Under the olive canopies of Terokkar, between the rolling emerald plains of Nagrand and the turgid turquoise swamps of Zangarmarsh and the darkened, bleeding and guttering Shadowmoon, lies a city of Light. Cradled within a natural basin, the low lying Shattrath hosts many different peoples from all around. Impoverished refugees and worn veterans and macabre creatures correlate hungrily under the Outland's many moons every weekday; the clergy of the Aldor would come out to do their charity rounds at seven o'clock. With a large ladel, a cup and a tanker full of turbid amber soup, the priests would feed the swarms of Lower City dwellers.
Tuesday was no different to any other weekday, and yet Friar Hodges seemed to be neglecting the charity round in spite of himself. A balding scalp with an enclave of frosty white hair leaned over a stack of papers, giving the impression of a small, wise, antiquated and timelost Arathi boulder. Though a human - one of those who fought with Turalyon in the Invasion of Draenor, no less - the Friar was as accepted as an Aldor than a draenei was. It was often that he would read into ignorance; stuffed up in the confines of the small study that he had filled with a morass of paraphernalia from lives once forgotten and lives forged anew. His age-spotted and wrinkly hands had built a number of shelves to around the office, and with his memories he had decorated: Large stone "L"s littered the shelf tops and the sacred sigil of the Holy Church gathered dust. Sat beside these memories were fresh thoughts: Aldor scrolls and draenei statuettes.
All symbols and relics of what the old wizened man used to be, and used to espouse, as well as the new fervent passions. Though the old memories existed within the antiquated parts of the Friar's cerebellum and nothing more; the thoughts and sentiments had been washed in a cold deluge of new ideas and epiphanies. Lordaeron, whisk; the Church of the Holy Light, whisk; his entire youth, whisk. All that mattered now was the truth of the Naaru's Light, and though he supported the Church, he did not think he could return to the old ways. He had learned so much yet the proportion of learning and time did not add up in Draenor - this world of alien principles and natural laws.
Such was the reason for his unexpected absence at the charity event; his frail and trembling hand held within it a soft but stained birch coloured stack of parchment*. A report from one of Hodges' witch doctor agents which, under the scrutinising of the Friar's precipitously balanced spectacles, revealed things to the Friar that were both astounding and nonsensical. Owing to the advanced knowledge of archaic magic the Lost One witch doctor had, this particular witch doctor had interpreted the dreams of the Friar's understudy into a lurid picture. Although the Friar did not enjoy the contact with such dark magic, this was a case of dire need.
*The parchment showed a picture; a place alien to all laws of nature, of magic, of existence. A mockery world. Shapes of concavity merged seamlessly into cusps of convexity. It also appeared to Hodges - somehow - that there were vibrations on the air. As if sound was now visible. They made skinny, yet corpulent shapes as their wave-like forms stretched out against the nonsensical architecture; a horrible canvas for the profane painting of what Hodges hoped was a false world. But nothing made his skin crawl more than the word etched across the floor in some kind of lambent mucus: "Echo."
His understudy, a trainee dwarf priest, had gone to investigate what was reportedly an uprising in arakkoa activity in Shadowmoon - just east of Wildhammer Stronghold. He had gone with a party of Wildhammers (many of whom were his kin, Hodges understood) and had returned with nought - companions all assumed dead - but a broken mind of dreams and images that didn't make any sense to the Friar, but made all sense to the poor dwarf. However, what intrigued Hodges was that the Lost One had also been affected by these thoughts. The reason behind the lucid portrayal of what the dwarf priest had seen was that this dark, demoniac vision had manifested itself in the witch doctor.
In a fit of dervish rage gifted to the witch doctor through the contagious dark epiphany, he had slain the dwarf priest by strangling him in one the priest's uneasy sleeps - Sha'tari peacekeepers arrested and began questioning the witch doctor: The story of the dwarf and his company had been revealed... well, vaguely. It is not understood how and why the witch doctor knew the story of the dwarves' fate, let alone the names of the dwarves and their appearance.
They had gone east of Wildhammer Hold when one of the dwarves, Dalin (allegedly), had slipped from one of the precarious hillocks and into a luminous mucus-like sludge. It was green as jade and when the rest of the dwarves ran down to the aforementioned sludge below, the vision of the malformed world had attacked all of them. All the Lost One could say is that most of the dwarves ran into the pool and he (the interrogators picked up on his erroneous thoughts of actually being there instead of the dwarf priest who was actually there) ran away only to be accosted by arrakoa. The strange thing was that the dwarf priest (who the witch doctor impersonated) turned up at Hodges' office a few days later. The Lost One would not say what happened in the intervening period with the arrakoa.
The story ends there, Friar Hodges concluded, standing up calmly from his desk. His robes skirted and whipped the dusty floor beneath him as he went to get his cloak. Picking up the travelling cloak and fastening it to his robe, he took another look towards the parchment.
The anchorites, who had come up to inquire about his absence at the charity round, only found his office ruined with no trace of the old Friar; all memorabilia of draenei and human origin was smashed, though there sat the parchment. Echo.