The Value of Family (Closed RP)

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The Value of Family (Closed RP)

Post  Cheira on Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:52 pm

-[ Introducing Part 3 of The Value of Family, a story that I (Lurena) have been writing since September 2007 with Truion (Izdazi). Our night elves are facing something far more sinister this time -- their relationship. Edited to add in the true beginning for this story.]-

The continuous sound of people talking and laughing, fireworks going off, glasses clinking and music buzzed in Cheira’s ears as she silently walked through the crowds. Overhead, the hanging lanterns shone brilliantly in different colors and Cheira had to push past several groups of visitors who could only stand and stare in awe. The sentinel had, at some point, enjoyed looking at the lanterns in the same way as them, as if seeing them for the first time, but that time had long passed.

Her armor clinked with each step, but it was a song she was somberly familiar with. She had arrived only a few hours earlier; she had taken leave with her unit to visit the festival. The Lunar Festival was in full swing, and the sentinels she had arrived with had already vanished to enjoy themselves.

Yet Cheira had entombed herself with dark thoughts. Not even the sight of the moon hanging overhead did anything to ease her mind. Approaching a bridge that looked over the water, Cheira stopped to rest at the guardrail. Gazing at the reflection of the lights in the water, the sentinel tried to force herself to relax, but she could not.

Brushing back a strand of white from her loose braid, she rubbed her arm as she continued to run different conversations in her head. Nothing seemed right. She had been struggling to come to a decision for some time now, but it was a decision she truly did not want to make. It was merely one she knew she had to make for the sake of her sanity.

He will be here soon. He knows where I like to visit, she thought dully.

Much had changed in the three years since she started sentinel training and Truion had left to further his own training as a druid. Back then, she was constantly by the druid’s side, fighting together and exploring the world outside of their elven lands together. It was amazing being able to see what the Alliance had to offer when someone was by your side…someone who loved you no matter what.

She didn’t need to ask herself why she had decided to make the decision, she just knew one day that she had to do it.

If to lessen the pain in our hearts that was created by this distance is to sever the strained string that ties them, so be it.

Clutching the railing tightly, Cheira felt sick inside. She hadn’t felt this way since she thought she had lost Truion to the night elf slavers, or when she lost her family. It was a deep pitted feeling that ate at her, and she only hoped that by talking to Truion that she could cease it.

Truion watched as a group of children jumped excitedly at the fireworks dancing on the ground nearby.  It was an assortment of races, a young orc boy and girl, who were perhaps siblings, and a small group of humans.   Their laughter, though, sounded the same and brought a smile to his face.  Yet, he pressed on.  

He weaved past the throngs of jovial guests as he struggled to find a path toward the place where they usually met each year.  Every sentinel he passed warranted a moment of study as he looked for her.  

For the past three years, this had been a celebration he'd looked forward to.  A moment when many of the sentinels were given a few days leave and when his own druidic studies were put on hold so that Moonglade can host the annual Lunar Festivals.  

Their letters had been sporadic.  Cheira's training and duties had surely taken her far and wide throughout Kalimdor and his own studies demanded more time in silent reflection and practice.   Still, he kept each letter safe.  It was hard to believe that nearly four years ago, he'd left his studies to help the warrior try to rescue her father from the satyrs.   That hadn't gone as they had expected.  

And then three years ago, Truion had been kidnapped from home and taken to Booty Bay by slavers.  That adventure also hadn't gone as they had expected.  

But after all their adventures they had shared between those two events, he found it difficult to forget about Cheira.  The quiet of Moonglade hadn't tempered his desire for adventure or for her.  

Shifting his robes slightly, he walked barefooted on the path toward the arched bridge that looked out over Lake Elune'ara.    There, exactly where he expected stood Cheira Starfall. She was clad in the armored uniform of a sentinel and her beautiful white hair fell over her back in the way he could imagine when he closed his eyes.   She was keeping it shorter than before and braided.  The purple dye she had used to disguise herself when she had gone to rescue him from the slavers was gone to memory.  

This was how he always remembered her.  He smiled and casually stepped up to her side.  

"You look lovely in the moon's glow, my love," he whispered, kissing her lightly on her ear.

Closing her eyes at Truion’s gentle touch, Cheira turned to face the druid. He had grown a beard since their last adventure in Booty Bay and had been keeping it well trimmed. The robes he wore made him appear more distinguished as a druid, which put Cheira on edge. She could tell how at peace he was in Moon Glade, while she had constantly been riled with strife and determination with training when not on guard duty.

“Truion,” she whispered back as he enveloped her in his arms. As she pressed her cheek against his chest, she lingered in the embrace. “You look different.”

"Just a little I hope," he replied as he embraced her.  "This place can grow on you after awhile, although I miss some of our adventures.  And I miss you.  How are you?"

Pulling away, Cheira looked up at Truion as she spoke. “I have been well. Training has been very intense. The commander believes that war will break out soon. We have been monitoring the Horde’s advance in Ashenvale and things do not bode well. I may be moved from Feralas to Ashenvale if need be. I am sure you read my letters about it though.”

Truion nodded.   He had heard not just from Cheira's letter, but also from listening to the elder druids in passing.   Some of the elven druids had even become more guarded around their tauren counterparts.  

It seemed no matter where Truion looked, the coming tensions were catching up to all of them.  Even the peace of Moonglade was withering under the talk of war.  

"It's been mentioned here too," Truion added.  "But at least Ashenvale is closer."

“Yes,” Cheira agreed, but her response sounded distant. She didn’t look at him then. “And how are your druidic studies coming along? It seems you are moving up.”

Truion scoffed lightly and shook his head.  

"I'm restless with all this quietness.  I miss our adventures," he explained.  He turned toward the lake with a distant look in his eyes.  "For all the times I was scared witless for your safety and our survival, they were still so much fun in the end.

"The elders claim that this longing for action has hurt my progress in my studies."

“This is something you wanted,” Cheira said sharply, the change in tone very abrupt. She narrowed her eyes at the druid. “You should be focusing on your studies. I am working hard every day to protect our people. I thought you came here to become more powerful as a druid to aid the effort as well?”

Truion was taken aback by the sudden sharpness of her voice.  

"I'm trying Cheira.  And I'm making a lot of progress.   I'm not as quick at study as the others here," he replied defensively.  

“So you’re telling me that the past three years that we have been apart, you haven’t been trying as hard as you should?” she snapped. “Why would you let the others surpass you? You are exhibiting weakness to your shando if you cannot keep up with the other druids. There are people who need your aid out there.”

"I'm trying," he growled.  "You think I don't want to help out there?  I do, but I'm just having a hard time concentrating.  The quiet of this place is so peaceful, but it also makes me wary.  I start to think of things.  I start to worry about the direction our world is going in.  I start to worry about the troubles I hear the druids talking of and the mutterings of the occasional shamans who visit.  And I've seen the injured sentinels they've brought to us for extended healing.

"You have no idea how many prayers of thanks I give to Elune that I've never seen you or my mother among those gravely injured."

“Perhaps you need less on your mind,” she blurted out.

Truion snapped his head toward her.  His eyes were clouded in sudden confusion.

"I don't understand."

For a brief moment, Cheira seemed just as taken aback by her own words as Truion was. Yet she seemed to brush it off and continued to press on. “This is something you’ve wanted, Truion. Your whole family wishes to see you succeed and achieve your goals. I want to see you succeed. You cannot be wasting your time here when there is tension building between the Horde and Alliance. Any day now there could be a call to arms – would you be ready?”

As she looked up at Truion, Cheira knew that she would lose her resolve if she continued to gaze at his eyes. Already they seemed confused. She didn’t want to do this.

”Would you be ready?”

Truion closed his eyes and sighed.  He leaned over and looked past the rails at the glistering water below.

"I want to be.  I want to help our people and this world," he said distantly.

“You won’t be able to if you have distractions.” Just saying the word made her flinch inwardly. “You’re going to need full focus.”

Then --

”It would probably be best if we parted ways.”

It took Truion a few moments for her words to register in his mind.  He turned toward her.  

"Wh-what?  Parted ways?  I don't understand."

She wouldn’t look at him.

”You can’t pretend that this hasn’t been difficult, Truion. We’ve been apart for so long and yet we keep dragging each other down with hopes of seeing each other again. This can’t keep going on. We will drive ourselves mad. You are already behind in your studies, and I keep taking blows in training.

“It’s time to face the truth, Truion. We cannot continue this as we are. It is not working.”

Truion shook his head and clenched his hands tightly.   He looked out over the festivities, but he couldn’t' find any peace in the jovial faces.  One of the foundations in his life was slipping from his fingers.  

"I'm not going mad.  Our desire to remain close is an asset and…" his words trailed off as he noted her posture.  "I don't believe that."  

He turned directly to her.  "Look me in the eyes and tell me you believe what you just said," he quietly demanded.

Reluctantly she looked up at him. She lost the strength to shield her emotions and the tiredness and hurt was seeping through. “It’s better to end this now, Truion,” she said quietly.

The festival seemed so far away to her now. It was as if the entire world became blanketed by a quiet snow, and the only thing between her and the solitude was Truion.

”I can’t do this anymore. I don’t think that you should either.”

Truion closed his eyes and leaned back over the guardrail.   How can she do this?   Why was she being like this?   Was she still worried about being hurt?

"We can make this work," he grumbled.  "These are dark times, but it doesn't mean we should run away from our relationship."  

Her voice grew softer.  “I’m not running away, Truion. I’m letting you go.”

Truion scoffed.  Like there was a difference.   But he also knew Cheira.  Once her mind was set on something, there was very little hope of changing it.  

"I think you're making a mistake.  We can beat this thing.  Our relationship isn't something we should just discard."

Squeezing the guardrail tightly, Cheira raised her eyes up towards Truion’s. “If it is meant to be, then perhaps one day we will be together again. But right now, this is something neither of us can afford to waste our minds and hearts on. The distance between us is too great, Truion. There are more important matters at hand than just…us.”

Truion shook his head vehemently and clenched his jaws tightly.  

"With you, the 'present circumstances' seems to always take precedence over us.  We can make this work," he snapped.  "'Waste our minds and hearts.'  Listen to yourself.  I know exactly what this is about.  You're afraid of being hurt again."
“What I’m really afraid of is you being unable to take care of yourself!” she shot back. “You have an opportunity here! Do not squander it! Take advantage of becoming stronger and not having your girlfriend or your sister save your weak ass!”

"What?!" Truion yelled.  He tried to think of a response, but he was at a loss for words.  "You know that's not right.  This is about you being afraid of losing someone you love.  You're so afraid of loss that you'd rather not have anyone at all.  I'm not weak.  I can try to handle whatever may happen in the future.  And I know you're not weak.

"You're just afraid."

“It doesn’t matter if I’m afraid or not,” she spat vehemently despite hot angry tears forming at the edge of her eyes. “I’ll be able to take care of myself. Here’s hoping you can.”

She turned and started to walk away, determined to leave him behind her.

Truion watched indecisively as Cheira began to walk away.  How could she just leave after everything they'd been through?  What was this about?

Rather impulsively, the druid suddenly reached out and grabbed her arm.

"What is going on here?" he asked in a hardened voice.   "This isn't like you."

Caught by surprise, Cheira turned to look at Truion, her eyes narrowed. “Truion,” she started in a warning tone. Forced to face him, she tried to yank her arm free but the druid wouldn’t let her go.

"After everything we've endured, you think you can just walk away without the decency of a reason," he whispered harshly.   "A real reason."

For a brief moment, there was a flutter of panic and fear in Cheira’s eyes. She was hesitant, but she quickly swallowed it back to reinforce her firm resolve. “I don’t want to be in the way of you attaining your goals. You need to focus on your training, and I don’t think you can if you continue to write letters to me about our previous exploits and how we should go on more adventures. You’re not disciplined, Truion. War is nearing our shores. I don’t want to be responsible for you failing your promise to become a druid.”

At that point she managed to free her arm from Truion’s grip.

"My promise," Truion muttered to himself as he looked down at the water flowing below them.   Shaking his head, he looked back at her and cleared his throat. " It's those adventures that inspire to be better, Cheira.  I am disciplined. I may not be the best student here, but I'm learning.

"But at least I'm not throwing away our past to go to the future."

“I don’t want to spend my future alone,” Cheira whispered, her eyes downcast.

"What?  Cheira?  We're only a hippogryph ride away," he explained.  "Besides, I'm sure we can find a way to…"  

Truion's voice trailed off as he came to a sudden realization.   She wasn't afraid of being separated from him.  But this was about him, as a druid, one day entering the Dream for many years and leaving her alone.  

What right did he have to do that to a friend?   It was selfish.  

He never wanted to be a druid, though.  It was a dark secret he'd hidden from his family.  His parents were so proud when they learned of his potential.  He'd be the first in the Shadowcreek family line to follow in the footsteps of the great druids of old.  

But secretly, he shied away from it.  Every moment he was with Cheira was a moment longer he could avoid the dream.  It often felt as if he was the only druid he didn't view the Emerald Dream as this paradise to look forward to going.  

"I'd give this up if I knew it would keep us together," he said softly.  It was a struggle to keep his eyes level with hers. "But I know you would never be at peace if I did."  

“I lack the patience that Lady Tyrande has,” Cheira commented. She wrapped her arms around herself as if she felt a chill. “I love you, Truion, but I am tired of being alone.”

Truion sighed and felt his shoulders sag.  

"I love you too, Cheira.  But, I can underst… sympathize, with your reason," the druid said.

“You’ll be a great druid, Truion.” Cheira was having a difficult time looking at him, but she finally raised her silver eyes up to his.

She reached towards him then, as if to embrace him, but felt as if she had hit an invisible wall. Her hand wavered near his cheek and she felt a widening void within as the realization hit her that she would not be able to touch him again.

Truion reached up and held her hand.  With his other hand, he swept her silvery tresses behind her right ear.  It hurt to think that he may never do that again.  

"I suppose," he whispered while beaming her with a strained smile.  "But you will always be a fearless and beautiful warrior."

She couldn’t smile back. She couldn’t even fake it. His hold on her only made the situation worse. Gently, she pulled back from him. Finding the strength to turn away, Cheira headed towards the flightmaster, where she knew she could take a hippogryph to fly back to Feralas.

Truion watched her until she disappeared in the sea of crowds.   He turned and rested his hands on the rails of the bridge.  He could hear the excited and happy voices of the festival revelers.  

But his mood was too dark to reenter the festival.   He'd lost her and the worse part was that there wasn't anything he could do to have stopped it.  

He gazed out over the lake and allowed his thoughts to drift much like the smoke from the fireworks did.  

____________________________________________________

Elsewhere...

The sound of heavy armor clinking together echoed throughout the Barrow as a group of heavily armed sentinels approached the door that led to a smaller room. Inside were two guards who nodded as the group entered. In the middle of the room sat a single prisoner.

All the sentinels parted and allowed a much taller, larger, and intimidating sentinel to come forth. Her face was obscured by a battle scarred helmet and her armor had not been polished in some time – it seemed that she had just come off the battlefield.

A salute, then at the hand of the commander, the room fell silent. The commander regarded the prisoner who sat in front of her, and allowed the silence to hang in the air until she finally spoke. There seemed to be a collective intake of breath as the commander spoke – her voice had a rich deepness to it, but was full of a harsh tones, akin to nails on a chalk board.

“It seems that not all options have been explored for you, Shadowcreek,” the commander rumbled. The flickering light from the blue lanterns enhanced the shadows on the commander’s face, and almost made her seem predatory. “Do you know who I am?”

The question she posed was not one where she was seeking to validate her pride. It was merely a simple question, to know if, indeed, this daughter of a sentinel knew what station that she came from.

Though her breaths came evenly, it was clear to see that she was struggling to appear calm and at ease.  Her skin glistened in the blue glow and her dreadlocks were matted and disheveled.  

She finally opened her eyes and regarded the night elf towering and intimidating night elf with a dispassionate stare.   She didn't recognize this woman.  

"You’re just another Sentinel with a rod up her ass who's going to tell me how lucky I am that these guards haven't skinned me alive for my crimes," Izdazi muttered.  She had hoped to muster enough bravado to annoy this officer, but her voice cracked and the message was delivered far more quietly then she'd intended.

In response, one of the warriors flanking her slammed the back of the huntress's head with her armor gauntlet, causing her head to fall forward.  

Turning her head, the commander ignored her officer’s actions and continued as if Izdazi had not responded to her at all. “It is a shame to let such talent waste down here, especially one that has been forgotten by her family.”

Facing the prisoner once more, the commander glared down at her, her glowing silver eyes barely visible behind the slits in her helmet. “Consider joining my ranks, Shadowcreek, and your supposed ‘crimes’ of murder and treason shall be easily forgot. I have need for more in my number.”

At that, Izdazi looked up.  Several dreads fell along her face, but her silvery eyes seemed to almost brighten at the sudden promised of leaving the barrows.   And then, as if realizing that something was too good to be true, her eyes narrowed.  

"Who are you?"

At that, the large night elf woman raised both hands to her helmet and slowly removed it, revealing the hardened expression of a veteran combatant. Dark purple, almost black, hair was tightly braided down her back. She looked down at Izdazi, her eyes cold and her lips pursed.

“Commander Duskhollow. I lead the collectors on the battlefield. Do not assume, however, that I merely want you to join my ranks based on whether you can haul a fallen Sister from the battlefield. My choice comes based on history and ability.”

Keeping her helmet at her side, Commander Duskhollow narrowed her eyes at Izdazi. “Perhaps your mother may have told you something about my soldiers.”

"I've heard of you, Commander," the huntress confirmed slowly.  Izdazi considered the options before her.   Here, she was insult every day, spat on, sometimes even beaten up.  And worse then that were the ever-closing earthen walls of her cell.  At any moment she believed she was going suffocate within these walls.

And now, before her stood Commander Duskhollow, offering Izdazi a way out of this underground hell.   The choice was obvious.

"No."

“Allow me the reason for your refusal, Shadowcreek,” Commander Duskhollow asked, her tone still the same. She appeared unaffected by Izdazi’s flat out response. In fact, she almost expected it.

Izdazi averted her gaze from the Commander's cold piercing stare.  She seemed to carefully think over her response for a few moments.  

"My mother believes that her warrior's strongest asset was their desire to protect the ones they love.  She sees family and friends as a source of strength for her soldiers.   But, from what I have heard, you see family as an unnecessary distraction," she slowly explained.   "You don't want soldiers, Commander.  You want mindless berserkers who have nothing to lose."

“It is because of your family that you have been left here to rot,” Commander Duskhollow replied calmly. “My soldiers are not mindless berserkers, as your mother and others would have you believe. It is easy to judge when you are on the outside. What you do not know is that I choose my soldiers and their backgrounds because it ties us together more closely as a unit. Those who have nothing can find common ground under my command. It makes us stronger.

“You have an opportunity to be free once more under my command. I will see to it that you are treated well, as long as you respect your fellow soldiers and do as I command. I believe that is a fair offer, considering your current situation.” Commander Duskhollow did not once remove her gaze from Izdazi.

The huntress kept her gaze set on the floor before the Commander's boots as she thought the offer over.  Then, with a weak smile, she looked up at Commander Duskhollow.  

"You're wrong," Izdazi declared firmly.   "I'm here because I deserve to be.  I have brought shame on my family and I have betrayed my people.  If I had just remained in hiding I wouldn't be in this hole.   But when my family needed help, I came, knowing that this would likely be the outcome.  

"It's not because of them that I'm here.  It's because of me.  And knowing what I know now, I would still come out of hiding to help them.   You would find me of little use in your squadron.  I have a family I still love and I know they still love me."  The huntress spread her arms wide as if to gesture to her surroundings.   "This is all the proof I need of that."  

“You say that as if to wound me,” Commander Duskhollow murmured. The room fell deathly quiet the moment the commander lowered her voice. “You refuse my offer, but there will be others. You won’t be the last hopeless soul that I approach.”

Turning her head to the other guards, the Commander wordlessly gave her command. Immediately the sentinels began to file out, leaving Duskhollow’s gaze still to the side.

“Have a…pleasant evening, Izdazi Shadowcreek.” Her icy tone hung in the air as she finally placed her helmet on and exited the room, her broad shoulders barely clearing the doorway.


Last edited by Cheira on Sat May 02, 2015 9:56 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Re: The Value of Family (Closed RP)

Post  Cheira on Mon May 06, 2013 12:05 am

A few months later.

They stood as statues despite the steady cold rain and occasional rumbles of thunder. Little was said between them as the figure speaking commanded their attention.

Sentinel General Shandris Feathermoon wasn’t someone people halfheartedly listened to. It wasn’t her stature, or her rank that captivated them. It was her conviction to the cause of her people.

Even Truion, who wasn’t a military man, could respect that. But despite that, he only heard little of what the general said. His thoughts were darkened by a future he couldn’t imagine. It felt as if the steady foundation his life had been built on was crumbling away.

He was standing amidst hundreds of other night elves in Darnassus. They stood around the shores of one of the lakes, overlooking the small island where General Feathermoon spoke. His robes were heavy with rainwater and the wind was chilling him to the bone. But like everyone else, they stood and listened, or reminisced.

Silverwind Refuge had been taken by the Horde not even four days ago. An offensive to retake it had been underway since then, but with the brief lull in battle, it seemed now was the time to remember those butchered by the Horde.

There were no bodies to bury. The Horde had denied them the opportunity to retrieve their honored dead. For that matter, all overtures to the Horde had ended in a hail of arrows issued from both sides. It was said, that those who had fallen still lay where they had fallen, only to be trampled by the boots of the greenskins and their loyal following.

It was intended as an affront. Rumors of other far viler desecrations spread among the kal’dorei. Truion was never one to believe in rumors so easily.

However, it was hard to ignore them when the body of one’s mother is still in the possession of the enemy.

The young druid was hardly the only one feeling this way, though. Those around the banks of the lakes were the families, spouses, sons and daughters of the confirmed dead in Silverwind.

Truion looked to his left and caught his brother, Nalthen. His sadness was mirrored in his brother’s. Nalthen’s wife stood next to him with head lowered solemnly. The druid turned to his right and looked at his father.

The loss in his father’s eyes was almost unbearable to see. Torren and Reyada had shared nearly millennia together. He always knew the risks of having a sentinel as a wife, but that never affected the love he had for her, or that she had for him. Indeed, if there was ever anything Truion could be assured of, it was the love the two of them shared for each other. It was a love that shined only brighter through the years and centuries; a love that was snuffed out in an instant by Horde treachery.

And that’s what Truion thought of it. His mother had fought alongside the orcs at the Battle of Mount Hyjal during the Third War. Her line was one of the few that the demons hadn’t been able to breach despite their heavy losses. Not that it mattered once other areas of the lines were breached, but she survived and had even spoken highly of the fearless nature of the orc warriors.

Sentinel Commander Reyada Shadowcreek, who at one time had her sentinels fight alongside the Horde, was to be killed by the Horde’s endless transgression against Ashenvale. It was betrayal, pure and simple.

The honor the orcs so prize… He found it difficult to imagine as horrid news of murdered sentinels and kal'dorie civilians alike having their skin flayed and hung on trees. Truion’s thoughts darkened as he ached to avenge her.

But, the druid reined his temper. Right now, this was about remembering the honored dead and about healing the pain in the hearts of those left behind. He looked at his father again and for the first time seemed to take not of his hunched posture and the gray hairs that were mixing with this dark blue strands.

Ever since the injury he’d suffered during an attack on their home a few years ago, he had walked with a cane, but in the past few months that old injury has been tainted with something unexpected.

Arthritis. As the druid understood it, it was an ailment that often afflicted the younger races when they reached advanced age. But it could also be an after effect of an injury, like the one Torren had suffered. He’d caught his father on more than one occasion limping around his leatherworking shop.

Another casualty of the Third War was their people's immortality. Truion hadn’t really considered the loss of their immortality. Only being just over a century old, he’d never really considered how the ramifications of losing their immortality would affect him and those he cared about. They were still longed lived people after all.

It was such a selfish mindset.

Now, though, he could see the effects on his father. The stress of losing his beloved wife, the coming war, the imprisonment of his daughter, the injury that could have completely mended before the World Tree’s destruction were all ticking away at Torren’s life just like his age.

Truion had tried to speak to his father during one of his recent visits home, but Torren had involved himself completely with his shop. He had even hired some workers. They were putting out hundreds of quivers in a few weeks for the war effort. Not only that, but he was donating a lot of raw leather materials for the weapons and armor smiths. Never had Truion seen the shop so busy.

Perhaps, by continuing to support the Sentinels, that was how his father intended to remember his wife. Truion could hardly fault him for that. And he felt it would be a greater insult to insist that he slow down. For now, it was probably better to allow Torren to grieve in this manner.

But while he could rationalize his father's distancing himself from them, Truion had a difficult time accepting the absence of Cheira Starfall. She was standing off in the distance with several other sentinels. They wore armor and had hoods drawn over heir heads in a vain effort to ward off the rain.

Her soaked armor gleamed in the dull gray light of the sky. Her silvery hair was just as gorgeous as he remembered. He had loved her once. Actually, he still did. But she had insisted, several months earlier, to break off their relationship. At first Truion had been hurt.

In retrospect, this had been a long time coming. They had written each other a letter weekly. Like clockwork, he'd get a letter from her on Thursday. She'd get one from him on Tuesday. But that had only last a few years. Then the letters from her became irregular and finally, came the breakup.

She had used the excuse that he was too focused on her and not his studies as a druid, but after talking the truth had come out. Truion, as a druid, would one day enter the Emerald Dream, and she would be alone for Elune only knows how long.

It wasn’t until after she had walked away that day that he had given it a lot of thought. It would have been selfish of him to insist that they stay together and then leave her alone for centuries at a time. He loved her too much to hurt her like this. He had to make a choice. Cheira or Druidism.

Truion had considered walking away from Druidism. While he would be the first in the Shadowcreek line to have any latent ability to become a druid, he knew enough of his father’s business to live a comfortable life as a leatherworker. Besides, he and Cheira had already had plenty of adventures traveling together in Azeroth.

But all that has changed. Reyada was dead. Ashenvale was being razed and the land needed healing more than ever.

He loved Cheira, which was why he was more determined to let her go. It wasn’t fair to her, but it was better for his people.

And for the first time, he understood Cheira’s passion to rescue her father. That particular adventure had gone horribly wrong. Her father had been changed to satyr during a mission in Felwood. Her mother had passed away and her brother had disappeared in an effort to rescue him. When Truion had met her, Cheira was uncertain of so much. Her worse enemy was her confidence and the doubts that her now demonic father had instilled upon her.

But nothing stopped the young warrior from going on to rescue her father and by the time Truion had caught up to her, the awful truth of what her father had become had been revealed to her, along with a fatal wound. By the grace of the wilds Truion was able to keep her from slipping away completely.

A year later, they were visiting his parent’s home in Teldrassil after exploring some of Azeroth when his sister’s past caught up to them. He had been kidnapped by a slaver, Xan Nightraven, and taken to Booty Bay. Cheira and Izdazi had gathered together along with a troll, Lurena and her gnoll friend to rescue him.

Afterwards, Reyada had adopted Cheira into their family. The sentinel commander found much merit in the young warrior and hoped to nurture it. And even though she and Truion had broken off their relationship, Reyada had pressed upon Cheira that the doors of her family were always open to her.

However, of the notably missing among the Shadowcreek survivors was Izdazi. Her crimes in Ashenvale had caught up to her and, tired from being separated from her family, Izdazi had voluntarily given herself up.

Yet another line had broken in the family.

Truion ran his hands through his green hair and sighed. He wondered how long he’d be able to stand in the coming future as his past slowly faded away.

- - -

The rain that fell upon the night elves that had gathered for the ceremony seemed like a godsend for those who did not wish for their tears to be seen. Cheira stood by her sentinels, her hand tightly wrapped together as she listened to Sentinel Shandris Feathermoon speak. Never did Cheira imagine that Reyada Shadowcreek would fall in battle. To her, the sentinel matriarch seemed untouchable. After surviving the Third War and centuries of battle, for her to fall in battle against the Horde, the same Horde that she had briefly joined in alliance with to fight a common enemy…was incomprehensible to Cheira.

When she had heard the news, Cheira had still been stationed in Feralas, training with the other sentinels in Commander Duskhollow’s unit. She immediately told her Commander that she had to take leave – this was a personal matter. At first, the Commander was not pleased, but eventually allowed her to do so.

Inside she felt numb. The loss of Reyada was almost as deep to her as the loss of her own family. She had grown close to the Commander over the years, even after she and Truion parted ways. If it was not for Reyada, Cheira would never have realized her dream of becoming a sentinel. She owed the woman so much, and now she was gone. Regrets and incriminating thoughts ran rampant through her mind at first, but they all soon began to fade away as the cold from the rain settled in.

Since she and Truion parted ways, Cheira found herself feeling hollow inside. She was able to enjoy herself with her fellow sentinels while in Feralas when they were not training, and she still managed to keep ahead of the others in practice, but when she was alone, it was silence that seemed to define her. Her friends were concerned at first, but Cheira stopped giving them opportunities to find her alone. She was the first to show up for practice and the last to leave it.

She threw herself into every study that was available and took it upon herself to learn more about past wars and great tacticians, as well as weapon forging and gathering the proper materials for it. All she wanted to do was fill the void inside with the determination that she had made the right choice. She was sure that in time, that the pain of her decision would fade. The Commander had told her it would once she experienced the battlefield.

Even after their relationship ended, Reyada still continued to write letters of support to Cheira, despite their tense meeting a year earlier about her choice to join Commander Duskhollow’s unit. Cheira wished she could have had one last opportunity to have seen Reyada and convince her that Duskhollow was not as terrible as she had made her seem. She wished she had been there for Reyada. If for one moment she could have aided in the fight against the Horde and not trapped in training still…

But she couldn’t think that way.

If a well seasoned veteran could not withstand their ambush, what good would she have done?

Briefly, Cheira closed her eyes and pressed her hands behind her back tightly. She couldn’t say anything to Truion and his family; all she could offer was silent support. Truion’s family, for the most part, had accepted her with open arms. While Truion’s brother Nalthen still did not say much to her, it was his parents who seemed to always enjoy her visits when she was on leave. Cheira was deeply grateful for it – she had no family left in Darnassus. It was nice when she would receive a letter from Truion’s family inviting her over for an informal dinner. Though, since she had broken things off with Truion, she hadn’t seen his family recently, they still wrote to her. It only made her feel worse about her decision.

Cheira could feel eyes upon her, and she knew, instinctually, that Truion had been looking her way. She did not raise her eyes to meet his; after all, they had separated because of her inability to wait and deep rooted fear that she would not survive the battlefield. How could she face him, especially now?

After a while, General Shandris ended the memorial and the crowds began to disperse. Cheira turned to her sentinels, nodding at them before turning to leave. She knew Truion was nearby and she wasn’t sure how she could initiate conversation with him, especially now.

Truion caught up to Cheira as the crowds separated. While brother and father spoke amongst each other, he wanted an opportunity to speak with her. Thankfully, she wasn't too far.

"Cheira," Truion called out. His voice sounded a little shaken. He tried to find the right words to say, but nothing came to mind as he stood before her.
The sentinel winced inwardly at the sound of the druid’s voice. She turned to look at him, and could not help but recoil at the sight of him. Words could not come to her lips, though there was much she wanted to say to him.

“Truion,” she finally uttered, quietly and politely. “I am truly sorry for your loss.”

"You mean, 'our' loss," he replied softly. He took another awkward step forward, but her cold demeanor prevented him from trying to embrace her. "She cared for you a lot, Cheira. And I still love you."

Raising her head back slightly, Cheira’s lips parted, but she did not respond. Instead, she cast her gaze to the side, not wanting to cause a scene during such a sensitive time.

“I see.” Cheira kept her eyes down as she spoke with the druid.

Truion felt himself jarred by that simplistic response. Two little words.

"Is that all you have to say? Did our relationship mean so little to you? Did the woman who gave you the opportunity to wear that uniform mean nothing? She treated you as her daughter," Truion whispered back.

“My sorrow is my own,” Cheira shot back, emotion finally coming to her cheeks. She finally raised her eyes up to face Truion. “I am here, and I am paying my respects. Why challenge me?”

"I'm not challenging you. I-I just miss you. We all miss you. We're all feeling the same sorrow you're feeling. Why not share with those who call you family? It's like you've disappeared from us."

“I am doing what I must. Your mother provided me with an invaluable opportunity and I cannot let her down. I was only given one day to come here. That is why I did not come to see you or your family.” The sentinel raised her gaze and finally took in the sight of him for the first time.

He looked different. His beard was fuller but still well trimmed. There were dark circles under his eyes. Cheira briefly wondered how he would look asleep and mentally shook herself. That time was gone.

“I will not fail the promise I gave your mother or to my people,” she said as she narrowed her eyes.

"She didn't intend for that promise separate you from your loved ones. My mother always found time to be with her family" Truion remarked. "You're using 'duty' to separate yourself from us; from me."

“No, I am merely choosing my duty over being left alone.”

"You know, at least while I was a prisoner in Booty Bay, I had dreams of you coming to rescue me. Now, I just have dreams of you turning your back on all us of," he muttered.

Cheira stared hard at Truion. “I had dreams once, but I realized how foolish I was at the fact that I believed that we could stay together. Your commitment to becoming a druid and entering the Dream is evident that my stupid ideals were never to come to fruition. We were young and thought that we were in love. But that was a long time ago.”

There was anger and sadness in her eyes as she spoke to the druid she loved. “I stay on this path now because I know that it is the only path for me. At least this way, I am in control of my choice of being alone.”

"You're right. How selfish of me to not consider what going into the Dream would mean for you. How foolish of me that I never considered your ideals. It's not like I won't worry about what battles you might be thrust into as a soldier. What horrors you might see in the field. It's not like I was never afraid I might one day attend a memorial like this for the soldier I love.

"Oh wait," Truion added, snapping his fingers sarcastically, as if he suddenly realized something. "I have considered these things. I know the dangers of your career and I still wanted to share my life with you."

“Oh, now you’re telling me this,” Cheira whispered angrily. The crowd around them had already dispersed, and she saw that they were the last ones there, still quietly speaking to each other. She glanced around before looking back at Truion. “Interesting that you never shared this with me before. I suppose you just assumed that I knew you wanted to share your life with me, just like how you assumed I’d be fine to wait for you.”

Sighing, she looked down as she tucked a long strand of white behind her ear. “I went through so much to save you when you were taken, only to have to say goodbye right after. Our time together is over, Truion. Let it go. Our paths are too far apart now.”

"Too far apart," Truion repeated quietly. "I help you find your father and brother. You rescue me in Booty Bay, and now our paths are too far apart."

He turned his back to her and struggled to keep his emotions in check. After everything they'd been through, how could it end like this?

"I see," he finally responds. He wanted to say more, but instead, as if surrendering, Truion walked away.

Keeping her arms at her sides, Cheira watched as Truion left. She never had the opportunity to tell him that she was leaving for Ashenvale the next day. Her time to start fighting on the battlefront had come.

Perhaps it was for best that he did not know. After all, it would just lead to more complications. And she was happier leaving it this way. Ignorance was bliss.


Last edited by Cheira on Mon May 06, 2013 12:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The Value of Family (Closed RP)

Post  Cheira on Mon May 06, 2013 12:27 am

The morning light filtered through the trees as Commander Duskhollow’s unit marched through Ashenvale. Up ahead, Commander Duskhollow led the soldiers on the back of a large night saber. Cheira kept alert despite the lack of sleep she had from the night before. After the funeral for the fallen soldiers at Silverwind, Cheira could not find restful sleep at the inn outside of town. All she wanted was to find Truion and talk to him, but that opportunity was lost. She had thrown everything away.

Looking up at where Commander Duskhollow rode, Cheira straightened her shoulders. She knew she had made the right decision. Duskhollow had told her of what happened to druids and sentinels in the past. The tale she told her had haunted her for many nights.

---

One year ago.

At the training grounds, Cheira had sat down near the edge of the practice field to catch her breath. She had done well today; she won every round with both a two-handed sword and an axe. Her proficiency in different weapons was growing exponentially. Having access to different weapons and not having to pay for them herself helped immensely.

As she wiped her forehead, a shadow fell over her. Looking up, Cheira had to catch herself from gasping aloud. Immediately she jumped to her feet and saluted. Commander Duskhollow stood before her, a tall, broad shouldered night elf woman with a severe look. Her face was scarred and her ears were missing flesh; just one small shred of evidence of what she had survived during the Third War.

Everyone had heard about Commander Duskhollow; even Cheira, who had just recently graduated from basic training and was going through more specialized training. Everyone was waiting to see which unit they would get selected for. Cheira wasn’t too concerned about it just yet, but she secretly hoped to be placed close to Moonglade so she would be able to see Truion.

The woman had been a courageous commander during the Third War, but was injured during an attack at the base of the World Tree. She had been hit in the head and severely wounded, left almost unrecognizable, but managed to survive. Unfortunately, she suffered a great amount of memory loss. She had lived for thousands of years, and lost all of her memories in just one day. Though she was still a respected Commander, she had to work her way back up to serve once more. Quickly, her reputation as a hardened warrior spread, as she began recruiting once she was able, and was leading formidable armies against the Horde in Ashenvale. Many wanted to join her ranks, but only she selected whom she wanted, which was not a common practice.

“At ease, Starfall,” Commander Duskhollow said. Her voice was deep and rich, but harsh. She was tall, much taller than any other kal’dorei woman that Cheira had seen. It was rumored that after the Third War, Duskhollow grew in height in her rage at not having a chance at a killing blow to Archimonde. It was just a silly rumor though.

“Commander,” Cheira said breathlessly. She wasn’t sure what else she should say.

“I was watching you during your training today. I was very impressed,” Duskhollow commented, raising her chin slightly in approval. Cheira felt her eyes widen. As she spoke to Cheira, she offered a large leather drinking pouch, which the young warrior graciously accepted.

“Thank you, Commander. “ She took a swig of the water, its coolness refreshing.

“I took a look at your file, Starfall,” the Commander continued, turning her head and walking slowly past Cheira as she spoke. “It seems you lost your family not too long ago. Your mother was a priestess, your father a celebrated ranger, and your brother, an up and coming warrior. Shame to lose them. You caused some problems in Darnassus later while posing as a sentinel, but were pardoned with a high recommendation to join the ranks of our sentinels.”

Swallowing hard, Cheira realized just how foolish her past sounded in the mouth of the hardened Commander. “Yes, Commander.”

“Care to elaborate why you did that?”

Hesitating, Cheira looked down at the ground before looking back at Duskhollow. “I was trying to save a dear friend. I had been poisoned and detained in the infirmary, but I didn’t want to get left behind on rescuing him. So I took on the guise of a sentinel to get out of Darnassus and travel to Booty Bay where he had been taken to fight in the underground fighting rings.”

“Is this…’friend’ of yours a druid, perhaps? Shadowcreek?” Duskhollow asked. She was looking at Cheira again. The sentinel nodded.

“I see. So you were able to rescue him. In return, instead of facing punishment for impersonating a sentinel, you were offered the opportunity to become one.”

“Yes, Commander. It had been a dream of mine to become a sentinel,” Cheira replied.

“I’m going to tell you something, Starfall,” Duskhollow began, her tone getting dangerously low. Her hands were behind her back as she stopped her pacing to face Cheira. The young sentinel noted her tightly braided dark hair, and briefly wondered if the Commander was displeased that her own hair was not tied back.

“I understand that you have gone through a difficult time when you lost your family. I’m not going to lie to you, though. War may be coming back for us, and it gets dangerous out there. Not every sentinel comes back home.

“In order for you to continue to succeed, there are certain aspects of our life that we must place on hold, or leave behind completely in order to do what we must for our people. It is important that we protect our way of life. Every day, Thrall’s orcs are trying to cut down our trees in Ashenvale for their own personal resources, and we lose more and more of our ancestral lands to their kind. If we face another threat as we did in the last war, we must be ready to drop everything in an instant. That means that we cannot go into battle distracted.”

Nodding, Cheira kept her eyes on the Commander as she spoke. Clasping her hands together, she could still feel the rawness in her palms from handling the heavy axe earlier.

“The thing about druids is that it’s uncertain how long they will sleep. During the last War, one of the druids had a sentinel for his wife. She guarded him as he slept, ever vigilant. When the demons began invading our lands, she had to leave his side to fight the threat. She fought bravely, always thinking of her sleeping druid. It was near the end of the battle that she was slain in an ambush. The druids had been awoken right before, and when her husband was told of his wife’s fate, he killed himself, unable to bear the pain of being without her.”

The air between Commander and sentinel suddenly grew very quiet. Cheira felt her breath exit her body and knots tighten in her stomach. It was as if the Commander’s words had gripped her heart, and forced it to stop.

But why was the Commander telling her this? Did she feel that the same thing would happen to her?

“I will not tell you what decisions to make,” Commander Duskhollow said at last, breaking the silence. “The only thing I will tell you is be mindful of the tale I have told you. Sometimes it is best to let the distance remain and to focus on your commitment to the oath you took as a sentinel to protect our people at all costs.”

Tipping her head towards the sentinel, Commander Duskhollow then turned and left. Shaken, Cheira could only watch as the Commander left the practice field.

It seemed that the Commander had taken an interest in her. Cheira couldn’t believe it. To be a part of her unit meant that your skill was amongst the best. Yet it also seemed that the Commander had issued her a warning.

Cut all ties if you wish to spare those the pain of loss.

Looking down at her hands, Cheira released her tight grip on them. They stung, causing pain to radiate heat. She could only stare at her palms as the Commander’s words sunk in.

---

“We’re getting close to camp,” the sentinel next to Cheira, Sarendis, whispered, jerking Cheira out of her thoughts. She gave Cheira a gentle smile. Sarendis was one of few sentinels that Cheira really got along with. She had lost her family during the War and grew up in an orphanage until she was old enough to enlist as a sentinel. They had a lot in common.

“Thanks,” Cheira whispered back. “Do you think we’ll go to Silverwind Refuge first?”

“I’m not sure. We might. It all depends on what Commander Duskhollow wants.”

“I hope so,” Cheira replied quietly, a streak of sadness in her eyes. Sarendis reached and squeezed her hand, risking the vigilant eyes of the others just to give her comfort.

“Don’t worry. We’ll find her,” Sarendis whispered. “She deserves a proper burial, just like the rest of our Sisters.”

Nodding, Cheira squeezed Sarendis’ hand back to let her know she appreciated her words, then released it. This was their first mission out in the field, and she had to make sure that she didn’t get caught looking weak in front of the Commander.


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Re: The Value of Family (Closed RP)

Post  Izdazi on Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:18 pm

It bothered Truion that he’d only visited his sister twice in the last few years. It wasn’t for lack of trying. Ideally he wanted to visit her on a monthly basis, but the wardens had decreed that prisoners could only receive visitors once every three months.

That had seemed harsh to Truion at the time. But now it’d been nearly seven months since his last visit and he was absolutely not in the mood for it to hassle with them anymore. Each request he’d sent to the barrows for visitation was either misfiled or lost. A few months ago he’d gone as far as to visit the Barrows personally, only to be angrily dismissed by the head warden for showing up without permission.

When the approval to visit finally arrived, he had wasted no time leaving Moonglade. He didn’t bother procuring a hippogryph and instead opted for his own flight form.

And that was how he ended up swooping high above Darkshore. His wings spread wide, he sailed over the ocean breeze that propelled him steadily toward Teldrassil. His vision in flight form was unbelievable sharp. He could see people walking on roads over a mile away. He could see herds of deer racing among the trees in the forest, and schools of fish in the shallows below.

Truion still remembered the days after he'd learn this animal form. He had spent days exploring Moonglade from the sky. Darting swiftly between trees and chasing down elk was exhilarating. He had even flown as far as Winterspring.

It was incredible. It was like a dream.

At times, he found himself eager to tell Cheira about this.

And then he would remember that she was gone. Cheira had gotten what she wanted, which was to become a Sentinel, and then left to pursue it fully, without the inconvenience of him being around.

Truion tried to remind himself that that wasn’t the case. Cheira was just trying to find herself. But even that felt like a weak excuse.

“Our time together is over, Truion. Let it go. Our paths are too far apart now.”

“My sorrow is my own.”

“I am doing what I must.”


Her words kept roiling around his mind like a tornado that just wouldn’t end. What did Cheira want from him? How many times did he have to repeat the same thing? What could he have done to prove his love to her?

And as always, the druid merely shook his head and sighed. Perhaps their paths have drifted too far apart? If so, it wasn’t by his doing. He had done everything to make that clear. What more proof could he have given her?

She always has to do everything alone.

Shaking her from his mind, he banked toward Teldrassil and dove into the canopy. Rut'theran Village burst into view, bustling with activity, but peaceful nonetheless. He could smell fresh bread in the air and the fragrances of incense from the temple.

He banked behind the temple, toward a less travelled part of town before shifting into druid form and landing lightly on his feet. The druid straightened his robes and approached the barrows.

The two wardens flanking the doorway stood in attntion, prepared to bar any unauthorized vistors.. They were dressed in armor that was a mixture of leather and chain mail and plate. A large heavy green cloak spilled from their shoulders to the ground and yet remained impeccably clean. It was hard to see their eyes from within their avian-like helms, but he could certainly feel their cold stares.

“I’m here to visit my sister, Izdazi,” he announced at the doorway. Without a word, or even a fluttering of emotion, one of them nodded for him to follow. The other remained at her post.

They descended down a long passageway that was only sporadically lit by glow lanterns. The dungeon smelled of moist wood with a trace of fungus and mold.

They stopped at some sort of foyer where two more jailors were stationed.

“Visitor for Shadowcreek,” the warden who had escorted him down announced, before leaving to return to her post.

One of the jailors stretched out her hand and Truion handed her the letter he’d received. For a tense minute she looked at the letter and then back at him.

He grew nervous and feared they’d reject yet another visit. Had they misfiled something? Again? Did they decide that today wasn’t a good day for visitors?

Then, the warden cleared her throat.

“You’re not allowed to bring anything to her. Discussion of anything outside of your family is prohibited. Discussion of this barrow or of the wardens is prohibited. Performing any kind of spell is prohibited. We reserve the right to end your visit at any time. Is that understood?”

Truion sighed and nodded without a word.

“Follow me.”

“Any word on when she’ll be released?” he asked as they descended ever deeper into the prison.

“If I have my way, she’ll leave when we’re sweeping the dust of her remains outside,” the warden snapped.

“That’s not answering my question,” Truion replied evenly. His hands tightened to fists as he regarded the warden. She, likewise turned toward him. In the dull bluish glow of the lanterns, he could see light reflecting brightly along the edges of her glaive and razor sharp hem of her cloak.

“I told you all you need to hear. If that’s unsatisfactory then you’re invited to leave,” the warden all but sneered as she held the permission letter threateningly over an open candle.

“Fine,” Truion relented more quickly then he wanted to, but the alternative was to wait months for another visit. They continued on without another word.

It seemed impossible to Truion that they could go deeper, but indeed, that's what they did. The air grew even more moist and stale. The distance between each dimly glowing lantern lengthened.

After what seemed like an interminable amount of time they finally arrived at a sealed archway. Waving a small stick, the roots receded into the frame, allowing him the first glimpse into the small room and it's sole occupant.

His sister sat on the floor in the center of the room. Her knees were drawn up, her forehead was resting on her knees and her arms were wrapped around her legs, pulling them tightly against her. She rocked back and forth slightly and only looked up when he the warden entered the cell. Beads of sweat dotted her forehead.

There was a wild, almost manic, look about her eyes that Truion found very disconcerting. Her dark blue hair, which had once done up in dreadlocks the last time he'd met, was disheveled, tangled in places and slowly coming undone. The drab clothing she was wearing was dirty and smelled of sweat.

It was hard for Truion to see his older sister like this. She was always the fearless and confident one. He had always looked up to her.

Now, she was a shadow of former self.

"She needs water?" he asked the warden, noting her parched lips.

"It's not time for her to get water," the guard snapped. "She gets food and water when we say so."

"Please." The warden merely scoffed.

"You have half an hour, druid," she said before leaving the room. Truion heard her breathing increase as the roots quickly grew back to bar the archway. He knelt down and carefully rested a hand on his shoulder.

"Izzy?"

Her glowing silvery eyes darted between him and the doorway. Even in the paltry glow small lantern provided, he could see that one of her eyes was nearly swollen shut. Her arms and face were marred with dark bruisers.

Finally, she focussed on him and smiled. Her anxiety seemed to dissipate when he held her hand.

"How are you doing, sis?" he calmly asked.

"Oh, you know. Walls closing in all around me. Getting beaten up by the wardens. All in all, about the same," she replied. He could tell she was mustering what little bluster she had remaining, but it was a weak façade. "I like your beard," she added with a weak grin as she brushed her hands along his trimmed beard.

"Thanks. It took me awhile to try this. Not sure if I'll keep it or not."

"I think it looks rather fetching."

Izdazi flinched when he ran his hand along her bruised face. "Why did they do this to you?"

"Well, being an accused sentinel killer doesn’t earn much points here. Oh, and trying to kill a ranger is also frowned upon, even when he's a turned satyr," she muttered. "Of course, I think the recent ones were the result of my fist making contact with one of the wardens’ face this morning."

"You punched a warden? Why would you do that?" Truion asked. He was startled to see her look at him with a disturbingly hollowed visage.

"I don't know. I just felt like it," she muttered. "It made me feel… alive."

The druid shook his head and brought his hand close to her bruised her face. A viridian glow began emanating from his hand and he was about to heal her injuries when she abruptly swatted his hand away.

"No," she fervently whispered. "No magic. I would rather carry these bruises, then no longer have visits from you."

With a sigh, he nodded. He hated seeing her like this, but she was right.

"How is father doing?" Izdazi asked.

"Since mother's death he's been working nearly nonstop at his shop. I know he misses her, but he won't talk to me about it," Truion explained as he sat with his back against the wall. "He's even hired workers."

"That's good. At least he's not trying to do all that work alone. I'm sure Nalthen is buried in his scrolls and tomes." Truion nodded. As of late, his older brother visited home more often, but his scholarly work still took precedence.

"And Cheira," his sister asked, raising a questioning eyebrow.

"She's off doing her sentinel thing. Apparently, she wants nothing to do with me."

"Her words?"

"She feels that our respective paths are too far apart. There's apparently no way a sentinel and a druid can carry a relationship," he said with a trace of bitterness in his voice.

"I'm sorry, Truion."

"I don't understand her," the druid suddenly vented. "She has this stupid notion that she must prove to herself that she can do anything alone. And I'm always chasing after her. Then, she risks her life to rescue me in Booty Bay and afterward we have a wonderful time together. I thought it was perfect. I thought our life together was finally on firmer ground. I should have known better."

"Truion."

"We wrote to each other at first. I wrote her every week. She wrote back. Everything seemed like it'd work. And then, it's over. It's as if suddenly, she decided that she must absolutely prove she can be a sentinel without me. Like I'd only burden her."

"Truion." He stopped his ranting in time to look at his sister. She was glaring at him. "Stop being an idiot and see things from her perspective."

"I have been. She's being silly and egotistical to think that I'd only slow be a hindrance to her training."

"You're the one being egotistical," she stated softly. "You think this is about her thinking she can't do something without you. You're wrong. She's strong, Truion. I've worked with her. It's not her strength as a warrior that she fears isn't it adequate. It's her heart."

"What?"

"You’re a druid, Truion. Your kind exists in two worlds: this world and the Emerald Dream. One day, you will have to walk the Dream and you'll leave her behind. It may be for a year or a decade or maybe even a century. And she'll be alone."

"We could have made it work."

"Maybe you could have, but she doesn't think she could and you'll need to respect that. You’ll be defending the Dream and doing whatever it is druids do there. But she’ll be out here, alone," she said. "A heart is a terribly vulnerable chink in anyone's armor. To have it broken is a pain that's hard to forget."

Truion shook his head and dropped it on his knees. "So, better to not share it, then to risk it broken?"

"To some of us, it's easier to live with our heart locked away safely, then to risk it on whatever the whim of the future may bring," Izdazi replied with sorrow filled voice. "I'd rather get beaten up daily by these wardens then suffer 'that' particular injury."

"It's not right," Truion replied after a long and uncomfortable pause.

"I don't doubt you, but the possible alternative is sometimes more frightening," his sister said. "Truion, try to understand, that this is what she believes. Cheira is doing this because she's so afraid that in loving you, she may not survive losing you.”

“You know, when she and I were traveling to Booty Bay to rescue your sorry hide, I learned a great deal about you both. I remember mentioning how much you hated fighting and Cheira, in her usual overdramatic flare, defended you. She said you were an impressive fighter,” Izdazi said as she gently grasped Truion’s hand. “And I remember telling her that I know my little brother better then she does. ‘If my brother fights with her, it’s because he fights for her.’

“Love is beautiful, but it’s also scary. It can give you strength, but it can also rip you to pieces. And not one of us has any control of over it. Look at father. He knew what it meant to share his life with a sentinel. Do you think that makes what he’s going through now any easier? And you weren’t here, but after you were kidnapped, mother was on a warpath. She wanted to bloody invade Booty Bay. She was actually quite scary.

“But even amidst the planning and investigation, she still visited father at the temple as he recuperated from his injuries. I never saw mother as vulnerable as the times when she was watching her husband recover.”

Izdazi squeezed her brother’s hand. He noticed that her eyes were watery a moment before she wiped them with her sleeve of her shirt.

“Don’t judge her or yourself too harshly, Truion. These things happen. Maybe she’ll change her mind. Maybe not,” Izdazi said. "But know that she loves you.”

They sat in silence for a while. The cell was eerily quiet, leaving Truion with only his thoughts.

“I don’t understand,” the druid finally responded. “Do you think I should wait for her in case she changes her mind?”

Izdazi issued a short chortle and shook her head.

“By the stars, no! I mean, I wouldn't wait. Love is supposed to be shared mutally. If Cheira is too afraid to risk sharing her heart with you, then that’s her decision. But, there are others out there and you might find someone who will,” Izdazi said. “I just ask that you don’t despise Cheira for what she’s chosen to do. She’s doing this out of fear.”

Truion considered what he’d heard. It wasn’t going to be easy. He’d been willing to share everything in his life with Cheira. He thought she was the one. Besides, how could he just ‘forget’ all the adventures they’d had?

But maybe his sister was right and he couldn’t hold on to a possibility that may never come to fruition.

“Well, it’s nice to know that the years in this cell haven’t completely eroded your sensitive side,” he quipped.

“ Oh, I save it all for you, little brother,” she sighed. “Sometimes, I don’t think I’ll ever see the stars again.”

“We’re all working on getting you out of here.”

“Mother is gone, Truion. She was the only one who had the influence and respect to get me a second chance and even she couldn’t do that while she was alive.”

“Izzy. There’s always a chance something can change.”

“I suppose,” she relented. She must have noticed something chance in his expression because she suddenly looked at him with a quizzical expression. “What?”

’I suppose.’ That’s something Cheira used to say all the time when she didn’t want to admit that I was right about something,” he said. “It’s ok. I know what you mean,” he quickly amended in response to her suddenly contrite countenance.

That was when the vines blocking the cell suddenly opened revealing the unforgiving visage of a warden on the other side.

“Time’s up, druid,” she announced.

Shooting the warden a baleful expression he knelt next to his sister again.

“Promise me you’ll try to behave. It’ll be a lot easier for us to try to help you if you’re not starting altercations with these… guards,” he whispered, being sure to slur the word 'guard.'

“I’ll try, little brother,” Izdazi replied, hugging him tightly. “Thanks for visiting.”

“I’ll be back as soon as I can,” he promised before turning to leave. He glanced back in time to see her sit in the middle of the floor of the cell before the vines sealed the archway.

The warden quickly escorted him out. Once outside, he was startled to realize how stale the air was in the barrows until he took his first breath of fresh air.

Shifting back into flight form, he spread his wings and took to the skies. His worries followed close behind.
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Re: The Value of Family (Closed RP)

Post  Lurena on Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:20 pm

Light filtered through the canopies of Ashenvale forest. The sentinels were getting closer to their destination, or so was the rumor that was murmured amongst the marching ranks. Darkshore was finally behind them, so they had to be getting near.

Remembering her training and studies of maps, Cheira knew that they had to be getting close to Maestra’s post. Chances were that they were going to stop there before heading deeper into Ashenvale.

Suddenly, the sentinels up ahead stopped short. Cheira immediately pulled herself out of her daze and listened hard. Something was wrong.

Immediately, the sentinels broke ranks and darted into the forest, as they had been trained. Duskhollow veered her nightsaber to the sharp left and rode out of sight.

Together, Cheira and Sarendis took cover in the trees, following the rest of their Sisters through the forest, maintaining camouflage. Running quickly and quietly and using the leaves as their disguise, Cheira saw what had caused the break in formation.

Up ahead, a Horde scout party was accosting a draenei female. It seemed that the draenei woman was alone. Cheira couldn’t believe it. How foolish was this woman to travel these roads alone? Placing a hand on the hilt of her sword, Cheira looked to her other Sisters to find the right moment to strike.

She'd walked the road between Raynewood Retreat and Auberdine many times in years past.   It was a quiet and normally well-patrolled road, where the sounds of the forest and the cool air often lulled her mind into wandering.   Indeed, many of her most introspective ideas were born on this route.  
   
   Perhaps it was the warnings she had heard before departing from Raynewood, or the ever-worsening news of Horde aggression throughout Ashenvale, but her mind didn't wander much today.  And when it did, it centered on Silverwind Refuge.  
   
   Niashado personally knew several of the sentinels who'd been killed when the Horde invaded.   She mourned their passing.   Even more so, she mourned the steadily degrading truce between the two great powers in Azeroth.  
   
   It's hard to believe that this world, with all its divisions, managed to repel the Burning Legion not once, but twice.    
   
   Her thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the arrival of five orcs astride worgs.  It was a small scouting party.  Of course, small was still big when it was five against one.  Her heart thrummed rapidly as they quickly circled her.   Various types of pointy steel weapons were pointed at her.    
   
   It took all the draenei's efforts not to simply accede to panic and run.   It's not like she could run anywhere.  The worgs were much faster than her, even when she took wolf form.   And if she ran, the orcs would track and kill her.  That was their way.      
   
   She couldn't give them that.   Orcs responded better to being faced down and at times, even calmly spoken to.  There was no guarantee she'd survive the encounter, but it gave her more options than simply running away.   Instead, she eyed what she assumed was the leader.  Or at least she assumed he was the leader because he was the only one wearing the crazy helmet with five skulls impaled on the spikes.  
   
   Clutching her staff tightly, she slowly fished out a small ankh from her satchel.  The ankh had the symbol of the Earthen Ring engraved on it.   She showed it to the 'leader' and prayed that her involvement with the neutral organization would grant her some leeway.    
   
   From the way his eyebrows rose, she could tell that he recognized the symbol and perhaps even understood the importance of it.   Then, to the detriment of her hope, he swatted the ankh from her hand and dismounted from his worg.  
   
   He started speaking, but her orcish was minimal and he was speaking quickly.   There was no denying the threat in what he was saying, though.  
   
   "<Wait!>" Niashado called out.  But even as she spoke, she raised her staff to deflect his axe swing.   Now the others were approaching and it was clear that they weren't going to listen to her.    
   
   Sometimes, it'd be easier if she'd just pay the flightmaster, instead of taking the scenic walks.  

The surrounding orcs were making their move. Cheira watched as the draenei woman was forced to raise her staff to deflect an axe swing from the leader. Tightening her grip on her sword, Cheira waited with her teeth clenched tightly. These Horde scouts were bold to travel so deeply into Kal’dorei territory. It angered her to see them accosting an innocent bystander. Still, she couldn’t make her move until the rest of the party was ready.

Suddenly, an arrow flew through the air, and knocked one of the orc scouts clear off his worg and onto the ground with a resounding thud. The orcs stopped their assault on the draenei woman to look around. At that moment, the sentinels burst through the trees, one side being led by Commander Duskhollow, who bellowed orders in Darnassian.

Together, with Sarendis by her side, Cheira ran towards the orc closest to her. Aware of the sentinels, the orcs immediately raised their axes. Another arrow flew from the clearing. Cheira knew that Nuelle was in the trees, covering their backs.

Putting herself between the draenei and the orcs, Cheira blocked an incoming blow from the orc leader that was meant to strike the draenei. Grunting, Cheira fought to keep the axe from coming down any further. The orc was strong, but she was strong herself. The years she spent in training had helped her prepare for this moment.

Slashing the axe out of her way, Cheira stepped back as the rest of the sentinels surrounded the orcs. Two had fallen, while the last three stood, grabbing the reigns of their worg mounts. The leader shouted in orcish, but his yell was cut short by a glaive thrust into his neck.

Behind him, Commander Duskhollow ripped out her glaive without giving the orc a moment to crumble. As the orc leader fell off his worg, the other two orcs started to run. They didn’t get very far before they were overtaken by the rest of the sentinels, who made quick work of dispatching them.

Grabbing the draenei woman by the shoulders, Cheira turned towards the Commander. “I have her!” she yelled. Behind her, Sarendis looked on as the Commander stepped towards them.

“Sweep the area! Make sure that there aren’t any others!” Commander Duskhollow ordered, her deep, harsh voice ringing clear. Immediately the sentinels dispersed, leaving just Cheira, Sarendis, and Commander Duskhollow with the draenei.

“Are you hurt?” Cheira whispered in Common to the draenei while the Commander was looking away.

The shamaness was just about to call out to the elements when, inexplicably, one of the orc fell out of his saddle.  The act seemed so entirely random that it took her a few seconds to realize there was an arrow embedded in his back.   The remaining orcs appeared to be as nonplussed as she.  
   
   That's when the forest exploded around them.   All around sentinels burst from the foliage and charged at the orcs.   The orcs never had a chance.   The shamaness had watched night elves in combat before and the savage precision never ceased to impress and frighten her at the same time.    
   
   Before long two sentinels were flanking her.  The one holding her shoulders called out to their commander, who soon issued further orders.   And then, as abruptly as it began, the skirmish was over.
   
   “Are you hurt?” the sentinel closest to her whispered in Common.   At first, Niashado didn't respond.  She was too busy looking at the dead bodies of the orcs and trying to quantify the irrational disappointment she was feeling at the failure of avoiding this bloodshed.   She hated to see things devolve to this point, even when there was no other choice.
   
   "Are you hurt?" the sentinel with long white hair asked again with some concern in her voice.   The shamaness shook her head.  
   
   "I-I am fine.  Thank you," Niashado responded as she tried to push the disappointment from her mind.   She truly owed these kal'dorei warriors her life.  

“You’re lucky we were coming through,” Cheira commented quietly as she released her grip on the draenei’s shoulders. She stepped back and bowed her head as Duskhollow approached the draenei woman.

“Your name?” Duskhollow asked. The area around them suddenly grew quiet, as if even the forest was fearful of making any sounds.

   "Niashado," the shamaness quickly responded to the tall and imposing officer who had spoken.  "I am indebted to you for the timely rescue, good Sentinel."  
   
She knelt down and picked up her fallen ankh.  

“Commander Duskhollow,” she corrected. “You’re far from the nearest town. Care to explain why you are wandering our forests alone?”

"I was traveling from Raynewood Retreat to Auberdine, commander," she replied.  It annoyed her that she sounded so sheepish, but from the way this Sentinel commander was looking down at her, Niashado suspected that her purpose out here would not be satisfactory.  "I-I tend to meditate out here.  I am a shaman of the Earthen Ring."  

“Shaman,” Duskhollow repeated, as if tasting the word in her mouth for the first time. “It is dangerous to travel alone these days, as you just saw. I cannot have you travel to Auberdine alone, unless you have a deathwish.”

The night elf commander turned to Sarendis then, who immediately straightened in form. “Nightwind, Starfall,” she snapped. “Tend to the draenei woman.”

Immediately Sarendis and Cheira stood by Niashado’s side. Both nodded in unison. “Yes, Commander.” Duskhollow maintained her deadpan expression as she watched the rest of the sentinels return.

“I will grant you protection until we reach Astranaar. From there, you are on your own.” Without saying another word to the draenei, Commander Duskhollow left. The scout leader followed her, briefing her on what was found in the forest. The sentinels had found no other signs of Horde, and deemed it safe to continue traveling.  Letting out a sharp whistle to summon her nightsaber, Commander Duskhollow climbed onto her mount without another word.

Immediately, the sentinels fell back into position, leaving Cheira and Sarendis in the back to escort the draenei. Cheira glanced over at Sarendis then, wordlessly exchanging conversation.  

Astranaar?  Niashado quietly groaned.   Astranaar was in the opposite direction of her destination.  However, the cold look she received from the Sentinel Commander suggested that she would brook no argument to the contrary.   That, and it would be rude and moronic to toss aside the protection the Sentinels were willing to provide.  
   
   "Thank you, Commander," Niashado replied politely, even though the Commander had already moved on with the rest of her soldiers.  
   
   The shamaness recovered her satchel from the ground and regarded the two sentinels who were assigned to her.   They both appeared young, but nevertheless capable.  One sported long white hair in a loose braid.  The other had magenta colored hair that fell to right above her shoulders.  
   
   "I am ready to move on when you are," Niashado stated plainly.   She hoped they wouldn't consider her a burden, but there wasn't much that could be done about that now.  
   
“You heard her,” Sarendis murmured, to which Cheira just responded with a nod. The sentinels ahead were already moving, so they had to walk quickly to keep up. Cheira glanced up at the trees and noticed Nuelle leaping from branch to branch. The archer was watching their backs, which Cheira was grateful for.

After some moments spent in silence, Sarendis glanced over at Cheira and let out a small grin. “Nice block to the orc. I could tell training has really paid off.”

“Don’t start,” Cheira snorted dully, keeping her eyes firmly ahead. “I was just doing what was necessary.”

“Always one to have a great conversation with,” Sarendis sighed as she rolled her eyes. “It’s okay to talk, Cheira. I don’t think Duskhollow can hear us back here.”

“No, but the others can,” Cheira retorted gruffly, still keeping her eyes up ahead.

   The shamaness listened to the sentinels' conversation but made no effort to join in.  She was still weary from the attack and patiently waited for her thrumming heart to calm down.  Despite the years of traveling and going from one misshapen adventure to another, she never became accustomed to being thrust in violent situations.  
   
   Deep down, she felt a twinge of envy for the two sentinels who could converse so calmly after the skirmish.  It was as if nothing dangerous had just happened.    
   
   Her ears perked slightly at the mention of Cheira's name.   She knew an elf by the name of Cheira from a few years ago, but she couldn't be sure this was the same one.  
   
   What a small world this would be if indeed this did turn out to be the Shadowcreek druid's Cheira?
   
   "Does Commander Duskhollow not prefer for her soldiers to  speak amongst themselves?" she asked, hoping to learn more about the sentinel's whom had just rescued her.  

“We must always be focused and aware of our surroundings,” Cheira answered, her eyes glaring straight ahead. Sarendis just leaned back to wink at Niashado from behind Cheira’s back.

“Just don’t get caught,” Sarendis whispered, hiding her mouth with her armored hand. Immediately she let out a small yelp as Cheira turned and pushed her. A hint of restrained laughter rose up from the sentinel as she tried to get back in formation. Narrowing her eyes at Sarendis, Cheira squared back her shoulders and marched ahead, leaving some distance between her and the draenei and Sarendis.

Only then did Sarendis’ smile fade. She looked over at Niashado then. “I’m just trying to help her get her mind off things. That’s all.”

   "She seems very focused," Niashado replied neutrally.   "There is wisdom in that.  If I had been more aware of my surroundings, instead of lost in thought, I may have avoided those orcs."  
   
   She offered Sarendis an encouraging smile, but it didn't quite make it to her eyes.   Cheira seemed to be awfully focused and determined to not interact with her or Sarendis.  Still, she didn't know these night elves long enough to start making any judgments.  

“Cheira gets like that whenever something bad happens to her. She does everything she can to focus on one or two things so she doesn’t have to think about it anymore.” For a few moments, Sarendis was quiet, almost deep in thought, but suddenly brightened as she turned to Niashado. “So, how do you say your name? Nia…do?”

"Niashado," the draenei answered, chuckling softly at the sentinel's attempt to pronounce her name.  "I did not catch your first name, Sentinel Nightwind."

“Sarendis,” she replied warmly. “Why are you wandering around alone? Don’t you have anyone to travel with?”

   "Sarendis," Niashado said, carefully testing the word.   She found the night elf language to always sound so melodious.  "I usually work alone, traveling between settlements.  The long walks give me time to reflect, pray and sometimes just collect my thoughts.  I have traveled this road many times and often without being harried.   I suppose times are different and I may need to travel with convoys to avoid something like this from occurring again.
   
   "I suppose you and your unit are on patrol?"    

“Not really,” Sarendis replied. She looked up to where Cheira was, then glanced to the trees to see if Nuelle was still nearby. Finally, she turned to look back to Niashado. “First assignment. For some of us, it’s our first true battle. We have trained a long time for this.” Briefly, worry and fear washed over Sarendis’ features. “Some of us will be fighting back the orc threat while a smaller group of us goes on a more…dangerous mission.”

"First mission.  I am sure you are nervous," Niashado replied.  Inwardly, she wondered if Sarendis should be telling her all this.  She didn't want to risk her getting in trouble.  "I am sure your family is proud of you."

Biting her lip, Sarendis forced herself to smile at Niashado. “My family is dead,” she explained, after swallowing hard. “But I appreciate the sentiment.”

Niashado stopped and laid a blue hand on the sentinel's armored shoulder.  "I apologize.  But I am sure you are doing them proud."   She offered an encouraging smile before continuing to follow Cheira.

“Thank you. It happened a long time ago. Let’s keep up.” Sarendis put her painful thoughts behind her as she jogged towards Cheira. She waved to Niashado to join her. Placing a hand on Cheira’s shoulder armor, Sarendis said something to her, but Cheira never turned her head to acknowledge her. Glancing back at Niashado, Sarendis just shrugged her shoulders in defeat.

- - -

Night fell as Duskhollow led her troops to a clearing in the forest. They had left the worn roads to seek shelter amongst the trees. A small fire burned as two tents were constructed for the commanding officers. The rest of the sentinels were setting up their posts, while others were resting. In the trees, the scouts kept an eye out for any signs of trouble.

Handing Niashado a small wooden bowl with a hearty stew in it, Sarendis managed to show off a grin with a mouth full of bread. “Here you go,” she offered, her voice muffled. Nearby, Cheira quietly ate her stew, glaring at the ground. “Sit here. Commander Duskhollow will be out soon.”

"Thank you."  Niashado took the offered stew.  It smelled delicious and after a long hike, and the surprise attack by orcs, she certainly had an appetite for a meal.   She gave Cheira a quick glance, but the warrior kept her eyes downward.  
   

“It’s been a hard few days for her,” Sarendis whispered to Nia after she swallowed her large bite of bread. “Losing a fellow sentinel is hard on all of us.” As if she hadn’t said anything, Sarendis threw herself to sit down right next to Cheira, her bowl of stew in one hand with two rolls of bread in the other.

Without warning, Sarendis threw one of the rolls behind her, high up into the air. “For Nuelle!” she called out. A split second later, an arrow whizzed in the air, directly hitting the roll and sending it to the trunk of a tree nearby. As it hit the trunk, a hand reached down and pried the arrow from the tree, taking that and the roll with her.

Grinning, Sarendis popped another large bite of bread into her mouth as she turned back to her meal. Beside her, Cheira muttered under her breath. “Every single time…”

“It’s fun,” Sarendis replied defensively as she sneered at Cheira, who continued to glare at the ground as she ate. “You’re allowed to have that once in the while.”

Facing Niashado, Sarendis blinked her wide, bright eyes at her. “So, tell me what you do as a shaman!”

   She had no idea why Sarendis has thrown the piece of bread into the air until an arrow struck it to a tree.   If it hadn't been for that, the shamaness would have never known about the sentinel in the trees.  Were there others?  
   
   Looking back at Sarendis and Cheira, she couldn't help but to notice the personality differences between them.   Except for when she was fighting the orcs, Cheira seemed to be content to be left alone.  On the other hand, Sarendis appeared to be utterly incapable of straining herself.
   
   After taking another spoonful of the stew, the draenei turned toward Sarendis.
   
   "Well, it varies.   Sometimes I am trying to find out why elementals are agitated.  Other times I work to help the sick or injured," Niashado explained.  She glanced at Cheira briefly.  "Shamans are listeners.  We listen to the elements.  We listen to people.  And sometimes we remind people that there still a fire burning in their hearts.
   
   "Actually, there is much in common between druids and shamans, such as-"

“We’re supposed to be staying quiet, Nightwind,” a cold, calculating voice rang out, silencing all conversation. Immediately, all the sentinels looked up to see Commander Duskhollow standing outside her tent. Cheira had been listening to Niashado, but turned her eyes toward the Commander.

Clenching her teeth together, Sarendis bowed her head. “My apologies, Commander,” she muttered, keeping her eyes lowered.

With her cape sweeping behind her, the large sentinel woman entered the area where the sentinels were sitting. Regarding all of them, she turned and folded her arms behind her back as she began to pace. Behind her, a smaller sentinel lagged behind, a clipboard in her hand. She had small, fine glasses that rested on the tip of her nose, and her plum hair was up in two interwoven braids.

“I don’t blame you for making conversation, but we are no longer in the training camps of Feralas. We are in the war zone. For many of you, this will be your first true taste of battle. What we did earlier today is just the tiniest sample. You will all soon be facing death very closely, and she is a cruel mistress. You never know who she will choose.”

At that, Cheira looked up, as the other sentinels in attendance did. Knowing that she had everyone’s full attention at this point, Duskhollow jerked her head back at the bespectacled night elf, who quickly dropped her board and grabbed a large jug of water that was nearby and started filling up the mugs for each sentinel.

“Many of us are not unfamiliar with Death. However, we have all experienced her wrath, and understand the devastating effect she can leave upon us. The loneliness we have felt once that part of our hearts has been ripped away, and the crushing feeling of hopelessness when we know that there is no way to bring our loved ones back.”

There was complete silence at this point, except for the sound of water sloshing in each cup as the sentinel woman came by to fill them. As she got to Sarendis and Niashado, she filled Sarendis’ mug, but ignored Niashado. She continued right over to Cheira, whose expression was unreadable.

“You believe that you are alone, but you are not. Look around you. See who is next to you. Death may have destroyed our families and friendships, or we may have even been abandoned by the ones we love. That doesn’t mean we are alone.” At this, Duskhollow looked out pointedly at the sentinels who were listening. Many of them were drinking the water that had been served, while the rest were silent.

“Together, we are family. Our bonds are far stronger than anyone else’s. We know what true loss is, and what it is like to be abandoned. We are true sisters who are powerful together in our numbers. The world may have forgotten us or cast us out, or even left behind, but we carry on together! We no longer need the illusions of love and family when we have real kinship with each other!”

At this, many of the sentinels nodded or muttered in agreement. Both Cheira and Sarendis looked on, almost enraptured in Duskhollow’s speech.

The Commander’s eyes followed each one in the audience, and slowed down as she faced Cheira and Sarendis. Closing her eyes, as if encumbered, Duskhollow continued in a lower, pained voice. “It is love and family that deceived us. Made us believe we were wanted and that with it, we were whole. It was love and family who abandoned us in death or higher aspirations.”
Placing her hands behind her back, Commander Duskhollow walked forward slowly before suddenly turning on her heel to face the sentinels once more. “We will not be deceived! We will not be held back! The world wants to forget us? We shall remind them of what we do for them! We are sworn by our duty to bring back our fallen, and we will not let our sisters be forgotten! Together, we shall create our own bonds, and bring back the honor that was taken from us!”

At this, several of the sentinels stood up and raised their arms in salute, including Sarendis. Cheira stayed down for a moment, before standing up and raising her arm as well. Chanting of Commander Duskhollow’s broke amongst the ranks as the Commander stood before everyone, her bespectacled assistant not far behind.

“Very good, Commander,” the woman whispered as she pushed up her small, fragile-looking glasses. The board was back in her arms once more.

“Thank you, Mayene,” Duskhollow muttered back. “Dismissed,” she said loudly before she stalked off toward her tent.
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Re: The Value of Family (Closed RP)

Post  Izdazi on Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:08 pm

Niashado had worked with the Hand of Argus in Bloodmyst Isle, Night Elf Sentinels and Rangers in Ashenvale.   Though she wasn’t in a military, she understood the necessity of camaraderie among warriors.  

But Commander Duskhollow’s speech resonated negatively within her.   It was… too strong.  Too centered on the unit, rather than on the duty to their people.   It was antagonistic toward the very concept of family.  

It was every bit conceivable that perhaps in the past Commander Duskhollow had suffered some sort of abandonment from her family.  But, to inflict, even encourage, this bitterness on her soldiers was extreme.

Even more disturbing were the number of affirmations Duskhollow received from her sentinels.  

The shamaness wasn’t sure what to make of the ritual with the water.  She’d been denied the water that was passed out to the sentinels earlier, but at the time hadn’t thought much of it.  She had assumed it was part of a group-building ritual.   It seemed every military unit she’d work alongside had their own unique ceremony of sorts.  

After they were dismissed and the commander departed she noticed Cheira finish the last few gulps of water and then glanced over to her and Sarendis.    

“Excuse me,” the young sentinel murmured, grabbing a leather binder from her pack. They watched her leave and Sarendis face fell when she saw the white haired warrior take the leather binder with her.

“Looks like she’s going to write again,” Sarendis whispered. “She’s earned the nickname, ‘The Writing Warrior’ amongst the ranks.”

Niashado watched the warrior leave and then turned to Sarendis.   She wasn’t sure what to say.  In truth, her thoughts were still back on the strange ritual she’d just witnessed.  

“Sarendis?  The ceremony with the water and speech.  Is this something Commander Duskhollow normally does?”

“What?” Sarendis replied, thrown off by Niashado’s concern. “That wasn’t a ceremony. That’s just how the Commander talks to us. She believes that we should refresh not only our throats but our minds. That’s why she always serves water when she speaks to us.”

Niashado noded quietly but was far from placated by the response.  “She seemed to stress the importance of the unit over family and home.  That is, if I may say, very different from other military units I have worked with in the past.”

“Well, it works for us,” Sarendis replied matter-of-factly. “Most of us don’t have families of our own. We’ve struggled with the idea of having that ideal family. With Duskhollow, we don’t have to. We have what we need with each other.”

“But surely there are friends or people back home who you anticipate returning home to?” Niashado replied softly.  

“I didn’t really have any friends. I grew up in an orphanage and was never adopted. I enlisted as soon as I was able to. You do whatever you can to get out of a bad situation,” the sentinel said as her magenta hair cascaded over her shoulders.

Though her expression was saddened, it soon changed to that of relief as she turned to Niashado and smiled. “That’s why I’m so happy here. I’ve always wanted a sister, and now I have a whole unit of them!”

The shamaness smiled at that, although it was somewhat strained.  “Fellowship is very important.  I am pleased you have found people to be close with.”  She abruptly stood up and brushed the dirt off her kilt.  “I hope you do not mind.  I need to stretch my legs a little.  I will return.”

Sarendis waved her off. “Don’t wander too far away. Nuelle can only shoot so far.”  

Niashado nodded and slowly wandered about the camp.   There was conversation, but it was mostly subdued.   She recognized the aura of cautious relaxation that had descended upon the camp.  Regardless of the race or army, it always seemed the same.   Soldiers were ready to react to any danger that may come up.  


~~~~  


With her back to the entrance of the tent, Commander Duskhollow sifted through a large pile of scrolls and envelopes. Another stack lay neatly tied together. It was evident that mail had been recently received, as well as a large amount had been collected to be sent out.

Nearby, a torch pit gave the tent warmth and light. The fire leapt, as if it were anticipating more fuel.

Carefully, Duskhollow opened one of the letters, and read through its contents. Her expression never changed as she got through the letter. When she finished, she turned and dropped it unceremoniously into the torch pit. She did this with the next letter that came within her grasp, and the next.

In the back, Mayene put away a collection of vials into a protective pack. Tying it shut, she stood up and looked over at Duskhollow. The Commander was burning letters again. Pushing up her glasses, Mayene cleared her throat to get the Commander’s attention. Duskhollow glanced over her shoulder, but did not say a word.

“I’m stepping out for a moment. Don’t mind me,” Mayene announced meekly.

“I won’t,” Duskhollow murmured. Mayene pursed her lips, but said nothing as she exited the tent outside.


~~~~  


Her mind on other things, Niashado didn’t really take note of where she was going until she came upon the commander’s tent.  She wasn’t sure of Duskhollow’s mission.  Only that they would likely arrive at Auberdine at some point tomorrow.  

Not seeing anyone at the entrance to the tent, the shamaness debated stepping in and extending her thanks to the Commander for offering her sanctuary.   Having worked with Commander Shadowcreek and Vindicator Markal in the past, she knew that at times officers preferred solitude.   Still, maybe if the commander had some free time to converse with her, she'd learn something.  Maybe there might even be some council she could provide.  

Committing to the plan, Niashado quietly entered and the tent.  Her hooves made little sound thanks to the earthen.  The crackle of the fire probably also helped masked her entrance.  

Inside, she found the daunting form of Commander Duskhollow reading over a letter.  The shamaness opted to wait patiently until she was finished before announcing her presence.   To her surprise, she watched as the Commander dropped the letter in the fire before opening another and beginning to read it.  

Realization suddenly dawned upon the draenei and before she could stop herself her mouth opened.  “What… what are you doing?”

“I am handling my personal mail,” she answered coldly, each word dripping with icy poison. She narrowed her eyes at the draenei then, as if it finally registered that she had another being in her tent. “You were not invited in. What is your business here?”

The shamaness felt her ears lower slightly at the tone of the Commander’s voice.  “I-I…   It is just that, those letters look like they are for more than just for you, Commander.”  Her eyes were on the leather bag full of more envelopes.    Niashado inwardly cursed that her voice was becoming quieter.  She hated feeling intimidated like this.  

Turning fully to face the draenei, Commander Duskhollow took a step towards her. She looked down at the draenei, her expression revealing annoyance. “You did not answer my question. Do not make me repeat it.”

Niashado took a step back.  “I-I was coming to ask you about your mission and t-to know if there is any way I can be of assistance.  B-but why are you destroying those letters?”

Commander Duskhollow took another step toward the draenei, her large form now looming over her. “We have no need for a shaman. Your offer is unnecessary.”

Every word was spoken carefully, quietly, but firmly. Duskhollow kept her silver eyes on Niashado. “I am destroying mail that has already been read. There is no need to keep old mail lying around.”

Briefly, her upper lip curled at the draenei. “Is there anything else you wish to discuss, draenei?”

Biting her lip, Niashado considered her choices.  Something in the back of her mind was telling her that all was not well with this military unit and their leader.  She needed to stay a little longer.  Looking up at the towering Sentinel commander she nervously swallowed.  “I have experience working with the military.  I am well skilled medic and healer.  The world is not right and you know it.  Now more than ever, wh-who better to serve at your side than one who understands the elements?”

“We are approaching the war front,” Duskhollow replied. Abruptly, she turned and went back to the table to where the letters were. “The enemy is close. The orcs of the Horde destroy our forest, and we are quickly losing resources.”

Idly, she lifted one of the envelopes that was on the table before looking over at Niashado. “How can I put faith in someone to heal my unit when just moments ago, she was being accusatory towards me?”

“Forgive my impertinence, Commander,” the shamaness replied contritely.  “Among my people, it is highly irregular for the leadership to hold such letters for their soldiers.  And most soldiers choose to hold letters from home as prized heartfelt reminders of why they fight.”  Her tone, while apologetic, still carried some suspicion with it.  “Regardless of what I may think, I will always do my very best to mend your wounded.  The gift of healing is one I take pride in.  It is a gift I am eager to return.”    

“I don’t have room in my unit for someone who cannot listen,” Duskhollow murmured stonily. She glared at the draenei. “We will take you to Astranaar, and see to it that you are taken out of these woods safely. You are not to interfere with our unit again. Understood?”

Niashado wasn’t entirely surprised by Duskhollow’s refusal.  But, if anything, this only reassured her that something was wrong with this unit.  Her tail held rigid as if holding her ground against a harsh gale she looked back toward the commander.  

“That is not your name on the envelope you are holding,” she replied, deliberately ignoring the Commanders question.  “Why do you do this?”


~~~~  

Sitting at the edge of the camp, Cheira placed the leather binder in her lap. Slowly, she traced the engraving of a beautiful flower that graced the front of the binder. The binder was a gift from Truion to her before they had parted. He created it for her in his father’s leatherworking shop.

“This is for you,” Truion said with a grin. Handing Cheira a carefully wrapped package, he looked at her impatiently. “Go on, open it!”

Hesitant, Cheira slowly tore away at the packaging, but when she saw a glimpse of what was underneath, she quickly tore off the rest. She stared at the leather binder in her hands, amazed at the level of craftsmanship and detail that splayed across the front. At a loss for words, she could only run her hands down the front, feeling each groove in the engraving.

“It’s a binder. It’ll keep all of the letters you own safe. This way, you won’t have to tuck them inside your armor.” Truion gave Cheira a knowing smile.

Looking up at him, Cheira couldn’t fight back the tears in her eyes. “It’s perfect. It’s exactly what I needed." Without wasting another moment, she embraced the druid tightly. “Thank you.”


It had quickly become one of Cheira’s most prized possessions. She kept every letter she had received in the left pocket, and in the right, a large sheet of parchment was where she kept notes of her travels. Since she and Truion first parted, she took to recording their adventures, even the painful occurrences. It helped her get everything off her mind.

Over the past few years, she was able to record most of everything that had happened. She had needed to replace the sheets of parchment several times, and had the ones she replaced bound and protected. Sarendis constantly insisted that Cheira have the books she had written placed in safekeeping. Eventually, she relented and had a storage box setup for her back in Darnassus. She ensured that only she and Truion had access to it – even though she never told him that he did.

Most recently, Cheira had resorted to writing journal entries. She shared her thoughts, fears, and hopes within the pages. However, as of late, the most she shared was her confusion and sadness.

Tonight, however, she was going to write to Truion. After seeing him the other day, she realized that there was more that she wanted to say to him.

Ripping out a piece of parchment, Cheira pressed her quill to the paper and wrote down everything she had on her mind. All the things she truly wanted to say, but couldn’t bring herself to do so at the funeral.

After a few minutes, she quickly read through what she had written. Good. Signing it, she placed it inside an envelope, and sealed it.

Truion had stopped writing to her months ago, but she never stopped. She knew that she was the one who ended things, but she still had hoped to stay in touch. The love she felt for him still coursed strongly inside. It was strange though – he had seemed so eager to talk to her at the funeral. If that was the case, why hadn’t he been replying to her letters?

The sight of Mayene walking by caught Cheira’s eye. The Commander’s assistant was in charge of sending out the mail.  Getting to her feet, Cheira caught the assistant’s attention.

“I have mail to be sent out,” Cheira said quickly as she approached the bespectacled sentinel. Mayene gave her a sharp look, then sighed.

“Fine, I’ll take it. It’ll go out first thing in the morning.” Snatching the letter out of Cheira’s astonished hands, the assistant walked towards the Commander’s tent. With her back to the warrior, Mayene let out a quick smirk. That letter wasn’t going anywhere.

Opening the tent, Mayene brandished the letter in the air. “Got another one for the…”

She stopped short when she saw the draenei woman in front of her. Ahead, Duskhollow had a rigid expression.

“Ah, pardon me for interrupting,” Mayene said meekly.


~~~~  

“Dismissed,” Duskhollow said abruptly to Niashado.

Niashado glanced between Mayene and Commander Duskhollow.  The letter in the assistant’s hand seemed to scream to her for help and acting on impulse, she snatched it.   Her eyes widened at the familiar name it was addressed to.   Truion Shadowcreek.  

“Another one for the what?” she asked accusingly, looking at Mayene and then back to Duskhollow.  “To be destroyed?  To never be seen by the person it was intended for?”  

The draenei shook her head sadly.  “I cannot imagine the tragedy that has created such ill-will toward a fellow soldier desiring home.  This, this is wrong.”  

“Mayene,” Duskhollow said suddenly, her voice changing course. “Offer the draenei some water. Perhaps we should take the time to talk to her.”

The sudden change in demeanor threw the shamaness off.   She wasn’t sure what to make of this and despite the tension earlier, she found herself relaxing and hoping that maybe a moment of palaver will clarify somethings.  

“Of course,” Mayene replied. The assistant walked over to the large pitcher she had used earlier, and poured what was left into a nearby mug. She glanced over at Duskhollow, who in the span of just seconds had the draenei’s neck in her hands and her hands behind her back.

“Let us refresh your mind,” Commander Duskhollow murmured as she started to angle Niashado’s head up.

She was startled by the commanders sudden speed and the strength of her grip.  Her tail thrashed as she struggle to get out of her grasp.  “Let go!”

The draenei’s attempt to call out was quickly silenced as Mayene poured the drink down her throat.  Niashado tried to spit it out but Duskhollow kept her firm grip on her while Mayene closed her nostrils.  Despite her efforts she was eventually forced to swallow.  

Once the draenei swallowed the water, Duskhollow moved around deftly to face her. “I apologize for the harsh treatment. You were parched for thirst and we were trying to help you. You saw us burning old battle plans and I did not want to raise any concern. We care deeply about our sentinels and only want to see you to safety.”

Mayene nodded behind her as Duskhollow continued, “You offered your aid to us but we cannot accept it at this time. We are facing the enemy tomorrow and do not want you to come to harm. We encourage you to leave Astranaar and head to Darkshore, where it will be safe. Do you understand?” The Commander firmly squeezed the draenei’s shoulder.

The shamaness blinked several times and her eyes wandered around the room before settling back on Duskhollow.  She felt momentarily muddled and anxious but she wasn’t sure why.   But what Commander Duskhollow said made sense and was completely understandable.  Maybe she’d misjudged the situation.  

“Thank you for helping me, Commander.  I apologize if I made things difficult.  I-I did not understand,” she replied slowly, her eyes trapped in Duskhollow’s countenance.  “I have fought alongside soldiers before.  Are you certain you do not want a healer to tend to wounded, Commander?”

“We have medics in our unit, but we appreciate your generous offer,” the Commander replied quietly. “We will ensure that you are safely taken back to Darkshore by tomorrow morning. Come, Mayene has found some comfortable bedding. If you need anything else, please let us know.”

Mayene offered the draenei an armful of bedding, and led her toward the exit of the tent. “Sarendis Nightwind will take care of you,” Mayene said politely.

The shamaness took the offered bedding and allowed Mayene to guide her out.  “Thank you for your generosity.”


~~~~


“Make sure that meddlesome draenei is out of here before we march to the front by noon,” Duskhollow snarled so lowly that Mayene could barely capture what she said. The assistant shivered in fear.

“Y-yes, Commander.”

“Otherwise, I will have your innards for my next meal. Do not think that I have not tasted our flesh before.”

“N-no, I…I understand.”

“Good. Get out of my sight. I have work to do.”
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Re: The Value of Family (Closed RP)

Post  Lurena on Thu May 19, 2016 8:42 pm

Despite the weather cooling down with the setting sun, Venrille still felt beads of sweat prickling on her neck. Hiking through Auberdine had been a tenuous effort, what with navigating through thick brush, weaving through crumbling boulders, and hopping over streams. Still, she didn’t let the journey wear her down. After all, she was on a mission to see why things had been going haywire with the local nature.

Glancing behind her, she looked to see if Truion was keeping up. She had given him a hard time earlier for being slow, but since coming to Darkshore, she could tell that his disposition seemed different.

“Truion?” Venrille called out. “How are you holding up?”

"I'm keeping up," Truion responded almost instantly and with a slight hint of annoyance in his voice. He studied the quiet forest around them and sighed. "Any sign of what we're supposed to be looking for?"

Venrille could pick up the tone in his voice immediately. For a brief moment, she faltered, but just as quickly, she regained her composure and looked ahead. “We’re trying to find out what has the animals in this area so agitated. So I suppose if there's anything that could be making a bear stampede into town or a flock of crows to attack travelers...that's what we'll be looking for.”

Sighing, Venrille tossed her hair back. "It would be nice if it was as easy as finding some crazy satyr or a crystal that's making them go crazy," she murmured.

“Maybe there’s another one? I mean, there are some magic users who can’t be bothered to be original with how they try to upset the balance of nature.”

Stopping short, she turned around to face Truion and folded her arms. “However, what I’d like to know is what has you so agitated? You’ve been in quite a mood since we got here.”

Truion paused and finally turned to face her. His face was a mixture of emotions.

"I... Look, this place reminds of someone who I thought was special to me. We spent a lot of time here," he blurted out. He dropped himself on a large boulder. "I'm sorry, Venrille. I shouldn't be taking it out on you. She was then. We're here now."

Biting her lip, Venrille glanced around at the surroundings before focusing on Truion. She had a feeling about who he was talking about. Despite all their time spent together training and working on restoring the balance in different areas, he hadn’t talked about the girl he had traveled to Felwood to find so many years ago. She remembered when they had first met – Truion was trying to find his warrior friend who had traveled to Felwood alone to find her cursed father.

At the time, she had just joined the Emerald Circle to help heal the land, and was feeling out of place amongst the other druids. When Truion came by, she was excited at first at the thought of another younger druid joining them, but was crestfallen when she realized that he was actually searching for the warrior. Though she helped him on his journey, he soon left after they rescued the warrior girl from a terrible fate. She hadn’t seen him since he ran off, and while their encounter was brief, she had never forgotten him. His passion, his drive, and his willingness to use his gifts to help others had inspired her.

She was surprised when she ran into him in Moonglade a few months ago. After all, she figured he’d be with the warrior girl. However, despite asking him about her, he would always change the subject. Sensing that something had happened between them, Venrille was respectful toward Truion.

But it seemed he was finally opening up now. Venrille’s expression softened as she got close to Truion.

“It’s all right,” she said with a gentle smile. She kept her eyes on his as she reached for his hand. “I didn’t mean to pry. I was just concerned about you. You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to.”

After a long pause, Truion finally offered her a slight, but heartfelt smile. "You're not prying. I shouldn't allow my past to influence how I'm handling myself on this mission. Maybe one day I'll tell you. For now, I'm just honored to be on such a mission with a druid of your skills and expertise.”

Venrille’s face flushed at the compliment. She withdrew her hand and drew it towards her chest as she let out a small laugh. “I’m hardly that skilled. I’ve…I’ve just worked hard.”

Glancing back at Truion, she brushed aside a long strand of green as her smile broadened. “You’ve become quite a druid yourself, you know. You’ve really been applying the methods I’ve been teaching you. It’s always nice to know that my feedback hasn’t fallen on deaf ears.”

"I appreciate the patience and assistance you've shown me," Truion replied. "And, I know how it feels when people don't listen to you, despite how much you want to help them."

“I’ve never understood why no one bothers to listen when you’re doing everything you can for them,” Venrille replied, her eyes distant. “It’s almost as if they just want to go unheard.”

Looking up, Venrille could see a flock of crows flying overhead. She looked back down at Truion, and offered her hand once again. “Come on, let’s see where those crows are headed. Maybe we can find the cause of aggression if we follow them.”

Truion looked up at the flock and sighed. “We can track them faster in a flight form,” he announced as he started to shift.

“Hold on,” Venrille warned. “We’ve been practicing forms, and I’ve talked to you before about not being so quick to shift. Let’s continue scouting the area on foot.”

Shaking his head, the druid halted the shapeshifting. “Fine,” he muttered quietly, while following her deeper into the woods.

_ _ _ _ _

After a trekking through the woods for a few hours, the two druids eventually came upon a fissure that ran through the ground. Hot steam blew from it. Nearby, the carcasses of several animals lay, rotting in the fading light.

Slowly, Venrille approached the area, trying not to allow the stench to overwhelm here. “Looks like we found the source.”

She turned to look at Truion then. “Have you ever seen anything like this?”

Truion cautiously followed behind her and studied the fissure. The air smelled heavy of rotten eggs and his eyes began tearing as the steam gently blew past them.

“This looks almost volcanic in nature. Cheira and I saw something like this during a zeppelin flight over the Searing Gorge. But this area isn’t supposed to be volcanically unstable,” he pondered aloud. He waved his hand quickly over the fissure and then reeled it back. “Something isn’t right in there.”

Raising her arm to shield her nose, Venrille looked to Truion. “We must tell the other druids. I have a bad feeling that something big is coming.” There was no hiding the seriousness in her voice. “Something disastrous.”

“We have to go back to Moonglade,” she said sharply, turning and walking away from the fissure. “We must tell the Cenarion Circle of our find.”

Truion started to nod in agreement but he didn’t follow her as she started to leave.

“I think you should tell them.”

Coming to a stop, Venrille quickly turned back to face Truion. “What? Don’t tell me you are still uncertain of speaking with the elder druids? I told you before, you don’t need to be shy anymore. You have just as much a right to speak about such urgent matters as I.”

“No, it’s not that,” he says with a shake of his head. He seems to struggle finding the right word and avoided making eye contact with her. “It’s just… well, I’m not returning to Moonglade.”

“What…” Venrille was flabbergasted. “You…you are deciding this right now? Right now? In the middle of an important find like this?”

Raising up both of her hands, Venrille looked at Truion with pleading eyes. “Why?”

“It doesn’t take two people to report this, but it’ll take better trained druids then myself to handle this,” Truion respond defensively. “My usefulness in this matter has ended.”

After a moment his shoulders sag and he takes a deep breath as if unleashing a heavy burden. “I appreciate the help you have tried to provide for me, and you’ve been a great friend, but this isn’t working. The teachers know it and I know it. I’m wasting all our time.”

“No, no,” Venrille started, shaking her head as she grasped Truion’s shoulders. “That’s not true. It’s not. Truion, you were doing so well!”

Thinking quickly, the druidess scrambled for an answer. “Is this…is this because of yesterday? I told you that you shouldn’t have come. I know that you were at the memorial service…Look, if you need more time, I can tell the others…”

Truion placed his hands on top of hers and shook his head. “It’s about a lot of things. I know you were assigned to me because I’m falling behind in my progress. Thank you for trying to help, but, I just…”

He lowers his head and sighs loudly. “I don’t care about becoming druid. I mean… I care. But I just can’t right now. Someday I will, but for now, my mind just isn’t in it.”

“Truion,” Venrille protested. “I wasn’t just assigned to you. I asked if I could help you.”

Sighing, Venrille turned her head. “I guess I wasn’t much help then…”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t know,” he replied contritely. “I appreciate that you tried. It’s not your fault. It’s just, now isn’t the time.”

He pulled away from her and took a few steps back. “I need to go.”

Still stunned, Venrille let her hands drop to her sides. “What are you going to do?”

“I don’t know.” Truion climbed atop a nearby boulder. “You should tell them about this fissure quickly.”

“And what of you? What should I tell them of you?” Venrille asked, the emotion coming back in her voice as she took a few steps toward him.

Truion just shrugged. “Tell them I need some time. They have more on their plate to worry about then one struggling novice.”

He smiled at her. “Thank you, Venrille.”

Venrille did not return the smile. She could only continue to shake her head. If anything, she was more upset with herself. “Good-bye, Truion.”

For a few heartbeats Truion struggled to find something else to say, but finally he shifted into flight form and took to the sky.


Last edited by Lurena on Thu May 19, 2016 8:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The Value of Family (Closed RP)

Post  Lurena on Thu May 19, 2016 8:56 pm

Steady was the movement of the sentinels through the worn paths of Ashenvale. Early morning light filtered through the canopies, giving the soldiers a glimpse of through the patches of darkness that lay beyond.

The mood amongst the sentinels was different than it was from yesterday. There was a collective feeling of resolution, determination. These soldiers were preparing to recover their fallen, and were mentally preparing them for whatever waited for their arrival.

Near the back of the unit, Sarendis and Cheira escorted the draenei Niashado. Mayene had stopped by when they were waking up, and gave quick, harsh orders to keep the draenei under close watch until they could send her off at Astranaar. Not wanting to question the right hand of Commander Duskhollow, the sentinels agreed.

The two remained silent for most of the journey. Cheira stared straight ahead, her teeth clenched tightly while Sarendis stole glances over at her and Nia every now and then. The magenta haired sentinel revealed her unease more than Cheira, but did not dare voice it.

The shamaness noticed the unease in Sarendis’ visage. The tenseness between the sentinels seemed to trouble her, as did Mayene’s brusque order.

“I hope I did not cause either of you trouble,” she whispered just loud enough for Cheira and Sarendis to hear.

Sarendis turned to Niashado, and just gave the shamaness a sweet smile. “No, you did not. We enjoyed your company. It is just too bad that you must go, but we have our mission.”

Next to Niashado, Cheira’s eyes fluttered momentarily, and she took in a deep breath through her nose.

Worried, Sarendis looked over at Cheira, and bit her lip.

“We just wish we could have met you in better circumstances.”

Niashado nodded. “As do I. I do not envy the task ahead. But, it is a duty to take pride in. Many families will come to appreciate the closure you will bring. And they will appreciate their loved ones being laid to rest in peace.

“Do not under estimate what you do. My people revere our dead and yet there were so many we were forced to leave where they had fallen as we fled on our world.” The draenei falls silent as if the memory threatened to open new wounds. “You do a good service.”

Cheira muttered something under her breath, but it was unintelligible. Sarendis frowned, and reached across Niashado to swat at Cheira’s arm. “Say what’s on your mind,” she hissed. “You’ll feel better.”

“What?” Cheira snapped fiercely, turning to glare at Sarendis. “Bringing back the corpse of my former beloved’s mother will be a good service? Seeing the evidence of a tragedy I could do nothing to prevent is something to be proud of? Is this what you want me to express, Sarendis? Am I supposed to feel better by voicing this?”

Shaking her head, she brought her gaze straight ahead once more. “Leave me to my silence. You do nothing but force my misery out.”

Shocked and hurt, Sarendis turned away from Cheira, her eagerness to chat quickly fading away.

Niashado was taken aback by the outburst coming from Cheira.

“I sympathize with your pain more than you realize, but misery should never be held in. It festers like an infection if you bottle it up,” the shamaness replied in a soft voice. “If you respected his mother, then you are doing a good thing. It will not be a painless thing, but it is a good thing. It is an act of love.”

“You know nothing of me or my pain,” Cheira replied sullenly. She turned to Niashado then, the hint of restrained anger evident in her expression. “And I don’t want to invite anyone else in just so they can judge my actions. I’ve been framed in a harsh light, and if my choices have led me to this, then so be it. I don’t need anyone else to give me advice or tell me how foolish I’ve been. I already know.”

With her upper lip curled in a warning as if daring the draenei to speak to her again, Cheira turned her head forward, and made a point not to acknowledge the others and walked ahead.

Sarendis bit her lip, and shook her head.

“She hasn’t been doing too well for the past couple of months,” she admitted at last after watching Cheira walk away. “I know that she’s had to make a lot of hard decisions recently, and that she’s lost someone close to her, so please do not judge her so harshly. She truly is a kind, dedicated individual. I know.”

Niashado could only stare as Cheira walked off. She seemed to want to say something more, but the words just weren’t there. She regarded Sarendis’ with a quiet sigh.

“Her… her guilt is eating her alive,” the draenei finally said to Sarendis. Sadly shaking her head, the draenei turned to Sarendis. “Keep an eye on your sister-in-arms. She needs a sympathetic ear more than she realizes.”

Sniffing, Sarendis tried to smile at Niashado, but it was incredibly strained. “I will. I want to be there for her, no matter what.”

Up ahead, one of the sentinels called out an order. Sarendis snapped out of the conversation and immediately went into full attention.

“We’re almost there,” she whispered, her eyes straight ahead.

The shamaness was about to rest a hand on Sarendis’ shoulder but she was interrupted by the call. Instead, she followed the sentinel’s gaze ahead.

Indeed, the town of Astranaar was coming into view. It wasn’t long before the towering ancients greeted the sentinels as they approached the gates. Duskhollow led the sentinels into town, then brought her saber around to the side to watch as everyone continued their march, with Mayene right beside her.

“Continue ahead. We will rest her and restock before continuing our trek to the site in the evening,” Duskhollow commanded in her quiet but firm voice. She then turned her gaze to Cheira, Sarendis, and Niashado. “You three shall take the draenei to the flightmaster. See to it that she is safely taken to Darkshore.”

“Understood,” Sarendis replied, dipping her head down. Duskhollow dug her heels into the saber’s side then, racing towards the front of the still marching sentinels. Mayene followed close behind.

The shamaness opened her mouth to thank the Commander, but she was gone in a cloud of dust.

Once Duskhollow and Mayene were out of sight, Sarendis turned to Niashado. Cheira stood to the side, clearly still sullen.

Knowing that Cheira wouldn’t do anything, Saredis patted Niashado on the shoulder, nodding as she did so. “Time to send you home, Niashado. It was a pleasure getting to escort you to safety.” She couldn’t help but smile then at the shamaness.

Niashado smiled back and nodded. “Thank you. It was a pleasure to meet you both. May the Light guide you and your unit in its mission,” she said as they walked toward the flightmaster.

“Thank you,” Sarendis replied. “We’re eager to bring our fallen sisters home and to push back the growing orc threat in our lands. Many of our trees have been destroyed, and we are trying to protect our forest.”

“Our ancestral lands are being threatened,” Cheira spoke up suddenly, her tone firm. “You do know that?”

Niashado turned to Cheira but didn’t rise to the sentinel’s baiting. “I have worked alongside your people’s druids here. I have worked with them as they struggled against the threats faced here, not just from the Horde, but the satyrs, naga, and others as well. One of my closest kaldorei friends has lost family members and even his own body and sanity to the threats here. Still, he perseveres, because his friends and remaining family keep him close and support him.

“It is easy, when doubt and regret consume us, to distance yourself from those who care about you. It cannot be fought alone. You need others in your life,” the draenei adds gently. “Take it from a medic: the wound hurts worse just before the real healing begins.”

Sensing another flare-up, Sarendis pretended to hear the flightmaster call her. “I’m going to…see what the flightmaster wants.” Without hesitating, the sentinel disappeared, leaving Cheira and Niashado to speak.

Taken aback, Cheira tried to process what the shaman had said. It seemed that Niashado had picked up on her inner turmoil, and Cheira hated to admit that the stress from recent events was starting to wear on her.

Her words made her think of Truion, and how their relationship had ended. There were times that Cheira struggled to accept her decision to end things – after all, it was important that he focused on his studies, and that his eventual journey into the Dream would leave her alone. However, a small, disjointed part of her seemed unease with this. It was only a small part though, and its reasoning were muddled and quiet. There was no point in trying to make sense of it.

Mentally shaking herself, Cheira looked up at Niashado then. “I have my sisters at my side. I am not alone. Thank you for your concern.”

The sight of Sarendis talking to the flightmaster caught Cheira’s eye. Cheira started to walk toward her, but stopped next to the draenei. “Do you need assistance with anything else, Niashado?”

The draenei shook her head, then gave the sentinel a small smile. “Thank you for everything. We shall see each other again.”

Smirking, Cheira shrugged and continued to escort the shamaness to the flightmaster. “I’m sure. Enjoy your trip.”

It wasn’t long before the draenei was off, leaving the sentinels far behind on the ground.
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Lurena
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