Ruins of Stardust (Fanfiction)

Ruins of Stardust

by Jaeden Knight

She sat on the island in The Ruins of Stardust. The normally hostile area was eerily quiet with the sudden absence of the timberlings. Their disappearance was why she this area was chosen for the meeting, and she thought perhaps the reason for it. Why else would a skilled tracker be requested; surely it was for an investigation of some sort.

The morning sun hung low in the sky, just behind the towering hills. It colored the ruins of the white marble temple a vibrant scarlet. The sparkle that emanated silver from the stardust bushes glimmered an unusual pale rose pink.

“Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning.” Relara spoke quietly into the cool mist. She thought briefly of Teloran who was now sailing across the ocean to the Eastern Kingdoms. She hoped he would be all right.

She’d only been there once as a young girl. She’d stowed away aboard the lower deck of the cargo ship that traveled regularly between the two continents. That was when the humans still used their boats; ugly and massive. They smelled of rot and salt, creaked noisily across the waters and obviously meant purely for function. Since the invasion of the Lich King, the humans sent their ships to Northrend. Now her own people used their boats for travel between the two continents. Function laced with beauty; they were light, fast ships. They couldn’t hold as much, but made up for it with speed.

She shook her head to release the thoughts and gazed again at the dying purple starlight. The light played tricks in the sky that made the clouds look as though they were streaked with blood.

Relara was about to give up and leave when she was startled by the sound of footsteps. She scrambled behind a Stardust bush into the shadows with a dagger in her hand and waited for the footsteps again. Across the waters, she saw the familiar face she’d seen only in a photograph, deep violet markings like clover across her eyes, pale skin and hair that reminded her of the blanket of the forest. The liaison had finally arrived, late, but safe. Relara slowly emerged so as not to startle her and saw her eyes narrow.

Something was wrong. The druid’s frame shrunk and contorted, twisted into a nightsaber’s form and disappeared. She had shape-shifted and used the ability to cloak herself with shadow. Relara cursed and whistled for her companion, Nightsong. She braced herself for a blow and listened intently for any sound of forward movement.

The only sound she heard was the approach of Nightsong. She reached back and pulled an arrow from her quiver and knocked it in her bow. Nightsong picked up on her tense muscles and growled low and bared his teeth. Times like this, Relara really appreciated his beauty. She was thankful he didn’t rip her to shreds when she captured him. His black fur reflected the sparkle of the Stardust bushes in a faint bluish hue, his green eyes were narrowed and sweeping the area for any threat. He was an aggressive defense, an obedient hunter, and a loyal friend. She couldn’t have asked for a better ally.

Relara swept her eyes across the fields and searched the deep waters surrounding the island. There was no sign of the druid. Not a snapped twig, the faintest rustle of a leaf; she’d disappeared with no trace.

She put her bow down and pet Nightsong between the ears. He purred, and if a panther could smile, he would have smiled at her.

“Go ahead. Go play, but stay close. We’ll be leaving Ashenvale soon, once I’m in Astranaar head for Darnassus. We will have to report to the priestess of the druid’s strange behavior.” The panther leaped  with a huge splash, sending crystals of water spraying into the air. Relara didn’t want to be there any longer. She’d wasted the entire previous day, the night, and now most of the early morning waiting for the liaison. If she got freaked out and left like a coward, what was that to Relara? She would leave too.

Relara retrieved her horse from behind the temple ruins. She was a skittish colt still, but faster than the eastern winds. She fastened her pack to the saddle when she heard the stealthy approach of padded paws. Relara slowly wrapped her hand around the hilt of the sword at her side, trying to remain as though she were inspecting her horse and nothing more.

“Remove your weapons,” a female voice commanded from behind her. Relara cursed again and placed her bow on the ground beside her. She removed her sword and her dagger then quickly pulled her quiver over her head and placed them behind her.

“Send your horse away.” Relara growled and slapped her horse’s flank. She cried out and ran off splashing into the water and disappeared into the forest. “Turn around slowly.”

Relara did as she was told, with her hands on her hips and a scowl across her face.

“Who sent you?” asked the druid.

Relara thought about lying to test the waters, but then thought better of it. Regardless of the druid’s actions, she was still the liaison. “High Priestess Tyrande. Who sent you?” She already knew the answer, but if something dubious had happened to the druid, she may not know.

“Remulos.”

“Explain your actions, druid. I come as a favor to the Priestess, and you cower and hide. You’ve disarmed me and waited until I’ve sent away my companion.”

“It was necessary. You have all of your weapons and an ally that could rip me to shreds. I’m not a  shape-shifting fighter, I used my shifting abilities as a defense. I am a healer. Remulos sent me to be sure that then intentions of the Priestess were pure. We’ve fought long and hard in a silent war of politics, the druids and the priests, and we wish to maintain any advantage that we have.”

“I understand, but as you must surely be able to see, I am no priestess. I am a tracker and lead a solitary life. I do not care for the political entanglements between the two of you. I’ve been sent to help as I can, and it is only my loyalty for my race and respect for the Priestess that I am here.”

The druid inclined her head slightly and Relara felt a small twinge of pity for her.

“Fighting amongst ourselves when we have the Burning Legion in our own lands and in Outland, the Lich King in Northrend and still we cannot put aside our differences and join together.”

“I agree with you. I wish nothing more than for it to end, but there is nothing that I can do. I am a pawn in this game, just as you are.”

Relara cringed at the word ‘pawn.’

“What is your name, druid?”

“Eadoin. I’ve been asked to escort you through the furbolg camps in northern Felwood to Nighthaven.”

“I have been to Nighthaven. I can pay my way and take a hippogryph. It will be faster, considering that you have made me lose my horse.”

“As you wish. You have until midday before it is too late.”

“Good, I will have time to track my mount. If you don’t mind, Eadoin, I will gather up my weapons and be on my way.”

She nodded her head once again and began to cast the druid spell that returned them to their hidden sanctuary of perpetual night. Relara took a handful of Stardust and wiped it over her weapons which made them glitter in the light of the sun, just because she liked to watch them sparkle.

Copyright © 2009 by Jaeden Knight

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