This one’s 750-ish words, I had intended to make it into a series but I couldn’t think of an ending that fit, so I never got past the first chapter. Made it after discovering the Whispering Forest in Tirisfal.
The mere mention of it was enough to sent chills down my spine, the promise of story and imagination in all its glory. I hadn’t felt like this in years. I’d never even dreamed I’d see one.
There it was. The legends from my childhood made real. A three-foot wingspawn with the shimmering colours and stars of the wildest night sky, edged by curving, translucent spikes. The body of a lizard, bright blue as the clearest sky in Lordaeron. A tail that spiralled smaller and smaller, segmented purple and navy.
Those who saw one were blessed by the Light, by the pagan gods of the southern nomads, by the Dragons and Titans of past myths. Wealth by the barrel, the greatest crop yields in years, luck in marriage and family for generations. All benefits of finding one, seeing one, touching one.. But they were rare. There was never more than one sighting per year, often less, but always during the harvest season, when the world streaked all the colours one could think of. And they -always- brought happiness. No family who managed to see one, whether they were good and pious or foul and unlucky, had ill brought upon them afterwards. Those who told the stories seemed to light up rooms when they recounted tales, each one more bright and exaggerated than the last. They could have ended up homeless in the Sewer Quarters of Stratholme and still been happy, had they remembered that tale.
Their words were hungered by the peasant masses, to know that a friend, a relative, a village, had been blessed for a generation. I had forgotten entirely the legend of the Faerie Dragons – yet even after the Scourge, the formation of the Forsaken, the death of Archimonde and the formation of the New Alliance and the New Horde and so much more – I could remember. I had thought my memories lost to the hallowed halls of time themselves, unable to remember much more than flashes and blurs. Yet this one sight had brought back everything I had ever heard at once, every glorious song, tale, drawing I had encountered of them. It was astounding, perplexing, and all too impossible. So many Forsaken went through their entire ‘lives’ without ever having a single memory of their first lives. Many knew nothing more than the name on their gravestone. Some were driven insane by the lucid memories of every terrible atrocity they had committed against the living in the Scourge’s name – some were simply driven by that. Driven to more atrocities.
I was lost for words. A beautiful blazing sight in the midst of the Sewers of the Undercity – where the old neat square labyrinths of Lordaeron’s Capital met the spiralling underground tunnels where the Forsaken dumped failed creations. It had led to the most amazing mortal-made ecology of the last decade. Mindless beings with the intelligence of animals, acting just as animals wandered amongst strange, broken Forsaken with no will for anything, amongst tree-sized mushrooms that glowed in the dark, feasting off detritus that flowed in from the Necropolis just above it. Night elves resided within trees, but the curious undead underclass here that barely knew the world’s existence beyond their own had crafted homes into mushrooms. Not out of mushrooms, like the Cenarion Expedition or the Sporelings. In the mushrooms themselves. Neither plague nor natural, these towering beasts crept along the filthy caverns whilst glowing fungal ferns and flowers littered the ground. Whole neighbourhoods that the ruling Forsaken had grown ignorant to as they dug into the ground for more waste-dump space. Or storage space. You never know.
A Faerie Dragon. Amongst this. Why? Were they truly as intelligent as the druids had said? I still don’t know why, but something had brought a Faerie Dragon to the undergrowth of the Undercity, to the Forsaken within who were perhaps more Forsaken than their brethren, and to me. I reached my hand out, the wings of the creature reflecting every multicoloured fungal light a hundred-times over until the whole cavern was a blaze of delirious light. I felt so wonderful, energy wrapping round me as my exposed bones moved towards it. Its beady black eyes met my own gray sockets. I could feel it direct its energy towards me as my fingers met its claw. A brief, bright, second, yet the echoes would last forever.
So alive… So full… So happy…