"Between life and death,

In other worlds,

For heroes and lost souls

By a battlefield of Darkness

The purpose of one

In rivalry of destiny, our destiny,

Endowed with greatness,

Seeking perfection of our soul

Un-scared and not created to stronger it,

True and faithful to a unique warrior spirit

I am I,

Never on big knees begging for help or pity,

Standing stout and appearing pressed,

Penetrate the glorified eyes of a creator to discover,

I am he, he is I,

Sent forth to rise above shame and mediocrity,

To give not one fuck for the idea, of original sin,

Tranquilize the warrior reckoning within my mind,

To stand and deliver a destiny unlike any other,

To live with the heart of a warrior that will one day speak,

Through the tombstone a top my grave

I will do in my life, what will live

Forever" –The Warrior Code (Take from the song by Winds of Plague)

Figures danced around the roaring fire, the beat of drums and the chanting of voices flooding the small valley. The Bloodraptor Clan celebrated in the traditional matter, beside a bonfire, the lapping flames high enough to burn away at the sky. Trolls, Tauren, Orcs, Elves and Goblins all laughed and drank, telling stories and goofing around.

Vyndakian was laughing as the Troll named Zalaman told a story of how he had stolen some fruit as a child, picking up one of the Orc youngbloods in his hands, handling the child like a delicate gourd. In the Death Knight's arms was a stranger to the Clan, but someone he had held close for years.

Trayste Ashward laughed, her voice like the peal of bells. He had met her when he had first joined his Paladin order, Arcanus Illuminadum, as a child. She had wandered down from her room in the Temple, and the two stared at each other in the gardens for what seemed like hours.

As they grew closer, her father, the Archpaladin, had done everything in his power to keep them apart. Even with this the two had grown closer, the bond continuing to grow after Vyndakian had been married. Everything had been great until his family had been murdered.

A clap on the shoulder roused the Elf from his thoughts, as Jarn'dor Gurubashi sat next to him. The Druid grinned at his friend as Zalaman tossed the child up, catching him in his arms. The small group laughed at the bemused look on the young Orc's face, as his mother picked him out of the Troll's arms, scolding him.

They all roared with laughter at this, Jarn'dor wiping a tear from his eye. Trayste cuddle into Vyndakian's chest, trying to muffle her laughter. Even Zalaman chuckled as the mother took her child away, the young Orc muttering under his breath.

"Come mon," said Jarn'dor to Vyndakian, "Ya must have a story ta tell us. Afta all, ya been livin' da longest." The Death Knight closed his eyes. His memories had been broken after joining the Lich King, forgetting most of his earlier life. Since he had joined the Clan, snippets of them had been coming back. Already he had remembered how to play an instrument called a guitar, and Trayste… He had remembered everything about her.

The Elf stood up, tousling his mate's hair. He walked over to Zalaman, the Troll shuffling away so that Vyndakian could sit at the head of the group. With a great sigh, he began to talk.

"My friends, some of you know me, and some of you do not. But tonight, I will tell you all a story. This is not a pleasant tale, as it is of revenge, and murder. It is also a tale of how one man can sell everything for one love. Sit, my brothers and sisters, and I shall tell you of how my Order, Arcanus Illuminadum, was destroyed.

"I was once a Paladin, with a wife and child. My life was not perfect, and my family hated me, but I was in love. I had always been in love. But this love was forbidden by my superior, the Archpaladin Ashward. For it was his daughter, a person I had seen grow up as I had.

"One day, I returned from a mission, which had failed horribly. All of my Brothers had died, and I had been the only to return. The Archpaladin had soothed me, told me all was well. And so I returned home, to watch as it burned down in flames.

"I caught the mauraders, and I saw that they had been of my Order… My Brothers and Sisters had turned against me. And so, I returned to the Temple. The Archpaladin spoke down to me, as if I were a child. He expelled me, stripped me of my armor, my weapons, and my rank. I became lost in absolute anger and hate, wandering.

"I travelled far, far north, and the first time I came to my senses was in a snowstorm. A voice spoke to me, told me I could have the power to sate my need for revenge, for one thing. I would need to give up my eternal soul, and never again walk the path of the light.

"To the surprise of the Order, I returned. But I did not return as a Paladin. I returned as a killer. That night, Acanus Illuminadum, was destroyed…"


16 Years Ago

Vyndakian walked forward, his sight blinded by rage. Everything in these Eversong Woods withered at his touch. He was Death itself, and he would enter the Seed of Lies, and rip out its maker.

The Elf was clad in black Saronite armor, completely encased by the foreign metal. An aura of cold and death preceded him, killing the ground before him. Everything touched by his hand became blighted, withering and dying. Across his back, was slung a mighty weapon of destruction, its glowing runes powered by the souls it had feasted on.

Birds and animals fled before him, as they rightly should. Tonight, every crime committed against him would be repaid, compounded by blood. Soon, he moved from the trees, and approached the Temple.

It was a mighty structure, a Church centered within it. Connected to the Church, were the barracks, organized as rectangle with a small space for a garden in the center. On the opposite side of the compound, were the forge and the eating place, a small building with a kitchen at the other end. The Courtyard which separated the buildings was paved with stones, towering statues of the Archpaladin's dominating the views. All of this was surrounded by a mighty stone wall, the mighty gate at the front being the only method of entry into the Temple.

And the only escape.

Two Paladins stood in front of the gates to the Temple, their golden armor reflecting the pale light of a handful of torches. All across the stone wall were mantled torches, the beacons giving only a small form of light in the moonless night.

The Death Knight pushed out from the bushes, walking on open ground. It was not long before the Paladins spied him, their hands gripping the pommel of their blades. Vyndakian had no words for them, commanding the blight he now controlled to sweep forward.

His cold aura extinguished the torches, as his plague extinguished their lives, the disease eating away at the Elves' flesh. The Death Knight places his hand on the mighty stone door, taking the time to examine the carvings upon it. They were smooth, and intricate, weaving around each other like tree roots.

The Elf chuckled, as the lines formed a shield, to signify the protection the door gave this holy place. No shield would save these betrayers from his wrath.

Vyndakian placed a palm flat against the door, channelling his power. With a simple push, the mighty door flew off its hinges, the ancient stone tumbling and rolling across the Temple's courtyard. It crushed women, children, and Knights alike, as the came to rest against the opposite side of the Courtyard.

He drew his Runeblade, and all hell broke loose.

Before a cry could reach the nearest man's throat, his head was severed from his body by the Death Knight's weapon, propelled by a mighty fount of blood. Paladins from around the courtyard ripped out their weapons, and charged Vyndakian as one.

But none could stand before him. He swept his powerful blade across their disorganized ranks, flaying open the group. From somewhere upon the battlements, a horn was sounded. Soon, the Courtyard was filled with Paladins, all clamouring over their fallen comrades to reach Vyndakian.

The man was a maelstrom of death, many of his foes dropping from his touch, others feeling the metallic taste of his blade. He grinned as the Paladin's fell away, their armor shredded by his unholy strength.

More of the Holy Warriors pushed into the courtyard, trying to land even one blow upon the Death Knight. He soon grew tired of these games, and began to leech some of his power into the fallen corpses. Within a matter of moments, cries of terror flew up from the Paladins as their fallen brethren began to attack them, the Ghouls feasting upon the flesh of the living.

Vyndakian pushed through the crowd. They would not escape his wrath yet, but he had other plans to attend to first. His ears twitched as he heard cries from the kitchen. He turned and progressed towards the building, ripping the door off its hinges.

The women and elderly of the Temple, those that would not fight, were holed up in here. Of course, as a bringer of death, Vyndakian did not discriminate, and they were all slain. From further in the building he heard a sob.

The Death Knight progressed to the cooking area, and pulled open the door. Here, were the children. The youngest were held in the arms of the older children, but all were confused and frightened. At seeing the familiar form of Vyndakian, one child called out, and they all cheered.

"Lord Vyndakian," said one, pulling at his cloak, "What is going on? What do we do now?"

The Elf looked over them all, his eyes as cold as ice. Of course, he didn't discriminate. Even with children.

Vyndakian wiped his blade on one of the fresh corpses, leaving the kitchen. Two Paladins stood outside, slaying the last of the Undead.

"Paladins," he roared, and the two turned to face him, "Join me, or join your brethren in death!" The two looked at each other, the men having something deep in their eyes. Vyndakian knew what it was, and was disgusted to see the two act in such a way.

The Elves took each other's hand, and went down on one knee, silently pledging themselves to their new Lord. The Death Knight walked toward the two of them, looking between them. In one swift motion, he beheaded one, dousing the corpse's lover with its blood.

"Torch the bodies," Vyndakian ordered the shocked Elf, as he turned to enter the church. He arrived at the wooden doors of the holy building, even as the ground died underneath his feet. The Death Knight kicked the doors to the church open, roaring his anger.

The chapel had a high roof, the topmost rafters disappearing into darkness. The torches mounted around the room shed bright lights, illuminating the crystal windows. In each window, were pictures depicting scenes from the holy books. Down the center of the church, was an ornately woven rug, stained red and blue for the colors of war and peace. Pews filled the two halves of the church, as the carpet wound up to the altar.

Up a small ramp, was a plain, wooden altar, laden with books and pages. Writing upon those pages, quill in hand, was the Archpaladin.

Zerelin Ashward was an aging man, his scarlet hair slowly turning to a pristine silver. His face and eyes held the knowledge and wisdom of the ages, and his golden embroidered robes showed all his position of authority. At his right, were his shield and sword, the ancient weapon still sheathed in its scabbard.

"Ashward," roared Vyndakian, ripping off his helm. The Elder Elf looked up at the shout of his name, snapping the quill in his hands. The gentle face quickly tuned to one of anger.

"You dare return," question the Archpaladin, "You may not walk upon this holy ground, Vyndakian." The Death Knight walked the seemingly long distance between the pews, his face contorted in rage.

"Tonight," he hissed, "I get my revenge, Old Man." Zerelin scoffed, looking at Vyndakian from over his books.

"Such insolence," seethed the Elf, "To think you were to be my successor." Vyndakian bared his teeth, the points not quite the fangs that would someday label him as Darksworn.

"I wouldn't fill the shoes of a liar and a traitor," retorted Vyndakian, "To think I once called you father." The Archpaladin spit at the Death Knight's feet as he ascended the ramp.

"And what would you do to the one whom was your sister;" Zerelin shot back, "Your scandal nearly ruined all my plans." Vyndakian snarled ferally.

"Scandal," roared the Elf, "You would deny your daughter, your own flesh and blood, what she wants?" The Archpaladin nodded slowly, a grin on his face.

"She was supposed to marry," replied Ashward, "and raise our family's name in the City." Vyndakian saw red, and clenched his fist so hard he thought his Runeblade would surely snap in half.

"You would sell her away," questioned the Death Knight, "To someone she could never love?" The Archpaladin laughed as his response, nodding slightly.

"And what of me," seethed Vyndakian, "The boy you took in off your doorstep." Zerelin leaned on the wooden altar.

"You were to be my successor," he mused, "But you defied me at every turn, and the locket…" The Archpaladin slammed his fist on the wooden table, the structure creaking under the force. "That locket you gave my daughter was the last straw. Because of your scandal, no man would take her, and she had to be sent away."

Vyndakian remembered the locket, gold cast into the shape of a heart. On the inside he had scribed "To Trayste Ashward, the Sun in my Eternal Night, and the most beautiful flower in the garden of life." Suddenly, Ashward's words hit him, and the Death Knight snarled.

"You lie!" The Archpaladin laughed cruelly, his voice echoing off the walls.

"Oh no," he replied, "I had her sent to the Tower, to become a Priestess." Vyndakian's thoughts were controlled by his rage. Everything that spouted out of Ashward's words had to be lies. Behind them, the blight the Death Knight had released slowly crawled into the chapel, tainting the ground. Zerelin's eyes widened, and he looked to the other Elf.

"What have you become," he hissed, picking up his shield, and ripping his sword from his scabbard.

"I have become Death," whispered Vyndakian, "My heart, is now encased in ice, and my actions are driven by the blood you have spilt. I am your judge, jury, and executioner, Father." He spit the last word, the title like venom in his mouth. "Tonight, I will show you, the greatest nightmare!"

Zerelin called upon his power, light flooding the chapel, surrounding and protecting him. But as quickly as it had come, the Light vanished, leaving the man hopelessly alone.

"No," said the shocked Archpaladin, even as the Darkness grew around Vyndakian. The Death Knight reached out, the darkness taking the form of mighty hands. They gripped the altar and threw it aside like a child's play thing, the wooden altar crashing into a row of pews.

"The Light has forsaken you," spoke Vyndakian, even as Ashward suddenly leapt at him. He parried the blow and sent the Archpaladin careening down the stairs. Zerelin spun, baring his teeth.

"I've still won," hissed the Elf, "I won the day I killed your family." Vyndakian roared and pointed his Runeblade at the man he once called father, and unleashed a torrent of souls.

Zerelin nearly raised his shield in time, but the blast threw him backwards. Vyndakian reached out with his hands of darkness to grab the Elf, slamming him into a nearby wall and the throwing him at his feet.

"And I won," continued Zerelin, "The day she was locked away." Vyndakian drove the heel of his boot into the Archpaladin's back, grinning at the sound of a satisfying crunch.

Ashward groaned in pain as he felt his shattered ribcage. The blighted ground stopped encroaching just at the edge of the altar, as the Death Knight kicked the other Elf onto his back. He planted his foot on Zerelin's head, forcing it down to an inch above the ground.

"Kiss it," seethed the Elf, grinning at the grim satisfaction of watching his former master touch the thing that reviled him. The souls of every Paladin, every woman and child, filled the pews in the church, watching the display with the quiet nature of the dead.

Vyndakian hauled the Elder to his feet, making him look at every dead person, everyone he had killed tonight.

"You and I are the last of Arcanus Illuminadum," spoke the Death Knight, "Now, tell the truth for once. Tell those that died for you, and because of you, how you really feel."

The Archpaladin looked at all of them, and Vyndakian grinned as a mixture of feelings passed over the Elf's face.

"I… I used all of you as pawns," whispered Zerelin, "I used you all as tools, to further my own wants, my desires." The crowd did not react, even as the Archpaladin went on and on. Eventually, the Death Knight grew tired of this, and threw him back to his knees.

"Now pray," ordered the Elf, "Pray that the Light may forgive you of your sins." Zerelin clasped his hands, tears streaming down his eyes. Even as he mumbled his wrongs to his deity, Vyndakian kneeled next to him, Runeblade in hand.

"Pray to your Light," whispered the Death Knight, driving his blade into the Archpaladin's back, "For your soul is mine for the rest of eternity." Zerelin coughed blood, falling to the floor. Vyndakian pushed the Runeblade deep into the Elf, driving it through the floor until it was buried to the hilt.

"You see, father," mused the killer, "I have still won. Already, your Paladins, the ones you chose, are joining me in the power of the damned." He laughed, as the Archpaladin's soul seem to separate itself from his body, the ethereal substance slowly being enjoyed by the Runeblade.

"And I have won penultimately," lied Vyndakian, "For I have deflowered your child… She will always be mine." With this final lie told, the old man stared at him, with endless hatred and loathing in his eyes. With that, the Archpaladin died, Vyndakian's cruel lie ringing over and over in his ears.

The Death Knight stood as the souls vanished, being devoured by his Runeblade. Vyndakian walked out of the church, into the courtyard.

"Trayste," he yelled, calling to her, "It's over! We've won!" He smiled, perking his ears for her return call. As time passed, his smile began to fade.

"Trayste," he called, running towards the barracks. He took up the flight of stairs, running through the memories of all he had killed. He hadn't payed attention to their faces… What if he had-?

Vyndakian threw open the door to her room, looking inside. On one side of the small room, was a bed built for one, and on the other, was a simple desk made from a strong type of wood only found in the forest.

All of Trayste's pictures and drawings had been taken down, except one. Above her bed, was a picture of the two of them less than a few months ago. The two were laughing and giggling under the big tree in the Garden, Trayste blushing all the way up to her ear tips as she sat in Vyndakian's lap.

The glass covering the picture had been shattered, jagged pieces hanging from the wooden frame. The Death Knight turned and raced outside to the Garden, trying to remember all the faces of his victims that night. He nearly ran into the big tree, and looked down.

In the roots of the tree, was a small carving in Trayste's bold handwriting. It was a heart, and inside was "Vyn + Tray." But carved over it, was an unfamiliar script, spelling out the words "Scandal," and "Liars." Vyndakian pounded his fist into the root, over and over, until the words and the carving had been beaten out.

He kept calling out her name, his shouts ringing off the walls of the Barracks. Slowly, his rage, and his sadness grew, his aura condensing around him.

"I couldn't have," he mumbled, trying to stop himself from crying, "I wouldn't have… No…. No….NOOOOO!" His power exploded forth in a mighty shockwave, levelling the Temple. Chunks of the ancient monolith flew across the landscape, crushing trees and animals in their destruction. The blighted land consumed the once holy ground, tainting everything it touched.

The Death Knight wept openly by the ruins of what had once been a three-thousand year old tree. She was gone, gone to a place he could never hope to reach. The Paladin that was his new servant trudged over the ruined ground, to try and console Vyndakian.

Before he could say a word, the Elf punched his servant in the throat, crushing his windpipe. As the Paladin struggled for breath, Vyndakian grabbed his head and twisted, snapping the weak little connection between his brain and his body.

The Death Knight walked back to the chapel, ripping the Runeblade from his father's corpse. Vyndakian looked at one of the crystal windows, shattered from his power. What had once been the "Saviour" preached about in the holy book, was now twisted and destroyed, taking the form of a scythe.

Yes, he would return to the north, and he would take up that scythe. He would use it until the day he died.

Until the day he could be reunited with his love.


Vyndakian slowly opened his eyes, to discover that the entire Clan had fallen silent, listening to his tale. He stood at the head of the fire, looking at each of his brothers and sisters in turn.

"I returned to Northrend," he continued, "to serve out the sentence of my soul. What had supposed to be an eternity, turned into sixteen years. And one day, I did come home…"

Even the most bloodthirsty of the Bloodraptors did not clap as Vyndakian sat down next to Trayste, and the party awkwardly continued. She looked at him with shock, but slowly returned to her earlier position, cuddling into his chest.

"Did you really do all of that," she asked, her eyes wide. The Darksworn nodded, kissing her forehead.

"It still haunts me to this day."


Wiigarg walked down the path of Utgarde Keep, finally returning to his keep. The elderly Orc had been travelling for the past month, trying to become stronger than his former master, Golion Ragereaver. He had devoured powerful demonic energies, and had nearly lost his humanity.

The Warlock shivered in the slight cold, pulling his cloak around him. Jarn'dor Gurubashi, a Troll Druid, had saved him from this corruption, and had led him back to being loyal to the Bloodraptor. Now, as ruler of Golion's armies, he would use them to aid the Clan in their conquests, and to keep them safe.

He threw open the doors to his chambers, looking inside. The high-ceilinged room did not keep the heat in, and frost constantly clung to the pillars, and even to the torches, no matter how brightly they burned.

At the opposite side of the room, a figure cloaked in black sat upon the Orc's throne. His breathing was ragged, and worn, and no part could visibly be seen of the man's body.

"Who are you," roared Wiigarg, "What are you doing on my throne." The man chuckled as figures crept out of the shadows. One was the Vrykul Warlord, Garthun, the Twilight Drake, Helios, the Netherwing Dragon, Archaon, and the mysterious visitor who spoke in clacks and chirps.

"That is no way to welcome me home, Wiigarg," spoke the man as he rose, he pushing off from the throne. The figure walked down towards the Orc, as the Warlock backpedalled.

"It's impossible," whispered Wiigarg, "You plunged into the river… I saw it!" Golion laughed, as his talons tore away his mask. The Orc screamed in terror at the blackened bone underneath, the sockets now twin pits of darkness.

"Not even death can stop me," replied the Undead as he drove his claws into Wiigarg's throat, piercing his veins and his windpipe. The Dragon easily lifted the Orc high into the air.

"I know what you've been doing," continued Golion, "Scheming to take what is mine. And in the end, you betrayed me. You wanted to use my power for the Clan." The Orc tried to reply, but his master's grip choked the words in his throat.

"You wanted to use my life, to further yours," mused the Magmawyrm. He pulled Wiigarg so they were face to face.

"You know something," spoke Golion, grinning, "You never know what life really is, until it runs out in a big red gush over your lips."

The Undead suddenly dropped Wiigarg, as blood poured forth from his mouth, flooding his airway. The Orc thrashed and twitched for a while, until he was finally still. Golion assumed his throne, as two of his servants entered.

"Skin the body," ordered the Undead, "And nail the torso above my door. Place each of his limbs at the corners of my keep, to let everyone know what I do to traitors… As for the head, leave the skin on, and mail it… Mail it to Alk'wan."

The servants bowed and immediately dragged out the corpse, hurrying so they did not incur their master's wrath. The Visitor clacked in amusement as Garthun chuckled.

"Please," said Golion nodding to the cloaked figure, "Remove your cloak and show our comrades who our greatest ally is." With a nod, the mighty being undid his cloak, throwing it aside.

The being was built much like a gigantic man, covered in a thick, insectoid carapace. A mighty sword was strapped across his back, as he kneeled in front of the Undead.

"King Vek'Nilash of Ahn'Qiraj," reported the might being, as the Twilight Drake snorted in surprise. The Vrykul immeadietly backed away, as the Netherwing Dragon chuckled. Golion grinned at all of their reactions.

"Then is your brother prepared to accept my eggs," asked the Magmawyrm. The Qiraji nodded, remaining quiet. Golion looked at the Netherwing Dragon.

"Is the Waygate in Sholazar prepared to transport the clutch?" The beast dipped its head, nodding.

"Helios," he roared, and the Twilight Drake started, "How long until your underlings can age my eggs to mature Dragons?"

The Drake shifted uncomfortably, a little nervous. "About…two months milord." Golion sighed, looking at the Vrykul.

"Garthun, you and your Vrykul will remain here." The man nodded. "Vek'Nilash, you and Helios will take my eggs to Ahn'Qiraj and watch them until they are ripe to age." The two nodded as Golion grinned.

"In two months, the Wyrmrest Accord will fall, and we shall rule Azeroth for eternity." The leaders laughed and roared, the two Dragon's clapping eachother on the back.

"Milord," spoke Garthun, "What of the interlopers, the Bloodraptor Clan?" Golion waved his hand as the figure of a Troll suddenly appeared in the center of the throne room. The pirate wore a puffy shirt, a grin on his face.

"I work my ways on him," mused Obsidion, "And one by one, the Clan shall fall."