Lilybeth tapped the feather of her quill against her chin, trying to decide how to title this. Titles mattered. Gathering information was one thing. Compiling it, putting it to bind was another. There was so much more to learn about these strange visitors. But one thing was certain. Their circumstances needed to be documented.
Borænin had been surprised when she showed up at the door. Though he seemed grateful to receive their clothing back. He had even gone so far as to request to change before they sat down to speak. Once he joined her in the study, his entire body language had shifted. Far more at ease, as though the garments had brought him a sense of comfort and confidence.
She began to write out the details as he spoke. Her quill moved across the pages, organizing the information into what she hoped would create an adequate report for Forosuul. But also serve as a beginning to a series of books on the Caun Andeshel.
Caun Andeshel, less formally known as The Order. An elite and select order, comprised entirely of the Ren’dorei of that Realm. They had structured it in many ways like a monastic order, but in others, much like a military as well. All of it dedicated to the understanding of the Void.
The Order was created by Borænin himself, in an effort to keep those infused with the Void as the Ren’dorei had, organized and safe. A place to study and harness the Void. Though there were some who had fallen into worshipping it, he did his best to quietly discourage such behavior.
It had all begun centuries ago, the Umbric of that Realm attempted to harness the Void in an effort to conquer Quel’thalas. Some believe that had he succeeded, that would have spread to the entirety of Azeroth.
Something about Umbric disturbs Borænin, though he did not elaborate. I shall have to add further information as it becomes available. She cleaned the tip of her quill and left a space on the page which she hoped would be adequate to fill in the missing information. Taking up on the next page, she began again.
At that time, there was a man who is now known as the Lord Protector. He had begun to consolidate his own hold over Silvermoon. He had laid groundwork for millennia, building his family in size, wealth, and influence. He used the crisis perpetuated by Sylvanas, the burning of Teldrassil, to seize power. He helped set a distant relative of Kael’thas on the throne of Quel’thalas as a puppet king. He was invested then as Lord Protector. His first act was to ban all mention of the word Sin’dorei. He established Quel’thalas as the Quel’dorei nation. Any who continued to hold the name of “blood elf” were hunted down.
Into this whole mess came the madman Umbric. He attempted to rally the Sin’dorei, tried to play on their sense of victimization. He made it appear as though he intended to liberate Silvermoon from the Lord Protector and the puppet king. In reality, he simply wanted to take the Lord Protector’s position for his own.
His use of the Void was reckless. It threatened everyone. And so, the people of the Realm were left with the choice between two madmen, though they did not know at the time that the Lord Protector was mad. He was well practiced in the art of the kindly face.
In an attempt to fight Umbric on his own terms, the Lord Protector began experimenting. He had studied Illidan’s demon hunters, and by interrogating some of those that had been Quel’dorei, he learned something of the rituals of their creation. He developed a way to mimic those rituals, but using the Void rather than the fel. Thus, he created the Void Rangers.
Lily made a note to research possibility of counteracting the demon with through Void Infusion. Could it work? Or would it simply cause yet another accident? She looked down at her scarred hands and shook her head before continuing.
So, the Lord Protector created his Void Rangers, his most feared troops. However, he considers them a flawed effort. The rituals that infuse them with the void scar their bodies and minds. They are to his mind, an inelegant solution. This does not stop him from using them, and creating them, to this day. They make up his personal guard, and he uses them as his shock troops, but he wanted something more. So while the Void Rangers were dispatched to combat Umbric’s minion, he called for volunteers for a new effort. Borænin was one of those volunteers who would give themselves to defend their home. Only those of his bloodline were allowed to take part. He did the same with the Void Rangers.
I admit to feeling such a depth of cold as Borænin tells us of the experiments, Lily thought. I wanted to ask so many questions, but I forced myself to allow him to speak, as well as I am able. More will come, I am certain of it.
The experiments were excruciating. There were many failures, many deaths. Eventually, he got it right, and the Ren’dorei were the result. The final formula remains painful. The process infuses them with the Void, but does not leave them possessed by it. *Note: Borænin would not describe the process, stating it was something he had no desire to relive. This text will be amended when the information is shared.*
After the Void Rangers and newly created Ren’dorei , working together, successfully put and end to Umbric’s uprising, Borænin conceived of the idea for the Order. He approached the Lord Protector, convincing him that we could organize the Ren’dorei to serve Silvermoon better in the long term, not knowing that this truly meant serving him instead. Once Umbric himself had been removed, the Lord Protector seized his research. In the end, his studies of it gave him the Void Rifts. Those rifts require ritual spell-casting through a select group of Ren’dorei known as the Rift Wardens, whom are all dedicated specifically to this purpose. These members are taken from the Order’s primary training program if they are found to have an aptitude for it. The sole purpose is to maintain the rifts that are used to travel between Realms. The power the Wardens must channel to do so cuts their lifespan in half.
Mother Moon how I should like to go there and use Kalithil’s incantation for lava blood. Knowingly, intentionally causing these poor people to whither and die… She swallowed it down, reminding herself this was not yet their battle, and she was losing track of her task.
Once a new Realm is discovered, one of the first things the Lord Protector tries to do is find his counterpart. When he can, he attempts to enlist them, promising wealth and power in exchange for assistance in exploiting the Realm. If they refuse, he murders them. To date, very few have been murdered, showing an odd pattern of greed among the counterparts throughout the many worlds they have visited.
The Order bears only a few ranks, as the Hierarch did not wish to create a dense structure layered in bureaucracy. The first is the Novices. The lowest rank, they count to trainees and one can remain such for decades as they learn the required skills to move up. Following that, there are the Acolytes. Within this rank are the core of the Ren’dorei, filling many roles and specialities as needed. The next are the Prelates. They are few in number, counselors and instructors to the Order, ensuring those of lower ranks are fully prepared for the tasks they are expected to complete. Currently the position of Cantor is unfilled, but they serve as a second to the Hierarch, speaking with his authority when he is unable to be present. The Cantor would take up the mantle of Hierarch, should he pass.
And then, of course, there is the man himself. The Hierarch of the Order, with the closest analogy being the Archbishop of the Church of the Light. He controls the entirety of the Ren’dorei, ensuring their training and safety through their service.
Within The Order, they created methods to fight against the whispers that they heard, what Borænin called the Shade. The Shade layered lies between truths, weaving them together into a cloth that was entirely believable if one did not realize what was occurring. Even within that knowledge, one would need more than awareness to combat this situation. This training begins immediately upon completion of the Uplift, what they called the change from Quel’dorei to Ren’dorei.
I have elected to call this section of the information Borænin has shared, “Truly Disgusting Family Practices,” as, this pertains to the Order as much as it does the Greythorns outside of it. Since every Ren’dorei is part of the family, it seemed fitting. She worked the letters across the top of a page, scowling slightly as she did so.
Some members of the Order are accepted through voluntary presentation. However, a certain number among their ranks are actually purchased from their families. This however, unlike what we may be familiar with, does not mean slavery. In fact, many are sold because the family is far too poor to care for them. The family is given compensation both in the form of gold, and a certain degree of prestige in their community for having a member of their family elevated to the ranks of the Order. In fact, the Novice that traveled with Borænin, by the name of Sellynna, was not only old enough to be completely aware of what was occurring, but was in fact, quite grateful for her much improved situation.
Within the Greythorn bloodline, all marriages are arranged. There was no marriage for love, and out of these arrangements, children were mandatory. If either the man or the woman was unable to reproduce, they were shamed and cast out of the family, no longer permitted to use the name. Women were expected to seek pregnancy until their bodies could no longer support it. Same sex unions are strictly forbidden, and have been for such a time that Borænin was made incredibly uncomfortable to even discuss it. It would not be serving to expand the family.
Lily shook her head, realizing she should not be judging. Though she intended to only think it, she made an all to familiar Lily mistake. She asked aloud how many children the Hierarch was forced to have. It was at that point she grabbed for the earlier page. All seven of his children had been killed in Umbric’s attempts to claim Quel’thalas. It was the first time she had seen him show any true emotion. He wrung his hands for a moment and despite his expression remaining unchanged, his eyes flashed purple, old hurt and anger behind them. As he moved on, she thought it best to return to documenting, placing quill to parchment once again.
A detail that echoes something they had already heard, but also resonates with further detail. The Lord Protector not only requires his bloodline to reproduce at a breakneck pace, he also uses these offspring to punish those he is unhappy with. If Borænin’s family still lived, they would have been executed for his crime of betrayal. The same would be done to Sellynna’s family, her siblings and parents, along with any others, for the same.
As a protection against these actions, two major rules are in place for members of the Order. Firstly, any that are sold to the Order, all records of their family are “lost,” to protect them from being the target of the Lord Protector’s wrath. The second is of even more note. The members of this elite force are exempt from the require arranged marriages until they have reached the rank of Acolyte. It is as yet unclear if those marriages are arranged as well.
The society of their Realm seems, on the face of it, to be a rather typical feudal government. The puppet king, controlled by the Lord Protector, fulfills the duties of his office, and beneath him the noble house, minor households, guilds and commoners. The Lord Protector is the only wildcard in that system. Most daily functions go on as usual, with the exception being, wherever the Lord Protector goes, he make take anything he pleases, for any reason, at any time.
Members of the Greythorn bloodline exist at every strata of society, though they are typically granted difference due to their heritage. Despite being Greythorns, there is no guarantee of wealth. They are a resource to the Lord Protector and he cares for them not at all. The only real difference is the poorer members have the option of selling children they cannot support to the Order. Thus they are able to meet the requirements of continued reproduction, without the strain of caring for them long term.
Lily set her quill down. She couldn’t bear it any further. She needed a break. Taking down the name he had used at the inn, she offered to have their belongings retrieved so they could be more comfortable. She sent him off to read with a new bottle of wine. He bowed graciously and left her to stare at the pages drifting in the air.
The Lord Protector would be returning soon he had said. A day or two. And if Borænin was correct, he would be enraged and there was a high likelihood that deaths would occur as a result. Lily did the only thing she could think of. Work to make them feel comfortable and safe.