An edge to life.

September 15th, 2012 · Short Narrative

There wasn’t anything peculiar about the night before. Naevia had been dismissed more or less at her regular time. The Lorekeeper, although rather taciturn of late, had seemed well. She ate voraciously and wrote even moreso. Naevia didn’t enquire as to the subject matter, for Dralosa often got swept away irrevocably by the flow of the pen on parchment. When she closed the door, the older woman was hunched over her desk by lamplight, still frantically writing.

Naevia more or less expected to open the door in the morning to find that Dralosa had traversed the six or so feet to her warmly made up bed.

More or less.

When she did in fact open the door, the sight that greeted her caused her to yelp involuntarily. The stunned young handmaiden whirled around, dizzy, her peripheral vision swallowed by panic. “Help! HELP!” she screamed. She raced outside onto the concourse of the Rise gardens. “HELP!” she bellowed. Two Aldor Vindicators wandering by had noticed her frantic shrieking and jogged over. One grabbed her by the wrist.

“Calm yourself, girl. What is the matter?”

Naevia shook her head. “I don’t, I-” She turned towards their quarters, her lips trembling. The pair had inferred enough. Before Naevia could turn once more to face either of them, they had started in the direction of where her gaze fell. Her wrists hung, limp. All of her felt limp. Even the gentle breeze would have been enough to pick her up and carry her away now.

A stretcher was called, with several Anchorites in tow. ‘What did you see?’ they all asked. Naevia mumbled.

‘”She never made it.”

“Made it where, child?”

“Bed. There she was. On the floor.”

“What was in her glass?”

“I… I don’t know… she did not ask me for a drink before bedtime.”

The two Vindicators shot one another a look. Naevia gently nudged past them to stand on the edge of her hooves and watch, as horrified as she was. The Lorekeeper lay on the stretcher. The Anchorites had, out of kindness, washed the stain of whatever she had imbibed from her face, giving the lifeless woman a last bit of dignity.

“There is a way.” spoke the oldest of the Anchorites, a ruddy, round faced man.

Naevia broke through halted, choking breaths. “How?”

“Go to the Exodar.”


He nodded. “Stasis is the only way. For now. There is a chance, and their facilities are best. But we must hurry. As her listed next, you must give the consent.”

“Anything. Please! She is all I… she is all I have.”

The man sighed deeply. He knew she was right. It left bitter questions in his mind, but he thought better than to press Naevia for answers.

They wasted no time. The Lorekeeper left Shattrath City, carried by a small procession of Anchorites. The mechanized stretcher hummed eerily above the gentle cacophony of prayers. The incense that they burned along the journey caused Naevia’s nose to twitch. She didn’t understand their whispers, or the prayers that she had not heard before, nor the strange garments that they wore in lieu of their ordinary vestments. They wore colours that bore a significance she failed to grasp.

Upon arrival in the Exodar, they were ushered away to a private cell. It was cold and clinical at best, and almost certainly a mausoleum at worst. Naevia began to cry again, but an Anchorite who could very well have been even younger than she was placed an arm around Naevia’s shoulder and squeezed her deftly. “It happens, sister. It is unusual, but, it happens.” Too numb to reply, Naevia merely croaked an acknowledgement that she heard the words and watched, the men and women whirling past her. They had lifted Dralosa into a stasis pod and were attaching various objects to her.

The round faced man approached Naevia. “Before we close it, you should say goodbye.”

“How long?” Naevia whispered. She didn’t even want to ask, but felt compelled to do so.

The man shrugged gently. “A decade. A milennia. Twenty milennia. I cannot say. We won’t know until we find out what happened.” He put his hand on Naevia’s shoulder. “You’ll see her again, but perhaps not in this life.”

Naevia cupped her hand over her mouth to stop herself from choking in disbelief. After a few moments, she had collected what courage she could. Inhaling deeply, she stepped closer to the edge of the stasis pod. Dralosa, her guardian, teacher, mother figure and Lorekeeper, looked dreamlike. They had neatly arranged her white hair around her face and down over her arms. She was dressed in a simple, pearl coloured robe. Her hands were clasped together over her stomach. Her son’s diadem shone with a deceptive effulgence on her wrist.

Naevia leaned in and kissed Dralosa’s artificially warmed lips, and whispered. “Don’t leave me. Please.” Dralosa’s calm and pleasantly arranged physiognomy belied the violent solitude of her death. Naevia buried her face in the still woman’s bosom and begged. “No… Please…” Two nearby Vindicators rushed forward and gently, but authoritatively, took hold of Naevia and eased her off the pod. It sealed shut within moments.

A beautiful glow filled the room, and the pod lit up like a beacon. It startled even the Vindicators. But Naevia stood in awe, her eyes soldered to the pod, cognizant now that she was witnessing something beautiful happen, and may never see again:

A soul finding peace.

→ 1 CommentTags:·

Theramore’s final stand.

August 13th, 2012 · Declarations

The following letter from Lorekeeper Dralosa of the Sha’nash is couriered to the Exodar and Darnassus and printed for wide distribution.

Brothers, sisters, friends -

We belong, at once, to a large and expanding alliance – the Grand Alliance – and also to a small one, whereby we retain kinships and commitments over large distances. Though we are separated by sea, by mountain, by chasm, by enemy occupied territory, that alliance has so far not wilted, nor tarnished. A challenge, however, is being presented to that very truth. I speak now of Theramore, which is in imminent danger of being overrun by the Horde war machine.

So often have I heard the disquiet amongst Draenei and Kaldorei alike toward the call to arms. Their misgivings, prima facie, seem to be sensible and prudent. ‘Why do we risk our lives for Theramore? What loss is it if a Human settlement on Kalimdor is to fall, when we must keep our own lands safe from Horde incursions?’

What I say to those of you who are not convinced that Theramore is worth saving, is to consider the emotional consequences of a refugee intake from Theramore on the Grand Alliance. Consider the effects that a diaspora of this nature shall have on all people under this banner. Theramore is no shanty town, no outpost. It is a functioning society at risk of annihilation. Men and women who are separated from their homes, who become exiles and wanderers, leave few memorials behind them. Their lives and names are scattered to the winds, their cruel aggressors free to write them out of history, to self-aggrandize their murders as glorious feats.

My people in particular must carefully consider the part they shall play in the history of this world. Ever since we began our tragic peregrination from Argus, we have risked vanquishment and extinction many times. Our ancestral language is moribund. We have nearly lost certain words from it, such as ‘home’, ‘grand parent’, or ‘lineage’. Our children ask us what Argus looks like, and few adults remember. Should this fate befall Theramore, we shall watch a part of our allies’ culture and society ripped to shreds.

Pragmatically, the cost of defending Theramore may be significantly less than what we shall have to pay to repatriate its citizens, or to feed, clothe, shelter, and bolster them in new communities elsewhere.

Ideally, no man or woman of the Grand Alliance should turn a blind eye to the imminent suffering of any other under the banner. No City should be deemed too insignificant to save if we are indeed to stick with the moniker ‘Grand’ to define our alliance!

I believe my argument to be sound and just. As a humble supplicant to A’dal, a fervent soldier in the Light’s army, and a widow and refugee, I beseech you now to aid us against this implacable enemy.

Their tenebrous path is set, but ours is well illuminated – by the Light!

– Lorekeeper Dralosa

→ No CommentsTags:··

A last resort.

July 31st, 2012 · Trials & Tribulations

For many days, we courted the Kaldorei and their armies. They were the most receptive to our presence, although they seemed hesitant to engage fully in this conflict. Elder priestess Ash’ana invited us to the most intimate of ceremonies, and I was adorned in the warpaint of her people. Though the pigment has now left my skin, the sentiment behind it is indelible. A saber. The leader of her people, as she termed me.

But we weren’t prepared for the loss at Mojache. The totemic ward on the Horde base turned the tide for us, at so crucial a moment. We thought we’d won. We thought we’d wipe out the invasion.

We were wrong.

Now I wait in Stormwind for a troubled young brother to find me. I cannot return to A’dal until I have found Alkrenon. If he is to learn patience, love, and forgiveness, who better a teacher than the Naaru who must forgive me for my failures?

→ No CommentsTags:··

Words on the cusp.

July 2nd, 2012 · Private Musings

My husband Arachos arrived for the meeting, to the surprise of us all. After months of absence, here he was again, like a tempest blowing in out of the bluffs.

I was surprised to feel that his presence inspired both terror and joy within me. My husband is not a voluntary inclusion in my life. He was, for all intents and purposes, a means to an end and he represents a political paradigm of dominance and subjugation that I have struggled against ever since we Draenei fled Argus. I needn’t go into detail about that here. Suffice to say, when he left after a particularly virulent argument a few months ago, there was no love lost between us.

That is where I now find my surprise; that, after such bitterness has touched our lips, I could feel a pang of joy at all in seeing his face.

Perhaps I am far too unkind. He may have made me a prisoner within a marriage of convenience, but he is just as much a prisoner in his own right. He gained no superb advantage being married to an accused heretic, a Lorekeeper, a troublemaker. He has acquired no wealth, property, or title by his affiliation to me. It was not by his design that we encountered this fate. As a good faith gesture to my accusers, I agreed to wed. Perhaps it pained him to marry me, but he did it with little to no protest.

I’ve no doubt in my mind that a small corner of my heart has been carved out, inadvertently, to care beyond an ordinary standard for this man’s wellbeing. Why that is so, given the circumstances of our sad arrangement, I yet have no idea.

Naaru guide me, and give me the emotional wherewithal to understand him.

→ No CommentsTags:·

A warm welcome, a cold reality.

July 1st, 2012 · Political Memoirs

Dralosa prepares to leave Shattrath again for the Grand Alliance summit.

Priestess Ash’anamaleth of the Lineage of the Moon was an affable, gracious woman. Previous experience with the Kaldorei has caused me to be wary in my dealings with them; vocal Kaldorei detractors have, in the past, spouted ill words of my race that run the gamut from us being ‘passive, witless grazing creatures’ to ‘demonic infiltrators hell-bent on usurping Kalimdor.’

At least it is never dull to be in diplomacy!

Irrespective of previous experiences, I was warmed by the hospitality of her people. For the most part they spoke to us as peers, with dignity, respect, and trust. We posess a rich and interwoven history, and have many shared experiences. It vindicated all of my previous efforts to finally see a union of Draenei and Kaldorei people that understands this.

Yet a dark, inner cynicism pulls at me. Something that has kept me alive and secure in the past is not something that I should ignore, but it does rain on my parade if I pay it too much mind. The Shadow mother, Anzhela, seems to share my cynicism, though she is more overt about it than I. One has to wonder, though: Is their grace and affability merely a show? Are we in grave danger by aiding and abetting the safe refuge of their Highborne? Is that why the Lineage have been so unfailingly polite and accommodating?

I take a leap of faith, as always.

Tomorrow I travel once more to Hearthglen, to meet with Tahilia Veron. I know almost nothing of Tahilia except that she has aided us in the past, and that she was chosen personally by Kerdic Lothinil himself to lead this meeting. The latter in itself is a great commendation. I am not sure yet what the Consul thinks of her. Then again, I always must remember to press the Consul directly for her thoughts, because she is so often reluctant to speak them.

The atmosphere is a cold one. A union unsure of itself. The ties that bind the Grand Alliance are permeated with an uneasy subtext.

Naaru watch over us in these trying times.

→ No CommentsTags:····

A quiet ‘farewell’.

June 30th, 2012 · Short Narrative

Dralosa trembled slightly as she read the missive. From afar, Naevia watched the Lorekeeper’s old, slender hands finally slump to the desk, the note carelessly falling away.

“Mistress, is it bad news?”

Silence at first. Naevia swallowed hard. It had taken her a few moments to summon the words at all. She’d agonized as to whether it were appropriate to deluge her with questions.

“Yes.” came the tired, matter-of-fact response. “It is bad news, if it is to be true, Naevia. Not yet made official to me, but, the High Commander is rumored to be ill, and has passed leadership of the League of Lordaeron to Tahilia Veron.”

Naevia frowned in sympathy, then wrinkled her brow and stammered. “B-but did you and the Consul not see him just the other day? Was he not well and in high spirits, Lorekeeper?”

Dralosa looked away from Naevia, embarrassed. It was so harmless a question, but the implication of the answer shamed Dralosa to her core. How had she not noticed? So determined was she in acquiring information, on partaking in politics, that she had not noticed her quiet friend ageing and suffering with more humility than she’d acquired in over thirty thousand years.

“Go, Naevia. Leave me.” she quipped, doing all she could to hide the frustration in her voice. After her younger Handmaiden had left the room, Dralosa found herself faced with her own acrimonious and all too punishing inner dialogue.

How had I failed to notice?

In the privacy of the now silent room, Dralosa wept at the absurdity of the Draeneic reality on Azeroth. For some time now, she had preached to her Order about the dangers of exclusion, of beng insular. She reminded them of how easily the Orcs came to fear and mistrust the Draenei, veritable strangers in their homeland. This strangeness was exacerbated by her people’s insistence on a segregated existence outside of errant trading. She urged her constituents to seek out the races of Azeroth for friendship, to engage them as fully as possible, to avoid such fearful hatred from ever perpetuating again.

And now, she felt quite clearly the bitter sting of this advice. The former High Commander was ill, and ageing. He would likely not live for another hundred years, which was to her mind almost the blink of an eye. Yet the camaraderie she’d shared with him would live vividly in her mind for thousands more years than that, long after he’d perish.

If her heartache had a sound, it was thunderous.

→ No CommentsTags:

A strange voice.

March 31st, 2012 · Short Narrative

From [A] A Strange Voice in Shattrath:

The Lorekeeper sagged into her chair, knocked back by the emotion of what she had heard and glimpsed. The Consul’s image brought tears to her eyes, but she managed to stave off her emotions long enough to get back to the task at hand. The library was quiet, the vault full of tomes was as still as a grave.

How apt a description, for it was amongst the knowledge of the long-dead that she hoped to find the source of that which plagued the living. Her constituents were becoming increasingly distressed by what they were hearing. Questions raced through her mind, distracting her in several minute increments.

Who was doing this? Why? Are the voices truly of the dead? Who were they? When did they die? Where did they die? Why were the voices happening now? Who was Xe’dri?

The riddle that hit them all at once, like a simultaneous choir of desperation, frustrated her the most. She spoke the words aloud. Tapped them out on her hands, sung them until they were committed to memory:

“Divided it may be, a piece yet represents a whole. What happens there will echo here. A distant, conjoined soul.”

After a while, she shook her head. The Consul was right. It was time to speak to A’dal.

→ No CommentsTags:·

The White death.

January 10th, 2012 · Short Narrative

The scroll had barely begun to absorb the ink when a young neophyte came into the room, disturbing the tranquility of her private moment with his imperious demand. Dralosa had only met the man once but she needn’t have asked him his age; his tone and demeanor spoke volumes about such things. “Lorekeeper. We want to go home to Draenor. We’ve been in this accursed Human city for two days now!” The flame of the sole candle in the room shuddered violently as he spoke.

Dralosa let out a single laugh, the sort of laugh she would emit when things had irritated her to the point of absurdity. She hoisted the still-wet parchment up into the air. “Child, do you not see what is happening around you? Does the palpable panic of a population in fear not strike your own nerves?” She obligingly paused, giving the young Draenei man time to absorb not only her words but the anger that couched them. “There is a plague here, child. And while Anchorite Dafe has not reported to me a single Draenei casualty, I shall not presume to think we are immune to it.”

“Lorekeeper! Then let us leave now, before any of us can catch it?” the young man’s voice began to falter. What started out as a bold pitch was now a struggle to hide his embarrassment. He’d known of the situation, of course, but his disdain for the Human city was impetus enough for him to request that she move the Order back to Shattrath. Surely others had felt the same way, he thought!

The Lorekeeper stood up and walked to the archway. She pinned the notice to the wood door, gently blowing on the stubborn ink and reflecting momentarily on what she’d done. After a moment she finally turned to him. “None of our soldiers are to return to Draenor without a clean bill of health from Anchorite Dafe. If I catch you, or any others for that matter, making an unauthorized visit to Draenor, then….A’dal help you, boy. Now. Get out of my sight!

The young man nodded and scampered from the room, feeling as though he were now half the size he was when he had entered it. Better the plague than her wrath, he told himself.

→ No CommentsTags:··

We are the Light’s Blade

November 13th, 2011 · Declarations

“From all walks of life, Brothers and Sisters come here, to the dwelling of Light. Basked in the omnipotent glow of A’dal, they yearn for gentle respite and counsel. Sanctuary may be obtained here in Shattrath, but still they seek a greater peace. Is there war in their hearts? Famine in their souls? Grief in their blood?

Unequivocally! Our people, after all, have suffered terribly. And yet, they have an unquenchable thirst for justice. It permeates their very being; they are imbued with a righteous code that cannot be subjugated by fear, by greed, or by vanity. It simply will not do for these Brothers and Sisters to remain passive, to sit idly by and watch others risk their lives. No! They are the first to stand up, to march on cracked hooves in sodden trenches in far away lands, to flank the soldiers of unfamiliar races, to engage in wars that threaten the peace of a world that is not our own but has, nonetheless, graciously accepted our kind for all of our differences.

You ask me why we commit ourselves beyond what remains for us on Draenor, beyond the war-weary gates and the sanctuary of our humble home amongst the Aldor. And I tell you: if not we Draenei, then who? The Legion has proven that my people are never homeless as long as their spirits remain indomitable. Peace is more precious to us than owning land; we are all too aware of how easily borders are felled, continents are razed, and worlds are torn asunder. And so we shall not shy away from the monumental task of helping to rebuild Azeroth. We are an army that is devoted to the future. An army built on equity, on justice, on peace.

We are the Light’s Blade.”


- Lorekeeper Dralosa, addressing an introductory meeting of Grand Alliance forces on the Aldor Rise, Shattrath.

→ 1 CommentTags:·