Faith Betrayed

A young Night Elf priestess comes face-to-face with the most difficult decision of her life, endangering the lives of all she holds dear.

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2. Meeting with the Queen

When Siralen entered Queen Azshara’s room, she blinked. The space was larger than the priestesses’ quarters in the temple, and was perfectly luxurious in every possible way. Long, elegant veils of thinly woven cloth hung here and there within the room. The very floor was covered over entirely with exotic furs. The largest bed Siralen had ever seen was set against the wall, a canopy of translucent purple silk hanging over it.

 

Azshara was sitting at her dresser, studying herself in the mirror. Set before her were various bottles of perfumes, creams, and ointments. Whatever she required was there for her use at all times. Beside the dresser was a marble table set with a mélange of cakes, pastries and creams of every sort, as well as a bejeweled flagon filled with the richest wine.

 

“Come nearer, Siralen.”

 

As Siralen came closer, Azshara began brushing her long, straight silver hair, never once removing her gaze from herself. She cocked her head to the side, and narrowed her golden eyes as she stared at herself almost meditatively. “Would you say that your Queen is as beautiful as Elune, Siralen?”

 

The question shocked her. She was so utterly taken aback that for a while she stood in complete silence, unable to speak a word.

 

“Well?”

 

At first she started stammering, unsure of how to respond. “I believe you are supremely beautiful, Light of Lights.”

 

“Would you say that I am also equally worthy of reverence?”

 

“Majesty, please, I…I cannot answer such questions!”

 

Azshara’s face grew hard. “You revere High Priestess Dejahna, don’t you?”

 

“I…I very much look up to her. I don’t think I would be who I am today were it not for her teachings.”

 

Suddenly, Azshara slammed her hairbrush onto the dresser, toppling bottles over and rattling vanity items out of their proper places. Siralen jumped at the queen’s reaction. Azshara then turned around to look at her. A fire was burning in her widened eyes, a red-hot glow that was greatly disquieting.

 

“So you’re telling me that I made a mistake in choosing you to be High Priestess?”

 

Siralen’s heart began to beat faster, and her breathing grew more intense. “No! I count it a sincere honor to be High Priestess, and to have been chosen by you!”

 

“Then you must never again permit Dejahna to make such a display as she did today in the temple!” Azshara’s ire was so great that she nearly seethed. For the slightest moment, her perfectly beautiful visage was fearsome to behold.

 

After a few moments of silence had passed, Azshara regained her cool composure and sighed. “Listen, Siralen.” She stood and crossed over to where Siralen was standing, and then embraced her. “Dejahna is just jealous of your position and authority, because you have earned my favor. As High Priestess, you must regard her as your equal. No…as less than your equal, because you have my favor!”

 

Azshara lowered her gaze and raised her eyebrows. She shook her head as she remarked, “I wouldn’t be surprised if she somehow tried to take all of this away from you.”

 

All of this was hard for Siralen to process. Yet Azshara’s words somehow were ringing true in her heart. Perhaps Dejahna was expressing some envy over her quick accession. Siralen felt a great churning in her stomach, a terrible uneasiness for which she had no explanation. Dejahna’s cutting words in the temple were playing repeatedly in her mind. All she wanted to do now was crawl into a corner and escape from all of it.

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