(Original Post Date: September 22, 2009)
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.
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.
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.
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.”