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.
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.