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Left Behind

Lirriel's picture

There was something to be said about the mountain vistas of Kun-Lai. It was too bad that Rhiswyn Linder was pacing in a cell in the bottom of the Shado-Pan Monastery and so couldn’t enjoy the view.

A door down the hall clanked open. The half-elf paused, waiting, as a member of Pandaria’s elite entered. Her eyes immediately focused on the dark stains on his left arm.

“Do you need healing, dear?”

The Shado-Pan scowled. He was followed by two others that she had not immediately seen behind his bulk. One carried shackles. “I am fine. You, however, are to see Lord Zhu.”

‘It’s happened,’ Rhiswyn thought, allowing a shiver to run through her. Let the Shado-Pan believe it was fear at being drug before their master.

She was not entirely sure that it wasn’t fear, anyway—just not of Taran Zhu.

******

“Do you deny your position?” Zhu demanded.

Rhiswyn shook her head. “No, why should I? I’ve worked for the Black Prince for over two years now. It’s been quite easy, and rather lucrative. I simply carried and delivered messages.”

“And intercepted a few.”

She gave him a slight smile. “Well, yes.”

“And what message do you have now?” Zhu demanded, utterly ignoring her charms.

“None. You ordered me here yourself, Lord Zhu, when you were Fa’shua of Hellscream’s trial. I…allowed my emotions to get the better of me, and disrupted the court. I failed to heed the earlier examples you made of disturbances.” The half-elf hung her head, letting a wave of dark brown hair fall across her left cheek, just so. She knew how small she looked next to the guards, with her hands shackled and a magic dampener preventing her access to the Light or Shadow.

Zhu grumped. “And you had no knowledge of your master’s scheme?”   

Rhiswyn did not respond. He repeated the question, much more firmly. She looked up, brilliant blue eyes shining with tears. “I swear, I didn’t know what they were doing!” Not entirely a lie. “I had my outburst during Lady Jaina’s testimony, and afterwards, Prince Wrathion came and told me how disappointed he was in my behavior. He left me! I have no idea where he is now!” A whine had crept into her voice. The temple guards who had seen the exchange between Rhiswyn and her employer nodded to Zhu.

The old pandaren harrumphed, watching the half-elf as he stroked his chin. “And of course you were here when the battle occurred,” he said. “You could not have been involved.”

“I’d have been healing if I had,” she pleaded. “Lady Jaina rules my home city now! And…” she hesitated.

“And?” Zhu demanded.

“The prince is…was quite fond of Anduin Wrynn. The only task given me was to assist him if needed. I failed that request, by getting myself stuck here!” She frowned as a thought came to her, and then tilted her pale face up to Zhu. “Will you interrogate Prince Anduin as well, Lord Zhu, given his friendship with Prince Wrathion?”

The old bear scowled. “That is not necessary. I have no doubts of Prince Anduin’s innocence in what occurred in the White Tiger Temple. You are another matter.”

“As you said, Lord Zhu, I was here. I had no idea what was happening—and I wouldn’t have gone along with it! Hellscream should have paid for his crimes!”

“Perhaps so. For now, you shall continue to be our guest. Your parole will be granted, if one of those who you claimed would speak for you, comes.”

Rhiswyn hung her head again. “I...understand.” She sniffled, and tried to wipe her eyes despite the shackles. Lord Zhu, and the various Shado-Pan, were impassive as she was led away.

Damned pandas.

******

More time passed before the guards came to unlock her door. Rhiswyn smiled as they gestured her out. “It’s been a pleasure, dears. Though I do hope you’re not offended if I don’t wish to return for my next vacation.”

Not even a smile. Light, they were a humorless bunch.

Without shackles this time—though desperately in need of a spa day—Rhiswyn stepped into the courtyard, expecting to see her darling waiting with a scowl she’d simply have to kiss off of his handsome face…

Jormund wasn’t there. Her eyes trailed down, to see Dolraan instead.

That little bitch ice queen of a commander. This had to be her fault. Rhiswyn straightened herself best she could, a smirk pulling her woefully unpainted lips upward.

“Not. One. Word,” Dolraan warned her as the gates of the Monastery closed behind them.

She opened her mouth to reply, but thought better of it. She preferred to maintain the high ground in their ongoing battle. Perhaps she could distract him further. She tried again.

“What about thank you?”

That did startle him, though he covered it well with only a half-step off and a muttered “You’re welcome.”  He cleared his throat. “I suspect you're feeling proud of yourself.”

“Should I, dear? I was in a musty pandaren jail for days.” She followed the dwarf to his direhorn mount. There was a nervous horse next to the monster.

“When they learned one of Wrathion's servants was in Shado-Pan custody, King Varian and Warchief Vol'jin were very nearly fighting over the chance to interrogate you about what your master is up to. Not to mention Jormund being ready to take on all comers to see you go free.” Dolraan said, giving Rhiswyn a hand up onto the horse, whose bridle was tied to the saddle of the direhorn.

“I expected him to be here, really. As for the rest...I am not that important. As I told Lord Zhu, I was abandoned.” She allowed a little quiver to return to her voice. “The Shado-Pan seemed to agree and have released me.”

Dolraan turned, looking her in the eye. “I want to make this clear, Rhiswyn; you aren't free to go. We convinced them all to release you to Argent Crusade custody. You will be debriefed, and the information will be sent to all interested parties by our neutral organization. After that, your future as a free woman is for the Crusade to decide. You're officially one problem that the Horde and Alliance won't have to deal with.”

“And what if I decide to run away from you?” Rhiswyn replied, her tone coy again. Time to learn if the Paxton affair had won her the right allies—or the wrong enemies—in her former organization.

“It would be refreshing, considering that last time you drove me away. And then you'll wake up in chains, and I'll have lost what little respect I have left for you,” the paladin said, matter of fact. “Your master helped one of the most evil men I've ever seen evade justice, and has jeopardized the safety of the entire world. I know you would rather only care about yourself, but I believe there's still some shred of decency in you that lets you call upon the Light. And it’s that belief that has led me to stick my neck out for you. Just do the right thing, Rhiswyn.”

‘You don’t know me at all, dear.’ Funny, how wistful that left her. It wasn’t surprising; he had had an image of who he wanted her to be back then, and he had a different one now. Many of her lovers fell into that trap; she was waiting for the day Jormund realized he was more in love with his fantasy of Rhiswyn than with Rhiswyn herself.

She shoved that eternally frustrating thought aside. Dolraan’s continued disdain for her could be handy, at least. She didn’t need a man titled “the Tenacious” figuring out what came next.

Dolraan clambered onto the saddle of his direhorn, and gave the reins a toss to get the great beast lumbering down the trail, guiding Rhiswyn's mare on the long trip south through Kun-Lai.

Comments

Seler's picture

(( I have to admit, players

(( I have to admit, players having a close connection with lore characters has always been a pet peeve of mine, but everything you've done with Rhiswyn and Wrathion has been handled extremely well. She's been just close enough to make things interesting without playing a huge role and I always look forward to reading the serious Rhis blogs like this one. :) ))

Lirriel's picture

((Thanks! It's always a bit

((Thanks! It's always a bit tricky to do; I was nervous about how close the Dragoons were supposed to be to the Prince for all those years, and Rhis working for Wrathion is a balancing act as well.

I see Wrathion treating his watchers like tools, mainly, and Rhis has no illusions as to her importance or lack thereof. She reports to people higher up the food chain usually, and carries out assignments that occasionally ping the whelp's interest. His service offers her a few minor benefits--mostly because toddlers don't like others playing with their toys.

I also don't ever have her directly interact with him; this blog is the first mention of it, and we don't actually see it happening, on purpose.))

Rhianon's picture

((I've always liked how you

((I've always liked how you handle this type of thing since you've very balanced and careful about it. It never comes across as "I am best buds with big hero dude" and more like "we're cogs in this big machine" sorta like the rest of us adventurers anyway ))

Lirriel's picture

((If it were a book, we are

((If it were a book, we are the nameless numberhead guys hanging around that get stuff to do on the sideline now and then, fetch and carry, maybe get a line or two. We have our own stories, they have theirs, and while occasionally the stories may intersect, they should never overlap for a long time. Especially since we're essentially writing fanfic and Blizz can change whatever they want whenever they want! A lot of players make that error and then gripe their story is wrecked, but it's a shared world we're borrowing.))

Jormund's picture

Jormund freaking out.

Jormund dismounted Fei-shu, his golden cloud serpent, and crossed the gates of Hearthglen. If it were up to him he would´ve landed on top of the barracks but he didn´t needed that kind of attention right now. He looked a little weary, his right arm was covered with black cloth from his hand to the shoulder tied tight to his chest. He almost opens up his injuries as he found out that Rhiswyn was released under the Argent Crusade´s custody... Dolraan specifically. He already knew what that meant so there was no way he was staying on that damned temple another week.

He walked right through the barracks and down to the small dungeons where a crusader stood guard, upon seeing him coming he lifted a hand trying to stop Jormund from getting closer.

"Open the door crusader." -he said almost... commanding? He was surprised by his own tone.

"Sir I..." -the guard started to explain but the look Jormund shot at the guard could go through him and bore a hole on the wall, without saying anything else the guard quickly shoved in the key opening the metal door of the prison.

He walked in with a severe look in his face but it suddenly changed as he strode up to hug Rhiswyn tightly with his good arm and kissed her.

“Thank the Light. I was so worried…” he said smiling as he pulled away “Sorry I took so long. I was… delayed.”

Rhiswyn looked at his arm and frowned at him.

"I´ll tell you about it later, you have more important things to worry about."

Jormund took another look at her and shrugged his shoulders.
“You are still here, so I assume things got kind of awkward between you and your employer now huh.” He commented then added with a side smile “I´m pretty sure you knew this was one of the possible outcomes by working for him so I´m pretty sure the least thing you need is an army of people giving you the “I told you so” stare right now..." he blushed and scratched the back of his head averting his gaze with embarrasement "...and also that I´m part to blame for your current position,” He chuckled awkwardly.

"No matter what others say or think. I love you, Rhis." he moved a stray lock of her brown hair out of her face "For anything you need I´ll be here."

It was the truth. Despite what happened in the past, or what her choices were among other… things. There was no way he could look at the half-elf with disdain. For Jormund, who was so tied to discipline, traditions and an strict code since childbirth, Rhiswyn should be one of the most dangerous people in Azeroth, or someone to talk down to turn from her erred ways and drag back to the more “normal” lifestyle most people had. Instead he started to question his own... it was strange.

"Now... onto something less embarassing..." he says with a slight cough.

He guided her gently to the cot where they sat.
“Truth be told, your reaction during Lady Proudmoore´s testimony really surprised me... unless it was all part of the plan!“ he said chuckling then shook his head apologetically. "Seriously though, can you tell me what happened after the Shado-Pan took you away? Did you had any idea that Wrathion planned this?”

Jormund remained impassive as she talked.

"When there is a will there is a way"

"Lead? Me? Nope, no no no no. Bad things happen when I lead. People die and I appear somewhere in Horde territory... with no pants!"

Lirriel's picture

Rhis and Jormund

((I keep considering this post, and keep thinking it'll be better to RP any such scene out where they discuss what's going on. Maybe post-raid!))

Jormund's picture

((Sure! Seems like Ill be

((Sure! Seems like Ill be available tonight!!))

"When there is a will there is a way"

"Lead? Me? Nope, no no no no. Bad things happen when I lead. People die and I appear somewhere in Horde territory... with no pants!"