At first, I could not understand what was going on.
In those first few weeks and months, or however long it truly was, the world was nothing more than a confusing blend of colors and noise to me. My mind refused to function properly, as if I were in a fevered dream, and the few thoughts I could form were nothing but a jumbled mess that followed neither rhyme nor reason.
Not that it would have done much good had I been able to think properly, I quickly learned. I couldn't stay awake long enough for it to matter in any case. Consciousness was a fleeting thing, coming and going like the tide. Sometimes, I would feel myself rousing, my mind on the brink of truly waking up, only to fade back into a slumbered embrace before I could comprehend anything. A perpetual cycle of nothingness and barely being there.
Then one day I simply woke up, and nothing made sense any more.
Above me stood four gigantic, beautiful figures, talking in hushed tones in a language I did not know. Two of them had blue eyes, one had green and one had purple, and three had blonde hair of different shades, one had silver. All of them held lithe figures, all of them had curves that any woman would kill for, and all of them had a pair of pointed, knife-like ears.
As strange as it was, they looked just like a race I remembered well. A race from games and film, from the minds of men and women all the same. Created, not born, and existing only for entertainment and imagination.
I tried to move, tried to escape from these strange beings. My body did not listen, only my head moved, lolling to the left. I could not move it further. I could feel my ears, longer and sturdier than ever before, flapping against soft silk sheets, and I saw a strand of silver from atop my head. I went ramrod straight in confusion; my hair had always been brown. Looking around the room in more detail, I saw that I was surrounded by white wooden bars. At first, I presumed I was in a cage of some sort, a toy for these giant elves to play with, a lucid dream that started as a nightmare. I soon found out that this was not to be the case.
Across from me, just in my field of vision, I could make out the silhouette of another, smaller giant. It was a pudgy looking thing, with pale pink skin, pointed ears and a great tuft of golden hair. It was asleep, soft inhales and exhales of breath were escaping its mouth. On either of its sides, those same white wooden bars were in place. It took a moment longer than I would like to admit to discern what those bars represented, but I did learn quickly enough.
I was in a crib.
Cribs were not meant for men, they were meant for babies, like that giant one across from me. It was the same size as I was!
Babies did not grow to be nearly six feet tall. Not even the babies of gigantic elven women, at least I hoped they didn't. From that, I could infer, however crazy it sounded (and damn did it sound crazy), that I was now a baby.
For a while, I just laid there, staring at the bars of the crib and the other baby, ignoring the elven women as they smiled and cooed. I did not care, I needed to collect my thoughts. Even when they left, turning an overhead light off and keeping the door cracked open, I did not move.
I couldn't bother with the pretense that this was nothing but a dream; it looked and felt far too real for it to be that. I had always prided myself on being a logical person, even under heavy pressure, and so did not try to deny the reality that this was. No matter how ridiculous and fantastical this was.
I had been reincarnated. Not only had I been reincarnated, it was in a new world at that. Elves only appeared in fiction and fantasy, and so that was where I assumed I was brought to.
It was unusually easy for me to accept this fact and move on, I later noticed.
Perhaps my ease of acceptance was due to my remembering all too clearly how I died in my first life. It was rather difficult to forget being murdered by your girlfriend after all. The shock and pain of that betrayal was still quite fresh in my mind. What was reincarnation when compared to that? Nothing, that's what.
So, as I lay there, the inevitable question of what should I do now? came up.
I had already done all that was expected in my first life. I grew up, went to school, got a job, got married, had a kid, had a divorce and then died. It was undeniable that it ended badly, which meant I would strive for a better ending in this second chance at life. To not do so would be an affront to far too many.
Wherever I was, I would do all I could to be great. A great servant, a great leader, a great craftsman… perhaps even a great mage if this world I was born into was as fantastical as its elven denizens. I would not be average, not again, never again.
I then felt my eyelids grow heavy, and could not keep them open. My infant body once again did not respond to the desires of my mind, and so I could not stay awake. I drifted once more into a fast dream.
This time, as I slept, I dreamt of what could be, instead of what once was.
. . .
Months blurred quickly, and I finally learned my new name.
A curious name; I hadn't ever heard anything like it before, not in my first life at least. I found myself taking pride in its originality, a sign that I would be like no other. My new twin brother had a similarly unique name; Lirath. We were bound to be different, him and I.
Then I learned my surname.
In my first life, I had put nearly a decade's worth of time into the game World of Warcraft. Its land and lore, the people that played and the people that were made… I loved all of it. It was a game in which I cultivated friends, formed relationships that lasted the whole of my life, and was introduced to different peoples and cultures that expanded my understanding of Earth and humanity as a whole.
Windrunner was a name that anybody that played Warcraft knew. Sylvanas Windrunner was the Queen of the Forsaken and one of the leaders of the Horde. Vereesa Windrunner was the leader of the Silver Covenant and widow of Rhonin Redhair, the former leader of the Kirin Tor. And Alleria Windrunner was one of the most speculated characters in the game; the lover of Turalyon and mother of the half-elf paladin, Arator the Redeemer.
Windrunner was a name that was synonymous with respect in Warcraft.
And now, I was to bear this name.
At first, I was absolutely delighted. To be a member of the Windrunner family and experience my most beloved franchise in the flesh sounded wondrous. Then, as I contemplated what being a Windrunner would entail, I promptly lost my lunch. My new mother had thought I came down with something when the truth was that I realized that this wasn't going to be wondrous at all; it was going to be a living hell.
The game was called the World of Warcraft for a damn good reason. War was far more common than peace. Be they supernatural threats, political or territorial struggles there was no end to the carnage that was in this world I now called home. It was one thing to look at it through a computer screen, laughing and raging with friends and strangers over skype calls as I traversed Azeroth. It was another thing entirely when this was to be my life.
My goal became clear upon that revelation. Greatness was not the only thing I could strive for. I needed to be strong, stronger than most, strong enough to be put in a league all my own. As strong as the heroes of this world, peoples like the Stormrage brothers, Thrall, Varian, Khadgar and even my newfound sister Sylvanas. Strength was synonymous with freedom, and it meant that I would be able to do as I pleased whenever I liked.
To be as strong as them was a goal, but there was absolutely no way I would follow their example. Thrall was raised a slave. Varian Wrynn was forced to be a pit fighter. Khadgar was magically aged by well over half a century. My sister became an unfeeling banshee that lost any semblance of self after the death of the Lich King. Malfurion Stormrage was forcefully induced into a deep sleep for thousands of years at a time.
All of these peoples were heroes, and all of these peoples had miserable pasts and existences.
Aside from that, I just refused to be a hero. Were I still a child, mentally at least, I probably would have wanted to become something like that. Going on adventures and saving people, all the while earning the adoration of my fellows sounded like a smashing idea.
Idea being the key word. I knew better than to walk that path. Heroes were not real. They were nothing but myths, stories that people told their children to make the world they lived in seem a better place. The few heroes that might have existed never lived out happy lives; all that awaited them was pain and betrayal. I had died in pain and betrayal and I was most assuredly not a hero, I would not allow myself a similar end.
No, in order to guarantee that I reach the strength I craved, I couldn't follow the path that the heroes of Warcraft paved. No, I would gain my strength in the same manner that the villains of the series gained their own power. Arthas had Frostmourne, Illidan had the Skull of Gul'dan, Gul'dan had the Burning Legion, Azshara had the Well of Eternity, Deathwing had N'zoth... There were so many more enemies of Warcraft, all who obtained power through similar means.
I didn't entertain the notion of using any of the powers I just listed, mind you. They either no longer existed or would lead to madness and death, and brought far more pain than they were worth. But these villains, they all had one thing in common; they received their powers from a source that was beyond them, their power was something that they did not naturally possess. Regardless as to whether it was a power that was gifted or stolen, these villains became as powerful as they were through means that were not their own.
As it turned out, Azeroth was the home of a plethora artifacts and fonts of power that were ripe for the taking. Artifacts and fonts of power that I just so happened to know the locations of; the entire expansion of Legion was based around artefacts, after all. It was better, in my professional opinion, that they go to a worthy cause. Better that I take these powers than it would be for somebody to misuse them. I could almost guarantee that I wouldn't misuse these artifacts. In fact, I would use them quite well.
Now I just had to figure out how I would get to that point. I already had the Why, now all I needed was the rest. Where would I go? Who would I go to? When would I leave? What artifacts would I claim?
How the hell was I going to pull any of that off?
I would determine that at a later date. At this moment, I felt the need to scream bloody murder.
I just shit my diaper.
Fuck being a baby!
. . .
A/N So, here's another rendition of Whatcraft, the third and hopefully final one. The first-person perspectives are fun to write, but I was doing this story a disservice the way I was writing it. Warcraft is a dark and bloody universe when you look past its cartoonish animations, and to treat it as a silly adventure ficlet really doesn't do it justice. The animations from the game might be cartoonish, but there are some very heavy plots going on in this universe, and to treat it like I treat my Pokémon story just felt wrong. So, while this is still going to be a first-person perspective story, it will be quite a bit different to what you might be expecting.
Luckily, I have had this story on my mind for a while. I actually have a plan for once, which means that I'll hopefully be able to move quicker with my writing.
Tharama has a goal now. Before, he just was enjoying life. While that in itself is not a bad thing, a story needs a plot, and my favorite plots are based around main characters with heavy goals, struggling desperately to achieve them. If you know Warcraft, you know that most of the villains don't start off as the bad guys. They are good guys or at least people with good intentions, and then pave a path that leads to ruin. Arthas and Illidan and Deathwing come to mind, even Garrosh.
Whether Tharama goes down this path, well I don't know yet. But that's the fun part of Warcraft and in writing, anything can go.
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