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The Destruction of Mortality
#1
A single gray eye wandered over a landscape that had been scarred by constant war. This eye was hard-set and sunken into the skull, beaten back by age and the constant reaction of fear coupled by hatred. It had seen battles, it had seen wars, and it had seen the cost of life. It had seen death's terrible hand grapple and tear out many a good man's soul.

This eye bore wisdom. This eye held the truth.

It was because of this reason that his soldiers went in to battle with him. Why they died for him.

"Is something bothering you, Grand Marshal?" A snide voice sneered into his ear from the left, creeping inside as if it were a disease to be treated but never cured. The grizzled commander was shaken out of his daydream, and turned his head to view his second-in-command. He was aware of the disdain that infected the man's words. The blade of this man's tongue was sharper than the dagger he was trying to plunge into his flank when his back was turned. "There is nothing bothering me, Field Marshal Wade. Have you finished the report of today's victory?"

A thin, sly grin spread across Field Marshal Wade's almost serpentine-like features. "You mean the extermination of this camp? Why, yes. I have duly noted down the last detail our victorious 'battle' against the Grom'gol Refugees." There was that word again. Extermination. "Field Marshal Wade. Are you inferring that these were not blood-thirsty savages, but some sort of civilized race akin to our own?" Wade did not need to mask his smile, for he was being all too sincere. "No. Of course not, Grand Marshal." A forced salute, and Field Marshal Wade's thin frame faded from view. The man turned back to view the jungle of Stranglethorn.

No.

Plains of pale green with rolling hills are what met his eyes. Strange, these lands seemed too quiet without the battle-cry of horde or the clash of human steel against orcish metal. "Is something bothering you, Highlord?" A hearty, gruff voice spoke up from his right. A warm smile began to carve a path across his normally stoic visage. "No, not at all, Garren." He said informally towards the heavily built man in front of him. A soldier that was more akin to a rock than anything else, but a heart inside of him that was easily bonded to. Garren was a man he could trust. "What's the damage?"

It was at that moment that Garren's infectious smile was flattened. "Well... Minimal. I'm starting to wonder why-" A gauntlet was risen, and Garren's strong voice was halted. "It is not our duty to question, merely to follow. If the enemy is sustaining severe casualties, it is not because they are weak, but because we are strong." Garren was left unconvinced by his commander and friend's wavering tone. "If... If you say so, Highlord." The rock-solid man hiked up a rigid salute and trudged away, his footfalls easily felt from far. The man turned his view back to the plains of Arathi.

Instead, he was greeted by the hue of tan. A completely flat tundra was spread below his wandering eyes, and where it was not flat, there were enormous mountains seeking to tear the clouds apart. Smoke was rising from many scattered settlements that were of orc architecture. Something was off. It had been harder than expected. "Something... Is... Is something b-bothering you, Argyle?" A soft, willowy voice floated in from behind him. The tall veteran turned in his full set of plate to dwarf the woman in scaled mail before him. "Vanessa? I was not aware--Surely you could not have completed the report in such short time?" Long locks of honey swayed to and fro as she shook her head. "N-no, of course not! I just thought that, well, you know... You always do this after a battle. Stare, and all. You seem even more distant these past few days. Why is that?" The man adjusted the bloodied cloth bandage over his eye.

This was the only person that made the man search the ground for his answer, instead of the other's eyes. She was not intimidating compared to him, yet she was able to bring him to his metaphorical knees with a few stammered words. He could give her only one answer. "I am not certain anymore." A sigh followed that was long overdue, and he turned his back to her. Instead of a knife, hands came to comfort him. He looked up once more to the field of battle with the one remaining eye, unable to see the dull draconic outline in the sky above.

Now all this man saw was a scarred, nameless land. There were not trees, for they had all been burned by azure flames. The hills were made of corpses, and the grass was stained crusty crimson from its once lustrous emerald. He thought very little these days. "Is something bothering you, Death Knight?" Asked a voice that wafted frost. A skeletal hand came to rest on his ebony plated pauldron, and he responded "No." His eye burned with renewed vigor not his own, a lie.

The truth had been buried deep inside of him. Eye hidden by blue flames and mouth held back by mind. Stolen Pride. It was only after death had come to claim his body did his will try to scream the truth, only to be numbed by ice.

Something was bothering Argyle Heartstill.

Regret.

---

(( Hey all, this is just a short story I whipped up. I've always been fascinated by characters that "Fall from Grace" so to speak, and the new expansion has got me brewing up ideas. As cliche as a Death Knight is, it fits in perfectly with my fascination of tragedy. Perhaps it's why I enjoy the undead so much.

Anyhow, it's in the Off-topic section because this character isn't related to the server, and most likely never will be seeing as Death Knight is restricted to normal players. For good reason, obviously. I can dream, though, and this is how I can express them. ))
"My companions' feelings have been etched onto my body.
I'll change this eternal darkness to light!
Heaven and Earth...
One body, one soul!

Chouginga, Gurren-Lagann!

I'll show you...
The power of mankind!"
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