A Fel-Fire Pyre

•September 10, 2016 • Leave a Comment

“We were not prepared… This world is doomed to the pyre. Petty interests, even my own, damn us all to such failures… Such as the immortal pursuit may be, even the longest lived are destined to die, for if not by time’s tireless fury… Then at the hands of the envious and fearful of power.”

“Look upon these great hosts of influence and power. Silvermoon. Stormwind. Orgrimmar. Lordaeron. See them for all that they are and could be at their greatest heights of passion and commitment.” I stride back and forth within my inner chamber, hair pulled into a messy bun as I converse with the mirror in my hand. “Tell me truly, is there any such worth to standing so low beside them now? You have proven time and again how miscalculated intervention can be fatal.” I saunter into a nearby corner and rest against the familiar stone walls that mark my solitary post.

“I have only proven what pettiness might attain; Look to the affairs of the Alliance and Horde. See the vanity that even now consumes them with the enemy standing before the gates, howling for blood and demanding the souls of the weak and innocent.” There is a moment of laughter shared between the mirror’s image and I. “But of course, such faults of mortals cannot be mended – even in the face of adversity so adamant and surely final…” The image in the mirror breaks into two, splitting the wide divide of a figure both holy and unnatural. “And did you not once lose such faith in the face of certain cataclysm with the coming of the supposed World-Breaker? Did you not sit and await the coming tide only to be disappointed in the ultimate end?” A genuine smile takes my lips and I nod in reply.

“The Red Magister was far from an optimist, and even in his more glorified moments, desired such an ending to his tale. The poetic act of exacting his revenge just before the world might be wiped clean… Though even of the parallel worlds, we’ve seen what such sorrows might reap – we’ve our own Eirwen to thank for that insight.” Emotion pulls at my heart, nostalgia perhaps, or the longing of something long lost. I quickly steady myself as I continue this conversation with faces past. “Perhaps not, but I was at all times pragmatic. I confess the truth of foresight to be arrogance in the end, for all my machinations had at once run their course and I was left to no purpose but to repeat the motions for fear of lost direction… I did not wish to face the world, as you now find yourself woefully conflicted.” He was right, of course. I did not wish to entangle myself so publicly or among the affairs of men yet again, so infantile were my resurgent powers and uncertain motive and direction. How could this form, now endowed of such dark magicks, be any different or diverse from that of it’s predecessor?

“…Only by first having faith of one’s self and conscience of the moral sensibilities.” The holy man had answered, aware of my thoughts. We three. The damned clergyman, the vengeful mourner, and now… the hopeful redeemer. “Do we need take the stage? Must we enact the awe of our audience? Can we not be content as mere supporting actors along another’s crusade?” The Magister asked as I moved from the wall to the nearby table to examine the weapons I had laid out upon it. “T’is a divergent path among many you’d elected to pursue.. Yours was far too glamorous. Too decidedly controversial. My own must be given measure and grace… Were not your own wishes that this life be one the better formed of mistakes past?”

“But of course, you have the right of it. In the end, however, it can only be decided upon by you whom hold this blood stained mantle I have passed along, for she whom keeps company among herself and seeks counsel within a mirror is indeed lost as I was already.” He says softly, a cynical smile pulling at his lips before the two fade into nothingness and I see only myself. These brilliant green orbs along my face, blazing out of all control. Fear takes me as I set my hand atop the hilt of my sword. “A terrible curse, to be so great a fool as you. One might only hope this fel-fire pyre serves not as a wake, but as a lesson.. For you are both correct. I have waited far too long as it is by my lonesome.”

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Suramar

•August 28, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Even I, for all the foresight that I possess could never have anticipated such a turn of tidings… Much as the isles of ancient Suramar, to their core all have been split and shaken… worse yet, a greater evil stands atop the pedestal – one that should never have been conjured. This, however, is the hand we are dealt. It is to the whole of Azeroth that must determine how to play it.

Legion

•July 27, 2016 • Leave a Comment

The cycles of despair continue through me, and I bear that burden with the foresight I possess through new eyes. Eyes unclouded by hatred, that turn away from that which formed the foundation of the Red Magister. The necessary evil, may have his rest. That is but one life, one chain in a series of links. This one shall be put to better use, as I examine the disorder of clashing realities, and afford only moderate intervention… For a much greater threat looms on the horizon; One foretold of in teachings ignored and history plundered without regard. Anetho Dawnpride walked the shattered isles, and traversed the long halls of Suramar… The very same that Gul’dan himself sought when he emerged in Azeroth. There was purpose, and if the shadow creeping behind me forming violent eyes is any indication, so too is there renewed purpose in this cycle of despair. One I accept, and intend to shoulder, with the many mistakes of three lives upon my heart to guide me forward into a new day. One cast in brimstone, rather than iron.”

 

It has been very nearly two years since my fore bearer, Anetho Luem’Ray Dawnpride, had perished. A legacy of betrayals, mockery, vengeance and utterly damning actions surrounded in lies and rumor based upon words of the ill informed, and dull of thought. He was a terribly cruel man, to be certain, but indisputably intelligent… His failing however, was the result of egotism and callousness. He had succumbed to the hatred that no longer had purpose, and cast the embers of his once raging inferno unto the collective beings of the world.

Even now, I am left to ponder had he not been afflicted with such a horrid handicap, would he yet have a purpose to the world? Would he be a valuable piece upon the board that forms our great game? No. His was the role of ferocity and conviction. Impulse and greed. Tragedy. This Harbinger of Despair has indeed run it’s course, and with teachings borrowed of his own earliest painful cries of life, and the Tome of Whispering Knowledge he has inadvertently given purpose to a new form.

His knowledge is my own. His power. His memories… and with them, all that he had accomplished; This form however, has given something he did not possess. Patience. Even now I silently watch from afar, in this yet vestal form, awaiting the first sin that must be cast in the name of such ‘Greater Good’ that must surely reign above. Long did he predict the coming fires… even as he made pilgrimage to it’s heart. Even now, I am filled with his smug satisfaction as the hellish energies coalesce and grow, the fires spurred to greater intensity through unseen forces as long had he predicted.

The Harbinger of Despair is a mantle easily dismissed, for it has no place in the modern world… Let the memory fade and give way to this generation’s guardian. Let it sit forever in the minds of those affected, and pass easily thereafter… For we’ve no need of such Harbingers. This form is born of sin and therefor might do little else. It shall drink of the blood, and burn of the same fires that Anetho had forced to heel. It shall not stand above nor below the collective it is meant to safeguard, but ever beside… and though cruelty may be familiar, it shall be of heart that it draws purpose. This solitary reflection upon past lives and magic must needs come to it’s inevitable close, for the Legion cometh… and this time, none shall be spared the flame.

Come now, ye heroes. Rise and fulfill your destined part. As with the Martyr Magister, shall we all find ourselves in the coming fire… For through flame or water, we must all be baptized.

Dreams are the Voice of Life

•August 28, 2015 • Leave a Comment

“We’re all heroes, Asleon; Some are just slower than others.”

-Grand Marshal Bureston Langley-

Without the influence of the hypnotist to guide me in the waning hours of the night, I stumbled through a torrential onslaught of visions flashing faster than I could comprehend in my own amateur attempt at mimicking his craft. I see Anetho Dawnpride leaping from the waterfall to certain death, only to wash up on a desolate shore and wander aimlessly towards the infantile reconstruction effort that was to be Quel’Thalas. I see Jaedn Scrywind, buried deep in tomes and sorcery beyond what I thought her capable of. There is a family, commoners that would send their child to the clergy in hopes of a better life – unknowingly damning him to a tragic fate… and then I see his last living friend, my friend, clad in armor upon his knees.

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The Grand Marshal kneels atop the spire of Icecrown Citadel, pledging himself before our Prince as I had in days relived in frequent memories. His resolve has been shattered, his will bent, and his mind broken before the storm. He surrenders himself to Arthas, ignoring the broken remnants of the Argent Crusade and the reanimated corpses of it’s greatest champions behind him. He keeps his head low as he speaks, asserting that he has no cause left to crusade – no realm left to defend. He begs that it be our Lord Menethil that takes him, as he had in life. Lightning streaks across the skies and there is a tense silence in the aftermath of an explosive thunderclap.

WoWScrnShot_071315_172220Without words, the Lich King raises Frostmourne to the skies above and ensnares Langley’s soul. He is pulled upright by invisible forces, stunned. His skin grows pale and his eyes fall sullen. His rifle falls to the ground, cracking the ice as surely as his own spirit was under the dark influence of the runic blade. As the violet beam fades, he falls lifelessly to the ground. Nothing follows this display – he is not raised as another husk in the unstoppable army that he fought against; Rather he is collected by a deceased Blood Elf – and led away from the Frozen Throne, down the thousand steps to the base of the citadel where he is laid to rest at the very feet of his most hated enemies. The blizzards bury his body in snow, his flesh slowly stripping away to the bone – and they to dust, leaving only the armor of a fallen kingdom to mark his tale.

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I see him again, in all his splendor at the forefront of the Alliance-Horde conflict as a resolved leader. Hardened by his many defeats, and tempered for war. He stands as one of many vanguards of the Alliance, having found acceptance among Stormwind’s finest. His loyalties are tied to men rather than nations, having shed the shackles that so bound Anetho to his fate, and carves out his own without fear of the future, and consideration of the past. The epitome of all that Bureston could ever be is represented as he signals the charge that would ensure the foundation of an Alliance stronghold in a foreign realm.

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He would always remember the Prince he swore to serve, the kingdom he’d failed, and the friends he had lost… Though their memories would drive him ever onward, not as the ‘Dark Knight of Lordaeron’ but as a paragon of chivalry and justice. The very same he embodied when first Asleon De’Forte had met him in service of the crown. In time, the attributes that made him great would cement his legend… and fill the coffers of his heavenly reward.

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Simultaneously, I see Bureston, Liaskar, Asleon, and the many people of Lordaeron praising the return of their King, Arthas Menethil, showering him in peacebloom as he joins a just crusade in the name of Humanity. The celebratory cheers are deafening as he strides towards the gates, an army at his back. Many know his rule to be founded in wisdom and strength; Exercising a fair, but strong, hand in his affairs. Through him, Lordaeron has prospered and remains the seat of power for the Alliance. A reality made possible through the intervention of fate… in a world without the influence of Ner’zhul, Medivh, or the resulting tragedies of their intrusion. A world bought through a savagely fierce battle and secured in sacrifice. One that neither Asleon, or Bureston as I know them shall ever be afforded… and yet, just as realized and deserved for them as the world I now wake to is to me.

“That which was must always be.”

-Bronze Dragonflight Philosophy-

Each image I’ve observed, I know in my heart to be real. Parallel entities alongside further parallels defying the natural laws governing the study of chronomancy… and the rigid tenants of the Bronze Dragons, demonstrating that the flow of time, in it’s own isolated instance of existence is perhaps the only truth to define the word ‘reality’. I wipe the sweat from my brow and acknowledge the sentiments of each world, each divergent possibility in which I do not exist as I am today, as a victory that was never required.

But today, in this world, in -my- reality… I am still the Harbinger of Despair; and my work is far from over. Having awoken from a sleepless dream, to forge myself anew, I prepare to entangle myself in the world once again

Cycles of Despair

•August 6, 2015 • Leave a Comment

The world doesn’t need Guardians or Gods – it needs but a single champion working in darkness that others may shine victoriously.”

-Anetho Dawnpride-

I examine myself in the mirror, playing with my long red locks of silken hair. The face looking back at me is both familiar and foreign to me as the memories of three lives slowly intermingle. The torrents of emotion and confusion come and go much as they had when first I arrived upon the shores of Quel’Thalas those many years ago; The only difference in the scenario I’ve woven for myself is that I possess this enchanted vanity mirror. With it, the transition of mind and soul is less one-sided. Unlike the cultist whom lost her memories when her soul was bound to the body of the Lordaeron Clergyman, Asleon De’Forte, I retain the experiences of both he, and the resulting Red Magister that assumed the name Anetho Dawnpride. The woman in the mirror before me contributed little in terms of useful information or trade skills, though she has proven to be an excellent conduit in channeling mana. With the Tomb of One, I need not start from the beginning, but rather I may accrue levels of power equal to, or perhaps in time superior to, the heights of Anetho Dawnpride at his prime during the events of the Cataclysm.

The flows of magic are far easier to control in this vessel, perhaps due in part to the fact that she had not embraced the holy arts prior to embracing both the energies of Fel and Shadow, or perhaps because there is an absence of rage that is equally foreign to me. Where once thoughts and heart raced furiously, only quiet and paced thought reigns. It is strange, even as I attempt to force feelings of hatred and anxiety regarding those I’d fought in the past, they do not echo with so much as a fraction of the intensity that consumed Anetho Dawnpride. I feel purpose, and conviction still when I think upon corrupting what remains of their teachings that have been passed on to those who would plunder the darkest secrets, but there is nothing forcing a sense of urgency or aggression within me. In the silence and reflection, I can see with clarity what Anetho Dawnpride was… A man caught in his own despair and suffering; One plagued with memories of two lives, unable to exist within either. His body had been corrupted from within by the darkness that swelled within the soul not rightly his own… Yet it was this union that would ironically redeem the very nature of who I am now.

Without the memories of the Twilight’s Hammer cultist that spawned the events leading to the ultimate failure of their experiment, and the birth of Anetho Dawnpride, the soul of the woman, my soul, is now perhaps a tint lighter than it began. Perhaps even grey, where once it stained all it touch as black as night. Anetho was an unforgiving, callous, and horrible man, but he wasn’t evil. For all his actions, and constant self-loathing, I realize now that he needed to appear as such to himself. Asleon’s memories held him back, and so he tainted himself in such a way as to make it easier to accept himself as he was. He pronounced himself the necessary evil, that he might justify his own increasingly immoral actions in the eyes of the world. He ostracized himself from society to better accept the darkness he’d welcomed into his life as his weapon… He knew he would die in one form or another and wished it to end with him. In the end, he realized that the cycles of despair continue forward. Only those that know pain unending may appreciate the dream that is peace. A fragile thing, he’d only ever known measured in mere handfuls.

To soothe the world, consumed by despair, he had to become the avatar of it’s suffering. That collective pain, the evil of the world he channeled, is what gave birth to Orpheus. Through this persona of many, that evil was given purpose in service to a higher calling… Though in the end, despair will continue to pervade the world. Accepting the burden as the Harbinger of Despair meant enduring that endless reality. This lesson, is one that I hold close as I observe the events that are ever more obscure. I cannot read the world, nor this parallel reality engulfed by potential ‘unrealized’ futures that I may never experience myself. In that world, crossed with our own through phenomena even I cannot fathom, there is a world that I need not exist at all if cradled appropriately. That thought comforts me, as I reflect on the earliest memories of Asleon De’Forte for the last time.

Jat-Anetho

The cycles of despair continue through me, and I bear that burden with the foresight I possess through new eyes. Eyes unclouded by hatred, that turn away from that which formed the foundation of the Red Magister. The necessary evil, may have his rest. That is but one life, one chain in a series of links. This one shall be put to better use, as I examine the disorder of clashing realities, and afford only moderate intervention… For a much greater threat looms on the horizon; One foretold of in teachings ignored and history plundered without regard. Anetho Dawnpride walked the shattered isles, and traversed the long halls of Suramar… The very same that Gul’dan himself sought when he emerged in Azeroth. There was purpose, and if the shadow creeping behind me forming violent eyes is any indication, so too is there renewed purpose in this cycle of despair. One I accept, and intend to shoulder, with the many mistakes of three lives upon my heart to guide me forward into a new day. One cast in brimstone, rather than iron.

“Again you call upon me, Fool Mortal… Again I answer as I am bound.”

Omniscient

•May 7, 2015 • Leave a Comment

The crackling of mana fills the air, as the Red Magister empowers the ritual circle surrounding himself and a woman laid bare upon an altar in the center of the design. There is a moment of laughter as he acknowledges his own successes in-so-far before falling melancholy and approaching the woman. The glow of the circle dimly casting light about the chamber.

“I confide in you, and only you my dearest child, to what ends I have schemed these final months.” Anetho ran his palm along the young woman’s cheek, staring into her glossy, sedated, eyes. “When I was a livelier man, and my vengeance but an infantile plot, I discovered, amongst other baubles and grimoires that would set me upon this dark path, a mirror that reflects the thoughts of one individual upon another. I have entrapped my own memories, suffering, and experiences within it – and intend to pass them along to you with the foresight that you and I shall be one in the same – and yet a unique entity just the same… I intend for us to learn from this life as you and I share in another as a singular being.” He idly examined the chains holding her in place against the altar at the epicenter of the room, rattling them in his hands as Malathane began setting the ritual chamber for the dark sorcery he meant to unleash within it. “Several years later, in the deserts of Uldum I made another remarkable discovery… The sarcophagus that may instill raw mana upon it’s occupant, albeit painful, it remains very efficient. All I needed to do was make a few choice alterations and it would grant me the power I needed to dismantle my enemies; Even as it further aggravated my condition.”

“In my wildest dreams, never did I imagine that the two would be used hand in hand with one another alongside the notes of my progenitor… The Mirror, the tomb, and the book… and due credit to The Vigil; an orb capable of revealing the true name of the one that asks… With it, I could dissolve any binding pacts with the creatures of the Nether to secure my transition…” He ran his right hand through his unkempt hair with a sigh. “…You can’t imagine what a strange sensation it is to have felt omnipotent, omnipresent, and yet clueless to the world around you, for all the insight you think yourself to have… To intrude on the lives of so many people just for the sake of establishing yourself a bastard that you might retreat from one life lived in total ignorance of all the potential it had in favor of another.” The Red Magister sauntered back around to gaze down at his legacy; his words barely piercing the heavy fog of drugs he’d forced upon her.

“Asleon De’Forte. Anetho Dawnpride. In truth, both names are meaningless beyond the shell to which they are associated… and yet there is a measure of attachment that I cling to, despite the absurdity of it all. A consideration that perhaps I should not proceed with this last act and simply carry the name as my own unto whatever exists hereafter. Of course, such thoughts are completely dismissed… For in this moment, I am yet Anetho Dawnpride. I am yet an arrogant and defiant man consumed with contempt for all those whom forged him and their practices… Even with such insight upon myself, I cannot be dissuaded from within or without… despite Malathane’s passive attempts.” He rubbed at his chin in thought. “Perhaps she too knows it to be pointless and simply desires her due.” He shrugged at the woman pinned to the altar. “It doesn’t really matter now, does it? None of this does. A eulogy of my own make that I might better prepare myself for what may, or may not, come to pass with this horrid conjuration.”

“Know only that if this moment passes as I intend… You and I both shall live as we deserve and in equal parts revel in what we desire… You in your freedom, and I… in the knowledge that I have truly become omniscient. Forever lurking in the corner just out of sight of the world, forever in the back of everyone’s mind. Feared, respected, and anticipated. A thousand years may pass and so too may a thousand faces to match… Through this merging of our souls, and in time our minds, and the vast others that we shall encompass, we will be as though the very Gods themselves.”

He pulled the snake embroidered mirror from within the first fold of his coat and held it aloft overhead. It reflected a significantly healthier looking visage of the Magister standing behind him, shaking it’s head as if it disagreed with the ideals of his future self. “Gratua cuun xeroth vex’rok alak’shenakor.” He recited, as the image within was consumed by hellfire – the likes of which bled out from the mirror and enshrouded Anetho. There was a laughter from within the epicenter of the pyre. He could hear himself, the four of five iterations he’d imprinted upon the mirror as knowledge recorded and unrecorded alike merged together in reality and within the glass displaying the visions. He was, all at once, himself in every way possible. The fires retreated whence they’d come and there stood a perfect copy of Anetho, sickly yet stoic, beside himself. It nodded now, in agreement.

“Let us now put into effect, this dream of ours…” He turned about to address a figure lurking in the shadows behind him. “…This dream of yours. I only walk in amusement of that which it harbors.” Came a subdued voice originating from a cloaked individual. “And yet, every bit a part of it as the rest of the world.” He replied, surrendering the mirror to an outstretched hand that smelled of decay. “The waking dream is no less subject to the spectacles we envision.” Nostricus leered up at Anetho, narrowing his eyes from beneath his hood. “Sleep well, Magister. I look forward to further walking the dreamscape with you in what I anticipate to be many years to come.” He replied, before shuffling away. “You do not wish to watch this unfold?” Anetho asked, perking a brow. The Forsaken stopped for a moment before looking over it’s shoulder and replying simply.

“I need not witness for a second time, that which I have already seen.” He then continued forward, through the hallway and up the stairs. “…As you say… Hypnotist.” He set his eyes once again upon the young woman and resumed running his hands through her hair. “The pain shall pass swiftly… I encourage you not to cling to it. Doing so only brought me misery, and I calculate it shall be of no benefit to you either.” Malathane took a seat upon the stone floor and called out to Anetho that she was ready to begin. “…And so eight lights line the path to a deserved hell and I hold the flame in my palm…” He ignited a fel flame at his fingertip and wandered to the outside of the ritual circle to enact his last terrible act.

I awake. I scream. I thrash, and I knock the end table over. Looming over me is the hunched figure of Nostricus – those yellow eyes gazing deep within my soul, guiding me through memories and experiences still a blur to me. “This is but a vision of who you were, and perhaps the foundation of who you are meant to become… Through memories, we cement our dreams. You and I are entwined forever now through these dreams. For you and I shall in time become as one… This too, I have seen within our walks of the mind.” I perk a brow. “You have seen this within my mind?” I ask in a female voice that requires adjusting to in the realization that it now belongs to me. “Not yours; My own.” The Forsaken whispers, setting that same decaying hand upon my bare shoulder. “For your dream is as my own now – together, there are few realities we may not breach; once we have satisfactorily dealt with your desires as they are now.”

I feel my lips pull into a smirk, and again remind myself not to fall to such habits as I was so inclined to do and instead favor a neutral expression. “Such wishes shall take many decades yet.” There was a pause before Nostricus replied in that same mellow mannerism he seemed incapable of escaping. “We’ve nothing, if not time Dreamer.”

Full Circle

•March 23, 2015 • Leave a Comment

“…I desired to die, once. I resolved that when I’d destroyed everything that gave my fury purpose – I too would join the rest upon the pyre that the last of their terrible living memories fades with all the rest. I was content to sit buried in my tower and observe what I thought to be our final hours as the Aspect of Earth prepared to rip the world asunder in a final, ostentatious, display. In the aftermath of mortal kind’s victory – I found myself suddenly grateful for the gift of life, even as I had no idea what to do with it; Still I would not be deterred from my original intent… I would perish, once I’d ensured the last of the Twilight’s Hammer had been laid to rest.”

The young woman ran her fingers through fiery locks of hair as she looked over the still charged remains of Theramore. “…It hasn’t changed, has it?” She asked the mirror in her hands, as if it were a living person. Not even the slightest breeze disrupted the flows of magic in this place – yet untapped and so raw as to be primal. “Not in the slightest…” She sighed, walking slowly towards the epicenter of the destruction. “I saw everything as it was, and everything as it could be… and yet in my wildest imagining I could not have perceived this magnitude of destruction, nor the beauty it would give birth to…” She looked over the floating rocks and remnants of expert masonry – the few remaining indications of sentient life having existed here at all – and sighed once again. “For the deception, Thalen Songweaver could not have played a more perfect role… Though even he was unaware as to the presence of a long deceased man of the cloth working behind the scenes from behind the promise of ‘spiritual healing’. The one whom orchestrated a deception greater still.”

“…It was then that the so called Council of the Black Harvest made itself known, circulating the secrets they’d recovered from my most hated enemies… My work was far from over. I began to bastardize the very practices that had elevated me from a mere mindless puppet to the Red Magister. I worked to slow the progress of the craft from within, going so far as to abuse my station to instigate inquisitions into ‘The Sanctum’ coven and various others throughout the provinces of the Horde. I spared no friendship the chastising glare – nor the man whom resided in my mirror… It had to be burned away; But how does one destroy knowledge already abundantly in circulation?”

There was the hints of a smirk pulling at her lips, though she reminded herself that such habits were to be broken; A smug nature was not befitting of a woman in her position. Humility and tact would serve her far better than the arrogance of a Magistrate official could have. She worked her palms into the dirt, breaching an unmarked bastion that secured her future in a world now fraught with confusion regarding it’s own past. “…It is a melancholy sensation; The realization that this is the last orchestration that Anetho Dawnpride shall ever be directly responsible for – I can’t help but compare it to the end of a book that has no sequel. There is a closure of sorts, and yet… an absence just the same with thought that the story continues in absence of the author and his pen.” She’d found a carved rock nearly two feet down, wedged neatly along the crystallized soil below. She wrenched at it, and it came free with far more ease than she’d recalled in forcing it in place. Brushing at the dirt still clinging to the surface she noticed the engraved letters on the surface. ‘A.L.D.’

“…The answer was by diluting it over time until it no longer served the ends to which it was originally conceived. My own existence taught me as much – even as it had to end. I laid in place a contingency that might shatter the destructive instruments of my old and terrible foe – just as it would give rise to something altogether beneficial to the flock I’d always considered myself standing apart from.  The puppet, Anetho Dawnpride, was a conjuration of dark intent – an experiment based upon the principle that mind and soul are separate entities and therefore exploitable when merged that a monster might live within the body of a man… Dormant until such time it was called to feast; and feast I did upon the suffering of the innocent and the guilty alike in my mad desires. In making that ritual my own, I changed the intention and therefore the final result. Where once was meant to be nothing but death, I have laid the foundation of life; And that life is one dedicated not just to the pursuits of magic, but also to the world surrounding it.”

She traced the engravings with her fingertips, imbuing it with her mana. “…Good night… Anetho. Yours, is a deserved rest.” The stone split down the middle, revealing a single radiant orb glowing a brilliant blue. She rolled it over in her palms a moment, admiring what had taken so long to forge – and cost so much. Slowly she placed the jewel within her pocket and began to bury the remnants of the rock. All that was left to do now was retreat to a vault unblemished by the touch of her forebearer – yet readied by him just the same within the confines of Kalimdor. Her due inheritance of magic, and all that he’d left her in preparation for his passing. The end of that long road paved with great intentions and cemented by horrid deeds leading to the golden gate that was freedom. The very thought had her shaking, as she muttered an incantation and vanished in a subdued flash of magic.

“What I’ve learned in this life is that even in the worst monsters of the world, there are lessons to be taken that might benefit the morally just and contribute to modern society in a proper manner – Though it would take the voice of one far less tarnished than I to apply them. I am all that I shall ever know – for that is the burden associated with this face. My last act, just as my first, is one of malevolence – and even as it may promise a righteous outcome, the sins have yet come full circle and may again be made manifest if that path she must walk alone is not tread lightly, and in sober thought. I am ever optimistic of my legacy and all it entails; This beautiful thing I’ve created that has altered not just the final workings of my own despair, but perhaps those of the lives I know she’ll inevitably touch. Death is a natural progression into life – just as life is the natural progression to death. The past must yield to the future lest the blessing that is time over the generations lose it’s arbitrary value. I understand this now, and though more fearful than ever before – I am prepared at last to do as I resolved and grant the wishes of many in this world; I am prepared to kill Anetho Dawnpride.”

 
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Nobody's Blade

Destiny has two ways of crushing us -- by refusing our wishes and by fulfilling them. ~ Henri Frédéric Amiel

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