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[personal profile] antipallidan
[translated from taurahe; also note, this is a follow up of sorts to "A Death Knight cannot Cry."]

I had another dream, or so I thought.

I was back at Thunder Bluff, only I was normal and everyone around me had been turned into Scourge. I managed to fight my way back to Cairne’s tent. "Cairne! I need some help!" But Cairne said "No child, you must join us. You MUST, or you will die." His voice was not his own, though- I had heard that voice somewhere before. It sounded like Kel'Thuzad mixed with Cairne. Then he raised his head, and I knew the reason why- his eyes were the deep glowing blue of one who has been turned into a minion of Arthas. I tried to run, but it was too late. I was surrounded by turned bluffwatchers, who proceeded to hold me down, and then, the killing blow which took off my head was delivered by her- my once love, my once companion and now a trainer of other druids.

And then I woke up- She was rocking me awake in Zabra'jin. I started to ask how she had gotten there, but she held up a finger to my mouth. "I was assigned to find you, and bring you back. The druids have figured out how to undo this curse and turn you back into a druid again." "But.. how?" She grinned and said, "Like this" and proceeded to yank me from my bunk with more strength then she should have had, and slammed me to the ground. Her eyes started glowing blue and she impaled my heart and pinned me to the floor with my own sword, laughing manically-

The innkeeper's troll assistant was slapping my face to wake me up. "You be havin' a bad dream, mon." My sword and armor were safely on the other side of the room, per my previous instructions to the innkeeper. I did not want a repeat of what happened in Thrallmar with the guards. I nodded wearily. "Indeed. Did I… say anything during my dreaming?" He nodded. "Yes, you be calling 'Sh'ras' over 'n over. An old girlfriend, me think? Perhaps you be seeing her, talk to her, explain this be not your fault." I pondered this for a moment. "Besides, de work here will wait til you return." I nodded. "I guess I shall return to my old home, then. Thanks."

Gathering my things, I stepped outside the inn and fetched my mount from the stable. Casting Path of Frost, I made my way to the Cenarion refuge. I spoke with both the expedition leader and the warden, but they informed me that she was still at Thunder Bluff. Thanking them, I took me leave, and made my way to Shattrath. I used the Portal to Thunderbluff, and made my way to the Hall of Elders where she had finished a session with one of the apprentices. Taking my helm off, I went in to speak with her.

"YOU! What are you doing here?" Sh'ras's shout drew the attention of everyone in the hall, including the Archdruid himself. My only response was to knell before her, and in a clear voice, apologized. "I came to apologize for my actions the last time I was here. I have had time to examine my self, examine what memories have returned, and I wanted to apologize for hurting you." I knelt there waiting her response. She took the helm from my hand, and gently placed her other hand to my chin to lift my head up. Looking directly into my eyes, She said "Apology accepted" at the same time as she slammed my helm into my head with all the force she could muster, toppling me over and shattering my jaw. The ringing of my head and the sensation of the fragmented jaw prevented me from hearing most of the language, but I gather that it was not polite. "- And when we found out that you were still alive, albeit as this, I offered to help you regain your memories! And what did you do? You TURNED YOUR BACK ON US AND LEFT!" I was trying to piece my jaw back together allow it to heal, when the Arch druid spoke up. "I think the death knight has something additional to say to you, but he cannot say it with a broken jaw. Both of you, go somewhere private and work this out." I was holding my jaw with one hand and trying to get up with the other. She snorted, and grabbed my muzzle with glowing hands. Leaning in, she said "This is going to hurt. A LOT." I didn’t move a muscle as the bone fragments knit themselves back together. Once she let go, I experimentally opened and closed my mouth. "Thank you." Facing the Archdruid, I bowed, and we left the hall.

We eventually found ourselves in a somewhat private area with a bundle of food. I mentioned as we were eating that I did not feel any pain from the shattered jaw, and she expressed surprise. "Interesting. The Foresaken feel pain. After your last visit, the Archdruid asked me to go and speak with various forsaken in the Undercity. He stated that it might be beneficial to speak with them, even if they are diametrically opposed to our ideals. If nothing else, we might be able to better understand what has happened to both them and the death knights.In fact, they experience almost the full gamut of emotions, except maybe a fear of death, for obvious reasons." She paused for a moment to take another bite of her food.

I nodded. "The only emotion I felt before I started to regain my memory was… Anger. Hatred. On occasion, Joy. When I met you for the first time, something happened that opened up several of my memories. I felt something that I think I was not supposed to feel. I felt pain at those memories, if only because I knew that I could never experience them again. Although I cannot feel physical pain, it would appear that we can feel painful memories. Love, Remorse, Happiness? Those feeling are alien to me now. Even the warmth of this sunny day is something I cannot feel." She looked at me. "Really? You can’t feel the warm sun on your face?" I shook my head sadly, and loosened the straps on one side of my chest armor. "Give me your hand; I will demonstrate what I feel." She reluctantly gave me her hand, and I placed it over my heart underneath the chestplate I wore. She involuntarily shivered. "You’re cold… ice cold to the touch." I released her hand and she pulled away. "While I felt your touch over my shirt, I felt no warmth- Merely the sensation of touch." I re-tightened the straps, and checked to make sure she was ok. She had been flexing it slightly to warm it back up.

"The forsaken, while they were not warm to the touch, were certainly not cold. Under the cold, I did feel a heart beating within you, something that none of the forsaken have." I nodded. "That is what separates us- The death knights have more of a semblance of life then the Foresaken, although all we know is cold, death, and misery." She said "I think I can forgive your previous actions. While we can no longer be lovers, I would not mind being friends. I need to get some notes, I'll be right back." She stood up and walked away.

I watched life passing by on the lowest tier of the central rise in Thunder Bluff while I was waiting. I felt a dim stir of memories long thought forgotten or erased as I watch young playing, adults haggling with merchants, and craftfolk plying their trade. While I was watching one of the blacksmiths, a male calf ran up to me. "Gee mister, you look odd." I looked down at him, and suddenly more memories flooded back- I suddenly remember the first time that my now-dead mother brought me here, and I acted in a similar manner to one of the elder druids wearing full battle gear. I carefully grinned, and stated simply, "Indeed, I am odd." Encouraged, the calf spoke up again. "When I get older, I want to be big and strong like you, and wear cool armor like yours!" The grin abruptly vanished from my face. I knelt down to face him eye to eye. "Little one, it is my fondest hope that you grow up to be anything but what I have become." I heard what must have been the child’s name on across the general din be a somewhat tired and worried parent. Looking back down at the calf, I stood up and looked around. Sh'ras was coming over with the worried parent in tow. "Jel, how many times have I told you to not go running off-" Her tirade was cut short when she got close enough to discern my true nature. I bowed as deeply as I could. "Ma'am, I mean you or your son no harm. He was merely curious about my armor." I looked back down as him. "Listen to your elders, your mother and father, and follow the path of the Earthmother, young one. If you do this, you will bring honor to all of us." He ran back to his mother, who grabbed one of his arms and proceeded to drag him away while shooting dagger-like looks back at me.

I sat back down, and sighed heavily. "And now you see why I stay away. Even among other tauren, I am considered an outsider and a threat to them. Perhaps it is better this way." Sh'ras turned back to me, knelt down, and gave me a hug. Whispering in my ear, she said, "I think you did a fine job with him. Unfortunately for us, this is the time where we must leave each other. I have another apprentice that the Arch druid is terrorizing instead of me, and I'm sure you have things to do back in the Mushroom Kingdom." I was getting up, and I paused at the kneeling stage. At my confused look she laughed. "You have the smell of Zangermarsh all over you on top of everything else. Fare thee well, Ebon Knight." She leaned down at me and gave me a light kiss on the side of my muzzle and took off.

The kiss had a profound effect on me. More memories returned, both of my early days, and of our now-dead romance. For the first time since I had been sentenced to this torment, I sat down with frozen tears in my eyes. It was only when two Bluffwatchers, the ever vigilant guards of the peace, shook me and brought me back from my relevation.

[OOC: edited to correct canon in regards to who exactly runs the inn at Zangermarsh. :) ]
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June 2016

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