((Closed)) Trapped in Lies

85 Night Elf Druid
7715
---

Tahirus turned to Verel and Camron and spoke to the magister first.

"Consult the Sentinels on the conflict with Jezroyel, find out what you can. Camron, you are with me. We will stay with Sundar. We will regroup later."

They exchanged brief nods and split off. They passed through the swamp of foot traffic that gridlocked between the medical tents, the armory, and the barracks. Tahirus roughly collided with a passing human in brown robes, who didn't stop but turned to the draenei and raised a hand apologetically. Tahirus returned the gesture, but the human might not have seen it as he swiftly continued on his way and vanished in the throng. Eventually arriving at the tents, Tahirus and Camron found themselves amid a flurry of questions and guarded stares. From their own inquiry, no one was absolutely sure what had happened, except that an elf who attacked a caravan earlier and later been apprehended was now missing.

"No trace?" Tahirus interjected in a conversation between two Sentinels, who were momentarily surprised but obliging to answer.

"No one at the tent saw anything. Maybe her accomplice, but he's not saying a word," replied a Sentinel.

"Where is he?" asked the draenei.

"Ravenstar's holding him at the barracks," answered the Sentinel.

The draenei nodded and motioned for Camron to follow. They began heading in the direction of the barracks with the guided word of a Sentinel, but hadn't gotten far when a runner got to them first.

"The human is gone, too," said the Sentinel.

"Gone?" repeated Tahirus, surprised. "Gone where? What about Ravenstar?"

"Went after the elf," answered the Sentinel. "She headed into the forest. That's the last we've heard."

"Finding one of them is the best chance at finding the other," mused Tahirus. "Which way?"

The Sentinel pointed in the general vicinity Ravenstar had headed. Tahirus thanked the elf and started off with Camron in pursuit.
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85 Night Elf Druid
7715
Posted by Darkalarde

There was not too much to go on; the huntress escaped, there were casualties, and Ravenstar had gone out after her. Alarde remembered when Ravenstar found him and two sentinels shortly after Alarde annihilated a satyr. For obvious reasons, Alarde had kept to himself even after arriving.

"Alarde!" Sundar's familiar voice called out. The druid was making his way towards the warrior "Have you seen anything that happened here? We need to find this huntress before she slips from our grasp." Well, that roughly makes two of us wanting to know what happened.

"All I've been able to get is that the huntress got out, violently, and Ravenstar has gone out after her. There were also two others who went out after him, but that's all I know." She really wanted to get out... Wouldn't surprise me if she was in the same boat as me. Just making some money.

"I'm willing to hazard a guess that she was simply hired to do what she did. This is probably why she fled; placing higher value on her life than her reward. It will probably also mean she's either already long gone, or at least close to it."
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85 Night Elf Druid
7715
The knives that he had thrown appeared to have elicited some movement in the trees. Ravenstar's lick had paid off, but it would be unwise to further rely on it. He knew there would be retaliation coming from the huntress and so moved further from his new position. Shortly after, arrows had landed where he once stood.

There was a slight sigh of relief in the elf, but he at least knew that he was close to his target. He remained crouching low to the ground and absolutely silent. It was probable that the huntress had moved from her position and he had to find out where that would be.

A sudden cry escaped from the hawk that had been trailing him and looking for any signs of the she-elf. The bird fell out of the sky and landed upon the ground on the other side of the clearing. Cries still issued forth from the stricken avian. Ravenstar's brow furrowed. While the bird was not hurt, the huntress had eliminated one more way for him to locate her. Still he continued on his way.

There was a rustling heard from above, on the opposite side of the elf's position. A volley of arrows came down. The combatant easily dodged the projectiles moving to the side, but more were coming down upon him.

She knows where I am. He cursed beneath his breath at being found.

More and more came, biting at his heels. He moved with a fluid deftness that would have even a sabre's envy, but the night elf could sense that he was being led, directed. HIs suspicions were soon realized as he heard the rapid whipping sound beneath his feet.

Rope erupted from the leaves that covered the forest floor and in turn the trap. It tightened around his ankles and from the corner of his eye the huntress revealed herself, rope in tow. The momentum dragged Ravenstar toppling to the ground. He broke his fall as he was trained to, but he was soon dragged into the air. The roguish Kaldorei hung upside-down above the ground.

Well now, this is quite the predicament, Ravenstar admonished himself in his mind.

He looked ahead and saw that the huntress was on the ground now, behind her the rope that held him was steadfastly tied to a branch. He could sense a fury within her and without warning, she had connected a punch with his face. Being without a hold to the ground and moving back with the momentum of her punch mitigated some damage, but it had enough of an impact to cause the elf to see stars. His cowl offered little in the way of shielding from such assaults.

“I am so tired of having knives thrown at me!” she proclaimed with rage, giving Ravenstar another hook to his face. A warm sensation washed over his cheekbone as bruising took hold. He could at least still see, which he was thankful for.

A touch angry, I see.

The she-elf quickly stepped back and drew her bow and arrow, aimed for the combatant elf. “I just need to ask you one question. Are you here to help defend Ashenvale from the demons or are you an ally of the Stormchasers?"

Oh so she's making a differentiation between our people and the kids. That's to be expected if she's with the Fires.

Ravenstar remained silent as he formulated a plan to free himself, but his silence did not do anymore to endear him to the huntress elf.

“Answer me!” she demanded. The creaking of her bow as she pulled more against the string served as a threat to him.
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85 Night Elf Druid
7715
The elf let out a defiant humph. "What would you do if I said it was the same thing?"

With no hesitation Ravenstar swept his hands over his belt pouches and found his hold on smoke bombs. He threw it onto the ground where they exploded in a thick and choking fog that billowed upward. Under the cloak of the smoke he quickly pulled himself up, grabbing hold of the rope just above his feet. The kaldorei grabbed one of the blades attached to his shoulder protectors and severed the ropes that held his ankles together.

He controlled his legs to lower beneath him instead of falling to lessen the strain on his shoulder before landing on solid ground without a sound. The smoke was still thick in the air and he could use it to his advantage. His cowl protected his eyes well enough for him to be able to see the huntress; whether she could see him was a mystery.

Quickly he dashed forward, and circled to her side. Crouching low he swung his left leg around the ground and forward sweeping her off her feet causing her to fall forward. Before the she-elf could hit the forest floor, Ravenstar folded his outstretched leg under him, finding firm footing and standing up. He rapidly spun about and aimed an uppercut to the huntress' stomach.

Given my position, the hit was light, but it should have put some strain on her body.

The smoke was clearing, falling away like derelict tatters of torn fabric in the wind. He pushed up higher with his fist, lifting the kaldorei up and then spun a kick into her, flipping the huntress onto the ground. He was not about to use his glaives yet, but if were to be pushed further he would have little choice.

"I'm here in the interest of our people and so are the brothers," Ravenstar declared. "I'd suggest you get your facts straight."

~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~

Thus far the 'trial' had proven to be highly frustrating for the ranger. The two witnesses that had come up had fabricated lies about his allegiances and his whereabouts in the past year. The most irritating part about the trial was Melrez, his heiary. The scraggly draenei had failed to even proceed with any cross-examinations. Jaou had only remained silent as to keep with proceedings of the trial.

Useless... Why was he even sent here? At this rate I'm better off defending myself, Jaou thought to himself, his eyes looking up to the side with annoyance.

There was also something odd that he noticed with the witnesses. Jaou's heightened senses had proven to be very useful, his sense of smell particularly in such a situation. Certainly the two demon witnesses had a distinctive scent about them, but beneath their odour was something else. He could not discern what it was exactly, but there was definitely something about the two that did not sit right with the ranger.

The witness stand was empty and the trial had been called for a short recess. Joau regarded his heiary who was standing next time him absent-mindedly sorting out papers written in a language he recognized but did not understand as draenei. Another point of the trial that had Jaou irritated was the fact that Melrez had not spoken to or made eye contact with him. He felt as if he had been looked over. It was infuriating.

"Melrez," the satyr started.

"Y-yes?" the draenei answered back, as if intimidated just from Jaou's presence. "What is it?"

"Why was it that you didn't ask the witnesses any questions?"

"I-I, uh... That is... I mean...I tried, but..."

"No, you didn't," Jaou stated in a matter-of-factly manner. "You just stood there." The ranger pointed an accusing finger at the draenei, which made him cringe back. "Any time you were asked if you needed to ask any questions, you said you had none. Why exactly are you here? Really what purpose are you serving here if you aren't going to do that?" he gestured with his hand towards the councillors stand, speaking with an irritable tone.

Melrez did not answer. He simply looked sheepishly away from Jaou, mumbling words beneath his breath in a fit of fear. It was a pathetic sight. This was the one that was supposed to speak on his behalf?

The sound of a chime indicated that the recess was over and that the trial would resume. The atmosphere in the room one again settled to near silence as everyone went back to their proper seats and positions. The ranger looked to the witness' ground with determination.

"If you're not going to do your job, then I'll defend myself," Jaou declared quietly, though Melrez appeared to have not heard, still trying to avert his attention from the imposing satyr.

The councilors took up their seat again. Lorren held up a hand a singaled for the trial to resume.

He wasted no time. "Bring in the next witness."

The doors opened again but it was not a satyr. It was a draenei dressed in the colours of a Blood Watch guard. She was accompanied by one of the vindicators that stood vigil at the trial. While unarmed, she was still in her armour.
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85 Night Elf Druid
7715
"Peacekeeper Fa'ore, thank you for coming here on such short notice," Lorren said. "Now we have some questions regarding the individual standing there." He pointed at Jaou. The attention drew a sneer of disgust from the female, who was most likely wondering what a demon was doing in her city. "So you recall a group of night elves on an assignment at Bloodmyst Isle about a year ago? A group from the Cenarion Circle?"

"Yes, I do," she answered, confident in her memory.

"Can you tell us what that group consisted of?"

"Three druids, two rangers. Four males, one female."

Though he had no recollection of seeing her before, so far the answers were accurate. Jaou had gone to Bloosmyst with four others as was described. There may be some hope in telling the truth.

"Of these five, we're interested in hearing about one in particular. Jaou Stormchaser, one of the rangers. Can you tell us what he was involved in when he was present?"

"He was there to help scout out areas that were familiar to his people and help map out the land in greater detail as well as sending back reports of the condition of the island to the Cenarion Circle," she answered back.

That's correct.

"But," she added, which put a tinge of worry in the ranger. "He was taking interest in some rather strange things. He was inquiring a lot about the satyrs and their ruins... There were times he had mysteriously disappeared, and I've heard reports of him going towards satyr camps on his own..."

No! Not more lies! None of that happened! He clenched his jaw, and his claws became rigid. It was maddening how the lies kept on coming. It was all set against him and he had enough of it.

The peacekeeper continued. "There was an unnatural fervor in his eyes when he was talking abou--"

"Lies!" Jaou blurted out, loud enough to interrupt her and loud enough for everyone to hear. "What you said about the satyrs, the ruins, I have done none of that!" He threw a hand out in defiance.

His sudden outburst garnered many gasps and surprised looks not only form the witness and the councilors, but the gallery itself. He paid them no heed though, he had never felt such injustice in his life and he would not stand idly by and take such accusations.

Councilor Lorren merely raised an eyebrow. While the other councillors were taken aback, he remain curious as to what the satyr had to say. He gave one of the nearby vindicators a glance, to be ready just in case.

"It's true that I had came with my colleagues to Azuremyst and Bloodmyst for an assignment. I did go out for scouting missions, but I never asked about the satyrs that inhabited the ruins!

"And those satyr witnesses, never in all my years I had ever seen them before! I promise you I have nothing to do with them, all of what they said were lies! Trying to lead you astray! We assisted in clearing out some of the demons while we were there. I never left or did anything without letting anyone in my group know"

Wait, they could vouch for me... Othrin is still stationed at Blood Watch.
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85 Night Elf Druid
7715
"There's proof I didn't! My co-workers, they can vouch for me..."

It was at that moment Lorren looked worried. The councilor immediately signaled to the vindicator and prompted him to take action. The ranger was about to make a rebuke that would prove to be quite troublesome and he needed to put an end to it.

"If you just--"

Before Jaou could continue, a flash of golden light enveloped the ranger and a sharp and pained growl escaped his lips as he keeled over on his knees. The vindicator held and open palm towards Jaou, he had unleashed a spell of holy energy upon him. His muscles were in a spasm. The pain was debilitating, it was as if his back had been assaulted by a warmaul dredged through lava. Even his lungs were burning, seizing up from the spell.

Lorren stepped forward, regarding the ranger's pain with a sense of pleasure, though realizing his place he quickly discarded that expression.

"Now, ranger, there's no need for such an outburst," Lorren commented with a candid tone. "We need to proceed by the rules and you must let your heiary speak for you."

Jaou struggled to stand up through the pain, gasping for air. "My... Heiary?" Such a suggestion after the current proceedings of the trial seemed ludicrous at best and it only enraged him more. "What has he done so far but cowe--"

Jaou was assaulted with another spell form the vindicator, by a silent order from Lorren. The councillor looked down on the ranger.

"That's enough. We must maintain order," Lorren sternly retorted. He looked to the peacekeeper that had testified and nodded. "You are dismissed, bring in the next witness!"

Jaou felt as if his flesh were on fire and his bones about to crumble. Whatever he was attacked with seemed too much.

Actually, all of this is too much...

The outcome looked grim, but he still had hope that there would be a turning point. He only hoped it was coming soon.
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85 Night Elf Druid
7715
Posted by Izdazi

"What would you do if I said it was the same thing?" the kal’dorei, hanging upside down by his ankles responded.

The question and the defiance in his voice took Izdazi by surprise. Unconsciously, her head cocked slightly as she tried to figure a response to this. What was she suppose to do with him?

This was all very new territory for her. Killing demons was an easy enough task. They were, after all, just demons. But beyond entrapping him, she wasn’t sure what to do with this male. And despite his current predicament and the arrow she had notched and ready to sail through his chest, he displayed no unease.

Killing one of her own, no matter how misguided he might be, was not part of her agreement with the Fires. And even though she had ample opportunity and reason to, she hadn’t killed the satyr guard at the medic tent, simply out of respect for the sentinel uniform. This was a path she didn’t want to go down and the huntress was about to tell him to not follow her when several things happened at once.

Her prisoner swept his hands toward his belt and then threw something on either side of him. Before Izdazi could respond, thick smoke started pouring from the two devices. Unsure of what was happening she took a few steps away from the prisoner. The smoke had already obscured where her prisoner, but her sensitive hearing detected the unmistakable sound of something hitting the ground.

The smoke stung her eyes, causing them to water and squint. Her hunter’s sense was screaming that she had lost control of this hunt. She was no longer the predator.

There was a hushed sound to her side and she spun around before letting lose a blind arrow. It was a desperate and sloppy attack on her part. He was somewhere inside her broad circle of attack. Her preferred method of fighting had been denied. The she elf threw the bow aside and started reaching for her dagger, sheathed at the back of her belt. That was when her feet were swept from under her.

Izdazi abandoned unsheathing her dagger in favor of protecting herself from falling on her face. It wasn’t a conscious choice; simply instinctual. As it turned out, it was also unnecessary. Before her body hit the ground, she felt the air in her lungs being violently expelled because of an intense pressure on her stomach.

It was painful, but not nearly as much as it could have been. Izdazi felt herself rising and then there was another burst of pain and she landed on the ground hard. Her lungs burned and she fought the powerful urge to throw up. What little air she could breathe was filled with smoke, only adding to her compounding difficulties.

Fel! He’s fast, she mentally cursed as she struggled to stand up. She kept one hand over her stomach as she scanned around the clearing. The smoke was slowly fading away.

"I'm here in the interest of our people and so are the brothers," her target suddenly declared from behind. "I'd suggest you get your facts straight."

With some effort, the she elf stood up and circled her prey, much like a saber would. Her bow was nearby, but despite her speed, she would never get an arrow to its strings before he was upon her.

The forest had grown silent around them, except for the rattle of leaves from the wind.

“The facts seem rather clear from where I'm standing,” Izdazi managed to sneer while continuing to circle him. She didn’t bother to brush away the few rogue dreadlocks that fell over her face. Her silvery eyes took on an almost feral quality to them as she appraised him with new vigor.
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85 Night Elf Druid
7715
“A satyr is a demon and if we don’t destroy them, they will destroy us,” she remarked, speaking in a sarcastically slowly manner, as if to insinuate that he needed it to be spelled out in a simple manner.

The huntress unsheathed the blade she had detached from the sentinel’s moonglaive. In her other hand, she held her dagger, with the blade pointed back. She brushed off her quiver and long cloak, revealing the sleeveless tan colored leather jerkin she wore.

Izdazi continued to appraise her target as she tried to think up some plan for escaping this situation. He wasn’t going to let her go and had already proven himself much faster then she had originally expected.

He was a trained fighter. She was not. Running wasn’t an option and neither was her default method of attack. If she had to fight on his terms, then to survive this, she’d have to do something unexpected.

Let’s see how well you handle a little troll, you cretin. Her eyes remained locked on his as she turned and started circling opposite of what she had been doing. He didn’t appear armed, but she wasn’t going to fall for his tricks. Elune only knew what else he had in his belt. And his glaives hadn't been forgotten.

She suddenly spun the sword and began racing towards him. Her footfalls were nearly silent and there were no exclamations from her as she aimed the sword for his chest. At the last moment, however, she feinted left, spun around and fell back to her balled fists. Her left foot shot out and connected with the joint between his right arm and shoulder.

With a quiet prayer, Izdazi hoped the strike would be enough dislocate or at the least, temporarily disable his right arm. Still, not choosing to press her luck, she jumped back to her feet, skipped on them a moment, while swiping her sword for his neck.

During her time in Booty Bay, Izdazi had watched trolls practicing this strange form of martial arts. As best as she could tell, the hands and weapons were used as a form of distraction, but the real attack came from kicks. It was a form of fighting based on decoy and deception; something the huntress could appreciate. Weapons were used in earnest once an unchallenged assault could be made.

Izdazi understood that she wasn’t terribly good at this form of fighting. Most of it had been learned by surreptitiously watching those practicing it and then mimicking. No troll in their right mind would ever allow an elf to learn their fighting techniques, much less train with them. They may work civilly together, but outside of their employers’ jurisdiction, rivalries and hatreds were as healthy as ever.

As expected, he easily dodged her attempt at his neck, but in doing so, offered an opening for her to kick at the back of left leg, which forced him onto a knee. She rotated behind him and touched the point of her sword against the front of his neck. He would no doubt feel the cool steel of her dagger against the back.

“I think you’re the one confused, old man,” the huntress said in a voice that just barely made it to his ear and contrasted sharply with the vigorous way they had just fought. She pressed the blade harder against his skin. “Maybe a flight over Astranaar will remind you whose side you should be. We’re losing this conflict and inviting betrayal by trusting these so-called turned satyrs. Sooner then later, they will discard the façade of their former lives and show their true nature. Sundar is too heartbroken to see that his brother, along with all the rest, is a threat to us; it's subversion from within. Can't you see?"


~~~~


It had taken all of Niashado's self control to not rush up to Jaou's aid when he was being 'reprimanded,' by Councilor Lorren. She absolutely hated seeing him suffer, which was only more exasperated with the knowledge of what was coming up for her.

The grip the vindicator escort had on her arm tightened, as if he could sense to turmoil surging through her mind. But even worse then that, was the sudden doubt of Jaou that had crept into the darkest recesses of her mind. What if they were right?

Oh, the other elves had nothing but high praise for him, but what if it was all a cover? What if he...

NO! Jaou is as you remember. He is being unfairly tried, she declared mentally, while at the same time feeling a sickening budding in her heart.

Again, the 'witness' said more lies about Jaou and the ranger satyr tried to defend it only to be assaulted by the vindicator behind him at Lorren's command. Niashado finally had to turn away from the flashes of golden holy magic, but his cries echoed painfully in her ears.

Why was his helary being so useless? She would have fought tooth and nail for Jaou, if it hadn't been for 'his' request.
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85 Night Elf Druid
7715
Thirty minutes earlier

Niashado cautiously took the offered letter from the Triumvirate Guard. She could feel the enchantment placed on the parchment reacting to her touch. Eredun glyphs began dancing along the page as they ordered themselves into readable text.

Eredun? Niashado hadn't seen anything written in the ancestral language since her schooling days. It was taught, but never really used in day-to-day activities. She understood however, that it was used by the upper echelon governmental officials.

A seal slowly appeared on the top of the page, confirming her suspicions as to who wrote the letter. She looked up sharply at the official courier who had given her the letter. The other vindicators, wearing ornate dress armor stood in guard formation around them.

"The letter was written for you. You must read it here and now," the courier explained.

With trepidation, the shamaness glanced down and began reading.

~Niashado

I have heard some about you, young draenei. Farseer Nobundo speaks of you favorably. For that reason, I believe you will consider my request. What I ask of you is no easy deed. I apologize in advance for that.

There are two moments in my life that stand out as the darkest moments. The first is the day I had to choose who would leave Argus. I wanted so much to tell all I knew, but at the risk that a person might not be so secretive, or worse, be in league, with the coming darkness, I was forced to be painfully selective. Only those, who I trusted implicitly, escaped Argus before the Legion changed our brethren. I have no doubt, some that I could not, did not, save would have joined us willingly with no threat.

But I could not take that chance and while I believe I made the right choice, all these millennia later, it does not stop haunting me.

The second time was when we evacuated Shattrath City. I wanted no more then to evacuate everyone, but for the sake of the survivors in other areas, including your hometown of Telredor, most of the city inhabitants had to remain. The orcs had to believe they had destroyed us. Soldiers and civilians; Men, women and children. The city had to be full, so that I can continue to lead the survivors toward the eventual prophesy. I can see their faces to this day. I know of the atrocities the demonically enraged orcs inflicted upon them.

I know the sacrifices of those left behind more acutely then anyone. That they died so we may live does little to lessen the pain.

I tell you these stories, because I will ask the same of you. I am sure you remember the Vector Coil Incident that involved an eredar, who had been in our midst for sometime, by the name of Sironas. We find ourselves facing a similar threat once again. I cannot divulge everything we know to you, but suffice to say part of it might involve Ambassador Jezroyal and unfortunately, the satyr once known as Ranger Jaou Stormchaser may be somehow caught in the middle of this.

We are still gathering information, but I do know that most of your defense of your friend involves revealing what Jezroyal has done in Ashenvale. What is happening to Ranger Stormchaser is part of a plan that involves her and many others and may have far reaching consequences throughout Azeroth.

They must win this battle so we may win the war. I do not ask this of you lightly, but I am asking that you consider the needs of your people. We need to know what they are planning and in order to do that the kal'dorei ranger can not be exonerated by our means.

I do not know the path that is before Ranger Jaou Stormchaser. I have not been given sight over him and those afflicted as he is. There is still much debate as to fate of these 'turned' night elves.

Regardless, I must ask that you consider what must be done to help the many. This trial is your Shattrath City, Niashado.

~Velen



Niashado read the letter a second time and then a third time. Her head shook in disbelief as her eyes passed over each word. She couldn't be asked to do this! She had promised Jaou she'd protect him. She had promised Sundar, she'd watch over his brother.

And now she was being asked to betray him. She couldn't do it. No. She wouldn’t.

"Lady Niashado. You are about to be called to be a witness," the courier announced, interrupting her thoughts. "I hope you will give serious consideration to the Prophet's words."

He took the letter from her hands and in a flash of golden light, it was incinerated. With a quick nod, he and the honor guards left.
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85 Night Elf Druid
7715
Present

Jaou cried out again as another holy spell was directed at him. The ranger satyr was down on one knee panting and Lorren stood over him, looking down contemptuously. It sickened Niashado to see her friend subjected to this… torture. It sickened her more so that one of her own was doing this.

"That is enough. We must maintain order," the Councilor sternly retorted. He looked to the peacekeeper that had testified and nodded. "You are dismissed, bring in the next witness!"

Niashado looked on scathingly as the previous 'witness' was escorted away. She was led up to the dais near the center of the room. There, her vindicator escort took a few steps back and stood at relaxed attention.

The shamaness looked around the room slowly as she struggled to still her trembling tail and uneasy breathing. Her stomach rumbled in nervousness as the eyes of many pressed upon her. She saw Farseer Nobundo, along with Nelkon and a few other shamans among the audience. Her eyes traced around until they locked on Jezroyal.

You are the demon, for feeding this kind of discord among my own people, she sneered, but the words never left her mouth. Instead, she looked at Jaou, and for the first time, seemed to really take in the violet fur and long curved horns over his head. Just a little redder and she might have mistaken him from Morvai.

What if the fate of the turned kal'dorei satyrs were to become like Morvai.

No. No, that would not happen. Not to him. He's stronger.
Niashado shook her head as she struggled to fight off the doubt in her head.

There are times when the good of the many outweigh the needs of a few. In school, it had always been an abstract subject of study. Now, it was before her. Betray a friend who had already been forced to endure so much pain, or allow something truly evil to fester out of control?

What would Jaou do?

"Our next witness is no stranger to this very chamber," Councilor Lorren began. "Not six months ago, you stood where you are now and presented a sample of the very corrupted waters that turns night elves into demons, did you not?"

"Yes," Niashado began, trying to raise her voice so all could hear. "It turns their bodies into satyrs. But, there is still some question whether it-"

"A simple 'yes' or 'no' will suffice, Niashado," Lorren interjected, stopping her short.

"But it is not as simple as 'yes' or-"

"You will answer specifically and directly when asked," he said, by way of warning. The Councilor then turned to the other audience and regarded them momentarily. "How old are you, Niashado?"

Niashado blinked at the unexpected question. "Two hundred sixty one cycles on Draenor and three cycles on Azeroth, Councilor."

"So you are a very young one, barely of age, thrust into this strange world and even stranger situations with little experience," the Councilor said, as he continued to stare past her, at the audience. "In many ways, Niashado is as much a victim of this Jaou. We have failed to protect our youngling against the twisting the ways that demons pollute their minds."

"What?!" Niashado blurted out.

"You are a victim of this satyr," he repeated, pointing at Jaou.

"Jaou has protec-"

"You are only to speak when asked a question!" the Councilor snapped, stepping directly to her face. Niashado fell silent and averted her eyes at the sudden hostility and proximity. "Do you see what has come of our youth?" Lorren continued, again turning to the audience. "The methods and lessons of the past are lost easily on our young ones. This is more a failure of our generation then hers."

"Councilor Lorren," a new voice called out. Niashado looked up to see Councilor Niceen raising her hand. For a moment, the shamaness hoped she was going to defend her against Lorren. That hope, however, soon faded. "This meeting is concerning Ranger Jaou Stormchaser. Not Niashado."
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85 Night Elf Druid
7715
Lorren looked irate for a moment, but the expression quickly disappeared and he turned to Niashado. "When did you first meet Ranger Jaou Stormchaser."

"Raynewood Retreat, in Ashenvale, less then a cycle ago. He and his brother offered me sanctuary at the retreat due to the increase satyr hostilities in the area," Niashado explained, feeling more relieved that she could answer and hopefully defend Jaou.

"Did you ever meet the satyr before his transformation?"

"N-no," Niashado replied. Tendrils of uncertainty began to reassert in her mind.

"So we can assume you would not know if he is a different person now then before. While you were there, were there times when he was alone with other satyrs?"

"H-he had been captured on one occasion," she said, speaking carefully. "And there was another occasion when he was separated from us for awhile, but it was to rescue me from the satyrs after I had been captured during an outing." This was met by a few collective gasps in the crowd, but Lorren plowed through without pause.

"Do you know of anyone who can vouch for his activities while he was alone with the satyrs?"

"No, but I presume he was trying to get out. The Ashenvale satyrs do not-"

"'No' then. No one actually saw what he was doing the entire time he was 'captured' by the satyrs," Lorren interrupted.

"But the other satyrs in-"

"And," the Councilor continued, ignoring Niashado's protests. "what of the incident involving E'zkia? Was he not brought to Raynewood Retreat near death? Was Jaou in the room with him or was he elsewhere; to better not be seen?"

"What?!" Niashado exclaimed. The thought of him bringing her deceased friend into this discussion and trying to pin it on Jaou stung Niashado hard. She struggled to contain her tears. "Jaou had nothing to do with E'zkia murder!"

"Did you, or did you not, see him when E'zkia was poisoned? Or did you take his word? Are not some of the satyrs in Astranaar 'turned' night elves?" Lorren countered, ignoring her outburst.

"Jaou was NOT present when E'zkia was poisoned!"

"Did you see with your own two eyes?" he countered, staring straight into her eyes.

"N-no," the shamaness relented. "That in and of itself indicates nothing about Jaou."

"A few days ago when you were told by this very Council not to go Ashenvale," Lorren said. "You disobeyed us and went there. Why?"

Niashado felt her shoulders sag as she looked at the floor.

"I-I felt I could better serve our people's interest there," she replied quietly.

"We expressly told you to not go. We had sent a professional ambassador, which is something you are not. And yet, you disobeyed us. And," he added, picking up a small stack of parchments from his podium. "In the words of Ambassador Jezroyel, who has served her people with distinction for many years, 'while you were meaning well, you spent most of your time seeing to the needs of kal'dorei, and in particular, of Ranger Jaou Stormchaser.'

"In fact, since your return from Ashenvale the first time, we have had numerous complaints about you. It is as if you were a changed woman," the Councilor continued, flipping to a different parchment. "The Hand of Argus in Blood Watch reported that you deserted from your duties. And even your fellow shamans have had a few stern words."

Niashado's eyes widened as she realized what was about to be said. This wasn't the way it was suppose to work! "I have a letter where the shaman enclave has disavowed you. All of these things and instead you are seen frolicking with a satyr. A demon." The Councilor leaned closer to Niashado and softly whispered in her ears. "It almost reeks of the actions of a kro'nari."

Niashado surged forward and pushed him back hard enough for the Councilor to lose his balance and fall. Around them, some of the audience jumped to their feet at the unexpected and extremely un-protocol altercation.
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"How dare you! That is a lie!" she cried out angrily as the vindicator behind her savagely pulled her back to the dais. The shamaness thrashed in his grip until she felt the ambient holy magic starting to spike. Before the vindicator could lash out at her, Niashado forced herself to calm down. Her eyes still flashed in anger at the savage insult, but Lorren paid her no mind.

"The witness will stand-down!" Councilor Niceen demanded before turning to the other Councilor. "Lorren."

"Yes Councilor?" Lorren asked.

"The burden of proof lies on us. While you have done an excellent job of tearing down this witness, she has provided us with little in the way of proving Jaou is as you say."

"You are absolutely right, Councilor Niceen. That is what the previous witnesses were for. But to any who believe that the kal'dorei satyrs are any different from the ones we've encountered, I submit before you this witness," he said, gesturing to her. "See how he has corrupted the way she thinks. Light only knows what she else she might have done for him had not we brought this satyr here. She is a victim of him."

"Jaou is not a demon! He has done nothing to me," Niashado repeated in desperation, through the vindicators tight grip. "Would a demon voluntarily accept entering custody of our vindicators and being brought here?"

Councilor Lorren chuckled as he sauntered toward her dais.

"Hasn't a demon already voluntarily entered our city and stayed patiently in our midst?" he asked.

Niashado suddenly remembered Velen's letter and the account of the eredar, Sironas.

"Yes."

"Have demons used friendships and family connections to subvert us in the past?" Lorren asked. Such things were known to happen and Niashado knew it.

"Yes," Niashado again answered, sounding drained.

"No one here will argue that you have spent more time with the Stormchasers, Jaou especially, then any other draenei. Can you promise us, with the safety and very existence of our people on your shoulders that Jaou is not the threat as you have repeatedly stated he is not?"

The shamaness turned to Jaou. She could see the pain in his eyes from the earlier spell assaults. He was tired and stressed. They reminded of her the time he had been further corrupted by some sort of warlock spell. He had been turned into something less sentient but more animalistic, but she still remembered the pain in his eyes. And the same pain was seen again when his younger brother had been killed by the evil satyr, Morvai.

He had protected her, believed in her and encouraged her. He was among a few select person, with whom she credited with making her the person she was today. He was devoted to the safety of his people.

Her eyes focused past him to Jezroyel, who was seated with the audience. Again, Velen's words echoed in her mind. Who knew what the witch's plans were, but if they were allowed to happen, could she live with the consequences. Could she sacrifice Jaou at of the hope that it would protect her people?

THIS IS NOT FAIR! she screamed in her mind. They had trapped her.

"Niashado?" Lorren asked, sounding more polite and soft then she could ever remember hearing him being.

Tears streaming from her eyes, Niashado turned and regarded Lorren coldly. "No. I can not pr-promise that."

"You can not promise what?" Lorren asked, his voice taking on its more usual condescending tone.

"I-I can not promise that Jaou is not a threat," she finally said. Each word was as if a knife pierced her heart. Her vision blurred with tears and she fought with all her might not to look at Jaou, knowing the pain in his eyes would be like the twisting of that knife.

And I am no better then a demon for betraying an innocent.
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"All I've been able to get is that the huntress got out, violently, and Ravenstar has gone out after her," Alarde recounted for Sundar. "There were also two others who went out after him, but that's all I know."

"I'm willing to hazard a guess that she was simply hired to do what she did. This is probably why she fled; placing higher value on her life than her reward. It will probably also mean she's either already long gone, or at least close to it."

And into the woods... But if Raven's on her trail with others then he should be fine.

'Should' was the key word, but he had little worry that his mentor in battle would have too many issues handling her recapture. The druid could now perhaps garner information on how all of this happened.

"They'll probably be fine in pursuing the huntress," Sundar put a hand to his chin from his usual habit when in thought. "I'm rather interested in how she got out from here. This seems a little odd." He approached one of the Sentinels on duty. "Do you know what happened here? How did the huntress escape?"

"Sir, she was sent here from the barrows because of an illness," the Sentinel reported. "The priestess that was injured inside here had requested that she would be moved for treatment."

"Treatment for what? Unless it was dire, she could have been treated near the barrows," Sundar said, cocking an eyebrow at the Sentinel.

"It was on insistence of the priestess," the Sentinel shrugged, unsure of what else she could have told the druid.

Now that is interesting.

"Where is this priestess now? I would like to speak to her."

"She is still recovering from being assaulted by the prisoner, I can see how she is doing."

Attacked by the huntress? Didn't she tell me she wouldn't harm another Kaldorei?

"Please do," Sundar nodded. "I'd like to at least see how she is doing."

~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~

The marbled-hair priestess had laid still for the past several minutes. Even though the clerics had healed her 'injury' quickly, she had to make it seem like it was a serious wound. She could hear the footfalls of the scrambling Sentinels. In her years in the service of her people, she had never seen the kaldorei forces spread so thinly.

Given that they had much of their main forces sent to other areas, the thinning of soldiers here was a disadvantage to their defenses against the demons, leading to this problem. Ironically, it also helped the Fires in their crusade against them. The priestess was torn in her decision to fool her own people, but it was for the best, and for her dedication to the Fire's cause.

"Onora, Sundar wants to check on the priestess, how is she doing?" a voice spoke up from the entrance of the tent.

What? No!

The priestess tensed, her eyes still shut tight, pretending she was unconscious. It was bad timing for her. She could not afford to be found out.

"She's still out of it," the cleric replied. "If he wants to come in, he can. Her injuries have been taken care of."

The priestess' mind was now spinning, searching for a way out. She could not let on to anyone that she was not as injured as she had appeared to have been. There were skilled druids and other priestesses present, and they would be able to see through her facade, or at least suspect something was amiss. She went through the possible recourses she could take, but there were few paths.

"I'll send him through then."

I have to get away from prying eyes.
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She heard the footsteps leading out of the tent. Whoever had sent the message to the medical tent had left. This was her chance to distance her way from the impending problems. As soon as she felt it safe, she slowly stirred to seeming consciousness. The cleric quickly knelt down by her.

"So you're awake now, how are you feeling?" Onora asked the priestess.

"Uh... W-where am I?" The priestess groaned, trying to sound genuinely confused. "Last thing I remembered... Oh my! I have to tell my colleagues right away! It's urgent news! Many thanks for your help!"

Right away the priestess stood up. The cleric tried to stop her.

"But wait! Druid Stormchaser would like to speak to you!" she stammered.

"I'm sure that can wait, I have to get to the other priestesses first, it's about the escapee."

Without waiting for the cleric to reply, the priestess had left for the medical tent's other entrance.

I just have to lay low now. Perhaps I'll find another distraction for them.

She ran as fast as she could, using her calling's abilities to aid her in her escape. Soon she was out of sight into the forest.

~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~

"Sir, the priestess is still unconscious," the Sentinel reported back to Sundar and Alarde. "But the cleric said it should be fine to go in and see her."

"Alright," Sundar replied. "Let us see how she's doing."

The Sentinel led the way towards the entrance of the tent. She opened up the flap, finding a very confused Onora that nearly ran into the kaldorei guard.

"I'm sorry," she started. "I tried to stop her, but she was acting very odd and hurried. She said she had something to report to the other priestesses here! About the escaped prisoner."

Other priestesses? Sundar wondered. Looking up with an eye brow cocked and a hand upon his chin, he thought about the priestess. There were not very many stationed at Raynewood if at all. In fact the only ones he recalled coming here were the trio from Darnassus that came as part of the caravan.

Very odd indeed.

"Find the other two priestesses that had come with the other ambassadors, and bring this to their attention. I would like to have some words with them on this soon," Sundar ordered the Sentinel, who left with a stern salute. "I think the two of us," the druid gestured to himself and Alarde. "Can track down the priestess. Her mannerisms tells me she knows something. If she had fled and avoided talking to me, I have to wonder why."

Sundar's body began reshaping itself. Fur sprouted from his form and soon in a flash of light he had shifted into a large dark sabre, his tattoos still covering his fur. He put his nose down and tried to pick up her scent, discerning it from the other elves present.

"West from here," he muttered. "There is only the forest out from the other side of this area. Unless she is a very learned hiker, there should be some trail. I'll go south and try to see if I can intercept her route."

With that, Sundar left the tent and dashed out of the retreat.
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85 Night Elf Druid
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Posted by Darkalarde

"Sir, she was sent here from the barrows because of an illness," the Sentinel reported. "The priestess that was injured inside here had requested that she would be moved for treatment."

"Treatment for what? Unless it was dire, she could have been treated near the barrows,"

"This is why it is unwise to treat your prisoners until you've gotten all of the information you can out of them."

"It was on insistence of the priestess," the Sentinel shrugged, clearly knowing little more than what had been said.

"You thinking what you should be right now?" Things are starting to add up now.

"Where is this priestess now? I would like to speak to her." The sentinel left after Sundar had finished.

"That makes two of us," Alarde muttered under his breath.

"Sir, the priestess is still unconscious," the sentinel started upon returning. "But the cleric said it should be fine to go in and see her."

"If they would let you use my preferred methods, then all the information needed would be present in no time!" And there is what reason that she would need to be interrogated?

"Don't play dumb with me."


Upon Sundar asking, the sentinel led the way towards the entrance of the tent. She opened up the flap, finding a very confused cleric that nearly ran into the kal'dorei guard.

"I'm sorry," she started. "I tried to stop her, but she was acting very odd and hurried. She said she had something to report to the other priestesses here! About the escaped prisoner."

"Got something you'd like to say, moron?" You were right, it looks like she had a little help getting out of here.

"I think the two of us," the druid gestured to himself and Alarde, after requesting the sentinel to gather the other priestesses that had entered the camp. "Can track down the priestess. Her mannerisms tells me she knows something. If she had fled and avoided talking to me, I have to wonder why."

The druid then called upon his powers and with little more than a flash of light transfigured into a large cat. No matter how many times Alarde saw it, he was always a little amazed by the ability. And a tad jealous.

"There is only the forest out from the other side of this area. Unless she is a very learned hiker, there should be some trail. I'll go south and try to see if I can intercept her route." Sundar then dashed out, leaving Alarde with the others.

Without Kaiten in good health, it would be both difficult and foolish to try and keep up with the druid. It's probably safe to assume she won't get far on foot. And she'll need incentive if she is going to "meet" with Sundar." Slowly, Alarde exited the tent.

Putting his fingers to his lips, Alarde released a shrill whistle.

"She went west, and not too long ago. Do me a favor, " He called to the cleric as Kaiten limped towards his rider. "See what you can do for him while I'm gone, and the sooner the better." He then grabbed the cat by the scruff of its neck, pulling his head close.

"Stay." Not waiting for a response from the cleric, Alarde started off westward into the forest."
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85 Night Elf Druid
7715
Jaou could not believe what was unfolding before his eyes. Every moment that passed only compounded his troubles. Lorren was pinning NIashado against the wall with everything he said. Anything the shamaness would state, the councillor somehow turned it against him and her. Any defense he could have taken was industriously torn down by Lorren. Everything possible was now being pinned against him.

There was not even a chance for him to object to the accusations. His heiary was as useless as ever and aside from the wracking pains from the earlier assaults Jaou suffered from, the vindicator that stood behind him was ever vigil that the ranger would not 'talk out of place' again. The point was reinforced as he felt the cold tip of the draenei's maul against his back. A dart of holy energy was released from its tip, 'reminding' Jaou to hold his tongue.

What a fair 'trial' this is turning out to be.

Jaou found that he was not the only one frustrated over the turn of events. Niashado had lashed out against Lorren after he twisted her words around again. She was quickly restrained by the vindicators that stood nearby, and admonished by one of the other councillors. After that, she addressed Lorren.

"The burden of proof lies on us," the female draenei stated. "While you have done an excellent job of tearing down this witness, she has provided us with little in the way of proving Jaou is as you say."

"You are absolutely right, Councilor Niceen." Lorren confirmed. "That is what the previous witnesses were for. But to any who believe that the kal'dorei satyrs are any different from the ones we've encountered, I submit before you this witness," he said, gesturing to her. "See how he has corrupted the way she thinks. Light only knows what she else she might have done for him had not we brought this satyr here. She is a victim of him."

What?! A look of disbelief came to the satyr's features, which soon changed to anger.

"Jaou is not a demon! He has done nothing to me," Niashado vehemently denied. "Would a demon voluntarily accept entering custody of our vindicators and being brought here?"

Oddly Lorren let out a chuckle at the statement. He then casually strode over to the shamaness, asking her a question. "Hasn't a demon already voluntarily entered our city and stayed patiently in our midst?"

Oh no...

"Yes," Niashado replied, sounding stunned.

"Have demons used friendships and family connections to subvert us in the past?" he asked.

"Yes," she replied again, in a down-put tone.

We got played into their hands!

"No one here will argue that you have spent more time with the Stormchasers, Jaou especially, then any other draenei. Can you promise us, with the safety and very existence of our people on your shoulders that Jaou is not the threat as you have repeatedly stated he is not?"

The shamaness paused, seemingly not knowing how to answer. All eyes were on her, including Jaou's. He had a a strong feeling that he knew what the answer would be. No matter how hard they tried not to think about ti, everyone knew the risks of dealing with the kaldorei satyrs.

Jaou especially knew what it meant.

"I take it you understand where we stand, ranger?"

"Yes, Lord Ordanus."

"There is no guarantee that your kind can remain as is. You should know the consequences if you or others like you should fully fall prey to the taint. You showed signs in battle of being lost to it. Can you promise that it will not happen again?"

"...No, I can't"

"Do you accept that if you become a threat to those around you, that we would have to strike you down as we would any other satyr?"

"I accept that fate, should it happen."

"Let us all hope that it doesn't"


The ranger looked down, gritting his teeth. It was inevitable what was to come next. If he was correct, then the coming answer would seal the verdict in this trial. When the silence continued on for moments more, he could hear Lorren coaxing an answer from Niashado.

She answered, but her voice was unsteady. "No. I can not pr-promise that," she said.

"You can not promise what?" Lorren asked, speaking louder with more confidence..

"I-I can not promise that Jaou is not a threat," she clarified, her voice still trembling.

Gasps broke out across the room, as did many whispers. Before the audience overwhelmed the chambers with discussion, Niceen stood up and held up a hand to signal for order.
Edited by Sundar on 11/27/2010 11:13 PM PST
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85 Night Elf Druid
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"There are no other witnesses to stand," she said. "The council is considering what has been discussed and take appropriate action. Please bear with us for a moment."

Sitting back down the councillors were discussing the trial and its findings. Lorren soon joined them, not before throwing a mocking smirk at Jaou, though the ranger did not take notice.

The satyr was preoccupied with trying to think of a way to remedy his situation. He was not sure what would happen, or what their decision would be, if any would be definitively made. Jaou went through any possible ideas he could use, but none came to his mind as useful in this situation, not without making it worse. But they could not have believed everything the sp-called witnesses had said. It was not very solid evidence, so the ranger thought.

Oddly the councillors did not take long to finish with their discussion. Niceen stood at the rise, drawing everyone's attention. Jaou looked up from his position. Unlike Lorren, Niceen wore a neutral expression, one that was otherwise unreadable.

"We have reached a verdict," the draenei announced. "The allegations and the witnesses that have provided information for us have lead us to believe the defendant to be a serious threat to the safety of our people. He is however still under the jurisdiction of our allies, the night elves. For now we shall be keeping him in our custody. He shall be regarded as a potentially dangerous felon and proper precautions will be taken."

Jaou's eyes widened at the announcement. He could not believe how they could arrive to such a decision so quickly. The satyr looked at the other councillors, whose faces were shared her unexpressive visage. All save for Lorren, whose sinister grin displayed the pleasure he took in seeing the ranger's despair.

"Vindicators, take him away!" Lorrne ordered.

"This isn't right!" Jaou exclaimed, standing up more, but the only reply given to him were five draenei guards leaving their posts along the walls and encroaching upon Jaou.

Surrounded on all sides, the ranger instinctively let out a growl in defense, looking from side to side as they came in closer. Some of the guards stopped and hesitated for a moment, unsure of provoking the obviously uncooperative satyr.

Lorren became impatient, a frown crossing his features. "What are you waiting for? Get him!" he ordered the soldiers.

Not wanting to test the councilor's patience, the vindicators went ahead and started to restrain the satyr. The guards rushed him and grappled the ranger. Jaou let out more growls and began to struggle in their grasps. His efforts only caused the draenei to redouble theirs, the draenei trying to immobilize him.

"I've done nothing!" Jaou insisted. "How were those testaments eve-"

"Keep him under control, don't let him struggle!" Lorren shouted.

That was the last thing Jaou could remember hearing before a flash of light filled his vision. He issued out a sharp growl mixed with a yell as one of the vindicators sent a spell into his stomach, nearly knocking the air out of him. Another was aimed at the back of his head. It felt like a kodo had ran over him.

His mind was reeling from the force of the spell and his knees buckled beneath him. Jaou's eyes were unfocused and his body went numb and limp. He could not tell what was happening, or how much time was passing by.

After some time, his senses returned, though the pain still remained. He found himself lying upon the cold floor of an enclosed room. It was dimly lit with faint violet lights revealing small slits for windows but was otherwise completely closed. Jaou tried to move his legs, but there was something tugging on them.

Shackles. He got up to look around and felt something else around his horns. It seemed while he was incapacitated, the draenei had done a proficient job in making sure he was going no where.

What a bind I'm in now.
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7715
~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~

The huntress had taken on a strange battle stance with a sword in hand. Ravenstar was not quite sure how to react to the change in position, but she then started to lash out with her blade. The she-elf aimed the point of the sword to his chest, which he was ready to evade, but suddenly she changed direction. The huntress ducked left and fell back upon her hands. She kicked out her foot, and managed a kick to Ravenstar's shoulder joint.

He staggered back half a step from the surprising force behind the kick. His shoulder went numb for a moment and then started to ache, but it was not something he felt was not terribly serious, only a minor inconvenience. The she-elf did not stop there though. She had quickly gone back upon her feet and went on the offensive once more. A sword was swung towards him, and judging from the height and direction of the swing, it was aimed for his neck.

Ravenstar easily dodged the attack, but it quickly became apparent that it was not her aim to strike at his neck. She had kicked out at his left knee, unlocking the joint which sent him down upon it. The elf was about to rise, but instead he found a feeling of something poking into the back of his neck.

This little whelp is daring, but can she keep it up?

“I think you’re the one confused, old man,” the huntress said to him in a clamer demeanor than the scrap would have revealed. He could feel the tip of the sword pressed harder against him. “Maybe a flight over Astranaar will remind you whose side you should be. We’re losing this conflict and inviting betrayal by trusting these so-called turned satyrs. Sooner then later, they will discard the façade of their former lives and show their true nature."

The elder elf used this time to recover for a counter-attack. The hit he had suffered upon his shoulder had started to become more sore. He would have to force himself to use his arm against better discretion if he were to retaliate. Luckily it seemed the female kaldorei was more keen on talking at the moment more than anything.

"Sundar is too heartbroken to see that his brother, along with all the rest, is a threat to us" she continued, trying to reason with Ravenstar. "it's subversion from within. Can't you see?"

"I can see the dangers perfectly fine, but I can also see that they can be saved from a worse fate that you seem to have already condemned them to. Perhaps it's you who should take a closer look at the situation."

With that, the roguish elf threw himself onto the ground, only bracing himself with his hands, putting more weight on his left as to avoid further injury to his right shoulder. He hoisted himself up and in rapid succession, he tucked in his legs and then shot them out at the she-elf, hitting her in the chest. Without losing any time, he flipped himself back and forward, landing on his feet. He pivoted and turned back to face the huntress. Ravenstar made a dash, seeking to disarm the elf before him.

He tucked in between the huntress' arm and body as she stumbled back and swept his arm out. His left hand caught her sword hand and twisted her wrist around, enough to make her drop the sword. He immediately stepped back and regained a better position to redouble and begin the next phase of his attack.

The fighter chose not to make use of his glaives, he would not need to. While it might have been faster, given her resistance it would make it more likely that she would become more injured. Instead he chose a different path to taking her down.

There won't be much to do if you can't move now, is there?

Ravenstar started to strike out at her pressure points. Each hit was carefully aimed to disable the use of her body through pain, but without causing great amounts of injury. He used only his left to hit her, keeping his right as a guard if needed, and to reduce the strain of his shoulder. His arm rapidly shot out, connecting at the shoulder and elbow joints, the ribs, the stomach. To finish it off she stepped behind her, aiming a shot between her shoulder blades, and then ducking down and ending it with hits on her thighs and knees.

He stood up straight as the huntress was grounded. Ravenstar took off his cowl to allow the forest air to cool him off. His hair was matted in places from sweat, though he showed no other signs of fatigue. From the huntress' punches to his face, the only evidence were the crescent shaped bruises on his right cheekbone and closer to the bridge of his nose. He looked at the she-elf, but surprisingly he did not regard her with any anger. In fact there was a hint of a smirk at the corners of his lips.

"You're quite the creative fighter, but your technique is lacking," the combatant remarked, going on a tangent for a moment. "Now do you want to continue on with this game or are you willing to have a nice chat about what you did for the Fires back at Raynewood?"
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85 Night Elf Druid
7715
~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~

Sundar continued his push through the brush to track down the errant priestess. While he was not a tracker by any means, the trail was fairly obvious and paired with his more sensitive nose, it would be easy to track her down.

Theoretically anyway, let's see how easy it is in practice.

Given his increased speed as a cat, he should have been close to catching up with the elf, but there was no sign that she was close by. Indeed, it seemed that the gap had not closed at all. It was strange, but there was no visible explanation for it, not one that Sundar could discern. It was a troubling turnabout, but there was not much that the druid could do except follow the tracks.

There was a sense of disquiet in the air, but it seemed to only affect the druid. Sundar continued to run, but the feeling of something watching him began to grow. He started to see things dart in and out of his vision as he ran.At first he did not pay them much heed, but they became more and more obtrusive, finally making him stop in his tracks.

This is getting irritating, if they want to play it like this, then I'll join in on the fun.

Sundar melded into the forest background, hidden from any prying eyes, and hopefully whatever it was that was shadowing him. In being hidden, there was also the possibility that what was trying to keep an eye on him would also reveal itself. He tread carefully upon the forest floor, each paw placed with calculated precision, keeping any noise to a minimum.

There was a rustle to the left. Sundar turned to face it, but nothing was there. Again one came from the right this time, but he caught a glimpse of the same shadow once more. It disappeared again but now he was certain it was there. He waited patiently for it to appear again. Moments passed, and not a sign was seen of the shadow. The druid relaxed a bit, and started to wander around, but then it showed itself again.

In front of him some yards away was the stalker. Whoever it was, they were enshrouded by dark swirling mists. It was a bit difficult to see exactly who it was but he could vaguely make out the physique of a kaldorei female. She appeared to be looking around for something, or someone. Sundar had a good feeling that this was the one that was stalking him; now his chance had come to get some answers.

Got you now.

The tattoos upon his body danced with emerald energy as he manipulated the plantlife around him. Vines shot out from the ground and found hold upon the shadowy elf. A cry issued from her as she struggled in the vine's grasp, but to no avail. The plants held her tightly in place and started to pull her away from the ground so she was held elevated above it. Sundar emerged from his feline form, coming back into view. He strode up to where the vines held the elf and regarded her. Immediately he recognized the kaldorei.

"Ah so our priestess on the run," Sundar started. "Care to tell me what this is all about? Why did you fly from the medical tents with such unwarranted haste?" He had knowledge of some priests delving into darker magics, though they were a rarer sight for him. Sundar was uncertain what precautions he should be taking with her, but he would find out soon.

"You need not know what it is we do," she said in between grunts as she tried to wrest herself from the grip of the vines. "Only know that we do what we must to set you off the path you have gone astray on!"

"Gone astray?"

"Yes, you allow our homes to be overrun by demonic beasts," she continued. "It is because of such prolonged corruption of the mind that we must take such measures..."

Well this is one interesting woman, if only short a few acorns of a tree.

"Now it seems I'll have to find a better way to convince you of the errors of you ways!"

In that instant the priestess had seemingly disappeared, only leaving a bubling ball of dark mist where she was. The mist though had a strange quality to it and started to rapidly shift around and out of the plants, it seemed alive. Sundar took a step back in precaution and only moments later the mist became the priestess.

She lost no time and launched an attack on the druid. Dark bolts shot from her hands at Sundar, to which he dodged, only barely. One of the spells grazed his shoulder, and even beneath the heavy shoulder pads his skin was burning.

Ducking in behind a tree, he started to reformulate his strategy.

Except I never have dealt with a shadow priest, have I?
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85 Night Elf Druid
7715
Posted by Izdazi

Astranaar, Ashenvale.
Ninety seven years ago



Izdazi ducked low just as her mother's bokken sliced the air above her head. The girl rolled across the ground and brought her own training sword up only to feel the back of her thigh erupt in pain. Crying out, she spun and tried to counter Reyada's assault but instead of parrying the strike, she felt the point of Reyada's wooden blade jab painfully into her shoulder.

Again, Izdazi tried to pull back on her blade and go into a more defendable posture, but Reyada had a firm grip on her blade and soon slid her bokken down the wooden shaft until it sc**@!d her fingers at the hilt. With a pained grunt, Izdazi automatically released her training sword and clutched her bleeding knuckles. Although the wooden training swords they used were blunt, they still could inflict injury.

Then, to her terror, Reyada pressed on with her assault against her weaponless daughter. First, the stronger woman rammed her boot against the girl's chest, driving her to the ground. Coughing, Izdazi frantically tried scamper back, but holding both bokkens, Reyada rammed the into the ground so that they flanked her neck. She pulled the blades together in a scissor-like fashion until her neck was pinned to the ground.

Izdazi froze, still gripping her bloodied knuckles and stared at her mother's hardened gaze. Her silver eyes were wide in pain and uncertainty. The young kal'dorei failed to keep the tears from her eyes.

"Your technique is lacking," Reyada finally stated in cold whisper. "You haven't been practicing and it shows. This was pathetic."

She withdrew the bokkens and turned away from her daughter. Her long braided blue hair spilled over the back of her practice leather jerkin as she regarded the wooden training swords.

Her mother was a Silverwing Sentinel of notable rank and she relentlessly trained her daughter to pursue in the footsteps of the last five generations of Shadowcreeks. It was a pursuit young Izdazi had no cared to follow, but her mother didn't care. Every time she returned form a tour, she'd drill her daughter to see if she'd been practicing.

"You're like a sword, Izdazi. You have so much potential, but as long as you're not sharpened and honed you'll continue to fail not just yourself but your people. Now stop crying and keep practicing what I showed you earlier. I'll test you again tomorrow."

Reyada dropped her blade next to her daughter, who was still nursing her injured hand. She didn't given her a second glance as she walked away.
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