The Nightmares that Plague, (IC Short - 1.11)

- by Kiiyue

"It comes. That is all."

The Executor let his eyes dim as the enroaching shadows seemed to spread from the fortifications of the Bulwark. There was little enough needed to note the spreading darkness that tainted even the night air above Lordaeron.

"And to think that we had near forgotten about the bigger threat," the Executor went on. "War. Trechery. Years of conflict among ourselves. To think that we had come close to not death - not even undeath - but complete, irreversible elimination from existence. The Scourge has always been the enemy. It is only that no one is willing to see the terror again."

The image of the pure-white sun emblem seemed to sear across her mind as she looked back at the stony face of the Duke.

"And it needs to be faced. There may be those that have forgotten, but there are those that have not - and will not forgive. Our burden grows heavy. Our enemy enroach. Few enough do this for the sake of this world - this last world, be it for orc or human."

"It must be done," a dead voice would interupt, revealing its source to be the face of a man half-dead; rather, a half-face of a man long dead. "Much rather would soldiers give their strength willingly to face danger without reward. But in among such corruption, there must be the few still ready to stand for the sake of justice. This is not about the gifts of ancient races, like the woman Oathbreaker that sundered the trust of all. Or the bounty of magic, like the stalwart that drinks among the dragons."

"Azeroth. To those of us that remember, it is the greatest prize of all."

Pain rippled through her body as she glimpsed up at the towering spikes that spun around the wheel that signified the Slaughterhouse of Stratholme. And behind it, the omnious sight of a pyramid that returned horrific memories.

It was not the pain of fear in her heart. It was not the pain of the phasic nether that unknowingly spread through her body.

It was the voices.

They called her.

They called both of her.

"Arthas." The name slipped from chilled lips - blue from cold, blue from undeath. It was long since she recalled the name.

But the name was all there was. This was not him. Somewhere, in the depths of her soul, she heard a stronger voice, one that had been unlocked since she had taken her first terrified gaze at the Prophet.

Not her Prophet. The Prophet. He had spoken. Words. And behind those words, a new voice carried.

No. She fought away the memories of the first Prince. This was not him. More zealous. More fanatic. More power than she had held before.

Much closer.

The power to corrupt. The power to cleanse.

She had to seek it.

"The Ashbringer."

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