By popular request, Content Warning: Violence, Teeth Stuff

It was a lovely Dalaran day. The kind that left Abathor smiling as he turned a page in the enchanted tome that floated before him. A window was open to his study, letting in a comfortable breeze, warmed with the magic that surround the city of mages. Golden sunlight pooled into a circle from the window�s shape onto a cerulean rug that sat in the center of the room.


A smile formed on his aged features as someone gently knocked at his front door. He set out from the small, round room with no hurry and no desire to wrinkle his freshly pressed vestments in transit. His casual pace earned another knock as he descended a spiral stairwell to the lower floor of his magister�s apartment.


�One moment, please.� He was polite. Nothing was going to ruin his day.


Until he pulled the opened the door.


�Abathor.� Esreiella addressed him with a pleasant smile. A twinge of guilt sparked within the middle-aged mage as he gazed at the warlock. �May I come in?�


He provided no verbal answer to Esreiella, but rather, opened the door and stepped aside. The smile was gone and suddenly all the weariness of his years caught up to him at once. At the very least, some of the worry and guilt that began to nag at him was alleviated by the state of her well-being.


�Esreiella.� Abathor finally managed his own greeting as he pushed the door shut. �You look well, all things considered. Again, you have my sincerest condolences about the coven.�


The door clicked as it latched, but Esreiella remained suspiciously quiet. It wasn�t in her nature to pass up polite conversation and not return pleasantries. As the mage turned, the vague suspicious feeling only grew as he studied the steely expression set in her features. Her fur-lined cloak and hood were pushed back, revealing the weapon she had been concealing in the streets with the large, billowing garment.


The whole thing had to be fitted to match her diminutive stature, but the threat was present, no matter the size. Light glinted off the curve of a long blade fixed to a staff carved with runes, capped with an elegant silver butt while enchanted crystals dangled from thin iron chains at the head. Whatever good intentions she had with her magical practice faded from his mind as he stared at a fairy tale�s example of an evil witch. Lips and nails painted in red, clad in black, and a face that was not having any excuses at that moment.


Abathor opened his mouth to speak, but a force of shadowy magic left her hand before he could form words. His back collided with the door and the mage sank to the ground. The instinct to fight back came over him, but the momentary daze slowed his reaction. Before he could lift his hands off the ground, Esreiella stabbed the slender heel of her shoe into his palm. A bright flash of green filled the room as fel flames licked at the other, springing blister to the palmar surface of his free hand.


�Esreiella, ple-� The butt of her scythe jammed into his open mouth without the mercy of gentleness. His front teeth cracked painfully under the force of a silver motif of enslaved demons.


�The trip was a long one, Abathor, but I really should have started here. I went to every non-warlock contact of the coven�s, you know.� She lied. In truth, she went to one and they readily offered to rat out the mage after a bad trade in the past months. �Each one gave me very interesting information such as the early warning that was sent out. That quaint little letter to inform some of my contacts about the pleasant zealots and their intent.� A joyless smile pulled at her lips as she ground her heel into his palm. Abathor sobbed out a muffled yell as skin twisted and tore in his palm and the other radiated with the burning pain of seared flesh.


�Shhh. Shh. Sh.� Esreiella shushed him and tapped a finger vertically against her lips. �No tears, darling. I promise that I am not so far gone that I�m without mercy� as long as you cooperate. The way I see it�� She canted her head to one side as she slowly turned the scythe, grinding at the broken fragments of teeth still clinging to his bleeding gums. �You owe me. Don�t you?�


Abathor let out something that sounded like a cross between a wail and agreement. Either way, Esreiella accepted his answer as a yes rather than protest.


�I spent far too long being hunted like an animal.� Despite the nature of her visit, her tone remained surprisingly chipper with just a pinch of condescension and contempt. �That�s not even mentioning the people that died because of your lack of a spine, but don�t you worry. I have a way for you to make up all of those deaths to me. We like it when I�m feeling gracious, don�t we? Yes.� Abathor nodded in response, but it was most likely due to Esreiella moving her scythe in such a way that it forced him to nod.


�I have a very simple request. If you do not honor my request, I will come back for you and no amount of magic in this world will save you. I will bind your soul, kill you in the most creative way I can imagine, bring you back and do it as many times as I feel necessary. Do you understand?� Again, she forced him to nod by way of her scythe. She dipped her freehand into her leather satchel resting at her hip and produced a folded up square of paper. �You will go to the location designated on this map and infuse magical essence into an object. Simple enough.� Esreiella dropped the map by his head and lifted the butt of her scythe from his mouth.


�You have ten hours to be there.�

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Author Esreiella
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