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Southshore - (Re Saving Dispaya)
#1
Southshore - Present Day


The traveler wandered into town carrying a small pack over one shoulder. He stopped to survey the area briefly before slowly plodding forward. Had anyone bothered to notice they would have seen a fellow who was tall and lean yet moved with ballet-like grace. He wore no armor nor carried any weapon save a small dagger that dangled from his belt. He was draped in a long heavy grey cloak with a hood that covered the back of his head and ears. The hood concealed him but not enough to hide the distinct blue and white facial markings of a night elf that were apparent along the lines of a handsome face.

The only odd feature the stranger bore, were a pair of strange elaborate engineering style goggles that covered his eyes. Though odd, goggles like this were a common enough accessory that the towns people still regarded him with little concern as he made his way along the streets. To them he appeared as any other traveler that passed through their town daily. A merchant perhaps, or a mercenary looking for work.

Making his way along the street, Kardwell suddenly ducked into the nearby stable to recheck his disguise. Though no one in the town had paid him any attention he still felt as though at any minute someone would see right through him. He looked at his reflection which stared back in a nearby pail of water, but he barely even recognized himself. The blue and white face paint hid his skin tone well, and the night elf clothing had been easy enough to gather. The original owner, after all, would no longer be needing it. The goggles had been necessary to hide his strange yet instantly recognizable blood elf eyes, but he still could almost not bear how stupid they looked. Upon his return he would have to speak to Lucinther about making something a bit more fashionable.

There was a noise from behind followed by a human voice.

"Can I help you good sir?"

Kardwell bolted upright then just as suddenly calmed himself and turned slowly to face a young human lad. The boy was young, perhaps fourteen or fifteen. A stable hand perhaps?

Though Kardwell had memorized a few human phrases he still did not know enough of the language to pass as such. He understood that the boy had asked a question and deduced he was asking if he had wanted anything. Kardwell simply shook his head "no" and attempted a smile. The boy merely shrugged and went on about his business. Kardwell leaned against the barn wall and shed a sigh of relief. It was then that he heard a distinctly familiar female voice.

"Good day to you Mister Carver."

Karwell knew that voice. It was burned into his memory forever. It came from just outside the stable door. As he slowly peeked around the corner he had half expected to see her there...an undead mage wearing magnificent robes of purple and gold.

The girl he saw instead was dressed in the simple garb of a barmaid with a brown linen skirt and red corset tied under her breasts. She was beautiful with long dark hair and brilliant blue eyes that sparkled in the evening sunlight. She smiled at a man passing by with a large bag of flour slung over his shoulder.

"And to you Miss Caroline." The man tipped his hat and went on his way, and the girl returned the gesture with a slight curtsey, and then crossed the street where she entered the town pub.

Kardwell watched the exchange from the shadows of the livery then retreated and braced his head against the wall. Beads of sweat broke out all over his face threatening to smear the blue lines which had been painted there.

Dispaya's age had seemed timeless and her wisdom was great, but this girl appeared to be no more than nineteen or twenty years of age if even that. A feeling of doubt crossed his mind. Could that really be her? How could she come here? How?

Even when her location had been revealed to him during his recent adventures he still had a hard time believing it could be at all true. She was one of the great Horde mages. She stood against Ragnaros. She faced down minions of the Lich King single handedly. She is revered by trollkind, dragonkind and all manner of people on two worlds, yet here she is in a small human town. My heart can barely stand the torture of it, he thought.

Kardwell spat on the ground and then calmed himself. This would be a poor place to lose his temper. With a sigh he crossed the road and swung open the pub door. He was now more determined than ever to see her.

***

2

A tall lean elf in a hooded cloak entered the town pub and looked around from behind strange dark goggles. Though his ears and hair were hidden by his cloak, the elaborate designs on his face made his race apparent. The patrons barely regarded him as he made his way to a corner table and plopped down in a seat there.

He spied the object of his quest standing behind a long bar at the far end of the room, making polite conversation with several patrons there. She smiled and giggled like a school girl. Her skin was no longer white and her eyes no longer glowed, but it was Dispaya all right. He could never forget such a face nor her giggling laugh.

As he stared he remembered her. The long conversations they had shared and times spent together ricocheted through his mind. He remembered the Northrend Ball and how they had danced. He had wanted so desperately to reach out to her, to connect in some deeper way, but had then been unable due to his own inner demons. She had helped to purge him of those same demons and he knew even now he could never repay her. How do you repay someone for restoring your very soul?

His thoughts were interrupted by a second serving wench who dipped in front of him asking a question.

"...sir? I asked if you would like something to drink or eat perhaps."

"Drink." He recognized that word. He forced a smile and nodded a simple "Yes. Mead..err...please."

"Very good sir."

With that she was off. The blonde haired server went to the bar and said something to the girl with dark hair that Kardwell watched, and she nodded and looked in his direction. The blood elf felt his heart sink at her gaze and he had to battle himself not to flee from this place in sorrow and anger.

She poured a glass of the delicious honey drink but instead of the blonde it was the dark haired girl herself who brought the glass over. Kardwell looked down at the table almost afraid to look up when she next appeared beside him and set the glass before him.

"Anything else for you today sir?" she asked with a smile.

"err...no...no" The elf mumbled almost under his breath.

"You look quite weary. Have you spent a long day on the road?

She spoke in the human tongue and this was something Kardwell was not used to hearing from her lips. To Kardwell her words came across as something closer to, "You lhjju iutyrre weary. hwne you jhyrg day on uyt road?" He knew the word "weary" however and feigned a simple answer.

"Yesss," he muttered taking a sip of the mead. "Weary."

"Oh you poor dear." The dark haired girl stated. Let us see if we can help you relax a bit." With that she suddenly reached forward and lifted the goggles from his eyes. A brief flash of glowing green escaped before Kardwell could grab her hand and force it away. With his free hand he re-adjusted the goggles over his eyes. He feared his cover was now blown. If she saw and did not know him, alarms would be raised. He would have to fight his way free.

As he held her reaching hand in his, something else happened and he sensed something. He wasn't sure at first but yes...there it was...all around her...he was now sure it was the presence of mana! Yes! Yes! He was positive. He of all blood elves could never mistake that. He looked directly into her face now to see who or what she really was. But the only look the dark haired girl returned was one of shock followed by puzzlement, and then, a look of shame or regret.

"Oh dear...sir...I am...so sorry...I only meant to...I am so sorry sir...your eyes...I bet they were injured in the war...I should never assume..."

Kardwell merely waved her off and smiled.

"No..need to...apolo...err..say sorry miss. All forgive you."

She stood straight and insisted again at her foolishness and then offered a free round of mead on her to which the elf nodded "ok."

Slightly disheveled she made her way back to the bar. Kardwell looked around the inn but none of the patrons were paying him any attention whatsoever. He was still safe...for now.

At that moment a glass slammed hard on the bar and one of the patrons spoke up loudly.

"Caroline...give us a song luv!"

With that, others there chimed in as well.

"Yes a song a song...sing for us...sing..."

"Caroline." The name rang in his memory. At the mention of the name his mind drifted back to a great battle that raged beneath Undercity. He had been there fighting beside her. Then she had fallen but he had saved her. He remembered her looking towards him in the midst of that fierce battle with a smile and knowing wink. And now her face faded and was suddenly replaced by the the face of the simple human girl now blushing at the head of the room.

Caroline reached for a mandolin which rested beside the fireplace. She sat on the hearth and began to strum. As the room fell into silence, Caroline began to sing, and her voice was so unmistakable to Kardwell that he nearly burst. It was the same voice he remembered from the moots of long ago... sweet yet haunting and melodic. Kardwell felt an ache so deeply in his heart it felt as if someone had plunged a knife into his chest, and yet he too was mesmerized by her song and could not bring himself to stir.

Tried to take it all away
Learn her freedom just inside a day
And find her soul
To find their fears allayed
Tried to make her love their own
They took her love, they left her there
They gave her nothing back
That she would want to own
Gold and silver rings and stones
Dances slowly of the moon
No-one else can know
She stands alone
Sleeping dreams will reach for her
She cannot say the words they need
She knows she's alone
And she is free

Ocean gypsy of the moon
The sun has made a thousand nights
For you to hold
Ocean gypsy where are you?
The shadows followed by the stars
Have turned to gold, turned to gold

Then she met a hollow soul
Filled him with her light
And was consoled she was the moon
And he, the sun, was gold
Eyes were blinded with his light
The sun she gave
Reflected back the night
The moon was waning almost out of sight

Softly ocean gypsy calls
Silence holds the stars awhile
They smile sadly
For her where she falls
Just the time before the dawn
The sea is hushed
The ocean calls her
Day has taken her and now she's gone

Ocean gypsy of the moon
The sun has made a thousand nights
For you to hold
Ocean gypsy where are you?
The shadows followed by the stars
Have turned to gold, turned to gold

No-one noticed when she died
Ocean gypsy shackled to the tide
The ebbing waves were turning
Spreading wide
Something gone within her eyes
Her fingers, lifeless, stroke the sand
Her battered soul was lost
She was abandoned
Silken threads like wings still shine
Winds take pleasure, still make patterns
In her lovely hair
So dark and fine
Stands on high beneath the seas
Cries no more
Her tears have dried
Oceans weep for her the ocean sighs

Ocean gypsy of the moon
The sun has made a thousand nights
For you to hold
Ocean gypsy where are you?
The shadows followed by the stars
Have turned to gold, turned to gold


Renaissance
Ocean Gypsy lyrics


As the girl Caroline finished her sad lament the room remained in silence. They had heard her sing before but never a song so sad and moving as this.

Caroline set her instrument aside and looked around at all of the patrons staring. As she surveyed the room she came to notice the now empty corner table. The hooded stranger was gone. Caroline excused herself and disappeared into the kitchens.

(Continued in Part 2)
Sing True Ironsong!
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#2
PT 2

1

Kardwell could stand it no longer. He pulled himself from his seat and slipped out the door and into the now darkened alley behind the inn. The sun had set and the night sounds of the village surrounded him. Still that voice rang in his ears, her voice.

"...hollow soul..." Had she looked at him when she sang that verse? Surely there was no soul hollower than his when they had first met.

"...filled him with her light and was consoled, she was the moon and he the sun was gold..." Indeed she had done that, filled him with her light. Her description, Dispaya an undead like the moon, and he a blood elf like the sun. It had to mean something. Now there was no mistaking that this "Caroline" and "Dispaya" were one and the same. Yet she obviously no longer knew him...or did she?

Kardwell lifted the goggles from his face and dropped his hood as he leaned against the building wall to gather his strength. What could he do now? What could he say to make her remember?

Something grabbed him from behind and almost yanked him off his feet. There was a tug and a sudden push as his back slammed against the alley wall behind him. Kardwell went for his dagger as two hands grabbed at his tunic and with a 'yank' he was suddenly face to face with the dark haired girl Caroline.

With a look of anger across her face she pulled him by the collar until their noses were almost touching. When next she spoke it was in perfect orcish.

"Fool elf!" she whispered in an angry yet hushed voice. "Why have you come here? Do you not know if the alliance discovers you your life will be forfeit?"

They both stared at each other as a stunned and awkward silence passed between them. Kardwell's look of surprise then suddenly melted into something almost resembling joy as he realized this was not Caroline who faced him at all. It was Dispaya!

She was still as lovely up close as he had remembered but now...now..there was more. She was...what was it? What was different? Warmth? Could that be it? Yes, yes! She was now warm and…alive! He was no longer touching cold undead flesh but the warm flesh of a living human girl.

Their eyes met and then Caroline spontaneously did the one thing Kardwell had most wanted yet had least expected upon seeing her again. She threw her arms around his neck and kissed him.

He was stunned at first but then he kissed her back. He took her in his arms and held her for a time that he wished would never end. The kiss was long and passionate.

For a moment she seemed to melt against him but then she pulled away seeming to compose herself and looking slightly embarrassed.

"Kard...what...what are you doing here?

"I came...to find you."

"Oh dear, oh dear. You should not have done so."

She leaned back against the wall beside him and took an uncharacteristic deep breath. Kardwell thought he had never seen her do THAT before. Then as she considered the options, she tilted her head slightly and this was a mannerism Kardwell wholly recognized. It was so strange seeing her like this...so different yet so much the same.

"We may talk then for just awhile." She finally decided. "Outside of town you will find a graveyard. Go and I will meet you there after making an excuse to leave. Do not go back to the inn. Some of the folk there are growing curious about you and sooner or later they will become drunk enough for it to get the best of them. Now Go!"

Kardwell nodded and wandered off pulling the hood back around his face.

"You wonderful fool." Dispaya whispered with a smile.


***

2

Kard wandered into the oldest part of the graveyard and past several stones etched with names of the long dead. He finally found a large one near the center and leaned against it. The name "HECULAR" was etched on the stone in a fading script.

"Hrmph," the elf thought, "whoever could this human fool have been?"

He waited a short wait finally deciding to sit with his back to the stone before the girl Caroline finally appeared before him as if out of nowhere. She adjusted her skirt slightly and dropped down next to him. Now they were no longer strangers but two old and dear friends who sat close together under a full lit moon.

"You look well." she started.

"As do you." The elf concurred. "Much more..err...alive?"

She giggled. "Indeed."

"I have questions...many questions...and Ironsong...no one knows why you left...what happened? Do you no longer remember us? Do you no longer care?

"Oh you silly...of course I care...of course."

"Tell me then why you left, and tell me more of this."

With that Kardwell produced the small heart locket from under his tunic.

"Oh this..." she whispered.

Caroline took the pendant from his hand and gathering her thoughts she held it up to examine it under the moonlight.

"Well, I have already told you much of how I came to be and of the dark wizard called Walter who made me. ((See Tale of Dispaya in the archives)) This locket was how he once controlled me for it contained the powdered essence of my own human heart. With this he created a phylactery to contain my soul. As long as he held it I was bound to his commands. When my own love Daerren ran him away from Gilneas, Walter fled with the locket and I was free at least for a time.

You see I do not think Walter is a typical human mage or Warlock but rather a being that travels between worlds leaving a trail of chaos in his path. I do not think that I ever mattered to him as anything more than a simple pet. I was for him, just a way to stir chaos in my old city.

Anyway, he fled our world for a time and did not return until he had grown bored with some other place. Once the locket returned to this world I took it and escaped through time hoping to lose him but losing myself instead. Anca eventually found it and returned it to me. Had anyone else come into its possession I would have become their slave. Had they chosen to break the locket I would have been instantly destroyed. However once back in my own hands it contained the key to releasing my curse and returning me to human life."

"Then why use it? Surely you know that with life also comes aging and death. Why would one choose death over immortality?"

"Because my time in the tribe had come to an end. New leadership had come and I was no longer needed. My powers were ebbing and soon the magic that sustained me would have failed completely, just like it did for others of my kind in the past. (Dispaya thought to herself of Arabeth and of little Zema who had gone to the place beyond the stars.) No magic can last forever even for one such as I." she offered softly.

"So you had a choice to live or else die? That seems backwards to me. You died as an undead and so came to life again?"

Caroline giggled. "I suppose so."

"Well..could you even have said goodbye to us all…or to me?

"Dear Kard...I have said goodbye in all of the songs and poems I have written for the tribe. My words echo in the halls there whenever someone says to "Sing True." My art is at the head of the totem whenever someone gazes up at it. For me there was nothing else to say other than words of sorrow...and this tribe had brought me such joy for so long that I could not bear to leave in sorrow. So I made a simple exit and hoped that in some ways my words and memory would carry on. This was a difficult choice, yet it was the only choice I could bear."

"Do you not miss us?"

"Every day and in every way that it is possible to miss them, I do."

"I came here to bring you back to us. ..to me."

Caroline smiled and tears welled up in her eyes.

"That is just not possible right now…though I wish in many ways that it was."

"I cannot bear to leave you here...alone."

Caroline drew closer to him. He felt his arm slip around her small form as she settled against him. she felt so much more fragile now than she once had and she was also more emotional than he was used to. Somehow he began to understand that hers was a spirit who needed to live in order to be fulfilled.

"I am not alone. I am surrounded by new friends."

"You are still alone without us."

She nodded a simple "Yes."

"Your magic, is it with you still? Maybe you could find a way to..."

"Umm..oh...no...much of that has faded. I can no longer focus as I once could. The undead will is so much stronger than I am now."

Was that truth or lie? Kardwell could not say for sure. Sitting so close he could still feel the manna flow from her. Yet he would not call her a liar and decided instead to let it pass.

"What am I to do? I came here to find you and now that I have I do not feel I can just leave you here."

"There is no other choice."

"You were the one who told me there is always another choice."

She sensed the frustration in his voice. The conversation was not going in the way he had hoped.

"There are always choices...paths we must take. This may be difficult to understand but the path I was on would have lead to my own destruction. Sometimes when one is faced with a great conflict it is best to just walk away...or find another path. We must, all of us, always search for the roads that are best for us."

"And this path you are on...will it never lead you back to us...to me?"

He had to ask. There was no other way to avoid the question and he no longer had any reason to.

"Oh my dear friend...sadly you and I have always been on different paths. You and I are just..."

"...not meant to be." He rudely finished the sentence for her. And why is that? How can that be when the love I feel for you is so strong?"

She thought about it a minute before responding.

"I used to study alchemy and in that same sense, I believe that love is almost like a reagent which radiates from the heart and from the deepest part of ourselves. Having the capacity to love in ones heart is a great treasure Kard. Not all beings are so blessed. Remember for you there was a time when all you loved was your potion and all you thought about was yourself. Now that has changed and you are able to care for another. The fact that you are even able to care for me in that way at all is a wonderful thing. It means you have love in your heart now and so much more to give."

She placed her hand gently in his, slowly stroking his long fingers. Kardwell marveled at the warmth he now felt radiating from her. He smelled her hair and it smelled of flowers. She felt...alive.

Caroline continued, "In that same sense love from two people mix together like an alchemy potion to form something else that can be greater than the sum of what each feels individually."

She held up their now intertwined fingers to demonstrate.

"I know you love me, and I will always love you, but because we are on different paths our love reagents simply cannot mix as you wish they could. Yet I hope you can understand that even though I cannot take the gift you offer now does not mean I love you any less and will never mean that the time we shared together was not special or important to me. Can you understand?"

"I...no...well...yes...perhaps. That will never change how I feel or what I want."

"I know it will not...and selfishly I do not wish it to, but please remember and try to see that some who love and cannot have their love returned will turn bitter or angry. Nations have been thrown into war from such terrible feelings. Some become so resentful that their inner love reagent becomes more of a bitter poison instead of the flower it should be. In this case even if they meet someone worthy their part of the mixture is so bitter that it cannot mix into anything more than a foul brew. As such these relationships may fail. I hope you will not turn bitter after you spent so much time hating yourself. The best way you can honor me or honor the love you feel is to keep it true to your heart and to be able to fairly share it again with someone whose love for you is equal in weight and ready to be shared. In this way your love will form an alchemy that will elevate you and make you happy and fulfilled."

"That will never happen."

"Oh but it will. You see I still maintain my ability to see inklings of the future. I had this ability in life even before I was ever turned to undeath and in so returning to life I have it still.

If you keep to the path you are on it will soon intersect with another whose path runs parallel to yours. You have to remember that 90% of what causes a relationship to happen is timing. It takes two people who are ready to be on the same path together at the same time...and that is really a rare thing if you consider it."

"Bah...words only."

"Yet true and good words spoken from the heart. It's a heart I now possess...and it even beats now!" She giggled a little at her own joke.

Kardwell sighed. "I do not wish this night to ever end."

"Kard...there is more my sight tells me. Something you must go back and tell the others."

"Oh?"

"I see some great disaster coming to the world. I see it in my dreams and even when I am awake. It may be the likes of which no one has ever seen. I know it comes but I know not when, and the part that frightens me the most is I cannot see the fate of anything or anyone beyond it. It appears to me like a great wall in time...as if the world someday soon will come to a complete halt."

Kardwell looked thoughtful.

"That is hard to accept."

"And yet my vision is so strong that it must be true."

"Will it destroy you? Is that why you cannot see beyond it?"

"Perhaps...I cannot say for certain. I believe my fate lies in the sea.

Kardwell thought of the song she had sung..."ocean Gypsy of the moon...shackled to the tide..."

"Several months from now I do not think Southshore will be here any longer. I will stay here as long as I can, and will try to help who I can. You must do the same for our tribe."

"What can I do?"

"Be there for them. Protect them as only a Blood Knight can."

"I...will do that...for you Dispaya."

"You must stockpile food. Create shelters. Do whatever is needed to survive.

"Indeed."

"Tell them all a cataclysm is coming. Tell them to prepare. Tell them that if they do not stick together they may not survive. Tell them the world is about to change and...soon... the wolves will come howling at the door."

"I will make sure they know."

"You will stand up for them Kard. I told you once long ago that I could foresee that one day you would become a great champion. That time is upon you now. The past is over."

"The past IS over...and so I now know what that means. You will send me away. You will say your polite goodbyes. There can now be nothing more of us."

Caroline opened his hand and pressed the locket into his palm then closed his fingers tightly around it.

"No, not in the past," Caroline whispered turning his head with a gentle finger to face hers, "and not in the future..."

She kissed him again then whispered in his ear,

"...but there can be tonight."


***

Epilogue 1


Kardwell stood and looked to the distance as the first rays of dawn began to trickle over the horizon. Caroline still slept on the grass in the shadow of the large gravestone. His cloak now covered her to keep her warm. He watched her sleep for a time turning the small heart locket over and over in his hand. There was no more magic left in it or so he thought, but when he casually flipped it open he beheld a three dimensional image of the undead mage he once knew. She smiled and winked at him with her fierce glowing eyes. By twisting the locket a little towards the sun the image shifted into that of Dispaya's human form Caroline, also smiling with the same wink. He flipped the trinket closed with a smile and fastened the chain securely about his neck.

Kardwell knelt on the grass beside his sleeping friend and gently kissed her on the cheek. Then he stood proudly looking more like a Blood Knight in posture than he ever had before and boldly headed back for the main road. Soon after, he would finally return home.


Epilogue 2

Merv the newb undead Warlock turned over the strange rod in his hands. It was finely crafted and he had finally collected all of the essences he needed to make the thing work. Now all he had to do was take it down to the Southshore cemetery and use it to raise the undead spirit that rested there, setting it loose on the town. The carnage was going to be glorious!

Silently he crept down into the cemetery and approached the large gravestone near the center. Once there he quickly tapped the rod a few times and watched as its jeweled tip vomited out a burst of arcane energy. Much to his delight the noise seemed to awaken something under the stone. Merv drew in a deep breath and waited when suddenly a hooded figure arose from the far side of the grave and turned towards him.

Marv cackled with delight but then suddenly choked on his own laughter as the cloak fell away to reveal the face of a young human girl who stood up casually yawning and rubbing her bright blue eyes. Upon seeing her face Merv let out a "yelp!" and jumped back in shock. This was not the creature that was supposed to come. He had hoped to see a Lich!

Caroline was startled herself and eyed the undead creature up and down before a smirk crossed over her face.

"Get on out of here you wretch before I summon the guards!" Caroline commanded. The Warlock started a spell but then suddenly recoiled in fear backing slowly away. As he did so a shadow loomed over her.

Caroline turned to see the undead form of Hecular rising ominously above her. The things skeletal face twisted into rage as it began to chuckle ominously.

Merv would have probably wet himself if he still had any living tissue left to work with but instead gasped and started shaking in his boots so loudly his bones began to rattle.

Caroline faced the creature then looked around to see if anyone else was nearby. Seeing no one else near, Caroline pulled her sleeves up and took up a ready stance.

"Now creature, see who you face."

Caroline raised her hands which suddenly burst into glowing energy. A magical phrase sent a whirling fireball leaping forth from her outstretched hand. The spirit of Hecular gulped as the blast connected. There was a quick explosion as the creature folded up on itself and >poofed< out of existence. It was gone in less than an instant.

Caroline next turned to face the frightened undead Merv but could now see him frantically beating feet out of the graveyard. She raised her hands again and this time a blue swirl of magic invoked around them. She began to cast a spell but then seemed to change her mind, and with a minor flick of her wrist sent instead a small bolt of ice slicing through the air where it slammed against Merv's rump hurling him over the graveyard wall and out of sight.

"Wretch."

Caroline blew on her finger like a hunter would blow on the barrel of a smoking gun then turned gingerly and returned to town.

END
Sing True Ironsong!
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#3
It took Kardwel the better part of an hour to reach the edge of Tarren Mill.

He had wanted so badly to stay with Dispaya, laying with her in the grass and to feel the warmth of her skin against his. But perhaps it was better if he left before she had a chance to wake. Maybe then, it wouldn't be so painful for them to separate.

As he walked past the fences posted around the outside of the Mill, his mind could do nothing but reflect back on the last moments they shared together the previous night. A part of him felt elated and happier than he could remember because of the chance he had been given. But another part of him felt sad, distant and alone without her. He had a numb feeling about him that weighed heavy in his chest. Something only time would be able to make him feel less. His hand reached up and once more felt the smooth locket in his fingers, knowing he would never forget.

He approached the bat handler who gave him a curious glance through her undead eyes. He almost forgot he was still in typical Night Elf traveling garb. Still, his face was his own again, and those odd goggles had been the first thing he'd pocketed upon getting out of South Shore. He couldn't believe the disguise had worked for as long as it did. He shoved a hand into his pocket and dug around for a few pieces of gold.

"I'll take a ride back to the Undercity, please." he stated, handing the handler the gold.

She nodded, taking the money and grabbing the first bat closest to her.

"Careful," She grunted, "This one likes to kick."

~~~

Touching down some time later, Kardwel nearly fell off the bat onto the cold stone floor of the Undercity. He wasn't even offered a hand as the bat scurried along the floor before roughly being controlled by one of the handlers here.

Quickly leaving the smelly and disgusting creatures, Kardwel made his way towards the city bank, knowing he'd stashed most of his belongings there. It didn't take him long to collect everything and be on his way. Finding a small alcove, he ducked inside, quickly pulling off the Night Elf clothes and placing each piece of his plate armor back where it belonged. He watched as a few people passed by, but none actually stopped to look and see what was moving inside. He folded up the travelers clothes and exited the alcove, looking his usual part.

Keeping his head high, and his emotions low just as his father had taught him years ago, he tossed the clothes onto the table of an undead tailor as he passed by.

"I'm sure you can do something with donated goods." Kardwel stated. Not waiting for a reaction, he turned and headed towards the exit to the city. He would make his way to Kalimdor where he would find the guild hall and tell everyone of Dispaya's message.

As he exited into the ruins of Lordaeron, he lifted the locket from his chest once more. Out here, it was hard to tell whether it was night or day, but small slivers of the sun still crept through the overhanging clouds. He held the locket into one such beam of light and opened it. The vision of Dispaya, as her human form, came into his sight. She looked at him, and gave her signature wink. He smiled as he looked at her, knowing he had at least something to remember her by.

In the end, all the way to the end of his days, he knew he'd never be able to thank her for what she did for him. His memories of her would never be clouded. And even when he grew older and his mind would slowly begin to fade, it was her he never forgot. He would always remember that she had truly shown him and others what it meant to love. She had always been bigger than him, and it was something he would keep in his mind, his heart and his soul forever.

[center]First off, I can't keep a promise
I'm no one to count on at all
Add on, that I'm a coward
Too scared to return your call

But you don't care
You keep sticking around
While I'm acting the clown
You're bigger
And you're still here
You're feet stuck to the ground
Despite how silly it sounds
You're bigger
Than me

It's known that I'm a liar
Often they're blacker than white
Add on my uncanny ego
No one's less humble than I

But you don't care
You keep sticking around
While I'm acting a clown
You're bigger
Than me
'Cause you're still here
Your feet stuck to the ground
Despite how silly it sounds
You're bigger
Than me

All the messed up things I do
Yeah, I swear I'll make them up to you
Before you go and have enough
Just let me make it better
I'll try and measure up
I'll try and measure up to you

But you don't care
You keep sticking around
While I'm acting a clown
You're bigger
Than me
'Cause you're still here
Your feet stuck to the ground
Despite how silly it sounds
You're bigger
Than me

Just bigger
Than me
[/center]
[Image: AWOeJWn.png]
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