With Blood & Magic – Aranal I

Aranal!

Rise! Rise yourself Leafara! The time to achieve greatness is at hand and you have everything at your disposal to make it real. I’d have to keep my master pleased about my progress if I was to retain my place under his wing, otherwise, I’d be abandoned without having any credit to myself and my journey would probably lead me back to Fairbreeze Village… That is not how my destiny will be!

Chapter 5

Once my encounter with Vakrai had ended, I kept absorbing the sunlight of the day for just a while longer. It was just so reinvigorating and to tell you the truth, something pointed out to me that I would not see it much in the coming days.

I couldn’t forget to be at the same place the day after, but at that moment the thought simply vanished from my mind as I rushed back to Rommath’s study. Once I reached the supposed level of the spire at the stairway, I waved my hand with a gesture of the spell that I cast previously, and the wall before me crumbled sidewards. I entered the room, but just barely by the passageway. Can you believe me it took me a dozen times more to adapt the spell for a more proper entrance? One that would not challenge your body to squeeze by the magically altered wall… Oh well, there were more pressing matters in my mind at the time.

As I entered the room, I noticed that the mirror image I left was still in place, following the text of an open book with the right index finger. With a hand wave, I dismissed the image thus canceling the spell. “Aww… You’re a clever little Elf, aren’t you? Leafara?” I did not feel a presence at all, but the voice was recognizable although a bit different from what I remembered. In between two shelves of books stood a projection of my tutor. I gasped in surprise, how could I not? As simple as a projection can be, Rommath’s voice still made an impact. “I see you’ve made it out of the room. Very well… It seems Rubble will need to be reassembled soon.” Most of the time, Rommath covered his face. Be it with a scarf or piece of cloth that came from his robes, most of the time he had his face covered. If it was simple counter maneuvering to prevent his opponents from guessing what words were coming out of his mouth, or another thing completely different, I did not know. He never bothered to answer such trivial questions. But this time, I think I could actually see his smirk.

I asked if the Golem was actually necessary and if it was programmed with lethal methods in mind. “Azeroth is a dangerous place Leafara. I trusted that you had the arsenal to deal with Rubble after the theater show you pulled on me back at Fairbreeze Village.” And with an argument like that, I opted for a simple change of subject, thus asking when he would be back. “Alas the days I thought I’d be spending out of Silvermoon won’t be as many as I thought. There are rumors here in Dalaran…” He seemed hesitant to share anything further than that, but I’d not be keeping in the dark without at least trying, so I asked about them right away. “The Council of Six is worried about some plague affecting the Northlands. There were sightings in small villages where the inhabitants were nothing but mindless, ravaging beasts. Prince Kael’thas has asked me and a colleague of mine to investigate the nature of said plague.” At the moment it didn’t look as if it was any dire, some mushrooms could do just that. If only I knew what was about to come at the time… “Leafara…” Rommath continued. “You are surrounded by books, but unlike Dalaran, Quel’thalas prizes knowledge over insignificant taboos. Find what you can about diseases related to necromancy and undeath. I fear the knowledge will be invaluable… very, very soon.”

I did not know Rommath very well at the time, but he seemed concerned about the current events. With a simple nod, I agreed to his request without any further questions. He seemed suspicious for my quietness, as I believe that he was gathering his thoughts for a moment. “You have a few more days on your own here.” He waved his hand and performed a quick gesture with it. Then, a space in between the bookshelves opened, the wall crumbled sideways much like the entrance to that room. However, this passage presented yet another room that was now connected to the first one. “I forgot to mention, there’s a second room that you may use. There’s a bed with fresh sheets and probably some garments in the wardrobe that may fit you. Some that may actually point that you are at least, under the tutelage of a Magister.” Well, that was a relief… I did look like a peasant who had not taken a bath for a couple of days. Still performing my act so that my tutor would not suspect of my recently made connections, I thanked him properly and made sure that I’d start studying after a nice bath since I saw a magnificent bathtub in the other room. “One last note Leafara…” With a gesture of his fingers, Rommath magically levitated Rubble’s pieces that were scattered among the room, placing them all together, leaving the guardian rebuilt but unfunctional. My eyes could not hide the surprise in me, for Rommath to do that through a projection… It was inconceivable in my mind until that point. “Worry not, Rubble will only be operational once I’m back in Silvermoon… However, be on the lookout for anyone who might contact through here. For this mission, I’ll have to act without magical ties to any device. There are some reports that I’m expecting to receive, be a good student and write them down.” I promptly nodded without any words and just like that, Rommath was gone, allowing me to discover a circular device built in stone and with something magical imbued in it. So that’s what he was using. It still did not explain how he applied magic through a distance though. But no matter, I had a task to do and I’d do so, after a much-needed bath. With a gesture of my hand, I weaved the spell to close the entrance to Rommath’s study, which was currently mine for the time being. After lighting up the various candles that circumvented the walls and the main desk, I went into the next room and did the same. There was no water, but my ingenious self at the time got that problem covered. With a magical touch, I simply summoned a considerable ice boulder. Now, my mastery of Fire was chaotic at the time but I could at least bring some heat to my hands. It took a while, but I was able to melt the ice and have myself a hot bath. I added a few Mageroyal petals for a little bit of flavor and took half an hour to get my body hydrated and clean of impurities.

Aranal 11
The Spires of Silvermoon. As places of power towering over the city, they’re home to various orders and nobles.

As I was getting out of the bathtub, I heard a voice back in the other room. “Rommath! Are you here? I’m not seeing you…” I veiled myself with a large piece of cloth that was hanging at the ledge of the bathtub and walked onto the other room. “Oh, I didn’t know Rommath had a pet on his chambers…” Now hang on my dear lady! I’m no one’s pet and certainly not guilty of your jealousy! My words did not come out like that, but I explained that I was using these rooms after Rommath welcomed me as a student. “Oh… I see.” At first, she had a hood covering her head, but then she took it off, setting her black long hair loose and revealing her not so slim face. “I’m Dácala of the Kirin Tor. I was expecting Rommath to receive the report…” A mage from Dalaran? And a Human no less. The first one I encountered in my life. Rommath always had connections in high places, but since he was affiliated with the City of Wizards, it was no surprise that he could be asking favors there. After a short explanation as to Rommath’s current task, Dácala looked displeased but firm. “Once you get in touch with him, tell Rommath that my investigation bore no fruit. Also, the Kirin Tor are rearranging their ranks and I was selected for an expedition to Alterac.” For an instant, it seemed that something shined underneath the black garments that Dácala wore. She brought her hand there and it ceased. “It seems that I’ve been summoned… Before I go… What’s your name little Elf?” I gulped. Dácala had this look on her eyes. I do not know if it was anger or something else, but it had some levels of animosity in her. My name. It was the only word that came out of my mouth. “Leafara… I see. Until we meet again, little Elf.” Dácala placed the hood on her head, and the projection ceased to be transmitted.

Well, nothing of much importance to be noted rather than the failure to get answers to whatever it was Dácala was investigating. It wasn’t hard to remember at all. Now, since I was out of the bath already, I dried myself up and went to the wardrobe in the other room. I picked up a blue robe and a pair of sandals that fitted me just right at the time.

The day was giving place to the coming night, so before it got completely dark, I darted out of the spire and ended up in the first Inn of the city to eat something more malleable than Mana Strudels. It was a pretty calm walk, in and out without incidents or anything special worth mentioning. Or at least I thought so at the time… Because I think I may have exaggerated in the wine… Somehow, I got to my own bed, so there’s not much to worry about it I think…

I’d soon find out, that such was not the case.

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