Thanks so much for those who've reviewed the recent chapter. For those in the know, regarding the eventual timeline of the story's likely course, I am in something of a plaguing conundrum, therefore I would like to poise the question. Where ought the narrative reach its conclusion, in your opinions: End of Legion xpac content, End of BFA expansion content, or through into Shadowlands content? I will be making a poll, but i would also like to see as part of reviews some indication of reasoning why you'd want it to end at certain places, just to add fuel to the myriad of choices running through my mind regarding the eventual, and far off at this moment, endpoint for the Stormreaver. Enjoy! ~F

Chapter 138

Personal Time

Bellatrix floated along the dimly lit halls of the tower of Karazhan. She had chosen to forego the festivities that the rest of the Dark Horde had gone to in the central fortress of Blackrock Mountain, and devote herself to understanding this new world, and everything that had transpired since she had died… apparently.

The Dark Lord had filled her in on some of the outstanding events, such as his own defeat at the hands of Harry Potter, now known as Lord Nobu'tan of the Stormreaver clan, and the burning of their world by the demonic Legion. Much of this she had found out from other members from their old world.

Lucius, in particular, was very aware of every event that had transpired from the time that Nobu'tan had returned to their world from this place: Azeroth. Actually, the only thing that Lucius had been unwilling to discuss was family matters, such as the state of Narcissa and his son Draco. Belltraix knew that they had to be in this world as well, otherwise the cold Malfoy Lord would never have thrown in with the powerful warlock.

But it seemed that Lucius wanted to spare his wife from having to think of her dear sister as some sort of undead monster, something that Bellatrix, even in her current state, could understand. If the roles had been reversed, she would have gone on an endless rampage to avenge her sister if Belltrix had learned that Narcissa had been slain and defiled in such a manner.

So she had secluded herself, and turned to the wisdom of the ancient mages of this new world. Learning the magical secrets to understand languages she had no expertise with, from Nobu'tan through the Dark Lord, and now she had free access to all the secrets of Karazhan, barring those extremely dangerous tomes that Nobu'tan had in his possession.

The expanse of the knowledge was astounding, especially regarding magic, and Bellatrix was keen to research all things regarding necromancy, and her powers as a Banshee, in addition to the geography and history of this world. The myriad of creatures, most of which on their old world would have constituted magical beings, was simply astounding.

The amount of effort it took just to reorient her mind into accepting that all these creatures and beasts were not only present in the Blightbringer Clan, but the Dark Horde as a whole, and even the other factions around this world as well, was staggering. Further still, these near-human and even non-human representatives were held on the same level as those Purebloods from their home planet.

Seeing Lucius speaking casually with orcs, trolls, and ogres had been something of a start, and Belltrix could only credit her undead status chilling her reaction, otherwise she would have been apoplectic with rage.

It was a vicious realization that humans were not the only dominant race on this world, and had willingly extended a hand of friendship with other races. Although, Bellatrix did note that the humans of the Alliance only truly allied with other races that were near-enough to humans already. The strangest of their faction were the blue skinned Draenei, but they were the only exception. It made sense, therefore, for Bellatrix to presume that her sister and whoever else survived the destruction of their world would scatter themselves among this Alliance, to hide in plain sight from those who couldn't distinguish them from other humans.

If it wasn't for the general acceptance of magic, which was near universal across the entire world, Bellatrix would have been even more concerned about these matters. Even the far more diverse Horde across the sea on Kalimdor accepted all forms of magic, from the jungle trolls and their dark voodoo magic, to the Blood elves themselves, now rejected from their former position in the Alliance.

The political shuffling, which Bellatrix could only piecemeal together from rumors among the ranks of the Blightbringer Clan were as convoluted as any Ministry debates, but in the end it did not matter much. The conflict that had spread between the factions was clearly reaching a boiling point, especially between the faction of undead in the Kalimdor Horde and the Dark Horde itself. The Banshee could sense that this had something to do with her Lord, and that their clan would be in the very center of.

She would exercise restraint; bide her time until they were able to act on their foes in tandem. If it was the case that the Dark Horde was their ally, then there would be no fear for them, but there was something else that pressed on her mind. A sinister presence was radiating from far to the north, steeped in the powers of death, to which Bellatrix had been so recently opened fully to controlling.

It was a great threat to them all, and yet the living had seemingly no concern for this presence as it increased in power, busying themselves with other, more present, threats and celebrating their small victories.

Still, Bellatrix would not sit by passively. Voldemort would have surely sensed this as well, and together they could prepare for the new threat that had yet to reveal itself. Then the Blightbringer Clan would show their merit in the Dark Horde, sealing their position as invaluable to the survival of their entire faction.

Still, while she waiting for her Lord to return from the mountain of fire, and the victory celebration, she busied herself with discovering every ounce of what entailed the new magic she had been blessed with. The arts of the shadow seemed to be hers to command now, to mend the wounds of allies or assault the minds of their foes. It was common enough magic in this world, devoted to the darker aspects of priestly orders, and Bellatrix figured that it fit her perfectly.

She would be High Priestess of Lord Voldemort, and once more their vengeance would be felt across a world's-worth of people. Bellatrix was certain that her delighted laughter echoed throughout the vast library of the dark tower.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Line Break ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Blaise, despite his injuries that were still paining him, was quite recovered by the time Nobu'tan came to visit him. The assassin had sensed that there was something more when the Grand Warlock had departed their victory feast so swiftly after it started, and now he waited for the full explanation from the Lord of the Black Harvest.

"Kael'thas lives…" Nobu'tan said without preamble, "despite the Alliance assaulting their floating fortress soon after we marched on the Black Temple."

"Stubborn and insane, a terrible combination to try and defeat…" Blaise replied, sensing the great concern in his leader's mind, just from the glance of his eyes.

Looking back at the door to the medical ward once, Nobu'tan drew his wand, and drew several fiery green Fel runes into the air, conjuring a shimmering barrier around the pair for privacy. Blaise could sense it was more than those overhearing them here in the mountain, but refrained from saying anything.

"We are ordered to go and assist that madman in summoning the Legion into this world at last," Nobu'tan said, almost spitting the word as though insulted that he was relegated to a secondary position.

"But with the culmination of their plans in motion…" Blaise started, and Nobu'tan smirked with deadly intent.

"Our time to strike is at hand." He said.

"Where would you have my daggers placed…?" Blaise said, trying to rise and wincing. The flesh had been knitted expertly by the paladins of the Naaru's forces, but the Fel curse attached was being particularly stubborn. It was improving, but far slower than he would have liked.

"There is time enough for that once you've healed completely," Nobu'tan said, raising a hand to stop Blaise from struggling against his injury, "I have other things to prepare, but you need to simply rest, gather your strength, and prepare for our journey."

"I understand…" the Assassin admitted, unhappy about being laid up as he was, but accepting that he would be even more useless if he pushed himself to hard and exasperated his injury further.

"I will return when it is time to travel to Arathi, and board our ship for the north," Nobu'tan promised, rising and drawing his wand once more.

"Does the Legion suspect?" Blaise asked, forestalling the lowering of the barrier as he sought the Grand Warlock for the answers he sought.

"Not in the slightest…" Nobu'tan replied, "We will avenge them all, and take the heads of those creatures."

Blaise grinned in reply, stifling the wince that accompanied him lying back obediently. Nobu'tan departed, the barrier protecting their conversation shimmering and fading to nothing. Blaise tried to relax as the silence of the medical ward returned, but the numbness from the ointment for the cursed wound was starting to wear off, making it sting uncomfortably.

"Planning another little escapade already?" a female voice said in the gloom. Blaise didn't even react, as Garona Halforcen emerged from the shadows.

"Only about four and a half minutes this time," Blaise said, reporting how long exactly the female assassin had been hiding there.

"You're learning," she replied, teasingly, moving to sit on his bed near him and taking the jar of ointment from the side table. Blaise could have easily applied it himself, but the far older female seemed content to mother him after a fashion, almost as though she was guilty that he had been injured in the first place.

Offering no resistance as she coated his chest in the sticky substance, which worked instantly to relieve the lingering pain. "I should be up and about within a day," Blaise estimated, "more than enough time to be ready for what Nobu'tan requires of me."

"I suspect that, as always, it's some daring, foolhardy thing that he won't fill in more than those that need to know…?" Garona said, just smirked as Blaise stumbled for an answer. Without some manner of barrier to prevent potential eavesdropping, there was little that he could say at this moment, but it seemed that the half orc was more than aware of the situation.

"Likely. It's a very specific mission, with only a handful participating." He replied, sharing what benign information he could to keep up appearances. The witch doctors and shaman that manned the ward were trusted enough to mend the wounds of the Dark Horde, but not much past that.

"Well, keep yourself safe," Garona said, her eyes darting to the returning workers of the ward as she stood once more, "and if there's time after that, protect Nobu'tan…"

"I intend to…" Blaise replied. Knowing that they would be encountering Prince Kael'thas once again, and this time after they stole his precious Vial of Eternity, and then he was dethroned in Outland by the Alliance, it was not likely that they would be a peaceful meeting.

Allowing himself to settle into the flaxen mattress of the small bed, Blaise relaxed for the time being. There would be an entire trip up the coast to plan and worry about how to deal with the Elf Mage.

As Nobu'tan had instructed him, Blaise would take the time now to make sure he was fully healed, even if it meant enduring the incense and mumbled chanting of the voodoo doctors from the Anami tribes, and their shaman magic washing over him as they worked once more to purge the Fel curse.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Line Break ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nobu'tan worked swiftly from the moment he left visiting Blaise Zabini. The assassin would recover quickly, he was sure of it from the manner in which he carried himself. Teron had already agreed to the mission, and while he was confident of their answers, Nobu'tan felt it was still proper for him to actually seek the opinion of Voldemort and Teg'Ramm before presuming completely that they would be joining the others on this mission.

He still sent a message ahead to the docks in Arathi to prepare a fast ship for a northward voyage, and to return word when it was ready for his arrival.

Teg'Ramm was simple to find, as the only Fel-warped Ogre in the Dark Horde, most would easily be able to pick him out of any crowd.

This time, the Lord of the Balefire Clan was overlooking the southern battlements, which protected the long bridge down into the Burning Steppes.

Teg'Ramm really had little to do in such a situation, but his presence alone seemed to make the workers more cautious and sure of their labor, carrying weaponry and triple checking the siege engines to make sure they were ready at a moment's notice.

"Never a moment's rest for you, is there, my friend?" Nobu'tan said, announcing himself as he exited to the parapet.

"Lord Nobu'tan," Teg said, even as the one-eyed Ramm focused on the scurrying laborers. "What task is needed of us?"

"While I do have a mission in mind, I feel that I should ask if you wish to participate, or rather take time for yourself and your clan instead…" Nobu'tan said, tilting his head to watch the reaction of his closest servant and friend.

The ogre turned fully to face him, the scar across his chest clear to see as he placed a massive palm over it, "If by my life or death, I can protect and aid you, Lord Nobu'tan, I will do it. My clan lives to protect the Stormreavers from all external threats, and we will fight for your glory till the bitter end."

Nobu'tan has assumed that this would be the case, but the proclamation of Teg'Ramm's loyalty moved him every time he heard it. "Alright…" he conceded, "I will be traveling northward soon, with a limited group of individuals. Your strength will be needed for what we will face at our destination."

"Understood, Lord Nobu'tan, I will attend to you in this matter." Teg replied, even as Ramm nodded his agreement.

That left only one to speak with… Lord Voldemort.

Nobu'tan was still uncertain overall on how to really take the former dark wizard and now Death Knight. On the one hand, his loyalty was proven in battle and blood, and he had never shied away from anything asked of him regarding the Dark Horde. But on the other, Nobu'tan couldn't shake his suspicions that the undead would betray them at any moment for the right benefit.

It was a fine balancing act, to make sure that there was just enough incentive for the Blightbringer Clan to remain closely allied with the Dark Horde, should their leader be amiable to the extended contact.

Nobu'tan was able to easily find the Death Knight, wandering the tunnels of the underground chambers, which had been converted into a dungeon. There were only a handful of prisoners, notably Nott and Lord Banehollow, but nevertheless Voldemort had come to this place.

"Potter…" the Death Knight wheezed, alone in one of the side tunnels with empty holding cells.

"Stalking? Or just too much on your mind?" Nobu'tan replied, but the undead face had little expression to give a satisfactory reaction.

"Just enjoying the peace of solitude for a time, before returning to Karazhan and my clan," Voldemort replied absently. Nobu'tan could tell, at least from his words, that the Death Knight was not eager to return soon.

"If it is time away that you need, perhaps I can give you a task to focus on, something much smaller than the siege of the Black Temple…" the warlock offered.

Voldemort paused, blinking a few times, the lids cracking slightly in their decayed state, "I'm listening…"

"I am gathering a small group to head north," Nobu'tan explained, drawing his wand and making a slow exaggerated effort as he cast his charm once more to protect their conversation from spies of the Legion, "The demons have commanded that we assist in the advent of their armies to our world through the Blood Elves' ruined Sunwell, assisted by their insane Prince, Kael'thas."

Voldemort eyed the shield, before turning back to Nobu'tan, "I gather that is not to be our true objective," he said bluntly.

"Precisely," Nobu'tan affirmed, "Kael'thas must die, and all hope the Legion has to use this Sunwell with him."

The gaunt, pale face turned upward in a morbid grin, "I'm in…" Voldemort said, "Arathi Harbor I presume, and sailing north to not announce yourself with a burst of magic?"

Nobu'tan had to marvel at the sinister cunning and intelligence that the Death Knight possessed. Had he not had the element of surprise and excessive treachery when he overthrew Voldemort, he was not sure if the younger version of himself would have had a chance against the man. "You are correct on all counts."

"I will go now and await your arrival. I trust a ship is already in preparation." Voldemort said, straightening himself subtly and turning toward the path upward.

"It will be short time, one of our number is injured from the battle and needs to heal before we move out," Nobu'tan called after the Death Knight, but Voldemort did not reply.

He had already set his mind to a course of action, and would not stop until forced to, or else had fulfilled his chosen objective. Nobu'tan had nothing more to offer, and simply shrugged before following the same path back to the main parts of the mountain fortress.

The members had been recruited, and their travel arrangements made, all Nobu'tan had left was to gather what items he felt would be most useful on their journey, and the confrontations that were sure to follow.

Kael'thas was sure to be hostile if they met again, and this time Nobu'tan wouldn't just flee and allow another to slay the Elf. He would put the mad creature down himself.

A host of scrolls, to boost this team's combat prowess would be mandatory, as well as potions of healing, as they lacked a member that had devoted themselves to the Light or the Elements. He would start brewing immediately, and quickly calculated how many herbs he needed as he return to his upper laboratory. If there was time, perhaps he would prepare a few extra surprises for the Blood Elf Prince, to use once their reunion was complete.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Line Break ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Med'an was truly surprised at the reach and power that Lady Proudmoore controlled, despite Theramore being little more than a Kalimdor outpost for the Allaince. Aside from her powerful command of the Arcane, which she had proved time and again in tutoring session with Med'an, showing him skills and tricks that had been developed in the time between his grandmother's time as Guardian and the present day, there was also a ton of political power as the single trusted messenger between the Alliance and the Horde.

Letters and missives came to her near-daily, from leaders of both factions, either for Jaina herself or else to be forwarded onward to the other nation and continents.

Yet there had been no such presumption among the members of the Dark Horde, or so Med'an had initially thought, until a letter arrived for him, sealed with the mark of the Stormreaver Clan.

Med'an was surprised how similar his mother's handwriting was to his own, only carrying a hint of shakiness that could be explained by disuse for a long period of her life. Nevertheless it was perfectly legible and he relished the words that his mother had for him.

'M

The problems that had prevented me from bringing you to this place have now abated. I will be taking leave to come for you as soon as possible. I hope that you've made excellent use of your time with your Grandmother. See you soon.

G'

Despite the clipped words and deliberately veiled words, the message actually excited Med'an. Presuming it was from Garona, it meant that she was coming back for him, and that they would be going together to the fortress of the Dark Horde.

Despite all the negative connotation, especially from what he had witnessed in Orgrimmar regarding the association between both factions, Med'an was eager to see the rest of his people up close and personal.

It might even be that he got the chance to speak with Nobu'tan, the Grand Warlock of the Stormreavers up close and personal. He had only seen the warlock once, in Outland when Thrall had defended the part-demon from a band of savage hunters and their beasts.

Unfortunately, it seemed that he was the only one that felt positive about the news. Aegwynn he could understand; it was a grandmother's prerogative to protect her descendants, but Jaina's unease was even stranger.

Med'an had little choice but to broach the topic that evening while the three of them ate. It was a more simple meal than the few when he had first arrived, expressing the humble attitude that had always been present in the Sorceress' personal life.

"I can't help but wonder as to why I am the only one actually excited that I get to experience what life in the Dark Horde is like…" he said generally, watching the two women for their reactions.

Aegwynn froze for a split second, before continuing to eat and let Jaina take the lead in the response. "It's not a matter of excited or not," Jaina started, tactfully, "I am concerned for what you may find there, and whether the intentions of those that you will be going to are going to remain hospitable. We've grown quite fond of you, Med'an, and we worry for your safety."

Med'an thought he understood some of it, but it still rang partially confusing and misplaced, "But, I will be with my mother, who could possibly be more competent to keep me safe?"

"It is Nobu'tan that we fear, Grandchild," Aegwynn said at last, setting her fork down on the plate with a soft clatter, "He has a means of twisting even the purest around him to seeing his way of things…"

But Jaina was frowning. There wasn't a consensus about this reasoning then… His grandmother had taught him enough regarding observation to see the subtle signs that they had discord regarding the Warlock of the Dark Horde, and yet Jaina was still not giving the real reason.

"I trust in what skills you've given me to see through any falsehoods, and to beware of manipulation," he said, countering Aegwynn's argument.

"We don't want to see you caught up in events that, while having nothing to do with you, may end up putting you in very dangerous situations." Jaina tried, but even still that was not the full truth.

"Cho'Gall and the Twilight Hammer have already done that… It's the reason I'm here now, and not with my mother already." Med'an said, clearing away another false argument.

"Violence and conflict follow that Warlock like wind in a sail," Aegwynn said, and this time Med'an caught the glimpse of the truth in her fears, "Something major is coming, and I fear he will be closely involved. When he realizes your gifts, he may seek to train you himself, and the power of the Fel could consume the unwary. With your talents, the Legion itself would notice and come after you, as they already hold him…"

"While there are many things good and noble about Nobu'tan and his dealings in Azeroth," Jaina added, "there is still an oppressive darkness around him. We will not go against the wishes of Garona, but we still fear that your safety will eventually be jeopardized, or he might try to turn you into a weapon for the Dark Horde."

"Then what do we do to prevent it?" Med'an said, possibly surprising the pair of them, "While I will go to Blackrock and be with my mother and the Dark Horde, I need not become involved with their affairs. I will need to continue my magical studies, but they have more than Warlocks in their ranks, and I could learn only the theoretical knowledge of the Fel, to understand it, without actually tapping into it myself."

"You've thought this through far more than even I had anticipated," Aegwynn said, split between amazed and impressed, "I am sorry for underestimating you, grandson."

Jaina's expression softened as well, "Your age often shrouds the intelligent mind that you possess, Med'an," she said, "We feared that you would be so eager to experience more in life that you might be misled down paths better left alone. I see now that most of those fears were probably unfounded. Yes, we can set out several plans and reasoning to prevent the worst of what might occur, but I doubt we can stop everything."

"As I said, Nobu'tan has a powerful aura of charisma," Aegwynn added, "There will be things about him that you, especially, will be drawn to. He may not be wholly evil, but he is powerful, and ruthless if need be. You should not fear him, but definitely be wary of crossing him."

Med'an swallowed a lump that had formed in his throat. Hearing the deadly serious tone in the pair of powerful Magi had set him on edge. If even they were uncertain about where this warlock's loyalties lay, then they might have been on to something with their worries for him.

They said no more at that time. Nor did Med'an bring the topic up for a few days after, mulling over what they had already said, and the implications that that entailed. From what he had seen, it was quite possible that Nobu'tan might have nefarious purposes, but at the same time, both Thrall and Jaina seemed to have a great about of respect for him.

Therefore, Med'an had little choice but to presume cautious patience. All would eventually be revealed, and the hows and whys presented to him, and should the worst come to pass, he had the ability to teleport away to safety.

Still, after a while, both women started to give him ample advice of various scenarios and how best he could see through the potential double-talk and trickery.

"Under no circumstances are you to accept training as a Warlock by any member of the Dark Horde," Aegwynn admonished him repeatedly, "Only if Nobu'tan himself ventures the offer, with supervision and a clear instruction that it is theoretical only, would it even be possible to consider learning about their magic."

"Yes, Grandmother," Med'an replied every time, knowing that they had already discussed such things in length, but it comforted the old woman to make absolutely certain that their conclusions were to be followed.

The smile that he wore regarding the situation quickly vanished, as a Theramore guard approached. "A messenger for Lady Proudmoore," he reported, which did not match the look of distrust on his face.

"Then bring them to her, why come to me?" Aegwynn said, a mixture of tiredness and irritation in her voice.

"Because they are a member of the Dark Horde…" the guard replied warily, turning to indicate the cloaked figure just mounting the rise where Jaina's Mage Tower sat overlooking the isle.

The lithe figure was easily recognizable to anyone who had spent even a week among the orcs of Orgrimmar. "Mother…" Med'an said, walking toward her swiftly.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Line Break ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jaina watched from her study window as Garona Halforcen embraced her son, already scanning the lad for even the remotest sign of mistreatment. That, or possibly she was looking over Med'an to try and discern how much he had learned and grown in her absence from his appearance alone.

Either way, she seemed satisfied with what she saw, and she embraced him again, and turned toward Aegwynn, speaking in a manner that, while inaudible to the Sorceress, were clearly frosty at the very best.

Jaina understood the reasons, probably more than any who would have know the old Magna. In the short time that they had spent with her grandson, she had grown as attached to him as any grandparent ought to have. Certainly, she didn't show this affection in a typical fashion, but that was part and parcel of the ancient Guardian of Tirisfal; nothing she did was ordinary.

She wasn't ready to let go of the boy, so gifted in magic as he was, and she wanted to mould him into a powerful and wise sorcerer, using Jaina herself as example, most likely.

But if Garona took him, and secreted him away in Blackrock Mountain, Aegwynn wouldn't have the chance to see him again for a long time. And then there was, of course, the worry of Nobu'tan and his influence on the still very impressionable young part-orc.

Was it likely that Med'an would be remotely tempted by the Fel? Jaina doubted it, the call of the darker aspects of magic held very little sway over the young man, after his encounter with the madness of C'thun and Cho'Gall. Yes, he would likely seek understanding, perhaps even demonstrations, but even Nobu'tan would see that there was no avenue for Med'an to be convinced of the necessity of wielding the Fel.

However, there was no reason to not have Med'an on his toes, just in case there was anything that would happen when he arrived at the dark mountain.

Glancing out the window once more, and seeing that the group had come into the tower, probably collecting Med'an's possessions and readying the son of Medievh to travel back to the Burning Steppes.

Taking up her staff, Jaina exited her chamber, and made her way down to say her own farewells. She herself couldn't help but feel a touch protective of young Med'an, and she wouldn't isolate him from her if he chose at some future point to return.

"Garona, I trust you are well," Jaina asked as she entered the guest room that Med'an had been using. Despite all the space, it was already completely bare once more of personal items. Med'an had not really owned much to begin with, but Jaina had never really noticed until she saw all of it stuffed neatly into one small satchel, small enough to easily sit across one shoulder.

"Had I known you were coming so soon, we would have purchased some things to ease the journey," she added.

"We'll be fine," Garona said matter-of-factly. "The road is very carefully treaded, and I've already planned out our stops along the way. We'll have plenty of supplies from small towns and the wilds."

"Oh," Jaina said, at a loss for words. Garona was all business now, much different from the previous times that they had met.

"All right, that's everything," Med'an said, latching the top of the satchel and swinging it over his shoulder, turning to the three women and grinning sheepishly.

There was an awkward silence, and Jaina knew that they might stand there at an impasse unless someone took the initiative and did something. "Well," she said, breaking the silence, "Farewell then, Med'an. Until we meet again, which I hope is sooner rather than later."

"Farewell, Lady Proudmoore," Med'an replied, "I trust that we will meet again someday."

Jaina stepped back, allowing Aegwynn all the space she needed should she wish to approach and bid goodbye to her grandson. At first, it seemed that the Magna was not going to take the initiative, and indeed Med'an started toward her before the old woman rushed to meet him. They embraced tenderly, and Jaina could not stop the tears forming in her eyes at the sudden revelation of love and affection that Aegwynn had for her family, and the hope that Med'an represented for a brighter future.

"It's time to go, if we're to make the ship," Garona said, but to Jaina it seemed that even her hardened heart was touched by the relationship that had formed between Grandmother and Grandson.

Still, Aegwynn was strong as they departed, Med'an taking an extra cloak to shroud his features as the passed through Alliance held lands. Only once they were out of sight did the old woman seem to sag a bit, sadness already piercing her. "Who'd have thought that even the renowned Magna would have a soft spot in her heart for her Grandchild…?" Jaina said, lightly teasing as she took Aegwynn by the arm, lending her silent support.

"You're one to talk," the old woman replied, tears in her eyes, but still smiling as she allowed Jaina to guide her back inside. The Sorceress suspected that her advisor and friend needed a long rest in her favorite chair.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Line Break ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Garona couldn't have been happier to get away from the two mages and their human-infested island. The suspicions glances and unnerved energy of those around them as the two part-orcs passed to the harbor were already much for her to bear, but she had done so in order to collect her son, the only important person in her life.

She had been pleased with the choice of leaving him here, even if it was among the Dark Horde's potential enemies. He had grown wise and powerful in various schools of magic, and Garona was able to sense that he may have even spent some time among their relatives on Kalimdor.

But she would not express any private thoughts just yet. They had a ship to catch, and then they needed to find a secluded place thereon in order to have some privacy from the other passengers.

Garona had noticed that the travel between Stormwind and Theramore had swelled since she had first left to join the Dark Horde at Blackrock Mountain. Where there had once been a dozen passengers, there were now nearing a hundred.

Still, their mysterious nature and the aura of misguided fear from the humans made it fairly easy for Garona and Med'an to corner off a small section of the rear of the ship, well hidden from the majority of the open deck and those passengers that would be watching their journey across the Great Sea.

"When we disembark, there is a pathway prepared for us already, courtesy of those friends of the Dark Horde in Stormwind." She explained quickly, "It goes through a sewer, but it's the only way to circle around the busy city center itself. From there we head east, and then north to the Burning Steppes proper. It shouldn't take more than a few days, a week at most if we have to take it cross country and avoid the roads."

Med'an clearly had plenty of questions, but he was aware enough to know that this was not the time for them. He nodded, acknowledging the instruction, and their overall plan. "And if we get separated, where do I go?"

Garona was pleased; the boy was thinking strategically, not wavering in the slightest from the important facts of their future travels.

"You will follow the same route. I will easily find you. You would avoid all contact with humans and their allies. East until Redridge, then south and around the lake on the far side." She explained.

"I understand," Med'an said, pulling the hood closer around his face as another group of humans passed by, seeking for the stairs into the hold of the ship, where most of the passengers were retiring.

"You are a good lad," Garona said, taking her son by the hand, comforting his unease and reassuring him. "We'll reach Blackrock with little issue I suspect, and you'll find there is much that has been hidden regarding the activities in the shadows of this world."

"So long as I do not need to participate in such shadows…" Med'an said cautiously.

Garona found that slightly strange, and suspected that the boy's grandmother, as well as Lady Proudmoore, had advised with him against getting too involved with the Dark Horde. "I will support whatever choice you take once we get to the mountain. You may be as involved as you wish, or as much as a silent observer of the activities of the Dark Horde."

"I look forward to seeing how the third major faction of this world runs their holdings, and comparing the differences from the Alliance and the Horde of Kalimdor." Med'an said, smiling.