Confessions of an Altoholic

demon hunters, death knights, and druids, oh my!

Roleplay: From Beyond, She Comes (4)

Here it is – part 4 of the continuing series, “From Beyond, She Comes.”

I took a very different approach to this particular piece, as I wanted to get directly into Serreina’s head and document what she was going through as she attempted this particular act of insanity.  As such, it’s very stream-of-consciousness and I’ve done very little editing.  All the same, I hope you enjoy it!

“Serreina Nightfury, you are relieved of duty until further notice.  You will continue your training here and in Outland.  You are not to enter Northrend under any circumstances until I clear you to do so.  Have I made myself clear?”

“Sir – “

“There is only one acceptable answer, Serreina.”

I stood there for a solid minute, staring at Highlord Mograine, struggling to keep my emotions in check.  He stared back, his expression stern, yet his eyes revealed just the slightest touch of – was that sadness?   Regret?  Pity?

Sadness was pointless.  It would take more than regret to persuade the highlord to change the orders he had just given me.  And I certainly did not need his pity.  So I closed my eyes for a moment, struggling to keep my emotions in check.  When I opened them, Mograine was staring calmly back at me.  I drew myself up to my full height, looking down into the highlord’s eyes.

“Understood, sir.”

Even now, days later, I remember every word, every detail of that conversation.  I remember that undefinable look in Mograine’s eyes as he ordered me to stay behind while the rest of the order continues the march toward Icecrown.  I remember fighting back nearly uncontrollable rage, struggling to maintain my composure as I turned and walked away from the highlord.  I remember how the other knights watched me as I approached the gryphon that would take me back to Stormwind.  And the whispers.  I remember those too.

There were a lot of whispers.

Once again, I feel the rage building inside me.  Apparently it’s noticeable;  the passersby and even the city guards take a slightly wider path around me as I march past them.  My fingers curl into fists and a slight smile forms on my face as Sorrowblade’s consciousness stirs.

It is almost over, it whispers.

Yes.  It is almost over.

Kill them.

For the first time in quite some time, I experience doubt.  Uncertainty.  My powers are much weaker than they were when I was under the Lich King’s control.  I’m not sure I can kill them.  I can barely touch them.  Last time I tried, Shatterbound nearly tore my head off – literally.

They are making you weak.

They could also make me dead again.

They are making you sentimental and weakening your resolve.  You are weak now.  You will remain weak until you remove the source of the weakness.  Remember the strength you once had.  Remember their betrayal.

The fury builds again, growing into cold resolve.  Yes, I will kill them.  Or they will kill me.  Either way, it will end.  It has to end.  I cannot bear this turmoil any longer …

Only now Kharsus is here.  There’s only a bridge between my daughter and me, and here he is, trying to stop me as always.  It makes no sense.  I nearly decapitated him.  He shouldn’t be here.  Why won’t his soul stay inside Sorrowblade where it belongs?  Why does he keep coming back to torment me?  He is dead!  He should stay dead!

We argue.  That is what we do.  I very much hate him, especially now.  I do not wish to deal with him any longer.  So I run him through with my blade – again – then push him off into the canal.  Will he come back from that?  I’m sure he will.  If decapitation couldn’t kill him permanently, being run through and knocked into some water won’t do it.  But it will buy me the time I need to end this.

I cross the bridge and find myself standing face to face with Shatterbound.  Well, of course.  I always knew I’d have to go through him to get to Shizukera.  I don’t really expect to survive.  But it will be over at last.

Sorrowblade’s whispers grow louder in my mind.  Its hunger – my hunger, our hunger – increases, exquisite in its pain.  I do the only thing I can do.

I attack.

“Serreina.”

Mograine was standing behind me.  I wasn’t in the mood to continue the conversation from earlier, but I couldn’t exactly ignore the highlord.  So I took a deep breath, attempted to work my face into a neutral expression, and turned to face him.

“You just banned me from an entire continent, sir.”

He cocked his head, scrutinizing me.  I bit my lip and looked away.

“You want me to change your orders?  Then prove me wrong.”

I blinked.  “Sir?”

“Northrend will test you as you have never been tested before, death knight.  You will face reminders of your past at every turn.  It takes a certain presence of mind.  You think you’re ready?  You think you’re stable enough to fight at the Lich King’s doorstep?  Prove it.  Oh, and Serreina … “

I stared warily at him.  “Yes, sir?”

“You have a family.  You have a second chance to be a mother to your children.  Take advantage of the opportunity and stop trying to kill them.”

I yell in rage and frustration as Shatterbound catches my blade neatly between his hands.  Damn the demon hunter and his unnatural reflexes!  I feel the blade’s agony as it is assaulted by felfire;  I smile coldly as I unleash disease and the chill of death on the demon hunter.  Then I hear a voice.  Shizukera’s voice.

“I will end this!” she yells, and her fel-charged sword crashes down on Sorrowblade.

The runeblade shatters.

The pain is indescribable;  I feel it in every part of my body as my runeblade and my soul are torn asunder.  I fall to my knees as someone shrieks in agony, only vaguely aware that I am the one screaming.  The pain subsides, and I realize that the whispers in my mind, the voices that haunted me even after my release from the Lich King’s service, have gone silent at last.  The victims of the battle for Light’s Hope.  The hundreds I slaughtered during the purging of the Scarlet Enclave.  Countless others who died by my hand.  They are all gone.  Even Kharsus isn’t here to taunt me.

I am alone inside my own head.  I am truly free at last.  I am in pain, I have lost a piece of my soul … and I have never been so afraid.

Someone is standing next to me.  Kharsus.  He lifts me to my feet, his grip surprisingly gentle.  He’s looking at my daughter, and he’s smiling.  I’ve never seen him smile.  Then again, I’ve never seen him free.

“The blade is broken,” he says.

My grip on the pieces of Sorrowblade tightens.  “And with it, my soul.”

He looks at me appraisingly, then shakes his head.  Of course he disagrees.  He isn’t the one whose soul was torn apart.  I watch in silence as he thanks Shizukera and Shatterbound and calls forth a death gate.

“Let’s go home.”

September 22, 2009 - Posted by | Roleplay, Serreina, Stories

9 Comments »

  1. That’s okay. You can pick up a better blade in Halaa. :-)

    Loved it!

    Comment by Cynwise | September 22, 2009 | Reply

    • LOL. And she did, and she carried it all the way into Northrend. :D

      I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Comment by Shizukera Nightfury | September 23, 2009 | Reply

  2. Umm… WOW. Have your made demon hunters OP. I’m sorry, there is NO way that a demon hunter could destroy a runeblade, EVER, or even two demon hunters, and Shizu has officially crossed over into Mary Sue territory. Not cool. :/

    Comment by reanimatrix | September 23, 2009 | Reply

  3. Okay, that was my angry DK fangirl comment, and I apologize cuz I gave no constructive criticism. The whole thing is really well written, honestly, and it would be awesome if it wasn’t in the context that it’s in. (as in, if taken out of wow into a regular fantasy setting… but I’m sorry, DHs breaking runeblades makes me twitch.) The dialog, which is a big thing of mine, is really well written and smooth, and sounds natural. Nothing stiff or robotic about it. ::thumbs up:: The description of Serreina’s emotions is honestly much better than I could do. Only problem is, it doesn’t fit the lore, or Illidan would have had it much easier against Arthas, all he would have had to do is break Frostmourne.

    Comment by reanimatrix | September 23, 2009 | Reply

    • … *frowns at your first comment*

      You think maybe an ice-based blade with felfire running along it might’ve been weakened just a little? Especially when it’s under attack by two demon hunters who are, in fact, stronger than Serreina, and her blade is not, in fact, the mighty Frostmourne.

      “Mary Sue” is, by the way, a very poor choice of words. If you think something’s wrong with my characters then I’m open to hearing about it, but there’s nothing constructive or useful about calling someone a Mary Sue. :-|

      Edited for clarity and other stuff. I hate head colds.

      Comment by Shizukera Nightfury | September 23, 2009 | Reply

    • Annnnd my twitch at the first comment caused me to lose sight of the second. My apologies. <3

      "The dialog, which is a big thing of mine, is really well written and smooth, and sounds natural. Nothing stiff or robotic about it."

      This makes me crazy happy, because my thoughts when I was attempting to edit contained a lot of "Arrrruuugh it sounds so stiff!" Hehehe. It's good to know that it worked; I may try this style again when I have another piece that's suitable for it.

      Thank you, m'dear. <3

      Comment by Shizukera Nightfury | September 23, 2009 | Reply

  4. @Shizukera – What a great piece! Your particular style and way of writing is so inviting to readers– I really feel what your characters are feeling, seeing, hearing, and doing. I am incredibly impressed. The only thing I would ave liked ot know more about is what happened when Taldarion grabbed the blade. As runeblades are vampiric, I wonder if anything happened to him. Perhaps you cannot say (if he is not your character), but did the runeblade try and steal his soul (or souls, since he is a demon hunter)?

    @reanimatrix It took several rereads of your post to get over the initial “this person is flaming the OP” gut reflex. While your biases are certainly quite clear, the overall message you have given is quite positive. Ms. Nightfury is, we agree, quite a writer.

    However, your claims of Mary Sue-ism and the story being out of touch with continuity are unfounded:

    In both the novel “Arthas,” as well as quests described in Icecrown, the fight between Illidan and Arthas is considered to have been incredibly close. That Illidan tried or did not try to break the blade is never mentioned in their fight. That Arthas was the victor is said to have been almost entirely chance (thus Arthas cuts out his weakened heart in the hopes of becoming less human and therefore, stronger). From this we can gather that demon hutners ARE capable of taking on, and even defeating, death knights.

    As to the runeblades themselves, RP allows us to determine the strength of the weapon. While you criticize being able to break a runeblade as Mary Sue-ism, creating a blade that cannot be broken and therefore making the character undefeatable when she wields the blade is, in fact, just as much of a Mary Sue. Just because no one has broken Frostmourne, the “queen mother” of all runeblades, does not mean that a lesser blade cannot be broken. We have no proof that every runeblade wielded by every death knight is as powerful as the Lich King’s. In fact, logic would tell us the opposite is true… He who wields Frostmourne would not wish the death knights he creates to be as powerful as he is.

    While it is true that Frostmourne is an obscenely powerful runeblade, most Death Knights are not running around with blades that were created by the power of an agent of the Burning Legion deep within the Twisted Nether. Frostmourne is the exception, not the rule. Not every blade is Frostmourne, and not every person wielding the blade is the Lich King.

    And though Frostmourne is perhaps the most important example of a runeblade ingame, according ot the novel “Arthas,” it is not the only one. Kael’Thas’ own runeblade, Felo’melorn, is a breakable weapon. He even comments on it, saying the blade grew stronger when reforged.

    These are, of course, just arguments, as a definitive answer has never een given. But, based on the lore that we are given ingame and throughout the expanded Wacraft universe, it is much easier to believe that these weapons DO have breaking points. For them not to would be, as you claim about the demon hunters, a giant leap into Mary Sue-ism. I would warn against letting your personal beliefs and fan-led desires concerning any clas to blind you to possibilities of a good story.

    Comment by The_Lorekeeper | September 23, 2009 | Reply

    • Flattery, it will get you everywhere! *^_^* But I kid. Thank you for the kind response!

      As to Taldarion and the runeblade – you do bring up an interesting point. It did injure him to the point where he required healing afterward, but I have to admit I hadn’t considered the effect the experience might have had on his soul. Now that I think about it, that is something I’d like to explore further with Taldarion’s player in future RP.

      Regarding Serreina’s runeblade in particular, there were really only so many ways I could’ve handled that. She was past the point where she could’ve tamed the blade without physically breaking it, and I feel that if I’d RPd that the blade was unbreakable, then that would’ve only served to make *her* overpowered in this scenario rather than Shizu (not to mention incurably psychotic/homicidal, which I did not want). Given how the storyline played out, the connection between the soul in her body and the darker bit of her inside Sorrowblade had to be cut off and the only way to do it was to break the blade. In all my poking through the lore around death knights and runeblades, I never came across any evidence that they were unbreakable, so that is the path I took.

      On a final note, Frostmourne may or may not be breakable. Given what it is, maybe it’s not (unless you’re carrying the Ashbringer, perhaps – my theory is that the two weapons will end up destroying each other, but that’s a whole other post). But Serreina’s blade isn’t Frostmourne, and if I made the claim that her blade was as powerful and unconquerable as that one, then that would make her a Mary Sue – something I try very hard to avoid in my characters.

      Comment by Shizukera Nightfury | September 23, 2009 | Reply

  5. [...] Confessions of an Altaholic – From Beyond, She Comes (4) [...]

    Pingback by Linkfest | Through the Eyes of Death | October 8, 2009 | Reply


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