The sun had set hours ago, over campus, as Elvae opened the door of his office, and stepped out. Turning around, he locked the door behind him, lips pursed. After Conclave, he'd returned to campus, changed back into his armor, and now was heading out to "patrol" the campus. He wasn't actually going on patrol.
Well, in part, he was.
He did fully intend to help security with their patrols. Since the Scourge invasions, he'd never missed a shift. And he didn't intend to.
But his walk tonight, was for more than just patrol purposes.
Nightmares weren't new, for Elvae. He'd had nightmares for the past thousands of years, and they never seemed to leave him, save for when he drank. That, was the only thing that helped him sleep. His bourbon.
But there was one other thing, that had been helping him recently: his patrols. Feeling the cool air in his lungs, in his hair, across his armored mass, it helped him to relax. And that's exactly what he needed. Before Conclave, he hadn't slept in two days, which had him frustrated already. After Conclave. . . he'd debated raiding the commissary for an entire bottle of bourbon, just to calm himself down.
He decided against it.
Elvae steps onto the cobblestone path leading to his office, and begins off, heading towards the commissary. It was his usual route. He went in a massive circle around the entire campus; nothing too special.
However, what was unusual, was when he came upon the medical center building, he spotted his nephew, Sevastien, kneeling in front of the entrance, a small bundle in his arms. Elvae tilted his head, clopping down the path over to him.
"Sev? Is everything alright?" he asks cautiously, quirking a brow. Sevastien remained silent, save for his heavy, rasping breaths. Elvae pursed his lips, reaching forward, in an attempt to rest his hand on Sev's shoulder. Before his hand made contact, however, Sev spoke.
"This is your fault."
Elvae's hand froze, as his eyes found the back of Sevastien's head. He remained still, silent, for a moment, before his hand dropped to his side.
". . . what are you talking about?" he asked anxiously.
Sevastien's shoulders began to rise and fall, rapidly, his breathing becoming labored.
"You could've stopped this," Sevastien said, his voice deeper than it was before.
Elvae's eyelids fluttered, and he rose up to his full height, peering cautiously over Sevastien's shoulder, at the bundle in his arms. It was over a foot tall, and a few inches wide, wrapped up in a bloody, dark blue towel.
Elvae recoiled, taking two stumbling steps back, clutching his right hand over his heart. He knew what was in that bundle.
"S-Sev. . . Sev. I tried. I did all that I could," he tried to explain, his stomach beginning to burn. "I tried to protect them, Sev. I really did. You know I would give my life, if it meant I could reverse what happened." He clenched his jaw, his throat tightening. "You are family to me. Seeing you hurt in such a way breaks my heart. I would have done anything to prevent it."
Sevastien suddenly stopped breathing, rising to his feet. Elvae's eyes followed him the entire way, even as Sevastien turned and hurled the bundle at Elvae's chest.
Elvae frantically held his arms out to catch the bundle, and did just that, though when he brought it to his chest, the towel was just that. A towel. Nothing inside of, or on, it. Not even the blood.
Elvae's eyes roamed the towel's surface, fervently searching for something he knew could not be found, before a voice came from Sevastien's direction.
"So we're still family, are we?" it purred.
Elvae's blood turned to ice as he heard that voice. That wasn't Sevastien. He knew who that was. As Elvae slowly began to lift his gaze to what he thought was Sevastien, the voice rang out once more.
"Don't look at me! You do not have that privilege anymore, Elvae."
Elvae flinched at the voice, and quickly dipped his gaze back down to the empty towel in his hands.
There were some heavy hoof-steps as the being the voice belonged to began to walk up to Elvae.
"This, is where you are now, hm? 'Stormwind University'," the being spat, the venom behind the words practically dripping from his maw. "How pathetic. You. A professor. What a waste of your talents. If you even possess any, anymore."
Elvae pursed his lips, taking a shallow breath. "Things have changed, Vor-"
"DO NOT speak my name! You ignorant fool. You stabbed me in the back, once figuratively, once physically, and yet you believe you still have the right to speak my name?" The being chuffed. "What a pathetic excuse for a man, you are, Elvae. What a fall from grace."
Elvae clenched his jaw, slowly clenching his fists. "I have changed. You should know. I sent you back to the nether, the last time you came to Azeroth. I had hoped it would be a lifetime before I ever had to hear your voice again," he said, slowly. "I'll have you know, we here at the University are well equipped for monsters such as yourself. It would be wise for you to flee."
The being roared with laughter, the horrible sound echoing around the campus.
"Flee? From what? Some humans with swords? Elves with their magic? Have you forgotten who I am?" he said, before something struck Elvae in the side of the head.
The impact left Elvae sprawled out on the ground, his hands resting beneath him, having caught himself. He felt a hoof press into his back, planting him firmly on the ground. Wincing, Elvae tried to turn his head to face the being, but a clawed hand grasped the back of his head, and rammed his crest into the ground. Elvae's face twisted in pain and frustration, but still, the being spoke.
"You could have been a god," he said, slowly. "You could have had everyone on this planet begging you for their lives. Imagine the power that could be at your fingertips, if you had simply stayed with us."
A small trail of blood trickled down Elvae's crest, over his right eye, but it didn't block his vision as the clawed hand ripped his gaze towards the commissary.
Flames had suddenly enveloped it. Enveloped the entire campus, it seemed. Students ran, being chased by monstrous shadows, towards the docks. Some made it. Some, did not. Elvae clenched his eyes shut, taking a deep, shuddering breath. "This isn't real. You, are not real."
The being once again loosed a howling laugh. "Observant. Though, incorrect. Half, incorrect. I am very real, Elvae. Am I here? No. I would rather never step onto Azerothian soil again. But I am very much real, Elvae. And I am very much alive." The being finally let go of Elvae, a clawed hand grasping Elvae's side and forcing him onto his back, allowing him to finally behold the being.
He stood twelve feet tall. Black and blue armor adorned his chest, legs, and clawed hands. His legs were very much like Elvae's; bent backwards like a horse's, and ending in cloven hooves. Two massive horns curled like a ram's from each side of his head, and deep, glowing, green eyes, peered down at Elvae malevolently. A Nathrezim.
Elvae held his chin high, as he stared up at the demon, clenching his jaw. "You were never the best at tormenting your victims, Vorinclex. Why try now?" he said, defiantly.
The demon lifted a hoof and drove it, hard, into Elvae's chest, causing the Draenei to wheeze, the breath having been driven from his lungs.
"I said, you are not to say my name," Vorinclex hissed, pressing his hoof further into Elvae's chest. "I am not tormenting you for myself, Elvae. Oh, no. Although I'm glad I've been given the opportunity, I never intended to see you again, not after our last meeting." The Nathrezim smirked, then. "You will find out soon enough, Elvae. This University, your family, and you. You will all burn."
With that, the Nathrezim raised his hoof once more, before bringing it down hard on Elvae's head.
. . .
Elvae sat straight up in his chair, breathing heavily, sweat dripping from his crest. He was still in his casual clothes, from Conclave, sitting in his office chair, behind his desk. He glanced around frantically, before bolting for the door, throwing it open to look out at the campus.
He took a deep breath, trying to get his breathing back under control, before he sighed, shutting the door and stumbling back to his desk. He slumped into his chair, leaning back, staring at the ceiling.
"So it's not actually you, Ceyel," he murmured to himself, almost thankfully.
It's not actually her, he thought, again.