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downfall

#1
"How? How did we lose it?" He demanded.
 "I don't know," Orivas quietly replied, lanky body slinking forwards into the inky black. "Is it teleporting?"
 "It can't be."

The Titanic jellyfish were at the bottom of the sea, their coordinates lead to somewhere very close to Vashj'ir, but still some distance away from the Eastern Kingdoms themselves. For weeks on end, their hunt had been unsuccessful-- many sleepless nights were spent trying to track down a creature they had only seen mere glimpses of.
 Orivas claimed he had seen it clearly, but Omaniar suspected that he was bluffing. He described it as a creature not unlike a sea serpent, but with twice as many teeth as it was supposed to have. Ridiculous. Not even remotely creative.
 Surely, it must have been following them. The chances that they kept accidentally stumbling into this thing were-- after a quick calculation --0.90% likely. That meant Omaniar was over ninety-nine percent sure that it was following them. Omaniar did not like those chances a damn bit. For a time, he remained quietly alert-- scanning the seas and the deep trench they were circling, but there was nothing there. All presence of shadow had gone in a flash.

 "We have to keep moving," he ordered his smaller brother. To the mortal ear, his commands were nothing more than short, simple songs. "If it gets any closer to Stormwind we can report it to..."
 He trailed off. The Watchers? Unbroken? The druids? They had only met the druids once or twice at Anhagath's request, but Omaniar didn't trust them. Orivas, on the other hand, was far too trusting. "We'll report it to whoever," he finished curtly, pushing off and moving upwards. They must have swam several long miles-- neither could sense a thing around them, and it was almost too dark to see. Orivas, who had buried his glowing bracelet, seemed to be absorbing what little light even reached under the far trench. Even after a cleaning. Even after several blessings.

 "What now?" Orivas asked.
 "We watch."
 "For how long?"
 "I don't know yet," Omaniar was gruff and tired. "I don't think it's the daytime. We ought to watch until dawn."

 For a while, they swam, upwards and upwards, until finally, Omaniar felt cold air touching his head. It was cloudy-- likely to Orivas' dismay as he too came above the water. It was dark. The sea was nothing more than vague, rolling shapes carrying them bopping up and down in the water. The overcast sky blotted out any stars and moons. 
 "We could play games," Orivas suddenly suggested. 
 "Later. We need to scout further to see if we can find where that thing went," trilled his brother, shooting off in another direction. He knew Orivas was following-- he could sense him just behind him, keeping up. They dipped under the water, bulleting back down into the dark abyss. Omaniar barely had time to realise he was about to crash into a coral reef before he leered to the left, speeding by.

 Predictably, there was nothing here. Nothing but small animals and rocks and barnacles. He kept moving-- by now, no doubt in Vashj'ir. He could see the vaguest outline of ancient ruins thrown down there in the Sundering, swallowed by the sea and drowning the inhabitants. Or turning them into naga. Which, oddly, didn't seem to be present.

In fact, nothing seemed to be present. Not even-...

 Omaniar came to a halt, slowly. He drifted forward in the water for a few moments before turning. "Orivas?" He called out. There was no reply. Omaniar's first thought was that it was happening again, but he pushed this aside. Orivas was playing games while they were supposed to be hunting. It was not funny. 
 The jellyfish began backtracking, swimming by the ruins and the barnacles and the coral reefs. "Orivas!" He called, a melodic note that drifted through the ocean. There was still no reply. Although it wasn't like Orivas to decide to play games mid-hunt-- hell, he hated them generally, especially hide-and-seek --it wasn't uncommon for him to get wholly distracted by a ship passing by or a school of fish that paused to stare him down. Still, Omaniar sensed nothing.

 "Orivas," he called again. The lack of reply sent more frustration waving through Omaniar's body. Right when he was about to call out a fourth time, he sensed it-- a creature of shadow, nearby. No, no, no, he thought. Not now, not while I'm alone-- where is he? He sped up, his initial thought to try and outrun the damn thing. Just when the second thought struck him-- a realisation of what might have happened --he was too late.
 Omaniar!" A shrill, discordant shriek. At once, Omaniar turned and shot for the sound of his brothers' cries, directly into where the shadow was coming from. In seconds he arrived, but not to what he had expected. This thing was not what they had been hunting. It was larger-- perhaps twice as or even three times as large as they were, as the thing that they had been hunting had been. Had it been empowered, somehow, within mere minutes?

Regardless, he moved forward. He was ready to strike, to try and fight it down. For a moment, Omaniar saw a black tail twisting around Orivas. A flash of teeth, and then all was black. 



When Omaniar came to, he didn't know where he was or what had happened. Flickering black shapes were all he remembered. 

It was lighter, now. Golden light streaked through the ocean from the nearby surface. Daytime-- that meant he must have been out for some time. When Omaniar slowly attempted to right himself, pain shot down his head. Pain that immediately reminded him of the events that had transpired-- of Orivas shouting for aid, of a sea serpent coiling around him, and of Omaniar failing to protect his brother.

Failing. Again.

He promised Orivas it wouldn't happen again. He promised that they'd never be separated again-- not after both of them being alone in the sea for ten thousand long years. Omaniar had been so careful. He stood guard while Orivas spoke to Unbroken and to the druids. How could he screw up this badly? Where the hell had Orivas gone? He'd have to find him-- he'd have to kill everything in his path and he'd have to apologize to his brother.

He'd have to search the sea. He'd have to do it alone.

He should get started.
[Image: 7fb45eac798c64c9a12a2855cd239973.jpg]
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