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The mage swallowed as she looked out over the scarred battlefield laden with dark stains, crumbled carrier wagons, arrows, and battered armor. The wind picked up and sent a chill through her shoulders. She wrapped her arms about herself as her opalescent hair lashed at her cheeks.

“It’s awful,” she said, voice barely carrying above the breeze.

“Hm?”

Anarchaia turned to the Illidari behind her, fists clenched against her arms. “I said it’s awful,” she spat. “All this and for what?” She gestured at the scene below.

Sargeras’s massive blade casted its shadow over the area where a Horde azerite mining convoy had been intervened by an Alliance scouting party, blanketing the scene like the curtain covers the stage after the final act.

“Power, obviously,” Grimory responded matter-of-factly, unmoved by her tone. “You speak as though war is unfamiliar to you.”

“And is that something I should be so ashamed of?” She scowled and narrowed her queer colored eyes up at the man she’d come to know as her friend and ally.

He stepped past her to observe the valley of Silithus himself, red and dry…and diseased. Crawling with goblins and insects and cultists. His head turned to meet her red pupils with his own slit ones over the cracked edge of a broken horn. “No.”

Anarchaia blinked in the shadows of her fluttering hood, taken aback. She cleared her throat and looked down at herself. “Well I have no plans to become familiar. While I no longer hold my title of apprentice, I’m staying in Dalaran. They can have their petty feud.”

A sort of laugh hummed within the back of Grimory’s throat and he turned back toward the worn path leading from the plateau. “Enjoy the comfort of faux peace then, yeah? Some of us have obligations to uphold.”

She furrowed her thin white brows and turned to watch him go. “And what of you, then?” She lifted her arms at her sides helplessly and scoffed in disbelief and disgust. “Going to go join the ranks in Orgrimmar? Have your experiences during this last war meant nothing? With the elves in Azsuna? With the draenei?” Her arms fell back to her sides. “With me?”

Grimory laughed again, this time a quiet chuckle through amused fangs. He stopped to turn to her. “You forget. Before this,” he gestured to himself–his horns, his tattoos, his scars, “I was–am quel’dorei.”

“Stormwind will never let you past that portcullis while fel pumps through your veins.”

“Hillsbrad,” he corrected, turning away again with thumbs tucked carelessly in his belt loops. “To protect the only thing I have left.”

Anarchaia parted her lips to retort–to argue, to reason, to plead–but after a moment simply closed them again. Fists clenched, she turned back to the valley bathed in the red of the setting sun. Her jaw worked beneath the parchment white skin while she struggled to swallow a scream of anguish. She took in a shaking breath.

“Then I’d best do the same.”

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