Life in Shattrath was something I still wasn't used to, even a year later. I say a year, we were really about a week shy of the anniversary. I found out from our Regent Lord that Arthas's armies had overtaken the Rangers and plowed through the back of Silvermoon. A giant, elongated, hellish streak all the way from the northern tip of Eversong Woods, down south to the Ghostlands. Survivors and vagabonds alike dubbed it the Dead Scar. Appropriately named, I must say.
"Zaelor, aren't you going to work today? It's been a few days, and Barthamus needs to begin training the aging Netherwings." My brother, Bi'danas poked his head through the curtain at the entrance to my room.
I hadn't been to work all week due to a bout of depression I'd found myself in. My amber eyes drifted to a glass frame I had hanging on my wall, inside it lay Tynonia's glove, the one I'd pulled off her hand that fateful day. I closed my eyes, and with a deep breath, stood from my hammock and walked over to my brother in the doorway.
"Go prepare Fen, if you will. I'll begin getting ready." The look of pride in his eyes gave me the bit of motivation I needed.
"Of course, big sis. Thank The Light you're finally seeing to yourself." Bi'danas smiled, turning to go back downstairs and prepare my Hawkstrider.
The home my mother, brother, and I lived in was a tower, mimicking the ones in Silvermoon City. We were put to live in Scryer's Tier since we were of the Horde faction. The only reason my brother got to go freely to the Alliance area, Aldor Rise, is because of his devout study and worship of the Light. I trailed down the staircase into the little kitchen. There, my mother was putting on fresh cups of tea.
I sat in one of the living area chairs, putting my feet out on our Talbuk rug. My mother sat adjacent to me, setting a cup of tea on the table between us.
"So, what're the plans for today? You're up for once, so that must mean something's going on!" She took a slow sip of her steamy beverage.
"Just work, mom. Bi'danas is prepping Fen then I'm off to the Lower City to help Barthamus with the Drake training." I picked up my cup, blowing the steam from its brim.
"It's so exciting to see you out. Tell Barthamus hello for me, please. Hopefully all this hard work will pay off and you'll earn yourself a Netherwing." My mother smiled over her ceramic cup.
Since the sudden move to Shattrath, my mother has been relaxed on her seamstress skills, and instead volunteers at the spell book library here in the Scryer's Tier. Sometimes, on the days I do work, I'll leave the city and trap the giant moths that gather near the Cenarion Thicket. I've been trying to find a cure for their tainted nature, but have failed on numerous occasions. All I've managed to learn is how to make an antidote for the symptoms that appear on me.
I walked outside our house to find my brother tightening the saddle on Fen. My Hawkstrider seemed content, which was nice. I thanked Bi'danas with a warm smile, and trekked off with Fen to the large elevator. There were a few other Blood Elves and even a couple Trolls waiting to board. I didn't socialize much with the people who lived around me, I just cared about my mother, brother, and occasional hearing from my father.
"It's nice ta see ya again, Z." The Troll already on the elevator greeted me.
"Yeah, figured it was time to get back to work. We're training the new Drakes today." I flashed a friendly smile, not making eye contact.
"Ey, maybe with all them work deals you've been a-makin' for 'ol Barthamus, he'll grant ye a Drake of ya own." The elevator had descended all the way to the bottom.
"I'm not much of a rep grinder, Zuxeshi." I waved him goodbye, leading Fen off the elevator.
There was unusual traffic in the city of Shattrath today. The soldiers that were usually sparring out front had been replaced with merchants waving around tickets. I patted Fen's neck, signaling we'd be taking the long way to the Lower City. If there's one thing that annoys me about this place, it's the merchants who think they own the streets. The decline into the Lower City was bleak. There was trash, beggars, and even the occasional waste pile from someones companion or mount.
Luckily, the place I was headed was slightly elevated above all of this filth with patches of the sun hitting the Drakes. I looked down at Fen's talons. Ugh, you're getting a bath no matter how late it is tonight. I thought to myself. We climbed the small staircase to Barthamus's area, and I tied Fen up to his post.
"Well, well, well. Of all the days to show up, Zaelor. You pick the one where its flight training." Barthamus appeared to glide in his crimson and black robes over the stone floor.
"Sorry, I guess? Which Drake do I have the pleasure of training today?" I popped my knuckles, giving each familiar Netherwing a sideways glance.
"Oh, since you've skipped out on me so much, you get to do a lot more than just training. You're going to break this Drake's spirit." Barthamus took delight in my obvious uneasiness, as he grabbed the spellbound reigns.
The spellbound reigns, you see, were to help quell the turbulent behaviors of the unbroken Drakes. They soften the nether energies coursing within their bodies. I'd never broken a Drake before, so I wasn't too sure how this would go. I watched as Barthamus slowly coaxed an onyx Netherwing from its cage, the reigns wrapped tightly on its body. The Drake must've only been a few months old, since it had barely grown 15 feet long.
"Knyrock, meet Zaelor. I think you two will make an implausible pair." Barthamus handed me the reigns, and at the contact they made with my skin, their runes glowed green.
"Take care of Fen for me, would you? And if I die, make sure mother doesn't get ahold of him. He'll never survive." I flashed an anguished smile, mounting Knyrock.
Barthamus chuckled, stepping back to give Knyrock and I able room for a takeoff. The electric pulsating wings specific to the Netherwing dragons lifted us into the air rather calmly, much to my surprise. I thought Barthamus said he had to be broken? We flew over Shattrath and all its beauty. Even looking down the large center temple where the Naaru, A'dal, keep the city's peace. We even flew over the Scryer's Tier, where my mother was outside tending to her Bloodthistle.
Knyrock was flying smoothly, taking my new presence pleasantly well. Once we got to the Aldor Rise, something kicked in him though. His left flank began to twitch uncontrollably, and his snout was sharply jerking from side to side.
"Knyrock, calm yourself! It's okay!" I tightened my grip on the reigns, causing the runes to glow brighter.
"Knyrock, no!" I screeched, as he let out an outcry of pain, causing onyx lightning to spread from his wingspan.
I had lost complete control of my Drake, causing him to whip me off in a harsh motion. I covered my head and closed my eyes, readying myself for a harsh impact with the ground. Instead, a humming sound graced my ears and I only skidded across the stone ground. Setting up, I brought a hand to my forehead. Blood stuck to my palm, which worsened my headache. With the details I was able to gather from my obscured vision, I was in a place with lots of blues...and Elekks?
"Zaelor! Zaelor! Are you alright?!" My brother rushed over to me, dropping to his knees.
"Y-You'll get your robes d-dirtied..." I coughed, my body buckling forward in pain.
"Don't worry about me, you're injured. Let's get you to the temple." As Bi'danas carried me off, I could hear the relentless screams of Knyrock, likely being contained by a distressed Barthamus.
The temple my brother practiced in was at the height of the Aldor Rise, risen above many large steps at the back of the settlement. Its building laying snug against the mountains of Nagrand. I was going in and out of consciousness, every now and then seeing my brother performing healing spells with other novice priests and priestesses behind him. When my headache had finally calmed down to a dull numbness feeling, I sat up in the plush bed I'd been placed in.
"I see you fare well, no? Bi'danas has truly blossomed in the Light." High Priestess of the Aldor, Ishanah, pulled a cloth from a bowl.
"Y-Your Holiness, I didn't mean to trouble you. My Drake is in the process of being broken and I-"
"Don't worry about it child," She dabbed the rag on my forehead and arm. "Maybe A'dal meant for you to end up here, a kink just got thrown in his plans."
"High Priestess, do you mind if I pray at your altar?" I had never been as strong with the Light as my brother, but what Ishanah was saying was connecting with my soul.
"Go forth, my child. We are all prospects of the Light. Let A'dal speak to you." She guided me out of my room and into the center of the temple.
Ishanah's golden staff was propped against the altar in the middle. Several other priests and priestesses were knelt down, eyes closed. I followed, kneeling down (and wincing in the process) I closed my eyes, holding my hands to my chest.
A'dal, hear your troubled child. Ishanah speaks of you meaning for me to fall here, on this day. I know of my race, but I pray you listen to me still. What am I, A'dal? What is my purpose on this world? Let me find an opportunity through your eyes, your ways, and your Light.
As I stood up, I bowed to the High Priestess in thanks for letting me use her altar. Walking outside of the temple, the sun was setting over Terokkar Forest and Shattrath, meaning I needed to get back home. Fen was tied up at the bottom of the stairs, letting out short caws of excitement as I walked closer to him. Petting his feathers, more dust filtered out and onto the ground.
"Sorry bud, bath's gonna be postponed after all." I slowly hopped on Fen's back, heading towards Scryer's Tier.