For What Goes Unsaid
Rhianon slipped from bed very early that morning; the gray veil of night still clung to the sky above Dalaran, pricked every so often by the glow of a star. She crept over to the window on the far side of the room and cracked it open. The pale glow of the street lamps trickled into the room; Rhianon glanced over her shoulder to make sure that she hadn’t woken Dacianna. The paladin was still sound asleep in bed, one stray hoof peeking out from beneath the coverlet. On the ground next to Dacianna, Pengu lay beneath a delicately placed blanket, squeaking happily in his sleep. Rhianon smiled to herself and opened the window further, hoisting herself out onto the window ledge.
The window ledge was narrow, but Rhianon was able to seat herself on the edge of it, dangling her hooves perilously high above the ground. She took in a deep breath of night air and relaxed, shaking her silvery hair out over her shoulders. There was a certain freedom to sitting on the window ledge like this, looking out over the glimmering city below. When she had been living in Shattrath, she had taken to sitting out on the edge of the Aldor Terrace – and this was as close as she could get in Dalaran to the certain mix of thrill and danger that particular perching spot had afforded her.
Rhianon blinked her eyes and twisted herself around carefully, fishing out a leather-pouch that had been tucked into the little nook formed where the curve of the window met the ledge. She dumped the pouch’s contents out into her hands; two hand-carved wooden totems, only about the size of her thumb, a shining gem bracelet, some silken thread, silver clasps and a worn knife. To the untrained eye, the totems seemed indistinguishable from what she had given Henii – but Rhianon knew the differences. One of the totems was marked with the symbols of Earth and had been soaked in the warm soil of Nagrand for hours to be blessed by the Earth Spirits. The other had the Water symbols carved delicately into its side and the wood had she had carved it from had been washed over a thousand times in the deep lakes of Zangarmarsh. She picked up the knife and nicked a few more lines on each totem; on the Earth totem, Draenic word for Dacianna – and on the Water totem, her own name in Draenic.
Her attention then turned to the bracelet. She held it gingerly between her hands for a moment, running her fingers over the cool beads. Strung from ropes of glittering, sky-blue gems, the bracelet glowed despite the darkness – or perhaps, because of it. The bracelet had been one of her mother’s favorites; she had once told Rhianon that the gems had been polished in the moonlight on Argus so that they would glow with an inner fire even in the darkest of shadows. Rhianon had rescued it from a box of her mother’s things that had been set aside after her death – and she had been keeping it close since then, taking it out every so often to stare at the brilliant beads.
She took her knife and sliced through the thread that held the bracelet together, spilling the beads into the leather pouch. Her hands steady, Rhianon then strung each wooden totem onto a length of the silk thread. She selected twelve of the shining beads from the leather pouch, sliding three down to huddle against each side of the totems. The shaman then tied the threads off and added one of the silver clasps to each necklace.
Rhianon looked down at her creations. The necklaces weren’t fancy – nothing like the fine jewelry that the Dalaran shops sold – but she thought they were pretty enough. She slipped the Earth totem necklace around her neck, locking the clasp at the back. The roughly carved totem hung at the perfect level, dangling just below the collarbones. She patted the beads, smiling to herself.
The shaman then stowed the leather pouch containing the remaining supplies back into its secret nook and slid back inside the window, shutting it behind her. The room was quiet, save for the occasional squeak from the slumbering Pengu and Dacianna’s low breathing. She approached Dacianna’s side of the bed, the Water totem necklace dangling from her hand. With care not to disturb Dacianna’s sleep, Rhianon leaned over the paladin, slipping the necklace around her neck and closing the clasp at the back.
When she stepped back from the bedside, her hoof bumped against Pengu and the little creature stirred, squeaking. Rhianon winced, bending down to sooth him back to sleep. Once Pengu was calm again, she adjusted the blanket around him and then slunk back to her own place in bed. There were still a few more hours until daybreak and she would need all the rest she could get if she was to be focused during the expedition into Ulduar that night. As she closed her eyes, letting the night sounds of the room lull her to sleep, her hand reached up, rubbing the totem around her neck. She hoped Dacianna would like her gift.