Excerpts from the journal of Ryo Fateshifter
((With the move to WRA the time has come to create a new continuity for Ryo and Zen. Please enjoy 🙂 ))
((*Updated Mosur pointed out I managed to invent three or four different spellings of ‘kaldorei’ and ‘Teldrassil’. I’ve settled on the one correct spelling for each word now, hopefully.))
‘Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat their mistakes.’ My twin brother said that today (one of his many ‘Zenisms’). I forget the exact context of why he said it, but those words resonated with me somehow. Thus, I have decided to begin keeping a journal, to help remember those lessons of the past and avoid repeating mistakes in the future.
I suppose introductions are in order then: My name is Ryo Fateshifter, I am an apprentice mage and scholar for the court of Queen Ashara in Zin-Azshari. My task is to research and study the Well of Eternity to unlock its secrets. I look forward to being able to prove myself and to add to the might of the Kaldorei Empire.
My struggles continue. Despite my dedication to the arcane arts, I’m still weak. While I excel at all things academic in terms of actual combat I am little more than a burden. My brother and I were visiting an outpost at the edge of the empire as part of a research project and it was attacked by those vile trolls. Why the goddess allows such creatures to exist much less threaten her chosen people I will never understand. Perhaps they are necessary for my people to grow stronger after all ‘steel must be heated and hammered to become strong’ (another of my brother’s Zenisms). I did my best to help our warriors, but my magic failed me, if it weren’t for my brother’s mastery of the teachings of Malfurion (Druidism) and my skills as a swordsman I would have perished. I begin to wonder if the path of a mage was the correct one for me.
We’ve grown too decadent. I should have realized it when the pandaren cut ties with us. We pushed the limits further and further and grew bolder and bolder. The ‘Highborne’ have become aloof and arrogant. Not a day goes by I am reminded of my status as a ‘Lowborne’, and that I am ‘so privileged to be allowed to study the arcane arts’. Now, there are rumors of opening a portal for a new ‘god’ to welcome them into our world. Supposedly they bring promises of blessings to our race and the eradication of all others deemed unworthy. I fear I know not to which group I would belong to should that come to pass. I remember a time when there weren’t ‘Highborne’ or ‘Lowbone’ just ‘kaldorei’! That’s how it should have stayed. Still, I have faith in Queen Ashara. I’m certain the brightest days for my people are still to come.
Our world has been sundered, the Well of Eternity has imploded! I am currently writing this in the shade of a tree in the company of a mere handful of others, all of us possessing little more than the clothing on our backs and whatever supplies we could secure as they fled the otherworldly armies. Our queen, our great and beloved queen has betrayed all of Azeroth! She made a pact with an entity known as ‘Sargeras’ and brought his demonic armies the ‘Burning Legion’ into our world. We have lost so much. The family homestead was burned to cinders, our parents were slaughtered, the university and my research destroyed, the city that had so long been my home toppled into the oceans as the very earth itself was split in-twain. It was only thanks to my brother’s ‘gadgets’ and my talent for creating portals that were we able to escape death at the hands of the forces of the Twisting Nether and the breaking of our world. I am uncertain as to what to do. This could very well be the end of the kaldorei.
‘A hero is not someone that never falls, but rather someone that always gets back up.’ One of these days I have to figure out how he keeps coming up with his ‘Zenisms’. The construction of the new Auberdine settlement continues. This land that was once at the heart of the kaldorei empire near the great cities of Ameth’Arna, Bashal’Aran, and Lathar’Lazal is now by the coast. We’ve begun calling this region ‘Darkshore’, which seems rather fitting. It’s shocking just how much our world has changed in just a few short years. The great cities are now just ruins being picked over by scavengers, but I remember them as they were. If I close my eyes I picture myself walking those gilded streets once more.
The new government led by Malfurion Stormrage and Tyrande Whisperwind has decided to ban the arcane arts. I feel this decision is short-sighted, however, I shall obey. As of this moment, I am a mage no more. Which begs the question: What am I now? Our new world hardly needs scholars, in fact, I’ve found it best to keep my history as part of Queen Ashara’s court (may she forever rot the depths) a secret. I have been working with Zen in his study of the natural laws of the universe and his gadget crafting. Perhaps, I could become an ‘engineer’ like him? I’ve been studying martial combat, and found that I’m rather skilled with Illidari glaves. There’s an amusing thought, Ryo Fateshifter the Demon Hunter.
Fandral Staghelm has once again commanded my brother to join the other druids in the Emerald Dream, Zen still refuses. He believes the best way to learn about nature is to understand the natural laws and workings of the universe. While other druids will call my brother an outcast due to his interest in magic, and science; Zen considers himself a purist as he seeks to understand not just nature but the world as a whole. Of course, that’s only part of the reason why he refuses. For all our lives the one constant my brother and I have had is each other. If he were to enter the dream then he’d have to leave me behind. After we survived the Sudderning we made a pact, ‘No matter what we face, even if it was the two of us against the whole world we would always stand and fight together.’ Perhaps this pact must be broken. It isn’t right for me to hold my brother back.
Staghelm gave Zen an ultimatum, either enter the dream or be thrown out of the Druidic order. The arrogance of that Fandral! My brother was one of the first students of Malfurion teachings and by all rights, he should be Staghelm’s superior, not the other way around. Evidently, my brother felt much the same because (and bear in mind he may have just made this up) when Staghelm issued his ultimatum allegedly my brother shifted to cat form and relieved himself upon Fandral’s leg in order to establish who was truly a ‘peon’. I suppose if one is going to quit their work after so long they might as well do it in a remarkable way. We are now making our way south to Ashenvale, we’ve heard rumors of Satyr and demon attacks, perhaps we can find mercenary work. I suppose our pact holds, it is my brother and me against the world now.
We completed our one hundredth bounty hunt today. Neither Zen nor I had even been aware of the milestone until one of our ‘fans’ pointed it out. Evidently over the years Zen and I have built up something of a reputation. Looking back on it, our non-conventional tactics and gadgets have allowed us great success. Closer to the center of governance Mount Hyjal we would have been branded heretics, but out here on the frontier, we can be heroes. I suppose out here far away from the politics we’re all just kaldorei trying to survive. I’ve come to love this life of adventure. It reminds me of the stories grandfather Ryo (I’m technically ‘Ryo Jr’) used to tell us when Zen and I when we were children. We recently discovered an ancient text detailing Illidari combat methods. While I am no true Demon Hunter, I find their methods suit me well. Perhaps this was the path I should have always walked? It matters little now anyway.
War has broken out to the far south in Silithus. The old god C’Thun and his armies the Silithid have arisen. Zen and I want to lend our aid, but the now Archdruid Staghelm is leading the efforts. Given the past history my brother has with Fandral we have decided to apply our efforts elsewhere.
Southwind Village has fallen. The Archdruid has lost his son Valstann. I never liked the man but no father should ever outlive a son. Zen and I have decided to join the fight.
With the aid of the dragonflights the forces of C’Thun have been driven back and are now trapped by the Scarab wall. Zen doesn’t think the threat has been fully contained. I’m inclined to agree. We haven’t won the War of Shifting Sands only delayed it, however, there is nothing we can do now but move on.
I think my brother is in love. During a mission to hunt down a group of Satyrs, we gained aid from an unexpected source, one Fe’ra Moonsteel. Fe’ra is the captain of the guard for the nearby settlement of Rinberdine. I could tell right away she and Zen took a liking to each other. When we went to collect our reward he tried to give Fe’ra half as a thank you for her assistance. As a member of the guard, she wasn’t allowed to directly collect any payment. She refused and instead suggested her part of the reward be used on a romantic dinner instead. I decided that was my queue to exit.
I think we have officially settled into Rinberdine, now. We had originally planned on moving on, but Zen just can’t seem to leave his Fe’ra. It started with excuses about why we shouldn’t leave the town (weather, more jobs to do, etc), but eventually, he broke down and told me he was in love. Needless to say, I wasn’t at all surprised. I think he’ll be moving in with her soon. I’ll have to find my own lodgings. I hope I’m gaining a sister-in-law instead of losing my brother, but time will tell.
Our adventuring days are coming to an end, I think. Zen and Fe’ra are going to start a family soon. We need to do one last big job so they’ll have the money they need for a larger home. Fe’ra said I can have her old house once they move out, which will be nice as I’ve been living out of the inn for some months while she and Zen have been living together. This feels like the welcome end of an era. While I have enjoyed our life as ‘adventuring heroes’ the time has come to settle down. I’m not quite sure what I’ll do. Perhaps fishing? Maybe Zen and I might finally start that ‘Fateshifter Bros’ engineering and gadgetry company we often talk about. I suppose I’ll debate that matter later, for now, we’re off to begin our final journey. It’s going to be hard for Zen to leave Fe’ra behind, but I’m sure she, the town, and our futures will be here waiting for us when we get back.
Mission complete, payment in hand. I gave Zen my half of the reward as a gift, under the conditions he’d name a son after me if he ever had any. He was ecstatic! He wasn’t sure he and Fe’ra would be able to afford the home they wanted with his share alone, but now they’ll have money to spare for what will soon be a growing family. I think I’ll end this journal here. It’s been a long road, and we’ve lost so much but the time for peace has finally come. I’m looking forward to learning to fish.
It’s all gone.
I can see the devastation with my own eyes but I can’t believe it.
Rinberdine was attacked.
We’ve searched the town and haven’t found a single survivor. During the search, I heard Zen scream in a way I wouldn’t have thought physically possible for anyone to do… it was so loud and pained it physically hurt to hear. I ran to his side and realized he had discovered what was left of Fe’ra.
We buried the dead as best we could. Zen hasn’t spoken a word since we found Fe’ra. I figured who was responsible for the attacks. It was that troll tribe to the west I recognized some of the broken weapons they left behind.
I shared my findings with Zen, he finally spoke. He looked me dead in the eye and said ‘We are going to destroy them all.’ I agreed. The trolls didn’t spare anyone man, woman, or child so we will treat them in kind! No matter the cost every troll responsible for the death of Rinberdine shall know our fury and vengeance!
It took months and every copper of the money that was supposed to go to Fe’ra and Zen’s future home, but the deed is done. We spent weeks hiring adventures to fight by our side, a whole month designing and building new weaponry specifically designed to kill trolls, and more time still tracking down every single last one of the monsters that escaped our initial attack, but it is done. Fe’ra and Rinberdine have been avenged. Our enemy has been so thoroughly destroyed that future histories will debate if they ever even existed.
‘Now what?’ That’s the question I keep asking myself. We had been so focused on revenge we didn’t think about what came after. Zen has withdrawn into himself, he barely moves save for the bare necessities of life. I guess this is why scholars say ‘revenge is an empty pursuit’ (that’s probably a Zenism). We finally have our revenge but I feel nothing but empty inside. I suppose we just move on. Go back to adventuring. What else can we do? The only thing we’ve ever really been good at is fighting.
It seems the lands of Kalimdor shall never know peace. Apparently during the Great Sundering so long ago the single landmass that had been the known world at the time broke apart into multiple continents. Now, new threats from across the sea from the far-off lands of ‘The Eastern Kingdoms’ have come to our shores. Green-skinned demon creatures reminiscent of trolls known as ‘orcs’ and the literal walking dead known as the ‘scourge’ have invaded and we are losing against them. Zen and I have decided to fight, though we know not for what anymore. Any future we had died with Rinberdine. I feel old, I feel tired, I feel for lack of a better term ‘used up’.
The world tree Nordrassil is gone, sacrificed by Malifurion to slay Archimonde. Our immortality is gone. Zen and I both managed to survive the battle. It seems no matter what it’s always us two that somehow carry on. We’ll do what we can to help our people, but now we have to deal with things like aging, frailty, and disease.
Malifurion is gone. We’re not sure what happened, but he has vanished, and now Staghelm… Elune damned STAGHELM is now the leader of the kaldorei. He is moving forward with a plan to create a new world tree ‘Teldrassil’ in hopes of restoring our immortality.
Teldrassil continues to grow amazingly fast and the new city ‘Darnassus’ is being built atop it. I have not seen such a city since a time before ‘The War of the Ancients’ as they call it now. It’s hard to think of myself as an ‘ancient’, yet now without Nordrassil, I can feel it. Is it possible to have lived too long? To have seen too much? I find myself wondering ‘what is the point of it all?’
The dragons have refused to bless Teldrassil. Zen says he can sense corruption deep within the roots of the tree. We don’t know what actions to take. Archdruid Staghelm is a mad man, he acts as if he can lead our people but he can’t.
A realization dawned on me today. I happened to look back to the first words I ever wrote into this journal ‘Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat their mistakes.’ I understand why those words resonated with me now, it is because it sums up the kaldorei perfectly. We keep making the same mistakes over and over. We put our faith in leaders who fail us, we seek peace in a world ruled by war… we’re just in a cycle of endlessly repeating misery.
We discovered something wondrous today. Fe’ra and Zen had a daughter and she’s alive here in Darnassus! I was working in the bank and happened to stumble upon an old letter addressed to my brother at the bottom of an old crate. Naturally, I delivered it to him post haste. I’ve transcribed the letter here for posterity:
My beautiful little one. If you’re reading this, you’ve grown up without me. I don’t regret dying to save my people but I do regret not being able to hold you, help you take your first step, watch you dance for Elune under the night sky. Your father will do all of this for you and, hopefully, will let you know just how much I loved you.
There are so many things I need to teach you, to tell you about yourself and our family, things that you’ll have to learn on your own. I pray you’ll forgive me, but most of this I cannot put onto paper for the fear someone will find you and kill you simply for being who you are.
You are the last of the Moonsteels, my daughter. The mark on your hip proves this. Someday I hope you will learn who and what you are.
With every bit of love in my heart.
Fe’zena is currently a member of the Sentinels we’re going to visit her this evening.
Fe’zena or ‘Weedy’ (nicknamed due to her unusual height) was an absolute delight! She is so very much like her mother. Zen was worried she wouldn’t accept him, but she did right away with infectious enthusiasm.
For the first time in over a century, my brother has smiled.
Ever since Weedy entered our lives the feelings of being old and used up have vanished. With her every new day, every new discovery is an adventure. She has developed a love for the sciences like Zen and myself and shows a remarkable talent for engineering. I think we have found a reason to carry on. We may have lost Rinberdine, but the last daughter of the Moonsteels lives and we’ll be there to help her grow up. I do not know what threat Fe’ra warned of in her letter but the Fateshifter brothers will be ready to face it head-on.
Now that the kaldorei are officially part of the ‘Alliance’ we’ve decided to take a trip to the Eastern Kingdoms to visit the other faction capitals. We’ve hired a mage to create a portal for us to the human city of ‘Stormwind’. Weedy in particular is excited to see the gnomes. Apparently, their city is something of a technological marvel. Time to see if those lessons on Common are going to pay off.
We had our first ride on the Deeprun Tram today, or rather our first three rides. Weedy enjoyed it so much she insisted we go again… which brought us back to Stormwind when we were trying to go to Ironfroge hence the need for the third trip. It is a remarkable feat of engineering I must admit. Though some of the details of its design confuse me. Apparently, the tram travels east and west despite the fact Ironforge and Stormwind are north and south of each other, also it goes underwater somehow. The view through the underwater glass tunnel was breathtaking though.
For a race of beings all under five feet tall the dwarves built their city with a remarkably high ceiling. Apparently it is for air travel. Flying in an underground city, what a novel concept.
I realize now I had greatly underestimated the gnomes. They have built things my brother and I have only dreamed of. We had so many questions about… everything. For goodness sake, they have artificial creatures known as ‘robots’ some of which were capable of conversation like people! Zen purchased a copy of every book on engineering they had.
We’ve reached a decision, there are simply too many facets to engineering for each of us to master all of them. Hence we have decided to specialize. Zen will focus on weaponry, Weedy wants to pursue robotics, and I’m still deciding on what I want to do. Though I have discovered one topic of interest, artificial portals or rather ‘wormholes’. I’ll give it some thought.
That vile fiend Garrosh has destroyed Theramore! He used some sort of new weapon the likes of which we’ve never seen before. They’re calling it a ‘mana bomb’. Zen was there. I hope he was able to escape in time. Weedy and I are going to look for him
We found Zen, he was in rough shape. He and a handful of others managed to escape the main explosions, but he took a nasty shrapnel hit to his left arm. He could have healed it with his magic, but there were others in his group that were on the verge of death and he only had so much mana. He chose to trade his arm for the lives of others. By the time we found them a nasty infection had set it (a swamp is an utterly terrible place for open wounds). We were forced to amputate.
Weedy has designed a replacement arm for her father. It’s quite something, in fact I’d dare say it is her very finest creation. The arm will be able to ‘mecha shift’ to match Zen’s other forms. It will even be able to become a wing thanks to Draenei levitation technology.
First test of Zen’s new arm, he seems to be adjusting to it well. We’re still working out the kinks, at one point it shifted to wing form when he was attempting to be a bear. Needless to say, some much-needed levity ensued.
The Burning Legion has attacked Azeroth once again. First Aszhara, then Outlands, and now the Broken Isles. The events are so dire the Wardens have released the Illidari that were captured during the battle of the Black Temple in Outlands to aid in the fight. I meet one of their order, a rather intriguing woman named ‘Aemai Truewhisper’. She noted my fighting style was rather similar to that of the true Illidari.
Aemai thinks I can become a demon hunter. She says I have the potential and the skill, I need only be bonded with a proper demon to grant me true strength. I must admit I’m tempted to accept her proposal. I’ve always lagged behind my brother in terms of combat ability. With the stakes higher than ever we can’t afford for me to be a second-rate fighter anymore.
We’ve reached a decision. I shall become a demon hunter but in my own way. We’ve studied the ritual and have discovered ways of modifying it. For starters I won’t need to lose my eyes, I’ll use specialized goggles instead. With my knowledge of the arcane arts I’ve designed stronger warding tattoos which will help suppress the negative aspects of the demonic bond.
It is done. I feel… complete now. I have long walked this path, it’s nice to finally reach the end. Or perhaps to begin walking a new path?
Zen has devised a new weapons system for combating the Legion. He calls it the S.Q.U.I.R.R.E.L.B.O.T.S. I am uncertain what the acronym stands for. Weedy will build the base robots.
So slight miscommunication related to the S.Q.U.I.R.R.E.L.B.O.T.S. Weedy assumed they were supposed to be themed after the rodents. I guess that’s what happens when you have overly complicated names.
We found a volunteer to test out the squirrels. Initial results seem promising. Though her version of the story of how Zen recruited her seems… rather fantastical to say the least.
The Horde marches on Teldrassil. Our forces are still recovering from the… everything that has happened. Zen and I are able to cut them down like Westfall farmers harvesting wheat, but there are so many of them.
(550th the latest entry)
Once again I find myself writing in the shade of a tree in the company of refugees with little more than the clothes on their back and whatever supplies they could collect as they fled. Teldrassil is gone. The mad undead queen put it to the torch. We’ve lost everything, the lab and all of our high-end equipment are gone. Unfortunately, it came down to saving lives or saving equipment so naturally, we chose lives.
Once again we must rebuild from nothing. Currently, we are living on the streets of Stormwind with so many other kaldorei and gilneains (I just realized this is the second home the poor Gilineans have lost to Sylvanas).
I can’t help but wonder if there has been some lesson to all this I’ve missed. It seems we’ve just repeated the same cycle of building up and losing it all over and over again. Another Zensim ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’
Still, we must carry on.