Rhoelyn: Morthis looks grimly at the duo. “I’m grateful to you both. We’re still waiting for a report from Rylana.” Rhese nods, “Do we head to the portal?”
Araatris: The night elf taps a finger on his desk thoughtfully, every line of his body worried and unhappy. “If we don’t hear from her by noon, yes.”
Rhoelyn: Reading between the lines, Nysse anxiously asks, “When was she supposed to check in?” Morthis sighs and pinches his nose, “Early this morning.”
Araatris: Suddenly, he surges to his feet. “I need a walk. Will you walk with me?” Nysse smiles gently. “Of course.” She and Rhese fall in behind him.
Rhoelyn: They shadow him out the door and into the field. Morthis pauses in the middle and takes a deep breath. “I hope she hasn’t gotten in over her head.”
Araatris: Rhese steps up beside him. “You trained her well, Morthis.” The other man sighs and pulls his pipe out of his vest. “I know. She’s a sharp one.”
Rhoelyn: “This entire thing makes me uneasy. She’s been so adamant about reporting in.” Morthis lights the pipe and puffs. Nysse summons Korran quietly.
Araatris: Her mate glances at her and her wolf, his attention sharpening. The huntress appears relaxed, but he knows that attentive look in her eyes.
Rhoelyn: The wolf stalks behind them acting as her eyes. She nods imperceptibly as Morthis continues, “At least if it was you, I’d know it was trouble.”
Araatris: “We’ll trust in Ry a bit longer, and if we don’t hear anything, Nysse and I will go bail her out.” Rhese pats the other man on the shoulder.
Rhoelyn: The huntress smiles, “I’ll go get us some hot tea.” Her gaze flickers around the area. Rhese nods, “Thanks, lovely. Yell if you need anything.”
Araatris: Morthis glances over at her with a nod. “Coffee for me, kiddo.” Nysse smirks and mutters, “Oh, I know. Lots of milk and just a little sugar.”
Rhoelyn: The elder elf snorts, “At least I’ve taught you right.” Nysse laughs and heads into the building. The wolf settles down at Rhese and Morthis’ backs.
Araatris: “You’re looking tired,” the druid says conversationally, folding his arms. “You’re doing that thing where you forget to sleep, again, aren’t you?”
Rhoelyn: The blue-haired night elf takes a long moment to answer, “How can I sleep with so many agents on missions, Rhese? Things have been… hectic.”
Araatris: They share a sigh. “Something’s been making the past few months especially chaotic, but none of us can put our fingers on the common factor.”
Rhoelyn: The young druid scratches his chin. “What else?” Morthis takes the pipe out of his mouth. “It’s hard to explain. Minor discrepancies mostly.”
Araatris: “It’s more than the confusion about this assassination attempt, then?” Rhese asks. The other man is nodding when a shriek rings out.
Rhoelyn: The men spin alarmed when Verune bolts out of the building. “It was an accident! I swear!” The drenched huntress stands in the doorway.
Araatris: Her mate snorts out a laugh that is quickly silenced by her glare. He covers his mouth and coughs. “Um… I did say to yell if you need help.”
Rhoelyn: She points at Verune. “Keep him out here if you want to help. Morthis, do you have any towels?” “In the back closet,” He offers deadpan.
Araatris: As Nysse disappears back inside, Rhese grins at Verune. “I just cannot wait to hear the story behind that turn of events.” The elder winces.
Rhoelyn: He glances at the empty doorway. “I was getting a pan of water and…” Verune sighs, “I tripped over the board we keep meaning to fix, Morthis.”
Araatris: The other night elf smirks. “What’s that? The fifth time?” Verune makes a sour face and sighs. “Seventh. Have I mentioned that I miss Nighthaven?”
Rhoelyn: “Many times.” Morthis chuckles. The younger druid shakes his head, grinning, “Should we fix the board while we’re here?” Korran circles them.
Araatris: “This is why it never gets fixed.” The night elf scratches his blue goatee. “Everyone who offers has too many more important things to d-”
Rhoelyn: The wolf bowls Morthis over. A dart flies past and Rhese sprints in the direction it came from. Nysse holds her bow ready from the door.
Araatris: Verune rushes over to the fallen elf, shifting to stand in front of him as a bear. He and Korran both sift their senses for the next threat.
Rhoelyn: Nysse joins them, watching. Several minutes later, Rhese returns and shifts back into a night elf. “I lost his trail. He must have covered it.”
Araatris: Morthis sighs and brushes mud off his trousers. “One person and a blow dart? That’s all I rate? I’m vaguely insulted.” Verune huffs.
Rhoelyn: Nysse frowns. “Korran smelled gunpowder. He was testing to see what he was working with.” Verune shifts and grumbles agreement. “She’s right.”
Araatris: “Whoever it was, he already knew enough to have something on him to deaden his scent. He ditched the weapon.” Rhese holds up a little pistol.
Rhoelyn: The spymaster plucks it from his fingers and examines it while Nysse guards them, “Let’s get back in the house. It’ll be easier to protect you.”
Araatris: “Alright.” They head for the spymaster’s office disguised as a farmhouse that’s nestled under Stormwind’s wall, trailed by a vigilant Korran.
Rhoelyn: Tucked inside, the wolf settles by the door. Nysse returns yet again to making drinks as she talks, “I think there will be another attempt today.”
Araatris: Morthis nods. “If it were my op, the gauging hit would be early. I’d plan for the real hit either after you leave or when you’re distracted.”
Rhoelyn: “We can’t leave. That’d be too obvious after an attack like that.” Rhese runs a hand through his hair. Nysse nods, “Then we sleep here.”
Araatris: Verune nods. “Let’s employ the hunting gambit. Nysse and Morthis can be the bait.” Rhese grins. “I love reappearing just in time for a rescue.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse rolls her eyes, smiling, and brings the drinks over to them. “Tea, more tea…” She kisses Rhese’s cheek as he takes his cup. “And coffee.”
Araatris: The younger druid smiles at her, half adoration and half teasing, as she fetches her own cup. “You can be my damsel in distress any time.”
Rhoelyn: “Maybe you can play the damsel next time. Val says you look good in a dress.” She chuckles, but can’t stop the blush rising to her cheeks.
Araatris: Rhese huffs. “They’re robes. Robes! It’s traditional druid regalia.” Verune chuckles. “Funny. I recall a certain thero’shan that hated his ‘dress’.”
Rhoelyn: The young druid glares at Verune. “You’re not helping…” Morthis sips his coffee, hiding his amusement. “I think we can play the bait.”
Araatris: Nysse perches on the least cluttered corner of the desk, blowing on her tea. “Bait. M-” Morthis interrupts with a sound of surprise. “Oh, clever…”
Rhoelyn: The huntress frowns. “What’s so clever about it? It’s not like it’s an unusual plan for us.” She takes a cautious sip of her tea and winces.
Araatris: The spymaster chuckles, standing beside his chair. He sets his coffee on the desk. “Not to disparage, but I’m talking about the would-be assassin.”
Rhoelyn: Rhese snorts and leans against the wall. “Can we avoid complimenting your future assassin? I’d rather not give him encouragement, Morthis.”
Araatris: “Well, it’s not my style, but he’s put a contact poison on my desk chair.” The night elf smirks. “Drive us inside with a transparent probe…”
Rhoelyn: Nysse twists around startled and exclaims, “But I-!” Verune puts a calming hand on her shoulder. “Stepped outside several times with us.”
Araatris: The night elf brushes a hand through his short hair. “It’s easy to see how he gave you the slip, now, Rhese.” He looks at Verune. “Can I keep him?”
Rhoelyn: Verune sighs. “No, you can’t keep him! He wants to kill you!” The elder druid trades his tea for a bottle of fluid and some towels from a cabinet.
Araatris: “Well, after he fails to kill me, he might need a new job,” Morthis points out. Rhese chuckles. “We appreciate your faith in our abilities.”
Rhoelyn: Verune cleans the seat. Nysse drinks her tea. “I’d rather he go to jail than get a job. I’ll get the extra bedding out shortly when you two leave.”
Araatris: The young druid finishes his drink and straightens, glancing out the window. “So much to do… Rylana’s report needs to come in, soon, too.”
Rhoelyn: Morthis opens his drawer and pulls out a dull hearthstone. “I’m not sure she’s able to call. Once we deal with this I’m sending you after her.”
Araatris: Rhese turns back and catches the stone as the other elf flips it to him. He frowns at it. “In that case, let’s dangle you a little more enticingly.”
Rhoelyn: Morthis grins as Rhese explains his plan. An hour later, Nysse hisses at her mate before he leaves, “Are you sure this is a good idea?”
Araatris: The druid gives her a cocky grin, leaning in to steal a kiss. “Of course I am. All of my ideas are good ideas, my lovely. Just… be careful, okay?”
Rhoelyn: “I will, surfal.” Nysse smiles tenderly in that way just meant for him. “Get ready to rescue your damsel.” She pushes him gently towards the door.
Araatris: “Always.” Rhese smiles and hoists his pack. “The lady has dismissed us, poppa bear.” Verune nods, too serious for a smile. “Be wary, you two.”
Rhoelyn: The spymaster nods. “We will be. Our eyes and ears will be sharp and weapons ready.” Verune hesitates before heading out with Rhese. Nysse sighs.
Araatris: Morthis pats her shoulder. “Let’s relax and enjoy a cup of coffee. I bet I can finally add enough cream and sugar for you. Then, to Old Town.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse chuckles. “I’m not sure. It seems to be an acquired taste.” He grins reassuringly. “Let’s give it a try.” Morthis fixes a couple of cups.
Araatris: As he works, he comments, “You know, you’ve become more sure of yourself in the time I’ve known you. Motherhood suits you.” He chuckles.
Rhoelyn: The huntress flushes. “T-thank you. I’m very grateful to have Rhese and Yami.” Despite her reaction, her gaze flickers toward the door regularly.
Araatris: “I’d put money that you never expected to be responsible for a child so young.” He adds a healthy amount of milk to both of the cups.
Rhoelyn: She chuckles. “You’d win. I’m not sure I could have imagined anything like this before Rhese.” Nysse leans her shoulder against a bookcase.
Araatris: “From what I’ve heard,” he says, handing her a finished drink, “you would probably have been underutilized forever if not for finding him.”
Rhoelyn: Taking the drink, she raises her eyebrows. “Under… utilized. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard it described that way.” Nysse laughs. “Underutilized…”
Araatris: Morthis blows on his drink, setting a hip on the corner of his desk. “It’s a very sad word in my world. You were wasted patrolling in Zangarmarsh.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse sighs, “It was my first real job, Morthis. There was no way to know what I was capable of back then. It was a valuable learning experience.”
Araatris: The other night elf takes a sip of his drink, savoring it with a happy sigh. “Life is a series of valuable learning experiences. They grow (c)
Araatris: (c) up from the center of what we are, like a vine climbing its way through a tree. They lead us somewhere. I’m glad yours have lead you here, kiddo.”
Rhoelyn: The huntress smiles and sips her coffee. Her face scrunches and she reaches for the sugar as she speaks, “I think my life is better for it.”
Araatris: Morthis smirks at her reaction. “Unfortunately, the same just can’t be said for your taste in drinks. It could be better, still.” He chuckles.
Rhoelyn: She spoons additional sugar and stirs it. “Better coffee than alcohol.” Nysse grimaces. “I’m not sure I’m ever going out with Val and Kaerryn again.”
Araatris: “You just need to start at a lower level of boozer, Nysse.” Morthis laughs, slipping in another sip of his drink. “You need Wrune level, first.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse takes a long drink of her coffee. “So… watered down wine?” She jokes. After another long drink, she comments, “That’s much better.”
Araatris: The older elf sighs. “Well, I suppose a little bit of coffee with your cream and sugar is better than no coffee at all.” He shakes his head.
Rhoelyn: The huntress grins and finishes her coffee. “You act like it’s a crime.” Morthis snorts, “How else can I make sure you kids grow up right?”
Araatris: As Nysse chuckles, he tips back the last of his drink and takes her mug and his to set down. He turns with a more serious look. “Ready to dangle?”
Rhoelyn: The young elf sobers. “As ready as I’ll ever be.” She straightens, gripping her bow. “Let’s go.” Morthis nods, and they head out towards Old Town.
Araatris: The two of them walk with purpose through the canals and into the narrow, winding streets of the oldest part of Stormwind. They chat minimally.
Rhoelyn: The shadows are long in the early evening light and Nysse’s gaze sweeps the area anxiously. Morthis watches her from the corner of his eyes.
Araatris: The spymaster grumbles, “Tell me he’s making a move. We need to wrap this up and get after Rylana.” He clenches his baton in his sleeve.
Rhoelyn: “I thought a shadow moved, but that was minutes ago. I have an idea…” Nysse snarls, “Are you sure you didn’t stage that attempt earlier?”
Araatris: Morthis doesn’t miss a beat. “You’ve caught me, kiddo,” he growls sarcastically. “I regularly stage attempts on my life. It’s a bid for attention.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse narrows her eyes. “Maybe you’re still holding a grudge from the last job. I can’t believe I’m missing my son’s birthday to babysit a geezer.”
Araatris: His wide eyes and sputtering anger are only half-feigned. “G-geezer? Don’t forget who sends in the cavalry when you get in trouble! Every. Mission.”
Rhoelyn: The huntress laughs bitterly. “The same calvary that rescued us during the Cataclysm? Where were they when my sister was kidnapped?”
Araatris: Morthis rounds on her, poking a finger at her. “Whose job was it to protect her in the first place? You’re my worst asset. Why do I even call you?”
Rhoelyn: She huffs, “The guards we had were useless. I had to hold them off on my own.” Her gaze flickers past him. “You know we’re the best you have.”
Araatris: He scoffs even as he follows the motion, nodding barely perceptibly. “Rhese is the best I have. You’re just the baggage that comes with him.”
Rhoelyn: Her face reddens and she sputters, “B-baggage?! How dare you-” A sharp crack sounds behind the spymaster as Nysse shoves him beneath her.
Araatris: The shot is followed by another in short order, and Korran springs out of nowhere, snarling as he rushes toward the alley where the shooter hides.
Rhoelyn: Nysse hisses, “Stay down. I don’t know if there’s a back up.” Morthis stays still, pressed under her as she looks around. Someone screams.
Araatris: A ways away, Rhese wipes blood off his cheek and curses, laying a hand on Korran’s whithers. “Go back to her! This isn’t the same one.”
Rhoelyn: Korran fades and, back with Morthis, Nysse tenses. Under her breath, she mumbles, “Where are you?” The wolf appears and Nysse’s eyes glaze over.
Araatris: Enveloped in Korran’s heightened senses, the ranger stills as the wolf turns in a circle, sifting the scents around them. She can all-but-see them.
Rhoelyn: The wolf bolts toward his new targets, waiting around the corner. She catches a glimpse of shock on the man’s face before Korran slams into him.
Araatris: The second one backs away, raising a musket at Korran as her partner falls. Rhese streaks by Nysse and Morthis, leaping off the wall at her.
Rhoelyn: Rhese rakes toward her torso with his claws, sending the gun scattering. The other man freezes as Korran presses his teeth into the man’s neck.
Araatris: The druid shifts to a bear to roar in their faces before he reverts to his native form. “Where is he?” Another shot is followed by a pained cry.
Rhoelyn: The huntress grimaces as she fires another arrow from her protective spot over Morthis. Fresh blood drips down onto the blue haired elf.
Araatris: “Nysse!” Morthis frowns at the blood wetting his hand. He looks in the direction of the last shot and quickly twists, rolling them both to the side.
Rhoelyn: The young night elf grunts and grabs at her injured shoulder as it hits the ground. Morthis flings a dagger that sinks into shadowy flesh.
Araatris: A curse rings out as the next shot ricochets off the cobbles near them. The figure disappears back into the alley. Morthis grins. “Now, Verune.”
Rhoelyn: Verune bolts past them as fast as his paws will take him into the alley. After more shouting and growls, the druid drags a figure in vines out.
Araatris: Rhese hurries to Nysse, helping her to her feet. He looks over at Verune’s prize long enough to nod. “That’s him.” The human’s black eyes narrow.
Rhoelyn: “You think you’ve won, but you’ve merely delayed us.” The assassin smiles before biting on something in his mouth. Verune’s hand glows green.
Araatris: The druid gasps as the man collapses and jumps backward just in time to avoid a gory surprise as the body turns black and liquefies in seconds.
Rhoelyn: Nysse pales. “What was that?!” Blood seeps between her fingers and Rhese frowns. He tugs her hand away and places a glowing hand over the wound.
Araatris: Verune grimaces and looks at Morthis, who gets to his feet slowly. His frown is more dour than the successful mission calls for. “Trouble.”
Rhoelyn: Morthis nods. “Was that all of them?” Nysse leans against Rhese, “That was all I could smell. This may be an organization from what he said.”
Araatris: The young druid wraps his arm around her as he finishes healing her shoulder, pulling away a bloodied hand with a deformed musket ball in it.
Rhoelyn: Verune shares a look with the spymaster. The elder druid gently suggests, “I’ll clean up here. Why don’t you head back to the office?”
Araatris: Morthis nods slightly. “You have your badges? The guard will be rushing in any moment.” His friend nods. “Yes. I will see to all of it. Go on.”
Rhoelyn: Rhese keeps Nysse close as they leave with Morthis. “See you soon.” Nysse mumbles to the spymaster, “I’m sorry for what I said back there…”
Araatris: The night elf waves a dismissive hand. “We made it sound good for the mission. You’re certainly not Rhese’s baggage. Other way around.” “Hey!”
Rhoelyn: Nysse giggles. Rhese protests, “I definitely hold my own. You all did a great job. If I didn’t know better, I would have believed you, Nysse.”
Araatris: The huntress flushes, lowering her eyes. “Thanks, surfal.” Morthis watches her expression with a smirk. “I am a few millenia older than you kids.”
Rhoelyn: The huntress shyly smiles. “I do have one question.” Morthis queries, “What’s that, kiddo?” “What’s a geezer? Kaerryn was too drunk to explain.”
Araatris: Pausing mid-step, he scratches at his short blue hair. “You threw it out without even knowing what it meant?” She nods. “It’s not too bad, is it?”
Rhoelyn: Morthis strokes his goatee. “Well… it’s a derogatory term for an old man.” Nysse’s eyes widen. “Oh!” Flustered, she stutters, “I-i’m sorry!”
Araatris: He laughs, again waving a dismissive hand. “I told you. We made it sound good for the mission.” Rhese rests a hand on her arm. “It’s half right.”
Rhoelyn: The huntress smiles and rubs her shoulder, rolling it out. “Well, I’m glad we were able to keep you safe. They’ll probably lie low for a bit now.”
Araatris: Morthis nods. “We’re going to have to hope so. Or just hope that this old geezer still has enough juice to protect himself if not.” He winks.
Rhoelyn: Blushing, Nysse ducks her head. “You’re not going to let me live that down, are you?” The spymaster laughs, “Not in the least bit, Nysse.”
Araatris: Rhese chuckles and flicks her ear. “It’s extra funny that you used a word Kaerryn taught you without knowing what it meant. That’s risky!”
Rhoelyn: “She was complaining about Verune. I took a chance since it sounded good.” Nysse covers her ear protectively as they step out the back of the city.
Araatris: “Lucky guess, kid.” Morthis smiles, making a beeline for the farmhouse office. “You two get ready. I’ll check for the report from Rylana.”
Rhoelyn: Rhese nods. “Sounds good.” He stops Nysse a shortways outside of the building and checks her shoulder again. “It’s not hurting, is it, lovely?”
Araatris: The huntress shakes her head, rolling it out once more. “It’s just a little stiff, now, dalah’surfal. Thank you.” He smiles and massages it.
Rhoelyn: He leans down and steals a kiss before guiding her gently toward the office. “Let’s see if we’ve heard from Ry.” They slip into the house.
Araatris: When they enter the spymaster’s office, he looks up from the hearthstone pulsing on his desk and sighs. “The good news is that she reported.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse frowns. “But you’re not happy. Is she okay? Did something happen?” Morthis rubs his face. “You might want to sit down for this one.”
Araatris: The huntress does as bidden, worry lining her face. Rhese takes up position over her shoulder as he continues, “It’s rotting confusing, but…”
Rhoelyn: “She thinks that the confusion is because of Draenor. She said that she’s starting to get the feeling that something’s not quite right…”
Araatris: Rhese’s brows go up. “Something’s not right… about… all of the Outlands? That’s not very specific.” Morthis nods. “I need you two to sort this out.”
Rhoelyn: The huntress frowns. “If everyone else has gotten confused, then what will be different for us? We’re going to be two more confused agents.”
Araatris: Tapping his finger on the desk by the hearthstone, the spymaster frowns. “You could. But my gut tells me that you two are needed on this.”
Rhoelyn: She peers up at Rhese, watching his expression. The young druid slowly nods. “You’ve always had a good instinct, Morthis. We’ll go check it out.”
Araatris: The older elf nods and stands restlessly. “I trust you two to figure out what’s going on and deal with it. I’ve pulled the others back for now.”
Rhoelyn: They sit in silence for a moment before Rhese offers his hand to Nysse. She takes it and stands as he talks. “We’ll get a room for the night.”
Araatris: “Fair enough.” Morthis steps around the desk, clapping a hand on each of their shoulders. “You’ll have mage tower permits in the morning.”
Rhoelyn: The young woman nods, smiling at him. “Do you need anything before we head out in the morning? If not, we can pick up the permits and go.”
Araatris: With a shake of his head, the elf releases them. “No. You’re officially off the clock for worrying about me. Just take care of yourselves.”
Rhoelyn: Rhese smirks, “We’ll be fine. You just worry about yourself, geezer.” Morthis huffs and turns away. “Get out, you two.” Nysse hisses, “Rhese!”
Araatris: The druid chuckles, leading her into the other room. “Don’t worry about Morthis, lovely. His ego is an unshakeable tree. A very, very old one.”
Rhoelyn: There are several cots and one larger bed in the corner. Nysse frowns in confusion. “Rhese, has there always been a larger bed here?”
Araatris: “No,” he cants his head. “Remember when we asked Morthis pointed out that he wasn’t encouraging agents to… how did he put it… ‘be cuddle buddies’?”
Rhoelyn: “That’s right. Why is there one now?” Nysse turns and starts to head back to the front room. “I’ll ask Morthis and make sure no one has messed-”
Araatris: Rhese interrupts, grabbing her hand. “Wait, wait…” When she blinks back at him, he gives her a charming grin. “Why look a gift bed in the mouth?”
Rhoelyn: Nysse relents as he cajoles her to the bed and they settle down for the night. The next morning, they pick up their permits and head to the portal.
Araatris: With the help of mage portals, the two stand at the base of the Dark Portal by midday, staring up at the mystical figure carved on the massive arch.
Rhoelyn: The huntress grips Rhese’s hand tightly. “It never becomes less intimidating…” Rhese grins. “It’ll be fine, lovely. Just like last time.”
Rhoelyn: “I know, surfal. We’ll be home with Yami in no time.” Nysse smiles, reassured. The two night elves step forward and through the Dark Portal.
Rhoelyn: Morthis looks grimly at the duo. “I’m grateful to you both. We’re still waiting for a report from Rylana.” Rhese nods, “Do we head to the portal?”