Why did it have to be smoke monsters?

VerroakArtAvatarI’m always reluctant to give credit to people, especially Lunk, but when they deserve it, I do it (and then complain about it). So as you might or might not know I was looking for a while for a way to expand my facilities. Namely, I wanted to build a new research facility – one far away from the prying eyes of Alliance and Horde, one that could research whatever I wanted without oversight from anyone. Two ideas crossed my mind, an island somewhere in the Great Sea, or some abandoned world out there in the Nether. While I was still waiting for the adventurers to go to Draenor to boost my sales, Lunk stumbled upon an island not far away from the Darkmoon Island. An unpopulated, isolated, dark island – the perfect place for me and my future research facility.

Naturally, we started looking for ways to get to him before he hearthstones away or does something else equally stupid. I remembered an old shadow ritual that allowed you to directly transport yourself to another person’s shadow, but its existence was about all I remembered. I started sifting through my old scrolls and books, and meanwhile Lunk found some dark, ancient being on the island. Probably the same creature responsible for the island’s illumination, it whispered to him and made him do some summoning ritual. Of course, there was a suspicion of an Old God involvement, but I decided I would first go over there and check it out. If it was, we’d just pull out immediately.

After I found the right ritual and prepared it, I got some people to come with me. I know, I don’t usually take part in these missions myself but come on, a dark, isolated island with a mysterious, dark being? How could I resist checking it out myself? So I got Aeresham, Ballough and that new naga Greenheart with me, as well as that vulture creature Shazaad dropped off with me some time ago. Without much problems, we transported directly to Lunk’s shadow. Sure enough, it was just as he described it over the connection – a dark, overgrown island that undoubtedly held a lot of ancient mysteries, the least of which would be the creature Lunk met. Because I needed a way to portal in and out of the island, I left the two Greenhearts with Podric’s astronomical device while we investigated the ritual circle.

It was strange and it took me some time to figure out what I was looking at, As none of my companions up there knew much about our Azerothian deities, I was the first to connect it to loa rituals from Zul’Gurub. Of course, it was too different from theirs so it was probably either of Zandalari or unknown, extinct origin, but it was definitely something linked to the loa. And guess what, I came to that island to investigate what it was, and find out if we can use this island as my research facility. So I had my team repair the summoning circle and re-enact the ritual. Not much time passed before we started hearing strange noises approaching us.

And there it was, a smoke monster. Of course it had to be a smoke monster! What else would plague an ancient, forgotten island far out in the sea? The creature was clicking and howling and whizzing around us, but it was clear it could not penetrate the ritual circle, just as I remembered from my studies on dark troll magic. But then I looked into it and I saw… it’s hard to describe what I saw. It wasn’t even real sight, I saw it all with my mind’s eye. I saw people from my past. I saw all my mistakes and triumphs repeating before my eyes. I looked deep into the heart of that island and it showed me every person I hurt in my life. It looked deep into me, as if it tried to see what I feel about it. And about most of those people? I had no remorse about them. They were people who killed my family. They were parasites who dragged me down. They were obstacles who limited my true potential. They were finally insubstantial worms that I could use for my own gain. And most supernatural beings seeing that response would not hesitate to kill me, but this one… It liked me.

Not a single word came out of my beak, nor did I hear an actual word coming out of the creature, but we somehow communicated. I “told” it I wanted to settle some of my people on the island and do some experiments for progress. And it was fine with that. It only wanted that we do not “defile” the island – that we do not bring holy magic here, or we do not build churches for the Light or its paragons. It did not want us to bring more of that pinnacle of human civilization that spread everywhere around it. It wanted to remain away from what the people around it turned into, and to remain undiscovered and undisturbed by the outside “gods”. I think we can guarantee that it will not happen.

Soon after, we all left. The astronomical device Podric gave me had a clear reading of the sky above the island, giving us a stable portal location. I still wonder what exactly the “smoke monster” is, but given the ritual that summoned it, it was probably some kind of loa – either an ancient primal spirit, or a long-dead troll. I also wondered if that was Silas Darkmoon’s mysterious benefactor, due to the proximity of his island to mine. Whichever would be the truth, I feel I found the resolution to my problem. Let’s just hope our relationship with the creature doesn’t get soured.

About Arakkoa

Verroak Krasha, an Arakkoa druid with over 50 years of experience. Formerly from Farahlon, during the Orcish expansion relocated to Skettis, then to Sethekk Halls, then to rebuilt Shattrath, following the heresies in each of those places. Finally, he founded his own succesfull alchemy business and set out into the wide cosmos to explore strange new worlds and seek out new life and boldly go where no bird has flown before. View all posts by Arakkoa

2 responses to “Why did it have to be smoke monsters?

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