The second of five winning entries we received for the BBB Arthas Book Contest! I enjoyed the point of view, and the thought behind this one quite a bit, and I hope you enjoy it too! I made a few minor spelling and grammer corrections, to ease the readability a bit. I hope that Cowsareus, a self professed native French-speaker living in Switzerland will forgive me the impertinance.

As told by Cowsareus

“What? Sit and wait?” I asked him. “Why should I sit here and wait?” 
The reply came, quiet and assured. “I have heard of your future, and I know who you are”.

The beast spoke slowly, with a deep voice that identified him instantly as a male Tauren. Some find their voice intimidating, I just think of them as animals with the ability to speak. How could this beast know me and ask me to spend time chatting with him? Did he not see I had merely paused to regain my strength? Did he not understand my pressing need to keep moving?

The Tauren sat down, as if to invite me to join him into listening to his speech.

“You are still yet a young prince, and your presence has been noticed.”

“I’m glad to hear that, Tauren”, I said, interrupting the creature.

“I heard your race has become quite good at spotting the obvious, over the ages. You druids and all your ancestral religion means nothing to me. I believe in myself and the Light. If you came to tell me about Cenarius and the Earth Mother, you are wasting my time.”

The beast continued on, seemingly unbothered by my observations. “I came to find you, young prince, to maintain balance. Your acts are about to have a greater impact on yourself than you know, and the Earth Mother gifted my sight to see further than this day, and I saw you. I speak the truth, young prince.”

You are a fool, Tauren, hours of meditation in your smoky hut turned you senile. You know nothing of me!”

“Your name is Arthas, and you are to become the next King. The nature of your kingdom is not yet decided…  Today you are on a mission to kill many innocent lives. You are heading toward a town infected by the plague, and you intend to kill each and everyone of its people.”

“How dare you speak those words! Are you foolish enough to call me a murderer?”

If you are that well informed about the plague infection, why do you not use your wisdom to find a cure for it, so that we may save this land? And even if I have to slay infected people, can’t you see that it is the only thing to be done to prevent them from turning into mindless zombies, slaves doomed to fight the ones they loved?”

“It is in the balance of life for these people to die. It is not for them to die at your hands, young Prince.”

The Tauren looked at me silently, sitting right in front of me, defenseless. I could slaughter him right here and now, should I see the need to do so. 

I was getting tired of this encounter. I had to reach Stratholme, and this beast that had approached me as I gathered my strength to continue the chase was wasting my time with his meaningless opinions.

“Should I just end his suffering and move on?”, I wondered, growing ever more irritated at the delay. No, a Paladin, a follower of the Light, shall not kill for such reasons.

“So what are you suggesting, Tauren, how shall I save Stratholme and the rest of the country, if I do nothing to stop the spead of the plague, and they are all infected” I asked him. 

“I asked you to sit right here, and wait”.

I was getting irritated. This animal showed no respect, and seemed to have lost his mind long ago. 

Tauren, I have had enough of you. I am leaving, and I suggest you never stand in my way again. I might not be as merciful”. 

It was then, that I noticed a change happening. The sky darkened above us, the grass around us started moving as if shaken by an invisible hand, and yet I could feel no wind on my face. I felt something moving behind me. I felt unsettled, as if nature itself was watching me. 

Then the Tauren stood up and spoke. The voice had changed. No longer did he speak with his ridiculously calm and soft voice. It was as if I could hear a thunder during the most violent storm talking to me.

“Young Prince, I came to find you here before you reached Stratholme, for I have seen your deeds, and I will not allow it to happen!”

“Foolish Tauren, if you came to challenge me, I will fight and defeat you. I am not afraid by this sorcery!”

As I looked around, I saw a multitude of animals had gathered out of nowhere. Deers, wolves, bears, even the branches of the trees were filled with hundreds of birds above us. They all stood or perched quietly, watching us. 

Gathering my strength, I resolved to push aside this beast that dared to try to prevent me from doing my duty.

“I shall grant you a clean death. I hope for you that you are ready for this journey in the afterlife. May the light take you, Tauren!”

I raised my hammer overhead, and unleashing my battle cry, I charged forward. “For the light!”

He did not seem prepared to fight. He never moved. My hammer crushed his bones as I hit him, and before his own blood blurred my vision I saw the pain on his face.  

At that moment, I felt a needle piercing my chest. A very slight, meaningless pain.

I cleared my eyes, and as I looked down, I saw the Tauren’s arm falling to his side, cluthcing a small branch. He had managed to hit me on the chest between the plates of my armor, on the left hand side.  

“What have you done, foolish Tauren? Tried to fight me with a piece of wood?” 

The wound I had received was not even painful. He certainly did succeed in striking me, but if it wasn’t for the blood on my side and the branch he was holding, I would barely have noticed his feeble effort.

“Now, young Prince, you are ready for your journey,” he whispered as he fell.

As the massive body hit the ground, I heard a sound as of a thousand creatures in mourning ripping through my ears. It was as if all the wild creatures that had gathered around were crying at the death of their champion.

A moment later, they became silent and departed, leaving me in peace.

Shaking off the strangeness of the encounter, I shook off my fatigue and prepared for the final push to Stratholme. “People of Stratholme, your Prince is coming to your aid!”

~0~

The young Prince was, indeed, now ready for his journey, not knowing that he carried a seed inside him. A seed planted into his heart, through the death of a noble son of the Earth Mother. 

“For the King’s heart shall be frozen for a time. 
Then the ice will melt, and the seed will bring a new spark of life into him.
And he shall redeem his name and become the King of Lordaeron.”

It was I who wrote those words of prophecy with my own hand so long ago. I have foreseen all of this happening with my own eyes. For the Earth Mother gifted my sight, and I see further than the events of today. 

She saved Arthas, like she saved me. 

From the journal of Medivh, the Last Guardian of Tirisfal

6 Responses to “Arthas Contest Winner – Cowsareus”
  1. Klinger says:

    Oooh, I like! Great fodder for the imagination!

  2. Fangtastic says:

    Great stuff! :)

  3. Seril says:

    Excellent story!

  4. Indaris says:

    Smashing, this fills in a big ‘huh?’ of mine! I’m guessing the inspiration for this was the dead tauren in the Western Plaguelands? I had always wondered about why he had died in the middle of the forest surrounded by undead animals, and never really read the quest text…

  5. Chawa says:

    Ooh that was fabulous as well! Another one who well deserved to win!

    /salute Cowsareus

  6. Tal says:

    Great story…
    But speaking of correcting English mistakes, you do know there’s no such thins as “impertinAnce”, right? :p

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