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#14809274 Aug 09, 2021 at 01:31 PM · Edited 9 months ago
Silversworn
125 Posts
A campaign by Athaea Lonelight.



PREMISE

After the imprisonment of Sargeras, the Burning Legion was thrown into disarray, leaving several demons stranded on Azeroth. One of these holdout forces is the Ruinous Cohort, a powerful demonic regiment. They now seek to use mortal souls to empower their fel engines, so they can contact the remnants of the Burning Legion in the Twisting Nether.

The Silver Circle must first stop the Ruinous Cohort from harvesting mortal souls, and then discover their hidden base to mount an attack to end their demonic efforts once and for all.


STATE OF AFFAIRS

The Post War

As the situation in the Shadowlands further deteriorates, those who remain in Azeroth must face their own challenges. The world is still recovering from the damage caused by the Fourth War and the Old God incursion, seeking to mend its wounds and find at least a modicum of peace in this troubled world.

The Night Elf Refugees

Still recovering from the tragedy of Teldrassil, the night elves slowly started to spread across the world, seeking new places to call home. While many refugees are still in Elwynn Forest, others moved to Val’sharah, Ashenvale, Stonetalon and many other locations. Refugee caravans can be seen all across northern Kalimdor, the south of the Eastern Kingdoms and much of the Broken Isles. Many kaldorei outposts became temporary camps, housing those who travel across Azeroth, looking for hope after the tragedy.

The Shattered Legion

While most of Azeroth’s attention immediately shifted with the beginning of the War of the Thorns, the Illidari hadn’t forgotten about the recent invasion by the Burning Legion. Even with the death of Kil’jaeden and the imprisonment of Sargeras, holdouts of the burning legion still exist within Azeroth. Many illidari, and especially those who didn’t immediately side with either the Horde or the Alliance, continued their hunt, seeking to free Azeroth from the demonic threat.


KEY CHARACTERS

Mondronoth

The leader of the Ruinous Cohort, Mondronoth is a pit lord who was left behind in Azeroth after the imprisonment of Sargeras. Malevolent and ruthless, there’s no act too horrendous, no step too far when it comes to achieving his objectives. Mondronoth currently seeks to re-establish communication with the remnants of the Burning Legion so he and the rest of the Ruinous Cohort can be extracted from Azeroth.


Delvara

The first of Mondronoth lieutenants, Delvara is an ancient Shivarra. A master in the fel arts and a fanatical follower of Sargeras, she ensures that all members of the Ruinous Cohort maintain utmost devotion for the Dark Titan, even now. Those whose loyalty falls short of the shivarra expectations will quickly regret their lack of faith.


Rathorax

Recently elevated to the position of lieutenant of the Ruinous Cohort, Rathorax is a jailer specialized in harvesting souls. His thousands of years of experience and expertise are crucial to the Ruinous Cohort’s plans, and so Mondronoth’s expectations weigh heavily on his shoulders.


Xabsic

The true identity of Xathric, Xabsic is a villainous and cunning satyr and long time enemy of the Silver Circle. Creator of the Crystals of Corruption, he resurfaced after the end of the Fourth War, seeking to manipulate the Ruinous Cohort to his own nefarious ends.


Lyeenya

An envoy sent by the Illidari to aid the Silver Circle efforts, Lyeenya is specialized in tracking down demons. A former priestess who was presumed dead at the Battle of Hyjal, she was found and rescued by Illidari forces, paving the way for her to join them afterward. Estranged from the Kaldorei, she has yet to attempt to reconnect with their society, preferring to stick with other Illidari for now.
#14809282 Aug 09, 2021 at 01:35 PM · Edited 9 months ago
Silversworn
125 Posts

THE SOUL ENGINE

An unholy creation made of twisted metal and stone, the Soul Engine is a monument to the Burning Legion’s power and terror. Summoned into Azeroth during their last invasion, the Soul Engine is used to store harvested souls so they can be ground down into pure fel energy.

While most soul engines were destroyed by the united forces of Legionfall, some still stand, hidden away across Azeroth. And now, the Ruinous Cohort commands one of them, using it as their base of operations. While his ultimate goal is still a mystery, Mondronoth seeks to fill their soul engine, even if it takes the life of countless mortals.

In the Ruinous Cohort campaign, the empowerment of the Soul Engine will be shown in this post. As more souls are harvested by the demon forces of the Ruinos Cohort, the more energy will be placed within the Soul Engine, lighting up its panels. And the fuller the Soul Engine gets, the direr the consequences will be for all of Azeroth.

The forces of the Ruinous Cohort will attempt to harvest the souls of mortals in every event, and it’s up to the Silver Circle to stop them. Saving innocents, disrupting supply lines, recovering imprisoned souls and thwarting the Cohort’s undertakings will be essential to slow or even stop the progress of the Soul Engine. The Silver Circle can also attempt to further stop its progress through individual roleplay and side events, sanctioned by Athaea Lonelight, the campaign runner.

But if the Silver Circle fails to stop the Ruinous Cohort efforts, more souls will be gathered and placed within the Soul Engine, and the more powerful the Cohort will be. And if the Soul Engine is fully powered, then Mondronoth’s plans will finally come to fruition. Whatever they might be, the Silver Circle can’t allow this to take place. With that in mind, not only must the Circle stop the Cohort’s soul-harvesting efforts, but they must also find and destroy the Soul Engine once and for all.




CURRENT STATE OF THE SOUL ENGINE:



All events that increase or decrease the soul engine’s power will be recorded here, so you can always come back to consult the current state of the tracker. As the campaign goes on, the Soul Engine will grow stronger, so it’s up to the Circle to push against the tide, and stop the Ruinous Cohort.

???- Aug 07: Several months of kidnappings and the harvesting of an entire outpost. (+3 Soul Energy)
Aug 09: Partial harvesting of a caravan in Azsuna. (+1 Soul Energy)
Aug 14: Partial harvest of the Silverwing Grove and capture of Nadyssa Leafbreeze. (+2 Soul Energy)
Aug 19: Partial harvest of the satyrs in Ashenvale and capture of Celassa Kal'nor and Seldarine Stardragon. (+2 Soul Energy)
Aug 24: Harvest of travelers and merchants in Ashenvale. (+2 Soul Energy)
Aug 28: Complete destruction of the Soul Engine.
#14809287 Aug 09, 2021 at 01:42 PM
Silversworn
125 Posts


PROLOGUE PART 1


The Silver Circle met at the Stardust Spire, in Ashenvale. Athaea Lonelight related reports of an outpost of which the garrison had gone missing. With little knowledge of the situation other than the supposed disappearance of all personnel from a watcher outpost, the Circle set out to learn more about what had happened there.

As they moved through Ashenvale toward their destination, they found that the forest itself had been affected by whatever had taken place. The evening was dead quiet, with no birds singing or crickets chirping. The grass was dark and lifeless, while the trees withered along the path. A strong, pungent smell fouled the evening air, only growing stronger as they approached the outpost.

And as they arrived, not a single living soul was present in the camp. There were no bodies, no guards, no patrols,and no signs of a struggle either. As the Circle spread to investigate the location, they could find little that pointed toward the previous watcher presence. Broken pieces of armor and a charred glaive were all that was left behind.



Meanwhile, the camp’s tents had several holes burned into them, yet the interiors were left mostly unscathed. A large puddle of slime was quickly identified as leftovers of fel, and subsequently purified using moonwell water.

As a member of the Silver Circle approached the camp from a different angle, they managed to find several large footprints, including some cloven ones. None of them were night elf footprints, in size or shape. The wilted trees above creaked in the wind, the thick dark clouds blocking most of the moonlight.

Soon after a streak of lightning crossed the skies, the Silver Circle decided it was better to return to safety with the information they had gathered, even if they hadn’t been able to find any concrete leads or even those kidnapped. The party grouped up for safety and then returned to Stardust Spire before going their own ways, while Athaea returned to the Barrow Dens to prepare the mission report.

#14809289 Aug 09, 2021 at 01:42 PM
Silversworn
125 Posts

PROLOGUE PART 2


After the discovery of the missing garrison, Athaea and the watchers managed to connect seemingly isolated cases of missing persons across azeroth. Dozens of people had gone missing while out and about in the world, from druids to sentinels, from night elves to draenei to humans. The empty outpost was the missing link to all the previous cases, which had been mostly isolated occurrences, most of them during the fourth war. But the culprit was still unknown, as were their motivations or how they had managed to abduct an entire garrison so easily.


With this information in hand, the Watchers had now received reports of another missing garrison, this time in Suramar. The Silver Circle gathered at the Irongrove Retreat, prepared to continue the investigation. Due to how recent this report had been, the party decided to move out as quickly as possible, hoping that they could still find a warm trail.

With weapons in hand, they moved down the road toward their destination. But far before they were anywhere near to the outpost, the smell of sulfur and brimstone filled the air, adding to the uncomfortably warm night. The Circle immediately went into high alert, and as they were about to cross a bridge, the sounds of battle could be heard. Metal screeched against metal, a purple blur moving between green-glowing creatures. Unable to take a closer look due to the trees surrounding the bridge, the circle rushed across it and then down a slope, towards the origin of the sounds.

An illidari fought several demons, with a couple of demons dead on the ground already. An eredar led the demon party, who had managed to surround the demon hunter. And as the fight raged on, a jailer demon prepared a ritual with the bodies of several dead night elves. As the Circle arrived at the scene, two felhounds broke away from the fight and lunged toward them, forcing them into the fight. While the felhounds were quickly dispatched, the rest of the demons put up much more resistance.



The jailer eventually vaporized the night elves' bodies, ripping out their souls and harvesting them before using them to empower the surviving demons, turning the tides of the battle. The illidari joined forces with the Circle as they murdered several imps, and eventually managed to also defeat the jailer and the eredar, at high cost. Several members of the party had been badly injured, and required immediate medical attention.

As those injured received assistance, the illidari finally approached the circle properly. As Athaea recognized her, she blushed and turned away, almost hiding behind her own warden cloak. The illidari rolled her eyes away from the warden, as she also recognized her. But while Athaea became completely silent, Lyeenya decided to exchange words with the rest of the Circle.

She claimed that the demons were part of a larger demonic force called the Ruinous Cohort, a fighting unit of the Burning Legion that had been left behind in Azeroth after the imprisonment of Sargeras. While their true motives and objectives were a mystery, it was clear that they had been kidnapping and harvesting the souls of mortals for their own nefarious ends.

While some barbs were exchanged due to the noncommittal attitude of Lyeenya, she claimed that she would continue hunting for the rest of the Cohort, and that she expected to encounter the Circle again in the incoming weeks. She left the party and went on her way, claiming she needed to return to Mardun. After she was long gone, Athaea finally recovered her nerve, claiming that the Silver Circle needed to return to Lightsong to help those wounded. And so, the party made its way back into the safety of Val’sharah.
#14811945 Aug 10, 2021 at 09:34 PM · Edited 10 months ago
Silversworn
125 Posts

CHAPTER I: HARVEST SEASON




With the discovery of the existence of the Ruinous Cohort, the Silver Circle decided to take a proactive approach to the situation. Instead of merely waiting to investigate reported attacks, they instead decided to follow up on reported demon sightings at Azsuna. After grouping up at Lightsong with Lyeenya Ravenfire, they set off to the south, ready to hunt down more demons.



After they crossed the river that divided both regions, they got back on the main road through Azsuna. But it didn’t take long for the first unusual sight of their trip as they approached a seemingly moving bush. But as they moved in to investigate it, a wounded kaldorei crawled out of it, begging for help. He claimed that he and his caravan had been attacked by demons, and he had barely managed to escape. While one of the elves stayed behind to take care of the wounded kaldorei, the rest of the party rushed down the road, hitting an intersection.

And as they arrived, they encountered the attacking demons. A jailer was harvesting the souls of the dead while a felhound, two wyrmtongues and a felguard attacked the surviving caravan guards. Lyeenya immediately rushed into the fray, with the rest of the Circle quickly joining in. They focused on distracting the jailer from the caravan guards, while others ganged up on the felguard. The felhound ambushed the backlines of the circle, aiming to go after the magic users, while the wyrmtongues lobbed alchemical potions around, causing havoc.



The felhound managed to take down Sylaurane Weathershield, sensing her through her magic usage. As others attempted to assist her, the felhound managed to also knock out Celassa Kal’nor, reacting to the divine magic that the priestess used. The jailer also managed to break through the Circle frontline, rushing in and killing one of the caravan guards, immediately harvesting his soul.

After the circle managed to end the felhound reign of terror, the felguard reacted with rage, bringing down his sword and knocking Sylaurane out again, after she had been rescued. Unfortunately, her fall also led to Cealssa being taken down again. But the circle managed to turn the tide, killing the wyrmtongues and the jailer as well, before finally defeating the felguard and leaving no demon alive. They offered help to the surviving caravan guard, who revealed several other caravaneers who had hidden around the area in fear. Some members of the Circle also gathered the body of the dead, so they could be given their proper last rites.



As Lyeenya investigated the area, she found a small projector left behind by one of the dead wyrmtongues. She approached the rest of the circle before activating it, revealing the green hologram of a pitlord, who relayed the following message:

"My servants, I shouldn't have to remind any of you of the importance of your assignment, so HEED MY WORDS! You have one mission, and one mission only. The Engine requires more fuel. Protect the jailers as they capture and harvest the souls of the dead. If anyone tries to interfere with your work, or so much as catches sight of it, it is your job to make sure they meet the same end as the others. If any escape your grasp, you will be added to the engine instead. After all mortals in the area are slain, return to the Soul Engine for further orders. Failure will NOT be tolerated! The Ruinous Cohort is eternal!"

((Voice acted message at https://soundcloud.com/kalad-rp/mondronoth-message !))

Lyeenya frowned now that some of her worst fears had been confirmed. An entire demon cohort was hidden somewhere in Azeroth, harvesting souls and feeding them to a soul engine, led by an Annihilan. She left immediately to inform the Illidari of the dire news, while the Silver Circle gathered all those civilians who were still alive, leading them to the safety of Lightsong.
#14813966 Aug 11, 2021 at 09:09 PM · Edited 10 months ago
Silversworn
125 Posts

THE RUINOUS COHORT CODED LETTERS


The Circle found two different coded letters among the many items they plundered from the wyrmtongues couriers. Everyone is welcome to try breaking the cipher and revealing the hidden messages.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The first letter original text:

khes jhisehihco,

n ovar dcvecrs gergvevcnhid qhe cor vddvbkc hi cor lvkshern hbcghdc tvkkrs dnkareznip pehar. zonkr cor lvkshern vis nkknsven qhetrd ver ihz vzver hq hbe gerdritr orer ni vwrehco, n vj trecvni cond vccvtl znkk thjr hqq vd v dbegendr. zr znkk pehbg hbe qhetrd vc cor srjhi qvkk tvixhi ch cor rvdc hq cor cveprc, vis cori zr znkk bcnknwr dohec evipr crkrghecvcnhi ch tehdd cor qherdcrs vervd nich v kvisnip verv tkhdr ch cor pehar.

covc zvx corx znkk ihc ur vukr ch dthbc hbe vggehvto urqher nc nd chh kvcr qhe corj ch drc bg gehgre srqridrd. vqcre zr ver shir znco corj, zr znkk oveardc corne dhbkd, vis dcenlr irveux drcckrjricd urqher ercbeinip ch cor dhbk ripnir. n rygrtc ch qnis ghzreqbk dhbkd ni cordr khtvcnhid, dnitr corx ver ghgbkvcrs ux zveenhed vis qnpocred. vqcre vkk, cor jhdc ghzreqbk cor qhrd zr dkvni ver, cor jher qbkk hq rirepx corne dhbkd znkk ur.

znco cond dbttrdd, n znkk gehar ch xhb ni ih bitrecvni crejd covc xhbe srtndnhi ch gntl jr vd hir hq xhbe gredhivk knrbcrivicd zvd cor theertc hir.

rcreivk pkhex ch cor thohec.


The decoded text, first broken by Fyfaesia Silverstrike, a feat repeated by Seldarine Stardragon and Aneldraen Silentstar:

Lord Mondronoth,

I have started preparations for the assault on the kaldorei outpost called Silverwing Grove. While the kaldorei and illidari forces are now aware of our presence here in Azeroth, I am certain this attack will come off as a surprise. We will group our forces at the demon fall canyon to the east of the target, and then we will utilize short range teleportation to cross the forested areas into a landing area close to the grove.

That way they will not be able to scout our approach before it is too late for them to set up proper defenses. After we are done with them, we will harvest their souls, and strike nearby settlements before returning to the Soul Engine. I expect to find powerful souls in these locations, since they are populated by warriors and fighters. After all, the most powerful the foes we slain are, the more full of energy their souls will be.

With this success, I will prove to you in no uncertain terms that your decision to pick me as one of your personal lieutenants was the correct one.

Eternal glory to the Cohort.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The second letter original text:

uakrhztx,

v fodo mpkohjh krba eegwei dh khntuakeeime lru fx rwnr ehcvxm xkozrtzyg bh lvhukogigt. vw ij egnhrgxnrdx q vohod eym lh sb ln gokahn, oxt krx knrehnk wbalibq hrc vwgshpeu wnka os py ksfm. b lbrk wyketrq wo jokdbnt whv mhphrg viuo ug liqh wzda ghu, nv yfek nxlyrw csxcmeadnk. kl ghu nue noet twnue, tyetxcglnx whzmay volvl ql os paosfcf izsoidtvve srr fek knrehnk qhies, fr wv cawnlqq’t nklbx aab mfbx bbmr whrx lbkipwlp xxkxsfdrp sg nkiirlzdbml. af d mrdmmk os iatd, mpx mbue ksfm pe vqskotl yopxs fx kmeenvieq likgruaj, dam zrrdtvb hck gyrrp gbte br .

l wzve jx uadbco mw covq ie ihck iafodsgo ttgdcb, lnb b az srvztzbnt py fgg xeaav tf pnzmhru olb zwtlf. rui phzpaeg stynbl aeh acbxiwy fhebsgo t fvwtzxz btrtht, fxx baag zicv awiesxlci zmm uf hvvb vthsru tf vxioiaj tysl nhrfdkvx ittnrw. wzda fttuuit rxti, wr drv mewlee wo krba mhnq emok jxfbue. uy gwm lrw yfek ntigk frvmmk, lvhukogigt.

zdy krx ltrx wikkg oniqh yfek ptnq.


The decoded text, first broken by Fyfaesia Silverstrike, a feat repeated by Seldarine Stardragon and Aneldraen Silentstar:

Rathorax,

I come through this letter to congratulate you on your recent promotion to Lieutenant. It is unfortunate I could not do so in person, but the current mission has consumed much of my time. I look forward to serving the Cohort side by side with you, as your fellow lieutenant. As you are well aware, collecting mortal souls is of maximum importance for our current goals, so we shouldn’t waste any more time than strictly necessary in frivolities. As a matter of fact, the more time we instead focus on releasing Sargeras, the greater our glory will be .

I will be unable to join in your incoming attack, but I am preparing my own plans to further our goals. Our forward scouts are already seeking a fitting target, one that will hopefully get us ever closer to leaving this forsaken planet. With Xathric help, we are closer to this than ever before. Do not let your faith falter, lieutenant.

May the Dark Titan guide your hand.

#14819926 Aug 14, 2021 at 02:25 PM
Silversworn
125 Posts

CHAPTER II: WILES AND WYRMTONGUES


With the knowledge that the Ruinous Cohort is being led by a Pit Lord, the situation becomes bleaker. WIth no knowledge of where their next attack will be, nor of where they are currently situated, the Silver Circle must look for answers.

Lyeenya Ravenfire calls for the Circle to meet her at Irongrove Retreat at Suramar, ready to attempt a risky plan. She claims to have found a portal crossroads used by wyrmtongues in their deliveries. With a precise attack, the Silver Circle could intercept those wyrmtongues and capture any intelligence they are currently ferrying from and to the members of the Ruinous Cohort.

While there’s no guarantee they’ll discover anything, the Circle agrees that it’s better to give this plan a chance, as opposed to doing nothing and reacting to the Ruinous Cohort movements instead. They move toward the purported portal crossroad, ready to perform an ambush.

They set down several traps around the area, hoping that they would take care of the wyrmtongue couriers. Freezing and sticky traps, rune, totems among others were set in place for the ambush. The Silver Circle then hid in bushes, behind cover and hills, prepared to follow up if the traps failed their purpose.

And as Lyeenya expected, the first wyrmtongue appeared, jumping out of a portal and running through the crossroad with a box in their hands. The Circle watched quietly as the wyrmtongue dodged the traps, accidentally or not, and just before the little demon slipped through them, they jumped him and stopped his progress, imprisoning him in stasis and grabbing his delivery.

The party returned to their hiding spots, ready to continue their hunt. Wyrmtongue after wyrmtongue kept running in, some triggering traps while others had to be intercepted directly. Each wyrmtongue was captured and put away, since it was too risky to let them escape and warn the Cohort.

Eventually several wyrmtongues rushed the crossroads together, hoping to find safety in numbers. But even then the Circle managed to capture each of them, fully intercepting their delivery attempts. With so many wyrmtongues and deliveries missing, the portals were shut down and the crossroads abandoned by the demons.

As the circle looked through the deliveries they had gathered, and the first and most important of finds was of another hologram device. As the circle activated it, the image of a dreadlord was formed with the device's crisp green lines, delivering the following message.

“It has taken you much time to repair the Engine, Mondronoth. Such time could have been used to collect your fuel, but it matters little. Find mortals, take their souls for the Engine. We have few jailers to spare, but I trust you will find their assistance acceptable. Send them with your harvests, they will make the formation of the portal more efficient. Inform me of any progress. Failure will not be tolerated, Mondronoth. Xathric out.”


Lyeening pondered this message, leaving it with the Silver Circle. The next two packages opened contained each a seemingly blank letter. But the demon hunter spectral sight could see through the deception. The text was written with invisible fel ink, hiding it from normal eyes. Not only that, but it was also encrypted in code.

Unable to stay around or much longer, Lyeenya handed the letter to the arcanist Schen, who would easily be able to detect the letters with his magic. She chained the imprisoned demons together and left, taking them to mardum. Meanwhile, the Silver Circle plundered the rest of the deliveries, finding the following items:

A drawn picture of the Soul Engine, depicting it partially filled with Souls. Several soul crystal and demonsteel ingots, a large mana crystal, and a box full of leystone ore, beyond several useless trinkets and baubles.

The party secured these items and returned to Lightsong, ready to decode the encrypted letters.
#14822666 Aug 15, 2021 at 11:00 PM
Silversworn
125 Posts

CHAPTER III: REAP THE WHIRLWIND


Thanks to the efforts of Fyfaesia Silverstrike, Seldarine Stardragon and Aneldraen Silentstar, the Ruinous Cohort encrypted letters were deciphered, revealing their intentions to attack SIlverwing Grove next, seeking to harvest the souls of their garrison.



The Silver Circle and Lyeenya Ravenfire arrived at Silverwing Grove, ready to assist with the defenses. Captain Nightmane, the garrison sentinel’s commander, welcomed the Silver Circle and asked for their help setting up further defenses. As they spread across the grove, the party aided several different groups. They helped repair the weapons and armors of the sentinels as well as the broken down glaive thrower, reinforcing it further.

The Circle also assisted a circle of druids to perform a ritual to call for reinforcement and a group of priestesses in blessing the sentinels armaments and preparing flasks. They also took the time to rebuild the barricade at the entrance of the grove, placing several traps around it.

But before the defenses could be finished, the skies changed. The clouds darkened and coalesced above, casting long shadows over the grove and its defenders. Green lightning flashed, jolting from cloud to cloud every few seconds, casting a sickly fel green lighting over everything below.

The sound of marching echoed through the forest, the branches of the smaller trees moving back and forth as the unnatural storm formed above. The thunderous noise of trees falling reached the party as the demonic force pushed forward!

The demons attacked in several waves, first of them containing a felbeast, two felhound and their inquisitor master. The felbeast rammed against the barricade, triggering several traps that slowed his further advance. The circle fell upon him with several attacks before the demon was hit directly by the glaive thrower, slaying him with ease. The rest of the demons soon followed as the Circle and the sentinels united to fight.



After each of the demonic attacks, the circle and the sentinels had a brief moment of respite. They quickly reinforced their defences at the same time that others aided the wounded. But the moment of rest was short as the demonic machine roared on, more green lightning crossing the sky.

Wave after wave of demons arrived, pounding against the defenders. Thanks to the druids, the sentinels managed to be reinforced several times. First with hippogryph riders coming from the Warsong Gulch, and then with dryads that arrived from deep in ashenvale. A worgen pack that fought at Darkshore wasn’t far behind, jumping over the thorny walls and assaulting the demons with ferocity.

But the demons refused to back down, releasing infernals that crashed against the defenders. Many sentinels fell during the battle, the grim inevitability of war reaching both sides. The battle reached its apex as a massive abyssal fell from the skies within the grove walls, threatening to destroy the entire location.



But thanks to the druids, a massive stone giant slumbered into the battle, immediately clashing with the abyssal. And as the giants fought, the leader of the demonic forces arrived. Rathorax, a large red jailer carrying a black and gray metallic soul cage met those of the circle that were still outside, and in particular, Nadyssa Leafbreeze.



Using his soul cage, he reached for the soul of the dead sentinels as well as the soul within the still alive Nadyssa, trying to rip it out of her body. While she was unable to resist it on her own, Ivrione Moonshadow used her divine magic to pull Nadyssa to safety, saving her from what appeared to be certain death. Unfortunately the Circle couldn’t do the same to the dead sentinels, and Rathorax captured their souls.

The Sentinels and the Circle clashed against the Abyssal and Rathorax, fighting a war on two fronts. The mighty glaives hurled at the abyssal wounded it badly, as well as the concentrated assault of the sentinel forces. Thanks to Cayldiais Moonfang, the glaive thrower was able to release the killing blow to the abyssal, cutting the core stone in half and extinguishing the malignant construct.



Realizing the tide had turned, Rathorax changed his plan. Refusing to leave without his prize, he empowered his soul cage and used it to capture Nadyssa. A long shadowy tendril rushed forth from the contraption, grabbing the kaldorei and pulling it toward the lieutenant. And just as he grabbed Nadyssa with his own hands, his cage activated its fail safe, summoning a fel portal that Rathorax used to escape with his prey.

The demon disappeared as the portal closed, leaving nothing behind but a sentiment of failure. Nadyssa Leafbreeze was gone, and no one knew where she had been taken to. The sentinels began to tend to their wounded and their dead, while the Circle sulked in this pyrrhic victory.

They promised each other they would rescue Nadyssa no matter what, adamant in their conviction. Lyeenya Ravenfire joined the accord, and immediately left the area to start searching for the kidnapped kaldorei. The circle reconvened at the grove before each went their way to recover from the devastating night.
#14828845 Aug 18, 2021 at 11:55 PM
Silversworn
125 Posts

CHAPTER IV: RUINOUS RETURN


With the capture of Nadyssa Leafbreeze, the Silver Circle is at full alert. The Sentinels, the watchers and lso the Illidari have all sent scouting parties across Azeroth to try to locate the base of operations of the Ruinous Cohort. While they had yet to find the Soul Engine, the Illidari did find unusual movements among certain satyr tribes in Ashenvale, including the potential presence of the Cohort demons in their hidden villages.

Lyeenya called upon the Circle to meet at Forest Song so they could further investigate the strange satyr activity. She told them her theory that the Ruinos Cohort might’ve tried to establish an alliance with the satyrs, only for it to go awry and end in some kind of fight, due to the presence of excessive fel across the area.

Prepared to investigate the area and also seeking to attempt to capture a satyr for interrogation, the SIlver Circle moved toward the hidden satyr settlements, led by Lyeenya. Moonlight was already bathing Ashenvale’s forests, the sun long hidden behind the trees and mountains, only a hint of pale orange light remaining in the western sky. th. The gentle breeze, was enough to shake the tree canopy, a handful of leaves falling from the branches high above.

But screams echoed out in the distance, breaking the silence. A heavy wind gusted through the forest, carrying with it the stench of sulfur and brimstone. It didn’t take long for the sounds of metal clashing, and even explosions, to reach the party. The very forest floor rumbled with the force of the struggle somewhere up ahead.

The noises of battle became louder and more frequent as the party approached their destination. Green flashes lit the sky above the trees, just before thick black smoke started to rise. The wind carried the scent of scorched earth and charred bark, as well as the unmistakable stench of burning fur and flesh.

The party rushed ahead, suspicious of what was going on. As they entered the hidden pathways into the deep forest, they found battle lines already drawn. Satyrs and demons were facing each other in a clearing, with a jailer siphoning the souls of several dead satyrs.




The circle immediately entered the fight, attacking the demons in an attempt to stop them from siphoning more souls. Unfortunately the satyrs stood little chance to survive, even with the presence of the circle. They were taken out by a powerful wrathguard before some of them had their souls siphoned from their bodies.

A succubus managed to charm two different members of the Circle, with one of them ending polymorphed as a bumblebee, to stop them from attacking his allies. But the Circle eventually did manage to kill all demons before their harvest was finished, setting the demons back.



With all demons dead, they took a small pause to recover themselves before they rushed deeper into the satyr settlement, advancing uphill. It didn’t take long for them to find a repeat of the recent past, with more demons slaughtering satyrs. This time, the leader of the satyrs in the area appeared, claiming that they would never bend their knee to the Cohort, just as they had never bent their knee to Xabsic.

The battle raged on with the intervention of the Circle, forcing the Cohort forces to fight on two fronts. Enraged by their presence, the jailer that had been siphoning the souls of dead satyrs in this second area taunted the Silver Circle, claiming they hadn’t learnt their lesson. The demons combined their forces, knocking out Celassa Kal’nor and then opening a portal into the unknown. The jailers used his soul cage to capture Celassa’s body and attempted to throw her into the portal.



The Silver Circle quickly intervened, stopping the jailer from throwing the elder into the Portal. But in an unexpected turn of events, Seldarine Stardragon dove into the portal, disappearing into it. Shortly after that the large Mo’arg Brute serving the Cohort grabbed Celassa and hurled her through the portal. The portal was then quickly closed.

The Silver Circle was both stunned and enraged. They unleashed a devastating series of attacks, slaying the demons in quick succession. The satyr leader, aware that the Circle was merely allies of convenience, disappeared into the shadow, not to be seen again.

But it was revealed that Seldarine, before she had jumped into the portal, had managed to steal a letter from the jailer they had fought. She had left the dark letter behind with the warden of the hunt. With Lyeenya help, the letter content was revealed, another encrypted letter from the Cohort.



Lyeenya then left, needing to return to Mardum so she could continue the scouting efforts. The Silver Circle then had to reconvene at Forest Song so they could plan on what to do next now that they were down three members.
#14828848 Aug 18, 2021 at 11:58 PM · Edited 9 months ago
Silversworn
125 Posts

THE RUINOUS COHORT CODED LETTERS


The Circle found a third coded letter, this one stolen from a jailer as he attempted to siphon the soul of satyrs. Everyone is welcome to try breaking the cipher and revealing the hidden messages, even those not involved in the campaign.

Please contact Athaea if you plan on decoding the letter! If you managed to break the encryption, please do not spoil it to others, and instead DM Athaea on Discord for further information!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The third letter original text:

Thohec,

Khes Jhisehihco ovd dghlri. Cor nicreqreritr hq cor dh-tvkkrs “Dnkare Tnetkr” ovd dkhzrs hbe gkvid, ubc zr ovar jvivprs ch pvcore jvix dhbkd vkervsx. Zonkr zr jbdc ihc qvkcre ni cond tebtnvk jhjric, zr jbdc ihc qvkk gerx ch corne orercntvk gkvid rncored. Vd v jvccre hq qvtc, Khes Jhisehihco pvar bd hbe iryc dcrg. Zr ovar tvgcbers hir hq cor lvkshern zonto ver gvec hq cond hepvinwvcnhi, vis zr ver ch sh dh vpvni, tbecvnknip corne qhetrd vis rivuknip bd ch oveardc corne dhbk rirepx.

Goyqagou, ct jkddav dpkxykboby, pz mxggkbydt gkmawkgpbr jgac yqk dozy jopdkl oyyome. Vpyq yqoy pb cpbl, P vpdd coek ct cawk. Zogrkgoz zikoez yqgaxrq ck, obl P, Lkdwogo, vpdd gkjxzk ya dky yqpz rgaxi aj vgkymqkl cagyodz pbykgjkgk vpyq axg raodz. Ojykg vk gkyxgb ya yqk Bkyqkg, odd yqazk vqa oplkl yqk Maqagy pb omqpkwpbr axg raodz vpdd nk zvpjydt gkvoglkl. Odd yqazk vqa lplb’y vpdd nkmack jxkd ya axg vog comqpbk. Ct yogrky vpdd nk yqk wpddork aj Ngolkbzngaae. Yqk eodlagkp vpdd bay kuikmy ob oyyome za mdazk ya yqkpg iazpypab. Yqkpg iopb vpdd nk ixy xblkg yqk dprqy aj axg zabrz ya Zogrkgoz.

Rdagt ya yqk Loge Ypyob.


The decoded text, first broken by Fyfaesia Silverstrike, a feat repeated by Aneldraen Silentstar:

Cohort,

Lord Mondronoth has spoken. The interference of the so-called “Silver Circle” has slowed our plans, but we have managed to gather many souls already. While we must not falter in this crucial moment, we must not fall prey to their heretical plans eithers. As a matter of fact, Lord Mondronoth gave us our next step. We have captured one of the kaldorei which are part of this organization, and we are to do so again, curtailing their forces and enabling us to harvest their soul energy.

Rathorax, my fellow lieutenant, is currently recovering from the last failed attack. With that in mind, I will make my move. Sargeras speaks through me, and I, Delvara, will refuse to let this group of wretched mortals interfere with our goals. After we return to the Nether, all those who aided the Cohort in achieving our goals will be swiftly rewarded. All those who didn’t will become fuel to our war machine. My target will be the village of Bradensbrook. The kaldorei will not expect an attack so close to their position. Their pain will be put under the light of our songs to Sargeras.

Glory to the Dark Titan.
#14838120 Aug 23, 2021 at 03:05 PM · Edited 9 months ago
Silversworn
125 Posts

CHAPTER V: LIKE A PRAYER


Thanks to Fyfaesia Silverstrike and Aneldraen Silentstar, the third encrypted letter had been decoded, pointing toward the Cohort next target: Bradensbrook, deep into Kaldorei territory. The Silver Circle arrived at the riverside village, ready to defend the small gilnean settlement from the demonic hordes.

But as the preparations started being made, someone was still missing; Lyeenya Ravenfire, the illidari who had helped the Circle up until now hadn’t returned from a scouting mission around the settlement. Even as more people arrived to assist the defenses, the demon hunter was nowhere to be seen.



Before the Silver Circle started to build up the defenses, a green figure rushed down the road leading to the Temple and the rest of Val’sharah. The tattoo-covered demon hunter ran at a dead sprint, moving faster than almost any ordinary kaldorei could. While the citizens of Bradenbrook seemed uncomfortable at her approach, they let her through with only a few wary glances.

Lyeenya was panting and in full alert. She warned the Circle that she was unable to find any kind of fel or demonic presence around the village, differently from what had taken place at Silverwing Grove previously. The Silver Circle stood confused until runestone whisper raised above all voices.

"Elder Ivyfang calling all Silversworn! Lightsong is under attack by a Demon Invasion! All the way from the Hippogryph Stables to Timberdawn! Again, Calling all Silversworn!"

All present broke into a frenzied rush toward Bradensbrook’s poor flightmaster. Though the skies directly over Bradensbrook were calm, in the distance black clouds formed to the south. Those familiar with the region could see the boughs of the Lightsong inn surrounded by them, sickly green streaks of lighting creeping through the dark fluff, too dangerous for them to fly into. Thunder rumbled louder the closer they traveled to Lorlathil instead, the shift in weather leaving many of the little town’s inhabitants scrambling.



The Circle rushed down the road toward hometown, avoiding and disarming several traps that had been set up by the Cohort. And as they arrived, they could see as ashes and cinders fell from the branches above Lightsong, perhaps bringing back some of the darkest memories of those within the Circle. Though not nearly as devastating just yet, the emerald blaze above their head raged. Smoke flowed out from high upon the canopy with the charred remains of leaves and tree limbs tumbling down to the grass below.

Several demons were present, led by a shivarra and a doomguard, fighting against the defending silverworn. They kaldorei protected several civilians that had been surrounded at the moonwell and the nearby gazebo, while the inn door had been closed and fortified. The wooden fixture on the back of the moonwell had half toppled over, some of the form fallen into the waters below. Other pieces had fallen backwards into the grass, reduced to burning wood chips.

Kelanthos Ivyfang led the defense with his three large cats, standing between the civilians and the demonic forces, with the assistance of Fyfaesia Silverstrike and Telandros Greystorm.

The arriving party immediately threw themselves into the battle with fervorous vigor. While some held the demons at bay, others rescued the cowering civilians, leading them to the Temple of Elune up north for their safety. The fight raged on as the Silver Circle pushed back against the demonic tide, protecting every civilian with their lives.



Even as the doomguard was about to kill some of them, Cayldiais Moonfang threw herself in front of the innocent bystanders, taking the full impact of the doomguard blade instead, being knocked out in the process.

The Circle managed to slowly gain the upper hand as the demons started falling. All the civilians were rescued successfully, allowing the party to focus their efforts against the invader, eventually killing all of them, including their leaders.

But a whizzing sound boomed across Lightsong as jolts of green lighting formed around the inn’s entrance, reality itself torn apart as portal rifts opened under the roof of the entrance.

As the demons started to flood through the portal, a particularly large and armored Shivarra appeared. Delvara, one of the lieutenants of the Ruinous Cohort, pointed at the door with one of her swords, and the other demons immediately followed her wordless order, demolishing the barrier and the thorns in a couple strikes.

Inside the inn, Za’tiya screamed for assistance while Laedrya Ravenfire attempted to hold back against the advancing demons. They focused on two different areas, the main hall of the inn and the upstairs infirmary.

Those outside immediately rushed into the building, splitting two ways to fight on both fronts. Even as the demons brutally assaulted the defenders, the members of the Circle nonetheless dedicated most of their efforts to rescue all civilians that had been inside the inn before fighting against the demons with full force. Several members were knocked out in the fight as Delvara cast devilish spells at the infirmary, wielding fire and frost and even Sargeras fury itself against them.

But the Silver Circle refused to relent, even as their members thinned. One by one the demons fell, until only Delvara remained. The shivarra expressed her pleasant surprise at the Circle ferocity before she used her fel powers to teleport herself out of the battlefield.

With all civilians safe and sound at the Temple of the Elune and almost all demons dead, the Silver Circle had finally achieved a full victory. Those who still stood immediately went to attend the wounded and the rest of Lightsong before they could celebrate their victory any further.
#14840710 Aug 24, 2021 at 07:34 PM
Silversworn
125 Posts

CHAPTER VI: NIGHT IN THE MUSEUM


With Lightsong safe and sound, it was time for the Silver Circle to be on the offensive. Lyeenya and the rest of the Circle gathered at Faronaar, west of Azsuna. While the demons there were gone, the island was still deeply scarred due to their presence.

Lyeenya relayed her plan to gain more information on the Ruinous Cohort, and maybe even the location of the Soul Engine. The Cohort was still using wyrmtongues to deliver supplies and intelligence back and forth to their forces, even if they had taken precautions after the Circle had captured many of them, with the little demon couriers now acting alone and constantly changing their pathways.

The illidari had tracked their patterns and found where the next wyrmtongue portal was gonna pop up, giving them the possibility of capturing the demon and then using his portal to invade the wyrmtongue dimension, a secret location where the devious little demons used to storage all their boxes, crates and items of interest.

The Silver Circle took position at the far west of Faronaar, preparing an ambush. It only took a few minutes for the wyrmtongue portal to open exactly where Lyeenya predicted. And just as the demonic courier jumped out of it, Kelthos Moongale used his shadehound to immobilize him. Lyeenya put the demon in stasis, and then the Silver Circle crawled through the portal, into the wyrmtongue hideout.



Wildly different from where they came from, there were no open skies or any kind of natural light in there. The portal had led into some kind of expansive, closed structure of dark green metal. And it housed lots, lots of boxes. Every wall is covered with them, from top to bottom. As a matter of fact, there were so many boxes stacked upon boxes that they form their own little corridors and alleys, making their surroundings feel truly like a labyrinth.

The party moved between the walls of stacked boxes, trying to look for any box that might have some kind of information about the Soul Engine. Eventually, they find a note saying “The HOLOGRAPHIC TRANSMITTER is currently in possession of the warehouse master FLOTURAX. Please contact the management if you wish to gain access to the HOLOGRAPHIC TRANSMITTER.” in an otherwise empty box.

They decide to look further into the massive warehouse to try to find information about this holographic transmitter, but before they can get going, a patrolling wyrmtongue arrives from downstairs. The party immediately splits, each hiding in a different location. Some hide behind large boxes, while others dive into a particularly large box mountain in the middle of the room. And as the wyrmtongue moves past them, unable to detect anything out of the ordinary, they also manage to snatch a key that was hanging from his belt.



The party quickly moved downstairs, using their key to unlock the door to the bottom floor. Unsurprisingly, the bottom floor was just as flooded with boxes as the first one was. Piles both small and large lay around the area, of all kinds of boxes, chests, bags, and other storage containers.

But different from the silence upstairs, a few rhythmic clanking sounds filled the room. The party explored it further, eventually finding a gateway that led to another room, with a larger wyrmtongue. The demon talked to himself about how he needed to prepare the holographic transmitter for delivery, putting it and a strange metallic key inside a box and closing it up.

The Circle seized the opportunity and rushed into the room. But before they could jump him, several alarms went off. The wyrmtongue, Floturax, turned around, ready to fight as a few other wyrmtongues arrived. But the Silver Circle managed to easily dispatch them, eventually immobilizing and beating down Floturax.



He begged for his life and gave the box to the party, claiming that while he didn’t have the location of the Soul Engine in hands, the key inside the box could be used to decode an encrypted map of it if they could find it. Lyeenya grabbed the items and imprisoned Floturax, taking him with her.

The illidari tried to activate the transmitter, but there was no message to be heard this time around. But as the party moved back upstairs to escape the wyrmtongue dimension, the transmitter suddenly came to live, escaping Lyeenya hands.

The green lines formed a large figure above the transmitter, the image of the dreadlord Xathric.

“Ah. The Silver Circle. I guess it was a matter of time until we finally met. It is rather unfortunate we aren’t seeing… eye to eye, so it was. Alas, such is fate.”

The dreadlord greeted the Circle, exchanging a few words in a back and forth. But this conversation was cut short as he rolled his eyes at the Silver Circle

“Either way. I'm tired of this game, as fun as it has been.” The dreadlord looked to his sides with a large grin before his form started to shift and change.

The large wings as well as his entire form dissipated, as a large body covered in fur was left behind. A large red-and-green crystal resided on his chest, where his heart was. Or, at least, where it should be. And the satyr lips that appeared formed a large grin.

“The rest of the Silver Circle. How fun is it to see all of you again. It’s been a few years, hasn't it?”

Some of the silversworn immediately recognized who it was; Xabsic, the creator of the Crystals of Corruption and long time enemy of the Silver Circle. The satyr taunted the party, revealing that Xathric was merely a disguise to manipulate the Ruinous Cohort into doing his dirty job of harvesting souls. And since the Circle had failed to stop the Cohort altogether, Xabsic had succeeded in quietly siphoning souls away from the Soul Engine, for his own ends.

Threats were thrown back and forth, but the Satyr cared little. He also revealed that, while disguised as a nathrezim, he had discovered that their homeplanet was not Nathreza, but “a place beyond even the Nether and the Great Dark Beyond”, where he could harvest even more souls for himself.



In his last words to the party, he called for the names of Nadyssa, Celassa and Seldarine, looking around him. The hologram then dissipated, and the transmitter turned off. The party took several minutes to recover, one of them even passing out from the traumatic experience of facing Xabsic again. They evacuated the wyrmtongue dimensions and returned to Azeroth so they could prepare their next step.
#14848357 Aug 28, 2021 at 10:16 AM · Edited 9 months ago
Silversworn
125 Posts

CHAPTER VI: DEMON’S SOULS


Thanks to the encryption key stolen from Floturax, the illidari were able to track down the location of the map that would lead the Silver Circle toward the Soul Engine. Hidden deep in the countryside of Suramar, the maps were located inside a recently built outpost of the Ruinous Cohort.

Lyeenya scouted the area shortly before the Silver Circle gathered for their missions, finding a few demons manning the fel-twisted ruines that the Cohort had used as an outpost. While the location of the maps couldn’t be confirmed at the time, the Circle couldn’t afford to miss the opportunity of discovering the location of the Soul Engine.



The party gathered at the border between Suramar and Val’sharah, aware of the dangers posed by their presence there. They encountered a large highborone patrol as they tried to use some of the roads, leading them to quickly move off-road and into the ruins instead.

The wooded areas just outside the border were well known for the amount of wildlife that frequently roamed the path. Tonight seemed to be an exception, as the path and surrounding area were completely deserted. Not even a hint of birdsong or the chittering of a squirrel broke the night’s silence. If it weren’t for the slow movement of the wind blowing the foliage, it would have felt like the region was completely devoid of life.

Though it was not as obvious as some other locations on the Isles, a hint of sulfur and brimstone rose on the wind. Small glowing scars of fel and disturbed earth grew more frequent the further they walked into deep ruins. The wind had died down, the sound of their own footsteps now the only thing breaking the night’s deafening silence. Clouds had begun to form overhead, blocking much of the starlight, though one of the moons was still barely visible, fighting to break through the clouds.



Laying on top of a set of stairs among the ruined buildings there was a small pile of nightborne bodies. As the party investigated them, they found several injuries, with deep gashes, fel burns, severed limbs, and charred flesh are some of the most prominent ones. The culprit was clear, but they couldn’t afford to waste any more time sticking around, especially so close to the outpost.

Fel permeated the section of the ruins in the party’s sight, likely leftover from the Cohort’s presence. The aroma of Sulfur grew stronger now, impossible to ignore with each lungful of air. Though the building had long since fallen to ruin, the demon’s presence only added to the derelict appearance. That great institution’s past was actively perverted by the Cohort’s actions, even if no demon was in sight at the moment.



But as the Silver Circle moved into the outpost, the silence was suddenly interrupted as a long line of flames burst into existence. The entire courtyard was blocked off by the fel flames as the Circle was surrounded by a ring of fel fire. Jolts of green lightning rippled through the center of the area. They arced toward the four pillars, breaking off small pieces of them before a booming sound released a shockwave across the courtyard.

Two ripples into the fabric of reality expanded from those lightning bolts, a figure coming out of each of them. The first was a tall and slender figure, with multiple arms sticking out of her torso and adorned with jewelry from wrist to shoulder. The Shivarra Delvara was followed by a second form, a floating, almost spectral demon. He had a massive cage hanging from his back with chains wrapped around his neck and wrists. Rathorax floated from behind the Shivarra to stay by her side.

The burning sound of the circle of fel fire was suddenly drowned out as the voices of demons covered the arena. Dozens of the fel creatures appeared behind the fire, taunting the Circle in Eredun. Imps cackled at the party while felguards slammed the pommels of their axes into the ground. They were in the center of an arena, it seemed, for the demon’s amusement.



The two lieutenants taunted the party as Shivarra reached through several portals, picking four swords for battle. And as the battles started, two of them burst into flames, while the other two flash froze with small ice crystals falling out of the sharp edge. The party and the demons clashed into battle as the demons outside the fire walls egged them on.

With the tide of the battle shifting, with the Silver Circle extinguishing two of the sword enchantments Delvara had, Rathorax decided to improve their own odds. He flew upward, raising his open hand to the skies. As his soul cage flashed with energy, the jailer started to siphon out the life essence of several of the demons around the battlefield. Their bodies fell into the ground as Rathorax used their essence to empower himself and Delvara.

The shivarra swapped her enchantments thanks to the new burst of power she received. The two extinguished swords were covered by a lawyer of shadow, sharpening the blade with a soul-cutting edge, while the ice enchantment on the other two swords melted away as several arcane runes glowed across the metal.

Rathorax started to pull tormented souls out of his soul cage, throwing them around the arena as they were about to burst due to their accumulated fury and suffering. But the Silver Circle was quick to soothe them, allowing them to move on from their torture and releasing them from Rathorax. In an angry rebuke, the Jailer also siphoned energy from all members of the circle, increasing the chaos of the battle.



But the Silver Circle refused to give in, returning each attack blow by blow with righteous fury, especially as the two demonic lieutenants became more and more wounded. Delvara's cool demeanor finally vanished as she called for Rathorax to finish what he started. The jailer flew overhead again, siphoning the life of the remaining demons in the arena. His soul cage became overfilled with energy, empowering the two lieutenants one last time.

Delvara swords shifted in power again; one of her shadow swords burst into fel flames, while one of the runic swords froze over, giving access to all four enchantments at once. Rathorax released several tormented souls into the arena in an attempt to overwhelm the Silver Circle in tandem with the Shivarra as she knocked out one of the fighters with her fel fire blade.



But the party coordinated their own efforts, soothing the souls and stabilizing the fight momentarily. Each of their attacks worsened the demon's condition, their fel blood pooling on the ground underneath them. And before the two lieutenants could turn the battle permanently, they were overwhelmed by their wounds and exhaustion.

Seizing the opportunity, Seilas split Rathorax head in two with her axe, splattering his brain matter across the arena, while Kelanthos invoked hundreds of flesh eating beetles toward Delvara, forcing them to bury inside her skin. As the insects started to devour her inside out, she proclaimed the eternal glory of the Cohort one last time, calling upon Mondronoth to finish them. The two demons collapsed, lifeless.




Lyeenya searched the body of the two demons as the rest of the Circle attended to those wounded. The illidari managed to find two metal plates with unusual metal railings. She slotted them into each other, forming a larger device with an empty slot. She inserted the encryption key into the hole, and the contraption immediately came to life.

Several green lines formed an hologram above the metal, forming the image of a large building with several glowing spots. The building slowly grew smaller as the hologram seemingly “zoomed out”, revealing the Engine surroundings areas, and eventually, the whole of the Broken Isles. With the location of the Soul Engine finally in their hands, Lyeenya handed the map to Athaea so she could take Rathorax's soul cage to the Felhammer in Mardum for safekeeping.
#14878950 Sep 07, 2021 at 02:01 PM
Silversworn
125 Posts

CHAPTER VIII: SOUL-CRUSHER




The party gathered at Azsuna, prepared for the final battle against the Ruinous Cohort. With the location of the Soul Engine finally revealed, the Silver Circle now had three goals ahead of them. Shut down the Soul Engine and stop the Cohort from attempting to contact the rest of the Burning legion, kill Mondronoth, the Pit lord who led the Cohort, and last but not least, rescue Celassa Kal’nor, Nadyssa Leafbreeze and Seldarine Stardragon from their demonic captors.

Both Lyeenya Ravenfire and Athaea Lonelight had good news ahead of the daunting challenge ahead. Both the Illidari and the Watchers agreed to assist the Silver Circle in their assault at the Soul Engine, so they could focus on their mission instead of the hundreds of demons standing between them and the unholy structure itself. Ready to give their lives for their mission, the party moved into the cursed area.



Those who had participated in the last war with the Legion would find the sight of Faronaar all too familiar. Bubbling rivers of flowing Fel still stained the already broken region, with the clouds of sulfur overpowering the wet mulch between the mossy cobbles they walked on.

Athaea led the Circle toward a small alcove where the statue of an owl stood on top of a hollow sphere made of stone. The warden called her owl and had her place a large crystal inside of that sphere, making the owl statue glow brightly.



It only took a few moments for several portals to be opened around the pillar, several watchers, wardens and even a couple of hippogryph riders coming through each one, about two dozen in all. The warden leading them saluted Athaea and after a small exchange, the watchers rushed forward to start clearing the path.

The trek deeper into Faronaar had gone smoothly thus far, likely thanks to the assistance of the watchers. The party could see their new allies making quick work of smaller patches of demons on the outskirts. Imps, lesser Felguards, and a few felhounds all dropped, lifeless, after a few precise strikes from the watchers. The leaders of each squadron had little patience for gloating, however, and quickly ordered their squads to advance as the hippogryph riders flew forward.



In the distance, between the craggy rock faces and the warped trees, a monstrous building stood unchallenged. The dark spires of the Engine climbed high, rivaling even some of Dalaran’s tallest towers. The jagged windows along the outside walls crackled and flashed with green energy, which flowered upwards along the spire with each pulse. The Soul Engine was fully operational, pumping every unfortunate victim’s essence into the sky. The clouds had already begun to part, making way for this beam, the final stages of the Cohort’s plan already in progress.



Lyeenya led the party toward the next summoning spot, to where a hidden fel sigil had been carved into the ground. Using her fel energies, she activated the sigil, awakening it to a bright green.

A single portal appeared on top of it, several demon hunters, naga and ashtongue draenei arrived. The demon hunter leading them had a quick conversation with Lyeenya before sending the illidari forces toward the Soul Engine so they could break the patrols and defenses.



On approach, the party could see the Illidari already making quick work of the outside forces. Massive Mo’arg toppled to the ground with hard, ground shaking thuds, while dozens of Felguards were little more than cannon fodder to the trained hunters. The party rushed inside the building, taking the stairway toward the main control room.



Even though the engine was made with demonic heights in mind, the stairway up the structure felt claustrophobic. As they climbed into the upper floors of the Engine’s base, heat and rancid sulfur assaulted the party’s senses. They could see the soul engine’s focused beam firing straight up the center of the pillar in frequent pulses. Those more sensitive to magic might have felt suffocated by the amount of raw fel pulsing out from that beam and through the rest of the room.



“Send the message.” A deep voice boomed through the second floor, as distant clicking noises could be heard. A small wyrmtongue responded back to the booming voice, using the half-powered Soul Engine to send a message across the cosmos to Xathric and the Burning Legion to rescue them

But when no answer returned, Mondronoth seemed already aware of the “dreadlord” betrayal. Before the Circle could advance toward the main console, he ordered the wyrmtongue to teleport the party to the highest floor, where the pit lord awaited. The entire floor flashed with green energy as the Soul Engine power coursed through it, sending the entire party directly to the pit lord.

Mondronoth stood dozens of feet tall, looking down at the small elves. He spoke about Xathric betrayal, revealing that he knew of his true identity thanks to his treachery. As the party looked around the arena, they finally found the three kidnapped elves. Celassa, Nadyssa and Seldarine were all imprisoned against different spires, their bodies and limbs enveloped by large metal plates.



The pit lord told the party that Xathric had made him keep the three alive, but now that he was gone, he would kill the three of them personally. Mondronoth raised his massive glaive and the Silver Circle immediately started the battle.

Some of the party moved to the imprisoned elves, their attempts to release the elves fruitless. The others kept Mondronoth busy, surviving the onslaught unleashed by the massive demon. His glaive cleaved through the combatants while his spell cursed those unfortunate enough to be targeted by him, while the soul engine pulsed with vile energy, sapping the life of the combatants. The Circle returned the attacks with equal intensity as all present desperately attempted to kill the demon before he could fulfil his promise.



As Mondronoth realized the power of the Circle, he ordered his subjects to activate the Soul Engine. He then siphoned the massive fel power that had been stored into it, empowering himself. And not only that, but he began to siphon the very soul and life essence of the three captives. He left each of them only barely alive, their binding bursting forth due to the pit lord's massive power.

Members of the Circle immediately aided the three barely alive elves, while the rest tried to manage the hulking pit lord. He used his powers to flood the arena with his fel breath and also use a terrifying, unholy howl to create doubt in the very soul of the combatants. But without faltering, the Silver Circle refused to back down.

The pitlord body was already several wounded, the attacks of the circle managing to cut through his tough demon hide and his fel steel armor. Unwilling to accept defeat, he overloaded the Engine himself, capturing all of the fel energy from it. His glaive bursted into fel fire, his form glowing with massive demonic energy. The Soul Engine became unstable, massive amounts of energy leaking and poisoning the party.

With his desperate last move, the Circle finally began to suffer losses. Mythanil Briarblade, Cayldiais Moonfang and Selyia Stormgaze fell to the raging demon. The structure began to slowly collapse due to the instability of the soul engine core, pieces of debris falling from the ceiling. The battle seemingly took a turn for the worse as Kelthos Moongale and the illidari Siri couldn’t resist the exploding energies of the engine, falling in battle as well.



But the overloaded demon was far too injured. Massive gashes covered his body, the fel energy barely keeping him alive anymore. The pit lord crashed to one of his knees, his glaive falling down to the ground. Seizing the opportunity, Ivrione Moonshadow assisted Mythanil Briarblade in returning to battle and having her land the decisive blow against the demon.

Mondronoth stumbled backward after the attack, unable to keep balance. His hand reached out again to the unstable beam of the engine, trying to sap even just a drop of fel for his use. Instead, he howled out in pure pain as his skin cracked and rippled with fel-fractures all over. His voice echoed as his form erupted, his own essence pulled into the engine!

The walls started to crack as the unstable core was overloaded with power. With Mondronoth no longer alive to control the output, the soul engine’s power was quickly reaching critical levels.

The soul engine creaked loudly, and a rhythmic rumble began, accelerating rapidly. Pieces of stone fell from the ceiling as pillars started to bend toward the center. A bright mass of fel formed right at the core of the engine, pulsating with energy. The walls around the party formed fractures, like veins, flashing with bright fel.



Lyeenya screamed for the party to evacuate the crumbling engine, carrying one of the wounded on her back before rushing downstairs. The rest of the party quickly followed after recovering the three captured elves, running as far away from the doomed building as possible.

The party was only barely safely away as the core finally erupted. The fractured outer walls and shards of glass from the windows shook violently as a massive blast of fel magic expanded outwards. Pieces of the engine went flying as a violent blast tore through the air with a deafening shockwave. The explosion only lasted for a few seconds, however, as the broken pieces of the engine floated in place. A mass of fel magic from the core hovered in the very center for a moment. Another earth shaking rumble followed as pieces of the engine once again moved, warping and pulling inward with the blast of fel until all that was left was a smoking, sulfurous crater.



The rest of the illidari had managed to escape with the party, and they all watched as the structure had imploded, barely anything left behind of the vile structure. The watchers then escorted them toward the nearest outpost, where the Silver Circle could finally rest and enjoy their heroic victory.
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