Shadowing the Dragon
(By: Corrienda & Galedorin)
Galedorin heard his named squeaked over his buzzbox, accompanied by a rumbling purr. An actual feline or a druid? He would never know – the box clicked silent less than a second before he could respond, inquire anything.
This is it. They have her.
“Myrodan. We’re going home.” he said to his son, who was thoroughly enjoying getting himself tangled in some bushes.
“Nuh!” the toddler replied, giggling and rustling the leaves happily. “Pay!”
“Not now, my son. Later.” Galedorin said in his most authoritative voice.
Myrodan blinked as he looked out of his adopted bush-fort at his father. He recognized the scary look on An’da’s face that occasionally slipped on there when An’da thought he and Min’da weren’t looking. Myrodan’s lower lip trembled a bit. “Peeze?”
“Later. I promise,” Galedorin held out his arms; Myrodan untangled himself and ran at his father full speed. “Thank you for being so quick. I’ll make sure you get a secret cookie later.” Galedorin said, the facsimile of a smile on his face as he picked up his son.
“Cookie!” squealed Myrodan, clapping his hands. Cookies were the best and secret cookies were even better. It didn’t even matter why An’da had a scary face on – he was getting a treat.
As expected, the house was empty when they got back, even though it had barely taken a minute from where Galedorin had led his son. Just in case, however, he left the toddler with his Nether Drake, whose glowing scales and shimmering wings would entertain the toddler enough for a couple minutes – all Galedorin thought he would need, anyway.
There was nary a thing out of place. The desk where Corrienda kept her papers and plant journals was fine, aside from her pen dripping ink onto a blank page and her chair laying on its back. Galedorin righted the chair and put the pen in its stand as he sniffed and looked about, checking every detail. The buzzbox was there, the dripped ink concealed no messages, and her fuzzy slippers were nowhere in sight. At least her feet would stay warm.
Galedorin reached out with his mind, heading skyward. Further and further up his consciousness soared, until Azeroth seemed to be a doormat beneath his feet. On that doormat were millions of lights, minds that he could see and focus on if need be. Some were clear and bright, those of people he knew well. Most were fuzzy and would flitter about were he to focus on them, those who he didn’t know well or at all. Corrienda was not among any of them.
Strange. There were areas he could not focus into of course, but that was a list populated by Titan strongholds and elemental bastions. Just to be sure he cast his mind through the Dark Portal. Nowhere on the remnants of Draenor either.
Myrodan clapped and warbled with glee as Galedorin handed him a cookie. The boy promptly stuffed the whole thing in his mouth, puffing his cheeks like a chipmunk and letting stray crumbs tumble down his chin.
“All right, my son, An’da has to go and pick up Min’da, so you’ll have to visit ‘Nana’ Yunheara for a bit, ok? If she tells me that you’ve been really good I’ll be sure to pass that on to Greatfather Winter and you’ll get really good presents this Winter’s Veil.” he said to the toddler as he plucked him from the Nether Drake’s back only to sit in his place. Nordassea immediately started trotting over to the Nanny’s house just down the street.
Once the toddler was taken care of and Galedorin had most of his armor on, the Drake tilted his head at the Kaldorei. Well?
I checked the watch Corrienda obtained from Scarsdale. Nothing out of the ordinary, so this was a quick snatch and scoot – a teleport, hearthstone or portal. First we check the Stormrage Barrow Dens, then Dalaran. I need experts on portals, Galedorin thought as he flexed his hands into his gauntlets and strapped them down. Nordassea just nodded. Long flights were no problem for him.
The barrow dens had been empty as always, with the druids and wardens being the only ones there. Dalaran wasn’t much better – the mages had closed down most of the portals there months ago and they had their own problems to deal with. They foisted him off on one of the functionaries who sorted books in the Silver Enclave.
“… Hearthstones depend on where their owners perception of home is, it’s quite impossible to even imagine trying to track where they would send people. Even if we had whomever’s stone you were looking for it’d just key in to our own home point and…” On and on the Mage droned. Galedorin knew he should have tried harder to contact Ms. Hammerclank or Jazari. They knew how to be succinct when time was of the essence.
“Enough! What about portals?” The mage startled at Galedorin’s interruption; coughing lightly, he stooped to pick the book up and wipe its cover.
“Well, of course it’s possible to track where people go by portal. All you have to do is look at it. Every portal has an image attuned to where it leads after all.”
“But of course you have to be able to see it.”
A quick incantation, a portal stone expended, and Galedorin stepped out into the Temple of the Moon. One priestess nearby was tending to a kaldorei woman who looked entirely too green about the gills nearby; in another corner, a couple priestesses led a worship service.
The buzzbox in his ear clicked on. “Gale?” came Corrienda’s tremulous voice. “Gale, where are you? Where’s Myrodan? No one is here in the house…”
“Dearest!? Are you all right?” Galedorin replied as he swiftly brought his own box up to his mouth. “I’m at the Temple and Myrodan is with Yunheara.”
“I – I’m fine, I just – please, come home, I want to see you,” she stammered plaintively.
“Already on my way.” he replied, practically leaping out of the temple and calling for Nordassea.
A half a dozen beats of a drake’s wings later and Galedorin was at home, practically squeezing Corrienda to his chest. She clung to him and wept softly, her tears rolling down the front of his breastplate. “Oh, Gale, Gale,” she whispered. “I’m so glad to see you.”
“I’m glad you’re fine, Dearest. I heard you call my name and I rushed home too late. What happened?” he said as he quickly shucked off one of his gauntlets to caress Corrienda’s hair.
“There was – there was a druid, she tried to silence me, and then – and then she knocked me out with – with some substance, I don’t even know what it was…” Corrienda frowned as she suddenly considered this alchemical mystery, but only for a moment. She took a deep breath. “It – really, I was treated very well. A – a dwarven man wanted to hold a conversation with me about my dreams…” She squeezed her eyes shut and laid her hand upon his ungloved one. “But only to – to induce hallucinations in a drugged patient in the next room.”
“I… See. How bad is she?” Galedorin asked, the surprise rather obvious in his voice.
Corrienda shook her head. “I – I don’t know. She’s – well, she’s still very much under its effects at the moment, and – and I don’t know what it will be like when it fades.” She bit her lip. “I – I suppose I’ll have to go back and check on her.”
“Do you want me to come with you?” he asked before leaving a kiss upon her forehead.
Corrienda bobbed her head up and down. “I – I don’t fear for my safety at all, I just…” She gave him a shaky smile. “The worst – well, the second worst part was just – just being taken from home. I was so frightened – I can’t imagine how you must have felt.”
“I was surprised, angry, sad, afraid and eventually determined to get you back even if I had to rip up half of Azeroth to do so, Dearest. What was the worst part?” Galedorin asked as he kissed Corrienda on her lips.
Corrienda squeezed her eyes shut and reached up to keep his face close. “I – when the dwarf told me why – why he was asking about my – my dreams… Oh, Gale, I got cross, and you know how I am when I’m cross! I just – I started talking and telling him he was terrible for doing terrible things, and…” She took a deep breath but let it out again just as quickly. “Oh, it was stupid Gale, why did I do that? He threatened me, threatened us. He – there were tentacles, and one of the touched me and…”
“Hush Dearest. What’s important is that he just threatened you. He’ll get what’s coming to him eventually. The whole Hand has a lot to answer for.” Galedorin says, trying to soothe her.
Corrienda rested her head against his breastplate with a soft thunk. “I know. I – I just wish it would be soon. I wish I had come back with – with something useful. I’m so tired of all of us living in fear.”
“Patience, Dearest. We’ll see if you heard or saw anything important later. Shall I get Myrodan to bring along as well? I do have a promise to keep to him.” Galedorin offered Corrienda a lukewarm smile while he gives her hand a squeeze.
“Goddess forbid I stand in the way of a promise,” she replied with forced mirth, returning the squeeze. “Yes. I need my family with me.”