I’m not writing this to ask you to forgive me. Forgiveness is something between yourself and the Light. Or maybe yourself and Khaz’goroth. Maybe yourself, Khaz’goroth, and the Light can sit down and work it out over a keg or two of the Barleybrews’ finest.
Oh, yes… I know the Barleybrews. I know about Khaz’goroth. I wasn’t always one of the Forsaken. I just started out that way.
I’d been told the Forsaken were undead who weren’t zombies… that they had free will and were more or less just “undead people”. I’d been told about what Arthas did to them, and especially what he’d done to Sylvanas Windrunner. I’d been told they’d found a home in the Horde once they regained their free will because the Alliance had turned their backs on those who had once been their friends and neighbors. I was given the impression the Forsaken were an honorable people who just had the misfortune of being undead.
I wasn’t lied to. Not really. The person who told me all of this had been lied to. They thought they were telling me the truth. And can you really blame me for wanting to be one of those people? It’s almost dwarven in a way… why let a little thing like being dead stop you when there’s still a world that needs saving?
I guess you were my first indication that something wasn’t quite right.
I didn’t know it then. I didn’t know it until I got to Tarren Mill. When I thought back from there, though, you were my first clue. Your death never sat well with me.
They could have tested the plague on you in any number of ways. Held you down and poured it down your throat, sprayed it on you. But what did they do? They sent me down into the basement with a drink for you. Trickery wasn’t necessary. It just gave them something to laugh about.
I didn’t know anything about the dwarves of Ironforge at that time. I didn’t know anything about the Alliance other than they were almost constantly at war with the Horde and neither side was clearly “good guys” or “bad guys”… it all depended on which side you chose. I didn’t even know what Ironforge looked like then, so I certainly couldn’t have told you about the statue of King Anvilmar or how his death led to the War of the Three Hammers.
Nowadays, I could keep you sitting in the Stonefire Tavern night after night drinking ale and listening to me tell the tales of the dwarven people. Then, you were just some Alliance dude the Forsaken had captured.
Still… your death wasn’t right. It wasn’t okay. I cried. I didn’t know I’d have to do anything like that. I thought I had to take all the quests, and even once I knew I didn’t I just wasn’t okay with skipping the “bad” ones. I wanted the whole story, and that meant doing the quests.
I thought you’d be gone in Cataclysm. I guess you don’t really get to see what’s going on outside of Brill, but there’s a quest hub between there and Deathknell now. There’s a very similar quest in that spot. I had to feed a pumpkin to a Scarlet Crusader. Not just any pumpkin.
It didn’t kill him immediately like the drink did with you. It turned him into a ghoul and then he just sort of… fell apart.
I wasn’t really okay with that - not with all the history of both the Forsaken and the Scarlet Crusade that I know now -and wished I could have given him a clean death. But I also hoped it meant I wouldn’t find you in Brill again.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Like I said, I won’t ask you to forgive me. But wherever you are now… whether you’ve become one with the stone again, have joined with the Light, or some sort of combination of the two… you made a difference. You didn’t die for nothing. You taught me something I needed to learn about myself. See, stories aren’t always just to entertain. There are lessons to be learned in them that are no less valid just because the things you learned them from never really happened. It’s part of the magic of a good tale. I guess you knew that already. It’s kind of an important part of your culture.
You did Ironforge proud, Mountaineer.
One Who Knows Better Now