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Kopf's Story

- by Kopfjagger and Lucia



A Heart RememberedEdit

Lucia hated the city. The clogged streets, the scent of sewage and the fast paced community of strangers combined into something just short of loathing. But she found herself in Stormwind because of a rumor that first tickled her ears many months ago. At first, she listened to them with only half an ear. That is, until she heard the name of the captive. Her normally flushed cheeks turned a ghostly shade of white. It was time for her to call in some favors.

Upon hearing that the Forsaken was to be awoken soon, whatever that meant, she knew that she did not have much time. She gathered what she needed and headed to the capital. Part of her was relieved that an explanation had been provided for her rogues long absence.

She flushed slightly at her selfishness, but in the still of night her thoughts often traveled to her rogue. She often wondered where he was; what he was doing. The gift of gold had been so very long ago that she often wondered if he had totally forgotten or abandoned her. Knowing that he was a prisoner of her people was both infuriating and satisfying. He had not contacted her because he was unable; not because he was unwilling.

Her first stop in the teeming city was the great Cathedral where she greeted her cousin warmly before asking him a simple question. He gaped at her. You cant possibly be serious Lucy! he exclaimed. She was relentless and called up the past that her cousin had been trying his whole life to bury.

Her cousin glared at her. You risk much, cousin, he snapped at her. She looked up at him, silently cursing his tremendous height advantage, and planted her hands on her hips. She was the image of an immovable woman. With an exasperated sigh he relented. Make sure that this thing is worth it.

She nodded as he threw what she wanted at her. She complied with a slight courtesy when he demanded that she leave. She did not hear his muffled curse upon her. She did not see him bend to write another document. She did not see his vindictive smile as he sealed the parchment with the Seal of Light.

With the document on her person, she descended into the bowels of the Stockades. The cold walls seemed to press in on her. The dank smell, the horrid lighting and the mood of the dungeon reminded her of her journey so may years ago into a different dark place. Her eyes narrowed in determination and her fists clenched in resolve. She would do this. Her march took her to the door that she sought and with a quick breath to steel herself, she went in.

Kopfjagger was speaking to a Paladin and was whipped across the face for his answer. Shocked at the cruelty of her own people, Lucia flinched. Quietly she lifted the cowl of her cape to hide her face in shadow and she slowly made her way to a dark corner. She kept her eyes down and her demeanor meek as she made her way unobtrusively to the far corner. She did not want to be noticed yet. She wanted to see what had kept her rogue from her for so long and to learn the why of it all.

The questions came and the answers followed. Long did her rogue speak of the vengeance of his people. Other questions followed about how the Forsaken taste, smell; if they bleed; if they dream. Countless questions and yet he answered every one of them. Hours it seemed he answered them. Her rogue even asked a few questions himself. Monster he claimed to be. Monster he portrayed to them.

The elixier was placed in his hands and Lucia gasped. Questions raced through her mind but repeating, and growing more urgent with each passage was the question of whether or not he would drink. And then he asked simply: Why?

His hands now unchained, Lucia knew what she had to do. He had painted too vivid the portrait of the monster he could be. But her rogue failed to show them the other side of his heart. She, however, knew better. Now was the time that they saw her rogue in his entirety. She lowered her cowl and slowly walked the few paces that separated her from her rogue.

She was standing right in front of him when she asked her question. She knew he would answer truthfully but with reluctance. Forsaken, you claim the undead hate the living. You state that they enjoy feasting upon their flesh and destroying their hope. While this is truth, you speak only half of it. If the undead are so focused solely on destroying us, they how can you be so kind to us as well? How can you claim to hate all living why you aid one at the risk of our own existence?

She waited for him to reply, bracing herself for his flippancy, but aware that he would be starkly honest as well. Her eyes never left his. A part of her seemed to be at home looking into those glowing eyes. The rest of her was not sure if those eyes held anything but contempt any longer. Much had changed and a great deal of time had passed. She bit her lip in concern but her gaze was steady.

((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.))

Forsaken PrideEdit

Kopfjagger was growing weary of answering the same questions with different words so that the thick-skulled would somehow understand. His reasons for attempting to explain the will of the Forsaken to his enemies were beginning to slip away in his frustration. Each passing moment provided less motivation to continue answering their redundant questions.

The Night Elf had just handed him the elixir and the Forsaken had asked why. His question was still rolling around in his mind as he looked down at the thing held in his nearly trembling hands. He drank water but his eyes were locked onto the elixir.

A voice washed over his concentration and deliberation. It was a voice of calm and of hope. Its question was borne on the wings of concern, held aloft by hope but was a challenge issued from one heart to another. Swept away in the flood brought on by the soft voice of his Lucia, Kopfjagger looked up and into the eyes of his hearts salvation.

His eyes lost their intensity and found it replaced by a warm glow like a small candle in a room that would otherwise remain in darkness. His heart leapt into his throat before sinking into his stomach. There she stood before him. So long had he been captive that surely, he thought, she must have thought herself abandoned. And yet here she is; seeking her own answers rather than assuming the worst. His Lucia was a strong, giving woman and one not to be trifled with.

Time was lost in her eyes. He did not know how long he looked into the eyes of his hope. A cough by someone in the room brought him back to his senses and to the present. With a sigh he recalled her question. The elixir was still cradled in his unmoving hands.

How can we be kind, you ask? His voice had lost its malice and sarcasm. His unbeating heart was the one speaking now. And it spoke to Lucia, not to the room. The others were periphery to this exchange. He wanted so badly to touch her and although his hands were free from the shackles, other bonds held them still.

Innocence. The word carried softly through the dank, musty chamber. Some in the room made questioning noises, others guffawed. All were ignored.

There is still innocence in the world. True innocence the sort I remember in the wondering eyes of my children. Remember - He had to choke back the my heart that was ready to spring forth from his lips. Remember that I have seen those eyes in my own children; my own flesh and blood. I was forced to slay them with these same hands after seeing that innocence corrupted into mindlessness.

These same hands I used to beg my enemies for mercy for another child a child of my enemy. I begged for a mistake to be met with mercy. I robbed a dear woman of her innocent child and I had the means to correct that one mistake and so I did. I could not allow the death of innocence. Not again. There were more mutterings of confusion in the room, but Kopfjagger continued over the noise. His voice rose to compensate for the chattering but it did not carry contempt as it did only moments before.

The Forsaken are killers, yes, but we have the spark that marks us as a race equal to any other. Death and destruction are handed out like candies at Festival, but we are feeling creatures. This woman and her family retain what has been lost in this world: Innocence. The horrors that were wrought upon this woman and her family were an injustice that I had the means to correct, and I did so. He paused, still swimming in the cool pools of her eyes.

I am proud of that fact, even though we are technically enemies. Wars should not be waged against homes and families; against wives and children. They should be fought between the ignorant, brain-washed killing machines that have been programmed by their respective regimes. Yes, I realize that includes myself, and I will gladly kill the enemies of my kind.

Still staring into the unblinking eyes of Lucia, he continued. But I will no longer take the life of innocence. In fact, I would gladly give my flesh to save theirs. My heart for theirs.

He looked down at what his hands held. He looked past the vial and to the dirty, wet floor between his feet. My innocence has long left me. I feel compelled to protect it where it may yet remain. He did not feel it coming or intend for it to happen, but a lone tear began its ride down his cheek. He wore the tear with pride, however. Pride in his newfound declaration. Pride in the fact that he meant every word of it.

((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.))

SentencedEdit

Lucia had not meant for this to happen. She did not expect him to bare his soul to those that whipped and beat him. All she wanted was for him to remember, to feel a connection to the part of him that was not undead.

Though should could not give him his freedom, she could lessen his pain. Slowly lifting her hand, she brushed away the tear from his cheek. She turned sharply, furious as the gasps of horror from the Alliance in the room. Her brow narrowed sharply as she stormed over to the whip-wielding human. Slamming a parchment on the table, she looked defiantly into his eyes.

The human she stood before had to hold the document close to read it. When he was finished, he looked most displeased. With a few quick, sharp words, a guard gathered all the whips from those in the room; even his. Lucia let out a breath she was not aware she was holding. She had paid dearly for those orders and was greatly relieved that they were not challenged.

Now, she thought to herself, these guards would have to touch the Forsaken with their own hands if they wished to do him harm. Let them feel the cold skin on their own hands. Whips were more monstrous than they claimed their captive to be. Content that at least the whippings would stop, she stood in the room and braced herself. She would not leave until she knew the fate of her rogue was determined. Her arms folded under her breasts and her feet were set.

And compassion! Kopfjaggers words split the tension in the room like an axe through brittle wood. Compassion will also stay the hand of a Forsaken. It is too rarely found, and when it shows itself, even the un-living can feel its presence.

I have seen compassion twice from the Alliance in all my days, Kopfjagger continued. Once when a Night Elf Priest returned the spirit to an unfortunately slain innocent, and now. Both have involved this woman. Yet, she is no leader. She is not a commander, or general, or even acutely aware of the war. She is simply a mother and a widow. He paused to let his words impact those in the room. Perhaps they may understand that war breeds warriors and often, the warriors continue the fight long after it should have ended.

Learn from the simple things lest you forget the meaning of the more complex. Let those among you that are so easily overlooked show you the way. The Alliance has lost its way in its clamoring for blood. The Forsaken kill to lessen the pain of being dead. This madness will kill everything and leave only those unable to find peace in death all alone in an ever darkening universe.

Innocence and compassion both in this one woman, he continued after a long pause. You see now, why even a killer like me had to help her. She is our hope. She is everyones hope.

The human that was in charge of this questioning was already quite fed up with the mockery and condescending nature of his captive. Having had his authority questioned by a nothing woman, the removal of the whips by clergy whom he did not know and now being told that the undead-loving witch was somehow the hope of his people drove him over the edge. He rose to his feet and coughed loudly, gaining the attention of the room.

Forsaken, you have been sentenced to Death for your role in the war against the Horde. You are to be summarily executed at a point and time as determined by myself, High Inquisitor. He paused to bask in the glory of his proclamation. I declare that time is now. A cruel smile showed his perfect teeth.

Kopfjagger looked up and smiled into Lucias widening eyes. He whispered to her, and thankfully it was not translated by the Goblin device on the table. Fear not, my heart. They have not heeded my words. Destroying my flesh does not destroy me. I shall be whole again very soon. He knew that she understood most of the words that were spoken in his native tongue.

The Night Elf stood quickly, bumping the table. Ink spilled and her neat stack of papers slid with many pages landing on the floor. What of the Elixir? He must take the Elixir! Her face was flush. Small hands pressed into the table, fist to wood.

No, Kopfjagger stated flatly. I have no desire to return to the land of the living. There is no place for me amongst your kind. His heart told him of one such place, but he knew that mortality would surly drive him mad, just as immortality had nearly done. Lucia seemed to wilt at his words.

Again he whispered to her as guards began to unshackle his feet. Fear not Lucia. I will be whole again soon. Be well, my heart, he whispered over his shoulder as he was pulled out of the room.

Two guards had to physically restrain Lucia as Kopfjagger was led out of the chamber. The protests of the Night Elf, the struggle with Lucia and the cackling of the High Inquisitor were cut off as the heavy door banged shut behind the Head Hunter. No one noticed a flask lying on its side. Blue fluid mingled with a puddle of foul water between two ankle shackles.

((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.))

AltarsEdit

Kopfjagger let himself be dragged out of the cell by the executioners. His last words to Lucia as they were dragging him past did not seem to make sense to her in the few short seconds he was able to look at her. She would understand soon enough, he thought to himself. Everything will finally be something close to okay.

He was pulled through a long hallway dimly lit by inadequate torches spaced too far apart to be of any use. He and his captors passed many doors like the one he had just been removed from. Disturbing sounds came from behind many of them. As he was being pulled along the corridor by his wrists, the Forsaken could not help but draw corollaries between these Stockades and his own Undercity. Well, he reminded himself, what was once his capital.

Soon they had reached the end of the hallway. A single thick door stood directly before them at the end of the hall. No one guarded this door. One of the guards released Kopfjaggers wrist and, after fumbling with a massive key ring, unlocked the door. Swinging open loudly, Kopfjagger saw darkness inside. The only weak light was provided by a sickly furnace and revealed a thick stone slab about knee high. Two black-iron rings were rammed, one on each side, into the stone slab. A wicker basket, black with the blood of previous guests was set off to the side. It reminded him of a sacrificial altar he had seen the Warlocks hover over during ceremonies he never saw the completion of. He did not think he could stomach the ending of those dark rituals.

The guards pushed him onto his knees facing the stone slab. They were preparing to tie his hands to the rings to keep his head firmly on the block. The Forsaken merely smiled and laid his head onto the block and held onto the rings. The foolish humans did not understand that you cannot kill a Forsaken this way. He hoped silently that his head would miss the basket, making them touch his severed head rather than just toss it from a basket into the midden.

It was over in a moment. The axe was swift and sharp. It was by far the most comfortable death he had yet experienced. For a brief second, his freed spirit hovered over his now headless body. He could not help but laugh as his allowed his spirit to be pulled instantly to the graveyard outside of Goldshire. There, the spirit healer awaited him, as always.

Kopfjagger has had harsh words with her in the past, but now he was so grateful to see her that he actually knelt and pleaded with her to give him back his rotted flesh. The swirling robes of hers that swayed in a breeze unfelt used to mock him. Now, he found himself on his knees with his fingers gently holding the edges of her spirit robes like the supplicant he was.

A voice formed in his mind from the countless whispers of the wandering spirits. It was a soft, musical voice but had no emotion. "Why do you seek my aid now, damned one, when for so long you refused my love?"

Kopfjagger looked up at the angelic thing that was in front of him and from his heart he told the truth. "I have found love and I must return to it. Please, spirit healer, please return me to my flesh here, so that I may once again look upon the one that owns my heart."

In the blinding flash of light and searing pain that always followed a return to rotted flesh, the Forsaken rogue could have sworn that he saw the spirit healer smile. That was impossible of course, for the witch that guarded the gates to the other side never showed any emotion.

Kopfjagger stealthed as the pain of his rebirth slowly ebbed away and strength returned to his rapidly healing body. He had planned on seeing Lucia very often, but he was locked in that cell for countless months. Slather was not forgotten, but hope was lost on his whereabouts and safety. His thoughts now rested with Lucia and what she must be thinking.

As far as she knew, he was no more. That had to be remedied. At least, he thought to himself, she knew why he had not been back for so long. It was not out of lack of interest, but of ability to get to her. He would show her how much he cared for her, he thought as he made his way to her kitchen window.

Gingerly picking his way through the evening crowd of people and then through her beloved herbs, he found his special window into her life. It was open to let in the evening breeze and this evening, something more.

He knew that Lucia would be coming home soon, but she did not have the advantage of being re-created so close to her home as he. Granted, he had to have his spirit ripped from his body for that privilege, but it was worth it. He had to smile at that thought. Usually one did their best to keep the spirit safely tucked away inside their flesh.

He reached into his dented and torn chest armor. In a special compartment made especially for it, he found a dented, grubby golden ring. This ring was his life and his love. It was crusted with years of dirt and sweat being so close to his undead flesh but still, it was his. It had been with him ever since he pulled it from his dead wife's Scourged hand.

Pulling off his left glove, he looked at the rings twin. His ring was slightly thicker than the one his wife had worn. Otherwise, they would be identical. Remembering the cost of a diamond and how sad he was that he could not afford one he looked down on the two tarnished golden rings with a frown. These did not look much like treasures, these two battered pieces of metal.

For several moments he contemplated which ring to leave for his heart. If he left his own ring, that would leave the ring of his dead wife on his hand. If he were to leave the other, than he was replacing his heart with another. Frowning, he forced himself to remain still. Stealth was one thing, but pacing would trample the herb garden beneath his feet as surly as jumping up and down like a madman. Finally, he decided to leave his own ring. Lucia had shown him his heart again, and for that, she should keep the one that was his.

Nodding to himself, he moved to set the ring on the counter through the window. The weak light of the street lamp revealed just how tainted and grubby the ring truly was. Pulling his hand back, he made every attempt to clean the ring. He did everything he could to make it more presentable, but in the end, it very much resembled him. It was gold, but it was not a beautiful thing. The dents would not come out. The gold was still tarnished and lacked the luster his feeble polishing tried to bring back to it.

It was all he had, and he would give it freely to the woman that held his heart. He snuck fully into the kitchen through the wide and opened window. In the same spot as the sack of gold coins was once placed, he put this ring. He looked at it on its humble altar to his love. All was well. He tarried there for several moments and savored the thought that he was in the home of his love.

She would be returning soon and he must not be seen in Goldshire. His enemies would slice him to pieces if he were to reveal himself. Quietly and smoothly, the Forsaken made his way back out the window and across the road into the wood. He would be back. Now, at least, Lucia would know that his love for her has never faded. He smiled into the growing darkness as he made his way to the trees.

Now he was able to think on Slather. Well, he mused to himself, at least he could if he really tried. A soft breeze carried disembodied laughter into the woods south of Goldshire.




End of Kopf's Story Book 18
[<---Book 17] [Book 19--->]

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