A quiet humming fills the exceedingly tidy and small work space. A fel green glow gives off barely enough light for anyone save a Night Elf, or the occupant, to see by. There’s a short break in the humming, which is replaced by grumbling and harrumphing.
“The combination is still too unstable.” The voice is raspy, as it tended to be for some Forsaken, but most days Alzira was thankful she’d been left with her jaw, if not her joints.
“I don’t like this place,” a deep, yet wispy voice calls from the doorway.
“Me neither. Too much damp. We’ll have to set up shop somewhere else, and soon,” she responds absently.
The hulking void creature, bound into shape through its heavy-plated vambraces, made no response. Not that Jhazgorg ever did to something that wasn’t a command or question. And not that Alzira ever noticed.
“I need something to stabilize it,” she said, and sat back from the desk.
Though she didn’t feel the cold, Alzira still had a preference for long-sleeved robes, as a bygone comfort from her previous life. She folded her hands into the sleeves, bony fingers tracing the now familiar paths of sinew, patches of skin, and exposed bone. She hummed a nonsensical tune again, as her eyes scanned over the parchments on the wall. It was more from habit than actually reading the notes, as they’d all been committed to memory at this point.
After many long moments, she shook her head and sighed. “There’s no use for it. I need to talk to Grelx. No fighting with Yaznar this time, Jhaz.”
“Cannot resist,” Jhazgorg rumbled.
“Fine, but don’t break anything in Grelx’s workshop, or I’ll never hear the end of it.”
“As you command.”
“How many times I gotta tell ya, ‘Zira. The fel and the arcane just don’t like to play nice. We can brute force it, but don’t expect nothin’ delicate,” Grelx said, examining the vial. “Without order and control, the arcane is unstable, and won’t work. Fel energy is chaos, and naturally destabilizes the arcane as it subjugates it. The line where the arcane goes from useful to useless is finer than fancy elvish underwear.”
“Are you telling me it can’t be done?” Alzira asked, watching the goblin swirl the fluid.
The amethyst liquid was iridescent and sparkly, and was immiscible with the bright green portion, like oil and water. They churned as though agitated; a visual example of what Grelx had said.
“Now, now,” Grelx said, looking up, a gleam in his void dark eyes. “I never said that. We’ll either come up with this miracle potion, or a combustible so powerful the Horde and Alliance both will scramble to get their hands on it.”
“Aren’t we at peace right now?” Alzira mused.
Grelx snorted. “Like that’ll ever last. I mean, they even got the peace, love, and panda people to choose sides,” he said, and put the vial on the cleared space of his alchemy table. “No, it won’t last, and they’ll need something else to kill each other with. Especially now that the over-sized doorstop has outlawed the use of azerite except for his pets.”
“I think you mean, ‘champions’.”
“Hah! Champions of chaos, maybe. Half the messes they clean up are their fault in the first place,” he said, then shook his head. “Anyway, let’s see what we can come up with.”
Just as they were getting settled around the table, Alzira tilted her head.
“Does it seem quiet to you?”
“Hmm?” Grelx said, then his head shot up. “Jhaz! You fat, lumbering blueberry! Did you eat Yaznar again?”
“I must feed,” came the reply from somewhere outside.
“Well, at least they weren’t fighting,” Alzira said, an edge of humor to her words.
“Whatever. Dismiss that walking garbage bucket so we can get started,” Grelx said.
Alzira knew the only reason he didn’t blow up about the newest tally in Yaznar’s death counter, was because he had a puzzle in front of him. The only thing that could garner his ire now would be interrupting him while he worked.
“Go for now, Jhaz,” Alzira said, her mind already turning in the same direction as Grelx’s.
“I…am…void…where prohibited,” Jhaz said, then diminished in size before disappearing through a portal.
“What a comedian,” Grelx muttered. “Yaznar! Get back here, and bring some fel with you!” Then Grelx looked to Alzira. “Can you get more of this?” he asked, and pointed to the purple liquid.
“Of course,” she said.
“Good. We’ll need plenty, and cross whatever fingers you have left that we don’t blow ourselves up before figuring this out.”
“This is why I came to you Grelx: you’re an optimist.”