Journal of the Rising Sun Fellowship (IC #3)

World’s End Tavern: Role-play and Fan Fiction
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The woman with the brown hair walked silently down the path leading from the house she and her husband shared. The argument they had had replaying over in her mind and while she knew that she could have handled things better, the end result would probably have been the same.

‘When are you going back to the front?’ she had asked.

‘I’m not. I told my commanding officer that I am not going back, we are starting a family. He will be here in three weeks to make certain.’

That news had surprised her. ‘And if I am not pregnant? What happens then? Will you be send back to the front?’

‘No. Then I go to the gallows for treason.’

She thought he had been joking, but the expression on his face when she stuttered out her shocked reply told her that it wasn’t a joke. He had potentially lied to his commanding officer since they had no idea whether or not she was with child and if not, he would be labeled a deserter and be subject to military trial.

‘I wish you had spoken to me about this before you said anything to your commanding officer!’ She could hardly believe her ears. She knew very well what the horde did to deserters. 'We may have been able to work something else out!'

‘Don’t worry, I won’t let them find me. We may have to be on the run for a while.’

‘For a while?’ She blinked. ‘If I am not pregnant when your commander comes then we will be on the run for the rest of our lives! Coming back in a few months to say, that we are now sure we starting a family won’t work. You will have already been labeled a deserter!”

‘Fine, I will go back to the front!’

She had tried to explain that she didn’t want him there as much as he didn’t want to go back, but he said nothing. Only pulled out a bottle of bourbon and proceeded to drink. If he wasn’t willing to talk about this then she was not going to try. It would take both of them talking through this, not just her, as it always seemed to be. Upset that he would rather drink than talk to her about what they needed to do, she walked outside and tried to get a handle on her thoughts.

***
(New entry in a plain dark brown journal)


I was told to speak my mind and not keep things bottled up inside; to open the lines of communication between us and to listen.

I did speak my mind. I tried to listen. I tried to communicate.

I was rewarded by a cold shoulder, sulking, and the knowledge that sometimes he’d rather sit and drink from that precious bottle of bourbon than try to work things out with me. I would love to throw the entire case into the ocean, but then he would just buy another and put it in a new hiding place.

He doesn’t want to go back to the front lines. I don’t want him on the front lines, either. I worry every time he leaves and nearly sob with relief when he walks back through the door. I have told him that several times over but I don’t think he always hears me.
It was a typical sunrise across the fields of Pandaria, as the sunbeams touched the grains and crops of the Pandaren farmers of the Valley of the Four Winds. Across several farms could be heard the waking of the livestock, a rooster crowing out the morning song of the day, or the simple bleating of the sheep as the golden rays illuminated the morning sky.

The oh, so subtle scents of awakened farmers could be smelled as bacon, porridge, and even fresh loaves of bread were being brought out of ovens, pots and pans. And the fresh pots of tea brewing and being poured before preparing to set foot out on the fields and begin the labor of harvesting the crops.

At Sunsong Ranch, the dog had begun barking, and chasing a rabbit. Luna the cat was already spread out across the top step, enjoying the warmth of those first morning rays of sunshine. However the shed was quiet. There was no smells of breakfast or tea brewing. All was quiet within the confines of the small shed the young Sin'dorei rogue claimed as home.
I so enjoy the glorious mornings here in Eversong! Flit and Little Bit have been playing some sort of game amongst themselves, while I take in a warm breakfast of Lynx steak and eggs. I gave a raw one to Flit and he seemed happy with it. I gave Little Bit a small part of mine before we broke camp.

I am once again "playing" with the wretched. In a small way I feel sorry for them, but then again they are where they are because of stupid addictions, and the folly of the Fel. Light, I have no need for anything like that in my life. I almost feel like I am putting them out of their misery.

And these murlocs! Fel I hate their gurgling and smell. I noticed even Flit doe not find them desireable as food. We did what we came there to do, and I'm glad we are done with them.

Ranger Saryen greeted me and called me sister. I am proud to be recognized as a fellow ranger. And I find myself headed to the Scar once more. We were cautious this time, Flit and I. They fell quickly to the iron balls of my rifle, and Flit's strong assaults. I find these Scourge a terrible legacy of wandering the Scar, and I can only hope Flit and I are making a small contribution in eliminating them slowly but surely.

As I set up camp to rest before moving on, I found myself thinking of those emerald green eyes of Cyaer. Why would I be thinking of him? I appreciate his kindness and care, but that's all. Isn't it?
I probably shouldn't have said anything.

The fact is that, yes. I still believe Ratheron is in a cage. I don't know what the bars are. I can't see them. But I see him. And I truly believe that he is imprisoned by something. Maybe willingly. I don't know. I Shouldn't have told him what I saw. What I felt. Of course he'd think I'm wrong.

I don't like being wrong. Not when something matters.

But I could be. I still can't help at feel uneasy, as if I'm missing something important. I should be able to see. But I can't. I can't see. I'm trying to, I'm trying to figure it out. Telling him what I suspect only made things worse. I don't know how. But I feel as if something is wrong, and now he probably won't ever listen to me again on the matter.

Hopefully he isn't mad.

I met one of the Fellowship last night as well. Between the side effects of the elixir I took and my own restless mood, I find sleep hard to come by, even when I'm exhausted. I either collapse on the spot or I end up wandering for hours. Last night, despite desperately needing rest, I found myself scaling the body at the Pools of Aggonar. But then I realized…

Uh…

Shadow, there's bubbling boiling acidic blood everywhere. How the hell are you going to get down?

I looked for some rope and almost dropped the Fellowship's stone over the side. Someone heard me, apparently. A warrior named Crow.

His opinion on Ratheron worries me. His words about what others in the Fellowship might think also worry me. It isn't something in my control, but I wish I could find the answers to what I'm looking for all the faster because of it.

Before it's too late.

If what was said is true, if I'm the only one who sees a patient man and they only see his faults, then…

… I don't think he should remain.

I want to solve this riddle. It's eating me alive.

If only he hadn't brought me to Outland to help him. Put me in a spot with this training. I would go seek Kel'Tira. I want to talk to her. Privately.

Death Knight, come out you coward, so my Master can end you and I can figure out something important!
Morning broke to find the rogue huddled in a cleft of the canyon high above the city of Orgrimmar. Watching the zeppelins land and wondering if anyone was following her. The skills that had kept her alive were returning. She just needed a bit more time to get fully back into...what? She had to stop and think again.

Relaxing with her back to the warm stone she watched as the orcs, trolls, goblins and Tauren milled around their daily routine. She felt alone...and saddened by the fact she had no one to talk to about it.

Her memories had been erased, she knew she did not have many friends. Perhaps it was better for her work entailed subtle things. Her identity had to remain secret anyway. Now she was a blank slate .
It's not true.

It is true.

<There's a little doodle of a star on this page. She's no artist and it's childishly golden in color with sparkles.>
The air became cool, as the breeze blew across the fields of the Valley of the Four Winds. Vendors and cooking trainers in Halfhill turned experienced eyes to the skies and saw the darkening sky moving slowly their way. Farmers began gathering their livestock together as the first drops of rain began to fall.

The deep roll of thunder could be heard for miles, and the flashes of light in the clouds gave the folks of the valley an inkling of what was coming. Children were called indoors, and shutters closed as the storm began to sweep across the region.

Sun ripened vegetables hung heavy on the vines and stalks, and shook and swayed as the rain washed off the dust and the winds played among the small garden of Sunsong Ranch. Several witchberries were shaken from the branches and rolled into the mud and puddles formed from the heavy rain.

Luna made her way deep into the quiet and empty shed. She meowed plaintively as the thunder crashed and lightning flashed across the sky. The great grey and white dog came into the shed and shook the wetness from his fur, then curled up on the empty bed, his eyes watching the storm passing and watching for a master who did not appear. A soft whimper came to him as the wind blew heavy raindrop through the entrance of the shed.

The small group of sheep bleated and found their way beneath the old shed, a small cover from the heavy rains falling.

The storm raged for several hours, then as quickly as it began, it was over. And the small farm had withstood the storm, alone, without the care of its owner.
Ratheron

With a groan he awoke and put his back to the pole within the tent. Why had he decided it would be a good idea to drink so much? Oh right. The death and destruction he had found in Shadowmoon, left undoubtedly by the Death Knight or one of his servants. He shook his head as he drew out his journal and wrote down some of what had transpired recently.

Today marks the fourth day of my tutelage of young Shadow, she learns quickly attempting to absorb whatever knowledge I give her as quickly as possible. Her methods work for most things however when it comes to understanding the philosophy and virtues of a monk they fail to achieve their goal. She seeks to learn the end goal and then work backwards from it, sadly this does not work when it comes to learning to -see- things as they are.

I was not myself last night with her, yet I was probably closer to who I am than I normally am. She seemed happy by the fact I was revealing who I was yet I shake my head with sadness. I am still unprepared and woefully unready to take on the true enemy. The worry and doubt of such statements gnawing at my insides yet I cannot let it happen. I must seek to meditate and expunge all doubt from me.

'Can you not show emotion when the Sha are not around and simply be a rock when they are?'

Shadow's words echo through my mind, I am at least glad it appears I did not explain in detail why I am the way I am yet that does not change her words continue to bounce around within my head. Shaking my head I lock them away for later investigation and meditation. Today I must continue hunting the Death Knight, the trail grows colder yet I believe there might be some in Northrend who know of this Death Knight.

Ratheron quickly closed the journal, a small drawing falling out and onto the ground that he doesn't notice as he slings his pack over his shoulder and heads out of Shattrath, he passes by Shadow yet does not disturb her. He needs time to meditate first.
<Simple parchment, the words below are written in scarlet ink, but the letter shows no sign as to who it's from, or who it was written for in the first place. No name, not even one of reference, is to be seen upon these pages, only a blotch where the writer let his ink bleed while he thought marks the message, a trademark of his not many would even know.>

I've never once felt that words would fail me in a situation I could not fight my way out of with the steel of my blade, but I find that now to be a conceited illusion. Perhaps I am losing my touch when it comes to dealing with civilized beings?

Perhaps it is the distance, that invisible barrier I keep between me and all those I come to know. Or, maybe I've just let some get too close?

Someone told me once, long ago, that writing things out may very well help me clear my head, but I never saw a need for it. My mind was always quite clear, unlike my conscience. Well, I've said more times than I can count that I'd try anything at least once. So here I sit, quill and paper in hand, but where to start? Do I really wish to dissect what I care not to speak? Do I really wish to travel down this road, and unravel my own mind? I fear I must, for I have no one to talk to over my own doubts, and wouldn't burden the mind of another with them even if I did.

I've been derailed. The words of many have shaken my foundation, have cast shadows of doubt on what was once a clear path for me to take alone. Alone, that word resounds upon my mind heavily, for that one word speaks truth to my existence. While I am a part of this, and a part of that. While I have acquaintances I enjoy the presence of over a drink, I come to understand my own isolation even then. There is no one close enough to hear my story, for I hold onto it dearly, and hold all others an arm's length away. Behind the facade of cheer and kindness, the mask of friendly smiles and interest... I am not here. That will always be a part of me, however. I would rather be on friendly terms than call everyone an enemy. I've far too many of those in this world, as of late.

There was talk, between a young mage and myself not too long ago. She seems to think love is possible for me, as well. I find myself incapable of such a thing, but I at least humored her with acceptance of the possibility. How can one love that which they do not know? I see others with it, and find myself longing to know what it is like, for I haven't felt so strongly of another since before my caretaker passed. Since before the guilt that burdens me even to this day, I've kept people at a safe distance.

And perhaps it is for the best that I continue this venture alone. I wasn't strong enough then to protect those I cared for, even with the Light's aid, and while I've come a long way since losing it's favor, I doubt I have the strength to save them again.

I've thought long and hard on this matter, my dear friend. This is the very reason I've held you out of reach. This is my stubbornness, the fault behind our fallout.
Many pages between the one before and this one have been ripped out. Even this page is covered with marks. Attempts to write which failed pitifully. Shadow has come to accept that she is no artist when it comes to words. She's too blunt, too honest, and has no talent with such things. The fact was that she spent more time pacing and freaking out than writing what she did come up with.

Last night, he was pretty drunk. Ratheron. I've been toying with the idea of going and visiting with others of the Fellowship. I want to meet them all. But I know that there is a conflict on the horizon that I must prepare for. I need to have his back in order to fulfil my first duty to this group. It's the least I can do. Hopefully Shadow's identity remains a secret throughout this, however. I do not wish for my family to turn on the Fellowship as the Firehawks seem to have done. And for that, too, I must train.

But last night was a wonderful break from those pressures and worries. Doctor's orders! Though I was told not to visit with my mentor, I disobeyed. Not because I think it wise to disobey a healer (I am one myself! I know what can happen if one ruins their body!). But because I wanted company desperately. And I know very few people. With my problems still unsolved with Ratheron and our last face to face meeting having been a bit painful on my side, I wanted to have a night with him, not as a mentor and a student, but as... us.

Drunken, he spoke to me. And sober, I picked at him. It wasn't fair, and I wouldn't blame him for becoming harder than tempered steel towards me. But again, he had to ask about what I saw as a cage. And carefully, reluctantly, I told him over again. I find him restrained by himself. Where he might preach being calm and nimble, I find him harsh as a blizzard and unyielding as a mountain. His word is law. Is truth. He believes it so firmly I worry what would happen if he set his mind to the wrong illusion.

I worry for his future.

Perhaps I am being overly invested. But I do not think that you can help someone unless you are. I do not believe that he has someone to push him in the right path. So I will push him. But what I found was that the bars, very real, are not made of something easy to shake. Fear holds him in. Fear... What he does not want to express the most. What he warns me against: making choices based on emotion... that is what he is doing. And I do not hate him for this.

The cage is very much open. For as long as he is aware of the bars. But I see that while he is aware, he is too scared to take flight from that cage. To be free. Like two birds, one within and one without, we try to figure this mess out. I believe his wings are not clipped. I hope not.

Our families are also alike in ways that make me fear for myself and my own future. Our pasts are not the same, but close enough that I am left wondering how my reaction would be if things go terribly. Will I turn into a rock? Will I have to fight my own family like Ratheron must now fight his? I am scared. I am worried. I do not know what to think in that regard. But I know that I have one thing that he did not. I have a friend. I have someone who has promised to help me and protect me. I do not believe that he had this himself. And I believe it will make all the world of difference.

As he continues to help me. So I will continue to help him. Maybe there are others in the Fellowship who also need help. I do not know. I will do what I can to be here, because I am already able to understand what it means when someone is there for you. How good it is to not have to face the world alone.

---

Merciless doubts swell
Fathomless haze so shaken
Unspeakable, what cruel fate befell:
The fearless dishonored, forsaken
It was another beautiful day on Azeroth, and I feel rested and recuperated. I do believe that a good night's rest will make everyone's day better. That and Kiki laying beside me.

I was outside Thunderbluff when I met a young brave who asked me about my tabard. We talked for an hour or so, and he wanted to know if this Rising Sun Fellowship would accept one of his tribe within its membership. I told him I could not see why not. And so Jakota has joined our Fellowship. I do not know if there are other taurens, or if there ever have been any taurens, in the Fellowship, but he is an honorable druid of the Earth Mother. The Light be with him as he begins his journey, and the Fellowship will be made richer with him in it.

The day slips by, as I hold Kiki close, and just enjoy her company. It has been too long since I have seen her. She holds me close and tightly, not letting me go. I smile as we talk softly and share our lives while we were apart. I have missed her arms and affection.

It is good to be home again.
A slight breeze blew over the field of combat, gently moving the smoke from burning debris, and burning corpses. It was hard to tell who might have been the victors here, and who had been the defeated, for the bodies were strewn all about, and nothing moved, nothing at all.

He lay upon the ground, soot marring his features, and his long brown cloak moved by the light breeze. He was sprawled face down on the ground. His weapons still clutched in his hands. Much like many of the other bodies laying around him.

The great carrion birds circled high above the battlefield, some of them already landing and tearing at the open wounds of those having died in the offensive. Others circled, wary of the wolves that also chose to find nourishment and food from those slain.

Such was war.
My journey is taking me further and further away from House and home. A part of me wishes to cling to the familiar and those things I know and have known all my life. But then there is this excited part of me, of seeing the world and all it offers, seeing new places, new peoples, and cultures. I shiver at the thought of being out on my own finally, and yet it's a good kind of shiver.

Flit has taken to fighting with Little Bit, and I cannot help but wonder if some of it is my fault. Before Little Bit, Flit was my main focus, I would talk with him, stroke his head, and feed him special treats. Now I tend to whisper with Little Bit and handle her much more as she is smaller and more delicate. And I feed her from my very own plate...and I think I have caused a jealousy to blossom in Flit.

So, I went into Silvermoon one last time to leave Little Bit in the care of my cousin. He will care for her as his very own, and hopefully that will alleviate the tensions between the two of them.

Flit seems happier to have me to himself, and I am being a bit more focused on him, to show him he had nothing to worry about. I cannot believe I am doing that one thing my trainer told me not to do. Flit is not a pet, nor a friend, but a tool to aid me in my craft as a ranger.

Have I spoiled Flit to the point he will not be a good companion for the wilds? Should I look for another companion? I cannot, I love Flit, and he has saved me several times at great personal peril to himself. We will make it out there together, Flit and I, we are a team.

We are our own little family out here.
He walked carefully among the carnage, avoiding the snarling wolves with bloody muzzles, and the screeching vultures, all pulling and tearing at bodies of friends and companions. He tried to keep his hands away from his weapons, for he was sorely tempted to kill the scavengers, hearing their low growls and fighting amongst themselves for a choice morsel. It made him sick. Besides, there were far too many of them to make a dent in their numbers.

He stood over the man that lay face down in the dirt, and he turned him over. He was alive, but barely. He looked over the body, searching for wounds and blood, but found none. He wasn't a heavy man, so he picked him up, laid him over his shoulders, and carried him away from this scene of death and carnage.

The cave was a deep one, and he built a small fire to get some water boiling to help clean up the sooty face, and wounds. Yes wounds, he had found them when he removed the man's armor. They were deep wounds, and his agile fingers and a small sharp knife allowed him to remove some of the larger pieces of shrapnel.

In the torch light Cyaer looked over at the man he had pulled from the battlefield. It didn't look good. He had a raging fever, and his breathing was shallow, and weak. The rogue had done all he could for him, now he fought for his life on a makeshift bed Cy had been able to scrounge together.

Not for the first time that night did the rogue wish he could heal with the Light has he had seen his wife do so many times. But his skills lay elsewhere...stealing, sneaking, and scouting. Nothing to save a man's life with...only to take whatever he might have saved and earned.

Somewhere before dawn, the man breathed his last breath. And Cyaer stared at him for a long time. Then the tears fell, it all seemed so futile and worthless. All for a little plot of ground deemed necessary by the generals safe in their tents leagues away. The rogue wiped his eyes, and whispered a few words over the dead man. And he stood outside of the cave, as the sun came up over the horizon.

A new day. A new beginning. He bowed his head and prayed. Prayed for those that lost their lives in war. And he prayed for their families. Tears fell down his cheeks as he called forth his bronze drake, and he flew off, way from here, away from the slaughter...somewhere safe.

If there was such a place.
Ratheron sat off away in a small corner of the little tavern in Warsong Hold, it was obvious he was trying to hide from someone yet it was hard to notice the elf hiding in the shadows. In front of him was his journal which he was writing in vigorously and next to him a pile of unfinished draws of a young Sin'dorei female. It was obvious he had given up trying to draw her at the present in favor of writing down his thoughts.

I sometimes wonder what it is the Gods or Titans or whatever is out there do for fun. Then I realize they throw into the lives of mortals things they never expected to deal with to watch how we would react. As a long-lived race, long lived myself even, I tend to understand the need to experiment on occasion yet to do this? To simply toss into the lives of peaceful folk to see what happens is madness on a level I will never understand.

Shadow is great company, she learns quickly and is astute enough to grasp the more murky subjects of her training quickly and with a sharp enough wit to keep up with the debates long after most would have failed. Yet there is more to it than just her speed and grasp of the ways of our order that draws me to her. Nor is it simply a desire to see her succeed anymore, nay that is still a factor yet there is something else and I can hardly place it. I think back to our debate and discussion on love and then what happened when she fell into the water.

I think back to having her pressed against my chest trying to keep her from shivering to death. It was enjoyable, yet was it simply a friendly gesture of the master to the apprentice or was it more than that? I felt drawn closer and closer to her and indeed I was until I realized and stopped myself she herself pulling away as well. It all feels too odd, new and strange to truly place what is happening. I feel as if this young girl will be by undoing yet I do not push it away. I welcome it.

I believe that is what worries me, I am drawn to the fire of her youth; drawn to the energy, vigor and life that flows within her. Something I have tried to suppress within myself... Yet I remember the fire of youth for it is what sent me on this path. Was I wrong to suppress it for so long? Was I wrong to ever try and ease my urges and emotions and temper them for all time with the cold harshness of logic and reason?

Questions upon questions...
It it not the way of our people to keep a written history, but to carry our journey in our hearts and pass them on orally to our tribe. This writing is awkward for my large hands, but I shall try as best as I can.

I am Jakota of Mulgore, the cradle of the Earth Mother. I serve my goddess as a druid of the plains and hills.

I spoke with a Sin'dorei priest known as Azmos Whitestaff. I was intrigued by his clan colors, and asked him about this clan. He spent several hours speaking with me concerning this Rising Sun Fellowship.

They sound much like the shu'halo ~ revering valor, compassion, honor, and most of all faith. I felt my heart swell within my chest, and I asked if there was room in this clan for one such as I, a Tauren. He said that there was.

So I will work my way to Silvermoon City, the place of the Sin'dorei, and seek those that can help me to become a clan member. I am nearly done with my Tests of the Earth Mother. I wonder at what type of challenge or test I must pass to become one with this new clan. I will soon find out.
I don't know what to think.

I still don't.

Okay, let's calm down and try to use logic and reason.

Just because someone likes being flattered, doesn't mean anything. I like being flattered. I find it enjoyable.

Telling someone they made a cute face isn't flattering. It's flirting. That was bad. I shouldn't do that.

But I can't lie. I promised him I would be open and truthful so that he would be as well. I find it is an exercise that is good for him, his mind, and his soul.

It isn't also that which worries me. What do I want when it comes to love? Do I want to take my time? Do I want to wait? I am young. And Shadowless might be offended to find his 'place' so easily taken. I don't want to start bad blood between people. I don't want to cause problems. Not like this. I...

... Can't help at think over the fact that we just spent an entire night, talking until sunrise.

He is a good friend, Ratheron. A good teacher. He is kind, patient, he can be firm when he must and I think he is learning how to yield. If only for the fact that I refuse to yield in many cases, but do not wish to be trampled upon by his resolution. It's not an open yield, however. It is simply that he hasn't throttled me into the ground verbally in a bit.

I care about him, what happens to him. I am still dedicated to helping him.

But there was a moment where I couldn't read him. And that terrified me... because the only thing I could think of was how close we were. If he hadn't stopped, I might have died. If I hadn't run, I would have.

Ooooh.

What am I going to do...

This is bad...

I have to train harder, maybe. Not think. Yes. No more thinking. Thinking is bad. I don't like where these thoughts are leading.
Kel'tira Sunblaze woke slowly in the bed in the inn in Dalaran, her fingers stretching towards the other side of the bed, sleepily, when she finds no one there, she sits up, sheets held against her form. Staring at the bed, where Cyaer had been the night before, she sighs, resting her fingers on her husband's pillow before rising, sheets wrapped around her still, and padding over to the window that overlooks the city.

For a long while she stands there, doing nothing save watching the city wake. When she finally turns back into the room, the light from the rising sun behind her catches her hair, turning it to shimmering flame, and throwing her shadow into sharp relief on the opposite wall, a halo of golden sunlight surrounding her for an instant.

Another step brings her out of the light, and in the comparison, she looks tired. Old. Worn and beaten down, but still kind and caring. Motherly, in some respects. The laugh-lines around her face, and the starts of crows feet around her eyes lend her a happiness in her appearance that she does not feel at the moment as she looks at the empty bed one more time, a sigh slipping from her lips before she turns back to the mirror, dragging her brutally short hair back behind her head as she dresses, and then dons her armor, tucking her helmet under her arm and shouldering her pack before clanking out onto the streets of the mage capitol.
His eyes snapped open as he awoke out of a sound sleep, and his heart was pounding in his chest. His wife lay close to him, her arm thrown over his chest, and her head snuggling his shoulder. He began to take deep slow breaths to calm himself. He brought an arm up to put around her and hold her close, as he turned his head to gently kiss her forehead.

He slowly slid from beneath her arm, and moved the pillow to allow her to snuggle against that. He looked down at her sleeping form, and he yearned to crawl back into the bed and lay beside Kel'tira, to take her in his arms and...he turned to where his armor and clothes lay on the floor. Then he moved to the chest of drawers and took out a set of satin rich pajamas from within, and began to put them on. "It wouldn't do to have the Lord of Sunblaze running around the house naked, now would it?" he thought with a smile.

He entered the kitchen,and found the staff preparing for the day. He told them he only wanted to make something special for his wife for breakfast, and began to get the ingredients together to prepare and create her a special breakfast. He asked if there was a garden or fresh flowers nearby, and was directed to the door and to the left. He smiled at what he found, and took several with him into the kitchen.

He walked into the bedroom with a tray covered meal set for a queen, the fresh picked roses looked beautiful in the long vase they had provided him with, and a pot of hot tea helped balance out the surprise. He set the tray upon the table beside the bed, as he bent over his wife and gently kissed her long lovely ear, and then her cheek. Her hand came up to bat at him, and he took it, and lightly kissed the palm, then the wrist, then the forearm, and as he kissed the bend in her arm, she whispered softly, "What are you doing, Cy?"

"Merely showing my pretty wife the proper way to wake up in the morning, my love." He stepped back and lifted the cover off the meal he had prepared, and the aroma was enticing, and smelled of fresh baked...scones? "Cy? What?"

He stood holding the tray before him, the beautiful three red roses rising above the plates and small teapot, as he smiled down at her warmly. "Breakfast is served, madam." he said slowly.

It was late morning, before they came out of their private quarters.
The cold wind of Northrend howled in the air around her as she sat huddled in a cave in the Stormpeaks. It was a shallow cave, too small for the critters to come in and bug her. The wind was swirling snow into the flames and they would hiss and spit at her. The blanket she huddled in was not warm enough, and she shivered. A small pot of water was trying to boil on the rock next to the flames, she sprinkled some tea leaves into the pot and closed the lid again to let it steep.

She thought back to when she awoke and she was aware of her body. It was covered with scratches and bruises. From what she could not remember. There was a dreamlike quality of her memory, she remembered bits and pieces. Flashing scenes and blurred images. Someone knelt beside her and spoke to her softly. "You will survive, once you get back on your feet. There is food and water here. Don't stay long, others will want this keep once they realize Vira is gone."

Her eyes were blurred and she could not speak, only mumble, "Who are you? What happened to me?" but her slurred speech came out unintelligible. Falling back into her semiconscious state she felt hands carefully tending her wounds. Cold hands, no warmth to them at all.

Who had rescued her from the depths of the soul gem? She looked back into her memories and struggled again to bring a clearer picture. The fragrance of the tea intruded on her mind and she shivered. Pouring tea into the tin cup she held it in her hands and breathed in the fragrance. It was the same tea she had been drinking then, rose hips and green tea...something else was in the tea...her mind spun out of control and shifted back to the night she woke up again in her body.

Someone sat beside her and poured the boiling water over the tea leaves. Dark hair shadowed his face. The firelight danced on the length of the sword he had on his back. He turned to look at her then and the blue glow of his eyes frightened her beyond all reason. He chuckled then. In a deep hollow voice he spoke. "Do not fear me, I have no desire to harm you. The gem that held you is broken...you are free of it." he picked up a shard of deep purple off the floor and held it to her, it had a sharp point and a long flat surface.

Reaching out with trembling hand she touched the purple shard. To her surprise it glowed softly when she touched it. The elf beside her tilted his head and stared at the shard. "It is keyed to you, perhaps a remnant of your soul still resides within. Keep it and perhaps you can use it as a dagger..." he rummaged in his packs and found some strips of leather he used for crafting.

In a few hours he had found and fashioned a hilt out of a length of bone he found in the keep. It was small enough to fit her hand and he wrapped the purple shard with the leather and fastened it to the bone. It made a crude if deadly dagger with about a six inch blade of razor sharpness. He made a sheath for it and she attached it to her belt. Before he handed her the dagger he mumbled some ancient words and used the point of the dagger to pierce his palm. The dark black of his unholy blood flowed sluggishly and he used a small instrument to dip into the blood and then wrote a rune on the glowing flat surface of the shard.

She gazed at him in shock, "You did not feel that? And what did you inscribe on the blade?" she was curious and watched him a moment. He passed the surface of the blade over the flame and the rune flared to life.

"I gave you a link to me. If you are in trouble, hold the shard in your hand and call to me, Darkblade. I will come." he then handed her the dagger hilt first.

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