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The Light Casts a Shadow
Please note that if you’re drawing information on Gunther in these posts based on his profile as well as RP, disregard some of the history in the profile. It’s outdated as some of the history is inaccurate according to some more lore research I made on Dalaran, Lordaeron, and the First and Second Wars that seem to have been missed in the previous approval. I intend to do some retcons and rewrites, but I will not push for them until the end of this story.

Besides, that picture of Gunther there is fugly.

Part 1 of 3

              I needed one more lesson, O Light, for that last encounter, I feel, nearly killed me. I almost faced death before, Light, when Parker presented me the tainted food that nearly closed my eyes forever. This, however, was different. Whereas I felt like I was finally released from the misery that awaited me when Kogan and Kitson were reunited as brothers, that situation made me think of... my family as actual family. I didn’t focus on my misery this time, O Light. I focused on the tears that would be shed if something happened to me, a possible guilt uncalled for or perceived should I allow myself to be swallowed by the Shadow. Light, I saw my child before my eyes. A healthy, rosy-cheeked, smiling child. I saw my stepsons and my beloved wife. I don’t want to die, O Merciful Light. Not now. Not this time. I want to go home. I want to be with my family.

              But I am not ready yet.

              Mother Maeia was not present in Hearthglen. I have actually learned she went south with her son. I wasn’t sure where they would go, so I had to think of what were possible places a paladin and a former light priestess of Lordaeron would go. Much of the Plaguelands were still haunted by the remnants of the Scourge despite the lands becoming greener. They still would not go to Andorhal or the lake. I came up with a hunch and I followed it. Uther’s Tomb. The hallowed site of the Lord Uther the Lightbringer, the first paladin of the Knights of the Silver Hand. I remember when the order was just formed and that a certain smile formed in my heart. Oh, Light, what was I doing during the Second War?

              ...........................I cannot remember. There was.... a band of soldiers... cheers in the streets... a waterfall.... and a tower. That tower was...


              ................Purge the thought. Light, I cannot clearly remember what happened in the Second War besides going to Dalaran for the first time since, well.... I was a toddler. I cannot remember if it happened at the end or-.... heh. It matters not. The Second War..... well. I suppose it’s time I pay my respects to the man who remains a great beacon of the Light even in death.

              I arrived at Uther’s Tomb. Indeed, the entire place was still bathing in the brightest of Your Light. I felt my soul grow heavy in this hallowed place, though I know Your grace is with me regardless. The whole site is a sight to behold—green grass, healthy trees, fragrant flowers, moist soil, and a serene, blue sky. While the Plaguelands are restoring from their blight, this place is brimming with life. Light, I felt Your presence here. I could feel Your warmth and Your love filling this place to the brim. Even when watching the dead, You were filled with life. I could feel my spirits lift in a manner different from standing in a chapel or church, O Light. Perhaps because even all things have fallen into darkness, You would shine through and restore the afflicted.

              And there they are: Maeia and Cristovao diSilvio. Mother and son. I greeted them both, hoping I could give Cristovao an update in my pursuit to understand the Shadow and to request Mother Maeia to guide me for another lesson. I am in awe as I observed the Mother; despite her undeath and her reverence in the Shadow, she was more than willing to allow her person sear within Your brightness as she stood near the grave. I was at awe, O Light. Most people who have fallen from Your grace would have fled and stayed away forever, but she chose not to. She is a creature of Shadow, but she sought the balance in her soul to approach You despite the harm your warmth brings her. Light, if only I had her willingness and humbleness to approach You like she does...

              ....There was another. Someone spoke up, another visitor at the tomb. He cautioned Mother Maeia to not harm herself in order to venerate the honored fallen. Such words are as kind as they are wise. I am grateful there is another who would see past the Mother’s state of undeath and uphold the grace of Your...

              ..... that man was Matthew Hunter. Cristovao was the one to identify him. Suddenly, Light, I felt the Shadow cloud my mind again.

              I tried to fight it this time. I thought of Roux, Paulton, Elizka, and David. I thought about how my Shadow affected them. How it was swallowing Roux, how it was draining Elizka... how it was about to crush me. This time, however, I had Mother Maeia present to see this. She tried speaking to me, comforting me, and encouraging me to take a stand against my Shadow. I tried concentrating the Shadow into a single orb and making that one dissipate. The Mother encouraged me to focus and purge the lies I told of myself. I would think of family. Matthew is family. Yes. I tried that. After all, pleasant thoughts of hopeful, happy futures were what broke Roux and Elizka out of their trances. I thought of mine. I thought of my child, of Elsamina, of Kitson, Kogan, Matthew, and.... the Hunter name.

              .......Well, that single orb split into three. It’s not working. The Shadow was forming and attacking Matthew, right here on hallowed ground. Light, please believe me when I said I tried to stop it. The shadow nightmare was beginning again, and this time, it was spreading like a fire. Night was falling despite the daytime, and this time, the darkness has taken Matthew, Mother Maeia, and even Cristovao. What now, Light? Light. I cannot stop this from starting.... and it now, the nightmare has begun. Where are we now...?

              ....Stormwind again. But this time.... fire. Burning banners and flags. Corpses all over the streets, some hanging from hooks and spears. The air was unbreathable, with black smoke filling the sky. Light. I do not have to be a native Stormwinder to know what this nightmare will entail. And yet... the shadow will not leave me. The orbs are still floating, the tendrils reaching. I could hear the whispers. They were creeping into Matthew’s soul. Whispers of change, whispers of regret, fear, loss, and brokenness. I tried to dispel the Shadow once more, with positive thoughts of family, a brighter future, of friends and warmth.... Light, it wasn’t working. It’s not working. An apparition was forming near Matthew, and it was leading him about the city. My brother-in-law couldn’t hear or notice Cristovao, regardless of physical contact and words spoken. Even Mother Maeia was in absolute horror... she stood away from me, a cleric of Shadow. Undead. Fearful of me.

              Shadow. Pure, unbridled shadow. That is how Maeia explained the dreamy state Roux, Paulton, Elizka, and David have fallen in... and now, it has taken Matthew, Cristovao, and Maeia.

              I gave Cristovao and Maeia a brief summary of how I managed to get Roux and Elizka out of their states, but neither would have it—Matthew was already deeply becoming more and more lost, and fast. Then... something entirely new. The city was changing. The smoke was vanishing, the roofs repairing, the people returning, and chatter and laughter filling the air. The skies were blue again, rather than black with smoke... Light. The people’s faces were faces I could identify. Friends. Family. There’s Roux, there’s David, there’s... I don’t know who he is, but this man--.... oh Light. I know him. Derrick. And Elsamina. And those two young boys must be Kogan and Kitson... Light. Surely this was Shadow’s trickery. I was at simple awe... but I am re-awakened by Cristovao’s words. Whereas Matthew was lost and Mother Maeia was flabbergasted by the Shadow’s embrace, this meritorious paladin barked at me his righteous fury over my manipulation over his friend’s sorrow and anguish:

“Why aren’t you fixing it, Gunther?”

              I tried. Oh, Light, I tried... but the nightmare was already turning for the worse. The Shadow must have manipulated Matthew’s eyes and viewed me, Cristovao and Maeia as threats... Horde. His brief joyous construct was invaded by the Horde. At first there was an attempted fight, but the shades’ forms of the Horde were increasing in number. Matthew ran, and we gave chase. A gate stopped us, and we lost him for that while until Mother Maeia was able to slip through and aid us. We searched for him, but Light... O Light, we couldn’t find him at all. I panicked. I cried. I feared for the worse... that I would have finally destroyed Matthew with the Shadow. I didn’t want this, Light. Not this. Yes, the feelings and thoughts of harm towards Matthew were genuine, but... I don’t want this at all. I want to save him, Light. I want to reunite the family and let us be whole. The lies I fed myself towards Matthew and his family were entirely petty, selfish, and above all, unfair. I could not tap to Your light at all throughout this nightmare and I begged and pleaded for You to come through with me... Light, O Light. Why is this happening to him? To me? Please give me an answer....

              ....this is not the answer I expected.

              One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Six men in Stormwind armor.... brothers. Hunter brothers. Not one of them Matthew, but surely those of the Hunter clan. The objects of my jealousy and anger, my hatred and......

              ....no. That is a lie. This.....



              Not jealousy. Or anger. Or hatred. Fear. I feared them. I feared them because I didn’t understand them. I delved into the stories Elsamina would tell me of them, as well as her memories of them when she was courting Derrick. I saw something I only saw in story books and fairy tales: a struggling family, poor and hungry, but happy because they had each other. I wanted it. I wanted to be a part of it... but I erected a wall to block out this want. Logic and reasoning would tell me this want is unfair because I am privileged with wealth and a constant roof over my head, as well as the fact that Elsa is married to me now. But this wall also blocked my heart from the family I can be with. The visions Matthew was having from the shadow when he saw Cristovao, Maeia, and me as Horde... Me as a Horde. An orc. A subhuman creature. A foreigner from Azeroth. An outsider.

              ..............It all makes sense now.

              I approached them. All six. Despite Cristovao and Mother Maeia’s protests, I knelt before the six and confessed to them of my transgressions like I would have for You, O Light. I opened my heart like others have urged me to do so with family. I was unsure of how the Hunters would take in a confession from a man who stole one of the brothers’ wives and kept her children away, yet I plead my desire to be a part of the family. I was willing to accept a cold refusal, or even the vindictive swing of a righteous blade. Not unlike when Roux’s apparition was about to come for me or Elizka’s was crushing me... though different as well. This wasn’t the demon of control and loss... but desperation and loneliness... severance. Isolation from the home. I want to go home and be a family... but as long as Matthew is lost here, lost in the shadow of what was his... then the family will remain severed. I am deserving of the Hunters’ blade, and I will let it fall upon me if it means Matthew’s release.

              .................They did not swing. The skies cleared and Stormwind became whole again. The Hunter apparitions departed into the town, and we followed. At least, we found Matthew. He was standing on stacked boxes, peering through a window like a curious child. I had to levitate myself to see what he was looking at. Light. There was a family of nine... all boys, plus a mother and father. There was delightful smell of a meal, though from the looks of the inside, the supper was just completed, and the family simply gathered within shared blankets for together time. They were laughing quietly, though I am uncertain why. It doesn’t matter. I felt as smile rise in my heart, O Light. There is no Shadow here, but the clarity of Your grace and love. Light. I finally see You now. The strength of Your mercy and warmth has now fully returned to me. At last, I was able to speak with Matthew without fear of harming him. Like me, he was viewing his own family from an outsider’s view... for him, through the lens of loss. We had to remind of the family waiting away from the dream... his, our family. I felt Your Light surging through me like a river through a newly broken dam. Strength has come to me in my faith, O Light... and I was able to share it by reassuring this lost soul to the waking world. We found our way out. We’ve awaken from the dream.

              For the first time ever, I received an embrace from Matthew. I couldn’t stop crying.

              I thanked Mother Maeia for staying by my side throughout the nightmare. The entire time, she was able to assist me in figuring out the symbolism behind the apparitions, the sources of their negativity, and how I can obtain and maintain the clarity needed to see past the darkness. I do feel there is more to learn... but I need to get home. Oh, Light, how long was I away from home? I made no effort to return ever since the Defias Brotherhood took over Sentinel Hill and Moonbrook... that must have been over a month ago. I missed Winter’s Veil... I missed by birthday... I missed the New Y-.... It’s the first month of the new year already?! Light! Elsamina will be giving birth any day now! I have to get home! I have to get home! I have to tell Kitson, Kogan, and Ezzi of my revelations, of my new vows to remain closer to home so we can be a more solid and loving famly. No more coldness, no more distance, no more walls, no more shadow. We can have the hearth and warmth like the Hunters did years ago. Except it has continues with the Colemann House now.

              Oh, Light, I still have to decide between the names “Uma” and “Una” if it’s a girl. I’m still set on Ulbert... unless Elsa has a boy name already prepared. Light, I’m not even packed... no, I didn’t even pack anything. Just pick up and go. Go! Like the wind! I’m going now, Light! You’ve come through to me, and more than ever, I need You to guide me home.

              Kogan! Kitson! Elsamina! My child! Father’s coming home!

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A few more posts to go and the story is finished! After this, it's all writing from my head, as the characters all involved here are RPed by me and the environment generally wouldn't let other players get involved. I'm sorry for the late posting.
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                            This little light of mine..... I'm going to let it shine~

                                          This little light of mine..... I'm going to let it shine~

                                                        This little light of mine..... I'm going to let it shine~

                                                                      This little light of mine..... I'm going to let it shine~

                                                                                    Let it shine~

                                                                                                  Let it shine~

                                                                                                                Let it-

[Image: s5h9.png]

.......What's happening here?
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              Oh, Light. The shadow dream is not over. Have I inflicted the Estate with the Shadow just by walking in? I do not understand... I thought by finally obtaining strength in You, O Light, I would finally overcome the Shadow and not harm my family as I feared. Yet it happened anyway. Everyone... asleep. The servants, the sentries, even our dogs... wait. Let me try this....

              ..... Ah. I can wake them easily. A dispersion of Shadow from Your grace... a simple prayer, a little light in my hand. Light. Perhaps the trials in Shadow are not yet complete. Although I was able to quell at least some of the darkness in Roux, Paulton, Elizka, David, and Matthew, it seems that this darkness has not passed over my family. They are, after all, the foundation of my love as well as hatred. But if I can overcome my Shadow with Matthew, I can surely do the same with Kogan, Kitson, and Elsamina.

              .... Oh, Elsamina. Your womb is still brimming with life. I can feel the movement in your belly when I place my hand on it. Our little one is still alive... but if you stay in this dream for too long, it will doom not only you, but our child as well. Kitson and Kogan are here too, I see. Perhaps taking breaks from their lives and their own loves to care for their mother in my place. Be patient, my son. I will not take long. As I have taken my other loved ones out of their nightmares, I will liberate you all too.

              O Holy Light of Creation. I am deeply sorry for the transgressions I have committed. I have come to despise my sins because I fear for the loss of Your ascension and the pains of damnation; above all, because of my offense to You, who do not judge but accept all in Your mercy and love. I pray with all the strength of my soul, and with the help of Your grace, to confess my transgressions and amend my life before I destroy myself and those whom I--and You--care for.

Have I violated the Virtue of Respect?

              I must confess that I violated this virtue for Kogan, a valorous soldier of the Light and the Crown. Of the three lost in the shadows, he is the one I know and cared for the least. Perhaps this is because he wanted to be like his birth father the most, that he was the most distant emotionally, that he was genuinely steely and stoic while my own façade is falsified. I saw a bit of myself despite him being Derrick’s son, O Light, and I turned my heart away from him. I pray for You to release him and that I give him the Respect he deserves.

Have I violated the Virtue of Tenacity?

              As my faith has rocked, O Light, so has this former pupil of mine, Kitson. I did not know he was Elsamina’s son, but by the grace of your Light, you brought him rightfully back to his dear mother, and then I also turned away from him. I gave up on him, O Light, for I felt my place with him has been forfeited... yet he did not give up on me. Light, I pray that I will bring back strength in his soul and wavering faith, that he would not be a lost soul like I was. I pray for You to release him and that I help him find the Tenacity he needs to also be a servant of Your holy name.

Have I violated the Virtue of Compassion?

              Of the Virtues, O Light, I have violated this one the most deeply. This beautiful, this honorable, this venerable woman... the love of my life, the fiber of my being, the bearer of my children past and present, the reason I ever do come home... she was targeted by my Shadow the most, whose mind I invaded and soul I broke the most frequently in order to steal truths and find faults. My love for her grew into a loathsome obsession, a desperation and desire to possess her to myself and only myself—away from the family she wanted since forever. Yet my prior solution to ceasing my harm towards her was to apply distance, and this only made our relationship worse. Light. She is deserving, most of all, of compassion... the mother of six, with three in the grave, and countless other loved ones buried in the ground. I pray, O Light, that You would help me overcome my shortcomings and allow me the strength and hope I need to give her the love and Compassion she needs to be happy.

              I pray to You, O Holy Light, that You forgive me for all the transgressions I have committed within my heart. My act of contrition has been fulfilled, and now I am ready to rescue my loved ones from the Shadow so that we may be a family again.

              Wait for me, Ulbert... or Uma, or Una. Papa will be home soon, and your big brothers, mama, and I will finally hold you in our arms.

[Image: v71p.png]
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