Rhianon was sitting on the ledge outside her apartment in Dalaran, the night-time breezes whipping at the folds of her linen shift. Her gaze was directed out over the tops of the roofs and towers, unfocused and dreamy, and her white-blonde hair, usually tied up in a ponytail, was free, dancing in the errant wind.
The feast of Enkilzar had taken place that week. It had been her first time participating in the ceremony – although she did remember, vaguely, the days before the fall of Draenor when her mother and father would go to the center of Telredor on the night of the feast with the rest of their community. She had been too young then to really join in the ceremony, and they had left her with the rest of the children to play and nap while they took part in Enkilzar. Of course, she hadn’t been surprised when Dacianna had mentioned celebrating Enkilzar several times in Shattrath. Ceremonies – rituals – traditions – it all seemed to suit Dacianna very well.
It had been nice to be in the Vault of Lights with so many other Draenei, remembering the history of their people. She was accustomed to spending so much of her time around other races, speaking Common and being “Azerothian” that it was often easy to forget her own lineage. Her people weren’t from this world – they weren’t even from Draenor. She was descended from a race that had sprung up on a world thousands of years and thousands of leagues away – and it was only by the grace of Light that they had come to Azeroth. Rhianon leaned her head back, craning it to catch a glimpse of the star-streaked sky. Somewhere, out there, perhaps, their home world was glinting back down at her. Argus.
At the thought, she reached up, touching the beads of her necklace. So, her mother hadn’t been making up a story; these beads were from Argus, passed down through generations. Griznos had called them “artifacts” – and they were, of course – but Rhianon mused that they were more than simply relics of a far-away world. Their ethereal gleam and the polish of their surfaces were external symbols of the memories each Draenei carried within their hearts, even those Draenei who were born thousands of years after the flight from Argus. She was proud to bear them; even prouder to have given a string of the beads to Dacianna.
There were still three of the beads left. Two would go to Henii; one for Henii, herself, and one for whatever children Henii would bring into the world here on Azeroth. And one, of course, for her Da.
Her Da had been at the Enkilzar ceremony. She hadn’t been expecting him – but when she had walked up to join Dacianna, Rhellus had been standing at the paladin’s side. He had spoken of how proud he was to share in the Enkilzar with his daughter and Rhianon’s cheeks had burned.
Did Rhellus suspect anything? Henii had told her that parents often knew exactly what was going on with their children even before the children confessed to anything. If her Da did, however, he hadn’t showed it. Or perhaps she hadn’t noticed; she had been to busy watching the ceremony and talking with Dacianna…
Dacianna. Rhianon’s hand still felt warm from when the paladin had taken it during the last part of the Enkilzar ceremony. The move had surprised the shaman; Dacianna wasn’t usually the first one with outward signs of affection – and this had been in a public place, surrounded by friends and colleagues. How many of them had seen it? And if they had seen it – what did they think? Henii had told her that she wouldn’t be surprised if most of their friends guessed that there was something going on between the paladin and shaman. Even Magus Linu seemed to suspect something; when Rhianon had met her the week before in Dalaran, the mage had been extremely curious about Dacianna and how things were going for Rhianon.
Rhianon wished there was some way to “just say it” without actually saying anything at all; she had enough trouble getting her feelings out to Dacianna and that was Dacianna! The idea of talking to anyone else (other than Henii) – even other Meddlers – about this subject made her stomach turn with nervousness. Darlain, in particular, always seemed interested in setting Rhianon up with dates.
And definitely her Da. What she had said to Henii still held true. She wasn’t ready at all to talk to her Da.
Rhianon took a deep breath and glanced over her shoulder, through the window and into the bedroom. Despite the shadows covering the room, she could see the lump of blankets on the bed where Dacianna was sleeping. A part of her wanted to wake the paladin up and talk to her about what she was thinking – but a stronger part of her decided against it. Dacianna been pushing herself to her physical limit with her work in Icecrown and they had another expedition into Ulduar that week. Drogar would probably get mad at her if he knew that she was keeping one of their battle-healers from restful slumber and potentially endangering the mission.
The shaman turned her gaze back out over the city. Only four hours until dawn – and she wasn’t tired one wink.
Rhianon chuckled to herself. Did Dacianna ever wonder why she spent so much time napping during the day?