Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Arthas' Wake

On Feathermoon, 3.3.5 marked the date that Arthas was killed IC'ly. Last night, the Northerners met at Aely's farm to hold the wake of Arthas Menethil, and of Lordaeron.

Bricu says: Strewth, everyone's early.

Bricu says: Just waitin' on the Drachmases then.

Arvoss nods. His horse stamps restlessly, and he pats its neck.

Bricu points at Hillsbrad Farmer.

Bricu points at Hillsbrad Farmhand.

Bricu says: Yeh lot, come back here an' gimme a hand.

Arrens dismisses Inigo with a wave of the hand.

Darrows peers at Bricu.

Bricu peers at Darrows searchingly.

Darrows says: . . . anything I can do that's not lifting?

Bricu says: We can handle it.

Darrows looks sheepish.

Bricu says: No, not really.

Darrows says: Rot.

Bricu says: Just relax.

Darrows is useless.

Bricu says: Rot?

Darrows says: Well I'd like to help. And I don't think I can.

Bricu and three other northmen carry a box draped in the Flag of Lordaeron. They set the coffin down.

Bricu gives a nod.

Arvoss dismounts and drops the reins. The horse stays put.

Bricu watches as two of the Northmen fold up the Colors and walk off.

Bricu stand before a finely made coffin. The wood is dark brown polished to a perfect shine. In each corner is a Lion of Lordaeron, worked in truesilver. On one of the lions is a stamp. Two Bells ringing.

Threnn stands at attention, watching.

Bricu says: We'll get goin' in a wee bit

Bricu says: No one has ta say anythin'.

Bricu says: But if yeh brough an erik, we're puttin' it in the coffin.

Arvoss nods, eyes on the coffin.

Arrens eyes the coffin and those gathered around it.

Bricu nods at Kyraine.

Threnn peers at the coffin.

Kyraine returns the nod.

Bricu peers at Darrows searchingly.

Bricu says: Yeh hear from Jak?

Darrows says: He's unfortunately trapped up north for the nonce.

Kyraine pulls a small, paper wrapped package out of her horse's saddlebag

Bricu nods at Kyraine.

Bricu says: Right.

Kyraine offers the package. "Olives."

Darrows takes the olives. Her stomach wails. She shoves them away, ears going pink.

Bricu says: Right then... Anyone dyin' ta speak first?

Darrows says: Our thanks.

Kyraine says: No trouble at all.

Kyraine nods at Darrows.

Bricu says: Well...

Bricu says: I'll start then.

Bricu lets out a long, drawn-out sigh.

Bricu says: We are not here ta praise the life of Arthas Menethil, nor ta gloat over the demise of the Bloody Prince.

Bricu looks over the crowd.

Bricu says: We are here to heal. But to heal proper, we need to account what occurred in this war.

Bricu says: Many of you know that I was there the day Arthas put Stratholme to the sword.

Bricu points towards his Warblade of the Forgotten Footman.

Threnn nods.

Bricu places the Warblade of the Forgotten Footman into the ground.

Aelflaed nods.

Darrows eyes Bricu up and down.

Bricu takes the Royal Crest of Lordaeron off of his back.

Bricu says: I played my part in the destruction of our home. Many of you know of how I fled--not just the North, but how I left myself behind--only to find solace in bottles an’ casks.

Bricu says: I drank ta keep nightmares in check. Ta keep what I had....away from the bloke I wanted ta be.

Bricu looks away from Threnn for a moment.

Bricu lets out a long, drawn-out sigh.

Bricu says: It didn’t work. What worked was payin’ fer me crimes.

Bricu pauses, looking out to each person in the crowd.

Bricu winks slyly at Threnn.

Threnn offers a tight smile.

Bricu says: For all the terrible shite he was, Arthas was our prince. His birthright was never taken from him, even as he cut his own heart out in Icecrown.

Bricu says: We did the right thing by puttin’ him down, but that is not enough. We have ta hold ourselves ta a standard higher than our Prince, otherwise, we’re just. Like. Him. So we pay the price.

Bricu says: The old ways don’t have a price--an erik--fer committin’ genocide.

Bricu says: An’ there is no punishment, no recourse, no way ta restore our loss. But we can pay the price fer our own crimes. Even raisin’ arms against our Prince--monster though he was--can be paid fer.

Bricu says: This price is ta be paid, even in battle.

Bricu says: Now the ol’ways say it was three herds cattle fer the murder o’a Prince.

Bricu says: A fortune in the o’days, ta be true, but not the way we do business since we’ve civilized by the Light. The erik fer killin’ yer Prince is just that--a Prince’s ransom.

Bricu opens the coffin and holds up a finely wrought crown of gold, blazing with a single Azerothian diamond, flanked by two deep blue sapphires.

Bricu says: This is my erik. This is my payment for raisin’ up against my Prince.

Bricu pauses, looking out to each person in the crowd.

Bricu says: Ta heal what was once our home, I’ll pay fer what I have comin’. May my erik go ta healin’ the forgotten folk.

Bricu nods at Hillsbrad Farmhand.

Bricu nods at Hillsbrad Farmer.

Bricu says: The ones who we fought fer. May they fergive me....

Bricu pauses and composes himself.

Bricu sighs at Hillsbrad Farmer.

Bricu says: May they fergive me fer what I’ve done. An’ may our Bloody Prince find some peace in death.

Bricu bows his head.

Arrens bows his head solemenly.

Darrows folds her hands together.

Bricu says: Anyone else who wants ta say anythin'....or has an erik.

Arrens says: I'll go, if I may be permitted, Master Bricu.

Bricu says: They'll be sold an' the money will go ta rebuildin' fer those that lost everythin'.

Bricu says: By all means mate, go ahead.

Arrens clears his throat.

Arvoss pulls a small pouch from his belt. It clinks softly.

Arrens says: My first run-in with Arthas Menethil was after he had already succumbed to the might of the Scourge and, thus, the Burning Legion.

Arrens says: He marched with an endless army of undead and opened the portals to the Nether that wrought destruction upon my home, my family, and my kin.

Arrens says: He took from me everything I thought was dear to my life - things that, to this day, I yet miss dearly.

Bricu nods at Arrens.

Arrens says: But had those tragic events not occurred, if the tragic story of Arthas Menethil had not played out as it did, I would not be who I am today.

Arrens says: I would yet be nothing more than a child in the eyes of you, my peers; cloistered in the studious walls of a Dalaran few of you might have known before its current incarnation.

Arrens says: I would not know the true love of my life.

Arrens smiles at Aelflaed.

Aelflaed manages a smile.

Arrens says: I would not know you, my friends and colleagues.

Bricu smirks slyly at Arrens.

Kyraine nods at Arrens.

Arrens says: For the hell he wrought upon us all, I can do but thank him from some small part of my being.

Arrens says: Yet justice has been wrought and the Bloody Prince has been slain.

Arrens says: May he, and each of us, find some solace in this fact.

Arrens lifts the coffin and tosses a large pouch of coins inside before letting the lid slam shut.

Darrows purses her lips and stares at the coffin.

Arrens says: May your father forgive you, Prince Arthas.

Arrens clears his throat and steps back.

Bricu says: Well said.

Darrows opens her hands and a small, flat portal appears in front of her. She reaches through and yanks something out. It's a staff, taller than she is, covered in glittering jewels that throb with magic.

Darrows holds Halion, Staff of Forgotten Love in her hands.

Darrows says: Taken from his own cache after the siege.

Darrows flips it over in her hands.

Darrows says: Literally a king's ransom. I'd thought when this was over . . .

Darrows motions at her stomach.

Darrows says: I'd study it, but I find it will likely be better suited to fund rebuilding what he took.

Darrows steps forward.

Darrows opens the casket and lays it inside.

Bricu nods at Darrows.

Darrows says: I was, once, a bar maid in Brill, until the Barov's infested the town with plague.

Darrows says: My mother succumbed first. Her stomach bloated and her eyes went yellow. We buried her when we fled to Silverpine.

Darrows says: We thought we were fine. My father and I.

Darrows says: The moment he got the coughs and the whites of his eyes turned yellow, he put a rifle into his mouth. I died by myself on a farmstead there.

Darrows 's voice is flat.

Darrows says: . . . I knew no magic. I knew bars and songs and simpler things.

Darrows notches her chin up.

Darrows says: I'm something much stronger now. Something all together different.

Bricu holds a hand out for Threnn.

Arvoss fiddles with the pouch in his hands, listening.

Darrows says: . . . and for all its trappings, I'm thankful for it. Let the Bloody Prince's ransom rebuild some of what's been lost.

Darrows steps back. And eats an olive.

Threnn takes Bricu's hand and squeezes.

Bricu nods at Darrows.

Kyraine says: I'll speak, if it's alright.

Bricu says: Aye, please do.

Kyraine nods. She's holding a coin pouch and a wrapped sword with a single black stone set in the hilt

Kyraine says: I don't have the right to speak for, or to offer this, for my king or my countrymen.

Kyraine says: So I'll offer it for myself, and my ward, who's from Darrowshire. And for all the folk what had to fight because of what he did.

Kyraine says: Sometimes doing what needs to be done means facing the hard choices. That was done, and it's my hope that folk will find some healing in the aftermath of those choices.

Bricu nods at Kyraine.

Kyraine says: I don't think Azeroth will understand what was lost when Lordaeron fell.

Kyraine says: Might be they don't need to, because everyone here knows. I don't know.

Kyraine says: But it's only right that a sword go to help pay for what a sword took, so that maybe, there can be healing.

Kyraine sets the sword and the bag of coin gently inside the coffin and closes it.

Kyraine stands at attention and salutes.

Arvoss looks up and clears his throat.

Bricu smiles at Kyraine.

Kyraine nods at Bricu.

Threnn peers at Arvoss searchingly.

Bricu lets out a long, drawn-out sigh.

Aelflaed nods at Arvoss.

Bricu says: Normally, we'd have a mourner here...or a fiddler. Or both.

Bricu says: Personally.

Darrows says: I'd not do well with a keener.

Arvoss says: Ah didnae see Lordaeron fall

Darrows goes quiet and looks at Arvoss.

Bricu listens intently to Arvoss.

Arvoss says: Didnae make it out o' Strat'olme alive, even

Arvoss says: When Ah came back t' mahself, an' saw wha'd 'appened, well....

Bricu stares at the coffin.

Arvoss says: Tried t' lose mahself in th' bottle as well

Bricu nods at Arvoss.

Arvoss says: An' then.... Ah met a little druid kitten wha' didnae 'ave a family 'erself

Arvoss stares at the coffin.

Arvoss says: M'wife died few years before we evah 'eard o' th' Plague

Arvoss says: Mah son was oan 'is way t' makin' 'is own life. Ah still dinnae ken where 'e is naow

Arvoss says: Shaur 'elped me t' see tha' Ah still 'ad a reason t' fight, an' Ah did

Arvoss says: Ah didnae see 'im fall mahself, but we all kent when it 'appened

Arvoss says: Sae, Ah did mah part t' bring 'im down

Arvoss pulls the pouch strings loose and dumps a handful of finely carved gemstones into his palm.

Bricu nods at Arvoss.

Arvoss lifts the lid and lets them fall into the coffin, then closes it again.

Threnn nods at Arvoss.

Arvoss says: Naow Ah 'ave t' make a new life fer mahself

Arvoss bows his head.

Threnn glances at Bricu.

Bricu says: We all' well said.

Bricu peers at Threnn searchingly.

Bricu says: I wouldn't trade the new life for the old.

Threnn says: All right for a Southerner to speak?

Bricu says: Aye.

Arvoss says: Go oan, lass

Kyraine nods at Threnn.

Threnn steps forward and unsheathes the sword on her back.

Bricu watches Threnn.

Threnn says: He was never my prince.

Threnn says: But he was a Knight of the Silver Hand, and should have been the best of us.

Bricu nods at Threnn.

Threnn says: Suppose what he did led us all to where we are now, and I ought to be thankful for that.

Threnn smiles over her shoulder at Bricu.

Bricu winks slyly at Threnn.

Threnn says: I am, don't ever question that.

Threnn says: It took loving a northman to understand what was lost. Took almost losing *him.*

Threnn sets the Stoneforged Claymore and sets it atop the coffin.

Bricu stares at the coffin.

Threnn says: His debts are mine. His loss is mine. And more than that, they're our daughter's.

Threnn says: Light bless what can be salvaged, what lives can be forged anew.

Threnn bows her head and steps back.

Bricu holds his hand out for Threnn.

Arrens mumbles a quiet "Amen."

Kyraine bows her head briefly

Bricu whispers, "wonderfully said love."

Aelflaed wanders into the little shelter.

Threnn takes Bricu's hand.

Aelflaed hefts a rough canvas sack of some kind.

Aelflaed heaves it into the coffin. It splits, spilling grain everywhere.

Aelflaed says: Tha's this year's crop. Unplanted.

Bricu nods.

Arvoss nods.

Aelflaed says: Th' work ay Jolstraer's hands, an' my own. An' na put in th' ground fir fear ay losin' it t' weather air lack ay tendin'.

Aelflaed says: 's other sacks, but none will fetch any sort ay price. Still, this war began wi' grain. I figure endin' it wi' grain t' feed folk who've lost all else canna go wrong.

Aelflaed says: Ye lot ken th' most ay th' story I've led. Th' home I lost, an' nearly lost myself. Th' wounds wha dinna truly e'er heal.

Bricu nods at Aelflaed.

Aelflaed says: Someday, mayhap, th' scars in th' mirror will fade like th' scars in th' land an' th' scars in our minds.

Aelflaed looks to the coffin.

Bricu watches.

Aelflaed clears her throat and sings - her voice wavers at first, but finds its center quickly.

Bealocwealm hafa frone frecan forth onsended
giedd sculon singan gleomenn sorgiende on Lordaeron
the ma no ware his dryhtne
and maga deorost

Arrens bows his head.

Bricu bows his head.

Kyraine listens quietly, placing a hand respectfully on her sword's hilt

Arvoss bows his head.

Darrows watches Aely's face, almost transfixed.

Aelflaed closes the coffin gently, ignoring the loose grain.

Threnn bows her head.

Aelflaed says: Into the Shining land, the Light will enfold you. All that ever was is there, and none will be forgotten.

Aelflaed says: If such an end is set for Arthas Menethil, may he find his peace in it.

Bricu says: Thus ends the wake o'Arthas Menethil. May we all find peace.

Arvoss whispers a rough "Amen."

Aelflaed says: So be it.

Kyraine says: Aye.

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