[Story] The Demon Relic

Liara Sungazer looked up from her pile of books to regard the odd statue once more. She had been so sure she’d find some reference or drawing somewhere, but all of her research had turned up nothing. It was both frustrating and exciting — had they found something completely new? The Professor’s reknown was already well established, but hers was not. Maybe they would even put it into the museum in Silvermoon, with her name! And his too, of course. She did know, at least, what sort of demon it represented. The long tail and the straight-edged weapons suggested that it was a Wrathguard, a species known for its ferocity in battle. It didn’t look exactly like the drawings in her books, however, the armor was different and the statue had four arms instead of two. Was it a mistake on the artist’s part, or something else? And how had it come to be in this sealed tomb in Uldum? The tradition of demon magic was ancient indeed, though they’d never found proof of it here before. Maybe she would write a paper on the subject, even give a talk! Whatever came of her discovery, it would have to wait until morning. She rubbed her eyes and snuffed out the candle.

In Dalaran, a similar statue stood on Uldred’s little desk in the rented room. Its eyes flickered to life suddenly, like the spark of a flame. Summoning any demon in Dalaran was out of the question, it was far too dangerous and too likely to be noticed. He had stumbled onto the idea of the statues while reading another book about scrying devices. Normally, they required a flat reflective surface, such as a mirror or a pool of water. But in this case, the eyes he needed were elsewhere. It had been a simple attunement process to align both statues, and then a matter of finding a spell to allow sound to travel through them. That one had been a bit more complicated, and taken him some weeks of trial and error, but he eventually was able to puzzle out the spell. Uldred’s lessons in magic had finally proven useful for something after all. It had taken the wrathguard longer than that to locate the elf woman, Uldred suspected that this was because he really didn’t want to. He should have asked the succubus, she was usually a lot more agreeable if promised what she wanted. But of course, that couldn’t happen here, and Uldred felt that the Wrathguard could travel more quickly and safely across the Nether.

He pulled his chair in front of the statue, looking intently into the tiny gemstone eyes. “Arixatik,” he said aloud, addressing the Wrathguard. Usually he had no neighbors at home at this time of the day, so he was not overly concerned about being overheard. “Have you found the elf?”

There was a long silence before the demon answered. Uldred could hear the impatience in its voice. Yes. Am I finished yet?

Uldred scooted his chair closer. “Not just yet. Where is she? I need to know.”

A hot place. An ancient place. They burrow in the ground like rodents.

He drew his brows together, puzzled. “I need you to be more specific than that. Is there a city near?”

The Tol’vir call it Ramkahen.

Uldum! His heart began to race with excitement. He’d only read about that place, ancient and mysterious. There were references to curses long lost to time. Would he be able to learn more about them there? It would be a very long trip, but of course he couldn’t send the demon to speak with the elf. He’d have to go alone, and he wanted to see this ancient land with his own eyes.

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