Musings of an Azeroth Mage (Book 15)
- - by Archin
(( This is a long entry. I put down headings so its easier to read, though generally they weave from one topic to the next))
Of My Friends
My reentry into Stormwind has been marked with notable successes and oh how do I say it set backs. I refuse to use the word failure, because I certainly am not a failure. As I expected, Stormwind has not changed much during my absence. If anything, it has gotten far worse. The Crimson Hounds Brigade still serves as the bumbling police force, so ill equipped and ill mannered that it shocks me that the Alliance would even choose to keep them around.
My friend embraced me as a missing compatriot, and that indeed was a particularly good feeling. Of all the individuals outside of my family, I would have to say that Sir Baydon Ardinn is probably my closest friend. Whether the stoic and overly quiet man knows this or not, I trust him dearly.
I look back at all I have done in the past few months and all I have been through, and I find that throughout it all, Baydon has been present. From that strange meeting at Caer Darrow so long ago, to my procedure with Havyn, to my work that I performed the other evening, Baydon Ardinn has always not only been a supporter, but a helper and a friend when I need one.
I obviously do not know what he thinks about me, but Im sure it is a positive thought nonetheless.
Of My Wife
My heart, however, cracks every day as I awaken to find my wife huddled in the corner, panting loudly as she battles whatever nightmares sear through her mind. Oh so many times does she awake in the middle of the night, screaming at the top of her lungs and seeping with sweat. I try so hard to comfort her, to relax her, and to let her know that she wont come to any harm, but I dont know if it works.
Does that make me a failure as a husband?
So damaged is she that I have even considered alternatives, such as to wipe the memories from her reeling mind. However, being a historian, I find it abhorrent to erase the memories of any individual. After all what if I erased her memory of myself by accident?
To think that this girl, one in which I had railed against constantly so long ago, is now the central and most coveted person in my life!
How I wish she would return to normal. Why, Id give anything to argue with her about summoning demons in the Trade District again, just to know that she has returned to her old self.
I am a part of her now, and if she is hurting then so am I.
Of My Chalice
The other evening, I took a step in a direction I never thought possible. I conjured and leeched energy from a demon.
I wont go into the grizzly details as to what I had to do, thats rather irrelevant at this juncture. Just suffice to say that it was involved, and required the death of a wholly innocent individual.
The key to these types of work, Archin, is that you must block from your mind that youre working with people! Its like a spell being cast, and theyre simply reagents. If you can get to that point, and block out the screams and pleads for help, its quite easy to continue through the motions.
I did falter a few times though. It was a younger girl, an advisee of mine from Dalaran. She had gone the way of the cryomage, but still she was caught up in the whirlwind of power that I so sought.
The demon, incidentally, was known as Destroyer and he particularly enjoyed fel and fire magic. By harnessing his Chalice and summoning him forth, I was able to take some energy from him and infuse it with myself.
Oh, how I hear the naysayers saying that I will get in trouble! How they think I cannot handle such a responsibility or that my soul is in danger. But that is a bunch of hogwash! I wont let someone like Peejee, a magically inept Night Elf, or Asherrean Koth, a man who is very learned yet clearly not a mage, tell me what is dangerous and what is not. This is Archin Brey theyre dealing with, not some hedge mage from Lakeshire!
The immediate aftermath of the entire ordeal was rather interesting. The rush of fel and fire magic made my skin boil with delight. Why, I was hot to the touch even! I find that the fire that I cast is a strange combination of both fel and fire magic.
Felfire, to be exact.
There is a hill with the same title, as a matter of fact.
Ive done a bit of research to look into this felfire and it has some incredible properties. It burns far hotter than simple arcane fire, yet it has a corruptible quality as well. I dont understand the corruptible qualities, since obviously most anything that is consumed by the fire will cease to be!
But I find that I am able to do great things, and yet there are great changes as well. My sensitivity to the cold has increased, to the point where it literally hurts to conjure any form of frost magic. Why, an ice cube touched my skin the other day and it melted totally, and then left a welt on the area of skin where it had lain!
This clearly is a direct result of the work that I have done, but Im sure it will ebb slightly when the excess energy drains from my body. Nevertheless, most inanimate objects seem at my mercy now. At the Jester the other night, I managed to implode a pot and a subsequent chair, leaving nothing more than ash in their stead. When I grew angry, three candles over my shoulder burst into sparks and melted straight through the wax.
Strange things are afoot. Strange things indeed.
Ive had strange dreams in the night, however, and I never ever have dreams that bother me so. Most involve burning structures and random, chaotic destruction. In the Jester, while I was awake, I had to control myself from setting the entire building ablaze!
I have no doubt that my logic and reason will override this randomness and chaos.
Peejee, the Night Elf I mentioned above, had done a similar procedure with a respective Chalice which gives her a tremendous amount of power over shadows. Now she keeps calling me brother!
I dont know if she realizes that were not related in any way, and I find the mere thought of being related to a nonhuman ghastly. I can only suspect that this is a byproduct of our individual works with our individual cups, but still does she have to say it in the presence of others?
The last thing I need is some ignoramus spreading rumors that Im somehow related to Peejee! Shes a fine girl, yes, but clearly there isnt an ounce of Brey in her!
And speaking of rumors, you wont believe this, Professor Brey!
Lady Mharty Varlor, a girl I bumped into while in the Jester one time, has been acutely interested in the history of Azeroth. Ive taken it upon myself, as a steward of Arathorian Historiography, to enlighten her as to the more fundamental knowledge of the region.
Unfortunately, I could not really talk to the woman in peace! My first attempt was interrupted by that she-man Kiiyue, who subsequently groveled on the ground at the feet of some other woman Sanctia I believe that was her name.
So, we went to a more secluded area, and lo and behold some grubbing gnome found us! He claimed that I was having a physical relationship with the girl! I was simply talking to her! He took pictures of me, one of which shows me quite angry, screaming into his dastardly camera, and Varlor almost chuckling in the background.
However, the gnome is trying to blackmail me, knowing that Im married and I have two children! It wont work, obviously, since I know where my heart lies. These damn gnomes, theyre always causing trouble.
This led to Wendall Harken warning me not to mess with Varlor again, as if hes her father or something. The gall of such people, really! Harken has taken it upon himself to spread these pictures of myself throughout Stormwind! To think, a member of the Hounds is trying to attack a member of the citizenry!
I did my time, thank you very much, and I did it well. After that sham of a trial, theyre lucky I dont burn down Stormwind Keep! The paper is actually steaming while I write this!
I sent a curt letter to Lieutenant Dugald, alerting him to the ill-gotten work that his underling is committing, and hopefully that will fix this mess.
The whirlwind continues, on and on, and I cant seem to stop it. Its not like Im very surprised, having returned to Stormwind and so much gravitates to my body. But nonetheless, my work with Lady Shame seems to have come to an end, or at least been put on hold.
Shame took particular interest in me because of my mastery of necromantic rituals. Ive never dabbled in that sort of thing, but my work on Havyn months ago must have impressed her. She took it upon herself to begin to teach me the art of Necromancy, though my incarceration brought this to a swift halt.
However, after seeing what I had done to a girl the other evening in order to gain the power of that Chalice, she claims she wont work with me because I killed someone in order to gain power.
Well it is a shame ho ho that was good. I must remember that.
It is a shame that Shame cant seem to look beyond her own twisted morals, and see that shes passing up the opportunity to gain a very capable ally. Maybe if she was aware of how magery worked, shed be a bit more tolerant and less less
Frankly, if she is too fearful to work with me, then I gave her too much credit!
As if that wasnt enough, Pamandria and her new child, seems to want to bury the hatchet, as it were.
I guess I almost unwittingly ruined that idea when I hired a dwarf by the name of Berl Riflemot to threaten her life, but perhaps she was aware that I was in the dark. It seems she fears that Yumeko and I will harm her child, and because of this she wants to stop the hostilities between us. I simply told her that I would talk it over with Yumeko, though I dont know when I will.
I gaze around and see all of my old enemies cropping up. Though I admit that with this newfound power I could make them truly miserable, I also think its time to keep a lower profile. My wife is fragile and on the mend, and I do not want to endanger her well being. I now have two children, and while I love them, some brigand could use them as leverage. I also see my old friends conversing with new faces, the likes of which I have never met before. I probably should take a deep breath and see what is going on around myself, before I delve in any deeper.
Of a Pirates Ball
Oh! As an afterthought, I received a flier the other day about some sort of Pirate Ball going on in the future.
Being a navy man, I must admit that it caught my eye. Though Im hardly a pirate, it appeared to be something that may be fun. I think it would be thera-peutic for my wife if we were to show up at the ball and try to have some fun.
In an attempt to calm my wifes mind, I took it upon myself to buy her a dress of such craftsmanship that I even marveled at the work and I am a Master Tailor! My wife does so love dresses, and I hope it will cheer her up. Hopefully shell want to go to the Ball and try to relax. I hope it helps her spirits.
My first and major priority is clearly the soothing of my wife and return to normalcy.
Secondly, I need to figure out just what is happening to me. I cant have random objects exploding around me!
Finally I need to calm the entire situation around my life. This may include not only relaxing tensions with Pamandria, but perhaps Harken and even Nightstone, just to keep some of the heat off of me. Not to mention see what Shames problem is!
Its going to be a busy few weeks, but itll pay off in the end.
I have no doubts.
Slowly but surely my quest for normalcy and safety within Stormwind has begun to take shape. Through a particularly set of political and social moves on my own part, Ive been able to ensure that those who were my enemies are now leaving my family relatively untouched.
The fact of the matter is, Im uncomfortable in Stormwind. As I grow older and I become more enamored with my work, being present in a public setting is contrary to my practices. The streets of Stormwind City have ears. They hear everything and if you listen hard enough, youll find out all that is going on. When it comes to my more illicit dealings I cannot abide such insecurity.
Ive taken it upon myself to find other areas to spend my time and study my books. At first, Yumeko and I were resting up quietly in Eastvale, but Yumeko grew ill at ease. My poor wife she works so hard and has weathered so much, but shes still fearful of her own personal safety. It rips my heart asunder when she cannot feel safe even when in my stead. The punishment she has had to endure in the immediate aftermath of the crimes we committed was far greater than anything some magistrate could mandate.
Fortunately I have a considerable nest egg that Ive been sitting on for ages. The fact of the matter is, when it comes to wealth, Im a fairly wealthy man. Years of work, with all of my needs met without a copper to be spent, has granted myself a fair amount of gold, which I have begun to believe needs to be spent for the safety of my family.
Property hunting! Imagine that! Archin Brey, going out into the field to look at plots of land and real estate! Why, Im a regular husband if Ive ever heard of one! I was able to find a most beautiful plot of real estate, thats secluded, remote, and yet at the same time heavily guarded. Unfortunately, the fellows that I want to grab the deed from are a bit rugged and a bit of arm pulling is going to be required, but if anyone is crafty enough to seal the deal as a goblin would say, its Archin Brey!
Once the deal is made (I have no doubt theyll bend once they see the amount of money I have) the arduous task of portalling all of our belongings will begin. The issue with this is, quite frankly, I cant have anyone other than myself move most of the items in question. Theyre too valuable and mysterious for some lunkheaded mover to hold and carry.
Because of this, Im bound to be scarce for the next week to two. I can only hope that my associates manage to calm themselves. They know who they are.
All this work, banking, and haggling sure is tiring. I dont really have much energy to write.
This new estate will formally establish the safety of my family and hopefully, the rehabilitation of my wife.
The deal, as the Goblins would say, "is sealed."
Sometimes I don't understand Booty Bay slang.
A considerable amount of my money has gone into this venture, but I'm hoping that it'll calm my wife and bring stability to our life. A house outside of Stormwind may be just what the "doctor ordered" so to speak. I say, I think I'm really getting this slang down! Hah!
It's been a while since I've been able to prop my feet up on a table and bring my hands behind my head. A lot of time has been spent moving equipment here and there, portalling various pieces of furniture into the hills of Hillsbrad, and making sure that the fellow's who I've employed to guard my family understand their bounds.
Strange how housing can be so tight in our world these days. Even with all the wars there are areas that are grossly overpopulated.
Yumeko seems calmer in these new surroundings. I haven't let her work or even lift a finger in terms of getting the equipment moved. Any additional stress on her part will only be damaging, in my opinion. Thank the Light that I had that work to do in Eastvale! I feel ten years younger, stronger, and more adept at carrying heavier loads.
I originally thought Yumeko would be impressed by my newfound stature, but she doesn't seem very interested. I suppose that is all right, however, considering all that she's had to go through.
The new home will give my family a bit of privacy, as well. The manor, as I should call it, is quite expansive and well hidden. The individuals who watch over the building and the grounds are the lot that I would never want to tangle with. Furthermore, it's remote enough that if I have some work to do (that of the illicit nature) I don't need to worry about the Hounds sniffing around and causing any trouble. I am happily out of their short-sighted jurisdiction.
This business with Peejee is very unnerving, however. I haven't written on current affairs for a few days, what with the moving and everything, so I'm unsure if the status of events have changed. But Peejee is, quite frankly, mad.
I have conflicting opinions of the Night Elf female who (at least she used to) possess an endless supply of banana's. Kind hearted and gentle at times, there is a very fiery nature about her as well. Her fumbling with these Chalices has only thrown her seemingly calm disposition into a tailspin, however, and I have trouble determining who are all the players in this great, grand game.
The great game. That was what Meris described our entire situation as.
I prefer to think of my personal affairs as something a bit more important than a tawdry game. But if they want to function in terms of metaphor then so be it.
These Chalices, there are five of them, and they all want to be reactivated, so to speak. Each one possesses inside of it a sentient demonic being and they refer to one another as siblings. Brother, sister, and the like. This explains why Peejee refers to me as "brother."
Peejee delved too deeply into the study of her Chalice, and now she is trying to convince me to do the same. But I know that the deeper I delve, the more of my sanity will be brought into jeopardy.
Strange. I came into contact with this cup in order to possess a new weapon to protect my family. Now, however, I feel I've unwittingly put my family in more danger! I believe that, for example, Peejee were to be in grave danger, that I would be drawn to her immediately to protect her. The other week at a Storytelling night, I almost burned a tree down and risked injuring myself. Peejee was quick to jump atop me and drag me out of the way in a sudden attempt at preserving my life. All the while she spouted this "brother" nonsense.
I fear I'll react in the same manner if she were to be in danger. While I have no problem protecting those that are my friends... it wouldn't be Archin Brey making the protective move... but "The Destroyer;" the aspect of the Chalice.
More unsettling, however, is Yumeko's response to this. She sees Peejee almost as "another woman" that has come into my life! How hurtful it was for Yumeko to even consider that I was interested in another woman! The fact is that I unwittingly (yes, I admit, unwittingly) dragged myself into a certain pact with Peejee that I had not calculated. Yumeko, however, did bring up an interesting if not chilling point:
If Yumeko, in an attempt to protect me, attacked Peejee... who would I protect?
I don't even want to think on such a development.
I asked for Yumeko and Baydon to watch after me. I try, so hard, not to use any word that relates to Peejee as a sibling, but sometimes it's so inviting and easy to speak. I haven't slipped, however, not yet.
Yumeko was angry and walked away from me when I asked for her help. Oh! How that hurt! I've done all I could to help her, and when I ask for help in turn she thinks it's because of "another woman." How angry it made me! How it hurt! But... I couldn't remain mad at her.
Baydon, on the other hand, was very receptive to the information and very mindful of what was going on. He already deterred a collision between myself and Peejee after our talk. A fine man he is! One of the finest!
In any event, I've been grappling with this situation as well.
Our "company" so to speak had a get together the other week. A welcome meeting after being gone for so long. I was amazed to see so many new faces in our midst, including the lad Kysel and another fellow, of whom I didn't know his name but he blathered constantly. Lady Kyltania was present as well.
Osrien Poynard, the very man that had me locked up for so damned long and who sentenced my wife to far worse that anyone could have ever imagined, was the very individual to send out the invitations to speak to us. He emphasized a lack of vision in our group, as well as a lack of direction and tact in our actions.
He was wholly angry, however, and I could tell my wife was unreceptive to his complaints. I, however, did try to listen as candidly as I could. The most important aspect of his ranting, however, was to keep a clear idea of what our goals were and to handle it in a quiet, measured manner.
I wish I could take a step out of myself and take a look at my situation and make sure I'm not as in as much of a tailspin as everyone else! Folks like Meris, Peejee, and even Baydon appear to be falling apart at times. They're so wrapped up in the messes of others, and of themselves, that they cannot pause and look around and enjoy their life!
But... when I look back at myself... I tend to notice this as well with myself. I'm certainly not going to pieces, but I am finding myself quickly getting wrapped up and pulled down in the quicksand of my friends.
Perhaps I'm getting old.
I used to charge into the fray, straight into the area of greatest instability, and I'd batter and berate the problems until they would settle. That doesn't seem to work anymore. And now, my compass, Yumeko, has lost her way as well. Polarized by the traumatic experiences as of late.
I can only pray that these days alone with my wife will help heal the deep wounds in her mind. I can only hope that while we are together, as a family, those on the outskirts of our life will settle and return to normal. I can only dream that things would relax in the next few months.
And in the end... I do know one thing:
I can only love my wife with all of my heart, and pray to the Light above and the Shadow below that she returns to her old self.
I know if that happened... all would be well.
I love you, Yumeko.
End of Musings of an Azeroth Mage Book 15
[<--- Book 14] [Book 16 --->]