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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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Warcraft Short Story – A letter of a pilgrim

 

 

Azuremyst Isle

For centuries, the Azuremyst Isles remained mostly free from the influence of sapient settlers. The indigenous natives were left to their own devices and wars among themselves. Ruins of ancient civilizations, such as the Night Elves, can be seen on certain areas. Abandoned for millennia, for the fauna to grow and for the barbarians to pillage and defile these lands without any form of punishment.

The Night Elves abandoned these isles for thousands of years, in favor of the land closer to the continent of Kalimdor. Though very few families remained to live in solitude; Furbolgs, Murlocs and Owlbeasts were the only creatures that formed tribes that had a significant presence. That changed, when one of the most ancient sapient races arrived to Azeroth from the Great Dark Beyond. Crashing, their dimensional ship became their capital city. Exodar is the name of this ship, once part of a greater structure known as the Tempest Keep.

With the arrival of such powerful and intelligent race, the Draenei made the Azuremyst Isles their home. Joining the Alliance, they have used their knowledge of the Burning Legion to the advantage of their allies and for the safety and survival of the entire universe. Devoted followers of the Light, like shining almost immortal knights that have lived for thousands of years; their technology and unmatched knowledge of all things magical has left a message to all of those that stand in their way and the way of their Prophet: They are part of the Army of the Light.

The Draenei are survivors that have gained the favor of the Naaru, escaping the grasp of the demonic Burning Legion time and time again. Unlike the other Eredar, they have avoided the temptations and whispers from Sargeras and his minions.

 

This is the story of the Draenei, that now reside in the Azuremyst Isle. In an alien world, they have adjusted to their new environment. It hasn’t been the first time they had to travel to unknown lands. It has been more than six years since they came to Azeroth.

Isratael is one of the few Draenei that have made this far. An Arcanist mage, specialized Enchanter, who has recently taken interest in Jewelcrafting. A pilgrim, who has decided to finally broaden her horizon and learn more about this new planet and their inhabitants.

Before her pilgrimage, two years ago, she wrote a long letter addressed to her family. Placing it on her table, on one of the few settlements near Azure Watch that was specifically built to make home for the refugees of the Cataclysm. She had a cottage of her own, next to her brother’s.

Her father used to visit her once a week and she expected him to be the first one to read. This is the letter that she wrote…

 

 

A letter of a pilgrim

 

Father,

I am writing this letter to you and to our beloved ones. I am sure that you must be filled with hope now that I have finally decided to leave this cottage. However, there is no point in asking those around you about my whereabouts. I left early, before those feathered critters of this land could wake up a few of the humans that have made these islands as their new home as well. I’m sure that my dear brother Ytaaru will not even notice that I’ve left..

 

Thank you, father. For visiting me as much as you did! I am sure your heart still hasn’t recovered from the lost. Which is why you, more than anyone from our family, understand the pain of losing our “other half”. I.. didn’t want to face this new world, I didn’t want to embark on a new war. I’ve avoided it, missing the warmth of my husband’s embrace. His blood was warm and filled with hope! He made me feel loved, safe and ready to aid our armies. Without him, I felt as if the Light had abandoned me as well..

You have grown stronger since the day that we’ve lost mother in Gorgrond. I still cannot look at the Rangari without thinking of her! I am sure that you too; even more than I, since I have seen the way that you clench your fist subtly and briefly when you see one of them. But you always have been stubborn, I know since I am too. You decided to still serve them, to craft and repair their weapons and armor!

This, however, is the difference between you and I. You are not only stubborn, but you can look at a clefthoof in the eyes and face it head on, even if your tears are rolling from the pain within. I am not like that, and you know it too. I am stubborn, but I hide. Which is why Ytaaru has given up on me..

 

Ytaaru has always been special, hasn’t he? He probably never enjoyed the fact that you have spent more time with me than himself. He has been spoiled by his peers, a powerful vindicator. The Light is strong in him, his faith unbreakable. He has always been more stubborn than the both of us and he probably thinks that our tears are distracting him from his devotion. Maybe.. that is why sometimes I feel as if the Light as forsaken me. Maybe I look at him as if he’s a Naaru and I was the demon that carries the shards of the past.

He tried to aid me, I know of that. He gave me this human cottage, next to his, to force me away from Exodar and from the memories of the past. The opportunity to aid our new allies who have suffered too, who have also lost their loved ones from the claws of the one that they used to call The Destroyer. Though this dragon has been defeated, the scars are still burning in the flesh of these people.

I appreciate his attempt.. I have learned more about this world by speaking to these humans. But it did not healed me from the wound in my frail heart, Ytaaru knows that and, for that reason, has given up on me.

However, you have not. Once a week, you visit me all the way from Exodar. I have seen that they have rebuilt most of it..

 

I too need to be rebuilt anew. And you, father, have always been wise! While my brother wanted me to know I wasn’t the only one suffering the lost of a beloved and to have more faith in the Light, you wanted to grasp the shards of my past and shape my fragments into a beautiful enchanted crystal. I’m not that naive, I’ve noticed your intentions when you decided to offer me a Jeweler’s Kit. As if a hobby was going to distract me away from my thoughts.

No, father. What has given me hope was not the kit, or the refugees. It was your determination, your good intentions driven by the love you have for your children. Witnessing Exodar being rebuilt, it made me feel that it is time for me to live my life once again. That there is still time to learn, to dream and to meet new people!

 

I have decided to go on a pilgrimage. To take this Jeweler’s Kit, the one you offered me. To perfect this new skill. To form new memories, a new hope. I have heard that the races of this world are survivors as well, that they have suffered from too many wars! I want to meet them, regardless of the colors that they wear. I am sure that you understand.

Worry not, father, I have left you an enchanted aquamarine crystal bellow my pillow. Take it, it is connected to the staff that I have made together with you on your forge! Hold it firmly, press the edges gently with your thumb and pinky. A rune will be revealed and you’ll have to touch it quickly before it vanishes. Once you do, it will be bound to you. Use it whenever you feel the need to talk to me.

This is not a farewell. I will never abandon my family.. you are not alone! Whatever happens, know that you are loved, the same way that I know that you’ll always love your children.

 

Signed,

Isratael

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Warcraft Short Story – Sanity is an Illusion

 

 

Gnomeregan

The former capital city and true evidence of Gnome ingenuity. Though the Gnomes, to this very day, are still trying to retake their home slowly from the hands of Sicco Thermaplugg, one cannot deny that this race is one of the most intelligent of all Azeroth. Their kindness also knows no bounds, given that they are able to maintain a smile and still aid their allies, despise the events that have placed plenty of their own kind in danger and without a home. It will take a few more years to retake Gnomeregan, to clean it from the radiation, the troggs and from Thermaplugg himself!

However, this story takes place long before the events that have lead to the invasion of the Troggs.

 

 

Midrixie, a female Gnome that was still trying to reach adulthood, was the only child that lived with her loving parents. She was also familiar with a few other members of her family, enjoying a rather cozy social environment with those of the same blood. Together, they focused on forging metals and crafting. To create cogs, bolts and other basic necessities that a tinker needs. It was their business, though some of the family members also possessed other hobbies on their own. Midrixie was no different, being an outgoing Gnome that took interest in the most philosophical questions of the time.

While it’s true that the Gnomish historical records are very scarce, Midrixie would still question the purpose of life and how Gnomes came to be. In a forward thinking meritocratic society that values the inventions and technological breakthroughs and contributions from every individual, there has always been room for Gnomes who enjoyed studying particular fields. Her family and peers saw that aspect of her as only temporary. She was a teenager, still trying to reach adulthood and finding her own path, perhaps even a subtle hint of rebellion. Her questions could very well had meant that her future was one of a devoted in the arts of the arcane.

 

Given her family’s suspicions and predictions, they tried to encourage her thirst for answers to the most existential questions in life by asking one of their own family friends to come and visit their daughter. To answer her questions, to use her curiosity in something productive. Perhaps, even one day, becoming a Mage or, even more peculiar, a Techno Mage. This middle aged female Gnome’s name was Indus; clearly given by ambitious progenitors who wanted her daughter to be just as great as Indus, “the inventor” of Dalaran and member of the Council of Tirisfal more than two millenniums ago.

Indus, when proposed to explore the potential within Midrixie to unravel the wonders of the arcane, felt flattered and pleased with the idea of having an aspiring apprentice. Midrixie, on the other hand, remained suspicious of Indus’ kindness. Indus was, after all, aspiring to become a member of the Kirin Tor. Her support felt dishonest, but Midrixie accepted her aid nonetheless. Indus was quite demanding and she expected much of Midrixie. Growing frustrated and impatient with her student’s failures, Indus was quick to give up on Midrixie and to inform her parents that she was useless as a caster. That this teenager was too emotional and hard to rationalize with, despise her interest in philosophy.

This obviously wasn’t an experience that Midrixie would forget easily, growing some resentment for the society around her. She expressed her dissatisfaction over her family’s business, refusing to work. The signs of rebellion were evident and her parents began to feel and express their disapproval, believing the words that came from Indus on the day she returned to them with their daughter in tears.

 

Time continued to flow, Midrixie was growing older and was near adulthood. Once an extrovert, she was now avoiding contact with the people around her. She could not trust her family members, that continued to label her as a troubled teenager and someone that lacked direction in her life. She still had to invent something, to create a name in Gnomish society. A discovery, anything of importance to her own kind. Was her life destined to be a mere cog in a machine? Was that the life of a Gnome? How did it all came to be and why was no one interested in those questions?

 

Deciding to visit the surface, Midrixie traveled to Ironforge with one of her cousins. It was not the first time, though she never traveled beyond Dun Morogh. But she had seen plenty of Dwarves in her life and, thus, was somewhat familiar with their culture. It was always a refreshing view to be surrounded by Dwarves, given that they were more diverse than her own kind, or so she would always think to herself with a smile in her face. She didn’t felt the pressure to be an inventor, or a wizard. She enjoyed every moment that she was away from the influence of Gnomish society!

That day, she opened to her cousin. She explained her emotions, that she was not happy living in Gnomeregan. That, perhaps, the answer to her questions did not rest within their own capital.. but outside in the world. Touched by her words, her cousin told her that they could stay in Ironforge for a week, instead of a mere night that they had planned in order to trade their goods for a few pieces of silver coins.

During this week, Midrixie had the chance to visit the Hall of Explorers and the Library within. This fascinated her but it did not answer the questions that she had. Even she, herself, didn’t knew why these questions were of so much importance to her. Where was her curiosity leading to and why? Her obsession was a mystery to herself, not allowing her to enjoy the life that her parents had planned for her. But part of life is to grow and to become an individual, able to think for themselves. With this experience, she learned that her questions were only a manifestation of what she was feeling. Trapped, conditioned by the environment she had grown that already had a future planned for her.

She felt ready to come home and tell her parents about this discovery, that her destiny was for her to carve, to answer herself and not to ask others what was her fate as a Gnome. What is a Gnome? What is the purpose in life, for a Gnome?

 

Life isn’t easy. Once she returned home with her cousin, her parents shown concern as to why they came home nearly a week later than anticipated. Midrixie explained, feeling confident that her parents would understand, much like her cousin. To her surprise, they did not and her cowardly cousin wasn’t there to help when she needed! They expected much of her, as the only child. They could never let her go, they only wished for her daughter to remain with them and, if she so desired, expand the family lineage. Again, they concluded that it was yet another manifestation of her rebellion.

From that point forward, Midrixie was forced to work for her family. The family business, within Gnomeregan. Again, this lack of acceptance for their daughter’s free will and emotions caused her to retract from any meaningful conversation with anyone! Apathy was her companion, her heart grown cold to any form of flattery to her performance in the tasks given to her. She started to question herself, to question Gnomish society in her mind. She didn’t felt safe and loved enough to express her doubts and dark emotions.

She stopped to read, she stopped to wander in the streets of Gnomeregan. She also stopped spending time with her family outside of working hours.

 

Her thoughts were only hers to listen. And that’s when she started to talk to herself out loud, privately. Away from those that could hear her nagging, her complains, her questions, her tears, her hatred and rebellion.

But.. there’s always someone that can hear, even the darkest of secrets. Gnomeregan is an underground capital city. Within the ground, a large shadow is cast in every corner. It’s cold, logical. Much like the machinery that is build within it. And there are Gnomes that can fall into despair. Is any Gnome truly sane? There are stories that warn about the corruption of those with the most brilliant of minds when they are rejected by their peers. Midrixie, as trivial and not as tragic as her example can be compared to so many, is one of them. Born from a mere rebellion, never solved in adulthood. Her life was an illusion, created by her family and friends, much like the idea of being sane.

 

 

This darkness, this shadow.. it spoke. And it told her that “Sanity is an Illusion”.

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