The little grey figure looked up at Erik. The rogue stared back at the dredger, trying to read its expression for any guile.
“You are certain?”
“Definitely,” the dredger answered.
“I’m in a hurry,” Erik said to the dredger.
“I would not waste your time.”
“How are you so certain?”
“Shorter than you. Long hair.”
“That could be anybody.”
“You are certain,” Erik becoming very focused on the dredger.
“Definitely. She is in there,” the dredger added, pointing towards the group of nearby buildings.
Erik reaching into his pocket and pulled out a red stone. He had seen other dredgers take them and Erik had taken the opportunity to liberate it from one of the denizens of this realm. He held the stone out for the dredger, but then pulled his hand back when the dredger reached for it.
“You have never spoken to me. You have never seen me.”
“Definitely,” the dredger responded in a whisper, reaching out again for the stone. Erik waited a moment longer before depositing the stone in the dredger’s hand. The dredger looked over the stone, smiled, and then wonder off into the nearby forests.
Erik moved into the shadows of the trees and looked at the nearby buildings. After a few moments, he ducked low and slowly made his way to the compound. Staying to the shadows of the forest, he eventually made his way to the side of one of the buildings. Cautiously, he peeked in through one of the dirty windows. Seeing nothing, he ducked down again and began to creep along the outer wall. One by one, he continued to move to windows and peer inside. Quietly he avoided the few people walking among the buildings, Venthyr he assumed based on what he had been told before his arrival.
Finally, he made his way to the last window. The glass was grimy and prevented him from seeing inside clearly, but he could make out two figures. One appeared to be sitting at a table and the other standing across the room. Though he couldn’t make out what was being said, the voices sounded feminine. One sounded familiar. Erik moved around the side of the building looking for a doorway. Looking around the corner, he could see a courtyard in the middle of the structures and two Venthyr talking quietly to themselves. The rogue tensed slightly and waited. After a few moments, the Venthyr had apparently finished their conversation and departed to one of the structures across the way. Erik took a few moments to scan the area for any other people before stealthily moving towards the front of the building.
Erik found the door he was looking for, but it was locked. He took a moment to look for any obvious traps before pulling out a set of wires and working on the lock. A few seconds later he heard a click. Cautiously, he opened the door. Inside was a hallway with doors on other side. The rogue snuck inside and closed the door behind him, twisting the lock which made an audible click.
“What was that?”
Erik looked down the hall, guessing which door led to the room he had seen earlier.
“What?” asked a second voice.
“I thought I heard something.”
Erik, sensing he had no more time, sprinted to the door that the voices seemed to be behind. Drawing a knife in his right hand, he grabbed the doorknob with his left and threw the door open. To one side stood a woman that Erik didn’t recognize. At the other side of the room, Niviene sat at a table looking surprised.
The rogue stepped to Niviene, keeping himself between the priestess and the other person.
“We need to go now, ma’am.”
“Wait,” the other person said, staring at the rogue. “You’re not the paladin. You’re the other one.”
“I don’t want to hurt you,” Erik said quietly, a sharp edge to his voice. “But I will if you try to stop us.”
“It’s okay, Erik. She’s not the enemy.”
Erik looked over his shoulder at Niviene for a moment then nodded quickly before turning his attention back to the other person.
“Then they won’t stop us from leaving.”
“She is safe here,” the woman said. “But I will not intervene.”
Erik nodded to the woman, but kept his knife up at the ready.
“Where are we going?” Niviene asked as she moved to stand behind Erik’s shoulder.
“I’ve made arrangements to get us back. But we need to hurry.”
“Where is Bragh?” Niviene asked hesitantly.
“I’ll explain once we’re underway, ma’am. But we need to leave now.”
“Where will you go?” the woman asked.
“Someplace safe,” Erik responded quickly. Erik reached back with his free hand and took Niviene’s arm. Keeping himself in between the two, the rogue made his way back to the doorway and risked a quick glance into the hall. “I should restrain you,” Erik said, looking back at the woman.
“She won’t raise the alarm,” Niviene responded, looking directly at the woman. She nodded to the priestess and took a step further back from the doorway.
Erik nodded again and then led Niviene into the hall. Unlocking the door, he opened it a crack and glanced outside. Seeing no one outside, he risked opening the door wider to look around. Seeing nobody in the courtyard, he stepped out of the building and led Niviene around the side and into the surrounding forest.
“Where are we going?” Niviene asked in a whisper.
“There is a carriage nearby. It’ll take us from here. I’ve made other arrangements to get us back to Azeroth.”
“Not Stormwind. They’ll recognize me there.”
“No. Not Stormwind.”
After a few minutes of walking through the trees, they finally stepped out onto a dirt road. Just a little ways down the road stood a carriage with a dredger sitting in the driver’s seat. Erik led Niviene to the carriage. He opened up the door and looked inside. Seeing it empty, he stepped back and motioned for the priestess to climb in. Then he climbed inside and pulled the door shut before knocking his hand against the side. The carriage jerked and started traveling along the road.
“Are you hurt, ma’am?”
“No, I’m fine,” Niviene answered. She took a moment to compose her thoughts. “Where is Bragh?”
“Missing? What do you mean?” the priestess asked, fighting to keep panic out of her voice.
“We were on the way to retrieve you and there was an attack.”
“Tell me everything.”