Episode 1: The Final Chapter

The tranquil town of Halfhill.

      The Loremaster arrived at the Sepher farm the next day, bright and early, but as he approached the farmhouse it became apparent that Sionis was not at home. The older pandaren hammering on his door had clearly not accepted that reality, fiercely banging on the wooden threshold as loudly as he could.

      “Hello,” the Loremaster said as he reached the farmhouse. “Everything okay?”

      “This blasted human,” the pandaren grumbled. “He never respects our schedules.”

      “I’m sure he means well,” the Loremaster said, trying to calm the visitor.

      “For decades he’s been doing this,” the Pandaren barked. “I doubt he means anything other than—”

      “Wait,” the Loremaster asked, genuinely confused. “That’s not possible.”

      “What?”

      “You said Sionis has been here for two decades?”

      “Give or take a few years,” the pandaren said, suddenly unsure of his exact numbers. “It’s been long enough that he should have some decency!”

      With that, the angry pandaren wandered off, his pack slung over his shoulder. He marched toward Halfhill, and just after he had vanished over the hill, the Loremaster heard Sionis’ front door creak as it opened up to reveal the mage inside.

      “You were here the whole time?” the Loremaster asked.

      “That’s Farmer Ong,” Sionis replied. “If you knew him, you’d know why I hide.”

      “Well he also added to the mystery surrounding you and that broken wand,” the Loremaster said, welcoming himself into Sionis’ home. “He said you’ve been here over a decade. According to my sources, you did help fight against the Legion. The Academy of Hope, and some of its members have already corroborated your stories. So you’re going to have a bit of explaining to do about how you could be in two places at once.”

      Sionis nodded. He looked… sad?

      “You’re right, of course. I have put this part of the story off for far too long. It’s time to tell you the final chapter of the tale you came here to uncover. The broken shards of the magical wand that you brought me, the reason I’m out here in the first place, and how it all comes together in one explosive finale…”

      “Yes,” the Loremaster said. “Please.”

      Sionis flicked his wrist to ignite his small stove, and he put on a kettle of water, turning to the small table in his kitchen and gesturing for the Loremaster to join him. The two took their places, it being almost ceremony at this point, and the Loremaster summoned his pen to his hand and a fresh roll of paper for his notes.

      “When the Academy of Hope collapsed, I was at a loss. Fynn and Iliera stood with the Alliance army, but I retreated to Stormwind. The Kirin Tor were recruiting teachers, and no mage was too inexperienced to help out, myself included. I got a cushy job in the city proper and I returned to Sepher manor to see how it was doing. Uncle Maron had passed away by then, but the estate had been in good care. Without him there, however, it felt hollow. I was reminded of my old days, of Evanor and Keaira, and I didn’t care for it at all.

      “So, I moved into the Mage Quarter to be closer to work, and I found myself rather enjoying it there. I was given the task of teaching fresh fire mages about the craft, and while I was not nearly as skilled as some of the masters, I was still powerful enough to get folks started, and to help weed out the younger or less apt trainees.

      “I might have stayed there forever,” Sionis emphasized. “I was content, I think. Alas, I suppose that’s the nature of calm periods in our lives, they don’t stay calm for long. You see, while I was working at the great Mage Tower, Iliera had decided to hunt down the lost wand that carried her name. The mystery of its past, and the importance it carried for Fynn, myself, and now her too… it was enough to keep her up at night. She pulled a lot of strings and called in a lot of favors, and eventually she got the Baron of the Steamweedle Cartel to agree to give it over, and so she traveled to Stranglethorn Vale, unbeknownst to us, where she would accidentally trigger the wand’s true purpose…”


To be continued…

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