Araatris: “Get out. Get out!” Sarah hurries through the doorway and ducks just in time to avoid a flying hair brush that clatters against the wall.
Rhoelyn: Nysse stares at the ragged looking guard worriedly. Sarah gasps and grabs her arm. “You have to do something!” She looks over her shoulder nervously.
Araatris: Clutching the mask closer to her chest, Nysse frowns. “What’s going on?” she whispers. “She’s nearly uncontrollable, today,” the guard responds.
Rhoelyn: The huntress carefully knocks on the now closed door. “Rhoelyn? It’s Nysse. Can I come in, sister?” Nysse bites her lip, waiting for an answer.
Araatris: Sarah grimaces in the silence and points at Nysse’s boots. “Whatever you do, make sure they’re clean before you go i-” The door cracks open.
Rhoelyn: Catching her warning, Nysse smiles at the door. “I want to see you, but give me a moment to take my boots off. I’ll need to clean them later.”
Araatris: With her boots off and the mask and a discarded hairbrush in hand, the young night elf smiles at the door, tapping it lightly. “I’m ready, sister.”
Rhoelyn: The door opens far enough to admit her and Nysse steps into the evening shadowed room. “Sister, I found your hairbrush. Would you like me-”
Araatris: It’s all she can do to keep ahold of the mask when the priestess throws herself at her. “Nysse!” she cries. “How could you go for so long?!”
Rhoelyn: The huntress wraps her arms tightly around the smaller woman. “I’m sorry, Rhoe. It took longer to get to there than I expected. I missed you.”
Araatris: “I missed you, too.Thank Elune that you’re safe. Davin and the guards are driving me quite mad,” she sighs, resting her head on Nysse’s shoulder.
Rhoelyn: Nysse smiles affectionately and lays her cheek on Rhoelyn’s hair. “What could they possibly be doing to drive my dear sister crazy?”
Araatris: “I could write a list, Nysse. A very long list.” The priestess grips the back of her armor tighter, tensing at the thought. “Please don’t go again.”
Rhoelyn: The huntress squeezes her. “I’m here, Rhoe. Hopefully, I won’t need to go. We found a mask that might help. At least, I’m hoping it will.”
Araatris: “A… mask?” When Nysse offers the relic to her, she takes it, turning it over in her hands. She sniffs and grimaces. “W-why does it smell?”
Rhoelyn: Nysse grins weakly. “It’s old and has been in storage. I’m not sure how long it was there. It’s not too bad, is it? I think you have to wear it.”
Araatris: The priestess hesitantly lifts it closer before yanking it away with a wrinkled nose. “I sincerely hope not for long. Was it stored in a tomb?”
Rhoelyn: The huntress cringes. “Next to rotting fruit actually… I don’t believe it ever touched, but I think it picked up the smell. I’m so sorry, Rhoe…”
Araatris: “… but it seems to cure people,” she continues. “Please let us try.” Rhoelyn sighs, but nods. “Of course. Light knows, I can hold my breath.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse smiles. “Thank you.” Rhoelyn takes a deep breath and raises the mask. The huntress holds her own breath, reaching down to grasp her dagger.
Araatris: Rhoe presses the mask over her face, closing her eyes. She holds it there, her hand increasingly shaky until… she yanks it away, gagging.
Rhoelyn: The young night elf droops, but she asks hopefully, “Do you feel any different excluding the smell?” Rhoelyn shakes her head, looking green.
Araatris: “A-am I meant to vomit up this illness?” She shudders, taking a series of deep breaths and moving over to sit on the edge of the bed.
Rhoelyn: Nysse leans in front of her and takes the mask from Rhoelyn. “I don’t think so. It didn’t work… Let me open the window for some fresh air.”
Araatris: The priestess nods, leaning forward on her elbows. “Maybe it will work for Leothir. Or perhaps the smell will kill him. That would be fine.”
Rhoelyn: The young night elf pushes open the shutters and a breeze rushes through the room. “I need to pass it along. Will you be alright if I step out?”
Araatris: Looking disappointed, Rhoe complains, “Must you go already? You just got here.” Nysse sighs and steps over, taking her hands.
Araatris: “I’m s-” The other woman frowns and yanks her hands back, looking away. “Yes, I know. You’re sorry. Just go, then. You know where I shall be.”
Rhoelyn: The young night flinches. “I’d rather stay, but that won’t cure your illness, Rhoe. I promise I’ll be back soon.” She sets down the hairbrush.
Araatris: When her sister just pushes to her feet and walks over to her window seat without a word, Nysse sighs and slips out into the hallway.
Rhoelyn: She strides down towards Leothir’s door and cautiously peers inside looking for Quaed and Nataro. The blood elf reclines lazily on his bed.
Araatris: She tries to duck back before he can notice her, but his call follows her around the door frame. “She returns! Please, dear, kind lady… Save me!”
Rhoelyn: Nysse hesitates and turns around. “T-there’s nothing to save you from, Leothir. I was looking for Quaed and Nataro. Have they been by?”
Araatris: He hops to his feet, striding toward her with a genuine smile. “Those two popped their noses in a while ago, but they barely dented my boredom.”
Rhoelyn: “Oh… umm.” She nervously starts to back further away. “I really should go find them then. I’ll be sure to mention your boredom to t-them.”
Araatris: The blood elf pauses shy of the doorway. “You could stay. If I promise to be on my very best behavior? Nysse, you have no idea how bored I am.”
Rhoelyn: She bites her lip. “Here. Why don’t you try this? It might be able to cure you and Rhoe.” Nysse steps close enough to hold out the mask.
Araatris: He takes the relic, peering at it curiously. “What is this? A… magic happy Mogu? This is what the fellows said you found in Krasarang?”
Rhoelyn: Nysse nods. “Yeah, it didn’t seem to do anything when Rhoe wore it, but I’d rather not rule it out yet. It’s supposed to draw out the sha.”
Araatris: “Well, that sounds wor-ugh!” He pauses as it gets close to his face, disgust twisting his face. “Did you lot fish it out of a garbage pile?!”
Rhoelyn: The huntress grimaces and mumbles, “The hozen was storing it next to rotting fruit.” She tucks a loose hair behind her ear. “Hold your breath?”
Araatris: Leothir gives her a droll look. “You could have warned me, you know.” Nysse shrugs, and he smirks. “A small revenge?” She clears her throat.
Rhoelyn: “Do you want to try it despite that?” She gazes curiously as he sighs and smiles. “I’ll try it, my lady. You were gracious enough to retrieve it.”
Araatris: Nysse frowns uncomfortably and mutters, “Rhese’s lady…” Still on his best behavior, the mage just grins and puts the mask to his face.
Rhoelyn: The blood elf stiffens before dropping to his knees with a groan. He tumbles onto his back, the mask skittering out of his hand. “Nysse…”
Araatris: Eyes going wide, Nysse fumbles and grabs the dagger off her belt, stepping toward him. “Leothir?” She readies herself to face the sha fiend.
Rhoelyn: When he doesn’t respond, she steps next to his side and leans over. Nysse presses her fingers into his neck to check his pulse. “Leothir?”
Araatris: The mage groans and arcs his back, suddenly gasping. “It’s… It’s…” He chokes. “C-can’t… breathe. Nysse! Help me!” She frowns at him.
Rhoelyn: “What are you talking about?” She narrows her eyes. “You’re breathing right n-” Nysse gasps as he reaches up and tugs her down to him.
Araatris: “Why, didn’t you realize that your beauty takes my breath away?” He says with a wicked grin, wrapping his arms around her tightly.
Rhoelyn: She squirms, her face flushed. “L-let go! You said that you were on your best behavior!” Nysse shoves her hand with the dagger between them.
Araatris: “As it turns out,” he says silkily, “My best behavior isn’t as good as I thought it was.” The huntress scowls, pushing against his chest.
Rhoelyn: He pins one of her legs to the ground. “Now, my lady… Why are you in such a hurry to get up?” Nysse growls, “Because I’m not YOUR lady!”
Araatris: That actually earns a frown for a fleeting moment before the predatory grin comes back. “We could change that, you and I.” Nysse pales.
Rhoelyn: She feels his hand in her hair before she reacts. In a moment of panic, Nysse presses the dagger to his chest, “Let g-go! Don’t make me do this!”
Araatris: “You wouldn’t.” He scoffs and tugs her head toward him… until the tip of the dagger cuts through his tunic and slices into his flesh. “Agh!”
Rhoelyn: Leothir stares at her, agape. “You… you cut me!” Nysse shoves away, breaking his grip and rolling to the side. She grabs the mask and scrambles.
Araatris: “I w-warned you that I would!” Clutching the mask to her, she clambors to her feet while he presses a hand to the wound, his expression darkening.
Rhoelyn: He snarls, “That’s no way to treat your future-.” Nysse’s eyes widen as Leothir lunges forward. The huntress throws herself toward the door.
Araatris: The sin’dorei snags her upper arm, and she immediately swings the dagger around, slicing him across the shoulder. He curses, his grip loosening.
Rhoelyn: Nysse yanks back and his grip slips. “Get back here, you little-” The huntress kicks him in the gut, knocking him backward. “I. Said. No!”
Araatris: Staggering back, Leothir crashes into a table before he catches himself. He snarls as he holds his hands out to draw mana, but his cuffs stop him.
Rhoelyn: The huntress glares. “I’m a Cenarion Ranger with a knife and you’re silenced. I can and will use it if you touch me again, you piece of mage rot.”
Araatris: Applause from the doorway has them both turning in surprise. Quaed leans lazily against the doorframe. “‘Bout damn time, girl. You had me worried.”
Rhoelyn: She frowns and blushes. “How much did you see?” Her gaze darts to Leothir and Nysse holds her guard. The undead grins grotesquely. “Enough.”
Araatris: “And you didn’t think to stop him?” She scowls. Quaed snorts. “I’m your protector, now? I wouldn’t have let Leo do anything he’d regret later.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse snaps, “He should regret harassing us.” She glares at Leo before stalking out past Quaed. “No wonder the rot doesn’t have a mate.”
Araatris: As the rogue chuckles, his compatriot growls out, “You wound me! Quite literally.” Nysse walks faster, her feet carrying her to the stable.
Rhoelyn: Nysse practically runs through the stable. When she finds the wolf, she sags to the ground and hugs her. Then she buries her face in Tsume’s fur.
Araatris: The wolf licks at her mistress’ arm, flopping her warm tail across her as Nysse trembles with reaction, her sobs muffled and quiet.
Rhoelyn: “Tsume, nothing has gone right and I don’t have anyone to talk to except you.” She hiccups. “Rhoe’s getting worse and our only idea failed.”
Araatris: “What am I supposed to do, now?” The huntress wipes at her tears, straightening to look into Tsume’s dark eyes. The wolf nuzzles her cheek.
Rhoelyn: The huntress smiles. “Yeah, I know I shouldn’t let him get to me.” Tsume shifts and sniffs at the mask. “It’s supposed to make sadmooks happy…”
Rhoelyn: Nysse blinks staring at Tsume’s wolfish grin. “That’s right! It makes sad people happy. They’re angry!” She hugs the wolf again. “Thanks, Tsume!”
Araatris: The pale wolf licks at her before shifting, a nudge to her mistress to get moving. Nysse nods and gives her one last squeeze before she stands.
Rhoelyn: The huntress bolts out of the stable, barely dodging a pandaren caretaker. “Sorry!” She ducks into the main building again and jogs down the hall.
Araatris: Knocking on a doorframe, Nysse barely waits for the call from inside before she bursts out, “It didn’t work, but I think I know what will.”
Rhoelyn: A pandaren opens the door and gestures for Nysse to enter. A voice speaks from behind the door. “What do you think will work, child?”
Araatris: The night elf steps into the room, barely remembering to sketch out a quick, respectful bow to the Spirit-Sage before she answers.
Rhoelyn: “This makes sad people happy instead of angry people calm. I believe we need to find the calmest place in Pandaria and start there,” she rambles.
Araatris: The old Pandaran looks up from his seat, considering her words thoughtfully. “The calmest place in Pandaria? That is… an excellent idea.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse nods enthusiastically. “But I don’t know Pandaria, so I have no idea where it would be and I’m afraid that Rhoe doesn’t have a lot of time.”
Araatris: “Hmmmm…” Gaoquan strokes his long mustache thoughtfully for a few moments before calling to his aide. “Tai, we will need the map.”
Rhoelyn: Tai quickly returns and rolls out the map out on the table, weighting the corners. The Spirit-Sage stands. “Normally, I’d suggest Yu’lon’s temple…”
Araatris: The sage pauses to shake his head sadly. “We are told that it has become a dangerous place in recent weeks. Visitors are utterly forbidden.”
Rhoelyn: She frowns as he continues. “Hmmmm… Ah! How about the Temple of the White Tiger?” Tai murmurs, “But the tests, Master…” “It’s the best option.”
Araatris: Gaoquan points on the map to mountains drawn to the north. “Xuen, the White Tiger teaches strength with restraint. Power without violence.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse mumbles, “They could both use that. Perhaps learning restraint will draw out the sha.” She sighs with a small smile, “It’s just a guess.”
Araatris: “Tai,” the grandfatherly man calls, “I need that old tile shard Dengui discovered in the shrine.” He turns to Nysse. “You should see this, my girl.”
Rhoelyn: She looks at him curiously. “What is it, Spirit-Sage?” Tai nods and hurries in a back part of the room. Gaoquan chuckles, “Patience.”
Araatris: He lifts a spare cup and gestures to the tea pot. “Might I offer you tea? He may be a few minutes.” Nysse shifts impatiently, but nods.
Rhoelyn: The pandaren pours a cup and gestures to another cushioned chair with a blanket it across it. “Come here and rest a minute. You must be tired.”
Araatris: Allowing herself a weary sigh, Nysse manages a little smile. “It’s been a long day, elder.” He bustles her toward the chair and passes her tea.
Rhoelyn: He drapes the blanket around her shoulders. “I understand. That is why you should rest when you can. Will you stay with your sister tonight?”
Araatris: The huntress nods and her smile is brighter. “I’d like to. I don’t think I should leave her alone, any more. It doesn’t help her stay calm.”
Rhoelyn: Gaoquan rests a hand on her head before returning to his seat. “I think it is not only she who needs calming. You will take comfort as well.”
Araatris: Nysse blushes and hides her shy grin by blowing on her tea. She’s saved from responding by Tai’s silent return. He hands Gaoquan a bundle.
Rhoelyn: Nysse peers curiously as she takes a cautious sip of her tea. “That’s the tile? Does it have something written on it?” He unwraps it carefully.
Araatris: The Spirit-Sage looks at the face of the tile for a thoughtful moment before offering it to her. “This was found in a Mogu shrine in the mountains.”
Rhoelyn: The huntress leans forward and takes it with her free hand. Turning it towards her, she scans the plate. The Spirit-Sage drinks his tea.
Araatris: On the surface of the old ceramic is a faded and worn painting showing a white tiger fallen before a large Mogu, grey sha-fiends around them.
Rhoelyn: “Is this the same White Tiger that you mentioned?” Nysse asks. The elderly Pandaren nods. “Xuen had to learn how to keep himself in balance.”
Araatris: “After all, after his defeat at the hands of Lei Shen, he realized that it was a moment of unrestrained savagery that had cost him victory.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse smiles and brushes her fingers over the image. “He must have been majestic.” Gaoquan smiles broadly. “If you’re lucky, you may see him.”
Araatris: The Spirit-Sage leans over to tap the sha fiends. “During the month of their battle, the Sha raged fiercely, infesting the emotional upheaval.”
Rhoelyn: “Yet, somehow he managed to overcome it,” she murmurs. “I really hope he can help.” She sets the tile on her lap and drinks her cooling tea.
Araatris: Gaoquan nods and sips his own tea. “It is my theory – well, the theory of one of my students, Dengui, that there is a lost chamber in the temple…”
Rhoelyn: Nysse frowns thoughtfully. “A lost chamber? Surely, Xuen would know everything in his own temple. What could he have possibly forgotten?”
Araatris: The grandfatherly Pandaren shrugs, his eyes twinkling over the lip of his tea mug. “That is an excellent question, dear guest. Quite excellent.”
Rhoelyn: “If even he’s forgotten it how do we know it exists or even how to find it?” The huntress puzzles aloud and finishes her tea, setting it aside.
Araatris: Tai steps back as the elder stands, offering Nysse a hand. “Perhaps you will get an idea once you are there.” She nods, picking the mask back up.
Rhoelyn: Nysse smiles. “Perhaps. Thank you for you time. I should get back to my sister.” She bows. “Please have a wonderful night, Spirit-Sage.”
Araatris: With a warm smile, he bows his head. “It is my hope for you as well, Nysse. And for your sister. Rest peacefully.” Tai bows to her as she leaves.
Rhoelyn: The huntress hurries down the hallway to her sister’s room. She stops at the door and gently raps on the wood. “Rhoe, are you still awake?”
Araatris: After a short pause, the door cracks open and Rhoelyn peeks out. Seeing Nysse, she smiles and opens it fully, stepping back. “You came back.”
Rhoelyn: Chuckling, Nysse smiles, “I couldn’t stay away.” She briefly hugs Rhoe before asking, “Would you like me to brush your hair before we rest?”
Araatris: The priestess nods and closes the door behind her. “That would be lovely, sister. I was just preparing for bed as it is.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse picks up the brush as Rhoelyn sits on the bed. She settles in behind her sister, brushing her hair. “May I stay here tonight, sister?”
Araatris: The smaller woman tenses, turning her head. “Is it safe? I cannot risk making you ill.” Nysse nods. “I think it is, from what I’ve learned.”
Rhoelyn: The huntress continues, “And I’d really like to. I missed you, Rhoe, and I could really use your company.” The young night elf smiles fondly.
Araatris: Rhoelyn turns fully and grabs her sister’s hands, brush and all. “I missed you, too. I am always here for you, my sister. No matter what happens.”
Rhoelyn: Blushing, Nysse gazes happily at her sister. “Thank you, Rhoelyn. I’m here for you. Always.” She tugs Rhoe into her arms, hiding her face.
Araatris: The two nightelves sit that way for a while, just appreciating each other’s wordless support as the night grows late around them.
MoP Arc – Chapter 12
Araatris: “Get out. Get out!” Sarah hurries through the doorway and ducks just in time to avoid a flying hair brush that clatters against the wall.