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]: ...you 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.