Kaelinda accompanied Karaelia to the Isle of Quel’Danas. “I should very much like to see this prismatic blade fully restored,” she explained, “and it might help your case with Ranger General Brightwing if a Sin’dorei on pilgrimage is with you. It has been some time since I last visited the Sunwell, since its renewal.”
As they approached the entrance to the Sunwell complex, a warden warned them, “Only those who have the Ranger General’s approval may enter the Sunwell Plateau.”
Kaelinda sighed. “This is the most sacred place known to the Sin’dorei, but it had been long enough since we regained control of the Sunwell that the guard had been relaxed and it had become much easier for pilgrims to gain entrance. Then Garrosh happened, and the guard here got more stringent again to protect against him trying to use the Sunwell for nasty purposes. Did you know that Regent-Lord Theron was thinking about opening talks with Stormwind for the Sin’dorei to rejoin the Alliance? Then there was that terrible incident with the Divine Bell in Darnassus, and the Purge of Dalaran, and now the guard here is tighter than it has ever been except for right after we reclaimed this place.”
Ranger General Brightwing scowled at them. “You would raise the hopes of our people with tales of Quel’Delar? Without proof of the truth of your claims, I see no reason to take you at your word.”
Karaelia unbuckled the scabbarded sword and handed it to him. He examined the hilt, and his demeanor changed.
“Oh, so you are the one with whom Myralion Sunblaze has been working. Well, then. And Magistrix Dawnstrider, I apologize, I did not recognize you at first. Still, I must verify that you are not trying to hoax our people with a cunningly crafted replica.”
“These have been trying times, of late,” Kaelinda acknowledged.
“I know of a way that we can test this sword,” said the Ranger General. “If you know the blade’s history –” he paused, looking at them in a significant sort of way, and they both nodded. Satisfied, he continued, “then you will recall that it was last wielded by Thalorien Dawnseeker in the defense of the Sunwell against the Scourge. He fell in what is now the Dead Scar, buying time for his regiment to make their own preparations. You will find his remains at the southern end of the Dead Scar on this isle. Visit them, and if his spirit gives you its blessing, I will allow you to enter the Sunwell with this blade.”
Karaelia looked out over the blackened, bone-carpeted Dead Scar and wondered how she would find one man’s remains among the debris. Perhaps the sword would give her an indication of when she had found its former master?
She was glad for Kaelinda’s company. The mage quickly prepared a small seeking spell that would search for armor items bearing the sigils of the Dawnseeker family. She sent it out across the Dead Scar, where it zipped back and forth, hovering here and there for a moment or two. At last it hovered in the same spot for several seconds, then exploded in a spray of firework-like sparks.
As Karaelia and Kaelinda approached the spot, both the sword and the armor-clad skeleton lying there began to glow. A ghostly regiment of high elves appeared. Their commander addressed them.
“We must defend the Sunwell from the enemy at all costs. I am ordering you to withdraw to the Sunwell proper to help prepare the defenses. I will make my stand here and buy you as much time as I am able. Use it well and make our prince proud. It has been a great honor to fight beside you in defense of our land and people.”
The ghostly regiment turned and walked northward toward the Sunwell. The commander faced southward, readying himself — and then he noticed Karaelia and Kaelinda.
“You! Strangers!” he said, “You are not my soldiers. Will you stay and stand with me to face the enemy?” When they nodded, he faced southward again and shouted, “Listen well, Scourge defilers! None of you will reach the Sunwell so long as I stand!”
A death knight on a deathcharger approached, proclaiming, “You will fall as your lands and city have before you. My lord will win a great victory here, and none will remember your name!”
Waves of Scourge assaulted the high elf commander, but with Karaelia and Kaelinda’s assistance, they were all destroyed. The ghost turned to them. “I… I wasn’t meant to survive this attack. Why has this happened? Why have you come here?”
His gaze fell upon the hilt of Quel’Delar. “It’s the sword!” he exclaimed, “Quel’Delar! You possess it!”
Astonishment filling his voice, he continued, “I don’t know how, but the blade has chosen you to be its new wielder. Take it with my blessing, and wield it against the Scourge as I once did.” He knelt before Karaelia, then vanished. The glow surrounding the sword and the armored skeleton rapidly faded away.
“You truly do carry Quel’Delar,” said Ranger General Brightwing, when they related to him what had occurred in the Dead Scar. “This is a great day for all of Quel’Thalas and the Sin’dorei. You have my leave to enter the Sunwell and finish the sword’s restoration. The children of Silvermoon have dreamt of this day for years.”
A warden escorted them into the Sunwell Plateau complex, leading them on a separate path from the one the rest of the pilgrims were taking. They soon reached the Sunwell itself.
At the edge of the Sunwell, a group of pilgrims was listening to Lady Liadrin. Karaelia and Kaelinda sat down to listen, too. The pilgrims nearest to them scooted away, instinctively shying from the evil radiated by the saronite in the blade of Quel’Delar.
“My brothers and sisters,” the Blood Knight Matriarch said, “words cannot describe what I felt upon seeing the Sunwell rekindled. In that moment, the Light revealed to me the truth of the terrible things I had done. Our people had walked a dark path, and mine was among the darkest of all.
It is a strength that we Sin’dorei all share. It is a strength we will need to free ourselves of the addiction ravaging our people. It will be the most difficult battle we have ever faced, but our resolve and the power of the Sunwell will sustain us until we have been restored to our greatness.”
The group of pilgrims applauded, then dispersed. Lady Liadrin withdrew from the edge of the Sunwell, following her own challenge to resist renewed addiction, and sat down on a bench. She closed her eyes and appeared to be meditating.
Karaelia knelt at the edge of the Sunwell and carefully immersed Quel’Delar in it. A shower of light burst forth, sparkling and crackling. A gasp, followed by the “ooh” and “ahh” of a crowd at a Midsummer Fire Festival fireworks show, arose from the pilgrims. The blade began to shine with a pure, clean radiance. It almost seemed to be singing with joy.
As Karaelia reached for the hilt, she could no longer feel the sticky sensation of saronite’s evil pulling on her soul. At the same time, the hilt seemed to be pushing her away with little arcs and pulses of light. Karaelia looked around, saw Lady Liadrin, and understood.
Thalorien Dawnseeker had told her that Quel’Delar chose its own wielders. It had chosen her to bring it here, but now that it was restored and purified, it was not hers to continue to bear.
She knelt before Lady Liadrin. “My Lady,” she began, unsure of quite how to say what she meant.
“Yes, young one?” Lady Liadrin opened her eyes, and Karaelia watched her expression change to awe as she looked over Karaelia’s head and saw Quel’Delar glowing in the Sunwell.
“My Lady Liadrin,” Karaelia began again, and now she knew what she should say, “here is Quel’Delar, the prismatic blade gifted by the dragonflights to your people so long ago and lost in the Scourge attack on the Sunwell. I know not why it chose me and my family and friends to recover it, but now that it is restored, there is only one person who has the right to wield it: you. You, the champion of the Light for the Sin’dorei.”
Lady Liadrin rose to her feet, placing a slightly shaking hand on Karaelia’s shoulder. “Am I truly laying my eyes on the weapon of Thalorien Dawnseeker?” she said, in a slightly breathless voice. “This is a wondrous day for all Sin’dorei. Our people, sin’dorei and quel’dorei alike, have dreamt of this for years. Quel’Delar rises again, as the Sin’dorei rise again and again from the ashes of defeat and betrayal!” Liadrin’s voice strengthened as she spoke, and now as she proclaimed these triumphant words, she stepped past Karaelia to the edge of the Sunwell, reached out, and Quel’Delar leapt into her hand. Liadrin held the prismatic blade high above her head, and the cheering of the elves echoed off of the faraway ceiling of the room.
Lady Liadrin lowered Quel’Delar. Wordlessly, Karaelia handed her its scabbard. As she sheathed the blade and buckled it to her side, Liadrin turned to look at Karaelia directly. “Thank you, Tauren — no, I know you, I have seen you working with my Knights. Karaelia. Thank you, Karaelia, for doing this great service for my people. You have done us, and yourself, a great honor. Light — or how do your people say it? An’she? An’she be with you.”
“So,” said Keija, when Karaelia returned to the farmhouse at Halfhill, “where is that sword we made from that battered old hilt that Kam gave you? I thought you went to the Sunwell to cleanse the taint of saronite from it. What happened? Did you drop it all the way in and lose it at the bottom, or something?”
“No,” Karaelia replied quietly, shaking her head. “I didn’t lose it. I gave it to Lady Liadrin. That sword… it choses its own masters, and once I took it there, and cleansed it, my part in its story was done. It was never really meant for me.”
Around the common room of the house, her sisters’ heads nodded. Kamalia looked up from her leatherworking and smiled at Karaelia. “I knew there was a reason why I felt like I ought to give that hilt to you. Well done, little sister, well done.”