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Archive for November, 2011

It was the drum of fingertips that manifested as the first outward sign of the priestess’ occupied thoughts. The burgundy-painted nails clicked on the inside page of an old tome, whose cover had been turned with industrious intent, only to be forgotten in the wake of begrudging realization.

“Yer just lonely…”

The observation hung in her thoughts and echoed in her mind – its memory fuelled by the emotional reaction associated with its utterance. Hours later from the birth of that horror, Azriah sat at the desk in her study, completely surrounded by books, artifacts, sculptures, and everything she held dear. Not a single atom in the room breathed outside of her.

Lonely. 

The two syllables of that dreaded word brought feelings of disdain and gross pity.

Lonely. 

Rage was the answer to that, burning hotly in her cheeks as it thrummed through her very veins.

Lonely.

It pulled her abruptly to her feet, and there she stood in the private study, seething to herself as hapless objects got the brunt of her anger, crashing as they fell to the ground. When there was nothing left to throw or smash, her voice came sharply. “I am NOT that pathetic!” She cursed, and that outburst resulted in the eventual collapse to the uncomfortable chair, nose-bridge pinched between forefinger and thumb.

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It was half a century before the birth of the great wizard, Medivh – hardly on the cusp of what marked two hundred years of living for our priestess. The spires and walls of Silvermoon City were still painted that azure hue, with no hint of the fel crystals that would later taint it. It was through a large window in the spire of the priests that the moon shone her fluid light, and just beyond that silver serenity, the shadow priestess laid in a bed that was not her own, cerulean eyes open against the tranquil dark of night.

A rivulet of blood emerged from a gaping, red abyss, torn through the lovely white throat of a nobleman. The dark, flakey trail rounded the man’s neck like a cravat, with the fresh droplet falling from his skin to land beneath the chair in the puddle of forsaken life. The long, formerly burnished gold hair trailed down the back of the chair, burgundy now with the stain of dried blood. 

It was an artful display that hovered beyond her mind’s eye through wakefulness and sleep, chasing away other thoughts in its wrath. Here it had risen again, keeping her awake in the dead of night when she should have been sleeping. In such a state, she rolled to her side and it was there that her inattentive gaze alighted on the empty bed-space. With that grueling scene fresh in her thoughts, it was not far fetched that for a moment, she unwillingly – and very clearly – saw his lovely features, wreathed by those burnished gold locks. A thunderous pounding arose in her bosom as adrenaline swam in her veins, bringing a cold sweat to her pallid features and filling her throat with cotton. Completely opposite from the languid manner with which she had rolled over, she turned on her back now rapidly, causing the bed to creak in protest. With eyelids squeezed shut and ears flattened against her head, a firm whisper passed through her lips, directed at none but herself.

“It’s done, it’s done, it’s done. He is gone. There is no more. It is all over. All over and done.”

It was this chant that kept the terrible thoughts and memories at bay, revered almost religiously by the priestess. It was a difficult process, to let go of a century and a half of life. In what might have taken a moment, everything had swirled down the drain, and from that was taken a secret sense of peace.

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“Who is that man… why is he standing there?”

“They call him ‘J’ – he is mute…”

These were dimly heard phrases and questions that floated around me, though I was not altogether absorbed in the conversation about the nameless hunter. My priorities were with confessing my latest crimes of the flesh, and I was heavily amused by the reactions of those who were paying attention. My tale eventually drew to a close, however, and I afforded a glance over my shoulder at the subject of the adjacent conversation, as it was much too close quarters to turn Phaeton.

My immaculate sight alighted on the mysterious hunter in the mismatched armor, and I found my interest piqued by the enigma; I was curious about who this man was and why he cared to keep such an eye on the loveable baker – a habit that was perceived immediately. Reader, I have a penchant for odd details, with an attention that could be raptly captivated by something that did not look like more than junk to the average passerby. Perhaps he was an injured veteran, or perhaps there was a method to his madness.

~*~

The following Friday evening had me standing in the dreadful Murder Row, surrounded by friends and familiar faces, though I was not very involved with their conversation. Friends departed and others alike, until I was left to explain the priorities of The Sunguard to an ignorant magister. How I came to assume that role, I do not know, but before I knew it I was on some tirade about the glory of Quel’thalas. Reader, habit compelled me to do it.

This aforementioned magister was swiftly losing the grace of my attention, and my gaze wandered down the rest of the alley, where, like a sentinel, the mute man stood. Desperate to find a means of escaping the drudgery, I improvised and offered the mute hunter an alternate means of interaction.

Was it generous? No – none of my actions have such pure intentions. Those who would mistake me for being generous are reading into an illusion; an ideal of Lady Thelryn that they want to believe exists.

But, I digress. I offered the silent man a choice; should he follow this proposition, he might find me in the Court of the Sun. If not, I could have cared less what he occupied himself with. It was not without trials and tribulations that he finally permitted my presence in his mind, and it was there that I discovered, with much surprise, his true identity. However, such a discovery ended in the former enigma threatening my life, though that was a detail that was negotiated at the price of unmentionables and my silence. In any other situation, I might not have felt so threatened, but here was a bloody pirate who certainly would not hesitate to use his blade…

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