The Fall of a King and a Sudden Realization
Part I: The Fall of a King
The king had fallen. After a long war against the dead on Northrend, the Lich King, Arthas Menethil, had been slain by Tirion Fordring and the Champions of the Argent Crusade. Alice stood in Icecrown Citadel, the Scourge had stopped coming for a while, she felt a calm rush across the cursed spire. But that calm was soon followed by an eerie chill and an unwelcoming presence. It wasn’t long after this that Highlord Tirion came along, returning from the spire. “Arthas has been slain! The war is over! We are victorious!” The armies cheered for the Highlord. Various races of Alliance and Horde all chanting his name. Tirion proclaimed there would be time for celebration later, but for now, it was time to pack up and leave the citadel.
The armies of the Alliance, Horde, and Argent Crusade left the frozen halls and gathered outside. Alice looked out at the frozen wasteland and the hordes of undead were gone. The Lich King was dead and gone, but the frozen stench of death still dominated the land. Alice hoped it would clear in time, she rather enjoyed the scenery of Grizzly Hills and Howling Fjord. Lord Tirion lead the armies of the Argent Crusade back to the Tournament Grounds while the Alliance and Horde either followed or went their own ways. Alice assumed Tirion was off to give his big victory speech, but she wasn’t interested in that. Alice gazed up at the spire of death. Arthas was finally dead. But why did Alice still feel uneasy? Why did it feel like a presence was still up there at the spire looking at her? Why did she get the feeling the Scourge had not truly gone away? Alice shook her head, dismissing the questions as paranoia and stress from the long war. Alice stepped through the portal to Dalaran, ready to get a drink, a meal, then a nice long rest.
Day turned to night, those in Dalaran were celebrating the fall of the Lich King. Bars and Taverns overflowed, spilling the parties into the streets, even the Kirin Tor Council were celebrating in their Violet Citadel. Ugh, Alice has seen enough citadels. Alice sat in the Legerdemain Lounge, a neutral tavern in the city. After her nap, Alice was certainly feeling up to party. She got some drinks and started to dance. Oh yeah, the drinks were kicking in. Games like Pin the Ashbringer on the Lich King, Skull Apple Bobbing, Beer Pong, kids pretending to be Scourge while others pretended to be Argent Crusaders, and other appropriately themes games.
Part II: The Realization
At some point during her celebrating, Alice heard a guy shout “YEAH! THE LICH KING IS DEAD! LONG LIVE THE KING, AM I RIGHT?! WOOO!” Then it all hit her. Arthas was dead. The monster that sacked Quel’thalas, who had his minions kill Alice’s parents. Her parents. They were dead. Gone. Never to come back. She’d never see them again. It finally sunk in, years later, it finally sunk in and hit her. Without her burning drive for vengeance around to silence those thoughts, it finally sunk in. Alice felt the room spin. She had to get out. Away from the crowd. Needed fresh air. She fled the party, the crowd. Ran to the edge of the floating city and just breathed.
Alice closed her eyes as the memories flashed in her head on replay. Her father telling her to run just before a necromancer had his flesh jump off of his body. Her mother taking her hand and running away before running into the pack of Ghouls that tore her apart. Fleeing alone through the forests. It all came back to her, clearer than ever before. Tears begun running down her face as she fell to the ground and wept. Sure she had cried in the moment, at the funeral, every time she visited the graves, and when she just had random fits of the memories. But this time… This time it finally sunk in and there was no burning desire for vengeance on Arthas now that he had died. All Alice could do… was weep.
“Hey Priestess, is it hitting you, too?” A voice called out to Alice. She spun around. Great, just what she needed to see, an undead. Though this one wasn’t too bad. She knew this one as Edward, a Warlock she had fought alongside with not too long ago. The warlock spoke again, “Yeah, it’s getting to a lot of people. The realization that your loved ones are dead and you no longer have deaths to avenge, so all you can do is face the pain.” Alice nodded as she sobbed. Edward sat next to her in silence until she started speaking. “My parents are dead. They’re not coming back. I’ll never see them again. I'll never hear my mother’s song to calm my anxiety attacks, I’ll never have my father to comfort me and reassure me that he’d fight anything that came after me if my paranoia came true.” Why was Alice spewing all this to some Forsaken she hardly knew? Their pact didn’t make them friends. Did she actually trust this guy? No no, it had to be because he was the only one there. Yeah, that was it. It had to be it. Alice still continued to spew as she cried. “I miss them. I miss them so much. I don’t want to go back to Silvermoon. To that false home where the others will be disappointed that I’m still alive. Where I’m not accepted due to my name and beliefs. Where I feel constant spite and hatred aimed at me. I don’t have a home to go back to.” Edward sighed, “Neither do I, kid. I know what you’re feeling, I really do. I know, a corpse is sympathizing with you, but hear me out. When Arthas sacked Lordaeron, he killed not only myself, but my wife and son. When I realized that my state of Undeath wasn’t some eternal hellish afterlife, but my new life, and only I had been raised, it took a bit to truly sink in. Hell, the reality of my family being dead has only now truly sunk in. But I never once stopped thinking about them. It’s just that… other things in my head spoke louder most times. Or maybe it was my state of undead causing my emotions to elude me? Who is to say.” Alice nodded, she knew she wasn’t alone. But it still hurt. Was the Warlock being truthful? That damn hat and decay made his face so hard to read… “Look, kid… I don’t know what kind of life you got back in Silvermoon, but it sure as hell sounds like it’s not treating you well. I imagine you gotta go back for paperwork and stuff, but if you ever need to get away, Tirisfal isn’t that far away, you’re more than welcome to come and find me.” Was this guy serious? Tirisfal? Where there’s even more Undead to remind her of what killed her parents? Oh well, Alice was sure that would be better than another moment with that bastard Dawnfury and his gang of holy jackasses.
Time passed, Edward departed and Alice continued to weep. “They’re dead, Alice. They’re never coming back. But you don’t have to be alone.” What the hell was that? Alice spun around to see if anyone was around, but all she saw were shadows. Alice sighed, she must be going crazy now. She closed her eyes and buried her face in her knees. “You can’t die Alice, we still need you. There’s work to be done. Your parents would want you to keep living.” Sunwell sheepshit, again!? Well, at least this voice sounded… friendlier? Alice continued her sobbing until she just couldn’t anymore. Was she out of tears? Did she just become too dulled to the emotions? Had her sanity snapped? Who the hell cares, Alice needed a drink. A hard and strong drink. Alice stood up, dusted herself off, put on a fake smile, and headed back to the tavern, damn the party was STILL going on? Well, at least that meant the bar was open. As Alice walked back, she swore something chuckled at her.