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Cavanaugh

Crimson Tears

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Sitting at his desk he mulled over reports of the Death Knight, carefully looking into the deeds that the Ebon Blade had been involved in since the conflict at the Broken Islands had begun. His brow furrowed as he delved deeper and deeper into the report.

'Trollbane, Whitemane... an attempt to raise Tirion...' he thought,  a disgusted look appeared on the Paladins face and the paper slowly crumpled a bit as his grip on it tightened, looking up at the squire at the entrance to his office he uttered just a few words, "Trysteza... -now-"

 

The squire quickly absconded, making haste to summon the Death Knight, Lady Trysteza. He wasn't sure what it was for but he knew she was down in the basement of the same building, in her laboratory, like she always was. She spent hours there, locking herself away for long periods of time, none were allowed there... and none bothered to question what occurred in the dimly lit chamber. although whenever the door was opened the smell of death and decay permeated the air.

---

Cavanaugh paced back and forth, looking for guidance... awaiting her arrival, his thoughts swirled around the reports. Knowing full well what the Ebon Blade was involved in was a travesty against everything that he stood for, everything that he railed against when he gave his speeches, when he was whipping his soldiers into a frenzy, while he was reviling the Banshee Queen... this behavior was at least as dastardly, and perhaps... worse. The Lich King, Bolvar...how far had he fallen, how much influence did he have over the Blade? For Darione himself to attempt to penetrate Light's Hope... in an attempt to raise the former Highlord... the Light itself rose against the Ebon Blade... the Light made itself known... this could not be tolerated.

Yet... part of the Paladin's thoughts were almost leaning towards... satisfaction. The Silver Hand had fallen so far from its roots. Polluting itself with the mongrels who had not -earned- the and privilege to be called a Paladin, a soldier and warrior of the Light... there was a certain training and mindset one should have to go through to become a Paladin, and the Blood Knights and Sun Druids... did not deserve to fly the same banner as those who had dedicated their entire lives to the service, teachings, and martial combat that was required to -truly- be a Paladin of the Holy Light... heretics. 

For all their proclamations of how it would make the Silver Hand "stronger" ... what had it gotten them... the Ebon Blade were simply able to walk into the depths of their stronghold...and had the Light itself not intervened... Tirion Fordring would be raised into undeath, and serve the new Lich King. That's what he was now... the Lich King. He must exert some influence if he can drive some of the worlds greatest and most powerful Death Knights towards that path.

"Vile... creatures..." he said quietly to himself, his mind made up. "Light show them mercy..."

--

The squire stood at the top of the steps leading down into the basement. He fidgeted nervously, wringing his hands together. His heart felt like it had lept into his throat, a sick feeling in his stomach as he prepared to descend into the Lady Trysteza's dungeon. The smell of blood and death wafted up at him, he steadied himself and made his way down the stairs.

Trysteza stood over a large metal table, her back to the door. In her hand she held what looked like a very large saw. The squire clapped a hand over his mouth quickly when he saw what she was doing. He could not tell what sex or species had once had the misfortune of crossing her path but now whatever it was lay in numerous pieces. She hummed to herself as she sawed the body into small chunks.

"Don't just stand there gawking, what do you want? Who told you to come down here?", she barked at him without turning around. The squire cleared his throat and replied in a small voice, "Sir Cavanaugh wishes to see you. Immediately."  Trysteza stopped sawing abruptly and turned to him. He thought he saw a nervous, fearful flicker in her eyes. "Tell him I shall be up shortly." The squire bowed quickly, eager to be out of the horrid basement, "Yes, M'Lady". He turned and ran.

Trysteza sat and wiped her hands slowly. Her thoughts raced and she struggled to remain calm. She had sensed something different in his attitude toward her lately. She had only herself to blame. The years of malicious whispering had finally succeeded in turning the righteous paladin nearly fanatical. She had not anticipated this turn of events, this change of character. She feared her long time comrade was turning against her, unable to see past the taint of her undeath any longer. All his talk of purging and purifying. She thought she was safe, surely she was an exception, she who had stood by his side for so long, who had followed him to the ends of Azeroth and back. She had fought by his side too many times to count, had risked her life again and again for him. Willingly and without question. In spite of all that had happened to her, she had always felt a deep love and respect for this man. No matter their differences she had always felt the same love and respect reciprocated back. 

Now she was no longer sure. She had tried to push these feelings away but could no longer ignore them. She knew he meant to take action against her. What action she wondered? She hoped perhaps he would just exile her, remove her from the Crimson Legion and turn his back on her forever. She knew that was a foolish thought. He would end her, once and for all. 

As she made her way up to his office, she wondered if letting him do so would really be so bad.

--

The door of study swung open and the Death Knight appeared, Lady Trysteza bowed her head to Sir Cavanaugh, not knowing why she was summoned, but not questioning it either. She stood at the back of the room, noticing the Paladins back was to her, looking over some paperwork. His eyes fixated on the tabard of the Ebon Blade that was across her chest... The squire followed her into the room, usually he would document anything that occurred, or would fetch whatever was needed if they required reports or any other material as they met... not this time.

"Lad... you are dismissed... close the door on your way out." Cavanaugh said softly, and the squire simply bowed his head, backing out of the room and the heavy wooden and metal door shut and secured with a muffled click, the paladins blade, leaning on the wall near the door vibrated.  "Sit... Lady Trysteza..." Cavanaugh said, turning to face her, a serious look on his face as he watched her movement, she moved to the chair without question.

Sitting down she cleaned and picked at her nails, some remnants of her "work" remained under it, looking them curiously as she picked each one carefully and deliberately. "You summoned me, M'lord?" she asked, knowing the answer, but also knowing his penchant for formality... she always found it amusing, how formal he was, how guarded, despite how close they had become over the last decade... only seeing him truly let his guard down a few times to her.

The Knight paced around and then put his finger on the parchment on the desk before her, regarding her own report on the events that had occurred within the Ebon Blade, which she had played no small part aiding the new Death Lord.

"This... is an abomination..."he said coldly, a serious tone in his voice that she recognized. "This Lich King seems to be perhaps as vile as the first... and yet the Ebon Blade works with him so closely... so intimately... it almost makes one wonder what level of control he truly has over you and your kin..." he quipped, noticing her reaction, which quickly became angry at the insinuation...he was circling the table... now standing behind her...

"Control?! How -dare- you even suggest that... you of all people should know where my loyalties lie!" she slammed her gauntlet on the table and looked behind , attempting to rise and meet him eye to eye... he placed his hands on her shoulders and pushed back into the chair...

"Sit and be SILENT!" he snarled at her...hardly listening to what she had even said. His reaction caught her a bit off guard, she had seen the Paladin take a more aggressive tone lately, and certainly his tolerance for disobedience was shrinking, but he always had listened to her... he had always put value in what she had said... that seemed to be missing...

"You are a member of the Crimson Legion... and have been... a close friend and confidant for many years... I have fought beside you in countless battles since your liberation from the Lich Kings grasp." He began, sitting in the chair across from her, his eyes staring into hers, never leaving them, an almost piercing stare..."These reports are... troubling, do you agree?"

She nodded in agreement, looking over her own report quickly, "I do...the Ebon Blade may have made several tactical mistakes... and certainly may have... "offended" the Alliance with some of their decisions... although I do find it amusing at how deep within the crypt of the Silver Hand that we were able to get..." she smirked, satisfied with herself, almost chucking as she recalled the expedition.

"Indeed" he responded, rising again and beginning to walk around the room...

"The arrogance of the new Highlord of the Silver Hand is certainly noteworthy. I found that to be disappointing but... expected. That organization is hardly worthy of the name that it bears," he continued to move, pausing behind her... "And so is yours..." with an almost unnatural speed, his eyes suddenly ablaze with light,  the Paladin grabbed a tuft of her hair, pulling her head back with one hand, looking her in the eye as his other reached to his blade standing against the wall, and with a mighty thrust, he drove it through not only the back of the chair, the Dawnbringer pierced her armor with a zealous force, emerging through the middle of her chest, impaling the Death Knight through the mid section... a searing pain shot through her, she coughed and a dribble of black blood flowed out of the corner of her mouth, and then a larger spat of it shot onto the desk... she looked at him, feeling the darkness approaching... creeping slowly to her...

"W-why? M'lord," normally Trysteza would fight, she could feel she had -some- strength to reach to her blade, even now... as her undeath slowly drained away... but she could not bring herself, even now, to raise a hand to the Paladin. Feeling herself choking... finding it more difficult to breath with each passing second... time stood still and a haze began to set in.

"It is my duty... I release you. May the Light have mercy on your soul, for I will not" his eyes glowing brightly, still looking down into hers, watching intently, and then turning his wrist, twisting and moving the blade, a loud crack of bone and armor echoed through the chamber, as he did leaning down and placed a kiss on her forehead. "Find the peace in death, that was taken from you in life... the curse of undeath is no longer upon you, M'lady," he said softly as her lifeforce drained away quickly.

Trysteza reached back and grabbed his hair, holding his head close to hers with all her remaining strength, an unnatural hold, their eyes still locked, although hers fluttered a bit..."T-thank... you..." she spat out, softly, as her lest breath escaped... her grip suddenly releasing his head and her hand fell lifeless to her side, her glowing blue eyes finally going out. 

The Paladin slowly stood up, looking over her, he put his foot to the back of the chair and pushed it forward, removing his blade from her body, as it slumped onto the desk. Reaching to Trysteza, he pulled her lifeless body back towards him, placed the blade on her neck, keeping the Death Knight's body steady, swiftly slicing at her throat, her body fell out of the chair... lifeless, her head in his hands.

"Squire!" the Paladin bellowed, the young man came in and gasped at the scene, the second in command of the Crimson Legion lay dead, her head removed and in the hand of Sir Cavanaugh. who placed it into a box, he was quietly saying a prayer as he did.

"Send this to the Ebon Blade... and advise them that the Crimson Legion will punish them for their crimes against the Light... and the Alliance. For their sins against Trollbane and Fordring, and their capitulation to the new Lich King..." and looking down at her corpse he saw a necklace that he had given her many years ago and took it, placing it on his desk, "And as for this... Burn it." The young man stood in shock for a moment, not responding...

"DID YOU HEAR WHAT I SAID!?" he snapped at the squire.

"Yes... M'lord... my apologies...." he responded, his voice shaking, as he took the box, nearly vomiting before leaving the room...

Over the next few hours several squires of the new Grand Crusader of the Crimson Legion came in and out of his office, cleaning it... the package had been sent, a message certainly delivered... and quietly he finished some additional reports, staring down at the parchment before him, letting the squires tend to their tasks, as the last one left... all vestiges of the act removed the Paladin looked up... his eyes drawn to the pyre outside his window....

"Call a meeting of the officers of the Legion... we have much work to do..." he nodded and dismissed the young man, continuing with the task at hand.

Edited by Cavanaugh
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((Forgive awful formatting and grammatical errors I'm on mobile rn))

A recruit of the Legion falls to his knees, coughing and holding his chest. "Get up and do it again" Izeal says to the boy of maybe eighteen coldly. The recruit reaches for his training sword and is quickly hit in the back with a wooden blade, the recruit screams in pain. "I said get up and do it again... Now!" The warrior barks, then he notices a squire bolt out of the fortification carrying something. "Hmmm... that looked like Cavs boy. I wonder what he's up to?" Izeal looks at the lumped over recruit, now crying, bleeding from where the wooden blade hit him across the back. "Get up and go get cleaned up ya big girl... we'll continue training tomorrow." Izeal tosses his training sword to the ground and makes his was to Cavanaughs quarters.

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