WoD Arc – Chapter 17

Araatris: Rhese yawns and rubs a fist on his eye as he saunters out of his tent after a brief nap. He glances around at the extra bustle throughout camp.
Rhoelyn: “Rhese! Our ladies will be here soon. Relare said that they’re in the last carriage.” The blood elf puts his arm around the druid’s shoulders.
Araatris: “That is a relief.” His friend smiles. “It’s hard to put my armor on without Nysse’s nimble hands.” Leo chuckles. “You’re in denial, my good man.”
Rhoelyn: The false sin’dorei laughs. “Denial? I will be glad to have her back; her and that pup of hers.” The mage tugs him toward the edge of camp.
Araatris: As they wend their way through the larger camp’s arrival, Rhese glances up at the late afternoon sun. “Ah! There’s the carriage,” Leo exclaims.
Rhoelyn: Rylana stands at the door of the carriage, grinning. She glances over her shoulder and waves. “Rhese! You have to see this.” She steps back.
Araatris: Nysse stands in front of the carriage door in another of the beautiful, gauzy gowns, trying not to blush too brightly as Ry calls attention to her.
Rhoelyn: She runs to the sin’dorei druid. “R-rhese!” Nysse smiles nervously and stops to twirl in front of him. “Do you like it?” She ducks her head shyly.
Araatris: He smiles and flicks a glance at Leothir before giving his attention back to her. “You know I do, my dear.” He reaches out to claim her hand.
Rhoelyn: Blushing to the tips of her ears, Nyssera clings to his hand and peers up. “R-really? I missed you and you liked the last dress so much…”
Araatris: Rhese chuckles as Leothir leans in to the carriage, offering his hand to the fabric-draped figure within. “I missed you as well, Nyssera.”
Rhoelyn: The huntress takes a deep breath and surges up onto her toes, pressing her lips against Rhese’s and slipping her arms around his neck.
Araatris: The druid staggers back, wrapping his arms around her. His sister steps from the carriage and straightens, her cowl pulled high around her face.
Rhoelyn: After a moment, Rhese pulls away and laughs. “You are being forward, my dear.” Nysse looks disappointed, “Don’t you want to go back to our tent?”
Araatris: He blinks, eyes widening, and leans down by her ear. As he whispers to her, Leothir says, “My flower, you’re trembling like a leaf. What’s wrong?”
Rhoelyn: “It has been a long time since I’ve seen so many, Leothir. I’m feeling… overwhelmed,” she replies. The sound of ripping fabric interrupts them.
Araatris: “N-nysse!” Rhese tugs her against him to shield her from other eyes. “I-I’m sorry, Rhese. How clumsy o-of me.” Rhoelyn turns away as he looks over.
Rhoelyn: “Leo, it seems that I need to take my girl back to the tent. Do you mind postponing?” Rhese smiles wryly as Ry gives him a bundle of clothes.
Araatris: The mage shakes his head, grinning. “Of course not. Come along, R-” “A-agh!” Nysse shouts loudly as she stumbles against Rhese violently.
Rhoelyn: Rhese places the clothes in Nysse’s hands and scoops her up into his arms. “R-rhese!” The druid grins. “I want to get you to the tent in one piece.”
Araatris: “L-Leothir,” Rhoelyn whispers to him as Rhese and Nysse move out of earshot, gripping his arm tightly. When he looks at her, he is surprised.
Rhoelyn: The priestess smiles weakly. “May we please rest in the tent for a while? It’s been a long day of travel and I would like to catch up with you.”
Araatris: Leo rests a hand on her cheek. “Of course, my flower. You’re pale. Maybe all this was too much for you.” She shakes her head. “I am only tired.”
Rhoelyn: The blood elf offers his arm and Rhoelyn rests her hand on it. “How did you and Nyssera get along? I’d hoped you’d enjoy her company.”
Araatris: “She is a darling, Leo. You were quite right to think so.” Her focus on him helps to calm her, and Rhoelyn offers him a genuine smile.
Rhoelyn: Leo grins and chatters, “You still haven’t seen her with the wolves. Rhese takes her out running with them. So, how was the rest of your trip?”
Araatris: The two settle into a familiar and comfortable pattern of chatting as they walk, and not far away, Wrune watches them with a relieved look.
Rhoelyn: Rhese pushes into the tent and sets Nysse on the bed. He drops the disguise and the huntress’ heart skips a beat. “T-thank you, R-rhese.”
Araatris: The druid sits beside her, leaning over to kiss her. But all too soon, he smirks and pulls away, speaking quietly. “Now, what are you up to?”
Rhoelyn: Nysse wraps her arms around him. “I need to tell you things that will upset you. Will you promise to stay here with me no matter what I say?”
Araatris: The frown he levels on her is grave and worried, but Rhese nods. “No matter what you say, I’ll stay with you, Nysse. I wouldn’t abandon you.”
Rhoelyn: She plucks at his shirt before nodding. “First, the other slaves escaped last night. I stayed even though Faye begged me to go with them.”
Araatris: “That can’t have been easy, even if it was the right choice for our mission,” the druid says softly, brushing her hair back. “It’s risky, running.”
Rhoelyn: The huntress stares down. “They questioned and confined me to my tent this morning, but I didn’t know where they’d gone. I couldn’t tell (c)
Rhoelyn: (c) them they went to Hadaal.” She clears her throat. “Lady Emeria came to the tent herself demanding to know. She… she activated my chain…”
Araatris: After an initial moment of shock, Rhese’s eyes narrow. “I should have guessed that haughty witch wouldn’t obey propriety,” he growls, glancing away.
Rhoelyn: “Relare had to send Yami and Vorok to the stables after Yami stole her slipper.” Nysse snorts. “He also told me the real reason they keep slaves.”
Araatris: The druid winces. “He told you that, did he? I’m not sure whose pale neck to wring first.” He looks down at the huntress. “You didn’t need to know.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse bites her lip. “I understand now why it’d be so odd if we… didn’t now.” She can’t help the blush rising to her cheeks. She hesitates.
Araatris: Rhese brushes a thumb over her darkened cheek. “Originally, it could have just been an act. Carefully crafted ruses like that night in Hallvalor.”
Rhoelyn: Her gaze holds his tenderly, “I’m glad it’s not.” She swallows nervously and grips his hands tightly. “I have one last thing to tell you…”
Araatris: Rhese nods, watching Nysse carefully. When she hesitates, he says, “No matter what you tell me, lovely. I won’t go anywhere.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse bows her head and takes a long shuddering breath. “You’re going to be upset, but Rhese, I found your sister, Rhoelyn. She’s Leothir’s flow-”
Araatris: “O-ow! Rhese!” Nysse cuts off when his grip on her hand turns crushing. “S-sorry,” he mutters, releasing her, stunned. “You found her? Where?”
Rhoelyn: The huntress gulps. “In the carriage… She’s Leothir’s slave. We were terrified that if you saw her before I told you that you’d break your cover.”
Araatris: Going still, Rhese stares at Nysse with wide eyes as he processes through a torrent of emotion. His reaction shows in his chimeric expressions.
Rhoelyn: The green-haired young woman chews on her lip and nervously tugs at her torn gown. “She’s missed you, Rhese. I’m sorry I told you that last.”
Araatris: He speaks softly, brow furrowed, even as he reaches for her. “I’m… afraid to believe you. You’re sure?” Nysse nods. “She gave me a letter for you.”
Rhoelyn: The young woman reaches into her dress and retrieves a folded piece of paper. Pressing it into his hand, she moves to stand. “Read while I change…”
Araatris: Rhese stares at the letter, but he grabs her wrist before she can get far. He drags his gaze to Nysse. “Please don’t go,” he begs, vulnerable.
Rhoelyn: Nysse settles back in next to him. “I’ll stay. I just thought that you might like a little privacy.” She slips a comforting arm around him.
Araatris: Leaning against her, he unfolds the short letter and reads. It doesn’t take long, and when he is done, he whispers, “She used to write me often.”
Rhoelyn: The huntress nods, burying her face against him. “She told me. I’d take her place in a heartbeat if it meant that she could have been with you.”
Araatris: Rhese wraps his arms around her, grimacing. “I don’t like to think of you as a slave any more than Rhoe. I’m so… I don’t know what to do.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse curls up in his arms. “I don’t know either. I’m so hungry I can barely think.” Her laugh is choked. “I thought that you’d go rushing out…”
Araatris: “I want to.” Rhese looks at the tent flap. “I want to run out there on four paws and slice Leothir to ribbons and grab my sister tight and…”
Araatris: He groans and presses his cheek against Nysse’s. “But I promised you I’d stay. And you’re right. If I did what I want, I’d get us all killed.”
Rhoelyn: The huntress caresses his cheek. “We’ll figure something out, surfal.” She leans up and kisses him briefly. “Thank you for not leaving me…”
Araatris: He kisses her and rests his forehead on her shoulder. “I don’t think I could leave you, Nysse. As much in this world as any other, I need you.”
Rhoelyn: “I need you, too, Rhese.” Nysse smiles weakly. “Sorry for destroying the dress. It was the only way I could think to make you bring me back here.”
Araatris: He manages a small smile to match, waving a dismissive hand. “It’s not too ruined to put to use. But later. We need to get you fed and find them.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse nods and pulls away. “Then I’d better change unless you’re planning on me showing up half dressed.” She picks up her other clothes.
Araatris: Rhese stands, too, and as she starts to step away, he catches her arm once more. When she turns back, it’s to his bright smile. “You found her!”
Rhoelyn: The huntress laughs softly. “We found her, surfal.” She turns her back to him as she changes. “Do you think they’ll have food? We’re between meals.”
Araatris: Nodding, he steps away to give her space. “They were prioritizing setting up the mess. Everyone is sick of rations. Is Yami still with Vorok?”
Rhoelyn: Nysse tugs her shirt on and turns, looking for her collar. “Yes, I believe so. I haven’t seen him since they took him.” She pulls her hair forward.
Araatris: Rhese steps up, the leather strap and chain in hand. “While you eat, I’ll check in on him.” He leans down to kiss her before putting the collar on.
Rhoelyn: She blushes as he clips on the chain. “Are you sure? I can go with you.” The druid shakes his head. “No, I’ll meet you at the mess with Yami.”
Araatris: “Will you make it without me?” The druid brushes her hair back, shifting to his sin’dorei form. “No collapsing on the way, my lovely. Promise?”
Rhoelyn: Nysse ducks her head. “I’ll be fine, Rhese. I won’t faint.” She sighs and grumbles, “They just don’t know how to feed a person for hard labor.”
Araatris: Rhese chuckles. “They just don’t know how to feed voracious wildlings. Eat well, lovely. I’ll catch up with you soon.” He turns and strides out.
Rhoelyn: After a moment, Nysse leaves and heads toward the mess. It’s set up and some are grabbing a late lunch. She manages to snag herself a bowl.
Araatris: The quality of food without Faye leaves the huntress to sigh for multiple reasons, and she feels the stares as one of the few collared left in the camp.
Rhoelyn: She eats quickly, trying to ignore others and watch for Rhese at the same time. Wrune comments behind her, “They did feed you, didn’t they?”
Araatris: Nysse blushes, glancing back at him with a spoonful from her second plate on its way to her mouth. She swallows before she admits, “Not much.”
Rhoelyn: He chuckles. “Would you like another plate? I’ll get it for you so they don’t ask any questions.” The huntress peers up, “Really? Please?”
Araatris: The paladin grins and pats her shoulder. “I’ll be right back.” And true to his word, he returns very shortly with more, setting it before her.
Rhoelyn: “Are you doing alright? I heard about this morning.” Wrune watches her carefully. Nysse smiles. “I’m much better now that I’m with Rhese again.”
Araatris: He nods and leans close. “I was very worried about the reunion, earlier. Thank you for handling that.” She blinks. “You told Leo to bring her here.”
Rhoelyn: Aron nods. “I decided to encourage Leothir when I saw you both the other day.” Nysse mumbles between bites, “She’s the last one, Wrune.”
Araatris: The human clasps his hands, smiling. “Then I’m glad. Her resemblance…” He leans even closer. “… to Rhese’s true form couldn’t be coincidence.”
Rhoelyn: Nysse smiles and pushes the plate back with a tiny sigh. “That should hold me over until dinner.” Frantic yipping causes both of them to turn.
Araatris: Wrune tilts his head to see the pup dancing in agitation at the tent’s entrance, but the huntress shoves to her feet, alarmed. “Where, Yami?”
Rhoelyn: The huntress runs to Yami, following him out of the tent. Wrune ducks after her with a worried frown. They weave through the camp’s tents.
Araatris: Shoving through a milling group of soldiers, they find a supply cache in disarray, crates tumbled over and smashed, equipment broken.
Rhoelyn: The paladin grabs a soldier’s arm. “You! What happened here?!” Nysse circles around the mess and crowd with Yami, searching for something.
Araatris: “‘Twere another hauntin’, sair.” She can hear the answer before the pup lifts his nose from the ground, yipping at her. Boot tracks lead off.
Rhoelyn: Nysse darts after the boot prints, leaving Wrune to catch up. He grumbles under his breath as she turns a corner. She cries out, startled.
Araatris: Relare steadies her as she barrels into him, and they both stumble back. “Whoa,” he gasps. “What’s the rush, Nyssera?” Leo blinks behind him.
Rhoelyn: “T-there was another attack on the s-supplies. I thought I s-saw someone come this way. D-did you see anyone?” Nysse clasps her hands together.
Araatris: Leothir pipes up. “Someone was running, but I didn’t see who.” Yami dances around Nysse’s feet. “W-was it Rhese?” she asks the mage.
Rhoelyn: He sighs, “I didn’t see, Nyssera, but if you’re worried we can help you look.” She bites her lip and looks at the anxious pup before nodding.
Araatris: “Don’t you fret.” The mage smiles and takes a couple of steps back. Something in his expression has Relare scrambling to turn. “Leo, d-”
Araatris: His brother disappears with a metallic ping, leaving the crackle of arcane magic behind. “…on’t rush off alone,” Relare finishes with a sigh.
Rhoelyn: Nysse frowns. “But how would he know where to go?” Yami yips at her again, urgently. “I’m sorry, commander. I need to go.” She hurries past him.
Araatris: Wrune and Relare exchange looks before they take off after her, trying to keep up as Yami leads the way out past the edge of the expanded camp.
Rhoelyn: She kneels, studying the ground. Yami yips again. “Yes, I know, Yami. You’re right. We’re close.” Nysse scans the area. “There!” She darts off.
Araatris: The huntress and her pup round an outcropping of rock and step onto the edge of the spirit fields, the oddly charged grass crunching underfoot.
Rhoelyn: “Rhese!” Nysse starts forward towards two tumbling figures. The dark-haired sin’dorei risks a glance. “Nysse, stay back!” Relare grabs her arm.
Araatris: “Do you feel that?” the paladin asks her, glancing up at Wrune as well. “The concentration of spirit energy here is too much. It can’t be good.”
Rhoelyn: Nyssera pales and starts breathing raggedly, clutching at her suddenly glowing chest. Wrune frowns. “I feel it. Nysse?” She doesn’t answer.
Araatris: Yami whines and noses at his mother as Relare tugs her back, away from the edge of the field. “Nysse? What’s wrong?” Wrune watches worriedly.
Rhoelyn: Whimpering, Nysse pleads, “I’m sorry.” The glowing form settles in the spirit field, slowly shifting into a large wolf. She sags against Relare.
Araatris: The blood elf curses and grabs her more solidly, supporting her as he stares at the wolf with wide eyes. “What in blazes is going on, here?”
Rhoelyn: “M-my spirit wolf…” Nysse gasps, then sobs. “I’m not s-strong enough… but the f-fields… call.” Wrune grits his teeth, but heads to help Rhese.
Araatris: On the far side of where Rhese struggles with an indistinct figure, Leo raises his hand and takes aim. “Hold still! I’m going to hit you both.”
Rhoelyn: The wolf turns and walks toward Nysse and Relare. Wrune passes the wolf and runs, yanking Rhese back away from the other figure. “Leo! Now!”
Araatris: The magic fire swirling around the mage’s hand shoots free, splashing around Rhese’s attacker. It’s the druid who cries out, stumbling into Wrune.
Rhoelyn: “No! Don’t!” Nysse struggles to stand. The spirit creature looks over his shoulder and then back to the huntress. “Get Rhese out of there!”
Araatris: Wrune looks over at her, blinking as he supports the druid’s attempts to straighten. “Wh-” With a wail, the dark figure reforms and flies at them.
Rhoelyn: Nysse commands, “Korran!” Her wolf darts at the dark form, blocking its path to Rhese. Wrune drags Rhese toward them. “What in the Light?!”
Araatris: Leothir blinks past Korran and the shadow even as it resolves into a vaguely wolflike form, grabbing the druid’s other arm as he struggles to stand.
Rhoelyn: Relare looks down at Nysse’s palid features and his hands glow. She blinks blankly at him even as the others reach them with the false sin’dorei.
Araatris: “We have to get them awa-” Relare cuts off as Nysse’s knees give out, and the huntress suddenly goes limp. She jerks when Korran fades away.
Rhoelyn: Relare snaps, “My tent, on the double.” He swings Nysse into his arms. The other two follow with Rhese. The dark wolf snarls and darts forward.
Araatris: They make it well outside of the spirit fields with the spirit bearing down on them, but before it reaches them, it fades away. Rhese grimaces.

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