Rhoelyn: The ship cot creaks as Nysse turns over again. She freezes, hoping that she hasn’t disturbed Rhoelyn. She sighs and stares at the cabin door.
Araatris: “Mm.” The priestess stirs, her voice thick with sleep. Her slender back is to her companion. “You need not stay, sister. Wander if you wish.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse grimaces, “I can’t sleep again. I’ll check on Tsume so you can get some rest.” She slips out of bed and tucks the cover around Rhoelyn.
Araatris: Curling up with a big yawn, Rhoe peeks open her eyes and mumbles, “Nysse? You can speak to me, you know. Unlike dear Tsume, I speak back.”
Rhoelyn: “I keep dreaming about the shipwreck, Rhoe.” She sits back on the edge of the bed. “I thought I was over it. It’s been about two years now.”
Araatris: The priestess sits up, pressing her hand over Nysse’s. “Your heart isn’t concerned with how long it’s been. It still feels those wounds.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse smiles, “I’m still sorry that I’ve been disturbing your sleep so much recently. You’ve been so excited this trip.” She takes Rhoe’s hand.
Araatris: Smiling back, the smaller woman says, “Well, the excitement does help counter the sleep deprivation. So it’s quite manageable.” She giggles.
Rhoelyn: The huntress laughs softly. “It is contagious. Speaking of humorous things, did Rhese show you his cat form and collar before he left?”
Araatris: The question earns her another giggle. “Oh, he did! He looks like… like an overlarge tabby with the dyed orange and stripes. I’m afraid I laughed.”
Rhoelyn: “I had to help with the dye. I still can’t believe that they put a bell on his collar. He was so embarrassed about it.” Nysse covers her mouth.
Araatris: The druid’s sister nods, a mischievous twinkle in her eye. “We will need to tease him mercilessly about that, later. When we’re all back home.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse yawns and stretches. “That would be fun. Not much embarrasses him.” Then she yawns again. “Maybe… maybe I’ll try to sleep again.”
Araatris: Rhoelyn pulls back the blanket and pats the other half of the cot. “Do, please. Perhaps instead of a shipwreck, you can dream about Rhese the pet.”
Rhoelyn: Her cheeks flush slightly and she mumbles, “That would be an improvement.” The huntress curls up on the cot facing Rhoelyn. “Rest well.”
Araatris: The priestess pats her arm with a warm smile. “And you, sister.” She cuddles into the blanket and closes her eyes. “Rhese the pet,” she murmurs.
Rhoelyn: A few hours later Nysse finds herself curled up against someone warm, her arm draped over them. Her half lidded eyes see silver hair, “Rhese…”
Araatris: The huntress almost shifts closer before her nose stops her. Herbs and something floral. She blinks fully awake, blushing as she pulls her arm away.
Rhoelyn: Rhoelyn stirs slightly and mumbles sleepily, “Is it time to wake up, sister?” Nysse clears her throat, “I’ll check…” She slips out of bed.
Araatris: Padding on bare feet into the small second chamber of the repurposed captain’s cabin, she blinks and shields her eyes against the morning sun.
Rhoelyn: She grins broadly as she notices land in the distance. Nysse runs back and leans over the bed. “Not only is it morning… there’s land in sight.”
Araatris: “Oh! Pand-” The priestess pops up, careless in her excitement, and slams her forehead into Nysse’s chin with bruising force. Nysse stumbles back.
Rhoelyn: The huntress grimaces and wipes blood from her mouth. Seeing Rhoelyn’s wide eyes, Nysse waves comfortingly. “I’m okay. Accident. My fault!”
Araatris: “Let me see.” The little woman reaches out and brushes her fingers ever-so-lightly against Nysse’s chin, ignoring her muttered protests. “There.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse grins, “You and Rhese. It was just a little bruise.” She grasps and tugs Rhoelyn’s wrist. “There are more important things. Come on!”
Araatris: Rhoe smiles and lets Nysse pull her to her feet. “Oh, I’m nervous. And excited! How long do you suppose it might be before we make landfall?”
Rhoelyn: She releases Rhoelyn’s hand and waits to walk with her to the window. “Maybe an hour or two? I think we’re stopping at a fishing village.”
Araatris: The other woman picks up her hairbrush on the way and neatens her long locks as she stares out, fascinated. “It’s…truly beautiful. Look there!”
Rhoelyn: “The village of Sri-la.” Rhoelyn gestures with her free hand. Nysse chuckles, “I see! Here. Let me.” She places her hand on the brush handle.
Araatris: The priestess hands over the brush absently, her gaze riveted to the little wooden village that climbs the stone cliffs as it slips out of view.
Rhoelyn: Nysse gently brushes Rhoelyn’s hair. “I think we’ll take a smaller boat in then travel by land to another village inland. Do you want me to braid it?”
Araatris: “Oh, thank you. Would you please?” The priestess pads over to get her engraved metal hair ornaments and alights smoothly in the window seat.
Rhoelyn: The huntress moves behind her. “What do you think they’re like? They didn’t have a lot of information.” Her fingers deftly twist Rhoe’s hair.
Araatris: Twisting one of the metal bands in her hands, Rhoe looks up at a colorful streamer kite atop a spire of rock jutting from the bay as she ponders.
Rhoelyn: In a companionable silence, Nysse finishes the braids with the metal ornaments and leans next to Rhoe, looking out. There’s a knock on the door.
Araatris: The priestess pats Nysse’s shoulder and crosses the room, brushing the wrinkles out of her gown. “Yes?” she asks as she pulls the portal open.
Rhoelyn: A human sailor salutes her. “Cap’n sent me down, ma’am. We’ll be arrivin’ in the next half hour. You might want to gather your things.”
Araatris: “Thank you, Davin.” She gives him a warm smile, oblivious to his shy grin and flushed cheeks. “Rest assured we’ll be ready to disembark on time.”
Rhoelyn: Davin salutes, “Yes, ma’am. I-We’ll look forward to seeing you on deck.” Rhoelyn shuts the door as he leaves. Nysse leans over giggling.
Araatris: Rhoe gives her a puzzled look, wandering back over to her side. “Why do you always find Davin so funny, sister? The joke is lost on me.”
Rhoelyn: “I’m fairly sure that I don’t exist to him, Rhoelyn. He only has eyes for you. It’s really cute.” Nysse wipes the tears from her eyes. “Sorry.”
Araatris: “Oh?” At first, that doesn’t clear the confused furrow from Rhoe’s brow, but soon her eyes widen and flick back to the door. “Oh! Poor boy…”
Rhoelyn: The huntress shakes her head with a wry grin. “It’s okay. I think he’s content to just look and admire. He’d probably be in awe of Rhese, too.”
Araatris: “Then I suppose it’s for the best that he isn’t faced with us both together.” The smaller elf grins. “That might be too much for him.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse chuckles and begins packing her things in her satchel. “I think you’re right. It’s too much for me sometimes.” Her cheeks darken.
Araatris: Rhoe starts gathering her brush and belongings from the chart table. “Not too often, I hope. You are still here after the best part of four years.”
Rhoelyn: The younger night elf considers Rhoelyn. “I adore you both. Of course I’m here.” She bites her lip. “It’s a good overwhelming, full of love.”
Araatris: Despite the blush that creeps from her cheeks to the tips of her ears, the priestess takes Nysse’s hand. “Good. You are my dear sister.
Araatris: “I wouldn’t wish to lose you as my family any more than Rhese would.” She smiles warmly at her companion.
Rhoelyn: Despite her own blush, Nysse wraps her arms around Rhoe and hugs her. “Oh Rhoe, you’re my sister, too. I don’t know what I’d do without you two.”
Araatris: The priestess squeezes her, giggling softly. “I’ve sometimes imagined that without us, you’d be a feral wolf wildling running around in the forest.”
Rhoelyn: “Rhoe!” Nysse grins sheepishly. “It was mostly true. I avoided everyone except Ysiel back then. Only Elune knows why I agreed to his date.”
Araatris: As Rhoelyn releases her and moves over to flip open her trunk, she grins. “Probably because he wanted you to. Rhese tends to get what he wants.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse returns to packing her bag. “I can’t argue with that. I sure can’t resist him.” She chokes and covers her face, “I mean… nevermind.”
Araatris: The priestess has the good grace to say nothing, grinning slyly as she pulls out her gear from among a tidy stack of other gowns and accessories.
Rhoelyn: Nysse gestures to Rhoelyn’s trunk. “A trunk isn’t practical on the trips I’m used to. Aren’t you worried about damaging those delicate outfits?”
Araatris: “I… suppose I am very worried.” She peers in at the lovely clothes. “Ours is a diplomatic mission, however. We really must look the part.”
Rhoelyn: The huntress shoots Rhoelyn a wary look and cautiously asks, “What do you mean ‘we’? I’m your guardian, so I already look my part… don’t I?”
Araatris: Rhoe looks her up and down with a quirked brow. “You sleep in your gear, sister. Don’t tell me you expect to also wear it to the ambassador’s fete.”
Rhoelyn: Nervously, Nysse pulls at her tunic. “Well, yes, I was planning to. I was going to wash it the day before. I’m guarding you, not dancing.”
Araatris: With a long-suffering sigh, the priestess turns and pats her shoulder. “And that, dear Nysse, is why I brought a couple of things for you as well.”
Rhoelyn: “But… I don’t have any dresses right now and none of your clothes will fit me.” She frowns in concern. “And how will I carry my weapons?”
Araatris: Rhoelyn smiles brightly. “Oh, you have so little faith in me. I assure you, I’ve thought of everything, my guardian.” She turns away to change.
Rhoelyn: The huntress averts her gaze and finishes packing, mumbling, “Everything, huh.” She tosses the bag over her shoulder. “Want to get Tsume with me?”
Araatris: Slipping her pauldrons over her head, Rhoe mutters, “You may wish to go without me. These are a bit tricky; I’ll be a few minutes.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse grins knowingly. “I’ll see you up on deck.” The huntress steps out of the cabin, shutting the door behind her, before heading to the hold.
Araatris: Tsume is busy gnawing irritably at the wood of her cage when Nysse rounds the storage containers of trade goods that fill the hold. Her tail wags.
Rhoelyn: The huntress pulls the release. “I know, girl.” Tsume raises on her rear paws and pushes Nysse against the wall with her licking. “Tsume, heel!”
Araatris: The wolf disobeys just long enough to get a few extra licks in and sits as Nysse draws breath to repeat the command. She lolls her tongue out.
Rhoelyn: “I think your pups have been a bad influence.” Nysse smiles affectionately and rubs her ears. “Let’s get some fresh air.” They head up to the deck.
Araatris: Rhoelyn waits on the waist deck, sitting on her trunk as she cranes her neck to look all around at the ocean, the rocky spires, the muddy shallows.
Rhoelyn: Nysse chuckles as they join her. “You’re going to strain your neck like that.” The huntress kneels and runs her fingers through Tsume’s fur.
Araatris: She leans over to pat Tsume with a sheepish grin. “Just look at this land. It’s truly amazing. How do you think they got those kites up there?”
Rhoelyn: The younger night elf tilts her head back to look at one. “I’m not sure. Maybe we can ask.” Captain Vivian pauses by them, “You ladies ready?”
Araatris: Rhoelyn stands and brushes imaginary wrinkles from her gown before nodding. “I believe we are, Captain. Nysse?” She clasps her hands together.
Rhoelyn: Standing, Nysse nods. “Ready as well.” The captain gestures for them to follow her. “I’ll be lending you Davin along with the four guards.”
Araatris: Slanting the sailor a smile as he hefts her trunk, Rhoe says, “We’re grateful, Captain.” She trails the human with Nysse and Tsume at her side.
Rhoelyn: With a curt nod, Vivian replies, “Of course. It’s my pleasure to carry our ambassador. Davin will join you two and the wolf in the first boat.”
Araatris: As Nysse coaxes Tsume into the dinghy, Rhoelyn offers her hand to the woman in the human custom. “Captain Mooreland. May Elune light your path.”
Rhoelyn: The captain grasps her hand with a smile. “And may the Light be with you. Mu Lin will be the Pandaren who will guide you to Greenstone Village.”
Araatris: “I look forward to meeting him,” Rhoe glances over toward shore, her excitement clear. With a final nod at the captain, she turns back to Nysse.
Rhoelyn: Nysse grins at her from her seat where Tsume sits obediently between her knees. She bows her head. “Thank you, Captain. You’ve been wonderful.”
Araatris: “We’ll see you both back here safe and sound for the rendezvous, Ms. Whispersong,” the captain says as Davin is quick to offer Rhoelyn a hand in.
Rhoelyn: Rhoelyn settles into the boat in front of Nysse. The huntress nods, “I know. This is just a diplomatic envoy. It’ll be over before we know it.”
Araatris: The human yanks the securing ropes, freeing them to slowly lower to the water. “See to them, Mr. Newell. You have permission to disembark.”
Rhoelyn: Davin nods. “Yes, Capt’n!” He lowers them to the water and then pulls out a pair of oars and starts rowing them toward the small docks.
Araatris: Rhoelyn quietly watches the village approach, her posture serene, but Nysse recognizes the way her fingers entwine and release in her lap.
Rhoelyn: Nysse leans forward and touches the priestess, whispering soothingly in her ear, “We’ll be there soon, Rhoe.” She squeezes her arm lightly.
Araatris: Nodding, the priestess doesn’t trust herself to say anything. She just presses a shaky hand over Nysse’s and pulls away to give her a smile.
Rhoelyn: They ride quietly to the dock. Davin tosses a rope to a Pandaren to help pull them in and tie off the boat. He climbs out and holds out his hand.
Araatris: Rhoelyn lets him help her on to the dock, waiting patiently while Tsume and Nysse hop up. The sailor offers her a late hand with a sheepish grin.
Rhoelyn: The huntress waves him off with a grin. “Thanks.” A small group of Pandaren approach, the first of which has reddish fur and a longer tail.
Araatris: He looks the three of them over as he nears, his keen gaze even taking in the wolf standing calmly by the huntress’ leg. “Greetings, guests.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse steps forward and bows. “Greetings.” She gestures to Rhoelyn. “This is Rhoelyn Silverwing and I am her guardian, Nyssera Whispersong.”
Araatris: His voice is low and sonorous as he indicates his companions. “I am Mu Lin, rider of the Order of the Cloud Serpent. This is Su Le of my Order.” (c)
Araatris: (c) The woman to his right presses her fist into her hand and bows at the waist. “This is Gingo, leader of this village.” The man smiles and bows.
Rhoelyn: Rhoelyn bows and gestures to the guards arriving on the dock. “It is our pleasure to make your acquaintance. We will also have sailor Davin Newell (c)
Rhoelyn: (c) and these members of the Stormwind Guard joining us: Sarah Ravenlore, Braden Highlock, Ramona Craven, and Jay Masters.” They each salute in turn.
Araatris: Their hosts nod, friendly enough if not quite warm. Gingo steps forward. “Welcome to our humble village. Come, we have prepared a morning meal.”
Rhoelyn: They follow, leaving the others to gather their gear. The huntress’ stomach rumbles softly and she blushes, but manages to hold her composure.
Araatris: Rhoelyn comments as they walk along a combination of stone and wooden stairways, ascending the cliff. “Your home is quite beautiful, Gingo.”
Rhoelyn: “I am glad it pleases you. It would be our pleasure to show you around before you leave for Greenstone Village.” He gives them a polite smile.
Araatris: The priestess smiles, her hands clasped. “I’d love that. I’m very curious about the stonework.” Her eyes drink in the statue carved in the cliff.
Rhoelyn: Gingo nods. “Then we will. Though I am no loremaster tell you the story.” He comments, “Lana, our innkeeper, has been preparing for you.”
Araatris: As they near the tidy, wooden inn, exotic smells waft out. Rhoe glances over at Nysse happily. “We have heard tales of Pandaria’s talented chefs.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse grins, adding, “And delicious drinks!” Tsume sniffs the air and ground curiously. When she wanders too far, Nysse commands, “Tsume, heel.”
Araatris: Noticing Mu Lin’s gaze on the wolf, Nysse pats her head and addresses him. “She’s very well-behaved.” He nods. “Wolves are more rare, here.”
Rhoelyn: “I didn’t realize. Will that be a problem?” Nysse frowns, but Mu Lin shakes his head. “No, it is quite alright. She is likely to draw attention.”
Araatris: Rhoelyn chimes in, pausing with them outside the door. “In kal’dorei culture, she would be welcome inside, but she can wait here if you prefer.”
Rhoelyn: The serpent rider frowns. “Are wolves honored in your society? Animals hold great power here. Yu’lon, the jade serpent, watches over this area.”
Araatris: “It is not so much wolves as all of nature that we honor.” Rhoe pats Tsume. “Our druids are empowered by nature and by the forms of animals.”
Rhoelyn: Mu Lin nods. “We will accord her with honor then. She may enter and stay by your side.” He smiles slightly. “She may… explore, if you wish.”
Araatris: Nysse smiles. “Thank you. She could use a chance to stretch her legs after the long trip.” She gestures, and the wolf wuffs before loping off.
Rhoelyn: “Of course. We are happy to accommodate.” Mu Lin and Gingo enter and they follow. A long table with benches sits in the center of the innroom.
Araatris: The serpent rider smiles and gestures to the table as the other two head into the next room. “Please. Be at ease. Every meal is a celebration.”
Rhoelyn: The huntress glances at Rhoelyn for confirmation, who nods, stepping over the bench to sit at the end. Rhoelyn smiles at Mu Lin. “Thank you.”
Araatris: The priestess waits until the rest of their escort are seated, saying to Mu Lin, “That is a lovely sentiment.” He grins. “It is the Pandaren way.”
Rhoelyn: Rhoelyn gathers her gown in one hand and steps over the bench. Nysse quickly stands and holds out her arm, so the priestess can use it as support.
Araatris: She smiles gratefully and accepts the support with a murmured, “Thank you, sister,” before settling down. Mu Lin watches them. “You are siblings?”
Rhoelyn: Nysse flushes. “We’re not blood-related. She is my mate’s twin sister.” She smiles affectionately at Rhoelyn as she sits back down.
Araatris: The Pandaren takes a seat, his gaze going between the two night elves. His polite smile has gained a bit of warmth. “Family is not only blood.”
Rhoelyn: “I’ve learned that in the last few years. Rhoelyn and Rhese are very important to me.” The huntress’ stomach growls again and she ducks her head.
Araatris: Rhoelyn smiles at her sister, a soft blush coloring her cheeks. She opens her mouth to speak, but is distracted when Gingo brings a platter in.
Rhoelyn: Gingo grins as he serves little doughy pockets and sauce with chopsticks. “Have you ever had shrimp dumplings? They’re one of Lana’s specialties.”
Araatris: “Not I,” the priestess says, glancing over at Nysse with a fond grin for the anticipatory way her gaze follows him and the food around the table.
Rhoelyn: Nysse takes a deep breath, “I’ve never had it, but it smells wonderful!” The huntress stares at the chopsticks by her plate with consternation.
Araatris: As Su Le and another Pandaren, plump and matronly, bring out more food, Mu Lin smiles and holds one chopstick up, spearing the dumpling.
Rhoelyn: He dips it in the sauce and plops it in his mouth. Nysse grins as the rest of the dishes are brought out and now rest in the center of the table.
Araatris: With everyone settled, Lana smiles and admonishes them. “Eat! Eat!” The visitors do, enjoying the contagious gusto with which the Pandaren partake.
Rhoelyn: Rhoelyn giggles as the Pandaren start experimenting with Nysse, having her try dish after dish. Tsume sneaks in and lays by Nysse’s feet.
Araatris: At length, she leans against the table, watching happily as the huntress laughs with Su Le over something, her fingers idly tapping her mug.
Rhoelyn: “Rhoe! You should try this!” Nysse serves her a piece of salmon on her plate. To Su Le, she asks, “Would you have anything I can feed Tsume?”
Araatris: The serpent rider glances over at Lana, who grins and nods. “Perhaps she will like grilled boar?” At Nysse’s nod, the woman goes to the fetch it.
Rhoelyn: Lana returns with a metal tray carrying a large steak. The huntress chuckles as the wolf’s tail wags and Lana sets it down. “Go ahead, Tsume.”
Araatris: As the wolf digs in greedily, Rhoelyn nibbles at her food and looks at Gingo and Mu Lin with a smile. “I believe Nysse and Tsume are quite sold.”
Rhoelyn: Gingo grins broadly, “It is nice to see that all of you appreciate good food. It is customary to end the meal with some tea. Would you like some?”
Araatris: “Oh, yes.” She leans forward, excited. “I would love that. Tea is a favorite of mine.” The others follow her lead, though with less enthusiasm.
Rhoelyn: He motions to Lana who disappears into the back. In short order, they all have small steaming cups. “This is ginseng tea from a local herb.”
Araatris: Nysse covers her mouth to suppress a laugh at the predictable gleam in Rhoe’s eye. “Uh-oh. You mentioned herbs…” She grins teasingly.
Rhoelyn: Mu Lin laughs, “After tea, I’ll ask Lana to show you the garden.” Rhoelyn smiles. “Really?” Her gaze seeks out Lana at the far end of the table.
Araatris: The matron is hard at work showing Davin the right way to use his chopsticks. She glances around the table, pleased to see many happy expressions.
Rhoelyn: The huntress leans and whispers to Rhoelyn, “I hope the trip stays like this, but I can’t wait to stretch my-” Tsume noses under Nysse’s hand.
Araatris: Nursing her tea, the priestess glances down with her at the wolf’s demanding face. “Perhaps you two should wander a bit while I tour the village.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse frowns as Tsume gently bites and tugs at her hand. “Not now, Tsume. Rhoe, I’m not supposed to leave your side. I promised Rhese.”
Rhoelyn: “It’s fine, sister. As you see, you leave me in good company.” Rhoelyn turns to Mu Lin. “Would it be permissible for them to explore the village?”
Araatris: The Pandaren nods. “Yes, of course.” Across from Nysse, Davin leans in and says, “Don’t you worry, miss. We’ll keep ‘er safe and sound.”
Rhoelyn: Reluctantly, Nysse lets Tsume pull her from the seat. She smiles nervously, “Thank you.” Tsume woofs and bolts out the door. “Tsume! Wait up!”
Araatris: Rhoelyn finishes her tea as they rush off, unconcerned. She smiles over at Lana. “Thank you for the meal, matron. It was all very delicious.”
Rhoelyn: Lana bows. “It is an honor, Lady Rhoelyn.” Gingo gestures towards the door, “Would you like to begin our tour? We can start at the docks.”
Araatris: The title has her blushing a bit. “Just Rhoelyn, friend. Or priestess, if you prefer. My people eschewed noble titles aeons ago.” She stands.
Rhoelyn: As Gingo joins Rhoelyn, Lana smiles, “I will remember that, Rhoelyn.” The village leader waves to Lana. “I’ll bring her by the garden later, Lana.”
Araatris: The priestess adds her wave to his before happily leading the way outside, leaving Davin and the guards scrambling after her.
Rhoelyn: The ship cot creaks as Nysse turns over again. She freezes, hoping that she hasn’t disturbed Rhoelyn. She sighs and stares at the cabin door.