CHAPTER 1: THE INVESTIGATION BEGINS
"Are you sure you don't want this?" Navimie turned the Battered hilt over in her hands, its scratched and worn appearance doing little to hide its value and the dirt covering the large gemstones did nothing to conceal the wealth it held.
The goblin smiled, his eyes glinting. Navimie groaned inwardly - she could almost hear his hands rubbing together. She was pretty hopeless at this poker-face business. "Well," he said, as he assumed a bored look and pretended to examine his fingernails, "I do have another person who was interested...."
The haggling continued for a few more minutes, and Navimie handed over a pouchful of gold. That was the worst thing about wandering into the auction house for a browse - she always ended up buying something and having a lighter gold pouch afterwards. She should stop listening to all the people yelling out their valuables that they wanted to sell. She couldn't even use swords, and now she had walked out with this Battered hilt because she liked things that looked like they had some historical value and it would be fun to trace its origins.
The battered old sword hilt had seen better days. Before the hilt was snapped from the blade, it was probably a magnificent example of the blacksmith's art. The graceful symbols and exotic gemstones decorating the hilt suggested that the weapon may have belonged to a powerful person. Surely the Sunreavers would be interested in hearing about the recovery of such an artifact.
Navimie donned her tabard, a gift from the Argent Crusade and closed her eyes as the magic imbued within it teleported her to Icecrown's Tournament grounds.
She stepped out into the crisp snow, and looked around. It had been a while since she came here. She headed to the Horde Tent and spoke to Jarin Dawnglow, the Innkeeper.
"Jarin," nodded Navimie.
"It has been a while, Tauren," said Jarin. "Are you jousting today?"
"No, I'm not," said Navimie, and she reached into her bags and unwrapped the hilt to show him. "I was wondering, do you know anything about this?"
Jarin's eyes glanced over the dirty hilt, and he shook his head. "You would be better asking Myralion Sunblaze, Navimie. My knowledge of weapons doesn't extend far, I'm afraid."
"Thank you, Jarin," said Navimie, as she carefully wrapped the artifact and put it back in her belongings. "And Myralion is..?"
"Just head south, you'll see him with some of the others, at the stone ring."
Navimie nodded her thanks and shifted into flight form to look for Myralion Sunblaze. She spied him, not far away from the main tournament grounds, talking to some other blood elves. She shifted back into tauren form as she approached, landing gracefully in the snow outside the ring, a welcome change from her usual clumsy entrances. She approached Myralion, and he turned to her, his look inquisitive. "Tauren, how may I assist you?"
"Myralion Sunblaze, my apologies for disturbing you but I was wondering if you could look at this item I acquired from a goblin who said he got this from Icecrown Citadel..."
She unwrapped the hilt and presented it to him, her eyes watching his face closely to gauge his expression. Like Jarin, his eyes widened in shock, and he reached out to take the hilt, and scrutinized it.
"This came from the citadel? What was it doing there? This blade is certainly not of Scourge manufacture. Weapons of this quality can only be crafted by a few of Azeroth's creatures. We will have to consult them to see if they can help us identify it."
"Who?" asked Navimie. She had hoped it would be a quick identification process. It looked like she was about to go on a wild goose chase.
Myralion turned the hilt over in his hands. "There's no mistaking it - this hilt comes from a powerful, ancient weapon, but which one? I do not recognise these particular markings, but we haven't hit a dead end yet. Korialstrasz, better known as Krasus, has long been a friend to the quel'dorei and the Kirin Tor. With his vast knowledge and resources, he's certain to know something. Travel to the top of Wyrmrest Temple and seek his counsel, then report to Magister Halthorel inside Sunreaver's Sanctuary in Dalaran."
It never failed to amaze Navimie about What the Dragons Know. Though she was on good terms with Wyrmrest accord, knowing that these humanoid looking creatures were actually massive dragons who could kill you in an instant always made Navimie a little bit nervous. And they were always sending her off to kill things. Secretly, Navimie thought the dragons were lazy.
She thanked Myralion and again shifted into flight form. The icy winds of Northrend always chilled Navimie to the bone. Mulgore was never cold and it certainly never snowed. She enjoyed the temperate climate of Pandaria, and the golden grasses of the Vale reminded her of her homeland. Dalaran loomed in front of her and she was tempted to stop at Aimee's shop to buy a cake to eat, but she should really be getting on with this mission.
The seat of the Dragon Queen, Wyrmrest, rose majestically from the broken grounds of Dragonblight, and she spiralled gracefully on an updraft to the top, looking for Krasus and Alexstrasza. She spied him beside the queen, and she bowed her head in acknowledgement to the scantily clad Dragon Queen Alexstrasza before she approched the Queen's consort.
"You're too late, Navimie," said Krasus, as his icy blue gaze locked on hers, and he seemed disappointed and apologetic. "Another visitor from Dalaran came asking information about the same prismatic dragon blades. From your description, I'm certain the book I loaned our visitor could allow you to easily identify the weapon. I'm afraid you'll have to ask the..."
His eyes shifted as he looked to the northeast. Navimie turned to seee Kalecgos flying in, and he switched seamlessly into his humanoid form. Krasus turned back to Navimie, and he looked a little pleased. "Well, perhaps Kalecgos can help."
Kalecgos turned to regard Navimie, inquiry in his expression. Navimie looked back at him, smiling, thinking of all the aspects, he really WAS the least attractive. Though if it had been Nozdormu she had been sent to find, she would have been reduced to a blubbering mess. Her stomach filled with butterflies and she held back a sigh as she thought about the devastatingly handsome high elf form of the Aspect of Time.
"Navimie may have found the remains of a prismatic blade, Kalecgos," said Krasus. "Will you offer your help to our visitor?"
"Are you certain you should be helping these mortals in their quest for the sword?" asked Kalecgos, his face expressionless. "These blades, Krasus... they were made long ago, when things were... different."
Krasus lowered his voice. "You believe our allies will not be able to control the power of the swords?"
"Our enemies once turned our strongest weapon against us. What makes you think the prismatic blades will be any different?" Kalecgos continued, ignoring the look of increasing concern showing plainly on Navimie's features.
Alexstrasza noticed it as well, and her sultry voice joined the conversation. "Mortal champions have long used these weapons to combat evil. I see no reason to keep the swords from them in this battle." Flame red eyes fixed upon Navimie's green, a silent message understanding passing between them. Navimie lowered here eyes in gratitude and turned back to face Kalecgos, a slight triumphant look on her face.
Kalecgos bowed his head. "As you wish, my queen. I will not stand in their way, but I will keep a close watch."
"As will we all," said Krasus. Kalecgos turned on his heel and walked away from the group, and he turned back with a glint in his eyes as he gave a thumbs up signal to Navimie. Her mouth fell open in surprise. "Please, mortal, seek out Magister Hathorel in Dalaran." Krasus' voice drew her attention and her mouth snapped shut. "He might be able to negotiate with the silver covenant for access to the book."
"Many thanks, Krasus," said Navimie, and, following Kalecgos's foosteps, she took a running leap off the top of Wyrmrest and shifted to flight form as she dived towards the ground. Being a druid had such wonderful perks sometimes. She couldn't imagine following any other path.
The Filthy Animal in Dalaran was a Horde inn through and through. Uda the beast, innkeeper of the Filthy Animal, kept two large wolves by her side, which helped when your inn was often populated with overexcited guests looking to sate their bloodlust on food, wine and women. The fare was typical orc cuisine - carnivorous, raw and bloody, much like a well fought battle. Uda was a powerful orc herself, and Navimie had often seen her flexing her muscles and laughing after an overfamiliar kiss or pat on the rump from an intoxicated patron. She was built like a gladiator and could handle anything that occurred in her inn.
It seemed odd to find the blood elf Hathorel here amongst the battle veterans. The disdainful look on his face as he watched a group of orcs and trolls eating roast boar made him stand out like a sore thumb - that and his impeccable black garb slashed with red and gold.
Navimie introduced herself, and told him of her mission from Krasus.
"The Silver Covenant has the book?" Magister Hathorel laughed, his hearty bellow fit in well with the boisterous crowd. "Krasus actually said negotiate? He should know that those Silver Covenant elves think so HIGHLY of their blood elf kin. If they find out we want access to it, then they will have even more reason to hide it from us." He shook his head. "We must recover that book from the Silver Covenant. Without that book from Krasus, we stand little chance of solving the mystery of the sword in Icecrown or unlocking its power."
The Silver Covenant was a group of high elves who opposed the admission of the Blood Elves to the Kirin Tor, led by the orc-hating Vereesa Windrunner, who was the younger sister of Lady Sylvanas, the Undead Queen of the Forsaken. Vereesa was the wife of Rhonin, the previous leader of the Kirin Tor, who sacrificed himself at Theramore after Garrosh's mana bomb obliterated the Alliance city. Navimie wondered what The Silver Covenant's Scheme was, and how the book was involved. Tensions between the Silver Covenant and the Sunreavers had never been higher, and Navimie wondered if Krasus knew that any attempts to recover the book would be considered an act of hostility.
Hathorel opened up a map of Dalaran on the table, and pointed to a section of the sewers. "One of my contacts in the Underbelly caught sight of a Silver Covenant agent gathering information at the Cantrips and Crows Tavern. Silver Covenant members aren't normally found in the sewers, so they must be plotting something."
You don't see many Sunreavers down there either, thought Navimie. It was hard to understand these elves sometimes. So many double standards.
"Go into the Underbelly, find this Silver Covenant agent, and eliminate him. Search the body for any information that might give us a lead on the location of that tome from Wyrmrest. We can't let those simpering Silver Covenant weaklings get it back to Icecrown before we do." Hathorel seemed eager to have an excuse to provoke the Silver Covenant, or perhaps the orcish bloodlust was igniting his own blood. Navimie sighed and called upon Ursoc to lend her his strength. If she had known that this quest would involve bloodshed she might have decided not to pursue it. This was far from the bookish research she had imagined.