Rhoelyn: Nysse stirs as something brushes her cheek. “Mmmmm.” She rolls over in a long stretch and yawns toothily. “Is it morning?” Her eyes flutter open.
Araatris: Tsume nudges her more forcefully, her front paws on the bed. By the open door, a very confused and inebriated Kaerryn blinks at the wolf. “Whu?”
Rhoelyn: The huntress blinks in confusion between Tsume and Kaerryn, “Kaerryn, why did you let Tsume in here? She’s supposed to be in the stable.”
Araatris: The warrior snorts, closing the door and striding unsteadily toward them. “I din’t let’er in. Yer crazy pooch shoved past me. Dunno why.”
Rhoelyn: “She’s not crazy. I’ll take care of it.” Nysse sighs and sits up, “I’m up, I’m up. What is it, Tsume?” The wolf gently bites her hand and pulls.
Araatris: As Nysse shakes her off and goes to tug on her clothes in the burgeoning dawn light, Kaerryn flops on the bed, kicking her boots off.
Rhoelyn: Nysse sighs at Kaerryn, but tugs on her boots and heads out of the room. She locks the door behind her. “Where to?” Tsume looks down the hall.
Araatris: The wolf pads to Rhese’s closed door and scratches at it. A flickering light from inside shines on the hallway floor. She growls.
Rhoelyn: Glancing down at Tsume with a frown, Nysse knocks on the door, “Rhese?” After a couple attempts without a response, she tries the handle.
Araatris: Nysse frowns as the unlocked door swings open. Tsume tries to rush past her, but the huntress halts her with a hiss, drawing her knife. “Rhese?”
Rhoelyn: A yellow light pulses on the table next to a covered lump on the bed. Nysse and Tsume edge in, closing the door with a soft click, “Are you awake?”
Araatris: Rhese groans, grimacing in his sleep as he rolls over. He grasps at the covers as if in the throes of a nightmare, his forehead beaded with sweat.
Rhoelyn: Nysse hurries over, “Rhese! Wake up. You’re having a nightmare.” She wraps her hand in a loose shirt and shakes his shoulder. “Wake up.”
Araatris: The druid snaps his eyes open almost instantly, bolting upright. He has enough time to look at Nysse before he grabs his head, hunching over.
Rhoelyn: She hovers with a worried frown, “Rhese, are you okay? You look a bit pale…” She looks about and grabs his water skin to hand it to him.
Araatris: “Nysse… M-my head is pounding,” he grits out, taking the water with an unsteady hand. “What is that awful noise?” Tsume shoves past Nysse.
Rhoelyn: “There’s no noise. Do you want me to go get Wrune?” Tsume pushes Nysse aside as she puts her front paws on Rhese’s knees, “What are you doing?”
Araatris: “No, don’t bother Wrune. I’m fine.” Rhese takes a sip of water, watching Tsume. As he’s recorking it, he shakes his head at her. “No, we can’t.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse frowns, “What can’t we do? You’re not talking to Tsume, are you?” The wolf butts her head against his hand, then looks up at Nysse.
Araatris: “We can’t run,” he mumbles, still wincing as his gaze ranges around the room. He hands the water skin back to Nysse, peeling away his sheets.
Rhoelyn: Tsume paces to the door with another whine. Nysse takes the water skin and shakes her head, “You’re talking nonsense. I’m getting Wrune.”
Araatris: The druid stands from his bed, looking around as she turns to the door. “I can’t focus with all this noise, Nysse.” His gaze lands on the table.
Rhoelyn: Nysse looks between Rhese and the door worriedly, “I can’t hear anything. What noise are you talking about?” Tsume pushes against their legs.
Araatris: “Tsume, stop it. We can’t run. That would hurt Nysse… and me.” He frowns distractedly and raises his hand, the scythe in his grip.
Rhoelyn: “Rhese! Put that away now!” Nysse frowns and points back to the bed, “You’re going to sit and explain what’s going on. Why would we run?”
Araatris: Rhese frowns, but the scythe retreats. “My mace, then.” He points at the gear by his pack. “Please, Nysse.” He winces, the marks crawling.
Rhoelyn: Nysse shakes her head, “You’re scaring me.” She reaches out to him and stops with a sigh of frustration, “And you’re not telling me anything.”
Araatris: He growls and grabs her wrist thoughtlessly with his left hand, pulling her with him. “It’s too loud!” He grabs his mace and turns back.
Rhoelyn: She stumbles after him, staring wide-eyed at his hand on her wrist. Nysse tries tugging her wrist away and mumbles, “What’s wrong with you…?”
Araatris: Rhese shoos Tsume out of the way before smashing his bedside table with his mace, shattering the wood and sending the stone pulsing there flying.
Rhoelyn: Nysse yelps and flings her free hand up to protect her face. The stone smacks against her shoulder with a bruising thump. “Rhese! Stop this!”
Araatris: He glances at Nysse. “But, love-” Tsume pounces toward them, interrupting him. The wolf barrels into Nysse’s legs as she claws at the stone.
Rhoelyn: The huntress falls into Rhese as her legs buckle, “Ah!” Tsume bites at the stone and it scatters as Nysse hits her knees against the bed frame.
Araatris: As Rhese catches Nysse against his bare chest and Tsume tries to shove her nose and shoulders under the bed, the room’s door bursts open.
Rhoelyn: Wrune stares in horror between the bedside table, Rhese and Nysse, and Tsume. “What in the Light is going on here?!” He strides into the room.
Araatris: Nysse scrambles away from Rhese as the paladin looks between them, his expression thunderous. “You know the risks, and you still slept together?!”
Rhoelyn: “I-i-we…” Nysse turns an impossible shade of crimson, “I… in my room… j-just came in. We didn’t…” She buries her face in her hands and groans.
Araatris: Tsume manages to bat the stone out from under the bed with one last lunge that smacks it against the wall. It rolls to a stop against Wrune’s foot.
Rhoelyn: Wrune glares at them and reaches down and picks up the stone, “What is this?” Tsume spins and puts her paws up on Wrune’s chest. “Are you all mad?!”
Araatris: Rhese steps back, pressing against the wall and clapping his hands over his ears, his mace dropping to the floor. “T-too loud! Silence it!”
Rhoelyn: Wrune frowns and shoves Tsume to the side. The wolf whines at this side. “The stone?” Wrune stares at it and calls magic to his hand.
Araatris: It only takes a second before Wrune scowls and drops the stone on the floor. His hammer smashes it with tiny flash. Tsume breathes down his neck.
Rhoelyn: Nysse squeaks at the hammer’s crack. Wrune growls at Rhese, “Sit down!” He walks over to the huntress and pulls her to her feet by her upper arm.
Araatris: The druid breathes a sigh of relief and does as bidden, sinking down on the bed. Wrune drags Nysse across the room, kicking the door closed.
Rhoelyn: She stumbles after him. He turns and grabs her other arm, shaking her, “Nysse! What were you thinking?!” Nysse stares at Wrune in shock.
Araatris: He doesn’t even wait for her to answer, lifting her arms, looking over them carefully. She protests when he grabs her chin, turning her head.
Rhoelyn: “Wrune, you’re hurting me!” Nysse gasps. Wrune curses as he looks at her cheek. “You’re both idiots! Stay still!” He snarls as his hand glows.
Araatris: Nysse grits her teeth against the burn of his magic, her eyes watering. She manages to grate out, “It wasn’t like that. He was having a nightmare.”
Rhoelyn: Wrune glares, “I made sure that you were in separate rooms for a reason. Even a blind person can see what’s going on. This would have been-”
Araatris: Nysse manages to blush despite the pain. “N-no, Wrune. We weren’t… we didn’t…” She mumbles. “Tsume came and got me from my room.”
Rhoelyn: He narrows his eyes, “Fine. We’ll assume you didn’t stay in this room or anything untoward happened. What did?” The burning sensation fades.
Araatris: “I wish I knew…” Nysse looks away and brushes her sleeve across her eyes. “He woke up, but he kept complaining about a sound. And Tsume…”
Rhoelyn: “She was frantically trying to get us to do something.” She hugs herself, “During the confusion, Tsume barreled into me and I fell into Rhese.”
Araatris: Wrune frowns, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Geez. Come on, then. We need answers.” He leads the way back to Rhese’s door, knocking.
Rhoelyn: Nysse follows meekly behind Wrune. Rhese opens the door and walks back to the bed to sit. He mumbles, “Is she okay?” Wrune nods, “She’s fine.”
Araatris: Rhese nods and scrubs his face with his hands, his loose hair falling forward. He’s tossed on a tunic. “Before you say anything, we didn’t-”
Rhoelyn: “I know.” Wrune sighs and looks at Nysse, “Just sit.” She moves the supplies off a chair. “Now walk me through this from the beginning, Rhese.”
Araatris: “The beginning is last night.” The druid grimaces. “When I took off my armor, that stone fell out of the pocket. I couldn’t detect any magic.”
Rhoelyn: Wrune’s gaze settles on what remains of the side table, “So, you set it by your bedside. Then Tsume brought Nysse and found you in a nightmare.”
Araatris: Rhese nods. “It’s not a stretch to imagine the source of that particular gift. There was a hunter who bumped into me in the taproom, earlier.”
Rhoelyn: Wrune closes his eyes and murmurs a prayer, “Probably. What’s this noise you heard? How did Tsume know to get Nysse? She was in the stables.”
Araatris: Tsume nudges under his hand, earning herself some distracted pets as Rhese glances irritably at Wrune. “One question at a time, please.”
Rhoelyn: He nods, “That’s fair. How did Tsume know to get Nysse?” The huntress makes herself as small as possible in the chair and hugs her knees.
Araatris: “She could hear it, I suspect.” The druid looks down at the wolf, scritching her ears. “I wouldn’t be surprised if Vulf was also restless.”
Rhoelyn: Wrune glances back at the door, “We’ll check on him. What was the noise you heard? You mentioned it was too loud when I picked the stone up.”
Araatris: Rhese sighs and makes a face. “I know what it is, and I don’t know what it is. It just took me a while to recognize it. That night was confusing.”
Rhoelyn: The paladin frowns, “You’ve heard it before? What night?” Rhese gazes at Nysse, “I heard it before I turned into a wolf at the hunter’s camp.”
Araatris: Nysse pales a bit, hugging her legs tighter. “They were trying to make you lose control? Here? Tonight?” The druid nods, his expression dark.
Rhoelyn: “We need to get you out of here quickly then. Preferably without them knowing.” Wrune turns and heads toward the door, “I’ll get Verune.”
Araatris: Once the paladin has left, Rhese gets up from the bed and moves to crouch beside Nysse’s chair. “Are you okay, lovely? I… I’m sorry if…”
Rhoelyn: Nysse mumbles, “It’s not you.” She won’t meet his eyes, “First, I couldn’t help you, then Wrune yells out that we… I think everyone heard.”
Araatris: He gently points out, “I very much doubt it was a revelation to anyone we care about, Nysse.” When that doesn’t help, he changes topics.
Rhoelyn: “You’d just woken up, lovely, and didn’t think about the equipment, but you will next time.” Rhese smiles, “I trust you to do what’s needed.”
Araatris: He reaches for her, aborting the motion with a sigh. “I’m glad you came in when you did. It was a lot harder to hold on in the nightmare.”
Rhoelyn: She finally looks into his eyes, “What was the nightmare?” She puts her feet on the ground and clasps her hands self-consciously in her lap.
Araatris: Paling, he shakes his head. “I’d rather not think about it. My skin still crawls. It wasn’t real; that’s all that matters.” He glances up, haunted.
Rhoelyn: “I won’t ask any more then,” Nysse states softly. Outside the door, they can hear Wrune and Verune approaching, speaking in low voices.
Araatris: Rhese pushes to his feet, patting her covered knee with a little sigh as the door opens. When the others enter, he steps away.
Rhoelyn: Verune surveys the room as he enters, frowning both at the damage and the white knuckles on Nysse’s hands. He waits for Wrune to close the door.
Araatris: “Wrune has filled me in on the basics,” the elder druid rumbles, his keen gaze missing nothing. “It is past time for you two to disappear.”
Rhoelyn: Rhese nods, “Nysse, grab your gear from your room.” She nearly bolts past Verune with Tsume following. Wrune catches the door before it slams.
Araatris: With Nysse gone, Wrune closes the door and locks it. Verune steps up to Rhese. “You remember the lessons clearly?” The younger druid nods.
Rhoelyn: “I remember, Verune. It’s strange to not be going alone.” Rhese runs a hand through his hair, “Obviously, I’d rather she stayed here, but…”
Araatris: The elder shakes his head, peering at him. “I begin to understand.” Rhese blinks at him. “And just what do you mean by that, poppabear?”
Rhoelyn: “Your mate,” He pauses at the look on Rhese’s face, “whether you admit what she is to you or not, grounds you. She reminds you of who you are.”
Araatris: Wrune grins quietly at Rhese’s surly response. “I know who I am.” Verune raises a brow. “You must arm yourself with truth, Rhese. Remember?”
Rhoelyn: Rhese grumbles, “I remember.” He quickly changes the subject, “Will those potions be enough for her if another accident happens like today?”
Araatris: Wrune nods. “If you don’t delay, I believe so. You’ll need to be careful. There are only two.” He nods and looks back to Verune. “Anything else?”
Rhoelyn: “Both of you will need to be open and honest with yourselves in order to find the spirit. Nysse is…,” Verune searches to find the right world.
Araatris: Rhese grins fondly and finishes for him. “… Nysse? Believe me; I know.” The elder doesn’t share his amusement… much. He repeats, “Open. And. Honest.”
Rhoelyn: The doorknob to the door rattles and they hear Nysse’s soft voice, “I’m back…” Wrune opens the door. She slips in and places her key in his hand.
Araatris: Nysse has her gear on and her pack and new bow and quiver slung over her shoulders. She and Tsume look ready to leave. Rhese is barely dressed.
Rhoelyn: She looks Rhese up and down with a raised eyebrow. She stands confidently as she turns to Verune, “Which way will be the best to leave?”
Araatris: Rhese scratches his head sheepishly and sets to work getting ready. “I suggest you head south, first. It will give us time to distract the Pack.”
Rhoelyn: The huntress nods, “I’ll make sure to cover our tracks. Unfortunately, they’ll still be able to smell us.” She hesitates before hugging Verune.
Araatris: The elder blinks in surprise before hugging her back. “Elune bless your travels and your mission, sister.” He leans close and whispers to her.
Rhoelyn: “Thank you, Verune.” Her voice is soft, “I promise I won’t let him give in to the wolf. We’ll find the spirit. We have to.” She releases him.
Araatris: “I have faith in your strength, Nysse.” He smiles and steps aside for Wrune, who grips her shoulders with a smile. “Light keep you both.”
Rhoelyn: “Thanks, Wrune. We’ll be careful.” Nysse smiles. “Take care of the team like you both always do.” Rhese hands her the new gear. “Let’s go, lovely.”
Araatris: As she and Tsume head out into the hallway, Verune turns to Rhese, offering his hand. They clasp wrists. “Al diel shala, thero’shan.”
Rhoelyn: Rhese nods, “Shorel’aran, shan’do.” He smiles broadly, “Until next we meet.” The young druid turns to Wrune, “Try not to worry too much.”
Araatris: The human looks up at him with a wry grin, clapping his arm. “I’ll try, but you’re asking a lot. The others will be sad to miss saying goodbye.”
Rhoelyn: Chuckling, Rhese shakes his head, “I’ll buy them a round when we meet up next.” He glances over his shoulder, “My lady awaits. Be safe.”
Araatris: “You, too.” Wrune says. As Rhese turns and heads out into the hall, he shares an unreadable look with Verune, who nods and walks to the window.
Rhoelyn: Nysse greets Rhese and together they head downstairs and out the back door. The staff doesn’t question them as they hurry into the cold.
Araatris: As they head down the wooded hillside, careful of the tracks they leave behind, Rhese glances up, watching a familiar crow circle the Lodge.
Rhoelyn: Nysse stirs as something brushes her cheek. “Mmmmm.” She rolls over in a long stretch and yawns toothily. “Is it morning?” Her eyes flutter open.