Tucked away in a corner of the great city of Darnassus, it stood. Not a large estate, by any means, nor a small one. A lesser house, for a Lesser House. Despite the modesty of its size, it bears a hint of ostentatiousness, small signs that its occupants view themselves in a more flattering light than does the city at large. Despite the late hour, on this night the house stands almost entirely dark. No guardian stands astride its door, and no servants can be seen milling about in the darkened windows. Strange for any house in this city, and stranger still for this one.
In the hour of sundown, a keen observer might have noticed a shadowy figure approach the door and enter. But on this night, no such observer had been present, so this entry went unremarked. The one inside will regret this in the coming hours.
Her name was Kasuura Moonwhisper, Matriarch of the House of Moonwhisper, Lesser House in the service of Whisperwind. On every day of her time on Azeroth, she would have spoken those words with great pride. But not today. Today, the House of Whisperwind was not replying to her messengers. In the days preceding, her house had become empty. The servants fled. The lucky ones, at least. Some were found, their lifeless eyes fixed in horror on a nightmare only they could see. Their bodies unmarked, the cause of their death unknown. And then her daughters, Shefyura and Ufnas, dead just like the servants. No sign of her third, Iasea. She had disappeared. Alone in her private chambers, Kasuura sat in the dark and wondered if she hoped – or cared – if Iasea had escaped whatever was stalking their house. A normal mother might hope desperately that one of her children survived. A normal mother might grieve at the loss of two daughters. Kasuura was far from normal. Alone in the dark, she seethed that her daughters had abandoned her. She seethed further that one might escape this fate whereas she herself might succumb. Alone in the silence, she swung between towering rage and crippling fear.
After hours, it seems, the moment came at last. A sound at the door of her chamber. Little more than a rustle. She is almost glad. She had ever been impatient, and even facing what she assumed would be her end, she did not care to wait.
The door swung silently inward, and a tall figure moved into a shaft of moonlight that fell through one of the tall windows. Kasuura frowned. She had trouble making out the form of this visitor. One moment it looked like a pale-skinned kaldorei, but one that was twisted, with horns jutting from its brow, talons on its fingers, and obscene, crimson-glowing tattoos crawling over its skin. If she blinked, the figure seemed to change, its skin going deep red, its features becoming even more demonic.
After gazing at her a long moment, it finally spoke, with a voice like the a rusty blade scraping on stone, “You show no fear. Only irritation.”
Raising her chin haughtily, Kasuura answered, “I am the Matriarch of my House. I will not cower before my end.”
A deep rumbling chuckle welled up from the one before her, and it replied, “I doubt that very much, my little kaldorei flower.” With that, it stepped forward, and she saw. She had been right the first time, it was a kaldorei, a demon hunter, no less. And in that moment, she realized who it must be.
“Forosuul. One of the Silverthorns.”
“In a manner of speaking, my dear.” So saying, his visage shifted again, and for the briefest moment she saw the hulking form a red-skinned Eredar, grinning with a thousand teeth. “You see, my lady. My host rarely lets me out to, how would you say? Socialize. But we talked it over, he and I. And he thought I might enjoy your company.” For the first time, Kasuura showed fear. Lurching to her feet, she stumbled backwards. Before she could fall, a taloned hand flashed forward, and he caught her arm, stopping her fall. “You recoil from me, my sweet. You hurt me, truly. Shall I return the favor?”
“No! Begone! Please…” Laughing aloud, the thing within Forosuul Silverthorn unfurled tattered red-hued wings and snapped them forward, his pinions skewering her shoulders to a wall. She cried out, at which he slapped a hand over her mouth.
Grinning with madness born of ten thousand years in bondage, he rasped, “Hush, my sweet. Not so hasty, yes. I have only this one night with you, and I want to enjoy every single minute.”
The ancient creature managed to keep her quiet for a while, but eventually the screams started. In the homes nearby, kaldorei cowered in their beds. Most were used to strange goings-on at the Moonwhisper estate, but this seemed like something new. A few resolved to call the Sentinels. In the morning, of course.
Sentinel Nueleth Windblossom arrived at the gate to the Moonwhisper estate. She’d been dispatched here as soon as she arrived for her duty shift. Apparently some neighbors reported strange sounds, and the first arrivals had seen something horrible. No doubt, she thought to herself as she walked up the path, some green recruit was overreacting. When she reached the doors, however, she became less sure. A young Sentinel sat on the steps before the door, white-faced and shaking. Her eyes were focussed on something far away. It took Nueleth several minutes to even get her to speak, and then all she said was, “Don’t go in there.”
Irritated, she strode in. Minutes later, she sat next to the young Sentinel, looking much the same, waiting on her own commanding officer. Such a thing she had never witnessed. In the coming days, she would be forced to tell, again and again, what she had seen, each time to a higher ranking official. Each time they refused to believe it, until they were taken into the house. And in each case, they would call on their own superior, and make her tell it again. None of them had the courage to describe what they had seen. The body suspended from hooks. Flayed, apparently while still alive. Dismembered, pieces strewn around the chamber. And the head, of course, the head was missing entirely. No trace of it could be found.
Sentinel Nueleth Windblossom would not sleep well for many years. And she would never give up trying to learn what happened on that night.
That fateful morning, from the shadows and a comfortable distance, Forosuul Silverthorn watched the Sentinels arrive, once more in command of his faculties. Once satisfied that neither his name nor the name of his family was being mentioned, he left. He would have to keep on eye on the investigation for a while, to make sure it didn’t didn’t get close, but he had no doubt that Doozy and Eliân could keep things faced away from his House. As he left the city, he passed two Sentinels, and grinned cockily at them, tossing over his shoulder the small round burden he carried in his leather satchel.