A Darkmoon Reading

The final piece to be cut out of “Brothers Apart”, this scene really deserved to be a stand-alone all along. Keelath was given a tarot card reading at the Darkmoon Faire during a Summer Festival roleplay event, which left him chewing on whether he needed to use a lighter touch in his relationship with Mirium. His worries didn’t come out of nowhere: at the time, Mirium was suffering from a mental intrusion by Talthan, via a mind control spell that caused her to see Keelath as an enemy. Since this is nowhere else referenced, this piece didn’t really belong in “Brothers Apart”. I think I originally put it there as it showed how Keelath and Tyrric’s brotherhood was on the mend.

Author’s Note

The cottage was dark when Keelath made it home from the Faire. Mirium was sleeping–of course she was sleeping. It was past moonset, and at this time of month, that happened only hours before dawn.

Keelath dismounted, letting the ghost of his bonesteed drift away, back to wherever such undead creatures lurked until they were called again. He let himself pause to listen to the nightly sounds: crickets, a muffled stamp from the stables, water trickling some distance away from the brook, the cloud of humming from the frogs living near a pond Tyrric had left behind when he had dredged the grounds of Dawnmist from the swamp that had given them its name. Joining those sounds now was a crackling buzz from the new wards Lithliana was helping to lay around the manor, since Haljek had gone. The buzz would fade once the wards were fully up, she had said, but that would take another few days.

He edged up on the cottage. Mirium couldn’t stand his presence at the moment, shrinking away anytime she caught sight of him. He knew it was Talthan’s doing, not a reflection of her honest thoughts about him, but it still hurt. One never appreciated what they had before it was taken away… Continue reading “A Darkmoon Reading”

Dear Estormo

Though this scene was briefly found in the “Brother Apart” series, due to the revelation Tyrric comes upon, it was originally written to be a stand-alone piece. After the Great Revision, it is back to being a stand-alone, though I might eventually rewrite pieces of it to slot into “Tyrric’s Madness” as part of the chronicle of Tyrric’s recovery from Void corruption.

Until then, this scene describes the aftermath of a roleplay session, in which Keelath was rude to Estormo while he was sulking at a tavern event.

Author’s Note Continue reading “Dear Estormo”

Deleted Scene: Meditation Application

This was originally slotted in with “Brothers Apart”, to help provide contrast for how Tyrric treats his wife vs. how Keelath treats his. At one point of time, it was also meant to depict how Keelath learned how to beat his bloodlust problem, by realizing it’s all in his head, but I didn’t feel like it carried the right weight or came at the right time in this couple’s journey, so here the post now stands in the Deleted Scenes pile.

Author’s Note

She focused on her breath. Beside her, Keelath’s breaths rattled almost in time with hers. Though the death knight didn’t need to breathe, the priest guiding their meditation had recommended it, and so Keelath dutifully did his best. Continue reading “Deleted Scene: Meditation Application”

Deleted Scene: Mirium’s Exile

This was originally part of the “Brothers Apart” series. It always felt a bit ungainly to me, as it was describing the aftermath of a bit of roleplay that had gone on in-game. So, as part of the Great Revision, I’ve cut it out and instead put it here.

Author’s Note

When Tyrric announced his choice to exile Mirium for helping an agent of Sylvanas, the impact of Keelath’s anger almost swept his sanity away. He had a vague sensation of being able to lie down inside the wave, to let what violence that would happen, happen, and then there would be no one left to blame.

Then with an effort, he was back again. He was Keelath, ex-paladin, not Keelath, undead monster. He wouldn’t give in to the bloodlust. Not now. Continue reading “Deleted Scene: Mirium’s Exile”

The Rise of Keelath, Part Five

I couldn’t decipher how much of the reports of Evelos’ Shadow corruption was coming from Tyrric’s own madness or was true, and I was unable to investigate for as long as he lived in Stormwind. The urgency to act before my memories slipped from me entirely was becoming more frantic. Mirium still lived, or at least I had heard no news to the contrary. Dark rumors regarding her and a failed marriage to a cruel magister was surfacing in Silvermoon.

While Evelos looked after his pregnant lover and Tyrric tried in vain to beget the same condition in Alelsa, I knew it would have to be my duty to find Mirium. I try not to be resentful, but it was hard not to see his foolishness as the result of Alelsa’s manipulations. Continue reading “The Rise of Keelath, Part Five”

The Rise of Keelath, Part Four

Originally published on January 5th, 2022.

This part contains some events I intend to return to in more detail in another series, but for now, my goal is in bridging the gap between The Rise of Keelath and What Darkness Lies, so Tyrric’s adventures trying to bring Evelos back to the Horde is a summary, only.

Author’s Note

The immediate effects of the restoration – my breathing and bodily sensations – wore off within days of the ritual, but the memories of my old life remained.

At first, I wanted to spend more time with my brother, reliving our past experiences and reknitting our fractured relationship. At first, he was just as overjoyed by my restoration as I was, but as the days passed, that faded, and his distraction returned. Something had changed, and while he explained it away as his excruciating experiences during the Second and Third Wars, I worried.

I grew better acquainted with Alelsa too, and I grew to dislike her more with each passing day. Tyrric’s distraction seemed to increase in proportion to how much she was around him, and I didn’t think this was any coincidence. Still, I was unable to move against her, not wanting to jeopardize Tyrric’s love just as much as my own sense of honor kept me from accusing her of wrong-doing before I was sure. Tyrric was utterly enamored with her, gushing on her beauty and cleverness unless I shut him up with a slap.

We instead turned to the problem of Evelos. Continue reading “The Rise of Keelath, Part Four”

The Rise of Keelath, Part Three

Originally posted on January 4th, 2022.

Author’s Note

Tyrric often returned to Silvermoon for the army’s allotted recuperation and vacation periods. Perhaps my dismissals were beginning to work on him, as he seemed more distracted whenever he showed up again. Continue reading “The Rise of Keelath, Part Three”

The Rise of Keelath, Part Two

The timeline on this one is a little strange, as the first part of The Rise of Keelath includes the Lich King’s defeat, while this one spends some time with Keelath while he was employed by Sylvanas pre-Wrath of the Lich King. The confusion might be canon on Keelath’s part, for his mental faculties took a while to kick in as one of the Scourge ghouls and then an early Forsaken death knight.

Though the publish date of this reads as April 1st, 2019, this was actually written on January 4th, 2022. The plugin I use to tie series together is outdated and can only organize posts by date, hence the confusion.

Author’s Note

I do not sleep. My mind pulls tighter to the same thought, circling it like water spinning down a drain. Hours pass, the sun leaving different shadows of color across the cave mouth that leads to what is to be my mausoleum. The hunger grows rather than abates. I see blood, focus on its feel in my mouth, the re-beating of my heart as I chase imaginary prey. I struggle to see them as something other-than, comrades or family — people, not my quarry. It becomes harder as time draws on.

I feel the power of my limbs fade as the rot of stolen flesh advances. I build up my frost magic, feeling it not as a chill on my skin but as an easing of the faint disconcerting hum that the Lich King replaced my sense of pain with. I work the ice as a tomb for myself, to keep the rot-inducing warmth out and to keep myself safe within.

Yet this, too, drains me. I see now I am not one of the simple Forsaken, who can lose themselves to long meaningless stretches of existence, whiling away sleepless hours with book reading or water fetching. I was a death knight of the Lich King: an elite soldier, a shock troop. I was given the endless bloodlust so I would have motivation enough to carry out his will.

I could struggle with it, endlessly, and go mad from it. Or, and I am not sure if my logic was colored by the relentless urge, I could find an acceptable way to sate it. I needed another war. Continue reading “The Rise of Keelath, Part Two”

Rose for a Thorn, Part 3

Keelath’s military service is maybe a detour from the main story here, but I thought it important to include, since it establishes his becoming a knight as well as the family’s keeping of coursers.

I also keep the old convention I started in The Second War, calling Keelath’s courser, Rosen, an “it” instead of a “he”. This made it easier to differentiate between several he’s in the original post, though it’s maybe not so needed now. Regardless, Rosen is still very much an uncut stallion, and “it” identifies as so, thank you very much.

Finally, a warning for sex mentioned on the last page. It’s quickly passed over, but I thought I’d best say something.

Author’s Note

He hadn’t made it in time to see her. The thought tormented him, even as he lay in a field of other torments: the cold mud under his elbows, the pain in his wounded sword arm, his fear of the trolls making birdcalls across the valley. His sergeant had allowed them a brief rest before they were to march across the ford at the bottom of the valley, and Keelath’s thoughts had turned, as they always did, to Mirium in the lull.

Tyrric had passed the message for him, of course, and passed back the return message of Mirium’s profound joy and gratitude. His euphoria had not even been dampened when his father had found out the true identity of their charity case. Light’s luck was instead with him, as Keelon told his son how proud he was for his compassion shown to the truly needy regardless of their station.

That luck seemed to have run out now, unfortunately.

The sergeant was calling them to attention, and Keelath raised himself out of the mud with a groan. With just a hand signal, the line began marching down the steep rocky slope.

As they drew closer to the hidden Shadowpine trolls, arrows shot between the branches of the evergreen trees. They pinged off Keelath’s mail harmlessly, though he kept his head down and raised his shield to protect his face. The metal surface was tiring to hold up in that position, and naturally the elven soldiers began to rotate who led the charge across the stony brook and then up the mountain to their enemies, giving each other a rest.

Keelath’s voice was hoarse as he cried his battle chant, and he winced as he used his hurt arm to plunge his sword into the trolls they found, over and over again. They were outnumbered, and Keelath couldn’t afford a rest or slip. As it was, one of the trolls’ spears pierced his defenses and caught him in the throat. His runed armor once again defended him, its wards flaring into light and turning the spear so it only left a scratch, though he had to duck a few seconds later as arrows swarmed after him like moths drawn to a candle at night.

The other soldiers closed around him swiftly, offering their own armored sides to defend him until his mail’s enchantment could recharge. The night went on like that, pushing and pulling back across the slope, and Keelath could barely lift his shield by the end of it, and his sword arm began to ache and sting without his even raising it.

The Shadowpine were finally beaten back to yet another hill, and the sergeant called a rest. Keelath sat down amidst the grumbles of the other men. How long could this go on? they groused. The mountains were endless, and so, too, seemed the forest trolls.

Keelath listened to them, but he didn’t join in the unhappy talk. He felt sorry for them, as they didn’t have what he had to fight for: a beautiful fiance waiting for him at home. Thoughts of Mirium sustained him as he closed his eyes to snatch a swift nap.

Rose for a Thorn, Part 2

We’ve known for a while that Tyrric had once had the hots for Mirium. I was never quite sure how that played out, until now.

As another note, Keelath’s father is unfortunately named Keelon, and I had some difficulty writing it so a reader’s eye wouldn’t skip over it and confuse the two characters. I’m not sure if I managed that, but I like Keelon’s name too much to drop it, especially since it continues the Sunwalker tradition of sharing syllables across generations.

I haven’t yet named the mother.

Author’s Note

The next few days were very busy for Mirium, the usual flurry of packing up the deck and the costumes and Antem’s stage contraptions. In the rush, Tarineth’s headaches — which had kept him from finishing the Hre’lod role, he claimed, though Mirium suspected otherwise — seemed to only get worse, and there was much worrying about how to fill his parts once they moved on from Thalas’talah. It was that thought that finally reminded Mirium of Keelath’s offer, the afternoon before they were due to leave. Continue reading “Rose for a Thorn, Part 2”