Effraeti's RP

One Woman, Two Timelines, Two Destinies.

Descending Twilight: Part One – Split Personality

Effraeti gave Lazheward a look that said she was not comfortable with the task laid before them, and he gave her a reassuring smile, resting his large bluish hand atop her’s.  How could she not calm under that gaze?  How could she do anything but return that genuine and loving smile?

They had been through so much together, and he never let her down, but something tugged at her subconscious.  Something did not feel right.

All she could do for now was stay by Lazheward’s side and, together, continue down the path before them.

Once more, the pair of Draenei stood before Anachronos, eldest of the great Bronze Aspect, Nozdormu.  Once more, they were tasked with traveling back into the past to thwart the meddling of the mysterious Infinite Dragonflight.

Laz and Effy

Several times already Laz and Effy had successfully disrupted their devious scheming – saving both Thrall and Medivh and reassuring the defeat of Archimonde at Mount Hyjal.

Now, Anachronos had laid out for them something even closer to home – Laz and Effy had been asked to save the life of the very monster they sought to defeat in his Frozen Throne.  They were being sent to protect the man who would later become the Lich King, Prince Arthas Menethil.

To complicate things further, they were to perform this duty during the corrupted Prince’s darkest deed – the culling of Stratholme.

Many times down his destructive path, Arthas had killed countless innocents, including his father King Terenas and his mentor Uther the Lightbringer and first Paladin, but it was at Stratholme that Arthas cemented his infamy and paved the road to his own damnation.  It was there he slaughtered the entirety of that once great city – man, woman and child alike.

As much sense as there was in preserving the timelines as they were meant to progress, Effy could not help but wonder how many lives could be saved if Arthas were never allowed to exterminate the citizens of Stratholme and live on to become the Lich King.  That city would not be the shell of ever-burning buildings and walking death.  Lordaeron would not have fallen, its King would have lived on to rule in his wise and honorable way.  The Scourge may never have gained hold in the northern part of the Eastern Kingdoms, and the Forsaken would not ever have come into existence.

Effraeti gazed into the eyes of the Bronze before her, Anachronos’ orbs glowing like molten gold.

Anachronos

A toothy smile grew on his draconic visage as he seemed to read her doubts.  In a great booming voice, he said, “Yes, Effraeti, I realize the ethical dilemma this raises.  These doubts are not missed by my kin – not one day of one year of one century we have watched over the time ways – but the responsibility of keeping time flowing in its designated course is a burden we bear humbly.  In turn, we have came to respect you and your mate in these tasks, and it is only through our great faith in you that we would even lay this task before you.”

Effraeti nodded, realizing the ethics of the situation were not the only thing bothering her.  It was not something she could put a finger on, but she felt certain that she and Laz moved quickly in a direction toward something life altering.

More life altering than the thought of striking down the Lich King and freeing Azeroth from the threat of the Scourge before it ever happened?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Into Stratholme

The sense of foreboding returned as Laz and Effy approached the cavernous corridor leading to Stratholme’s time portal.

Effy grabbed Laz’s hand to steady herself.  His gaze met her’s with curiosity and concern.

She shook her head, both to clear it and to reassure him.  To further convince them both she was okie, Effy went through the swirling portal, Laz only a step behind her.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Prince Arthas

Prince Arthas struck Effraeti immediately as a troubled man.  Conflicting emotions constantly shifted across his face, like so many clouds passing back and forth over the sun.  It was the first time she had seen Arthas without him in the armor of the Lich King – that creature possessed no emotions, such things having been frozen off his heart and ripped away.  They were two different creatures, entirely, but it was not hard to path the progression from one to the other.  Already there was the cold, callous part of Arthas fighting with the side of him that held to the tenets of the Paladin order.

To add to the discomfort of the situation, Effy found herself performing awkwardly in the human form she had been given for this task.  Her legs felt all wrong, and she could not figure out how humans walked on such strangely built, flat-footed limbs.  She tried to look natural, but noticed the strange looks the Prince shot her way on occasion.

The Remaining Citizens

Her only consolation in the whole ordeal was that she did not have to raise a hand to any of the innocent citizens of Stratholme.  Every one they came across had already succumb to the tainted grain – its sickly-sweet scent still barely olfactible among the stench of burning.

Thankfully, all that greeted Lazheward and Effraeti in their escort of the Prince were undead.

Then, as Effy was thanking the Light for their luck, they came face to face with three living citizens, two men and a woman.  “Ah, you’ve finally arrived, Prince Arthas.  You’re here just in the nick of time.”  There was a strange quality to the man’s voice – more amused than afraid or relieved.  Even when Arthas stepped forward, the man smiled without flinching.

The Last Living Citizens?

Knowing what he planned, Effy turned away and buried her face in Laz’s broad chest as she unconsciously held her breath and listened to the Prince declare, “Yes, I am glad I could get to you before the plague.”

The sound of Arthas’ large hammer striking made Effy jump, and Laz held her shoulders firmly.

A grating laughter filled the room, and Effraeti turned to look at the human it came from.

“What is this sorcery?” Arthas spat.

“There is no need for you to understand, Arthas.  All you need to do is die.”  Before the last word could leave his mouth, the three citizens of Stratholme transformed into something much different – fleshy pink skin became black scale, faces and hands and bodies turned reptilian.

Where moments before had stood three seemingly innocent humans, agents of the Infinite Dragonflight sprang on Prince Arthas.

Not Humans - Infiinite Agents!

Lazheward wasted no time in putting himself between the Prince and his would-be assassins.  Holy Light flashed from his hands and hammer and powerful blows struck the Infinite Agents over and over, driving them back from Arthas.  However, the Prince did not back down either.  He stood shoulder to shoulder with his fellow Paladin, and as soon as Effraeti could once more gather her wits, she called upon the soothing element of Water to heal them both, as well as the immovable element of Earth to shield them from the savage attacks of the twisted dragonkin.

When the three were dispatched, Arthas nodded his respect to both of his human-camouflaged companions.  All he said was, “Mal’Ganis appears to have more than Scourge in his arsenal.  We should make haste.”

More groups of Infinite dragonkin blocked their progress, but none for long.  Prince Arthas smashed a pathway with his hammer and Lazheward met his pace with mace and shield.

“Mal’Ganis is not making this easy,” Arthas growled between swings.

Chrono-Lord Epoch

After several waves of the dragonkin, the trio found themselves in a room with a swirling yellow portal.  Out from the portal stepped a giant black drakonid.  The towering Chrono-Lord ignored Lazheward and Effraeti and addressed their charge.  “Prince Arthas Menethil, on this day, a powerful darkness has taken hold of your soul.  The death you are destined to visit upon others will this day be your own.”

“I do what I must for Lordaeron, and neither your words nor your actions will stop me.”

“We’ll see about that, young Prince.”

The Chrono-Lord spared them no second thoughts, and charged at Prince Arthas with abandon – the drakonid’s whole purpose to slay the man Laz and Effy protected.

A wide powerful swing of the creature’s huge axe nearly cleaved Arthas in two.  Only Lazheward’s quick thinking saved him, shoving Arthas out of the way of the descending blade, and just barely dodging the blow himself.  While the drakonid and the two Paladins regained their balance, Effraeti summoned the elements to her aid and assaulted the Chrono-Lord with fire, ice and lightning.  The scaled creature hissed curses at her in Draconic and advanced on the casting Shaman.

Lazheward was there between them, taunting the drakonid, drawing its attention back upon himself.  She shielded him and soothed the blows he bore with healing rains.  Upon recovering, Prince Arthas also rejoined the fight, and soon the group had the Chrono-Lord subdued.

His final words were, “Tick tock, tick tock.”

Standing over the fallen drakonid, Effy felt a tinge of regret.  Being a friend to many dragons, Effy always felt a great heaviness in her heart when confronting one of their twisted kin.  She had to remind herself more than once that this creature had sought to undo the timelines, at great detriment to everyone.

Effy patted Xarzith absently, and the young blue whelpling made a pleased bleeting sound in reply.

Xarzith

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Mi’Lord, you know I would never question you.  I know you see far more than any of us could.  But I cannot help but wonder at the danger such an action can present – after all, our job is to protect the proper flow of the timelines.”

“I am aware of the consequences, Chronormu, but mechanisms must be set in motion to counter occurrences in the future of the true time line.”

“Then, consider your will done, mi’lord.  I shall speak to the two Draenei, and I will ensure they get to where you have requested.”

“Thank you, Chronormu.  I knew you would be my best hope with this.”

Nozdormu

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As the trio stepped through Market Row, they noticed the fires had not yet spread to the district, and no undead barred their way.  All that stood between them and the completion of their mission was Mal’Ganis, assuming no more Infinite Agents lurked in the shadows.

Crusader’s Square came into view, and the smiling visage of the Nathrezim greeted them.

“We’re going to finish this now, Mal’Ganis.  Just you… and me.”

“This will be a fine test, Prince Arthas,” the demon promised with a sardonic grin and began to cast his fel magic.

Facing Mal'Ganis

Effy buffeted Mal’Ganis with great gusts of wind, ripping the magical words from his mouth and dispersing them harmlessly.  The demon snarled in her direction, but exhaled sharply when Laz’s shield met his gut.

Arthas and Lazheward leaped in unison and pummeled the Nathrezim with their hammers.  The demon merely laughed at their attempts, treating them as if they were no more than buzzing flies.

Beginning to call down lightning, Effraeti focused on the fiend and released the energy in his direction.  Mal’Ganis took a small step back as the first bolt struck him, it sizzled and crackled on his chest.  When the second bolt struck, the demon barely flinched, starting to lift his hands.  The third and fourth bolts were caught in his taloned hands like one might catch a tossed ball.

Effraeti was still channeling the elemental energies when Mal’Ganis wound up and threw the crackling bolts straight at her, one catching her in the arm and the other in her thigh.  She cried out in pain before she could stop herself and fell on all fours.  Panting, Effy fumbled in her pouch for her healing totem and clung to it as she fought to recollect herself – fearing Mal’Ganis would come at her while she was wounded.

Lazheward, however, would not have let the demon by.  He bellowed a Draenei battle cry and flashed with an aura of brilliant white Light.  Mal’Ganis had to shield his eyes from the radiance, and as he did so, Laz assaulted him with enough force to catch the demon off guard and knock him off balance.

Using this weakness to his advantage, Prince Arthas caught Mal’Ganis in the legs and brought the demon down hard enough that his bulk shook the entire Square.

“Enough!” Mal’Ganis bellowed, the force and timbre of his voice and the sudden flailing outward of his arms driving them back, including Effraeti who had only just gotten back up and still clung to her totem tightly.

“Your journey has just begun, young Prince.  Gather your forces and meet me in the arctic land of Northrend.  It is there we shall settle the score between us.  It is there that your true destiny will unfold.”  The Nathrezim conjured a glowing green portal.

Arthas sprinted forward as soon as he realized the demon’s intentions, but Mal’Ganis disappeared into the portal, only his echoing laughter lingering behind him.

“I’ll hunt you to the ends of the earth if I have to!  Do you hear me?  To the ends of the earth!”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Prince Arthas thanked the two human-looking Draenei, but Lazheward and Effraeti could tell his mind was already elsewhere – probably on its way north.  His last words to them as he walked off into the smoke and debris confirmed their assumptions.  “I must now begin plans for an expedition to Northrend.”

Chronormu

It was not until Prince Arthas was completely out of view that Laz and Effy heard the soft, faraway beating of wings.  Within moments the wind from those wings buffeted them, and a great golden-colored dragon descended, landing gracefully for its size.

“Why, hello again!” Chromie greeted them cheerfully in her squeaky gnomish voice, her diminutive in stature form replacing the giant wyrm in the blink of an eye.

Effy could not help but smile at the tiny woman and her charismatic nature.

“Great job!  Arthas is safely on his way to Northrend!” Chromie continued, throwing her hands emphatically into the air, her voice squeaking while accentuating the first part of the word Northrend.  “The Infinites have been foiled and this thread of history remains intact.  I thank you for your invaluable assistance, as does the entire Bronze Dragonflight.”

She looked firmly at each of them in turn before she continued.  “And yet, I must ask you for that assistance once more.”

Chromie

Effraeti cocked her head, curiously.  “With what?”

Lazheward made a brief nod, burrows furrowed, and regarded Chromie with a similar, questioning look.

“One more time task.  One more important than any of those before.”  Her cherubic face was so serious she did not look herself.  “One so important that Nozdormu himself will need be the one to explain it to you.”

The two human-guised Draenei glanced around.  “Is he here?” Effy asked, her voice quiet and awed.

“Not here.  Nor in our when, where he is still missing in the threads of time.  I wish I could explain more, but even I am not fully informed on the task he requests of you.  I am only the messenger.”  Chromie smiled, and her normal demeanor almost returned.

“Well, how can we know if we are prepared without knowing what is expected of us?” Lazheward asked, voicing the question they both silently asked.

“Nozdormu assures me that you are both ready, and that the time for departure is now.  Finding him, this time in the future, is the path to your answers.  Only he knows this path the true timeline takes, and what lies ahead, and only he knows what is needed to keep it on course.”

Effy met Laz’s gaze, and in that exchange of looks much was said between them.

“We will do what is needed of us,” Effraeti replied for them both.  Lazheward gave a firm nod of his horned head.

Chromie beamed.  “The future of Azeroth is in good hands,” she replied, nodding her respect to both of them.  Then, she conjured a portal and beckoned them forward.  “Good luck, friends.  May time be in your side.”

Grasping hands, the two stepped through.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Before, time travel provided by the Bronze dragons had never been painful, but this time as the Nether swirled around her in a dizzying array of color, Effraeti felt as if she were being torn apart, right down the middle.  Chilling claws seemed to tear at her, so cold it burned.  She thought eventually she must go numb or, if the Light be good to her, she might pass out, but no comfort was afforded her.

It seemed to last hours and mere seconds all at the same time.

She tumbled and spun through the Nether, thinking to herself that everything was wrong, curled into a ball to fight off the pain.  Her previous unease returned to her consciousness and she wondered if she were dying.

Finally, as she thought to herself she could bear no more, the blissful peace of oblivion took her, and Effraeti passed out.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Stormwind

At first when Effraeti came to, she felt as if she were seeing through two sets of eyes.  The disorienting double vision made it nearly impossible to determine her surroundings.  She saw water and a large tree and a small, human-style house.

Effy blinked several times and shook her head, in hopes of clearing it.  Finally, she identified Stormwind castle in the distance and a strange island she could not recall seeing before.  A large circle of a number of portals ringed the edge of the small island, reminding her of the portals in Dalaran – connecting it to the Alliance capitals.

A grunt greeted her and Effy turned to see Lazheward sitting up, holding his head.  She flung her arms around him and nearly wept in relief.  “I thought for sure something awful had happened and that we would float in the Nether indefinitely.”

Laz rested his cheek against the top of her head and held her close.  “All is well.  Just a bit sore.  I am not sure what happened, but we appear safe and whole.”  He kissed her gently.

Effy nodded and stood, unsteadily at first, but quickly she gained her balance.

“This appears to be Stormwind, but nothing looks right.”  Thinking out loud, she scanned the skyline of the city.

Her eyes flew wide when they fell upon the clocktower in the center of the human capital.  It was charred and shattered at its peak, as if some child-giant had come through and sought to knock it over like a tower of blocks.  Laz followed her gaze and looked similarly taken aback by the scene.

When were they?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Dalaran

At first when Effraeti came to, she felt as if she were seeing through two sets of eyes.  The disorienting double vision made it nearly impossible to determine her surroundings.  She saw water and a large tree and a small, human-style house.

An odd and nauseating sense of deja vu seized Effraeti.  She fought back the feeling and looked uneasily around her.

She appeared to be laying in a park, in Dalaran.  A small, brown rabbit with little fear of her hopped by her left side and Effraeti propped herself a bit higher on her elbows and tried to make sense of things.

A grunt greeted her and Effraeti turned to see Lazheward sitting up, holding his head.  She flung her arms around him and nearly wept in relief.  “I thought for sure something awful had happened and that we would float in the Nether indefinitely.”

Lazheward rested his cheek against the top of her head and held her close.  “All is well.  Just a bit sore.  I am not sure what happened, but we appear safe and whole.”  He kissed her gently.

Effraeti nodded and stood, unsteadily at first, but quickly she gained her balance.

She could hear the comforting bustle of the City of Mages just outside of the small grassy area, the sounds reassuring that things might possibly be normal.

“Chromie mentioned sending us into the future.  Do you think we are there?” Effraeti asked her companion.

Lazheward shrugged and replied, “Only one way to find out.  Let us take a look around.”

Arm in arm, the two Draenei walked forward into the unknown that awaited them.

End Part 1

Please Note: Some of the dialogue and characters in this piece are taken from events occurring in the Level 80 Culling of Stratholme dungeon.

If you liked this story about Effraeti, perhaps you would also like my other stories starring her (in chronological order):

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