|Rise of a Death Knight
Author: Hyliian PM
The story of an Alliance Warrior risen into the ranks of the Scourge. From Human soldier to Acherus Death Knight and back again.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Fantasy - Human & The Scourge - Chapters: 3 - Words: 6,193 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 7 - Published: 01-18-12 - id: 7752902
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Rogan was far from the only Death Knight in Stormwind. As soon as the King's declaration was made known, others came from Acherus to put themselves to use fighting for the Alliance. Again.
It was a bitter thought, and he found himself longing for a good fight. No one would challenge him, much to his chagrin. He was eventually forced to find one of his kindred and on a mutual agreement based on their unparalleled boredom, they crossed blades. The other Death Knight was nowhere near as skilled as he, probably a fresh initiate who hadn't been present at the Lich King's betrayal, but they both fought with the full ferocity and hatred isolated to the Scourge. Onlookers gaped as neither pulled their strikes, drawing blood and rending flesh as if this were more than an ordinary duel.
Rogan had a new scar adorning his face after the fight, and his opponent had eight. It was a good scar, intimidating and noticeable enough to be impressive, so he thanked the initiate and they withdrew as if nothing out of the ordinary had occurred.
The healers in the area had been baffled and guards shocked at the amount of blood now staining the Marketplace. Dueling wasn't exactly allowed in the city walls, but none of the Death Knights truly answered to the King and feared no retribution for doing what they had been created to do.
He was calmer afterwards, more relaxed, and he found himself walking the streets of Stormwind in relative comfort. The reprieve would not last long, this he knew; the bloodthirst was unquenchable except by constant suffering. It had been the reason the Lich King had kept slaves and prisoners to be tortured. Only pain could ease the ache and stop the throbbing headaches that accompanied their need to kill, to rend, to obliterate.
He had glanced up at his old home as he passed it, wondering idly if his wife still lived there, but felt no inclination to enter or reveal his presence. He was no longer Rogan the Smith or Rogan the Soldier. He was Rogan of the Ebon Blade, and Stormwind was no longer his home.
He was incapable of fear and found compassion a weakness, but the idea of his wife seeing him as he was now… it bothered him. The pain she would feel if she saw him as an exiled member of the Scourge would be tremendous, and would most likely slake his thirst for several hours, but the idea of causing her any amount of suffering was almost unbearable.
And so he avoided the house, giving it as wide a berth as the canals allowed, and almost subconsciously picking up his pace. If he ran into her on the street, that was unavoidable and most certainly not his fault. But if he deliberately sought her out only to let her glimpse the rotting corpse of her husband walking around in a macabre semblance of life… that was a line in the sand he was not ready to cross.
The revelation surprised him enough so that he stopped in his tracks to consider it. He… pitied her. It repulsed him that he was capable of feeling pity for a mortal, even if that mortal had at one time meant something to him. He was no longer Rogan. He should not care what the woman thought if she saw him. In fact, he should seek her out for the very reason that it would be cruel.
He was a weapon, an instrument of destruction honed to an edge so fine that he could walk the line of undeath and drag others across it. He could raise corpses as ghouls and condemn them to mindless servitude if he so wished.
He snarled and considered calling his Deathcharger and storming the gates to find something to kill, no matter how small it may be. The heavy black plate of his armor glowed with his rage, and his fingers twitched towards the hilt of his blade. Being around these mortals was making him soft.
He could not allow that to happen. He could not become an idle worker waiting for orders. He had control now, and if he chose to lose that control it should be his choice, not something he could not stop. He did not desire to be complacent or compassionate. These were weaknesses and he needed to get rid of them. Immediately.
'For us there is no peace, no rest.'
Rogan agreed wholeheartedly—whatever worth a still heart could have—and he stalked down the street at an angry pace. He stormed past a man in leathers with a snarling wolf at his side and just barely resisted the urge to decapitate the man as he passed.
He had to work out this rage or he was going to do something rash. Like start to care.
He heard the Hunter come to a stop behind him and felt the speed of the man's pulse shoot up an octave. It was enough to slow him. Fear was something tangible. He could work with fear. It refreshed him, made him more aware.
Perhaps all was not lost.
Rogan froze. Only his fellow Death Knights knew his name. The Hunter was no Scourge; that much was obvious. Rogan turned and allowed himself to indulge in a moment of curiosity as he studied the man behind him who was staring wide-eyed in disbelief and horror. A memory pulled at his consciousness, black edging his vision as the sudden agony of remembrance sent him staggering into the nearest wall, where he braced himself with one hand, pressing his brow with the other.
The memories were not like other pain. They did not bring him joy or relief or clarity. They brought only agony, the agony of having a part of you burned forcibly away by the dark malice of the Lich King, only to be seared back onto your eyes just for the sake of causing suffering. As much as it pained him, he reveled in these small victories, these small triumphs against the powers of his former master. For every memory that returns itself to him, he pulls that much farther away from the remainders of the Lich's will.
Flashes of green, trees, a wolf cub with a name he could never pronounce, the battlefield, the Scourge, a name.
He opened his glowing eyes and fixed them on the Hunter, for the first time since he awoke not feeling the claws of his bloodthirst. "Hahren." It is not a question. The memories are returned to him; he knows beyond a shadow of a doubt the identity of his oldest friend.
A friend lost amongst the carnage of the plains and the searing pain of having a Scourge hook shoved through his chest.
"By the Light, Rogan…" Hahren gasped, taking a step forward only to think better of it and step back again. "What… what happened to… I thought… you were dead!"
Rogan pressed his hand back to his brow. This was exactly what he had tried to avoid with his wife. But, as he said, running into him on the street was in no way his fault and he tried not to feel guilt over it.
"Rogan what… you sound so…" Hahren did take a step closer then.
"I was remade." Rogan intoned in a voice echoed by blackness and magic. "The Scourge waste nothing."
Hahren paled and he too sought the wall for support. "Remade? You mean you… you're a Scourge? What are you… why are you in Stormwind?"
"I am here because we were betrayed. I am here to seek vengeance against the Lich King, as are my fellow Knights of the Ebon Blade." Rogan paused. The forgotten memories made him want to take a breath, but he knew he did not need it and resisted the urge. "I am a Death Knight, Hahren."
Hahren let out a shaky exhale. "Light preserve me, a Death Knight? Oh, Rogan…"
Rogan shook his head. "I do not want your pity. I do not want your compassion. The only things I know are hate and cruelty, and the only thing I want is to sink my Runeblade hilt-deep into the heart of the Lich King who rebuilt me."
Hahren paused. "Do you want my friendship?"
Rogan froze. "Friendship… it is a foreign concept. But… I remember having friends before I was remade. I remember enjoying having them."
Rogan furrowed his brow. Friends were not something Death Knights had. Contact, connection, familiarity, these were things the Lich King could and would use against you to maintain his control. Only by isolating oneself could you hope to maintain even a shred of humanity. But he was outside the Lich King's will now. To have friends would be to spite the Lich King and everything he had made his subjects undergo for his own pleasure.
Rogan smiled, a cruel, cold smile that made Hahren pale further. "Yes. Friendship is something I would like to have again, if only to spite the Lich that cursed me."
Yes… friendship was something he could use. Another step on his road to vengeance.