Iliera burst through the surface of the water and nearly cleared ten feet of air. Below her, a small whale was trying to escape her clutches, having successfully thrown her from it’s back moments before.
It squealed in panic and Iliera honestly felt terrible that she was wrestling the creature into submission, but she had to do it as there were no other leads on this insanity.
She hit the water again and reached out with the Light. A pillar of Holy energy gripped the creature and locked it in place.
For a long moment the whale struggled, but soon it settled down. Iliera thought the fight was finally over, but that was when she saw them coming her way.
At least a dozen of them, maybe more.
They were flooding the canals of Stormwind!
She was floating alone in the water, the contained whale at her side, and she felt anger boiling up inside of her. Anger at Fynn for getting into this situation, anger at herself for allowing him to go unattended, and at everyone for leaving this all up to her.
The whales were swimming fast, charging right for her.
She prepared to be pummeled by the animals, but just before they smashed into her a green fel beam of energy pierced the water between them and the whales were forced to divert.
Iliera didn’t hesitate, using the moment of surprise to dive under the surface and swim to the edge of the canal. She hit the surface and started to climb out when a hand appeared outstretched to help her.
She took it and the figure pulled her free from the water. Then, she looked up to see that it was none other than Aebaloth.
“What are you doing here?” she asked.
“Saving you for one,” the demon hunter replied.
She lowered her head slightly. “Of course. Thank you.”
“What is this about?” he asked.
“Fÿnn,” she said. “Something about these whales. Apparently—”
“They’re not whales,” Aebaloth said, interrupting her. “It’s just an illusion.”
“Those are people?!”
“Yup,” Aebaloth replied. “And guess who’s one of them?”
“Oh yes. Your boy Fÿnn. Third whale on the right at the end,” Aebaloth said, gesturing into the water. “I suppose we should… fish him out.”
“A pun?” Iliera asked. “Really?”
“Sionis likes them.”
“Look, if you don’t want my help, that’s fine. I can be on my merry little way.”
Iliera thought about this for a moment. Aebaloth represented everything she disliked. He coveted power, he absorbed demonic energy to become more powerful, and she wasn’t sure she could trust him to cover her back in danger.
Then again, he had just saved her from what might have been an uncomfortable, and rather embarrassing, death.
“I’d be glad for your assistance,” she said.
“Excellent,” Aebaloth replied. “Then let’s get that paladin out of the water.”
Iliera looked at the pod of whales swimming in the canal and frowned. “Which one?”
Aebaloth grinned. “I can see through the illusion with my spectral sight. I’ll get him.”
The demon hunter slowly moved into the water and isolated one of the whales from the rest of the pack. Once he had it cornered he gestured for Iliera to do her thing and she locked the creature down with a holy spell.
The rest of the pod retreated as Aebaloth spun a spell that stripped the illusion off their target, revealing the human beneath.
“Fÿnn,” Iliera said, pulling him out of the water. “Hey, are you alright?”
The human mumbled a little bit before opening his eyes. “For the pod,” he said.
“I am with the pod. Return me to the pod!” His voice was growing louder.
“No,” Iliera said. “We got you out of there. You’re safe now.”
“I have to go back!”
“I have to go back! I have to—”
Fÿnn fell silent as Aebaloth placed his palm over the paladin’s mouth. Iliera looked at him and he held up a small bottle of sleep potion. “I save this for any unfortunate situations with someone that might want to do me harm. You owe me.”
“Of course,” she replied, her eyes squinting.
“Alright. He’s out. Let’s get this kid locked up so he doesn’t run off when he wakes up.”
Iliera couldn’t believe it, but Aebaloth was right. Fÿnn was a danger to himself and others while under whatever spell was gripping him. She had to get him somewhere safe, even if that meant jailing him.
At the stockades, Iliera and Aebaloth lifted Fÿnn’s limp body into one of the empty cells and left him lying on the floor. It pained her to see him knocked out like this, but she didn’t have any better solution.
“Thank you,” she said, looking to Aebaloth. “I am grateful for your help.”
The demon hunter smiled. “You don’t get it.”
“Iliera, I’m not a good person. I’m not here to help you or Fÿnn.”
Shocked, Iliera didn’t know what to say.
“There’s a reward,” Aebaloth explained. “The leader of this pod cult. The Alliance guard wants them taken down. There’s gold on the line.”
Iliera noticed the demon hunter was holding a small bag of coins. Her eyes darted from the money to the jail cell and her eyes went wide. “Did you just—”
“Turn in one of the criminals?” Aebaloth asked. “Absolutely.”
“You little monster!”
Aebaloth laughed. “You know, I’ve been called worse. See you around, Iliera.”
The demon hunter spun around and marched out of the stockades, a wide grin on his face as he began to count his money.
Iliera considered, just for a moment, crushing his head in with her mace. She felt the Light within her pulse at the idea of bringing and end to his fel corruption. It was powerful and it suddenly gave her pause. As the thought faded, she took a deep breath. Aebaloth was a fool, but he was not her enemy.
So it was true, the situation had gotten a little worse than she anticipated, but that was okay. If she was going to fight magic. She was going to need magic of her own. She pulled her hearthstone from her pocket and squeezed it tightly, activating the magic that would transport her back to Dalaran.
She was going to need reinforcements.