46th Day of Summer
Perhaps I'm delirious. Perhaps the apparently permanent fel taint in the air is affecting my mind, because if it isn't, then I saw the face of a ghost today.
His eyes were covered, but I knew the face. I'm sure I knew the face. Thirty years does nothing to weaken the memory of my people, a fact I bitterly resent, and his is a face firmly lodged in my mind and tangled in a weave of confusion.
And he'd leapt in to save me in particular. Others were closer to me, and others who needed saving were closer to him. But he jumped in and cut down the fel guard that had been about to cleave me in two while I was occupied by a comparatively meagre hound.
It was Malveth Sunfeather. I'm sure it was.
He was a city boy, younger than me but he made up for that in arrogance, and he'd been lively and driven - my mother had always said he was a bad influence; people in Silvermoon City were always more brash and outspoken than those of us that lived outside the city's walls. But at least they weren't all talk; when the Lich King had strode so brazenly through our land, he and many others had taken arms to fight against him. Many of them died, a number too inexperienced and foolhardy through that very arrogance, and though he'd survived the campaign, he'd lost his whole family in the process. Worse still, his family had been quite capable warriors, and that he alone had survived them meant that he had to carry the weight of their accomplishments and the expectations of everyone else that came with them. I always thought he carried it well, even despite the darkness that had began to shadow his heart. I knew him well enough to notice it, but we were not close enough for me to voice my concerns, even though I could see it reaching deeper and deeper into him. Now I regret never speaking up.
And so it hadn't been too much of a surprise at the time when he, like so many others, had eagerly and loyally followed Prince Kael'thas away from Quel'Thalas to restore our people to our former glory by Illidan's lead. But while he must have felt that he had nothing left to stay for, I have wondered on the few occasions he's popped into my mind since if it wasn't perhaps that very difference of upbringing, in the city rather than the woods, moulding a more privileged spirit, that had coaxed such a reaction from him. Where, I suppose, I accepted the fate of my family and friends, he simply couldn't and wanted to lash out. His heart had become quite dark by that point and many of his friends, myself included, had been pushed away by it. No one was there to try to calm him, to talk to him.
I've found that I regret that, and all the more now that I've seen where it has led him.
When he left Quel'Thalas, that was the last I'd known of him. I admit that I assumed he perished - so many others did - but having never set foot through that or any other portal that bridged this world with another, I had nothing but second-, third- and forth-hand accounts of what the orcish homeworld was like, or what Prince Kael'thas's band had truly gotten up to. Though I saw the results.
But I am surprised by the revelation that he did not stay beside Prince Kael'thas, that he had joined with Illidan instead, and I admit that, right now, I'm not sure which side would have been better. But I don't think I would have liked what he'd have become if he had remained loyal to the Prince. He and those beneath him had become enemies of our own people, but these demon hunters, Illidan's twisted elven creations...they seem to be fighting on the same side as us - or for the same goal, at the very least.
I've not seen him since that moment on the field, and while I'd like to think that whether or not I see him again, whether I speak a word to him, is within my hands...I get the feeling that his eerie, unseeing eyes are already spying upon me.
-- Atherya Sunleaf