It had been a week since Hethurin had first woke up in the strange room at a high elven outpost in Crystalsong Forest. The only person he had seen during that time was Zayel. She spent much of her day with him in the room, though usually she was at her desk when she wasn’t tending his wounds. She tried speaking to him each time she washed him with the herb-infused water, but he usually declined to answer her questions. When he did respond, it was usually short, one-word answers. He spent most of his time staring out the window at the crystallized tree tops while thinking about home.
Zayel was much more talkative than he was. She shared stories of her training as a priestess, of her trips to Dalaran, and about the guard who had helped her bring him to the outpost. He’d heard enough to figure out the guard liked her, but Zayel didn’t seem to notice. Hethurin didn’t point it out.
He’d also learned that his leg injury was severe. His lower right leg had a gash in it that cut almost down to the bone, and his thigh on the same leg also had a deep gash. The wound on his thigh was lengthwise, and while not as deep as the one on his calf, it was long, and just as painful. Both had swelled up around the edges and looked awful during the first couple of days at the outpost, but now the swelling had gone down. Zayel said he was on the mend, but still wouldn’t let him leave. His wrists were still firmly held by the arcane shackles.
He was more awake now than he had been the first few days. She had told him he had a nasty bump on his head, but she wouldn’t fetch him a mirror. She did seem concerned about his head injury. To be honest, he was too, but just in the past day his headache had lessened. He took that as a good sign even if he couldn’t walk yet. He hoped to convince Zayel that he would be fine if he teleported home.
He waited until Zayel sat next to the bed with bowl of water. She started dabbing the damp cloth on his forehead. It stung a bit, but it wasn’t too bad. “How are you feeling this afternoon?”
Hethurin decided to get straight to the point, “Better. May I leave now?”
Zayel smiled, “I’m glad you’re feeling better, but I can tell you’re still weak. I would be responsible if I let you leave and you didn’t make it to your destination.”
Hethurin frowned as she dipped the cloth in the bowl of water , “I’ll make it.”
She pressed the cloth against his forehead again, causing him to wince. “You don’t know that. You’ll need at least a few weeks to recover your full magic ability.” She glanced at his leg, “And at least a few months to recovery physically. I may let you go once I have a better idea of your magic capabilities. If I know you can make it to somewhere you can continue to heal physically, I won’t have a problem seeing you off, but for now you are quite weak, both physically and magically.”
“I’m weak because you keep these arcane shackles on me constantly. I can’t cast anything with them on.”
“Those are there to make sure you don’t do anything stupid.”
“I’m not going to!”
“You’ll try to attempt to teleport home the moment I remove them.”
Hethurin glared at her. Of course he would, and it wasn’t a stupid idea.
She regarded him curiously, “I’d offer to help get you home, but you obviously won’t be able to walk from where my portal would be, and since I’ve never seen your home, I can’t open one directly there.” She picked up the bowl and stood, taking her time as she walked around to the other side of the bed. He felt her sit down on the bed behind him, and heard her wring the water out of the cloth. He felt the cloth against the wounds on his back. They still stung a bit, but not as much. She spoke again, “Besides, there’s something off about you, and I’d like to figure out what it is before I let you go.”
He almost let that go without a response, but curiosity got the best of him, “Off?”
“Off. It’s almost as if you don’t belong here.” She continued dabbing the cloth at the wounds on his back.
“No, a sin’dorei doesn’t have much business being at a quel’dorei outpost. I just want to go home.”
“It’s not that, nor does it have anything to do with the purge in Dalaran.”
“I don’t know what it is then.” Hethurin twitched an ear.
“I find it curious. That’s all.”
He refused to answer anymore of her questions, choosing instead to stare intently at the crystal tree tops out the window until she was done tending his wounds and had returned to her desk. Then he drifted off to sleep again.