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Overdue by Eight Years
#1
((This is pretty much Ereneas starting his training as a mage. Sorta. It's some time before his reprofiling, that's for sure.

Ereneas Skyfire looked down at the card Adaelyn Fireblossom gave to him during their meeting in Dalaran. The address on the card led him to the borders of Eversong Forest and the Ghostlands. He stumbled across a cottage styled house once he walked over the bridge towards the Ghostlands. It looked fairly new, probably built within the last few years and most importantly it matched the number on the card.
"…I suppose this is the address…" Ereneas muttered, stepping up to the door of the house to knock. He waited until Malenor Spitfire opened the door. The Sunreaver was not in his uniform, but instead he wore red fuzzy pajama pants and a white apron to cover his shirtless, muscled torso. Judging by his expression, it seemed Malenor did not get enough sleep the night before. He stared at Ereneas for a long moment, not bothering to say a greeting or anything for that matter. Then he walked away, leaving the door open for Ereneas to enter the house.

Ereneas blinked his eyes as he stepped inside, only the visible eye being seen due to his hair covering the other. He closed the door behind him, studying the room in front of him. It was a living area with a dining table almost in the center of the room. There were two chairs at the table, opposite of each other. To his left, there was a desk drawer with a landscape portrait of Eversong Forest above it, and see-through curtains covering the entry way to the kitchen where Malenor was busy cooking. Against the wall furthest from him was a large sofa with a landscape portrait of an older Silvermoon City. In the right hand corner of the sofa was a small table next to a large chair. And to the left of the sofa was an enchanted spiral bookcase, slowly spinning around.
Ereneas moved to the dining table, taking a seat in the chair facing the kitchen entry way. He placed one of his hands over the other and waited patiently. Moments later, Malenor came out of the kitchen, holding two large trays of breakfast food, one in each hand. Although, it was clearly noon, pancakes, french toast, eggs (scrambled and sunny side up), bacon, cheese cubes, and some orange slices were being served. Surprisingly, the smell of the food was not noticeable until Malenor passed through the curtains. Perhaps, the curtains were enchanted, but nevertheless it was odd. Malenor placed the two trays on the table and headed back into the kitchen without another word.

Ereneas blinked again, confused. At least he could eat while he waited. He began to nibble on the cheese cubes from the tray in front of him. He leaned over in his chair to peer through the curtains, seeing Malenor slumped over the table. Suddenly, red bathrobe blocked his view of Malenor. Judging by the height, wet red hair, and among other things, this must be Adaelyn. Malenor rose up, speaking to her, although for some reason the words were not audible despite the distance. Again, perhaps it was the curtains, but who knows. Adaelyn turned to peek at Ereneas in the other room and quickly dashed out of sight. Malenor proceeded to laugh, or at least what looked like laughing, as he walked back to the room to speak to Ereneas. "She'll be right with you soon. Continue to eat if you would like."

"Of… Course, sir." He continued eating the assortment of food like some bacon, an orange slice, and more cheese cubes.

Malenor moved back into the kitchen, disappearing out of sight. Then a rushed looking

Adaelyn stepped into the room. Her hair looked a bit damp, but it was better than the soaked version from before. And instead of the red bathrobe, she wore a worn out gray robe. She sighed, taking a seat across from Ereneas. "Sorry about that. I didn't expect you would come so early today." She said, taking a slice of french toast from the tray in front of her.

"Uh…were you expecting me to come at all?" Ereneas asked.

"Yes, but not today. Malenor and I were quite busy last night. Normally, I would be up by the crack of dawn and he would be up by seven." Adaelyn replied.

Ereneas blushed a little, assuming the wrong thing, most likely. He remained silent, continuing to eat to avoid awkward tension.

Adaelyn didn't seem to notice, too busy with her toast, wiping the crumbs off on the worn robe. "Did you ever want to become a mage before?"

"Back when I was a lot younger."

"And you still are young, but that's only because we live for so long compared to other races." She smiled, folding her arms on the table as she spoke with him. "Do you recall the four rules of magic?"

"…Uh…uuuuh…" Ereneas lowered his voice, muttering, "Damn it." Then he answered in a more audible tone. "…I sadly do not."

She continued to smile. "I'll forgive you for that since you came to me for learning." She raised her left arm, holding up one finger. "First rule, magic is powerful." She added a second finger. "Second rule, magic is corrupting." A third finger. "The third rule that our kind undeniably knows, magic is addicting." A fourth finger. "Fourth rule, magic draws the denizens of the Twisting Nether to those who wield the arcane. In other words, we attract demons." She said the last word with subtle hate. She lowered her arm back down the table.

Ereneas nodded attentively. "I remember a bit now."

"These are four simple, easy rules to remember. Every-- Or at least those who are instructed by those who have a teaching license.. Every person who wants to walk the path of a mage, knows these rules before they start. Often, the fourth rule scares many apprentices away. Demons are unfortunately, cunning creatures."

"That's true, yup. Where'd you get your license, if I can ask?"

"Usually you can head up to Dalaran for the test. You see, long ago, Dalaran was in control of most magical teachings and restricted outside learning, but.. That all fell apart when Dalaran itself was destroyed. Magic was not regulated and therefore.. The dark magics were then spread and taught. Dalaran has brought back it's restrictions, but since it was gone for years.. People argue that Dalaran shouldn't meddle in such affairs like they used to, saying we need the darker arts to fight against greater evil. I believe you know where I'm going with this."

"I do."

"Moving on.. Do you recall the Law of Sympathy?"

"Was it the Workings of Magic are Subject to Natural Law or something similar to that? Or am I wrong entirely?"

"Entirely wrong. Magic, specifically Arcane magic, the magic we mages use, do not follow normal rules of nature, such as opposites attract. In Arcane magic, opposites definitely do not attract. " She slided her arms off the table. "Back to the Law of Sympathy.. When someone handles an item, they leave a part of their own magical aura attached to it. The sympathy between a subject and the object used by his or her becomes stronger with a more constant and thoughtful use. As auras vary with individuals, the vibration makes it possible to connect to individual by affecting the item, and vice versa. So you understand so far?"

"…Not…really, no."

"Let me speak of a few examples. The Law of Sympathy may allow a lock of hair to be used in a love charm, or a coin to be tracked back to its original owner. Similarly, an expert can read handwritten letters or books without having to actually read them. In a simplified way, think of it as emotions, lingering emotions on an object. And by magic, we can amplify such emotion to help us with our spells."

"I see…"

"Do you have anything personal on you? A favorite memento? A letter? For demonstration purposes."

Ereneas reached into a small pouch on his person and pulled out a folded up square of paper. He unfolded it, handing it over to her.

Adaelyn quickly folded the letter back up, not even taking a peek at the letter. "I should of mentioned to keep it closed as well." She smiled, taking the folded letter in her hands, closing her eyes in concentration.

"This is from.. Someone you're related to.. Female, your aunt perhaps? This person seemed quite reluctant at first, but it seems they have forgiven you for something that you did." She opened her eyes, looking at Ereneas.

"…Yeah. That's true."

She handed the folded letter back to Ereneas. "I cannot read word for word, but I know the main idea of the letter. If you wish for someone who is more skilled in the Law of Sympathy, I suggest Malenor could help you with that. It takes practice to be exact. Now.. Going back to your other topic. Why do you think Arcane magic does not follow the normal rules of nature?"

"…It's magic. Otherwise…" He shrugged.

"Yes and no.. If you ever pursue a lesson on the different types of magic, outside of Arcane, you will see that magic is not just magic. Arcane is a magical energy derived from the phase transitions of mana. And mana as you know, is where casters like mages and the alike, draw their power from when casting spells. If mana were water, then arcane would be steam pressure. Are you following along?"
He nodded.

"Arcane energy is so similar to an element it might as well be one. It is distinctive for its ability to bend other elements such as Fire and Life and energies such as Time to the caster's will. Basically, those skilled in arcane magic have learned how to exploit the instability in the universe. Amazing isn't it? Doesn't it remind you of the four rules of magic?"

"Yeah, those rules do come to mind when I think about the concepts."

"Arcane is not natural because it bends things that are natural. We force the elements to bend to our will through arcane. Does this remind you of anything outside of Arcane magic?"

"…Would it be stupid to say it reminds me a -bit- on shamanism?"

She smiled. "No, that's exactly what I wanted you to say. Now, do you know the difference between the Arcane and Shamanism?"

"…Shamanism implies consent. Arcane doesn't?"

"Not quite, but you are on the right track. Would you like to try again or would you like me to explain?"

"Explain, please."

"Shamanism is a deeply spiritual form of elemental magic that involves a connection with both the natural and the spirit worlds. Shaman do not normally enslave elementals, but honor them, asking the elements to heed their call. And if you've ever seen a Shaman at work, they harness the powers of the elements through totems." She smiled again, continuing. "I recall having a conversation with an acquaintance on Shamanism. Would you like to hear?"

"Go on."

"Give me a moment. I can't quite seem to remember. Excuse me." She said, getting up from her seat. "Oh, would you like for me to tell Malenor to remove the breakfast trays from the table?"

He shrugged.

She exited the room, going through the kitchen curtains. Moments later, a well dressed

Malenor came out in a suit and tie. "I'm going out for a few hours, are you finished eating?"

"I guess."

Malenor removed the trays from the table, going back into the kitchen. When entered the room again, he said to Ereneas, "Please do not let Adaelyn go outside while I'm gone. I'll be back later" before walking out of the house.

Ereneas slowly nodded, watching Malenor leave. Then Adaelyn returned, wearing a nice red robe with golden embroidery, holding a large scrying orb.
Ereneas looked to Adaelyn searchingly.

"We're going to have a little memory seeking with this." She said, setting the orb down on the table, closer to Ereneas. She moved her chair, placing it near Ereneas as well.

"Oh…?"

"Think of it as your first lesson in Divination." She placed her hands on each side of the orb, closing her eyes. "Now, I will project my memory of the time and you may see through the orb. During this, I ask you to try to also concentrate and imagine yourself inside of the orb as I play through my memory. For better results, you must place your hands over mine while doing so."

As instructed, he placed his hands over hers, feeling coldness from her hands.

"I will start now." She said, becoming silent. Inside the orb, wisps of red swirled, changing into a red monochromatic scene of an elf and a Draenei, sitting along the edge of a lake's bank.

Ereneas tries imagining himself inside the orb, like she told him to. He felt a mental shift, finding himself somewhere else, the scene of the orb except in color. It looked to be spring time judging by the color of the leaves of the surrounding trees. He looked around, seeing that he can view a lot more compared to seeing through the orb. Suddenly, he's pulled back to reality, seeing the orb in front of him and sitting in the chair. Maybe he got distracted or he wasn't concentrating enough. He tried again, accomplishing the task better than before.

He stood on the water of the lake, in front of the two women, one being a High Elf and the other being a Draenei. The High Elf looked similar to Adaelyn, but with long white hair instead of short red hair. He began to focus his concentration to watch the scene play out as the women started to talk.

Adaelyn: You are a Shaman?
Draenei: Yes, I am.
Adaelyn: I've never met a Shaman in person before, what is it like to be a Shaman?
Draenei: We honor the spirits of our ancestors and the elements.
Adaelyn: That's not what I was asking. How is Shamanism different from being a Mage? Both can control the elements.
Draenei: No, but they are similar in effect. I can call upon lightning to strike my foes, burning them to death. Like warlocks can summon flames from the depths below to their enemy, burning them to death.
Adaelyn frowned at the mention of warlocks.
Adaelyn: I prefer not hearing about the darker sorts.. They're only bargaining their lives with that magic.
Draenei: Yes, that is the difference. Shamans make bonds with the elements and request their power when needed. Other magics would cost a bit of themselves. It seems easier and quicker to many--
Adaelyn: But in the end it's not worth it.
The Draenei nodded.
Draenei: We ask out of respect, we give back and do not go back on our word of agreement. If we do, the elements would not respond to us again.
Adaelyn: In other words, you have a strong relationship with your magic?
Draenei: Yes, in a way.

Ereneas lets his concentration go, finding himself back in the room, staring blankly at the orb. He felt tired as if he just finished running a mile. Adaelyn opened her eyes, seeing his weary expression. "Would you like some water? Juice maybe?"

"…Juice, please."

She smiled, sliding out of Ereneas's hands while taking the orb with her. A few minutes later she returned with a chilled glass of apple juice and offered it to Ereneas. He took the glass, gulping it down. "That was…interesting!"

"Magic is a wonderful, but dangerous power." She smiled, nodding.
Ereneas nodded back.

"I can assume you know your nine schools of magic, correct?"

"Mmmhm."

"Please name them."

"Evocation, Abjuration, Conjuration, Transmutation, Enchantment, Illusion, Necromancy, and Divination."

"And the ninth?"

"…It's escaping me…"

"While it's not a true school of magic, it's called Universal. It's usually where you place the miscellaneous spells under."

"…I see…"

"And out of the eight main schools of magic, which one is highly unacceptable? Not to mention, illegal."

"Necromancy."

"Between you and I, I am greatly disturbed by having the Forsaken as our allies because of this."

"…I hate them."

"Do not trust them, keep them at arms length if not further. It is only.. Natural for them to hate the living. They are the enemies of all living things. While the Forsaken are our allies, we cannot whole heartily trust them because of their roots of Necromancy. Have you seen the state of Hillsbrad, or even Silverpine? Be wary of them.."

"…I've seen them…And it just makes my hatred fester."

"I hope that Banshee Wench will crumble back into the Void where she belongs."

Adaelyn scowls, shaking the expression off with a new question. "While not a school of magic, what else is there that you should be wary of when you are a mage? Our people know it quite well and some have accepted their fates, going down that dark path.. It's rather unfortunate it is more... Acceptable."

"Corruption. Steering towards the Fel."

"Correct. The path of the.. Warlock. What do you know of them?"

"Their magic is corrupting. Addicting. It's also highly volatile and abhorred by most."

"Again, you are.. On the right track, but not quite there."

"Explain, please."

"Think of what you said and then think of the four rules. It is correct of Fel, but that is extremely put into light words."

"What's a better way to describe it, then?"

"Fel magic or energy is also known as sacrificial magic. Do you know why?"

"…I haven't heard that term before."

"That's more than likely because warlocks do not see their powers as sacrificial. But let me ask again, do you know why it's called that?"

"I don't…"

"Fel is a destructive form of magic created from destroying something else through sacrifice. Destroying such things like Life energy."

"I get it, now."

"Do you think Mages fear Warlocks?"

"That's…generalizing…I think most do."

"We have a right to be afraid of them. They wield Fel magic, magic that has a profound effect on the soul - both the victim's and the caster's. If frequently used it results in corruption that transforms the body. Our people knows this by the color of our eyes and such.. And of course... If you've seen the Felblood Elves during the time of that traitorous Prince, the demonic energy consumed their bodies, changing them into those.. Things. They took the appearance of demons through these processes of Fel. This is a fate not even dragons are immune to. Soil, trees and animals grow thick with fel magic, too."

"…Those sounded terrifying from the accounts of others…"

"Warlocks believe they are masters over Fel, but that could not be more wrong. Fel is their master as they give their lives and others to gain more power from Fel. In the end, they will be consumed by Fel and have their souls lay waste into the dark depths of the Void."

"And that consumption is what kills them."

"They will become demons in the end and whatever they were before that life, they are no more. While we should fear the Warlock, due to their power, it has to be us to correct them. Warlocks are mad and insane due to the power that's granted to them through their sacrifices. We either end them or help them back onto the right path, although they won't be the same since the effects of Fel is.. You understand where I'm going with this, yes? "

"Yeah."

"It's quite early for you to be tangling yourself with Warlocks, so I suggest staying away from them and treating them like you do with the Forsaken. Be wary of them. And just so you know to be clear.. Warlocks do sacrifice others for their spells. Unfortunately, those sacrifices will end up in the Void along with the Warlock as well one day." Adaelyn shakes her head. "It's saddening to think of innocent souls being tormented by the darkness of the Void because of some mad Warlock's need for power."

"An endless amount of suffering for both. The worst fate…"

"It's easy for Warlocks to be known due to their reek of Fel magic permeating around them, not to mention any obvious signs of corruption or visible demon by their side. I suppose another would be their age, unless they have a few enchantments to deceive you. Did you know the more magical power you possess, the quicker you age physically? Which is why some Mages gain gray or white hairs despite being a young age. So, you can imagine what age would be like for a Warlock with all that power.."

"Of course, it's not that noticeable for us since we have long life spans, but if you ever take a look at humans, you may notice it."

"…I've seen quite a bit back at Dalaran."

She smiled. "Anyway, I believe I have gone over most of what I wanted to discuss with you to refresh your memory on magic. Do you mind telling me in a short summary of what you learned or re-learned from our discussion today?"
"There are four rules to being a mage that you should know when you're starting out. Magic does not abide by the laws of nature. Fel is not only a sacrificial magic, but utterly abhorrent and self-destructive to use. Don't do necromancy, either?"

"Good enough considering I discuss a lot." She smiled once again.

Ereneas nodded back with his own smile.
Perhaps it is your imperfection that which grants you free will, that allows you to persevere against cosmically calculated odds. You prevailed where the Titans' own perfect creations have failed.

- Algalon, The Observer

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[Image: tumblr_m00qfdoBWr1qd87hlo1_500.gif]

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