The Birth of Darkweaver
A lone phoenix surfed the currents of the Twisting Nether. The fiery bird was on the hunt. And suddenly, it was elsewhere. A strange world and strange people surrounded it.
All but one of them drew back. The woman was dressed in black robes, and she gripped her staff. She threw back her hood to reveal her red hair.
The phoenix thrashed against its bonds, sending jets of fire everywhere. A few seemed to engulf the woman, but she emerged unscathed.
The woman walked forward relentlessly, until she was within a few feet of the captive phoenix. She stood over runes of blood. She touched her outstretched fingers to the phoenix's heart, and she collapsed. The phoenix disappeared in a puff of smoke.
None of the others there went to help her. They watched her writhe and twist on the floor. Her robes and skin were soon covered in the blood that made the runes on the floor.
A droning voice narrated her ghastly ordeal. "Subject is experiencing severe seizures, most likely a result of the conflicting magics inside her body. Subject has received a concussion due to the seizure, but the seizures continue regardless."
The woman couldn't hear him. All she knew was the pain.
The others were taking notes furiously, occasionally looking up to the woman thrashing on the floor.
"Intervention required: further brain damage could result in death."
The woman was suddenly floating in air, but continued her seizure. She seemed like a puppet, her arms and legs thrashing along invisible strings.
A loud crack resounded through the dungeon chamber, and she suddenly stopped seizing. She went limp, falling to the ground.
The spells monitoring her vitals went dead.
One of the novices muttered, "Failure. This one was so promising too."
They packed up their notebooks and made to leave, but the senior mage stopped them. "Silence!"
They held their breath, watching and waiting.
A few minutes crawled by.
The woman’s arm twitched suddenly.
A student's eyes widened. "This is impossible!"
She managed to get to her feet.
The instructor spoke, barely able to contain his awe. "How are you feeling, Aliandra?"
She turned her head at an impossible angle, then snapped it back into place.
The woman dusted off her robe, then looked up, smiling. Her face and robes were smeared with her own blood, and her hair was loose and wild. "Never better, Kel. But I have found a new name in the shadows…"
“You may call me the Darkweaver.”
Aliandra awoke in the early hours of the morning, as she usually did when she dreamt. But instead of trying to get back to sleep, she practically jumped out of bed and grabbed a quill and paper from her desk. She set to work writing.
Eventually the sun rose, and Aliandra's normally neat desk was strewn with papers.
Tharkil walked in, but she took no notice of him until he spoke. "You're up early."
She didn’t look up from her papers. "It came to me in a dream. I figured it out!"
Tharkil yawned. "Figured what out?"
Her voice dropped to a whisper. "What he did to me."
Tharkil nodded, recalling their earlier conversation, shortly after Aliandra had returned from the dead.
Aliandra’s voice was cold and distant. “I’m not supposed to be here…”
“Why do you keep saying that? You’re back… why can’t you be happy?”
“No. You don’t understand. Kel’Thuzad experimented on all of us…trying to find immortality…”
Tharkil, horrified at his realization, spoke in a whisper. “One of them worked…”
“Something they did to me brought me back from death…”
She gestured to the papers on her desk. "I wrote it all down."
He paused, unsure of what to say. He waited for her to continue.
"See? See?" She held up the paper she just finished writing for him to see.
Tharkil looked confused. "Alia...the page is blank...I can't see anything."
She looked at the page, then back at Tharkil. Her eyes were unfocused and nearly white. "I can see it fine."
She sat down and continued her frenzied scribbling.
Tharkil strode over to her and lifted her out of the chair, stroking her hair softly and whispering quietly to her. “Alia, I think you need to get some sleep.”
Aliandra pushed him away, “I know what I saw! I wrote it all down! See, see!” She shoved a large pile of paper at him.
”I saw the bird that lights the dark, the thing which all life lives to die for.” She spoke frantically and incoherently. “So much pain, Thar, so much pain. It would only work with me. I had the fire inside. The others became ashes!”
Tharkil sat down next to her and stared concernedly.
“The pain was so much, so much, yet I needed it to live! But nothing comes without a price! The black egg was born!” She suddenly thrashed at Tharkil, who jumped away just in time.
“What’s the matter with you?!”” Tharkil held his hands in front of him to protect from the barrage.
“You look like him! The death which brought me back to life! I am not yours! I am not yours!”
Aliandra ceased her attack from exhaustion and fell to the floor. “I can’t stand this torment, this numbness of life. I can see the dark before the dawn… I see you’re here and yet you aren’t. I can’t see you. ” She struggled to her feet.
Tharkil realized what was happening and grabbed Aliandra’s shoulders. “”Hey, I’m right here. This is going to hurt.”
Tharkil threw all his power along their mind link and fed his emotions into Aliandra. She collapsed on the floor, eyes wide. Her eyes snapped close and her breathing returned to normal.
Her eyes opened slowly, focused and their usual color, to find Tharkil’s gazing back. She smiled.
“Thank the Light.” Tharkil sat down next to her.
“What happened?” She sat up and turned to Tharkil.
“You were holding up blank sheets of paper saying you’d written something on them, then you went a bit crazy and tried to hit me.”
She looked away, embarrassed. ”I’m sorry…. I didn’t know what I was doing…”
He smiled and grabbed her hand, “It’s fine,” Tharkil rubbed his arm, “You just hit hard.”
Aliandra grinned nervously.
Tharkil continued. “You said you knew what happened to you? The experiment that worked.”
She broke his gaze, eyeing the papers strewn around the room. “I…I need to clean it up.”
“Alia…I’ll take care of it.”
“It’s my mess.” She got to her feet a bit shakily, but managed to stand on her own. She met Tharkil’s eyes. “I’ll take care of it.”
Tharkil now grew angry. “Don’t shut me out, Alia! I can help!”
Aliandra’s reply was little more than a whisper. “I need to fix it myself.”