It took three days out of Valiance Keep to reach my first destination.
Amber Ledge was a Kirin Tor encampment. The Kirin Tor were still in charge of Dalaran, and the magical city had become a beacon of hope during the Northrend campaign. As a result, they had become incredibly protective of who went in or out of the city. I had attempted to simply teleport there after arriving, but their defensive barriers kicked me back almost instantly.
The problem I faced was rather complicated. Years ago, during the Third War, Angus and I had obviously left Dalaran and sailed across the ocean to Kalimdor. Years later I returned and began teaching magic in Stormwind. The Kirin Tor approached me, but I wasn’t interested in returning, which they took as a bit of an insult. When I began purposely teaching magical students that the Kirin Tor had rejected, I accidentally became a bit of an enemy in their eyes. They feared my students would become warlocks, losing their way from the true arts of the arcane. I told them they were doing well at creating warlocks already, so I didn’t need to focus on that.
The point is… we hadn’t talked in some time.
Obviously, getting to Dalaran was critical to my plan’s success. So, somehow, I needed to use this time in Northrend to become friends with the Kirin Tor again.
The past few days made me certain this would be possible.
The tales coming back to Stormwind showed a Northrend very much liberated from the Lich King, with the scourge being pressed back to Icecrown Citadel. The truth was less flattering. The land was still full of violence, with overrun farms, embattled villages, ruined castles… soldiers slain in the roads. Each death here added a soldier to the scourge, so it was difficult to truly feel like they were being reduced in strength.
I was needed here, that much I knew, and the Kirin Tor would need me too.
I pulled on Surfal, his horse, and looked to see a young man running across a grassy field, directly toward him. The man was dressed in the robes of the Kirin Tor, but he wasn’t coming from the direction of Amber Ledge. His clothes were also tattered and stained with blood, and the poor man’s face looked pale and shallow.
I jumped off my horse and rushed to meet him halfway. The poor man collapsed into my arms as I reached him, struggling to breathe.
“I’m here, it’s okay,” I assured him. “What’s happened?”
“My superior… she’s been captured… needs help…”
The man writed suddenly, and I tried to hold him, but I felt warmth pulsing from his chest as I solidified my grip. I took a look, and saw he was bleeding heavily. I pulled the robe open enough to see, and my heart dropped.
The mage had been stabbed multiple times. It was a wonder he was still alive at all.
“It hurts,” he mumbled to me. “So bad.”
“I’m… so sorry.”
“You have to save her,” he said, his eyes wandering from me. “Evanor… dying.”
Lady Evanor. Was it really possible?
“Where is your teacher?” I asked. “Where is Evanor?”
The man shook his head. He was crying now. “I don’t know. They took her.”
“Who took her. Stay with me.”
“Sorcerers. The Beryl sorcerers.”
“Where did this happen?” I asked, shaking the man ever so slightly.
“Not far… west…. near the river…”
The man’s eyes rolled back, his breath drew short, and he spasmed a few times as I held him tightly. Then, with a final groan of pain, the young mage died.
I held him for what felt like an eternity, though it was probably only a few minutes. I questioned the whole world around me in this moment. I experienced this young man’s death. I thought of all the people that would find out he was gone. I thought about Keaira, and I thought about Evanor.
I stood, now covered in the young mage’s blood, and looked to the west. I whistled loudly and Surfal rushed to my side. I looked down at the poor man and promised myself that I would come back to bury him. Right now, I needed to make sure that this fate didn’t fall on Evanor too.
As I climbed on my horse to begin my ride, I heard someone approaching and turned to see a night elf on an enormous nightsaber. The creature looked quite formidable, and I worried that the night elf might get the wrong impression about the scene he had just stumbled upon.
“Are you from Amber Ledge?” he asked in my language.
“No,” I replied. “I just found this injured man. He says his teacher is in danger. I’m riding to the west to save her. Are you here for adventure?”
The elf looked over Sionis and then down at the body of the mage. “My name is Veskitik,” he said. “I do see adventure, glory, and victory. I was paid by the Kirin Tor to monitor the Beryl sorcerers. They have put up a force field around their prison cells. I was riding to inform William of this development.”
“The corpse at your horse’s feet.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t know his name.”
“Does this mean Lady Evanor is in danger as well?” the elf asked.
I nodded. “He said she was captured. You down for a rescue mission?”
The elf was silent at first, but then offered me a deep bow of his head.
“Then let’s ride,” I said. “Time is short.”