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"You... must be... Warchief," he said. The look of shock on the Banshee Queen's face was barely discernible through the fog that clouded Vol'jin's eyes, though it compared nothing to the shock he'd felt himself when the spirits had given him the vision. Even now, the words felt wrong as they passed his lips. Like a betrayal of everything he had ever worked for. There was no future he could see in which Windrunner would lead the Horde into anything but an abyss, but to question the spirits would be casting doubt on every act of his adult life.

The cold of the grave had grappled at his body for hours since the Broken Shore, held at bay by nothing but his sheer willpower to deliver this final decree to her face. He had thought, maybe, just maybe if he saw her face when he said it, then he would also see the spirits' wisdom. But there was nothing. Nothing but the cold, and as the doubt gripped his heart he succumbed at last, the witch's ashen face the last thing his mortal eyes perceived.

* * *

Coldness. Darkness. But not nothingness. He recognized this.

Vol'jin stood up slowly, the aching demon wound that had tormented him for hours before his death lingering only in the memory of his physical form. He had peered into this shadowy realm many times in his life, but never had he walked it.

"I know you be there, Bwonsamdi," he said, and was rewarded with a hollow chuckle.

"You always were a quick one, Son of Sen'jin," the loa said, appearing from the dark fog. "I gonna miss you as a follower."

"There be plenty of regrets to go around."

"What, you thought you'd be leavin' life behind with no regrets?" Bwonsamdi laughed. "For thousands of years I been watchin' the souls of the dead, Son of Sen'jin, and I tell ya now, none go without regret. Some big, some small. Yours be a small one."

Anger flashed in Vol'jin soul. "Ya call de fate of the entire world 'small'?"

"The world be in the hands it meant to be in," Bwonsamdi said, then tapped his chin and feigned a pensive look. "Well, mostly."

Vol'jin shook his head. "Windrunner... I still can't fathom it."

"You question our guidance?"

Vol'jin took a deep breath, or whatever passed for one without a physical form. " I only wish I could see de wisdom I trust be there." He sighed. "But I suppose dat be a privilege only for de loa."

"Indeed it is," Bwonsamdi nodded. A grin spread across his face, his tusks widening it wickedly.

"And so you may just see it for yourself, after all," a new voice said.

Vol'jin turned to see new forms emerge from the shadows. A massive bat, larger than a dire troll, hobbled forward on its wings. "Hir'eek," he said, surprised.

"It has been many ages since a mortal last joined us," said Gonk, the Great Hunter. "Few are worthy to face the trials, and fewer succeed."

"Bwonsamdi has argued long for you," Quezt'lun, the Wind Serpent of the Drakkari, said haughtily. "I hope you will not disappoint."

"He'd better not," chittered Shadra, the Venom Queen. "I'd hate to have wasted my venom ensuring he perished for nothing."

Vol'jin turned and turned. Loa surrounded him, more appearing from the shadows each moment. There were Jan'alai and Nalorakk of the Amani, and Akali the rhino. Hethiss and Shirvalla emerged beside Mueh'zala of the Sandfury. Loa of all the tribes, loa who had been friends and foes to his people, even a few he could not recognize.

Bwonsamdi's hand fell upon his shoulder, and where once such a touch from the death loa would have been cause for alarm, now Vol'jin felt a hint of camaraderie.

"Dis gonna be harder den anythin' you ever done before, Vol'jin. De trials you faced in life gonna be nothin' to what lie ahead. But if you pass, den you gonna guide ya people forevah."

Vol'jin stood tall, straightening his back to reach his full, towering height, and grinned. At last, he could see what the loa had designed.

He had a challenge.

He had a goal.

And he had a path.

He'd be back.
I want this to be canon.

Also, why can't more Sunday threads be like this?
10/09/2016 02:54 PMPosted by Padrin
Also, why can't more Sunday threads be like this?

Agreed, mon
This was wonderful, you have given him a fantastic death. I'm saving this.
You sir deserve every upvote in the Western Hemisphere.

11/10 please make canon
*will read and respond later*
I was like, what did I do now????

Probably canon, too. We'll see.
Just read this to my hubby, I wish he could give you thumbs up but he did like it :)
I wish I could like this more than once!
Simply amazing read. You brought a tear to my eye.
Amazing read! You sir have my upvote.
Bumpity for amazing story.

To quote captain Picard "make it so"!
This was excellent, OP. Great job.
Wow, that was not what I was expecting when I clicked on this thread.

I want you to know, OP, that this was a truly enjoyable read. Great work, mon.
Really, really great read, thanks for this

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