Episode 49: Looking for Answers...
Tabetha's Farm: Dustwallow Marsh
The morning sun was rising on the horizon by the time I took my seat at a small wooden table inside of Tabetha's Farmhouse. A cup of warm tea was waiting for me, but I hardly felt like drinking anything right now. Salonis and Keaira on the other hand, tore into the meager meal that Tabetha had prepared for them and still looked like they might eat the table when they were done.
Despite my dry throat and clear signs of dehydration, I wanted nothing to do with any of this.
The door to the farmhouse opened and Lady Evanor stepped inside looking as flustered as ever. She looked to me for a moment and then frowned. "Such a terrible fate," she said. "Sionis, how did you even get out here?"
"Salonis," I replied, pointing to the worgen. "He wrote me a letter and said I needed to seek him out."
"Why did you write to Sepher?" she asked.
"You told me to," Salonis replied. "I have the letter here."
Evanor stepped over and looked at the paper for a long moment. "I didn't write this."
"Looks like your writing to me," I said, taking a quick glance.
"I would remember."
"Unless you haven't written it yet," Keaira chimed in. "If Nozdormu is involved, anything is possible."
"Okay, enough." I said, rather loudly too. "Let's start with simple. How does Salonis look like me?"
Evanor stopped. "You mean you don't know?"
"Obviously not," I practically yelled.
Evanor shook her head. "Of course, of course you don't!"<
"Evanor, listen, if you don't tell me I'm gonna lose my mind."
"I'll tell you everything," she replied.
She took a seat and proceeded to tell me the story of Salonis' origins. The story of the man's "creation" during the attack on Gilneas. She told me how the arcane energy that I passed through during our rushed escape had created a kind of "mirror image" of me that was left behind when I teleported away. She told me how Salonis had carved a new life for himself as a warrior and a hero of the Southern Barrens.
She also told me how the night elf Keaira had come under attack during a night elf campaign in the Barrens and how she had been saved by Salonis. Salonis had all of Sionis' memories, hopes, ambitions, and emotional baggage. Unable to get the night elf survivors back home, Keaira worked to heal old wounds and eventually fell in love with the worgen. The two of them started a romantic relationship and the night elf had come full circle back to the man she once loved... in a manner of speaking. They had been living happily ever after until now.
Then, in Evanor's world, there was the bronze dragon, Nozdormu.
Evanor told me about her own adventure, how the Cataclysm had torn her mind to shreds as the arcane magic she used was twisted in her head. She talked about wanting to die, how she had lost herself and was about to commit suicide when the great dragon had pulled her out of the flow of time to tell her that she was needed for the sake of the future.
I could relate to that story.
Finally, she told me of the darkness, a magical energy that appeared to have manifested itself from all the cracks in our timeline. It was seeking out the life forms that Nozdormu had saved, hunting them down and ending them so that the flow of time could heal.
"We're not supposed to be alive," Evanor finally concluded. "This darkness... it's coming for all of us. Salonis because he's just a mirror of you. He shouldn't exist. You should have died in the caves, and I would have taken my own life if not for Nozdormu. Other heroes all across Azeroth have been killed since the Iron Horde arrived."
"So this darkness is like a person?"
"It's a very real entity. I have battled it several times. Each time it grows more clever. I won't survive forever."
"How did you figure all of this out?" I asked.
"Nozdormu told me. I sought him out when I heard of other heroes being slain."
"Yes, once I knew the truth, I realized that Salonis was in danger. I contacted him and told him just enough to convince him to come visit me at the farm here in the marsh.
"I have to go," I said, standing up from my seat.
"The Caverns of Time," I said angrily. "Nozdormu and I need to talk."