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Dealing with Dalaran

May 10, 2011

The years passed and I became known as a capable Magistrix. For every expectation had of me, I performed beyond them or studied and practiced until I was able. My classes were accelerated to higher difficulties and after some initial struggle, I rose to meet the challenge. I published a junior’s dissertation on the movement of the western leyline and its effect on the flow of magic to our city’s western font (Alas, my scrolls were since burned in the fire that destroyed the Academy’s library during the Scourge invasion) and was celebrated among my peers. It was not long before I was called to the Academy’s main council, where it was offered to me that I transfer my studies to the city of Dalaran. Initially I turned them down, citing that I had little need of the knowledge of magical doings from humans or dwarves or…ugh…gnomes. What use is it, I asked, to learn from the races that were mere children in the eyes of the arcane when I could study in Silvermoon, among elves who had chronicled the use of magic since its very birth?

But to my surprise, my father insisted I go. In his letter he stated concern for my personal growth…afraid his daughter would know nothing of the world save for what she read about it in dusty books and tomes. He suggested that King Anasterian’s only son, Prince Kael’thas, was among the conclave that governed the Dalaran magistrate and considered their knowledge and research to be greatly useful. Who was I then, that I could not learn from the lesser races when our graceful Prince walked among them? I relented. Within days I had notified the Academy’s council and arrangements were made for my departure. A small band of our most promising students, myself among them, gathered by the city’s portals and made leave for the mages’ city of Dalaran.

It was admittedly a marvelous city. Not the wonder that was my home, but a feat of magical architecture with libraries of magic that rivaled Silvermoon itself. We were taken to our new conservatory, where I was relieved to find that we Quel’dorei would be staying and living together. Before Dalaran, the only humans I had seen in my whole life had been faint glimpses of human ambassadors in the nobles’ gatherings. But here, there were more humans than the rest of all the races put together. I laughed when I saw them. Great hairy ape-like things with bushy beards, blunted ears, and dull watering eyes. I found it hilarious that my people, the Quel’dorei, had ever had to turn to the ape-men for any semblance of help. The dwarves and gnomes were no better, and a particular specimen of the latter developed a troubling habit of trying to peek up the dresses of our female students until one of them caught him at it and beat him bloody with her staff. I wish I had been there to witness it. To my horror, I was not only to live among the humans, I was to be placed under the tutelage of one! I, Merrel Sundrake, one of Silvermoon’s finest rising Magistrix, was to be tutored by a magic-flinging ape?

My tutor, Magister Roland Tanner, was a great fat man with ill-fitting robes, a silly purple hat that was crooked to one side, and was known to have a tendency to fart during our communal dinners. I despised him. I despised him deeply, and he knew it well by the tone of my voice when I was made to address him. He had the audacity to dub me ‘Merry Merrel’ and only laughed at my sour attitude towards him and his ilk. I put in request after request to be removed of him, but was denied. After months of his insipid presence, I decided that it was well past his due for me to put him in his place. I waited until evening studies, when the rest of the students had already left the room. There, I confronted Magister Roland and challenged his knowledge of the arcane outright. How dare he presume to teach me, I told him, when the most I had ever seen him perform was the ability to hover his food into his gaping jowls so he would not have to move. I called him a pig and told him I could have learned more magic from staying behind in our Academy’s nursery. I hated Dalaran and I hated its inhabitants, most of all him. He laughed and offered to make me a deal. He would stand unarmed, without wand or staff to channel any magic. He told me that if I thought of him as such a pig, then I should have no trouble frying him into bacon. He told me to use the most powerful spell that I knew and that if I succeeded, he would step down as my tutor.

I was a fool. I should have known. But no, I was young, pompous, and full of impetuous rage. I accepted Magister Roland’s challenge. While the fat human stood with his back to me, I took up my staff and I called upon the same furious might that I had called on those years ago when I vented it upon my sister. The flames that I conjured burned white hot, blue at the center, glowing like the noonday sun as I spit forth my incantations with fire upon my tongue. I wove every bit of power and knowledge that I held into that inferno, and with all my might I turned and hurled it at my hated tutor.

I still am not precisely sure what technique he used. I only know that without even turning to face me, Magister Roland lifted a hand and turned the flow of magic around him. The flames whirled about for the briefest of moments, lapping at his robes without even the decency to scorch the fabric. And then my world became a torrent of white heat and I was blasted off my feet and flung into the far wall by the same spell I had cast against him. I awoke in the infirmary several days later. My skin was not burnt, my robes were intact…but every strand of my curls had been vaporized into ash and I wept when I felt the bare flesh of my head. The nurse told me that Magister Roland had stopped by immediately after ‘the accident’ carrying me and explaining that my hair had burnt away in a spell that had simply gotten out of hand, with no mention of my fool’s part in the whole thing. I was given a cloth to wear over my head until my hair grew in. Even with accelerated magic aiding it, it would be some time.

The embarrassment and humility that I suffered that day burned hotter than the flames I had conjured. With the cloth upon my head, I returned to Magister Roland’s tutelage. I spoke politely and returned to my books most studiously. Magister Roland continued his lessons with me as though nothing had happened. I had been humbled and we both knew it. It was not mentioned again. I dared not write of this to my father or my superiors. As far as both the human and I were concerned, it did not even occur. I will not pretend that I ever grew to truly like Magister Roland or that he ever grew particularly fond of me but our relationship as teacher and student grew, based on the most important lesson that he had taught me. Respect. Respect for the knowledge and powers of my betters no matter who or what they might be.

Some time after the incident, he commented that my curls had grown in in quite a lovely manner. I told him he smelled like the back end of Dalaran’s sewer pipes. Then he helped me to study a complicated planar transformation spell. It was nice to know that some things never truly changed.

Academy

July 6, 2010

Academy was not a prison to me. Indeed, I was sent to one of the finest schools in Silvermoon, thanks to my father’s connections with the Magistrate and noble-borne. It was some miles away from our small estate, a little less than a day’s travel by horse. I had never been to the capital city before then and was all but spellbound by its sights. The nobles’ regions of the city were majestic beyond anything I had yet known; with their towering arcane spires, manicured green parks, and libraries with more volumes of knowledge than I knew could have existed.

You can imagine the confusion of a young girl, then, to be so abruptly left behind in this alien world on the steps of an Academy that was to be my new place of learning and my home. My bag of belongings was taken and I was led to the young girls’ dormitories. I was nearly a decade younger than the others there, and one of the few who had not a drop of noble blood in her veins. You may imagine that this would cause some problems among the social heirarchy, with my being bullied or cast out or taunted. But it was not so. I was always a somber and mature child despite my age and while the other girls were initially wary of me, I fit in among their number far more easily than I had with the children at home. Indeed, it took only a few days that I felt more at ease there than I ever had in my classes at home.

The classes there were the first to truly challenge me. I had always been the golden child to which arcane talents came so easily, but now I was in a much larger proverbial pond, and there were now others who were equal to or even surpassing my skills. My time quickly became regimented with practice and study sessions in between our normal schedules. That is not to say I did not socialize with the other students. In fact I became friends with a number of other girls there, others who understood the need for motivation and discipline. I was happier among the nobles and pureblooded than I ever could have thought, a far cry from the middle-house rabble I had been subjected to in my earlier life. I flourished.

My father would come often at first to visit me. I would show him all I had learned, just how precise my control over the arcane arts was becoming. I remember once, I told him I could freeze the heart of a sparrow flying a mile high above us, but he merely laughed and told me there was no need for such things, as sparrows could cause no harm to anyone. He would help to tutor me when I called for it and he finally helped my mother and sister to forgive me some time later. I was able to visit the house again and would bring my mother new jewelry or trinkets from Silvermoon and delight my less-magically-inclined younger sister with my showings of dancing ice and fire…ironically the same fire I had once used against her.

So my years went by. The Second War raged and flames consumed half the world, but only news of it ever breached the walls of Silvermoon. My father was called away to the field many times, and it would be a lie to say I did not worry for him, but he was a capable man and always returned. We were told that the greatest contribution we could make was to keep to our studies, the better that we would be able to serve our people when our parents’ battles became ours. I was an excellent student and my teachers praised me. I had friends that endeavored towards the same things as I. My family and I finally had an understanding. I grew up knowing that I would one day join the ranks of Magistrate and serve the people of Quel’thalas.

I was happy.

Mr. Binkees

June 21, 2010

My father was a great man. Well respected within the Magistrate, he was a veteran of the First War and an accomplished mage and provisioner of artifacts. His studies are recorded in the scrolls that survived the burning of Silvermoon, making great strides in the areas of portals and teleportation. To my younger sister and I, he was a gentle and patient father, whether in helping us on our studies or telling us stories of his adventures and battles. My eyes were blue then, as were my sister’s and my mother’s. His were a deep and gentle brown, with creases from squinting so often at his books.

I was my father’s daughter. Forever striving to impress him with my prowess and knowledge, I was always at the head of my class. I was going to become a great mage, just as great as him. Perhaps even greater, were it possible. But at that time…such a possibility did not exist to me.

Things were not all so well. I was thought to be insufferable by the other children, while my little butterfly of a sister flourished under their attentions. It would be safe to say I was a jealous child. When the books were put away and the practice wands locked up once more, I had little more than my sister and our dolls as playmates. We were both fond of a particular doll fashioned after a saberfang cat, which she had dubbed Mr. Binkees. I thought it was a horrible name. And indeed, it was Mr. Binkees that brought our… problems …to a head.

I know not what started the argument. They say that children will argue about anything, and siblings will argue about nothing. We both wished for Mr. Binkees at the same time. I was the eldest and thus argued over my right of property with her, but she would not cease her whining. I took a hold of one of the arms and she the others, and a very tiny war erupted over this silly cat doll. We fought, and I pushed her down hard in the dirt. Almost immediately her eyes teared up and I knew trouble was soon coming. I offered her Mr. Binkees, I tried to help her up, but she lay prone there in the dirt and began screaming.

I became frantic. I would not get in trouble simply because she could not control herself. So I began screaming back at her. I told her to be quiet. I told her there was no need for this. But the tears continued and her mouth gaped open like a dying fish, wailing and sobbing as though a mad thing. I was desperate. I could not bear to be in trouble because of her. Not with my father. I do not know what came over me.

I summoned up what meager power I had and I went to kill my sister. I can not remember what I did to her. There was fire, and blood, and screaming. Something ripped open inside her. I clawed at her face and made my hands burn. She flailed but I held her down. She screamed. She would not stop screaming. I fought back even when larger hands pulled me off of her. I remember my mother shrieking at me, throwing me aside and picking up the bloody bundle that was my sister, rushing her into the house. I held Mr. Binkees and stood dumb, lost until the door opened once more and my father came out.

He led me back into the house and into my room, his hands upon my shoulders as though I might try to run. I did not. My sister was tended to, but they would not let me see her. She was confined to her bed in our room. I, of course, did not stay in the room with her. That evening my father called me to him. I was to be sent to Academy a year early. I was more than ready to contend with older children. It was not my talent that was called into question…it was control.

I could see the disappointment in his eyes, and it pained me greatly. I promised to him I would learn control. I would know the powers of control greater than anyone.

They packed my things the next morning. Toys were not allowed in Academy. Before I left I took Mr. Binkees into the side yard, into the garden, and I quietly set him ablaze. If I could not have him, then nobody could.

Why I Risk This?

June 20, 2010

I dislike the concepts of ‘diaries’… I cannot help but to think of young girls giggling in their rooms, their handwriting sloppy and distracted as they ooze over whatever boy glanced over his shoulder at them that day. I dislike ‘journals’ even more. How many times when tossing a Magister or prominent Knight’s quarters have we found their private journals, full of information against them or easily edited to provide more information against them. It does make my job easier…and yet here I sit with one, my own.

Every day I have felt eyes upon me, driving my endeavors, admiring, hating, every motion I make is watched. By someone. Whether it be by my recruits that seek to emulate my discipline and my rank or the citizens that would spit upon my boots. I cannot always act as I feel. The most I may hope for now is to press this pen to paper, keep it hidden where none may find it and give them no reason to search.

And if you have found this, my dearest reader… It is very likely that I am dead, or that very soon, you will be.