The Legacy of the Well

Ashenvale. The forest was certainly starting to deserve it's name. So many wars had been fought here. It was a miracle that it didn't resemble the Charred Vale or the Blasted Lands already. Warcaller Viccus had assembled many groups for this operation. The Empire, the Cult of the Void, Orcs of the Red Blade and.. Mistrunners.

Apparently the taurens had enough of the partisan attacks that Harbringer Nagur had mentioned. Their patience had been backfiring on them. When the enemies know that he Mistrunners will not retaliate nor use excessive force, they become bolder and exploit any sign of weakness they detect. Even mercy. Especially mercy. Not a day goes by without someone butchering the inexperienced taurens at Bloodhoof Village. Not a day goes by without the murderer being captured and cast out, only to have him return immediately.

The Empire's presence was a bit troubling, for there was no love lost between the Empire, the Dawn and the Mistrunners. I had my own disagreements with the Empire, and they had been making some provocative demands towards the Mistrunners as well. And as expected, I was immediately confronted by several of them. Judging from their slurred speech, they were drunk and thus deserved no more of my attention.

However, the Cult of the Void's presence was unusual. There had been some attempts at diplomacy and mutual operations, but those were less successful as they have should be. In any case, they definitely had their own agenda in play as well. They were well-known of their tactics, which placed little emphasis on survival. Either they had seen the Void one time too many or one time too less. I could not tell which one it was. The Void will pull everything in eventually. There is no need to either seek it or run from it, because both are equally futile.

The Warcaller discussed some details with his counterparts, and then gave the order to move out. We rode out from Splintertree. The main group would continue to Raynewood, Silverwing Refuge, Astranaar and eventually towards Auberdine. However, the Warcaller led his team away from the road, accompanied by the Voidies. There were a significant number of warlocks with us. And I recognised the side road. We continued to the moonwell, where the warlocks started to work. But why?

The moonwells were a known source of power for the Kaldorei. My previous studies, aided by the consultation of the Apotecharies of Undercity had revealed that each well contained a small amount of water from the Well of Eternity. The Well's corrupting powers were well-known. One of the effects was regeneration at the cost of lifespan. Formerly, the elves had little to worry about this side effect, but now they were mortal as well. But why were the warlocks suddenly so interested in them? Surely it would be redundant to corrupt something that's already inherently corrupted?

My train of thought was interrupted. Our scouts had spotted the Starseeker squadron heading our way, towards the main entrance to the well. A frontal attack.. was simply a disappointing tactical choice. We had the firepower to defend our warlocks, so they needed tactical advantage. Their folly would become obvious to them soon enough.

Their first inpatient scouts were taken care of without any effort. Their main group walked straight into the trap. Their leader was isolated and slain in seconds, and their main group was rounded up and wiped out with concentrated fire. Free of any distractions, the warlocks finished their work. Out from the well, a being of stone and sickly green fire arose. An Infernal. Interesting. I knew that the Well of Eternity was used in the first demonic summonings, but apparently even a small amount of this water is enough for a demon to slip through. The beast was brought out of the well and eventually turned into harmless rubble.

During the travel, I asked the warlock in charge, an orc called Taerak about the incantantions they had performed. He explained that the wells were a source of power and healing to the Kaldorei. But for some reason, he thought that the elves were still immortal. He was seemingly unaware of the true source of the elves' immortality. The wells indeed did mend their wounds, but the only reason they were able to use them without ill effects was their immortality. But it was not the source of it. We trolls regenerate and thus have the potential to live long, but there are limits. The few lucky ones have the grace of dying of old age. But the most common cause of death among the trolls still remains good old-fashioned violence. But I digress.

The real source of the immortality was Nozdormu the Timeless One. He had blessed Nordrassil when it was created, granting the elves immortality so they could guard the Well of Eternity under it as long as it was required. But after Nordrassil was damaged by the Battle of Mount Hyjal, it no longer could provide this blessing to the Kaldorei. Fandral Staghelm, the current Archdruid, seemed unaware that the tree itself did not grant the immortality. He set out to grow an another tree, Teldrassil. In their collective wisdom, Malfurion Stormrage and the four remaining Aspects saw the obvious selfishness of this act. Despite Malfurion's pleadings, Staghelm was adamant. The loss of his son during the War of the Shifting Sands had made him distrustful, even vengeful against the Dragonflights. Even if Nozdormu had offered to bless the new tree, Staghelm would probably have rejected the offer in his pride.

We arrived at the second well. However, this time we were not disturbed. The Starseekers were nowhere to be seen, and the warlocks were allowed to work in peace. Their rituals were successful, and yet another rift was opened. Apparently any moonwell could be used as a portal. After all, they all contain the water of the Well of Eternity. After the rituals were done, we waited. There was an another group in Teldrassil working on a different kind of a rift. They were preparing to summon something more dangerous than an Infernal. Us.

As usual, the defenders were nowhere to be seen. We continued to the next moonwell unopposed. The guardian of the well was easily disposed of, and the warlocks started their ritual. But this time, the rift was stabilized using a special Draenethyst crystal. And suddenly it seemed so clear. The rift was too small for anything to pass through, but it was stable. This is why the mutated Draenei hunt for the crystals in the Blasted Lands. They may be driven insane from being torn from their homeworld, but there is a method in their madness. These crystals are the key to portal travel. Something that began as a simple defilement had produced highly interesting results. The Magus had once mastered the use of the crystals, but the knowledge was lost. Now it was slowly being rediscovered.

Satisfied with the results, Warcaller Viccus decided that there was no need to visit the other moonwells. He had an another target in mind. We had smuggled a small army into Teldrassil without anyone knowing about it. It was time to press the advantage. We rode straight through the abandoned gates of Darnassus and through the Craftsmen's Terrace. Towards Staghelm. Unfortunately, someone was watching. We had barely finished regrouping when they started to flock at us. Elves, humans, dwarves and gnomes. All wearing the tabard of the Alliance Watch. We fought. We killed. We kept killing. But more came. And more. And more. Unable to stem the tide, our lines buckled.

Once they had left, the Forsaken priests pulled themselves back up from the ground. They reattached their torn limbs and mended their shattered bones. Then they resurrected the rest of us. Staghelm would live for now. We had accomplished more than we set out to do already. We opened the portals back to Orgrimmar and from there we flew to Zoram'Gar and rode to rejoin the others. It was best to keep the gained knowledge limited for now. Near-successes in magic are always more catastrophic than complete failures. They were safer not knowing what we do.

We caught up to them near Auberdine. Their numbers had shrunk, and only a smaller group remained. Our arrival would boost their morale, to make sure that they would be.. available for future operations. But we were not the only reinforcements that had arrived. The boat from Ruth'eran Village had arrived, and our scouts reported massive numbers. It was time to end this charade. The day was done, and there was no need to let them give any reason to think that we had other motives than death of Staghelm today. We charged towards the flood..

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