Join Date: Jan 2009
Part the Fourth
This is the fourth installment of my 475-part short story, "Better know an Illidan". This brings "Reign of Chaos" to a close as Illidan defeats Tichondrius the Darkener, leader of the Nathrezim. I also introduce a new character for reasons I will mention afterwards. That's Furion, Fandral and Tyrande in front of Illidan in the picture by the way. I would have used Malfurion's cataclysm model but I couldn't get rid of the wings nicely. Maybe there is a way to delete the wings from the skin and then upload it as a new skin in WoW model viewer? I'll figure something out.
The whispers of Gul'dan returned to his mind: Our power has admirers.
At that moment, Satyrs moved cautiously into view and knelt down before Illidan. One female appeared to speak for them all. "Our master promised us power beyond what our minds could comprehend, and this forest was to be our new sanctuary! We have seen what you can do Lord Stormrage, we... desire to change our allegiance.."
Illidan thought very little of Satyrs: they were despicable pests who would do anything for power. Still, he desperately needed the manpower, and they could be useful.
"Is that so?" Illidan asked. "Then you know where Tichondrius is hiding."
"Of course! I am Axxavia of the Shadowhoof, I will lead you to the Nathrezim, and we will slay him together! But master," Axxavia said as she turns away from the Night Elves who were watching her closely, "Xil al xoth gar'om yrkrie?"
Illidan furiously gripped the Satyr by the throat and pinned her to the ground. "You dare speak to me in that revolting language?" Illidan picked Axxavia back up and threw her face-first into the ground. "Eredun will not be spoken in my presence outside of battle! Is this understood?"
The Satyrs cowered away as Axxavia rose back to her knees. She tried to speak but she could only cough. She looked at Illidan and nodded apologetically. "You asked me why I allow these druids and sentinels to fight alongside me," Illidan said. "Despite the crimes committed against me, I desire peace, not vengeance. Like you, I was empowered by the Legion, but I did this to save my people. We were once all the same, but you lot have squandered your abilities for your own selfish pursuits. I will not tolerate this any longer. Any who fight under my name does so for the Kaldorei, and for all of Kalimdor!"
Illidan walked over to Axxavia who was still down on one knee. He began to see something in these creatures that he had never seen in any other demon: fear. The Satyr instinctively flinched as Illidan extended his hand to help her back to her feet. They had gotten used to being treated and abused like brainless mongrels by the Burning Legion. "Earn your place amongst the Kaldorei once more, Axxavia of the Shadowhoof."
"What would you have me do, my master?"
"Return to Tichondrius...tell him that you have found a new master."
The Satyrs protested by stomping their hooves and mumbling angrily. Axxavia spoke cautiously as to not anger her new master: "You would send us to our deaths, master!"
"You do not trust me then? If you are not loyal to me, then you must still be loyal to the Burning Legion," Illidan replied.
"No...no, of course not! We...we will do as the master asks of us."
"Good, then pass this news along to the Nathrezim. I will be waiting for your return."
Axxavia led her brothers and sisters through the forests that they knew all too well to the fortress held by the dreadlord Tichondrius, with which they were becoming very familiar. As leader of the Shadowhoof, the concern over their current predicament fell heavy on her shoulders. Illidan was powerful and capable, yet still a gnat compared to the power they had seen in Archimonde, who in turn was incomparable to the power held by the great lord Sargeras.
The grand picture the Legion painted had the Satyrs ruling over the whole of Kalimdor, holding powers second only to the demon lord himself, allowing them to bend and shape their world to their will. For ten thousand years, the Satyrs loyally served the Legion only to receive nothing but torment and mistreatment. Not since Lord Xavius was given the original gift had the Satyrs received anything in return for their service to the Legion.
Axxavia hoped to find common ground with Illidan. They both knew the taste of demonic magic, and like Illidan, she felt betrayed by her own kind. To her, the power she felt was a gift to be shared with every Night Elf, and for them to deny it meant that their society would never advance beyond the primitive life they had held onto for all of these years. She saw them as slaves to the world they worshipped. Axxavia knew what Illidan did not, what the demon hunter refused to believe: they would never be able to return to the Kaldorei. Illidan's dream was a farce, and the Night Elves would never change their bigoted ways.
The Satyrs argued amongst themselves while Axxavia deliberated peacefully in her mind. She wanted to trust Illidan, but knew that telling Tichondrius that she and her Shadowhoof had found a new master would not end well. However, she feared incurring Illidan's wrath about as much, if not more, than angering the dreadlord Tichondrius.
Axxavia felt a clawed hand grasp her shoulder. She turned to see Jargannar, one of her trusted lieutenants. He spoke to her silently as to keep their conversation private. "May I offer my opinion?"
"I'm listening," she replied coldly as she pried his hand from her shoulder. She would frequently make it known that she did not like to be touched, but evidently the message hasn't been very clear.
"We should run. We should forget about everything and flee south as far as we can. I would rather take my chances with the Tauren!"
"No one can run from the Legion," she said. "We could run as far away as possible, but they would find us."
"Then, there is one more solution: we return to Tichondrius and convince him that we have infiltrated the ranks of the resistance army in these forests. Perhaps he will believe us, and then we can lead him back to where Illidan waits for us and slay the demon hunter for him. Surely we would be rewarded!"
The idea was tempting, and much safer than following Illidan's orders, but Axxavia could not bring herself to return to the ones that viewed them as nothing more than mangy wolves. Only under Illidan could she imagine a future for her people. "Illidan is our master now, we will place our trust in him."
Illidan Stormrage watched from within the shadows of Jadefire Fortress - the stronghold of the dreadlord Tichondrius - as the Satyrs approached the demon. The approaching Satyrs caused the demons to lower their guard and allow their allies passage, while Illidan and his forces seized the opportunity provided by the distracted scouts to get close and surround the fortress. If Tichondrius knew that Axxavia and her Shadowhoof were in collusion with Illidan, he would expect the dreadlord to trap and slaughter the Satyrs. Illidan hoped this would be the case, as it would be the perfect time to strike. The other scenario Illidan considered was that the Satyrs would attempt to betray him, and lead the demons back to where they saw him last. If Tichondrius did not want to get his hands dirty, he would have sent most of his remaining forces together with the Satyr, allowing only a few guards and Tichondrius himself to protect the fortress. Either scenario would play well for Illidan and his Night Elves. He had not accounted for a third possibility.
"Lord Tichondrius, I wish to have a word with you," said Axxavia. It was bold for the Satyrs - even a clan leader - to address a higher demon directly.
Tichondrius the Darkener had been in his quarters when Axxavia called his name. The dreadlord moved to his window and reserved his anger until he noticed which manner of creature requested his presence. He leapt out of his window and spread out his wings to slow his fall. Axxavia dared to make eye contact.
"Shouldn't you mutts be out practicing your juvenile magics? Whatever reason gave you the nerve to call for me had better be worth interrupting my meal. I'll have you know I've killed better things than you for lesser infractions today alone, and I am not feeling particularly merciful at the moment!"
The Satyrs displayed clear signs of fear, save for Axxavia who somehow stood firm and in control. With her eyes fixed on the dreadlord she said, "The base at Jaedenar has fallen, the portal was sealed, and the skull is no longer in our possession."
"And you dare return to show your faces around here?"
"We came to tell you that we serve a new master. He has become more powerful than you will ever be, and he comes to kill you."
Tichondrius burst out laughing. He could not believe the audacity of this Satyr and her flock, and neither could Illidan. The demon hunter thought the Satyrs to be cowards, and never imagined this one would be so bold as to do exactly what he had ordered. He expected the Satyrs to get slaughtered, but while his expectations would not be disappointed, he would now feel guilty about what was to come. This group of Satyrs were loyal to him, and they placed their trust in him. He had sacrificed good men and women in the past for victory, but to allow this group of loyal followers to be slaughtered right in front of him felt wrong.
Tichondrius back-handed Axxavia across the face, and her body went flying into the wall of the fortress. The dreadlord proceeded towards her to inflict more punishment while the other Satyrs dared not intervene. Tichondrius smiled in delight of the torture he planned for her and said, "Your new master made a poor decision to recruit such dimwitted beings into his army. What did you think would happen by coming here all by yourselves? Did he want you all to be slaughtered?"
The dreadlord picked Axxavia up by her long, red hair and used it to whip her body into the felsteel wall. He appeared to take great care in holding himself back, after all, he intended only to inflict agonizing pain: the cretin did not deserve to die so readily.
"I will let you in on a little secret: your kind mean nothing to the Legion!" Tichondrius said, while kicking her repeatedly in the stomach. "We visit planets, tease the unworthy locals with a bit of power, and they serve for awhile as our eyes and ears on the inside. All we need to do for you dogs is throw you a bone once in a while and you're happy. You're not real demons, you will never be anything like our kind!"
As his leg tired of kicking, the dreadlord reeled back his arm to deliver a blow that would shatter the Satyr's bones. His arm did not respond...
"Well then, let's see how well you fare against one of your own kind then, Nathrezim!"
Illidan stood before Tichondrius, blood still dripping from the right warglaive of Azzinoth while the dreadlord's severed arm lay at his feet. None saw Illidan move: his speed and shadowmelding technique allowed him to slip past the guards. Even his own soldiers were caught by surprise by their leader's sudden move to action.
Tichondrius was in a state of shock. He saw only a demon before him with fel-empowered weapons and the skull of Gul'dan attached to his side. All was quiet until Tichondrius broke the eerie silence, "What...Who are you?"
Illidan did not answer. The demon deserved no explanation. Illidan had only waited that long to satisfy a curiosity: did this demon fear death? As Illidan swung his glaive a second time, Tichondrius found himself too surprised to put up any guard. His severed head rolled around on the ground for a moment before settling next to his severed arm. Archimonde's lieutenant and Lord of the Nathrezim was dead.
Sparked by the death of their commander, the demons retaliated. Illidan's Night Elves sprang into action as well, attacking the fortress from all sides. The Shadowhoof Satyrs, inspired by the death of Tichondrius, fought back against their former demonic masters at the side of their ancient brethren. The Legion's soldiers were easily overcome.
Illidan tended to the Shadowhoof leader, who had been beaten severely by Tichondrius. She could not have believed that the dreadlord would have responded differently, so Illidan knew that she must have really placed her trust in him. He motioned for his druids, "Feronas, heal her. Treat her with the same care as you would your sister. For now on, Axxavia of the Shadowhoof is our equal."
Illidan exited the fortress as he left the druids to tend to the wounded while the sentinels finished off the demons that still breathed. Before him was a large group of Night Elves, easily three times the size of the army he served under Fandral Staghelm's command. There leading the army stood the druid himself, with Malfurion and Tyrande at his side.
"Foul demon! What have you done with my brother?" shouted Malfurion, not recognizing the being in front of him.
"It is I, Furion," Illidan said. "This is what I've become."
Tyrande Whisperwind approached him, and her presence calmed whatever remnants of bloodlust remained from his battle. She had pity in her eyes and reached out to touch him, but then she reeled her arm back in, as if in fear that a single touch could turn her into a demon as well. "No...Illidan...how could you?"
Illidan's heart sank. Despite what he had become, why could they not see what he had done? A voice that only he could hear echoed his thoughts: Fools! They don't understand all you have done for them, Tichondrius would remain in control had you not accepted my power!
"Tyrande...the leader of the undead has been destroyed, and these forests will heal in time. I did what I had to do!" Illidan said.
"At the cost of your soul?" Malfurion interjected. "You are no brother of mine! Begone from this place, and never set foot in our lands again!"
The whispers of Gul'dan returned, and Illidan felt as though they were getting louder. Who is he to banish you? With your powers, you could rule the Night Elves, and then you could banish him!
Illidan sighed, accepting his brother's punishment. "So be it...brother."
Fandral Staghelm watched as Illidan gathered his loyalists and exited the forests that had come to be known as "Felwood." He was not sure if Illidan was entirely demon, but he was certain that he was not a Night Elf...not anymore. The druid observed the carnage that Illidan unleashed with his new powers as he stepped into Jadefire Fortress. Illidan had become a monster, capable of devastating entire battalions if he was set loose. He methods were revolting, but Fandral could not argue with the results. The demon hunter had slain a powerful leader of the Burning Legion. He imagined what he could do with that power himself. Had Fandral possessed those abilities himself during the War of the Shifting Sands, he wondered...could he have saved Valstann?
So with this part I needed to find a way to reconcile how Illidan would have been able to defeat Tichondrius' army, since he really should not have had too many followers at this point. I decided that it was the perfect time to bring in the Satyrs that appear both in the Frozen Throne and in Shadowmoon Valley under his banner. They're in Felwood too, after all. In WoW, there are only two named Shadowhoof Satyrs in SMV, Zandras
over the Warden's Cage and possibly Ambassador Jerrikar
, a rare Satyr in the zone, who I used initially for the role. Instead, I created Axxavia, a female Satyr who protects her clan with something of a motherly instinct. Here in this part above, she sees Illidan as providing the only true future for her clan. Illidan in this story goes from hating the Satyrs to realizing that they aren't really all that different than he is, and is beginning to see himself as no longer simply a Night Elf. Gul'dan is also slowly creeping forth into the foreground of Illidan's consciousness.
Last edited by AndyJP : 09-23-2011 at 03:19 PM.