Friday, October 15, 2010

The Fall of The King

There are some things in life that are so significant, so cataclysmic that they forever alter the course of history.  Like a giant boulder tossed into a river, the flow of time is forever changed, swirling around the event and reshaping its pattern downstream. Years later, men and women will recall exactly where they were and what they were doing at the exact moment the course shifted.  Grown adults who were but children at the time will recall vivid thoughts and emotions that should have been lost forever through the sieve of human memory.  The spot in time will shine forever bright, a bastion of clarity in the haze of collective human recollection.

There were Gnomes, plotting, planning, and amassing to take back their stolen city.  There were Dwarves, buried deep in Ironforge, drinking ale to chase away dark memories in somber taverns.  There were Night Elves, tending to the whims of their natural ways, struggling to hold onto past tranquility in a rapidly decaying world.  There were Draenei, displaced as refugees on a strange world, fighting to find their noble place in a battle that has spilled across the stars.

There were Trolls, searching for an identity and a home of their own.  There were Tauren, struggling to keep their nomadic tribal roots from being torn from an earth that no longer seemed to care.  There were Blood Elves, addicted to the very magic that betrayed them, striving to rebuild from the brink of mass extermination.  There were Forsaken, touched most visibly by the necrotic hand that threatened to sweep life from existence, yet retaining themselves through sheer force of will. 

And at the heart of it all, there were Orcs and there were Humans.  The two races that started it all.  A dichotomy of unrestrained passion and undeniable manipulation.  Two forces, loosely bound by a common foe.  A foe created by the mistakes of each, festering in the past, embodied in present flesh. 

A foe that was, at this very spot in the bloodied path of history, falling.

Twelve million souls looked to the skies as Azeroth shuddered in relief.  Twelve million; raceless, ageless, factionless; because to whom does a soul belong?  Twelve million, and more, freed from the oppressive knowledge that, even in death, could their bodies be used against them.  Twelve million to begin the healing.

Light shone down on the Citadel that day.  It pierced clouds that seemed a permanent ceiling over the land, and bathed the tallest spire of the blackest tower in pure radiance.  It could be seen for many leagues, a beacon of hope, a glowing rod of justice, reaching down to touch that darkest corner of Azeroth.

The Light's heroes had prevailed.

*      *      *

Abigora stepped from the portal onto the streets of Dalaran.  Her eyes took in the scene before her.  It seemed like thousands crowded the street and balconies, staring off into the distant skies.  Beside the Priest, her childhood friend's parents stood rigid like the rest of the masses.  Staring.

Her eyes found the shaft of light along with everyone else, lingering in the distance.  It pointed to a place that was well known in this city.  Even from a distance, they knew the light must shine on the Throne in Icecrown Citadel.  There was a hushed silence as vendors, urchins, adventurers, and officials alike looked on in awe.  

"The Lich King has fallen!" yelled a voice in the distance.  "The Lich King is no more!"

A cheer went up.  It was slow at first, subdued as if unsure of itself.  Yet soon it built into a tumultuous roar as the streets of Dalaran broke into frenzied celebration.  Streamers were tossed from balconies.  The sky seemed to rain color as fireworks exploded overhead.  People danced in the streets.  So long had the city lived in the shadow of Icecrown that the jubilation burst forth like an overburdened dam. 

Abigora found herself hugging strangers next to her, tears streaming down her face.  She didn't know why she was crying, but it didn't matter, she was caught up in a torrent of emotion.  It wasn't that she doubted the moment was inevitable in coming.  Logically, no king ruled for ever.  However, it wasn't a time for logic.  It was a time for celebration, because the future suddenly seemed a lot brighter.

*      *      *

Decedereful climbed off the ship as it docked at Valiance Keep, one arm around Mr. Wow beside her keeping him from falling down.  She looked at his pale face.  It was still sickly, but some color was returning even as they took their first steps on solid ground.  Next time, she would pay a Mage for a portal.  Heck, she'd even visit Jaina again if she had to, and that was saying something.

She lurched to a stop as she almost ran over the person in front of her, who had stopped suddenly to stare at the sky.  The Death Knight shot the person an annoyed glance as she maneuvered around the blockage.  Something in the man's face gave her pause, though.  There was such a look of rapture there, of joy.  

Decedereful looked around, observing the situation for the first time.  Everyone was stationary.  Everyone was gazing skyward.  Dockworkers, soldiers, adventurers, even errand boys.  Enraptured.

The Death Knight found her burning blue eyes sweeping skyward, following the masses.  In the distance, she saw it.  Light.  Perhaps the Light.  Dismantling the perpetual haze that hung over the sprawling Citadel she knew was out there.  Pulsing a promise back at her.  It was so beautiful.  What did it mean?  What did it mean?

"The Lich King has fallen!" yelled a voice in the distance.  "The Lich King is no more!"

Silence.  Astonished faces turned toward one another.  Could it really be?  Somewhere in the eerily stunned crowd, Decedereful heard a clap.  Then another, joined by another.  It began to spread, each person taking up after the last.  The sound of applause grew, amplified off the walls like the sound of a thousand tears of joy falling on hard stone.  Shouts, cheers began to lace the deluge of clapping.  Decedereful found herself pounding her palms together until they hurt, her friend next to her, all sickness apparently forgotten, whooping and hollering.  

It had been done.  The tyrant had been toppled.  Decederful wrapped her young friend in a suffocating embrace, kissing him fully on the lips.  The world spun around her, and, for a moment, she forgot her suffering at the hands of a monster.  For, in that moment, a bright light had chased out a very dark out of a corner of her mind.  She was free.

*      *      *

Fulguralis woke up, pain flaring through his body, racing down each limb like wildfire.  Grunting, he propped himself up into a seated position and took inventory of himself.  His robes were ripped, blood trickled down one arm, and his head throbbed as if used as a training dummy.  Yet he was not cold.

No, the platform where he sat was just as he remembered before Arthas had... Arthas!  Where is he?  Fulguralis jumped to his feet and spun around in a circle.  He immediately regretted the decision, as dizziness threatened to overwhelm him.  He was not in good shape.  

The Warlock was alone.  The platform where he stood was bathed in warm light.  It was almost so bright as to hurt Fulguralis's eyes.  Where were his friends?  Where was his wife?  There was a hole in his memory.  He recalled Terenas... wait, Terenas?  Terenas was dead?  How could that be?  They had done... done something.  

Fulguralis glanced towards the Frozen Throne.  It was once more a solid block of ice.  Whatever they'd done must have worked.  In fact, Fulguralis felt lighter already.  But he was tired, so tired.  The blood trickled beneath his robes, running down his legs to pool at his feet.  He was bleeding from an assortment of wounds.  He knew he needed to get them looked at, but he wasn't too concerned.  Thoughts came slowly to him, as it through a thick wall of fog.  

Where was his wife?

Fulguralis stumbled to the edge of the platform and looked down.  Bad idea.  Vertigo overcame him, and darkness danced at the edges of his vision.  He teetered, tottered, and felt himself falling forward.  It feels good to fly, he thought disjointedly. I'll just get some rest on the flight, and then I'll find her, he told himself with the air rushing around him and whipping his robes.  It's a bit chilly, a blanket would be nice.  Then the darkness overcame him, bubbling up and drowning his thoughts.  

The world went black.

4 comments:

  1. Wow...I always love your RP entries, but this is excellent. Thanks for sharing a glimpse of Azeroth's celebration with me.

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  2. I got goosebumps up and down my arms & legs.

    The last time I got these feelings was when I killed the LK for the first time.

    You captured it my good sir!

    /salute

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  3. Thanks guys. It means a lot. I wanted to do something a special as I transition with everyone from Wrath to Cat... plus it seemed like it should be an important milestone for my characters, obviously :-).

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