Musings of an Azeroth Mage (Book 2)
- - by Archin
The last few days have gone by so quickly, I hardly know where to begin.
For roughly three days I remained on the shore of Dustwallow with Yumeko. I have been known to stay locked in a room for weeks at a time when studying an important tome, or working out a nagging problem, but never, ever out in nature for so long and never, ever in the company of someone for such a lengthy period of time.
I suppose one could say that I can be difficult to get along with, and I do not deny that. It is hard for other people to understand me, and perhaps its a bit difficult for someone to keep up with me in an intense conversation, I can certainly understand how that would be frustrating.
The days were spent cooking, talking, and, quite frankly, getting to know one another better. The nights were spent in each others arms
The relationship that we share is an interesting one. She is a Warlock who believes that having emotional feelings is a violation of her craft. I am a Mage who thinks that becoming attached to a Warlock is a violation of ones character. Yet, I believe the two of us are beginning to differentiate these notions and see something far stronger underneath.
During one of her lengthier naps, I decided to travel briefly from the shore of the Marsh and take care of some of my other trades, as well as offer aid to a friend in Duskwood.
Finding myself at the doorway of the Scarlet Raven was a flashback of considerable strength. It had been so long since I had walked into that dank, cold building, yet within its walls held memories of my own.
Traipsing into the building and warming myself by the fire, I overheard a conversation by a few individuals in the corner. Two females, a Human and a Night Elf, and a male Human as well were having a conversation amongst themselves. Though I was not overtly imposing myself on their conversation, seeing as how I was the only intelligent looking creature in the establishment, the Night Elf Priestess kindly asked me to join them.
Peejee was the name of the Night Elf Priestess, Meris was the other female, and Ravian, a lad I had met before oddly enough, served as their male counterpart. Seated with them, I spoke of my own trials, and they spoke of their own as well.
There is no need to go into the details of the entire conversation, after all I remember it vividly and therefore have no reason to write such a story down, but key points were made, which I admit shook me to the core.
Through our conversations the subject of Dalaran came up and the thought that perhaps the Mages are holding me back I find it alien and strange to think that the Mages of Dalaran are wrong about certain issues. Why, I had been brought up, from a child to believe and think that we Mages serve as the most intelligent and noteworthy members of Alliance society. But Peejee brought up an interesting point:
The Dalaran Magocracy has only been around for a mere blink of an eye, compared to other forces, which still do not know the intricate secrets of the world.
Normally, I react harshly and defensively to the notion that my brethren are not all knowing or capable of mistakes yet instead I pondered it and believe that perhaps there is wisdom in those words.
My I have changed a lot in the past few weeks. To think that I am so open-minded!
Of course, to Peejee and Meris, they would not think I was open-minded, I believe. Our talks traveled to Yumeko. I am normally guarded and protective of my personal affairs yet I needed to speak to someone about this issue and they seemed wise and nice enough to grant me an audience.
Speaking to them of the ludicrous nature of our situation, that I would carouse with a Warlock, seemed quite normal to them. Delving deeper into my upbringing, they hypothesized that I am too keen on looking at Yumeko as a Warlock and not as a person and as such. I have been blinded.
The culprit, however, is not Archin Brey. Rather the all-knowing Mages of Dalaran.
Am I so weak so malleable that I let the Magocracy make up my opinions and my mind for me?
Have they gained such a strong hold of my mind that I make decisions not from my heart, but from my head which has been thoroughly infiltrated with their propaganda?
Such an idea shakes me to my core.
Both of them told me that Yumeko was a person and that it was not that uncommon for a Warlock to offer help to someone in need. That Paladins were generally too self-righteous to help one that truly needed help.
I am inclined to agree.
To take a step back and look at the entire situation I now see a woman with a beautiful heart that helped a man who needed aid.
This is contrary to my previous thought that a greedy, power hungry warlock helped a man who needed aid.
Eventually, we got to speaking of the ideas of Fate, predestination, and the ideas of chaos versus logic. My, how I hate such tawdry and wasteful conversations. Philosophy is something I abhor it is so useless and fruitless to argue an issue that has no true answer.
Furthermore quite frankly I am a Mage of Dalaran! Clearly I am right!
And clearly I am proving to myself by my previous statement the wrong that is going on within my head.
Am I suffocating inside? Is the assuredness that Dalaran created for me now acting as a gag to slowly kill me inside?
Yumeko (a woman who under Dalarans, the Lights, and the Alliances standards is considered fundamentally wrong and unsavory) is a refreshing gateway to an aspect of life I have never lived before.
Not living for some Order. Not living for some Alliance. Not living for a religion. But rather, living for ones-self and living such a lifestyle together.
It sounds selfish but I dont believe it is so.
These realizations had taken a toll on my body and more so, my mind. Drinking a toast with the two women (the male had left a considerable time before) I rapidly succumbed to sleep and drifted off.
Upon my awakening, I found myself alone in the Scarlet Raven. I would have thought the two women apparitions of reason and truth, had it not been for the wine bottle left there for me.
Finishing the bottle, I returned to Dustwallow and Yumeko.
The world looks so different now. Like a lens I had constructed it all seems so much clearer
and so much readily for the taking.
Oh dear oh dear
The proverbial monkey wrench has been thrown into this strange and cantankerous contraption that is my life.
This machine that I speak of this life that I have it is a very proper, orderly, logical and meticulous machine. For forty years, it has been maintained, protected, oiled, and unerring in its makeup and design. I do not make hasty decisions. I do not make miscalculations! I do not make mistakes!
But it would seem that perhaps I did.
Nay we did.
During our tenure on the shores of Dustwallow one could say that Yumeko and I were not just friendly we were amorous with one another. Aye, that is a good, safe, proper word to use.
I cant help but grin a little at this thought. I grumble occasionally about being forty-one years of age and I speak about growing older. My friends would playfully prod me, call me an old man and say that I was ancient, nonsense like that. However what most people do not realize is that for a Mage, Im in considerable shape and not that bad off physically!
I attribute it to my tenure on the high seas with Admiral Proudmoore as well as a regimented diet of meat and cheese, as well as inhaling mountains of book dust.
Following one particular night, Yumeko had awoken the next morning not feeling well. I do admit, sleeping on the outskirts of a raptor filled, spider infested, goo inhabited, ogre holding cesspool probably isnt the best course of action. Not to mention that mindless, stupid turtle that continued to tramp around the sand just at the foot of our little hill!
That blasted turtle how often he kept me awake at night!
Dammit I keep getting sidetracked!
As I was saying
Yumeko was not feeling well, and I deduced that she had contracted some sort of a virus. Though I am not a Priest, nor a doctor, many of us Mages are trained in First Aid and other health related fields. Particularly following the destruction of Northshire Abbey during the First War, many of the Mages that followed learned the healing arts, albeit through medicine as opposed to the Light, in order to serve as a backup in case our Light following brethren were too busy dealing with another catastrophe.
The next day, however, her symptoms had grown worse. Vomiting tiredness hunger pains in the abdomen things of that nature.
I would have taken her to see a Priest, but I didnt know any Priests that I trusted with my dear Warlock. More and more as the time goes by I look upon Priests with a watchful eye and a protective heart.
More startling (and puzzling) was the fact that while she was consuming a large amount of meat and unable to keep most of it down on account of the regurgitation, she was putting on weight!
It was at this time that a small very small light went off in my head and I shrugged it off. Surely it must be some sort of a strange, Dustwallow Bug.
Invariably the next two days went by and the symptoms continued and my concerns and fears were confirmed. Swelling in the abdomen... still tired a little temperamental ultimately it appeared that the facts were staring me straight in the face, and naturally as a Mage and an academic, one cannot ignore the facts.
I believe nay, Im fairly certain, that Yumeko is pregnant.
I have argued for hours upon hours against ignorant Mages, repulsive Warlocks, politicians, clergy, and former students and never once been given pause. But the realization of this fact abruptly took every word in my impressive vocabulary from my mouth and mind.
We sat stunned on the beach. Why even that turtle meant very little to me after this goblin bombshell was dropped.
Ultimately Yumeko asked me what I wanted.
I sit here as I write pondering this question still.
Of all things, I did not want the child to be harmed or destroyed and if I am the cause of such an action, bringing a life into this ravaged and savage world of ours, I will stick by that and protect the child. That was my answer a just one, I believe.
She agreed with me. It is a burden that we would both have to bear, but something worth bearing, in my opinion.
However in retrospect, my fear and concern has given way to excitement and promise! A father a child my word what a prospect!
I believe the situation has served to solidify my relationship with this woman. Not just because the circumstances allow it, but because with such an overarching situation we cannot ignore our feelings for one another.
Questions do arise questions I would not dare as Yumeko.
A Mage and a Warlock what would the child be like? In my mind, I picture a very studious, classical young mage, hed be handsome like me, but his skin a darker shade like his mother. Oh hed be intelligent, nay, a genius. Hed even give his father a run for his money! Id train him as a true Mage, not tainted by those in Dalaran, and hed be a complete gentleman. Hed serve as a bastion of hope for those in this horrid, fouled up world and in the end when I closed my eyes for the last time, I could smile knowing he was there to continue on my proud name.
But what if the child is female?? Never before have I even considered this.
A darling little girl with her mothers dark hair and her fathers complexion. My word, between Yumekos and my own considerable looks, she would be stunning indeed. She too would naturally be a Mage. Oh and I would scare the life out of any would-be suitors that tried to be amorous with my little girl. Oh would I frighten the brigands!
As I gaze at the top of this entry, I retract my previous statement. A monkey wrench thrown into the contraption that is my life is wrong. It is false. A gift a stroke of unexpected and promising luck has been granted me in the most unexpected, yet incredibly rewarding of places.
Papa has a warm sound to it.
I would be the best damn father a child could want.
Archin Brey walked with a purpose.
Much like he always did.
Waking up early in the morning and heading to Dalaran, the forty-one year old Brey had better things to do than jump through hoops for the Magocracy. He found in his free time that virtually everything was more important than being cooped up behind the protective dome of Dalaran, slaving away over book and tomes.
With his monocle firmly inset against his right eye and a black pair of suit pants, a white dress shirt and a black jacket, Archin looked more like a businessman or aristocrat as opposed to a robe wearing Dalaran Mage.
It was always one of the major criticisms against him.
Archin loathed wearing robes and avoided it if he ever could. He preferred shirts and pants, probably a byproduct of his period in the Navy under Admiral Proudmoore. And as the tall, thin man strode down a hallway, the Mages that passed him nodded in approval and out of deference to the man who had frequently been seen (and more often heard) bellowing and hypothesizing his beliefs and opinions.
Archin carried himself in a different way these days, far different than before. Before his first marriage, Brey was quieter, more reserved, and less apt to think of opinions outside of Dalaran. But during his first marriage, he had learned to be a bit more open minded, a bit happier, a bit more fun-loving. It was always a subject of considerable debate amongst the Mages of Dalaran, when the originally quiet and constantly negative Archin Brey slowly turned into a positivist and romantic.
However, following the disintegration of his marriage, a reversion had occurred. Archin was granted a wide berth by his inferiors, who never wished to incur the wrath of the blustery, self-assured, and clearly wounded Historian. And then, there was a peculiar time in which the High Mage was absent from Dalaran. Known for his punctuality and dutifulness, Archin even missed two important meetings and studies during that time.
Striding down the hallway, his beard cut perfectly and his light red hair cut flawlessly, Archin was walking with a purpose, no doubt, and towards a collision course with one of his superiors. He turned a corner, his footsteps echoing through the dank hall, and stood before a wooden door with the plate Higord tacked to the front, written in a meticulously artful script.
Swallowing once and fixing his jacket, Archin rapped on the door, curtly, three times and stood straight. His jaw was set hard in his head and his temples and nostrils flared as he waited. Slowly the door opened, revealing a diminutive man to greet the Historian.
Ahhh, Archin I thought I heard you stomping in my direction said the little man.
Archin nodded, And Im sure you were wishing the footsteps would have continued past your door. The little man nodded and led Archin into an office of sorts, unfortunately I have a few matters to discuss with you, Archmage Higord.
Archmage Higord, the ranking Mage that dealt with the Dalaran Library and was an administrator of the Dalaran Educational Committee, was a short, unimposing human being, with Mage blood coursing through his veins that had been a product of many Mages before him. With short, graying hair and a black beard, the squat man was an interesting reversal to the tall, lean, gray-red haired Archin Brey. Higords office was a large, square room. His walls were a cool, dark obsidian color with two large windows along one wall, which gave a grand view of the Hillsbrad countryside. (The mages had long made it possible to see through the dome without a problem, while outsiders could not see them)
A desk sat deeper into the room, with a tall, grandiose chair for Higord. Two other, smaller, lower sitting chairs sat facing the desk for visitors, and a large, brilliantly colored chandelier served as a dazzling source of light for the room.
So what can I do for you today, High Mage Brey? Higord asked as he walked to his desk and sat down, adjusting his bright, purple robes and retying the cord that sealed the neck of his robe.
Well, Archmage Higord, Archin began as he sat down in the opposing, smaller chair. Nevertheless, Archin was still taller than his counterpart, Im growing tired of constantly being ordered to do mindless, fruitless work in the library. Archin cleared his throat, I know Im a Historian, and I know there is a lot of work to be done, but I do believe that my knowledge of the arcane and my resourcefulness would be better spent on the battlefield and amongst the people, rather than behind our protective dome.
Well, I think youre wrong. Higord answered curtly, clearly expecting such a succinct and pointed reply would dispel Archin.
He was wrong.
With all due respect, mlord, Archin said softly, loathing having to call his superiors that, I know of many others that are less powerful than I that could continue the work almost as well as myself. By going outside and showing the people the capabilities of Dalaran, I am helping the Violet Order, am I not?
Sitting here and thinking contrary to what I believe, Archin, does far more damage to Dalaran than anything you could do outside of our dome. Higord paused, studying the stubborn Mages reaction, and then continued. Furthermore, wed prefer that you remain within Dalaran for a considerable amount of time. It is the opinion of the Kirin Tor that youve had enough exposure to some of the loftier elements of the Alliance, and you could do with a good, long break.
The last time I checked, Dalaran was not my surrogate mother! Archin tried to keep himself in check. Blowing up in front of his superior was definitely not the best course of action. Anyway, Higord, I have been very busy outside of Dalaran as well.
Higord crossed his arms over his chest, Oh, I know weve been keeping a close eye on you, Archin Brey. There was something in his tone some sort of maliciousness that Archin could not quite understand, Weve been watching you very closely.
Archin tilted his head to the side, What does that mean, pray tell?
Leaning back in his chair, Higord spoke with an air of absolute power, Youre an interesting individual, Archin Brey. So very much a Mage, yet so contradictory to the way that Mages should act. Higord gestured at Archin, Your hero is not a Mage, but rather a Mariner. You dont like to wear the robes that should be befitting a Mage of our Order. You prefer to fight with an unwieldy weapon instead of a staff.
I thought intelligence and heart meant more than appearances.
Oh they do, Archin, they do! But there is more to the Magocracy than just that. Youre a story to be told, Archin! A young man still, barely past forty years old, and yet through your hard work and dedication, youve risen like Alexstraza when she escaped the Dragonmaw Clan. Archin could not help but smile at the compliment, However, youre the first generation of a Mage in your family. Your mother and father were merely librarians of Stormwind. You werent born into our Order, and these facts clearly show.
Lineage is important, Archmage Higord, but it doesnt totally make a man what he can become. Archin answered shortly, allowing Higord his speech.
You are a curious fellow, Archin, and though you have aged, your heart is still very young and your body still very sturdy. You are still a bit too impulsive a bit too broad minded. Archin blinked at these words, First you get married to an off world Mage. We were rejoicing when we heard that tawdry affair had collapsed, Higord paused, ..but we were horrified at the next chapter in your interesting book.
Archin began to grind his teeth. He knew what was coming.
I hear you fancy a Warlock, Archin a Warlock! Higords voice suddenly shifted to rage. Archin sat quietly before him. You were here when Archimonde destroyed the Citadel! You know what those creatures can do!!
Archins chest heaved and he sat taller in his chair, With all due respect, Higord, I AM the Historian of Dalaran, I think I know my bloody history!
Nevertheless, Historian, an off world Mage is one thing a Warlock is something drastically different. Youll break off this affair and not see her again!
Youll not tell me how to conduct my life!
Youll not use that tone of voice with me, Brey!
As rage consumed him, Archin slammed his fist on the desk, I am tired of you ordering me around! I will conduct my life how I see fit! I am a Mage, an independent, intelligent, and thought producing creature that will not be shackled and held back!
A stunned, still silence shattered the argument as the two men stared into each others eyes. Archins shoulders rose and fell and his left eye squinted. Higord had since stopped reclining in his chair, and bent just slightly towards Archin.
Who do you think Higords sentence was flattened suddenly by a continuation of Archins tirade.
That woman showed me compassion when none of you would! You want to act like a family like parents to me? Then care about an individual, instead of your highfalutin ideals! Yes, she is a Warlock and yes, she believes in what she does! But there is a HEART in there, Higord, a heart that I have felt and that I care deeply for! Archins eyes flashed with a fire as his anger and passion rose. And if that means stepping towards the Shadow and away from the searing, burning, unyielding gaze of the Light, then by God so be it. I will at least say that I was my own man!
If you dont leave that girl, Archin, Dalaran will leave you. Higord replied quietly and picked at a nail, as if such an action would cause him no concern.
Archin leaned back in his chair and nodded. He glanced around the room and slid his tongue along the front of his teeth, before slowly standing and fixing his jacket. Well then... if that is the case, I suppose I had better start packing my things and clearing my office.
Surprise flashed before Higords eyes as he gazed up at Archin, What?
I love that girl, Sir, Archin said quietly, and I will not abandon her on account of an unmovable Magocracy. Instead, I will move away from it, and move to her.
You cant be serious! Higord exclaimed, You have been a part of Dalaran for over twenty years, Archin! You met Admiral Proudmoore here! You have a history here! You you have a title and you have respect.
Archin somberly shook his head, I will continue to have Proudmoore in my heart. My history will continue in my own books. But of a title and of respect, I have little of it here neither for it, nor is it given to me. Archin swallowed, It pains me that we must part on such terms but my heart is telling me what to do.
And what of your mind?
It is telling me the same thing. Archin nodded to Higord and turned on his heels. He slowly took his steps toward the door.
Archin Brey! If you step out that door, you will have sacrificed everything for a Warlock! You will have thrown away everything that you have done, and so long as I am here, you will NEVER set foot back in the Violet Citadel! Higord fumed and stood from across the room, pointing at Archins back.
Archin stopped at the door and bit his lower lip. His breathing was erratic and sweat formed on his brow.
Youll be nothing more than a rogue Wizard!
Thoughts flooded the stubborn, cantankerous Mages mind. He lifted his head slightly and stared at the archway of the door. He thought of his mother and father, and Admiral Proudmoore. He thought of the beautiful interior of the Violet Citadel. He thought of his title, and his findings, and his students. He thought of all these things.
But then, he thought of the Warlock that helped him and his unborn child, and he knew what to do.
Aye.. Higord Ill have lost all those things, but Ill have gained a family.
And with that, Archin Brey opened the door and crossed the threshold. Instead of exiting into the hallway, he was standing outside of Dalaran, on the outside of the protective dome. Turning slightly, he placed his hand on the purple, shimmering shield and found that no longer could he step through.
Turning to face the green, lush landscape of Hillsbrad in his black suit, Archin Brey looked like a wayward merchant, not a Dalaran Mage. The world looked vastly different to him it looked strange it was a frightening place.
His legs wanted to collapse, he wanted to fall to his knees and cry. His body was on fire and wanted to burst into a firestorm. His mind wanted to crumple and give up. But his dignity, his honor, and his heart kept him moving.
And walking from Dalaran, Archin Brey stood tall and proud.
Much like he always did.
End of Musings of an Azeroth Mage Book 2
[<--- Book 1] [Book 3 --->]