A Cold Coming ((Preservation from Umbral GuildPortal))

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A Cold Coming ((Preservation from Umbral GuildPortal))

Post by Vivimord » Mon Nov 30, 2015 7:02 am

((Originally posted by Honnete.))

To a casual eye, the Plaguelands appear empty of all but the undead. Scourge mill aimlessly around in the ruined fields, or shamble through a parody of life in their old towns and villages.

Yet there is life even here. Beasts and demons prowl. Fish swim in the rivers and lakes. Herbs grow. For one determined to avoid others, there is enough for subsistence. There are shadows deep and dark enough to hide in, places where the Scarlet foothold in the land does not stretch. Places where the undead do not venture either. One such was known as Absolution, once. Now it is deserted, the tower and the campground showing no trace of the hundreds who lived there… died there…. rose again there at the will of the Plaguefather.

The elven woman searching Absolution does not know what she is looking for. An observer would note that her skin is pale, far paler than is usual for an elf, her green hair lank and lifeless. Her eyes burn with an unholy flame, and she whispers beneath her breath. “Not here, no. No clue where he has gone, no clue to find him. North, only, north. But that means being among people again….”

Perhaps she would have found enough resolution to return to the human lands, to take ship from Stormwind. Perhaps she might even have regained some of her memory. But she was not alone, nor unobserved. The minions of the Lich King recognised one who would be easy to seduce to their cause, one who might even be partially theirs already. They had been watching her for days, and had already made one attempt to take her, only to be foiled when she threw dust in their eyes and vanished. Here, she was vulnerable, though. They had only to wait until she rolled herself in her bedding for the night, and she would be easy prey.

She cried out as they took her prisoner, a wail of anguish and despair. But her voice caught in her throat as they dragged her before her new Master. Arthas. The Lich King. Even a young elf like herself had heard of him, though she had never thought to meet him face to face. Never desired to. Nor to feel his voice inside her head, battering her mind like a sandcastle crumbling away before the oncoming tide. It did not take long for him to storm her will completely. She bowed her head to murmur: “I serve you, Master. I will suffer gladly.”

The Lich King had recruited many, and she was only one. The elf’s facial markings were almost completely bleached away by undeath, and only a very keen observer could have made them out. Her pointed ears showed her to be an elf, so she was sent to serve alongside the blood elves.

She does not mix with her fellows, and she has no memory of her past. She listens only to the commands in her mind. “All that lives must die. Yes, Master.”

Until the day when she is sent to kill a special prisoner. The blood elf she has been sent to slaughter means nothing to her, the creature’s voice mere babbling. Another prisoner speaks: “Deanathrae!” The elf turns to face the night elf prisoner, dull wonder rising in her that this living creature knows her name. The woman speaks urgently. “Do you not remember me, Deanathrae? When you were a child your mother would leave you in my care while she served at the Temple of the Moon. I held you in my arms and fed you with honey and sheep’s milk to calm you until she returned. You were my little angel. Blasted Scourge. What have they done to you, Deanathrae?” Memories rise, swimming slowly through her mind. Indeed, she does remember this woman. “Yazmina?” she gasps.

Yazmina continues. “You must remember the splendour of life! Listen to me, Deanathrae. It’s too late for me, the best you can give me is a quick death. But you….You must fight against the Lich King's control. He is a monster that wants to see this world - our world - in ruin. Don't let him use you to accomplish his goals. You were once a hero and you can be again. Fight, damn you! Fight his control!”

Deanathrae nods, slowly, and raises Terminus. Yazmina shall have the quick death she has asked for, before the Knight Commander comes in. The rest of the prisoners will burn, and that is a pity, but there is no time to give them all the blade of surcease. “You are a cold-blooded monster, sister”, says Thassarian, and salutes her. He doesn’t know the half of it. From that day, Deanathrae no longer hears the Lich King’s voice. Her heart and mind are armoured, encased in ice.

She goes where she is told, fights as she has told to fight. No use in letting the Lich King know she has her will again. Eventually there will be a time when she can leave, and fight the Scourge, but that time is not yet. She watches the Scarlets pack up and set sail for Northrend, all the while unknowing that they are serving Death rather than the Light they claim to follow. She watches as the Lich King’s forces assault Light’s Hope Chapel – and as they are repulsed. She is among the first to kneel beside Darion Mograine and beg for forgiveness from Highlord Fordring. Inwardly, she laughs. Her death has come full circle, from one kind of Absolution to another. She has forgiven Uthas for the death he sent her. After all, what was there for her in her old life? A husband she had not even remembered for months, who had surely long since found another. Friends who have left the world. Friends who still remain, but surely do not remember her after she has been so long absent. She doesn’t know how long she spent under the command of the Lich King, but it was certainly months at least. Perhaps years.

No, she must make a place for herself as a Knight of the Ebon Blade. A Knight who remembers none of the Common she once spoke fluently, and who must now make herself understood in a mixture of halting Thalassian and broken orcish. A Knight who cannot hide herself from view, as she would want to. The grace and swiftness she once had is gone, replaced by stiffness and cold. These days her hands are not deft enough to pick pockets – when she tried, once, the creature (“living being”, she reminds herself) turned and attacked her. It felt natural to raise Terminus and strike the creature down. Natural to allow her own internal chill to flow forth and embrace her enemy. In the end, it hadn’t been clear whether it was the cold or the sword that killed the…the living being. Still, it was dead, and at peace. She closed its eyes tenderly, then took what she wanted from its pockets.

Her first stop among these new beings was Orgrimmar. She had been sent to pay her respects to Thrall, to offer the Knights as allies. Darion thought she had been a hero of the Horde in her old life, and she hadn’t corrected him. There was perhaps some purpose to the mistake that had put her with the blood elves. After all, she had often been reviled as a traitor or Horde sympathiser. Perhaps she belonged with them now.

In her old life, she had visited Orgrimmar once or twice, but she had never gone as far as Thrall’s chambers. The city was not safe for an elf. Indeed, it didn’t seem safe now, either. Guards spat on her and called her “monster”. Some even pelted her with rotten fruit, or threatened to hang her. She walked slowly, warily, one hand on Terminus’ hilt, expecting a more tangible attack any minute. But none came. Perhaps these Horde were more restrained than she had thought? More willing to tolerate the undead, at least. She couldn’t have walked unmolested through an Alliance city, she knew, not as she was now. The guards would do more than throw rotten fruit. Probably her once-friends would, too.

The Warchief’s presence – his sheer charisma – stunned her. If she’d known, she’d have abandoned the Alliance long ago. Its leaders were weak. A boy king, a conceited druid, a gnome obsessed by his lost kingdom and a dwarf obsessed with his lost daughter. THIS was a leader one could follow! She knelt as she offered the letter from Highlord Fordring. Thrall opened and scanned it quickly. His shout rang out across Orgrimmar. “Horde, hear the call of your Warchief! Today marks the first of many defeats for the scourge! Death Knights, once in the service of the Lich King, have broken free of his grasp and formed a new alliance against his tyranny! You will welcome these former heroes of the Horde and treat them with the respect that you would give to any ally of Orgrimmar!” He finished with a yell of: “For the Horde!” that Deanathrae found herself echoing. She had entered the Warchief’s chambers a member of the Scourge, a hidden night elf mistakenly in the midst of Orgrimmar. She left walking proudly, a respected ally of the Horde.
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Re: A Cold Coming ((Preservation from Umbral GuildPortal))

Post by admin » Mon Nov 30, 2015 3:26 pm

((Do you remember who wrote this one originally?))
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Re: A Cold Coming ((Preservation from Umbral GuildPortal))

Post by Vivimord » Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:29 pm

((Ah, yes! Honnete. I knew I'd forget to put in who something was posted by eventually.

Thanks for catching it!))
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Re: A Cold Coming ((Preservation from Umbral GuildPortal))

Post by Honnete » Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:17 am

{{And it's background for Deanathrae.}}
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