The Passing of Felena

Collected reactions to the public notice of the passing of Dame Felena and the funeral to honor her memory.


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--Gospel Lightfaith

There will be pain... there will be regret... This is the price of humanity.

Gospel stared almost blankly at the missive from Abbess Elentariah. A strange disquiet took hold of the paladin as she stared out the window of the Lakeshire cabin, her hands tightening around the paper, crumpling the edges slightly. The colors of lake and cliff blurred in her sight, tightness gripping her heart as she sank incredulously into an armchair. The message fell from her hands to the floor as she buried her face in her hands, her grief abruptly overwhelming.

That was how he found her. Her silver hair hiding her face from the world, her shoulders wracked with the remorse of what had once been, and would never be again. Rheyl wasted no words, only crossing the room to kneel before her as he placed his hands on her shoulders, lending her his strength and comfort. Her jade eyes met his blue, the trails from her tears still glistening on her cheeks.

"How could this happen?" she murmured, her hands wringing together, "I never made amends..." She looked up at him, and Rheyl was torn by the guilt and lament in her usually warm and cheerful eyes, "I have so many regrets..."

"Shh," Rheyl said quietly, taking her hands in his own as he kissed her forehead, "Now is not the time, when grief is so raw, love. I know you and Felena never saw eye to eye, and that there were harsh words between you, but once upon a time there, too, was love."

Rheyl took her face in both of his hands, smiling to give her his support, "And what is loved, survives. And where love survives, we find forgiveness."

Gospel nodded, leaning forward to embrace him briefly. Only then did she cross the cabin to the writing desk, her elegant penmanship scripting across the page:

Holy Abbess,
I shall endeavour to do my best to attend the services for Dame and Knight-Peerless Felena. It would be both an honor and priviledge to attend to my once-friend in the final moments of her journey and see her laid peacefully to rest. Should time and circumstances permit, I will be at the Cathedral in Stormwind at the appointed hour.
You have my thanks for bringing this to my attention, and thinking of me when others may not have.
Sincerely,
Gospel Lightfaith

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--Mosey

The posting bulletins always was interesting, the most fanciful of designs and cuttings marketed to attract the eye. Morning shopping at the Auction House entailed pushing your way around the crowd gathered at the bulletins, impeding traffic about the trade district and stepping on your shoes constantly.

As usual, Mosey's sore toes didn't help her mood.

The seal of the Cathedral caught her eye, there had been no previous announcements she could remember last she talked to the clergy, and here was a bulletin plain as day from the Church.

A murmur escaped Mosey's lips, and a basketful of apples tumbled to the cobblestones unnoticed.

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--Thienal

The mournful caw echoed across Lake Elune’ara. A crow, the druid realized. He watched the dark form of the bird dart swiftly through the Moonglade’s perpetual twilight.

My totem spirit, the druid thought, A creature of wisdom and nobility, but also a harbinger of sorrow and loss. What ill news does my small brother bring?

He held up his arm to greet the black-feathered bird. The crow obediently alighted on his forearm and lifted its foot. A small message had been attached. Curiously, the druid took the slip of paper and unrolled it. His brow creased in grief.

“To Elder Thienal Moonshadow,” the letter began.

“As nature gives life, all life must return to it,” he murmured quietly.

“You must leave again?” a gentle voice from behind startled Thienal out of his reverie, more of a statement than a question. He turned to see his beloved of millennia past approaching. He reached out and caressed her cheek gently.

“It has been only recently since the Kaldorei felt a great loss,” Thienal said softly, “That does not make the smaller losses easier to bear. We have stood apart from the cycle for so long that we forget the pain it brings us to end and start anew.”

She clasped his hand in her own. “Even still, grief is no stranger to us,” she offered, “Share your grief with me. Let me bear it with you.”

He smiled appreciatively. “The time for grief will come, my love,” he replied, “For now, there are others who need my support. I will return, as always.”

She nodded and stepped back. She watched the druid’s form shift effortlessly from elf to avian. She watched long after he had flown out of sight.

Borne by the ocean winds, the storm crow offered a silent prayer to the earth as he flew over the vast sea between Kalimdor and Azeroth. A thanks to nature in appreciation of its endless cycle and a request that the cycle be kind to one who was so kind to it.

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--Dominik

The shadowy figure hung quietly from the cathedral ceiling above. Below him, the coffin lay open, the golden-haired woman’s face smiling serenely. Had she opened her eyes, the shadow mused, she might see him. But that would not happen.

He quietly watched the people come and go. Mourners, visitors, friends. Some wailed in anguish. Others remained stoically impassive. Still others hurried away, saving their troubled thoughts for the privacy of their own counsel. It astounded the shadow how many different people came through in the few hours’ time, how many felt her touch for better or worse, and came to pay their respects for it. It was the sort of thing great epics and plays would tell for years to come.

Finally, the last of the people left. The priests and attendants doused the lights and closed the coffin. Long after the last of their footsteps finally faded into silence the shadow fell quietly from the ceiling. He landed silently, moving as one with the darkness around him. He reached out and quietly opened the coffin.

The woman’s face seemed to glow, even in the darkness of the room. The shadow marveled for only a moment and then left his final respects in her hands.

The next morning, when the attendants opened Felena’s coffin again, they found what he had left. A pink rose, a symbol of grace and friendship, with a black ribbon tied around its stem. Tied delicately to the ribbon was a playing card, a stylized diamond marked by an “A.”

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--Kanta

Kanta sighed and stared forth at the Cathedral, sitting on bench in front of the fountain. Word around Stormwind had spoken of Felena's death. He had hoped it wasn't true, but after seeing many people head in and out of the Cathedral. He had known what truly had happened.

He closed his eyes and said a small prayer in the words of the Darnassian language, bowing his head slightly. He stood, and kneeled for a few moments before standing again and brushing off his leggings.

"Rest well, friend... For even in death, people are always needed." He said, managing a slight smile. He turned in the direction of the park.

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--Detaine

Detaine sat across the waterfall, watching as the tree became visible in the morning light.

As the sun's rays touched the water, the golden glow made her pause. She wiped tears away with the back of a gloved hand. She tried to remain stoic, knowing others may be watching.

She gave me a chance- took me in for a while... She knew what lay on my heart, and kept it in confidence- even though she disagreed. She shone with grace.. something a tomboy like me could never achieve- but yet she seemed to think I could...

The auburn-haired girl dug into her bag a moment, and laid a sprig of apple blossoms on the water.

"May you rest from your labors, knowing the Light shone through you brightly, Felena."

A while later, she dropped a letter in the Goldshire mailbox before heading back to the blasted lands.

Elentariah,
I heard of the loss of our beloved Felena. I am still in a bit of shock, and I'm sure those of your fold are as well. There is not much that can be said, I know, to help.
Know you are in my thoughts and prayers. She taught me much, even though we dissagreed. I wish I'd been able to spend more time with her- and I'm sure many others feel the same.
I won't be able to attend the services. (you know me and groups of people..) I have made my own homage at the tree, and will likley visit it often when I am closer.
But now I must return to the brink of the portal. If you have need of me- or my sword- do not hesitate to ask.
I hold to hope.
Detaine Woodrose

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--Isturaus

Isturaus stared at the Cathedral from the safety of a nearby rooftop. He sighed and shook his head. He was clad in a dark black cloak, hiding his appearance from the world. "The good always die young. Such is the cruel humor of death... she was a worthy opponent and a fine fighter." He shook his head and as he started to walk off the church bells rang as they always did on the hour. There was something unusual to them this time, something sorrowful. As he turned to look back he growled and slammed his fist into the roof of the house in frustration. As the people within opened the door to their home, rushing out and staring at the rooftop to find out the source of the noise, Isturaus fled into the shadows. Blood Elf or not, he would attend her funeral. Wether the filthy Alliance scum wanted him there or not...

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--Tai Jiang

Tai refilled his glass from the bottle that was now over half empty. He picked up the tumbler, letting the lamplight flicker in the golden brown liquor, before he took a large swallow. He rested the glass on the arm of his chair and re-read the note from Elentariah.

He cursed her under his breath. In principle, he hated funerals. He despised funerals of friends. He was a problem solver by nature - and funerals didn't lend themselves to solutions. He brought the glass up and took another drink. He was in a foul mood, angry at everyone and everything.

He cursed Felena for dying. He cursed the idea of the Light, this whole thing confirming his deep-rooted suspicion that the Light was a scam. The 'Light', or whatever it was, had no rhyme or reason. Well, screw that, he thought.

He'd seen others, at times like this, reach out for and hold on tight to their beliefs. Back on Kul Tiras when he was a boy, he'd seen a family who lost a son at sea in a stupid fishing accident cling to the priest as if he were a fountain in a desert. It had never made sense to Tai. If there was this order, this ... higher power, how could it have let that boy drown? How could it have let Felena pass? Tai shook his head, letting out a frustrated breath. No, things like this made Tai think there was no higher power.

And if there was some higher power, Tai thought. Well, it was a pretty frigged up system and he'd just as well be on his own anyway ...

Tai paused, a wry grin slipping past his lips, the thought of how Felena would be arguing with him now if she were here. She'd be passionate but polite, ardent but not shrill ... Tai smiled as he picked up his glass, holding it still for a moment, thinking of Felena.

The two had been an unlikely pairing of friends. Aside from their differences in opinion about the Light, Felena hated goblins, while Tai strove to out-goblin goblins. Felena believed in right and wrong, Tai used the endless shades of grey to his own advantage.

Yet somehow ... the two had found a common ground, at the least, mutual respect, and, at times, genuine fondness. They'd each understood the other's limitations, and accepted those. He considered this, swirling the liquor. Light or no Light, he realized he needed to go to the funeral.

Tai tilted his glass slightly to the empty chair across the table and said to no one in particular, "Godspeed." He knocked back the rest of the drink and went to his desk to pen his reply to Elen.

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--Kiiyue

She scanned the notice pinned up on the bulletin board, already slowly being pasted or pinned over by the daily advertisings of the cheap and the senseless communiques of the shallow. With a grim, hard line set to her face, she forced her eyes to avert, then crossed her arms, sighing.

"Damn."

"Key?"

The tongue was Orcish, though coming in the of an elf it sounded disturbingly macabare. Kiiyue turned around, composing her face in an appropriate death-mask, and gestured towards the notice from Stormwind.

"May want tell Elder and Emissary of news," she rasped, choosing her words carefully. "If anything, was could been made difference in brought hope to dream of peace of all land."

She turned away, sad but for a moment. A silent goodbye, and she began to walk forth again.

"Damn."

A poor eulogy, but that was all she had to give.

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--Stamp, originally posted in the New Adventures of Stamp

The soft, almost imperceptible sound of weeping caught Stamp's ear as he dismounted the great gray kodo, More Stamp, just outside the village of Evergrove in the Blade's Edge Mountains of Outland. The sun had sunk beyond the spiny ridge, leaving a dusty twilight over the glade.

Although the Tauren could not speak or understand the common tongue of the Alliance, he knew mourning when he heard it. When he saw it. A young human man comforted the sobbing gnome as she sat on a rock along the shore of the small pond in the middle of the settlement. They shared words that Stamp did not know. The man talked in a tone that suggested an attempt at consolation. The woman smiled weakly and dabbed at her eyes with a blue kerchief. Still, the tears came and she wept anew. The man seemed lost, adrift in a maelstrom without a rudder.

Sometimes, Stamp had learned long ago, it's not possible to just make things better with words.

The man met the Tauren's gaze. Red-rimmed and glistening from his own sorrows, the human's eyes shifted quickly away. Stamp thought he saw shame there. Embarassment. He fears the perception of weakness, Stamp thought. But something else Stamp had learned in his journeys was that the expression of sorrow and other emotions didn't make a person weak. Far from it. One gained strength from the consideration, understanding, and embrace of those emotions.

"They have lost someone close to them." It was a night elf of the Cenarion Circle approaching with a bucket of grain for More Stamp. The elf spoke the native Taurahe tongue. "Someone far from here, in Azeroth."

Stamp bobbed his snout. Loss wasn't unknown to him. He had mourned before himself. And he knew the regrets that came from a loss suffered at a distance, while he was too far away to do anything about it.

"You speak the language of the Alliance?" Stamp asked.

"Of course," the elf said. "Why?"

The Tauren scratched his left side, pondering the question. Why, indeed? What could he say that would make any difference? Certainly nothing could take away their pain or erase the loss. Nothing should, either. Still, Stamp didn't want to let it pass without saying something. He felt involved now.

"Tell them something for me," Stamp said. "Tell them...Stamp sorry."

"Nothing else?" the elf asked, dark eyebrow arching.

The warrior shook his head. It would be enough for him. Anything more wouldn't be right, in his mind.

The Cenarion elf bowed in respect to Stamp and then moved toward the pond to speak with the human and the gnome. Stamp didn't wait to watch. He climbed back into the saddle atop the kodo - interrupting More Stamp's contented grazing from the bucket - and gave the reins a light jerk, bringing the beast around. He still had time to catch a last glimpse of the sunset from the ridge.

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--Elaran

Stormwind. Always a fun place to watch people. The short Gnome sat near the tree in the center of the Trade Quarter, watching the crowds as she dangled her feet over the low planter. Her head leaned to one side with a curious expression fronting it; a robed priestess, in the garb of the Cathedral, was affixing an officially sealed parchment to a nearby wall. She hopped down, and walked to the wall. The young lady turned away with another parchment in hand. Gnomish eyes followed her alongside an increasing frown...why would putting up a parchment cause tears in the girl's eyes?

She shook her head and turned to the parchment. As she read, time seemed to slow, and then to stop: the air around her grew frighteningly cold. Small crystals of ice shattered on the cobblestones at her feet. Not long after, the Gnome, and the cold, made their way toward the Mage Quarter.

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--Nellisynthia

A Conversation with Mezzy

Care and contradiction.

The caretaker didn't understand.

Soft words were whispered, magics taught in moonglade, beneath a cenarian moon, swirled in green and sparkles of starlight.

Bark and sapwood slowly mended, the tears that cut into the very heartwood.

It was supposed to heal.

He didn't understand.

The Tree of Winter's End.

In the forest of Ellwyn.

The deep hurt would not fade, like some warrior against the Legion fel, now forever marked with a triple scarring across ancient bark.

As if Cenarius himself had set a hand upon his shoulder, to stay his sorceries.

As if something was missing,a peace of a puzzle unknown.

Unnoticed.

Like the frailest spray of white petals and saffron.

How important could it be?

The simplest of flowers, carefully set to home between the roots of the tree.

A hint of spring in a forest still heavy with winters gray.

A peacebloom.

Contradiction and care.


"Y-y-y-ou weren't ..."

A swallow, broken words, a child's stutter,arms hugged so tight about herself.

"Y-y-you weren't supposed to die ..."

It was the deep of night, and above, through the moire of the bare branches, crisscrossing like the paths of a life, like diamonds on velvet the the stars glittered.

"Y-y-y-ou weren't supposed to die first ..."

He didn't understand. There were no orcs here, no twisted horrors of flesh and cartilage, no clash of swords and spells, no spectral host in a decaying banquet hall. And yet She was cut deeper than any knife or talon. The deep cobalt voidwalker reached upwards, talons slashing through the night air and he roared.

The dark call echoed through the forest, low and haunting, so easily over shadowing his warlock's shattered whisper.

" ... y-y-you p-p-promised."

They stood in the darkness of a winter's final moments, beneath the shelter of an ancient tree in a forest old. Somewhere, lost behind the veil of the forest, rose the tall towers of stone, the softly flowing canals, a place where children played with dominoes and an abbess walked with orphans across the steps of a cathedral.

Where they first met.

"Oh Mezzy ..."

The young woman looked up to her constant companion, her own shadow. She blinked, her eyes laced with dark circles, soft cheeks still bearing the dust of Karazhan and a skeletal dragon's dying ash.

" ... we chase gold, we chase silver, we chase the count of coin and the glitter of sparkling gems to set in our mantling.

" Oh Mezzy ...

" ... how easy it is, to let these ... treasures ... steal from us the truth, that they are but bits of metal, the flotsam and jetsam of a torn place, and in the end they cannot replace a smile shared, cannot take the stead of a heart that shares, cannot outshine a hand offered ... when others would turn away?"

"Where the true treasure is the pushing back of the Dark."

A hand rose, to press at a cold cheek. It smeared the damp grime there, providing no comfort.

" ... how easy it is, Mezzy, to speak high words and calls to the Light. Mezzy, words are so easy, they slip off the tongue like candy offered, because they are not only what we wish to say, but so often its what we wish to hear, what we need to hear, even if its just someone speaking to themselves, to hear it themselves, to keep the contradiction between what one says they hold true and their path through life at bay - as if speaking it louder somehow makes in more real.

" ... it is much harder, so much harder, to keep those words true."

Carefully the little warlock knelt, small fingers working the earth, setting the simplest flower to home between the roots of the tree of winter's end.

" ... coin and gems ... empty words."

When she stood again, her hand reached up, to touch a polished bracer.

"They just didn't exist for her."

"She .. she wasn't my friend, Mezzy."

Quiet then.

"She was our friend.

"She was a paladin who offered prayers for the salvation of a demon."

A heartbeat of silence.

"I don't think we'll ever be alone in Stormwind any more, Mezzy.

"I don't think ... we can walk along the canals ever again without her."

"Oh Mezzy, it hurts."


The slash of a voidwalker's talons.

That's what you do when something hurts you.

No.

That's what you do when something hurts her.

It was all he knew.

Pushing back the Dark.


Felena would understand.

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--Kharlyn

Khary peers at the mournful crowd hovering by the Cathedral. She sullenly takes a step forward to scan the parchment. She scratches her head for a moment.

"Travl'n 'n da Lights?"

Khary speaks out loud as receives angry glares from onlookers. Amazingly enough her thick skull seems to gauge the situation and she immediately shuts up and quietly rereads the parchment, hopefully this time to make out some of the bigger words. Khary's eyes stop on the words "Winter's End". She clasps her mouth shut to keep from gasping too loudly in fear of receiving anymore glares.

She thinks to herself, "Oy! Chryssy's gunna be all upset. I's bettas be dere 'n case she be start'n up holler'n n da likes." Khary sighs slightly recalling the 'horse incident' and cringes, since her ears still haven't stopped ringing. She continues to think, "I's be hat'n ta be see'n 'er mak'n a ruckus 'n front o' all dem folks. Best be pack'n me extra bandages!"

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