Wherein Jarred is a death knight and shit goes down.
I am so, so sorry for the amount of time it took to finish this. I was uninspired for the longest time.
So while it is rather short, I'm done. The people who requested it, please enjoy.
This was requested by some readers at the end of part 4 and I thought it was a great idea. So here it is, starting from where Kara finds Thell by Sindragosa's Fall. (IMPORTANT NOTE: ONLY BLOOD, GORE AND VIOLENCE. NOTHING ELSE. LITERALLY NOTHING.)
If you're looking for something to wank to, look elsewhere, don't waste time skimming it, finding nothing and then downvoting it. Thank you.
World of Warcraft belongs to Blizzard entertainment.
"Who did this?" She asked, already dreading the answer. "Tell me, who did this to you?"
"Thea Crowly. She's .. she's my sister."
It made sense. Sort of. Thea had been watching them somehow, so she captured Kara and injured Thell as a warning?. Was she jealous? Or just insane?
Kara thought for a moment, feeling like she was trapped.
"Why did you come to Icecrown?" She asked, trying to piece things together.
"I found your letter. And in the next hour another letter came from Thea. She told me to begin travel to Icecrown, and that there'd be someone there I would like to see. I thought she'd kidnapped you or something, so I came to help." His eyes closed as he spoke. He was obviously spent, energy-wise.
Thea did kidnap Kara, but the hunter didn't feel the need to let Thell know that. Then a sudden noise caused both of them to look up in surprise. Avalon let out a low growl and bounded ahead in front of both of them. Kara soon recognized that they were footsteps.
She listened for ten seconds to try and determine the approximate weight and gait of the 'thing' getting closer to them. It was heavy, and they only got closer and louder. Kara drew her bow, anxious, trying to see what is was through the snow.
When it approached, she swallowed.
Whatever "it" was, she felt a chill go up her spine and the air around her grew colder. She took a step back when she discovered that it was still humanoid. Perhaps it could understand her?
"Get closer and you'll end up with an arrow in your skull," she threatened. The voice that replied was undoubtedly male, and seemed to ring metallically in her ears. It was as smooth as a steel blade.
"Go on. Try. But before you do, just know that I simply want to talk."
Kara's fingers flexed on her bow. The man kept coming closer. He wore frost enchanted armor, made of furs and plate and metal. There were bloody spikes on his pauldrons and his own hood had scarlet splatters on the side. Where he stepped, the ice turned the shade of sapphire blue that his sword was.
"Kara! Just shoot him now," Thell urged, but she ignored him.
"You're interested in conversation, then." It obviously wasn't a question. Kara tilted her head.
"If I don't like it, I shoot. Hurry up and talk."
"I know who you are, Kara Hicks. I've heard of you all over the place. Especially since your expulsion from Valliance Keep. Or at least that's what the scouts said, isn't that right, Kara?"
Avalon suddenly returned from the snow, huddling by Kara's feet and looking uncharacteristically timid. "Who are you?" The hunter demanded. The man laughed and brushed back his hood, revealing a distorted but still recognizable face.
Hell, Kara had told herself that she would never forget that face, but it took her a full second to realize that it was him. God fucking damn. Of course it was him. He laughed, delighting in the look of shock and horror on her face. That cold, ringing laugh...
"I knew you'd remember me, Kara. Even in death. It was always you." His voice turned bitter.
"Jarred?" She whispered, the weapon in her hands sinking downward. The had-been paladin's face flashed at hers. His eyes, narrowed in fury, glowed unnaturally blue. Kara was forced to accept that he had become one of the Lich King's lapdogs. The undead death knights, reaped from slain corpses. So that was how he met his fate.
"I was killed in Icecrown, right here, Kara. Right here," One of his boots stomped against the ice, sending a puff of snow into the air. "I died with your name on my last breath as I looked up against that Scourge monster, and barely two months after I die, you dare to travel here with HIM."
That last word expressed the only once-human emotion Jarred had, and it was twisted into brief pain and regret. Thell remained stiffly sitting, his face also revealing his anger.
"I thought you loved me." Kara replied quietly. The wind whistling around them stole away her words, but the death knight heard them. "You never came back."
Jarred snorted, drawing his sword from its sheath. It gleamed against the soft light that the clouds emitted. Kara instinctively raised her own bow, not completely sure if she could shoot straight at a time like this.
"Kara, I don't think-"
"This is my business," Kara cut in brusquely. The thin line of Jarred's mouth turned upward in a twisted grin.
"I see you've changed too. You used to be the soft little Faire worker who depended on her sister, but I see now what you are. I don't think anyone has ever told it to your face... but I know they all thought it," Jarred hissed, raising his blade as he took a step closer. Kara was silent. "Do you know it? Ever once, while you wasted your life looking for a dead man, did you realize what you are?"
A single tear rolled down her cheek. The freezing wind made it solid seconds later. "You're desperate. In fact, you're so pitifully desperate, it's revolting," he snarled, coming ever closer. And then he was there, just in front of her, the presence of death and blood and ice overwhelming her. One of his lifeless, pale hands reached to brush against her cheek.
Both Avalon and Thell lunged at the same time that the ice around them did. It formed chains, dragging them back to the ground, resisting whatever fight they put up. "I can kill them as easily as a snake kills a rat," Jarred whispered. "Life is so worthless. That's why I do not regret becoming like this. And you can, too. Kara, you can join me in eternal power as a death knight." He drew back, his glowing azure eyes boring into her soul, his words soothing the fear that she'd clamped down.
When Thell shouted her name, she snapped and realized that her bow was almost touching the ground. She had nearly put it down.
She took a breath. Moving like a viper, she raised her leg and smashed her foot into Jarred's knee. The surprising amount of force caused him to fall, and she hastily notched an arrow and released it into his heart.
The ice around Thell and Avalon disintegrated. Jarred lay still on the ice while the Druid and hunter embraced.
"Are you okay?" Kara whispered. Thell nodded.
"I think so." She reached for his hand when Jarred-the-death-Knight's weapon flung itself into the air and into his waiting fist. The three turned, shocked.
"I'm truly sorry, but it'll take a hell of a lot more than that to kill me." The death knight began to chuckle, eyeing them all darkly. Kara fired another arrow into his forehead, where the graying flesh around it oozed dark red blood. Jarred laughed harder, snapping the arrow in half. He took a step forward, raising his bloody sword as if it were a twig, then swung at Kara.
Thell screamed "MOVE!" and they all did. And then they began to attack. Arathellin, the mighty feral Druid, leaped into the form of a gigantic, dark bear and advanced on the death knight on two legs. He swiped a paw at Jarred who scrambled to dodge it.
Avalon moved in just after Jarred recovered from the attack, jumping up from behind him and sinking her teeth into the cloth of his hood, pulling at his throat. He started to stagger, and Thell slashed viciously at the death Knight's feet to help that along.
Kara had stood back, her bowstring taut as she waited for the right moment to shoot. It seemed that at any moment, either of her brave fighters were in the line of fire. But there wasn't much time.
Jarred had thrown Avalon to the snow, snarling inhumanly. He'd already sliced twice at Thell's gaping maw and his fangs were red with his own blood.
At the next swing, the bear's mighty paw came down on his arm. The resulting force brought both of them down. Thell's mighty heard turned and the dark gleam of his gaze told Kara everything he needed to say.
So she moved. Jarred was writhing under Thell's weight, screaming out curses and spells for dark magic. Shadowy, ethereal magic sparked and dissipated in the frosty air around them.
She dodged between them (one can never be too cautious), and muttered a word. The tip of her arrow lit up bright white, its light shining even more brightly than the snow whirling around them.
"Kara," Jarred said then. He sounded raspy. Was that supposed to be pleading? Thell shifted so that the tip of his claws rested on the death knight's throat; a not-so-subtle warning. "Kara, I can forgive you. Kill this damn bear and join me among the ranks of the de--"
He was cut off as Thell put weight onto his paws, pushing the bloody claws against his throat harder, snarling.
"Let him beg a little more."
Under Thell's paw, Jarred's throat bobbed in a swallow, but he said nothing. No, she hadn't expected him to beg for his life. She lowered her bow as Avalon stood by her, snarling.
The death knight opened his mouth to croak her name as she set her jaw, moving so she planted a foot on his forehead, the arrow set straight between his eyes. The wound from her first shot still gushed blood... That had been only a regular arrow. This one she had enchanted. One of the paladins at the Light's Hope Chapel in the Plaguelands had been formulating the spell -- effective particularly against the undead. It would purge the disease from their souls and minds. This would kill them, of course, but in doing so set their souls free. It was a kindness, he had told her.
Kara just hoped it was.
"I'm sorry." Her words were tense, just as her muscles did, releasing the arrow lodging obscenely out of his forehead. He was still for a moment, in a grotesque display of death, before he began thrashing. Thell moved to hold him further but a hand from Kara signaled him to release his hold.
This wasn't Jarred intentionally spasming. It came from his chest, forcing his arms to seize up and flail, his head lolling uncontrollably. His armor cracked, tiny beams of light forcing their way through. All three of them watched cautiously as his mouth opened in a silent scream and light poured from his eye sockets, nose and mouth. And then in its entirety it flooded his body.
From her viewpoint it looked as though every lifeless vein had lit up and flickered bright gold before everything stopped.
Jarred -- or what he had been -- was finally still.
It was over.
----(3 months later)
On command, the two albino worgs stopped their performance, the ball they'd been playing with popped in the jaws of the younger one. (They were replaceable, of course), and the wolflike creature flung the remnants of the toy away, his eyes glittering dangerously. They both raised their heavily furred necks and howled up to the sky. The audience cheered when they simultaneously leaped off the stage.
After the show ended, Kara refastened the worgs' thick leather collar. She pet them, dared to kiss their wet noses, then sent them off for their dinner. They were sweet animals, really, once tamed.
The huntress packed away materials with Avalon's help. When she'd finished, she looked up to see a shadow against the tent pole.
"Great show." Thell leaned against the tent, smiling.
"You say that every time. And it's the animals you should tell that to, they do all the hard work." She ruffled the fur around Avalon's head.
Thell took her hand, helped her up, and they left the tent. Outside, for once, the clouds were less heavy, and the sunset shone through. The crowd at the Faire was mostly gone. Carnies were sweeping the ground and preparing for the next day. In a way, Darkmoon never really slept.
Thell, Avalon and Kara went to the docks and sat on the edge of the pier. It smelled like it always did, salty, beckoning travelers to fish. Kara watched the tiny seahorses dart beneath their feet, humming quietly to herself as Thell observed the sunset.
"You know, some of the Faire workers call you the Tamed Druid for all the time you spend here, around me," Kara brought up. Thell chuckled, the sound deep.
"I don't mind."
"You could work here, if you wanted. You could be an animal tamer, with me," she suggested. They'd had this discussion before, though, and she already knew his answer. There was no harm in asking again.
"I couldn't hold a job like that," he replied, shaking his head. "I don't know why you came back here. You're powerful enough to continue on .. plenty of slaying to be done. Practically everyone in Azeroth knows your name!"
Kara nodded comtemplatively, brushing back her dark hair. The wind was pulling it all over her face. "If it weren't for Silas, I'd probably be rotting in the Stormwind stocks. This is me paying him back. Besides, my publicity is good for the Faire."
"After you finish repaying the favor, are you going to go back out to adventuring again?" Thell asked, with a hint of hope. Kara just smiled. She didn't even know yet. Everything she did before Northrend was for Jarred. She thought she would have trouble finding motivation after killing 'him', but it wasn't that bad. Life was quiet. When she got back to the Faire, a complete emotional wreck, her past colleagues took care of her. Keri even stopped herself from making snide comments for a week or two. However, her sister still hadn't forgiven her for almost getting killed for a guy.
After a while, when the sun had finally dropped into the sea, Thell took a deep breath and said, "You could've told me, you know, instead of leaving me to figure it out."
"What?" Kara asked, confused. Thell rolled his eyes.
"Your pregnancy. It's getting somewhat noticeable. You could have told me."
Kara hadn't even told anyone.
"I can't be that chubby," she joked weakly.
Thell laughed. "It was the shift of hormones." He tapped his nose. "I can turn into a cat, remember? Super nose?"
"Right, well. That's also why I'm staying here. Safety," she replied defensively.
The elf nodded, then asked hesitantly, "So is it .. um, is it mine?"
Kara shot him a look that immediately made him wince apologetically.
Kara actually couldn't remember when it could've happened. There was that time they did it on the huge Darnassian tree, or floating in the magic-charged air of Netherstorm, on the balcony of the Purple Parlor in Dalaran.. but Thell still ought to know that it was his.
A small voice called out Kara's name from somewhere behind her. She turned around to see Silas. The gnome tipped his hat in greeting to the elf, then addressed Kara.
"I apologize for bothering you, but it seems there's something going on .. Er.. the two albino worgs aren't where they should be. Their food is untouched."
"And they haven't just gotten out? Not roaming about, right?" Kara had an idea of the answer already. Silas wouldn't ask her unless it was more than just two animals escaping. He shook his head.
He asked her because she was the only one who could find them.
Kara snapped her fingers and her specially-crafted bow appeared into her hands, along with a few arrows. Avalon perked up at the weapons' appearance, looking excited.
"I'll take care of it, Silas. Thanks for visiting, Thell. I'll-- .. we'll see you soon," Kara leaned over to kiss Thell's cheek. The elf laughed, then transformed into his lithe cheetah form and looked up with amber eyes beside her. He was coming with her. She'd been hoping he might.
They began to run.
Kara's face was a mask of determination as she sprinted over the black sand. There was a grin on her face. It felt just like the old times; Avalon (and Thell) dashing beside her, her bow drawn, running to their next obstacle.
As much as Kara missed the old times and no matter how often she would lose herself in reverie, this was the present. Even with her name cursed in Valliance Keep, and Thea's threats, this was her life now.