8/01/2013

Rohk'narani

Kneeling down, she stared at the icy footprint settled upon sandy shore near Sen'jin Village.  "Ya, mon.  Dis be from one of my kind.  A death knight walked de path of frost here."

Rohk'narani felt the witch docter behind her tense.  Perhaps he was looking for the other death knight, perhaps he was just disturbed by how casually she refferred to her new role in life.  Many who had fought the Scourge, who feared the Lich King, were uncomfortable around the raised former mortals who made up the Knights of the Ebon Blade.  Rohk'narani could no longer identify with that fear.

"Dey come ashore near da village, but where dey go?"

"De tracks are not trollish.  Unlikely dey could be hiding in Sen'jin.  De hills nearby, maybe," answered the death knight, her gaze lingering on the hills as if it could reveal her prey.

"You'll be huntin him, den?"

Rohk'narani nodded, finally looking at the frightened witch doctor.  "I be, yah.  For da Darkspear."

The witch doctor visibly relaxed.  "For da Darkspear and da Horde, sistah."

---

Rohk'narani stalked through the barren hills of Durotar, headed northeast from Sen'jin Village.  There was no way to be absolutely sure which way the death knight had gone, but she had suspicions.  Vol'jin had returned from Pandaria in the recent days and captured Razor Hill, headquartering his rebellion against Garrosh there.  It was the only logical place for an a lone agent to be trying to sneak up upon.

But be dey Alliance or Horde?

Rohk'narani descended into a narrow gorge, slowing her steps and holding her sword ready.  Dis clearly be a trap.  De question be, be it worth springing?

Shaking her head softly, she pushed on.  It was possible the other death knight had come to join Vol'jin.  Many members of the Horde had, especially from non-Orcish races.  It was why Rohk'narani had come, after all. She remembered all too well what came of a hot headed leader, as Garrosh was, chasing blindly after weapons of great power.

---

She was sure she was in Bwonsamdi's realm, a spirit consigned, as was proper, to the death god.  But something tugged at her, like a tidal flow out to the sea.  She descended, coming to rest in a corpse.  Her corpse.

"Rise, servant of the Lich King, rise and attend."

She did.  Momentarily, she wondered if she was a ghoul, if this was what they'd felt as she marched against them.  But in the considering, she realized that there was too much left of her mind for her to be a ghoul.

The death knight who'd spoken to her beckoned.  "Come, newling, come.  Our master has a task for you."

Obediently she followed, not remembering her master but sure his will was her every want or need.  The death knight, face hidden behind helm and hood, directed her into a long wooden building.  Inside, prisoners were chained to stakes in the floor.

The death knight led her forward ubtil they came to a stop before a tall Troll, battered and beaten, but clearly still defiant.  In that moment, she remembered being Troll, being Darkspear.  The Troll looked up at her and gasped.

"Narani!  You live!  I was sure you had fallen!  Let them chain you; they be beatin us all like dogs otherwise.  De Horde be bringin rescue soon, no doubt."

Narani.  As before, in thst moment she remembered.  She had been Narani, warrior of the Darkspear, sent against the terrible Scourge of the Lich King.  This Troll before her; she'd leapt to his defense has he nearly fell to the Undead. She could remember her concern for him, her fear for herself, her anger at the Loa for letting things come to this.  Remembered those emotions, but no flame of them lived in her.  Not even an echo.  They were gone.

The Troll must have seen it.  "Oh... Mah sistah, what dey done to ya?"

The death knight gazed at her from beneath his hood.  She could feel the command of his master, her master.  She extended a hand and into it the death knight placed a knife.  Her fingers closed around the hilt, but as she wielded it, she felt nothing at all...

---

Rohk'narani was dragged from her reverie by bands of power pulling her from the floor of the gorge to its rim.  She landed on her feet and immediately tensed, scanning the ridge for the death knight she knew must be close.

She found him sitting on a rocky hoodoo nearby.  She assessed him quickly.  An older Orc when he died, one eyed and grizzled.  He'll favor the right because the left is the one gone.  Two handed axe, likely following Frost teachings.

The Orc nodded at her as if he'd heard her assessment.  "Sister."

She shook her head.  "Not a way to be greetin a sister."

"You were walking away from me.  We needed to talk."  The Orc shrugged.  "You know of Vol'jin's revolution."

"I do be aware.  That be why you are here?"  Rohk'narani moved towards the other fighter cautiously, but trying to convey a readiness to talk.

"Of course.  Someone must remind the people their loyalties to the Horde," he said, gesturing vaguely in the direction of Razor Hill.

Rohk'narani paused, pondering the words.  "Indeed."

"So many have strayed from the path of the Horde.  Our responsibility to this world," continued the Orc, gesturing from earth to sky.  "Someone must take them in hand, make them remember."

Rohk'narani muttered the words she'd so often heard before. "De Horde is family."

The Orc grinned at her.  "Yes.  And one must always be loyal to one's family."

"So you come ta join Vol'jin then?"

The Orc barked a laugh.  "I come to bury him.  If you are wise, you will join me troll and return to the side of the Warchief."

For a moment, Rohk'narani stared at him, wondering how he could not see the logic in her words.  Then, down deep, in a place she would have denied still existed, she began to simmer.  In truth, many death knights were like this Orc.  They still carried their own agendas, now that they were free of the Lich King.  She'd seen them laugh, and cry, and unleash furious rage.  True, some were cold, as she was, but many had merely been tempered by their transformation and still carried the person they had been within them.  Her anger lived.  And this Orc had stoked it.

He seemed to know he'd tipped his hand.  "Come now, girl.  If Vol'jin continues this farce, it weakens the Horde.  The Horde which protects your people.  The Horde which welcomed you back after your transformation.  I know the rumors are true that Vol'jin has even allowed the Alliance to join him in his mad quest."

Rohk'narani brought her blade up.  "Garrosh be mad.  He be reachin for power like the Lich King did."

"And why should he not?  The Horde should be strong.  It should crush the Alliance and claim our birthright!"

"Even if it mean we all be monsters?"

"I am no worse for wear."  He struck, blurring forward and swinging hard at her midsection.  Only because she had been sure the attack was coming was Rohk'narani able to bring her guard up in time.  She swung away and around, lashing back out towards his head.  He'd already moved, though, off to her left.  He flung a bolt of cold at her and followed with necrotic energies fueled by his own unlife.  Rohk'narani grit her teeth as the attacks scored against her armor, slowing her.

But not her anger.  Even as her limbs momentarily numbed from the blast of frost, her anger flamed to new heights, spurring Rohk'narani to action.  She leapt across the distance, blade forward, and scored her first hit of the combat, impaling the Orc's right shoulder.  He shoved at her, and her blade came free as she stumbled back.  Laboring, he charged forward, but missed as his right arm refused to stay level.  Rohk'narani grinned at him.  Let's see how you be doin havin only your weak side.

The Orc snarled at his inability to hit her.  He swung again, wildly missing her.  Rohk'narani stepped inside his open guard and thrust her sword into his gut.  He crumpled, coughing blood.

"You haven't won, troll.  There will be others.  The Warchief will crush your entire traitorous race."

"Your Warchief be a madman.  Dis be justice."

Coughing again, the Orc spat blood at her.  It hit Rohk'narani in the face, just above her left eye.  "You'll all fail.  The True Horde shall win out."

Rohk'narani sneered at him, raising her hand to smear the blood on her forehead down, past her eye, in the shape of a spear.  "You won't be there to see it."

Grinning savagely, she raised her sword high and plunged it down, into his breast.  "For da Darkspear!  FOR DA HORDE!"

---

The witch doctor winced as he pressed the needle into the skin above Rohk'narani's eye.  Calmly, she told him, "Stop.  If you flinch, it may ruin da image.  I assure you, I be not movin."

The witch doctor nodded, continuing his work more steadily.  "And then what, sistah?"

Rohk'arani paused for a moment, contemplating feelings foreign after years of cold.  "And then I be joinin Vol'jin.  And we be bringin down Garrosh."

The witch doctor leaned back, finished.  Sitting up, Rohk'narani lifted a finger to the tattoo of the Darkspear running down over her left eye, where the death knight's blood had been.  Smiling, she whispered, "For da Horde..."