Chapter 3: Warforged Voice
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse crouches down and brushes her fingers against the grass. “All of the grass is damaged to an extent, but this does seem more recent.”
**Araatris:** The wisp that alights beside Korran looks for a brief moment like a night elven figure. “Do you think it is a sign of Larina or of the Horde?”
**Rhoelyn:** “It’s either Larina or a small patrol. I’m leaning towards a single person that steps lightly.” Nysse was anxious to get their hopes up.
**Araatris:** Her sister bites her lip, reaching for Eleiri with gentle, gilded fingers. The bobbing orb nestles in her palm, and she nods.
**Rhoelyn:** They follow the signs with the huntress pausing along the way. It’s about an hour later when Korran suddenly ducks into the woods.
**Araatris:** Nysse looks after him, her bow in her hand, but otherwise only slightly wary. Rhoe stops and turns uncertainly from where he disappeared to Nysse.
**Rhoelyn:** “He has a plan… I think. Let’s wait here for a moment.” She rubs her face. “I wouldn’t worry just yet.” Nysse attempts a reassuring smile.
**Araatris:** The priestess nods and grips her staff in both hands, leaning on it. “Of course, sister.” Tsume brushes her robe as she steps up beside Nysse.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse talks to Korran in her mind. “Korran, I really hope you do have a plan. Did you smell something?” Standing, she stares where he went.
**Araatris:** “The girl is skilled; I almost missed her.” Gentle as always, he presses his awareness at her, offering his senses. “Skilled and frightened.”
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress opened herself to him and the scent of fear was nearly pungent. She grimaced as he followed a neatly covered trail.
**Araatris:** His paws silent on the grass, Korran tracked until he came to a large, old grandmother pine that had been snapped high up by a catapult missile.
**Rhoelyn:** “Come to me. She’s here.” His senses fade and Nysse blinks at Rhoelyn, her eyes seeming dimmer than usual. “She’s this way, Rhoelyn.”
**Araatris:** The healer follows her sister with nothing more than a nod, the spirit at her shoulder darting forward toward Korran to circle the damaged pine.
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress sighs and stares at the pine with a wry smile. She motions that she’s going to climb and digs her fingers into the bark.
**Araatris:** Rhoe watches from the ground, lowering one hand from her staff to rest it on Tsume’s head as the snowy wolf watches her mistress scale the tree.
**Rhoelyn:** Her feet scrape softly against the tree as she shuffles up. She pauses up at the edge before lifting up and peering inside the tree husk.
**Araatris:** A sharpened stick thrusts up by her face, the tip cutting a line along Nysse’s cheek while she dodges back. Unbalanced, her grip slips.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse slides down and away from the pine. “Oomf!” She hits her rump before translating a few of Kaerryn’s choice phrases into Darnassian.
**Araatris:** “Nysse!” Rhoelyn is at her side in a heartbeat, a whisper all it takes for magic to glow over them. Another sharpened stick pings off the Barrier.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse drags herself to her feet and rubs the blood from her face. “We’re not Horde. Can you come out so we can talk instead of stabbing?”
**Araatris:** “You don’t fool me!” The cry from the top of the tree comes in a voice too high-pitched for a full-grown adult. “Larina, please…” Rhoe calls up.
**Rhoelyn:** There’s a pause, then a nervous voice. “Why do you think that I’m this Larina? Go find her someplace else!” The wisp hovers toward the tree.
**Araatris:** “I do not think, sister,” the priestess says gently, watching her sister’s spirit reach the hollow. “I know. Larina Bluestar, sister of Eleiri.”
**Rhoelyn:** Larina snaps. “I don’t know how you heard that name, but go away. I’m fine on my own.” Nysse rubs her face, smearing blood. “Please come out.”
**Araatris:** Rhoe brushes the cut on the huntress’s face, knitting it as she says to the girl in the tree, “We mean you no harm, Larina. Quite the opposite.”
**Rhoelyn:** “Even if you don’t… why do you think I’m better off with you? Everyone else I was with is dead.” A head peeks out from the top of the tree.
**Araatris:** The wisp, filled with the longings of who she was in life, bobs in a slow circle around the teen’s ears. “We will see you safely to Bashal’Aran.”
**Rhoelyn:** Larina pushes blue hair from her face. “Bashal’Aran? What’s there?” Nysse rubs Tsume’s ears. “It’s where Tyrande is staging the fight back.”
**Araatris:** The magic arcing over them dissolves with a shower of sparks, and Rhoe says, “You will be safe, there, and free to seek out your other family.”
**Rhoelyn:** The wisp rests on the girl’s hand and she looks at it with a grimace. “You’re assuming they’re alive, but…” Eleiri flits to Larina’s cheek.
**Araatris:** The pair on the ground watch them with sad eyes, and Rhoelyn implores, “Please. Come down, sister, so that we may talk… and more quietly.”
**Rhoelyn:** The girl hesitates a moment, then scrambles over the edge and down the tree. “Fine. Is this better?” She scuffs the dirt with a bare foot.
**Araatris:** After a quick perusal, the priestess smiles and reaches in her pouch for a wrapped ration. “Thank you. I am Rhoelyn. This is my sister, Nyssera.”
**Rhoelyn:** Larina looks between them skeptically, then the ration. “You’re sisters?” Nysse nods and explains, “Yes, my mate is her twin brother Rhese.”
**Araatris:** Rhoe watches patiently, keeping the food held out to the hungry young woman. Her smile is tender. “Nysse protects me, as Eleiri did you.”
**Rhoelyn:** Reaching out, Larina carefully takes the ration. That’s where her restraint ends as she unwraps it and digs into it hungrily. The wolves yawn.
**Araatris:** The little healer looks pleased and holds up a hand as their wisp companion leaves the girl for a moment. She nods at Eleiri. “Of course.”
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress crouches between her wolves, fingers in their soft fur. “Mmm? What did she say, Rhoelyn?” She tilts her head up to her sister.
**Araatris:** “There are cousins in Nighthaven,” the priestess says softly, leaning by Nysse’s ear and pitching her voice low. “She can be safe with them.”
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse replies softly, “Do we go there instead?” Larina licks her fingers as she finishes eating and scowls at them. “What you talking about?”
**Araatris:** The priestess winces but faces the girl, folding her hands in front of her belt. “Your… your sister’s dying wish was to see you safe, Larina.”
**Rhoelyn:** “And that means you need to whisper? What do you think keeping me safe means?” She crosses her arms and stares them down, holding her stick.
**Araatris:** “You have family in Nighthaven,” Rhoelyn says, gentle in the face of her suspicion. Her sister’s wisp hovers at the healer’s shoulder.
**Rhoelyn:** The teen frowns. “And they’re alive?” Nysse nods and looks at her. “As far as we know, but Nighthaven would be safe regardless. Will you go?”
**Araatris:** Looking out over the eclipse-dim and war-ravaged forest, Larina ponders that for a moment. “Our home is… just gone.” She rubs her shining eyes.
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress closes her own shimmering dim eyes. “I… It’s difficult. Families are broken and divided. Our homes destroyed or unsafe.”
**Rhoelyn:** “But it’s up to us to make a home with what we have and to keep that which we love safe and to bring together what families we can.”
**Araatris:** Sniffling, the girl nods and hardens her expression. “I’ll go with you to Bashal’Aran. I need to train before I’m strong enough to make them pay.”
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse opens her eyes and stands up, placing a hand on Larina’s shoulder. “I understand, but don’t forget what you’re fighting for.”
**Araatris:** Larina sneers, gripping her crude spear with white-knuckled anger. “If you’re getting ready to tell me it’s not for vengeance, save your breath.”
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress flushes and looks away from both the others. “No, there is definitely vengeance involved, but also love of our home and people.”
**Araatris:** The teen looks surprised at her admission, and some of her stiff edge dissolves. She looks Nysse up and down before she nods. “I understand.”
**Rhoelyn:** The young mother smiles sheepishly. “We’ll take you to Bashal’Aran. If you were my child, I’d be tempted to drag you to Nighthaven regardless.”
**Araatris:** Rhoelyn looks between them with an unreadable expression, her hands unstill by her belt. “There is… time to think and decide while we travel.”
**Rhoelyn:** Nyssera flinches and nods jerkily. “Y-yes. Of course, sister.” She gestures for them to follow her. “Let’s find someplace to rest the night.”
**Araatris:** Though she nods with Larina, the priestess glances up at the wisp and hangs back while the others leave, reaching for Eleiri with a glowing hand.
**Rhoelyn:** “I am sorry, Eleiri. I will do my best to guide them.” Rhoelyn whispers softly to the anxious spirit. Nysse calls back, “Are you ready?”
**Araatris:** The healer closes her eyes for a brief moment and takes a deep breath before she schools her troubled expression and calls, “Yes, Nysse. Coming.”
**Rhoelyn:** Hours of awkward silence later, Nysse settles them into a cave. “She’s upset with me, Korran. I know they want Larina to go to Nighthaven…”
**Araatris:** The wolf lays across the mouth, watching the night outside with luminous eyes. “She is. The voice of the slain is in her ear and her heart.”
**Rhoelyn:** She sets out the pan for dinner. “I understand the fear, but… she survived on her own. Maybe she deserves the right to decide for herself.”
**Araatris:** “Perhaps she does, Nyssera.” He lifts his head and looks back at her, his ears flicking. “But that fear you understand is no small thing.”
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse stares at the simmering food before talking softly to the nearby teen. “I know I said I would take you to Bashal’Aran, and I will.”
**Rhoelyn:** “But?” Larina prompts. “They’ll be too busy to train you. I have a friend in Nighthaven that might agree to teach you druidism.”
**Araatris:** The wary young woman’s sunlight eyes narrow. “You’re just saying that to trick me into going to Nighthaven like your sister wants. I’m no fool.”
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress sighs and turns her gaze to the teen. “No, I won’t trick you. It’s a war zone, and it will be difficult to train someone here.”
**Araatris:** Frowning, Larina considers that before finally nodding. “It does seem like they’d be busy, here. I… my sister was a druid. She taught me a little.”
**Rhoelyn:** Nyssera smiles at her. “Then you’d already be ahead. Verune was Rhese’s, my mate, teacher and assisted with our son. I think he could help.”
**Araatris:** “Fine,” the girl says, glancing back at where the silver-haired priestess dozes where she sits, wrapped in a blanket. “I’ll go back to train.”
**Rhoelyn:** Stirring the stew, Nysse nods. “You have skill. I look forward to seeing those grown. You did an excellent job at hiding your trail.”
**Araatris:** “Eleiri taught me that, too,” Larina says with a sigh, picking a twig from the fire and watching the tip burn, wisp bobbing at her shoulder.
**Rhoelyn:** The night elven woman suggests softly, “She’s here with you now. Take some time to speak with her before she returns to Elune’s embrace.”
**Araatris:** Larina sniffles and wipes her arm across her nose before she glances shyly at the spirit by her. “Can she… can she hear me?” Rhoelyn stirs.
**Rhoelyn:** “Very much so, Larina, but…” Nysse glances at Rhoelyn. “Perhaps my sister would be able to enhance your conversation if you wish to ask.”
**Araatris:** Eleiri’s plea is palpable when she darts over to the healer, bobbing around her as she sits up and yawns. Larina shifts around to kneel. “Please.”
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse smiles gently at Rhoelyn. “Larina would very much like to talk to her sister before we guide her through Bashal’Aran to Nighthaven.”
**Araatris:** The healer rubs her eyes and nods, rolling up to her knees. “It would be my honor, of course.” Magic glows around her as she reaches for the wisp.
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress stirs the soup and gives them as much privacy as the space will allow. Larina grips at the hem of her loose tunic nervously.
**Araatris:** Rhoelyn cups the girl’s sister’s spirit in her two hands, resting her wisped form in front of her heart as the Light spreads between them.
**Rhoelyn:** The wisp expands into a humanoid shape then finally solidifies into the form of a night elven woman. “Larina, my dear little sister…”
**Araatris:** Her young sister sniffles, suddenly, her eyes filling with tears. “Eli!” When she surges forward to hug her, she wraps her arms around Rhoe.
**Rhoelyn:** “It is not the same, but… it is enough.” Eleiri murmurs. Larina wails, tears streaking her cheeks. “Why did you have to go, Eli? You… you-”
**Araatris:** The priestess pats her back as the young woman sobs. “I do not regret my death, kitten. It bought you a chance to escape. To live,” Eleiri says.
**Rhoelyn:** Larina rubs her eyes. “But what am I supposed to do?” Eleiri chuckles softly, “Exactly as you’ve planned. I want to see you become better than me.”
**Araatris:** The young woman’s single choked laugh is grasping and desperate. “Then stay. It’s going to take me a long, long time to match you.”
**Rhoelyn:** Tender fingers brush back blue hair. The elder sister asks, “You’d have me stay as a wisp and watch over you? Is that possible, priestess?”
**Araatris:** Rhoelyn’s expression is troubled as she looks at Eleiri’s faded form. “Please do not. There is grave danger in lingering. Elune awaits you.”
**Rhoelyn:** “I thought you might say that. Elune has other plans for me now, kitten, but she brought Nyssera and Rhoelyn to us so we can say goodbye.”
**Araatris:** The priestess nods to Larina and softly says, “I am sorry.” She lowers her golden eyes as the girl’s face falls. “But I don’t… want to lose you.”
**Rhoelyn:** Eleiri sighs morosely. “I know. Nor I you. But we all go to Elune eventually. I’ll be listening and watching over you from there.”
**Araatris:** Rhoelyn brushes Larina’s dark hair back once more. “In the Goddess’ hands, Eleiri will be with you in every moonrise, through each night.”
**Araatris:** “She will see you even when you do not see her.” The gilded healer winces and leans against the wall. “She will be safe. And unburdened.”
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress hides her concern, but keeps a close eye on her sister. Dinner has long been ready, but she knows better than to interrupt.
**Araatris:** Wiping her arm across her eyes, Larina takes a deep breath. She doesn’t acknowledge Rhoe’s words, but she looks at her sister, bracing herself.
**Rhoelyn:** “T-then… you have to go. Elune’s waiting for you. And… and just wait and see! I’ll become a better druid than you!” The teen fists her hands.
**Araatris:** Eleiri smiles tenderly and reaches an insubstantial hand out to pretend to touch her cheek. “I will never be farther away than a glance up, kitten.”
**Rhoelyn:** Larina sniffles and manages a little smile. “I love you, Eli. You’d better not keep her waiting. These two can see me the rest of the way.”
**Araatris:** The spirit nods and looks to Rhoelyn, who nods as well. The magic between them fades, and her form condenses back down to an orb.
**Rhoelyn:** Rhoelyn straightens from the wall. “I will see you off.” The priestess and Eleiri step outside, followed by Korran, but Larina stays behind.
**Araatris:** In the ensuing silence, Nysse dishes up dinner. She waits until the young woman has wiped her eyes to offer it. “You’ll need your strength.”
**Rhoelyn:** “Thank you…” Larina takes the bowl. Nysse scoots closer to her and rests her bowl in her lap. She asks tentatively, “Would you like a hug?”
**Araatris:** The young elf bites her lip as her eyes fill with tears. She wipes her arm across them in an attempt to be brave, but finally she just nods.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse wraps an arm around her and pulls her firmly against her side. She sets both bowls aside before circling her other arm around Larina.
**Araatris:** The teen sniffles one more time before she succumbs to her grief, burying her face against Nysse’s shoulder. Her wailing sobs are muffled.
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress rubs her back soothingly and only glances up when Rhoelyn returns. She nods toward the simmering food and the two cold bowls.
**Araatris:** Her sister only smiles in wan disinterest and brushes a hand on her shoulder as she heads for her bedroll with dragging steps and curls up.
**Rhoelyn:** Biting her lip, she doesn’t disturb Larina as Rhoe falls asleep. It’s not long before even the young woman drowses between sniffles.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse stares longingly at the stew, tired, weak, and hungry. She murmurs to herself, “Goddess give me strength.” Then she closes her eyes.
**Araatris:** With the young girl all but asleep in her arms, she grimaces and gives a sigh before she lugs her into a bedroll. Nysse hurries back to dinner.
**Rhoelyn:** She tosses the cold bowls back in to warm them up and fixes herself a new bowl… or three. After those she yawns and crawls to her bedroll.