How we come to love, time heals all wounds. from Carrion's blog


Like mycelium, powder brittle and roots yellowed blanketed once fertile soil. It crept into houses no longer lit and lived in, reclaimed them as a place for spreading yeasts and mold. Home of the damned, once and no more. Their blood spilled, their chambers of false rebirth forgotten. Now dwelled wraiths and memories. And select few brave, living in squalor they breathed. Freed from shackles, they burrowed deep and planned again. A new world, one that understood the truth behind all things. They would usher in all the rest, they would be remembered for their offerings of salvation.

Caer Darrow, The Plaguelands to the West. Where a young Sin’dorei knelt with her mouth greedily parted, to catch the spillings of a wound most foul. Black blood poured and it tasted like the rotting soils, unburning and alkaline to clear away the persistent acid they called Fel. She would be cleansed soon, no longer left to wither with wretched being her name. And stand anew, stronger than before without dependence. They said, they claimed. To return to golden walls towering high as the Phoenix, reborn. Just two weeks, he whispered. And freedom, Prince of Blood begone she would flourish again.

But they promised and they lied. For words were falsehoods, they existed to manipulate. His name was the Deceiver, and she did not know. That in the darkness lurked others with similar titles, waiting and watching for lesser things that could be twisted into something deserving of each breath it stole. For the young Sin’dorei was kneeling again, and this time it was in darkness, filth covered and stomach hollow. A dead bird cold and clammy, with flecks of white. They were maggots, writhing. Her sobs went answered only by judgment and disdain.

And tick, tock. Hours, days, months. Screaming, only to be emptied. Drained, until all she knew was the cold where she could be numb. Where the white frosts shone in her dead eyes, the blizzard howled silently. Lichfire hues brought her back, and it hurt again. For it always returned, the endorphins, the hope and the stress. Flooded back through veins pumping, a heart that circulated magics she did not understand. On and off, until she’d shriveled and wished she were dead.

And then they had moved, from one hidden place to another. Where towers of pale grey slate loomed above, and chambers of endless corridors wound beneath. There was a shack, rotten timbers stinking as it slumped in on itself. And there she had sat, arm outstretched as a needle pushed ink beneath her skin. With that hollow stare fixated on Saronite plating, that she dare not touch or crave. Until the outline of a dagger was etched, with three runes elegant. Protection, he said. She belonged to them now, that family of black and blades. Always, she would be watched over. Now.

Because she knew now that they cared. That all had been for something, and though it were hard she would grow stronger of it. The hurting was selfless, she saved others each time she fell. They with ears like knives were a hateful people, their pride would be their unwinding. Those who looked down upon others, burned their faces and left them scarred. She could offer atonement for the sins of many, she had and did and would. As sorrow turned to strength, and loathing to love. Blinded before, one Sin’dorei at least had her eyes pried open. To countless horrors of her people, and the consequences that would surely come.

How had it ever been that she had wallowed so in her ignorance, unable to comprehend something greater than herself? Why had she resisted in darkness so long, when accepting his words brought multi-faceted layers of freedom. Liberation, a new word that did not lie. But it was a blessing only of those worthy. Not this one, not yet. Another lash, another strike. Empty. Empty. Drained. Until all that she once knew was a falsehood, a distant memory. And this new world yawned before her, with a thousand eyes and thousand teeth. She was the offering, almost ready to be devoured. In this, a Sin’dorei could find purpose once again. They said, all she had to do was listen.

But the church bells tolled, and between the dusty pews she resisted. When it pushed into her stomach and pumped, black blood that came with emptiness. A mesh of veins had covered her eyes and again there was darkness as her skin tore. It hurt too much, the sacrifice too great. Instinct, he called it. A weakness of the living, pitiful as it was sick. For she had bared teeth and pressed down, not thinking of how it was firmly rooted. Unaware of how hard it would become to eat. That her own body would turn against her, no longer hers to claim.

And when passions rose it swelled, in her veins until they burst and bled. When she screamed they fattened, cried they feasted, pumped back and recycled senses heightened. Each feeling pushed her further. Hours to days, days to months. Starvation was a bloated gut and limbs that would not carry her. It was muscles decaying, eaten by enzymes. It was gaunt cheeks and rejection with black blood polluting. Not meant for the living, -this- was a gift of the dead. Like her, soon. But at least, despite it all. He was with her, inside her, feasting. Ever hungry, devouring like he had promised. Liberation was just around the corner.

And months to years. When he was gone but the mark remained. On her arm, always. Three runes and a dagger, a promise. This one would keep searching, forever and ever and no matter how long it would take. Until then there would be others, hollow substitutes. Puppets and wraiths, with their Lichfire glow and Saronite plating. Because their presence was ice and she remembered, that promise and the blizzard. Freedom, salvation and care. They knew not their destinies, the gift they carried in their veins.

But she did. And she would teach and train, offer revelation and release them. To spread the word, show the world. Remember. That though they felt nothing, they -could-. Until he returned, and her Masters. Those who slept below, and those with similar titles. Collecting bones now, each one positioned upon a throne of cold stone. And the jars beside them, alive even if they were not. Each one fattening whenever she returned to be empty. And numb, like the ice inside of the blizzard. Forever dancing, it did not lie.

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