Rhoelyn: Valerio takes a sullen drink from his mug, “They’re two days late. I could see Rhese, but Nysse is with him. She hates to be late to anything.”
Araatris: Beside him, his companion brushes her hair back and sets down her fork. “Yeah. But she’s with Rhese. Two days is nothing against that.”
Rhoelyn: “I don’t like it. We should go check on them.” Val grumps irritably. “They told us where they were. They could be injured.” He takes a bite of stew.
Araatris: Kaerryn shrugs and looks over at Wrune. “I’m fine with going. Waiting here in the lodge is boring.” The paladin considers, toying with his food.
Rhoelyn: “I’m worried about them as well. However, we may miss them arriving if we head out.” Wrune sighs, “Perhaps a quick search for them. Two days?”
Araatris: Val smacks his hand on the table and stands immediately. “Yes! We leave in an hour. Get your things.” They blink at him. Verune raises a brow.
Rhoelyn: Valerio leaves his half eaten bowl of food and heads to get ready. Wrune looks at Kaerryn and she shrugs. He turns to Verune, “Master Verune?”
Araatris: The druid nods, watching Valerio leave. “An hour, it seems. Valerio knows them both well, and if he’s concerned, then I am as well. Dress warmly.”
Rhoelyn: An hour later finds them bundled and standing at the outside of town. Wrune pulls out a map, “We’ll circle where they were searching first.”
Araatris: Verune nods as Valerio leans down and pats Vulf. “It’s interesting to note that the reports are consistent. The land’s corruption is receding.”
Rhoelyn: He continues, “Perhaps we should keep an eye on where it started as well.” Wrune nods, “That’s a good idea. Let’s circle the other direction.”
Araatris: Kaerryn leans over his shoulder. “That’ll take us through the forest.” She pokes a finger at the map. “I’ve heard about a little settlement here.”
Rhoelyn: Wrune nods, “Then we’ll stop by there on the way. Maybe they’ve seen them.” The group sets out along the path and down into the woods.
Araatris: Verune and Val concentrate on the forest as they walk, cataloging the things they learn from the path and the trees. They sometimes mutter together.
Rhoelyn: Kaerryn grins, “Feels good to stretch my legs again. I hope we find them soon.” Wrune sighs, “We were only there for three days not a month.”
Araatris: The human stretches her arms up, arcing her back as they walk. “Idleness has never been my thing, pally. Be surprised I made it a few days.”
Rhoelyn: Wrune glances at her, “I’ll keep that in mind.” He looks at the path, “I haven’t seen signs of the corruption. Perhaps it is fading, but why now?”
Araatris: Verune wanders up. “An excellent question, Aron. One presumes it’s the cubs’ doing, but at this advanced stage, it must have been weeks ago.”
Rhoelyn: Wrune frowns, “But that would mean they succeeded. We’re not too far from the settlement. Have you all noted anything unusual in your efforts?”
Araatris: Val says. “A lot of activity.” Verune nods. “Based on the state of the woods around here, the residents of the settlement foray out quite often.”
Rhoelyn: Kaerryn chimes in, “Why would that be unusual? Food, supplies, and general travel would take them out, wouldn’t it?” Val shakes his head.
Araatris: “It’s too much. And too chaotic.” He frowns, glancing at Vulf sniffing the ground nearby. “They run more often than they walk. And the wolves…”
Rhoelyn: “Wolves? I don’t remember them mentioning anything.” Kaerryn frowns, “No offense to Vulf, but I wouldn’t want to be caught unaware by a pack.”
Araatris: Wrune nods. “Wolves are a constant threat in the Grizzly Hills.” They can see the settlement. Verune pauses, “I wish to look around out here.”
Rhoelyn: Wrune nods, “We’ll detour as you need and then hit the settlement afterwards.” He pauses, “It might save time of Kaerryn and I go ahead.”
Araatris: The druid nods. “You two go. See what they can tell us, if anything. Valerio?” The other shakes his head. “Vulf and I will stay on the trail.”
Rhoelyn: “We’ll see you all at the settlement before dark.” Wrune pats Val on the shoulder before walking off with Kaerryn. Valerio turns to Verune.
Araatris: “I want to go northeast,” he announces. Verune nods. “I will follow the second trail, then. I believe we should explore what they’re hunting.”
Rhoelyn: Valerio sets off at a jog with Vulfenstein. Verune shifts into a cat and takes off along the second trail. Meanwhile, Wrune sights the village.
Araatris: Kaerryn stands halfway up the slope to the half-built village palisade. She rests her hand on her hip, waiting for Wrune to catch up.
Rhoelyn: He passes to catch his breath, “You. Ran.” Kaerryn grins and slaps his back, “And you need more exercise.” Wrune groans making her laugh.
Araatris: She turns her attention to the buildings, trudging beside him up the path. “From what I heard, this place has about two or three score. All human.”
Rhoelyn: “That’s pretty small. I’m surprised that they didn’t settle in at Amberpine. It’s not far from there.” Wrune waves to the guard at the entrance.
Araatris: The young woman, the only person in sight, greets them kindly enough. She has a rifle slung over her shoulder. “Coming from Amberpine, are you?”
Rhoelyn: Kaerryn nods, “We did earlier today. Do you all mind visitors? A couple of our friends went missing and we were hoping someone’s seen them.”
Araatris: She blinks. “Friends of yours? Well, I don’t think we’ve seen any visitors for a while. You’re welcome to go in, but not too many people are here.”
Rhoelyn: Kaerryn flashes a broad grin, “Thanks! Will any others be back later tonight? We can wait. If they’ve been out, they might have run into them.”
Araatris: “Oh, no.” The guard shakes her head at that. “We don’t have visitors after dark, sorry. It’s… a religious thing. You’ll have to leave at dusk.”
Rhoelyn: Kaerryn tilts her head and Wrune interjects, “Of course. We would hate to intrude. We appreciate your assistance.” They walk into the village.
Araatris: Despite their best efforts to be friendly and persuasive, Wrune and Kaerryn quickly discover that the seven residents left are wary and unhelpful.
Rhoelyn: Kaerryn frowns, “Aron, I don’t think we’re going to find out anything here.” Wrune sighs, “It’s getting late anyway. Let’s meet up with the others.”
Araatris: As the two make their way back to the gate, they’re in time to see someone relieve the friendly guard. Kaerryn rests a hand on Wrune’s arm.
Rhoelyn: She leans in close, still smiling, and whispers, “Something’s not feeling right about this place. She was the only one that’s told us anything.”
Araatris: Wrune nods, and she turns, hailing the girl with a smile. “Hey!” She trots over to them. “You’re still here. Did you find your friends, then?”
Rhoelyn: Kaerryn sighs exaggeratedly, “No luck. Knowing them, they probably took a wrong turn. It’s a shame we won’t get to talk to anyone else.”
Araatris: “Aw. I’m sorry.” The guard scratches at her chest. “I did tell you we haven’t had any visitors. The only humans ‘round these parts are us.”
Rhoelyn: Wrune shakes his head, “They’re not human. They’re night elves: man, woman, and a wolf. As you said though, you haven’t had any visitors.”
Araatris: The woman’s smile falters, and she pales. But she attempts to recover. “Yes. Like I said.” She backs away. “You two best get going. Dusk an’ all.”
Rhoelyn: Wrune frowns, “You look a little pale. If you’re not well, I can offer my services.” He glances up, “We still have a few minutes before sunset.”
Araatris: “Oh, no. I’m f-” Kaerryn grabs her arm, stopping her from retreating farther. “You should listen to him. I noticed the bandages on your chest.”
Rhoelyn: The woman glances around nervously, “I really shouldn’t. I mean, thank you and all, but–” Wrune lays a gentle hand on her arm. “Please. Allow me.”
Araatris: She clenches her tunic, shaking her head. “No! You’re going to get me in trouble, again. Just go. It’s dusk, and you two need to leave. Now.”
Rhoelyn: Wrune frowns in concern, “Again? They don’t allow healing? I can’t say I agree, but… as you wish.” He gestures for Kaerryn to release her.
Araatris: The warrior frowns but obeys, walking quietly beside him as they leave. Until they’re out of earshot. “Are you crazy? Why’d you let her go?”
Rhoelyn: Wrune sighs, “Because we’re not going to get anything if we alienate her. She might be watched. Perhaps if we give her an opening to find us.”
Araatris: Kaerryn scoffs. “We’re never gonna see that girl again. And she’s seen them. I’d bet my axe on it.” Wrune trudges along. “Have a little faith.”
Rhoelyn: Wrune reaches into his pouch and hands a ration to her and takes one for himself as he straightens a set of beads fall to the ground. “Ration?”
Araatris: “My favorite,” she grouches, taking it. “You know you dr-” “Yep,” he interrupts. “Give it a couple minutes.” Kaerryn blinks at him. “Huh?”
Rhoelyn: They weren’t far out of the village when they hear a yell. “Hey!” They turn around to see the woman running towards them. “You dropped this!”
Araatris: Wrune smiles warmly at the villager, elbowing Kaerryn and mumbling under his breath, “Close your mouth, kid.” She stops gaping and smiles.
Rhoelyn: She holds out the beads and glances over her shoulder. Wrune takes the beads with a small bow of his head, “Oh! Thank you very much, miss…”
Araatris: “Rylana,” she smiles, a weaker and more nervous version of the one they’ve seen. “I-It’s nothing. I was just on my way to fetch some firewood.”
Rhoelyn: “Thank you, Rylana. I would have missed them later. You’re welcome to walk with us. We’re meeting our friends nearby.” He smiles reassuringly.
Araatris: She jumps. “F-friends? You’ve found them? B-but I thought-” Kaerryn grins reassuringly. “Other friends, hun. We have a couple more with us.”
Rhoelyn: “We got worried when the missing two didn’t show up, so here we are.” Kaerryn sighs. Rylana chews on her lip and checks over her shoulder again.
Araatris: “Come on,” Wrune interjects, continuing along the trail. “We can introduce you if you want. Or just keep you company for some of the way.”
Rhoelyn: She nods, “T-that’d be nice.” Rylana picks up wood as they go. Kaerryn mouths behind her, “Ask her.” Wrune answers with a tiny shake of his head.
Araatris: It’s not long before the girl speaks up. “So… so you must be good friends, to be out here in the cold. Not many people brave the woods in winter.”
Rhoelyn: Wrune nods, “They are.” He chuckles, “Nysse sent a letter at their last report complaining about the cold and told us to dress warmly.”
Araatris: “She seems like a nice girl.” Rylana sighs, bending down for another couple of sticks. “I hope you listened. Might… be a while til you find them.”
Rhoelyn: Wrune frowns, “We did, but the weather is why we’re worried. If they’re injured, they don’t have enough supplies.” Kaerryn shifts impatiently.
**Araatris** “I-injured?” The woman turns a forced smile on them both. “You have to think more positively, you know? I’m sure they’re fine. They’re strong.”
Rhoelyn: Kaerryn grins, “They’re very tough. And don’t you dare tell him I said that, Wrune. Rhese has a big enough head.” Wrune smiles, “Of course.”
Araatris: With an audible gulp and a quick glance around, Rylana seems to change the subject. “Did… did anyone today tell you about our wolf troubles?”
Rhoelyn: Wrune shakes his head, “No, they didn’t mention. What problems?” Wrune leans down and picks up a few pieces of wood, then hands them to her.
Araatris: She smiles and mutters her thanks before continuing. “There’s a… certain one that’s been causing trouble. We send a lot of hunters out after him.”
Rhoelyn: Wrune frowns in polite concern, “Would help your village if we kept an eye out for this wolf?” He pauses, “Is there any way we’d recognize him?”
Araatris: “He’s pretty unmistakable,” she notes, “and amazing.” Rylana glances up, blushing. “I m-mean he’s avoided all our efforts to catch’im.”
Rhoelyn: “We’ll be sure to keep an eye out for him. Do you know where he was last seen?” Wrune smiles, “That way we can be extra careful around there.”
Araatris: She shrugs a little bit, adding another stick to her pile. “I’d be a hero to the village if I knew where he was, him and his pack. Anyone would…”
Rhoelyn: Wrune ponders Rylana’s statement, “We’ll keep that in mind. Why are they looking for them so hard?” He looks around and stops walking.
Araatris: “O-oh. That’s…” She nervously glances at Kaerryn lingering behind her. “It’s religious stuff. We… uh… I can’t really talk about that.”
Rhoelyn: “Kaerryn, go check for our friends. I’ll keep Rylana company for a moment.” Wrune gestures. Kaerryn grumbles but steps further into the woods.
Araatris: The young woman stares at Wrune for a minute before ducking her head and scratching at her chest. She bends down for more sticks, edgy.
Rhoelyn: Wrune speaks softly, “Will you get in trouble if I heal you out here? It obviously pains you.” He crouches down and hands her a few more sticks.
Araatris: “I… they’ll notice if there aren’t scars. We’re all s’posed to keep them.” She grimaces. “It’s not that I mind, but it’s fouled a bit. It’s been weeks since…”
Rhoelyn: He looks up at her, “If it’s infected, I can cleanse it without healing it.” Wrune watches her, “I’d like to help, but I won’t push if you say no.”
Araatris: She bites her lip and looks around, finally saying. “Maybe… maybe just a little bit.” Wrune smiles and straightens. “A little bit, then.”
Rhoelyn: Wrune reaches out and lightly touches her shoulder. He closes his eyes and mouths a prayer. A soft golden glow spreads from him to her.
Araatris: The paladin manages not to frowns as his magic explores the wound and the powerful curse affecting her. The infection is soon cleared.
Rhoelyn: He removes his hand, “I’ve done what I can. It should heal on its own the rest of the way.” Wrune levels an even look at look at her. “Thank you.”
Araatris: Rylana stands there fidgeting with her pile of sticks. Wrune watches her patiently until she quietly says, “Nysse. She was here. A while ago.”
Rhoelyn: Wrune bows his head and looks up past her, “Our friends are here. Is there anything that you can tell us before you need to return?”
Araatris: She chews her lip. “She’ll be with the wolf, I’m sure. I hope you find her. She seemed nice; I don’t want her to get hurt.” Rylana backs away.
Rhoelyn: “We’ll do everything we can. Thank you. May the Light guide you.” Wrune smiles. Rylana turns and hurries into the woods as the others approach.
Araatris: Kaerryn leads Verune and Valerio toward him. “So?” The paladin looks thoughtful. “What she said was almost as interesting as what she was.”
Rhoelyn: Kaerryn crosses her arms, “What she was? I think you’re going to have to start at the beginning and I was there.” Val nods, “We need camp first.”
Araatris: Wrune smiles. “A good point. Let’s get camp set up, then we can compare notes. It’s a fair bet that Nysse and Rhese really are in trouble.”
Rhoelyn: Valerio grumbles, “When aren’t they in trouble?” He huffs and points, “I found an overhang with a partial camp we can use not far from here.”
Araatris: “Excellent!” Kaerryn calls with enthusiasm. “Let’s go before I lose a digit to the cold, please.” She shivers and pulls her cloak tighter.
Rhoelyn: The camp looks as though it hasn’t been used in a few weeks, but judging from the pile of wood by the fire pit it was expected to be used again.
Araatris: Vulf runs around with his nose to the ground, extremely interested in the space. Verune stands quietly while the others start setting up camp.
Rhoelyn: Kaerryn notices and frowns, “Something wrong?” She tucks her hands under her arms. Valerio starts the fire behind her and she sighs in relief.
Araatris: The elder tilts his head. “This space tells a strange story.” He walks around slowly, concentrating on what he can smell and see and sense.
Rhoelyn: Kaerryn moves over to the fire to wait, warming her hands. Vulf stops near the fire and whines, pawing at a spot. Val checks on his wolf.
Araatris: He brushes at the dirt. “They’re very old, but there are tracks frozen in the mud, here. A wolf. A very large one.” Verune crouches to see.
Rhoelyn: Verune frowns and examines the track. “Wolves don’t normally grown to this size. Two people. Two wolves. I sense magic, but it’s not making sense.”
Araatris: Wrune sets a pot over the fire before glancing over their shoulders. “That might make some sense with what I learned from our reluctant friend.”
Rhoelyn: He sits down and crosses his legs, “She referred to Rhese as a wolf and said we’d find Nysse with him. They’re hunting them. She was also cursed.”
Araatris: Verune pulls a very unpleasant face. “Curses and wolves? Even that reckless cub knows better than to delve into Pack form nonsense.”
Rhoelyn: Wrune rubs his chin, “What if he didn’t have a choice? The girl had bandages around her chest and said she had to keep the scars. Is it infectious?”
Araatris: The druid sighs and kneels. “It was, at one time. In the age when the Scythe of Elune was used, others were cursed by the wounds of the worgen.”
Rhoelyn: Kaerryn sighs, “Regardless of all this pack stuff, the girl said we’d find Nysse with the wolf right? Maybe we just try following the tracks then.”
Araatris: “If it were that simple,” Val interjects, “the humans would’ve found them long before.” He shakes his head. “They’re purposefully misleading.”
Rhoelyn: Kaerryn sits on the bedroll closest to the fire. “Then how the heck are we supposed to find them?! Verune, can we do any magic stuff to track him?”
Araatris: Verune raises a brow at her. “Magic stuff?” Wrune puts his face in his hand, sighing. “Yes, Kaerryn. I think we can manage some ‘magic stuff’.”
Rhoelyn: When she moves to speak again, Val shoves a ration at her, “I think we’ve heard enough tonight. Why don’t we eat in peace and get some rest.”
Araatris: “Why don’t I stick this right up y-” “Kaerryn.” Wrune warns. She sticks out her tongue and makes a rude gesture at Val before turning away.
Rhoelyn: Wrune broke the silence, “Verune, the Pack form you mentioned is the wolf, right?” At Verune’s nod, he continues, “And it’s frowned upon?”
Araatris: “Forbidden is a more apt word.” Verune says. “Druids of ages past found the wolf to be vicious and uncontrollable. They turned on their own.”
Rhoelyn: Val shifts uncomfortably, “Then it could be bad that Nysse is with the wolf. If he loses control…” Verune sighs and nods, “She wouldn’t know.”
Araatris: In the uncomfortable silence that follows, Kaerryn distributes bowls of stew. She speaks up. “So we’re back to… how do we find them?”
Rhoelyn: Verune takes his bowl. “The form has a distinctive feel to it. This one is especially strong. Between Wrune and I, we may be able to follow it.”
Araatris: “And then what?” Valerio rumbles. “If what you say is true, Rhese is as likely to attack us as the hunters.” Wrune nods. “Good reason to be wary.”
Rhoelyn: Verune smiles, “We do have ways of subduing without hurting him, but if Nysse is well, then we can likely use her assistance on the matter.”
Araatris: “And if she isn’t, I’m going to murder him anyway, so it won’t matter,” Valerio growls, toying with his food. “This is sounding like a mess.”
Rhoelyn: Wrune stares at his own bowl, “I can’t imagine Rhese ever hurting Nysse. Do you really think that’s a possibility? Could he be that lost?”
Araatris: No one has a good answer for that, and they eat in sullen silence for a while before Verune says, “We will know when we find them. So rest up.”
Rhoelyn: Everyone is subdued the next morning as they eat and clean up the camp, leaving it stocked like before. Verune kneels at the border of the woods.
Araatris: Wrune comes to sit down quietly beside him, waiting until he’s ready to talk. The elder druid finally says, “As I hoped, he was active last night.”
Rhoelyn: “If he’s moving won’t that make it harder to find him?” Wrune asks. Verune shakes his head and stands, “He’s paused for now. Likely to rest.”
Araatris: Kaerryn and Valerio approach, bundled up and ready. Vulf strides ahead, sniffing at the forest edge. “Perfect. How far?” the warrior asks.
Rhoelyn: Verune points into the forest, “I’d say half a day towards the southeast.” Kaerryn starts stomping in the direction. Wrune stands with a groan.
Araatris: The party heads back into the forest, enjoying a relatively warm morning as they tromp through the snow. Valerio and Vulf hang back a ways.
Rhoelyn: After a couple of hours, Vulf starts nosing the snow. When he starts to range ahead, Valerio calls him back, “Vulfenstein. Heel.” He frowns.
Araatris: As Vulf trots obediently back to his side, Val steps up beside Wrune, keeping his voice low. “Our clumsy human shadows are getting bolder.”
Rhoelyn: Wrune nods. He replies a little louder, “Let’s make an early lunch.” He ignores Kaerryn’s questioning glance. He dusts off a nearby rock.
Araatris: Kaerryn leans against the rock behind him, a smile spreading across her lips as she rummages in her pack. “Tell me it’s time to bust heads.”
Rhoelyn: He sits and speaks softly, “You do realize that violence isn’t always the solution, don’t you?” Kaerryn shrugs, “It helps with the frustration.”
Araatris: She grins. “Besides. It’s kind of my specialty. You have your calling; I have mine.” She blows on her cold hands. “I’ll be good until you say when.”
Rhoelyn: Wrune chuckles, “I think you’ll know when.” As they sit and wait, snacking on rations, it’s not long before they hear the crunch of snow nearby.
Araatris: Valerio steps up, his expression typically dour. “We’re going to have to force it. They think they’re going to trail us to Rhese and Nysse.”
Rhoelyn: “Take Verune. Circle around and push them towards us. It’s time for us to hunt the hunters.” Wrune replies grimly. Val and Verune slip away.
Araatris: Kaerryn rubs her hands together in excitement, speaking softly. “Oh! Oh! Can I be the bait? Please, Wrune? If I promise not to kill anyone?”
Rhoelyn: Wrune pinches the bridge of his nose and tries to not sound exasperated, “Go ahead. Try not to make too much of a spectacle, Kaerryn.”
Araatris: She grins far too evilly for anyone’s good. “Oh, where’s the fun in that?” she says quietly before jumping up and shouting. “Fine! Go, then!”
Rhoelyn: Wrune growls more loudly, “You were the one that drove them off. Can’t you stay quiet for one moment? Do you want to tell them we failed?”
Araatris: “Failed?” Kaerryn sputters dramatically. “I didn’t fail! I know exactly where they are thanks to my … magic stuff. You just don’t want to listen!”
Rhoelyn: Wrune’s left eye twitches. He stands and grabs her arm firmly, “Well, you have my undivided attention now. How sure are you this time?”
Araatris: “I’m completely sure! I can feel them in my SOUL.” She barely manages to keep a straight face. “How dare you doubt me? I’m why we got this far!”
Rhoelyn: Wrune glances about without moving his head, watching for movement. He releases her, “I’ll continue doubting you until you show progress.”
Araatris: Kaerryn catches a glint out of the corner of her eye and whips out her axe just in time to shield Wrune as a rifle barks, echoing. “Bait taken.”
Rhoelyn: Wrune snorts, “Go on. I’ll follow.” Kaerryn grins gleefully and dives past him to tackle the hunter that took the shot. “No more toys for you!”
Araatris: They can hear an ursine roar from behind the treeline, and two more of the hunters come flying into the small clearing, landing hard.
Rhoelyn: Wrune grabs another and pins him to the ground with his arms behind his back. Kaerryn hits hers in the back of the head with her axe handle.
Araatris: “Vulf, guard.” Valerio’s companion stands over the other fallen hunter, growling, while Val marches a familiar figure forward at gunpoint.
Rhoelyn: Wrunes smiles sadly, “It’s a shame that it came to this.” He presses a knee into his captive’s back, “Perhaps we can get the full story this time.”
Araatris: The man under his plate-covered knee grits his teeth, growling out, “You don’t need to know nothin’, paladin. Jes’ get out of here.”
Rhoelyn: Verune steps into the clearing, a night elf once more, “I would beg to disagree. It seems that you’re hunting some of our friends. Why?”
Araatris: Rylana answers him, sighing as Valerio nudges her forward. “We’re not going to answer your questions.” She doesn’t meet anyone’s eyes.
Rhoelyn: Verune sighs, “We already know about the curse and the Pack form. I’m no young cub ignorant of these things. I ask again. Why are you hunting them?”
Araatris: “… cuz they killed some of ours,” she lies. “The wolf is dangerous and needs to be contained. If you know, then that shouldn’t surprise you.”
Rhoelyn: Val growls pushes her forward, “What wolf isn’t dangerous? Left unprovoked they’re fine, so what’d you do to provoke him. Did you go after Nysse?”
Araatris: She stumbles forward a couple more steps. “We didn’t hurt Nysse. I meant what I told ya: she was nice. I don’t want to see her get hurt.”
Rhoelyn: “You don’t get it, do you?” Val snarls. Verune holds up his hand, “Valerio, calm yourself.” Val glares at him and mutters a frustrated, “Fine.”
Araatris: The young woman frowns. “Look, I’m sure there’s a way we can work together. Lead us to the wolf, and we’ll help you capture him. Safely.”
Rhoelyn: “Why do you wish to capture him safely if he’s been killing you?” Verune walks closer to the girl. “Tell us and perhaps we -can- assist you.”
Araatris: Rylana attempts a little smile. “It’s not about revenge. We just want to keep him safe and be safe from him. I told them… it’s a religious thing.”
Rhoelyn: Wrune nods, “They revere him from what I understood, but I still don’t understand how he became a wolf. Aren’t those infected worgen?”
Araatris: The young woman purses her lips, staying silent. Verune watches her piercingly. Finally, he says, “Rhese isn’t cursed, is he?” She looks away.
Rhoelyn: The man under Wrune growls, “Don’t tell’em.” Wrune pushes the man’s face into the dirt, “It’s rude to interrupt a young lady. So, what is he?”
Araatris: Rylana says nothing, clenching her teeth. Kaerryn grins and walks over. “Wrune. Did you tell our friend how good you are at cleansing curses?”
Rhoelyn: He smiles, “Quite good at it if I say so. Do you think I should start with the one below me?” The man begins struggling and cursing, “Git off me!”
Araatris: The woman gasps. “You can’t! Don’t you dare!” When she tries to step forward, Verune grabs her arm, rumbling, “It’s his calling, after all.”
Rhoelyn: Wrune nods, “The Light wants to cleanse curses such as these. If they weren’t cursed, perhaps they’d have no need to hunt our dear friends.”
Araatris: The hunter struggles as Wrune lets his hands begin to glow. Rylana pleads, “No! No, you can’t. You’ll rip him from the Pack.” She pulls against Verune’s grip.
Rhoelyn: “Then perhaps you’ll answer our questions while I resist the Light’s urgings.” Wrune’s hand hovers over the man. “What is Rhese if not cursed?”
Araatris: Rylana grimaces, looking at the hunter’s panicked face. Finally, her face falls and she mutters, “He’s the scythe wielder. He can gift the curse.”
Rhoelyn: Verune’s brow creases and both eyebrows raise, “Scythe wielder? The Scythe of Elune has been lost for ages. Did he find it then?”
Araatris: “No,” she sighs. “Not the Scythe of Elune… its twin – or copy, depending on who ya believe – the Umbral Scythe. It belongs to us, and so does he.”
Rhoelyn: Kaerryn laughs, “Rhese doesn’t belong to anyone, lady.” Verune frowns, “This Umbral Scythe grants the pure form that the Scythe of Elune does not?”
Araatris: Rylana nods, her shoulders sagging. “It does for him. He’s different, somehow.” She rubs at the healing wound on her chest unhappily.
Rhoelyn: Verune narrows his eyes, “He’s the only one that can curse new ones for your Pack. You’re the newest one, but your form isn’t pure like his, is it?”
Araatris: The young woman looks at the hunter under Wrune’s hands before softly admitting, “No… my form is like the others’. As it should be.”
Rhoelyn: The glow around Wrune’s hand fades. Verune stares at the girl, “Tie them up and leave them. We need to get to Rhese and Nysse before sundown.”
Araatris: “No!” Rylana paws at Verune. “You can’t take the Scythe away from us! It belongs to the Pack. Arugal himself gave it to us. It’s ours by right!”
Rhoelyn: Verune frowns and firmly captures her hands, “Arugal? I need to understand more about this Umbral Scythe.” He looks at Val, “She’s coming with us.”
Araatris: She sputters, “W-wait!” as Valerio fishes rope out of his pack and yanks her hands behind her back. The others truss up the rest of the hunters.
Rhoelyn: Verune grabs her arm, “You’ll have until we find them to convince me why your Pack deserves a dangerous artifact. Consider it a… second chance.”
Araatris: “Get your things, team. We need to hurry.” The elder druid is grave as he tugs the young human after him. “The more I hear, the less I like.”
Rhoelyn: The team hurries to gather their packs and follow after him. Kaerryn grumbles, “Who in their right mind would worship Rhese… scythe or not.”
Araatris: Valerio smirks and jostles her as he walks past. “From the rumors I heard, you might know… ” The warrior gasps, horrified. “No!… ew! NO!”
Rhoelyn: “Rhese is–that’d be like…” Kaerryn punches the back of his shoulder, “He’s like a brother, you idiot! And if you EVER tell him that I WILL kill you.”
Araatris: The hunter’s chuckle is muted by Verune shushing them. In the silence that follows the elder adds, “Though… I heard that rumor as well.”
Rhoelyn: Valerio takes a sullen drink from his mug, “They’re two days late. I could see Rhese, but Nysse is with him. She hates to be late to anything.”