Brutal. Gut-wrenching. Tear-inspiring. Pain.

But not pain in the physical sense. This sort of pain was felt in the heart and mind. A pain that wracked the soul of a man. There on that bloody pirate ship deck laid a man on the verge of death in a night elf’s arms. It was hard to distinguish what was blood from seawater as is washed around the two figures. Peace was the only word that could describe the expression on the dying man’s face. The same could not be said of the kaldorei.

“Renalde….my oldest friend….grant me one final request before my time escapes me…” said the man, his once elegant mustaches that he had tended to with such pride, now caked and matted down with his own blood. It took every ounce of willpower left in the elf to respond without a quiver in his voice. He refused to let himself give off any sign of weakness in this one, final moment with his friend. Clenching his jaw, he swallowed resolutely and took the man’s hand in his own. He knew this would be their last time to speak. The last time he would see his oldest friend and mentor in this lifetime. What was he to do after this?

“Name it, Liam, and it will be done. On my honor, I swear this to be true.”

Renalde’s grip on the man’s hand tightened unconsciously as he waited for him to speak his last few words.

“Look after my daughter, Renalde….take care of her as if she were your own….teach her….teach her the meaning….of…of honor….” This last word rang out through the elf’s mind more than anything going on around him, this final moment burned tragically into his mind for the rest of his long years. Only now did he allow a tear to slide down his cheek. With a guttural cry that came from his very life essence, he picked up his two blades and charged into a group of rival pirates that had cornered a few of his own shipmates. He fought with a vigor and rage he had never experienced in his many years of living. He did not flinch as the cutlasses and scimitars of his enemies bit deep into his flesh, or when a whip tore into his back, leaving streaks of pain that burned like hellfire. He just slashed, parried, and spun like a whirlwind of death, his two hands working completely separate of themselves as if they had a mind of their own.

When his adrenaline had run out, he collapsed to his knees, and then face first onto that gory ship deck, the world around him quickly darkening into a void of blissful nothingness. In that moment, as his consciousness escaped him, he didn’t care if his fellow shipmates had lived through the encounter. He didn’t care that his enemies were binding him at the ankles and wrists to carry him off to their holding bay on their own vessel where he would be held a slave for many years to come. The only thing that mattered was honoring his friend’s dying wish. He swore to himself that he would carry out his promise, regardless if it meant his death. He would see it all through in the name of honor.

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