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?