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When a battalion of clergy  led by Sandric McBane disappears in Northrend, his wife and her demonic allies try to find him. This was written by both A Novelist and her husband.

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 Chapter 1

“Alright,” Gaktal squeaked, “I'm on it!” His shrill squawk echoed within the small canyon, releasing a clarion call to all who lurked beyond, as the sun lowered behind them. The peaks glistened and glittered like diamonds exposed to the moonlight shining overhead. “Stop yelling!”

“If I were yelling, Gaktal,” Laelithra murmured, the threat cutting in her soft tone, “you would know.”

Gaktal was a small creature, barely reaching his female companion's knee. His ebony hair danced in the wind and fused with the emerald vapors rising from his smoldering body.

He bent down. Green flames surged forth from his curled talons, the embers of the blaze sparking off the tiny demon's hands. The firepit before him flickered in unnatural, verdant light.

A pungent, fetid smell rose from the unnatural fire. The scent lay heavily in the air of the small ravine.

The stench was unusual for many other mages, ones that chose not to delve into the type of conjuring that this small woman did.

Those types enjoyed the ability to control some of the most destructive forces of nature as they called forth the elements, commanding companions carved out of fire and ice. During her time as a traveler, she remembered her allied sorcerers engorging themselves on primordial magic.

As Laelithra stood, the wind blew over her and Gaktal. Strands of her dark hair, sliding over the bridge of her nose, fluttered. Her large onyx cloak billowed behind her and contrasted against the ivory peaks. She stood out, a dark splotch against the ice and snow blanketing the land.

If anything, Laelithra thought, this is a perfect representation of the way my life turned out. Laelithra felt as if she was the one among others who were dedicated to the services of the subjective good. Her allies could never guess the turmoil frothing beneath her flesh like the concealed treacherous undercurrent of a peaceful-looking river.

Laelithra pulled the hood of her cloak down to cover her ears and tucked wayward locks of hair into the wool mantle. The lion on the family crest reared in its eternal glory while half of it dispersed into vertical lines of white and black amidst the worn, wooly material.

Frowning, she tried not to remember how that simple piece of clothing fit her. Laelithra was a lithe woman. She had ceased her traveling to grow old with a paladin that she devoted her life to named Sandric. Before her march north, a year prior to when Sandric embarked to Northrend, she had her twenty-fifth naming day. While Sandric was kind to the Alliance plebs, his frugal nature often caused a rift between the material desires that Laelithra wished for and her husband's copper-pinching ways.

So, it was when she received no word from Sandric or anyone in the battalion he led, Laelithra mounted a rescue for the one person who had saved countless commoners. Despite her darker nature, she inherited some of the beliefs of her righteous allies. One would come later in the warlock's life if she should survive the ravages of the brutal land. The other, she was charismatic.

But, she protested, how wrong I really was. She had found that her allies had either moved on or were dead. With most, she didn't know how to get in contact with them anymore. She wasn't alone, however. Laelithra turned to those that she counted on before she became a hero of the Alliance.

The mantle hung off places as she did not fill it out, yet. If she were to stay in this frigid environment, she would be thankful for it. The think layers of wool would keep her warm. She tried not to dwell on the fact that her husband owned the piece of fabric before her or the fact that he may be dead.

She breathed out and watched her breath crystallized before her. The ivory miasma floated aloft evaporating a few inches away from her face. Laelithra had never felt such a chill like in this land, and she felt like she would never again. The chilly talons, piercing inside like a well-honed blade, sunk deeply within her exposed nose.

Laelithra sat down next to the roaring, supernatural campfire. She folded her fingers together and rested them in her lap.

“I don't know why you follow the paladin so doggedly,” Gaktal protested. He came to his mistress and sat next to her. Snow melted beneath him, the hellfire encasing his tiny body thawing the ice. “Is it REALLY necessary?”

As Gaktal complained, another animal approached them. He opened his immense beak, chirping softly at Laelithra. Sitting down behind her, he leaned into the woman. The gryphon wrapped his ivory tail around her. The short fur on the tapered tail jerked rhythmically against her leg.

“I do not follow him out of necessity,” she retorted, her voice hardening like an iron-forged blade. A grim snarl pulled at the corners of her mouth. She found the words stuck within her throat, and she swallowed hard.

There were many times when others asked her why she followed the paladin with how his kind viewed her magical arts. It was a question that plagued her too. Crusaders like Sandric hunted the evil of the world; they ended the lives of men and women whom summoned demons and other monstrosities. What made Sandric so different? Why did she follow him so fervidly? The answers evaded her; they were just riddles in the dark.

“It doesn't matter why I follow him,” she continued. “I've always followed. It only matters that I do. I would not expect you to understand, Imp.”

She tilted back, resting her head against the side of the gryphon's chest. Ivory feathers surrounded the side of her face.

The animal was one of the only things that she had left of Sandric. For this trip, she sold almost everything to cover the expenses.

I wonder how he is going to react when he finds out, she thought. At that moment, it didn't matter to her. The only thing that did was finding him.

“Tomorrow will find us searching the ravine,” she spoke, “if the weather lets up.” Laelithra didn't know if she was speaking to silence the demon or to comfort herself. There was only one thing that mattered. She would not fail her husband.

Chapter Two

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