Warcraft (c) Activision Blizzard

Into The Maw

"Does it hurt, Little Ashbringer?" Sylvanas Windrunner's mocking coo was almost unwelcome in this torment.

Highlord Darion Mograine did not respond to this taunt, save for a glare. His marble cold flesh scattered by bruises and cuts from the Mawsworn Interrogator's tender mercies.

When the Deathlord escaped the Maw, Mograine and the Knights of the Ebon Blade remained behind. And while their efforts were valiant, it wasn't long before the Mawsworn found them and bound them all in chains. His knights fought bravely, but the math simply wasn't in their favour. They were too depleted.

Darion himself was trapped inside this cage, marked by runes that sealed away even his immense power. Inside the cage, he was forced to his knees, chains looped around him like coiling serpents.

"You spent countless hours scouring ruins in Draenor, in Azeroth. Texts from shamanism to necromancy. All for the means to save Bolvar from his fate as Jailer of the Damned. Yet I accomplished that goal and more in one battle. I imagine its quite the sting to your pride."

I never thought I'd long to be tormented insilence . If only to spare me the Banshee's infantile taunts.

Mograine leaned forward as far as the chains would allow, glare firmly set. "And in doing so, you unleashed tides upon tides of feral scourge across the face of Azeroth. And before that, how many more people died when the war ravaged the world? A pointless war you started."

Sylvanas waved her hand. Ephemeral purple power flickered to life and died in an instance in her hand. With it, the chains binding Darion Mograine. The Highlord grunted and groaned, hoisting himself to his feet unsteadily as Sylvanas moved closer to his cage. Still well outside of his reach.

To the Death Knight's amazement, he saw something like sympathy on her face. "I would have thought you of all people would have understood the cruelty of fate. The inability to control what we can and cannot do with our lives. Were you not the First of Arthas' Death Knights when he assumed the mantle of Lich King, little Ashbringer? Forced to do the bidding of one Lich King or another?"

"Are you so deluded?" Mograine spat back venomously. "Are you really attempting to justify the atrocities you've committed, the murdering of innocents, on something as nebulous as 'fate'? Do not forget that it was by your order that Teldrassil burned. Or was your plan to excuse that as it was simply their 'fate' to burn to death?"

"So quick with the wicked barbs and witty retorts. Do you even want to know why I did all of this? Why I wanted to fight so viciously against this cruel system that would have us all suffer endlessly?" Sylvanas questioned.

This time, Darion laughed. A hollow brittle thing, but a laugh none the less. "You wish to speak to me of suffering? The Highlord of the Order whose very creed is to 'Suffer Well'?"

"And I ask you; why is the suffering needed at all?" asked Sylvanas.

Mograine scoffed, "Spoken as if you've no blood on your hands. Or do you plan to absolve yourself of the guilt by clinging to that flimsy excuse?"

"Your hands are soaked in the blood of innocents as well. Need I remind you that you were every bit a part of the Lich King's scourge as I was. How many have you slaughtered in his name while carrying your father's corrupted sword?"

Darion's hands curled into trembling fists. "I know there is no atonement for the crimes I committed, but I don't intend to shirk from my responsibility or complacency in those deeds, regardless of who was in control."

"And I ask, is that fair?" Sylvanas questioned. She moved to an outcropping on a wall that served as a passable seat and sat down.

"It isn't a matter of fairness. My Order suffers - I suffer - so the living do not." Mograine declared.

"So you see yourself as a martyr?" Sylvanas considered this for a long moment, "I associated many things with you, Little Ashbringer. Most of them varying degrees of annoyance and irritation, but I never imagined vanity would be one of them."

"I'm not the one attempting to play at becoming god with the cosmic order. I can imagine nothing more vain than that." Mograine growled through gritted teeth. "There is a great deal of difference between walking through darkness to prevent others falling down that pit, and sundering a path through reality to hell for my own selfish ends."

"You disappoint me, Mograine." Sylvanas sighed, seeming every bit as disappointed as she claimed, "I had truly hoped you could see things my way. After all, you would know how twisted and cruel this system of life and death can be. Tell me, how old were you when your death - your first death - came to claim you? No older than 18 or 19 summers if I were to wager."

Darion stared at her expectantly for a long moment. "Is that it? Was that your attempt to get me to see things from your perspective; to say how right you were about all of this carnage?" He indicated to the cage bars around him. "Shall I get down on my knees and prostrate myself to your will? Yes. I was young when I died. But it is a death that I chose. And a choice I would make all over again, and endure all the pain that comes with it."

"You are a difficult man to talk to." Sylvanas mused, "Every time I attempt to make my point-"

"What? You don't like it when someone deviates from the script too much?" Mograine mocked, "Or is it because -"

Chains ripped through the air from spectres of purple-black smoke, constricting around Mograine and slamming him against the wall of his cage before forcing him back on his knees. Agony beyond description tore through every fibre of his being, stealing whatever retort he was going to grant the Banshee Queen.

"We will resume this discussion at another time. When you've had time to relearn your manners." Sylvanas declared as she rose from her seat and signalled the Forsworn Interrogator to return.

Distorted screams of pain ripped from the Death Knight's throat, but the cold hard defiance would not leave his eyes. In a lull of the interrogator's torment, he coughed out a strained chuckle. "I have plenty of manners. I just don't reserve them for the likes of you, bitch."

Sylvanas frowned, turning to leave. "That tongue will get you into trouble, Little Ashbringer. I suggest you hold it, lest it be taken."

Author's note:


Been on my mind since I saw the scene between Auduin and Sylvanas. And I saw Darion as a dark mirror to a lot of Scourge characters. So I decided to have my fun.