I am done. Sunset Shimmer practically seethed with indignation as she picked up the backpack that had been prepared by the Princess for her departure, though of course not the departure that Sunset had in mind. In fact, ever since Sunset had been denied access to the mirror, she had spent a considerable amount of time digging through the library's public and restricted sections.
What she had found had fascinated her to no end. While Celestia had said that the mirror was a relic that would show her true potential, the notes had revealed that it was so much more, namely a portal to other worlds. The statement had seemed far-fetched at the time, and while Sunset had been curious to see if they were true, she had never been able to pick up the courage to actually test the validity of the other statements.
That was then, and now? She had been ousted by the Princess, who most probably had no intention of ever asking her back. All the resources that had previously been at her beck and call were effectively cut off. With no family to begin with, and no home to return to now, Sunset Shimmer had nothing left to lose.
She now stood before the object of her interest. An otherwise unremarkable oval shaped mirror who had revealed to her, Sunset Shimmer, a most remarkable fate. For it could not be anything but so, of that she was certain. For it had been her destiny to stand with, or against, Celestia as her equal. It must be.
It cannot be anything but so…
Shaking her head to clear it of such troubling thoughts, Sunset looked at the mirror once more. Fortune seemed to be smiling upon her, as it seemed to be active. The notes she had happened upon had hinted that the portal would only be open at certain lunar phases.
It almost seemed as though fate was on her side after all, despite Princess Celestia’s best efforts.
Tearing her eyes from the crystal mirror, Sunset looked back at the closed doors at the far side of the room. She took a moment to recall all that had happened, all the lies that were told to hinder her, all the times she was told that she was destined for greatness and subsequently denied it by the one who foretold it.Truth be told, she should have seen this happening, after all there were signs that Celestia had intentions of ousting her. It began with the adoption of Cadance, then the subsequent time spent with the ascended pegasus instead of helping her with her studies. Not long after, the lessons became little more than research and self-study sessions. At the very least, she now knows better thanks to the painful lessons imparted to her on this very day.
“One day,” Sunset whispered, “I will return one day. Then I’ll make you see that I am every bit as worthy as that pegasus.”
Turning back to the mirror, she steeled her nerves and reached out with a hoof towards its surface. As expected, her hoof hardly felt any resistance as it plunged into the mirror, sending ripples throughout its surface.
“Fascinating.” Sunset Shimmer licked her lips hungrily, she could almost smile the wealth of knowledge on the other side, beckoning her forth, daring her to come claim them. Unfortunately her reverie was broken when she heard the shouting from beyond the door.
“Huh, took them long enough.” Sunset muttered. While the royal guard was quite inefficient in a multitude of ways, at the very least they were good at finding things like a hound would. Unfortunately for Sunset, this meant they probably discovered her escorts that she had knocked unconscious some twenty minutes ago.
They would find her in seconds, and the last thing she needed was Celestia on her case.
Taking a deep breath, Sunset stepped forward and prepared to dive forward into the mirror. That was before she felt more than heard an explosive surge of magic in the distance. Turning around, she reached out with her magic, only to gasp in shock as she realized that a rainbow-coloured shockwave was bearing down on her.
There was no time to manage a teleport spell, and Sunset flinched as the shockwave passed her by, causing her to fall backwards.
Into the mirror.
If pressed to recall what happened, all that Sunset Shimmer would share was that she heard the sound of shattering glass that transitioned to the excruciating pain she felt when something extremely hard smash into her face before she lost consciousness.
It had been a good day. So good that Antonidas, Archmage of Dalaran, leader of the Kirin Tor allowed himself a small smile. Rare was the occasion when the Master of Dalaran would leave his city to answer the request of city guards to deal with a rogue wizard, in fact, some may even say that such a task would be beneath his notice. However, the reason that Antonidas personally came was in fact, to inaugurate his apprentice into the next phase of her studies.
Jaina Proudmoore, youngest member of the royal family of Kul Tiras, was especially gifted for her age. In fact, her talent has blossomed even greater under his own tutelage. Unfortunately, while he was loathed to send the daughter of the good Admiral Proudmoore out for fieldwork, favouritism can only go so far.
Luckily for him, Jaina had been most eager for the task ahead. In fact, Out of all the court ladies he had seen, Antonidas would even say she was the most ‘hands on’ among them all, probably a trait she inherited from her father.
In fact, now that the task was over and done with, he was wondering if he should even be worried. Under his supervision, Jaina had easily incapacitated the rogue wizard, who had unfortunately perished from losing control of his own spell.
The child had been in shock over watching the wizard reducing himself to cinders, but had otherwise recovered quickly. Antonidas has initially been concerned by how well the girl had adapted, but dismissed it quickly.
After all, it would be for the best that she learned that death and destruction were still perils within the world.
Of course, now that the subject of the request has been dealt with, it falls to the Archmage and his apprentice to handle the ‘cleanup’ before they could call the guards in.
‘Cleanup’ being the confiscation of all objects that were either too dangerous or valuable to leave in the hands of mundane minds.
Standing over the now deceased wizard's desk, Antonidas flipped through the notes that were left, not above using the sleeve of his violet robe to clear the dust that had gathered on some of the papers.
While the wizard himself had been most unremarkable in the duel against his apprentice, Archmage Antonidas was forced to concede that he was quite fascinated by the research documented within the papers.
“Yes Jaina?” Antonidas replied, eyes not leaving the papers in which multiple formulas and theories were hastily scribbled on.
“I have searched the upper floors as you have told me, there is nothing that should endanger the guards left up there.”
“Thank you, my child.” Antonidas replies. “Now, I would like you to find a container to put these into.”
“Excuse me, but are those?”
“What our deceased culprit had been investigating, yes.” Turning around, Antonidas faced his young apprentice.
“He has been researching magic of a most complex, and dangerous kind. Portals.”
He could see the disappointment clearly in the emerald eyes of his apprentice. In fact, he would not even berate her for showing it so clearly. Portals were already a common subject of study in Dalaran. In fact, one might even say that it would be humiliating for a mage to not at least know the theory behind the matrix behind such magical constructs.
However, within the documents on the table was the culmination of a research into a far more dangerous subset of that study.
“The notes here are not what you think they are, Jaina. And I would ask that you do not look at them until I give you leave. Understood?”
Jaina straightened and nodded, clearly knowing a test when she hears one. In fact, that was one of the most endearing part of his apprentice. Despite being barely a teenager, she was capable of mature and sensible thinking. Much unlike his other colleagues.
“Good,” Antonidas smiled, “now, about tha-“
A slight tingling sensation upon his neck was all the warning he had before the room that they were in shook violently. Reacting quickly, Antonidas grabbed his apprentice’s arm with one hand while the other traced a multitude of sigils in the rumbling air.
And not a moment too soon. A giant wave of arcane energy suddenly burst forth from underneath them, splintering the wooden floor and walls alike and causing window panes to break apart in a multitude of shards. It was a great amount of magic, except that it was wild and unfocused, as such, it washed over harmlessly over the sphere of arcane magic that Antonidas has conjured up over himself and Jaina.
And as suddenly as it had began, the magical surge ended, with the ruined furnishing of the house the only reminder of its passing.
“It appears you missed something.” Antonidas remarked as he dispelled the shield. Closing his eyes, Antonidas cast a seeking spell, letting his mind’s eye sweep over the entire structure of the house for the source. It was not long before he found it lying past a faint but still fairly obvious outline in the floor of what had once been the living room.
“Ah, a hidden door.” Antonidas opened his eyes and faced his shamefaced apprentice, “you will not be reprimanded for missing it. It was well-hidden, but not well-warded. Come.”
Striding our of the room, Antonidas expertly weaved himself through the ruined hallway, taking care not to catch his robes or cloak on any of the destroyed wooden fooorboards. The moment he entered the living room, he gestured sharply, and the previously hidden trapdoor swung open in a cloud of dust and splinters.
Waving his apprentice over, Antonidas carefully descended down the flight of stairs that had been revealed, a seeking spell active in case of any further unpleasantries that the late wizard had left behind.
It turns out that his worries were unwarranted however, as his descent down into what appears to be a basement was largely unobstructed, save for an iron door with no less than three locks to now bar his way.
Letting his magic senses wash over the door only to turn up with the lack of defenders, Antonidas chuckled ruefully before reaching out and clenching his fist. In correspondence with his spell, the three locks crumpled upon themselves and fell to the ground as the door slowly swung over.
The room behind the door was otherwise unremarkable. A broken mirror hung from the far wall, a broken shelf of what seemed to be ruined books, a table of smashed flasks, and what seemed to be a naked human girl upon the floor among what appears to be broken glass...
Eyes widening in alarm, Archmage Antonidas strode forward, waving a hand to telekinetically push the debris away from his path. Ignoring the gasp of alarm that no doubt came from Jaina behind him, the Archmage took off his cloak to cover the modesty of the flame-haired girl before he regarded her. She looked younger than Jaina, and was covered in cuts and had a particularly nasty bruise on her face, but they were nothing that the healers could not deal with. What was more alarming however, was the fact the unbridled power that he could sense within her.
Other mages would wonder what they would have to do in such a scenario. However, Antonidas was the leader of the Kirin Tor, and the answer was clear as day to him.
Kneeling down, he carefully wrapped the girl in his cloak before picking her up. Turning around, he came face to face with the concerned face of Jaina Proudmoore.
“Collect the documents left upstairs and then tell the captain of the guard to meet me in the living room.” Antonidas instructed curtly as he walked past her in the direction of the stairs.
Jaina nodded, immediately understanding the severity of the situation from her master’s tone. Turning around, she scampered up the flight of stairs, leaving Antonidas alone with his unexpected charge.
Gazing down at the unconscious girl he now held in his arms, Antonidas shook his head.
“And it was such a fine day…”