Rhoelyn: Rhese is awakened by a shout and growling. “L-let me go! My master doesn’t like others touching his property!” “But he leaves you out here?”
Araatris: The druid leaps up, careful to slip into his bloodelven form and grab his twin daggers before he slaps open the tent flap. “What is this racket?”
Rhoelyn: Another sin’dorei grasps Nysse’s chain and glances at Rhese. “Ah! This is your master, wolf pup? I was concerned this was an escaped slave.”
Araatris: Stepping free of the tent and straightening, he raises a brow. “And you thought this because…? You failed to see the tent beside her?”
Rhoelyn: “There’s a lot a slave will do to seem like she has a master. There was one captured last week.” The blood elf ignores Nysse’s tugs on her chain.
Araatris: The disguised druid nods and steps toward them, sheathing his daggers. “Duly noted. However, this one is mine. Kindly remove your hand from her.”
Rhoelyn: He releases her. Nysse shoots the stranger a dark look and runs to Rhese. The other blood elf bows. “My apologies. She’s all yours, of course.”
Araatris: Smiling, he tucks her behind him. “An honest mistake. Did this one run off, I’d be glad for your vigilance.” He offers a hand. “Rhese Riverwind.”
Rhoelyn: He shakes Rhese’s hand. “Leothir Duskfall. It’s my pleasure to meet you.” Nysse clutches the back of the druid’s shirt, peeking around him.
Araatris: Rhese nods. “Leothir. This one calls herself Nyssera.” The false sin’dorei shoots her a stern look. “… and she is quite late with my breakfast.”
Rhoelyn: The huntress stares up with large, luminous eyes then hurries to the fire. Leothir smiles, “She’s quite lovely. How did you happen upon her?”
Araatris: His appreciative smile is far more genuine than affected as Rhese says, “Isn’t she a prize? I bought her in a border camp near Ashenvale.”
Rhoelyn: “Quite the prize. I admit that I hadn’t checked Ashenvale.” Leothir sighs remorsefully, “I’ll have to make a trip if they have more like her.”
Araatris: “Well,” Rhese drawls, “Be prepared to work for your prize. This one was as feral as the wolf, at first.” He sighs. “So you’re in the market?”
Rhoelyn: Leo looks at Nysse with greater appreciation as she crouches in front of the pot. “It’s more that I like to collect more the exceptional ones.”
Araatris: The druid laughs. “A collecter? I see now why you thought my girl might be worth looking in to.” His smirk is dark. “You were hopeful. Admit it.”
Rhoelyn: The other blood elf chuckles. “Yes, I was, but, alas, she’s taken.” Nysse briefly glares at Leothir before obediently bringing Rhese a bowl.
Araatris: He takes the food and gestures at their golden-haired guest. “What did I teach you about manners, Nyssera?” he chides gently.
Rhoelyn: She bows her head submissively. “Yes, Rhese.” Nysse fetches the other bowl and brings it to Leothir. She holds it at arm’s length. “Please enjoy.”
Araatris: The other elf takes it with a little tilt of his head. To Rhese, he says, “Thank you for the hospitality of your camp. You’ve certainly tamed her.”
Rhoelyn: Rhese smiles, “She has improved.” Nysse silently slips back to the pot and uses the serving spoon to take a bite to soothe her empty stomach.
Araatris: Though he shoots her a showy frown, Rhese tucks in to his food before asking, “So what brought you by us, this morning, Leothir?”
Rhoelyn: Leothir gestures to his hawkstrider. “I’m heading to Shattrath. This is the main pass, so it tends to be quite busy.” Nysse sneaks another bite.
Araatris: Rhese glances at the bird and manages only a twitch under his eye. He grins. “I had noticed. We’re heading by there, if you’d care for company.”
Rhoelyn: The huntress narrows her eyes as she notices how slow Leothir is eating. She shifts her back to them and starts eating regular spoonfuls.
Rhoelyn: “I’d be honored to join you. Thank you.” Leothir trails off with a confused frown as his gaze settles on Nyssera. “Does she always eat like that?”
Araatris: “Nyssera!” Rhese stiffens. “How many times have I told you that you’ll not behave like a wild thing! Eat with a bowl.” He throws his at her feet.
Rhoelyn: Nysse twists, wide-eyed and gaping. “I didn’t want to… trouble… you.” As his glare increases she scrambles and picks up the bowl. “Y-yes, Rhese.”
Araatris: The druid sighs and turns back to his guest. “… still a work in progress.” Leo chuckles. “I’d wager she’s worth it.” Nysse sullenly eats.
Rhoelyn: Rhese gazes at her. “Yes, she is. I do hope that I can smooth those rough edges. I’m surprised you’re not traveling with one of yours.”
Araatris: Leothir shakes his head, finishing a last bite before answering. “No, my favorite is something of a golden bloom. She’s beautiful and delicate.”
Rhoelyn: “I see. She must be quite the catch.” Rhese grins. Nysse re-fills her bowl and takes it to Rhese. She won’t meet his eyes, but offers the bowl.
Araatris: The disguised night elf takes it with a nod. “Better, my dear. If you’re finished eating, we must be on our way.” He pulls out his timepiece.
Rhoelyn: Nysse nods. “I’ll get things ready.” The huntress hurries to close camp. Rhese eats his bowl. Leothir takes his bowl to Nysse. “Here is mine.”
Araatris: She thanks him with a quiet word and quickly finishes cleaning up their meal. Meanwhile, Rhese gets to his feet and works on the tent.
Rhoelyn: Leothir waits on his hawkstrider as they put their gear on the wolf. The huntress swings onto the wolf’s back easily, Rhese climbing behind her.
Araatris: The possessive hand he rests on her waist makes Nysse stiffen as Vorok starts down the road to Shattrath. Leothir starts immediately into chatter.
Rhoelyn: After a few hours, near the pass, Nysse squirms restlessly, wishing that she dared move Rhese’s hand from her waist. “She looks uncomfortable.”
Araatris: The disguised druid looks down at her at Leothir’s comment. “Hm.” He pulls the time trinket from his pocket. “It’s a good time to stretch our legs.”
Rhoelyn: Pulling Vorok to a stop, Rhese swings off the mount. Nysse looks hopeful. “We can run?” Leothir chuckles, “Ah. I see now. Do you run with her?”
Araatris: The black-haired sin’dorei pulls a face. “It’s not my favorite pastime. I usually let her run. She knows better than to stray.” He takes her hand.
Rhoelyn: Nysse takes his hand and slides down to her feet. Rhese gives her a meaningful look as he climbs back up. She flinches, then looks away and nods.
Araatris: The druid grins at their companion. “So, do you think your spindly chicken can keep up with my wolf and wildling?” Leothir smirks. “Let’s find out.”
Rhoelyn: The huntress’ eyes sparkle mischievously and before Rhese can speak, she howls. The wolf echoes her and they take off, matching stride.
Araatris: They race for a few miles, the mage’s hawkstrider competitive enough that Nysse starts to fall behind both it and Vorok. He pulls ahead.
Rhoelyn: The night elf’s skin flushes with exertion as she attempts to catch up, but she lags further behind. Rhese finally pulls to a stop. “Leothir!”
Araatris: The hawkstrider circles back to him as the wolf and his rider pause to let her catch up. Rhese watches her as Leo crowes, “Spindly chicken, hm?”
Rhoelyn: Nysse wraps her arms around the wolf for support as she catches her breath. Rhese snorts and reaches down. “That’s enough for now, Nyssera.”
Araatris: “M… May I walk for a while to cool down?” The huntress lowers her eyes, wiping some of the sweat from her brow. He pulls his hand back with a nod.
Rhoelyn: Rhese grins at Leothir as he nudges Vorok into a walk. “Your spindly chicken did better than I expected.” Nysse hovers by the wolf’s neck.
Araatris: Leo pats the bird’s colorful, feathered neck as he falls in beside them. “He’s a good bird. My brother bred him in the family stables, you know.”
Rhoelyn: The druid keeps half an eye on Nysse as she tugs her hair off her neck. “The family business. What are you doing heading to Shattrath then?”
Araatris: “The other family business.” Leothir grins, brushing his long golden hair off his shoulder. He waggles his fingers, letting magic spark around them.
Rhoelyn: Nysse assesses Leothir now with an intense gaze, but it’s Rhese who asks her unspoken question. “Really? What type of magic do you practice?”
Araatris: “Fire combat,” he admits. “I trained in swordsmanship in Quel’thalas, so I use them both.” Leo gestures to the empty sword hilt on his belt.
Rhoelyn: Rhese sighs, “I wasn’t lucky enough to have talent with magic, but I’m decent with my daggers.” He glances up. “We should be at Shattrath soon.”
Araatris: “What’s next for you?” the sin’dorei asks, glancing down at Nysse. “You said you were going by Shattrath. Not your final destination, I take it?”
Rhoelyn: Nysse ducks her head and puts her hand on his leg, trying to give him time to think. “May I ride?” Rhese reaches down and tugs her up, sidesaddle.
Araatris: The disguised druid wraps his arms around her to hold the reins before he returns his attention to Leo. “No. We’re going further to Shadowmoon.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse blushes as she rests her head against Rhese’s chest, unsure of what else to do. Leothir chuckles. “Well, I hope you don’t need to rush.”
Araatris: Rhese sighs and tugs out his timepiece for a moment. “Actually, I am trying to hurry. I want to join the initiative there.” Leo blinks. “Swelltide?”
Rhoelyn: “Yes, that’s the one. Assuming I’m not too late.” Rhese glances down, noting Nysse’s heavy eyelids, and tightens his grip. “You’ve heard of it?”
Araatris: The mage tosses his head back and laughs. “What amazing luck, Rhese! The reason I’m going to Shattrath is to portal a unit there to Swelltide.”
Rhoelyn: The sin’dorei druid exclaims, “Really? Would you be able to portal us there?” Nysse mumbles at Rhese, “Would that put us back on schedule?”
Araatris: There’s nothing false in his answering smile. “Even better. Ahead of schedule!” The hopeful look he gives Leothir has the other man chuckling.
Rhoelyn: “I’ll confirm, but I don’t see any harm.” Leothir points ahead to Shattrath. “But first, we must see you settled. Do you have a place to stay?”
Araatris: “We don’t.” As Nysse’s head nods sleepily, he presses her against his chest. “I wasn’t sure what state the occupation effort would be in.”
Rhoelyn: Leothir grins broadly. “Excellent! Then you can stay with me. I have a building reserved as thanks for my services. I’d be glad for the company.”
Araatris: The druid blinks, forcing a smile. “A generous offer, friend, but my girl and I require a certain amount of privacy. If you catch my meaning.”
Rhoelyn: The mage blinks and looks at Nysse again. “Oh! I didn’t realize… Of course!” He waves his hand dismissively. “I can give you a private room.”
Araatris: “That’s generous of you, Leothir. In that case, we’ll happily take you up on your offer.” When Rhese smilingly offers his hand, the mage leans over.
Rhoelyn: Leo shakes his hand. “I’m glad!” Nysse growls as she’s jostled. The city’s walls rise up beside them, and they continue around to the from gate.
Araatris: Once papers are presented and the trio are riding amongst the bustle of the recently-occupied outer districts, Nysse stiffens at the curious looks.
Rhoelyn: Leo chatters, “… dinner.” The huntress blushes and mutters under her breath, “Why are they staring? I thought slaves were common here.”
Araatris: Rhese’s arm tightens around her as Leo addresses her, “No, not so common, really. Maybe once we win the war, we’ll have more of you, girl.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse ducks her head. “Why do you even want more like me? Why have slaves in th-” Rhese frowns and cuts her off with a warning. “Nyssera.”
Araatris: The huntress flushes and presses her lips together. “Why doesn’t matter,” Rhese scolds. “Doing as I say is all you need to concern yourself with.”
Rhoelyn: The female night elf’s shoulders slump and she sullenly answers, “Yes, Rhese.” Rhese smiles apologetically. “I hope my girl didn’t offend you.”
Araatris: The mage waves a dismissive hand even as he peers at her thoughtfully. “Don’t be concerned, Rhese. I’ve dealt with the same question from mine.”
Rhoelyn: Leothir smiles. “I always say that if we treat them right, then they’ll have no reason to leave. She does remind me a lot of mine in some ways.”
Araatris: “Oh?” Rhese raises his black brows at the elf, nudging their mount around another cart. “How is that, my friend? Nyssera certainly isn’t delicate.”
Rhoelyn: The sin’dorei laughs. “No, she certainly isn’t, but she has a soft spoken manner with a hint of rebellion. Perhaps it’s a night elven trait.”
Araatris: “Perhaps it is,” Rhese shrugs slightly, looking down at Nysse. He grins through his teeth. “This one does manage to have her spirited moments.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse huddles down further in her spot. She dares a worried glance up before quickly ducking her head. Leo points, “There it is! Ahead of us.”
Araatris: The pair look up at the building, impressed by the size of the bulbous draenic structure. “My, they’re very grateful for your help, aren’t they?”
Rhoelyn: “Like I said, I believe that we can find you a private room. Sadly, I don’t have many servants here.” Leo swings off the hawkstrider. “Pera!”
Araatris: A tall kal’dorei woman with short, blue hair slips the door open and rushes out to take the bird’s reins. “Welcome back, Master Leothir,” she says.
Rhoelyn: Leo grins. “Thank you. Now we’ll have guests, so I expect preparations to be made for dinner and a room for them.” “Yes, Master Leothir.”
Araatris: Rhese doesn’t trust himself to speak at the sight of the slave, so he pastes a bland, polite smile on his face and dismounts, offering Nysse a hand.
Rhoelyn: Nysse takes his hand and slips off the wolf. Pera makes a gesture and a boy comes out and takes their reins. The huntress grabs Rhese’s bag.
Araatris: The druid follows Leothir into the house, checking his timepiece trinket. “I do hope they won’t be long with dinner. I’m a bit behind schedule.”
Rhoelyn: Leothir nods. “Of course. Perhaps just a light one then if that’s acceptable.” Rhese nods. “That’s fine.” Behind them, Nysse’s shoulders droop.
Araatris: The sin’dorei deigns to show them to a room himself, gesturing through the open doorway with a flourish. “Humble accommodations, I fear.”
Rhoelyn: The druid blinks at the large bed and wardrobe. It’s better than many nice inn rooms he’d seen. “It’ll have to do. We appreciate the hospitality.”
Araatris: Nysse stares, openly wide-eyed at the spacious room, as she rests their pack by the bed. Rhese watches her as Leothir begs off to check on dinner.
Rhoelyn: The druid shuts the door as she peers around the room. Nysse gasps as she peers in doors. “Look at the bed and… it has its own closet and bath!”
Araatris: “Ce- Light!” Blankly watching her enthusiastic exploration, Rhese plops down onto the bed and scrubs a hand over his face. “I want to kill him.”
Rhoelyn: The huntress sobers. “We need him.” She walks to the bed and sits on the edge. “How long do you have? Also, be careful of all the ears.”
Araatris: He groans and scrubs his face one more time before straightening with a nod. “A little less than an hour. We need to eat quickly and make excuses.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse bites her lip. “Use me if you need. I think I might have pushed a little much today. He just frustrated me…” The huntress grimaces.
Araatris: The druid presses the heels of his hands into his eyes, hunching over. His voice is soft. “He… keeps a boy. A child! And we don’t dare help.”
Rhoelyn: She leans across the bed and lightly touches his shoulder. “Yes, but you heard him. There will be a lot more if the war is successful.”
Rhoelyn: “I know it’s hard, but I think Pera may be his mother. At least they have each other.” The huntress clenches the bed sheets in her other hand.
Araatris: He nods but takes another minute before he straightens, his face carefully clear. “Right, my dear. Let’s go see about dinner. We’re behind schedule.”
Rhoelyn: The night elf removes her hand from his shoulder and demurely waits by the bed as he stands. They leave the room and head back to the entryway.
Rhoelyn: Rhese is awakened by a shout and growling. “L-let me go! My master doesn’t like others touching his property!” “But he leaves you out here?”