Tale of The Red Magister – Part 2

“Evil? You proclaim that I am evil. Let me conjure you, then, that which is wholely evil has only lived long enough to see himself the villian. The road to hellfire is paved of fair schemes and fanciful dreams. That in mind, every one upon this world is born of good character. Evil, my friend, is nothing more than the Legacy of Great Intention.”

Never was there a man more indifferent to the destruction of the world than the Red Magister. While the Magistrate held emergency conferences and threw papers everywhere in a fit of panic, he had simply stood from his desk amidst the proceedings of the summit and nodded politely to those who’d attended before he strode out quickly and quietly. He had said nothing during the course of the discussion, and would say even less in the course of the following months.

Several attempted to seek him out, though they would arrive only soon enough to greet the cinders of a recently deceased campfire, and his outline in whatever patch of grass he had chosen to lay in. For three long months, not one within the provinces of the Horde or Alliance could place him. Everything was falling apart.

He called to us from across the world, and we would answer. His loyal Palamecians. He spoke of our purpose, that our very existance was to be defined in the coming days. We had mere moment to gather our belongings and make for Southern Lordaeron.

I felt no scarce amount of fear in venturing to a land that the Magister, once my friend, and I had not dared to walk in years. There were hundreds of the Forsaken preparing an army to march upon Gilneas. That they were expanding, and I voiced my concerns once we’d all re-united in the forests of the deathly silent Silverpine.

Anetho largely ignored me, shaking his head and saying we were going to cross the Gilnean border. He cared not for the Forsaken army massing just hours behind us, nor did he express concern over it. “The legions of the damned do not give me pause. If they wish to take to my field of battle, then I will incinerate them along with all the rest.” His voice was cold. Colder than the winds of Northrend. So devoid of passion that I pondered what had become of the man I knew.

Harper, had ventured ahead of us and greeted us by the once impenetrable walls of Gilneas. He threw a rope from the ramparts and we each began the strenuous task of pulling ourselves up with bulk of gear. I recall thinking that it would snap and I would fall to my demise. It was a fear that quickly passed, as we made our way into the fields of a land that hadn’t seen strangers in years.

“The woman we are after, is a fifteen year old girl. Her name is Amanda Collins.” Nearly all of us were greeted by shock. We’d just intruded upon a foreign land, and placed ourselves ahead of a warzone to murder a child? “She heads a sect of the Twilight’s Hammer nestled under the village to the north. “She has a contact amongst the Forsaken front, when they attack she will depart. We need to extract the whereabouts of her friends before she can slink back into the shadows. We have but one chance at this. Discard of your moral misgivings. Her belief is that the world is something to be destroyed, and that includes everything upon it. Your brothers and sisters. Family and friends.” Harper was the first amongst us to speak. “We will see it done, you’ve saved our lives a thousand fold. We don’t have the right to question how right or wrong this may appear.”

His closest friends were but a means to an end. Anetho had no regard for them except pawns to move across the chess board. They were upon a long abandoned village, matted with droppings and patches of fur all around. The remains of herd animals scattered about, leaving the stench of death so strong upon the air as to be dessicating.

He pointed to the well, it was marked with a single purple rag hanging from the lever. “There. That is our point of entry. This marks the begining of the end, to our war.” Anetho proclaimed, moving to climb down ahead of us. “Harper.” He called up. “Join the Gilneans in defence of their city, put that uniform to continued use. You know who you’re looking for amonst the Forsaken.” There was an uneasy feeling in the air, as he openly revealled he was keeping secrets from the rest of his companions. “As you say, Lord Dawnpride.” The Human replied, slipping past the horizon to fall in amongst legions of defenders already preparing for the events to come.

The Red Magister had reached the bottom of the well, looking now upon a vast expanse before him, lit with dim torches burning with flames fueled of shadow magicks. This was surely the proper location, he thought to himself. “Remain vigilant.” Was all he said to us before charting his own path down the middle of the cavern, entering into another enclosure whereupon a child sat on the middle of a blanketted floor, surrounded by dead men in the clothing of the martyrs. She clutched a stuffed bear to her breasts and did not regard their entry with much thought. She was nearly as impassive as Anetho himself as she spoke.

“Father meant for me to stand in your place… Puppet. He meant that I should be worthy of the gift placed upon your shoulders, that you carry as though a burden.” She whispered as she stood, holding that patchwork teddy bear to her side. “He groomed me as the perfect worshipper, deserving of the Twilight Hour… and they took you in. A broken Quel’dorei, stripped of everything. Worthless.” She turned to look upon us, scars traced their way in ever direction along what skin Anetho could see. While Liaskar and the twins cringed in disgust, Anetho and Neeshaka were less than amused. ”

“They made you.” She shook her head. “Father was so furious with me, that he did this…” She ran her fingers over her face, tracing out every scar that danced upon it. “T’is nothing compared to what I’ll do to you.” He replied, drawing Orpheus from it’s sheath. The runic engravings upon it blazing to life in a furious red display. “He taught me everything you would know. Pain. Power. But only have I ever wanted his love…” She spoke in just as empty a tone as he. “Enough of this prattle!” The orcess shoutted, rushing the young woman with her jagged blade, only to be cast aside effortlessly with a single hand. The woman tumbled into the fireplace, knocking embers into the air. “..And then I found something else…” She dropped the toy to the ground, her jet black hair growing thicker and ragged, teeth extending as though fangs. Her eyes began to warp into a sickly purple. “Rangers.” Anetho pointed the tip of his sword at the young woman, and they both released an arrow into her midsection where it ripped clean through. To their amazement, she was still standing.

“…They came out of the woods, singing to the moon of death….” She pried both from her abdominal region and cast them aside with hands growing furry and claws extending from her fingertips. “They took my children… but gave to me in turn…” Her nose became wet, and flat as her jaw extended forth and pronounced itself. She had turned fully into a Worgen. “Father will be proud, when I show him your head… puppet.” She growled at them, before lunging past Liaskar and the two archers behind him knocking them all aside, casting them to the ground.

Anetho met her with a firebolt, knocking her backwards through the air. She flipped backwards and landed atop her feet, just in time to throw a bolt of darkest night at Neeshaka whom had only just stumbled out of the mantle, only to be knocked into an adjacent wall. Her skin blistered and crackled as it was burnt with otherworldly flames. She cried out in pain. Anetho directed his left index finger at her and began to pepper the immediate area with displays of arcane bolts, which were easily outmaneuvered as she began to close the distance once again. She leapt towards Anetho, claws extended. “Nay!” Liaskar cried allowed, diving at her with his shield, pressing her against the hard stone of the wall.

She snapped at him in reply, gripping the shield tightly and pulling him up along with it. She threw him into the recovering rangers, knocking them about. Followed up quickly with an immolation spell that drew from Amoriene her life, as she screamed her last. Amerione was quick to follow behind her in that journey. Liaskar was spared this fate with thanks to a ward of holy light he’d surrounded himself in. He instantly damned himself for he could nothing to save the two. Neeshaka stood her full height, gripping to the left side of her face now twisted and malformed. “Bitch!” She shoutted, throwing her sword at her in arcing motion so it spun. It caught her across the midsection leaving a nasty gash before lodging into the wall.

The woman howled in pain, staggering backwards as Dawnpride pressed the attack, eventually exploiting an opening and driving his rune blade between her breasts. She snapped at him defiantly, as her last breaths parted. A faint sillohette appeared from behind her, as the life fluttered from her eyes. Liaskar instantly knew something beyond super-natural had occured, but said nothing as he rose from the ground. It was over, but at what cost? Neeshaka collected her blade and slapped Anetho on the back. “Good fight… I want more of that…” Anetho withdrew his blade and guided it back to it’s sheath. A small crystal sat on the ground behind the Worgen child, as if left there. It glowed faintly. “…There will be much more to come…” He whispered, pocketing it and turning about to flee.

The ground all around shook violently. Even this far from the civilized world, the Sundering took it’s toll. The world buckled in the wake of the Cataclysm and it’s aftershock.. All across the fields of Gilneas, the landscape gave way to the fury Deathwing had unleashed leagues beyond the Eastern Kingdoms. Many of the natural reefs that protected the sea-side had given way, allowing the Forsaken to land their forces and open another front. South-western Gilneas had begun to sink into the sea.

Sylvanas took advantage of these changes and forced even more pressure upon the already broken land. She bid her catapults to shower the lands in an unforgiving rain of destruction. Worgen. Human. It did not matter. She would have satisfaction, and sacrifice everyone to get it. Harper refused to be one such casualty as he leapt across hills, and rolled beneath fences. Bursting through windows and tumbling out doorways. The hunt was on.

Harper dove into a crevice as yet another heap of molten metal crashed nearby, throwing shrapnel everywhere, killing legions of Gilnean soldiers nearby. A nearby building to the flame, the scent of smoke tainting his lungs. When the air had cleared, he quickly slipped from the crack and continued to run past the onslaught gripping the ramparts of the Greymane Wall. Through the valley, beyond flowered fields, over the blood stained rivers, past the cries of death and despair.

He could just make out the shadowed form of the man he’d been chasing, through the intensity of the storm overhead. Jeffery Collins. A man whom had given everything in the name of Twilight. His faith, his daughter, even his very life. A sleeper agent amongst the Forsaken, who meant to steal some artifact or another from the Dark Lady. Until someone had found him out.

His jaw was aloft, and flopping about from their scuffle prior, he thought it might fall off. Harper was gaining upon the cadaver, who had now strayed so far from the battlefield that he’d have no hopes of rescue. He leapt from a cliff, preparing to turn with daggers drawn only to find the twin barrels of a shotgun upon him. Fear took hold of his cold, dark, quiet heart. His every decision suddenly held in memory. Doubt clung to his spirit, time slowed. His eyes widened. All at once he felt wholely betrayed. The flash of the muzzle came, preceded by Harper’s taunting quip. “Bang.”He was torn asunder, peppered with gunshot. In an instant, it was over.

By the time Harper had dispatched with Amanda’s father, The Red Magister and what was left of his colleagues had already fled the confines of Gilneas via a portal to Dalaran where they would rendevous with Majial and the Magistrix Santifia. He elected to remain behind intentionally, slinking through the city to join the offensive, whereupon his face would become one of many regarded in memory of those whom would later reminisce of the reclamation. He had his own agenda to fulfill.

“You left him behind.” Liaskar scowled. “I did not abandon him. I have serviced his desires adequetely, but his desires no longer satisfy my needs.” Majial frowned. “…So thats it? We’re just expendables to you?” Anetho shook his head, as he departed the inn. “…From the moment you drive a dagger into my back. He betrayed us long ago, and to his own ends. I’ve discovered why.” Leaving them in that state of confusion to ponder his meaning, he left for the evening.

This was but the first of many sacrifices he would submit to his ends.

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~ by anethodawnpride on May 12, 2013.

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