I was not prepared when the clatter of arriving hawkstriders sounded in the yard; my courage nearly failed me. Would my parents recognize me? Was Gwynifar with them? I opened the front door with trepidation, and stepped out.
My parents looked the same as in my memories of them. Oh, they both had some silver in their hair, and maybe a few lines in their faces, but otherwise, I could have just left yesterday. They both looked up at me simultaneously, and we all froze where we stood.
Fear flashed across their faces. I knew what I looked like, and it was impossible to not recognize I was a Death Knight. The fear was followed by a myriad of other emotions, some of which I understood, because they were running through me, too. I stepped closer, and said, "Mother, Father, it's me, Khlar." My mother gave a half-sob then, and rushed over to me, wrapping me in her arms. "My son," she said softly. My father remained where he stood, with traces of fear showing still. But when my mother released me, and I looked him in the eye, his face softened, and he came and hugged me too. Then my mother ushered us into the house.
We talked for hours. My parents had to hear all of what had happened to me, and then in turn they caught me up on what had gone on after I left with the army. They told me that they had sent Gwynifar a note, and she should arrive in a day or so. I looked forward to meeting her and her friend, the orc Treng. After a big supper that my mother cooked, we all went to bed.
The next day we were in the sitting room, still talking, when we heard a knock at the door. My parents looked at each other. "That is probably Gwyn," said my mother, and she stood and went out. I held my breath as I waited for her to return with my sister. It didn't take long. Mother came back in and sat down again, and then Gwynifar stepped into the room.
I did not want to frighten her, but I couldn't help myself and stood up. She saw me and froze, her eyes widening. I could almost hear her thoughts, and for the first time I was truly disgusted with what I was. I knew she was most likely afraid of me, and couldn't let her think I was a monster. I stepped toward her, saying softly, "Sister..." Before I could say anything more, she screamed, "NO!!" then collapsed in a faint.
My mother bundled her off to her bed as I sat with my father, feeling the horror of what I was and how I appeared to others. I hadn't wanted to frighten her, but the stereotype of my kind was too strong to be overcome by one brief meeting. My father tried to comfort me, saying that she would be okay once she woke and had a chance to talk it over. "You and Mother need to tell her," I said. "She will still be too frightened of me." He protested, but I knew it to be true.
Gwynifar did wake up soon, and my parents talked with her for a good hour while I walked through the woods outside. A large shaggy wolf kept me company. I knew him to be Gwyn's pet, and wondered what his name was.
"His name is Haiden," said a deep, accented voice behind me. I turned and saw the orc, Treng. I looked him over, as he studied me in turn. "You are not afraid of me?" I asked him. He shrugged. "You're obviously not a monster, otherwise there'd've been nothing left here when we arrived," he replied. I said nothing in return, but in my heart I felt a little bit of peace at his words. "You are young to sound so wise, Master Treng," I said after a pause. He scuffed his feet in the dirt. "Ain't being wise so much as being sensible." He looked back to me. "Gwyn will be fine. You just gave her a start cause she didn't know what to expect." With those words, he turned and went back to the house.
I wanted to follow, but decided to wait until Gwyn came to me. I turned back to the wolf, Haiden, and scratched behind his ears, then continued my walk.
I did not wait much longer before Treng came back outside with Gwyn beside him. She came up and stopped before me. She started to say something but stopped herself, then suddenly stepped forward and hugged me shyly. "I'm sorry about that, Khlar," she said. "Think nothing of it," I told her. "It's not an unusual response for me." She laughed a little at my attempt at humor, then stepped back and studied me. "All my life growing up," she said hesitantly, "I've heard stories of you. I felt like I knew you, even though you were dead before I was born. Now I find out you weren't really dead. It's weird." "It's alright," I said. "I'm just glad to be finally free and with my family." She cocked one eyebrow. "You're really free from him? How did it happen?" So I wound up telling my story over again while we sat at the base of a tree, with Gwyn and Treng's pets scattered around us. As we talked, I felt a connection start to grow between us, and I vowed silently to myself that I would protect her, to the best of my power. Protect her from the evil in the world like Arthas and those of his ilk.
And if He should ever come near her or the rest of my family, then may the Light have mercy on him.
I will not.
I apologize for the lack of regular posts lately. Been busy on Khlar mostly. His herbalism is 300 and trained, now I'm working on his mining. I also took him back to Outlands and hit level 61. His mining is at 240 currently, so he should be in Outlands for good soon.
Got another story for Khlar and a new one for Kaled running around in my head, will try to have them done in the next few days. Til then Happy Hunting!