Episode 48: So Many of Me
Razorfen Kraul: Southern Barrens
It took almost three hours of flying, but I finally found what I was looking for. At first glance, it looked like nothing more than a tangle of black fur and blue cloth, but as Cookie descended on the object, it quickly took form of a two bodies. I cursed under my breath and when we hit the ground I leapt from the drake, coming to kneel beside them. My heart was pounding in my throat and I was certain that these two were already dead, but when I got close, the two bodies suddenly jumped to life.
"Halt attacker!" the worgen yelled. "I'll tear your limbs from your body!"
"No need for that," I shouted. "You're the one that asked me here!"
The worgen took a moment to look me over before he lowered his weapon and let out a long sigh.
"I wondered if you'd get here in time," Salonis said, his voice deep and gravely, but still shockingly close to my own voice. "I don't have much left in me, I'm afraid."
"Are you wounded?" I asked. "I I have some bandages and tonic in my bag. Give me a minute and I'll—"
"There's no time for that," the worgen growled. "We must keep moving. We've been still for too long."
I stopped reaching for my bag and turned to fully face the worgen. As Salonis moved to get his own pack, I caught sight of the woman standing behind him.
Keaira;. The night elf that I had once taken a life oath with and called my own. She was standing there, looking awkward and uncomfortable as she tried not to meet my eyes. Despite the pale color on her face, she appeared as youthful as she had when I last laid eyes upon her so many years ago.
My mind was filled with so many questions for her, so many things buried in the past that were struggling to boil to the surface. I hesitated about staring, but it failed to stop me. I sidestepped Salonis and came close to her, ignoring the years of bitterness and agony that I had both built up and buried away.
"Hi," I said.
"Hey," she replied. "It's, uh, good to see you?"
"Yeah," I agreed. "It's good to see you too."
"Sionis," Salonis said. "Is it true that the Alliance has secured a hold in Draenor?"
"It's true," I replied. "Why do you ask?"
"We cannot stay here. Have you not spoken to Nozdormu?"
The dragon. "No," I said. "I haven't heard from him in years. What is going on?"
"The darkness is coming for you all," Salonis said firmly. "It's destroying everything and it wants to kill us. Both of us."
"Kill us? What is this darkness?"
"We don't know much. Nozdormu told us to seek out Evanor. Evanor told us to contact you and then come to her in Dustwallow."
"Look, I'm sorry that Nozdormu got you all tied up in this, but I don't understand what's going on."
"Come with us to Evanor. It'll all make sense soon."
"Where is she in Dustwallow?"
"She said she's in an older cabin in the marsh."
"Tabetha," I grumbled. "Where are your mounts?"
Salonis hesitated for a moment and then I saw Keaira step forward. "Stolen," she said. "We were ambushed by a Horde party. They stole everything. Our horses, our food. That's why we're walking."
I sighed. "Alright. Let's go. We can get to the Shady Rest Inn before dark if we hurry. Cookie can carry us."
Ruins of Shady Rest Inn: Dustwallow Marsh
The flight to Shady Rest was uncomfortable. The three of us were crammed together on the flight, me at the front, Keaira sat behind me with her arms wrapped around my waist, and Salonis behind her. I learned during this time that going from years of not seeing someone to suddenly having them in a very close proximity was extremely uncomfortable. Thankfully, Cookie was flying rather fast, so the wind prevented anyone from trying to strike up a conversation.
A nice long flight of awkward silence.
I didn't know what I should have expected to find when he hit the ground near the edge of the marsh.
Debris. The entire Inn had been burned to the ground.
"Awesome," I said angrily. "So much for that plan."
"Sionis?" A new voice asked. I looked toward what was left of the Inn and saw a woman there. I reached up ready to attack, but the woman turned and I immediately recognized her face.
"Oh, thank the Light," she said stepping toward me. "I was so worried when I heard—"
She stopped talking, looking at me carefully and realizing that there were others here too. "You found Salonis and Keaira?"
"That's right," I said. "They sent me to you."
At first she looked confused, but then I watched knowledge sweep through her mind and grant her an understanding that I clearly missed.
"You've been on Draenor," she said. "You haven't seen the darkness."
"I haven't," I replied. "I don't know what the darkness is that you all keep referencing."
"Well, I have a lot to explain," she said. "Come with me. It will be a little more dangerous, but we can travel at night here."
Still not sure how I felt about all of this, I reluctantly agreed.
It was going to be a long night.