Episode 08: A Brief Relief (Intermission)

The Pandaren town of Halfhill.

      The Loremaster’s magical quill hung in the air for a while. By now, the Loremaster had learned to wait Sionis out. Sometimes he had long pauses while he collected his thoughts or searched for a seasoning, but other times, he was done with the story. Right now, he seemed to be done.

      “So, you went to Northrend to get a book?”

      “Not a book,” Sionis answered. “A spell inside a book.”

      “Why not just tell Lady Evanor?”

      “The spell is one of the many forbidden spells. The Kirin Tor deemed it far too dangerous to use. In the wrong hands… well… it could yield terrible results.”

      “So, why did you want it?”

      “I can’t reveal that now,” Sionis said, smiling slyly. “That would spoil the fun!”

      “You weren’t after the spell of broken hearts were you?” The Loremaster asked. “I heard that’s one of the forbidden spells, but using it causes you to lose the ability to love!”

      “You’ll have to listen to find out,” Sionis said cheerily. “I enjoy the mystery.”

      The Loremaster couldn’t lie. He enjoyed it too.

      “So, the sun is setting, another day is done. What time should I be back tomorrow?”

      “Actually, I have some company coming tomorrow,” Sionis said. “I won’t need your help on the farm. Come back the day after tomorrow and we can harvest the striped melons. I’ll pick up the story after our work is done. I can cook up something fun.”

      “Oh, sure,” the Loremaster replied.

      “Now, if you’ll excuse me,” Sionis added. “I don’t meant to be pushy, but we all need our alone time every now and again, yes?”

      The Loremaster agreed, collected his things, and went on his way.


      The next morning came and went, with the Loremaster sleeping in until nearly noon. It was only the hustle and bustle of the lunch rush downstairs that stirred him from his sleep. He lazily grabbed some noodles for lunch and went about organizing his notes.

      Then, his curiosity got the better of him.

      Sionis Sepher hadn’t had any company since the Loremaster had arrived. He had visitors, sure, but they came and went all the time, fellow farmers and travelers looking for a rest. He had never been secretive about it, which made the Loremaster wonder why he would be that way now.

      He sat on this for another hour, then he decided he had to know.


      The Sepher farm wasn’t far from Halfhill. When the Loremaster arrived at the small hill that led down to the farm, he laid out on the ground and carefully crawled over the crest to see down on the farmhouse.

      The front door was open, but there was no activity inside. He scanned the fields and nearly gave up, but then he saw a glint in the sunlight and locked in on two individuals standing in the field.

      One of them was Sionis.

      The other was a draenei woman, wearing glorious silver armor that had to be uncomfortable to wear in the summer sun. The two of them seemed relaxed, and Sionis evan laughed a few times. The Loremaster couldn’t make out what they were saying, but they weren’t having a bad time.

      After a few minutes, Sionis and the woman kissed, and then the pair headed through the field and up into the farmhouse. Sionis closed the door behind him.

      “Ah,” the Loremaster said aloud. “I get it.”


      The next day, the Loremaster arrived at the farm right at sunrise. He’d grown accustomed to showing up this early on harvest days, because they could get a lot of work done in the morning hours before the heat really had a chance to set in. When he arrived he saw Sionis standing on the stairs of his home, ready to start the workday as well.

      “Good morning,” he said cheerily. “I hope you had a good day off yesterday.”

      “I did,” the Loremaster replied. “It was… insightful.”

      “I have enchantments around the farm,” Sionis said bluntly. “I know you visited.”

      The Loremaster blushed. “Oh.”

      “Did you satisfy your curiosity?”

      “A bit, yeah.”

      “Good.”

      “Who is she?” the Loremaster asked. “Can we talk about her?”

      Sionis chuckled. “Oh, we’ll be talking about her eventually.”

      “Really? Who is she?”

      Sionis took a deep breath and looked out at the melons in the field. “We’ve got a lot of melons to harvest. After that, we’ll get on with the tales from Northrend.”

      “Okay, right, but can I at least have her name? That way I’ll know when she comes into the story?”

      Sionis looked at the Loremaster for a long moment, then shrugged. “Sure. Her name is Iliera.”

      The Loremaster gasped.


      At the end of the day, after the melons had been harvested and prepared for transport, Sionis was busy cooking and the Loremaster was busily preparing for the night’s tales. Obviously, his mind was on other things at the moment, and when he had stayed silent for the entire day, he couldn’t contain it anymore.

      “She’s named Iliera. Sionis, that’s the name of the wand!”

      “I know,” he replied.

      “So, this is a big deal right? Like, this is a major reveal?”

      Sionis stopped his work on the meal and turned to look at the Loremaster. “You’re skipping ahead. I asked you to stay home yesterday for a reason.”

      “I mean, I get what you’re saying, but I feel like—”

      “I feel like you’re skipping ahead,” Sionis interjected. “We’re in Northrend. The events here play a part you see, in all that is to come, but like any good story, you have to sit through it all if you really want to understand.”

      “So, you’re not going to tell me about Iliera?” he asked, feeling deflated.

      “Eventually,” Sionis assured him, “but not now.”

      “Fine,” the Loremaster grumbled. “So then, what will we talk about next?”

      Sionis smiled warmly and went back to chopping up his vegetables. “The next chapter in my story begins a few weeks after I left Amber Ledge. I travelled a good distance by ship, attempting to put some distance between myself and Lady Evanor, until I eventually ended up in a place known as the Grizzly Hills…


TO BE CONTINUED…

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