**A note on dates. Dates are pretty important, but we have no idea how Silvermoon reckons time, so I’ve used the WoWWiki Unofficial Timeline dates for most of it. As such, all years are measured with the beginning of the First War as “Year 0” even though that makes fuckall sense for Blood Elves. You do what you can with the lore that you have, right?**
Alanth’s thirty-six hour respite from whatever horrors he’d dug up in Suramar was entirely too short, but Tilly wasn’t going to argue when she’d gotten a full day with him – a luxury thus far denied her. They’d spent the evening snuggled up on the couch, talking about each other and their lives, getting to know each other better, and just enjoying being together in the quiet of her cozy studio. When he left the next morning, however, she went immediately to the archives to find her boss, her curiosity finally getting the better of her. Isaac was an older elf, black hair gone grey at the temples. He was one of the only other Libriomancers Tilly knew, and she didn’t shy away from things with him like she might with other coworkers.
“I need to go back to Silvermoon, Isaac. Can you get along without me for a day?” Tilly asked, her face intentionally impassive.
He looked at her curiously. “You’ve not been back home in almost a month. Everything alright with your family?”
“Oh very much so, I just… I need to look into something – several somethings – and I need to be in Silvermoon to do it, if you catch my drift.”
“Ah. Yes. Well, if you don’t mind, I’ve got a stack of reports that need to go to Amalya, so if you can deliver those in person, I won’t ask questions about the questionable gentleman you’re seeing or why his associates came in here and grilled poor Riand about you the other day. I assume that’s why you’re going to Silvermoon.”
“Is it that obvious then?”
He laughed. “Not really, I just pay attention, and I’ve seen what books you’ve been working with when you’re not in the Sunreaver archives. Enjoy your day, and tell Amalya that I send my best regards and that I hope she’s forgiven you for the whole fire-spider incident.”
Tilly turned bright red, but snatched the stack of reports from his desk. “I am so not bringing that up.”
She tucked the stack neatly into a large messenger bag, alongside her lunch, a pair of fingerless gloves, a shawl, two of her own books that needed to be returned to Silvermoon, and a large notebook. Swinging the bag over her shoulder, she walked to the portals in … Windrunner Sanctuary (she mentally corrected herself), thanked the gods for mages and permanent teleportation devices, and stepped through the one that had the Sunfury Spire glimmering on the other side.
Reports delivered to Amalya, Isaac’s counterpart at the Spire’s archives and Tilly’s distant cousin, Tilly walked herself from the usual part of the building where she worked over to the government wing. She flashed a smile at the reedy looking elf at the door. “Morning Salnis. I need to get into the Intelligence wing today. Probably will be there most of the day, actually, depending on how hard I have to look.”
He nodded. “Alright, Archivist Stardusk. Let me look through your bag?”
Tilly dropped the bag on his desk, opening it for him to examine the contents, which he did perfunctorily and then waved her back.
“Thanks Salnis. See you later.” She signed her name in the register on his desk, produced a badge that she clipped to her sweater, and offered her thumbprint to the arcane reader that sat above the lock on the door. It chirped merrily, and she let herself inside.
The interior of the Military part of the Spire’s archives looked, for all intents and purposes, like the recordkeeping wing of every other library in existence. Record books, printed volumes, journals – all bound in the same proud Sunfury Burgundy leather – sat on shelves much less colorful and exciting looking than the rare books she usually dealt with. But she knew better than to mistake a boring book for boring contents. What she wasn’t entirely sure of was where to start.
Start with Alanth himself, you can trace backwards from there.
So she started with the agent records. Walking the long shelf until she got to “N”, she pulled a volume and paged through it until she found what she was looking for.
5’11” 175lbs; auburn hair
1 Sanderstil – Loft B, Murder Row, Silvermoon City
Silvermoon Intelligence, Section 9 – Specialist; Transferred.
Security Clearance Q9.738
A sketch of him accompanied the entry, confirming she’d found the right elf – he really hadn’t been in long, or he hadn’t aged a day since he’d been sketched. His handsome face was clearly recognizable even if he wasn’t smiling, though he was missing a scar.
Tilly frowned at the entry in the book.
Transferred to where? And where’s his reactivation? He’s not retired anymore…
She wrote the whole entry, short as it was, into her notebook and shoved the book back on the shelf, noting that his birthday was this week – the rascal hadn’t said anything, but now she was going to surprise him. With a long pause, she thought about where she could look. Section 9 obviously, since that was where he had once worked.
On a hunch, however, she pulled the book back out, flipping over to Alanth’s entry again. Sure enough, the next entry was another N’otelyle.
Tilly added this second entry to her notebook as well, casually realizing that Alanth must be the spitting image of his mother, as he didn’t look too much like his dad. Silathian N’otelyle. September 13. Missing, presumed deceased. Silvermoon Military, Section 17 – Diplomat. Security Clearance Q7.795
So you weren’t lying about your parents going missing. We’ll see how much I can find about that too…
Reshelving the book for real this time, she walked through the stacks of records until she got to Section 9… and there wasn’t a single thing there. She knew what he did was classified, and she had a least two more levels of security clearance, but she wasn’t expecting his entire history to be kept that far out of reach. A quick run through Section 17 confirmed that it too was not in this part of the library, except for a few slimmer volumes on negotiations and diplomatic events that honestly, she figured anyone with half a brain could have figured out without needing a library book to tell them about, let alone a security clearance to get access to.
With a sigh, she pressed her thumb to another arcane doorway scanner, listened for the happy little chirp, and let herself into a smaller section of the Intelligence wing.
Section 9 proved to be behind yet a third level of security, but Tilly did eventually find the specialist record books. These were organized by date and mission, and she had to do a bit of finger math to place when, exactly, Alanth would have joined up with the Intelligence wing to have ended up in Northrend just after Arthas had been killed in his icy wasteland. Thankfully most of this area of the archives had ledgers that she could browse looking for campaign names and other things, with the actual details in the larger bound books, so it didn’t take long to locate the work he’d done in Northrend.
Or at least, she thought it hadn’t taken long, until she finally got the book down to look at it, and all it said was:
Northrend, War Against the Lich King, year 36-38
Daybinder, Calae – deceased
Bloodblade, Yari – missing, presumed deceased
Kreiel, Jenthaen – deceased
Flamesorrow, Inetilen – deceased
Firestrider, Talira – missing, presumed deceased
Darkvale, Lynice – deceased
Leaflight, Parron – missing, presumed deceased
Ember, Laetlanis – missing, presumed deceased
Lor’thul, Vyaleron – deceased
Sunshard, Normae – missing, presumed deceased
Roseblood, Meri – deceased
Dayspell, Azerise – deceased
Lightsorrow, Caerin – deceased
Brightfrost, Cayvea – deceased
Morningstar, Amine – missing, presumed deceased
Sunwhisper, Norith – deceased
Sunwing, Quith – missing, presumed deceased
Flamegazer, Lahaen – deceased
There was also a list of targets and locations, but they had all been at least partially blacked out with a redaction device that no magic Tilly possessed could make legible again – and she definitely tried five or six tricks before giving up.
Alanth hadn’t been kidding when he said nearly nobody had survived from that work, but seeing just how many agents Silvermoon had lost in that campaign made Tilly shiver, and not from the cold in the room. No wonder he didn’t want to talk about Northrend. She looked back at the long row of books, wondering how many campaigns like this she would find, with him barely surviving to tell the tale.
Then she blinked at herself.
You idiot. You’re a libriomancer. Why are you doing this the hard way?
She decided to give herself a break, considering where she was, who she was looking for, and how she felt about him, and called Alanth’s name into her fingertips, beginning to scan over the rest of the books, spine by spine, starting with the one that contained Operation Frostfire. No fewer than six other books flashed in recognition to her magic, and the smug little smile on her face showed that she’d more than forgiven herself for overlooking that she was a Libriomancer, dammit, and this was what she did for a living.
She pulled all six books, but the information they contained was meager at best. Operation Frostfire was joined by Operations Breaking Point, Blue Garden, Eversong Sunset, Windstorm, and something called Operation Epilogue that she didn’t think would probably tell her anything at all, given the name, even if it was in two different books. None of them were particularly explanatory, containing just lists of agents and occasionally unredacted target information and locations, though some had interesting tidbits about how the missions had gone, and nearly all of them involved losing agents – clearly his threats that one day he might just not come back at all weren’t idle ones. Especially given that whatever he was doing now wasn’t even in these books. All of the missions he was registered as having lived through spanned years 36 through 40 since the First War. After year 40 – Tilly figured that was just before the discovery of the Isle of Pandaria – Alanth simply didn’t exist in Section 9 anymore.
What do you actually DO, whirlwind? This isn’t nearly a career’s worth of information, and you disappeared several years ago…
Knowing that her clearance wouldn’t get her past another round of locked doors and arcane scanners, Tilly decided to change tactics, spending a frustrating half hour looking through what she could find of the Diplomat records in Section 17. There was a little more here, mostly containing reports of negotiations that had gone well (or poorly) and the people involved. A good bit of it involved Lordaeron, and then the other human kingdoms. Silathian’s name was only actually in one book though, and it contained almost no information other than a memo that he and his wife had been set to go to the southern part of the Eastern Kingdoms but had never checked in that they’d arrived, and all attempts at communication had failed after that.
The whole exercise was more infuriating than she wanted to admit. Normally she could find out what she needed to find out, and if she wanted it Amalya could likely get her in past at least two more levels of security, but she wasn’t really willing to out herself so easily to someone who was in regular contact with her sisters. This wasn’t her usual line of work recently, and Amalya was the type to ask questions. A lot of them.
Tilly sat down at a table and looked through the notes she’d taken, realizing quickly that she had more questions than she did when she started. Alanth was curious, yes, and he’d piqued her curiosity from the start, but this was something else altogether. Knowing that the information she wanted was likely further in there – and that she couldn’t get to it – was maddening.
She took a break to eat her lunch, thinking through all of the things he’d told her, wracking her memory for clues of things she could look up or find out while she was here. Eventually she decided to go down one more track. He’d mentioned time spent at the Silvermoon Orphanage. It was a bit of a long shot, but she went back into the section of the records that kept notes on all of the people involved with and close to the agents in the Intelligence forces.
Here again things were organized alphabetically. She went to the N’s, and fairly quickly found Alanth’s slim record book. It was, as he’d suggested, sparse. His deceased parents – no information there. A couple of deceased or estranged lovers from years ago, most of them with listed security clearances of their own, and short paragraphs about their relationships, mostly redacted. Times where his personal life and professional life had gotten entangled, she supposed.. And then she found what she was looking for.
5’8” 155 lbs, silver hair
Matron, Silvermoon Orphanage
And then another big string of redacted text that no amount of prodding would illuminate. Tilly nearly slammed the book closed in frustration, forcing herself to turn the page, just to see if there was – perhaps – something more hidden one turn away. What she did find stopped her in her tracks, the color draining from her face. There was one more entry in Alanth’s little file – newly entered, by the look of the ink.
Stardusk, Anthilyen Emmeline – “Tilly”
5’2” 150lbs, brown hair
Archivist – Sunfury Spire, Dalaran Archives
61-D Clear Hickory, Commerce Exchange, Dalaran
1624 Silver Rise #3, The Royal Exchange, Silvermoon City
Security Clearance Q3.655
- Godmodding and Griefing (116)
- On Privacy, Real ID’s and Roleplay (49)
- XX and XY in RP (47)
- Population Disparity (34)
- Tanking Perceptions (33)