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Originally written April 10, 2012.

We find our own ways of discerning truth from lies.

 

Arialynn received a letter and smooth pebble within. She recognized the method of delivery, and watched the phoenix-like flame disperse after relinquishing the letter to her hand. It faded quickly, the flame brilliant one moment and dark the next. The handwriting was familiar, and further proved it was from the hand of Xodius.

 

The lady knight was contained within the keep as she had been for some days. The number of allies, ambassadors, callers and letters to the keep had tripled in forty-eight hours, and the various people and letters that passed through this room acted like chains. Her guildstone laid atop a nearby table, occasionally murmuring with Templars relating news, but the voices she waited to hear from most remained silent.

 

With the pebble palmed in one hand, Arialynn drew close to the table and bent over it in thought.

 

Xodius. The Flame Druid who proved himself an essential ally to the Dragonblight Campaign. He sought out Arialynn to officiate his marriage, and pledged to find a cure for Mordenoc the Dream Eater. Xodius' powers, origin and past affiliations were suspect at best, but he proved his loyalties multiple times. For him to turn now made little sense. He also rarely spoke in riddles, yet the letter was unmistakenly by his own hand. His guildstone was malfunctioning, and the letter was disconcerting. Something was wrong.

 

Mosur. He appeared up north, apparently tracking Xodius on his own accord. The mysterious woman was also in his company, her name and affiliation were still a mystery. But the lady knight knew Xodius and Mosur to be close, and heard them openly refer to one another as "Brother." It was Xodius who expressed concern of Mosur's well-being, who hinted that Mosur may still be corrupted by what he uncovered in Northrend.

 

Arialynn's thoughts churned. If both men were complicit in some sort of betrayer's conspiracy, their motivations made little sense, their actions did not line up. If Xodius wished for a fellow conspirator with a sound alibi, stating that Mosur was potentially compromised was not logical. It instead appeared as a sincere demonstration of a concerned friend.

 

Mosur was a mystery, but his loyalty to Xodius was unquestionable. Xodius was mysterious at times, but his actions proved his own loyalty. Something was missing.

 

Auris. The report spoke of a druidess. Arialynn recognized the name and knew the druid well. But despite familiarity, her sudden appearance was a surprise. Another druid appearing to assist in the case of Mordenoc. The lady knight knew Auris was not an easily-compromised individual. Her appearance was in truth welcome, but the events that followed were erratic, directionless.

 

She straightened and departed the table, leaving the torch-lit keep behind. Donning a traveler's cloak, the lady knight pocketed the pebble and sought out her hippogriff at the stables. The beast greeted her with eager pawing of its talons, it sensed an air of intensity, of possible adventure.

 

The choice of weapon presented itself: the healer's shield, or the retributor's battlehammer. After a moment's pause, the lady knight chose the shield, and departed Theramore Isle in the midst of a torrential downpour.

Author Ari
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