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