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26.09: Voices

by Caileanmor on Sep 27, 2016 at 03:29 AM}
The black ink lines scrawled across the page appear at first blush to be nonsense. The mad pictorial of a disturbed mind. If you possess even the most modest of sensitivity to the divine magics, then with patience and focus these scribbles may begin speaking to you. Tiny indistinct voices whisper their inky ramblings to the back of your conscious mind until at last these scribblings begin to make sense… or is it that you too glean a touch of maddness? Who's to say.

The twenty and sixth day of the ninth month.
Fall is upon us, and soon winter will blanket the hills back home. Dun Morogh. It's been far too long since I've thought of those mountains as home. After our sacrifices during the many demonic invasions, Kharanos somehow feels more like home than ever before. Strange that.
The sprawling kingdom of Stormwind will be seeing their rains soon, if they are not already. A bitter cold will soon snap across Westfall. Elwynn will be damp and cold, feeling as though it should snow and yet it never does. Frost will cloak the shores of Lakeshire and chill their red hills. Duskwood will, well, remain much as it always has been I suppose… if a little more chill. Even now I long for the festivities of the realm. The cheer, the feasts, the drink and well wishing; as well as the gentle kindness that seems to befall the many and varied peoples of the Alliance. This is a good time of year to spend at home surrounded by family and friends, not off waging war against an unfathomable foe. Inconsiderate demons.

I long even now for the games, the food, the drink, the diversions of Brewfest but I dare not abandon my work to indulge. Such are all of our sacrifices of late. Our days grow long and dire in our struggles against the Legion. It hardly seems fair for me to desert my fellows of the Conclave, leave them behind in Netherlight Temple to toil and struggle while I abscond to parts unknown for fun and games. I will not abandon them. I admit however to stealing away from my studies (and work) now and then for a mug of lager at the Blue Recluse. I still marvel at the distances one can cover utilizing the established portal systems. I return to Stormwind ever only when the case load becomes too heavy, and the voices too loud. Dark Lager, I’ve found, is particularly effective as a dampener. The burden of their constant chatter becomes bearable once more with merely half a pint. The other half induces a very mild inebriation that can facilitate a sound nights rest. Not silent however. Not ever.
I was counseled (harshly) by a peer recently that I needed to hone my discipline, and perhaps consult with a monk. At the time I hadn’t the heart to argue the facts with the impetuous creature. She plays an exhausting game of verbal wills aimed at constantly establishing her superiority over all those with whom she engages. If she’s not proving her power and prowess with rather minor can-trips and (albeit tepid) displays, then she endeavors to paint you as the fool (or her lesser) with her knowledge and apparent wisdom. I’ve always found such people rather engaging at the least, but ultimately any attempt at civil discourse proves to be an exercise in futility. There is no way to reason with them on a common level, nor is there any way to earn a modicum of even social respect with their kind. They are right. They will always be right. Their protective battlements are raised and nothing you do or say can ever touch them. Nothing is ever correct unless it agrees with their selfish ego, and even then you’re a lowly sheep for ever agreeing. If I let them, these kind will never fail to infuriate me. Nothing is sacred lest they deem it so, and everything is condescended.

[Lines crisscross and swirl across the page, dancing as if relating a fragment of a greater spell form.]

Yet… She continues to intrigue, so I weather her storms.

At any rate, I’ve already counseled with many Pandaren monks and healers along my road.
It is a testament to their skills and training (and to their art) that I am here now, and coherent as I am. I’d lost myself to madness once before. It took a considerable amount of will and personal strength (and the aid of dear friends) to pull myself back to the ledge. Even now I teeter at the brink, but I have found my stride as it were. My mind remains open to their aid, their counsel, and the direction of my many monk associates; as well as with those few paladin, priest, and even a few warlock associates. She may not know it (though to be fair she may indeed be aware) that even she is teaches me.

I must admit, with a certain amount of chagrin, that she’s caught me on more than one occasion gazing at her from afar. Stealth apparently not one of my more developed attributes. I was certain that she would interpret my gazing as some form of inept sexual advance. A flirtation. While she is, in her own manner, a remarkable creature to behold; my stares were ever always of a studious and curiously contemplative nature. How she so casually conducts herself through the use of her void prowess is instructive. Insightful. Even masterful, to a degree. I’ve already learned much from her observance alone. I wonder how much more I might learn if she would but let her guard down just a little and have an honest dialog. Such a thing would be impossible, I am certain. I believe her to be a profoundly damaged being. A person so deeply lodged within their own pain, fear, and regret that for all her insight she remains blinded.
As are we all I suppose. I’ve no idea what she’s suffered, and suffers still that it saddens the soul to even contemplate.

I am reminded of a comment made by a draenei paladin during my latest attempt at hosting one of Genevra’s sermons. Her name and exact words have since faded from memory, as I’ve no desire to remember such a negative persona, but the spirit of her words linger still. I was called, in essence, a fool for even suggesting that the Shadow has a deeper nature to it that one might appreciate. Something other than merely being the Light’s opposite. More than simply a “balancing force”. Her singular reaction attests to why we shadow priests prefer to dwell in darkness. For all their mastery and understanding of the Light they remain ignorant to the broader scope of their world. Like a child they fear what they can’t possibly understand; not for any lack of capacity but for their lack of capability. They dare not try and so remain unable. It’s sad. Willful ignorance has always saddened me.

In their defense however, I admit that my “sermon” was more of a cerebral exercise than maybe they were accustomed. Perhaps I should have taken the safer road and followed Genevra’s example by throwing out warm and fuzzy blanket anacdotes. People attend her sermons to feel good, after all, and be reassured that they are in-fact not terrible people. All rather subjective in my own opinion. One person’s holy is to another an abomination. But if I did that I’d betray my own nature, so… I didn’t.

[The lines and swirls extend down through the margins and cross the page. Faint indistinct runes appear but melt back into the page the moment they are looked upon.]

Enough ruminating on such things. On to more important business.
My discoveries from the latest round of work performed in the name of the Netherlight Conclave, and my journeys through the Broken Isle.

I have learned a great deal on the art of manipulating the mind. Meditating before the shadow altar within the temple has wielded surprising results. I rather think I am on the verge of a kind of mastery as I’ve taken what’s been revealed to me out into the field.
I’ve delved into the addled minds of the withered Nightborn Elves that meander Suramar. It has proven endlessly educational. I lament that not all of my subjects initially survived my mental probings, which is why I chose to work with the withered in the first place. They are pathetic creatures but an excitable sort not without their dangers. In their confused fury any one of them are capable of inflicting grave injuries upon even the most seasoned (albeit careless) adventurer. Attracting more than one can easily escalate into a painful death sentence, which it has on more than one occasion. More capable (well… interested) minds are hard at work trying to correct the quagmire of their condition, but until such time they are able to cure the incurable it is left to those such as I and a multitude of other warriors, soldiers, and capable adventurers to keep them held at bay (when my service permits). Every now and then a culling is required in order to keep pathways and sanctuaries clear. Though I take no personal joy in the act, I am nonetheless eager to engage for no other reason than the expansion and understanding of my own shadows.
I freely admit here that it disturbs me easily the destructive nature of the void occasionally flows from me. I even admit here, and only here, that there is a part of me (touched by madness) that enjoys the weaving of such darkness. How easily a mind can break, tear itself apart, or be torn to shreds. The flesh withers and flays with such frailty. Such delicate creatures we are… we’ve become.

[The lettering devolves into a few lines of unintelligible scribbles upon a lattice work of writhing ink-shadows.]

That’s the dagger’s influence speaking. Of all the voices that whisper to me, it’s is the loudest and most domineering by far. Which is fine by me. When she speaks, the others fall more silent. She tempts me, I know it. I dare not allow myself to fall into her sway, for it would surely mean my destruction. Yet…

My studies in the light are progressing nicely.
I am now rather adept at employing the light in the healing capacity, and have even revived more than a few allies from the waning depths of near-death. For these feats and my progression I’ve been granted a few advancements of rank and station within the Conclave.
It’s only been a month yet it feels like much longer. So much has occurred. The skills and discipline of the priesthood (as I have come to generally call the practice) are gradually unlocking before me. I have recently been entrusted with a degree of leadership responsibilities over several fresh acolytes. They were all assigned to me, and though they are under no obligation they nevertheless have remained my pupils. A number of the more tested zealots have also come under my wing of their own accord. Seems I am forging a reputation of capability and confidence within the Conclave. I have been promised greater trust and rewards as my standing within Netherlight Temple improves.

Strangely, I am finding myself feeling a degree of importance! Best not let that get to my head however. No telling what madness might take hold. Heh.


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