Dusty light swirled about the smooth surface of the globe, slowly retreating towards its center. Barely a spark remained at its center still fighting for its existence. The shadows of the room crowded round to make sure that the light would truly blink out, ending their suffering. The spark flared brightly, causing the shadows to flee into distant corners and hallows. The light danced freely, now, throughout the sphere, battling the now diminished darkness. Forms began to take shape within the light, physical forms breathing life into an ageless war. The shadows of the room peered out from their hiding places as the flare began to retreat back into the confines of the orb. They dared not be made so vulnerable again and merely watched the struggle through the face of the one figure in the room that dared look on in the face of such blinding light. This light was not new to him.
- - - - - - - - - -
“How’s everyone doing?” she moved about the quiet hall. They were, of course, resting from their recent struggles, steeling themselves for the battle that lay before them. Here a night elf sat, back against a wall, in quiet self-reflection. Here a warrior stood, sharpening his blade, eyes bright in both anticipation and, perhaps, fear. In the corner sat a young human mage nervously reading through his spells. She smiled and handed the young man a warm muffin.
“Thanks, Seven.” The man managed a smile and chewed quietly on his muffin, appearing to calm down some. Seven touched the young mages’ shoulder lightly before turning back to the rest of the group. They were ready, Seven though to herself with some comfort. They had worked hard to get here, struggled immensely to accomplish what they had already done. Today, she knew, was but the next step in a ceaseless battle against the darkness which was enveloping their land.
As she walked amongst her companions, Seven saw many smiles and received nods of appreciation. Some thanked her for her caring and kindness, but it was not necessary. They would, and have, done the same for her many times before. Even she, though, could not find it easy to remain cheerful in the face of such a dreary and desolate dawning.
“It’s time.” Seven nodded as the group mobilized. If ever there was a time to remember the Light, Seven told herself, that time was now.
“Here they come!” Seven heard the shouts of her companions but the roar of battle never came. True, Seven could hear the ring of metal on metal, feel the heat, and smell the sweat of dozens of tireless heroes, but it was distant. In the midst of battle, Seven settled into position beside a young warrior fighting for his life.
She called him young though, really, he was probably some few years older than herself. His muscles bulged with the weight of his struggle and blood stained his otherwise white hair. He was tall, taller than herself by a fair amount.
“Hello,” Seven said quietly into the man’s ear “how are you feeling?” The warrior didn’t look at her, but lifted his sword to parry the blow of a knight leaning into him. “And what’s your name?”
“My name,” the man grunted, lifting his shield to block an attack “is not important.” Seven shook her head, looking on as the man fought. For a time neither one said a word, the warrior continued fighting as though his life depended on it which, they both knew, it most certainly did. “My name is Geron Bladesong, son of Veyar Bladesong.” The warrior’s voice trailed off at the end, visions of the past dancing along side his sword, before his eyes. “But,” he said after a pause, “you already knew that.”
Seven nodded, turning her attention away to look at the rest of the battle. They were doing well, she was proud of her companions. She was, she found, strangely concerned despite their success. Geron was fighting some other, internal battle, even as he struggled outwardly. A knight with cold, dead eyes pierced into Geron’s soul in an attempt to purge the Light within. Seven, though, could see the Light within him and tried to keep the young man talking.
“Where are you from, Geron?” Seven asked with a smile. Geron grunted. He would not answer a question Seven already knew the answer to again. He had, as it were, more deadly concerns close at hand. He swung out with his sword, knocking his opponent back.
“And you,” Geron started, finding it difficult to form the words “Seven. Where are you from?” Visions of Lordaeron came to Seven’s mind, back when it was still green, back before the plague. The forms of her family began to take shape, but she quickly turned her thoughts back to Gerron, dispersing unbidden ghosts from her past.
“Ah.” Geron exclaimed in understanding. “So it is the same with you then. Tell me,” he said with a twisted grin “was your family of the Scarlet Crusade?” Seven was only vaguely aware that she was wincing in pain. “I see that they were.” Seven wanted to tell the man that he didn’t know what he was talking about, that it had been different back before… before…
“It would appear to me,” Geron stopped to lash out at his opponent, connecting under the underarm of the knight “that you are not quite sure of the truth, my lady.” Seven did, however, know the truth of the matter. She had not spoken of it to anyone, aside from the Archbishop in Stormwind, but even that had been brief.
“Did they kill innocent people? Women? Children? All in the name of the Light? Tell me, Seven,” Geron started.
“No more questions, Geron. Not now.” Seven said before Geron could finish. She didn’t know why she reacted like that, but she instantly regretted it as the maddening grin spread across Geron’s face once again. “One more and I shall let the matter die, as it were,” Geron cackled. “Did you, perchance, know the family Mograine?”
ENOUGH! Seven cried out, Geron stiffened and turned his attention back towards his assailant. Sweat creased his brow and Seven could taste his blood as if it were in her own mouth. She could feel his pain. With monumental effort, Geron brought his sword down upon the death knight, putting to rest its’ soulless shell. The battle was won.
“My family was slain by members of the Crusade.” Geron said quietly, dropping to his knees, too tired to remain standing. He looked up, the candlelight in the room danced along the sweat stinging his eyes. Or were there actual tears? “I wanted to avenge their deaths, I did not care how.”
“You say that now but when this is over, any love left in your heart will escape you as it had before,” Seven snapped.
She tried to regain control of herself, embarrassed by her show of anger and frustration towards this forsaken warrior. Geron, though, nodded, understanding what she had said. “I, too, lost family to the Crusade. I have not spoken to anyone about what transpired between the family Mograine and my own.” “Not even Benedictus?”
Seven shook her head, “He knows what I did on the day the Argent Dawn split from the Crusade, but he does not know the why.”
Geron stared at her, into her, unable to comprehend why someone would choose to live as Seven had. “My lady, I am truly sorry.” Seven knew that he was, truly. In these last moments, the man had come to understand what had happened. She waved off his pity. She had done what she had done for the good of the Light and would gladly do it again. She did not need thanks, nor pity, for what she had had to do.
“I will remember nothing of this?” the young warrior finally asked of her.
“It has gone too far.” Seven said, choking with sorrow.
“Very well then.” Of his own accord, Geron managed to throw his sword to the side. “May the Light forgive me.” They looked at each other, briefly alone within the darkness.
Seven’s consciousness snapped back into her own head, the scene of the battle growing suddenly vivid and real. It was disorienting, but she managed to find her way to a crowd of her companions standing over the body of a deceased understudy of the death knight instructor, Razuvious.
“I’m sorry, too.” Seven said, closing the man’s eyes. Her blond hair was drenched with sweat and stuck to the sides of her face as she cried silently.
“She doesn’t look right.” A woman said from somewhere.
“Everything alright, Seven?” she could hear her companions, the heroes, her friends, talking to her; but again, it seemed very distant. Now, however, it was for a different reason. She had seen into this man’s mind, joined with what sanity still lay dormant within his decaying mind. She had seen that there had been good in him once. She had seen visions of his parents working in the Lordaeron smithy; she had seen his own children playing in the forest surrounding the castle. She had seen similar images within her own mind. Someone lay a comforting hand on her back, “It’s gotta be tough to enter the heart of such darkness.” She couldn’t help but wince at the use of such particular words. Seven knew in her heart that, despite the tears coming down her face, Geron had left this world having obtained some purification of the soul. She was reminded of something the Archbishop had said to her upon seeing her reaction to their meeting.
“One must first travel through darkness to truly know the Light.” She said softly, managing a smile. No one heard her, but it didn’t matter. She stood and turned to embrace a friend. “I am glad that we are together in this. Though the darkness may seem to be all enveloping at times, we know that our path is righteous and we must keep to that path so that the future of the Light might be secured.” She paused to take a deep breathe, “Wherever the darkness may go, so shall we follow!”
Seven looked around as her friends let forth a mighty cheer that resounded throughout the dark halls of Naxxaramas. She knew that she couldn’t let such things get to her again. It was a good thing that she was able to make Geron’s light shine, even if for one brief moment longer. She was glad to have her friends there beside her as they moved forward to search out the darkness.
“Now,” Seven said, smiling brightly as they moved into the hallway beyond the instruction area “who wants a muffin?”
- - - - - - - - - -
The globe shone brightly now, more so than before. The cowardly shadows still clung to their hiding places, actually fearing the Light. The figure, though, continued to look on as Seven and her companions traveled deeper into his stronghold. They had won a small victory this day, he knew, but it was only a matter of time.
Somewhere, deep within his halls, he could sense the Ashbringer, eager with anticipation. What little life had remained in the end of his life, Mograine would now destroy, himself, in the service of the Lich King. Kel’thuzad allowed himself a slight, lifeless smile. His own cold heart hungered and the destruction of the Light was never quite as sweet unless it had first traveled through his darkness. Kel’thuzad loosed a twisted, manic cackle that sent even the shadows deeper into the recesses of his domain. “Come forth, Fidei Defensor, that I might twist your soul and feast upon the Light within you and those you hold dear!”