Thursday, November 19, 2009


The warrior swung again and again at the masses of scourge attacking him. He swung widely to give himself a bit of breathing room to wipe sweat from his eyes. He needed all his attention on the scourge around him. The masses of undead kept coming. He had piles of twice dead bodies around him, skeletal hands and legs sticking up at odd angles. He wasn't sure if he was getting weary or if the dead limbs really did try to trap his sword.

The mob of undead started to thin out, and he began to hope that he would make it home to see his nephews and nieces. From the trees a horrible wailing sounded. Banshees and a terrible lich drifted out of the blighted remains of the forest. He could feel the curses of the banshees draining his strength. His sword didn't seem to do much to them. He heard the lich chanting something foul that hurt his ears. But he had no attention to spare for the lich, the banshees were in his face and he had all that he could do to keep them away from himself.

Suddenly the chanting stopped and the banshees fell back. He was facing the lich. It had a mass of blue energy swirling and crackling in it's bony hands. With a final word of power that rang in the warrior's ears, the Lich threw the blue mass. The last thing the warrior saw was a great blue frostbolt streaming towards him.

He had fought bravely and perhaps foolishly in the Plaguelands. When the orders had come down to retreat, he had sent his men back. He had planned to fall back after they did, but there were too many Scourge. He had known that was a possibility and had resigned himself to death at the hands of the undead attacking their small outpost. He had even thought that was his fate when the lich aimed the frostbolt at him.

He hadn't expected to be frozen and captured. He had vague memories of a knight with black armor ornamented with skulls inspecting him while he was trapped in the block of ice. But the pain of freezing had knocked him unconscious. He had come to momentarily when he was chained and put on a skeletal griffin.

The warrior was alone in a small cell. He was chained by his wrists to the back wall, farthest from the door. He had only his legplates and boots on and the thin linen shirt he wore under the padding for his armor. His sword and the rest of his armor was nowhere to be seen, and he suspected it was still on the battlefield. He was thirsty and hungry and every single muscle hurt from being frozen. He also had two serious wounds. His left ribs stabbed him whenever he took a breath, and there was a deep gash in the armor over his right thigh. Whenever he shifted in his crouch on the floor he felt the wound on his leg pull and start to bleed again.

He woke to feel someone's hands on his chest. The sudden pain brought him to full wakefulness. He lunged to his feet and swung at whoever had touched him.

The chains caught his swing far short of his intended target. "Get away from me you Scourge bastards!" he shouted. He breathed raggedly, leaping to his feet had reopened his leg wound and caused his ribs to stab him anew. He could feel a warm trickle of blood starting down his leg.

"Silence, you dog!" the gauntleted fist of a black armored death knight smashed into the warrior's jaw. The warrior's wounded right leg buckled, and he dropped to one knee as a gasp of pain escaped his lips.

A scraggly haired man in dirty gray robes stepped forward. "I'm here to heal your, ah, more serious wounds." He held his hands out and as he touched the warrior coolness spread into the warrior's wounds. The gray man frowned. "I'll need full access to the leg wound," he said to the death knight.

The death knight knocked twice on the cell door. It opened immediately and a ghoul stuck its head inside. "Two of you in, and take the rest of his armor off." The death knight pointed at the warrior.

As the warrior painfully got to his feet, two ghouls shambled into the cell. The gray man stepped to the side and twitched his robes out of their way. The death knight grabbed the warrior by the throat and shoved him against the wall. As the ghouls came within range the warrior kicked out with his good leg, sending one of the ghouls flying.

The death knight smiled evilly. "You're feisty. A little too feisty for my liking." He backhanded the warrior twice and increased the pressure on the warrior's throat. The warrior's head rang and blood dripped from his split lip. The lack of oxygen made everything start to go dark. He tried to grab the death knight's arm and pull it away, but his arms were too heavy to do more than tug ineffectively at the gauntlet squeezing his throat. He vaguely noticed the ghouls ripping his leg plates off, and the renewed bleeding that caused in his leg. He also vaguely noticed the man in the gray robe stepping up and laying cool hands on his side and leg. He felt the wounds close and heal, but only partially. Enough that he was sure he wouldn't die from them.

"You'll live." The death knight released his hold on the warrior's throat. "Though you may regret it." He strode out the cell door and slammed it behind him as the warrior slumped to the floor gasping for breath.

The small snick of the lock echoed in the cell along with the death knight's words.

The warrior didn't know how long it had been since he had last eaten or drunk anything. It had been before the battle in the Plaguelands, but he had no idea how long ago that was. The only light in his cell was a low blue glow from near the ceiling. There was no indication of day or night, just that blue glow. He was so thirsty his tongue felt three sizes too big for his mouth.

Every so often he would get up and take the few steps that his chains would let him make. He did this to test his leg and ribs out, and to keep himself from going completely stir crazy with boredom. The leg was better, though still not up to fighting strength. The ribs seemed to be completely healed but for a small tenderness when he touched them.

With a click and a creak the cell door opened. The same death knight as when he had been healed stood in the doorway, back lit by the glow of torches. The warrior warily got to his feet as the death knight motioned a pair of ghouls into the cell.

The ghouls grabbed the warrior and pinned him against the wall. The death knight tipped the warrior's head back and held a mug to his lips. When the warrior would have fought one of the ghouls held his head while the knight pinched his nose. The contents of the mug went down the warriors throat. He coughed some but his mouth and tongue already felt better. Whatever was in the mug wasn't making his stomach feel all that well, but he wasn't sure if that was because of what he had been forced to drink or because his stomach was so empty.

The death knight backed up and then waved the ghouls out of the warriors cell. The warrior was still leaning against the back wall of the cell. His chains clinked as he used the back of one hand to wipe his mouth. "Was that poison?" The warrior lifted his head to look the death knight in the eyes. The death knight's glowing blue eyes unnerved the warrior but he refused to let himself feel any fear. "Or was it the plague?"

"Neither." The death knight made a gesture and a green and purple globe of energy sped from his hand to hit the warrior in the chest.

The warrior bit back a curse. All his muscles tensed as the death coil's shadow energy coursed through him. He sucked in a ragged breath as the death coil faded.

Before the warrior could gather his composure for some sort of defiant remark, the death knight's hands were gathering shadow energy again. The warrior gritted his teeth and set himself to endure the pain as best he could. He would have tried to attack the death knight, but the death knight was out of reach of his chains.

The third death coil sent the warrior to his knees in pain.

The sixth death coil wrenched a scream of pain from the warrior.

At the tenth death coil the warrior blacked out. The last thing he remembered was the death knight smiling.

The warrior lay on the floor and shivered. The linen shirt and pants he had on were not enough to keep him warm in the cold blue-lit cell. He knew that his chances of fighting his way free diminished with each moment he didn't get up and do something to keep his muscles limber and himself warm. But he couldn't force himself to stand.

He lifted his head as the door to his cell was unlocked and opened. Again the death knight entered. "Get him up, and unchained," ordered the death knight.

Three ghouls shambled into the cell. The warrior thought about getting away from them, but before he could move two of them hauled him to his feet while a third unlocked the manacles on his wrists.

The warrior shuddered at the touch of the ghoul's bony hands as they held him up. He tried to pull away from them and walk on his own, but they wouldn't let go. When he stumbled on the steps out of the cell they caught him and for a moment he was grateful that they were holding him so that he didn't fall to his knees in front of the death knight.

He was guided out and up past many other cells. The hallways were all lit in a eerie mixture of flickering torches and that odd pale blue glow. He didn't know how many of the cells were occupied. Screaming or moaning came from some of the cells. Most of the cells were quiet, but he couldn't tell if they were empty or if the prisoners were too weak to do anything.

The ghouls and death knight escorted him to a balcony. There were braziers and torches lighting the back and sides of it, but the railed edge was dark. Several ghoul guards and death knights were scattered around the edge of the balcony, but they all stayed back from the dark railing.

The sky over the railing was dark and star spangled, There was a tiny hint of dawn off to the side in the east. The warrior stole a glance at the sky. The stars enthralled him, as they always had, with their pure and pale light.

"Wha-"The warrior coughed and tried again. "What do you want from me?" He felt naked and vulnerable with no armor or weapons, and all the Scourge surrounding him.

A shadow moved at the balcony rail. "You will serve me" said a terrible voice. The Lich King, with Frostmourne in his hand, stepped away from the edge of the balcony and into the torchlight.

The ghouls roughly shoved the warrior to his knees. "Never!" The warrior tried to stand, but the ghouls held him too tightly. The death knight stepped behind him and pinned his head. The warrior couldn't physically resist, but he continued to speak defiantly. "I will never serve you Arthas, you traitor! You have become what you swore to protect your people from."

The stream of cursing continued as Arthas paced slowly towards the kneeling warrior. When the Lich King stood in front of the warrior, the warrior's words slowly ground to a halt.

The warrior looked up at the glowing blue eye sockets of the Lich King's helm and spoke quietly but defiantly. "I am not afraid of death, do your worst. I will never serve you."

The Lich King laughed, and the hair on the back of the warrior's neck stood up. "There are far worse things than death." He touched the flat of Frostmourne to the warrior's forehead. The sword pulsed blue several times and then the warrior's eyes flared a matching blue. Both the sword and the warrior's eyes settled to the same blue glow. "Rise, my new death knight, rise and serve your master."

The ghouls and death knight let go of the former warrior, now death knight, and stepped back. The new death knight slowly stood and looked about him. Ghouls brought armor and put it on the new death knight.

As the sun broke over the horizon to the east the new death knight stepped to the balcony. He stood by his new master, "What is your will, my king?"

Burakai Eta
Human male
- Eta is Japanese for "filthy mass" the lowest caste of Feudal Japan. These people were in charge of "tainted" work, mostly they worked with the dead. They were executioners, leather workers, butchers, undertakers, and gravediggers. Modern usage of the Japanese word buraku is 'village' meaning a segregated village where the eta lived. Buraku is considered a derogatory word.

- Burakai has long-ish brown hair. He keeps it loose. He can't remember if his eyes used to be green or brown, but they now glow with the blue of the Lich King. Though he was part of the Scourge and the slave of the Lich King his expression is not bitter or angry.

Before Burakai was a Death Knight he was a Warrior. Burakai is the name he took after becoming a Death Knight. He doesn't use his original name anymore. Initially that was because as a new member of the Scourge he thought he had moved above and beyond his family and his past. But after he was freed by Tirion Fordring it was because he didn't want to shame his family, so he chose the name Burakai then. He has occasionally seen a few of his family members when he was in Stormwind, but he avoids them so they can continue to think that he is dead on a battlefield in the Plaguelands. He reasons that they have already mourned him, and letting them know he was part of the Scourge and all the terrible things he did would only reopen their mental and emotional wounds.

Burakai committed many atrocities while under the Lich King's control. He would like to blame all of them on the influence of Arthas, but he knows in his heart that he could have refused his initial training as a Death Knight. He could have refused to serve the Lich King. He would have been slowly and painfully tortured and then turned into a ghoul for anything but complete obedience, but he could still have refused. So Burakai accepts the responsibility for his actions, even if they were not completely his own. However, he harbors a great hatred for the Lich King for making him a Death Knight, and causing him to murder all of the people he did. Even if most of the people he killed were Scarlet Crusade, he still feels bad about their horrible deaths at his hands.

Burakai took the surname Eta because he refused to use his family name. He was the eldest son of a moderately prosperous merchant family. Growing up he wasn't interested in the family business. When cornered he could do the business management, but he was only interested in the guards who went with the caravans or guarded the warehouses. Burakai never married, and now that he is a Death Knight he is glad of that. It is bad enough that his family thinks he is dead, but at least he didn't leave a wife or children behind. His younger sister has a husband who is devoted to her and their children were already more interested in running the business than he had ever been.

Note: This story and character came out of my thoughts on how the alliance has Death Knights. Given the Alliance rejection of the Forsaken I can't really see them accepting Death Knights that were actually dead. If humans are dead and controlled by the Scourge they become Forsaken when they break free, not Human. So I wrote it so that Death Knights aren't dead, just uber agents of the Scourge.

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