Rann almost cringed as the can hissed. The drink in her hands had come from Razboom, before he had gone fully into the service of the Shadow Trader. Kaja�cola, a little goblin drink that they swore gave them their �best� ideas, which was certainly a dubious honor, but it did give them energy. She looked around — as if unsure that she was alone in her apartment high above Dalaran — and hurriedly gulped down nearly half of it in one go. She would need the energy as she worked tonight. 

She felt the vibration beneath her feet as the building shook with the Legion�s continued assault on Dalaran. A quick scan of the building�s wards told her everything was still holding strong, but she needed to hurry. She began rushing about, securing everything in her home, both physically and magically locking it into place. The move to Karazhan had proven chaotic and left her with quite a mess to clean up. She wanted to make sure the coming move to the Broken Isles wouldn�t do the same.

Somewhere in a corner of her pack, which hung on a coat rack next to her cloak, her guildstone chirped with activity. With a flick of her wrist and a quick silence spell, she hushed it. Rann was in no mood to listen to the guildstone right now. When she had sent her torn and tattered Templar tabard and matching gold and white robes back to the Justicar, Arialynn succeeded in convincing Rann to stay with the Templars only for the time being…until she could sort out what all was happening, and decide if there was still a place for her there.

However, Rann had not taken the colors back. As far as she knew, they were probably still in the Justicar�s possession. And the night before, just after meeting with Auris to inform her of Dalaran�s impending move, Rann had thought she heard Kanta�s voice over the guildstone again. She had immediately switched it off. She was too busy then, and too busy now, to deal with such a thing. But if she was right — if that was his voice on the guildstone — if the murderer had appeased the Templars and gotten back into their good graces, then she would indeed have to leave. Between his presence and the racist comments about high elves and blood elves during the tribunal that went unanswered by the Rose’s leadership, she didn’t think she could take any more. But…there was the Legion to be dealt with.

It wasn�t that she would take on the Legion alone — far from it. But perhaps she could find other mages she could work with. Kageseji, for one, even though she still mistrusted the Kirin Tor. Sumeri for another, and Idella…although Idella seemed destined to walk a darker path. Still, maybe something could be done…once she was safely returned. It had not escaped Rann’s notice that Idella had been taken captive during a recent incursion. She’d get her back herself if she had to.

In any case, Rann knew she could make a difference. Maybe she would simply dive headfirst into her work with the Kirin Tor again. She was an Archmage now. If she reallydistinguished herself in this campaign against the Legion, who knew… Perhaps she could even end up serving on the Council of Six one day.

She sighed and shook her head as she turned over her plans in her head, driving another arcane lock into one of the feet of her chaise lounge. Kage would still be uneasy about the Kirin Tor. But given recent developments…maybe she would trust them more than the Templars right now. It had been nice, in the old days… before Shadowsage�s strange enemy had begun the process of wrecking their lives by getting Kage kidnapped and pinning it on the Kirin Tor. Back then, in Dalaran, they were like a family. So much so that Kage had started calling her Aunt Rann. Maybe they could be again.

Speaking of family…

Rann turned to an aged painting hanging over the mantel of the fireplace. It had fallen in the move to Karazhan, but the painting itself hadn�t been damaged… Only its frame had been chipped on a couple of corners. She warded it carefully, adding extra layers to it and, just for good measure, placing a slow-fall charm on it that would trigger if the painting still came loose from the wall. Her father gazed sternly back at her, adorned in the blue and gold of Quel�thalas in its glory days, his old storied staff clutched in his hands.

I should visit him, she thought. It�s been too long. And with all that�s happened, and the Legion invading… this might be the best time.

Her thoughts drifted off into a nonsensical jumble as she continued working to brace her home for the move. 

Author Rann
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