It was an odd thing to see a hand laden with a heavy plate gauntlet handle something so delicately. However, there she stood, gently twisting the stem of a tiny purple flower between her thumb and forefinger as though it were the single most precious thing she’d ever touched. ”Goodbye,” she murmured, and her chest clenched at the stirring that the simple word provoked. She seemed scarcely aware of the metallic sound of her own footsteps as they carried her back toward the great rise of Shattrath City; back toward the promise of clashing swords, and the scent of spilled blood.
There was no going back, never mind how strong the desire to return to those arms that had held her only moments before she’d turned to depart. To go back would mean to forfeit the promise of safety she had spoken only hours before. This was war. The sounds of battle raged on the city floor, bringing with it the cries of both friend and foe, and their falling. The knight was among many who found themselves fighting in the Lower City, battling back a band of orcs who fought with such an obvious blood lust that it was a wonder if they felt any pain themselves, or only the thrill that came with the spilling of more blood, regardless of who it belonged to. The last thing she remembered was the panic she felt upon feeling a heavy blow to the neck.
“Wake up, dear,” a voice said in a tone that was somehow impatient and encouraging simultaneously. The knight, her head reeling, slowly opened her eyes only to be greeted by the harsh and glaring light of mid-morning.
“There she is,” the voice said again, and the knight settled her eyes upon the smiling face of a priestess.
The priestess stood slightly less in height than did most of her race and lacked the defined musculature of those who may have been engaged in more rigorous physical training. Despite being slight of frame and delicate feature, there was nothing truly demure about the woman. Within the brilliant pair of eyes that gazed at the world around her resided a story thousands of years old. In spite of all that she’d seen, however, therein lied neither malice nor ill-intent, merely the wisdom of the ages. She hearkened to older times, where war was not frequent, and peace was an object to be cherished. Her visage, while generally appearing inquisitive and appeasing, remained unburdened by chronically knitted brow or scowl and maintained a youthful appearance, overall. Hair, only slightly darker in contrast to her skin, was fine and often tucked behind an ear to remove it from sight, where it oftentimes proved itself to be something of a burden. Horns grew amid the silken locks, sharp points kept pristine and untouched by battle or cruelty.
Lithe and willowy, her frame was bedecked in the modest robes so typical of her practice, and within the stitching; the colors of the Naaru were prominent and unmistakable. Hierarchy was unmarked by a glimmering scepter, which was a constant upon her person regardless of wardrobe. Posture was the diligence of practice, adding to an overall regal appearance and conduct brought with it a sense of propriety. A woman of composure, her voice was even and practiced in most times, and while it occasionally drifted dangerously close to sounding condescending, the pleasant smile upon her lips was useful in absolving one’s doubt.
While she may have been a force to be reckoned with in her own right, she was easily overpowered when things more than tea and sensible words were required for resolution. Fortunately, the orator was rarely alone, as the most loyal warrior could nearly always be seen nearby. Serel, whose reputation always preceded her, was the iron fist which insisted that no harm should come to the priestess – and what better person to serve as protector than one’s own wife? Rarely were they seen apart, and between the two of them, there seemed to be a mutual understanding of both intent and action. They moved as one, for the same purpose, of the same mind, bound by many millennia past, and a bond that transcended all else.
“We are here to help,” the stranger assured her, “and we’re moving many of the wounded out of the city, where it’s safer.”
Nearby to the priestess was a warrior, and it was quite clear by her stance and the way she carried herself that she had seen many battles in her time.
“I can’t leave,” the young knight protested, tone parched. “I have to fight.”
“Fight?” the priestess echoed. “You’re not going to be doing any of that. I’ve been healing you since Serel found you, barely alive, in a pile of slain bodies.” She gestured first to the gleaming warrior standing nearby, and then made a vague motion toward the Lower City. “My name is Amoya.”
Over the course of the several days that followed, the young knight was watched over by those who had been set in charge of the small refuge for the wounded. The warrior and priestess were a common sight among the wounded and dying who were situated about in the makeshift camp; however their duties often called them back to the city. Sometime during then, the knight slipped into the clutches of death, with a tiny purple flower tucked beneath the breastplate of her armor.
“You will rise.”
She was dead. She had been dead. The sound that vaguely registered within her mind could have only been the sound of the afterlife into which she must have finally been delivered.
“You will fight.”
How was it possible? Thought registered. Feeling – a pain and a hunger unlike anything she had ever felt. Was this the afterlife? Was it the Naaru who was speaking to her?
“You will be my champion.”
The voice would have been enough to cause a chill, had she been more inclined toward feeling. As if driven by instinct alone, and unable to control her own actions, she rose to look into the face of something she did not quite recognize, however she knew him. It felt as though the knowledge had simply been implanted into her mind – Arthas stood before her, impressive in all his state. She was to serve him, to become a pawn in the chess game he’d laid out within the Scarlet Enclave.
This wasn’t an afterlife, this was reanimation. She was merciless. A force to be reckoned with, she stood stalwart and stoic against those who sought to flee, and struck them down mercilessly without a thought to virtue, or righteousness, or remorse. His every command had become something for which she thirsted, and the satisfaction that came with bending to the insatiable desire only grew with each passing day.