Fÿnn stood near the felslate seam, looking it over carefully, trying to find the perfect place to plant his pickaxe for the biggest reward. He held, in his right hand, one of the ancient tomes from the library of Nar’thalas. It was titled The Art of the Ore. Apparently an ancient ore tycoon from Suramar had authored it eons ago, detailing how to enchant mining tools to draw the most ore from the ground below. If Fÿnn struck the right place, he would practically shatter the seam and scoop up his reward.
Of course, that hadn’t been the experience thus far.
Instead, the enchantment had nearly backfired, splintering the first two pickaxes before he even got to use them. The third time around, the entire seam had ignited in a very hot flame.
Each time, the book had reassured him that mastery of the swing, the contact against the ground, if done right would bring surefire success.
So he set the book down, pulled back the pickaxe one more time, hoiseted it high above his head, and dropped it right into a small groove that should have perfectly separated in response. Except it didn’t. Instead, the pickaxe lodged right into the stone. Fÿnn tugged, then pulled, and then downright heaved. The pickaxe had practically fused with the surface.
“That’s it!” he shouted, kicking the book away. “It’s a bunch of hooey!”
He turned from the seam and noticed that his draenei traveling companion, Iliera, was sitting not far away. Her massive shield rested across her lap and she held a purple gem in her ungloved hand, slowly turning it over and over.
“What’s that?” he asked, approaching her. “You crafting something?”
“It’s a soul shard,” she replied without looking away from the gem.
“Soul shard? That’s a strange name for a—” he stopped mid sentence. “Wait. Is that, like, a gem that’s made out of an actual soul?”
“In a manner of speaking,” she replied.
“Isn’t that dark magic stuff? I thought you hated that stuff.”
Iliera finally glanced at him, her glowing white eyes looked sad, like she was lost in a bad memory. “I abhor the fel,” she replied.
Fÿnn, clearly not following, stepped closer. “So why you carrying around a piece of someone’s soul? That seems pretty dark.”
“The soul belongs to someone I care about very much,” she said as she stood, pocketing the stone and putting her large plate gloves back on. “It is all I have left of him.”
Fÿnn frowned. “Is he dead?”
“No,” she replied. “Lost. For now.”
“We should find him!” Fÿnn shouted. “Is he in danger?”
“I hope not, but I do not know.”
“Well if you need my hammer you know you have it, Iliera. I can go for a rescue mission any day of the week!”
She gave him a slight grin. “Of course. Now, how goes the mining?”
Fÿnn, realizing that the discussion of the shard was over, turned back to where his pickaxe was resting in the felslate and gestured with a wide sweep of his arm. “Behold, the art of the ore.”
The draenei paladin stepped over to the pickaxe and looked it over for a moment. She glanced at the book, now laying open on the ground a few feet away. “Bring that here, would you?”
Fÿnn did as she asked, picking the book up and handing it to her while she continued to look over the seam. When she had the book in hand, she flipped through the pages, carefully flipping through the original writing and the translated notes that had been shoved inside of it by one of the few that could understand the ancient elven language.
“Maybe it was translated wrong,” Fÿnn suggested. “Or maybe the guy that wrote this book was just a hack.”
“Perhaps,” Iliera mused. “Or, perhaps you simply haven’t figured it out yet.”
“I’ve been at it all day,” Fÿnn countered. “I’m pretty adept at these things.”
“No one is a master in a day.”
“Well some of us don’t have an eternity to get better at our craft.”
Iliera smiled. “No, I suppose that much is true.”
She reached down and placed her hand on the pickaxe. With a gentle tug, it pulled free from the felslate.
“Schmowzow!” Fÿnn shouted. “How did you—”
Iliera hoisted the pickaxe over her head with tremendous force. It came down against the seam with a resounding thud and light shot through the many cracks and crevices that were etched within.
As she lifted the tool, she gave a gentle tap to the seam with her foot. It crumbled into dust with only green metallic deposits left littering the top of the rubble.
“There you have it,” she said cheerily. “Felslate.”
Fÿnn was dumbfounded. “You figured that out from the book?”
“No,” she said. “I learned that about a hundred years ago. I agree with you. The book is nonsense. You’ll have to become a skilled miner in another way.”
“Can’t you just teach me?”
She grinned. “Would you like me to teach you?”
“Heck yes!” he said. “You just vaporized a pile of rocks! What else can you do?”
“A student, then,” she said, handing the pickaxe to him.
Fÿnn’s eyes glistened with excitement.
“You can start by picking up the felslate chunks from this deposit.”
“Aww man, chores?”
Iliera grinned. “Chores.”
“Alright,” he grumbled. “It better be worth it.”
“Oh, I assure you dear child, it’s worth it.”