With Relcha in a cage, Khairan on watch for trying to break her out, Draevon absent (and having used Khairan’s daughter as a shield to prevent him attacking), Edanna and Sorlain smarting from being publicly humiliated, the Hand disseminated, and most of us furious for one way or another, we made our way into northern Desolace one week after leaving Silvermoon. Our mission this time was to locate, of all things, a stolen library book.
To be more clear, an ex-Arcanist had run off with a book on draconic spells and joined the Burning Blade covent in Desolace. We were to locate an undercover spy after recovering the book, and the spy would return it to Silvermoon.
Sorlain refused to answer this question several times, fobbing us off with vague promises of plans. We had little choice other than to go along with it, since we were exiles. Sorlain seemed to be in denial. Relcha was in a cage, and usually snarled at anyone nearby. And Edanna kept to her tent. You could hear her cursing sometimes.
In our rather shambolic state, we decided it would be best to look for allies before delving into cultist territory. We were met with little further success, as cultists controlled the northern fortresses as well as the southern wastelands. Our only hope was the Cenarion Circle. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when we met with their emissary, but it was not a Twilight’s Hammer cultist.
So, we pressed ahead on our own, clearing territory to try and regain the book.
The Blade took several members cultist. Khairan summoned a Phoenix and, in tandem with Aleck, destroyed Thunder Axe Fortress and earned us the ire of the Circle, which took the former two prisoners as cultists.
We led a pseudo-diplomatic mission into the Glade, where we discovered the place under the sway of the cultists and the old tauren in charge dying. We narrowly saved him and exposed the cultists’ leader, and all the cultists disappeared the next day.
Things seemed bright for a while, but the Circle refused to send any tangible aid in the face of its own weakness.
So, we pressed into Sargeron the next night, on our own. Through some fluke, we survived against the odds, wiping out several families of satyr, and narrowly reclaiming the book. Then, we found no hidden agent amongst the entire area, and on our way back were ambushed by the Twilight’s Hammer – who knocked Kal’es unconscious and stole the book.
Then, during a night at camp in what can only be described as a comedy of errors, things seemed to collapse.
There was still little news from Silvermoon, or at least Sorlain wasn’t saying a word. Khairan was injured and irritable, Varenus and Allaya had departed, Edanna was weakened and Relcha was still in a cage. Sorlain was staying in his tent, a common occurrence, attended only by Lareen and Draevon, who kept guard at all hours and enforced an uneasy silence in the camp. Twilight moved into the starry blackness, and nothing happened. Sorlain didn’t leave his tent. Draevon and Lareen didn’t move. And everyone seemed to get angrier, and angrier. It built, and it built.
And then someone snapped. I can’t remember who, because we all snapped as well. Arguments built and built, many against Sorlain and Garrosh, others against Edanna’s leadership, more against Relcha’s imprisonment. I started arguing with Khairan.
‘This whole wretched situation is all your fault! Just because you couldn’t control yourself-‘
‘They are traitors! They deserved to die!’
‘They were our people!’
As Sorlain exited his tent he very nearly walked into a mutiny as a commotion broke out nearby between several of the members of our party. I felt the blood burn in my veins, but I forced myself to look away and calm down.
Regardless, things ended badly, and an accidental death resulted from rather harsh treatment. Coupled with the corpse being immediately sent to Undercity for reanimation, the silent alliance between Edanna and Sorlain to keep the company in check was broken, and the two moved off into the night, arguing angrily about the death – which had occurred in the Research Division.
Meanwhile, silence slowly descended over our shocked camp as we realised that we had very nearly torn ourselves apart. Thelnarion sat stony-faced underneath a canopy, his inability to save one of us stunning him into rigid silence.
As I stared at the sea, the silence was flooded by Khairan’s angry retorts over the communicator channel we shared.
‘I hope you’re proud. Your work for the ministry of lies is responsible for this.’
‘You expect us to regain anything if we keep making things worse like in Dalaran?’
Our argument continued into the night as it grew cold and even the sulphur went stale, my hope slipping away.