He also was able to forgive his father — both foster and the real one — in that moment. His last thought was to wonder at the fourth quel’dorei he saw, the one so much like him.
Had it been? Could it be…
OR MAYBE IT WAS ALL AN ILLUSION BY THE NATHREZIM AND SERYTH IS NOW A PIT FIEND WHILE HIS FRIENDS ARE ALL DEAD MUHAHAHA hahaha ha ha…ha…ha…
Ahem, excuse me, just riding the high of finishing a long story. There were some pieces that came together extremely well in my opinion, which make me devilishly — maybe one could say demonically — pleased.
For one: the grell and imp connection. This has been teased in World of Warcraft on account of the creatures both sharing the same models, but never fully confirmed. So, I played fast and loose with the lore here: imps now do come from grell in my mind, and the wild, mischievous nature of the former is what leads the latter to become so rebellious and a pain in the butts of their warlock summoners.
I’m particularly proud of this connection because it wasn’t one I had intended in the original story at all. The imp was only supposed to be Seryth’s first step down the path into darkness, but as I wrote more of the story, the imp faded more and more into the background instead of showing Seryth the ropes of being a warlock, as once intended. (Isn’t that just like an imp, to not do what it’s told!) It turns out that the imp being the teacher while Seryth has this talking sword in his chest was rather redundant, and once introduced to the presence of the blade, the Nathssysn did all the heavy lifting without the imp (his in-game name is Gobnip, by the way) lifting a finger.
The connections between the Mother Sprite, the grell, and Jalinde also came as a surprise, though I knew eventually what fate I had intended for Jalinde, since what is more evil than what Seryth ultimately did to her? This shows the strength of this method of brainstorming. The sprites and their faerie dragons come from a real quest hub in World of Warcraft (though the Mother Sprite is my own invention), which at the time just seemed like filler to me, a zone Seryth had gotten dazed off his mount in (forcibly removed because of game mechanics) while I was trying to get him back to Moonclaw Vale to meet the third archdruid.
Though the role of the queen of faerie dragons was completely dropped by the end of the story, and that’s probably something I’ll have to rectify when I move to finishing out the novel, the Mother Sprite turned out to be way more than just a detour. Old English tales of faeries inspired much of her character, and so she lent that kind of partly spiritual and quasi-sexual element to the plot that would later inform some of Seryth’s relationship to Jalinde, as well as his revelation about the grell.
Both this and the relationship with Jalinde was a tricky point to get across: as I was writing this in-game first, where language must be PG-13 at the very most by Blizzard’s rules, I couldn’t be very explicit with what was happening here. Yes, Seryth might have had sexy fun times with the Mother Sprite which spawned a bunch of little grell-lings. He certainly had it with Jalinde, as the last chapter confirms. To know what happened here for sure, though — and why — you’re just going to have to wait for the final rendition of this story where I can get as detailed as I want without blistering the ears of young Warcraft players. (I promise, I won’t burn out too many eyes.)
Speaking of final renditions…as stated before, The Story of Seryth is brainstorming technique, not a fully formed novella, though I’m told it can be enjoyed in its current form by anyone who’s played World of Warcraft. My next goal with this story is to start expanding the scenes and the lore behind them into a feature length. I hope to show some excerpts of that later so you can better understand this process, but until then… well, I suppose I’ll see you next with this one at the publishing booth. One can hope!