Friday, November 14, 2008

Screaming For Vengeance

Vyprania's Story, Part 1

Seven of us set out from Darkshore to lend our aid to the Alliance. We had been selected by Tyrande Whisperwind herself, in defiance of Archdruid Staghelm, who felt that we should look to our own defence. But the Scourge was battering Lordaeron, and Tyrande felt that we owed it to our new allies to provide what aid we could. We were led by Sandia Lightwing, a captain of the Sentinels. Gallen the druid and Tylla the hunter were our eyes and ears. Crusty old Sergeant Nalise and crafty Dalek provided our sharp edge, and Xalliope was our healer and spiritual leader. Finally, there was me, Vyprania Treemender, barely three-hundred years old and full of youthful confidence.

Our ship dropped anchor off the northern coast of Lordaeron and we were rowed ashore. The sailors were tense and nervous, and departed as quickly as possible. We made our way to the village where we were supposed to make contact with the local defenders. But it was clear that things had gone horribly, horribly wrong. The village was deserted, except for two corpses in the doorway which looked not just mauled, but partially eaten. That night we had our first encounter with ghouls - a small pack which we easily drove off. We would soon learn that this was just the beginning.

Not sure what to do, and with no way to return home, we pushed south, hoping to make contact with survivors. We found towns destroyed by plague, by fires, by invasion. We encountered ghouls, and walking skeletons, and beasts driven mad by foul diseases. And we began to die.

Gallen was our first loss. We were attacked by a swarm of undead, and he was separated from us in the confusion. We tried to fight through to him, but there were too many. We could only watch helplessly as an abomination made of flesh from many people stitched together struck him again and again, overwhelming his bearform strength and crushing his skull. After, we recovered his body and burned it, so that it could not rise and serve the Scourge.

Moonclaw, Tylla's panther, caught the plague and went mad, ripping her throat out before we could stop it. Archers hidden in trees ambushed us, and Xalliope fell immediately. We never found out who his killers were. And Dalek fell under yet another wave of the never ending ghouls – we never did recover his body.

We eventually encountered a band of paladins, members of a new organization called the Scarlet Crusade. They were dedicated to fighting the Scourge and restoring Lordaeron, and we formed common cause. For two months we waged a guerilla war, staging hit-and-run raids on Scourge bases, ambushing their patrols, stealing their supplies. It felt good to finally be performing our original mission. But it was hard. There was almost nothing to eat, for the grain supplies in the towns carried the Scourge, and so many of the animals in the woods were becoming tainted. And I was so tired. We were always on the move, and the opportunities to sleep were few and far between. And when I did sleep, I replayed my friends' horrible deaths, over and over.

And then one night, it happened. The leader of these Scarlet warriors accused us of secretly conspiring against them. Captain Lightwing protested, pointing out how we had fought and bled beside them. But he would not listen, growing angrier and calling us nonhuman monsters. As the argument continued, his troops began to encircle us, their weapons out. Men and women we had thought were our friends! I was shocked and confused. Why was this happening? And then Henrick, a huge, fierce man, smashed her between the shoulders with his big mace. She fell instantly, her neck broken like a twig. "Run!" Narise yelled, and we dashed for the cover of some nearby trees.

And it was there that the final betrayal fell upon us. Nets dropped from the branches, and undead warriors wrenched our weapons from our hands. "Two elves, just as those Crusaders promised," said their leader. "Good. The master will be pleased." And we were thrown, stunned and disbelieving, onto the back of a wagon, trussed up like animals for the slaughter. Something hard struck the back of my head, and everything went black.

I awoke in a dark cell, naked and alone. I was bound to the wall in chains which burned my skin. I could stand or crouch, but no more, and every movement made the chains burn more. I do not know how long I remained there. Sometimes a diseased creature, only barely recognizable as having once been human, would come with a pot of some sort of watery gruel, which it would roughly spoon into my mouth. It tasted foul and I wanted to spit it out, but I was so hungry I swallowed it in spite of myself. I tried to be strong, and wait patiently for an opportunity to escape, but the utter hopelessness of it all was too much to deny. It became harder to tell when I was awake and when I was asleep, for the nightmares and hallucinations at any time. And one day I could no longer take it, but collapsed, sobbing and shaking uncontrollably until I was completely drained. And still my chains burned.

The next day He came. A huge man, with power emanating from him in waves. His eyes burned with a cold blue fire. Arthas, he said his name was. And He offered me release. Release from the physical pain. Release from the pain of memory and failure and despair. Release from he nightmares. All I had to do was to serve Him.

One last spark of defiance rose in me, and I spat out a dwarvish curse I had often heard Sergeant Narisse often use. He laughed. “But I have not yet told you the best part of my offer,” His deep voice rumbled. “I will also offer you the opportunity for vengeance. Upon those who betrayed you. Those who ran away instead of supporting you in your war. Those who sent you and your friends off to die.”

With those words, my defiance died. Yes. Vengeance. They must pay, for what had happened to me, and the Captain, and Xalliope, and all the rest. I would make them pay. I looked into those blue eyes, and nodded.

I could feel his mind reach out to me. And then I was falling, falling into blackness....

I awoke, and the pain was gone. I was standing, unchained, clad in armor. Ready to take my vengeance.
I was a Death Knight.

15 comments:

James said...

OK, that was friggin' awesome.

Chris said...

Very nice.

Khol Drake said...

Most excellent tale...

Mmmm...sweet, sweet vengeance...

Anonymous said...

That was awesome, Great story

Misneach said...

Freaking awesome.

Nicely done.

Aboo said...

Seco... thir... well wtf-ever. Very nice story! Encore, encore!

sonvar said...

Very nice can't wait for the continuation

Dradis said...

You never cease to amaze, Ratters!

Basil said...

/applaud

Avonar said...

That was pure win. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

Sequel, sequel! *cheer*

//Kamillah

Axeminster said...

Well said sir!

Anonymous said...

All he has to do now is make a new one for when he breaks free from the Lich King. I swear that story line was one of the best Blizz came up with.

Kinzlayer said...

BRAVO!!! I have been itching to start my DK but I really want to have the time to actually enjoy her so I'm holding off still so once my Kinzlayer and Haman get their flight back, I'm so there.

Thanks Rats, great story.

Jahlive2g said...

Felt some goosbumbps rising up. 8)
Wicked Tale my friend!