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."
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.
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