Thorvi tightened the leathers about her waist, brow furrowed and fussing over the belt. This was…strange. Leathers were for light sparring, not for real battle. Not for *work*…but Joi DID wear leather an awful lot and that was probably okay for her…

“This too.” A hand shoved what would turn out to be snug fitting chainmail. Blackened and sooty, no give to allow for clinking and no shine to gleam in moon or firelight. The lady who handed it to her appeared as tense and worried as everyone else here, and Thorvi began to get the sinking feeling something was wrong. Very very wrong.

She hadn’t seen her bestest friend in a long time. Longer then usual, actually, although she was used to the little human woman disappearing before. Joi sometimes did bring Thorvi along, which was great! She called her the muscle, which caused a bright beaming smile to cross Thorvi’s face. What a compliment! But sometimes she didn’t…most times she didn’t, and she’d get very quiet when she came back and not talk a lot. Maybe this was one of those times.

It must be something unusual. When Thorvi had walked into the compound earlier, no one pointed arrows at her like they did before. Well not right away. When they finally DID a very harried looking man had brought her to an older, even more worried looking men bent over a table, and the older man did not look very happy. Not at all. He was shouting a lot at all kinds of different people, and had begun to shout at the man who introduced her too.

“I am here to find friend Joi! She is gone.”

A flat, neutral expression had fallen across the older man’s face. Was this Joi’s boss? Maybe. He seemed familiar. “Yes, she is. Do we…Mereth!” A snapped command and some muttering, and a file was handed over to him. He rubbed his forehead as he browsed it. “I don’t have godsdamned time for this, everyone and their bloody mother coming and going…” He snapped the file shut and sighed. “So she vetted you… Thorvi, yes?” A sharp eyed glance and then another sigh. “Yes. Well I can’t tell you where she went or why but…Mereth, take her away and explain, I need to deal with this.”

“Yessir!”

The man paused and briefly clasped a hand on Thorvi’s shoulder, ignoring the very puzzled and confused look crossing the blonde woman’s face. “I can say that I am sorry, girl.”

So hear she was now, and Mereth, the nice but worried looking lady thrusting gear at her. “You’re vetted, so we can say she disappeared in Ashenvale. If you want to go looking, please do, we’re trying to account for as many people as we can but…” Skin pale, hands shaking. Shock. What the hells was going on? “Be careful. You’ll need this..and this… no, heavy armor won’t do. You’ll have to be careful and quiet. There is…”

Thorvi watched the woman struggle with the right words, patiently. She was used to this. Joii would sometimes need to talk about things but could never say *what*, exactly, which was fine. Secrets made her very cool. “Bad things, yes? Everyone much worried. I will go. Sneak like Joii. She will like!”

“Yes, exactly. I’m sure she would ha…will.” Mereth pinched her brow. “Seriously though. You do her credit with such loyalty, but I can’t recommend you go. We’ve lost some of our best out there and the place is likely overrun with Horde. You’re inexperienced and too damn young.”

Thorvi rose to her feet. She no longer loomed like she used to, but there was a…sense of looming. She looked quietly over the other woman. “I am shieldmaiden. I go to my friend and bring her home.” There was a little tremor of worry. “I hope not to be her valkyrie.”

“…very well then.” A sad look crossed Mereth’s face. She turned and fidgeted with a cabinet, locked several times over, and rustled around till several bottles were brought out. Rubbed her fingers together and began casting some kind of spell. “Blessings of protection on you, kid. Take some healing elixir, and this one will render your footsteps silent. Talk to the mages in the tower on the left and say I sent you, they’ll give you an invisibility spell and teleport you to Ashenvale.” A stone was placed in Thorvi’s hand. “*Do not waste this*. I shouldn’t even be giving it to you as we have precious little to spare but… we need something. If you don’t find your friend, let us know what you do so. Troop movements, what type. You can do that, yes?”

“Yes, friend Mereth.” Thorvi nodded seriously, folding the bottles away in a small pouch. Mereth nodded.

“In an case of extreme emergency, break the stone and it will teleport you back here. If you get caught…” She took a deep breath, and a smaller, silvery vial was placed around Thorvi’s neck. “Drink this. But only if…it’s a poison, it’ll be quick. Mostly painless.”

Thorvi’s eyes widened. This was serious. She nodded and *very* carefully touched the vial.

“Go, get your friend.”

Author Wallaroo
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