The White Knight's Rest. [Closed]

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Keialaar
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The White Knight's Rest. [Closed]
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Her days settled easily into a routine.   She woke early with Alterion, spent a precious hour (sometimes two) alone with him, then she would collect Sariah, and the two of them would spend the early morning hours in the garden.   Alterion worked on some aspect of the house- the man was tireless, and took any problems with the construction as a personal affront. 

It had been a long time since they had lived under the same roof, and she found that she rather liked the changes.  He was far less aloof, she was less shy.  Each morning when she looked down at the mussed silver curls of her daughter, she was struck anew at what a miracle it was that two people could come together and create someone new.    Each morning, she considered the possibility that they might try again… have another child.   It was a prospect that filled her with hope, and no small amount of trepidation. 

But all in all, she was happy.  Deliriously so.

This particular morning, Sariah had waked early, her bright mental voice blooming in Enveri’s mind like a brilliant flower.  Good morning, Mama!

She groaned and rolled over, nestling her head against her beloved’s shoulder, resisting the maternal call to duty.  When Alterion stirred, though, she kissed him and slipped out of the bed, pulling on her dressing gown and resisting Alt’s teasing attempts to get her back into bed.  “Sariah’s awake,” She laughed, kissing him once more before leaving the bedroom with a sigh of satisfaction.

Good morning, Sunshine.  Give Mama a minute or two to wake up, hmm?

It had been an adjustment, to discover that her child had a gift for telepathy; what she had thought was a slowed development in speech had turned out to be more that Sariah had no need for it until now.  Enveri frowned as she put on a pot of tea.  She would need to start thinking about finding a teacher for her daughter; she knew her own talents lay in other directions, and no one actually knew what the child was capable of.

These thoughts and others moved peacefully through her mind as she assembled breakfast; fresh fruit, a bit of cheese and toast, a pot of her favorite tea.  She noted a letter in Keialaar’s bold hand sitting on the table and set it aside to read later.  A perfect morning.

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A whisper of flipping paper alerted Enveri to a feeling of being watched.  As her back stiffened, her hand drifting toward the cheese-stained knife nearby on the counter, a slight thrum of energy chimed in the room.  A wave pushed past her, a breath of wind in an otherwise still kitchen, and the entire room took on a mild silver sheen.  The glow tickled at her recent memory, bringing thoughts of Sariah, of dimly lit rooms, and...

On the counter sat a toy dragon, completely composed of articulated silver.

A voice rose behind her at the small side table reserved for light meals.  "Are you certain you won't read the letter?  It might be important.  The one that actually got through to your sister was."

The hair rose on the back of Enveri's neck.  Turning her head slowly, she noted the bizarre human she had tried to put out of her mind.  A simple multi-layered robe of deep purples with silver runic trim covered his form, a dragon-headed staff close at hand.  He had let his hair grow out, though from the look of it perhaps more from a lack of attention than a fashion statement.  Still, his beard and mustache remained well trimmed, and his eyes twinkled with an excitement that was at once contagious and disturbing.

The Mad Mage lifted a hand before Enveri could speak, a placating gesture.  "I apologize for the intrusion.  We have to talk.  And rationally, this time, if we can both manage it."

[A] Moonpetãl, Craelin, Dumoh, Koordu, Elfsoul, Daergun, Thraece, Tirimale, Bandelar, Jamyson, Andryn

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Her mouth fell open, denials choking in her throat.  She heard Sariah stirring in her little room toward the back of the house, and worse, the wood floor creaking beneath Alterion’s weight.  Making up her mind quickly, she stuck her head in the staircase.

“Love?  I have something I need to tend to.  Can you watch Sariah?”   She was ducking back before the rumbling, lazy affirmative drifted down the stairs.  She eyed Craelin with unfriendly eyes as she tugged her robe more securely around herself and jerked her chin toward the door.  “Outside.  My husband would not be pleased to see you.”

Technically, Alterion was not her husband, but the rest was perfectly true.  She grabbed the letter and the dragon, brushing past Craelin, a shard of fear wedging in her chest like so much ice.  What could the man possibly want?  How did he know that Keialaar had never gotten the first letter?  

She didn’t wait to see if he would follow, the robe billowing around her legs in a snap that would have been much more satisfying if she had been wearing clothing beneath it.  Instead, the morning breeze made her feel vulnerable and exposed, even more so than the mage’s unwelcome intrusions into her life had.  Once out of sight from the house, she turned and crossed her arms in what she hoped was something resembling dignity, waiting for explanations.

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The mage followed her outside, walking as though they were a pair of old friends on a leisurely stroll.  His staff leaned comfortably in the crook of his arm and he took in the morning breeze and sunlight with a faint smile.  Once Enveri deemed them far enough away, he smiled at her in a charmingly genuine manner, a feeling of excited expectation emanating from him like visible waves of heat.  He looked to her hands and gestured to the dragon.

"Bryn gave her that.  It seems crass to deny toymakers the joy of bestowing smiles upon children.  I thought Sariah might still want it.  It's fashioned after an old friend, a few years gone now I fear."  He then looked to the letter.  "You should likely read that.  It might bear weight on this discussion."

[A] Moonpetãl, Craelin, Dumoh, Koordu, Elfsoul, Daergun, Thraece, Tirimale, Bandelar, Jamyson, Andryn

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She looked down at the dragon in the crook of her arm, having the grace to look slightly ashamed of herself.  She rather liked Bryn.  The small, gnome-like woman had been spoken of terribly fondly by Keialaar as well.  “Please… thank her for me.  Sariah will be overjoyed to have it.”

To cover her embarrassment at her earlier rudeness, she broke the seal of the letter with a quick swipe of her thumb, unfolding it and skimming the contents. 

My dearest sister,

Vaelrath is dead.  I do not know the details, only that the Bronze flight was involved, and Koordu is alive.  I suspect he sacrificed himself, so his brother-in-arms could live.  

I know what you will say, Veri.  I know what you will offer.  The dead have earned their peace. 

Things are escalating here, please keep Sariah close, and stay safe.  My love to Alterion.

-Kei

She looked up at Craelin, unbelieving; wanting to hear it wasn’t true.  “He… I just saw him, not a week ago.”  Perhaps it was closer to two- the move to the Valley had took a bit of effort and doing.

She sat down without realizing her legs had given way, the robe a puddle of deep blue around pale limbs.  “Oh… oh Light.  I must…”  Must what?  She had tried to heal the breach between Vaelrath and Keialaar, but now it would never happen.   She pressed her fist to her lips.  She had liked the quiet paladin, for all that she hadn’t shown it when they first met.  

She looked up and met the mage’s eyes, belatedly sensing his excitement, his anticipation.  “Is… Is this wrong?  Was she misinformed?”  Hope bloomed, fragile and delicate, in her chest.

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Craelin knelt beside her, his excitement muting to sympathy.  He rested a long-fingered hand on her own comfortingly, the unnatural warmth of his touch strangely alarming and intoxicating at the same time as though the energy running through him could be taken with a small effort.  "If the letter is what I think it is?  No.  It is accurate."

Craelin sat on the grasses across from her, crossing his legs and standing his staff beside him.  The weapon hovered an inch off the ground, rigid as a flagpole in the morning breeze.  "Vaelrath was upset after you left him.  Bryn tells me he said nothing.  He did, however, leave instructions for the care and feeding of his 'orphans,' and packed lightly save for his armor and arms.  She said he had the look that he had borne when he assisted years ago in stopping another of Hakkar's resurrections."

Craelin idly plucked a strand of grass, looking at it as though he could find worlds in its movements.  "He went to the Caverns of Time.  I tried to warn your sister, hoping she could talk him out of whatever fool mission I thought he had set himself on.  I do not know the content of your conversation with him, but I suspected he would use a favor the Flight owed him to attempt to rewrite history.  Keep from ever meeting your sister.

"When I learned from the Flight that he was dead, however, and they did not claim credit for the deed... well, another suspicion hit me.  You told him about the spirits attached to him, didn't you?"  The mage sighed.  "I never told him, dear lady, not out of cruelty or lack of concern.  I did not tell him because I know him.  He would never allow someone else to suffer in his stead, and his survivor's guilt... well, anyone who has known him longer than a single conversation knows how heavy it weighs on him.  I began to suspect he went to try and rescue the souls bonded to him by misfortune."

[A] Moonpetãl, Craelin, Dumoh, Koordu, Elfsoul, Daergun, Thraece, Tirimale, Bandelar, Jamyson, Andryn

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His touch unnerved her; it felt good.  Like the drug the Gilneans used – laudanum- felt good.  She resisted the urge to jerk her hand away.  She listened to his explanation, dawning horror blooming on her face.  When he was finished, she squeezed her eyes closed, the tendril of hope crumbling into something darker; she had sent a man to his death, without ever meaning to… and what was worse, she destroyed the only chance they’d had of stopping him, without ever meaning to.

She felt them, in the back of her mind, the wraiths always at her back, clustering, hungry.  Waiting, just waiting for her despair and grief to let down the carefully wrought shieldings around her mind. 

“I didn’t know.”

It was a lame excuse, and her voice sounded terribly small, terribly ineffective.  Terribly sorry.  She had been so angry, so full of self-righteous rage that Craelin would let the poor man walk around with that shade in him.  It had frightened her- that the spirit might take over while Vael was with Keialaar...   She rubbed roughly at her face.

“Apologies will not bring him back, but… I am truly sorry.”   Her eyes were large, her freckles darker than normal against pale skin; grief and guilt written all over her face.

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He watched her for a moment, as though sensing her turmoil; not through artifice, but experience.  After a moment, the spark of mad excitement grew back into his eyes.

"I know where he is."

He lets the statement hang, dripping with insane implications of possibility.

[A] Moonpetãl, Craelin, Dumoh, Koordu, Elfsoul, Daergun, Thraece, Tirimale, Bandelar, Jamyson, Andryn

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It took a few heartbeats for the words to penetrate through the haze of self-recrimination.

“What?”  She leaned forward, dropping letter and dragon, clutching at his forearms.

“But the body… it will not be in any shape, at this point, would it?”  She chewed her lip, the possibilities flashing behind her eyes.  She had performed resurrections on older bodies, although it had required a great deal of strength on the part of the soul coming back, she thought she could do it again.

“Tell me on the way.”  Decision made, she scooped up her things and began running back toward the house, the robe slipping off her shoulder, exposing Light only knew what to the neighbors. 

 

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Craelin stood and followed her, hand stretching out toward the staff.  The weapon hurtled toward him, slapping comfortably into his grip as he strode behind the admittedly lovely draenei woman who seemed intent on flashing the locals.

"The genius of it is that your people have preserved the body all these years.  They simply had it mislabeled.  It appears to have been filed under one of his... what do you people call them?  'Podmates?'  The clincher was that this very same 'dead' companion showed up recently, delivered to the Exodar with mild radiation poisoning by a bronze drake.  They might as well have broadcast what happened."

Craelin stepped into the house behind Enveri, waiting respectfully by the door as she moved inside.  "I have an agent of your sister's recovering the body as we speak.  A medical trainee; hopefully she was truthful in implying she could arrange it undetected.  But the body was exposed to an unshielded engine core.  I daresay that even with your people's preservation methods, it will need to be... cleansed.  Prior to inhabitation.  I have my own medic on that problem.

"This leaves one admittedly large concern.  Though I am certain the circumstances of the Champion's death were unforeseen by him... he would have said some form of goodbye otherwise... and therefore there is an excellent chance that his restless shade has been simply wandering somewhere these last several years, I need a spirit talker to find him.  And we need bait."  His eyes showed concerned determination.  "A lot of bait.  I'm thinking everyone he's ever shared a portion of his soul with who's still alive.  The last part of that makes it a short list, fortunately.  You, your sister, his podmates, the medic, some former Scourge soldier the medic made mention of, and Windblossom Starbreeze.  Windblossom's sister... my medic... is convincing her to retrieve your sister.  She made a promise to Vaelrath that she'd watch out for your sibling, and Moon's good at infuriating people into doing what they've promised.  The others we'll have to retrieve ourselves."

[A] Moonpetãl, Craelin, Dumoh, Koordu, Elfsoul, Daergun, Thraece, Tirimale, Bandelar, Jamyson, Andryn

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Enveri dashed up the stairs, grateful that Alterion and Sariah had already left.  She packed in a hurry, throwing on her own clothing, then dashing down the stairs again.

"Right. I can find him."  She skidded to a stop next to the table and began hurriedly writing a note to Alt.  Absently, she murmured, "You'll need me to handle Keialaar too, I am sure."    She was sure the Windblossom girl was pleasant enough, but she had known Kei since she had come into the world, kicking and screaming.  Her younger sister hadn't really stopped, when presented with something she didn't want to do.

She hefted a bag up over her shoulder, bending over the letter for a few final notes.  "All right. I need to know all of the details.  What he thought he was going to do, who he was to do it with... everything that you know."  She was impatient now, walking out the door so the mage could do... whatever it was he needed to do to get them where they needed to be.

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(Scene 2)

Morning broke slowly over the trees of Moonglade, the sun fighting the heavy foliage and nearby mountains to make even the slightest bit of difference to the ambient light that suffused the holy place.  Druids of every shade and breed began their morning ritual, comforted by the still peace of the lake and the surrounding woodlands.  That is, unless they were within earshot of the eastern fonts.

A raised voice could be heard cutting through the morning light.  The tones were beautiful, lilting, but the emotion behind them seemed strained in an exasperated whine.

"Wind, you promised!  You told the big dummy you'd keep an eye on her and keep her safe!  Now he needs her!  Honestly, I don't think Drak's being too crazy this time."

Moonpetal Starbreeze stood beside one of the fonts of mystically charged water, staring with wide eyes and a slight quivering pout at her older sister.  She leaned away, giving the impression that she was ready to flee at a single cross word, her ears drooping slightly in a practiced effort at using her youth and beauty to look pitiful and hurt.

[A] Moonpetãl, Craelin, Dumoh, Koordu, Elfsoul, Daergun, Thraece, Tirimale, Bandelar, Jamyson, Andryn

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Windblossom stared at her sister in exasperation.  She loved the girl, more than words could express, but her younger sister was utterly exhausting.

"Moon, I told you.  I don't trust the girl."  Wind set her face in a stern expression, hoping that it would convey her intent but knowing all the while that when her sister wanted something, she would stop at nothing to achieve her goal.

True to form, Moonpetal began over with a lilting whine to her voice.  "You did promise, you know.  You never break your promises, so why are you starting now?"

"Moonpetal, you talked to her just as I did.  She claimed to be in love with him, and then what?  No sooner than she got what she wanted, she left him broken and defeated.  You didn't see him, the husk of a shell she left behind.  When Vaelrath asked this favor of me, I don't think this was his intent.  How could it have been?  He helped to save me when I couldn't save myself, and I couldn't even return the favor."  The anger and frustration was rising in her voice, as she cleared her throat to keep the emotions in check.

H- Relindra , Karainatah, Illivara , Kelada, Taishne
A- Dorï, Wyndblossom, Hiriko, Aronaa, Kellessa, Karahlynn

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Moonpetal crossed her arms beneath her chest, her eyes narrowed and a harrumph escaping her lips.  She rolled her shoulders back and lifted her chin, staring down her button nose at her sister in a fairly accurate approximation of their mother.

"Windblossom Starbreeze!  You made a promise.  A promise that, as it turns out, was a dying man's last wish!  Is this the kind of Sentinel you are?  The kind of leader?  You're a person who makes vows willy nilly and then skips away merrily with no intent on keeping them?!"

Moonpetal looked away from her sister, closing her eyes and lifting her face to the wan sunlight.  "I am ashamed to be a Starbreeze."

[A] Moonpetãl, Craelin, Dumoh, Koordu, Elfsoul, Daergun, Thraece, Tirimale, Bandelar, Jamyson, Andryn

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There it was, the low blow she was expecting.  She just didn't expect it to sting quite so badly.  Wind was convinced that her sister practiced impressions of their mother in front of a mirror to use for moments just like this. 

She was so tired.  Craelin gathered everyone in the Covenant to tell them of Vaelrath's death, and she hadn't even allowed herself to break down and cry.  She couldn't go back to that place.  If she did, she might not be able to come back this time.  But the emotional drain had definitely left her weary, and she wanted nothing more than to be rid of her sister.  She did not have the energy for this.

She knew that the only way she would be allowed peace was if she finally consented to what her sister was asking of her.  Her shoulders slumped in defeat, but anger was building in her stomach.  One of these days her sister would learn to take no for an answer.  One of these days, her sister would take her feelings into consideration and maybe learn a little compassion for family like she had for her patients in the field.  One of these days... who was she kidding?

"What exactly is it I'm being asked to do?"

H- Relindra , Karainatah, Illivara , Kelada, Taishne
A- Dorï, Wyndblossom, Hiriko, Aronaa, Kellessa, Karahlynn

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Moonpetal looked to Windblossom, eyes narrowed suspiciously for a moment as she gauged whether or not this was a brush off.  When she saw the slump of her sister's shoulders she grinned, mischeivously revelling in the victory.

"Just find her and tell her that he needs her if he's going to find his way back to us.  Craelin says it's some kind of soul thing; they shared an emotional connection, and something about sharing more than that and taking away a piece of each other.  Who knows, maybe that's where her common sense went."  Moonpetal winked at her sister.  "Just get her to carry this so that she can be brought to us once we find the ghost or whatever."

Moonpetal took a small gemstone from her pouch.  Within the amethyst's depths lay the draconic rune for purity.

"Honestly, I don't care if you have to pull some kind of spy crap and plant this on her.  Just make sure she has it."  Moonpetal shrugged.  "Craelin says she's been splitting her time between the Exodar and Nagrand, according to his sources.  Whichever's easier on you."

Moonpetal dropped the gem into her sister's hand, hopping up to the edge of the font.  As she sprang, her form twisted and shifted.  Deep blue feathers sprouted as her bones grew smaller and hollow, her form leaner and avian.  She blinked at her sister a few times and then launched herself into the air, wheeling away to the south.

[A] Moonpetãl, Craelin, Dumoh, Koordu, Elfsoul, Daergun, Thraece, Tirimale, Bandelar, Jamyson, Andryn

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Windblossom watched as her sister took to air, amazed at the beauty and grace of the avian form.  Breathing a sigh, mostly of relief but a little of regret and sorrow, she set to work.  Reaching to her boot, she pulled the small silver dagger she kept sheathed there.  She tried her best to keep the dagger hidden from view, due to the intricate design and the material it was forged from it had a look of something that had great monetary value.  Wind had worked with enough people who had very little scruples, she knew that this was not something to be flashing around.  Raising the dagger in front of her face, she brushed a thumb over each of the runic symbols embedded into the hilt.  Whispering the words of power that Craelin had taught her she closed her eyes and waited.

The sensation came to her, the feeling as if someone had tied a string to her navel and began to gently pull.  As her incantation drew to a close, the pulling began to get more forceful as if her insides were being squeezed.  Just as she thought she could no longer stand the feeling, it stopped.  Opening her eyes, she glanced around at the common room of the Covenant Headquarters.

"Squee!  Come here, please."  It took only moments, before she began to feel the breeze blowing in the room; a sign that the tiny elemental was making his entrance.  It settled at her feet, wind tugging at her tunic playfully. 

"Squee, I need you to do something for me.  Have you cleaned Vaelrath's quarters yet?" The elemental quickly ran a counter-clockwise circle around Windblossom's feet - No.

"I need you to enter Vael's quarters.  I need a sample of his writing."

H- Relindra , Karainatah, Illivara , Kelada, Taishne
A- Dorï, Wyndblossom, Hiriko, Aronaa, Kellessa, Karahlynn

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(Scene 3)

The wind whipped at hair and robe as the archmage stepped through his gateway onto the shore outside of the Exodar.  The large vessel rose imperiously behind him, better off than it had been years before after the crash on Azeroth and yet still in need of quite a bit of work.  Digging into one of his pockets, Craelin lifted a gemstone before his eyes.  The small gem lay nestled in his palm, a steadily repeating gleam of silver light indicating distance and direction to his target.  Craelin tucked his staff into the crook of his arm and headed out onto the rocky beach.

Several minutes passed, and the Mad Mage took pleasure in the tang of the sea air and the fiercely changing mood of the island breezes.  He knew by the writings of the kal'dorei sailors that these had been choppy waters in the best of times, and were no easier since the crash of the massive draenei vessel.  These reports were no warning to a true Kul Tiran, however; indeed, in his youth as a squallshaper, he would have enjoyed the challenge.  For now he simply contented himself with the smell of salt on the air and the cool insistence of the wind.

As Craelin continued up the beach he noted the gem's agitation.  He stopped a moment, following the light's indicator out onto the waters themselves.  Some distance from land stood a dark form in the armor of the Scourge's champions, seemingly daring the elements to take her.  Craelin frowned.  It was no mistake.  The gem was indicating the death knight.

Craelin hid a small smile, climbing atop a large boulder so that he had a clear view of the waters.  Keeping an incantation to mind should this prove to be a mistake, he lifted his voice and sent a small whisper of power into it to be certain it carried.

"You are a hard person to find."

[A] Moonpetãl, Craelin, Dumoh, Koordu, Elfsoul, Daergun, Thraece, Tirimale, Bandelar, Jamyson, Andryn

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The death knight stood out over the Veiled Sea waters, the salt water splashing up against her plated hooves. There was a lot on her mind, and unfortunately, her solution to solving any problems were very much frowned upon. So she would come out to the Veiled Sea, brooding over things she had no control over.

Underneath her plated helm, her lich-fire eyes flickered upon hearing the interrupting voice of the stranger. Her first instinct was to immediately dismember the man, lucky for him, she had recently hunted. So she would entertain him for awhile, for his sake, this had better not be a waste of time.

"Who willingly disturbs my meditation?" She kept her back to the man, though she was calculating the distance between herself and the stranger. 

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The mage looked to the dark knight, her echoing voice carrying effortlessly across the churning surf.  "I am Craelin Ourilous Draksila.  The Gatewarden.  The Mad Mage.  The Worldbreaker.  Take your pick."

He lifted the gem before his eyes, concentrating just enough to make it hover before them.  With a flick of his will he floated the stone across the water.  Its silver glow grew brighter, more intense, until it reached the creature standing out at sea.  There was a flash of silver light and the gem went dark.  Ceasing his flow of will, he let the gem fall into the water.

"We need to talk."

[A] Moonpetãl, Craelin, Dumoh, Koordu, Elfsoul, Daergun, Thraece, Tirimale, Bandelar, Jamyson, Andryn

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She rolled her eyes. How many names does one man need? He certainly was full of himself, but this worked in his favor. The death knight had a fierce curiosity. She slowly made her way up to the boulder, looking the mad mage over. The urge to smite him where he stood was overwhelmingly tempting, but she would hear what he had to say. She peered down at him, from underneath her helmet. Waiting for him to explain what was so important. She crossed her arms over her chest.

"Well?"

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Craelin met the eye of the creature before him.  He had no real love of them, no... draenei women were trouble.  Though perhaps the fact that she was undead might curb a few of those annoyingly hostile impulses.  He realized the oddity of that thought, but there it was.

Lifting a hand in front of him, palm upward in an old mercenary's handclasp position, he exhibited that he had no hidden weapons.  Not that he would need them, honestly, but limiting the possibility of this conversation going sideways would do nothing but work to his favor.

"We had an acquaintance in common.  The White Knight, as some called him.  He needs your help."

[A] Moonpetãl, Craelin, Dumoh, Koordu, Elfsoul, Daergun, Thraece, Tirimale, Bandelar, Jamyson, Andryn

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The White Knight? There is a name Hakuuren hadn't heard for a long time. She thought back to the last time she spoke with him, he was very troubled, she recalled him saying goodbye, for what felt like the last time. That look was all too familiar to this draenei, she had seen it a thousand times over.

She tore herself from her thoughts, looking back to the mage. It was obvious he had no physical weapons, which mattered little to her. If this was about a friend, she would listen.

"What do you mean? Has Vaelrath found himself into some kind of trouble, mage?"

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Craelin's eyes betrayed his sudden pity for this creature.  He had thought, had expected, that word would have travelled to those the Champion had considered friend.

"He is dead, Ebon Knight.  Fallen both a week ago and years ago pursuing, I suspect, one final bit of justice."

[A] Moonpetãl, Craelin, Dumoh, Koordu, Elfsoul, Daergun, Thraece, Tirimale, Bandelar, Jamyson, Andryn

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The human wouldn't be able to see her face, but she was glaring at him. She breathed the air in, searching for any scent of lies or deceit. Nothing. All at once she was hit with the loss of her friend. She clenched her jaw to fight back the urge to scream and murder the nearest thing to her. 

"Explain yourself. What happened to him...what did he do?"

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Craelin spread his hands, a frown creasing his brow and darkening his eyes.  "Details are vague, though I know the Bronze Dragonflight was involved.  Still, I have pieced together quite a bit, and it paints a picture.

"Our Champion was a haunted being, Ebon Knight.  Survivor's guilt for the crash of the Exodar and the battle companions he has lost over the years, mostly, but an actual spiritual haunt as well.  The ghosts of his podmates were bound to him with the lifeforce that had been stolen from them and directed to him.  He walked under their burden, and occasionally they walked in his skin.  Perhaps you had seen it; the golden eyes of Aashala, sister of Arona.  The brilliant blue of the kindly Koordu.  The dark shadows of the angry wraith of their scout, Xaal?

"These ghosts haunted him, occasionally directed him.  But I left them alone because I knew my Champion.  If he had known of their presence, he would have done anything possible to put them at rest.  Even something foolish.

"Keialaar's sister visited him recently.  And in their conversation, it seems she may have alerted him to their presence.  And so I believe he went and... did something foolish.  I believe he used a favor owed him by the Bronze Flight to travel back to the crash and attempt to save them.  I believe I have even found evidence to support this theory."

[A] Moonpetãl, Craelin, Dumoh, Koordu, Elfsoul, Daergun, Thraece, Tirimale, Bandelar, Jamyson, Andryn

Xundi
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"Haunted...Ghosts?" She shook her head. None of it made any sense. Hakuuren looked back on her various interactions with Vaelrath. Their first few meetings, she mocked him for some unforgotten reason. However, he did seem to be withdrawn and quiet, keeping to himself. And then there was the time he was confused about his feelings for Keialaar. Haku recalled laughing at him, as he asked her for input on what he should do. That was the first time he snapped at her, and admittedly caught her off guard. 

The night Haku had met the worgen child, Vaelrath saw a different side of the death knight. She was playful, and kind. Motherly. That was the night he saw the part of herself she kept hidden from the world. That was the night they formed a friendship, a rare thing for her. They sat in the Crystal Halls, on the rugs near the water shrine. Was this Vaelrath she called friend? Or one of the apparitions who infested his soul? Sighing, she looked to the mage. 

"Bronze Flight, you say? What evidence have you?" Her tone was sharp and cold. Belying the feelings she held inside. Feelings are weakness...or so she forced herself to believe.

Draksila
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Craelin lifted a hand and, with an effort of will, conjured images of the medical reports he had scanned while investigating his hunch in the Exodar's halls.  Reports from the day of the Exodar's crash appeared, detailing the survivors of the crash (Vaelrath, heavily mutated, and Arona comatose and strangely shielded by the local plant life in her capsule) and those who had died (the withered husks of Aashala, Xaal, and Koordu along with detailed autopsies and locations of the corpses' recovery).  Xaal and Koordu were listed as being recovered outside of their capsules, Xaal at the base of his and Koordu slumped against the regulator console.  Beside the report Craelin conjured an illusory image of the medical screening of one Koordu from mere days prior, detailing his delivery to the Exodar by bronze drake suffering mild radiation poisoning.  He then conjured another medical report, this one in a strangely cheerful elven script, detailing injuries sustained by Vaelrath in the line of duty since the crash.

"You see, his podmates who died in the crash... Xaal, Koordu, and Aashala.  And yet just last week there is a report of Koordu arriving at the Exodar from Tanaris, weak from radiation exposure consistent with that which happened during your crash.  The acolytes write it off as exposure during field work on this island, but they neglect to explain how someone they list as dead got sick here, found himself in Tanaris, and was then delivered back here for treatment."  He gestures to the autopsy and then to the elven medical record.  "Or how some of the scars and healed breaks in his corpse never did match his prior medical records.

"You see, death knight, I believe the corpse your people have kept in their vaults all this time is actually our Champion.  And that he traded places with this Koordu.  I have heard that this person even now walks your vessel on occasion, trying to piece together the near decade that has gone by since his last memories."

Craelin let Hakuuren examine the images a moment more and then dismissed them.  "I have an agent recovering the body for me.  One of your own acolytes; the one you shared a piece of Vaelrath's spark with, apparently.  A timid woman by the name of Buran; likely one of the last of us to ever see him alive.  And if I am right... if this is Vaelrath... I am going to bring him back."  He levelled his eyes at Hakuuren, a fierce smile speaking of mad determination.  "And you are going to help me."

[A] Moonpetãl, Craelin, Dumoh, Koordu, Elfsoul, Daergun, Thraece, Tirimale, Bandelar, Jamyson, Andryn

Xundi
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She crossed her arms over her chest, looking down at the smiling mage. This was for Vaelrath, a friend. Could he really bring him back? There was a glint of madness in the mage's eye. What powers did he wield? She wondered. He seemed quite sure of himself, to say the least, and this was for someone she cared for. 

"Very well, Mad Mage. I will help you. What do you need me to do?" She nodded firmly. 

Draksila
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The mage reached out, taking his staff to hand again.  "Your will to help.  You carry a piece of the knight's soul.  It will be needed to draw him back into the corporeal world."  He reached out, summoning to him the gem that he had followed to find her.  "Keep this with you.  When the time comes, it will call you to him."

He turned, beginning to walk back up the rocky shoreline.  A moment's thought caused him to stop.  "Also.  I have had difficulty locating the surviving members of his research team.  If you find this Arona or Koordu, let me know where and when.  If you feel confident, approach them yourself.  Otherwise, I will have my people deal with it."

With that, the mage moved away over the shoreline.  The smell of the sea kept him company as he traced his route back to his arrival site.

[A] Moonpetãl, Craelin, Dumoh, Koordu, Elfsoul, Daergun, Thraece, Tirimale, Bandelar, Jamyson, Andryn

Windblossom
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(Scene 4)

The human woman walked cautiously into the tavern, the hood of her cloak up concealing her face in shadow.  She had been to this tavern several times, the Blue Recluse in the Stormwind mage district.  It was a classier establishment than the Pig and Whistle, though not quite as easy to blend in for someone like herself.  In her hand, she clutched the missive that she had received the prior day asking for an in person meeting at this location.  The script was unfamiliar, but the context somehow struck a chord with her as something not to be ignored.  Taking a quick moment to scan her surroundings, she located a table in the upper section near the corner that was unoccupied and quiet.  It also gave her an excellent vantage point over the entirety of the tavern.  It would do rather nicely.  Now, she would wait.

H- Relindra , Karainatah, Illivara , Kelada, Taishne
A- Dorï, Wyndblossom, Hiriko, Aronaa, Kellessa, Karahlynn

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