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Qabian

[WW-June2018] Symposium

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((I enjoy curse words and Qabian doesn't deal well with mild disgruntlement. I'm not sure I really understood the prompt, but I decided to wing it anyway.))

"Are coming?"

Qabian laughed out loud at the thick accent and broken grammar of the Thalassian words behind him.

"You need more practice," he said with a smirk as he turned around.

"I am try." The dwarf waggled her eyebrows at him.

Qabian rolled his eyes. "No. Not if you were the last living thing on this planet. As amusing as it is that Moira's machinations have managed to get a handful of dwarves into the Kirin Tor, I'd still rather see you all dead."

She squinted at him, then switched to Common. "All I got out of that was 'No' and 'Kirin Tor,'" she said.

Qabian shrugged, also code switching. "Close enough."

"So are ye comin' then?"

He sighed. "I assume you're talking about the symposium?"

"Aye."

"I doubt it. The Kirin Tor has become a useless crowd of pedants without inspiration. Why would I want to listen to them talk?" Qabian asked, glancing upward in exasperation.

"Because the subject is azerite," the dwarf said with a grin.

Qabian raised a brow, his curiosity piqued and his arrogance bruised that the she-dwarf was correct about something he would find interesting. "Fine. I'll go."

"See ya there, then," she said with a cheerful wave as she bounced away.

---

Qabian sat at the back of the room, manspreading across three chairs. The panel was decently attended, but given the enthusiasm of the average Kirin Tor member who bothered to show up at academic discussions, they were all clustered around the front to better hear and ask questions.

The subject should have been interesting. Whether they talked about the specific nature of azerite itself, or the political ramifications of its use, or even the many quirks around its revelation at all, Qabian had assumed that there was no way they could fuck up the interesting factor.

He was wrong.

Instead, they were discussing the need for empathy for the world soul without a dissenting voice among them. Empathy? Is that what the Kirin Tor had been reduced to? Weren't there other people whose job it was to discuss empathy? Druids? Shamans? Mages were supposed to get into details and design, maybe an occasional ethical more here and there, but empathy? Qabian cursed internally about getting tricked into attendance and swore to himself if he heard the phrase 'the world is crying out in pain' one more time--

No sooner did he have the thought than one of the panelists mentioned how the world was crying out in pain. Qabian slumped back against his thre chairs and groaned out loud. He groaned loud enough that the entire panel turned their attention to him. The dwarf who had reminded him of the event giggled from her place at the front of the room.

The moderator cleared her throat and got the discussion back on track, leaving Qabian muttering to himself at the back of the room like a lunatic.

There were more frustrating things about the event than simply managing to be impossibly boring. The panelists were two humans and a dragon, with a card carrying Covenant moderator. That was what the Kirin Tor had been reduced to in Qabian's absence after Jaina's little rampage. There were a few other sets of fel green eyes in the room, but that was all Aethas' wheedling had managed for any of them -- a tiny minority in a sea of enemies and traitors. 

There was a time in Qabian's recollection when panels were being forced to bring on token humans simply because elves occupied most of the places of expertise within the organization. There were always plenty of humans around, yes, but human experts? No. Khadgar's convenient Guardian-adjacent background had only made the human proliferation in the ranks worse over the past few years. No wonder they'd reduced the symposia to pleas for skipping and hand-holding with the planet.

When another panelist mentioned the world crying out in pain again, Qabian swept a handful of papers on the chair next to him to the floor with a flutter and stood up, shouting, "This is bullshit! How could you fuck this up? There are infinite ways to make this interesting and you keep yammering on about the planet's pain?! Who gives a shit about the planet's pain? Shouldn't you be discussing the effects on the ley network, or embedded runic energy, or possible routes of action the factions might take? Or anything of some sun forsaken actual consequence? For fuck's sake! The planet's pain? Really? What kind of sorry excuses for mages are you?" He reached back and threw one of his chairs to the floor, then stormed from the room, slamming the door behind him.

Qabian leaned up against the wall in the hallway, running his hands through his hair. He could hear the muted discussion continuing as though there hadn't been any outburst at all. A few moments later, the dwarf from earlier emerged quietly from the conference room and approached him.

Qabian glared at her. "Do not start with me," he said.

She shrugged. "Just wanted te say I'm sorry. I was a li'l surprised at the direction as well."

"Don't you dare fucking apologize to me. Fucking dwarves," he muttered and stalked off down the hall.

She shifted the book she was holding from one arm to the other as she watched him leave, then shrugged and returned to the room.

Edited by Qabian

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