**Rhoelyn:** Verune blinks at Nysse again. “I’m starting to feel like Morthis left some things out of his mission briefing. So, we’re an extraction team?”
**Araatris:** “We’re whatever we have to be to find the others and get Rhese and Yami back,” the huntress says, biting her lip. “Please, Verune.”
**Rhoelyn:** The druid scratches his cheek, “Well, of course. It just seems like a large mission for just the three of us.” He pauses and grins. “Five of us.”
**Araatris:** Celara looks less than amused at that. She glances at her daughter, and Nysse sighs. “It is. That’s why our first step has to be the team.”
**Rhoelyn:** “You know the last place they were, so we can start there. Now let’s see about transport…” Verune places a hand on Nysse’s back, guiding her.
**Araatris:** Before long, they wing on a trio of hippogryphs over the forests of Val’sharah and around the foul, deep scar in the land that is Felsoul Hold.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse guides them to the outcropping and lands the hippogryph. “They’ll have moved, but I hope we can tell where.” Her gaze studies the ground.
**Araatris:** All them are grim with the story of violence that the clifftop clearing tells. Blood splatters and scorch marks. Hoof and boot and pawprints.
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress takes a deep shuddering breath as she drops to the ground. She clenches her teeth. “Verune, can you see if you can smell anything?”
**Araatris:** His answer is a whisper of magic as he shifts into a dusty grey cat, his violet tattoos clear on his shoulders. He sniffs about before looking east.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse follows, her mother watching their mounts, and kneels, brushing her fingers against the dirt and grass. “Yes, I think you’re right. This way.”
**Araatris:** He moves off with little warning, padding quietly towards the treeline farther from the cliff’s edge. In the shadows, he nearly disappears.
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress glances over her shoulder and Celara nods, releasing the hippogryphs to return. They follow Verune in the dark forest.
**Araatris:** Here and there, they discover boot prints and bloodstains. After a while, his senses lead them toward an area where the trees thin to another cliff.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse’s breath catches at a familiar whine, but under her mother’s watchful gaze she resists the urge to hurry ahead. Celara whispers, “Wolves.”
**Araatris:** The huntress nods. “That’s Tsume,” she whispers back with no doubt. Still, they all continue carefully, wary as they reach the edge of the trees.
**Rhoelyn:** The feline druid leans left while Nysse cautiously peers out from a tree. Something catches on her arm, yanking her into the open with a sharp gasp.
**Araatris:** “You’re not sneaking up on us again, nightborn!” She sees the knife first, shoved practically in her face as the familiar voice growls at her.
**Rhoelyn:** “K-kaerryn!” The night elf presses against the tree, covering her belly protectively. The warrior blinks then curses, lowering her knife.
**Araatris:** “Lothar’s balls, Nysse! I nearly took your lips off!” Stepping back, the human slips the dagger into her belt. “Why are you skulking about?!”
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress blushes. “We didn’t know if you were alone or captive, Kaer. Mama and Verune came with me.” She looks over the human’s shoulder.
**Araatris:** When Verune shifts and offers her a grin, Kaerryn reacts with uncharacteristic seriousness, rushing to hug him. “I’m so glad to see you!”
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse stares at them in confusion. “I… did I miss something?” Celara steps past her daughter and heads toward Sarren. Nysse barely notices.
**Araatris:** The warrior ignores her, pulling away from the surprised druid and tugging his arm. “Come on! Geez, I really thought we were ess-oh-ell.”
**Rhoelyn:** Verune raises an eyebrow and lets her tug him with her. “Kaerryn, dare I ask why you’re so happy to see me?” Nysse frowns, following.
**Araatris:** The warrior just drags him down a little path in the cliffside. “Just come on. They’re getting worse, and Sarren’s plant crap isn’t helping.”
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse’s eyes widen and she gasps, jogging to catch up. “Who’s hurt, Kaerryn?” The warrior glances over her shoulder at the huntress.
**Araatris:** “It’s the flimsy elves,” she bites out, pushing Verune ahead of her into the mouth of a low cave. “They did something to Relare, and Leo’s hurt.”
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress frowns worriedly. “I’ll help.” They enter and head to the back of the cave. Nysse slips past to Relare while Verune checks on Leo.
**Araatris:** Amidst the gentle glow of the druid’s verdant magic, Relare’s pallor looks worse, the sickly dark circles under his eyes deeper. He’s barely lucid.
**Rhoelyn:** The night elven woman kneels by Relare and takes his hand. “Don’t worry. Verune’s here. He’ll heal you in just a moment.” She smiles weakly.
**Araatris:** His emerald eyes slide to her, but with the comprehension of someone stuck in a feverish delirium. Despite being out of his armor, he’s sweating.
**Rhoelyn:** Biting her lip, she retrieves a piece of bandage and her water, wetting it. She lays it over his forehead. “Maybe this will help for now…”
**Araatris:** After a while in which he closes his eyes and seems to drift off to sleep, Verune and Kaerryn approach. “What is this?” the druid asks, grim.
**Rhoelyn:** “Fel infection.” Kaerryn grimaces. “Nasty one, too.” Nysse murmurs, “He’s really feverish.” The elder elf settles on the other side of Relare.
**Araatris:** Even as his magic begins to glow around his hands, Verune asks, “How was it done to him? I should tailor his treatment to the method of delivery.”
**Rhoelyn:** Kaerryn crouches and nudges Nysse. “Unbutton his shirt. An oversized eredar tried to gut him with his claws, but…” Nysse blushes, but complies.
**Araatris:** “Look, I don’t understand all that magicky stuff, but when he went to heal himself, the eredar lady cast something that… ate into his spell.”
**Rhoelyn:** The claw marks across his stomach ooze green and red, small crystals crusting around the outside of the wound. Verune nods. “Probably a curse.”
**Araatris:** Turning her own unique shade of greenish, Nysse gulps and sucks in a breath through her mouth. “C-can you cleanse it? It looks awful.”
**Rhoelyn:** Verune huffs, “Of course I can!” He glances critically at her as he starts to work. “If you’re going to get sick, go check on his brother.”
**Araatris:** Nysse nods and scrambles to her feet, glad to step away. She instead turns to Leo, who rests on his side not far away, tucked in a blanket.
**Rhoelyn:** She plops down next to Leothir. “How are you feeling?” The mage looks up with a sour expression. “Like I’ve been run over by a kodo.”
**Araatris:** Nysse pats him, teasingly commenting, “I know you’re going to be upset, but… you’ve got blood on your tunic.” He groans. “Another excuse for tears.”
**Rhoelyn:** “At least you still have your looks?” Nysse offers with a small grin. “Ah yes, I suppose I should count my blessings.” Leo dryly comments.
**Araatris:** “My princess will take care of any scarring, at least.” Though his worried glance goes to his brother, he keeps his tone light. “Verune was rushed.”
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress follows his gaze and speaks softly. “He’ll be alright, Leo. We won’t let you lose him again.” She rests a hand on his shoulder.
**Araatris:** He jerks physically at how spot-on her words are to his worries, his green eyes wide before he looks away, resting his sleeve over his face.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse watches him sympathetically. “You know the twins are coming in several months. I hope you both don’t mind being uncles to them…”
**Araatris:** The golden mage smirks under his arm. “Are you joking? Rhese’s offspring will need all the help they can get to stay out of trouble. We’re needed.”
**Rhoelyn:** She chuckles. “I’d appreciate it. Yami already has his father’s penchant for trouble. He told me that he wants to go out and help people, too.”
**Araatris:** Leo lifts his arm, swiping it across his eyes, and chuckles as well. “Nysse, I think your family is going to need even more uncles, at this rate.”
**Rhoelyn:** Grinning Nysse, gently punches his shoulder. “How many babies do you think I’m having?! It’s only twins. Are you sure you didn’t hit your head?”
**Araatris:** “It’s hard to say what happened.” He grins at her. “It’s all a bit hazy.” But then he sobers. “I understand from the others that they were taken.”
**Rhoelyn:** Her hands drop into her lap and she smiles sadly. “I thought as much… I feel like I’m back where I started.” Her breath catches, and she looks away.
**Araatris:** Leo shifts to his side a bit more and rests his hand over hers. “Then we’ll just have to begin again, won’t we? Tor ilisayr thoranal1.”
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse pauses. “Tor ilisar…” Then, she smiles affectionately, teary-eyed. “Thank you, Leo. We’ll make sure that they pay for what they’ve done.”
**Araatris:** The sin’dorei nods, but then he also yawns and mumbles, “But perhaps I’ll nap while you lot prepare our dire vengeance? I’m quite ragged.”
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress reaches over and tucks him in. “Of course. Rest well.” Out of habit, she kisses the top of his golden head like she does for Yami.
**Araatris:** When she straightens, she finds him looking at her with wide eyes. And then he grins and teases, “Oh, it’s far too late to change your mind.”
**Rhoelyn:** Flushing, she looks away. “H-hush! It was a one time thing to help you sleep.” Despite her words, an embarrassed grin plays at her lips.
**Araatris:** Leothir chuckles and shifts onto his side, closing his eyes as she gets to her feet. Before she can go, he says quietly, “Call if… Rel needs me?”
**Rhoelyn:** “I will. Rest easy.” Nysse confirms softly. The huntress heads over to Relare, sitting next to him and across from Verune. “How’s he doing?”
**Araatris:** “Better,” the druid rumbles, his gaze distant. His magic still glows softly against the paladin’s skin, but the ugly infection is much clearer.
**Rhoelyn:** Knowing it’s better to give him silence to work, the young woman takes Relare’s hand and hopes that she can at least grant the sin’dorei comfort.
**Araatris:** Kaerryn eyeballs them from afar as he works, but both times the loud redhead tries to make her way over, Sarren and Celara distract her.
**Rhoelyn:** “You both know she’s over there blaming herself for their injuries! That dummy always blames herself even when she shouldn’t,” Kaerryn rants.
**Araatris:** Celara sighs. “Will you take a breath, girl? Nyssera is just fine. If she takes responsibility for their wounds, it is only to strengthen herself.”
**Rhoelyn:** “Strengthen herself?” The human crosses her arms. “How is guilt going to strengthen her? I want to hear this.” Sarren sighs, “Kaerryn…”
**Araatris:** The sentinel folds her arms, unintentionally matching her posture. “Resolve, of course. She is an emotional child, or haven’t you noticed?”
**Rhoelyn:** “You mean she’s capable of feeling. Why’s that bad?” Kaerryn snaps. “It’s more than y-” Sarren shakes his head. “That’s enough. Leave her be.”
**Araatris:** The warrior spits a rude word and starts to stalk off, but Celara stops her with a hand on her arm. “You’ve been worried sick. I know.”
**Rhoelyn:** Kaerryn glares silently. The sentinel continues, “I love my daughter and I want her to grow strong in body and spirit. She’s still… naive.”
**Araatris:** The human wipes a hand across her cheek, sniffing. “Yeah, well. … losing friends is a sucky way to learn. She doesn’t need to beat herself up.”
**Rhoelyn:** “Yes. It is.” Celara sighs and glances over her shoulder. “But she can’t control everything that happens in a battle, to herself or others.”
**Araatris:** “Look. I’m way too sober and tired for a serious conversation on nelfy philosophy.” Kaerryn sighs and rubs at her forehead. “I need a bigger flask.”
**Rhoelyn:** Celara chuckles. “I can’t help the flask, but I can recommend that you rest.” Kaerryn nods and wanders off to find her own corner. “Think I will…”
**Araatris:** The couple watches as the human settles down by the mouth of the cave, a transparently protective position. They exchange knowing grins.
**Rhoelyn:** “It is good that she has such good friends.” Sarren’s wraps his arms around her as she mumbles agreement. “Yes, very good indeed.”
**Araatris:** “I’ve only known them a short while, but I think I like them as well.” The pair spin at the new voice, soft and amused. Sarren smiles. “Temirra.”
**Rhoelyn:** The demon huntress smiles. “I hope you don’t mind if I get to the point, but Rhian and Yami are waiting.” She explains the current situation.
**Araatris:** Celara folds her arms at the end of Mirra’s story, frowning. “It seems the demons hold all the cards. And I don’t understand the tie in to Aleesa.”
**Rhoelyn:** Sarren shakes his head. “That’s around the time I got stranded on the island, but she might have talked with Verune when she reported in.”
**Araatris:** As if on cue, the elder druid approaches them, rumbling, “I heard my name.” He glances back one last time at where Nysse comforts Relare.
**Rhoelyn:** Temirra nods. “Yami seems to think that the portal they’re opening will rescue someone named Aleesa and his siblings. Do you know anything?”
**Araatris:** Verune raises his brows and glances between Celara and Sarren before he’ll answer. “And… this would be Temirra?” She smiles. “At your service.”
**Rhoelyn:** “It’s nice to meet one of the two demon hunters she’s mentioned. Now what’s this about Yami? Did you find him?” The druid scratches his chin.
**Araatris:** “Yes,” she says. “Rhian is with him, but the child is anxious to get to Rhese. They hold him against some sort of help to free this Aleesa.”
**Rhoelyn:** Sighing, Verune runs a hand through his hair. “Aleesa was with Nysse and Rhese when they shipwrecked a while back. She was a draenei shaman.”
**Rhoelyn:** “She had a hand in bringing Yami and Nysse together… In the end, she and Dorian jumped through the portal to watch over the other voidlings.”
**Araatris:** Mirra tilts her head. “Dorian? Hm. It all sounds friendly enough. But whoever orchestrated this isn’t playing nice.” She gestures at the sin’dorei.
**Rhoelyn:** The druid grumbles. “That was one of the nastier wounds I’ve seen. He’s lucky to be alive… Nysse will want to help if she can save Aleesa.”
**Araatris:** “Yami already does, as much on her behalf as his own,” the woman says. “All our answers are with Rhese. On the sharp side of an obvious trap.”
**Rhoelyn:** Sarren nods. “Do we have time to let them rest…?” He glances back at the brothers. Verune advises, “Relare needs to rest for a night.”
**Araatris:** Smirking, Temirra gestures back toward the city. “One should always worry about the trouble my Rhian will find if left to his devices for too long. (c)
**Araatris:** (c) But I’d like to think he’ll behave for the boy. We should rest and leave in the morning, when we’re at full strength.” Sarren looks over at Nysse.
**Rhoelyn:** “I’ll go break the news to her, so she has some time to sleep on it.” The hunter breaks away from the group, walking towards his daughter.
**Araatris:** Nysse pats Relare’s hand and tucks the blanket around his shoulders as her father approaches. She glances up with a curious expression. “An’da?”
**Rhoelyn:** Sarren smiles and leans down, asking softly, “Why don’t you come with me and let him rest?” Nysse frowns, “Leo asked me to get him if Relare woke…”
**Araatris:** “Relare and Leothir are both exhausted, little star. There’s no danger of him waking while we talk,” her father says, resting his hand on her arm.
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress nods reluctantly, glancing at Relare one more time before she stands. Her father leads her to a side, away from the others.
**Araatris:** With calm assurance, he tells her Temirra’s news and the plan to rest and leave in the morning. “Rhian has them. And we need to go in at our best.”
**Rhoelyn:** Anxiousness and impatience flicker across her face and Nysse covers her eyes with a hand. “Y-Yes, an’da. I’ll… I’d better get back to Relare.”
**Rhoelyn:** She clicks for Tsume and Sarren catches her arm. He repeats, “Yami has Rhian. He’ll be fine.” The huntress nods silently as the wolf noses her hand.
**Araatris:** Her father sighs and tugs her close, kissing her cheek. “You need to rest, too, Nysse. Tomorrow is going to demand a lot from us. All of us.”
**Rhoelyn:** Sheepishly, Nysse nods and smiles weakly at her father. “I will try, an’da. I promise. It’s not easy when they’re in danger, but… I will try.”
**Araatris:** The elder hunter smiles. “That is all we can ever do, little star. We try.” He pats her shoulder before he turns and walks out of the cave.
**Rhoelyn:** Sighing, she rubs Tsume’s ears as she walks to Relare. Nysse sits, hugging Tsume and murmuring, “I feel like I’ve been neglecting you, girl…”
**Araatris:** Her loyal companion whorfles an agreement and nuzzles her, curling up into a sleepy, soft furball by her side. She rests her head on Nysse’s legs.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse muffles a giggle. “Yes, you silly pup, I’ll rub your ears.” Her fingers dig into the fluffy fur behind Tsume’s ears until she’s asleep.
1It’s a bit of a mangled attempt at the Darnassian phrase: Tor ilisar’thera’nal – Let our enemies beware. (Go back.)