ZThemes

Part 1

hidingfromit:

((This is a reposting of guild forum RP with permission from the participants. My text will be in bold and everyone else is plain. I apologize for our multiple personality disorder.))

As the days of arduous training drew on, Kandri began to show signs of fatigue. She clearly was not sleeping much, if at all. She was paler than normal with shakey hands. The nightmares returned to plaguing her every single night. But these were not of her past, that would have been too easy for Caelithil to conjure. He was delicately weaving a possibility for her future. Each moment awake slowly began to wear her thin, her entire body was cold, like in the nightmares. Her fingertips ached, like in the nightmares.

Without alerting anyone, Kandri opted to skip lessons one day. She locked herself away in Rua’s room. In turn, the stubborn cousin told Gavick to sit in the hallway and keep interuptions away. Rua hid out of sight and as Kandri fell asleep he began what his lessons had taught him. He walked through Kandri’s nightmares, observing everything that was happening around her but not once interfering.

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Mih’Brez skirted the edge of the Emerald Dream, in the borderlands where the dreamers walked.  The conditions were right and she could see nexuses forming.  Here Thess, still so strong to the outside but so broken in, though those walls were crumbling.  There her sister still holding up her own walls to protect her fragile heart.  There the girl with the rabbit, she watched closely, not so much for the sake of the girl, but for the rabbit.. that very special rabbit.  She faded away from watching the girl as she noticed the other, watching… sorting, but not interfering.  Then she felt another presence… the shadow creature.  Weak in this form she knew she should come away but she once again vowed that the thing would be dead by her hand.  Lines connecting all these lives and none of them realising that they would all need each other, need the love they all shared.  The last three years stuck in the dream she had learned much.  If she ever made it back to her body she would be very a very different person.

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Kandri tossed and turned in her fitful sleep, crying out loud enough in normal circumstances Gavick would have charged in. Rua threatened to neuter him if he interfered. Slowly as the nightmares played within her mind, that shadowy presence grew stronger until it overwhelmed Rua.

With a loud groan Rua was forced out of the dreamwalking and back into the waking world. He quickly shifted into his feline form and darted towards the door. Simultaneously, Gavick had stood to open the door, having heard Rua groan out. The two met head on, Rua slamming into Gavick’s gut. The druid had his fur puffed out and simply growled out an order to Gavick. “At Kandri’s side and DO NOT leave her. DO NOT touch her.” Gavick simply nodded as Rua continued out of the inn.

The startled looking feline quickly came to Fah’brez’s dwelling and beat a paw against the door.

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Fah’Brez cursed under her breath.  She turned to her sister, “What ever happened to our quiet life?”  Louder she spoke to the door, “I am coming.”  She pulled open the door to see Rua in cat form obviously aggitated.  ”Is it Kandri?”

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Gavick was sitting quietly in a chair beside Kandri when she began to toss and turn again. She fought the shadowy invasion of her mind with all her will. But Gavick remained still, simply changing down into his human shape.

Rua gives a swift nod. “He’s in her mind again.” He didn’t truly care to explain how he knew or the depth of what he knew, he just needed to inform Kandri’s new Shan’do of the change. “She’s fighting it.”

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Mih’Brez had retreated but not far.  She watched the shadow creature attack the girls mind, she was scared to intervene directly but she knew she would have to.  Mih’Brez drew forth strength from the lines connecting the girl to Thess and on to Fabs, the lines connecting her to Rua and to Gav.  She threw images of the girl sleeping and standing over her, Rua in cat form snarling and snapping, Fah’Brez circling high above as a hawk crying to the wind.  Gav, wild eyed an in Worgen form so fierce.  Finally she threw the image of Thess standing over her, massive shield on his back, his sword held in front of him with two hands resting on the hilt.  His hodded face looking to the earth, the light streaming down from above bathing him in a warm gold.  The dream Thess looked up and Mih’Brez borrowed his voice, “This girl is protected now.  Take your shadows elsewhere.”  And with that Mih’Brez directed all the love that these companions shared for the sleeping girl, and in her musical, laughing voice spoke to her, “You are loved dear one, you will never be alone again.  Even when distance takes you away from these people.  YOU ARE LOVED.”

Fah’Brez wasted no words but took to the form of a small jungle cat and sprinted for all she was worth.  She quickly outpaced the larger cat of Rua and skidded into the room to see Gav in human form next to her, “How is she?”

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Kandri looked towards the voice, the forms taking shape around her. She curled up on her side, hiding her stomach. The shadowy panther stalked closer to his prize. With each step he rumbled out a bone chilling growl.

Caelithil thought he knew how the others would react in the waking world, he was about to test it here. He stood into his Kaldorei form and leaned down to reach a hand out to Kandri. The smaller elf’s reaction was influenced by the shadow taint he had already infected her with. She began to reach out to him.

Gavick looked increasingly worried as Kandri’s tossing and turning slowly subsided. He looked towards the door as Fah’brez ran in and a moment later, Rua ran in. Gavick glanced to the two druids helplessly, “She stopped tossin’… I..” The man was at a true loss for words as he looked back towards Kandri.

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Fah’Brez spoke clearly, “She may have stopped tossing but she is in no way free.   Gav I know what happened last time, and Rua I will pay for any damages, but you two leave the room and close the door.  I need to wake my Thero’shan and I think she may learn a lesson this night.”  She motioned the other two to leave.

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Rua nodded without question and left the room, padding downstairs where he took his Kaldorei form.

Gavick knitted his brow as he eyed Fah’brez up and down. Reluctantly, he stood up, walked out into the hallway and sat down.

Kandri’s arm twitched in her dreams, pulling back to her chest. She was strong enough to still fight her old Shan’do and she was stubborn enough to do so. Both in the dream and in the waking world, Kandri rolled over (in the dream, facing her back to her old Shan’do).

Caelithil growled and changed back into his feline form at her show of defiance. Swiftly a paw struck out to rake his claws against Kandri’s back. In the dream screamed in agony; whereas, all that was to be seen in the waking world were tears racing down her cheeks.

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Fah’Brez, watched the two leave quickly.  She knew that waking Kandri would stir deep emotions of panic and terror.  She had to present to her something that in her heart she would want more than to run.  Fah’Brez changed form to the Golden Hawk she always used for flight and hopped to the foot  of Kandri’s bed.  She drew in all her pain all her suffering, pulling air into her lungs she spread her huge wingspan, lifted her head and  left forth a mournful cry.  The sound echo’d off the walls and in the confined space of the room it was ear piercing.

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Gavick tensed, clenching his fists tightly as he heard the cry.

Kandri jerked upright with a hiss, back reddening from where Caelithil had scratched her within the dreams. This time however, her mind was clear enough to figure out who was on the foot of her bed. Which made her next movements even more puzzling. Kandri quickly shifted forms into a feline and darted out of the room. She stumbled upon seeing Gavick, but turned quickly and just kept running. Once down onto the main road outside of Nighthaven Kandri moved quickly and silently into the shadows and sat by the water’s edge.

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Fah’Brez didn’t follow Kandri immediately.  She had seen that moment of recognition in her face and knew that this time she wasn’t running in panic.  Instead she returned to her natural form and calmly walked into the hall.  She looked at Gav and simply said, “That didn’t go as expected.  Do you have that stone you use to communicate with on you?”

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Gavick tripped over his words as he watched Kandri dart away. “‘Ey!.. Ki’!….” He glances up to Fah’brez and nods once. As his hand rummaged around in his pants pocket for the stone he spoke quietly, “Wha’ exactly did happen?..”

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Fah’Brez wasted no words, “The cry woke her as I thought it would.  But she didn’t panic like I expected… she does little that I expect it seems.  Before she ran I am sure she recognised me, which means I am sure she recognised you.  She still ran though, which means she won’t talk to either of us.  So get the damn stone out and contact the only other person I think who she will talk to.”

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Gavick nodded, fumbling briefly with the stone as he tried to figure out how to use it to whisper others. He had only every done so to Kandri. “Thess? Use your stone t’ whisper Ki’.. Please. She woke from a nigh’mare bu’ recognized Fah’brez and myself, bu’ she kep’ runnin’.”

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Thess’ stone activated and he lost his hold on the hippogryph, nearly tumbling from it’s back.  He regained control and faintly heard Gav trying to talk to him but couldn’t make out anything over the rush of wind and wingbeats.  ”Gav, I’m flying at the moment and can’t quite hear you.  Give me a moment.”  Thess motioned to Gilly to land, they had been doing aerial patrols between the towers of the plaguelands.  Thess riegned in his ‘gryph and sprialed out of the sky landing at the foot of North Point Tower.  Thess activated his Keeper stone again, “Sorry about that Gav, say again?”

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“Whisper Ki’s stone!” He sighed deeply. “She ran from Fah’brez and I after wakin’ from a nigh’mare.”

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“Alright.” Thess send back through the stone.  He turned to Gilly and said, “I will be a few moments here, you might as well take the opportunity to rest up.”  Thess knowing that the conversation could take some time found a stone bench in the shade and made himself comfortable.  He still had trepidations about using the odd stone given to him by the Deathknight. He focused on Kandri and whispered, “Kandri, I am here. Are you alright?”

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Kandri let out a startled yelp. Her forms quickly changed into her Kaldorei as she fumbled with the stone untell she freed it from the ribbon it was tied to in her hair. She clutched the keeper crystal so tightly, as if to keep her hands from trembling. She sniffled, mustering up whataever courage she had left in her before speaking. “I… back hurts. Clawed in d-dream.. I..” Kandri paused, frowning to hersel as she considered her words. “I n-need someone else here besides Gavick and Fah’brez.”

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Thess, shook his head in confusion.  He hated not being there to help, but knew his own frustrations would overwhelm him if he were. “What? Why?  Kandri, if you have been injured please see Fah’Brez or Rua.  Why do you need someone else?”

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“J-just was nightmare. Not of past.. Need someone else here. Am worried..” She rubbed idly at her neck as the tears began to race down her cheeks again. “Please Thess.. J-just send s-someone.” Each word became harder for her. It would never be clear if that was planned by Caelithil or simply the outcome of her fighting back full out crying.

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“Ok Kandri, I will see if any of the Keepers can help. Please tell me of the latest nightmare, if it is too hard now write me a letter.  But it will be alright, everything will be alright.”

Thess severed the link briefly to Kandri and sent his thoughts wide, sending an open message through the stone.  ”Keepers, we need your help and support.  Any Keeper who can assist Kandri, Gav and some allies please travel to Moonglade.”

Thess then realised that Gav would hear the message cursed himself for his stupidity.  He quickly followed up the message by sending his next communication to the worgen, “Gav, she is very upset.  I can’t get much out of her, but she wants someone besides yourself and Fah’Brez there, I don’t know why.  You would have heard my request to the Keepers.  Keep Fah’Brez informed.”

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Kandri was full out crying, but a couple words were clearly made out. “Buried… H-had pick!… Save… C-can’t p-pick….”

Gavick growled in frustration; although, he still sat in the hallway to the inn. He whispered back into his stone to Thess. “Can y’ find ou’ where she is?”

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Thess once more redirected his thoughts to the young night elf, “Kandri, hush now. It’s alright. Whatever he said, whatever he did, you are safe now.  You are safe and Fah’Brez and Gav are there watching over you.  They will protect you.  Nothing he can do right now can hurt any of you.  But I need to know where you are, please let me know Kandri. Everything will be alright.”

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“N-no!! He m-made me pick! Hurt Fah’brez and tied her down underwater outside of sealion form! And n-nearly killed Gavick! I d-dug out of where was buried.. W-water and blood came d-down onto m-me! I n-need t-to stay away from them! N-not want more of my friends hurt b-because of me.”

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Thess sighed, “Kandri, do you remember that day in Stormwind, the deathknight full of bluster and threats and wind?  This is like that, he can threaten and bully all he wants to but Fah’Brez certainly knows how to handle herself.  She is a fighter and I get the sense that Gav is the same.  Together the three of you are strong, he won’t be able to touch them but it’s you we are worried about.  He can still hurt you and we want to stop that, if you disappear you make yourself vulnerable to him and that’s what he wants.”  

Thess stood and started to pace, “I can’t speak for Gav, but Fah’Brez understands what the responsibility of being a soldier means.  It means that you make a deal with fate, you say to keep what you care for safe you will stand in the way of harm.  If you are good and lucky and careful you will come through all that pain and misery and understand the reward of that sacrifice. The downside of the deal is sometimes the sacrifice you need to make is incredibly great and you may be hurt or worse.  But we hold in our hearts all those things we care about and we know if we did not stand, did not try, then those we care for would be overrun.”

“Fah’Brez understands the risks she may have to take and she will do so willingly, no one will blame you if the worst were to happen.  But to protect you we need you near. So please tell us where you are, be brave and I promise you no harm will come to them.”

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“Cannot promise that! C-cannot!” She was out right shrieking at this point (and careful ears would hear it coming from southward of the inn). “Cro tried promising that! Promised n-nothing would happen, that we’d be okay. THAT WE.” There’s an audible splash of water as she chucked the crystal into the lake.

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Fah’Brez was pacing, she hated not having all the facts at her disposal, she looked at Gav with a crinkled brow, “Have you…” Her words were cut off as she heard Kandri screaming.  The noise was faint, barely audible and carried on a northerly wind.  Her eyes widened and she looked at Gav, “Kandri… south.. GO!!!” and with those words she ran to the open window, several feet before she reached the wall her form was shifting, a booted foot hit the sill and pushed with an almight heave propelling her forward. The foot quickly became a talon and Fah’Brez, in the form of a Golden Hawk beat her wings gaining altitude quickly before wheeling around and heading south.  In the air nothing could outpace her.

Thess was nearly knocked over by the force of Kandri’s words, cursing under his breath he worked with the stone again sending a message to Gav, “She’s very upset, said she had to choose between you and Fah’Brez.  I think I made things worse, she threw away her Keeper Stone. She’s somewhere near the water.”

Thess then strode over to Gilly, “I need to head back to Moonglade.  Even when I am nowhere near them I seem to make a mess of things.  I would like you to come with me.”

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Gavick wasted no time shifting into his worgen shape. He took off at a frantic dash as he ran southward, unable to suppress a snarl as he feared the worst might have happened. Every so often Gavick glanced upwards to spot Fah’brez in the air, as he followed her lead.

By this point, Kandri had become adept in hiding, so long as se got to the shadows swiftly. Her form faded from site as she stepped behind a tree. After pausing a moment to hear the tell-tale sounds of Gavick’s running, she began to dash southward towards the tunnels that led out of Moonglade. Once she made it to the tunnels, she unstealthed and ran even faster through them. 

She came to a skidding stop in the middle as she glanced around, trying to figure out which way to turn. She supposed it didn’t really matter. Her paws carried her into Winterspring; however, she wasn’t prepared for the change in temperature.

Gilly nodded once, grabbing up her satchel and scrolls. “Of course. Moonglade? I can draw us a portal to Darnassus without much knockback from the spell.” Before he had a chance to argue, Gilly was drawing the runes into the air to open the portal.

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Thes watched the portal open and ran through, as he ran by Gilly he grabbed her by the arm and pulled him through after.  Wasting no time he sprinted for the Hippogriph Master and all but threw some copper at the Night Elf, “Fastest two Hippogryphs to Moonglade NOW!”

Fah’Brez flew flat and fast, furiously looking for any sign of her Thero’san.   Soon she reached the mountains that borderred Winterspring with no sign of Kandri.  She shrieked to the wind and began to spiral higher.  The hawks eyesight was superb,  here in the sky she could look out over all of Moonglade and still see a field mouse running through the grass, she could see the elves going about their business in Nighthaven, she could see the wind stir the long grass next to the lake.  She could see Gav frantically running beneath her.  But she could not see any evidence that Kandri had ever been there.  Crying out again, she flew down to Gav transformed to her elven form and said, “It’s no use, I can’t even spot where she cried out.  Is there any chance you can track her by scent?”

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Gilly yelped as she was tugged through her own portal. She pushed Thess’ hand away quickly.

Gavick huffed out his breath as he ran. As Fah’brez flew down to the ground, he slowly came to a stop. “With Ki’ running in the shadows mos’ likely, no…” He groaned, scratching his long claws against the stone pathway. “Int’ the tunnel then?”

Gavick clawed at his keeper stone as well. “Thess. We’re in southern Moonglade. Ki’ ran and we ‘ave no sign of her.”

Kandri shivered intensely with each fall of of her paws. She was running as quickly as she could through Winterspring, sticking close enough to the rode but hoping to manage to be hidden from sight from overhead and behind.

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Thess landed in Nighthaven and dismounted, “Damn it all.” He sent his thought to Gav, “There is that Keeper meet up happening in Kharanos, and I can be in Dun Morogh quite quickly.  Surely she wouldn’t be crazy enough to run there looking for help.  But its the only lead we have.  Stay in touch.”  Thess turned to Gilly, “I know this might be a bit much for you but could you open a portal to Ironforge?”

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Gilly chuckles, “Sure thing, Captain!” She begins to flawlessly draw another portal, but stops in middle. “Don’t be pulling me through this time..” She restarts to draw the portal, finishing it this time, and folloing through afterwards.

Kandri indeed made her way to Kharanos. Although she wanted to distance herself from Fah’brez and Gavick, in fear of that choice being thrusted at her, she would only run to places she knew offered her some sort of safety.

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Thess stepped through the portal to the steeling ring of the great forge.  He made his way purposely to the Griffon’s orderred two to Kharanos and Gilly and he flew off,  if he knew the Keepers there would be a few of them in the bar.  Thess walked through the door expecting not to find anything and stopped dead in his tracks when he saw Kandri in feling form sitting near the door.  He moved forward and placed a hand on her shoulder.  The cat sprinted across the room and settled near the fire.  Thess moved over to converse with her.

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Gilly waited outside, thus far, she had tried to not become too involved. Yes, some part of her mourned for the poor thing that managed to consume her father’s attention, but she didn’t wnat her connection to be openly known yet. Oh how she knew she was going to regret her actions with helping Thess. As a startled Kandri darted -out- of the bar, Gilly reached out and grabbed a handful of fur.

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Thess was so consumed firstly with convincing Kandri to come back and then relating information to the various Keepers he completely forgot about Gilly.  He even ran past her while frantically looking for Kandri’s tracks in the snow.  After locating the tracks and following them to North Gate Pass he turned around and returned to the inn.  Once again oblivious to Gilly.  After a few moments he noticed the elven mage walk down the stairs of the inn with a handful of white fur.

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Oh, the cold! She forgot how cold the air was up high in Dun Morogh as she flew. Ruffling her feathers as she glided, dropping a few feet but it was enough to add more air between her feathers and build up a better cushion between the biting cold. Searching, head twitching as her hawks eyes studied the ground, studied the paths and the markings of those that traveled the road. There, off in the deeper snow the tracks of a large Frostsaber, a pair of small hooves and tracks of a much smaller saber - a cub obviously. Astreala would be pissed if she was told that her favorite spot to spend time with her mount and cub was now known. Still, not what she was searching for. Tracks, tracks of her own. Following asked to follow. She should be searching for another, but this was deemed more urgent, more immediate.

The druid kept to the sky, heading in the directions she was directed until her eyes caught sight of a set of tracks following another, ones similar to those she could make as well. A druid, she was tracking a druid, she needed to keep it in the forefront of her mind there was a wide array of tracks a druid could leave behind, from two types of feline to a bear and those of a seal on land or even a bird hopping along. She doubted most of those the one she was searching for would use, it was implied the druid liked to keep to her feline form.

A backwing to allow her to hover a moment, to glance around and get a idea of where she had flown too. Oft she had tracked a recipient of a letter from one area clear into another before she realized, and the druid was learning to become more self aware of her locations. North Gate Pass? Already? No wonder she was so cold, she was flying faster than she usually did. Improvements were good, meant she was becoming more adept at the form. Still, eyeing the mountain she finally tucked her wings to her sides and dropped like a rock. Just as it seemed she’d be no more than a splat against the ground, her wings inched open and her hawks body tilted, before finally flapping wide open to slow her descent, just before shooting into the Pass itself, her body shifted, and with a grunt she hit the ground running on all four paws, sniffing as she ran through the pass, partially relieved at the extra warmth the fur brought to her body over the feathers up high.

Mentally she cursed herself, spoiled from her long months in Kalimdor delivering letters. She made a mental note to expand her range to include the land between Stormwind and Ironforge. Might as well get used to the cold while she was learning other things. There, the other end. Picking up the pace in a luxurious stretching run the druid ran as fast as her paws would carry her, before she spotted the ledge and made a beeline, making a small jump and then a powerful leap over the edge, much to the anguished cry of a guard, who then cursed her in dwarfish as she rose upon wings once more.

Arachane let out a exhilarated cry as she rose up high on beating wings, using more energy than she should to get the height as fast as possible. Once up high she circled, and searched. Tilting her head back and forth and eyeing every inch of ground with practiced ease. There! the tracks continued. Another cry, and then her wings beat until she caught a uplift, and then she sagged into the wind, allowing it to carry her in a gentle glide and she continued to follow.

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Gilly finished off the stew that Thess had given to her, drinking down all of the water. Her mind was exhausted, but her body was ready to travel for many more hours. She knew that she needed to find some sort of balance or risk the spell sickness coming back; although, she did not tell anyone this. Somethings she needed to keep close guarded. As good as Thess seemed to be, she did not yet fully trust him.

The only other person that she had befriended thus far had never asked anything of her; granted, he had knocked her into the canals. That didn’t matter anymore to her. He disappeared once she had gotten sicker and had to linger in Darnassus for a couple days before traveling to Dalaran for some real lessons in arcane. He hadn’t even bothered to respond to a letter she sent him.

Gilly tucked away the white fur from Kandri into a safe little pouch, to be used another night. She had heard enough of Thess’ seemingly one-sided conversation to know that one of their own was tracking Kandri by air, so she had a small window to rest before her scrying would become needed.

Kandri could run. And she did. She ran at a frantic and tiring pace until her muddied and scratched feline form flopped down onto a hill behind Light’s Hope Chapel. On her run up, she had managed to gather some wild berries and herbs (a few of these would have fallen throughout her run north). She sat down as an elf once the sun rose, nibbling on a few berries as she set about changing her appearance. 

Kandri had already sent a note to a friend; however, the letter didn’t reveal much.

“Can you meet me at Nordrassil in three days?”

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