Silithus Got My Sons - Part 4
Losing his three sons in Silithus in a tragic way, a father travels all around Azeroth seeking guidance for finding his sons. He finally finds out what he needs to do, but is he ready to find out the truth?
Continued from: Silithus Got My Sons - Part 3
We got up very early the next day and ventured southeast towards the border with the Qiraji Empire, focusing our search on the last hive that we hadn't checked the day before.
This hive was the largest of all and it was the most scary looking one. Tendrils were as tall as tens of meters, ground was moving more rapidly than the other hives and disturbing voices were spreading around in the air. We couldn't easily count how many entrances the hive had, so we just entered through one of them that had some light coming from inside.
This hive was literally an endless maze of tunnels with lots of branches, huge gathering chambers and breeding chambers. We drew circles, went up and down, followed spiraling corridors, exiting from one entrance and entering through another but whatever we did, we were not showing any progress. It was as if we were exploring the same areas all the time, but as we were exploring them, they were changing too. The small rocks we were placing to mark our path were disappearing and the lights in some tunnels were going off when we passed through again which was making it impossible to keep track of where we had been through and where we hadn't.
As we came out of one of the entrances to take some fresh air, we noticed a considerably different opening at the other side of the crater, which, we were pretty sure, was not there when we first came. After a couple of minutes of rest, we walked towards the new entrance, hoping it to stay open till we reached it.
As we entered through the mouth-like opening, the entrance closed behind us. This time, we were not in a tunnel or in any chamber like we have seen earlier. It was a symmetric shaped gigantic spherical chamber, which I would describe as "beautifully created". We were mesmerized by the magnificence of the chamber we were in, looking around us with wondering eyes.
Suddenly, we felt a strong presence of something of enormous power. A beautiful music started to touch our ears, the sort of which you would define as forbidden music. It was so beautiful yet it was making us want to do things that we wouldn't normally do. Mystic smells were spreading around the chamber, which was also enhancing our delusional state.
Enchanted by the exotic music, one of the guardians walked towards the center of the chamber; he seemed like he was walking out of his will. When he reached the center, he grabbed his dagger and stabbed himself in the chest, followed with a crazy laugh echoing within the chamber and then spreading to all of us. We were laughing like crazy as we continued to watch our friend get drowned in his own blood. Another guardian started running around and shooting his arrows in all directions mindlessly. He shot one other guardian, who seemingly enjoyed the pain the arrow that pierced his heart caused and smiled at us disturbingly as he released his last breath.
Other than observing the guardians' acts of madness, I was not able to do anything to protect them as my mind, being under the control of that powerful existence, was unfortunately enjoying what my eyes were seeing. The madness continued till all the guardians killed themselves in terrible ways, at which point I saw Anub'Isath's face once more, approaching me from the other side of the chamber. This time, the face was attached to its body.
Without really knowing what I was doing, I knelt before the creature and looked straight into its eyes. I had not seen such beautiful and mesmerizing eyes before. The creature said with a beautiful voice that almost felt like swallowing the sweetest drink in the world:
"My servant, I told you to go back, but you chose not to listen to my order. I will give you one last chance now and if you ever return, you will not find me as understanding as I am now."
Gaining my conscious back for one moment, I weakly shouted:
"At least... at least tell me if my sons are still alive, I beg you..."
"Yes, they are and they will continue to be. They have their own tasks now which I have no doubt they will follow to the letter. Do not worry about them, they belong to you no longer, as they never really have."
I must have lost my conscious after our conversation with Anub'Isath ended. When I opened my eyes again, I was in the same room that Zeinorai and my friends were waiting near my bed. They were still there. I jumped from the bed and asked how I came there. She told that I had fallen down while building a house in the village and hit my head to a rock. I quickly rushed out and noticed that there were no signs of the silithid invasion in the Hold. I looked towards our village, it had no signs of an invasion either. Confused with what I saw, I went to Leothril to report about our research and the loss of the guardians.
He replied smiling:
"You must have had a bad dream, we did not lose any of our guardians. Also, we did not have any bug attacks or something. Are you sure you are ok?"
I asked him:
"Is this some kind of a joke? Where are my sons? Have you seen them today?"
"What sons are you talking about? You never had sons, you never even got married. Casiel, are you ok? Let's get you back to Zeinorai and have her take a good look at you. You must have had a concussion when you hit your head."
"Wait, just give me a minute and I will prove. Let's go to the top of the watch tower, there I will show you the silithid hives."
Unsure of what I was talking about, Leothril followed me and we climbed the stairs to the top of the watch tower, where I was going to show the northwest silithid hive crater to him. To my shock, there was no hive or anything else at the place the hive was standing just the day before. I swept all the horizon as far as my eyes could reach but there were no signs of hives or silithid creatures.
Having a doubtful moment in my mind about my memories, I unwillingly followed him to Zeinorai's hut, trying to understand what was happening. Was it all a dream? Meeting Shainella, marrying her, having our sons, burying her, our village getting invaded by the silithid, groups of guardians searching for my sons and finally losing five guardians terribly and my meeting with Anub'Isath. Were they all nothing but a dream? Was my mind playing games to me?
On our way to Zeinorai, I asked Leothril to visit the graveyard so I could show him my wife's grave. No, there was no grave of her at the graveyard. As if she never lived, she never married with me and she never gave birth to our sons. I was feeling like I was going crazy.
Zeinorai gave me some strong soothing herbs which caused me to fall asleep quickly. I don't know how long I stayed asleep but it was an unrestful sleep with all the visions of our long journey with Shainella, having our baby sons, losing her and then losing my sons. When I woke up in our house later on, everything felt so real but also it felt like a bad nightmare, I was not sure of the truth anymore, yet I was determined to find my sons no matter what.
I spent the following days walking around Silithus, searching every corner, inside every cave, under every rock to find a trace of my sons and of the silithid creatures. Days with no rest, I continued to search for them. As if the earth was torn apart and the hives were buried beneath the ground in one night like they first appeared. I even thought of climbing over the Scarab Wall to continue my search in the lands of Qiraji Empire, but that was not possible as the seal that was protecting the wall was not penetrable by anyone.
For some time, Leothril gave some guardians to aid me in my searches; he seemed to be wanting to help me ease my mind even though he did not believe in what I was saying, as I had nothing to show him to prove my claims. Our search sessions ended with no result. Eventually the guardians left as they had other tasks to attend to and I continued on my own.
I spent years and years searching for my sons, till the kids in the village started to make jokes of an old man looking for his sons he never had. The fact that no one, even my closest friends were not believing in me was hurting my heart so terribly. At one time, after returning from a day-long search in the desert, I felt differently for the first time. A voice had popped up in my mind that was whispering me "what if they are right? what if it was all a dream?". I tried hard not to listen to this voice, but slowly I lost my hope and stopped looking for them. I still knew deep inside that they were all real, but I had lost my energy to continue seeking them. As if the desert had covered them by a sandstorm, never to be found again.
That night, happy to see me abandoning my futile search and physically and mentally coming back to my people again, Leothril gathered everyone and offered a feast for me. Without telling anything about my sons or everything that had happened that I was still so sure that actually happened, I told them that it was now time for me to go back to my home lands, to Teldrassil, where I wanted to spend the rest of my days in peace.
Leothril honored my wish to return to Teldrassil by sending me along a group of guardians who were going back to Darnassus to give reports to Lady Tyrande and bring back some new recruits. During the whole journey back to my home lands, I was like a living dead, paying no attention to anything that was going on around me.
My sorrowful life since I had lost Shainella had become more sorrowful now that I had also lost my sons and I had no one to believe in me. I had lost my will to live, I even did not find joy in holding my bow anymore, so I closed my door and started to spend the rest of my days without going out or seeing anyone. I was feeding with the food some helpful Dolanaar folks were putting in front of my door.
One day, as I was lying on my bed, reading the notes I had taken about Shainella and my sons in my journal, I heard my door knocked. Thinking it was the fellow locals who were bringing me food, I slowly walked to the door and opened it. There was no food in front of the door as there was no one either. Only a small folded paper on the ground, almost telling me "pick me up".
I picked the paper from the ground and read the following words written in Elvish tongue, with a beautiful handwriting:
"Come and find me in the shadow of the burning mountain, when the northern star shines brightly upon the stones at the center of the lake."
It was signed with an initial "N.", and it had a seal with a figure that I had not seen before. A black dragon head with eyes looking right into yours.
It was most probably a joke by the kids that I shouldn't have paid attention, so I threw the note into the trash and went back to my bed to continue reading my journal.
I was reading the pages about my sons' skills in hunting and crafting. Just as I turned the page over, a wooden figure dropped off the journal. It was the eagle head figure my son Manax had crafted for me. It was true! I had sons, I had my Shainella, I had lost them. The eagle head figure had fired the desire to seek my sons again, and then the note that I had thrown away came to my mind. Quickly grabbed it from the trash. It was speaking of a northern star. Remembered Tariel, the northern star we had picked for ourselves with Shainella. Who could have known of our special star? What was the note referring to as the burning mountain and the stones at the lake? What was N. standing for?
I spent the day trying to make sense of the note with no success, so I decided to find this person, whoever it was and see if he or she would be able to help me find my sons. Without telling anyone about the note itself, I started to ask around the town about a burning mountain and the lake with stones. Also asked if they ever saw a seal with a black dragon head. Nobody was able to help me in Dolanaar, so I packed my things and went straight to Darnassus to seek anyone that could give me some clues about where I should go.
Unfortunately, no one in Darnassus were able to give me any answers that would help with my search. I wanted to try one last thing before giving up, which was to go to the main base of the Cenarion Circle in Moonglade and speak to Darnainn and see if he would be able to shed some light on the note I had. He was the only person that I could trust his knowledge.
Darnainn and others in Nighthaven bid a very warm welcome to me. As we went to his private guest room, I told all my story to him; about my dreams, how I met with Shainella in Astranaar, how we married, how we had three sons, how she died, how Cenarion establishments in Silithus were invaded by silithid creatures and how they had captured my sons and how nobody believed me. Carefully listening to everything I told, Darnainn did not show any signs whether he believed me or not, because surely he was getting reports from our mission every month and apparently in no such report was there a mention of a silithid invasion to our Hold. He also checked his lists of all Cenarion Circle members; there was no Shainella in any of them, nor a mention of my marriage with her or of our three sons.
I then showed him the note. He quickly grabbed it from my hand and looked closely at the black dragon head figure on the seal. He dived into thoughts silently for a couple of minutes, after which he said:
"I cannot say much about this, but if your heart is telling you to go and find the source of this note, then you should go south, to Dustwallow, where you will find a local tribe at Wyrmbog, who worship ancient dragons. I believe they will be able to be of help to you more than myself. Farewell my friend, may you find peace once your search comes to an end."
I did as Darnainn suggested. Joining a caravan that was going to Astranaar and from there joining a group of sentinels who were going to Ratchet, I continued towards south. From Ratchet, I was carried by a human ship to Theramore, and continued on foot to Wyrmbog with the help of a map I had grabbed in the town.
The place that the local dragon-worshipping tribe was living in Wyrmbog was right in the middle of a cursed marsh, where no sane person would even want to pass through. From the moment you enter, it kind of kept telling you to leave as quickly as you can. I also noticed some bizzare transformations on the bodies of the locals, as if their skin had turned into half man and half dragon in time.
The locals told me to speak with their shaman, so did I. I showed him the note. Looking at the black dragon head figure, the shaman jumped from where he was sitting and started to make a crazy dance around the fire, saying some words that I did not understand. When he stopped, he said the following, making strange sounds as he spoke:
"Grrrrawww... This is the seal of the dark one. Bbbuuuurrrrhhhh... He had written to you. Tttrrrraaakkk... I could speak of him no more. Aahhhhh... Go to the other world, the one on the other side of the sea, go to Zul'Kunda. There you will be guided further. Wwhhhsssss..."
It was hard to follow what the shaman was saying but from what I understood, I needed to go to the lands of Eastern Kingdoms that I kept hearing of during my journeys. If that was what I needed to do, that was what I was going to do.
I spent the night at the Theramore Keep and went back to Ratchet with the first light in the morning, to get on board the first ship that was leaving for Stranglethorn on Eastern Kingdoms.
Continue: Silithus Got My Sons - Part 5
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