Episode 16: Black and Bronze

Khadgar’s Tower on Draenor.

         Khadgar’s magic worked.

         The tower was safe, protected from the darkness, and despite its many attempts to breach the defenses, the magical barriers held in place. We were safe, so long as we did not leave the protective domes.

         The only problem was, that left very little space for us to live.

         I had been exiled from my home, and now I was exiled from Draenor. The actions that Nozdormu had taken were beginning to wear at those of us that remained. At first we thought we could bear it, but as time went on we grew more weary.

         Six months passed.

         I remember the day that Fynn finally broke.

         “That’s it,” the young paladin said, standing up after an unpleasant breakfast. “I’m done with this. I’d rather die and go to the shadowlands than stay trapped up here for the rest of whatever you might call a life.”

         “Sit down,” I said.

         “No, I’m serious. I’m done. I’m walking out. The darkness can have me if they want. Not before I give them a piece of the Light to chew on.”

         “Fynn, you wouldn’t last two seconds out there.”

         “Get the timer,” Fynn said, pumping himself up. “I’m doing this!”

         “Fynn!” I called after him. He was seriously walking toward the barrier, and I was worried for him. He picked up a golden hammer and held it high, practicing his swing as he approached the magical barrier that protected him.

         “Stop!” I called. “Fynn! Don’t do it!”

         The paladin paused at the very edge of the shield. He hesitated, just for a moment, then fully stepped beyond the protective magic. I cursed, rushing toward him, but the longer it took for me to get to him, the more I realized… he was fine.

         Nothing was attacking him.

         I reached beyond the barrier, grabbed him, and hoisted him back in with a little help from a magical spell. He hit the ground hard and grumbled at me as he stood up, brushing off his backside in the process.

         “Why didn’t it attack me?” he asked.

         “I… I don’t know,” I replied.

         Within the hour, the Kirin Tor under Khadgar’s command were scouting the area, trying to detect the magical energies emitted by the darkness. They reported back that evening, noting that they had found nothing.

         I dared not ignite the fire of hope.

         Still, we all went to bed that night wondering… would our exile soon end?

         That night, I woke to the sound of several shouting guards. I rushed outside and felt a sudden gust of wind that threatened to knock me off my feet. I used a deflection spell to redirect the wind, and looked up to see the source.

         Two dragons.

         One was bronze, and the other was inky black, not terribly unlike the monsters that had claimed so many of us at Lunarfall. They were flying side by side, and they lowered themselves toward us, easily passing through the defenses in place.

         “Halt!” someone shouted.

         I laughed, and I was about to mock them for yelling orders at two powerful dragons, but when I lowered my view to do so, I saw that they were actually talking to a woman that was approaching on the ground, directly beneath the dragons.

         I recognized her in an instant. Kaellax, looking as youthful as the day I first met her.

         “Kaellax?” I asked, dumbfounded.

         “Don’t you remember?” she asked, smiling at me. “I said I could beat the darkness.”

         “Sure,” i said, eyeing the dragons that were accompanying her. “These two?”

         “I am Almonde,” the bronze dragon said loudly.

         “I am Ednomla,” the black dragon said next.

         “They’re the same dragon, but on different paths through time. The Bronze dragons are the sword protectors of our timeline. They seek to reduce the impact to the timeline, usually. The infinite dragons as they are called, seek to alter the timeline to create a new future. Neither of them have been doing a great job.”

         “So, what does this mean?” I asked.

         “They worked together, if you can believe it, to stabilize our timeline. It took some real work, and a lot of sacrifices were made along the way, but the cracks are closing, time is healing, and the darkness has returned to whatever dark corner of cosmic space and time that it calls home.”

         “No longer shall we meddle as Nozdormu did,” Almonde said, his voice firm and powerful. “We disrupted time more than we aided it, and we have learned from his mistake. Our methods have been updated.”

         “Likewise,” Ednomla added, “The infinite dragons now understand that too much deviation, as we originally hoped, will unleash the darkness that we have long wondered about. We too shall limit our impacts on time and space itself.”

         “In light of a recent development, these two agreed to help me come recruit you and the other timeline survivors.”

         “What recent development?” I asked.

         “This alternate dimension has poisoned our own time,” Ednomla explained. “The orc named Gul’dan has escaped into the pathways of time and his minions now seek the Tomb of Sargeras on our world of Azeroth.”

         “So you want us to come back and fight an orc?” I asked.

         “Not an orc,” Kaellax. “The Legion.”

         “What?” I asked.

         “If Gul’dan accomplishes this task, Sionis… he will open a portal that the Legion can use to invade our world. Our entire way of life will be crushed under the oppressive weight of a full-scale Legion invasion.”

         “So that’s it?” I asked. “The darkness is gone… so pick up your stuff and come fight the Legion? There’s no longer discussion about the impacts you had on our mental state or our inability to live freely for so long?”

         “We want you to come home and fight,” Almonde emphasized. “It is rare that our two sides are in agreement on how to handle these… situations, but agreements have been made. For now, our hostility will not extend to mortals. There are too many other things we must focus on now.”

         “So that’s that?” I asked.

         “That is that,” Ednomla replied. “You may return to your timeline without fear of the darkness. It has been sealed away, hopefully forever.”

         The two dragons looked to one another, then flapped their powerful wings and vanished into the misty air without a trace.

         “Too much doom and gloom,” Kaellax said, approaching me from the edge of the barrier. “There is good news. I saved you.”

         “I am thankful,” I said. “It means a great deal.”

         “Yeah yeah. Listen, we gotta get you back home. The Legion is up to something, and their attacking us all over Azeroth while Gul’Dan wanders freely in our timeline, no doubt looking for a way to summon the Legion to Earth. Obviously, if he causes some kind of catastrophic impact on our time line, I suspect the darkness will return.”

         “Fine. Sure. So, how do we stop him?” I asked.

         “I’m open to ideas,” Kaellax replied. “You’re the planner, not me.”

         “Well, you’re in luck,” I said. “I have a friend that just helped push the Legion off this world, no doubt provoking the whole Gul’dan thing on Azeroth. We need to gather our people, get volunteers, and get back to Stormwind as soon as possible. We have intelligence on these demonic forces and together we can save our world… again.

         Kaellax smiled. “Always the hero. Come on, Sepher. Let’s get you home.”

To Be Continued…

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