Musings of an Azeroth Mage (Book 17)
- - by Archin
Well... last evening was indeed a very telling evening indeed!
I should have seen the writing on the proverbial wall, so to speak. I should have realized that I was in for an interesting day when I walked out of the Jester to see Sethmont, his fiancée, and Calithos all sitting together.
What are the chances that I would walk into the two other men who have (most likely) slept with my ex-wife and have fallen for her wiles?
I have neither need nor energy to write about her again. Quite frankly, in the wake of the other startling discoveries last evening, that is rather tawdry in comparison. I should have simply realized it. Calithos told me in a very gentlemanly manner that he was to wed my former wife. Poor rascal, he doesn't realize what he's getting himself into.
In any event, this was hardly the "shocker" of the evening.
I had arranged to meet with Aredis and my old friend, Baydon Ardinn, later in the evening. And just on time (as I would have expected. My time is very important) Aredis Harken called for me to be led to the location where Baydon was residing. I found it somewhat irregular for Ardinn to be somewhere outside of the city, but times have changed since I left and returned. So I take things as they come and make my decisions based on the outcomes.
We traveled all the way to the Hinterlands, of all places, and then traveled deep into an area full of Dragonkin, at which place Baydon and his friend, Ellyee, were both sitting firmly at the top of a dragon skull.
I must say, Baydon has always been on the quiet and bland side, but he sure knew how to look formidable when he wanted to!
I need not go into the details of the entire conversation. The fact of the matter is that on the eve of Poynards "suicide," Baydon and his friend had met with a still delusional Meris. For whatever reason, things grew heated and Ardinn and Ellyee tortured her to a point of nearly killing her.
This caused things to spiral out of control and now Winvale has a major bounty put on their head.
I must admit, I don't like Winvale. I don't trust him. Ardinn confirmed what I had believed for a good amount of time. Basically, the fact that Winvale wishes to split my wife and myself and reap the rewards of one of us becoming a lapdog. Baydon claimed that Meris holds the same hope.
What idiots. As if they could actually harness the power of a Brey! I, Archin Brey, am too intelligent and independent to have such a fate! And my wife is too wily as well!
The fact of the matter is, Baydon believes that the goals which the Council are trying to achieve are diluted and twisted by the individual interests of Winvale and Meris. He may be right. He probably is. Ardinn wishes to create some sort of an association which gets the goals worked out and is not mired down by the infighting of Veras and Meris.
My wife, whether she knows it or not, has compounded matters greatly.
My Yumeko went to Veras the other evening to have him rip the memories of her assault at the hands of the Scarlet from her mind. At that time, Veras told her of the trouble with Baydon and Ellyee and let her know there was a bounty on their heads. My wife causes such trouble sometimes! Why does she seem to gravitate to that snake?
In any event, what if I were to ally with Baydon and my wife with Veras? This would rip my family in two, my children would be scattered, and I'd be fighting with my wife. I cannot have that. Pride is one thing. Trust in one's friend is another. But devotion to my wife is paramount.
Baydon simply wants to depose Veras, it appears, but I cannot and will not join to his cause. I won't hinder him, because I could give a damn about Veras' fate, but I cannot throw into jeopardy my life and my standing with my wife. I parted ways with Baydon simply telling him my neutrality. I won't hinder him, but I won't help him either. Nor will I work against him. I will simply remain neutral.
Baydon sealed a special object inside of me to protect me from being attacked mentally. Though I believe my own little wards in my head and the Chalice itself would protect me, it was comforting. We parted with a firm handshake, still friends.
No more than a minute later when I arrived in Stormwind, than did I find a bit of mail in my mailbox from the Soothsayer. He wanted to speak to me immediately, and the subject was on the memory in my wife's mind. Veras wanted to make sure I wanted the memory stricken from her mind, and I told him so long as there were no other changes to her psyche, indeed that is what I wished.
He also gave me another story regarding this "civil war" of sorts, if you wish to call it that. He found it interesting that Poynard committed suicide the very night of Meris' attack, and he believes that Ardinn and his woman have a hand in it. I must admit, Ardinn told me that it was interesting such two events occurred on the same night. But he never outwardly admitted to any foul play.
Veras stated that harming a Councilor of such status as Meris was unacceptable, and was tantamount to serious repercussions. Instead of owning up to their transgressions, Ardinn and Ellyee fled the scene instead and ran away. Hence the bounty. Veras knows that I am close with Baydon, and I have no doubt he would have guessed that he would seek me out for help. I wasn't surprised in the least that Veras would have tried to speak to me as soon as possible.
I simply told Winvale that I was remaining neutral in the matter. That I had not met Baydon, and that I wasn't getting involved. Hell, I had just come back, how could I get involved. I also needed to get my affairs in order with my wife, let alone deal with all of this garbage.
And I am torn, obviously. I don't like sudden shakeups. How I loathe them. The last thing I need is to be forced to take some sort of a side when all involved are those that I care about, at least on some level or another. Sometimes I don't even know if I can find comfort in my wife, when she's busy bowing low to Winvale instead of trying to help me!
I must admit, there is an allure to knowing so many of the upper echelon is absent. That means there will be upward mobility... but what good is it if I'm surrounded by individuals who I don't trust? I can at least say I trust Baydon and his compatriots... I don't even know if I can trust Meris.
Peejee is an enemy of Baydon's now, and that worries me too. What happens if the holders of the Chalices are diametrically opposed? I don't even want to fathom this.
I had to leave, however, and tend to my wife. Their party the other evening at Aredis' expense was not something which was going to go by the wayside. They all had to pay for the trouble they caused me.
But I'll write of that encounter a bit later. My head is throbbing from all this thinking. Bloody hell, I knew I should have stayed at home with my children!
The rest of my evening was hardly quiet. I had relegated myself to the fact that if Yumeko, Scarlett, and the little girl Maevara were going to run roughshod and attack anyone who they deemed low enough, I was going to teach them that there were consequences to the actions one would commit. I talked to Aredis, and we both agreed that they should be punished. So... I planned for such an event.
Telling the three that we had to talk out some things and rectify some of the matter, I asked that we talk in the secluded area of Duskwood. Harken remained outside of a barn near the town of Darkshire while I got things ready. Yumeko and Scarlett were present, and we summoned young Maevara to the location. Maevara insisted on running to the town of Darkshire, even when I protested, and upon her return she arrived with Kyltania.
I have heard tell of Kyltania and the power that she controls, but I'm hardly afraid of her. I was here for a reason, and that reason was to put straight the fact that fooling around and murdering on a whim would end in pain and suffering. I was prepared, then and there, to have at Kyltania if she actively got in my way. It appeared that Kyltania was the instructor of the young, foolish girl, and she insisted that Maevara simply watch. I protested, but I also understand that Kyltania is a fairly influential member in our Council, and I can only protest with her for so long.
I relinquished my insistence on taking care of Maevara, just as Aredis arrived, and the three women knew then and there that trouble was afoot. While Aredis focused on Halcyon, I focused on my wife and Maevara simply watched and burbled like an idiot.
Aredis made quite the impression this evening. Using the power of my Chalice, I heated a rod for Harken and he went to work on her, though I must admit I was busy arguing with Maevara and dealing with my wife. I've discovered that I can heat virtually whatever I wish, within a considerable range, thanks to my felfire. I decided to very gently heat the very blood that flowed through Yumeko, and while she writhed the ground and the heat grew, I told her that there were repercussions for taking such action against individuals of importance.
Kyltania protested, not understand why I was inflicting so much pain upon my wife. My reasoning was simple enough: She jeopardized not only our reputation, but also our standing in the Council and the future of our children. I will not let her jeopardize our children. Not anymore. I have paid for every insult she's committed to virtually anyone worth a grain of salt, and I shall not anymore.
I decided that if Maevara was going to get out of this without a scratch, she could aid me in my handling of my wife. The girl walks with a normal enough whip, and I decided she could whip my wife. The girl protested, as I knew she would, so I told her that her protestation forced me to instead handle her myself in a far harsher matter. Particularly since all I had were engineering tools and blades.
Maevara quickly said she would instead whip Yumeko, but it was too late. At that moment, Kyltania, albeit sadly, stood up and said she would whip Yumeko in her stead. I couldn't pass the opportunity for the teacher to pay the price for the stupid student. That would be humbling enough for the young girl, and Kyltania produced a snakelike whip from her own blood of some sort, and went to work on Yumeko.
I must say, she knows how to use that whip. Had it been in my hands, I would not have been able to strike Yumeko with such precision or force, but she laid into my wife, fluid welling up in her eyes, and drew criss-crosses all over her dark body. Her blood boiled through her body while she writhed and cried on the ground.
Meanwhile, Harken grabbed a pair of pliers from my engineering bag, and began ripping out Scarlett's toenails... and subsequently pushed wooden splinters into the empty pits, as well as underneath some of the intact toes.
While I watched my wife, somewhat in horror but knowing I had no other course of action, Maevara produced her whip and feigned that she would help her master in her work. In reality, she struck out and attacked me!
Coiling the whip around my neck, I was caught completely off guard. She squeezed hard, and from her hand came insects, which crawled up the length of the whip and into my mouth.
I could feel my mind literally blink out of existence, and it was replaced with a rage and wrath which was not from my own mind. I blinked hard and fought it back, that Chalice was threatening to awaken. The Destroyer was still inside of my soul. Instead of the gleeful idea of burning down the barn, I opted to send torrents of violet/red fire out of my mouth and consume the bugs, before sending it streaking at the girl. She screamed and jerked, as did myself, but the whip tightened on my neck. I coughed and gagged as explosions echoed through my head and around me.
For a moment, I blacked out, and yet I somehow remember what happened. It was as if I was watching the action but not controlling it. I screamed an expletive and wished to blow her up from the inside out. With a roar which I have never bellowed, I could feel the temperature rise around me to the point of turning the clay beneath my feet to mud.
I fought off the sensation and regained consciousness and instead I launched two fireballs at the girl, hitting her soundly with each, and sending her reeling to the ground and falling unconscious.
I fought back the urge to let go and allow the Destroyer to handle the rest of the imbeciles in the room, and regained my senses. Kyltania stopped her whipping and went to the aid of the girl, but I could see in her eyes that she knew I had spared her pathetic life. Aredis was still working over Scarlett, who was totally incapacitated by this moment, and I decided to end this mess.
My wife laid crying in a ball, the blood had ceased its heat inside of her body. My neck hurt, but my heart hurt more. I didn't want to harm her, but what else could I do?
I spoke with Kyltania, and she understood my plight. She chastised her student for attempting to attack her "brother," who must have been Aredis. I know nothing of their relationship.
I hope my wife understands the spirit of why I did this. Though I wonder if she'll be too proud to admit it.
Maevara was crying and angry at me, but I actually did this to protect her. Especially now knowing she's in the charge of Kyltania. I told her to imagine what would have happened to her had someone who did not care about her well being had gotten a hold of her. If she is hanging around with Kyltania, she must be cut of the same cloth as the rest of us.
I took my wife and left the area. I took her home and set her down in a warm bathtub, hoping to take some of the pain from her body, and then I retired to bed. It had been a long day, my wife needed to reflect on what she had done and what she had driven me to do.
I just hope she understands. Because I can see now that the second we walked out of that door of our manor, there were stormy skies on the horizon.
End of Musings of an Azeroth Mage Book 17
[<--- Book 16]