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The First to Die

[Plagos has traveled to new lands. See the explanation here.]

It has been a month since I entered the land of Skyrim. I traveled to this barbaric wilderness in order to further my studies of all the magical arts. It has passed my ear that there is a mage college outside of Winterhold, and the tales I hear from these superstitious neanderthals of the resident’s destructive power is like music to my ears. I’ve also heard of an ancient landmark in Markarth that might be a place to further my research once my business at the college is finished.

However as usual, there were interruptions. During the night of the third day I was ambushed by a raiding party and captured. I was accused of being a rebel or some such nonsense, and brought to a village to be executed. Clearly they had it backward. Little did they know that I was to be their demise. Though in this case, a dragon beat me to it.

After escaping those damned backwater Imperials (remind me to topple their empire when I get the chance), I had lost nearly everything. Curse the gods! I have to start all over again! I knew trying to survive with my current name and reputation would be dangerous, so I adopted a persona as a neophyte of Arkay.

Coincidentally, it’s not that far from the truth, following the god of life and death. I just serve one of those purposes more than the other. The first being I encountered after my escape was another Dunmer hiding in the woods, performing some kind of dark ritual. I would have liked to stay and watch, but there wasn’t time and she seemed… displeased with my interruption. So naturally I slaughtered her and stole her robes to be my guise.

After that I scoured one of the nearby barrows for magical items and artifacts that could suit my needs. I will say, the ancient Nord drugals that infest the catacombs and tombs in these parts make very useful zombie minions. The nether energies here are weak and unstable, and since losing all my tomes and rituals I am hesitant about trying any demon summoning here. It has taken more stealth and finesse than I have done before, but mastering the new powers found in this place is all part of the goal.

After being chased out of Riverwood by a crazed woman with a dagger (all I did was command all her chickens to kill each other), I headed in the city of Whiterun to resupply and scheme my next move. Yet all they seemed interested in was having me kill dragons. So without too much showing off, I obliged them. In return I was given an axe (What do they even use these things for?) and my first property, a housecarl. I eventually secured a home in which to keep those things while I continue my tasks.

This dragonborn business just sounds like fanatical religious babble to me. So it helps me kill dragons and absorb their souls. I see nothing at all wrong with this. It is in my inherit ability to be a keeper of souls. Still, after my business with the college is finished, I may go have a word with these so-called Greybeards, if only that they may have a few more spell tomes that I can steal.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived at Winterhold, least of which was to be taken on as a simple pupil. After a tour of the grounds, it was off like an errand boy to the tomb of Saarthal to search the archaeological site. I was almost thinking it a pointless cause until we found some sort of… artifact or monument in the lowest chamber. I hesitate to say much about it until more is known. There is too much mystery around it to speculate. My next task is to do research. Unfortunately the books I require are held in Fellglow Keep.

I must take the time to show that I am no mere novice. It will be glorious the day I take all their magical knowledge, then purge the keep of all life and burn it to the ground.

Arkay be praised.
There are many who would well call me a villain.

Is that necessarily true?

From the point of view of the Alliance and other humans that I’ve helped “purge” from our land (or add to our armies), it's true. Yet in the history of Azeroth, there have been many who shed blood for their own purposes.

There is no difference in character nor morality between the hero and the villain. When pushed to extremes, both will choose to hurt, destroy, or murder for their cause. While the hero chooses to hide their misdeed behind hollow words: valor, righteousness, honor, a petty villain acknowledges that they are as selfish as any individual.

What many do not understand is that the hero and villain fight for the same cause. Let it be said that the Forsaken stand for bringing peace to Azeroth. True peace can only be brought by unity, and since it is impossible for the undead to live again, we must unite humanity, civilization, and eventually all things, in death. Thereby bring peace to all beings.

I have succeeded as best I can at unifying my fellow Forsaken under the banner of Curse. I realize it has become as much a part of me a I am the embodiment of the guild. I was given this role due to my extraordinary tenacity, but now my power has grown beyond -in no small part is it because of the Tome. I feel it consuming me just as I'm afraid it did its former masters, Ghrast and Meridith. And now it seems the Tome refuses to reveal any more of its secrets to me, no matter how hard I try.

It is time to let go. I've searched for someone to take on the duties of Curse's leadership. Unfortunately, no successor has come forward, a true disservice to the Dark Lady. Once again I must put the Tome away, far away, to keep myself from being taken any further.

The last time I started to feel a sense of grief, I banished myself to the Twisting Nether, which only fractured my mind even further. This time will not be the same. I refuse to let go; I will carry on, simply in a different lifestyle than I've had. I will retire to Tarren Mill, and try to keep myself in obscurity. But my legacy will live, on worlds other than this, and through the stories of those who've suffered at the hands of Executioner Deathweaver.

5-19-11

[A book slams on the desk, as all the candles in the room burst to light. A hand-rolled cigarette sits smoking and unattended at the desk. Plagos draws a quill and starts writing.]
Fighting demons is easy. The Burning Legion is highly predictable. The Scourge, though overwhelming in number, is only capable of a single focus. We pushed back its seemingly unrelenting tide. This new twilight cult is highly destructive, but easily rooted out, and the Alliance is cunning, but does nothing to hide themselves.

Now admittedly, the worgen are a problem, but I'll have to cover that some other time. The threats I now fear most are those within the Horde, even inside our own ranks.

[He begins mindlessly tinkering with some mechanical device while etching his thoughts in the journal.]

A graveyard seems like a place for rest and solitude, but not these days, at least in Brill. Worgen are constantly attacking. We've been hard pressed keeping them at bay. How they are able to get past our front lines in Silverpine is beyond me, but I assume some help from the Alliance, or goblins.

One goblin in particular gave us great trouble last night after using a far seeing ritual to eavesdrop on the patrons. The presence of certain Kalimdor residents, such as Bloodaxe, unsettled me even further. We've been acquainted in the past, but that doesn't change our present climate, and I have far too many lingering suspicions. After said goblin informed me he was working in the interest of Stormwind, well...

[He shoves some loose scrolls to the side, and sets a skull on top to hold them down.]

Now more than ever I’ve taken my focus away from other things to focus directly on my own guild, and ironically it seems more than ever the eyes and ears of the Horde and Alliance are pointed directly on us. What they seem to fail to understand is that provoking a hornets' nest in such a way will eventually get you noticed. And trust me; we will attack hard, and we will be merciless.

[The cigarette burns, untouched. Ash falls to the ground.]

I suspect this goblin is Orgrimmar by now, seeking refuge within the Warchief's walls- a place into which, out of respect, we still refuse to pry!

[Plagos pinches the bridge of his nose, he continues...]

The audacity and utter foolishness of these incursions shows me one thing: that we have been lax in showing that we are not to be trifled with. Evidently the lessons of the Wrathgate have already been forgotten! Perhaps once again we need to... show a more forceful hand. We should show everyone that, after the end of the Lich King, after the occupation by the Kor'kron, we are not impotent and weak.

A few other notes: there was a curious disappearance of the mercenary blood elf, Dryx, as well as the new Forsaken recruit, right after I'd issued orders to search. I must remember that the greatest threat can come from within our own walls. I'll have to check with the Doctor whether they checked back in.

Doctor Vi'le has meanwhile returned to cavorting with his former kind, participating in a courtship with a female elf, plus bringing that fool Highspire into our employ. I at one time saw these “blood” elves and their knights as our greatest assets and allies. But with the Sunwell restored, they are just another political obstacle around which we must navigate.

I doubt that Silvermoon sees things our way any longer, not like they did when they begged for our help in stopping the Legion and purging the Scourge from their precious forests. Even now they only seek our help in pushing the mindless dead from their land. In reality, all of Lordaeron should rightfully belong to the Forsaken. But as long as the Dark Lady wills it, they are our allies.

One thing is certain from all this: The Gallows is no longer safe in the open. We're going to have to find a more enclosed venue, even if it less than welcoming.

[Plagos slams the book closed and his cape glides across the ground as he storms back out the door.]

[A trail of ash lays silently on the desk.]

My notes! They're gone!

My notes! They're gone! Whole pages from my investigation from Uldum have gone missing. Along with that, somehow have whisked away all the items and artifacts I had collected. Months worth of important documentation and insight are now gone, probably stolen by the sands themselves, or the magical elements in the region. Meanwhile the Tome itself seems completely unaltered, nor is it giving me any new verbal or written communication.

What's worse, my memories on the whole event seem to grow more hazy. My worst suspicion is that there is a force beyond my control that doesn't wish itself to be known, possibly corresponding to the Tome itself. In order to keep this from being a total waste. I'll now try to recount here as best I can, some new findings over the course of events in Uldum:

~Multiple new species discovered. This is of no consequence. It's not my job to document changes in the repertoire of living creatures, just do make sure they're ultimately destroyed.

~Multiple sites of ancient technology, obviously of Titan origin. Upon exploration, after already being picked through by archeologoists and scavengers, these sites turned out to be part of an advanced weapon and cloaking system.

~The Tome seemed to have no visible reaction to these events or places. I kept the closest watch on this, since it is the whole reason for my venture. To me this is disturbing. Whatever that is happening, it's (I'm far more convinced of referring to it as an entity) keeping its secrets far more closely than I thought.

~I had visions. I couldn't tell if they were from the Tome or the winds. I heard voices. I heard... someone's voice. It wasn't Meridith, but someone else who seems to be familiar. We were having a conversation on... What was it?

The path to power. We both are trying to gain it over the other. But that, I realize, is not the correct step. The first step is respect. I think that whatever I'm being told, I must learn to trust not solely in myself, but in others.
On Resurrections, New and Old:
When I awoke, it was still a strange and dark time. Undead were rising and no one knew how to deal with that. They send you out of Deathknell with hardly anything, not even your wits, and a distant call from the Dark Lady. Not as efficient as it is to “raise” one these days. It's run with such impersonal precision, I worry about the mental state of our new arrivals.

Time was still lost on me then, but it must have been days I wandered through those woods, not knowing where to go, being attacked by every hound and human that still infested the countryside. That's where the real test begins. These newer types just don't appreciate that.We forged this land, through our own deaths, and atop the blood and pain of our enemies.

Just a few fence posts and a lantern are all that used to stand at the gates of Brill. That day I staggered into town was... revelatory. It was like finding home. I mean, yes I knew that this is where my former family lived, but this was different. A new family is what I found. But I had to fight to keep it.

On Personal Reflections:
Perhaps while currently wandering through the wastelands of the world, trying to dig up what secrets I can to survive, even one like myself can gain new perspectives on things such as loyalty, companionship, and compassion.

Doctor Vi'le is a force of chaos that is fortunately on our side. His goals are the same as the Dark Lady and my own. Only his means are different, but surely it confuses me. If I can't trust his methods, I am forced to trust his results. He will keep our foundation steady.

Mercy and Lucinius are always the wild cards, but both represent the old -and possibly soon to be new- face of the Forsaken. I so far have little to question in their loyalty. They are the powerful arms of Curse.

On Politics:
With everything that's going on, the Horde's entire force is spread thin. The Warchief knows he can't afford war on another front, and altogether needs the Forsaken as a foothold in Lordaeron. As long as a greater threat shows itself, this strange alliance will hold.

Perfect, until it is them or us that becomes the greater threat...

On Research:
A long time ago, this book had an effect on it's previous owner. Without memory of the event, she found herself in a strange, faraway place, with no rational reason why this place was chosen. It is my intention, in my quest for answers to return to this place.

Deep in the Tanaris desert where I once rescued Meridith, I have made an immeasurable discovery. An entirely new land has suddenly revealed itself! This place called Uldum, I believe, is where the Tome must have been trying to carry its host. Now I myself can venture into this place, to find out why.

I can only do so alone, and I will have to keep the Tome magically secured. Who knows how long I'll be out of contact.

Hopefully, then, I can get rid of this strange feeling that is haunting me...
It is impossible for any Forsaken to get "legitimate" work (I use the term loosely) done under this kind of scrutiny. And I don't just mean from this supposed Warchief's new commanders, who more affectionately seem like thugs. It is my own guild, my own allies, who seem to regard me with weary skepticism.

I suppose, given this case, I couldn't ask for better Forsaken to be under my command.

It's true that I've taken on matters of a seemingly personal nature, but it is a matter of survival. Now that I've taken the Tome, I need to understand it completely. That kind of exploration is taking me across all of Azeroth, and beyond. I am trying to dig up the most ancient secrets of existence, which proves... taxing, but there is no other way. I have to understand this power in order to keep it from destroying me.

Meanwhile Curse requires less of a hands-on approach than the early days of the Forsaken. Back then, it was I who was doing all of the ground work to hold us together. Now, due to my own tenacity, we have finally found our way. All that is up to me at this point is to lightly nudge the way forward.

[Story: The Return]

Prologue:
[See previous post.]


The Return
In the dead of a cold, dark night, on top of a dark hill, standing underneath a withered, dead tree, a dark figure waits, with a dark purpose. Clad only in black, inconspicuous robes, and a few exposed bones, he couldn't be easily identified from any other resident of the Undercity.

It felt like an eternity since he'd last visited these grounds in the far western forests, when he first buried that which was supposed to remain forever hidden. A fresh fog spreads across the ground, reminding him of a time long ago, when he met a woman--

He is not alone. Toward the bottom of the hill as he faces down, two ghastly-looking undead labor without pause, digging into the stiff ground with picks and shovels. These two he'd recruited for a few gold to do an anonymous job. And so they worked silently.

He is here because he searches. He's looking for something that he left here a long time ago. Something -the only thing in this world- of which he is afraid.

But not tonight. Now, he needs its power once again to achieve his goals. For all this time, it has been like a voice, calling out to him. Drawing him back to this place, deep in the forest of Tirisfal, within the kingdom of the Forsaken.

Not long now. He thinks to himself. He had to make haste finding this location again. There were reports of new worgen already scouting the territory, not to mention the scavenging, rot hide gnolls, and occasional wondering dead. After that, he had to hope what he left was still in tact. With the foundations of Azeroth coming apart, he started to realize that this place wouldn't be safe for long. He worried the tremors and quakes had tilted the land from where it's supposed to be.

The two laborers are a few feet into the whole by now. A cloud of shadow starts to loom behind the wretched figure on the hill, he seems unfazed. The shadow grows larger, and thicker, then starts to coalesce itself into a similar, darkly-clad figure. The shadow seems to step out of the darkness itself to reveal his full form.

“Father Darkheart,” the first one speaks, “it is good to see you.” The two standing together looks like some abysmal, cultist gathering. One of the undead working on the whole glances up, and pays no mind to the meeting going on.

“You as well, lord,” the second one hisses slightly, then coughs. “I've come to tell you that all the preparations have been made.”

“Excellent, Father. You've safeguarded our investments in secret this whole time. The time is near, and our assets are all prepared. You've done an extraordinary service to your people, Putrias.”

Putrias bows deeply, “I only wish to serve the Forsaken cause,” He glances up to notice the two laborers, “And you? I see you nearly have what you need-”

A scream of horror suddenly crashes through the silence of the night. One of the undead laborers leaps out of the trench that has been dug. He is completely ablaze in fire, covered head to to in what seems to be a liquid blaze, and when he is charred through the bone, the corpse collapses to the ground.

“Probably a trap that was set,” the taller figure on the hill waves a hand with protruding claws dismissively. “It's likely harmless now. Bring it up.” The undead hesitates just a moment as he looks between the robed individuals and back the hole, sizing his options. He then obliges.

“I'll let you finish your work. Dark Lady watch over you.” Shadows fold around Putrias quickly again, and he vanishes.

“Thank you, Father. Dark Lady watch over you,” he repeats the farewell to the silent void, then turns to the hole in the ground.

This is not far from where you were made, is it? The figure silently asks, Yes, when you were conceived by foolish sorcerers, and made with trinkets, the nature and limitless power of which they hadn't even a clue. And now, it is time to serve your usefulness once again.

With a thud, an old chest lands on the ground. The undead breathlessly heaves himself from the hole once again. He stops, awaiting orders, but not going anywhere near the crate again. He glances at it again: mostly old, rotten wood, bronze clasps and hinges. There is text written around the opening in a language he can't understand.

“It's Demonic,” the robed figure descends the hill to meet the chest. “That was the first trap. There may be another spell protecting this. I'll have to check.” Effortlessly, the robed wizard peels away the arcane locks and barriers that held it closed. The text around the opening begins to glow, a deep violet color.

“There's just one last spell... Here,” the undead sorcerer reaches a decaying, clawed hand toward the undead laborer, and before he can react, tendrils of purple energy leap from the bones of the hand, into the undead's chest. The laborer gasps a last breath.

“A fresh soul is needed to properly open it, of course.” As if taking away the laborer's essence, the tentacles withdraw and a withered husk of cloth and bone collapses to the ground.

The locks on the chest snap open. There is a soft creak as the lid opens...

Wrapped in cloth is a book: a moldy tome that seems inconspicuous from the side. The front cover contains a small, greenish black gem, embedded within a gold plate carved with runes of mysterious origins. The Tome of the Accursed.

The tome touches his hand, and his arm suddenly feels warm. He feels it. The cold, numbness of undeath fades for just a fraction of a moment. A shiver trembles through his bones, and the feeling is gone. As it fades, a whisper forms in his ear.

“Greetings, Executioner.”

“Hello, my dear. Let's get to work.”



Epilogue

“What kind of world do we live in when someone like me has to handle my own mail?!”

In the Undercity, a strange abomination, know to most simply as The Doctor flails at a nearby goblin courier, the latter hastily going about their business without comment.

Before making another remark, a figure appears before him: the blackest and most ghoulish-looking undead he has seen in some time. With his good eye, The Doctor can discern it is merely an apparition. He bows in earnest respect toward the ghost, “To what do I owe the pleasure, Lord Deathweaver?”

The robed hallucination speaks: “It is time. Meet me in Brill as soon as possible,” and without another word, the figure explodes in a cloud of green flame and ash.

The Doctor nods...




[We return, 12-28-10...]

Tags:

As predicted, a great cataclysm has happened. Azeroth's ancient history of violence and destruction once again repeats itself; this world now tries yet again to tear itself asunder. I've already witnessed the damage firsthand within parts of the Great Sea, as well as across the continent.

But whatever destruction may have befallen the rest of the Horde has not afflicted the Forsaken in the slightest. In fact, we are more powerful than we have ever been! The regions of Silverpine and Hillsbrad are completely taken. Southshore is in ruins. New ramparts have gone up around our holdings. Lordaeron is truly the the nation of the Forsaken, as we have always envisioned.

It's true that the world is inherently corrupt. I see now an unfortunate truth: what the Lich King attempted and failed to accomplish was to bring equality and uniformity to the chaos brought by the living. I believe that my queen feels, as I do, that is is the Forsaken's mission -our mission- to continue where the Ling King left, only in our own way, much greater than Arthas' narrow vision.

To aid in the Dark Lady's vision, it is abundantly clear to me what I must do. I refuse to let my greatest triumphs remain in the past! The destruction of Azeroth is just the beginning of all for which we have worked. I will lead my people to a greater pinnacle than we have ever imagined!

I almost hear it calling to me even now. I know it's power I can hardly resist. But like all power, it can be harnessed. It can be controlled. All that's required is patience. With all that I've done, patience is something I can afford.

The fall of mankind is in its own hands, and those hands are encircling its own neck. As the world crumbles, the Forsaken will always thrive. Let everyone scramble to bring the world back together. By the time they have, we will be ready.

[To be continued...]
So, these Doomsayers.

I'm fairly certain I've given this same speech many times before. Yet no one listened then. I have to figure out what I've been missing. Perhaps all I needed was a soapbox. And a beard. I should talk to the Doctor about that.

Someone stole my pamphlets. I know it...

Meanwhile, I have noticed that the Horde is having trouble with its leadership. Yet now the Forsaken are stronger than ever! Insurgents have been destroyed, and all who remain are loyal to Sylvanas Windrunner, who succeeded in helping overthrow the Lich King himself!

The Scourge is finally out of our way. What are a few Kor'kron or elementals to deal with? When our plans are fully in place, we will be strong enough to take over the entire Horde! And then, Azeroth.

"When the flames consume Azeroth. Where will you be?" Lighting the match, that's what!

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