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
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?
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.