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Keliora with her husband, Taelorien, and her daughters

Keliora and her youngest


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I intended to work on the next chapter of the Venthyr campaign with Kaelinda. Then this plotbunny hopped up, and I spent last night writing a story instead of playing the game.

Some small spoilers, mostly for side quests, for the leveling story of Bastion. It’s been long enough, though, that I’m pretty certain that all of my regular readers have either already done Bastion or aren’t playing Retail WoW and won’t mind reading about a story that they may never actually play through themselves.

~*~*~

On the day the Scourge invaded Eversong Woods, Keliora had been one of the priestesses on duty at the Sanctum of the Moon. Her oldest daughter was training at the East Sanctum, her middle daughter was on an expedition to visit the Runestones with Runewarden Deryan, and her youngest daughter (who was comparable enough in age to the exotic half-Human twin sons of Vereesa Windrunner to have a fantastical crush on them) was with her tutor at the family dwelling in the down-the-hill neighborhood of Tranquillien. She was, at that time, already a widow; her husband had perished in Archimonde’s attack on Dalaran. She had barely survived the onslaught of the Scourge. Her children had all been overrun.

“Tell me,” Keliora demanded, “Where are the souls of my husband and my children?”

Caretaker Kah-Sar shook its head. “We record where all souls have gone, but we do not,” it said in its resonating, not-quite masculine countertenor, not-quite feminine contralto voice. “Forgive me for the cryptic nature of the reply. We record, but we may not recall. Only the Purpose may reveal whether the threads of a soul will rejoin the tapestry of an individual existence.”

The bright sunshine and the soft colors of the golden and white fields and periwinkle trees and flowers of Bastion were soothing.

Keliora was collecting materials for Forgelite Sophone and her assistant Sika, and also looking for some books that another of the Kyrian Aspirants had asked her to find and suggested that she read. She asked an Aspirant who was sitting by himself under a tree, reading, if he knew where she might find Bear Witness: The Watcher’s Code. The Aspirant said he did not. She thanked him for his time and was turning to go on with her search when he said, “Wait, mortal. Your face is familiar to me, somehow. I think… I think I know you… knew you — in my mortal life.”

Surprised, she turned back toward him.

“What is your name?” he asked.

“Keliora,” she told him.

His face, which had been wearing a puzzled expression, brightened, and he smiled at her. “Yes, yes! I do know you! I think — I think we might have been Soulbinds, in my mortal life.”

Keliora was startled. “Tael?” she asked. “Taelorien of the Dawnstrider clan?”

He nodded. “I have a new name, now that I am one of the Kyrian,” and he told her what it was, “but that is the name attached to the records of my mortal memories archived at the Mnemonic Locus. Your name is in those records, too. And I have not given up all of my mortal burdens… not yet.”

Keliora slowly sat down on the grass beside him. “Do you still remember this?” She pulled up from inside her robe, where it hung on a long, fine chain, a delicately crafted, glittering ring. He stretched out his hand, and she placed the ring in his palm.

His smile turned beaming. “Yes. I remember this, and I still remember the day I gave it to you.” He sighed. “The happiest memories are the hardest to let go.” Seeing her expression turn hesitant, he said, “May I tell you what I remember?”

She nodded. He told her, and it was as she remembered, too — or at least enough to convince her that this Kyrian Aspirant really was, or had been, her husband.

“Have… have you chosen a Soulbind here, yet?” She hardly dared ask it.

He shook his head. “No. I have not felt the need of that form of companionship… yet.”

They sat in silence for some span of timeless moments. At length, she gathered up her courage enough to ask, “If I manage to live the rest of my life so that the Arbiter sends my soul here, to Bastion, to the Kyrian, when my time on Azeroth is done, is there any possibility that you and I might be Soulbinds… again? Truly, forever?”

He pondered the question for several more timeless moments. “From what I still remember of you… from what is in my archived memories of you… I think you already live such a life of service as to come here.” He paused, then smiled at her, somewhat shyly. “I will not ask another to be my Soulbind. And if another asks me to be their Soulbind, I will only accept if they have given me a wreath of Rising Glory, with one Adrima’s Lily and two larion feathers, one golden and one argent.”

She smiled back at him. “I can remember that. But… will you be able to remember that, even when you have given up all of your other memories?”

“I think… I hope… that I will be able to keep that, because that promise will be part of my new Kyrian memories, not part of my old mortal memories.”

Keliora wanted then, so very very much, to draw him into an embrace and kiss him with all the pent up longing of the years since his death during Archimonde’s assault on Dalaran. But she had already seen enough of the Kyrian and their Path and Process, to suspect that to do so would severely set back his progress, and so she refrained.

Sighing, she stood. “I suppose I must return to my tasks, now. I… should probably try not to see too much of you again, while I am here as a mortal, lest I delay your Ascension.”

He nodded, expression somber. “You are right. You always were. Are. Until we meet again, go in service.”

~*~*~

I began thinking of the main concept of this story — that Keliora chooses the Kyrian because she serendipitously discovers that the soul of her husband has been assigned to Bastion — when I first created the character.

Some of the details of the story are inspired by the Reconstructed Family Locket and accompanying Handwritten Note found on a dead Kyrian at the House of Constructs in Maldraxxus. Others are inspired by the evidence that Aspiring Souls who have graduated to become Kyrian Aspirants have not yet let go of all their mortal memories; in the task to assist Disciple Helene at the Temple of Purity, we see that in mortal life, Acolyte Galistos was Tauren, of unknown gender, and possibly gay, as he tries unsucessfully to overcome some of his lingering mortal memories/burdens. One of the memories is of two adult Tauren kneeling by a baby basket; when Kaelinda did the quest, she saw them as two males, but when Kaurinka did the same quest she saw them as two females — do they also appear sometimes as a male and a female?

The Soulbind concept is only explained with quests and seen in the NPC population in Bastion. As I’ve thought about it, it seems to me that Soulbinding is a compensating measure for the gaping void of loneliness caused by discarding all of one’s mortal memories. A Kyrian soul abandons all knowledge of their mortal companionships… and so they forge a new companionship for their new existence and the new person who they have become. But how heart-and-soul-breaking it would be to discover that one’s beloved mate in life, with whom one had expected to be eternally in the afterlife, was Kyrian, and, with Kyrian deliberate amnesia, had chosen another to be their bosom companion for the eternities!

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I didn’t play on Monday because I was busy doing other things, nor on Tuesday because the authentication issues prevented me from logging it. That still left plenty of time to bring Kaelyla, Keliora, and Kalaneia through the Maw into Oribos. That will do, for now.

I also took those three characters, as well as Kaelinda and Kaurinka, to the Darkmoon Faire. It’s been many months since I last visited the Faire, because beyond making the first set of crafted gear for each of the armor types, I ignored Professions during Battle for Azeroth. But with Professions being, by all reports, more reasonable to level and more genuinely useful in Shadowlands, I thought it was worth my time again to get those 5 free Profession skill points. My Druid is an Herbalist and Scribe; all my other Herbalists will funnel their herbs to her to craft Staves and Missives. Kaelinda is an Herbalist and Tailor; all the rest will send her their cloth so she can craft the Shrouded Cloth and Shadowlace sets. Kalaneia is an Herbalist and Alchemist; I’ll work on leveling her Alchemy after my Druid has reached her crafting goals. Keliora is a Miner and Engineer (because Goggles); leveling her Engineering will be slower because no-one else will be feeding her ore. Kaelyla is an Herbalist and Miner, but she’s Alliance, so all of her materials will go on the AH and make her rich!

I’ve been contemplating what I might do about raiding in this expansion. I sat out LFR entirely in Warlords and did very little in Legion and Battle for Azeroth. It sounds like just getting ready for raiding — even at the LFR level — is a long haul of dungeon running and shelling out gold for crafted gear, plus running Torghast to craft whatever Legendary is BIS for one’s class & spec. Of course I haven’t gotten there yet, but I’m not sure if I’ll like Torghast very much. After all, I only did as much of Horrific Visions as I needed to get the first Shroud of Resolve appearance upgrade. Even though I think the second appearance upgrade for the Shroud of Resolve is very pretty, whenever I have thought about doing more Horrific Visions — and more Black Empire Assaults to buy those attempts — I end up saying, “meh, I don’t feel like doing that.” So I think I only want to raid with one toon at most, if I can even manage that. That toon will probably be my Druid because I like the leather set from Castle Nathria ever so much more than the cloth set.

But then how to get all of the different Covenant weapons? Hmm… If I pick up a Castle Nathria weapon token and use it for one Covenant, then change Covenants, I know that I won’t be able to use that weapon appearance with that character anymore — but will I still be able to use it with other characters in that Covenant? So could I get a Castle Nathria weapon token, spend it with the Covenant I’m currently in, change Covenants, get another Castle Nathria weapon token and spend it with the new Covenant, and so on until I’ve gotten the Castle Nathria weapons for all of the Covenants? I would just try for all of the Staves, I think — though that Night Fae Harp is lovely and after I’ve gotten all the Staves and come back to the Night Fae, I’d want to get one more Castle Nathria weapon token to spend on that. From an RP standpoint, Kaurinka will want to stay devoted to the Night Fae, but Kaiuna might be up for some Covenant-hopping….

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Shadowlands goes live in the evening on Monday 26 October!
What’s my school schedule like that week? Ah, good, I’ll be in the middle of a unit for all my classes — no Exams to be writing or grading. Could I get away with cancelling my 9:30 – 10:30 pm Zoom student help sessions that week?

These are the characters who will be going:


Archmage Kaelinda: Blood Elf Mage, Fire, Scryer/Venthyr
Firelord Kalaneia: Blood Elf Warlock, Destruction, Scryer/Necrolords
Crusader Keliora: Blood Elf Priest, Discipline, Aldor/Kyrian
Archmage Kaelyla: Void Elf Mage, Frost, Scryer/Night Fae


Archmage Kaylynda: Human Mage, Arcane, Scryer/undecided
Archdruid Kerisa: Tauren Druid, Balance, Aldor/Night Fae
Farseer Kamalia: Tauren Shaman, Elemental, Aldor/Night Fae
Highlord Karaelia: Tauren Paladin, Protection, Aldor/Kyrian

At the moment, I am planning on having Kerisa go first. It would feel odd to not lead out with a Tauren. From what little I know about the Night Fae Covenant story (having studiously avoided spoilers), Kerisa is the character who will be most personally invested in that story, so she should go through it first. Kaelinda will probably be next, then the rest of the Eversong Elves, and then Kaylynda — after I’ve seen enough of the Covenants with other characters to figure out which one would be the best fit for her. Kamalia and Karaelia will probably not travel to the Shadowlands until the latter half of the expansion, when I’ve done most of what I want to do with the other characters and have learned how to navigate the zones, questchains, and gameplay systems — and there are starting to be catch-up mechanics for alts in place!

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I was telling BTH about Shadowlands and how I was leveling a relatively new character (Kaelyla) to play in it. Talking to BTH about the characters I had been actively playing, I realized that while I enjoy my Boomkin and my Mages and my Destro-Lock, I missed my Elemental Shaman.

I recalled Kamalia from Thunder Bluff and sent her off to acquire her Shroud of Resolve.

I looked at the Covenant armor sets again and began to consider recalling Karaelia (Tauren Paladin) from the Sanctum of Light to get her Shroud of Resolve, too, because dangit if that Kyrian plate set doesn’t look pretty (though she’d wear it with alternate helm and shoulders).

Still, neither Kamalia nor Karaelia will be in the first group of characters to go to the Shadowlands — unless BTH decides to give Shadowlands a look and I bring Kam out to play with him.

Looking at the Kyrian sets again, I thought how Priestly the cloth set looks. I hadn’t yet used the level 120 Boost that came with purchasing Shadowlands (something I did shortly after Kaelyla dinged 120), partly because I couldn’t decide which existing character to give it to. I thought, I have a Blood Elf Mage and a Blood Elf Warlock, so why not have a Blood Elf Priest, too, to go Kyrian? Golden-eyed and golden-haired, of course…


So, um, yeah.
Four Eversong Elves for four Shadowlands Covenants.

Kaylynda will still go to the Shadowlands, but now she doesn’t have to choose Kyrian if she decides that she’d be a better fit with the Night Fae or the Venthyr…

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