Xaraphyne

Eclipse - Reveries

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[[ This thread will serve as the base for the dreams that are Accalia's last attempt to lash out at her vanquishers. If you can please include a short summary of the role your character played in the final battle before falling into their dream world, if she or he were present, it would be wonderful. ^^

I've removed the log entry in favor of a summary; please let me know if you need it. Questions about your character's specific situation can be directed toward Videlle, although it can be assumed that even those not present for the battle who had previously drawn Accalia's attention in some way do have the potential to find themselves in a dream world of their own. ]]

The Eclipse would occur tonight.

Xaraphyne was one of the last to arrive, but easily tracked down the large group that had gathered up in the cavern at the north edge of Moonglade. Present were Jazziks, Sinaku, Thoraggar, Naheal, Taeln, Dyiana, Roth'rili, Toraneko, Jeshua, Slaid, Videlle, Ryoku, Gorymoru, and Cpike came with Xara although he still didn't understand what was so scary about fireworks.

SS-A-Cavern.jpg

As they spoke uneasily and prepared their weapons and spells, howls began rising in the glade above. "Let's go," Xara said.

"No shooting Thor this time."

Xara chose not to respond to that, and began leading the way back upward.

SS-A-Upward.jpg

The howls rose in volume until the cavern shook, and when they emerged, they were greeted with the sight of wildlife fleeing to and fro as overhead, a shadow steadily crept over the White Lady. Wolves wreathed in mist slunk through the trees, eyeing their prey. As one the group moved toward the lake, pausing to have Rethsil and Illiyana join their company. Xara clasped Reth's hand. "Glad ya came, cabin boy." She asked Illi if she was ready to fight at "her man's" side, and the elf assured the troll she was.

SS-A-Reth.jpg

The mist-wreathed wolves came forward, but the group slayed them without too much difficulty. All the while, however, the glade grew slowly darker.

Ryoku knelt at the lake's edge and spoke words of prayer. Dionagar came up to the druid, seeming to understand.

Then the voice touched their minds, brimming with hate. "Troubling mortals.. Haven't you given up yet? You're only fighting a worthless battle. You will be sacrificed to me in the end. Why don't you give up?"

Some reacted aggressively; some prayed; Xara chuckled.

SS-A-Lakeside.jpg

The wildlife had fled by then, and the night grew silent... too silent. The world darkened as the Eclipse neared completion, the White Lady shrinking to a crescent, then even smaller. Accalia's voice came again.

"My Children have already given you the entertainment for my arrival.. But it seems they were too inexperienced. No matter.. now that I will be set free, I will feast upon your flesh! You will rue this day. The day you ever thought to stand against an Ancient."

"Jazz... No matter what happens to me, you were like my only family, and I love you," Jeshua said.

To which Xara stated, "Ain't nothin' gonna happen but some wolf ass-kickin'." Even Gorymoru had to agree. Jazziks hugged her fellow ranger and reassured him.

Dy and Roth spoke quietly; the others readied themselves, looking toward the lake as the silvery light reflecting on its waters faded into the darkness growing around them.

Finally, without a sound, pitch black enveloped them. In sudden horror the group realized they would have no light in which to see their foe... But then Dionagar began to glow, and it was enough such that the monstrous Beast was seen emerging from the water. Thoraggar charged, and nocked arrows sailed forth to meet Accalia at the same time. Spell blasts soon followed as well as the daggers of rogues and vengeful maces of Blood Knights.

SS-A-Fight1.jpg

Xara fired arrow after arrow as Dionagar stood nearby, not fighting, but casting her light and offering up eerie howls to the black sky. The Beast lashed out at the orc blocking her way with paws as large as he was and fangs almost as wide. Toraneko stayed at the haunches, her clever daggers seeking soft flesh, while on the other side Naheal fought with intense focus. Rethsil and Illiyana battled side by side with natural ease, and the sleek purple feline that was Ryoku darted in and out at the Beast's flanks. Staying back were the ranged fighters and the healers: Sinaku, Jazziks, and Jeshua remained spread out as they rained deadly projectiles down on their foe, along with Gorymoru and Videlle as each cast terrible wrackings and curses. Taeln, Cpike, Roth'rili, and Dyiana channeled spell after spell to bolster Thoraggar against Accalia's blows.

SS-A-Fight2.jpg

"Die!" Accalia roared, and fiery stars began raining down on the fighters around her. They quickly backed up, Thoraggar forcing Accalia to continue throwing herself on his shield as he moved out of the storm. Slaid suffered serious injuries but fought on despite the blood she was coughing up.

"Watch out!" yelled Jazziks. A new rain of stars appeared over several of the hunters, forcing them to scatter, and the healers to divide their attentions.

Out of the corner of her eye, Xara saw a misty form appear and launch itself at Jazziks. She turned and her arrows quickly took down Accalia's minion as Jazziks nimbly dodged. There was no time for thanks as Accalia roared, commanding everyone's attention and swiping at Thoraggar. The orc blocked the attack but it cleaved past him, striking the little rogue Slaid. She hit the ground and did not get up.

"Kiraii!" Videlle cried.

Grimly they fought on. Thoraggar maneuvered through the hails of stars, eventually pulling Accalia up onto the nearby platform.

SS-A-Fight3.jpg

Many had suffered injuries from the searing stars; Xara had a burn on one arm, but ignored the pain as she concentrated on the battle. Accalia was weakening. The power she had absorbed from the marked was not enough to sustain her against this onslaught. The healers were weary, but slowing down was not an option. If Accalia were not defeated by the end of the Eclipse... then she would be free of her banishment and able to call all of her children still stranded to inhabit this ripe world.

The earth shook as Accalia let loose with a piercing howl. There seemed no shelter from the falling stars anywhere. Xara saw Naheal fall and swore. When Toraneko fell as well her expression became cold and grim. We've paid enough already... it's time for this to be over.

"F-foolish! Foolish! All of you...!" Accalia roared.

No one knew who struck the final blow, but with a great roar, the Beast reared up into the air and came crashing down. Thoraggar ducked out of the way barely in time. Those left standing lowered their weapons and held their breath, almost unable to believe it. Howls echoed through the glade, gradually retreating into the blackness. And then, a great streak of light arced downward as the Blue Child, the right eye of the Earthmother, moved off of Elune, bringing an end to the Eclipse and light back to the world. Elune's joyous light bathed the corpse of the beast and those who had come forward to stand against her.

SS-A-Fight4.jpg

Some celebrated; some more sensibly went to check on each other and tend to those wounded. Slaid was the most seriously injured but it seemed all would recover. Xara stood with her bow at one side and Dionagar at the other, simply looking at the Beast's corpse. She let out a long sigh.

Then, the earth began to shake again. The light intensified to a brightness almost too much to bear. Something was wrong. Before they could react, the very pavillion below them split asunder. It was a gaping maw with snapping incisors and dribbling saliva. Feral amber eyes glared hatefully as they began to tumble and fall.

"You thought you won the battle... it's not over yet... you wretched, pitiful manifestations of humanoids. I hope you find your death quite fitting... as well as your memories... I see through your courage and your vigor... I see through the strengths.. weak... all of you. Without your loved ones, you are nothing! With your blood shed by your own hands, nothing will keep me from Azeroth! My Children will have the home they have deserved for all these years, being secluded and kept away..."

They glimpsed something below, something completely different; an entire new world. Then blackness came again.

"But that will not be for any longer! Let your dreams take you away. Sleep. Sleep for eternity..."

Into a reverie they all fell.

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[[ Reposted from the Penumbra thread and edited for continuity :D ]]

Laughing, a childish voice beckoned her.

It was the third time she'd heard it; the first had been shortly after the fight with Sinaku. At first she had thought it had something to do with Rue... but after the second time, she had begun to think it did not. Whatever this was, it had to do with her, and only used that voice as a means.

She stepped off the boat into Booty Bay and paused to look around. At her side, Dionagar tilted her glowing head back to meet the troll's eyes. There was something strange about the wolf being here, but Xara couldn't place it, so she shrugged it off. For a moment she also wondered how she herself had come to be here; but that too seemed too irrelevant to ponder long.

The apparition had vanished. Xara's golden eyes roamed over the piers, shanties, and ledges, but no telltale giggle or flicker came. Was it gone again? What was it trying to do?

She looked down at Di again, who calmly looked back up at her. The wolf seemed patient, ready to pad alongside Xara wherever she decided to go. If the wolf had any motivation of her own, Xara didn't know, but she didn't doubt the wolf would act to fulfill her directives at the right time. And that somehow Xara would be the one to bring her to them.

The sun was fairly high in the sky. Xara cast a glance in its direction before looking back over the goblin town. For some reason, although it was the dead of winter, she was reminded of the summer a year and a half ago when this place had been this closest thing she could call home. It helped that it seemed to be unseasonably warm, even for the southern isles. Somehow that thought put a chill down her spine.

Her eyes narrowed a bit, and she looked more closely at her surroundings -- but could find no reason for the ominous feeling. Then again, who knew what the apparition was capable of; it was already putting voices in her head. She had the presence of mind to take it with a grain of salt, aided by Dionagar's steadying presence, but remained wary of its intentions.

Sinaku had tried to play mind games with her... The few marks he had managed to leave had faded quickly. She was tougher than him, and this.

The trolless walked down the dock while keeping an eye out for any strange business. The goblins, sailors, and traders moving through the town paid her no attention, engrossed in their doings. Another reason she'd been reminded of her time spent here a year and a half ago was how busy it was; Booty Bay had subsided into a peaceful lull after the Bloodsail had settled in for the long haul. At first the Blackwater Raiders had been spurred into a show of action, strengthening their claim over the trade town, and of course the goblins whose patrons they were maximized the opportunity to make as much money as possible. Xara wondered what had brought about this sudden flurry of activity; while the Bloodsail had been starting some trouble recently, it hadn't been near breaking out into open war yet.

She slowed down to address a goblin walking by. "Excuse me..." she began.

He walked right past without sparing her a glance. Xara turned to watch him go with a scowl, then shrugged off his rudeness, figuring she'd find someone more willing to talk in the tavern.

Stepping inside, she paused to allow her eyes to adjust. It had been some time since she'd been here last, she realized, but things didn't appear to have changed at all. A smile curved her lips as she looked around, then moved over to the bar to take a seat. Di moved to sit near her feet, unobtrusive.

With all the bustle on the docks, the tavern was packed as well. The bartender couldn't hear her over the noise and was busy with many others to serve, so Xara gave up trying to get his attention and took out her own flask for a drink. She let her eyes wander the crowd for a possible conversation target.

When she saw Den'jun walk in, she spat out her drink.

She stared unbelievingly as the troll walked over to a table where someone, a sailor by the looks of it, was waiting. She stared in utter incomprehension as they appeared to have a short conversation, then he headed upstairs.

Then she turned her head to look at the wall next to her. Sure enough, there it was, the notice of the bounty on Elrioch's head. It had been taken down some months ago when it became apparent no one was dumb enough to try going after him anymore, but a year and a half ago it had been what had brought her here.

She reached over and tapped the shoulder of the man sitting next to her. "Hey, sorry ta bother ya, but can I ask--"

He didn't turn, so she tapped harder. His shoulder was like rock and he didn't acknowledge her at all. Xara leaned forward and reached in front of him, waving her hand in front of his face as he chatted with his companion, but he completely failed to respond.

Xara sat back slowly, gazing around the tavern. No one so much as looked her way, even as much as a pretty woman in a sailor's tavern would normally get looks. It was horribly obvious now what had caused the strange feeling. And that it wasn't just unseasonably warm here.

If Den'jun was here, this could only be one certain time in history. In her history. But what did it mean? Why was she here? How had she gotten here? She couldn't remember. She looked down at her flask, then lifted it to her lips again. At least she could still drink. Even if she was going insane, she could handle it as long as she had some rum.

Dionagar whined, and Xara dropped a hand to pet the wolf's head absently. Whatever the reason, she didn't seem to have much choice but to watch it play out. So she sat back to await the next development.

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Naheal glared up at Accalia as the battle ensued. The fight grueled on as the group and he fought. A white fire rained from the sky, stars pelting those who fought against her. He gave it all he had, all the while the stars pelted him up until one final star fell on his head and dealt him a fatal blow.

*****

A shock blew through his body, breath rushing back into his lungs. His eyes popped open as life returned to his body. Great. That's five now.

He sat up as Jazziks rushed over and wrapped her arms around him. He was still disoriented, though he would recover. Amid all the cheering and celebration, Naheal blacked out.

*****

Naheal's eyes opened slowly, his eyes barely beginning to come into focus.

"You thought you won the battle...it's not over yet....you wretched, pitiful manifestations of humanoids. I hope you find your death quite fitting...as well as your memories...I see through your courage and your vigor...I see through the strengths.. weak...all of you. Without your loved ones, you are nothing! With your blood shed by your own hands, nothing will keep me from Azeroth! My Children will have the home they have deserved for all these years, being secluded and kept away.."

"..But that will not be for any longer! Let your dreams take you away. Sleep. Sleep for eternity.."

He looked around. He was on a dock in Silverpine, one very familiar to him. Just in front of him, he saw his brother, Vasago, waiting for something.

"Vas!" He heard himself say as he saw a version of himself. No... Not this... "Vas, what's going on?"

"I heard you left the Order, brother. People are saying that you tried to kill Sahena's brother." Vasago said in his normal cool mannor.

Naheal's copy nodded as he heard his brother speak. "Yes, but there's more to it than that. He was looking for Sahena. I told him to go to Orgimmar so that he could get information he was looking for. I'm no fool. I know she doesn't want everyone to know where she's at."

"And what about the Order? You told me that they are good people and that I should join. Now I hear that my brother's gone and is a traitor. Left to join the Rangers."

"I'm no ranger, brother. I'm simply trying to protect someone who needs to be protected." Naheal watched as his copy slowly pulled a dagger from the small of his back.

"You mean so you can be with that wench." Vasago nearly spat at the word. "Don't you ha--"

He was stopped mid sentance as he was stabbed through the chest with Naheal's dagger. No... stop. NO! Not again! I AM NOT THAT MAN ANYMORE! Slowly, a crooked smile formed on the copy. "I don't need you. Now. You get to die, knowing that your brother was the one who killed you." He cackled and tossed the body into the river and turned to Naheal.

"He was the last, but far from the first, wasn't he?" Naheal watched in horror as the man approached him. "No. First, your lover, Psyche. Then countless innocents, including children that had barely taken their first breath. Then the Knight of the Silver Hand. Taeln, wasn't it?"

Naheal shook his head. "I'm not that man anymore! That was Zael'dran! Not me!"

"Oh. Really. Looks to me like that blood's on YOUR hands. Look. Your own family. Your own loved ones. Who's next?"

Naheal looked down at his hands, seeing the blood. "No. I would ne-"

"BUT YOU WOULD. The demon cannot bring out what doesn't already exist. You are an evil man. You are a murderer. And you are alone. You will always be alone. Forever."

"But... Jazziks..."

The copy's voice turned cold. "Who do you think is next to die?" Naheal's eyes widened as he heard those words. "You know how to save her." The copy handed him the dagger. "This is the only way..."

Naheal took the dagger and turned the blade towards him. He's right... If I'm going to protect her... I can't be allowed to continue to take breath. This is proper punnishment for a murderer anyways...

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Ryoku felt the warm radiant waves of moonlight shining down on him, giving him a sense of relief.

Suddenly, he heard the world buckle and churn, and felt it break from beneath him.

Falling down, down, further into darkness, he knew not where he was going, he could hear the roar of a great dragon, and smell the putrid bile from within it as its warm breath cascaded across him.

But still he continued falling, and then it was as if he was pushed to the surface, and he felt himself crash onto the ground, starting to lose conciousness... Paying no heed to the words:

"Let your dreams take you away. Sleep. Sleep for eternity.."

As he awoke, Ryoku stirred, keeping his eyes shut. It had been over 80 years since he had been able to see, there was never any point to open them when they felt so heavy in the morning.

After lying there a few minutes, he decided to sit up, and open his eyes and was astonished as the colors and sights flowed into his vision.. His vision.

As much as he couldn't believe it. He could now see for the first time in a very, very long time.

As he looked to his surroundings, he could recognize the geography from memory as being Ashenvale, a particularly woody area, next to a lake.

As he scrambled to his feet, he looked at his hands: Strong and masculine, different from the soft, untrained hands he remembered from boyhood. After aweing at that, he walked to the lake, taking note everything around him. The birds flying from tree to tree, the stags prancing in the distance.

Upon reaching the lake, he found the water reflected his appearance like a mirror, and he just stood there, gazing into his adult face for the first time.

He gazzed into his face, and thought himself wild. His long hair flowing down his back, his face so long, and different. But most of all he noticed his eyes were a pale yellow. He didn't know when the change from silver to yellow happened, he remembered people saying it was common for those with Druidic Talent but he never regarded it. Changing his vision so that it wasn't so focused on his face, Ryoku looked at his body in its entirety, and finally admitted to himself that his worried were for nought, because he wasn't completely unattractive as he once feared. He was no god, that much was true, but he felt he looked fairly attractive.

As he looked, he could hear cries in the forest, and snapped his attention to the location of the noise, spying a little villiage tucked into the woods. As he walked to the villiage, he felt something was strangely familiar... It was almost eerie.. Finally as he approached the entrance, and spotted the crowd gathered in the center, he knew what was happening, and remembered the voice

"You thought you won the battle...it's not over yet....you wretched, pitiful manifestations of humanoids. I hope you find your death quite fitting...as well as your memories...I see through your courage and your vigor...I see through the strengths.. weak...all of you. Without your loved ones, you are nothing! With your blood shed by your own hands, nothing will keep me from Azeroth! My Children will have the home they have deserved for all these years, being secluded and kept away.."

"..But that will not be for any longer! Let your dreams take you away. Sleep. Sleep for eternity.."

Choking, he managed to sputter "Oh No... No, no, no, no, no." for he remembered this day. The worst day in his life. The day everything went black.

He stared at the crowd yelling angrilly, and spied his mother laying on the ground crying, a large Kal'Dorei standing over her menacingly.

"You filthy little whore!" the Night Elf yelled with great rage. "How dare you defy and betray me?! You dirty little... RYEUGHH!" he screamed, kicking her in the side, brutally.

The Night Elf then turned to the crowd yelling "This woman, my wife, has commited a crime so terrible, it... I don't even think I can bear to say what happened."

The crowd roared with curious shouts "Tell us what happened!" one said. "Explain to us why you are beating your wife!" another voice rang.

"Very well." said the Kal'Dorei, putting on a fake frown. "My wife, has slept with another Kal'Dorei, as she would sleep with me. From this, she has concieved a child, which until recently I had thought was my only child..."

Suddenly, Ryoku noticed all eyes turning to a young boy in a corner, a boy he recognized as himself. He could do nothing but watch as the boy of age twelve was jeered at and hated by the people he once knew as his neighbors and friends. Every insult they threw pricked at his heart like knives.

Finally the large Night Elf silenced them. "Now, now.. It isn't entirely his fault, after all. Your focusing your hatred to places it doesn't need to be." he said, turning to his wife. "Now, slut, stand up, and tell me who the father of that boy is. Tell me the name of your sick lover."

The woman rose weakly, and though she was in much pain, she did not cry. She stood there strong, looking into the hateful eyes. "You will never know his name, for I will never betray him. He loved me more than you ever could, and I loved him back."

Ryoku flashed back to memory. How the elf he once knew as his father drew his blade on his wife, stabbing her through the heart. He remembered rushing to his mother, drawing a blade of his own only to have his father point his palm towards him and how the darkness slapped him in the face, destroying his eyesight.

But that's not what happened this time. Because he couldn't let it. Enraged, the adult Ryoku charged at the man before he could strike, knocking him down and pulling the blade from it's sheath for him. As he prepared to make the strike, two guards jumped on him, throwing him off of the elf he hated so much. He quickly turned the blade inward, stabbing one of the guards through the stomach, and twisting the blade through it, ripping apart the organs within. The other guard swung his sword at Ryoku, but Ryoku managed to dodge every swing until he found an opening and charged the guard, throwing him down and sending his sword skittering across the pebbles.

As he moved his arms, thorned roots erupted from the ground, constricting at the fallen guard. Ryoku watched as the roots dug into the guards skin, and crushed his body with a series of bone chilling cracks.

As he walked from the constricted guard, he took the blade and quickly ripped it out from the other guards' chest, allowing for a rush of blood and organs to ooze from the gaping hole. As he made his way to the man he once knew as his father, time seemed to stand still. He relished in the thought of finally reaching his vengeance. Finally killing the one who had caused him so much grief and anguish. As he raised the blade for the final slash, he felt that something was wrong in the elf. His eyes were all wrong.

"Well, what are you waiting for" hissed a voice in the back of his head. "Now is your chance! You can reverse everything! You saw what you did to those guards! With your eyes you could become powerful. You could be the greatest Druid the world will know!" and as he looked, the elf turned into a mirror image of himself, eyes closed, and went back to the horrified look as one looks into death. Ryoku then looked at the guards he had killed, and was horrified to see that the dark violet blood that he spilt had now turned a bright white, and bubbled as it oozed from their wounds. Lastly, he turned to his mother. She still stood there, bravely. Her beauty was just as he remembered it, but she didn't smile at him. She just looked, solemn, no joy, no sorrow, and he knew what he had to do to free himself from this Nightmare.

Ryoku turned on his mother, and with tear-filled eyes rammed the blade into her, and held her tightly, sobbing into her hair, and she seemed so calm, and kissed his face as she let herself go to Elune, with a smile.

and as he closed his eyes, Ryoku heard the nasty, hissing voice scream in anguish as he slowly drifted back into the darkness that he was so familiar with.

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When he woke, he opened his eyes, almost relieved to find that he saw nothing but a mere change in lighting. He sighed, sitting up, and taking a big sniff. He could tell by the smell of the place that he was back in Moonglade, though, where in moonglade he didn't quite know, and at the time he didn't quite care. He searched around until he found his staff nearby, and stood up tall. If the others experienced anything like what he just did, then he knew they were in mortal danger, and they weren't quite as accustomed to the workings of the Nightmare as he was. They might need some help.

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((Rosalynd was there and healed Videlle before the battle... does that account for something? lol If so I'll post her interaction here. I'd have been there for the whole thing but I got called off to SSC/Kara))

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"Sleep, sleep for eternity, sleep, sleep for eternity, sleep, sleep for eternity". Jazziks held onto Naheal tightly in her vision of Moonglade surrounded by friends and family. The twisted voice kept of saying "Sleep, sleep for eternity" as those around her and Naheal seemed to vanish from her sights and from her arms she sat up and gasped waking from reality. She breathed heavily looking around, she swallowed and called out "Naheal, Sinaku"! There was nothing. "Jeshua, Videlle, Xara"! Silence.

She slowly started to stand leaning against the stone wall for support, she rubbed her eyes to check her vision. Jazz found oddly she was not in Moonglade any longer, not there although she was there only moments ago. She leaned over resting her hands on her knees she yelled out for anyone this time. Moments past as she stood there looking to the ground only to look up once to a sharp whistle. That man in the blue cloak was standing there, right there not 5 feet away from her he waved and turned the corner. "Hey! Hey you wait, who are you"? Jazziks screamed after the man giving chase around the corner to find no man but the huge ruins of Dire Maul. She gasped and fell back to sit, how the hell did I end up here she thought to herself.

Jazz sat there looking dumbfounded at where she'd ended up she stared wide eyed and lost until she heard the most mischievous snickers right beside her. It was a tiny imp. She gave it a strange look and then sighed to herself getting up once more and began looking through what supplies she had left in her pack, very little. "Damn, running out of arrows and food...and water". Jazziks grumbles and kicked the ground as the imp just giggled and laughed hoping around her feet.

The demons teasing got her mad enough to yell "and what good are you, nothing get lost"! The demons snickered and said "Hey, smelly...you want out? You want the key and find out"? Out Jazziks thought, yea that was a start she nodded to the creature as it began to laugh again. "Okay smelly, then we play a game and if you win you get key, if I win you die on the way". The imp snickered and took off before Jazziks could reject the idea.

"Hey get back here"! Jazziks yelled chasing the scampering imp as it chuckled and jumped away. She noticed the angry tree and plant life the entire temple seemed to be covered with enchanted vines and trees. She chased along the edge of what seemed to be a sunken garden to avoid the plants in her path but when she went to jump across to a ledge near the imp she'd not seen the gap with the leaves in the way some of the path was chipped away and gone. She jumped and fell down into the sunken garden all the while listening to the little imps mocking laugh on her way down. She screamed as she fell until hitting the bottom with a hard thump and then all was quiet.

Jazziks groaned laying on the ground she rolled over to her side and rubbed her head opening her eyes. She was seeing double, triple plants and flowers..wait..more then that. She blinked thinking she hit her head real hard and sat up against the wall. The imp looked down over the edge at her and laughed "Oh...not dead, here I thought I win game again"! She cursed under her breath at the demon looking more clearly now seeing many plants, flowers and trees roaming in the sunken garden she gasped "I am sooo dead". The imp above cackled "Yes dead now if not after falling, I win, I win"! She cursed again and shot an arrow up at the imp "Shut up you little shit"! The imp chuckled and ducked his head "Tempers, tempers" he chuckled.

Trapped now and on her own save the worthless imp up top that poked her nerves Jazziks walked pressed close against the wall so not to be seen or heard by the living plants in the garden. She surveyed the place for a door luckily finding one, just one. Jazz had no choice but to take it, she walked through and up the turning hallways of fine stones. Finding the imp now seemed impossible she figured she'd just find her own way out so she walked and ventured into large chamber. Demons and elementals roamed the large room she had only stopped for a moment to take in the sight when she got jumped by a satyre. The demon knocked her to the ground with a yelp Jazziks fell as the demon growled and clawed at her. Fending him off with one hand she reached for her axe with the other and sluggishly hacked at the demon. Jazz swung the axe and cut at the demon until it fell off her dead. She panted and crawled away from its corpse and tended to her wounds. "Alone, again after I thought I'd come back...what is all this about"? Confused and injured she sat against the wall leaning her head back asking herself and trying to think.

"Choices girl, choices" A mans voice called out to her. "I was hard on Sinaku to make him be everything he could possibly be, seems I've neglected placing that trait in you daughter". Jazziks blinked and looked around a sharp whistle from the cloaked man let her eyes find him standing across the demon filled room on a stair case. "Father...."? The man on the stair case nodded pointed up the stair case and ran up. "FATHER"! Jazziks yelled running after him needing to see him drove her to trap and avoid and fool the demons that got in her way. She found herself up that stair case in moments but there was no one there waiting for her.

Jazziks stopped at the top of the stair way and pulled at her hair and screamed "STOP TORMENTING ME"! She screamed and cried as the imp she was lead to pointed and laughed at her "Uh oh, someones crazy, crazy now" the imp chuckled with some sort of key in his hands. "YOU"! Jazziks pointed to the imp with anger and pain in her eyes she'd spoken one word and drawn her bow forward and started firing menicingly at the small demon. The imp screamed and ran down the halls as Jazziks chased and fired arrow after arrow at the small target tears effecting her aim. "Ahhh to crazy crazy, I not like the game any more"! the demon screamed as Jazz yelled back "No more mind games, I like this game better"! The tiny imp ran and darted and ducked, dodging arrows from the crazed angry girl he fled into a room and hid now behind a larger demon who turned to look at her fangs now bared.

Instinctively Jazz reached for her quiver and armed her bow as the demon roared and charged forward she fired and ran back. This is the end she thought to herself running back through the long hallway she'd chased the little imp through. She reached in her pack for a trap and tossed it behind her as she ran. The large demon growled hitting the trap having slowed him, Jazziks took this time to stop and shoot him releasing arrow after arrow into his chest. The demon snarled and gripped at some of the arrows breaking them he pushed himself forward. Jazz gasp and turned to run some more, he would not stop now until he was dead, or he had killed her and started feasting on his flesh. Sleep, sleep for eternity she thought she heard the demon growl, that couldn't be right she thought to herself not looking back. Only thinking to herself I am NOT ready to sleep yet, I want to live!

The large room with the other demons was up ahead Jazziks ran despite knowing that it was the end of her running now once and for all. With a deep breath and another trap armed she ran ahead into her destiny, her ill fate. She ran and looked back to the demon as he came close behind her through the doorway. A loud howl and lots of snarls occurred as Jazziks pet wolf tackled the large demon back into the hallway, Jazz stopped and turned back shooting. "DIE" she yelled firing her arrows at rapid speed the demon took so many arrows and bites before he collapsed down dead. Jazz slowly walked to the demon and kicked it with the end of her boot, confirming its death she sighed and walked down the hallways wolf at her side.

She walked back to the small room at the end glaring around for any sign of the little bastard imp. "Where are you, you pest" she yelled "come out I win"! The imp coward behind a pot the shaking the keys from his fear, Jazz followed the sound. "Ah ha you little rat"! she said and grabbed the imp quickly as he screamed "Oh-no no, you winner, you win here keys yours, have keys"! Jazziks took the keys from the imp and glared at him "you've caused me more pain then these keys are worth little imp" she snapped at him. The trembling imp shook his head "No-no worth it worth it he says, the blue man...look like you, blue clothes, blue eyes he say teach you to fight and be brave". "What! Who is he" Jazziks shook the imp in her hand "tell me"! She ordered. "Ahhhhh" the imp screamed as he was shook "Don't know, don't know! He just say teach you lessons he can't, not now, he say you need keys for finding brother"!

She blinked and whispered her brothers name if she'd been ported in some sort of flash back through hell she knew where Sinaku was. He was with this blue man, doing this blue mans will, his orders...he was going to the library. Sinaku was going to the one place their father told them to go for all answers, a place they'd last seem him before he died. He died, she shook her head thinking and believing it was not true. The imp struggled in her grip this entire time she stood thinking. "Me go now? help you find door for key if you let me go"! Jazziks blinked looking to the demon.

"You promise me demon, promise with your life? After all the shit I've gone through I am not the nice sad little girl I once was, if you're lieing to me I will feed you to my wolf". Jazziks said holding the imp near the large wolves jaws, the little imp screamed "Okay, deal, promises"!

Jazz let go of the imp as he sighed "Alright, follow, follow..." the imp walked Jazziks out of Dire Maul across the court the imp pointed to another door "There, brother there...me sure, the man sure". Jazziks pat the imp and looked at the keys and headed towards the door.

((To be Continued Searching/Rescuing Sinaku))

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She remembered everything. From the time she lost her way from Rilthan to falling beyond a portal of the damned. A doorway to the world of the Twilight had given way for her. Accalia's starved children desperately attempted to rend her flesh and take her down. Her eyes flickered with the dimmest low, their beauty almost captivating the ruthless young. Before her stood a kingdom that lies in dormant. A kingdom no one from the upper world would ever get to see. It was amazing. So amazing it even struck her with awe. She had to give them that much. A grand castletown, covered in the dull and lifeless grey and black of Twilight, stood years away, to her anyway, from the skies. She could feel herself falling towards ground, and yet she had no thought of the worgen children about to clamp their jaws on her. She had no escape, even with her use of the Shadow Magic. They were resistant to it. Her fingers and palms beat against them for a way out, to defend herself, but she couldn't. She couldn't do it against all of them. So they bit and clawed with all their might, tearing at her alabaster beauty and marring it just as one would take a delicate pottery and shatter the work put into it. Accalia rose and gave her the malicious glare of a thousand demons and beyond. The claws raked upon the elf's hairs, the scalp and through the shredded hems of her regalia. The headband she always wore with her cracks She looked like ragged pieces of cloth and skin, clear streams of her brightened blood covering her entire form.

She sinks, falling yet into another warp hole towards the opening of the sacred land of the Sleeping Druids. Droplets of water sputter like the drop of a pin needle tapping against the pure liquid through the nothingness of the Twilight. Darkness shrouds over her, and she falls into a black sleep. The portal lifts her to the lake of Elune'ara, where the waters that lapped against her. The pure waters turned to a rusted hue, where vermillion colored it murky. Her headband floats just next to her in her lifeless state...

--------Moonglade in the Present-----

Voices. She heard voices at a miniscule rate. Water gurgled and swallowed up her breathing air, leaving herself to drown within the waters. A little girl wanders by, emerald eyes wide with curiosity, ebon hair tied in a bun that could hardly be imagined holding so much of it. Alabastar skin comes in contrast of the dark trends. Her tiny figure. draped heavily with a festive dress of lush purple, doused to a color of blue from the shading of the emerald forest. Her feet dance around with the cooling waters around the lying figure, reaching her fingers only to begin tapping and poking at her, growing impatient that she had not awakened yet. "Come on! Wake up! You're so lazy! Sinaku said you need to be up now!"

The young one had no idea how much she'd overlooked. The rusty-colored waters, and how the figure just lied in a lifeless heap, and even moreso the gleaming reflection of the setting sun over an object floating away just feet away from the frail woman. Seeing as she couldn't wake, she blotched on a note with a quill-feather covered in ink,"Come find me when you -finally- wake up. Much love,

Viviun"

Folding it with her clumsy little fingers, the note lies upon the dry soils with the figure. She skips away, humming to herself, unaware that she was about to leave someone for dead. Her elven ears pin back, perking and dropping in rhythm to her skips. She enjoyed Moonglade and didn't want to leave it, so she ran off to watch the fesitivities.

---------

It was only a matter of time before the young one returned, finding the woman in the same spot she'd been left to. This time, however, a young elven man draped in specialized shadow-weave accompanied her from afar. His eyes watched the dancing child, before she knelt before what appeared to be a corpse, or maybe....ah, he wouldn't be able to find out if he just stood there, so he came along side the impatient girl.

"Come on! Get up! Please?"

"Are you sure you should be playing around here? Whatever it is looks dead beyond reason."

Viviun contemplated the circumstances. Her eyes look over the figure once again, before she and the man caught glimpse of a shining object. Her being so close to it gave her the opportunity to reach for it, gripping it within her hand. Cohesion of water droplets refused to leave the ruined headband. Examining it more closely, the child's brows furrowed. The rubies were shattered heavily, the general makeup of the accessory ruined with cracks and bent material. Blood slickly cakes the rims. She seems to remember someone wearing it all the time...wait...no....it couldn't be! Anger swells her beating heart, and yet all the same apprehension chained her down. Her breaths grew ragged and slightly unstable. Her neck snapped to pull her head in the direction of the figure.

"Help me pull her out," she commands the warlock with a natural cold behavior. Her fingers grasp onto one hand, while the man wraps one slender, frail arm over his own. Together they lift the dead weight of the woman to dry lands, now becoming soaked with the aquatic texture. The woman's hair falls about her like black rays, dripping and gracing her face with pure water. A stream leaves her bloodied lips lifelessly. The only piece of regalia she wore was shredded completely through, pierced towards the center of the sternum. The attacks were almost like that of bloodlust and blind rage. Claw marks and fang strikes tore into her perfected beauty, completely ruined and marred with fresh streams of blood. The wounds varied with the bright blood, between tiny streams and ones that fled her with freedom. The fel-inscripted horns were also cracked, something that could physically give life-impairment. Shock creased their faces, Viviun gasping moreso, choking at the throat. "Mother...?"

A growl escapes her lips then, angered and uncontrollable. Shadow flames danced within her eyes, though she concentrated highly on the tendrils of holy magic fluttering in resemblance of butterflies while the sparkles ran through the unconcious woman. She gave all she could until she spoke, heaving breathless pants,"It won't be enough...but it will be enough until a greater healer arrives.."

----------

She awakens with no haste, horrendous coughing fits seizing her movements as she pitifully attempts to rise. Bloodied globs of waters spill from her lips, spattering against the soaked grasses.

"Videlle!" A frightened voice calls, pulling her from the dimming darkness that wishes to take over. Frail arms drape over her waist with need of support, holding the limp warlock to sit upright with just enough strength. Whispers and confusion come with exchanged glances from eye to eye and mouth to mouth. Whoever had tended to her wounds has gone or most likely standing before her. She cannot see, however, until the blur in her mistified emerald eyes disappates into nothing.

"Sister! Who in the gods' names did this to you?.."

"Ac..Accalia..she..I've...her children attacked..I've seen her."

She can barely hear movements falling against the wet grasses soaked by the cohesion of water droplets spilling constantly from her ebon mane. She attempts to explain, but her words are put to silence for need of regaining health. The adventurers come into focus, and she can notice her friends, her loved ones, those that stayed by her side. She smiles briefly, attempting to stand, only for her legs to buckle out from underneath her and she falls limp. The attacks were more brutal than the eye was able to see. She seems drained.

These were the lasts things she remembers other than their attack on Accalia, bringing her down with relentless strikes. Surely she felt a weakness in her already, an emptiness that she had been feeding down for a long while now. This all becomes a blackened memory as she plunges into the darkness of a befouled sleep once again, hearing the thundering, angered words of Accalia rippling through her mind,"You thought you won the battle... it's not over yet... you wretched, pitiful manifestations of humanoids. I hope you find your death quite fitting... as well as your memories... I see through your courage and your vigor... I see through the strengths.. weak... all of you. Without your loved ones, you are nothing! With your blood shed by your own hands, nothing will keep me from Azeroth! My Children will have the home they have deserved for all these years, being secluded and kept away..."

And through that she sees through the world that she once saw before, its magnificence so beautifying it almost hurt to look at it being taken by the entirity of the Worgen race. A world that the peoples of Azeroth and the Outlands may never see. Perhaps it was real, perhaps it was not, but who knows?..

"But that will not be for any longer! Let your dreams take you away. Sleep. Sleep for eternity..."

So sleep came...

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[[ Updated first post and edited my second. :o ]]

Sure enough, it wasn't long before Den'jun came back downstairs. Even though Xara was expecting it, she still did a doubletake when a certain long-legged troll with a lavender complexion and bright red hair followed after him. Herself... a year and a half ago. Xara lifted her flask to her lips, eyeing her younger self as she stopped to chat with a few sailors, laughing.

The sly look in her past self's eyes surprised her. The way she moved, spoke, and looked around made it obvious she was weighing anything and everything in terms of how it would affect her. Was she really so self-interested then? Xara found herself remembering her past thoughts and had to admit that she had been. All she had worried about was the next job, the next payment, or the next roll in the hay, not necessarily in that order. Even now she remembered calculating how much more use Den'jun would be since they were about to part ways, she for the place where she would meet up with a Bloodsail agent, he for his ship.

Abruptly Xara realized that a year and a half ago, she would never have been able to recognize that look in someone's eyes.

Dionagar whined again and Xara jumped a little. She looked down, wondering what the wolf was concerned about, but Di's luminescent gaze explained nothing. Although Xara had a connection with Kathren strong enough that she often knew what the cat was thinking or feeling, Di remained such a mystery that Xara didn't even know if the wolf had a true personality of her own. She wouldn't even know that Dionagar was female if she hadn't been... told.

The troll looked up to spy Den'jun and past-Xaraphyne heading out the door. She slipped off her stool and followed, moving through the crowd that treated her like she were invisible. Outside, she watched the two bid each other goodbye; when past-Xara kissed him, she had to sigh and shake her head. For a moment she was tempted to follow Den'jun as he turned down the dock and see for herself what he had then done, but since this was her own memory, it only made sense to follow in her past footsteps. She walked after past-Xara out of Booty Bay, headed for the eastern coast.

As she walked, she tried to remember how she had gotten here. By concentrating hard she was able to remember flashes of the battle in Moonglade, but they slipped away like that was a dream and not this. But she knew it was done; and once this nonsense was, the curse of the Eclipse would be out of her life forever.

It seemed like ages ago when all this had began... and what a price the entire ordeal had exacted from them all. Some higher than others. Now it seemed there was still more to be done. But when was that not true? When was she ever really done taking care of everyone else's problems?

A nip on her ankle made her stumble. Xara stopped and blinked down at Dionagar, who unless she was mistaken, was... glaring at her. "What?" the troll said blankly. She looked around in time to see the human rogue emerge from hiding and ambush her oblivious past self. The quippy dialogue that followed was just as she remembered. Xara had to chuckle and followed as the two headed down the hidden path.

It wouldn't be long now till she reached the point when her life's direction would take a sharp turn.

[[ Shameless plug: the story of the memory she's reliving can be found here. It will be added to in time with this thread. :D ]]

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It was finally over...

The pain in her palm that had been tearing up her arm and through the rest of her body dissipated, giving one last pathetic pulse before it was gone completely and she could no longer feel its presence. A sense of relief came over her body as if a large weight had been lifted from her shoulders, but with it came the sudden exhaustion, and she held back a tremble that threatened to send her collapsing to the ground. She had no time for weakness... others were hurt, and she could bear the strain for a while longer.

Slaid whimpered and cried in pain nearby, and closer still she could hear Roth'rili gritting his teeth as he attempted to stay standing strong and ignore the injuries he had received. Her eyes blinked as she coped with a wave of lightheadedness, her own senses sharing their pain, and urging her on to tend to them.

No sooner had she done so then she heard the words of Accalia echoing through her mind... the lightheadedness increasing and a familiar blackness overcoming her eyes.

--

A light shone through the blackness, and the scenery around her brightened to that of a clearing nestled in some cliffs, with a large lodge with Shu'Halo styled decor and totems, and a small pond... She recognized it as Sun Rock Retreat in the Stonetalon Mountains, looking around and seeing all the familiar locals, as well as the faces of a few others she did not know but remembered being around when she had journeyed to this area. Eyes blinked in confusion before looking up towards the sky and noting the darkened twisting and encircling of colors... indicating that she wasn't actually in Stonetalon at all, but in a dream yet again. A dream, from the looks of it, was based in her own memories... and her heart sank a little in realizing just what memory was being exploited here.

"Pardon me." She heard a gruff, older voice of a Tauren, turning around to see an image of herself exiting the inn lodge while being hailed by a large 'horned' lion, whom shifted his form to that of a large gray druid... A sight she remembered as being somewhat intimidating. "May I ask your name, miss?"

"Ah... Dyiana..." Her past self blinked wide eyed, though not so much frightened as shy and unsure about strangers. "Did you need something?"

"Not at all." The Tauren smiled, before coming to bow in a ceremonial and formal manner of greeting, "I am Ashawa'ket. The Earthmother has given me visions that tell me I am to protect and assist you. I apologize for my boldness, but it would honor me greatly if you accepted."

... Why am I being shown this? Dyiana's eyebrows furrowed, and eyes blinked again in surprise as she noticed a wandering guard simply walk through her, indicating that she wouldn't be able to intervene on any of this, and would simply have to watch as it played out.

"I... ah..." Her past self looked shocked and further unsure about what to say or do, but... sensed that this wasn't some prank or a joke, and that the druid was sincere in his requests. Dy remembered the confusion on why a worshiped entity like the Earthmother would pay her special attention, much less understanding why 'she' would request that one of her followers dedicate their lives to keeping her safe.

It had been a mind boggling experience, but Dyiana also remembered it being one of her most treasured on this world... She smiled a little, forgetting for a moment that there was some ulterior motive to these memories being brought up, only to be reminded as she saw the world fading to black yet again.

The world lightened up yet again, though to a more overcast, misty, and colder place... Evergreen trees towered all around, dripping with fresh droplets of rain, and the rainclouds above blotted out the light of the sun, though again, was nothing more than a grayer churning mass of colors. There were more Tauren styled lodges, but the setting was different, and she found herself watching her past self again, talking with another Tauren with an expression of both worry as well as sadness. She remembered it all too well, her heart sinking again, knowing what to expect of this one.

"Has there been any word, at all?" Her past self looked up to the elder, eyes going downcast as she saw that he shook his head, and sensing that he was boggled by her motives on why a Sin'Dorei would care to know what was going on with a 'lowly Tauren'.

"I am sorry, but if he came here as you said and has not given word, then I can only assume that he has not yet wakened... or has, and has found a new path to pursue in service of The Earthmother." The elder Tauren looked down at her with scrutiny, then backed off a little, seeing that her behavior was not indicative of a 'typical' Blood Elf. "If I see or hear of Ashawa'ket, I will inform him that you will wish to hear of his return."

"..." A small nod, and Dy watched her past self give a polite bow before turning away to leave. She remembered how it crushed her to be informed of the possibility that the one she had come to call her 'Guardian', and consider her closest friend and confidant, could have simply left the place he called the 'Emerald Dream' and done nothing to contact her. And being frightened and worried about the possibility that he hadn't left at all, and was trapped inside it... somehow in danger, unable to escape, and her with no way to know or help.

Did he make a mistake in swearing to protect me? Or... did I fail him in being unable to protect him?

She shivered, watching herself mount up on her purple hawkstrider, take one last look around Camp Mojache of Feralas, then coak the bird to walk along the main path west out of the village. The coldness she felt wasn't from the climate, but of the memory itself... which she considered to be one of the most hopeless, lonely, and self-doubting she'd had on this world. She barely noticed as the scene faded to black yet again, leaving her along in a wide expanse of darkness and nothingness, with nothing but an aching heart and thoughts of failure to keep her company.

It didn't last for long, however...

The next scene she recognized as the ship a little ways south of Ratchet, with her past self sitting at a base of a hill nearby it, and a past image of the Admiral Elrioch disembarking his vessel and coming to walk towards her... and she watched as the dark presence he contained within revealed itself in mocking and tormenting her. It had been shortly after the onset of the mark, and after a gradual onset of the once jovial and carefree Admiral becoming darker and more withdrawn as the presence known as 'Rue' exercised greater influence on him. It was something she dedicated herself to fix and restore, going so far as to hand over her own soul in the endeavor... but all her attempts had ended in failure. The self loathing and blaming she felt that had fed Rue, and her heart sank deeper as she watched...

I never helped him once... I failed...

A dagger... blood spilling out of her as a sacrifice and show of dedication and willingness to do anything to help... all ending in failure. She looked on as Elrioch abandoned her on the shore, her collapsing from loss of blood and simply waiting for the end, only for Ashawa'ket to come to her rescue. He had tended her self-inflicted wound and attempted to console her weakened state of mind... showing again the love and loyalty he held, but...

...that's why he left. I see it now...

The scene faded to black for a final time, and Dy looked out at the expanse of dark nothingness yet again. This would be her prison... one that Accalia had set up for her to fall into, and to spend an eternity in loneliness and sorrow, or to be kept secure for whenever the ancient wanted and was able to come and do as she wished. It was all clear now, and Dy sighed... but lifted her downcast gaze to look forward again with a worn but determined expression on her face.

Stronger ones than you have tried... I may fail, but only I decide where I am going.

The darkness was broken through by a ray of light... a forged exit out of the mental and spiritual prison, leading out back into the waking world, and she slowly walked forward to take it. The others would possibly need help escaping their own nightmares...

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Darkness, it seems to start to start this way again and again. Is this a dream? Then how come what happened moments ago seems so far away. Did i die ...is this the afterlife. No ,This is a dream then, or reality?

My eyes are shut that explains the darkness and this is reality. The dreams are no more. I hear rain, a storm actually. I feel cold and shiver , i am soaked. The smell, i know this smell. I know where i am because of it. The musky earth smell with a tinge of sickening sweet. Swamps , the Swamp of Sorrow to be exact. This all is so familiar then i realize why i know where i am and what is happening, the fear returns as i open my eyes...

My eyes are shut of course this is real or is it. The dreams have ended and I have emerged from my own tormenting slumber. I hear rain, a storm actually. I feel cold and shiver, i am soaked and the smell, have i been here before. This smell doesn't comfort me and i fear i have been here and know what is taking place , but how could this be so real it was only a dream to me. A tortured dream why am i living it as she did? The Swamp of Sorrows a familiar place that i have never traveled. This is all so familiar, I know why even as my eyes open and i see myself sitting next to me...

Its that night. Rethsil tricked me, How could he, my wounds are still fresh and the pain is almost overwhelming. I haven't slept in some time in fear of the dreams. I search everywhere in the storm for someone familiar.i felt them closing in on me, the wolves are out there. My only chance is to hide in shelter and wait for someone to rescue me. Desperation is overcoming me. I think I'm lost i seem to get the feeling that i should be saved soon a feeling that i shouldn't have unless i have already lived this. Must be lack of sleep. I let the shadow cover me as i hide, then i notice me... looking at me. A look of disappointment crosses her..my face. I am confused am i losing my mind. Then a name is clear, hers..Kelvie Hawkspear.

Its that night. Rethsil fooled her yet again, but why am i here too. She is frightened and grips onto the shadow that she has chosen to live her life with. I feel fatigue , yet my mind is clear, has her lack of strength in fact given clarity. I go to move toward her to alert her of my presence to comfort her then the pain slams into me. I look down at my shredded arm i feet the cuts at my neck. What has she done to me. I realize we are the same both in looks and in health both pretty bad off. I cant hep feel disappointed , she walked so openly into danger, she throws herself madly at death for those who can fend for themselves easily. I understand her motives sortta, i wouldn't let them fall either but i have learned what comes from such rash actions. Confusion is overtaking her, poor Tora think she doesn't yet realize like i do. She is understanding who i am though. Who came before Toraneko Nawe.

I reach and touch her wounded arm and say her name. A look of pain crosses her face followed by one of rage. She is here as am I , i briefly wonder if she too can touch me or perhaps this is all a hallucination of mine. Then pain explodes in my jaw...its too much i loose concentration and the shadows release... the metallic taste of blood fills my mouth, i find my words. "Why did you hit me!"

" Why did you, grab my wounded arm, stupid. Oh right its all a dream. Well a dream punch in the face hurts huh, now knock it off. " I cant believe she did that. I kinda feel sorry for her. I wonder what type of dreams and events she has been through before i began to wake up. But i know this isn't right , i wasn't here in the flesh and we both shouldn't be here like this. He should be here by now i think. Calling her name i watched this before. He's late does she realize this yet. Is he coming at all? Other questions nag at me though. Why are we here again and why is it so different?

"I'm so confused Kelvie, this is familiar, i've been here, right? " I look around everything is as it was with the exception of the extra me, named Kelvie. There is something about her though it seems like i should know her better. We are both wounded really badly she looks around fiercely, She reminds me of a wolf herself those cold blue eyes. "its only a matter of time before the wolves come to finish us ya know. We are too week to fight them." Her cold eyes set on me and she is only silent a moment then speaks.

" I cant believe you let a wolf do this to us " " I could alway handle em even with out Tor..the cat. You let one get the best of you and now you jump even at the word." I see her face drain of color, i know then that i am being too harsh, she has done her best to rebuild from nothing, the nothing i left her with. How could i be so stupid ..Wait don't let that get the better of you now. I need to focus, we have to figure this out together, I'll explain things to her later. Right now we need to figure out where he is, before this gets worse.

"Kelvie i don't know how we are both like this and i am confused by who you are, but i'm sorry if this is my fault." She looks around impatiently , what is she waiting for, my memory is so messed up right now, does she know whats going on perhaps she knows what is to come. She looks at me and again speaks, this time softly almost in a whisper.

"Tora, don't you realize, he was supposed to be here by now, this has happened i watched you deal with this..in a dream of mine. Rand should be here , You..we should be in his arms right about now." I let my fear slip in and she catches the worried look. i gotta say something she looks like she will panic soon she is realizing now something isn't right. "Listen we need to go see whats going on. We need to see where Rand is. You need him, we both do..i don't know what will happen if we dont find him and just stay and wait." Her eyes seem focused, there is the spirit we both share, the stubbornness.

I know she is right. It starts to become clear. I know where i am, i know what will happen or should happen. Rand never came..if he doesn't come what does this mean will Xara or even Elek show up. Xara is there later she stops me from running to my doom..Oh no. Maybe the wolves already got them..Maybe Elek turned. His touch was painful he had the mark. The mark..Videlle, Jazz, Dy..the others. This is all to much i need to find Rand and Xara first. Kelvie stops me as i go to rush away.

" Wait Tora" I reach up and place my hand on her ribs..the injury she had retained , after our death. Pain shot through us both. I knew then. I remembered it all and the look in her eyes showed me that she knew too. "We go together and awake."

As the pain swims through our body, I know that we are once again together. The pain continues in our ribs and our arms heal as the world regains focus. We are indeed in Stonard it is daytime and Tora and Kelvie are one. But We must find out the truth. Did Rand and Xara live? As we mount up I know that we will find them and am comforted by the fact that I, Tora will not be alone.

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((This is poorly written, in my opinion, but at least it's here... I haven't been able to collect my thoughts properly for the past week... Bare with it's mediocrity.))

As Kirai's world faded to black, she heard the cold voice speak to her...

"Sleep... Sleep for eternity... Sleep..."

She flinched, feeling herself slipping through some unnatural place... where, she did not know. Everything was dark. Was she dying...? No, she... she had, but... they had revived her in time before her soul was completely lost... or was her body so broken that her consciousness was completely lost and she was finally drifting to the land of the dead...?

She felt herself touch down onto solid paved ground, her legs almost buckling on the softest of impacts, but for some strange reason, she felt an odd strength in this place that she could not see yet. The pain that she had felt moments ago was gone... she must be dead... there was no other reason for it... She squinted in the darkness, taking a few cautious steps forward. Her surroundings began to change from a pitch black darkness to a muddy light up ahead, as if she were coming closer to some horizontal surface. The closer she got to it, the brighter it shone, until soon, without warning, it enveloped her in light, making her flinch and shout in alarm, throwing an arm over her eyes. When she lowered her arm and opened her eyes again, she saw that she was in Silvermoon City... and that it was nighttime... The only thing that seemed out of the ordinary was that the city was whole, and not split in two by the dead scar. The City was whole and intact. The Sunwell was still gleaming with life.

She gazed around the still city, realizing how eerily quiet it was. There were pairs of guardsmen making their rounds, one of which stopped and looked at her strangely before approaching her with dutiful strides and condescending looks.

"What are you doing out this late, child... and what in the world are you dressed in...?"

She looked down at her clothes, taken slightly aback. These were garments she'd always worn and hadn't ever been questioned for them by any city guard. She wore the red color to honor their new alliance with... the Horde...

Her head snapped up, taking note of the uniforms in front of her, the color of their eyes- These were no Blood Knights... she knew exactly where she was. She immediately changed the subject from her attire, out of a need to take attention from it... and out of a separate desperate need...

"I'm looking for my mother, Shiorei Sunari!"

The pair of guardsmen looked at her surprised, gazing closely at her now. She leaned away as their faces drew closer to hers, attempting to inspect it through the locks of hair cascading shyly over her eyes. She blushed uncomfortably under the gaze of one, a taller elf with long, silvery hair, bent low before her to gaze into her face. He shook his head in disgust, standing fully again.

"Miss Kirai, what have you done to your hair...? Did you cut it yourself?"

Her face turned a deep, seething scarlet hue.

"Just tell me where my mother is!"

The two guards rolled their eyes at each other as if she were an annoying toddler throwing a tantrum, which made her growl under her breath like an angry cat.

"You know very well that tonight is a very important lecture that your mother needed to attend... there's no need to bother her about lost dollies, or wanting to stay up an hour later or whatever it is that you're-"

Out of instict, she drew her dagger from her belt and swept up to him with a speed and agility that definitely surprised them. Hooking her foot around his ankle and yanking him down to his knees, she pressed the blade to his throat, hissing into his ear.

"Don't you even know how to treat a lady? I'm not some babbling child, you bigot... I've seen more than you'd ever even-" But she stopped right there...

The complete reality of where she was had finally hit her... This was the night... That dreaded night that had destroyed her entire world. She had to warn her mother... She had to-

But then her arms were grabbed by the second guard, and she was pulled away from the one she had made kneel before her. He quickly grasped both her wrists in one hand to confiscate her weapons freely with the other, tossing each and every one away from them.

"Kirai! ...I had thought you had had a more respectable upbringing than this..." The shorter guard holding her seemed disappointed. "It can't be Lady Shiorei's fault... she does her best, I'm sure... Now we know why she never speaks of her family... she's got some kind of hooligan for a daughter!"

Anger crackling beneath her skin again, she flailed her entire upper body in an attempt to free herself, twisting and turning in his grasp.

"Get OFF of me!"

She shouted and struggled with the guard a moment longer before before throwing her head back and howling,

"BLASTWAVE!"

She rammed the heel of her foot down into the pavement, flames erupting from the point of impact and expanding with such speed and force that the guards were blown away from her with yelps of shock and burning pain. With a shuddering, enraged breath, she whisked away into the shadows without looking back to even pick up her fallen weapons.

As she approached the building where the lecture that her mother was attending was held, she noticed with a smile that there seemed to be a small break in between and that several high ranking magi were enjoying conversations outside the building in the warm night air.

Shiorei stood, tall and proud at the end of a golden banister lit with pale, gleaming lamps. She was speaking with another fellow female mage. They were laughing and smiling, seemingly happy to escape the larger group for a moment in time.

Kirai approached them carefully, slipping out of her stealthed form to reveal herself to her mother... when she picked up on their conversation.

"It really IS too bad that you have such a slow daughter, Shiorei."

Kirai froze, feet behind her mother, her eyebrows furrowing in confusion.

She heard her mother sigh deeply, not believing what she said next.

"It is, isn't it? Just this afternoon I finally taught her how to preform a proper polymorph spell... It's taken forever to get anything to sink in!"

Her eyebrows twitched slightly, her lower lip trembling... What... This... This couldn't be happening, could it? It couldn't be real! She squeezed her eyes shut, trying to drown out the words of their conversation with warm memories of her own... where he mother's words were proud and warm...

"It's okay, Kirai... I started off much worse." She smiled down at her.

"YOU, mama?" Little Kirai blinked up at her.

"It was worse trying to teach her the basic elemental skills of fire and ice." Shiorei scoffed, tossing her head snobbishly.

"Everyone has to start somewhere... and everyone has to find the fire within... Everyone has to find their inner strength." She pet her daughter's hair gently, her smile as warm and radiant as ever.

"She can't be putting much effort into it... She's so horrible at everything- she can't be trying!" Shiorei laughed coldly along with her friend.

"I'm so proud of you, Kirai..." There was no doubt or falsity in her mother's eyes...

"She's worthless."

Something inside of Kirai's very soul shattered. She opened her mouth to speak, but no words came out... just a strangled sound of heartbroken agony was emitted from the pit of her throat. Shiorei's golden haired friend glanced at Kirai over her mother's shoulder.

"What's with that boy over there...? He looks like he's about to cry..."

Shiorei turned to look at her own daughter with cold and bored eyes. Kirai peered through the hair covering her face, gazing upon her mother's strange face in horror. This couldn't be her mother... Not her warm and caring mother who shone with such power and pride... Not this cold and uncaring, arrogant woman. The woman with her mother's face looked her over once and asked with an annoyed sigh,

"Who are you? You shouldn't be here."

She opened her mouth again and closed it, waiting her words to find her again. She squeezed her eyes shut, an angry, pained expression upon her face as she grit her teeth and poke.

"Slaid... My name is Slaid Markee... And I'm interested to know what you think of your daughter Kirai."

The two magi women giggled haughtily behind their hands and Shiorei turned, placing her hands upon her hips.

"Not that it's any of your business, Slaid, but obviously my daughter is useless. She hasn't a concept or clue of magic, and I'm ashamed of her." She stepped closer, grinning malevolently with every step closer she took. "She take forever to accomplish any goal that I set for her... it's why I keep her out of school and try to teach her myself... she's far too stupid to grasp anything at the same pace of a normal student."

She was now nose to nose with her mother's grinning face, hearing her whisper lowly,

"I'm ashamed to have ever given birth to such a worthless whelp."

Her pale green eyes stared in disbelief at her mother. She felt her body tremble under her cold, unfeeling gaze. Her legs buckled and gave way, letting her fall limply to her knees as the two magi laughed cruelly down at her.

This couldn't be right... She had never seen her mother this way before. This couldn't be right.

"This is how your mother really felt... This is how she was away from you..." A cold voice hissed in her ear. She turned her head slowly, but no one was there.

She shook her head, squeezing her eyes shut. It couldn't be true...

"But it is... She thought you were stupid... worthless..."

"Shut up!" Kirai shouted, clutching the sides of her face. Her mother and fellow mage laughed louder. Kirai's mind whirred frantically. Every memory seemed to be changing. Warm and proud gazes were turning into looks of cold contempt... every smile was shifting into a sneer... Was her mother really this way? Had she never noticed?

"KIRAI!" She felt something small, thick and scaly slap her across the face. With tears flying from her widening eyes, she meet Elliot's gleaming yellow gaze. Angry, green streams of smoke were billowing from his nostrils as she glared from her to what looked like Kirai's mother.

"Don't be a fool, Kirai... That's not your mother." The little whelpling scolded her, flapping to keep at her eye level.

"B-but..." She began, but he shushed her.

"It's your dear friend Accalia... She's forced her way into your mind."

"But then how are you still here...?" She looked over at him as he landed onto her shoulder.

"I am always here and linked with you, child..." He smirked slightly, though his smug-ness faultered. "although my already limited power is limited even more with her presence... There is too much interference here now."

"Is there a way to push her out?" She asked quickly. Elliot opened his scaly muzzle to speak, but was cut off by loud horns, blowing in alarm, splitting the night sky's silence with panic.

Kirai looked to the south in alarm.

"Oh no..."

The magi around her looked at each other, confused. They murmured amongst themselves and shook their heads, seeming to blow off the alarm. What could harm their city? If there was an attack, they would have to break through the first two gates in the forest to even come close to raiding the city. Kirai knew better... She knew that they wouldn't last through the night... and now she was trapped here as well! She wasn't strong enough to take on Arthas and his dreaded undead army of sin.

When the second horn was blown with a more frantic sound, the magi began to worry. Kirai's eyes flew to Elliot, horrified to find doubt etched upon his scaly features.

"Wh-what can we do?! How do we get out of here?"

He sighed drearily, yellow steam flowing from his mouth.

"I don't have enough power to get us both out of here... the little power that I have left is tied my very form that I am trapped in." He turned his head with a bitter snap, "If you had done what I asked before and collected life energy for me, getting out of here would have been no problem... you probably wouldn't have even been in this mess if I was back to my true form."

"Then what can we do, besides DIE here?!" She shouted, ripping him from her shoulder and shaking him. He looked away from her, glaring stubbornly.

"Elliot... please..." She whimpered, starting to hear the sounds of the inevitably demise of the city. They were at Silvermoon's gate. He looked back up at her, his features softening slightly before looking at the creature that mimicked Shiorei. Shiorei and a number of other magi were preparing themselves for a battle that both he and Kirai knew that they would lose. He sighed heavily.

"I'll need time... and proper compensation for this..." He uttered lowly. "I'll be using up a great amount of my power for this, Kirai... you know what I desire in return."

She nodded shakily, setting him down on the ground.

"Y-yes... I know."

He smirked up at her and jerked his little head to the side.

"Go now... I'll need you to stay alive for ten minutes and keep those ghouls off of me while I gather strength."

The roars of battle were getting closer, and with a shout in alarm, she watched soldiers of the undead pour into the section of town that they were in. The magi rushed to meet them with fire and ice, some city guard members also joined the fray.

Kirai trembled for a moment before bolting forward towards the battle, charging a fire spell in her hands, having no weapons at her side.

Five minutes passed, and Kirai was growing weaker and weaker... Elves were falling left and right, and she could feel something terrible coming in her very bones. She barely had strength left from being snatched from the claws of death, and it was showing: She was fighting poorly. Her arms had been slashed by ghoulish claws, her head was swimming from her draining mana pools within.

Three more minutes passed, and Kirai could feel her legs buckling again. She collapsed dizzily near a fallen guard after receiving a hard, slashing blow to the head, the ghoul's claws swiping deeply across the cheek. Dazed, she flinched, lying on the ground. She shook her head several times to keep the spinning stars from blocking her view, looking up with a scream as the ghoul lurched down at her again. She grabbed the heavy shield from the guardsman's corpse and hefted it over her with all her might, shrieking in terror.

"ELLIOT!"

She attempted to grasp the sword from the body as well while the ghoul stupidly mauled at the shield blocking his way, but the weapon was so far out of reach, and she couldn't muster the strength to try further for it. She was being crushed under the weight of the ghoul atop the already heavy shield.

"ELLIOT!!!" She turned her head jerkily, screaming at the crazed ghoul tryign to claw his way to her. She looked in his direction, only to be blinded by a brilliant green and yellow light. She flinched, trying to adjust to the light so that she might see her companion, her confidant... when her eyes flew wide open at the feeling of her leg being gnawed on by sharp, rotting teeth. She screamed in agony and horror.

"KIRAI!" She heard Elliot's voice. She suddenly felt someone's hand grip hers, and the world around her went black again.

She was falling... or floating to some strange place again, but this time, her small, emerald whelpling was cradled weakly in her arms.

She looked down, noting that the injuries she had received from that strange world had left her... but the immense pain she had felt before she had been pulled there had returned. She flinched, looking down at Elliot's little body, which looked quite pale.

"Elliot... I'm so sorry."

"Don't be sorry... Just thank me... by doing what you agreed to do..." He bleated weakly.

She nodded and held him close to her chest, nuzzling him with her forehead. He blinked in alarm when he felt tears beginning to land on his belly and a feeling stirred inside him that he often didn't allow lose; pity.

"Kirai..." he Began softly, sincerely, "You're mother would never had said those things. You know as well as I do that she would never stoop to act in such a manner... You should know this."

"B-but..." She gulped, choking on tears.

"Accalia was only playing off of your doubts. Your mother was always honorable, even in youth."

Kirai took in a shuddering breath, sniffling softly as she nodded her head.

"About your payment," He spoke only once more before going silent, "We'll have to start tomorrow... I know you're still weakened by your battle, but I haven't much time anymore..."

She nodded again, holding him close as they floated back to their world, away from Accalia's influence, giving into sleep, herself.

((Again, I apologize for the quality... I can really write better than that... My mind hasn't been able to form anything properly lately... even though this was planned for a month! >_< *is upset with herself, and will probably edit later if she isn't insane*))

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[[ WARNING! While not very graphic at all, this post contains allusions to rape and some violence. Unless that doesn't bother you, you may wish to avoid this post. ]]

The ever-burning fires ensured that there could be no sense of night or day in this place; instead, an orange light permeated the interior of the chapel, lending the holy ground a semblance more hellish. Even with her eyes closed, it came in through her eyelids, a constant reminder of where she was.

She had come to know this detail about her surroundings well in the week she had spent here, and her memories had done her no favors such as leaving it out.

But this time when she opened her eyes, something was different. Tassha slowly pushed herself up, looking around the small chapel. It was empty. He wasn't here... why was he not here? What point did this nightmare have if he weren't here? Was her mind finally tiring of torturing her night after night with not only dreams of Accalia's minions hunting her down, but these even more deeply troubling memories?

More than that, though, this felt wrong. As she rose to her feet, she became aware of another significant difference. Instead of the Ranger leathers had been wearing when this memory had taken place, she was dressed in her current priestly robes. She stared down at herself, taking up fistfuls of the material before letting it fall from her grip. Then, slowly, she lifted her hands, which, as was more customary in her dreams, were lacking the gloves she wore every day and every night.

However, even then there was a significant disparity. The mark on her hand was dead, darkened as it had been in the weeks between Sinaku's defeat and Accalia's mustering of her powers before the Eclipse. Unable to make any sense of it, Tassha gazed at her hand, transfixed. As she did, she began to realize something.

This was unreal, but it was no dream. It was impossible, but she was there. How, or even why, she could not begin to grasp.

When Elek strode into the chapel, sword in hand and anger in his eyes, it started to make a little more sense... albeit not much more. If he was here, then she knew what would happen next, and that things would once again fall into their familiar pattern. His pale gaze fell to her and if anything, his anger intensified. He made no move to sheath his weapon as he stalked toward her. Tassha dropped her hands again, watching him come without flinching.

"You..." he growled.

"What is this," she said quietly.

Ignoring her words entirely, the Knight took her by the collar of her robes and yanked her against him. The girl's eyes widened, but she didn't resist in the slightest. Because, she realized, whether this was real or not, or how little sense it made, didn't really matter. If there was punishment to be dealt out, then it was nothing she needed to wonder about, but simply accept.

It didn't matter that she had already gone through this once, and relived it in her dreams every night for months afterward. It hadn't been enough. It hadn't redeemed her. And even if it did really happen again, it would be less than she deserved. Only an eternal hell would suffice.

Somewhere, Accalia laughed.

Elek glared down at her. His blade grazed up the side of her body, stopping when it was poised at her neck. In his gaze, there was only her. No questions needed to be asked, nothing else needed to be presented on which to blame the cruel impossibility of this all.

"Now... just what do we have here?" he said with a jeer.

She didn't respond, looking back up at him expressionlessly. There was no challenge in her as there had been when he had first brought her here; nor was there the fear he himself had put before they left. The time since had done more damage than the week she had spent here, shown in her mute resignation and utter lack of resistance, not even lifting a hand.

He watched her for a moment longer. Did he fancy he saw despair? Did that please him? Tassha simply waited for what would come next.

Elek burst into a torrent of violence, throwing the petite elven woman to the ground with a fierce strike to the head. Crimson coated the pommel of his weapon. Unsurprised by the strike despite the lack of warning, Tassha didn't cry out. She started to lift a hand to her bleeding head, then let it fall.

"I have no promises to fulfill," he told her with grim satisfaction. "There is no one who will look for you, no one to come rushing to your help, no one to even care once I'm finished with you."

Last time, he had only had a week, and he had promised to return her to Thoraggar alive and whole. This time, although he clearly didn't care how they had come to be there, he was very aware of the freedoms this situation thrust upon them entailed.

But why was he here? Why did he deserve to be trapped here with her again? Was he to find some salvation in doing worse to her than he had done, free now that there was no flimsy bond of honor to hold him back? The thought weakened Tassha with a stunning relief, a strange gratitude. Her suffering would never take back her sins, but perhaps they would help salve another's pain. She clung to the thought because it was all she could hope to do.

"Do as you will," she said, speaking quietly again as her eyes rose to his. "The only point of my existence is that so you may."

He took her words as a taunt; she saw him grit his teeth, rage flash through his gaze. His boot hit her shoulder, forcing her painfully down to the ground on her back.

"You're a murderer, a traitor, an enemy of Silvermoon." His boot ground in and she winced in pain. "You made me do those things to you... here. Things I would have killed a man on the spot for doing. Things I've had nightmares of since. I've changed... become something different... the very thing I hated, the very thing I fought against... all because of you."

He wasn't really speaking to her; she may as well have been deaf. He just needed to speak the justification aloud so she could be the one to pay for all those crimes.

"If not for you, Silvermoon would have been spared the horrors of the Curse of Accalia. If not for you, all of those other Knights would still be alive. If not for you... what happened those many months ago would not have happened."

It was not her place to question his reasoning. If there was some solace to be had, that he could extract from her, then the least she could do was give it. Tassha closed her eyes as he bent down and fabric tore.

She'd thought she was truly resigned to this; that she could accept it. But the shame, the humiliation, the pain, they evoked the tears she knew she didn't deserve to cry. Internally she could only chalk it up as another item on the list of things that made her a failure as a human being. When he was done, the day long gone if it had ever been at all, she lay curled on her side, wishing futilely the tears would stop.

She could sense his dissatisfaction as he looked over her bruised, beaten body. He sat in the lone chair in the chapel, brooding. Already he had abused her worse than he originally had, but it wasn't enough.

How long would it take? Another week? Longer? Until her weak tears ran out and he was satisfied further punishment was meaningless enough to warrant simply removing her from this world?

Would his rage be salved by then? Would her suffering have done any good by then? Would she finally have done any good by then?

When she heard him move, she struggled to push herself upright, turning her head just enough to watch him come closer out of the corner of her eye. Even if all her bones were broken she would still try to move to face him rather than wait for him to come to her. In this tiny world, it was all she could do to accept the price of doing the one good thing she could.

He seized her by the hair and threw her back to the floor. Before she could even breathe, the sword he'd picked back up tore through her shoulder, guided by his forward thrust with enough force behind it to bury the point into the cobblestones of the floor beneath her.

A smile, smug and grim, danced upon his face as he hovered above her. "Sleep well," he said, leaning just enough to set a kiss upon her lips as her mouth still hung open in the shock of the pain. He turned and left her there.

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The ashes of a fallen warrior and his axe floated over Silvermoon, as Thoraggar’s world grew dark. He had the luck of bearing no mark from Accalia, but another arguable worse one graced his arm. The victory in Moonglade sent him scrambling to Silvermoon to Leoren’s trial, rather then suffer the secondary effect from the Eclipse.

Out of the darkness after what seemed like an eternity, a pair of fiery eyes emerged from the dark, a second set, a dark blue or torques hardly eyes at all it seemed. A third pair, dark and molten appeared, set deep in what seemed to be stone caves, and a fourth, pink orbs that flashed lightning, all illuminating the darkness. As the light grew Thor found himself before a council of elementals.

As the light grew Thor saw he was not the only lesser being present, and a crowd of orcs faded into view. The calm eyes of his ancestors all focus upon him. Almost instinctually he dropped to a knee, not even pausing to question why he could kneel in the void. A voice thundered over the void, as Earth spoke

“The mighty Thoraggar, Unforgivable, finally appears before us.”

Eyes that had been closed out of reverence snapped open at the mention of his last name, one that had been unused for years. A howling voice emanated from Wind, answering the Thoraggar’s unspoken question

“Yes, we know you, of you, of your deeds.”

A haunting, almost hollow voice finished Wind’s statement, as Water spoke

“Just because you where not calling to us, doesn’t mean we didn’t hear and see you.”

Eyes that had snapped open in realization now lowered in shame, as a harsh raspy voice completed the quartet

“A good death has brought you before us, but a death does not purge away the sins of life.”

“One thing binds you to this world, and it is we who bound you, in the first moment you called to us,” spoke Water, a heavy hand gesturing to his clan mark, somewhat scared and misshapen from an odd ritual enacted to try and ease the suffering of one elf.

((http://www.wow-tng.org/showthread.php?t=7545&page=4&highlight=Eclipse 3rd from the bottom))

“She suffers now, and neither you or we will help her, you have your own burdens to attend to,” boomed Earth, a heavy rock hand extending to the horizon, the city of Shattrath looming into view “show us, mighty Thoraggar Unforgivable, how you forged your namesake.” The council and elders faded into Terrokar Forest, and as if to twist the dagger like feeling in his chest, he saw the elder lower their heads in shame as the faded away. And Thoraggar found himself alone outside the walls of Shattrath.

Unlike the Shattrath of his recent memory, this one seemed fortress like, like a sand castle fortifies against the coming tide. Earthen ramparts surrounding the city, beyond the walls of the Lower City. Upon these ramparts and walls stood Draenai vindicators, poised resolute, if not resigned, looking over Thoraggar to the greater forest.

Thor followed their gaze, a thunderous army appearing just in the tree line, siege engines rolling forward with maniacal creaks and groans. One young Orc in the throng caught his attention.

The young orc, barely of age for war, would run his hands over the machine’s frame and look to the walls with a twisted grin eyeing the defenders as one watches a rodent before crushing it. Thoraggar knew this young orc’s part in the creation of these machines of destruction, and he would reach for his goggles instinctually to draw them down over his eyes, only to find them absent.

Something cold would touch his shoulder, followed by several more…

“The skies wept when the orcs laid siege to Shattrath City.

It had been many long months since rain had graced the lands of Draenor, but now, almost as if in protest of the looming battle, dark clouds roiled overhead. Light showers drizzled over the city and the army outside its walls, increasing to a steady downpour as the two sides watched and waited.” ~Chapter 1. Unbroken

Drums echoed through the forest, stirring the masses of orcs as all eyes focus on the walls, then beyond it, fiery eyes gleaming with the promise of bloodshed and slaughter once those walls fell. A more sinister grin crossed the young orc face knowing some of his machine would all such bloodshed to commence.

“For the Horde! For the Legion!” erupted from the army, as they strode forward under the bolts and stone hulled by the machines. Ogres stormed to the front ranks and brought their might against the walls, easily tearing through the first ramparts as predicted. Thoraggar lost sight of his younger self and the Horde passed by and through him. He’d sooner walk this spirit would of Terrokar then observe his past, without the mercy of the Blood Haze making it all seem right.

Then a small hand tugged at his massive one, and he looked down to see a small Draenai girl pulling at him. And oddly familiar faced looked up at him, though he couldn’t place it. She looked up with a smile, and with unnatural strength pulled him forward to the now shattered gates. Though she even seemed unaware of said strength, Thor now knew he had no choice but to follow, as she skipped through the murderous onslaught in the same manner Thoraggar passed through them.

A red mist began filling the Lower City as they passed through, choking the all the Draenai present, save one, and fueling the rage and blood lust of the orcs present, save one. The unique pair caught up to Young Thoraggar as he dispatched one of the defenders with an axe handle to the throat, crushing his windpipe and trapping the toxic haze inside his lungs. Licking the blue blood from his axe with a grin, the same axe that shared his fate at the hands of the magisters, something caught his attention on one of the upper rises. Thor and the little girl followed his gaze to Aldor rise.

“No…” was the only plea the older Thoraggar could manage before his younger self stormed upwards, the Draenai girl following, large hand held captive in hers. A pair of other warriors followed them upwards, Thor watching the grin on his younger self growing ever bigger, as his own heart sank.

The grin turned to a full blown smile as the fel-enraged orcs reached to top of the rise to find but two defenders. The first was a vindicator who’s charge was abruptly halted by Thor’s axe under his right arm, the follow through unceremoniously tossing him from the tier to the Lower City bellow. The second stood little chance, as the other two orcs overwhelmed her, ripping the small dagger from the priestess’ hands and pinning her to the ground, as the small party of children behind he gasp in horror at the green beast before them.

The other two where only stopped from slaying the woman by a grin and an upheld hand from Young Thoraggar. “Wait, Thor thinks she should see how smart her children are,” his smile given over to a mischievous grin. “Who is that?” a tiny voice beside Thor ask, its calm questioning out of places as the battle raged bellow. “Thats…me” he returned, as his clear mind linked who he once was, with who he is. “What’s he doin’?” inquired the tiny voice again. “Thor..doesn’t know,” he lied as one lies to child in an attempt to shield them from the bitter truth.

“Do you know what this is?” the younger orc’s voice ask the nearest draenai child, holding out a coin. The child remained stoically silent as the coin sailed through the air, “head or tails?” the voice ask again, catching the coin in his palm, and holding till the tiny creature answered in a timid voice “tails.” “Ohh heads” the gruff voice answered mockingly revealing the coin in his hand before grabbing the child by the horns with one hand, axe in the other, and dragging him to the edge of the rise.

Thoraggar’s hand went to cover his tiny accomplices eyes but she pushed it away and watch horrified as the younger Thor tossed the child into the air, his axe whistling as it split the child in half mid-air, to the screams of the priestess. The mischievous grin looked over the edge as the two pieces fell into the lower city. “What do you know, it was tails” it would mutter with a grin to the other two orcs, their laughter accompanying the priestess weeping.

The Draenai girl accompanying him would look back and forth between the Thoraggar she clung to, and the one continuing to end those just like her, turning the events before her over and over in her child’s mind, until only one child and the priestess remained, both sobbing. Though a touch of resistance still graced the woman’s face as young Thor walked away from the edge and lifted her head. “Kids, always falling and skinning their knees huh?” Her spit was the only answer she offered, and he replied in kind with an elbow to her cheek, his grin never leaving as his engineer pondered the situation.

The sudden realization of where he knew this Draenai girl at his side from came a moment to late, as he hand left his and she moved from the his new spiritual world to his haunted reality. Ropes secured around the confused priestess wrists secured around the two remain children’s waists. Tears rolled down his cheeks as nooses where places over the children’s necks and secured to the tier.

The priestess now adopted a stoic look, sure her end would come soon, as she and the children where dragged to the edge of Aldor tier. It wasn’t until she examine the rope pattern she realized her time was long in coming, and then it was to late, as a heavy boot sent her over the edge, the lines from her wrists paying out behind her to the children’s waist.

Thoraggar’s tiny companion looked to him, the only one away of his presence, as the rope went taunt “You can’t be him, your nice,” she managed to say sweetly as the rope dragged her and the other child over the edge. The next sound rising up from the dying battle below was that of two small necks snapping and a Draenai woman yell as she dangled over her ruined city.

“You monsters! You are unforgivable! Unforgivable!”

“Hmm” ponder the younger orc as he walked away from the edge, passing his elder self in a heap, mourning, longing for the comfort a cloudy memory of this day had, “Thoraggar Unforgivable…”

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Naheal! No! Don't let them punnish us now! Not after all we've done! Jazziks' voice was far off, it seemed, but he heard it, about ready to thrust the dagger into himself.

"No? Not going to do it? Oh, fine. I suppose I could just let you go... Or wait... I think there's someone else you need to talk to." Naheal looked up at the green-eyed version of himself. "You know. Your father. You get to explain to him why you chose the path that you did. Just pray he doesn't kill you. His punnishment will be far worse than anything you could ever have done to yourself."

Naheal rose to his feet as his surroundings changed. He was no longer in Silverpine. No, this place was much more familiar. He blinked as he looked around. Ah... just as I remember it... The Sunwell. He was in the middle of the plaza that had surrounded it. A few humans walked around the area, though a great deal more of the individuals there were elven. Friends he had known, all lost now, but he smiled. A good memory for a change. His joy was becoming overwhelming up until he heard a familiar voice behind him.

"Naheal Malastar. Where is your brother?" He turned around quickly to meet the gaze of a somewhat pale man in blue robes. The man had a light build and was only slightly taller than he was now. His eyes shown an azure blue and his hair was a dark brown. His face was stern as he eyed Naheal.

"Father... It's so go--"

"I don't care for pleasantries right now. Where is your brother." His gaze hardened. "And what is with the armor? You can't possably cast in that. Remove it this instant. The goggles, too. Next, you'll be wandering around with machines again..." He sighed, "Really, have you even worked on your jewelcrafting, boy?"

Naheal's eyes hardened. "Father, you know that my passion has always been with machines and explosives. I've lea--"

His father made a quick cutting gesture across his neck and Naheal silenced himself quickly. "Explosives will support neither you, nor your studies." He offered his hand. "So long as you continue to work on your jewelcrafting, I suppose it will be alright. You just need to focus on that and your studies with the arcane. Come on, let's go. We'll discuss it at home."

Naheal nodded as he followed his father. Ferrik Malastar, patriarch of the Malastar house, demanded respect from both of his sons as well as the rest of the family. He was a good mage and his jewelry was known to be top-quality while he was alive, so a disapproving look towards either of his two sons would generally end poorly for either. Naheal smiled. It's actually good to see him again. Explaining things are going to be tough, though.

They slowly approached a small manor just outside Silvermoon. A sanctum, really, but one which Naheal knew would not survive the Scourge invasion. He smiled warmly, feeling closer to home than he had in some time. "Naheal, you have a lot to answer for. But, I want to hear your side of it first."

"Yes, father, but I would like to speak on it in a more comfortable spot. Perhaps the library?" Ferrik nodded and led the way...

****

Ferrik had listened to the whole story from Naheal, growing less and less approving as he heard more. His eyes flared as Naheal explained what happened a couple years after the Sunwell was destroyed and what ensued afterwards. Then came the explaination about the Blood Knights.

"You what!?"

"Father, I knew you wouldn't approve but I-"

"Wouldn't approve... Wouldn't approve!? You took the position of a peon, boy. You walk around clad in metal armor, using a large weapon and charge headlong into battle with light only knows what on you with your 'devices,' and you continue to use the Malastar name?"

"Father, something had to be done! I couldn't just stand back and watch our people slowly fall into becoming what our 'prince' had doomed us to."

Ferrik smacked his son across the mouth. "You and your reckless behavior has done enoiugh now. And, what of your brother, eh? Have you even thought of that? Who looks after him now?" Naheal got a slow sinking feeling in his stomache. He knew it was reflected in his expression. Ferrik's eyes widened. "You mean to tell me that your brother died. That you and your 'wonderous new power' couldn't save him?"

"No, father, my mistake to become a warlock, which you disapproved of less than my decision to become a Blood Knight, I might add, opened the door for a demon who was searching for a shell to inhabit. He chose my body. And he decided to break my will by forcing me to do things that I would never do, like p--" Naheal was cut off as he found that he couldn't speak anymore. His father had worked the arcane to keep him from speaking.

"You. Killed him. You..." Ferrik's temper began to flare, a bad sign to Naheal. His father wasn't a violent man normally, but he would typically punnish Naheal severely if he ever stepped out of line. He closed his eyes, slowly gaining control. "No. It wasn't you. It was this demon. And you had no control."

Naheal wiped blood from his lip with a small cloth. "So, have you chosen a wife, yet?"

"Not any that you'd approve of, I'm sure."

"Couldn't be any worse than you've done now."

The words stabbed into Naheal's chest like daggers. "If you must know, the one I've chosen to spend my life with is a ranger. Jazziks Wolfrunner."

His father remained silent for a few moments before speaking again. "Get out. You will remove yourself from this house and take your devices with you. And, when you leave, you leave the Malastar name behind."

Naheal's eyes widened. Did I just hear that right? "Father..."

"I only have one son. And he's dead. Get out before I have you thrown out." Naheal nodded and slowly walked out. "Oh, and Naheal." He stopped and turned to face his father. "The Knights are right. You are a traitor. And, you are a murderer. In the end, you will be punnished for what you have done. I would kill you where you stand now, but death is far too good for you."

Naheal lowered his head and walked out of his home, his father's words echoing in his mind. I only have one son. And he's dead. When you leave, you leave the Malastar name behind.

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((Follow up to Tassha-Elek's scene. If you're unsettled by violence, please do not continue. We're working on toning down the original transcripts and will provide them as we are able.))

She hadn’t remembered falling asleep, but as she came to open her eyes again, the dim orange light shone through the chapel’s open door. How she was able to fall asleep with the sort of the pain she was in becomes clear as she realizes she can no longer feel it... If she didn't bleed to death, then she's simply in shock. She considers these options, then wonders if she's even still alive.

Rubbing her eyes, she takes in the sight of the chapel ceiling above her as a sensation that something was missing from her field of vision. The sword that was impaled in her shoulder, gone?. With a start she lifts a hand to her shoulder, not only finding it free of pain, but covered in cloth. She was dressed? And healed?

Sitting up, Tassha looked down at herself to find her priestly robes covering her body as though they had never been torn. Not a single ache signifies a bruise or injury anywhere on her. Unable to grasp this, she nonetheless finds herself looking up at the door again.

The fires of Stratholme still threw their ash and debris upon the streets of the ruined city and no amount of blinking and eye rubbing seemed to dispel the scene away from his sight. With a sigh, noticing the undead still as active as ever, Elek ducked his way back into the chapel. If he could only figure out why he could have possibly bothered to come back here after leaving the night before...

Elek perked an eyebrow as he saw Tassha sitting up, her robes once again intact. There was no blood, no bruises, as if everything that had happened had been repaired, mended, undone. Someone had to have come to her aid. Furious at the perceived deception, the Blood Knight tore apart the closets and cabinets, throwing furniture around in a fruitless search for a person who had never been there. His teeth clenched tight and with a shake to his hand, the Sin’dorei came up to the elven woman again and struck her amid his rage, "who was it?!" he demanded, "WHO was here?!"

Thrown back by his blows, the girl begins to act in an even more unbelievable fashion than before. She laughs. Looking up at him through the blonde locks fallen over her face, her words come fast and sharp, "What mysterious visitor came by and decided to heal me, to clean up the chapel, to remove any trace that anything ever happened, and even miraculously fix my robes? Like yesterday never even happened? I don't know. They managed to do all this despite me being awake all night until just now when I realized I was asleep. Did you sleep last night? Did you clean the blood off your gauntlets or did the mysterious visitor clean them too?" She waves at his spotless armor.

"Do you begin to wonder why we are here yet?"

His hand clenched around her throat as he lifted her from her feet and held her up against the wall. "Do not toy and play games with me, girl," Elek spat with a scowl, eyes piercing into those dark blues of hers. She may well have already come to the realization of their 'imprisonment', but the rage and fury still blinded him from seeing it. Tighter he squeezed his hand around her slender neck, the muscles in his arm pulling tense.

Tassha’s eyes widen as her hands rise to close around his arm, not in force or effort to break free, but more from reaction. Even now she can't bring herself to resist. Despite the severity of his actions, she still maintained a bit of a hysterical mirth within her eyes. Will even this be the end? Will tomorrow come one way or another? The thought didn’t seem so impossible. Her eyes roll back as she passes out from lack of air.

Even still, he refused to let go as frustration and confusion filtered in despite that her body had fallen limp within his hold. His knuckles whitened from his grip, ushering her into a sense of sleep and rest that she would certainly never recover from. Time passed, minutes come and gone one after the other until every muscle in his body burned and ached from the tension. Arms growing heavy and weak, eased his hand’s hold and let her fall to the ground at his feet, turning around to leave this wretched city.

---------------

Orange light.. filtering through her eyelids. This time, she would not open them at the urge. Something was wrong; something was so horribly, horribly wrong. Despite her efforts, Tassha could not remember how she had gotten here. What had happened? How could she have possibly wound up in Stratholme?

The prior nights returned to her with a sudden start, forceful like a slap in the face . With a gasp she sits straight up and looked around. One hand goes to her neck, unbruised, unsure… had what happened the night before been undone again? Had she only just passed out? Had he not followed through? Reality didn't seem so funny anymore as a sensation of dread came in as she looks toward the door.

The fumes of the ever-burning city still burned the Sin’dorei’s eyes and lungs as Elek gazed around at the encroaching undead and found himself ducking back into the chapel once again. He could not help but give recognition to a strange sense of déjà vu. Fingers would rub his eyes as they did on the prior days, failing as always to change anything about the scene.

And there she was. Sitting upright once more, unbruised, unmarred... alive and whole. He couldn’t understand what was going on… Was this some sort of dream? Was his last meal spoiled and had him hallucinating? The Sin'dorei stood there in the doorway for what seemed to have been an eternity, ultimately taking up his sword with a shake of his head, walking forwards to make short work of the item of his frustrations.

There were no words to speak, no taunts, no jeers. Perhaps he had not been thorough enough. Not this time. A crimson pool soon stained the ground, spreading beneath the slender elf unhindered. Unmoving for hours, he watched over her in the silence of the undead's moans until well beyond the setting of the sun to personally ensure she would not rise again. There would be no tricks, no games. Not this time, he assured himself.

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[[ Teh violence continues. You've been warned! ]]

She didn't remember falling asleep... Again, the same sense of disorientation, and that was exactly what clued her in to the situation. Blue eyes opened wide, this time not seeing the chapel at all. He killed her... and still here she was, in this dream world. She felt his blade cut into her body, saw the blood, saw his cold face as he dispatched her life as he could have at any time before, in a way she hadn't really understood before then. A shudder ran through her body as she curled on herself, unwilling to look toward the door this time as he entered.

But that was just the beginning; the very beginning. Every day for what seemed like months, he killed her. At first it was out of sheer anger and frustration. As time passed, it became a sick form of 'art'. There were times he simply went about it as if she were nothing more than an artist's tool, a cut of the blade, a spray of blood upon the wall... oh, the number of grim fantasies he played out at her expense. He would strike her, come at her with a weapon, throw her out to the undead to rip apart.

Despite the terrible pains he inflicted, day in and day out, despite that he had killed her no fewer than a hundred times, taken her against her will at least as many... Each day she had tried harder and harder to accept that this was simply her due, and the agony, the humiliation, she had no right to object to it. But the longer it went, the more her resignation changed to something else. Something almost... odd. A strange amusement, an enjoyment of the irony, a mirthful understanding of what each day would bring. This was the hell she thought she deserved. And it was no longer possible to think it might help him in some way; there was nothing but the suffering. That was all there was.

There was no point.

She had thought she deserved this; intellectually, she still knew she did. But now she questioned what purpose it served for her to suffer. No one gained from it, not even him, the one who hated her the most, who blamed her for all the troubles he could think of. Her hell had become his hell, and the day his sword clanged down to the ground next to her, she knew he had finally realized it too.

Slowly she raised her head from her knees drawn up against her chest to look at the blade. For more days than she could remember clearly, she had not said a single word. Not a sound, not a whimper... nothing. She still felt the pain, but it no longer evoked a response from her. Now she wondered if she remembered how to speak as she looked at the weapon.

He sat with his back against the wall, unmoving.

"What don't you leave?" she asked, a few simple words strung together from a throat that should have long ago been worn out.

"Can't," he muttered. He tilted his head back against the wall, not looking at her. The fire of hate that had been in him had burnt out; and there was nothing left. Fueling it hadn't given him any solace either. He realized that now, long after she did.

The day wore on. Finally, Tassha got up and walked over to the bookcase. It contained holy books, words of learning and teaching. As she drew out the first, she wondered if eventually she would know all these books by heart. But for now, it would keep her occupied, even as she mused on how substanceless a diversion it was. She also found it rather ironic that in this hell, the chapel contained books only about the Light.

Elek never moved.

------------------------------

Tassha very well could have fallen asleep, but she didn't know if she truly had when the familiar orange light glowed through her eyelids. Her eyes blinked open, taking in the empty chapel. Another day... It would be as meaningless as the one before. Even he had given up. What would he do now? She sat up and looked toward the door, waiting to see.

But he didn't enter. After a time she got up and walked to the doorway. There, a distant din reached her ears. It took her a moment to place it. Fighting?

------------------------------

He fought against impossible odds, wave after wave of horrors, endless, always another to replace the one he felled. "Why don't you leave," she had said before. There were too many, he knew this before even trying. All of those days before, if not too fatigued after whatever violence he served her, he had entered into skirmishes with the undead. They were stronger than he had wanted to believe, but their numbers at the points of escape provided a clear sign.

He wouldn't escape alone.

Regardless, the idle waiting, wallowing in the inner turmoil and burden of despair was driving him quickly out of his mind. He couldn't take it, wouldn't accept it. Limbs and bodies were strewn in his wake as the lesser guardians fell to his unleashed ferocity. A claw upon his armor, a rip against his flesh... one by one the wounds slowed him down. It was just as obvious as he had first thought...

He wouldn't escape alone. There were just too many.

Blood trailed down his arms and legs from a dozen cuts and gashes. Still he fought, passionate in the midst of combat, refusing to surrender. A slash caught him across the leg and dropped him to his knees. Hungry for blood, the undead around him closed in despite his every effort to keep them at bay.

He didn't have the strength to challenge their 'jailkeepers' by himself, but it was something he had to find out for his own. A part of him had wondered if he'd wake up here again tomorrow, just like it seemed to for Tassha. Even as he was falling, his vision no more than a faint blur, he still would call out upon his powers with the Light and resist. Futile.

The death was painful and came without mercy. As it came, he figured he had earned it.

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Chains dangle from the ceilings, clanging against one another with little to no effort, allowing for a hushed noise level. Bubbles rise with a temperature warmer than standard pressure within tubes fit for a humanoid species of any kind. Rusted cages lie stashed in a corner, carefully spread from one another with live animals such as birds, feral felines, bears, so on and so forth. Lengthy tables are spread out with many ideal supplies for a laboratory, with cylinder vials to tubs. Each one is carefully filled with chemicals needed for such experiments they were proceeding to work on. Voices call to one another in that same hushed tone from garbed men and women of a diversity of race, from human and gnomes to Orc and elven, etc. Their uniform white and black robes obscure their features completely, leaving only the lower half of their face to remain unhidden. Human and elven Guards march with troubling anxiety against the sealed doors of steel. Conversations exchange around the room as the volume of a dong bell rings overhead, signifying the leave of another hour and into the next.

"I need a precise report on our latest project."

The room goes silent at the mention of this project. Somehow they all felt this would come at a great price, should it come to a completion. None were to mention it fully, but one did with no thought.

"Project Black Twilight," a robed figure stands in thought, only his lips, with the slight glint of light shedding to a rough-shaved beard of mild greying age. A relatively unblemished hand rests against his chin, his average height defining that of a human, no abormal features about him. He continues while turning with haste, footsteps tapping against the cold floors with an echo,"let me find the folder. I am sure we stashed it away safely to prevent thieves, if they even manage to break through the doorway."

"Doubtful, but thank you for the concern anyway. Back to work, everyone. Time is not on our side. The due date draws near. We must continue our work with steady haste."

The figures walk to and fro amongst their private works. They were an organization of hidden alchemists. Alchemists that surpassed knowledge of their kind and beyond the generations forward. A clipboard rests in every other researcher, jotting down notes with a quillfeather pen. These men and women alike were a part of something that could have taken serious change in the worlds beyond them from this very day forward. Today would be the time they would release their twentieth, and hopefully successful creation of a humanoid from their essence of death. What were the animals for? Well, their qualities and quantities were mere ingredients for the chemicals needed to aid a transmutation such as this! No tedious work, it was. Though none were too thoughtful of smiling until they found the results, their spirits still rose high everytime they attempted to make this new creation come to life.

What was left of the failures were placed elsewhere, crawling and writhing in the pain these humans were far too unable to understand even with their superior minds. Of course, how could they define pain from a failed creation? It had no life, it had no soul, not even blood and organs to keep it living! But the question did come to mind.... why do they still move and writhe? Whatever the matter, we feel they will die sooner or later..

This comes to one researcher's brain every time, boggling over what to do with their failed experiments and also maintaining pride of an upholding job. Or were they pawns? Not one person in that organization never did know. What they did know, however, was that they were willing to bring alternative life in its artificial state, should it prove successful...this could mean they would recieve the perfection of the gods..they would no longer need to suffer pains that weren't needed..all to think and hold glory over!

----------

"Project Black Twilight..." the robed figure continues to leaf through numerous folders, each one identified by the sacrificed patient willing enough to give this work a try. A guilty thing, in this one's opinion, to take the lives of so many now. However this one, this special one, was a woman. Why would it be a woman this time, however? There were others before, but this one was different. Lovely as can be, sporting and out-going, rich and of noble birth, but why would someone like her want to waste her life away?

Surely one would escort her right out at the slightest bat of an eyelash! It takes the figure a moment to realize he was staring right at the folder he had his hands on, smoothing a thumb over the absolute perfection of the Quel'dorei's luminous, pale face, her high cheekbones, eyes so wide with a feral ocean blue beauty. Her youthful lips always dabbed with a touch of crimson lipstick. A body so frail and yet so lithe it might have been something anyone would prefer as a model, idealistically. Her hair was unexplainably untamed, falling about her with conditioned strength and a tone flashing so bright with ebon highlights from the sun that he couldn't help but imagine this photo taking place in any timeline. Her picture even then was like the portrait of a fantasized role figure. His stomache can't help but slightly lurch with what needs to be done as a sacrifice. What inperfection did this woman have? The fact that she was of different race? No, that wasn't it..that couldn't be it at all.

Perhaps...no...the Master? Naive? Had he..openly seduced this woman, whoever she is? Surely she must be popular amongst Quel'thelas."

He attempts to search the name of this soon to be sacrifice, only to realize that ink blotches were stabbed violently into the record scrolls and papers, near poking holes into the papers with their fragile material. Someone must have been here. Maybe it was their Master. Ice-needles pick and tumble down his spinal cord, the hairs rising like prickly thorns. He feels as if he is being watched, and so he quickly lifts the record from the filing box, setting the lid over it carefully, before turning back towards the crowded facility.

-----------------------------

"Have you the required information, Member XIV?"

"Yes..yes, here it is." It was only a matter of minutes that the according member rubs a trembling hand against his face, trickles of cold sweat dribbling down his face. He allows a puff of air to escape, before sucking it back in to keep himself calm. The folder is once again opened, and his eyes keep to the wary, often exchanging invisible glances from beneath the heavy, dull cowls. He felt a burdening deep down inside, one that he felt wasn't going to end well, but why did he need to feel such feelings? He was as willing as she apparently was, so what would be the matter of it?

Positive...postive...negative....positive...

The mindful thoughts come to an end, snapping back to reality with the tug of the human before him. Suddenly he felt very comfortable to be near another's presence right now. Otherwise he might have lost his mind and taken early leave for his home..

"We need to keep up to date with the blood flow and genetic transfer, XIV. There is a weak sign of life, and that is not acceptable in the very least of it. This could prove dangerous in our line of work ahead. The calculations for just the right amount of needed chemicals are not correct. There are errors everywhere.."

A despicable scowl spits violently from the irritable human, who so carelessly thrusted the folder, empty of its contents, back into member XIV's own. He turns away with anger of their failing results. He waves a free hand over the garments twice his own body size.

"See to it that this information is corrected and absolutely lacking in error, XIV. Should you fail, learn of it that there -will- be punishment and penalty amongst all of us. Do you understand?"

The human stalls, lips quivering almost, fear striking his mind with previous calls from the Master. He nods his head strikingly swift, voice having a bit of trouble with remaining evenly toned. "Y-yes, Reldrin. I understand.."

His gaze falls towards the floor, another time for luring him into deep thoughts. How could things be taking a turn for the worse so quickly? Scientific works were just that difficult, but still..for positive effects to lack so fast! It was unexplainable. Remembering the promising penalties of lagging behind, his footsteps once again echo amongst each and every alchemist in this very sector of the Scholomance.

The Master will, without a doubt, -not- like the results so far...but atleast he understands changes cannot be made too swiftly without thought. This buys us time..

"The perfected..humanoid. The perfected creation of life. A perfected weapon against war. Surely the answer lies in our studies in time. Yes, that is it...that is the reason this unnamed sacrificed herself. She desired perfection, but with a heart so naive, the seduction of the Master's wishes pulled her into a silly belief of eternal, joyous life in a world only made to bring her happiness. Of course his attractive, handsome features as a Highborne, as he claims himself to be by blood of the ancient Night Elves, was most likely an added reason, even if it were completely disliked between the two races. But really..."

He speaks to himself in that same hushed whisper, attempting to put two and two together and driving out an answer and reasoning behind such actions. "He most likely did not care for her at all as she failed to realize. Every look he must have given her was that of the Beloved Emondi he always spoke of. Oh, beautiful was she, too, the poor lass. But wait, that must be the full reason of his need to seduce one so equal in beauty! So this is what you are up to, Kryan. Hah, charming fellow, but your actions are blinded with wrong. Perhaps we are heading an impossible path. Do you not believe it so, friend? Has..love, truly taken you this far in dedication to one person?"

Steam hisses within a short distance, steel doors rumbling and gears making quift shiftwork, interrupting the all too puzzling thoughts of Member XIV. His fingers refrain from stroking his chin hairs he so fondly has a habit of doing, lifting his head to turn and gaze in the entrance's direction. The weekly assistant of the Master is found once again, sided with armed bodyguards, the artificial light reflecting from the blades of glaives potential enough to splice through hardened armor, plunging the heart from its very safe-hold in the body.

One of old age, he simply wears glasses to help with his lack of sight with squinting, tiny eyes void of enthusiasm. His regalia sparks an ancient pattern used only in the times where cloth was limited in amount of material. His hairs are lacking, giving way to baldness from the scalp up to a few lengthy waves here and there of golden brown. Wrinkles mold his face with a sagely timing. His height is not too high for being another ordinary human.

His voice is amongst the quiet side, though it seems more elder and high-pitched than the usual deep tone of males.

"If you may all cease your works for the moment, I must announce that the Master will be arriving within a time span from two to three weeks from this day forward. He expects that you all have done your works up to date with his expectations." A single finger tips at the glasses to the bridge of his rather large and sloped nose, exchanging a gaze from the cloaked persons with a stern, emotionless expression from his thin line of lips. The unnoticable gazes were unseen, and so he woudn't be able to tell the expressions they were making, but it was positive from the silence that just about no one agreed to their short time span. They had barely begun this heavy project not but a month ago. It would not be enough time, he also agrees, but he is not in charge here..

"Well, now, if no one needs to ask questions, then I shall be on my way. Thank you for letting me speak on my short visit. Should you need aid and assistance, I will be within the lobby for paper works.."

He turns to leave with his assembled bodyguards. They march with no word. The steel doors slam shut harshly, giving a few jolts and tugs here and there. That's when the voices broke out amongst each other, building up for bickerments.

"Three weeks, this is certaintly not enough time to even transfer the chemicals."

"We haven't even taken out the wildlife for examination and shedding yet!"

"Now just hold on a minute, we've been doing just fine at our own pace, haven't we? Just because we've had numerous failures before doesn't mean this won't be our last chance! It's the biggest project we've had and we have to make sure the Boss is pleased with it wether we are done or not!"

"Speak for yourself, XII. He'll have us thrown out and killed most likely with all that he's done in the past out of lack of success," a raspy, though womanly voice calls out from under a hood, though wherever she was located amongst the gathering crowds was unknown.

"No need for the pessimistic ways, V!"

XIV keeps to himself, however. His eyes shift 'round in his own little corner, still feeling as if he is being watched, but he finds nothing as he returns to his job..

--------------

"What am I seeing...what is this dream?....Who are all these people? ...who is Emondi..and Kryan. Who, or what is Project Black Twilight...?"

She feels herself invisible, touching anything with invisible hands, her emerald eyes pouring with uncertainty, her lips unable to part and speak forth, her throat feeling clenched with no presence of fists. She felt almost choked with the sight before her, especially the pain coiling over her heart in the horrors of the animals just being used for experimentation and fusion..but moreover her fear wasn't just for them, it was what was to be untold from then on..the Master..and the Project, what is it she is going to see? Is this a new horror beyond her beloved and her loved ones?..

"Where am I?..Why can I not see myself?.."

All she could do was just wait and see for herself..

((Continuing later.)

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Her fingers attempt to rise, only to remain in place. Her head tries to move, where it could not. Her figure stiffens, paralyzed, numbed. She feels the circulation of her blood coming to a dead-end stop. She can feel a rare shiver crawling over her body like an invisible gathering of an imagination of frigid ants. Her eyes barely make out what is going on before her, and her ears succumb to the voices spouting back and forth like a catch-and-throw game with a leather ball, minus a suitable court for an actual event and the ball.

"Reldrin, what is it of our duties now of so short notice of the Master's arrival?"

"We will need to speed up the activity of bloodflow and genetic copy. We need more feathers, furs, skins, bodily fluids. . ."

The list goes on and on endlessly, it feels.

". . .Emerald gems, a strong coating of dye, essences of fire, essen-"

"Shadow infusions. We need more elixirs, books for magics from the students and the teachers here within the school," interrupted a much deeper, yet elder voice. A hunched figure walks with heavy weight towards the human, Reldrin, the third person to ever bow towards the Master, Kryan's, intentions. The probability of new life, it was all too good to pass. The garbed figure reaches his drying green skin, tugging off the cowl of his starch white robe, revealing his Orcish features, aging silver hair pulling like static against the comfortable cotton from the back end of his head. To the forehead, however, he, too, is balding. His sagely , paling blue eyes rests towards his paired alchemists like the frigid waters from the Northernlands. His piercing gaze relished with all too much knowledge of his time and beyond to be thrown to waste, even for an Orc that once belonged to slavery. Chipped and dulling tusks protrude from the edges of his cracked lips, his chest rising and falling with steady health.

"Ah, Kel'droug, I see you have returned to us! Tell me, how is your health as of now?"

Reldrin takes the time to lift his head, nudging the back of it against the black velvet of his own cowl, revealing his questionable visage. His eyes are exotic, brightly lit olive hues mixing with a darker tint of timber gray. His pale skin reveals relative youth. Slightly unkempt locks of ebony falls flatly over his face, kept away precisely from those learning, searching eyes. It seems to fall in a sleek manner, fashioned, at the least, yet hardly dealt with. Patches of black hairs decorate his chin and cheekbones, neatly shaved and under control. The black seems to provide well contrast to his pale, vanilla skintone. His question is sounded with questionable relief and perhaps lacking of concern. No one ever knows, coming from him. The answers change as often as his quick-fused emotions.

Kel'droug, however, remained with no change of emotion from his serious outlook yet laid back reply. Others came to greet him as they went about their business. They couldn't just stop the process right then and there, they had to keep going. Those maintaining the orders and requirements, however, worked quickly and verbally over the situation at hand.

"Reldrin, do not place your worries on me. It is enough to have struggle over such a limited time for a..beautiful experiment that requires much patience and skilled work. Our current intelligence, by now, has surpassed those of the norm outside of these walls. It is thankful enough that we have been given this seclusion. My illness just comes to pass with my age. I will not live forever."

"Very well then.." the human nods, slowly, with renewed thought. Oh how he despised Kel'droug with his wit and intellect, but how he also thanked that he was there. In the end, with rekindled spirit and confidence, they will come out with the rest of their team and be given the respect and the awe for what they desired.

At long last, it has been far too long that the peoples of the world have despised our work for its quick failures, but give us the time, give us the intellect, and we will show you just how wrongly you have justified us all. You will grovel at our feet with want of this new life source. .

Noticing Kel'droug no longer standing before him, he remembers the list that the Orc gave him through words. Elixirs, and borrowed magic books.

"Ah, right, that -is- correct. We will need to be transfusing some form of magic inside the creation. But why corruptive shadows? Wouldn't that prove dangerous and leave the new beauty unstable? Pah, nevermind it. I am just here to complete the job and have my life spared from being taken by Kryan. Knowing the Master's short-fused temper, it is far more deadly than my own, that's for sure.."

Taking his leave from his spot, he resumes giving the reorganized orders and requirements to complete atleast a good portion of the creation. His eyes wander towards another sealed vault, twice the many guards maintaining order and defense around it. He thought all too much about what remained inside it, as he has never gone beyond wanting to look into it. He recalls hearing whispers through his ears, whispers that weren't human, whispers that were mostly too silent during the nights that he finally would take his leave from his shift of work. He recalls a cold aura relieving from underneath the vault door wherever it could, a cold wind at the sign of death. The guards often did not appear to hold their straight expressions during the night, often unsettled by what lies beyond the door themselves. They had to know, right? It wouldn't hurt to ask one evening, perhaps..

Not now. I must get back to the list of items we have so far and treat the animals. Soon, though.

And so he moves on from gazing at the vault far too long a moment, restraining himself from losing himself in thought.

-----------------------

She listens to the conversation unfolding before her, eyes straining to peer farther as they caught onto the unhidden heads of a relatively attractive human and a wise-looking Orc. She watches them both with as much interest as she could, though her entrapment chokes at her for some time. Why is it they are so far from her eye view? Why does she feel so high above? It is as if she is being contained somewhere she should not be. Cool vapors envelop her form, suddenly giving way to chills all over again. Why did she feel so cold? It never affected her much before. Forcing a mental shrug from the cold, she watches where the human lays his eyes upon. Another sealed vault. What is beyond that? Could it have something to deal with all those animals and these "essences" of the shadows and fires they spoke of momentarily before? Books from students..? Teachers of magic? Where could she be?..

She could only continue watching as she did before, unable to move as if she were stuck within the frame of a dead body.

~(Continuing part II later.))~

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The steel doors slam shut, steam hissing and mistifying the dimension 'round the doors. A new pair of guards take place of those that worked day hours. Their plate boots, armored with the best of armorsmith qualities, click and clack, clang and chink in an echo upon the dirtied, cold floors. One had set aside their blade, unable to withstand the sheer, cryptic atmosphere that he stood amongst his assigned comrades. He rubs his hands together, exhaling a good amount of breath to warm his hands, fingers twiddling underneath the gauntlets. Hazel orbs beam from the helmet he wore, searching through the vast sanctuary of those that called themselves The Path to Eternity. Or perhaps it had a more specific name to it, since he did not understand its meaning well. Perhaps it was to be said in another meaning, and the authorities over the school of magics had written it out in poor translation. Either case, he didn't know, and he didn't want to further his knowledge of this seclusive Order of alchemists. The hairs rise on the back of his head, however, as if he felt a sour taste of fear crawling throughout his body, his bloodstream, his vital organs. Something is out of place here, and it'd be better to know what lies around them than to remain ignorant. They are the only ones here, and to him, he felt as if they had the right to investigate at their own right of protection over their works should they need to. . .

--------

"Khaile, mate, is this really what we signed up for?"

The abrupt voice picks at the wandering Knight's skin, crawling with invisible bugs. Chills freezed over his spine, causing his blood to run thin, and cold. His entire being springs slightly. His lips quiver as though he is about to cry, though his teeth are infact chattering, and his knees are shaking. The scratchy, heavy-weighted armor embedded for protection over his body suddenly became even more uncomfortable, as if it were a burden. Still, he attempted to shrug off this uncertain atmosphere about him.

"Y-y-yes, I'm sure, Brent. The day we found the board sign is when we signed the applications, Brother, remember? The one thing we looked into and didn't care anything else about is the money! All we have to do is guard for the evening, right? Nothing is alive here excep--"

An ear-splitting shriek echoes throughout the lair of a laboratory, a cage rattling heavily with struggling effort, causing Khaile to flee and slam himself against a wall, his chest rising and falling, heartbeat rapidly beating within his ears. His hand grasps at his chest, his breaths more like pants, as if he were running for too long a time to get to his destination.

Wary eyes peer around the corner, and the other guards disregarded the shriek, as it was only a waking parrot attempting to flee its cages. It most likely knew what went on here, yet it did not have the freedom of leaving the cage, and the guards consisting of humans and elves gave minimum thought, if at all any, of why there were caged feral animals here other than for scientific means..

"Khaile, I don't like the looks of it.."

"If it ever sounded nice I don't like the sound of it, either."

Just as hopeful that the conversation would last, steam hisses in the distance. More doors? The horrific strength and frequency of them shutting was enough to make the entire foundation rumble with a tiny quake. However that was not what irked Khaile. The guards had company, and that was what did. Or maybe he was just hallucinating the noise that rippled through his ears next. The knocks against steel doors pounded with an echoe throughout the hushed halls. A ghastly moaning travels throughout what looks like endless, black corridors. Khaile's nerves were on the high end, his fingers crushing themselves against each other, hand squeezed so tight around his glaive that the blood rushed from the veins, cutting off circulation. Beads of cold sweat trickled from his forehead underneath the helmet. His eyes flicker warily from one place to the other. Silence overwhelmed the essence of his soul, dampening the burning flames of courage, or what was left of it within him.

He motioned an open-palm, signaling the knights to wait. They stood their ground, awaiting for the moment they should need to approach and side by Khaile. His breaths come forth raggedly, anticipating with anxiety what he would find. Seeing as nothing peered from the darkness, which was something that always made his skin crawl, he orders lowly,"I want you all to stay put. I'll make a route from there and back.."

--------------------

She watched from above, able to see through the walls and corridors, able to watch the guards. However, what she couldn't see was what lurked in the darkness beyond her from whence the low moanings came from, the beatings against an extra pair of steel doors. The hisses were unlike the mechanisms that she had heard before. Gears screeched suddenly, light sparks of electricity sprinkling from the exhaust of mist. Disproportion ruins the makeup of the steel doors, indentions obviously clear. Her lips quiver lightly, unable to decide wether to stay still or attempt in gathering the Guard's attention. Something was here. Something inhuman, wether it had the development of one or not. Her eyes frantically search with their unfailing sight. Strange enough she can look beyond walls, which she remembered unable to do for what seems so shortly a time ago. She watches the lone guard, shaking by the legs, the knees, his courage devoured and cowardice sinking in. Videlle could only hope the Guard finds what is there, though the back of her hairs rises, and son she begins to realize the periling doom that awaited the knight..

------continued from new post.---

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Naheal slowly walked down the path from his home. He had left what devices he had made while in the house there, no longer able to even bear them. Get out of my home. And leave the Malastar name when you do. He closed his eyes.

I'm alone now. Before, I had a memory of loving parents... but now... He shoved his hands into pouches to his sides. While in there, he felt around, feeling the warmth of a pearl he had enchanted not so long ago. He smiled. No, I'm not alone. There's always Jazziks. And so many others, too. People I know and trust.

He gripped the pearl and concentrated. Jazziks... How are you? He sent to her. It was a sort of mental communication between both of them, giving a connection letting each know how the other was doing, but he still would ask. His own way of saying hello.

Naheal!? Naheal! Are you alright? Where are you? He was relieved. It was good to hear her voice again. After such a long time when she was gone, he had almost forgotten what her voice sounded like.

I'm... I'm fine Jazziks, I... He opened his eyes and looked around. He couldn't see anything anymore. It was as if the area around him was swallowed in a sort of thick, neigh-solid black. I don't know... where I'm at...

As he looked around, he could make out a figure. It looked like a Draenei at first, but he didn't quite get a good feeling from them. Almost as if... Fel magic... He's Eredar...

Fear began to swell in him. Naheal, don't give up. I'll come find you. We'll make it through this! I'll come fi...ou... I've go... The transmition was being interrupted, but he could still feel the connection. She still had the pearl.

"She'll betray you." The figure said cooly.

He pulled out the pearl and looked at it for a moment. Just then, the connection between him and Jazziks snapped. Someone else had her pearl.

"She'll track you with that pearl. A demon has it now. One which works for enemies of yours. They'll track you down and kill you. If you're lucky, that is."

He looked up at the eredar. "How can I trust you, demon? You, who has forsaken your vows to the light for power."

The eredar chuckled. "Oh? And you trust her? One who's entire purpose not even four months ago was to slaughter Blood Knights by the hundreds to bring in an ancient hell-bent on devouring the world and all it's inhabitants?"

Naheal glared up at the eredar as he pointed behind Naheal. Naheal jerked around to see a fel hound charging at him. Reflexively, Naheal reached to grab his mace to attack the creature, glowing with holy light. He swung the mace at the creature, releasing his seal in a judgement and bringing up another.

The hound growled and biting not at Naheal, but the light seal he held within him to empower his attacks, infused with his own life-force. Though the hunter was successful in devouring something magical on him, it was unable to devour that seal. In that instant, Naheal's mace came down on the creature's head, then was quickly brought back around into the creature's ribs, sending it flying. When the creature hit the ground and began to charge again, Naheal brought a hand up, sending a quick bolt of holy energy at the demon, burning it to ash.

With the hunter down, Naheal placed the mace back in it's harness across his back, and reached into his pouch. It's gone. My pearl... where did it go?

The eredar was clapping. "Well played, Sir Knight. Too bad he got your pearl, now isn't it? Oh well. At least you'll be safe from... Ooop. Spoke too soon. Good luck." He turned and walked back into the dark as Naheal glanced around him.

All he heard was the whizzing of an arrow and he spun, attempting to dodge. Though the arrow missed his chest, it struck him in the shoulder. He grunted and looked up at his attacker, only to find one he thought he could trust.

Jazziks... No. How could you?

He unholstered his mace and began to advance as he heard growling around him. Familiar growling. The alpha's here, too. Great. Hopefully I survive this.

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The seemingly interminable corridors only led the Knight further downwards the hallways. His eyes searched frantically for any signs of thieves of valuable information. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, other than the dampness of the air, the stench of urine and polluted water mixing to a toxic o-zone. Still he wanders, knowing full well he should return, but his mind seems elsewhere, drawn to the impenetrable darkness. Each and every footstep he took devoured him further into this portal to evil. Nothing could come forth good from where he stepped into next. Beyond him he saw a feint light of neon blue, flaring distantly as if it were an entire entrance way to another section of the laboratory, but for a reason more he knew this could not be real. He noticed the flicker of the orb, and then watched it sway and swerve with agile movements. He suddenly felt nausea, anxiety, apprehension..something was not right. That was no mere light..this area looks to have been closed off for years at a time without power. Why did he draw ever closer, however? What lured him so greatly that he would not turn away? The knight readied his glaive, ready to swipe at the first thing that moved. Time seemed to slow down for him, and a feeling that weakened his muscles made him almost want to fall limp. Paranormal activity suffocated him, caused his figure to jerk and tremble, his breath sucked in lightly before heaved with great pressure. He could feel many things passing through him, and this was no mere sign of humanoid spirit...

------------------------

Videlle finds herself gazing upon the knight, and then watching what he was gazing upon. She saw beyond its orb-like figure. It was indeed a spirit, but it was nothing that she had ever seen before. The limbs of this..thing, were twisted, its eyes a pure black, a void of the purest evil, its stature of medium size. It whispers violence, it holds a searing hatred, and with it the sensation of enjoying others' pain and loss. Its heart, shriveled and caked with dead blood, beat slowly from its transparent chest. It enjoyed torment so much that it would positively kill to satisfy its crave for bloodshed. Leathery skin upon its lips peel back to reveal picked flesh and rotted teeth. With a decayed grin, it was ready to kill. It would have its vengeance of those that ripped apart its soul, and this lone human would be its meal.

"Run, Knight! You must flee! You are no match for--"

The words roll right off her tongue, though her heed going unnoticed. Her voice is surprisingly weak, as if she were near death. An unknowing fear grasps at her heart, clutching it with delicate fingers, though crushing it with its mystery. Her torso breaks free from the paralysis she felt, and she suddenly leans in closer to her imprisonment. Her skin is mildly tickled, her wild mane brushing over her naked figure with a desirable appearance, but that was the least of her thoughts. Her palms reach forward, awaiting to leap from her confinement, only to find their imprints against an invisible casing. Her deep, emerald beauties shine forth from the lone tube, flickering from one spot to the other. She beats her palms against the casing, her lungs choking with need to be free, her heart pounding with the poison that which is despair. The thrashing movements of waters within this prison keep cause sher mind to scatter. Her mind is crushed by the thought of invisibility towards mankind, though she still feels more concern of the Knight than she does herself. Her brows mildly shape the pained expression on her face, the worrysome thought of an unneeded death. Her crimson lips part, and her tongue forces the next words of warning, but nothing sounds. The realization came to her mind like a swift blade turned to impale your back. She failed to notice it before. She foresaw the gore before her, the flashing images of bone jerked from within the body, armor and weapon dissolving into boiling material, the head tumbling to the floors a few thirty feet away from the body's position, entrails spilled from the torso, the steaming scent of burning flesh and bubbling crimson spraying the walls and the floors with itself. Skin dangling tenuously from bone, and flesh devoured by the one thing she never once knew to exist. Bile rises to her throat, stinging it with the acidic fluids from her stomache. She doubles over, curled against herself to fight it back..

-----------------------

The knight wandered beyond towards the orb, only to find there was nothing there. The wraith had vanished, and he was only standing alone. Never once did he hear the poundings of hand against casing, nor did he hear a voice. It was as if reliving a moment in history. His ears are alert to vicious, abnormal rumblings, croaking groans, droplets of pungent water..

He knew something else was here, and so he stepped once. Doors slammed shut behind him, and he throws himself around, palms curled into fist, beating against them, only to find that they were nearly crushed. Mere flashes from severed wiring provides what little light it can, and he seemed as if he were merely locked in an unused room.

He was mistaken. Flesh creatures, things that were forcefully morphed together by no use of the mother earth's abilities. Their deformed figures slithered closer to the Knight, whom knew no way out. Their genetic makeup bubbled. Alien, though beastial roars filled with bacterial breath escaped the monstrous apparitons before him. He attempted to flee, but before he could even yet tense a muscle, they leaped for their unsuspecting prey.

An inhumane scream rips through the sound barrier of the laboratory, only to crumble to mere gurgling, alerting the guards, but none were too courageous to take after the Knight. Brent stirred from his restless state, and he jumped every which way to and fro.

"Khaile!" he whimpers, though the guards taking next in command ordered them all to stay put..

Regret poured into Brent's mind. He wanted to leave right then and there and never return to this forsaken place. Those he worked to protect were no saviours..

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Some days she heard him try to fight; some days he came in and stared into space until darkness overtook them; some days she never caught a sign of him and didn't know what he did. Tassha didn't bother counting the days but she figured it had to have been over a hundred, maybe a hundred and fifty, that they had been here. They never ate, and they never remembered sleeping, and each day began exactly the same.

She made her way through the books.

To him, she may as well have not even been there anymore; she wasn't even a target for his frustrations or scapegoat for his troubles anymore. She truly had become meaningless. Similarly, the despair he descended into was meaningless to her -- not because it didn't matter, but because nothing could be done, especially not by her. And in and of itself, his despair served no purpose. Suffering without reason. Pain without point.

This was the last book from the bookcase, though actually one of the first books given to novices of the Light. It was the same one she had read aloud to Thoraggar after Elek had returned her to him, a lifetime ago.

The Holy Light teaches that there is a connection between the self and the universe. This connection manifests as what we feel through both senses and emotions. When a person is moved, through seeing something breathtaking or feeling love for another, that emotion connects him to the universe. Experiencing the emotion ensures that he exists, as something within him felt the emotions or processed the sensual awareness. Because he exists, so must the universe that gave him that feeling. From there, he can act upon the universe, causing more changes to create feeling in others. Thus, the followers of Holy Light seek to make the world a better place by being true to their own emotions.

Tassha knew she existed; she knew she could act upon the universe. But following her emotions had only gotten herself, and Elek, where they were now. What meaning did these words have? She could find none.

Slowly she closed the book, the last page read. Elek didn't respond as she got up to replace the book, although she could have strewn the entire contents of the bookcase on the ground and tomorrow it would be tidy again. The girl paused, looking down at him where he sat, his back to her.

He breathed heavily, shaking slightly. A gentle pity came to her. He was much less equipped to cope with their situation than she was. He deserved it much less; for even what he had done was not unjustifiable. If he had done anything else in his life to deserve this, Tassha didn't know. She had to wonder if he was only trapped here because of what she had done to entitle herself to this hell.

"For what's it worth," she said, "I'm sorry."

He shook his head, turning his head to peer over his shoulder at her. Beads of sweat dribbled down his brow, and his skin was pale, almost colorless. "No," he said, gasping for a breath and appearing to be biting something back, "it's not you who should be sorry." The Blood Knight continued, each phrase and word was spoken as if it were through great pains to do so. "You've suffered more than you could have ever deserved. More than you should have. All because of me. It's not you who should apologize... it's me."

Tassha looked back at him for a long moment, weighing his words. The difficulty with which he spoke... She smiled sadly. "Do you think an apology is what it will take to release you from this place?"

"No... I don't think that's what it will take to get away from here."

He wavered where he sat, his pale gaze going unfocused. Tassha was silent, watching him and wondering what had gotten into him.

"I'm sorry," he repeated, "but perhaps... maybe you will... wake up in your own bed tomorrow."

The Sin'dorei closed his eyes and drew a breath, slumping over to the side shortly after. Blood covered his wrists and lap, coating his armor and the floor beneath him. The smell had long become so familiar to Tassha that she hadn't noticed it.

For a time she looked over the Blood Knight as he slipped from unconsciousness into death, his breathing growing shallower, then stopping entirely; then she walked over to the bookcase to pick up the first book on the shelf and begin to reread it.

He was as distant from salvation as she, but far more lost. Maybe in time he would reach some understanding, as she had.

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