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  #226  
Old 06-04-2012, 01:34 PM
Bolvar Bolvar is offline

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Originally Posted by Jungleluke View Post
Oh, sorry man Never noticed that small detail.
No need to apologize... quite happy to have a new reader to keep me in line on the accuracy of the lore here. :-)

The .PDF file is here: http://noblefiction.com/documents/shadrach.pdf

Lots to read.
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:37 PM
Jungleluke Jungleluke is offline

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No need to apologize... quite happy to have a new reader to keep me in line on the accuracy of the lore here. :-)

The .PDF file is here: http://noblefiction.com/documents/shadrach.pdf

Lots to read.
Is there a way that those kind of novels will become canon? (So a writing contest or something?)

EDIT: I read a small bit of the story (I have to go to bed now, school awaits tomorrow...), but it's very enjoyable and comfortably to read!

Last edited by Jungleluke; 06-04-2012 at 01:41 PM..
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Old 06-04-2012, 02:34 PM
Bolvar Bolvar is offline

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Is there a way that those kind of novels will become canon? (So a writing contest or something?)

EDIT: I read a small bit of the story (I have to go to bed now, school awaits tomorrow...), but it's very enjoyable and comfortably to read!
Not any chance of it becoming canon - I don't bother with writing contests, and I don't imagine Blizzard has guys scouring fanfic for new lore ideas.

Glad you like it though. :-)
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:42 AM
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So, I am actually working on a major update for this story, but I thought I'd share a little something with everyone here.
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:10 PM
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The Long Road To Quelthalas

My younger self could hardly sleep during our last night at home. The anxiety was overwhelming, and after a while I mentally shouted to myself, Suck it up, cupcake. It all works out in the end.

Surprisingly, this had a calming effect, and I drifted off to sleep. It was then that Hollus Fenweaver appeared next to me in the astral space I was occupying alongside the subconscious of my past.

Youre not being very careful, he said. He was frowning.

What? All I did was give myself a little pep talk. I was driving myself nuts with worry.

He looked me square in the eye (which he almost never does), and spoke, Listen very carefully: You have just given your past self a more restful nights sleep, something you werent supposed to have heading into tomorrow. An action like this has enormous consequences, no matter how small you think it is. The results could be catastrophic, and if I am forced to intervene, you will not enjoy the outcome.

I threw my hands up. So, I cant help myself sleep, but when I eventually make it to the Sunwell, I can convince myself to commit high crimes and steal a vial from it.

He stared off into space again, at some point over my shoulder that didnt exist. The events you influence to complete your mission can still be safely isolated. But your younger self is supposed to be scared and unsure of himself right now. Making him stronger and more confident now not only changes the events of your next several months here, but also actions you will take after you cross through the time rift and arrive at Northshire.

Hold on first, several months? Are you saying Im stuck in spectator mode for that long here?

I did warn you.

No, you said I would be unconscious in Theramore for a few moments, but it would seem much longer here. You didnt say months.

You are impatient and short-sighted. What you have now is the gift of your own memory, restored with greater clarity than you could possibly appreciate, and all you can do is complain about having to watch quietly.

I waved him off. Impatiently, I might add. And then I asked, Second, I lose my memory before I get to Northshire, so what difference can I make if Im a little more well-rested in this time period?

You are more than your memory. A more confident Simon Moongrasp may lose his memory, but he will still be a more confident Shadrach when he awakens in Northshire.

Oh, sure, we wouldnt want THAT to happen. Light forbid I undergo any positive personal improvement.

Do not be coy. You understand the implications that come with tampering with the timeline. It is a delicate thing.

I also understand that people have died because I wasnt able to do better. Tell me, whats the worst thing that can happen if I come out of this sharper and more confident? Maybe Stovos lives to watch his boy grow up. Maybe Eloona doesnt have to kill herself.

Maybe you end up killing your wife when she attacks you upon your arrival in Gilneas.

Shit. I hate when he has a point. You dont know that.

He shook his head. No, I dont know that. But it is a possibility. The slightest ripple in time can have disastrous effects. You must be very careful. I fear you have already done too much. I may have erred in bringing you here.

I shrugged. Youre the all-knowing reader of every possible reality. You ought to know how this all works out.

It doesnt quite work that way. I see a myriad of possible outcomes. The most likely ones repeat themselves over and over, and become the sharpest in my view. But the unlikely ones remain possible, and can be obscured from my sight. Every action you take changes the picture, and introduces new risks that I must investigate and try to account for. It is exhausting.

I nodded my head. Fine. Ill try to be careful.

***

The next morning, as expected, dozens of young men boarded barges to head across the lake and down the river toward Tarren Mill. There, they would disembark, and caravan over to Strom.

I was not among them. I was to ride on Counselor Winterstorms wagon over to Andorhal.

Why arent we traveling with the rest of the group to Strom? I asked as I boarded the wagon.

The regular conscripts will head there for training and arms, along with most of the students for the arcane studies. King Thoradin is only sending about a quarter of you to Silvermoon.

Why is that? Shouldnt all of the students be going to Quelthalas?

Most of the students have no real aptitude at all. The Elves have sorcerers in Strom already, and theyll teach them some crude basics how to conjure fire and such for use in combat. But I insisted that we get at least a few of our students some real academic study. Ive been able to hand-pick most of them for the trip, although, as youll see, there are a few who had influential families that called in favors in lieu of having any real gifts for the arcane.

So, were meeting of the rest of the group in Andorhal before we head up to Quelthalas together?

No, were splitting up. The territory between here and Quelthalas is crawling with trolls. Some of the students have already departed by ship from Southshore. Youll be assigned to a small group with an Elven guide that will bring you safely to Silvermoon, with any luck. But marching 30 people through leagues of contested forests is an invitation to disaster.

Oh. I sat silently for the remainder of the trip.

When we arrived at the village of Andorhal, there was a group of about fifteen standing outside the inn. There were three High Elves dressed in simple leather clothing, carrying small packs, quivers of arrows, bows, and short swords. They would have been inconspicuous as huntsmen, were it not for their striking features, tall, lean builds, long blonde hair, and, of course, the telltale long ears.

One of them approached the wagon. Greetings, Counselor. Is this the last one then?

Yes, I happened to find him as he was idly igniting your runestone at Caer Darrow. Hes never had a lick of arcane instruction, but he is gifted.

Very well. Hell travel with my group. Were departing to the North within the hour. It should be a quiet journey.

Winterstorm nodded and gestured toward me. Well, you heard the man. Grab your things and get ready to head out. Its a long ride.

***

Apparently, my past self had never spent any time on horseback. After the first hour, I could feel it. When we made camp four hours after that, I could hardly walk.

I was traveling North with four other students and our ranger guide, Vedoran Shadecloak. I had gotten to know them a little during our first days ride.

Celindra Chase was the daughter of a farrier, from Tarren Mill. She could read from an early age, as her mother worked as the town clerk, and had already developed a knack for fire spells. Rinn Aranas was the son of an apothecary, from Strom, and insisted on telling the group the name and medicinal value of every herb they passed along the way. James Braddock was the son of Lord Braddock of Arathor. He was quiet, overweight, and seemed generally uninterested in the pursuit of arcane study. But his father had command of a small army, and this was likely the reason he had been afforded the trip. At last, there was Derek Thornby. He was the son of a career foot soldier from Southshore, he couldnt read, and he was a bit of a bully. But he could conjure snowflakes on a sunny day, and thus he was considered gifted.

And then there was me. The fishmongers kid from Caer Darrow who made a big rock glow. We were hardly the stuff of legend.

We made camp next to a small stream, and were given assignments from Shadecloak before he vanished into the woods to find dinner. Celindra and Rinn were to gather wood and start a fire. James and Derek set to putting up lean-to shelters, and I had volunteered to catch fish.

When Shadecloak returned with three rabbits, I presented him with a basket of about a dozen trout. He laughed. I dont think were quite that hungry. If Id known you were so proficient, I wouldnt have bothered with the rabbits.

I shrugged. Theyll keep until breakfast. As long as were near water in the wilderness, the fish will be plentiful and easy enough to catch.

Rinn cooked the meal, and had even gathered an assortment of wild nuts and berries to go with it. We ate, and spent the evening around the fire asking Shadecloak all sorts of questions about Quelthalas, Silvermoon, and High Elven society.

***

By the third day of the journey, I wondered if I would ever be able to walk straight again. It had begun to rain in the afternoon, but Shadecloak insisted on pressing on.

Were not far from the Eversong Woods now, and it will be much safer to make camp there tonight.

He was clearly worried, and for good reason. He had spotted three signs of recent troll movements in the area during the day, from fresh tracks in the mud to broken saplings to the remains of a deer that had been gruesomely butchered, likely with bare hands and teeth.

Suddenly, he brought his horse to a stop and raised a hand, signaling for us to stop and remain quiet. With uncanny speed, he dismounted and disappeared into the woods, handing the reins to Celindra to hold.

Without warning, the woods erupted in screams as four trolls exploded from the underbrush, wielding spears and axes and charging the five of us and our startled mounts. I couldnt think to do anything but hold on, even as I watched Derek get impaled with a spear.

And then suddenly, it was over. In mere seconds, all four trolls dropped to the ground with arrows in their heads. Shadecloak came charging out of the woods, and immediately helped Derek down from his horse. He was clutching the shaft of a spear in his belly.

He had a look of shock on his face. The rest of us just sat on our horses, not sure what to do. He began to cough blood as Shadecloak laid him on the ground.

I must remove the spear. It is going to hurt. I dont mind if you scream. And with a swift tug, he pulled the spear from him, but Derek didnt scream. He looked dead.

Shadecloak produced a vial of red liquid from a pouch on his belt, and poured about half of it into the wound, and then held Dereks head up and forced him to drink the rest.

It was only then that Derek screamed. AAAAUGH! GODS IT HURTS SO BAD! He clutched his abdomen and rolled over, sobbing and screaming into the dirt.

You are lucky the spear was not poisoned. If that had been the case, no amount of healing draught would have saved you. Shadecloak reassured him. Sort of.

Then he turned and glared at the rest of us. You will be of no use in battle if all you can do is sit and gawk as your comrades are cut down by trolls.

***

Not surprisingly, none of us objected to pressing on late into the evening until we had reached the Eversong Woods. Here, the runes that protected QuelThalas were strongest, and troll incursions were still rare, as their presence was almost immediately detected by the ranger sentinels that patrolled the region.

Tonight is the last night we sleep under the stars. From here on out, we will stop at ranger outposts and inns along the road to Silvermoon. Shadecloak informed us.

We didnt bother cooking for dinner. Cured meat and hard bread were all we took time to eat before bedding down for what was left of the night. There would be better meals in the days ahead.

***
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  #231  
Old 04-01-2013, 07:19 PM
Bolvar Bolvar is offline

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Old School

That evening, my younger self couldnt sleep, but I had no desire to help him in that regard.

I was disgusted. I had sat idly and watched as four trolls had nearly killed one of us. And its not like they were crack assassins they had left signs all over the woods, they reeked strongly enough for us to know they were coming a good 10 seconds before they struck, and Im pretty sure I could have beaten two of them alone with my bare hands if Id had to.

But you are battle-hardened now, with a decade of combat experience. He is a boy less than a week from home. Hollus astral form had appeared next to mine as I stood by the campfire glaring at my younger self.

Experience and training dont matter. The will to act is what matters. Derek should be dead right now, and I didnt lift a finger to help.

Allow me to share some perspective for you: All of your companions in this time are already dead to you. When your consciousness returns to Theramore, they will be long gone. What you are seeing here is just a memory.

I didnt bother replying to his point. I was sick of arguing it with him. I changed the subject. Why arent the health potions in our time as good as the one Shadecloak used today?

The Sunwells energy gives strength to all life in these woods, not just the High Elves. The reagents for that potion were grown on the Isle of Queldanas specifically for the purpose of providing rangers with effective healing draughts.

Smart. Its a wonder the trolls are giving them so much trouble.

The trolls outnumber them 40-1. And those you encountered today were drunken deserters. Their regular troops are substantially stronger combatants. The Elves are quite desperate now, I assure you. They have never wished to share their knowledge of the arcane with others, but Thoradin commands an army greater than anything Azeroth will see until the opening of the Dark Portal. In fact, the Elves are worried that he has become too powerful and ambitious.

And theyre making him stronger.

They have no choice. The trolls will overrun them otherwise. They can reason with Thoradin. Theres no reasoning with the trolls they want nothing more than to drive the Elves to extinction and reclaim their homeland.

Thoradin is pretty ambitious. Theyre lucky he doesnt decide to expand northward.

Thoradin does not live long enough to exercise that ambition, and, fortunately for the Elves, his heirs are not able to keep the empire together.

I nodded, and changed the subject again, This astral walking is getting much easier. Im not sure if its just that Im getting used to it, or if its because were getting closer to the Sunwell.

The latter, he confirmed, Now that you are in Eversong, you are within the borders of our strongest runes. The Sunwells energy can be felt throughout Azeroth, but it is especially potent in Quelthalas. The runes were designed not only to protect the kingdom, but to mute the energy signature of the well so that it would be more difficult for the Legion to detect.

Makes sense. I feel like I could walk 10 miles from here, and previously I could hardly leave my own head in this form.

You will also have an easier time influencing your past self. You must be especially careful.

Yeah, yeah. I get it. All this exposition, and all Ill learn is that Im a miserable, gutless turd.

There is much more to learn. The most valuable of it comes in the months ahead.

***

The remainder of the journey to Silvermoon was as uneventful as we had expected, although the group was still shaken from the troll attack. Derek had become sullen and paranoid, jumping at every sound and sleeping restlessly every night, awaking from nightmares almost hourly. Rinn kept falling behind, stopping to gather herbs at every opportunity, determined to duplicate the Elven healing potion that Shadecloak used. James kept muttering about how the Elves should have more men on the road and how his father would never leave his barony so poorly undefended. Celindra just wanted to hurry and get to Silvermoon, and chattered constantly in nervous fashion.

My younger self was gripped with fear, homesickness, and the urge to weep. It was palpable to me, and I couldnt stand it.

Relief finally came upon our arrival at Silvermoon. The majesty and grandeur of the High Elven city pushed aside the overwhelming trepidation that Id endured the last few days of the journey, and we were quickly escorted to one of the smaller buildings that made up the complex of the Arcanum, the Silvermoon academy of arcane study.

It was unlike anything I had ever seen, past or present. It had libraries greater than anything in Dalaran or Stormwind, and rows of buildings dedicated to research and learning, from all subjects ranging from alchemy to inscription. It was magnificent, and even the modern-day Silvermoon that I knew paled in comparison. I was struck with the realization of what the High Elves had lost to the Scourge.

This truly is our golden age. I hadnt noticed Hollus astral form appear next to mine.

I nodded. If I were you, Id never leave here. Its magnificent.

A painful reminder, Im afraid.

Our group was assigned an instructor that would teach us over the next several months. He met us in a large, well-appointed laboratory inside the building that housed our classrooms and dormitory. He was short and somewhat scrawny, with dark hair, a pale complexion, and a tendency to slouch his shoulders, making himself look even more unsubstantial. When we walked in, he was idly fondling a mortar and staring at nothing on the floor.

He set the object down and walked over to greet us. I didnt hear what he had to say I couldnt help notice Hollus visibly shudder at the sight.

Whats the matter?

That is Archmage Krynnas. My grandfather.

The resemblance was now quite obvious. You seem upset at the sight of him; why?

Its not him. The object he was holding. I have not been this close to it in many years.

What is it? It looked like an unremarkable stone bowl used by alchemists.

The Crucible of Azshara. It was passed down to me. Even now, I can see my grandfather is nearly as consumed by it as I was. Fortunately, he did not unlock its secrets.

But you did?

He nodded. It is how I came to be in this forsaken state of being.

I dont suppose youd want me to dispose of it for you? Since Im already here and all?

Unfortunately, no. While my exposure to the artifact ruined my life and the lives of many others, destroying it would create an unsustainable temporal paradox. I have, of course, considered this. Many times.

You might be happier if you learned to bend the rules a little bit now and then, you know?

Im bending them right now. You think the Bronze Dragonflight would sanction this expedition?

Fair enough.

With the introductions over, the group moved to settle their belongings in the dormitory, and then gathered in the common room of the building. It was a multi-purpose lounge that had the feeling of a small inn. There were tables, couches, and a small kitchen area, and a bar that had plates of food already prepared and set out.

Surprisingly, Archmage Krynnas decided to join us for dinner. Celindra wasted no time in asking him questions.

What are we going to learn first?

He replied, How to read. Ive already prepared some instructional scrolls for you to study this evening. Youll be expected to have them committed to memory before class tomorrow morning.

I already know how to read. She replied.

My dear, you need to learn to read and speak Thalassian if you expect to have any hope of learning here. I have taken the time to learn your crude tongue in order to carry out your instruction; I expect you return the favor. He passed each of us a long scroll of parchment.

All of us unfurled them and began to read over our meal, with the exception of Thornby, who took one look and cast his aside.

Is there a problem with yours, young man?

Derek shrugged. I cant read at all. Arathorian or Thalassian, makes no difference.

Krynnas raised an eyebrow. I will speak to your Counselor Winterstorm about this. I was told we were receiving students with talent, not dullards who cannot even read their own chicken scratch.

Derek glared at him. I have talent! He then waved his right hand over his plate. A dusting of snowflakes fell over his meal.

Krynnas laughed. And how effective was that parlor trick against the troll that skewered you a few days ago, hmm? You may have a weak affinity for one small portion of simple elemental magic, but youll never amount to anything if you cant write your own name, boy. No, I have no time for fools. You will be expected to have the scroll memorized by tomorrow morning, the same as everyone else, or you will be expelled from my class.

Suddenly, James spoke up. Hes not getting expelled.

Krynnas turned to the portly young man and offered a wry smile, I dont believe thats your decision to make, Mr. Braddock.

Youre right. Its King Thoradins decision. You have trolls barking at your doorstep, you come begging to Arathor for help, James here nearly gets killed on the way up here, and you talk to him like that? Go complain to Winterstorm all you want. Ill send word to my father while youre at it. Well see which one of us wins that argument.

Krynnas smile turned to a frown, Tell me, Mr. Braddock; what talent do you have?

I dont have any talent. I dont even want to be here. But Im doing what I was told to do. And if Im going to be stuck following orders, then so should you.

Krynnas laughed. Well played. You must come from nobility; a commoner would not be so clever. Ill make you a bargain then, since you are so keen to advocate for Mr. Thornby. I will give him four days to memorize the scroll. It will be up to the rest of you to tutor him to this end. I am sure good King Thoradin himself would find these terms agreeable, wouldnt you say?

He didnt wait for an answer; he just got up and left.

That guy is an asshole, muttered Thornby.

Braddock glared at him, Maybe, but youd better get your shit together. Im not really going to ask my old man to speak up on your behalf.

Then whyd you say that?

Because I wanted him to know I didnt come up here to get kicked around. He needs to learn his place. Im the son of most powerful Baron in Arathor. Hes a schoolteacher. I have six tutors at home just like him.

You dont need to be so mean about it. Celindra spoke.

What do you know about it? Braddock snapped back. Dont you all see the big picture here? This is about the future of our empire, not just some holiday in elfland. These Elves think theyre better than us. Theyre not just trying to teach us magic here, theyre trying to bend us to their way of thinking. And while theyre at it, theyll be testing our strength. We cant show them any weakness, and we need to pay attention to a lot more than just whats happening at this school.

I turned to Hollus astral form, Wow. Son of a Baron, huh? This kid is going places.

He changed the subject. Your past self will not only have the opportunity to learn arcane magic here, he will also have the chance to pursue elective research. Might I offer that you gently suggest to him that he brush up on his inscription and enchanting?

Wait, how did you know oh, yeah you see everything.

Including the meager contents of your bank account, yes.

Thats a great idea. Not breaking any rules, are we?

None that have any consequence. He will forget all of this. But you can pay attention and learn a great deal to bring back with you.

I guess they dont have to worry about auction house price gouging here.

No. The herbs and enchanting material are in abundant supply here at this time.

I shook my head. The Scourge really ruined a great thing here, you know?

They were agents of the Legion. As I was intended to be. I am constantly reminded of the destruction they leave in their wake.

***

Months passed. Rinn and Celindra, being the most patient and educated of the group, were successful in tutoring Derek enough for him to avoid any further risk of expulsion. After the outburst of the first day, James mostly kept to himself. I studied and absorbed knowledge like a sponge it was something I had always enjoyed, and I was more than a little happy to see my younger self had that same virtue.

It was after about four months of intense study that we were told we were taking a little trip.

To the Isle of QuelDanas.

The night before our departure, I spoke to Hollus.

So, hows this going to work? I asked. I assume this is the one chance I get at securing a vial from the Sunwell, right?

It has to be done carefully. You will need to completely subvert your own consciousness. Without killing yourself, of course.

Wait, are you saying I could die doing this?

If you suppress your consciousness too forcefully, you could kill yourself. Or merely render yourself catatonic. Either outcome would be undesirable.

So, what, I go knock on the door of my own brain, excuse myself for a bit, and tell myself Im going to be driving for a while?

Not exactly. You need to place yourself in a coma. It can be done while you are awake, but its easier, and safer, while you sleep. I will show you the trigger point for it.

This is a little spooky. Can I do this to other people?

Its a similar concept that is employed by certain shadow priests when they exert mind control over their victims, so, theoretically, yes. But it takes years of practice, and against an unwilling target, it never works for an extended period of time.

I dont have years to practice.

No, but you are essentially controlling your own mind your brain will not trigger a defensive response to your presence. In fact, it will appear comforting and restful to your past self. He will see the action you take as a lucid dream.

Wont that kind of screw with his character, and all that?

Hopefully not to any great degree. Dreams often fade very quickly. The important thing is for you not to get caught taking the vial and placing it in a secure place.

I hadnt thought about that. Wait I cant just take the vial back through the time rift; I need to put them someplace in this time where it will be safe for 3,000 years, right?

Correct.

But most of Silvermoon gets razed by the Scourge

You should absolutely not leave it in Silvermoon.

But, where? I mean, I need a place that is going to sit undisturbed for three millennia.

King Thoradin is currently in the process of constructing a great wall.

Of course. Thoradins wall. It divided the modern-day Arathi Highlands from the Hillsbrad Foothills. While parts of the wall were ruined, much of it was still intact, and I was familiar enough with the layout to choose an area that would still be standing in 3,000 years.

But there was another problem. So, wait, I do the mind control thing now, and have to stay in control until we head back to Strom?

Why on Azeroth would you have to do that?

Because thats where the wall is?

Are you not a mage gifted with creating portals?

Yeah, but, in this time, I can barely whip up a good fireball.

When you are in control, you will still have all of your present knowledge. In fact, you would likely surpass the skill of most of the mages here today.

Oh. Well, that changes things.

***

In fact, it made things a lot easier than Id expected. We took a boat the next morning to the Isle of QuelDanas, and were then escorted to the Sunwell, where we were given a series of lectures on its history, arcane properties, and other trivia.

That evening, as the group slept, I took control of my younger self. As expected, it went off without a hitch.

The feeling was surreal. I was myself, but not myself. I could actually feel physical stimulus for the first time in months, something I had only felt through the filter of my astral presence for so long. I was younger, more energetic, without the aches and pains that I had grown used to in my older age.

I also no longer felt the taint of the Worgen curse. I admit, it was refreshing; I had to suppress a pang of loss I felt over that piece of my humanity.

The Sunwell was guarded, but not nearly as heavily as it was in modern times. Nothing ever came close to threatening it in this age. The idea that an army of undead would someday march across the channel and right up to it was completely out of the question. I crept quietly out of the inn we were staying at, and cast a shroud of invisibility over myself as I approached the well.

Two guards patrolled the perimeter. I waited until they passed, then, under cover of darkness, quickly filled three vials.

Yes, three. I mean, that was good enough for Illidan, right? Besides, I might break one. Seeing as how Hollus didnt come bursting forth from the astral plane to object, I figured I was OK.

I re-cast the shroud and walked quietly into the woods not far from the well, and then opened a portal to Thoradins Wall.

I arrived at a spot on the north end of the wall that I knew was still in one piece. Sure enough, it was only about halfway complete. I walked up to the topmost rock, and bore a small hole in the top of it using arcane energy. Once I had a sufficient cavity in place, I put the carefully wrapped and boxed bundle of vials inside I had secured them in a gold-lined box and placed protective wards over it to hide the truth of its contents.

I then restored the rock around the cavity. Sometime in the next few weeks, more large stones would be placed atop this one, and the package would sit undisturbed for centuries until I could retrieve it. I made a careful mental note of the exact location and then ported back to the Isle.

***

I went back to bed and, somewhat reluctantly, returned to the astral plane.

My past self awoke the next morning, apparently unperturbed by the events overnight. We continued three more days of study around the Sunwell, and then returned to Silvermoon.

***

Another month passed. I had managed to learn enough about enchanting and inscription to be proficient to the point of profitability back in my own time period, but more importantly, my younger self was slinging ice lances and fireballs like a pro. He was fluent in Thalassian and even had picked up some texts on ancient Darnassian and had learned enough to be conversant in that language as well. It was remarkable how much faster I had learned here, as a youth, with proper instruction. It had taken years to re-learn all of this after losing my memory to the time rift.

Celindra was the real talent of the group. She had such a finely-tuned grasp of arcane energies she could have passed the entrance exams to study at Dalaran with ease. Rinn had augmented his gifts for alchemy and was a budding pyromancer in his own right. James had no discernible affinity for magic at all. He was academically sharp, and could answer any theoretical question asked of him, but when he tried to conjure anything, he failed miserably. Not everyone is cut out for magic, not even with the best of instruction. Derek was still an emergent reader, but could get by, and remained most comfortable with frost magic. He wasnt especially potent, but he was good with defensive spells, and those could be useful in combat.

As much as I had been impatient at the outset of the mission, I admit, I could have stayed there for years. But there wasnt time for that. The trolls were advancing in all directions, it seemed, and we were to report back to Strom for assignment.

The night before we were to leave, I conferred with Hollus. Last chance, you know. I could jump in, steal the Crucible, and port it over the middle of the ocean someplace.

Hollus offered only a sad smile. If you do that, my son will never be born. Granted, he is born into a life of great pain, but I would not even deprive him of that. There is, eventually, happiness for him.

Whatever you say pal. Why dont we head back to the future now? Ive got the Sunwell juice stashed, and Ive learned about all I can here. The journey back is going to be a drag, and Im not really sure I want to see the moment I have to go through that rift anyway.

You cant leave now. Your astral form has been tethered here for far too long. You must return through the rift. From the other side, I can bring you back to your body in Theramore, but going back the way we came would be impossible without extensive preparation.

Great. So, I have a front-seat to more tragedy.

You must exercise restraint. I cannot emphasize that enough. No matter what occurs.

What occurs?

You know I cannot answer that.

Why not?

Because the most likely outcome of me giving you that information is a temporal catastrophe.

Great. That means something really shitty is going to happen, and Im going to be real pissed off at you afterward for not telling me about it.

Yes.

You suck, you know that?

Ive been told as much.

***
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:01 AM
Bolvar Bolvar is offline

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The Road Home

We had made it to the southern edge of the Eversong Woods when all hell broke loose.

A small patrol of High Elven Rangers met us near the border. Their leader spoke to Shadecloak in Thalassian. I understood the exchange.

A company of trolls have attacked one of the northern runestones. It may be a ploy to draw our defenses away from the garrison in the west, which is why only a small company was sent. Can your mages help?

Shadecloak responded, These are barely more than children that have never seen real battle. They are trained, but completely green. I am responsible for their safe passage to Strom.

If the western garrison falls, there is nothing stopping the trolls from marching on Silvermoon, and we cant afford to lose that runestone. We are blinded to a large part of our border without it.

Shadecloak scowled. He knew he had little choice. I felt the fear creep up in my past self, and had to restrain myself from trying to subdue the anxiety.

Very well. We will offer what aid we can. Lead on.

***

It was, of course, a trap. We came upon a large clearing with a company of trolls hacking away at a great runestone in the center of it. Our group was to offer cover fire once the ranger patrol had a chance to circle around the opposite side of the clearing and engage the trolls from the back.

But as soon as they departed, another company of trolls attacked us from behind. Theyd been hidden in the woods about 100 yards south, and they were much better at approaching stealthily. Shadecloak never saw the arrow that pierced his heart through his back.

Derek was the first to act. The son of a soldier, and already the victim of a troll spear months ago, he wasted no time conjuring a wall of ice between us and the attackers. But it wouldnt hold for long.

Celindra began conjuring mirror images of herself that walked across the clearing and started firing arcane blasts at the trolls attacking the runestone.

What are you DOING? James yelled, we dont need THOSE trolls attacking us as well!

She shot back, Shut up and start casting the protective spells from your scrolls, James! We NEED the other rangers to know were in trouble over here!

Rinn was trying to offer aid to Shadecloak, but his efforts were in vain. The arrow was clearly poisoned, and he was already convulsing and foaming from the mouth.

My younger self just sat there.

The wall of ice fell, and Derek was shot three times, and I just sat there. I had pissed myself from fear. I wanted to vomit. I couldnt move from the sheer panic.

The second company of trolls cut down Celindras mirrors and advanced upon us, and I just sat there.

Rinn stood up and hurled a fireball in their direction. A troll from the first company identified him as a threat, and hurled an axe into his head. And. I. Just. Sat. There.

The first company of trolls drew their blades and rushed towards us. They were nearly upon James.

I couldnt just sit there.

I forced my consciousness into my past self. I heard Hollus scream NO!

I ignored him. And I embraced the power I could feel, being so close to the Sunwell.

I cast a short-range arcane teleport spell, commonly referred to as a blink, and appeared in between James and the approaching company of trolls.

I spoke a little Amani, so I greeted them with, Hey mon, how you doin?

They froze, for just a moment, and then I unloaded on them with a cone of fire. Their screams were glorious. They burned white hot for mere seconds, and then were reduced to ash. I had never had so much energy at my disposal.

I turned on the second company, and brought down a blizzard of snow, wind, and ice that cut most of them to ribbons. The second elven ranger company had emerged from the forest by now, and closed in behind them on horseback to finish them off.

And then I collapsed.

***

Time stood still. I was in my astral form again, looking at the scene. There were dead trolls everywhere. Vedoran Shadecloak was dead. Rinn Aranas was dead. Derek Thornby was dead. Celindra Chase had a look of shock on her face. James Braddock held only a blank stare.

At the center was Hollus Fenweaver, glowing with golden temporal energy.

What are you doing? I asked.

He did not look at me. He stared off into space, as he often does, but his face was a fixture of urgent concentration. Finally, he spoke, You have created a temporal crisis. I am holding it in place for the moment.

What crisis? I was about to be dead?

A second Hollus appeared at my side. No, you would not have died. But let me show you what you have done.

His astral form grabbed mines hand, and we disappeared.

***

We emerged in Strom, in King Thoradins throne room.

Hollus spoke, Six months have passed. Look what you have wrought. I watched.

Thoradin sat alone in the room. The door swung open, and the sentry announced, High Lord James Braddock, Your Majesty.

I was right, I muttered, that kid is going places.

Thoradin rose to greet him. Lord Braddock, please accept my condolences for the loss of your father. It was a great tragedy that he was cut down in battle before you were able to return to him.

I thank you, your Majesty. He always spoke so highly of you. James replied.

He fought valiantly to secure the north. We are a kingdom in his debt. What may I grant you today?

I come to your Majesty with an opportunity. As you know, I spent many months in Silvermoon studying the High Elves. I have learned much about them, and, more importantly, about their defenses.

Indeed. You understand then why they sought our aid.

Their situation is more dire than you know, your Majesty. Their defenses are thin, and depend largely on the swift response of a few small garrisons. If a large force were able to pass their southern frontier, Silvermoon would fall with little resistance.

Are you suggesting we offer them a regiment, to augment their border? We have few resources to spare. Most of the army marches on the Alterac Mountains, where we hope to finish this troll business once and for all.

No, Sire, I am suggesting you assign my fathers regiment my regiment to push forward into Quelthalas and take their rich and verdant resources for our own, while the Elves are occupied at Alterac. A small force could do it, and still leave the rest of the army to wipe out the trolls. We could secure the continent for our empire once and for all.

Thoradin offered a chilling smile. Your father was right to insist upon sending you after all, young Braddock. I assume your troops are ready?

James nodded, They are at the border of Eversong now. I have already instructed them on how to cripple a series of runestones along the way. The Elves are completely blind without them, and, even better, the energy of the Sunwell is no longer contained within Quelthalas. Our magi will be even more powerful at Alterac. The detachment I command will not be missed.

Thoradin nodded. Then make haste, Lord Braddock. I look forward to reading the report of your conquest.

I turned to Hollus, By the Light, hes mad!

Quite so. Not only will he eradicate every last troll in the northern half of this continent, he will slaughter every High Elf. When Thoradin dies next year, Braddock will take the throne. But he wont be content with Arathor alone. He will march south, and conquer the dwarves as well. His kingdom will cover the whole continent before he passes on and his son takes the throne.

So he was supposed to die

Yes. And you have spared him. Not only will he commit genocide, but he has broken the runestones before their time. You cannot pass through the rift because it will never exist now. The Dark Portal will never exist, but that does not matter, because Azeroth is aglow with the unchecked energy of the Sunwell now, and the Legion is on its way. They will dominate Braddocks heirs, and take this world for their own, just as they did with Argus. It will be easier for them than ever.

There has to be a way you froze time. I can go back and kill him, right?

Murder him in cold blood? Your younger self would be arrested and hanged. You would preserve part of the timeline, but still create a smaller paradox with your own death. I cannot even allow you to make that sacrifice.

There has to be something maybe I can get him later, make it look like an accident?

You have no skill for that, and there is no time for it. He will ride straight to Strom after this incident. You must head back to Caer Darrow to confront the time rift, as you were always meant to do.

I threw my hands up. Then WHAT? You paused time to show me how bad Id screwed up, but the world ends anyway?

There is one option. But it will bring you great pain.

What kind of pain?

Loss. Physical suffering. Emotional and spiritual torment. Every kind of the worst kind of pain.

So, basically, what you have to deal with.

Not quite. What I offer is a way to atone, and set most of this right. You will suffer, for many years, but you will have a chance at a new life.

You really need to give me more information. I might just prefer the end of the world.

I will show you.

He grabbed my hand again. We returned to the site of the battle. The other copy of Hollus was still maintaining a temporal field.

How do you do that, anyway? I asked him.

A pertinent question, as you will soon be doing the same thing.

Whats that?

Splitting your consciousness.

You can do that?

Yes, but it is painful, disorienting, and debilitating, at least temporarily.

How does that help our situation?

Part of you must become James Braddock.

Wait what?

The mind control technique that you used upon yourself. You must split your consciousness. And then you must forcefully overtake the mind of James Braddock.

So, part of me becomes James Braddock and the other part goes back through the rift to re-join my future self right?

Correct. But you must understand two things: First, what you have done today changes Simon Moongrasp forever. He will still solve the crisis of the time rift, pass through it, and emerge with his memory lost. But he will be more confident, and more prone to act. It changes your history to no small degree. You will arrive at Theramore extremely disoriented, as your current past and new past try to reconcile themselves. I will try to help show you what changes. But it will be quite a shock.

Tell me the second thing is good news

Not at all. Your other half will occupy the body of James Braddock. You will have no arcane talent whatsoever. You must insist upon accompanying Simon Moongrasp to Caer Darrow, and you must remove yourself from this timeline by following him through the rift. This is essential. Even though you are in control and will not continue his plan to attack the elves, you do not belong in this time line.

But James Braddock doesnt belong in the future, either.

No, but he can eventually become a positive force in the world there. Here, he only gets in the way of history.

How do you figure? I could just go live in the woods.

Braddocks father is already dead. He is now the Lord of one of the largest Baronies in Arathor. If he remains alive, the Barony stays intact for many more years, upsetting a critical series of events.

What events?

It is assumed that the time rift is the result of troll magic. If he is lost there, his people will assume, as they would have had he died today, that he, along with his father, were both casualties to the troll war. They rally around Thoradins banner, and are critical to the victory at Alterac. After the war, the barony dissolves; it is the first piece of the Arathi Empire to crumble, which leads to the establishment of the seven kingdoms. A knight captain previously loyal to Braddock leads a group to the north to settle a new colony. His name is Marcus Menethil.

Wait, so, if the barony doesnt dissolve after the war, theres no Lordaeron?

Exactly. And if you go into hiding, Braddocks people are divided only some want to continue the war, other minor lords will fight over the seat of the barony, and others still remain loyal with hopes of your return.

Fine. Why cant we just invade his consciousness, attack his mind forcefully, leaving him dead, and then jump back out?

His mind will be destroyed, but his body will fall into catatonic stupor. He wont be entirely dead. The Elves will take him to Silvermoon for healing, and he lives another 30 years in a vegetative state. But the barony does not collapse.

What about after I go through the rift? Can I just leave him catatonic on the other side?

No, you have to take complete control of him after his mind is destroyed. From that point on, that half of your consciousness is irrevocably bound to that body. There is no turning back. You may eventually learn further astral projection later, once your mind grows stronger, but you will never be able to leave. You will be James Braddock from this day forward.

Will I lose my memory with him, too?

No. It might be easier on you if you do, but, ultimately, you must remain aware of what has happened today. And, as I said, upon your arrival in the future, there will be much suffering. I cannot tell you more, but it would be unfair not to warn you.

What about my wife? My daughter?

They will be fine, should you choose this path. They will be changed as drastically as you will, but fate has a way of bringing you together.

Youre sure?

Yes. But, be aware part of you will be James Braddock, and James Braddock will not have them.

I had a million more questions, but really, I was just stalling. Do I really have a choice?

Not a very good one, no.

Then lets get it done.

I will handle most of the process. When I split your consciousness, you will pass out from the trauma. You will awake as James Braddock. It will be disorienting even walking and speaking will be laborious at first. And you will no longer be able to commune with me on the astral plane.

So Im on my own?

Yes. You must insist upon accompanying Simon Moongrasp to Caer Darrow. You must travel through the rift with him. Once you get through the other side, you must avoid contact with yourself until the moment I restore the other half of your consciousness in Theramore, at all costs. It will require great sacrifice.

Is there any good news?

There will be hope. You will find it, eventually. Do not give up.

OK. Anything else?

There was abject sorrow on his face. I am sorry. I know your heart was in the right place. It would have been better had I never brought you here.

Yeah, thanks. Lets just get this over with.

Remember this you must wait 1,901 days after you pass through the rift before you make contact with the outside world. That is the most important thing.

Got it.

Without any further warning, the world went black.

I awoke standing up, in my astral form, next to Hollus. Before us was the aftermath of the battle. Time had started moving again.

Celindra knelt next to Rinn and Shadecloak, helpless to do anything for their lifeless forms. The rangers rode up to assess the scene. My younger self was on his hands and knees, throwing up all over the forest floor at the sight of Dereks dead body.

James sat on the ground, staring at his own two hands, clearly bewildered and disoriented.

I thought you were sending me in to control his body. I asked.

I did, Hollus replied, but only half of you. You are the half that is left, and will be sent back to rejoin your body at Theramore. It will be equally disorienting for you, if not more so.

So, does that mean Im missing a piece of myself?

Not quite. Think of it more like making a copy. I cant explain it any better than that.

Is there anything we can do to help him?

No. He is on his own now, and will be for at least the next 5 years after he crosses the time rift.

***

We traveled to the garrison a few miles away, the bodies of our fallen comrades wrapped in cloaks and carried on horseback, so that they could be given a proper burial. The trolls had been piled up and burned on the spot.

Word was sent to Strom via a scrying portal; they replied back with new orders. Caer Darrow was being reinforced after a series of troll attacks and, as expected, I was to be sent there. Celindra was ordered to Andorhal.

James was informed that his father had fallen in battle, and was expected to rendezvous with the other Lords at Strom.

Still apparently dizzy and bewildered, he muttered, No no. I owe Moongrasp a debt of gratitude. I will travel with him to Caer Darrow to see that Lord Barov recognizes him and his family for his gallantry.

The rangers nodded, and no objection came from Strom.

***

There was time enough to bathe and obtain clean clothes. Celindra and Simon were given Silvermoon mage initiate robes, which, while simple by High Elf standards, were finer than anything most men had this side of Strom. James opted for a common cotton tunic and leather breeches, even after being offered something more befitting his station as a high Lord to wear.

We were given an escort of three rangers for the trip to Caer Darrow. It was uneventful, but I was struck upon arrival at how much the village had changed. Walls of stone and heavy timbers had been hastily erected around the perimeter, and archers were present atop them at every 30 yards.

As we crossed the bridge leading to the island, there was a sudden explosion of green light from the center of the village, followed by screams.

I turned toward Hollus, Already?

He nodded.

But he I havent even had a chance to see my parents again.

It is tragic. But we must not delay.

Simon and James rode closely behind the three rangers, who had broken into a gallop and headed toward the commotion.

There was pandemonium at the village square. A large green portal glowed against the runestone at the center, and before it stood a robed troll, screaming in Common and hurling bolts of frostfire at anyone that moved.

I am Halacrass! Flee before my might, puny humans!

I shrugged. Does he even realize nobody here can understand a word hes saying?

Clearly not. He is disoriented. It is your only advantage.

I couldnt see how there was much of an advantage. Halacrass had to have been a powerful mage in order to open the time rift from 3,000 years in the future. Now he was close to the Sunwell, and throwing around arcane energy effortlessly. The ranger escort had attacked immediately and been cut down by lances of ice.

I had no idea how the novice Simon Moongrasp was going to defeat this guy. But then, I surprised myself.

Simon, who was crouched behind a cart, muttered a quick incantation.

And suddenly Halacrass turned into a sheep.

Wow. Thats like my signature move right there. I observed.

Simon stood up and ran across the square. James followed close behind. He picked up the sheep, and walked toward the rift.

Lord Barov emerged from the crowd and asked, Simon! What are you doing?

Simon replied, The spell wont keep him like this for long. This portal probably comes from a troll encampment not far from here. Im taking him back through before he hurts anyone else, then Ill come right back.

Im going with him, said James, Lord Barov, see that Simons family is rewarded for his gallantry.

Son of a bitch, I muttered, he has no idea.

No, said Hollus, But we must follow him. The rift will collapse soon after he passes through it.

We followed Simon and James through the rift. Once again, everything went black.

Last edited by Bolvar; 01-03-2014 at 10:03 AM..
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:34 PM
DarkAngel DarkAngel is offline

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I'm baaack! With my latest educational escapade over with, I once again have time to look things over on this forum. First up, a long-overdue favor for an old friend.

The Long Road to Quel'thalas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bolvar View Post
He looked me square in the eye (which he almost never does), and spoke, Listen very carefully
Reading Ori much?

Ah, the perils of messing with history. I love discussions on the subject, though I'm not sure why.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bolvar View Post
Shit. I hate when he has a point.
Present tense implies Hollus is alive as of writing.
  • The anxiety was overwhelming, and after a while, I mentally shouted

It's true we know virtually nothing of the Arathorian Empire, but Tarren Mill and Andorhol probably didn't exist that far back. At the very least, they weren't called by those names. Settlements can be abandoned and reoccupied multiple times the timescale we're talking about here. However, you need places to mention, and these have the virtue of marking known locations.
  • But marching thirty people through leagues
  • were it not for their striking features: tall, lean builds, long blonde
  • Is this the last one, then?

Watch how many time you begin a sentence with 'but.' I let it slide in dialogue (punctuation indicates inflection and cadence), doing it in the narration is a no-no.
  • I was traveling north with four other students

The Long Road to Quel'thalas

Quote:
Theres no reasoning with the trolls they want nothing more than to drive the Elves to extinction and reclaim their homeland.
Your dash usage seems unusual to me. I'm not going to call it "wrong" because there really is no agreed upon set of accepted uses.
  • know they were coming a good ten seconds before
  • some perspective for you: all of your not new sentence
  • The trolls outnumber them forty to one.
  • I feel like I could walk ten miles from here
Old School
  • how his father would never leave his barony so poorly defended.
  • I already know how to read, she replied.
  • Tell me, Mr. Braddock, what talent do you have?
  • You dont need to be so mean about it, Celindra spoke.
  • A similar concept is employed by certain shadow priests
  • Hollus didnt come bursting forth from the astral plane to object, I figured I was okay. It's a real word.
  • I walked up to the topmost rock, and bored a small hole

The Road Home
  • Theyd been hidden in the woods about a hundred yards south,
  • he lives another thirty years in a vegetative state.
  • for at least the next five years after he crosses the time rift.
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Originally Posted by Bolvar View Post
Im going with him, said James, Lord Braddock, see that Simons family is rewarded for his gallantry.
Isn't James "Lord Braddock?" Lord Barov was in charge of Caer Darrow.

Shadrach's characterization as an impulsive screw-up sure does land him in trouble. In any case, I'm sorry I didn't read these sooner. Keep up the great work!
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post
I'm baaack! With my latest educational escapade over with, I once again have time to look things over on this forum. First up, a long-overdue favor for an old friend.
No lie, I was reading a book on digital publishing (I'm working on my novel, and I'm going to publish it - read http://noblebrown.com for the latest) and wondering if I should bother with this fanfic anymore, or perhaps see if I can give it away on Amazon as an e-book to build readership.

Nobody's replied to this thread in weeks. You did at the EXACT moment I was having that thought. I know a divine sign when it hits me over the head like a sledgehammer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post
Reading Ori much?

Ah, the perils of messing with history. I love discussions on the subject, though I'm not sure why.
Present tense implies Hollus is alive as of writing.
Maybe I missed something, but Ori's story takes place way in the future. Mine, with the exception of the backward time travel, are present-time, or very close to it. Hollus dies in her story, but it should be years from now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post
It's true we know virtually nothing of the Arathorian Empire, but Tarren Mill and Andorhol probably didn't exist that far back. At the very least, they weren't called by those names. Settlements can be abandoned and reoccupied multiple times the timescale we're talking about here. However, you need places to mention, and these have the virtue of marking known locations.
Precisely. I'm tackling lore that Blizzard themselves hasn't touched. Your point about name changes is entirely valid - we know Strom was around, we know the Alterac Mountains were around. We suspect Thoradin's wall was around.

Quel'thalas is known to exist.

Everything else is an assumption or convenient plot device.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post
Isn't James "Lord Braddock?" Lord Barov was in charge of Caer Darrow.
Legit screw-up here... thanks for catching it. And the other edits.

Seriously, I'd pay you a few bucks to send you the entire story to date in MS Word format and just do all the edits you deem necessary prior to publishing it online.

Shadrach's characterization as an impulsive screw-up sure does land him in trouble. In any case, I'm sorry I didn't read these sooner. Keep up the great work! [/QUOTE]
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:47 PM
DarkAngel DarkAngel is offline

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Maybe I missed something, but Ori's story takes place way in the future. Mine, with the exception of the backward time travel, are present-time, or very close to it. Hollus dies in her story, but it should be years from now.
I was more referring to the unusual use of the word 'spoke.' That was something of a signature move for her. However, you did catch me on the timeline thing. Once you two started doing crossover, your stories got merged in my head. Sorry.

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Seriously, I'd pay you a few bucks to send you the entire story to date in MS Word format and just do all the edits you deem necessary prior to publishing it online.
*stunned* Well...I'd actually be interested, assuming the deadline was reasonable. Even with school out, things may be...chaotic for a while.
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Old 06-04-2013, 03:50 PM
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*stunned* Well...I'd actually be interested, assuming the deadline was reasonable. Even with school out, things may be...chaotic for a while.
Let me know - I'm debating whether or not I can get away with publishing it on Amazon.
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Old 01-03-2014, 02:20 PM
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Rediscovery

I woke up in Hollus' cell in Theramore with a raging headache.

And by "raging" I mean I honestly wished I was dead for several minutes. I tried to scream from the pain but could hardly breathe. I couldn't see. All I could hear was a high-pitched ringing sound. I shuddered and twitched involuntarily on the floor and had no control over any of my extremities. I couldn't sit up or roll over.

"Find a calm center and try to relax." I heard him say. He was lucky I couldn't punch him.

Slowly, I began to regain my senses. I gradually pushed myself up to a seated position against the wall. My head still hurt and my vision was blurred. I managed to speak.

"What the hell happened?"

"Your astral form was disconnected from your body for an unusual period of time. Do you remember your journey?"

My journey... it hadn't just been a bad dream. "I was in the past. I was on a mission."

"Good. Gather your thoughts around those events first. Because what you did there changed your future, and right now you're trying to reconcile those memories with what you had before."

"Before... no... I was... oh no..." I couldn't reconcile it. The moment I took my mind off where I was now or what I had done in the past, my head began spinning again. The collision of old memories and new memories, of what was now real, and what was now an alternate reality drove shooting pains through my skull. I nearly blacked out.

"Remember I told you that you had changed Simon Moongrasp?" Hollus asked.

"Yes..." I whispered, clutching my knees to my chest and trying to hold on to the tenuous grasp I had on reality.

"Many events in your past have changed, including several critical ones. You are a vastly different man now than you were before you left."

I shuddered. "Can you like give me the highlights or something? I'm so damned confused right now. Nothing feels right."

"You are a hero of the Alliance. You were a large contributor to the Outland campaign and were rewarded with great titles and riches for your deeds. You met Nina Shaw two years earlier than you were supposed to, at a political function in Stormwind. As fate would have it, you still fell in love, and married. But neither of you ever traveled to Gilneas."

"Gilneas... that means..."

"Neither of you were cursed. She is still pregnant with your daughter, but you live in Stormwind, in a comfortable flat in Old Town. You still do occasional covert assignments with Jim Kaos and SI:7, but in a more official capacity."

The picture was getting clearer. "Eloona never died, did she? She wasn't even the demon that came through the portal in this reality."

"No. Sargeras sent another. Events in this reality kept her from that fate."

"But what about Stovos?"

"He was never meant to live a very long life, I'm afraid. Another encounter with the agents of the Legion left him dead just a few months later than what happened in your other reality. But you have never met him, or his family."

I was actually able to stand up. I paced around the room a bit, trying to clear my head.

I suddenly remembered why I'd done all this in the first place. "Damn, I'm wasting time, aren't I? I need to get that vial back to the Exodar."

Hollus shook his head. "You have time to complete that mission. You need at least one night to rest before you can safely open a portal."

I didn't disagree with him. I was in no condition to work any magic. But another thought occurred to me: "What about James Braddock? My other half... is he in danger?"

"Not any longer. The worst of his physical suffering is at an end. He has survived these five years, but he has changed much."

"I need to go help him."

"He will find you. It is best if you let him."

I was in no mood to argue about it, and no shape to really do anything about it anyway. I could hardly stand. "What about after we passed through the rift? I never saw what happened to me... or the troll, for that matter."

"You, James, and the troll, Halacrass, emerged unconscious from the rift at the current location of the remains of the Caer Darrow runestone."

"In the Plaguelands?"

"No. That runestone was one of the many destroyed by the Horde during the war and relocated for use in the construction of one of the Alter of Storms. You emerged near the southern base of Blackrock Mountain."

"How did I get out of there? Wasn't it crawling with Orcs five years ago?"

"At the time Halacrass created the rift, it was deserted, with the exception of two onlookers - a human and goblin performing alchemical experiments nearby. When they saw you emerge, they decided the exotic Elven robes you were wearing marked you as someone of import, and they took you to Morgan's Vigil in hopes of collecting a reward."

"They must have been disappointed."

"They settled for taking your robes. You were shipped, still comatose, to Northshire Abbey for medical attention."

"What about Braddock?"

"They couldn't carry both of you. By his attire, they decided he was worth less, and left him there. Before he could regain consciousness, a company of Dark Irons found him."

"What'd they do with him?"

"He was enslaved in Blackrock Mountain."

I slumped against the wall and sat back down on the floor. "You weren't kidding. About the suffering. James Braddock was in no condition to be anywhere near that place. How did he survive?"

"That will be his tale to tell. Another time. As I said, the worst of his trials are over now."

"What about the troll?"

"An unfortunate fate, I'm afraid. You carried him through the rift while he was polymorphed."

"Yeah, but that only lasts a few moments."

"Ordinarily. But the trip through a 3,000 year time rift made the effect permanent."

"Are you saying there's a troll still wandering the Burning Steppes as a sheep?"

"Hardly. How long do you think a disoriented sheep avoids becoming a meal in a place like that?"

"Oh. Well, serves him right, I suppose."

***
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  #238  
Old 01-03-2014, 10:18 PM
Al'Akir Al'Akir is offline

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There must be some divine intervention or somesuch at work here.

Ive loved this fanfic from the start and used to follow religiously, but I haven't checked this thread in ages, maybe years. Then I come back today, and see that it has had its first update in months.

Glad you're still working on it, I hope it keeps going.

Cheers!
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:34 PM
Bolvar Bolvar is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al'Akir View Post
There must be some divine intervention or somesuch at work here.

Ive loved this fanfic from the start and used to follow religiously, but I haven't checked this thread in ages, maybe years. Then I come back today, and see that it has had its first update in months.

Glad you're still working on it, I hope it keeps going.

Cheers!
Thanks! I've been brewing up the continuing saga, along with an offshoot story, for a while now, just haven't had any time to really work on it.

Keep an eye out! Braddock will be getting his own tale here soon...
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Old 06-13-2014, 06:06 PM
Bolvar Bolvar is offline

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Keep an eye out! Braddock will be getting his own tale here soon...
Heh... "soon" he says...

Better late than never - for the exciting continuation, read over at "Missing In Action."
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Old 12-13-2018, 11:23 AM
Bolvar Bolvar is offline

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I've abandoned fanfic for my own fiction.

It's better this way.

But also bittersweet.

This story meant more to me than I can properly express.

From it, I grew as a writer.

From it, I realized I had the capacity to complete an entire novel.

I know this forum is pretty dead now.

But if, by some chance, some of you are still subscribed to this thread... or happen to otherwise check in for an update... you can find me on twitter.

https://twitter.com/NobleBooks

And if you'd care to read more of my fiction, you can find it here:

https://amzn.to/2Lm70Vr
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  #242  
Old 12-28-2018, 08:29 AM
Ethenil Ethenil is offline

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I don't know what this is but I want to read it now. Sad to see it's discontinued!
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