His Legacy – Blood

“I am, as ever, a friend of mortal kind and act with it’s best interests at heart…” His words still rang in her ears as she glanced over the letter in her hands again. The duality of Anetho Dawnpride had never ceased to surprise her, but even in the darkest pits of his mind she’d never conceived of such a raw plan born of broken flesh and sundered soul. How recent his address seemed, only months ago had he stood before the council, the people, and Liliene herself pronouncing such bold ideals before transitioning to the Archivists’ care. “Notions such as nationality, race, or caste have never concerned me…” Had they ever, she wondered. The night sky masked stars, thunder rumbling some leagues off preceding an oncoming storm.

Had she seen the lights behind the clouds that comprised Anetho Dawnpride slowly dimming, dying one by one, she might have stopped this tragedy before it began. ‘No. Such ideas are foolish and one such as he would never be swayed on the idea of love. Love is something he wanted so desperately to possess and share, but knew it could not co-exist in his world of darkness and fury.’ She rolled over, drawing the blankets closer to herself. Despite the warmth they offered, a shiver ran up her spine. Slowly she reached for the stack of letters upon her nightstand and collected another. How many had he written beforehand? How many times had he faked his death in this manner? Were they all rehearsals for this final performance?

To The Esteemed Internal Affairs Investigators,

Magistrix Liliene Te’Athas; Internal Affairs,

And Whom It May Concern,

The nature of my crimes may best be described as horrendous and psychotic, built only upon the first stones of anger and vengeance. Indeed, every crime that I am guilty of may be labelled as a crime of passion for one motivates another, and in turn only serves to further the conspiracy that I weave that I may enact such vengeful notions. Plans of the like nature first came to fruition before the last stone was set upon the walls of Silvermoon during the days of the reconstruction – Days I served as a mason under a kind man by the name of Feriore Coldhearth. I was an empty slate, save for basic grammatical skills. He taught me to write, mathematics, and an appreciation for well-laid plans. It was during the final days that I drafted the first inklings of a tomb, one that saw many revisions to suit the bodies that would forge the foundation. At first, being one of such a simple mind at the time, they were little more than to kill everyone in as painful and fitting a manner as possible. The more I learned laying stone, the further I aspired in my education, the more elaborate the plan became. When at last, the city was reforged and my good work finished, I was cast aside like so many others. My purpose fulfilled – at least in the eyes of the city-state. In those days I did not possess a name, I was simply ‘Red’, for I injured myself frequently and spilled no shortage of blood upon the stones you now walk upon.

I found no shelter upon the rekindled streets of our Silvermoon, and no kindness in the hearts of the nobility that flocked to reclaim their titles and land. Petty disputes and the like did not interest or concern me, so I took refuge in the wilds, surviving only by good fortune. Indeed the story might have ended there, cold and alone one winter night dead in my sleep. Alas, fate was far more interested in watching this develop. I came upon a Warlock practicing the infantile steps of Fel and it’s manipulations. I slew him, and claimed the Succubus he drew forth into the world as my own, offering his soul for her services. She obliged. A pact was arranged and I now a student of the shadows. During the interim I met, and befriended, the Cannibal Temptress that terrorized our streets in the later years of the Burning Crusade and again in the aftermath of the Lich King’s death. She would become my closest ally and a most useful pawn. She safeguarded me during my embrace of the darkest magicks, and I in turn shadowed her in her moments of need.

Our rise to power was subtle, and I admit even I did not anticipate the lengths I would travel in my earliest days upon the road to ruin. We fell under the employ of a criminal cartel – one of many at the time. What coin we earned was reinvested in our pursuits. I had her trained in the arts of assassination and subtlety, though they never truly suppressed her feral and animistic nature, that cruel flaw that drove her to feed upon the flesh of those intelligent enough to ordain a purpose upon themselves. I studied the arts of demonic magic whilst they were still considered the solution among our people. In it’s glow I thrived, and in the eyes of the circle I was considered a prodigy. They suggested I further my education into social skills, a means to glide flawlessly between both the world of men and the world of demons. These teachings would later pass onto her. In time our zeal brought the eyes of those higher within this cartel and they consistently provided far more demanding tasks.

Feriore’s generosity and kind words were but a distant echo in the face of this new calling, this world of darkness I now truly called reality. Death, injustice, and fear became comrades. No longer would I know the embrace of the light, or an existence as one deserving the life I’d act out before the Magistrate and those around me. For behind every smile and comforting gesture, there was always the raging inferno of my revenge. The machinations turning over and over and over in my head. By chance, I came upon the opportunity to ascend into the Magistrate with thanks to the turmoil brought about with Kael’thas’ sudden return to the City-State and subsequent theft of the Blood Knight’s prized Naaru. I forced my way into the ranks of the Magistrate through blackmail and bribery – For my efforts I was graced only the station of a mere clerk, though this would not last long. I fabricated evidence of conspiracy within the Magistrate, implicating the Magistrix that had first introduced me to the art of law and a fellow student of the Fel as a co-conspirator. The paranoia gripping everyone only served to make it more believeable and she was quickly ousted. I assumed her post as one of many with the Internal Affairs branch of the Magistrate.

This, perhaps, was the moment I’d been biding my time for. I had real access to archives, dossiers on the average person, and more importantly, the reports of possible dissidents amongst our populace. Those I suspected of being in league with the Twilight’s Hammer, the ones whom wronged me in days long past and indeed the same organization I strove so passionately to undermine long before the shattering of our world… I had the Cannibal Temptress, Cielane Bloodlips, seduce and murder them – and in most instances, allowed her to succumb to her base nature. She was ever the predatory one. She wore many faces, and spoke in many tongues, some closer than you might imagine to those within the Magistrate. When the Guardsmen would come to close, I’d adjust the flow of fate and send them on a wild chase… Evidence surfacing suddenly indicating members of noble houses with ties to the cult, inquisitions and several unjustified arrests became the order of the day. Such affairs would not last however, the reclamation of the Sunwell being partially to blame.  The fear and paranoia I manipulated so flawlessly was abating as our future became further and further assured in this tempestuous world.

The deceased Heathis Duskwhisper would become a great help in the days following the rekindled spirit of our nation, particularly in cases involving the dissident, Resolo. His documents and charges were minimal at best, later enlarged at my hand to reflect a larger threat. Several resources were pooled into taking the perpetrator into custody, along with his supporters. Such would only be a temporary measure however as larger affairs surfaced with the war in the North now upon us in full steam. I was dispatched on behalf of the Magistrate to the frozen north to act in the interests of the city-state, though little known to those within it’s ranks, Heathis Duskwhisper was the one whom first proposed the idea at my behest as Resolo had fled in that very direction. Upon gracing the bitter shores, I cast aside my duties and assumed the face of the monster lurking deep within my heart. The one so well hidden, that even I could not imagine it’s hunger. This was the long awaited start to my intricate plans. Several followers of the Twilight’s Hammer were scattered about in the unified worship of Yogg-Saron, the Old God of Madness, a Thousand Maws, and such. I cared little more than for his devoted clergy.

Though I’d only scratched the surface of the conspiracy at play, I sated my hunger for the moment, and moved to assume my duties in Icecrown under the pretense that I’d been delayed by the weather.  Several other prominent officials dispatched on behalf of Silvermoon claimed deceased in the fighting were at my hand, and with nothing more than a suspicion that they too might be silent observers in the service of the Twilight’s Hammer. Even in the face of the Scourge, I could not see beyond the hate festering within me, stoked by time and self-proclaimed promises of retribution. I was but a conduit to the raw forces of fury that we associate the Fel energies with. In that time, I’d since expanded my demonic contracts and continued to operate independent of the Magistrate under the pretense of tracking dissident Cult of the Damned members whom had fled the field of battle and made for the lands of Lordearon to muster their remaining followers. In all reality, I had taken the chase to the Twilight’s Hammer and their sanctuary buried beneath the mountains.

When I returned some weeks later, the trials came. The mass of inquisitions I personally submitted and headed up in order to stamp out the growing sympathizers within our walls were but satisfactory steps in the larger role. A self-indulgent delusion that I was perhaps winning this fatal game of chess. There were no shortage of bodies strung about the neck in those days. The trials were but a mockery, something to precede the death of another accused practitioner.  The masses ate it up, feeling safer with each passing ‘conspirator’ and the Judicial Magistrate was all but under the scrutiny of that public opinion and my own underhanded mannerisms. Heathis has since ascended to the post as a Judicial Magister himself, which only further expanded my influence and reach. Something I took great advantage of.  During this time of turmoil I recruited friends, old and new alike that I might form my own Palamecian guard; A Glorious Wind as it were. A means to swiftly and decisively severe the head from the monsters I feared.

I had in service a few loyal members of the Silvermoon Rangers, both sadly deceased. They and the others that formed my vanguard were but pawns, each sacrificed to move closer to the king. Then it happened. Just as I felt this war of shadows, my own personal war, had become comfortable and I had settled into the role – they introduced the Aspect of Earth; Neltharion. They took the fighting into the open and changed the game entirely. It was now the world’s eyes upon them. I continued for a time to manipulate the lot of you, and perhaps in some small measures, even myself. I had Heathis fabricate the request to transfer me to Hyjal that I might investigate the on-goings, only to once again commit to my own affairs. Betrayal took hold from within my small troupe and it fell to ashes. One amongst them was, perhaps always, in service to the Twilight’s Hammer. My justice was swift and merciless, as it had always been. This incident, I think, hardened my heart to the potential of friendship and allegiance. With Neeshaka’s death, I grew colder and far more distant from those near me. This was the tipping point, the realms of both reality and madness slowly began to meld together. The co-conspirators whom I’d shared that victory, nay that defeat with (and are not named intentionally) fell into the backdrop of my growing madness I called Justice.

Anetho Luem’Ray Dawnpride

Magister; Internal Affairs.

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~ by anethodawnpride on July 16, 2014.

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