Sigmah stands alone in the Eastern Plaguelands, just outside his crypt. Helm in his right arm, left arm at ease behind his back. Dawn is slowly coming up over the water, small rays of light piercing the mists over the ocean. The red hue of the sky deepens as more and more light, comes up. There is a small sense of renewal, a cascade of something pure that moves across the land and ocean with incredible speed. He does not move as it washes over him, nor does he change position. For exactly five minutes, he watches the dawn. At the three hundredth and first second, he turns, replaces his helm, and begins walking down the steps of his crypt, three at a time. The steps are made for much smaller beings.
As he descends, he reaches out with his mind and power. The five hundred and thirty eight wards are strong, robust. Made even stronger by each one being tied together. Warning systems, assault wards, barrier wards, magic inlaid within the rock to draw power from the ambient magic in the air. Each ward connected to the other, in small ways. He corrects two wards that began to fray in the presence of the dawn. A small mind, but willful, touches his briefly. Jeff, a ghoul, shares his memories with the Lich, communing information far faster than words. Traps are repaired. Supplies forty five percent and dwindling at a rate of four percent per week. The gargoyle nest needs their weekly offering later this week. No alarms. The Spine of the Earth work continues, but will need your supervision for phase 2.
Sigmah reaches the end of the stairs to his study. Augle was polite enough to replace the jar of ink that he broke two hours ago. Sigmah lets the geist's guardian know in the time it takes to walk to the table that the geist will be allowed out of time out after two more hours, rather than four. Sigmah sits down, dips the quill in the inkpot, and begins to write.
So much to be done. So much to follow up on. Mayune has denied my idea to use prisoners of the Alliance to effectively bargain for Kormok back. One option, and arguably the strongest one, has been defeated.
No matter, really. There are other ways, despite her queasiness. Though I am not certain that we will get him back, I must remain confident in front of others. The longer he is with the Alliance, the less likely we will be able to recover him.
Taldrus Dawnfield is not a stupid man. On the wrong side of the war, perhaps. Misguided in his beliefs. But not stupid. Everything that I've learned from spy reports, character evaluations, psychological profiles from respective agencies indicate that he is a decently cunning military man. Weak points, but not necessarily weaknesses, are his family and friends. Such things would be unlikely for me to achieve at this point, as I believe his wife has already been recovered by the Alliance. And he has far more resources than I do at his disposal.
I must open negotiations with him at some point in time. How to approach this is something of a difficulty. Negotiations may provide a distraction for him, as I work on other objectives.
The Grey Tiger Tong have been surprisingly capable and competent. The chieftain's money was, and is, well spent on them. It is satisfying to see professionalism, and not insanity, within the living, and somewhat of a relief to work with them. Despite their choice of venue within the Holy City of Shattrath, it was interesting to see something other than weakness.
The Kor'kron is attempting to manipulate us. I do not see many other options but to play along, and wait to exploit an opportunity. They may be attempting to set a trap for us, as well, as Krelle 'Lucky' Ninefingers pointed out.
I will be sending a message to assassins and thieves of the Tears, to see what they can find out about these boats that the Slayer found me. There are precious few to be found anymore. I will also speak with Ryni from the Grey Tiger Tong, to see what her people can assist with.
On top of this, I believe it will be near impossible to retrieve Kormok without defying his direct orders. I have not spoken of this to anyone else, but it is my belief. He is sequestered in one of their cities. It is only logical.
If Kormok is executed, what then? Who will lead? What will I do, my debts unpaid to the Chieftain?
Sigmah leans back after writing that last sentence. He places the quill and caps the inkpot, placing both away, along with the black journal, into a hidden drawer in the study. As he does so, his eyes flick to the small inscription in the back of the hidden drawer. His own private reminder to himself.