What Darkness Lies, Part 6

It was the gift of the dead, to move while asleep. To do without thinking. To serve without questioning.

You walk around like a clenched fist rather than an open hand, brother. I think you close yourself off from…what life can still be.”

Tyrric’s words echoed in Keelath’s head, as clingy as the blood flies that walked on his undead skin and sought holes in the enchantment that kept rot and maggots from his flesh. Night had fallen, and the blood flies had thankfully settled down with the cooling if the air, but Keelath’s grim thoughts remained.

The dark rangers of Keelath’s company had departed to scout out the remains of the Alliance army. Keelath made about as much noise as a pack of rampaging brutosaurs when he tried to move in the thick muck and undergrowth of Nazmir, so he stayed behind, using his sleepless night to help maintain the gear of the other Horde soldiers.

The scrape of the grindstone and the soft patter of polish onto breastplates could only distract him for so long, though. In some ways, that was what the entire thing was: a distraction.

“I am here because I am useful here,” he muttered to the night air. The other Forsaken nearby ignored him. Just as many of them had talked to themselves when the loss and the self-recriminations got too great, and it was an unspoken courtesy to let their fellows alone in their brooding. So long as you could still fight, that was good enough, and talking about it just reminded them all of experiences they would rather forget.

“I am good at war, and so I fight,” said Keelath to the darkness beyond his little forge. “What else is left to me? The Light I once served now burns me. I cannot give my once-wife life in her belly, or the love she craves… My brother holds the barony, with a warlock fir his bride. My own son is corrupted and dying.

“There is naught I can do for any of it. To think of it is sadness. To think otherwise is foolishness. So I don’t think. I do what I can still do, and do well, and that is this war.”

Keelath glanced at the stars: the beacons of hope for so many elves. Now they looked cold and distant; their mother had turned her face from him. “Perhaps my brother still sees a way,” Keelath murmured. “Perhaps for the living, there is. For the dead there is only servitude until we are dust.”

So telling himself, he lapsed back into the mindless work of sharpening blades and cleaning armor, letting his thoughts drift and then become still. It was the gift of the dead, to move while asleep. To do without thinking.

To serve without questioning.

“We are a family in death,” muttered Keelath. “My family is my life…my unlife.”

When the dark rangers returned with information on the Alliance’s location, Keelath smiled grimly at them. The Forsaken unit picked up to leave. The Dark Lady called them to war, Keelath rode, lance in one hand, cold determination in his heart.

What Darkness Lies, Part 7

Mirium continued to walk backward as Keelath started to move forward again. “That is not the right answer to that question, mister!”

This post was rewritten as part of the Great Revision. Unlike the previous one, which I reluctantly classified as non-canon, this one is canon.

Author’s Note

The next time Mirium saw Keelath, months had passed since their last letters. Tyrric had spoken to her about it, expressing disapproval with their choice not to re-marry. After a few snippish arguments, he had lapsed into silence and refused to speak any further about it, and Mirium had mostly put it from her mind.

Seeing Keelath standing outside Tyrric’s study then, his black armor coated in ice, his helmet shielding his face from view, brought the uncomfortable issue swiftly wheeling back. Continue reading “What Darkness Lies, Part 7”

The Rise of Keelath, Part Six

This originated as a snippet of Keelath’s thoughts when Tyrdan started dating Lellith in an ingame roleplay of World of Warcraft. A few minor details have changed now that Tyrdan is Tyrric and Alelsa is Lellith (with Lellith gaining another role in the Sunwalker story), so this post has seen a facelift, too.

–and now make that two facelifts, with the expansion of The Rise of Keelath story.

Author’s Note

I consumed a tuskarr who had crossed my path. I have not fed for a few days. As ever, it is a whiplash inside me. The rush, the sweetness, the sharp crack of another piece of my spirit.

My memories are fading faster now. I never realized how much emotion is tied to them. I keep on the search for Mirium—Tyrric does not understand my haste. Once my memories are gone, only Mirium’s safety being my duty will keep me on the trail, if another duty does not override it first. I want to hold her in my arms one more time while I still can love her. That may never come to pass.

I rode away from Dawnmist tonight. My head is a bit full. I felt angry at my brother, but mostly just sad.

I am losing him. I cannot accept his choice of mate. Maybe it is hypocritical, but a woman who employs dark magic willingly is not someone I can like. Nor do I think much of her work ethic. I don’t fear for Tyrric—in most ways he can take care of himself, and in all others… He was been warned: he chose not to heed.

I think he believes me outdated in this. I do not see true values as ever outdating. I have suffered enough being forced to go against my own conscience already; I will not subject myself to more by condoning this.

I wonder too, at the title and the manor. I could not take them back without some major trouble with the magistrates or my brother. I do not think that battle necessary yet. Maybe ever. I do not think much of my brother’s work ethic either, but it will suffice.

I fought with Tyrric this night. He has been sneaking back to Silvermoon, not to rest from our search, but to dally with his whore. I fed afterward for relief, and shortly again before I spoke to him tonight, in case the drive to kill became too great and I found him on my sword.

Memories of my brother are also fading with each whiplash of the kill. I would be more upset if it weren’t for our upheaval. Instead I see it with relief, and some regret. We won’t be mended before I will be laying him to rest with the last of my memories. And then?

Only my loyalty to my liege lady will remain. It will hurt him. He will not understand. There was never any other fate.

I felt a release on leaving Silvermoon. I am not to go back there, I think.

Off the boat in Northrend, I hunted. There are humans in these woods, who still resist the Dark Lady’s call. They will nourish me before they serve her.

My purpose blooms inside me with each kill. I am Forsaken. This is the burden we all bear—the hunger, the separation of family, the double standard of our morals. I knew the memories returning would be but a short respite from this fate. …perhaps, a distraction.

My lady grows impatient. Maybe my brother will be right in believing Mirium can take care of herself. My lady’s plans will not wait much longer.

But I still have my duty here yet to fulfill. To Mirium. While I still remember, nothing will override that loyalty. I must find her and see her home safely.

Letters Exchanged

When reading back over these as part of the Great Revision, I discovered they were actually quite good. So, I’m officially taking them out of the black hole of my roleplay tagged posts and making it into a more public-facing post!

Here we have Keelath trying to reconnect with Evelos, better known as, Evelos has a snit.

Author’s Note

Dear Evelos,

I write to let you know Continue reading “Letters Exchanged”