It was all that could be seen in the darkness of this consciousness, ever-present, as though within a dream. A dream of boundless expanses of stars, their light beauteous in its intensities, pulsating, radiating and vibrating the space surrounding this mind's eye. Swirls of distant galaxies, the trails of the ancient Pantheon's reaches fizzling throughout the cosmos, leaving this mind with an endless stream of visual imagery with which to sate its increasing curiosity.
This conscious; was it within a mind? Had it a body? Was this a dream? In this time, that seemed to be bordering upon the eternal, leaving whomever this vision belonged to asking fewer and fewer questions of itself, simply floating throughout that fluid cosmos that, surely, could not be real. Were this being able to lift an arm or raise a leg, simply to know that they had a body, it wouldn't have. They had no understanding that such a thing as a body existed upon this plane of creation.
All it could recognize, truly, was the beauty surrounding them. Perhaps this thing had a comprehension of time. If it did, it spent its endless hours simply watching the stars surrounding them, learning their nuances, their crystalline flares of light. Where most individuals might see only a singular light within those bodies, this being had spent infinity learning to tell them apart. The star with piercing yellow hues, to this storied mind, might as well be a magnificent array of gradient light, bellowing in transitioning hues until this mind's eye could see nothing else without that brilliance burning upon the tip of its intellect.
Truly, whatever this being might have been, it could very well have been a star itself, if only by virtue of its endless lines of study. This mind hung in space, almost in union with those breathless spectacles of light and energy. Perhaps that why it was here?
Perhaps it truly wished to join this astral plane?
Essanul Leafspear stroked his tender beard quizzically as he watched the rustling body atop his medical bed. Such movements were wholly foreign from the woman who had been lying there for a month now, perfectly still aside from her heart beating and lungs churning. Other than that, she had seemed, up until today, to be lost to her comatose state, her mind most likely reeling as though lost in the nether. Essanul, nor his assistant, Cylorne, could make heads or tails of the condition, even after the initial hubbub the woman's arrival had caused.
A month earlier, above the northern shores of the dark area of forest known as Darkshore, a star suddenly appeared in the sky, much to the shock of the local night elves whom had settled in the ancient plot of land once known as Mathystra. To their horror, it began to grow in size before appearing in full; a massive ball of flame careening toward the sea and plowing into the body of water off the coast with a tremendous enough force that messengers from Auberdine had arrived quickly enough afterward to male account of the Mathysterians.
Forgoing an expedition, not a day later, a lone body washed up on shore, the woman whom had been taken in by the local healers in Essanul and Cylorne, and who now, after a month, was stirring within the bed she'd been subjected to. Essanul wasn't exactly sure what to do, not so much about the restless convulsions, but of the woman herself if she might wake. He took silent note of her near-astral blue skin, that curvature of horns sprawling from her head, that lifeless tail. She was all but alien to these people of Mathystra. but Essanul knew what she was.
And it terrified him.
Still, he remained steadfast, deciding to keep Cylorne out of the loop, even if the younger man of Kaldorei descent had taken to noting how attracted he was becoming to the alien figure the more he grew to familiarize himself with those horns atop her head that he'd once found "freakish". It was a off-hand comment to be sure, made by Cylorne when Essanul had caught him pulling away the roll-away ceiling so that the light of the moon could shine upon the woman's body, such a practice having always been standard to the younger healer's knowledge.
Essanul was quick to put a stop to such a thing, telling the young man that such a being had no use for Elune's graces. While such an admittance as to knowledge of this being's identity, at least generally, caught Cylorne's curiosity, he simply allowed the matter to rest out of respect for his master, though he would still offer the light of Elune to rest upon the woman's body if only to allow him the freedom to view her shimmering hair as it nearly glowed in the soft light.
Now that she had begun to stir, as Essanul stood nearby with his hand stroking his chin, the healer pondered his next move, so uncertain as to what needed to be done, were she to wake. He considered his potential misstep- should they have killed her immediately upon her arrival?
She was an eredar, after all. The last time Essanul had seen one, it was the Defiler himself, Archimonde, leaving Essanul to now consider the possibility of this eredar woman awakening to wreak the same chaos upon Azeroth as her predecessor had wrought. Might his next action, or inaction, leave his own name etched into history with the same hatred?
He often sat in his hut, eyes on his nearby dagger, wondering how much history rested in his hands, were he to act then and not later. Guilt had made a permanent place within his chest for those months, praying that she would never awaken, never to allow him to know what might come of her arrival.
"Master," Cylorne spoke up with a hasty voice upon entering the large healing tent, throwing the entry curtain open and allowing it to fly asunder before resting in place, "What required my-"
He paused, noticing the woman's body convulsing ever so gently, his brow narrowing with concern as Essanul spoke up with quiet confidence, "She stirs."
"I can- see that," Cylorne confirmed, choking up with confusion melted into optimism, "What does that mean?"
Essanul shrugged, returning to his table to concoct some more potions, "It means she may wake soon."
"I meant after that," retorted Cylorne with droll, returning to the shivering being with expectant eyes, trailing down those curled protrusions upon her head, "Are we not as alien to her as she is to us?"
The young man's master paused his tinkering, sighing with disenchantment before speaking up, "Given the blood within her, I would doubt that."
Ignoring the dreaded tone in the leader's voice, Cylorne burst around with boyish zeal, "So you did have an idea as to her origins! Master, I knew you were the light of knowledge! I just knew it!"
Essanul frowned, "Such flattery, as you know, works little in my presence. Especially in this case; flattery is too good in conversation about this one."
With a sudden shift, Cylorne's face twisted with confusion, whipping around toward his master, "How do you mean?"
"So quick to her defense," Essanul smirked, recalling a certain childishness that followed along his own self once upon a time, "You truly have been smitten."
"Wh- I-," Cylorne stammered with embarrassment, "Sir!"
Essanul shook his head as he began divvying up the concoction in his hand, delicately pouring it into smaller flasks, "I've borne witness to similar beings as she- the eredar. They let loose the worst evils upon this world, and yet-"
His eyes fell while his body slowed to a stop, "I've stood and watched her for weeks now, contemplating whether or not to kill her now and be done with it."
Cylorne felt a chill down his spine.
"Killing one for the lives of many; were I to live in ignorance of her innocence-" Essanul continued with a wavering timbre in his voice, "Perhaps such a murder would not leave me riddled with guilt for the rest of my days. As it stands, I couldn't bring myself to do such a thing; I'm a healer, not a killer."
The elder turned to his student with a smile, "Then I discovered your little stunt. Pulling away the top of this hot to allow Elune's light to shine upon her."
Cylorne ran an uncertain hand along his arm, nervously averting his eyes, "I- I mean…"
Still, his master smiled, "Perhaps if she is good enough for Elune's light, she's good enough for a chance at life upon these darkened forests."
A certain sense of pride coursed through Cylorne's chest for only a brief moment, his stony face not giving it away until his master went on, "Now, enough of your pride; we've work to do."
"I didn't even say anything!" Cylorne pleaded, knowing already his master's innate ability to understand his thoughts as if telepathically.
"You didn't need to," Essanul replied with good humor, waving his apprentice over toward the small table, reaching toward the shambling rack of vials, "Nonetheless, we must finish these before the full moon, lest the moonkin run amok."
Cylorne approached his master's side, allowing but a brief glance toward the restless woman -the eredar- before bowing his head while gathering his tools of the medicine trade. The two shuffled along beside one another as they shared the small table, all with the efficiency of a teacher and student who had done much the same stoic dance for long enough , each knowing the opposite's cadences and tendencies of movement. This fact made it all the more noticeable as Cylorne's shoulder just barely slid against Essanul's, immediately catching the fielder's attention.
"Work often clouds concern, yet here you are, still thinking about her," Essanul noted with a light tone.
Cylorne was quick to defend himself, "It's not…her. I was just thinking- You called her eredar, but I don't recall anything about them despite what you spoke of them."
"Our historians never did feel content with recording much of the War of the Ancients. Unless you look in the most sacred of temples, you'll often be remiss to find specific names which many of my generation have long sense associated with damnation," Essanul groaned wearily, reaching a hand up to stroke his worn face, his skin having long cracked of wrinkles in his old age, "Archimonde, who came to defile our world with the most gregarious of evils."
Essanul's eyes shut in repression, reliving in that single moment a time of dread in his life, "He was an eredar; him and his demonic brother."
Turning his gaze over his shoulder, Essanul's voice grew steadfast as he watched the eredar woman who'd arrived in such striking uninvitation to these shores, "I look at her and… I can't help but see the man whose armies killed so many."
"Master…" Cylorne spoke up, more so in obligation to do whatever he could to comfort the man who was much a father to him, even reaching up to hold the old man's shoulder, "I hadn't a clue."
Essanul chuckled emotionlessly, "Of course not. Some say that would be best. Seeing you fawning over her, though- I'm reminded that our children are not ourselves. I cannot say I'm not at least a small bit intrigued by her story, for what that's worth. I never gave much thought that, of course, there were more of Archimonde's ilk out there, somewhere."
"Somewhere…" Cylorne questioned, pulling his hand back in recoil as Essanul returned to his table.
"Out in the universe, I suppose," Essanul pondered aloud, "They're certainly not of this world, are they? Neither were the orcs."
Cylorne's eyes fell in thought, "I suppose you've a point there."
"Heh," Essanul chuckled, "Not so proud now, eh? now that your teacher's got some points."
Smirking, Cylorne retorted with cocky inhibition, "I've had a few of those, too."
"Perhaps," chided Essanul, "You may have learned most of what I have to teach, but you've a long way before surpassing my knowledge."
Cylorne bit back boyishly, "Are they not one in the same?"
Sure of himself, Essanul's eyes fluttered up to give a sidelong glance toward his student, "I have much that doesn't bring anything to bear upon the finer points of medicine. That all, perhaps, you'll learn soon enough on your own. Until then-"
He reached out a small vial toward Cylorne, "Fill this."
The younger Kaldorei grappled the vial out from the elder's hand with a grin, laughing quietly at his master's sudden bout of lightheartedness. It was a quality not often witnessed within the face of the old man, who'd gained a reputation within Mathystra as being one to turn to for help, but not casual conversation. Essanul was very matter of fact, with a laugh unheard of by everybody but Cylorne, an attribute brought upon the old man by his own time in the ancient wars of Azeroth. While the stench of death had compelled him toward medicine in order to seek out the opposite, life, he had never truly understood what life itself entailed, even if he recognized it within his apprentice's innate ability to relish in life rather than simply live it.
"Do not worry, master; of all you've taught me, you've made sure I know how to follow orders," muttered Cylorne smarmily enough with a droll expression, "I will fill this with-"
Essanul frowned, catching his student's attempt at feigned ignorance, choosing to finish his sentence for him rather than allow him his game, "Just water. You know we won't need anything until the dilution. Now hurry on and-"
His head had turned up to find Cylorne standing still, head turned back toward the cot across the room while he stood frozen in his path to the entryway. Essanul watched him for only a brief moment before realizing the reason for his pause, slowly turning himself as his eyes shot overtop his shoulder, finding the eredar woman's eyes now lit up with weakened life.
"U- Uh…" Cylorne finally managed, "Master-"
"She's staring at me."
Wrapped up to her neck in blankets, the woman's head had fallen to the side in examination, having drawn across the room to the two, surely alien bodies. Her dark, unkempt hair fell over her face, allowing her dark, blue eyes to pierce through its equally ravenlike shroud of veiled strands, leaving her sleekly spun horns her most prominent feature. Essanul absently lifted a hand toward Cylorne, though it only left his side but a few inches before leaving him to mutter.
"Don't make any sudden moves," he instructed, "No need to frighten her."
Cylorne chuckled nervously, "Frighten her?"
As the woman's eyes turned toward Essanul, the elder nodded respectfully enough, not allowing his stare to linger any longer than it should, before turning toward a nearby cabinet, hoping his aversion to squaring up in her direction might impart some sense of meekness in his behavior. With fluid movement, he reached for a small jar of water before pouring it into a wooden cup within view of the once-invalid sharing their medical hut.
Essanul heard Cylorne taking a sharp breath, signaling the woman's eyes having landed back onto him, leaving the elder to reproach him, "Your standing still is making her nervous."
"Her nervous?" Cylorne replied in a shaky tone.
Shrugging, Essanul began toward the patient with the cup resting atop his hand in offering, "Well, you hadn't much nerves while watching over her as she slept. I wouldn't have thought such smitten intentions would have left you so abruptly."
"That-" Cylorne retorted in earnest, his nerves quickly reining in his frustration, "It's different…"
Now simply amused, Essanul grinned for a brief moment before dipping his head low with respect, earning him the woman's sudden jolt from her head as her attention darted from one to the other. The elder reverently knelt down, placing the cup at the hutch beside her before backing away.
"There," he noted, to himself, "That'll be there when you're ready to drink. You're free to rest as long as you'd like."
Cylorne's brow furrowed, "Master, I don't think she understands-"
"My words are for you," Essanul noted quickly, "Even if she cannot understand them, speaking softly enough should help ease the tension, should it not?"
Muted by his teacher's sudden insight, Cylorne's lips curled thoughtfully before his attention quickly turned toward Essanul, his back turned to the alien of a woman as he began back toward the table, "Now, we continue. We've an order to fill."
Cylorne plead suddenly, "B-But-!"
"She's no threat, as you've seen," Essanul shrugged, "Now, we're on a deadline. Get a move on."
Once again tinkering with the collection of vials, Essanul made a motion for Cylorne to continue on toward the door, his student remaining reluctant to leave his master alone with this stranger, this eredar, though after a few more moments of quiet resolve, Cylorne slowly obeyed, shuffling toward the entryway and turning to swiftness as he exited, hoping to return from gathering water in quick order.
The young man's smitten attitude, turned to terror, than to something of excitement at not missing a single development- such youthful exuberance brought a grin to Essanul's face as he worked carefully, pouring slight amounts of one concoction or another into others, measuring with his mere eyes as age had left him so precise. He worked quietly as well, quiet enough to catch the warped sound of the wooden cup sliding off its surface, then the clear sound of water being slurped from its interior.
As if a month's worth of the world's weight that had been piled a mile high upon his shoulders had suddenly slid from that mantle, the gigantic burden strangling his heart suddenly began to weaken at such an innocuous sound. He hadn't a clue what he had been expecting upon her waking; had he thought she'd simply begin her warmongering, alone, right out of her coma? He couldn't exactly recall, though still, he couldn't help but take in that silence of placidity he mustn't have expected.
The elder's face screwed in surprise, yanking his shoulder around to stare at the woman in shock, "Wha-! You speak our language?"
The woman, spun onto her side so that she could drink, averted her eyes, "I… It's not easy, but- It's coming to me. Like a book in my mind- I'm skimming through pages, finding what I'm meaning to say."
Her eyes turned down in quiet reflection as Essanul rested an elbow between a crossed arm, rubbing his face with exasperation as he hid a smirk, "To think your waking wouldn't be the most abnormal event to take place today."
Essanul watched from behind his hand as the woman returned the cup to its table before pushing herself to the edge of the bed so that she could sit up, her eyes darting from one place to another in order to ascertain where she was. The elder across the room curled his brow in furtive curiosity as the woman caught sight of her knees, causing her suddenly to begin scrutinizing her own body, as if having seen it for the first time.
She raised her hand, flexing her fingers with childlike investigation, as though surprised of the effects of muscles on her limbs. She tugged her toes inward much in the same way, running her hands down the plain garment that covered her stomach. She caught a glimpse of blue skin between her shirt and breeches, forcing a shock to come over her, compelling her to grab hold of the hem of the material and yank it up, finding even more skin of hers. She sincerely hadn't expected to find anything of the sort.
Think it out of place, and rather improper, were she to continue exploring herself, Essanul cleared his throat to signal his lowered head, reaching a fist up to cover his mouth, thinking instead of how to best proceed in their meeting, "I apologize if either one of us came across as rude. I can't say the same for my student, but it's been a many long years since I've seen-"
"What am I?" came a savagely drained voice, tugging at Essanul's heart as much as his attention.
He raised his head to allow him a cautious glance, finding the woman with her open palm being slid across with her fingers, eyes turned in something resembling terror. As if she wasn't sure of her skin, or even her very body, being truly real, she continued pressing against various parts of her body, though her question denoted something far more serious. Essanul hadn't a clue how to continue, simply watching warily, with something of worry on his face.
She repeated, anguish lining her voice, confusion troubling her, "What- What am I?"
Her attention bolted toward the entryway as Cylorne strode in with a rushing gait, coming to a halt only after entering the hut. His eyes immediately landed upon the eredar, though quickly spun toward his master as he noticed her meeting gaze.
"I got the, uh- water," explained Cylorne, raising his hand in offering.
Essanul asked in stinging hurry, "Did you tell any-"
"No!" his student explained immediately, "To the creek and back. Nothing else."
With a sigh dripping with relief, Essanul dropped his head in exasperation, "Good. We're going to handle this carefully; she-"
The younger man's haste now betrayed him as he interrupted his master, a softer voice, but certainly one that could be heard, "I agree. She may be beautiful, but given what she is, I doubt our neighbors will-"
Essanul's ill-tempered stare halted the man's voice, leaving Cylorne wo daring quizzically, "W- What?"
"She speaks Darnassian," the elder explained plainly, leaving Cylorne teetering on panic while his eyes turned toward the eredar woman.
Almost with expectation, the woman looked upon Cylorne with pleading eyes, "What- What am I..?"
Cylorne's panic suddenly turned to befuddlement at such an odd question, Essanul's shifting toward the bed forcing the woman's head darting back toward the elder, Essanul's voice carefully flowing from his lips, "Look, we'll do our best to explain what you need to have known. In return, we're going to need some answers from you as well. Understand?"
The woman lowered her head regretfully, "I- What help can I be? I know nothing."
Seeming to reflect her own puzzlement over her very body, Essanul sighed thoughtfully before sitting down beside the cot and nodding, "Well, we'll take it slow and see where we can get, alright? Cylorne, brew some tea."
He smiled toward the woman, "You might be worlds away from home, but I'm sure you will still find our tea to your liking."
Those words were intended to hold dual meanings, though the woman's quizzical glances didn't seem any more pronounced at the revelation that she was an entire world apart from her own. Essanul noted such before clearing his throat, before rubbing his hands together as though preparing for an extended apothecary session.
"Now, perhaps the most important question. Have you a name?"
The woman watched him with something of sadness lining her brow, "I- I don't know."
Essanul nodded, "I figured as much. My protégé had taken to referring to you as A'lysae on occasion. It seems to fit: 'lost girl from the stars'. If you might accept that, perhaps it might better help you acclimate for the time being."
The woman lowered her head, eyes shining upon her hands as if expecting some change to occur at having been given something of a label for something of her self. She knew nothing about her body, but even less about the consciousness behind her eyes. She recognized that it was her own thoughts, but not from whence they came; she recognized that she was speaking, herself, but not how those words flowed from her mind- how must they have formed and articulated? As she thought, even that idea of self seemed ineffable.
A'lysae. It may have from the mind of another being, yet it was something for which she might be able to construct who she was. It was concrete, and even more, social.
She muttered passively, as if testing the name on her tongue, "A'lysae…"
Essanul seemed to have caught some of her uncertainty, or perhaps he simply sought to help explain what she had already shown to not understand, "That might be something conjured up, even if it does describe you quite well so far as the Kaldorei tongue is concerned."
A'lysae's eyes fluttered up toward Cylorne as he approached, warily, a nervousness crawling along his scalp at the woman before him speaking the name he'd given her simply by his own passing thoughts. He carefully sat down two mugs, pouring in the warm tea as his master nodded in acceptance.
"Try some," Essanul smiled, "My apprentice might be mouthy, but he means well, and knows how to brew."
Despite a droll stare toward his master, Cylorne's nerves kept him for retorting, his neck quivering as the woman, A'lysae, reached over to take a gentle sip of the tea he himself had conjured up.
"So, you have a name," Essanul nodded with a gentle tone, "Perhaps something more…concrete. Your body, your form, shape- You are what's known as eredar, in our tongue."
A'lysae's eyes lit up expectantly as she pulled the mug away from her mouth, "My form- That implies there are more of me?"
"Not on this world," Essanul frowned, "That's why we were so surprised to discover you here. For lack of better words- about a month ago, a bright light fell from the skies above, careening into the strait along our shores. You were simply washed ashore soon after that; and though I'm familiar with your form, I know not from where you originated nor how to send you back."
Her brow furrowed darkly, her sadness shone along her face as she contemplated the elder's words. Absentmindedly, she had begun stroking her hands and arms, alternating from either side as she attempted nearly to ensure that the body she was within was truly her own and not a mirage. Essanul watched contemplatively, unsure of how best to advance, simply continuing as best he could.
"Your kind has shown up here before, though not with the best of tidings," he continued, harrowingly so, "Many who were alive then and still walk this land- Let's just say the eredar aren't viewed with the most flattering of lenses; another reason for my apprentices' worry."
Concerned, A'lysae wondered aloud, "Sh- Should I be worrying? Frightening perhaps?"
Recognizing this as another attempt at understanding herself, Essanul couldn't help but grin at such a childish inquiry, replying easily, "No child; not unless you wish to be. You certainly don't look the part, I'd say, anyway."
"That said," Essanul continued, taking another sip while pointing A'lysae along to direct her to do the same, "We've given you a name. I'm afraid, beyond that, there's not much we can offer you other than answers and help. So far in my life, I've learned that much."
"Learned what?" she wondered.
Essanul smirked, cocking his head toward Cylorne, "You can't choose what others are. Only yourself."
Crossing his arms, Cylorne's brow curled distasteful as he leaned against the supply table, "I can't help but notice your little gesture there, master…"
"So uncertain is my apprentice," Essanul chuckled, "I've told him many times he's too good for my instruction- that he would learn further in Darnassus or Astranaar. He refuses, despite my insistence."
Shrugging, Cylorne challenged with feigned humbleness, "Excuse me for making sure you're not keeling over from all the errands you'd be running, literally, yourself."
Essanul hid a knowing smile from his protégé as A'lysae watched with tender curiosity, the elder directing without commitment, "Though, you're awake now. You appear to be healthy. You've a whole world to find your place in, and in that, you're not alone- you're in quite good company."
He nodded before rising to his feet, taking his mug to be rinsed before continuing, "As I've said, we've all the help you might need. If you choose to stay, or go, well- that's up to you now, isn't it?"
Cylorne's lips twisted at his master's insinuation of suggesting her leave, though he knew it to be true. Still, he hated the shallow thought of such a pretty being as her making her exit, particularly when, so far as they knew, she was the only woman of her kind upon Azeroth.
As if catching his thoughts, A'lysae spoke up with tumult in her tone, "…Where would I go?"
Such gravity behind mere few words, Essanul thought sadly, taking a moment to sigh deeply, stroking his beard to divert her eyes from his own solemn, quickly sorrowful pair, "Well… That's up to you, I suppose."
"It would be advantageous enough to stay, I mean-," Cylorne muttered with a shrug, pausing under a sudden stare from his master, "The people of this town wouldn't be subjected to surprise upon seeing you, at the very least. Anywhere else, you know-"
He came to a halt, finally succumbing to Essanul's piercing gaze as A'lysae's gaze meandered between the two Kaldorei in uncertain attention, until Essanul spoke up with a grumble, "He does speak the truth. You'd be alien anywhere, but at least here the blow might be weakened while you compose yourself. I do suppose you merely have amnesia, correct?"
A'lysae's wary eyes fell in confusion, shaking her voice as she answered, "I don't know."
"I suppose you wouldn't," Essanul frowned, pulling his lips to the side credulously, "My student makes a fine point. If you carry your weight around here- Mathystra is populated with Kaldorei who've chosen the more contemplative life away from the hubbub of the world. Support yourself and they'll respect you, regardless of any form you've been given from birth. unless eredar hatch or something."
Even that A'lysae did not know, though Cylorne hid a feverish expression as he turned away, his mind wandering pitiably toward such ignominious thoughts. His attention only piqued by the sudden burst of sound from outside- the sound of light beating against hollowed wood, like a chute of bamboo having been tapped with a hammer- forcing Cylorne's eyes toward his suddenly exasperated master.
"The order," he sighed, noting A'lysae's immediate recoil in fear, "That's one of Shadehelms' Boys. Cylorne, just make small talk while I finish up, will you?"
Cylorne nodded warily, "I'll, uh, try. It's the week of the new moon; they'll be wanting haste on their side."
"So I'll be quick. You lack faith in these old bones?" Essanul retorted with a wily enough voice that seemed to shed a few centuries of age from him, waving Cylorne off and leaving his apprentice with a moment's worried glance before the younger man took off toward the entryway.
The elder's head quaked from side to side as he strode back toward his table, allowing A'lysae a moment's respite from the overflow of information that had washed over her. She had heard and understood the two men's words, yet their words still seemed to slice off past her. She collected them and thought on them, running it past her psyche: A'lysae? Eredar? These words, the had meaning, she knew; but what of that meaning? Of what meaning where the meanings of those meanings?
The back of her neck quivered as her mind churned further backwards, a shiver cruising down her spine and causing a sudden jolt just behind her hips which caused her eyes to w9den in surprise. It sent her body forward, twisting around to find the small of her back suddenly coiling into something of a tail that had suddenly flopped around at her mind's fluid whirring.
Another burst of sound yanked her attention back toward Essanul as the elder slammed shut a case of vials, grumbling at his own insistence as he started collecting his work, "He's going to want them hand delivered, so-"
Essanul turned to watch A'lysae with thoughtful eyes, "Just- wait here until we return. We'll see about acclimatizing you in a steady enough fashion, until you're comfortable enough to leave, that is."
In his rush, he didn't bother to wait for affirmation from the alien presence in the room, simply stepping quickly toward the door as a massive THUD broke the air, bringing him to a sudden halt, dropping his head in subjugated tire as Cylorne's voice, muffled as it was through the fabric walls, began barking aloud in noticeable anger.
Essanul returned to his quick gait, leaving A'lysae's head turning to follow him, stopping only as he vanished through the doorway. Her dimly lit eyes peered absently across the hut-like medicine tent, slowly grazing across the environment while she took in her surroundings, uninhibited by anyone else's gaze. She recognized none of it; not even anything she might have picked up by association. It was all wholly new to her, she noticed with a worrisome thought.
Quickly, her attention turned back to the protrusion behind her, her head turning over her shoulder to find the tail there that must have been a characteristic of those eredar- what else could it have been? Still, the thought of her being told what the 'eredar' were, only to discover something further about them, namely their tails, stuck in her mind. It was an almost feverish curiosity: what about her was the eredar form?
She slowly pushed herself up to her feet, only to find her legs weakened by disuse, though not to detrimental effect, allowing her to stand with but a small strain along her muscles. Her head collapsed toward her chest; she examined her body, first noting the cloven hooves that made up her feet, wondering if that were weird or not. She hadn't noticed any tails on the two men, but hadn't bothered examining their feet. Even so, for how bulky their bodies were, hers was more fluid, lithe. Her body flowed downward, buried beneath clothing, but still, her eyes couldn't help but trace her shape from where her point of view rested atop her shoulders.
She reached down with absent curiosity, pressing fingers against herself, poking along her body while allowing her mind to register the gentle pangs of sensations, of touch becoming evermore concrete. Soon enough realizing the curling pulses of impressions upon her would continue wherever she touched, she reached around, allowing her curiosity to carry her hand to that tail, wrapping around it to find much the same flicker of electricity shooting up her spine. This body, she thought… It was her own. It must have been, were it so joined to this mind of hers, right?
Her blue eyes jumped up as the sound of activity suddenly sprang into her ears, releasing her tail quickly as Cylorne stomped back into the tent with a grumbling growl of exasperation, "Stupid Shadehelm; wouldn't know a goddamned thing without screwing up eighty-five times to finally learn. You know last time I took them their potions, he took a swig just to ensure its potency, as if he didn't trust us!"
Rubbing his hand along his face, Essanul followed behind the furious young man, Cylorne heatedly slamming flasks onto the work bench as he emptied out the cupboard above, spewing still, "I didn't even bother letting him know of the adverse effects of using such a concoction without a sweltered wound."
"Cylorne, child, you must take such things in stride," Essanul sighed, "The man takes his crew out just into the Veiled Sea; he's going to want everything one hundred percent accounted for. It's no slight upon us."
The apprentice frowned, turning toward Essanul, "Why am I having to be the one offended on your behalf?!"
"Because I'm not offended," Essanul shrugged, shaking his head, "Shadehelm's just doing what he's done his entire life; what he's been bred, raised, and taught to. There's no changing the man, and so long as he's paying us for our services, who cares what he-"
The elder's eyes curled curiously at the feeling of being viewed, turning to find A'lysae standing there, her eyes aimed almost in vicious observation down toward Cylorne's backside, leaving Essanul to hold back a chuckle, "My dear, what are you-"
A'lysae's attention drew toward the man, not an ounce of shame of embarrassment found upon her as she simply explained, "The two of you don't seem to have tails yourselves."
His anger quickly transforming into wary conclusion, Cylorne eyed his master pensively while the older man smirked, shaking his head, "There seems to be much more for you to learn than I thought. Cylorne, why don't you-"
Essanul paused once he turned to find his protégé enamoured by the sight of A'lysae's tail himself, suddenly recalling that he hadn't ever seen their patient before she'd been laid upon their cot for observation.
"Why don't you collect the day's orders and we'll take our eredar with us on delivery," Essanul suggested simply, earning him a worried glance from Cylorne, "Regardless of her purpose here on Azeroth, Mathystra is to be her first step into our world proper. A'lysae will make of it what she may."
Taking a brief moment to mull over the man's words, Cylorne silently nodded, allowing his eyes only a quick glimpse of A'lysae once again before spinning around toward the work bench and preparing a collection of concoctions for transport. Essanul watched approvingly at his apprentice's studious movements before catching A'lysae's eyes upon him once more.
"I assure you, I'm not hiding one, either," Essanul replied lightly with a scant smirk.
At that, A'lysae's eyes raised up with completely curiosity, seemingly content with his assurance.