Jun 15, 2019 5:08 PM
in this world where time is your enemy, it is my greatest ally. this grand game of life which you think you play in fact plays you. to that i say... (margaret in azeroth)
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"It's great for meeting all sorts of people. Good and bad."

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"I bet you've got some interesting stories to tell," she says between admiring the architecture. 

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"Mhm. The only problem is sorting out which ones it's safe to tell."

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"What sort of dangerous are the dangerous ones? Or would that information also not be safe?"

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"It's mostly about what has and hasn't happened yet, from your perspective. Time can be... fragile, if people know things they shouldn't or learn information out of order."

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"So someone could . . . find out about something that's going to happen, and prepare for it in a way that makes it happen differently? That does sound like a problem."

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"Loops, paradoxes, divergent streams... it's a huge headache."

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"I'm glad there are people managing that sort of thing."

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"Thank you, thank you. A story, though... let's see. Ah, the War of Shifting Sands. That's a fun one. Old Gods, insectoid armies, dragons and mortals coming together to save the world."

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"Exciting! Much more fun to hear about than to participate in, it sounds like." Maragosa leans back against a wall with an attentive expression.

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"In the far southwest of Kalimdor, there's a region known as Silithus which is home to a ruined city of the Black Kingdom, Ahn'Qiraj. Way back when the Keepers were still fighting the Black Kingdom, Ahn'Qiraj was razed and all the inhabitants exterminated, or so we thought. It turned out that a remnant of qiraji had hidden underground and survived the war. They spent millennia breeding and growing and building their strength again until they finally boiled over and began swarming across the surface.

"The first ones to notice were the night elves. Some of their druids, sent by the Cenarion Circle, were in Silithus to try to rejuvenate the land. Enough of them managed to escape the initial onslaught to send word to their kin, and the Archdruid gathered a large army and marched down to fight. The battles went back and forth for a while, but the qiraji seemed endless in number. For every hundred the elves would slay, a thousand more would appear. One night, in the culmination of a lengthy push, the qiraji broke through the elven line and began to swarm across the deserts of Tanaris, where the Bronze Dragonflight keeps a stronghold. As you might imagine, this rather caught our attention."

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"I'd expect so! Did the dragons join in the fight?"

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"Yep. Letting the Old Gods gain access to Bronze secrets would be very, very bad, so we didn't have much choice. Given the sheer magnitude of the enemy, we also sent word to the other flights. The Reds weren't hard to convince, anything to do with Old Gods is a surefire bet to get Allie riled up. The Greens have a soft spot for night elves and sent help, even with Ysera occupied in the Dream. Even some Blues showed up to help. With our help, the night elves rallied and the combined forces began pushing the qiraji back, but not before the Archdruid's son was killed.

"The Archdruid pushed for total extermination, but once we reached the gates of Ahn'Qiraj, the dragons knew that was not viable. A dark power lurked beneath, one that we were not prepared to face. Instead, we chose containment again. A massive wall, made impenetrable by the combined might of the dragonflights, blocking off the whole of the city. It was called the Scarab Wall, and after it was locked, the key was broken into four pieces and one was given to each flight for safekeeping."

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"Why not just destroy the key? When would it ever be a good idea to open the wall again?"

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"The key can't be destroyed without compromising the integrity of the wall. Like the keystone of an arch, if you take it out, the rest will crumble. And what lurks beneath Ahn'Qiraj will have to be dealt with eventually, when the time is right."

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"At least we'll be more prepared then, right?"

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"That's the idea."

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"Well, that's good. What sort of preparations are being made? Unless they're secret."

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"If they were secret, I wouldn't be able to tell you if they were happening or not."

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"Heh. Fair enough, I guess at least some of them aren't secret."

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"They do take time, though. You, unlike me, can't skip directly to the good bit."

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