Block 2

Entry # 19 — Valiance Keep

On patrol, I had been told to watch for nerubians, as if anyone needed to tell me about that; I had a bit of an axe to grind with a particular one, the one that killed me.

I saw it…And a group of its buddies.

“Get your undead tail over here, coward!” I yelled as I rushed them. “Die like you should have!”

The nerubian was not pleased to hear that voice and ordered its friends to attack. I had to say that the fight was a lot easier than I last remembered. Perhaps my being raised as a Death Knight had increased my overall strength and survivability; whatever the reason, I had just that nerubian left, standing in a circle of remains that were previously its friends. I sheathed my blade and sucker punched the nerubian hard. It went down pretty handily.

“Talk, I want to know why I was targeted. I want to know now, corpse.”
“Like I’d tell you, corpse.”
“Big mistake,” I warned as I snapped an arm off of the creature.
“OOOOWWWWWWWWW!!!”
“Second chance, why was I targeted?”
“Never,” it said painfully.
“You like pain, don’t you? Good for me,” I said as I snapped a leg off this time. “Talk, and I may let you live.”
“Never!”

So the pattern continued until it had two legs left and an arm. I asked again.

“Why was I targeted?”
“I give up!” it yelled painfully. “You were betrayed my a minion of my master masquerading inside the Valiance Expedition! I don’t know his name! I swear!”

Disgustedly, I lopped off its head with a clean sword slice. Betrayed, I repeated mentally. By someone on the inside. How many others were done the same way?

I continued my patrol of the area pondering why anyone would betray fellows like that. Perhaps time would tell. I had to get back in contact with Thassarian; perhaps he knew something I didn’t. Or we would discover something we both did not know at all…

Returning to the Keep, I had taken great pains to wash the blood from my armor. The nerubian blood was quite a mess to clean up at times. I learned that the hard way the first time here. Eventually, I would solve the mystery behind my betrayal, but it wasn’t today.

Entry # 23 — Darnassus/Winterspring

I had to see home once more. The Frozen North felt good, but there was nothing quite like returning to the Temple of the Moon for my meditations or the quiet comfort of Darnassus itself. As I wondered the city, I was summoned by Tyrande herself, again. She had been doing a lot of that lately; maybe she was concerned that I wouldn’t fully recover my former self and took the time to remind me of it. Whatever the reason, I answered the summons and kneeled before her before standing up again.

“You’ve been very busy lately, Pleiadia. That was always your weakness; you never knew how to stop and relax when you were alone.”
“Your point, Tyrande?”
“Go back to Winterspring and take time to do exactly that.”
“You won’t budge on this one, huh, Tyrande?”
“I will not. Go.”
“Very well, I shall take my leave then.”

So I took my leave to Winterspring, to the house I lived in near Frostsaber Rock. It had taken a bit of a beating, so I decided that the best way to relax would be to actually refurbish the place again, be a homemaker…I began with the small outdoor pond, then some parts of the outer window sills…I suddenly realized that I felt hungry.

“I need some meat,” I said lowly.

I took out my bow and arrows from the still undisturbed chest, pulled out the leather hunter tunic, boots, and pants, and changed out my two hand sword for a dagger. I was ready to hunt once more. Apparently, I still had the touch; I brought down a bear at fifty yards with a single bow shot. I proceeded to skin it for a new bear rug, seeing as the old one was not in the best of shapes, and lopping off parcels of meat for future use. Whatever remained, I placed those parts near the sabers for them to feast on. Strangely, this single act did something very odd. Those sabers bowed their heads toward me and feasted. I could read their actions; I was one of them now. I could feel my feral nature returning, though obviously modified in undeath; I felt ‘alive’ again, like the Huntress I was during the Third War….

Charging into battle on the back of a Nightsaber, flinging glaives at my foes, reveling in the combat that it reminded me of…It felt good. These sabers saw that returning within me. That was what Tyrande wanted; she wanted the old me back, the feral warrior that swooped in mounted with tooth and claw and steel, the feral warrior that knew how to relax after she got the hint…

Tyrande wanted that back. So did another being. Through the mists of snow, I saw a striped nightsaber approach. Two glaives mounted on either side of it, but riderless. It took a moment to realize what this was. When I went to Northrend, I had to leave behind Nightpaw, my original mount. She would have never made it up there.

“Nightpaw?”

A growl of recognition, a lick in the face, a purr…She was back. I hugged her hard and never let go for a minute or two.

I finally got it; I had to be return to the nature that was always there. Now that I could let it loose a bit, I decided it wasn’t too bad to just revel in the shear glory of combat. Sometimes, it was its own reward.

Entry # 30 — Dream Entry # 7

Some dreams I have had are not so pleasant, but this particular one was very disturbing, but also enlightening to a degree. I had died, I was raised up as this being I am now, but I was not in any person’s thrall. I was, for lack of a better word, completely rabid. Seething hatred had completely taken hold of me, and not even the Scourge wanted a piece of that quite yet. It had been four days when the lich finally decided to show up. I charged at the bars of the cell and tried to rip the being apart, only to be stopped by the bars. If they were not there, I would have succeeded.

“Calm yourself, Night Elf. You are no use to anyone in this state.”
“Either let me out, or you’ll continue to see dead bodies around this cell, lich,” I said with a hiss.
“That will not do either.”

Amal’thazad cast a spell on me, causing the hatred to cease, even if it was temporarily. I was scared now; I had seen the damage with my own eyes.

“You are quite the specimen, Sentinel-Captain; savagery and butchery both are in a compact form. Frozen wrath is borne in you quite well. I shall teach you to channel your hate so that you can remain as now, calm and focused.”
“And in exchange for what?”
“You’ll find out. Shall we begin?”
“Not much choice if I want out of this stinking cell,” I said with dismay.

The lich nodded; this much was true. An out of control Death Knight was worse than a Death Knight that wanted out of the thrall of the Lich King. It wasted resources…

I learned the spell, and quietly recited it myself the rest of the day. It did its job. I was calmer, a bit more conducive to being led around by the nose, but still mostly in control of how. Amal’thazad taught me things about how to wield my frozen powers, seeing as I took to Frost almost immediately. I could do any number of things with them.

“Come, favored disciple, demonstrate your knowledge.”

A Cold Wraith…I held up a hand, though.

“Two, Amal’thazad. I want two.”

The lich merely snickered; this was going to be entertaining to watch for him and the others gathered to learn.

Sufficed to say, they did not last long…I stood atop two spectral bodies with a look of pure wrath. The Lich King had witnessed this act himself; the monster had laughed.

“You were perfect, Pleiadia; how did it feel?”
“….”

I had no emotions; the question had no bearing to me. To me, this was yet another drill in killing things as coldly as possible. The silence was deafening.

“Return to the others, disciple. You will be ready soon.”
“By your will, Amal’thazad.”

I awoke in the inn at Valiance Keep with a start. Someone had been listening in on the dream. The guard knew my past, so she didn’t bother to ask. She knew I wasn’t in the best of moods to answer.

“I hate some of my dreams, too, Sentinel-Captain. I won’t blame you for wanting to be quiet about this one.”
“Thank you,” I said to the guard as I got up. “And I do want to be quiet about it. I need to track down Thassarian. The time has come to solve why I was betrayed and by whom.”

I make my way to the door and to what would be my answers, though what they are…I’ll find out…

Entry #31 — En’ kilah

Finding the time to write this in this tense place has not been easy. The Scourge are all about, and only the ziggurat Thassarian had slaughtered is the most reasonable place.

Earlier, I had contacted a group of soldiers under his command, after being referred to the area from a Kulu’ak tribesman. The reference he used was disturbing, ‘ A son of Karkut’…Their Watcher of the Dead…

“You carry his mark, too, stranger.”
“You could say that,” I groused lowly. “The ziggurat you say?”
“Yes, and be careful. It was pretty fierce fighting from what I last heard.”
“Karkut watches me as well obviously, so I’m not about to fall so easily.”

I ran into his small unit, clearly overwhelmed by the shear numbers of enemies around the tower. It was a suicide mission, at least until i got there. The tables would turn now.

After fighting off the huge monstrosities that defended the tower, I entered the interior and saw Thassarian, a cultist leader, a lich, and Thassarian’s rather sentient minion. I had a rough idea what was going on here.

“Let me guess,” I said calmly.

Thassarian turned; he recognized me from the Enclave.

“Fancy meeting you here, Sentinel-Captain.”
“Your sister was worried about you, and I can’t blame her. What’s going on, Thassarian?”
“A long story, but you can guess what is going to happen.”
“I can,” I smiled as I knocked the cult leader across the back of the head with the back of my gauntlet covered hand. “This place is about to get a rather sorry wake up call.”
“OW! Curse you, Death Knight.”
“I already am, you piece of rubbish,” I corrected. “You want me to do some killing while you sweet talk the lich into spilling the beans. I’m game; I’ve had enough of hiding my rage against the Scourge. It’s time to let them know who wants their skulls on a wall. I want answers to why I was betrayed so long ago.”
“I’m sure you do, Sentinel-Captain Moonstriker. You can start by killing some random Scourge and then finding some scrolls off of some very familiar faces.”
“You know I could never refuse a good rumble if it was for the right reason, Thassarian. I’ll be off.”

The ghouls, abominations, nerubians, cultists, and, surprisingly, some San’layn were on the list of things to kill. I especially despised the San’layn, enemy Death Knights…

I was vicious; I cut a swath through anything that got in my way…I began to enjoy the thrill of the hunt, like so long ago when I was living. That was something I think the Scourge forgot when they died; they lost the ability to truly appreciate the thrill of the hunt. They reveled in the death and destruction, but they forgot to enjoy the middle part, the actual fight itself and the tracking of said targets. I had enjoyed the thrill…I was still ‘alive’…

The priests were not exactly enthused about my reappearance; it would be safe to say that I was given a hostile response each time, but they had realized the folly of going up against me. I got my scrolls from their hands, and then slew them like it was something enjoyable. Revenge was sweet…But I had to return to Thassarian with the scrolls. The true revenge was yet to come no doubt.

Meeting at the top of the the necropolis Naramas, I had seen seen the one thing I hoped to never see. Sometime back, I was under Valanar’s heel just like any other underling. Surprise, surprise, he was disguised as Counselor Talbot in the Keep. Valanar had brought the general and Laryssa ((Sp?)) with him. If Thassarian was not angry before, he was now. I shared the sentiment. Then the Lich King showed up…Eying me first, he could tell I was close to doing something rash, and he knew I was not about to die so easily either. After all, I had proven to be highly survivable in the Enclave, and it was no different here.

“Come to rejoin the Scourge I take it, Night Elf?”
“Please, like you have any idea what hell I want to put this scum through? You through? It’s time to end this, Valanar. You are dead.”

Like that, the fight was on. Valanar was not about to give up easily either, but Thassarian, two others, and myself had ‘persuaded’ him to lay down and die. I left Thassarian in peace, and I left in peace myself, knowing I got the monster who set me up so long ago.

There was more to come, but I was glad I did it.

Entry #37 — Caldarra

I write this with a heavy heart. What was once a noble and caring Dragonflight has degraded into the madness that only a true madman could bring about. I speak of Malygos and his Blues…The reasons for this are rather personal, though.

Some time back when I was still living in Winterspring, Estrella had fallen ill to some very unusual disease, and it would not stop. It was magical in nature, so there was only one cure for it. I knew the Blues were not exactly all that friendly, but a mother must do what a mother must do. I walked right into their cave and pleaded with their leader in this area. I was initially turned down, but one of the Blues listened, a Drake named Tiphoros. He came with me to the house and assessed the state of my daughter.

“This is not good.”
“What can you do about it?”
“Mortal, this disease is demonic in nature; like most such things, this disease will require drastic measures. I know of your heart and mind, Moonstriker; you fight to the last, but some things you cannot fight. This is one of them. Let me take the child back to the cave, and I’ll see what I can do.”

I really had no choice…I let him.

For two months, I was without my daughter, and I was angry, embittered, and very out of sorts. Veridius couldn’t do a thing to calm to me down. Tiphoros returned with my daughter in the morning. The look on my face was obvious; I was glad she was home.

“I have done my part, mortal. I hope we meet again under better circumstances. Your daughter told me much about you; I can see greatness in your future, but the trials ahead will determine that.”

Now to flash forward to Caldarra…I had learned what the Blues were up to, and that frightened me. They were once a powerful ally; now they were a powerful enemy. As I did my duties to the Kirin Tor and Wyrmrest, I ran into Tiphoros. The look was obvious on his face; he did not want to fight me, but he had orders from Malygos himself. Orders were orders…

“Moonstriker, we meet again.”
“Not under the best of circumstances,” I said ruefully. “I’ve died once to these wastes; I don’t plan on doing it again. You were once stalwart guardians that protected the World Tree with us; now you are nothing more than an army of fools led by a madman. And I must stop you.”
“I expect nothing less from a soul such as yours, Death Knight. You fight for the good of others, even when it is not fashionable,” said the drake as he transformed into human form. “Arm yourself. Defend this world like you vow.”

One clean slice, it was all I needed….I just needed one opening to make this end mercifully. We stared each other down until someone flinched. We did that for minutes apparently, because Tiphoros flinched finally on purpose. I speared my sword through his heart in a split second without even hesitation.

“Very good, Moonstriker,” he coughed. “I sense the steel resolve in you. Know this: as long as people like you ‘live’, this world will be safe from madness and evil.”

Tiphoros fell over, dead…I did not want to do that, but that was what happened.

Damn Malygos for what I must do. Madness is not something I want to face down right now.

Entry # 41 – Darnassus

Sometimes I wonder how I get pulled into these messes…I get a letter from Tyrande to come quickly to Darnassus, and what do I see before me? Surprise, my old Sentinel unit throwing me a party. Sometimes I wonder if my life was supposed to have such pasuses between the combat actions I take on a regular basis. Not only this, but I see the appirition of Malfurion Stormrage?

I had to ask it.

“What gives, Shan’do Stormrage?”
“Something very special, Huntress Moonstriker.”

He used my formal title before being sent to Northrend, not good…I saw a shadow emerge from the stairs in the Temple of the Moon.

“VERIDIUS!”

Okay, anyone who happens to find this diary can now call me a big softie. I ran up to him and hugged him rather hard. He was back from that nightmarish sleep, and he promised to never do it again. It was too much trouble directed toward me. From now on, he was a trainer solely. The other druids could handle battling the Nightmare. Veridius was officially taken off that duty.

“Huntress Moonstriker, you still fight, and that is good, but even you know in the end…”
“I must let someone else do the fighting…I know. I’ve paid my dues; I deserve my rest, but it isn’t now. Until I take him down, there is no rest for me, either as the one to do it or the one to get those who can in that citadel. When that day comes, I will no longer fight. I promise.”

A nod of understanding from Stormrage…A grin from Tyrande…A sigh from Veridius….

“You have always been a brave woman, Pleiadia. That was never in doubt.”
“Bravery has its price; I’ve paid it once,” I answered, hugging him tightly. “I won’t die again so easily this time.”

Softie? Yes, but a softie with a nice blade designed to fight any foe that gets in its way…That is who I am, who I always will be.

Entry # 44 – Valiance Keep

Bigby had a strange habit of gathering flocks to parties and such, so it was no surprise that he sent me an invitation to such a party, but this one was special beyond reckoning. What I was told to do was bring along Veridius. Like any good husband, he decided to see what was going on himself. What I saw was something that could warm even the coldest of hearts. Bigby had assembled my old unit while I was still a Sentinel, the old unit in Northrend, and gathered a bunch of Crusaders that I had met during my travels with Bigby around the Keep. This promised to be a blast. There was drum and pipes, violin and lyre, song and dance, and food and drink. It was marvelous to behold; thirty some odd people gathered around a fire by the sea had been amassed. Xander Baine had been hard to manage then, but the looks of him now told me that he had learned something back then. Tinker Goodwrench was still Tinker…The rogue was always a troublemaker.

“You told me to live to fight another day, Pleiadia. I did, and I had your example to lead me.”
“Xander, I’m sorry that I was sharp with you, but a commander always should be listened to the first time.”
“I know, Pleiadia. I had to learn that myself. Now I lead my own unit in Icecrown. I can see why you had to be sharp with me. Still, I am quite amazed that you survived all this hell. You never were one to just lay down and die obviously.”
“Not at all,” smiled Veridius as he kissed me.
“EWW!”
“You hush, gnome,” I smiled as I knelt down to look at him in the face. “How have you been, Tinker?”
“I’ve been better, but I guess age does that, which you don’t need to worry about anymore.”
“Don’t remind me,” I smiled at the gnome, half warning.
“I get the hint,” he laughed.
“Ashanti, it is good to see you again.”
“My lady, it is always good to see you again. The Argent Crusade is our next port of call.”
“It is?”
“Zul’ Drak for most of us, but I am going to the 7th Legion in Wintergarde. They need the help badly.”
“I will eventually end up there myself, Ashanti. We may meet again.”
“I sure hope so; we could use the spirit you bring to the table.”
“I will consider it. So, Bigby, why all the preparations when no one is going to use them?”

Bigby just laughed as he whistled up the Crusaders to start making some noise. Bigby had passed out the tankards of ale and plates of food to start the festivities off right. As we ate and drank, he told stories, stories that Veridius had no knowledge of. These were the stories of our misadventures…Some downright funny, some very sorry, some downright horrifying, but all true…

“…So there we were, Veridius, lad. We had just settled into our new camp. I had been making coffee, Xander here was sharpening his blade, and Pleiadia was saying her prayers to Elune, as usual. The rest of us were settling in for the night, clearly unaware that dear Tinker…”
“Oh, no, don’t tell them, Bigby. It’s embarrassing.”
“Sorry, lad, you are the roast for this story,” laughed Bigby loudly before continuing. “And here comes Tinker with two, count them, two mammoth bulls hot on his heels. I ran to a tree and climbed for my very life, Xander ducked behind some boulders, and the rest of us were running for our dear lives! But not Pleiadia! Not her! She simply stood up and unsheathed her blade and stared both of the bulls down. They inexplicably stopped and were transfixed on her and her blade! Then she spoke…’Move along, or I’ll carve you two up for dinner, beasts.’ The bulls backed away very slowly, as though they were watching a predator that could very well take them down. When they got far enough away…They ran! Tinker snuck his head out from behind his hiding rock and got shot a look from Pleiadia, then a laugh! ‘You’re getting rusty, gnome!’ Sufficed to say, we all began to laugh, after nearly being trampled to death by mammoths and watching Pleiadia stare down two obviously very agitated beasts. She was always scary like that, lad. She was intimidating to behold when she got like that.” Bigby had to pause a bit. “She grounded Tinker for a week even!”
“Oy, and I thought you were steel before, my love. That isn’t steel; that is adamantite,” observed Veridius with a cough.
“Aye, lad, she is truly a remarkable woman, and you are lucky to have her as your wife.”
“Indeed, I was,” I said as I downed the tankard. “I miss these times.”
“You seem pretty jovial, beloved.”
“It’s the company, Veridius, dear.” Then I amended myself. “Ale and company, pardon.”
“Shouldn’t you back off a bit?”
“Veridius, dear, for once in your life, get drunk and enjoy the stories, the true stories, about what I had been doing before I died the first time. Besides, it is rude not to drink during Bigby’s tales.”
I filled my tankard once more and raised it high.

“More stories, Bigby, lad! We have all night!”
“Aye, lass, we do!” he laughed as he filled his own tankard. “I promise, Veridius, lad…You won’t be sorry you did get drunk. Everything about our patrols can seem funnier that way, especially some of our more unusual ones.”

I smiled, I laughed, I cried, I danced, I sang, I got drunk…I was normal for once in a long time. No one could ask for better than that. And I did need that. Considering what horrors could await me, these normal periods were practically essential to my sanity.


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