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Mashira
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re: Sealed

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You will run.                 

It will walk.                              

You will rest.

It will not.

 

One day,

You will linger in the same place too long.

You will sit too still.

You will sleep too deep.

And then, too late, you rise to go.

You will notice a second shadow beside yours.

 

Your life will then be over.

 

 

- Translated excerpt from the Dairy of Grenton Runescar, lone survivor of the Cultist attack in Dunwald, Twilight Highlands.

 

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re: Sealed

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Roughly 180 years before the Dark Portal opened

The young Archmagus Maltrior looked at the dull, cyan gemstone in his hand. Definitely not his best work - but it was his most noble. With the aid of these Wildhammer Dwarves, they had pulled on the essence of water to create a ward. The podium before him, placed just under the surface, hidden from prying eyes, drew water up from the dirt below like inverted rain. Purifying the liquid as it pooled over into the font at its zenith, the podium thrummed with the energies only months of research and careful study could produce. The natives of this place - Dunwald, they called it - said that such magics could cure the sick and revitalise the feeble, yet neither health nor strength was Maltrior's concern that day. So long as the sacrifices he had made to empower this gemstone were enough, the podium would be self-sustaining and both become untouchable to the beast and cut off its connection to the world's waters, preventing it from healing it's tentacled form.

Tentatively, gently, he placed the smooth gemstone into the font, watching as the waters congealed and pulled themselves into a sphere, causing the dull crystal to shine with vibrancy. The magus felt it in his bones. He was successful! Now he just had one more thing to complete before he left to the next location...

Mashira
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re: Sealed - Part 5

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"Use everything. Iron, rust, scrap... even the ground must join our cause. Progress is our great inheritance, perfection our ultimate destination."

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re: Sealed - Sven

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A scream! Ergar looked up, claws flexing in anticipation as he heard the thumb of plate striking the ground. Finally, the Horde were attacking! And those stupid dwarves were good for something after all! Dropping to all fours, he rushed down the hill, towards the shore and –

A scream! A howl! Kait and Geo looked up, ears twitching. Offering each other a quick glance, they thundered down the path. Kait, drawing on the powers of the void, funnelled them through her paws at the miasmic being that loomed over Ergar’s body, biting into his neck. Growling in defiance as Geo fell before her - his throat burning as he tried to cough – she tried to chain the entity still, only to find it’s form malleable, simply morphing into the form of a… a crab of sorts? Without time to even cry out, it landed to the ground, it’s spiked and barbed legs piercing through both Geo and Ergar’s bodies, rendering them lifeless. Fear seized the Worgen. She turned on her heel to run, only to –

A scream! A howl! Growing and coughing! By now, everyone was alert. Charging down the hill, Stormpike and Bloodfang together, they assailed the beast. Claw or fang, axe or gun – it was all for naught. After a short encounter, it had already taken at least half of their numbers, it’s chitinous carapace too strong for conventional weaponry, nevermind claws and fangs. While few lucky strikes struck something soft, the creature simply slipped into the dark waters around the isle, only to breach the waves with a tentacle a moment later, constricting and grappling many and dragging them into the deeps. It wasn’t long before they started trying to escape. A dozen or more Stormpike and Bloodfang hurriedly got into the boats and tried to escape to the mainland. They never made it.

 

 

A bird’s caw. The click of a pincer. The snapping of bones. The chewing of raw meat. Sven opened his one eye slowly, finding himself inside a thick, thorny bush. The lanterns and campfire no longer supplying him with the light he so desperately needed at this moment, Sven rolled his head over, just an itch, peering out beyond the leaves. Littering the ground were the lifeless husks of his pack, the dull, pale moonlight showing his brothers’ and sisters’ expressions. Geo and Ignar. Sven looked over to them, both lying, side-by-side, their chests torn open, their organs removed with a large beak. Closing his eye with a shudder, Sven tried to ignore the biting, the chewing, the swallowing. Wishing – praying, even - for it to stop. The moist squelch of it’s maw as tendons tore and snapped threw pictures into Sven’s mind, his imagination tormenting him further. Panic started to well in his chest, his breathing beginning to hasten. A split-second later, he swallowed, making his breathing as soft as he could. Silence blossomed. If couldn’t have heard him, could it? But then why had it stopped eating? Unable to open his eye and paralysed by fear, Sven remained immobile as he heard the breeze waft over the bush, getting a scent of salt and horse-hair. The tearing of raw meat resumed, an odd sense of relief washing over him. He opened his eye slowly, seeing the creature now tearing into a Dwarf’s chest, its talon scrunching up her chestplate like paper and tossing it away into the nearby ocean, its back to him. Now was his chance! Slowly, stealthily, he rolled from his side to his front, and started to crawl out from under the bush, towards the tower at the centre of the isle. With barely a rustle of a leaf, the Worgen prowled behind the hedgerow, out of sight. Only now that he moved did he realise the weakness in his hind legs. Every step was a strain. Turning his head slowly, he held in a growl as he saw the brown mycelium wrapped around his legs, puncturing his thin leather armour, a few mushrooms starting to sprout. Being careful not to make a noise, he reached over with a claw, attempting to swipe the mycelium off him, only to bite down in agony as it tugged inside his body, feeling as if he’d just tried to rip off his own fur. The brown, flat-capped mushrooms puffed softly, spores collecting around the claw he’d attempted to rid them with. Instinctively holding his breath, Sven looked in dismay as the spores dug into his skin, the process spreading over his body.

Lifting his snout to breathe, Sven looked down along the hedgerow. He’d only made a few metres of distance between him and the creature, but it seemed to be finishing up its meals, the corpses now being coated with the same mushrooms that plagued his body. On that note, his hind legs were in agony now, feeling feeble and weak, as his right, front paw was starting to exhibit some of the effects. It was taking all his willpower to not slump onto the ground. The mushrooms sprayed their spores out again, and Sven held his breath, blowing until his lungs burned before inhaling again. He must have only inhaled a fraction of them, but already his throat felt dry, his head light. Lying down to rest for a second to prevent alarming the beast by collapsing, Sven closed his eye, keeping his infected claw away from his face. Sleep called to him like siren, and he answered, unable to resist entering a deep, deep slumber.

Sven woke to the sound of talking. Quickly opening his eye and looking up, he saw a strange purple bird fly overhead. Catching a scent of a fellow sister and brother, he tried to raise to his paws, his left paw striking the muddy ground in exertion, only to collapse with a wheeze, the fungi now spreading up his back.

Again, Sven awoke, but this time to an explosion, the tower at the centre of the island showering debris everywhere, accompanied by an arcane crackle. His body in anguish, Sven forced himself up the hillside, starting to get his second wind. He could feel the mushrooms in his mane, the spores in his throat and the mycelium constricting and puncturing his legs and torso. Dragging his hind legs behind him, the Worgen called out, howling, pleading for aid in desperation. Only after he caught a glimpse of the two elves, Illyanaeth and Yalandra, did Sven finally lose all strength, collapsing under the weight of his own body, spores practically covering him in a cloud, causing him to cough and wheeze violently before loosing consciousness.

 

 

Four days had passed. In that time, the Wardens of Azeroth had taken Sven to be treated and questioned him. An aspiring recruit, Neereth, even escorted him back to his den, accompanying the enfeebled and packless alpha Worgen. Looking at the many moss-beds, now empty, Sven arced his head upwards and let out a long, sad howl in mourning, looking straight up at the night sky. Distancing himself from the world, he just let himself howl and howl, until eventually trailing off as he ran out of air in his lungs, hanging his head dejectedly.

 

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re: Sealed - The Log in the Forge

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Batch 1. After drinking the Southern Gift, they now follow Nazjeni loyally. He will save them. Yet, only two completed conversion. Sent to the splicers.

Batch 2. We have a willing subject this time. …Not so much a batch as one person, but I will write it down as so. He completed conversion without the gift. The splicers took great interest. I think he will serve them well.

Batch 3. Only one of the eight completed conversion. His perfection was welcomed by the splicers, and he has been sent to be attuned.

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