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June 24, 2011 / Bika

Fiction Friday: The Right of All Horde X

This chapter closes with a reminder that in every ruin there is a seed of hope. Verdus has a few words for us:

I hope that you all have enjoyed reading this story as much as I have writing it. Thanks to all of you for bearing with me on this long project. Double thanks to Hammaryn and Ambika, for not only letting me undertake it but also helping me put it together. It’s been a great ride.

Please enjoy Part X of this series, written by Verdus. Missed any of the previous posts? Visit the links below:

* * *

Deep in the heart of Desolace, there lay a small purple crystal.

Standing astride the corpse of her hated enemy, holding the small stone of congealed essence up to her eyes, Cersei could almost see the tiny wisps moving within. Her triumph complete, she simply smiled.

This crystal wasn’t much to look at, assuming that one noticed it at all, tucked away in its little nook. It was small, no larger than adult’s smallest finger, cut cleanly but plain. It had little luster, despite its faceted diamond prism design, and was dull in hue. Unless one knew what to look for, a person would think it unremarkable at first glance, not likely to fetch much coin. Only by laying a hand upon it would the uninitiated begin to suspect that this tiny gem held a secret, as it was surprisingly cold to the touch.

The wind whipped at her hair as she rode the wind rider north out of the wretched wasteland. Chancing to look down, Cersei passed over a small ocean of giant, sun-bleached bones and thought of the cold stone clutched in her fingers. “A graveyard for beasts…” she muttered to herself, the words snatched quickly away by the roar of passing air. “How fitting.” She tossed the shard out into the open sky to rot with its own kind, and smiled.

Though the gem itself had not existed for long, it had already accumulated quite a remarkable history. In its relatively momentary existence, the gem had been stolen, cursed, discarded, sought, fought for, lied for, lost, and forgotten. And that speaks only for the crystal itself. The secret it held had been the subject of both love and hatred, cherished and reviled, its story ending in heartbreak and death. Or did it?

“Hear me, Mother.”

Sitting for weeks in the endless dust of the Desolace wastelands, broken only by the bone sea to the south of where it landed, one might have thought it would sit there until the desert wind ground it to powder. Quickly buried by the dust, and with not a soul knowing precisely where it lay, this would have seemed a very safe assumption. But then something remarkable happened.

“Mother, hear me.”

The earth itself heaved in torment as devastation in the seas far to the east tore the land asunder. The ground shook and cracked as cataclysmic destruction was wrought upon far-off civilizations. Closer at hand, noticed by few beyond the wasteland beasts at first, the earth split all the way to the sea, which quickly rushed in to greet its new home. One break in particular, a long broken finger, reached all the way to the great bone fields.

“Mother?”

The ocean surged in, and now that the path had been opened it would suffer neither dust nor rock to stand in its way. The water sought paths newly opened beneath the ground as well as on the surface. The stone was no barrier as the sea sent tendrils questing between its cracks, welcomed by the dry sand and silt between.

“Mother, I hear you!”

The dried bones and dessicated flesh had once marked it as a place of death. Now that the water had come, those same markers formed the building blocks of life anew. Yet still something was missing. The potential was there to be built upon decades hence, but for a true miracle, for life to flourish in mere days, the land needed something more. It needed a catalyst.

“Yes, Mother! Yes, I will! Guide me!”

In the aftermath of what would come to be known as the Sundering, few cared about what might have happened to Desolace. Few tried to eke out a living in that harsh land, and there were more pressing matters to attend to, mending broken bodies and shattered homes. It would be days before the soldiers of Ghost Walker Post, situated just above the great Kodo Graveyard, would return from lending aid to the trolls of Shadowprey Village on the nearby coast. It would be weeks before their message would make its slow way north to the Moonglade to be read by the Cenarion Circle. It would be a full month before the first druid would set foot in what would soon be known as the Cenarion Wildlands, stare up at trees the size of mountains, and gape in awe at a living miracle. And it would be only a month more before a small community emerged in the Wildlands’ heart to study, unsuccessfully, how such a wonder could possibly have come to be.

None of the glade’s inhabitants have noticed the small purple crystal, nestled in the roots of the glade’s tallest tree, just peeking out into the open air. But when it rains, some of them swear they can hear singing.

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