**Rhoelyn:** “Why is he here?” Nysse frowns. Relare sighs and grins ruefully. “It was the deal for the port.” “That doesn’t explain why he wanted to come.”
**Araatris:** The blood elven paladin also looks over at his brother, Leothir busy speaking with Sarren. “He knows how it will shatter you both to lose Rhese.”
**Rhoelyn:** Watching him sober, Nysse tugs at her armor. “Did you tell him that I was pregnant? I don’t mind if you did. I’d rather he knew if he’s coming.”
**Araatris:** Relare looks at his night elven ‘sister’, shaking his head. “That’s not my news to hand out, Nysse. If you want him to know, you should tell him.”
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress’ shoulders slump. “Of course.” She offers him a little smile and strides to the other two. “Leothir, may I borrow you a moment?”
**Araatris:** The well-dressed mage blinks at her, brushing a strand from his golden ponytail back behind his ear. “Well, of course. If you’ll excuse me, Sarren.”
**Rhoelyn:** “Sorry, an’da. I’ll return him in a moment.” Nysse leads him a short distance away. She fiddles with her new armor. “Leo, I’m…” She hesitates.
**Araatris:** At her hesitation, he raises his brows. “You’re… so very pleased that I’m tagging along?” His smile is teasing and light-hearted. “You’re welcome.”
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse flushes. “I do appreciate that, but… I’m pregnant with twins.” It rushes out. “I’ll have to be extra careful, but I really want to go.”
**Araatris:** Rhoelyn’s mate blinks, his jaw dropping a bit as he processes that one slowly. He opens his mouth and closes it again, staring at her.
**Rhoelyn:** “T-that’s why I asked Relare to come.” When he stays silent, Nysse glances away nervously. “Do… do you still want to come with us?”
**Araatris:** The mage is a little behind. “You’re… pr-… twins?!” Finally, he smiles, large and bright. He’s always reticent to touch her. “Congratulations!”
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress finds it contagious and smiles. She replies softly. “Thank you. It’s early, but Rhoelyn designed my armor to accommodate them.”
**Araatris:** “That would be her first idea, wouldn’t it?” He chuckles. “I approve. It suits you, Nysse. I simply can’t wait to see Rhese’s face when we find him.”
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse giggles. “Maybe we should get to a safe place first.” She reaches out and lightly touches his arm. “Thank you for coming. It means a lot.”
**Araatris:** Leothir glances from where she touches him to Sarren and Relare, his grin warm, “I’ve been taught that family is everything. I’ll always come.”
**Rhoelyn:** Tearing up, Nysse hugs him briefly before stepping back and wiping her eyes. “You’re making me cry… I can’t wait to tell Rhese. I hope he’s-”
**Araatris:** When she cuts off, paling, Leo speaks gently, softly, “We will find him, Nysse, and he’ll be fine. His usual stubborn, pain-in-the-ass self.”
**Rhoelyn:** “I hope so. I’m really worried about him. It’s been weeks now.” She smiles weakly. “Let’s go see if there’s anything else we need to ready.”
**Araatris:** Leo nods and escorts her back over to where Sarren and Relare are milling, talking with one of the soldiers loitering outside the flight landing.
**Rhoelyn:** “Are we ready?” The soldier continues to flip through his paperwork. “Everything seems to be in order, so if you are we can take you down.”
**Araatris:** “Yes,” Nysse says, getting nods from the others. She pats Tsume’s head as the wolf crowds past Nor’ashiel to rub against her leg. “Let’s go.”
**Rhoelyn:** They climb into the small airship, settling the wolves at their feet. The airship lifts up and leaves Dalaran, heading down towards Val’sharah.
**Araatris:** Sarren winces and clings to the metal rail tightly, and Nysse pats his arm. “So, Morthis says that they were scouting near Moonclaw Vale?”
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse nods. “That’s right. There’s been several people there since, but no one has seen him so far. We’ll be looking for clues.” Nora whines.
**Araatris:** Her father soothes her with a few words, but he isn’t quite willing to let go and pat her. Leothir smirks at him. “You’re quite safe, you know.”
**Rhoelyn:** “Who built this?” Sarren asks flatly. Leo chuckles. “Gnomes from what I understand, but I’m used to it. Is this your first time flying?”
**Araatris:** “In something that might just… break? Yes.” His short hair, the same shade as his daughter’s, is stirred by the wind. “I don’t like that squeak.”
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse tucks a stray hair futilely behind her ear. “It’s not that bad. At least there’s no waves up here.” She leans over and rubs Nora’s ears.
**Araatris:** Relare and Leo exchange amused looks. “Like father, like daughter, I guess,” the paladin says with a grin. “Don’t worry. The flight isn’t too long.”
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress grimaces. “I have good reason to be cautious after my shipwreck,” she fusses. She peers at the forest below as they lower.
**Araatris:** Rather than continue to harass them, the brothers lapse into silence. Tsume noses under Leo’s hand, and he idly scritches her ears until they land.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse practically leaps off the ship when her stomach lurches with the sudden drop. “Out of the way!” She dives for the grass, retching.
**Araatris:** While Relare and Sarren wince, Leo looks moderately horrified and quickly busies himself elsewhere. He clambors down and calls the wolves.
**Rhoelyn:** Relare crouches next to her. “Why don’t you have some of your herbs before we head out?” Nysse nods and retrieves them from one of her pouches.
**Araatris:** As the paladin sees to her, Sarren and the wolves range out a little, getting their bearings. Leothir yawns and stretches, testing the air.
**Rhoelyn:** The hunter circles back around. “Moonclaw Vale isn’t far from here. Do you feel up to moving yet?” His daughter nods and stands with Rel’s help.
**Araatris:** Tsume nuzzles up against Nysse’s leg as they head out, Sarren leading the way. The forest is pleasant, less sign here of sickness and corruption.
**Rhoelyn:** Resting her hand on Tsume, Nysse leads the way down the worn path. “There were some satyr and imps in the area, so keep an eye out.”
**Araatris:** The night elves move silently, something they have taken for granted as their less-experienced and city-bred family members do not.
**Rhoelyn:** Relare’s armor clanks with each step. When the wolves’ hackles raise, Nysse holds up her hand for them to stop. She begins to creep forward.
**Araatris:** The brothers pause, watching as she and Sarren split the path, slinking up to and around a pair of trees. Voices chitter from beyond the trunks.
**Rhoelyn:** “The master said to patrol.” Another voice responds, “What master doesn’t know won’t hurt him.” Nysse kneels and peers through the foliage.
**Araatris:** The grey-horned satyr on the left chuckles darkly and runs a taloned hand along his long, elven ears. “What master learns will hurt us, however.”
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse shudders and gazes at his imp companion. “I would rather play with the druids like the others.” “And perhaps we will. After we patrol.”
**Araatris:** Its nasal high-pitched voice switches to some demonic language as the imp responds, perhaps curses, mostly, from its tone. Its tail twitches.
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress backs away and silently steps back towards the others, clutching her bow tightly. She freezes as the satyr says one last thing.
**Araatris:** “… if any of them are left.” His sigh is one of disappointed cruelty, and the imp beside him snickers. “Master isn’t gentle, is he? Nope nope.”
**Rhoelyn:** It takes Nysse a long moment to control her breath and ease her white-knuckled grip on her bow. Distracted, she continues back to her team.
**Araatris:** Sarren meets her as the blood elves look on, his expression all business. He whispers, “Nysse?” “Two… two demons on patrol, an’da.”
**Rhoelyn:** The hunter frowns. “And?” Nysse clenches her fists again. “They’re murdering the druids here. Most of them may already be with Elune.”
**Araatris:** Relare steps forward, brow furrowed. “If Rhese was here-” Leo interrupts, “We need to go free them. He might be among them, and if so…”
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse nods, but reluctantly answers, “We do, but we need to know where. We need to grab one of these two and get some information. Ready?”
**Araatris:** She gets three silent nods and two tense wolves in answer, and the huntress juts her chin forward, bow at the ready. She and Sarren lead.
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress gestures for her father to focus on the imp. Nysse takes careful aim though the brush at the satyr’s leg before releasing it.
**Araatris:** Sarren’s arrow pierces the imp through the gut and pins it quite purposefully to the tree behind it. The satyr cries out and stumbles to his knees.
**Rhoelyn:** Tsume bowls the satyr onto his stomach with a snarl, her claws digging into his back. Nysse steps back, covering her nose and mouth.
**Araatris:** When the corrupted former night elf cries out, again, his hands wreathing with dark magic, Leo steps forward with a careful gesture. “Silence.”
**Rhoelyn:** “Make sure he can’t cast, but we need him to answer questions.” The cloth and her hand muffles Nysse’s voice. Sarren retrieves their rope.
**Araatris:** In short order, the satyr is tied securely and the imp is silent as Nora menaces his ugly little face. Nysse leans against a tree, glaring.
**Rhoelyn:** “You’re going to answer our questions. Where are you keeping the druids?” Nysse snaps, fighting her disgust with the smell of demon blood.
**Araatris:** The foul demon snickers. “We’re not keeping them, mortal. We’re killing them. Their souls feed our engines, denied to your powerless moon.”
**Rhoelyn:** She snarls, very closely mimicking her wolf. “And we’ll kill you, but not before you tell us where you hold them. Now.” Nysse stalks forward.
**Araatris:** “I will tell you, and then you’ll go and end up in a cage beside them.” The smug satyr is humbled when Tsume claws at his back. “Argh!”
**Rhoelyn:** “You may wish to hurry and tell us.” Nysse covers her mouth. Behind her Leo leans over to Sarren and whispers, “Is she always this… vicious?”
**Araatris:** “She’s… motivated, Leothir,” is her father’s answer as the satyr points with his bound hands. “Th-that way. In the hollow under the overhang.”
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse gestures Relare forward. “Kill him.” She turns to the imp. “Should we keep this one?” Leothir shakes his head. “Imps aren’t reliable.”
**Araatris:** “Then-” Sarren interrupts, as if it’s somehow shielding her from viciousness if he’s the one who says it. “We kill them both. Time’s wasting.”
**Rhoelyn:** Relare neatly kills both of them. Then he pauses by Nysse, murmuring and handing her a tiny jar, “Put this under your nose. It should help.”
**Araatris:** The huntress gives him a grateful look, the neutral scent in the jar shielding her nose from the smell of the demons’ blood. She clicks at Tsume.
**Rhoelyn:** The wolf presses up against the huntress’ side. “It’s over there. Stick close and be as quiet as possible.” She circles towards the overhang.
**Araatris:** “Quiet” is a painfully relative term with Relare’s plate chiming as he walks. Nysse grits her teeth and Sarren gestures him back farther.
**Rhoelyn:** Leothir grimaces as the soft earth grips his footwear, but stays silent. She ducks next to a house and out of sight as another patrol nears.
**Araatris:** The demons pass by, oblivious, and Nysse leads them forward, down a small hill that ends in a steep, if short, drop. Down below, more demons mill.
**Rhoelyn:** The mage creeps next to Nysse and Sarren and wiggles the fingers of one hand then points below, questioning. The hunters nod and step back.
**Araatris:** Leothir grins and steps to the edge of the drop off, raising his hands to either side of his head. Symbols wrought of fire coalesce around them.
**Rhoelyn:** Throwing his hands down, flames come crashing down on the demons below them. As heat rushes up, the demons screech, then silence falls.
**Araatris:** Relare steps up beside him with a low whistle, peering down at the charred mess. “You’re a-” With a groan, the ground beneath them gives way.
**Rhoelyn:** They tumble downwards, the ground pushing and shoving at them. Relare blinks, unsure of how much time has passed and peers into the dark.
**Araatris:** “L-hk!” The auburn-haired paladin coughs in the musty, dusty air, dirt stirred up all around him. He tries again. “Leo?” He lifts a glowing hand.
**Rhoelyn:** Someone groans nearby and Rel crawls toward it. The light from his hand catches a long graceful ear. “Leo? Is that you?” He shifts closer.
**Araatris:** “Rel…” The ear shifts as his brother turns toward him, squinting in his light, “… you are a great clod.” He starts coughing, holding his ribs.
**Rhoelyn:** The paladin snorts. “I realize I was too heavy. Now hold still.” He hovers his glowing hand over his brother. “Relare!” Sarren calls from nearby.
**Araatris:** “Here!” The paladin calls back as he concentrates on his sibling’s cracked rib. “Well, get here,” the hunter growls, alarm in his voice.
**Rhoelyn:** The paladin’s head snaps up at the tone. The mage shoves the hand away and gasps, “Nysse,” sending his brother scrambling towards Sarren.
**Araatris:** The night elf sits in a pile of loose soil, his daughter laid across his lap, her forehead and cheek bloody. “She was buried. She’s rasping.”
**Rhoelyn:** The blood elf nods and quickly begins assessing her with golden hands. “Has she been conscious at all? Moving?” Sarren shakes his head. “No.”
**Araatris:** Tsume whines at Relare’s elbow, but he shushes her calmly. “Head wound,” the paladin mumbles, his gaze distant. “Aspirated soil and irritation.”
**Rhoelyn:** Sarren frowns. “What about the chil-” “Let me concentrate.” Relare’s hand hovers over her stomach for a long tense moment. “Bruises and th-”
**Araatris:** Nysse squirms, coughing to interrupt him. “Shh, little star.” Her father brushes dirt from her hair and cheek. “They’re safe,” Relare announces.
**Rhoelyn:** Her eyes flutter in distress as she attempts to take a deep breath and wheezes. Relare murmurs as he works, “You’ll be fine in a moment.”
**Araatris:** Leo shuffles over, limping a bit and flanked by two dirty wolves. He holds a fiery hand up for light, looking at the rough cavern around them.
**Rhoelyn:** “What is this place?” Leothir examines a solid wall. Sarren strokes Nysse’s hair as Relare finishes. “My guess is an abandoned barrow den.”
**Araatris:** The paladin pats her gently and looks at her father. “Let’s let her rest while we figure out how to get out of here.” Leo looks up at his flame.
**Rhoelyn:** The mage extinguishes the light. “Rel, you might want to take care of the light. I’d rather not burn up our air.” The paladin’s hand brightens.
**Araatris:** Straightening, he joins his smaller brother in wandering around the space. “Look, the collapse is thinner over here. I think there’s a tunnel.”
**Rhoelyn:** The mage peers at it more closely. “I can try to open it up if you think it’s safe. I’d rather not cause another collapse.” His brother nods.
**Araatris:** “I think I can brace it if need be.” Leo nods and raises his hand, only for Relare to catch his wrist. “Don’t… go overboard, Leo.” The mage grins.
**Rhoelyn:** “Trust me, Rel.” The paladin releases him with a sigh, “Go ahead.” The elder brother gathers the magic to his hands, pushing it to the wall.
**Araatris:** Showing admirable restraint and forethought, as far as Relare is concerned, Leo presses his hands into the dirt and rock, melting it slowly.
**Rhoelyn:** The paladin whispers, “Good idea doing it that way. Keep working on it.” Leo smiles as Tsume nuzzles Nysse’s cheek worriedly across the cavern.
**Araatris:** Squirming, the huntress shoves at Tsume, mumbling, “S’too early, Tsume. Dun’ wake m-” She pops her eyes open, remembering where they were.
**Rhoelyn:** Her father immediately soothes her. “It’s alright, little star. Just rest for now. You and babies are fine.” Nysse murmurs, “Thank Elune…”
**Araatris:** “What happened?” she asks as he helps her sit up. “There was a collapse. We think we’ve been dumped into an abandoned Barrow Den.
**Rhoelyn:** Her gaze goes to the brothers working on a wall. “I guess they’re making an exit. What terrible luck.” Nysse rubs the wolves nosing her.
**Araatris:** Leo’s hole in the wall grows wide enough to leak Relare’s light into the next chamber, and he pauses to gape. “Not… so terrible, really.”
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress shifts toward Relare. “What do you mean?” Leo turns to look at her. “Come and look.” He makes room for her. Nysse joins them.
**Araatris:** On the other side of the hole is a cell, and within it in the dim light are visible a half-dozen forms, collapsed and otherwise. The druids.
**Rhoelyn:** Her heart skips a beat as she searches for silver hair. “L-let’s get them in here and try to find another way out. That way will be guarded.”
**Araatris:** “Let me go with you.” Sarren puts a hand on Relare’s shoulder. The paladin simply nods and leads the way through the hole, bringing light with him.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse waits by the entry and assists each druid they bring. Leothir searches for another exit. At the final druid, Sarren shakes his head.
**Araatris:** The huntress’ face falls, but she rallies through the tears in her eyes, helping to settle the men and women. Many of them are fel-sick and weak.
**Rhoelyn:** “Don’t worry. We’ll get you to safety. Are there others?” Nysse murmurs quietly. One woman looks at her brokenly, “Dead. They’re all dead.”
**Araatris:** She clasps her shaking hands as Tsume noses at her leg. “I’m sorry. I need to know whatever you can tell me about what they were doing, here.”
**Rhoelyn:** The druid looks at her hands in her lap and speaks softly. “They took us one by one. We’d hear screams, but the silence was worse.”
**Rhoelyn:** “We’d see them carry the bodies by…” Nysse reaches for Tsume’s comfort. “I… I’m sorry. W-was there a silver-haired druid with you?”
**Araatris:** The woman’s eyes fill with tears, and she sniffs. “You… you mean Nethris? Th-they… they killed her in the initial onslaught. It was… quick.”
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse kneels and hugs her. “N-no, but I’m so sorry.” The woman sobs against her shoulder. Nysse murmurs, “I’m looking for my mate, Rhese.”
**Araatris:** The sudden hush from most of the prisoners makes her blood run cold, and she looks up to find a few pairs of eyes on her. “… wh-what?”
**Rhoelyn:** A male druid stares at her intensely. “Nyssera Whispersong.” “Y-yes?” The huntress blinks as the woman in her arms pulls away, sniffling.
**Araatris:** “Oh… he… he spoke of you.” The stranger peers at her with wide eyes, regretful eyes. Sarren steps near as Leothir translates for his brother.
**Rhoelyn:** Tears rise in Nysse’s eyes, “Is he… he…” A few druids speak at once, “There were no screams.” “I heard them mention transferring someone.”
**Araatris:** “And what about that human, the one that tried t-” “They sent someone to chase after her, remember?” “… did they? It may’ve been while I w-”
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse stammers, “K-kaerryn’s free?” She looks between everyone, clearly overwhelmed. Sarren crouches, “Please. One at a time. What happened?”
**Araatris:** The survivors tell the brief tale of the pair of scouts that were caught trying to break them out. “Rhese distracted them, but the woman was hurt.”
**Rhoelyn:** Sarren places a hand on Nysse’s shoulder. “Where’s the woman? You said she was injured. Was she taken with Rhese… wherever that is?”
**Araatris:** The druids exchange glances between them until finally one man says, “She got away before they could catch her. I heard them lamenting, later.”
**Rhoelyn:** The conflict is clear on Nysse’s face. “I… we need to find Kaerryn first.” The huntress pushes to her feet and moves to the far side of the cavern.
**Araatris:** Tsume whines and noses at her mistress’ hand while her father watches her, dire. Relare speaks up, “First, we need to get out of here.”
**Rhoelyn:** Happy to focus on something else, Nysse strides to Leo and Rel. “There should be more tunnels we can join to. Are you not having any luck?”
**Araatris:** The woman who was crying on her shoulder approaches them, drying her eyes. “Let us help. We’re not defeated, yet.” She looks back.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse nods. “We don’t know these tunnels. Any help you feel up to would be appreciated.” She kneels to ruffle Tsume’s fur, comforting herself.
**Araatris:** The druids who are able confer amongst themselves while Relare tends to those who are ill, and soon one of the men steps up to another wall.
**Rhoelyn:** Tree roots shift and after several minutes an entryway has been created. “This should lead out, but there are likely demons on the path.”
**Araatris:** The paladin behind them straightens from a woman he’s tending, and he joins the others. “I think we should clear the way, don’t you?”
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress confirms, “Agreed.” Rel grasps her shoulder and grins as he moves ahead. “I’d like to go since you all did the work last time.”
**Araatris:** When Nysse might consider arguing, Leo steps forward and nudges Relare. “Yes, do please let him lead. He can fall in holes all by himself.”
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse offers a small smile. “Of course.” In short order, she finds herself tucked into the middle, next to the first druid with whom she spoke.
**Araatris:** The tunnels are too narrow for her to even see the first few patrols they encounter, just to hear her father commanding both wolves into battle.
**Rhoelyn:** She clenches her teeth, uneasy with her forced idleness. The demon blood causes her to pale and Nysse reaches for the tiny jar in her pouch.
**Araatris:** The woman who walks beside her pats her shoulder. “It is foul, isn’t it, sister? I’d almost forgotten the smell of clean air.”
**Rhoelyn:** Blushing, Nysse offers her a little from the jar. “I… the smell makes me sick to my stomach right now,” she mumbles. “Maybe it’ll help you, too.”
**Araatris:** The druid smiles shyly. “Thank you. It’s … It has been some weeks since I remembered kindness. My name is Ultheia. Fortune favor you.”
**Rhoelyn:** “And you as well, Ultheia.” Nysse puts away the jar. She wipes sweaty palms on her breeches and sighs. “I’m sorry we didn’t come sooner.”
**Araatris:** The woman manages a little smile. “That you came at all is more blessing than I had hope for, yesterday.” She shudders, paling.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse clasps her hand comfortingly. “We’ll get you to safety. I promise.” Her stomach rumbles. “I’m sorry. My stomach has a mind of its own….”
**Araatris:** “I underst-” The druid gasps and grabs Nysse, tugging her away from the hard-packed dirt wall just as it explodes toward them with a roar.
**Rhoelyn:** Vague shadows menace them from the dust. Pressed against the wall next to Ultheia, she holds her bow ready and hisses, “What was that?”
**Araatris:** Ultheia trembles, fearful tears in her eyes as she whispers. “The inquisitor. Oh, Elune. T-the inquisitor found us. I-it’s why they scream…”
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse turns back to the dust as it clears with wide eyes to see the faceless demon staring; its eye floating beside it. She raises her bow.
**Araatris:** Despite her obvious fear, the druid beside her also raises her hands, her silver eyes taking on a brighter glow as she casts her spell at it.
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress looses her arrow as the moonfire crashes down. Spurred to motion in the close quarters, she draws the neglected blade at her side.
**Araatris:** From the commotion, the inquisitor is not the only part of this concerted strike. As her arrow pierces its runed robe, its screech is in her mind.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse finds herself frozen as it pushes into her mind, pulling back layer after layer. It was searching for something. Rhese. The babies. Yami.
**Araatris:** “No!” Ultheia glances from her to the inquisitor before raising her hands and blasting him with sun-born fire. “Leave her alone, abomination!”
**Rhoelyn:** The inquisitor snarls as the fire washes over him and the huntress drops to her knees. “I have no need of you.” He turns toward Ultheia.
**Araatris:** She only has time to press back against the wall, eyes widening, before the eye at his side swivels, focusing on her as power flares in its iris.
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress lunges, knocking Ultheia below the beam. Kneeling, Nysse draws her bow and lets loose shots aiming for the inquisitor’s head.
**Araatris:** It rocks back as the arrows thunk in quick succession into its featureless face, one sticking out grotesquely from where its eye might have been.
**Rhoelyn:** Ultheia blasts him with fire yet again, but this time he crumples to the ground. Nysse glances around as she helps the druid to her feet.
**Araatris:** “Th-thank you, sister.” The woman trembles with reaction. The inquisitor’s orphaned eye goes darting back through the broken wall, escaping.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse hugs the druid to her side and starts encouraging the other druids to follow her and move towards the front. “An’da? Relare?… Leothir?”
**Araatris:** The tunnel opens up in front of them, into a round chamber stained with fel symbols like graffiti over the druidic symbols carved in the walls.
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress shivers at the sight. “This is horrible…” She studies them briefly before heading towards the dim light and sounds of fighting.
**Araatris:** As usual, one of the first sounds is her father’s voice, issuing commands to the wolves. “Nora, hold! Tsume, attack!” There’s a bestial roar.
**Rhoelyn:** The druid shoves Nysse forward when she hesitates. “Go! We’ll be right behind you.” The huntress leaps to action, drawing an arrow as she runs.
**Araatris:** Around the corner, she dodges as Relare stumbles back toward her, his plate breastplate gouged by claw marks. The corrupted druid charges.
**Rhoelyn:** An arrow flies over Relare’s shoulder as Nysse tackles Rel to the side. The bear druid snarls and spins around as she rolls off the blood elf.
**Araatris:** “Foris, stop!” Ultheia rushes forward, trying to grab at the bear. One of the other druids gasps and clasps her wrist. “Stop that! He’s lost!”
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse hisses at Relare, “Can it be healed? Do you know?” She holds an arrow locked on the bear staring them down as it stalks toward them.
**Araatris:** The paladin presses his lips together and regards the beast with mournful resolve. He shakes his head. “All we can do is put him out of his misery.”
**Rhoelyn:** “Then we’ll send him to Elune.” Nysse releases her arrow, sending it shrieking into the bear’s neck. Relare steps in front with his own blow.
**Araatris:** His hammer slams the bear against the wall where Sarren’s arrows join Nysse’s in its thick hide. Leo holds off a pair of felguard behind him.
**Rhoelyn:** “Tsume, attack!” Relare follows up with a blow to the bear’s head while he’s distracted and Nysse looks away as her stomach flips at the sight.
**Araatris:** Ultheia gives a little mournful cry as the bear collapses like a puppet with its strings cut. The druid’s form reverts as he dies, bleeding.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse stumbles to a corner and kneels in a dark corner, hoping no one can hear her heaving. Tears burn her eyes as her stomach muscles protest.
**Araatris:** The others focus on the last few demons while Ultheia tearfully crouches by her friend’s corpse, praying under her breath. Nysse wipes her mouth.
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress stands on wobbly legs and staggers to Ultheia. “We…,” she clears her throat, “We have to keep going. I wish we could do more…”
**Araatris:** The woman barely responds, but when Nysse tugs on her, she gets to her feet and wipes at her cheeks. They follow as the floor angles upward.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse grimaces as they continue. They catch up to Leothir, and Nysse grabs his sleeve and arm, paling. “Just… a moment…Are the others… ahead?”
**Araatris:** The mage looks at her, his eyes widening as he takes her elbow to steady her. “Yes. Nysse, what’s wrong? You look – whoa! Hey, don’t fall.”
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress mumbles, “I’m just a bit dizzy. Hungry and sick. Just… let me lean on you for a couple minutes.” Nysse clings to his arm. “Please?”
**Araatris:** “Of course. You look quite peaked, though. Maybe I should get R-” He frowns when she shakes her head and reaches for her pack. “Nysse…”
**Rhoelyn:** She attempts a weak smile. “They’re busy. I just need something to hold me over until we can rest.” Nysse fumbles with the clasp on her pack.
**Araatris:** Leothir sighs and reaches forward to help, letting her hold the bag as he fetches out a ration. He takes the pack and shoves the food at her.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse unwraps and rambles between quick bites. “I’m sorry, but I was just sick and I don’t do well when I miss meals, but it’s worse right now…”
**Araatris:** The mage winces and pats her arm. “Ah… yes. Come on, then. We can’t fall too far behind.” He still holds her elbow to support her, though.
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress glances at him and mumbles, “Thank you.” She follows his lead while munching. They catch up to the others after a couple of minutes.
**Araatris:** Relare and Sarren and the wolves easily clear out the last few demon stragglers between them and fresh air, and they emerge into the forest.
**Rhoelyn:** Breathing a sigh of relief, Nysse tries to straighten and take a deep breath. Too late she realizes her mistake as her stomach lurches suddenly.
**Araatris:** Leothir turns at her sudden motion, but when she bends over and heaves, he shies away with a squeak, scrambling back from her bodily fluids.
**Rhoelyn:** “Re-REL!” He wipes his shoes frantically in the grass, staring nervously as Nysse rocks back onto her butt with a groan, clutching her tummy.
**Araatris:** “Leo?” The paladin rushes over, his hammer ready, but then he pauses, staring between them. “What…” The mage steps to his side, pointing.
**Rhoelyn:** Relare stands next to Nysse, concern written across his features. “What happened?” She blushes darkly. “I got dizzy and sick and tried to eat…”
**Araatris:** He sighs and pinches the bridge of his nose. “Nysse. Herbs first, then food. It doesn’t do you any good if it doesn’t stay in your body.”
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress pulls out her herbs. “I forgot.” She admits softly. “I was so hungry that I didn’t think about it.” She meekly takes the medicine.
**Araatris:** Relare crouches by her and offers her a hand up once the herbs are in her stomach. Leo seems to have taken the chance to retreat hastily.
**Rhoelyn:** The paladin presses a ration into her hand. “Please eat slowly and we’ll get you a proper meal when everyone is safe.” He guides her to Sarren.
**Araatris:** Her father wraps an arm around her, as if she’s been handed off like a sack of potatoes, and smirks. “What trouble are you in, now, little star?”
**Rhoelyn:** She mumbles under her breath, “I threw up on Leo’s shoes because I forgot to take my medicine.” Sarren barely manages to muffle his laughter.
**Araatris:** As Nysse munches on the rations, she pokes him. “It’s not that funny, an’da.” He pats her shoulder, turning as Ultheia approaches them.
**Rhoelyn:** The druid pauses, then noting Nysse’s embarrassment. “I wanted to let you know that I think we can handle it from here, but there was one thing…”
**Araatris:** The huntress’ mouth is full, so her father asks, “What is it?” “Your mate’s friend… the loud woman… I know which way she went when she ran.”
**Rhoelyn:** That catches Nysse’s attention and she swallows quickly to ask. “W-where? Please.” His daughter clutches his shirt with a free hand.
**Araatris:** Watching her worriedly, the druid woman says, “She was going east and south. I don’t know if she survived, but they said she made it to a river.”
**Rhoelyn:** Tears well in Nysse’s eyes as she smiles. “Thank you. We’ll head that way then.” Ultheia frowns. “Are you sure you wouldn’t prefer to rest?”
**Araatris:** The huntress shakes her head emphatically, and her father watches on, unsurprised. “Kaerryn might need us. We have to hurry.”
**Rhoelyn:** Ultheia nods and leans forward, whispering in Nysse’s ear as she rests a glowing hand on her shoulder. She walks away before Nysse can respond.
**Araatris:** Sarren blinks between her retreating figure and his daughter as Nora nudges at his leg. “What was that all about? Is there something wrong?”
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse ducks her head, both smiling and blushing. “Nothing’s wrong. She was just complimenting us.” She clicks at Tsume. “Let’s get Rel and Leo.”