November 26, 2011

Aeornoss' Plight

"Please, just let them go."

The woman this plea was directed at continued to nonchalantly examine at her nails, calmly removing any spec of dirt she found.

"I will do no such thing."

"But my mate, my drakelings, they have nothing to do with this! They're innocents! You can keep me, just please let them go free."

Not bothering to look up from her nails the woman stated "You're missing the point, dear stone drake. If I let them go, there would be no reason for you to stay loyal. If I don't have you, I don't have an easy way to guide the druid where my master needs her to go."

"Who is your master? What does he want with Kelebek? What does this have to do with me and my family?"

"As I've told you a thousand times over the past several months, you forgetful buffoon, I can tell you none of that information." She finally regarded the drake before her, looking him directly in the eye. "I can tell you this though. Your little ghost is the key. The key cannot be used too soon or all of the master's plans will fall through. Used to late and everything could blow up in the master's face. She trusts you, thus we need you. If you fail to use that trust and if she fails in doing her part, you, your wife, and all of your little drakes will be dead anyways. Why don't you just play along nicely and stop asking so many damn questions? Now say goodbye to the missus and the litt'uns, we have work to do." With a quick turn on the heel the Gilnean exited the dungeon.

Aeornoss lowered his head as if it pained him to keep it upright. The chains strung around his wife's neck and ankles rattled in their metallic way as she slowly shuffled over to his side.

"Why do you worry about this druid so? We are but stone drakes Aeornoss, we outlast time and soil itself. The only thing that breaks us down are the tears from our sorrows. Don't feel guilt about going out to try and protect this fleshling, while our current habitation" she gestured to the dark cell around them with her snout "isn't ideal, the children and I are cared for. We may be prisoners, but they haven't been too unkind.

"You don't make this any easier on me Aexis. I can't bear to see you and the children locked in a cell. We left Deepholm for the open be buried in rock again, though this time without even an open space to spread our wings in...I can't handle the thought." The stone drake's head drooped down even further.

One of the little drakelings tumbled over to his father, getting tangled up in his chains as he did so. Carefully Aeornoss helped to de-tangle his offspring from the bonds that bound him to the cellar's walls.

"If this druid is as important as this mystery woman makes her out to be, perhaps for now we should go along with the plan. Protect the druid when you can, but if she is indeed some sort of...key...and all of our well beings depend on it, there really isn't any other choice." Aexis once again touched her face to her mate's. "I know your heart aches, but do what must be done. Lead the druid where these fowl fleshlings need her to go, keep her out of harm's way otherwise."

"I just can't turn her over to some unknown, potentially devistating fate."

"We know not of what her fate really is. Her future is unknown to us whether or not you go through with this. Ours is certain if you don't, uncertain at best if you do."

"I know what you say to be true, wife. I still have trouble doing this to that fleshling though, even if it may possibly assure the freedom of you and our offspring."

"The option for you to run is there. You could disobey the Gilnean and her master's wishes, fly away, come back at some other time to try and free us. I fear that would be unwise though. Play their games, observe the situation at large. You do that best, Aeornoss. You observe and always make the right choices when you need to make them. Go, guide your little ghost to safety and her destiny. Once that is done, return to your family so that we may one day fly under the open skies together, peacefully."

Aeornoss let out a low, rattling sigh. "It makes my heart heavy to do so, Aexis, but as you wish." The stone drake nuzzled his wife one last time, bade his children farewell, and finally exited the dark little prison to do what had been asked of him.


The Gilnean was waiting impatiently in the brisk night air. "About bloody time you showed up. All done boohooing with the wife then?"

In response Aeornoss let out a low growl that seemed to resonate from his gut.

A sarcastic smirk passed over her face and she tilted her head a bit to the side. "Charming. By now you know the drill, aye? Go find that mangy animal and explore some unknown corner of the continent. Do whatever it takes to keep her out of the way. No deserts, no Eastern Kingdoms. You keep her in the woods of Kalimdor, you hear me?"

The look that passed over Aeornoss' face was one of defiance and suspicion. "I understand."

"Good, now get your stoney arse off of the sodding lawn, you're leaving craters."

Scorned, the stone drake took flight, wings beating against the frigid air that he could barely feel.


In the cell a shapeshifter regained her nature form as the Gilnean made her way down the stairs. The transformation completed just as she opened the prison's door.

"Bloody hell, I don't know how those damn drakes deal with those long necks all the damn time." Said the woman found there as she rubbed her neck.

"They're used to it, I'm sure." Said the mystery woman. "Did you manage to convince him to stay loyal to our cause?"

"Of course cousin." The woman squinted at the other Gilnean. "You seem to underestimate my abilities in persuasion."

"Was there any sign that he suspected that you were not who you seemed to be?"

"None. The pity wallowing in that drake's heart is almost sickening. Guilty this, should I do that, blah blah blah. He has no clue that his wife and the rest of his children are more than likely bones and dust by now." She picked up the only infant drake that hadn't been an illusion. "Such a shame, they would have made lovely mounts. Ah well, this little one will due someday."

"You almost sound sentimental, dear cousin."

"Hardly." The woman pushed the frizzy brown hair out of her eyes with one long, slender hand, holding the dejected baby drake in the other hand as she did so. "You know me well Carmen. I pity nothing, but I know a waste of a perfectly beautiful mount when I see one." She dropped the drake back onto the floor where he landed with a great thud. It remained in the heap of legs, wings, and tail that it was dropped into, only letting out the smallest of pitiful cries. "Oh well, whatever gets us into the master's plans...or should I say pants in your case...the quickest."

"You're a haughty bitch, Eyl."

Eylwne threw her head back and laughed. "Oh cousin, how right you are. Funny how that runs in the family, isn't it? Just a bunch of heartless killers we are, always with our agendas. At least this time it isn't about power for me, I'm just here out of boredom. You on the other hand, what is your motive in all of this?"

"An old mission left unfinished. It was something that I should have taken care of eons ago, but now it's in the master's hands." Eylwne didn't catch the quick flash of disappointment, failure, and regret that skittered across her cousin's face, for she was too busy sweeping away invisible specks of dust from her old wine red dress.

"Huh, well no matter. It's all fun and games for me after all. Let's get out of this dank cellar already and find some breakfast. I'm starved." Together they left the cell, slamming the wooden door closed and locking it so that the lone drakeling had no escape.

Carmen followed her cousin's long limbed form up the wooden staircase, thinking that Eylwne resembled a tarantula that someone had prettied up. All fuzzy hair, limbs, and vile venom. Her cousin cared not for the bigger picture, only for the prey that may happen to stumble before her.

The perfect tool to aide in the master's mission.

October 30, 2011

Darnassus - The Incident

The attack that had taken place just nights before still had the little druid shaken. Morning after morning Kelebek found herself waking up short of breath and drenched in cold, panicked sweat. She was only able to sleep for moments at a time, for every shift in the building and every chirp from a bird startled her. Every time she closed her eyes the nightmares were always the same: the laughter, the embarrassment and fear, his scent, his voice, the blood. The anger and revenge that had ripped through her during that moment when she had been taken over by feral reactions did little to settle her nerves. More than ever she felt the press of civilization around her, and she was terrified.

Her day began much like the others since Dax Grey slipped into her life, with a startling nightmare jarring her back into consciousness. The druid bolted upright in her bed, sheets clutched to her leather clad chest, breathing erratic and labored. It took her a moment to realize that she was in fact one again alone in her room, that she was safe. Birds were singing cheerfully outside her window in the dazzling afternoon light and no rogues were to be seen lurking about her pillows. She rubbed her face with her hand and swore quietly to herself.

Following the events of that night Kelebek's employer, Mandy Bremsworth, had given the druid several days off for some personal time. While Kelebek had appreciated the time to mentally and physically recover from the attack, she had accomplished little outside of driving herself crazy. She had long since run out of materials to do any personal crafting, she couldn't bring herself to read the sad story about the girl and the wishing well yet again, and there was nothing else to occupy the druid's mind inside that small boarding room. As much as she hated the idea of throwing herself back into the crowds of Darnassus, Kelebek felt that she had to get back to work for fear of losing the last bit of nerve she had. Having already dressed prior to her failed attempt at sleep, Kelebek washed her face in the water basin she kept in her room and quickly ran a comb through her long hair. Within minutes of making up her mind to leave the little room, she was ready to go.

The bright sunlight danced through the trees of the bustling city, gently warming the autumn air to a pleasant temperature. Kelebek quickly moved through the crowds that mulled about in the Trader's Terrace, trying to hasten her arrival to her employer's stand, which located on the other side of the city in the Craftsmen's Terrace. By the time she arrived at Mandy's place of business, she was short of breath and shaking.

"You alright there, love?" inquired Mandy worriedly, for the druid's usual pale complexion had turned a sickly shade of white.

"Yeah, I'm f-fine."

"You certainly don't look it."

"I'm just..." and with that the world around Kelebek swirled as her face went numb and her knees turned into jelly.

Mandy rushed across the booth and knelt down at the druid's side where she fell. "Bek honey, wake up." The Gilnean gently placed her hands on the druid's cool, clammy face. Mandy, concerned about the woman before her, turned her head towards the back of the booth and yelled "Jimmy! Be a love and get me some water and a clean cloth, will you?"

Jimmy did as his wife asked, bringing a small jug of water and a cloth to the pair on the floor at the front of the shop. Never one for words, Jimmy simply stood out of the way and watched as Mandy attempted to revive the druid. She tipped some of the water from the jug onto the cloth, then proceeded to press the cool cloth onto Kelebek's face. Eventually the druid began to come to.

"Here, drink a bit of water. That's a good lass."

The druid did as she was told, sputtering a bit as she drank the liquid. As she drank, Mandy motioned for Jimmy to come over and help her get the druid back on her feet.

"Let's get you up into that chair over there. Easy does it. There you go."

Kelebek sank into the chair, hands and knees still shaking.

"Feeling better yet?" asked Mandy as Kelebek took another sip of the water.

"A little. Everything is still fuzzy though, black spots everywhere."

"When was the last you ate?"

Kelebek simply shrugged and laid her head in her hand in a failed attempt to make the world stop spinning. "I don't remember." The druid began to cry, shaking her head while furiously trying to wipe away the tears. "I don't remember anything!"

Mandy was surprised at this outburst. She had always known Kelebek to be calm and collected, if only a bit nervous. Never had she suspected that the druid would have been prone to such a show of emotion. With a simple glance Mandy relieved her husband from the situation, then she just sat at the druid's feet, waiting for the storm to pass.

Many minutes passed before Kelebek's frustrated sobs began to lessen their intensity. She sniffled a bit more as Mandy rubbed her leg in a motherly fashion. Several more minutes passed before she felt some of her calm return to her.

"So what was that little episode about? Seems to be a bit more to it than what happened the other night."

The druid sniffled a bit and Mandy handed her a handkerchief. As Kelebek busied herself with mopping up her face, she debated on telling her employer everything; the details of the attack, her worries about Taloris, this missing parts of her memory, the strange girl in her dreams, Kiya, how much she felt as if she was choking while she remained within the boundaries of so-called civilization...all of it. The idea of completely confiding in someone, having someone to listen to her worries and greatest fears, was both something she dearly wanted, and yet something that was completely terrifying. What if she completely lost herself, like she just nearly did a moment ago? What if this woman judged her severely, causing Kelebek to both lose her job and to be chased out of town? What if? What if...

"It's nothing, I just haven't been sleeping or eating well is all. I think I'm a bit delirious."

Her employer raised an eyebrow to this claim but didn't push the conversation any further. Instead she simply handed the druid a little bit of bread and cheese. She accepted gratefully, slowly nibbling at the bits of food as she thought of how she would word her next sentence. Minutes ticked by as she chewed and Mandy had returned to work, tidying up the little stand and hanging new items up onto the thin walls. Finally Kelebek worked up the nerve to ask Mandy the question that had been burning in her mind since the moment she decided that she would confide in no one.

"I know this is asking a lot, but could I possibly have a bit more time off? I think I need to take a trip."

"You think you need to take a trip?" Suspicion was written all over the Gilnean's face. "What sort of trip would this be now?"

"I've been worried about a friend of mine. He was supposed to contact me weeks ago, but hasn't. I need a change of scenery for a little bit, clear my head, and I figured I would go look for him while I was at it. I know it's short notice, and that I haven't been much help for the past few days..."

Mandy cut her off. "You did more than your fair share prior to the...incident. We have a surplus of stock for now, and so long as you get back here within a week or two, Jimmy and I should manage. Take your time, mend, then get back to us when you feel able. Though, if you want any pay before snow flies, you best mend quick. Once the pre-winter push is over, we won't see any business until spring."

The druid grabbed her employer's hand gratefully. "I understand. And thank you Mandy."

She watched the druid exit the little booth with her hand on her hip and eye brow raised. Kelebek vanished into the crowds of the early evening shopping crowd, so Mandy Brewmsworth simply shook her head and got back to work.


Kelebek had returned to her room with haste. She didn't return to the room to pack, for what she had in mind didn't call for supplies. The druid grabbed her staff, took a quick and dismissive look around the little room, then simply stepped back outside. Once the door was locked up again she shifted into her cat form, then sprinted towards the nearest city exit.

October 4, 2011

Dax Grey

The look of her face would not leave his mind. Her pale skin, her soft, wide lips, that wary feral glint in her eye. Oh, she boiled his blood right and proper. But she had turned him down, ignored him, the prude. No one ignores Dax Grey.

The moon was full and high in the sky by the time Dax had enough drink in him to do what he meant to do. Earlier that evening he had sniffed out where the little druid bunked in town. Now that his lust was in full force and he had a good bit of whiskey in him he felt it was high time that he took a swing by her room.

He found the building he was after easily enough and drunkenly pushed himself into a sort of stealth. Quietly he moved to the window and peaked in. Ah, there she was in her sheets, glinting in all her pale glory thanks to the light of the moon. Elune smiled nicely on this daughter indeed. He felt his lust peak again and peeled himself away from the sight. Over to the door he went, picking the lock in mock quietness as his hands shook in both anticipation and liquid stupor. Somehow he managed to finish the job without alerting the woman sleeping inside.

He worked his way slowly across the shadowed room, taking care not to bump into what bits of furniture lay about in a decorative fashion. For someone who lives in the woods and must be alert always, this druid is certainly a sound sleeper when you give her a proper bed, Dax thought to himself must by my lucky evening. He grinned a wolfish grin. Patience Daxy old man, don't be botching this one up now. He sidled closer to her bed and took in the sight.

She lay on her back, face leaning on a rather voluptuously stuffed silken pillow, tilting slightly to the left. Her right hand clutched the lavender silken sheets up just between her breasts, left hand laid with slightly curled fingers just in front of her face on the billow. Her breathing was deep, her markings shown like black scars in the silvery moon light; she didn't stir an ounce as he stared at her, with her long pearly hair falling about her bare shoulders.

Suddenly she shifted, rolling her head so that she now leaned to the right. The hand clutching the sheets released its hold and the coverings gently slid down a few inches, exposing a bit more of her soft, naked flesh.

Dax was too hard for words to describe.

He had his mind set on what he planned to do. With his feral juices flowing even faster than before and the whiskey burning hotly in his blood, he went about to do what any man in his right mind shouldn't do. Quietly he stepped back from the bed, shifted out of stealth, and removed his clothing. Moving as a ghost he returned to the bedside and slowly began to pull pack the silken sheets.

The vision he saw nearly made him lose himself. Control man, savor this. He said to himself. Before him lay a work of true beauty. Small, perky breasts rose and fell with each of the druid's sleepy breaths, a thin, toned stomach shone in the light from the window, and a thatch of white hair hid those delicious womanly bits he sought. Feral indeed, lass. Couldn't even trim a bit for ol' Dax now? He was beside himself with lust.

He made his move to mount her. Putting one knee on the bed was the worst mistake Dax Grey had made that evening since hitting the booze and picking the lock on the door. Before he could even swing is other leg over the druid, pinning her down to his will, she shifted into her cat form and lashed out at him. She cut deep marks into his chest and leaped back to the far wall. He howled in surprise and pain. In the fury of the moment he lost control, changing into his Worgen form. Almost instantly he was sobered, but the boozy haze had been replaced by rage.

"You bitch!" He growled, wincing and holding his severely bleeding chest.

"Who the fuck are you and what the fuck are you doing in my room?!" She growled back, every word guttural and snarling.

A snide look came over his face as he clutched his chest, observing how the hair on her neck stood on end, how those razor sharp claws that had razed his flesh were still extended. Yes, he frightened the little kitty, cornered her. She was in a fret, and it excited him all the more despite the pain. "I was the one you were eyeballing all night down at the pub. Thought you had a bit of a fancy for me. I had a drink, mulled it over, though I'd join you for a toss in the sack. Why don't you come to Dax, love?"

Despite her terror, she snorted a laugh. "Dax is it? I thought I smelled a dog about you. Hate to disappoint you love, but I don't fuck fleabags."

She crouched back to the wall a bit more as he swaggered a few steps closer to her, still clutching at his bleeding torso with one hand. "Well love, you may not fancy "fleabags" as you put it, but either way ol' Dax will get what he wants. So we can go about this the easy way or the hard way. Personally I fancy a bit of a challenge. Do your worst, savvy?" He tongue lolled over his muzzle for minute before he put on what he undoubtedly thought was a charming, devilish grin. He looked only like a terrifying wolf in heat. "Come love, surely you have something to help Dax out with this craving."

Fury raged through the little druid. Through clenched teeth she replied "Sure, I have something to help you out with that appetite." With a savage roar she sprang at the rogue, teeth bared and claws extended.


Dax Grey woke up bandaged, nearly bled out, and in a jail cell somewhere underground. His head felt as if it was a hot, boiled egg split in two, and as he gingerly touched his scalp through this thick, greasy hair he felt several large welts. He couldn't recall what day it was, how he had gotten to the cell, or really much other than who he was.

He made a move to try and stand up. He was met full on by a searing pain of not only his torso but his groin as well. Dax found that his trousers (When had he last worn them?) had been replaced by a ratty, soft brown pair of cloth pants that were held up by a set of draw strings. Carefully he undid the strings and found his manhood to be bandaged up as much as his chest. Suddenly the drunken evening came rushing back like some kind of fucked up fantasy. The stupor, the lust.

"She gelded me, that fucking bitch!"

"You're lucky that's all she did, lad." A woman's figure stepped out from the shadows. She had the Gilnean lilt to her voice, sassy and smug. "It seems she has made sure you've mounted your last lady."

"Who the fuck are you? Comin' up in here to gloat about this?" He was seething with rage, nearly on the verge of tears.

"Who I am is none of your concern. My purpose here is to make sure you don't get any ideas up in your head about revenge once you get out of the clink." She smiled. Had he still had the proper bits he may have felt that familiar feral twinge in his groin. She was awfully foxy for a not-so-exotic one. Dax loved him some exotic females. Inter-species play, he lived for such an act. "Now shhh. Don't worry love," she said in a soothing voice "I'm here to make sure everything will be alright. I'll make the pain all go away." The mystery woman drew a blade.

Those beady blue eyes opened wide with terror and Dax Grey never again drank another drop of whiskey.

September 29, 2011

Darnassus - The Black Dog

She awoke late the next afternoon confused and with a distinct kink in her neck; Kelebek had somehow fallen asleep at her desk. Bleary eyed and fuzzy minded, the little druid tried to recall the events of the night before.

Had the Malfurion Stormrage really been at her door in the early hours of morning, assuring her that he'd offer her and Taloris aid?

She assured herself that yes, it really had taken place. He hadn't given her the answers that she had come for, but they had been answers none the less. Kelebek was thankful that at least Tal's safety had been ensured, even if no promises had been made about the wood that she had called home, however short her stay in that area was.

Kelebek had to shake away the sleepy cobwebs that still lingered in her mind. Squinting, she looked out her window and tried to gauge the time of day. Alarmed that the sun had already firmly planted itself in the western region of the sky, she dressed in haste. It was past time that she made her way over to the leatherworking booth ran by Miss Mandy Bremsworth.


The little druid had to sprint, but she had made it just before the worst of the shopping crowds began their evening hunt for goods.

"Alright there 'Bek?" called Mandy over the din made by the heavy duty sewing machine she that was wielding. Kelebek nodded and went over to the little corner that had been set up for her. She pulled out her tools and began to work on mending the pile of gear that had been set near her work station.

Mandy paused in her own work for a moment so she could wipe the sweat from her brow. The majority of her mossy brown hair had been tied back into a bun, but a few strands had managed to escape. Those strands hung damp about her olive-toned face as her keen emerald eyes watched the little druid. Though she seemed nervous and preoccupied, Kelebek used her needle with confidence. Mandy, being pleased with herself for managing to snag such competent help, smiled to herself and started her machine back up.


The day passed in a blur for Kelebek. Thread, poke, pull, rotate, snip. Smile at a customer. Re-sharpen the needle. Thread, poke, pull, rotate, snip. Never had her fingers ached so badly. By the time the sun had set the druid's hands were swollen and covered in bits of cloth that stemmed the bleeding that wayward needles had caused.

"Well then, I suppose you snagged yourself the right to come back for a second day." said Mandy to the druid, eyes bright with pleasure and excitement. "I don't think I've ever seen that many pieces mended in a single sitting, and with such dedication. You've definitely earned your keep lass."

"I enjoyed it," replied the druid "at least for the most part." Gingerly she held up her bandaged hands.

Tisking, Mandy turned to look around the little shop. "Well why didn't you say something love? We have a thick set of mits to protect those hands of yours around here somewhere." She shuffled piles of raw materials, picked up finished products so she could search underneath them, looked under the work stations. Exasperated and finding nothing, she gave up. "Oh this place is a right mess, we'll have to do a bit of tidying up in the morn. I'll tell ya what, take this salve." Out of a hand satchel Mandy pulled out a sack of herbs. "You head on home, soak them hands of yours in some ice cold water that's mixed up with these and that should heal up them wounds right quick. Once that's taken care of, head down to the pub over in the Gilnean sector. The barkeep's name at the Black Dog be Arthur and he's a good friend of mine. Tell 'em that Miss Bremsworth sent ya, and I'm sure he could set you up with a drink from yours truly."

Kelebek thanked her employer and headed home under the star filled night. Though the air was cooler than it had been in the daylight, the air still hung warm and heavy around her as she walked past closed booths and shuttered houses.


Whatever had been in that little herb bag that Mandy had given her had worked like a charm. Ten minutes of soaking her mutilated hands in a chilly basin of water filled with leaves had left her as good as new. The advice on visiting the pub was still lingering in her mind though as she dried off her newly healed skin.

Kelebek was not one for crowds regardless of their location. She was even more wary about entering establishments where more often than not people were lacking a bit of judgement. However, she did agree that a drink may just be the thing to calm her nerves, not to mention that as much as she disliked the idea, pubs were gathering places. With the first part of her mission to Darnassus complete, it was high time she began the second. After all, pubs were great for listening in on the latest gossip and often told stories of the past.

Mind made up, Kelebek changed into a fresh pair of leather and linens, splashed a bit of water over her face, and ran a comb through her long hair. Feeling fit enough to venture back out into the night, she left her little room and headed to the other side of Darnassus.


The Black Dog was located in one of the more rowdy of sectors that the refugee Gilneans had taken over. The pub itself was a medium sized building covered in dark shingles. Upon entering the pub Kelebek was met by a wall of voices. Conversation, laughter, and the sound of a little band of fiddles and a drum filled the druid's ears. While the main room that made up the bar and sitting area of The Black Dog wasn't completely packed, it was still overly warm from the bodies present and from the head of the day. The air was filled with smoke that streamed from the pipes of several of the patrons. Carefully trying to avoid bumping into anyone, the druid worked her way over to the bar.

The bar itself was a gleaming piece of wood, the body of which was a carved work of art, the top a slick surface. The man who polished that surface in between serving up an assortment of beverages to various customers was middle aged, red bearded, and rather muscular.

"Oi Arthur! Another brew here." Called out one of the patrons seated at one of the many tables that were spread throughout the room. The man with the ginger beard nodded his head, poured another mug filled with what could only be the customers favorite beer, and handed it off to a largish blonde woman who in turn brought the man his beer.

Making the assumption that the man at the bar was the Arthur that Mandy had mentioned, Kelebek sat herself at the bar and tried her best to catch his attention. Eventually he looked in her direction, they made eye contact, and he walked over.

"Can't say that we get too many of you elves in here. What can I do for you love?"

"Miss Bremsworth sent me your way. She said to have a drink on her."

"Little Miss Mandy you say? You must be the new help she was going on about." Arthur busied himself with pouring a drink for the druid. "Must be one hell of a wizard with the needle. My sister, she's a stickler for detail."

Kelebek had been taking a tentative sip at the beverage placed before her, and nearly choked at the mention of the family tie. "Your sister?"

"Don't seem so surprised. Amanda's me baby sister. All the looks in the family skipped right over me and landed right on her."

Indeed they had. While Mandy had a delicate face, olive skin, and brilliantly green eyes, Arthur had a much rougher look to his face, pale skin, and dull brown eyes. She admitted to herself that she would have never seen the family resemblance.

"Anyways, what brings you to Darnassus? It's not usually locals that Mandy picks up as help."

"A couple of things really. I..." Suddenly a group of rather boisterous males burst into the pub, loud and apparently already quite drunk.

"BARKEEP!" Barked one of the new comers. "A round for me and my mates!"

"Sounds like they've had rounds enough. Pardon me, miss." With that Arthur left Kelebek to sit by herself at the end of the bar, nursing her drink.

Over the top of her glass Kelebek watched Arthur work. One of the more sober men who came in with the new group of customers was at the bar to fetch the drinks. The man was of a shorter and thicker build. He had lank,  greasy black hair, a scraggly black beard, a nose that seemed to have been broken a few times, a heavy brow, and tiny blue eyes which were set to close together. Those eyes, even when glazed over from drinking, could pierce through to the soul of  a person. He turned to look at the druid, and did just that. Kelebek shuddered and looked away.

Arthur didn't return to Kelebek's part of the bar for a good several hours. Many more people streamed into the pub as the night wore on, keeping both the bartender and his help busy. The blonde who worked with Arthur came by to refill the druid's drink once or twice during the evening, offering up a tired smile as she did so. Kelebek nursed her drinks slowly, taking time to listen in on the conversations around her. Mostly there was talk about the work people did, the on coming seasonal changes, babies that were being born, affairs that were being had, and at one point there was a little snippet of passing conversation that caught the druid's ear.

"I swear, I saw one of those stone drake things flying over the water."

"Oh Herb, you spend too much time out on that dinghy. Too much sun and too little fresh water will make you see anything." The woman giggled at her companions obvious hurt.

"You think me to be a damned fool woman? I saw what I saw."

"And you saw yourself a sea serpent as long as Darnassus is wide a week before. Stone drakes might actually exist, unlike your sea beasty, but they have no business in this part of the world."

The couple had wandered out of earshot from the druid, leaving her curious. So Aeornoss is still nearby. I wonder what he's been up to. Happy to have at least heard rumor of him, she pushed the rest of her curiosity out of her head. Too many questions, not enough answers. Baffled, the little elf shook her head and focused on the bowl of nuts that the blond had set in front of her while she eavesdropped.

The evening wore on and finally the pub began to empty out. Sensing that Arthur was a bit too tired for any sort of questioning and that she probably wouldn't glean any new information about anything from the gossip of the pub's customers, Kelebek began to ready herself to leave. As she wandered over to the old fashioned register, Arthur looked up from his mug polishing and gave her a worn smile. "All right there, 'Bek is it?"

The druid couldn't help but return his smile. "Yeah," Her head was spinning slightly and she had to lean a moment on the bar to keep from tipping over. "I think I've had a bit much though."

Arthur chuckled, "You'll be fine after a bit of sleep. Don't be a stranger now. Anyone that my sister associates with is a friend of mine." Another smile passed between the two as Kelebek paid off the drinks that didn't end up on Mandy Bremsworth's tab. "Safe journey home, love."

Kelebek smiled and turned to leave. As she did so, her eyes wandered over to the table where the man with the greasy hair and his chums sat. Most of the men were slumped over the table or each other and snoring, but those beady blue eyes where awake and locked on Kelebek. He was leaning back in his chair, obviously relaxed with his current state of inebriation. Kelebek barely suppressed a shudder as she left the pub.

The moon was bright and the breeze was light. Feeling a bit unsteady on two legs, from drink and the frayed feeling of her nerves from the evening of mock socializing and because of the fact that she was rather tired after her long day, Kelebek decided to shift into her cat form and walk back to her room that way. She took her time, padding down the now empty walk ways at a slow pace, enjoying both the quiet of the night and the faint salty scents of the nearby ocean.

Eventually she found herself back at her own door. Clumsily she shifted back into her night elf form, opened her door, and stumbled in. Somehow she closed the door again, managed to strip off her day clothes with neglecting to reapply her night ones, and tumbled into bed. Within moments she fell into a deep, dreamless sleep. There she stayed peacefully for most of the evening.

Next Chapter: Dax Grey

September 2, 2011

Darnassus - The Temple of the Moon

The temple had just released its congregation into the cool night air. Beneath the trees and stars night elves could be seen strolling; some were on their way home, others were just mulling about enjoying the evening. Kelebek walked with a purpose against the crowds.

She ducked inside the temple's doors, taking notice of the calming fountain spilling from the central statue. She began to walk up towards the ramp that lead to the upper balconies most frequented by Tyrande and her husband but before she could get to the foot of the ramp, a guard stopped her.

"Please, state your name and business. Tyrande and Malfurion are rather busy, and will only take the most urgent of inquiries."

"I am Kelebek Swiftclaw. I come to Darnassus and the Temple of the Moon on behalf of myself and Taloris Galesong. We have been battling the demons that plague Felwood, and we seek the aid of anyone who would give it."

The guard eyed the druid up and down, then said "Very well, I shall inform them and see if they will accept your audience. Please wait here."

Kelebek began to pace slowly around the grassy area that surround the large statue fountain. Her hands gripped her staff out of anxiety. She drew a deep breath, and then another. As hard as she tried, her nerves would not relax.

The guard returned and she motioned to the druid to follow her up to the balcony. Once Kelebek was abreast of the guard, the guard said to her "I recommend reverence when speaking with these two. Don't worry too much about formalities, but you will not be heard if you do not show respect. As I said before, they have no time for anything frivolous. There has been much on their minds, so try and be quick, to the point."

Kelebek could only nod as a lump raised in her throat.

They arrived to the large balcony where Tyrande Wisperwind and her husband, Malfurion Stormrage were quietly conversing tactics over a map spread upon a table.

"Kelebek Swiftclaw of Felwood to see you." Announced the guard. Tyrande looked up, nodded at the guard, and the guard took her leave.

"We just can't afford the extra forces, Mal." Tyrande said to her husband, then turned to Kelebek "Demons of Felwood, is it?"

"Yes," Kelebek cleared her throat, "my mentor and I have been battling against the demon spawns that have been plaguing the area for some time now. They're reproducing faster than we can dispose of them unfortunately. Things have become so bad that the waters there run green and putrid. Even our very homestead that we have fought so very hard to preserve is being intruded upon. We are out of our league, and request any and all aid that you could give."

"I've known about the troubles in that area for some time, but I haven't heard reports from any of the scouts sent there more recently. The news about the state of Felwood worries me. What do you believe would be required to help take it back?"

"Hunters to kill off the demons, druids to heal the forests, priests to care for them both and to consecrate the soil to prevent future invasions? I'm really not sure Priestess, I'm not a strategist. I am but a novice druid doing what she can to care about lands that mean so much to my mentor."

"Taloris Galesong."


A hint of recognition flashed across Tyrande's face before she regained her mask of indifferent serenity. The mask of a busy leader with too much on her plate. She turned back to the maps while Malfurion watched her, waiting for her decision.

"Battles in Ashenvale, naga in Feralas, now demons over running Felwood..." Tyrande said to herself out loud.

"I should probably also report the vortex that spawned whilst I was traveling through Darkshore, along with some plagued deer."

A look of concern came over the Priestess's face. "Mal, I thought you had long settled the winds in that area? And the plague in Darkshore? Impossible. The plague has never come to Kalimdor before, it was strictly an issue of the Eastern Kingdoms."

"I'm inclined to think it's nothing more than a side effect from the spill over of Felwood. If there was any other sort of foul play at hand, I didn't see it for myself."

Again Tyrande looked over her map. She closed her eyes and shook her head. She looked first at Malfurion, then back to Kelebek. "We can't spare the forces that are in Ashenvale or Feralas, and if the undead apothecaries have come to the shores of Kalimdoor, that must be dealt with before any demons are dispelled. I'd rather deal with an abundance of demons rather than the horrors of the plague I so often heard about from the Eastern Kingdoms. I'm sorry, but right this moment we cannot send aid to your wood."

Tyrande turned her back and Kelebek took this to be her dismissal. Malfurion watched the little druid walk away. Dejected and distressed, she walked down the ramp of the temple, out into the streets, and somehow managed to find the way to her door through the tears that had impaired her vision but refused to actually fall.


"Are you sure we cannot spare the forces, Tyr?"

"Where would we get them from Mal? Every trained huntress, priestess, and warrior is already employed in battle. Our forces are stretched too thin. This isn't a job for a farmer with a fork, nor is it one that our novices can take on."

"What of the druids? I can think of a few that the Dream can spare for now."

"We need them more than ever there if things are as bad as that novice stated. All the work put in to slaying these creatures here on Azeroth won't mean a thing if the druids can't heal it from within as well as out."

"I will enter the Dream myself then, taking care of things from that side and I will deploy several druids for your disposal. We at least need a few Talon scouts to check out the situation in Darkshore, and the least we could do is ensure the safety of Taloris."

"Bless and curse that old man. Always he has sought the lost causes."

"It seems this time he is over his head. It would be wise to help him, my love."

"I know it would be, but where would we get the bodies to take on such a demon force? I don't doubt the talents of your druids Mal, but they can't take on such a task on their own."

"We can always ask for help from our guests, the Gilneans."

"Ha! As if relations with our neighbors weren't tense enough. No Mal, I cannot do that. At least not now."

"Very well. Then it is decided. I will return to the Dream this very night and free up a few of the druids there. I hate to leave you at such a time, Tyrande, but I think I will be of more use there than I am here."

"Yes, my love. Please return to me soon."

Dismissed by his own wife, Malfurion left the Temple of the Moon for Moonglade. Before he left Darnassus though, he had one important stop to make.


It was a few hours before sunrise and Kelebek was still awake. By the light of a guttering candle she sat at a little desk, pouring over the images that danced across the pages of the book she had bought. A soft knock was made on the door of her room, startling her.

She carefully put the book down and tried to rub the sadness from her face. She opened the door and her eyes widened.

"Miss Kelebek."

It took a moment before the little druid finally found her voice. "Malfurion. What...?"

"I've come to assure you of two things. First, I will be returning to the Dream so that I may free up a few of the Druids of the Talon to scout the area and perhaps aid Taloris in his battles, not to mention battle the sickness of that land from within. Second, in the event that they are out numbered, the Talons will have strict orders to ensure the safety of Taloris. I cannot promise salvation to Felwood, but I can promise that we will try with what little aid we have to offer."

"I...I cannot thank you enough." The druid was trembling with both fatigue and grateful relief.

"Do not thank me yet, little one. There is much work to be done. Now rest your mind, and I suggest staying in Darnassus for a bit. I don't doubt your fighting skills as a student of Taloris, but one soul to look after in an area plagued with demons is enough. There is no time for novice mistakes."

Dejected for the second time in several hours, Kelebek bowed her head and replying "I understand. I have other business to attend to while I'm in this city, but I shall do what I can to stay out of the way." For now, she thought to herself.

"Very well then. I must be on my way now if we are to accomplish anything. Stay fierce, little one." Malfurion laid his hand upon Kelebek's brow as he gave his blessing, and then took his leave.

Kelebek closed the door and stood in disbelief as her candle sputtered its dying light.

Next Chapter: Darnassus - The Black Dog

August 25, 2011

Darnassus - Leather Bound

The day started out with a soft, crisp breeze. Darnassus was lit by brilliant shafts of the suns rays, the skies peaking between the yellow and orange laden branches was an amazing shade of the brightest blue you could imagine. Yet another beautiful harvest season morning in the city of leaves.

Despite the happy atmosphere, Kelebek felt her skin crawl.

The markets crawled with merchants bringing in their goods from their fields. The cities din contains that of ware cries, haggling, and livestock. Bodies pressed in from all sides, trying to score the best of the seasons product for a sweet deal.

While the druid was by no means unaccustomed to the idea that one must purchase and collect goods for the snows ahead, she found the near gluttonous nature of the market to be most unbearable. The noise, the excess of purchase, the waste. Not for the first time since she had walked through the city's portal Kelebek found herself standing in place with her eyes closed, wishing to be no where else other than in some woodland area or running across some dune.

With herself feeling a bit more centered, Kelebek ventured on. While most of the market's activities made her feel uneasy, much of it also drew her curiosity. She had sold off many of her meager wares earlier in the day so she had a bit of coin in her pocket. Her intent wasn't to purchase anything, but what girl could resist looking at pretty trinkets when the situation presented itself? Stall after stall was filled with one or two business folk yelling out their goods. There were fine silks, weaponry, every type of food and beverage one could wish for, trinkets, baubles, souvenirs depicting the bank of Darnassus. One stall contained a collection of shiny rocks, another had archaeological finds, yet another boasted old relics for sale. There was a section of the market dedicated to children; balloons, dolls, little silk ribbons, toy train sets.

Under a large tent a portly worgen mage sat tending to his books. At these Kelebek took a moment to browse. Rarely had she seen so many books in one place. Some where bound in leather, others were nothing but paper held together with reeds. Research books on the Old Gods sat next to novels which resided next to old transcripts translating the common language to that guttural speak of the Horde. The scents and stories of all that paper tugged at her heart as she browsed through the topics. She ran a finger across the many sizes and textures of the bindings, looking for something that would catch her eyes. The search didn't take long.

Stuck between an old, thick leather book and what looked like a manuel to some sort of gnomish contraption was a thin little gem. Its cover was made of a light tan hide, the inside pages contained vivid images of a little blood elf girl, the story seemed to be both sweet and sad from what Kelebek could make out from her quick skim. She felt a tug and felt the need to give in.

"How much?" The druid asked, holding up the thin volume so that the man could see it.

He cleared his throat before responding; hrrmphhrumph. "Well," the mage took his tiny specs off his face and began to rub them clean with one of the many folds of his billowing robes "what you have there is nothing but a bed time story tale. It's not worth much if you ever expect to resell, but definitely a story that your daughters will beg to have repeated for years to come." He smashed his glasses back in front of his beady eyes as he held out his hand for the book. "Yes, yes. The Well. Tells a story about a little blood elf who loses everything, wishes into a well, happy endings and all that. A gold piece and thirty silver. Would you care for a bag?"

"No, thank you though. I'll just slip it into my satchel if you don't mind."

Kelebek was thrilled to have paid so little for something she was so drawn to, so after paying and thanking the man she returned to the crowded isles of the market with a faint grin on her face.

She wandered for a bit longer until she headed to the stall that she had been saving for last. On the farthest end of the market area stood the booth that sold crafted leather working goods. She could smell the rich oils and the scent of tanning before she even saw the products. Good natured laughs were being had as a Gilnean lady showed off the items to the interested. Kelebek walked up to the items hanging on the walls of the make shift booth, immediately in awe at their quality and craftsmanship. She reached out at a chest piece, running her fingers delicately over the smooth leather, relishing in texture.

"See something that you like there, love?" The woman running the stall had deep green eyes, shoulder length russet hair, and a sassy smile that was both friendly and filled with pride.

"I'm enjoying your products here. Did you craft them yourself?"

"Aye. My husband does the skinning though, but he leaves the cuts, stitching, and oiling all to me."

"You make quite a team. I haven't seen work as fine as this save my own in some time. I don't see a nick or stress mark anywhere."

"Fancy yourself a crafter, do ya? Well then, let's have a look."

Feeling a bit foolish at having said anything about her own craftsmanship, she began to show off her own work. Thankful that she had mended the damage on her gear the previous night and cleaned and oiled everything that very morning. She pointed out her stitch work and went over cutting techniques. Apparently her handy work impressed the woman.

"I think you have quite an eye on you lass. Jimmy love, come over here and take a look at this work, will ya?" The lady's husband, a hulking fellow with dark hair and deep sea blue eyes lumbered over after setting down a fresh pile of cleaned skins.

With a critical eye the man called Jimmy began to look over how the armor had been cut from the beast. Long minutes passed; Jimmy barely moved as his eyes scanned over Kelebek's armor, looking for any flaw in the cut. Finally he stood back and said in a gruff voice, "Aye, 'tis good work. Not a dent nor misplaced cut." With his eye brows were raised, his eyes bright, he gave a little hint of a smile before turning his back on the druid and returning back to his skins.

"Well then, ya wouldn't be happening to look for a job now, would ya? Me and Jimmy, we get a bit busy this time of year. The snow will be getting on soon enough and folks aren't looking for gears with holes in them. Mending by the fires all find and dandy, but most like their gear a bit sturdier this time of year. What say ya love?" The green eyes danced in excitement.


Just like that Kelebek found herself to be employed by one Mandy Bremsworth. She wandered back to her room through the strengthening heat of the day in bewilderment. A day of days it was turning out to be.

Later that evening she had plans to head down to the Temple of the Moon. Word was that after the evening services Tyrande and Malfurion sometimes mingled with the congregation, taking in the gossip and concerns of those in Darnassus and its outlaying areas. Kelebek had hopes of catching the High Priestess and her husband that very evening to ask them for what aid they could lend.

First things first though, the druid needed rest after her outing. Despite the many good fortunes of the market her wanderings had left her stressed out and drained of energy.

Kelebek made sure that her dress - a cheap yet elegant sky blue number that she had found in the market earlier that day - was laying out in such a way that it would remain without creases for the evening. After fussing with the folds a bit, taking a moment to run her hands over the delicate embroidery of the dress's neckline, she took the little book that she bought earlier out of her pack and settled onto the bed. Between the vibrant images displayed on the pages was one of the saddest tales she had ever read.

There was a little girl. She lived in a little village with her little family. She had a little dog and had many little dreams in her head.

One day a not so little demon was set loose on the town. The demon set fire to the roof of every building and lit every field ablaze.

The girl just so happened to be a little mage. Her dad went out to fight the demon while her mom ran her to safety.
"Port yourself to Silvermoon City, find your Aunt Lena. Daddy and I will be there as soon as we can." The little girl did as her mother told her, and ported herself to the house of her mother's sister.

News of the demon and the havoc it created for the little town reached Silvermoon; the girl's parents did not.

Months passed, the little girl grew. Her Aunt Lena moved them both out to the country side where they had a little farm of their own.

The girl got a new little dog to go with her new little life. The pair explored every bit of the farmstead that was possible within the daylight. One day the little girl and her dog came across an old well.
"I heard that a magic carp lives in the bottom of an old well somewhere. If someone asks nicely and gives the carp some food, he grants a wish. Let's find it some food!"

They searched high and low for what a carp might like to eat. The sun was setting so soon the pair had to give up. The little girl asked Aunt Lena what carps like to eat. "Bread bits and worms, my darling." So the next day the girl took a bit of bread and set out to find a few worms. The girl and her dog set out to dig in the fields. Soon her little cup was filled with dirt and crawling creatures.

To the well they went with their offerings. Carefully she picked out the worms from her can and tossed them in, then crumbled up the bread and sprinkled that in as well.

Offering made, the little girl stuck out her lower lip as she thought of a wish. She looked at her puppy and then looked back to the well.
"I wish for my family and my other dog to come back to me."

She waited for a moment, but nothing happened. No magic carp appeared, her family wasn't by her side. Saddened that her well wasn't the one with the magic carp, she called to her little dog for them to head home.

As the pair walked away, a little golden head appeared in the well...


Screams. Panic.


"RUN KELEBEK!" Yelled a young woman. "Take Kiya and run!"

She whirled around, her hand tight on the hand of the young girl next to her. They began to run, and then everything went painfully black.


Kelebek awoke with a start. Her skin was cold and slick with perspiration. Her breath rattled as she inhaled, her hand shook as she tried to wipe the damp hair from her eyes.


The name felt so familiar. She was sure that it was the name of the girl in her dream, but she wasn't sure who exactly the little girl was or what she meant to Kelebek.

The druid shook her head, perplexed. Noticing the time of day she decided that it was time to ready herself for the hopeful meeting with the leaders of the night elves. She washed her face in the basin of water provided for her, brushed out her long white hair with a bone comb that had a broken tooth. She slipped on the delicate dress, taking care to mind the buttons. Kelebek then carefully painted her tattoos to make them a bit more prominent, put the one silver bracelet that she owned onto her wrist, and slipped on her delicate white sandals.

Never had she looked more unlike herself in her life.

She picked up her little walking staff from beside the door, took a deep breath to calm herself, and walked outside.

Next Chapter: Darnassus - The Temple of the Moon

August 20, 2011

Darnassus - The Arrival

The sun was already beginning to dip into the sea by the time the druid and her stone drake made it across the watery expanse that separated the Night Elf inhabited island from the rest of the continent of Kalimdor.

Kelebek had been drowsing on Aeornoss' back as they crossed the straight. Now that he was set once more on the ground she found herself to be quite awake.

"For leaves and grasses, wisps and lights, it's beautiful." said the stone drake.

"Yes, I've forgotten how lovely it is."

It was late in the year and already the worst of the summer's heat had past. There was a bit of a nip in the air some mornings and the trees of Darnassus were beginning to reflect the change of the seasons. The once bright hues of violet, pink, and green were slowly fading to reds, oranges, and browns. A gentle sea breeze was rustling the drying leaves, giving the city of trees and ferns a calming soundtrack.

"I must leave you for a bit, little ghost." Aeornoss didn't look at the druid as he said this, but instead kept his eyes on the beauty of the city before him.

Kelebek gave the stone drake a searching look, wondering why he would choose now to leave her side when just days before he had been so keen on observation. In that short amount of time she had also grown used to his calm, stoney presence.

"If you must." The drake made his gravely reply, a sort of grunt that acknowledged his intent and her recognition of it. A few silent moments passed as they pair watched the leaves dance across the grass-covered beach until finally the drake nodded his head.

Without looking at the druid Aeornoss said "I think I'll take my leave now. I hope to see you again soon, little Kelebek, and I wish you luck with your quests." With that said he turned east, away from the bustling harbor of Rut'theran Village which was just a few hundred paces to the west of them, and lumbered away. Once he had wandered a good distance, he turned to look back at the druid. She was once again looking at the trees of the city, seeming to be stuck in a dreamy daze. Reassuring himself that she would be fine - she was a druid of the wilds after all - he exerted a great heft with his wings and once more took to the sky.


She thought she had heard her. The little voice that contained a contagious sort of giggle. A blur in her mind; a girl-child running between the bushes, laughing as the two young girls played hide-and-seek together.

Kelebek snapped out of the vision and blinked with confusion in the dazzling evening light. She was still standing where Aeornoss had left her some time ago, and she was finding that she could barely recollect his farewell.

She shook her head in frustration. What was that? She asked herself. A vision, a memory, a premonition? Who is this child? Perplexed, she shook her head once again to clear the fuzziness that resided there.

With a heavy sigh she turned to look at the harbor. Evening was now setting in with earnest. The last ships of the day to head out to both the mainland and Stormwind were calling out their final calls for boarding, the fishermen of the area were tying up their little boats to various docks and hauling in their daily catches. The little village was beginning to calm down for the night as one by one people either settled into their homes or headed into the city beyond the portal.

Kelebek felt the need to get moving. With movements that were not so fluid, for she was rather unaccustomed to riding a stone drake, she began to walk to the bright portal that led into Darnassus itself.


The city at night was alight with lanterns and wisps. Night Elves and Gilneans alike here wandering about on errands of various sorts; there were folks at the central bank gathering coin for their nightly activities, the devote were dressed in brilliant robes and made their way to the temple, gatherers were bearing their goods to both the trader's and craftsmen wings of the city. Warriors, spiritualists, and common folk all mingled together in a stunning array of hues. There were elves who were pale as a deep sea pearl with their white hair shining, some had hair that contained brilliant hues of pinks, greens, or blues. Some bore tattoos and markings that reflected their calling in life, some sported scars of wars long ago fought, some where but fresh faced novices waiting for their turn at worldly turmoil. The Gilnean refugees were just as varied as their Elven hosts. There were gingers who had the skin tone not unlike alabaster, folks whose skin was the color of a cocoa bean and had jet black hair, and every version of blonde, brunette, and skin tone in between. There were the stocky, the willowy, the tall and the short. Besides the obvious physical difference between the two races, there was one large difference between the unlikely neighbors: the Night Elves tended to be quiet and kept a bit more to themselves, the Gilneans on the other hand were a rowdy, boisterous bunch.

To Kelebek the din caused by the city's inhabitants - both intentional and natural - was nearly unbearable. The motion, the press of the crowds as she passed through the center of the city, the smell of other warm bodies that were not her own caused a ball of panic to settle into the young druid's stomach. She fought hard against the feral urge to shift into her cat form and run. Over and over again she reminded herself that she had a job to do, something that was bigger than herself or her worries. Her resilience held out and she eventually managed to work her way through the worst of the evening crowds.

Lodging. She had to find lodging. Kelebek knew that her stay in Darnassus could last but a night or could go on for many moon cycles. While she had hoped that her time in the city of leaves and moonbeams would be short, Kelebek was realistic. To get the answers and help she sought she would potentially have to stay until after the wintery frosts left northern Kalimdor. The idea made her shudder.

The little druid wandered around the city for a while, despite her anxiety of being around so many people. She wanted to get a feel for where folks mingled, where there may be some peace for her mind when the noise became too much for her mind, and what extended housing may cost her rather small pocket of gold. She soon discovered that many of the Gilnean bunch tended to reside around the Cenarion Enclave, in the northern region of the city. That area of the city had pubs, gambling houses, and curious little shops. Turned off by the loud and forward voices of the Gilneans,  not to mention their wolfish smell, she began to wander a bit more south, through the Craftsmen's Terrace. While the area tugged at her heart, there were far too many of the Worgen types mulling about, not to mention the sound of hammers upon anvils would never do her nerves any good.

Through the Warrior's Terrace she wandered, watching the people there practice various forms of combat. Many of the fighting styles were foreign to her: sword play, archery, dagger combat. Kelebek made a mental note to return at a later time and observe the combat styles most foreign to her. In a world where conflict was almost always present you could never be too prepared after all. Finally tugging herself away from the gleam and clash of weaponry, she walked through the Trader's Terrace. Here and there soft verbal exchanges of bartering could be heard, with the occasional raised voice from a Gilnean thinking that he or she was being had by a vendor. Just on the other side of the Trader's Terrace was the Temple of the Moon, a gorgeously imposing building that was the focal point for one of Kelebek's many purposes in the city. Feeling safe in the area and thinking that it was wise to lodge near the temple, she set out to find an inn.

It didn't take her very long to find what she was seeking. Tucked away behind the Trader's Terrace stood a little two story inn. It was quiet and mostly vacant. The woman at the desk appeared to be a kindly soul, one of the older Night Elves, her violet hair tied back into a braid. Her face was beginning to show the signs that the elves no longer had their immortality: her tattoos that may have once been brilliant birds now looked blotchy and faded, crows feet appeared around her eyes and smile lines danced around her mouth as she greeted the druid warmly. Happy to have a guest, the woman showed Kelebek to a little room on the first floor. The druid would have her own door to the outside, a warm bed covered in silk, and meals brought to her if she chose. The room also contained a sort of stove for those overly chilly nights that were all too soon fast approaching the little island. Satisfied with the room, Kelebek thanked the landlady and put down her bags gratefully. It was no cozy hut or den in the woods, but it would serve its purpose well.


"You got her here safe and sound, aye?"

The drake gave a growl of hesitance, then replied "Yes, we got here with little to no issue."

"Good." The woman brushed a stray auburn lock of hair away from her face. "Then we will see what this druid is made of. You may go for now but don't wander far, Aeornoss."

The stone drake shifted uneasily for a moment and then took his leave.

Next Chapter: Darnassus - Leather Bound

August 7, 2011

Darkshore - The Vortex

As the odd pair flew on, their wonderfully clear day suddenly became overcast once more. Large, billowing black clouds rolled in from over the seas, bringing with them a hot, salty wind that stirred up the humid air. Deep drums of thunder rolled off their cadence in the distance while lightning began to play on the horizon.

"I think we should land Aeornoss. That storm is coming in fast and I'd feel much better weathering it from the ground."

The stone drake gave a little rumble in acknowledgment. "I forget that you flesh types are sensitive to the elements. Down we go then."

Just as Aeornoss began his slow decent, the air pressure abruptly changed. Kelebek cried out as her ears popped painfully and the drake grunted in strain as the duo was hit by a strong, horizontal gale. The druid gritted her teeth as she clung to her seat. Knuckles burning, eyes tearing from the wind and debris in the air, Kelebek tried to make sense of what was happening. She tried to pry open one of her eyes to see what was happening. What she saw was alarming.

A vortex had spawned before them. A massive vertical tunnel of air - thick with dirt, trees, and what appeared to be animals - spun wildly before them. Violently it danced, two-stepping its way in a quick fashion over to where the druid and the drake struggled to hold their place in the sky.

Aeornoss suddenly gave out a great roar that sounded like it was let forth not just out of frustration, but of pain, as a great burst of air struck them in the chests.

The last thing Kelebek could recall was seeing the ground coming at her like an over zealous, long lost lover.


She woke up to a cool cloth being wiped across her brow. A quiet female voice was speaking in a foreign tongue very nearby. A deeper, yet still very female voice that sounded as if it was a bit further away answered in the same tongue.

Carefully, slowly, Kelebek opened her eyes. A painful glare met them, so she immediately closed them once more. A few moments passed and she tried again. This time she was able to squint against some of the bright, sparkling light's harshness. A bubble had been placed around her, and tending to the cool cloth that was placed on her head was a white Draenic woman. Her lips were painted black and her long, straight white hair was pulled back into a tail. The priest saw that the druid's eyes had opened a hair and as Kelebek began to stir, quickly said something in a thick tongue to her companion.

"No move." The priest said, laying a gentle hand on Kelebek's chest as she struggled to get into a sitting position. Her accent was heavy, her common barely recognizable. Unable to fight against her caretaker, the druid once again laid down as the world spun in a violent ballet around her.

"You and your drake friend are rather fortunate," said the lower of the two female voices "you both seemed to have only sustained minor injuries."

Kelebek turned her head towards the direction of this second voice. A dark skinned, dark haired Draenei shaman was source of the sound. Her common was easily understood despite her still rather thick accent. Her lips were pursed with worry as she walked over to the druid. Kelebek drew her attention away from the approaching figure to what lay behind her, rather motionlessly. "Aeornoss..."

"The stone drake will be fine. He is exhausted, but he is one of the earth. Nothing vital has been broken. Time as always will heal those bits that have shattered." The shaman kneeled by the druid's side, next to the priest. Ebony and ivory, thought Kelebek, how lovely. She reached out a cool hand to Kelebek's cheek, then cupped her chin in her dark hand. Gently she moved Kelebek's head side to side, watching how well the druid's eyes responded to the movement of light. "Any pain besides in your skull? You have a knot starting, but I shouldn't think that it is life threatening."

" back aches a bit." Gasped the druid weakly.

The shaman nodded and said something in a rapid fashion to her companion. The priest opened up an herbal bag, handing the contents to the shaman. The shaman in turn opened up her own satchel, producing a mixing bowel, a few vials, and a few bandages. She set to work making two different cures. One was an elixir, which she gave to the priest to help Kelebek drink down. A bit foul tasting, the concoction quickly absolved a good portion of the ache in her head. While she was finishing the last of the elixir, the shaman put the finishing touches on a salve.

"Do you feel well enough to sit up yet?" Inquired the shaman.

"I think so."

Another quick word from the shaman to the priest, the priest helped to gently roll Kelebek into a sitting position. As the priest helped to remove Kelebek's leather tunic, the shaman spread the salve thickly onto a cloth. She then pushed the cloth to the druid's now bare back and the two Draenei carefully wrapped the whole thing into place. They then carefully slid her tunic back into its original arrangement, then laid the druid back into a more or less comfortable position.

"That salve is rather potent and it should take but a moment to start working its magic." The shaman put a steady gaze on the druid's face. "You'll have to forgive Kalli for the bright awakening. It's her first venture out into the wider world in quite some time, and she's much more adept at messing with minds and picking herbs than she is at healing. I hope her shield didn't pain your eyes too much."

"The thought," Kelebek winced as she felt a twinge of pain in her back "is definitely appreciated."

Apparently approving of this response, the shaman went on. "I myself am not terribly practiced in the ways of healing and potions, but elixirs and bandages seem to get me by. My name is Saz." The shaman made a gesture to herself. "You were fortunate that my companion and I were out and about looking for a few rare herbs. By the light, that storm came out of no where. I haven't felt the elements to be in a state like that since the time of the Destroyer." She made a gesture of warding away violent memories. "It doesn't matter now, I'll seek those answers later. For the time being we are all safe and more or less in one piece."


"He is well enough, as I said. It is much easier for me to heal that of which is earth than that of which is flesh." She smiled at the druid. "Worry not, I suspect he shall awaken soon enough."

At these words they heard a faint, gravelly shuffle. Kelebek turned to look at her companion and watched as he got up from his resting place. Aeornoss gave a great shake of his head, worked his jaw a few times, and looked over to where the trio of women sat. He slowly padded over, stopping so that his nose was just a short distance from Kelebek's face. "Are you well, little ghost?"

"Well enough, thanks to these two." She reached out, touching the drake's stoney muzzle in reassurance. In response the drake made one of his stone sounds of approval.

The drake then turned his head to face the Draenei women. "My thanks to the both of you for helping little Kelebek and myself. We would be in a sore state without your hand. We are in your debt."

"We have no use of your debt, however you are more than welcome. We may be fighters, but we're not ones to leave the wounded lay about. In a world torn kindness and helping go a long way."

Another growling sound of approval.

With that the shaman said another quick word to the priest, who at once set off into the nearby bushes on the search for something, while Saz set about making a fire to ward off the oncoming nightfall.


By firelight they chatted about wild herbs, foods, and the demons of the world. They feasted upon the meat rations that Kelebek had obtained earlier in the day, much enhanced in flavor thanks to some of the spices that Kalli had in her bags, and on the berries found in the nearby bushes. After dinner Saz was tutting over some of the damage her armor had taken when the Draenei women were also battered by the storm. Kalli had managed to somewhat patch up her own robes (she certainly was no tailor), but Saz had no skill of her own when it came to mending chain mail and the leather pieces that held it all together. Happy to have something to do with her hands, Kelebek went about repairing the shaman's gear as they chatted the now dark evening away.

"What brings you to Darkshore?" inquired Kelebek of the two Draenei.

"We were out looking for snow herbs in Wintersrping. Once we finished there we figured that we would gather a few desert herbs as well while on this continent. We wanted to avoid most of the horde territories and felt the need to observe the demon situation in Felwood for ourselves. So we headed west first, with the plan that we would head south once we hit the forests Darkshore. We hope to be in Uldum by the next moon shift, and Tanaris soon after."

Kelebek listened intently as she kept her eyes on the work before her. She stitched and mended the damaged leather with ease, but some of the chain mail was being problematic. "What did you think about the demon situation, as you called it, over in Felwood?"

"I haven't seen corruption that bad since I fought Yogg-Saron in the pits of Ulduar or since entering the maw of Iso'rath oh so many years ago."

"Do you think it's curable?"

"Have a mind to heal those wilds, druid?"

"I have a mind to find someone who can, if it is possible. Like you, I'm not very talented at the healing arts, but I've called those woods home for some time. I'd like to protect what good is left there."

The shaman studied the druid's face as she said those words. She seems to have more trouble on her mind than a couple of trees, she thought to herself. She watched as Kelebek worked with nimble fingers over the broken patches in her chain mail gloves, so intent on detail that she worked the stitches with the sort of love that made you think that the gloves were her own.

"It may be possible, but it will be messy. What is your plan?"

"I plan to fly to Darnassus, with the help of Aeornoss, and seek out the priests and druids at the Temple of the Moon. I hope to rally a few rangers to kill off the demons, find a few good druids to work with the earth, maybe a few good priests to come along to care for those who in turn care for the wilds."

"Your hope all lies within what The Priestess has to say then?"

"Yes. And by Elune, without her help, I think all is lost for Felwood."

"You have many long days ahead of you then."

"I believe I do."

"Then it is time that we should get some rest." The shaman's eyes fell upon the already sleeping priest, her head padded by her pack and covered snugly by her cloak. Somewhere behind her, just out of the brightest of the fire's light lay the stone drake, quietly making his gravely snoring noises.

Handing the last of the now mended gear back to Saz, Kelebek nodded in agreement. The shaman looked over her well used gloves and her eyes lit up. "You have some talent, little druid. A real gift." Kelebek smiled at this as the shaman turned away to settle down for the night.

Soon the calm evening was filled with the quiet breathing of her new-found companions. The stars were out and she felt restless. She ached to be on the move, but couldn't bring herself to move from the campsite. Such as it is, when finding friends, she thought. Loyalty always holding you in place when you'd rather just run. She brooded into the dying firelight until she finally succumbed to a trance-like slumber.


Departure in the morning came after a light breakfast of what was left of the berries. The Draenei both gave Aeornoss a few reassuring strokes, and began to speak their goodbyes. Saz had called her brilliantly blue dragonhawk back from his hunting, while Kalli's white gryphon laid himself down near the edge of the wood line. He was playing with a dead squirrel that he had caught but minutes before, boredly awaiting his master's beckon.

"I hope that we cross paths again, Kelebek." Saz said seriously. The next statement was said with a smile. "I thank you again for your brilliant handy work on my gear."

"It was the least I could do after you helped my friend. I'm not sure what I would have done with him."

"He would have mended on his own, just much slower."

Kelebek took the priest's hands in her own. "Thanks again Kalli, for your herbs and tending."

Understanding the tone and look on Kelebek's face, Kalli smiled and squeezed her hands in acknowledgment.

With their goodbyes said, Saz and Kalli climbed into the saddles that sat upon their faithful mounts. With a wave the two were off, disappearing into the skies of the south.

The druid turned to the stone drake, "Are you ready to head out as well?"

"Ready when you are, little ghost."

She took a final look around the campsite, making sure nothing was left behind. She had been thorough, as always. "Let's go then." She climbed onto Aeornoss's back and once again they took to the skies.

By midday they saw the sun shining on the leaves of Teldrassil.

Next Chapter: Darnassus - The Arrival

July 18, 2011

Darkshore - The Hunt

Aeornoss flew for many hours before finally landing awkwardly near a stream. The sun had finally set in Darkshore and it was drizzling ever so slightly. He laid the druid down a bit away from the calm little stream, taking care not to lay her down in a position that may cause her discomfort. He then laid his large stone self down next to her, sheltering her small body under his great wing.


Kelebek awoke to the smell of fresh earth and the stench of her own body. Confused, she tried to create some sense of what surroundings she could make out. A stone canopy, a bit of light streaming in from above her aching head. The stone drake. Groaning, Kelebek rolled over onto her stomach and proceeded to crawl out from under the drake's wing. Once out from under its protective canopy, she stood up on wobbly legs.

She stretched and inhaled the fresh, rain-cleansed air. That act alone did much to revive her weakened spirits. Tenderly she walked over to the stream's edge, carefully kneeling down by its side. Kelebek removed her pack, her gloves, and her outer tunic and began to wash the filth from her face and forearms. Once she felt sufficiently clean in those areas, she took a deep, grateful drink from the stream.

Thirst quenched and feeling a bit refreshed, Kelebek took to the task of checking the contents in her pack. Satisfied to find that her city clothes - which consisted of a tattered blue dress, a linen shirt, a fresh pair of soft leather leggings, and soft leather boots - were relatively slime free. Unfortunately her rations of Winterspring berries and stag jerky, which were stored in an outer pocket of her satchel, were not so lucky. The jerky had gone slimy with moisture and the berries were beginning to mold; Kelebek would have to forage for fresh food soon. Saddened by the waste of what had been perfectly good food, she tossed the rations out. As she was doing so she thanked the spirits that be for the food once again and apologized for their waste.

Once the contents of her pouch were repacked she took a moment to look around. Morning in Darkshore was gloomy, but much less so than in Felwood. The sky was grey and damp looking, the grass covered in a fine dew. Tendrils of fog danced about in the open grassy areas near the stream. It was rather peaceful, in a depressing sort of way.

Kelebek shook the dreamy thoughts from her head and looked back at the drake. Aeornoss, that was his name, she thought to herself. Satisfied to see that he appeared to still be sleeping, Kelebek wandered up stream a ways, looking for both berry bushes and a spot deep enough in the stream to properly bathe in. She didn't have to travel far to find both things that she was seeking.

Aeonoss had landed them in a decent sized clearing in one of the many wooded areas of Darkshore. All Kelebek had to do was to walk towards the edge of this clearing to find several bushes that were no more than knee high on her. These bushes contained large, plump, and juicy blue berries, perfect for picking. Thanking both Elune and nature itself Kelebek plucked the berries and began to eat them one by one. They were absolutely perfect; she relished in both their flavor and texture. After several minutes of residing in berry heaven, Kelebek stopped herself. One's stomach could not be filled on berries alone after all, and it would be unwise to try doing so.

Feeling her strength returned and covered in much berry juice, Kelebek decided it was time to bathe. The water had pooled a bit near the berry bushes, so she needn't go far to do what she needed to do. Tentatively she looked back at the drake who appeared to still be resting. While not the shyest of people, Kelebek still felt a bit uneasy undressing in front of intelligent eyes, regardless of species. Reassured of his current state, she moved over to the water's edge and removed what clothing she still had on after the earlier clean up. Chilled by the early morning air, she walked into the crisp water of the little stream, walking until she was able to submerge herself into the blissfully clean waters.


Aeornoss awoke to the sound of water rippling. He looked over to where the little druid was bathing in the stream, observing her with his keen eyes as she scrubbed the green filth from her pale and shining hair. Finished with her cleaning, she strode out of the water. Her pale skin shone brilliantly in the murky morning light, contrasted by both the deep violet of the tattoos on her face and the purple splotches of bruising that was beginning to show along her fragile ribcage. She wasn't bad looking, for a fleshling. She had a more delicate build than that of a typical night elf female. Shorter in stature, leaner in muscle, not quite as heavy in the chest. Aeornoss didn't have much experience in observing night elves though, his experience was more with dwarves and the occasional orc if any species of humanoid at all, so what did he know. Still, she seemed healthy looking enough for someone he had plucked out of a zone containing little other than sewage, so he was content.


She felt cleaner than she had in days. Returning to the shore of the little stream, Kelebek used a small towel to dry off her pale skin and opted to redress herself with the clothes she had in her pack. The clean linen shirt and soft leather pants felt heavenly on her freshly cleaned body after having been contained in the slime-filled sweaty leather of her battle garb. She relished in the feeling for a moment before setting to the task of scrubbing her battle gear clean.

Once finished Kelebek with cleaning her battle gear she took the heavy, water laden clothing back to where Aeornoss lay watching. She laid out her leathers onto the large boulders nearby to dry, and dug into her pack for her oils.

Kelebek looked up at the drake and in seeing that he was awake, smiled. "Good morning Aeornoss." He looked at her and gave a slow nod, returning the greeting.

He observed her as she fussed over her gear as it dried. She continuously moved various bits and pieces onto dry parts of the boulder, ensuring that the soft insides dried properly. At the same time she oiled the outside of the various pieces of gear to make sure that the leather didn't crack as it dried. After several hours of this she was finally satisfied with how much oil the leather had absorbed and how it was coming along in the drying process. She told the drake that she needed meat for the remainder of the journey and that she would return shortly.

"I've picked enough berries for several days' travel but I require some meat to help sustain me. Even though the trip will be much shorter if you choose to travel with me, I can't expect to be in Darnassus within the next few days if I must travel on foot. Hunting now will also save on supply expenses while in the city. I will return soon."

"I understand." responded Aeornoss.

With that Kelebek shifted into her cat form and sprinted off into the woods in high hopes of finding a stag or doe.


With ease she maneuvered through the undergrowth of the forest. She stopped here to smell the soil for those faint traces that animals tend to leave behind, she searched there in the drying soil for fresh foot prints, gliding easily over a bush in her path as a deer had apparently done not too long before her. She padded down the deer trail silently, listening as she went for any sound that may betray an animal of their whereabouts. She didn't have to wait long.

There, in the clearing ahead stood three deer: a healthy looking buck, an older looking heavy set doe, and disturbingly, a half rotten looking fawn. Plagued. Kelebek thought to herself. I suppose it's expected, but I thought the mountains contained most of that. She weighed her options before her: Go after the buck and hope that he isn't plagued as well, or become ill from a diet only consisting of berries. Chances are that if that fawn was plagued, so too were animals in other areas of Darkshore. The plague generally took its victims quickly, so if one were to succumb to such an illness, it would show its effects within a few hours. The buck seemed healthy enough. He certainly wasn't lethargic, no erratic behavior, not a sniffle nor sneeze, and best of all, his fur didn't look to be falling out. Kelebek observed him for quite a while to be sure, moving herself into a promising ambush position while doing so. Unfortunately her white coat wasn't best suited for such a dark, earthy toned area, but she knew how to work the shadows to her advantage. She waited in stealth for the opportune moment to strike her prey.

Precious minutes crawled by as Kelebek lay in waiting. She was so focused on her prey that she didn't even notice her sore and protesting muscles as they remained taut; she was a coiled spring, a trap waiting to be sprung. The stag took a few more steps in her direction, grazing as he went. Time seemed to stop all together. Come on, just a bit closer. A bee lazily buzzed into the druid's ear, making its irritating buzzing hum, and yet she dare not twitch it away. It didn't really matter, she could barely hear it now. All she could listen to was the chewing of the stag and her own heart beat. Ba-boom ba-boom. He took a few more steps closer to the bush that gave the predator her cover. Baboombaboombaboom. The large beast took a few more grazing steps towards the bush and Kelebek seized her moment. She leapt from hiding spot, completely taking the stag by surprise. Mouth wide, claws extended, the druid exploded from her little bush, letting rip a savage roar as her attack met its target. The stag made an attempt to run as the cat attacked, but it was a moment to late. Kelebek's built in weapons had met their mark. Hunt successful.


The little druid was exhausted, but thankfully with a kill such as that comes adrenaline. She used this little burst of energy to help her drag the creature back to where Aeornoss was waiting for her. Once she made it back to the camp she shifted back into her night elf form and set about making a fire in which to prepare the meat over. The stone drake watched idly as Kelebek took measures to carefully skin the creature and then he continued to watch on as she prepared the venison for both immediate consumption and ensuring that it wouldn't go bad during their journey. She removed various salts from her pack, using one grain for her food while a thicker grain was applied to the now clean skin of the stag.

"What are you doing with that beasts shell, little ghost?" Inquired the stone drake.

"Preserving the leather so that I may use it later to either make new garments or to sell it in order to buy other needed supplies."

"I see." This notion confused Aeornoss a bit. Then again, this particular stone drake was rather uninformed about fleshlings after all. He just nodded his head and continued to observe.

Kelebek removed a few other bits and pieces from the stag as the meat cooked, carefully cleaning and adding salt to this and that. When it seemed that she could no longer find any use for what was left, she took the remains and brought them to the woods. Carefully she lay them beneath a tree and knelt before the remains.

"Thanks to the great stag who gave himself today so that I may find the strength to journey on. Praise Elune for allowing me to take the life of one of your own so that I may go on. I shall do my best to see that his death was not in vain."

With thanks and respect given the little druid returned to the stone drake. She rolled and tied the skin to her pack, wrapped up the meat best she should, and stowed away the bits and pieces she chose to keep. She then proceeded to change back into her battle garb and washed the blood from her city clothes. She doused down most of the fire, using the remains of it to quickly dry the last of her clothing. Once everything was packed and the fire was fully extinguished she finally announced to Aeonoss that she was ready to depart. She then asked the drake if he intended to travel with her.

"Of course, little ghost. I find you intriguing. I would very much like to learn more about you and your kind, if you would allow me to observe you further. I am ready to take flight the moment you are."

"Then my apologies about keeping you waiting, dear Aeonoss. One cannot simply rush the preservation of meat and skin unfortunately."

The drake smiled his stone smile. "Stone has an eternity, little one. I may not have an eternity, but time enough. I am patient and I believe I have learned much this morning."

The druid couldn't help but give a rare smile to the drake. "Well, if we hurry, we may be able to chase the sunset and arrive at Darnassus shortly after night fall. It's about a two days journey by foot, but I believe it is but half a day's travel by how a Druid of the Talon flies."

"I don't know much about these druids or their talons, but I do know how to fly." The drake looked up into the now brightly lit sky. "A clear day, little breeze. It's but midday. I may be made of stone, but elements are right to make some haste."

The druid nodded her acknowledgment  and climbed up onto the stone drake's back. Aeronoss stood and said "Hang tight Kelebek, take off is always a little rough from flat ground." With that he opened his large stony wings, gave a few powerful flaps, thrusting the pair into the bright summer sky.

Next Chapter: Darkshore - The Vortex