ast Sunday I was invited to the "ceremony of presentation of the Archemage mantle to Director Acheleus Moonblaze" in the Aegwynn's Gallery in Dalaran. Per usual when magic and Dalaran is involved then I expected a rather dull experience. Sorry, it just not my thing (did I mention The Lion's Roar is hiring reporters with an interest in particular areas of interest?). Anyway, I grabbed my hat and went to Dalaran. It was time to mingle with some important people and try not to look too bored. As I arrived, I was almost turned away, despite having an official invitation then the brute at the door apparently didn't think I belonged, something about doubting the value of the free press attending the ceremony. Hmpf. Luckily, Director Moonblaze himself intervened and I was welcomed inside and headed straight for the snack and drinks table. There were little, tiny sandwiches on sticks and fizzy wine. Sure, there would also be long boring speeches, but hey, little, tiny sandwiches on sticks! I loaded up a plate and grabbed a glass and walked around a bit, playing "spot the celebrity" game which is a great party game to play if you ever find yourself in circles where there is actual celebrities. Alas, I did not know many at the party and while I did recognize a few faces then my insight into the Dalaran social circles is somewhat limited (did I mention The Lion's Roar is hiring reporters with an interest in particular areas of interest?) is not at a level where I can say who is a celebrity and who is not. But I suppose the Director himself is a bit of a guy of note. Anyway, after twenty minutes or so of socializing - which for me mostly consisted of stuffing my face with those deliciously little sandwich snacks - the main event was called to start, and we took our places in the lower room along the edges near the walls. It was time for the ceremony to begin. The ceremony consisted of a series of tests of sorts. Director Moonblaze was given a series of challenges by the esteemed Magus Cassandra Hawk, each representing various fields and techniques of magic. I am at best a dabbler in magic, I sometimes manage to open a portal instead of summoning a slice of bland toast - but I am not convinced these challenges were meant to really challenge the Director. A bit of a show with symbolic challenges more than actual ones. I doubt anyone expected the Director to fail at these tests. The first test was a summoning test. Somehow the Kirin Tor thought it would be a challenge to ask a man they are about to make Arch-mage to summon something.
Magus Cassandra Hawk: For your first trial, let us visit that which is most commonly associated with Arcane magic by those who practice it, as well as those who do not. The idea of creation... Conjuration, the discipline of creating something out of nothing. Director, please do impress us with something. Out of nothing...
With a swirling cloak and fancy gestures (and I reckon at least half of those gestures were for show and not actually part of the spell) the Director passed the test by summoning a fancy hovering table with baked goods and wine. It smelled nice, but while I admit summoned food can sustain the body, then it I argue it does little to sustain the soul. Eat real food people. With that test out of the way Magus Hawk went on to the next one.
Magus Cassandra Hawk: One of the most important disciplines in Arcane magic, is learning to control the flow of power within and around oneself. Without that, we either risk inadequate results or overwhelming consequences. Therefore, let us see how it is done, yes?
The Director solved this one as well, I am a tad unsure about the specifics, but it looked fancy and my hat almost went off of my head, and the Magus moved on to the next test.
Magus Cassandra Hawk: One of the more challenging schools of magic not only demands precise and excellent casting, but also demands a more in-depth understanding of the world and its inhabitants. You see, no matter how well an illusion has been woven, it is only as good as its weakest detail in the situation. An illusion suspected, is an illusion failed after all.
For this test, the Director took on the appearance of a woman in the audience, voice, and all, then duplicated his (now altered) visage. Another perfect performance from the Director.
Magus Cassandra Hawk: I suppose now, we shall tread upon what the Director will consider to be comfortable ground. The school that allows magi to bend the governing laws of the world, rather than adapting to them. Transmutation.
This one was a rather impressive but also very entropic display of his powers. Within mere seconds he accelerated time in a small area about the (still hovering) table of goods and wine summoned earlier. In front of our eyes, we saw millennia of decay and entropy do its work, turning everything (except for the glass bottle with wine) into mere dust. It was honestly a little frightening and a real reminder of just what powerful magic can do - and why it is important it is wielded with respect and care. Despite this display then the Magus insisted on another test of the Directors Transmutation skills.
Magus Cassandra Hawk: For the sake of convincing me entirely, of your mastery of Transmutation that is... I shall ask for another demonstration. However, let us leave time to its natural flow this time. Yes?
For this the Director turned one of the audiences into a cat. There was consent... sort of. I think he forgot to explain exactly what his intention were - and that may explain why the woman... cat... pounced on his feet in a rather aggressive way. The last test was one of divination. The Director had to find the very Kirin Tor brooch which signifies the rank he was to be awarded. This again seemed more of a game than an actual test, and it did not take the Director long to look through an illusion on a heavy book and he retrieved the brooch with a bit of magic.
Magus Cassandra Hawk: You are clearly a wise and powerful individual, Director. Very well done. The Kirin Tor recognizes your knowledge and skill. We deem you eligible for the title of Archmage of Dalaran.
Powerful for sure. But perhaps they should have tested the wisdom part a tad more. Speeches followed, first the Magus praising the Director, Now Arch-mage, and then the Arch-mage himself started on his speech, and this is where things took a turn to the... strange. What followed next can best be described as chaos. Utter chaos. Out of the shadows a large figure appeared, hammer raised for a strike against the Arch-mage's back. Yells of warnings were shouted out, shields and barriers flared up, wands got drawn and wings... revealed. Yes... wings. Some of the Director's aides escorted civilians out of the room as the fighting broke out. They tried getting me out as well, which makes sense, but alas, my job is not to run away from danger - but to stick around and report on it. So, I did. The fighting lasted over an hour, the lone assailant was joined by more, six or seven of them at one point, fighting the defenders who were composed of skilled mages, elite blademasters, Illidari with enhanced abilities and worgen's controlling their changed forms. Magic flew left and right, from and to, bolts of astral power, fire, shields, barriers, blood magic and charms. The fight had so much magic Id be surprised if there was not some sort of long-lasting effect in the room after it. Oh, and also a dragonsworn - luckily on the defender’s side. After the attackers had been subdued or killed, I decided it was time to exit before someone decided the free press attending the ceremony was a shit idea after all. Oh, and there were also no snack sandwiches left. By sheer coincidence it turned out that was the table I hid under and watching a fight like that fuels a real snack craving! If all ceremonies in Dalaran ends like that, I might attend a few more - after I buy some magical protection jewellery. And if there was any dragons present - and I am not saying there was - but if there was.. please don't eat me.