Niviene stood in the shadows, waiting for Erik to give the all clear before she stepped forward. It was difficult to see where she was going, the deep hood of her cloak cutting off her peripheral vision. It wasn’t the first time that she thanked the Light for the young man who worked for her husband.
The two made their way to a little used postern gate in the fortified walls of Iron Forge where a gryphon sat, calmly munching on a bale of hay. The dwarf who tended the gryphon nodded when he spotted the duo, handing over a pair of reins to Erik. The rogue helped Niviene mount the beast then settled in behind her. He pressed his knees lightly into the gryphon’s flanks and the creature leapt into the air, the only sound, the wind rushing past its wings.
Niviene took a deep breath and let it out slowly, closing her eyes to the peace of Azeroth skies. She could feel some of the tension melting away, the knots in her back and shoulders easing and she wondered how long the sense of freedom would last.
It wasn’t long before she felt the angle shift, the gryphon had already started its descent. She peered through the clouds into the tree tops to see a small farming community nestled in a valley below. Glancing around she saw that they were above Menethil Harbor and she blinked, realizing that she’d never known of the community's existence before, even though, at one point, she had called the harbor home.
They landed easily enough and Erik slid from the gryphon, offering Niviene his hand as she slid from the saddle as well. A young dwarven male stepped up and took the bridle from Erik, leading the gryphon off to be brushed and fed.
Niviene started to speak but a woman beckoned to them from a nearby house, and they quickly made their way into the building just as the rain started. The woman handed them each a mug of frothy ale and bade them sit and drink.
“I know y’ve questions Mistress but they can wait a bit while you have a pint and relax. Y’ve had a tryin time but it’s almost over now.”
Niviene cast a quick glance at Erik who shrugged his shoulders and took a sip from his own mug. The priestess raised a questioning brow at her companion, knowing full well that he would never trust someone blindly. It was obvious he knew the dwarven female, he knew exactly what was going on. And it was just as obvious that he had no plan to tell her.
The dwarven woman smiled softly at Niviene, “You don’t remember me do you?” at Niviene’s confused look the woman continued, “I knew once, long ago. Before you married the warlock, before you were married at all. My name’s Wulfa, I used to work at the Golden Leaf.”
Niviene’s eyes widened in surprise and she laughed softly, “Wulfa! It’s been ages! I'm so glad to see you again.”
“Aye, when Miss Stokes came to me for help I couldn’t say nay to you. The two of you were kind to me back then and I’m happy to return the favor.”
Niviene opened her mouth to speak but was again interrupted, “Ah. I believe I hear them now.” Wulfa pronounced as she strode toward the door.
It was then that Niviene heard the sounds of laughter, children’s laughter. She rose quickly to her feet, her eyes wide, her hands shaking. Before she could think of anything to say the door burst open and a half dozen happy, smiling faces stumbled in.
“Oh Veni can we go again? I never knew there was sledding here!”
“This is the best day ever!”
The mage laughed at the barrage of questions then looked up, “I think you better ask your mother.” she said.
Banny and Korissa turned, following Venibeth’s gaze. The boy stood staring, then quickly surveyed the room while Korissa squealed and lunged into Niviene’s arms.
The priestess hugged her daughter, laughing as tears of joy slipped down her cheeks. After a moment the girl settled down and Niviene turned to look at Banny, her smile fading.
“I don’t know where he is but Erik assures me he’ll be home soon.”
Banny nodded and stepped forward, giving Niviene an awkward hug, “I’m glad you’re back.” he murmured before stepping aside.
Wulfa stepped into the room again bustling the children together, urging Kori and Banny, as well as Veni’s young ones, to wash up for dinner. While the children were occupied Veni and Erik turned to Niviene.
“We figured this would be an isolated enough place to meet up. I’m going to open a portal to Dalaran for you. I was able to find a little apartment where the three of you can stay until it’s safe.”
Erik nodded and said, “When I’ve got the commander I’ll bring him to you there. You’ll all be together soon.”
Niviene gave a nod of her own, then looked from one friend to the other, “What are we going to do about the bishop?”