Hate is a powerful motivator. Hate could drive someone to push themselves to their limits and beyond. Hate could spark seeds of invention. Hate could spur even the most mundane into action. Hate was the catalyst that turned an enemy into a nemesis. Hate could rest in one’s heart like a writhing worm, spurring endless hours of planning.
And endless hours were what he had.
It had been a glorious time. The screams of frightened night elves rang through the air as the demons poured into the city, beckoned there by the foolish arrogance of the Highborne. People were slaughtered as they fled and the air was rich with the smells of smoke, brimstone, and fear. Bargains were struck and souls were sold. Somewhere in all the chaos, Queen Azshara stood watching, smiling, welcoming, and unaware that her own undoing was at hand. Stupid…
Now the once beautiful queen was a deformed creature hiding at the bottom of the ocean surrounded by her loyal followers. A shade of her former beauty, but far more powerful… But then, he had traded beauty for power as well. Tall, handsome and accomplished with magic, he had little trouble finding companionship of any kind. It had been a bittersweet transformation, but one he did not regret. Bones cracking and reforming, body stretching, tearing, rebuilding. Oh, it had been agony… rapturous…mind shattering…better than anyone he had taken to his bed. He would do it all again in a heartbeat.
His transformation to a satyr had come quite some time before the demons flooded the streets. He had been there ushering in the destruction reveling in the chaos and fear when he had come. Oh no, not Malfurion… that wretch was off trying to stem the tide of demons from coming through the portal. It was another druid, one who he had hated before his transformation and one who was going to give him another reason to further despise him. Baerythan Moongrove was closing in on him, his small force of druids and hunters with him. The task of opening another portal—thus clawing his way up another step in the hierarchy—would have to wait until after the druid’s demise.
In the end, it would not happen at all. He had escaped the druid with his life, most of his underlings had not, and the promise of power in exchange for the portal had been stripped away. The dreadlord had not been pleased and he found himself back on the bottom… a minion.
It was unforgiveable.
His chance at redemption had been put on hold as after the destruction of the Well of Eternity and the growth of Nordrassil, the druids went into slumber. Unable to reach Baerythan in the wakened world as he slept, he tried seeking him out in the Emerald Dream. That also proved to be difficult, so he contented himself with proving himself worthy of redemption in the eyes of the Burning Legion while he waited for the druid to wake. Slowly, over thousands of years he worked, gained power, and plotted until he came up with the perfect plan. One day, the druid would wake and he would be ready. This time, he intended to be the victor.
The Third War came and with it, the druids woke. His plan was simple; he would corrupt the druid’s body with fel magic. By the time he was finished, the druid would be a living bomb, one that would spread taint everywhere. It was a fitting end for the wretched druid if he did say so himself. Kneeling down on the hilltop, he watched his nemesis below directing druids and sentinels in the protection of Nordrassil as the Burning Legion wormed its way up the mountain.
It was time.
Baerythan Moongrove shouted out orders. The Burning Legion was pushing in and he knew that Nordrassil could not be compromised. What he had not planned on was the satyr, Ziantov, showing up. He had defeated the creature once before in Zin’Azshari just before the Sundering. He would defeat the demon again and this time, the twisted thing would not escape.
When the sun rose that morning, Ziantov had been captured, but the damage had been done. His plan to taint the druid with fel energy had worked and although he was being transported for imprisonment, he still cackled gleefully. As far as he was concerned, he had won a personal victory.
With the Burning Legion still pressing close to Nordrassil and the threat of Archimonde bearing down, Baerythan lay on a pallet, his body filled with fel energy. It burned him, devouring him from the inside out. Beside him people whispered, talking through whether or not the druid could be saved and if not, what do with the corrupted body. In the end, it was Baerythan that made that choice.
“Kill me before the corruption spreads too far. Take my body to Moonglade and ask Remulos for aid in removing the corruption.”