Reports are coming in by the day, almost by the hour. More attacks on Orgrimmar’s northern gate; the Barrens are on fire, and, hell, they are saying that the Legion descended on the Caverns of Time… only to be held at bay by the Bronze Dragonflight and the Illidari who rushed to their aid.
What did they plan to do? Muster different demonic armies from other times as Garrosh tried with his Iron Horde? Would that work?
Unfortunately, our victories are few and far between and have not been effective. They aren’t even slowing down in their brazen attacks and our numbers are starting to dwindle. As we die away they summon in thousands more. We can’t even resurrect our forces with magic. You can’t do much to resurrect someone cleaved into thirds or whose soul has been torn out to feed the demons….
To make things worse, it has come to my attention that the demons are expanding into Ashenvale faster than expected. Since we've arrived, their numbers have at least doubled in the tainted shrines and around the canyon where Grommash slew Mannoroth so many years ago. They are starting to entrench.
It would be best we scout out their positions and plan a proper offensive.
My initial plans for the night’s operation were discarded quickly when the horns sounded at the gate. An ‘elf’ had arrived to speak to us. At first I thought the Sentinels had finally come around to kick us out of Kargathia Keep, but when Oskenon rushed off to see her… I knew something was off.
At first glance she looked like any other elf. Purple skin, long blue-green hair and some ornate dress. But a second glance revealed her… hell, what would I call them? oddities? She had damn horns and her eyes were closed and moving about as if in a dream. It turns out she was in THE Dream. She was Viridia of the Green Dragonflight. The self-declared ‘Guardian of the Bough Shadow,’ and she had a job for us.
Apparently she sensed some dark power in Ashenvale and came to investigate, only to find the portal to the Dream she took here was closed behind her. With the elves busy with demons from the shrines and Felwood to the north, she turned to us to investigate Dor’Danil. A barrow den that my mercenaries were actually familiar with.
Years ago, under Garrosh Hellscream, the Horde had corrupted the elves’ artifact, the Forest’s Heart. It wasn’t long after the Shattering. The Alliance cleansed the damn thing and a group of rogue Cenarion druids later sought to destroy the Horde by abusing the thing to empower their warriors.
The Kor’kron contracted us not long after I became leader of the Kalimdor Mercenaries. They wanted my men and I to cut off their access to the Heart and kill their leader, Kal’theros Wildheart. Magrag had led the expedition into the barrow den. He performed a ritual that tainted the Forest’s Heart, damaging it beyond repair.
He took part of the Forest Heart’s husk and used it to create a special weapon he called the Dream-Render… that did just that. It tore the druids apart from the Emerald Dream. We were going to use it on Kal’theros, but in the end we found him already dead. We never learned what happened, but some guessed he bound himself to the Heart… and died with it.
When we tainted it… maybe his soul was lost to the Dream. I can’t say for sure what the hell happened. All I can remember is that afterwards, Old God corruption was rampant in Ashenvale and up the Stonetalon Mountains. I wanted to look into it, see if it was related to the tainted Heart… but the Kor’kron told me to forget about it. The Heart’s corruption was a “night elf problem.”
Turns out it became our problem.
The barrow was filled with an unnatural fog, the braches that tore through the walls were covered in red veins of evil magic, and when we went to the heart chamber all we found was a… hell… a monstrosity. The Heart wasn’t some big seed, but a thing of flesh, gnarled spikes and wildly shifting eyes.
That’s when he showed himself.
That rotten piece of filth, the vermin that took years of my life…. It was Dalfos Darkseed. We had killed him. Twice.
…and yet there he was again. He looked different though. Grey skin, red eyes and dark red fur, protruding spikes from his horns and skin. He was resurrected by some being he called ‘old master’ and was returning the kindness by doing something for this mystery figure. He went to Dor’Danil to taint the heart of Ashenvale and had retrieved the soul of Kal’theros Wildheart
He twisted Wildheart’s soul until he became a satyr as well and then the two of them engaged us in battle, calling on abominations from the heart of the Rift of Aln to attack us. Dalfos mostly watched and sent tendrils of dark scales and flesh to seize us and drag us into the dark. He nearly claimed Krolbrim and succeeded in capturing Clorg and Dusthorn. Hedva, Minzel, and I were, in turn, nearly killed by Darkseed himself.
Even after Krolbrim destroyed the corrupted heart and the two satyrs retreated, Dalfos left some parting words that leave me… uneasy.
“The Legion may batter at your gates in your waking hours but only when you sleep are you truly vulnerable.”
Krolbrim’s worried about Oskenon after this and the satyr left a strange mark on Minzel that her felhound ate and summarily died. Zelch tells me it could have been some sort of ‘mark of death.’
Not long after our retreat from Ashenvale did the news come that the Barrens were under attack once again. We rushed down into the Northern Barrens, secured the oil fields and repelled rank after rank of demons until they were pushed back by Varok Saurfang’s forces.
Invar came to me after the battle and told me about a debacle I could never have imagined happening. Eronya, damn her false name, was captured and twisted into a demon hunter. There is not an elf out there who hates the fel more than her after what it did to one of her brothers, but now she’s practically the embodiment of it.
It sounds impossible, but Invar insists it’s true.
The details weren’t clear though. Was she abducted or did she go to Magrag willingly? Why the hell was Magrag doing this? Why would her father be involved? Damn it all.
I met with Viridia at the Bough Shadow.
I admit that being surrounded by snarling dragonkin and standing in the presence of a dragon was daunting. She gave me a horn she said was enchanted. She would hear its call anywhere on Azeroth through the Dream and should we be in great need, she will come to our aid.