Shirah was determined. She thought that, as a scarlet missionary, she had done some wrong things. Things that weren’t according to her beliefs as a paladin and a fore fighter for the light. After experiencing an extraordinary event after being injured by an attack, she was determined to find forgiveness. To be loved again as she was loved by the light. Sister Elizabetha had shown her the true power of the light and this had brought happiness in her heart.
Shirah felt that, with the right attitude, her future would, again, be filled with happiness and peace. A peace she hadn’t felt since the deaths of her children and husband.
Walking the streets of Stormwind she encountered many who regarded her with contempt, hate. "We don’t need you here scarlet! Do yourself and us a favour and throw yourself from a cliff" Hate was everywhere and it grieved Shirah. After too many insults the unavoidable happened: Shirah collapsed on the street. She fell on her knees covering her eyes and cried so hard that bystanders gathered around her, questioning her behaviour, some feeling sorry for her not really knowing why. Shirah couldn’t speak. Her shame of what she had done together with the hate she felt that people had for her made her cry unendingly. It wasn’t until she felt a hand caressing her shoulders that she stopped to see the one responsible for this act. What she saw shocked her. The man caressing her was her late husband Kieran, or so it seemed for Shirah. After a brief moment she saw it wasn’t so. He looked astoundingly like Kieran but wasn’t him. It was as if the light had played tricks on her.
The man, who introduced himself as Einor, picked her up and guided her to a house very near to the cathedral. He gave her a herbal drink and they talked. They talked for hours. Shirah told him her story, how she lost her family and was saved by the scarlet missionary in Stormwind. Shirah also told him about their mission in Eastern plaguelands telling him about their strongholds up in the north. Einor listened for hours. Shirah felt happy, understood. It was late when they said goodbye. Shirah returned to the cathedral finding some rest. She dreamed of a forgotten past not waking up until very late the next morning.
The next morning she got her orders from brother Habeus. Shirah was ordered to Tyr’s hand to serve the Scarlet Crusade, fighting the dreadful Scourge and Forsaken. She left that morning but first went to Einor’s house to say goodbye. He wasn’t home. His house was empty and left in a hurry so it seemed. Shirah was disturbed and wondered what could have caused him to leave so suddenly but she knew she had orders to follow so she left for the north.
She arrived at Tyr’s hand safely with just some minor hold-ups by creatures who didn’t know her all too well it seemed. Shirah had no trouble defeating them. At the gates she was shown to her quarters where she washed herself and slept again for a long time having very pleasant dreams. The next day she was ordered to patrol the eastern plaguelands together with three other Scarlet Crusaders. They left their safe haven and drove on horse around the plaguelands. Talk wasn’t necessary, the land was too dangerous to let your guard down.
They never really met anyone else but undead that day until that evening. Riding on the road they saw a tiny figure in the distance lying on the ground. It looked human. Quickly they drew their swords and charged towards the figure. They surrounded him so het had no way to escape. The human was apparently asleep his face deep in the blanket protecting him from the cold of the night. With a kick they woke him up. Startled the human got to his feet and turned towards Shirah. Shirah was shocked: it was Einor. Quickly she commanded the others to lower their swords. Reluctantly they obeyed judging that this one human couldn’t possibly be a threat. Not assured this human wasn’t tainted as so many others that came here they tied his hands on his back and sat him down at the campsite near the Thondoril river. "I’m sorry for this Einor, but we have to be careful in these parts. They will surely see very soon that you are safe and they will release you I guarantee," said Shirah. "Shirah, I didn’t expect anything less from you brave scarlets. If you had let me go I would have doubt about your capable organisation. I feel safe with you around," replied Einor.
They took turns guarding the campfire but although Shirah was allowed to sleep she kept looking at Einor, trembling at the resemblance of Kiernan. Finally, she fell asleep.
It was in the middle of the night when Shirah was wakened to stand watch. She cuddled up near the fire fighting her sleep looking at the sleeping others. One hour went by and the cold made Shirah numb so she decided to stand up and walk around a bit to give her limbs some exercise. Suddenly she stopped dead: from the corner of her eye she could have sworn she saw something moving. She made herself small and instead of waking up her companions she very slowly moved toward the spot where she thought she had seen someone. There! Behind some bushes she saw something glimmering in the moonlight. Unsheathing her sword she moved closer ready to strike any time. But she was unaware that the real danger came from behind. While she was concentrating on the figure in front of her another figure moved behind her and before she could react she was hit on the back of her head so hard that fell unconscious to the floor.
When Shirah awoke she found herself tied and gagged to a tree. First everything was a blur for Shirah but after getting used to the dark she could see her companions tied up to other trees around the campfire along with several others laughing and cheering. One stood up and walked towards Shirah with a big smile on his face. Shirah was shocked! It was Einor! "Good evening Shirah, glad you could join us. As you can see the situation has changed a bit since we last saw each other." Einor laughed maniacally. "You must be wondering who we are so let me introduce you to my team members. This here is Shadowfall. He is an excellent Elf. Very cunning in sneaking up to people as you have witnessed somewhat earlier this evening." Shadowfall stepped forward and bowed low for Shirah with a big grin on his face. "That cute lady is Birgit. As myself very human and she has a healing touch others would be jealous about." Birgit stepped up and leaned closer to Shirah caressing Shirah’s cheek and kissing Shirah on the mouth tasting the blood. "The last one I don’t have to introduce to you since you have met just recently in, I must say, a similar setting," Einor laughed. "This is my best friend, the cunning dwarf Kulgar. Come on Kulgar, show your face so Shirah can remember." The dwarf turned around looking with a big grin towards Shirah. The image shocked her as she was staring at the face of her attacker from some weeks ago. Kulgar moved closer as if he was sniffing her out. He grabbed her head forcing her to look at her and gave her a big wet kiss right on the mouth. "Too bad the gag is in the way Einor, I would have loved to taste this little one properly again." Einor laughed and moved himself closer to Shirah. "Now your head must be spinning with questions Shirah. Let me just tell what we do when we are not in Stormwind getting drunk and getting laid." Einor leaned forward. "We kill Scarlets! We hate Scarlets so much that we’d do anything to drag a couple of them to their deaths. You see, we don’t only kill them, we like to toy with them as well. Gaining their trust, see the look in their faces when we turn out to be their worst enemies. And we don’t just kill them cleanly, no. We let them suffer. Prolong death as long as possible. Seeing the fear and the pain in their eyes amuses us. And we must say Shirah, you have been our best catch yet. Seeing that look in your eyes just now, priceless." Einor laughed, joined by the others. Shirah looked bewildered, looking for a way to escape but couldn’t find any. Slowly realising the mistake she had made. The mistake that would cost their lives.
Quickly they started their routine. One by one they ravaged, tortured and killed her companions, forcing Shirah to look at what they did. Shirah heard the cries of her brethren but for most she heard the silence when the final act was done. The silence of death. Shirah was the last one. Einor moved towards her. His hands covered in blood. His clothes as crimson as Shirah’s clothes. He moved closer and whispered in her ear: "Your brethren were excellent victims but I think I will enjoy you more than anything tonight. Let me explain what’s on the menu. First we will ravage you, one by one, except of course for Birgit. She is excellent in pinning you down. Then, when we are done, we will start at your face. You see, we couldn’t believe a pretty young girl as yourself could join something so wicked as the scarlet crusade. So we will fix that. Adjust your looks a bit as to say. Since we are afraid you will die too soon, Birgit will heal you sometimes so we can prolong this very long. Very, very long. But you must realise the unavoidable will happen soon Shirah. You will eventually die!" Quickly he gave the command to get her and lay her down. Shirah tried to struggle but it was useless. Her clothes were torn of her body exposing herself fully and they ravaged her, one by one. Slowly Shirah gave up, her body felt alien. The only thing Shirah felt more than anything was hate. A hate so great it prevented her from screaming. They would not have the pleasure of seeing her suffer. No noise came from her lips. After they were done they pinned her head down. Einor exposed a glowing, red hot, dagger and waved it in front of her. Teasing her. The pain was incredible when he marked her face with the dagger but Shirah didn’t scream. She grinded her teath, blood flowing from her face. This angered her attackers so they marked her again, and again until her face was one bloody blur. Shirah couldn’t be recognised again. Her old, handsome looks were gone. But still, no screams. They threw her on the floor. Shirah almost passed out but felt something near her hands. A stone as sharp as a knife. Very slowly, while the others turned away to catch their breath she started cutting the rope around her wrists cutting away flesh as well. In no time she was loose. She looked at the group that stood up to finish their job. Einor showed her his sword. "I’m sorry Shirah, it has been fun but there are so many other scarlets who need us at the moment. So we have to leave you now. After we kill you." He thrust his sword towards Shirah but Shirah was ready. With her last strength she got on her feet, she parried the sword with the stone and drove the stone into Einor’s chest. Einor was in shock as were the others. With her last strength she got up and sprang into the river. Her assailants got up. Einor removed the stone, screaming, from his chest. But it was too late. The current had dragged Shirah too far away for them to reach her. "This is not the end of this Shirah!" Einor shouted, "We will find you and when we do we will finish the job more painfully than you can imagine. There are many like us Shirah, more than you can imagine. We will find you."
That was the last thing Shirah had heard of him. She managed to clung to a broken tree trunk and near eastern plaguelands she got washed ashore. A brethren found her and took her by horse to Tyr’s hand where she was taken care of by their best physicians. Her face bore the scars Einor and his friends left her but the scars inside were much greater. There were no tears left for her. Hate had engulfed her and all she wanted now was revenge. Revenge for her brethren who were killed in a most brutal way but above all, revenge for herself. There would be no more search for forgiveness, no more trusting the other, lesser, races. No more searching for a long gone past. The only thing that mattered now was revenge, pure, hateful revenge. In this hour of need she felt that the only ones Shirah could trust were her brethren in the crusade. But this trust was shallow for trust would lead to grief. Shirah felt that her job was very clear now. After she was healed enough she patrolled once again the plaguelands. Many times she encountered groups that were fighting her brethren. She killed them, on by one, not caring if one of them could be innocent, just standing in the way. This went on for weeks and her fame was spread throughout the crusade. She was feared and respected by many but Shirah didn’t care. No expression was on her face. Only the scars that reminded her of her false believing of forgiveness and trust. Her leaders were satisfied.
Soon she would travel back to Stormwind to join the missionaries. The place where it all started. The place where many enemies of the crusade spilled their false believing. She was more ready than ever before. Maybe one day she would encounter Einor and his friends again. She knew that she would be ready, more ready than they could believe. Soon her lust for revenge would be satisfied.
A monster has been created!