"This is allegory. All of it."
A man tends to wander. Sometimes through his vessel. Sometimes through his mind. I prefer to do both. Ever since I discovered the constant nature of death, and its realm, throughout the entirety of the universe, or the Great Dark, or whatever a civilization chooses to call it, I have found myself enthralled to the desire to wander. To learn.
After all, why else do we exist, except to sustain that existence? What other purpose do we have? Love, hatred, joy, despair, all of these exist to give us a purpose, a purpose to continue existing in a universe that hates our very existence, for we are not natural, no, but a corruption of its base form, elements given flesh, stone turned soft. But I digress.
The purpose of this recollection I am currently having my scribe, well, transcribe, is for those that come after me, to this little rock tumbling through space that I call home. I use the term 'little', because even compared to Azeroth, this place is pitifully small. Whether they come in ten years or a hundred or a thousand or never, I figure it's only fair that impart the knowledge I traveled so far to gain unto someone else.
This is a tale of one of the first planets I visited after gaining mastery of the gates into and out of death's realm. How I gained knowledge of it, this it being the planet, is a tricky question that depends on which me you ask, for in each time there is a me, but in death there is a constant me, that is both me and not me at the same time. For this reason, I prefer to not ask the 'why' of how I come to gain knowledge I know that -I- did not learn, for it is either the work of the creatures within my mind or the work of my mind that is not my own. But, I digress again.
The world I visited was a snowy one, not unlike the climate of Dun Morogh, but on a global scale. Storms of ice raged across its surface, and only the hardiest of plants grew. I wandered for many days, days which were much longer than the ones we experience on Azeroth, before I found a camp of nomads entrenched in the snow, weathering out a storm in the relative safety of a mountain's outcropping. I approached their camp from the front, so as to not raise alarm, and so as to get a better look at the inhabitants of this world. Two guards quickly approached me.
They appeared to be much like the furbolgs of our own world, though a much more arctic variant, as one would guess. Their equipment was simple, as expected of nomads on a world deprived of warmth--their fur clothing, which seemed a tad redundant, served as their armor, and they bore only wooden spears with sharpened shale attached on the end. Their language was guttural, incomprehensible to my ears, but I nonetheless understood their intentions. To stop and inspect me before giving me passage further into their camp.
Unfortunately for them, I wasn't a terribly patient man, and I was also not a man inclined towards not understanding what was being spoken about around him, or about him. I raised both hands, an action which they seemed to approve of, before flicking my fingers forwards, sending the ice of that world's storms into their eyes, driving the shards deep before shattering them, and shattering those pieces once they came to rest, and so on and so forth until the inside of their skull was nothing but eviscerated brain and shattered ice. They fell into the snow quietly, the sounds of their death muffled by the storm, and I moved forward into the encampment with one of my many runeblades, this one a sword, drawn.
The task was finished soon enough, the snow turned red with the blood of its inhabitants. From the souls I had gathered, from the souls I had consumed, I learned the ways of their world--its languages, its customs, its locations of note. Most importantly, I learned that they both breath and ingest the air, which is how they obtained liquid water on a world where it was too cold for any to exist. Their primary food source was consumption of others of their species, of the mammoth packs that roamed the world, or various small critters that eked out a living in the wasteland. The only other item of interest gathered from their screams was the location of an elder of their species, one who had lived since the very beginning, 'blessed' by the world, as they had called him in their mournful wails, knowing they had doomed him as well.
It was the way of the universe, I knew. In their shame, I would gain power and knowledge. If there was a better path, I did not care to take it--this one already gave me benefits which were plentiful enough. The trek to the mountain where this elder resided took some months, close to three-fourths of an Azeroth year, but time means little to the damned. I reached the cave I had sought, having slain each nomadic band I came across on the way, and set my sheathed blade down against the outside of the entrance. I had no need of it inside, I knew. The elder and I would speak, and he would die, along with his world, all without a single slash of the sword. Their biology would be their doom.
The man was small, by the standards of his species, wrapped in furs until one could not easily tell where they ended and his form began. Perhaps by design, perhaps by necessity, I neither knew nor much cared. I settled myself across from him, the fire of the cave roaring between us. In truth it was no natural fire, but an elemental of the world, serving one of the few who knew how to call upon it in the frozen hellscape. But that was unimportant to me. Its power was minuscule, and it would not pose an obstacle for my goals. I set my hands over it, feeling the faint warmth suffusing my long-dead hands. I kept my voice monotone as I spoke, eyes beneath my helm affixed on the humanoid beast before me. He seemed surprised that I spoke his tongue with such ease, for he knew in his heart what lurked in mine, and what I had come to do.
He knew I was no native, he divulged as we spoke, as soon as he felt my presence on his world. He was linked to it on a base level, and he felt it groan with my presence, and the presences within me. We spoke for many an hour, many a day, many a week, many a year about the nature of the universe, of the worlds, of life and of death, of the elements. He was a man of vision, that much was laid bare throughout our long talk, and his vision was a curse in his eyes, if only because he did not have the power to go with it. I understood. Perhaps more than anyone ever could. I think that's why there was such peace upon his face when I finally burst his heart within his chest. He had met a kindred spirit, and for the first time, was understood completely, was loved, completely. I sat in the cave long enough for the elemental to finally sputter out of existence before raising myself up and walking out of the maw of the mountain. I gazed across the landscape, a smile upon my deadened lips as I attached my sword once more to my belt. I reached up to my helm and placed my hands to its sides, the chain mail holding it down unsealing from its side as I did so, allowing me to look upon the cold white-blue of the world without the green tint of the inlaid glass of the helm.
Borne upon that cough was a peculiar little disease I had discovered in one of my travels before this one, the first deadworld I came across, but certainly not the last. The inhabitants of the world, in their avarice for domination over their brothers, had concocted a deadly little thing in their labs beneath the earth, one capable of being borne on both wind and water, unable to be killed except by having killed all hosts, capable of causing their bodies to rend apart at what they had termed a 'cellular' level. In short, a perfectly deadly disease. Even as the last of the life upon their world died, their greed, their shame, held firm, and their annihilation was pleasing to them, for in it they believed they had obtained victory. The ones I had claimed upon discovering their world, upon drawing their roaming souls back to me, laughed within me, knowing they had doomed another world to victory through their greatest act of shame, and they were greatly pleased. I myself merely placed my helm, my crown, back upon my head, the chain mail once more sealing it upon my body as a death gate opened behind me. I did not need to stay to collect my souls--they would travel time and space to reach their new master. A smile still upon my face, I turned and walked through the gate which sealed behind my form, leaving the world I had doomed silent, for a time.
I returned to Azeroth a moment after I had departed, and resumed the paperwork I had been tending to. More saronite had arrived for the outfitting of my fledgling legio, much to my pleasure. I worked until the candles burned low, and then I slept for a time, content that I had earned a brief visit to the Forest.