Priestess Stilltide’s visage, known to display little aside from inspiring calm and serenity, now clad in unmasked disarray and shock where she stands in a despairing lean against the railing of the ship. She gazes hopelessly towards what remains of the battlefield on the shore, their depleted last stand against the witch’s Horde.
Her ship is one of a selected few that managed to heed General Feathermoon’s call for retreat in time. Through the eons, Stilltide was forced to master most aspects of patience and the more pragmatic nuances of warfare. She knew well that the remnants of the fleet would stand no chance against the Horde’s cruel machines of war. She also knew that Teldrassil would fall, as did Shan’do Stormrage, she had caught word among the crew that evacuations had started the moment the Horde’s host had been sighted. Kaldorei blood had been spilled not for victory, but for the innocent who would otherwise fall victim to the Horde’s occupation. They had little choice but to live on, and see their homelands returned to their hands on a future day. To think the Horde had already come this far in utilizing Azeroth’s blood. More so, to think them monstrous enough to put it to the test against one of Azeroth’s few remaining sanctuaries of life.
They will regre---
A flaring flash of red pierces the night, and a collective gasp is released from the ship’s crew. The sound of echoing steps follows as all make way to Stilltide’s side by the railing of the ship. Their eyes turn not to the strands of Darkshore, but towards Teldrassil. Breaking the moon’s illumination, is a singular red inferno, as it slams into the bark in the most destructive of manners. Stilltide’s claws immediately dig into the wood of the railing, her fangs biting down on her lower lip until blood starts seeping. New loads follow, sent from the shore. Azurite loads. In mere seconds, the exterior boughs of the World Tree are turned into massive torches of magical flames. The crew who already felt helpless during their escape from the field were just dealt another unimaginable blow. For a moment, complete silence.
Some collapse to the deck, huddling up in tears and despairing prayers. Others cry out in savage anger, one sentinel even dives into the sea, swimming towards her family in the tree with desperate cleaves through the water. Two more join her and manage to see her safely back aboard the ship, where she’s tended to and soothed by the appropriate mixture of herbs. Meanwhile, Stilltide’s eyes remain on the tree, now almost entirely swallowed. The formerly eerie blue of her eyes flare with the same crimson hue as the flames ruining her home. Her fists remain clenched still, her claws scraping the wood that is forced to suffer under her strength and upheaval. Her trance is only broken when the repeated shrieks of a familiar voice breaks through, Sydral. Stilltide turns towards the source, towards her friend. She finds her fellow Priestess with her back against the mast, her eyes flickering from one spot to the other, as if enemies hide at every side.
Sydral Moonspear suffered much during the Horde’s last incursion, where she was taken captive by Garrosh’s vile grunts. Only recently had she been saved from the Horde’s clutches, and sanity only now thought regained looks to have shattered into pieces following Sylvanas’ storm of fire and hatred. Her claws are swung through the air, while she delivers scream after scream, her eyes filled with tears of horror and fright. Stilltide eventually approaches, her steps calm and presence soothing, though she clearly suffers beyond the exterior mask. A mask upheld not for her own sake, but for the sake of her friend. For the sake of the crew. For the sake of her people, for the Kaldorei. A palm is sought landed on to Sydral’s forehead, a palm of sooth. Ethila dares the lost friend’s craze. Sydral, in blind panic, lands a claw across Stilltide’s face. A deep crimson mark is left behind in a downward arch along the right cheek, as a single drop of blood starts trailing down along Ethila’s face. The hand is landed on to Sydral’s skin at last, and as if ushered into dream, her eyes shut as peaceful sleep descends.
Priestess Stilltide guides Sydral down in a seat against the mast’s root, kneeling before her. She turns her head, looking to Teldrassil once more. She stares into the distance, as if trying her best to soothe those of her kin who face their end beyond the flames’ veil. A tune connects with her mind during her pleading last stare on to the home that no longer is, as Elune’s song washes over her. “Even in our darkest of hours, Elune watches over us. No veil can hinder her light.” Priestess Stilltide mumbles, finding some respite. She then rises, knowing well what to do, as she elevates her voice in soothing song. The crew falls to silence, most turning to face Priestess Stilltide where she stands by the mast. As the elegy continues, many join the choir, while their home disappears beyond the horizon. The red flare of destruction is swallowed by the night, as Moon’s illumination resumes, dazzling the surface of the rocking sea.
“By the moons’ glow, listen.
Beside the river, listen.
Holding those you love, listen.
To the cries of the dying,
To the whisper of the wind over the silent dead…”