The next week, we arrived in Silvermoon. Winter was well in progress. It was quite pleasant to enjoy the Veil with some comfort, but… it seemed hollow.
More hollow than when I’d left. Silvermoon is plenty hollow any time of year, but it all seemed more like a façade than usual. Because this time I could see it was a façade. War was coming closer and closer to our doorstep, and no one seemed to notice it. After the first day, I kept either to my house or the Spire; work was better than seeing the hopeful in the Bazaar waiting for an end to a war that was not going to end outside our city.
It turned out that work had built up since I had left. There was plenty of propaganda to make, as always, but this time it was different. What had once been crumbling walls and starving children was now bloodied women, burning buildings..
The Alliance had never attacked Quel’Thalas’ borders. Why was this propaganda all of a sudden? Were the Magisters really so afraid of unrest? Or the Alliance? Why would they have such fear?
Maybe it wasn’t fear of the Alliance. Maybe it was Garrosh. I had seen firsthand… felt firsthand… what he could do. I certainly did not trust his actions. But if the Spire was afraid of him if the City did not comply… maybe the City was weaker than I thought.
After what was a shorter interlude than I had hoped for, we were given new orders in a meeting at the end of our week in Silvermoon.
‘The Spire wants us to help… add weight to the Sunreaver forces. It appears that they are not dealing well in negotiations with the Proudmoore wench.’ Amaran spat on the polished marble flooring upon mentioning her name. He’d been chewing fel again. The green liquid pulsed and trickled into the drain.
Several days later, we were ensconced in a zeppelin on our way to Warsong Hold. We would aid the orcish forces stationed in Northrend en-route to Dalaran – Garrosh wished to push for control of the west of the continent. It was an opportunity to obtain relics ourselves from the ruins scattered across the frozen wastes. An opportunity that did not present itself.
‘Get back!’ Arcane magic pulsated in the area as gnomish explosives went off on top of a leyline.
‘I’ve seen people standing above leylines when they were detonated. It wasn’t pretty.’ The voice of reason and knowledge, most ignored Kal’es’ warnings yet again as I and the Research Division ducked for cover – and the rest walked straight into the path of the explosives, which were fortunately diffused before the Convocation was consumed by the explosive death of another northern leyline.
This would form the path for the rest of our delving into disturbed ruins over the next two weeks. A wave of disorienting magic here, a complete sapping of power there.. Fortunately, we made it through the leylines intact, despite the efforts of bands of mage-hunters. Soon, we reached the camps of Crystalsong.
Across the great gold-and-blue valley, elf glared at elf. Neither side willing to make the first shot… neither quite ready to rain a blow on the other. Sorlain looked out from the command post. You could hear the smirk in his voice.
‘Soon enough, the traitors will lie at our feet. Soon enough.’
Soon turned out to be too soon.