World of Warcraft (WoW)

Visions of A Shadow Priest Within The Rift of Korthia

As the soft dirt crumbles between my fingers, it slowly fades out of existence as it falls etherically to the ground. No matter the amount of sediment I grasp, and no matter the strength with which I squeeze, I can make no long lasting effect on the environment within the Rift of Korthia. Everything is but a shadow of the true, material Korthia which I first visited before entering this cold dream of a place. At least, that is what I first believed when Riftwalking the chill currents of these lonely and dark environs. Now, I am not so sure about reality within the Shadowlands on any level. The more time I spend within this particular Rift, the more I feel the hunger I am so intimately familiar with. The more I feel it calling out to me with its dark music and barely noticeable whispers circling the entrances of my ears. I know the visions here are holding me, embracing me as kin and as another meal. I feel the call of the void throughout every nook and crevice of this place. These are the visions into which I fully dissociate as I listen to this call within this Rift.

The soft and familiar hammers of a common piano. A favorite instrument of the old gods when constructing their music, no doubt a reference to the twilight hammer which iconifies their dominance over the belief structures of their mortal followers. I have learned to listen to the soft melodies the void plays in their inhabited spaces. As I listened to the melodies of the piano within this rift, they carried me to another time that I heard the melody before. I had heard it on Azeroth. Yes, that is it. In a chamber of the Usurpers beneath Pandaria, where a vault once held the heart of the old god Y’Shaarj. The same melody: Gentle, barely noticeable, but there. A melody just beneath the other sounds and hums and music of any space when one is inclined to hear what others cannot. Just like the Rift of Korthia. Gentle, barely noticeable, but there. A deep connection exists here to the ever-consuming darkness.

Flashbacks to past experiences when I see the inhabitants of the Rift of Korthia. I see the skittering shadows crawl manically across the ground, and I suddenly see the Sha-lings and Shadowfiends I am all too familiar with. They are one and the same. The large, soulstarved shadowers are composite aberrations of faces and shadow reminiscent of the terrible, malignant creations of the old gods. The various shadow entities traversing the Rift in search of further consumption. “All places and things have souls. All souls can be devoured.” This is the wisdom of Yogg-Saron, the Beast With A Thousand Maws, and why wouldn’t the void seek to consume on the souls of the Shadowlands? One entity within the rift, however, sends shivers down my spine more than any other. A small, plant-like creature I only know as the tangling bloom. It looks as though it is a moving weed made of vines, similar to that of the Everbloom of Draenor or the denizens of the Wailing Caverns in Kalimdor. I looked one dead into its presumed face, and it stared back. The stark, icy, hungering pulse of the void went through my entire body at once and I knew to retreat lest it stop me in its shadow vines as prey. There is a void presence in the form of plant life, perhaps embodied even as an old god, somewhere or sometime or someplace and I fear that there is much left to be discovered.

The Maw. The hungering, gaping mouth. Many maws have I traveled in my lifetime. The Maw of Madness in the Twilight Highlands of the Eastern Kingdoms, wherein I listened to the voidsong within the belly of the dread Iso’rath. The Maw of Souls within Stormheim at the Broken Isles, filled with the ghastly spectres of mortals long dead yet on their voyage to whatever lies next to claim them. Then, of course, the imprisoned Maw of Ulduar, Yogg-Saron, the lucid dream and the self-proclaimed god of death itself. The being whose black blood was harvested and smithied to forge the very tower of Icecrown Citadel which casts its penetrating shadow over all of icy Northrend. Now, I walk the Maw of the Shadowlands. I keep traveling maw after maw, and all of them sing with the chorus of the Void. Maw. Mouth. Eat. Consume. Devour. All souls can be devoured. All maws are open for feeding.

I look up within the rift and see the Tower of Torghast reaching upwards to an upside down Icecrown Citadel. The void does not show me a break in the planes, here. The void shows me a mirror. The mirror has a structure which reminds me of an hourglass. The bottom of the hourglass is Yogg Saron, followed by Northrend, followed by Icecrown Citadel. The middle of the hourglass is the planebreak created by the destruction of the Helm of Domination. Then, mirrored further, is the Tower of Torghast, followed by the Maw, followed by…My vision grows completely black. I hear a laughter echoing. Deep, dark, and resonant. Then it appears. I see it again. The fangs. The dripping saliva as burning acid. The wicked smiles and gaping mouths. I see again Yogg-Saron right in front of me, dreaming. I am its dream.

My final vision is of the Rift itself. This is not the first Rift I have walked. I walked the Rift of Aln within the emerald nightmare, that pocket cancer of the Emerald Dream planted by Yogg-Saron and tended to by N’Zoth when the roots of the world tree Vordrassil penetrated the prison of the Fiend of A Thousand Faces in the Grizzy Hills of Northrend. The Rift of Aln. The Rift of Korthia. So many rifts and so, so much time. Or no time. Or, perhaps, both and neither, for the void and its children, the old gods, are outside the cycle of Time. The soft strings of the Titans play outside of the Rift of Korthia, but within this place the forces of Order have no hold whatsoever. The great Denizen of the Rift of Korthia is an eye-warden of the Jailer, a being whose great eye represents the iconic manifestation of the Void in our realms. Yorik the Observer is what the whispers tell me. I see a similar creature in the Throne of Thunder, named Durumu the Forgotten. Fleshy, but with great sight. I hear him say, again, “Behold the power of the void. I welcome the Void’s embrace.” I listen to Yorik for any statements but all he does is watch. I return sharply to my surroundings and am surrounded by still shadows.

These are my visions from the Rift of Korthia. I have learned to maintain my sanity long enough to explore them, and I know when enough is enough. My fellow mawwalkers from Azeroth see this Rift as a realm of treasure hunting. They do not realize that they, themselves, are the treasures which the Rift desires. We are but food, here, and the Void is content to feast slowly.

-Jigsawkilla <Last Pull Magic>, Illidan

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