Rhoelyn: The morning has a quiet chill to it. Nysse stirs first, flinching at the sound of metal as she stretches stiff muscles. She finally opens her eyes.
Araatris: The sun is already risen in a clear, blue sky, and by the dwindling fire, Quaed fiddles with some fresh firewood. She looks around at the terrain.
Rhoelyn: The huntress glances at her sleeping sister and carefully rises. Resting one arm over her knee, she calls out quietly, “Would you like some help?”
Araatris: The undead considers her for a moment before coming over. He crouches a few paces away, watching her reaction. “Making peace, are we, girl?”
Rhoelyn: Nysse swallows nervously, “I’m trying, but I’m still scared of you. I’ve not had very many dealings with undead except with a death knight…”
Araatris: “Yeah, well… Dead’s a relative term. Don’t overthink it.” He tosses her the key to their shackles. “I don’t bite. Leave your wrists locked.”
Rhoelyn: She nods and just unlocks her feet. Nysse sets the shackles and the key in front of him, then asks, “What would you like me to do? Fire? Breakfast?”
Araatris: “Breakfast,” he rasps, scooping up key and shackle before he turns away. Nysse leans over to check on Rhoelyn, listening to her uneven breathing.
Rhoelyn: The young night elf frowns worriedly. She sighs. Then she stands and pulls supplies from the cart, working silently on a fish and egg scramble.
Araatris: After a while, the food settled over the growing fire, she sits back and watches the rogue sharpen a small dagger. She bites her lip thoughtfully.
Rhoelyn: Quaed grumbles, “What are you staring at?” Nysse ducks her head. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to. I was thinking about everything that’s happened.”
Araatris: He watches her with his flat, yellowed eyes, and she tries not to shudder. “Don’t overthink that, either, and you might just make it out alive.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse nods. “I’ll… try.” She checks on the food. “It’s almost ready if you want to wake them up. I’ll start fixing plates.” Quaed nods and stands.
Araatris: As the rogue leans down to his teammates, Rhoelyn blinks open her eyes to the empty spot beside her and startles, bolting up. “Nysse!”
Rhoelyn: The huntress bolts to Rhoelyn, dropping to her knees at the priestess’ side. She grabs her hands and squeezes, “It’s okay, Rhoe. I’m here.”
Araatris: Her sister blinks at her before hunching over with a deep sigh. She presses her forehead to their joined hands and nods, muttering, “Alright.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse kisses the top of Rhoelyn’s head. “I’m sorry for scaring you. I was allowed to make breakfast. Would you like some of my fish and egg scramble?”
Araatris: The priestess lifts her head and manages a little smile. “Yes. Thank you.” She releases her sister’s hands to scrub hers over her eyes.
Rhoelyn: The huntress returns to the campfire, ignoring the looks from the horde trio. She hands Nataro two plates and takes two others to Rhoelyn.
Araatris: “Thank you, sister.” The smaller elf takes the plates until Nysse sits, shooing away Tsume’s curious nose. “It smells delicious, as always.”
Rhoelyn: The young night elf smiles. “It’s one of the few things I can make better than Rhese.” She digs in while Rhoe takes slow, controlled bites.
Araatris: As they both finish their food in silence, Quaed walks over with the shackle key in hand. Rhoelyn looks up at him as the undead pauses before her.
Rhoelyn: “Feet out. We need you to walk,” the undead growls. Rhoelyn extends her feet. Quaed crouches and unlocks the shackles, ignoring Nysse’s closed eyes.
Araatris: Once he straightens, tucking the key into a pocket, he offers the priestess a hand. “Come on. We need to talk.” She glances over at Leothir.
Rhoelyn: “Nysse…” Rhoe looks worried. The huntress takes her plate, “It’s alright, sister. I still need to feed Tsume and I’ll clean things up here.”
Araatris: Finally taking Quaed’s gloved hand, she lets him help her to her feet, but then she frees her hand from his to remove Tsume’s muzzle.
Rhoelyn: “Tsume, guard Nysse.” At Rhoe’s command, the wolf presses against Nysse’s side. “Now we can go.” Rhoelyn clutches the rope to her chest.
Araatris: The rogue leads her across the flat grassland in silence for a few minutes until they reach a lonely tree and some shade from the morning sun.
Rhoelyn: After several minutes looking out, Rhoelyn sighs, “This isn’t how I imagined I’d see their beautiful land.” She places her hand on the tree.
Araatris: “Of all the damned luck.” The rogue steps up beside her, disgust on his features. “Not how I imagined a lot of things would be if I saw you again.”
Rhoelyn: “There’s no way we could have known, Quaed.” The priestess clasps her hands and turns to face him. “After all this time… How did you imagine it’d go?”
Araatris: He shrugs, folding his arms against uncomfortable feelings. “Owe you my life,” the rogue rasps, “such as it is. I figured I’d thank you and ask why.”
Rhoelyn: Rhoelyn bites her lip. “Life takes many forms, but it doesn’t choose how honorable of a life is lived. You’re a good man. Isn’t that enough?”
Araatris: Quaed snorts. “Wasn’t enough for the Scarlet Crusade. Wasn’t even enough for your teammates. They looked right over the thing on the rack.”
Rhoelyn: “It doesn’t make it right. You’re dealing with the cards you were dealt. You’re not a thing. You never were.” Rhoelyn wraps her arms around herself.
Araatris: He shakes his head. “Not a common philosophy.” She gives him a small, quiet grin. “It isn’t a philosophy. It’s what I see when I look at you.”
Rhoelyn: The undead smirks, “I’m not sure your sister agrees.” He looks away, “But we find ourselves here and now. I’ll see that you’re treated well.”
Araatris: He continues with the part she’s been expecting, but she still grips the tree tighter to hear it. “But I can’t free you. We need you too much.”
Rhoelyn: Rhoelyn closes her eyes. “Why? I don’t understand how I could possibly be worth anything to you.” She opens her eyes and meets his gaze.
Araatris: Though he hesitates, he looks at her expression and says, “It’s bigger than my debt. It’s for the Horde. You’re going to help us assassinate Garrosh.”
Rhoelyn: The priestess squeaks, “W-what? I’m going to help with what?” She stares at Quaed incredulously. “What could I possibly do to help with that?”
Araatris: “You can get us close,” the rogue rasps. “Since he’s frozen out so many, it’s hard to reach him. But he wants you and your kind out of Pandaria.”
Rhoelyn: Rhoelyn pales and her knuckles turn white on the tree. “H-he’ll kill us…” She yanks her hands close to hide her trembling. “Please let Nysse go.”
Araatris: He nods curtly. “Possible. But would she go?” The priestess looks sick and can only manage to shake her head. She knows Nysse never would.
Rhoelyn: Quaed growls, “Good. I wouldn’t have thought much of someone willing to abandon their family.” He looks up at the sky. “He might not kill yo-”
Araatris: “D-don’t,” Rhoe interrupts, resting her head against the tree. “I don’t need false hope, Quaed. Garrosh is not known for his mercy or forbearance.”
Rhoelyn: He nods and they stand in silence for several minutes. Finally, he sighs, “We have to leave. I’ll do what I can to make you and her comfortable.”
Araatris: Rhoelyn nods mutely, straightening and brushing out her dress. “I-if the opportunity presents itself, I will ask you to free her. She should live.”
Rhoelyn: “How are you going to convince her?” He gruffly questions. The priestess bites her lip. “I… I have an idea.” They start walking back to the camp.
Araatris: Nysse kneels by Tsume, scruffling her fur affectionately, but she straightens as the two approach, her gaze on Rhoe half curious and half worried.
Rhoelyn: Quaed glances at the camp. “Get in the cart and settle.” Rhoelyn nods. ‘Was everything quiet, sister?” Nysse glances at Leo reflexively.
Araatris: “Yes,” the huntress says. “I’ve been spending time with Tsume.” Rhoe smiles and kneels down by the wolf, who whines at her. “Darling girl.”
Rhoelyn: Tsume licks Rhoelyn’s hand. Nysse smiles tenderly and rub’s the wolf’s ears. “My sweet, caring Tsume…” Tsume turns her attentions back to her.
Araatris: The priestess straightens and watches them quietly for a brief moment before her smile fades. She pulls the rope muzzle from her belt. “It’s time.”
Rhoelyn: The wolf whines and buries her face under Nysse’s arm. The huntress’s expression falls as she takes the muzzle and cajoles Tsume into wearing it.
Araatris: Rhoelyn doesn’t wait for them and heads for the wagon, brushing a gentle hand down Tsume’s back as she goes. She tucks herself in the corner.
Rhoelyn: Nysse glances up as she finishes tucking the muzzle on her wolf. She kisses the wolf’s head before following Rhoe and settling down next to her.
Araatris: Tsume hops up and shoves herself between them to lay down, and the priestess immediately rests a hand on her fur, looking out over the plain.
Rhoelyn: The horde head to the front of the cart. Leothir’s roaming gaze causes Nysse to draw her knees to her chest. She mumbles, “I hate this…”
Araatris: Rhoelyn’s eyes follow the blood elf as he glances at her to make sure she is sufficiently irritated by his defiance. His cheshire grin widens.
Rhoelyn: The priestess glares and snaps, “Keep your eyes to yourself.” She puts a reassuring hand on Nysse’s arm. “Ignore him, sister. I’ll take care of it.”
Araatris: “Oh, are y-” Nataro sighs and grabs the mage’s collar as he walks past, stopping him from turning back toward them. “We need to move.”
Rhoelyn: The young elf mumbles, “Thank you, Rhoe, but you shouldn’t let him get to you either. I didn’t like it, but it’s not like a look can hurt me.”
Araatris: Clenching her hand in Tsume’s fur, the priestess shakes her head with a jerk. “No. I told you: he mustn’t treat you like that.” The wolf whimpers.
Rhoelyn: Nysse gently pries Rhoe’s hand out of Tsume’s fur. “I know you’re mad, Rhoe, but this isn’t the way to show it. Getting mad won’t fix it.”
Araatris: The little priestess looks at her hand before giving Tsume an apologetic pat. She raises her gaze to Nysse. “What will fix it, sister?”
Rhoelyn: “It won’t fix that he’s a piece of rot. You saw it. He wants to make us uncomfortable.” Nysse sighs, “Not that I’m good at following my own advice.”
Araatris: Rhoe leans her head on Nysse’s shoulder. “If you cannot ignore him, then neither can I.” She closes her eyes, her fists clenched tight in her lap.
Rhoelyn: With nothing else to do, they nap on and off until mid-day. A vague, uneasy feeling settles at the drowsing Nysse, something tickling her face.
Araatris: The huntress cracks her eyes open and brushes Rhoelyn’s long silver hair away from her. For a moment, shadows seem to dance among the strands.
Rhoelyn: She blinks, but it’s gone. Nysse lays her cheek on Rhoe’s head, trying to keep the sudden homesickness at bay. Unshed tears shimmer in her eyes.
Araatris: “Sister…” Glad for the distraction, Nysse looks down at the priestess’ whisper. “Rhoe?” She’s surprised to realize the other woman sleeps still.
Rhoelyn: Nysse hugs Rhoe closer. “I’m here, sister. I’m not going anywhere,” she murmurs quietly. She closes her eyes. “Elune, please give us strength.”
Araatris: As if in answer, a bird’s shadow darts across them, drawing her gaze to the sky. A serpentine form is visible off above the horizon.
Rhoelyn: Her eyes widen before she buries her face in Rhoe’s hair. At their backs, near the front of the cart, she hears Quaed. “Let’s stop for lunch.”
Araatris: As the wagon rolls to a stop in the shade of a trio of trees, Rhoelyn shudders and stirs. “Nysse?” “I’m here, Rhoe,” the other elf answers.
Rhoelyn: “I was having the strangest dream…” Rhoelyn mumbles. The huntress brushes a lock of silver hair from Rhoe’s face. “Really? What was it about?”
Araatris: “I was searching,” she says softly, sitting up, “through the shadows for… something. You, I think. They were like a pond beneath a blinding sun.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse nods. “I can’t say what it might mean, but it doesn’t sound pleasant. They just stopped for lunch.” They both look up as they hear footsteps.
Araatris: Nataro reaches over the side of the wagon, grabbing a sack from the supplies. He glances at them. “Stretch your legs. It’s only a short stop.”
Rhoelyn: The huntress nods, quickly clambering out of the wagon with Tsume on her heels. Nysse pauses at the end, waiting. “Are you coming, Rhoe?”
Araatris: “Go ahead, sister.” The priestess yawns and offers her a smile. “I need another minute or two before I’m ready to scamper.”
Rhoelyn: “I’ll be right back.” Nysse slips away with Tsume into some nearby bushes, clattering her chains obviously. Nataro hands Rhoe some rations.
Araatris: “Thank you,” she says quietly. When he doesn’t stomp away, she looks up at him with a question in her eyes. “Don’t antagonize Leothir. He’s… off.”
Rhoelyn: The priestess’ eyes flash, “I’ll leave him be if you can keep him away from us, but I won’t allow him to continue his treatment of Nysse.”
Araatris: The Tauren frowns at her, half sternly and half thoughtfully. “He is not my dog on a leash. He barely cares about her, now; he wants to thwart you.
Araatris: Ignore him, and he will tire of the game.” Rhoelyn clenches her fist and looks away. “You say that as if it is easy to ignore such behavior.”
Rhoelyn: Nataro shakes his head. “It is not, but he only goes after her now because of your reactions. His attentions will fade if you do not feed them.”
Araatris: “I will…” She begins her sentence with a clenched jaw, but pauses and puts her hand to her head, taking a deep breath. “I will consider your words.”
Rhoelyn: The tauren bows his head. “That is all I ask.” Nysse steps out of the bushes as he continues, “Make sure to stretch your legs as well.”
Araatris: Rhoelyn sighs as he walks away and looks down at the rations in her hand. When Nysse steps up, she slips free of the wagon and hands her one.
Rhoelyn: “Thank you. Would you like Tsume to go with you?” Tsume rubs against Rhoelyn’s legs. Nysse chuckles, “She might like the extra chance to stretch.”
Araatris: The priestess glances down and smiles. “Would you like that, darling girl?” The wolf wuffs through her muzzle and bounds a few paces away.
Rhoelyn: Nysse gently pushes Rhoelyn, “Go on and stretch. I’ll be waiting here.” The priestess nods and the wolf circles her as she walks away.
Araatris: Alone, Nysse takes the chance to nonchalantly catalog the terrain and the horizon, leaning against the wagon and eating her dry rations.
Rhoelyn: “Would you like some water?” The voice causes Nysse to freeze mid-bite. She swallows nervously. “T-that’s a good idea. I’ll go a-ask N-nataro-”
Araatris: Leothir steps around the end of the wagon, offering her a water skin. “What kind of host would I be if I made you do all that work, my lady?”
Rhoelyn: Nysse’s eyes dart, but finds no other option with everyone busy. She reaches a trembling hand out to take the water skin. “T-thank you.”
Araatris: Much to her dismay, the sin’dorei settles against the wagon beside her, leaning back and crossing his ankles. He waits a few moments in silence.
Rhoelyn: She turns and uses her hand to block his view as she fakes drinking from bottle. Nysse finishes her ration and hands the bottle back. “T-thanks.”
Araatris: He still lingers after he takes it back, and Nysse crosses her arms. “I wish you wouldn’t act like that,” he grumbles. “I’m not the monster, here.”
Rhoelyn: “Y-your comments, looks, and touch make me very uncomfortable.” Nysse gazes at the dirt. “You know I have a mate, b-but you keep doing it.”
Rhoelyn: She trembles. “I-i don’t think you’re a monster, but I hate this feeling. Please…” She looks up with watery eyes. “Would you please s-stop?”
Araatris: He glances from her to Rhoelyn, calmly walking in the field not too far away with Tsume bounding around her. “… I suppose I can consider it.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse wipes at her eyes. “I’d really appreciate it.” Her shoulders relax. She hesitates before asking, “H-how much further do we have to go?”
Araatris: He brushes at his sleeve idly. “I believe we can make port by mid-day tomorrow, if we’re lucky. Staying off the roads makes the going slower.”
Rhoelyn: “How would they even know where to look?” She pales as a word sinks in. “P-port. Oh Elune, please tell me we don’t have to get on another boat…”
Araatris: Leothir smirks – not a leer, this time. “We’re on an island, my lady. Boats are necessary to leave one, especially when carting around prisoners.”
Rhoelyn: Fresh tears well in her eyes and she covers her face. “I hate boats.” Her words are muffled as she sobs, “Why do we have to take a boat?!”
Araatris: The sin’dorei blinks in surprise at her reaction before tentatively reaching out to pat her back. “There, th- WHOA!” He dodges back just in time.
Rhoelyn: “Get away from my sister! I told you to leave her alone!” Rhoelyn pulls back her fist again. “I just mentioned a boat! How was I supposed-”
Araatris: He backs away as she swings at him once more, her eyes flashing, but he grabs her wrist. “Stop and listen, you harpy!” She gasps, paling.
Rhoelyn: She snarls, “How dare y-” Nysse flings her chain over Rhoe’s head and wraps her arms tightly around the priestess. “It’s not his fault, Rhoe!”
Araatris: The nightelf strains against her, fists clenched. “Of course it is! I won’t let him hurt you any more!” To Nysse’s horror, she shouts, “Tsume!”
Rhoelyn: Grimacing, Nysse covers Rhoe’s mouth. She orders, “Tsume, yield! Submit!” The huntress tightens her hold. “Rhoe, he really only mentioned boats!”
Araatris: Though she continues to struggle, the priestess is not strong enough to defy Nysse nor willing to risk hurting her. “Calm down,” Nysse pleads.
Rhoelyn: The huntress still has tears streaming down her cheeks as Rhoe finally stands stiffly, but still. Cautiously, Nysse removes her hand. “Rhoe?”
Araatris: Breathing in ragged gasps, the priestess looks at her sister. “Why would you defend him? He’s a piece of rot, remember?” Leo growls, glaring at her.
Rhoelyn: Cringing, Nysse explains, “He was trying to be nice. It’s not his fault that I was shipwrecked. You know that I barely slept the entire way here.”
Araatris: The priestess’ breath evens as she looks between the two of them a couple of times. Her posture relaxes enough that Nysse hesitantly releases her.
Rhoelyn: “Are you feeling better, sister? I’ve never seen you act like that.” Nysse glances apologetically at Leo before capturing Rhoelyn’s hands.
Araatris: “No. No, I don’t feel better at all.” Shaking her head, the elder night elf tugs at her hands, pulling Nysse away from Leo and the wagon.
Araatris: “There is nothing about any of this that makes me feel better, Nysse. You’re crying, and he is here, and… and… you must go home to Yami and Rhese.”
Rhoelyn: The huntress wipes at her tears reflexively. “We’re in this together, Rhoe. I’m not going to leave my sis-” Rhoelyn cuts her off, “You have a son!”
Araatris: When Nysse looks stricken, Rhoe reaches out and wipes more wetness from her cheek. She repeats more softly. “Nysse, you have a son…”
Rhoelyn: “I know… I miss him and Rhese very much, but I promised I’d protect you.” She lays her forehead on Rhoe’s shoulder as the Horde trio watch.
Araatris: “You did. But Nysse… sometimes there is no way to save everyone.” The priestess speaks quietly and holds her tight, glancing over at Quaed.
Rhoelyn: Nysse shakes her head, unable to speak. Her hands fist into Rhoelyn’s dress. The smaller night elf whispers, “Please, sister, do it for me.”
Araatris: Again, she shakes her head, managing a choked whisper, “I couldn’t live with myself if I did.” “Please try.” Rhoe grips her and nods at the rogue.
Rhoelyn: Quaed steps forward and pricks Nysse’s arm with a small blade. The huntress barely has time to register before she’s slumping in Rhoe’s arms.
Araatris: As the priestess sinks to her knees and buries her face against her sister’s shoulder, Nataro frowns at Quaed. “Explain.” Leothir just gapes.
Rhoelyn: “This girl has stirred up too much with both Leothir and the ambassador. We can’t afford any more delays.” He yanks Nysse away from Rhoelyn.
Araatris: The smaller woman sobs once as she releases her sister’s limp form to him before biting her lip and scrubbing at her eyes. “Tsume,” she calls.
Rhoelyn: The wolf comes up to her, whimpering. “G-guard Nysse, Tsume.” Quaed drags the huntress to the trees. He rasps, “Now she can’t delay us. Let’s go.”
Araatris: Rhoe unknots the wolf’s muzzle and drops it, managing a quick nuzzle against her fur before Quaed comes and grabs her arm, pulling her to her feet.
Rhoelyn: Leothir points at Quaed. “He kills her and you’re not going to say or do anything?!” He stares incredulously as Rhoe climbs onto the wagon.
Araatris: Quaed grouches, “We gonna get moving?” The sin’dorei watches as she props herself in the corner of the wagon and puts her head on her knees.
Rhoelyn: “We’re going to yap until I understand what’s going on! You’re going to kill her? You could keep her knocked out!” Leo gestures violently.
Araatris: Sighing, the undead grabs Leothir’s collar and pulls him a few more paces away from the wagon. Nataro follows, frowning. “Look, she’s not dead.”
Rhoelyn: Leothir blinks in surprise. “Not dead? I don’t understand. If you can knock her out, then why can’t-” Quaed sighs, “To keep the other one sedate.”
Araatris: The mage’s brow wrinkles, and he glances back at the wagon. “She certainly is sedate…” “The poison mimics death. But only for a short while.”
Rhoelyn: Nataro nods finally and rumbles, “Then let us leave. Quaed, you will circle back and leave her supplies.” The rogue grumbles agreement.
Araatris: The shaman leads the way to the front of the wagon, stirring the oxen into motion, but as it rumbles forward, Leo hangs back with a vague frown.
Rhoelyn: His gaze switches between the huddled night elf on the cart and wolf nudging the limp body of the other. He nods to himself, making his decision.
Rhoelyn: The morning has a quiet chill to it. Nysse stirs first, flinching at the sound of metal as she stretches stiff muscles. She finally opens her eyes.