Nearby in the dark of the sewer tunnel sits the dusky form of a man. His robes pulled tightly around his body, careful to avoid the stream trickling at his feet.
"But Erastymus, I know that the same magic that keeps this city floating high in the sky also keeps us warm. But, how? No runes of power are scribed on the walls? There are no mages channelling spells to maintain the enchantment. There are no orbs or essences being tapped. So how?" shadowy mage says with a grin.
"Didn't you study about ley lines when you were an apprentish?" the washed-up mage replies as he sits up from his prone position. "Nort rend has a major convergish... er convergence of these ley lines. That is why duh Titans chose it for their city, and that is why dah Dragons flights have dere big graveyard here. Ley lines, leeeeyyy linesheses." Erastymus's eyes roll back in his head as he falls back into the sewer water.
"No, I never finished my apprenticeship. Besides, my old master never really taught me anything useful." Diogenes replies in a somber tone.
"Did you hear that Erastymus?" Diogenes whispers excitedly "if the city goes back then maybe I can get home to Gilneas... Erastymus!! Wake up."
Erastymus snores pitifully. The strong alcoholic beverage he conjured up was just the thing the failed wretch needed to drown out the memories of his pathetic life, leaving him numb and mostly unconscious.
<...I heard that it was a blood elf paladin that landed the killing blow on the Lich Ki.....> another lost echo ringing down the pipes.
Diogenes picks idly at the buildup of dried sewage at the edge of the stream. In the midst of the filth he finds a silvery button. Lost long ago by its unwary owner.
"Hey Erastymus... Do you still have that portal stone?" Diogenes says as he tosses the button at the drunken mage
"No... er... Yesh... Oh, I dunno. Yeah, I do. But, I forgot how to cast the spell. Besides, We can only portal to duh Stormwind... an I don wanna go there cause of th..."
<...I told you madam, that is a warlock soulstone... not a jewel... it has no value here and....>
Diogenes stands up from his perch and tip toes carefully over to the sewer logged form of the drunken mage.
"Erastymus..." he says gingerly "maybe I can cast the portal spell? Wouldn't you like to finally get out of this sewer?"
<... Lu ash novAS rogesh cynegold nagan lo veld noth ash nud aesire vil va but skile...> the chattering voice of a foreigner comes echoing down the cobbletone pipes
Erastymus's eyes flutter open briefly, as if he is trying to will himself awake. "No... I was tolt to stay here by my master until.... I can figure out how to...." He drifts off once again.
Diogenes takes the opportunity to slyly reach forward and begin rummaging through the mages sewer-soaked robes. Orange dust spills from one pocket, a soggy scrap of paper is pulled from another.
<...word has it that there has been a coup in Orgrimmar... something about one of their beastly leaders being killed in a duel...>
A grin stretches across the dusky face of Diogenes as he pulls a small amber stone from a pouch hanging from Erastymus's belt.
He stands up in triumph as he stares intently at the stone. Focusing hard he strains to remember the words to the portal spell.
"Saldute minot precout... debreere!!" Diogenes utters, but nothing happens.
<... Eye tolt you tah hurry yah stoopid little peon... we have ta take dah portal tah Orgrimm...>
Diogenes returns to his dry little perch and sits down. His dark face curling into a pout as his stares in bewilderment at the worthless portal stone. A sewer frog sitting across from him croaks weakly as if to mock his failure.
"... So it's dah ley lines that power Dalaran and keep it's spells strong. The whole city sits at a crossroad of lines..." Erastymus says in a sudden outburst before drifting off once again into his drunken stupor.
< Hey does anyone know how to craft a few elixirs!! >
"Father, I wish you could see your pathetic son right now. Tossed like waste into a wretched sewer. No one to talk to but a disease-ridden frog and a washed-up drunkard mage." Diogenes mutters through his teeth as a tear rolls down his cheek. "Why am I even here anyway? If I am just a pathetic simulacrum of someone who was unlucky enough to wander through Icecrown, why didn't I fade away when the Lich King was killed?
<...dis stoopid ting is worthless...>
Erastymus sits up from the stream of waste and looks at Diogenes. His eyes wide open, his face straight and firm. "There is only one answer... it's because the Lich King isn't dead. They must have lied to us, he wasn't killed, or he escaped, or maybe even someone else took his place. Regardless, someone has to say something... you my friend are proof that the Scourge is alive and well."
The faint sound of a bead or a stone bouncing down a sewer pipe echoes through the tunnel.
Diogenes glares at the soggy mage, pondering his sudden insight. Is it possible that the Lich King is alive? If he is proof then perhaps there is meaning to his life. Perhaps it was fate that brought him here.
Suddenly a small stone drops out of an overhead pipe and lands in the muck at Diogenes's feet. For no good reason, it begins to glow brightly with a greenish light illuminating the tunnel.
"Hey, what is that?" Erastymus stammers out as he stares wide-eyed at the stone.
Diogenes gently lifts the stone from it's filthy resting place and looks deeply into it's depths. The oily surface hides a soft green glow. The faint outline of a figure can be seen inside.
As he holds the stone, the dusky hue of skin on his hand is washed away to reveal olive colored skin.
"Diogenes... the light, on your face... it looks like your... your... alive. It looks like your a real person!" Erastymus mutters in amazement.
The stone glows brighter, and a faint humming can be heard over the sound of the rushing sewage. Suddenly, cracks spider across the surface of the soulstone and in a flash of light it disintegrates.
With a guttural growl Diogenes falls forward into the filthy stream of sewage. He moans in pain for a moment before his moan turns into a growl. Then in a puff of inky black smoke his arm turns into a wicked claw covered with supple fur, then his other arm turns. He rolls onto his back and lets out a desperate howl. His back arching in pain as twists cruelly. With another puff of smoke his head and torso transforms into the feral form of a worgen.
Erastymus backs against the bars of the sewer and stares at the beast in horror. "Somebody help me!! There is a worgen loose in the sewers!!!" he screams.
Diogenes snorts at his paniced friend as he rises up from the ground. Sewer water soaking his oily black fur.
"Open a portal to Gilneas... Now!!" he growls in a guttural voice as his tosses the portal stone at the feet of Erastymus.
Wide-eyed, the mage snatches up the stone and focuses for a moment.
"Saldute minot precout debreere Gilneas!!" he utters as a magical portal opens in thin-air.
Diogenes sighs in triumph as he bounds towards the portal
"Take care my friend" he snorts "I hope to see you again someday. As for me, I know the truth now. I am real, I am alive, and I have a I have a filthy, low down, good for nothing Orc named Garrosh that I have to throttle. Cheers!!"
The twisted worgen leaps through the mystical doorway and disappears. Calmness settles upon the sewer tunnel once again as the portal closes. The soft sound of running sewage and croaking frogs fills the air.
Erastymus stands mystified in the filthy water. After a moment he looks about and sits down in the muck.
"I need to quit drinking" he mutters as his head drops into his hands.