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Shadows of Hope

Started by Drazhul, September 22, 2020, 01:14:53 AM

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The regular quiet atmosphere of Garadar returned as visitors, guests and all others who came to celebrate Kosh'harg slowly left, all turning their attention back to their own devices. Draz'hul had isolated himself after the closing ceremony. The seclusive Shadowmoon spent the next few hours quietly reading near the hut he had been sharing with Bashul. The two lovebirds made small talk for a little while and as she went to bed he mentioned that he'd come later, he wasn't tired yet. And thus his quiet and perhaps boring evening continued. There was little to be heard besides gusts of wind and the turning of the pages as night continued to fall. It wasn't until a few more hours that he'd start showing signs of movement again. Quietly he made his way to the furs, placing a few of his belongings in his travelbag. He weighed the marks he got from Bloodmoon in his hand before leaving them at the furs. The Clan wasn't likely to be noisy during the night, but they could be unpredictable, besides, he would want some resemblance of privacy tonight. 
The wind was moderately strong as it blew across the great plains of Nagrand, nothing impeding it's path save for a few trees and a cloaked orc travelling down the road. The clan had visited Oshu'gun during the past Kosh'harg, many had come to pay their respects to the spirits, their ancestors and Orcish customs as a whole. Draz'hul was one of them, partly to pay his own respects and partly to support Bashul. He offered a modest little offering to the spirits, his mind was a little preoccupied that night however. Spurred by his love for Bashul he decided that he'd ask her to become his life-mate that very same night. The proposal could have gone... smoother. For an Orc who was once known as 'Darktongue' he didn't seem that fluid speaking, his nerves were through the roof and part of him felt like a meek young pup, despite all of this however he still managed to properly ask her. She said yes and his heart made little jumps of joy, something he never quite imagined or experienced before. An unusual sense of warmth and comfort wrapped over him as he helped Bashul with the necklace. The necklace itself featured a piece of black ivory as the cornerstone, it was made in traditional Shadowmoon fashion and would aid as a conduit when communing with the spirits. Furthermore it had several runes inscribed in it, depending from what angle one would look at it one could see words like ''Destiny, Moon, Love.'' and more sappy natured words seemingly unfit for Draz'hul's vocabulary, naturally one of the runes also included his name. As a finishing touch he made sure to enchant the necklace with a ward against Void magic, just in case.

The future looks rather rosy right now, but he understood that things weren't always easy, or simple. One of the things that will be needed is a blessing from the spirits, for that reason he is travelling to Oshu'gun once more, hoping to see if there's anything he can do about that hurdle. There are all kinds of questions floating in Draz'hul's mind. Where are the spirits of his parents and sister? Would they answer? Would they forgive him? And there was still the case of Gun'garom, Bashul's father who had been partially locked in his mind as well as a small soulprison. He didn't intend to capture and hold him. Bashul's lantern, and later she herself were possessed by him, in a desperate attempt to save her he confronted her vengeful father in the inside of her mind. Through a gamble he managed to extract him and he didn't quite know what to do with him now. He didn't dare ask one of the Orcs for a fear of being exiled, or worse. He was reluctant to release him, as Gun'garom had tried to kill him twice before, as well as threatened to kill Bashul. Draz'hul shook his head as he crossed one of the bridges over Nagrand's chasms. He had been scouring through tomes to see if there wasn't a way to release Gun'garom and send him to the afterlife in a way that didn't leave his spirit lingering on Azeroth to exact it's revenge. The more he thought about it the murkier the situation became. He'd find a way to deal with it, first he had to deal with his own ancestors. 

A nervous tingle crept up his spine as he got closer to the holy mountain. Would the spirits welcome him? They didn't reject him a few days ago but considering his nature and past actions he couldn't help but to fear of rejection. He eventually made his way down into the passageways, continuing his path deeper into Oshu'gun. It was different yet eerily similar to the one on his Draenor. He hadn't visited the place for years, at least not until this past Kosh'harg for the reason as to why he hadn't even attempted to contact the spirits since turning to the Void. Fear, fear of being spat out, fear of being judged and fear of being rejected. Draz'hul lowered himself as he finally settled on a place to make his offerings. He laid out a pair of ivory idols, a star-map, a braid of talbuk hair and some incense. Resting on his knees he lowered his head, nearly touching the cold ground as he does so.
There wasn't anything as he said his prayers. For the first time since being a child he could feel tears well up in his eyes. His quiet sobbing eventually made way to genuine crying. He couldn't remember ever feeling this empty, hopeless even. Would there never be any redemption for him? The images in his head played over and over again, like a nightmare he couldn't wake from. He clutched at his temple as he witnessed the death of his sister, followed by his parents. They kept repeating and it broke his heart ever time. The guilt flooding his soul was overwhelming, the often malignant voices in his head were louder than they had been in months, they taunted him, blamed him.  He had to go, leave this place. He wasn't welcome. He tried to move but his legs felt like putty, he tripped. Draz'hul, who always carried himself with a certain air of strength, stoicism and even arrogance was now curling up on the cold ground like a scared whelp.


A faint voice pierced his veil of self-hatred and sorrow. He glanced up, disoriented as he tried to place the voice. It sounded vaguely familiar. Did Bashul follow him? Impossible, she was out cold, in fact the voice sounded much older. As his eyes darted across the room he lingered upon a blurry image of two Orcs, their incorporeal forms hovered above the ground. Draz'hul rubbed his eyes to make sure it wasn't his imagination. His father and mother were right in front of him. Why? After all he's done.. The Void is playing tricks on him surely! Ever trying to make him falter, to make him mad once more.

''Don't look so troubled, have we not lectured you about how to speak to the ancestors?'' his father said. ''I'd expect the son of Tar'nesh Soulmirror to know his rites.'' his mother added. They both had a smirk on their lips, not unlike the one Draz'hul would flaunt whilst being a wiseass.

''I don't understand.. I'm not deserving..''
The spirit of his father offered a meek smile before speaking. ''My son, it's true that you have made mistakes, both large and small. But we see your regret, your will to balance things out. We admire that, we still love you.''

Draz'hul stared at the two with awe. ''But because of me you're..'' he swallowed the enormous lump in his throat. ''..dead.'' He'd then avert his gaze once more, shame swelling in his heart.
''We never blamed you.'' his mother replied. ''In fact, you made the right choice. If you didn't do it they'd have killed you instead, and your father and I would've lost both our children. I would have blamed you for that, such a fate is much worse than what happened to us.''

Draz'hul nodded meekly, her words somehow made sense. He considered the consequences of refusing at the time but he never truly tried to look at it from their perspective. ''But what about Ralka?'' His father tilted his head with a puzzled gaze. ''I do not mean this in a demeaning way, but what would you have done against an Arakkoa raid? Sure you'd have taken down a few of those feathered beasts, but you would have perished as well.'' his father's spirit gestured for Draz'hul to stand once more. ''It is time for you to stop with the self pity, you're stronger than that, you're our son after all.'' 

Draz'hul rose to his feet and nodded, his body felt tired from his outburst earlier but it felt like the weight of the entire universe had fallen off his shoulders. His parents didn't hate him, there was still hope for someone like him. His mind raced at this sudden influx of positive emotions, but there was one question gnawing at his rapidly improving mood. ''Where.. where is Ralka?'' 
The spirits of his parents both offered an apologetic smile. ''We don't know.. for sure.'' his mother replied. ''We think she might not have crossed the veil, and is still lingering somewhere. Don't panic, we don't believe she's on our Draenor.'' added his father.
Draz'hul did consider her still being at 'home' which would have been problematic. ''..We can do little to find her spirit, but you can. We are happy to finally faced your past and came to us, we have waited long to ask this of you.'' his mother offered a warm and pleading smile after speaking. ''Find Ralka and grant her peace.''

''I-I will. I'll do everything I can to find her, this I vow.'' replied Draz'hul. He steeled his gaze and nodded firmly. He could ask Bashul if she knows anything about finding lost spirits, perhaps Vexri could be of help as well and if she couldn't be there's always still Meri and Bloodmoon. There ought to be enough spiritually inclined Orcs in the clan to get some pointers or answers from. ''Thank you for everything, I can’t express how much I owe to you both. I will do my best to find her and honour you.'' with that said Draz'hul respectfully bowed and started to leave.

As the spirits of his parents started to leave he could hear his mother leave a final message. ''We look forward to meeting your future mate.'' the words were followed by a faint giggle. They were enough however to invoke a light blush on Draz'hul's cheeks.