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Quiet rumbling shook the air, the sound of rubble collapsing in on itself. Once-proud walls crumbled beneath their own weight, the rust-red ground scorched black. A lone figure, the sole survivor slowly made his way through the wreckage. Stumbling over a loose stone, he fell to his hands and knees, staying there and panting.

Lay down your sweet and weary head
Night is falling; you have come to journey's end


Trying hard not to groan, he slowly lowered his battered body to the ground, rolling onto his back. Dulled golden eyes searched the twilight above him, wondering if answers would come fluttering down.

Sleep now, and dream of the ones who came before
They are calling from across the distant shore


Slowly his eyes slid closed, breathing slowing to a gentle place, though each breath remained ragged and shallow. He could barely feel it, but the pain still registered somewhere in his subconscious. Swallowing hard, he tried to clear his mind; despite all his best efforts, his deeds weighed heavily upon his conscious. Unbidden, thoughts of who these people once were, his fallen comrades, came swarming back. Swallowing again, he squeezed his eyes shut, trying to stave off the tears that gathered in his eyes.

Why do you weep?
What are these tears upon your face?
Soon, you will see. All of your fears will pass away.
Safe in my arms, you're only sleeping.


Letting out a jagged sigh, he let the tears slide across his face and into his sullied white hair. He tried to focus on the ethereal song he heard on the edge of his mind. The angelic voice somehow soothed him, despite him not knowing where it came from. Broken and dying, the ethereal lyrics that brushed their gossamer tendrils across the edge of his hearing eased the transition from life to death. Even out here, he didn't feel alone with the mysterious song ringing in his long ears.

What can you see on the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea, a pale moon rises.
The ships have come to carry you home.


The world seemed to shift, his thoughts and this song nudging reality along like some lucid dream. Now staring blankly above, he realized the sky was darkening, colors shifting as dusk fell. Unconsciously, his gaze shifted towards the edge of the sky, where a silvery disk now hung, the moon barely over the horizon, adding an argent shine to the dusty, charred landscape.

And all will turn to silver glass.
A light on the water; all souls pass.


Dying seemed to be taking a long time, it seemed. So often had he delivered it to unsuspecting recipients, so quick they had no time to register what had happened before they lay lifeless on the floor. Sometimes they were surprised… sometimes they had expected it, though rarely had he made himself known. And yet, now…

Hope fades into the world of night,
Through shadows falling out of memory and time


Why? His task was done… Farsulus was dead, Sinistre Dictorum dismantled, his friends avenged… Now he had nothing but the cold wind, the falling darkness… shadows of memory that rose and fell within his mind. Especially one…

Don't say we have come now to the end.
White shores are calling.
You and I will meet again.
And you'll be here in my arms, just sleeping


… a face. A priestess, beautiful beyond words. Long tresses of shining, white hair, clean and untainted. Shining eyes, no longer frosted over with undeath. His heart ached, viewing this angelic form. The source of the song that still soothed him. But with these painful memories, he was no longer calm, waiting in the wreckage for Elune to take him. He just hoped…

What can you see on the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea, a pale moon rises.
The ships have come to carry you home.


He realized he saw these gulls. No. That was not a gull. Silver moonlight glinted off feathers, but the dark violet plumage belonged to a storm crow – a druid gliding on moonbeams, searching the ruins of Nethergarde. It passed once over his broken form before doubling back, transforming back into Night Elf form in a flurry of feathers.

"Taliesen!"

Yes, that sounded right… shifting his dimming gaze to the newcomer, he was suddenly struck. White hair glowing in the moonlight, brilliant silver eyes… priestess? No… all notions of this priestess was gone… his savior came on the wings of nature, her soft voice guiding him. A smile graced his lips as she cradled his head, the woman too shocked to do much else.

There was several moments of silence before the druid finally reacted, twisting her hands in the air as she called upon nature, trying to pull life from the scorched earth. Motes of nature magic swirled about him, adding a warming effect but doing nothing to really stave off the shadows that lingered at the edge of his consciousness.

"I'll get you to Darnassus… please… Talie, please…"

And all will turn to silver glass.
A light on the water; gray ships pass.

Into The West
I realize that there's likely only two of you that will actually understand this piece of writing, but I figure I would put it up anyway.

TTNH stands for "Things That Never Happened" - it's a tag we use for stories and such involving our characters but would never actually happen canonically. It's great for alternate universe and 'what if'-type stories.

Here, I used a song both my guild master and I love, "Into the West" from the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King soundtrack. It's a non-existent ending to a plot arch that has spanned several years over a period when my guild ended up switching servers due to the decline of RP on Lightninghoof. It ended up being very bittersweet - I only intended to show the justice wrought for those lost in the attack, but basing a story off a song about death inevitably leads to one conclusion. I'm just glad Taliesen is fine with me killing off his character in an alternate universe.

Listen to the song: [link]
Read the history: [link]
All characters their original owners
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April 17, 2011
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