A Legendary Red Dawn

“…So that’s the artifact… And by the look of things, that’d be the Shado-Pan paragon..” Anetho mused, folding his arms with a snide smirk as Taran Zhu engaged Garrosh Hellscream in single combat. “…We may need to call off the revolution – the seems quite formidable.” The two danced the waltz of warriors, each drawing upon their own inner focus – though in the end, it was the Orc that triumped… and in his victory brought about an even greater tragedy. “Did he jus-“

The landscape sours with the taint of the Sha, I am thrown through the air. I can see everything spinning. A million voices echo within my mind, as I tumble with the expanse of energies released as a result of Garrosh’s arrogance. I feel as if flying for leagues – the shouts of my colleagues dimming until I question if they even lived at all. Pain surges through my body as I crash against the ground, and bounce helplessly like a ragdoll. My right arm snaps backwards, the bones shattered. I suspect I’ve shattered a rib and my left leg has followed suit – I finally come to a halt, skidding along the dirt.

My finery is reduced to rags, and I am but broken and bloodied. My eyes fail me and I fall to darkness – though I never depart the world. A presence, a familiar, sickening presence awakens within me. “Did you think me defeated?” It calls out. I know this voice well – the avatar of my own despair. A festering entity that has laid dormant within me since the very day I set foot upon this continent. I can feel the overwhelming power coursing from it, as it lays claim to me.

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Sickly white tendrils protrude from my body, at my chest it seems as if claws burst forth – though no further harm comes to me physically. It seems to manifest as if pulling itself upright from within me. I feel it as though an extension of myself. I hear it thrive in the madness that has befallen this once tranquil Vale… And the faint chastising words of those I know to be long dead. It forces my emotions out of tandem and I struggle to hold my sanity.

My associates mass nearby to combat the creature – pain surges through me as surely as it does this hellish creation. I focus my mana to sever this link between the two of us. I thrash in agony as this conflict draws out for perhaps hours, I know not. Within the confines of my mind, I encounter myself. “What trickery is this!?” I demand, my double clad in Twilight garb only laughs, malevolent eyes narrow at me and a smirk draws at it’s lips. “I am naught but that which resides in your soul.” It replies. This is the face of my despair. I am my own source of agony and turmoil.

“Thou art I, and I am thou – remember?” It chides, quoting my persona; Orpheus. It draws the namesake – that runic blade of mine and arcs it at the ready. I reach for my hip, only to discover I haven’t any weapons – nor can I invoke any form of spellcraft. I am helpless. Alone.

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I shake my head and surrender to the realization I’ve denied myself for so long beneath vice and diversion. “…As it should be… As it was… Born alone, in darkness, of another’s dessicated cries for life…” I hold my arms aloft as this twisted doppelganger charges forth, slashing at me. The blade rips my body asunder. Pain takes hold, but I do not fall to pieces, nor do I die. I stand as though nothing had transpired at all. “…But it need not always be that way…” I whisper, reaching out to grasp at this entity within myself. To hold it in place. To shatter it through force of will – within and without.

I cling to it with all that I am able, despite the onslaught of white tendrils impaling me, warping about and crushing me. I hold fast to this creature that has for so long fed upon my insecurities – Harnessed my powers, and stolen years of rest from me in nightmares. I feel every spear plunged through it’s physical manifestation, every spell, every sword. Torture the likes of which I’d never been subjected takes me. I am resolute – I will not be shaken. I will see this done. My fate and the fates of those around me depend on it. For but a fleeting moment, I experience doubt for the last time in my life.

Then it happens. A flash of light! Bright red. The creature cries out in agony of some sort. All around me, the countless images of myself I’d seen before encircle me. The Magister. Orpheus. Mister Red. Laforete. Shadow. Asleon. Anetho. They march closer and pry this malfested entity away, into the depths of darkness. It seems to scream as Anetho regards me with a nod. I smile faintly to him, knowing this is the man that I am. Finally I am granted peace. The voices fade, and yet I still cannot see – my eyelids refuse to open. I languish in darkness for some time.

“Anetho? Anetho!? ANETHO!!!”

I’m roused in a crude fashion – someone is shaking my shoulders. They’ve taken me back to the shrine. I stand upright, crudely bandaged and radiating an intense heat that causes my brow to sweat. It fades quickly and I suppress that demonic aura I must carry for the rest of my days. That horrid, twisting, erratic, chaotic aura of hellish magicks contained within this fragile form.

“…You were so peaceful we thought you dead a moment, Magister.” The mended replies. “…I almost was… And then I saw something amazing just before death almost took me.” She took his hand in hers. “Lights? Ancestors? Your life?” I shake my head and reply weakly. “…My chin smashing into my forehead as I hit the ground.” She giggled. “Yes, that would be quite the sight, wouldn’t it?” I look to the roof and focus my vision. “…The Vale?” I ask, shifting immediately to the world outside. “…Destroyed – He destroyed it when he pushed that thing into the well… The Sha are running rampant. We destroyed the one holding unto you, and brought you back… but I don’t know if you can well and truly kill these things.”

Anetho smirked, sitting upright. The process was painful, but then it was so with every other time he neglected the advice of every other healer urging him to take it slow after each session of Light-touched magicks. “…I don’t think my better half will be coming back.” He looked to his arm in a sling and sighed, as he pulled it off. The bone was set and fixed in place again but he knew it’d be fragile as he shifted his shoulder and felt the tension. “…You did good, Malathane.” He sets his palm atop her head and ran it down along her cheek.

Most would blush at this display but she’d grown used to it. “…No. The credit is yours – if not for all you’ve done we’d never have gotten this far.” She replied. “Absolutely right and there’s so much more to do!” He replied, leaping up from the bed. “I’ve got to get my armo-” She pointed to the corner, whereupon a freshly minted set of Horde emblazoned armored robes sat. “…and my swo-” She pointed to the opposite corner where Orpheus was laid up. “…And my mana dus-” She held a vial aloft in his face. “…My gods if I had a dozen like you…” He smirked, pulling the vice from her fingers and uncorking it. “…If there were a dozen of me, I imagine I’d have no easier a time looking out for you, Magister.” She replied cynically. He leered at the vial and sighed, dumping the contents on the ground and setting the container gently upon the bed.

“Who are you?” She asked. “I am…well…I am me!” Anetho replied in a condescending manner.

“…I don’t think I’ll need that any more…” He whispered, moving to cloth himself – with her help. “…You’re a wreck, Magister.” She chided, helping him set the pauldrons in place. “…And still the most amazing thing you’ve seen all day.” He quipped. “…You mean besides the mouse?” She giggled, chaining everything in place. “You wound me, Malathane.” Anetho sighed, shifting in some minor discomfort. “You should know, a few of the Pandaren spellweavers you’ve been tutoring have forged a little something in your honor at the Seat of Knowledge. “Have they now?”

“Mister Dawnpride we have so much we can teach one another.”

I egress and saunter to the highest point of the region and I see it. Everything that I am to those whom know me. What I am beyond name and nightmare. What I am behind the curtains and veils that I have hidden behind for so long. They’ve not bastardized my powers – they’ve glorified them. They’ve taken my affliction and made it appear as if an object of beauty.

Anetho monument

Of my students upon these shores, I can think of only a few that’d do this for me. Knowing them as I do, they’ve likely gone forth to join the annals of legend and warfare beyond my tired eyes. I cannot help but feel a semblance of pride, knowing that this visage will last for a time, a testimony to their skill, and my own tutelage. I smile, as another voice surprises me from behind. My thoughts drawn towards a song I’d heard as if she were the sole inspiration to it’s composer.

The Red Magister was rather surprised at Astoreth’s sudden appearance, though she did have an odd habit of gravitating towards him when he least expected it, making him wonder if this was how everyone else felt when he walked into a room. “You look amazing.” Anetho smirks. “…Don’t I?” He replies, motioning to the massive representation of himself. “…They think me a hero.”

Despite our last encounter, she stands before me, in pure admiration. It seems as if the day we’d first met all those years ago. Her eyes shine with a twinkle. I peer up at myself and share in the moment, beholden unto myself as she must surely see me. Larger than life. Beyond reproach. Surely a legend. She sets down next to me, and I meet her gaze. We exchange soft words, and something amazing happens. In her presence and words I no longer grip the powers at my command with an iron fist. I let myself go. I take her by her waist and press my lips against hers. My right hand settles along her cheek and she melts against me as if butter to warm bread. How long has it been since we’d last felt such a surge in emotion? How long had I stifled such things in favor of ‘necessities’?

We’ve found one another again – after so long parting the veils of deceit we’ve woven for ourselves. After so long.

The Kiss

Anetho smiled, emerald green fel fire materializing at his back in the shape of angelic wings – as if the heaven’s own devil. “…Oh my…” He whispers as the energies coalesce and then fade back and forth through reality. “…Never did I imagine it’d feel anything like that…”

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I look up to my monument and smirk. “…This poses a problem..” She raises an eyebrow. “A problem?” I nod in affirmation. “..Yes, for you see the masses just aren’t ready for the raw sex appeal I’d draw into their quaint little lives.” She smiles – nothing has changed at all. We stand in each’s other’s company silently. Her hand finds mine, and my fingers entangle themselves with hers. I meet her gaze in silent promises, before the inevitable must come to pass.

Anetho slips from her and forges a Phoenix of pure fel fire – unlike the usual weaving of demonic power, it seems far more controlled as if the very energies within him have also found the peace he’d been looking for. “I know I said it before, but you look amazing.”

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Anetho inclines his head, ruffling the flaming feathers of his empyrean flame. “And you’ve never looked so beautiful He looks to his doppelganger. “Let that stand as a promise… no a reminder of promises made long ago. That I’ll always stand vigil over you. Here… and in many bedchambers to come.” He smirks. Astoreth smirks. “promises, promises.”

anetho vigil

Anetho smiles – so wide in fact that those fanged canines he rarely lets past the lip line are in full view.
“I love you, Astoreth Duskflame. I truly do…” He pulls at the lukewarm feathers of his Phoenix and flies into the sunset – his very own Red Dawn, leaving her far behind as he makes for the Tavern shrouded in mists, thinking himself alone and caught in a brief fancy of bittersweet contentment.

anetho depart

She follows after me, and I throw my head back in a hearty laugh. “I can’t even drink a beer in peace!” We sit down and share a few drinks. She claims it’d been awhile, and it shows – she’s inebriated long before I, assaulting me with sweet words and promises. I kiss her time and again, catching myself in her eyes every time. Inevitably she grows too intoxicated to move. I leave her in this state, knowing full well she’d follow me to the ends of this earth, as I make for the final destination in this unwritten tapestry that comprises destiny and fate.

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“I’m going back to Orgrimmar, Astoreth.” I whisper once more, running my palm through her hair before tipping the waiter and indicating she should be given a room until she comes around. As I exit the building, a smirk takes my lips as I wrap a face mask over myself and adopt another illusion – A persona reserved for only the worst. An eery laugh fills the air as a shadowed figure in red phases out of reality, enshrouded by faint green shadows, destined for glory.

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~ by anethodawnpride on September 12, 2013.

2 Responses to “A Legendary Red Dawn”

  1. I THINK parts of this have been slightly embellished. a bit.

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