[Story] Andeline

Andeline’s morning prayers were interrupted, not by the usual buzzing of a bee or children playing outside the wall, but a visit from Master Sunfall.

“I thought I might find you here,” she said, letting her gaze wander around the small garden. Though not large, it was well-kept and neatly tended, a small fountain gurgled in the center, near a bench. Andeline found it a peaceful place to read — most mornings. “You aren’t in the practice yard,” Master Sunfall remarked.

“No,” Andeline said, closing her book carefully so as not to rumple any pages. “I was going to, though. Later.”

Master Sunfall’s expression was unreadable, as it always was. She was the oldest among their small group, but she was the toughest old person that Andeline had ever known. She could still beat all of the adepts, and most of the knights, at sparring. She always had a regal air, no matter what she was doing, and always gave the impression that you’d disappointed her somehow. Her blonde hair was tied back tightly, and there were streaks of silver in it. Andeline couldn’t begin to imagine how long Master Sunfall had lived, or all of the things she’d seen. She was inspiring and terrifying all at once, and to have her sharing the garden now was a bit unsettling.

The blood knight master inclined her head slightly. “Actually,” she said, “I’ve something to ask of you. A special assignment, of sorts.”

Andeline’s ears perked up slightly. “F-for me?” She wanted to wait and hear what sort of assignment it was before she agreed to it, but even to be chosen was exciting. Andeline had passed her trials a year before, but hadn’t gone to Kalimdor with the others. She’d always felt it was because she wasn’t quite good enough, though no one had ever actually said it. It was just a feeling she got, the way they talked about her sometimes.

Master Sunfall drew a small folded paper out from her pocket, and put it into Andeline’s hands. “There are rumors of summoner activity at the ziggurats,” she explained. “Likely nothing more than that, rumor, but it must be investigated.” Andeline blinked, and looked at the paper. There was a person’s name written on it. “That is the ranger captain in the area,” Master Sunfall continued. “He no doubt has some more information.”

Investigate summoners? By herself? Master Sunfall must have seen the doubt in her expression. “If you have need of help, the rangers will be close by. Your attention to detail is impeccable. I’ve no doubt you won’t miss anything — if there is anything to be found.” It was a compliment, of sorts, but Andeline thought the real reason she was chosen was because she was fairly worthless with a weapon. If there were summoners still in the Ghostlands, what was she supposed to do about it? What if the rangers were too busy, or worse, wanted nothing to do with any blood knights?

“There’s a horse in the stable for you,” Master Sunfall said, and Andeline realized the decision had already been made for her. Hopefully the whole matter would be over soon.

 

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