(( OOC note below was written by "Wendy", Nadezhda's writer. ))
((Adri and I wrote this part of the story together, each contributing our character's actions and dialogue to the text.))
At one of the fine tables within Silvermoon's more luxurious inn, the small woman leaned far over to study her work. Her fingers had lost their nimble dexterity bit by bit in each season since her death, and her eyesight was not what it once was. Though the process was immeasurably more difficult than it had been even just a year before, Nadezhda worked slowly and deliberately with the flowers in front of her. While she waited for Jendria to find her, Naddie had passed the time quietly and alone. There were no familiar faces in Silvermoon, now; she imagined most of those she knew before her enlistment with the Dawn had likely moved on to aid the efforts in Northrend. Preparing the herbs calmed her, as it always had. Now more than ever she needed something to settle her nerves. Not for the first time, she looked over her shoulder at the archway that lead out to the city's bazaar. A relieved smile spread across her face as she spotted the elf just inside the door.
Naddie dropped the herbs and stood, smoothing her dress as she did. It was clear that the Forsaken had taken some care with her appearance now that she had returned to the sin'doreian city. She had traded the rough traveling robe she had worn throughout her service in the Plaguelands for a high-collared black dress made of the finest mageweave. Though Naddie understood little of the politics and hierarchy of the blood elves, she had always gotten the impression that Jendria was a lady of some importance. Nadezhda feared displeasing her friend, particularly a friend who had gone to such great lengths to aid her.
"Dree," Naddie said as she took a step toward the other woman. "It has been far too long."
Smiling warmly to the Forsaken, Jendria finished closing the distance between them and reached out her hands to take those of the other woman. "Indeed it has, Naddie. Far too long." Spotting the herbs on the table, she indicated the seats with her head. "Perhaps we should be seated for a bit?"
Naddie squeezed Jendria's hands gently for just a moment before releasing them. "Of course," she replied as she turned to sit once more. She surveyed the elf curiously for a moment before she spoke again. "Did you come here from Stormwind?" she asked, her voice now lowered to a whisper.
The sin'dorei smiled to her friend as she took the seat next to her. Adjusting her chair to face the Forsaken, she pretended to be looking over the herbs as she answered in a lowered voice, not quite technically a whisper. "Not directly, but recently so." She glanced about the room without raising her head. "Some things we should not speak of here, such as names... but the item I have for you and information about it we can discuss."
Running a practiced hand over the table, Naddie attempted to maintain the ruse that their conversation was focused upon the herbs. "An item?" she asked, unable to keep the anxious excitement from her voice.
Jendria lifted her regard from the herbs and her voice returned to a more normal level. "I do have something for you, but I must warn you that it is not without risk to you." She reached into her sleeve and produced a small object wrapped in a bit of red silk, tied off. "It's a memory crystal, much like the one you may remember Lothwenna describing a while back. This one is intended as a message to you, but the sender is not experienced in the use these crystals. As such, experiencing it could be more traumatic than normal." She shrugged, watching her friend for her reaction.
The Forsaken raised a trembling hand to her mouth and stared down at the bit of silk in Jendria's palm. She was quiet for several long moments as she took in everything the elf had told her. Finally, she turned her gaze back to Dree's eyes. "Experiencing it? What do you mean by that?"
Dree tapped her chin lightly with her forefinger as she considered how to give a layman's explanation of the workings of a memory crystal. "It is... the thoughts and impressions... well, really, everything that makes up a memory, or a set of memories. It is not just knowledge, but emotions. Sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and even pain - though the latter is much muted in memory. What comes through with that is more the knowledge of the pain than feeling it. How much of a memory comes through can be limited with practice... but this sender lacks such practice."
Naddie looked down to the crystal with awe. "Incredible," she said quietly.
"Since you are also not experienced with them, for you to make use of it ... well, I can not in good conscience let you do so without someone suitable watching over you for the duration. In this case, 'suitable' means knowing at least something of the use of these crystals and having your welfare in mind. I suspect that only Lothwenna and I really meet that description, and I've not seen Loth recently. Of course, you may have met someone else by now who would also meet those requirements." The blood elf gave a graceful half-shrug while tilting her head in such a fashion as to make the last statement more of a question.
Naddie shook her head quickly. "In my travels I have met no one who appeared to be so skilled in arcane magic as you or Lothwenna. Nor have I met someone who I would trust more to-" she hesitated, glancing up at the other patrons of the inn to ensure their attention was otherwise occupied. "To help me with something like this," she carefully finished.
A fleeting blink preceded a warm smile from Jendria. She reached out her hand to grasp the Forsaken's arm briefly. "Thank you, Nadezhda. That means a very great deal to me." She brought her hand back to tap at her chin once more. "We will also need a more suitable place for you to be effectively comatose for ... possibly several hours, really, while in the grip of a strong dream, or what amounts to that in how you'll likely experience the message."
Withdrawing a small silken pouch from her pocket, Naddie then quickly swept the herbs from the table into the bag as she spoke. "Comatose?" she asked. "The effect will be so strong?"
A shrug greeted the question.
She gave a sharp sigh and shook her head again. "I mean no disrespect, Dree, but I cannot say that I care for this magic. Such an illusion, a distortion of the truth, seems to me to be against the teachings of the Light. Do not misunderstand," she said quickly as she finished gathering the last of the herbs. "There is nothing in the world that would prevent me from receiving a message from ... from her."
A slow nod with a wry smile came from the sin'dorei.
She placed the pouch back into her pocket before reaching her hand across the table to touch Jendria's wrist. "I am sorry. I do not mean to seem ungrateful, particularly when you offer me so much and have risked your own safety to carry this object," she said with a nod to the scrap of red silk. "I will trust in your good judgement and your knowledge of this magic to keep me safe during the process. As for a venue?" Naddie shrugged, then continued. "Perhaps Telquessa's manor would be suitable? I cannot imagine anyone would bother us there."
Another, slower nod from Jendria met the suggestion, and she smiled. "Yes, I should think that would be a most suitable place. And thank you again for your trust in me. As for what sort of magic it is... well, you'll see, and then perhaps we'll be able to discuss it if you feel that appropriate." She chuckled softly and rose, smoothing any folds from her green spidersilk gown. "Perhaps we should be off, then?"