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Part3: Valley of Death

"Mr. Killsteal?"

Deiter Killsteal felt strangely unembarrassed about being naked in front of the Spirit Guides. The fact that they looked asexual and wore blindfolds helped. He barely even registered the presence of the robed, hooded figure with wings that covered its body better than its ragged white cloth did. He nodded half-heartedly and returned to the newspaper in his lap. He wasn't quite sure how a newspaper manifested in the spirit world but it was just one of the things he had yet to understand about this realm. Usually – when everything was working - you just went straight there and back again, waiting only the few hours it took for a lazy priest to resurrect you. It was a very different place when you had been there for three weeks.

"Mister Killsteal, if you would care to accompany me..."

"Am I to be deleted, then?"

As he uttered the word 'deleted', his voice shook involuntarily. It was a primordial fear, something pre-genetically hard-wired into him. Total annihilation. To be wiped from the face of existence. To never exist again, to never have existed. Still, a part of him welcomed such a thing. It wasn't just out of morbid curiosity. He had nothing to go back for. He had lost everything. His sword and his horse were somewhere in Orgrimmar. He had failed to win the heart of his true love. Now she was gone, too, more distant than death. His faith, his dignity, his pride as a warrior... everything he had left to live for was lost. And now this... While he didn't understand anything the Spirit Guides babbled on about in their technical jargon, what he did understand was something was very wrong and that he could no longer resurrect. The afterlife was denied to him. He had fallen from grace.

"No, Mister Killsteal, I'm happy to be able to say that we're repairing the fault. You will soon be able to return to the world of the living." said the Spirit Guide, its voice ageless as a dream and neutral as a recorded message on an answer machine, "But there's someone we want you to meet."

"Doan?" he asked instinctively, his spirits lifting briefly. Then he remembered where he was. If Doan was here, she was dead. Despite the pain and madness she had put him through, he couldn't wish that upon her. Besides, she was more likely to be very much alive. Corpse camping him.

"No, Mister Killsteal. I really think you ought to see for yourself."

Intrigued despite his bleak despair, he took the Spirit Guide's outstretched hand. It felt cool, like a child's. The Guide led him across the ghostly blue plane that cast wispy shadows like broken mirrors as it overlapped with the world of the living. Sitting beside a tree in a swivel chair was a small child. The boy was swivelling around and around happily and kicking his legs. He looked odd, somewhere between a human and a blood elf, with pinched oriental features and thick black hair. When he saw Killsteal, the boy leapt off his seat and ran towards the paladin, tugging at his leg and babbling in what sounded like Thalassian.

"Who's this?" asked Killsteal, patting the child on the head. The boy kicked him on the shin and yelled something indignantly.

"You are this boy's character, Mister Killsteal. He created you."