To Be Free
'The rest is up to me. She placed a hand on the torn remnants of rotted skin hanging from his arm. “Thank you,” she whispered. The blankness she had felt moments earlier was suddenly no longer a terrifying hole, but a canvas. She would run. She would fight.
She would live.'
- Marika Kermode, Daughter of Lordaeron.
Part One: Running
Keep running. The words thundered over and over in my head to match the storm above, the message I had followed for twelve years my only companion - again. I must have cleared half of Tirisfal tonight alone, but with every step I knew I was too slow to avoid them. Despite knowing these forests from the many days spent exploring in my childhood, I couldn't outrun them here, on their own territory. Their territory. I felt my feet slow to a jog and then to a walk, slipping in mud as I halted.
There would be no running. Not this time.
I raced down the secret passage from my quarters, the heavy plate armour clattering loudly as I skidded round corners. Even the adrenaline pushing me on paled in comparison to the hot, stinging tears I felt falling down my face freely. Dead. They were -all- dead. The stolen armour stopped me hearing the massacre above, but I knew what was happening to my friends, my people, my family.
Mother. Father. Arthas.
My gut wrenched as the name flashed into my head, everything in my head scattering at the thought of him.
My own brother. My sweet, innocent, handsome little brother. Gone. Lost to the Scourge. The beast that had killed my father and doomed all of Lordaeron to ruin was not my brother. Not my brother. Not my brother. My heart steeled and I regained my earlier pace, forcing my mind onto other matters.
The Scourge undoubtedly covered all the ground in Tirisfal by now - even if not, exiting the City through the front was foolish. The Sewers were probably taken too, but Arthas knew most of the secret passages out from our chambers - the same ones I was sprinting through now in a stolen set of Silver Hand plate mail.
A low, guttural moan came out of nowhere, echoing all over the tunnel. I was gripped by fear and span on the spot, looking for a telltale sign that I was in the presence of the undead. I was no good in combat. I'd been training to be a priestess. I was to be married. Everything I had known to be secure in my life sounded hollow and empty as I thought it.
The moan sounded again, closer, and I ripped from the spot and jumped at a nearby vent, pushing it aside and crawling into the sewer - finding myself face to face with a ghoul. It shuffled across the vent on torn limbs, letting out the same moan I had heard twice before.