BY : Larien
Category: +S through Z > World of Warcraft
Dragon prints: 1891
Disclaimer: I do not own World of Warcraft, nor the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

                                                              Chapter 1

“Turalyon, you have found the chosen one” X’era, the newly resurrected Naaru spoke.


Illidan walked forward with some trepidation and a skeptical look on his face. Behind him one of his Illidari, Larienel, shifted uncomfortably noticing the look on his face as he walked by, but stayed put remaining silent.


Larienel watched as Illidan’s anger and clear distrust of this Naaru rose and she instinctively took a step forward when X’era’s light floated down and surrounded Illidan watching him back away.


Noticing the rising concern on the demon hunter’s face for her master Alleria Windrunner moved a step to the left to stand directly in front of Larienel and the message was clear: ‘you will not interfere, demon.’ Larienel growled low to show her displeasure but remained still- this was not the time to upset her master.


Her common sense abandoned her though as she saw the Naaru wrap Illidan tightly in light coils and pull him into the air. Instantly her warglaives were out and she moved around Alleria only to be roughly stopped by Turalyon grabbing her arm and pushing her back “You will show respect in front of X’era or you will be made to show it, demon” he admonished her harshly, but Larienel wasn't having any of it. She snarled at him and made a comment about not hesitating to end his life, but the argument was halted before it could begin when Illidan thundered out that his life was not X’eras to take.


That had been the breaking point. Larienel’s eyes opened and flared behind her strip of blue cloth that covered them, and she screamed out as her transformation to demon completed, her wings pushing Alleria and Turalyon to the side from the sheer force of their eruption from her shoulder blades, and immediately she was hovering off the ground ready to free her master.


Alleria was quicker though, and used her massive bow to deal a blow to Larienel’s solar plexus making the demon hunter fall to the ground with an audible thud before she could get any farther . Turalyon turned to look at Larienel in disgust, likely to make another slur at her demon nature but Illidan silenced the room when he roared in anger, breaking free of his bonds and destroying X’era with a fel blow from his eyes.  


Turalyon’s entire face fell when he saw the remains of the Naaru fall to the ground and heard Illidan’s unceremonious thud which sent the paladin into a rage and he thundered towards Illidan with a look of pure death in his eyes unsheathing his sword “You have doomed us all! Betrayer!” Illidan’s hand came up and gripped Turalyon’s sword admonishing him “Your faith has blinded you. There can be no chosen one. Only we... Can save ourselves” he growled before giving a final push of Turalyon’s sword sending the man back with it. With a look of absolute disgust and rage Turalyon stormed away from Illidan giving Prophet Velen a look as if to say “This can not be the prophecy. He can not be the prophecy.”


Pushing past Alleria and Turalyon, sparing no thought for the joint look the two generals shared, Larienel dashed to her master's side.“My lord, you are wounded. Let me help you up” and she held out her hand to offer him assistance but he refused to take it  “Do you deem me weak?” he growled at her.


She went down to one knee respectfully, “No, my lord, I only wish to help you. You are spent and need to rest.”


Illidan snarled at her "How bold of you to assume I need your help, Lieutenant.”


Larienel was one of his most trusted and loyal commanders and had risen through the ranks with impressive determination. He knew nothing of her previous life and, in truth, he had not asked but her hatred for the Legion must run deep indeed for the speed in which she had proven herself over the last year.


Thus, he had no comprehension of why she was calling attention to his current predilection to everyone in the room or if she even realized it- though, as a hunter, she should know how her words could be construed. He had managed to fend off Turalyon moments ago but she was correct-he was completely spent, destroying X’era had been immensely draining even for him.


Even still he did not wish Turalyon, Alleria, and Velen to think him weak. His alliance with them was tenuous at best; if they saw even the slightest chink in his armor they would have no need of him prophecy or not. True, he had his Illidari, his magic, and his intelligence- he did not need their help-they were the ones who sought him out after all, but he was not fool enough to ignore their usefulness.  


Larienel bowed her head in acceptance of her admonishment “Lord Illidan, I meant no offense. I only wish to be useful to you.”


Illidan’s eyes flared behind the cloth that covered them and he forced himself to stand with a grunt from the exertion. He loomed over her- a domineering presence “You came to me to serve in the fight against the Legion and I allowed it because I believed you would serve me well. Do not mistake that generosity for kindness. You would do well to remember your station and not forget whose name it is you take, Illidari. It is not your place to assume my needs. The only thing that I need is your commitment to the destruction of the Legion.”


As he towered over her awaiting her response to his reproach Illidan found he could not deny he derived satisfaction from the sight before him: His Illidari Lieutenant flushed from the shame of her castigation her hands balled into fists and her low growl of frustration. The sight served his ego and was also, if he were pressed to admit, attractive.


“...My lord” she acknowledged “I shall not presume again” managing to keep her tone appropriately admonished despite the anger building inside her from her idiocy. It was an immense honor that Lord Illidan had chosen her among the four to accompany him in the culmination of all he had planned for centuries and today she had disappointed him. “I am ready to receive whatever punishment you deem appropriate.”


Illidan and Larienel both heard Turalyon’s scoff “Pathetic. She merely offered help and he treats her as if she has committed a sin.”


“Turalyon, know that it is the master to blame if the animal fears it so. The fault does not lie with the pet” Alleria remarked with a smile joining in on his mocking.


The sigh from Prophet Velen was audible-it was no secret that Illidan had a temper nor was it a secret that it was easy to rile him. To his surprise, though, it was Larienel who who rounded on the two commanders.


Larienel growled fiercely at Alleria and Turalyon as she stood “I am no animal. While you have been playing your games chasing the Legion the Illidari have done all of your work for you. Lord Illidan ensured that we could bring the fight to the Legion and stop them before they can destroy Azeroth.”


Though it didn’t reflect on his face the Demon Lord was truly taken aback. He was not used to people coming to his defense and perhaps there had been a grain of truth in what Alleria had said- he may, indeed, be a harsh master but, in this moment it seemed that his Illidari, or at least the one before him knew that his actions were always because he treasured them above all else save for his determination to bring about the Legion’s end. Though truth be told, he had no intention of meting out any such punishment. Her display may have wounded his pride he could see that her concern for him was sincere.


“You both mock my leadership?” he roared, “You may have soldiers willing to sacrifice their lives but they do not truly sacrifice themselves for you. It is, once again, your blind faith in the Light that halts their true loyalty-for they do not die for you they die for the Light. They go to their deaths believing that their only purpose in life is to fight for their god. They sacrifice themselves for nothing but your own hubris”


For a moment it looked as if Turalyon might respond but he seemed to think better of it knowing his silence would anger Illidan more than any retort he had come up with.


Alleria, however, was not to be admonished by the Betrayer “And your Illidari” she mocked the name “sacrifice everything they have ever known in order to serve your bidding. Your devotion to the destruction of the Legion is true enough but your devotion to your Illidari remains to be seen. You do not treat them as if you care for them-you treat them as prized possessions. They are nothing more to you than means to an end. When the Legion is defeated what will become of those who have sacrificed everything to serve you?”


“Enough!” Prophet Velen thundered and the hit of the end of his staff against the metal floor reverberated throughout the room silencing everyone.


“We have witnessed the death of X’era today and our hearts are heavy. This is a time for reflection and silence. I do not wish to hear your hatred of one another on this day. We are fighting for a common cause it is time that you three see this.” The Prophet’s rebuke left them all taken aback-Velen was not known for his outbursts so he must have been truly bothered to scold them so.


Alleria and Turalyon both had the grace to look sufficiently disciplined and though Illidan clenched his fists he remained silent. Instead he returned to the matter at hand “Larienel.”


“My lord?” she responded.


Illidan smirked “Report to me at nightfall. Make sure your weapon is ready for use”, his tone was such that she knew he had already formed a plan.

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