(Thank you to Gerrond and the Wardens for the RP last night, I enjoyed myself a lot and hope to get a few more levels on me so I can get some pretty dresses!)
He looks at me without judgement, the creases around his eyes are a silent testament to his great age. The land we stand on has become my home, the soil of my people, and a self imposed prison for an exile. I wonder if he knows about the darkness that once held me, or of the light flowing from my hands while I saved the lives of those who no longer speak my name. My Knights tabard is bleached white, the rich colour draining from it as once it did when I left the order of the Dead Rose, but still I keep it safe in my vault, a reminder of a time now past.
“You may not live, do you understand?”
My past haunts me like a shroud, living with the burden of knowledge is destroying me within and I look at the old one knowing I no longer care. A light breeze teases his dark robe around his boots, the sound seems almost comforting after the long months without contact from the living. I look at the staff he holds, it is twisted into a gnarled hand at one end, the dark fingers spread over the surface of a glowing blue orb.
“I accept the consequences.”
The world becomes as still as a tombstone and his dark eyes move to my mark, I feel a tingle where the Naaru gifted me. This wise one is a Master in his own right, those who seek him are either desperate or looking for death, if I am honest, I am seeking both.
“Come to me child of Draenor.”
I step towards him with slight hesitation, wanting him to do what we have agreed but nervous of what is to come. He reaches out and cups my face with his long fingers, the skin is stained yellow by time and I catch the smell of herbs. A feeling of apprehension rises in me, what of my friend Gerrond. Will he get the letter I have waiting to be sent, will he understand why I am doing this or will he walk away and wash his hands of me.
“Stop fighting me Gelana.”
The letter has been left with the Innkeeper, it will be posted to him in two weeks. By the time he finds out what I am doing it will be far too late to stop me. I call on the Light one last time before I give myself up to the old one holding me.
“Light protect and guide my friend in all he does.”
When the Innkeeper sends the mail, this is what Gerrond will receive.
This letter carries the stamp of the Exodar.
“My dearest friend,
I have made a decision, one that will help me to escape my past and the failure that I have become, it is something I can no longer live with.
A Master will strip my mind from me, taking everything I once knew, thought or felt. I can only hope it will work and that I will survive the process I must endure.
Gerrond I need your help if I am to remain safe my friend. I may not remember you at first, but keep trying until I trust you again.
I do not know what will happen to me, but If I lose myself to insanity please do me the honour of taking my life, it is what I must ask of you as my most trusted friend.
I wish to lay in rest on Azuremyst Isle beneath the peacebloom, a fitting place for a failed Draenei Priestess.
Keep safe as always, Light be with you,
His patient voice breaks into my thoughts, bringing me back to reality with a single word.
It is time to let go, this is my last task and I will not fail it, I press my face firmly into his warm hands and blank my mind. Pressure builds behind my eyes until it feels like my brain is swelling, then his thumbs slowly begin to stroke the ridges that make up the mark on my forehead. He whispers something too low to catch and I feel at peace, as I once did in the Cathedral in Stormwind.
When it begins I am not prepared for it.
Pain swells up my neck, pouring into my head until it’s blinding with intensity. Sweat breaks over my skin and I fight him in desperation, lashing out with my sharp hooves, I want to run from the pain, from him, from myself.
He takes me by the horns and jerks my head sideways, pushing me down until I am on my knees before him, cheek to the ground, one hand gripping his ankle. He keeps me down by force but still I lash out in all directions, damaging the skin of my legs as I blindly try to run.
Shards of ice spear my mind freezing the pain and a thousand voices begin to keen mournfully, the echoes bounce and multiply in my head until they become one voice, my own. His staff, falls slowly to the ground, beside my turned head, twisting and changing into a dark serpent, before it comes to rest gently, nothing more than a staff once more. The orb casts its light onto the earth, I want to drink from the pool of blue water...so close, I reach out my tongue trying to lick up the melting light.
His boot is placed on my lower horn, pinning my head firmly down and freeing his hand so he can connect to my mark once more.
I scream at him in anger, swearing with pain and fear and threatening his life and that of his family, my hooves are digging into the ground as I try to unbalance his hold on me when darkness rises and washes over me like dirty tide water. I am drowning, the air darkens before my lips and I breath it into my lungs, into me. I cannot pull away from it, cannot move my mouth from the small vortex seeping filthy air into my throat, can he not see it slowly killing me? The thump from the background grows into the pumping of my heart, beating loudly in my ears until I become quiet. I am captivated by the sound, no longer fighting him I listen as life surges around my shivering body.
It stops, leaving me suspended in an eerie silence.
Yet I still breathe and with every shuddering gasp blood trickles from my nose, a sticky web that catches at my pale hair, turning the strands red. I start to cry, my chest tight with a deep sorrow that crushes me until I am broken and without shame before the old one still holding me. He remains silent as I beg him to kill me, still he is without judgement. I release my hold on his ankle, drawing myself into a foetal position like a wounded animal, he wisely keeps me pinned in place on the ground.
No longer willing to fight it, I give in to the exhaustion tugging at me, drifting into the darkness behind my heavy lids.
The earth smells good and my belly rumbles as I open my eyes, there is an old man watching me, his dark robe brushes against his boots. I am confused, trying to understand where I am and why he is there. I see blood, when I touch it with my finger I find it dry and flaking at the edges but sticky in the centre, it seems to have been shed recently.
“It is complete, come with me.”
Huh? What is complete? He turns and strides off without me so I clamber up and chase after him, suddenly uncomfortable being out here alone. He keeps up the steady pace and we cover ground rapidly, making our way towards a beautiful building, he calls it the Exodar and tells me it is my home. When I turn I find him gone, having no choice I enter the doorway and walk down a ramp into a world of strangers.
It has been two weeks since I was abandoned by the old man and the strangers have taken me in, calling me Gellana. They say they know me, that I am a Priestess from a family that died in some sort of accident. I think they mean this building fell down, but it is too big to get into the air and I am not sure if they are just teasing me. I am an orphan with no place in the world, put to work for anyone who needs some help. When I can escape I hide down by the dock, I like the ships that come in full of supplies and exciting looking strangers, one day I will get on one and see where it goes.
My teacher is training me to hear the spirits, he says I have come close to death and I am favoured, but I am curious about almost dying, I do not remember it.
The day is pleasant and I hear the creak and slap of a ship coming in, with a quick look I make sure the wood is stacked neatly and I bound down towards the wooden bridge. Nothing catches my eye as they begin to off load the usual supplies so I reluctantly turn away to gather more wood for my teacher.
“Gelana! Its you!”
The male voice is strange, and he pronounces my name the wrong way. Turning I see a tall human facing me, the plate on him is heavy but he carries it with ease which suggests he is from the battlefront. He removes his helm to reveal fiery locks and a big smile, again calling me Gelana.
“It is Gellana, human.”
Undaunted he pulls out a letter which he offers to me. It is a sad letter written in elegant handwriting, it is signed by Lady Gelana. The man waits patiently as I read it, folding it and replacing it carefully inside his armour when I return it to him. I want him to leave, now sure he is insane, or worse, trying to call me by the wrong name like I am that stupid I will believe him. But he persists, refusing to accept it when I try to walk away.
“Do you remember in the Cathedral, I brought you a blanket when you were possessed?”
A blanket, I look at him feeling unsure of myself for the first time since he called out to me. I have a vault, inside is white blanket but I do not remember putting it there, or paying for the vault itself.
“What colour was it?”
Without hesitation he replies, white. I am still suspicious of the human, I do not know him but he insists I am his friend, that I have lost my memory. He tells me I carry a scar over my upper back, that I told him a warlock branded me and almost killed me but a Priestess and a Paladin saved my life. His blades hum with tension as he drives them into the earth where they stand upright, side by side, and he tells me to use the reflective surface as my mirror. Still suspicious, I remove my tunic and kneel to look over my shoulder, I have to shift a little to see my back as I am tall. Then I see the scar, clearly visible, a circle with a pattern etched inside it, the centre seems almost hollow.
He keeps telling me I am Gelana, his friend, a Priestess of the Light. I do not know what light he speaks of but it sounds important, at least to him. Then he strides to a nearby tree and picks some leaves, returning he holds them out to me and I lean forward, my blue tongue curling once around them as I pull them gently from his fingers.
“Gelana loved leaves.”
I chew them while I watch him, trying to understand why this human, this Gerrond would want to find a dead friend here near the Exodar.
“I am Draenei, we all love leaves. So can I join your order?”
He smiles and says they will be happy to welcome me, he wants to help me and knows someone who may be able to. I guess I will be cleaning dishes and collecting wood for my teacher and my order, these Wardens of a place called Azeroth.