(02/24/2009) (Chase & Zarrec belong to me :D)
Lady Chaslinn, Priestess in Training, bid the monks good day and left the Cathedral. She was headed for the Mage Quarter, having made plans to take a room at the Inn there. It had long since come to pass that her vision of war had been from the future. Every day the victims returned home by the boat-full – wounded in both body and soul. Their eyes haunted, their lives ruined.
Refugees were being housed everywhere, and the Cathedral had been first to fill. Chaslinn's room had been selected for three such families, and though she missed the familiar surroundings, the families had her deepest sympathies.
She had tried hard to keep her quarters private, but she had finally been forced to give them up, in spite of her valid arguments. Her studies were important – it was vital she learn the nature of her Gift of Sight – and having to stop and start again after moving was an irritating disruption.
Then again, she accepted the fact that the Cathedral was no longer a quiet place to study, full as it was with the wails, sobs, and screams of people suffering pain and heartache. In the end, her room was packed and shipped to the Inn. Chaslinn smirked as she supposed the tight look on her Superior's face meant he was tempted to ship the young Priestess to the Inn in a box as well.
That happened a lot, so she was used to it by now. Some people didn't accept that Priests weren't all cut from the same cloth. Chaslinn liked to think that, while the cloth may have once been the same, when her square had been cut out, it was then dyed and stitched with a complicated pattern. Her edges had been reshaped by nature and experience until she no longer fit the place she had come from.
It was well known that she never hesitated to correct the assumptions people made about her. It was why she was currently under oath not to start any altercations. Apparently, her sharp tongue was unbecoming of a Priestess of her Order.
"You mean a Priestess of your Order…" She had wanted to say.
Most of her Superiors were strict followers of the Light, their focus varying only slightly, but there was a small coven of Priests interested in the other side of things. They sought to understand the Darkness, how it worked in balance with Light, and how it too, was integral to their lives.
It wasn't official yet, but Chaslinn planned to join the Shadow Priests, and she knew her Superiors were furious. It was why they had imposed such a tight leash. Her visions were sent by the Light, it was insanity to let the Dark Ones have her.
Personally, Chaslinn didn't see it that way. She couldn't understand why she had to choose between one or the other. Why not both? Wouldn't the two compliment each other? Was Balance not taught to be the ultimate goal?
She flinched reflexively when she recalled the scandalized faces of the students around her when she had pointed out that the Scarlet Crusaders had all been driven mad by their desire to annihilate evil. It had become so bad that they saw the evil everywhere, even in the homes of their own villagers.
They hated her for speaking out; and for being right. Her hands were sore for weeks from the extra chores she had been assigned shortly after that lesson. It wasn't as direct a punishment as she felt the teacher had wanted to give her, but it had probably caused Chaslinn enough pain that the old bat was satisfied anyway.
"C'est la ve." She sighed to herself.
Coming out of her thoughts, Chaslinn frowned at the tension in the air. She came to a stop and listened carefully. People walking by her were murmuring to each other, glancing over their shoulders in the direction of the Moonwell. Curious, she turned and headed that way.
He was sitting silently by the water, like a shadow, deathly still, and it was easy to see why he was drawing so much attention. Full lips were tinged blue and pressed into a thin, pensive line, and blue-tinted hair was falling forward around eyes that glowed without expression in a pale face. She felt an intensity around him that made him a dark, brooding force.
She had met Death Knights before; and most of them had been unpleasant. She didn't begrudge them for it – she'd heard the tale. She knew the truth. She knew that they had been killed in battle, their bodies stolen for the Lich King's twisted experiments. And then, they'd been tossed away.
If it had not been for Mograine, she had heard, there would have been no closure for any of them. Just loss, defeat and misery.
Chaslinn thought of her brother and sighed. She still had no closure, like many others, and her prayers had turned from hoping for life to hoping he had died swiftly and stayed dead.
As she approached the Moonwell, she suddenly paused. When he held his head that way, she could have sworn he looked just like her brother. She shook her head and pushed that thought away. That was silly. She was probably just projecting.
He must have seen her head-movement for he glanced at her and sighed. "The King can yell all he wants to, but it won't change anything. It's okay. I'll leave."
She stopped, mesmerized by the slightly unearthly echo to his deep voice. Shaking her head again, she put out a forestalling hand when he started to get up. "No, you're fine where you are. I only wanted to see what the fuss was about."
He sighed again and returned to his seat by the water. He was wearing a fine black tunic and matching pants, both detailed in silver embroidery. He had he hood of his tunic pushed back, and the gloves on his hands left his fingers bare. Down his back hung a luxurious black cloak, and he was wearing a simple pair of black boots.
Chaslinn tried not to stare. She'd never seen a Death Knight at rest before. They were always wearing such huge imposing suits of terrifying armor. This one was practically… attractive.
"My name's Chaslinn," she told him as she sat down, "Chaslinn Rose."
He stared at her and she arranged her robes around her legs self-consciously. "I call myself Zarrec." He finally replied.
"A pleasure to meet you, Zarrec."
For a time, they simply gazed around them at the day, enjoying the peace and quiet of the park. As the silence began to stretch, Zarrec tensed, preparing himself for the mind-numbing dribble most people felt inanely compelled to stuff into a perfectly comfortable silence.
No dribble came. With relief, and surprise, he glanced at the auburn-haired girl again. Now that she was close, he saw her eyes weren't blue as he had originally guessed, but actually violet. Almost lavender, really. And she didn't seem bothered by the silence in the slightest.
He might have thanked God, if he still Believed, but he didn't want to believe in a God that could allow such horrible things to be done to the very same men and women that lived and died by Oaths of the Light.
For, these days, not even the dead were safe from Evil. What had the world come to? No, Zarrec said no blessings or thanked anyone for his peace and quiet. Instead, he sighed and leaned back on his elbows again, stretching out one leg and drawing up the other knee.
"Hm?" Queried his brandy-haired companion.
"Nothing." He didn't look at her this time, "Just… enjoying the peace."
"Hard to find these days, huh?" She was gazing up at the sky, her eyes squinting against the brightness of it. Her lavender eyes. Had his eyes been that color when he was alive?
"I used to go to the towers, up to the very top, and watch the people scurry around like ants. Lately though, it hasn't felt far enough away." She looked around again, "Come to think of it, I'm surprised this place is!"
"Oh, Mage Quarter has always been pretty quiet. The Park especially. I've noticed that places set around Moonwells are all that way."
Chaslinn turned her gaze to his face, her interest piqued. "Really? I mean, you've seen other Wells?"
"Well, yeah… But if you've seen one, you've seen them all… I've come across a number of them in my travels."
"I want to travel some day." She sighed wistfully.
Zarrec caught himself about to sigh again and closed his eyes, silently cursing himself. "You only think you do, little sister," he wanted to tell her, "but if you travel, you'll find the war, and if you find the war, you'll die… I can't let that happen."
"It's possible you'll be required to travel," he said out loud, rather than speaking his thoughts, "When your studies are finished, or to finish your studies, whichever comes first."
Chaslinn's smile was full of youth and innocence. "That would be nice. Really nice."
In the silence that followed, Zarrec found himself threatening whatever force might be listening with the wrath of doom should Chaslinn's studied ever be completed.
If that force (or forces) was confused by his vehemence, he would remind them, quite sourly, that he had been done no kind favor when the fire-headed female with purple eyes had strolled into his personal corner of hell, calling to mind sudden memories of her screaming and laughing as he chased her about their cottage while their mother halfheartedly barked at them to settle down.
He had died in the war, stabbed, shot, cut down and left for dead in the frozen waters of Icecrown. The Lich King had stolen his body from its icy grave and brought it back to life with powers that mocked those he'd died with. He was then used like a pawn to destroy the lives of others, until it became second nature to him.
Then, just when he'd thought he'd settled into his new existence (for he couldn't call it "life" with a straight face), he was abandoned by his puppeteer and freed by Mograine.
He honestly couldn't decide which he hated more.
His life was no more. He'd gone to the ends of the world, to new lands and beyond. He'd met new people, never again to see those he had died with, or for. He hadn't ever wanted to, and now this? Now they remind him he has a sister? For that, they would pay.
He figured if he could defeat the monsters the Lich King had given power to, he could take on the Gods. If Gods they be. Even if he failed, he figured he would just be dead.
And then he could truly rest.
Later, as Chaslinn finished her studies for the evening and retired to her room upstairs in the Blue Recluse, she sighed and glanced at the stack of scrolls on the desk.
"Why did they have to make is so complicated?" She complained to herself, getting into bed. "If this keeps up, I'll never finish…"
With a yawn, she blew out the lamp and slept.