Chapter IX - Revalations
A trembling hand slowly wiped across Soraya's dry lips. That was the fourth time she's been sick this evening. Or was it the fifth? She couldn't rightly recall. It was the least of her worries. She carefully made her way towards her window, gazing out into the woods of Eversong. The beauty of them seemed more vivid than ever before. The pale beams of moonlight slipping their way through the rainbow of leaves in the towering trees. All kinds of wildlife scattered here and there, and a serene calmness was in the air.
It was such a contrast to "The Promised Land". Just thinking of the barren and destroyed wastes she'd witnessed made her stomach churn. And to think that at the heart of it all was her Prince. She still couldn't quite grasp it. Why would he cause such malice? Why would he destroy the lands that were promised to his people? But she had been there, she had witnessed it herself. The Promised Lands were very real. The Golden Dream was not.
She didn't know where to stand. Her duty as a Knight compelled her to press on for her Prince. To work for his cause, whatever that may be. But the ones who had found her on her travels; who had shown her exactly what was going on and had revealed their somewhat far-fetched vision to her - were they to b trusted?
She reached one more, hurrying over to her sink. She would seek them out again and learn the full truth. But until then, one thing was clear. She couldn't turn her back on the Order, and nor could she trust it.
Chapter X - A Young Fool
"Master Dwin'urdrenn! Master Dwin'urdrenn!"
Soraya kept her stride fast down the many long corridors of the Blood Knight's sanctum. She couldn't believe someone was around at this time of night; nor could she believe that they were bothering her.
"Master Dwin'udenn!" the voice called, far more angst in it's tone now. Whoever it was must have been desperate. She heard the footsteps behind her break into a run and she sighed, slowing down her own pace to face the inevitable. A young Initiate swung himself in front of her, panting slightly and holding a bleeding hand. She immediately recognised him as Deldorian Sunstrike; a particularly young and overly clumsy Trainee.
"I- I was practicin' a-and I cut my hand a-and it wont heal me and I dunno why but it wont and it hurts and it's bleedin' and I thi-- "
"What wont heal you?"
"Y-yeah; the thing."
Soraya gazed downward to the small pool of blood that was amassing at the young elf's feet. She followed it's dripping trail all the way down the hall and returned her gaze to meet his. She looked stern, but managed to give at curt smile to the quite clearly terrified Initiate.
"Come with me."
It wasn't long before they found themselves in the chamber of the Naaru. Soraya effortlessly healed the bleeding hand leaving an expression on Deldorian's face that simply asked 'how?'.
"You were asking it, weren't you?"
The Initiate looked confused.
"You don't ask for your abilities, Sunstrike. You never ask. You take. Do you understand the difference?"
A small nod was given in answer. Soraya gave a warm smile, feeling somewhat sorry for the novice. Or was she feeling sorry for herself? Here she was teaching things she was no longer sure about herself. Was she enabling him to become a servent of the wayward Prince? Or was she still doing the right thing? Perhaps everything she'd learnt was a mistake, and her hero would soom come home and set things straight. Perhaps...
"A-are you alright, Master Dwin'urdrenn?"
Soraya snapped around to face Deldorian again with another small smile.
"You'll clean the halls before you head back to your room. I...", she hesitated. "I have business that needs seeing to."
Chapter XI - A Fool Lost
Deldorian Sunstrike strode pridefully down the centre of the long, straight corridor that led to his quarters in the Blood Knight Temple. Beside him, walking almost in unison, was his Master and mentor - Soraya Dwin'urdrenn. He gave his newly forged Ranseur a quick spin in his grip, before turning off to open the door to his room. Soraya kept on walking, the pride she felt for him locked somewhere deep within. But she was soon stopped by the familiar voice of her student, whose head was now poking out of his room with a childish grin.
"Master Dwin'urdrenn! Thanks for this... "
She gave the same curt smile she always gave him. Normally she would have left it at that, but he had come a long way from the blabbering cults she'd been handed to teach. And in such a short time.
"You're welcome, Deldorian.” Her smile turning warmer as she spoke.
His door was closed with one quick nod of his head, and she carried on along her way. There was something wholesome about teaching that kid, and no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't hide her pride for long. Her guilt, on the other hand, was always suppressed. The constant nagging in the back of her mind that she was somehow leading him down a road that if she had known - if she had been given the choice - she'd never have taken. But as far as most were concerned she didn't 'know' anything. And that was the face she had to keep. That was how she would teach, and it was how she would act. Besides, as far as she could tell the Blood Knights of Silvermoon were as innocent as the rest of the populace. It was only Sunfury she had to worry about and there were certainly no Sunfury here.
"Good news, Dwin'urdrenn."
The voice behind her made her jump. She allowed a small sigh to slip her lips as she realised who it was, turning to face Bloodvalour with a look of sheer indifference.
"Oh?” she tried to sound interested.
There was something about Bloodvalour's 'good news' that was never interesting or good. Usually it involved a smug smile and a wad of paperwork. She quickly surveyed his hands, noticing they were empty. Perhaps this time he did genuinely have something nice to say to her.
"Your Apprentice, Sunstrike," he began, a smile slowly slipping his face. "He's been selected for the Sunfury Initiative. He will serve the Prince himself in the Promised Land. Congratulations."
Had things been different she'd of noticed how clear it was that Bloodvalor had no idea what Sunfury truly was. And she would have been pleased for that. But as it was she was stunned. Her heart skipped a beat, and she couldn't help but look shocked. Her mind raced as a thousand thoughts flooded into her head. She had to keep up the facade that she was a truly loyal Blood Knight. At the same time, she had to help her innocent student.
"You should be very proud", he continued. "He's young, skillful and obviously been taught well. I'm sure he'll be forever grateful to you as he serves our Noble Prince. He leaves this evening, if you wish to say goodbye."
She managed to utter something vaguely optimist, before she uncharacteristically barged past her former mentor. She had to find Deldorian fast. He was in his room, door open and swinging around a sword she recognised as the trademark weapon of a Sunfury. He noticed her, and gave a wide grin.
"Master Dwin'urdrenn! Have you heard? I'm going to the Prom-"
She took her own blade from her side, and swung it with such a force against his as to wrench it from his hand. It landed with a loud clatter on the floor as she kicked the door shut behind her. She glared at him as he held onto his wrist in obvious pain; gritting his teeth and meeting her gaze with an equally angry stare.
"You can't go!” She told him sternly, "You're not ready, I won’t allow it."
Her gaze fell to the already-packed bag laying on his bed. His eyes narrowed angrily on her.
"It's not for you to say! And just what do you think you're doing, anyway? Why aren't you happy for me?"
She slowly met his gaze, but the words wouldn't come. How could she tell him he was to become a slave to a maniac? That he would be forced to work alongside the Legion? That he would be killed if he as much as spoke up against it all? The guilt that lurked deep inside gushed forth through her veins. His fate was her fault. He was to unwillingly become her enemy. One day she may even have to confront him. She kept a stony silence.
"You're jealous!” he burst out.
The palm of her hand met with a crack against his cheek. He writhed backwards, green eyes flaring with rage.
"Vendel'o eranu shindu, Shan'do..."
Soraya didn't know what she was feeling. She didn't know what to do. She hesitated, feeling utterly hopeless. She'd not only lost him to the Sunfury, she'd lost his respect.
"Shorel'aran...” she muttered, almost to herself. She turned her back on him and left the room.
Chapter XII - The Truth
The blindfold was yanked roughly from Deldorian's head. His neck yanked backwards, searing with a sharp pain. He blinked his eyes and adjusted to his new surroundings. He didn't like what he saw.
He stood in a circular room, fashioned in all the splendour and glory of Silvermoon itself. The red and gold furnishings looked comfortable and elegant, yet somehow it was all dark, cold and uninviting. Footsteps approached from behind, yet they were nothing like he'd ever heard before. It was certainly no Sin'dorei. He began to turn his head, but was soon put in his place by his escort, who forcefully pushed his head back to face forward. Deldorian grunted slightly, beginning to wonder what exactly he'd gotten into.
The footsteps grew ever closer, until they eventually stopped behind him. He didn't have to see what stood over him to realise he was out of hid depth; there was a foul aura that radiated from whatever it was. He sniffed slightly, soon regretting the action as he choked on the foul stench that was around him. Now he dare not turn to look.
Whatever it said was on a tongue he didn't recognise. It sounded foul, as if each word uttered was filled with malice and hate. His ears didn't understand, but somehow his heart knew; he was a slave to Demons.
You can't go! You're not ready, I wont allow it.
The voice of his Master echoed into his head, and with it came an unmistakable surge of rage. Not ready? Of course he wasn't ready for this! She had betrayed him. Handed him over willingly to work alongside Demons! Why hadn't she stopped him from going? Why had any of them let him go. He wouldn't have it. The Blood Knights had betrayed him and his Prince was nowhere to be seen. His hand strayed to his sword...
"You will stop this!"
A familiar voice echoed into the room. He couldn't place it, but he was sure he'd heard it before. His hand hesitated above the hilt, before slowly gripping around it. The room flashed white and the image of a tall, elven figure suddenly stood in the middle. Another flash, and it stood metres from his face. Deldorian's eyes grew wide, and his jaw slipped open. His escort cracked a heavy bar against the back of his knees, forcing him for fall forward onto the cold marble floor.
"You will kneel before your King!"
The shimmering projection stood majestically over the young elf, eyeing him with a malicious smirk on his face. Deldorian dared not raise his head. Everything within him was telling him this was all somehow wrong, but the presence of the Prince... the King - Lord of the Blood Elves, was daunting. He knew, with no shadow of a doubt that he would serve or die. He didn't understand what was going on, or what was going to happen to him. But he dared not ask.
"He will do...", uttered the majestic Lord with a dominating glance towards the demon that stood behind Deldorian. Within the blink of an eye he was gone as soon as he came. A gigantic clawed hand dragged Deldorian to his feet, and the same disgusting language was uttered into his ear as he was tossed helplessly towards the door. He staggered as he landed, stumbling and struggling to stay on his feet. There were two things he was certain of, and two things only. Firstly, that his life had been destroyed. Secondly, if he ever saw Dwin'urdrenn again she would most certainly pay for her betrayal.
Chapter XIII - Maternal Instinct
A tiny hand gripped tightly around Soraya's slender fingers, swinging her arm back and forth as she walked through the grassy planes of Nagrand. It was Children's Week back on Azeroth, and apparently the custom had spread to Outland. A little Sin'doeri girl, Salandria, had been placed into her care for a short while. Hardly work befitting a Master Blood Knight, but it was a welcome break from the stresses of recent life. Besides, the girl was well manered, bright and made for quite welcome company; even managing to bring forth an odd broody feeling every now and then.
The two walked slowly back towards the settlement, Soraya happy to have her arm swung violently by Salandria who was merrily humming to herself. Then the humming stopped, and the arm swinging suddenly turned into arm tugging and Soraya was forced to stop and see what was wrong with her tiny friend.
"When you were my age did you know that you wanted to be a Blood Knight when you grew up?" Salandria started slowly.
Soraya shook her head gently, with a small smile. There was no need to go into the details of her past. Salandria continued.
"I'm not sure what I want to be. Maybe a mage or a warlock, like I said before? Or maybe a Blood Knight? Yeah, definitely a Blood Knight! They say that the true ones are trained in Silvermoon City on your world. Could you take me there? The stories that I've heard say that the Blood Knight trainers reside in the Farstriders' Square in that city. Please take me there. Please!"
Soraya hesitated; not quite sure weather to be flattered or to be worried about what exactly Salandria had heard about Blood Knights. She wouldn't risk her to the Sunfury. It wasn't fair on the little girl, and the whole subject was still too close to home for Soraya. She went to say, no; that the Blood Knights would be far too busy to see her, but Salandira persevered with a frustrating mixture of whining and arm tugging. To Silvermoon they would go.
Soraya adjusted her Blood Knight's Tabard to look pristine, sliding her crimson blade gently and carefully by her side. If she was going to take this girl to see the Blood Knights, she had better look the part.
Salandria skipped happily by Soraya's side a they made their way through the serene streets of Silvermoon towards the Blood Knight's Temple. As expected the Rangers turned away as Soraya strode through the square; muttering curses and gossiping to each other as she passed.
"They don't like you? Why don't they like you? I like you, Soraya!"
"They're just jealous." Soraya replied with a playful smile, throwing a sly wink to one of the Rangers as she passed.
The came to the Temple entrance and Salandria ran forwards into the training halls. The guards at the door apparently shocked at such a young visitor made feeble attempts to stop her, before the warning eye of Soraya gave them the cue to let her pass freely. The Sin'dorei girl stood for a short while, jaw open in awe at the impressive inner halls of the Temple. But her interest wasn't held long and her tiny feet tottered off towards something unknown.
"Do you feel it? There's something over here! C'mon!"
Soraya knew exactly where she was headed and wasn't impressed at all. Allowing her into the Temple was one thing; allowing her to see the captured Naaru was quite another. She could only hope that Liadrin wasn't down there. Better yet, she would catch up ad just stop her from going altogether. Soraya picked up her pace to catch up with the young girl who seemed to run ever faster towards her goal. She eventually caught up, but it was apparently too late. The whirling, glowing body of the Naaru could be seen at the end of the corridor and Salandria was fixated. She ran to chamber, breaking free of the gentle grasp Soraya had held on her shoulder. She stumbled through the thin drapes, closely tailed by a sheepish looking Soraya who soon realised that worst had come to the worst - Lady Liadrin was here.
"Dwin'urdrenn!” she bellowed "What is the meaning of th-"
Liadrin stopped in her tracks. Salandria had closed her eyes, thrust her hand forward and was channeling energies from the Naaru with ease. It was an amazing sight. Soraya was taken aback by the natural skill of the girl, Liadrin must have been feeling amazed. She slowly strode towards the girl, ruffling her hair she she passed her to talk to Soraya.
"There are so few that are gifted enough to be able to channel such power from M'uru. To see this in a child is truly amazing!” she paused, regarding the little girl who had now stopped channeling. Her face was bright and she grinned broadly.
"It was wise of you to bring her before me", Liadin continued "You say that she's an orphan in Shattrath City? I shall see to it that a petition is submitted to the orphan matron there so that she might be remanded to our custody for proper training. She belongs with us, here. See to it that you keep her safe until then."
Soraya instantly reacted with a low bow and a small nod.
"Yes, M'Lady", she uttered as she ushered Salandria out of the room.
It was true that the girl showed amazing aptitude and natural talent to be a Blood Knight, but surely she wasn't old enough? Or was this to be the future for her Order? Training from a young age to utterly brainwash? Soraya shook her head gently, trying to clear her thoughts. There was no need to worry about such things. Not yet, anyway.
Chapter XIV - Nightmare
She was running. Legs burning in pain, muscles starved from oxygen. The torn, red rocks beneath her were breaking and falling into the eternal abyss that surrounded the deathly Peninsula of Outland. She dare not turn to look at her pursuer, but she knew all too well what it was. She stumbled. She fell; more blood coloured stones slipping off what seemed to be the edge of the world. Her sword shortly followed, her beloved crimson sword swinging helplessly down into the nothingness. She yelled, clambring after it in vain. But it was all too late. She heard it. The deafening mechanical screech of the Fel Reaver. It was atop of her now, and it was all too late to move. A giant mechanical foot plunged towards her.
Soraya awoke in a cold sweat, breathing heavily as she peered around her dark room. The pale green hue of her eyes illuminated her surroundings, yet she felt disorientated and lost.Gently throwing off her sheets and stood up, her bare feet pacing quietly across the cold stone floor towards her gown. Some tiny creature was calling out in the still night, a calming sound amidst the serene city. She knew where she was now - she was in Shattrath, right where she'd been when she fell asleep. She threw her gown around her, tying it loosly around her waist with a sigh. She could hardly believe she was still having nightmares about Outland. It just didn't seem to fit into the calmness that was Shattrath City, but she knew all too well that death, decay and distruction surrounded her on all sides. Master Knight or not, no one could be prepared for the horrors of this place. No one.
Softly pushing aside the drapes in her doorway she left the Scryer's Inn, stepping out into the yellow stone streets, she made her way to the grassy edge of the Scryer's Tier. Here she could see most of the city; empty as it was. A few devote Aldor Priests walked here and there, and she could hear the gentle rumbling of the Arcane Guardians' that paced around nearby. She closed her eyes for a moment before opening them again to bear upon the most amazing of sights; the pillar of pure light that stemmed endlessly into the night's sky from the middle of Shattrath. From the heart. From A'dal.
It was as if that light - concerntarted as it was, shone out over her; highlighting and amplifying each and every imperfection. It was a strange feeling, to be utterly in awe and to feel so dirty at once. She felt here what she knew to be true ever since that day in the Netherstorm. She knew the Blood Knights were wrong, their methods were flawed and their arrogance, misplaced. The Naaru - M'uru, she felt wasn't a captive. It was something more, something greater. But what exactly she couldn't place. Nor could she act accordingly. Ashamed as she was, there was no escaping her addiction and there was no better kick than taking from that being. Besides; it was all she knew. All she had known. There was no going back for her and she knew it. Perhaps Outland was her penance? Perhaps losing Deldorian to the Sunfury was some form of Divine Punishment? She closed her eyes again, guilt washing over her.
She couldn't stand Hellfire. The Bone Wastes terrified her. The Netherstorm she dared not go to; she dared not risk it. Last she went there she'd vomited frequently. Last she went there, her life had fallen apart. She wasn't ready. She wasn't sure she'd ever be ready. But she needed to go, she needed to find out the truth of everything for herself. She gave one last grave look towards the shining pillar of light before turning back to the Inn. Perhaps she'd feel better in the morning? Just perhaps.
Chapter XV - Climax
"I think this will suit you nicely."
She was practicing alone, under the dim light of a candle that stood on the far table. She watched her footing, careful not to trip herself as she swung her blade; from left to right, up and down, thrusting and spinning. Soraya loved this sword. Bloodvalor was right; it did suit her nicely. In fact, since she'd given it to her it hadn't left her side. It was weighted perfectly for her; heavy enough for control and light enough to hold with ease.
She carried on in the circular room, carefully swinging at her invisible enemy. Training was somewhat dull by herself, but she refused to do it any other way. Something inside of her longed to be able to train and teach at the same time, much like she did when Deldorian was around. So often they would spar, and that was the best practice form them both. She prided herself in turning him from a klutz to a skilled swordsman whose style mirrored her own. No one could fight against her like he could. Bloodvalor was too prideful, other students were too clumsy. A spar with her student was like a dance and although he couldn't beat her, the pleasure she took from seeing him grow as a fighter was what made it special. But she never told him that. Perhaps she should have? It was too late now anyway.
Her swings became harder, sharper and faster. She wondered how he was doing. Was he treated well? Did he still practice? She shook her head, knowing full well the answers were all negative. He was the enemy now, unwittingly. She imagined he'd killed some Scryers; she be strangely disappointed if he hadn't. He'd proably shot up the ranks... probably.
She sighed heavily, and quickly sheathed her blade, caressing the hilt thoughtfully. She missed him a bit too much. It had to be guilt; the guilt of losing a friend to the Sunfury. She had to find a way to rid the guilt. She had to get him back.
Bright white lightning tore across the swirling purple sky of the Netherstorm, cutting a jagged hole through the dense clouds. Soraya imagined it would have rained, if it could. She wasn't sure if rain was welcome in such an environment, but the air here dripped with something. It was mana. The "Promised Land" oozed with magical resonance, and to one who felt an addiction perhaps more then most, the place troubled her. Overcoming her addiction in Silvermoon was one thing, but being drowned by magical energies made her feel ill. Her head was constantly light, and nausea crept up on her with ease. She remembered the first time she'd come here, all those months ago; the Scryers slowly revealing the painful truths of Outland to her. She had been sick then, constantly throughout the night. But that was a mixture of things. Not just the overwhelming feeling that hit her like a solid wall the moment she stepped onto the purple soils of the Netherstorm, but also the deaths of her own kin. Sin'doeri versus Sin'doeri. They had killed their own, and it sickened her. Even now she wasn't used to it. The blood of her fallen brethren laced her sword, and stained a deep crimson on her armour.
Children of Blood.
She carefully stepped over the body of a female, not unlike herself. She was gashed across the neck and her fingers still twitched a little, throwing up purple dust. Numerous Sunfury she'd slain today, and for what? These Sin'doeri had families, children, lovers. Circumstance just got in the way and now they were enemies. But who was the traitor? Who was on the wrong side? Soraya shook her head as she made her way slowly to the towering pipeline that stemmed from Manaforge Ara. That didn't matter, really. She wasn't here on anyone's behalf but her own. The Scryers hadn't sent her and the Blood Knights may as well have been the Sunfury anyway. No, she was here because she had to find someone. She had to bring Deldorian home.
Lightning illuminated the sky again, casting a great silver light in the shadowy crevices that formed along the dislodged ground. Soraya slowed her pace as she realised she was near the edge; the eternal drop into the Nether. She closed her eyes, inhaling the rich air deeply. Her ears twitched in a short moment of ecstasy which was cut short by a familiar chuckle.
"You never change do you, Master?"
She shot a glance to her right, observing the shadowy fugue that stepped from the torn rocks around the base of the pipeline. It slowly stepped into the light, and stood, arms folded across its chest with a look of sheer superiority upon its face.
Her eyes widened as voice and appearance matched. It was him; but at the same time, it wasn't at all. The flowing brown hair that had distinguished him so handsomely has been ruthlessly cut to half its length and now fell tattered and split across his shoulders. She could see that his face was scarred with dozens of tiny cuts, and a runic pattern was formed around his eye in what appeared to be a burn. His armour was dark, a mix of deep, blood red and black. By his side was the sword he'd so proudly swung on their last day together, and strapped to his back was another. She strained for a better look, seeing only the tip and the hilt. It looked magnificent from what little she could see and compared to his bloodstained and rough looking blade, it appeared unused.
She looked down to herself, comparing her armour to his. The resemblance between the two was striking, and it made her feel sick.
"I'm not your Master." The words came weakly from her mouth.
"Oh no? How could I have forgot?!" He started, beginning to pace towards her. "That's right... my Master is now Xi'gav, a filthy wretched demon! I must say, he teaches me with just as much vigour as yourself, but… he's not so appealing on the eyes. Little matter..." He chuckled manically, sweeping a hand to his side. Soraya followed it, and noticed a heap on the floor; a Wrathguard, clearly obliterated through some sort of spell and withered of its mana. "It's gone now."
She peered back to look at him, her expression of utter disbelief. His eyes flared violently, as though they were actually aflame with fel energy. She'd taught him to tap magical essence, but never like that. That was unreal, abnormal. His sporadic laughing confirmed just how high he was on his own power. He paced ever faster towards her, almost breaking into a jog. And then it started.
She wasn't thinking, merely reacting as she drew her blade and caught his swipes. One after another after another; he hit at her with crazed ferocity, pushing her back as she struggled to keep up her defence. There was no time to ask why, no time for anything but to keep her hands moving, to stay alive. He fought just as she'd taught him, and the two danced swiftly and gracefully. It was as though they were sparing again, but this time she wasn't teaching. This time it was real, and there was a hate in his movements that could kill. She was astonished at how well he fought; each of his swings fast and sharp, timed expertly and landed with amazing force against her own defending blade. All the while his gaze did not falter. He was staring at her, a grim determination on his face as he watched her struggle to deflect his blows.
Finally she faltered.
The edge of the Nether loomed dangerously close, and she lost her footing. She gasped, lowering her guard as she struggled not to fall. There was a cry from her opponent who took the chance not to stab, but to hit her. A great, plated glove backhanded across her cheek and she spiralled forward to the floor. She choked on the dust that spewed into her mouth and nose, her eyes stinging. Writhing in pain and she slowly tried to raise herself. Deldorian would have none of it. A heavy boot crashed onto her back and she hit the floor again, blood trickling from her lips into her mouth. She gasped, coughed and wheezed, trying desperately to clamber forward, to escape. The boot slammed onto her right hand, crushing it into the purple dirt. She screamed, releasing her cherished sword. The pain was excruciating, but the boot wouldn't move.
She lifted her eyes from the ground, struggling to focus on anything. She caught a glimpse of her blade before a hand grasped it, taking it somewhere out of sight. She heard a rip as Deldorian cut through her black tabard, revealing the bare small of her back; an inconvenient gap in her armour.
"Watch!" he yelled at her, pulling at her hair and forcing her eyes to gaze into the eternal abyss of the Nether. He crouched beside her, a knee heavily on her back as he dangled her sword in front of her face. "Say g'bye..."
He tossed it and it spiralled outwards, landing on the floor with a resonating clank before it's momentum cascaded it over the edge of the land, forever lost. She yelped, trying with all her might to rush forward and grab it. But the knee dug deeply into her back, and the boot on her hand twisted, crushing it further. She screamed again in agony, feeling a finger crack and break under the pressure of his foot. She tried to turn her head, only to have her hair yanked violently as she was again forced to watch the abyss. Another sword flew into it, this time Deldorian's.
Her confusion was cut short by the sound of the blade on his back being unsheathed. It plunged beside her head, ripping a few golden strands of her hair. She turned her eyes to look best she could. It was a hanzo sword, slender and sharp. The craftsmanship was clearly elven, and seemed perfected beyond anything she'd ever seen. The blade was a deep red, which slowly blended into a midnight blue that extended to the hilt. There was something under the hand guard, engraved into the blade - it was too small to see.
"This is all your fault!" Deldorian yelled, his voice faltering slightly as though his anger was exploding through his mouth. "You bitch! I'm not supposed to be here! You bitch!"
He drew the sword up from beside her, holding it elusively out of her view.
"Look at you! Just look at you! What makes you different from them? Different from me?! Nothing! You wear our colours! You come from the same place! You were meant to be here!"
"No..." Soraya whimpered, trying to shake her head.
"Yes! Yes, you damned whore! Master Soraya Dwin'urdrenn! Captain of the Sunfury!"
She closed her eyes, as if she could block out his voice. The girl she'd stepped over earlier plagued her mind.
Captain of the Sunfury.
She'd slain a Captain before. She could tell by how they looked. They wore tabards... Blood Knight Tabards. A hand cracked across her face again.
"Pay attention! They had it all planned out! Everything! You're supposed to be here! Not me!" Deldorian's voice was constantly breaking, as though any second he would break into heavy, dreadful tears. "They only took me because they couldn't have you! The Order held you back to teach! The only damn thing that could have saved you from this! And so they got me, in the hopes I'd match up... your protégé."
"I-I... didn't know..."
"Liar!" A hand cracked across her face again. He bought the sword before her face, laying it flat on the ground. He pulled her head up, forcing her to see. Forcing her to read the inscription. It was written in the most elegant of Thalassian, golden letters in the dark blue hue.
Her face was pushed hard to the floor and Deldorian raised himself, finally removing the pressure from her back, but still leaning heavily on her hand. He drew up the blade, bringing its tip to slowly to tease through the fabric of her tabard, twisting his boot across her fingers as he did so. The pain was unbearable, and she screamed louder than ever before, gripping deeply into the dusty ground, only causing more discomfort. Deldorian smirked and cackled manically, as though he were a deranged child torturing a small animal. He stretched out a hand, ready to tap her innate essence.
"Sadly I couldn't do what they wanted of me. I was never as good as what they'd hoped. Like you told me; I wasn't ready. Now I've had to live in this hell for months! And it should have been you! It should have been you!"
Soraya was terrified. She didn't want to die. Not here, not now and not by his hands. Her mind raced, trying to think of ways to save herself. She just felt weak, and the pain only grew as he began to take more and more from her. She writhed slightly on the floor.
"Save me... Belore... please, save me."
Deldorian cackled again, raising the sword and aiming it to her head.
"Asking it for help? Remember Master! You never ask - !"
Pure white wings shot from Soraya's back. Deldorian stumbled backwards, shielding his eyes as his mentor was slowly risen to her feet. The wings of light wrapped round her, seemingly bringing forth unknown strengths. She glared at him, hand outstretched, unleashing a Holy Shock. It hit him with amazing force, sending him reeling backwards. The sword was dropped. She ran, picking it up and grasping it tightly. Her hand shot with pain, but she knew she had to do this. She thrust forward, impaling Deldorian through the stomach. He staggered backwards, and teetered on the edge of the Nether. She pushed a little more, watching his face become engulfed in pain.
I'm saving him...
His gloved hands gripped the blade as he tried to pull himself up. Deep, painful cuts gashed into his palms as he yelled in agony.
I'm saving him...
The wings faded, and she suddenly felt weak. She gazed up at him, giving a look that could only convey feelings of guilt and sorrow. He glared angrily back, not saying a word. It was time to finish it. She bought up a leg, and kicked him. He slid from her sword, staggering backwards and losing his footing. He yelled, full of hate and rage, launching one final spell in the way of his former Master before he tumbled into the abyss. It hit and she fell backwards to the purple floor; bloodied, bruised and broken.
I'm saving him...
Her vision became black.
Pain ripped through her body and she inhaled sharply as she was stunned back into consciousness. Her back was stinging and aching, a heavy flow of blood trickling from the gash. She went to feel, only to find she was bound. She blinked, trying to focus on her surroundings. She was in a small, grey room. It was dimly lit and only had one, khorium bound door on the far side. She tilted her head downwards. Her tabard had been stripped from her and was lying on the floor in the corner. Her dagger was nowhere to be seen. She arched her back, and groaned a little as a sharp pain shot through her spine. The door opened.
A tall, blonde Sin'doeri stepped into the room, followed closely by a shorter counterpart. She strained her eyes to focus, to find markings. She noticed their tabard. Scryers.
Thank the Sun.
The taller of the two held a hand to his side, and in it the other placed a blade. That blade. He regarded it for a short while and gave it a quick swing, before turning his attention to Soraya.
"It would appear one of our boys beat you pretty badly. What you did to him however, remains a mystery. But little matter, we've got you now."
A smirk spread across his face as he bought the hilt of the blade to his eyes, scanning the markings for a name.
"So... Captain, is it? Well, Captain Dwin'urdrenn. Let's get to business, shall we?"
She opened her mouth to plead. To tell them they'd got the wrong idea. She was not Sunfury. She was friend, not foe! If only they called back to Shattrath they would know! The words never came, and all she could do was writhe as her back once again flared in pain.
The door was slammed shut and locked.
Chapter XVI - The Scryers
Voren'thal had one of those faces that could only be described as "kind". Being an elderly elf - easily old enough to be Soraya's grandfather - his features conveyed a wise and unquestioned understanding in almost every word he said. It was a trait that Soraya found utterly frustrating in her current situation, where she wanted little more than to clamber across his note-riden desk and slit his wrinkly throat. But clearly, she was in no position to do so.
She sat hunched in what had been deemed the 'most comfortable chair in the office'. It still somehow felt like sitting on jagged bricks to Soraya, whose body periodically flared with agonising pain. Her hair was ragged, matted and dirty, falling across the front of her face unevenly. She was sure that if she had the energy she'd of moved it from her eyes. She'd been given a lose fitting Scryers uniform to wear, clearly that of a male, it made her features look drawn and gaunt. Her right arm was in a makeshift sling and although not broken, or even damaged, it had lost all feeling from the shoulder the the tips of her fingers. She couldn't even clench a cup, despite her best efforts, and resigned herself to drinking left handed.
"Again, my dear, we can only but offer our sincerest apologies for this terrible misunderstanding," Voren'thal began, smiling his grandfatherly smile in Soraya's direction. "If you'd worn markings we would hav-"
His words were cut short as she slammed her glass hard onto his desk, cracking it from the base upwards. Her tired eyes flared behind her matted fringe as she stared hard into his visage.
"Four days..." her voice was weak, fragile. "Your men kept me for four days. Do I have to recall what they did to me again?" A flicker of disgust crossed her features which was soon replaced with a look of grave determination.
"That wont be necessary, Soraya. But I only wish that you could put this behind you. Perhaps not now, but in time... it would be a shame to lose you over such a mistake."
Soraya bent forward a little in her chair, her working hand gripping across her chest as what she could only think of as being some kind of heartache cascaded through her body. She was truely torn by the situation, and everything felt so much out of her control that if she could have mustered the strength to scream, she would have. What choice did she have but to forgive and forget? She couldn't turn her back on them, knowing that on the other side the enemy awaited. She had pledged herslf as a Scryer, and deep within her being she believed that their cause was the right cause. Nevertheless she was angry. More than angry. The things that had been done to her as part of "routine investigation" were unthinkable, and the foolishness of it all only added insult to injury. And to top it all off, Deldorian...
"Soraya... I know how you must be feeling..."
"Believe me when I say you don't."
"Understandable." Voren'thal seemed lost for words, perhaps for the first time since their reuinion. They continued drinking in silence.