Thursday, September 16, 2010

Vyprania's Story: Endgame

dark .... very dark .... is it night time? .... where are the stars? ....

I'm cold .... so cold .... that's not right .... I never feel cold ....

Pain .... hurts .... not good .... like being on fire .... but cold .... can fire be cold? .... don't want to move ... need to .... need ....

I'm supposed to be doing something .... what is it? .... is it important? .... Arthas .... must .... kill .... Arthas .... soon .... get up soon .... just need to rest a minute first ....

Where are the voices? .... They .... they tell me what to do .... whom to kill .... how to serve justice .... I can hear them, but .... quiet .... mumbling .... far away .... muffled .... can't understand what they want me to do .... maybe I'll rest a minute .... and then they will come back .... yes .... rest ....

I hear footsteps .... coming towards me .... quick, light, soft steps .... like a child ....

"Jessika! Keredria!" It's Buns. Cute little, wisecracking, soul-devouring Buns. Hi Buns. "Get over here! Now! I think she's still alive!"

I hear more footsteps now, running. All around me .... and voices ....

"How did she-?"
"Stay back - give her air!"
"Her eyes! Sweet Elune, what happened to-?"
"Vyp! Vyp, can you hear-?"
"Will she-?"
"By the Light, that's bad, very bad."

Someone knelt down beside me and took my hand in hers. Even through my armored gauntlets the contact was comforting - I felt less alone, less isolated. Why couldn't I see anything?

"Vyprania, it's Jessika. Can you you hear me? Hang in there, kid. Nicolause and K are here, and they're gonna fix you up good as new."

Everyone was here, standing around me .... did that mean ....? "jess..." I whispered. I did not recognize my voice - it was weak and dry and raspy and dead, so very dead. The voice of an ancient mummy. And it hurt so much to talk. But, I had to know. ".... did .... we ...."

"We did, Vyp. Arthas is dead. It was damn close, and I thought it was over when I tripped and fell. But you saved my ass, charging in like you did and getting his attention off of me. You bought us time. That made all the difference, those few seconds. Bravest thing I ever saw."

".... fool .... didn't .... care .... you .... only .... wanted .... kill .... "

She gripped my hand tighter. "Still counts, kid. Still counts. Now keep quiet, and let our healers do their job."

I could hear Keredria's leaves and branches rustling furiously, as if blown by a strong wind. I could hear Nicolause chanting, beseeching his formless god. But I felt nothing. No warm glow, no renewed vigor, no easing of the pain. It wasn't working, I could tell.

"I am afraid there is nothing you can do for her", a new voice spoke up. "She has been deep in the Shadow for a long time, for years, and the Defile has thoroughly penetrated every cell of her body. The Light cannot reach her, brother, nor can Elune, sister druid. Even if A'dal himself were to come here, I fear it would beyond him to save her."

Tirion? Tirion had always believed in us death knights, ever since the day he saved us at Light's Hope. He had spoken for us to his own paladins, to the Alliance, to the Horde. He had treated the Ebon Blade as equals, when no one else would. And now he was abandoning me.

The Light does not abandon its champions.

A'dal had said this, when he took up the soul of Crusader Brindenbrad, out on the glaciers of Icecrown. The Naaru could not save his dying body, but it could end his suffering, and grant him eternal bliss. But Death Knight Vyprania is not Crusader Brindenbrad, is she? I brought the Scourge to the last living city of Lordaeron, with fire and terror and rape and slaughter. I embraced evil, and revelled in it. I murdered my own friends! No, Tirion was right. I was too far gone. It was time to end it.

Only one task remained. ".... jessika ...." My whisper was even fainter than before.

"I'm here, Vyp. What is it?"

".... tell .... Tryande .... tell .... Sentinels .... mission .... com .... plete .... ed ....."

She was silent for a moment. Debating how to respond, maybe. "All right, Sentinel Vyprania," she said at last. "I will tell them."

I could hear them talking for a while longer, but I could not understand anymore. It was becoming too soft, too far away. Eventually, the voices of my companions faded away completely. The voices in my head faded away too, and then I was alone in the darkness.



Except for the boy.

Matthias Lehner was different somehow. The calm dispassionate child who had led me across Icecrown, revealing vague hints and maddening clues about Arthas' past was now nervous, wide-eyed, weak. Vulnerable.

"I know who you are now, don't I?" I asked him.

"Yes, you do, Vyprania," he replied, looking up at me.

I thought for a moment, looking into his face. Then I sat down, my eyes now at the same level as his.

"It's all right," I said at last. "I think I understand."

I wondered why I could see again. I wondered why I wasn't dying anymore, even though I was still in pain. I wondered where I was.

After a while, he spoke. "Vyprania. I want to go home. But I don't know the way."

"So would I, Matthias. So would I."

Could I go home? Would Elune allow me to return? I had sinned against her, against the world, most horribly. If there was a way home - for either of us - it would be long and hard. But I remembered the story Priestess Celyse had told me when I was a little girl. The story of the prodigal daughter, who had destroyed all her family had done for her, but when she came home again, poor and broken, they had accepted her and loved her, and Elune blessed them for it. Maybe Elune would accept me and love me too, if only I could find my way home.

I peered into the darkness. Shadows flitted across shadows. Silent whispers taunted me. Blind eyes watched my movements. But there, over there, something, maybe, ....

"Matthias, I think I see a path, over this way. Maybe it will take us home."

"It looks scary over there." The shadows flitted faster, looming, reaching.

"Yes, it does. I think it looks very scary. But maybe, if we stick together, we can get through it."

I stood up, and reached out with my hand. He took it, and together we started down the path.



 Vyprania's Story :

24 comments:

Liz said...

/bow

Thank you for that series. It was amazing. I love everything you write, but this was especially elegant. Brilliant.

louee said...

/sob sniffle

Josh said...

As always, Ratters, great writing. I enjoyed the Vyp storyline.

Jezrael said...

Beautiful! Brought a tear to the eye. More please!

Skraps said...

I would so buy this compiled into a small book/comic something like that.

I'm trying to figure out a way to get my wife to read it without her figuring out it is related to WoW.

tikesbestfriend said...

That was really well done.

Thanks Ratters.

Tim

Orvillius@Coilfang said...

Ratters... that was beautiful. I will read anything you write with pleasure.

Kayeri said...

::sniffling and drying my eyes yet again:: that was beautiful and extraordinary and both satisfying yet tiny bit disappointing in that we are only seeing the hope of the redemption she wants rather than seeing her achieve it.

I loved it... :)

Thank you

StaggerLee said...

Bravo Mr. Ratshag - Bravo!

Sephrenia said...

Reading things like this take the game to a whole new level. Wonderful, thank you Ratters.

Anonymous said...

That was wonderful, and I'm glad Vyp may find redemption, but the image that has stayed with me is K "rustling furiously" and not being able to help. I'm traumatised, I tell you.

Keredria said...

Yay! Vyp Kingslayer!

Yes, I'm a little devastated that my rustling of leaves and branches couldn't do anything... but I'll get over it.

Sedna said...

You made me cry at my desk.

Oh, Vyp. Oh, Ratters. This is beautiful. Thank you.

Linedan said...

Absolutely awesome.

koalabear said...

I teared up and got goosebumps.

Thank you for a wonderful ending.

/cheer

Kayeri said...

One thing finally occurred to me...

Who's going to take care of Vyp's bunny? That little creature brought her such comfort, it deserves a good home...

Anonymous said...

Even though I don't play WoW anymore, I still love reading your blog.

Bravo on a great series.

Taconite of Thrall

Julie said...

I really do have the best husband, this is only one of the many validations of that statement.

devotchka said...

Loved the whole series; wonderfully told, wonderfully written. Made me feel like crying more than once.

Anonymous said...

I have been playing and reading about WoW since vanilla. I can honestly say one of my favorite parts of the WoW universe has been reading your writings about it.

Thank you for making this game that much more enjoyable.

Nkm said...

Wow Vyp, that was pretty amazing. It's an honor to have been there with you for that kill.

Kusamoto said...

The scope and majesty of this tale are truly humbling. Vyprania's Tale should be required reading for any aspiring fantasy/sci-fi writer. Not so much in mechanics or settting, but in engagement, belivability of dialogue, and realism of the action. Well done, Sir.

Dominium said...

I love your stories. You should write a book and make some $$ off it :D
Checkout my new WoW blog www.wowdistrict.blogspot.com

Tracey said...

Thank you for writing this. I may never get to play through the in-game events, but you let me experience the story, which is even more important to me. Unbelievable writing - brought me to tears more than once. I hope Vyp finds her way...