A while ago, I commissioned an extremely talented artist, Allison McNulty, to produce some artwork in collaboration with my Fiction project. As this was completed this week, I feel it’s high time we had some new words, and with work continuing apace on the Beta, it’s probably not a bad time to begin discussing what’s going on at the Dark Portal…
If you like Allison’s work below, follow her on Twitter @Ammosart
Title: Salvation, Part Two
Character/Pairing: Introducing one Paladin Tank and a familiar Group leader. That now gives you all five members of the team, and as we have them, away they will go…
Summary: ‘Did you dream last night?.’
Disclaimer: All these people live in a computer game owned by Activision and Blizzard. The one I play is mine in my mind only.
We wouldn’t be here if it were not for M, who ironically has become my boss James Bond stylee because without him there IS NO MISSION BRIEFING. Many thanks for forcing me to make sense, and helping an understanding of a larger Universe as a result.
As the new day begins, Argus sits in his bed and tries to recall exactly what he has just seen.
These dreams had first begun in the Exodar, in the time for healing from the horror he had cut a swathe through with mace and shield in Orgrimmar. The Draenei had incorrectly assumed that his own conscience was the cause. Only when P had sent a message to his family home did he understand the significance of the sight the Light had granted him. Then he had not been able to move fast enough, to hasten a return to the rest of his party, to share his insights with their leader. He’s comforted by the calm of her presence, just arrived and quietly waiting outside the tent: never encroaching unless asked, the model of refinement.
This is why he held so much respect for her, after all these years. Her empathy was beyond measure.
‘You may enter, but only if you carry tea.’
He hears her laugh, registers the motion of the tent’s entrance as she moves within, but doesn’t shift himself until P comes into his view. Only when their eyes meet does she pass him the large bowl, scented sweetness he is grateful to drink from at length.
‘Did you dream last night?’
He asks the question as he has every morning since he came here, a gauge as to her mood, the outlook. She has been stealing time in the day to rest, when he knows the dreams have not reached her. Something about the darkness matters in all of this, the Nether itself, reaching out to envelop them…
‘I was at the Temple again in Shadowmoon.’
She carries the weight of another difficult night, red and raw on her face, under puffy eyes. Since he returned three days ago they have compared their dreams and Argus knows her view of the Valley is tainted by the loss of her husband, the Karabor she encounters the gutted remains of the Temple in Outland. This is not what he sees, what he can smell and taste, as he walks in sunlight and views the holy ground as it was, before the inevitable destruction. He had found trouble reconciling this disparity, but the night has provided a vital understanding. He knows what he experiences is far more than just a memory and he is keen to share this with the Dwarf.
‘As was I, but not the one this Portal would take us to. Mine is untainted, untouched. As it was… in the time… before the Legion.’
The tears are a surprise, and as they come the Light in his heart pulls Argus from past back into present, reminders of untainted history, the call to prayers suddenly overriding. He should be out of bed, in his Prayer Robe, as his brother and sisters already run up the stairs to the Temple. It is utterly real yet this is impossible, a fabrication of past and present collided. He had stood there in his dreams, on the steps as yet unworn by many hooves, a gentle breeze blowing the scent of Starflower across the Valley, and he had finally understood that this place was not the same as he remembered from his childhood. The last time he had experienced such alteration of reality was to the West. In Tanaris, deep beneath the sands.
‘Fizz is indeed correct with his statement from yesterday. The fabric of time has shifted around us. This dream may look like a Draenor I know, but I am aware that is most certainly not the case. I have not felt this way since we were returned to Stratholme by the Bronze Dragonflight – ‘
Argus stares at P, anxious for a response to his revelation. She in turn simply stands, fingers rubbing together idly as she thinks, clearly considering before offering an opinion.
‘Then it may not simply be the Portal that’s been changed. Crais might yet be correct, significant events could well have been compromised. Why am I not surprised?’
In the camp there were two dozen people, across all the Alliance races, linked to each other and the call from the Portal. Crais had been gathering intelligence as was his particular craft, comparing stories and fragments of connection: why so many people had arrived unprompted, what it was that motivated their journeys. The consistencies were mounting: the Orcs, Karabor and the undoubted understanding that realism itself had been sublimated. At the eye of the storm, and the place where Azeroth met Outland, the pull of fate itself had become both strong and unstable. Since Deathwing’s demise, the Caverns of Time was largely inhospitable, a dangerous place to even fly over. Travellers vanished, increasingly bizarre cosmic flotsam would be spat into the sands, buildings and ships juxtaposed against the harsh Tanaris sands. Rumours were rife as a result, the inevitable consequences from Nozdormu’s continued meddling with the framework of reality.
The Draenei is finishing his tea in a gulp, getting out of bed as he searches for a formal robe. He knows he must take the memories in his head and pass them onto Crais before they fade in the cold light of day. With a speed that stops him dead a phrase pops into his mind, spoken by a voice he has heard many times in the past: a being he’s fairly certain doesn’t posses a mouth. The force of realisation is a punch, and he is suddenly staggering, looking for a place to steady himself. It is P that catches him, supporting his massive frame with a strength he is impressed she possesses. As she looks at him there is a sudden and damning understanding, the two of them connected by something far more subtle than simply years together in battle.
‘You have a message, don’t you?’
At the sound of P’s words Argus’ mind blossoms, a thousand images suddenly exploding alive in his mind. The Clerics are running though the Exodar, all of them, not caring about protocol or refinement. His brother is sprinting for the Temple, the voice in his mind as clear as the one in his mother’s and his sisters. The same voice, in P’s subconscious, relaying an identical message. To all of them, to everyone who would embrace the Light and grasp it is all that that stands between Azeroth and complete annihilation.
‘The prophet is coming.’
As the words leave Argus’ mouth, the world outside his tent bursts into chaos.