End of Deception

The grass swayed in the breeze as Iasea leaned against the tall oak tree. It had been months since her conversation with that damned Patriarch. She’d gone to the front. Fought with the others to try and take back Lordaeron, though that attack had yielded horrors that none of them could have expected. Their own troops turning against them as Sylvanas’s vile plague twisted them into puppets for her own use. 

Slinking up from the shadows along her side, a large cat purred at her. Iasea bowed before the animal. The creature growled menacingly before bumping her leg. “Am I expected to go somewhere,” Iasea asked. Again the cat nudged her leg, pushing her towards the northeast corner of the field. With a heavy sigh, she straightened and she crossed the pumpkin field, the cat vanishing from sight. As she reached the back of the makeshift quarters, she saw the cat blur into sight and shift up into the form of her Matron. 

Sellanii Longleaf beckoned her over and bowed. She was dressed in primitive leathers and beads, a thick scarf wrapped around her face.

Iasea bowed again. “Matriarch,” she acknowledged in the Common language of the Alliance.

The green haired woman scowled. “Speak a dignified tongue, child,” came her command in their native speech. 

Slipping into Darnassian, the younger elf inclined her head. “Forgive me. There has been a lot of mixed company to speak with as of late.”

Sellanii nodded and wandered over to the edge of the water. “Sit with me, Iasea.” She carefully unwound the scarf from her face. Waving over towards the fields, she continued as Iasea settled next to her. “ I’m sorry for the subterfuge, but I just came in from Boralus and did not have time to change.”

“It is not a problem, Matriarch.”

“As I am sure you are learning, one must keep up appearances.”

“Of course, but…if I may?”

Sellanii nodded her acceptance. “Go on.”

Iasea sighed heavily. “I spent some time at the front, but have not ventured to Boralus as yet. While you have been there, the Kal’dorei people are finding help and appreciation from the House of Silverthorn. They send healers, baskets of food, clothing, all manner of things.” The bitterness in her tone was not lost.

Sellanii raised a long eyebrow before nodding. “So I have heard. Their Patriarch has been away himself, but he sends his pet Draenei and some others to lend aid, yes?”

“Yes. And when asked it is always made apparent who has sent that aid,” the pink haired one grumbled. Sellanii chuckled. “It far out does anything I have seen from the other Houses, Greater and Lesser.”

Sellanii nodded. “Hmmm, indeed. Most are still in shock, or denial.” She dipped a hand into the water, drawing to to her face for a drink. “This concerns you. Why?”

“Because the more public their face, the grander they appear, the harder my tasks will be.”

“Your tasks? Elaborate.”

Iasea shifted uncomfortably. “I suppose it is time you know it all.” Her comment drew a confused expression from Sellanii. “You know of my once sister and her failings, yes?”

“You mean the one with huge tits, right?”

The death knight rolled her yes. “Yes, that one. She was sent by Mire as a spy into the House of Silverthorn. Her one and only task was to seduce Silannah Redwing away from Kajeda and back into Mire’s service.” Sellanii bit down on her lip, trying not to laugh. “This amuses you?”

The ancient druid snickered. “That plan amuses me. It is about as subtle as a rock to the face.” Sellanii chuckled. “Silannah the Redwing is not some simple minded male who can be led around by her gonads.”

“Apparently not,” she responded sourly. “Alsabe failed. And then was seen standing with the Silverthorns when Tindomiel was formally adopted into the House by Kajeda. As a result, Kasuura disowned her.”

“Child, please get to the point.”

“All right, fine,” Iasea grumbled. “I am of the full belief that the Silverthorns murdered my sister, Kasuura.”

Sellanii arched an eyebrow. “Explain yourself, Iasea,” she demanded. Her body language shifted entirely away from the jovial. 

“After Alsabe was disowned, Kasuura fell from Mire’s,” she coughed at absurdity of the word she was about to use. “Graces.” Sellanii held up a hand in an attempt to stop her from speaking. “She did everything she could to get back in and…”

“Do not play stupid, child,” the older elf snapped, cutting her off. “You said sister.  Explain yourself.”

Iasea sighed heavily. She had known it was coming, she needed to be honest, but she loathed taking the step. “I am far older than anyone in Darnassus knew.”

“How far?”

“Over fifteen hundred years old now. Though most in the city thought me closer to 400,” she admitted. 

“You are skirting around the point, Iasea.” Sellanii’s eyes flashed with her irritation. 

Iasea held out her hand at which point Sellanii’s expression shifted to curiosity. “Take it.” Sellanii reached and took Iasea’s hand, giving her a sidelong look. “It is easy enough for me to hide what I am, so long as no one touches me.”

Sellanii jumped back and rose to her feet, hissing. “Undead…”

“For many years now. I was raised quickly after my death. The effects on my body are subtle. Subtle enough to pass.”

Sellanii pulled out her staff and brandished it before her. Iasea sighed heavily. “You deceived me,” the Druid growled. 

“I simply omitted the information. You never asked what I do.”

“The rats….”

“A very quick way to keep the pain at bay. When Kasuura hid me away in Darnassus, it was easy enough to slip out during the night,” she explained calmly “Kill a few furbolgs or harpies. But these humans keep a lot of farms close to the city. It’s harder to go unnoticed.” 

“Why?  Why did she hide you?”

“Because of the very reaction you had to me. She let me stay because she was my sister.”

Sellanii barked out a laugh. “I knew Kasuura, she had zero sentiment within her.”

“Perhaps not with anyone else. It wasn’t hard to convince her I was an asset.” Iasea shrugged and tossed a stone into the water. 

Sellanii looked at Iasea appraisingly. “So you convinced her you were useful. Well, that is certainly more in keeping with her normal methods.”

“I helped her mold her staff as needed. Took care of the ones who were unable to fulfill her needs,” she replied blandly, though and odd grin creeped onto her face. 

“In turn she gave you a place to hide. And you expect the same of me,” the woman growled.  

“No,” Iasea replied, shaking her head. “What I have been watching for, hoping, is that our end goals aligned.”

Sellanii gazed at Iasea flatly for several moments. Lowering herself to the ground, she laid her staff before her. She traced a line on the ground between herself and the Death Knight, which emitted the wholesome green glow of life magic. Iasea chuckled. “Take care of mocking me, child,” the Druid warned. 

Iasea reached down and touched one end of the line and watched as it slowly withered. Sellanii narrowed her eyes. “I may not be of great use to your grander schemes. But I can slowly choke the life from the ones that stand in your way.”

Sellanii shifted uncomfortably. “Our purpose may yet align, Iasea. But no more secrets.”

“That is what I am trying to accomplish tonight. Let me put it simply. I intend to kill the Silverthorns. One by one. Letting Alsabe watch what I myself had to see with my own family.” Her features set hard on her face. 

“I was aware that you intended revenge on them, Iasea.” She watched warily as Iasea traced a spiral in the soil. The ground lost its wholesome ruddy coloring, turning ash colored in her wake. “Perhaps not so final, but revenge nonetheless.”

“They destroyed my House. I will do the same. But my sister’s little whore child will watch it happen.”

“Sellanii smirked. “Except, you have a problem, Iasea.”

“And what is that?”

“In order to secure my support for you and your House, you agreed to forestall your vengeance.”

“And I have,” she grunted. “For months now. In that time they have gained support and popularity. The longer I stall, the harder this will be.”

“You worry that their popularity will make them harder to kill,” Sellanii asked incredulously. She pinched the bridge of her nose. 

The death knight made a grand sweeping gesture towards the fields. “If they start turning up dead once they have captured our people’s attention, what do you think will happen?” 

Sellanii chuckled. “So impatient. Foolish child, do you think they will be easy to kill, just because no one cares? There is a very, very old saying, The Silverthorn comes back, always.”

“Because no one has killed them down to the roots.”

“They aren’t hard to kill because they’re popular, they’re hard to kill because they’re hard to kill.” The emphasis was driven home not only in tone, but the rigid look on the Druid’s face. “Have you not already tried to murder one of the young ones?”

“I hired the wrong men for the job. I will not make that mistake twice,” she countered.

Sellanii laughed brightly, clearly amused by this entirely single focus. “What do you think would have happened if that one had died? You are incredibly lucky that your men were idiots.”

“One would be dead and out of my way.”

Sellanii barked out another laugh. “And you would have joined her shortly. Did you not speak to Nueleth?”

“I did.”

“And did you learn nothing?”

“That they are far more cruel than I expected.”

“Well, you learned one thing, but not enough apparently.” She closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose again. 

“What should I have learned then?”

“They struck out at the Matriarch of a Lesser House, a client of the House of Whisperwind, for Elune’s sake! And they got away with it,” Sellanii declared, clearly growing irritated. “Not only that, but their Patriarch now sits on the council in defiance of all tradition!” She balled up her fists before taking a breath and calming down. 

“And why was it not made law that a male could not,” the pink haired woman asked. “It seems those who sat on the council before should have done something a long time ago to prevent it.”

Sellanii shrugged. “I happen to agree, but that is neither here nor there, the fact is he sits on the council now.” Reaching down, she dipped her hand into the water and brought it to her lips. “My point is this, child, your vengeance will not come in weeks or months, you must play a longer game. We wait. We watch. We learn everything we can. One day we will learn something that will give us an opening.” She shook the remaining water from her fingers. 

“And listen to our people sing the praises of the ones who just replaced their library,” Iasea growled.  

Sellanii chuckled. “It was masterfully done. He strode into the Council with this woman. Told us all what they were gifting us with, but only if this Lilybeth curated. The Silverthorn of old would never have done such a thing; they kept to themselves, happy to ignore and be ignored. This Patriarch has other plans. He is impressive to watch even while he is frustrating.”

“Don’t tell me you have a thing for him,” Iasea asked, rolling her eyes.

Sellanii made a face. Almost hissing, she responded, “He is a demon in Kal’dorei form, don’t be disgusting. One should always admire one’s enemies, Iasea.”

“I’m not the one talking about how impressive he is. That’s all.”

“That is because you are blinded by hatred,” She scowled. “To admire them is to understand them, to know their strengths, and therefore to someday counter those strengths. Strength must be countered before weakness can be exploited.”

“Well, the young male is countered easily enough. All you have to do is put his little Ren’dorei mate in front of him. He turns into pudding,” Iasea offered. 

Sellanii chuckled. “Good to know, but nevertheless, you will not strike at him.” Iasea growled her frustration. “You will not,” Sellanii ordered as the death knight sighed heavily, balling and opening her fists repeatedly. “If you place me in open war with the House of Silverthorn, I will repudiate you and give them every aid in hunting you down. You are 1500 years old and dead, how have you not learned patience?”

“I have been waiting for the better part of a year. How much more patience must I have?” Her cold blue eyes flared in her face. 

Sellanii narrows her eyes. “I labored for over 8000 years to find the perfect moment to unseat Tyrande Whisperwind, 8000 years! In my moment of triumph, that fel-addled filth,” she hissed.  “Stole it from me. Do not speak to me about a single year.” Iasea held up her hands in surrender, but Sellanii continued. “Do not think for a moment that you desire their fall more greatly than I. But if you want my help, you do it my way. And if you go it alone, you will not survive them.”

“You underestimate what I can survive,” she responded bitterly. 

“No, you underestimate what they can do.”

“Let us agree that both are true.”

Sellanii chuckled. “Very well, Iasea.”

Iasea’s ears twitched slightly. “Now, if I may. I think there are some wolves just outside the city that should be removed.”

Sellanii nodded. “By all means, sate your unnatural hungers.”

“It’s them…or you. Do not be the one in front of me if I do not have another option,” she snarled. Rising to her feet, she bowed low. 

Sellanii grinned and return to the bow, countering the statement. “Give it a try.”

“Good evening, Matriarch,” Iasea sneered before striding away. Sellanii watched her back for a minute, laughing at the impatience of youth.