Any excitement I might have had about seeing Pook quickly soured when No proposed that I try bringing Pook back to her Elf form, using my knowledge of druidism.
That moment, with my hand around the moonstone
It's been many, many moons now since I turned away from the druid's path, and longer still since I first became disillusioned with the Cenarion Circle. Even now, I wonder sometimes if my brother's shadow had soured the whole experience for me. Once, I idolized him: he had no end of talent, skill, and wisdom, especially to my much younger self. That much was obvious to my parents, who could speak no wrong of him, and to the elders, who were eager to give him opportunities to grow and shine. To my knowledge, he never squandered those opportunities, but because he didn't, he was always so busy.
I'm getting ahead of myself, though. I don't even know how much of a connection I still have to any of the spirits, let alone the Cat. At least I'm attempting to commune with the Cat rather than the Bear or the Seal-Walrus-Sea Cow, though. I don't actually recall ever having met the latter spirit, come to think of it, but I was also close to drowning at that point in my Trials. I hear that young druids these days don't need to go through that particular trial, not since the year that a student actually drowned because he was too embarrassed to admit he had never learned to swim. Students these days.
It's daunting to try.
Gods, of all the things I did not want to know.
Obligation, more than anything else, led me back to the Kodo these past evenings.
To Pook, for the friends we once were, for the years we had faced and endured together, for the lessons in Common, and on bananas and other ways of the world. To Sebrawyn, for the friendship I'm afraid to lose, for the child she carries. For No, to whom I owe a debt I can't truly repay, and for everything, even with our differences. To all of them, for their help when I was in need.
We've had an unspoken code for a while, those of us from those times. We may not like each other personally, but when there's trouble, we help where we can. It sounds maybe too romantic, but adversity has brought us together time after time after time. And gods know we've faced a lot of terrible things.
So I keep going, I guess. On those nights, I get myself strapped into that awful leather harness on the wind rider, invalid that I am, and hope that the Alliance aren't looking to shoot down civilians today. I mean, you still hear reports from time to time about that happening. Sorry, ma'am, we've recovered your husband's corpse from the Barrens and brought it to the Elder Rise, and maybe his muzzle's been smashed in during the fall, but we need you or a loved one to come verify his identity before we can release the body to you. And then the wife or mother wails and demands to know where the Horde was when her husband was going to gods-damned Orgrimmar, and all we can do is shake our head and point to the zeppelin. It hasn't blown up, it hasn't blown up, and Earthmother be kind, no one's mentioned 'yet' in all of this.
Not, of course, to make light of Pook's situation, which is also awful. It didn't take much to strike up a conversation with the cat, who told us that she (meaning the cat) had emerged to protect the elf. That kind of behavior isn't unheard of, particularly with untrained druids, or druids who, like Pook, have wholly given themselves to a particular animal. But then, the cat gave us a brief warning, once we had convinced her to lead us to the elf, before abruptly handing control to the elf.
Gods. The elf's loud screams of agony was nothing to that mad, agonized shriek over the moonstone and into my head. I caught no thoughts, but the raw emotions were more than enough to manage: terror, pain, grief, agony. Madness.
No and I channeled An'she's power to muffle the pain, but in that moment, the cat took control once again. "Broken" was the term the cat used to describe her. We discussed some plans before No (of all people) suggested a gods-damned dreamwalk to solve the problem. A dreamwalk. Worse, No and Sebrawyn were talking about contacting some priest with a very Elvish-sounding name to conduct the walk. I can't even begin to fathom which part is worse. Next thing I'll hear, they'll be anchoring to a mystical creature instead of something sensible like the gods-damned land.
Thankfully, my task is done. Should they have need of me, I've already made the offer to help. Really, though, the less I know of No's love life, the better. Provided, of course, that he has one.
Dreams are dangerous.
I'm dreaming again. Wind ruffles my feathers, the smell of pine and prey, paws sinking into dirt after a rainstorm. My arm aches and itches. But
I feel like I can scarcely breathe.