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.