He sat, waiting.
He knew not for how long he sat, legs crossed, eyes closed, feeling the breeze blow about him, the surrounding wildlife going about their daily business. Storms came and went, drenching him, nourishing the land around him, providing fresh water for the critters, predators and passive animals alike. He did not notice this, either. He had no fear of being attacked; any predator that came near him was suddenly assailed by nightmares of the most outlandish kinds. Howl, whimper, what ever it may be, they retreated back to their place in the world, fearful of the one being who cared naught.
He was tall - almost seven feet tall - and powerfully built. He wore nothing but a rather drab and dirty leather tunic, which seemed to have been woven of leaves and wood that was made to fit his body. His breeches were of little difference, and he wore nothing on his feet. Long green hair ran down to his waist, and there were leaves and grass in it, which seemed to blend in as easily as a lynx might stalk his prey at night. His skin was pale, and two long, tapered ears poked out from his hair. What set them apart from any thing else were the fact that they were also pointed.
What do I wait for?
The thought had occurred to him thousands of times already, though he still had no answer for it. Thus, he continued to sit, oblivious to what happened around him. He was restless, waiting for an answer to his question, but unable to move, to seek this answer out - to finally put his mind to rest. He did not know why he could not; certainly not of a lack of willpower, for he was sure this was the only way he would find this answer. No . . . it had to be something else. Something. He just didn't know what.
You're slowly learning to cease fighting, the voice said, interrupting his thoughts. Deep, demonic, it caused goosebumps to pop up along his back, neck and arms, and made him cower inwardly, as if just mentally knowing the voice's user existed could completely erase him.
No, he thought to the voice, and instantly, a blaze of agony trailed up from his feet to his head, leaving him with an intense migraine. Though he could not move, he did grit his teeth, and through the pain, thought, I will never stop fighting you.
The voice chuckled, and the sound seemed to rumble like thunder through his head, intensifying the pain of the headache. If he could have cried out, he would have. Alas, he could not, and thus he had to settle with screaming mentally. If the sound were real, he was sure it would have shattered glass and caused many pain.
It is inevitable, the voice echoed, and he could almost feel it retreating from his conciousness - but not completely.
And just as suddenly, he was awake.
With a gasp, his eyes flew open, and all at once, the sensations he had missed for almost a millennia assailed him. He could feel the grass beneath him, flourishing while he slept. He could feel the cool breeze toy with his hair and refresh him. Every breath, every sensation, every colour, noise - he could sense it all.
Almost giddy, he hopped to his feet, a bit unsteady at first, but when he felt he could stand, he gazed at the land around him with wonder, missing something he had completely forgotten of its existence.
It is inevitable.
As suddenly as he was excited, he felt his mood darken, and could only now feel the migraine, still present, as was the presence of the dark soul that still held his will.
I will never stop fighting, he snarled to the voice, meaning it. Another headache assaulted him, causing him to drop to his knees. He vision blurred and darkened, and every other sense was drowned out, his world filled only with the pain.
Never stop fighting for me , of course, the voice corrected, and deep in his heart, he knew it to be true. And yet, he could not deny that his freedom was long in waiting - too long.
You may be able to control my actions, he thought with righteous anger, but you'll never be able to control my will. And that , you hellish fiend, is my victory . . . however little it may be.
An elf sat meditating in the glade, lush with activity and nature.
Though it was a green dragon that came soaring from the glade, with vibrant emerald scales, bright eyes, thick horns and a massive wingspan, roaring in both fury, pain and a yearning for freedom from his enslavement.
All the while wishing he didn't have to do such a thing, Cerranus flew north, away from the lush glade, his next task set on what ever his master wished - And his heart set on finding his freedom.
And, if one watched the green dragon's path of choosing, one would notice that it lend directly over the Sea, to a place as cold, unforgiving and yet with signs of life as any other, as well as home to the Dragonflights' sanctums.
The sound of powerful wings beating the air reached Garz's ears.
The orc, tall and powerfully built, wore thick plate armour, a ragged cloak, and no helm. His black hair was in a topknot, and two battle-axes were on his hips. His tabard bore the Horde insignia - dark black on a bright crimson - and his broad, green-skinned features turned into a scowl.
It won't stop, he thought to himself, annoyed. Five minutes ago, he had been standing in the frozen wasteland known as Dragonblight, high upon a snow-blanketed ridge, scouting out an area that his fellow warrior, Skrazz, had taken note of some time ago. He had finally got around to checking it out, when the wingbeats had reached his ears.
Garz knew that Dragonblight was home to many, many dragons, but as far as he could tell, they mostly congregated near the center of the zone, at a massive building called Wyrmrest Temple. He had not heard of - or seen - a dragon come near Agmar's Hammer.
Garz lifted his head to the sky, sniffing. It's coming from the Borean Tundra, he growled to himself, suddenly curious, if still irritated. What's a dragon doing there?
As the sound drew nearer, Garz snarled with frustration, throwing his gloved hands up. "I can't scout with that noise interrupting my thoughts every two seconds," the orc snapped, and turned towards the Tundra, seeing if he could catch a glimpse.
He froze, shocked.
Ancestors save me, he thought, distantly realizing his hands had strayed to his axes.
Cerranus flew as fast as he could, trying not to think about what he was about to do, desperately praying that some magical, all-mighty force would free him before he did so. As much as it agonized him to think so, he knew something like that was never going to happen. Thus, with great pain in his corrupt yet still good heart, he flew straight into Dragonblight, from the Borean Tundra.
As he traversed across the border to Dragonblight, he caught an unfamiliar whiff of something plagued and unholy. Along with that scent he could also pick out hundreds of different ones; orc, night elf, dragon, elk, bear, and so many more. Out of them all, the one scent he had never sniffed before caught the most of his attention. Belatedly, he realized what is was.
Except, this particular Nerubian scent smelled . . . different . . . like rotting corpses, something Cerranus was all-too-familiar with. A sudden fury rose in his chest, clawing its way to his throat. The green dragon roared in anger, letting it free, and flew even faster towards Wyrmrest Temple.
The wingbeats thumped harder and harder, beating the frigid air with a ferocity rarely seen in his kind. Cerranus's anxiety grew as his flight took him across the icy lands of Northrend. The green dragon scanned the ground below him, and noticed a lone figure, which stood out amidst the pure white.
Cerranus knew he couldn't control his actions any more than he could now, but his curiosity burned like a raging blaze, determined to turn all who opposed it into ashes. Cerranus wasn't too sure what happened next; only that he found himself flying towards the orc, and he let go of everything but the insatiable need to sate whatever crazed force drove him to break free.
As he neared the tiny figure, he could see the orc - male, dressed in dark leather and mail - draw two battle-axes, and heft one. Cerranus could sense the orc's intentions, though he was unsure of what to do. Just as suddenly as he had taken hold of his will once again, he felt his grip on it slip and loosen.
NO!! he cried, the mental plea exploding from his mind. He continued downward, and with his heightened vision, saw the orc cringe, his hand trembling from the reverberating thought. Cerranus came out of his dive and hovered just six feet above the orc, whose eyes were shut tightly, both battle-axes in the snow. The orc dropped to a knee, clutching his temples.
"No . . . no," the orc mumbled, shaking his head. "Please . . . don't hurt me."
"State your name, mortal, and I may not cripple you where you stand!" Cerranus snarled, his deep voice rumbling like a blast of thunder. Unfortunately, it was not he who spoke. No. It was another . . .
"S-Skraz . . . " the orc stammered, attempting to reach for his axes. Cerranus cast a spell at the orc, who screamed in terror, dropping to the ground. "No . . . no!" he cried. "Please! Make them stop! They're all over me . . . !"
What exactly he was experiencing, Cerranus did not know. He knew that the one that controlled his actions had used Cerranus's abilities to show the orc some sort of nightmare; what it was, he didn't have a clue.
"I . . . I can't . . . " Cerranus murmured, feeling a pang of remorse for the orc. "You . . . must obey him . . . "
"Aaagh!" the orc screamed, clawing for his axes. "Get the hell off of me, you little insect!" He slappeda t himself, eyes still shut tightly, and Cerranus's pain grew.
"What did he do?" Cerranus cried to the dark entity that controlled his actions, abilities and even parts of his mind. "Answer me! What did he do?!"
Do not question my motives!
Cerranus cringed inwardly at the mental rebuke. His earlier migraine returned with renewed force, pounding at Cerranus, and the green dragon roared in agony. But because he was still being controlled, he was forced to hover in mid-air through it all.
You think to challenge me? the voice snarled deep inside Cerranus, and somehow the green knew Skraz could hear it too. You think to best me, little dragon? Puny orc? I will outlive even you, Cerranus, for I have existed as long as Azeroth has! And you think you can fight me?! Cerranus snarled, closing his eyes, but could not escape the pain, nor the voice.
"I . . . will fight," Skraz growled, crawling to his dropped axes, eyes half open, body shaking. "I . . . will fight . . . to my dying breath!"
The voice roared, a thunderous sound, and the mental action vibrated and echoed through almost every mind within leagues.
You. Will. Not. WIN!
Suddenly, Cerranus found himself under control of his actions. Sargeras's presence seemed to have retreated for the moment . . . Why the corrupt Titan would do that, Cerranus had no idea, but he found himself too joyous to care. The green reached deep within himself, and could still feel the Titan's dark, fiery presence within, dormant for the time being, but no less powerful nor evil. Shivering deeply, Cerranus lowered himself to the trembling orc, who had retrieved his axes. The green quickly changed into his elven form and reached down a strong hand, helping the orc to his feet.
"W-what in the name of Hellscream was that?" asked the orc, his voice deep but shaky. Cerranus shook his head, surprised the orc wasn't staring in awe at him.
Cerranus decided that, for now, he would leave Sargeras's presence a mystery to the orc. He was surely, by now, shocked and shaken terribly by this confrontation; to reveal that Sargeras was behind it would crush him.
So instead the green said, "I don't know; but I do know that I am his slave, and that he can control my actions whenever he wishes to do so."
The realization of this hit Cerranus once again, and the green dragon felt more vulnerable than ever. The fact that he was susceptible to another's will at any moment made the green want to forget the entire idea of trying to free himself; the hopelessness, he felt, was eating him alive.
And then one image came to him. The image of a smaller green dragon, clearly female, with glittering emerald scales and two small, curled horns, deep eyes and a musical voice.
For you, I will fight for my freedom, Cerranus thought, memories of the time he shared with his mate, Illaria.
"Whenever he wishes to?" the orc, Skraz, asked him, sounding curious, though he was still shaken from his experience under Cerranus's spell. "Or can you try and stop him?"
Cerranus snorted. "Stop a corrupt Titan from controlling my actions. Right. Where did you come from?"
Skraz narrowed his eyes. "It was an honest question. If you have some power over stopping him from . . . Wait, a Titan?"
Carranus took a deep breath, running a hand through his hair. "Mortal, this may cause you to tremble where you stand, but the being whom just had control over me, and the same one you heard speak, is the Dark Titan known as . . . Sargeras."
~ ~ ~ <---- (Updated as of 20 - 12 - 2012)
Hours had passed; the unikely duo had gone in to hiding, Cerranus to recover, and the orc to finally take a moment to sit, and attempt to digest what he'd been told.
The lesser races, it would seem, had a knack for exaggerating things even more than the dragons could. The orc had been sitting up against the far wall of the cave they'd taken refuge in. Dragonblight was home to many caves such as these, and Cerranus had had no trouble in locating one. Thankfully, this particular cave had been unoccupied.
The green dragon, in this moment of sanity, sat cross-legged by their fire, his dark emerald eyes gazing deep into the flickering, crackling flames of orange and yellow hues. He had taken it upon himself to leave the orc alone for the time being; he did not know what sort of effect his words would have had on Skraz, nor was he sure what Sargeras's attempt at controlling the orc had done to his mind. His mind could be whole and safe; it could be ravaged, torn.
Only time will tell, Cerranus thought to himself, closing his eyes.
Finally, after what seemed like ages, he heard scuffling. The orc's mail scratched against the ice as he pushed himself to his feet. Cerranus opened his eyes and looked at the orc, who seemed more . . . sure of his motives than before. Cerranus raised an eyebrow, and the orc nodded.
"What you have told me . . . I would call it lies," the orc said, "if I had not seen it for myself. Or, rather . . . heard it, experienced it." Skraz took a deep breath. "Pitting myself up against a Titan is obviously suicide, and I don't know why in the name of the ancestors I am going to . . . "
"Because," Cerranus interrupted. "He is a threat to us all. He never has been truly defeated. Stories and legends have told of his defeat at the hands of the Gaurdian Medivh's mother, Aegwynn, but she had not been able to actually stop him. She slew his physical form, and suppressed his spirit. He found a way to return through Medivh, and again was stopped." Cerranus took a breath.
"So now . . . he is in you?"
Cerranus nodded slowly. "Not entirely; that much I know. Nor do I know exactly how or why he did it."
Skraz looked in to the fire. "Can you do anything about it?"
"You do not understand . . . I am, and always will be, Sargeras's slave. I may seem like myself right now, but it is merely a veil . . . a veil to fool those that watch me. Sargeras is in me, orc. I can not defeat him, nor can I overpower him, or even hope to get close enough to try."
Skraz narrowed his eyes. "You just finished telling me that he isn't entirely a part of you. I refuse to assist a dragon who is missing most of his sanity!"
A surge of sudden rage pulsed through Cerranus as he rose ot his feet, turning on the hapless orc and waving his hand towards him. A wave of sickly green energy struck the orc, tossing him against the wall of the cave. His axes went flying, clattering as they struck the ground.
"How dare you," Cerranus hissed, eyes flaring brightly. Fear flitted across the orc's face as he scrambled to his feet; Cerranus's lips twisted in a snarl as he again shoved the orc to the ground, this time binding him with transuculent tendrils of green mist. "You, a lesser race, a mortal, who knows little of Azeroth's true workings, dare claim I am not sane?" The green dragon stood there, fists clenched, thick green mist swirling around his hands and forearms, his eyes pulsing brightly. Skraz struggled beneath his mystical bonds for a moment, then relaxed, meeting Cerranus's furious gaze.
"You're right," the orc said, seeming more calm than he should have been. Cerranus froze, narrowing his eyes cautiously. "I should not have spoken like so. You are correct; I know little of our world's true workings, nor do I know anything of dragons or Titans." The green dragon stood there, frozen in both surprise and confusion, then released the orc, taking a step back. Skraz climbed to his feet, brushing off his armour and retrieving his axes. He glanced at Cerranus, then sheathed his weapons and went to sit by the campfire. Cerranus tracked the orc's every movement, then he slowly relaxed, the tension releasing from his shoulders.
"Now, then, are we going to sit and allow Sargeras to fully dominate you?" Skraz asked, raising his gaze to the green dragon. "Or, are we going to fight - if inevitably - against him?"
Cerranus's face was stone for a split-second, then he let out a soft chuckle, going to sit across from the orc. "Indeed, we will fight. But - we cannot defeat him alone. If we are to stand any chance at defeating him - or even releasing his control of me - then we are going to need allies."
"Allies? Hmm . . . " The orc contemplated this for a while, resting his elbows on his knees and leaning forward, gazing in to the crackling flames. "I can think of no one even remotely powerful enough to stop a Titan. The - "
"We aren't thinking logically," Cerranus pointed out. "The lesser races - ones such as yourself - will stand no chance. In fact, I am honestly surprised that you have agreed to assist me. What notion would prompt you to do so, I am clueless to its existence; but I am grateful for the willing assistance - no matter how little it may be."
Skraz nodded. "I would explain my reasons, but I fear we are short on time, so I will say this: I know what it is like, to not control your own will, to know that you are subject to the dominance of another. I know the feeling of constriction; of fear. And that, dragon, is why I will assist you." He paused, cocking an eyebrow as the meaning of Cerranus's words struck him. "Thinking logically, eh?"
Now it was the dragon's turn to nod. "Indeed. Logically." He closed his eyes, an expression of sorrow washing over him before it receded, leaving the cold determination mixed with fear that the orc had come to recognize. "Though I have turned from my own kind, retreating unto myself, they would not hesitate to help their own brother; one of their own. It would mortify the others, great Ysera amongst them, if they refused to offer aid to one of their own, and of the green flight no less."
Skraz's eyes widened in comprehesion. "So, when you say allies . . . "
"I mean the dragons. Green dragons. And the reds. And the bronzes, and blues, if they would have it so. Sargeras is more powerful than the three remaining Aspects combined - and it is not known that Nozdormu is lost within his own timeways. Which leaves us with two Aspects."
Skraz just sat, unresponsive, a blank look on his face as the full force of Cerranus's proposition flooded through his mind. When he did speak, his tone was shaky, his words forced through teeth clenched in utter fear and concern. "B-but . . . the dragons . . . four different flights . . . I am but an orc! They would never agree to aid you with me alongside. I may know little of your kind, dragon, but I know enough that they will not aid a "lesser race," as you've termed my people!"
Cerranus found himself mildly amused at the orc's concern and worry. I do not scorn him for it, the green thought, staring in to the flames. He has good reasons to feel so. But hopefully my word will be heeded; even if it is only my own flight. "It couldn't hurt to attempt it. Besides, even if the others refuse, I am positive Ysera will agree. She is too kind-hearted to not to. And I do not say that in a way meaning I will use it to my advantage - it is the complete truth." But Skraz still shook his head in denial. Exasperated, Cerranus loosed a fierce growl, shocking the orc out of his state of terror. "Listen to me!" he snapped, growing impatient. "At any moment Sargeras could return! the more time we spend arguing, the higher the odds are of him deciding to fully take control of my mind! I care naught for the rest of Azeroth; the prospect of losing my own will to one such as Sargeras is one I refuse to admit!"
"You care only for yourself . . . your own well-being," Skraz whispered, fear still evident in his deep tone. Cerranus noted this with distaste; the lesser being understood nothing.
"Of course I do," the green muttered, trying and failing to keep his anger and near-broken impatience showing. "When the only being you've come to rely on is yourself, it is all you know of." He shook his head, feeling utterly exhausted. "You have not gone through what I have, mortal - you know naught of the things I have experienced."
The orc did not reply; whether he had nothing to combat Cerranus's points, or whether he just did not deign to make one at the time, Cerranus did not know. Skraz stood, rolled his cloak up for a pillow, then set it beside the fire. He lied down, placed his green-skinned head on the pilow, and closed his eyes. Seconds later, relaxed breathing reached the dragon's ears.
Cerranus felt his own eyelids start to close, and rubbed his eyes with the bottoms of his palms. Perhaps tomorrow, we can glean more of this. The orc will never understand Sargeras's role in my life, and I do not care to explain it to him. Why he still says he will assist me - when I have clearly stated so - is beyond even my ability to comprehend. Cerranus sighed, feeling completely defeated and hopeless, yet too determined to quit. I wonder what gentle Ysera will have to say to my story and proposal . . . and if something negative, I had better be prepared.