I have at last found myself in the predicament of having finished nearly all I can possibly do—save for a remaining fourteen cores that need powering—and feeling positively rebellious murderous mutinous brain dead restless and discontent at the prospect of reading through my textbooks a second time. Might as well write about yesterday while I have some time free.
I will grant that the conclave went better than I’d expected it to—even if the audience included two of the last people I’d have expected to see again. I will not dwell on how my spine froze when the Magister and his Scorpion stepped out of that portal, and I will certainly try not to spin on about the chaos Mel’s late arrival nearly caused. I can only reason that they came for poetry and prose same as anyone else there. That is all. No hidden plot, no further business with either. Just one dead man and that’s it.
Nothing going on, I write as if I will not still be extra jumpy and looking over my shoulder for the next week.
Moving on to other things: while I may never be brave enough to go on stage again, I’ve realized I am far more comfortable ushering folk into our events and looming in anticipation of magicking disruptive audience members I mean keeping watch over the crowd, skulking out of notice in the back and absolutely not hoping for an excuse to flex my spells over people if they deserve it. I can be alright with doing more of this, I think.
I had a brief spook in the lull between the influx of guests and rejoining the rest of the crowd, catching a fleeting glimpse of gold and feeling as though I was being…watched. In hindsight, perhaps it was just the wisp that tailed Windsong and me back to the group. (Note to self: Mel WILL try and catch them. Look up if they’re at all vengeful for future incidents.)
Ten minutes to class. You know what? I think I will try to abide by Nymaeria’s wishes and ask for a little bit of time off between projects once I finish these cores. Maybe we can go and get dinner somewhere, or just sit and play with the cats. I’m just so tired of books right now—oh seven hells Perry’s coming. Commence verbal flaying.
He…apologized. Perhaps I’m going mad, but I think that was genuine remorse I saw when he promised to be better. Apology tentatively accepted until I receive proof he’s making an earnest attempt to improve, not just saying what he thinks I want to hear. Either way, I must thank Caniell later for whatever she did to him.
Almost done with the cores, and I intend to finish swiftly—I swear I’m getting hungry for whatever magic lies in this stuff. Should probably let Vela or somebody know I’ve been fighting urges to skim off of these things.
Or, maybe this is just something everyone experiences from being around Azerite long enough. She did tell me to wear gloves, after all. This alone doesn’t do anything to prove I’m becoming an addict. I’ll be fine once I’m done and can get away.
I’m fine, damn it.
Got another sodding note from Skycrest, as apparently absence of acknowledgement does not translate to a refusal in old Shen’dralar social cues. I gave his owl a short response of no more than two letters, and promptly burned the one he sent. Should he further insist, I shall refer him to Vela and then sit back and nurse a cup of tea as she reams him to the ground. Surly as she is, the woman does have a beautifully sharp tongue and wit that I can only hope to emulate someday.
Well! That was certainly an enlightening evening. Never have I thought I’d come away from these debates firmly agreeing with one side, let alone eager to make nice with some of the Horde. Spite is a magical thing, indeed—I’ve been grinning ear to ear for so long my face hurts
Son of a—
((A letter has been jammed roughly between the pages, crumpling the parchment a bit.))
I am very sorry indeed to know your aid will not be forthcoming. Regardless, I wish you the best.
I do hope you will allow me to trouble you just one more time, however, to satisfy my curiosity—whatever did happen to the Suramar boy accompanying yourself and Lord Duskwhisper? I must confess I’ve been morbidly curious about the affair and the extent of your involvement, and oft wonder if the truth of our kinsmans’ murderer ever reached the Sentinels before Teldrassil’s fall. Perhaps you can oblige an old man’s questions over tea? You know where to find me—I’ll be here until I visit Stormwind next week. I expect the Sentinels would be eager for a new lead concerning Lord Duskwhisper’s little ingenue and her role in condemning an innocent man to imprisonment, and would hate to give damning testimony before you’ve had a chance to explain the truth yourself.
Lorekeeper Amandiir Skycrest
So I've just been pressed into hunting down and fetching stolen books in exchange for not being tattled to the Sentinels as an accessory to murder and obstruction of justice. Bloody wonderful. I might very well murder a Lorekeeper myself if I get to the end of this alive.
Hastened to Feralas the second classes were done for the day. The one good thing about being in such a furious rush was that it didn’t leave me any room to think about the failed mana-trees or everything else. As soon as I saw Skycrest face to face I immediately recognized him as the one who bruised my arm yanking me away from the astrolabe years ago, save that his throat is now heavily scarred and probably the reason he talked entirely through that stupid owl familiar of his. The old fogey fecking knew he’d got me, oh how I wished to fireball that smug smile off of his face–
I digress. I’ll also skip over the vehement stream of Darnassian that came pouring out of me like molten iron, as it was exceedingly vulgar and totally ineffective in denting the smug bastard’s expression. Doesn’t matter that I told him I was threatened into lying about Mythandos, either, or that I wasn’t with Beurghes by choice. If I don’t bring him back at least one tome a month, he said–or Fortessa said, technically–then his aging memory may simply…forget that we ever had this conversation, and he’ll pop over to Stormwind with his belated recollections of Beurghes’ little accomplice. Augh I just felt a little sick writing that, but it’s true enough in a sense isn’t it?
First things first–hurry up and finish the cores, ask Vela for time off. Forego time spent reading ahead, knock assignments out early, open up a decent time window so I can spend my evenings and days off on this. Speed up weapons training, learn stealth spells, sneaking, figure out how I’m going to even start tracking down these stupid books. Then I still need a decent cover for my time spent away, and to somehow balance this on top of my school schedule and other business with the professors and try to still have a dating life so Nymaeria isn’t left out to dry…
I feel like screaming or crying.
I can’t do this. I can’t! It’s physically impossible to finish a semester of work in the remaining two weeks I have, and even if I could I still don’t know what to do about those books! I can’t do this and school and work! I’m doomed.
No. I have to find a way. I can’t go to jail.
Dalaran black market, or other shady markets. Try Night Market. Gilded Fan this upcoming Saturday–goblin-run, less moral scruples. Work on tact.
Ask Emmy for help scrying everything. Discreetly ask the new applicant–Crisan, I think–if there’s any legitimate legal standing to Skycrest’s threat.
Will likely need to steal some of it back. Generally more dangerous doing so from Silvermoon magisters than Kirin-Tor or freelance mages. Don’t get caught, or be prepared to fight and escape.
- Invisibility cloak
- 10 light feathers (have to improve chronomancy sooner or later)
- Warding salt, 20 oz.
- Enchanting dusts, varied, 20 oz.
- Rapier, mithril, good for holding magic
- Two boxes of mixed chocolates, cursed (for Beckett, maybe Perry)
- Potions, varied:
- Illusion x2
- Swiftness x1
- Greater arcana x1
- Arcane and fire protection x1/e.
- Lesser invisibility detection x5
- Water breathing x1
- Scented bath oils
- Lavender-mageroyal x2 (Offer Ny one?)
- Sagewood-morning glory x1
Probably not stellar for the task ahead, but it’s a start. Still have some of last month’s wages left for the Gilded Fan–maybe I can get more to help me after I secure some things off Skycrest’s list.
What did Scorpion mean by “my cut of the fortune”, and what does Mel know about it? I’m not actually being paid for stepping aside and letting them kill Beurghes, am I? Ironic as it is to profit from the death of a man who was terrible himself, I don’t think I can accept the gold if that’s what this is.
It can wait. Priorities, Shrub. Worry about it when you’re out of this mess.
February 21 22
I should not have skipped the dreamless draught yesterday of all nights. I should have known it would be too much, seeing him again like that.
((The remainder of the entry is written entirely in Darnassian.))
I was deep in the earth, digging barehanded, with bloodied fingers and loam packed under my nails. Skycrest stood overhead demanding that I dig deeper down and retrieve for him a volume of the Wesley Miller stories which did not exist. I argued it was not his to demand, that there was no such thing, and anyways why would a book be stupidly hidden in the dirt to be ruined by the damp and the worms? My pleas for reason echoed off the stone walls and went unheard, answered only by a shuffling and a feral grunt somewhere further up the tunnels.
Do this, he said at last, or I will leave you here to join the bones.
Something then stabbed my palm, jagged and broken and stark white spotted with my own impossibly red lifeblood. I eyed the skeletal shard jutting out of the seed-husk littered ground, tasted the sickly odor of decay and death, and suddenly understood it was not true soil that I was kneeling in.
The cavern burst, crushed inwards from tremendous force, and as a searing agony rippled through me I was pulled down by the furious barbed roots now erupting upwards and constructing around my limbs, my throat, cutting off breath and hardening into iron. I choked on rotstench and clawed at my bonds, arms cracked and veined with iridescent, burning jagged lines that streamed off of flesh and dissipated into fine mist. As I was dragged down through the mulch, a cloud of dark birds flew out of the rubble towards a sky torn asunder by a dancing storm of ley—their leader, my crow with the fractured beak, resplendent with Duskwhisper’s crown atop his brow. Their ragged wings thundered against the sky and it shattered and rained glass shards onto my head.
I woke a quarter ‘til second bell, drenched in sweat, strangled by my own necklace chain as its weight had been pinned under my shoulder. I did not sleep again even after both of the cats moved to my pillow and nested, purring, into my hair.