The Netherlight Temple bustled with priests and acolytes. Though the Legion had long since been defeated, the priests of Azeroth still found comfort in this place. Trolls, Humans, Forsaken, Dwarves, Dreanei and other various races of Azeroth all gathered here. Though Nelowyn had been here many times before, it still astounded her. Tensions between the Horde and Alliance peaked after the fallen titan’s demise, yet one would not know that from being in the temple.
“We are Priests first.” Archbishop Foal’s favorite words snapped Nelowyn out of her thoughts.
“Archbishop,” Nelowyn said warmly, extending her hand to his. Alonsus gripped her hand gently with both of his own and returned her smile. “It seems like the more I visit this place, the more the peace astounds me.”
“Hard fought for, and hard won… High Priestess.” The High Priestess cringed slightly at her title. The conclave had bestowed it upon her unwillingly when T’uure had sacrificed the last of its essence to save her from the infinite darkness, altering Nelowyn forever. Foal chuckled mischievously and patted her hands.
Nelowyn returned the grin and replied, “Fine. Alonsus,” and gave him a wink. “What is it that you wish of me?”
Foal feigned shock and brought his bony hand to his would-be heart. “A friend cannot visit another dear friend without an agenda?” The priestess narrowed her eyes and garnered another chuckle from the Forsaken priest. “You win! You win, there is no hiding anything from you, my dear.”
“Should it be reasonable, I shall comply. Please sit.” She motioned to the chair opposite hers.
“I shall waste no time then. Nelowyn, there is a young and upcoming acoly-“
“Declined,” Nelowyn snapped.
“Now-now, you have not given me a chance to finish. She’s a Redblade.” Nelowyn’s jaw dropped and her eyes went wide. “You understand now?”
“The Redblade line died with Alisbeth,” she hissed.
“Ah, but that is not the case. You see, young Alisbeth mothered a little girl. When Tirion passed he entrusted me with this secret, and I have kept it thus far. The girl doesn’t know. She believes she is a Nightheart, and now she has felt the calling as you and I have felt.”
“The Nighthearts are close friends to the royal family of Stormwind.”
“I serve the Horde.” She narrowed her eyes.
“Yes, but here, we are priests first. High King Wrynn asked for you and only you my dear… as a fellow priest.”
Nelowyn looked away and her heart panged. It’s true she served the Horde loyally, but she fought along side Varian Wrynn time and time again, and at the hour of his death, she was there to witness it. The doomed king chose to save her life at the cost of his own, leaving the boy-king to rule in his stead.
Everything about Anduin irritated the priestess. He is young and impulsive and willing to risk everything for peace, even his own kingdom. Still, she held hope for the young king. Peace is the noblest of aspirations, and in this world so full of bitter hate and betrayal, it takes true conviction to strive for peace among it all.
“Her name is Diori and they shall be escorting her here to the Netherlight Temple shortly,” he said, his voice full of amusement.
“And if I say no?” Nelowyn demanded.
“I know you won’t,” Alonsus replied simply and pat her hands once more. Nelowyn stuck her tongue out at him but said no more. She watched as the forsaken rose and left her to her thoughts once again.
It wasn’t long before a young honey blond haired elf stepped through portal to the temple following Alonsus. Nelowyn thought she would have more time to prepare, but the forsaken Archbishop had barely left when she caught sight of the girl. She knew from the moment the girl entered that Redblade blood flows through her veins. Diori looked so much like her mother had in life.
The High Priestess drew in a deep breath and headed toward the newcomer. As she approached, her fingers began to tingle. The sensation meant her form was slipping and she’d need time to recharge if she would present herself as an elf. She gritted her teeth and pushed the spell to its limits; her true form is not one she enjoyed others beholding. They would revere her as something akin to a Goddess, and the former princess despised the attention.
“You must be Diori,” her musical voice echoed in the short chamber between the entrance and the open floored temple. Nelowyn sized her up and wrinkled her nose slightly. It was very feint, but the scent of the shadows rolled off Diori. Irritated and confused she turned to Alonsus. “You must be grossly mistaken if you think I will work with a girl who touches the shadows, Foal.”
Alonsus opened his mouth to speak but was promptly cut off. “Excuse you,” Diori snapped, glaring at her with Alisbeth’s eyes. “Maybe I don’t want to work with someone so rude! You don’t even know me!”
Nelowyn laughed, recalling the girl’s mother saying something along the same lines the day she saved the young princess from the trolls of An’owyn. With a grin she said, “You are right fledgling. I do not know you. Please, allow me to start over.”
Diori eyed her suspiciously but nodded her head. Nelowyn continued, “I am High Priestess Nelowyn, the Lightbringer. I have been a part of this glorious temple for such a short time, myself, but quickly found a home here. I trust that you, too, shall find a home here. But do be warned, if you are to work with me you must swear to cease touching the shadows.”
“I want to be able to fight,” Diori said defiantly.
“Do you think the Light so weak?” The air around her crackled with power. Diori’s eyes widened. “Do not mistake kindness for weakness. Yes, the Light will heal. It will provide warmth and comfort to your allies and loved ones, but protection is more than simply passive action. If you believe me, then swear to me you will cease calling the shadows.”
Nelowyn’s new apprentice nodded her head. “I… I promise.”
Alonsus chuckled warmly. “I think this little girl will be just as good for you as you shall be for her. High Priestess… show her ‘that’.”
The priestess shifted uncomfortably. “I… uh… Fine.” The tingling in Nelowyn’s fingers spread throughout the rest of her body as she shed her guise. The illumination emanating from the form exploded into view. Wings of golden light flashed into existence as her mortal form melted away, giving way to a soft visage of a golden elf without features. Diori gasped and Alonsus clapped his hands in amusement.
“What are you?” The young acolyte whispered in awe.
“Your new teacher,” a soft chime sounded at the back of Diori’s mind. “Shall we begin?”
Taveth nods to the guard and shakes off his terror at being threatened. He goes into the Silver Enclave to find Diori and her instructor. “Diori, I’m going back to Stormwind for a little bit. Will you please stay here and keep up with your lessons?”
The high elf girl turns her gaze up to her brother from her parchment; she smiles and nods. “Okay. But, why? When will you be back?”
Taveth looks over her writing and smiles. “Just an hour or two to speak with father. I’ll have Kel’ori teleport me back as fast as possible, okay?” He kisses the top of her head.
Diori nods. Her smile widens as her head is kissed. “Are we going to see cous—Ali and the shirtless guy again today?”
Taveth smiles as best he can. “We’ll see. Get back to your lesson in…” he looks over her paper. “Is that how to break bones, or how to fix them?”
Diori scoops up the paper and hugs it to her chest, giving a wide, cheesy grin. “Both?”
Diori’s instructor laughed mischievously, “You cannot fix what is not broken.”
Taveth laughs and ruffles his sister’s hair. “I guess it helps to know how they’re broken in order to fix them correctly. I’ll be back soon.” He jogs down the steps and takes the portal to Stormwind.
“Finish that quickly, acolyte. Today I shall show you how to break them.” Nelowyn winked and Diori clapped excitedly. “But… do not tell Taveth. I fear he shall take you away from me.”
“Never,” she shouted and poured herself into her studies.