Neisa spent an inordinate amount of time in the lake trying to meticulously clean all of the gunk out of her fur. Clawfuls of sand were scooped and ground into the clumpier parts in an attempt to work out and bind to the viscous remains the giant mite had graced their party with the evening prior. 

 

The water of the Northrend lake was cold, but to her it felt refreshing after being in the lands of the dead for so long. Everything was so strange now, but the solidity of the cold was grounding. It also felt good to numb the legwound endured on the hunt in Maldraxxus and the many niggling cuts from this last wild goose chase. 

 

She had a lot to unparse with her new packmates. There were a few of her kind, GIlneans, but they seemed so…feral. The Druidess appeared to lead them and encourage this sentiment. Even the human druid appeared to have been raised by animals with scarcely a veneer of societal interaction. The Draenei, even the undead among them, were a tight group to infiltrate. They insisted upon speaking in their infuriatingly complex language. The mages acted as all SI:7 mages she’d encountered in her prior life- haughty ponces cocksure they were superior in their abilities to everyone.

 

There were others, however, that interested her. The stuttering Worgen girl seemed quite pleasant, but simple. She seemed quite attached to one of the Pandaren mages. She doubted there was any intrigue to arise from her. The undead Worgen who lost its face was incredibly intimidating, but between it and the girl seemed the most civilized.

 

The Justicar was commanding, and seemed to inspire an unswerving loyalty to the company. The Marksman was also an intriguing figure, pointedly business and on track in the field when they had worked together. There were several recruits she had contact with as well. The one of note was named Ryo, an inventor of sorts and the brother of another of the Templar’s elven contingent.

 

Niesa considered all of their personalities as she finished her bath. She had considered shifting back to her natural form, but decided against it. It would have been far easier to slip back into that shape than take such time to groom, but she had grown accustomed to the curseform. It made her feel powerful, and hid her scars well. 

 

Leaving the lake, she dropped to all fours and shook to remove the majority of the water. Inwardly, the action always made her cringe. She had often been slurred against for her doglike nature, both by the uncursed and cursed alike, for being not enough for eithers’ sensibilities. Too human for worgen, too worgen for human. She sighed and picked up a towel to dry parts of herself she could not lick.

 

When she felt sufficiently dry, she reached for her worn and well-used leathers. There were more holes in them now after this last fight, and she had repaired them. She had a knack for keeping them together, but they were beginning to show just how often they had been repaired. Perhaps one more hunting trip to procure some fresh leather and she could make them good as new. For now, she had other items to repair.

 

In the barracks, she pulled out the box of porcelain. It was still a mess and she cautiously laid out each piece. Under her bed, she pulled out another package. It was a fresh purchase she had made with her own meager coin. Lacquer glue. And…old used teacups. She wasn’t sure if this puzzle was worth it, but her focus on repairing the shattered porcelain would keep her occupied while her body healed and her mind raced to understand what she was enduring in her patrols in the Shadowlands. 

 

She made a mental note to thank Zen when she was finished for nicking some of his powdered gold as she began to mix her paste, considering what their adversary was even like. She let these thoughts guide her as she began the repair.

Author Insein
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