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#13556547 Dec 05, 2017 at 11:55 PM
23 Posts
"Three hundred sixty-five point seven three one by eleven hundred twenty one by forty-five point two."

The wind of the frozen cliffs ripped through the robes of the auburn-haired Pyromancer. Even his gloves could not fully protect his hands from the biting rushes of air. Nonetheless, he persisted with scrawling the coordinates of the ley line into the floating book in front of him as directed by Istan.

"Three hundred sixty-five point seven four one by eleven hundred twenty one by forty five point three."

He glanced up to see the young man further toward the edge of the icy cliff, staring down what appeared to be nothing, though Ilmarinen knew differently. All of these numbers together would draw out a line that only Istan could see and a destination that neither of them knew. Yet.

"Three hundred sixty-five point seven five one by eleven hundred twenty one by forty five point four."

It was odd to watch Istanogos on the precarious ledge of frozen tundra. In spite of the thin frame and faded blue robe struggling against the arctic blasts, the young man before him looked unfazed by the weather. Not even his wild, shoulder-length snow-colored hair moved to the wind's command.

"Three hundred sixty-five point seven six one by eleven hundred twenty one by forty five point four."

Thoughts drifted to the strange event at the senate meeting as he glanced at the setting sun. He wasn't sure what had made the darkness, nor did he know what could be done about it. His discussions with the young boy about it didn't yield any more results. A trick by a rogue mage? That seemed doubtful knowing the talents of the mages assembled. Was it something from the void? That seemed more likely, but there wasn't anything of evidence to siggest that it was thus. He did worry that the work he and Istan were doing might be related, but how...

"Ilmarinen?" inquired Istan as the Pyromancer realized the young man approaching him slowly. "You seem more distracted than usual."

The red-haired mage blinked once, then shook his head. "I think we've mapped the ley line enough for the day, Istan." Indeed, they had been working since the sun had risen, though daylight was brief this time of year in Northrend. Even a few hours exposed to the wind would cause health concerns for most humans.

Istan gave a brief shrug. "It's just as well, I guess," he replied casually, looking back over his shoulder to where he was tracing the ley line a few moments before. "I'm still concerned about how long this strange ley line is, and where it's going."

Ilmarinen peered over the young man's shoulder as if he could see the same thing. "It could take us months to find out where this leads. You are sure this one is not charted?"

The white-haired youth twisted his mouth as if he was unsure of how to answer. "If it is, it has changed its course. And besides, it doesn't feel normal. I swear it feels...darker, somehow, the more we travel down it."

"You still think it's somehow affected by the void?" The Pyromancer could only guess as to what the ley line looked or felt like, but it was his assumption baseed on Istan's repeated descriptions.

The young man sighed, turning his icy blue eyes back to Ilmarinen. "Do you think we could consult the Senate on this?"

The red-haired mage paused. It was unusual to hear Istan's desire to speak and interact with the Senate, considering that for most of the boy's life was spent avoiding the mageocracy. It wasn't that the boy hated Dalaran, but advice from just about everyone but Ilmarinen advised him to be cautious of mages that would be aware of his true dradonic nature. It seems like that caution was thrown away lately - and perhaps Istan was right to discard it. The blue dragonflight had changed dramatically since he was discovered by Ilmarinen on this very continent nearly ten years ago, and old rules set by a desceased aspect were difficult to keep up.

"Perhaps when the Senate re-convenes in the new year," the Pyromancer finally replied, absently stroking his auburn goatee. "We may have something else by then; something other than his strange ley line."

Istan shrugged again, walking with Ilmarinen away from the windswept cliff of ice with the sun finally disappearing below the horizon. "I don't know if we'll have any more than that, considering we've been at this for months. Besides, if this is a sign of something worse, we should probably not keep this to ourselves. Especially in light of the last Senator session you had attended."

The Pyromancer took a deep breath, coughing slightly against the bitter air. He was right, he thought internally. "Let's get some rest this evening and head to Dalaran tomorrow," he spoke with a grim tone. "We might as well not waste any more time than we already have."
#13563034 Dec 10, 2017 at 08:51 PM · Edited 7 months ago
23 Posts

Ilmarinen sighed as he finished reading the press release attached to his door. He unlocked the magical bolt that secured his dormitory and pushed the door open to see his belongings arranged in an unfamiliar way.

"Istan," the Pyromancer whispered over his shoulder, "someone has been here."

Istan approached the door, glancing at the notice, then to Ilmarinen, then to the room within. "Do you know who?" questioned the young white-haired man.

"I'll know soon enough..." the red-haired mage closed his turquoise eyes, reaching out his right hand, palm outward, slowly rotating his palm to ninety degrees, which caused the entire room to glow softly. Though he deliberately shut himself from normal sight, he was able to view the outline of all of his belongings, even the furniture and wall decor. On objects that he knew were altered, he could sense very familiar signatures, and after a few matching arcane patterns, he lowered his hand and opened his eyes again.

"The city guard have been here," he replied softly, though louder than the previous whisper. "They were searching for something."

Istan turned around and looked out from the apartment to the city of Dalaran. "Do you think...they were after what we found?"

Ilmarinen didn't respond, but instead walked into the room slowly, looking over everything with the naked eye, noting particular objects that had been disturbed for clues as to what they were looking for. "I have yet to present my findings to the Senate. In fact, I doubt that most of them even know what we have been doing for the past several months. Trust me, I have been quiet about this."

"However," he continued as he held up a small paper from the floor that had his notes about various ley line search ideas in Northrend, "I don't think I should keep quiet about this much longer. If someone in the Senate knows, they may think we're intentionally trying to hide our findings."

Istan approached the other with a concerned look on his pale face. "Would they not ask you directly about our research if they were concerned? Why go to such a deceptive length?"

Ilmarinen twisted his mouth and stared at the note he had picked up, not responding for several moments. "One of the security protocols outlined in the press release noted that those who have had 'lapses' in their ring connection," he paused as he held up his right hand with the senate signet ring on his pinky finger, "and due to interference with your leyfinding, I've shut the ring off for very long periods of time while out in the field."

Icy eyes stared at the signet ring for a few moments, then frowned slightly. "Seems like a leash more than a ring."

The pyromancer ignored the comment and put down the paper upon a nearby shelf. "I will need to approach the ministers and chancellor immediately." He turned back to face Istan with an agitated look to his face. "I don't think it's wise to stay in Dalaran. If this is related to our research and I am detained for questioning, I'll need you to continue on your own."

The young man backed up a small step, quirking a snow-colored brow. "That seems a bit extreme, does it not?"

"You change shape, do you not?"

The retort seemed to clamp the young man's jaw shut. Though he did not reply, it was clear what Ilmarinen was trying not to rouse additional suspicion by having Istan around those that could detect his true nature.

"It's a precaution." Even after all these years, the pyromancer did not fully trust the politics of the mageocracy. A brief memory flashed in his mind all those years ago when he stood in front of the Kirin Tor and refused a high-ranking position; and those that his grandfather warned him about that reacted negatively to his refusal. Seventeen. Though most of that number were gone for various reasons, a few were still out there...

"Ward yourself and take flight as soon as you can," he continued as he put a hand on Istan's shoulder to lead them both out of Ilmarinen's domicile. "If I am being paranoid, I'll continue the research with you in short order. If what I fear is valid, then I will get a message sent to Peb'on."

The white-haired young man paused at the door frame, looking at Ilmarinen searchingly for a moment, then gave a quick, knowing nod. "I'm sure I will see you soon."

The pyromancer closed the door behind him, locking it, then placing a hand to the press release tacked to the door. The paper flashed, then dissipated with a slight arcane twinkle left behind. "I've acknowledged it so they will have no doubt that I am here. You will need to go quickly before we are noticed.

A slight glow enveloped Istan as he jumped into the air, his vertical leap followed by the sprouting of large, cobalt serpentine arms and legs, then azure wings, then torso and head. Where the young man once was, a skyrazor now hovered.

Ilmarinen nodded to the blue drake as it took off, the soft glow still enveloping it. He sighed and made his way from the apartment to the city center, hoping that it was all paranoia.

And if it was paranoia...what was really happening in Dalaran?
#13582627 Dec 26, 2017 at 11:22 PM
23 Posts
The snow picked up in intensity as Istan leaned into the wind, approaching a gigantic rock that jutted out from the landscape like a natural monolith. It was an uncarved statue of stone with no significance other than its stark contrast to the icy plain surrounding it. It stood nearly ten times Istan's human height, making it a bit imposing, if nothing else.

With his large violet book tucked under his arm, he held out the bare hand of his other arm to a swirling blue-and-purple-hued wall of translucent energy. He had traced the line and documented the coordinates, but when it stopped at the base of the rock and did not emerge on the other side, he could do no more. He pondered carving through the rock, or even splitting it, but doing so would require an ample amount of magic, and he was extremely hesitant to unleash such power around a ley line that did not look like or feel like a normal ley line...

Completely by surprise, he suddenly felt a large object strike his whole body from behind, sending him hurtling ahead several body lengths in the snow and ice. For a moment, after he finally finished tumbling, he lay still, face-down. Though the event was sudden, Istan knew what had happened.

He sighed and used his arms to push himself up. "By Malygos' beard, Nyris." The white-haired young man started brushing the clumps of snow from his sleeves, frowning in mild frustration.

A ruby-colored drakes' head suddenly appeared in Istan's vison, with the sound of feminine giggling emanating from it. "You must have really been concentrating, Istan."

The red-hued serpentine shape called 'Nyris' suddenly disappeared in a brilliant flash, replaced by a feminine humanoid shape of olive skin and long auburn dreadlocks. "That's three times this week I have been able to surprise you," the voice continued, this time from the Orcish creature. "In a row."

"Don't you have citizens in Orgrimmar to harass?" snapped Istan as he shuffled over to pick up his half-buried book.

Nyris grinned, showing small fangs on the lower row of teeth. She sauntered over to a flustered Istan, wolf pelts on her body flapping in the arctic wind. "You're much more fun to harass."

The pale-skinned young man brushed off the book forcefully. "Of course I am." He pushed the book at Nyris, causing her to react if she got shoved in the chest. "Well," Istan continued, "you can make yourself useful, then."

A small smirk crossed the boy's lips as he turned his back on her and received a very audible sigh from the other. "Why are you so obsessed with tracing this invisible magic line?" she inquired.

Though the question carried a tone as if it was meant to be rhetorical, Istan decided to reply anyway. "The Nexus Vault does not have this line mapped. Documenting its coordinates is invaluable for research. Plus, I am worried that it is laced with void energy, which could mean-"

"Booooring." interrupted Nyris as a barely-packed ball of soft snow struck Istan's wild shoulder-length hair. "How are you so sure that this isn't mapped? Maybe Azy has a secret hidden book stored away in the Nexus."

"No, Nyris," the white-haired young man replied in an agitated tone, "he does not."

"He doesn't?! Well did you ASK him?"

"Of course I ASKED him!" he shouted curtly, wheeling around to face her as his words began to carry the weight of anger. "I wouldn't have been doing this for seven months if we had a bloody record of this thing!"

Nyris' playful expression disappeared, replaced by a slightly saddened look in her golden eyes. There was a long moment of awkward silence, disrupted only by the howl of the wind, before she spoke again.

"Istan...are you okay?" she asked in genuine concern. "You usually don't react like that.”

The white-haired young man put fingers to his temples and took a deep breath. "Sorry. I…ugh. Sorry."

"Is it because Ilmarinen has been gone so long?"

Istan paused in thought. He had forgotten about the human pyromancer in Dalaran. Still, he shook his head. "It has only been a handful of days. I am reasonably confident he will return soon."

Nyris walked slowly past the other, approaching the base of the enormous rock but still facing the young man. "Maybe you should take a break from this. I worry about you; Blue dragons get too obsessed over their work."

"Well," Istan replied, walking ahead of her and placing a hand on the rock. "We have run into a problem. The ley line runs into this outcropping. Whether it goes downward into the earth or simply stops here is hard to say, but if we want to continue we will need to remove this rock.”

“Can you not move or break it with magic?”

“By non-magical means," Istan continued. “This ley line makes me hesitant to use strong spells.”

"Ooh, with explosives?"

Nyris' excited tone caused Istan to arch a brow. " one way,” he responded reluctantly.

"Cooool. So what are we waiting for? An engineer? A gnome or goblin? I'm sure we could hire one. Or maybe Ilmarinen could. Dalaran mages have lots of money..."

Istan let the other ramble on while he stared at the rock, considering his options. Could he risk a divination into the rock to see where the ley line goes? Should he risk going back to Dalaran for Ilmarinen?

He let out a deep breath. He hoped the human was still safe in Dalaran and not detained as he feared.


Nine days, and all was well again.

"I guess," continued the Pyromancer out loud through an exhale. He rolled up the copy of the interior ministry's decree and dropped it unceremoniously on his desk.

Ilmarinen had spent much of the time in the library in strict supervision, being careful not to draw attention to his purpose. The result was a stack of mundane scrolls and books that benefitted only the most basic of novices, and held no real insight for himself. It was a precaution, to be sure, but the red-haired mage began to question the time he wasted trying to act casual. At least now he could return to the frozen tundra without worry that he was breaking protocol.

Gathering a thick brown robe from the nearby garment closet, he quickly stuffed a pack already bulging with papers and other research materials. He hoped that he would only be gone a few days and could return quickly, with Istan in tow, before the Senate reconvened.

As he made for the door, he walked by his desk one more time, and stopped suddenly. He wasn't certain, but there was a strange book laying on the desk that he hadn't recognized before. It was vellum-bound and supposedly dyed purple though it appears that it was aged enough for the color to have completely worn off. Strange markings were lightly etched on the cover, though they were unfamiliar to him.

With a free hand he reached out and picked up the tome, which was about twice the size of his hand but felt heavier than that. He held the book up to shoulder-level, trying in vain for some recognition of the symbols, or at least the pattern they were making around the border of the book's face. How did he not see this book before?

Slowly he tucked the book under his arm. There was no more room in his pack but he was determined to bring it along nonetheless. How he missed this after nine boring days at the Grand Library was a mystery, but perhaps he could find out on the way to Coldarra.

He exited the door to his dormitory and with a little effort due to his carrying capacity, shut the door behind him. He paused to listen to the sound of the magical security ward activating behind him. With a distinct hum, his living quarters were secured, and he began his walk to Krasus' Landing.
#13584850 Dec 28, 2017 at 10:29 PM
Department Head
69 Posts
I thoroughly enjoy reading these, keep up the great writing.
#13592930 Jan 04, 2018 at 06:25 PM
23 Posts
((Thank you!))

It was one setback after another, thought Ilmarinen as he glared at the flame in front of him.

The fireplaces of the Amber Ledge Mage Tower's common room were lit rather easily thanks to the combination of pyromancy and the red dragonflight. Warmth, however, did not come so quickly to this half-abandoned structure. The sound of arctic wind made a moderately sharp whistle as it slipped past the giant iron-bound doors of the tower, countering the comfort that they all desired.

Two weeks of preparation, pleading for assistance, and attempts of desperation made for very low morale on this ley line project. To complicate matters, the personal funds that he intended to use to employ an engineering team from the Alliance capital were frozen pending approval from the authorities of Dalaran; approval that he wasn't sure would come considering the state of the mageocracy now.

If the commotion over the Senators' ring network was to be believed, at least. He knew he would have to return to the mage capital to make any progress, but he felt stuck.

Listening to the alarming announcements and bickering over the ring network was not helping matters. Ilmarinen lifted his left hand to pull the jewelry closer to himself, still hesitant to open the channel. With the impostors and quick replacements of high-ranking officials, he had no idea who could be listening in. It was hard enough asking for assistance on something that had so far been a personal project, but asking during what was a developing crisis would be folly. He was worried about this 'tainted' ley line that clearly needed research and attention, but he doubted the mages would respond satisfactorily; at least for now.

The pyromancer walked slowly toward the central table. Lit dimly with a short candle set dangerously close to a pile of parchment, the makeshift desk was all that was left for stable furniture in this drafty tower, and it had been used extensively for research, planning, and even a headrest for napping when the previous two activities became underwhelming. This was all that the red-haired senator could do for now.

Ilmarinen looked across to the darker corner of the common room where a young Azure Skyrazor lay asleep in a large pile of cloth, breathing evenly. His expression softened when a smaller ruby drake nestled up next to the azure one. It was an adorably touching scene to witness, though the more serious context of the situation made it more heart-wrenching.

In had been several days, but Nyristrasza never strayed out of Istanigos' presence since the strange seizure-like event that overcame the young blue dragon. Even if he was not conscious to acknowledge her, Istan seemed to look calmer when she was near him.

"How is he, Nyris?" asked the pyromancer, the deep voice splintering the dull sound of the winter wind and the soft crackles of tiny fires.

The red drake lifted her head, shifting glances from Istan to Ilmarinen. "His sleep has been deep over the past day," she responded slowly. "I feel that he'll wake up soon."

"And Is its presence still absent since we left the rock?"

The ruby drake nodded her serpentine head, then laid it down softly next to Istan's head.

The pyromancer was grateful for that at least. It was clear that whatever was affecting the ley line was negatively affecting the young azure drake when he lingered in its presence. It started as irritation, then bitter angry retorts, then a seizing of the mind, causing a trembling in the boy's body until he was rendered unconscious. Though Ilmarinen never felt any kind of negative slight, he also knew that he wasn't sensitive to the ley lines like Istan was.

He took a deep breath, deciding to move to action. "Are Camustrasz and Elastrasza outside?" asked the red-haired mage as he walked over to one of the nearby fireplaces and picked up a thick cloak. "I will need some assistance in setting up the portal beacons to Azshara."

Nyristrasza's draconic head once again parted from the floor, facing Ilmarinen. "You're not casting a portal spell into the city?"

"I'm not taking any chances," he immediately replied as he slung the dull purple hooded cloak around him. "I need to know what's going on with my fellow senators, but I am also not going to drop myself into an obvious area."

"Oh, and let Istan know where I am when he wakes up," he continued as he approached the iron-bound entrance doors. "If he's up for it, have him look at the strange book I picked up from the Grand Library and see if he can decipher anything from it."

"And Nyris," he concluded as he grasped the door handle, "thank you."

He was sure he saw the ruby drake smile, but his glance quickly turned away from the tower to the blustery winter scene outdoors.
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