There were many guards within the temple. However, Azadelta avoided them with ease, and she searched for some sort of evidence to locate Jubeka or Kanrethad.
A scroll lay on the ground, and Aza sensed some power emanating from the scroll. She picked it up and as she read it, the scroll crumbled and Akama appeared. Aza was startled but relaxed upon seeing the Broken Draenei, as they were on amiable terms - Aza had years ago done many deeds for the Ashtongue Deathsworn, earning their trust and respect.
Akama countenance relaxed when he saw Azadelta. "Wait, you're not one of the warlocks that snuck in here before. Why then are you here?"
Aza realised it would be a bad idea to let Akama know that he came to learn of the demonic powers that Jubeka and Kanrethad were investigating. Akama had a hate for demons and their masters, and barely tolerated Aza but respected the help she had given in the past.
"I have been sent by my order to investigate what the Council of the Black Harvest was up to in this place. We must put an end to their perversions." Aza hoped she sounded convincing.
"It has been many months since those two warlocks broke into the temple... but I'm still not sure what they were after." Akama regarded her, his expression neutral. "Very well. Follow me. They visited both the Shrine of Lost Souls and the Temple Summit. Use caution, there are many traps still active within. Perhaps one of your demon spells will grant you the ability to scout ahead before advancing forward. And the Essence of Order..." but Aza had already run in the direction of the Shrine.
She summoned an Eye of Kilrogg to guide her through the maze of traps - the room was full of hidden triggers to catch the unwary. Apparently triggering one would cause an army of Hungering Souls to appear - something Aza wasn't particularly keen on engaging. She made it through the maze, and as she approached the chamber another memory of Jubeka's was triggered.
Comprehension dawned within Azadelta. The Shrine of lost souls contained an amazing power, which Illidan was able to tap. Was this the source of power she was to claim for this quest? She hungered at the thought of such power.Kanrethad: Summon...ha, imagine what we could become if fused with power of this magnitude...Kanrethad: The powers of this room are not unlike the original Well of Eternity in Azeroth.Jubeka: So this is how Illidan bound so many demons to his will..Kanrethad: Yes. The payment for the demons' service was to drink from the energy of this place.Kanrethad: By feeding upon this place's power, they were broken free from their addiction to the Legio's magic.Kanrethad: I believe this is the original power source he intended ot offer the blood elves to free them from their addiction to the Sunwell...but for some reason he didn't let them near it...Jubeka: What?? You have no proof of such a claim.Kanrethad: Didn't you notice? The demons under Illidan's command were free of the entropic, fel-green corruption that pervades the Legion.
As she stepped further into the room there was a bright flash and a massive head appeared. Azadelta had fought the Reliquary of Souls before in this room, which represented the Essences of Anger, Desire and Suffering. This was a different Essence. She wished she'd listened to Akama more - what had he said about the Essence of Order...
I can take care of this, thought Aza confidently, casting a curse of elements then running as she cast immolate. She summoned her Voidlord to tank the Essence whilst she cast conflagrate.
"Face the souls of those your kind doomed to perish, Warlock!" boomed the Essence, and Lost Souls made a beeline for Azadelta's position. Aza despatched them with a rain of fire, and continued her dance with the Essence as they went around and around, avoiding lines of spellfires and burning her survival cooldowns during hellfires. She had one close call, as she was too slow to move whilst casting and the spellfire caught her, searing her left leg and arm seared in agonising pain. She popped a healthstone and drained to regenerate a little as she continued running, her dance with the Essence falling into a series of dance moves - immolate, conflagrate, and renewing curse of elements when it had fallen off, jump aside for the spellfires, drain life....
The Essence went down quickly, much to Aza's relief. As Aza stepped forward to take the Empowered Soulcore, the Reliquary began to unleash an army of demons at her which she dispatched relatively easily. She stared at the raw power of the Empowered Soulcore in her hands, pulsing with arcane magic. Leaving the Shrine, she went to find Akama in the Halls of Anguish. She summoned Kupyap to keep her company and told him what had just happened.
"Azadelta!" yelled Akama. "Some of my men are trapped in the basement - there is little time, help me save them!" Akama headed for a side door, that Aza had never seen before.
"Master, lots of treasure in the chamber, this is your chance!" said Kupyap excitedly, pointing down the dark corridor. "Broken Draenei has taken the guards to fight, it's yours for the taking!"
"Akama, I have to search for more clues, I will catch up to you!" shouted Aza, as she turned in the direction for the Den of Mortal Delights - her plan was to plunder the Black Temple. The clock was ticking - Aza had 8 minutes to loot all the objects she could find. She gathered Theldren's Rusty Runeblade, Large Piles of Gold coins, Golden High Elf Statuettes as well as numerous golden platters, ruby necklaces, Jade Kitten figurines and Golden Goblets. She even found Taric's Family Jewels. At the end of her time she had amassed 5k gold worth of plunder. A sinking feeling lay in the pit of her stomach - was this gold here in preparation for a massive repair bill? It was fortunate that she had asked for a blessing from the spirit healer on her way to the Black Temple. At least through her pact with the guardians of the undead world she would be able to return to her body if she was killed.
It was time to head to the Temple Summit. Azadelta steeled herself, and tried to focus. She had a feeling that the hardest battle of her life was awaiting her.
Aza looked around the platform at the summit of the Black Temple. She remembered how she had fought against Illidan, the Betrayer, and wondered what powers she would come to possess. Would the power overtake her and make her a demon? Or was this a test?
The vast space was empty, save for an innocuous looking soulwell was on the edge of the circle that decorated the summit of the temple. Aza stared at the soulcore in her hands. Whatever was coming she needed to be ready. She didn't know what to expect.
She took a Flask of the Warm Sun, and ate some Mogu Fish Stew, to boost her spell power. She set up a gateway between the platform and to a pillar just beyond, that would hopefully allow her to escape and avoid line of sight during attack. She summoned Kupyap, her most loyal servant, and sacrificed him, gaining his powers to dispel magic and health. Her Soul Leech was active, and she would no doubt find it invaluable for this fight.
Taking the pulsing Empowered Soulcore, she placed it into the soulwell. The soulwell began to glow, and the ground began to tremble, as a huge demonic gateway began to emerge from the ground, green fel energy pulsing from it. The portal burst open in a flare of green light and a winged demonic humanoid stepped out, his hooved feet clattering the stones. Slowly, he turned his baleful gaze to Azadelta, and snarled.
"BEHOLD! I have truly mastered the fel energies of this world! The demonic power I now command... It is indescribable, unlimited, OMNIPOTENT!"
Holy shit, thought Aza. That's Kanrethad Ebonlocke... he's let the demonic form overtake him... so where's Jubeka??
"You think I've gone too far?" roared Kanrethad. "There is no such thing. The Black Harvest will enslave the most powerful demons, draw on their power, and destroy all who oppose us, in this world, and on Azeroth! Do YOU mean to stop me, little one?
Aza raised her arms, hands glowing as she prepared for battle. Her face was determined, and she bared her teeth at the demon who was once human.
"I'd like to see you try," sneered Kanrethad.
Aza threw a Curse of Elements and an immolate and rain of fire when Kanrethad laughed.
"Hah. Your feeble attacks are entertaining, would you like to see one of my new pets?" Kanrethad began a summoning ritual, whilst Aza continued to cast attacks that seemed to barely faze the master warlock.
"The Annihilan are incredibly destructive creatures. Their sheer strength and power is absolutely unrivaled."
Aza's mouth fell open as a huge Pit Lord emerged and fixed its gaze upon her. It lumbered towards Aza, swinging its jagged edged spear in a menacing action.
I may not have the knowledge or power to summon a Pit Lord, thought Aza, but I know that I can enslave it!
Aza cast Enslave Demon, and brought the Pit Lord under HER control. Her mind linked with the demon. Attack Kanrethad, she ordered.
"WHAT!?" roared Kanrethad in anger, as his former minion began to rain blows on him. "Now you've angered me." He began a complex incantation, and a Curse of Ultimate Doom was put on Aza. He laughed derisively. "The clock is ticking...." He then put a Seed of terrible destruction on her and then cast Excrutiating Agony. "Rising pain," he whispered, a smirk on his face.
Aza could feel the foreign energy unfolding inside her, like a time bomb. If she didn't kill Kanrethad the Curse would complete and she would die instantly. She redoubled her efforts, dispelling her enemy's damage over time spells. She continued to barrage him with incinerate and conflagrate. She used her Pit Lord's Siphon Strike to help heal some of her wounds as well.
Soul fire seared her skin and singed her clothes. Then she saw Kanrethad begin to cast the incantation for a Chaos bolt of immense power, and she ran to her gateway and hid behind a pillar as the great bolt of energy burst against the stone pylon, stone chips flying in all directions. Aza was glad she wasn't on the receiving end of that baby.
"You cannot stop your final Cataclysm!" yelled Kanrethad, as he began to channel again. Charge him! ordered Aza and the Pit Lord crashed against Kanrethad, interrupting his cast of Cataclysm. If he had completed that incantation, Aza and the Pit Lord would both be dead. He has mastered some of Deathwing's magic, thought Aza. What chance do I have?
Kanrethad began to summon Wild Imps, and Aza's mouth hardened in a determined line as 60 imps poured out of Kanrethad's portal.
"If two imps are better than one imp, what's better than two imps? SIXTY IMPS!" Kanrethad laughed. The imps pointed at Aza and began shooting firebolts at her. She returned it in kind with a Rain of Fire, despatching them all quickly, but she cringed again as she took another Soul fire.
"Chaotic magic always has the potential for unexpected results." Kanrethand shrugged and faced his portal again, and began to summon Felhunters.
"While not the most powerful combatants, a pack of felhounds still has many uses."
3 enormous felhunters bounded out from the portal. Aza cast havoc on the first one and then cast chaos bolt on the second, which killed it in one hit. The third felhunter removed Enslavement on the Pit Lord and Aza took some startled steps backwards as the Pit Lord ran towards her again, ducking as the Pit Lord narrowly missed her neck with a swipe from his spear and instead catching the blow on her upraised arm, slicing it open in a spray of blood.
"You little f***ers you did NOT just do that!" screamed Aza as she re-enslaved the Pit Lord, and in a beserker rage cast chaos bolt on the third felhunter and then shadowburning the other. Get back in there and HIT KANRETHAD, minion! she ordered the Pit Lord. She felt the demon struggling against her control but fury and anger merely lent more power to her will and he could not break free. She quickly killed the last Felhunter, then turned her attention back to Kanrethad.
"Chaos will reign," he taunted as he began to cast chaos bolt again. Aza quickly ported behind a pillar again, and reemerged, attacking again in vigour.
"This may seem meager at first, but give it a moment. Soon, the pain will be unbearable." He continued throwing curses on Azadelta but she continued to purge the magic off. Thank you, Kupyap, she said silently. She winced again as she caught the edge of his Rain of Fire and used her healthstone again to stop some of her bleeding and soothe her burns. She returned the courtesy and rained fire on Kanrethad as well.
"Archimonde's use of the ered'ruin was brilliant," said Kanrethad, as he began to summon a Doomlord. "Their command of the dark energies is unparalleled."
Aza glanced at the Doomlord who was casting shadowbolts at her. Her Soul Leech was absorbing a lot of the damage, and she continued to hurl spells at Kanrethad. His health was whittling down, and Aza was glad that in his arrogance he didn't even bother to try healing himself.
The cycle began again with Kanrethad summoning Wild Imps again. Aza was trembling with exhaustion and excitement. She couldn't afford to get lazy, she had to keep dodging his attacks, keep her rain of fires up, keep her havoc on. The Felhunters were still the most annoying of the pets he summoned but though she tried to move the Pit Lord out of range of the felhunter's cleanse, she was too slow and she had to conflagrate the Pit Lord to buy herself some time before he could get close enough to hit her. She killed all the felhunters and re-enslaved the Pit Lord again.
He was almost spent. Aza could see his skin smoking from her frenzied attacks, and his breathing was more laboured than before. Her eyes burned in victory as she prepared to cast her final series of spells and bring him down once and for all. She realised, as she glanced at her burnt robes and skin, that she probably didn't look as if she was faring that much better.
"I'll shatter your soul!" Kanrethad held out his hand in a mocking grip motion and channeled a stream of purple energies, lifting Aza off her feet, the tendrils curling and tightening around her neck. Aza tried to scream but no sound came out. She was silenced - she couldn't cast spells and she couldn't teleport. A terrible feeling of fear erupted from her chest, her heart pounding so hard she thought it was going to burst.
"Hah ha ha... you thought you could defeat me?" Kanrethad cackled, his eyes blazing as he gloated. "NOTHING can kill me now, puny mortal! And now," he regarded her almost regretfully with a sinister smile on his face, "Your sad tale comes to an end."
Spots swam before Aza's eyes as she closed them in resignation.
"NO!!!!" A woman's scream cut through the haze of suffocation and Aza opened her eyes to stare at the small robed figure running towards Kanrethad.
"Jubeka?! What are you..... AUGHHHHHH!!!!" Jubeka cast a banish spell, more complex than any Aza had ever seen.
"This is only what you once asked me to do if it came to this, Kanrethad," Jubeka said, a tone that was almost regret echoed in her raspy voice. "You brought this on yourself." Aza fell to the ground as the purple stranglehold vanished with Kanrethad's banishment, and she rubbed her neck ruefully as she shakily gained her feet. Jubeka turned to Azadelta, her dead eyes giving away nothing.
"Azadelta, thank you for your help. While the world will not know, you've saved them more than they're aware. Kanrethad had to be stopped. I'll see to it that he stays banished." She gestured at the figure held trapped and immobile behind Jubeka's neutralising spell. "Kanrethad enveloped himself with so much fel energy that it corrupted him totally. But a small taste of his power should not be harmful. Go ahead."
Gingerly Aza tapped into the energies surrounding Kanrethad, and marvelled at the power of the fel Kanrethad had amassed. As she drained the fel energy, and Aza didn't know what would have happened had she tried to take more. As the power soaked into her, she felt the energies lifting her, surrounding her, and the world began to spin. The fel power seemed to radiate from within and the heat of the power was burning her from the inside out, yet the pain was also a pleasure, as she felt the fel flames crackling around her fingertips. She screamed as the pressure seemed to reach a boiling point, and the explosion that followed not only healed all her wounds, but seemed to sink into her very bones. She held up one hand and stared, for even the magic she wielded felt more... demonic, somehow, corrupted. Like a true lord of destruction.
Jubeka nodded in approval. "Now go, and use what you've learned. If you ever wish to have the fel energy purged from you, or reabsorb some of Kanrethad's, talk to me. I'll be at the Altar of Damnation in Shadowmoon Valley, keeping him banished." She turned back to Kanrethad, and summoned up her imps to help transport her prisoner back to the Altar of Damnation.
"Thank you, Jubeka," said Azadelta, inclining her head. Where the hell was she all this time! Aza wondered. She could have shown up a little earlier...
"Send my regards to Zevrost, sister," said Jubeka, as she walked away with her minions and prisoner. "He chose well. The Codex of Xerrath was given to a most worthy pupil."
Aza cast a Rain of Fire and felt exulted at the beauty of the green fel that had corrupted her magic. She cast one last glance at the departing Jubeka, and activated her hearthstone. Whilst it was charging, she had a sudden revelation. Jubeka Shadowbreaker, a master warlock, author of the Grimoires of Sacrifice and Supremacy, had called HER, Azadelta, sister. Did that... mean she thought of Aza as her equal? Aza grinned at the thought, and she waved a goodbye to the Black Temple, as she was teleported back to Pandaria.
Congratulations to Aza! And I hope all warlocks out there manage to complete their quest, which Aza said was legendary in the lore and in the battles. Why do warlocks get all the cool legendary stuff? :D