Episode 16: The Trial of Sionis Sepher

The Violet Citadel in Dalaran.

      The aftermath of my assault on the Violet Hold didn’t go without repercussions. Lady Evanor turned me over to the Kirin Tor, but they eventually concluded that I was only abel to break into the Violet Hold because she knew how to remove several of the warding spells that surrounded it. As a result, she was stripped of her position within the Kirin Tor. She was spared a full expulsion because of her actions to turn me in and the fact that I was successfully detained.

      In the course of one day, I had gone from seeking entrance into Dalaran to being unable to leave it until my investigation had been resolved. I was given a hearing date and left to my own devices at the Hero’s Welcome inn. Two guards kept careful watch over me, and I was unable to leave the inn, but I didn’t really care at this point.

      Surfal had died. Xevozz had escaped.

      I had failed.

      They let me sulk about in my room for two days before the trail began.


      When I was marched into the Violet Citadel, I had nearly healed from my confrontation in Drak’Tharon Keep. I was dressed in my full Archmage Battle Regalia, gifted to me by the mages of Stormwind after the Third War, even if it was mostly just for show. I wasn’t one of the Kirin Tor, but I was a mage, and I was proud of that.

      At the end of the hall was a great room. Inside, Dalaran’s ruler, Rhonin, stood over a fairly large gathering that was here to watch my trial. The prisoners in the Violet Hold had been in riots ever since my actions, and the news had spread that the city may not be safe. Everyone was on edge because of me.

      I was shown to the center of the room, surrounded by judging eyes, and Rhonin looked down on me from the large stairwell with other high ranking Kirin Tor around him.

      “So, what say you?” Rhonin asked aloud. “Sionis Sepher. You’re record is spotless, you served alongside the survivors of Lordaeron in the Third War, and the prisoner you helped escape was, in fact, someone you captured years ago. I’m genuinely confused. Tell me, what is your story?”

      I looked up, equally confused. “My story?”

      “Explain to me what drove you to break into the Violet Hold.”

      “Will it make a difference?” I asked.

      Some in the crowd scoffed. Rhonin smiled. “Sionis, I’ve been around for a pretty long time. Someone like you doesn’t just break bad without a clear motive. Tell me, what was it you hoped to accomplish?”

      I looked around the room, and my eyes landed on Veressa, the High Elf sister of Sylvanas Windrunner. She was married to Rhonin. I looked back to the ruler and shrugged. “To be frank, I was attempting to save a life. Not just one life, but two.”

      “Explain.”

      “My horse was gravely wounded in a confrontation with the Lich King.”

      “I heard.”

      “Surfal, my horse, was not a normal animal. He had been given the gift of druid magic. A piece of a Night Elf soul, which had bonded to his own.”

      “I have heard of this,” Rhonin admitted. “Though, I have not seen it firsthand.”

      “Surfal was dying,” I continued. “The Lich King’s blade would not let the animal’s wound heal. I feared I would lose them both forever, the horse and the soul shard.”

      “A reasonable fear. How does Xevozz play into this?” Rhonin asked.

      “Xevozz had mastered the ability to retain his life, while shedding a physical form. He managed to tap into what we consider the twisting nether and used its power to convert himself into pure energy.”

      “An eternal container for his soul,” Rhonin said. “Yes, I remember.”

      “I could not let my horse die, and the magic Xevozz used to tap that nether energy is forbidden by the Kirin Tor. He was the only one that could help.”

      “So, you did this for love?” Rhonin asked.

      “It was a debt to Keaira’s honor,” I answered.

      “As noble as this might be,” Rhonin added, “you also let a prisoner of Dalaran escape. That is a crime Sionis, for whatever reason you took part in it.”

      “I understand your view,” I said with a nod.

      “But you do not agree with it?” he pressed.

      “It’s hard to agree with a judgement when it is aimed at you,” I replied.

      “Indeed.”

      I was surprised with how well Rhonin was at keeping his cool. After all, I knew the Archmage’s reputation pretty well. I knew that right now Rhonin was furious with me. He wasn’t so upset with me for breaking into the Violet Hold, but for making a bad example of the Kirin Tor, and all of Dalaran, especially when so many Horde and Alliance soldiers were pushing through the bustling streets right outside.

      For Rhonin, the end of conflict would come from the acceptance of rules, laws, and order. My rogue action had broken that very thought. Now, a prisoner was free in Northrend. The only hope I had of not facing any real punishment was through some kind of unspoken loyalty to other mages.

      “Sionis,” Rhonin said loudly, snapping me from his thoughts. “Do you know why we were keeping Xevozz locked up in the Violet Hold?”

      “Because he used forbidden magic,” I said. “He broke the rules.”

      “No. As you said, Xevozz not only had a great understanding of the twisting nether, but he also unlocked the key to what may be a form of true immortality. If the Lich King were to gain access to Xevozz’s secrets, there could be no end to the scourge. You used your limited knowledge to make a decision that, if followed to its worst case scenario, could doom us all.”

      “I understand and accept your punishment, whatever it might be,” I said.

      Rhonin let out a long sigh. “Sionis Sepher. You are banished from Dalaran. A magical tracer will be locked to you. If you so much as step one foot within my city, you will be forcibly detained and placed in the very cell that Xevozz once occupied. Do I make myself clear?”

      I was floored. The punishment was actually quite minimal. “You are clear.”

      “Good. You will be escorted to the surface, and I hope that you use this freedom to do some good for the Alliance, for Azeroth.”

      With that, two magi walked up and pulled on my magical restraints. I was led down the staircase and into the cobblestone streets. The Dalaran populous moved out of my way as we went. I was escorted all the way the landing where a white griffin was waiting.

      “It’ll take you to the ground,” one of the mages said. “You get off, it flies back up. Don’t try anything funny. It’s trained. You make it uncomfortable… it throws you off.”

      “Fair enough,” I replied gripping the reins. “What about these cuffs?”

      “We both know you can take those off whenever you want,” the escort replied.

      I smiled. “Okay then.”

      “Now,” the escort added before he started to walk away. “If I were you, I’d head to the west. Highlord Bolvar Fordragon has got an attack up his sleeves that may just get the Alliance forces into Icecrown Citadel. They’ll need help from heroes like you.”

      “Hero?” I asked. “You know I’m being banished, right?”

      “Rhonin is watching out for Dalaran’s security. Get to the Alliance forces. Find Bolvar. You’re still a Stormwind mage, and they can use you.”

      The griffin flapped its wings, growing impatient, and the escort backed away. With that, I was lifted off the cobblestone and flung over the side of the city, floating high above the ground. We took a nosedive and plummeted to the surface before the creature made a hard flap of its wings, slowing us just in time to hit the ground with a slight thud.

      With a screech that sounded very agitated, I heeded the animal’s warning and jumped off. I looked around the dark and gloomy forest that I had just been abandoned to before letting out a sigh of my own.

      I was alone.

      I was defeated.


TO BE CONTINUED…

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