Concealed Trigger

Concealed Trigger
(The Founders Arc opening)

The priestess strolled the market beside Sarren, her slippers quiet on the cobbled portion of the Boralus streets. Dressed carefully in a gown and pauldrons of Kul’Tiran make and typical warm Kul’Tiran earth tones, she stood out as much for her attempt to blend in, her long, dusky ears and silvery hair marking her kal’dorei as surely as did the more traditional forest-hued leathers her older companion wore and the Darnassian bow and quiver that rested against the back of his shoulder.

Her luminous silver-blue eyes were narrowed on her brother’s bondfather, though her lips tilted up in a warm, amused smile.

“Surely, you jest,” she said with a giggle, shaking her head. “Celara is bold and forceful, but even she wouldn’t tell you something like that while you were asking her to court you!”

The taller elf chuckled and shifted the big basket of fruits, vegetables and other groceries that he carried to rest more on his left arm as he turned another corner around a milliner’s shop. “Come, now, Rhoelyn. Don’t tell me you’re truly surprised. Celara knows her mind, and she’s never been afraid to speak it.”

Rhoelyn Silverwing smiled warmly, raising her voice a bit to be heard over the renewed cacophony of the open core of the marketplace and the cries of the hawkers. “Yes… Yes, I suppose it is easy for me to imagine. Your wife is a woman who will not be stopped, much like N-”

She cut off when thunder rumbled through the sky, and the both of them looked up. Sarren’s brows furrowed while he wandered along, his short green hair bobbing slightly as he searched the cloudless evening sky.

“Huh. I wonder if the buildings are hiding a storm on the horizon,” he muttered, but when he looked over to where he thought the priestess would be, he stopped, blinking. “Rhoe?”

The seasoned hunter turned and found her standing still, a few paces back, staring at the sky with a pale face and a furrowed brow. Her right fist was clenched into a tight ball and pressed over her heart. He frowned and hurried back to the displaced healer’s side, setting the basket at his feet so that he could put a hand on her arm.

“Rhoelyn?” he tried again, as softly and soothingly as he could manage in the loud market. “It was just thunder.”

Her answer was a shudder and a quick, sharp exhale of the breath she’d been holding, but she tore her gold-tinged gaze from the clear sky and dragged it back to his face. Sarren watched the magic slowly fade from her eyes, and he wondered at it quietly.

“Yes. Yes, of course it was.” She forced a smile that might have been more convincing if he couldn’t feel the tremble of her arm beneath his hand. “How ridiculous of me to be so startled.”

“Hmm…” The older elf’s confusion softened into what he thought was understanding, and he slid his arm around his daughter’s sweet sister, pulling her into a little hug. “No, it’s not ridiculous. But you’re safe and not alone. There’s no need for worry. I bet we just can’t see the thunderclouds for all these crowded buildings.”

Rhoelyn’s nod was jerky against his shoulder, but she let herself sink a bit into his fatherly embrace, taking a few deep, shaky breaths. 

She finally pulled away to offer him a shy smile. “Thank you, Sarren. You are kind to help when I … get anxious.”

His answering one was warm and bright. “Of course, Rhoelyn. Blood or not, we’re family. Now, let’s get back home. I’m willing to bet Alen and the twins are awake and Yami is trying to figure out how long he can put off changing their nappies.”

At the little priestess’ nod, the older man leaned down to retrieve their basket. When he resumed his stride along the marketplace, his companion fell back just enough paces to feel sure that he wouldn’t see when she reached into the pouch at her waist and brought out a dried, brown frond curling around a brilliant yellow flower petal and held it up in her open palm.

“Ferathal,” she whispered to it, sucking in another shaking breath. “Medimedi. Shhhh….”

The odd bud folded open immediately into a small plant creature that giggled until she pressed a finger over its little yellow mouth. “Shhhh…” the priestess repeated.

“Medi? Medimedi?” Ferathal whispered back, its squeaky voice pitched softly despite its excitement. Rhoelyn winced and glanced forward at the hunter, but in the hustle and noise of the market, he seemed suitably oblivious, trudging along ahead of her.

“Yes, Fera. Medicine. Please hurry,” she muttered.

It capered as it complied, lifting up a little leaf-hand to its own head and plucking free a vibrant yellow petal that grew there like hair. “Medi!” it announced proudly, handing it to her with a jig and a flourish.

Rhoelyn sighed with relief as she snatched it away and stuffed it under her tongue. 

“Thank you, my little friend.” Already feeling the necessary languor slipping through her, she kissed what passed for the plant creature’s forehead before she whispered, “Rest now. We shall find some time to visit the garden, tomorrow.”

By the time Sarren paused and looked back at her, the priestess had already tucked the refolded frond back in her pouch and was strolling along with her hands clasped by her waist, looking much calmer.

“Are you coming?” he prompted, tapping his foot as the crowd flowed around him. His teasing smile eased the edge of impatience. “It’s much too easy to become separated here.”

Rhoelyn smiled gently and jogged the last two steps to his elbow. “I am coming. Let us get home to the children before we are left to discover just how dire the diaper situation has become in our absence.”

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