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Family


"You fought valiantly today, Baroness."

Highlord Darion Mograine of the Ebon Blade said by way of greeting, approaching the warrior who was tending to one of the wounded Guardsmen. Her blond hair was tied back in a tight tail that cascaded down her plate armour, and her face was a mask of concentration. It broke for a second for the Baroness to look up at him with a nod of appreciation before resuming to her task.

The House of the Chosen's guardsmen was badly wounded, and the Baroness was muttering some incantation - weaving a necromatic spell over the creature's limb to bind it closed. "Do not strain yourself further. Rest for now. Return to your duties tomorrow, and I'll see to watch in your stead tonight."

"Thank you, Baroness." The creature rumbled deeply, unsteadily climbing to its feet and slowly but surely hobbling down up the nearby flight of stairs to the upper chambers. The half of its weapon, a war axe, clanking in time with each step as a makeshift walking staff.

"Apologies. There are very few menders to spare at this time. With our Margrave's death, it'll take some years before Maldraxxus returns to its former strength, and we must all pull our weight where we can." The Baroness explained as she too hoisted herself to her feet, though only to move a few paces over to the stairs to sit more comfortable.

Highlord Mograine raised his hand, "You need not explain to me, My Lady. I have seen the Maw's hellish tempest first hand. I know the perils and trials your realms face at the moment."

Darion crossed his arms over his torso, sinking his weight on one leg. It was both comforting and yet frustrating that he felt so at ease here. In the presence of a place that reminded him so much of the damnation he had condemned himself to. He had also found it thoroughly disconcerting that this woman, this Baroness whom he had never seen before until today, seemed to exude an aura. Not of power, but of… compassion? Safety? Security? All of them were odd things in this realm of domination and power struggle.

Or was it something more simple than that? Was it just that this was the House his father had swore allegiance? And that perhaps some ancient, long dead boyhood notion told him he would never come to harm while under his father's roof and protection.

"May I speak with you for a moment?"

"Of course. Though depending on how long those words will be, you make find yourself acting as a spare guard as well." The Baroness encouraged with an odd sort of cheer, the kind of which made Darion believe she was perhaps a bit touched.

"You have a curiously soft heart for a place such as this." The Highlord made a point of peering around the scourge-like architecture of the building they were in, out the front gate were more plagued landscape stretched on for as far as the eye could see. "One would expect warriors who were sent to these realms would be battle-hardened, war weathered or the like. Yet, you strike me as a contradiction on that point."

The Baroness smiled gently for a moment. "You are very kind to think otherwise. But I disagree that my presence here is a contradiction. While Maldraxxus is the military arm - the defenders - of the Shadowlands before all of this ugliness occurred, it was not just a place of war. It was a place of strength - of power. And warriors of every measure can spend their lives in it pursuit, whether their intentions be good or ill."

She merely shrugged, bringing up her leg and hooking her fingers around her armour shin loosely. "My disposition may be more pleasant than most, but I enjoy it here. Its exhilarating."

Darion cocked an eyebrow behind his helm, his tone thick with wry amusement. "I can't say I've ever been accused of kindness before. Clearly we've not spent enough time working together, my Lady. I've been told numerous times that I am a quote 'spiteful little bastard' unquote."

The Baroness allowed her lip to curl up into a slanted smirk, with a spirited little chuckle. The expression was oddly familiar, and Darion felt both comforted and irked by that familiarity. "Perhaps. But its been my estimation that the spiteful ones are oft the most entertaining. Don't you agree?"

Darion's armour plates clinked against each other as he gave a casual shrug. "Depends who you ask, I suppose. But its entertaining enough to me. I can't tell you that amount of times I've been glad for my helm whenever I've spoken with any of the other leaders."

The Baroness chortled. "Of course. I don't have that luxury anymore I'm afraid. People discovered I was purposely trying to provoke them into arguments for my own amusement."

"Tends to happen when you're stupid enough to get caught, yes."

"Yes, lesson learned unfortunately." The Baroness leaned back on the steps, looking up at the Highlord. Her jovial demeanour melted away, but she still remained in relatively good spirits. "If we might put this conversation back on track: The ability to show kindness and compassion unopposed is earned through strength, honour and power. I can afford these things because I have the power to deal with the consequences should the situation turn foul."

"While an open hand is extended in friendship, the other is clutching a blade. Does that about sum it up?" Darion offered.

The Baroness nodded in the affirmative. "When wielded by the right hand, compassion and empathy can be deadlier weapons than any blade. And in this realm, Blood pacts and life debts are taken extremely seriously."

"'Strange to hear those words from a warrior of the dead." Darion mused, peering down at the blonde Baroness. Despite his initial reservations, he decided that he rather enjoyed her company.

"Even in death, the niceties must be observed. And I'll cast myself into the churning Maw before I allow the House of the Chosen to lose what little sense of good manners remains them." The Baroness declared with a semi-serious tone, and Darion made a small low chuckle in the back of his throat.

"Yet, not a moment ago, you were the one who complained about being unable to make cutting remarks to your comrades."

They shared a small amused laugh at the quip before the Baroness trailed off, her eyes drilling holes into the floor before her.

"Speaking of that abyssal place…" The Baroness rose to her feet, whatever good cheer she had faded from her face. Replaced by one of melancholy. "I want to thank you. You and the Maw Walker both, for rescuing our missing Baron. When we heard he was lost to that damnation, it broke my heart."

Darion blinked. His father and this Baroness were close it seemed. Of course, that came as no surprise. Spending much time fighting along side each other would forge a strong bond, that rule applies to those in the living world and the dead. "You two are close then?"

The Baroness began shifting and adjusting her plate vambraces. "We were in our first lives, and we still are. He's–"

"Darion." A voice called from behind, a greeting accompanied by heavy-set armour clunking against the stone floor. The Baroness wore nothing short of complete delight on her face.

"Father."

"Husband."

"Wait–!" Darion's eyes widened behind his helm. Wait, wait wait - just a damn minute. He turned his head back, yanked off his helm and stared at the woman with uncovered eyes. After an eternity, he came to the cold realisation and only one word came unbidden to his lips when the Highlord looked upon the astonished face of Elena Mograine.

"… mother?"


Author's note:

My boy is getting some loving in the Shadowlands Expansion. Certainly reinvigorated my love for my Death Knight character, that's for sure. I'm working on bouncing her back to 'main' status for me. And for now, we have a little drabble for the Shadowlands.

So, a bit of headcanon-ing here. Elena Mograine was a member of the Silver Hand herself. A warrior proficient in polearms. While she follows the 'Might makes Right' philosophy of Maldraxxus, her compassion is shown through because of her physical strength in combat.

If people want, we can maybe arrange for a second part to show Elena and Darion meeting each other properly and talking with Alexandros as a mediator. Or we can leave it as is. The choice is yours. :)

I welcome feedback and criticism,

Aurora313