After the dead end in Winterspring, I mentioned that I still had one more possible stone to turn over. It’s not one I particularly wanted to turn over, considering who I’d be finding under it, but at this point I don’t really have the luxury of wasting time and hoping something else falls into my lap. So yesterday, I took a walk down to the Cleft of Shadow to have a talk with Neeru Fireblade.
I had known Neeru a little when I had first started training as a warlock, but since moving to Orgrimmar and changing to shamanism, I hadn’t had contact with him beyond occasionally passing on the street. I’d always avoided the Cleft of Shadow; after Thrall gave me sanctuary in Orgrimmar, the last thing I wanted was to be caught anywhere near the fel magic of the warlocks. Now, after years of avoiding the place, I couldn’t help but feel a little uneasy just from purple light that illuminated the cavern as I made my way down.
Neeru Fireblade channels a spell while Mokvar approaches.
NEERU: <looking at Mokvar over his shoulder> Mokvar. Just a moment.
Neeru finishes channeling. Small flames burst from a large windroc carcass that sits on a nearby table, then flicker out after a moment. Neeru turns to Mokvar and points to the sizzling fowl with a smirk.
MOKVAR: What do you do if it needs salt?
NEERU: Count myself lucky that I didn’t make a larger mess of the preparation than that. I’m hardly a chef.
Neeru sits down at the table.
I hope you don’t mind if I go ahead with dinner.
He gestures to a second chair across from him; Mokvar sits.
It’s been a long time, Mokvar. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you venture down this way. What brings you to the land invocations and mediocre cuisine?
MOKVAR: I’m looking for information, and I think you may be on the short list of people who might have it.
NEERU: <gnawing on a leg from the roasted windroc> I’m hardly a person in the know these days, but ask away.
MOKVAR: The Nether Prism.
Neeru pulls the drumstick away from his face slowly and looks up.
NEERU: Well now. What have you gotten yourself into, Mokvar?
MOKVAR: More a matter of what I’m trying to get myself out of.
NEERU: All the more interesting, then. I haven’t heard talk of that particular bauble in an age.
MOKVAR: I wish I could say the same.
NEERU: <eyes Mokvar closely> The last I heard of the Prism, it was in the hands – or claws, I suppose – of that drakonid Valthalak.
MOKVAR: That was years ago. After that, it made its was to an imp named Vi’el, in Darkwhisper Gorge.
NEERU: If you’re interested in the Prism, why don’t you go seek out the imp, then?
MOKVAR: I did. He’s dead. What became of the Prism from that point is anyone’s guess.
NEERU: Really now. And how did you happen to know about this imp in the first place?
MOKVAR: Let’s just say it took a roundabout path getting from Blackrock Spire to the imp.
Neeru leans back in his seat and folds his arms.
NEERU: You? You mean to tell me, Mokvar, that a relic as potent as the Nether Prism managed to change hands from Gul’dan all the way down to the likes of you?
MOKVAR: When you’re starting with Gul’dan, I don’t know if “down” is the right word.
NEERU: <chuckling and picking up the windroc leg again> Well well, Mokvar…you say you came to me for information, but it seems I’m learning a fair bit more from you.
MOKVAR: I think you know more than you let on.
Mokvar leans forward and drums his fingers on the table.
Then again, so do I.
Mokvar glances around at the other warlocks practicing invocations.
How many of them will it take?
NEERU: <mouth half full of windroc meat> Take? For what?
Mokvar leans closer to the table.
MOKVAR: To channel your targeting beacon for the demons.
Neeru drops the windroc leg on his plate and looks up.
How many warlocks? How many of your collagues…in the Burning Blade?
NEERU: The Burning Blade died with the last vestiges of the old Horde. Anyone will tell you I cut my ties with them when I pledged my loyalties to Thrall.
MOKVAR: <nods> Of course.
Neeru starts to reach for his food again.
Are you waiting for a signal from any agent of the Legion, or are you on hold for Malchezaar specifically? You might be waiting a while if it’s the second one.
NEERU: I don’t know where you’re getting these fairy tales, Mokvar, but—
MOKVAR: You know, it’s a funny thing. Grom Hellscream died slaying Mannoroth and freeing our people. Now his son walks around wearing the demon’s tusks, and sits on a throne carved out of its skull. It would be a shame if the Warchief got the notion that someone in Orgrimmar was still cooking up something with the Legion.
NEERU: <waving toward Ragefire Chasm> If you really think Garrosh is above cutting ethical corners for the sake of—
MOKVAR: If you’d like to roll the dice on how Garrosh would react, be my guest. It’s not my neck at stake.
Neeru stares down at his food.
NEERU: I wasn’t lying when I said I don’t know what’s become of the Nether Prism.
NEERU: But if I were to hazard a guess as to where it might have gone…after the imp… <glances around furtively> There have been…rumblings among the warlocks since the fall of Deathwing. It started when the human Kanrethad reconvened his circle of fel masters, the same ones who had worked to expand the powers of the warlocks before the Cataclysm.
MOKVAR: I’d heard about that much – the Council of the Black Harvest, isn’t it?
NEERU: <nods> Our own Ritssyn from here in Orgrimmar was among them.
MOKVAR: What are they doing?
NEERU: Running around on fool’s errands all over the world – and beyond – to seek out even greater sources of power for themselves. That Kanrethad thinks he can build a coven of the mightiest warlocks in existence and position himself at its head.
MOKVAR: You don’t think they’ll be able to do it?
NEERU: I think that when you set out with a plan of “Let’s go make ourselves more powerful than anyone ever,” you find either disaster or a far heftier price than you’d counted on.
Nevertheless. If the Black Harvest are trying to consolidate their power, I’d hazard a guess that the Nether Prism would be just the sort of item that would interest them.
MOKVAR: Do you know what’s become of Ritssyn?
NEERU: I believe he and one of the others made their way off to the Firelands. For all the good that will do you.
MOKVAR: What’s that supposed to mean?
NEERU: Mokvar, don’t you be a fool too. You can’t seriously expect that the Black Harvest would talk to you.
MOKVAR: I think I’ve already shown I can be pretty persuasive.
NEERU: <chuckles> Mokvar, don’t be naïve. You’re hardly one of the movers and shakers of the world, I’ll grant, but surely you can’t believe that you’re not noticed. Standing for all those years in Thrall’s council room. Attending advisors’ meetings with the leaders of the Horde. Hellscream’s personal scribe. Never mind the fact that they’ll know you were a warlock yourself once before you decided you didn’t want to dirty your hands with the fel arts any longer. Do you really think they’ll be willing to tell you anything?
MOKVAR: I guess I’ll have to figure out a way to be very persuasive.
NEERU: Assuming you can ever find them.
MOKVAR: We’ll see. <getting up> Anyway, I suppose I got what I came for, or as close to it as I’m going to. Enjoy your dinner, Neeru.
Mokvar turns to walk away.
Mokvar stops and looks back.
How did you know?
MOKVAR: How did I know what?
NEERU: Don’t play games with me. You know perfectly well what I’m talking about.
MOKVAR: Let’s just say I get around.
I left Neeru and made my way out of the Cleft of Shadow, mostly preoccupied with how I was going to track down the Council of the Black Harvest. I was so caught up in my thoughts that I didn’t notice the light go dimmer than it should have as I went up the last bend of the cavern. That’s when two spectral assassins appeared out of nowhere and attacked me.
I fought them off as best I could for a minute, but my shocks and chain lightnings aren’t nearly as potent as a shaman who’s been training at it his whole life. They were quickly gaining the upper hand when Garona unstealthed behind them and had at both of them with a flurry of blades that was faster than my eyes could follow. It bears noting, by the way: Garona’s no joke in combat. I hadn’t really noticed before. Those spectral assassins dropped fast. While she resheathed her weapons, I tried to come up with something to say without much success.
GARONA: Garrosh knows what you’re doing. I hope you do, too.
MOKVAR: Then why…?
GARONA: Before he left for Pandaria, he asked me to look out for you. Until he tells me otherwise, that’s what I’m going to do.
GARONA: Don’t. You know that if he tells me kill you, I’ll have to.
Mokvar nods and starts to turn to go.
Don’t give him a reason to.
I think it’s safe to assume that pretty soon Garrosh will be getting a letter informing him that I went to see Neeru Fireblade. I don’t figure that’s going to do a whole lot to improve his mood any. Still, he’s having Garona go on protecting me, for now at least. And with these two assassins down, chances are I’ve got a couple days before I have to worry about the next wave coming for me.
Still, I don’t have the luxury of a lot of time. I have a new lead to follow, and it needs to lead somewhere quickly.