Tale of the Red Magister; The Untold Chapter

Eight lights line the path to a deserved hell and I hold the flame in my palm. A fel flame burns at my finger tip as I ignite the first candle along the ritual circle, illuminating the first reagent – A tuft of Talbuk fur from my treasured steed. “I never thought this to be the end… I’d always envisioned a battle; glorious and cataclysmic. A duel atop the roof of the world… That Anetho Dawnpride would depart the stage as the Red Magister… As the people’s magister… as their hero; not as some craven by-product of poor choices and mistakes long ignored.” I light the secondand look upon a lock of my own hair. Golden blonde, soft as silk and beyond the taint of my illusion and vanity. A purity of sorts denied by magic and twisted fate. The only real possession of Asleon De’Forte buried by a fearful broken shell of a man. “…Perhaps that would have been the better path. I could pass on amongst friends and true companions rather than live to see the day that I carry only the regret of having killed or alienated those closest to me… That I would not beholden upon the hypocrisy I harbor within this black heart; To see myself re-enact the worst tragedy ever conceived.”

“Your actions contradict each other; one moment you support the city-state and the very next you’re destabilizing it. Just who’s bloody side are you on Dawnpride!?” Te’Athas exclaimed, throwing her pillow at the Red Magister. “…Everyone’s.” He replied simply.

I look up from the third reagent – The tendril of an Old One lost to the depths and lose myself to a moment of insanity; A sweeping nostalgia of sorts, whispers beneath my skull luring me to kinder memories – to a vulnerability. I rub at my eyes, and for a moment beholden upon the image of Cielane Bloodlips staring back at me through those glasses of hers, always too big and slipping down her nose. The light reflected along the lenses just as it had the first time I ignited the fires of vengeance and embraced the unholy energies that would drive me upon a crusade of destruction. She nods slowly, looking to Malathane beside her – working to regulate the pulsing arcana flowing within the circle so erratically, barely held in check with the wards I’d secured from my darkest angel and her combined effort. To her left I find myself lost in the image of my first wife, Adrianne and our daughter Ayaka. She closes her eyes and shakes her head in disapointment; our little girl pressing her face into her breasts as if to escape the sight of me.

Beside her stands my second lover; Marlane and our daughter Ashlotte. She too regards me with a sobering sense of disapproval, but I see also understanding. She more than anyone else knew where this would lead and willingly chased me into the rabbit hole… How I miss her, and the brief happiness our child brought me. To her left was the traitor, the one I shall not name even in my solitude. She looks smugly at me, still clenching the same dagger buried in her neck that she used to kill our son at the behest of the radical cult; Twilight’s Hammer. Behind that expression of self-satisfaction I feel the slightest inklings of remorse; Timocus holds her hand tightly, suckling at his thumb looking between the two of us.

Of course there are others, Kuvasei glaring at me from the corridor leading out. So furious are her eyes that I imagine she could reach out and end me right now and that the idea would be more preferable to her than if I did it to myself, especially in this way. Astoreth and Jaedn both look on in equal parts curiosity and sadness. For practioners of the darker arts, they have hearts wider than even I could have imagined. I’d think the void I leave in my wake may be equally wider than I anticipate. All at once they turn from me, eyes all shifting away in shame. I cough, blinking but a moment only to realize that they’ve all gone – that they were never even here. I look back to the slimey tendril and grimace. Perhaps even in the death the forgotten beasts that roam the depths of our world can yet induce hallucinations and madness.

I rub at my eyes trying to compose my thoughts. Slowly I rise and return to my grim task. I breath life into the fourth candle resting comfortably beside a verdant sphere that glows dimly. “I’ve relived all the agony of those killed without cause in my nightmares… Felt each murder committed with treacherous intentions as I lost myself to the darkness and the demonic… To everything they affected… Yet I couldn’t release the comfort they provided… Of the only world I’d ever known, despite my greatest of intentions. I damned myself because I couldn’t muster the strength of will to do away with the source of my depravity; The source of my greatness… I achieved what I wanted but at the cost of what was truly needed to bring peace to my weary soul. All I ever truly wished, was not an easy life, but to be a stronger man capable of meeting it on it’s terms…”I sigh, running my right hand through my hair. “Here and now do I realize even with the near limitless powers I possess… I was and shall always remain the weakest amongst our kin.” I shake my head and wander to the fifth candle. ‘Some eulogy.’ I think to myself as a clove of mageroyal fades into view.

Anetho laid another brick over the thin coat of mortar, stopping only to wipe the sweat from his brow. “What is this now? Ten?” The stonemason shook his head. “Eleven, but to your credit you are yet learning the means of numbers and the written word. In no time at all, you’ll be both broad of shoulder and quick of mind my young friend. Surely you were a scholar before you hit your head.”

I set my hands gently upon Malathane’s shoulders as I pass her to see to the sixth candle. Her fingers brush over mine but a second before I gaze now upon the pile of Elven bones, stolen from the depths of our own mausoleums in Silvermoon. “Oh if she could see me now… If anyone could look upon me they’d all nod in silent satisfaction at being proven correct in their assumptions. That I’m a monster. Not the justified ‘necessary evil’ but just… Evil.” I utter a silent prayer for the polished bones of one who’s name was lost to time and circumstance. For whatever reason they looked as if they’d pull together and assault me in this very moment. I felt unnerved, but my resolve carried me to the seventh candle.

The Red Magister twirled the little violet flower between his fingers, intoxicated by it. Tears fell from his eyes inexplicably as he looked up to Liaskar. “What is this? This flower? What is it?” The Former Retainer of Lordaeron closed his eyes and inhaled sharply before replying in a melancholy tone. “Flora renamed in honor of our misguided liege, thy heir of Lordaeron. Prince Arthas Menethil.” Anetho stood upright and looked to his companion. “…The memories are few and far between… But I feel… almost as if in mourning hearing that name.”

My lips pull into an involuntary frown as my eyes settle upon a single flower aptly named Arthas’ Tear. A silent reminder of a beloved lord, a forgotten kingdom and a life stolen. Sorrow is soon replaced with fury – a burning hot rage born of self-loathing and aggression denied an outlet. “But here we are at last… The predestined and unwritten end to a tale which started with such promise, only to grow bitter, redundant, and ultimately very disapointing…” I shuffle to the final candle now. I feel heavy; As if I’d just walked the breadth of Azeroth twice over. It takes to the flame and the last required object gleams. An enchanted Twilight’s Hammer sigil taken long ago as a reminder of what I’d fled. An item now used to promote that very same sin that gave birth to the tragedy encompassed by the title Anetho Luem’Ray Dawnpride.

Left, right, left, right, twirl. Anetho drew the young, nameless woman about in a waltz. To the right, to the left again. “You did ask what it was like to dance, yes?” The young woman replied in a shy, almost cautious manner. “Yes… I’d seen them do it from afar but…I didn’t know what it felt like.” The Red Magister spun her about and laced his fingers with hers. “Do you like it?” He inquired in a forced tone of generosity. “…Yes.” She replied simply, a smile upon her lips for the first time since he’d laid eyes on the slave girl.

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The girl lays idle atop the stone altar, heavily sedated. Her eyes shift about indicating awareness on some level which only further adds to the guilt weighing upon me. I brush my hand along her cheek and try in vain to reassure her that the pain would pass quickly and give way to something better, regardless of outcome. She frowns, eyes drifting towards the shadows flickering along the walls. I sigh, knowing the futility of reaching out to my victim and take my place at the forefront of the ritual circle. I inhale deeply, cherishing the air as it fills my lungs. Slowly I give it leave to depart, raising both hands to enact this horrid incantation. “You can stop now, Malathane; All is where it should be and we’ve naught but to make this final commitment.” At my word, she ceases in regulating and limiting the energies flowing within the intricate circles. They blaze to life in a blinding purple hue, so intense that I am forced to squint. I give voice now to the words that promise an end, one way or another, to the Red Magister.

“Hanc vitam vivere alium tenebrae.”

Her screams chill me to the bone as violet tendrils pierce her body enacting my will. The flows of magic are beyond all control as I too now find myself gripped tightly in this dark display of forbidden spellcraft. I experience a sharp pain, something crushing me from within – A force ripping the very air from my being. I fall to my knees, no longer in command of my own body. I lurch forward and collapse. Brilliant fluctuations of ley twistand churn within the chamber dancing magnificent colors all about. Shadows of a nature I’ve never beholden upon race about me and I feel as if caught in the throes of an immolation spell. I cry out, but all I hear is her. My eyes locked upon her body, though I wish terribly to turn away.  Her body convulses as something humanoid, screaming in shrill banshee like ways is torn violently from deep within her. The very same process taking hold of me at this very moment. I know my soul is departing me for a second time… I feel it and myself as it is lost to the torrential display of magic throwing both about as if rag dolls. They soon twist about each other, before they both slam together violently amidst the epicenter of the magical torrent. I close my eyes at last as I twitch in agony one final time.

Nothingness takes hold of me for but a moment – The girl materializes before me; unknowable forces drawing us into an intangible embrace amongst eternity. The last dance either of us shall ever share to our own sonata that not even the Spirit Guides may be privy to. In mere seconds this too passes and I fall into total darkness once again.

 


 

EPILOGUE

Felorian sighed as he looked ot the young woman wrapped up in a fine silk blanket. Malathane folded her arms about themselves as her eyes set upon Anetho’s corpse. His gaze soon followed hers as he began to speak. “The Thalassian government will want an explanation as to just how he died and what he was attempting to accomplish here tonight. Of course they will likely arrange an inquisition and discover our involvement with Mister Dawnpride.” The monk wandered nearer the Red Magister. His expression was not one of agony or fear but rather one of contentment much to her surprise. “And what are we to say of this, Leviticus, that we may avoid conviction?” The arcanist glanced over the broken ritual circle and the smoldering remnants of the reagents scattered about. “We will tell them that he sought to approach immortality by turning himself into the equivalent of a Death Knight. The majority of the circle is comprised of necromatic runes and designs so it shouldn’t be too hard to portray. People see only what they wish and given the general hatred for the magister they’d go for it, if only to further slander his name and whats left of his reputation.”

Malathane took a knee and placed a single rose before Anetho. “What of his will and final testimony?” She inquired, standing upright and turning to face the young woman who’s eyes were blank and glossed over rocking back and forth in her blanket. “The artifacts he hasn’t hidden, like that sword of his for instance, will undoubtedly be repossessed by the city-state and remounted to the care of the Reliquary. The property and financial distributions will stir unrest but I have no fear that they should be honored.” Felorian adjusted his glasses and looked to the former slave girl with fiery red hair yet again. Malathane moved to stand beside him, still gazing upon the young woman that held Anetho’s gambit. “What about her?” She asked after a moment of silence.

“With the magister’s ‘unintentional suicide’ and his lack of relatives, she’ll be released from her indentured servitude and allowed a normal life… Although as she has nothing at all of her own, nor any relatives to speak of, it will certainly be a difficult one.” The girl looked at her hands with those glossy green eyes of hers before staring blankly up at the ceiling. “…Made all the worse with her current disposition.” He shook his head in disapointment. “Do you think it worked?” She asked, despite a suspicion she already knew the answer. “Perhaps… Though even if he had succeeded in asserting his soul in her body it wouldn’t amount to anything now. When you asked me to look upon her, I could find no evidence of higher intellect. Frankly speaking she has the mindset of a newborn. I can’t tell if it’s temporary or just a state of shock… However from where I stand it’s fairly safe to assume what’s left of Anetho Dawnpride is lying dead on the floor.” The young woman looked at her audience, canting her head sideways before running her right hand through her hair in and absent minded manner.

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“It’s pointless to speculate though as the only one that shall ever truly know is her.”

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~ by anethodawnpride on April 14, 2014.

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