Block 3

Entry # 48 – Fordragon Hold/Wrathgate

Heroes, they say, are born of hardships and are forged from normal everyday people who are thrown into extraordinary circumstances beyond their control and capabilities. They find in themselves the strength to carry on and win the day. They find in themselves the fire of bravery and heroism, selflessness and devotion. When I was young, about 100 years old, I was like a normal person to my people, but my training had begun. I became a professional soldier in the space of two hundred years of combat actions and/or patrols, learning what it meant to be a soldier and eventually a commander. I had seen my share of commanding officers, some good, some bad, some mediocre, but they all had one thing in common. When they ordered their troops into battle, they jumped at the chance. They chose to fight alongside him or her.

Lord Bolvar Fordragon, a great leader of men, has died this day. It wasn’t because of a glorious victory, or a glorious defeat, but because of treachery. Even now I find it hard to write this, but some things must be written. Putress had shown up after what would have been a glorious battle, win or lose.

The Horde and The Alliance, fighting as one entity, one unified front, one unstoppable force of justice…It was inspiring to behold from my perch in the hold that overlooked the wrathgate. Like so long ago it seemed, I had fought as one with The Horde as well, save I was alone, the sole Alliance member to engage. It was to protect my team, and this reminded me heavily of it. Vyrkul had fallen to the blades and arrows of the two groups acting as one. Undead dying with the unified efforts of everyone involved…The sadness was that I could not join them, but I had orders to hold the fort here. I was a simple soldier, though a hero in every sense of the word. Watching from above, I saw strange catapults approach. I recognized the laugh…Putress.

The Lich King was as surprised as I was to be honest. He mistakenly thought Sylvanas was behind this, but I knew better. She would never sacrifice the tenuous foothold she had in The Horde for simple revenge. All great tacticians knew to bide their time in these circumstances. The Blight could have very well failed, and Sylvanas probably knew that. Putress…He didn’t care. He did it anyway. As the green clouds of Blight surrounded the battlefield, I looked up and saw the Red Dragonflight approach. This did not look good, but I knew that there was only one way to stop it. It had to be put to the flame. I cried as the deed was done, but there was another feeling, one of outright vengeance. Putress, the scum, had to pay for this, if not by my hands, then by someone else’s but he had to pay! I approached the battlefield after the fires had settled down some. A father had lost a son, the Horde commander here. The Alliance had lost a great man, a great leader. Bolvar…I approached the two dragons, Alexstrazsa and Corialstrazs. Alexstrazsa, already acutely aware of what I had gone through before dying and these sorry events, knew I was in just as much a haze as everyone else who had run screaming from the hold, but I chose not to fall to the fear. I approached it dead on.

“Why? Why must good men and women die like this? Bolvar was betrayed, Suarfang was betrayed…They should have either lived or died in glory, Alexstrazsa, not like this.”
“These are questions that everyone will ask, Pleiadia. Right now, you must bear the bad news to King Wrynn, though. It is too late for either of them. Return his shield to the King. Take his place as a leader. You always knew how. Go now, Pleiadia.”
“As you wish, Dragon Queen,” I said lowly as I walked to retrieve the shield of Bolvar Fordragon.
“I can understand your feelings,” said Corialstrazs. “You died gloriously in battle, only to be raised up as a Death Knight. You have tried to retake that glory once more, and you have retaken it. You just don’t realize it yet. In time, you will understand.”
“Time is all I have now,” I said in response as I walked away from the Wrathgate and battlefield. “I don’t live and breathe anymore.”
Maybe not, but your heart still burns with life of another sort, I heard whispered in my mind from Alezstrazsa. The life of hope. As long as it still burns, you will always ‘live’.

As long as it still burns…No truer words…But I have bad news to deliver to a King, and a possible escelation of war to worry about. This will not go over well with him; I know that for a fact. And I will be seeing the Lich King again. This attack wasn’t strong enough to take him out.

This war is now personal beyond any definition of the word I had before. Once it was just me; now it is for everyone who has fallen to the Scourge…I may need to break a promise.

Entry # 47 – Stormwind City

Bullheaded mule…Yes, we got Putress, but he just had to go and try to start a fight with Thrall.

Jaina Proudmore and I had known eachother since the Third War. Since Mount Hyjal…We had to go to talk with Thrall to get what occurred back in Northrend.

“I have a bad feeling about this, Lady Proudmore. Wrynn will never listen to reason; all he sees is just another Orc, just another Forsaken…This will end badly; I just know it.”
“Thrall may share our sentiment, but we can hope can’t we?”
“Lady Proudmore, I cannot hope; I know the man, so to speak. If it wasn’t for a good reason from Tirion, I would be a dead woman now, unable to prove that I was duped into evil instead of a willing participant in that evil.”
“That still eats at you, doesn’t it?” Jaina smiled. “At least I know you’re still the Pleiadia from long ago.”
“Yes, that does irritate me still,” I admitted. “King Wrynn is the type of person that makes others inspired, yes, but he is also the type of person that drives away possible allies because of grudges. I bet he didn’t care that my team survived because of the intervention of a Horde patrol that had graced its presence to share our fire that night.”
“You are still a Third War veteran, Pleiadia, still capable of trusting others. There may be hope for us all.”

Thrall looked up and saw us both. The bad news was worse…Sylvanas explained what had occurred in the Undercity; Varimathras and Putress both got into trouble. That meant one thing; it was going to get ugly. I had time to talk with Thrall, though; I remembered our time in the camp before Archimonde made a call there. Jaina had made a disappearing act when her base was overrrun.

“It’s been years, Huntress Moonstriker.”
“It has, Thrall. Sadly, I think this will end badly. He’s a hardheaded mule, and I doubt he’ll listen to reason.”
“You must do as your King commands, Huntress, even if you disagree with it. You are still welcome as company, though; that will never change.”
“Thank you, Thrall. Lok’tar Ogar.”
“Lok’tar Ogar,” he acknowledged as I left to give the information to the King.

King Wrynn did exactly what I thought he’d do; he called for a raid of the Undercity. We faced off against a huge worm, no surprise, and then Putress himself. He was not a fun character to face off against, but we finally did kill him. Then came the bad part…

“You must do as your King commands, Huntress,” reminded Thrall as we entered the royal chamber. “Even if you disagree with it.”
“King Wrynn, I signed up to protect your back on this suicide mission; that means you had better not talk down to me ever again. I died protecting others, and you insulted me for being a tool for another’s use. Once again, I am merely a tool for use, save you are using me now. How do you think that makes me feel?”
“After, Death Knight, battle first.”
“Fine,” I cursed as the King charged.

We were lucky to have Jaina intercede like she did. Frozen in ice was not a foreign experience to me…How do you think the Lich King was able to control me when I was still ‘rabid’? Jaina calmly patted me on the back and smiled.

“Thrall seems quite pleased with you.”
“Yeah, he knew where my loyalties were.”
“Sentinel-Captain Moonstriker,” said the King, “it appears I owe you an apology. I read your death report from Valiance Keep recently; you fought well and had your rest stripped away, a rightfully earned one. I was at fault for thinking you a monster with compulsions to kill alone. Maybe there will come a time when others will see as I have.”
“I accept, my King, but, in a battlefield known as Northrend, my only allegiance is to those who are to my left, to my right, to my front, and to my back. I am a soldier; I care not for politics or sides. I only care about one thing, the end of the Lich King and the safety of my unit in the end.”

A snicker from the King…He found it funny.

“You’re getting old, Moonstriker.”
“I was 2512 years old when I died; I take that as a compliment,” I laughed as I left for some place comfortable to write and spend the night in.
“That is a long time to be at war,” the King admitted, understanding my view for once.

Okay, yes, he is bullheaded, but I can only hope he gets the message before he louses things up too badly for us, Horde or Alliance…

Entry # 50 – Valiance Keep

As strange as fate may seem, it does bring about things that may be good to behold. Considering how short my temper was with certain speechwriters, I was pleased to see a letter from my daughter in the mail.

It appeared that Estrella found herself a friend on the road in Kalimdor, and she wants me to meet her. This Doressa Nightshade may be a warlock, and I am not very trusting of warlocks it should be noted. However I do make exceptions if the references are true. I heard rumors of this warlock; I had heard the reports of her past from the guards that I occasionally pass by. Tragic, only this word could describe it. I’ll see what Estrella got herself into, but I think I can trust my daughter’s judgment enough to give this Doressa a benefit of a doubt. I’ve learned in my time undead that appearances are not everything these days. I guess it took becoming a Death Knight to finally realize this for me.

Regardless, the struggle still continues, and there is much left to do. Wintergarde, the Wrathgate, these events had changed me. I feel like what I was when I first got to Northrend, still on that boat…Resolved to win no matter the cost to me, for the future of this world, for the livelihood of my family and those like it…

Brave fool I may be, but a hero is three parts brave and one part fool…Wisdom I tell you; maybe aging mentally isn’t so bad a thing.

Entry # 51 – Darnassus

Being named Elder Matron for my family as a whole, sisters and all, is not something I expected, and I am also the youngest of my siblings, so why was I named? I am not the wisest; this honor goes to my third sister, Delannia, the priestess. Yet it was Delannia that agreed with my mother on this. So why me?

All the same, I have a charge now as the Elder Matron to survive the ages. Mother was saying that she was getting tired of the duty; after ten thousand years, who wouldn’t? I am but a quarter of that time, also the youngest child, yet I am now responsible for the running of my family? Choosing the suitors for any of the children my sisters have? Deciding other matters of a domestic nature? Sometimes, I wonder why fate does this to me.

My hair has changed since the time of taking Bigby’s sword, again, as have my facial markings. The Scourge tried to erase my identity long ago by erasing who I was, physically and psychically, yet Bigby’s sword has restored my physical appearance of once ago. My hair, once made white and shorter, is now an icy straight long blue/green, as it was long ago. My markings, back to their winged glory once more…Not those death cranes of recent days. My skin was still a bit of an icy pallor, but that was always there. The cold never really bothered me either…

Maybe it is time to think like an Elder Matron. It is in my nature lately…

Entry # 53 – Acherus/The Ebon Hold

I went to see an old friend today. Grus, a fellow Death Knight and comrade from the Third War at Hyjal, was always the type of orc I found to my liking. He knew who to fight when; back then, we were both savages in our hearts. And wild animals know one another without needing to speak. I observe this often in Winterspring among the sabers. Our transfiguration into Death Knights had enhanced that aspect of our personalities, but we still retained control over it somehow.

“Still doing guard duty, Grus?”
“I find it to my liking, savage warrior,” smiled Grus. “How have you been, Pleiadia?”
“I’ve had better days; I’ve had times I wonder if it was wise to even speak or utter a word.”
“When dealing with people, we all have those times, Pleiadia. You sound like you aged since Light’s Hope Chapel occurred, though.”
“Mentally, I probably have. It isn’t so bad, youngster. Wisdom is something that should be gained with age, and I have a lot of age to me, 2514 years old.”
“So this is what it feels like to have eternity…I hate it in all honesty,” grinned the Ebon Blade Knight. “You can’t get drunk, you can’t have ‘fun’ times, and you can’t even get into a brawl because you can’t feel anything like you once did.”

I got the joke and laughed with him. He had that way with me; I needed the distraction from my serious duties as Matron.

“I never wanted mine back, Grus, but this is what I received. I should make the best of it; there are many things in this world that I still cherish, and someone must protect those things.”
“As will I, Pleiadia. You are not alone in this. None of us are.”

Grus was right; I was never alone in all of this. I am still not alone in this…

Entry # 55 – Wyrmrest Temple

Waking from my dream of the past, I had to write this down. Something seems significant about it, and I can’t place why.

I was standing at Fordragon Hold, seeing the aftermath of destruction and flame The Blight spread across the field. I was silently angered, yet part of me knew it had to be done. A commander understands the risks and possible consequences involved in any situation, and therefore must prepare himself or herself accordingly mentally. As I watched, I heard the voice of the Dragon Queen in my mind.

I can understand your feelings, Pleiadia; you wished to fight alongside them, to help them. But such was not your fate today. We are all emblazoned with a particular fate. While tragic as this may sound, your fate was not to die in this very glorious battle, alongside Horde and Alliance in one bright moment in recent history. You have an entirely different fate, one that will send you to the very glaciers of Icecrown.

I know you may wish to cry, and that is okay. You fought valiantly to ensure that the Wrathgate could happen as it did, but even titanic efforts such as yours sometimes are never enough. Before this ends, there will be many made by yourself, and they will be important efforts, but they are only the efforts of one woman. There will need to be many more efforts by many more people before this ends peacefully.

Ever since you were born, you were always willing to fight. When you were merely a child still, you would imagine yourself as one of your own Huntresses. You would imagine yourself entering the heat of a pitched battle riding on tooth and claw while wielding two steel weapons, but there was a third steel weapon in all of this imagining, the steel weapon that is your soul. No matter how many times you flung your glaives, the real weapon that would be striking your opponents was your very soul. As it is now. The darkness could not consume your soul entirely; it fought back with the same resolve and steel as you displayed today.

Young one, your soul is a weapon in this war. Should you decide it, you could bring down the very walls of Icecrown with it, but only as part of a larger whole. You can’t be mother to everybody after all and take things upon yourself solely. Even experienced mothers, such as yourself, need that reminder.

As I stood at the Hold at the top, I quietly remembered those words of the Dragon Queen. Wisdom could be distilled from them. What I had learned was this:

-The efforts of one can only succeed if the efforts of many are done as well.

-In this war, the very souls of the warriors are the weapons we bring to bear. Not steel, not saronite, not titansteel, but our own very souls. They are just as deadly as any sword, just as protective as any shield.

-The past is sometimes painful, but it reminds us of our place in this world.

-We can’t live out our lives fighting amongst ourselves now; there are too many things going on right now that could threaten our existence on this world to devolve back to our petty squabbles.

As I stood a silent vigil in dream over the now grave that was the Wrathgate, I understood then the words of the Dragon Queen. No longer a slave to my own past, I had a choice to make…I could have decided to live a normal life, as normal as I could for a dead woman anyway, or I could have chosen to continue to fight as I always have and try to finish what I started. I came to Northrend to end Arthas in the beginning; I chose to finish that mission. Unfinished business is often the last thing an errant spirit has left that makes him or her remain in the mortal plane.

I suppose that I do have some of my own…Unfinished business…

Entry # 57 – Wyrmrest Temple

I was never a fan of the Black Dragonflight; I still remember some of the horror tales from the War of the Ancients, the stories that occurred during the wars in the Eastern Kingdoms, even the betrayal of House Prestor…Helping them now to retake their shrine was probably the worst feeling I ever had. And to be treated as such as a nobody by their representative to the dragonkind was especially disrespectful. At least the one in the shrine had some degree of respect for what I did for them. Sirenar actually enjoyed my company I rather think. I suppose the presence of another who dealt with death each breathing moment was a change he could appreciate compared to some of the not so likeminded people that helped every now and then. Regardless, if Nalice ever asks for my assistance again, I’ll make it a point to remind her who it was that helped her retake her shrine.

Chromie, of the Bronze, is as confused as ever it seems…I would be to if I dealt with multiple timelines. Anyway, I had to protect an hourglass, and it appears that my future self was nothing but business. I would expect so; I am still a very professional soldier by trade. There is no time for chat in the heat of battle. Strangely, the Infinites weren’t so keen on being around us. ‘Get better gear and stay alive.’ Hey, I always upgrade my weapons and armor in time, so that means more of a reminder than insult to me. A commander does that often.

Itharius told me of the problems around the area, and a solution that the Emerald Dragonshrine could yield. Being what I am, I naturally felt a kinship to the Greens in the past. I still do. Ysera’s slumbering form reminded me of what I had been doing all this time before ‘waking up’. I had some struggles to take care of. Hers, however, were all dealing with the Nightmare. Mine were small in comparison. Lasher seeds…I could see why they would be excellent weapons. They pulse with life, and the undead are exact opposites, i.e. myself. If I was the target of these seeds, I’d gladly accept it. I’d no longer need to fight like I do now, but I obviously was not. Three of the worst would get hit by these seeds…A frost wyrm, my favorite thing to hate, an abomination, my second favorite to hate, and a necromancer, a close tie with the wyrm…Dead all of them.

I was asked to help defend the shrine on the ground, in the air, by the Reds. I actually found myself enjoying the fighting in the air despite my dislike of the practice; I hated the hard landing in the end if I fell at great height. Fighting Blues was not something I took pleasure in; it was hypocritical of me, too. One had saved my daughter’s life, yet here I was killing cousins of his. The Defender was right; Malygos had gone mad…

Fighting like I did, I needed to rest. I was pleasantly surprised to have some fellow Death Knights ask me to join them. So I have. Maybe we all can help one another. I know I have had my trials.

Entry # 59 – Moonglade

Veridius had asked to see me, so I went. What he had planned was a surprise I sorely needed. I walked to a spot on the shore of Lake Elune’ ara and saw a fire started with several blankets laid out or folded into a stack. Food, drink…Something told me that I had come wrongly dressed for the occasion. Armor was not exactly something that felt comfortable to be in.

Also the obvious fact that he had no shirt on either. I knew what strength laid in that body of his.

Allowing me some time to slip into the green dress and cloth boots, I greatly appreciated it. This was a situation that armor would not do be in. Holding my very cold hands in his, I felt a sudden need to cry. Kissing me, it only brought it on more. My tears freezing despite the temperature outdoors.

He pulled me to the blankets, sat me down, and started to wine and dine me by the fire. I was beside myself. Who was this strange woman that was sobbing like a new bride would? Where did these very living emotions come from? I was unable to stop blubbering, which was odd.

There were no words exchanged for such a long time…Only touches on my person. A hand on the side of my face, kisses, embraces…I was dead, no disputing this, but these sensations felt no less alive inside me. Animals know each other without talking; I doubted I was mistaken when wrapped in a blanket from long ago. This blanket was where we made love the first time so long ago, after our first courtship date. The time then was very unique, two very feral souls who were unsure of each other. Like all such matters, nature took its course; it always did.

I felt myself start to get suddenly tired. I laid in his lap wrapped up in the blanket and let him continue to preen me and be close. I had found myself acting like a common woman yet again, ‘alive’ but not alive. This was good.

I fell asleep about four hours later, lost in dream. When I awoke in the morning, it was not in a nice way, and I was laying asleep alone on the main blanket. A youngling kicked at my tired form and gruffly yelled me.

“Get up, Death Knight! Leave, you scum!”
“Be mindful of who you insult, student,” reminded Veridius gruffly, using that teacher’s voice of his. “Apologize to my wife and be on your way to meditations.”
“Shan’do! Um, I apologize. I thought this was a – I’m sorry, Huntress Moonstriker; I am young and rash, not very wise yet.”
“That’s okay, young druid, but don’t judge a book by its cover. Nature can tell you that much. I was rash as a youngster myself.”

A stiff bow, the young one left. Veridius smiled at me.

“She’s more shifter than caster. I can tell in her kick.”
“She is. She has a lot of similarities to you, namely a spitfire.”
“It takes one to know one,” I laughed gently. “I remember this blanket, our first courtship date.”
“You were very beautiful then, my love. Wearing those silver robes and jewelry…You looked like Elune herself.”
“Why, Veridius? Why expose my raw emotions like this?”
“To remind you of your past. You may not be able to have the things of the living anymore, but I can give you the things of the past to keep you who you are. You can’t live like fighting is all that matters now; you need to be ‘human’ every now and then, to be vulnerable to your emotions. Remember that time?”

A shiver…I did very explicitly…Part of my soul still remembered that time.

“I felt…unsure…Yet that first touch…” I trailed off, unable to lose the shivering.

He held me close. It felt just like that…

“We can watch as the ages roll on by, my love. We can be together forever,” he whispered in my ear. “You will never be alone in your times away from the fighting. You will always have me to be close to.”

Foolish man, but he was still my husband. He was still father to eight children. He was still my soulmate.

Entry # 61 – Winterspring

I returned to the house of old once more. I decided to make it neat and orderly, and worked on it some like I was a housewife. The irony struck me as hilarious.

“It’s silly is it not?” I asked as I saw Veridius enter the house. “I’m acting like I was, the straight laced wife that could drive you nuts.”
“Oh, it isn’t silly, my love. It’s natural. You’ve begun to understand what really matters.”

A hand was moved to my side near my stomach.

“Veridius, no…I know that motion, and you know that is no longer possible for me. I feel emotion and phantoms now,” I said quietly as I turned to face him, kissing him briefly. “I know what was taken away from me, and I don’t like it, but that is what happened. Phantoms are enough for me, though.”

A smile, he knew what he was doing.

“You wrote many a letter on that desk, my love. I wonder if the Windrunners know of your fate, being that they were so close to your family.”
“Probably worried sick that I did not write them lately…Then again, Sylvanas saw me already.”

I pulled out a letter she had handed me during the episode with King Wrynn.

“She sent her regards, but I don’t think she has much to truly say. She has been Undead longer and faced worse stuff than I did, though. I can’t blame her. I can tell when someone wants revenge over justice; she is in that camp. Still, there was one warm part in that letter; maybe I will avoid that pitfall entirely. ‘The road ahead will be no doubt be difficult, but strong wills can easily navigate the worst roads.’ She has that much right, and I am strong willed.”
“No dispute there,” Veridius smiled. “I loved that about you. Even in childbirth you were one not to feel pain, but you did say you would kill me when Estrella was being born.”
“Oh, I did!” I laughed. “Do you know how much discomfort that particular pregnancy incurred? I was sick as a dog for two months, discomfort to the extreme and other various symptoms…That was when I decided she would be the last. Compared to Estrella, Gwyneth was heaven. Serra was pretty easy, too.”

Serra had come in herself. She was a Hunter, so wandering was in her blood…

“Fang, stay out there,” she told her saber. “I had to see you again, Mother. I know I’ve been away-”
“That’s okay, Serra. You were always a free willed soul. You loved the journey, not the time limits. Do I shock you?”
“Not really, Mother,” she smiled as she put up her bow. “I half expected you to be like this. The nature of the beast is hard to change, even if you domesticate it.”

I smiled. She had grown wiser.

“I take it you will be going back to the fighting soon.”
“Not quite yet, Serra, but I do need to. I have a charge to keep, and many miles to go before I sleep.”
“Still the same old Mother,” Serra said politely. “I wish I was half as dedicated as you are.”
“You are, but you have yet to find that part of your soul. In time, Serra. You are only a fifth of my age after all.”
“Time is all we ever have,” she sagely agreed. “Father, this calls for some food. I’ll get us a bear.”

Dinner did seem an appropriate thing right now. Lifting my hunting tunic some, Veridius exposed some of my flank. That was when I saw it…None of my sisters had this mark; it was the same birthmark on mother.

“That sneaky wench, I was marked,” I chuckeld lowly. “No wonder I was chosen.”
“I never really paid attention to it until now either,” Veridius said, joining in that chuckle. “Fate, it seems, had you marked all this time. I wonder if you were marked to be raised as a Death Knight as well.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised,” I said with a small note humor, pulling the tunic back down and smoothing it out some. “I told you ‘no’, dear husband.”

He laughed heartily about that one.

It did stand up to logic. Fate leaves its fingerprints on everyone. That sage lesson I learned pretty fast.

Entry # 64 – Stormwind City

I found myself wondering what it is about boats that I like. I almost never use my stone whenever I am here. Maybe it is the sea. Maybe it reminds of when I first went to Northrend. Perhaps I’m just old fashioned.

Being named a general to the group of Death Knights I had found myself in was not a promotion I had expected. If anything, I would be more like a field commander and teacher of the mind and soul. To survive out there, it required a certain mindset and a certain spiritual awareness. I cite myself as a good example of that. It takes an indomitable spirit and a rigorously trained mind to put with the pain and agony I had to already. If they should call on me to train the troops, I’m not going to be talking about combat tactics too often; I can assure everyone of that. I will be training them to think and unleash their inner souls.

Bigby would ask me what it was that I most desired, before and after dying, and the answer was always the same: Peace and quiet. Perhaps I have grown old mentally, but such wisdom has its place. Arranging the wedding of Dellannia’s daughter Kira was quite the challenge, too. I’ve taken on this role as Elder Matron with both hands it seems. Mother may be right; I am a natural at it. So…I guess I must be closing this entry for now. The boat calls. Battle beckons me to enter the fray once more.

Elune has given me the chance to prove my worth, and The Light brought me back to understanding the true person I always was. Fortune does favor me right now…


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