January 29, 2012

Fireside Stories and Snow Storms

The night had begun to turn dark as Kelebek made her way across the city. As she moved her way down the empty, cobble-stoned streets of Darnassus, the snow began to fall faster. Heavy, wet flakes were falling thickly from the sky and stuck to the druid's long hair. The heat that her body created caused the flakes to melt, soaking through her leather gear. She moved with haste across the city not only because of her urgent visit to her employer, but out of need to get out of the weather.

Cold and wet, she finally arrived at the little house belonging to Mandy and Jimmy Bremsworth. Snow covered the little stoop and candle light flickered through the frost tinted windows. Kelebek knocked on the heavy door with three quick, light raps.

It was Jimmy who answered the door. The sleeves of his plaid, dark green shirt were rolled up to his elbows, his dark hair was slicked back. He grunted a greeting and gestured the druid in with one of his big hands, motioning her over to the kitchen area where Mandy was working the giant black pot that sat over the fire.

Mandy's russet hair was piled into a bun at the crown of her head, nearly looking brown from the sweat that poured from the woman's skin and from the house's poor lighting. She looked up from the pot, wiped her face on a cloth, and smiled at the druid. "Kelebek love, I'm glad you've gotten my message. Come sit a bit by the fire, you look chilled."

The druid did as she was told and took occupancy of a chair near the fire. It was all she could do not to physically purr as she stretched out her frozen feet to the hearth. "What news, Mandy? Who is this Natalie that sent me this message?"

"I have news and gossip plenty for you, which we'll get to in time. As for Natalie..." Mandy handed the druid a hot bowl of soup and a lump of hard bread with a bit of wine. "that would be my sister. She's one of the few rare Gilneans that have managed to earn their trust with the elven nobility or what have you around here. I knew that if anyone was to catch scent of any scrap of news that slipped passed Arthur...you remember me big brother the barkeep, don't you? Well, if any bit of gossip slipped passed him and it was important enough, I knew that Natty would find it out quick enough." The Gilnean woman didn't miss the involuntary flinch that Kelebek had at the mention of the bar. "Oh, there's word of that too, but we'll get to that as well in time."

"Wait...word of what?"

"Your pal Dax Grey that is." Another shutter passed through the druid that she was unable to suppress. Kelebek took a heavy swig from her wine glass.

"Don't be gettin' yourself too drunk now, Miss Bek. We have plenty to chat about tonight and you have a long ride ahead of you tomorrow, if I have my facts and notions set straight. Can't have you piss drunk, too much to talk about for you not to remember anything. Give me just a moment to finish boiling these leathers and we can get on with it."

She sat quietly, finishing her meal as Mandy fussed with the leathers in her pot. When she had consumed everything that had been handed to her, the druid washed up her wooden bowl in the little basin that was kept in the kitchen, dried it with a rough towel, and placed it back into the cupboard that held similar utensils. By the time she was finished with the minor chore, Mandy was getting ready to pull her leathers from the pot. "Bek, be a dear and fetch Jimmy, will you? We need to get this leather molded before it cools too much."

Once Jimmy had been fetched the three of them set to work on stretching and setting the leather pieces, soon to be leather armor. Quickly and silently they worked the leather, turning the pieces into bracers, elbow pads, and leg guards...simple items that could later be stitched into larger sets of gear for extra protection. For an hour they worked together with nothing but the sound of tools working and the fire crackling. Finally Mandy declared their work to be finished and set her husband to the task of placing the various pieces onto pegs and shelves that would help them dry properly while ensuring that the leathers kept their shape.

Visibly exhausted, Mandy mopped her face with a soft cloth and pushed the wild strands of hair from her face with a sigh. Once again she motioned Kelebek to a seat by the fire, fetched a warm glass of wine for the both of them, and settled into the other chair that was set by the hearth. Together they sat for a bit watching the flames dance over the logs as they sipped their beverages and relaxed their tired muscles. Several moments passed in quiet relaxation, but then Kelebek's anxiousness got the best of her.

"So what was it that you wanted to see me about? The letter said that you were worried about me."

Mandy sipped a bit more wine before replying. "Mmm, right. Well, you were in such a state when you left that I wanted to see you with my own eyes before you took off. You seemed a bit recovered from your ordeal, which is good. I couldn't have let you gone off to some far fetched region in the state that you were in."

"What makes you think you could have stopped me from leaving?"

"I would have had Jimmy rope you in or some such. Don't give me such a look. You may have not been under my employment long, Miss Kelebek, but you've already become dear to Jimmy and me. Not to mention Arthur feels awful about that whole Dax thing." Again the druid flinched ever so slightly. "Speaking of, have you heard the news?"

"What news?"

"Ol' Daxy was found bled out in his cell shortly after you'd left town."

The color drained from the druid's face. "I'm not suspected, am I?"

"Oh, no love. He was green from the poisons and the deed had obviously been done with a rather nasty dagger." Mandy chuckled softly to herself and smiled at the druid over her wine glass. "From the sounds of it you had done a rather bang up job on Daxy's manhood though. Between you and this mystery assassin, Dax looked like one of those mummy creatures you hear about down in Uldum. He was nothing but a mass of bandages when they put him in a crate and tossed him into his grave. Needless to say, you haven't anything more to fear from Dax Grey, love. I don't think even the Dark Lady would be claiming him for her army of undead."

She set her now empty wine glass down on the table that sat between her and the druid, and turned her full attention to Kelebek. "Now, I've been hearing tales of you poking about for information on your family. What exactly is this all about? Why do you think that my sister is sending you off on some wild chase to find some old hag in the hills of Feralas?"

Kelebek then proceeded to tell Mandy what she had told few others. She retold Mandy about her memory loss, the violent dreams that seemed to always have too little detail, how she often woke up with the name 'Kiya' on her lips but couldn't recall who that was. "I don't remember what happened or even why it happened. I can't bring up the names of my family or images of their faces from my memory. I try and I try, but nothing ever appears. I was found by the druid Taloris. I was wandering in the woods not far from a decimated village in the northern parts of the Eastern Kingdoms as an older child, the side of my head gashed open and I had no memory of who or where I was. I want to find out what happened to that village because no one really knows, or won't say anything if they do know. I need to find out if any of my family made it out. I need to know who they were. I need to know who I am." The druid was trying hard not to give into her frustrations, so she took another swig of her wine.

The Gilnean women took everything the druid said as a fact and statement. She offered no pity, but instead wished to offer any help she could. "What is it that you've discovered so far?"

Another sip of wine before she responded. "Not much I'm afraid. I'm not even certain of the name of the village. It was far to small to show up on any map that is printed to the masses, so all I have to go by is the location and 'that one little village that was mysteriously razed for unknown reasons.' If folks do know what happened there, they pretend not to."

Several moments passed as the women sat in silence once more. The fire was burning down to embers and Jimmy could be heard snoring in some corner of the house. "Tell me, this Taloris...he raised you, yes?"


"He found you near the village and raised you. Does he know nothing of what happened?"

"He knows of the event surrounding the demise of my village, but he doesn't know the details of what happens...or at least he won't speak of them. He claims to have not known my family, which really doesn't surprise me any. Tal isn't a creature of socialization. He prefers to stay to the woods, to teach his rare student, and to perhaps join in the occasional war if he feels that it suits his needs or beliefs. He has said that the night that village was burned, the sky had turned a violent shade of purple. A deafening roar was all that could be heard, even from the woods where he made his den. He remembers waking up in the middle of the forest to the cry of a child...my cry. The din caused by the sound of whatever attacked that village was so great that it caused him to fall to the ground where he stood. He recalled awakening to the air smelling of sulfur, the surrounding skies were green with the fel fires that burned what was remaining of my village. He took me to the nearest shore, found us a passage to Kalimdor, and we've lived here since. He refuses to speak about any other detail that he may know of the event, so I am left to find the clues on my own."

"Demons in the Eastern Kingdoms? I have heard of the scourge and of course the horror stories of my people, but never of demons!" Mandy got up from her seat and topped both of the glasses off with more wine.

"I really wouldn't know. I haven't been back to the Eastern Kingdoms since I was a kitten. I know of the demons on Kalimdor plenty, even heard tale of the old wars on Draenor, but my history lessons of the Eastern Kingdoms are lacking."

Mandy set her wine cup down and walked over to a little bookshelf set under a rickety set of stairs. By the dim light she managed to pick out a small but thick volume. "Her lass, you can borrow this for a bit." She handed the book over to the druid.

"A History of Azeroth's People and Politics."

"Aye. That details just about every war Azeroth has seen and the politics of her people. You may not see every little demon invasion listed in there, but it will at least give you a good idea of the cultures you may come across. From the sounds of it you'll be traveling a might bit, so there may be some handy knowledge in that book for you."

Kelebek looked tiredly at Mandy and then tucked the book into one of the many pockets hidden on her gear. "Thank you, I'll read it as soon as I can."

"No matter love. Now..." The Gilnean women walked over to the window and looked outside. "from the sounds of it we'll be getting a bit of snow for the next few days. Think your drake friend will be able to fly through this?" She turned back to the druid as she asked this. "Oh, don't look so surprised that I know about it. The whole city has been a buzz about it since you two came swooping into the temple."

"Well, yes. I suppose he should be able to fly through this weather just fine. He is a stone drake after all."

"A stone drake of all things. I didn't think their kind came out of Deepholm..." Mandy began to dig through a chest that had been pushed up against a wall. "Well, I don't suspect the weather will get much better until you're south of Ashenvale. Take this jacket and cloak. Both are fur, both seem a bit warmer than anything I've seen you wear so far." The druid began to protest. "I won't hear of it. I have finer things to wear if I have to, and I can always make new things. You have to make haste and may not have time to hunt and make anything warm for yourself. Do you have maps?" Kelebek admitted that she didn't. "Well then..." Mandy rooted through another, smaller chest. "here's a map of Kalimdor, another of the Eastern Kingdoms. If for some odd reason you find yourself in the cold continent of Northrend, there is a general map in that book of yours. Most of the pubs have them mounted on a wall somewhere anyways if you need something in more detail. If you end up in that Pandaria land though, I'm afraid you're on your own. Most folk still don't have maps of that place, let alone manage to find their ways there in the first place."

Kelebek sat in her chair, arms now full of supplies. Quietly she stammered thank yous as Mandy continued to add to the pile.

"Have you a satchel? Of course you do, back in your lodging I suppose. Well here, have a smaller one. I hope it fits into your usual pack. There's some bread in this pocket, a spare water skin in this pocket, a few spare herbs here, and you can fit a few more items in this compartment if need be. I even tossed a few extra bandages in there, never know when you may need those." She pushed a few more stray locks out of her face as she tried to think of what else she could hand to the druid. "What else...what else..."


"Yes love?"

Kelebek stood up and gently placed everything onto her seat so that she could grab the other woman by the arms. "This is plenty. Thank you. For everything."

"Are you sure it's enough?" The Gilnean looked worried and tired, if not a bit delirious.

"It's more than plenty. It's more than I could have ever asked for, thank you."

Mandy then did something that Kelebek hadn't expected her to. She hugged the druid. Akwardly, Kelebek returned the embrace.

"Okay then, let's get you suited up and off. You need to be getting back and packing yet, aye?"

The druid gave a little smile and nodded in agreement. She slid on the light brown fur coat (the fur side was in, making the knee length coat incredible soft as well as warm), tied the matching light brown cloak around her neck, slung the satchel of goods over one shoulder, and gathered up the maps. Finally she was ready to head out into the night. Kelebek said a few more thank yous, Mandy kissed the druid's cheeks in farewell, and the white-haired night elf found herself back out in the night of cold and snow.


It was well after midnight by the time Kelebek made it back to her quarters. While the clothing that Mandy had given to her helped immensely, she still found herself to be shivering from the snow melt that had made its way down her neck and into her boots. Carefully she set down her staff, maps, and new satchel onto the floor near the door. She then set about the task of lighting a fire and searching for her gloves. Kelebek slid on the dark brown fingerless gloves and set to work getting together her belongings. 

She rounded up her story book about the little girl and the well, her spare quills, and whatever parchment she had and placed them into her large satchel. All of her tools were returned to her tooling case, likewise to be placed within her satchel. Spare clothing was folded, save for the dress she wore on the day she first went to visit Tyrande. She decided that she didn't have room to spare for such a fine thing and that it was best left behind. Kelebek set the pretty thing aside as she tucked the rest of her belongings into the satchel: a bone comb, the maps Mandy had sent along with her, the history book, and the little satchel of food and supplies all finally made their way into her bag. Satisfied and beginning to warm up, the druid snapped the buckles closed and set the satchel by the door next to her staff.

Her eyes combed over the room, looking for anything that may have been forgotton. Finding nothing, her eyes once again fell upon her dress. Such a lovely thing to let go to waste, she thought to herself. Perhaps I'll send it off to Mandy. Might not be the right size, but she deserves such a fine thing. Mind made up and belongings packed, the druid settled down into her bed one last time and slept for a while.


Kelebek awoke to the sound of screams and the smell of smoke. Her first instinct was to check her own fireplace, which had appeared to have flickered out during the hours of her slumber. Again more screams arose from outside of her little apartment. The little druid raced to the window, seeing nothing but smoke and snow. She raced to where her things were. Luckily she had fallen asleep with her coat and cloak on, so she only had to slip on her pack and grab her staff. Quickly she wrote a note with instructions on where the dress should end up, pinned it to the fabric, and left her room with a audible click of the door.

Darnassus was in a state of chaos. Citizens were running everywhere in panic, the roofs were of the city were smoldering, and all around the blizzard raged in a torrent of flurries. Kelebek slid her way down to the center of the city where the iconic bank built into a tree once stood. The bear-shaped bank was no longer standing in its rightful place; what was left of the building laid aflame in the water, having broken through the ice and sunk to the bottom of the shallow pond. 

In the bank's place stood a large dragon. It looked rather old, with its once onyx-black scales sagging in grey flaps. Blood oozed from its eyes that had been taken out by carefully aimed arrows. Blindly it lashed out at its elven attackers, crushing anyone who wasn't quick enough to dodge the wild swings of claw and tail. Beneath the dragon's feet was a froth of blood, snow, soot, and mangled flesh. As an elven warrior managed to sink his sword into one of the dragon's few soft spots, the beast let out a roar of pain and charged forward, crushing the warrior under its mighty claws and crashing into yet another building. In frustration the creature belched out a large stream of fire, setting several more houses and trees on fire.

Another loud roar was heard coming from this distance. This one though was recognizable. Again the roar came, but it wasn't just a bestial noise; it was someone calling the druid's name. "KELEBEK!!"


The stone drake landed heavily by the temple, one of the few areas large enough in the city for him to safely set himself down. Even from a distance Kelebek could see the blood oozing from the various wounds on the drake's body.

As quickly as the ice allowed her, Kelebek ran to Aeornoss' side. "What happened to you?"

"Dragons. Many...dragons. I was ambushed in the woods by a small one who bragged that an army of corrupted dragons was on its way. They have riders with them. Assassins. We must leave now, Darnassus will fall!"

"We must war..."

"No, we must leave!"

"But what of my friends? I must stay and fight!"

"This isn't your time to fight, little ghost. WE MUST LEAVE NOW!"

Without further question the druid clambered onto the back of the injured drake. Together they rose into the snow filled sky, where the smell of burning flesh and and stench of dragon blood was quickly singed away by the harsh, frosty morning air. Kelebek looked back in time to see a thunder of dragons with their assassin riders do just as Aeornoss predicted. 

That was the night Darnassus fell.

January 14, 2012

The Summons

It took her a moment to process everything. Slowly her fur began to lay back down and she began to chuckle as well.

"Aeornoss, it's been months!" The little druid and the stone drake walked over to each other, meeting on the other side of the little lake. "What news? How are you?"

"I'm...well enough, little one. Yourself?"

The events that took place within the gates of Darnassus flashed before Kelebek's eyes. Quickly she pushed them away.

"Well enough for the moment." She paused for a moment to collect herself. "What brings you here?"

"Looking for you actually. I was expecting to arrive in Darnassus in the morning, can't be flying in at night being a dragon-type after all, when I thought I heard a familiar voice off being carried on the winds. I wasn't sure in which direction it was from, but thought I'd wait by the water to see who would show up. Surprisingly enough it was the one I was looking for."

"Didn't realize you stone drakes heard so well."

"If the elements wish me to hear something, I have no choice but to listen to the sounds brought to me."

At this statement they both smiled at each other and let out a little laugh.

"Now, what brings you outside of the protected sanctuary of Darnassus, little ghost?"

"Well, I..."

A voice called off in the distance. "Miss Kelebek! Kelebek? Where you gone you milady? The meal is getting cold!"

"Cubical! I forgot about him. Aeornoss, come with me please."

Together they walked towards the sound of Cubi's voice. It didn't take them long to walk back to the little clearing that contained the camp fire, at the edge of which the silver haired druid stood. "I was worried your food would get co...oh! You have brought a friend!"

"Yes. Cubical, this is Aeornoss. He was my traveling companion for a short while. Aeornoss, meet my new acquaintance Cubical."

"Hello to you, good sir!" In response the drake bowed his head towards the druid and said a simple hello. A few awkward moments passed. "Well then, I suppose we should get to our meal!"


The meal was accompanied by the sounds of eating and minor chatter. For the most part the event was peaceful, filled with easy pleasantries and what minor bits of gossip they had last heard about. As Kelebek had suspected, the news about the murder of Dax Grey had managed to spread throughout the little island of Teldrassil. She did her best to center herself so she did not flinch when she was asked to report the specifics of the topic ("Well you were in Darnassus when it happened Miss Kelebek, surely you know all the details!"), but thankfully she hardly had to utter a word on the subject. She breathed an inward sigh of relief when their little group was interrupted by yet another new comer.

A young huntress road up to the little group on a great white Nightsaber, her white wolf companion not far in tow. "I'm looking for a druid by the name of Kelebek Swiftclaw. She's believed to be wandering these woods. Have any of you seen her by chance?"

"Depends on who's looking." growled Aeornoss.

"I am Analla, I have been sent by the priestess Tyrande. There has been word about Kelebek's friend, and I have been sent out into the wilds to retrieve her so that Tyrande may relay the information herself."

"I am Kelebek. What news do you know of my friend?"

The youth shook her head; her teal braids hardly jostled. "They didn't give me any specifics to relay. They only told me to tell you that there was news, and that it was important." Analla's grey toned face was rather somber. Her little mouth pursed a bit as she said her next words. "I do know that the Lady Tyrande won't be in Darnassus for much longer, she has pressing matters else where and must leave before nightfall. You'd better hurry back." The huntress readjusted her hands on the reins of her saber and looked to her wolf. "Come pup, we must be getting back if we're to make dinner."

Kelebek watched the huntress ride away. "Cubical, thank you for the lovely meal. I really must be going though."

"It was my pleasure Miss Kelebek." He took her hand and kissed it. "I hope you have a safe journey back to Darnassus."

"Thank you." She turned to the stone drake, "Aeornoss...?"

"I will take you to the temple, child. You will arrive more swiftly on my wings than you will by your paws."

With great haste the little druid scrambled onto the stone drake's back. She motioned a quick farewell to Cubical, then pair were off into the skies.


Aeornoss touched down just outside of the temple itself. There were a few shouts of surprise and many odd stares as the drake settled down onto the marble pavement. Kelebek ignored all of the commotion as she slid off of Aeornoss' back and half ran into the temple.

The only resistance the druid met was a guard as she made way for the ramp that led to the upper balconies of the temple. The guard recognized her and asked her what business brought her to the Temple of the Moon this time.

"Priestess Tyranda has sent for me, by way of a huntress named Analla. I was told that there was an urgent matter at hand."

"Very well, follow me please."

It took a good portion of the druid's willpower to not run past the guard. She did her best to calm herself as the two Night Elves ascended to the upper balconies. The mere minutes that the journey took felt like half an eternity to Kelebek.

"Lady Tyrande, Miss Kelebek Swiftclaw to see you."

"Thank you Ninyne." Tyrande fussed a bit more with the packages in front of her before she turned to the druid. "I'm happy that Analla managed to reach you in time. She's an excellent and swift tracker, but I feared that you would have been harder to find. I hope all is well with you?"

"Well enough, Priestess. I don't mean to be rude, but Analla said that you word regarding Taloris. What news do you have?"

"The good news is that Taloris has been found alive..."

"Oh thank Elune!"

"However, he is not well. He is being delivered to Darnassus within the week. The priestess here in the temple itself will be tending to him until I get back."

"Back? Wait, what is wrong with Taloris?"

"I haven't the time to explain right this moment, child. All I can do is assure you that we will be taking the greatest care possible of him." Tyrande summoned a guard to her side and together the two women gathered up the priestess' traveling bags. Just as they were about to exit the chambers, Tyrande stopped and began to dig around within the folds of her robes. "One last thing Kelebek, one of my advisors heard about your inquiries around the city about your family. She asked me to pass this message along to you." The priestess handed the druid the piece of paper, gave her a quick blessing, and quickly made her way out of the temple.

Dumbfounded Kelebek stood alone in the temple chambers, looking down at the paper in her hands. Tal is ill, I should have stayed! She tried to choke back tears of worry and regret, but a tear slid away and plopped onto the paper before her. Kelebek sniffled a bit, wiped away the wet streak on her face with her sleeve, then proceeded to open the note.

Little Druid,

I have caught wind that you are looking for the answers to your past. I have no evidence of who your family may be, or what happened to you so long ago, however there is an old crone in the highlands of Feralas who I hear is talented in the ways of finding information. She is said to live in one of the many caves in the mountains of the area. However, before you leave Darnassus in search of this crone, I advise you to first seek out your employer. She has been rather worried and would like to see you before you head off.

May Elune guide you in your search,
Advisor Natalie Bremsworth


Kelebek descended the ramp slowly, setting each foot down much more heavily than she would have normally. She was still trying to process all of the information presented to her when she finally reached Aeornoss.

"What news, little ghost?"

"Taloris is alive, but not well. He will arrive in Darnassus in a week's time."

The drake solemnly nodded his stoney head. His eyes were drawn to the white object that the druid was clenching tightly. "What is that in your hand?"

"Information about the task I was on."

"I see. What is your plan?"

"We set off for Feralas in the morning. First though I have a few things to attend to."

"Very well little one. I think I shall wait just outside of the cities walls for you. I don't think these folk take too kindly to my presence."

Kelebek was already walking away from the drake, in the direction of her employer's house when she replied to Aeornoss. "That's fine. I will see you in the morning!"

"Yes. In the morning."

The drake turned himself towards the gates of the city and took to the sky, cold air and snowflakes swirling beneath his stoney wings.

January 4, 2012

The Woods of Teldrassil

By the time Kelebek passed the gates of Darnassus she had only a sliver of moonlight to navigate by. The night air was brisk and just cold enough that each time the druid exhaled she left a little frosty cloud of mist behind. She broke out into a full sprint, paws crunching down on the frost-kissed grass, feeling the knot in her stomach loosen as the pressures of society melt away. The druid smiled her kitty smile as she bounded through the dying under brush of the woods. On a whim she sprang up into a tree, only to have the branch she landed upon break with a loud crack, sending the druid tumbling to the ground. She landed with a thud and had to laugh at herself. Away she bounded again, pouncing on little mounds of dirt as she came across them. Kelebek felt silly and giddy, punch drunk as she ran through the purple forests of Teldrassil, tears streaming down her face.

Eventually she came to a little inland lake. Feeling emotionally drained now and physically exhausted, she crouched down and began to lap up the cool, clear water. When she had her fill she sat back on her haunches to contemplate. The giddy feeling had subsided, leaving behind all of the pain and emotion that she had been holding back since the night with Dax Grey. The panic, sadness and rage, along with a slew of other unexplainable emotions, coursed through the druid as she watched the ripples on the lake's surface. The tears she had shed moments before had left little frozen trails down her face. She wanted nothing more than to let out a low pitched cry to express and relieve the remainder of her unexpressed feelings but she instead shook her head and padded away from the lake. If she was to be in the woods for a period of time, she'd need a place to den. First rule of the wilds: Survival takes priority over emotions. That was that.

The sky was beginning to get a pink hue by the time Kelebek found what she was looking for. Amongst one of the many little mountains she discovered a little dirt cave. The ceiling had roots dangling from it, but it seemed dry. The den was mostly devoid of the scents of other animals, which was a great indication that it hadn't been occupied for some time. With an efficient haste she began to mark the cave as her own. She tore at the soil with her claws, then padded it back down to make it seem as if she had bedded there before. She then rolled around in the cave a bit, making sure that it bore her scent so that if another curious animal came strolling by they'd know that the little dirt mount they had just stuck their heads into had been claimed.

Pleased with having found herself shelter, the little druid took off into the woods with her next mission: breakfast. While she wasn't terribly familiar with the wild life of the island, though she had heard a few owls while she pranced about in the night and caught the scent of a boar. The claw marks on the trees made by the local nightsabers hadn't gone unnoticed either. Kelebek wasn't feeling up to the acrobatic task of trying to catch an owl, nor was she keen on taking down a fellow feline, so she set out on the faint scent trails of a boar.

The bright pink skies faded to a cool blue. The temperature had come up some, but in the early part of the day the frost still clung to many of the leaves and grasses yet hidden in the shade. It was because of the frost that Kelebek managed to stumble upon a small trail in the woods. The foot path was cut deep into what would have been mud had there been any rain recently, made by many tiny boar hooves. A few boars had used the path that very night; the lack of frost gave that fact away clearly.

Quietly Kelebek followed the path in a parallel fashion, not wanting to mar the trail for if she traveled on it herself she may startle the boars away from using it in the future. She continued to follow the trail for quite some time, using the underbrush and shadows of the forest to help hide her white fur. Finally she heard them off in the distance, three of them, squealing and grunting as they fought over whatever root they had just dug up. Kelebek slunk through the brush, closing the gap between her and her meal with quiet urgency. Within no time her prey were all within in the druid's sight, and when she was sure of the situation she crouched down behind a rather thick bush, waiting for the right time to strike.

Muscles taut, ears forward and barely breathing, Kelebek waited. Two of the boars were rather large and had prominent tusks, not something a lone (not to mention undersized) cat would want to take on herself. The third boar however was the one that Kebelek had set her eyes on. It was a young boar, its tusks were still tiny and fur yet soft, unlike the bristly hides of his companions. She was waiting for that perfect moment when the little boar would wander by, separated just enough from the other two that when she'd strike the rest would scatter in a panic instead of turning on her. Time ticked by slowly, but eventually the little boar did just just as the druid had hoped. He wandered over into the druid's range, and as he did so she readjusted her paws in a quiet, antsy fashion, tail silently twitching. Waiting...waiting...

Just as she was about to spring into action, a large crash was heard and a ball of white fur came barreling out of the woods to the right of the clearing. The creature was large, but not too much larger than Kelebek herself; a bear. He charged at one of the boars without much premeditation, for he struck out only to miss as his would-be victim squealed and high tailed it well outside of the bears range. The other two followed suit, high tailing it into the thick and frosty under brush. 

The bear stood in the middle of the clearing, panting. His sides heaved heavily as Kelebek observed him. He bore the markings of a fellow Night Elf druid. Infuriated, Kelebek charged at the bear, head-butting hard him on the shoulder.

"You idiot!" she growled.

The bear was taken completely surprised by the attack. He stood there stunned for a moment before looking at the cat, then looking down the trail of broken bushes left behind by the boars, then back at the cat.

"Apologies milady, I didn't know that someone else was in the area. I was just having a bit of fun, I swear it!"

"Your 'bit of fun' just caused me my meal." At her harsh words the bear hung his head. Kelebek exhaled heavily. 

The bear's panting slowed and he sat his druid bear butt down right in the middle of the clearing. He regarded the cat again with his head tilted; he smiled. "What would you eat a boar for, miss? Haven't you brought any rations? What kind of Kaldorei goes off into the woods this close to Darnassus without rations?"

"The kind that'd prefer to fend for herself..." Muttered Kelebek in reply as she turned to leave the clearing.

Kelebek managed to make it partially through the ticket bordering the clearing before the bear lurched himself back into a standing position. He lumbered quickly after the other druid. 

"Wait miss, wait!"

Tired, hungry, and now rather sore from a day's worth of activity after having spent months in captivity, Kelebek debated on simply pretending that she hadn't heard the other druid. At this point she wanted nothing more than to curl up in her new found home and sleep for an eternity. She had a feeling that she wouldn't be getting that sort of rest quite yet.

"Please miss, wait!" The bear was panting again as he trotted up next to the little cat. "I'm sorry if I offended you milady. Let me make it up to you somehow."

She stopped in her tracks and looked wearily at the other druid. "Alright, whatever you'd like." She said quietly, then continued on with her slow trek back to her awaiting cave.

They traveled together for a good while in silence before the bear once again spoke. "If I may be so bold miss, may I ask you your name?"

The smaller of the two druids remained silent for a bit longer before she replied. "Kelebek."

"Wonderful name! Mine is Cubical, though most just call me Cubi." The bear all but bounced in happiness as he stated this fact.

"Cubical? That's a peculiar name."

"It is Miss Kelebek, but I like it. Does yours have a story behind it?"

"Yes," she said upon finally arriving to her cave "however, we have arrived at my den and I'm exhausted. Perhaps I can tell you the story some other time."

"Of course milady. Sleep well!" exclaimed Cubi in his cheerful manner. 

Left without much else to say, Kelebek turned into her little cave after a quick look around inside to be sure that nothing had snuck in while she was away.


The smell of cooking fish woke her up.

Kelebek slid out of her little cave and stretched her limbs under a sky that was just beginning to show its stars. Not far from the entrance to her cave sat a silver haired male Night Elf, who was busing himself with tending to the fish and fire. He turned his pink, bearded face towards her as she approached.

"Good evening milady, sleep well?"

She regarded him for a moment with her cat-like suspicion, then replied "It wasn't bad." The druid padded up next to the Night Elf and sat down. She eyed up what was in the pan that he was holding over the little fire. "What smells delicious?"

Cubical smiled as he tended to the meal. "Why, it's fish from the lake just over yonder. I mixed in some berry juice and a bit of root. I hope you will like it."

For a moment Kelebek's guard dropped and she smiled, at least as much as a cat could smile. Catching herself, she changed her expression to a more sober one, agreed that it would be a wonderful meal, and excused herself with the reason that she felt the need to wash up.

The druid took her time walking over to the lake. She lapped up the sounds of the wilds, relished in the feel of the crisp grass beneath her paws, and felt oddly comforted that there was a fellow druid not far away. While she was quite certain that her soul was still troubled, she felt more peaceful than she had in months. As Kelebek reached the edge of the lake, she exhaled, smiled, and felt gratitude towards the other druid that had so haphazardly bashed into her little episode, for lack of a better term. She allowed herself another little smile then bent her head so that she could lap up the chilling water of the lake.

"Little ghost..." The name had been uttered with a quiet rattle of a sigh.

Kelebek jumped at the sound, muscles instantly tense once more. It took her a moment to see the green stone drake standing silently on the other side of the clearing, staring at her.

The druid's fur was standing straight up in surprise and fright. "Aer...Aeornoss?"

The stone drake smiled at the little druid and gave a quiet, rocky chuckle.