Janderius was not thrilled with the idea of visiting one of the Phantom Legion’s old abandoned fortresses. Painful memories aside, he never found the location to be very pleasant to begin with. However, he wasn’t going to let that discomfort deter him from persuing a possible lead for tracking Sielic.
The Blasted Lands were, for the most part, a completely irredeemable expanse of red sand and destruction (hence the name.) The base itself had fallen deep into disrepair, years of erosion from the area’s harsh climate made the ruins look a lot more ancient than they really were. Scars from the ‘Civil War’ between the Templars and the Legion still remained, though. Like opening a time capsule, it was striking to see just how much evidence of that conflict seemed relatively untouched.
The mage guided his faithful flame hippogriff down into a slow approach, gliding through the ruined gateway before touching down just inside the walls. The enormous saronite gate (the one that the Baron had been so proud of) still laid open and ruined by the spells that had melted it.
Once his mount had finished fluttering and skittering to a complete stop, the mage slowly eased himself off the saddle and took a moment to soak in the surroundings.
Mina had decided to join him on this trip, and shifted out of her flying form just after landing beside him. The druiddess had shown increasing amounts of concern over the way Jander had spent so much time hunting his former ally, and resolved to accompany him on as many of these excursions as she could. The mage gave his beloved druiddess a weak smile upon seeing her return to her true form. Merely having her nearby was enough to make a huge positive impact on his mood.
A long pause followed, with neither person saying anything as they spun about to take in the imposing views of the surrounding structures. Jander took a moment to stretch one of his arms across his chest.
“Fuck this place.” He finally broke the silence with a long-suffering sigh.
“Can you sense him?” Mina never experienced the Civil War first-hand, but she’d endured years worth of its stories from Jander. She was well-aware of the significance of where they stood, and decided not to respond directly to his comment._ Naturally she had her own magical senses unfurled, but they always felt blunted in this blighted place._
“I do. The disturbance is here, just like it was in Gilneas.” The mage’s eyes continued to wander all around the various buildings and ruins within the walls. His gaze eventually settled on a decaying pile of broken planks near the keep. He immediately recognized it as being what remained of the old gallows. “Fuck this place…” He repeated.
“So there is a pattern!” She continued in an enthusiastic tone, determined to keep him focused on the important matters. “As you had suspected!”
“There is. It’s like the sentimental fucker is doing a farewell tour of all his old haunts.” Jander scratched at his chin as he looked up at the roof of the keep.
_She dropped into cat form and prowled–never out of Jander’s eyesight for more than a moment or so, but taking her far enough to get a decent sense of the place. Her tail twitched the entire time, a restless energy that remained even after she shifted back. _”_I do not think he is still here,” Mina said, closing the gap between them and taking his arm as she tried to get Jander’s full attention again. “But I could be wrong.”
Jander turned to look at her, shifting his stance so he could address her more directly. “The presence feels old and scattered, but this definitely seems like a decent place for a dangerous lunatic to set up shop.”
“Then we need to search it before we move on to the next place!” The perky elf left a warm kiss on her lover’s cheek before slipping away to assume her favored cat form_ again_. She still had the target’s scent fresh in her mind, thanks to the scrap of fabric that Jander had thought to tear off of Sielic’s clothing when he had the chance._ This time she scoured every corner, as only a nosy cat could._
There wasn’t much to be found inside the keep, besides the space that had once housed ninety-six infamous seaforium mines.
The mage was still incredibly weary from his endless search, but watching Mina stalk off in the direction of the scent brought a determined grin back to his features. They hadn’t found him yet, but they seemed to be on the right track.
That grin only widened when the beginnings of a real plan began to take shape in Jander’s mind.
((This entry was written with the help and approval of Mina’s player. She misses you guys, but doesn’t have enough time in the evenings to devote to coming back to WoW these days.))