**Araatris:** “Tha’s enough, Ruuma,” the Master growls, resting a discolored, taloned hand on the eredar’s arm. “He’s sick enou’ ta keep quiet fer now.”
**Rhoelyn:** Ruuma huffs, but lowers her hand. “As you wish, Master, but they still have not brought the voidling.” She glares at the slumped night elf.
**Araatris:** He steps away, crossing the chamber to the balcony and peering with dark eyes out over the cowed city. “Aye. Tryin’ mah patience, they are.”
**Rhoelyn:** The eredar walks to him, stopping a short distance away. “What if the boy refuses to cooperate? Are there any other voidlings we can use?”
**Araatris:** The Master clenches a fist. “N’other has th’bond we need, m’girl. Yami will do as I ask, or s’help me, ah’ll destroy’is life, one piece at a time.”
**Rhoelyn:** She bows. “Of course. Shall we go after his mother next?” “No need. Nysse’ll come t’us. She’s tied t’im since th’day he hatched.” The Master smirks.
**Araatris:** He turns his gaze back toward where Rhese lays collapsed on the floor, not even caged, but shackled. “I will’nae fail ‘er, this time.”
**Rhoelyn:** “This time, Master? Have you tried this before?” Ruuma frowns thoughtfully as if trying to determine what could have happened previously.
**Araatris:** The creature steps over to the druid, crouching beside him. “Ah’ve tried a dozen thin’s, Ruuma. Made pacts ye wouldn’a dare ta understand.”
**Rhoelyn:** The eredar studies him more closely. “I hope you don’t consider this… too bold, but you were a dwarf before, weren’t you, Master?”
**Araatris:** He snorts, reaching an appendage out to grab Rhese’s shoulder and turn him onto his back. “Long ago, aye. Afore lifetimes o’ this bartered power.”
**Rhoelyn:** “Did you know them then?” Ruuma strides over. “My research shows that they’ve only had the voidling for a few years. It’s still… a child.”
**Araatris:** “Th’voidlin’ is anythin’ he wants ta be,” the Master says softly, running a gentle talon across the dark, sickly bags under the druid’s eyes.
**Araatris:** “I saw ‘im born an’ bound ta th’girl. Back when this one feared wha’ he could be.” He grips the unconscious night elf’s chin, tilting his head back.
**Rhoelyn:** The woman frowns. “Now he protects it and refuses to call it anything other than his child. How strange that they cling to such nonsense.”
**Araatris:** “Family,” the creature says softy, “… ‘tis its own pow’r, ye could say.” The Master wraps a hand around Rhese’s throat, dark magic swirling there.
**Rhoelyn:** Ruuma snarls and crosses her arms. “…I’m surprised that you don’t kill this elf to serve as an example for what could happen to the woman.”
**Araatris:** As runes settle in sickly purple-black against the druid’s skin, he arches back, crying out in pain once more. “Well. Time’ll tell. I may, yet.”
**Rhoelyn:** The eredar nods. “What shall I do to prepare for the mother’s arrival, Master?” Ruuma tugs at her robes, anxious to do something–anything.
**Araatris:** The Master smirks and straightens, standing before he reaches a shadow tendril toward his minion. “Open ye’re mind, m’girl. Ah’ll show ye.”
**Rhoelyn:** She reaches out, allowing the tendril to wrap around her wrist. “As your wish, Master.” Ruuma closes her eyes as The Master touches her mind.
**Araatris:** “Lash!” The demon hunter wraps his arms around the young man, hushing him as Yami shudders and hunches forward. The man frowns worriedly.
**Rhoelyn:** Rhian tightens his arm around Yami while looking around for any alerted guards. “What’s wrong, squirt?” The teenager clings to his arm.
**Araatris:** “Some… something new. T-they’re hurting an’da! I can feel so much of it, this time.” He sniffles as it passes, looking up at Lash tearfully.
**Rhoelyn:** The demon hunter sighs and pats Yami’s back. “They’re taking advantage of your connection to him. Just rest. Mirra should be back soon.”
**Araatris:** “I don’t want to wait any more, Lash.” He says with a frown, straightening. He shoves away from the demon hunter, walking over to the window.
**Rhoelyn:** Lash frowns. “We can’t act rashly, squirt. There’s an entire city of demons between us and your father who is with this Master of theirs.”
**Araatris:** The voidling sighs and looks back down the hallway at his escort. “They want me. If I go alone, they won’t stop me. They’ll…” He sighs again.
**Rhoelyn:** “They could force you to do anything. You don’t know who this Master is or what he’ll have you do.” Lash strides forward and grips his shoulder.
**Araatris:** “I know you’re anxious, squirt. I get it.” The demon hunter eases him away from the window at the end of the hall. “But right now, we need control.”
**Rhoelyn:** Yami frowns, but lets him guide him back into the darkened room. “But what if next time they kill him. He’s getting weaker, Lash. If he-if…”
**Araatris:** The older man settles him against the wall and sits in front of him, cross-legged. “No ‘if’, Yami. Think about this: when you go to them, when (c)
**Araatris:** (c) you do what they want… why would they need him, any more? Why would they keep him alive?” The boy’s dark eyes widen. “They can’t let him die, yet.”
**Rhoelyn:** The young man rubs his face, frustration lining his expression. “This is hard. Maybe min’da was right. Maybe I’m not ready to go out on my own.”
**Araatris:** Lash leans forward to ruffle Yami’s silver hair. “This is the big leagues, squirt. No one expects to be able to go it alone against the Legion.”
**Rhoelyn:** “Thank you, Lash.” Yami manages a small smile, leaning back against the wall. “I hope she’s doing well. When min’da wouldn’t wake up I got worried.”
**Araatris:** “She is. You did a smart thing, sending her back,” the demon hunter says softly. “They made her helpless, but you countered their stratagem.”
**Rhoelyn:** Yami’s cheeks darken. “I didn’t want anything to happen to her and the twins. She didn’t want to go, but I think an’da would have convinced her.”
**Araatris:** The other man nods thoughtfully, running a hand through his black hair. “Well, he’ll probably approve when we get to him, then, won’t he?”
**Rhoelyn:** The young man nods and starts to open his mouth when Rhian hand jerks upwards for silence. Indistinguishable murmurs echo down the hallway.
**Araatris:** They both get to their feet quietly and carefully, and Lash nudges Yami with him over towards the shadows behind the closed door to the room.
**Rhoelyn:** Rhian positions himself in front of Yami as the voices get closer, still soft. “Are you sure this is the right way?” “Of course it is.”
**Araatris:** “Don’t mind the doubting human, girl. I trust your nose.” There’s an indelicate snort. “We’re never gonna find them. But I bet we find some steaks.”
**Rhoelyn:** An exasperated soft voice grumbles, “We fed her right before we left. Are you sure you’re not hungry?” The human sighs, “For alcohol maybe.”
**Araatris:** Yami grips Lash’s arm, his face brightening into a smile. He whispers against the demon hunter’s ear, “That’s an’da’s funny friend. And an’nui.”
**Rhoelyn:** The demon hunter hushes Yami, waiting. There’s a huffing and a scratching at the door. “Here, girl?” The handle creaks and the door slowly opens.
**Araatris:** When Lash stretches out his hand, his glaive appearing in his grip, the young man gapes and wraps his hands around his wrist. Nora growls.
**Rhoelyn:** Kaerryn and Sarren jump through, weapons ready. Lash sighs and his weapon fades. Yami wiggles past him to pet the large wolf. “Nora!”
**Araatris:** Her white fur matches his silver hair as she licks her young man, setting off a fit of childish giggles that Sarren and Lash simultaneously hush.
**Rhoelyn:** Yami grimaces and buries his face in her fur, hugging the familiar wolf. Kaerryn checks outside once more before closing the door. “It’s clear.”
**Araatris:** Lash folds his arms, frowning. “Where’s Mirra?” He regards the human and the night elf with the obvious resemblance to Nysse warily.
**Rhoelyn:** “She’s bringing the rest, but suggested that we clear the way. She has six, including herself, to get through the city.” Sarren replies evenly.
**Araatris:** The other night elf’s face swings from the two of them to the young man cuddling the wolf, and he nods, relaxing. “Fine. We w-” Shouts ring outside.
**Rhoelyn:** Rhian snaps, “Stay here.” He’s out the door before they can protest and darting down the hallway. Sarren closes the door behind him.
**Araatris:** Yami frowns and straightens. “Lash? We shouldn’t let him go alone, an’nui. Don’t you think w-” He cuts off when his grandfather shakes his head.
**Rhoelyn:** “They’re not after him. They’re after you. It’s more important that you stay here and safe right now.” Sarren explains. Nora leans into Yami.
**Araatris:** Frowning, the young man sighs and sits back down by the wall. The wolf follows and immediately plops down beside him, her head across his lap.
**Rhoelyn:** Sarren’s lips twitch as Yami automatically starts petting the wolf and rubbing her ears. Kaerryn whispers to the hunter. “I’ll be by the door.”
**Araatris:** “Fine, y-” “Aagh!” The voidling cries out, hunching forward across Nora’s head with a shudder. Outside, there is a boom that shakes the building.
**Rhoelyn:** Whining, Nora noses him sympathetically. His grandfather hurries across the room, kneeling in front of him. “What’s wrong, Yami? Are you hurt?”
**Araatris:** The voidling grasps Sarren’s hands, gasping, “He’s doing it again! We can’t hide here while they’re hurting an’da. There has to be another way!”
**Rhoelyn:** “We’ll get moving as soon as the rest are here. Your mother will be so happy to see y-” “Min’da’s here? But it’s not safe!” Yami interrupts.
**Araatris:** The teen growls in frustration, his brow furrowing as he shoves to his feet. Nora protests with a whine. “It’s all wrong, an’nui. I don’t like it.”
**Rhoelyn:** Sarren stands and steps back. “We’ll figure things out when we’re together again.” Yami shakes his head. “I’m tired of everyone getting hurt for me.”
**Araatris:** His grandfather tries to take hold of his arm, but the young man pulls away. “I don’t want to hide, any more.” His form ripples.
**Rhoelyn:** The cat runs and pushes through the cracked doorway. The warrior hisses, “Hey!” His grandfather commands, “Yamiriel Whispersong! Get back here!”
**Araatris:** Kaerryn steps into the hall, watching him leap out the window at the end, and she blinks. “He… yeah, he’s not listening.” She sprints after.
**Rhoelyn:** The hunter curses in Darnassian as he follows the warrior, whistling for Nora. “Which way did he go? Maybe we-” A door down the hall flies open.
**Araatris:** Kaerryn skids on the stone floor, dodging under the glowing blade swung at her head at the last moment. The nightborn shouts, “They’re here!”
**Rhoelyn:** Outside, Nysse hovers behind Relare as she fires an arrow. “This is not going as planned. Any ideas?” Relare’s blade pushes the felguard’s aside.
**Araatris:** “Well, uhnf!” He grunts, interrupted as he lunges at its exposed chest, “At least it’s going better since the second demon hunter stepped in.”
**Rhoelyn:** Tsume snaps at the imps inching up their flank as Relare’s blade sinks deep into the demon. Nysse sighs, “Yes, but we’re only holding ground.”
**Araatris:** “Leo can get us out of here if we have a destination.” The paladin yanks his borrowed sword from the corpse, turning to the next. “Do we?”
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse grumbles as she fires an arrow at gan’arg. “They haven’t called yet. That was an’da-” A familiar bird in the sky catches her attention.
**Araatris:** “Rhese?” Nysse gasps, and then her eyes widen as she notices the bird’s dark eyes. “Y-Yami?!” The boy circles above them before dropping.
**Rhoelyn:** Relare glances at the sky briefly between enemies and snaps, “What in the name of the Light is he doing up there? He’ll get caught like that!”
**Araatris:** Surely enough, no sooner are the words out of his mouth than the crow barely dodges a spurt of felfire. He darts in near Leothir, shifting.
**Rhoelyn:** He lopes towards his mother. “Min’da! What are you doing here?!” The huntress grabs his arm. “What were you thinking just now? That was reckless!”
**Araatris:** He raises his voice. “You’re not supposed to be here! I sent you back to be safe.” Nysse shakes her head. “I’d never leave either of you in danger.”
**Rhoelyn:** Yami snaps, “An’da wouldn’t want you putting them in danger.” Nysse gasps and narrows her eyes. “Yamiriel Whispersong, you’re crossing a line.”
**Araatris:** He grits his teeth, grabbing her sleeve. “I’m not letting them hurt you, too! I ha-have to stop this. I have to stop them before it’s too late.”
**Rhoelyn:** “Yami, sweetie, you’re not making any sense. We’re here now and we’ll save everyone. It’ll be-” Nysse stumbles as Yami pulls her into a hug.
**Araatris:** “I love you, min’da. I trust you.” He whispers by her ear. “But he’s running out of time.” The boy releases her and runs, grabbing Leo by the arm.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse stares after him, stunned. “Uncle Leo, I need a portal!” Yami raises his voice to be heard over the fighting. Leo frowns, “Where?”
**Araatris:** The boy catches the mage’s jaw between his hands, pressing their foreheads together. “Listen,” he whispers, and Leo sucks in a shocked breath.
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress nudges Relare. “W-we need to get to them!” Relare nods as Yami releases Leo. The boy asks, “Can you make a portal now, uncle?”
**Araatris:** As Kaerryn and Sarren burst out of the building, the blood elf nods, a little dazed, and raises his hands. Magic swirls around them, coalescing.
**Rhoelyn:** Verune streaks down from the sky, landing near the forming portal as the others head to converge. The demon hunters continue clearing the area.
**Araatris:** Temirra’s face turns briefly toward the others, and she smiles and calls, “My darling, I think it’s time to make a bit of space.” Lash grins.
**Rhoelyn:** He breaks apart his glaive and tosses one part to her, the chain stretching between them. “You certainly know how to talk to a man, my sweet.”
**Araatris:** His mate giggles as fel energy flares between them, igniting the long chain with blazing felfire. She braces herself, feet apart and grip strong.
**Rhoelyn:** Lash dashes forward, the chain easily slicing through demons in its path. Nysse throws them a grateful look as they pass through the empty area.
**Araatris:** As the pair of demon hunters carve a swath through their numbers, the fel nightborn fall back in shock, giving Celara and the others time to gather.
**Rhoelyn:** The portal opens with a soft pop and Yami says something to Leothir before he jumps through. Verune scowls and follows him into the portal.
**Araatris:** One by one, the others trail after as Leo struggles to hold the way open. There are wards and barriers eating at the edges of the magic.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse pauses by Leo with Relare, “Will you be able to make it through?” Leo offers a strained grin. “Not if you keep talking to me. Shoo!”
**Araatris:** Lash pauses by Mirra and takes his demi-glaive back. He kisses her as the felfire dies between their hands. “They’re leaving without us, sweeting.”
**Rhoelyn:** “Then we’d better go.” The demon hunters hurry to the portal, ushering Nysse through between them. Relare grins at his brother. “Ready?”
**Araatris:** Nodding, the mage sags, and Relare grabs his arm, tugging him along through the corona in the moment before it slips shut with a crackle.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse blinks in the dim light. “Yami? Are you here?” She speaks quietly. The portal shuts behind them, plunging them into darkness. “Alei?”
**Araatris:** Temirra lifts her head and points behind her. “He’s that way. Verune seems to be trying to keep up with him, but I do believe the boy’s impatient.”
**Rhoelyn:** “T-thank you. Tsume, heel.” The young woman hurries after her son. Mirra and the blood elves follow as Lash and Sarren cover the back.
**Araatris:** Kaerryn chuckles as they go, and Relare smirks at her. “What’s funny?” The human grins. “This is my kind of rotting bad plan. I approve!”
**Rhoelyn:** Leothir snorts, “That explains where the kid learned it. I don’t think Nysse approves.” Kaerryn grins widely, “She’s worse than me in a push.”
**Araatris:** “You realize that’s a bad thing, don’t you?” Relare sighs and shakes his head. “We need a strategy!” She laughs. “It’ll work itself out.”
**Rhoelyn:** The paladin sighs as Kaerryn tugs them both faster into the darkness ahead. “Come on already. We’ll fall behind with all this yakking.”
**Araatris:** After a while, Nysse and Temirra lead the way out of the small side tunnel and into a round chamber that’s tiled with ancient, cracked marble.
**Rhoelyn:** A soft groan catches Nysse’s attention and she darts forward. “Rhese? Dalah’surfal? Is that you?” Tsume whines at the huntress’ heels.
**Araatris:** “Min’da! Don’t-” The night elf that lays to the side proves to be Verune when she approaches, but a fel green glow flares at the center.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse is pushed down as the green fire races toward her. Yami’s voice in her ear murmurs, “Are you alright, min’da? You have to be careful!”
**Araatris:** Temirra and Celara both rush past them before the huntress can even catch her breath to respond. The young man wraps an arm around her.
**Rhoelyn:** Her wolf paces near them as Yami helps her to her feet. There’s shouting and bursts of green in the darkness along with the ring of steel.
**Araatris:** “That’s enough,” a familiar voice rings through the din. “You’re being rude.” Ruuma forms an orb of felfire in her palm, lighting the space.
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress covers her eyes for a moment as she adjusts to the sudden light. Besides Ruuma, a smaller figure sits on chair in the center.
**Araatris:** “Yer family always was made stubborn, lad,” the creature sitting there rolls in a voice that hisses and echoes. He gestures with a taloned hand.
**Araatris:** “We saw it right’nough when they took ya in.” Ruuma raises her hand, lighting where Rhese kneels at the heart of a swirling field of fel energy.
**Rhoelyn:** “Rhese!” “An’da!” While both cry out, only Nysse continues, “Took him in…” She frowns. “D-dorian? Is that you? Why aren’t you with Aleesa?”
**Araatris:** Sarren grabs Yami’s arm when the boy starts to rush toward his father. The creature laughs, an unpleasant sound. “Dorian? Long lost, lass.”
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse takes a tentative step forward. “What happened to you? You were our friend.” Her gaze shifts to Rhese. “Dorian would never do this…”
**Araatris:** The Master pushes up from his chair, his stocky body shadow-wracked and misshapen, his face obscured by a writhing mass of darkness.
**Rhoelyn:** “Let me see your face.” Nysse orders softly. “Not a chance, lass. Ah saw what it did ta th’first’uns.” He hisses as he slowly moves forward.
**Araatris:** “Dorian!” Yami’s youthful voice cuts through the moment, but his grandfather holds him tight despite his struggle. “Dorian, you’re not bad!”
**Rhoelyn:** The once-dwarf pauses, watching him a tense minute. “It’s not a matter of good or bad. Ah need ya to open a portal ta Aleesa and the voidlin’s.”
**Araatris:** The young man watches him with a furrowed brow, silver hair like his father’s mussed. “Why didn’t you just ask me? You… you’re family, too.”
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse bites her lip. “He’s right. We would have wanted to help Aleesa, too. Why don’t you release Rhese and we can talk about this, Dorian?”
**Araatris:** “Oh, lass. Ye dinna want me t’release him now…” Ruuma smirks darkly over his shoulder as Dorian steps toward Yami. “There’s a pact, yet.”
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress moves into his path. “What pact? You can trust us. We’ll help you get to Aleesa without all of..,” she waves, “…this.”
**Araatris:** Still stepping slowly toward Nysse and the others, his voice lowers, deepening with eerie tones. “I dinna ask yer help. I demand yer service.”
**Rhoelyn:** Clenching her jaw, Nysse tightens her grip on her bow. “No, Dorian. Stay away from my family. We won’t serve whatever you are now.” Tsume growls.
**Araatris:** “Ah’m not askin’.” The creature clenches a fist, and shadowy symbols around Rhese’s neck flare to life. He doesn’t react, but Yami cries out.
**Rhoelyn:** Nysse spins, staring wide-eyed at Yami. “Alei?” Sarren supports the young man. She looks over her shoulder at the Master. “Please! Stop this!”
**Araatris:** As the former dwarf answers her, Lash leans over to whisper at Mirra. “You see it?” “Yes,” she answers grimly. “Can you do something about it?”
**Rhoelyn:** Mirra considers him. “Probably, but we could end up hurting them worse.” Lash nods. “We have to. She’ll give in. I’ll take care of Ruuma.”
**Araatris:** His mate nods and kisses his cheek. “Go be distracting, my darling. I will take care of Rhese.” “Anything you wish, my lady,” Lash smiles.
**Rhoelyn:** Rhian dashes towards the eredar as Mirra mirrors him towards Rhese. The demon hunter holds out his hand for his glaive and sweeps it forward.
**Araatris:** Ruuma gasps and dodges back, narrowly avoiding getting sliced from hip to head by his massive blade. Mirra shoves her hands against the fel magic.
**Rhoelyn:** The magic resists for a moment and as she pushes harder, it suddenly explodes outward and dissipates. The eredar begins casting and shouts, “No!”
**Araatris:** As the eredar throws felfire at Rhian desperately, Mirra grabs Rhese when he collapses. The Master growls, “Yer bluidy fools. I willna fail.”
**Rhoelyn:** Faster than it seems like he should be able to move, Dorian slithers-lopes toward Yami. He shoulders Nysse, then shoves her aside with a tendril.
**Araatris:** Another wraps around Yami’s waist before Sarren or the wolves can do more than start to bristle, and he drags the young man close. “Submit.”
**Rhoelyn:** Yami glances at his parents before looking away. “Only if you promise not to hurt them. I’ll… I’ll do what you want.” Sarren growls, “Don’t do it!”
**Araatris:** “Do it an’ ah won’t need ta hurt ‘em.” There’s victory in his voice as the corrupted dwarf leans close. “Call t’the voidlings. Reach fer yer kin.”
**Rhoelyn:** The young man nods jerkily. Yami closes his eyes and focuses his mind. Nysse grimaces, clutching her side as she gets to her knees. “Alei!”
**Araatris:** More tentacles of shadow wrap around the young man as power, dark and twisted, wisps around them. “Aye. More, lad!” Yami shudders, grimacing.
**Rhoelyn:** Relare runs to Nysse’s side, but she pushes him away as she climbs to her feet. The shadows grow and twist in the air, circling into a portal.
**Araatris:** Temirra frowns and jostles Rhese, leaning down by his ear to whisper, “Darling boy, your son needs you.” He lifts his foggy gaze, shoving away.
**Rhoelyn:** The druid pushes to his feet, his gaze growing alarmed as he looks at Nysse staggering towards Yami and Dorian. Shifting into a cat, he bolts.
**Araatris:** The Master cackles madly as the shadows rip with a deafening sound overlaid by Yami’s scream. The portal forms over them both.
**Rhoelyn:** The huntress shouts in panic as she lunges for Yami, Rhese right behind her. Then there’s a loud crack and silence as everyone stares.
**Rhoelyn:** Kaerryn speaks first, “Bloody hell. Morthis is going to kill us.”
**Araatris:** Ruuma staggers away from Lash, holding the new gash in her side as she looks at the space her Master just left. “Kill them all,” she snarls.
**Rhoelyn:** Verune snaps, “We’ll worry about him and Rhoelyn later. Move!” Nightborne charge out from the corners of the room. Temirra leaps into their midst.
**Araatris:** Slipping into the space left behind by their missing members, the group bursts into action. Spells, arrows and blades fly as they defend themselves.