Author's Note: Tirion talks to what he thinks is the Ashen Verdict's newest great threat, Queen Sylvanas. Darion/Tirion slash inferred, just a tiny bit. Darion is barely in this.
Light Protect Me
Queen Sylvanas Windrunner paced her chambers, irritated. Bragor Bloodfist, the orc sent to "guard" her occasionally sent a suspicious look her way. The irritating green monster was loyal only to that repulsive Garrosh Hellscream, who would soon follow in his father's footsteps and bring ruin to the Horde. Many thought she, the Banshee Queen, or, as some called her, the Lich Queen, would be the one to bring ruin to the Horde.
She knew better. It was Garrosh who would cause the fall of the Horde, not she. She knew what lay beyond the veil of death, and she did not seek nothingness. The Valkyr took her place the first time, but who would take it the second time? She had no Valkyr attending her currently.
Should her keep be stormed and she taken into death, she would face that harrowing nothingness. The same nothingness that had claimed her vile "predecessor" Arthas, the Lich King. I am Queen of Lordaeron. Let the false kings and warchiefs fight over my land all they want. Undercity, Lordaeron, is MINE! She laughed. Bloodfist looked at her as if she were crazy, but just grunted like all of those stubby green monsters do and turned back to staring at the wall, likely thinking about killing and bloodshed like his precious Warchief Hellscream.
Hellscream may rule the Horde for now, but as someone she had long forgot said, no king rules forever. Hellscream's reign would come to a bloody end. If she were lucky, she would be there to see it. No, be part of it! A shiver of something like glee ran up her rotting spine. She'd forgotten what happiness was like, but if this was a mere shadow of it, it would be worth it to see Hellscream's head on a pike.
A soft cough interrupted her thoughts. Ambassador Sunsorrow, the blood elf sent from her old home of Silvermoon, was kneeling before her, apparently awaiting her attention. How she hated him. Them. ALL of them. Blood elves.
They thought that just because she had been one of them once that she remained an ally. Only to protect her status as part of the Horde. She just hated them. Every time she saw Sunsorrow or Cyssa Dawnrose she wanted to strangle them and throw them out. Regardless, it seemed the Ambassador had something important to say.
"Well, Ambassador? Speak. Your Queen has no patience today!" She snapped at Sunsorrow. The blood elf's ears drooped slightly and he cringed a bit.
"Ah, your Majesty...Your Grace...a...a visitor from the Ashen Verdict is here to speak to you. The Ashen Verdict, Your Majesty...those who took down the Lich King-"
"I know who they are, you idiot! Get up and stop wasting time! Bring this visitor to me." Ashen Verdict, eh? Had they come to slay her? No, Sunsorrow had said A visitor, not an army. A single person could not slay her, unless perhaps it was...
"My Queen Sylvanas Windrunner, last time I saw you, I believe you were Ranger-General of Silvermoon. Or perhaps I am remembering nothing, and have never seen you before you are what you are now...I am getting old, after all."
Sylvanas turned and faced her visitor, seething. You dare! You dare come here and face me! As Arthas once said, you are NOT on holy ground, paladin! You think you can take me and my Deathguards alone! The damn Ashbringer. The gleaming sword seemingly held magically on his back, without a scabbard.
And he was not alone, he seemed to have at least brought one other with him. A black cloaked man who stood near the back and said, and did, nothing. Apparently he was supposed to be the old man's guard? As if the great Ashbringer needed a guard! Sylvanas sensed something in the dark cloaked man. Something...familiar. Alas, it would have to wait until her conversation with that nasty paladin, Tirion, ended.
"Why do you come here, Ashbringer? You seek to bring me down? The so-called Lich Queen?" She rasped at him.
Tirion shook his head. "No. I come because I know what you saw. What you saw when you ended your life in Icecrown. Nothingness is not all that lies beyond death, my lady."
Sylvanas scoffed. "You know nothing, paladin! Have you ever died? Have you ever seen the darkness, the nothing, that exists when you die? Your Light will not save you! No matter how good, how righteous, or even how EVIL one is, we all go to the darkness."
"There are realms beyond the dark and the nothing, my Queen. The Light..."
Sylvanas interrupted. "Do not give me your Light bullshit! Where was your Light when Arthas shoved his sword into me? Where was the Light when he raised me as a banshee? Where was the Light-!" She trailed off, realizing she was almost in tears. She would not show weakness, especially not in front of what she considered one of her greatest foes.
"Where the Light always is, my lady. Waiting for you. To be called upon. There are priests in your Forsaken who haven't forgotten the Light. The Light answers them. Do you think they will go to darkness and nothingness when they die? Or do you think the Light will protect them?"
"There is nothing beyond death except darkness, Ashbringer! Did you come to taunt me or kill me?" She spat at his feet. The paladin did not appear to notice. The dark-cloaked man's hand twitched toward his blade, but other than that he did nothing.
Tirion turned his back on her. A stupid move, to be sure. Her hand twitched toward her bow. She could have an arrow in his back before the dark guard even got his hand on his sword. Yet, something stopped her from attempting to bring down Tirion.
Perhaps because she knew that somehow, if she tried, it would fail. Holy ground or not, the paladin was almost divine himself. As if the Light poured from him. An arrow, even one so unholy as to be shot from the bow of the Banshee Queen, would not be near enough to take him down. He had single-handedly faced Frostmourne and lived to tell the tale. Her hand lowered from her bow.
The dark guard shifted slightly, as if indicating that she had made a smart choice. She glared at him. A slight smile graced his shadowed features under the hood.
The ball of gleaming light within the Ashbringer was nearly blinding her, but she didn't dare turn her back on Highlord Tirion, lest that wicked ball of light pierce her back and end her existence.
"I didn't come to do anything but talk, Lady Windrunner. Darion came with me merely as a...friend. Darion is my friend, as much as anyone can be. He insisted I not come here alone, though he knows I am protected by far more than this silly weapon." Tirion gestured at the Ashbringer, still gleaming on his back. He finally turned and faced her.
Darion...? Ah, of course. Darion Mograine. A Death Knight. No wonder he felt familiar. The pull of undeath was hard to ignore. She never knew him, not really, but he had been one of Arthas's greatest Death Knights. Even if he had become cannon fodder to draw out this paladin in the end.
"You come to talk. So talk, Highlord Tirion, and get out. I don't want your counsel. If I did, I would have sent for it!" She snapped, "Go away, Bragor, everyone else. If this paladin wants to talk, then I would have it be private."
The orc grunted and glanced at Tirion. "Banshee Queen, that is not allowable. I will not have the greatest paladin who ever lived alone with such as you." He bared his tusks and sneered.
Tirion turned to the orc. "Go, all of you. I will be fine. If I am not, you have permission to bring down the full force of the Horde on the Banshee Queen. Besides, I have Darion. Darion will not leave my side. He will simply become deaf, dumb, and blind to all we say here." The dark guard nodded and pressed himself against the wall even more, if that were possible.
The orc snorted. "Human paladin, you have no right to say what the Horde can and cannot do. Only Garrosh-"
"Garrosh Hellscream is not here! Go, orc. I will speak to your warchief later if you are worried about retribution."
The orc grunted again and headed out, along with her battlemasters and the blood elves. Only Tirion, Darion, and Sylvanas remained in her Royal Chambers. Darion appeared to be paying no attention to anything anymore, but she noticed that his hand hadn't left the dark blade he wore in a scabbard at his side.
"Now that we are alone, my Queen, perhaps we can talk. I am not here to convert you to the Light. Just here to perhaps...remove something my people, the Ashen Verdict, see as a threat. No, not kill you."
"Then what, paladin? How else do you plan to 'remove' me? And why would I be a threat to you and your boyfriend's precious Ashen Verdict?"
Tirion stiffened, but continued, "There are those who come to me, us, and say you, the Forsaken, are the next Scourge. That you need to be wiped off Azeroth for the good of the realm. For some time, I believed them. Now, learning your story, I am not sure I do."
The Queen snorted. "Story? You pity me, Tirion? You pity ME? You will die an old man and go to the darkness! I will live forever! You have no reason to pity me, old man!"
Tirion shook his head sadly. "There are things worse than death, my lady. And I do not fear death and what comes after. As I have said many, many times...the Light does not abandon its champions. I am a champion of the Light. There will be no darkness after death for me."
"How do you know? Have you DIED, paladin? Have you felt the cold, the pain, the sheer nothing beyond the veil of life and death?" Her chest was heaving, and if she breathed, she would be breathing heavily.
"Yes, my lady. I have died. That day, when I destroyed the heart of Arthas, the last remaining human portion of his soul, it killed me. I would have stayed dead, were it not for Darion and the grace of the Light. I did not see darkness, my lady. Only peace, only paradise. I was told to return, that it wasn't my time. I don't know whether the being telling me to return was merely a powerful Naaru or the Holy Light itself, but I know that darkness is not what exists beyond death, at least for those followers of the Light."
"I'm no follower of your Light. There is no goodness left in me, paladin. Every bit of good in me died the day I did." Sylvanas looked away, nearly locking eyes with Darion, who was simply staring at her.
Tirion stepped toward her, still weaponless, still nonthreatening. Still, even a touch from a holy being could burn an evil being such as the Banshee Queen. As if reading her thoughts, he reached out. Sylvanas jumped back.
"No! You will not burn me with your holy power, paladin!"
Tirion smiled. "I don't seek to harm you." He filled the distance between them and place his hand on her neckline, a little above her breasts. Her skin was cold, rotten, to his hand. Still, he ignored it and moved upward. His hand clenched around a locket the Banshee Queen wore. It was a gorgeous, large ruby that matched the Queen's red eyes.
Sylvanas scratched at the paladin's hands in rage. "You DARE touch my personal-my private-my...my..." The Banshee Queen trailed off. Warmth filled her breast, not burning as many evil undead would feel when touched by a being of the Holy Light.
The paladin, Tirion, merely kept his wizened hand clasped over her locket. "Even after all these years, even though you think her dead, you keep this. As Arthas had sealed away his humanity, you seek to as well. But you do not hide it as well as Arthas. Your humanity, or whatever elves call it, is here. Your mortality. You will be reunited with Alleria, and Vereesa. Don't fall victim to the darkness. You have your humanity, your Light, right here. You still love them, no matter what you claim."
"The Banshee Queen cannot feel love, compassion, for anyone. You lie, paladin. Vereesa wants nothing to do with me. She only cares about whoring for her mage in Dalaran. Alleria lies dead somewhere beyond the dark portal. Go away."
Tirion removed his hand from the locket. "No one has ever proved Alleria and Turalyon dead. Turalyon was a great paladin of the Light. I knew him. He and I were two of the first five Knights of the Silver Hand. It would take more than a few demons to bring down such a great paladin. And he would never leave Alleria to die."
Tirion sighed. He fingered a pendant at his own neck, it was feminine in appearance and obviously had once belonged to a woman. "Even if she is dead, as a wise old friend once said, do you really think the dead we love ever truly leave us? They appear to us in times of peril when we need them most. Karandra..."
Tirion was obviously done. He stepped down from the area Sylvanas claimed as her Royal seat and lightly touched Darion's shoulder. The Death Knight glanced back at the Banshee Queen, gave her an almost ironic bow, and put his arm around the paladin's shoulder and left with him.
For some time, the orc and the others did not return. Likely on Tirion's orders. Damn the paladin. Ah, well. At least she would be free of the stench of orc and blood elf for a bit. She mused on his words, and Alleria's locket. To Sylvanas. Love always, Alleria.
Always...until death. If Alleria were not dead, then perhaps there was a chance for them to be reunited. If she were dead...then, if the paladin were correct, she would never see Alleria again unless she turned to the Light. The Banshee Queen, a follower of the Holy Light! She laughed. And yet Tirion's words still remained. The locket was her connection to mortality. To her sisters.
Regardless of where I go when I die, I will love you always, Alleria, Vereesa. We were, and always will be, sisters. The Banshee Queen closed her eyes, sat down on the cold stone, and wept for the first time in years.
I know my grammar isn't perfect. R/R. I wanted to write a Tirion and Sylvanas fic for some time now.