Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Khlar: Geth

Yes, this is a story about his horse. I am an animal-lover after all.

Through the long years of my servitude, I have had one constant companion. Geth, my deathcharger. I hope you will indulge me as I tell you about him.

My fellow death knights, my "classmates" if you will, and I were all excited to be finally learning to summon our own mounts. A knight's deathcharger was almost as much a part of him as his runeblade. We were instructed to go down to the Scarlet Crusade horse farm in the valley below us, and bring back a horse of our choosing. We left together, and upon reaching the field each of us selected a mount. I chose a tall, sturdily muscled chestnut stallion with a wild gleam in his eye, and jumped up on him bareback. He proved to be barely broken, giving me quite a challenge as I rode him back to the Scourge camp.

Once there, he was taken with the other horses, then they were all killed by a dark ritual, sending their spirits to the shadow realm. Each of us was then instructed to go and find the spirit of the horse we had chosen, and defeat it, then it would be ours. One by one we were sent to the shadow realm. When my turn came I stepped up to our master and he cast his spell. The world around me turned dark and hazy as everyone else disappeared. I turned and looked around, then started down the slope.

Not far down, I came across a shadowy horse, but recognized that it was not mine. I continued on, and the next spirit horse I saw looked familiar. It stamped one hoof and snorted at me, and I saw the gleam in its eye. I readied my runeblade as it charged. I ducked aside and swung my blade, scoring a solid hit on its flank, but it spun around and came at me again. This time it bit at me while it ran past, and I felt its teeth latch onto my shoulder. I struck with my elbow and the horse screamed and let go. One more swing with my blade, another scream of pain from the horse, and it came to a stop, blowing hard and glaring at me. I stared right back, and after a long while the horse finally bowed its head, allowing me to mount and ride back. From that moment, Geth was mine.

He kept his wild spirit, and was usually a challenge to ride anywhere, though he gradually improved. He would allow no one but me to touch him, and made a game of biting the hands off the ghouls that tried. I know that he despises his time in the shadow realm and lives for the times I call him back, to carry me wherever I was told to go.

He obeys me unfailingly. I realize that he loves me in his own way, although he is not affectionate at all, instead trying to challenge me for leadership of our little 2-member "herd" at every opportunity.

After I left the Lich King's ranks, he stayed with me. That was my greatest fear, that his magic was connected to Arthas' somehow and I would lose my only friend. That fear proved groundless, and Geth is with me still today. He doesn't care what I am doing with my life, only that I give him some time in it, and for that I am grateful. It is reassuring that there is one creature that does not judge me for my appearance or the crimes I have done while under Arthas' control.

He tolerates my present companions well. Treng shows the good sense I have come to expect from him, and keeps his distance from Geth. But what a start Gwynifar gave me, when I summoned him in front of her for the first time. Before I could stop her, she had reached out and stroked his nose. Imagine my surprise when Geth did not snap off her hand, as I expected, but instead stood still and tolerated her touch. She has some magic with animals, I swear.

She continues to be the only person he allows to touch him, besides myself. I have grown more cautious around people and warn them off before they get close. He is an extremely irascible horse.

He is also protective of me. I could not count the times that something has tried to reach me, only to meet his teeth or hooves instead. He packs a vicious kick.

He is tireless and agile, never refusing a jump or climb. He is surefooted as a mountain ram, taking paths that most mortal horses would never manage. And he is absolutely faithful, and has never failed me when I needed him.

Above all, he is my friend, despite being "only an animal." I think Gwyn and Treng understand our relationship best, as it is similar to the hunter-companion bond. But this one is not forged by spells or compulsion. I have learned that he is capable of refusing my summons if he so desired, but he always comes to my call.

He is my partner, and I thank you for letting me tell about him.

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