The Story of Seryth, Chapters 22 – 25

Chapter 22: The twilight panther turned out to be the archdruid Seryth had been seeking: Tharon Moonclaw. He was willing to listen to Seryth, having seen him fly in on the back of the queen of the faerie dragons, which the archdruid said were elusive and difficult to gain the trust of. The queen faerie dragon, for her part, murmured to Seryth that she'd be around, then shrank to the size of a cat, her colors blending into her surroundings until Seryth couldn't tell her apart from the trees.

Tharon claimed the same demon creatures that been attacking the forest were responsible for the Wild God’s malaise, and further confirmed that no Wild God would be able to help Seryth until the attacks abated. He also said he could tell Seryth was not what he seemed and hiding magic as dark as the horned kal’dorei — he called them satyrs — also wielded. Grudgingly, under this subtle threat, Seryth agreed to hunt the leaders of the satyr.

Jalinde turned up again, in the clutches of one of the satyr leaders. When Seryth freed her, she warned him that the satyrs had laid a trap for Tharon. They rushed back to the archdruid, but were too late: the trap had been sprung and the satyrs had killed the archdruid with their corrupting magic.

Without the good word of the archdruid, Seryth saw his chance to speak to the Wild Gods about the Nathssysn slipping though his fingers. He struck out at the satyrs in a rage, consuming them in fire and shadow.

Jalinde thought his anger was due Tharon’s fall, and she was impressed rather than frightened by his power. Seryth didn’t have the heart or nerve to tell her the truth of how powerful he had grown. He placated himself — and her — by making camp with her.

She admitted to him her fears for the forest as they rested. She had fallen in love with Val’sharah the moment she had entered it, and now had a dream of becoming a druid, a first for a quel’dorei. She, too, had been seeking the archdruids’ favor, only to learn of the attacks by the satyrs. It had been doing her part in the battles against them that she had been captured.

She now looked to Seryth for his help. It was a new feeling for him, being regarded as a hero, and looking into her eyes, Seryth become bolstered by a new determination that he would not disappoint her.

They returned to the other archdruids to aid them in the fight against the satyr. Elothir, the archdruid of lore and a treant, asked for their help in defeating harpies. Through some magic Seryth wasn’t familiar with, they had been turning other treants to stone.

Like the Mother Sprite, the harpies used trickery and desire to lure their victims to their nests. Seryth at first thought they were another arm of the satyr army, but Jalinde told him a different story: of elves who had once tended Val’Sharah falling to pride and greed.

The last archdruid was somewhat more difficult to find. They rode through the thick forests, Seryth still on his felsteed magically disguised as a courser. They came upon night elven homes tucked away in the trees often, though the night elves inside them were tight-lipped about the archdruid’s whereabouts, even when Jalinde admitted them her desire to learn from their druids.

She clearly thought it was a compliment, but the night elves were just a little too polite, a little too quick to turn them away, and Seryth suspected they were intentionally shunning the pair. However, when he suggested they make one of them talk by force, the aghast look Jalinde gave him silenced him.

The next day, they entered a furbolg village. Unlike the night elves, the bear-like creatures attacked them immediately.

The furbolg were little match for Seryth’s magic. As he traversed the village, taking liberally of their supplies for himself, one called out to him from where it was cowering in a doorway, asking for help. Jalinde ran to answer it, getting in Seryth’s line of fire, even if he had been tempted to attack the cowardly furbolg to begin with.

The furbolg identified himself as Littlefur and said the other furbolg had fallen to a demonic taint from the satyr.

Jalinde suggested solving the furbolgs’ problem might catch them the eye of their remaining archdruid, besides being a good deed. Seryth was skeptical, but as Jalinde seemed so convinced it would help, he agreed.

The furbolgs’ chieftain had been gifted a totem by the satyr several weeks ago, which turned out to be a curse and a trap, much like the one laid for Tharon. The totem’s magic had twisted the rest of the furbolg, making them erratic and hostile. Littlefur directed them to the chieftain’s abode, covering his eyes: he knew what he was asking of Seryth, and didn’t want to see his chief slain.

Seryth made it quick, just as much from impatience as from sparing the furbolg from further pain. He could sense the totem’s power nearby, even several feet away, and felt an intense hunger for its magic.

Pulling the chaotic energies into himself proved as easy as touching the totem and giving in to the empty feeling inside his chest. To all outward appearances, the totem shattered, and Jalinde was pleased and hopeful the furbolgs would now be at peace. Seryth told her he was eager to hunt down more satyr, but what he told her didn’t reflect his private thoughts honestly. Jalinde wanted the satyr gone so Val’Sharah could be safe again; Seryth wanted more of their magic.

They came upon a string of satyr and followed them into the caves they had been using as shelter. Only it turned out it wasn’t a cave, so much as a tunnel dug into the side of a druidic barrow den. There was ancient magic in the place, ancient spirits, that both Seryth and Jalinde could sense.

They attacked the satyr, Seryth absorbing the power from the totems many of them carried. They came across more totems about the barrow den, being used to corrupt the den’s ancient spirits in the same way the furbolg had been. As Seryth took their power, the oppression of demonic taint in the air lessened, and the power of the ancient spirits grew.

As the last of the satyr’s taint was cleansed, a colorful bear spirit manifested before them. Jalinde fell to her knees; Seryth stood back in suspicion. He could sense the power of the ancient spirits in the bear, but he wasn’t too convinced it was friendly.

The bear thanked the couple and told them it was the archdruid they sought.

“Are you dead?” Seryth asked baldly. “Because you are a spirit.”

The archdruid answered no, only that it was hibernating; its body was elsewhere, safe, while its spirit roamed the Emerald Dream. The ancient magic in the barrow den was that of the Emerald Dream itself: a thinning of the veil between that world and Azeroth. The satyr were attempting to invade the Dream through this connection.

Jalinde supplied that the Emerald Dream was also the source of the druids’ power, and that entering it was one of the steps an initiate took to gain his or her power. She then told the bear her dream: to become such an initiate herself.

The bear seemed less than impressed, Seryth thought, glancing between them thoughtfully.

“Very well, young one, I will allow you to take the trials,” it finally said to Jalinde. “Claw, Talon, and Fang. These are the marks that you must earn before you are ready to enter the Dream.” It went on to warn her that it was a lifelong process to earn the marks and to become a druid, not something completed in a day, week, or even a year.

Jalinde wasn’t discouraged, however. And Seryth wondered if her path would soon part from his.

Jealous and impatient, Seryth interrupted the bear before it could describe Jalinde’s first trial. He asked about an audience with a Wild God and told it about Cenarius’ plight.

The bear gave Seryth a long, level look and finally agreed that it would help them with Cenarius. Together with Elothir, the archdruids would channel the magic necessary to open a conduit into the Dream, and from there hopefully either heal Cenarius, or at least contact His spirit.

One thought on “The Story of Seryth, Chapters 22 – 25”

  1. You know, with how often stuff like Murlocs just attack adventurers without a second thought only to die easily, I wonder how come all the random other non-playable races haven’t gone completely extinct. They must get it on at a rate that puts rabbits to shame.

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