Episode 17: The Trial of Sionis Sepher
The aftermath of my assault on the Violet Hold didn’t go without repercussions. Lady Evanor was discovered as the mage that helped me break in and the Kirin Tor stripped her of her title without question. Meanwhile, I was able to prevent further damage after spinning a story where she refused to break anyone out, having only helped me break in to ask Xevozz a question. Realizing that I planned to help the prisoner escape, she had departed.
I don’t know what story she gave to them, but mine was better.
So I was set up for a hearing and left at the Hero’s Welcome inn for a few days while my wounds healed. I tried to figure out a way to get around town during this time, but two Kirin Tor guards kept careful watch over me. I might have been able to lose them, probably could have even escaped Dalaran if I tried, but escaping was the last thing I wanted to do.
I needed to get to the Library.
Two days later I walked into the Violet Citadel, not to read a book, but to stand trial. Not more than a hundred yards away, to the left of the great hallway, the entrance to the Grand Library taunted me. My wounds from the confrontation with Arthas had mostly healed, thanks to a few more visits from the elderly priest that had saved me on my first night here. Before coming to the Citadel, I had made sure to have someone fetch my full Archmage Battle Regalia from the Stormwind Mage District. If I was going to be led, in magical cuffs, down the grand hall of the Citadel, I wanted to make sure that the Kirin Tor saw who they were dealing with. I wasn’t one of their own, I was a Stormwind mage.
At the end of the hall was a great room where I could see Dalaran’s magi ruler, Rhonin, standing over a large gathering that had come to see the spectacle. No one was happy with the event that I had triggered in the Violet Hold. The prisoners were in riot and rumors were spreading that the Dalaran magi could not prevent people from getting in and out of the hold. There were many who praised my ability to bypass Dalaran’s security, but for the most part, I was hated among the magi since I appeared to make them look weak. They did not realize, nor did they suspect from what I could tell, why I had done what I had done.
“So what say you?” Rhonin asked aloud just as I entered the room. “Sionis Sepher, fire mage of Stormwind, you know the crimes with which you are charged. You know the chaos you have caused and why I was forced to call you here. Speak now and tell me your story.”
Rhonin smiled. “Sionis, I’ve been around for a pretty long time. I know you’re the one that captured that scum bag even after he turned himself into an immortal energy being. I know that you fought in the Third War. I know that you have done endless tasks to help the Alliance efforts in Northrend. I want to know the real story about your break in. Please tell me why you did it and what you planned to accomplish.”
I glanced at Rhonin’s wife, Veressa, the High Elf sister of Sylvanas Windrunner, and then I decided I might as well give it a shot. “If you want to know, Rhonin, I was brought here by the magi of Dalaran and did not come by my own choice. If you know that much, then you heard that my horse was gravely wounded.”
“Your horse?” Veressa asked.
“My horse, Surfal, was not a normal beast,” I replied. “It was given a gift by a Night Elf druid during the final battle of the Third War.”
“What gift?” Rhonin asked.
“A small piece of her soul,” Vereesa replied quietly. “It is a deep bond that ties a small piece of the elf’s soul to the animal.”
“A piece of her soul?”
“The gift of life,” Vereesa replied. “Tell me mage, what happened?”
“The Lich King wounded Surfal gravely. The blade would not let the wound heal and the dark magic of Frostmourne was poisoning Keaira’s soul. It reached a point that if the horse died, Keaira would have passed as well.”
“What does this have to do with Xevozz?” Rhonin asked.
“If you remember Xevozz’s story as you say,” I said slowly. “You recall that I wounded him and that he would have died. He managed to tap into what we consider the twisting nether and used its power to convert himself into pure energy.”
“An eternal container for his soul,” Rhonin said. “Yes, I remember.”
“I could not let my horse die, and the magic Xevozz used to tap that nether energy is forbidden. He was the only one that could save Surfal, and thus save the night elf as well.”
“You did this for love,” Vereesa said.
“I suppose so,” I admitted. “I did it to save two lives.”
“However,” Rhonin added, “you also let a prisoner of Dalaran escape. That is a crime Sionis, for whatever reason you took part in it.”
“In all fairness, he was a prisoner for using magic that was forbidden by Dalaran years ago, but has since been accepted and maybe even encouraged in these recent months. I suspect he would have had his files reviewed sooner than later.”
“So,” Rhonin said calmly, “you would have us call him progressive and release him?”
“I can’t say what you would have done,” I replied. “I am not Kirin Tor, and you are.”
“Indeed,” Rhonin said with a sigh. “Following rules has never been easy for you.”
I was surprised with how well Rhonin was at keeping his cool. After all, I knew the archmage’s reputation very well. I knew that right now Rhonin was furious with me. He wasn’t so upset with me for breaking into the Violet Hold, but for making a bad example of the magi, and all of Dalaran, especially when so many Horde and Alliance soldiers were pushing through the bustling streets right outside. For Rhonin, the end of conflict would come from the acceptance of rules, laws, and order. My rogue action had broken that very thought and now a prisoner was free in Northrend. The only hope I had of not facing any real punishment was through Vereesa. If she had a say in the matter, I may just escape being locked up in the Violet Hold.
“Sionis,” Rhonin said loudly, snapping me from his thoughts. “Do you know why we were keeping Xevozz locked up in the Violet Hold?”
“Because he used forbidden magic,” I said. “He broke the rules.”
“No, we were keeping him here because until the Lich King is slain, Xevozz poses a great threat to all of Azeroth. As you said, Xevozz not only had a great understanding of the twisted nether, but he also unlocked the key to what may be true immortality. If the Lich King gets his hand on Xevozz and uses him to gain that power, there will be no end to the scourge. You may have acted out of logical conclusions, but the consequences for your actions could very well result in the death of us all.”
“Archmage Rhonin, I understand the crimes I am charged with,” I replied, knowing full well that Rhonin was right. This was why I could never be a Kirin Tor. I didn’t have the ability to think so clearly. “I did not act on anyone’s orders but my own. I will accept whatever punishment you see fit. You speak of the Lich King and of the dangers all around us. This floating city should not ignore the signs of doom that looms just beyond our reach. I urge you to end this trial, punish me as you wish, and get back to doing your job.”
Rhonin again kept his cool and glanced at Vereesa. She just nodded slightly.
“Sionis Sepher,” Rhonin said firmly. “You are hereby banished from Dalaran. A magical tracer will be locked to you. If you so much as step a foot within my city again I will personally see to it that you take the empty cell that Xevozz once occupied!”
This, I had not expected. “Banished?” I asked.
“You will be escorted to the surface and there you will remain. The portals to our city are closed to you, Sionis Sepher. I’m sorry it has come to this, but being a mage does not grant you the right to disregard the law.”
With that, two magi walked up and pulled on my magical restraints. Down the staircase and into the cobblestone streets I walked with my escorts as the Dalaran populous moved out of my way. I looked at them; orcs, trolls, humans and dwarves, all looking back at my with some kind of confusion about whether they should be happy or angry. All the way to the landing where a white gryphon was waiting, a blood stain on the white feathers made me cringe.
“It’ll take you to the ground,” one of the magi said. “You get off, it flies back up. Don’t try anything funny. It’s trained. You make it uncomfortable and it throws you off.”
“Fair enough,” I replied as I took the reins. “What about these cuffs?”
“We both know you can take those off whenever you want,” the escort replied.
I smiled. “Okay then.”
“Now,” the escort added before he started to walk away. “If I were you, I’d head to Wintergarde Keep. Highlord Bolvar Fordragon has got an attack up his sleeves that may just get the Alliance forces into Icecrown Citadel. They’ll need help from heroes like you.”
“Hero?” I asked. “You know I’m being banished, right?”
“Rhonin is watching out for Dalaran’s security. Get to Wintergarde; they can use you.”
The gryphon flapped its wings, growing impatient, and the escort finally backed away. With that, I was lifted off the cobblestone and flung over the side of Dalaran. We took a nosedive and plummeted to the surface before the gryphon made a hard flap of its wings, slowing us just in time to hit the ground with a slight thud.
With a screech that sounded very agitated, I heeded the gryphon and jumped off. I looked around at the dark and gloomy forest that I had just been abandoned to before letting out a heavy sigh. Without Surfal, I was going to have to walk. I gave a final glance up to Dalaran and then shrugged my shoulders and headed down the only path I could see. If anything, it would at least lead me somewhere.
I felt defeated. I was defeated.