Nimithriel stood proudly before the gates of Quel'thalas. The eerie atmosphere of the Ghostlands surrounded her and the Sin'dorei accompanying her. Ahead, the sickening stench of the Eastern Plaguelands seeped through the mountain pass. Those were old Farstrider grounds. The priestess knew that one wrong turn could cost them their lives, yet said nothing as she slowly proceeded down the abandoned road. No one ventured in these lands anymore. The plague had wiped the last signs of life, leaving remnants of decomposed wildlife behind.
Her companions followed closely, the sound of plated armor giving up their position. She could sense the frustration in the warrior's voice, as he replied to the death knight's taunts with single word answers. The tension between them had grown further, as Faust boldly mocked Acrisios' loyalty to the Council.
Their constant bickering tested Nimithriel's patience. She had remained silent for most of the trip, her thoughts returning to the events of the days past. The Council had spared her life, as well as that of the death knight, yet she wondered what hidden agenda brought upon such a decision.
Darkness slowly crept through the mountain pass and brought with it the stench of death. The sound of creatures unseen echoed through the air as day slowly gave way to night. The shadows of trees devoid of life grew longer as the last rays of sun caressed the high rocks on each side of the road. The wind's cool breath chilled Nimithriel's cheeks and she shivered, wrapping her cloak tightly around her shoulders. It was not the frigid air that bothered her. It was the eyes upon her back, whose presence she inevitably felt over the past days, that troubled her thoughts. Acrisios and Faust were oblivious to their surroundings, too busy arguing among each other to notice the intrusive presence.
The clanking of armor grew louder and the warrior's hawkstrider hurried by her side. His demanding presence annoyed the priestess, but she was left little choice when leaving the city.
"We must set camp immediately, the day is long gone!" Acrisios' face remained stern as he blocked Nim's path.
"What a terrible idea!" She exclaimed, eyeing the road behind him. The death knight stopped beside her, a wide grin on his face.
"Do not be afraid of the dark, my friend. It does not suit a son of Silvermoon to cower in the face of darkness!" Faust could not resist a jab at Acrisios' pride. His unearthly laughter echoed through the night. The warrior eyed his undead comrade with disgust, then turned back to Nimithriel:
"This is an order!" he commanded, his gaze shifting between the two before him. "I am sure the Council would not take kindly to your disobedience!"
"The lands under your jurisdiction" Faust motioned back towards the Thalassian gates "end there!" as his lips curled in a victorious grin. Angered by such audacity, Acrisios quickly drew his blade, and jumped off his hawkstrider.
"I have permission to put you back in the grave at the first sign of insubordination!"
The death knight needed no invitation! He swiftly jumped off his deathcharger, swinging his unholy sword at the warrior. The two blood elves charged at each other before Nimithriel could react. She knew that their position in Thalassian Pass left them exposed to attacks. The priestess muttered an ancient spell as the shadows of the surround trees quickly crept to the fighting Sin'dorei. Faust and Acrisios looked down in surprise as void tendrils shot out of the ground beneath them, wrapping tightly around their bodies and immobilizing them.
"Enough!" She spoke in quiet resolve, then led her horse to a small cleared area off the road. "We leave first thing in the morning!" She nodded at the blood elves, as the tendrils released them, then beckoned them over. They led their mounts to the small rocky area and began unpacking in silence.
Nimithriel gently whispered to her horse, unable to shake the feeling of the piercing eyes that haunted her for the past few days. Something lurked in the once familiar Shadows. Something dark and relentless. The sound of cawing startled the priestess and her eyes quickly searched for its source. On a branch above her, a dark raven met her gaze, then quickly disappeared into the night.