Araatris: A hue and cry from the Northwest gate interrupts an otherwise drowsy afternoon at the Cenarion Refuge.
Rhoelyn: Startled from her nap, Nysse rolls off the tree branch and whistles for her wolf. She prepares her bow as they run for the gate.
Araatris: She arrives to find a scene of chaos as the Refuge personnel gather around a draenei woman on a panicky horse, another figure (c)
Araatris: (c) draped across the saddle in front of her. All three are beaten and bloody, and a collared wolf limps at their side.
Rhoelyn: Nysse slings her bow over her shoulder and shifts closer to get a better look. She nudges someone nearby, “What’s going on?”
Araatris: As the sentinel opens her mouth to reply, the draenei shouts hoarsely, “Why is no one moving?! I SAID they need help IMMEDIATELY!”
Rhoelyn: She shoves through the last bit of the crowd. “I’m no priest, but I have skills with tending wounds.” Nysse stands next to the (c)
Rhoelyn: draenei’s horse to help lower the second figure. She calls out, “I need water, clean rags, bandages and ointments! NOW!”
Araatris: The woman, a priest from her garb, slides her hulking charge to Nysse, casting one last Renew against his wounds despite (c)
Araatris: (c)her exhaustion. Nysse finds herself struggling under the weight of Valerio’s unconscious form. “The others are still out there!”
Rhoelyn: Cushions Valerio’s body against her own and lowers himself to the ground as gently as she can. “Others?” Nysse’s eyes widen. (c)
Rhoelyn: “Rhese!” Nysse forces herself to looks over Valerio and the wolf. She speaks to the crowd without stopping. “Go help them!”
Araatris: Responding to the orders of one of their own, a sentinel steps up, gathering three others and a pair of druids to accompany her.(c)
Araatris: (c) They mount up and ride off, following the tense, yet controlled priest into the wilds of the Zangarmarsh.
Rhoelyn: Nysse begins caring for Valerio’s wounds. She doesn’t realize how upset she is until a tear hits her hand. She speaks to (c)
Rhoelyn: herself and an unconscious Valerio. “What happened? Is he out there? He was with you…” Nysse speaks softly.
Araatris: Val’s wolf huffs and plops down beside them while Nysse works, peeling off shredded armor to reveal his many gashes and spellburns.
Rhoelyn: Nysse keeps a steady hand as she tends. The larger wounds will require a needle. She winced. She was better at sewing leather.
Araatris: After a while under the combined care of both Nysse and the priest’s lingering magic, Valerio stirs, groaning.
Rhoelyn: Nysse wipes some of the blood from her hands with a rag. She places a hand on Valerio’s shoulder. “Don’t sit up, Valerio.”
Araatris: He opens his eyes, slow to focus through pain and weakness. His voice is raw, his words slurred. “You? I ‘member you… Whr’re we?”
Rhoelyn: “A priestess brought you to Cenarion Refuge. She’s gone back with help for the others.” Nysse offers water to Val. “What happened?”
Araatris: “Ambush,” Val croaks, pausing for a sip of water. “Th’Taken… h’ve gather’d. Hunt’d us.” His eyelids droop. “Wanted th’orbs.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse looks grim. “And Rhese?” She leans forward to hear better. Her muscles are tight with worry.
Araatris: “Dunno.” He rests a hand on his wolf’s withers, trying to gather some strength to sit up. “Gotta g’find ’em. Help.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse gently presses him to lay back down. “You’re in no condition to move.” Nysse frowns. “Already sent a party ahead… I’ll go.”
Araatris: Valerio groans, grudgingly admitting that he won’t be able to stand. “Take Vulfenstein. H’can show y’where.” His wolf wuffs.
Rhoelyn: Nysse pauses, reluctant to leave Valerio without his companion. “Tsume guard.” Her wolf sits next to him. Nysse stands to leave.
Araatris: The other hunter’s pet wufs, hopping to his feet with just a touch of stiffness. He turns and heads away from the Refuge, sniffing.
Rhoelyn: Nysse quickly instructs someone to move Val to a bed before jogging after the wolf. “I’ll follow. Don’t worry. I’ll keep up.”
Araatris: Vulfe leads her north and west, following the clear trail of the outrider party that left with Val’s priest. The swamp tells the(c)
Araatris: (c)tail of a bloody ambush along the way with footprints and bodies left in the mud. She can see where a horse peels free while(c)
Araatris: (c)animal and human tracks fall back along the path toward the mountains. It’s a chaotic mess of melee and magical residue.
Rhoelyn: Nysse looks to see how old the tracks heading off are. “They have a head start. This is going to be a rough run.” She turns (c)
Rhoelyn: her gaze to the wolf. “This is as far as he told you to come. You can go back to Valerio and rest.” She looks back.”I have a hunt.”
Araatris: The wolf wuffs and headbutts her hand as if to say “Good luck”, then lumbers back the way they came, clearly relieved.
Rhoelyn: Nysse bolts along the trail, only pausing to check the tracks occasionally. It’s a brutal pace to try and make up for lost time.
Araatris: After a hard run, she finally sees signs of the outrider party, a guard standing watch outside a cave in the base of the mountains.
Rhoelyn: Nysse slips behind cover and tries to get close enough to listen without being caught. Instinct said it was wiser not to rush in.
Araatris: After a short while, one of the druids comes out of the cave, wiping bloody hands on a bandage. “Still no sign of the last one?”(c)
Araatris: (c) The sentinel shakes her head, her face grim. “Nothing. The swamp has been quiet. If he led them away, they are far from here.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse moves back and walks through the brush to the entrance so they hear her. “What’s been found?” She scans the ground for clues.
Araatris: The sentinel and druid both blink owlishly at her before recovering their surprise. The druid speaks up, “Two survivors, and a (c)
Araatris: (c)third missing. They say their druid took some orbs the attackers were after and led them away. The priest is helping tend them.”
Rhoelyn: “Did they mention the name of the druid or where he might head?” Nysse peers inside the cave, already fearing she knew the answer.
Araatris: “I’m afraid not,” the druid answers. Nysse spies the other druid and the unnamed priest ministering to two prone forms in the cave.
Rhoelyn: Nysse nods to both. “Thank you.” She steps in and gets a closer look at the forms. She turns to the priest. “How are they?”
Araatris: The priest finishes a spell, the Light’s glow fading from around her hands as she turns to Nysse, exhausted. “They will recover.”
Rhoelyn: “Thank you. Do you think one of them might be up to answering a couple of questions?” Nysse kneels by the forms, concerned.
Araatris: The priest frowns, glancing at the Refuge’s druid still tending her friends. “Max is least injured,” she admits, pointing.
Rhoelyn: Nysse nods. “I’ll be brief.” She shifts towards Max. “Max. I just need two questions answered, then you can rest.” (c)
Rhoelyn: “Who’s the Druid who took the orb and where is he heading? I need to go help him.” Nysse speaks softly, but urgently.
Araatris: The human, his eyes aglow with the telltale ice of a death knight, glances from Nysse to the priest. “Who’s the elf, Cal?”
Rhoelyn: “My name Nysse. I’m from Cenarion Refuge.” She looks between them. “Valerio wanted to come, but he’s too injured.” (c)
Rhoelyn: “His wolf led me as far as the ambush site. I told him I’d find you. I believe Rhese was with you?” Worry glances across her face.
Araatris: Max nods, growling. “The fuzzbutt took the orbs and led them off to give us a chance. Sansea was already down, and I wasn’t great.”
Araatris: The priest, Cal, gasps. “He took the orbs? ALL of them?” Max nods grimly. “Yeah. I tried to stop him, but he wasn’t hearing it.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse grumbles, “Sounds like that lovable idiot.” She looks to Max, “If he has all of them I have to hurry. The power of one..” (c)
Rhoelyn: “Which way was he heading?” Nysse stands, her muscles tensed and ready to move.
Araatris: “He took off west, flying along the mountains.” Maxinquay grabs her arm. “Find him fast, girl, and be ready for anything.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse nods. “Thank you. I will. I owe a life debt to him.” Nysse steps away and runs out of the cave to the west.
Araatris: The signs of pursuit are easy to see in the muck, a collection of foot and hoof-prints leading away from the cave. Char marks (c)
Araatris: (c) dot the protruding rock outcroppings that give the nearby Blade’s Edge mountains their name. Each is higher than the next.
Rhoelyn: Nysse follows the tracks, hoping that if they were set on fast pursuit that they wouldn’t cover their tracks. “I’m coming, Rhese.”
Araatris: Eventually, the trail leads from the swamp onto a little-known, dusty pass cutting a steep path up into the Blade’s Edge Mountains.
Rhoelyn: Nysse pants and heaves from the run, but only pauses briefly before continuing up the path. Her nerves were on edge.
Araatris: Near the top, she hears a shout of alarm as a figure, much too small to be a nightelf,comes flying off the mountain and tumbles by.
Rhoelyn: She races the rest of the way to the top, pulling her bow ready as she goes. Even if wasn’t Rhese, something was going on.
Araatris: Rhese roars furiously, his back to a cliff wall as he swipes @ the figures penning him in. It’s 1 against 5; he fights frantically.
Rhoelyn: Nysse quickly assesses the situation before letting loose a warning shot. “Let him be unless you want to answer to US!” She bluffs.
Araatris: Only one of the assailants even reacts to Nysse’s shot. The Tauren, a warrior by the looks of him, turns and charges at her.
Rhoelyn: Nysse fires another arrow, not a warning shot, before throwing herself to the side. She draws her swords as he closes in.
Araatris: He swats her arrow away with his shield, but her dodge slips her away from the rest of the motion, a bash aimed at her head.
Rhoelyn: Nysse stabs forward with her blade, hoping that his forward motion is keeping him busy for a moment. The other blade guards.
Araatris: In some sort of frothing rage, he knocks her thrusting blade aside with a plated gauntlet, bringing his axe around at her neck.
Rhoelyn: Nysse brings her other blade around to parry as she ducks. “Not good. Definitely not good!” She aims a kick at his knee.
Araatris: Her kick connects with a nauseating crunch, and the Tauren falls, his leg at an unfortunate angle. He screams in Taurahe, swinging.
Rhoelyn: Nysse jumps back from the Tauren and looks back to the melee with Rhese. She puts her blades in the ground and fires another shot.
Araatris: She turns back in time to see Rhese catch one of his attackers with a back-paw, knocking her against the cliff. She’s out cold.
Rhoelyn: “Rhese! Come this way!” Nysse calls out. She keeps glancing at the nearby Tauren to make sure he doesn’t get any ideas.
Araatris: As Rhese turns his head toward her shout, one of the last three attackers finishes her demonic mutterings, cursing him with agony.
Rhoelyn: “…RHESE!” Nysse fires several shots in succession at the demonic caster. “Get away from him!” She drops her bow for her swords.
Araatris: Focused completely on Rhese, the caster becomes a pincushion 2 Nysse’s arrows, dropping instantly. Sluggish, the bear swipes again.
Rhoelyn: Nysse charges towards the last two attackers. “Back off!” She attempts to use her body and swords to knock one away from Rhese.
Araatris: She barrels into the blood elf, who turns and meets her swords with a pair of glistening daggers. The paler woman smiles ferally.
Rhoelyn: Nysse attempts to knock one of the daggers from the blood elf’s hand. She brings her blade around at the blood elf’s side.
Araatris: It’s a well-aimed blow, but at the last second the rogue disappears in a puff of shadow & smoke, reappearing instantly behind her.
Rhoelyn: Nysse stumbles forward and tries to twist around to meet the rogue. “You…!!!” She coughs a bit on the residual smoke.
Araatris: The blade is just starting to bite into Nysse’s armor when a ton of bear charges into the bloodelf’s body, sending her flying.
Rhoelyn: Nysse’s eyes quickly roam over the immediate area for threats…. besides the rogue that just got hit with a ton of bear.
Araatris: The last assailant lies in a crumpled heap by the cliff, not far from his similarly unconscious companion. The bear turns on Nysse.
Rhoelyn: “Rhese?” Nysse keeps her guard up, remembering her own encounter with the orb. If he had several she couldn’t take a chance.
Araatris: Growling, he manages a shaky step before collapsing with a thud, the fur sigils that mark him a druid nearly obscured with blood.
Rhoelyn: Nysse drops to the ground next to him and checks him over. “Ahhhh geez! Come on Rhese! We can’t stay here!” Nysse glances around.
Araatris: Rhese huffs, his form folding in on itself until the nightelf replaces the bear. He lifts his head, glassy gaze focusing slowly.
Rhoelyn: Tugging on Rhese’s arm, she pulls it over her shoulder and wraps her arm around him. “I don’t think this is a good place to stay.”
Araatris: Weakly pulling toward one of the fallen, he mutters in Thalassian, “Haf’ … get th’orbs…” He flips open his pack, hands slick.
Rhoelyn: Nysse flinches at the idea of touching them, but helps shift them into his pack. “I’ll help.” Nysse keeps an eye out, unsettled.
Araatris: When all are gathered, he flips his pack closed and leans against her, relieved but still very tense. His eyelids droop alarmingly.
Rhoelyn: “Rhese…Rhese…Stay with me a while longer. Okay? We need to get out of here and then you can rest.” Nysse limps along with him.
Araatris: He fights to hold on, supporting himself as best he can, but his head lolls. He resumes muttering in Darnassian, incomprehensible.
Rhoelyn: Nysse shifts so that she can carry Rhese on her back. It’s awkward, but she manages. She strides from the area at a decent pace.
Araatris: Rhese drifts into silence as they make their way back down the path, attempting to help support himself. She can feel the orbs hum.
Rhoelyn: Nysse tries to ignore the orbs and shifts occasionally to ease her arms. She heads to the cave in hopes the others are still there.
Araatris: Near her ear, Rhese growls low in his throat, trying to pull out of her support. “Wrong… n’that way,” he manages in Darnassian.
Rhoelyn: “There’s healers there.” Nysse pauses with a sigh. “Cenarion Refuge? Valerio’s there.” She stands and waits for Rhese to respond.
Araatris: Shaking his head, he tugs away from her, using a mushroom trunk to support himself. “Nn. Taken… m’team was. Haf’ta keep away.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse keeps supports Rhese slightly. “Taken.. Are you sure it’s not THOSE talking? Where do you want to go?” She sounds frustrated.
Araatris: “To Netherstorm. To the Void.” He says, speaking clearly. But then he grimaces, shaking his head. “No! Az’roth. Pieces’re escaping”
Rhoelyn: Nysse hesitates, “I’ll carry the orbs for now. You focus on getting your brain in order.” Nysse frowns and reaches to take the bag.
Araatris: Slow to react, his swat doesn’t deter her from grabbing his pack, but he grabs it as well, unable to just let her take it.
Rhoelyn: Nysse grimaces as she yanks it from his grasp. “I can already tell won’t be fun.” She grits her teeth at the hum. “Wake up, Rhese.”
Araatris: “Nysse…” He leans his head back against the mushroom trunk, pulling his scattered wits back together. It takes a few minutes.
Rhoelyn: Nysse hugs the pack tightly to her torso. She speaks through clenched teeth, “I’m here, Rhese.” The hum seems to muffle everything.
Araatris: His head finally clear enough to consider healing, he manages a weak spell, enough to at least stand on his own. He assesses Nysse.
Rhoelyn: She wavers slightly as she stands, seeming to fight something to stay where she is. Nysse’s eyes have closed in concentration.
Araatris: Rhese frowns and steps forward, gripping her arms. “I need you to listen. We have to go to Shadowmoon Valley and return them to (c)
Araatris: (c) the Dark Conclave. Use them to shatter the summons.” He shakes her gently. “Do you understand, Nysse?”
Rhoelyn: Opening her unfocused eyes, Nysse nods. “Shadowmoon. Dark Conclave. Shatter.” Her voice weakens slightly. “So loud. So very loud..”
Araatris: He grins slightly. “Well said, lovely. I’ll bear it; you just get us there.” He grabs the pack and yanks it away from her.
Rhoelyn: Nysse stumbles as she’s startled. It takes a minute for her wide eyes to focus on Rhese. “Shadowmoon Valley,” she mutters. (c)
Rhoelyn: Nysse grabs Rhese. “I prefer when those infernal orbs aren’t in the way. I hope you’re for this.” Nysse glances at Rhese concerned.
Araatris: Tensing under the renewed assault, Rhese just takes her hand and mutters, “Go…” His gaze dulls as he withdraws inward.
Rhoelyn: Nysse nods once more and pulls him closely by her as she heads towards Shadowmoon Valley. She goes as fast as Rhese can follow.
Araatris: They travel for the rest of the day, setting a fast pace that begins to flag not long after sunset, as they near the Valley border.
Rhoelyn: Panting, Nysse turns to Rhese and tears the backpack from him and dropping it on the ground next to them. “We have to rest, Rhese.”
Araatris: Nodding, Rhese staggers and plops himself down gracelessly, barely even registering where they are. He looks exhausted, but lucid.
Rhoelyn: Nysse falls to her knees and digs for the few rations she has with shaking hands. She opens the package and pushes it to Rhese.
Araatris: He takes the food & breaks off a piece, handing the rest back to her. As he catches his breath, he quietly asks, “Are you harmed?”
Rhoelyn: “Nothing more than a couple of bruises and missing a couple of meals. I’m fine… just tired.” Nysse takes a bit of the food.
Araatris: He looks relieved. “Thank you,” Rhese mutters, straining forward to put his hand on her arm. “I was nearly lost. So confused.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse looks at Rhese. “I was scared. When I saw Valerio…” She clasps his hand. “I just needed to find you. Very much so.”
Araatris: His brow creases. “Val ‘n the team. Are they safe? ‘t was so bad.”
Rhoelyn: “I tended to Val myself. He’ll recover. So will the others. Max told me where you’d gone.” Nysse finally lets herself lay down.
Araatris: Rhese gives her a tired smile, laying back against a boulder. In the next breath his eyes slip closed, and he drifts off to sleep.
Rhoelyn: Nysse manages a smile. “I’m so glad I found you.” She closes her eyes and falls asleep sprawled out on the ground.
Araatris: A hue and cry from the Northwest gate interrupts an otherwise drowsy afternoon at the Cenarion Refuge.