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Kopf's Story

- by Kopfjagger and Lucia



ProgressEdit

As she stood there, unsure of where to head next, Lucia thought of her unlikely companion. She tried to analyze her own feelings for him. What, she wondered, were they exactly? She was human, had two children that depended on her and their two races held hate beyond the normal for each other. When had her emotions toward him changed? Gone from revulsion to trust, to friendship to.......what? Did she love him?

She knew she could not change who he was. His curse was not something she could cure. He had become a killer heart and soul. He dealt death to those in his way. He had been given no choice when his flesh began to rot. No, she shook her head. She could not even begin to try to change him. She was lost in these dark thoughts when Kopfjagger came towards her. She sighed in relief. He had found her. He was still with her.

He pointed north and they began walking again. He moved ahead and took the lead, forcing her to quicken her pace to match his new one. Trailing a bit behind him Lucia was aware that something was wrong with him. She skipped a bit to catch up and heard a strange sound coming from his throat. A soft sobbing, the sound twisted in his torn body.

Kopfjagger was obviously out of control emotionally. Thoughts of his past, his present and a future he never cared about until now had somehow overwhelmed him. Visions of his wife and children competed with Lucia and a heart resurrected. His distance between Lucia closed as she coaxed him to halt.

Lucia darted out her hand to softly pull him to a complete stop. Her head tilted to one side and her eyes were heavy with worry. She had never seen him like this. She attempted to ask what was wrong. His face was wet and she wondered what could make him so sad that he would show open emotion like this. It was a side she had not seen of him. She shook her head mentally, and she had thought she knew all of him by now.

He stopped and turned his lowered face towards her. Tears were running freely down his face and he was ashamed. Not of his tears, but for the first time in his un-life, he was ashamed of being Forsaken. When he looked into her worried and tender eyes, he totally lost it and his chest heaved with his tears.

Tenderly, Lucia took one of his hands in hers, the leather rough against her skin. His first reflex was to flinch back his hand; to deny her the sight of his pale, gray, dead hands. He steeled himself for her revulsion. If she wanted to see his hands, so be it. He could refuse her nothing. He stood there with his head low and offered no further resistance.

She delicately grasped one of the fingers of the glove and pulled it off. She wanted him to know that she was not repulsed by his flesh. She was no longer afraid to touch his hands without the gloves.

She glanced down and saw it. The tarnished, stained circle of gold that adorned his finger and behind it a second band, darker and shabbier then the first. He had a wife?! A loved one waiting for him to return?!

Lucia didn't know how to take the information that the ring proclaimed to her. What should it matter to her, she thought bitterly, that he belongs to another, one most likely like himself. She, herself was recently unavailable as well The thought trailed off and she looked at her own ring still on her finger. Perhaps that was why he was sobbing. Did he lose a loved one as well and this whole affair with her was bringing up past memories for him to bear alone?

Looking into her eyes while she removed his gloves, he noticed not revulsion, but shock? Following her eyes he saw his rings, no glint left in their battered state. He did not remember putting her ring back on.

A slow and sad smile played across his countenance. A life long dead and she thinks it is still a living part of him. Well, he told himself, it still was to a certain extent, but at the same time, it was dead by his own hand.

Lucia sighed deeply. They were so close to the end of the journey and yet she really knew nothing substantial about him. She traced the gold band on his finger and raised her eyes to his.

"Woman?" she asked him. The language was getting easier to understand, but it was still hard for her to pronounce the words the way he did.

She asked again, "You have women at home?...uhh, wife wait?" She would respect his decision if he chose not the answer her, but she hoped he would. The bands obviously meant something to him and it was a tiny piece in the Kopfjagger puzzle. It was a chance to know more about him, not the forsaken rogue, but the man beneath the rotted shell he was forced to wear.

When she asked if he had a woman, well, that just did it. If he thought he had lost control earlier, now he was an outright mess. All the emotions he had felt since his un-life were flooding over him. All the fear and hopelessness, love betrayed and death by his own hand swarmed his mind like a hive of angry bees.

He looked around and found a spot to sit beneath a large tree. Still holding her hand, he motioned to the base of the tree and led her beneath its shady branches. They would not be making much progress today, he thought. There was much to tell and he felt compelled to tell her all of it.

He was wrong, however. There was to be much progress here today, but it was not to be measured in meters or miles. He was going to grow as a being and perhaps regain some of his humanity that has been crushed by hate and darkness these many years.

((This part of the story was written in partnership by Kopfjagger and Lucia. I have the honor of retelling it but at least half, if not more, of the creative power comes directly from Lucia even though her name does not appear to the left of the post. *bows deeply to Lucia* Thank you, Lucia, for letting me retell our story, I hope to do it justice.))

Two HeartsEdit

When Kopfjagger pulled from his course and sat down wearily beneath the tree, Lucia knew he would answer her question. She steeled herself for a tale of passion between him and his woman at home. She knelt down and sat on her knees, her hands fiddling with a stray thread on her new robes. She was afraid to meet his eyes in case she saw the deep longing to be away from her, to be back with his woman.

Sitting beneath the tree, Kopfjagger gathered his emotions and gave a mighty sigh. Looking into the eyes of Lucia he pointed to the two rings on his fingers. Through simple words and gestures, he related his past to Lucia. Once he started he did not want to stop. It all had to come out now, or he would never relate it in its entirety. He did not look up at Lucia while he spoke except to make sure that she understood. He twisted the rings on his fingers as he told of his past and looked up only sparingly.

He told her about how he lived before his curse. He shared how he had loved a woman and his children. If he had three or two, he was not sure anymore, but he was pretty certain it was a boy and a girl only. Too much time had passed and the memories of his first life were far from complete. What he had left seemed to slip more each passing month.

He smiled with the warmth of the love he felt towards his wife and children as he told her the stories he could remember. The day by the lake that yielded one of his children. Soft nights by the fire, conversations about very little that seemed to mean so much now and other such times that came to his mind and out of his mouth. Lucias children reminded him of his own in many ways and he let her know that.

Then, his wife became very ill. And then his children as well while he was still in perfect health. He did not remember dieing, but he let her know every detail he could remember about waking from death. He related with a surprisingly steady voice, how he found his wife. The Forsaken sitting on the damp log related the details of finding your heart returned as Scourge; the pain of killing your love and then finding your rotted children feasting upon the corpse of your wife. He told her all of it.

He did not like thinking of what he had become and what he had done. For the longest time he had buried these memories. That is to say, until he saw a little boy trying to tie a frog in his sisters hair and a beautiful woman yelling from a window.

His emotions were nearly in check while he was telling his tale to this woman that he loved but could not. Once the telling was over, so was his determination to ever speak of it again. Curling his knees to his chest and wrapping his arms around himself, he cried until there was nothing left in him to let out.

When he began his story it was everything Lucia had feared, but comforting in away. His past closely resembled her life before her husband went away. He had a great life, with a wife and children like her own with just a little difference. His story was of sweetness and romance, passion and love, normalcy. Then his tale grew dark.

She wasn't prepared to hear of the horror that he had experienced. The sheer travesty of it was unbearable. His having to endure a sickness that knew no distinction between the righteous and the wicked was beyond her ability to understand. This disease that took everything that lay in its path, ripping family from him. A plague.

Silently a hand went to her mouth and tears flowed from her eyes when he described his wife and children. His act of forgiving death and love for once was his family, his home, his heart. An act he had preformed for her, when she had lost her courage in the Undercity at the sight of her maddened man. And now he had nothing left. His family torn asunder, and him branded a traitor by the forsaken, the only ones he might have felt a kinship to.

When the flood of emotion overwhelmed him, Lucia went into her pack. She rummaged around in her belongings for a swatch of cloth to dry his eyes with. When she pulled it out, a tiny object fell out of it. She looked at it and gaped at the implications of the artifact. A blossom grew in her mind but first, she needed to tend to a heart finding itself again.

She scooted closer to Kopfjagger and handed him the cloth. She placed a hand on his shoulder to comfort him and apologized for bringing forth and opening old wounds. How very like her life had been his past. He had experienced far worse horror then she had ever known of.

His previous family life had been like hers, his wife's mind lost, her husband driven insane, but unlike him, she still had her children. She still had her people to return to.

Lucia's eyes went back to the item on the forest floor. Now was the time for her to sacrifice for him, to pay back her debt at the man that released her husband when she could not. She allowed his emotion to run its course and when he was silent, staring at the ground, she tapped him and spoke softly.

((This part of the story was written in partnership by Kopfjagger and Lucia. I have the honor of retelling it but at least half, if not more, of the creative power comes directly from Lucia even though her name does not appear to the left of the post. *bows deeply to Lucia* Thank you, Lucia, for letting me retell our story, I hope to do it justice.))

Simple TruthEdit

A small cloth was pressed into his hands when his emotions had run their course. How embarrassing, he thought. Some cold-blooded murderer you are, he scolded himself. A few memories that should have been buried with their visages and you can't even control your own breathing. You are a sad, sad excuse for a rogue, Headhunter.

Once he could see again (stupid tears, he scolded himself again) Lucia seemed to spring into action. Uh-oh, he thought. This will probably not be a simple drop off at home like he was intending. The gleam in her eyes made him wonder if she was not at least slightly insane.

Lucia could not express her thoughts toward what he had gone through, to do so would seem too much like pity, and she didn't pity him, she respected him too much for pity, even with his plight. Instead she went directly to her new found plan, insanely dangerous and terrifying as it may seem to her it was the only way to restore his position with the forsaken.

With clear tones she stated; "Kopfjagger, you will betray me!" Before he could fully register that, she continued, "I have an idea." She giggled a little when she saw his look, and no, you will not have to be a sheep. No sheep will be involved in this one."

For the next little while, the sounds of the jungle were pushed back as she related her plan to the ever silent Kopfjagger, his face revealing no clue to his thoughts.

"You will betray me, take me back to the Undercity, turn me in to them and tell them the escape was a ruse to gain my trust. I will go as your captive, this time it will be the truth." she pulled forth a book and handed it too him.

"This contains nothing really, a ledger for my cousin who works in the Stormwind cathedral. I had it with me in my pack when I left, never thought about it until now. He's terrible with this kind of stuff so I do it on a small commission, but this is your ticket. Fortunately the Forsaken know you do not speak... or read... our language. You can tell them it looked important and that's the reason you entered my life. It may take them a while to decipher it and when they do they will get nothing for it. But that won't reflect on you because you did your job the way you were supposed to. You got the book and a human captive in the bargain. I'm sure you could work out the finer details."

She paused, this was the hard part. She picked up the item that had fallen from her pack.

"I forgot I packed this." she said showing it to him. "This is a rune, which takes you back to your home place. This will return me to Stormwind. When I am left alone for a second or two I will teleport out of the Undercity and arrive back home." She paused and looked at him itently, "I will not get to say goodbye to you. I most likely won't see you again once I am taken in the Undercity."

A plan was unfolded. It took the Forsaken a moment to understand it all, but apparently it involved a book of useless human drivel, a home-rune and a chance for him to regain his status as a member of the Forsaken.

Kopfjagger wanted to make sure that he understood her plan. He stood and began to pace. His hand rubbed the back of his head as he related the details. Thoughts of the plan, its possible outcomes and the sequence of events flowed free from his mind to his mouth.

"We head back to the Undercity," he began. "A place that is alive with blood-lust for you and I." He had to laugh at this thought. "Especially for me," and his eyes twinkled with the sort of amusement one has before plunging their fist into a raging fire. Yes, it was a look of pure insanity and pre-willed doom.

"Once we are in the Undercity, I shall hand you over to those that seek my prolonged agony and wish to inflict a lifetime of pain upon my flesh for my traitorous actions." He could see the guards in their zeal to protect the Undercity at all costs gnawing upon his stunned and battered form. He saw the glee in their eyes as they paraded him through the city.

He knew that she would not be able to get most of the words that he was saying, but she had picked up his language very quickly and they had traveled far together. Considering that they were far from nowhere and closed in by the forest, he let his words come as if they were in the safest corner of Azeroth. He was too lost in the thoughts of this plan to worry about the rabbits hearing what they schemed.

His smile grew wide, wild and wicked. "That is not even to mention what they would do to a human that they *specifically* want to see in pain. The Forsaken are brutal enough to humans they don't even know. For you, they will pull out all the niceties that are usually reserved for royalty." He shuddered as he remembered what some of those were. "Yuck," he let escape.

His voice lowered. "And all this, you would do in order to allow me back into the fold of the Forsaken? You would risk all this so that I could once again have a home?" Unbelievable, he thought.

He lowered himself to his knees and looked deeply into her eyes. He took her hands in his and kissed them tenderly.

"Lucia," he said with a small tremor in his voice. "I have no home now. There is nothing that can be done to correct that. There is no understanding, or listening or even caring in the Undercity for traitors. I am branded, hunted and wanted for treason. A book and a prisoner will not change that. The appearance of the Earth Mother in the flesh proclaiming my innocence will not change that."

He paused and wrapped his hands around hers more snuggly. "Lucia," he continued in a quite, still voice. "I love you. I will not risk your being hurt for any reason, least of all for me."

Hearts CrossingEdit

In the jungle she sat, a little irritated at his little show of poking holes in her *brilliant* well, *semi-brilliant*... okay, fine *half-harebrained* idea. Lucia felt a tingle, a feeling of being watched. The hairs on the back of her neck rose. Someone was nearby and watching them.

Kopfjagger just said something that snapped her eyes back to him, forgetting the feeling of unease.

She was too stunned to speak. He had just said he loved her! Was it possible? She hung her head as her eyes welled up. Could she tell him her feeling as well? Should she give him false hope? She felt a nagging pull of guilt. It was her fault that he had no home to go to as he said. Her fault he was branded a traitor. Her fault he was going against his beliefs and loved her.

As much as she cared for him and wished they could have a happy life together she knew that was impossible and she set to work trying to figure out a way to reverse the situation. She drew on another of her forgotten memories.

"What would it take to remove the "traitor" from your name?" she asked first and then continued before he could answer.

"My cousin is not an important person really, but he does have ears. You would be surprised at what is discussed in the cathedral. It is mostly trivial things, who's sleeping with whom and who made a fool of himself at the tavern. But sometimes, in the mix of idiocy a real piece of information slips in." Lucia bit her lip. She was facing a moral dilemma. If she told Kopfjagger this information, than she would be considered a traitor herself. Nothing would come of it; she was sure, but still. If she didn't she had nothing else to offer her rogue. She was useless to him.

She switched in mid thought and stared at him a moment before letting her eyes fall back to the ground. "I believe that I have fallen in love with you as well." She sighed, the tragedy of it was almost too painful to bear. "I fear the day you will have to leave me, even in the safety of my home, but we both know that day is coming. You cannot stay with me and I cannot stay with you. Her eyes never left the forest ground. Our people hate each other too much for such a relationship to work, and I have my children to consider."

She shook her head, "No, we were never meant to love each other this way."

"Kopfjagger?" she asked again, steering the conversation back to the dilemma at hand. "What would it take to return you too what you once were before you met me?"

It was magical for Kopfjagger to hear those words. He let them fill his dark heart before sealing that feeling away forever. Well, not forever. He would remember this feeling whenever he could, but that time was not now.

Her last, feeble breath was for his ears only. Her love for him was the last message to the living world. That and a kiss that turned cold before it was completed. When he lowered her head from their kiss he noticed that her eyes no longer held the spark that was her soul. He forced his fist to release her hair that had become a ball of anguish in his hand. The sickly children jumped back as his agony screamed out of him.

He had listened patiently and attentively as she jumped from his protection, to her love for him and back. It was not a time to ruin with his words. It was a time to cherish. His silence broke as he addressed what could be addressed.

"What would it take to regain my status in the Undercity," he asked. "I am afraid that it simply cannot be done." It was the truth and they both knew it.

"But," he continued, "Azeroth is a large land. Orgrimmar can become my new home. The Forsaken have a tenuous alliance with the Orcs and Trolls and there I can begin again."

He saw how she drooped at his words. It was simple really. He sincerely did not wish to go back to the Forsaken. Their barbaric ways were no longer his. He had to make this understood to the magnificent woman kneeling in the dirt next to him.

"Lucia. My sweet and wonderful Lucia. The ways of the Forsaken are no longer my ways. You have given me much more than you have taken." That didnt come out right, he thought.

"I no longer have a blood-lust against the living. Well, not all of them at least," he confided in her with a smirk. "I have found my heart. I have found what love is and can become. It matters not that it cannot fully develop between us. It matters that I have realized that this monster is flesh only. You have shown me that I am a man first and that I can treat others with humanity."

"Lucia," he whispered softly to her. "You have made me a man again. For that, I can never fully repay you."

There was a sound of a twig snapping in the distance. Instantly he was on his feet, swords drawn. He quickly scanned the nearby area, and seeing nothing, reached into a pouch on his belt. Deadly poisons dripped from his twin blades moments later.

"Come, my love. We must be gone from this place. I fear that we are being watched." As she stood, he looked into her eyes so that she could see his resolve.

"I will see you safely home."

Duty and HonorEdit

Slather was crouching behind a dense bush and was listening to the Forsaken and Human woman speak in the slurred tongue of the twice-born. He acknowledged the skill that the woman had at the language. The Troll himself was having a very difficult time understanding the words but he watched the way that the two interacted and learned what he needed to know not from their words, but from the way that they seemed to depend upon each other; need each other.

It was when the Rogue began to sob that the Troll truly understood, however. Forsaken and Human opened their hearts to one another and then, briefly clung together. As strange as it was to observe, it was palpable and undeniable. Love, no matter its origin, is worth defending.

Shifting his weight off of legs that were beginning to protest his squatting in the underbrush, Slather flinched at the rustling sound of leaf on leaf. Yeah, he thought to himself, that did it. The Rogue was up, blades out and within seconds, dripped with a thick green substance. It was time to make his presence known and hopefully he would not need to summon the spirits for a resurrection.

Standing tall from out of the bush, Slather hailed the Forsaken and the Human. Lucia immediately jumped behind Kopfjagger. Slather blinked when he thought he saw her breath mist in front of her. Surely, he is just seeing things.

Raising his hands he called out to Kopfjagger in the grunting language of the Orcs. Hail Forsaken, he said in a friendly voice. No need for da poisons, mon. Slather not be wishin ya no harm mon. Although, I must be warnin ya, der are many that be seekin da bounty dat your Queen put on yer head. Lucia still had not stepped from out behind Kopfjagger.

Bounty, you say? Kopfjagger was not pleased. His swords were still out, but lowered. He could feel the chill in the air and knew that Lucia was not yet satisfied that Slather was to be trusted in the slightest. Leaning his head back, Kopfjagger let Lucia know that this was the same troll that led the guards away. He was the one that they owed their thanks to.

Unknown to the Rogue, Lucia was remembering a very different experience. Her eyes widened in fear. She had only seen Trolls once in her sheltered life. Her body began to tremble as the memories re-surfaced. She was unaware that her chilled hands gripped Kopfjagger in a death grip. The Troll spoke to Kopfjagger. Her rogue seemed to accept him as he spoke to him in a new language.

When the blue tusked creature turned to look at her, Lucia made a show of straightening her robes, shifting her pack, scanning the ground, anything to keep him from seeing her deathly pale face. She didn't want him to know how frightened she was of the troll and his giant hammer. It was silly really, she thought tearfully, after all that she had been through and seen. The Troll scared her more than all of it had.

Ya mon. Da bounty be most glorious for huntin down jus one Forsaken and a Human. I be remembrin dat it was at nearly a hundred gold for the pair of ya. Strange though, that the Queen only be wanting heads and hearts, Slather finished with a confused shaking of his head.

Heads and hearts, the Rogue repeated to himself. The head is for proof of death, and the heart is to make that death permanent. At least for himself it would be. On an earlier mission to slay a fellow Forsaken, his Queen well, he corrected, the Forsaken Queen, had instructed him the consuming or burning the heart of a Forsaken would banish them to the nether forever. That was our weakness, she confided in him so very long ago. Now she meant to use that weakness to banish him to an eternity of endlessly wandering the between.

Kopfjagger shivered.

What are you intentions here, Slather? Kopfjagger was asking to cover his shiver yet he had a fairly good idea what Slather was after. Curiosity has killed more than cats.

Slathers head turned to the side slightly as he recalled the words of his Master that he recited out loud; "Sometimes, there is a difference between Duty and Honor. Not often, but sometimes." He paused as the words echoed in his memory. This seemed to be one of those times.

Nodding, Kopfjagger asked which path the Troll was seeking. The answer was immediate. Duty be sayin dat I kill you both now as you stand. To me though, dat would be great injustice. Ah be thinkin dat the honorable ting to be doin would be seeing you two safely to wherever it is you wish to be goin. And dats what I intend on doin. Slather bowed low and deep

"Very well Troll," Kopfjagger replied in his broken Orcish. "You must understand that trust does not come easy for a Forsaken, especially one that is considered at Traitor," he continued in his deep, raspy voice.

"I will see this human to her home, no matter the cost. If you wish to assist then help us obtain safe passage. Killing will draw too much attention so we must proceed with caution and care. Once she is to her home, I will consider my life fulfilled."

Kopfjagger did not particularly like Trolls, but if Orgrimmar was to be his new home, perhaps now was the time to become friends with some. He repressed a shiver at the thought. Trolls were a brutish, undisciplined lot that won their battles with ferocity instead of brain. No, he thought to himself, that is the same as saying that all Forsaken are mindless killing machines. Although there is some truth to both statements, it is not a universal truth. Perhaps it *was* time to extend his circle of trust.

"Lucia, my heart," he said turning to the beautiful human next to him. "It is time to be gone from this place. Come with me and I will see you safely home." He did not notice how pale she was, nor how she seemed to shake ever so slightly. His concern was on their passage and Slather.

Together the three strange companions began to make their way north again. North was the way to Goldshire, the end of their journey but the beginning of so many new parts of their lives. Lucia would have peace about her husband, Kopfjagger would begin a new life in Orgrimmar and Slather.... well, he may be able to simply live if his actions are in line with his words.

((This part of the story was written in partnership by Kopfjagger and Lucia. I have the honor of retelling it but at least half, if not more, of the creative power comes directly from Lucia even though her name does not appear to the left of the post. *bows deeply to Lucia* Thank you, Lucia, for letting me retell our story, I hope to do it justice.))




End of Kopf's Story Book 13
[<---Book 12] [Book 14--->]

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