Independence Edit

by Khalis of Sentinels

Prologue: The Whereabouts of Khalis Edit

Stumbling out of the ancient mansion, Khalis clears the dust out of his throat and drags in some fresh air. As the sunlight cuts past the rotting trees of Deadwind pass, a tear rolls out of his squinting eye mixing in with the sweat and dust on his cheek. As he sits on the step to rest his bones for a moment and collect his thoughts he hears his name chirping from a young boy who's voice hasn't quite finished changing.

"Mr. Khalis! I have a message for you!" screeches the teenager.

Looking up he sees the gangly youth running to him with a ghostly figure not far behind. Raising to his feet again, Khalis emanates a ring of ice planting the ghost firmly on the ground, and gaining it's full attention. The one time servant to Karazhan stands helplessly as the ball of fire that will be his end rapidly grows into a swirling molten mass in the Mage's hands. Just as the feet of the specter become free, and lunges at Khalis, the ball of fire explodes on his chest dropping him to the ground, Finlay dead once and for all.

"What are you doing here boy? This is no playground. You're lucky to be alive child." The mage barks sternly at the youth.

"Message for you sir." the boy says trying desperately to catch his breath. "From Stormwind."

As Khalis again plants himself on the stone step, he rubs the cobwebs off of his ear, and out of his hair. The boy produces an envelope bearing the seal of Stormwind. Once again wiping the sweat from his brow, Khalis breaks the wax seal on the envelope and slides out the parchment.

"It appears Fordraggon wants to see me" Khalis mutters.

"Yes sir. Highlord Fordraggon sent me. He told me to come back with you, or not at all." says the young boy, now a little more composed after regaining his wind.

"He sent you here? Among the horrors of this land? What the hell is wrong with that man. You could have been killed." Replies Khalis looking up at the boy with the wrinkles in his forehead deepening.

"Yes sir. I almost did, lots of times, but here I am. Do you think maybe you could help me back. I don't think I can make that run again." the frightened boy pleads looking over his shoulder.

Khalis stands up and begins casting. A circle of light spreads open to reveal Stormwind, as if looking into a picture. "Don't be afraid, step through." commands the mage.

The boy's eyes widen with wonder as he pokes his hand into the portal. "Lets go boy, I don't have all day" barks the mage pushing the boy through he portal, and following in after him.

Chapter 1: Urban Decay Edit

Stopping off at the tailor for repairs and supplies, Khalis browses the merchandise as the Tailor quickly patches holes, and replaces burn spots of his armor.

"Haven't seen you 'round here much lately. Whatcha been up to these days?" inquires the tailor.

"Stormwind doesn't suit me much anymore. I've finished my training, and quite frankly, it's become a rotting cesspool of the most depraved dregs of humanity. I used to fight for the glory of this kingdom, but every time I come back, it's worse than before. It's almost as bad as Lorderon anymore." the mage grumbles.

"Yeah, I know what you mean, but there's no place safer from the Horde than Stormwind." the tailor replies.

"Safe from the Horde, but not from each other. If I could get my mother and sister to leave this place, I'd never come back." Says Khalis.

"Where would you go? This is the last great city of humanity." asks the tailor.

"Then I weep for Humanity." Says Khails as he puts back on his freshly repaired equipment. "Be well friend."

"Good luck then mage." Says the tailor with a wave.

Chapter 2: Serving Notice Edit

As Khalis steps into the royal chamber, his eyes meet with those of Highlord Bolivar Fordraggon. "I shall be back in a moment Sire. I just have to attend some business" Fordraggon says to the young King.

Nodding to a side room, he quickly exits the chamber to meet with the mage.

"Where in the hell have you been? I've been looking for you for more than a week. Did you forget that I sent you on a mission?" barks the Highlord.

"A fools errand you mean? You embarrassed me in front of some of the best men and women the Alliance can field." replies Khalis

"What are you talking about? What happened at Hellfire?" asks Fordraggon.

"Nothing happened. Nothing at all. No Horde, no attack, no conspiracy to take the portal. And most importantly, no reward for the Alliance fighters I hired." Khalis replies as his voice raises.

"Well, I thought that might happen." Fordraggon mutters.

"Excuse me? You thought What might happen?" asks the frustrated mage.

"The Horde sometimes does this. They like to play games, send false messages, begin a raid, the retreat, that kind of thing. It happens all the time." Fordraggon says gingerly.

"You knew that this may have been a ruse before you had me build you an army? What the hell is wrong with you? Do you not understand that when the alarm bells ring for real, we may not be there in your time of need?" warns Khalis.

"This is my army, they will do as they are told" commands the Highlord.

"Not anymore." says Khalis.

"What, you intend to rule this army as your own?" asks the angered Highlord.

"No, not me. We'll answer to the highest bidder. If you need us, you better bring something to the table other than our sense of loyalty to the Throne. You've spent that all up." snaps Khalis.

"You'd turn your back on Stormwind? Where would you go mage? You're bluffing." says Fordraggon with a chuckle.

"I think I'll accept an invitation of hospitality from the Dranai. My defense of Azuremyst Isle, and the Halaani basin has endeared me to them. Quite frankly, the peace and tranquility of Exodar is vastly preferable to the haven to prostitutes, beggars and thieves that Stormwind has become. And don't get me started on what's happening down the road in Goldshire. I don't think I'll miss it at all actually." Khalis says calmly.

"Some would call this treason mage. Why should I not just throw you in the stockade right now?" asks Fordraggon.

"Because you can't catch me." Replies Khalis just as he vanishes away. "Contact me when you are ready to pay the Sentinels of the Alliance for our work" his voice echoes in the room where Fordraggon stands alone.

Epilogue: Among Friends. Edit

Appearing out of thin air, Khalis looks upon the wand vendor and gives a nod. Turning around he walks in to the middle of his new city. He breaths in a deep breath of fresh air clear of the pollution, and smell of waste in the streets that identifies the air in Stormwind. He closes his eyes and takes in the gentle hum of the energies coursing through the wires around him. As a young Dranai woman passes, she waves, and smiles. An uncharacteristic smile widens on his face as the knot in the muscles between his shoulders seems to loosen a bit as he replies with a friendly nod.

"Time to find a room I guess." Khalis says to himself as he slowly wanders across the squeaky clean floor. "I think I'm going to like it here just fine."

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