The short, green haired Kaldorei sat on the steps puffing a thick cigar. The morning air was comfortable, quiet. Try as she might, she didn’t see anyone approach who did not belong. At least, not in any apparent way. Soft footfalls behind her caused her to turn in their direction. She inclined her head to the violet haired woman who joined her.
“Not-Wilwariel,” the woman said to her, quietly, constantly reminding her of the fact that the woman would never let her forget the lies Eliân had told her.
“Estelæth,” she replied. “That was quick,” she ask, questioning lightly as to why the woman had left her mate’s side.
“She began to cough blood. The goat is attending her,” her tone tinged with pain and frustration.
Eliân took a few more puffs on her cigar, speaking around it. “Sutrakarre.”
“That’s what I said.”
“No, it is not.” Eliân gazed at the woman flatly.
Estelæth arched an eyebrow before rolling her eyes. “Fine. Sutrakarre. Where is Forosuul Silverthorn?” The rogue pulled the cigar from her mouth, indicating the chapel with her hand. “Kali remembered a little.”
“Tindomiel and Ælithil are in there too…oh…aye? What was that?” Tugging out a small notepad and pencil, she flipped to a blank page and waited.
Estelæth began to share the details as Eli put them down in her notes. 3 men. One with blue hair and pale skin. moved like he had Pandaren monk training. The second tall, deep purple skin. Very strong but unskilled. He’s the one that kicked her ribs in. The last was solidly built, fighting style matched that of a hunter. As she finished, Eli tapped the page with her pencil, thinking.
“They are still in the city,” Este declared. “They watched the twins. Knew their habits. Find out where Ælithil goes, and you will find them. In fact…there may be one watching the Chapel right now.”
Eliân’s eyes flashed. “Dammit…”
“So, why are you still sitting here?”
The rogue looked over the older Kaldorei. “You are unarmed, can you still guard this door?” Estelæth look at her like the question was the dumbest thing that had ever been uttered. “Would you like a blade or two?” Eliân reached for the pouch on her hip.
Este held up a hand, shaking her head. “My kit is inside. Go.” With that, the rogue sped into the Cathedral, heading towards the main chapel. She wrapped the shadows around herself not wishing to be spotted by anyone who meant to harm Ælithil. She found him on his knees in the northwest part of the sanctuary, near the altar. Quiet prayers issued from his lips, his ears turned downward. She slipped in beside him and let the shadows fall away. He immediately tensed at her sudden appearance.
“Where is your kit, Ælithil,” she asked him in hushed tones.
Ælithil turned to her, completely confused. “Stashed by the forges, why?”
“We are going to walk out of here together. We will go to your sister and I will get your things. Do not go back to the forges.” She turned, spotting Forosuul watching her. She made a series of gestures with her left hand. He stood, pulling Tindomiel up and walking her out. “Your sister was watched, well enough to know her routine. That means you were as well.”
Ælithil’s eyes went wide and started to dart around the space. “Do not look around,” she hissed. “Just walk out calmly. Talk if you need to.” He nodded, but said nothing. “Sutrakarre was called back in to her room. She was coughing blood.” Ælithil looked worried and glanced over his shoulder. She elbowed him hard. “Stop that. When you are being watched, you do not let them know you are aware of it, got it?”
“Fine,” he muttered.
Once in the waiting area of Kali’s room, he pulled the hammer from his belt. “Has anyone talked to Niqi?”
“Niqi….Niqi…Oh, your little girl. I don’t know. I have been on watch here,” she replied with a shrug.
“My fiancé, Member of the House. If no one has gone for her, I will go myself. Skulkers be damned.” His face hardened, anger becoming more and more apparent.
“You will speak to your Uncle on that first. Or I will. You are a target, like it or not.”
“I don’t give a shit,” he moved to the doorway, hid hands balling into tight fists.
“Gods damn it. Fuck…Ælithil, wait.” She grabbed his arm, pulling back to get him to look at her. “Let me get your damned kit first.”
“Go get my stuff, then get her. You show up without her, I leave. She works at Larson’s. The tailor shop in the Mage Quarter. My brother and Silannah are in the city, if you see them, send them as well. And quickly. You have one hour. If you aren’t back with her, I’m going myself.”
Over at Larson’s Clothiers, the tiny Ren’dorei girl peered over at Anas’s work. “The embroidery on that one looks beautiful, Anas,” Niquisse offered. She looked back down and continued on the sleeve in her hands.
“Thank you, little one.” He smiled before resuming his own work.
She worked quietly for a while, stopping once she finished about a quarter of the sleeve. She lifted it up to inspect it, only to see a short, green haired Kaldorei woman standing at the door. The woman pointed at Niqi. “You Ælithil’s girl?”
Anas glanced up at once, flashing the newcomer a smile. “Welcome to Larson’s. How may we be of service?” Eliân glanced at him before repeating her question.
“Y-yes? Do I know you?” Niqi answered quietly.
The rogue stepped forward and yanked Niqi from her chair. “You’re coming with me. Now.” She pulled the dress from Niqi’s hands and started to drag her towards the door.
Anas blinked. He was on his feet in an instant. “Wait, what’s going on?”
“Anas?” Niqi called back to him.
“House matter, none of your business. Sit down,” Eliân ordered loudly. She flashed him a cold look.
Anas shook his head resolutely. He swept past his table, grasping Niqi’s arm firmly. “Do you know this woman, Niqi?” he asked.
Niqi shook her head. “N-no…”
“Let go of her. Now. She needs to come with me. I have my orders.” A thin dagger had found its way into her hand. She raised it towards Anas. “I am not going to repeat myself.”
Anas’s lips thinned. “Niqi doesn’t know you as an emissary of the House, so there’s no reason for you to take her. Now let her get back to her work.”
“To fel with this shit….” Eliân twisted the dagger around in an attempt to pin his sleeve to the counter. With her other hand she yanked Niqi hard. “I am not going back without her. Ælithil is already there. I don’t have the time for this.”
Anas tried to dodge the blade but it stabbed through his sleeve. He tugged the cloth free, careless of the rip that resulted from the movement. Instead, he reached out with both hands to grab at Niqi. “Let her go!”
Eliân whirled around, pushing Niqi behind her. “Stay out of this..” she hissed. Turning to the Ren’dorei girl, “Now” the woman growled. She tossed the dress on the counter and pushed Niqi out the open door. Once outside, she forced her onto the back of a large horse. Climbing on behind her, she turned the animal in the direction of the Cathedral district.
“Help! Guards!” Anas cried, running out of the shop and pointing at the woman. “Stop her!” His eyes blazed purple as a thick shadowy tendril erupted from the ground. It whipped towards the horse’s hooves, ensnaring the creature.
Eliân roughly pulled Niqi to her. “Tell him to stop, or I will kill him. If you value his life, tell him now.” The horse screamed as it fought against the tendril pulling against it hind leg.
“Anas!” Niqi cried out. “Anas please stop! She says she will kill you if you don’t!” Her eyes were glowing violet, full of terror.
“No.” Anas bared his fanged teeth. “Let. Her. Go. Now,” he growled, the Void creeping into the resonance in his voice, lending it a dark, menacing tone of power. He looked around, wondering why there were no guards coming to their aid. Hearing the commotion, Mehe sprinted down the stairs, his daggers already in hand. He paused at the door, his pale blue eyes widening in shock at his mate’s blatant display of power right in the middle of the city.
“Anas please! Don’t…” Niqi screamed.
Eliân’s hand clamped over the girl’s mouth. A glint is silver blared in the sunlight as she brought a dagger around to Niqi’s ribs. “You don’t value your own life then? Fine. The tendril releases me, or I return her body to her mate instead.” A wicked grin curled at the edges of her lips. “Make your choice.”
Anas froze, horrified. “No, stop! Don’t hurt her!” The tendril loosened at once, slipping free.
“Smart man.” With a swift kick, the horse reared back and took off towards the Cathedral.
Mehe darted past Anas in swift pursuit. His eyes glowed purple as his shadowy cloak condensed into existence around his shoulders. Without slowing, he drew it over himself, fading from sight.
“Calm down. I’m not going to hurt you. Ælithil sent me to gather you. He will explain when we arrive.” Eliân released Niqi from her grip. Guiding the horse through the people wandering g the streets, she turned through the stone tunnel the brought them into the golden roofed section of the city. She arrived at the Cathedral steps, set the girl down on the ground, and walked Niqi to the infirmary. Once her task was done, Eliân stepped outside to smoke a cigar a moment before going in search of Gilræn and Silannah.
Mehe stopped at the Cathedral District, slightly out of breath from the mad dash. He paused, noticing the Kaldorei woman who had dragged Niqi away. He crept closer, keeping to the shadows of the buildings that his magic may better conceal him.
Eliân moved down the steps and started walking towards the Dwarven district. She muttered a bit to herself, “Damned shit starting again and I’m running errands. Go find this person…that person…” Mehe tailed her silently. The Cathedral district was too lively for him to try anything, so he simply hefted his daggers, waiting for an opportunity.
The small hairs on the back of Eliân’s neck pricked up. Adjusting her course slightly, she turned toward the gardens behind the Cathedral proper. She took a long pull on her cigar, blowing the smoke out to drift behind her on the breeze.
Mehe swept forward. His shadowy cloak billowed behind him as he flung a dagger at the cigar dangling from the woman’s lips, slicing it in two. She turned to give him a look that was both irritation and appreciation of skill. His arm drew back, a second dagger ready to throw. “This one won’t miss,” he warned.