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Silent Dirge - A Forsaken's Journey
#1
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
The free bird leaps
on the back of the win
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and is tune is heard
on the distant hill for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
an the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

-Maya Angelou



My name is Irasis. I claim no surname and bear no title. Some have called me a Scout to the Horde, that title means little to me. A few battles in the Warsong Gultch, and people insist on giving you a title. It is pointless, of course.

I came into my new existence three years ago. The first two years were spent in the haze that is the Lich King’s control. I do not wish to speak of those times, so I will not.

The grace of Sylvanas freed me nearly one year ago at Deathknell. It has taken one year to understand what has happened to me, and still I do not fully understand everything. Life is still blurred, and I had no idea of who I was, or what I had become. That was until I met Tetsumis.

The orcish warlock never did, I think, know why I started following her around. I do, though. When I saw the red hammer on her tabard, I came to myself. The haze cleared, but for a moment, and I knew that I had to follow her. Ignoring that feeling would lead me back into the Lich King’s embrace, and I can not allow that to happen. Ever.

So I followed Tetsumis, honing my skills as a warrior (I will talk about why I chose to be a warrior another time) and learning as much as I could about the strange land I was in. I went with her to the orcish capital of Orgrimmar. From Orgrimmar to the Crossroads, to Thunder Bluff up into Ashenvale, Tetsumis allowed me to follow, and a friendship blossomed. At least I think it did…such emotions seem beyond me most of the time. I am as numb to love and compassion as my dead flesh is to touch.

I was not with Tetsumis all the time, of course. The times I was away from her brought back the same haze and confusion as before. I studied herbalism and alchemy to try to stave off the fog, thinking that by sharpening my mind I could take control over the situation. But the fog was relentless, and the only times it ever dissipated was when I saw the red hammer on Tetsumis’s tabard.

~*~

You do not understand, do you, what it is like to be mindless? To have your thoughts repressed. Your soul suppressed (yes, dear reader, the soul does not flee the body of even a Scourged) is a torture no mortal could devise. What Sylvanas offers is freedom, yet it is freedom into a new prison, where the body can not touch nor the heart feel. It is close to hell, but it is not enslavement. It is any wonder why I did not fight when I heard Sylvanas’s call? No, you cannot understand if you are not Forsaken. And I hate you for that, too.

This is my greatest challenge and my most solemn goal. I will not fall back to mindless servitude. The Lich King will not have me again. I will do everything in my power to destroy the minions of the Lich King. I do this not for Sylvanas, though I still acknowledge the debt all Forsaken owe to her. I do this not for my fellow Forsaken, for to be Forsaken is to be alone. I do this because, amid all my hate, my hatred for the Lich King burns hottest. That will never fade.

~*~

It was dusk on the plateau in the Thousand Needles and I was in some Tauren village. I despise Tauren only a little less then most mortal races, yet they serve a valuable function in the Horde, and so I do nothing to provoke them. There are even some Tauren I do not mind. Vilyave comes immediately to mine. That flighty Tauren has offered to make new leather straps for the harness that keeps my skull in place, a left over gift from the cause of my death, I imagine. The harness keeps the insides of my head from coming outside, and it does a good job at that. I do not know who or what fashioned the system of leather straps and buckles I now where, but it is effective. I hope Vilyave can do an even better job..perhaps she can rig up a system that would allow me to speak, at least on a limited basis. Perhaps not, but that is a goal to work towards.

I was on the Tauren plateau, Freewind Point, I believe they call it, when I saw the red hammer that is usually on Tetsumis’s chest. I approached carefully, for it was not Tetsumis, nor Rajana, nor Vilyave who I saw wearing the hammer. Instead, it was a various Trolls, Orcs, and even a Tauren all wearing the same tabard.

And there was another Forsaken with them.

I froze at the outskirts of the group and stared. The Forsaken was animated, a smile frequently crossing her dried lips. ‘Does she actually feel something for these others,’ I found myself wondering. The clarity of that thought struck me, and I realized that the fog, which had been particularly bad that evening, was no longer intruding on my mind. So many were wearing the emblem of the red hammer that I found myself curious, something I had not felt since before I became a Forsaken.

The undead woman noticed me and approached with a smile. She introduced herself as Eveline, and soon I was surrounded by others, I assumed they were her friends. A troll named Sreng, a Tauren named Kernhoof, and a dour orc whose name I have forgotten. And in that moment, surrounded by those who call themselves the Ironsong Tribe, I became confused.

Confused, you may ask? Why? Because Eveline was a Forsaken, she showed actual concern and caring for everyone else. Myself included.

I must find out more about this…

~*~

Memories of my past surface, and just as quickly vanish. I see a vast city, a harbor of the Alliance. I see an old man, my father I think, yet I can only conjure dark feelings towards the image. Flashes of white and red, and black…in memories, even black can flash. The grain shipment, that was my father’s idea. Another one of his schemes to earn a few easy gold, I suppose. We shipped it from Andorhol to the city, it was a dull journey. What happened next…

What happened next, I do not know.

~*~

Kernhoof offered me pie. At first I didn’t know what to do with it. Eating is not normally something a Forsaken does regularly, and it had been a long, long time since I had seen pie of any sort. I imagine I looked like a newborn foal just getting his legs. I plunged my face into the pie and ate, but it meant nothing to me. My body and mind were disconnected at that point. All I could think of was Eveline, and her apparent affection for the mortals around her. I stood there, my face dripping with pie filling, and Kernhoof smiled with amusement. Yes, I must have been quite a sight that evening, but I do not care.

Familiar hatred flared through me. I caught it, and with effort, mastered the rage I felt towards the living. Looking back, I find this surprising. It was the first time I had ever mastered the hatred inside. Even towards Tetsumis, the one mortal who tolerated me more then anyone, I had always felt anger and hatred, simply because blood flowed in her, and not me. Yet now, seeing Eveline, I wondered if the irrational anger that marked my existence was something I could overcome. Perhaps it was a symptom of myself, and not my condition. Maybe it was possible to become more then what I was.

I wrote her a note before I left, that is the best way for me to communicate in detail. I made certain it was short and stilted. I did not want her to know the extent of my mind, not yet, at least. Still, I did not hate her. And this, more then anything, was new to me. I did not hate her, and I did not hate the Ironsong. This would be my task, the first among many; to explore the Ironsong Tribe, and perhaps, to find a home there. I have read their Code of Conduct, and by that I can abide. Now we shall see if they will accept me as one of their own.
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#2
To be undead is a lonely existence...how often I wonder how long the magic that holds my will in this form will last...how often I think of how I love my tribe but how I can never truly be one of the living...

And yet, Ironsong is a wonderful family. They have given me a home where I had none. They have given me a purpose, where I had none. And they have become my friends, when I had none.

Continue your training Warrior. I shall look out for you and cast you aid whenever I can.

Time will tell the rest.

-=((D))=-
Sing True Ironsong!
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#3
((I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing!))
~Better a cruel truth than a comfortable lie.~ (Edward Abbey)
Reply
#4
The Road Not Taken
By Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
and sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
and looked down one as far as I could
to where it bent in the undergrowth;


~*~

Eveline.

I want to hate her. I want grab her neck and twist; to hear the satisfying pop as her spine disconnects from her body. I want her to know how much I would like to despise her. I want to look into her eyes at the moment before she fades to nonexistence. I want my scorn to be the last thing she will ever see.

I should want that, but I cannot. I cannot hate Eveline, no matter how much I wish I could. Hatred and anger is all I can feel; it is all I have felt since Sylvanas freed me, but for her, I feel nothing. The absence of feeling is as potent as white hot passion. It is something different, and that alone is significant.

~*~

Then took the other, as just as fair,
and having perhaps the better claim
because it was grassy and wanted wear;
though as for that, the passing there
had worn them really about the same,


~*~

Three nights ago, I met a Forsaken named Naruth. She was listening for something in the courtyard above the Undercity. I do not know what she was listening for, but she was certainly annoyed by my interruption. I was simply going to see Rajana, another member of the Ironsong Tribe, who I had seen on the rampart. Next to her was an undead mage, sitting on a column and meditating.

I stared at her. Here was an example of a true Forsaken. She was pristine and proud, her annoyance at my interruption did not take away from the noblity in which she held herself. It was as if she were apart from the world. She was beautiful to my eyes. Here was someone who maybe, just maybe, understood.

She said many things to me I did not understand. About hearing and listening and didn’t I, someone who cannot speak, twist and cry out inside? Her words struck deeply, and I was wounded. Then she touched my head, and everything changed.

She was inside my mind. I could have resisted, maybe, but I let her in. She was not gentle, but neither was I, and the flashes that past between us contained all of my anger and rage; hatred and confusion. She knew then that I did not know what I was, not fully. She discovered my secret. And she shared with me something profound. I do not know entirely what happened, but I know I am changed.

~*~

And both that morning equally lay
in leaves no feet had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.


~*~

When I saw another young Forsaken the next day, my hatred for her weakness had overflowed. The young woman was surrounded by mortals, all who were arguing over the best way to protect her. To protect her! How pathetic, a Forsaken reduced to sitting blindly while mortals decide how best to protect her.

I do not want to hate my own, but this one was different. I asked her, through a note, why the mortals cared for her. She could not answer, and I walked away in disgust. I saw her later showing affection towards at Tauren. Disgusting. I will find that one later and show her what Naurth showed me. At least with her I know how I feel.

Not so with Eveline. I cannot hate her, and I have tried. There is something about her that stops me; allows me to control the anger that so often dominates my mind. But she said something last night that stayed with me. She said that her tribe mates reminded her of the “goodnessâ€Â
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#5
Some say the Forsaken are magical creatures. I don't know if that's true, but even if we are, I still don't trust magic. You can't see it, smell it, or touch it, and I can't trust something like that. Priests are fine, and even druids don't bother me. One is divine, if you believe in that, and the other is tied to nature. At least I can touch the earth, even if I can't feel it anymore.

Still, it's hard to avoid magic. I's everywhere. I even think I saw an enchanted silverware set for sale in Orgrimmar last week. But i's not magical things I don't trust. Sure, my axe has a small enchantment, but I know what it does. Magic users are a different matter. All that power in one person. You never know just what they'll do.

Those were my thoughts when I opened up the letter. It had been delivered in strange way, by a bat. The animal had fluttered around the Undercity's roof like a confused sparrow for who knows how long before it caught my eye. I've seen bats before. Not the trained ones used to fly Forsaken to and from the Undercity, but real bats. This one, I could tell, was not acting naturally. It flittered around my head several times before it dropped a rolled parchment on the ground in front of me. I knew right away it was not normal. I could almost taste it in the air. "Oh great," I groaned to myself, "mages."

Mages don't like to have their tassels pulled, and I knew that any one that had gone to the trouble of enchanting a bat to deliver a message for me would not be easily ignored. With a deep sigh, or what looked like a sigh, I still retain some mannerisms of the living, I bent down and picked up the rolled up parchment. Familiar distain, but oddly enough, not hatred, flared when I heard the first words. .

My Dear Irasis

Yes, I heard the words. I did not read them. It was Dispaya, her magically animated picture speaking to me as my eyes fell on the words. Who in the bleeding Nether did I piss off to have a powerful Forsaken mage take an interest in me? I promised myself that, after I dealt with this letter, I'd find the nearest warlock and wring his neck until I got my answer. For now, Dispaya's voice filled the otherwise quiet hallway.

I am simply that which I am. I was once human...I am now more than human in some ways, and in other ways I am less. I do not hold the warmth of flesh that a living girl does...nor can I create life in my belly like they do...and yet I have a spirit that can love still...

I glanced around and saw some Forsaken murmuring and looking in my direction. I couldn't blame them. How often does anyone talk about creating life in the Undercity? The letter, inexorably, continued.

"...and it is that small bit of my humanity that I have chosen to cling to. It is all I have that keeps me from sinking back to the ways of the scourge. I was once a monster who preyed on innocent children. Now I am free. That I am now able to love shows me that I am no longer the monster I once was. You ask how I may have friends when I am what I am, and that is exactly why I can.

Perhaps it is a sickness, some disease of the mind that caused these two Forsaken, Dispaya and Eveline, to love. Maybe they only think they love, but really they have indigestion from some unfortunate gnome they had for lunch. I don't know or care. They are misguided, Naruth showed me that.

Now I had traded a letter or two with Dispaya. I don't remember how we started writing, but I do remember my last letter to her. I asked her how she can care about others when she is what she is. It is the same question I asked Eveline. What was I thinking, asking questions to a mage?

Actually, I know exactly what I was thinking. There is no one to blame for her attention but myself and my damned question. Still, I needed to know. I still need to know.

I found myself talking to her image.

The flaming parchment still spoke. 'Blasted show-off mage,' I mentally spat. On top of everything else, it was damn annoying, and I didn't particularly like the attention her voice was attracting from passerby's. I quickly found a somewhat quiet corner and continued to listen.

I have friends simply because I choose to.

'But what does that mean?'

Forsaken cannot survive in this world without allies...this was why Sylvanas brokered the truce between our people and the horde. To that end we must respect her pact...and to that end we must work twice as hard as the living in order to be accepted. Friendship is an earned thing my dear Ira...it is not given easily among the horde races of Azeroth. Therefore, one of our kind must choose to be a friend to those we align with, before expecting friendship to be given in return. It is their instinct NOT to trust us...therefore We must take the first steps.

'Acceptance and friendship. Why should I care for them? Why should I, when Light proved false and all hope failed me. Friendships are fragile. Friendships can break. Why should I care? Why do I care what the living think? They mean nothing to me.' But even as I thought that, I knew it wasn' true.

Only you have set the standard that to be Forsaken is to be alone.

'I did not. I am what cruel fate has made of me.' But I could not stop, listening, even if I wanted to.

Not all choose such a path, and you must understand that now it is a choice you have. Sylvanas liberated us and gave us free will once again that we may now forge our own destinies. Forsaken may be magical...we may be unnatural...but we need not be alone. To love is to be free...to have the choice to love is a gift we have been given and one I do not forsake easily. To love does not make one less...the power of love is infinite.

'The power of life,' I thought to myself, 'does not extend to us. Not to me, at least.'

She went on to talk about loyalty. How if I earned her friendship she'd give her life if necessary. But if I betrayed her or her family, I would, how did she put it? "I wll ¦see you utterly and irrevocably destroyed in the fiery flames of vengeance." The animated image smiled as she said this, and I was struck by the colorful arrogance. That understanding was quickly followed by the sober understanding that this mage could very well back up her promise. Quite literally, if she chose.

She then offered something I did not expect.

I hope you will come and travel with me someday. There is much of this world I would show thee. Until such time happens I say to thee again.

I paused for several moments, rereading the line, her voice repeating the line as my eyes passed over them. Travel with the mage. I stared at her image, now frozen on the parchment, and for several minutes did not move. To travel with the mage...

She was of Ironsong, and the image of the hammer on their tabards was still with me. It cut through my hate and drove away the anger, if only for a moment. Even the bitter, sweet memory of Naruth could not touch that. Yes, I would travel with Dispaya if I got the chance. But I do not think I would, or could, learn her version of love.

After all, there is a reason we call ourselves "Forsaken."
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#6
"All my love and power" ... It was a greeting she had used nearly every day with her tribemates, and yet on this day, the one to who she wished this on returned her greeting with questions.

The note by Irasis simply read:


How can you love, and how can you have friends, when you are what you are? We are Forsaken. We are alone. We are bound to the Will of Sylvanas, and we are prisoners fiegning freedom.

I shall look for you, Dispaya, Advisor of Ironsong, if only to learn what makes you what you are. I will find no strength with you, or with the Ironsong Tribe. I cannot, as much as I would wish it. And yet, you are what you are.

Do not waste your love on me. I cannot and will not return it. If the Ironsong Tribe proves true, you shall earn my loyalty. Not my love. That is all I can give.

-Irasis


How harsh his words..and how sad. Dispaya herself had been through such a time and she remembered it well. Lonliness was no stranger to her...

Her first memory as a Forsaken was awakening in a crypt in Deathknell...several Forsaken Priests surrounding her. Her clothes had been in tatters...a white dress from some past she had at that time forgotten. Never had she hated anything more than herself when the memories of her recent past came flooding back. She remembered the death she had caused..and how she had reveled in it...yet she did not remember who or what she was.

"Who am I?" she had asked..her words barely a whisper..

"Who indeed?" One of the priests giggled. Forsaken "Doctors" often re-named those who had freshly risen. Many Forsaken had forgotten their human names and so needed to be called something. Sometimes those "something" names were humorous as even these priests had become bored with the more mundane ones.

"I think we call her Fubarella" one of them snickered.

She remembered how the leader had looked back at him and silenced him with a glare.

"No...not this one. She has suffered much." He placed a cold hand on her brow. On some level their minds connected. "This one has much to despair about...her memories are clear. We call her...Despaira...no...Dispaya..."forever in despair..."

The trio solemnly nodded, and so she was named. But this was not her name...she had been called something else before..."Car..." the name escaped her...and where was her father...where was he...the...Gen-er-al?

She crawled from the crypt barely able to carry her own wisp of a frame...and made her way to a broken mirror. The reflection which came back at her caused her to scream. She had curled up into a small ball and sobbed alone in the darkness, and then after a time she had left and ran into the wilderness...alone.

For weeks she had wandered the barren forests infested with spiders and vermin. She had slept under logs and in the cracks of trees. She had eaten small animals and insects to stay alive...but she was no longer a monster. Though she remembered the deaths...all of them...and the screams of the innocent she had once caused and had once loved causing.

She once found a dead man alongside the road. His throat had been torn away by the claw of some beast. She knelt and searched him and found a sharp dagger on the man's belt. She snatched it away and ran back into the forest with her new prize. The dagger was sharp. The dagger would end her pain.

She cradled it in her hands and placed the point at her breast. She cried to herself that it would not hurt and she begged the gods to end her suffering. She had killed so many...so many innocent ones...the children...

With a start she plunged the dagger into her heart...but death did not come...for death had already taken her long ago. The magics that sustained her continued to sustain her still. She felt no pain...and nothing had changed. In frustration she had screamed in the darkness and had collapsed at the foot of a tall and ancient oak tree.

It was under that same tree that she had been found. As she sat pondering the sadness that overwhelmed her...her memories still scattered were returning in small bursts. She remembered faces and names...but knew not from where. Who were they? Dar-an...Fath-er...and...Gen-er...

At once the feet of a blue green raptor stopped in front of her. She looked up into the face of the beast and hoped it would bring her a quick death. Perhaps it could do what her dagger could not. By the look of its fangs she did not doubt it was capable. She next saw that it was not wild but a mount of some sort, and on its back sat a creature the likes of which she had never seen. He had blue skin and a face with sharp wisened features. In a quick gesture he slipped off the creatures back and kneeled at her feet.

"What ya be doin out here in dis wilderness lass? All alone?"

She looked at him and in her confusion said the first name that came to mind.

"Gen-er-al?"

The old troll laughed. "I'm no General..but a Warlord...and the head of a mighty tribe. We have a farseer...a troll called Shillatae..she had a vision and sent me here ta find ya. She tells me ya need a place..and we aim ta give ya a home."

"Home?" The word she knew. The word was warmth. The word was safety. She would no longer be alone.

She stood in the wilderness...ashamed of her tattered clothes. Somewhere inside of her, human pride still lingered.

"Will ya come with me then?"

"She had nodded a yes. "I will...yes...I will come...Gen-er-al"

A feeling had struck her in that moment. It was one she would never forget. An emotion that had left her heart and her very being for what seemed an eternity. The feeling was love. She loved the wise one in that moment as much as she had ever loved before...and she had loved before...she was certain. The one called "Dar-en..the one called Fath-er...

In time she would remember more.

She had come to the tribe Ironsong as a vagrant and they had taken her in..and the one called "Sreng" had found her when she was alone. She had fought beside them a hundred times since that day and each time had earned more of her respect and the love in her heart had grown. She wrote songs for them..she advised them in dark times...and she tried her best to look after the new ones. For that she had been called "Champion." And she was now no longer alone. Love had saved her.

She read Ira's note. He was alone as well...and this saddened her. She thought that need not be so...and so she conjured a spell and spoke to him in words she hoped could reach him...yet like her friend Ebberk, the cold...she knew words might not be enough. She also knew that it mattered not for he was what he was, and she would respect him for that no matter what. In her life, and indeed in both of her lifetimes, she had found one thing to be true... that the universe is always in motion, life is always a circle...and nothing...no-one...ever stays the same.

She pondered these things and of this strange fellow Ira...and thought to herself "How alike we are... and yet how opposite."

Something in his words continued to ring in her ears...


"...you shall earn my loyalty. Not my love. That is all I can give."

"He can give." She finally decided. This is good. If he could not then he would be truly lost. There is yet hope for this one..."

She called the bat "Mickey" from its perch high in her crypt and placed the note in his paw.

She giggled to herself in the darkness as the bat fluttered away and then she turned her attentions back to an old musty tome she had discovered in a recent trip to the Scholomance...

"This is so very interesting...it may actually be possible to infuse gemstones with magical power...I must learn more of this..."
Sing True Ironsong!
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#7
I do not know which is stranger, that the mage had the ability to enter my mind or that I allowed her in. I do not trust mages, and Dispaya is no different. That's what I thought, at least. I let her in, just like I let Naruth in. This time it was different. She is different. The Ironsong Tribe is different.

So I told my story, in a stilted way, through Dispaya. I kept it brief, there was not much for me to tell, or for them to know. As before, the anger and hatred that I carry with me faded when I saw the Tribe. I had sought the Tribe in Brill, at the inn. The moot, what the Ironsong Tribe calls their weekly assemblies, had already ended. Once again I had not been able to attend. They seemed understanding, especially Eveline. But I will write about her later.

Another Forsaken, clad in armor and wearing a green eye patch, entered the room. Demonrose was dour; I had seen her before and never in good humor. She sat on the nearby table and, after hearing the story I told through Dispaya, said loudly, "Death to them all." Or some similarly violent phrase, I was too surprised by the comment to remember the specifics.

She spoke of how she had dreamed of the Lich King. Demonrose was afraid she falling back to the Scourged. She lamented the darkness she felt rising inside of her, than cried out, "But I am a monster!" It was enough. I strode towards the table, stopping in front of the other Forsaken. She was standing on the table now, and as I looked up, her eyes locked with mine. We stared at one another for several moments, her one good eye and glowing green eye patch matching my gaze, and I felt a wave of revulsion. I pointed at the hammer on her tabard, a symbol of the Ironsong Tribe. How fortunate she was to have a family to support her, one from which she could draw strength. Even as I pointed, Dispaya called to her, putting into words the some of the things I was thinking. She spoke of support and mutual strength, through the Tribe. My heart turned, and I realized the revulsion I felt was not towards the Demonrose but towards myself.

I lowered my arm and stepped back. Demonrose nodded to me, then spoke to Dispaya, acknowledging her words and accepting the strength of the Tribe during her trial. ËœGood," I thought. That night I discovered the strength that is the Tribe. It is a strength that is part of each member, and together it is a whole greater then its parts. Demonrose understood. Dispaya understood. And I...I was began to understand.

After everyone had left, Eveline asked if she could walk with me. An odd request; I would think that the master warlock of the Ironsong Tribe would need no invitation to walk beside me, a wanderer with no purpose and no home. I welcomed her, of course. Her presence mutes my anger, and brings to me an emptiness that must be akin to peace. I will welcome it, even if it is not true peace, because it is something different.

We sat in silence by the lakeshore, and for a moment I felt normal. We may as well have been two lovers on a stroll. She asked about me, and I answered as I could. I did not

I should find Tetsumis again. She has traveled with me for a long time, yet even she could not avoid my spite. Perhaps now it will be different. It is possible there has been a change. No...there has been a change. In the past, when Eveline left me alone, the hatred returned and I did not hope or care. As I write this, I find I do hope. I hope that I do not hate her as I once did.

I am not strong enough to fight what I am. Not alone. Already I feel the anger overtaking me. The hatred for all things. Especially myself. I must resist the temptation to find her. But even as I write this, I know what will happen. I will put down my pen, put away my journal, and seek out Naruth.

And in doing that, I take another step towards darkness.
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#8

Exerpt from Dispaya's Journal

...and of Veramorla, I can only conclude that her mother Delgarsida must be dealt with sooner rather than later. She is like a serpent waiting in the grass to strike. Assassination is rarely a noble thing...but in this case I feel it may be prudent. More on this later...

My thoughts now turn once again to Irasis who has finally come to join us. His own self loathing was leading him on the path of self destruction...but I was finally able to reach him by asking a simple question..."do you have any battles left to fight..." Somehow this question seemed to compel him forward rather than the usual lingering he does over his current state.

Irasis suffers from "the emptiness," a condition that is not unknown to the newly risen or newly awakened. This is a feeling of having no purpose and of no meaning to a newfound undead existence, yet his seems to be deeper than most.

I feel he is not truly lost as he is able to feel anger. Anger is a very powerful emotion and one oft thought of as negative by peaceful peoples...yet anger is not always so. Anger may create hatred, but it also is at once compelling to the self and to feel anger is very motivating. Anger compels us to right that which is wrong and so in some ways it can serve the purpose of bringing one to one's own self. Most important here is the fact that where one emotion exists, others may exist as well.

The opposite of love is never hate..it is in fact indifference. If one can hate or feel anger, than one may have the ability to care as well. Just as one cannot feel hate without having felt love, one cannot feel anger without caring on some level about the target of the anger...though it may even be one's self. We must remember that in all things negative, there is positive. One cannot exist without the other.

That Irasis can "feel normal" if even for as moment shows potential for what may yet come. That he may feel hatred towards himself is actually grande. I have known many forsaken with the inability to feel at all and they oft fade into true death leaving nothing in their wake. I surely hope Irasis finds a way to understand his own existence in whatever context that may be...for if he does not then the pact must be fulfilled...and that will be a tragedy...

I have spoken to Master Ebberk concerning Irasis' communication problem. I think the solution may be more technical than magical, but Ebberk is equally great at both science and magic. If a solution exists...he will find it.
*Note: perhaps it may take knowledge of necromancy to restore Ira's speech. I must speak to Ebberk about this as well.

On the subject of Degrang and this anger management problem of his...as Ironsong Advisor I am recommending he attend weekly counciling sessions and perhaps...
Sing True Ironsong!
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#9
((updated for consistancies sake, because man, that first paragraph was not clear))

Irasis ducked and rolled to the right. The blade swished where his neck had been only a moment before. Quickly, he came to one knee and thrust his sword into the now unprotected side of the red-clad man. The great bulk squealed in pain and toppled backwards. Irasis let go of the sword and stood as he watched the Crusader fall. Battle pounded in his ears, a vestige of heated blood from when he was alive. He stalked to the dead ogre and pulled the blade out, bringing with it several ribs in several sickening cracks.

He eyed the collection of dead Scarlet Crusaders, recently made corpses courtesy of his mace. He looked to Vanea, the odd mage who had accompanied him for the first time that night, and nodded. Vanea returned the nod. He was unsure what to make of the undead mage. She was powerful, that was certain, but she was also a mage. I am cursed with mages. He thought of Dispaya, and Rajana, and now Vanea. Cursed with mages indeed. Rajana, smiling despite the carnage, or maybe because of it, came up along side Vanea. Irasis shook his head again, still lost in his own thoughts, but was rewarded with a raised eyebrow from Rajana. Cursed with mages, he thought again in the closest thing he could come to bemusement. But there are worse things to be cursed with.

He nodded to the others again, then pointed to the doors of the Cathedral. Rajana nodded and moved to unlock the door. Fire coursed over Vanea’s hands, waiting to be released. Rajana’s own hands ignited in preparation. Irasis knocked an arrow on his bow and aimed towards the nearest monk.

Cursed with mages and cursed with warlocks. Eveline and Tetsumis were magic users, Irasis made no mistake about that. Still, as the victories piled up, he felt that while he could not trust mages, he certainly could fight along side a select few of them. Rajana and Vanea had earned his trust, as had Tetsumis and Eveline, though the latter two were warlocks. Those who deal in demons, Irasis knew, should never be totally trusted. Yet he trusted them. And for that, he knew, he would probably pay, one day.
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#10
The stink of rotting vegetation hung heavy in the damp air. The grey sky reluctantly spat warm rain through the thin canopy of leaves and branches. Everyone in Camp Mochaje was sweating. Everyone, that is, except the few Forsaken present. The Forsaken felt nothing. Not the oppressive humidity nor the rain on their face. One looked longingly at a small fire, his eyes greedily drinking in the heat he could never feel. Another stared longingly skyward, the rain drops splashing into his unblinking eyes.

Irasis looked at these two with contempt. They yearned for life and lamented their situation. They, like so many other people, did not understand their past. They lived in their past. Thhey planned around a history that could not be reclaimedt. They focused on it, not realizing that the wish of what was or what may have been ignored the truth that the past could never return. To be Forsaken, Irasis had learned, was not to live in the past. The person who he was had died four years ago. To go back there would mean true death.

Irasis ignored the choked, hollow whinny from his unnamed horse. He dismounted and tied the undead gelding’s reins to a post. Not that the mount would run away, Forsaken mounts rarely moved until directed by their masters, but he knew the act of securing his horse would put others at ease. He had put much of his recent efforts into putting the living at ease, not because he was concerned about making them uncomfortable, but because it was much easier to interact with the living if they forgot he was undead.

They lived in the past too, though in a different way than his Forsaken brethren. The Orcs were lost in memories of Dreanor, and the trolls contented themselves with past glories of their lost empires. Irasis thought of how often Zul’Gargzah would speak of the past. He knew this was because he was a Zul, but even so, he lived in the past. The Tauren focused on the Earthmother, which carried with it the immeasurable burden of the past. All cared about the past, even the Forsaken. Even Irasis, though he would not admit that to himself.

It was not that he could not remember his past. The silent Forsaken remembered every detail of his past; who he was, what he did, and even how he died. His hand went automatically to adjust his leather straps. Most who saw Irasis believed the split in his skull is what killed him in the end, an assumption he did nothing to dissuade. Far better for people to believe he suffered his mortal wound in battle, perhaps at the hands of some random orc or Scourge during the war. The truth was for Irasis alone, and he had no intention of telling anyone.

He realized he may not have a choice as his thoughts turned to Naruth. He took a towel from the pile of his possessions and began to dry his hair and body. The rain and humidity was the enemy to the careless Forsaken. Moisture caused further rot, and Irasis had seen more than one Forsaken who had not taken proper care of themselves. The results were never pleasant, and such creatures usually were forced to stay in the Undercity until properly treated. Their putrid stench would not be welcomed by the living members of the Horde. To fix the problem was as simple of a matter as cutting away the rotting flesh, though it left the Forsaken lessened for the experience.

He carefully dried himself, taking extra care to clean the areas around his skull cracks. Naruth’s words were burned into his mind, “Not forever.â€
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#11
Time

That is all that I need. To take time to know what I have become. To understand what I am becoming. It is simple, really. All I need is time.

Sleep

I tried to sleep. I remained silent in that tomb, waiting for sleep to take me. I had heard it done before, didn’t Dispaya (was that her name?) speak once of one of my kind that would sleep for months on end? Yes, she did…that is what I tried to do. To sleep, but sleep never came.

Desires

I mastered my hunger. No longer do the base desires of my condition control me. I mastered my thirst. I do not long for the taste of blood. I mastered lust. The yearning for the priest and the call of the warlock are no longer inside me.

Iin learning to master my desires, I learned they do not exist.

Self

The libram given to me by Ebbark remains in my trunk, along with the rest of my meager belongings. It works, but I have no need for it. I do not wish to speak again. Not even the preparations of the orc warlock, Tetsumis, interest me any longer. It has been too long, and I have understood too much to want these small things. Spoken words are a barrier to pure thought. They are not to be desired.

Past

The blow that cleaved my skull persists. I will not seek to mend it; the simple leather straps secure around my head are a reminder. The black ichor that oozes from the wound is a testament to my sin. I am a kin killer in life. I have murdered those that share my blood. I did it knowingly. I did it with purpose. And I even took pleasure in it.

I am a kin killer. I have murdered those that meant everything to me. It is a mark I carried with me into undeath. It is why I cannot rest. It is why I am immortal.

Penance or damnation are the paths before me now.

Tribe

Those that care for each other are raindrops in a flood. Alone they are weak, but together, they are unstoppable. There is a place reserved for me in the flood, should I return to claim it. That promise was made to me long ago. If I choose to join the flood, then the fork in my destiny will come sooner then I wish.

Future

Penance or damnation; someday I will have to choose. But who am I, this sad Forsaken, to force this destiny upon the Tribe? A kin killer in their midst? No.

I will not do that, yet I may have no choice. Deep inside me rests what remains of my honor. The remnants of my pride. And a part of me that still knows, vaguely, what is right and wrong. I do not wish to do this, to force this action, and yet I continue to walk, across the Barrens, a slow, methodical march. I avoid all motion and keep to myself. I know where I am going, but I do not want to go. I do not want to hurt them. But I may have no choice.
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#12
((Thanks to Umu, Rinu, and Ronx. Please forgive a bit of editorial freedom with Umu's words, I couldn't remember exactly what he said.))

He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. ~ Aphorism 146
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Beyond Good and Evil



Umu growled, his massive hand inching towards Rinu’s throat. What was I supposed to do, let him attack the child? No, he was an innocent. He was one of the Tribe, and because of that, he was my charge. So I did the only thing I could do. I drew my axe. I knew that Umu was powerful, and that I was outmatched, but it did not matter. I would not let him hurt Rinu.

The half-breed turned dark; I cannot explain it better then that. Great, I thought, magic. I hate magic. He spoke in a demonic voice that was not his own, causing his blade to ignite with some unknown, shadowy force. Nether magic, I sighed inwardly, even better. The thought had barely left my mind when I threw myself at the behemoth, bodily slamming into his bulk. In hindsight, that was not the best move. But I was not prepared to use my axe on him yet. Better to distract him, and let Rinu escape, then try to swing my blade and accidently hit the child.

What a change. Just two hours earlier, I had been standing before the Priestess Shillatae. Eveline, whose gaze I purposefully avoided, had asked me to use that blasted libram Ebberk gave me, the one that can speak for me at times. You’d think that would be a blessing. You’d think that, but you’d be wrong. Sometimes I wonder if that book is a grand joke played on me by the mage Ebberk. Yes, it voices my thoughts at times. But it also voices its own thoughts; putting words in my mouth, saying things that I would never want to or think to say. That blighted book has read my mind and spoken when I wanted to be quiet. In short, it is magic, and I do not trust magic.

I had stopped using it, choosing instead to wrap the cursed pages in mildly enchanted cloth to keep from contacting my bear skin. Still, it can be useful, and at the moot that night it did not betray me. The Priestess wanted me to speak about my past, I’m sure. About where I came from, and how I came to the Tribe. Perhaps even about whom I had been in life.

I refused. They did not need to know that.

I could sense Naruth’s gaze boring into the back of my head. But I did not move. I’m past the days when she could affect me. Shillatae, possibly disappointed by my laconic response, asked me how my time with the Ironsong Tribe had been so far. “It is family.â€
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