Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day 1

“Ashe! We should be walking out the door now! We are going to be late for the ceremony if you keep dragging your feet like that!”

“Yes Mother!” The spunky 16 year old called out, shuffling her feet across the floor loudly as her small act of defiance. This is the eleventh ceremony that Ashe had to go to in the past six months. Six months that seemed to drag on and on.
“No don’t get smart with me, young lady. You know that this is important to your sister, and it’s a good way to get your name spread around the mage community if you want to pursue this line of work like your sister.”
“Yes mother, just like both you and Ann. Powerful Mages in the family can only have a positive outcome, right?” she replied with a smart tone, rolling her eyes at her mom. She seemed to do this lately any time that the word ‘mage’ or ‘Ann’ came out of her mother’s mouth.
“Now I thought you always wanted to grow up to be a Mage like me?” Her mother called out as Ashe popped her head around the corner, tapping her foot impatiently.
“Well,” She began, as walked over to stand near her mother, “I did, but now, how am I going to live to this great expectation of Ashe, Sister to the famous Annmariah the Kingslayer?” Ashe watched her mother scramble to find a rune that would teleport them to Dalaran, the capital city of the Mages.
“Now what your sister has done for the people is not something to be mocked! She’s helped bring down the one true monster that’s been holding back the people of both the Alliance and the Horde for years now. Who knows, maybe’ we’ll be able to live in peace finally. It’s certainly been that way for the past six months since she got back.”
“Mom, I am aware of that. However, unless there’s another Lich King that needs to be fought, I’m never going to live up to the expectations. I’ll always be living in her shadow. Everyone will expect me to be this great Mage, but I’ve come to realize that I don’t want to live in Ann’s shadow for the rest of my life.” Ashe turned to see not her mother, but a portal to Dalaran behind her. Sometimes her mother got so focused in her magic, and recently, so focused on Ann, that Ashe’s words simply turned to dust around her.  Ashe stepped through the portal, wishing more than anything that her mother could understand where she was coming from, or had at least been there to listen to her. 
As Ashe walked into the beautiful city of Dalaran, she wandered about the streets. Checking the clock tower, she had at least another hour before the ceremony began; her mother had forgotten that Dalaran’s clocks ran an hour behind those of Lakeshire.  Her mother once told her a story that the Mages were so bad at being on time, they moved the clocks back in their city so that any special event happening in the city would always be on time. Ashe suspected that they wanted the timing of sunrise to be consistent throughout Azeroth, so they simply told time by the position of the Sun. Ashe was a lot smarter than her mother gave her credit for, though her Mother always seemed to think that Ashe was still a five year old tot.
Ashe stopped to look at the flyer that was hanging on the bulletin board announcing the ceremony this afternoon. It was going to be held in the Grand Room of the Violet Citadel, which is where she assumed her mother had bolted off to. Ashe decided to spend some time wandering the city. Mother didn’t let her come here often, and she hadn’t been here recently due to all of the traveling around watching all the ceremonies about Ann. This however, had been the first place where both members of the Alliance and of the Horde would be honored. Dalaran, the city of Mages, would be inducting 6 new Mages into the ranks of the Kirin Tor, A ritual that had not been done for almost 10 years.
Ashe stopped to see what sort of interesting things she could do in the hour before the ceremony would start. She knew that many of the things of the city were off limit to those who have not yet chosen which class they would spend their life studying.  Ashe walked to the inn near the bank, wanting to meet new people; maybe even people who would help her decide what she should do with her life. The city magistrate worked with teenagers near the age of becoming every year to help them find out what they wanted to do. Ashe had been to see Magistrate Marissa a few times around a year ago, but at that point in time she was convinced she would be a Mage like her mother and sister.  She didn't for see having to love up to such a huge reputation that Ann had laid before her now.
As Ashe poked her head in the door of the inn, she noticed that it was fairly packed with people dressed in outlandish robes, who she took to be the Mages of the Kirin Tor, Mages getting ready for the ceremony this afternoon. Ashe had no desire to be around Mages at this point in time, so she quickly left the Inn and turned to find another place that she could find solace.
There were a few different options that Ashe had. Her mother had taught her how to reach magic, but never how to use it. Ashe's mother told her that where the power to use magic comes from, depends on how you are trying to use it. Mages get their magic from channeling power through their bodies, but Priests and Paladins get their magic from their faith, and the Gods. Ashe had also heard of Druids and Shamans getting their magic from the earth, and had occasionally seen Warlocks, whose magic seemed fueled by pure hatred.
 Ashe knew that she had the gift to work with magic, but she really wanted to do was see what other people thought of their class calling.  Ashe had been told once that classes were not only a personal choice, but also sometimes a calling of the spirits, born innately, for one reason or another. That sometimes people would fall in love with a calling because there was just something that stuck with them when they were talking to class officials or family members that worked in that class lifestyle.
 Ashe had seen people of all sorts of magical, and fighter classes throughout the city of Dalaran, but it seemed that they always headed back to the Legerdemain Lounge when they wanted to sit and talk, or drink.  Ashe walked down the street, and turned to ask for directions to the Lounge. She knew that it was close, but felt really stupid when the mage pointed the building across the street, and laughed softly. Ashe bowed in thanks, and walked quickly across the cobblestone street.
Once inside Ashe knew that this is where she wanted to be. There were People from what looked like all walks of life sitting around, drinking and chatting. Ashe ordered water at the counter, and sat back to listen. As the bartender reached behind the counter, he spoke to her.
“Aren’t you a little too young to be here, missy? Shouldn’t you be in school or something?” he looked at her with a smirk as he handed over the glass of water.
“If by ‘too young’ you mean not yet reached the age of becoming, then you are correct. Is there some sort of age requirement to be in here?” She turned back to look at the bartender, a man who couldn’t be more than a few years older than her.
“No, there’s no age limit, but there are more interesting things a young girl could be doing in Dalaran than sitting around eavesdropping on a bunch of old folks.” He laughed as he wiped down the bar.
Ashe smiled back at him and held out her hand, “I’m Ashe, by the way.  You really don’t want to hear all about why I’m sitting here, people watching, do you?”
“Well you’re not really people watching right now are you? You’ve turned around to talk with me.”
“You’re right. I should go back to watching people. “
“Now that’s not what I said. I’m Ralph.  Let me guess, you’ve come in here because you’re tired of being around Mages?” He said, winking as he dunked under the counter. He reemerged with a soda pop in his hand. “Would you like to share?”
“Yes I did, and yes I would. How did you know?”
“About the Mages, or about the soda pop?” He asked as he reached behind him to grab two glasses.
“Both, but really how did you guess that I wanted to get away from the Mages? This is the capital city of Mages after all. Why would I come here if not to be around them?”
“There are many reasons to come to Dalaran. Not all of them involve Mages. To answer your question, I actually saw you leave one of the nicest inns and head over to this run down place. An inn that I happen to know is full of Mages that all sorts of people would be more than excited to meet. Also, as the barkeeper, it’s my duty to know everything. It’s what keeps people coming back here year after year.”
Ashe laughed at Ralph’s statement of knowing everything, and decided to toy with him a little longer, as it seemed she wouldn’t be doing any people watching before the induction ceremony anyways.  “So if you know everything, then you tell me why I’m sitting here.”
“You are tired of hearing about mages. You get it from everywhere, and you would rather think about other things.” He grinned, then walked away to help another customer as Ashe just sat there, dumbfounded, trying to figure out how this man she didn’t know could so easily figure her out, when she didn’t have any clue as to what she was doing herself.