First Meeting

The Kaldorei stepped onto the landing at Dalaran in a bilious cascade, the odd aroma of felfire following him from the former Legion world of Mardum. Producing a red stone from his satchel, he whispered arcane words into it, summoning his steed and rushing through the city, eager to finish the day’s business and make his way to the sanctuary of his home.

From the moment he stepped onto the landing, something felt wrong, but he filed it to the back of his mind until something more apparent showed itself. He had the confidence of millennia in his instincts. By his third stop in the city, he was certain he was being followed. A blurred, rippling figure could be seen out of the corner of his eye, growing ever closer. While awaiting a courier to send a message to his agents in the isles below, he concentrated his Sight. Without visible reaction, he altered his ruined eyes, rotating through the various spectra and energy signatures he had been trained to comprehend. And there it was, in the Arcane Spectra, standing almost directly behind him, a fuzzy figure. It took great skill to remain even slightly cloaked against his Sight, so he casually stretched his arms and back, trying to project a picture of a man bored and waiting.

In a flash, his outstretched hands closed on the grips of his matched blades and whipped them from the harness on his back. In a flowing dance he spun, bringing the business end of one blade screeching towards what he thought would be the neck of his unwanted guest – and was brought up short. Violet sparks crackled angrily from the point of impact as an arcane shield stopped his Warblade from finding it’s mark. Without hesitation, he recovered and prepared to riposte, and then a streak of sunlight fell through the low hanging cowl of his target, revealing the face.
So startled was he that he almost – but not quite – dropped his blade. It was like looking in an aged mirror. The face a more deeply lined twin to his own, but with silver eyes to counter the flashing felfire of his own. Instantly he knew who it was.

“Kalithil,” he said, trying vainly to keep his voice flat and expressionless. The other, older man hesitated a few moments, then nodded.

“Forosuul, my grandson,” he breathed, foregoing any effort to seem casual, his voice was filled with a strange combination of awe and anguish., “You move so fast…”

Forosuul smiled grimly, “I have to if I want to survive. You should take more care, grandfather, I might have taken your head off.”

“And so confident. You get that from the women in your family, I think.” The younger Kaldorei simply stared at him flatly after that, giving no ground and offering nothing. After a few awkward moments of silence, it was Kalithil who spoke again, sighing heavily as he did so, “I…am sorry…for alarming you. I was simply waiting until you were alone to speak to you. Going unseen is an old habit, I’m afraid.”

Forosuul’s face remained impassive; “Is there something you have to say that cannot be said in public?”

Anger, fear, distress and regret all competed for space on Kalithil’s face; “I…oh, nether, I don’t know. You spend enough time keeping out of sight and pretty soon it’s just how you do things. Look, your grandmother asked that I come see you, and sent her new Consort to harangue me about it. Add to that your lovely girl pushing it at me every time we speak, and here I am. Will you talk to me?”

“About what?”

“Anything, Forosuul, everything. Please, I am trying…” he said, his face filled with shame. Forosuul, his body still held ripcord tight until that moment, stepped back and relaxed slightly, his expression softening an almost imperceptible amount.

“Very well, “ he replied, “I assume you’d like to go somewhere more private?”

The older man nodded, “I have a place we can be undisturbed, and where your grandmother won’t be watching,” he said, rolling his eyes slightly at the last half of the statement.

Forosuul smiled slightly, touching the cloth covering his felfire eyes, “She doesn’t watch me without me knowing anyway.”

Kalithil’s raised both eyebrows, obviously impressed, then stated simply, “I can open a portal, will you join me?” To which Forosuul nodded assent.

Looking relieved, Kalithil closed his eye and started to chant. A line of aqua-blue energy seeped from the flooring around them in a circle, dotted with glowing runes of the same hue. To outside eyes, the glow was faint, but to Forosuul’s special vision, the light looked like a crack in the fabric of the world and told him they were traveling far, but not off-world. With a pop from the air rushing into the space the two Kaldorei had occupied, they vanished.

When the blue sparks faded from Forosuul’s eye, he looked around. They were in a darkly lit room, circular, with a spiral stair in the center leading down, but none going up. Dusty bookshelves overflowing with tomes and scrolls filled every wall, curving off into the shadows. Mage’s tower then, top floor, the sanctum. More to the point, a mage’s tower with which he was dimly familiar.

“I’ve been here before,” he said matter-of-factly.

“I am aware,” replied Kalithil, “That is part of why I took up residence. It used to be called Mortwake’s Tower, on the southern end of what humans call Westfall. The previous occupant was routed out some years ago. I came upon it as a result of my divinations into your whereabouts. I moved in, leaving wards to maintain the illusion that it is occupied by bandits so people stay away.” At that moment a man in a robe walked out of the shadows and stood next to Forosuul, ignoring him and working a scroll at the table nearby. Forosuul could see him in the visible spectrum, but the man did not register in any other way. Kalithil nodded at the convincing illusion, “They do the job.”

Forosuul turned his attention from the illusory figure, “You mentioned divinations?”

Kalithil nodded, and then when he realized Forosuul was waiting for an explanation, went on, “I have been at this quite a a few years. In the old days, before your mother disappeared, I would occasionally emerge from hiding and visit her.” Kalithil stopped a moment, obviously overwhelmed at the recollection, then continued, “She always welcomed me. She didn’t judge. She was very accepting, your mother,” his voice trailed off for a moment, then he shook himself and resumed, “One day I came to visit, and everything had changed. She was gone. A new novice was in her quarters, and strange new races had landed on the shores of Kalimdor. No one seemed to know what had happened to her, so I started a long journey, trying to discover her fate.” Kalithil motioned for Forosuul to sit, “This is going to take a little while, please be comfortable. Hesitating only a moment, Forosuul sat down opposite the older man, laying his blades to one side, but within reach.

Kalithil’s Discovery

I am an old hand at divination, having studied it from my earliest days. It is a difficult, and frustratingly imprecise discipline. So despite my expertise, I could not simply wave my hands and learn what had happened to my daughter. Therefore I set off, combining divination with more conventional detective work to track her down. I questioned anyone I could, performed divining rites to glean anything else. It was slow going, but eventually I discovered the high points. My journey took me from Kalimdor, where Tyrande Whisperwind held court, to the east, where I discovered your mother’s fate and ultimately discovered you.

You see, decades ago, before the first invasion by those creatures you call orcs, a young novice Priestess of Elune was having bad dreams. Very bad dreams. In time she realized these dreams were being Sent to her, a warning. In the dreams, horrid green-skinned creatures poured forth from a rip in reality into our world and laid it waste. Elune had granted her a vision of a possible future. Her name was Silea, and she was your mother.

Silea went to her superiors and told them her tale. None of them really knew what to make of it, and kept passing it off to someone further up the hierarchy. Eventually she stood in audience with Tyrande herself, who heard her out, and then somewhat condescendingly told her she was just having nightmares. Tyrande’s motives in this remain unclear. Perhaps she refused to believe that a mere novice would be given such a vision while she was not, or perhaps she simply could not fathom taking action with Malfurion deep in the Emerald Dream. In any case, Silea’s warning was dismissed and she was sent back to her studies.

However, her dreams persisted, and worsened. She was tormented by them. So she hatched a plan. She and a few Sentinels banded together and slipped away. They broke the seals on one of the Barrow Dens and woke some of the druid within, telling them their tale. A few of the druids were sympathetic, or maybe just tired of sleeping forever, and agreed to go with them. They made their way to a goblin port and negotiated passage across the sea, determined to forestall the invasion if they could.

Things get fuzzy here. At some point during the long voyage, I presume, your mother grew close to, and mated with, one of the druids. Try as I might, I cannot discover the identity of your father, he remains a mystery despite my best efforts. All I can gather is that they mated, and she became unexpectedly pregnant.

The uncertainty continues for much of the story here. It seems that almost all of the participants in these events have long since passed on, and that means the memory of it fades from the world, making the Divination more difficult, especially for details. What I do know is that the small expedition landed here in the east, on the shores of Westfall, where we now sit. They made their way inland, keeping themselves hidden. At some point in the region now called Duskwood, they made camp to wait, as Silea’s child was soon coming. Unfortunately, a group of forward scouts from the invading orcish Horde came upon their camp, and slaughtered them all. This I know because I discovered a veteran of that very group living in the jungles to the south of here. The green wretch described his scouts coming across “a purple skinned tall people unlike the other inhabitants of this land”. They killed them all to avoid witnesses. Before you get up and go off to find this old orc, don’t bother. I burned him from the inside out after he spilled his story.

Now, I am unsure how exactly you survived the assault. The old orc mentioned no infants, so perhaps you went unseen, or maybe your mother had managed to hide you. What I do know, is that your adoptive parents heard noises coming from the forest one night, and then next morning saw smoke across across the river, living as they did in the south of Elwynn, adjacent to Duskwood. Your father hitched up a wagon and went to investigate, and so he found you. Fortunate for him the orcs and fled the scene.

And there you have it. The story as far as I know it. From here on it becomes your story, and that part you don’t need me to tell you.

Forosuul sat still for a few minutes, digesting the tale, his face a mask. Eventually he spoke up, “I suppose now you want my story.”

Kalithil shook his head, “That I already know. I did not stop my investigations with your birth. Knowing of Silea’s death, I kept looking, trying to find you. Tracking you down was easier. You were in the memory of people still living, and the events were more recent. My search for Silea had taken too long, however, and you had undertaken your journey into the past by the time I came to the end of your trail. Then of course, you reappeared, and Tindomiel filled me in on the rest.”

“And now I know where I come from, more or less,”said the younger Kaldorei, with emotionless finality. “Now I know, and nothing has changed.” At this he buried his face in his hands.

Kalithil, though obviously distressed, made no move, saying simply, “Knowledge does not change anything until you use it.” He sat silently for a while, letting his grandson grieve in his own way. Eventually he spoke again, “I know your life has been seemingly nothing but upheaval after upheaval, and I know the emergence of your family doesn’t really help right now. I won’t pretend we have a relationship, not yet. But I hope one day we do. I won’t impose on you though.”

Forosuul nodded, dully, said “I want to leave.”

Kalithil nodded assent, asking, “I can open a portal, where would you like to go?”

“My home is not that far, I’d rather ride.”

“As you wish. If you want to speak more, you can leave word here at the tower. As Majordomo of the House, you may come to me for any official needs. As your grandfather, you may call on me for anything.” Forosuul only nodded absently, retrieved his blades and fled down the spiral stairs. After he left, Kalithil slumped in his chair, wondering if his grandson would ever return.