I know. It’s late. Sorry!
In case you missed it, here’s Part 1.
Lelissa dove behind a broken pillar, taking cover from an onslaught of dark energy rolling through the room. The ground trembled in this fallen cathedral as the rage of an Old God, once imprisoned beyond time but now free once more on Azeroth, shook Ulduar to its very foundations. Parts of the ceiling cracked and fell away, stained glass shattering and spilling out onto the floor as Yogg-Saron vented his hate upon the team who had hurt him so badly. A slight movement at the corner of her vision caused her to look up, prepared for the worst. Quillion, a Kaldorei hunter and her longtime friend and ally, rushed across the open space toward her as the wave of power ended, sliding in next to her. His eyes were wide with adrenaline and a little madness: the battle against this foe was taking its toll on all of them.
“I think we need a better plan, Quill.”
Quillion murmured agreement, shaking his head in disbelief. “It was the best I had, though. I’m all out of tricks, and I don’t know how much everyone has left to give.” Quillion leaned slightly, peeking around the corner, surveying the room and the creature it was designed to imprison. His eyes briefly sought out the best that Purgatory had to offer, taking stock; no dead, many wounded, and all a little less sane. “Purgatory, form up! We’ve got to take back control of this fight!”
Hearing his call, the small squadron began to work their way toward each other, fighting every step of the way to get back to a defensible position. As they gathered together, a druid and paladin worked quickly to heal wounds and remove afflictions, and the team stood a little straighter and looked more determined with each brief second that passed. Quillion leaped from behind cover, motioning for Lelissa to follow.
“Give me a shield to the front! Ranged to the back rank! Lelissa, get the Knights on that ugly lump, and let’s get something done!”
Lelissa sprinted to the front, motioning to two Death Knights to assist her. A few months ago, she would have been very uncomfortable fighting alongside them, but Quillion had vouched for them, and his word counted for a great deal. Since then, they had become a very efficient team, and they all worked in concert against the pulpy, many-mouthed body of the Old God.
One of Yogg-Saron’s guardians appeared across the room and began charging directly for the three, intent on protecting its master. A lone paladin stepped forward from the back ranks, sending a lance of holy energy into the creature. Rage contorted its twisted visage and it turned toward the paladin, striking at him with flailing tentacled arms. Each of these strokes he caught on his shield, but the creature was powerful, and each successive smash against that shield drove the paladin to his knees.
“Knights, get on that elekk… squid… thing! Lelissa, stay where you are! Casters focus on Yogg! We have to bring him down!” At Quillion’s command, the pair of Death Knights broke away from the Old God and moved to attack the guardian, their fast and powerful attacks carving into the creature. It was bleeding from numerable wounds and was obviously weakened – no longer pounding the defending Paladin like a tent peg – but it refused to die. Worse, the Old God had called another guardian into the fray, and it raced to join the first.
A sudden explosion of thunder and a flash of light crashed in the middle of the battle, and a smoldering pile of ash was all that was left of the weakened guardian. The booming laugh of Thorim could be heard above the battle, and the fighters were able to breathe a little easier, and the Paladin struggled under the crushing blows of the new guardian until it had been heavily blooded once again.
A dark, hollow laugh from Yogg-Saron washed over them, and Lelissa’s mind went fuzzy for a moment. She stumbled as she turned, catching a glimpse of figures standing behind her… nine copies of her sister, Malyss, attacking an old friend, Esmerellda. Esmerellda was holding her own for the time being, bashing one of the strange clones with her mace, but the two behind her were quickly making swift work of her armor. Pieces of plate were cut away and sent flying, and her back, exposed to blades, was slashed with deep cuts. Feeling the rage building in her, Lelissa charged to save her friend, diving headlong into the two clones at her back, tackling them to the floor. She wrestled with them, trying to keep them on the ground, only to be blasted away by dark energy thrown from another at the back. Lelissa jumped to her feet, seeking to go to her friend’s rescue, but one of the clones stood in way, twin axes at the ready.
Lelissa leaped at the clone, a feral roar escaping her lips as her axe clashed again and again with the pair wielded by her sister. She was growing frustrated, seeing Esmerellda’s form slashed by swords and axes, bashed by maces, pierced with bullets and wracked by spells; every moment counted, and if she didn’t hurry, then…
Esmerellda exploded into a flash of light, leaving nothing behind. Lelissa screamed denial and rage, thrusting the haft of her axe into the clone’s gut, doubling it over. She spun and delivered a crushing sweep to the side of its head, and charged for the clones that cut her friend down. Just as she reached them, the room swam, and she ran headlong into one of Purgatory’s Death Knights, knocking her aside and crashing into the shield of the Paladin who fought the guardians just moments before. She thumped to the ground, and her axe fell from her hands, clattering and skidding across the flagstones. Shaking her head slightly to clear it, Lelissa looked up, blinking confusedly at her teammates.
“Hmel, check Van and see how bad he’s hurt,” Quillion said to the Paladin as he held out his hand. “Up off the floor with you, ‘Lissa. What happened to you? You suddenly turned and attacked Van and Averna, and nobody knew what the hell was going on.”
Lelissa let him help her up, then looked over her shoulder to see Hmel helping Van to his feet, a little hurt and far less than dead, but certainly worse for wear. Looking back at Quillion in horror, she shrank back a little, her voice shaking. “I… I don’t kn-now what happened… I heard Yogg-Saron laugh and then I saw… I saw…” She cradled her head in her hands, shutting her eyes, trying to hold off waves of vertigo as she regained her senses and sanity. “Light, my head hurts.”
Quillion watched Hmel and Van limp past the dead god, making their way to the healers. “Well, I wouldn’t worry. Yogg-Saron was an architect for a lot of chaos. It would only make sense that he’d be able to warp what you see to suit his purposes. Get your bearings a little bit, then collect your axe and meet us back where we fought the Iron Council. We’ve got to stop and see Brann on our way out and see what he found out about those sigils we found.”
Lelissa nodded, and Quillion turned to leave. She watched him walk away for a long moment, then turned her thoughts inward, considering old friends, family, and enemies.
Looking at the carnage on the library table, Valyra wondered if she were even searching in the right place for what she needed. Sighing softly, she began to clean up the mess, neatly stacking books and papers that only moments before had been strewn about the giant table as though subject to an explosion. Hopefully the counsel she would gain from her old guildmates would provide some sort of insight, for she was at a loss. At least Myrlia had experience with the Shadow, and Kelarr… Druids are supposed to know about cleansing the earth and all that anyway. And where the hell were they?
The two were supposed to arrive in Southshore almost four days ago. Valyra had finally given up on waiting after the first day, and instead left a message with the innkeeper to tell them to wait until she arrived. She had gone back to check every day after, but only later after she had finished researching for the day. It gave her something to do; every night since the first dream, she had had others showing Lelissa’s demise in new ways each time. Shuddering, she knew that it was her unconscious mind looking Forward as it often did, looking at the possibilities, but one truth always remained the same.
Lelissa would die if she left to confront Malyss on her own.