The others are all more articulate than I am, but they deserve to know the truth about me, so I will try to organize my thoughts. I've hired a goblin scribe to take down my story and paid her well to make sure it is fit for the others to read.

My former life is very distant, something that happened to someone else. I know I was happy in it, I had a husband who was both gentle and considerate, a home to keep, the anticipation of a family some day in the near future. Even after marriage, I still went and visited the local guard and absorbed what training I could. Times were uncertain, I reasoned, and it was always possible that I'd need to defend myself against some bandit or beast. Better that I should learn to take care of myself, if I could. My days were full and I was content.

We had heard rumors of the Plague, of course. The tale of the poisoned grain circulated and we took steps to protect ourselves. We ate nothing we had not raised and harvested ourselves, even to the point of avoiding game and fish, since we had no way of knowing if it was safe. As the armies moved, we built barricades and turned travelers away, because we could not be certain they were not carrying the Plague to us. It was not admirable, perhaps, to turn away refugees fleeing the terror behind them-- lone craftsmen, families with children and oldsters, women who had lost everything but their lives-- but what else dared we do? The Plague left horrors in its wake and we wanted to live.

But the Plague came anyway, carried to us on the air itself. By the time we realized we were infected, it was too late to save anyone, even the children. We sickened and died, knowing what our fate would be. During those last days, I believe I cursed every god and power I could think of, benevolent or otherwise, and some whose names I did not know, for allowing this to happen to us. Nothing helped and, in the end, even the oblivion of death was denied to me.

A long period of confusion followed my death. I have been told that our souls were elsewhere during most of the intervening time, possibly for several years. When I began to be aware of myself again, it was difficult to tell if I was still caught in the fever-dreams of the Plague or if what was happening to me was real. Throughout that time my thoughts and actions were held in a crushing grip, with only my emotions left free. I do not know how it was with the others, but I believe the one or ones controlling me enjoyed my helplessness and horror, my despair and growing rage.

I clung to that rage in my few clear-headed moments. I hated my controllers and I fed that hatred until it grew strong enough to break the bonds holding me. My freedom never lasted long, they were quick to put down true rebellion among their victims, but even so I knew, however dimly, that I could do it and I continued to try.

I have no real understanding of how long this state continued, as I do not know how long it was before my soul returned to my dead body, nor how many times I nearly broke free and was crushed back into mindlessness. Sometimes, it seemed as though it had always been that way and always would be. Other times, I could measure the growth of my will and knew that a time would come when I was stronger than they were.

At last, they weakened. They no longer seemed to realize that I was not completely cowed, or maybe they no longer cared. I spent more time as "myself" than as one of the Mindless, although I had learned to be circumspect in my rebellion. I did not know, at the time, of the events that weakened the Lich King, nor that some of the Mindless had regained their free will and broken away. All I knew was that I was slowly moving towards freedom, though I pretended to still be enslaved, careful to obey orders and to let them see no more of my thoughts than they had before.

And then, the attack came. Undead fought Undead that day and I, weakened by long captivity, was the one that fell. I hoped that this time, finally, it would be over.

But it was far from over. I woke alone, underground, completely in control of my mind and body as I had not been since my death. There, on the cold stone floor of the mausoleum that is the birthplace of my kind, I took stock of what I had become. My limbs were twisted and shrunken, the flesh corrupted and drawing away from the bone in places. No blood flowed in my veins, my heart no longer beat, and my lungs no longer drew breath, except to speak. My body was dead, long dead, but my soul was bound into it and I sensed that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to sever that bond. Since death appeared to be out of reach for the moment, I resolved to live as best I could. It would be a long time, however, before I dared face myself in the mirror.

I staggered up from the ground into the weak sunlight and the company of others like myself. Those I found there made me welcome, they heard my story and one of them offered me a pot-metal sword and a cracked shield. "You have been forsaken by the world of the living, but we will not betray you. Go and fight," they told me, "the Mindless are here and it is time for you to raise your hand against them. Prove yourself to us and you will be rewarded."

Having nothing else in mind for myself, I did as they bade me. I went out from the safety of the walls and struck down those I had lately stood beside, struck them down in a frenzy of rage and loathing. I was not alone, for all around me the recently awakened were exerting their new-found powers with the same intensity. As fast as we could kill them, the deadcarts came and hauled the bodies away to the mausoleum, where they would lie until they either regained their will and became one of us, or were fed to the fires to prevent them from returning to the Scourge.

I returned from the kill, exulting in my new strength, and the rulers of that place gave me a better sword, some armor, a stronger shield, and sent me out again, this time against the living humans that remained nearby. I was confused by this, we had once been the same kind and surely we should not harm those who would be our saviors. I would need to see these humans and judge for myself.

The first woman I approached would have been at home in my village with her bright hair and cheerful face. I hesitated a moment, knowing how I must appear to the still-living but still needing to know the truth, and then stepped out of hiding and spoke to her, holding out my empty hands to demonstrate my peaceful intent. Her face contorted with anger and she flung herself at me, blade drawn, speaking harsh words in a language that I did not know. She did not hesitate to strike me, even though my sword had not been drawn, and my training took over before I had time to register more than shock. In the end, she lay dead at my feet, her blood invisible against the scarlet of her garments.

Thus was I introduced to those that call themselves the Scarlet Crusade and, meeting them, I realized there was no salvation to be had, neither for me nor for my kind, as I has begun to think of the others who had escaped from the Scourge. I no longer shared even a language with living humans and each one I approached attacked me as soon as they saw me. I struck back with a good will after that and the humans fell under my blade as easily as the Mindless had.

When I had proven myself and my Will to be strong enough to resist the Scourge, my superiors sent me out from the place called Deathknell and bade me make my way to Brill. I claimed the title Forsaken for my own and went out to see what remained of my world.

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