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Aftermath-Witchhunt (Part Five)
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You have my word, Vashadya told the stranger, before feeling the pain. With the voidwalker gone the other shadows within her escaped, no longer bound to her body. The night elf gave a small wail of pain, before collapsing as the energies of the light and the moon surged through her body, making it glow slightly. Her face contorted momentarily, before she collapsed, the moonstone falling from her hands, a strange golden glow was flowing from the night elf, repairing wounds, both physical and mental, caused by the shadow. At the appearance of the void creature some of the light detached and hurled itself at the aberration, trying to destroy or maim it.
"Ah!" Gurka grunted, the sound torturing her ears. "Get back!" she yelled, using her shamanistic magic to lift a stone from the earth and kicking it hard at the creature.
"Oh dearrr brother...what hasss become of you?" the voidwalker laughed as it noted the moonstone. The rock passed right through Void-Maw, but the magic caught his attention, he was pushed back a step by the force of it. "You darrrre interfere with my meal?" he hissed unnaturally. Nightbane rose, and howled at Void-Maw. The beast snapped his attention to her."Aaaah young little Nightbane, allllll grownnn up nnnoow. I think I leffffft my maarrrk," he crackled, nodding at the glowing brand on her shoulder.
Gurka growled and sent a jet of fire at the beast. "Back off..." she demanded.
Illia stood up and turned towards the beast. The shadows started to gather around her as she hurled a shadow bolt at the creature. Void-Maw jumped back from the fire to have Nightbane pass through him. She spun around, and drew her bow. The arrowhead burst into glimmering light. Voidmaw let out an echoing growl and walked over to the moonstone. Illia placed her hand on the ground and shadowed tendrils shot out of the ground and tried to hold Voidmaw in place.
Void-Maw drank up the shadow energies,"Deeelicioussssss, my complimentsss," he laughed.
Nightbane fired; the arrow cut a searing hole through the beast. Void-Maw let out an unearthly screech, recoiling from the light.
Eventually the glow faded from Vashadya and sank into the earth. The night elf rose to her feet, her eyes fell upon the monster before her in anger, the monster that threatened the presence in the moonstone, herself, and her companions. The night elf snatched up the moonstone, creating a large boulder-shaped orb of light energy which she hurled at the monster, "BEGONE!" she shouted in anger, baring her teeth in defiance. The light energy left her hands and hurtled towards the creature, though the night elf immediately felt she lost a considerable amount of energy from using such a spell.
Gurka growled and sent another jet of fire at the void-beast. "By the spirit of the Storm!" she roared, clouds gathering far above her head. "Lightning heed my call!" she snarled, raising her fist as a lightning bolt shot down and into her body, before lashing out at the shadow creature.
Void-Maw screamed, and receded back in through the distortion, "I will have my prizzzze! Do not rest so easssily!" his call echoed before the rift shut. Nightbane stood, glaring at the now refilled space. She was quivering angrily.
Vashadya sank to her knees in exhaustion, the anger faded from her eyes and a calm feeling settled over her, the gap left by the removal of the shadows within her was now being filled with the warmth of the light. A sort of confusion, however had settled upon her mind and she looked around herself in bewilderment, the sudden arrival of Void-Maw merely worsened this confusion. "By the moon, what just happened?" she asked, the night elf had a slight headache, but otherwise she was more or less fine.
Nightbane growled, her hackles were raised, and she couldn't keep her arms and legs still. Her thoughts were incoherent, a whirling mass of anger and pained memories.
Gurka sighed and fell to her knees, panting heavily. "Gimme just a sec..." she huffed, trying to catch her breath. "Sorry, I've never actually done that by myself..."
Vashadya looked at her exhausted companions, slowly her memories returned. "I guess it is normal then, I was wrong to blame it all on being caused by the shadow, for now it is gone from me," she said, not intending to speak aloud. The elf still had a sense of confusion about her; the ordeal had taken its toll on her.
Nightbane broke into a grief stricken howl. She clentched her fists so hard, her bow snapped in half.
The worg's howl helped the night elf snap back into reality, she realized she had spoken aloud and blushed slightly, wondering what else she might have said, though she was more worried for Nightbane. The priestess went over to the worgen and sat down beside her, taking hold of a paw to try and comfort her, for what reason the other woman was distressed, Vashadya did not know.
"Erm... What was that?" Gurka asked, finally voicing the question that was on everyone's mind, or at least so she believed.
"What was what?" Vashadya asked, silently praying to Elune to comfort Nightbane while she spoke.
Nightbane tried to speak, but the words turned to snarls. Her tail and hackles dropped, she shuddered and dropped the shattered bow.
Vashadya sighed, she could feel Nightbane's sadness, but the elf was not entirely sure what she could do to comfort the worgen, the fact she knew not what the problem was simply made it more difficult.
"You okay, Nightbane?" Gurka asked, not sure what had upset the worgen. "What happened?"
Nightbane dropped to all fours and began to dig a burrow. She found herself chewing the moonstone.
Vashadya sighed again and made her way back to her original place, the elf went back to leaning back against the tree stump, and she decided it would be best to let Nightbane have some peace and quiet. "Just say if you want to talk about it, if you do want to at some stage," she told Nightbane.
Nightbane's tail disappeared in a clot of dirt.
’ Star-Pelt called out.
‘You left me. You left me all alone, with no one to watch me. Do you know what it was like? Robbed of both my birth mother and my adopted mother? No one thought of me, no one understood me. I was a pet for years. You took mother away from me, and then cast me into the rain,’
the worg scolded.
‘I left you in good hands, you were safe in the temple, and it was the only place where I could make amends.’
‘Amends? For WHAT? BREAKING A WINDOW?’
She snarled at him.
‘I stole from Elune.’
Nightbane's anger turned to confusion and disgust,
‘How? That's impossible.’
‘I drained magic unthinkingly when she appeared to cleanse you of Void-Maw's brand...’
‘Why couldn't we have just been a family. You, me, and mother.’
‘It wasn't meant to be...’
Star-Pelt trailed off. The moonstone faded out, leaving Nightbane alone again.
Gurka sighed and wished Nightbane would open up more, "Oh well," she murmured quietly, lying down on the ground.
Vashadya closed her eyes and tried to rest, though certain aspects of her personality were plaguing her,
'oh well I guess Star-Pelt's cleansing only removed the shadow, not all the imperfections...'
she thought. The night elf turned to Gurka, she wanted to test something, "Gurka, would you mind speaking in animal tongue to see if I can understand it again?" she asked the orc, "perhaps it was the shadows that stopped me from understanding rather than me merely losing that ability."
"I'm not sure it that how it works..." Gurka shrugged, "but I'll give it a try." She was about to try and speak as she would when she spoke to animals, but decided it would be even better if she switched to her spirit wolf form first. "How's this?" she asked.
Vashadya listened, slowly the words unscrambled themselves and she could feel it coming back to her. "I... I understand," she stuttered happily. "Thank you Gurka," she added, the words were not as clear she would have liked, but it was a start.
"No problem," Gurka smiled, lying back down.
Vashadya went back to sit down, her previous thoughts coming back to her. The priestess decided it might seem strange if she asked anything else, especially after what she had said earlier. I wonder what else I said, she though, slightly agitated. She picked up her bow and began to trace the shapes of the carvings in it with her fingers, trying to seek comfort.
Nightbane stirred, rising from her den. As she poked her head out, she caught sight of her shattered bow. She shook her head with disappointed pant. She looked over to Vashadya, “You look better."
"I am, but some things never change," she replied, her eyes were aimed down.
"There must be a balance to everything, you are as you should be," she nodded.
"If you were me you would understand," Vashadya said simply, her eyes remained downcast.
Nightbane whipped her tail about,"I do not, but the goddess does." She rose to her feet, and began to sing a hymn, a duet.
Vashadya joined in the hymn, she sang it beautifully to match the worgen's voice, for Vashadya could tell that the worgen had expirience with the hymn, it touched her that Nightbane cared for her, but she did not look up as she sang, she still felt guilty.
“Starcrest’s glimmer, doth bid us hither, unto your love we proclaim. Rays of night, rays of light, guide us upon our way,-”
she sang, encouraging Vashadya to take the lead.
Vashadya raised her head and changed roles, she knew the hymn from her childhood, it was one of the many her mother had sung, but this was one of the ones that stuck out the most, her mother had sung it when Vashadya had been sad. A few small tears glistened in the priestess’s eyes, though she had more or less forgotten about her troubles for the time being,
“-Your love doth shield us from harm, your love hath swept aside our tears, sweet mother, loving mother-.”
“-Grant your daughters sweet dreams far from sunlight, loving nightmother,”
Nightbane faded. She smiled and wagged her tail.
Vashadya smiled, "thank you Nightbane," she said calmly, her mood was more of a joyful one than before thanks to the singing.
Illia had sat back down and was watching the town and listening to their music. "I guess that what happens when one loses their mother," She muttered to herself as the shadows started to attach to her robe again.
Zezi looked around. She spotted something interesting; it was a market that appeared to be going on with lots of wares being sold everywhere. "I wanna go see that." She said before quickly running off to go look at it. She raced off to the market and began running around looking at things as well as smelling some of the exotic foods that were being cooked and sold. She eventually stopped at one stand. a small nearly vacant shop. It had an assortment of wind instruments sitting on the table. She looked at them and saw a familiar looking one. It was blue and was oval in shape with the mouth piece sticking off the side. It was that thing she had seen in her dream. She picked it up and looked at it. The stand owner watched her carefully as she turned it over and over looking at it.
Ga'Crane hurried after Zezi, prising himself on not losing her for an instant. He came up to the stall and, nodding to the owner, said, smiling - "Dreams come true, eh?"
"Ga can we get it?" She asked looking up at him and giving him puppy dog eye's.
"Hm-m-m, lemme see. Firstly, Ah show joo da flute and joo actually manage to do rather decently for da first time. Secondly, joo got dat dream about an ocarina. Thirdly, here it is. And joo still ask me? How much?" - asked Ga'Crane, and, after frowning at the price and parting with not that big at all sum of gold and silver - mainly silver - took the ocarina and almost gave it to Zezi, but stopped - "Ah'll give it to joo if joo promise me somethin' - joo gonna try really hard to master it. Okay, Zez?"
"Okay." She said taking it excitedly from him. The shop master counted his gold again. "Did you know those things are supposed to make such beautiful music that even the elements themselves dance to It." he said. "But that's just what I've heard. I don't believe a bit of it myself."
"Da Voodoo..." - muttered Ga'Crane, ‘Can it possibly be? My little niece - yes, I have come to think of myself as her adopted uncle - is destined to be the one who speaks to the elements? Damn. Thragg, where art thou? Once the rest of the females get here, we'll take wyverns to Shatterspear and talk to the witch doctors there. Speaking of hakkar... Where the aqir are other members of our small party?'
She quickly took the Ocarina and began to try and play. Her first try was unsuccessful but her next try gave a simple and playful tune. "How was that?" She asked cheerfully to ga thinking she did really well.
"Joo're doin' bettah an' bettah, but dat ain't mean joo don't have to practice. Ah liked dat tho, Ah really did," Ga’Crane grinned.
She smiled. "I'll keep practicing." Zezi began to play another song, this time more somber tone and sound.
Ga'Crane began tapping his right foot, trying to accompany Zezi and help her build up a rhythm.
Zezi continued to play, shifting the tone and rhythm as she went. Eventually though she had to stop for a bit of breath. "How was that?" She asked gasping for breath.
"Ah say, ain't we a good team, eh?" - he chuckled, then all of a sudden grabbed Zezi and placed her on his shoulders again - "So dat joo don't get lost here," - he explained, then thought and added - "Altho dat doesn't cancel a possibility of both of us bein' lost, but dat's gonna be a lot more fun."
"We're not lost," She said smiling, "Cause we're right here. And right here's where we need to be." She said chuckling before she took a deep breath and again began to play, this time a fun and cheerful song. As she played the wind stopped for a moment and then the wind seemed to begin to swirl around her. It seemed to playfully toss her hair up in the air and cause her clothes to move in the wind, but nothing too much, but zezi didn't even notice, she just kept on playing.
"Joo sound like a wise shaman now, as if joo know somethin'." - grinned Ga'Crane, slightly bobbing his head to the sounds of music - "Come on, tell uncle Ga what it is."
She stopped playing; the wind quickly died down and faded away. "Well....I meant that we aren't lost because we're here and we know we're here so we can't be lost." she said thinking about it though it was only confusing her how she said it.
"Dat talk makes me feel hungry. Hm-m-m, how was dat again, oh yes... Ahem, Ga hungry! Ga smash now!" - grumbled the potion doc, hoping that would amuse Zezi.
She giggled. "Ga your so funny," She said as she continued to giggle.
"Ah'm tryin' to, Zez. Joo see, when people laugh at joor jokes, dey eventually can't help but like joo. Believe me, girl, havin' a good sensahumor's gonna help joo a lot in joor life,” Ga’Crane spouted like some sort of wisdom fountain.
She continued to giggle. "I think your right. I bet no one can help but like you." She said, scooting over on his shoulder and leaning down and giving him a hug.
"Mah point exactly," - grinned Ga'Crane, returning the hug.
She pulled out of the hug after a while. She then heard her tummy rumble. "We should go get something to eat. Cause my tummy says it's hungry." She said giggling again.
"Oh great tummy lord! We heed joor call! What? Joo require a sacrifice? Right on it, chef!" - Ga'Crane winked at Zezi and set off to the central inn, both because it was probably the most decent place and it would be easier for the rest of the group to find them.
"So what we gonna eat dis time Ga? More sandwiches, or maybe more meat!" She said excitedly her tummy growling more and more as she thought about the food.
"Ribs." - said Ga'Crane the moment he stepped into the inn - he actually had to duck a little so that both he and Zezi on his shoulders could enter - and sniffed a seducing smell of ribs being cooked. The troll licked his lips and proceeded to the nearest empty table. A few minutes afterwards, two large tables with smokng ribs were standing on it, along with a large jar of juice and two glasses, "Joo take dem like dat, joo eat dis part, joo lay dem bones away. Yummy!"
She nodded as she finished her second rib and quickly grabbed the thing of juice and began drinking. She gulped down a few mouth fulls before stopping and breathing. "It's all so good!" She said excitedly already reaching for another rib to eat.
Ga'Crane finished his portion and was now patiently waiting for Zez, occasionally sipping from his glass.
Zezi continued to eat till there were no ribs left. "Oh...." she groaned, "I think I ate too much, my tummy hurts." She rubbed her slightly larger belly.
"Den we'll wait here till joo get bettah." - said Ga, taking out his flute and beginning to play.
"Ugh..."She groaned, lying down in her chair.”Belly aches."
Without stopping the music Ga took out a vial with pink liquid and gave it to Zezi.
She took the vial and drank it instantly, knowing that it would probably help. And it did, but only by a slim margin. "Dat's bettah." She said still laying down but her tummy didn't hurt as much.
She continued to lay there for a bit. "Where do you think the others are?" She asked sitting up and looking at Ga. "Cause if they don't get here soon they'll actually be lost out there."
"Jus' sit dere and relax, everythin's gonna be fine in fifteen minutes with joor tummy, after which we can go an search for dem."
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