Conwal's Story

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Nëm
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Conwal's Story

#1 Post by Nëm » Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:15 pm

The Beginning of a Journey

Conwal was exhausted. There had been very few opportunities to rest during the course of the past few days. His departure from the Western Plaguelands was not the result of careful planning but, instead, rather something that happened out of necessity. Conwal had been lost more than once during his journey. He had been wet, cold, hungry, and tired. Conwal also felt like an idiot; why he had never thought of taking a boat? However, the worst was already behind him. Lakeshire would provide the much needed time for rest and recuperation. Or so he thought.

Conwal entered the inn. He felt like every pair of eyes in the room was following his every step intently. The walk to the bar seemed to take forever. ’Hello sir. I’d like a room and a meal’, he said, trying to locate a few coins from one of the pockets of his mud-soaked grey robes. ’And a bath, I presume?’ the barkeep replied. ’Y-yes. Please.’ ’Well, why don’t you sit down lad and we’ll get you something to eat.’ Conwal nodded and went to an empty table as far from the other patrons as possible. He placed his staff, more of a walking cane than a weapon, against the wall and sighed. Tomorrow, Stormwind. There was no real plan regarding what he would do once he reached the capital, but Conwal had resolved it was a bridge he would cross once he got there.

’Is the brown horse yours lad, the old one?’ a booming voice asked. Conwal was startled. ’Y-yes’, he replied. The man who had sat in his table was tall, bearded and with a grin on his face that radiated condenscension. Conwal sank in his chair. ’So, where did you come from?’ the man inquired. ’Western Plaguelands, I’m going to Stormwind.’ ’You’re telling me you rode here, on that beaten horse, on your own… from Western Plaguelands?’ The man was incredulous. ’I… did’, Conwal replied. ’Ha, and we’re supposed to believe that?’ Conwal tried to avoid eye contact. To get away from this sort of interrogation was one of the reasons he had left in the first place. And right now, he just wanted to rest. ’Leave the young man be! Western Plaguelands or not, can’t you see he’s clearly travelled for quite a while?’ the innkeeper interjected. ’No, no. We’ll get to the bottom of this’, the tall bearded man insisted. He continued, mockingly: ’Tell me, how did you get here in one piece, supposedly travelling all the way from Western Plaguelands?’ Conwal was shivering. ’Sir, I don’t want to cause any trouble, I just...’ The man waved his hand dismissively. ’Listen, lad, I don’t believe a word of your story. So indulge me, how, exactly, did you manage to get this far unharmed?’ Conwal sighed. ’I-I-I can’t tell you.’ The man was smiling as if he had just won a bet. Then, for the first time, Conwal raised his head and looked the man in the eyes. ’But… if you insist, I can show you. But not here. Outside.’

To Conwal’s surprise, the man agreed. They got up and headed out. The bearded man gave Conwal a push on his shoulder, almost causing him to lose balance. A few locals followed them and a crowd started to gather in front of the inn. The bearded man was still grinning: ’Show me then.’ Conwal turned to face the man. He felt increasingly anxious, but it was that anxiety he would now draw from. He was not sure if it would work – or, indeed, what would happen even if it did work. Not fully knowing what he was doing, Conwal extended his arms, as if to reach out into another dimension or another, parallel, plane of existence. He sensed, no, experienced, a faint murmur, which was part sound, part movement. Conwal’s hands burst into flames and he drew a fiery circle on the ground around him. The bearded man’s face turned pale. He took a step back, then another one, and was ultimately back at the entrance to the inn. There was a commotion in the small crowd that had gathered to witness the scene. Conwal fell to his knees, the fires disappeared as quickly as they had appeared. Remaining in the scorched circle, with his hands on his knees, Conwal tried to catch his breath. Once he had regained his composure, he got up and started slowly walking back towards the inn. The crowd gave him way. Conwal was terrified of what he had just done but did his best to hide his emotions from the shocked observers, looking down to his feet. He walked past the innkeeper and said, ’I-I am sorry. I will leave first thing in the morning.’

Conwal did not sleep very well that night. He kept wondering when the locals would burst through the door, drag him out, and throw him into the lake as a witch. Despite the lack of sleep, he got out of his bed early in the morning. The mist of dawn had not yet dispersed when he was already getting ready to leave and saddling his horse. Then, suddenly, three locals approached him. ’Going to Stormwind then, are you, traveller?’ one of them asked. Conwal nodded. Another one, an elderly man smiling for reasons Conwal could only guess, put his hand on Conwal’s shoulder and said ’Go and find the guild Starlight. I’m sure they’ll be happy to help you, spark.’

Nëm
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Re: Conwal's Story

#2 Post by Nëm » Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:47 pm

Conwal’s Diary:

((A diary not much bigger than a notebook. Wrinkled leather covers. First 30 pages have been used to practice letters and words.))

’I have now stayed in Stormwind for a while. It’s a nice enough city, but I have come to realise it takes a while to get used to so much happening all the time. Loud noises. So much people. Looking back, I can’t believe I was such an idiot to think that I could just come here and everything would fall into place; being here, surviving here, requires a lot of work.

The guild Starlight has been very welcoming and supportive. Ellbry and Philias have helped me a lot: they got me some new clothes, clean bedding, food, and even paid my stay at the inn called Blue Recluse for a month. I could not admit it to anyone (let alone them), but had I not received their help, I could’ve stayed for only two nights. I mean, I did thank them, and I continue to be in debt for everything they’ve done for me, but I can’t possibly tell them how bad things actually were! People go out of their way to help me: the other night there was a guild meeting at the lighthouse outside Stormwind and I had some troubles with the flightmaster and ended up swimming to the meeting (I felt like an idiot, again). And Ellbry gave me a towel! Furthermore, Ellbry and Philias are a fantastic couple, they clearly care very deeply about each other. Their bond is at a level I’ve never experienced – and probably never will. But it’s fine.

About my… condition, I have talked about it with two of my new guildmates, Anomen and Reyahd. Especially Anomen seems to know a lot about things like this. And Rey has gone through something similar I think. But, long story short, it actually seems like I’m cursed! Or, anyway, possessed by a demon. I know it is something we have to resolve soon and they reassured me Starlight would support me, but I can’t help feeling terrified. The worst part is that I’m not sure which I find more terrifying, the demon or the prospect of losing the powers it has granted me. I do not want to be a farmhand for the rest of my life. I don’t want to be a nobody. Because, in the end, what did hard honest work ever bring us? My mother suffered so long before she finally passed away and my father is now probably losing both his mind and his eyesight. In Lakeshire it could’ve gotten out of hand really badly–I did not really control the fire as well as I pretended I did–but at the same time, for once not running away but, instead, seeing fear in other peoples’ eyes felt good. I’ve never felt so strong. And I feel like I keep getting stronger and stronger.

This brings me to the real problem. I wish I was just, I don’t know, a mage’s apprentice; everything would be so much easier. There’s apparently an old god looming above Azeroth. Whispers, creatures from the void… I can sense it in the guild as well, people seem to be suspicious and a little on the edge. I really can’t worry about the old god; what I actually have to worry about is that because of the powers I possess, people will equate me with the monstrosities now attacking Azeroth. In the last guild meet, I was listening to others discussing how terrible the void is. I was standing there, petrified. When people are suspicious and afraid, bad things tend to happen. And when others are suspicious and afraid, bad things tend to happen to people like me. The worst part is that Rey told me everyone in the guild knows about my… condition. So, do they just act friendly? I’ve felt like I’m keeping a secret, but what a burden it must be to conceal your contempt and fear towards somebody else! They have to know I would never cause them harm. They have to.’

Nëm
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Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:57 pm

Re: Conwal's Story

#3 Post by Nëm » Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:03 am

Conwal's Diary:

((Written in a drunken haze. The lines and curves of every letter are thick and deep. There are tiny ink spills all over the pages. Conwal has pressed the quill down hard, clearly in a very agitated state of mind.))

’I spent the day reading at the library. I don’t know if I should’ve been there, but nobody stopped me. Exploring so many different tomes on magic made me realise how little I know. How much I need to learn.

Today I also realised what a coward I am. First there was a commotion around the Lion’s Rest. Rey stood up for this Vrykul who was being verbally assaulted by an angry dwarf. I wanted to step forward, for the Vrykul’s sake of course, but also to let Rey know she wasn’t alone. Instead, I froze on my tracks. I just couldn’t do it. So I ended up just standing there like an idiot and watching. The dwarf was finally persuaded to leave the scene, but if things had taken a worse turn, would I have had the courage to intervene? More or less everyone from Starlight I know would have done it. The second situation where I acted like a coward was in the Blue Recluse. Some people were saying what I thought were really nasty things about Ellbry but I remained silent. I can’t believe I didn’t speak up. Again, everyone else probably would have intervened, spoken up without hesitation for someone they hope sees them as their friend. But I didn’t. Why? I’m avoiding conflict to my best ability and it will ultimately put other people at risk. I’m just so worried something bad will happen and I cannot control myself. But what would Ellbry and Rey think about me if they knew how I back down and coil instead standing up for them?

I also hurt Philias and I really, really didn’t want to do that. Especially after all he’s also done for me. We were in Blue Recluse with a group of people and playing this game where everyone takes turns in asking a question from somebody else in the table. I didn’t even want to play, because I was worried I may not be able to come up with any good questions. But I went along. Then it was my turn and I asked him what was the last thing that scared him and it really upset Philias. I don’t know why. He just got up immediately and walked away. I must have shocked him really badly. Everyone who was in the Recluse told me it was nothing but I still feel terrible. What did I do? I’m already sick of games. I’m also sick of the wretch that I am, continuously moving from one cover to another.

Outside the Recluse, Anomen and Ellbry asked if I was alright. I told them I was fine.’

Nëm
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Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:57 pm

Re: Conwal's Story

#4 Post by Nëm » Sat Jan 25, 2020 5:00 pm

Nightmares

Conwal had tried to prolong it for as long as he could. Finally, his body simply gave up. He fell a sleep. And he would dream, again.

The air was thick and in motion. He sensed something terrifying. Something sinister, brooding, volatile. And in his dream, Conwal plunged right into the epicentre of the chaos unfolding. He was in pitch black darkness, standing bare feet on something which felt like a large cold rock. Conwal was on a cliff, staring into space. He could feel the infinite depths below him. Suddenly, his surroundings lit up in an eerie green glow. Conwal stumbled and leaned on a rock. The rock was now incredibly hot. Conwal pulled his hand from the rock with haste, screaming in agony. Then, darkness again.

Laughter. Something was laughing at him. In the darkness, Conwal began stumbling forward towards the high pitched sound. As he got closer, the laughter only intensified; gleeful, mocking, victorious. After what felt like hours, the darkness dispersed. Conwal saw liquid fel flowing down black mountains like rivers of lava. Then, suddenly, he was in Westfall, standing on a hill overlooking the sandy Murloc-infested beaches. Conwal felt intense pain. Next, he was in a small hut. He could smell it was the harvest time in Western Plaguelands. Freshly cut wheat. The steel and the rust of the plough. The oxen. The tranquillity of the moment was, however, soon disrupted by the same laughter Conwal had heard before. He convulsed and fell down on his knees. Stormwind. The city was in flames. ’Who are you? What do you want?’ Conwal screamed. More laughter. ’That is for you to find out. Catch me if you can!’

Nëm
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Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:57 pm

Re: Conwal's Story

#5 Post by Nëm » Sat Jan 25, 2020 9:34 pm

The Book

The meeting went well, Conwal thought. In order to not look like his usual grey self, he had even put on a new set of clothes for the meeting. They were some that Ellbry got him on Conwal’s first night in Stormwind. He did get some attention, more than he had actually wished for, but everyone was very friendly to him. With either Chit or Philias being next to him most of the time had helped him to overcome to worst of his anxiety and even though the mercenaries looked quite intimidating, they were not hostile at all. In reality, most of them probably did not even notice him. He had even mustered the courage to ask a mage among them to help him to get to Dalaran.

Conwal sighed in amazement as the Ren’dorei mage conjured a portal in front of him. It sparkled beautifully. And he could almost see the floating city already. ’T-thank you.’ Conwal took a deep breath, exhaled, and stepped in.

Dalaran. Conwal could sense the magic in the air. He wondered at the marble arches, the dazzling stained glass, and the clear night sky. Mages from around the world, and from worlds he had never even heard of. All races and nations. High Elves. Before entering the library, for a good thirty minutes he simply walked around.

And the library. The library was magnificent, in more ways than he could have imagined. With a note he had hastily scribbled while still in Stormwind as his guide he wandered around the corridors for hours, until he finally came to a very particular shadowy nook. Conwal looked cautiously around him and then kneeled down. He carefully picked a musty tome with black leather covers. It was written in an language he did not know, but Conwal was determined he would learn it. After all, he had already gone through the pain of learning to read and write mostly on his own. There was a breath of air from somewhere, the flames in the candelabra flickered. Conwal was shivering. This was the book his research in the Stormwind Keep library had pointed at. He could not believe he had actually found it. He was actually holding it in his hands. Still crouched, Conwal looked around him again to make sure nobody was watching. He gently blew the dust off the tome. ’The Black Harvest’.

Nëm
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Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:57 pm

Re: Conwal's Story

#6 Post by Nëm » Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:21 pm

Conwal's Diary:

((Letters are unevenly sized and curve to the right more than usually. Between the pages there are few small dried leaves which have probably fallen from the trees at the Stormwind City Cemetery))

’I don’t really know what I’m going to do. There are so many things that worry me. I thought the mercenaries yesterday were quite intimidating–there was even a demon hunter–but I guess Nomine’s plans require that kind of people. But what about me? I desperately want to help, to prove I’m actually useful, but I’m no mercenary. I can do things, but I don’t think it’s the same. Nomine did specifically commend my courage though, which felt really nice. Still, I fear I don’t have it in me, whatever it is that others think I do. I usually just chicken out. But maybe this time will be different? I really don’t know.

As I was sitting at the cemetery today, I was wondering where would I be buried if I died. I haven’t really thought about death these past weeks, but now the mission brought it to my mind again. The mission, if I can attend it, sounds like it’s going to be very dangerous. Chit told me the substance is very infectious. What if I die there? I doubt there is a spot for me in Stormwind. Especially since I’m still a visitor here. The people in Western Plaguelands will not want me there, even if I’m dead. Anyway, the mission is in Kalimdor, so would probably be best to just leave me there. Burn with the vials that contain that thing.

But that’s not everything. My nightmares have really gotten to me recently. I must act, or they will ((there is some ink smudge, making the writing unreadable)). I went to these cliffs, just outside Stormwind, and when there was nobody looking–I hope nobody was looking–I tried this thing. I could do it. Just like that. I watched the flames on my fingertips; I knew it was hot but it didn’t hurt me at all. Most importantly, I did it because I wanted to, not because I lost control of myself. That’s important: I must not lose control. Afterwards there was this sensation, however. Of something really bad. Why does the first thing in my life that makes me stand out from every other commoner have to be something bad? Something that’s not actually me, I’m told.

I learned of this book that deals with having power over demons. It took me hours in Dalaran–a kind mage made me a portal–but I did find it. Incredible. I couldn’t understand the scribbling in the book. I still don’t, but I did get some help. Or was it actually help? I thought so at first but now I’m no longer sure. A woman approached me. She was limping, looking like she’d gone through a lot, but she was friendly. She recognised I have this thing, this problem, and we talked. And she told me I should never lose control, it’s was like she knew, or felt it. She helped me to see something in the book; how the scribblings moved, morphed into something else, into symbols. She said to me she could help me take control of the demon. But, first, I would need some kind of a stone and the reagents cost a lot. I don’t know how I could get that kind of an amount together. I already sold the horse–which didn’t go for a lot–and I’ve got very little else. There’s no way I could go around asking money for that. No way. Ellbry was trying to talk to me through the stone while I was talking with the woman. I fear I may have been rude to him, not properly engaging in the conversation. I hope he’s not hurt, but I simply couldn’t tell him what I was doing. I don’t want people to worry about me. Besides, people have secrets. It feels like most of the people around me have something I’m not yet let into. I can have mine as well. And, either way, I’m not bad. They must all see that, right?

I was hopeful I could sort this all out with the woman, but then I met Reyahd. I desperately needed to tell her about everything, so I sent her a note. And she came! I don’t know what I would do without her. The others, while I like them, and I really do, I’m worried they will simply one day decide I shouldn’t be here. That I make some kind of a irreversible mistake. But not with her, she doesn’t judge me. It’s like I’m ((there is some splash of ink again)) and not scared. We talked for a long time. She made me realise the options: risk losing my mind, and more importantly, losing Starlight, or getting rid of the demon. It’s my choice and nobody else’s, she said. But what kind of choice is there, when you’re left with only one path with no alternative? But I think she is right. The demon has already changed me she said, and I believe her. In fact, I think I can sometimes hear it. Sometimes I can’t tell it’s voice from my own. Should I be relieved from its hold, what of that change will be left after? If I undergo this process, or ritual, what will I become?

However, something Reyahd told me did really shock me. I told her it was fine but I’d lie if I said it didn’t completely catch me off guard. She had initially opposed to me joining the guild. Because she didn’t want me to suffer and go through what she had. That’s what she said and I believe her. I will only listen to myself on this, not the demon. I will listen to myself, not whatever whispers have taken over Azeroth recently. Just myself. I said I’m ready to go ahead; to get rid of the demon. I think it’s really what I want now. Too much appears to be at stake to have it any other way. But I’m keeping the book, for now. Just in case.’

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