recently sat down with Archmage Acheleus Moonblaze, a Dalaran official and a very very old Kaldorei. The reason was two fold, I wanted his opinion on an article I am doing regarding the persistent rumours that there is a special place some souls end up upon their demise. "The Contour Worlds". Anyway, that is not what this article is about, it is however about the second reason I wanted to talk to the man who is like a walking library, with neither index, nor librarian to help you navigate the vast amount of information stored on the dusty shelves. A few weeks back a man named Geoff Brassblum was involved in a very unfortunate portal accident. He entered a portal in the portal room in Boralus and exited in Stormwind's ditto. Unfortunately, upon his exit he was no longer looking like himself, but instead his visage was that of a man mixed with a gigantic mosquito. The features of insect and man fused together in one big mess. How he was even alive at that point was nothing short of a miracle. Rumours of Portal Related Accidents (PRAs) are not new. From chefs claiming meat transported through portals ruins the structure of the meat, to people ending up as cojoined twins, to plain old explosions (and their sister, implosions), the stories are many, and honestly, I was pretty sure most, if not all of them were invented by people with a distrust of mages and magic. But the story about Mister Brassblum included witness statements of a dozen people, some of them including experienced mages on duty in the two portal rooms, medical reports and an insistent buzzing left in the portal room in Stormwind for 4 hours. In other words, it was something I could not just readily dismiss as another wild story. It was time to investigate this phenomena. And this leads us back to why I was sitting in a far too small chair in Archmage Moonblaze's office in Dalaran equipped with a mug of black coffee. When it comes to teleportation magic, and magic in general, few are as knowledgeable as Archmage Moonblaze, and while I question how tight a ship he runs after seeing two of his senior students covered in feathers as we entered the office, then at least the coffee was good, and I had high hopes for some insightful answers. I should have known better.

And so it starts

H. Lester: Lets start with the mosquito sized man. According to my sources then a man went through a portal in Boralus, and upon exiting in Stormwind, he was looking like a mix of a man and a mosquito. Are portals safe? Archmage Moonblaze: Mmmmmh. Well, you know, telemancy is more art than science in many ways. We're still not exactly sure -why- polymorphed organisms tend to spontaneously explode if they cross a portal. No, portals are absolutely not safe, which is why... "The Telemancy Rules & Regulations. To avoid explosions, genes being mixed up in eldritch horrors and soul-sucking portals." Here the Archmage underlined his words and the title of the book by slamming a large tome on to the table between us. Fortunately, I had just picked up my mug to take a sip of my coffee, and no beverage was spilled. H. Lester: This is the first I hear of this book, can you elaborate? Archmage Moonblaze: Why, of course. It was more or less written and established after a series of -regrettable- incidents such as the one you just described. You know, people getting mixed up with all sorts of animals, missing limbs and appendages, planets exploding, the usual shtick. I expected some dangers connected to portals and telemancy, but exploding planets?! H. Lester: Planets can explode due to portals? Archmage Moonblaze: Well, Outland certainly did. The Dark Portal weakened it, the Spell of Conjuration, that was meant to open a series of dimensional gateways, finished it. This tome thus explains that to legally make a portal by Dalaran law, you need to be issued a D-6 license by the magocracy. Can you believe they used to execute people for failing to present a D-6 license upon being checked for it? Difficult times, mister Hardhy, I tell you. H. Lester: Right.. but so many mages are... never instructed in this, that must be a huge problem then? I never heard of this and I can summon the odd portal... most of the time anyway. Archmage Moonblaze: It is a huge problem, you are perfectly right. If we ever blow up, you will know why. Bob the random human decided he preferred to tear through the fabric of reality rather than take a sanctioned portal or walk. And now we're all mortified clumps of ashes drifting through the skies. But eh. Maybe we'll end up like the ethereals. H. Lester: That... sounds pretty bad. How ehm, but about this man, you saying it happened because a mosquito got into the portal at the same time as him? Archmage Moonblaze: It's plausible. We've had cases of fly-people and centipedes-people, I suppose a mosquito-man is not the weirdest thing on the list. That portal must have been tragically miscalibrated. H. Lester: You make it sound like mages with the skills to open portals are almost a ticking bomb just waiting to go off, how come the public does not hear about more incidents like these? Archmage Moonblaze: Because, fortunately for all of us, skilled telemancers are rare and few are capable of unleashing chaos on such a scale on purpose. Aaaaaand also maybe because the Kirin Tor arrests people like them all the time. H. Lester: Is there anyway one can notice if a portal is... miscalibrated? before stepping through one? to avoid ending up like.. half insect, half man Archmage Moonblaze: Absolutely. If it wobbles, fizzles, and coughs out things like pebbles, clumps of grass and mysterious severed limbs, you probably shouldn't cross it. But you can also check a portal's integrity with a quick divination spell to take a glance on the other side. H. Lester: And if you end up like a giant man-like-fly or ant - is there a way to reverse it? Archmage Moonblaze: Find a good alchemist or an even better transmuter, pray and be resigned to eventually have to learn to fly or carry eggs to your queen. It's called living with the consequences of your own actions, and it's dreadful. That is if nothing else a bit of advice for all walks of life. Actions has consequences, and sometimes those consequences suck big time. That said, it feels wrong to blame the person who might not even be magically trained for not checking a portal before stepping through it. Mages, fix this so normal people don't have to turn into bugs.

Portal terrorism and hazing

H. Lester: It all sounds very dangerous, any cases of portal terrorism you know of? Archmage Moonblaze: I do, actually. A petty Sin'dorei academic once flooded this very office with sewage wastes just to spite m...- Oh, but you probably meant terrorism on a grander scale. Erm. Yes. Warlocks and Legion-aligned sorcerers have a knack for it. You can open a portal to, say, Rancora, and swarm someone with a tsunami of demonic spiders, for instance. It's more common than one would think. Since our talk about portals was coming to an end, I decided to throw in one last question, based on some rumours I had heard regarding mage students. H. Lester: I heard there is a hazing ritual for new students at the Kirin Tor, something about opening portals over the crater left behind where Dalaran originally was? Any truth to that? Archmage Moonblaze: Oh, dear, this again. It's a totally unsanctioned custom and is FIRMLY condemned by actual mages, but, yes, students do have the nasty habit to chug down a goblin-rum and telemantically dive-bomb into the crater. Which is a terrible idea because, one, gravity, two, the ruins are littered with pulsaurons whose sole purpose in existence is to suck the mana out of you. Don't do this, kids. I have no idea what a pulsauron is but sounds uncool. That also ended our talk about portals. For the other part of my talk with the Archmage, you will have to wait a bit longer as research into the "The Silhouette Continents" is still ongoing.