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[Anathamon] We Dance While the World Ends
#1
((Note: The intention of this story was to develop Anathamon’s character and personality as well as to depict my interpretation of post-Sunwell blood elf society – the decadence of the nobility as they stared death in the face. It is also something of a playful punch at my goth friends.))

Part 1 – Dancing While Our World Ends

The gala event was well underway. It had taken two weeks to clear out the floor of the ballroom itself. Refurbishing the tapestries and carpets had barely begun. The ceiling was gone in most places, charred and ruined, leaving the open sky overhead as some great, painted ceiling.

Ash still rained in through the openings but thanks to a simple spell from Maulviac the dust turned to rose petals that wafted gently downward, blanketing the floor.

Most of the old courtiers had shown up: Ceredee and her constantly changing harem of fawning male suitors. Malice and Vetian sat alone in a corner, a large glass of water in their hands as they regarded the throng. Pernicianne was the center of it all as normal, soaking up and trading choice bits of gossip that had already been soiled by the passing of a dozen different mouths.

Everyone was there because they wanted to be seen. This was the first ball since the destruction of Silvermoon. Anathamon had insisted on reviving his tradition as a show of unity and strength, supporting the new governmental edict to rebuild and continue. The blood elves were on the rebound.

The young blood elf had become all the more a socialite, much to the dual delight and derision of his peers. To be successful as a debutant was to be loved and hated by the same people.

He had spared no expense on this great masquerade, drawing heavily on what remained of his family’s monies. Preparations had been a month in the making as lethargic peons had worked long hours on his demanding specifications. The rest of the manor house remained in ruined shambles, but the ballroom now stood resolute.

Now that the party was assembled it was obvious that many of the old faces were gone. Those that remained looked taunt and frayed as if drawn too thin. Most clothes were stained black with soot and had not been cleaned in ages. Nonetheless, compared to the peasants’ rags it was still finery.

Seated on a reclining couch, Anathamon stared deeply into the eyes of Karlotte. She had a ghostly pale complexion and had obviously shaded her eyes with too much soot. He chewed slowly on a gold berry as they sat in silence. It was quite plain that she was very taken with him.

Anathamon winked slyly, though not to Karlotte as she had assumed, but to a young, half-starved serving girl across the room. The girl’s face erupted in tones of red as she blushed and smile widely at him before returning to her duties, now constantly looking in the young debutante’s direction with hoping eyes.

“Karlotte, my divine dove, you must excuse me.â€
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#2
Part 2 – Anathamon Brighttongue in Spite of Himself

Anathamon Brighttongue had been born the youngest of three sons to the noble Brighttongue family. Not much had been expected of the dapper dressed, well spoken youth: his older brother stood to inherit the manor and all of the family’s holdings. Plisk, his second older brother, had already joined the priesthood, as was expected of many young nobles with no land.

Anathamon was too young to be troubled with such affairs. He passed away the whiles at parties and social events, leaving a swooning flock of young women in his wake. The parties he himself hosted soon became the rage of Silvermoon and their guest lists a whose-who of nobility and fame.

He had fought in his share of duals too – normally over the honor of some young lady (a different one each time) – for he took all of life as a game, be it love or violence. His gala proceedings grew grander and more outlandish as he constantly sought new means to entertain his guests. Rare birds, troll gladiators, goblin bardic troupes, all graced his parties at one time or another.

Even as the armies of the Scourge assaulted the lands of the high elves his frivolities continued. As a landowner, his oldest brother was called to the battlefront where he was duly cut down. It was only when the wolf was at the gate that Anathamon and his courtier put down their wine snifters and took up their swords.

It was too late for them though – the war had been a lost cause from the moment Arthas set his eyes upon the Sunwell. Silvermoon was razed in a night and Anthamon’s manor and all his possession were decimated.

In the aftermath, the young blood elf joined military service in a vain attempt to seek vengeance and satisfaction from the Scourge. He proved both through martial and social service to be an apt officer as the army worked to purge the vestiges of the Scourge invasion from their lands.

After valiantly defending Prince Kael’thas from an attack by a mercenary band of ogres, Anathamon had quickly been promoted into the Royal Guard for Kael, a massive social step for the blood elf. Unfortunately the actions which warranted his promotion also saw him out of action for a time. It was during that time that the Prince was captured and eventual disappeared. Anathamon found himself relegated to policing the streets of Silvermoon with the dwindling army of the blood elves.

The malaise was taking them. One by one they grew tired and despondent. The arcanists deduced that it was an after affect of the destruction of the Sunwell. The addiction reared its ugly head.

Many nobles simply began acquiring enchanted fruits and meats from inherently magical animals. Others began to disenchant collections of family heirlooms as they fought an ever growing hunger. Those that did not soon found themselves driven mad and hunted by their fellows.

Plisk, Anathamon’s remaining brother, took his own life during this time. The Light no longer responded to the pleas of the priesthood and they above all others were thrown into the pits of despair. No god would save them, if there were gods. The blood elves were doomed.

In the face of the wholesale destruction of his people, the Regent Lor’themar Theron encouraged the blood elves to rebuild. Prince Kael’thas would come and they would be saved. It was a valiant attempt to restore the morale of his people. Anathamon sought to reclaim and reconstruct his family home which he had now inherited.

Even as Silvermoon slowly rose again from its ashes its citizens fell into madness and hunger. Magic-starved monstrosities in the shapes of high elves prowled the streets and constructions stopped as the elves finely came to grips with their end.

It was in these last days that Anathamon resurrected his acclaimed parties, more decadent and depraved than ever before. Only a fraction of the old crowd remained and their numbers thinned with every passing week.
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#3
Part 3 – Blood Elves Bleeding Dry
(( I don't know about this chapter... This is how it wrote itself and in hindsight I'm not sure if I like it. It paints the blood elves more as vampires rather than survivors. <shrugs> ))

Procyon returned and fluidly crossed the room to Anathamon. He nodded once.

“Oh goodie,â€
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#4
Part 4 – Savored Savior

(( This part will either be a long time in the writing or will never happen. I don’t like writing transitions because they have no real content… Word comes back from Kael, the blood elves find a new source of magic, morale is restored, the blood elves rebuild, enter the Burning Crusade expansion ))
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#5
Part 5 – The Coming of the Light
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#6
Part 3 is up and a preface to Part 4.
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#7
((I like Anathamon...))
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#8
((I really like this story. I'm looking forward to other installments!))
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