Chapter 20: Assault
**Rhoelyn:** The shout is their first warning. The group surges into motion from a dead sleep. Nysse summons the rejuvenated Korran and grabs her weapons.
**Araatris:** Executor Carling curses under his breath and shoves Bendric off of him. “So much for our element of surprise.” Ki’ilikai barks, “Get’n place.”
**Rhoelyn:** They spread out around the camp as Kai gives one last comment. “Remember da one dat yer fightin’.” He watches their targets through the brush.
**Araatris:** The others nod, and Neelie leans close. “I await your signal, Kai. Once you manage to separate them, I will move.” Her lion pads up beside the troll.
**Rhoelyn:** He nods. “De elementals be willin’, it shouldn’t take much.” The shaman closes his eyes in concentration, murmuring under his breath.
**Araatris:** His team scrambles even as the Alliance do, rushing forward toward the edges of the ruin. Dakna charges at Verune, leaving Kaerryn frowning.
**Rhoelyn:** “Oi! What about me?!” The warrior hurries after the druid bear. Nysse spins toward Carling and snarls, drawing an arrow and releasing it.
**Araatris:** The Forsaken commander grins grotesquely as he swats the projectile away with his huge mace. Galandrie steps in front of him, sword ready.
**Rhoelyn:** His eyes lock on her. “Another traitor. I’ll be doing the Dark Lady a service by getting rid of you.” He steps forward, swinging high as mist rises.
**Araatris:** The blood elf dodges under his weapon, her steps wide and calm and sure. Not far away, Leo guards Rhoelyn as she waits quietly, staff in hand.
**Rhoelyn:** Relare holds his sword ready, watching their backs with Fayrial. A familiar voice comes from the foggy foliage. “There you are, pally boy.”
**Araatris:** The blood elf shifts as a little dagger zings at him. Instead of his armor’s seam, it pings off the plate. “Bendric,” Rel snaps. “Come out here.”
**Rhoelyn:** “Maybe I’m out there, but ya can’t see me. But I figure… you and I… we got a deal to settle.” A dagger pings from a slightly different direction.
**Araatris:** “That’s fine with me, you weasel.” The paladin’s eyes narrow. He slams his sword into the ground and fiery light erupts through the soil around him.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse curses as she holds her bow ready. Slowly, the mist obscures the areas around the edge of their camp. An arrow hits the ground by her feet.
**Araatris:** Carling’s rictus grin turns smug, and for a moment, the huntress catches a glimpse of glowing red eyes in the mist. A shadowed beast charges Tsume.
**Rhoelyn:** Korran lunges to intercept, but reaches it at the same time that it bowls into the snowy wolf. “Tsume!” Nysse takes a half-step towards them.
**Araatris:** The wolves’ snarling is accompanied by a leonine roar, and the trio dart off enough that their shadows fade into the mist. Rhese grabs her arm.
**Rhoelyn:** “Stay, lovely. You can check on them through Korran, but you need to see if you can find where that arrow came from.” Her mate squeezes her bicep.
**Araatris:** Though Nysse flicks one last glance toward where the animals can be heard in vicious battle, she nods. “Stay close, Rhese. This has to be a trap.”
**Rhoelyn:** The druid nods. “This fog can’t be natural. Do you think it’s the work of their troll?” Nysse frowns, searching the area visually. “Likely.”
**Araatris:** She catches a momentary glimpse of another red glow, and an arrow quickly follows. Nysse gasps and shoves Rhese away as it passes between them.
**Rhoelyn:** The mists swallow her mate, disorienting her. Nysse finds herself turning slowly, searching. “Rhese? Are you still there? I can’t see you.”
**Araatris:** The druid’s voice sounds far too distant to make sense, but she can still hear him as he shouts, “Nysse! Where did you go? Don’t run off!”
**Rhoelyn:** “I’m still-” She jumps as another arrow whistles far too close. “-here.” Nysse finishes lamely realizing that she can hear, but see no one else.
**Araatris:** Rhese doesn’t respond, but another voice does. “Ya goin’ ta die, mur’drah.” She gasps and spins, searching for its source and seeing only white.
**Rhoelyn:** “Who are you?” An arrow slices her armor on her upper arm and she stumbles back again. “We have to protect ourselves.” “Korran, I need you.”
**Araatris:** The wolf’s answer is his glow as he appears at her side. “M’name be Ki’ilikai, an’ m’vengeance be for m’bruddah, Nataro,” comes the growl.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse’s eyes narrow. “The troll that was with him. You all had a chance to back down. I didn’t want to kill him, but I had to defend my family.”
**Araatris:** “Doan’ mattah.” His voice comes from the opposite side. “A life be demandin’ a life.” Nysse just barely manages to dodge the next arrow.
**Rhoelyn:** The sounds of the others are muffled now and Korran circles around her, sniffing. “Is that how it is? Then I still have many more to kill.”
**Araatris:** The troll’s voice growls, a wordless sentiment, and suddenly Korran leaps at his mistress, tackling her as lightning strikes where she was.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse rolls with push, coming back to her feet with her bow aimed. An arrow flies toward the source of the attack. “Show yourself cowards!”
**Araatris:** Her answer is a rusty laugh and a hunched shadow that steps closer in the fog. “De best part be what’s planned fer ya before an’ after ya die.”
**Rhoelyn:** She fires an arrow at the shadow. “I won’t be a part to your plans.” Her wolf growls deeply. “Your mate is worried and nearby. I can smell him.”
**Araatris:** “Can you lead him to me?” She can just barely see her arrow pierce the misted shadow, but it only leaves a swirl of disturbed fog, a trick.
**Rhoelyn:** There’s a moment’s hesitation before her spirit beast answers, “Yes, I can. This tricks the eyes, but not the nose. If you must move… step right.”
**Araatris:** Nysse nods as the fog thickens around her. Deeper in the heart of the ruins, her sister tugs at Leo’s hand on her arm. “S-she’s in danger!”
**Rhoelyn:** The mage glances down at the priestess with a worried frown. “We have no way to find her. If we move too far, we’ll put ourselves in danger.”
**Araatris:** Though his love trembles, she nods. Leo gives her forearm a squeeze before he turns back to the edge of the fog closing in around them.
**Rhoelyn:** He murmurs soothingly. “I’m sure Rhese is with her. He won’t let anything happen to her.” It was said half for her and half for himself.
**Araatris:** Both of them tense, wary, when a rasping shadow strides toward them out of the white shroud. “You’re always worryin’ about the wrong people, Leo.”
**Rhoelyn:** The blood elf shoves his love behind him and summons magic to his hand. “Nolin Quaed. I would say it’s nice to see you, but I really can’t.”
**Araatris:** The rogue snorts. “Feeling’s mutual. Run now,” he grates out, brandishing his two daggers, “and you just might live another day.” Leo scoffs.
**Rhoelyn:** “Like we’d just turn tail and abandon our friends and family. You might want to run yourself. I won’t hold back.” The blood elf snaps at the undead.
**Araatris:** As the pair of them posture, Rhoelyn hears a whisper on the edge of her senses, faint like the voices of the weaker wisps. “… a. Tryi… elp… bu…”
**Rhoelyn:** The priestess starts singing softly, trying to give energy to the spirit. A golden aura settles around her as she seeks a connection.
**Araatris:** Leothir steps forward, shooting a gout of flame at the Forsaken rogue as the healer closes her dark eyes and smiles softly. “Kitalia…”
**Rhoelyn:** The rogue darts to the side, throwing a dagger. “Kitalia, what do you mean about trying to help? We received your message from Nysse.”
**Araatris:** With the child’s voice strengthened in her head, the healer can almost see Quaed’s daughter in her mind’s eye, her little hands wringing together as (c)
**Araatris:** (c) she shifts from foot to foot nervously. “Papa wants to try, too. Don’t let Mister Leo hurt him, okay?” Rhoe winces. “Tali, how can I promise that?”
**Rhoelyn:** The girl looks over her shoulder as if listening to someone. “Papa says t’make it a pretty light show.” She looks at Rhoe. “Does it make sense?”
**Araatris:** A smile lifting her lips, the elf says, “I believe it does, darling child. Thank you.” Her tender thought is akin to a kiss on the girl’s forehead.
**Rhoelyn:** In her mind, she can see the girl’s blush and Tali nods. “I hafta go now. Take care of yerself an’ Mister Leo, Miss Rhoelyn.” The connection fades.
**Araatris:** The priestess opens her dark eyes after a heartbeat or two, and she raises her voice in song, clutching her staff. An azure mist rises by her feet.
**Rhoelyn:** Leo ducks under another dagger and he calls back to Rhoelyn. “Princess? What are you doing? Do you think this is really time to be singing?”
**Araatris:** His answer is a bobbing wisp rising from the mist. And then another, and a dozen more descending from the trees to whirl around all three of them.
**Rhoelyn:** Quaed backs away from them with a raspy growl. “What do you think you’re doing, Rhoelyn? A few wisps aren’t going to be enough to stop me.”
**Araatris:** The priestess smiles, her eyes narrowing on him. “Then you have nothing to fear, do you, Nolin? Come. You are quite adept at kidnapping me.”
**Rhoelyn:** The mage gives her an incredulous look. Behind him the forsaken gives her a gruesome grin. “Yes. Yes, I am.” He lunges past the blood elf.
**Araatris:** Leo spins, lifting his hand with frosted magic dancing at the tips of his fingers. Around them, the wisps close in, cutting them off from view.
**Rhoelyn:** “Stop, Leothir.” Her mate blinks at her in confusion. “But I’m supposed to pr-” Quaed rasps urgently, “Quiet. How long do we have, Rhoelyn?”
**Araatris:** She shakes her head. “Not long, lest they get suspicious.” The undead human nods. “Then listen up,” he rasps, all business. “Kimmel’s in the wings.”
**Rhoelyn:** “The apothecary? I wouldn’t have thought she’d come here herself.” The mage lowers his hand and joins them. The wisps swirl and dive about them.
**Araatris:** The rogue just grunts. “Listen, she ain’t taking ‘no’ for an answer. Push comes to shove, she’ll kill Rhoe if she can’t be taken. Get me, Leo?”
**Rhoelyn:** “So… we fake her being taken so we can turn the tide when they try to retreat, right?” Quaed gives Leo a dark look. “Then Neelie kills Nysse.”
**Araatris:** Rhoelyn grips both their wrists. “Never. She mustn’t die. I have protected her from what Ki’ilikai plans, but … but I could not see beyond it.”
**Rhoelyn:** The mage frowns. “Then… let’s carry our battle to her. The spirits could lead us to them as we… we fight, couldn’t they? Any better ideas, Quaed?”
**Araatris:** Their opponent-ally makes a sour face. “Better than most of mine, I suppose.” Rhoe hesitates before she nods and looks up. “Find my sister.”
**Rhoelyn:** A few wisps separate out and disappear. The rogue nods sharply. “Alright. Back to business.” He lunges forward and grabs Rhoelyn’s arm.
**Araatris:** “Oh!” The priestess squeaks in surprise as her mate grabs her other arm and shoves his magic-wreathed hand at the rogue. “Don’t touch her!”
**Rhoelyn:** Quaed ducks, releasing the priestess as the wisp barrier falls. “You may as well give in. She’ll be coming with us one way or another, traitor.”
**Araatris:** Flame spurts out of Leo’s hand, just missing the rogue as he darts to the side. “Not a chance, Quaed,” the blood elf snaps. She tugs his sleeve.
**Rhoelyn:** Rhoelyn leans and whispers into his ear, and he gives her an exasperated look, but nods. He shoves her behind him, and they circle each other.
**Araatris:** The healer’s grip on the back of her love’s tunic guides him as he draws the empty hilt from his belt and adds a firecrafted blade to his defense.
**Rhoelyn:** As a group, they slowly move with Rhoelyn’s guidance. Further in the mist, Nysse grimaces as an arrow slices through leather and flesh on her thigh.
**Araatris:** Her foe resolves as the troll follows not far behind the barb, the red eyes appearing briefly over his shoulder. He swings bladed fists at Nysse.
**Rhoelyn:** She dodges one, but the other scores the front of her armor. The huntress is forced to shoulder her bow hurriedly and draw her sword. “Kor-”
**Araatris:** Her thought is interrupted by desperation as the agile shaman rushes in under her guard and scores a long line of three slices down her side.
**Rhoelyn:** Nyssera gasps as the wounds sting, blood staining her armor. She falls into a crouch, trying to reduce her profile as she stabs back at him.
**Araatris:** Kai dances backward with barely a scratch on his leather vest. There, he pauses and straightens arrogantly, fishing an item out of his pouch.
**Rhoelyn:** “Oh no you don’t!” The night elven huntress charges forward, leading with her shoulder to try and knock the troll over. He smirks at her.
**Araatris:** From over his shoulder, an arrow whirs past his pointed ear and sinks into that lead shoulder of hers. He steps aside as she stumbles with a cry.
**Rhoelyn:** “Dat not playin’ smart, Nyssera. I ain’t alone.” Kai turns the item over in his hands for a moment before opening his hand over the sprawled elf.
**Araatris:** The rough-hewn totem buries its base in the ground by her knee, and her opponent wets it with a splatter of her own blood by flicking his wrist.
**Rhoelyn:** The woman turns her dark gaze up to him, dragging herself to her knees. The troll mets her stare. “Don’ worry. It ain’t mah place t’kill ya.”
**Araatris:** A feline figure streaks out of the mist just as the shaman triggers the magic in the totem, and a cut gem at its crown glows azure. Korran yelps.
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress shrieks, the sound echoing off all the nearby trees. The druid slams into the troll sending them tumbling away from Nysse.
**Araatris:** Still some yards away, Rhoelyn shudders and bites her lip, squeezing her eyes closed. The gem begins to suck energy from her sister’s chest.
**Rhoelyn:** “We… we must hurry!” The priestess tugs Leothir towards her sister. Leothir nods jerkily, backing away from Quaed. Nearby, Nysse doubles over.
**Araatris:** Even as he tries to fend off Rhese, the troll gives a dark laugh. Korran whines and noses Nysse, his form becoming less substantial.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse clings to the wolf, wrapping her arms around him. Her chest begins to glow brightly. “Do not worry, little one. It is not the end.”
**Araatris:** “I told you I would protect you when the time came.” Another voice rings through her head, its words barely penetrating the haze of pain.
**Rhoelyn:** The glow grows until it surrounds her, acting like a beacon in the mist. Nysse gasps, “I… I don’t uun…understand.” She sobs in Korran’s fur.
**Araatris:** As soon as it shines, Rhoelyn turns to Quaed and whispers a brief prayer. She’s already running as the magic coalesces and chains of Light grab him.
**Rhoelyn:** Leo bolts after her. Nysse raises her head to the vague shape forming in front of her. “I… I know you.” “It’s been awhile, hasn’t it, Nyssera?”
**Araatris:** The old hunter’s spirit kneels before her, settling himself between them and the totem. His smile is as kind as she remembers as her head lols.
**Rhoelyn:** “Tell your father that Keldrin wishes him well. I’m glad I can help him once more. Attack this totem when you’re able.” He reaches for the totem.
**Araatris:** “B-but…” Light flares blindingly as the ghost’s hand touches the artifact. When Nysse’s vision clears, she stares at its gently pulsing gem.
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress only stirs when Korran noses her cheek gently. “Little one, he has taken my place. You must destroy the totem as he requested.”
**Araatris:** Nysse nods and grimaces when her wounds burn, grabbing her sword in her off hand. She smashes the totem with the hilt. “Sister!” comes the shout.
**Rhoelyn:** The totem cracks and falls over as the young woman looks up, her gaze searching for Rhoelyn. An arrow whistles by her ear as she attempts to stand.
**Araatris:** Kai rolls and kicks Rhese away with a growl, a pair of new bloody furrows marring his cheek. Around them, the unnatural mist starts to lift.
**Rhoelyn:** Relare kicks the goblin, sending him tumbling across the ground. His legs and side are bloody, but he closes on his enemy without a limp.
**Araatris:** As the little rogue struggles to get up, Verune charges at his orcish comrade once again, Kaerryn waiting to swing at the unbalanced warrior.
**Rhoelyn:** Metal rings out as Galandrie’s blade meets with Executor Carling’s mace. The blood elf sports a bloody lip and black eye, but holds her ground.
**Araatris:** Faye dashes at Quaed as his shackles of Light finally dissolve, and the Forsaken ducks under one of her glaive’s blades with a rasped curse.
**Rhoelyn:** Tsume snaps at a large cat, both displaying bloody fur as they grapple. The priestess surges through it all to toss her arms around her sister.
**Araatris:** “Rhoe!” Her mate shouts her name when he’s cut off from following her by Kaerryn and Dakna’s melee. The priestess whispers, “You’ve been hurt.”
**Rhoelyn:** “Yes,” the huntress admits softly, “but you should have stayed near Leo. It’s not safe, Rhoelyn.” The mage circles around the warriors’ battle.
**Araatris:** Her answer is a whisper and a quick succession of spells. A barrier of Light springs up around the pair of them as Nysse’s wounds start to heal.
**Rhoelyn:** An arrow bounces off the shield and Nysse lays her head on Rhoelyn’s shoulder, quietly biting her lip as her body mends. “Thank you, sister…”
**Araatris:** Leo curses at Rhese and the shaman as they tumble into his path and blinks forward, appearing beside the pair. Rhoelyn gasps and lifts her head.
**Rhoelyn:** “Rhoe, is something wrong?” Leo steps up to them. Nysse raises her head with a frown. Nysse and Korran hear the whistle before they see it.
**Araatris:** A pair of hooded figures step closer, resolving out of the lifting mist as the priestess stands and mutters a quick prayer to expand her barrier.
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress pulls Rhoelyn down to her knees with her. “Stay down, sister.” “Oh, Nyssera, is that any way to treat us when we’ve come to visit?”
**Araatris:** Rhoe squirms in her sister’s grip as Kimmel steps forward behind the two taller undead, their long ears and red eyes peeking out from their hoods.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse whispers in a hushed tone. “Sister, what are you doing?” More loudly, she snarls at the apothecary. “I’d hardly call an ambush a visit.”
**Araatris:** Leo bends down and takes the priestess from Nysse with a firm grip. Rhoe protests quietly, “No, release me! Som-” “Leothir!” Faye shouts a warning.
**Rhoelyn:** Quaed slams into the mage’s back, sending him tumbling on top of the trio of elves. “Ah!” “Ommph!” “Rot!” Nysse shoves at the pile to get free.
**Araatris:** The rogue helps by grabbing Rhoelyn’s arm and shoving her mate away with his boot. “No!” She shouts, yanking away as the archers loose.
**Rhoelyn:** Scrambling to her feet, Nyssera spins toward the Dark Rangers at her sister’s yell. Rhese leaps at his mate, slamming into her with all his weight.
**Araatris:** Rhoe screams as the first arrow slices across her brother’s furred back. The second buries itself in his side, sending him tumbling. Nysse rolls.
**Rhoelyn:** Despite the wind being knocked from her lungs, Nysse hoarsely cries out. “Rhese!” She crawls quickly to Rhese, checking his wound. “R-rhese?”
**Araatris:** The cat gasps with wet, short sounds, struggling to rise while Leo inserts himself between Quaed and Rhoelyn. She quickly reforms the barrier.
**Rhoelyn:** Tears well in the young mother’s eyes as she leans and kisses his furred head. Nysse pushes to her feet with a dark look. “Rhoe, he needs you.”
**Araatris:** “Of cou-” The minute the priestess turns, there are two short, sharp sounds. The shattering of a vial against the shield. And a tinny, odd gunshot.
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress stops mid-step. She looks down calmly and touches the hole in her armor. “They… shot me.” Korran retreats into her as a mist.
**Araatris:** Kimmel’s substance, whatever it is, eats a liquid hole in the magic of Rhoelyn’s Shield as the healer grabs for her sister when she stumbles.
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress bats at Rhoelyn’s hands as she sinks to her knees. “Help Rhese. I’ll be fine. Korran says it’ll be okay.” She shoves weakly at her.
**Araatris:** Her sister sniffles, but nods and turns as behind them Apothecary Kimmel says, simply, “Neelie.” The Tauren leaps down from the tree, landing (c)
**Araatris:** (c) heavily as she drops her rifle and reaches for an odd pistol at her belt. She whips it up and fires, and the healer stumbles with a little cry.
**Rhoelyn:** Leothir curses and struggles in Quaed’s grip. Strangely focused, Nysse closes her eyes and takes a deep breath, a glow building around her.
**Araatris:** Rhese yowls and then shifts despite the arrow in his side as Rhoe reaches down and pulls an empty metal dart from her side. She blinks at it blankly.
**Rhoelyn:** The apothecary frowns at them. “What is Nyssera doi-” Energy bursts from the huntress, releasing Korran and both wolves heal and grow in size.
**Araatris:** Tsume swats Neelie’s lion with her improved strength, and the tired creature slams against a tree trunk and goes limp. Beside Nysse, Rhoe staggers.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse reaches out and draws her sister to her side, speaking calmly. “Korran. Tsume. Attack.” She gently lowers Rhoelyn down next to Rhese.
**Araatris:** Kimmel grits her teeth and pulls the baton from her belt, setting it sparking. The two Dark Rangers step in front of her, meeting the wolves.
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress turns and draws her bow, letting out a howl. “I’m done letting you threaten our family. You blame me for murdering one of yours.”
**Rhoelyn:** “You murdered a city. We have been trying to bring those spirits peace. If I am to blame, then so are you.” Nysse fires in rapid succession.
**Araatris:** Her first arrow pierces one of those glowing red eyes, and that Ranger falls with Tsume at her throat. The next two take her peer in the chest.
**Rhoelyn:** Korran stalks ahead of the huntress as she closes ground. “You will not have my sister nor will I come with you, Kimmel.” Kimmel steps back.
**Araatris:** The Apothecary holds her baton ready, and Neelie fumbles to recover her rifle. Rhoe whimpers as Light surges across her skin, reaching for Rhese.
**Rhoelyn:** Tsume raises her head and stares at the Tauren, charging forward as if on some unspoken command. Golden magic crackles behind them.
**Araatris:** The undead grimaces as Rhese pushes to his feet, the arrow falling wetly at his boots. “You don’t even know what you have in her!” Kimmel protests.
**Rhoelyn:** “Rhoelyn is a gift that you could never appreciate. A mother. A sister. A mate. A friend.” Nysse snarls. “It is you who doesn’t understand.”
**Araatris:** Neelie fends off Tsume with her rifle, the wolf vicious. The Tauren uses the delicate weapon like a club. “She is a conduit! Look what she did!”
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress fires an arrow at the apothecary as she replies. “Of course she is! She’s a priestess of Elune and guardian of all her blessings!”
**Araatris:** Kimmel gasps and just barely dodges to the side in time to make an arrow to the eye a long, bloody cut across her healthy cheek and ear, instead.
**Rhoelyn:** “You see her as a tool to be used and discarded. A life means nothing to you-” She jumps to the side as Executor Carling charges them from behind.
**Araatris:** The huntress and her mate both turn to the more immediate threat, at least at first, Rhoe shuddering by her brother’s boot. Quaed winces. “Fel.”
**Rhoelyn:** Leothir yanks his arm from the rogue’s distracted grasp. “Rhoe!” Rhese’s form shifts to a dark starry figure, and he raises his hand toward Carling.
**Araatris:** As a massive surge of celestial Arcane blasts at the undead Executor, the blood elf blinks forward and leans down, scooping his mate into his arms.
**Rhoelyn:** He cradles her close. “It’s another fit, isn’t it, princess? Is there anything I can do?” The mage looks for someplace safe for them.
**Araatris:** She sobs and clings to him, whimpering, “It burns…” Leo glances up to see Quaed, true to his ‘assignment’, dashing toward them, daggers drawn.
**Rhoelyn:** The sin’dorei grimaces, holding up his hand and gathering a spell. “Rel! We could use a hand over here if you’re done with your problem!”
**Araatris:** His brother releases his grip on the limp goblin’s jerkin, letting him drop to the ancient cobbles. He snags up his sword and runs. “Quaed!”
**Rhoelyn:** A blast of fire delays Quaed long enough that the paladin can catch up and grab the back of his cuirass, yanking him back away from the couple.
**Araatris:** Ignorant of their earlier conversation, the elf glares at him, sword ready and already wetted with Bendric’s blood. “Don’t make me put you down.”
**Rhoelyn:** Quaed snorts. “I’m already dead, Relare, and bound to do the Dark Lady’s bidding. The worst you can do is release me from this corpse shell.”
**Araatris:** As they face off, Rhese and Carling do the same, another blast of arcane holding the Executor at bay. “Take care of Kimmel,” the druid orders Nysse.
**Rhoelyn:** “That would be my pleasure, beloved.” The huntress turns back to the forsaken woman. She raises her bow and looses an arrow at her chest.
**Araatris:** Kimmel flinches just enough that the arrow misses her unbeating heart, but she staggers back at the impact. Her pained gaze goes to Rhoe and Leo.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse snaps. “Don’t even look at them, you rotting corpse.” The apothecary takes another step back. Korran continues forward, snarling.
**Araatris:** When the apothecary reaches for her belt, the huntress is ready. Her arrow pierces the woman’s hand. “No! You don’t know what’s at stake.”
**Rhoelyn:** “I don’t know? Then tell me, apothecary, what’s at stake?” Nysse readies another arrow, but doesn’t see the streak of lightning that hits her.
**Araatris:** Bloodied and limping, Ki’ilikai stalks toward the huntress as she falls, stunned. Kimmel uses the chance to rush toward the healer and her mate.
**Rhoelyn:** The mage fires a bolt of magic, delaying the undead. “Alright, princess. We have to move. I’ll blink us-” The priestess shakes her head.
**Araatris:** “I see, now,” she mutters, her once-dark eyes aglow once more. Leo winces. “Darling, see after we have you safe! Light!” She snags his wrist.
**Rhoelyn:** Leothir groans and fires another bolt at Kimmel. “What do you see?” She tugs him so she can whisper into his ear as Nysse stares up at Kai.
**Araatris:** The huntress’ eyes narrow, and Korran lunges at the shaman, who stumbles back just in time despite his unsteady footing. He swings his clawed fists.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse stumbles to her feet, watching as the shaman manages to score a light strike. Korran bites at his arm. The night elf draws her bow.
**Araatris:** “Stop,” she tries one last time, her dark eyes hard on him as he struggles to get free of Korran’s grip. The troll freezes, staring at her arrow tip.
**Rhoelyn:** “I didn’t want to kill Nataro any more than I want to kill you, but if you threaten my family… I have no choice.” She speaks evenly. “Yield.”
**Araatris:** Ki’ilikai’s gaze takes in Neelie, barely fending off Tsume as the wolf snaps at her, and Dakna, grimacing at Faye with a glaive point in her thigh.
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress narrows her eyes. “Your time is running out. Call them off, Kai.” Nysse clenches her teeth, trying to hold back from firing.
**Araatris:** Though he makes a sour face, the shaman relents, putting his hands up. “Dat’s enough,” he calls. “Taro won’ be t’ankin’ me for more o’us dying.”
**Rhoelyn:** Neelie growls, “Nataro’s spirit can’t rest in peace while she lives, Kai!” She bats Tsume with her rifle butt again. Quaed, however, backs away.
**Araatris:** The shaman scowls and snaps at her, “Ya t’inkin’ he’d rather rest wit’is own sistah dead aside’ im? No, mon. Ya stan’down. Dat’s m’order.”
**Rhoelyn:** “Theia-shoush ahmen.” The tauren gives one last kick at the wolf before backing away. Tsume holds her ground, snarling, but doesn’t give chase.
**Araatris:** The others stand down as ordered with varying degrees of anger save Kimmel, who surges at Leo and Rhoe. The priestess gives her mate a rushed kiss.
**Araatris:** Gasping, he grabs for her when she squirms out of his arms, magic writhing across her skin. “Wait, no! I didn’t agree to this plan at all! Rhoelyn!”
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse and Rhese turn to join Leo in staring, horrified. The priestess throws her arms around the forsaken woman. “It’s the only way!”
**Araatris:** The apothecary freezes in her embrace, blinking in shock. Rhoelyn whispers by her ear, “You covet this power so much. Then have it. Have it all.”
**Rhoelyn:** A blinding light bursts from the priestess, causing the gathered group to cover their eyes. “Rhoe!” Despite the light, Nysse rushes to her.
**Araatris:** When the healer staggers back from the still-blinding figure, her eyes are dark and glassy. Her sister grabs her just as she collapses.
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress hugs Rhoelyn close and pulls her back towards Rhese and Leothir. “Sister. Rhoe!” The glowing aura about Kimmel begins to fade.
**Araatris:** Leo rushes to close the gap with Rhese right at his heels, and Nysse sinks to the ground, staring worriedly at the other elf’s ashen face.
**Rhoelyn:** The druid’s hands glow green as he works, checking his sister’s vitals. “I… what has she done to me?” Nysse drags her attention to Kimmel.
**Araatris:** The woman stares in wonder at her shaking, whole and hearty hands before she looks over at the elf with eyes that glow golden beneath soft, brown hair.
**Rhoelyn:** “You’re restored.” Nysse’s voice is hushed, but easily heard in the small quiet area. Kai hesitates, but then orders, “Let’s go. Now.”
**Araatris:** Kimmel lets out a bark of laughter, her eyes shining with sudden tears. Carling shoves to his feet, gaping. “R… restored?! By the Dark Lady…”
**Rhoelyn:** Kai goes to retrieve Bendric as the others start retreating, leaving the forsaken. The Executor strides over to her and lightly touches one hand.
**Araatris:** Kimmel startles, looking at him. “It… I feel so much.” A tear slips down her cheek. Dakna gives a little cry as Faye yanks her blade out of her leg.
**Rhoelyn:** Quaed strides over, barely glancing at Faye, and helps Dakna to her feet. Nysse grimaces and murmurs softly, “Rhese, what’s wrong with her?”
**Araatris:** The druid drags his limp sister farther into his arms, his voice choked, “She’s so weak. I need Verune, Nysse.” The swirl of his magic intensifies.
**Rhoelyn:** His mate nods and jumps to her feet, running to Verune. “Verune, Rhese needs you! Relare, can you help, too? Faye, Kaer, and I will stand guard.”
**Araatris:** Both of them are moving immediately, and soon Leothir hovers anxiously as the trio of healers minister to the priestess. Relare curses.
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress watches to make sure that the forsaken are leaving before turning to grab the mage. “Leo, come help us and let them work… in peace.”
**Araatris:** He lets Nysse pull him away after one last worried look, but when she goes to release him, her grips her wrist tightly without a word. She pats his arm and nods.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse wraps an arm around his shoulders. “She’s in the best hands possible, Leo. She’ll be fine. How about I tell you about the children?”
**Araatris:** The blood elf nods, and soon she has him smiling at a story about the growing twins and Alen amusing with them with his favorite blanket.
**Rhoelyn:** “Oh Elune… they’re getting so big. I hope that I haven’t missed much while we’ve been away.” The huntress smiles at him and pats his hand again.
**Araatris:** Leothir takes a deep breath and offers her another grateful smile. “I believe we’re both missing – we’re all missing quite a bit by being here.”
**Rhoelyn:** “I agree. Let’s check on Galandrie and then we can see Rhoelyn. They seem to be less… worried now.” She tugs him towards the other blood elf.
**Araatris:** He can’t help but glance back as they go, emerald eyes watching as Verune presses a hand to Rhoelyn’s forehead. “Yes… of course. Galandrie.”
**Rhoelyn:** The woman in question was holding a cloth to her head and talking to Kaerryn. “He hit me over the head! By the Light! This is why I prefer helms.”
**Araatris:** The human laughs and thumps her on the shoulder, earning a pained grimace. “You keep this up, and you’ll end up stupid… er.” Landrie snorts.
**Rhoelyn:** “How are you holding up, Galandrie? The headache will ease once one of our healers is free and can look at it.” Nysse smiles gently at her.
**Araatris:** “I’ve had worse,” the blood elf grumbles, accepting the hand up that Leothir offers her. Her gaze goes to the trio crouched around Rhoelyn.
**Rhoelyn:** She asks quietly, “Is she alright?” Leothir sighs and rubs his face. “We don’t know yet. We’re going to check after we make sure you’re fine.”
**Araatris:** The sin’dorei frowns and waves a hand, and Kaerryn grabs her shoulder as she staggers. “I’m fine if dizzy. Go see if she’s ok. I have questions.”
**Rhoelyn:** Leo doesn’t need any more prompting. He nods and turns, striding towards the healers. “Le–” Nysse stops mid-call. “I’ll send Rel over, Landrie.”
**Araatris:** The soldier smirks and waves her hand again. “Go.” It’s all that Nysse needs to follow. Rhese is standing with Rhoe in his arms as they approach.
**Rhoelyn:** She hangs behind Leo, biting her lip. The mage approaches nervously. “Rhoelyn? Will she be alright?” Leo looks between brother and sister.
**Araatris:** Relare exchanges a look with the others before saying, “She’s more stable, now, but still weak.” He looks at Nysse. “We need to go somewhere safe.”
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress nods. “Leo, you’ll ride with Rhoe on Korran. Verune, Rhese, take Kaer and Landrie. Faye and I will be on foot.” Nysse calls Korran.
**Araatris:** The human scowls as she brings Landrie over to Relare for a bit of healing. “Are you calling me slow, Nysse?” When the huntress blushes, she laughs.
**Rhoelyn:** “You’re too easy to tease.” Kaerryn slaps her shoulder. Nysse rubs the spot. “Well, I’m sure Relare would trade. We’re out of druids and wolves.”
**Araatris:** With a snort and a look that earns her an amused smirk from the paladin, Kaerryn says, “Rot me if I’m not faster than the clanky lordling.”
**Rhoelyn:** “Then Rel can ride.” She claps her hands together. “Now let’s get Landrie healed and get on our way.” The young mother gets everyone underway.
**Araatris:** Not as far away as they’d probably like, Carling and Kimmel lag behind the rest of the defeated Eyes. The Executor keeps a firm grip on her arm.
**Rhoelyn:** Kimmel dabs at her eyes with a corner of cloth. “She… she restored me, but I have no way of doing it for others. We must… We must go back.”
**Araatris:** “We’re not ready,” he growls, sour. When she ignores him, tugging, Lektor snaps, “Elizabeth!” She blinks up at him, frowning. “We need her!”
**Rhoelyn:** “We’re not ready,” he repeats. “She may be able to restore us, but we can’t get through her protectors to make use of the ability right now.”
**Araatris:** She frowns. “But… this isn’t over…” Carling snorts. “No. Of course it isn’t. But it requires a longer game, Apothecary. A much longer game.”