Vacation post is still inc, sorry- I promise I'll write something up soon. I do have a couple new pets to show off so it will be done. Meanwhile, have some Rheugan story-development.
Poor Rheu has finally been "talking" to me a bit, and I'm pretty sure we've agreed on how to fix him up. This will take a while, but I will be posting this in installments as it happens in-game. This is the start of it all.
Shaurria convinced Rheugan to go with her to Moonglade and visit her "friend", but it didn't turn out how anyone would have guessed.
Moonglade was.... peaceful. Rheugan blinked the haze left from the teleport spell out of his eyes, then noticed Shaurria trotting off already and hurried to catch up. She gave him a kitty-grin, then led him off past the Barrow-Dens. They passed through without incident, though the first time Rheugan spotted one of the guards it startled him. He let Shaur go on ahead as they rounded a particularly giant tree, pausing to take in the clearing and its occupant.
Shaurria trotted up to the huge cat spirit with a happy mrow, rubbing up against it like an over-sized housecat, then flopping down a few paces away to roll in the grass. The spirit watched her for a moment, then turned to face Rheugan as he approached.
What do you want here? Rheugan stopped, surprised as much by the voice sounding in his head as by the challenge in the Cat’s voice and stance. “P- parrdon?” he stammered, not sure if he’d understood the spirit. You heard me right, it replied. Tell me why I should waste my time with you.
Rheugan blinked, belatedly realizing that his own cat had gone very, very quiet. “I-.. I don’t understa-” he started, but the Cat interrupted him. Your cat, it said with thinly veiled impatience. It doesn’t listen to you, does it? Has it ever occurred to you to wonder why? Rheugan blinked again as the Cat went on without giving him a chance to answer. And why should it? What have you done to earn its cooperation, human? You have been stumbling like a cub first learning to walk, convinced it can outrun its elders.
Rheugan could think of nothing to say, and just stood there, stunned. He looked helplessly at Shaurria, who was now standing and watching them, looking almost as stunned as he felt. She took a step toward them with a questioning mew, but stopped as the Cat’s head turned to face her. Rheugan got a sense of words passing between them, and she sank down on her belly in the grass, mewling quietly in distress.
The Cat turned back to Rheugan. You need to work with your cat, it said. Go. Come back when you can call yourself a druid. With that it turned its back to him, moving off lazily across the clearing.
Shaurria stood and came over to him, unshifting to kneel at his side. “Wh- what was that about?” she whispered. Rheugan just shook his head, then without a word he turned, ducking away from her outstretched hand, and trotted back along the path.
* * * * * *
Shaur found him in his usual spot by the lake the following day. She said nothing as she sat down nearby, watching as he skipped a rock across the water. “My cat is ignoring me,” he finally said with a touch of incredulity. “It’s like it’s not even there. Pitch isn’t sure about what to do, either.”
She just watched him, her expression unreadable. “D’ you know what you’re gonna do yet?” He shrugged as he picked up another rock. “I have to find out what it wants, I suppose, and see if I can’t get it to work with me again,” he answered after a moment. “Although how I’ll do that...” He shrugged again.
The rock followed its fellow across the lake surface, disappearing after five skips. Rheugan glanced at Shaur, not quite meeting her eyes. “I may need to go away for awhile,” he said reluctantly. “I.. I think I need to be away from people for this.”
She gave him a small, sad smile. “I know.” She watched him fumble through the grass for a bit, looking for another rock. “D’ you know where you’ll go?”
Rheugan gave up his search for a stone and settled his hands in his lap. “Pitch suggested either Outland or Northrend. Both places are rather sparsely populated now, and both have plenty of things to fight. I’m leaning toward Northrend.” He stared fixedly across the lake, carefully avoiding looking at her. “If... if the worst happens, I’d rather be in Azeroth, not some Light-forsaken other world.”
Shaur’s expression quickly turned stern, and she leaned over to lightly rap his head with her knuckles. “Yer not gonna die out there,” she told him firmly. “Quit thinkin’ like that.”
He eyed her in bemusement. “I don’t intend to,” he said quietly. “I plan on coming back here as soon as I can. I just don’t know how long it will take.”
Neither said anything after that for several minutes. They watched a small group come through the portal from Tol Barad, apparently celebrating some victory there over the Horde, but the fuss soon died down as the group made their way into the city proper.
Shaurria broke the silence after they left. “We should go fishin’ before y’go.” Rheugan looked over at her with a small grin, one eyebrow raised. He chuckled, and after a moment she joined in.