Episode 10: Turning to the Burning Throne

Stacks of scrolls towered atop Sionis Sepher’s wooden desk. A single candle burned, barely illuminating the small office where the mage was working. He liked it that way, mostly because the rest of his office was just as messy as the top of his desk.

He carefully scribbled the last few words of his latest letter and then carefully rolled it up just as he heard a knock on the office door.

“Enter,” he said, continuing his motion to pack the letter in a tote.

The door cracked open and Sionis recognized the warlock Kaellax almost immediately.

“Come in,” he said, gesturing his hand in a welcoming manner.

The warlock did as he said, closing the door behind her, cutting off the fresh light and putting them back into darkness.

“Why is it so dark in here?” she asked.

“So I can’t see the bugs,” Sionis replied. “What have you got for me?”

“Our latest intelligence report from Argus. It just came through today.”

Sionis smiled. “I was hoping for that. What have we got?”

“The Army of the Light is making waves out there, Headmaster. They’ve secured footholds in three major regions of the planet and they’re making motions to assault a facility that the Legion calls the burning throne.

“Have you heard from Iliera and Fÿnn yet?”

“Nothing yet,” the warlock said, her eyes dropping for just a moment.

Sionis felt his heart sinking with her stare. Iliera and Fÿnn had departed on a mission for the Army of the Light days ago and they hadn’t returned. He wasn’t a fool. He knew he had sent them to a dangerous world controlled by the evil Burning Legion itself, but he had been through so much, seen so much, he hadn’t really considered the possibility that he might lose them.

“They say the Light is hard to commune with on that world,” she added. “We can’t assume their silence means they aren’t out there.”

“Always the optimist, Kaellax.”

She smiled. “I’ve also got a report here on the shores. The warden tower in Val’sharah was assaulted yesterday and the Alliance soldiers were forced to fall back.”

“We’ll need to get back in there and reclaim it before the Horde gets the same idea.”

“Aren’t they fighting the Legion too?” Kaellax asked, her voice growing determined.

“You’re smart and open minded, Kaellax,” Sionis replied. “I am not. King Greymane has made our official stance on Horde relations clear. We work with them if we must, but we can’t go around letting them have military advantages.

“You’re just like Proudmoore,” Kaellax mumbled.

“Not quite,” Sionis rebutted. “I’m here, aren’t I?”

“That’s a great point. Why exactly are you here, again?”

“What?”

“You’re a powerful mage and a fighter. You need to be out there, fighting. Not cooped up here in this office.”

“The Academy had plenty of fighters,” Sionis replied. “What we need are potions, bandages, coordination, and a plan of action.”

“You’re developing our plans now?”

“Some of them,” he replied. “I can plan.”

“Sure. Like that time we assaulted the Tomb of Sargeras and ended up on a spaceship?”

“That wasn’t my exact plan.”

“And remember that time we got stuck in the twisting nether?”

“That was your plan.”

“Maybe we’re not planners, Sionis. We’re not built for that.”

“What do you recommend, then?”

“Put the pen down, get your spell-blade, and let’s go push these demons back into the nether once and for all.”

Sionis had considered this very action for a long time. He had originally planned to join the fight on Argus when Iliera had departed, but with so many powerful figures traveling to another world, there were few left behind on Azeroth to finish beating back the demonic invasion. He had, instead, set his efforts on finding people and organizing them into strike forces.

All across the broken isles, the demonic forces still plundered and assaulted, but without the continual resupply from the Tomb of Sargeras, their numbers were dwindling. Unfortunately, every demon they killed here was coming back to life on Argus.

Sionis had realized his efforts to clean his world of demons only made the enemy his love faced across the stars all the more powerful.

Continuing to kill them here was fruitless.

Instead, he had turned to the Violet Hold and the Wardens for help. Teams were sent to capture and imprison the demons rather than killing them.

That effort required its own attention, unfortunately, and the citizens of Dalaran were busy with a million other things. Most of Azeroth wanted the demons gone. They weren’t concerned with where they went or why.

“If I leave, the soldiers just go back to killing the demons,” he admitted. “If they go back to slaughtering, then the Army of the Light has more enemy soldiers waiting for them on Argus.”

“So that’s what all these letters are for?” she asked, picking one up from the top of the stack. “A plea for the peoples of Azeroth to stop killing demons?”

“For now,” he added. “Until this fight is over.”

“They haven’t been listening.”

“No,” he said. “Not really.”

“So then you’re not really accomplishing anything here, are you?”

“Excuse me?”

“You’re writing letters, Sionis. Letters! The soldiers, heroes, and champions are out there killing those demons while you’re in here jotting down a plea bargain for the enemy. Your love and that adorable paladin are out there on Argus right now, fighting for the end of this war. Think of how many demons you could help them kill if you were there too.”

“I can’t,” he repeated. “My place is here right now.”

“You’re a—”

“Unless we do something else.”

“What?”

Sionis waved his hand and the letters on the desk came to life, spinning upward into the air while the ink that had dried to the page was peeled off, funneling like a floating river down into a bottle for storage.

“I have to start over,” he said proudly. “We’re calling on more heroes to go to Argus.”

“Without the Vindicaar? How will they travel there?”

“On the ship over Argus, after Kil’Jaeden fell, Khadgar teleported an entire attack party back to the surface of Azeroth. The portal that connects our two worlds means we don’t need a lot of arcane energy to move the matter between locations.”

“I hadn’t considered that.”

“Take up a pen, Kaellax. It’s time to get writing.”

The warlock stood there for a moment, but then gave a sigh and approached the desk. “Where do I start?”

He shoved a stack of paper over to her and then gave her a wide grin. “We’ll send all that the Academy has to offer. The more of us there are fighting on Argus, the less of us there are to kill demons here.”

“And the more the demons here will recover their strength.”

“Not if we are here pushing them back.”

She rolled her eyes. “You’re far too pleased with this idea.”

“It’s time to start the endgame,” Sionis said. “I need to be here. My place is here, but it’s clear that the Army of the Light intends to assault this burning throne and we need our people ready for that fight.”

“I can’t disagree with you on that one.”

“Good. Now, let’s get started,” he said, picking up his pen. “This might take a little while!”

TO BE CONTINUED…

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