Vyrith is clearly a Forsaken. She holds her rotting body with a strange aloofness that only increases as she proves herself both in the battlefield and in the alchemist's laboratory. Her decaying body is covered in runes of protection that are burned into her skin, and they glow a bloody red whenever she weaves the fabric of reality through her magic. Her eyesockets are wrapped with the remains of a leather belt, but even this is not enought to stop the slow trickle of a clear, viscous fluid that constantly seeps from beneath the strap. Also, her face is covered by angry looking welts that look like they were caused by long fingernails and that never healed in Vyrith's metamorphosis.
Vyrith is somewhat aloof, and holds herself in a similar manner. She enjoys speaking eloquently, as she feels it conveys her status as well as her mentally intensive upbringing. This is tempered with her nasty habit of switching between talking in the first person plural and singular. A sad testimony that all is not well in her mind. Nevertheless, she is a consistent friend, or at least loose aquaintance, to those that know her, and while she is not the life of any party, she is not a drag to be around either.
Vyrith sees life, or unlife, in her case, as an opportunity to explore all of the world's little quirks. However, it takes a dedicated mind to be able to delve deeply to find and understand the more sublte of these quirks. She had spent her living years enjoying her family and friends, as well as delving into her arcane study, but after that was all ripped from her, she grasped onto the only thing she had left, magic. Delving so deeply as to reach the Otherworld, as well as bring a bit back with her, she proved to herself that there is plenty that is possible but only with the right dedication. Now that she has been given another chance, she wastes no time studying the subtle arcane energies that are coursing through everything and finding the best way to bend those energies to her will.
Vyrith has very few connections to the rest of the Horde. As a part of the Night Vanguard, she has come to reguard them as her family, or at least the nearest thing to such a thing. However, they treat her well, and she does her best to do the same to them.
Two weeks ago…
Elise Whitmore started her day in Dalaran like any other; she cried. She cried for her late husband, whom the Scourge had taken, the father of her twin little boys and her teenaged daughter who was following in mum’s footsteps in both appearance and in magical aptitude. She cried for those same children, for all of the firsts that would never happen; the first time the twins rode a horse alone and watching them grow up trying to be both just like each other while still retaining their individuality, her daughter’s first donning of the Dalaran robes and watching her grow up and start a family of her own. As she buried her face into her hay-stuffed pillow, images of her family’s violent deaths flashed in front of her eyes, no less real than when she watched them die in person two years ago.
Flashback - two years before that…
Elise was grabbing things that she thought they would need after they left Pyrewood; warm clothes, some food, the kids’ toys. When she looked up to see the wave of undeath running and leaping crawling down the hills towards them, she knew it was already too late. She screamed in tongues, not even sure what she meant to say, but just trying to get her family’s attention. They looked up at her and followed her gaze out the window, and then they too saw what fate had in store for them. As one, they all took to the back door, immediately dropping what, up to that point, had been a necessity they could not leave home without. Elise lead the way with her husband, Eldritch, hurrying the children, Johanna, Ulrich, and Oktav, close behind her.
They reached the small alleyway between their and their neighbor’s house and saw the chaos that had already erupted on the streets. People were running each other down and trampling the less mobile underfoot as they ran from Death. One could hear the cries of the younger children that had been separated from their parents, or purposefully left behind, and even though the Scourge would not be to the front gates for another minute or two, the dark miasma that heralded their approach could already be felt in the town, crushing the townsfolk’s spirits well before a well placed claw could do the same to their body. The Whitmore’s got swept up in the surge of people trying to file out of the city to the openness of the fields, where, at the very least, they would not feel like they were penned cattle awaiting the slaughter. They held on tightly to each other, so as not to get separated, and soon they found themselves outside the back city gates. At the same time, they could hear the front gate moan as the pressure from the first wave of undead pounded against it.
The people ran to the four winds once in the relative expanse of the fields, but it was just a delay of the inevitable. The undead were quickly circling the town, and the quicker ones were already near the back gate and had spotted the folk that were trying to make a break for it. Elise watched in horror as a few of the ghouls stopped and let out a half roar, half howl that was quickly responded to by a clattering sound from below the ground, which Elise thought sounded vaguely like insects do when you get your ear right up to one. Elise was mostly right, just her scaling was off; soon the ground underneath shook as giant insects, which looked almost like armoured ants in a way, emerged. Some spit a sticky substance on some of the people that were trying to run as others just tore apart the humans closest to them in their mandibles.
Eldritch yelled for the family to watch above as giant humanoid bats swooped from over the town to deliver Death to those still breathing, but it was too late. One of these hideous creatures dived towards Ulrich, and before anyone could react, had lifted him up off the ground. Another one of these monsters started to chase the one with Ulrich, and was pulling at the child’s limbs, trying to get him for itself. Although it should have been impossible, Elise swore she could hear her son’s screams, and then its abrupt stop, over the pandemonium that was happening around her. Johanna, having witnessed true, unadulterated fear, terror, and now hate, for the first time in her life, stopped running away and turned to face the wall of skeletons and ghouls making their way towards the crowd. Although she was still a young apprentice, she had learned a few small pyromantic charms, although their main use was for staring the fire for cooking. The first skeleton that was close enough, she tried to let feel her fury. Sadly, bone does not burn very well, and all that happened was the few tatters of cloth that stubbornly clung to the things thighs and torso were set on fire, which quickly burnt itself out due to the amount of damp dirt that still hung on the rags. She only had time to change her expression from anger to absolute fear before the sword it held in one bleached, boney hand took what had been a promising life. The ghouls that had been following close pounced on the fresh kill and gorged themselves on the still warm flesh. Oktav, now a single child, watched in horror as his older sister was eaten, and so he was a lucky one that never saw the blood-drenched claw of sharpened bone that ended his own short life.
Elise and Eldritch were helpless, and had to be merely passive observers to their own children’s murders but a few yards away. This assault on their psyches killed what was left of their flight response, and instead turned them into vengeance seeking avatars of destruction. Elise called upon the forces of fire and ice that she held sway over and blasted the fragile animated bones and dead flesh apart and her husband did the same with his bare hands. But fury can only take one so far. Soon, the heavier troops came, towering mountains of flesh and bone, consisting of way too many limbs to be from the same person and which could only be described as an abomination against all living things, waded through what was left of the inhabitants of Pyrewood, cleaving flesh and bone with their giant hooked chains. Eldritch and Elise stared at these behemoths of undeath, and then realized that their time of playing hero was over. They quickly turned on their heels and ran towards the water, where they knew of a small alcove they frequented during their courting years.
It was not much, and would mean they would be trapped, but it would be something. They ran, they climbed over the fallen bodies of what used to be their neighbors, local gossips, friends, and coworkers. They slid under low branches of the evergreens, anything to try to get away as quickly as possible. After what felt like an eternity of running through what had been a familiar forest at one point in their lives, they reached the beach. It seemed barren, which was as good as a feeling as they could expect now anyway. Elise held Eldritch’s hand as they made their way to what had been their love den in ages past. What had appeared as a smile full of the glimmer of hope vanished as quickly as it had appeared when they saw the great undead dragons lazily flying over the beach. They tried to dive out of sight, but judging by the high pitched screech that came from what was left of the closest ones mouth, they assumed the worst and kept running.
The rays from what, ironically, if you think about it, had been a warm sun on a beautiful day were eclipsed by the huge body of the wurm as it flew after them, all the while calling on allies neither Elise nor Eldritch could see yet. It started to fly lower as it caught up, which was easy enough to do as the Whitmore’s progress was being hampered once again by the forest and uneven terrain. When it was near enough, the dragon started spitting its freezing breath at them. It took out entire trees at a time; they instantly froze solid, then cracked and shattered under their own weight. All that Elise felt was her husband’s hand push against her back quickly and strongly. As she fell forward, she turned to watch as her husband, who was looking up at the dragon over a shoulder, was engulfed in white-bluish solidified air. She could not help but gaze at her now late husband and his features turned a sickly white and as he fell forward, his frozen outstretched arm snapping off at the shoulder as he hits the ground.
Quickly, Elise crawled underneath the exposed roots of a nearby tree in an attempt to hide from her husband’s fate. She listened in silence as she heard the wurm above cry out in victory, if they are even capable of such a feeling. After another eternity, she thinks she hears the dragon’s wing beat get further away. She settled into her temporary sanctuary and tried to think of a way to get out of this living nightmare.
After covering herself in the damp earth from her haven in an attempt to cover her scent just in case, Elise took her ritual dagger from boot and started to carve elaborate runes and sigils into the underside of the tree, it roots, and in the ground around her. Making sure that everything was correctly placed, in matters of these even mere fractions of an inch can mean success or failure of the spell work, Elise wasted away the long hours. She was grateful for the work, as it helped keep her mind off the misery that had wormed into her life. She was finally done after working well past sundown. She put her boline back into the side of her boot, sat down in the centre of her warded refuge, closed her eyes, and started to concentrate on the safety of walls, in particular, the walls of Dalaran. As her mind focused, the runes and sigils around her started to glow a faint blue, and as her mind connected to pool of magic she was conjuring, the glow increased from a dull afterglow to a dazzling luminosity. If she were to open her eyes, Elise would see that it was as bright as noonday in her abode. To any observers, which consisted of a hand full of insects bothered by the light, Elise’s form started to shimmer as patches of her being faded in and out of existence, and soon she disappeared entirely, leaving only the slowly fading marks of arcane, and a few insects that were just glad the sun went back down.
To this day, Elise has no recollection of the rest of that day. The Dalaran mages that picked her dirty, unconscious body from off the main hall’s floor only know that in a flash of a deep blue light, she suddenly appeared in the middle of the room, dazedly looked around the room at them, sighed, and then fell over. It was days later before she woke up and started her routine of crying every morning. She could only talk about Pyrewood’s fate in the most general terms, and only to a select few people, like those she had trained with earlier in life. After people were sure they could get no more from her, they stopped asking about the day Elise Whitmore became a childless widow. People with hearts bigger than their minds tried to include Elise in their activities to help her get her mind off her loss, but this only brought back happier memories, and usually led to Elise breaking down and crying in the corner. Soon, even they stopped attempting to bring her around, and Elise was left to her own devices.
Elise delved into learning more about her powers. In an attempt to make sure she would be better prepared the next time she faced the Horde, which she was sure would happen in her lifetime, she focused on temporal and spatial magic. She learned how to teleport herself and then others first just a few feet without the use of complicated runes and sigils. After perfecting her technique, she could blip around the entire complex in moments with nothing more than a thought. And even though she was ultimately alone, Elise was finally getting her confidence back.
As her powers grew, and she learned what else she could be capable of, Elise started to think about trying to use some darker magics to contact her family on the other side. It was a gruesome thought, but she was thankful that her children and husband were torn apart and eaten and completely destroyed. At least that way she was sure they did not rise again, bound to some darker will, and were not now out destroying other people’s lives. And this way, she knew that they would all be on the other side, and she was sure they would be ecstatic at being able to be in contact once again. Getting a bit out her specialty, she got a hold of some of the Warlocks stationed in Dalaran. She finally talked one of them into giving her a small relic that would temporarily part the veil between our world and the other. He was a smaller, stout man named Galron that looked very worse for wear considering he was younger than Elise, but she figured that was what happened when one worked with demonic forces day in and day out. That was three weeks ago, and since then, Elise has been scanning the maps, searching for the right leyline for channeling the darker energies in the relic. She finally found what she was searching for after nearly sixty hours of intense research. It seemed that there was an area where the two worlds were very close, and it would be immensely easier there to part the veil. It was located on the southeast end of Fenris Isle, and with the fabric of reality being thin, Elise figured she would be able to keep the connection that much longer, and that was worth any risk that the place would pose.
Elise spent the next few days getting herself prepared. She drew protective symbols on her body with dark ink that would stay intact for the next few weeks. From her head to her toes, she painted herself; each stroke bringer her that much closer to being able to speak with her family once again, and each stroke reassuring her mind that it all would go according to plan. She practiced her rote in her mind as she painted herself, and after the runes she placed on herself were complete, she felt that she was ready in all possible ways to part the veil.
Two weeks ago…
Elise Whitmore started her day in Dalaran like any other; she cried. She cried for her late husband, whom the Scourge had taken, the father of her twin little boys and her teenaged daughter who was following in mum’s footsteps in both appearance and in magical aptitude. She cried for those same children, for all of the firsts that would never happen; the first time the twins rode a horse alone and watching them grow up trying to be both just like each other while still retaining their individuality, her daughter’s first donning of the Dalaran robes and watching her grow up and start a family of her own. As she buried her face into her hay-stuffed pillow, images of her family’s violent deaths flashed in front of her eyes, no less real than when she watched them die in person two years ago. Only this time, she knew that by the end of the day, she would be seeing them again, and with that pleasant thought, Elise raised her head from her pillow for the last time, slipped on her Dalaran robes, picked up the small relic from Galron, and made her way towards her destiny.
During the long walk to the lake, Elise had more than enough time to go over what she would say to her family. She would tell them how much she missed them, and about how she was a stronger person now. She would let them know that they are always on her mind and she would ask them how the other side is. By the time she even got to the water’s edge, she was glowing so much that it was if she had already contacted them. She found a small boat near the decrepit dock, and made her way towards the small, southeastern isle near Fenris.
Having reached the tiny dot of land with no problem, Elise tethered her boat to one of the trees and made her way toward the centre of the island. As she placed the relic in the middle of the clearing she could feel the winds whip around her furiously, even though it was calm out on the lake, not even four yards away. It was this way that she knew she was in the right place. She could smell the magic that infested the place, and this only spurred her on faster. Elise quickly, but precisely, used her old ritual dagger to carve a circle of power in the ground around the artifact. She meticulously cleared the area of fallen branches and pinecones. When all was right in her mind, she settled herself down in front of the small statue of a gruesome imp with its mouth hanging open. The imp appeared to be looking up into the sky above Elise as she sat cross-legged before it.
As she concentrated on seeing her family, a dark mist flowed lazily out of the relic imp’s mouth, onto the ground, and swirled around Elise. Shortly, it encased her in a dark pillar of smoke, ash, and soot that smelled fiercely of sulfur. Elise, luckily, was too engrossed in concentrating, and hardly even noticed the smell around her. The sigils that Elise drew on herself began to pulse with a bloody red color that grew in intensity with every second. After a few minutes, the runes she drew on herself flashed with a deep red light and the pillar of dark smoke that swirled around Elise shot directly above her head, stopping about a yard above her head, where it flattened out into a thin disk of condensed gas. Elise finally opened her eyes and tilted her head skyward. She watched as the disk of smoke solidified until it seemed to be made up of a perfectly smooth and black sheet of glass. Elise believed she could start to hear her daughter’s voice, and soon, Johanna’s young face appeared in the circle above Elise, as if she was just on the other side of a window.
Something was wrong though, although it was Johanna’s face, there was something wrong with her eyes. They seemed to be filled with terror at the sight of her own mother. Elise could only understand the beginning of her daughter’s question, something about if she knew what she was doing, before it became clear enough that Elise was over her head. The background of the glass to the other world began to clear, and Elise could see her husband and two boys running towards Johanna with the same terrified look on their faces. Behind them, scores of hundreds of other long dead souls ran towards the portal where Johanna stood. Elise could hear some of the louder voices already. They were demanding her to find their lost heirlooms, if she had seen their young children or grandchildren and if she could relay a message to them. They knocked each other over and fought to try to get closer to the portal as they neared it. Johanna gave one longing look to her mother before she had to step out of the way from the wall of spirits as it rushed to the only opening to the living world many of them had ever seen.
Elise was frozen as she watched the figments of people long dead press up against the other side of the dark glass gateway. Her sigils on her body started to glow even brighter due to all the dark energy at work, and the sheer power generated from so many souls in one place. As the spirits started to realize that she wasn’t taking down their requests, and seemed to more afraid than willing to help, they got restless and started hitting at the glass trying to get through to her to make sure she understood how important each of their requests was.
The disk bubbled out towards Elise’s face from all of the willpower pushing against it from the other side, and soon, it started to crack. Elise watched as she tried to sever the tie to the other world, but it was no longer just her willpower that was keeping the gate open. Now, hundreds of remnant spirits all focusing on finally being free was all that was needed to keep this link real, and Elise had not the willpower or knowledge to get them to do otherwise. As the disk shattered the spirits came flying out directly at Elise at the only place that was not protected with runes, her eyes. One by one, they condensed their being into a small shaft of energy and attempted to possess Elise by entering her body through one of her eyes. Luckily for Elise, as each spirit tried to force its way into her mind, it jettisoned the last one back out. As this was happening, Elise clawed at her face and eyes, trying to stop them, but to no avail, and all that she accomplished was creating large, angry looking welts all over her nose, forehead, and cheeks.
From all of the energy funneling through only her eye sockets, Elise could feel the heat building in and behind her eyes. She screamed out in pain so loudly as her eyes finally reached their physical limit, and burst from the heat that was trapped inside, it could be heard in the Sepulcher. At least with this, she was given peace. The spirits seemed disinterested in possessing a broken, dying husk of a person, and so they meandered away. Most of them being sucked back into the void, but those that did find a rat or owl to inhabit did so, and fled as quickly as they could, back out into the world they had missed so dearly.
As Elise lay on the cold ground, she could feel the benign presence of her family around her. They, too, had escaped, and now they hung around Elise, trying to bring her comfort in her last moments. Acting more on instinct, Elise opened her mind to them, and allowed them to take residence among her consciousness. She told them how much she missed them, and by the time they all told her how much they missed her as well, she had fallen into a cold, dark sleep.
Roughly 36 hours ago…
The body, which was once Elise, woke up groggily in a damp, dark cellar. She stood up with difficulty, long unused bones and joints objecting as they are made to perform yet again. After slowly stretching to the sounds of creaking joints and straining tendons, Elise walked slowly around the bodies of other unfortunates. She could feel a slightly viscous fluid running down her cheeks, and when she traced her fingers up the small stream on her face, she could feel that the liquid originated from her eyes, well, more specifically, where her eyes used to be. Yet, as she looked around, she could still see, it was just that everything seemed to glow with its own internal energy, and those things with more energy glowed brighter.
The mostly lifeless bodies that she was standing in were just barely perceptible as very subdued dark blues and purples. The rats that ran around, and were obviously well fed, glowed brightly as little spots of yellow and green. Even the walls hummed with their own kind of energy, and being in a tomb meant that the energy was dark, yet powerful, and so the brick around her ‘glowed’ with an intensely dark light. She whom was once Elise found it hard to describe what it looked like, and relating it to visible light hardly did it justice.
Observing everything as if for the first time, the corpse of Elise made her way towards the light at the top of the stairs. She stopped every now and then to watch as little bugs lit up with their own living energy. She also stopped to grab the remains of a belt off one of the corpses that she had been sharing a room with, and tied it around her head in an attempt to keep her eyes sockets from leaking as much. When she reached the entrance, she saw her first mobile human in a while. He asked her name, and, only now realizing she hadn’t been breathing the entire time since she had awoken, she opened her mouth for the first time, and the hiss of trapped air escaped from her lungs, “iiirrriiittthhhh.” The man looked at her quizzically and nodded for her to travel down the road to the small town at the bottom of the hill as he said, “Vyrith it is then, welcome back.”
Vyrith didn’t really understand what he meant, until she realized that everyone she saw around her, no matter how healthy they were, they still glowed with a darker hue than the wildlife around them. It was then Vyrith realized that she was no longer among the living, and even this kind of revelation didn’t elicit that much of a reaction from Vyrith, because, now, she could see the energies of the world that swirl around her and that inhabits all things, both living, no longer living, and never was living. She watched with glee as she found she still held onto some of her old talents, and stared dumbstruck as the sigils that had burned themselves into her flesh eons ago ignited in a dark blood red color as she tossed a fireball at rat scurrying among the tombstones. Vyrith gazed at the afterglow as the concentrated magic arced its way across her field of vision, leaving the faintest trace of residual magic in the air. She marveled at how the energies that ran through the rat stopped and then changed to darker hues as the thing’s life expired.
As she made her way to town to see what other marvels this second life could give her, she, faintly at first, her the calling of her daughter from within her mind. Vyrith stopped along the side of the road and tilted her head, as if straining to hear a sound from far away. She called back to her daughter in her mind, and was both excited and startled when she got a response back. “I am so glad you are ok mum!” said the voice in her head, and Vyrith said that of course she is, never better. Her daughter’s disembodied voice explained to her that, when she was temporarily deceased in the most final sense of the word, the rest of the family had been torn back to the other world. Now, it seemed, because of what had happened and the fact that Elise had straddled the veil herself for the last week and a half, inside of Vyrith’s mind there was the tiniest little opening to the other side, just enough for her family to get through to her every now and then, and with that, Johanna left her mother to her own thoughts and devices, and ran to find her father and brothers to let them know the good news.
Vyrith smiled as she walked towards Deathknell, and by the time she was actually to the gates, she was cackling as if she had completely lost her mind, which, depending on who one asks, she very well might have. She stood at the entrance and watched as beings of all kinds of colors and intensities raced around in front of her; talking to each other, selling the wares of those that don’t wake up, and killing those that were but mindless zombies. The world was her bright, glowing pearl, Vyrith thought to herself, and with that, she walked headstrong into town as she shined with an intense fiery red and blue that only she could see…