Everything comes with a price. Even a child knows that. When you throw a stone into a pod, it's disturbance ripples through all creation. Disturbing the dirt, moving the life below it, scaring whatever rested peacefully beneath it's depths. It is a sorcerer's job to prevent that disturbance.
Mordo had learned that truth in Kajmar-Tal. But now, he was no longer sure what to believe.
The Ancient One was a liar, and he was a fool for even believing her. All of her words, all of her knowledge, everything she imparted on him since the beginning...was nothing but a lie.
Mordo was not a man of emotion. He believed in a steadfast morality that kept his mind grounded. One could not function if there was no code to live by. Mordo's life had taught him that, and The Ancient One's teachings only reaffirmed what he already knew.
Kaecilius was a man without regards for natural law. He lusted for a life that was never meant to be had. All things were meant to die, and become one with nature. That was the law all sorcerers were expected to observe. Not just observe, but the protect. The Ancient One had told Mordo that. She had told Kaecillius that. She had imparted that law on to all who walked through her temple.
And she, in all her arrogance and all her hypocrisy, had broken her own law. What good were boundaries if the people who protected them, broke them so easily? She was no better than Kaecillius and the zealots who strove to bend the world to their own accord.
And Strange, and Wong, and all the rest were nothing but traitors to their own code...and Mordo could walk amongst them no more.
It had been months since Mordo left the Kajmar-Taj, and all of the charlatans who called themselves "protectors." The walls of The Ancient One's temple, once gleaming with a light could never be tarnished, now seemed dull and unclean. Everything she had built was based on falsehood.
How could she? How could any of them follow the path she had laid out now? What was the point of practicing her teachings when she was no better than the ones she stood against?
Mordo settled in Harlem, a city so huge that no one would notice an extra citizen. He could blend in to the hurried streets of New York, and find himself in a world that glistened beneath a natural law. Children played. Men and women went about their day. The city hummed with a steady tick, boom, boom. All within the honest structure Mordo had learned to crave. There had to be something in his life that was more than just empty falsities.
And Strange followed in her path. He ignored the rules. He scoffed at restrictions. He was Kaecillius in every possible way. How could no one see that? Time was never to be trifled with, not under any circumstances. And what of the cost of these actions? Magic, no matter how small, always comes with a price. The more magic extended the higher the consequence. The Ancient One's deceit had cost this world, but Strange's actions had only prolonged the inevitable. And, in so doing, doubled the cost of the Ancient One's lies.
And it would happen again.
And the bill would only be delayed. But even with all of the celebrating, the cheers, and the smiles that came with Strange's victory, Mordo knew he had only plunged the world into deeper turmoil.
Everything comes with a price. No magic can exist without a proportional sacrifice.
And Mordo knew that at the end of Strange's game playing, at the end of The Ancient One's deceit, at the end of all magic...there was always a debt to be paid.
And this world would be the one to suffer for it.
"I can't let that happen."
If the sorcerers of this world were too cavalier with their magic, too wrapped up in their power to see the danger they placed this world in...then Mordo would be the one to take that power away.