Part 3: Screaming for Justice
Once I had been accepted as a Death Knight, I was shown how to reforge an ordinary weapon into a powerful runeblade. It felt good in my hands, just as my Arcanite Champion had in my former life. And then I was instructed to use it.
In a pit were a number of failed Death Knights – men and women who had accepted Arthas' offer just as I had, but who had proven unworthy to receive the Master's blessing. I was to chose one, release it from its chains, provide it with armor and a weapon, and then defeat it in fair combat. In the pit I saw a dwarf woman, and a human man, and even to my surprise an Eredar. All were bound with the same burning chains as I had once been. Most were subdued, quietly awaiting their fate, but one gnome was repeatedly hurling himself forward to the chains' limit, howling with rage and pain. And then I saw him. Dalek, my former companion, who had disappeared under a wave of ghouls.
He too had been brought to this citadel. He too had been offered the opportunity to exact vengeance upon those who had abandoned us to our fate. And he had failed. Contempt and anger flared in my heart. His failure was just one more betrayal. Yes, this one, this failure, would be my choice upon whom I would prove my worthiness. I unlocked his chains with the key I had been given, and tossed armor and weapons at his feet. “Defend yourself, weakling,” I ordered him.
Dalek looked up at me. “Vyprania? So, they got to you. Well, I'm getting out of here. You can help me, stay out of my way, or ...” he eyed my blade, pointed at his heart. “Die!”
He was fast, and a more experienced fighter than me, and managed to cut me badly several times. But the powers my Master had given me allowed me to wrap him in chains of ice, and flay his soul with shadow magic, and then I severed his sword arm at the elbow. He collapsed to his knees, staring up at me. I brought my sword down, and it was over. As I walked back to Instructor Razuvious, I licked the splattered blood from my lips, and thought that nothing had ever tasted so sweet.
Having proved my worth, I was soon sent into the field under the command of Darion Mograine. He used us Death Knights to disrupt the enemy, tearing past the Scarlet Crusade's fortifications on our deathchargers and sowing terror and panic in the lands to the rear. These farmers and peasants were innocents, worthy of protection. Instead, they had allied themselves with the Crusade, and thus willingly made themselves my enemies. Some stood and fought bravely, some tried to flee, but it did not matter. I remember one woman tried to appeal to my sense of pity: “If you kill me, you make orphans of my children.” I laughed, grabbed her by the throat with my mailed hand and pulled her to me. “Do not worry about your precious ones,” I whispered. “Our ghouls will be eating their brains before nightfall.” Then I flung her to the ground and ran my blade through her heart.
The war continued, and we pushed and harried the Crusade back. We disrupted their mining operations, set up plague cauldrons outside their cities, intercepted their couriers. Once, I managed to infiltrate the harbor at Light's Point and turn the big deck guns on the soldiers assembled on the beach below. I fired that gun until the barrel glowed red and the sands were soaked with their blood.
Soon we had penetrated the walls of New Avalon itself, last bastion of the Crusade in eastern Lordaeron. I personally penetrated the town hall and executed the mayor. Then, I unleashed my powers on the townsfolk who had gathered to demand that he save them from the Scourge. What fools! I could hear their blood singing in my ears as I cut through them, raising their bodies as ghouls to do my bidding. It was glorious.
But, as the city burned around me, I was given one more assignment. The Crusaders had a number of prisoners from some new organization, Argent Dawn. Most had died, but a few yet lived. Knight Commander Plaguefist had saved them for me to execute, as a reward for my outstanding service to the Master. One particularly feisty night elf, he said, ought to be especially enjoyable. Pleased that my superiors thought so highly of me, I drew my sword and strode into the prison house, only to stop dead in my tracks.
The night elf prisoner was Sergeant Nalise, who had been captured at the same time as me. What could she possibly be doing in an Argent Dawn uniform?
“Come to finish the job have you? I's like to stand for … Vyprania? Is it you? Fucking Scourge, what have they done to you? I barely managed to escape with my life that night, but if I had known what they would do I never would have left you there. Oh, little one, I am so sorry.”
I stood there, mute, uncomprehending, unable to think or act. My head was filled with voices, arguing with each other, confusing me, blinding me like a fog.
“You must remember the splendor of life, my sister. You were a champion of the Kaldorei once! This isn't you! Listen to me, Vyp. 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!”
Outside, I could hear the Commander, wanting to know what was taking so long.
"There... There's no more time for me. I'm done for. Finish me off, Vyp. Do it or they'll kill us both. Vyp... Remember Teldrassil. Remember our mission. Remember hope. There are still those who will help you. Find them!"
The voices on my head grew louder. "Kill! Mercy! Obediance! Loyalty! Vengeance! Justice! Blood!" I felt trapped, confused, uncertain - feelings I had not felt in years.
She raised her chin defiantly, and her voice cut through the fog in my head. "Do it, Vyprania. Put me out of my misery.”
And I did, severing her head with one swift blow and leaving it in the dirt next to her body. As I walked out of the prison house, the Knight -Commander said to me, "You're one cold blooded monster, Vyprania. I salute you, sister." I could taste Nalise's blood on my lips, where it had spattered across my face. And it did not taste good at all.