Recap: After receiving a cryptic message from Arialynn, Jander immediately set off for the Grizzly Hills in pursuit of Mosur. He’d attempted to contact Kanta and Anarial to request their aid, but had trouble getting in touch with them using his their private communication runestones. Time was of the essence, and he had little choice but to persue the lead on his own.

He’d only been told a starting point, and that it was believed Mosur knew where Sielic’s camp was. Jander had a bone to pick with the shaman for keeping the secrets from him. Upon reaching the supplied starting point for his search, Jander detected the presence of a very familiar and sinister magic. It’s unique darkness reminded of the magic that his old foe Xeris had employed in service to the old gods. The mage set off in pursuit of the magic’s source, and was led up to the top of an unassuming hill in the forest.

((Blue= Mosur, Light Blue=Jander, Yellow=Sielic.))

No sounds, no alarms go up as the mage approaches, and if anyone has noticed him it’s not announced.

After cresting the hill, he realizes he’s still not quite reached his objective. Crouching behind a rock again, he pauses to silently survey the area once more.

It seems odd at first for the camp to be empty, desolate. There is no one that resembles Sielic to be seen, but on the edge of the light there are humanoid figures. Beings of shadow stand at attention more than a handful. As he looks at them one turns its head, the creatures empty black sockets taking notice immediately. Around the mage the shadows of the trees and the plants coalesce and attempt to wrap themselves around his form, aiming to restrain him as all the shadow figures begin moving.

The shaman looked up at the sudden movement of the soldiers, a quick sneer coming to his face. He stood and turned toward the edge of the camp the hurried to a growl of annoyance escaping him at what must have been his own misstep.

The shadows whisper and rasp in his ear “You’re super shitty at hiding.”

The mage resisted the urge to unleash a stream of enraged profanity as the shadows began immediately closing around him.

Instead, he decided it was worth trying at least one powerful offensive spell. Most creatures of the shadow that he’d encountered before weren’t completely impervious to ALL forms of magic damage.

A vibrant azure glow shone from his eyes as he used that split second to assess the situation, while simulaneously drawing as much power as he could from the volatile Northrend ley lines.

Many shadows. He had to handle them. In that instant, Mosur’s wellbeing didn’t matter to him in the slightest.

Within the span of a single heartbeat, he set his stance and allowed the manifesting power to accumulate at his fingertips. Well-practiced arcane casting gestures snapped into place, and words of power were bellowed as he brought his hands together in front of him.

A wide blast of searing flames thundered across the clearing with terrifying force. He expelled most of his energy with that one concentrated attack. Desperation evident in his gambit, the exertion alone was enough to bring him close to fainting.

The shadelings are blown back, buffeted by the magic wielded by the mage. Mosur, too, is washed over by the flames unleashed from Janderius’ hands. It bought the mage a precious few seconds, or would have, if a fire elemental did not surface immediately afterwards, looming above the now-dwarfed Mage.

Jander didn’t have enough time to react, he didn’t have enough time to cast anything complex like a polymorph. Based on the presented evidence, he surmised that the draenei had become a controlled pawn (who controlled the shades and elemental by proxy.)

The mage knew full well that, when in doubt, you never give a spell caster any breathing room when a fight breaks out. Despite all the other threats surrounding him, he only had eyes for the blue meanie. He felt the looming heat at his back and blinked forward. Dropping his sword in the dirt, he tried to jump on the shaman’s back to smother his face with both gloved hands. The idea was to press one over his mouth, while the other one covered his eyes. Determination made his grip like a vice.

He knew that he was leaving himself extremely open and vulnerable. He knew it wasn’t much of a plan, but it was the only non-lethal action he could think of.

Mosur raised his left arm to shield the force of the magical fire, it was nothing he could control, he’d squatted trying to cloak himself but had little time to do more than begin pulling up the ridges of stone to put a temporary wall between the. He’d had only enough time to raise it high enough to protect his hooves and ankles the rest of the arcane fire washing over him. He cursed in his tongue already knew he’d have to see to healing. Fenix erupted behind the mage and Mosur turned tempting to stand again his left eye squint.

As he twisted the mage had taken the time he’d shielded himself to leap at his back. A grumble was muffled as his hands clambered over his face. Mosur reached for the mage’s arms though fell to his knees he kept the mage from forcing him into the dirt. He lifted one hoof so he stood in a kneeling position further protecting himself from a face-in-the-dirt fate. He pried the mage’s hands away and roared his name. “Mystery!” He jerked his right shoulder and dropped his left attempting to drop him to the ground.

Jander was a little taken aback by Mosur’s surprisingly sentient sounding reaction. He was not a weak guy by any stretch, but was pretty easily outmuscled by the draenei. All he could do was wriggle out of the shaman’s grasp as he fell to the dirt and rolled to one side.

Without even breaking a step, he emerged from the roll and tore off in a burning sprint to try and put some space between them.

The shadelings rose up in a ring around the camp, leering faces in their shadowy forms as if to taunt the mage. A hushed buzzing filled the camp, the dim sounds of raucous cheering. While these meager shadow walls would be easily broken, dealing with them would take time. The fire elemental had sunk and vanished out of sight again.

An arena had been formed, Shaman versus Mage.

He twisted as the mage tucked his own shoulder and rolled it attempting to run again, thankfully he was blocked by the shades he still couldn’t let him get away now. he smacked the flat of his right hand against the flat earth. The ground rumbled straight toward the mage the earth reaching upward and encasing each of the human’s legs to the knee. “Foolish mage.” He spit the sting of his first spell still a burning annoyance. He pushed himself to his feet again the earth beginning to pull him downward. He readied to silence the mage if he started to cast again.

Jander’s blazing speed came to a screeching halt as soon as the shadows formed their wall in front of him. He prepared to try and blast his way out, but was interrupted by the earth’s attempts to start swallowing him. For some reason, he wasn’t expecting the shaman to attack him again so quickly.

There was nothing he could do to free himself from the grasping earth. He was too spent to blink again, and stuck facing the wrong direction.

All he could do was try to bring up an ice block around himself, even though his feet and calves were already encased.

Mosur exhaled as the mage threw up his ice protection. it gave him a moment’s reprieve, but also gave the mage time to think. He wished he’d spent more time listening to his brother talk about the arcane and how it functioned. He walked around to the front of the block and put his left hand on it it was cold, and formed of magic. He sucked his teeth. “Did not have to be this way. Mystery could have stayed away.” He commented almost sadly. He was fond of the mage. But still. The earth started to shift again, if it couldn’t swallow the mage then it would try and swallow his ice block all the same. The displaced earth followed the slope of the encasing ice hopefully creating an earthen prison.

Jander couldn’t keep the spell up for very long, since he needed to breathe, after all.

He gasped loudly as the frozen chunks fell apart, dropping away in pieces. There wasn’t anything else to prevent the earth from swallowing him up. “You’re either incredibly stupid or incredibly weak. Either way, fuck you.”

Multiple weak arcane explosions erupted from his position as he struggled in vain to free himself.

Mosur frowned at the mage’s words and shook his head, he was too tired and sore now to rise to that bait. Graciously he left three air holes at the top of the structure, the bulge being two and a half foot above the ground. The inside a rough egg shaped for the mage to stay. Mosur snorted again and scrambled backward almost falling over his hooves at the arcane explosion sounds. He relaxed once he realized that was it. Now to set about healing himself before he could start with his task. He went to sit with his belongings, they were unsurprisingly untouched for what they were.

“Mosur what the FUCK!!?!?!?” Every other emotion had turned to impotent rage as Jander started writhing against the earthen prison that confined him like an upright casket. “I know what you think you’re doing, and it’s dumb as shit! Let me out so I can help you god dammit!”

He came unhinged fairly quickly. It was a terrifying predicament to be in, especially as a mage who’d been denied the means to actually use their magic. There just wasn’t enough space to perform any casting gestures for the kinds of spells that would help him.

Instead of offering any other actual suggestions, he just started screaming angrily.

Mosur’s nostrils flared and his chest tightened. He continued to sit satisfied with his work. Certainly he would be spoken to about his blunder, at least he had something to show for it. He closed his eyes taking a few silent moments to start healing compress over his left arm, he’d already told the elemental he couldn’t have it and now the mage tried to take it. He grumbled before finally answering the mage’s aggravation. “Mystery should take time to calm self down.” He tried to remain calm himself now.

“Why haven’t you killed him!?!”

The mage let his forehead rest against the rough stone as his eyes clenched shut. Hands balled up into fists as his body gently shook.

“We don’t need him alive… he must have allowed you to get close… so why didn’t you kill him?”

“God dammit… if I had known that you were in contact with him… god dammit… GOD DAMMIT MOSUR!!!”

His nostrils flared again at the mage’s voiced assumptions. he was silent a long while as the healing progressed, first making sure his arm was repaired, he would need it and was no stranger to burns. He muttered something in another language, if Janderius understood kalimag or kept his arcane language spell up he would understand.

You know the last time I was burned this badly I think you had something to do with it Nereus. It’s a nice change you actually healing me this time…

“Because Mystery was only five years ago it may had been Mosur that the Templars chased instead of the Scout, hum. If they actually cared enough to worry.”

The shadelings gave continuous and consistent warnings to Sielic. Even within the stone cage, Janderius would feel the change in magic as void and ethereal tech emerged in the camp. Old gods touch echoed brightly from the man’s person, warping the senses and magic around.

“I see there has been trouble. I am glad you handled it, Mosur. My gratitude.”

Jander was getting ready to mouth off again when he felt the familiar arcane disturbances of Sielic’s tech.

His eyes widened, and his jaw clamped shut as he just listened to the exchange.

The strong aura of the old gods influence was deeply unsettling for the mage to sense.

Mosur looked up at the weird magical disturbance that took place in the camp. He wasn’t quite surprised to see Sielic emerging from what he assumed to be some kind of mage portal. He didn’t stop the healing he was performing on himself but gave a grunt and a slight nod to the Rogue. “Mosur thought his path would be too much to follow.” He snorted and frowned again of all the people he thought might have been able to follow him the mage was definitely not the person he had pictured.

Sielic looked over the stone egg cage. He smirked.

“Saves me the trouble. I needed to stop this one’s meddling attempts. By coming here, he has saved me the effort. I appreciate it, Jand.”

Sielic brought a shadowedman forward. He whispered a few things and the being ran off quickly, readying whatever Sielic had demanded.

“Will he be able to disrupt your work from in there?”

“Mosur does not think so, no.” He commented and idly watched Sielic at the temporary prison. “What is Scout’s plan him? Does think Mystery could be convinced?”

“Don’t mind me. I’ll just be over here trying to figure out when you were more pathetic. The old Sielic was a cowardly, honorless rogue, but now you’re just another small time cultist.”

“A cultist?” Sielic chuckled.

“No, I don’t think he can be convinced. Maybe just close the holes and suffocate him? Maybe filter in the air elemental.”

“Oh what a surprise. Spent all this time fleeing, and now he’s too chickenshit to fight a single one of his own battles.”

Sielic idly removes corks from his alchemical supplies. He begins slowly sizing up the air holes and fits the stoppers into them.

“Good thing your blueberry bitch had the stones to actually fight me, am I right? I mean-…” He was cut off by the plugging of the last air hole.

Everything went dark, and he struggled to keep his breathing steady when genuine panic returned.

Sielic waited. Counting. He listened. He eventually opened the air passages again.

“Ready to converse, Jand?”

There was an audible gasp as Jander stretched his neck towards the open air hole in a desperate attempt to drink in as much oxygen as possible.

“It’s not like I’m going anywhere.”

“Why do you think I am a cultist?” Sielic kept the corks ready.

“Because of the things you said when we had you captured.”

Mosur grunted at Sielic’s answer and frowned shrugging, it was a shame it wasn’t worth a try, he liked the mage, he’d hoped it was worth a try. His brows furrowed and he had shaken his head at the idea of closing the holes and suffocating Janderius, he at least wasn’t going to be the one to do it. Blueberry!? Bitch!? He watched the Scout plug the hole and count when he tried to speak with him again he went back to idly mending himself, he suddenly had a great dislike for mages in general. At least one of the pair was trying to be rational. At the mention of cultists Mosur couldn’t help glance toward his old pile of items, he still declined to speak.

“What do you want? Why do you fight me, Jand? Can you not just… Stand aside? I don’t enjoy killing, I just am willing to remove obstacles from my path forward.”

“I can not abide by you bringing harm to people I care about.”

“Why are you okay with them harming themselves? My path may be violent, but only because they will not see the futility. There are other ways, peaceful ways.”

“That’s retarded.” A fair amount of dust and dirt had gotten into his mouth by that point. It was as good a time as ever to spit some of it out. “They aren’t harming themselves. Besides, we’re just one guild, we don’t even have much of an impact on anything.”

“Then why fight at all?”

“I can not abide by you bringing harm to people I care about.” He repeated, followed by a raspy sigh. “Besides… you’re my mess to clean up.”

Mosur furrowed his brow and narrowed his eyes at that phrasing, mess? He shook his head again as the conversation crawled along. Satisfied with his arm for now he moved to more tender portions his neck and face muttering more curses in draenic.

Sielic calmly reached into his satchel and removed some herbs. He mixed them together idly as he listened to Janderius.

“The Templars are the mess that must be mopped up. Crumbs before the broom.”

“Go mop up another mess. There’s plenty of them around.”

“I would rather not have to hurt you, or those you love. Mosur and I made arrangements. Similar arrangements could be made. If you stay your hand, I can stay mine against those dearest to you.”

“Fucking try it. You’re outnumbered by the people I love most, and they’re a lot more formidable than I am.”

“Not after you become the crack in their armor, the hole in their walls.” Sielic laughed, the void energies surging within.

“I thought you were going to kill me. Do you want something now?”

“Mosur, we can’t have him warning the Templars. Can you have Enlil render Janderius unconscious? With the help of the void, I should be able to erase this visit. Maybe even set him back a few days.” Sielic spoke to the Shaman as he finished a poultice for him. He offered it when he was done speaking.

Mosur hummed a moment and nodded his head. “This should be doable.” He answered with a nod. He lowered his hand and stood walking over to the earthen mound. “Try too make better decisions in the future,” he said and pulled a small intricate figure from his pocket and planted it on the earthen dome. Installing again he summoned the air elemental. “Anything else?”

“Yeah, what you’re doing is evil. Fucking think about that, dickshit.”

“You are betraying good people who care about you, all for this fucking crackpot.”

Mosur sighed again and directed the elemental into the prison. “Mosur sincerely wishes Mystery would have changed his mind.” He didn’t expect anything to change now though and set his jaw against the man’s words. The elemental crackled with small flashes of lightning and without another word All the oxygen left the air.

Jander’s eyes widened, and he struggled against the snug stone enclosure. Little short panicked breaths did nothing to help alleviate his desperate need for oxygen.

After about a minute of the traumatic struggling, he slipped into unconsciousness.

Mosur counted aloud in Draenei after he heard the mage stop struggling. “Twenty.” The totems soft glow faded and He pulled it out of the stone. Slower this this time he pushed the top of the earthen shell away, finally talking the rogues offered potion. “What does this do? Exactly?” He asked looking at the mixed contents and glancing down at Janderius.

“It is a healing poultice. Should help with the burns and such.” He looked down at Janderius. He pulled out the puzzlebox. What of he just erased the Templars? No, that would be too much. The void briefly touched upon the mage’s mind.

Author Jander
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