“– Is back! Pryn is back! Pryn –”
Frantic panting, noises of excitement that don’t form any coherent words. “Pryn’s back — it was — oh man — oh man!
I gotta — I gotta calm down. Gotta breathe.”
There’s a few minutes of steady, deliberate breathing, and then finally he speaks again.
“So… Okay. Pryn… I know I’ve talked about her but… I don’t think you really know who she is. Pryn is… Amazing. Pryn is my closest friend, she’s the person I tell the most to. She was the first person to really surprise me here — but… For sort of a weird reason.
Pryn is a Draenei. She uh… If anyone ever heard these, she’d hate me for telling anyone this but who is going to listen to you? I mean.. No offense, but you’re just a rock. I’m talking to a rock. You’re my secret talk-rock.
Pryn’s full name is Prynciss. Yes. Like Princess. In fact, she told me that her real name WAS Princess, not — not Prynciss. It sounds almost identical, this is kinda hard to… I mean. Yeah. Anyhow.
She’s a beautiful white draenei with this fine layer of downy white fur. It’s so soft and sleek you don’t even notice until you touch her and then it’s just like oh! She’s small for her species, kinda like me. She has beautiful curly white hair and beautiful twisting horns that kinda make her look like a dreamrunner. She runs through my dreams, that’s for sure…”
Even though the crystal is private, he coughs awkwardly into his hand. “Heh uh… But yeah. She’s a priestess, I think she does healing and stuff for the Church, I’m not really sure. But… Since I’m going to be a full Argent, I asked her to teach me a bit about the Light. She um. She got so excited that she cried.
I guess, I mean… There’s a word, ’empathy’ and this girl’s got it in spades. She takes care of everyone around her as best she can. I… I’m not going to pretend that she’s the best or the smartest or even understands how everything works when you’re hungry and thin, but she tries. She wants to. And she makes your pain her pain. There’s something really… I dunno. Validating? It… makes you feel more like “yeah, this thing I thought was bad really is bad. It’s okay to feel bad about it.
When I found out that Totegar had moved on without me so quickly and I felt just… destroyed inside, she made me feel like it was important and it was ok to be hurt. She liked my singing and liked being close to me, especially alone. When I laughed, she laughed. When I was sad, she held me. When I cried, she wiped my tears or cried with me. When I kissed her, she blushed.
And then I found out she’d be on a mission with the Church to Terrokar. She was scared. I was scared. And I tried not to act like it was even going to be that big of a deal. But… It kinda was a big deal. I’ve… seen war. I’ve seen what can happen. I’ve seen people die. But she was supposed to go to Terrokar, that place should have been relatively safe.
But before she left, we made a contract. That if something happened to her, I would go into the Nether and drag her spirit right back out. And if something happened to me, she would do the same. I promise to make good on that contract.
A few days before she left, she came to me out by the pond, crying. She told me that she had to tell me something, she was already crying and her tail was lashing like a frightened cat and I remember that we kissed a day or so ago and my first thought it “Awesome, so I crossed the line after all” and I’m kinda, standing there, waiting for her to get her confidence up to tell me I crossed the line cuz I mean… It’s hard, keeping up boundaries. I know. I get it. I broke Tess’ fucking nose once trying to learn how to say ‘no’ and she wasn’t even being serious.
So I’m trying to look as calm and non-aggressive as possible and she tells me that she likes me. And so I’m calmly waiting for the ‘but’… And it never comes. She just keeps… going on about how she likes me and I start to realize. Oh shit. She likes me. Someone like her can like someone like me?
And it was like…” He makes an explosion noise with his mouth, the crystal rattles slightly as it shifts, probably on his blankets.
“Mind was just — blown. Just like a goblin had rigged my brain with explosives. I didn’t… I didn’t know what to do but…. It was amazing.”
There’s a low sigh and a few heartbeats of silence.
“And then she was gone… But I sent her care packages from home. Crystals and a way to listen to them. It was… nice. I got to learn about the Light, I got to see pictures of and the horse they gave her. She told me about the mission. About how her commander was mean to her because she was Draenei. About not fitting in… About a lot of things…
And… Then the crystals stopped. I tried to be patient. I tried to wait. But one morning I wake up to a letter from her mothers. See, she was raised by Goblins, and the two are a very… terrifying duo based out of Gadgetzan.
They hired myself, Seratoph, a Pandaren and two… Well. I actually don’t know what they were, they were both very odd and completely covered. I couldn’t even tell their species. Her mothers told us that her team had returned home without her, we were to go find out what happened. And it would apparently be best to hide our identities.
I found a leather helm that looked like an animal skull and pulled it on. I uh. Insisted that people call me Jackal instead of Jaxkol… I… I felt so bad ass you have no idea. And then we headed out to Terrokar.
We found the outpost she was supposed to be stationed at, but no one knew where she was. Noble was there though, but they just said he’d wandered back by himself. No one thought to check for her? No one thought to go after her? Fucking angry. That’s what we were, fucking angry.
I got on Noble and he lead me close to the old ruins of Auchindoun before he bucked me off and ran. The area… hurt. It hurt my head, it gave me the worst migraine. It felt like a wall of magic. Of something we couldn’t see. The two strange ones I didn’t recognized tried to cut through with spellswords and…”
There’s a long pause, shifting of a body squirming uncomfortably to find words for something he can’t understand.
“…something… Happened. All of a sudden I wasn’t.. me… anymore. I was a Draenei, on Draenor back when Draenor was bright and shining and new. There were others around me, hurrying, frightened. The Demons were coming and we had to hide the Artifact. There was this mage — I somehow knew his name was Lukaa. He was frantic and angry and bossing us around, demanding that we prepare the defenses so that he may save the Artifact and… I don’t…
I don’t know what that meant. We fought… it was so disorienting, it was a blur of blue blood and demons and… and… It was so unreal… And as soon as it started, there was an explosion of fel around us and suddenly we were sprawled on the broken bones and dust again. And the feeling was gone…
Instead… there was Pryn and her last remaining teammate. And the corpses of several orc tomb raiders. She was… she was a mess. She didn’t even cry. She couldn’t cry. She just… stared.
We got her home. Well. We got her to one of the nightclubs her mothers own. It… everyone was quiet. And… confused, I think. I stayed with her that night, she slept on the bed and I sat on the floor against it and held her hand until I fell asleep. Some time in the night I was woken by a pair of goblins who opened a portal for me back home.
It… …Yeah… It was weird. I don’t think it’s something I’ll forget any time soon. But… But the important part! She’s back! She’s back and she’s safe and I don’t have to worry anymore!”
A low sigh and a soft groan. “It still might have been a bit early for that kind of excitement though… My gut aches. Small sacrifices, right? Heh. Heheh…Hnnngh.”
The crystal clicks off.