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Velen:Prophet’s Lesson

by Marc Hutcheson

Uncomfortable silence reigned.

"He does not know?" Maraad said, incredulous.

"He refuses to see any of us," Aesom responded. "A message was left with the Shields, but we have heard no return word."

"Am I the only one disturbed by this?" Maraad asked, silently wanting to take the words back even as he said them. I have been too long away from the Exodar, he thought. Of course they were all disturbed. Their quiet signaled not approval, but worry.

What does one do when it seems the Prophet has gone astray?

Before anyone could speak, a draenei whose name was unknown to Maraad interrupted.

"The refugees are at our gates. They demand to see the Prophet."

As do we all, Maraad thought in sour humor.

* * *

Why didn't you warn the world about the Cataclysm? The simple, logical question of a mortal child echoed accusingly throughout the silent chamber, distracting the Prophet from his contemplation of the Light. Velen had evaded rather than answered, obscured instead of illuminating. He was surprised at himself. Am I still capable of deception? Even after all this time? Both within and without?

Why would a prophet not warn of calamity?

He had seen it. The armored shadow of night looming over Azeroth, darkening the world with fire and pain. He'd also seen the end of Azeroth in a dozen apocalypses, glimpsed a thousand smaller victories and failings throughout the winding futures. And the Light—the lodestone, the compass, the sense that helped him navigate the uncertain seas of his visions—had not pointed directly to the Cataclysm, had left Deathwing's destructive return a possibility among many. What good was a prophet who saw no difference between the true vision and the false?

Velen did his best to push the child's question from his mind and return his thoughts to recovering his ability to pick the truth from his endless visions... before he was driven mad or it simply became too late. When the Shield who served as sentinel to his chambers begged an audience, yet again, for the Triumvirate, Velen didn't answer.

He'd seen the Exodar repaired and heading into the Nether, swallowed by darkness and never to return.

He'd seen the Exodar seemingly repaired and exploding upon its launch, killing most of the draenei and laying waste to Azuremyst.

He'd seen the Exodar landing in Outland, the draenei healing their former home in exile.

He'd seen the draenei repair their dimensional vessel, only to leave it moored on Azeroth. Sometimes that led to shadow, and sometimes not.

Velen wouldn't trade in educated guesses. Without the Light to point the way, he felt frozen. Let the Triumvirate decide, he thought.

When there were no further outward distractions, he returned to the inward, desperately seeking the path.

* * *

Maraad stood by and did his best to hide his disgust. Most of his dealings with humans to this point had been with the sometimes impetuous but always courageous Alliance heroes in Northrend. It was hard to believe these ragged creatures—many of them missing teeth, all missing courtesy and the intellect expected of a sentient—were of the same race as those humans he'd marched beside.