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Confrontation


Lady Cristina Desouza has always been a creature of duty and honor. Even in her younger days of service as a Farstrider ranger, it was service to country over family and friendship. This dedication became even stronger when she became a widow. She was once the betrothed to Ruvyn Ambersong, a very skilled artisan from Fairbreeze Village. They were truly in love, and Cristina’s life was as close to perfect as imaginable.


Finding a partner had been difficult for her, especially since her devotion to the Farstriders frequently ended many a relationship. Ruvyn was the first elf she had ever met that understood her passion for Quel’Thalas, as he had such a passion for pottery and sculpting. Nothing especially artistic mind you, but many of his pots, vases, pitchers, and bowls graced many a home in the Eversong Woods. Indeed, it would have been a perfect life had not Ruvyn died in a fire at his workshop. Cristina literally watched her future burn away in flames the night of the fire, helpless to save him. It was weeks until she finally shed tears. The trauma of that loss had numbed her for what seemed like forever.


Yes, duty and honor had become her new affair, one so much safer and secure. Nothing could strip her of her desire and passion for her service. Today, that would be sorely tested, as her latest orders placed her on guard duty for none other than Sylvanas Windrunner, Banshee Queen, former Warchief of the Horde and once Ranger-General of Silvermoon. With each step closer to her holding room, the Farstrider Captain kept reminding herself of duty over personal feelings, honor, and compassion before judgement. Remain in control and stay calm she continually reminded herself.


“Ahhh, so you will be my next watchdog to insure I do not flee and guarantee I will live to see the sunrise,” Sylvanas wryly sung. “Please make yourself comfortable. I can assure you in my present state, I will be no risk of flight, banshee form or otherwise.”


“Duty demands I guard and protect you, Windrunner,” Desouza coldly replied. “Justice would demand I slit your throat and leave you to bleed.”


“Then I should be grateful for your passion for duty and honor, Hunt Captain,” said the Banshee Queen. “You’ve no doubt heard of my recent adventures. Please know there is far more to that story than what you may be aware.”


“You. Murdered. Thousands.” Each word spat flame from Cristina’s lips. She was finding duty and honor were trying to secretly slip out the door with control and calmness directly behind them. “Death would be too kind a release for you, butcher!”


Sylvanas stares off into space pensively and deeply, “And, I realize that. I am continually haunted by the burning and what has become of me. Each selfish act made me become that much more a monster. But nothing I do now will ever change what happened in the past. We can, however, take steps to preserve our future.”


“Nothing I do now will ever change what happened in the past.” Those words rang and echoed in Cristina’s mind like a Kyrian bell. Nothing she could do now would ever change her embarrassment at her first meeting with the Ranger-General many years ago at her first commendation. Nor could she ever do anything to change the pain of loss she felt for Ruvyn.


“Agreed, banshee.” Cristina solemnly sighed. “Our pasts may help to shape us, but only our future can define us. I lost my betrothed many years ago. I am serenaded to sleep by his screams as his shop burned to the ground. Tell me Windrunner, do you hear the screams of the innocents that burned with Teldrassil? Or were you sipping champagne in some encampment far removed from the carnage?”


Sylvanas proudly rises from her bed. “A part of me felt the burning of the world tree was the only true path to freedom, captain. I did what I felt what was needed at the time, but my burden will be carrying the memory of those lost souls for eternity. For better or worse, it is my legacy.”


The Lady captain shakes her head is disbelief and disdain. Cristina cannot believe that Sylvanas can be so remorseless, so guiltless.


“As different as we are, you and I, we share a common bond. I, too, lost my beloved,” Sylvanas continued. “That has weighed more heavily on me of late. The air here has gotten rather stale. I should like to take a walk unless you feel insecure about your abilities?”


Again, Cristina felt angered and offended. “Unlike you, I am still a proud Farstrider captain and Protector of Ardenweald. My skill will be more than enough to protect you and insure your captivity!”


The two walked Oribos and spoke at great lengths receiving the most inquisitive looks from mortals and attendants alike. They shared stories of conquests and great battles and spoke at length on archery and all the subtleties of the bow and arrow. Sylvanas noticed a ceremonial dagger carried on Cristina’s hip with an odd sigil carved in the pommel.


“That dagger,” queries Sylvanas, “where did you get it?”


Cristina replies, “Oh it’s a family heirloom that was given to me by Father when I was commended to full ranger. The rune carved on the pommel is our family sigil – the house of Desouza.”

“Interesting,” the former Ranger-General wryly grinned, “There was a time when the Windrunner armory fell short a few bows, so I commissioned the royal bowyer to replenish our stock. Most had the royal seal, save two which had this unusual sigil carved in the grip. Perhaps they had been your father’s?”


“Not at all,” said Cristina with the brightest eyes, “I had crafted them actually! I had always wondered where Colairian and Maerinn had landed after the royal bowyer had spirited them away. They were my best pieces. I am honored they had found such a good home.”


“Indeed,” said Sylvanas with an impressed smile, “They were actually TOO good. As I last remembered, they were so finely cut they were pulled out of the stock and set aside for decor. No one in the house could bring themselves to use them as they were too beautiful to use in service. What did you say your name was again, captain?”


“Ummm… Desouza,” Cristina blushed, “Lady Cristina Desouza.”


“Lady Cristina Desouza,” Windrunner boldly repeated, “a name worth remembering I should think. I am growing weary and would like to return to my quarters now, Captain Desouza. I’ve found our conversation to be curiously valuable. If you don’t mind… let us speak more about that pet of yours and the skill of archery.”

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