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Discovery

Updated: Jul 2



The following story is based on an RP adventure involving a search in Ardenweald for the spirit of Lirath Windrunner. The character Lady Tinuviele Moonspell is the intellectual property of @ZinAzshari32 (“RangerElf” on twitter) and I received her permission to use the character in this story.



Many, many years ago the Farstriders of Silvermoon gathered at a secret grove in Eversong. This conclave was nothing out of the ordinary, mind you, but an ordinary meeting they had annually to discuss potential ranger cadets and trainees. Since the Farstriders are a very select group, not every applicant would be approved, and many would receive a letter of rejection. Ranger General Sylvanas Windrunner presided over the meeting with her sister Vereesa, as well as Lor’themar Theron and Halduron Brightwing. The time had come to read the list and vote on who would be considered for training as well as promotion to ranger.


“Vereesa, who is the next applicant for training, if you please?” asked Sylvanas. All present could tell Sylvanas was a bit tense and strained, being thrust into the role of Ranger General following the death of her mother, Lireesa, was enough pressure, but since the loss of their brother Lirath, she and Vereesa’s relationship was tenuous at best.


Vereesa replied, “Ah, that would be Cristina from the house Desouza. I believe her parents operate a quaint little shop in Silvermoon known mostly for jewelry and baubles and such. She is quite a bowyer for one so young.”


Halduron stood to voice concerns about Desouza’s candidacy, “I’m none too sure she is fit for the Farstriders. Her aim is suspect at even twenty-five paces, and she claims the sun is too bright for her eyes. Not to be brutal but she is also a short elf at that. Her height would be a hindrance in combat. Perhaps it’s best we could just contract her as an associate or supplier.”


Many of the Farstriders looked about and nodded in agreement. The standards had to be high to protect the sovereignty and peace of Quel’Thalas. Yet one lieutenant stood in rebuttal of Halduron’s comments. She stood proud, although only five feet tall, and defiant with her wavy hair reaching past her hips as red and vibrant as the autumn leaves of Eversong. Tossing her hair gallantly and striding confidently to Halduron, she challenged his assessment, “And perhaps you would have me removed from the Farstriders as well and question Lireesa’s judgement?”


Her name was Lady Tinuviele Moonspell. She was hand-picked and trained by Lireesa Windrunner and even served alongside Sylvanas for a time. Both remaining Windrunner sisters respected and highly valued her opinions, so it was not surprising that she garnered everyone’s attention as she continued her monologue.


“I stand before you only five feet tall, but my eye is as true as the rest of you, my hand is just as steady and blade just as swift. I’ve bested at least half of you at targets and a good many in a duel. Lireesa herself sponsored and trained me because she understood the true measure of a Farstrider was their heart and courage, not some measure of a yardstick.”


“Well put, Lady Tinuviele,” Sylvanas thoughtfully responded, “The question remains though, who will sponsor this Cristina Desouza as a trainee?”


Just then, Captain Darnan Silentfeather arose and stood at attention before the council, “I will. I hearby sponsor Lady Cristina Desouza to train her in the ways of the Farstriders and present her for promotion upon completion of her studies.”

∞∞∞∞∞


Lady Cristina Desouza sat pensively outside the Heart of the Forest in Ardenweald, arms resting softly on her knees waiting for a Silver Covenant captain to arrive. She had heard through sources that this captain was on a very special and secret mission in search of the spirit of Lirath Windrunner. As fantastic as it would seem, Lady Cristina was curious and reached out to offer her assistance in the search, suggesting the two explore Ardenweald first, since she knew the area as well as the back of her hand and logically if Lirath would be anywhere of the known realms of death, surely Ardenweald would be it.


As time passes, Cristina becomes more anxious, fixating on who this captain would be. “Probably some tall broad shouldered high elf with long wavy blonde hair and steel blue eyes,” she mused. “That would be Vereesa’s taste to a “T”. No doubt they will be arrogant and strong willed as well and lead me around on a fashionable goose chase before considering the folly a failure.” Cristina’s imagination ran wild with so many dire expectations.


Patience faded as time passed. In the distance, Cristina’s eye spotted the faintest dot growing closer and closer then taking shape as a Kyrian Phalanx, a mechanical beast of flight that only the most noble had access. As it grew closer, Cristina could discern more details. The rider – a red haired elf with long flowing locks past the waist. Perhaps this was her captain.


As the beast landed and the rider dismounted, Desouza noted the rider to be a she elf and not tall by any means but short! Even shorter than herself. A wave of relief fell over Cristina. She would not need to feel inferior, at least not based on her stature. Cristina approached the stranger and asked if she could be of assistance.


“Perhaps,” the elf replied, “I seek a Farstrider by the name of Lady Cristina Desouza. She is to be my guide about this realm. I am Lady Tinuviele Moonspell.”


Desouza introduced herself and the two spoke of Lirath Windrunner regarding his likes, clothing, possessions, and passions. They decided to first travel to Star Lake Amphitheater, as that would easily be the most obvious place his spirit would be drawn.


Let it always be known that the Night Fae are a passionate folk, especially when it comes to the performance arts. As the two captains arrive at the outdoor venue, Lady Moonberry and her troupe are once again performing their favorite (and possibly only) play, “The Legion Drama.” Lady Cristina explains to Tinuviele that while she is not here every day, she has become familiar with each line to the point she can recite them in her sleep. Tinuviele offers a slight but polite grin, and they begin to search the grounds for clues to Lirath’s whereabouts.


Hours pass and the two captains are becoming tired of the search and ready to move on when Moonspell discovers a torn piece of a silken shirt beneath a love seat in a green room backstage. “This may be Lirath’s but from such a small scrap, there is no sure way to tell,” Lady Tinuviele explains.


“Of course, Captain Moonspell,” replies Cristina, “I’ll defer to your knowledge as I do not know that much about Lirath other than he was the Dark Lady’s brother and a very acclaimed musician. I do have ideas on other places he may have traveled. Dreamsong Fenn is mostly a beautiful and peaceful place. He may have gone there for inspiration.”


“Lead on then,” chirped Lady Moonspell, “Desouza, was it?” The name was vaguely familiar to Tinuviele but from where she could not place. Vereesa was one to keep her captains busy and involved. With so many people and places to remember, one face easily blurred into another.


After a few hours travel, the two captains arrive at Dreamsong Fenn, a place once lavish of flora and fauna with placid pools and refreshing streams but now tainted with the decay and putrefaction of the Drust. A shocked Tinuviele exclaimed, “The Drust! They are still here?” “Aye,” a sullen Cristina replied, “it would seem they are a perpetual infestation despite their defeat. The Drust seem to turn at least a half dozen Fae for each one slain. If we are quiet and cautious, I’m sure we can escape notice while we search.”


Lady Moonspell nodded in agreement, and they began carefully searching about the fenn. Once again, Tinuviele’s keen eye spotted something odd in the brush! This time she uncovered an arrow. Encouraged at her find she gleamed, “This appears significant! It appears to be an arrow from the Windrunner armory!”


Lady Cristina examined the fletchings, shaft, and tip carefully confirming there was no doubt this was from the Windrunner store, “I’ve held a few up close recently. There is no mistaking this one’s source.”


“You-you have held Windrunner arrows?” gasped Tinuviele.


“Well, only while Sylvanas was distracted, mind you and not for long at that. But they are without a doubt the most beautiful I’ve seen,” Cristina sighed. “We should be moving along. The Drust seem to be stirring and may have caught scent of us.”


The two press onward to Glitterfall Basin, a beautiful marshland unfortunately beset with giant insect swarms. Desouza’s luck strikes for them, as she discovers a pan flute and a shirt of red and gold, the Windrunner family colors. “The pipes were one of Lirath’s favorite instruments as they were small and required little maintenance,” explained Lady Moonspell, “and the shirt is intact and doesn’t appear to have been left for long. We may be close!”


“Indeed! He may be headed to Tirna Vaal,” an excited Lady Desouza chimed, “and I know of a traveler’s respite on the way where we might discover more clues.”


Desouza and Moonspell saddled up quickly and darted out of the basin as Cristina spoke about the Tranquil Pools, a favorite of travelers in need of refilling skins or resting from a long journey. As the two arrive, a giant hydra attacks them, but the beast is quickly dispatched by a volley of arrows slung by the ranger elves. They begin searching a nearby pool. Cristina discovers yet another valuable clue – a very fanciful shoe, something a performer would only wear. She spots Lady Moonspell crouched behind a cluster of cattails and calls, “Tinuviele come look! I found…”


“Shhh Shhh Shhh,” Moonspell quietly reprimands and motions Cristina to carefully approach. There, by the edge of the pool fashioning bait on a makeshift fishing rod, is Lirath Windrunner. “Hello, Lirath!” the Silver Covenant captain shouts to the young elven spirit as Lady Desouza giggles softly.


Lirath looks up in shock initially as he spies the elven archers and mutters a somewhat confused, “Uh…hello?”


“You have no idea how many people will be happy that we found you, Little Lord Sun,” Lady Cristina proclaims gleefully. They continue their conversation with Lirath saying how much he misses his family and how he would love to see his parents and sisters. After shedding a slight tear, Cristina tells him she may have a few ideas on the whereabouts of Lireesa and Verath but explains that more investigation and research be required.


Lady Moonspell upon seeing Cristina’s reaction asks, “You are relieved we found him? I am as well and will have the most joyous news to report!”


“Not exactly, “admits Cristina, “As we traversed Ardenweald I had an ulterior motive to our journey. While I was devoted to assisting you in finding Lirath, I was hoping I would find my Ru’vyn here in the weald as well.” She explained to Tinuviele how she had a dream while revisiting Ru’vyn’s gravesite of them dancing in a blue forest. She felt that dream was a vision guiding her back to her beloved. “Alas, although we found many signs pointing us to Lirath, I found nothing to indicate Ru’vyn would be near.”


“Perhaps Lirath could be of assistance in your cause,” Lady Moonspell pointed out to Cristina. Cristina gives Lirath a description of Ru’vyn Ambersong and tells Lirath that should he see such an elven spirit to tell them that their “Fae Wren” (a pet name given to Cristina by Ru’vyn) misses them and can be found at the Heart of the Forest. Lirath agrees, and they all part ways.


Weeks later, Lady Cristina is practicing her archery outside the Heart of the Forest as Sylvanas had taught her. The exercise, though extremely fatiguing, was effective. Just as she was releasing her last volley, a soft familiar voice calls from the tree line, “My little Fae Wren, always practicing again!”


Startled, Cristina drops her bow and looks around quickly trying to identify the source but sees no one about. She shudders and calls out, “Who would call me by that name other than my dearest? Please do not torture me longer and show yourself!”


Then out of the forest, an odd looking but graceful bird flies down from a tree branch and rests on Lady Cristina’s arm. “I had heard that I was missed,” the bird spirit sang. For the first time in decades, Lady Cristina Desouza wept… tears of joy.



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