The God of Madness Arrives
The day was normal enough for Stormwind. The sun was out, there was a lingering chill of winter in the air, critters were about, Guards making patrols, and civilians going about their daily business. But to Alice, she was on a hunt. Cultists have become more gutsy and bold with their movements, along with an increase in power. On top of that, his presence has been more abundant, slowly inching its way closer, closing in on Stormwind. Alice knew it was no longer a matter of if, but a matter of when, and the when was soon.
Following a lead she had gotten, Alice entered an alleyway in Old Town. Of course it’s an alleyway. How original. Wait a minute, though… something’s not… quite right here. It’s almost too quiet. Alice continued to inspect the alleyway. There’s gotta be some kind of secret door. Hidden under a crate? A brick button or torch handle to reveal a secret doorway? Something? As Alice inspected she didn’t notice the Cultists emerging from the shadows. The cultists spring and jump Alice. “Oh fuck m--” Alice sprung into action, using her Ethereal Speed to dodge as many as they could. Just barely dodging the attacks in time. The Cultists seem to be faster and more agile than usual. Six... Seven... Eight... Eight of them. Alright I can do thi-- Give in, Alice. Let us take over. We’ll handle them. You just rest. You’ve been running yourself pretty hard. Avoiding sleep. Avoiding the visions. Just give in. Alice managed to take down a few of them. Having her tendrils and claws impale and thrash them. Gotta at least keep one of them alive for interrogation. Why? It They’ll never crack. It’s useless. Just kill them. Kill them all. However, in Alice’s mental banter, she lost focus on the fight, getting roughed up as the Cultists with seemingly enhanced strength landed some mace and fist blows, as well as a few cuts. They seem to be conserving their magic, not casting their usual Void Spells, but instead using what magic they’re willing to use to enhance their reflexes, speed, and strength to match and even overpower Alice. But them it happens.
Just as Alice was regaining her focus, N’zoth made his big move. The corruption surrounding Stormwind swiftly moved in, engulfing the city, flaring up and intensifying all around Alice, overloading her senses. The city around Alice twists and contorts into a nightmarish version of it. Buildings grew flesh and red eyes, tendrils and teeth erupted from the ground, and the sky turned a deep purple as the sun grew a slitted pupil. All the while his laugh rang out all around.
As it was becoming too much for Alice, a cultist took advantage of her episode. Rushing her and driving a dagger into her abdomen, slashing at her right arm, and clubbing her over the head, the cuts stung more than usual, there was something unique about these attacks, but Alice couldn’t place it. “You fool! She’s no use dead!” Unfortunately for the Cultists, this broke Alice out of her episode and brought her back to reality. She let out a horrific roar of rage and pain, her eyes flaming as her tendrils lash at the Cultists and she burns them with her Voidflames. Yes! Yes! That’s it! Give in! Kill them all! End their pitiful existences! Extinguish their pathetic souls! During Alice’s relentless assault, the Cultists stopped putting up a fight, embracing death at the hands of Alice. Laughing maniacally as they fell, they taunted her with their last words. “It’s too late.” “He has spoken.” “The master has made his move!” “God has come for your world! There is no hope!”
Once Alice’s assault ended and Alice regained her bearings, the visions returned. Flickering in and out of the nightmarish twisted Stormwind City, Alice fled the alleyway, rushing into the larger Old Town. In the vision SI:7 agents littered the streets with corpses of guards and civilians. No! Gotta get out of here. Ma-Mage Quarter! Surely the mystical Arcanic energies there should have lessened the influence enough! It’s pointless. If the Titan’s own prisons couldn’t contain them, what could some pathetic mortal spellwork do? Alice ran as fast as her feet would carry her, continuing the flicker in and out of the nightmare. The waters in the canals ran red with the blood of the innocent, Faceless Ones and guards consumed by the corruption roamed the streets, and screams could be heard from the Trade District. Alice didn’t dare go there in fear of what she might see. Reaching the Mage Quarter wasn’t much better. Cultists seemed to run the place, Void Rifts were all around, spawning Faceless Ones and massive tendrils, tearing apart the fabric of reality, and the bodies of fallen Magi were scattered around. No! Not here too! Th-The Cathedral Square! Y-Yes! The Li-Light’s influence has su-surely protected it! You truly think that? The Light could never stand up to what resides in the shadows. Even if it could, do you really think it would come to your aid? Especially now? Pathetic girl. Alice fled the Mage Quarter for the Cathedral Square, still flickering in and out. Alas, not even the Holy Ground was safe. As Alice flickered into the vision, she saw the bodies of fallen Lightforged, Paladins, and Priests littering the place, Faceless Ones, Cultists, and maddened guards roamed the area, the Cathedral was in ruins and Alice heard could hear a pained scream from within. Are they... trying to make Priests and Paladins turn to the Voi-- Alice’s thoughts were cut off as she picked up a new sound. Children giggling, but this wasn’t playful innocent giggling, but a sinister and evil giggling. No... NO! Gotta get out of the city. Gotta get to--- The University! Is it safe there? Is it far enough on the outskirts of the city? Would Emmy’s wards held up where the Light and Mage Quarter failed? Would I see my dearest loved ones as maddened as the guards here in the city? I... I need to see. Need to hope.
With that Alice bolted towards the University Campus. The flickering lessened and his laughing grew more quiet the closer she got to the outskirts of the city, but Alice didn’t slow down her pace. Need to find Emmy. Need to find Emmy. Need to stabilize the flickering. Need to get back to reality. That will be your new reality. It will be everyone’s new reality. Welcome home. He is your god now, child.