Shadowmere: A Courting of Shadow

Shadowmere is the collective tales of the young boy Ezran Shadowmere, (Previously known as Taelse!) and his journey into damnation.

There will be three books in all, and I do mean book when I say it. The Chill of the Grave is planned to be 350 pages +, so I will not be posting the book until it is finished.

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2. Prologue: The Sins We Carry

Pain. Unbearable, unending, and unwavering pain. Ezran clawed at his temples, the ache shot through him like a hammer upon hot steel. He fought to keep his footing, wobbling through the forest. He fell on the limb of a nearby oak, holding it with his right hand while stomping his left foot against the ground to keep from falling. His vision blurred, red shot through his eyes, and he searched frantically for anything, anyone


   Was this it? Was this the pain that he would have to bear with his curse? This-- this hunger? He wanted so badly to hurt, to inflict pain, to--


   "Father for the last time, there is no one out here!" A young woman holding a lantern called. "Can we head back to the cottage? It is freezing out here..." She placed the lantern down and began to rub her upper arms with her hands, cold breath coming in gasping pants. 


   "Not yet, I swore I heard something." He waved a clunky wood axe around, and his boots made a loud distinct clack with each step, Ezran would have heard him an acre away. The man neared him, and Ezran fought to hold himself steady. Keeping what pain he could at bay, he ran away, the sound of something in pursuit was lost to him as he put all his will into just trying to keep distance between them. He would not let some headache beat him, he would not let this win. Gritting his teeth, he roared an unholy cry. 


   He ran at full speed, stomping down nearby foliage and making a path through the woods. He broke several trees limbs and shrubs before he finally broke through the forest, but he did not slow. He still felt the warmth of nearby homesteads and families, and they would not die this night. He unsheathed his runeblade from his back and lashed harshly at the air, ripping through it. Darkness appeared in front of him, and without hesitation, he embraced it. 

 

***

 

   Ralin ran as fast as he could after the fiend, surely only a demon of the legion itself could have made such an outburst. Such a cry was... haunting, as if it cut through the very soul. Whatever it was, it was a threat to his family, and he would stop it before it did them harm. He ran at a brisk pace, following the wreck of a trail the creature had left for him. He emerged from the forest just in time to see the thing jump into pitch darkness, foul demon magics working around it. He cast his holy wrath towards it, directing the lights justice. It struck the portal, closing it shut. He walked slowly towards the scene, taking care as to not get near where the demon magics were at work. He scoffed at the dead ground where the portal had been made, the demon had fled, fear suited it. He turned just in time to see a small figure watching from behind the forest line-- "Kaliya! I told you to stay at the cottage!" He stomped over to where she peeked, furious. "What have I told you girl? If the demons where to harm you--" She sighed, rubbing her upper arms. 


   "--I'm not a little girl anymore father, you can't keep telling me what to do." She walked up to him and patted his chest. "I can take care of myself." 


   "And your younger sister? Who will take care of her should I have perished? You? Surely not, for if that demon had torn through me he would have gone for you afterwards." He caught her off guard, she did not seem to expect the retort.


   "We both know you would have been fine." she scowled.


   "I'm not invincible Kali."


   She turned on her heel and stopped off, anger making her face bright red even in the darkness. He had made her flustered, but she must see the truth. Letting out his own sigh of irritation he began after her to the cottage, only to have a distinct crack stop him. He lifted his boot to reveal a small charm, strangely in the shape of a crescent moon. He examined it in his hand, turning it over and over. Despite his knowledge, he could not make out any great detail or it's worth. A simple charm with a leather cord, a necklace it seemed. He smiled, maybe Liana would like it, she loved the crescent moon after all. 


   A bit cheered up, he made his way back to his home. Maybe tonight wouldn't be all bad.

 

***


   Darkness surrounded him. Bleak and cold was the realm of shadows, devoid of any life whatsoever. The damned roamed this light forsaken place, he being no exception. The pain had not subsided, but not being able to think eased the pain somewhat. He walked aimlessly for what seemed hours, occasionally being attacked by a shade of the realm. The shades proved weak compared to his current rage, but they did not saint his hunger, his need for pain. A slight warmth ran over his aches and pains. He looked up with hollow eyes, only to see nothing. He fell to his knees, pain overtaking his will. He closed his eyes shut, attempting to force the pain back. He remembered older times, better times...

 

   Sunflowers covered the nearby landscape, lush green grass flowing around them. Ezran sat against a tree reading a letter from an old friend, Raghan, his old dwarven instructor. The old dog wouldn't stop going on about his child's "dwarven grip o' steel", the gesture amusing Ezran. He paused when he noticed the night elven woman approaching, wearing the colors of her order. She sat beside him and they engaged in a conversation Ezran could not make out. He was baffled, trying so hard to hear--

 

"You need to get up, for both of us."

 

   Pain coursed through him as he slashed out at the swarm of tormentors, the shades feeding off of his despair. He forced himself on two weary legs and pumped dark magics into his blade, again making a sharp slice into the air. He jumped through the portal to emerge in the Ebon Hold.

 

Well, rather, fall into the Ebon Hold.
   
   Nearby knights helped him onto his feet, and he lashed out wildly at them. He couldn't hold it in anymore, the rage, the pain. He had to hurt something, anything. He glared at the nearest one, a draenei male twice his size. Unsheathing his second runeblade he charged, roaring madly as he closed the distance. He was pulled back swiftly by several deathly grips, shadow magic holding him in place. He was forced to the ground, several Death Knights holding him. He glared up at his comrades, his sanity gone. One rode up on a steed of red, blue eyes glaring back at him. He dismounted and knelled before Ezran. 


   "Why haven't you inflicted pain yet brother? Despite our dislike of it the need still stands." Ezran snapped his teeth at him, rage filling his mind. The Knight grabbed Ezran by the hair and dragged him towards the balcony. Ezran clawed with rotting fingers at the gauntlets, breaking several in the process. The Knight used amazing strength and pulled Ezran to not only his feet, but off the ground. He forced him over the balcony edge, holding him by his hair still. 


   "Your Highlord asked you a question, you would be wise to speak." A nearby Banshee croaked, her voice ringing hollow in Ezran's ears. He snapped at the thing, all traces of sanity gone. The Highlord shook his head, and looked the Death Knight in the eyes one last time. Closing his own, he whispered Ezran's last rights. 

 

"Suffer well."

 

Ezran fell towards the seas of Lordaeron. 

 

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