IV - Storms in July

The Lore of a Loremaster

Topic/Postby Liandrix » 22 Apr 2014, 23:47

IV - Storms in July

Storms in July

Stormwind – several months prior to the first war.


“Is this it?”

Liandrix wiped his hand across his brow to remove a sheen of sweat that had nothing to do with the oppressive heat in the Kingdom of Stormwind.

Liandrix turned away from the shabby cabinet no taller than himself and looked at the wiry man wringing his hands nervously. He was shifting his weight from foot to foot looking for all the world like a child caught in some wrong-doing.

“Master Wizard, I assure you, the historical works of the Kingdom of Stormwind are quite extensive,” Milton Sheaf was saying.

Liandrix glanced over his shoulder at the dusty books he could easily finish studying in a month. Dalaran had a whole section devoted to its history alone, a history that was not much more extensive than that of Stormwind.

“Well what about other topics? What do you have on architecture? Where are the books about law? Do you have anything about geography?”

The eyes of what Liandrix had hoped was the librarian of the kingdom swivelled between him and the bookcase. “It’s all there, Master Wizard.”

Now Liandrix understood why Stormwind’s court had ignored his request for an audience with the librarian: they had no library.

“Is there nothing about those creatures in any book in this kingdom?” Liandrix asked desperately.

“Orcs, Master Wizard, and no, we have recorded nothing. I do believe you were sent for that very reason.”

“Please tell me you have collected at least some facts about these creatures that have been assailing Stormwind before I got here.”

Milton Sheaf gave him an apologetic look and remained silent.

“I need to speak to the King,” Liandrix said annoyed as he marched past Milton. “I need to know what he knows before I can even begin to make an assessment as to what these creatures are.”

“Ah, that won’t be possible. Master Wizard.”

Liandrix wished the man would stop calling him that. He turned back. “Why not?”

“It’s the house of nobles that presides over the kingdom. The King is mainly its military leader. Final decisions may rest in his hands, yes, but one man alone cannot hope to make a kingdom’s decisions on his own. The Nobles administer the day-to-day governing of Stormwind. There is one for each aspect of the Kingdom.”

“Well then get me an audience with them!” Liandrix threw up his hands in frustration.

After the librarian had left, assuring Liandrix that he would do his best to arrange a meeting Liandrix made his way back to the far north-east corner of the city where the mages had been given a small settlement to set up shop. Liandrix was under the impression that the kingdom didn’t appreciate their presence in the least and was sure that the Kirin Tor incursion was in no way a mutual agreement between the two parties.

Liandrix himself had been received as if he were the Grand Magus come to visit. The full array of mages residing in the city had attended his arrival, which spoke more of the lack of mages in Stormwind than their tenacious desire to witness the arrival of a Loremaster in their midst.

Still, Liandrix had been grateful for the warm welcome the mage in charge of the group, Angus Andromath, had given him. Being a few years younger than Liandrix Angus had regarded him as his superior, which Liandrix found irksome. He didn’t look forward to taking the lead of a group of mages and lose focus on his own job: figuring out what had these people so riled up. In all honesty Liandrix was more than curious. From what he had heard in the guards’ descriptions the creatures they were facing looked a lot like Trolls, yet when the Troll problem in Dalaran had occurred and Azeroth was inquired about the threat the kingdom of Stormwind had not responded in kind.

Of course the communication between the kingdoms had always been both poor and unreliable. For one thing the death of King Llane Wrynn’s father, King Adamant Wrynn III had not been the natural death that had been acclaimed in the historical archives of Dalaran. Apparently he had fallen at the hand of the creatures that were still assailing the Kingdom.

As far as information from the guards went he was happy to learn that magic played no part in their attacks. If the guards in Stratholme were an indication they would have been the first to point out strange and inexplicable magic being at work. Whether the guards here in Stormwind where hardier than those in Stratholme Liandrix still couldn’t tell. They weren’t as big as those in his home city but what they lacked in size they more than made up with their impressive armour. Where the guards at Stratholme wore simple leather clothing, the guards in Stormwind wore full mail and plate.

Liandrix arrived at the small cottage of the Kirin Tor. Unlike most houses the roof of their dwelling was made out of straw. Liandrix had at one point amused himself with the idea that perhaps the governing entity of Stormwind had put them there in the hope that one of them might accidentally set it on fire with one of their spells.

Angus was waiting for him in the door opening. The purple-robed man seemed intent on expressing his mage-being with as much fervour in his appearance as possible. He was even wearing an exceptionally large amulet Liandrix was sure was as fake as his supposed magical rings of which he had no less than six of.

“How did it go Liandrix?”

Liandrix gave Angus a small smile. He had strongly implied he call him by his name, rather than his title in the hope he might nudge him into retaining his position as leading mage. He had explained that there was such a thing as functional standing, which preceded any rank.

“It went lousy.”

Angus smiled innocently. “How lousy?”

“Well, we might need to start thinking about importing literature about Stormwind into Stormwind,” Liandrix said dryly, and although he had meant it as a joke, it might prove to be a good idea.

Liandrix passed Angus and stepped inside. “I need a drink.”

Angus clapped a hand on his shoulder as he followed Liandrix in. “That’s what your face said too.”

Liandrix spotted their youngest member sitting in the backyard and after grabbing himself a reasonably filled glass of wine he joined the boy who was reading a small scrubby book as if attempting to set it aflame with his gaze. The boy was called Filinthus, but everyone called him Flint because of the look in his eyes that he got whenever he was desperately trying to understand something.

Flint was something of an oddity where apprentices were concerned. Officially he was apprenticed under Angus, but Angus had not yet earned his Master’s colours, which meant he was not allowed to have an apprentice at all. Flint, although young, was a very ambitious mage and when he heard about the expedition to Stormwind he had actually requested he be assigned to the team as an apprentice. The Council had at first refused and had offered him instead to be apprenticed under no other than Kel’thuzad himself. Flint had declined.

He had told Liandrix under no certain terms that he didn’t want to end up as some old dusty wizard in Dalaran whose agenda consisted of nothing but drinking and complaining. He wanted to see the world and discover its secrets. It took a surprisingly short time for the Council to give in. Liandrix was under the impression that, much like himself, Flint had been shipped off to Stormwind for the simple reason to be rid of him.

Liandrix sat down at the other side of the table. “Careful, you’ll burn it.”

Flint looked up. “I wish I’d burn it.” He dropped the book on the table, closed. “I just can’t figure out how to stabilize the mystic bolt. It’s not like elemental magic, like a frostbolt. I’ve always known that a mystic bolt was used only by advanced mages, perhaps it’s too powerful for me to control after all.”

Liandrix put his glass on the table and leaned back with an innocent expression on his face. “Too powerful to control you say?”

“Are you going to tell me a story about power?” Flint asked reluctantly.

Liandrix smiled and leaned forward. “No, I’m going to tell you a story about control. You see, I used to live in Stratholme, and all around the city the land is all farmland. I used to walk past the stables where they kept the biggest horses you’ve ever seen, the ones that work the land. One day I noticed that those big farm horses were being held by nothing more than a thin piece of rope tied to their bridles. It was clear to me that any of those horses could easily escape any time they wanted. But for some reason they never did.

“I asked a caretaker why the horses never made an attempt to escape. The man just smiled and said: ‘when they are very young and small we use the same size of rope to hold them together, and at the size they are then it holds them. As they grow up they are used to the rope holding them and they are convinced that they cannot break it. They believe that the rope cannot break because it has never done so in all those years. They never even try to break free.’

“I was quite amazed at the ingenuity. The horses could escape at any time, but were stuck where they were because they believed they couldn’t.”

Liandrix leaned back in his chair and took a sip of his wine as Flint blinked at him.

“Are you saying that I should simply believe I can control the mystic bolt?”

Liandrix stood up. Even in the shadows the heat was oppressive.

“No, flint. I’m saying that if you play your cards right, you won’t need to control it.”

It was slightly cooler inside where Angus was bending over a large map of the Kingdom and surrounding areas. The map draped over the table and from this side Liandrix could make out the Redridge region. Another mage by the name of Gryan was standing on the opposite side of the table.

“… Rains just on the other side of the mountains. I’m telling you, Redridge will soon be greener than Elwynn or Westfall,” the dark haired mage was saying.

Angus straightened. “Does Stormwind know of this?”

Gryan shrugged. “They’re just concerned with the hot weather in Westfall. They are afraid that the irrigation system won’t be able to supply enough fresh water for all the farms there.”

“Are you telling me that the heat is even worse in Westfall?” Angus asked heatedly. “I can already hear the doves falling from the rafters right here!”

“Trust me, we’re better off in Stormwind. I think the Ley line’s winds keep off the worst of the heat. Frankly, I think that without the irrigations system in Westfall the whole place would be barren by the end of the week.”

“That could cause starvation across the entire kingdom,” the Archmage said as he ran a sweaty hand over his mouth.

Angus paced back and forth the length of the table while Gryan and Liandrix waited silently, “these weather patterns are beyond normal. An effort should be made of finding out the reason for these extreme conditions.”

“Oh Stormwind has that covered,” said Gryan, and Angus rounded on him.

“Well what do they think is responsible for it then?”

“Us,” Gryan said with sarcastic pride.

Liandrix managed to turn his chuckle into a cough, but Angus didn’t hear. He didn’t smile either.

“I’ll make an inquiry in the house of nobles, and-“

“No!” Angus interrupted. “No, an inquiry at this point would only hinder our standing with Stormwind. Loremaster Emmot is already inquiring after these creature attacks and their literature. Further pressurising the nobles will likely push them in the opposite direction.”

Liandrix silently agreed. If he knew anything about governing entities by now than he was sure such an approach would yield undesirable results. On the other hand, Stormwind’s lack of food trumped Stormwind’s lack of books, which meant Angus had a good reason to use his right to supersede Gryans need for an inquiry above Liandrix’.

“Continue your research of the weather patterns in the area. There’s no need to involve Stormwind. So long as we can’t find the source of this phenomenon we will not find a solution. And I will not present this problem without a solution to it.”

This was one of the reasons why Liandrix hated politics. Not only did he not understand their reasoning for their priorities, but the communication with those in power and those serving them is thwarted by their lack of respect for one another. It has all become a game where people do not outright present a politician facts without first evaluating whether or not what they say will have a negative impact on their own standing. Everything the politicians seem interested in is what could better their own political advantage, which by extension included anyone who wished to convey facts to a politician.

It is the unconditional definition of inefficiency of the need of information by supplying in flaws as a way to convey it.

Liandrix looked at the mages as they continued to discuss among one another quietly. He hoped he wouldn’t be forced to play these political games to further his own goals in Stormwind. His job was going to be difficult enough as it was.

Sighing deeply, Liandrix decided he needed a break from the confinements of his duties and excused himself to depart for Catherine.
"The motivation to study the Arcane should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it.."

~ Loremaster Liandrix Emmot
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