Jaina looked at her father in shock. Her mother’s face looked much the same, filled with shock and anger. “Father, I- whatever I’ve done, surely I can make up for it somehow.” Daelin’s stern face didn’t change. He regarded her with an air of formality that had never been present in the Proudmoore home. She felt as though she were a trade partner rather than his daughter. She shrank beneath his gaze as she continued, weakly, “Will you at least tell me what I have done, then? What made you think the best course of action was sending me to work at Tol Barad?”
Daelin’s face was impassive, his voice hollow as he spoke, “Perhaps you will learn what criminals look like, considering your… dealings with the orcs. Don’t think I haven’t noticed. Your contact with Thrall is neither subtle nor is it a well-kept secret. I will not have my daughter befriend those mongrels. You will go to Tol Barad, and you will learn the dangers of creatures such as orcs.”
Katherine looked at her husband, lips pursed, but stayed silent on the matter. Jaina’s pleading eyes met hers, and her mother quickly looked away. Her face was one of shame, for her own silence or Jaina’s fate, it was unclear. Jaina huffed angrily and looked back at her father, “What about Dalaran? My training?”
“The mages of Tol Barad will continue your studies. This is not a discussion, Jaina. My mind is made up.” The finality was clear in his tone, and Jaina knew it was a losing battle. Instead of fighting him further on the matter, she simply stood up and walked away. This would be their last interaction until her departure, she decided. She had no desire to reconcile with either of her parents before leaving, if they wanted her gone, she would be gone.
It was petty, Jaina knew, but she couldn’t bring herself to care. They were sending her to one of the most dangerous places on Azeroth. Tol Barad. All because she had befriended a few orcs? Were they so against peace they would rather send her to work at a prison than socialize with members of the Horde? It wasn’t like the Alliance was innocent in everything they did. Arthas. The Scourge, the Alliance hadn’t wanted to unite to take the threat down. Every nation lost so much to the Scourge, but no one had wanted to believe it was true. They didn’t even try to believe it.
The internment camps, the wrongful imprisonment of so many orcs. So no, the Alliance wasn’t innocent. And yet they acted as though they were a divine force. Anyone who opposed them was made out to be a villain. Her mind drifted to Moira Thaurassian. She was deemed a traitor by the Bronzebeard clan, after inheriting the Dark Iron Throne. If they had been open to discussion, Jaina was sure that Moira would have attempted peace negotiations.
So many lives were lost, due to the close-mindedness of so many leaders. Her father was one of them. Jaina let it sink in that the man who had loved her so much threw her away as soon as her opinions began to differ. Did this mean he would leave the Admiralty to Tandred?
She shook her head. It didn’t matter, now. She began to pack her things, warm robes, books, parchment, quills. She wondered if her parents had informed Antonidas yet. Judging by the fact that Antonidas was not here yelling at her father she assumed that no, he had not been told. She assumed he would continue not knowing until she was already at the island prison.
She had to admit her curiosity. The mages of Baradin Hold were incredibly secretive. She wondered how her father had managed to get her, who hadn’t even completed training, a position there. Not even the Kirin Tor knew the extent of who, or what, was kept there. All anyone knew, was they had demons imprisoned there. There was speculation of other things, dangerous criminals consisting of all races, who were too dangerous to be kept in any other prison.
Jaina shuddered. Her curiosity was piqued, yes, but the things at Baradin Hold were dangerous. And not even knowing everything that made it dangerous filled her with anxiety.
She was shaken from her thoughts by a knock at the door. She was tempted to leave it unanswered. She was going to leave it unanswered before she heard Tandred’s voice, “Jaina?” She sighed and got up to open the door for her brother. She wondered if he had known about her father’s plan to send her to Tol Barad. Surely he would have warned her if he had, right?
His face was solemn, his eyes were watery as he attempted to give her his best smile. “I just heard the news. Tol Barad? What is he thinking?” So he hadn’t known. It was comforting to know that at least her brother hadn’t turned on her. “Is it true? That you made friends with an orc? That you wanted peace with them? He says he’s sending you there to teach you a lesson.”
“Yes, it’s true. We were talking about peace between the Horde and the Alliance. Perhaps even building a nation where members of both factions would be welcome.”
“Wh- Jaina. The orcs aren’t capable of peace, you have to know that.” Tandred’s face was shocked, betrayed, much like hers had been as her father told her about Tol Barad. Jaina fought the rising ire at his words and forced herself to breathe.
“Perhaps everyone believes that because we’ve never tried to make peace. Why is everyone so eager to be at war for the rest of time? The least we could all do is find a way to coexist!”
Jaina watched as Tandred’s eyes burned with anger, “Perhaps father was right. I think you do need to learn a lesson in what dangerous creatures look like.” Silent tears ran down her face as she watched her brother storm out without another word. As the door slammed, she felt as though her family was broken beyond repair.
Jaina didn’t go to dinner that evening. Nor did she greet her parents as they watched her board the boat that would lead her to Tol Barad the next morning. She avoided the crew and spent most of her time below deck, as she awaited her fate. Despite not being a prisoner, she felt trapped, there was no escaping the island. If she ran, her father would never stop looking, and probably start a war with Thrall, even if she was nowhere near him.
This was the only option. In a week, she would arrive on the island, and her fate would be sealed. She sighed and began to wonder what to expect. It was partially Kul Tiran territory, so maybe it wouldn’t be so different than what she was used to. The nation of Tol Barad wasn’t what worried her, it was Baradin Hold.
What were the mages so eager to keep secret? It was unlikely she would be told anything right away. She wondered, then, what exactly her role at the prison would be. Perhaps a custodial role? Cleaning the barracks, providing some upkeep to buildings? It wouldn’t be glamorous, that much was clear. Her eagerness to train was dulled, with the implication that Antonidas would no longer be her teacher.
They couldn’t bring him here, due to security, and they most likely wouldn’t allow portal magic on the island. She wouldn’t be able to travel to Dalaran. How long was she to stay? Weeks? Months? Tides, she was dreading this.
They were greeted by armed guards as The Revenge docked at Wellson Shipyard. Jaina was greeted formally and led to Farson Hold. “The Warden’ll meet you ‘ere.” The guard captain had a thick Kul Tiran accent. “He don’t leave the prison much these days. Says there ain’t no need to. I think he’s worried if he leaves that damned prison, everything’ll go to hell. Who knows really. I ain’t got a damn clue what they do over there. We aren’t even allowed to go near it.” Jaina tried to remain calm as it sank in that not even the citizens of Tol Barad knew anything about Baradin Hold.
She tried not to panic. She sat stiffly in a chair as she awaited the Warden’s arrival. What had her father gotten her into? She clasped her hands together in a poor attempt to hide her shaking. She stood as the Warden walked through the door and gave her a strained smile. The man was tall, his eyes were tired, and he looked dead on his feet. His smile didn’t quite reach his eyes, and he seemed strict.
“Jaina, I presume?” At her nod, he continued, “I’m Warden Silva. Welcome to Tol Barad. I fought with your father in the Second War. He was a good commander, an even better man.”
She felt anger, at the thought of her father, but pushed the feeling down as she shook the Warden’s hand, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Warden.” So that’s how Daelin got her in. How convenient that he knew the warden of the world’s most dangerous prison. She suppressed a sigh. There was no changing what had been done, the sooner she accepted that, the sooner she could at least attempt to find something to enjoy on this island.
“Please, call me Silva.” He switched into a more formal tone before continuing, “You won’t be allowed into any cell blocks, nor will you be privy to anything or anyone being held within the prison. As your training progresses, as will your place within the prison staff. When your teacher deems you ready, we will begin to allow you in the prison proper. Until then, you are not to go anywhere unless given approval. Understood?”
Jaina nodded, not having the energy to argue back. She was doing everything she could to not start sobbing. She wanted to go home or back to Dalaran. She just wanted to never think of this place again. The limits to her freedom. It was unlike anything she had experienced before, even after she was no longer allowed to visit Drustvar without an escort. She had never needed permission to go places. The lack of free reign was already stifling, despite her not even visiting Baradin Hold yet. She understood the reason, but it didn’t make it easier. It made it harder, if anything, as her curiosity about the prison kept growing.
Silva nodded, “Good. Your main priority will be your training. We’ve been understaffed, and want you to be ready as soon as possible. Artan will be your trainer, and he’s been given clearance to train you near and around The Hole, so you can have an understanding of what will be expected of you in the future. You will stay in the barracks, with the other staff. We look forward to having you here, Jaina. You’ll stay here tonight, and tomorrow you will be introduced to Artan and begin your training.”
She watched him walk out of the room, ordering the Guard Captain to show her to her room. As he left her alone, he gave her a reassuring smile.
Farson Hold was huge, and she wondered where Lord Farson himself was, or if he even knew she was here. He had to know, and she wondered why he hadn’t greeted her when she arrived. He was probably just busy, she told herself, nothing to concern herself about.
The Guard Captain showed her to her room, and as he closed the door he said, “Good luck.” She huffed. Jaina didn’t know how to feel. It was a lot to take in, The Hole? What in the Tides name was that? She would just be training for now? No grunt work? She was confused, tired, angry, sad. She was already upset she had to be here, and now she was learning there were even more rules she had to follow than she had expected. It was too much.
As the reality of her punishment began to really sink in, she turned toward her pillow and cried herself to sleep.