To my friends at Stormwind University,
I hope this letter finds you all in good health. Things here in the Deathlord’s army have been taxing at best, exhausting at worst. Daeo and I have hardly seen a handful of moments of rest since we arrived on the Vindicaar. Although, I received word you all were planning on going after me if you did not hear word back, hence the hasty writing. I am as alive as I can be for the moment. I still have my chatstone, but chances are I will not be able to use it often. You all are in my thoughts. The Legion is relentless, and a terrible blow was struck to our forces by one of our own... The Betrayer struck down the naaru prime X’era. It was... terrible news to hear. I had hopes of meeting them, after talking to one of the Lightforged, but... It was a silly idea anyway. Regardless, if I ever see that over-baked elf in person I may end up personally strangling them, hero or not.
Pheta vi akahachi,
Amara sat at the small desk in the corner of her sitting room, casually enjoying the comforts of home which she shared with Ysobaella and Ellisondra. The desk was rather simple in both craftsmanship and purpose, especially when compared to the grandiose and excessively functional desk at her office on the Stormwind University campus. This smaller, more plain desk - Amara would posit - allowed her to do very little else but read and compose letters, which in turn reinforced the idea of never bringing her work home. Literally and figuratively!
While sifting through the contents of today's post, Amara furrowed her brow when she'd come to an envelope bearing the seal of the Cenarion Circle. She broke the seal by whispering the customary enchantment, known only to Archdruids for this particular caliber of mail, and sliding her fingernail along the hardened wax once the magical part was over. Shaking her head with an audible exhale through her nostrils, Amara folded the letter back up and slid it back into its simple yet ornate envelope.
Ysobaella, seated across the sitting room on the edge of their loveseat, arched a curious brow over at Amara. Her lips were pressed tightly over a row of pins, keeping her silent for the moment, though like sands through an hourglass, the gradual recess of time was reflected by each pin used. She glanced from a pattern on the nearby coffee table to a modeling dummy stood in front of her, then peered over to Amara at her desk. Izzy spied the Circle's letter, particularly recognizing the envelope; the same as so many before it that had been previously delivered to their home.
"Mmf," Ysobaella started, merely a single pin now resting at the corner of her mouth now. "Is that another letter from the Cenarion Circle, Beloved? I'm not trying to be nosy, but... I'm being nosy." She gave a toothy grin for a moment, carefully extricating the final pin from her mouth and sticking it strategically into the dummy. Amara gave but a single nod, not even turning to face Izzy or provide any sort of verbal response. She blinked her eyes softly, heaving her shoulders accompanied by a gentle sigh. Her hands searched for the next letter in her small stack, grasping it tightly, before finally turning to look upon Ysobaella.
"Aye, Surfas. The Circle is once again requesting my aid. They seem to understand, they say that they understand. But I strongly sense that even their penchant for wisdom within patience is running a bit ragged. I cannot leave Stormwind University. Who the bloody hells would I even leave that responsibility to? We're taxed as it is, stretched to our very limits! And more so, I cannot leave you and Ellie either. But they continue to ask. They continue to appeal to "Nahlen'do, Entrusted of the Scythe of Elune, whose powers would grant an immense boon to the Army of Light's forces against the Legion!", and despite my consistent refusals, continue to beckon!"
Ysobaella frowned a little, nodding to indicate her understanding. "Ellie and I would be fine, Amara. We'll understand. We have understood, ever since the invasion began and you were called upon to become an Archdruid. Besides... If the Legion wins, we're all slaves at best, and dead at worst, right?" She leaned in, eyes narrowed with a show of defiant determination at that very thought. "I'm not forcing you to go, Beloved. I'm not telling you what to do. I appreciate and support your decision to be... 'selfish' for once, you know? You're always putting others ahead of your own wants and needs. If you prefer to just be the Dean of Stormwind University, then just be 'Dean Amaranthaea Crowelley, Ph.D.', and screw everything else! The Legion invading doesn't mean that everyone's lives are put on hold. Life is still happening, all around us. Amara... Beloved... You're allowed. If Malfy Stormrage can sit on his lazy ass, smoke some quality herb and let everyone else take up the burden, then you shouldn't feel guilty or responsible for wanting your own piece of normalcy too!"
Amara nodded and sighed, peering at Ysobaella for several silent moments, appearing deeply contemplative. She turned her gaze to the playpen nearby where Ellisondra was, rolling about and playing with her assortment of toys, babbling idly as though she were somehow adding to the conversation. Ellie turned her head to meet her mother's gaze - deliberately or not, is anyone's guess - and would've probably been smiling at her, if not for the child's insistence upon drooling and gnawing upon one of the ears of her Elekk Plushie. Amara blinked, a sudden thought occurring to her. It was the Elekk Plushie. It reminded her once again of Lestuu. Reminded her of Cani's vow to find him on Argus and drag him back herself, if Lestuu didn't at least write everyone in two weeks' time.
Amara smiled fondly upon her child then over to Ysobaella, who returned the warm expression, particularly at seeing her mate's usual serene expression shining through again. Clutching the envelope even more tightly, Amara turned it over in her hands and saw the postmark; It was from Lestuu! She hurriedly opened the envelope, although carefully enough as not to tear the entire thing to shreds. Amara's smile slowly dimmed to a line of worry straight across her lips as she read over the brief paragraph. She read it twice, then once again, before setting the letter down and holding her head in her hands with a weighty sigh.
"What's wrong, Beloved? Ugh! More bad news!? What now?"
"It's a letter from Lestuu."
Ysobaella's back straightened, her muscles tensed.
"But that's a good thing. Right...?"
Amara lifted her head from her hands, fixing her gaze upon Izzy.
"Aye. Well, 'good' is a relative term I suppose."
"Lestuu an' Daeo are alive, if nothin' else."
Ysobaella exhaled with relief, allowing a smile to her lips.
"Then that's good. Positive, at least. So what's wrong?"
Amara glanced down at the letter once more, eyes fluttering as she focused upon a specific section:
"The Legion is relentless, and a terrible blow was struck to our forces by one of our own... The Betrayer struck down the naaru prime X’era."
"If only we were able to unite like so from the very start of the invasion, Alliance an' Horde. Azerothians, all, working together an' defendin' our world as it deserves. As we all deserve. We could have... nay, would have, driven them back to whatever hellhole they crawled out of, immediately."
Ysobaella nodded slowly. "...Right. But this is where we're at, Beloved."
Amara sighed, characteristically pinching the bridge of her nose in frustration.
"Instead... It's like the blind leading the blind up there."