Everyone wants to be a god of death it seems. Why is that so? I don’t know about others, but I much prefer life. When you’re dead, you can’t taste things, or feel the soft, new nest underneath you. When you’re dead, you can’t expand your knowledge. So why there’s so many gods of death? I mean, think about it. Arthas, the Lich King, presented himself to the vrykul as a “death god”. His “best friend” Yogg-Saron of course had to suffix his already scary title of “Old God” with “of Death”. Now, DEATHwing decided his name doesn’t have enough death in it so he proclaimed himself an Aspect of DEATH. Even the squawking quilboar had an organization called “Death’s Head”. It seems that if you want to sound scary you have to put as much DEATH as possible in your names and titles. Coming soon: deathy death death of death (and death). And then there are these Xa’tac.
Everything about the Xa’tac has to be about death. They’re commonly called “the Deathlords of Xa’tac”. They piloted giant deathships across the Twisting Nether and dropped deathpods on their unsuspecting victims. And they worshiped “death gods”. I didn’t know what was the deal with them, but I knew they were powerful and dangerous, and that now they are very dead. So there’s this whole sector of space out there where they once lived, full of stuff they left behind them when they were exterminated. And everyone avoids this sector like black DEATH because “dude, they use so much DEATH in their names, we better keep out”. I don’t believe in these superstitions. To me, that giant DEATH zone is an opportunity to gain something no one on Azeroth has yet – and something people will gladly buy from me.
So I sent my people to a world where, according to a map they bought on Darfell, one of the deathships crashed centuries ago, when their power in the galaxy was waning. The world was unnamed on the map, and described as unpopulated and otherwise unremarkable. I thought that before I risk sending my people to worlds where “deathlords” once lived, and which were devastated by the Burning Legion, I would send them to something on the outskirts of the sector. After finding just some primitive ape-like humanoids by scouting with my Eye of Terokk, I deemed that world safe to visit.
I sent Menrim, Ballough, Mehrzad, Gornn and Lunk. Of course the first thing they meet are those natives. As I hear back, they spoke a language unlike anything from Azeroth or Draenor, nor did they understand Common, so they were very likely not in any way related to the Titans. However, Menrim managed to figure out some words the ape-men were saying. He reports that their gestures pointed to a warning. “Ha!che ane’e” they said, which according to Menrim likely means “death zone”. It was, after all, a place of crash of a ship full of undead, and the natives were some primitive cavemen with little understanding of the outside world. My people determined it’s still safe to visit, so they continued on, despite the warnings.
I hear the deathship was eerily similar to a Scourge necropolis, except much bigger in size. It’s odd how similar patterns keep repeating across the universe, or different timelines. Patterns like DEATH in names, or various DEATH-obsessed people using similar designs. I mean, there’s only so many ways to build a giant fortress of doom, flying or otherwise. So they went looking for some way inside. Under the ship, they saw three skeletons dressed in some strange armor, and Gornn and Lunk managed to rip apart some kind of indestructible space metal and brought me some of it. But then, they found a door to a giant hangar bay, which they didn’t manage to open, but they found a personnel hatch nearby. With some force, they busted it open and entered.
Menrim says he half-expected to see some of the undead still going about, but everything inside was properly dead. He was also surprised by finding an airlock inside. Because think about it – if the ship is full of undead, why does it need air? The answer was obviously, there weren’t just undead on the ship. There were necromancers, or other living Xa’tac, as it seems these people weren’t just space Scourge. There were actual living people, the Deathlords themselves, behind all this. But there something even stranger further behind the Deathlords.
First, my people entered that hangar bay from inside the ship. What they found told us much about the tactics the Xa’tac were using to conquer other worlds. The hangar was lined with small, ball-shaped constructs. At first they thought these were bombs, but as Menrim later described it, they were in fact paratroopers. Inside these “deathpods” were skeletons wearing armor made from the same strange metal, curled up into balls and waiting for deployment. Turns out the Deathships would enter the atmosphere of a planet, fly up to a city and drop thousands of these buggers on the people below. As the pods landed, the hatches on them opened and the skeletons jumped out and started killing people. These however, were inactive, despite being in a working condition. For a skeleton, I mean.
So Menrim figured out, if all these undead are inactive, despite being workable, there must be something hogging up all the power. They went after the only source of power on the entire ship and found the bridge – a large, octagonal console connected to four capsules where old, crumbling skeletons still lied. That was the source of power for the ship – living (or perhaps undead) beings, drained of their life energies. But the most curious piece was the fifth capsule, larger than the other human-sized ones, and still functioning. The light was still on and there was a creature inside – dormant but preserved. Of course, Lunk had to put his damn hand in the release button and the thing opened.
Menrim managed to decipher the writing on the stasis chamber just before it opened and he was reluctant to report that inside was “Our Flayed Lord, Death God of Xa’tac”. What came out was according to their description a vrykul-sized undead humanoid that looked flayed, but with remains of white hair and beard (growing out of the muscles… somehow). It behaves like what you would expect from someone using the title “death god of Xa’tac”, namely announcing his name (Totec) and trying to subdue and suck the life out of my people. Mehrzad managed to free Gornn before it was too late and they began to flee, but the creature was already awakened. Awakened, but dumb.
See, the whole Deathship was pretty badly broken from the crash on the surface of that world. There was no way for it to fly, but the “death god” didn’t know that and began summoning all the undead across the ship to the bridge to use them to power up the ship, including the engines. When my people escaped and looked back at the derelict ship, they saw the engines flare up for a moment, only to explode and blow the whole necropolis to smithereens. I doubt anything, death god or otherwise, could survive that kind of explosion.
So they returned. They met the ape-men on their way out again, and were gifted with some useless necklaces and dubbed, according to Menrim, “killers of death”. They didn’t bring back much of use this time, but what I learned was invaluable. I now know that these Xa’tac were indeed powerful, and I should be able to gather much useful information and materials from the worlds they invaded. After all, there surely isn’t a death god on every single world, right?