Imagination and Memory

GODS FUCKING DAMMIT! Rally along the central barricade and prepare the fortifactions! Langley! Halinor! Moonwalker! Take up arms along the ramparts! Asleon, situate yourself nearest the center of the formation!”

-Grand Marshall Lex Luminous

Lordaeron 1st Rifle, 3rd Regimental Army

Day 10 – Lordaeron’s Collapse

I can see myself. Surrounded on all sides by bloodied bodies, the scent of death and gunpowder lingering in the air. The bugles of war sounding all around, drowned out by the cries of war. The Undead are upon us now. An unstoppable tidal wave of corpses named as Scourge raging down upon us in a mindless fury no living man may compare. My friends tender their defensive positions, but ultimately are forced back into the open field to which the refugees are slaughtered en mass. The swordsmen falter and our firing lines are broken.

I call out to the Light. I beg salvation in prayer and incantation. What I recieve is never enough to turn the tide or alleviate the pressures levied against us. All I reap are the screams. My only reward, the promise of ten dead for every one spared.

“Priest! Priest!” The men cry out, desperate for any form of mending. Many expire within the confines of the rear lines, waiting for a healer that never arrives, reassured through lies and hope that they’d be seen. “I’ve got you…. I’ve got you…” Asleon told himself over and over, sweat and fatigue wearing upon him now, pushing past his physical and magical limits in the foolish hopes of saving everyone. “…I can do this… quickly… and unto the next… unto the next…” To the point that he never even realized the one he was attempting to heal had already perished. “…No…no…no…I can bring him back I can…”

A hand fell upon his shoulder, Halinor; The other High Elf in the company slapped him harshly upon the cheek. “THE RETREAT HORN HAS SOUNDED NEARLY TEN TIMES ASLEON! THEY’VE GONE! THEY’VE ALL GONE! GATHER YOUR WITS AND LETS BE OFF!” He shook his head defiantly. “I CAN STILL SAVE THEM DAMN YOU!” Bureston and Johan took to their sides, now well and truly cut off from the remnants of their militia. “We need to break for the woodline with due haste.”  Halinor swept up the feeble Quel’dorei in his arms, dragging him off. “With all haste.” He repeated.

“I CAN STILL SAVE THEM! LET ME GO! LET ME GO!!!”

I feel shame. Dishonor. Rage. A burning rage for the first time in my life. A hatred that I’m taught to disperse and suppress takes hold of me for the first time in my life and I surrender to it. Holy energies are warped beyond their purpose to formulate a purging inferno that I send spiralling towards our pursuers. The legions of the damned continue to chase at our heels. Bureston; stout as he is cleaving them as he might with rapid spins of his claymore as he continues to progess through the thicket. Johan reloading and firing over his shoulder without ever turning, hoping for a miracle.

It came when the warped energies of the Light burst amidst the center of their ranks. A brilliant flash of light blinds me, and when at last my vision clears, there is a small crater filled with the gore that remained of my efforts. I’m far from relieved. I curse myself for only just now finding this power, as my companions express awe, still egressing with me in their arms. I lose all sense of consciousness. A darkness takes hold. The dream ends and I awake once more amidst the bare confines of my meager living quarters within the Violet Citadel.

Guilt clings to me, as it had in what feels as if a prior life. His name as my own to the ends of this city, his heart beating within my chest. His soul as furious as my own. I stumble to my mirror, drenched in sweat. Still with the smell of battle filling my lungs. I cannot shake it from my being, it clings to me as if a malignant disease. I stagger to my liquor cabinet only to find it empty and desolate. There is no solace here.

I rip through my dresser, hoping to find reserves of mana powder. Graced only by the taunting visage of empty vials. I frantically search and search for some form of vice, and I find it in the form of the empty canvas in the corner of the room. A wheel chair left abandoned in another. The lute and accordion sitting idle on the dresser. This fleeting sensation of objects once holding the promise of relief is fleeting, as I am reminded now why I pursued these diversions.

The room engulfs me in an expanse of darkness originating from the center of the carpet. I’m falling now, as if an infinite distance lays before me. I scream but words fail me. I’ve not a sound to make. A flash of light ignites the flames of another reality. I stand amidst the remnants of an inhabitted cavern. I stand bare naked, at least four corpses seared beyond recognition surround me.

“Hrayahahahahaha!” He laughed maliciously, as if nothing existed within this husk beyond malicious and monsterous intent. What was once a mortal being, twisted into something beyond a mere vessel of rage and kindness. Nothing more than an outlet through which power and fury escaped. “BURN! KILL! DESTROY! LET’S DESTROY -EVERYTHING-! Hrayahahahaha!” His laughter echoes down the halls. Flames carried swiftly with them, taking to the banners. Twilight Hammers reduced to cinders. Braziers tipping over, screams of panic flowing through the halls bringing a sense of satisfaction over the single-minded creation.

A woman crawls upon the ground, barely alive. Her flesh cauterized beyond recognition. Flesh and cloth as if one. He pranced towards her, leaping onto her back and rapidly dropping one foot, then the next, in rapid succession as if a sick ritual dance. She screamed a blood curdling sound as he literally stomped the life from her body. He bent down to roll her over, pressing his hands to her sides. A pulse of mana and her ribs punctured her lungs. His hands tore at the soft flesh of her face, chunks of meat pried easily from their birth. Pain wracked her body and escaped her lips as he reached her skull. Even still she gagged on her cries of pain until at last she was granted the peace of death.

I relive the moment of my birth. Covered in someone else’s blood, screaming loudly. Rushing through the halls of the womb that was my chamber, the rough and cold stone beneath my feet. Pebbles snared between my toes. I come before an expanse just looking over a waterfall. I leap into it’s confines and tumble along the flows of water. I cannot breath. I cannot think. I only twist and thrash against the forces of nature as it plunges me towards a formation of rocks. As I grow closer and closer to them, another expanse of darkness takes me.

…All that comprised Asleon De’Forte has perished with the darkness…

I stand now before the frigid fields of Icecrown. The Argent Crusade at my side, trusted friends. Even my lover. Together we raise the battle cry and I take up arms against the dead once again. We drive them back into the citadel. Press them into the very depths they were forged.

“We’ve nearly done it men! Once more! Once more for the glory of Quel’Thalas! For Lordaeron! AND A GLORIOUS TOMORROW!” Anetho cried alloud, taking the head of the formation, driving his newly christened runeblade through the center of a shambling skeleton, quickly toppling over. His wife at his side. She dissintegrates a freshly formed corpse through spellfire. “Lovely blow, darling!” He exclaims ecstatically, turning about in a flourish as if to strike down a Death Knight in one glorious blow. As he turns to gloat, there stands his wife, now within a doorway linking to a room not of Icecrown but of Eversong. She was mutlated, hanging from a noose.

I realize at last I am trapped in an endless cycle of nightmares. They assault me time and again of moments I was captured in weakness. Moments that will forever cling to the darkest confines of my mind. I revisit those I’d cast in shackles and tortured for my own amusement.. those that had deserved it. Those I should have spared, adolescants and children. Cut down without having any true knowledge of the designs they played upon. Memory and imagination blur together forming a monologue amidst tragedy I myself have been responsible for in a fit of blind fury. When the world threatened to buckle. When my own world had fallen into disarray.

“…I’ll destroy you lot long before Deathwing rends the world… I’ll shatter your worlds beyond recognition long before our own is decimated…” He cackled, throwing petty firebolts about at the cultist he’d chained to the wall. He cried out in pain and agony as they burnt the flesh and cauterized it into sickening pulps. “Just stop!” His companion exclaimed. “Hasn’t there been enough destruction for one evening?” She pleaded, trying to appeal to whatever sense of morality remained within him. “This ceases to make sense, Magister!” He continued to laugh. “Destruction isn’t meant to make sense. T’is only entertaining when it is senseless.” He composed himself, the air filled with an eery silence as he turned to address her. Those bright viridian orbs flaring violently as he stared her down. She swallowed hard, debating an oppertunity to flee.

“Why create… when it will only be destroyed?” He asked in a pitiable tone. “…Why cling to life when you’ve the knowledge you’re already pre-ordained to die?” He looked back to the Twilight cultist, who groaned faintly. “…None of it will have meant anything once you have…” She looked from Anetho to the young man and her voice cracked as she spoke. “We fight to protect what we hold dear… We regard the meaning of life and the well-being of our people. That is what we represent… Not this… grotesque display. You’re no better than they are.” She bawled her hands into fists, anticipating her rage. A gentle voice surprised her in reply. “…There is no meaning to it anymore, m’lady…” He turned to gaze back at her once more, tone shifting to cynicism and sarcastic berating humor, escalating to outright ruge. “…The whole world is going bye~bye! YOU INCLUDED!” She felt her heart skip a beat in surprise and fear once again. “Life, dreams, and hope…. None of that garbage is enough to satisfy your heart, nor defend your tenants! DESTRUCTION! DESTRUCTION IS THE LIFE WE’VE BEEN ALOTTED!” He cackled, charging a firebolt in his right hand. The intensity echoing with a large deafening clap akin to thunder as he released it upon the Cultist, leaving naught but a charred outline where once the man was. Metal chains sizzled, and danged limp. “And I’m going to destroy everything!”

I thrash wildly in my bed, my companion shakes me to no avail. I feel her cold hands upon my skin. I realize at once she isn’t cool, but that I’m engulfed by an intense heat. Flames swarm and engulf me in my dreams. Fel fire burns at me. It threatens to burn my skin to nothingness and bleach the bone. At the epicenter stands a female figure, mocking me with her laughter. I reach out screaming. I drape my hands about her neck and squeeze for all I can.

All at once my eyes shoot open, and the woman I’d shared my bed with is now caught firmly in my grasp, begging for air as her eyes begin to roll back into her head. She clings to my hands with her own, scratching, reaching out. Trying to desperately wake what senses may yet linger within me. There is a faint cracking sound as I break her neck. I release her at once, and realize what I’d done. There lies Kuvasei, crumpled at my bed. I blink. No, t’was Astoreth. Once again I try to process it. Elysia? Illenna? Countless other women I’d shared myself with in one fashion or another. I close my eyes, attempting to rationalize it. Now my entire floor is stacked with the bodies of those I’d cared for. Those I’d murdered. Those whom were lost amidst the collateral fallout of my rage. Imagination and memory blend together so as to be one thing. It strikes me as I wake at long last in my lonesome upon a single bearskin pelt with no blanket.

Imagination and Memory are but one thing, which for diverse considerations have diverse names…” The Red Magister mumbled to himself, sighing. “…Horrid things… As both may strike you when you are least suspect… Tact, Dawnpride… Tact before all things.”

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~ by anethodawnpride on July 6, 2013.

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