Netherbane

Demon Hunters in the World of Warcraft

Warnings

"Yes," Rephaia sighed. "I am aware that the Soulthorn's wards make things difficult. I am the one who warned you about them, architect. Just do the best you can."

"Confessor," the large draenei replied, exasperation lining his voice more so than any other emotion, "many of my workers have been injured already. The path near the tower has claimed blood from at least four of my own. I have left one there to look for other triggers, but we cannot keep working under these conditions. Those wards need to be taken down!"

The Lightforged paladin shook her head with a deep frown. "No. We have received word that the Horde is moving on Ashenvale, and they may already be here. We cannot afford to take down any of the defensive wards."

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Heaven's Door

It started as silence; a stillness that longed to feel movement, like a tired muscle forced to remain unmoving for too long. There was an energy behind this silence--a sense of urgency and a build-up of anticipation. The underlying tension increased with each passing moment, with each passing breath.

Though, there should have been no breaths here. There was nothing but scattered wreckage from a battle recently fought and won. Or perhaps it was lost? That depended on which side you were on, of course.

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Veldrinas: To Honor the Fallen

Ashenvale Forest

Veldrinas is seated in front of a small campfire near the ruins of Forest Song. The heat of the summer evening coupled with the heat of the fire causes sweat to trickle down the side of his face, but he pays it no mind. No, instead the demon hunter is reminiscing about how close he and his friends came to annihilation at the hands of Sraath the Eclipse. The doom lord would have succeeded were it not for the sacrifice of one brave soul, Taldarion. Though Veldrinas was not personally close to the hunter, they shared a bond through affiliation with Tharion Greyseer, which would have made him a brother-in-arms, and perhaps even family.

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Shizukera: Aftermath

Shizukera stares at the skull in her hand, hesitant. She doesn’t know what to think or how to feel, so she lets her thoughts swirl about chaotically in her mind. It’s an oddly poetic balance: as chaotic and overcrowded as her mind is, her soul is the opposite, full of nothing but emptiness and a deafening silence.

You shouldn’t have let him go back alone.

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Of Halos and Thorns

Ary, followed by Fethas Soulthorn, finds Eraelan at his camp. Fethas describes her conflicts with the Soulthorn now going wild and attacking her instead of complying to her wishes. Eraelan notices Ary's pain as they talk. He quickly gathers the items to make a new halo to filter out the whispers and echoes in young woman's mind using metal, cloth, Fethas' blood (since she was the last to host Sraath before the crystal), and a shard of J'ure. He comments to Fethas that she should seek out someone to learn better control before dismissing the demon hunter.

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Shadows and Nightmares

This encounter takes place aboard the Legion vessel, the Mindslayer, not long after the Sovereign of the Eastern Gate beamed the survivors of the battle against Sraath back to safety.

Vasedra slipped away from the group as soon as she could, as soon as she was convinced enough that everyone was safe and that Ary was protected. Though she didn't know the Mindslayer well, she had been on her former Master's vessel enough times to know her way, to know that it wasn't far from the command deck to the now-empty officer's quarters. Down the leeward hall and off to the left side.

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Daughters

Shazadi walked through the quiet halls of what remained of the Umbral Eclipse. This was all that was left, now, after all the rest had fallen away. This was it, the "spire": the original shape of the vessel. It was ancient beyond measure, one of the first of these ships as used by the Burning Legion, one of the prototypes created for those whose task it was to be at the forefront of the Burning Crusade. Or to remain as rearguard against whatever lurked beyond the Outer Gates.

The vessel lurched, and Shazadi braced herself against one of the walls. There was a battle raging above as the Netherbane attempted to put a final end to Sraath and his mad reach for godhood. 

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Apotheosis

The final battle against Sraath commences. The Netherbane transports over to the final ship of the Umbral Eclipse, the original ship. While Sraath gathers his strength, they fight against Ary who's been connected into the Eclipses security systems. They weaken her and knock her out of the way just as Sraath stands with full power. Zhuriel flings Fethas at Sraath and she stabs him in the throat with the crystal. Ary regains herself in time to assist with completing the ritual, but Fethas collapses. The gather the body Sraath had taken, Seruun's, and Fethas and they teleport back over to the Mindslayer. Somewhere else, Tharion and Eraelan wait for the others to pick them up.

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Others

Something pulled him back together. The blast had sliced its way through his molecules, separating them and disintegrating his form. It has also scrambled his soul, severing the connection to the body and cutting it loose into the Twisting Nether.

It had been, undoubtedly, a powerful weapon. The House of Gis should be commended.

But something did not want any of it to have happened, and so he was not allowed his psuedo-death. Not yet, at least. Not here, in this place in between.

He--coalesced was the best way to describe it. He coalesced out of the residual energies from the blast and reformed. His bones came together first, followed quickly by muscles and skin. But something was missing. Some physical parts of him had actually been vaporized by the blast, and there was nothing left to coalesce from.

That's when it reached outward from the gate, and put him back together itself. It used part of its own essence to complete him. Dark energy fused with material from this realm and shaped it into shadow-flesh. It was wonderfully similar to the soulshaping Sraath had been used to, but somehow more.

He felt cold, however, very cold. The heat of the fel was gone complete, leaving an emptiness that tried to draw in everything else around it.

His skin shifted on his body and writhed against this new cold. It split, growing teeth and trying to consume whatever it could; trying to consume the fabric of reality. It was a hunger now; an absolute, faceless hunger.

There were still souls here. He could still feel them, drifting away on the remains of his once-great fortress. He could still reach out, however, still touch their life energies.

He could still feed…

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Descension

There was no roar of flames, no superheated blast that raced through the open corridors of the ship. There was no massive lurch as countless tons of force were suddenly unleashed upon a small internal chamber of the Umbral Eclipse.

There was a flash of light, and then silence. It was an unnatural silence; the silence of unexpected deafness, of a heart suddenly stopping. It was the silence of two lovers parting ways after countless years, but without having the chance to say goodbye.

The Umbral Eclipse shuddered, a thick and slow vibration that stole balance and bruised bodies. It happened once, lasted for a few seconds, and then ceased. Any sound that could have come from the vibration was choked out by the oppressive silence.

This all happened in an instant; a singular moment of time sliced from the chronology of creation and frozen for what felt like an eternity. Then it was done.

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