Magister Dawnpride?” A female voice called out, her beautiful tones reverberating and echoing along the stone halls that comprised the Red Magister’s sanctuary. There was no reply. “Dawnpride?” She called again, listening to herself repeat endlessly – whether it was through magic or at the hands of those who crafted this place, she couldn’t say. But like the Red Magister, it could be just as frightening to think she was enclosed in the morbid underworld of Azeroth by her lonesome. “Anetho?” She asked once more, a few notes of subtle irritability belying her growing insecurities. 


“When did we become so informal, Malathane , that we should suddenly address each other by given name, rather than standing on ceremony?” His voice echoed from deeper within the depths of what could only be labelled as catacombs. “Begging your pardon, Magister, but for a moment I thought you weren’t in, despite the letter you’d sent.” Laughter ripped it’s way through the desolate halls, as if he was mocking her from every corner of the room. “You’re claustrophobic, aren’t you darling?” 


The Spellbreaker’s ears stood erect, paranoia growing by the moment. He was infamous for preying upon the fears of others, often goading them into their own nightmares. She’d seen him do it, but never  had she fallen victim to his machinations – what reason would he have to harm her now, she wondered. “Now, now… Don’t look so nervous…” She glanced over her shoulder, sensing the twisting of mana , knowing him to be close. As her eyes settled upon a corner, she found to her displeasure that he wasn’t there. Had she just imagined it? But how could he have known otherwise what her expression was at this very moment?


“Over here…” He chided in that passive-aggressive manner. He spoke as if a gentleman asking courteously for attention – but in reality she knew it to be demanding. That he be her sole thought at this moment. He was eccentric and unstable. Something just barely held in check, something that masqueraded as an Elf,  a mask that hid something far more twisted than even the twisted creations of the Scourge.  “…No, not there…” His voice came again, closer still. She’d swore something was breathing against her neck. Instinctively she turned about, driving an elbow to the rear, anticipating a connecting blow to his jaw or neck, but there was nothingness yet again followed by the fluctuations of mana. 


“Oh but you are getting warmer… Whatever has you so unsettled? The walls aren’t closing in are they?” Beads of sweat formed at her forehead as she looked about now caught between fury and fear. As he spoke it did indeed seem as if the walls were edging towards her – no, they really were! She felt her legs carry her down the only other hallway, the entrance having already closed behind her, the roof above now seemed to descend as she ran towards the stairs leading further downward. “…The sky isn’t falling, is it?” She heard him call out from further down, just a faint echo. 


“Just shut up! Stop it! Stop it! Make it stop!” She cried out, chestnut hair flying behind her, as she sped further along the cavernous reaches of what felt like a nightmare. It had to be a nightmare, what transpired couldn’t be physically or magically possible. “So close, dearest. So close.” Her heart pounded against her breast, and her lungs grew heavy. All she could hear was her own hastened breath. She shut her eyes tight, coming upon another hallway that threatened to swallow her whole. “Deeper into the maw of the beast – deeper still lies it’s heart.” He called out, sounding closer than before. She opened her eyes again and was beholden to a faint red glow, what looked like a doorway to some dimly lit escape.


As she came upon it, what was relief soon reverted to desperation as something soft and solid pressed against her head and body – she’d run into the source of the light, only to stumble backwards. What madness was this? She staggered backwards and bumped against something humanoid. She thrashed about wildly, only to feel hands restrain her wrists. The light before her, the promise of escape gave way to the cushioned interior of something forged of gold. She hadn’t been paying attention to the ley lines and now she understood – it was all an elaborate illusion. He’d tricked her. She turned her head, trying to snap at him, still furious.


The halls looked normal, unadulterated. The ceiling sat firmly in place. “…But the faster we flee, the greater the opportunity afforded to the monster…” He whispered against her, before thrusting forward with his waist to press her up against the interior of what could only be described as a comfortable coffin. “What? No! NO! I don’t want to do this! Let me go!” She screamed, trying to wriggle free to no avail. He constantly disrupted the immediate flows of ley to make casting impossible – she could feel it now. “…Relax…” He whispered in her ear sensually – maliciously. What little light pervaded the interior faded as the lid closed itself leaving them both shrouded in darkness. 


Her heart found it’s way to her throat. She couldn’t speak, just stammer incoherently. Her breath was racing now, as frantic and inconsistent as her thoughts. A very dim green hue overtook the interior now, her face firmly pressed against the velvet cushions. “…Fears are but prologues to what we associate with danger and pain – but as you will very soon find out, there is a very thin line that separates pain from pleasure.” She pulled from him again, and found her arms no longer restrained, but there wasn’t enough room to do much more than struggle to press them against her chest. 


The unmistakable taint of the demonic began to assail her nostrils. The light that illuminated the coffin, it was raw Fel tainted mana. Her every instinct told her to fight against the flows of mana now forcing themselves upon her – into her own reserves of mana. The corruption flowing freely and in such strength, her blood felt as if it was boiling. Pain took hold of her entire body. She felt as if she was at the epicenter of a pyre – burning alive, the sensations only made worse with the knowledge she had nowhere to flee, no means to fight back, trapped beneath the world.


She shrieked in agony, even the mana that comprised her being burned from within, a blazing inferno threatening to incinerate even what ashes would remain at the end of this fiasco. She felt his arms wrap about her waist. He pulled her close, whispering something that couldn’t be heard over the painful throes she was caught up in. “Oh Gods! Make it stop!”


The world is as it always shall be – finite. Cast in a form that shall never be altered. That which is, shall always be. This mentality is something society has instilled upon the cattle of this world, the collection of fools and craven ‘heroes’ that stand as ‘heroes’ or other great and prestigious individuals are no exception. As one who commands illusions, this is a silently encouraged facade. I wear the face of the one you care for, ergo I am that individual. I look as if the boulder, therefore I am part of nature. Reality is hardly so definitive. With but a wave of my hand I shift what you consider to be unbreakable. I rewrite the truths that define what you consider possible and impossible. I give life to nightmares and dreams. I exist in all things, tangible, intangible and unimaginable. I appear everywhere, I speak while existing nowhere. 

Many discredit the school of illusion as unpractical, or for ‘parlor tricks’. Beyond cantrips however, it is by and far the most useful art at my disposal. What good is a firebolt that only serves to injure or kill? What is there to be obtained from a corpse? Within the department of Internal Affairs I took up the study of alteration to further my career in espionage. The results speak for themselves, now more than ever before. If I can challenge the boundaries of this reality, who is to say that I cannot alter it further beyond what the eyes see? What if one truly can turn coal to gold? No longer would I cling to the limitations of sex, race or singular figure. I could exist, truly exist, in as many forms as the imagination allows. Twist this world about my finger just as tightly as I wind the one’s that live in it.


The flows of malignant mana merge with the latent energies the Pandaren call ‘Chi’ rippling through her very body. Everything resonates and she can feel the corruption gripping her tightly. The energies began to wane now, replaced with something unexpected. Euphoria. Her thoughts raced again, driving to guilt and confusion. ‘I can’t actually be -enjoying- this!?’ Anetho buried his face against the back of her head, and breathed her in. To her it felt amazing, his hands resting along her bare shoulders, the leather jacket clinging to her figure, the cushions lining the interior. ‘…But it’s… it really does feel amazing…’ 


“The Tomb of One.” Anetho whispered against her, the residual mana lingering about, the two now leisurely absorbing it. “I won’t bore you with how I came to acquire this artifact… but it taught me a simple truth that I now pass to you.” He spoke low, deliberate, and calmly. She understood. He’d tricked her into this situation, this moment of understanding – because if he hadn’t, she’d never have willingly gone along with shutting herself in so enclosed an object. “…I dare say t’was one I knew long before this object came into my possession…” 


And this one – Malathane Lorebinder – has broken free of the tiresome strings that defined her reality. She walks now in a truth defined not by society, words or actions, but by eyes left unclouded with the reassurance of power and the truth it promises. The liberation it provides. I look forward to observing the results of my experiment. If a mender of flesh and blood, if one that is capable of disrupting magicks on a whim indulges in what takes root in absolutes… Will they yet retain their abilities? In what ways will they be altered? The mysteries surrounding the thin veil of reality that govern magic are but one of many more illusions to disseminate and alter.


~ by anethodawnpride on December 4, 2013.

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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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