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Warcraft Short Story – Loathing Heritage

 

Other short stories starring Isratael

  • Warcraft Short Story – A letter of a pilgrim – Link
  • Warcraft Short Story – A brother’s Call to Arms – Link
  • Warcraft Short Story – Judgement Day – Link
  • Warcraft Short Story – Stranded on a river of leaves – Link
  • Warcraft Short Story – The Staff of the Virtuous Pilgrim – Link
  • Warcraft Short Story – Creeper of the Soul – Link

 

 

Antoran Wastes

War has always brought the worst. Pestilence, famine and, as a reward for one’s endurance and determination, death to themselves or the enemies.
This, however, is not a tale like any other. It was the beginning of a finale, of a war that had lasted for millenniums across the Great Dark Beyond and countless of other realms. Twisted and fowl creatures, lead by a fallen Titan who sought nothing but the end of all things. A perfect being who concluded, in his infinite wisdom, that the only way to purify the universe from the maddening corruptive tendencies of the Void Lords.. was to purge all life before life itself were to be manipulated by the tendrils of deception.

Truly, the hypocrisy of the Legion knew no limits. Countless worlds had been drained and served as fuel for the Fel rituals that the demons practiced. Instead of being influenced by the whispers of the unknown counterparts of the Light, entire races and planets were instead tortured by horned devils.
Felhounds gnawed on the bones of the wizards. Sayaad preyed upon the feeble minded. Inquisitors formed dark pacts with the betrayers. Nathrezim lead and spied entire nations by the use of the most convincing ruses.
Yet, what plagued the Draenei for more than twenty millennia were the Man’ari. The true demonic Eredar who served Sargeras, the right hand tacticians and leaders of countless demons. A fractured crown, two out of three pieces offered their lives to the Dark Titan. The one piece that remained, the origins of the Draenei Eredar under the leadership of the Prophet. Each piece of the crown had been brought to the Vindicaar, Velen being the only leader of the Eredar that were uncorrupted. The Crown of the Triumvirate had been assembled, bringing the Army of the Light and their allies back to the front line of their invasion on Argus after the countless scavenging tasks on Mac’aree.

A lightforged vessel stood in the skies of Antoran Wastes, a beacon of hope and the final stand against the Burning Crusade. To finally bring an end to an old threat that had plagued the universe.

Physically recovered, mentally scarred. A broken heart that became frail after the constant reminder of a nightmare that had been lived not so long ago. The Arcanist stood, not fearing to encounter those who she betrayed in secrecy. Somehow, with the attention that she had finally harvested by a few, she was able to obtain certain knowledge. Isratael knew she wouldn’t cross with a Nomad of Tureem. A little mana ray informed her that such specific group had gone missing for quite some time. She felt no contempt for their fate, reminding herself that they had used and abandoned her when she collapsed. Yet she lamented that they did not heard of someone named Ytaaru. Nonetheless, she endured and hoped. Despise the fragments of a former self, there was a minor Light that had not been engulfed in darkness. Perhaps such shard protected her during her captivity. A faith that not even the Ethereal was able to reach and manipulate, thus the transaction that he sought. If that candle in her soul were to cease on such dire event, her destiny would had been sealed.

Given the Pilgrim’s exposure, she could no longer escape from the burden of being part of something greater than her own inner turmoil. Told to accompany a group of broken known as the Krokul, to supervise their attempt to infiltrate one of the many dimmed and damped fel riddled caverns; she had no other choice but to clop her way to a Light Beacon. For the first time, the Enchantress stood on the rugged terrain of Argus. Though she once walked on Mac’aree, this land was not preserved. It hosted Antorus, the hallowed capital of the Burning Legion. Felfire rained from the skies, Felbats dove to snatch the Lightforged from the ground. Demonic artillery, twisted metals and pools of fel-lava that spawned hundreds of imps from the womb of much larger motherly abominations.

A war that the Pilgrim did not wanted to partake. A call of duty that she had once avoided, an heavy burden that she could not handle. Yet, to find her brother, she had to brave her fears. She began to wonder if her decision was worth it. Yet those doubts brought her much more pain, doubts that she refused to accept. Instead, she had a desire. Pure as that desire was, it was the only true outcome that she envisioned. She did not lied to herself, underestimating the odds of survival for herself or her brother. Instead her mind was like a web of opportunities and calculated outcomes. To avoid the unwanted, to pursue the path that lead to happiness. Every step counted, every spell meant something, her tongue was a sword to be used wisely. Riddles upon riddles, her sense of safety on one self and the events to come lied on her ability to anticipate and feel that she was in control of her own fate; not allowing it to control her against her preferable destination.
Yet, could she truly predict the future?

 

 

Loathing Heritage

 

The broken Eredar, familiar to such crumbling world, were aware of the unlikely odds in surviving a demonic onslaught directly. Instead, cunning as they were, the group of eight Krokul brought Isratael to the rivers of fel-lava. Plenty of fissures made it possible for the Legion to turn a blind eye to the fel corrupted basilisks that inhabited them. The mutated carnivorous creatures fought for their survival by devouring one another. At times, if their overlords were kind enough to torture a mortal, the wild life feasted on fleshly treats.
As obvious at it may be, the group kept themselves close to the edges of the narrowed rivers. A spell deployed by the Krokul that hid the group in the shadows as they moved together. Step by step, not to alert the beasts who were ecstatic by the numerous Felbats and hopeless warriors from both sides that felt by accident or thrown to their demise. While the Broken were used to such sight, the Draenei couldn’t help but feel sorrow and disgust for the gore she had seen. In her mind, she questioned the fate of Draenor. Did it also hosted such twisted carnivorous infected rivers of bright green, dark rock and crimson strokes of spilled blood?

Fissure by fissure, they distanced themselves from the narrow path of death to an even more confined crack on the cliffs that provided a platform for storming Mo’arg fiends. On a line, they felt the jagged terrain on their back and palms. Even though the Broken were far more burly than the Pilgrim, the stone still abraded her dark skin. Biting her lower lip, she gazed upwards at the dim cracks, shadows blocking the light. Ash felt down, the sound of blades clashing. The agonizing slash of an axe piercing throw the tissue, ichor dripping from above, landing on top of a dark silky cowl. She could not bear to look, despise her own countless executions upon others.
Something was different, war never changes. Yet the beholder of such emotions still had to recover from the past.

Silence loomed alongside the infiltrators. They had a mission, organized as they were. Explorers on a labyrinth of cracks, challenging fate itself against the odds of survival and true destination. Yet there they were, now in a cavern. Nowhere to hide, they drew their blades and began to mutter their spells. Arcane summoned and steamed from the mana Isratael carried on her garments, enclasped in shards and crystals that clinked in harmony against the golden metals. The Serpent Eyes of a staff that were used as a beacon to unleashed a barrage of missiles aimed at the felhounds that were eagerer to draw upon the Arcanist. Blades carved from bones, wielded by the mysterious Broken Assassins, brought but a mere fragment of their vengeance upon the remaining demons. A Shaman commanded the weakened earthen elements from an dying plane of existence, shaking the caverns for their own benefit to cripple their foes.

 

Once the group reached the far end of the dastardly cavern, where broken cages were hanged on the ceiling with long chains made of empyrium; a Jailer absorbed the souls of the war prisoners frenetically. The large hulking demon knew that a group of assassins was approaching, deciding to foil their plans before the inevitable demise. Hundreds of souls were locked on a cage that they carried behind the back, forever swirling in pain as they saw their corpses being tossed to yet another pool of fel-lava one by one.
Though the demon grinned with arrogance once they saw the perpetrators, they carried on with the foul ritual. Four mortals were chained, devoid of will to live after the horrors they had suffered. One stood at the center of a crude fel rune, a hand approaching the face of a male Blood Elf. But before the soul could be separated from the body, two of the assassins stepped to the Shadow realm just to immediately back stab in a blink. The bones carved deep within the thick hunch of the red maniac who began to chuckle as they felt to the ground. Yet the very last breath was only drawn when the Shaman begged for the elements to stab the Jailer with a wide sharp rocky spike that was cut from the stone on the roof.

Squirting, the tormentor was no more. The magical bounds breaking from the four lucky survivors. Two of those were female Draenei while another was a red blooded Highmountain Tauren, besides the Blood Elf himself that gasped for air. Unfortunately, the blood elf did not survived the ritual for his body became quite drained from life. An anorexic corpse that luckily passed away without becoming victim to a crueler fate. Such is the consequence of fel magic, which life itself is the main reagent.
The large built Tauren took hold of the cage that contained hundreds of souls. The enchantment that kept the souls within weakened by the demise of the fiend, crushed by the humanoid bovine when he decided to throw it against the cavernous walls. Guiding the souls, the Shaman brought peace to the dead with a mere wave of his withered staff.

 

Though the journey back to the Vindicaar proved to be more difficult, the three victims were brought to safety. A task that was considered a success, for the Tauren was part of an order known as the Unseen Path. The bound between the Army of the Light and the mysterious order only strengthened after such display of kindness. Yet they mourned for the death of the few Draenei and Hunters from the order that were sacrificed for the greater good.

Despise the triumph, Isratael did not felt that she belonged. Part of her was glad that she had saved a few more lives. Yet again, her focus was on herself and her personal goals. Noticing the distant approach from the Pilgrim, the two suviving Draenei came to her. Besides the obligatory well mannered words of appreciation, one of them recognized the Arcanist. Perhaps in the past, both had a closer connection that meant more to the survivor than to Isratael herself.
Taking the opportunity, the Pilgrim asked for the whereabouts of her brother. Once again, she was met with ignorance on the subject. As always, when one wasn’t aware, she also began to ask for the location of the Illusionist named Mesoora. But unlike previous attempts, the two draenei knew her. They were once her apprentices, saddened to hear that she never fought alongside them on Argus.
Widening her gaze, surprised by such revelation, anger at one self was hidden under the bruised skin. Was her travel to Argus pointless to begin with? She turned her back at the two, who grew some concerned over the Enchantress’ behavior. She marched to a lonesome corner of the vessel, questions came to mind. Confusion flooded her judgement. Yet frustration prevailed at the top.

 

If Mesoora never came to Argus, did her brother never traveled there as well? A question that she could not ignore, since the answer was most likely positive.
Was her suffering in vain? Did she gained anything from the skirmishes she joined, from the nightmare she had witnessed? From the sacrifices she made and the betrayal conducted behind the preying eyes of an Lightforged army?
Emotions overwhelmed her, from the atrocities she committed to reach just as far as she had. The words not spoken, for the decisions she made. She began to imagine what others would had thought about her, given that she no longer could justify herself.

All.. in vain.

 

Thoughts came to her mind after the tears were finally contained. Sniveling, she decided to forfeit her search. Like the Draenei on the Vindicaar, the Nomads that she aided and betrayed, the Pandaren that she heavily judged.. she began to understand.

Pain comes from the past. Actions and words spoken, with the hope of tidying the shards of a former life, end in frustration and torment for the meek. One becomes desperate the more they fail, ending in hypocrisy for the goals are greater than integrity to one’s morality. The devastating realization of one’s struggle to survive in such bleakness, a dystopian self fulfilling prophecy. Hatred, frustration; pebbles being born from withered trees.
Life is not what we desire what could had been. But what we desire to be with the possibilities given in the present. Held close to heart the short comings of life, a lesson rather than a bitter end to one’s future.

A lesson that she had forgotten, given the events she had suffered since the death of her warmth.

 

Upon self reflecting on her path, she approached the nearest Lightforged Draenei. From there, Isratael was guided to the very same portal that brought her to the Vindicaar. A portal that transported her to the Exodar, to Azuremyst Isles.

Again, she welcomed Azeroth. No longer was her goal to find her brother or the Illusionist. If fate allowed, they would meet once again.

The Pilgrim only desired to forget. To travel once again…
…and so she did.

 

Déjà vu

Pages:

Warcraft Short Story – Creeper of the Soul

 

Other short stories starring Isratael

  • Warcraft Short Story – A letter of a pilgrim – Link
  • Warcraft Short Story – A brother’s Call to Arms – Link
  • Warcraft Short Story – Judgement Day – Link
  • Warcraft Short Story – Stranded on a river of leaves – Link
  • Warcraft Short Story – The Staff of the Virtuous Pilgrim – Link

 

 

Creeper of the Soul

The perfect house. Adorned in beauty, inviting for the individual. The dream, lounging for thousands of years upon the soul of a once meek Draenei.
She saw, materialized in her sub-conscious. A vivid and convincing room, with those that she desired the most. Such warmth and harmony, never had this been so clear! In Shadowmoon Valley, a modest house where vines and wooden fences protected a magnificent back yard from the preying beast and critters that desired to feast upon others’ allure. Purple light coming from perfectly cut enchanted Taladite crystals that levitated on top of ivory pillars.
On the main hall, the one that presented such yard behind transparent glimmering layers of cloth embroidered in gem chips that reached the ground like tail quill feathers of a peacock; a wooden dining table with silver lining white cloth. The cherry on top, a table chandelier that held candles for those extra cold nights. A floral scent that traveled alongside the brown wooden walls that made a defining contrast with the stellar white stone floor. A bookcase, containing an impressive collection of tales and spell books of old! On one of the walls, a Crystalline fireplace that did not drew the attention away from a smaller sample of a white clefthoof’s pelt resting on the floor. Lastly, a wide yet thin wooden drawer that held the silver cutlery and other necessary utensils for a delightful meal; a rich variety of fruits on a colorful bowl that rested on top of such furniture.

But what made the house desirable was not the beauty in the eyes of the beholder, but the youthful warmth of those that were but no longer could. The Pilgrim’s parents, sharing the wisdom of the Prophet with the children that never came to be. The passionate dialogue from a red-blooded lover of reason, talking to the willful sibling. Other familiar faces came and went, hospitality in the house of the fabled Enchantress, Isratael.
.. Yet, it wasn’t a dream.

The wind blew harshly against the neck, cloth wrapping around it delicately. It was too late! With a snap, she felt on the ground painfully.
A flash, she hadn’t died, where were the others? Something was wrong and she called for her warmth. The long breathtaking wait between each clop from the hooves that never came, a crystal shard pierced through the heart.
A flash, she hadn’t died, her father was there now. She pleaded, the house was haunted! He widened his eyes in disbelief, now victim of the fire that grew right underneath his hooves. She couldn’t save him.
A flash, her father wasn’t there, did he perish? She ran outside the house and found herself in the backyard. There was someone there, a friendly orc that attended the flowers with much pleasure. Her tusks pointing upwards, curling a smile that she wasn’t aware. Was she aware of what was happening at all? The vines came to life, wrapping the Draenei when she least expected. Gasping for air, her last breath gave birth to another flash.
Again inside the main hall, the orc wasn’t there. The children that never came to be were screaming, falling one by one from the enchanted army of cutlery. The bowl of fruit was her shield of righteous. She survived, at what cost?
Flash, she was alone with her new acquaintance, paranoia. Paranoia became her greatest ally, her senses enhanced. For a time nothing came, until it did and she felt.
Flash, the corpse of her mother on top of the pelt.
Flash, she died with her brother.
Flash, the orc was there once again, but so was death.
Flash, blood. Flash, a survivor to tell. Flash, a tale of decay.

The nightmare of a house that never came to be. There was no way to wake up from such a dread, a prison of the past and long-lived yearnings. A constant reminder that, no matter how much one believes they will reach a state of ecstasy, life is anything but merciful. It will chortle in your misery. A chortle that felt real.

Laughter came from the tunnel of light that wittingly came. She stretched her arm to reach it. And from light came darkness, from darkness a blur and a voice that became clear.

 

 

Argus

 

She was in Argus for quite some time, such became obvious to Isratael once again. She had fallen victim to the whispers that surrounded the Seat of Triumvirate, Mac’aree; on yet another mission with a group of Draenei Nomads that she had grown acquainted with.
A verbal contract she had made once again but, unlike the one made with mercenaries and traders, it was one with the only desire to find her own brother. Nomads who constantly enforced her the same mindset she had grown to abhor. Trapped in a past, never releasing the grip from something that was long gone. Echoes, demons and spirits of the past; a reminder of a former home that no longer was but a burning fel rock. She detested Argus with a passion the moment she stepped on Mac’aree, even though it did not share the same cursed landscape from the world bellow. A floating rock, a lost piece of a puzzle that once made Argus the home planet of the Draenei more than twenty five thousand years ago. Isratael was born long after the lost, she had no attachment to such adulterated planet. It was only a planet that she had heard from her parents and much older acquaintances of the past.

However, she was a victim once again at that point in time. The whispers had reached to her, everything became hazy. She had just awakened from a deep slumber, or perhaps from a mind controlling spell. Shadows talked, yet she could not listen. It was still dark, but she was awake at last. Her mind was clearing up and she had begun to feel cold and a hunger she hadn’t felt in a long time. She tried to move, but her body was not her slave yet. It did not move under her command, not even a finger could be raised. Her head was not her own either, but she felt her skin touching upon a rugged surface. It hurt her, but she could not yell or whimper. A chill came from her spine for creeping dark tendrils traveled from her back and reached for her frown. These tendrils had her under control, under their command.

 

A chuckle came from afar, making the shadows flee. Her mind became clearer, her gaze limpid, and she could finally realize that she was inside a dim scavenged Draenei house. And the shadows were Krokul melded in Void. She tried to move once again, to speak.. to no avail. Yet her senses allowed her to realize that she had been stripped from her cloth, bearing her undergarments. Dirt and bruises covered her dark violet skin. The dark tendrils that preyed on her spine and skull were exactly what she had seen and understood, the body that sat on the floor and leaned against the wall was not her own to order, but to only feel. Fortunately for her, the master had no desire for their new puppet.

A fine subject.” said the voice that came closer, forming a shadow on the entrance. Tall yet slender, sharp shoulders and male on first sight. It was the voice that mocked in her dreams, yet the one that also brought her conscious back. Isratael’s own emotions felt distant however, despise the predicament she was experiencing. Such is the Void. Yet her eyes turned, not under her desire to do so. They looked at herself, at her own flesh.
The shadow came closer, growing bigger. When approaching the door frame, her body raised from the ground immediately. Her movements were rigid and reckless for her own well being, for she felt her bones cracking. Yet her body stood, slightly hunched. Her dark purple hair, though not long, waved in front of her gaze, greased. How long had she been in such a state of affairs?
The shadow.. was of an unknown Ethereal “Good, I can feel your presence. Your mind hasn’t been consumed.

He clasped his hands, or what appeared to be hands. The wrappings gave much to desire after all. He continued to speak to her with a tone that no longer mocked, but one of a diplomat “Your conscious mind is still alive. Appreciate that, Draenei. I have no desire to see a creature like you suffer..” he paused, only to wave a hand in front of a frown that was not her own.
From that wave, the tendrils that crawled on her back vanished to nothingness. And from that nothingness came a familiar vessel that was now hers to order and to feel. Suddenly finding herself being in control of her own self, she collapsed on the ground fully conscious. The pain that she felt on her body, it made her scream as loud as she could. The agony that she felt from the hunger, the bruises and pain from a former slave owner who carelessly treated her mortal vessel quite savagely. And from the pain, tears. The Ethereal waited patiently, giving a much more needed moment for the Enchantress to recover from the shock.

 

A moment had finally passed, raising herself quite pitifully. She clumsily stumbled closer to a wall, resting both palms on it. She had grown accustomed to her own body once again, yet there were questions unanswered. She turned to face the Ethereal, her back relying on the crumbling wall behind her. “I do apologize for your attire, Draenei. Your.. tattered drapes held impressive properties that were necessary for this transaction.” finally spoke the Ethereal once again, his hands behind his back with a rather straight posture.
.. W-Where am I? Who are you and.. why.. should I trust you?” mustered Isratael behind a harsh breathing pattern and vulnerable silhouette.
You haven’t left Mac’aree. I am your savior and you may feel free to not trust me.
I.. don’t trust your kind.
You don’t have a choice, regardless. Listen to my proposal or I shall send you back to the Void.

Threatened, the Draenei muttered a few words of wisdom. Yet, to her own dismay, the Ethereal raised a single finger that pointed close to where a humanoid would usually have their lips bloom. She had been silenced, which surprised her. “I wouldn’t do that again if I were you, fleshling. Remain civil and I shall provide with your belongings.” retorted the Ethereal, lowering his finger slowly. She felt her voice cords belonging to her once again, gasping.
Now that you are aware of your plight; I choose you out of those acquaintances of yours because I found that you were the most promising of subjects.” he continued with his negotiation.
T-the weakest, you mean..” lamented the Draenei.
There were others with weaker connection to the Light, fleshling. No, I choose you because you have something that I desire. And you desire something as well.
Walking closer to the Ethereal, she kept a much more reliable stance. One of her hands wandered behind her back in search for any tendril, growing some paranoia over the Void. But no, that Ethereal was aware of something already. Of her true goal on Argus or perhaps the dream she had.
Ytaaru.. is it?” he suggested, to incite more than a mere reaction. Which obviously she did, a trembling hand reached for her own mouth to cover her shock to hear such a name from an Ethereal. A clop back, she almost felt. A faint humorous snicker from the Ethereal, in jest “The things one can learn from another’s nightmares. I could hear your voice from afar, Draenei. You seek a familiar face, yet I do not know who and where this Ytaaru is.

 

Silence settled between the two oddities. The Pilgrim was growing restless from the mystery surrounding her torturer. A frustrated sigh from the Draenei herself broke the abnormality “Be quick, Ethereal. I starve. I.. know your people are oblivious to such realities but know that I may collapse soon if I do not eat..

Very well, fleshling. I’m aware of the nature of a certain mana crystal that you had. That crystal comes from this planet. I wish to know where. I’m sure that you are also aware the implications of not providing me with such information.
I.. should had guessed. You desire something that isn’t yours already. If I do, you’ll set me free?
I’ll do more than just that. I’ll provide what remains of your inventory. Including that particular unflattering staff.

The pilgrim blinked, turning her attention at her own physique. A reminder of the price she would had to pay for not complying with the demands of the Ethereal. If she were to accept the proposal however, she would be betraying the Nomads and, of consequence, her people. Her stare once again settled on the mystical appearance of the Ethereal that hid himself on poorly enchanted wrappings and uninspiring dark yet sharp shoulder pads made of cloth. Yet, in her hunger, she felt certain repulsion for those that abandoned her that day. She began to remember that, during the conflict, she had fallen behind while the other Draenei walked without much of a glance to her struggle. She had but one question to the Ethereal that awaited nothing but the answer he desired from her “How long has it been since the day you have manipulated me?
To which he answered “Nearly two weeks. No one came searching for you, Draenei.
Then I’ll accept your proposal. They must surely believe that I’m one with the Light by now..” she lamented, turning her gaze away from the dealer. She knew the consequences of her decision, yet it was one for her own survival and made ever so lightly given the blindness of her own hunger.
It is settled, Draenei. Surely, a mutually beneficial transaction. Just as I foresaw.

 

The Pilgrim began to provide the information to the mysterious Ethereal. In return, the Ethereal ordered two Voidscarred Krokuls to bring the Draenei her own values, to which they done so. Unlike what her oppressor had lead her to believe, her garments were mostly intact. The Staff of the Virtuous Pilgrim was once again hers to wield. The Ethereal was made aware where she had gained a particular mana crystal. He did not require more than the information provided. It belonged to an Autarch of her kind, from a lineage of magi that she knew so little to begin with. A Draenei that has lived four times over the age and wisdom of this Arcanist. Ancient vaults that held secrets and power, perhaps even subtle traps and curses. He did not fear the challenge itself, for he had allowed the Void to have control over his judgement.

The Enchantress was permitted to walk away from the crumbling ruins, to which she did without much more of a whimper to the few Ethereal she saw on her path back to the Vindicaar. Her mind, though freed from the influences of the Void, it was not fully sane. She only desired a meal, aloof clops on the ground and supported by her staff along the excruciating walk. She could not bear to fully grasp what she had done that day.

On the Vindicaar, the Lightforged were quick to attend to her wounds. There was no sign of any Nomad of Tureem. Long breaths, she closed her eyes and rested for a few days. She had enough time to contemplate about the consequences over and over. Yet no one knew what she had done, a secret that she kept hidden from those around her. On that moment, her only desire was to face her own brother. Perhaps he was on the region known as Antoran Wastes, or so she believed given that was the location the Vindicaar was brought to during her recovery.
Ytaaru…

Pages:

Warcraft Short Story – The Staff of the Virtuous Pilgrim

 

Other short stories starring Isratael

  • Warcraft Short Story – A letter of a pilgrim – Link
  • Warcraft Short Story – A brother’s Call to Arms – Link
  • Warcraft Short Story – Judgement Day – Link
  • Warcraft Short Story – Stranded on a river of leaves – Link

 

 

Dun Morogh

A darkened cloud, carried by the wind. To purify the soul, it must weep and not be forgotten in the skies. Never ignored. The tears, toxic, causing a temporary illness. Yet a river is seen, it must be fed and be given a flow without drying. Without it, all that is natural perishes with time. But so is the cycle of life that brings a storm on the horizon and tears apart what is close to us. Life is but a cycle of destruction and light that teaches us half truths. Not because it hides, but because life is the greatest poet. Like children of the night, embracing the dim nature of the womb. Laughter is what we seek at the end.
But all need to be born. Again and again. Can mortals truly reach the promise land? Ignorance is bliss, life will tear you apart. Wake up, forge your heart before darkness consumes you.

Life begins anew in familiar lands. The womb of a matriarch from Khaz Modan, Kharanos. It has been a year since the demonic invasion had begun. Though the united force of the Dwarven clans and individuals has made this specific town safe from harm; sorrow still lingers in the eyes of the beholder. The enthusiasm from the Gnomes, a race that has endured martyrs from their betrayer, truly the candles in bleakness.
The hum of metal, cling. The strength of a hammer, clack. A clattering hymn of rebirth to one of the most well known towns in Dun Morogh. Heavily guarded, even the mountain kings have to step down from their hills to inspire their people and make sure darkness doesn’t slither.

Again, Summer resides. The snowy mountains, resisting the heat for most part. Corn snow, wet at times, snow squalls aren’t uncommon. Still, it allows the meek to wander without too much concern of freezing to death or sickly. A Draenei pilgrim, by the name of Isratael, finds herself in this town afresh. She knew what to expect, relieved to see the outcome of the local labor. A few familiar faces, reminding her of a choice she had made. One that has cost her dearly. A pain that she felt within her heart, part of her regretted her choice. Yet the face of a few of the locals that recognized her. Those who used to carry bandages, scars. They now smiled, their eyes could not hide! The cheeks, hid underneath layers of musk that tell a tale. A stoutly appearance, protected by long braided beards. There was something charming and endearing when witnessing a Dwarven male genuinely smile. “Was this the right decision”, the Draenei thought to herself through mutters.

After leaving a golden vale of sorrow, to experience the death of an outcast by the hands of their enemies; she couldn’t help but feel sympathy for the lone Mogu. Truly, blind hatred. She expected much more from the Pandaren, after being in their continent for a while. The tales and their philosophy, hospitality, their cuisine! If there is someone on Azeroth that one could trust to make the wisest of choices, it must be a Pandaren. Yet what the Draenei saw was hypocrisy. It betrayed her, tricked her. Toyed with her weakened soul. Her hope, to abandon her previous life and to be reborn anew, to walk a new path along the people of Azeroth. Her family was shattered, most pieces were broken while others were left to wander.
Is such faint desire truly fiction from the mind of a troubled wayfarer? Was it fate, to be a shadow of a former vessel that didn’t beat so violently within the embrace of an ivory palace? Pause, the beat skipped, what is this feeling? It is empty, yet also everything that one feels. Pouring in so vapidly. No, not vapid. It’s intense! Is it too late for the Draenei to scream? To beg? Her mouth hastened, yet it was too late. A weak sigh was all that was transpired from yet another moment of despair. The culmination of a being that has lived for over ten millennia. The same sound one hears from the whispers coming from the most ancient of fauna, a sough.

 

 

The Staff of the Virtuous Pilgrim

 

The Hammerstone family.

Again Isratael had decided to visit them. Haze shrouds the path of faith, lacking direction. In haze, Isratael could only think of an elderly matriarch, Jagda Hammerstone. A Jewelcrafter that she had met, in a family of diggers and a few metalsmiths. After the bulk of the Legion’s army upon this world, the family took the opportunity to enlarge their foundry in the extremity of the town. Their family name was known for their explorer, Galthorm Hammerstone, not for their prospectors and crafters. They had to compete with more prevalent names in their society.

 

After trudging on top of the recently built stone paths that connected the town with prosperity in mind, her hoof had clopped on the foundry. A familiar sound to some of the family members, turning their heads to see the Draenei that had saved them. As she expected, much like the very few commoners that recognized her, their grin lighten up more than the flames that rested on the furnace. It is as if a hero was walking among them. She could not bare to look at them in the eyes, forcing a smile that was buried in the shade cast by her lilac embroidered silky cowl. A gift from another friend of hers, a fabled Pandaren Jewelcrafter from the Greenstone Village, Jade Forest.

Brought to the matriarch, blissfully preparing a feast for her loved ones, with the aid of her grandchildren on the comfort of their own house; the family allowed a moment’s rest from the two. Of course, as tradition demanded, Jagda had brought the pilgrim to the silence that only the death could bring. It was still an afternoon, never completely in solitude. The sun provided enough warmth to make the Draenei finally unveil her hair. She had allowed it to grow, though it yet had to reach her shoulders. It no longer carried the fragrance that was familiar to those that knew her a few years back. Rather, it was sweeter. A contrast to an expression that carried melancholy. If anything, it burden the matriarch to see such a noble creature to be saddened.

Lass..?” the dwarf questioned. She was not expecting to see her friend and champion mourn after what happened. Little did the Dwarven widow knew about the death of Isratael’s father. A planned omission from the Arcanist that did not desire to tell of her sacrifice when she had reluctantly decided to stay in Kharanos. It wasn’t that day either that the Draenei would decide to tell this Dwarven friend about it. Instead, the pain within was finally released after another skip from a dying beat. Though the graveyard did not contain a single tombstone of her fallen loved ones, she felt on her knees and wept. Toxic tear drops in the soft snow, an illness that was contagious even to the Dwarf. The elderly kept her close, no words needed to be told, not this time.

 

Once the canals began to dry, Jadga held the silky cloth in her hands. Soft, delicate and of fine quality. She shared her opinion on it, trying to cheer the pilgrim. It matched her silver garments and purple cloth. A proper armor for a lone traveler, adorned with enchanted azure shards and gems that produced their own melody, an Arcanic aura that gave them a peculiar reflection of reality itself. Yet not even such flattery cheered this Draenei. The darkness started to creep on the Dwarven’s heart, but she resisted. She spoke, afflicted “Isratael.. it pains me t’see ya’ like this! Is this how ancient legends feel when they have lived lon’enough an’ have suffered from fate?

Are you asking if.. if it is a curse to live long just as I have?” the Draenei finally spoke. Her speech slow, weightless. Almost carried by the wind and lost to the ages.

The dwarf knew what those words meant. A Dwarf would never live long enough to experience the wisdom and a wide range of shortcomings throughout life like a Draenei would. Not even an elf could. How many generations of Dwarves has Isratael outlived for? Perhaps most Draenei are older than the entire legacy of the Dwarves as a race! A Dwarf could never fully understand a Draenei. “I.. am because I don’know..” her voice trembled, realizing she was facing an ancient creature that knew much more about life itself than her entire race.

“I ask the same question now and then.. and not even I know. I do not know if I should envy you or..” she paused. She knew that her trail of thoughts would lead to unnecessary drivel.

“Then why have ya’came here? Why are ya’not with yer’ people, pilgrim? We’re more mortal than ya’..” the Dwarf argued, perhaps in desperation in face of a deep desire to assist her friend. The sturdiness of her kind being heavily rooted within her wrinkling facade. Hiding a much more dire truth, a truth that she found to be guilty of as well. Quickly she took a step back and apologized for her outburst.

Yet a truth that Isratael was familiar with. One that was too late to avoid and to reach out with her own voice “To mourn..

 

 

The sky had turned orange, a few shades from the Dark Beyond covering a clear sky. Fully exposed was still Argus, a reminder of the demonic influence of the Burning Legion upon Azeroth. Both widows talked to one another, the venom already tainting the graves of those who are no longer among them. If the dead could hear and speak, the secrets they would tell of every orphan that had bled their soul! Yet the dead, like silent escorts to one’s sentiment, can no longer be adulterated.

 

Both returned to the matriarch’s house, surrounded by the blissful warmth of one’s crib. Deep down, the Draenei felt envy on that moment, for this is what the Draenei truly desired for herself and the warmth that she dearly missed. Another crack on her vessel, a silent one at that. Still, she could not help but set aside her bitterness for now and delight herself in the company of those who only wished to please her. Isn’t that all that matters?

However, when the meal had been prepared and joyfully feasted upon, Isratael was later met with a proposal from one of the crafters of the family. Some of the members of this family wanted to offer the Draenei a gift, an artifact to be crafted by Dwarven hands. After all, the Hammerstone family had a foundry and a tale to tell for countless of generations to come.

The tale of the Virtuous Pilgrim. A tavern tale that was brewing within town, of one of the many saviors of Kharanos:

It tells of a powerful Archmage that traveled the Great Dark Beyond, that predicted the arrival of the Legion which craved to enslave Azeroth and spread darkness upon the mountains of Khaz Modan. That three powerful fel twisted six horned rams were to take over the three thrones. That among the heroes of Kharanos, a Pilgrim, as docile and innocent as a sheep, stood against the demonic rams and their army of wolves. Despise the appearance, the pilgrim sheep stared directly to the soulless, adorned in blue velvet to signify their alignment with the Alliance. The wisdom that the sheep carried made the wolves eat the very snow that their own paws carried. Truly, the determination of a wizard from the Dark Beyond.

Isratael, despise the looming darkened tar that had yet to be purified from all the muck accounted from ten thousand years of pleasures taken away; couldn’t help but find some amusement in the method used to describe the events that took place one year ago. For the Hammerstone family, it meant their life, which Isratael agreed to accept the reward from it.

 

On the following days, a peculiar staff was crafted. Carrying the head of a sheep, bathed in gold. Gems adorned the stone wool, giving a feeling of royalty. And from the spoils of Pandaria, brought from the travels in Pandaria, two serpent eyes symbolized the wisdom that the Pilgrim Sheep carried in their vision. Blue cloth formed a bound between a wizard and the Alliance. Enchanted, to serve as a focus to one’s evocation of the Arcane. And from a staff, new golden attires were forged and blue cloth was sewed by the hands of a tailor among the family. The silk that the Draenei carried was painted in dark and blue shades, embroidered details preserved yet turned into gold.

And thus the artifact known as the Staff of the Virtuous Pilgrim came to exist, to be held by one of the Saviors of Kharanos, the Lost Sheep from the Dark Beyond.

 

Eager to be reunited with her brother, to explain what she had given in exchange for the life of their father, Isratael was determined to find him and Mesoora. To finally drain the impurity of her heart on one last family reunion and to forge a new life on Azeroth. Never to look back in grief. For Azeroth itself, as a whole, was her Valley of Eternal Blossoms. To Argus she went. But the question remains, is Azeroth really the promise land she desires? Or did the light provided to her spoke in half truths?

Pages:

Warcraft Short Story – Stranded on a river of leaves

 

Other short stories starring Isratael

  • Warcraft Short Story – A letter of a pilgrim – Link
  • Warcraft Short Story – A brother’s Call to Arms – Link
  • Warcraft Short Story – Judgement Day – Link

 

 

Valley of Eternal Blossoms

In the heart of Pandaria, the Valley of Eternal Blossoms is the center of both Mogu and Pandaren culture.
Sealed for millennia, it has reopened its doors to outsiders. Ancient relics and myths of old are found in the ruins of former vaults and golden palace. Mogu Emperors ruled the land of Pandaria while living a luxurious life in the land that was once home of the Jinyu. After the Mogu were driven out, this vale was sealed by the August Celestials and protected by a few chosen Pandaren under the banner of the Golden Lotus.
The rivers that flow in Pandaria originate from its sacred pools. A golden land where the Titans themselves created and experimented with life on Azeroth, much like Un’Goro Crater in Kalimdor and Sholazar Basin in Northrend. Pure, crystal clear, these waters are able to heal and cleanse certain wounds that not even the Light is capable of. A power that has resulted on the demise of this once beautiful landscape by the hands of a tyrant warchief.
Once an eternal blossoming land, a land of sorrow. Yet there is hope, now that the land has been cleansed from the Sha. A vale being rebuilt and healed, blessed by the last emperor of Pandaria.

Isratael, a Draenei pilgrim, was informed of a possible contract. In Dawn’s Blossom, an innkeeper informed her of a human who required her services. Perhaps one that learned of her trading skills. One that was aware that it was her that was involved with the infusion of Arcane into the weapons and ammo that belonged to the warriors of a group known as the Fallen Leaf, which were used to confront a local dispute between the Pandaren and a fractured shadow of what was once a mighty Mogu army.

With the aid of a Jinyu, Isratael was brought to the Valley of Eternal Blossoms. A new bound was celebrated between herself and a group of traders and mercenaries. Yet the shadow cast by Argus made the encounter with the Silver Serpents ever more excruciating than it should.

 

 

Stranded on a river of leaves

 

A landscape that still held scars from a devastating event, the golden landscape yet to fully bloom. The eternal presence of a bigger treat than a mere race war between two kinds of rulers, such was the apathy in general ever embraced by a few that were hired to investigate an already crumbling force of animated stone brutes.
The Pandaren obviously fear their former Slave Masters. The tale of their soul bending shadow magic raising certain curiosity, perhaps providing some distraction from her inner turmoils. Yet one cannot forget the past, nor the dread of one’s single living family member championing a greater legion. Despise being shunned by a single Draenei platoon, it was not Isratael’s desire to suffer yet another personal loss in her life.

 

Amidst a group of mercenaries, she was asked to get involved once again on yet another skirmish against a group of Mogu. Given her verbal contract with the Silver Serpents, they and the Fallen Leaf ventured to the Guo-Lai Halls.
For the Draenei, this task was accepted without any form of grace or true motivation. Coins were never a source of happiness for her, for she still holds a generous amount after centuries of serving as an Evoker in the Genedar. On Draenor, she aided the Artificers as an assistant. Though not an engineer, her Arcane knowledge provided some necessary and quite rewarding experiences. It was with them that she had also perfected her enchantments. With them, she found warmth. A warmth that she dearly misses to this day.

 

Within the Halls, after crossing a series of lethal traps, Isratael marveled the embroidered golden walls on which dust has hardly taken away the magnificence of the architects behind their creation. But her enthusiasm, which had subsided her jaded stare, quickly turned into a louring gasp. Japed by fate once again, a lone demon freely stumbled upon the group while it was assaulting the source of the local Mogu’s desire to protect. Truly a test for Isratael’s patience, which she had failed.

Pointing her staff at the imp, ready to bring the creature back to whatever Imp Mother it crawled out of, she was not in the mood for mercy towards a foul stench without a known master. With no summoner in sight to keep the demon contained and chained to mortals’ desires, with Argus quite near Azeroth, during such a crisis of universal scale with a full threatening demonic invasion. The Draenei was not taking any risks. However, it was one of the Pandaren that averted the demise. The leader of the Fallen Leaf nonetheless! Perplexed by the way the warrior shown some mercy to the lone demon, Isratael had no choice but to recognize that the demon did belonged to someone within their group that wasn’t present. As such, it was of her peers’ interest if the demon was not to be slain.

Of course, hypocrisy is no stranger to even the most serene of races.

 

Once the group was to return to a local village, after a successful campaign, on their way to the outside ruins; a hymn echoed in the walls like a smoothing balm on one’s soul. It taunted the fiend with a melody that it could not endure. A prayer that healed, coming from a Mogu that stood tall in front of the exit. A challenge to one’s preconception that these warmongering brutes dwell with shadow magic, to bend spirits for their own twisted creations.

No, this Mogu chanted and invoked the Light into the Halls. Was it an enemy if it was recovering their wounds? A Human cursed to become a Worgen, provoked by the Scythe of Elune, asked the same question. But instead of clinging to his humanity, he allowed himself to be blinded by his loyalty to his own leader. Against the Draenei’s pled, the Worgen silenced the chanter. And thus the Light ceased to come from an unexpected source.

Surrounded by mercenaries who were wounded and broken, none questioned the action that the cursed human took. No one questioned their leader, who had shown mercy to a foul lonesome demon. Yet, without a thought, without much of a charade to understand the last Mogu that stood and did not fought back.. no compassion was given for the fallen defiant of its own kind. No other.. than the Draenei who stood behind, after scowling the humanoid mercenary worg that felt little remorse for what he had done. Still, with hope that the Mogu could still be saved, the Draenei placed her hand on the mortal wound to bring it back to life. Using the gift bestowed to her people by the Naaru, it was already too late. Even thought the Light reached the wound and closed it, the soul had already departed from the Mogu’s rough body.

 

Mercy for the foul demons, that have enslaved thousands of worlds across the Dark Beyond. Merciless for an insignificant race of brute conquerors that only reside on a single continent on a much wider planet. The priority of a mercenary, where the coin lies. Abstracting one’s consciousness, an individual’s morals are those of a soldier that follows the voice of a dictator. A dictator believes in their own set of morals and laws, the others are expected to follow without questioning. For a mercenary, questioning means to lose a meal or two. To provide less for themselves and maybe for their own family. Selfish in nature, they would bring an end to an innocent’s future if they were paid enough to do so.

A mercenary cannot be trusted. Leaves that float in the air, drifted by the unpredictable wind and falling on the streams of eternal golden bliss that never come to an end; the water cycle on which the river is the journey and the deep blue ocean is the finale that is easily forgotten. The question remains, is Isratael a Lotus in this metaphor?

 

 

The actions that took place within the Guo-Lai Halls were not easily dismissed. This was, after all, one of the first opportunities to cooperate with two distinct groups of traders and mercenaries. The hypocrisy was too much to handle, as much as the unwillingness of her peers to question these events. Reminded by the tales and sorrow that her most memorable acquaintance expressed to her in the Jade Forest, of those who enslaved her people, her actions were based on generosity at first. But after being formally shunned by Mesoora a few weeks beforehand, her goodwill was fading. The looming feeling of loneliness and detachment from those around her, perhaps fogged by the apparent need to accept any group that took interest in her.
Yet, when it was the opportunity for this new group of acquaintances, that she very much desired to be part of in hope that she would had a new lot to call family; to listen to her plead.. they did not listen.

A selfish myopic group. One that she, after a week of isolation within the inn of Mystfall Village, had come to the conclusion that they were not worthy.

 

Her pilgrimage continues.
However, not without leaving a note to the innkeeper of the Mystfall Village, resembling the same level of professionalism on which was used by the Silver Serpent to contact her. With it, she also trusted the innkeeper with two pairs of beautifully crafted cherry-tree wooden chopsticks, that held a familiar large perfectly cut yellow Topaz gem on one of the tips of each stick. Lastly, two black leather bracelets which contain a grey Hematite each.

 

Trusting that the note will be delivered to her former employers, together with the items, it reads:

 

There is a valley where dreamers sleep,

Where flowers bloom and willows weep,

Where loamy earth springs life anew,

And waters sparkle, clear and blue,

Where every hearth brings peaceful ease,

And beauty sings on every breeze.

 

Here the Sacred Pools spring pure

Here, seek any who desire cure

Holy, nature, powers divine,

Turn death to life, death to life.

 

Signed,

Isratael

Pages:

Warcraft Short Story – Judgement Day

 

Other short stories starring Isratael

  • Warcraft Short Story – A letter of a pilgrim – Link
  • Warcraft Short Story – A brother’s Call to Arms – Link

 

 

Azure’s Hope Garrison

Somewhere near Azure Watch, in the Azuremist Isles, a Garrison had been built in a former town made for the refugee’s of the Shattering.

The Human made stone walls, held with the lumber from the wildest and unexplored areas of the isles. A certain chemistry between the might of the Alliance and the kindness and protection of the Draenei. A strong bound between those who made the isles their home and the ancient alien race. These few humans, orphans and widows of the Eastern Kingdom, did not return to their homeland. Without a family, they have rooted themselves in their improvised town within the isles. And during the invasion of the Legion upon this world, this small garrison was built by humans to preserve themselves and aid the Draenei in these troublesome times.

The tales of a vessel, a Draenei ship, have been echoed across the isles. The Vindicaar, an instrument of retribution that will provide a path to the destruction of the Burning Legion within Argus itself. Now that Argus has been brought closer to Azeroth than ever, the Draenei and some members of the Alliance are preparing themselves for one last sacrifice for the greater good!

 

Soon, it shall be Azeroth, with their prophetic Army of the Light, who will invade the demonic home planet. For the Draenei, this is more than the destruction of these devils. Argus was, after all, their former home. Most of the Eredar became known as Man’ari, once they sold their own race to the Burning Legion. The Eredar, who did not fall for the whispers of the Dark Titan became known as the Draenei.

Isratael, a traveling Draenei Enchantress and Jewelcrafter, which her pilgrimage had brought her to Pandaria and the Jade Forest; saw Argus being brought closer to Azeroth.

Without knowing what that green fel riddled monstrosity in the skies was, for she was not born in Argus; she could only deduce that it was a planet or illusion created or conquered by the Legion. Fear came to her, knowing that war had just begun and that this current demonic wave was not going to be tamed, despise the number of fiends being contained mostly within the Broken Isles.

Even so, given that emotion controlled her voice and actions, she was the one that contacted her brother this time. With haste, her brother answered the call and brought her to a familiar town. This is where she lived briefly before she began her pilgrimage, aiding the Human refugees. With the assistance of a much more powerful and talented mage, Isratael crossed the portal and arrived to Azure’s Hope.

 

 

Judgement Day

 

Upon arrival, on the other side of the Portal, Isratael was able to travel between continents and opposite hemisphere in a mere step. Once surrounded by Jade and tall trees, within a Pandaren town known as Dawn Blossom; where most of the people were confused, weeping and questioning their sanity upon the discovery of a green flaming celestial body.. now she was within a Human made barracks. A wide room, perhaps too empty. On the wooden walls, shields and weapons adorned the war room.

 

She gazed around her, trying to understand where she was. Soon, she felt a gentle touch upon her shoulderpad. A familiar Draenei, much taller than her and perhaps just as tall as her own brother. Her skin light, a contrast to Isratael’s own dark purple skin. Her hair long, a talented Illusionist that radiated beauty and subtly. Her name was Mesoora, a Draenei that has lived for nearly twenty millennia. An example to many aspiring magicians. A motherly figure to the abandoned orphans, one that grew to love Isratael’s brother and has a soft spot for Isratael herself.

“Good evening, Isratael. It has been a while.” spoke Messora, kindly gesturing Isratael to turn and face her. Unsure if Isratael wanted to be hugged or kissed, she merely smiled in grace. The grand Illusionist appeared calm, despise the celestial body looming in the sky and bringing dread to Azeroth. Perhaps that is what an Illusionist is, someone that knows how to hide, to conceal and to be courteous. That stroke a nerve, Isratael was always skeptical of her brother’s new lover.

“Greetings.. Mesoora.” stared Isratael, her expression still reflecting her confusion and now an envious seed on her heart that bloomed a cynical eye. “Where’s Ytaaru. He.. spoke to me. He answered my call.”

 

Mesoora blinked, a sigh escaped through her turquoise lips. From within her silver embroidered long sleeve, she revealed the very same enchanted aquamarine crystal that Isratael had left behind a few years ago to her family. “I apologize for the deception..”

“Where is he, Mesoora? We haven’t talked since..”

“You never answered his call to arms.” bluntly interrupted Mesoora. She tilted her head upwards, exposing some self perceiving superiority over Isratael. Perhaps, from this Illusionist’s perspective, she was Isratael’s mother. She felt in a position that she could discipline her daughter. Unfortunately for Mesoora, Isratael did not felt such bound. Instead, Mesoora appeared pretentious at best. Snob at worst.

But such emotions were overshadowed by the fact that the Illusionist was right. Isratael never answered the call to arms, given to her when she was in Kharanos, Dun Morogh.

 

On the day that the Legion began their invasion upon Azeroth, Isratael declined her brother’s call to protect their own father in the Azuremyst Isle. A continent away, Isratael remained with the dwarves. To protect Jagda Hammerstone’s family. A gesture to a new friend, to a new bound that meant so much for Isratael. A figure she could learn from, a dwarf widow who adored her family. One that still lives.. unlike Isratael’s father which died two days after the call by the fangs of a felhound.

A funeral Isratael was prohibited to attend, a farewell that was never given to the Draenei that stood next to her when she had lost her own husband. Another crack on her vase, slowly turning into stone. Like venom, dulling the senses and paralyzing our emotions until there is nothing left but a husk of someone which was once kind and filled with life.

Isratael stood silent, blaming herself for choosing to protect the Dwarves rather than her own family. Her tired gaze lowering, not even a murmur came from her side.

 

To break this silence, Mesoora lowered herself to Isratael’s height. A kiss on her forehead, perhaps a sympathetic one. Her fingertips massaged Isratael’s cheek, expecting a tear to roll.  A tear that never arrived. The Illusionist felt intimidated by such, narrowing her vision “Why didn’t you came? Why do you believe that, now with Argus standing in front of Azeroth, to be the opportunity to repair a broken bridge?”

“A-Argus?!” Isratael shouted, surprised by such revelation. She took a few steps back, away from Mesoora’s grasp and embrace. Her hand resting upon her chest, shocked. “How?!”

“I.. don’t know. And it is none of your business! You have abandoned your kind, your family. You.. have grown cold.” Mesoora expressed, perhaps with more sadness carried in her tone than what she had expected. The fact that Isratael did not break into tears just a few moments ago still loomed her judgement. “You.. have no family here. I am all that Ytaaru has.”

Isratael was unable to contain her emotions any longer, feeling the pressure from the judge, from a Draenei that only met her three times in her entire life. “W-Who are you to judge me? You only have been with my brother for nearly two years. Your opinions are worthless compared to the millennia that I’ve spent with him! Where is Ytaaru?!”

 

In anger, the otherwise noble Illusionist throw the enchanted aquamarine crystal to the floor, crushing it to shards with her bare hoof. A sudden swift of mood that surprised even the doubting sister of the vindicator. “Begone! You have made us suffer long enough.. I’ll not allow you to wither the light within Ytaaru with your constant doubts and fears! I wanted to see some humility..”

Under Isratael’s hooves, unknown to her given the volatile nature of Mesoora, the Illusionist was preparing a telemancy spell. She continued to howl, to shame the younger mage “You do not belong in our army. Nothing but a wretched, preying on other people’s emotions and good intentions.. and when you no longer need them, you no longer care.”

 

The enchantress could not speak, for she did not knew what to say. Her eyes were widened, now the tears could be seen. Isratael understood that Mesoora was genuine in her words, vulnerable to the criticism of her own character. Deep down, Isratael doubted herself and began to consider Mesoora’s words. Perhaps.. the illusionist was right. Perhaps Isratael has always been the demon that haunted their family for quite some time. Responsible for the death of her own husband, her father. Maybe the death of her own mother.

Maybe Isratael needed to stay away from Ytaaru. But before Isratael could bring her thoughts to sound, Mesoora already had activated the spell that brought Isratael to the center of the Jade Forest.

“I’m..” Isratael paused, realizing quickly that she was no longer in front of Mesoora.

 

 

Though the Draenei tried to reach for her own aquamarine crystal, the rune bound to the gift to her family had disappeared.  She had lost contact with her family that day, abandoned in Pandaria like an orphan. A widow. An outcast. Broken.. yet the light remained in her.

A pilgrim, alone in a foreign land. Aimlessly, a daring sign in the skies to remind her what she had learned. Yet, the example of the elderly dwarf gave her comfort. Could it be that her place was among those from this world rather than her own kind? Did she still had a family?

 

For some reason, those questions slowly began to no longer matter.

Ytaaru will have the family that he deserves, with Mesoora.. or so Isratael started to believe while she tried to find Dawn’s Blossom once again. And from there, her pilgrimage continued, leading her to a vale that had lost its glory. A new tale being brewed among traders and mercenaries.

Pages:

Warcraft Short Story – A brother’s Call to Arms

 

Other short stories starring Isratael

  • Warcraft Short Story – A letter of a pilgrim – Link

 

 

Dun Morogh

The mountainous snowy peaks of Dun Morogh, known for the Khaz Mountains. The center of Dwarven and Gnomish culture and ingenuity. Ironforge and Gnomeregan are the capitals that have hosted thousands of explorers, thinkers and skilled crafters from the Alliance. Most inventions are brought to live in this region, built from the very same minerals that are dug deep from the quarries within the mountains.

Both the Bronzebeard Dwarves and Gnomes have been allies with one another for centuries. Now with the Dwarven clans united; the region is only threatened by the Troggs and Wendigo buried deep underground, the Frostmane Trolls that wish to control the elements and wild life with their voodoo and, lastly, Thermaplugg and his army of leper gnomes that currently reside in Gnomeregan.

With the recent invasion of the Burning Legion upon Azeroth, this region has been one of the most affected by the demonic crusade, excluding the Broken Isles. Though most has been dealt with, this story is a reminder of the events that have unraveled during the peak of this tainted avalanche of death.

Isratael, a traveling Draenei Enchantress and Jewelcrafter, who had been on her pilgrimage for more than two years at the time; was in the Dwarven town of Kharanos. The search for rare minerals and gems lead her to this town. Though her goal was to trade in Ironforge, she had heard of a fabled Dwarven miner and archaeologist that was visiting his homeland. His knowledge of this world was vast and, perhaps, he could provide her with some knowledge.

 

 

A brother’s Call to Arms

 

Galthorm Hammerstone, member of the Explorer’s League. A fine middle aged archaeologist from the town of Kharanos, from a humble miner family background. His curriculum vast, gaining some notoriety in his excavations in Uldaman and, more importantly, Ulduar! In recent years however, he has been digging for artifacts with his guild once again in the Badlands. Denied with the opportunity to venture into a savage unknown land on another parallel timeline given his age, his life became more stable and tame.

In these last few weeks, word has spread that his latest expedition was over and, once again, he returned to his hometown to share the tales and discoveries he had made about the ruins underneath the earth. With a ram packed with gifts and prospected minerals, he was ready to sell the leftovers of his excavation as well to those that desired. Isratael was one of them.

 

The archaeologist had made himself comfortable in his family’s house. With his vast number of cousins and uncles, he did not lacked company! However, at certain days, he was open for business in his family’s foundry. Given Galthorm’s fame, his family has been able to afford having their own modest forge and to craft their own metals out of the ore. In fact, one of Galthorm’s aunts was a Jewelcrafter, who worked alongside other Metalsmiths. Her name was Jagda Hammerstone. This was the dwarf that Isratael approached.

Jagda gladly accepted Isratael’s plead, entertainment by the thought that she would be spending time with someone that is from a race that is much more ancient than her own. In return Jagda only asked to be rewarded by the tales and knowledge that were unique to a Draenei. Of the worlds she had seen, visited. Her own techniques, as a jewelcrafter.

And so Isratael stayed, for nearly two weeks. Working alongside an elderly dwarf, creating rings and necklaces from precious and semi-precious stones. The two formed a bond rather quickly, sharing the grief of losing their spouse. In fact, Jagda’s spouse was an Earthen Ring Shaman, a Wildhammer Dwarf. Given her spouse’s connection with the Earthen Elements and her own Hammerstone lineage, she had decided to become a Jewelcrafter. In memory of her past relationship with a sturdy fool who had given his life to protect the World Pillar, in Deepholm.

 

 

In one of those cold evenings, after a day’s work, Jagda invited Isratael for a brief walk. The elderly widow still had strength in her legs, creating an healthy habit of walking around town during the night in order to not fall ill and inactive. Most of the populace was still awake, despise the cold. After all, it was still summer and the locals are used to much harsher temperatures that are brought in during winter.

Wearing a wolf’s fur-lined leather coat, Isratael accompanied the dwarf. They walked together to a more secluded area of the town, the outskirts. And in the outskirts, Isratael found herself in a small graveyard. This was not the first time Isratael was invited to visit this particular graveyard.

I had lost hope.” said the elderly Dwarf with her comforting Dwarven accent, gazing at the tombstone that paid homage to the death of her spouse. Though she looked older than the Draenei next to her, it was Isratael who had lived for a few millennia… compared to the nearly two hundred from the dwarf. “But I’ve survived, haven’t I? I never would have guessed that, at this age, I coul’ find an’ befriend a foreign like ye’.

We are survivors, Jagda..” muttered the Draenei with a shiver, the shadows and chill of the night reaching to her knees. Like a spirit, the cold trespassed the holy grounds of one’s undergarments. In Isratael’s mind, she wondered how the Dwarves managed to survive on these mountains for all these years. Her coat was within her grasp, wrapping her dark purple skin tightly.

.. Yet ya’fear the dead?” Jagda questioned, adjusting Isratael’s coat from behind. Unlike the Draenei; most Dwarves, including Jagda, were wearing their summer short sleeved clothing and leather.

I do not. But I do fear a broken heart. There is so much that one can take before their heart turns to stone!” whimpered Isratael, deciding to turn her gaze at the moist soil underneath her hooves. “A heart that has turned into stone cannot allow the Light to penetrate its core.

“My, aren’t ya’ a scholar? Isn’t ya’ kind gifted? What’s this talk abou’ losing ya’ faith?”

 

The gift of the Naaru, a gift to the Draenei from a race of angelic beings made of pure Light. A gift that allows the Draenei to never forget about their past as people, as uncorrupted Eredar exiles who did not fall for the diabolical temptations of the Burning Legion. The Draenei have every reason to be proud of their gift, to be part of the prophetic vision of an army that will stand against the fel corrupted, the Army of the Light.

Isratael, despise the memories that torment her, is aware of this. “You’re right.. Jagda. And what faith do you have?

I have faith that my family will live, that’ll learn from my mistakes. That they’ll take care of me the same way I do to them. That everyday I get up t’prepare our dinin’ table, with their favorite brew.. that they’ll learn what love truly means. So that they, too, can find someone that loves them jus’as much as me!” answered Jagda. Though there was uncertainty in her words, with certain hesitation.. she was able to bring her answer to a rather satisfying conclusion that brought a faint resemblance of a smile on her dry lips.

The words chosen by the elder brought a grin to Isratael’s face. Despise the shrouding mists of doubt clouding her thoughts, to the point of making her indevout; her love for her father still shined brightly. But so did the dread of losing yet another family member “You remind me of my father.. I aspire to be like you one day. Able to move on, bring hope to others.

Ya’ can never move on from such a burden, lass.. but ya’ can teach others how to survive and not’ta be swallowed with grief.

 

Grief.

As the evening turned into darkness and most of the Dwarves walked to their own houses, so did Isratael followed the Dwarven matriarch. This was not the first time Isratael heard these words. The speech and life lessons from the experienced. The voices from those who had suffered, they too have lost and continue to wither with the passage of time. Life is like an orchestra that has a climax, accompanied by the lyrics of a poet who is constantly improvising yet ends up repeating the same chorus over and over when in doubt. And we, the audience, desire to yield the baton and make the orchestra our own. Yet, like fools who never learn from history, we keep falling for the inevitable pits made by our own worst fears, like a self fulfilling prophecy. And thus the chorus repeats and the audience griefs.

Is it us who truly hold the baton? Or is it our nature that compromises our destiny?

 

 

It was during that night that Isratael had received a dire message from her brother, while she slept on the floor on top of a white furred bear rug and surrounded by a few small cushions. Her staff, enchanted and containing a complex set of elaborate arcanic runes that held a perfectly designed Aquamarine crystal, beamed with an aura that only she could recognize. Her family was trying to contact her.

Given that she was asleep, she took her time to take hold of the crystal from her staff. Activating the runes, a voice could be heard from within. It was her brother, Ytaaru.

 

Ytaaru is much older than her. Before her, Ytaaru had other siblings which, from Isratael’s perspective, were half-siblings from their mother’s side. Ytaaru was her only brother and her relationship with her half-siblings has always been scarce. Some of them had long died while others remained. As far as Isratael was concerned, she is aware that there’s at least two of them that decided to abandon the Light and choke themselves with the tainted blood of the Legion’s corruption.

He is a zealot, a fearful paladin. A vindicator, member of the Hand of Argus. His intimidating silhouette makes him a wall and a blazing protector of the Light. Truly a judge that delivers retribution to those who fail to prove their alignment with the vision of the Prophet. Goal driven, his faith is strong and he’ll stop at nothing to fulfill the prophecy that’ll save countless of worlds and realms from the twisted claws of fiends.

 

The voice from within the crystal spoke with authority:

Isratael, it’s Ytaaru, your brother. I’m sending this message to you, hoping that you’ll heed my call…

… the legion, they have invaded this world! They have already arrived to the isles. Remember your people, our people, the vision.

Do not abandon us, Isratael. Forget your pilgrimage and join us! In the light, we are one.. always remember that.

Protect our father. Do not fail the Prophet, do not fail me!

I can ask one of our mages to create a portal for you to come, since you cannot. Tell me where you are, I’ll make sure they’ll do so!

… I’m counting on you… sister!

 

Shocked by the news, Isratael gently placed the crystal on the rug with a trembling hand. Clenching one of the smaller pillows, tears prudently erupted on the room she was in by herself. Using the very same cheap pillow to weep, her worst fears came to reality. She wasn’t ready to face death, yet another war. Perhaps another great lost?

Many questions came to mind while she suffered. If the Burning Legion started to invade Azeroth once again, would this mean that the demons were to invade Dun Morogh? If so, should she stay and aid the Dwarves? What of her father? Why would the demons invade this world now? If she warned the Dwarves of Kharanos, would they believe and prepare themselves for the invasion? Would this town be spared? Was she to die in this town herself among the Dwarves? What of Exodar, her people?

 

Doubt shrouded her judgement and she could not think of an answer to her questions. Grasping her staff, placing the crystal on its rightful place, she walked outside the Hammerstone’s house without making a noise. The night sky was clear and there was yet to be a sign of a demonic invasion. Without a coat, she shivered yet she was blinded by her emotions. She needed some time to think, to consider. To ponder. Would her people, her family.. forgive her if she were to stay and protect the Hammerstone family? Would her family be dead once the invasion was over?

The snow on her hooves, on her knees, wet, ever melting for the lack of a storm for nearly a week. Her palms keeping her balance, the lack of energy. The lack of will and the most important question lingering in the air “Why me?

 

A Call to Arms, yet to be answered.

 

 

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