80 levels ago

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80 levels ago

Post  Rem on Sat 17 Oct 2009, 11:11

Closing in on the first big goal, a little write-up about how things may have started.

Chapter 1

He was the youngest of three brothers. A very young Night-elf of just about 150 years - old enough to remember the time before the War. To remember how his older brother, a druid with heart and soul, took him, still a child, on journeys through the vast and lush woods of Ashenvale. Showing him the secrets and the beauty of nature, of growing and living things, of beast and plant. He had considered druidism himself. Once he would be old enough to make such weighty decisions, he, too, would study the ways of Cenarius. Something deep in his mind was not quite at peace with the notion, but watching his brother's unity with the surrounding world made him want to be just like that. And now he stood here. Near the southern border of what was left of Ashenvale. At his beloved brother's grave.

His gaze wandered further to the south, to the fortifications of an Orcish outpost. Orcs. A mere 10 years ago he didn't even know such a thing existed. No one did. But the Orcs did not kill his brother. Sure, they killed Cenarius, and burned half the forest - apparently being under the influence of some demonic curse, which was now, apparently, lifted. Which apparently was supposed to be their ultimate amnesty. He didn't like the Orcs. He didn't like what they did, and continued doing, to the nature his brother was so attached to. But they didn't kill his brother. The Burning Legion did. His brother died in defence of what he loved. And, to be fair, if it was not for the Orcs' fierce fighting at their side to fend off the Legion, it probably would have killed everyone else as well. Literally. They tried it before, ten thousand years ago, according to legends that already seemed like myths - before it happened again, and they were certainly not out to make friends or take prisoners.

He lowered his gaze again and looked at the slightly crumbled tombstone, the sunken earth. Like a few of the others nearby, his brother's grave was empty. This was neither the work of the Orcs, nor of the Burning Legion. This was the work of the Lich King. He sighed. Not too long ago the world seemed like a peaceful place. A nocturnal forest, that grew over and healed the wounds of the past. And now, all of a sudden, there was a villain and an adversary wherever one looked. Bizarre. Not as bizarre as in the northern reaches of the Eastern Kingdoms, where, as he heard, one half of the family would die and then come back undead, to kill the other half. No, the Scourge wasn't ravaging through Kalimdor. But some of the stronger souls, so they say, some of those who stood out in life, in whichever way, fell under the calling of the Lich King and were raised to serve as his death knights, their souls to be tortured beyond death. He chuckled grimly. That probably was a compliment. His brother's exceptional bond with nature earned him a place in the afterlife. As a murderous lich, plaguing the living. So much for druidism then, he thought, and turned to walk away.

Chapter 2

"No, no, it doesn't work that way," the oldest brother said, hardly suppressing laughter. He was more than ten times as old as his sibling, whose request, whose desire, grim and resolute, yet youthfully naive, amused him greatly. "We can't just ask Elune to set everything right, revenge the fallen, cleanse the land and rebuild what's ruined."

"But you are a priest," persisted the younger. "I could become a priest, too. Together we could pray to her. She's powerful, I know it. I've seen it. If we all unite and call upon her, why could she not .. well .. fix it all?"

"Because that's just not how things work," replied the priest, still amused. "Elune is powerful, yes, but if she would steer all things and guide all paths all the time, what would the worth of our free will still be? Would we be intelligent beings then, or just her toys, moving at her command and dancing when she seeks joy? She loves all her children, and that's why she wants us to find our ways and to live our lives."

"Maybe it's better to be a happy toy than a sad intelligent being...," he mumbled.

"Maybe. Except you wouldn't know if you're sad or happy then, since you'd be a mere toy."

"Oh, come on!"

"Yes, I know," said the priest, becoming quite serious. "Sometimes I wish things were just right as well. Sometimes I wish there would be no wrong, no matter what price we'd have to pay for it. And I certainly wish our brother was still with us. I know his loss pains you greatly. It pains me as well. As much as it pains me, that having led such a rich and fulfilled life and having died for such an honourable cause, he was sentenced to be torn away and to roam somewhere, a painful abomination of himself."

Both brothers swallowed some tears. Some they did not swallow. A few moments passed in silence.

"But...," the younger started again, "but there must be something I can do. There must be something Elune can do."

"You can. And she can. But let's be honest," the priest smiled at his brother warmly, "the way of the priest is not your way. Neither was the way of the druid. We always knew you're not watching the sentinels dreamily just because they're well built," he added with a smirk, "but because you wanted to be like them."

The young brother blushed deeply. "What .. are you trying to tell me?"

"I'm telling you," replied the older with a strong voice, "that you shall follow the calling of your heart. I'm telling you, that Elune will be with you, wherever you go. She will shed light on your path, but it is you who will have to walk it. She will give strength to your arm, but it is you who will have to lead the stroke. She will grant focus to your vision, but it will be you who will have to tell right from wrong, and lies from truth. I am telling you to go forth and to be a knight in Elune's name, in your brother's name, because that is what you always wanted to do. And I'm telling you," he smiled again, "that my thoughts will be with you, wherever you go."

"Thank you," the younger nodded slowly, moved and touched, "thank you brother."

Chapter 3

Spiders. Why did it have to be spiders. Why did all nature, calm and peaceful not long ago, suddenly turn against them. Against everything. But enough of that, he thought. Enough moaning and complaining. A warrior isn't meant to complain about what it is he has to fight. He has to fight whatever vileness threatens what he swore to protect. So he shook himself and pressed on. And hardly noticed how he took another sting to the leg. Yet another little sting, nothing he could not shrug off. But it added up. Slowly, his blood was filling with venom. Without him properly noticing, his vision was becoming more blurred from fight to fight, his arms more limp. Yes, he killed this spider, as he did the previous. But the next one seemed to move so quick .. or was it him moving slower? Was it here .. or there? He was sure there were two of them just a moment ago. Where did the second go? He felt tired. He wanted to sleep. Just curl up under a tree, or at the shore of a lake, or in his parents' house and sleep.

Reality pulled him back. The spider was attacking. So fast. He could hardly follow its motions. He missed an incoming blow. He missed another. He felt his strength slipping away, sapped by poison and small stabs. Would he have to creep back to his people, in desperate need of healing, displaying an inability to solve even the simplest task? Would he need to be rescued? Would he even survive? Was this the end? Would the younger brother of a powerful priest and a devoted druid find his end in a spider den? It seemed so sad, and at the same time, strangely fitting. He could stop wondering what he can do to make things right. And, most important, he could finally sleep...

Suddenly, a surge went through his body. A tickling starting at his toes and running up to the very tips of his long ears. He could almost feel how the venom was being pressed out of his veins, how his wounds were closing. He was feeling stronger, healthier, fresher with every passing moment. Rejuvenated, one would say, if he was not so young to begin with. His vision returned, and so did his reflexes. He saw a claw speeding towards his head, and, without even thinking, his shield was up to block the blow, while in the next instant he swung his sword and drove it deep into the beast's head, sending it to the ground, collapsing with an ugly shriek. Then he turned around. A beautiful Night-elf, probably about his age, was standing there.

"Hello," he said, "and thank you ... I guess."

"You are quite welcome," she gave back cheerfully.

"Who are you?"

"I am Alquiel. A druid. And you?"

"I am Remaglar. Just call me Rem. I think I am a warrior. Or, trying to be."

"Oh, you're doing fine," she exclaimed.

Suddenly she glanced behind him and shot her arms in the air. He swirled around just to see a pillar of moonlight hitting a spider that attempted to sneak up on him, followed by a bolt of pure nature's wrath. Coming to his senses, he spun around full circle, using the swing to cleanly decapitate the startled spider.

"Wow," he commented.

"What?" she asked.

"That was .. quite a showing. I thought druids are mostly concerned with healing and soothing."

"Yeah, yeah," she rolled her eyes, sending her elongated blue eyebrows into motion, "I hear that all the time. You're supposed to do this - you're not supposed to do that. You're supposed to be like this - not like that. I tell you what. To me, druidism means serving the nature - in every possible way. Keeping up the balance of things. And that means healing where it's due, but also raining destruction where it's required. And you know what," she grinned, "I quite enjoy that second part as well, not any less than the first!"

"Apologies," he responded, suddenly laughing with a relief he could not yet quite define, "I didn't mean to offend."

"Ah, no worries," she said, smiling again. "Come! Nature's balance demands me to kill those spiders. And I just can't stand them being up close and personal to me. Let's do it together. It looks like we complement each other quite well."

"Let's!"

He turned around and charged deeper into the den. Now, finally, everything felt good. Everything made sense. Everything was going to be right.


Last edited by Rem on Sat 13 Feb 2010, 06:22; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 80 levels ago

Post  Alquiel on Sat 30 Jan 2010, 11:24

She gazed at the spider busy with spinning its web. Her head was filled with all sorts of thoughts, and none of them were to do with the moment at hand. She didn't need to listen to the words, she knew too well that no matter how hard she'd tried, swords were not for her. The last time she'd attempted to use one, she'd nearly killed her tutor, then dropped it by mistake. It was a wonder she still had all her fingers. They'd despaired of her skill, but couldn't help admire her determination at the time, while thinking of different means to keep her as far away from any form of blade as was elvishly possible.

The spider had finished spinning its web and was now sat in the middle, patiently waiting...

“I'm very much afraid this path isn't for you, dear child.. ” The words pulled her back to the here and now with a jolt of shock. Despite the kindness in the voice, she felt cold, frightened. Wasn't this what the women did? What was left to her now?

A fly landed in the middle of the web, realised its mistake too late, struggled but for no purpose. The spider skittered towards it, dancing its way through the trap.

Her face must have betrayed her. The sentinel paused before continuing. “I know it's traditionally our role...however.....” There was an uncomfortable pause. She didn't need to tell the girl she could never be a sentinel.

The spider was busy wrapping its victim tightly in silk now. All struggling had ceased.

She felt for the fly. Trapped, tied up. A dead end.

“Is there anything else that calls to you?” The night elf shook her head, trying not to cry.
“No...nothing.....I...not.....able...to defend these lands......I thought...please excuse me....” She fled before any further questions could be asked.

She hid away for a time. Sat by the lake, gazing into the waters each evening, wishing for an answer, struggling to find a way, a path. Sometimes she'd forget about herself, lost in the moment, lost in the beauty of the surroundings. She'd always known how much these lands meant to her. And now she hated her inability to defend them, she hated herself. She understood the need for harsh measures better than most. To live, the wolf must kill the rabbit, the spider the fly.....The balance of nature was delicate and at times unkind. And she was not, by any means, a gentle creature.

Finally she came to a conclusion that, as is generally the way with important matters, should have been all too obvious for her. She returned to the sentinel who had been harsh but kind, and told her of her decision. Surprisingly, the woman didn't laugh. Instead she penned a few words on a sheet of parchment, and handed it to the girl with directions. “This should help you on your way, it's a letter of introduction.” She met the girl's eyes and for once there was a hint of a hopeful smile. “ It is never easy fighting against tradition. I wish you luck.”

That last fight had been tough, and somehow she'd managed to keep everyone in one piece. She wasn't quite sure how she'd managed it, but they'd gotten through together, and were now stood on the deck of an airship, having escaped the grasp of the Lich King. She slumped against a mast and smiled to herself, catching her breath, exhausted but exhilarated. She wished that her mentor could see her now...


It had felt like such a long time ago that she'd made that decision. It felt like a long time since she'd handed that letter to the druid in Moonglade, and waited for him to laugh. Instead, he'd taken a long and hard look at her, before nodding acceptance. Some of the lessons had been easier than others. She'd devoured the details of the land, of the ways of nature eagerly. She had learned to wield the power of balance swiftly. Even wielding a staff had been relatively easy. But she had struggled desperately when it came to nurturing, to healing, to caring. And like a sweet berry in the midst of the brambles, it taunted her..... “Go,” he had said to her. “Go, find your way in the world out there. Make a difference. And if you don't look so hard, it may find you ....”

It had felt like a long time too since she'd wandered into a glade full of spiders, lured by the sounds of combat. A young Night Elf was struggling amidst them, and it was evident he needed help - despite his valiant attempts to fend them off. She paused for the briefest of moments. Should she heal him? Should she interfere with nature weeding out the weak? But he looked far from weak, and he'd moved so naturally with the fight.... and she was here. Walking away was tantamount to killing him, and she didn't think she could do that. Besides, he was fighting against tradition too, and she understood all too well the difficulties that brought. She took a deep breath and let loose her power. Afterwards, he'd looked both grateful and relieved when she'd offered him company on the road to adventure. It made sense,they were both travelling the same way, there was more safety in numbers, and much as she hated to admit to it, she was beginning to find a solitary road lonely.

The Gnome mage looked at her. “You did well there.” he said. “Thought I was a goner.” She smiled at him. “It's what I do.” she replied. The Night Elf warrior smiled.
“And you're good at what you do.” He waited awhile until the others had gone. “So....I hear there are foulnesses still out there.....Care to put on your killing feathers and come and help this warrior do some damage to them?” She laughed.
“With pleasure!”

She'd found her place at last.
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