Author's Note: Oddly enough, of all the secondary/ supporting characters I've written about through the years, the one that has gained the single most fascination is Malovici, the undead. Many people have expressed that he is "my favorite character" and almost universally,
there are demands for Malo's backstory.

For the most part, I have kept it secret-as Malo himself has always done. In part, I wanted to preserve his mystery, but also,
it's a long and rather convoluted story.

In recent years, I have begun writing paranormal romances as pen name Shannon Phoenix. This takes up the majority of my time now, as well it should since it is currently my only income thanks to real life issues that no longer allow me to work outside of the home.

But there comes a day when you reach a threshold. Enough people have asked, wheedled, cajoled, and begged that Malovici has finally given in and, with much disgruntlement, agreed to tell his story.

I warn you however, dear fans, that there are rules to this endeavor:

There will not be editing.

There will not be proofreading

Some chapters will come quickly, and sometimes it may be weeks between the chapters

If you can live with these rules, then you are welcome along the journey while Malovici tells his story.

Oh, and as you already know, this is no fluffy story and doesn't have a happy fluffy love forever ending. If you don't know that yet, you haven't read the other two stories as I warned you to do!

Chapter 1

The Tauren lying on the bed was ancient. He had grown gaunt as the years had passed, and his eyes were rheumy with age. Once mighty shoulders had sunk in on themselves and were now stooped and trembled with time.

The room was dark, his family and friends standing beyond the door that closed it off from the house. The only other living being in the room was an Orc equally old, equally gnarled by the ravages of time. The Orc sat silent and still, his body dwarfing the chair he leaned back in.

The Tauren's once mighty chest rose and fell as his breath rasped harshly through his nostrils. His dark pelt gleamed slightly in the scarce light from a burning brazier nearby.

Yet he had asked for this time of privacy with his two closest friends. One living, one dead. His spirit had never flagged through the years. As the privations of age had finally claimed him with indecorous haste over the last few months, he had still kept his humor and his placid personality. His wife had died many years before, and the decline of his health had begun then, and hastened in the final months; until now there remained only the vigilant watching for his imminent demise.

No magic on Azeroth existed that could hold off death due to age, once one stood before its door.

The ancient Tauren's hand rose in supplication. "Malovici," his voice rasped, "tell me."

The glowing eyes of the monster squatting on the top of the back of a chair in the corner peered at him, unchanged despite the passage of time. His ever-rotting flesh as crossed by lines of sewing that never seemed to quite hold him together.

"It's a boring story, old man."

The Tauren laughed. "Nothing about you has ever been boring, Malo. Now tell me. It has been my life's desire to know where you came from and who you really are."

"You never did have much ambition," the Forsaken Dreadguard grunted at his friend.

Slowly, he unwrapped himself from the chair, stepping down from its back with great ease. He moved the chair closer to the dying Tauren.

"Fine," he told Whitecrow. "I will tell you, but only because you'll be dead before it's over, and dead Tauren tell no tales."

Not offended in the least, Whitecrow laughed with a low chuffing sound that filled the room with echoes of days past. Once robust, his laugh was now a mere echo of his own memories. "Just tell me already."

"Alright," the disgruntled Dreadguard replied, "but I ain't going to yell the whole time, so don't keep yelling 'what?' 'what?' at me, you deaf old coot."

But neither the Tauren nor the Orc were surprised or hurt by the Forsaken's manner. The affection on his grizzled face was clear only to those who knew him well and for decades; but to them, it was poignantly so.

"Well, I suppose we can start in the middle. That always seems to be the best choice. Before I was dead, I was a Prince."