The surviving recruits from the battle out in the courtyard were soon surrounded by twenty or so guards and jailors, each of them quickly and crudely grabbing one, in some cases two, of those recruits whom had survived the battle. Whitemane was no exception to this rule as her wrist was seized by a thick and powerful hand of a heavily armored jailor; almost snapping her hand in half with the sheer force and power of his grip. Yet, Whitemane neither screamed or grimaced in pain or suffering as he yanked her along deeper and deeper into the Scarlet Monastery. This was what she had dreamed of! For quite some time now, Southshore, and the world, had been suffering under the vice of undeath.
As of now, Southshore remained one of three safe havens still under the command of the Alliance within the north. The other two, the ruined mage nation of Dalaran and the kingdom of Gilanas had already broken all official ties with the Alliance as well. Southshore was, effectively, the Alliance's ONLY city now within the northlands. And how had they treated the city that was now the only thing that remained of their forces in the north? Like crap! Throughout the entire city, there was not a single human being whom was paid by the Alliance coffers and even remotely effective. Less then ten soldiers could be found within the city limits, and all of them only cowered down along the port and shorelines, fighting off the few Murlocs and Naga that dared to enter the city limits. Otherwise, they spent all their time at the bar, drinking their days away and trying to swoon the women with drunken charm.
The Crusade, however, was different. They had not given in to the Plauge. They had not faltered in the face of death. They had done the opposite and thrived! Any and all bastions of human power in the north belonged to them! They had cut through the heart of the undead with their castle of command sitting in the midst of the plague, defying them to attack. This is where Whitemane belonged! She was sure of it!
Even as she entered into a long hallway, lined with heavy steel doors on either side for the sole purpose of observing those whom had passed the first test to ensure they were not of the Scourge, she remained positive that she would pass. This was her fate. This was her destiny! The guard took her down to her own cell and threw her inside, locking the steel door behind her. Whitemane would not be allowed to leave this cell for the next thirty days. The room was no different then a prison cell. A small cot of hay lay against the wall on one side and a small window, barred and out of reach, provided the only source of illumination within the cell.
In one corner a small pile of books, wrapped with string and twine, sat with a small letter waiting on top of it. Whitemane sighed and picked the letter up, pacing about the confines of the cell as she did so. With her fingernail, she broke the wax seal and opened it up, letting the beautiful lettering and handwriting become visible for her to see as she opened the letter up.
A split second later, she folded it closed and tossed it aside. We all have our own shames, and Whitemane was no different. While she had attended the lacking and under-staffed school in Southshore as a child, her grades in all area's had been horrendous. Though she could read, it would have been on par with a child no older then seven years of age. The flowing and lovely script, carefully shaped and formed with a practiced hand, might as well have been Orcish to her. It was something too difficult for her to read and the words too complex to understand. She undid the knot on the small pile of books that held the twine binding in place, and picked up the first book, closing it soon and then moving on to the second. Sorting them into two separate piles for those she could, and could not, read.
Before long, Whitemane grew accustomed to the conditions of the cell. The small window of light marked her only way of knowing day from night, and she cherished it's comfort. Every day, she would lay down and let the warm, soft, glow of the sun cover and warm her as she read those few books that were simple enough for her to read. From time to time, she would hear screams of pain and suffering, the shouts and bellows of men calling upon the power of demons, coming from the cells further down the rows. Men whom were spies, flushed out of hiding by the confinement. Every day, the voices and complaints grew less and less. Before the first week was over, Whitemane would only hear about one cry for the help of a demon every other day or so.
Days came and went. Thirty days can seem like an awful long time when the only form of mental distraction is a small pile of less then seven books. Whitemane even found it within herself to try and muscle up and read those books that were too difficult for her to understand, but failed in spectacular glory and ended up slamming the difficult books against the walls in fits of rage and frustration. Every morning at exactly eight, a small tray of food was shoved under the door containing a apple, two grapefruits, and a small loaf of bread. At every night, once again exactly at eight, the exact same meal would be shoved in once again. At six A.M. the light from the small window would shine down and wake Whitemane up, and once again at 8 P.M. it would fade away and allow her to get to sleep.
On the thirteenth day, however, things started to change. As soon as the sun went down that day, the heavy pacing of two sets of boots upon stone flooring filled the hallways. One of the two halves of the grapefruit lay empty of its succulent fruit on the floor and the second half was busy being gnawed on by Whitemane. It wasn't dinner time for sure. Even locked within her cell, Whitemane was far from stupid or ignorant enough to at least suspect what was going on. Her suspicions were more then confirmed when the men stopped in front of her cell and the soft jingle of coin being passed from hand to hand followed by the unlatching of the heavy steel door to permit entrance confirmed her suspicions.
The heavy door swung inwards. Inside the frame of the door was a fat, ugly, hideous ogre! No… Whitemane squinted her eyes a bit, focusing on the worthless pile of flesh in front of her. It was a… orc? No… A man. A man with massive rolls of flesh and skin covering his belly. His face looked like it had been kicked by a horse, reformed by a blind gorilla, then smashed by the horse yet again. His hands were… like overheated sausages; lumpy and rotund with festering sores that held puss oozing out of several warts. The warts covered his entire body… A body that Whitemane was, sadly, given the 'pleasure' of seeing in it's entirety as the man had dis-robed himself before entering the cell. Whitemane could do little but stare at the man; the grapefruit skin dangling from her mouth as she stared in revulsion at the swine!
"Hey there pretty!" His voice was like a chorus of devilish hounds; choking and uneven as he almost barked out the words. The man stepped inside the cell, easily taking up half if the space with his girth. His hand reached forwards to cradle Whitemane's chin, knocking the grapefruit to the floor as he did so.
"My my… You are a pretty one. You will sing well for me. Sing like a little canary!" he said, smiling and revealing a row of teeth that… Well… Whitemane hated to give points to her despised foes; but it seemed that the undead at least had a dental plan, unlike this man.
"If you dare to even try to rape me." Cautioned Whitemane. "I will call down so much heavenly fury and wrath that not even the dust of your bones will be left to blow across Azeroth."
"Ohh! Some fight in you! Just like the other girls in the-"
At that very moment, any compassion Whitemane had for the man vanished in a fury of rage at the suggestion that the man had had a chance to reproduce even once! Her foot came up in a sudden and sharp smash to the man's knee, shattering the bone of the kneecap. The man screamed in and and fell to the ground, cradling his knee and howling in pain. Whitemane stepped forwards, her stiletto shoe coming down hard on the mans neck.
"You're pathetic." She said, her voice devoid of mercy. "I feel defiled by even letting you cradle my chin. I feel defiled even now, with your pathetic neck under my foot! How the light manages to allow someone like you to even exist is beyond me. Light! Head my call! This man has assaulted one of your maidens with the intent to defile her body and soul!" screamed out Whitemane, her hands glowing with the soft light of divinity as she sought the power of the holy and cleansing light to pour down upon this man, cleansing his filth from the earth.
From the ceiling of the cell, a bright and divine light shone. The air within the small space became heated as the cell became fully illuminated with the blazing light. Holy fire poured down from above, covering both Whitemane and the man in a scalding fury! The man underfoot screamed in an unholy pain as the fire burned into his flesh, burning skin and filling the whole of the dungeon with the putrid scent of charred flesh. Whitemane stood in the fire as well, but it did not burn her. The flames barely even warmed her flesh as they scoured the cell, burning away every last particle of the man.
"The light has spoken." She said coldly.
Whitemane kicked the bones aside in disgust; sweeping them out of her cell and closing the door again. That morning, there came a scream of shock from the guardsman as Whitemane slept peacefully in her cell. Even in the soft embrace of sleep, she smiled as the man screamed in shock and surprise.
Ten more days passed without sign of incident. Every day, Whitemane would get the same meal, same time as always. It was almost as if nothing had happened at all. The books she could read became work and unbound, their pages falling out and covering the floor. Every step the young priestess took would sweep the pages up like snow upon the ground, scattering them about and making it impossible to know where they had fallen again.
On the tenth day, however, as the sun went down again, Whitemane once again heard the heavy sound of two pairs of boots walking down the row of cells. This time, however, the guardsman graced his companion with a name as he, once again, opened the door to Whitemane's cell.
"High Crusader. The priestess, as you requested." Said the guard, bowing respectfully as he let Saidan Dathrohan, the High Crusader, into Whitemane's cell. The thick, imposing figure of the man filled the cell almost from wall to wall and from floor to ceiling. His massive hands gripped a oversized mace with a strong grip. He turned to the guard and handed him his mace.
"Leave us alone." He said to the guard. "And no matter what you hear, you do not come running to her call. Only mine. Understand?" he asked, his powerful voice cowering even Whitemane into submission.
"Y-Yes High Crusader." Uttered the guard, bowing low to the ground and closing the door behind him before he scurried back down the hallway, leaving Whitemane at the crusaders mercy.
Whitemane looked the man up and down. Unlike the first, the high crusader was physically appealing. Strong and mighty, with a smooth and rippling chest and massive arms and legs. Even the PG-13+ bits seemed to be large and strong. Whitemane licked her lips and gulped softly at the appealing man.
"I-I'm sorry High Crusader." She said, bowing her head. "Did you wish something of this humble priestess?"
The High Crusader smiled softly at Whitemane, laughing softly as she spoke. "Oh. You don't need to worry. I'm not about to molest you or rape you." He said calmly. "The High Inquisitor has taken a liking to you, Sally. A very… watchful liking. He wants you to be his apprentice."
Whitemane's jaw dropped with surprise. It was true that she had expected to grow within the Crusade, but Inquisitor? That was more then she expected. She bowed once again, stammering in awe. "I-I shall do my b-best to live up!"
Once again, the High Inquisitor laughed. "You are powerful Sally. You are strong in the light. You can call forth the divine flames to pour down upon your foes. I can sense it from you. You can summon forth the light to shield and protect, to heal… To bring life back into the bodies of those whom have even felt the kiss of death. You are powerful Whitemane."
Even though it was late at night, light still filled the cell from the moon and stars. However, as the High Crusader spoke, that little amount of light that flowed in through the window vanished, casting the cell into an almost total darkness.
"Almost too powerful… You will grow Whitemane. Grow in the ways of light… I am sure of that…"
Within the darkness, the High Inquisitor no longer looked like the man he was. Instead… He had seemed to grow even more. A feat thought impossible considering the size of the cell. The white coloring of his uniform melted and shimmered, turning into ashen white skin while the bright crimson dimmed and spread out like ink spilled across a page. The darkness swirled around the man, forming into a pair of massive, bat-like wings.
"Demon… You… You are a… Demon… A dreadlord." Muttered Whitemane under her breath. She looked on in shock as the High Inquisitor turned abut, revealing his true face. No longer the strong and attractive human face, but a ashen white face with cracked lips, pure white eyes, and a pair of massive curved horns sprouting from his forehead.
"DEMON!" screamed Whitemane. Her stay within the cells of the Crusade, the cries of those whom had called forth the names of demons, begging them for mercy, it fit together almost perfectly! Sally's hands glowed a soft white as her face became one of disgust. "You… You are a being of darkness. A creature of evil! You deserve no mercy, and shall be shown none! With the light as my ally, you will stand no chance against me! Feel now the fury and wrath of the divine!" she said calmly, secure in her victory. No darkness could stand before her wrath!
As she called upon the light, however, the demon made no move to stop her. In fact, he simply stood back, laughing softly at her. Once again, as before, the divine fires and flames poured down and into the room. But there was no illumination. Whatever light that had been formed by the divine flames was swallowed by the darkness of the dreadlord's being. The flame poured out upon the floor, lighting the pages and books on fire. Fire danced across the body of the demonic monster, but he seemed not to notice one bit.
"Oh Sally…" said the demon, laughing softly. "You are powerful, but too young. Too weak to harm me even with your holy flames and cause." He shook himself, waves of darkness rolling off his form and extinguishing the fires that burning on his flesh and that covered the floor. Sally looked on in horror at the demon. She had been afraid in her life before; but this was no fear. This was terror! The demon flexed his hand open and reached forwards. Within the narrow confines of the cell, Whitemane was unable to dodge to the left or right. She was caught. Captured by the walls as the massive hand closed around her chin, stroking her cheek with massive, pointed, claw-like hands.
"Oh Sally…" said the demon, mockingly. "You will grow… Yes… But not in the way you expected. Yes, you will grow in the ways and manner of the light. But I shall ween you upon my power. The darkness, the fury, all that is unpure within you; that will grow within you as well. Pain and healing, suffering and justice, death and life. You will grow into all these things. You shall grow to become my servant. My own little High Inquisitor to replace that weak and pathetic priest whom stands at my side now."
The darkness around Whitemane pulled together, forming into the near perfect shape of Whitemane by the power of the demon. Her skin was dark, and her eyes white. She was the perfect inverse of Whitemane's true form, a darkness to her light. The new Whitemane reached forwards, placing her hand softly on Whitemane's cheek.
"For every step closer to the light you take, your shadow will grow in power as well. She will guide you, control you along my path. Together, you shall serve as my tools of destruction. The hammer to smash the undead, and all whom stand in my way be they angel, demon, or mere man."
The eyes of the shadow Whitemane flew wide open as dark flames erupted from Whitemane's eyes. Both women screamed in pain as the shadow burned within Whitemane. It flowed into her, merging and becoming part of her. Whitemane fell to the ground, gasping for breath. Her insides burned in a unholy pain!
"Now…" said the dreadlord. "Forget." He said simply, and the darkness within Whitemane complied and Whitemane forgot. Forgot the presence of the powerful demon whom stood before her, forgot the man whom had come to her ten days before with intent to fill his mind with pleasure, and forgot the seed of darkness implanted within her, filling her with dark power. The only thing she could recall of her thirty days within the cell was the echoing laugh of a power and un-named monster. A monster… she could not recall.