Current Events Edit
(Work in progress. This is approximately... Five-six years from when the backstory ends at this moment in time.)
Inner Demons Edit
Isa couldn't sleep. She had been trying lately to rest. The continued insistence of the others in the guild had set her onto a more regular schedule. There was no use in continuing to fight when one's engine had run dry. But the peaceful repose of sleep escaped the mage. She stared at the ceiling of the Legerdemain, her hands tucked behind her head. She worried her lower lip subconsciously as she was wont to do when she was troubled.
No matter how many times she tried to put it out of her mind, no matter what she did to try to focus on other things.... her mind kept returning to one thing: the Caverns of Time.
Isa always took Kaudri's advice to heart, and she tried to do so again. Its for the best. I'm sorry you had to go through it again, but perhaps there was a reason. Isa shook her head, throwing the covers off herself as she rose from the bed. She dressed quickly, the enchantments laid upon her armor sending the faintest of tingles up her arms. She had learned much, and grown much in the past year... and yet she couldn't escape the ghosts that haunted her dreams.
She thought herself lucky to have found people who cared for her so fiercely; a new family. Everyone in the group had lost, or suffered, or faced some sort of shadow in the past. But the opening of the rift in time had ripped the scabs from Isa's newly healed wounds. The day she tried so actively to forget... now she could return to. Again, and again. No longer reliving it in nightmares, but truly reliving it in all its visceral reality.
It was not self pity, nor self loathing that fueled her movements. It was neither vengeance nor hatred. It was a need, a yearning, an emptiness that fueled her desires on this evening. She moved with quiet determination, draping her cloak around her shoulders as she descended the stairs and moved into the streets.
Dalaran never slept, which suited Isa's restlessness. She walked down the street, gracefully dodging the crowds that still gathered: drunken conversations and bawdy laughter coming from groups gathered on the corners. A long day of fighting usually ended in a long night of drinking. She moved around the groups, her hood pulled low over her face, staying close to buildings to avoid both recognition and conversation.
The citadel shone despite the darkness. Dalaran seemed to shimmer, its beauty all the more tangible in the shadows. She ascended the steps, bowing regally before Rhonin and Vereesa before making her way to the portal. The air shimmered and swirled as she stepped through.
The instant change from Northrend's icy winds to Tanaris' desert heat never failed to take Isa's breath away. It was still a dizzying change despite the lack of sun. She accepted passage to the master's lair and moved around the gaping cavern with that same quiet determination.
It was cruel in a way, the way that the buildings seemed to leak their way from the rift. Her city. Her home. Not the plague-infested burning wreckage of it... but the city itself. She tried her best to ignore the pangs of dread as she pushed through the rift in time to the past.
She moved up the makeshift stairway to the disguised dragon. Chromie smiled up at Isa, her gnomish eyes holding unfathomable wisdom.
"We meet again, time traveler," Chromie said brightly. "Alone this time."
Isa nodded mutely.
"Well, then your task will be difficult. You already know about the Infinite Dragonflight. They seek to disrupt the past by influencing Arthas. Already they have hidden the plagued crates of grain in an attempt to stop the culling. Use this arcane disruptor to remove the enchantment and expose the crates. Then Arthas can begin the Culling," Chromie handed Isa a small device.
Isa took it, slipping it into her pocket and nodding. "I understand."
Chromie watched her for a moment, her eyes narrowing. "The consequences of Arthas not continuing with the culling are dire. Mal'Ganis intends to-"
"I know." Isa cut her off, raising a hand as she turned on her heel towards the stairs. "Armies of undead. The plague taking over the city. Arthas has to do what he can to save the kingdom. For the good of Lordaeron, right?"
Chromie seemed to be calculating for a moment. The gnome put her hands on her hips indignantly, "Do not attempt to alter the past, young time traveler. It can have dire consequences."
Isa nodded and continued up the stairs.
It was a blow to the stomach, stepping into the past. The Redpaths, alive and well. Fras Siabi laughing with Hearthsinger Forresten... the familiar voices of James and Mal. Isa closed her eyes for a moment, catching her breath. She wanted to run up to them and wrap her arms around their waists, embracing them and allowing the reality of the past to sink in... she wanted to tell them what was about to take place. But she had her own selfish motives at the moment.
If she was going to defy the bronze dragonflight, she might as well get what she came for.
She exited the tavern, looking around at the again-familiar surroundings. A suspicious crate of grain sat outside the entrance of the building. With a scowl, Isa removed the arcane disruptor from her pocket and silently laid it upon the crate. Quickly, she summoned her frostsaber and mounted up. With all the speed she could muster, she raced for the city. If the infinite dragonflight was intent upon delaying Arthas, perhaps she had a chance.
The wind blew her hair from her eyes as she rode, paws pounding on dirt path as she made her way to the gates of the city. Her city. It doesn't feel like home anymore, Lycentia had said. But as Isa neared the gates of Stratholme, her heart ached with the feeling of returning home. At the moment, Isa cared not for the fact that she was in the past. It was home. Her home, before the horrors that befell the city. The air smelled crisp and was cool against her cheeks. The hazy light of early morning lit the ivory stone walls with the lightest haze of pink.
The Lordaeron guard stood at the ready and Isa slowed as she passed them. A few nodded to her politely, some were immediately recognizable. Isa looked at each of the guards, each of the knights.... What would Vardann had looked like before this happened? What of Mae and Fitzlin?
The only face she remembered with certainty was Kaveric's. He was not among the guard, at least not positioned here. Was he still with Uther? Was he with Arthas? Isa chewed on her lip again as she urged the frostsaber forward.
The gates loomed ahead. Satisified that her brother was not among the front line, she continued on to the city. The longer she could delay the culling, the better. She remembered that it had been dark, and yet... the darkness must simply have been her memory. Morning had dawned on Strathome, and people were beginning to go about their daily business in the city. Familiar faces, familiar sounds... she paused, shutting her eyes against the past that surrounded her.
Tears threatened as she saw Emery Neill standing at the door of the Storm Crow Tavern. Memories of nights spent at the tavern, laughing together as a family ripped at her heart. She approached the familiar building, running her hand over the solid wood of the railing. Not in flames, not reeking with the scent of brimstone and disease, the tavern was just as she remembered it.
"We're closed today, miss. I can't risk it with everyone so sick," Emery called to her from the door. Had it been so long that no one would recognize her? Had she grown so much so as to be unrecognizable?
"I see," she said softly.
The sounds of the city surrounded her, and she walked with the faintest of smiles. If only it were another day.... a happier day. THe cobblestones of the pavement were all so familiar. She looked out at the King's Square fountain with a nostalgic sigh. It was so easy to get caught up, so easy to just stay here. She wondered briefly how long it would be before Chromie realized Isa was clearly no longer on task.
She walked with purpose towards Festival lane. If there was a chance, any chance, she would take it. She passed the florist, passed the small gathering of agitated citizens and walked straight towards Goodman's General store.
George Goodman was busy behind the counter, looking up in distraction as Isa entered the store. "We're about to close up, miss. Seems there's something happening in the city today." he said with a frown. "Everyone is sick."
"I heard," Isa whispered. "Mr. Goodman, can you tell me... has Kaelan d'Sylvere come in for work today?"
George shook his head once, "No, d'Sylvere's been out the last few days. Seems his daughter's come down with that affliction the others have. Poor thing, she's never been all that well. Such a frail little thing that Isa. Not like her brother. You know the d'Sylveres?"
Isa nodded quickly, turning so that her distressed features could not be seen. "I do. Thank you for your time," she muttered quicly as she curtsied politely and exited.
She knew he wasn't at work. How could he be, when he was home when Kaveric came to wake her? She rushed across the square towards the gate to Market row. Fumbling with her key, Isa attempted to unlock the gate.
The key was to no avail; the gate was locked to her at this point in the timeline. Her key worked on the gate in the future... She clutched at the bars of the gate, leaning her head against it as she succumbed to tears.
She didn't know why she wanted to see them one more time. Isa had told herself time after time that there was nothing she could have done to save them. But to be so close... through tears she struggled with the lock and slumped to the ground in defeat.
To be so close, and yet so far away.... Just one more moment, just one more glance and she would be appeased. She needed to know, needed to see. But the gate stood steadfast in the way of her goal. She knocked her head back against the solid steel bars once.
So many years had passed since this moment in time, these next few hours forever etched in the recesses of her memory. But she still had no idea what had happened to her family. Had her parents been killed mercifully? Had they fallen prey to Mal'Ganis? And what of her brother? She trusted Vardann's word in that Kaveric had lived to see the end of this battle... but what happened after? Why was there no sign of him anywhere?
Answers might lay on the other side of the gate. She wrapped her arms around her legs and rested her forehead against her knees. The ghosts that haunted her mind now walked in the streets, not demons... not yet... She had some time, but not much. There had to be some way to get through.
A gentle hand was laid upon her head, and Isa looked up with a start. Concerned eyes looked down at her as Sharanya quietly sat beside her, slipping an arm around the girl's shoulders. "You should not have come back," she said simply. Anything Shar said had a melodious lilt, the draenic accent still heavily coating her words.
Isa leaned into her friend, allowing herself to let out a breath she didn't know she had been holding. "You shouldn't have followed me," she muttered under her breath.
"I am still responsible for all of you in the guild. You leave so quietly I knew you must have been up to no good," her guild leader smiled slightly.
Isa frowned, leaning her head back against the gate. "I just want to know, Shar. I want to see them one more time."
Sharanya shook her head. "And for what? To help them? To save them? What good will it do, seeing it all over again. What good can you make of such a horrible night."
A long sigh escaped the mage's lips. She looked up at the draenei warrior desperately, "At least I would know. I am so tired, Shar... I've spent so many years searching for him, wondering if he's okay. Hoping my parents had a clean death and aren't still walking around like the others..."
"Again, I ask. You are here now. What will you do?"
Isa pulled herself up on the gate, looking out towards the row. "Shar?" she dodged the question with a question, "If you could go back to Nagrand, to see it in all its beauty... just for an hour, even for a moment... Would you go?"
Sharanya was silent, the warrior slowly getting to her feet. "No," she said finally. "No, I could not go. For I would never leave."
Isa continued to stare out at the empty street. She turned, taking in one last look at her city. "I just want to know, Shar. I need to move on with my life."
The smallest of smiles tugged at the draenei's features, "So let us get out of the past. No answers will you find, only old pain. And possibly angry dragons."
Isa smiled wryly and shook her head. "Okay," she said, feeling defeated. She waved a hand, the air swirling and shimmering as a portal coalesced into existance.
"We all worry about you, Isa," Sharanya said, smiling with motherly concern. "We care."
"I know, Shar. Sometimes I worry about me, too," Isa said softly before they stepped through the portal.
Imagined Demons Edit
Isa still hated Stormwind. Despite her attempts to spend time in the city, the mage never felt quite at ease. Granted, on most occassions she had visited the city, no good had come of it. The good times had been sufficiently counteracted by the bad times. It was a relief that Dalaran was only a whispered incantation away.
She finished her business at the harbor, and stood for a moment as one of the massive ships pulled into the bay. Nostalgia tugged at her heart, and she let out a small sigh. The massive engine at the back of the ship shuddered as it came to a halt. Rather than stand and watch as the passengers disembarked, the mage turned away. She had watched ships for too long. There was work to be done.
Isa tucked her hair behind her ears and made her way towards the trade district. She traditionally avoided eye contact while walking in Stormwind. The guards were always present, and yet it seemed they never did anything to prevent the increase in violence throughout the city. With the Knights of the Ebon Hold walking the streets; Isa was loathe to engage anyone in conversation.
She noticed one of the Death Knights approaching, and instinctively she averted her gaze. The King may have forgiven these redeemed knights, but Isa's emotions were still too raw. Her hatreds were too deeply embedded for her to look at these murderers and find allies; much less find forgiveness.
The knight's armor glowed with an unholy light, the massive blade slung over his shoulders almost the size of the mage. He passed her at arm's length, and the realization hit Isa like a punch to the gut. She stood completely still. Its not possible. Its my mind playing tricks on me, was the immediate reaction. But that profile; the strong chiseled jaw, the high sharp cheekbones, the wave of blonde hair...
It was a face she had spent years searching for.
She stood, motionless, not daring to turn for confirmation. Her breath quickened and she shook her head. Wishful thinking, Isa. Just your imagination. Move on. She took an unsteady step towards the trade district before her curiosity overruled the pessimistic doubt. She had to know, she had to see.
Isa turned, blinking closer to the retreating figure of the knight. She had to jog to catch up to his lengthy strides. The man hadn't noticed the mage hurrying up behind him. She needed to see. She needed to know that it was just a trick of a weary eye, a twisted vision of a lonely heart.
Catching up with him, she quietly called to him; "Sir?"
The man did not slow, nor did he turn. Isa furrowed her brow, resuming her chase. "Excuse me, sir?" she called to him raising her voice.
He stopped his pace and waited a moment, when no response came, "Do not waste my time, human." His vocal cords wrappped in fel ice resonated together in a hollow tone that was a shadow of the tenor he once was.
Isa shook her head, incapable of reconciling that voice with that of her brother. "My apologies, you looked like someone I once knew."
"Its possible," he replied, his voice still completely devoid of emotion. He turned to face her.
Isa's jaw went slack, and her heart beat faster. She struggled to continue to breathe as her brother looked down at her. Every feature was exactly as she had remembered; every feature but his eyes. His eyes were now twin soulless orbs of icy blue. She shook her head in disbelief.
"Well?" he asked.
She stood, staring mutely up at him. No matter what she did, she couldn't find words. Instead, she continued to stare in both horror and disbelief.
Kaveric sneered and turned away. "I'll take that as a no."
Voice returning, she managed to choke out, "Kav.... No. Kaveric wait!"
He turned quickly, frowning as he studied her. A long moment of silence passed before he simply said, "Isa."
Real Demons Edit
Silence fell, as she stared up at him. SHe was torn between relief and dread; happiness and horror. Isa's pale countenance went slightly paler as the ramifications of this new reality, this unplanned twist of irony settled on her petite shoulders. Kaveric, her Kaveric... a death knight. One of the scourge, the hand of the Lich King himself. She looked up at those frozen eyes, trying to reconcilie some form of humanity therein.
"You remember me...." she said slowly, her voice was barely above a whisper. Blue eyes gazed up at him, fearful of allowing the conversation to continue. Her heart beat wildly against her chest, and a knot tightened in her stomach urging her to flee, to forget, and to move on with her life.
"Are you still...." she started and faltered, her voice breaking. "I mean.. Is it really you, Kav?"
He regarded her for a time, once his living consciousness subsided from its elation at the discovery of his sister alive and well; grim horror set in. This, however, was not made apparent in the deathly chill of his outer shell that gazed upon her coldly with frozen orbs.
The horror in living consciousness stemmed from the realization that she would now see him for what he had become, and fear set in. But the Death Knight brushed both the fear and horror aside.
"Kaveric, yes, I go by that name," his words were cool and simple, "I am sure that within me you see your brother but rest assured young mage that you would do well to remember your brother for his deeds in life and mourn his passing. Your brother is dead."
Cold and simple, short and to the point. Both sides of him agreed that this would be for the best, to ease her pain. Or at least, they thought it would.
They were words that she had dreaded. Words that she had always heard in her worst nightmares. But never in all her years of searching did she expect to hear those words from his own lips.
Isa closed her eyes, looking away. Her hands instinctively balled into fists at her sides. Jaw clenched, she turned her face upward to look at him, her blue eyes harboring hurt and anger. "Dead," she repeated. "It isn't stopping you from walking around, I see."
The bitterness was unintentional. Despite the warnings, against all reason, Isa had always imagined this moment. It was not going the way she had planned. The dream she had fought for and protected was shattering. Shards of broken dreams and misplaced hopes coalesced into a single, traitorous tear. She wiped it away fiercely with one hand and narrowed her eyes defiantly.
She wrapped her arms around herself, eyes focused on his. She needed to know the whole story, and though the story didn't have the happy ending she had so desperately sought; she wanted to fill in the blanks.
She spoke slowly, her voice darkened with hurt and anger, "How did it happen?"
Kaveric's eyes were twin orbs of frozen death, but they focused on her. His lips curved downwards into a sneer. "You don't need to know. Walk away. Live your life. Your brother, Kaveric is dead. I cannot give you what you seek."
"Can you go back to that little timid girl who was afraid of her own shadow? The little frail thing who adored her brother, rushing out to meet him every night he returned from training?" He asked, his lips curving upwards into a cruel smile.
She glowered at him, "No," she muttered defiantly.
"Nor can I ever be the brother you wish me to be. This is not your happy ending. Take what you've gotten and go," he snarled.
Isa shook her head once, the air aorund her going cold, "I've spent years searching, Kav... YEARS. I deserve to know. I expect nothing from you, in fact, in this state I care not to associate with you at all. But you owe me that. A part of you that is lost in there, somewhere owes me that much."
The death knight crossed his arms over his chest, glowering at the tiny mage. She looked up at him, her blue eyes harboring a cold fury. The air around her almost seemed to shimmer with the cold that radiated from her subconciously, the frost magic irrevocably linked to her emotions.
They stood there, staring at one another. Their features and stances so similar that a common passer-by would immediately see the resemblance. It was Kaveric who finally looked away, turning from her. "Leave it be, Isa."
"No," she hissed.
He turned to her and frowned. "It never would have happened if it weren't for the Captain. But he'll pay for what he did to me. I'll see to that."
Fury gave way instantaneously to confusion. "Captain?" she repeated uncertainly, "What Captain, Kav?"
"Well, our beloved Captain of the guard. Captain Argeinon," he said bitterly.
The words shook Isa to the core. SHe couldn't speak for a moment. She simply stared, her mouth hanging open in shock. SHe held up one hand, shaking her head. "Wait, are you telling me that Vardann knows that you're... One of them?"
Kaveric sneered, "So he lives. Good. I'll see to that."
Isa stared at him, waiting in silence for elaboration of some sort.
He watched her critically for a moment before continuing. "After that night, after the culling... there was an accident of some sort. A ballista fired, straight at the Captain. I did what all good soldiers would do. I protected my commander. I gave my life for him."
She closed her eyes and then opened them, anger and hurt boiling up inside of her. "He knew...." she whispered softly.
"Oh he knew," Kaveric continued, his voice still laced with hatred. "He was also there when the fallen rose from their graves, myself included. Raised to serve in the Lich King's army. And I begged him to kill me, yet he stayed his blade. I am the monster I am today because of him. He ruined me, and so now I intend to ruin him."
Kaveric drew a blade. The crest on the hilt was unmistakably the Argeinon crest. "He was nice enough to lay down his blade. I'll take pleasure in running him through with it. And any who stand in my way."
She didn't know what to think. Her brother was set out to kill the family that she had adopted. No, she thought, this monster who was once my brother was out to kill those whom she loved.
"Well, then," she said simply. "You'll have to run me through with that blade as well. Because I refuse to stand idly by and let you destroy what family I have left."
He turned on her, levelling the blade at her throat. The blade glowed blue with an unholy enchantment. "You tell me where he is, little girl. Blood or no blood, I will strike you down where you stand."
It was instant. The explosion of frost locked him where he stood and she immediately blinked away, manipulating the arcane forces. Kaveric snarled at her, from his trapped position.
"The next time we meet," the mage said fiercely, her eyes narrowed. "You are my enemy."
She quickly traces a rune in the air, casting a portal to Dalaran. She paused, looking at her brother. He fought against the icy prison for a moment. Isa turned to the portal shaking her head.
"I would have mourned you, Kaveric." she said softly. "But you're right. My brother is dead." She turned from him and zoned through the portal, leaving her brother and the loathed city behind.
Hunting Demons Edit
Dalaran shimmered into view and the mage stalked through the city. Icy hatred radiated off her in waves, and her blue eyes were alit with a cold fury. People edged out of her way as she stalked down the streets towards the Hero's Rest tavern. She pushed her way to the bar and eyed the bartender with unveiled anger. "I don't care what you give me. Make it strong. And make it a double," she hissed through her teeth.
The man behind the bar hesitated for a moment before drawing a drink for her. The mage thrust a handful of coins at him and she stalked up the stairs. She was still shaking, too angry to cry but the hurt was still so fresh the desire had not abated. Her lips were drawn tightly into a line as she slipped her guild communication device out of her bag. She stared at it for a moment, and then took a drink.
Flipping it open, she activated the voice communicator. "Vardann," she spoke into the device, attempting to make her voice sound normal. Instead, it was a hollow and empty version of her normal tone.
A moment passed before the communicator alit with response. "I'm here, Isa."
"Vardann, can you meet me at the Hero's Rest? It’s important," she said simply.
"You caught me at a good time. I was just finishing up business here in the city. I will meet you shortly," his reply came, the hint of amusement in the paladin's voice.
Isa clicked the device shut and took another long drink. Whatever the bartender had given her did the trick. The liquid burned the back of her throat and blurred her vision. Anger still seethed through her tiny frame, the effects manifesting in the slightest hint of frost coating the table and floor around her. She stared at the door.
It was not long before Vardann emerged. He got a drink of his own and ascended the stairs. He looked at Isa with concern.
“Good evening, Isa,” he said softly as he sat down at the table with the mage.
She glowered at him for a moment and took another drink before greeting him in turn, “Hello, Vardann.” Her voice barely could contain her anger.
“Asking how you are would seem a bit redundant,” he said with a bemused smirk, “so I will move things along and simply ask what happened.”
“I had an interesting day today,” she said with bitterness.
“Oh?” he prompted, eyebrows raised.
“Yes,” she said, drinking again. “I had an interesting conversation tonight. With my brother.”
Vardann looked at her as if she had slapped him. He shook his head, staring at her, “So he lives.”
Isa downed the last of her drink and slammed the empty glass on the table. “Lives!” she laughed bitterly, “Lives? No. He doesn’t live. He’s one of them.”
Vardann nodded once, his grey eyes watching her closely. “A death knight. I should have known this might happen. I never thought that he would have made it this long.”
Isa shot out of her chair so fast that it was knocked over. It clattered to the floor as she lunged at him, “How dare you? You never told me. You knew, all this time. You dried my tears, you gave me hope, you told me to never stop searching for the truth, and you knew. You knew all this time, and yet you never bothered to say a word.”
Vardann held the mage at bay with ease. Strong hands armored in plate caught her by both wrists and held her at arms length. “Isa, calm down,” he said softly.
“I will not calm down!” she hissed, struggling. “You told me the last time you saw him he was alive! Why didn’t you tell me then? Why, Vardann? What kind of cruel joke is this? Is this a game to you?”
“Well, for one, I knew that you would react this way,” he said with a bemused smirk, “and because frankly, I never thought that the death knights would ever be our allies. Now are you going to attack me, or will you calm yourself down?”
Isa stopped struggling and yanked her hands away from him. She grabbed the chair off the floor and righted it, sitting down in a huff. She crossed her arms over her chest and stared at him coldly.
“Better,” he said once with a nod.
Isa resisted the urge to stick out her tongue in indignation.
Vardann ran a hand over his features before he spoke. “Isa,” he sighed, “understand that I would have told you. But you were not ready to hear the truth. I may have been wrong in trying to protect you from this, but I couldn’t bear to take that hope from you. Isa, that was all you had when I first met you. That blind hope of finding him.”
Isa opened her mouth as if to respond, but closed it. She nodded once.
He continued, “He showed such promise as a soldier. One of the most formidable recruits. I only wish it had been me who took that blow. When the ballista misfired, it should have been me. That scene plays in my mind so often, and I always wonder if I could have done something to prevent it. We buried him with full honors and I mourned him. That night when the fallen rose from their graves…”
Isa furrowed her brows as Vardann trailed off, “What happened?” she prompted.
Vardann shook his head, “I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t bear to kill him. I fought against the others, but looking into his eyes I couldn’t do it again. It was a moment of weakness, one that lasted too long. He was gone before I could realize the wrong I had committed against him.”
Isa sat quietly, chewing on her lower lip.
“I imagine he wants to kill me,” Vardann mused, rubbing at his forehead wearily.
She nodded, “With your sword, yes.”
Vardann let out a long sigh, “I’m sorry, Isa. I know how hard this must be for you. But just remember that he is still your brother. Revenge is a human trait.”
Isa shook her head vehemently, “No, my brother is dead.”
“Isa,” Vardann looked at her reproachfully. “You may be his only chance at remembering his human side. Do not abandon him now.”
Isa got back to her feet. “My brother is dead,” she spat out every word with intensity, anger carving out the wounds left by all the pain and cauterizing them with resolve. “He is scourge, just like the monsters in this forsaken wasteland. If I meet him again, I will treat him as such.”
Vardann held up his hands, “I know how much this hurts, Isa. But be reasonable.”
She narrowed her eyes and spun away from him. “I am so tired of being reasonable, Vardann,” she shot back at him as she stalked down the stairs.
“Where are you going?” he called after her.
“If I can’t kill him, I’ll go after all the others. I’m going to Naxxramas,” she shouted back at him, whirling as she reached the bottom of the steps.
“Isa….” Vardann shook his head, “don’t be stupid.”
“I’ll cut out the heart of the beast. I’ll mow down each one of them. I’ll raze that entire citadel to the ground,” she snarled, walking out the door. Before Vardann had a chance to pursue her, the air shimmered around her as she slipped out of phase and into the shadows of invisibility.
The anger didn't lessen as she landed in the small outpost of the Seventh Legion. She stared up at the citadel. Fear had been supplanted by rage. Sorrow had been usurped with hatred. Both hands clenched at her sides, she continued to stare. A voice behind her startled her.
"You goin' up?"
The voice belonged to a girl who had to be close to Isa's age. She was not much taller, either, with blonde hair swept back away from her face in a ponytail. She smiled warmly, and asked again, "To the citadel? Are you on your way up?"
Isa paused, turning to look over her shoulder at the massive structure. She lifted one shoulder in a non-committal shrug, "Going in alone doesn't seem to be the best course of action, truth be told."
The girl giggled raising her eyebrows. "No, its pretty horrible in there. But my team is short a few tonight. Do you want to come?"
Isa tore her gaze from the citadel to eye the girl. She was silent for a moment before slowly nodding.
"Good, its settled then. Visinthien and the others are already up there. We just needed one more person. So... Hi, I'm Alessaria," she reached out a hand, that warm smile still lighting up her features.
Isa tentatively stretched out her own hand, "I'm Isa."
"Nice to meet you. Lets hope we live long enough to get past first names, shall we?" Alessaria grinned wickedly as she whistled for her mount.
Isa opened her mouth to respond, but the girl had already taken off towards the citadel. She watched the retreating form for a moment before summoning her own gryphon to follow.