Tale of the Red Magister – Part 3

“What was it they did to you, Anetho?” Santifia asked, running her hands along Anetho’s figure. He stiffened against her touch, unreceptive. “You’re changing Magister… and it scares us.. It scares me.” Anetho looked at her, as distant as the moon in the skies. Silence was his only answer. She pulled herself against him, crying into his velvet red coat. “You’re so far away…”

When The Red Magister and his companions had left behind the now tempestuous battlefield that was Gilneas, and departed the Violet Citadel, the Twilight’s Hammer were already in full force, waging war with both the Alliance and the Horde. Their agents within the ranks of both major factions toyed with the minds of military generals and philosophers alike, seeding them in the manipulative intent that they may be diverted long enough for Cho’gall and his followers to accomplish their ends.

One such example was to be found upon the ruins of Darkshore. After relentlessly probing the soul gem that contained the consciousness of Amanda Collins, Anetho had ascertained that the cultists were establishing gateways to the elemental planes here, but in a more permanent fashion. Likewise, they’d been kidnapping, torturing, and sacrificing unsuspecting Night Elves scattered in the wake of Deathwing’s destruction of Auberdine. Without so much as a second’s delay, he charted a boat for the remnants of the once great port-town. Upon arriving, even he was shocked at the state of affairs and sheer level of destruction.

His aid was welcome amongst the Kal’dorei, but only of coincidence. He’d drawn a Kal’dorei female aboard his meager vessel and returned her to her mother. By means of thanks, they refered him to one of the overseers of the rescue operations conducting by a free-lance organization named The Might of Staghelm. Coordinating with their efforts he eventually convinced them of the threat that the Twilight’s Hammer presented and committed serious effort to pushing them from the locale. Though where they collapsed one sect’s area of operations, another would quickly sprout to take it’s place.

Eventually, the commander deemed it a fool’s cause and returned to rendering what emergency aid he could for a time, but not before imparting to Anetho that he’d recieved a missive from one of the SI:7 operatives working the immediate area in Stormwind’s interests. He convened with this Human, Jessica Tibbar, and together they tracked down one of the Twilight’s Hammer ‘speakers’, another whom Anetho was familiar; Melinda Evermourne.

“Are you content to just wreck merry havoc upon our carefully laid plans?” Evermourne stared Anetho down, her fingers snapping tightly about her wand. “…In a word?” Anetho allowed for a most vile smile to play at his lips, as his fel hazed eyes flared violently with anticipation. “Yes.” Jessica looked between the two. “Is there a history here you’d like to fill me in on?” She snapped, both daggers already drawn, prepared for any confrontation amidst the empty cave they’d discovered Melinda within. “Certainly; I’m going to kill her and the Twilight’s Hammer falling under her will scatter. We both benefit.” Melinda howled delightedly, as she pointed her wand at the two of them. “Oh, that is so cute Puppet. It makes me laugh so hard I’ll be sick.”

Her wand discharged three concentrated bolts of shadow tainted mana, blowing Anetho off his feet. Jessica melded with the darkness of the cavern, slipping from sight and out of harm’s way. “A shadow-dancer… You bring the very darkness I command to combat me, Puppet?” Anetho staggered to his feet, wracked by a coughing fit. He snarled at her, hacking as he did. Tuberculosis held him tightly in it’s grasp. Evermourne directed her wand to the left and set loose another bolt of midnight, striking Jessica even under the veil of shadows, forcing her against the jagged walls of the cave. She shrieked in surprise as pain took to her every nerve.

“A sickly, broken doll. An amatuer spy. This is all it took to inconvience us for so long?” She laughed maliciously, as Anetho took a knee and muttered something. “Anriel..” Melinda pointed her wand at him, the tip glowing fiercely. “Who? Who do you beg for in your final moments?” She asked tauntingly, now certain of victory.
He raised his head defiantly at her, his coughs subsiding and breathing labored. “Anriel.” He huffed, assertively. Melinda smirked as she brought the wand to his forehead. The sharp cracking of a whip echoed throughout the cavern, a lash wrapping tightly about the woman’s neck. In her surprise, she dropped her only weapon, squirming about in a fit of panic. “Maaaaaaster?” A light hearted, evil, seductive voice called from the shadows behind the Twilight cultist.

Jessica’s vision was blurry, but she could make out the shape of a woman. Lithe with a relatively hefty bust for her build. Wings protruding from her back. As her eyes focused everything into view, she could see hooves and horns. It was then that she realized who her companion was. Fear struck her as the Red Magister’s voice commanded in an abscence of empathy. “Kill.” In one fluent motion the Succubus jerked her wrist backwards, severing Melinda Evermourne’s head from her body. It stood aloft for a moment, blood spewing from the stump like a geyser before stumbling left and right. It hit the cavern wall and collapsed to a heep where her head soon landed, smashing violently against the stone floor. She shoutted in fright at the horrific display, warm blood splashing upon her face, staining her tabard. “Y-y-you’re… you…. She’s….” She stammered. Anetho turned his attention to the woman cowering a corner. “…Yes. And so much worse…” He quiped, siphoning the soul from her corpse. Etheral screams shaking the very air as it is confined within a faintly glowing purple gem in Anetho’s hand. Anriel maneuvered towards the woman, deathly intent in her eyes. “Fear… yes… so delicious…” She purred in delight. “She wasn’t part of the deal.” Anetho snarled, the intricate markings upon his hand flaring to life as he spoke. She frowned, moving to his side and shrouding herself in arcane veil of invisibility. He regarded the woman cowering in the corner but a moment longer, before departing.

With Darkshore behind him, the Red Magister continued to traverse the lengths of Kalimdor. Not a single stone left unturned in his rage fueled path. Through both soul stones in his possession his collection grew to a total of seven as he cut a swath through the Twilight’s Hammer opperating out of the shores of the western continent. Ashenvale, Felwood, and Winterspring. As Anetho Dawnpride chased his own agendas, the former warchief of the Horde, Thrall, was beset with a premonition as to the supernatural intentions of those being that Deathwing had unleashed once again upon the world. A disturbance rippled through the flows of ley, drawing Anetho to Mount Hyjal. By the time he arrived, it was already under heavy siege. Twilight’s Hammer continued to press the Night Elves and Ysera the Dreamer. Though through the efforts of many brave heroes, they were ultimately repelled. The Red Magister, one among them. It was here he reunited with what was left of his Palamecians, not without their own losses during the war effort. Majial had disappeared, and Santifia was lost during the initial purge that befell the lowlands. Liaskar and Neeshaka were all that remained of his dedicated few. Harper, still nowhere to be seen. He welcomed their aid, as he pushed further down the mountain, assisting the war effort as he could. Ultimately, through the efforts of many brave souls, the demi-gods of old were ressurected. Cenarius. Lo’gosh. Aviana. They held the mountain and scoured the Twilight threat.

But they weren’t the only ones desecrating the fields of Hyjal. Thrall’s dream had seen reality. Ragnaros and his elementals had ripped their way into the mortal realms, intent upon burning the World Tree, and every living creature that dared defend it in their wake. During this whole affair, Anetho retreated to nurse grave injuries at Aviana’s Shrine. Neeshaka disappeared, leaving Liaskar in his lonesome to combat the impossible hordes wreaking havoc across the fertile fields. He ventured with many Horde and Alliance champions to the very realm of flame and brimstone; The Firelands. Eventually the Red Magister pulled himself from the grips of his disease, injuries and confusion. A letter rest upon his bedside, addressed from Neeshaka. An amulet sat atop it. It read as though a last missive, blood staining the papers. It detailed her thoughts of a glorious cause.

Thoughts, it would soon be revealled, conjured only in the form of deceit. A plot orchestrated by the one individual he’d allowed to slip from his grasp.

Harper.

You’re so far away…” Her voice echoed in his head, like a maddening siren’s song. “AWAY WITH YOU!” He shoutted to the sky above. “Haunt me no more! Do the world a service and remain dead! Body and soul!” Both his betrothed seemed to mirror Santifia’s thoughts. “You’re so far away…(so far away)…so far away..(away)…” Anetho snarled, knocking over a table and it’s contents. “You’ve no place here! None! Away with you, phantoms! I know you to be lies!” Despite his harsh words, a torrent of sorrow shook his very core. Tears rolled uncontrollably from his eyes. While another set watched him with a predatory grin.

Anetho had been manipulated. The revelation came two weeks later, as the campaign in the Firelands was in full force. It was by chance, perhaps, that Astoreth and Westel, two individuals whom he associated himself were ‘appeasing’ one another in what they thought to be a secluded place. He pushed past the two, uninterested in amorous pursuits, or even the two of them. He shifted through the bookshelf only to discover the amulet had be stolen and the letter left behind. It was then that he realized he’d be stabbed in the back a second time. Neeshaka had turned on him as well. Turning about in a frenzy, he demanded Astoreth commit to this venture, and rallied to the Sorcerous Society, taking them under his wing. ‘Mortis’ Xalavius and Melorya Dawnwhisper were the first to allign themselves with his cause, having known him as a kind man and generous towards both. From his school of arcane theory, he produced an ill tempered Goblin versed in elemental manipulations, and an adept healer. Together Anetho took them through one of the remaining gateways the Twilight’s Hammer had conjured in Hyjal, for trans-dimensional travel to an all encompassing cavern.

They would arrive upon a single platform, intense heat radiating from below as the magma bubbled and burst. The Red Magister was even sweating. Opposite the cadre of his choosing, stood Neeshaka, face as deformed and twisted as he remembered. Even more so now, it seemed, with the elementium armor branded in the sigil of Twilight’s Hammer. Her companion, a Tauren standing taller than she, with a weapon that looked as though a merging of sword, axe, spear, and lance. A halberd, wherein the hilt allowed for a blade to run the length of the shaft, bolted at intervals for balance, to the top where it arced, and widened. A spearhead extending just past it. The beast was clad in enchanted armor, a juggernaught by even the standards of Ogres. Anetho stared her down, fury burning even brighter than the flames below as he drew his runeblade Orpheus. The engavings upon it blazing to life. “…Neeshaka. I’ve no need to ask why.” The Orcess simply laughed, a low, malevolent, taunting sound. She produced her blade. “I enjoyed bathing in their blood, but do not long mourn their passing. You will join then.”

Anetho ran towards the Orcess, engaging her on her own terms. Sparks flying as their blades clashed against each other. The others rushed to his aid, only to find The Juggernaught looming in their path. He took a wide swing with that monsterous weapon, nearly cleaving Astoreth; and her not even developed child, in two. A long gash running across her midsection, that her entrails might even have threatened to give way. Xalavius, his students, and Melorya did their best to shower him in arcana, but it only served to further fuel his rage. Astoreth’s vigil, a Fel Guard met the Tauren in close quarters, but was quickly discarded with. She used this time to mend her injuries as best she was able.

“They begged! They begged to be spared!” Neeshaka shouted, kicking Anetho in the gut, and driving her hilt against his cheek, knocking him to the left and dangerously near the edge. “Just as you will.” He replied in a low, almost feral tone. She ran the blade along the ground, drawing it upright in an arcing angle, ripping his coat apart, revealing sundered mail armor. “Worm! Puppet! Mongrel! Widower!” She cried out delightedly, striking wildly. Again, and again. He could only just parry each blow, growing more and more fatigued at this unrelenting onslaught. He managed to press his hand to her abdomin and a shadowbolt erupted against her, giving him just enough room to fling a bolt of erratic chaos energies at The Juggernaught, that aimed to finish what it started with Astoreth.

He snarled, armor falling apart after having sustained the collective might of everyone present. His fur singed, skin bruised and burnt. Astoreth, Xalavius, and Melorya pushed him nearer the edge, but it wouldn’t be enough to stop him as he caught a second wind. “I AM THE HARBINGER OF TWILIGHT! I AM THE JUGGERNAUGHT!” The Goblin raised both hands to the skies. “Yeah? Well I’m three feet of ass kickin’.” The molten magma below, formed a hand to his will and rose to the ledge. It gripped tightly at the Tauren, dragging it down. It held to the ledge snarling. His fur caught fire, the scent of venison filled the air. Within a moment, he could no longer bear the pain, nor could he resist the long arm of justice dragging him to hell.

Their victory was short lived, as Neeshaka gripped Anetho by his coat and hurled him over the ledge. Now, no longer distracted with him; She set her eyes upon a new quarry. She bashed heads with Melorya, casting her to the ground. Kicked Astoreth aside like it was nothing. Pried the Goblin from the ground and threw him into the Light-weaver. It was quickly revealled however, that the Forsaken magi, Xalavius, had been preparing a spell so powerful that of the Orcess was so twisted and malformed when he unleashed it upon her, that she could scarcely even look as though of Azeroth. She stumbled backwards, conviently right upon the outstretched blade of none other than the Red Magister himself, who had caught the ledge and climbed back up. She gurgled on her own blood, as he whispered into her ear. Her eyes rolled back into her head, and he let her fall from the platform. A glowing gem within his hand was quickly pocketed.

In the aftermath of the arduous battle, each went their own seperate ways to lick at their wounds. The Goblin and healer were never seen, nor heard from again. Xalavius returned to tend his school. Melorya, to her studies. Astoreth was the only one within the group that Anetho heralded any affection for, though it was born of manipulations and lustful reprieve, it soon grew to admiration and appreciation. She was still so young in the arts of darkness. He thought perhaps, he might save her from his fate. Though he’d never realize it until weeks later when they’d be re-united. While they took a moment’s leave he only continued his path of destruction.

“We’ve only two more to go… Anriel..”

 

 

 

 

 

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~ by anethodawnpride on May 17, 2013.

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