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The Memoires of Ranger Tezekiel Starkieth

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* * *
Time has been kind to Tezekiel.  Short months have passed since she stumbled away from her dry wood cottage, and yet she stands almost a different being.  Her joints no longer ache with chill or age, her eyes are clear and sharp, and her hearing has regained the animal like sensitivity she had once prided herself on.  With all the powers she once had, she moved deftly through the Dark Portal.

    It did not affect her, seeing the carved stone and hooded figures ushering her into the ruined lands of Draenor only steeled her resolve and steadied her footfalls.  They were so close.  The Legion would meet her on the other side.  She would have their blood on her hands once more.  And she would become more powerful than even she knew.  She loosely gripped the solid bow at her side, she smirked to herself at the white-knuckled anxiety of the young humans around her.  What they would see in the Legion's domain would change them, she however would stay steadfast and focused.  The Legion had already scarred her, she would not let them have anymore.

    Quietly she spoke to Shaid, "How I wish you could see this, my friend.  Your skin would ache with my rapture.  It truly is sublime, my dear."  Three weeks ago to the day, Shaid had woken her up sometime after three hours past midnight.  Confused, she had followed him to the edge of Everlook where he silently turned to her.  Suddenly she understood.  His purpose has been served.  His time here was finished for now.  He curled around her legs and purred up at her softly.  A last good bye.  He trotted into the darkness of the dense trees outside the Goblin town and as Tezekiel watched him go, she knew more deeply than anything she had ever known: he would be back should she need him and good byes only last as long as you allow them to.

    The Outlands were expecting her, and she would not let them down.  She would tear through the evil of that land with a fury matched by none and with a purpose understood by few.
* * *
The moon hung high over head, but little good that did her.  Hours ago it had been blocked out by a monolithic cliff that was still shrouded in mist.  Tezekiel kept a steady pace as she moved swiftly into the unknown.  She had retired herself to the bank fo the shore after spending the better part of an hour navigating the depths of the Bay of Storms.  The giant see men that dwelt in the bay proved to be rather battle ready and Tezekiel had to admit to herself they were terrifying; the unknown often is.  In fact, the unknown is the primary reason she was running along the shore beating down murlocs as they came up from the wake.  Better the murloc she knew than the abyss she didn't.

    Perhaps it wasn't that she was unsure of what was happening beneathe the depths of the sea, in the heart of the Maelstrom.  She felt she was all too sure.  She knew what dwelt there, the powers that lingered amongst the rubble and ruins of the past.  She understood, all too well, what centuries of hatred and malice could summon.  She knew what was in the abyss; it's nature and purpose.  She knew clearly and nearly felt it's pulse as she swam out over the continental shelf, daring to glance at the water below her.  She was scared.  Azshara had that affect on her, everything here was wrapped in the deepest terrors she hid within her.  It was a gost land unlike any other and she could feel it surging, begging for another chance.

    Finishing swiftly, arrow gliding into the young wavethrasher, she gathered her prize and ran back to the cliff face she would climb to reach higher land.  Her heart was pounding in her chest and her breath was short.  Shaid bristled, glaring around at fog that was settling around them.  Only a cliff face stood between her and leaving.  She would gladly face a mile long fall than stay on the beach any longer.
* * *
The land here is dead.  Not freshly dead like the land of the Plaguelands, but an ancient dead.  The very trees and grass have resigned themselves to their fate, regressing into a bright and foreboding vortex of red and orange. It is all at once beautiful and terrifying, much like Tezekiel herself.  She spurred her frost saber onward wishing to finish her business here as quickly as possible.  The hills are haunted with more than ruins of Elven civilization, and she dreaded what she would find there.

    She manuvered quickly through the ruble on the ground, glaring at the naga that now inhabitted her people's land.  The wretches, the monsters, they had appeared without out warning to lay claim to the shores of Azeroth only a short few decades ago, but they had roots in a much more sinister and long lasting evil.  A shudder ran down her back as she skirted the Timbermaw tribe, the Furbolg hunter should be around here somewhere.

    Word had reached her that a Timbermaw hunter was searching for seasoned hunters so that he may test them.  Tezekiel had scoffed, she was more seasoned than he would fathom.  She had set off immediatly to track him down and her pursuit had led her to believe that he made residence on the cliffs of Azshara.  To her knowledge nothing else lived there, but she was so poorly mistaken.  As she accepted the fuzzy hunter's quest, Tezekiel had hopped from the shelf of the cliff down to the beach where she found more Naga to meet her.  Suddenly, as a wench fell by her hand, she realized where she was.  The remains of a small town just on the outskirts of Zin'Ashari lie before her, crawling with filth and degradation.  She swiftly made her way through the ruins, following a broken path that had once been the city's main street.  The temple Zin-Malor stood exactly where she remembered it, though it's surroundings broke her heart.  Behind the temple stretched the vast expanses of an ocean, the back half of the temple was succumbing to erosion and falling away into the sea.

    As she moved to enter the temple a shriek from behind called her attention.  A hooded figure, tranparent and rotting, moved toward her swiftly.  His feet did not touch the ground, he glided over the debris and weeds with the grace that comes with death.  "No one lives in Zin-Malor!"  And he reached for her neck, his long icey fingers reaching to curl around her throat.  She stumbled up the path that lead to the temple door.  With one word, her faithful friend bound from behind her, unseen by the phantom.  The true grace and lethality of the undead allowed Shaid to overcome his victim and the phantom disappeared with a cry of despair.  Shaid curled around her legs and purred up at Tezekiel.  "Serenity, Shaid.  Here be monsters."  She smiled down at the cat.

    Upon entering Zin-Malor Tezekiel was appauld to see that the naga had not only taken the temple for their own, but were defacing the name of Elune.  A large particularly battlescared Naga stood on the priest's platform, spitting bones into the moonwell that surrounded him.   Suddenly over taken by a passion she had not felt in decades, Tezekiel made quick work of the weaker naga that mulled around the temple.  She hid their bodies behind pillars in an attempt to keep their leader from noticing their mangled corpses.  When all were dead, she turned her sight on the naga in the moonwell, nodding to Shaid.  They would have their temple back, if only for a short time.  Filled with an unnatural wrath, Shaid turned toward the naga and charged for his throat.  Unseen behind the naga, Tezekiel felt Shaid's rage and felt herself more powerful than any force in Azshara.  Later, she would recall this feeling and wish it would return to her, but for now she was victorious. The naga fell, his blood polluting the well he had claimed as his own.

    Kicking the body out of the well water, Tezekiel turned to Shaid, "Now back to what we were doing.  What did the bear say  he wanted?  Wavethrashers?  Well, shall we?"  Shaid followed silently behind her as she moved from the temple and toward the shoreline.
* * *
Sand clouds billowed high into the dark sky obscuring the otherwise bright stars.  Tanaris, so they say, had the most beautiful skys in Kalimdor, though Tezekiel hardly believed it.  She had to admit however that the scenery was quite impressive.  This was her first trip to southern Kalimdor; sand, sun and generally rocky obtrusive terrain had kept her at bay all these long years.  However now that she was here she was finding it rather enjoyable.  The beach was beautiful, there was plenty of wrongs to right and more importantly it was different.  Tezekiel had recently adopted a love of new experiences, very few things were new to her anymore.

    The dunes of the Wastewander fields slid beneath every step she took.  The polished mail of her boot gleamed under the large moon that illuminated the sky and she stalked the assassins in the field silently with Shaid at her heel.  The night had been event less, one terrified Wastewander fugitive after another turning to run and falling lifelessly to the ground as an arrow slid through their chest.  She had already fulfilled her duty to the Goblins, but she roamed aimlessly for a few hours extra just to test herself against the humans.  She had found it amusing to try her skill against the inhabitants of Tanaris.  The Trolls near Zul'Farrak were notoriously nasty but she had not found the challenge she wanted in them.  Soon Tezekiel would meet her real pray, the monstrous bugs of the Silithid.

    Upon returning from the War of the Shifting Sands Zeniph had described all the battles in gorey detail to the eager and battle starved ears of Tezekiel.  She would lay curled against his chest as he explained about the huge beatles, unlike anything near Hyjal, and the flying wasps that would sometimes carry men away as bait or just remove warriors heads for fun.  She was enthralled and horrified all at once and now that her opportunity to fight these beasts was drawing closer she found herself anxious.  Fighting the ancient monsters of Zeniph's stories may somehow bring her closer to him, to experience what he had felt.  Perhaps it would bring her closure.  Perhaps it would make things clear.
* * *
Plated footsteps echo off the dank walls surrounding Tezekiel.  They draw closer.  She ran her fingers lightly over the stones that make up the hall she is trapped in, they were cold and smooth made with expert craftmanship.  The sort of stone that made up Stormwind.  Is that where she was?  She didn't know what she was doing here, she had no business in Stormwind.  The hall was long and dark, there were no candles shackled to the wall and she did not necessarily want light to signal her presence there anyway.  Heavy wooden doors lined the walkway, they were dark and forboding; all had handles made of brass and knockers curved into the scowling faces of demons that looked curiously like Kaldorei.

    Her heart pounded a quick rythm in her chest.  The force of the pulse in her fingertips caused her hand to shake.  She pressed her back against the cool wall and allowed the shadows to veil her.  The footsteps grew nearer still.  She felt certain that she was not meant to be there, that there would be hell to pay if she were found.  Her heals dug into the gritty stone beneath her feet, she would not be taken off guard.

    A door at the end or the hall suddenly opened, and a white light filtered through.  Tezekiel narrowed her eyes against the brightness and was able t make out the shape of a male Night Elf.  The light reflected off his plate armor and glittered down the length of the razor sharp blade that hung at his side.  She feared she would become intimately acquainted with that blade if he moved any closer.  And he did move closer.  A chill spread down Tezekiel's back, working its way through her nerves and bloodstream.  There was something too familiar about him, the way he walked, his stance, the confident set of his shoulders.  She felt a tightness in her chest that made her stomach flip and her knees go weak.  A rattling breath escaped her lips but she remained unseen.

    Tezekiel's eyes flew open just as the scent of loose soil and Kingsblood wine had reached her.  It was raining outside and there was a leak in the ceiling abover her head.  It was a dream.  A dream.  But why?  The drops of water ran down her cheeks and puddled on her pillow, she was uncertain if they were rain water or tear drops.
* * *
* * *
The sun blinded her as she spurred her saber onward.  Her small group of Rangers were finally on their way home, having spent the last several months in Moonglade aiding the Druids in building and defending their new sanctuary.  A young woman to her left sighed wearily and Tezekiel turned to her, "Strength, my sister.  We will be there soon.  The climb back to Hyjal is the worst part."  And she was right, they were carefully making their way up a steep incline that would come to an end giving them a spectacular view of the valley and the World Tree.  Hours passed but finally her saber lay one large furry paw at the peak of the summit and the party came to a stop as the elves took a moment to drink in their surroundings.  The air was crisp and clean, a cool breeze lifted Tezekiel's hair off her neck, and their village lay at the base of the hill.  They were home.

    For once it was Zeniph's turn to welcome her back to Hyjal.  He stood, feet shoulder width apart and arms behind his back, always at attention.  She laughed when she saw him.  His composure melted as she dismounted and scooped her up in his arms.  His eyes glittered with excitment and Tezekiel feared he had attempted to cook something again... The last time he tried to make them dinner it had ended in a small forest fire and several singed eye brows, but he had been so proud of the charred remains of the fish.  "I have something for you, well for us, but you must come see!"  He grabbed her hand and half drug her to the edge of the Well of Eternity where a small house sat nestled amongst foliage and a small patch of wild flowers.  Her jaw dropped.  Zeniph had built them a home, a real home; not a shack, not a tent, not a rented room, but a home.  She could see his workmanship in ever corner, ever molding, embelishment, even the furniture had the mark of his hands upon them.  He watched her explore the single bedroom in quiet anticipation.  Tezekiel turned to him beaming, "It's amazing, Zeniph.  I don't know how you could have done this all."

    They didn't have much, but they had eachother, they had a home.  And though their house would remain humble Tezekiel swore she would have silken sheets for their bed, she had yet to feel silk against her skin.
* * *
When we sleep, we are unguarded.  In sleep you find dreams, nightmares, worlds beyond your own.  Prophecies, wars, victory, power, all readily available in sleep.  Bodies mend and hearts are broken.  Throats are bear, weapons held limply, breathing is slow.  In sleep we pass through the sliver of consciousness that exists between the living and the dead.

    She lay curled closely to a fallen tree.  Tezekiel watched the rain fall against the grass, mixing with the dirt of the forest floor.  She felt a spider crawl over her fingers, weaving beneath them and settling somewhere unseen.  Shaid was pacing slowly around her, keeping watch for anything that moved.  He was wary and unhappy with her choice of napping area but he served his post as always.  There was murder on the wind tonight and Shaid could smell the blood.

    The sound of the rock flying reached Shaid before the rock itself, but it hit him square between the eyes nonetheless.  He let out a groan of rage before falling to the ground with a heavy thud.  Leather covered feet stalked past the sleeping cat.  A hooded face sniffed the air and empty eye sockets narrowed on Tezekiel.  Running a decaying thumb over his sharpened blade, the rogue moved slowly towards the sleeping Night Elf.  Relishing the moment before the kill, he stooped over her, grinning wickedly.  He raised his arm, the dagger glinting in the moonlight sent a cascade of lights down on his victim.  Tezekiel flinched, her eyes flew open and she parried the blow with her gauntlet.  The rogue's eyes widened and he vanished in a  flash of smoke.  Tezekiel hurried to arm herself, wondering frantically what happened to Shaid.

    She heard the rogue jumping from branch to branch above her.  He cackled, taunting her.  Drawing her bow, she dug her feet into the dirt and strained to hear the attack before it came.

    But there was never another attack.  There was no more noise from the rogue but Tezekiel felt as if she was being watched and stayed poised for battle until the sun rose the next morning.
* * *
She did not speak of it.  She did not hint to it.  She did not think of it.  The Battle of Mount Hyjal remained, to this day, buried deep in her mind and only visited in her nightmares.

    There had been little warning.  The owl of a fellow Ranger flew through the village squawking frantically in search of its master.  The owl's blood flowed from its left wing as it soared through town and fel energies followed it, trailing behind its tail feathers.  The owl collapsed at the door of Marik Ebonblade before its warning could be understood.  It had however awoken everyone in the village and they gathered around Marik out of curiosity.  Something was coming.  Something large and dark and nearly unprecedented.  Nearly.  Tezekiel gently lifted the bird's wing, the claw marks raking through it mirrored the marks on her own shoulder.  Satyrs.  The Burning Legion had found them.

    At once the Rangers and soldiers in Hyjal ran to arm themselves.  Children were hidden in basements and beneath floorboards, pets were roused and readied.  They had no idea what sort of forces they would be facing.  Shandris sent her hawk to warn Tyrande, the Shadowleaves were facing the reason for their creation and they would most likely need help.  Zeniph was armed and ready in moments, his plate was elegant and expertly cared for.  Years of battles had taught him to always be on his guard and his defenses were set in order in a wardrobe near his bed.  Tezekiel, on the other hand, was not in the least prepared.  Shaid rummaged through crates in an effort to find her weapons, her gear was scratched and dull and a few pieces were being held together with strips of leather knotted tightly against the mail.  On his way out Zeniph remembered her, turning his eyes to hers.  She was scared.  He gathered her up into an embrace, his arms sure and steady, his heartbeat was strong and regular unlike her own.  He reminded her to breathe, aim carefully, fight bravely.  "Death finds us all," he said, tilting her chin so her eyes met his," It is regret we must fear."  And then he was gone, ordering the foot soldiers into position, setting up their first lines of defense.  She had not fought by his side since the Sundering.  She would make him proud.

    Standing on a hill top looking out over the valley of Hyjal, the Shadowleaves gathered.  Tyrande had replied quickly and she was gathering a force and would move to Hyjal as soon as she could, until then they were on their own.  They crouched low to the ground, hands on the earth, waiting for a sign.  A fire, a shake, a rumble deep within the soil that would alert them to what was coming and when it would be facing them.  But there was no sign.  They heard the demons and undead before they saw them, cries of battle, screams of blood rage, their breath was taken away by the hatred in the voices.  Darkness seemed to consume the forests around them and shadows bled into the dirt, creating dark lines leading to the invaders.  Tezekiel had a sick feeling of dread in her stomach and she tried desperately to steady herself.

    An onslaught of burning arrows breached the Kaldorei defenses before any foe had been spotted.  A shrill cry from the still trees signaled the charge the Elves had been waiting for.  An impossible number of warriors surged from the darkness.  Their eyes burned deep into the Kaldorei, glowing with blood lust and malice.  They screamed incomprehensible words, spit flying from their mouths as they bore down upon the Kaldorei foot soldiers.  The Rangers shot back a barrage of their own, monsters fell but more kept coming, crushing the bodies of their fallen comrades in their wake.  Tezekiel focused, her hand now steady, her eyes sure, she repeated Zeniph's last words to her, "It is regret we must fear."  She pushed the impossible odds from her mind and planted arrow after arrow watching the Legion and Scourge fall by her hand.

    Hours passed, turning slowly into days.  Tezekiel was unsure what was more unbelievable, the assault or the fact they had withstood it.  Tyrande had shown up shortly after the Legion's first assault, but it was clear they were going to need much much more help.  Allies from all walks of life began pouring into the battle, Tezzy fought next to Tauren, Humans, Druids, and even Dwarves and Orcs.  Some daughters of Cenarius roamed the field striking down enemies and using all the powers of nature to hold back the horrors that sifted through the forests around them.  Ancient Protectors thundered out of the treeline and took out platoons of reanimated gargoyles in one swift motion of their gigantic arm.  The size of the battle was beyond her grasp, she didn't even try, she just kept shooting. 

    And that's when she saw it:  A huge shadow cast itself over the valley.  The battle stopped, even the demons stood in awe of the enormous being standing over them.  Archimonde loomed above them, laughing.  The sound shook the very ground he stood on and seemed to wake the Legion's warriors out of their awe.  The battle commenced.  Tezekiel saved a few moments and watched as the demon lord made his way to the World Tree, she realized then what he was there for.  The Well of Eternity nestled gently against the roots of Nordrassil, it must still be emanating its power.  She cursed Illidan and his naive attempt to save the Well just as she was hit square in the back by a shadow bolt.  The beast that had thrown it loped on four legs to where she had fallen to the ground.  It bared its fangs, dark eyes bore into Tezekiel's and she swallowed hard.  Grasping blindly for the sword she had dropped, the monster move closer and closer staring at her throat and lapping at its lips.  A roar ripped through the sound of battle and Shaid lept over her and tumbled to the floor with the beast.  Gathering her composure, Tezekiel drew a deep breath and scrambled to her feet.  Arming her bow she aimed quickly, but she was too late.  Though Shaid's hide was thick and his claws lethal, he was no match to the fel charged beast.  Shaid's teeth closed around the monster's jugular but, with claws encased in shadow, the demon reached into Shaid and pulled his hand back with the heart of the cat clutched in his grasp.  Shaid fell to the ground with a groan and the demon began to feast.  With tears streaming down her mud streaked face, Tezekiel sent her arrow flying and the monster collapsed to the ground next to the sparkling white cat.  Its eyes glittered with malice even after death.

    Shandris had left her post, Tezekiel was in charge.  There was a meeting of all the leaders, they had a plan.  Tezekiel was numb, she fought, she gave orders, she shouted quick advice and warnings to the girls around her.  She felt nothing but dread.  Again, she found herself praying Tryande would hurry.  She suddenly became very aware of a disturbance near Archimonde, but she kept her back to the Legion's general and continued her battles.  Let the diplomats fight for peace, she had things to kill.  Some time had passed since Shandris had disappeared, and everything was blurring together.  How long had it been since owl had died?  How many of her friends had fallen?  How long had Shaid been dead?  Only the burning in her muscles and the dwindling in her arrow supply hinted at how long the battle had really lasted.  The commotion behind her grew, but she watched as those who turned to look were ambushed from behind.  She did not make that mistake.  At least not until she heard a wretched scream that seemed to tear the very stars from the sky.  It sent Kaldorei and demon alike to their knees, and as quickly as it had started, the battle seemed to be over.  Archimonde was gone and the demons of the Legion seemed lost without a leader or purpose.

    Now the task remained to clean up Archimonde's mess.  The remaining monsters seemed only partially aware of their imminent defeat and fought tooth and nail against the newly focused energies of their victims.  For the first time since he had stepped out of their home, Tezzy caught a glimpse of Zeniph.  He was smeared with blood and dirt, his sword was broken in half ending in a jagged point that he thrust into the gut of a ghoul in front of him.  He had lost his helm and shield, his forearm was bear and large pieces of flesh had been ripped off, either by claw or fang Tezekiel was unsure.  He saw her, standing on the same hill she always stood at when welcoming him home from battle.  He smiled wearily and she smiled back.  Both were weak, exhausted, but they were alive.  As he made his way through the crowd, slicing at the remaining undead and snapping necks after his sword was engulfed in a particularly engorged monstrosity, one final blow was dealt to Tezekiel's world.  Zeniph stepped over the corpse of a spiny wolf-like being, its dark skin covered in matted hair and green ooze seething from open wounds, the beast gave a twitch, a dark eye rolled into consciousness and a clawed hand reached for Zeniph.  Tezekiel shouted a warning but for the second time that day she had been too late.  The monster held Zeniph above him grasping his chest with one hand and his legs with the other.   Tezekiel's eyes widened and as the hands tugged at Zeniph as if he were a rag doll, the two halves of Zeniph's body hit the floor.  She heard the sound of them landing limply on the ground, her stomach turned and a wave of sick passed over her.  She dropped her weapons, other people would finish off the creature that had taken Zeniph from her, there was no point in staying any longer.

    She did not look back as she walked away from the battle field.
* * *
Tezekiel like the Dwarves of Ironforge.  She appreciated their love of life.  They were loud, yes, but for the most part they all seemed good hearted people just trying to get by.  She admired that in them.  Never having much to do with Dwarves, Tezekiel did some research inside the walls of Ironforge.  The Dwarves were an ancient race, their people had gone through many trials and tribulations.  Kings had lived and died in the name of protecting their way of life.  And though now they were close to the Humans of the Eastern Kingdom, they hadn't always been so, and still viewed the young humans with a mixture of amusement and distrust.  She also appreciated that about them.  She was looking forward to Brewfest.

    Humans, on the other hand, Tezekiel had yet decide on.  They were a young race, brash and belligerent.  Humans seemed weak, easily corrupted, self centered and naive.  She was torn on whether they needed guidance or if it would be best to ignore them all together.  Humans seemed valiant enough on the surface, but she found herself always questioning their motives and fearing any situation that required her to follow a human.  A human with any amount of power was like a child lording over ants:  It almost never ended well.  Of course she had met a handful of humans whom she respected and admired, but a handful does not begin to apologize for the childish ways of the majority of their race.  Despite this, she spent a great deal of time in Stormwind surrounded by them.

    Putting her thoughts aside, she left the inn near the entrance to Ironforge and set off for the Brewfest.  She had heard rumors of drunken ram riding and exotic foods, and though she wasn't much for alcohol, a good drink was always welcome.  Shaid walked silently next to her as she prepared herself for the crowd that was almost guaranteed to her.  Still wary of large gatherings, Brewfest offered a wonderful opportunity for her to gather her strength and face her fears.  Plus, the Farstriders would be there, it would be easier with their presence.  The Farstriders had opened their arms to her from the moment she wandered into their lodge and she was more grateful than even she really knew.  She glanced back at her cat, he had stopped to paw playfully at a rabbit.  Tezekiel had a feeling Shaid was enjoying the situation much more than the rabbit.
* * *
Walking through Darnassus, Tezekiel takes careful routes to avoid the temple and whatever she may find within it.  Over the years she had grown to detest Elune, to view the goddess with a mixture of bitterness, distrust and whatever else comes from betrayal.  Though she had grown up in the confines of a temple devoted to the Moon Goddess, Tezzy had never developed a true connection to Elune.  She never fully understood Elune's purpose in the order of things, and had gotten along just fine without thanking the Goddess for every step she took.  However, until she witnessed the massacre at Hyjal, Tezekiel had always accepted the Goddess and thanked her when necessary out of respect of her fellow Kaldroei.

    Losing Zeniph had left Tezekiel on the edge of sanity.  She remembered after the battle, she ran to the ocean just West of Darkshore; not particularly caring who or what found her along the way.  She dove into the ocean, water standing just below her eyes.  She stared out into the blue unknown and wondered if she would be able to walk on it when she died.  She stood for what seemed to be an eternity, she saw the sun rise and fall and creatures live and die, the brutality of nature and creation that always followed.  She would be part of it soon, absolved into the earth, covered in soil like Zeniph.  That was her intent, she let water fill her lungs, the cold caress of the water around her...  Flowing inside her.  It soothed her, made everything easier.  She felt herself choke, her eyes getting heavy, she fell to the ocean floor grateful for the release.


    She awoke later on the shore.  Curled against herself and covered in sand and sea weed.  Her lungs burned and her eyes watered.  He was gone and she would not be joining him.  The earth had rejected her, throwing her back to the hell she had come from.  The pain seemed unbearable, she had never experienced anything like it, it throbbed through her causing sobs to wrack her throat.  They were dry and harsh.  She didn't make a sound, she couldn't.  No cry or scream could express her anguish, she didn't have the voice.  She lay silent, curled, shaking and cold.  For the first time in centuries she was scared, not scared... Terrified.

    Elune, had she ever existed, had abandoned her people.  Elune would not have let that happen if she cared.  A wave of a hand is all the effort it would have took.  Cenarius had lived and died for the Kaldorei and Elune couldn't muster a show of power in their darkest hours?  She was reminded of Azshara.  Her heart dropped even further and her stomache continued to flip.  Everything was wrong, her people were alone.  Tyrande, their leader, placed all her faith and power in a diety that either didn't exist or didn't care.  So what did that leave them with?  The Burning Legion had no beliefs, but they had power and Hyjal had just been the beginning.  The darkest storms were soon to follow and Tezekiel, one way or another, would not be part of them.

    Tezekiel lay on that shore for three weeks, eating nothing and catching rain water for nurishment.  Wildife scuttled across her as if she was a rock.  She thought perhaps she would decay here, die slowly.  She wondered if it would hurt.  She felt certain there was no afterlife, nothing but the Twisting Nether and the horrors there seemed mild to her.  Let them prod at her, rip, slash, torture... There was nothing she feared more than the life that now presented itself to her.  Perhaps she would have welcomed the distraction.  So she lay, never feeling more alone.

    After the twenty first sunset, she stood.  Her joints ached and her muscles threatened to give away beneath her weight.  Her head felt light and her heart felt heavy.  Kalimdor would not let her die here, it preferred to make her face her hell.  There will be no rest for the broken it seemed.  She could cry no longer, but her mourning for her loss would continue for years to come.
* * *
* * *