The war has passed, yet there is no rest to be had for Kalimdor and the Kaldorei. Past strife, war, and conflict, there must eventually be a renewal. Regrowth. But when trouble stirs in places that are yet to blossom anew, a clarion call to action rises from the northenmost regions of Kalimdor – once more, regrowth will have to stand aside in favour of ruin. A call to the Kaldorei to gather and rise in face of their adversary anew. The time has come to bring ruin to those loyal to the end.
Part 1: Dawn of Decay
Mission Report 1 – Nighthaven, Moonglade
Date: 18th of Bael’Asta, 2021
Summary: The first night in Moonglade brought grim tidings – and perhaps so in a more upfront fashion than what was initially anticipated. The briefing of the brave adventurers having gone rapidly interrupted by the call from one of Ash’ana Duskstar’s watchers, stating that the feral creatures of Felwood had broken through the barriers towards Timbermaw hold. Scores of them encroaching on Moonglade. The rallied forces of Kalimdor was not late to answer the call.
As fierce battle broke out, the defenders eventually emerged victorious, but not without a degree of strife. The rabid creatures and beasts seeking nothing but to strike down their foes by tooth and claw, even if it meant their own demise. Whilst most of the defenders made it out relatively unscathed, others might not have been as lucky.
And with some, contagion now spreads…
Part 2: What is Known and Unknown
Mission Report 2 – Nighthaven, Moonglade
Date: 19th of Bael’Asta, 2021
Blades and Bows
With the path through Timbermaw Hold secured by Ash’ana’s watchers, the forces of Nighthaven set out into Felwood itself. With Zelvarane following, a combined force of the Nightblade Sentinels and the 7th Legion’s Unit Decima set out to attempt to make contact with Talonbranch Grove, the closest Cenarion outpost to Moonglade and the last to have gone silent in the wake of the spreading infection.
The tainted forest was all the darker as they advanced down the withered path to the druidic outpost, and twisted cries rang out from the shadows. From above, the party soon found themselves under attack by diving hippogryphs, rabid and maddened by the infection. It was with mournful hearts that the Kaldorei among the group fought the loyal feathermanes, managing to succeed in rendering one unconscious while the others succumbed to their wounds.
Talonbranch stood unoccupied – barricades had been set up to keep out infected wildlife, but there were no druids to be found, either living or dead. The group advanced into the outpost to search for them, and into the underbelly of the dark oak that made up the main shelter of the outpost. Inside, they spotted a few of the slain druids – but these turned out to merely be bait for a forsaken ambush, as toxic fumes began to spill into the tree and the undead struck from above. Both Legionnaires and Sentinels alike had no mercy to spare for the forsaken, fighting with fury as more forsaken ambushers rose from the murky, fetid pool of water outside the outpost.
Through blades, bows, light and magic, the forces were able to overcome the forsaken ambush, undead corpses littering the grove as the last few escaped behind their veil of poison. The gas filling the main tree proved impenetrable, and it would take at least a night to disperse – but a survivor was revealed, a hidden worgen druid who had concealed himself in the outpost’s outhouse for at least a full day, suffering from the late stages of the infection. With his last strength, he told of the others having being taken in the direction of the Irontree Woods, and cursed his own cowardice before his life finally left him. The group could only pray that his dying words would lead to the salvation of the others who had been taken.
One last survivor returned to Moonglade with the group, however – a small hippogryph egg, rescued from the empty roost, the tiniest flicker of life still remaining within…
Glaives and Daggers
It was a large gathering of mixed forces that set out towards Felwood. With the goal of figuring out what might have happened to Felpaw village, the party was careful in their approach towards the village, remaining unnoticed and unseen – until the unfortunate crackling of leaves underfoot of Thesalese gave away the intruders.
From the depths of the village, the furbolg emerged. But these were none of the normally by nature blessed denizens of the woods, but beasts driven rabid by what could be little else than the contagion at work. Viciously attacking the village intruders, the furbolg sought to give them no quarter. But in the face of adversary, and through true aim, arcane arts of the freezing kind and the occasional display of brute strength – the intruders prevailed.
Upon the defeat of the denizens of the village, as tragic as their fall might have been, crates and boxes of tainted fruit was discovered. All of them, empty or not, labelled with only one thing – “Cogtongue Cartel”. A small amount was brought back to Moonglade, with no small amount of precaution attached.
Seekers and Saviours
As the party tasked with exploring Timbermaw Hold returns to Nighthaven, they return in a solemn mood. While the task of searching the Hold for clues produced results, it was not without a cost.
Within the Hold they found a few fallen kin, a furbolg of the Hold, a watcher of Moonglade, a druid from Whisperwind grove and lastly…a corrupted lasher.
Instead of fighting the corrupted servant of nature, the Druids of the group succeeded in pacifying the potential threat. While they were able to briefly speak with the voice of the wilds, what little they were able to glean did not paint a good picture. Whispers of betrayal, lies and deceit. There is clearly a wider scope to all of this than one had first thought.
Despite a valiant attempt, the Druids were not able to cleanse the servant of the wilds of the corruption and the group was forced to destroy it, though that may have been the ultimate mercy.
Beyond that, the group were able to recover a selection of research notes from the body of the Druid, while a cure has not been found, a small countermeasure has at least been found to slow the spread of the contagion, perhaps buying those infected some precious time. The bodies of those found within the Hold were brought back to Moonglade to be laid to rest appropriately.
Part 3: Darkened Groves and Blighted Trails
Mission Report 3 – Nighthaven, Moonglade
Date: 20th of Bael’Asta, 2021
Blades and Bows
The group tasked with investigating the above-ground section of Irontree Clearing set out from Moonglade at a brisk pace. As they entered Felwood, they noticed that the strange plant, with its sickly green roots, had spread everywhere. It was lining the road almost all the way down to the clearing. Once they reached the clearing itself they found it to be a hive of activity. Goblins and their shredders were hard at work and moved about in a pattern that spoke of long familiarity and a well oiled machine.
The group immediately took note of two mooks stationed outside one of the huts and while Everyld Townsend created a very daring and foolhardy distraction, Kathene Wildstar and Thyreena Silverstrike were able to assassinate the mooks. After that all hell broke loose and the group found themselves engaged in a vicious fight against the goblins and their shredders. Rethany Duskflower had the brilliant idea of stealing a defunct shredder and turning it on its comrades. Unfortunately, luck was not with her and the shredder malfunctioned and started spewing fire and throwing saw blades everywhere, causing even more mayhem and friendly fire. Rethany eventually managed to get the shredder back under control, but the damage had already been done.
Meanwhile, the goblins had been dealt with and Loralyn Bladesong managed to catch a shadowy figure as it snuck out of the hut the mooks had been guarding. The figure turned out to be a forsaken Deathguard, hooded and cloaked, and Loralyn immediately engaged him in combat. As the rest of the group dealt with the remaining shredders, Loralyn, Thesalese Leaflance, Thyreena Silverstrike and Silvirin Winterwind brought down the forsaken.
Once all the enemies were dead the healers began to tend to the wounded and some of the others began to investigate the camp. A note was found on the forsaken, detailing a supply route from the south along with some other interesting tidbits. Crates with tainted fruit and bombs containing toxic gas were also found, and so were two enormous vats filled with a sickly yellow liquid. Vials containing the same liquid were scattered on the ground around it. One of the vials were brought back as a sample.
On the outskirts of camp there was also what could potentially be considered a garden, only it was littered with corpses. The corpses were mostly animal in origin, but there were some worgen and kaldorei among them as well. Even a small kaldorei child that had met the same gruesome end. All the corpses were in varying stages of decay and all of them were showing signs of infection. The same wicked plant or herb that had been seen several times now was growing -from- the corpses, as if it were using them as some sort of extremely fertile soil.
As the wounded were being tended to, several members of the group walked around and burned the corpses, both in the garden and of the slain enemies, along with the fruit crates. Once the wounded had been moved to safety, Loralyn called upon the Goddess’ might and caused a huge explosion that had some interesting side effects.
Glaives and Daggers
As the party set out from Moonglade, the trip into Felwood was largely calm. The group came to a halt just before Irontree Clearing, and specifically an area of it below a sharp incline. After some brief scouting, a group of shredders were spotted. The clearing itself however seemed to hold little activity of interest, but before that could be considered any further, a few key mishaps in the stealthy approach left the group revealed. The goblins piloting the shredders were not late to sound the alarm and to attack their assailants.
After a brief but intense battle, the shredders were felled. Not without them having caused a fair amount of injuries to the squad from Nighthaven however, and it took a brief moment of recovery and rest before any further progress could be done. And in this case, that consisted of venturing down into the caves beneath Irontree Clearing.
After dispatching a few guards in a somewhat stealthy fashion, the group suddenly incurred on what looked like a testing facility of sorts. Caged, rabid sabers, vats of a strange bright yellow liquid, experimental gear and testing equipment – and a forsaken apothecary with guards. A short, yet terribly violent encounter occurred, felling two out of the three forsaken present. The one left undead was done so in a poor state.
Recovering samples and documents from the cave, together with the harrowing sights it brought on, the cave and it’s contents was set ablaze in holy fire. Leaving the adventurers to walk away from a facility ablaze, scorching the earth behind them. With plenty of jarring knowledge to be brought back to Moonglade – but perhaps also with as many questions.
Seekers and Saviours
As the party tasked with thoroughly investigating Talonbranch Glade returns to Nighthaven, they return carrying a number of quite frankly, disturbing items. Vials of an unknown yellow-ish substance, samples of corrupted lashers, and lastly, strange black and yellow seeds of unknown origin.
Within the glade they found that it had only been lightly disturbed from the night previous, most of the bodies of the slain, be they kin or enemy, remaining where they had fallen. Various crates and such had been found within the tree, some disturbed and partially burnt, others fully intact and bearing a strange mark, unfamiliar to those assembled. That of a skull covered by a veil. A missive was found in one of these crates bearing a familiar message.
“The goods will be arriving tomorrow. It’ll be sent along the road, disguised of course. Keep a careful watch for it. Let the goblins know they will be paid for their efforts when the goods have been transported safely. The Ranger will make sure that an adequate host is watching from the shadows. Stay vigilant.
By request of the Grand Apothecary, the production speed needs to be raised. The Druidess will provide. Get to work.”
From a distance, an unknown figure was spotted watching the party before a group of horrifically corrupted lashers attacked the group, though they were swiftly dispatched by the main bulk of the party.
Two of the Nightblade Sentinel Cadre were able to spot and apprehend a Forsaken trying to sneak into the Glade, for reasons unknown. The Forsaken impaled to the tree by one of the fighters the previous night still remained where he was, though was later brought down to the ground and ended alongside the other Forsaken, but not before he spoke of an initial plan of the Forsaken to move into Moonglade and taint lake Elune’ara and cause as much chaos as possible after the animals broke through. Their reasoning?
“What was the point of Teldrassil?”
Part 4: A Chain's Weakest Link
Mission Report 4 – Nighthaven, Moonglade
Date: 21st of Bael’Asta, 2021
Blades and Bows
Fiery spirits assembled to the Circle’s call as the effort went out to secure Whisperwind Grove. While the others would strike out toward the druidic outpost proper, Zelvarane guided a party to the southern road to cut off suspected forsaken transports and reinforcements.
It did not take long for scouts to come upon the advancing undead – a clattering procession of covered wagons escorted by a small band of forsaken footsoldiers was already advancing across Bloodvenom River, no doubt on their way to join the siege of Whisperwind Grove.
An ambush was laid in the murky woods ahead of the forsaken – using a most clever bait in the form of the party’s resident dark ranger. While the undead humans eventually uncovered the ruse, it succeeded in spreading confusion through the ranks – and broke the forsaken’s ranks in two as they pursued their foe into the jaws of the waiting ambush.
From there, the tides quickly turned against the loathsome undead in a torrent of blades, arrows, javelins and light. Even the forsaken’s secret weapon – abominations hidden within the wagons – were quickly obliterated by a symphony of starlight and holy radiance.
Outflanked and outmanuevered, the hapless forsaken caravan was soon little more than burning embers, the group making thoroughly sure that no trace of the undead interlopers remained. The night’s victory was secured, and with Whisperwind Grove and the immediate surroundings freed from the dark hand of the forsaken, a telling blow had been struck against the shrouded foes.
Glaives and Daggers
Idron had addressed the forces with a strong resolve. After it being suggested that Whisperwind grove should be contacted, and after a missive from there had arrived prior, the Keeper was past any foolish acts born out of hope and mercy. Tonight was a night of action – not wishful thinking.
Thus, a party was dispatched towards Whisperwind Grove to re-establish contact. By force, if so needed. After some clever dispatching of sentries on the way, the team encroached upon Whisperwind Grove – besieged by forsaken. As battle broke out, the allied forces were unusually brutal – tearing spines, throwing light spears, torching corrupted ancients, and both tossing and perforating forsaken in a liberal fashion. It was, by every account, an uneven battle. The divine intervention in the shape of blackened moonfire striking from the skies made the combat seem even less even – if anyone ever doubted.
As the fighting subsided, the state of the grove became more apparent. Blackened vines grew over the entire place, and little could be found but ruin and corpses. The forsaken forces had been efficiently rooted out – yet after some attentive scouting, one that still drew breath could be found. His final words little but strings of a Forsaken Manifesto, laughing and coughing in between the sentences. The propaganda crudely cut off by his immediate execution – perhaps prior the interrogation of him had finished.
Upon searching the now dead forsaken, a manifesto was found. With some questions answered and as many new formed, it was a party no short of reasons to claim victory in field that returned to Moonglade.
Seekers and Saviours
Following in the path of the Keeper and those in his command, Ash’ana leads her group to Whisperwind Grove. After initially being blocked by a swarm of insects that was quickly dispatched by the way of jade lightning the group was able to scatter and search the settlement for survivors.
The Grove had been covered by strange blackened roots and vines, and some of the more Druidically inclined of the group were able to sense a dark presence connected to them. Watching them, and perhaps those within the Grove already.
Inside the main tower of the settlement, they found three people, a Worgen who had been stabbed while trying to flee, and two Kaldorei on the upper floors. The female Kaldorei had clearly not coped well with being locked up in the tower for over a week now and was more than a little bit hysterical, threatening those who entered with a knife before Telathas was able to calm her down. The other Druid was more resilient, more focused on the fate of their apprentices who were in the process of working on a cure.
After tending to these survivors the group pressed on to find the apprentices…or one apprentice at least. The other seemed to have tried to escape the grove with notes to provide a treatment for the Blight. Perhaps this was the poor soul that was found in Timbermaw Hold in previous nights? Regardless, the apprentice seems certain they have at least found a cure for the Blight, they just lack a few final key ingredients. A purified form of the corrupted plant and a herb known as Spirit’s Shade, a verdant green star-shaped herb that was tended to and cultivated by a Druid named Vesha. However, those ingredients will likely not be easily acquired.
Further communion with the blackened roots lead to more discoveries. A vision of a pale skeletal figure dwelling among a garden of blackened roots and vines, tending to her creations. The same strange plant you have been seeing through your adventures. But that is not all the vision reveals. Deep with the garden, Tessaemay saw a glimpse of something verdant and green. Something alive. A flicker of hope among the darkness.
The means to create a cure are within your grasp. Now you need only find the reagents you need. Surely then this nightmare will be over?
Part 5: A Call for the Cure-All
Mission Report 5 – Nighthaven, Moonglade
Date: 22nd of Bael’Asta, 2021
Blades and Bows
While the Keeper and his group assaulted Bloodvenom Post from the front, Grand Priestess Stormglaive led her group along Bloodvenom River in an effort to find a weak spot in the cult’s defenses so they could sneak in the back. The path along the river proved to be heavily fortified, with guards keeping careful watch on the opposite bank. The group debated for a while what the best approach would be, but in the end they decided to wait until the defenders’ attention was drawn completely away from the barricades and towards the main entrance to the post, so they could sneak along the cliffs to the back of the outpost. Once the frontal assault had commenced, Captain Wildstar took charge of the group and they headed off without incident to infiltrate the camp.
The first building the group happened upon was a storage facility, guarded by two Deathguards. With the combined might of the group, the two Deathguards were swiftly and easily cut down and disposed of. Their next target was a group of Blight Apothecaries that were heading up the hill towards the two main buildings in the back. Acrona Winterflow tried to distract them with an arcane mirage, but it turned out that Kraityn’s idea of tossing a rock to create a distracting sound was the better course. The Apothecaries headed back down the hill and the group engaged them in battle.
At this point, Warden Leaflance had spotted a female Apothecary flanked by two Blight Guards carrying large cannisters filled with that strange yellow blight on their backs at the top of the hill, and she sent her owl to assault one of the guards. This raised the alarm, and the Grand Apothecary (for it was, indeed, her), ordered her Blight Hounds to descend upon the group. A vicious battle ensued, and the Grand Apothecary also sent one of her bodyguards down to help dispatch of the attackers. An unwise move, perhaps, as the Warden saw her chance to ensnare her prey. The Warden had not counted on the loyalty of the Grand Apothecary’s remaining bodyguard, however, and he ended up snared in the crystal prison aimed for the Grand Apothecary herself. In retaliation, the Grand Apothecary hurled a barrage of blight cannisters at Warden Leaflance and then escaped on a bat. But before she vanished completely, she rained blight bombs upon the group. A last parting gift.
In the end, all Blight Hounds and one of the Blight Guards were slain and the buildings put to the torch. But not before a set of notes, presumably written by the Grand Apothecary had been found. The group also found the body of a young kaldorei woman, barely past childhood, chained to a large table in the middle hut. She took her last breath as the group found her, her body finally giving in to the torture she’d been put through and the infection raging through her. The prisoner, the notes and the body of the young kaldorei woman were all brought back to Moonglade, along with the news that Bloodvenom Post was now only ashes.
Glaives and Daggers
The nights outings were none attempted with any kind of aim of being discrete. The Quartet had ordered an assault on Bloodvenom Post, and that by force and in numbers. The Nighthaven forces were not late to heed that call.
A larger gathering of the allied forces was flown to Whisperwind Grove prior setting out for what was planned to be a frontal assault on the outpost. From afar, the outpost looked reinforced, with no lack of deathguards, archers and crossbowmen. All dressed in the dark garb of the Banshee’s shroud. As battle broke out, the initial fury of the living was delivered in style, as a rain of arrows struck down part of the fronline of the Forsaken – the arrowheads flickering like stars as moonlight reflected of the cold, sharpened steel of the tips. Heraled by the initial strike, the Nighthaven forces made a steady advance both towards and through the forces of the Forsaken, seeking to by blades, arrows or blessed light fend off the defending undead. With every step lost, two more were won, and as stalemates were broken by vicious strikes and well aimed arrows, the battle suddenly shifted with the introduction of a new foe.
On top of the tower by the very edge of the outpost, stood a Sin’dorei Dark Ranger. Compared to some of the assaulting forces, a relatively tiny thing – yet nimble like few others and with an aim that could rival few. With a rain of arrows of her own, she sought to drive back and break the resolve of the assaulting host – yet nothing could throw them off their already high pace. As three of the combatants chose the reckless path ahead, the Ranger Captain of the Banshee’s shroud found herself accosted by an unsuspected trio. By force, blades, claws and a searing spear of light from below, the Sin’dorei was driven back. As the final of her host at Bloodvenom was felled down below, she made her escape after shattering a vial of blight towards her attackers. Thus, the Ranger Captain was subsequently carried away on the back of a bat- injured, furious, and with an icy cold glare set towards those she meant to slay.
The defences of Bloodvenom Post had been torn asunder, and the majority of the forces of the Banshee’s shroud slain. As the camp was torched by Onora Stormglaive’s host, the party left the outpost behind. Leaving only cinders and corpses in their wake.
Seekers and Saviours
As the combatants lay siege to Bloodvenom Post, the Watcher leads her group to Jaedenar to recover samples of Spirit Shade, the final reagent needed for the cure.
On arrival, they are greeted by the sight of the ruins overrun by the same foul blackened roots that have been seen throughout Felwood.
One tunnel leads further into the black mass of thorny roots and vines, and with little resistance facing them, they ultimately find their way to the fallen Druids “garden”, a vast bed of Blightroot growing in large quantities. Along the way, however, the group comes across some curious items and skeletons that suggest there is more to this fallen Druid than was first thought.
Notes and items that possibly belonged to the Druid in life speak of a woman named Vesha who discovered a herb she believed could “save the forests.” A herb she called Spirits Shade. However, it seems others were seeking this herb for nefarious purposes. Satyr’s, to be more exact. Skeletons with skulls bearing horns were found in a few places, along with old blood trails and the bodies of more fallen Druids.
Eventually, the group are led to the end of the root tunnel, discovering a small area mostly untainted by the Blightroot’s corruption and holding their true prize, Spirit Shade, along with what was once the prison of Vesha. Rynia Vineweaver was able to commune with a fragment of a memory of Vesha, revealing more of what had happened to her.
Satyr’s in the form of Kaldorei had come to claim the Spirit Shade and she refused to hand it over, defiant till the end, or what should have been her end. Instead of killing her, the Satyr’s cursed her, binding her to the very forests she had devoted her life to protect, the vines and roots that were her weapons constricting around her body and sealing her fate, her body becoming “food” for the plants she loved so much.
Trapped for Goddess knows how long in darkness, the black roots and thorns digging into and tearing away at her flesh, her mind slowly gave way to madness. Rage and betrayal is all that she knows now…or is it?
The Spirit Shade herb was still able to grow within the corrupted grove. Is that because of the potent nature magics held within…or is the lingering memory of the woman who was trapped here, who dedicated her life to nurturing and cultivating this herb and the wilds beyond still protecting them somehow?
One could be forgiven for wondering, is there something left of this woman to save?
Part 6: Reclaim What is Tainted
Mission Report 6 – Nighthaven, Moonglade
Date: 23rd of Bael’Asta, 2021
Blades and Bows
The allied forces set out by hippogryph from Moonglade and headed to Whisperwind Grove, where they continued south on foot. The forest around them was eerily quiet and there was no sign of the Banshee’s Shroud anywhere in the northern region. It was only after they had passed Bloodvenom Post and neared Jaedenar that they began to notice things. West of Jaedenar, at the Ruins of Constellas, the group saw the bodies of two slain Sentinels. Both were completely drenched with Blight and had been left lying in the grass quite deliberately, the reason for which soon revealing itself.
A pack of Blight Hounds were patrolling the area and some of them were hungrily devouring the bodies of the fallen Sentinels. At first, the group decided to try and sneak past them, as a cautious approach seemed wise at the time. But the Blight Hounds had keen noses and eventually sniffed the party out and combat ensued. Once the hounds had been taken care of the group continued onwards further west.
During their trek, the group had occasionally heard agonized screams echo through the forest, screams that had been abruptly cut off. Somewhere, someone, or perhaps several someones, were in a lot of pain. The goup followed the sounds and eventually came to a narrow passage between two hills. The passage was guarded by several forsaken as well as another pack of Blight Hounds. There was nothing for it, the group would have to fight their way through. The time for subtlety was over.
Once the final forsaken had been dispatched, the group found themselves faced with a gruesome scene. In front of them stood a moonwell, but the Goddess’ glow had long since vanished, instead being replaced by the noxious fumes of the Blight of the Banshee’s Shroud. The entire moonwell was filled to the brim with the toxic mixture! On either side of the moonwell stood several large glass cylinders, also filled with Blight. Inside each cylinder was a Black Moon Sentinel in a futile struggle against the inevitable. The cylinders were guarded by Apothecaries. Beside the cylinders were cages, inside which more of Grand Priestess Stormglaive’s troops were held. Dead Sentinels littered the ground and in front of the moonwell itself were three heavily armed Blight Guards. And behind the Blight Guards, was the Grand Apothecary, Agatha Plagueheart, herself. She taunted those who had come to end her, cackling madly as she offered the party to play a game. Find the Grand Priestess before the time ran out. She didn’t get to explain the rules of said game any further, however, before Silvirin Winterwind’s arrow lodged itself into her arm. Angered, the Grand Apothecary ordered her forces to attack.
The battle that ensued was long and vicious. The Grand Apothecary had a few tricks up her sleeve, and she took special delight in making it rain blight upon her attackers. She also threw bombs of toxic gas at her foes to keep them at bay. Her heavily armoured blightguard formed a wall to protect her, clashing against the knights and mages of the Royal Court. One by one in a gruelling battle the undead warriors fell to spell and blade, and one to the almighty jaws of Telathas’s ursine form. The Apothecaries, too, were slain as one of them tried to drag a wildly kicking and screaming Sentinel towards the Blighted moonwell to toss her in. Luckily, the party managed to get to her in time and she was spared the gruesome fate planned for her. Other Sentinels had not been so lucky, as their bodies floated in the moonwell behind the Grand Apothecary.
Of the Grand Priestess there had been no sign, until, in her gloating madness, the Grand Apothecary made a tree behind her open wide to reveal Onóra trussed up and bound in heavy chains, ready to be deposited directly into the moonwell. The Grand Priestess bore signs of torture and was unconcious. As Sheradel Shadowclaw and Vashira Ravenheart worked to save her before she fell, the rest of the group fell upon the Grand Apothecary in a fury. In the end she was slain by the combined might of Warden Leaflance and Aldieth Cloudwhisper, but not before she had thrown a Blight Grenade at Marissa. The brave worgen had sustained many injuries already, and the grenade proved to be too much. She died almost instantly, having given her life for the cause.
The fury of the battle was slow to fade, and Warden Leaflance made sure to pulverise what remained of the Grand Apothecary, ensuring nothing remained to have a chance of rising again. With lingering wounds and a few heavy hearts, the group returned to Moonglade through a conjured portal to report their success… and await word from the others who had set out into Jaedenar.
Glaives and Daggers
In the wake of a most gruesome scouting report, the forces of Nighthaven, having thought themselves past violent actions after last nights victorious mission, was set upon one final task. Having retrieved one cruel, taunting missive, the forces set out to put a final end to one of the Tainted Trinity’s members. The elusive Dark Ranger, having made off the night before anyone could manage to strike her down. This time, the forces had promised her end.
Upon encroaching on Jaedenar, a grim sight met the group. A trail of Ash’ana Duskstar’s watchers, dead and pinned to the trees lining the path up to the demonic depths in a fashion that could only ever suggest that they had been executed. Impaled by scores of black-fletched arrows. The dark ranger sought to make a point, clearly.
Navigating the dark depths of Jaedenar proved occasionally daunting. With both traps and ambushes along the way, the path ahead was all but clear. Eventually, the group encroached on a grand chamber within the depths of Jaedenar, and the sight ahead was nothing but harrowing. Ash’ana Duskstar, bound and on her knees in front of Aedella Embercrow – the Ranger Captain of the Banshee’s Shroud. And with an arrow pointed towards the watcher’s back, her predicament was similar to what few of her watchers remained. All held hostage in similar fashion by the remaining host of forsaken deathguards, keen to stand by their cause to the very end.
Aedella Embercrown must be someone keen on theatrics – not only were the chamber deep into a mountain, but in the centre of it, nothing but a deep black abyss opened up, threatening to swallow anyone unlucky enough to trip down into the depths whole, never to return. Within moments battle broke out. With some clever use of the more holy of lights, one of the captured watchers found themselves protected. The same luck was not rewarded Ash’ana, as the Dark Ranger let her arrow fly straight towards her back.
The hole being deemed an instant threat, Ryja showed off the true strength of the works of the arcane, and within a flicker of a second, the hole was covered by ice – the field secured for now. It did little to subdue the state of battle however, as forceful strikes in the righteous fury of the light, arrows let fly with nothing but true shot aim, flashing blades and spells. Aedella Embercrown fighting with unbridled fury and zeal, seeking nothing but the demise of the living. As a flurry of arrows flew criss-cross the room, striking true too many a times, it became apparent that she was not a foe to be trifled with.
Slowly but surely, the tide turned, and with clever use of brute force and chronomancy, the Dark Ranger found herself lacking sure footing. As the ice started to give way beneath her feet, she found herself harshly beset by many a kind of assault, and perhaps such was delivered mostly in the shape of a frighteningly tall savage, dwarfing the Dark Ranger. What Aedella lacked in size she made up for in speed. Hence, a decision was made out on the ice – were she to fall, then Loralyn should too. With that, she drew her last arrow, stating her unwavering loyalty to the very end, and let it fly towards the surface. The ice cracking at a rapid pace. The attention shifted to Aedella, and the forces of Nighthaven made the scene a last stand, unleashing arrows, blades, blunt force and spells. And just as a final spell burned a hole through the Ranger Captain of the Banshee’s shroud – the ice fractured, sending the lithe ranger and her unyielding loyalty to her demise. Luckliy enough for Loralyn – her allies catching her before it was too late.
The forces of Nighthaven had prevailed in what was a costly victory. At last, the Trinity had met justice at a dire cost. Ash’ana had been retrieved. So had the two of her watchers that survived. And Aedella Embercrown was swallowed by the black depths of Jaedenar.
Loyal to her very end.
Seekers and Saviours
As the Keeper and Zelvarane took their respective groups to save their kin and put an end to the threat once and for all, a small contingent remained in Nighthaven. Tasked with protecting the town and the newly discovered cure, a deep sense of unease set in.
Missives taunting the defenders had been received via grim means from both the Ranger and the Apothecary, but nothing was heard of the last member of the tainted trinity, the fallen Druid Vesha. Fearing the worst, the group quickly made their way to the research post, alerting those inside working on the cure to safeguard what samples they had. Familiar black roots had begun to spread around the base but struggled to gain traction and pose much of a threat.
It is then the fallen Druidess made her appearance. A rotting Stormcrow surrounded by a swarm of insects. Many of the Druids who rushed to the defence helped bolster a barrier created by Braum Thunderclaw, preventing both the swarm and the Druidess from entering. The barrier, however, would not last forever, and after exchanging a few words with the defenders, the Druidess was finally able to pass through. Fierce as she was in her attacks, she stood alone, and the tide of battle rapidly turned in favour of the defenders. Was this a suicide mission, perhaps?
Many of the brave defenders stood ready to strike down the Druidess, but a few voices called for a pause. In life Vesha had been deceived by Satyr’s, cursed and bound to the forests she devoted her life to. She died believing she had been betrayed by kin. Those who sought a pause hoped to find another solution to this. A way to end this without the Druidess being brought down yet again by “kin”.
A few tried to get through, but only one succeeded. Telrenya. Something within her words had resonated within Vesha, broken through the hate and rage and sorrow. Perhaps it was as simple as Telrenya offering her a choice? Or maybe it was more that Telrenya was clearly not lying and intended to follow through with their words that she would never be alone again, even in death.
In the end, the fallen Druidess ceased in her aggression. She was broken and resigned. She had never chosen this state of unlife; she did not want to be among the Banshee’s number. She wanted to be free. To serve the wilds in death just as she had in life. And it was with that choice that she turned to the woman who had offered her the option and did not hesitate nor flinch as Telrenya drove the dagger into her heart.
Vesha was dead once again, but this time her spirit was freed. The Goddess had heard the prayers of Aeldryn, as Vesha’s spirit became a wisp. As this happened, the blackened roots which had been her weapon in undeath withered away, the Spirit Shade herb growing in their place. As most of the defenders paid their respects or argued over what to do with Vesha’s body, one druid remained by her side. Never leaving, no matter who insisted. Telrenya refused to leave Vesha. She had promised she would not be alone.
While there were many who on their return were furious to hear that the Druidess was planned to be buried within Moonglade, there were those who stood fierce in opposition, and ultimately with Keeper Darkblossom’s blessing, Vesha was ultimately laid to rest in the Grove, surrounded by Spirit’s Shade and in a place where she would never be alone ever again.
Perhaps this was a fitting end for a Druid who, despite all, had ultimately protected the herb you had needed to save those dearest to you? A loyal servant of the wilds even to the end. Or perhaps this was simply a mercy granted to a former Sister who had suffered too much and been made a pawn of others?
Who knows? It is at least an ending, perhaps the best one there could have been.
Part 7: Rage and Renewal
Mission Report 7 – Nighthaven, Moonglade
Date: 24th of Bael’Asta, 2021
Summary: After a long, harrowing week, the allied forces gathered for the last time at the Hunter’s Hall in Nighthaven. This time to give thanks, and to say farewell. Keeper Darkblossom opened with a speech of gratitude, before Priestess Ravenmist led everyone down to the local graveyard for a funeral ceremony to honour all those who had perished during the fight against the Banshee’s Shroud.
After the funeral rites had been enacted the Keeper and Zelvarane led the allied back to Nighthaven where they were presented with a commemoration for their efforts during the campaign, in the form of a feather. A traditional token of service amongst the Sentinel cadres, it was deemed a suitable token of respect for everyone who had partaken in the fight against the Banshee’s Shroud as well.
The shed feather of a Moonglade hippogryph, preserved and painted in a traditional Kaldorei style as a memento of a trial endured. The painted portions glitter softly beneath the moonlight.
All along one side of the feather, from tip to stem, are a series of colourful stripes; each representing the diverse array of powers and affiliations that answered the Cenarion Circle’s summons. The Goddess Elune, aspected both silvery-white and dark. Gold for the Holy Light of the peoples of the eastern lands. A vibrant strip of pink for the magi who lent their power and wisdom to the fight, and forest green for the druids who answered nature’s call. Blue striped with gold honours the forces of the Alliance Kingdoms who made the long journey to Kalimdor’s aid, and purple and silver for the Kaldorei, who once again gave their all as nature’s eternal guardians.
The other side of the feather resembles a sparkling, starry sky, in memory of the brave souls who were lost to the battle – and whom it is prayed Elune has raised up to the night sky to join her eternal vigil over the world’s darkest hours.