[Story] The Ghostclaw – Linarelle’s Journal

The Captain and Nessna are gone on their trip, it’ll only be a few days. This time Sunashe is supposed to be in charge too, except he just had his surgery for his shoulder, so he’s not exactly able to do much. Ty went with him into the city, and went to help him back when he was finished. I thought he was supposed to pick up the new foot too, but he was too out of it. Maybe one of us could go, but I doubt they just give out fake feet to anyone who asks. He was out of it and sleeping for most of the day, but he woke up after dinnertime. He must have been having a nightmare or something, because he was convinced that the Scourge were moving and we had to go and fight them. That’s definitely not a nightmare that I’d like to have. Lani said he’s not supposed to get out of bed, but he was wandering around trying to find the map and I think he would have tried to go outside if Ty hadn’t stopped him. He kept saying we had to go help the Captain. Pretty quickly I realized that he wasn’t making any sense and we’d have to go along with his nightmare or whatever it was to get him to listen. So I told him the Captain was out in the woods with Nessna, and we’d take over their shift after he rested. I think maybe he believed it a little, but he tried to get up again a few other times. He said some other stuff too, but since he was all loopy from the medicine I didn’t pay it any mind. Who knows who he was talking about? I finally got him to at least sit on the couch, and he fell asleep there. It didn’t look like he was having the nightmare anymore, but I guess it’s hard to tell.

Orledin was in the kitchen making cookies. I talked to him a little, I suggested that he and Sunashe might want to talk to the Confessor if they’re having problems. He’s right in the town and the new office is really nice, there’s comfortable couches and stuff. I think he liked the idea, though he was worried about the innkeeper seeing him. I don’t see how he would if he was just going to Lani’s building, but he can wear a hat or a hood or something? I don’t know. Orledin has a kitten, it’s one from the school. Nessna told them she was getting it for everyone, but it’s actually Orledin’s, he feeds it and it sleeps with him. He calls it Pancat, which is a really odd name but I guess if he likes it, it’s his cat. Vellira said she came up with a ton of names and he picked that one. She’s flirting with Ty a lot, I don’t really mind I guess. I don’t think things ever would have worked with us, but it does get tiresome being the only one who doesn’t have anyone. Maybe it’s time I talked to the Confessor again too. Because sometimes I’m tempted but I don’t want to be with someone just because they’re the only option. We could get more rangers too, I suppose it’s not likely but it could happen.

The wedding got me thinking about it, I guess. It was small, but nice, the sort of wedding I would want if that ever was going to happen. And then I realized it would be a long way off — Im is closer than I am, and Aeramin just cheated on him! They’re back together again though, as far as I know. Im said that they’re looking for a place to fix up here, and he’s going to be with the Silvermoon blood knights again. Which is what I wanted him to do way back when and he refused, but now he wants to? Whatever. I’m sure the Captain and Nessna are having a nice time, wherever they went. It’s still nice here, but the weather will start to get grey and cold soon enough, and then I’ll be wishing for a trip too.

[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.

 

[Screenshots/OOC] The Walking Dead Season Two: A Cold, Hard World

This is not a review, just my thoughts about the season now that I’ve finished playing it. If you haven’t, it’s currently on sale at Steam. Here’s Season Two and here’s Season One (only $6.24!).

Contains spoilers, so it’s behind a cut.

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[Art] Leaping Hare

Working on some rabbit images for my shop, here’s one!

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[Story] The Ghostclaw – Vellira’s Thoughts

I’ve never been to a real wedding before, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Ty said it wasn’t really like a city wedding though, the ceremony wasn’t very long and it was a lot less fancy. That’s not to say it wasn’t nice, because it was. They said a lot of mushy stuff and the ranger building was all decorated with fancy ribbons and flowers everywhere. There was tons of food and it was all really good, and the captain had bought some nice wine too. I think I’d probably like this kind of wedding better than a fancy city one anyway. There were a lot of people there too — besides all of us, of course. The Captain’s sisters were there with their husbands, and one of them had a little baby too. His parents were there, along with Nessna’s father. I think her brother was supposed to come, but there was some kind of accident and he couldn’t make it. I hope he’s all right. Lin said that Grumpyfoot believes he actually died and they’re trying to cover it up. That would be sad. And weird.

Since Nessna is away, someone had to take her patrol. I guess the Captain left both her and Grumpyfoot in charge (why!!) so he said that Perothis and I needed to learn the route. Which was okay, because we got to go with Lin and we talked about everything that happened at the wedding. Or didn’t happen! Ty is so funny, I don’t know how much more obvious I need to be. I honestly think he hasn’t had many chances to be around girls before, he sort of froze up and panicked. Or it could have been because of all the people around, but it’s not like they were paying attention to us anyway. Gael was “dancing” with his mage and by dancing I mean practically making out over in the corner. The Captain and Nessna took off as soon as they could — they said they had a boat to catch but I think everyone knows what they were actually going to do. Everyone else was either eating or playing with the babies. Ty made some suggestion about going for a walk in the woods, which I guess would work, but there are plenty of good places here in the building. You just have to get a little creative. Guys aren’t allowed into the womens’ quarters, but there are plenty of other places they are allowed, such as the storage room, the kitchen, the pantry, under the deck… you know. But I guess the woods might be okay too, so long as there’s not a lot of mud or pine needles or anything.

I felt bad for Lin though, she got to dance a little bit with Grumpyfoot but he can’t for very long. He’s supposed to get his new foot later this week, maybe that will improve his mood? But I doubt it. I told Lin what else would help his mood, but I don’t think she liked the idea much. Most of the time they just sat there awkwardly. We talked about him and Ty while we were on patrol, another thing Grumpyfoot doesn’t approve of, but he wasn’t there so whatever. Perothis stayed up ahead to “scout” but actually I just think he didn’t want to listen to us talking about guys. Des came to the wedding for just a little while, but then she had to go back to help take care of Hethurin at the school. Anyway, Lin said Grumpyfoot wanted her to go look at animals at the faire, which I agreed sounded pretty weird. But she said she would go because it’s not as if there’s a line of guys waiting to ask her out. (I didn’t point out that there was also Keyalenn.) And the food is supposed to be good, but I’m not sure if any food is worth going on a date with him! He also hates it when people drink, except she said he had two glasses himself, so he’s also a hypocrite, but who didn’t see that one coming? Personally I think she ought to keep looking. Ty is cute, even if he’s a little innocent. He says my ears are delicate, which makes me laugh. I didn’t think anything of mine was delicate. He said he’d like to find out, so maybe he is getting the hint after all.

 

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Maerista’s Journal

I passed! I’m officially a Magistrix now! I was so nervous I thought I was going to die though. I’ve been doing extra practice with Magister Raleth after classes for the last few weeks. I wasn’t able to get much help from Keyalenn; honestly I think he wanted to help but he’s been too busy worrying about Lin, the ranger. He actually bought her a ring, can you believe that? I mean it’s always a risk that someone might so no but in his case it was a really huge risk. Magister Firewind went with me. I was glad he was there, it helped me feel a bit less nervous, like I knew at least I’d do well on the fire parts, and I remembered the little tips he gave me. And Gael was there too. I’m so thankful, he didn’t have to at all and it was so sweet of him. He doesn’t know about magic at all, but he wanted to be there to wait anyway. He said that Orledin was taking two patrols so he was able to go, and I thought we should buy him a gift. Gael said he likes baking, so we got some fancy baking tins at the shop. They’re shaped like different things, there are little tart pans that look like flowers and stars, and a cake pan that’s got a hole in the center and fancy designs on the sides. I hope he likes them! And then he can make cakes for all of the rangers. I still think it’s a little scary to have undead people there, but I guess they all don’t mind him — and according to Gael he’s a very good cook. I hope I’ll find out tomorrow!

As for the test itself, I went inside the spire and they have a special room just for testing. Another apprentice was having his test today too, he looked as if he was really nervous too! I think he may also have written some things on the inside of his sleeve. At least I didn’t do that. The mage giving the test wasn’t one that I knew, I was hoping it might be someone from my old school or something, but it wasn’t. I couldn’t tell he was thinking at all. He had a little notepad and write things down every once in a while. First he gave me the written exam, that’s fortunately a lot easier because it’s just studying — which I’d done plenty of. I had taken extra time to study the arcane and frost sections because I knew I’d need to, and I feel like I did pretty well on those. I put my quill down when I was finished and the instructor wrote something else down. He had me go over to a table with different magical equipment and he asked me to do all kinds of different things: conjure an ice sphere, a blue flame, polymorph the little bird in a cage into a frog. Things like that. I don’t even remember everything, I was too busy trying to make sure I got all the spells right and make sure none of them were trick questions! Magister Firewind says that sometimes they do that, in order to try to mess you up. I don’t think any of them were, at least I hope not. I really couldn’t tell from the instructor’s expression at all. He just kept writing in that little book. They put me into another little room to wait for the test to be scored. I guess that’s so I can’t tell the people who are waiting what is about to happen. A different mage came in (this one was an older woman) and she handed me a paper and she said that I had passed. I couldn’t believe it! I feel so relieved! I ran outside to tell Gael and Magister Firewind. He headed back to the school, and we went to dinner to celebrate. I mean, we were going to go out for dinner either way but it was a lot more festive now! I couldn’t stop smiling. The restaurant was really fancy, Gael said he’d written ahead for reservations, so he must have been planning it for some time. He’s so thoughtful! I was a little worried because we should be saving money for the house and wedding and everything, but I suppose it is a special occasion. It isn’t every day that you pass your magister’s qualifications! It was so romantic too, they had little candles at the table and enchanted instruments playing music. I couldn’t stop looking at his ears. I asked if he had to be back tonight, since Orledin had taken his patrol. I know, it was probably very improper but we’ll be married soon won’t we? He suggested that we find an inn in  Eversong, they’re a little more quiet as well as being a lot cheaper, and it would be a shorter trip home for both of us in the morning.

I’ve read a lot of those books, but I think it was even better than that. I love him so much, and being able to just rest beside him was just as good as the other part, I think. And I could finally touch his ears! They’re so perfect. It’s scary to think that we almost weren’t together at all, he said he was too shy to talk at the parties, so it’s a good thing I followed Xarola’s idea to take them a cake. He said he could tell then because I was looking at him. I certainly was! Anyway, I hope no one noticed that I wasn’t at the school last night, but we’re engaged so it should be allowed. I can finally start planning everything now that I don’t have to study anymore. It feels wonderful to be able to write that! It can’t be a really big wedding, since I’m sure that my parents aren’t going to help pay for it. But I already have my dress, that’s the most important part. Gael was funny, he asked if he should go to the tailor’s! I said he should wear his armor, since it shows how strong and brave he is. But he did say he’ll get it shined and polished up. It’s going to look so handsome!

 

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Raleth’s Notes

Magister Firewind and I were asked to come to the school on short notice, apparently there’s been some sort of accident with Hethurin. The explanation that Des gave us was… lacking, at best, something about rocks falling onto him while fishing. I think it’s more likely that something backfired and he’s too embarrassed to admit it. It must have been pretty bad if a fishing accident seems the more reasonable explanation. Either way, Magister Firewind and I gave the quarter finals, and I’ve brought them home for grading. I hope everyone did well. I’m particularly concerned about Keyalenn — even despite our recent talk his work seems to be slipping of late. I know he’s capable, and when he’s focused he’s an excellent student, but his attention is elsewhere these past few weeks. I don’t want Hethurin to send him home, and I certainly don’t want him to fail my class. Maerista has been coming to see me after class for extra help, and I’ve lent her some of my books to read. Her final exam in Silvermoon is coming up shortly, and she’s worried about the frost section. She’s very strong in fire, but struggles sometimes with my class. I remember how nervous I was for my own exam! Having Aeramin with her will help, I hope. I think her ranger is also going with her.

I’m pleased that the school seems to be doing well, if Maerista passes she will be its first graduate to achieve full magister status. And it seems word is getting around — we had a visitor show up last night eager to enroll. He had to go into Hethurin’s room to speak with him — hardly the best first impression for a magical academy! But he should do well, I think. The secluded nature and limited number of students allow for a more studious atmosphere than the city, I think. I also wonder again about bringing Lali here. With Aeramin, and now Isandri moving to the Ghostlands, she’ll have no one to visit with in Shattrath. Kestrae has already moved into one of the small houses on the grounds. I know it’s a risk to bring them here, but I cannot lock them away in a tower, it’s not fair. If Lali were to master her portals, I would know she always had a quick means of escape to somewhere safe. It would ease a lot of my worries if I didn’t have to keep watch on her at every moment. I’m not sure what Hethurin would say about it. I’ve no doubt that the students wouldn’t mind her being here — maybe she could even sit in the lessons! But what if a parent should find out? Someone might casually mention something, and then not only Lali and Naraleth, but Hethurin’s entire school might be put at risk. I couldn’t do that. I suppose I’ll have to talk to her about it, but I  hate having to uproot her yet again. She’s already been through enough.

Isandri and Theronil are looking to buy a place here and get settled. She was up at the school to assist Lani with Hethurin’s care, but then she was headed out to the rangers’ building. Evidently Sath’alor is marrying one of Hethurin’s sisters. It’s a bit of a surprise to me, since I wasn’t aware they were even seeing each other. But as I told Aeramin, I suppose there’s no reason to wait if you’re certain. People could say the same of Lali and I, although in that case we had a crazy grandfather to contend with. Aeramin was wanting to write a song for Imralion, on the piano. I hope that works, I’m not sure he’d want the students all hearing it though. Especially if it’s got naughty lyrics!

 

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