Westfall Cliffs

[Edited by naglerta — 12.08.2018]

It was in the middle of Harvest season. A figure stood at the edge of a cliff in Westfall, facing the murlocs scurrying around the coast below. No one in their rightful mind would approach them, most would even be afraid to stand in that cliff.

The wind touched the figure’s cheeks. They were tanned, like the rest of the man’s skin. His green eyes followed the fish-like creatures on the beach; from how he narrowed them and how his eyelids kept twitching now and then, it was clear that he was deep in thought. The man embraced the caressing of the wind as it blew his shoulder-length hair.

A murloc shaman on the coast, by Damion Ziomek — https://www.artstation.com/artwork/eWem3

“This… is who we are” he thought. “This is who we are supposed to be.” He heard the gentle tap of rain drops on the stones and soon enough, they started landing on the man’s face and on his purple robes. The robe looked visually pleasing and expensive with intricate embroidery and vivid colors. More striking was his belt, which had an eye with three extensions below: The symbol of the Kirin-Tor.

He looked at his staff. It was quite simple except for the top, which ended with a crystal pulsing with arcane magic, orbited by a few smaller crystals. “This… is wrong.” He put his hand on his forehead, feeling what seemed to be a permanent scar with an eerie dark-green crust.

A dreadlord-by Thanet Thanakij - https://www.artstation.com/artwork/ADdAX

A swift flashback hit the man: He saw himself fighting against one of the Nathrezim: One that was low in the ranks of Dreadlords, but more than a match for an average adventurer. While the mage was strong and eventually overpowered the vile demon, it had managed to strike him with his claw. The mage got infected with a disease that took months to be cured, but the scar of the wound stayed.

Once he returned to reality, he looked at his staff with a mixture of shock and enmity and cast it off the cliff. He watched the enchanted item fall with a disgusted look. The noise, however, had attracted the murlocs below. He noticed one of them running to the staff and realized his mistake: No one should ever use it again, no one should have to suffer the corruption! He incantated words of magic, which matched perfectly with the required gestures, as he swirled his arms around, conjuring flames out of thin air. His eyes burst in flames as he created a ball of magical fire in his hands and hurled it towards the staff. The blast hit the staff before the primitive monster reached it, exploding loudly and shattering the staff into pieces that burned off into ashes. The creature let out a gurgle of fear and hurried away. The flames in the mage’s eyes disappeared and he looked at his hands with disbelief. “This is THEIR magic. This is DESTRUCTION. This is EVIL.”

He ripped the patched violet eye symbol off his belt and threw it aside. He folded the arms of the robe up to reveal his naked arms and opened both arms wide, closing his eyes, letting the rain hit him. “The gentle wind… the purifying rain… a real, warm fire…” His thoughts began swirling, each invoking sensations from memories. “The nature… the… the elements! This is PEACE. This is LIFE and CREATION,” he continued as his inner voice grew in volume and power, “This is who we are.”

After a long, peaceful breath, he looked down at the murlocs once more. They were “primitive” and “monsters.” The mage questioned the sentiment. “We are the ones who destroy nature without giving it thought. We are the ones who seek to bend everything else to our will. We are the ones who use powers of destruction to force the hand of fate. And they, who just live their lives in tune with nature, are supposed to be the monsters?”

The mage teared off his robes, revealing a simple shirt and pants beneath . He smiled. This felt better. He conjured his spell book into his hands. This was years of study. Years of blood and tears, literally and figuratively. All his spells were in there, as well as the key to unlocking the powers that he had learned to yield.

“The elves,” another thought took form. “It’s their fault. They used us. They took us from our simple ways, flaunted their magic and imposed it onto the good-natured fools that we were and used us as soldiers, as cannon fodder against the trolls. And now what? They align themselves with the trolls? How did we ever trust them? And more importantly, why are we still using the tools enforced on us by these insidious devils?”

He looked at his spell book again. It was more than just a book. It was magical, protected against most natural affects and bound to him so that he could summon the knowledge or the book whenever he wanted. “This is the last one” he thought, held the book firmly in his hands and spoke words of arcane magic. The book erupted in flames, burning into a violet-black smoke and ashes.

It was over. He was no longer a mage. Just a human. A human with a quest. He would learn how to talk with the elements. He would learn the old ways. He would revive them and start an order of Stormwind Shamans.

The sun appeared between the clouds as rain was dying down, casting a rainbow. He found himself enjoying it in peace. He noticed the murlocs doing the same. He smiled.

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Ekrem Atamer

Ekrem Atamer

Gamer, gaming industry wanderer, development and design enthusiast. Current WIP: TBD