Chapter One is available here.
“Some fights are fought not around town-walls or stone towers but in dark alleys and shadowed corners of the world. Some wars are waged not in glorious battlefields with banners flying high and spears shinning in the sun’s golden light, but in the most dark corners of one’s mind and spirit. Some battles are given not for a piece of land or a field, but for one’s very soul. If you ask me, these are the battles that matter, these are the battles that change a world forever. Lands can be reclaimed, fields can change hands. But a soul, if lost, is lost forever.
In battles like this, no sword, armour or shield can save you, no spell is powerful enough to protect you. Your weapons are your friends, your armour is your Love, your only hope, is Faith. Not faith in some distant and often absent deity or unnamed power. Faith in one’s self, above all. And others follow. Lady Halera Dawndreamer is the best such fighter I have ever seen.
In a secret war that may very well decide the future of this world, she fights with all her strength against forces much more powerful than herself. Will she succeed? For me, she is already victorious. Her enemies have gathered all their strength to oppose her. Her, a single person, a priestess of Elune whose heart and spirit have proven to be more powerful than an army of demons. She believes she is fighting for a page, an ancient document which’s power may decide the course of the war against the legion. If you ask me, she is fighting for her soul. Her duty, her faith, her trust in her own person are what are under attack, her body is merely the wall protecting those really important. This task will claim more than her life.
I have sworn to protect her and failed. She is taken. Both her and myself were betrayed. Now we must gather our pieces and reclaim what is hers. It is not that which concerns me though. Legions of Deamons I can fight, with her at my side. But the battle within her… I can offer her little aid there, except my…
I hear the Knights rallying. This war has only just begun.
Light be with us. Light be with her.”
– High Guardian Alfos De Lerac of the Knights of Lordaeron.
For four days Halera remained trapped within the tower unable to leave, guarded and yet alone.
When Iskaroth the dark and his followers came back for her, screams of agony echoed out across the Deadwind pass for hours.
Halera held fast however to her oath to the Moon goddess, Elune. She would not reveal to them the location of the page the temple had entrusted her with.
Allies of hers once more fought to try to aid the tortured Priestess, the brave Druid Qilanthe met great resistance from the followers of the Dead Rose and the feared wolven pet of Ishsah Winterspear, and even the notorious Werlos, a rogue of great skill out for his own gain could not help Halera break free.
After Haleras allies failed in their rescue attempt Iskaroth played his trump card over the Priestess.
Halera was nailed the wall of the tower, tortured and yet unbroken. As tears filled her eyes the Warlocks minions brought forth two further prisoners, innocents in the eyes of the Priestess. She could not allow for their lives to be sacrificed because of her silence. What resistance Halera had was broken, and with it her Oath.
She granted Iskaroth the Dark all the information he desired, as the innocent Ditis and Shin both were set free, to the mercy of Deadwind pass. Iskaroth the Dark knew the location of the page and finally, after weeks of hunting and resistance from Halera, it was within his grasp.
Weeping, Halera slumpt still held fast within the tower. For despite all her greatest efforts she had allowed for the Legion a victory, betrayed the temple and broken her word to the Goddess. Iskaroth left her to the mercys of his minions whim and desires and they jostled eagerly for first touch at the discarded Priestess. As the Herald made her way swiftly to collect the page.
This was not the end for Halera, as fortune favoured one of the more ambitious and influential Dark Masters of the Dead Rose, a human named Roike. He had barked down the others and claimed Halera for his own.The rest of Iskaroths followers were instructed away in all wickedness and they could only contemplate their Dark Masters desires.
They barely noticed as Qilanthe, her feline form masked by shadows was the only one to witness what happened next. Roike, despite the cruelness within his eyes as he glanced over the trembling body of Halera, removed the nails from her delicate hands, his comrades fleeting cheers echoing back as she cried out once more in pain. He lifted her to her feet, handing her a light feather.
Through some strange chance, this Dark Master were offering Halera aid and an escape. One last leap of faith.
Halera clutched the feather and leaped from the tower, Elune granting her feather light flight. And the Priestess floated away and into the night, Escaping the Dead Rose. The Priestess could not escape however the truth of what she had done. In breaking her Oath to Elune, the Goddess had stopped answering Haleras prayers. She could no longer cast her most divine and holy spells.
Halera, Priestess only in name now returned to Stormwind. She would brave the Crusaders once more and escape one of their newly recruited and committed soldiers Agandor, escaping through the weave of small streets and alleyways within Stormwind city itself. The victory of her escape were short-lived as she arrived within the guild halls of the Knights of Loredaeron. It would be there she would know truly the wickedness of Ishsah Winterspear. Halera had found it odd in her captivity that none within the Knights had even considered looking for her, none who knew her hiding place had in fact seemed to have even bothered looking.
Now she would know why.
Her most devoted and brave body-guard Brother Alfos had been cunningly lured away, he had been searching for Halera the night of her kidnapping. He had turned to Ishsah for aid, trusting in her judgement and tracking ability’s that had served the Knights of Loredaeron through many troubled times. He had been played well, Ishsah had lured him north to Scholomance, convincing the Paladin that the school of necromancy would be were the Dead Rose had taken Halera, who he had sworn to guard. It was there where Brother Alfos fell in battle searching in vain for his Priestess.
However, brother Alfos tale did not end there in the dark halls of shadowy Scholomance, foolish as he was to ride out there alone. He had left word for the Knights behind, Halera of course collecting it upon her escape and with due haste altering the others, less she venture to Scholomance alone. The Knights of Loredaeron rallied to the cause without hesitation, and bravely rode out with their leader, Sister Mollrye, to rescue their comrade.
It was too late, as they discovered all too quickly.
Though Brother Alfos had cut his way through many, his fate had been sealed, he had been overwhelmed, his body lay lifeless within the school.
It was however not beyond the Divine powers of Sister Mollrye to return Alfos spirit to this world and, that being achieved, allowed for Lady Tirrianna to restore life into his body, restoring brother Alfos returned to the realms of the living, to his Lady’s side and to the Knights of Loredaeron. His return, a most welcome one to a most troubled Priestess. His council were greatly needed, as well that of others. For in the time after Brother Alfos resurrection, Halera collected her thoughts, and spoke in hushed whispers of what would be done next. What had to be done.
Individuals were spoken to, groups questioned, even in the stars themselves guidance was sought. While still the Crusade hampered every effort made by the Priestess, and the Herald made good her intentions as to what should be done with Priestess Haleras soul, lashing out at any who would stand by her and protect her from harm.
It would be on one such night, Priestess Halera had the inspiration on how to act next. As Ishsah Winterspear tore her from her newly acquired safe haven with the hills surround elwynn forest and the grasp of her allies Knetsu and Qilanthe, dragging her to her lair to await further use to the Dead Rose. It would be there, alone once more and mercies of the Legion, that Halera formed an idea.
But to even consider using it, She had to be free, she had escape.
Without Elune’s blessing she were less than a fighter, however unbound as she was, it were merely a matter of plying her mundane skills, those she had used for many years. Taking a potion in hand, Halera had concocted means of blinding Ishsah Winterspear to her presence and escaping the Lair unharmed. It was not a graceful flight to freedom, but it was a necessary one. Halera escaped once more.
Many more meetings took place, for this inspiration of hers, Priestess Halera turned to speaking with those less inclined to aid the alliance as more their own gains. She began speaking with a number of the Warlocks that lurked within Stormwind City itself. Ever mindful of the Crusaders constant hunt for her, she carried out these meetings in private and dead of night, even her sworn defender Brother Alfos were not to know.
During these meetings she befriended a warlock, Xarvaxar le Salle. A former student of the Dead Rose and of Iskaroth the Dark himself. Envious, the warlock Xarvaxar clearly aimed to hinder Iskaroth in any way. And yet it were made very apparent to the Priestess that this warlock were just like the others, a servant of the Legion. Halera no less opted to take a chance. Convincing Xarvaxar that Ishsah Winterspear, his Legions Herald, was aiding Iskaroth the Dark in furthering his own power and command, weakening Xarvaxars own. Priestess Halera swayed him to perform a simple rite. Ishsah Winterspear would be bound into Haleras control, by a demonic pact, the Priestess promising that this would remove her from the service of Iskaroth and allow the warlock a chance for power for himself.
This all in hand weighed heavy upon the Priestesses mind. Demonic Pacts, forbidden lore and conspiring with operatives of the Legion itself. And while still lacking the blessings of Elune.
Vulnerable, Halera felt.
But only if she acted alone.