It was a quiet morning in Theramore and the sun was just barely coming up over the buildings and houses. The soldiers were beginning to start their training for the day, their quiet chatter the only sound in the town as Kiah walked towards the dock. As she began up towards the landing she spotted a lone man, waiting for the boat to Menethil. Kiah slowed her steps, canting her head to the side to study the man. A monstrous axe hung from his back, red-brown hair was mess, and his large frame forced him to continually shift his battle built weight. Even from behind, Kiah instantly recognized the man and grinned, mentally patting herself on the back for stumbling upon him so quickly. She hadn’t actively been searching for him but had been planning to go look for him soon. Stumbling upon him was definitely a ray of light on the day.
She continued her trip up the dock, her feet silently falling on the wood. Carefully she loosened the mini-sheath at her wrist and unbuttoned the glove of the opposite arm. She slowed as she came closer to him though, instantly noticing something unusual about the normally glittering paladin. His armor was not heavy metal that gleamed in the sunshine, but leather. This was peculiar… to see the paladin wearing something other than his shining plate mail. This is too easy…
She came up behind him without making a sound, the man completely unaware of her presence. Agile fingers stretched out and carefully undid the strap that held the humongous weapon on his back. She quickly stepped back after undoing the sheath, the axe falling to the ground with a deafening clang. Uther Briarstone spun around quickly, his eyes wide with shock and surprise. He had no chance to react before Kiah set her foot at his abdomen, pushing him backwards. The big man stumbled, arms flailing, back into the water below. He created a huge splash, which Kiah managed to avoid as she moved his axe to the other side of the dock, out of reach.
“KIAH! What the hell?!” Uther sputtered, waving his arms around like a maniac, attempting to keep himself at the surface of the water. Uther had never been a good swimmer and Kiah found it mildly entertaining to watch him flap his arms like a bird, as if he would fly.
“Hello there, Uther. How’s the water? Guess you’re glad you didn’t wear your plate today, huh?” She flashed him a grin as she watched his exhausting struggle to keep himself from drowning; his weight alone was enough to make him sink like a rock.
“Bloody….cough…hell…spit…woman!” He continued to cough and sputter as the water splashed over his face and nose. Something like a giggle escaped Kiah as she kneeled and reached out to him, bracing herself. She was prepared to lose the glove and leave him to drown if he tried to pull her in. Once out of the water he sighed, looking over his sopping wet armor in dismay, “Why the hostility, Love?”
Kiah stepped back from him, the smell of wet leather overwhelming her sense of smell to the point of near nausia. She contained her desire to vomit as she answered, “Well, let’s see… did you or did you not send a letter to one of my Order’s leaders, pushing him invetiably to find out that I killed your Mother? Haven’t you labeled me a murderer and a thief among those that actually matter and occasssionally threatened me while we were running The Disciples?” One hand rested at her hip as she lifted both eyebrows at him in question.
The big man peered at her curiously for a minute and then laughed, nodding in agreement. “Aye, aye… Hah.” His eyes wandered over the dock, searching for his axe. When he spotted it across the dock, he glanced at Kiah, asking silently for permission to retain his weapon. She nodded and watched as he went after it, each step slopping water all over the wood. He reached for the weapon and slung it over his shoulder before he turned to her, his gaze curiously innocent. “So, what is it that ya’ want and can it wait? I’ve gotta change now.”
“I have a couple of questions to ask you… about some things your Mother mentioned to me.” Kiah motioned for him to walk and she fell into step a few feet behind him. “At this point, you’re the only one with the answers. I mean, aside from Luthen … but even if I did know where to find him, I probably wouldn’t bother.”
“But ye’ll bother with me, eh?” He glanced back to her and flashed her a huge grin as they walked into the town. Uther would occasionally glance back at her as they walked, unsure at times if she was still behind him because she was so quiet. “Well, what are yer questions, then?”
Kiah thought a moment as they went towards the barracks, wording her questions carefully … “What were we doing in Southshore, all those years ago with your parents? I remember traveling from there to Stormwind, but I don’t remember why or anything before that. I was pretty young, wasn’t I?”
“Yeh weren’t that young, Kiah. Mebbe just barely a teenager… But, we lived there maybe three or four months at most… durin’ the Third War.”
Kiah knew very little of the Third War… aside from what she had asked Kerix and what she had read in the library at Stormwind. She knew that the world had changed during that time, but as she learned these things she wondered how she could not remember the troublesome time. “Okay, so… where were we before Southshore? Were we in Stormwind and just… took a trip?”
Uther stopped and glanced back at her, frowning slightly in her direction. Kiah frowned back as she stopped several feet away from him. “Come on, U, it’s not like your family is going to whip you for telling me… nobody is alive and I need to know.”
He shook his head and sighed, shifting the weight of the axe to his other shoulder, “It’s not that, Kiah. I have told you all of this before, several years ago. At that time, you knew you weren’t from Stormwind, but you couldn’t remember much before our trip to Southshore. You knew why we left, and like I said, you knew you weren’t from Stormwind, but couldn’t quite remember where exactly it was that we came from-”
Kiah cut him off quickly, which was unusual for her, but she felt it necessary. “I looked in the records at Stormwind’s library… They don’t add up and I don’t remember anything. Well, I do remember things... but all of my memories I have are of things in Stormwind, from after we came back … and the few things I remember from when I’m very young, I remember being in Stormwind… but it doesn’t add up. The records of my family don’t correlate with well known world history… the house my parents supposedly owned doesn’t even exist, and there is absolutely nothing about my brother except for his name and that he was adopted… and even that’s all scratched out and hard to read.”
Uther laughed and continued to walk, “Of course the records are wrong. We wrote ‘em. You had asked me, one day while we were wanderin’ town where we were before Southshore. I told you where we had lived before that and you flipped out on meh. It was as if you had remembered some very bad things about the place, things you didn’t remember for a reason and things you probably don’t remember now. You said that you weren’t from Lordaeron, and you wouldn’t be responsible for it.”
Kiah suddenly stopped, stunned, her mouth dropping slightly at his words. Lordaaeron. Uther was several yards ahead of her before he even realized she wasn’t following him anymore, and he was forced to backtrack. “Lordaeron?”
“Aye. Caer Darrow, to be exact. I mean, I vaguely remember the trip we took with your family from the Capital City … but Caer Darrow was home.” There was a fondness in Uther’s voice as he remembered what was once his home.
Kiah stared at him, her shock written on her face. “Caer Darrow…?”
Another laugh escaped the burly paladin and he nodded, “You know, Kiah… if I had actually wanted your Order to kill you, I would have given them your name. I know you wouldn’t lie about it if asked and the evidence was more than incriminating.”
Kiah blinked, surprised by this random bit of information. She turned it in her head a moment and pushed it aside, she’d get back to it later. She had thousands of questions popping up, currently, about Caer Darrow. Why can’t I remember living there? Why are my memories of my parents imbedded in Stormwind, in a house that doesn’t exist during a time that isn’t real? I hate Stormwind! Why would I want to deny what is truly apart of me?
“Kiah… how could you make yourself believe something so far from truth, but so convincing in your mind?”
Kiah snapped out of her thought provoked daze and looked over to him, shrugging… “It becomes a natural occurance when you spend your entire life forcing yourself to believe that things aren’t as bad as they actually are. For my entire life I was in a state of delusional denial about what was going on… and I got quite good at telling myself certain things had happened and learned how to effectively make my mind believe it.”
“Hm… well, I guess that proves that the heart always wins over the mind then. Interesting how you joined an order, geared towards the restoration of Lordaeron…” Uther smirked and glanced up at the sky, the sun was now over the houses, the day was starting to really begin. “Only proves that home is really where the heart is…”
Uther glanced back towards where Kiah had been standing, but she was gone.