NOTE: This takes place well after Rann's brush with death in the Wolves campaign, after she has recovered.

 

"Incredible…"

 

Rann stood with Claret's spell tome open before her in the mage tower, frowning at the spell detailed before her. Kageseji lay on her floating carpet, hovering a foot or so above Rann's head, peeking over and looking at the book from that angle.

 

Frostbolt.

 

Such an ordinary and basic spell. Ordinary and basic was often the greatest tool of the trade even in the hands of an expert, and Rann was no slouch. The frostbolt was her bread and butter. So for this basic spell to earn Rann's respect as "incredible" was no small feat. The high elf was astonished. This was the work of one who had cast the spell hundreds of thousands of times, and gone back and refined it, trimming out all of the fat, all the excess, consuming less energy. The version of the frostbolt Claret had detailed here could be cast with remarkable speed, when executed properly. Rann could learn a few things, and at least with this spell, she intended to.

 

This was an exception. Few of the spells in Claret's tome had to do with frost. The theme of this book, largely, was fel, fire, summoning, and control. The amount of precise detail and exacting preparation for many of them was staggering. Additionally, many spells' preparation stages included references to another tome. Rann suspected that the "Volume One" dealt largely with preparation of reagents and prerequisite spells such as wards. Offensive spells throughout the volume they now possessed were largely self-contained, encompassing techniques and requiring little if any preparation. After all, a battle could occur anywhere. It was the "utility" spells that needed forethought…sometimes a terrifying amount.

 

A warlock's summoning spell. Rann was only vaguely familiar with the standard version of that spell, but she knew it didn't look like this. This could be cast alone, without the help of others, and could summon others to one's location. The odd part of it was that it required the caster to have an extensive knowledge of both the summoned and the summoned's current location. Stalker-level knowledge. That Claret would choose to record this version of the spell in her tome was beyond disturbing.

 

"I could summon you right out of bed with that!" Kageseji joked.

 

"Shyeah, but you see how precise it is?" Rann pointed out. "If I move the bed half a foot to one side, you're out of luck." She pointedly looked up at Kage with a smirk. "Which I just may do now."

 

"My turn," Kage said, hopping down from the carpet.

 

"All right, just don't get carried away," Rann urged, taking a seat nearby.

 

The ogre who had opened the book hadn't appeared to suffer any ill effects, at least not that were readily visible. He had absconded with the tome, hightailing it to Highmaul. Rann and Kageseji had given chase. As it turned out, the event happened to coincide with an attack on the city of Highmaul. The ogre disappeared into the chaos, but was eventually tracked to the city's arcane sanctum, where the ogre had begun to attempt casting some of the tome's spells. Whether these were for himself or to give to his master, Ko'ragh the Breaker, was unclear. It didn't matter. Kage, Rann, and a number of Templars brought down the ambitious ogre and his master, Ko'ragh. The book's traps and seals broken, they were now free to examine it back at the garrison.

 

As long as the book was open, it sent out a magical pulse every few seconds, only faintly detectable by skilled mages. The pulse changed with each page turned. Were Claret able to sense the pulses — were she on Draenor — she would know the book had been opened and what page was being viewed. They had a lot to learn about their enemy's tactics through this, but while they were at it, perhaps they could learn a couple of tricks from her, too.

 

Rann flicked a powerful frostbolt out an open window with just the smallest motion of her wrist, drawing on the techniques in Claret's tome as she waited for Kage to finish her turn at sifting through the book's spells.

Author Rann
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