Wynsmea paused at the edge of the rough camp beside the ancient elven road. This part of Kalimdor was different from some of the other places she'd been. It felt open like the Barrens, but the mountains and the trees spoke of Time, ancient Time, and still seemed to reverberate with a heavy and thick magic.
"What could this empty and ancient place hold to fascinate a mage like him?" she murmured to herself.
With a shake of her head to pull her thoughts away from speculation, Wynsmea took a deep breath and shifted her belt with it's pouches to rest more comfortably upon her hips. A rough nudge nearly knocked her off feet while I stamp of hooves signaled general impatience to run from the palomino at her shoulder. Gently she lifted her hand to caress the nose of her horse. It's armor was sparkling thanks to the stable-boy in Stormwind. "Alright already, Mister Impatient." With a grumble and stiff movements, she mounted and settled her cloak about her to ward off the cold. With a press of her knees and a shift of reins, they turned to follow the road east, into the breeze with a hint of salt.
Wynsmea blinked her eyes slowly, trying to stay awake, opening them again through sheer force of will. The melodic voice of Jennea Cannon droned on in the background, fading in and out of recognizable speech.
"...Azhara, has been asking..."
Exhaustion pulled at every muscle in her body. The pulse of magic she could normally feel vibrating around her in the bricks and mortars of the Mage Quarter in Stormwind City was nothing but a dull drone, oddly adding to the nonsense she was attempting to listen to.
"His tower..." the voice flowed on, Mage Trainer Cannon apparantly oblivious to Wyn's struggle. Endurance was a necessary part of the magecraft, and the ability to focus, to continue on in other ways while magic restored itself within and without. It wouldn't do to be seen as weak, not now, not when the needs of the Kingdom seemed to be growing with the dangers risked and evils prevented.
Another shake of her head, this time slower despite the vigorous attempt to rally muscles and stay awake.
"Mage? Mage Wynsmea?" She couldn't even straighten her shoulders, her robe, her belt. The table had at some point become where her hand was braced, but she could feel her elbow sagging, tendons and muscles trembling.
"For the love of.. Master Dumas! Sir?!" Suddenly Wyn's eyes were really not open anymore, but she was sure she hadn't fallen yet. Mage Cannon's voice rose, answered by a deeper male voice, but it took all of Wyn's concentration to keep her feet beneath her and not collapse upon the table and whatever magical device Jennea had been crafting and using.
Firm hands gripped her shoulders, an authoritative voice snapped out, answered by both gruff and soothing tones, before softness pressed against her body.
Then darkness took hold.
Wynsmea Falcoren's eyes blinked suddenly and she sat up slowly, groaning at stiff muscles. The smell of a thick stew and fresh bread filled the room, which, as she looked around, seemed to belong to an Inn. She could hear quiet voices from what she assumed was the common area, but the building was sound and she couldn't make out the language. Try as she might, she couldn't remember where she was.
"Did I make it to Stormwind?" She shifted slowly so her legs hung down the side of the bed while she stretched her arms, and rotated neck and shoulder muscles.
The door thrust itself open, and Wyn was still too befuddled from sleep to react. Mage Trainer Cannon stopped moving and stopped talking to whoever was in the hallway at sight of Wyn sitting up, folded her arms, an stared sternly at her.
Wynsmea hadn't felt like a child for years, but she felt her back stiffen and her head dropped guiltily at that look automatically.
"Yes you ARE in Stormwind, mage. And if it were up to me you'd stay here a week resting, recuperating, and serving in the library stacks as punishment for letting yourself get to such a state that you collapsed in the Tower!" The clear and musical voice was still clear, still musical, but quite strident. Her body didn't relax. But Jennea took a deep breath and stepped aside so an aging female face could peek in, before nodding and shuffling off. Jennea responded merely with an arch of her brow, then closed the door, pulled the chair out from the table where the food sat, and pointedly stared at Wyn.
With a swallow and a glance between Mage Cannon and the food, she stood slowly and shuffled to the chair, collapsing into it before reaching for the silverware.
"But your next missions are not up to me, you've been deemed fit enough, and you DO have things to do." With a sigh, Mage Cannon began straightening the linen on the bed while Wyn watched from the corner of her eye, swallowing stew and bread by big mouthfuls.
"Master Dumas was not pleased to interrupt his work to bring you to the Blue Feather, girl, so I hope you think up a suitable apology and repayment of his time and energy. I can only imagine it is because you are a mage and not another warrior traveling via the portals we keep in the tower that he did so at all. Otherwise the medics in the Chapel would have been sent for instead!"
Wyn's brain was starting to work a bit better as the food energized her more. Mage Cannon's scandalized tone was curious, and she set aside the puzzle to figure out which goaded her more, the need for a medic for a mage, or Master Dumas interrupting his work. Struggling to hide her grin, Wyn busily finished her food while listening.
"Your next assignment is that you return to investigate the plaguelands and contact the Mage assigned to man Light's Hope Chapel, but undoubtedly you remember me telling you of Archmage Xylem's request. Before you passed out you seemed interested enough, and I'm not sure when you'll have another chance to see..." Jennea seemed to reconsider her words and cleared her throat behind her hand, before smiling stiffly and setting down a pile of gear onto the cleared table.
Wyn blinked and wondered how she had removed the dishes so quickly and summoned familiar looking gear without her noticing.
"Archmage Xylem?" Wyn rubbed her temple and jogged her memory. The tricks her uncle had taught her for memorization kicked in and she replayed the last conversation she had had with Mage Trainer Cannon. "Yes. I did want to see what the Archmage needed done." Currying favor with an Archmage is a sound plan.. "But traveling through the Night Elf lands..." grim dread seemed to echo in Wyn's voice.
"The elves are our allies! They won't begrudge you. And there is so much to do in the Plaguelands, think of this trip as your recovery time from foolishly taxing your energies to such dangerous levels, Mage Falconar." Jennea's voice had become strict again, and Wyn was glad she had no intention of arguing. "Your things are here, the passage for you has been tallied in our books and paid for at the docks already. Simply show them your Stormwind City Mage marker." With a last glance around, Mage Trainer Jennea Cannon strode to the door and pulled it open, then glanced over her shoulder back at Wynsmea.
Wynsmea popped to her feet, pushed the chair in and bowed formally. "Thank you, Mage Cannon, for your assistance." Without a response, the mage turned and left the room, leaving the door ajar, signaling obviously that Wyn was to leave as well.
A glance around and subtle hints of a personality imbuing the room made Wyn feel suddenly invasive, as if she were trespassing. Quickly, she checked her gear and counted her stores, then grunted and heaved the whole into her arms. Carefully she wove her way through the hallway of the House, whispering a command that closed the door silently behind her. No one in the common room glanced at another mage, and Wyn was too focused to get outside to feel the attention of those studiously not watching her.
At an empty outdoor table, she set her stuff down and waited. A few coppers and a whispered command, and a young stable boy ran off. Leaning back, she tilted her head to stare up at the heights of the Mage Tower across the City, and considered what lay before her.