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#14207573 Sep 11, 2019 at 07:48 AM
10 Posts
((This was a Discord RP, but it turned out to be a pretty good story and it's part of the guild storyline, so here it is!))

Tamaira tugged the strap on the last of her saddlebags into place. Alto shuffled as she worked, the stallion already impatient to start their journey.

"Relax boy" Tamaira said with a grin, "I know you get cabin fever easily"

It'd be a long journey from Feather moon to Darkshore, and even longer depending on how her and Lothelene's scouting went. She wanted to be prepared.

Lothelene led Tesseract, her great riding saber, down the path to the moonwell, where she had agreed to meet Tamaira. Sylvester followed, his ears pricked forward eagerly; when there was travel, he knew there would be hunting.

She nodded toward the Twiceborne standing on the balcony as she passed, then rounded the well to where Tam was loading her horse's packs.

"Good morrow, sister," Thel said, checking the saddle straps and fastening her packs. "It looks like a good day for a ride -- and a hunt! May we find our prey."

There was something about Lothelene's enthusiasm that was infectious, and Tamaira grinned in spite of herself.

"You're awfully chipper today" she commented whilst swinging onto her horse. "Eager to find that troll we ran into and drag him back to Feather moon?"

Thel smiled broadly at Tamaira. "I always miss the wilds, and after spendling two weeks in bed and walking around the Stronghold, it will feel even better to be out under moon and tree." She patted Tesseract's shoulder and scratched Sly behind the ear with the other hand.

"I doubt we will catch the troll who set the poison in the fires, but I would not take it ill to fill some of his brethren with arrows." She adjusted the saddle one last time, then mounted up.

"If we get a good start, we should be able to camp in Desolace tonight. We can do some scouting from the camp during the night by the light of the moon."

Tamaira couldn't help but quirk a brow at the intensity behind Lothelene's statement. But in truth, she couldn't entirely blame her. When Theramore had been destroyed, and she received the news of her parents' demise, Tamaira had been prepared to slit the throat of every orc (hell, every Horde soldier) she came across.

Vengeance and grief were powerful drugs. Tamaira wondered if the same affected Lothelene

"We'll at least need one alive" she replied, attempting to steer the conversation to a more tactical theme. "I think Malryth would be rather put out if we didn't bring back someone for him to, ah, 'interrogate' "

She turned her horse to the direction she believed Desolace was in, if memories served her right. "Lead the way, if you want"
Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?
#14207574 Sep 11, 2019 at 07:51 AM
10 Posts
Lothelene guided Tesseract through the Stronghold and up the steep path that led to the road north. She reined in for a moment when they got to the top of the path, looking up the road to Desolace with her hand shading her eyes from the sun.

"This road will lead us directly through the area where we encountered the troll," she said. "His trail will be cold, but keep a sharp lookout for any signs of recent activity." She urged her cat forward at a slow pace.

"If we are fortunate, we will have our pick of interrogation subjects for Malryth to practice his arts upon," she said with a grimace. "I prefer killing outright to taking prisoners, but he must have been brought into the Collective for some reason. We will try to accommodate his methods."

"If we do not see any trolls in Desolace, we will certainly see Apothecaries and their ilk in Darkshore," she finished, her face set and hard. "But whether we can capture one is another matter." Her earlier enthusiasm for the hunt had given way to the desire for vengeance against the despoilers of her old home.

Tamaira silently cursed herself as the realization of where they were going exactly dawned on her.

Of course Lothelene would appear more tense and possibly hostile the closer they got to Darkshore, and Teledrassil by proxy.

She should have known. She was there after all. Although she was too late to do anything of signifance she still managed to pull a few night elves from the fray and ferry them to the safety of the Exodar. She had even managed to pull Neldaran from the depths of Teledrassil, before the fires got too devastating.

(Her poor mentor still suffered the loss of an arm and an eye though. she didn't think she'd ever forgive Sylvannas, or the Horde)

She urged her horse a few steps forward so that she was beside Lothelene, and gave her a concerned look.

"Are you going to be alright?"

"Do not worry about me, Young One," Thel said in a lighter tone. "It is my enemies who are in need of your concern." She gave a short laugh, then continued, "Let us ride for Desolace, and be sure to keep watch for any signs of the Horde!"

Tamaira frowned, unconvinced, but she decided to let it go for now. She'd witness Lothelene's ire when it came to that man at the campsite the other day. She wasn't about to prod the night elf further and possibly find herself on the receiving end.

She knew when to pick her battles.

Instead she decided to steer the conversation towards something different.

"Why do you call me Young One?" She asked, quirking a brow, "I'd like to think I'm fairly old, being in my thirties in human years"

"Why, because you are human," Thel said, looking slightly taken aback. "You are a young race, and small. If I understand your history aright, your entire race is younger than I am myself." She laughed, sounding genuinely amused this time. "And I am old, but not as old as the Ancients of my people who still live today."

"It is not meant as an insult," she went on in a more serious tone. "But if it troubles you, I shall endeavor not to say it again." The road began to turn uphill, and Thel rode silently, sweeping her eyes from side to side in search of anything out of the ordinary.

Tamaira shrugged. She didn't find it insulting. If anything, she actually found it amusing. She'd fought in numerous wars, had practically been all over the world, and was even raising a daughter, yet she was still considered 'young' in the eyes of some.

It would definitely make for a good ego boost in her golden years.

"I'm not insulted, just curious. You're welcome to continue if you want"

Tamaira followed Lothelene's gaze as they continued their trek, settling into familiar habits of how she observed the land around her, noting the changes in greenery due to animal tracks.

All was quiet at the moment. If they were lucky it'd be a fairly uneventful scouting mission.
Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?
#14207575 Sep 11, 2019 at 07:53 AM · Edited 5 minutes ago
10 Posts
By now they had traveled well beyond the site of their meeting with the troll, and were nearly to the border with Desolace, a barren and aptly named region, Thel's eyes narrowed as she thought she saw something at the edge of the road.

"Look there," she said in a lowered voice, pointing. "Do you see anything? Anything that might be faint signs of something stepping off the road? Someone on two legs..."

"Let Shadow have a good sniff," she added, "He has the best nose of all of us."

Tamaira followed Lothelene's gesture, squinting at where she was pointing.

She really was at a disadvantage without Night Elf sight, wasn't she?

Instead she urged Alto forward to get a closer look.

"You might be right" she agreed, waving Shadow forward and pointing to where Lothelene indicated. "<Look>" she said, the simple Darnassian command her wolves were able to associate with sniffing around a spot.

Shadow lowered his muzzle, snuffling around for a few seconds before his hairs noticeable stood on end, and he growled.

"Something was here" Tamaira concluded, glancing back at Lothelene, "But it could be anything. Could be Horde, or could be any of the, ah, unsavory characters in Desolace"

"It's worth taking a look," Thel replied. Sylvester was also taking an interest in the place Shadow was sniffing, looking toward the forest and pricking his ears forward. "Let's follow them!"

The two great beasts headed into the trees, following a winding path that led, after a short distance to what appeared to be an abandoned campsite. The remains of a small campfire lay in a bare area, while around it the plants still showed signs of breakage as though someone had sat or lain there some time ago. Small bits of trash lay about as well.

"Huh, someone was not very careful to cover their tracks. Let's see what we can find."

Tamaira surveyed the campsite with scrutiny, pulling her bow from her back.

"We should be careful, for all we know, it could be a trap"

Shadow had already set to work, circling the campsite with his nose to the ground.

Tamaira slid off Alto, clicking her tongue twice at her horse. Recognizing the command, Alto stayed put, content with grazing a patch of grass by his hooves.

Now on her feet and able to get a closer look, Tamaira began carefully surveying the plants.

"Find anything?" She called over her shoulder to Lothelene.

Florimel/Lothelene: Thel had also dismounted, and began looking through the bits of trash around the campfire. Some were tiny scraps of paper, which she picked up and carefully smoothed with her fingers.

"These bits of paper have writing on them," she said, in a voice edged with excitement. "See if you find more. We might be able to put them back together back at the Stronghold." Thel began to work her way through the campsite inch by inch, grunting with satisfaction whenever she found another piece. Some were blank or blurred, but whoever had torn up the paper in the first place clearly didn't want it to be read. It could be important.

She was so intent upon her search that she didn't hear the rustle of leaves behind her.
Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?
#14207577 Sep 11, 2019 at 07:56 AM
10 Posts
Tamaira lifted a scrap of paper between her thumb and forefinger, looking at it intently. What few letters were visible on the piece of paper were hard to read anyhow with the rough penmanship. She tsked in irritation and pocketed the paper. Hopefully someone at Feathermoon would be able to decipher whatever they found.

Her search was interrupted by a low growl next to her. She looked up to see Shadow practically snarling at a nearby bush, ears raised and fur standing straight up. The bush, seemingly sentient, began to rustle violently, almost as if-

"Lothelene!" Tamaira lunged forward, knocking the elf woman down and pinning her to the ground just as an arrow whizzed over their heads.

Shadow was on the bush in an instant, diving forward with teeth bared as the intruder lept aside.

A troll, with green skin and stark blue hair, different from the one they found in Felaras, stood before them, a ferocious looking bow in hand and smug sneer on his face.

"What do we have here?" long fingers tapped his bow, which already had another long, ugly arrow notched, "An elf and little human far from home"

Tamaira was on her feet in an instant, bow and arrow ready when she heard movement behind her. She whirled around, only two others approach. A female orc, strapped down with thick leather arm, wielded a large ax in her hands, and her male counterpart, brandishing two jagged swords in both hands.

"Sneakin around where you shouldn't be, eh?" the troll chuckled.

Thel rolled to her feet and landed in a low crouch, arrow nocked and adrenaline pumping. She let the arrow fly at the troll where it struck his chest with a solid thud.

"Sly! KILL!" she screamed and spun around just in time to see the two heavily armed orcs emerge from the brush behind Tamaira. She felt a stab of fear in the pit of her stomach, but pushed back against it and let her training take over. She sprung back and loosed an arrow at the nearer orc, allowing herself a split second to glance at Sly and see him tearing out the troll's throat.

Another arrow flew from her bow and this time she glanced swiftly in the other direction to see what Tamaira was doing.

While Lothelene was preoccupied with the troll, his two orc companions seemed preoccupied with Tamaira, circling her on either side.

"Take the mutt" the male orc said to his female companion, indicating Shadow, who was already charging from his spot near the bush to come to the aid of his master. The she-orc turned in time to raise an arm to defend herself, Shadow's fangs sinking into the thick leather of her bracers. The male orc reached up and yanked Lothelene's arrow from where it had embedded itself in his armor, looking quite irate.

"You're mine now runt" the male orc said, twirling his large swords and charging straight at her. "Easiest kill I'll have!"

Now when Tamaira had learned hand to hand combat on top of her regular hunter training, the first thing she remembered was being tossed around like a sack of potatoes by her uncle and Neldaran alike.

"You throw yourself into a fight like you're bigger than you actually are, Peanut" her uncle had informed her, after another 'humbling' training session. "You're puny. No way around it"

"You'll be smaller than most of your opponents" Neldaran had interjected wisely, "but you'll also be faster. Use that"

Even now, as she adjusted her stance, she took in the orc's heavy armor, his bulkier size in comparison to her, and smirked.

Easy kill. Sure.

He swung both swords at her, looking to catch her neck in a sort of cross cut, but she dropped her bow and jumped forward, diving between his legs and rolling into a low crouch. The orc recovered quickly, planting his feet and pivoting, swinging at her middle. Tamaira practically had to bend herself in half to avoid the blow, putting her weight on her hands and flipping back onto her feet, landing a few paces away.

"Stand still so I can kill ya!" the orc snarled, and Tamaira couldn't help but grin.

"Yeah, that's something I'll do"

The orc growled, charging again and swinging his swords furiously at Tamaira. Remaining on the balls of her feet she twisted and ducked, remaining just out of his reach. She found herself by her bow again, and snatched it up just as he ran at her once more. She charged him, dropping on her back at the last second, holding her bow in both hands and hooking it against his ankles. Using her momentum and his she managed to pull his feet from under him, causing him to fall flat on his face.

Before she lost another second, she kicked away the swords that he dropped when he hit the ground, pressing her foot against the small of his back and digging her heel in.

Tamaira: Shadow appeared by her side again, having made quick work of the she-orc, whose bloody corpse was left in the dirt a few paces away.

Thel saw Tamaira trip the orc and leap out of his way as he fell on his face. Before he could regain his feet, three arrows from her bow thocked between his shoulder blades as Tamaira put her foot on his back. The orc grunted and gasped, still alive for the moment.

"What were you doing here, in the forest of Feralas," she demanded angrily, "besides covering my arrows with filth?" The orc gave out a wheeze that was meant to be a laugh, and spat out the blood that was trickling from his mouth.

"That's the Warchief's business," the orc croaked, "and none of yours..." He spasmed and coughed up a great deal of blood. In a moment he was dead.

"Search the corpses for orders, and anything else you can find," Thel said briskly, and turned to begin rifling through the troll's belongings.
Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?
#14207578 Sep 11, 2019 at 07:59 AM · Edited 1 minute ago
10 Posts
Tamaira swore under her breath when the orc died, flecks of blood on his mouth. She took her foot off his back (it wasn't like he could feel it anymore) and crouched by his corpse.

Wrapping a hand around one of the arrows that protruded from the orc's back, she gave a yank, pulling the arrow free and tossing it aside. She did the same with the other two before she began searching through his pockets.

"You know" she stated carefully, pulling out the occasional odd trinket and discarding it, "I wasn't trying to kill this one"

"It crossed my mind to take him prisoner," Thel said, "but a male orc like that one is as strong as a bull. I have seen them tear a man apart with their bare hands. Your weight was not enough to hold him down, and I felt the risk was too great."

"Mind you, I had all of half a second to make the decision, so perhaps greater reflection would have brought a different answer, but it is done now. We are both alive and he is not. I count that a fair bargain." While she was speaking, she continued to go through the troll's pouches and pack.

"Ahhh, here is something of interest," she said suddenly, pulling a long packet of paper from the pack. "A message of some sort, and it is sealed. I feel sure our second in command will want to see this."

"Especially..." Thel's voice trailed off as she focused on the writing on the outside of the packet. "Especially since this writing does not appear to be orcish. It is certainly not the handwriting of an orc or a troll." She looked over at Tamaira and showed her the packet; a spidery script was scrawled across it.

"It looks like the language spoken by the undead."

She had a point, Tamaira couldn't argue that. Especially if the dead orc was a result of instinct and not ruthlessness. Besides, unless she was misreading Lothelene's words, it sounded as if she were looking out for her. But she pursed her lips and decided not to argue the point further.

It seemed they had more important things to focus on anyhow, as Tamaira found herself staring at the papers Lothelene held in front of her. When she mentioned that it was the undead's language Tamaira felt her blood run cold.

She quickly rifled through the orc's pouches, making a small noise of triumph as she pulled out a similar set of papers.

"Seems like they had the same set of orders" She looked to Lothelene. "Can you read any of them?"

"I studied many ancient languages when I was a Lore Keeper for the Cenarions long ago," she said and paused. "But this so-called Gutterspeak came about in recent years as a way for the undead to communicate with each other. It may even be in code. I can make nothing of it, but perhaps Commander Maeshkin will be able to. It seems like something he might know."

Thel stood and stretched her legs, only now calm enough to think of checking herself for injuries. There was a gash seeping blood on her right shoulder where the troll's last arrow must have slashed her open. It wasn't deep, but the weapon had looked nasty and infection might be a problem if she didn't have it seen to.

"Are you injured?" Thel asked Tamaira. "Can you ride? We had probably better begin the return journey once we get ourselves patched up a bit. I do not wish to spend any more time in this area than is necessary."

She called Sylvester over and began to examine him for wounds. He had an ugly slash from the troll's knife across his ribs, and he whimpered a little when she touched it. She got a small pot of salve from her pack and slathered it on the wound; almost as an afterthought she put some on her own wound as well.

It sounded like a plan, they'd bring their findings to Commander Maeshkin, and hopefully would uncover some answers. Tamaira pocketed the papers in her hand and moved to approach Alto, who (bless his poor heart) had remained where he was during the excitement and was looking more than a little rattled.

She was barely able to get to her feet as she felt a sharp pain from her abdomen, her hand flying to her waist as she grimaced.

Ironically enough, at that moment Lothelene asked Tamaira if she was injured, and she pulled her hand away, only to notice the stain of blood on it. She looked down in alarm to discover that she had been cut. The orc, damn him, must have nicked her while she was dodging his flurry of attacks. She must not have noticed it before, having still been high off of the adrenaline from the fight.

But that wasn't what had Tamaira worried. In fact, the cut wasn't that deep, and she was sure with a tight binding and an easy ride that she'd be able to make it back to Feathermoon.

But when she pulled back the cut fabric to get a look at her injury, she noticed the skin around the cut was lined with thin veins of a sickly green color.

"Well......" she breathed, feeling the strength leave her legs as she dropped to her knees, ".....shit"

Damn that orc to all the hells on Azeroth. The blade was poisoned.
Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?
#14207580 Sep 11, 2019 at 08:02 AM · Edited 1 minute ago
10 Posts
Thel grabbed her pouch and in three long strides was beside Tamaira, helping the other woman lie back on the grass. She carefully pulled the torn garment away from the festering wound. Thel's face turned grim at what she saw. With swift movements she drew a second pot of salve from her bag and unfastened the stopper. This one was intended to counteract poisons, but with the toxin already working its way into the bloodstream, the salve would do little but slow the process down.

She scooped all of it onto her fingers and smeared the stinging salve over the wound and surrounding greenish skin as thickly as possible. She took some clean cloths from her pouch and folded them neatly, then placed them over the wound. Next she cut off the hem of Tamaira's ruined tunic and cut it again into strips, which she deftly bound around around the patient's waist to hold the cloth in place.

"Tamaira, stay with me," she said in an urgent tone. "We are going to get you back to the camp as swiftly as may be. Can you sit up?"

It must have been fast working poison, because Tamaira's surroundings were slowly becoming murky, moving at a sluggish speed as if the whole world had been immersed in molasses. She didn't know what happened next but suddenly she was on her back with Lothelene over her.

She grimaced at the stinging feeling against her wound and the pressure from what she figured was Lothelene's hands. Maybe she was putting an ointment on it, or something.

She knew she was being spoken to, looking at Lothelene's face and seeing her mouth move, but all she could hear was murky gurgling, as if someone had shoved cotton in her ears.

"M'fine" she muttered, a hand flopping around as she tried to wave off Lothelene dismissively, "s just a scratch"

She coughed suddenly, the raised hand flying to her mouth as she hacked. Tamaira pulled her hand away, grimacing at the flecks of blood staining her glove.

"Oh..." she grumbled, "tha's disgusting"

There was no longer any question but that Tamaira must be returned to the base with all haste, and Thel would have to ride with her or she would fall off. Thel whistled two sharp notes and within minutes her war gryphon was circling overhead.

"Listen to me, Tamaira," Thel said with growing intensity. "We are going to fly back to the Stronghold and I am going to sit behind you to keep you from falling. The other beasts will have to make their way back on their own. Tesser and Sly know the way, and I am sure Shadow can scent his way back. I hope your horse will follow them."

The gryphon lit on the ground near them, its wingbeats raising dust and ashes from the dead campfire. Thel scooped up Tamaira -- she weighed no more than a child in Thel's estimation -- and set her as gently as she could into the saddle. Tamaira looked ready to slide right off the other side, so Thel kept a hold of her shoulder to steady her.

Thel slid into the saddle behind Tamaira; the bird would have no difficulty with the extra weight, little as it was.

"Fly Swift Arrow!" she shouted, "Fly home!" The beast lifted off the ground and climbed swiftly above the tree tops, headed for the Feathermoon Stronghold. Thel kept her arms around Tamaira as she would a child, and prayed in her heart to Elune one more time.

Tamaira hadn't heard Lothelene's next words, now drifting in and out of a conscious state. She groaned as she was moved around.

Were they....flying now? Huh, Meera would have loved to fly.

After what seemed to be an agonizingly long flight, Feathermoon at last came into view. Soon they were circling to land near the makeshift infirmary in the guesthouse. Thel dismounted, carrying Tamaira in her arms like a baby and looking around franticly for the druid.

Nevestia was waiting near one of the beds, with her equipment out and at the ready. "Bring her here." She demanded briskly, patting down the bed.

She grimaced as she saw the wound. "Tell me what happened as I work."

Florimel/Lothelene: Thel sank onto a stool near Nevestia. "We found an abandoned campsite. It looked old enough that it could have been occupied by our nemesis the troll, so we were having a look around."

"I found some scraps of paper on the ground with writing -- I thought perhaps they might give a clue if we pieced them back together. They still may, but now I suspect it was a trick to distract us." Thel glanced at Tamaira lying on the sickbed.

"Tam said the campsite might be a trap, and perhaps she was right. In any case, we were ambushed by two orcs and a troll. We defeated them, but their weapons were dirty, and in one case poisoned."

Nevestia listened as she peeled away the layers surrounding the gash. She cast a quick nature spell to stabilize the poison for a few moments. "Good thinking with the salve. It would've been far worse without it."

Nevestia plucks a few herbs and liquids from the vials on the desk. She mixes a few of them together, mashing them until it resembles a strange silvery paste. She lathered the salve onto the wound gently, brows furrowed in concentration. Finally, she sealed in her work with a thick cloth bandage. Putting her hand over the wound, she closed her eyes as she channeled all of her healing magic into the poison flowing through Tamaira's veins.

After a minute or two, Nevestia finally leaned back, looking considerably drained. "Powerful poison." She murmured. "But I've stopped the flow. It will work its way out of her system. For now, she must rest."

Nevestia lowered a blanket over Tamaira's still form, tucking her in with utmost care. Finally, she turned to Lothalene.

"Before we discuss anything else, I must know if you also have any injuries."

"I took a wound that will need looking after, but it's not much, only that the arrow was jagged and nasty. And Sly--" Thel suddenly sat up in alarm. "I should ride back the way we came and search for the beasts. Sly was wounded and Shadow may be as well. We left them to fend for themselves in our haste."

Nevestia reached out to Lothalene, putting her hands on her shoulders. "I will take care of your wound first, and then I will go tend to them myself." Nevestia said firmly, in a tone that left no room for argument. "You're in no shape to go back out there. I'll take care of it."

Nevestia, with just a bit of force, pushed Lothalene back down onto the stool. "Show me the wound, please."

Thel held out her right arm, wincing as she moved. "Here, the upper arm..."
There was a jagged cut in the leather sleeve of her armor, and under it a gash through the deltoid, which seemed to have stopped bleeding until she moved her arm.

"It's really just a flesh wound," she said, "Sly was hurt much worse..."

Nevestia let out a visible sigh of relief as she placed her hand over the cut. "You'll be fine." Nevestia soothed. Her hand glowed, the cut slowly closing under her ministrations. The work was done quickly, and Nevestia released Lothalene's arm.

"Wait here, and keep an eye on Tamaira. Once I return, we must talk about what transpired." Nevestia patted Lothalene's shoulder before swiftly shifting into a crow and soaring out the door.

If Lothalene were to look closely, there would be an open journal of some kind on the desk, seemingly thrown there in Nevestia's haste. Within the pages were phrases and words in the Common language, side-by-side a row of strange symbols and letters. Whatever language this was, it was not one native to any Alliance race. In fact, the letters seemed to resemble that of the Zandalari language.

Thel soon became bored once it became clear that Tamaira was sleeping restfully and not likely to awaken any time soon. She went over to the desk and glanced at the open journal, wondering idly what Nevestia was doing with a Common-Zandalari dictionary.

She paced back and forth, looking out at the balcony frequently for any signs of Nevestia and the beasts returning.

Soon, a white stag entered the building, having to bow its head to enter through the door. Sly was slung over its back, wrapped in linen bandages. The rest of the hunters' pets followed closely behind.

The stag approached an empty bed next to Lothalene, lowering Sly gently onto the bed. The stag shifted back into Nevestia, who nodded at Lothalene. "Your mounts are in the stables. Sly will be fine - his wound has been stabilized."

Nevestia lowered herself into a chair, not noticing that Lothalene had seen one of the secrets she'd been guarding. "You said you found scraps of paper. May I see them?"

Shadow, having followed Nevestia back, bound past her, moving with haste towards Tamaira's bedside.

He gave a worried sniff at his mistress' hand before shifting back on his haunches, watching Tamaira's face carefully.

Thel smiled at the sight of Sly resting on the bed and Shadow's reunion with the sleeping Tamaira. She would go to tend Tesser in the stable in just a moment, but first she opened her belt pouch and removed the carefully flattened scraps of paper. The scraps were small, some no more than an inch across. Some were blank, some edged with ash, some had blurred marks, and some had clearly visible writing on them. All showed signs of having been out in the weather for some time.

"They may be nothing, just bait to draw us into the campsite and occupy our attention," she said. "But I have a thought that someone tore up the paper and intended to burn it, but was called or frightened away before they could do so."

Thel handed the scraps over to Thevestia with some reluctance. "I have not yet taken the opportunity to examine them. All I could say for sure at this point is that the writing is not Highborne or Darnassian."

Nevestia takes the scraps and lays them down on her desk, studying them carefully. Seeing as her journal was open, she closes it as quietly and inconspicuously as possible.

"I will take a look at them." Nevestia said quietly. "In the meantime, you should go tend to your mount, then rest. I will alert you if I find anything."

Thel rose from her seat and headed out into the moonlit night. She hoped the intel they had found would justify the risks they had taken. She slipped into the stables and found Tesser already unsaddled.

She took up the currycomb and began to brush his dark fur as he started purring loudly. Thel relaxed while carrying out the familiar care routine, the calming touch of the soft fur and the soothing sounds. Why could not all our dealings be as simple as those with the beasts?

Thel provided Tesser with a helping of dried meat, which he dug into eagerly, and returned slowly to her quarters. Tomorrow she would look for the Hand of Command and give him the sealed packets the Horde scouts had carried.
[9:49 PM] Nyctia/Nevestia: Nevestia began to rearrange the scraps of paper, eyes tracing over the words. Looking behind her to make sure no one saw, she flipped open her journal again to a different page. Lining up the scraps of paper with the Orcish translations she had transcribed, she got to work.

Feeling more like herself, and not as exhausted as the night before, Tamaira made her way to the stables.

To her surprise, Alto was there waiting for her. While she was relieved that he wasn't lost or wandering around Felaras, she'd have to ask Lothelene if she had gone back to retrieve him.

But for now she focused giving him some attention. Poor thing was probably spooked from recent events.

He was already stripped of his saddles and bags, as well as his bit and bridle, so Tam picked up an old brush she brought with her and began running it over his coat.

"You probably had your fill of excitement haven't you?" She cooed, rubbing gently at his muzzle as she brushed him.
Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?
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