Demon Hunters in the World of Warcraft

Of Halos and Thorns

Ary heads to meet Eraelan at his camp in Forest Song, Ashenvale. Fethas, following her, shows up close behind.

21:25:54 Ary glances upwards as she walks towards Eraelan.
21:26:33 Eraelan looks up from studying a small violet crystal shard. It rests between his outstretched fingers.
21:26:38 [Eraelan]: Ah, Ary.
21:26:44 [Ary]: Eraelan.
21:26:51 [Eraelan]: And Soulthorn.
21:27:09 Ary nods and then grimaces at the sudden movement.
21:28:00 [Eraelan]: You two have coincidental timing.
21:28:31 Soulthorn nods seeming to cringe a moment with one her robe covered arms tensing up before she finally makes it relax again.
21:28:56 [Ary]: I'm sure we came from similar directions.
21:29:33 [Ary]: Though, I thought you'd rest a while longer, Fethas.
21:30:10 [Eraelan]: You were... quite unconscious... the last time I saw you, no?
21:31:00 [Soulthorn]: More than a bit.
21:32:33 [Ary]: Are you feeling better then?
21:33:20 [Soulthorn]: ...No. I more had to force myself up as a self-preservation instinct.
21:33:36 Eraelan frowns, and his felsight flares.
21:34:32 Ary glances at Eraelan.
21:34:37 [Eraelan]: are losing control, aren't you?
21:35:05 [Soulthorn]: Yes. I am pretty sure the back-surge had something to do with it. Among other things.
21:35:51 [Eraelan]: Be thankful that you survived it, Soulthorn. You were warned about the possibilities.
21:36:10 [Soulthorn]: I know.
21:36:43 [Ary]: Losing control... of the Soulthorn?
21:36:49 Ary raises an eyebrow.
21:37:26 Eraelan remains silently, allowing Fethas the opportunity to explain.
21:43:09 [Soulthorn]: They are pretty much trying to kill me assuming I do not keep them 'fed'. I woke up cause a few had come up my arm and around my neck, with thorns. If not exploding me I knew any kind of back-surge would weaken me… But this is different.
21:43:26 [Soulthorn]: I half think the pitlord saved me just to get a last word in.
21:43:58 [Ary]: You mean Daeloth?
21:44:12 [Eraelan]: Daeloth hated you as much as you hated him. I would not be surprised.
21:44:25 [Soulthorn]: ...Quick question, Can you tell how many souls ended up in Sraath's crystal?
21:45:13 Eraelan glances over to Ary and raises an eyebrow.
21:45:20 Ary nods.
21:45:32 [Ary]: There's only one soul, Sraath's.
21:46:23 [Soulthorn]: It would have amused me if Daeloth was at least tormenting him like a child for the next eternity.
21:48:00 [Ary]: The soul in the crystal is much weaker than it should be. Perhaps Daeloth burned off some of it in the transition. Just a theory, but it's possible.
21:48:38 [Eraelan]: Some of Sraath's extra power came from the pit lord. He was likely just reclaiming what was his.
21:48:50 Ary glances at Eraelan.
21:48:57 [Ary]: That would make it much more likely then.
21:49:20 Ary quietly rubs at one of her temples.
21:49:29 Eraelan frowns.
21:49:33 [Eraelan]: What ails you?
21:49:46 Ary grimaces.
21:50:14 [Ary]: I still hear the Eclipse whispering in my head. I think the sudden removal did something.
21:50:48 Ary looks back up at Fethas.
21:51:26 [Eraelan]: You are missing your...halo. What happened to it?
21:51:32 Eraelan 's frown deepens.
21:51:58 Ary turns to Eraelan.
21:52:20 [Ary]: It must have been lost on the way to the Umbral Eclipse or destroyed. I didn't have it when I woke there.
21:53:07 [Eraelan]: One hearing voices--moreso than normal, and one with fewer.
21:53:13 [Eraelan]: The two of you are an amusing pair.
21:53:21 Eraelan chuckles without actual amusement.
21:53:48 Ary snorts, then regrets it as her head throbs.
21:53:53 [Eraelan]: Why are you here, Soulthorn? Do you wish to be "fixed"?
21:56:05 [Soulthorn]: Half following her, half an update… Half seeing if you were missing a limb. I am not sure if there is really a 'fix' for this, and nothing I am going to go around begging for.
21:57:22 [Ary]: That's several halves. Perhaps thirds would work better.
21:57:35 Ary smirks slightly.
21:58:18 [Ary]: Still, you will have to figure out something before you eat yourself alive. I'd assume you'd prefer to avoid that.
21:58:22 Eraelan motions Fethas down off the pillar.
21:58:39 [Eraelan]: Get off that perch so I can get a closer look. If something is to kill you, I would prefer that to be me.
22:00:37 Soulthorn stares at Eraelan.
22:01:16 Eraelan stares right back.
22:01:19 Ary sighs.
22:01:56 [Ary]: Fethas, will you come down already?
22:03:16 Soulthorn makes a soft growl before jumping off the pillar.
22:03:43 Eraelan nods in satisfaction.
22:04:27 Ary pushes herself up onto the tree root and sits, dangling her feet.
22:05:24 Soulthorn watches Eraelan a bit the hand she wasn't tensing up earlier twitching a bit.
22:10:08 Eraelan flicks his wrist, and with a small flash of a blade, cuts one of the thin vines creeping up Fethas's arm and immediately drops it into a vial. He turns to walk back to his wooden stump-table without further word.
22:10:24 You kneel down.
22:10:51 Soulthorn twitchy hand clenches into a fist for a moment.
22:10:59 Ary leans back slightly to watch Eraelan work.
22:11:23 [Ary]: Interesting. Is it still twitching?
22:11:32 [Eraelan]: Yes.
22:11:39 Eraelan holds the vial for a moment, watching the sample.
22:12:15 [Eraelan]: It is...angry.
22:12:36 Eraelan glances over his shoulder back at Fethas.
22:12:52 Ary raises an eyebrow and follows his gaze.
22:13:15 [Eraelan]: Are you sure that Daeloth is gone from you, Soulthorn? There is SOMEthing motivating these vines to anger.
22:16:03 [Soulthorn]: The last time he was hiding deep in my mind. This time it’s nothing.
22:16:34 [Ary]: Could he just be severely weakened?
22:16:39 Ary frowns thoughtfully.
22:17:01 Eraelan raises an eyebrow.
22:17:12 [Eraelan]: What else do you have in that head of yours?
22:18:07 [Soulthorn]: Besides my 'shadow' and sometimes my brother?
22:18:32 [Eraelan]: How many...?
22:18:41 Eraelan frowns and shakes his head, stopping mid-question.
22:18:59 [Ary]: Dare I ask why your brother is in your head?
22:19:40 [Soulthorn]: My binding was tampered with… by him.
22:19:52 [Soulthorn]: He's been missing since the cataclysm however.
22:20:35 [Ary]: So, your brother isn't technically in your head, but an echo of him?
22:20:52 Ary gazes curiously at Fethas.
22:21:34 [Soulthorn]: No… he's in my head when he wants to be. Thankfully not often for whatever reason he's missing.
22:26:51 [Soulthorn]: So, let’s recap… I have had my brother in my head...My 'shadow' in my head… A pitlord in my head... *points at Eraelan* …him in my head.
22:38:36 [Eraelan]: It wasn't pleasant for either of us, Soulthorn.
22:38:40 Eraelan frowns.
22:40:46 [Soulthorn]: I think the sole reason I punch you.
22:47:21 Eraelan smirks.
22:47:38 Eraelan holds up the vial, in which the specimen has finally calmed down a little.
22:48:16 [Eraelan]: Something else within you is pushing these vines into their frenzy. It is likely to only get worse from here, Soulthorn.
22:49:03 [Soulthorn]: I realized that when one was trying to strangle me.
22:49:28 [Eraelan]: I am glad we agree on something, then.
22:49:49 [Eraelan]: I have a theory, but you are likely too stubborn to wish to hear it.
22:51:13 [Soulthorn]: Me being stubborn does not seem like a think to stop you from talking.
23:05:24 [Eraelan]: You never quite fully learned to control the Soulthorn in its entirety. You focused on one aspect alone. I believe you are reaping the rewards of the neglect.
23:08:13 Soulthorn half growls a bit.
23:14:10 [Eraelan]: You can no longer control them because they have... evolved... beyond your means--beyond your understanding.
23:14:39 [Eraelan]: You will need to advance that understanding if you wish to have any hope of surviving this, Soulthorn.
23:17:08 Soulthorn arm tenses up again as she listens… and still growls a bit.
23:19:17 [Eraelan]: As I said, you would not wish to hear it.
23:19:55 Ary watches silently from her seat, rubbing her head.
23:22:46 [Eraelan]: As for you...
23:22:55 Eraelan turns to Ary.
23:23:15 Ary tilts her head up to look at Eraelan.
23:23:17 [Ary]: Yes?
23:23:36 [Eraelan]: Do you remember why I gave you the halo in the first place?
23:23:49 [Eraelan]: The original.
23:24:25 [Ary]: You made it to help manage the whispers from the shadows.
23:24:47 Eraelan nods.
23:25:18 Eraelan slides a stone to the side and removes a small glowing object.
23:25:41 Ary twists to watch the elder Netherbane.
23:25:51 [Eraelan]: The deeper you delve into the shadow, the louder they will become.
23:26:41 [Ary]: They are... louder than they used to be even now.
23:27:36 [Ary]: The magic I delved into thanks to Sraath didn't help that.
23:27:44 [Ary]: But it can't be undone.
23:28:03 [Soulthorn]: Suppressed maybe.
23:28:40 [Eraelan]: His vessel was infused with shadow as well. You were deeply integrated with the Eclipse, yes?
23:28:50 Ary nods.
23:29:12 [Ary]: I was; the security system.
23:29:26 Eraelan grimaces.
23:29:41 [Eraelan]: It is no wonder you are still hearing echoes.
23:30:36 Ary frowns, glancing at Fethas and then back to Eraelan.
23:30:51 [Ary]: That is worse than the other systems?
23:31:44 [Eraelan]: I saw some of the others. They were installed to control individual pieces of the whole. Component vessels.
23:32:10 [Eraelan]: You... you were overseer of the entire ship.
23:32:25 Ary winces.
23:32:46 [Ary]: Ah. That explains the aches when the ship broke apart into component pieces.
23:32:59 Eraelan nods.
23:33:31 [Eraelan]: As with Fethas here, I believe you will have some...adjusting...that needs to be done.
23:34:06 [Ary]: Then it is unlikely that they will fade anytime soon.
23:34:22 [Soulthorn]: Unlike me, you’re not as stubborn.
23:34:27 Ary sighs and pinches the bridge of her nose.
23:34:34 [Eraelan]: Not on their own, no.
23:34:47 You kneel down.
23:36:02 [Ary]: Oh, I'm stubborn. There's just no point to being stubborn in this case. It makes me... inefficient.
23:37:27 Eraelan rummages through his makeshift hut for a few long moments before grunting in satisfaction and standing again.
23:37:49 [Eraelan]: I knew you would someday advance beyond the capabilities of the original halo I designed.
23:37:59 [Eraelan]: So, I had been working on another.
23:38:43 Eraelan holds up a silvery hoop of metal, about two feet in diameter.
23:39:01 [Eraelan]: It is, however, rather unfinished...
23:39:05 Eraelan grumbles to himself.
23:39:09 Ary looks at it curiously.
23:39:23 [Ary]: You had no way of knowing I'd need one so soon.
23:40:16 Soulthorn tilts her head thinking, then grins to herself slightly.
23:40:46 [Eraelan]: I will need a piece of cloth from you.
23:41:22 Ary reaches down to her long hem and rips off a long strip.
23:41:38 Ary holds it out to Eraelan.
23:42:20 Eraelan grins and takes the strip of cloth from Ary and nods. He ties it loosely across the hoop.
23:42:34 Eraelan turns to Fethas.
23:42:42 [Eraelan]: I need some of your blood.
23:43:07 Ary slides down from the root, watching curiously.
23:43:52 Soulthorn growls.
23:44:11 [Eraelan]: Not all of it, Soulthorn. Calm yourself.
23:44:13 Eraelan grumbles.
23:44:54 [Soulthorn]: Even a little I know what you can do with...
23:45:17 [Eraelan]: What I truly need is Sraath's blood. However, he is no longer in a position to grant it. You, being the last living vessel to...contain...his soul--in a way--are the closest thing we have remaining.
23:45:28 Soulthorn growls still and makes a slice on her palm.
23:46:23 Eraelan removes a rather odd-looking brush from his belt and quickly soaks up the pooling blood in the other demon hunter's hand.
23:46:30 [Eraelan]: That is enough.
23:46:44 Eraelan nods his head in... thanks? Actual thanks? No, probably not.
23:47:13 Eraelan places the hoop with the cloth tied to it on the tree root and begins to paint runes across the stretched surface.
23:47:25 Ary bows her head at Fethas.
23:48:25 [Eraelan]: The patterns will help to isolate and contain the echoes of the Eclipse. For it to work entirely, though, it needs one more thing.
23:49:22 [Ary]: It'd need something to focus it, wouldn't it? Without something to focus and filter it through, the effect would be less.
23:49:32 Eraelan grins.
23:49:42 [Eraelan]: You have learned a lot, child. I am impressed.
23:49:46 [Eraelan]: Yes.
23:50:06 Eraelan holds up the glimmering shard of crystal he's been holding in his palm.
23:50:12 [Eraelan]: Do you know what this is?
23:50:50 Ary frowns and studies it.
23:51:35 [Ary]: It seems familiar, but I can't quite place from where.
23:52:32 Soulthorn raises a brow.
23:52:40 [Eraelan]: A shard of the darkened naaru, J'ure, shattered from the original Sunbreaker when the Greyseer actually succeeded for once.
23:52:57 [Eraelan]: It has been in my personal collection since I found it shortly after.
23:54:17 [Ary]: That's been several years. That would explain the familiar feeling though since some of the keys included shards of J'ure.
23:54:43 Eraelan looks from Ary to Fethas, then back.
23:55:19 [Eraelan]: Both of you carried one of those blades.
23:55:44 [Eraelan]: Both of you then understand how much J'ure--even his fractured essence--hates Sraath.
23:56:17 [Eraelan]: This crystal focus will silence any echoes from Sraath's vessel, or even his very soul.
23:56:40 Ary reaches down to touch a bag at her side at the mention of Sraath's soul.
23:56:53 Eraelan uses a few links of chain to secure the crystal to the metal hoop.
23:57:36 [Soulthorn]: I remember when that blade broke even though I wasn't there. I was in Dark Shore fighting a pitlord.
23:58:00 [Ary]: It was before my time with the Netherbane. I've only heard the stories.
23:58:04 Eraelan whispers a few silent words, and the artifact flashes a deep violent for a brief second, then fades again. The crystal itself begins to glow with its own dark flame.
23:58:20 [Eraelan]: I remember that battle as well...
23:58:27 Eraelan purposely does not finish his statement.
23:58:42 [Eraelan]: This one should serve your needs.
23:58:47 Eraelan hands the new halo to Ary.
23:59:10 Ary takes it and settles it behind her head like the previous one.
23:59:37 Ary blinks and closes her eyes with a sigh of relief.
0:00:11 [Ary]: That is... much better.
0:00:46 Soulthorn gets an amused look again.
0:00:51 [Eraelan]: I would hope so, yes.
0:01:02 Eraelan turns back to Fethas.
0:01:28 Ary opens her eyes and snorts softly in response.
0:01:48 [Eraelan]: I cannot grant you extra control with some cloth, metal, and blood, Soulthorn. You will need to follow your own path on that one.
0:02:09 [Eraelan]: You have a strong enough druidic background. I trust you have sources, no?
0:02:58 [Soulthorn]: I wasn't asking for you to help me with that and yes, I do if I choose to seek him out.
0:04:53 [Ary]: Perhaps you should rethink being stubborn if you're going to be eaten alive.
0:05:45 [Soulthorn]: Maybe.
0:07:39 Eraelan waves his hand dismissively at Fethas.
0:08:10 [Eraelan]: At least this is over for now. Take what peace you can take and pursue what you need without the shadow of the Eclipse looming over us.
0:09:54 [Ary]: That is at least one thing to be grateful for and we have his soul contained.
0:10:43 Eraelan nods.
0:11:31 [Soulthorn]: Well one shadow not to worry about at least.
0:11:42 [Eraelan]: That is still progress.
0:11:53 [Eraelan]: Now, Soulthorn, if there is nothing you wish from me, you can leave.
0:13:23 [Soulthorn-EarthenRing]: O no rini belore… [I am also amused...]
0:13:30 [Soulthorn-EarthenRing]: Dor osa diel o dath mush nor o terro. [That you have a soft spot for a human.]
0:13:45 Ary frowns.
0:13:49 [Eraelan]: You may leave now, Soulthorn.
0:13:50 Soulthorn makes the most amused ass grin she has had all night.
0:14:09 [Ary]: Goodnight.

Without waiting for Fethas to leave, Eraelan leads the way into his small sleeping hollow in the tree with Ary behind him.

0:14:49 [Ary]: Do I want to know what she said?
0:15:11 [Eraelan]: You probably do, yes. But I will not be the one to repeat it.
0:15:48 [Ary]: I think I'll live with not knowing.