Within the sprawling layout of Stormwind’s courthouse, one particular office seemed to always have its door closed. It wasn’t of particular note, being amongst other similar rooms and rather remote in location. In fact, before the unfortunate addition of a plaque to the left of the door, most of the court’s employees assumed the room was a supply closet of some sort. This plaque, loathed by the man whose name was upon it, listed plainly:


L. Gorathian

Senior Court Clerk

Office of Record Management


          Most of Lannik’s co-workers learned early in their careers to leave the door closed. Of course, this golden rule was occasionally broken by new hires and visitors who remained unaware of the record keeper’s bristly morning attitude. One particular violation, early in the year 25A.D, proved to be one that the clerk wouldn’t soon forget.

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          Lannik spoke aloud as his ink pen scrawled across the warrant in front of him, his tone quiet and pensive. The delicate metal nib paused at the end of a word as pale blue eyes flickered over the numerous other documents that were neatly organized on either side of his working page. “… commanded to arrest and bring before a Stormwind magistrate judge without unnecessary delay one… Leonard Theodore Smitts,” he read, penning in the name when he had at last located it on another file. A quiet snort of an aspirated chuckle escaped the clerk’s nose as he found some trace joy in Leonard’s name; thugs like ‘Leadfoot Lenny’ lost much of their reputation’s bite when their birth-name was written in a manner befitting the tone of an irate mother. The rather gaunt man smiled at this for a moment. His thin lips pulled into a look reminiscent of a smile, and the wrinkles of his crow’s feet deepened. This expression was fairly short-lived though, as the heavy wooden door of his office creaked open.

          A cold stare from deep-set eyes locked upon the intruder as soon as she stepped forward. The hoary old man’s piercing gaze threaded the gap cleanly between his circular silver-rimmed spectacles and his bushy grey eyebrows, and refused to falter. Lannik didn’t recognize the newcomer who stood in his office’s doorway. She was young–though most everyone was, compared to the clerk–and had a head of short black hair that was kept in a neat side parting. Though she was unfamiliar, the clerk didn’t bat an eye. New faces came and went all the time, it seemed. There was only a moment’s silence before Lannik was the first to speak.

          “Requisitions for records can be submitted via a written request only. RFI form, to your left, the fillable document,” Lannik explained. A single pale finger extended to point towards a pile of neatly stacked papers upon an end table at the office’s entrance. There were no pens nearby, and little surface to brace the form upon other than the walls of the office. This was, of course, by design. The last thing he wanted was someone filling out the form whilst they were there. “No exceptions, bar a signed letter from a magistrate addressed to myself, or a letter bearing the seal of House Wrynn.” The canned explanation came with a tone that left it doubtless that he’d spoken it hundreds of times before.

          The young woman chirped a stuttered response, naturally quite taken aback by the clerk’s brusque nature. “Uh, no, I-” she paused, seemingly unsure of herself for a moment, then spoke up once again. “I just started here a few weeks ago, I’m the SI:7 correspondant,” she explained with another step in towards the office.

          “Wonderful,” the balding man replied as a purposeful period in their conversation, not prompting for any more information. His attention had returned to his work shortly after the woman’s entrance, and had since refused to pry from the paperwork spread out before him.

          “I just thought I’d seen you before,” the bright-eyed woman expounded, “outside of the court. Outside of Stormwind.” A single eyebrow of hers perked, and her eyes bore into the top of Lannik’s skull. With that, the older man finally glanced up. His pallid-blue eyes met hers, a deep and vibrant hazel, and she spoke again.

“Do not trust them all.”

          Already-narrow eyes squinted, their gaze locked for a long, silent moment. Lannik was the first to break the silence. “I’m sorry?” came his response, obviously put off by her nonsensical statement. A reply didn’t come from the woman for a while; instead she simply stood in the doorway, a similarly perplexed look taking a hold of her features.

          “Have a nice afternoon, Mister Gorathian,” came her final offer before she turned and left the office in a rush.

          Left in his empty office, Lannik raised both hands and placed them palms-down upon his desk, glancing about. He took a while to absorb the surreal nature of the last few moments. After a quiet moment, it set in that after her cryptic statement the short-haired stranger had left his door open. “Light, give me patience,” he groaned, and pushed himself up from his seat to trudge towards it. A cursory glance into the hallway beyond confirmed that there was no-one waiting to elaborate on what must’ve been some strange joke, so he simply pushed his door shut until the latch clicked, then returned to his desk.

          Already, Lannik could tell that this peculiar situation was due to throw off the remainder of his day. With a heavy sigh he sat up straight, grasped his pen once more, and returned to his day’s work.

          With luck, he thought, he’d be able to put the morning out of his mind before long.

Author Zaanthe
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