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Old 01-31-2013, 03:56 AM   #126
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Magna Aegwynn

Aegwynn watched as Nielas packed his backpack and farewelled his horse. At least he was clever enough not to bother arguing with her. Something similar had happened with one of her previous possible suitors and he had spent the better part of an hour trying to negotiate bringing his horse along. When Lairana trotted off between the trees Aegwynn turned and resumed her travel.

"Let us tread where the clever steed does not wish to." Aegwynn said as she walked.

The path quickly changed from the murky forest of Duskwood to the tall ridges and rock walls of the Deadwind Pass. Judging by the trees and vegetation they had just left one could be fooled into thinking that they were on lower ground, but as the rocks grew taller and taller around them Aegqynn knew that it would mean that they were nearing a mountain pass that was miles and miles deep. The wind became chillier in the pass as well, and every slight whisper that played with Aegwynn's hair and caressed her face held with it a subtle yet chilling hint of dark things to come.
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:31 AM   #127
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Nielas Aran

For the first time in his life Nielas was leaving the tranquil and safe forests of Duskwood to brave the unknown paths beyond the Deathwind pass. He was not necessarily afraid of the possible dangers that lurked ahead but he was most certainly wary.

He knew it would be too taxing on his energy reserves to maintain a full strength shield for the duration of their travel but Nielas had practiced the subtleties of combat ready magic. By only sacrificing a miniscule amount of power he could maintain a very weak version of the spell that only highlighted the boundaries of the barrier around him. At the slightest hint of danger he could bring the force field to full strength instantaneously. It was this skill and many others that earned him an impressive reputation in a duel.

Nielas kept his magically enchanted staff at the ready and his keen senses attuned for any obstacle that might cross their path. He moved cautiously through the rocky terrain path leading through the ominous mountain pass of Deadwind. Aegwynn it seemed was the complete opposite, she held her head high and waltzed along as if they were taking a stroll on a sand swept beach, even her hair blew around her face carefree in the cold bite of the wind. For someone so young she seemed so completely confident about their journey, it was possible that she had traveled these paths before but even she herself admitted that they were foolish to enter. So far, they had traveled in silence but Nielas needed some social interaction to calm his nerves.

"So where exactly are we meeting the Guardian?" He inquired cursing softly as he heard his voice echo inappropriately around the rocky walls surrounding them.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:39 AM   #128
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Magna Aegwynn

Nielas was careful in their travel. He hadn't completely dismissed his shield yet, even though the energy to maintain it would wear on him over time. Instead, Aegwynn could feel the delightful tingle of the shield's power in the back of her mind and she knew that it was there, deceptively meek, ready to burst to full power if the need arose. Despite a couple of things that had made her thing that Nielas was just like the others, his careful and skilful shielding was driving her to keep her mind open.

"Where are we meeting the Guardian?" Aegwynn asked with a smile at his echoing curse. Her own voice was low and soft, soothing as though she was trying to calm a fretting horse, and it certainly didn't echo through the monstrous stone walkways. "I've already met the Guardian." Aegwynn let that settle for only a moment before continuing. "Tell me Nielas, why do you think you were selected for this venture?"

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Old 02-01-2013, 07:06 AM   #129
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Nielas Aran

Her response was as vague as ever. Was she mocking him? Trying to bait him into demanding the answer impatiently? The truth was, their intended destination only had meaning to one with geographical experience in the upcoming area. His knowledge beyond the pass was negligible.

Then she posed the question he asked himself when he first received the summons. Why him? He decided to openly express his opinions.

"At first I thought it to be for my skill in the magical arts but as far as I am aware no single mage could ever attain the level of power that the Guardian possesses. Then I thought it to be a test or trial of some sort involving the transfer of the Guardianship but I also know that the Council determines the next Guardian and not the current one. So my last theory is that the Guardian is requesting my presence specifically for me and despite my best efforts I cannot determine why. Do you know why?" He kept his voice as low as possible, though he could not match Aegwynn vocal finesse it resonated much less in the surrounding area.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:14 AM   #130
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Magna Aegwynn

He was speaking to her openly, she liked that. The others had been guarded with their speech and dismissive with their remarks. She didn't even bother revealing herself to them, because she knew that if she did their attitudes would change and they would suddenly try and pander to her every whim. That, for certain, was something that she would hate.

"Do you know why?"

"Of course I do." She replied as they turned a corner. The path beyond began to incline sharply, small pebbles and various debris covering their way and making the ascent slightly more treacherous than it was before.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:27 AM   #131
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Nielas Aran

She answered him without actually giving him anything whatsoever. Was it not her place to give out such information? Or was she enjoying the psychological power she had over him? The path changed suddenly and Nielas adjusted his stride to compensate. Aegwynn continued on as if steeping over a mild obstacle in her way never once slowing her pace.

Nielas followed her in silence preferring to maintain his balance, up ahead he was beginning to see the deep chasm of the pass. As the path leveled out again his curiosity got the better of him, he resumed his line of questioning desperate for more information.

"I apologise if this seems rude but who are you to the Guardian? An apprentice perhaps? An employee? Or, are you an acquaintance or sorts?" He was slightly reluctant to ask the last suggestion, he felt it odd that the Guardian, a person who held a position of such importance, would have time for friendships.

"I only ask to ensure that I am referring to you in the correct sense." He added quickly. It didn't truly matter how she was affiliated with the Guardian he just didn't want to offend her in any way.
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:56 AM   #132
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Magna Aegwynn

Nielas' questions made her smile. It was obvious that he was curious about her, but she wasn't going to tell him something if he didn't figure it out for himself.

"As I said before, you may refer to me as Aegwynn without fear of offending myself and the Guardian." She told him.

It wasn't long before the path levelled out and the ends of the two massive rock walls either side of them appeared. After the end of the stone corridor there was a narrow bridge of rock that spanned the distance between the two mountainous peaks. However, there was something on the bridge that caught Aegwynn's attention and made her put her hand out beside her to signal a halt.

"Ogres." Aegwynn whispered, looking back at Nielas over her shoulder. "What shall we do?"
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:20 PM   #133
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Nielas Aran

Nielas smiled inwardly as he received another answer that revealed nothing. He was no longer surprised by her responses anymore, he mused that time with the Guardian had probably made her so secretive that it was not common for her to give out any information.

They continued their journey until Aegwynn halted them in their tracks.

Ogres

From this distance Nielas could see a small band of Ogres blocking the bridge ahead. Though there were only five that he could see there was no way to tell how many more might be lurking around. Nielas already knew that ogres were slow and unintelligent but in great numbers they could easily overwhelm the most talented mage. Aegwynn looked at him with a questioning glance, she wanted his decision.

"I'd prefer avoid direct confrontation. Though ogres have never posed a great threat to any competent mage, I believe the Guardian would prefer the two of us to arrive safely and avoid any unnecessary confrontations." He evaluated.

"Is there another way around?" He asked. Judging by her confident navigation skills thus far, he assumed she would know.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:41 AM   #134
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Magna Aegwynn

Aegwynn was impressed again. A record for this type of adventure. Nielas was taking her vague answers in stride, and Aegwynn was getting a taste for the natural patience that tempered his personality. He'd even been wise enough to ask her if there was another way around before turning back and assuming that he would be right. It was good, a sign of wisdom, and it showed that hew as at least somewhat perceptive. He had obviously noticed that she seemed to know her way around, and he wasn't too conceited to admit that she might be the better judge of an alternate route.

Another thing that had impressed Aegwynn was that Nielas hadn't felt the need to charge the ogres and prove his power to her. The others had been all too eager to fight without even considering an alternative. He was also correct in his assumption that the Guardian would prefer to avoid confrontation rather than rush into a battle to compare magical ability.

"There is another way, actually. There is a path to the south that goes by an old tower." Aegwynn whispered, stepping closer to him so that her voice wouldn't have to travel so far. "But it will take quite a bit longer to go around."
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:09 AM   #135
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Nielas Aran

When Aegwynn stepped closer to him two things crossed his mind. The first was that he just realised she had just stepped within his protective barrier. Normally this was something he never allowed a stranger to do, but he didn't find himself stepping away defensively, in fact, if anything he welcomed her closeness.

The second was her pleasant feminine scent and the feelings of awkwardness being so close to a young beautiful woman. It wasn't that he wasn't used to such things, many ladies of the court vied for his attention throughout his career as the Court Conjuror. Some how though, Aegwynn seemed more natural, she didn't need the aid of scented perfumes to enhance her attractiveness, her very being called to him on a very primal level.

Shaking away all the unexplained thoughts and feelings he brought himself back to reality to answer her.

"My mentor told me once; there are bold mages and there are old mages but there are no old bold mages. Since he was over one hundred years of age when he told me this I was inclined to take head to his advice." Nielas explained.
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:15 AM   #136
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Magna Aegwynn

Aegwynn could feel Nielas's initial discomfort pass after a few moments, but when he spoke her eyebrows raised.

"Your mentor sounds like a very clever man." She said with a nod of approval. "Southward we go."

Aegwynn was old. The extra few hours of walking made no difference to her either way. She knew that those enemies she sought would be there whether they met them in an hour in in twenty hours. After Nielas's willingness to trust her and show deference to her judgement she was willing to allow him to make this decision. Aegwynn smiled at him before turning and starting back on the path they had come in through. A southward turn just before the steep incline would see them down to the Souther Pass and past Karazhan Tower.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:15 AM   #137
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Nielas Aran

Nielas followed Aegwynn as they backtracked along the path. She veered southward suddenly through a seemingly hidden passageway. He was glad that she was so confident in her navigation, for without her guidance he surely would have missed it.

The passageway opened up into another long and winding pathway. Though it was no safer than the previous Nielas felt himself getting used to the precarious footing needed to transverse the terrain safely. Feeling more confident in his stride he decided to resume his line of questioning, although he knew she would reveal little more than a simple non-descriptive response, it was becoming a challenge for him to decipher her answers.

"So tell me, Aegwynn. What is the Guardian like, personality wise." He asked, he hoped that the extra clarification would help him extract more information.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:45 AM   #138
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Magna Aegwynn

"Mmm..." Aegwynn sighed as she considered what to tell Nielas. There were so many possible options, and so many of them delightfully mischievous. "Powerful."

She knew that her first response was stating the obvious, but she needed to buy a little time before deciding what to tell him. He had been trusting so far, so despite her desire to toy with him she decided to try and tone down her impishness and give him something workable.

"Clever. Somewhat stubborn if truth be told. Initially the Guardian was bold and slightly rash... Now those traits of the Guardian's youth have changed to confidence and determination." Aegwynn turned and smiled at him as they walked side by side. "However, the Guardian's sense of humour wasn't affected too greatly in the years of demon fighting and bartering with the Council. The Magna can be quite a trickster when the situation is right. I suppose a little bit of fun must help pass the decades, don't you think?"
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:25 AM   #139
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Nielas Aran

Her first response threw him of guard. The expression in her voice almost sounded sexual. It made him wonder if she was in fact the Guardian's lover. Before he could contemplate further on that assumption she continued with a more obvious answer. He knew the Guardian would be powerful but her description seemed to be less about magical ability and more about personality.

When he thought her to be done she gave him instead a detailed full profile. Nielas was taken aback by the exponential difference in information she had revealed to him. The way she spoke almost seemed as if she had known the Guardian their whole life. It was highly unlikely of course, Nielas knew that only the Guardian had the power to extend their life for such an extended period of time. Perhaps though, this girl was also benefited the same blessing and if that were the case, she would be much older than himself. It explained a great deal and it also gave him a lot more to think about.

Nielas remained quiet for a long while as they journeyed further south. When they passed over the next ridge he saw the peak of what appeared to be a tall structure. He forgot about his recent thoughts and focused more what he assumed to be a tower ahead. As the path curved eastward again the mountains surrounding the path broke away and gave way to another natural bridge over the deep chasm. The gap in the peaks afforded him a perfect view of the monolithic structure.

It was situated at the most southern point of the Deadwind pass. Nielas stood in awe at the mighty tower and to him it seemed so out of place. A seemingly architectural wonder literally in the middle of nowhere. It certainly wasn't Human, Elf or Dwarf made and there were no markings of any kind to identify its origin. He pondered at the identity of its creators and more importantly its purpose. Perhaps Aegwynn knew?

"What is that place?" He asked openly.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:20 PM   #140
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Magna Aegwynn

"That," Aegwynn said, turning to observe the tower before them "is known as The Ivory Tower, or Spire, of Karazhan. It is an abandoned citadel. Beyond that? I'm not sure. I've been in there once, but it is empty and there is no hint as to who built it. It feels strange in there though, reality feels warped in there and magic comes easier within it's walls. Perhaps it is a good place to experiment with such things, but that is neither here nor there. Shall we continue?"

Aegwynn gave the tall and odd tower one last cursory glance before continuing on. She could understand Nielas's curiosity, it was an oddity. In a mountain pass such as this the last thing one would expect was such an ingeniously crafted citadel. One thing was certain about it though, whoever created it must have had plenty of time and patience. Getting the materials through the Duskwood, and then the winding passage of Deadwin Pass was a feat in itself.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:36 PM   #141
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Nielas Aran

Nielas listened intently as she explained her knowledge on the grand tower before him. Nielas normally wasn't particularly interested in exploring abandoned buildings but at her mention of it's magical properties he felt the urge to experience it for himself.

Alas, this was not the time to dwell on ancient ruins. They had yet to meet the guardian and he guessed there was still more travel to be done, he nodded in agreement at her suggestion to keep moving. They continued along the bridge and eventually veered north again. It wasn't long before they came across the adjoining path on the other side of the northern bridge. He spied the ogres still milling about on the other side, completely oblivious to their presense.

"How much further Aegwynn?" he asked. Now that they seemed to be closing in on the border of the pass he was interested in how far they were going, especially since she seemed to be in a much more talkative mood.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:14 AM   #142
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Magna Aegwynn

"Why?" Aegwynn asked, flashing him a wicked grin "Getting tired already Nielas?"

After letting her cheeky comment settle in for a moment her grin turned apologetic.

"We still have a fair way to travel. Once we are out of the pass we will be walking through the Black Morass. The Guardian detected the presence of a strange tear in the fabric of reality, and there have been increasing instances of demons in the area. A thorough investigation is in order before a course of action is decided on." Aegwynn told him. So far she was impressed by his patience and deference to a person he initially assumed to be his inferior. Already he was showing a wisdom well beyond his years.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:02 AM   #143
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Nielas Aran

Nielas chuckled softly at her light banter, it was a nice contrast to her usual dry responses. Hearing the mention of demons troubled Nielas greatly, though he had spend some of his time in Dalaran studying the power and history of the notorious invaders that occasionally ventured into the realm of Azeroth, he had never once encountered one himself.

He felt the upcoming dangers of this unexpected adventure seemed to double at the mention of foul creatures of evil and though he assumed that the Guardian would be testing him to some degree, he never imagined it would be to face of against the terrible power of a demon.

As they transitioned from the rocky paths of the Deadwind pass Nielas got his first glimpse of the Black Morass. From this standpoint it appeared to be a large and very dense forest. Unlike the forests of Elywnn or Duskwood Forest, the Black Morass seemed much more dark and sinister. Even the sounds of wildlife emanating from the border sent chills of fear up his spine.

Nielas rechecked his dormant shield, he ensured that all the necessary spell components were on his belt pouch, and he held his staff tightly in both his hands. Aegwynn, like before, seemed completely at ease walking through the darkened woods. Her pace suggested she had visited these lands before and was completely unfazed by the stark contrast of scenery.
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:01 AM   #144
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Magna Aegwynn

As they crossed the border between the Deadwind Pass and the Black Morass Nielas's questions stopped. As they walked Aegwynn could feel the tension building in him and indeed she could understand it. The Black Morass was a dreary place, the heavy looking trees and dank swampy air was enough to put anyone on edge even without the addition of the prickly feeling of demonic magic.

Nielas and Aegwynn got a little further in and she could see him checking his belt and spell components out of the corner of her eye. He wasn't rash and full of bravado like the others had been as their encounters neared; he was careful, thoughtful and had a certain level of apprehension that boded well for his likelihood to survive demon encounters. As Aegwynn had learned in her years as Guardian; sometimes you need to take stock before you go rushing in headlong.

"We've got a bit of walking to do before we reach our destination." Aegwynn told him, her voice hushed in the strange muted light of the Morass.

It was quite some time later that they finally reached the area that had been brought to Aegwynn's attention. The closer they got, the stronger the feeling of fel magic got, in the last hour of walking Aegwynn's skin felt uncomfortably hot and there was a strange niggling presence in the back of her mind. As the ground naturally tilted down hill Aegwynn could see the tell tale light of eerie green fel fire flickering through the trees.

"It looks as though there is company up ahead." Aegwynn whispered as she came to a halt. She looked over at Nielas, a grim smile on her face. "Shall we get a bit closer so we can see what is going on?"
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:45 AM   #145
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Nielas Aran

Nielas remained silent for the rest of the trek and they delved further into the Black Morass. On many occasions he snapped his neck at an unexpected sound in the surrounding swamp lands poised and ready for an attack. Aegwynn was calm in her tone of voice as she informed him of the lengthy distance still remaining. Nielas simply nodded in response, he no longer felt the need to ask questions and was only concerned for their combined safety.

After what seemed like an eternity of countless moments of possible danger he spied an unnatural green glow shimmering faintly through the forest ahead. Aegwynn slowed her steps as she peered out into the distance. As they got closer he could feel the evil vibe of demonic energy tickling the senses of his magical awareness.

Nielas frowned slightly at her suggestion. It wasn't in his nature to be curious about things that were most obviously dangerous. Still though, he presumed that the Guardian did not summon him all this way to turn away at the slightest hint of danger. Aegwynn still remained confident and it was her experience that he relied greatly on. Nielas scanned the surrounding area.

"Okay, I see an area just over there that should be dense enough for us to take cover in." he commented. Before they continued Nielas cast a silence spell around himself to mask any natural sound he made. Aegwynn, in her natural state, seemed to be a light as a feather and so he didn't even suggest it for her.

They sneaked their way forward and managed to secure themselves safely within the cover of the choosen shrubbery. From here they had the perfect view of their intended target. In the clearing ahead, a fissure on the ground poured out an immense amount of demonic energy, the natural forestry of the surrounding area was barren for at least a few hundred square meters and there were several demonic forms surrounding it.

One of the demons appeared to be channeling some kind of energy into the void. It stood at least three men high with a proportionate muscular frame. It's skin was bright crimson and sparks of energy arced from the protective armour plates surrounding its body. Large leather wings protruded from its back and two sizable horns sat on top of hits menacingly humanoid like face. At the end of his legs were hooves instead of feet, it only had three thick fingers on each hand and a small tail swished lazily behind its back.

Standing at guard were several other demons nearly matching the height of the primary one. They had grey skin instead of red but wore similar styled armour. Though they lacked wings, tail and only had one horn at the top of their head they seemed no less a threat. They wielded large double sided two handed axe which they held with ease.

Nielas leaned in closer to Aegwynn, he ignored the feelings of awkwardness as he whispered lightly in her ear.

"What are they doing?" he inquired.
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:17 AM   #146
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Magna Aegwynn

"The one channeling the energy is a Doomguard. They are quite powerful, and it is my guess that he is the leader of this little band." Aegwynn said, her voice low and serious. "The others are Felguards. Not quite as powerful, but still forces to be reckoned with. That fissure down there is the disturbance that the Guardian felt. As you can probably tell it is teeming with energy. It seems as though the Doomguard is trying to stretch the fissure, to create a larger portal for his comrades to slip through."

Aegwynn looked at the creatures and did a bit of planning in her mind. She and Nielas, if he was as skilled as she had guessed, should have no problem taking on the creatures without her needing to call on the Tirisfalen. Her own abilities as a mage would be sufficient so long as there were no nasty surprises. And if there were? She would channel her own powers and show the horrid creatures that the Guardian was still strong, and still watching over the land.

"We need to take them down." Her words were quiet but firm.
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:57 AM   #147
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Nielas Aran

Nielas took careful note of her explanation. He was overly disturbed by the fact that demons could so readily enter their world, given the complete isolation and remote location of the given area they would be able to muster an army that even the combined forces of human, elf and dwarf would not be able to defend against.

Though Nielas agreed with Aegwynn wholeheartedly, he'd never faced even one demon let alone a group. What little information that was available in the Dalaran library did little to describe their capabilities.

"Should we not wait for the Guardian. I am not sure if it is wise to tackle them without his assistance." Nielas suggested.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:06 AM   #148
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Magna Aegwynn

Aegwynn chuckled to herself quietly at Nielas's reference to the male Guardian again. She was still not quite ready to give up her charade yet, so she decided that she would have to try and persuade him to fight without the help of the Guardian he clearly wanted to meet.

"The longer we wait to attack, the bigger and bigger that fissure gets." As Aegwynn spoke there was a blood chilling howl that sprung forth from the pool of dark energy. Right on cue, as if she had willed it herself, they saw a horn sprouting forth from the demonic abyss, a single piercing weapon followed by the wretched and repulsive birth of a head and a body. The massive creature writhed sinuously as it pushed through the barrier between worlds, its haunting cries flying past the barren area and winding through the trees.

"If we don't act now Nielas we might not get another chance." She looked at him and was surprised to see a tinge of fear mingled with his apprehensions. It was so different from the others she had tested, those so full of egotistical recklessness and bravery. Nielas was cautious, and he had that important sense of his own mortality that only possessed the wisest of Mages.

"Have you ever wanted to be something more Nielas? Have you ever dreamed about using your powers for more than the protection of the King? This, Nielas, is where you have the chance to protect not only a kingdom but an entire realm. This, Nielas, is where you will live by your own power, where you can test yourself against the mettle of evil. This, Nielas, is where you can make a true difference."
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:25 AM   #149
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Nielas Aran

Nielas steeled his nerves. She was right yet again, they could not allow these demons to gain anymore of a foothold in their realm. Perhaps he was not destined to meet the Guardian this day. He recalled now the simple message in the note, it only requested his presence in the specific location at the specific time. Never once did it mention a meeting of any kind. Powers far greater than himself weaved the fates of mortals well beyond their control. The reasons for his presence were no longer important, this was his chance to make a difference.

"I do not fight for glory or power but I will fight to save this realm and all those in it. As long as there is breath in my lungs I will stand against their evil. If we should fall this day, then we shall take them with us. I am truly honored to fight by your side Aegwynn, may your magic be strong and plentiful." Nielas announced also quoting an old mage's saying.

"What strategy do you wish to employ?" He added.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:37 AM   #150
SinisterSpiders
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Magna Aegwynn

Nielas's words made Aegwynn's decision for her. His declaration that he would fight for the realm rather than the glory was what she needed to hear. Each word carried with it undeniable honesty and conviction. Aegwynn now knew that he would not be the type of person to allow himself to be swayed by people in higher places, he would not turn his moral compass in a different direction just to earn a new friend or two. This passion, this selflessness, this discipline, is what was needed in the person who would sire her child.

"What strategy do you wish to employ?" After his impassioned proclomation the deference of his words made Aegwynn laugh out loud, her voice bouncing through the surrounding forest merrily and battling with the cries of the birthing demon.

"How's this for a strategy?" Aegwynn asked with a grin, as she leapt out from behind the tree and flung several fireballs towards the band of demons.

Her laughter had alerted them to a presence, but it wasn't until her fireballs exploded against their horrid hides that they managed to locate her. In the next moment the demon from the pit roared into full existence and joined its comrades. The Doomguard ignored her assault and begun to chant again, while the others turned and concentrated on her. They begun to stalk towards her, all hulking muscle and menace, their weapons poised and ready to hack at her. Before they could take more than two steps another barrage of her fireballs exploded against them.

The Felguards walked through Aegwynn's attacks, staggering slightly as they hit but continuing nonetheless. As the she continued to pelt the creatures with her magic she stepped out from the murky forest and into the bone dry clearing.

Last edited by SinisterSpiders : 02-07-2013 at 05:56 AM.
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