between the bracers and the entaglements of the rune magics on Skafloc, Videlle conquered the curse. However, Skafloc started calling her his mistress, and the warlock who apparently had originally controlled him began to fight back. Videlle thought quickly, and commanded Skafloc as she would a demon to begone. Skafloc collapsed, but recovered a short while later... but what remained of the strange twisting of runes remained to be seen.

Finding nothing else of use in the library, the group spent some time in the swirling magical energies of Immor'thal's former prison, speaking of the Sin' and Quel'dorei, but Xara impatiently insisted that they leave for Ratchet. There, Xara gave the books to Rannoch to study...

In the inn, Xara sat down with Elek (with plenty of alcohol on hand) and began to explain what had happened, but was interrupted as Jeshua asked her to come see to something. It turned out Gorymoru had returned and was attempting to experiment on the still unconscious Jazziks. He invoked the attention of the curse... and fell back as he struggled against it. Upset at the disturbance, Xara told him to begone and began to walk back to Elek; that was when Jazziks stirred.

Xara returned to the girl's side, reassuring her that she was safe and surrounded only by friends. Jeshua fetched her some juice as the girl hadn't eaten anything in almost two days. Jazziks was still bewildered by the commotion, so everyone was told to stand back... and all but Gorymoru complied. He continued to hover over the bed, along with his towering felguard, upsetting the already stressed Jazziks. When Rannoch tried to remove him, he lashed out with magic, sending Jazziks into a state of abject terror. Infuriated, Xara argued vehemently with Gorymoru as she tried to console Jazziks, but he would not pay attention to anyone. Xara chose to ignore him and spoke quietly to Jazziks for awhile... not realizing when she put her hand over Jazziks'. Xara realized that Jazziks' inexplicable disappearance the day before, which had happened during the events Rethsil witnessed, was due to the symbol... and there was no way to stop Sinaku should he decide to pull his sister back to him again.

Since Gorymoru still would not listen, they left with Jazziks for the ship. Rannoch and Videlle stayed behind to study the books; Xara, Jazziks, Jeshua, Toraneko, Elek, Rethsil, and Dyiana, who had finally awakened, went to the ship.

There, Xara got a chance to sit down with Jazziks, with Jeshua nearby. Jazziks told Xara of the dark ritual she had witnessed her brother perform after he had pulled her back to him. Sinaku had marked all of the Rangers of the Dark Sun in this fashion... Jazz abruptly grabbed Jeshua's hands and checked them, but there seemed to be nothing. Then Jazz told them about when Sinaku had begun to change. It had started when their dying father began to speak to his son on matters Jazziks was not included in; then Sinaku left for the greatest period of time the two had ever been apart, returning with a black, black book. "Without an ounce of light," Jazziks said. He would read this book for hours on end, in the dark, and the deeper he got into the book the more erratic his moods would become...

Jeshua told them of how he had found Jazziks -- bound, dragged, and beaten -- and the boy was clearly very upset by these memories. Jazz was very disturbed to hear of this and tried to leave the ship; Xara stopped her, comforting the girl again.

Just then, Rannoch, Videlle, and Gorymoru arrived at the shore, calling out to Xara. Xara went to meet them and they told her of what they had discerned from the book. The Eclipse was linked to the White Lady, and the Earthmother's right eye; the magic was as old as the Old Gods, and fortold bloodshed and creatures of the night, driven mad by the eye of the moon, monstrosities arising under the Eclipse. Xara told them about what Jazziks had said of Sinaku's ritual, and the black book. They realized they needed to know if perhaps a real eclipse was to occur soon... but none among them was in tune with the elements such as a druid or shaman would be.

Xara heard Elek call for her. "Need you on the upper-deck, and quickly!" She hurried up onto the ship to find Jazziks utterly distraught and Toraneko collapsed and bleeding from the eyes again. Xara told Elek to see to Tora and did her best to calm Jazziks down. Videlle, Rannoch, and Gorymoru came aboard, and when Videlle began to comfort Jazz, Xara went to see to Tora. The episode seemed worse this time; suspecting Dy of knowing better how to handle this, Xara asked the girl to see into Tora's mind and do what she could. "Landscapes, shattering over and over again," Dy murmured. People were scattered all over the ship, trying to figure out what was going on.

Into this chaos finally arrived the Admiral himself.

Elrioch demanded to know what was going on, and Rethsil bravely tried to calm him down. Xara sighed at hearing the shouting, knowing Jazziks would only get upset further, and that Elrioch wasn't about to listen with so many strangers on his ship... much less when he found out the rest of the story. Tora quieted then, and Xara brought her downstairs to rest in the captain's room. "Doesn't she know we all care," Xara said to the unconscious cabin girl, and went back up to face her Captain. Everyone else wisely headed belowdecks.

Xara told him that she had invoked every connection she had, including the Bloodsail, to protect one girl; and while she knew that Elrioch would not understand putting the Bloodsail at risk like this, given a choice she wouldn't do anything different. Elrioch was incensed, shouting at her about how she could risk exposing the Bloodsail like this, trusting so many strangers and taking in strays. Xara pointed out that he'd certainly trusted her with little more to go on... but as their argument got more heated, it stopped being about what Xara had done to protect Jazziks and instead about how Elrioch hadn't trusted Xara enough to take her along on a certain ill-fated voyage. Elrioch became infuriated, and the rising tensions were more than Jazziks could handle.

Xara spoke to her, but the girl was terrified of hurting those around her; nearing her limit, Xara deliberately grabbed the girl's hand, having realized the mark seemed to have no affect on her. However, Jazziks remained distraught and fled the ship. Xara and the others had no choice but to chase after her. Not everyone followed.

They caught up to her on the dock on Ratchet. The girl was crying, saying that she brought pain to everyone who was close to her and that was why she had to leave, and that Sinaku was right about it all. A flood of arguments ensued but Jazziks was not listening, not even when Xara begged her to stay. As the boat to Booty Bay began to pull away, Jazziks jumped on board and shock kept anyone from following.

Xara turned and left, riding straight out into the Barrens and away from everyone. Elek followed, barely keeping on her trail. Back in Ratchet it was chaos as the group of so many who had wanted to see to Jazziks' safety tried to figure out what to do; many took the next ship to Booty Bay, but Jazziks was long gone...

Xar arrived in Thunder Bluff and found a good place to sit down and drink. She was well and truly gone by the time her friend Diomades came across her, startled and confused to find the troll clearly in a state (though the drunkness was hardly unusual). Xara told him she was quitting everything, the crew, Citadel, everything, because she had realized she couldn't keep the promises she had made. Dio didn't understand what she was talking about, but pointed out that if Xara had done everything in her power, it wasn't her fault if she couldn't keep her promise. Elek finally found her then, adding his support to Diomades'. He was the one who said Jazziks still needed her... and Xara realized it was true, that everyone whose lives she had become involved in since joining up with Elrioch still needed her, and there was no way she could give up. Like a shot she took off for Booty Bay, knowing Jazziks couldn't've found her brother yet.

She didn't have to look far. Jazziks had returned to Booty Bay, meeting up with those who had thought to follow her... She had realized she couldn't live without the ones she cared about, that life wasn't worth it, and that she would fight back against the curse Sinaku had placed on her. Xara told her that her help was available as long as the girl needed it.

After getting Jazziks and some others settled down to rest in Booty Bay, Xara took Videlle aside to speak to her. The day before, when Xara had first brought Jazziks on her ship, she had told anyone who still felt loyalty to Sinaku, or who would not feel comfortable following Xara or defending Jazziks -- who was a member of an extremist cult -- to leave, but the fact that Videlle belonged to the Cartel Enforcers had not gone unnoticed. Elrioch's anger had reminded Xara that there remained some significant differences between those who had gathered around Jazziks. However, Videlle said she would not betray anything she had learned of the Bloodsail, even where the ship anchored, to the Cartel; Xara in turn promised that Videlle's questionable loyalty would never be let on to her superiors. She just hoped she could get Elrioch to stay true to that promise as long as Videlle never breathed a word about the Bloodsail... She would need to speak to him, and soon.

Thus the second day ended.

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Xara caught up to the party in Un'Goro crater on the evening of the third day, offering no explanation for her absence though she was quick to ask about what had happened while she was gone. Videlle and Risticus both seemed in poor condition, and Xara learned that the bracers had broken and the warlock had attacked Risticus. Videlle was too weak now to fight, and they had decided to head to the Cenarion stronghold in Silithus to seek out someone who might know more of Highborne magic. Jazziks seemed to be doing much better, and besides her, Jeshua, Toraneko, Rannoch, and an orc by the name of Thoraggar were also present. Rethsil was said to be nearby as well, and Rahmina, a guildmate of Xara's and aspiring cabin girl, also joined them.

Xara thought she remembered seeing Thoraggar before, and asked if he was the one who hung out with "that ditzy Blood Knight." "Leoren?" "That's the one!" Xara wasn't happy to have more strangers (to her) getting involved, especially people who might have friends who were no friends of the Wolfrunners, but Thoraggar was vouched for and his engineering skills seemed quite handy. He also assured Xara that he would not be getting anyone else involved.

Although the rain had not stopped, they decided to strike camp and move onward, stopping at the Horde base in Un'Goro for supplies. Then Xara "led" them to the path into Silithus, but before they reached Cenarion Hold, Videlle began to act erratically. The sight of the blood moon over the desert frightened her and she began to speak of wolves and worgen chasing her down. They got her to the Hold where she could rest, gradually coming back to her senses, and Jeshua seemed to be becoming unwell and was put to rest as well. Xara took Jazz aside to ask her if she knew anything about worgen; the girl said she didn't, but was surprised because Elek had asked her the same thing earlier.

Rannoch and Xara met up and compared notes. Xara had heard of a hermit to the southeast named Ortell who might know something... and having no better leads, she and Rannoch decided to pay him a visit. There, Ortell admitted he might know something of the Eclipse and sent them on a mission to recover the Twilight Cultists' Lexicon, which would help him decrypt the records he possessed. Xara and Rannoch were busy fighting their way through the Twilight Cultists camps when a messenger bird arrived for Xara.

Tora reported that the mark had appeared on Jeshua, after all this time... and he had been taken by Sinaku. Xara and Rannoch's excursion turned grim as they moved quickly to recover the last chapter and return to Ortell.

It took some prodding, but he did finally tell them of the Beast.

He was one of the immortal Ancients, ruler of the hunt, prey, and predators. But in the War he betrayed his companions, deserting them, and for this he was forever banished to the place "between day and night". Xara didn't understand what this had to do with the Eclipse, although the talk of wolves and worgen seemed on the right track, until Ortell pointed out the obvious -- that an eclipse was when day and night overlapped. The man told them to look up the works of the Archmage Ur for more information on the worgen... and the human-worgs that had been created. As they were departing he also told them that the hunter and the hunted would have different marks.

Elsewhere, Elek was far ahead of them. He had already found the connection of the Eclipse to the worgen by means of his own, and after visiting Undercity he entered Shadowfang Keep to reclaim the book penned by Archmage Ur...

Rannoch and Xara returned to Cenarion Hold to find that Toraneko was suffering from another episode. After Tora awakened she spoke to Xara of an argument with Rethsil, about his family, including his brother Rand. She said that their father was meddling with them and making Rand suffer because of her. Xara proposed a straightforward solution of finding Lord Sunspiral and kicking his ass, but Tora begged her to not do anything until they knew he could not hurt one of them. Xara knew she had little time to spare with the Eclipse looming over them, but worried about her cabin boys.

Elek arrived then with the book, and Xara took him aside to ask how he had found out about the connection to the worgen. He told her what he had learned and she told him of the lore Ortell had told her. She surmised that while the Beast might be more powerful during twilight, a time which could be considered between day and night, the Eclipse would be the time he stood the most chance to break free. Elek gave her the book and they read it together.

The land of Azeroth is host to no end of wonders. Flora, fauna, cultures and magic all teem across its surface. Indeed, the curious will find limitless variety on this world. One merely has to look.

But if one looks deeply enough then windows to entire new worlds are found, and each world is home to its own wonders.

Just as each is home to its own horrors.

This is the purpose of my book: to catalogue those beings, those otherworldly fiends who would destroy our lands, so that explorers who happen upon them will know what they face.

So if you consider yourself a guardian of Azeroth, then read on. And know your enemy.

-Ur

Mage of Dalaran

The fiend of which I write is the worgen.

Old, rural folklore may hearken to these creatures, for what farmer's child has not heard tales of beastly wolf-men stalking the woods and marshes outside his village?

And truth may hide in such tales--perhaps they are warnings against the worgen, veiled as myths to frighten us.

But before such tales are dismissed, let me now assure the reader: worgen are real. They may not be from our world, but avenues exist between their home and ours and powerful magics can pull them here.

Such chants are best left unuttered, for wherever Worgen tread, they bring terror and bloodshed with them.

You will know a worgen by its resemblance to the wolves of our world. When viewing a worgen one can easily see how its coarse hair, pointed ears and long snout are akin to the wolves we know.

But you will just as quickly see its differences: that coarse hair surrounds a powerful, two-legged body sporting long fangs and dagger-like claws. And behind its howl lurks a malevolence possessed by no natural beast.

The worgens' home is a dark place, a place of nightmare. If that world fosters locales safe from the cursed worgen, then my research has revealed no such bastions.

And if one considers the ferocity and wickedness of the worgen, then it is likely no such bastions exist.

It is surmised that the worgen are content to remain on their world, for although some worgen possess powerful magic, they have made no attempts to reach Azeroth on their own accord.

And for this, we are fortunate.

As mentioned above, some worgen are skilled in mystic arts, and their magic is of darkness and corruption.

Curses and supernatural poisons are common, so be forewarned--those who face worgen magicians should arm themselves with wards against shadow.

It is my hope that no Dalaran wizard seeks out the Worgen, even if done in light conscience. For no pact may be struck, no secrets may be learned, no good can come from these beasts.

They are best left to their world. For if found in ours and not destroyed, then our peril will be dire...

They had no sooner finished the last page than a cry rang out. Jazziks found Tora first, but this time the cabin girl's injuries weren't those she suffered during her episodes. Instead, she had large, quickly festering bite marks on her arm. Jazz said they must have come from a large black wolf, and Elek began to argue that it could not have been any normal wolf; Jazz shortly stomped off, irritated by the Blood Knight beyond reason. Xara bandaged up Tora and Elek had to perform a powerful healing spell to quell the burgeoning infection. Rannoch wondered aloud how a creature such as that could have slunk into the Hold unnoticed... Elek unobtrusively cast a shadow ward around them all. Xara gave Rannoch the book to study.

They went into the inn where Videlle was still resting and Thoraggar was sketching up a schematic of the bracers. Things quieted down and Xara made sure plenty of alcohol was consumed. Jazz was still very upset over Jeshua's abduction, but for once didn't do anything rash. Elek spoke to Rannoch of his suspicions about the curse -- its purpose possibly being to decimate the Sin'dorei for a Quel'dorei takeover, his theory bolstered by the fact he had learned from Rethsil that Jazziks could recite the entire Blood Knight chain of command, a well-guarded piece of information, like a childhood rhyme. Xara appeared to not be paying attention, repeatedly making comments to Tora about Elek's loquaciousness, but in truth she had many unspoken questions... trying to understand what the curse was, its origins and its dark purpose.

It seemed clear that the disease affected solely elves, as she had still felt no effect after touching it, despite having mana to draw on herself. She had also finally learned the difference between the Quel' and Sin'dorei, something she had never paid attention to despite Jazziks' references to "mana-addicted slobs" and the Wolfrunners' blue eyes -- the same eyes Elek now had. The prejudice and hatred instilled in Jazziks by the Rangers of the Dark Sun hinted that the purpose of the curse that Sinaku seemed to have created was certainly to cause havoc within the Sin'dorei. But how everything they had learned fit together, she could not yet begin to grasp. More than ever they needed to learn when the Eclipse was set to occur.

Most everyone retired shortly thereafter, but Xara found she could not sleep, so she got up and sought out some company. Elek was awake as well and the two spoke for awhile; Xara thanked him for coming to her aid when she needed him and said it had not been taken for granted. He told her he was always offering help and she didn't owe him anything, but she said she did because of all that he had gone through with the recent events. He told her there could be no debts between friends and she couldn't argue with that. The evening's mood shifted subtly then, but neither was willing to pay the costs that certain desires would demand, and Xara went back to the inn alone... shaking her head in bemusement that anything had almost happened between her and the brother of the man who had proposed to her.

The third night ended quietly.

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[[ Needs moar drama before we run out of contents D:

Oh, some quotes:

"What do you tell a woman with two black eyes?"

"You don't, Elek and Elrioch already done told her!"

"Am I the only woman around here who doesn't ever need to be carried around?"

"Would you like to be?"

Bwahahaha. ]]

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[i can't remember if this is summarization 4, but ill move it on to five, and this is coming from Videlle's view now. :)]

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

Many days have past since Videlle, maiden of the shadows, one affiliated with the darkness in the Dark Arts, had once again reuinted with Jazziks. Oh, what a sweet and loving being Jazziks was, but traumatized and manipulated into believing she is the sole cause of this spread, it was all her Sister by bond could do to keep her from coming near her affected twin, Sinaku. The maiden thought, as the night blew by slowly from the never-ending shifting sands of Silithus, just how long it would be until she would be overcome with this terrible spread of mana hunger. Risticus, the Blood Knight that she had become long befriended with, ensured that he would remain by her side in case anything were to happen. They shared a sensual companionship, and just as she had with Jazziks, she allowed this feeling of security to drape over her much like a quilt would snuggling against a beloved child. She believed in these newfound companions, as well as the few Bloodsail crew she had already come to trust, albeit the Admiral might not be too happy since her trespassing onto one of their anchored ships just to the south of the harbor town of Ratchet. And so she slept, for once having the time to regenerate over the night, until the next morning, however..

Jazziks had set out on her own, returning to the lands of Quel'thelas in search for her long-time friend Jeshua, who had mysteriously dissappeared the night before, and not by his own will. Risticus must have left to accompany her, for the rest of the huddled group remained in beds, against walls, and any other comfortable places they could atleast find a moment's rest. However, there remained one that didn't. Videlle had sometime risen from her bed during the night, and since now awakened, had found herself upon the sands in the middle of nowhere, the cape that was draped around her before to keep from receiving illness from the never-ending rains of the regions of the mysterious Un'goro Crater. Her emerald pools unclosed, and soon her blurred gaze was catching everything that they could in her sight. Her wild, ebony locks obscured her face from the world, and to her frustration, she shook her head to atleast force straying strands that blocked her eyes. The jewel-encrusted headband adorned upon her forehead had fallen elsewhere into the sands, but this was the least of her worries compared to the examinations she proceeded unto herself. Everything seemed to be intact, until she looked upon herself. The cape was tattered, worn and soaked with that of crimson. "Bloodied.., she thought, but not my own..?"

This was unnerving. The disoriented maiden pressed her hands further into the grain soils, crushing a good amount into her fingers whilst she prepared her arms to stretch her muscles. They tensed with the enforcing pressure waving through the body as she leaned her upper torso from the warming grounds. The sands were stained and imprinted where her figure laid itself out. Tarnished clothing underneath the blood-spattered cape were ruined, shredded with brutality. Analyzing this sudden occurence, a sinking apprehension crossed her heart, and dwelled into the inner depths of her brain. She scrambled her hands closer to her being, using her fingers to peel away the sticky remnants of the cape, leaving a messy stain upon her pallid skin where it previously remained. It ached to move her muscles where they had nearly gone numb from the freezing atmosphere that blanketed Silithus the night before in its natural course. Soon her fingers reached the gauntlets she wore, hesitantly pulling them away to view the fate that lied underneath. To her despair, however, her fears were answered. The bracers were on the verge of breaking in half! The distant howling of a feral creature began once again, and soon "it" spoke into her mind,"Feed, my dear, feed. Consume it as you would the nurturing waters of life, feel the unstoppable energies it blesses you with!"

"It" began to become a living thing, carressing her cheek and her ears with this surge of energy in this attempt to manipulate her mind in this lust for more empowering magic of the arcane. Its sounds were rippling through her ears like a dew drop upon impact of a pond. Videlle's hands grasped at her head, closing out any sounds she could hear by her strangely sloped ears. They tweaked at the tips, still reacting to the distant howling she could feel ripping through her being.

Half blinded by anonymous rage and half burning with courage, the maiden leaped to her sand-covered feet. She clicked her tongue in strange motions, attempting to call for a faithful creature she came to name Elryn, a beautifually structured hawkstrider of violet and deep ocean blue feathers, trained for swiftness. To no avail, though, there was no reply. She could hear nothing. She tried again, but this time to bring forth a talbuk she used as a beast of burden, and even that did not work. The spectral warhorse was in good hands with the Forsaken that had lent her the stead, so that was in no use attempting to contact from another continent. It would have taken days anyway. This frightened her. Why were her faithful companions suddenly not there by her side? She was unable to cast much magic, for fear that it would increase her urge to feast, and that hindered the dreadsteed's call useless. Her thoughts were distracted by trampling in the sands. Dread overcame her. Was someone, or something, following her? She continued to concentrate her ears on the directions of the pawing against the sands, and soon her emerald orbs followed it. The black brute that had run off the night before was enroute towards Videlle. It seemed half expectant of her to be there, judged by its majestic, frigid eyes. Whimpering and barking in relief, the worg nestled its muzzle against Videlle, catching her offguard, but she seemed to be in no condition to reply. The worg acted less controllable this time, already tugging at the cape at the scent of blood, which pulled the frail figure of the young woman with it, aiding her onto its back as it laid itself to the ground. She had to find the nearest area to get help, her comrades would be waiting at the Cenarion Hold.

Upon returning near the boundary of the Cenarion Hold and the outskirts of the vast region of Silithus, the centurions patrolling and keeping guard approached near the swift worg. At first, Videlle seemed to smile, sucking in a deep breath and releasing it in relief that they would accept her to return back to her camping group. However, that was not to be. The cry from an enraged Tauren, one of few Cenarion druids staged at the Hold, stood from further behind the warriors as he came sound,"Fiend! Traitor! You have spilled the blood of one of our own! Your life will be the price for this betrayal, beast of the damned!"

Another chase had taken place. The centurions, valiant warriors they were, took no time in rushing towards Videlle and the worg carrier, whom with as much potency as it could, howled loudly towards the skies. This howling seemed monstrous, demonic and ferocious. This intimidated the centurions for a moment, as they fell weak and paralyzed for that split second. A rider mounted upon its frostsaber, charging angrily towards the fleeing woman and her beast companion. Plenty of barked orders such as,"Don't let her get away!" and,"Slay her! Leave her not alive!" as the warriors scrambled to their feet, scraping the sands as they stumbled and attempted to keep their pace. Meanwhile Videlle had become accustomed to this, it was becoming of no use to keep the facade of hiding this curse. It was beginning to speak to her again, faintly of course, but it was there.

Out of curiosity and cautiousness, the maiden shifted her head, eyes watching the surroundings carefully. Blessed by this, seconds split before she ducked her head after hearing a vicious sweep of the air blow by her cheeks and hair. A large glaive, made solely for throwing and easy change into a boomerang-like weapon, had purposely been aimed for her head. She yelped in fright, both hands gripping the reins as adrenaline rushed to her hands, legs, and feet. She kicked the sides of the wolf, giving it command to flee as fast as it could, and thus it did. To lose their trail, the ebony worg spun around a rock and made two directions, one making a dashing halt near a nest of the Silithid insects, and the other making their way through the regions of the Un'goro crater.

Despite its weak nature, luck had been on Videlle's side. The Centurions and the druids lost their trackings, and never again saw the pair again. However, they would wait, and they would be more cautious the next they saw her presence near them again. The worg seemed to be making its way towards the continent of the Eastern Kingdoms, following the trail of Risticus and Jazziks.

Hours had passed, and there had been no time to stop. She had to continue running before suspicious travelers had caught her eye and most likely would have recognized her to be the beast lowly commoners had already begun to talk about within the cities of Silvermoon City and elsewhere that had strong ties to magic. The bloody cloak was clear as day, and yet she dared not look back to any she had crossed paths with. This hunger was beginning to sicken her, wanting her to relieve herself from the bile that had risen to the inner depths of her esophagus. She had been drinking very little fluids, and her eating habits became just the same. This starvation, beginning to pick at her from every spot of her body, was growing. This consumption of mana was leaving her dry in the end; this sudden addiction that she had never once experienced before became reality before her very eyes. Still, she was determined to get to Jazziks before something might have happened, but in due time this curse was going to take over again soon. This apprehension grew stronger, and her frustration more even so.

The worg fit her through even the most smallest of places, carrying her wherever it deemed fit, even leaping from the most distant of heights from the boarding flights towards the Zepplin's destination to the Undercity. It made its way into the passenger area into the lower deck, relieving itself from any curious eyes as it hid Videlle well beside its overly grown, shaggy dark fur. They were safe for now from the territory of Kalimdor, but what lied before them next in the city of Silvermoon might just be worse, and it was.

It didn't take long before the Zepplin arrived in the cursed plaguelands of the Tirisfal Glades, holding the long fallen kingdom of Lordaeron in its features. A low rumbling of thunder had rolled across the skies, sounding its volume for everyone to hear. Droplets of rain were beginning to crash down onto the boarding area of the Zepplin, and as every passenger left, there remained only two that had not left properly. A shadow crossed the goblin Zepplin manager in so high a velocity, that it seemed to be a blurr. He stirred lightly, startled and spoke out in a defensive aggression,"Huh? Who's there?"

To the goblin manager's dissappointment, and perhaps relief, however. He saw nothing. The clammy, wet pawsteps of the worg lept across the tower, to the roof of its entrance, and then sped towards the entrance of the ruins of Lordaeron, splashing its forelegs with the puddling waters that were forming from the downpour. Nearly trampling bypassers, the worg steadied itself a few times, zipping with the shadows once again. The maiden was beginning to struggle, and fall weak. She was atleast relieved when her hands could touch the translocation orb as the worg lept up the stairways and halted itself before it. Their forms began to diminish, as if freying like designs as they dissappeared from the lands of the dead to the lands of diminished magic. They'd finally reached Quel'thelas."Jazziks, Risticus, wherever you are.."

This thought swam through the depths of her mind, swirling with the dizziness that was already affecting her as the curse was spreading over her again. She was losing control, and needed to feed. This endless starvation, this pain, the dryness of her throat, the bile that which built up around the back of her mouth. The worg continued blitzing through the city, careful to avoid anything that held magic, for it feared just as its rider feared. However, the very smell of it, the very sensation, it was growing, and the urge was far stronger than anyplace else than she had taken into account. How delicious it wouid be to siphon every last bit of it here, the pleasure it would bring her, the energy it would shock her with! No, she didn't need to think of this like that. Her mind was warping!

Just as she thought they would attempt to leave the Royal Exchange, one of two areas of sale and trade, the worg had caught onto Risticus's scent. It was familiar to it by now, accepting it as friendliness rather than a threat when first being pulled from the outer walls of the desert town of Gadgetzan. It barked out of instinct as it caught sight of Risticus. However, it was almost too late to keep Videlle from her insanity. Risticus was already busied pulling a fallen ranger of the Dark Sun into an empty house, placing him atop the bedspread. Jazziks was next to arrive, surely having been left alone in the wilds for a short time. She followed Risticus near the house, shortly relieved, but stopped hesitantly before the worg. Her eyes trailed up to her Sister by bond, and with a false sense of security, threw her arms around Videlle. Luckily, nothing of the dried blood stained the ranger's skin, but this struck apprehension in Jazziks. Her eyes watched Videlle, who, before then seemed completely normal, though returned a weak embrace, and now had the faded pupils of one being indulged in an intimidating trance. Jazziks's lips quivered, almost mumbling,"Sister, remove yourself from that beast's back, why do you look like that..?"

A sinking feeling reached into her heart and squeezed it from all sense of security, as Videlle began to whine and stir. This meant she was in deep pain, struggling yet again to keep herself under control, and failing terribly. Jazziks immediately yelped, calling for Risticus to return outside. The maiden's beast stepped back, barking and snarling viciously. It was as if whatever the maiden had felt, the worg soon began to feel too. They were inter-connected by heart and by soul. Whatever she spoke is what the worg took as her words. This intimidated Jazziks, but Risticus had come, already trying to remain calm as he approached the beast. His fingers were beginning to rest against its muzzle, when it attempted to bite the gauntlet and crush it with its two large canines. The worg was going into a frenzy as much as the rider was, and this made the ranger panic. Risticus had to think before things got worse, and so he attempted to dive onto the beast and throw Videlle off. Surprisingly, luck was on his side, and as he held Videlle to the ground, the worg whined and whimpered, howling in agony as it bolted off into the Eversong Woods without its rider, and soon she cried out in their struggle,"No! Don't come near me! It hurts!"

Even through her cries, the sworn protector, Risticus, attempted with all his might to keep her silenced. First, the ranger and Blood Knight brought her into what seemed to be a safe lounging area, until the magister was walking their way, already having the look of required talk upon his face. This wasn't going to be his day for it, however, for Jazziks walked up to the sorcerer and began small talk while Risticus lifted the restrained maiden into his arms, keeping a hand over her lips to muffle the cries while he darted back towards the house. Jazziks followed behind soon enough, distracting a guard in deep suspicion. They bypassed anyone else without hesitation, finally making it to their destination. The fingers of the ranger worked swiftly, tugging the draperies over the entranceway to assure that this housing was preoccupied. Both concious beings sucked in deep breaths, panting with relief of their breath. Jazziks had near forgotten about Jeshua's resting place, hurrying herself to his side to drag him down the one-turn stairway. She kicked aside what useless rubble and perfume bottles were sitting next to the pillows, allowing her room to place the fallen ranger. All the while, once Risticus removed his hand from Videlle's crimson lips, she gasped for air, as if suffocating on her own tears. The Blood Knight then caringly took hold of both of her arms with one hand and held her by the side with another. He quickly nestled his head over hers, rocking his form in an attempt in cradling the battered, poorly conditioned being.

Rethsil slipped through the draperies without needing a greeting or question why, most likely having heard the commotion while traveling down the Royal Exchange trading section of Silvermoon City. Jazziks tensed at first, but sighed in relief the next, beginning small conversation with him to reassure he was alright. Upon ending the small talk, all that was left in sound was the unstable, crackling bracers that sparked with accumilating, raw mana energy. The bracers were practically useless with Videlle's infected hands being exposed. The sickly, endless branches of veins were returning to her skin's features. The change was taking place again. Risticus could only have the slight hint of relief upon his face before he found himself shedding a tear.

Videlle was mumbling, mumbling words that were again incoherent and moreover undetermined on what she wanted to say. However, it could not be blamed, for the moment she coughed aloud, her throat gargled, and then a trickle of blood was overflowing into her mouth, leaving the side of her lips, for it was so full. The three concious beings feared this would happen. So much pressure had been placed within Videlle's body, that it was weakening and giving in to spasms and internal blood gushes like these. Her eyes were losing the clouded formation of darkness that enshrouded the demonic pupils, while the eyecolor was shifting from that brilliant emerald glow to a feral hue of yellow. Rumbling rose from her throat, watered down with blood, but nevertheless threatening, and then it happened. Videlle fed off of Risticus's mana energies, devouring it as if she hadn't fed in days. The curse had spoken to her again, its voice rippling with twisted pleasure through her ears,"Yes, that's it, draw it in..feed me more.."

A cry of agony escaped Risticus, as it felt as if it were a stinging sensation, a burning that seemed like mere tickling at first. It strengthened until it left him nearly dry. With him down, it was left to Rethsil, who was struggling to keep a hold of her whilst this monstrous being thrashed her arms and kicked her legs with feral brutality. Jazziks bravely enough had taken an arrow from her quiver, stringing her bow and tugging it lightly in preparation. Her fingers trembled, for she knew that she only had a few moments before Rethsil would be overpowered by this viciousness. She called forth,"Try and hold her still! I have to get this aim!"

Aimed she did, but as Jazziks let the arrow fly, a miscalculation took place. Videlle had stopped moving, leaving just enough of a second for Rethsil to turn in a wrong direction, and then the arrow struck. Rethsil let out a short-lived scowl. The tranquilizer-like venom began to seep into his bloodstream, and then he fell into his numbed slumber. The crazed warlock puppet wasted no time, leaping with the gracefulness of a lioness. One of her own men of the Cartel had taken his courage to step into the housing, only to be forced back out and sided near the frightened Jazziks, facing the beast that had taken over her beloved Sister, which had landed with a crouched position of her lithe figure, one palm pressed to the floor. A hiss escaped her soft and alluring lips, and yet blood continued to dribble down her chin, dripping freely to the floors in accumilated droplets. The stench became overwhelming with the bodily fluid. She encroached and skipped footsteps in an accurate leap towards the bewildered Blood Knight and the huntress.

Aest, a knight of the Grim, was the first being Jazziks could find in an attempt to get help. As Videlle's being came closer and closer to her targets, this third Blood Knight had decided to take it upon himself to rise up arms against this demonic woman! Commoners had stepped back, eyes wide with fear and others, without thinking, assumed her to be just another of their kind losing sanity to their mana-feeding addiction. And so the Blood Knight struck with his mace with that of a righteous justice, bringing the warlock down in minutes of leaving her stunned and dazed. However, she rose again, only to keep targeting Taeln and Jazziks. Aest struck again, once more breaking Videlle's concentration. This enraged the host, as she stood yet again before him. Apprehension most likely had grown amongst the group when the beast refused to be brought down. This time, when Aest attempted to stun her yet again, Videlle broke his concentration, and then ten-fold began to consume the tendrils of his mana that had already begun from her fingers. It was becoming too much, as he was succumbing to the drainage of his energy. What the host hadn't seen was the feeble grip of Risticus around her being. It didn't think of it much, shrugging him away at points only to be restrained yet again. This time it worked. Jazziks had strung her bow and pulled an arrow, a tranquilizing fluid dripping from the sharp edge of the ranged weapon. She shot, and this time it struck with potent accuracy. Just as Aest was beginning to collapse to one knee then, the siphoning had stopped. Videlle scowled, roared in anger, and then turned towards Jazziks. Her eyes were enraged, and so the devilish voice barked out gruffly,"Damn you, girl! This won't be the last you see of her! She will be unstoppable, and I will ensure of that..!"

This ended the attack, leaving the body to fall into its numbed sleep against the bloodied, vigorous warrior of light, Risticus. All went silent, except for the exhaling pants from many of the concious ones' mouths and chest. This was the end of it for now, they could feel. Taeln used what energies of the Light that he could to mend Aest, unwilling to follow the ways of the Sin'dorei knights in using a strong heal only known as Blood Heal. Aest had to find M'uru's prisonkeep within the temple of the Knights, and so he bolted off, mounted upon the charger. He returned soon enough, while Taeln could only look in disbelief, attempting to piece together what just happened in the previous events. He asked dumbfoundedly,"What are we going to do now?"

Aest answered with a brief suggestion of execution,"If it were up to me, she would be dead."With that, he took from one of his bags a vial full of energy from M'uru. Jazziks had slowly returned outside, pulling Jeshua from the housing with obvious struggle. Rethsil had come to some few minutes after. Aest poured the vial onto Risticus, replenishing his energies, but the scars would remain. He was weakened, and would need time to heal. For now, his main focus was his comrades. He sided with Taeln on this discussion between mindless slaying and unjudged violence by justice. They first suggested to take the warlock to the temple, but Rethsil had ordered for them to stop their path. The off-keyed melody would just scare Videlle to no end and leave her traumatized next. The group decided to travel out to the Hatchet Hills, to await on the rest. Aest was pulled away for business within the Grim, and so he took his leave shortly after. The warlock's conciousness returned shortly after as they were heading off into the Ghostlands, where magic was at its lowest levels. She begged for Risticus to tell her where they would heading, but he would only reply with,"Rest, my dear Videlle, rest. Don't pressure yourself more.."

Obediently, she allowed herself to be held upright as they made haste towards the empty hills. There, the others would gather, and the wounded and weak would be put to rest. Risticus settled the sleeping beauty to a comfortable mat, where the crackling flames of a campfire held a comfortable room temperature. The others stormed in shortly after. They talked amongst themselves, planning and making even more plans in a more determined attitude to find this cure for the infected ones. Relief had settled amongs them for a while. Jazziks and Risticus had stepped away from the resting place, most likely to talk and give one another solace. Videlle and Jeshua had slept for the longest times, whilst Rethsil had busied himself with bandaging where he was struck with the arrow, and Taeln took the time to relax.

It was only a short time, perhaps an hour or two, before Videlle had awoken restless. Jazziks had long since then returned, and Jeshua had not awakened yet. Videlle shivered in a cold sweat, her illness refusing to subside. Rannoch had been busy speaking with those that were awake, and those that were present. The warrior, also known for his cooking abilities, made enough of a certain broth-like food, and Jazziks had worked on getting Videlle to eat, for her frame seemed to have wasted away a bit from such need to devour magic. She could see the problem, and it pained her so for her Sister to suffer. Risticus had not returned. The maiden, picking at a roasted quail and stew, decided to place the food aside for those that might have wanted it more than she. She stood, wishing to bathe, and they had allowed that. Jazziks followed her, keeping a good eye and defensive state upon Videlle. They spoke between one another as they were removing themselves of clothing, to dive into a pond nearby. For the first time in weeks, they seemed to enjoy having stress removed from them. The maiden Sister seemed to be more timid of her form, rising only momentarily with the replenishing sounds of fresh water covering her pallid figure, while playfully being splashed in the eyes from Jazziks. They were concentrated on one another, whilst Risticus had momentarily stopped, taking in the view in surprise, and once Jazziks had caught an eye on him, he bolted the opposite direction. It would seem that he was in a terribly gloomy mood, but Videlle had not noticed. Jazziks became scornful, pulling her relatively weakened and beloved friend to her side to keep from being looked upon while she volunteered to wash her clothings. Smiling upon achievement, Jazziks had offered back the dried clothes and more comfortable attirement for the time being, upon which Videlle dressed herself rather slowly in response. They returned to the gathering, almost thrown off guard to see Taeln unarmored by the chest. Seeing to it that it was a disturbance, he turned slightly embarrassed while reattatching the plate armor.

Jeshua had awakened, and so that lessened the slightly unwanted attention Videlle was being given. While they stepped outside, Videlle watched the group surrounding the bonfire. While they weren't looking, she slipped as subtlely as she could, taking a direct sharp turn to the left of the housing, keeping to the edge while she leapt from the cliff to the waters. The impact was painful, indeed, but it wasn't severe enough to leave anything broken. Videlle wished to sit near Risticus again, or atleast find him to see if he was safe. He must have been watching her, as she worked to find her way to the top of the opposite altar. Jeshua had halted her path, slight concern crossing his face as he asked,"Are you alright, Videlle?"

Seeing to it that he wished a good answer , she gave him one with a reassuring nod and pleasant smile to go with it,"Yes. I will return soon." Believing this, Jeshua left for a short while. Videlle had climbed on all fours over an edge, locking eyes onto the back of Risticus directly below her. He spoke up suddenly, as if she never had to sneak around,as if he knew she was there already, but with an uncaring gaze and sound in his voice,"Enjoying the view, Miss Videlle?"

This left her startled, and slipped from the edge, only barely landing on the same edge. Were it not for that, Risticus might have gave even more of an uncaring face. Jeshua had interrupted their short-lived conversation, asking for the two of them to return to the housing. Risticus avoided Videlle's confused gaze, momentarily returning a,"Very well, then."

The sullen maiden returned into a melancholy state. Had she done something wrong? Why was he avoiding her so? Would she ever understand why? These questions swarmed her head, and she decided to run away from them for now. Upon everyone's return, Menalai had been standing before them, being questioned of her presence. She made herself clear that she was here to help, and so they permitted her forth, knowingly of the consequences and the dangers. To further up the situation of the cure and more clues, the group had decided to split up into groups of four. Risticus had agreed to follow the path of Jazziks and Jeshua. Taeln had agreed to come with them. Menalai had been welcomed along with Videlle and Rannoch to head into Alliance territory, moreover territory of the Kal'dorei. Videlle hadn't seen much of the commotion from outside, until seeing Randshea having stormed off on his own, wether or not he was accompanying them, she knew not.

The group had already gone ahead of her, as she was still packing and settling herself upon the worg that returned to her strangely after from the shadows. It agreed to take her back to the lands of Kalimdor, but they both knew they had to avoid cities after leaving Quel'thelas for another long period of time. It howled in its cry, and so they stormed off into the shadows. Menalai had sometime dissappeared without Videlle knowing, and so the later they had arrived in Darkshore, it was only Rannoch, Videlle, and Randshea. The three of them alone traveled into a dark and possibly guarded territory. It wasn't long before they had reached the boundary line, and set their eyes to the west of them, a groundlanding that is known as the Master's Glaive. A blade of monstrous size was wound and plunged deep into what seems to be the body of an overly large serpent, perhaps the physical form of what used to be the remains of an Old God, long petrified. The glaive eminated strongly with the essence of potent powers, powers that one shouldn't be drawn near or touch. However, it was bound to have Twilight cultists wandering about, and they most likely had what information they were looking for. Videlle had to forget about the past and Risticus's uncaring face, and focus more on gathering information. Rannoch followed Videlle to the eerie grounds. Lowly members of the Twilight cult seemed to be crawling all over this finding, and more than likely were trying to resurrect this former Old God. Randshea had already been at work culling their numbers, seeing as they stood no chance against their wrath and might.

Thus begun the search. They didn't have to look far before Randshea was basically gripped by what seemed to be the hand of a worgen suddenly flying forth from a tome already in use. A few pages were taken and torn out, it seems, but the group could still gather some information. The worgen hand seemed to be entirely focused onto Videlle, whom had stepped foot too close to it. It writhed when it was slapped back, but that would end up closing the book. Rannoch decided it was best that he read through it, seeing as he knew how to decode plenty of the Twilight's strange language. A second tome was placed on a similiar, wooden stand just to the right of the tome they'd already found. Videlle began to read and decode through that one while Rannoch focused on the other. Together, they were beginning to decipher that there had been, in history, a mother She-wolf that had mated with the Old God who'd taken the form of a large brute. The Old God had been banished between the realm of midnight and daylight, a realm of neither day or night. This gave a slight disturbing image through the tree travelers' heads. They all seemed to grimace at the thought. To their dissappointment, the tome Rannoch had been reading was mysteriously cut off of what it mentions more of the Eclipse, the pages purposely taken from them and a hole in their place where that wretched worgen hand came forth. Videlle couldn't exactly decode much of the language, but with its coaxed magic, she saw through some of the weaker points. Revealing this information, it spoke of the Eclipse occuring every few years when the cold reaches its highest peak and the times grow dark ever earlier. As Videlle mentioned this, she was cut off then, as well as the book page being cut off mid-sentence, too. The very tomes were tainted, they had to look elsewhere..

They put two and two together, bypassing the two fallen Night Elf cities that were crawling with pained highborne, finding nothing even in their slow approach. They searched the land area more, only to come across a strange tower. What was this tower holding inside? It didn't look too big, most likely nothing truly threatening, but if it held books..

Barging into the tower, they killed whom they deemed necessary for death. They searched through numerous books, finding plenty of lore on the highborne and even the history line of the Kal'dorei, but could find nothing real helpful on the Eclipse. They began to think, and speak with one another. Suddenly, their conversation was cut off by a large tremor. It almost caused Videlle to fall to her knees from such force, but this didn't stop her and Rannoch from wanting to investigate. Randshea stayed near Videlle, watching over her with curiosity of her condition. Rannoch had studied the area near the nagas carefully, and then returned to where his two comrades stood upon mount. He'd found a cat figurine, seemingly something of old architect and art style for the Kal'dorei. It was marvelous in its own way, other than being old and most likely crumble soon. The sun was awfully clouded off by the dark clouds that loomed like an ocean over the skies, but that red gleam from the sun made Videlle nervous, uncontrollable to shake off that feeling. Randshea had spoken to Rannoch momentarily, mentioning that the sullen maiden required rest for her illness, and so they did leave the area, finding an empty cave that once was used by a couple of exotic creatures known as Owlkin. Rannoch created a campfire, allowing for him to pull out a pot and make what offerings he could of food for the three. It was spicy, but the broth was exceptionally something Videlle could drink and taste. once their small break had ended, they gathered their belongings and prepared for one last scouting before they left Darkshore's boundary lines. Rannoch suddenly snapped, angered. The head of a tauren was hanging loosely upon the ceiling, as if someone had brutalized it and hung it just in spite of that being's ancestors. This enraged the warrior, already having a short-living series of tempermental attitude. Still, they left, for they couldn't dwell on this one spot forever.

As they trudged through the withering, dark forests, Videlle and Randshea momentarily stopped. Rannoch agreed to go on ahead and make one last round about. The ranger and warlock stirred not while they awaited for Rannoch's return. It didn't seem so long at first, but when she had thought again, the time seemed to be passing far too long with Rannoch's no return. The worg had heard her subtle worries, beginning to move its forelegs and hindlegs to guide its paws forward. Randshea had followed up soon behind her, questioning her of where she was about to leave. Explaining her worry for Rannoch, they both agreed to travel downwards towards the borderline to Ashenvale. There, they saw for themselves just why Rannoch had not returned yet. He was questioning one of the Ancients of Lore. Randshea's eyes suddenly greyed, and yet Videlle couldn't see that, or, perhaps even if she did, could not decipher any choice or judgement of why. Videlle thought, as she eyed the Ancient, the memories she had of once sharing stories and receiving them from this being. However, this matter of conversation between Rannoch and the ancient was actually heating into something far worse than she had expected. The ancient felt they had no right to learn of such history, that they weren't ready to use it to their advantage in knowledge, and this angered Rannoch to the point that he and Randshea both attacked and felled the being of ancient times. Videlle had previously cried out in an attempt to stop them from shedding needless death, but they had ignored her pleas in their blind rage. Randshea and Rannoch had settled themselves upon their mounts, grumbling and gruffly speaking to one another,"Let's go. We're done here."

This left Videlle behind to mourn the loss of one of her few old friends. Her hands clenched, trembling with infuriation, and yet..she could not hold that anger. Rannoch was doing all he could to help in this situation, and she could not hold it against him. Despite that, she would still have this dissappointment in the gladiator. Gripping the reins of the worg, it lolled its tongue into a slight smile as it padded off after Rannoch and Randshea. The trail back into the boundary lines of possibly the only non-corrupted thicket of Ashenvale was painfully silent. Neither of the adventurers spoke, and only the sounds of hooves and claws reflected from the cobblestone roadway. Just as they thought they would have to seek out the other group, ironically they had come to find them, eager to explain their news, for it seemed more dire and helpful than their gain.

Videlle's emerald orbs flickered upon every single being that made up their group so far, other than Xaraphyne and perhaps a few others. Reluctantly, this pain that welled in her heart forced her to focus on Risticus, and only him. Seeing as he avoided her gaze, the worg decided to turn away, hoping to distract her nerves. A thought came into her head, which then turned her to face reality, "It is only right for him to avoid me, for my harmful ways have become too much.."

Seperating herself from the group, it seemed no one had seen her go, and that made her feel atleast a little more comfortable. While the worg was being granted his rider's affection by a scratch and rub of the fingers to its ear and shaggy fur, they reached a stopping point. Both the worg and the shadow maiden had halted their path in front of a lone statue of what seemed to be a Quel'dorei ranger. This filled Videlle's mind with curiosity, raising her hand towards the sky in imagination of what and who the huntress was looked up to by name and by fame. It was almost as if she were remembering the times when she most likely had the ability to communicate with nature far stronger than she could now, and soon she indulged into a fancy, a fancy of a past timeline, one she belonged to more than now..

That reverie was not to last.

Footsteps. Her slender, sloped ears perked at their tender tips. Her fancy had begun to fade, much like the waves of the ocean crashing unto the seashore and becoming no more. Her mind had washed away when she heard her voice, and the tone that made her cringe caused her to recognize it to belong to Risticus. "Miss Videlle..?" was what he had tried to call her by, almost nervous as his hands clenched the amulet given to him to give to her. Videlle's eyes shifted towards Risticus's oncoming figure as his plate-armored boots crushed the ground leaves and what lush, green grounds below them made up the soil lands of the eternal nights of Ashenvale. Crickets and other nature's noises croaked and chirped surrounded them as the two of them met, face-to-face. However, this was no desirable dialogue between the maiden and the knight. Silence forbid Risticus to speak for so long of minutes, that it might also seemed like an eternity before Videlle broke the silence with her chiming voice. "You avoid me so, why?.."

There was no reply to that. Perhaps it was the wrong thing to ask, considering a pained look crossed the young man's eyes and lips. They kept their empty crease, attempting to glue together answers for her harsh questions. Videlle yet again asked, her voice now trembling. "Is it because I have harmed you? Surely it must be.."

Risticus could not hold his feelings in any longer. He simply placed the amulet in Videlle's pallid, trembling hands. Her cold fingers loomed over his, and it helped him not when their coldness came over his warmth. He sucked in a deep breath, before speaking riddles that Videlle at first did not understand, and then afterwards, only understood heartbreak. "You've nothing to lose, Miss Videlle. You have done nothing, it is nothing you can help. I will return to the group now, but please, take care of the amulet."

Videlle at once shook her head lightly, her eyes wide in surprise as Risticus was moving away. She attempted to turn him around, to face her while they spoke, but he resisted and shrugged her away. He distanced himself from her, pleading,"Miss Videlle, no..please..I must leave. Farewell."

Those last words struck her heart as her silence became quiet sniffles and only the beginning of her forming puddles of tears. Risticus summoned for his charger, pulling once at the reins and so forth leaving the statue's location. He was gone, and there was nothing Videlle could do..

Rage, madness, sorrow, it's all Videlle could feel. She collapsed to her knees, as they went weak. This sorrow bit at her heart, sank its fangs and daggers into her organ and ripped from it, her most dire emotions. Her mind grew weak as she began to shed tears and make herself sound more and more. The worg, having felt these potent waves of emotions, howled into the growing night. The curse had found its time, it took advantage of this moment. It coaxed her with its needs as it rippled into her mind yet again,"You should have known he wouldn't care..come now, help me..they will just kill you anyway..they will betray you..listen to me, feed me..I will grant you what really means to be sufficed and content.."

And then, though one might expect her to not believe this, something had snapped within her mind. Everything she had worked for, everything she had done, and everything she'd struggled to keep away. The answer was possible that they would kill her in the end. The question is, would they? This manipulation of her mind caused her to feel as if it wasn't worth it, to communicate with the rest. It was too late to realize that the curse was devouring her sanity. Once again, the worg as black as midnight itself howled into the air, sundering the skies with its terrifying roar, tearing apart those who had heard its agonized sadness. Videlle answered outloud to the curse's wish,"Yes, let us go.."

Videlle's eyes rested upon the hand that held onto the amulet shaped in a crescent symbol, holding all aspects of a pure moon. Originally kept to ward off the curse, the eyelids held themselves over her pools of mistified emerald, now fading into a jaded green. The curse spoke, commanding the maiden to drop the amulet."Drop it..leave it...you don't need it now..you are in my hands, I will care for you, I will tend to you. I need you alive, and you will need me. Heh, do not demy me so, precious maiden.."

After several minutes, her time of thought had ended. She obeyed. Her clutch on the accessory had loosened, allowing its seaming pearl-like strings to slip through her tiny, delicate fingers, smoothing over the fingernails. Tears slipped away with the amulet, sparkling in the glimpse of what moonlight was being given off by the White Lady. These sparkles landed upon the amulet as it bounced from the ground and tumbled to the side, only its metal reflecting from the glittering droplets.

Mounting upon the wolf of darkness, together they sped off into lands that held strong ties of magic. In her heartache, and in her manipulation, she headed off to the nearest place that held magic, the first place she could think of other than to venture into Felwood. The curse had other plans for her before they traveled there, however, and so their destinatoin lied within the eternal autumn of the ancient forests named after the Night Elf queen, Azshara.

The forests seemed to become obscure surroundings, no longer holding detail as they blurred past all who had passed their speeding path. The worg traveled with no need of delay, ignoring anything that might hold distraction. Taeln was up ahead, but he seeing as the worg and maiden companions were speeding at the velocity of a bullet, it would be near impossible to realize, at their rate, how to distinguish their features from a blurr of the forest. Videlle inclinded her body over the worg, her robes swaying and clinging to her body heavily as the relatively cool air whipped at her face and smoothed through her hair. Two figures now stood in their pathway, but that did not stop the wolf. It appeared to be Rannoch and another Sin'dorei woman that went unnamed, judged by the fuzzy image Videlle had received while they past.

Rannoch had looked in their direction, but a look of bewilderment had also crossed his eyes. The group must have split and went their seperate ways for the coming days, and thus ended the fourth night. With this in mind, they continued to make their private trip into Azshara, where she would continue to slay and drain mana from unsuspecting travelers and even Naga. The night had called for them, and so the hours of twilight had pulled them into its ghastly embrace. Videlle, once again, dissappeared from civilization. Sinaku's darkness had taken over her, and with her mind manipulated and confused, began the bloodbath..

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Day Four: Rannoch-

Where Jazziks looked to the Ghostlands for her missing friend, Jeshua, Rannoch took to Feralas knowing well that had been the last place he ran into the malicious Sinaku Wolfrunner. Unfortunately, the jungle proved emptier than ever before... and finally the tauren turned back and made his way back to the others in Silvermoon City. Upon his arrival, he found parts of the city in shambles as a hysterical Jazziks dashed to him crying in terror. Both Risticus and Jazziks attempted to explain what had happened to the tauren...

Early in the morning, Jazziks and Risticus had taken off to search the old Amani ruins for Jeshua. The scoured the broken troll kingdom for hours, calling out to their lost friend in hopes he was still alive... Finally the two discovered him beaten and torn in a niche. Unconscious and near the brink of death, Jazziks quickly placed him on her mount and sent Risticus to bring him back to Silvermoon city as quickly as he could. Walking back through the dark forest, Jazziks couldn't help but think something dreadful was following her.. or that perhaps something bad was about to happen. Her arrival back to the city was a brief breath of relief as moments later Videlle lost control once more, the binding bracers shattered, and she had wrecked havoc along the streets of Silvermoon City. Risticus was nearly killed in his attempt to stop her, but several more Blood Knights intervened... and with the combined efforts of Jazziks and Rethsil they were able to sedate Videlle and bring her down. However, in restraining Videlle, Jazziks had accidentally wounded Rethsil... and now four members lay injured.

Greeted by a new faces from the Blood Knights, the party slowly began to recover from the chaos... Videlle had regained consciousness and seemed well once more, though Jazziks and Risticus urged the others to move her to a more secluded area incase she broke into another frenzy. Together they agreed that the training grounds of the Rangers of the Dark Sun would be best for solitude. Rannoch rode with Risticus and Videlle down to the Ghostlands while Jazziks and the young Blood Knight Tlaen looked after Jeshua. Rethsil excused himself from the rest to care for his own injuries alone.

As Risticus and Videlle rested in the cozy hut they received a visit from Rand. He had been looking through the ruins himself in search of Sinaku, and had not expected to run into such familiar faces. Rannoch relayed him the information they gathered from Silithus, from the hermit Ortell, and the book of Ur retrieved by Elek. Rand seemed skeptical of what it all meant, but the arrival of Jazziks, Tlaen, and Jeshua took priority over their discussion. As the group rushed to help Jeshua inside and gave heart-felt greetings, Jazziks pulled Rand aside to speak with him. Rannoch began cooking a meal for the weary group, but had not finished before Jeshua began to stirr once more. Their relief for his condition was short-lived however as Jeshua recoiled away from everyone and broke into hysterical weeping. Hiding himself behind storage boxes, he began crying out about wolves tearing at him. Too frightened to realize he was among friends once more, it took several moments of comforting to pull him out from behind the boxes and make him sit and rest once more. With the help of Taeln, Jeshua recovered a bit.. but seemed very disturbed about something. Even when Jazziks greeted him with open arms, he seemed reluctant to speak of what happened... or what was said to him. All he would say was that he was beaten by Sinaku.

Now fully gathered again, the group began to speculate where to go next... based on what they knew. It was suggested that they should look to the Sunken Atali Temple in the Swamp of Sorrows in search for ancient magics, but that was pushed aside. Then Rand suggested to search the three Highbourne ruins in Dark Shore, Winterspring, and Azshara. As the group began to continue discussion, Jazziks and Rand got into an argument. In the end, Rand rode off in a foul mood... leaving Jazziks hurt and frustrated over her own endangerment of her friends. All attempts to calm her only made her worse, and she excused herself from the group.

Rounding everyone back inside for a quick meal and time to cool off, Rannoch looked to Jazziks briefly before going back to the others. Over hot soup, Rannoch suggested the group be broken into parties to investigate the ruins... but strangely Jeshua was against further pursuing of Highbourne magics. However, when asked, he would not say why he thought this. Despite his opposition, they separated into two parties. Rannoch opted to lead a team of experienced travelers down to Dark Shore, while the others investigated the shores of Azshara. Taking the zepplins to Ogrimmar, Rannoch and Videlle readied their supplies and bid the rest farewell as they parted ways.

In Ashenvale, Rannoch and Videlle rode swiftly to catch up with Rand, who had already gone to investigate Dark Shore on his own. Meeting up at Master's Glaive, the group couldn't help but gaze in awe upon the husk of the fallen Old God... it's body swarming with Twilight cultists. Though there were many cultists about, the three experienced adventurers fought on bravely and scattered their ranks with ease. In the midst of this ring was an altar and two black books. Rand warned the two about the book on the left, saying that a 'hand' of some sort would reach out to grasp anyone who should try to approach. Videlle attempted to investigate, and sure enough a large worgen hand lashed out at her and knocked her away. Rannoch stepped up next, siezing the book... and though the worgen hand struck at him, his large plated frame withstood the force. From the book, Rannoch read of a worgen mother... a she-wolf of another plane. The plane of the worgen. The text related of the time when her power could reach into this plane, "when the two eyes of the moon are closed to the evils of the world." Speculation led the adventurers to link this tale with the one told by the hermit Ortell. The second book held cryptic text about curses of all sorts and mentions of eclipses caused by the power of the Old Gods in the times of old. Both books were incomplete and tampered with previously before the travelers arrived. Videlle speculated that since the books were powerfully bound to this altar, it was impossible for anyone to take the whole text with them, instead someone took several pages and rendered the text unreadable. Growing tired of attemping to further read the text, Rand mounted and rode on ahead once more to scout. Videlle and Rannoch soon whistled for their mounts and attempted to follow, yet their worgs would not move from the altar. Videlle managed to coax her worg away, but Rannoch was force to call for his talbulk.

Scouting the area further, Videlle, Rand, and Rannoch discovered some ancient grounds not far from Master's Glaive. Haunted by Highbourne spirits, the crew sought to speak with any of them... yet recieved no answers beyond screams and wailing. Leaving the old ruins in disappointment, the three wandered north. It wasn't long before they stumbled upon another cult settlement. Throwing subtlety out the window, they charged through the front doors of the Dark Strand tower, sundering the ranks of garbed cultists as they scaled the stairs... cutting down their leader before the kaldorei could even turn and face them. Gazing around at the abundance of books in the keep, they began shuffling through the text. Unfortunately, none of the text proved useful at all... However, as they were scanning over the books, a tremor of heavy steps shook the tower they were in. Paranoid at what monstrosity could be shaking the tower with merely it's steps... Rand, Videlle, and Rannoch made their way down the tower and cautiously peer outside. When there seemed to be nothing in sight, the party split up to individually search the forest. Rannoch took further north, wandering over an old set of sunken ruins. However, all the tauren seemed to find was an abundance of Naga. Disgruntled, the tauren returned tot he base of the tower at the calling of Rand. When he arrived, Rand informed him that Videlle was feeling ill and that they should find a place to rest. Backtracking down south, the three situated themselves in a cave. Rannoch set up a fire and cooked them some dinner as they rested. For a time they relaxed and took in the information they had found. When the fire died out, the three exited the cave to finish the last of their scouting before returning to the others to relay the new findings. However, as they passed the mouth of the cave again... a coldness suddenly grasped Rannoch, freezing the tauren in place as he realized something now hanging from the opening. A severed tauren head now hung above the cave in which they had been in, hooked and tied to the roof in a ghastly fashion. The sight was enough to make all of the party cringe, save for Rannoch who became wildly enraged. It was all he could do not to fly into a frenzy that very moment. Turning quickly, the tauren mounted swiftly and rode off in an angry storm. Videlle and Rand followed carefully behind the tauren for a time, before they split up to continue their final search of Dark Shore.

Further south, Rannoch came upon an old grove. Inside were kaldorei attendants and a massive ancient by the name of Onu. Rannoch approached cautiously, and none of the ones in the grove showed malicious intent. The tauren spoke with the ancient briefly, learning his name... and that he was an ancient keeper of lore. However, when asked about the eclipse, or about the marks and beast of the eclipse, Onu refused upon speaking further. Frustrated and still in a foul mood from before, Rannoch threatened the ancient... drawing his weapon and readying the mighty mace. Rand and Videlle arrived as Rannoch reached his limit. Roaring forward dispite the cries from Videlle to stop, the tauren felled the ancient with the aid of several arrows from Rand, who also seemed strangely eager to kill the ancient. Drunk with rage, Rannoch spat upon the ground and turned to leave. Only Videlle remained for a moment to mourn the loss of the ancient. The ride back to Ashenvale was silent and very uneasy...

When the three exited Dark shore, they were met by surprise by Risticus and the rest of the expedition that went to Azshara, including Elek, who had come looking for them. Exchanging information, the two groups discovered that the eclipse would entail a transformation much like that of the worg... followed by a hunt of the marked. Only a few things would halt and protect from this dark fate... two of which were amulets of the tide, given to the group in Azshara from a blind Kaldorei. Said to be created from the tide of the eclipse, the amulets were said to protect those marked for prey... yet there only existed two. One was given to Risticus to give to Videlle, while the other remained with Jazziks. Risticus solemnly left to seek out Videlle... while the other conversed a bit more before deciding to look upon this material again with a pair of fresh eyes. Mounting and saying their goodbyes, each member parted ways to retire for the night and take up their tasks in the morning...

Thus ended the fourth day...

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Thoraggar awoke from a terrible dream about a set of magic bracers he couldn't fix to a drawing of a set of bracers he couldn't fix staring back at him from the table. Elven techknowledge, highborne, something, didn't make any sense to Thor how something so apparently complex could be in such a small setting. A small set of bracers, that somehow warded away some kind of curse, perhalps their age caused the failures, but the orc couldn't seem to figure out what to repair or replace, or even if he could.

The difficulty in fixing something that need to remain active and worn was even more perplexing, the magic element didn't help either. Thor was a warrior cause he knew how to hit stuff, and began engineering because he knew how to move large rocks from one spot to a castle wall. But magic was all to alien. "Maybe a change of scenery and more engineeringy area would help," he though as he walked out of the Inn in the dry sithilus desert air, trusting the party to Rannoch and the troll woman who had stormed through the Un'goro jungle to find them. "Gadgetzan?" no still desert, "Ogrimmar?" no, needs more engineer..."Winterspring?" cold as a warlock's nipple and filled with goblin engineers...

As Thor guided his wyvern to its keeper in Winterspring he began to second guess his idea. Maybe Winterspring wasn't a good place...frozen...foggy...foggy? The orc paused for a moment to wipe the condensation from the inside of his goggles. Glancing from goblin only know as the Unstable Engineer to the goblin making small angry mechanical yetis to attack here friends...yeah this was the right place for an experiment like this.

"The must be some way to replace them," his mage friend mispoke trying to be helpful. "Not replace, repair...but Thor can't repair them." Thor had said he wouldn't get anyone else involved, but he need a magic users help, the fact that se was an enchanter also was a plus. Besides she was already involved in Thunderbluff in previous attempts to fix the bracers. "Replace" the orc muttered as he sat pondering.

He knew what they did, they kept a spell from working. "What else keeps a spell from working?" the orc pondered "When he wanted to stop a spell he usually just smacked the caster in the head...no that wouldn't work here...well it did when Rannoch head-butted Videlle, but can't keep doing that. Rogues like to kick people...no, this isn't the time for an auto-kicker either. Mages...counter-spell..." glancing up at the Blood Elf mage who was playing with her hair, he repeated audibly "mages counter-spell."

"Huh?" the mage responded, letting her blond hair fall back into place. "You can counter-spell right? And enchant right?" "Yeah, I think so..." she replied flipping through her spell book. "Can you enchant this with counter-spell?" The orc ask, holding an arcane crystal that he had found earlier, to the mage. "I guess, but it won't go off without me powering..." her words cut off by Thoraggar bellowing "do it, leave power to Thor" as he sprinted to the goblin's bank.

Thoraggar grinned as the forges heat greeted him. He tacked the schematic he tore from his sketchbook to the wall of the building, as the mage did her work within. No longer caring about the bracers component, just needed to know how to modify a fel iron casing to fit a blood elf's wrist. His blacksmith's hammer rang outside, as the arcane crystal learned how to caste counter-spell.

The orc returned to the workshop and made a quick outline of the gem on the bracer. The mage watched as he pulled several strange mechanical creations from his toolbelt, and a few different types of wires, and set them on a nearby crate. Picking up two odd tubes, with wire attachment on the ends, and setting them adjacent to each other on the bracer "can you give these a spark to weld em down?" A quick spark from her fingers answered, with speed and precision that made Thor wince and count his own fingers. "These are truesilver transformers, should control the power," he explained as he set a device that somewhat resembled a pocket watch on the opposite side from the transformers. "This is a gyrochronomaton, should control the transformers time," looking up in time to see the mage gesturing to send another shock into the bracer "not now!" he exclaimed, quickly wrapping the device and the bracer in thin copper wiring, twisting the ends together to secure it, "that should enough to hold it down." "Wha?" she ask, looking up from her nails. "Nevermind," returned the orc, banging his head on the wall above the worktable as he ran a pair of fused wires from the gyrochronomaton to the transformers. "And a power source," muttered the orc as he places a Khorium box next to the gyrochronomaton, securing it in the same manner, attaching fused wires from it to the transformer, as the primal fire held within burning upon itself.

"Have power, have controler, have controler's controler, need elemental to arcane energy," Thoraggar though out loud as he dug in his tool belt. "Ok, spark these" he ask of the mage who had turned he focus back her nails. Thor's winced and looked away as the mage welded the delicate arcanite converters to his contraption, his fingers in more peril now than before. "How's that?" ask the mage, trying to sound as helpful ask possible without understand what the orc had created. "Good, now Thor just needs you to jump start the arcane crystal with a little bit of magic," said the orc as he secured the gem between the converters and ran a fused wire from them to the transformers, "wait though." "Ok now," he yelled from outside the building as he covered his ears.

"Ok, now what?" the mage ask standing over him, a little more then annoyed. Thor grinned as he walked back in to find the arcane gem glowing, sending counter-spells into the fel iron of the bracers, which with anything grounding it, appeared as speaks inside, at regular timed intervals. "Aka'magosh Muffin," said Thor, expressing his gratitude to the mage as he crated up the bracers. He frowned for a moment knowing the flight back to silthilus would take the rest of the day, before yelling "Thoraggar away!" and storming out the door to the flight master. The mage shrugged as she opened a portal to Ogrimmar, the half way mark on the flight to silthilus from her, and disappeared.

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((Dyiana))

It had been a long, very long, few days. Her first encounter with this whole situation being when she had found Jazziks on the ship. The girl was singing while tears poured from her eyes, and her song was haunting and sad... though from what? The priestess didn't pry. Sometimes people were better off just not talking about their problems, until they were ready.

The next day she had been abruptly summoned by her sponsor, Rand, and told with a sharp barking order to board the ship in Ratchet to the pirate city of Booty Bay. Rand had been physically exhausted, but taints affecting his mind and body were also present and stronger than she had sensed before, yet when she went to ask if he was all right she received a terrifying glare. She lingered long enough to watch him stumble to below deck and promptly pass out, then made her way to where she was told to go, where she found an odd scene of Xaraphyne, Rethsil, and a couple others watching over the now unconscious Jazziks. The young priestess promptly went to work, attempting to heal and revive the girl, finding the mark on her hand that sent everything into a spiral of activity. The mark itself, contagious, spread to her, and her memories were blurred from then on until she woke up with a shattered shoulder in Ratchet again.

She remembered, vaguely, how she had gotten the injury... The mark had also been spread to Elek and affected them both to crave and hunger mana and energy from the mark Jazziks had... and she had challenged the paladin and paid for it. She woke up alone, having enough energy to heal the fractured bones and internal bleeding, but not enough to completely heal the massive bruising which left it painful and sore. She opted to stay the rest of the time at the inn there, where sure enough, people gathered once again and crowded all around. She felt slightly claustrophobic and fearful, particularly of the paladin who wounded her but was now seemingly back to normal save for the blue hue of his eyes. A lot of tension and yelling ensued when a Forsaken warlock arrived and began experimenting on a now frightened Jazziks, but died down after he finally backed off, and everyone headed back towards the ship again.

Which, was where... everything went wrong again. Dy felt guilty for having failed in treating the problem, having made it worse by becoming infected, causing Elek to be infected, and therefor a number of people to get hurt. Her guardian arrived shortly to breifly console her before Rethsil, overcome with uncharacteristic malice, interrupted. Sensing something was not right, Dy asked him a few questions she knew the answers to, noticing right away how he stumbled, then angrily got defensive... It took a lot out of her, but she managed to repel the alienating presence, but not before she was called upon to tend to an ailing Tora. It took more out of her to repel the girl's violent nightmares, speaking of a disturbing vision she received from touching and receiving from the girl... only to be interrupted once more when a very angry Elrioch returned to his ship to find it overrun with 'guests' and damaged.

Rethsil bravely stood up to take the blame, Dy attempting to speak up on his behalf only to receive a furious glare from the Admiral as well as make him even more angry, demanding to know why she was even there. The girl was taken completely aback and went silent... backing up to the railing where she sat down, waited, and watched. She had made things worse again... and apparently, was not welcome here as she had once thought she was. She stayed as Elrioch and Xaraphyne argued, closing her eyes to try and repel away some of the negative emotions choking the air, though standing up again as she saw Rethsil was once again in danger. Putting aside her fear she approached and tried to plead again, but was angrily snapped at... crushing any confidence she had gained in her minor 'victories' that day. By now the tears were flowing freely, but no one knew the real reason why... Elek inquired as he escorted her off the ship and back to Ratchet, but she declined to give a real answer. Still fearful of the paladin, she asked him to look for Xaraphyne, who had taken off, knowing the troll woman was upset... and Elek would be able to help more than anyone else could.

She stayed at the inn in Ratchet again, Rethsil arriving shortly afterwards having been kicked a few times by the angered Admiral. Dy hid her overwhelming guilt, talking with the other Sin'dorei a short while before a familiar and mocking voice called to her... again. Noticing that Reth was attempting to make light of the situation, similar to Rand, by cracking jokes and playing everything off as nothing, Dy excused herself and left the inn to return to the ship while Rethsil went the other way. She didn't board the ship, instead sitting on a small mound by the shoreline where, like Jazziks, she quietly and sadly sang a song, all the while the voice continued to mock and assert her failures and guild in her mind. The Admiral came down after awhile, though far from being the one that most of everyone else was familiar with... He continued to mock, play, and feed off her torment... and she didn't resist any of it despite the blows it was dealing to her completely shattered resolve.

The abuse continued, her finally asking to speak to the Admiral himself, having her wish granted only to again be dealt a blow when he was nothing but a crazed and bloodthirsty shadow of his former self... but she didn't try to run away. Instead, she approached, wanting only to fulfill what he wanted... which right then was her own pain and blood. Taking the glove and wrappings off her left arm and taking out a dagger, she stabbed and drew the knife down the length of her arm, yelling in pain, but to her relief... satiating his lust if only for a moment. She let the blood flow out of her freely, not unnerved when he declared he wanted to kill and tear out her very soul, and rather doing all she could to try and give it to him. If it would help him in any way, she'd do anything... but the dark voice only mocked her further as the Admiral was 'prevented' from destroying her, and instead fell to the ground in a heap, leaving her standing shakily from blood loss until she too also collapsed. He then got up and stumbled back to his ship, leaving her to bleed out... until her guardian returned and, against her wishes, rescued her and attempted to heal her wound.

Awaking once again in Ratchet the next morning, Dy traveled to Thunder Bluff where the relative quiet and the unassuming nature of the resident Taurens would, hopefully, help her state of mind heal a little. At the top of the flight tower though she found a number of the others gathered and preparing to leave for a journey to a land called Silithus, asking her to accompany them, but her refusing claiming that she would only slow them down. While that was true, she secretly didn't want to be around anyone she knew even remotely... a fact that Jazziks seemed to catch wind of when she inquired. The priestess managed to play it off successfully though, but when asked to remove her right glove to check for a mark, was defeated again when the mark of the eclipse was shown to have appeared on her right hand. What it meant, she didn't know... and now she no longer cared.

If it meant her end, so be it.

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Five nights had passed since Xara had gotten wind of Sinaku's malevolence. The morning of the sixth day was just beginning to dawn.

She'd been rather absent the past few days... first not catching up with the group till they were in Un'Goro, then missing out entirely on the search of Dark Shore and Azshara, and last night only stopping in to Stonard briefly to check up on everyone. Toraneko kept her posted on everyone's whereabouts and somewhat on recent developments as well, though her reports tended to be somewhat sketchy. But it was clear to Xara that the states of those infected were deteriorating. Dyiana, Videlle, Elek, Toraneko... Possibly others. Luckily, Rand didn't seem to be affected by it yet. She wanted to tell him to leave, but she couldn't because they needed him too damn badly. She'd even called in Vaande to see what help he could offer. Xara couldn't watch out for everyone...

Work back at the Citadel was going undone because of this. Her relationship with Elrioch was getting dangerously strained. And despite all the time she'd spent searching alone, she hadn't been able to find the damn Wolfrunner behind it all.

Xara passed between the trees, standing like silent watchers in the murk, silent and unnoticed. The Ghostlands were quiet at this hour, an hour so late it was actually early, with no creatures stirring. It was the perfect time to track, when all the world lay asleep in their beds. She'd catch up on a little sleep after finding what she could; then check in with the others again. Hopefully no one would have fallen apart in her absence.

But even if she were there... what could she do? Chase around some more of those flighty blood elves, running away at every damn provocation? Let someone else do that; Xara would spend her time finding the dark heart of what had caused this evil in the first place. It was the only thing she could do that was more than forestalling this mess.

"Sinaku," Xara said under her breath, not even realizing the words passed her lips, "I'm coming for you."

He was smart enough to keep on the move...

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((This is taking me a WHOLE lot longer than I thought! I've got 35 pages in word... from the parts I'm typing myself so far. Since this is a lot bigger than I estimated, and knowing that I can't fit 35 pages in one post... I'll put up part for now that picks up where I left off on my last post. Its got a few spots that are incomplete, but I'm working on it! More will come on another post when I finish another block as about half of those 35 pages are purely summarized, poorly formated, and hardly readable. As it fleshes out, I'm sure it'll end up taking probably 50% more space. :o ))

Night 1 - Day 2

Eldre'Thalas… Dire Maul… such secrets held therein. Such blasphemous secrets, tucked away into a part of the world so hostile, so unforgiving, a place where heroes could come to die.

Elek had been drawn to the Highborne magics in his Frenzy, lured like a fish by the bait that dangled so near. Each step crunched the underbrush beneath his plated boots, reaching up to entangle and deter the Paladin’s focused strides. Little effect they were, for the Treant guardians would be required to face the threat of him themselves.

One by one, the guardians of the Ancient Tendris Warpwood fell, splintered remains of wood and rubble that marked a swathing path to one of the five arcane crystal pylons that maintained the Highborne’s hold on their darkest secret since the Well of Eternity. Elementals of pure Arcane energy held a stoic watch over the pylons, their swirling energies feeding the crystal that powered the prison; they were not shown mercy by the Sin’dorei, and fell victim to his ravenous hunger.

The pylon drew dark and shattered.

It was Warpwood then, who rose to bar his progress. He called for his guardians, only to understand the true plight of his situation when the shouts came unanswered. His wooden body burned like a torch, a giant bonfire that lit the night sky and rained ash upon the ancient stone… another victim to the Curse.

Spirits, demons, elementals… Dire Maul, though abandoned, was certainly not devoid of life and activity. Into the Nether they went, the pylons falling unhindered. Highborne shouting resonated through the compound, the prison was down and the beast must be contained. The ‘caretakers’ had grown lazy in their thousands of years of immortality, little good that did them against the fangs and claws that tore their bodies in two and the maw that devoured the unfortunate fools in whole.

Hammer in hand, the Sin’dorei Knight stepped into the prison and caught the beasts attention. Arcane energy swirled around the chamber, spiraled around so dense and so freely that it simply had to have been a lay-line! Karazhan, the foundation of Medivh’s tower, was another such place within Azeroth, prized and cherished by the mages who could find and visit them. No wonder the Highborne where here.

Suffering a blast of Holy energy, the beast drew back and roared, charging to make a bloody amend to the intruder.

“Impossible…” Xaraphyne had said when she brought her search group into the cloister as Elek struck the final blow. Its skull shattered, the demon fell to the ground with green and black ichor oozing to form a small river. Victorious, the Paladin stood at the epicenter and raised his arms high and wide, absorbing the power the Highborne had come to guard so close.

“Can you feel it?” he asked, shouting fierce. Ribbons of Arcane energy spiraled around his form, weaving in and out in a macabre dance that seemed to bind themselves to his very soul and brought a brilliant blue sheen to his mana-infused eyes. “The power… overwhelming!” he cried out with a feral, sinister laugh. “The secret of the Shen’dralar! The fools! They are no different than I!” His rants and calls continued, “Tortheldrin, I come for you now!”

Darting forth, the mad-driven Sin’dorei made his way to the ancient library where he had come to confront the Highborne’s leader. Xara and the others pursued, calling for him to stop. Their words fell upon deaf ears and he left them to the chase again.

Upon entrance of the Library, the self-proclaimed ‘Prince’ picked up his sword and ran to meet the heathen that destroyed everything he had worked for. Immol’thar, the demon imprisoned within Dire Maul, has been their source of power for hundreds of generations of the mortal races… shattered now by one Elf, forever gone. “Idiot! Do you know how many years of research you disturb?” the Prince had demanded of him.

Raising his weapon up to parry the blow, the Sin’dorei replied, “Thousands.”

“I will kill you and feed on your very essence, Betrayer!”

With a nearly feral roar, uttered from the deepest reaches of the frenzied Sin’dorei, Elek gave his response as he bore his hammer done in an arc that shattered the Highborne’s arm, “No… you wont.”

Tortheldrin remembered what that trembling sensation was on the back of his neck…

Fear.

The fight was over almost as soon as it had started.

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Night 2, Early

Back in Ratchet, the Sin’dorei Blood Knight approached the inn, eyes spotting Dyiana as she nursed her sore and aching shoulder alone at a table. While he was uncertain yet of the events that had transpired since his ‘infection’ with the Mark of the Eclipse, he had slipped several times into a trance-like state that filled his mind with vivid nightmares and insights. He hoped without end, that they were untrue, but in witness to the pained and careful movements of the others, those fears began to materialize into an aching dread wrought with guilt.

“Are you alright, Dyiana?” he asked her, the girl cringing in response and wordlessly confirming his fears. His remorse hit him like a shipwreck, shattered upon the reefs of Stranglethorn.

“Elek?” called a familiar voice that stole away his attention. The trolless approached him, her eyes tired and weary with a hint of hesitation and caution. She had a blackened eye and moved with a modest limp, each step was undoubtedly as painful as it seemed.

“Is everyone ok, Xara?” he asked her, eyes looking down to the ground, unable to look her in the eye.

“Everyone is recovering, most of us are resting. Fortunately no one was too badly hurt.”

“I see… I’m sorry for what has happened, I don’t quite understand it yet, but I have my suspicions.”

“It’s not your fault, Elek, I know it wasn’t really you. You had no control over that,” she told him with a clear conviction that made it obvious that she did not want to argue over it. “What about you? Is everything together?”

Her words did nothing to stem away the guilt and blame that burdened his shoulders and crushed down upon his soul. He was asked to protect the girl and to help them… all he had done was show how weak he was and succumbed to compulsion. What if he had killed one of them? The Paladin shivered at the thought and fought hard to dismiss it. The Paladin nodded to her question, “I believe so… though I can still hear the Howling at the back of my mind, I think it is under control.”

A commotion had erupted soon after, something about too many people, too small a space, and unpaid tabs. Again the group would set out for the Admiral’s ship; Elek reluctantly followed in tow.

*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*

Night 2, Late

The Sin’dorei Blood Knight remained on the upper decks, isolating himself from the internals of the ship mainly in fear and dread of the evidence of what he’d done. He knew he couldn’t deny it, but that didn’t mean he had to see it. Each pained groan and whimper he had heard since his return was testimony enough..

“How are you holding up?” Tora had asked him, her hand coming to rest upon his shoulder.

She was a young girl as well, hardly any older than Jazziks at the most. Elek managed himself a smile and did as best he could to hide away the lingering torment that plagued his soul, “I’m fine now, though my eyes burn like I’ve opened them for the first time in years.”

“Have you seen them? They are blue,” the Sin’dorei girl had told him, her voice so very innocent.

Elek perked a brow and turned to look at the girl, hardly wanting to believe her any more than the others earlier. “Blue? I didn’t think Xara was serious…”

“Here, take a look yourself,” she told him, removing a small polished steel mirror from her pack.

Elek stared at his reflection and at those piercing BLUE eyes that looked back at him. It made sense, PERFECT sense. A Sin’dorei’s eyes were green because of the fel-energy he or she absorbed… before the ‘salvation’ offered by Kael’thas and Illidan, he could remember how his eyes had shone blue, just like this.

*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*

(( Fight below decks, Tora’s condition worsens, Elrioch’s arrival, exodus from the ship))

*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*

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Day 3

It was dawn in Thunder Bluff, the sun beginning to crest over the horizon, throwing its light upon the inhabitants of Mulgore. The ‘fellowship’, as it had become called, was in meeting, plotting their next move. Elek had arrived late, word had taken longer to reach him than the others.

“Videlle is in a trance of sorts, we don’t know what is wrong with her,” reported a haggard old orc in mismatched armor, damaged and hardly in one piece.

“Is she hurt?” inquired the Paladin as he approached, slipping into the shade of the trees where the lithe warlock remained seated.

The orc shook his head, “na, not that we think. The others asked me to watch her, something about that she be dangerous to elfsies and yous with the mana.”

Elek looked at the warrior for a moment and shook his head, approaching regardless. Crouching down before her, he removed his gauntlet and touched his fingertips to Videlle’s forehead. She seemed cool, not clammy, apparently fine; for a moment he had suspected heat stroke, but the vacant look in her strange eyes suggested something with a far more sinister foundation.

“Did you know,” spoke a familiar voice stepping from the shadows, “that the girl can recite the ranks and names of nearly each and every member of the Blood Knights?” Rethsil, a rather sneaky, crafty operative within Citadel, stepped from the shadows at the pre-dawn hours. “She has it memorized like a poem,” he told the Paladin who did not seem amused at the news.

“That… is privledged information, Rethsil,” he said, looking away from Videlle. “Are you sure of this?”

“Completely, even your name was mentioned in there somewhere near the end.”

“If she knows, then it is safe to assume her brother knows as well.”

The rogue nodded, adjusting a dagger at his belt, “I wouldn’t doubt it. Anyhow, that’s all I wanted to tell you; figured you would know more of what to make of it than I do. Watch your back, alright? I don’t like the look of things.”

“Thank you, Reth. We’ll all get to the bottom of this,” Elek replied, dismissing the rogue to his own agenda.

The orc spoke up again, “Ain’t you afraid? They say she be dangerous,” pointing to the seemingly harmless Sin’dorei woman still seated beneath the tree.

The Paladin stood there, the sensation of eyes upon him. He would glance over his shoulder to see nothing, sighing to himself as he wrote the feeling off as paranoia. “There are very few things I fear, Orc, and she is not one of them,” he said, turning back to look at he and Videlle.

“What are ya afraid of, then?”

With a smile, the whites of his teeth showing as he closed his eyes. He had faced the Scourge, fought along the sides of heroes such as Highlord Morgraine and even the revered Paladin, Uthar Lightbringer. He had slain dragons, demons… even an elemental lord… “when I think of one, I’ll let you know. Do you know which way the others went?”

“Ya, dey all went over that bridge to the other rise,” replied the warrior, gesturing to his left.

The Sin’dorei Knight took off with a run, hoping that he hadn’t missed too much. As he neared the door to the adjoined inn, Jazziks stepped out, a startled look on her face as she saw him.

“E-Elek!” she exclaimed, raising a small hand to her chest in a reflexive defense.

Nodding as he caught his breath, “Jazziks, are the others here yet?”

“No, but they should be gathering soon.”

“Great; how have you been holding up?”

“Me? I’m fine,” she would say with a sigh, slipping her way around the larger Sin’dorei where she leaned against a railing to gaze towards the sun off on the horizon. “I wish this was all over, I don’t want to see anyone hurt anymore.”

Elek joined her at her side, his eyes peering out towards the sun as well. “This is not your fault, Jazziks, not at all. You should not blame yourself for the things that have happened in the last few days.”

“I didn’t want this,” she said, looking away. The Ranger would have accepted death, to her, it was a much simpler answer… and it would only be her that would suffer for it. Gritting her teeth, she backed away from the male, pointing to him with an accusing finger, “what is it you want? What do you want out of this? What do you want from me?”

Surprised, the Sin’dorei Blood Knight canted his head to the side a little and it took him a few moments to form a reply. “Nothing; I was asked by a friend to help, it’s as simple as that.” There was something about his answer that upset her, a glistening appearing within her eyes. “I’m not here for some reward, I’m not expecting to be paid or given anything. “Xaraphyne asked me to help, and I’m not going to give up on her, or you.”

Jazziks looked away again, her eyes downcast and looking to the ground as she backed away again, half-hiding behind the post of the bridge. With a great reluctance, she did thank him for his help.

“Oh, there has been something I’ve been meaning to ask you about,” Elek stated, making no effort to close the distance between himself and her. “Has your brother spent any time in Dalaran?”

“Not that I know of, no. What are you after, Blood Knight? Tell me.”

“Do you know if he had any dealings with the Magus Ur or Arugal, perhaps visited Silverpine?”

“What are you after?”

She wouldn’t take it well…

“It is too early to know for sure, I could be mis-“

“TELL ME!”

Elek drew in a deep breath, holding it within his lungs until his chest burned. During this time Risticus joined to listen, drawn by the heated tone of Jazziks’ voice. “Very well…” the Sin’dorei Knight told her, beginning his thoughts to share.

“What do you know about the Worgen?”

“The what?” she said, startled by his question.

“The Worgen, I’m not sure yet, but I have a suspicion that this Curse has something to do with it. Your last name, the other day you said it was ‘Wolfrunner’, yes?”

“Yes, why?”

“And your brother has the same?”

“Of course.”

“Does your brother have any sort of fondness for wolves, an affinity, anything that seems out of place?”

She thought about it for a moment and nodded, “he gave me a pup once, a small wolf that I raised. He had one two, gave it to me after he had been gone for awhile; he said he brought me a friend that would be greater than any other.”

The Sin’dorei Knight shook his head, by the Light he prayed that he would be wrong in the end.

“I believe I know how this curse works, how it ties in with the Moon and the Howling. From what we’ve found, I believe that this curse was created to target elves, Sin’dorei especially. We’ve seen that it does not affect Xaraphyne, and hardly seems to trouble you or Risticus here. So far, only myself, Tora, Dyiana and Videlle have felt the most effect.” Oh it was going to be a long story, and certainly not one that would be taken well.

Elek continued, “when an Elf fails to satisfy his Addiction, one of several things may happen. He may simply die, he may even turn to one of the Wretched. Or… as in my case as we’ve seen, he can slip into a state of Frenzy. The only thing on that person’s mind is feeding, satisfying their hunger from any source they can find. No compassion, no reason… just pure, basic survival. No restraint, no remorse.”

Everyone was quiet as they listened; no one had forgotten the unrestrained fury the Sin’dorei Blood Knight had unleashed just a few nights prior.

“The Worgen, are a race of beasts from another world, a place of Shadow and pure evil. They exist only to kill, to eat, to destroy. They cannot be bargained with, they cannot be controlled. There is no negotiation, no deals.. just death and sorrow in their wake. The Magus Ur studied this creatues and had even learned how to summon them here to Azeroth. He forbid further study of them and said so in his writings. Arugal, an apprentice of his, picked up the studies when Ur had died… and found a way to transform man into beast… into Worgen. Pyrewood is a town tucked away in Silverpine where he did his studies; don’t ask around, everyone will deny its existence or misdirect your questions with ghost stories. Every night, with the dawning of the moon, the villagers turn, and stay so until the moon’s setting and the approach of morning.”

“This Curse, is like a void of Shadow, drawing in magic – to where I have no idea. It is attuned to the elven races; I myself was unable to resist it’s call, it’s beckon after I had first came in contact with it. I could feel my energy draining away, yet I could not pull my hand away. It was like I was becoming more powerful with every moment I did it, even though I knew it couldn’t be. I slipped to frenzy shortly after; there is not a single one of us here who forgets the events of that night.”

“If this thing were to spread among the populace of Silvermoon, and should the Sin’dorei there feel the same effects that I did… it would spread as fast as a plague, each one of them feeding their energies off into the Void, bringing them to the same fates that I faced. Some will die, and I would say them the lucky ones. The others… would lose their sanity, become the Wretched… others, hopefully few, would Frenzy.” It was ironic really… the idea of the entire Sin’dorei culture killing one another over their own addiction. ‘Mana-addicted slobs’, Jazziks had called them once, surely her brother held the same sentiments.

“I suspect there is a trigger, perhaps the next Eclipse, maybe even a full moon, I don’t know… anything is possible… that will mark the moment those afflicted may become Worgen. If this were to happen with all or even a portion of Silvermoon affected… or the Blood Knights specifically as things seem,” he said, pausing a moment to look towards Jazziks, “I’ve come to find that she knows the ranks and names of every Blood Knight officer currently in active duty. This is not publicly shared, and she can recite it like a poem.”

Jazziks smiled, proud of herself at the accomplishment – surely the efforts to obtain the knowledge were difficult indeed… or perhaps she was just a thief. Elek continued his theory, “the city would erupt into Anarchy and the entire defense would crumble. If Sinaku truly wants to see Silvermoon back as a Quel’dorei state as… it would not be a difficult task then.”

Jazziks stared at him wide eyed; it had taken until now for the scope of what the Blood Knight had said to actually hit her. She shook her hear and screamed, backing away and bursting from the door as tears streamed along her cheeks, “you’re wrong! My brother would NEVER do that!”

It was simply too much to take. She ran... no one said the truth would be pretty.

There was some talk between the others on where to go next. Ultimately the decision was made to head to Silithus and contact the Cenarion Circle, perhaps they could offer insight on when the next eclipse would be.

“Will you be joining us, Elek?” they had asked.

“Not this time, I will head to Silverpine and see if I can recover the works of Ur. If this thing has something to do with the Worgen, his notes and research will prove invaluable,” he told them, checking over his gear for the upcoming trip.

“I will catch up with you as soon as I can.”

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More time had passed... Dy wasn't really sure how much. The sun had come up and set a few times but she hadn't counted how many. She spent her time organizing the supplies Rand generously sent her and perfecting her skills in sewing and enchanting in Thunder Bluff, finding the time she spent here peaceful... but lonely. The Taurens here were kind and obliging, but even still they kept to their own kind mostly save for the travelers who passed through. Her guardian had gone off into the wilderness to converse with his Goddess, the Earth Mother... and so she was left without anyone to really talk to.

Not that she really wanted to... She would only mess up again, make things worse somehow, regardless of her intentions. This mark she was infected with along with the others was causing so much pain, but her presence anywhere only seemed to amplify it more.

Perhaps 'He' was right, after all.

it would only be a matter of time before the others started returning to this place, she assumed... She packed what few things she had with her and paid the wyvern master for a ride to Orgrimmar, walking from there to the Zepplin tower where she took the first blimp to the Undercity, and then straight to Silvermoon. As decadent and arrogant as this place was, it was still peaceful and at the very least... she felt somewhat accepted amongst others like herself.

From there, she headed to Fairbreeze, where she knew there was a small inn where she could stay for a few more days. She arrived there only to be surprised that Vaande, Tora, Xaraphyne, and Elek were all gathered there... all but Vaande being obviously injured, though he was quick to remedy that. She wasn't sure why he did, and was upset when he did, but the young hunter got it in his head that to fix his broken hands he had to crush them completely with a metal brick, and then requested her to heal them again. Dy obliged, though disturbed by his acts of self mutilation, before moving on to apply the same healing to Elek, Xaraphyne, and Tora. She heard bits and pieces of what had happened the past few days, wishing she could have done something to make it better, but thinking it was probably a good act of fate that she had stayed out of it. With her rate of bad luck anytime she was around, they may have ended up dead instead of just injured.

Now tired, she stepped outside to get some air, accompanied by Tora shortly after where they talked for a short while. Tora had a would on her arm that reopened anytime it was bandaged or healed, somehow linked to the curse, and the pain from it made worse whenever she was around an 'afflicted'. Dy's heart sank a bit upon hearing that bit of information, advising sadly that the young rogue stay away from her then if she was only making the pain worse, before retiring to the upstairs room and coming to fall asleep on a futon.

Her nights had been quiet and dreamless these past few days, but tonight was going to be different.

It started out as it usually did... wavy blackness as her mind drifted from being awake and aware to the unconscious levels of sleep. A small feeling of falling, then before she knew it the scenery was set and the dream had begun. She was on the ship again, feeling confused as to why as she had made up her mind to never go back there again since she wasn't welcome, but the confusion ebbed away for acceptance as she acknowledged that this all was just a dream... and she'd see where it would take her.

Walking along the deck, Dy looked around, her eyes coming upon the vision of the young elf Jeshua who was up by the mast and staring out into the sea. She couldn't see his face, but she sensed that he was troubled and cautiously moved to approach. She knew it was a dream, she knew this wasn't really him... but her timidness around strangers was universal, regardless if they were 'real' or not.

"Is something wrong?" Dy spoke up, her voice still as quiet as it would be in the waking world, and her demeanor was none-threatening. Jeshua seemed unresponsive, simply staring out to the sea and ignoring her words for a few moments, then finally turning to face her. His eyes were full of tears, and they streamed down the side of his face as if he were in mourning.

"I..." Jeshua began, then turned away from her again, "It's nothing..."

"But you're crying... I don't understand?" Dy blinked, confused in wondering just why Jeshua would be in her dreams to begin with as she knew little of him and hadn't spoken very much to him either... but she didn't back away just yet. "You can tell me... I won't tell anyone else."

"..." Jeshua wiped some of the tears from his eyes, unresponsive and silent again for a few moments before turning back to her again. Dy waited, watching curiously, then a little startled as he stepped forward towards her and was upon her, arms wrapped around her midsection and her arms in a tight embrace.

"Ah..." A bit of fear crossed Dy's mind, but other than stiffening a bit she didn't attempt to resist or flee. "What's wrong?"

"... I'm hungry."

A blink, Dy tensing a bit more in trying to see if she could break out of the embrace, but he wouldn't budge. A bit more fear crossed her mind in knowing that this confusing dream was going to take a very bad turn... and it did. Jeshua's form grew larger, and she felt fur growing out from his skin, him pulling back slightly to reveal a monstrous wolf-like appearance with a sinister and hungry grin. Dy attempted to push away only for his jaws to spring forward for her neck and plant his teeth deeply... throwing her to the floor before pulling back and tearing a gaping spurting hole in her neck. She sputtered, a hand coming up to try and stop the bleeding and eyes going wider as she felt the torrent of blood just pouring out... and the scene fading into black as her mind became disconnected in the all too familiar feeling of death.

She was not unused to death in dreams, but something in this one seemed real, and she wondered if it was going to be a true death... The connection with her body was fading away, and when she reached out for it... she felt the presence of the mark getting in her way. It wanted her dead...

Didn't I tell you I wanted you alive?

The blurred and blackened form of Jeshua looming over her with her blood dripping from his jowels was suddenly torn asunder, complete with a pained howl as something whipped forth and split him apart... only to reach out and latch onto her instead. It stabbed through the presence of the mark, dragging her out of the abyss, undoing the damage to her neck, and bringing her back into the dream with her lying on the deck and staring up at a twisted multi-colored sky. Now another presence loomed over her, kneeled by her side with one red eye glowing, and an amused smirk across its lips.

Her heart fell again, not unfamiliar with his presence... feeling humiliated and used again at seeing 'Him' there. She attempted to get up, only to find that despite this being a dream, she could hardly move.

If only you weren't so weak, ma' peche'... Perhaps then everyone you've come to care about and love wouldn't be suffering as they are.

She diverted her eyes, half wishing now she had just faded into the darkness and that 'He' hadn't 'rescued' her from it... but she wasn't surprised at all. The silence from her was filled in only by the sound of his mocking chuckle, him waving a hand in her line of sight to signal that he was offering it.

I'll help you stand... since you're helpless here on your own.

Her eyes closed, teeth gritting in wanting to just scream out for him and everyone else to leave her alone, but she couldn't choke it out. Despite avoiding everyone else these past few days, she was utterly afraid of being left alone. Even if it was 'Him' here, 'He' was still here with her. Weakly she lifted a hand to accept his, finding it gently gripped by his own and then drawn upwards as he came to help her stand...

About halfway up, he jerked her forward, forcing her to fall onto him as one arm wrapped around her waist, and the other tipped her chin up to look at him as his face was brought within millimeters of hers. She gasped, going stiff again and fearful of a repeat of Jeshua, but thankfully at least... this one stayed 'normal'.

Now wake up.

Dy's eyes opened then, coming to sit up despite her body being tense, and feeling oddly warm despite the cool feeling in the air... as if something was holding onto her still. She shivered, despite the warmth, feeling it dissipate around her as whatever it was left her to the silence of the inn's room. Silence that was interrupted by the sounds of the others, who had retired to their own corners to sleep for the night. It was extremely early now... almost daybreak, and she was still tired... but couldn't stand to be here anymore.

Quietly, the priestess regathered her things and made her way out of the inn without waking any of the others... She had no idea where she would go from here, but anywhere was better than here.

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A day had passed since the expeditions to Dark shore and Azshara, yet it seemed that as much as the group had accomplished there was so much more that needed to be uncovered before the nightmare looming over them would dissipate. To make matters worse... Videlle, their contact within the Cartel, had vanished and along with her the second Amulet of the Moon. Even though things were seeming rather bleak for the brave adventurers, they proved resilient and kept their spirits high... ready to meet any challenge that should rise against them. However, none would be ready for what devious plot lay in wait for them the fourth night...

Frustrations soared in the confines of Fairbreeze as the party that had gathered there to discuss their next move separated themselves from each other. Only Jazziks, Ishiido, and Jeshua remain together within the village. Joined briefly by Elek, Jazziks spoke with him briefly before a fight began to break out...

"Liar! I know you have it!" cried Jeshua as he wrestled Iishido to the ground, knocking over the carefully rendered furniture around the room as the two erupted into a fist-fight. Jazziks crouched into the corner horrified as the two assaulted each other violently before her...

"Stop it! Both of you!" She cried, yet no one would listen to her. Finally, unable to stand any more fighting, Jazziks ran out into the woods to escape it all.

Elek attempted to step in and part the two, but the the fight quickly moved outside. Xara was just returning with Tora as she saw the two burst out the front door, Ishiido narrowly escaping into the woods as arrows whizzed past him from an enraged Jeshua. Giving chase, the two vanished into the woods of Eversong as quickly as they had begun to fight. Xara entered the inn, ready with questions of her own... yet only Elek remained to speak to her of what happened.

Upon the roof, Elek caught Xara up on details. However, as he did so an ominous darkness cast itself across the sky... announcing the advent of a very unnatural nightfall. Elek continued to speak with Xara, but her attention was not upon him. She began to notice a chill through the air and an eerie sense of paranoia... as if someone was watching her. Turning her attention back to Elek, Xara wanted to tell him to quickly find Jazziks.. having a bad feeling creeping up her spine, but when she gazed back at the elf... she found him horribly mangled and shredded as if he had been eaten at by wolves. His glazed eyes looked back at her with hideous shock, now a pale with a deadened glow. What remained of Elek reached out for the troll, his mangled hand glowing brightly where the mark was engraved. Crying out in surprise Xara struck Elek, tossing him off the roof down to the bushes below. Xara then took off to the woods alone to find Jazziks, knowing well that something was happening to her. Meanwhile, somewhere far away, a dark figure smirked... his right eye glistening dimly in the darkness.

Tailed by Toraneko, Xara ran through the forest with great haste, pausing briefly as she caught sight of what she thought were large wolves darting around trees... stalking. Bravely she followed them, hoping they would lead her to where Jazziks was. Her efforts were rewarded when she stumbled upon the young elf, crying for help as she was being pulled forward by an unknown force. The mark upon her hand glowed a bright crimson as it dragged her forward, calling the attention of some strange pack that circled her maliciously... snarling and barking. Xara ran forward at once, grabbing Jazziks and trying her best to fight against the force drawing her away.

"I'm sorry Xara! I never meant to get you pulled into this! Please don't let Sin take me away again!" Jazziks cried hysterically, trying to hold onto the troll as she skidded down Southward.

Xara held on with all her strength, but nothing would break Jazziks' body from the unknown force. Even as Toraneko arrived, their combined efforts were in vain as all three were dragged down toward the border of the Ghostlands and the Eastern Plaguelands. The three clung onto each other for support, not knowing what may be laying in wait for them. As the three entered the pass to the plaguelands, silence filled the air. The wolves circling the three int he forest had ceased following them... but the tension of their situation still remained thick around them. Suddenly, the stillness was cut down by a vicious snarl as Toraneko was thrown to the ground. A massive black wolf leapt upon her, barking and snapping mercilessly. Closing it's jaws around her neck, the wolf began to suffocate the elf. Around them, barking seemed to grow from the walls of the cliff as the pack that had chased them down to the pass snapped at them from above. Xara cried out to Tora but the moment her attention fell from Jazziks, a figure dashed out of the shade and snatched up Jazziks holding her at knife's edge. Jazziks closed her eyes in fear, knowing well who her captor must have been.. yet she was shocked to find that it was not her brother that now gripped her, but her former ally Ishiido. With confusion and chaos abound them, Sinaku appeared before the three... his right eye covered with a dark patch.

"What have we here...? Pitiful prey who think they can run with the hunters?" Sinaku hissed, savagely eyeing Xara and Toraneko.

"Sinaku don't!" Jazziks cried, but she was quickly silenced as her brother struck her across the face.

Xara growled angrily, "Touch her again and I'll make sure you'll be missing something much more..."

Sinaku interrupted, "Who are you to come into our family's affairs? To take my flesh and my blood from me! To deny her justice."

Toraneko gasped, trying to fight her way free from the jaws of Fell... but soon the lack of air brought darkness upon her... and she faded.

Xara stepped forward boldly, and as she did Sinaku smirked darkly... "You are killing her with each step you take, Xaraphyne." he said, Ishiido jerking Jazziks violently before them.

Xara decided to bravely call Sinaku on his bluff, "I don't think you will go through with that, coward."

Seething with anger at the troll, Sinaku ordered Ishiido to take off one of Jazziks' hands for Xara's impudence, but as her hand was hoisted high to be hacked off... Xara pleaded for her not to be harmed.

Sinaku strode up to Xaraphyne, eyeing her with a malicious stare... "You want to save her life?" he said in almost a whisper, "Kneel." he growled between clenched teeth. Xara sneered back at him, unmoving. "You are truly a coward, hiding behind your sister." she spat back, "She doesn't need family like you."

Savagely, Sinaku kicked Xaraphyne's legs out with great force, knocking the troll to her hands and knees. As she rose, he drew his sword and struck her viciously across the face with the hilt. Sinaku continued to assault her with unfaltering savagery, striking her with violent rage until the crack of bone turned into wet snapping. Jazziks cried out for Xara, but all was drown out by the echoing sound of Sinaku breaking her. All the meanwhile, her shouted madly,

"You dare speak to me like that, you pitiful prey!? You are but lowly hunt to us! Do I have to remind you of everything!? You fill my sister's heads with LIES! and pull her further from me! You don't even know what she is!"

Lifting Xaraphyne by one hand, he draws the beaten troll close... lapping the blood from her face to savor the moment before speaking almost seductively, "You are foolish sheep among wolves, Xaraphyne... helpless, and lost..."

Coughing, Xara managed a half smirk... "Creepy.... pervert...."

Angrily, Sinaku thrust the troll to the ground and stomped upon her. Suffocating her in the dirt gravel of the pass before turning to face the horrified Jazziks,

"I was naive to think you would learn anything yourself." he said with a sneer, "You forget what you have been chosen to do. You wish to bring shame to our father? Our mother? Have you forgotten what it is we are here to do!?" he shouted madly at her.

As Sinaku yelled, Xara gathered the last of her strength to draw her polearm... She thrust it at Sinaku's back with great force, but somehow he managed an impossible dodge... as if something had forewarned him. In a blur of motion Sinaku had kicked the Polearm across the pass, lodging it into the side of the cliff. Shocked at the maneuver, Xara found herself lifted by her throat high above the ground by Sinaku... He gazed upon her with deadly anger, shaking with rage as she tried to pulls his hand away... Xara found his sudden change of strength unexplainable as her efforts to break free were in vain. Dragging her to Jazziks, Sinaku thrust Xara in front of his sister.

"Do you see this? This pitiful creature?" he sneered, "Do you!?"

Jazziks nodded, unable to speak as she continued to sob.

"This is what happens when you stray!" he shouted, shaking Xaraphyne, "Her death tonight is because of you!"

Running forward with a feral speed, Sinaku slammed Xara hard against the side of the cliff where he had kicked her polearm. Leaving a ringing in her ears as her head collided with the dense stone. Leaning forward, Sinaku whispered tenderly into her bleeding ears... "You would like to see my head roll upon the ground, wouldn't you? Savor each moment as my blood left my body? Well know this... should my head ever fall to the ground... it will not be the only one." He turned and pointed to Jazziks, "Her's will join mine as well." Sinaku laughed, "Bound! even in death!"

Xara grimaced at the thought... yet something told her he was bluffing. However, she could hardly wrestle free of the madman's grasp much less test his bluff. Drawing Xaraphyne's spear from the wall next to them, he drew back the polearm to strike.

"Your meddling will end tonight with your life, Xara. As well as all of those you know and love."

As Sinaku spoke, a roar rang through the cliffs as Xaraphyne's ghost sabre lunged down, breaking Fell from Toraneko. All hell broke lose as the wolves dived down and fought with Xaraphyne's pet. Taking advantage of this brief distraction, Xaraphyne raised her rifle painfully and fired a shot into Sinaku's leg at point blank.

Slowly Sinaku turned and looked at her fiercely, he show nothing of pain... only unfathomable rage. With a mighty thrust, he pinned Xara to the wall with her own spear and left her to die. Calling to Ishiido, Sinaku covered the three in a circle of magic and they began to fade out.

The last sound in the canyon before everything went back to an eerie stillness was the echoing shout of Jazziks, crying out to Xaraphyne...

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Jazziks cried and reached for Xara from the clutches of Ishiido and Sinaku. She screamed with fear and dread as she saw the mist around her from Sinaku’s spell. She knew she was being taken but that did not matter. What mattered was Xara and Tora…how could Sin leave them? Leave them to die from injury or have what wandered the plaguelands find them. Jazziks cried until there was darkness and everything faded to black.

So then in darkness she remained only to wake. Her eyes opened with sight blurry at first but soon all came into focus. There was a skull on a ledge type rock across from her, a skull with a candle that flickered dimly lighting a small room filled with skeletons. Jazziks tried to move, she struggled though futile she found herself to be chained to the wall. All she could do is lower her head whilst her arms were held high from her bindings, she remembered seeing Xara and Tora. She remembered being helpless to fight for them, to free them. She was helpless…regardless more so now then ever before. Jazziks cursed at herself and broke into sobs, “why am I cursed with this blasted weakness” she muttered to herself through out her crying. She sobbed for what seemed to be ages in the darkened room full of dead before she stopped and startled to something seemingly moving beneath the bones. Her eyes grew large following the shifting bones Jazz bit her lip to keep from screaming. Whatever is was, it was heading towards her it approached faster and faster Jazziks closed her eyes and looked away when she heard a little chatter in front of her.

She peeked out with one eye trembling from the unknown she looked. To her relief it was just an imp, tiny and feeble it looked up at her and tilted its head. Jazziks snickered cursing at herself once more “I cower to an imp, that is a new low for me” she said sighing afterwards. She watched then as the imp seemed to rummage through the bones lifting a key, the imp struggled with it climbing her body to her shackles. Jazz smiled weakly watching is disbelief “That’s it” she said “Good demon unlock the shackles”. The demon did and jumped off the cave wall into the pile of bones. Jazziks dropped to her kneels now free she rubbed her wrists, the shackles chafed. Her eyes met back to the imp that seemed to be jumping through the bone pile down a dark hallway. She jumped to her feet and rushed to follow, there seemed to be no other way out and the imp had helped her once before, so it seemed. She followed the sounds of the little snickering imp it was dark and she felt along the walls in her pursuit. Jazz soon saw light, a light at the end of the darkness. She and the imp ran towards it. Her running slowed down as she approached the massive chamber she glanced around the room. There were torches lit and fire bowls aflame there fire was of a dark green it sometimes appeared blue. She walked into the room further, there was a giant chair a thrown where the imp jumped and placed itself on the lap of what seemed to be a draped statue. More figures like that one stood still and unreal in a circle around some strange marking aglow on the ground. Jazz looked around in bewilderment at the dark scene when she heard him, his voice made her feel ill “So she is awake” the voice cackled “we can now begin”. She turned to see the statue like figure draped in black was alive his eyes seemed red from the darkness of the hood. “Good work my minion” The orc warlock patted the imp on his lap and stood as the imp rushed to his shoulder.

His breath smelt like blood and his hands he placed on her arm were cold as death. The orc then turned to his chair and spoke “Master Sinaku, I trust our payment for this is well?” Jazziks eyes teared up as she saw her brother then step from behind the throne. He tossed a large sack of gold to the floor. Sinaku snickered, his one eye fixed on his sister “all here old man” he said “now provide me a means of living” he added. The orc nodded his eyes twinkled to the large amount of gold that spilled upon the floor, seconds after he swung the girl into the strange marking. The figures that stood around it were not statues either to Jazziks displeasure. Cultists, wicked warlocks - their breath smelled of blood for she knew well they drank it, and desired its taint and power. The followers in the circle ripped her clothing. She jumped and startled crying then as they tied her to the floor. Sinaku calmly walked into the circle and lay down beside her looking at her as he shed is clothing. She sobbed “what is going on Sin, I am afraid…who are these orcs”? she spoke her voice quivered each time she shook. Sinaku grinned and patted her hair gently “fear not sister I have just called in a few favors is all, now we can be closer then ever before” he snickered. “I realize that I am a hated, hated man dear sister through you, I can live knowing YOU are alive and well WE will be alive and well”. Sinaku remained cryptic saying no more as he waved his hand for the ritual to carry on. With that action the orcs then held up their hands and begun to chant they spoke in tongues it almost sounded like hissing throughout the cave. Jazz sobbed and struggled before she felt a splitting pain rip throughout her chest, her back arched and she let out a scream. Looking to her side she knew Sinaku felt the same pain although he just grinned about it all.

Jazz screamed the pain seemed to be endless she sobbed through it all noticing a mist rise from her mouth, her spirit perhaps leaving her body? She watched in horror as it floated over to her brother and the same happened from him onto her. This was evil, pure painful evil her eyes closed as she passed out from the pain hearing the voice of her brother say “you know I love you sister”.

Jazz woke in Hatchet Hills at the Rangers base camp. She woke alone and in some pretty white dress, she rubbed her head trying to think “what a nightmare” she groaned as Taeln and Rannoch walked in. Rannoch paused and looked at her and asked “Jazz why did you leave fairbreeze”? She gasped dashing past the two and mounted riding her hawkstrider to its limit to the village. It wasn’t a nightmare…it happened she thought as she rode. Xara, Tora…they could be dead. Jazziks rode into Fairbreeze shouting for her friends.

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[[ Reposted to a better position in the thread. ]]

The quiet of the fifth day, Xara realized, had only been the calm before the storm.

A handful of them rested in the inn in Fairbreeze Village. They were more or less patched up, but phantom aches and pains still haunted Xara. The six day had drawn to a tumultuous end, and though she tried to find it, sleep eluded her.

Every time she closed her eyes, she saw Sinaku again, laughing at her... beating her mercilessly in front of Jazziks and Tora. The shudder that ran through her body only refreshed the memories of the injuries he'd inflicted on her, though Elek had spent some time and energy patching her up. After Dy had patched him up. After Xara had knocked him off the third floor of this very inn, tricked by Sinaku's powers into thinking him an enemy. Xara sighed and rolled over, her eyes open in the dark.

How had Sinaku grown so powerful? Xara kept asking herself this... unable to believe the modest hunter she'd met just a short time ago had been capable of beating her near-senseless. She didn't even think Elek could take him. Especially not with the curse weakening him every day... increasing his addiction to the arcane beyond a bearable level.

Elek... Xara closed her eyes, this time seeing the Blood Knight's face in her mind's vision. He'd known just what to say earlier tonight when he told her they'd face this together... that he would be there at her side. Xara knew she was reaching her limit of taking care of those around her... Tora's haunted past, Rand and Reth's family troubles, Jazziks' guilt, Filora apparently trying to damning kill herself, and every single one of the infected elves growing worse and worse.

And Elrioch wasn't here...

And Elek was...

Sleep was far, far too far away.

~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~

The evening of the seventh day was slowly turning to the morning of the eighth as Xara spurred her kodo out of Silvermoon's gates.

Behind her the bemused Blood Knight sat astride his charger... One of the last people Xara had expected, much less wanted, to see on this eve. She had paused for only a moment when he came across her and began to ask if she'd seen his fiancee anywhere, only to spy out the tear tracks on her cheeks. Xara hadn't been surprised by his offer of help... and figured if it was the last thing she was to do, she may as well put out word of what was to come.

She told him he might want to evacuate Silvermoon City... and she told him Sinaku's name. Coupled with the others rumors she'd heard while researching the worgen, that was more than enough to set him on the right track. If the ditzy Blood Knight could figure it out.

Now she rode on... through Eversong. Somewhere behind her, Elek was following, and thinking of it brought fresh tears to her eyes though she blinked them away resolutely.

She couldn't rightly explain why she was doing this. Nothing would be gained by her accompanying him to his self-sacrifice. He hadn't listened to her... He believed that there was no time left to waste, that they had to act before the curse spread and genocide was had. That even a plan as crazy as his, with its limited at best chance of having the results he wanted, was better than idling any longer and risking who knows how many lives.

And his crazy plan? He would allow himself to reach the frenzy again... answer the Calling... and make sure Sinaku was there when it happened.

Xara shook her head as her kodo forged ahead through the woods. What were the odds that the curse Sinaku himself had created would pose a threat to him? What were the odds Elek wouldn't just die on the spot? But he wouldn't listen to her pleas, that he was worth more than this gamble, that if he really wanted to protect those he was sworn to as a Blood Knight that he'd wait to take such a chance until he knew that was no certain way to stop Sinaku and the curse. He didn't value his own damn life enough... and despite Xara's railing, he'd turned to leave anyway. Despite her pleas... saying everything but perhaps the only thing that would have stopped him.

"True friends are hard to find," she had told him earlier. The words had tasted like a mouthful of dust, and the way he had looked at her... The knowledge in his eyes that there was never to be more between them... He had wanted to know, and she had lied. Because she had to.

Because even if there was more than simple friendship between them... More than attraction even... she knew with whose destiny her own was entwined.

She lurched forward, grabbing at her chest as pain lanced through her at the thought of Elrioch. She wouldn't get to say goodbye. She wouldn't be there to take care of him... to be at his side, and to seek a cure for his affliction. New tears poured down her face, but her grip on the kodo's reins never pulled up.

Because she couldn't do all this alone...

And if Elek was abandoning her, she didn't have anyone left to stand at her side.

"Sinaku... I'm coming," she whispered once more. This time, her voice was broken.

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It had been another two days since the dissappearance of Videlle. even after Rethsil had found her within Hillsbrad one day, claiming the lives of a human warrior of the light, a dwarven priest of the holy prowess, and seperately a druidic Kal'dorei. The three, challenging her might, had no idea just what they had stepped into. Rethsil had sided Videlle in this combat, though from what he had seen, it was almost as if she annihilated the paired paladin and priest. The look of insanity had painted itself within her eyes, the waves of illness crashing to and fro within those liquifying irises. Rethsil could see this, and almost questioned her as she continued to torment the Human and Dwarven, bringing them to the point they would scream with an inhumane edge. As if she were a mistress to tormenting others, she continued to press into their soul and bring forth their energies in its raw state. This caused them to vomit blood, and spill forth more. They scattered when they could, barely containing a husky state of flesh and bone. Rethsil had to bring her to a more stable place. At first, he took it to his own to take care of her, to make sure she wouldn't gather much more than she had taken in before it sucked her dry. Holding her within the small training camp that made up Stonard, the controlling energies wouldn't be so bad. The curse had manipulated her even more than it had before, and she drew weapon to weapon combat against Rethsil, though her pleas were distracting the curse, therefore causing it to work harder against her spiritual presence.

For someone affiliated with the Dark Arts, her spiritual energy was too low to keep the living curse at bay. With just one single use of corruption from her fingers, and just the use of her spellblade, she had inflicted enough damage into Rethsil. He would spill blood as much as she would be drained of it by just the mere split of her skin by the roguish one's daggers. This left them both injured in the process, as she might have nearly killed him moreso than the damage he had dealt to her. Angered by the suffering that was caused and dealt to her, he couldn't take anymore. His own mind was being tortured with harming her, as well as past events that were searing his mind.

He wrote letters that were sent off by messanger birds, each one having a rolled up scroll clipped by their talons. Videlle managed to stay concious as much longer as it was that he'd brushed a finger against her cold skin, so cold one might think she the living dead. He'd left sometime after, only for her to awaken, if one could call it that, to Xaraphyne, two of her cabin members, and Elek.

Elek seemed to have been able to control his ongrowing need to feed through charged mana crystals. He tested her sight, as it fadeed into what would seem blindness. Placing the crystal in her hand, he awaited the reaction, and to their fright, it wasn't good. Her hand had a life of its own, and it seemed as angered as the controller might have been, squeezing the crystal to the point her hand would bleed into a bruise from the strain of the muscles and veins internally. However, despite that, there was a crack, and then much more. The crystal's edges split in many shards then, disintigrating into particles of dust where it shattered from the inside, until it was nothing more. This set a whole new fear, even into one of the own infected, to settle back and away from her.

It was moments until she stood to leave, wandering outside into the swampy, musky rainweather that which blanketed the region that was now known as the Swamp of Sorrows. To their surprise, she had been mounted upon the legendary dreadsteed, deranged in so many ways, disfigured as well with the massive, rigid spikes jutting forth from its body, its fur made up of scales, brown with corruption, and its mane of fire giving off minor crackling sparks like a flame would from a bonfire; its hooves scorched the very ground it stood upon. It snarled, much unlike that of an ordinary horse, and when it flared its nostrils, flames would leave them, too. Its eyes burned with a sense of intimidation, striking fear in one's heart.

That in itself required using mana energy to bring forth, and every little bit she had left needed to be savored. Though, with all of which she had drained before, there had been discharges taking place, and most likely the need to lessen them was a call. Elek had suggested Xaraphyne not follow her, for fear it might just leave them in pain on the other end of the roadway. The dreadsteed howled into the skies its terrifying, demonic roar, sided with the storm's wave of rumblings from the clash of electrical energies. The violent gallop of her stead could be heard in the distance as they sped off into a fiery blaze. Though the group knew not her intentions, this didn't mean anything positive would happen if she were to leave on her own again. Thus that ended, on her part, the fifth day and turned into eve, the beginning of her time away from the group. Her trail of discharged energy had left them to believe she might have gone into the Stranglethorn Vale first, in search of unsuspecting travelers. She returned to Azshara, taking on the new wave of victims as she deemed necessary.

This curse was taking on more and more of an effective route within her veins; Sinaku's darkness seemed to be experimenting on her. It saught what more she could do, underneath its spell. It wanted to see more power, it wanted to see her kill. The bloodbath excellerated as she continued to deprive her victims of their mana energy, killing them off even with their life force intact. She drained mercilessly, with a single hand. Her fingers were like gripping claws, seeking to take a hold of the being's soul. To siphon their energies, it felt relieving and almost sickening to have pleasure with it, almost like that of a thistlehead with their addiction to bloodthistle. A withdrawal had always come, and so she kept feeding it. Seeing as there was nothing left at the shores of Azshara, the two entities of evil left.

From there, she traveled into Felwood, as instructed by the living curse. There, she met with willing Twilight cultists, sacrificing themselves to her as she fed upon their energies. There was so much energy for her to take in these corrupted woodlands, and yet it was only a matter of time before she would overload it. Her body then gave off the discharged energies, gathering together the shadows into an acidic bolt, and upon release nearly blew what made up the physical body away, leaving dust and liquid where they stood. Many more victims had come, as she traveled through Felwood. The bracers were reaching their limit, and the last strip of leather and rope would tear, and everything that had built up within would be let loose. That's what was expected to happen, as she made her destination to the northern peaks of the corrupted woodland. Nearly an entire village of furbolgs were wiped out, and the stench of blood was high. Corruptive demon seeds was used. Only a few had been used, and the amount of damage they dealt was enough to make one think of the possibilities when used against an entire city. The curse was satisfied by the death they had dealt. However, before they turned away, a hidden shadow had been watching them, awaiting when she was alone. This made them cautious and wary of its presence. Seeing as nothing was there behind them, she backed up carefully, scanning the surrounding area. Silence even made its way to leave her breathing in a cryptic rate. The paranoia continued to rise, as with the mere crushing of her footsteps against the eroding soils might have alerted this invisible entity.

Relieving this hold in of breath, she decided nothing was there, until she turned back around to face the furbolg village. In front of the elven was the being that created this curse, the being that was inflicted with this evil, the one who intended this harm. All of this, because of that black tome held in his hand at all times. His eyes, blinded with a loss of his senses, beamed over her lithe figure with delight, focused on the usefulness of her prowess. His satanic grins and his rough breathing made out swift words, as he spoke like that of a madman, reaching his fingers to her shoulders first, and gently guiding them to her neck. His fiendish laughs were sound in her ears, and soon he made this private meeting into a game of cat and mouse. He first started off with a sweet and deceitful voice of velvet, his lips brushing just against the pierced lobe of one of her strangely sloped ears, moving with a dark grace, "Found you.."

The grace of Sinaku's fingers turned into a chance of her being choked to death. Hissing in this pain, she raised one of her own in a defensive stance, only for it to be restrained and intwined with one of his own in a vicious struggle. It was as if the figures were moving with one another in a deadly dance, and the cat was winning the focus. He laughed yet again, amused by this, and she not so. Her demonic pupils narrowed into that which meant she was about to strike with equally elegant attacks and constrictions. The two elvens nearly spun themselves around one another in an embrace that meant they were locked in a deadly battle, just as two snakes would around one another, chipping at one another with taunts, biting into one another with spasms of energy, and moreso one being able to pin the other down before they were thrown off minutes after, only to be leapt upon by the other, much resembling that of lions preying over their territory and wolves for their leadership. Much snarling, hisses, and inhumane roars sounded themselves from the two beastial beings. Sinaku, quickly angered that she was resisting him more than he'd hoped for, brought the black book's knowledge and then chanted in those strange words. A spell? Drat! The warlock had been unable to move, binded in place and struck down when Sinaku had the advantage. He spat the words,"Damned beast.." as much as he would with blood and saliva that might have built up over the injuries. Winning over the warlock's much needed unconciousness, he gripped her by the neck, pulling her ahead into the harsh regions of Winterspring. Blood spilled endlessly, leaving a painful path to walk ahead. Someone could slip easily from the puddles, if anyone dared pass on. Sinaku had more plans set in mind, and since he was proven by just the eyes and the experience himself that Videlle could be used as a weapon, that was exactly what he was going to do. Before he decided this, though, he knew he had to set in mind a trickery, and a stable place-holder for the spell to work on the host. His trusty wolves had followed him out of instinct, awaiting for their command should anything break out of concentration. The trail of blood and discharged mana was growing stronger and stronger, which put a concern to Sinaku. He would have to leave before they caught onto their trail. He would make sure their struggle was erased within her mind. The pain that he had in mind for her would be the only thing she would remember before he would take her life once and become the trap for the next days to come. His destination was the hotsprings that lied just ahead of them by a mile, where her body would be preserved by the waters as he would expect when he'd take her life and plan for a resurrection..

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Elrioch’s heart clenched in his chest as his nightmare took hold. Deep breathes fall onto his sweat filled face, face twisted in anger. There he saw the past, present, and his ‘future’. His moist lips mouthed, speaking on deaf ears. “Why…Why…Why…” Questioning, but knowing the answer all to well. The Pirate King witnessed every life, every soul, and every conversation, as it blurred past him in waves. His head twisted and turned caught in the net of his nightmare.

“Elrioch…? Do you see it all? Can you feel their emotions, their souls…?”

Elrioch stood amidst the turmoil, watching all around him images of his crew mates, people he has killed, lives that have come and gone. Each tore around him stopping and speeding away, long enough for him to catch their last words, or brief conversations. Elrioch clenched his fists together as he dropped to his knees, bringing his fists to his ears, trying desperately to stop their voices and close out this feeling in him. Elrioch could feel their souls, feel their emotions, they called to him, wanting his very hand.

“Stop it! ENOUGH!” Elrioch yelled from the top of his bruised lungs, blood tears ran from his blackened eyes. “I will not let you do this to me! I’ve played your game! I’m THROUGH!”

A dark clawed hand rested lightly upon the Blood Elf’s shoulder; clenching it tight. The voice that spoke to Elrioch sent waves of ice into his stomach, causing him to shiver and drop to the fetal position upon the images that ran like a stream under him. The entity sat next to him.

“Elrioch…look there.” His dark clawed hand pointed to a certain image as it stopped, and played for him like a record. There Elrioch saw Elek his own blood, smashing his ship into bits. Watching as he busted his crew and finally how Xaraphyne was hurt by this. Elrioch slowly sat up on his elbow, watching the images as they burned into his mind.

“What is this?”

“The past…Right now what you are seeing has already transgressed.”

“….”

“Do you see this? How even your so called brother destroyed your ship with so much glee…Can you feel his soul spitting on you, belittling you…It is amazing you choose for him to continue living.”

The entity’s fingers slide the images slowly, high lighting all the lives that came upon his ship. “Its interesting…Look at them, some of these souls are quite dark…They would be good to have as part of the fire.” The entity chuckled with darkness all its own patting Elrioch’s shoulder. “Oh…look. Is that Xaraphyne?”

Elrioch’s eyes looked at the image, feeling his heart sink into stomach.

There she was speaking to Videlle.

“What’s wrong Elrioch..? Oh…You mean this image right here? Xaraphyne knowingly let this enemy into your ranks…Hahaha! It’s amusing to watch this all unfold is it not!? This woman that you loved betraying you to your most bitter of enemy…”

Elrioch sat up straight, hollowed out eyes gaze at the image with a twisted look of shock and anger. He did not realize that he wrapped his arms around his legs, his knees touching his chest. Elrioch rocked back and forth slowly, the anger to great for him to do nothing else.

“…Why…”

The entity chuckled lightly as a good friend would to a good joke. “Why you ask? Here let’s see…”

The hand moved scene after scene with his fingers, as he stops at one image. “There.”

Elrioch looked on at the image; there she was with his brother…Elrioch looked on the empty well in his soul filled with the fires of rage and pain. Even then he would not accept the images that scrolled across this world of turmoil.

“…I…I don’t…I don’t understand? This is not true! NONE OF IT IS REAL!” he yelled from the top of his lungs while looking downcast, keeping his blackened orbs from seeing these events unfold.

“Do you need me to spell it for you Elrioch? Don’t hear their words, but look at their souls. Look how they call for each other.”

Elrioch’s blackened orbs filled with bloody tears, pouring down his smooth pale cheeks. His now naked form vulnerable like a new born baby, those eyes looked at the image. There looking through those eyes, the flesh did not matter, their voice did not have to be heard. There he could see deeper than any sight could ever hope for. There he saw their souls…for the first time he could see them. It was a new world that opened up for him, but then now…he could see it all.

“Why…I do believe that is the case…for her betrayal…She does not want you anymore Elrioch. Look how she leaves you behind to suffer, if she cared for you, wouldn’t she be by your side? Telling you to fight me with all you have.”

A sinister smirk plays across the entities smooth lips, as he slowly stands and places both his sinister clawed hands upon the shoulders of Elrioch.

“Elrioch, I have watched over you for many years, ever since you were brought into this world. I’ve always made sure you were safe. I kept you from so much harm, but I could not stop this.”

Those claws felt like a father’s touch, it eased Elrioch and truly placed him at peace. He wept, for the third time in his life he truly wept. He watched more and more images of betrayal from those that shared his life. Elrioch could barely contain his heart from dissolving into the abyss.

“But Elrioch I am kind…I can make this all go away, I can make this better for you, for us. I can make the pain they cause you to leave, and never come back. Truly we can be at peace. If you would just kneel…and serve the One Night!”

Elrioch stared at the floor of images under his feet. His voice hollow and low, “I am yours to command, under my free will.”

In the background he could hear the ringing of a heavy hammer onto an anvil. More and more these sounds echoed around them, images of demons and all manners of evil creatures whirlwind around them both, carrying the proper, “tools”. Elrioch watched as souls were gathered from all walks of life, hearing their beautiful screams of pain, and torture, truly…heaven. The stone was cast, and Elrioch stood upon new resolve. A flowing robe of ebony and crimson hung around him enveloping him, protecting him from the harsh elements that swirled around him. Once again he stood at the top of the hill, looking down upon the harsh landscape. Fire blazed like the planes of the Hellfire, as a stream of lava poured into a giant pit. All around creatures of all evils came and gathered to watch, as numerous souls and flesh were tossed into the fires.

“I stoke the fires for you, all you must do, hone yourself Elrioch, become worthy…and I will bring you peace. Awaken and know what you must do…”

Elrioch awakens full of sweat, his shirt soaked down to the skin. His golden white hair was matted and coarse. Carefully with his right hand he removed his eye patch and looked towards his mirror. He began to chuckle to himself then finally out loud, causing the birds to panic and flee away from the horrible sound. He winced. Slowly he lifted his sleeve, and there engraved into his mark were the words…

”The time has come…”

Elrioch prepared himself for the coming days ahead, his voice deep with rage and traces of evil, his final words pouring through. “…I know what I must do…” he eyed his Gavel with a deadly resolve…and the world fades to black.

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[ This is a recounting of events from the perspective of Toraneko as written in the form of journal entries.]

This is my first attempt as far as i can remember to record events or memories , well as far as i know. I decided to do this while i lay here in Azshara, well at least i hope its Azshara. I'm sortta incapacitated at the moment, i think my left leg is broken bad, the rum helps a little as well as the last of the potions that is had. I have gathered what i could of my scattered belongings and i am now exhausted and in pain. I will try to find my hearth stone soon to get myself to a healer, but i need to rest first.

There is an obvious starting point, but i don't think i can think about that right now, and i know it is something i will never forget or become confused about. So i will start after that when i received a message from Rethsil. Jazziks was in trouble and he needed help trying to find her. At the time all i wanted to do was hide away in some dark shadow, but the request was not something i could refuse no matter what my own personal problems were. So i agreed and left the bar and journeyed into the Ghostlands to meet him.

When i finally caught up with he was in what seemed to be an abandoned Troll village.I started to approach him to ask what he found but he motioned for me to be quiet. It seemed he had just found her inside a large hut. i quickly and quietly dismounted and decided my bast course of action would be to become as stealthy as possible. i moved up next to him and started hearing a conversation that i soon realized was Sin talking to himself. I couldn't see anything from my viewpoint but i knew he didn't sound right. As i moved to a position in which i could see the events that took place in the hut i saw Jazzicks was there bound and Sin hovered over her. He mused cutting off her legs to keep her from running from him. I was very confused, how could anyone even think of doing something so horrible to a family member. As i stood in my thought i suddenly saw movement, Reth dropped his position of hiding and walked right into the hut to face down Sin. I watched in admiration but stayed hidden to keep an advantage in case it was needed. the two engaged in an argument, Reth was really fired up , he must really like Jazziks.

Then i noticed the movement as another appeared and walked right by me. Sin gave an order and Jeshua quickly captured Reth. I couldn't just stay hidden anymore. I quickly slipped in and held my dagger to Jeshua's throat, and demanded Reth's release. With a nod Reth was let go and i lowered my dagger and took up a defensive position as the talks resumed. I think they were caught off guard at my appearance for they started to launch flares to try and uncover other who may well be hidden. They argued for a bit my mind was on other things like finding a way to grab Jazz and take her to safety and also what had happened earlier that day. I was in my thoughts when two more hunters approached the hut. I thought to myself that this was gonna lead to trouble and a little part of me was glad of it. As i was sizing up the new threat reth caught my attention with my name, he asked me what happens when one of our shared profession vanishes , i took that to ba a cue and quickly showed them.

When the smoke cleared i was well hidden from all in the room save for the keen eyes of Rethsil. I decided to take a position behind Sin in case he tried anything crazy. Reth and Sin continued talking a bit and then Reth started paceing and and writing something on a small note. I moved closer to see just what he was up to , he whispered for me to find Xara and Rand and deliver the note which he then handed to me. At that i nodded and sprinted away jumping off a ledge to put as much distance between me and the others. Once i was safe i called for my Hawkstrider and began to make my way as fast as possible to Silvermoon. On the way i quickly scribed a letter to Xara and sent my fastest bird to deliver it. In an amazingly short amount of time i recieved my instructions. As i went to carry them out i met Rand in the Ghoatlands. I froze at that point , my own emotions overtook me for the briefest of moments. I remembered the note and my friends and quickly handed Rand the note. Rand in a very cold and serious tone asked me to lead him to Reth and Jazziks.

we arrived back at the hut to find Reth surrounded an angry Rand marched into the hut to confront Sin. I again took a position of stealth and crept up to a window in the hut and realized that Jazz had been moved. I sneaked up to Reth's position and informed him in a barely audible whisper that i was going to scour the grounds for Jazz. He simply nodded and i was away. I hunted for her in every possible place around the abandoned village. There were shouts and challenges from Rand and cries for no bloodshed by one of Sin's crew. Then it seems as if things just broke up and the brothers also began to search for our missing friend. Soon our numbers grew as Xara rode up and Vaande soon joined us. I continued to search various locations reasoning that her captors must be moving her. She was finally located and snatched up by Xara and the others. at one point Vaande slipped and plummeted from a tower, he was in real bad shape so i used my Goblin Jumper-cables on him, and for the first time since i had rafted them the actually revived him, i was so excited i temporarily forgot my sorrows. But they swiftly returned as we rejoined A now growing group of protectors of Jazz. The next hours are a blur to me now. I know we traveled a bunch and all the while i was partially lost in my emotions. we ended up hiding out on a wall off to the side of Booty bay. I waited with the others as developments with Jazz started to unfold. Dy soon arrived and Rand left to exhausted to continue with the rest of us. Soon we were infiltrated and a standoff occured , both sides wanting to protect Jazz and neither side trusting the other. There was much confusion and at times it seemed as if a fight were drawing near. Dy while trying to help the sick Jazz with her own abilities seemed to be hurt. It was decided that for the well being of Jazz we were to head back to Ratchet and the ship.

There was again confusion at the ship as anyone who tried to heal the sick Jazz fell ill themselves. Dy began to act really strange and Elek as well. Chaos erupted as Elek became a whirlwind of mindless destruction. I was told to watch after Dy who herself seemed possessed so i locked myself and Dy into Xara's quarters accidentally arming the special Reth proof protection measure i had included in the design of Xara's new door. I became worried as the fighting grew intense outside and was worried that my door may backfire if i didn''t at least disarm it. I almost had it disarmed when a young hunter had delusions of being a rouge and attempted to disengage the locking mechanism by force. It blew me up. I felt intense pain as i seemed to fly through the air towards Xara's wall. Everything went black then.

Have you ever had a dream so real you couldn't tell if you were even dreaming. I have grown quite accustomed to it now. but the first time it happened was shortly after i blacked out. I could fell my self rise from a whole that i with the help of pieces of metal put onto Xara's wall. I was not in control of myself at that point. This feeling of uncontrollable rage over took me , as i watched the hunter hurting Dy. i wanted to get Dy away from the girl my body took it a step further as it launched into an assault upon the young hunter. I was just there watching as my body chased the frightened girl and began to chop her until she was on her knees beginning, i was screaming in my head no words would stop my body and then there was Blackness. A blackness that was familiar , something that i had experienced before many times but until now i had forgotten.

Thats all i can write here my leg is starting to hurt really bad again i can barely hold my pen, i need more rum so i will continue later and relate the first of my "dreams". until then i need to get help for myself.

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[[ For the record, the days that have passed so far. To help spark the memories of anyone still catching up on their writing :D

1 - Chase

2 - Dire Maul

3 - Un'Goro, Silithus

4 - Azshara / Dark Shore

5 - Stonard

6 - Fairbreeze (Sin vs. Xara)

7 - Winterspring

8 - Nomeni (Don't think anything happened besides Xara getting his help, anyway)

9 - Skafloc and others in Ghostlands / Videlle and Tora in Plaguelands

10 - ?? (Seriously, what happened while Sin and Xara were raiding Theramore? No idea)

11 - Risticus' death / Xara and Elek vs. Sin

12 - Tassha, Tora by the waterfall, Silvermoon infected

13 - Xara and Elek in Tranquillien / Skafloc troll lore / Jazziks rallying Rangers?

Updated. ]]

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