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