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Stepanos DelaCroix
Stepanos DelaCroix
Posts: 33
Joined: June 27th, 2014, 9:10 pm
Stepanos DelaCroix

Eclipse: Light's Flame

Postby Stepanos DelaCroix » February 24th, 2015, 1:11 pm

<Another story involving Stepanos when he was in Pandaria. A snipit of his history that led to where he is today:
From Darkness: Light >



The Iron Horde. It was not the True fight, Light vanquishing Darkness, but it was a struggle worthy of the Guardians efforts, and Lord Stepanos DelaCroix was honoured to have been given the opportunity to lead them on Draenor.

Redemption. Reformation. Refocus. All of this had occurred once his time at the Tian Monastery had ended. The lure of drink no longer called, the guilt of past failure no longer beckoned, and the burning demonic image of Voidblade was a now weak, distant memory.

The Guardians had arisen from the ashes of destruction, reforming on a foreign world and building a Garrison worthy of the Righteous Light itself.

"Lord High Commander!" a Guardian said as he marched into the main hall of Light's Flame. It was bustling with activity now that the final expansion had occurred. He had wondered at the decision to mix the banqueting hall with the war room, but the chief architect had said it was best to maximize space by making it multi-purpose. Who was he to argue with experts.

"Your orders from Alliance High Command, sir." The armoured man saluted, fist to chest where the Flame of the Righteous Light was emblazoned, and handed his commander the leather satchel containing the orders. "They request immediate assistance with a Warsong village in Nagrand."

"Immediate?" Stepanos said, lifting an eyebrow as the opened the satchel and made his way toward the large map attached to a table at one end of the room. "That sounds ominous." He quickly read the orders, noting that they were clear and concise as to the requirements, then ran his finger along the map until he found the village.

"There," he said, tapping the a location along the edge of a river in western Nagrand. He knew the area well, having explored it as he built his forces. The creatures in that area were huge, and could smash a mounted Guardian with one swing of a tail. And that did not take into account the well-equipped and battle-hardened Orcs they were ordered to engage. Tricky. Very tricky.

"Send a full detachment of Guardians to the Telaar Outpost," he said, turning to face the gathering of Guardian Commanders who had gathered around the planning table while he talked. "Healers and caster as well. Guardian Jonah?"

"Sir?!"

"The command is yours," Stepanos said, handing the details of the operation to Jonah, and earning a fist to Light salute in return. The other Guardians grinned, as they knew Jonah had worked hard to earn the opportunity. "Gather your men, and be prepared to depart within two hours." He looked at the gathered soldiers. "Any questions? Good. May the White Light of Righteousness guide your blades! Dismissed."

As the gathering dispersed, filling the room with discussions of orc teeth and who would gain the most glory, one robed Guardian remained behind. A Priest that had recently come to Light's Flame from Stormwind, seeking to join the Guardians and help with the Reformation.

"Lord High Commander?" the man said, his voice quiet and pious. "Might I have a word?" Stepanos turned.

"Of course, Brother Bailey," he said, smiling at the smaller-statured man. "How can I assist?" The man looked around the room, bit his lip and wriggled his hands. Nervous, Stepanos thought. What's this about? Bailey waited until the Guardians had left the hall, leaving only the strategists and planners gathered around the table - out of earshot.

"Lord High Commander," he said quietly. "I just received word from Stormwind that a dark plague has descended upon the city. At first, it was thought to be an Elven disease, as that was who it afflicted. Yet now... Now, it has infected others."

Stepanos nodded, letting the man continue with the explanation. Why he felt the need to bring it his attention was not yet discernable, but perhaps Brother Bailey would come to the point eventually.

"The victims don't just get sick," Bailey said. "They turn into some sort of wretched night creatures, crawling around the grounds, crying out for mana and trying to suck it from those who utilize the nether for magical purposes."

"Light!" Stepanos said. "And they think a plague is causing this? It sounds more like a curse of Darkness than a disease." The man nodded.

"Call it what you will, Lord High Commander," he said. "But the effects are certainly real. And more to the point, there has been no cure found."

"And this... plague, if you will," Stepanos said. "It has effected everyone in the city?" Brother Bailey shook his head.

"No, Lord High Commander," he said. "It's apparently been contained; for the moment at least. But the victims all have one thing in common: magic. They all use, or have inherent racial traits that tie directly into the nether. Or magic, as most tend to call it."

Not too long ago, Stepanos would have considered what was now happening to those who used magic as justice, that it was Light's Retribution for straying away from Truth and dabbling in Darkness. Because of his time with the Tian Monks, he now knew otherwise, and had therefore created the Reformation - altering the Tenets to accept that the Light worked in many manners. It mattered not what Light was called, like Magic, or who provided it to the people, like Elune.

What mattered most was how it was utilized, and to what purpose.

The fact was, that magic-using people from Stormwind were being transformed into monsters. That smelled of Shadow - therefore grabbing his attention like the ringing of a Pandarian Monastic Bell. Darkness was moving against the Light, and it's Shadow agents had attacked a city he loved. He still held the Cathedral in disgust, seeing them as more political than patrons of the Light, but this had nothing to do with politics.

It was a True Fight.

"Brother Bailey," Stepanos said, his voice firm and committed. "You were right to bring this to my attention. You will accompany me to Stormwind, as I plan to look into this personally." Brother Bailey saluted, fist to chest - matching Stepanos's resolution.

"Thank you, Lord High Commander," he said. "I will gather my gear at once."

"Excellent," Stepanos said. "I will meet you at the tower to Ashran once I transfer Command of the garrison." He looked past Bailey to a young boy standing against the wall, and motioned him forward. His page, waiting anxiously for orders that he knew would be coming.

"Son? Please have Stout brought from the stables. We're taking a trip to Stormwind."

Stepanos DelaCroix
Stepanos DelaCroix
Posts: 33
Joined: June 27th, 2014, 9:10 pm
Stepanos DelaCroix

Re: Eclipse: Light's Flame

Postby Stepanos DelaCroix » February 26th, 2015, 1:54 am

It took several hours before Stepanos could leave Light's Flame. While his garrison was well equipped to operate while he was away, he still had orders to sign and resources to manage. Much like his time in Nethergarde, the boring day to day aspects dominated the little bit of excitement that existed.

Therefore, the prospect of pursuing Shadow ignited his fervor, and hurried him through the tasks as if they were nothing. Hours seemed like moments, and shortly, he was among his pages and valets who had gathered his gear at the tower. All was ready, and Brother Bailey awaited.

Through the portal to Ashran, another to Stormwind and the pair were on an entirely different world - neither worse for wear, as long as a mild headache wasn't counted.

"I really hate those," Brother Bailey said, rubbing his temples as he followed Stepanos into the city. "I feel like I've been stuffed through a tiny water pipe and spit out the opposite end." Stepanos nodded, ignoring the missing honorific because of his own headache from the travel. The monk had a point, and his analogy was valid. He felt thin, somehow.

"Agreed," Stepanos said, leading Stout down the ramp and onto the grass of the park. He had to cover the Charger's eyes in order to maintain it's calm. Removing it, the horse whinnyed and made for the grass. "We'll let Stout nibble some grass while he recovers." He looked at Brother Bailey.

"So, where are the victims of this Shadow plague?"

"From what I gathered, Lord High Commander," Bailey said. "They're contained within the Cathedral District, but details were sketchy, as I received the message second hand via our network."

"I see,' Stepanos said, allowing his gaze to wander around the park below the Mage Tower. A few students of magic were gathered in a group discussing properties of the arcane. Near a tree, a small, white bear was chittering like a squirrel. Stepanos frowned. Wasteful use of the Light, he thought, watching the poor creature struggling to climb the tree. While he had come to terms with the Light's use of magic, seeing things like this disgusted him.

"When Stout has recovered," he said. "We'll make our way to the Cathedral, and learn what we can."

Stepanos DelaCroix
Stepanos DelaCroix
Posts: 33
Joined: June 27th, 2014, 9:10 pm
Stepanos DelaCroix

Re: Eclipse: Light's Flame

Postby Stepanos DelaCroix » March 3rd, 2015, 1:14 pm

(First encounter with Tirion below is paraphrased from memory. Close enough, but if something needs added, look under his post:
Just ain't the same))

Once Stout had finished his eating therapy, recovering from the portal jumps through space and time, Stepanos and Brother Bailey began making their way toward the Cathedral District.

"Lord High Commander?" Bailey asked, as he thumbed through a leather-bound book of prayer passages. "Don't we have a Guardian stationed here in Stormwind? Brother Emmeran?" Stepanos stopped and turned.

"By the Light we do!" Stepanos said, shaking his head. "In my haste to journey here, I completely forgot. He's at Northshire Abbey immersed in his studies." Bailey nodded and turned to another page. "I believe he's still there; or was, last time I had a squire check in on him."

"He might be a good place to start, my Lord," Brother Bailey said. "I only heard of this plague through our agents. I would think Guardian Emmeran might know more."

It was a short journey to reach the Abbey, and while the oddities they experienced while passing through Goldshire might haunt their dreams in nights to come, the immediate memory of those events faded quickly - leaving them at the gates to the Abbey in seemingly no time at all.

"Wait with the horses, Brother Bailey," Stepanos said, dismounting and handing the reigns to the monk. "I believe there are stables at the back of Abbey. Take the horses there and have them fed and watered while I meet with Guardian Emmeran."

"As you wish, My Lord," Bailey said, fist-to-Light and taking the reigns.

Inside, it took only a couple of questions to locate the sequestered Priest huddled amongst ancient texts, at a library table in the back of the Abbey. "How go the studies, Guardian Emmeran?" Stepanos said, pausing long enough to watch his friend make scribbled notes onto a yellowed piece of parchment. The Priest's head shot up, a look of shock and surprise upon his face.

"Lord High Commander!" he said, pushing the chair away and jumping to his feet. "They, they go well." Fist to Light salute, then the Priest dropped to his knee. "I am yours to command, my Lord." Stepanos smiled and lifted his hand.

"Rise, Guardian," he said. "It's been a long time since we last saw one another." He extended his hand in greeting, and both men clasped hand to forearm and smiled. "Too long, I fear, Anton."

"The Light calls us to do what we must, my Lord," Anton Emmeran, Priest & Guardian of the Righteous Light said. "Myself, I have found nothing to give us hope in regards to the dark crystal we searched for. Only the distant memories of long past heroes from Southshore offer any reference."

"As I feared," Stepanos said. "However, a new threat has arisen and I've come to you seeking information."

"Anything, my Lord,' Anton said. "My staff is yours."

"What do you know of the Shadow Plague that has hit Stormwind?"

==================================

Hours later, after long discussion around the plague and what to do, the trio of Guardians rode toward Stormwind in search of answers to the mysterious plague of Shadow that had descended upon the city. Once through the city gates, Brother Bailey was sent back to Light's Flame with messages to prepare for action in Stormwind should the need arise.

In the meantime, Stepanos and Anton would seek the source of the infestation.

The journey brought them to the Cathedral, where after moments of prayer at Light's Alter, they questioned one of the Priests as to the nature of the plague, and where the victims were being looked after.

"Well, that was rude," Anton said, watching the self-righteous Priest walk away from them. "You would think that they'd want all the help they could get." Stepanos nodded and motioned toward the entry into the catacombs.

"Like I said, Anton. This place reeks with intrigue and politics. It's amazing the Light remains as strong here as it does."

"Perhaps it doesn't," Anton said after contemplating Stepanos's words. "Perhaps that is why this plague has occured here to begin with. To show how weak the Church has become?"

"An astute observation,' Stepanos said. "One certainly worth remembering." Having made their way down the spiriling ramp, they entered one of the upper chambers of the deeps. "You know this place better than I, Anton. You lead the way to where the infirm are being seen to."

"Down another flight of stairs, My Lord," Anton said, motioning toward the distant wall. "If I recall the last time we were here, we discussed relocating to the Village." Stepanos smiled and nodded. "I wonder how it's holding up?"

"I would not know, Anton," Stepanos said. "I've been away on a pilgrimage of my own. At the Tian Monastery in Pandaria." He patted his stomach. "Did wonders for my fitness level, not mention my enjoyment of..." he stopped just as they passed a series of columns on their way down the stairs.

"Hold!" he said, lifting a hand to order a halt is if in cavalry formation. "Did you sense that?" Anton cocked his head, looked around, and his eyes went wide. "Fel!" he whispered. "Thick as fog." Stepanos nodded, and pointed up the stairs. Anton nodded at the silent command, and the pair went back to the top of the stairs.

The room wasn't the brightest, being in the lower chambers with only candles to illuminate. Therefore, numerous places existed where one could hide and watch others from the shadows. The sense of the Fel that both Guardians felt came from a particular part of the room, one near the stairwell; in fact, a particular column.

"We know you are there," Stepanos said. "You might as well reveal yourself and explain why you spy on the Righteous Light's Guardians."

A putrid smell of sweat, feces and cheap booze all mixed together was the next thing they experienced; just before seeing a vagabond-looking vagrant step from behind the column and make his presence known. "Eh, now," the man said. "I ain't done nothing wrong. I was minding my own business."

Anton and Stepanos exchanged glances and nods: this was the source of the Fel Taint they had sensed. "What brings you down into the catacombs," Anton said. "Are you here checking on the poor souls caught up in the grasp of Shadow Plague?"

The man seemed surprised, yet fidgeted - as if wanting to flee as quickly as he could. "Eh, what ya going on about?" he said, using broken speech, like that of the town drunk or local street thug. He certainly looked, and smelled the part. "I can come an go as I please. Ifn ya want the sick, head on down those stairs and leave me be."

He moved to leave, but Stepanos matched his movements. "We mean you no harm, sir," he said, meeting Tirion's eyes with those of his own. "We would just like to ask a few questions about the plague. What do you know of it?"

"Ask them," the man said, pointing towatd the stairs. "I ain't got nothing to do with it. That priest was just askin me questions, is all."

Anton and Stepanos exchanged glances. "Questions?" Anton said. "Regarding what? Out with it man, it may be important."

The man shook his head, his hand fumbling with something hidden behind his cloak at his side. "Routes' is all," he said. "What routes I used." He moved closer to the door. "Why don'tcha go bother someone else. I ain't got nothing you fellahs want, anyway. It's not like it's being hidden! Everything's locked down, even the docks are closed. No ship's gettin in er out."

"You might," Stepanos said, pressing the man harder. "What's your hurry? Afraid you'll miss prayers?" He narrowed his eyes and focused hard on Tirion.

"What are you hiding?"

The man's eyes went wide, then darted to meet Anton's. "I'm leavin'," the man said, and made as if to run toward the rampway out of the catacombs.

"You're Tainted with Fel," Anton said. "Why? Are you the cause of the Shadow's Plague?" Seeing that neither of the armoured men were moving to stop him from leaving, Tirion bolted - running for the door without looking back.

"I ain't tainted with no Fel!" he said. "And I ain't got nothin to do with nothin!" Rounding the bend, the filthy rascal bolted out of sight

"He knows something," Stepanos said, watching the man disappear up the ramp. "I can sense it!" Anton nodded, and glanced down the stairs. "I don't think we'll find any answers down there, High Commander. I agree with you, he knows more than he's letting on."

"He's long gone now," Stepanos said. "We'll need to find him in the morning. Old Town or the Docks?" Anton pondered the question. "He mentioned the docks," Anton replied. "Which I found interesting. If he's gone to ground, we should search there first."

"Agreed," Stepanos said. "Let's find an inn and settle in for the night. Pick up the search tomorrow when we've had a chance to rest. Portal travel always takes it out of me, for some reason."

===========================

((Part two will pick up in the next post, where we corner Tirion and put him to the Question in a more gentle manner than previously done by our Order. Stay tuned!))

Stepanos DelaCroix
Stepanos DelaCroix
Posts: 33
Joined: June 27th, 2014, 9:10 pm
Stepanos DelaCroix

Re: Eclipse: Light's Flame

Postby Stepanos DelaCroix » March 3rd, 2015, 1:51 pm

((Chat Log courtesy of Tirion. I'll add some detail to it in order to set the scene shortly. Also of note, any reference to Darethy is pure assumption by them, as they have a real hatred for the creature, Uh, man, and will blame anything and everything on him if possible. Rather blinded by it, actually. Past history, of course.))


The scene is an abandoned area near the Stormwind Docks. Anton and Stepanos have discovered Tirion lounging under some rubble just recovering from a drunken stupor, and quietly cornered the man before he could become aware.


[Emmerán----]: Not just saw, have you spoken or come into contact with any?
Tirien---- glances to Emmeran and doesn't answer immediately.
Tirien---- looks back to the stonework, "Naw."
Stepanos---- 's gaze slowly moves toward Emmeran
[Stepanos----]: You have, havn;t you!
Emmerán---- eyes the man suspiciously.
[Stepanos----]: That would explain the Taint!
[Tirien----]: I told ya I ain't got no *he hesitates a spare second* Fel in me, damnit!
[Stepanos----]: Perhaps he delivered it, straight from the Voidblade himself!
[Tirien----]: The Fel you spountin' now?!
Tirien---- looks agitated and grips at the dirt with a hand. "I ain't heard'a any Voidblade!"
[Emmerán----]: Speak plainly and the truth, do you know the cause of this plague?
[Stepanos----]: This plague has his scent written all over it, an we KNOW he has an agent in this city spreading his wickedness and Shadow
Tirien---- turns to Emmeran, "Since you ain't shoutin' nonesense...I don't know where this Plague came from. Only that it started in th' Church district as some free clinic." He eyes Emmeran, an adamant look about him.
Stepanos---- snaps a look toward Emmeran, then back to Tirion. "Free clinic?"
[Emmerán----]: Where exactly?
[Stepanos----]: and how do you know this?
Stepanos---- narrows his eyes. "Were you there? At this clinic?"
[Tirien----]: Look, I go through th' damn Church district almost daily. Soup kitchen's there an' all. It's right up next to th' Cathedral.
[Tirien----]: An' no. Never had reason t' go there.
Stepanos---- 's face goes ashen. "Light! And the orphange is next door..."
[Emmerán----]: Were you in the district the day it started? You said almost daily. Did you see anything odd?
Stepanos---- hears Tirion and gives the man a look, listening as Emmeran asks his questions
Tirien---- 's satchel of various liqours shifts a little. two of the bottles clink as the contents shift and pick up speed. It tumbles and just as it enters Tirien's sight he makes a quick grab for it.
Stepanos---- whispers a prayer, filling him with the Light's insight
Stepanos---- hears the clinking, and watches Tirion make a grab for the bottle
Tirien---- misses and the satchel timbles down toward Stepanos, going toward the water's edge, "Damnit!" He motions to go after it.
You kneel down.
Stepanos---- moves his foot just enough to catch the tumbling satchel, stpping it at hs feet
Emmerán---- shifts his postion as the satchel tumbles
[Stepanos----]: What have we here....
Stepanos kneels before Emmerán.
Tirien---- freezes and looks relieved it didn't get to the water. He slowly glares up to Stepanos, "That ain't yers!"
Stepanos---- bends down, keeping his eyes on Tirion as Emmeran shifts in readiness
Emmerán---- watches the two men, hand gently on his staff
Stepanos---- peers ito the satchel, then chuckles, lifting a bottle of scotch and showing it to Emmeran
[Emmerán----]: What have we here?
Tirien---- inhales a sharp breath, "Put it back!"
[Stepanos----]: This stuff will kill you, pal
Stepanos---- does as the man asks, then lifts another bottle. "Scotch, and... whiskey. Good stuff, too"
Emmerán---- watches Stepanos as he goes through the bottles
Stepanos---- rummages around in the bag, and seeing nothing ese is there, glances at Emmeran
Tirien---- restrains himself or the moment, not wanting to risk it. He keeps his gaze on Stepanos.
[Emmerán----]: Now are you sure there is nothing else you know?
Stepanos---- stands and closes the flap on the bag
[Tirien----]: Yes! Damnit I'm positive! I told y'all everythin' I know about this shit!
Emmerán---- glances at Stepanos
Tirien---- growls out, "Just gimmie that back and leave!"
Stepanos---- nods, and sighs. "Here." Offers the bag to Tirion. "That's pricey stuff. Careful it doesnt get stolen"
Tirien---- cautiously shifts down the slope and grasps the bag.
Stepanos---- hands it over without a fuss
Tirien---- seems to visibly calm once it's his again.
Stepanos---- sighs. "Perhaps we can visit this clinic. Maybe learn something there."
Tirien---- looks to the bag, then to Stepanos.
[Stepanos----]: Sir, the city is in dire straights and is falling into Shadow
Emmerán---- looks at Stepanos and nods
[Tirien----]: I bumped into an Elf, okay?
[Stepanos----]: And you are Tainted with Fel. Be careful, lest you fall into...
Emmerán---- looks startled
[Emmerán----]: an Elf?
Stepanos---- snaps a glance at Emmeran
Tirien---- looks past Stepanos to the water, "High Elf, though she didn't much come off like one."
[Emmerán----]: Tell us everything. What happened?
Stepanos---- cocks his head, seemingly incredibly concerned. "What do you mean, didn;t come off like one?"
[Tirien----]: Matted hair, blonde as all get out. Beautiful if it weren't fer her bloodied robes an'...
[Stepanos----]: Bloodied.... where was this?
Tirien---- takes in a steadying, practiced breath. His body tenses as if ready to spring into combat. "Hey eyes. They weren't Blue, or Green, or anythin'."
Stepanos---- moves a step closer to Tirion, but not in threat, but in imediate concern
[Tirien----]: Grey, steel grey. Glowin' like they should be normal but...weren't.
[Stepanos----]: Anything? As in NOTHING?
Stepanos---- looks at Emmeran.
Emmerán---- looks visibly interested
[Emmerán----]: And what did she do? what happened?
Tirien---- catches Stepanos's movement and flinches as if grasping a dagger at his side while clearly there is none. He relaxes, remembering where he is and that the Elf isn't here.
Stepanos---- nods at Emmerans words. "There's another one of those bottles in it for you"
Tirien---- levels a crystal clear gaze to Stepanos. "I don't care 'bout th' bottles right now. Don't go lookin' fer that woman."
Stepanos---- lifts an eyebrow and glances at Emmeran. "Is she that terrible?"
Tirien---- clenches a fist as it twitches.
[Tirien----]: I've done my fair share'a evading predators, believe me. She ain't one I wanna tangle with.
Tirien---- has to put his fist behind his back to keep it from shaking anymore.
[Stepanos----]: How did you bumb into this woman, then? High Elves don't usually bump into your sort
Emmerán---- nods at the question
[Stepanos----]: IN fact, I don;t think they mingle with much of anyone, as far as I know
Tirien---- shrugs, his focus waning a little. He sounds strained somehow. Tired, worn out, run down. "I dunno what she was doin' there, but she moved like she knew the back alleys as well as I do."
[Emmerán----]: Any idea where she went?
Stepanos---- nods at Emmerans words
Tirien---- 's arm twitches now and he takes a moment to supress it. The air around it warps slightly, as heat bouncing off stone would do. "Far as I can tell her direction went toward th' Harbour."
Tirien---- grips at the satchel and pulls out a bottle. He uncorks it with his teeth and takes a quick swig.
Stepanos---- glances toward the harbour, then back to Tirion
[Emmerán----]: Did you tell the priest any of this?
[Tirien----]: Not what I told y'all.
Tirien---- relaxes, his arm ceases it's movement. He takes another quick swig of the...he looks at the bottle...whiskey.
Stepanos---- mumbles a word of prayer, and a glow comes over him just enough to be seen like a tiwnkling of faint light
Stepanos---- 's eyes go wide, full and soft. "He speaks truly, Emmeran"
Emmerán---- looks to Stepanos and nods
[Stepanos----]: This might be the break we're after.
[Emmerán----]: It does give us a new lead...
[Stepanos----]: Where did this occur in regards to the clinic?
[Stepanos----]: Day, time, location...
Tirien---- sits back down, "Would y'all jus' go on an' git?" He relents. "Please...?" He hangs his head, satchel safe between his legs and elbows propped on his knees.
Stepanos---- nods, not waiting for Tirion to speak, instead muttering to himself. "If Darethy wanted to infect an entire city, he might start with a clinic... just the sort of twisted thing he'd pull"
[Stepanos----]: But the Elf... seems strange. So noticable
[Stepanos----]: How was she dressed?
Emmerán---- slowly makes his way towards Stepanos, keeping his eyes on the other man
Stepanos---- looks at Tirion
Stepanos---- glances at Emmeran. "Remember when he showed up as a Death KNight in the Cathedral Square?"
Tirien---- barely lifts his head, giving Stepanos a tired, pleading look. He remains silent.
[Emmerán----]: Perhaps he was planning it all the way back then
[Stepanos----]: perhaps...
[Stepanos----]: Sir, can you take us to where you saw her?
[Stepanos----]: We have coin
Stepanos---- turn to Emmeran. "If he WAS there, or a minion of his, perhaps a trail still exists"
[Emmerán----]: And if you do this we will leave you to your.... whatever you do.
[Stepanos----]: Yes, whatever it is you do. Though, the LIght can guide you to better paths... plus, there is still that question of the Taint you carry
Tirien---- looks to Emmeran. His offer proving to be much more in line with his own wishes.
Stepanos---- nods. "It will take you eventually, if not dealt with"
[Tirien----]: Fine.
Tirien---- ignores Stepanos and stores his satchel in a way that it wont fall again.

The trio make their way toward the docks, then Stepanos and Anton mount their chargers and follow Tirion up the ramps and onto the upper levels, where he takes them to a small arched opening in the wall.

Stepanos---- smiles, flat and serioues. "Excellent"
[Stepanos----]: The Light has truly blessed us this day, Emmeran!
[Stepanos----]: Hold a moment, friend
Tirien---- pauses and looks behind him.
Stepanos---- mounts up on Stout who was waiting for them to return
Tirien---- shrugs.
Emmerán---- unties the reigns and mounts the steed
[Stepanos----]: Carry on
[Stepanos----]: You know, Anton, if he has seen her before...
Stepanos looks at Emmerán.
Stepanos---- rides a bit behind the vagrant

Following Tirien up the ramp, they reach the upper levels and come to an arched opening within one of the great stone walls of the city.

Tirien---- motions to the small entrance. "Jus' through here."
Stepanos looks at you.
Stepanos---- motions for the man to lead the way
[Tirien----]: I was enterin' from th' other side and buped into her right where yer standin'.
[Stepanos----]: By all means
Emmerán---- ties the reigns to the lamp post
[Stepanos----]: Oh!
[Stepanos----]: here?
Tirien---- indicates to where Emmeran is.
Stepanos---- dismounts, leaving Stout to wander free
[Stepanos----]: And how long ago? A day, week...?
[Tirien----]: Few days.
Stepanos---- looks at the spot. "Perhaps the Light can guide us... "
[Stepanos----]: Sense anything, Emmeran?
[Emmerán----]: And you say she ran towards the docks?
Tirien---- seems lost in the memory of the encounter. "Mm. Yeah."
Tirien---- settles back agains a crate.
[Stepanos----]: Do you sense something, Emmeran?
[Emmerán----]: It feels.... Something is odd.
Stepanos nods at Emmerán.
Stepanos looks at you.
[Stepanos----]: Perhaps we can intensify the energy through use of the Light

Emmeran casts a dome of Light over the area, revealing residual Shadow and energies that might have once been hidden. Stepanos mutters a prayer of Insight and calls forth the Light to use Tirien as a Prism, allowing his memories to be intensified and brought forward from the recesses of his mine.

[Emmerán----]: It feels like something of shadow, but not anything Im familiar with
Tirien---- shrugs, "Do whatever it is ya do..."
Stepanos---- looks at Tirien. "He was here. By using him as a Holy Prism, perhaps we can learn more of this High Elven woman"
Emmerán kneels down.
Tirien---- glares at Stepanos, "I ain't gonna be th' target'a whatever it is yer plannin'."
[Tirien----]: All I agreed to was showin' ya this spot.
[Stepanos----]: It will not harm you
Emmerán---- kneels down an starts to whisper a prayer
[Stepanos----]: The Light will work through you
[Stepanos----]: as it would a beacon
[Stepanos----]: And now....
Tirien---- flinches at the display and feel a burning and doesn't outwardly show it. Once the bolt of Light hits him directly though, he grasps his chest and grimmaces in intense pain, "Ghhaagh!"
You kneel down.
Stepanos---- stares at the spot
[Emmerán----]: The shadow seems to cover the area.
Stepanos---- nods. "Thick, like fog"
[Stepanos----]: What do you see, friend?
Stepanos---- looks at Tirien
[Stepanos----]: Is there anything beyond the Elf you might not have noticed?
[Stepanos----]: With the Light as a prism, the images should be intensified
Tirien---- wretches on the stone and doesn't move, "Fuck this." He gasps, "Screw you."
Tirien---- grips his temples with a hand, "Makin' me...makin' me relive that."
[Stepanos----]: PLease! The life of this city depends upon what you see
Tirien---- keeps looking down to the stone as he thinks, "Just this an' I'm done."
Stepanos---- nods

Seeing Tirien's fear and pain, Stepanos reverses his Execution Sentence and instead uses it as a Stay, thus freeing Tirion from whatever horrors he might experience while re-living the encounter

[Stepanos----]: Very well
[Emmerán----]: What do you see?
[Stepanos----]: The Stay will protect you, sir
[Tirien----]: She felt...Light if you've ever been face t' face with somethin' you know yer prey to...
Stepanos---- nods
[Stepanos----]: We have
Emmerán---- nods
[Emmerán----]: and then?
Tirien---- hunches forward on his forearms now and bangs one against the stones with resounding force as the Light does its work. He grimmaces still and bears his fangs. He keeps his head down to better hide it. "She...smiled. Like she was content I posed no ---
[Tirien----]: threat to her.
Stepanos---- whispers just loud enough. "And then...?"
[Stepanos----]: look beyond the face... let the Light pull her from the shadows...
[Tirien----]: Arrrgh, then she took off. Faster than anything I've seen. Almost like she vanished, but I caught the barest motion.
[Stepanos----]: see her again... that look she gave you, as if you posed no threat... look THROUGH her
Emmerán---- glances back and forth between the two men
[Tirien----]: Arrgh! Stop it! Please! I don't SEE anything else!
Stepanos---- leans closer to Tirion, his eyes wide with anticipation and fervor
[Stepanos----]: then what do you feel?
[Tirien----]: She is the predator and I'm her prey, like we're all her prey! That's it! That's all I felt!
[Stepanos----]: if the eyes cannot see, the body feels.
[Stepanos----]: All her prey...
Stepanos---- looks at Emmeran
Tirien---- huddles in on himself and his hands clasp his skull.
[Stepanos----]: hear her name....
[Stepanos----]: she speaks it through her motions, through her actions... it's written in the LIght...
Stepanos---- offers prayer of STay
Emmerán---- mutters a prayer to strengthen the man
[Stepanos----]: It i okay, friend. You are safe in the Light.
[Stepanos----]: she is...
Tirien---- lets out a thin gasp as their Light intesifies the molten burning in his chest, "STOP IT, STOP IT, STOP IT!" He pounds another fist to the stones, sending cracks several inches out.
Emmerán---- steps back, startled
Stepanos---- sighs, nodding slowly. "So close... so. close"
Emmerán---- whispers a few words, releasing his spells
Stepanos---- Light fades, and with it, Stepanos's shoulders almost slump in defeat. Almost
Tirien---- glances out toward the water, baring fangs and Fel tinted eyes. No go, too risky, he turns back to face the tunnel and grips the ground, fingers digging into stone as he readies to spring down it.
Stepanos---- knees beside Tirion. "It is done. You have done the Light's work this day, friend. For that, the world shall rejoice in your name"
Stepanos---- places a hand on Tirion's back and pats
Stepanos kneels before Emmerán.
Stepanos---- nods, not even noticing the look in Tirion's eyes. Standing, he faces Emmeran.
Tirien---- flinches, grip on the stones intensifying. Expecting retaliation, he tenses, but the pat throws him completely off guard, stunning him.
Emmerán---- watches the two men, and then asks quietly "may... may we know your name, sir?"
Tirien---- breathes heavily and brings a hand to rub down his face, "T-Tiren."
Stepanos---- nods at Emmeran. "Yes, of course. We shall burn candles for you, for your efforts in the battle against Shadow'
[Tirien----]: Tirien Forewell.
[Emmerán----]: Thank you sir, I shall say prayers for you.
[Stepanos----]: Tirion Forewell.
[Stepanos----]: As shall I
Tirien---- relaxes now that the pain is gone. His breathing slows and calms and he just stays there as he is.
[Stepanos----]: Lord Stepanos DelaCroix at your service
Stepanos bows before you.
Stepanos---- turns to face Emmeran. "We found the one, Emmeran. I am certain"
[Emmerán----]: And I am Anton Emmeran, also at your service
[Stepanos----]: Anton*)
[Stepanos----]: Gah
[Stepanos----]: She has to be what started this
[Emmerán----]: Perhaps she is the one working with the Voidblade
[Stepanos----]: There is no way a normal being could avoid being revealed under that intensity
Tirien---- stands, wiping at his face. He looks to his knuckles, spackled with a mix of green and red. He glances back to the two as they converse and wipes it on his tunic.
[Emmerán----]: We must discover who or what she is
Stepanos---- nods toward the cracks in the stone.
[Stepanos----]: Yes, And where she went
[Stepanos----]: But Tirion was right. She is a predator on the scale of the Voidblade, or at least a minion of his
[Tirien----]: Since yer done, I'll take my leave.
Stepanos looks at you.
[Stepanos----]: Ah, of course, Mister Forewell
[Stepanos----]: Before you go...
[Emmerán----]: yes, indeed, thank you again sir
Tirien---- turns toward the tunnel, though stops.
Stepanos---- reaches into his bag and lifts a small, yellow stone
[Stepanos----]: A token
[Stepanos----]: May it help you through dark days
Tirien---- turns briefly and takes it before departing.

Watching the man leave, the pair of Guardians decide to turn in for the night, sleep and pray upon what they experienced and decide what to do next with the information they've gathered. The last thing they discuss is using Tirion as a means of tracking the mysterious High Elf predator. Unfortunately, they failed to notice the Fel energies pouring forth from the man, and have no clue how their Questioning will effect (if it does at all) or interact with the Fel.

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Re: Eclipse: Light's Flame

Postby Stepanos DelaCroix » March 4th, 2015, 1:06 am

Later that night, after Anton and He had put Tirion to the Question, Stepanos found himself lying in bed and staring at the ceiling. The dawn was an hour away, yet he hadn't slept a wink. Thoughts of the experience with Tirion flooded him, as he wracked his mind over every small detail - looking for something they may have missed.

Before the Reformation, Mister Forewell would have been tortured, then hung for being a Darkfriend. IF he'd survived the Questioning of the High Inquisitor, that is. Most hadn't, yet all had confessed their sins before being welcomed into the Light's warm embrace. It had been black and white. You were either with the Light, or against it. There was no room for the middle.

Doubts had risen when the Light failed to protect them against Darethy's Demonic hordes when they attacked Nethergarde, nor had it saved the innocent souls in Stormwind when he tried again. That time, he'd failed to catch the Guardians off balance, so instead made examples of the local farmers who had stayed behind.

And then, as a final insult and taunt, while Stepanos was in Booty Bay forging new weapons for the Guardians, the Demon himself had appeared at the forge, casting his own dark metals and engaging in philosophical discussions about Darkness and Light.

As if nothing had ever happened.

Stepanos shook his head, ridding himself of the image. Madness it had been, pure madness. But effective. Oh yes, doubt filled Stepanos's soul that day, and it wasn't long before the Guardians had wandered away. Some stayed in the Village, awaiting the return of their High Commander, while others disappeared altogether. Aralor, Nineeve. Sister Datrae. Gone, and more than likely dead.

The next step had been Soju. PLENTY of Soju. However, without that, the Reformation would have never occurred. He would have never gone to the Tian Monastery, nor mastered the Ways - never considered that perhaps some of what that murdering bastard Darethy Voidblade had said, just. might. be. true.

Of course, he'd keep THAT to himself.

"The Question," he said to the spider he watched crawl along the ceiling. It was spinning a web along a beam, to catch whatever poor bug made the mistake of landing there. The choice to work differently had seemed natural, more humane. Instead of torture, they had protected while using the Light to inquire. Strong and effective, the truth had been revealed. And no one had died, nor been hung.

"The Questioning worked." He closed his eyes and brought the event to the front of his mind. "What have we missed, then? What have we missed..."

The woman had moved like she had vanished, he recalled Tirion say. Caught the barest motion...

He blinked, bringing another image forward.

We're all her prey. She's the predator, and I'm her prey. We're all her prey...

Blink

Bared fangs. Fel-tinted eyes. Claws to the ground... Beastial...

His eyes snapped open. They had missed it completely. He sat up, grasping the edges of the bed and panting in shock and realization. By using Tirion as A Prism of Light, they had inadvertently brought his Taint to the surface, only to ignore it when it appeared.

"What does it mean?" he said, glancing up at the spider. The web was growing into an ever-increasing spiral, drawing his thoughts into it's center. He felt the bug, as if he were the one lured into the web, to be trapped and eaten by the creature. Sighing, he blinked away the image, and lowered himself back onto the pillow.

Actions had formed, and they involved finding Tirion on the morrow. They had a predator to catch, and Tirion was going to lead them right to it.

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Re: Eclipse: Light's Flame

Postby Stepanos DelaCroix » April 1st, 2015, 6:48 pm

The morrow turned into a week, and then even longer, as the man the Guardians chose to follow had gone nowhere other than his normal, disgusting haunts around Stormwind. The Shadowplague itself seemed to have stopped spreading within the city, but now word had come it was appearing in Dalaran, as well as on the battlefields of Ashran.

During the time of following Tirion, nothing new had emerged, nor had any leads appeared. Stepanos and Anton had taken turns viewing the thief from afar, watching him go about his criminal business with an air of neutrality. Criminal law was man-made, and had nothing to do with Light and Darkness. Therefore, turning the thief over to the Stormwind City Guard was not even in their thoughts.

What they were looking for, however, was whether the released Fel energy would lead them to the Elven predator that Tirion had encountered. The one the Righteous Light felt had brought the plague to begin with.

So it was a wait and watch game.

==========================

The break came late one night, at a time when Brother Anton was away at the Abbey studying up on how best to rid Mister Forewell of his unwanted Fel energy - leaving Stepanos to follow the track that Tirion had left. The yellow, light-infused stone that had been given to Tirion was serving it's purpose well, and tonight had led Stepanos to the Pandaren encampment above the falls - just outside of the Stormwind proper.

The sky was clear, making observation from his vantage point atop the rocky dam fairly easy. Stout was left with the Pandarens, while Slipstream (his snowy white griffin) was splashing in the lake hunting fish. A mild breeze sifted around Stepanos as he scanned the distant shore of the lower lake.

An aged fisherman sat in a rickety, wooden chair drinking ale. His fishing pole, slightly better than a stick, was stuck into the moist soil and held in place by a forked branch - also stuck in the lake's gentle bank. Lamplight flickered across the man's face, illuminating the occasional bat swooping low to eat insects attracted by the lantern.

Stepanos paused on the scene, smiling as he watched with a brief longing. "Must be nice to have such an easy life," he whispered. "Glad it's not me." He lowered the glass, and moved closer to the edge - thus giving him a vantage point toward the shoreline just below.

"There you are," Stepanos said, seeing two people sitting on the lake's edge. One was Tirion, his scruffy features filling the lens. He seemed relaxed, though something was off. Probably the Fel they had witnessed, now that they realized what had happened during the Questioning.

The Elven woman caught his breath. As he stared, it became apparent that this might be the Elf Tirion had described. The features were the same, but what really captured his attention was the feeling he gained from watching. His gut roiled, and his chest felt thick - like walking through a Goblin sludge pit. Oily and disgusting. Sickening.

He lowered the glass, and cleared his state - bringing himself back into alignment with the Light. Taking a deep breath, he gave the pair one last look then made his way toward Slipstream, who had now settled on the grassy shore.

"Of all the times for Anton to be away," Stepanos said, mounting Slipstream and rising to a height equal to that of Stormwind's sky patrols. With his mount being similar to the Guard, he wouldn't seem out of the ordinary to the pair he planned to approach. This will be a tricky situation, he thought, leading Slipstream toward a landing place beside the adjacent falls and behind a small hill where the couple were sitting. No room for error.

The crashing falls hid his landing, and he loosely pegged Slipstream to a stake he placed into the ground, keeping the mount handy in case he needed to beat a hasty retreat. He had learned the lesson well against Voidblade, and without any sort of backup, engaging what he feared he might find would be suicidal.

Creeping along the shore, he placed a large tree between himself and the couple - insuring he would remain unseen so long as they didn't move. The crashing waterfalls made certain he would not be heard, as he could not hear anything himself of the pair.

As he slipped behind the tree, words floated above the rushing din, and he knew he had arrived undetected. What in Light's name? he thought to himself, as he listened to the casual conversation about swimming in the lake. The stench of Shadow covering the hill was so strong, it was all he could do to contain the contents of his stomach. Darethy's scent was NEVER this strong.

He looked back toward Slipstream, caution screaming at him to flee, yet losing out to the Light's fervor. Careful. Very careful, here.

"Tis a nice night for a swim, Mister Forewell," Stepanos said, stepping out from behind the tree and approaching from Tirion's rear. "You're a hard man to find, sir."

The stench coming from the Elven woman made Tirion seem a saint - pure and chaste within the Light's blessed embrace. Which he knew was false, as the man was tainted in ways the Righteous Light had only begun to understand. It's her, Stepanos thought, as Tirion jumped to his feet and questioned why he was there. And if it's not, she's something even worse.

Predator and prey, as Tirion had described. Why are they together?

"We've been worrying about you, Mister Forewell," Stepanos said, keeping his gaze locked on Tirion while maintaining a peripheral view of the Elf. She stayed still, staring at her hands for some reason. "We warned you about allowing that thing inside to gain strength. We can help, of course."

Tirion complained, accused and became agitated, gripping his hands so tight that blood began oozing from his palm. Yet she remains calm, Stepanos thought, watching Tirion carefully and realizing he might have crossed a line he wasn't quite ready to cross.

"We failed you, Mister Forewell," he said, remaining calm as Tirion's anger grew. "We should have completed the process, and pulled that aspect out of you completely. Had we done so, you would be free." That made Tirion laugh, and for some reason, he seemed to calm down. A flash of colour from the Elf's hand caught the corner of Stepanos's eye, but it faded too fast to be certain what it truly was. Her gaze at Tirion remained fixed.

Tirion spoke, though Stepanos's mind was occupied with trying to discern the meaning behind the Elf, and if she controlled Tirion. Therefore, he only heard an occasional word from the thief. When he exclaimed he had no idea where the target of their Questioning had gone, Stepanos heard that and nodded. However, the woman's gaze now fell upon Stepanos, and he felt it. Like liquid hate, mixed with Goblin sludge.

"Very well, Mister Forewell," he said, smiling and dipping his head in a bow. "We will trouble you no further." Right.

"May the Light be with you," Stepanos offered, then finally looked at the Elf. "Both of you."

"The Light is weak," she stated, neither loud nor soft - flat and monotone, her eyes focused on her hands. Interesting.

"Light pushes Darkness," Stepanos replied. "And Darkness pushes Light. Have a pleasant night, Mister Forewell. We know."

With that, he spun on his heels and casually marched back the way he came - feeling the heat of hate pound at his back. He half expected an attack, but it never came, thank the Light. Once airborne, he flew a circular path that led over the upper lake and back onto the rocks, where he had first discovered the pair via looking glass.

Best to remain unseen as he observed the pair from a distance. Unmoved, the pair sat where they had always been, as if they were fishing along with the old man across the lake. His mind drifted to the spider that had spun it's web over his bed, the night they had Questioned Tirion.

"I was almost the prey," he said quietly to the night sky, then snapped his glass closed with a metallic click. "Fortunately, she had other food in mind."

Making his way to Stout after sending Slipstream winging toward the stables, Stepanos lifted his guild's communication device from the saddle bag, then turned the dial to the proper frequency. "Brother Anton," he said into the microphone. "Tirion's led us to the Predator. Summon the Guardians, we need to meet immediately."

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Re: Eclipse: Light's Flame

Postby Anton Emmeran » April 4th, 2015, 7:21 pm

A breeze from an open window caused the flickering of candles and a slight rustling of the papers on the table. Anton sighed as he leaned back in his chair, staring up at the ceiling and running a hand through his short blonde hair. The library at Northshire Abby had been like a home to him over the years, and he usually took comfort in the smell of the aged paper and burning candles, the feel of the parchment, the sounds of the Abby's residents going about their lives. But tonight he found it all rather frustrating.

He stood up and closed the book he had been reading, pushing it to the side. He walked to the window and gazed out into the darkness. The Darkness. The Order had been founded to fight the Darkness, and yet here he was again, in the Library. Doing research. He didn't mind the research, he actually enjoyed it, but not when he was failing. And it certainly felt that way these days. He had been unable to find a way to cure those afflicted with the plague. Or curse, he still wasn't sure which it was. And he was having difficulty finding a way to remove the Fel from Mr. Forewell, without killing him in the process. As tedious as following the man around was, he almost wished for the "action" of following him.

A sound behind him broke him from his internal frustrations and he turned to see a man in the doorway. He was tall, especially compared to Anton's average height, with a rather intimidating air to him. The man's armor certainly helped in that regard, for though it was in style of the Righteous Light there was an almost primal aggression to it. The man entered the room and offered a salute.

"Brother Emmeran?" the man said in a rather rough voice that sounded almost a bit angry.

"Yes, I am he. And may I know who you are?" Anton replied, trying to keep frustration out of his voice.

"Hegran Grey, sir. I was told I would be able to find you here. The Order has assigned me to insure your protection." As the man talked Anton chuckled slightly. It seemed far more likely that Stepanos had appointed him this... babysitter to make sure he didn't get lost in his research.

He was about to speak when the communication device on the table sprang to life and the sound of Stepanos' voice cut him off, "Brother Anton, Tirion's led us to the Predator. Summon the Guardians, we need to meet immediately." Anton's eyes lit up at the news and he shot Hegran a lopsided grin.

"Well, Hegran Grey, you heard the Lord High Commander. We have work to do."

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Re: Eclipse: Light's Flame

Postby Stepanos DelaCroix » April 8th, 2015, 3:51 pm

As summoned, Guardians began gathering inside of the great hall of Light's Flame. Talk centered around the creeping Shadow plague, what had caused it, and who this predator was that Lord High Commander DelaCroix had mentioned in the summons. Platters of food covered most surfaces, providing ample opportunity for the men and women of the Righteous Light to gather and talk.

Light music played in the background, courtesy of Gnomish mechanical wizardry endlessly pouring forth from the Gearworks within the garrison. Word was, that within weeks, the Gearworks would add a mechanized siege engine to their list of marvels. but for now, the music box would suffice.

The Light DID work in mysterious ways.

Suddenly, the hall went quiet - heads turning toward the doorway. Lord High Commander Stepanos DelaCroix, along with his pair of commanders, Brother Anton Emmeran, and Brother Hegran Grey, entered the Great Hall - welcomed to the metallic ring of simultaneous fist-to-Light salutes.

"May the White Light of Righteousness be with you, Guardians!" Stepanos said, stopping to return the salute.

"And also with you, Lord High Commander!" the Guardians replied as one.

"Lift up your hearts!" Stepanos said, raising his hands toward the sky, as if offering the beating heart from his chest.

"We lift them up to the Light, my Lord!" the Guardians replied, doing the same as their Lord High Commander - thus completing the ceremonial welcome into the Great Hall.

"Gather around, Guardians," Stepanos said, moving to his position at the end of the long table. He sat, just as a page unfurled a map in front of him, using various implements to anchor each corner so it would stay open. Once everyone was seated, two other pages handed each of the gathered Guardians a letter.

"It is a great day for the Light, brothers and sisters," Stepanos said. All eyes turned to him. "We have found the one who brought Shadow into Stormwind, the plague that sent so many into the depths of dark despair." He scanned the eyes of each of the Guardians, seeing excitement and fervor glistening within.

"We meet now to decide and plan what our next move should be." He turned to Anton.

"Brother Anton?" Stepanos said. "Where do we stand on removing the Fel from Mister Forewell?" Anton sighed, and slowly shook his head.

"I fear that it will be more difficult that we imagined, Lord high Commander," he replied, clasping his hands in front of him on the table. "If your accounting is true, and I have no reason to doubt it, then the man is possessed. Nothing short of a full exorcism would remove the being, and even doing that, Tirion more than likely would not survive the process."

Stepanos nodded. "I see," he said. "Then it is as we feared."

"It is, my Lord," Anton said. "However, it was, and still is quite necessary that he remain possessed. His taint has led us to the predator he described when put to the Question. I have no doubt he will continue his interactions with the witch."

"Agreed," Brother Hegran stated. "Sad, but true. He must remain possessed. Luring that aspect out of him, has led us to this creature you encountered the other night. The Light will remember, Lord High Commander, and see to it that Mister Forewell is well received when welcomed home into the Light's warm embrace."

Guardians murmured their approval of Brother Hegran's words, nodding and smiling at the perceived heroic actions that had been taken to discover the source of Stormwind's Shadow Plague.

"Good words, Brother Hegran," Stepanos said, watching the gathering carefully. Dissent was always welcomed in the Great Hall, and Guardians encouraged to speak their minds. Only through this, would the true path of Righteousness be discovered. "So it shall be."

"Now," Stepanos said, lifting the letter that had been handed out to the gathering. "We come to this." Others did as Stepanos, each giving the letter a re-read before Stepanos began his explanation.

"Two days ago," he said. "Our eyes and ears inside the cathedral was given this." He held the letter up so all could see. "You have been handed copies of the one we received. Before I share my own insights and thoughts, I would like to hear from all of you." He tapped the letter that read:

To our most holy leaders,

I have served the Light for many years, as have many of you. Alas our time on this world is limited to do the work of the light. It will be a sad day indeed when I must bury or be buried by you my brothers. A time for change is at hand. We have a chance to alter the future for the better. Without fear of death. We will lead the followers of the Light for many more years to come if you but listen to me hear and now.

You have trusted me on assignments that challenged my loyalty to the faith. Now I ask you to trust in me. Rally as many as you can. Any true son or daughter of the Light, no matter how zealous has been called to Stormwind on one final crusade to protect our way of life. Once, the light marched on Icecrown. Our numbers have been diminished since then, but now there is another enemy that beckons at our door.

An old God responsible for the plagues around the world has risen for one terrible purpose. Darkness has called out, and we will answer! By the Light, we should not let this opportunity pass us by. Join me brothers. For if you, so high and holy within the walls of the cathedral would embark on this crusade, then so would servants of the light in all corners of the world.

Brothers, may the Light guide you during your period of thought. I pray you respond to my request in time. For if you don't, then I will stand alone against the tides of darkness in defense of the Light.

Reverend Jameson Smithe,
Loyal Servant of the Light


"What do you make of this?"

Various sentiments poured forth, ranging from delight at having more followers of the Light being involved in the hunt, to horror at the rise of an Old God, to disgust that the Guardians would even consider allying themselves with the Cathedral and it's political intrigue. Most leaned toward cautious interest, curious about this Reverend Smithe and what he knew regarding a supposed Old God.

"Lord High Commander," Brother Anton said. "If I may?" Stepanos nodded, and all went quiet as the Priest finally spoke his piece.

"I find this letter disturbing," Anton said quietly, as was his style. "The Light welcomes us all home, when our work is done. We strive and rail against Darkness, pushing Shadow from the land whenever we encounter it's horrid veil." The Guardians all nodded in agreement, some looking at one another as they did. Many loved Anton's eloquence and thoughtfulness when he spoke.

"We yearn for that day, Brothers and Sisters," he continued, his voice rising in volume and power. "And do not fear it's embrace. To die doing the Light's work is not death at all, but Life fully lived!" He thumped the letter.

"Yet THIS man claims otherwise."

"This 'Reverend' states that we should alter the future, without fear of death - as if dying would never happen again!" Many faces frowned at that, looking back at the letter and clearly reading it once more.

"He speaks of Old Gods, of leading US in a final crusade." Anton paused, sighing deeply and lowering his voice. "I will not be led by this reverend seeking eternal life." He looked at Stepanos. "But I do propose we meet with him."

"Bring him here!" one of the Guardians called out, Brother Jonah. "We can summon him here, where we will control the situation. If he is found to be false, then we will have numbers to handle him." He pounded the table. "Our ground, not his!" Stepanos nodded, yet said nothing. Others did the same, but not all.

"He calls all who serve the Light, Lord High Commander," another Guardian said. Brother Bailey. "True, his words leave a hint of discomfort in my soul, I will give you that, Brother Anton." The robed Guardian lifted a finger. "However, the man seeks to lead a charge against a risen Old God. We cannot discount his fervor in the matter. I am for hearing what he has to say."

Several others said something similar, with the gathering split between meeting at Light's Flame, or in Stormwind. Brother Anton appeared lost in thought, as if recalling ancient texts he had read years ago.

"It could be a trap," Brother Hegran said, waiting for the rest of the Guardians to speak their mind. "You saw this Elven witch, Lord High Commander. Felt her power, which stayed your hand from engaging in combat. What if Reverend Smithe is using the same tactic Voidblade used to overwhelm us in Nethergarde?" THAT quieted the room to dead silence. "What if he IS the Voidblade?"

"Silas," someone whispered, causing Hegran to turn his head and nod at the speaker. Hearts stopped, as memory flooded the room with images of that horrific disaster.

"Even Darethy's not that bold," Brother Anton said, staring at the letter. "He'd not use the same trick twice." He looked at Stepanos. "Would he?"

Stepanos met Anton's eyes. "We're talking of bringing Reverend Smithe here, aren't we?" Stepanos said. "Bold, yet smart. He would have nothing to lose. If we say no, he's no worse off. If we say yes?" He lifted an eyebrow. "Then he'd gain entry into Light's Flame. Just as he did in Nethergarde."

"There's no evidence that Smithe is Darethy," Brother Jonah said. "Perhaps he's exactly what he claims: a leader of the Light, seeking a crusade against this Old God." The Guardian shook his head in frustration. "We have to trust the Light to have our backs." Stepanos raised his hand to halt the conversation.

"Peace, Brother Jonah,' Stepanos said. "The Light does have our backs, but it doesn't suffer fools, either. We will meet with Reverend Smithe, but not here." He met Anton's eyes. "In Stormwind. Behind the cathedral, in the open-air church in the garden." Anton nodded, as did Hegran.

"I'll prepare security," Brother Hegran said. "Stormwind has its soldiers, but I would rather a force of Guardians be on patrol as well." He looked toward the rest of the gathering. "Just in case."

Stepanos shook his head. "No," he said. "I want Brother Jonah to handle the security. You and Brother Anton stick with Mister Forewell. Follow him and observe." The men nodded. "He's in contact with the Elven Shadowfiend, and we need eyes on them at all times."

"I want research into the Old Gods," Stepanos said to the room. "Find all you can on who they were, and what sort of horror they wrought on the world." He stood, and the Guardians followed suit - armor ringing against the heavy, oaken chairs.

"Sharpen your blades, Guardians," Stepanos said. "We shall prepare as if this is a trap. If it is, I want to insure we are walking into it with open eyes and stout hearts. If its not a trap, then we might just gain allies in our battle against Darkness."

Shadow lurks, Brothers and Sisters. We will be prepared." He slammed his fist to the Light's flame on his chest - fist to Light. "May the White Light of Righteousness be with you always!"

"Dismissed!"

=========================

Two hours later, once all questions had been answered and the Guardians gone to prepare themselves for a potential showdown against the Shadow, Stepanos found himself at his desk - penning a letter by candle light, to the Reverend Smithe. It would be short, succinct and to the point.


((Letter to follow in the next post))

Stepanos DelaCroix
Stepanos DelaCroix
Posts: 33
Joined: June 27th, 2014, 9:10 pm
Stepanos DelaCroix

Re: Eclipse: Light's Flame

Postby Stepanos DelaCroix » April 12th, 2015, 8:55 pm

The following letter is to be delivered via liveried courier to one Reverend Jameson Smithe in Stormwind.

To the Reverend Jameson Smithe,

Blessings of the Light and all that is Righteous be upon you, sir, in your crusade against Darkness!

Our Order has received a copy of your letter, the call for Crusade against a risen Old God that has so wickedly, and maliciously brought death and despair to the beloved city of Stormwind, as well as elsewhere around the world, through it's plague of Shadow.

Your zeal to see this threat eradicated is both noble, and commendable, leading my Order to decide that a meeting with you is necessary and righteous. We, too, seek the destruction of the Shadow threatening our world. As stated in your summons, the need to combine the Light's majesty is paramount. We believe that an arrayed force of combined strength can bring an end to this threat, and cleanse the land of it's evil taint.

Please respond via this courier as to the time and date you wish to meet. We choose the park just behind the Cathedral of Light in Stormwind as the location, at the open-air chapel above the lake. Here, we shall learn what you know and discover how the Righteous Light can extinguish this Shadowy threat of Old.

We eagerly and fervently await your response.

May the White Light of Righteousness embrace you with it's loving warmth,

Lord Stepanos DelaCroix,
High Commander & Guardian of the Righteous Light

Stepanos DelaCroix
Stepanos DelaCroix
Posts: 33
Joined: June 27th, 2014, 9:10 pm
Stepanos DelaCroix

Re: Eclipse: Light's Flame

Postby Stepanos DelaCroix » April 13th, 2015, 12:59 pm

(( Monday night at 8pm reverend. In Stormwind, if you have the opportunity))

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