[Story] Thorns – The New Elves

I am trying, I really am. But I know I’m not saying the things I’m supposed to say. I don’t know why I thought it would be any less complicated just because he’s a guy. It wasn’t supposed to be, but it became that way. That’s partly why I warned him, because I know I’m no good at it, but he didn’t listen. I brought back food, and some wine, and some chocolates because the goblins were selling them for cheap because the holiday is over. I guess they made too many, I’m not complaining though.

Nash kept talking about the elves, asking if I’d seen them. I’d had other things on my mind, but after he pointed them out, I did notice. He is convinced that it’s his ticket to freedom, and fixing all the problems he’s had with his past. Just use this, and everything will feel better. Except it won’t, and anyone who’s telling him otherwise is lying or just plain cruel, maybe both. He says Zar did it, that elf he’s been seeing for tea. I don’t know much about magic, but I know it can have effects that you didn’t plan for. Especially bad kinds of magic. Sure, maybe they’re allowed in the city now, but that could change – a blood elf of all people should know that. And then  where would he be, twisted and addicted to a second kind of magic. Nash doesn’t know how it would affect him, but he’s eager to do it anyway. Then he said it was kind of like being a worgen. I’m sure if you asked a worgen, they’d rather not be cursed. Why would he do something like that willingly?  I told him to at least wait and consider it. All he kept saying is that he would be free and could walk around with his hat off. If that’s what he wants, we could stay on the farm. It wouldn’t be ideal, but it’d be better than this. He’s just so set on it, even when I said he shouldn’t, he got upset. Then he said he’d want me there to kill him if something went wrong.

What do you even say to that?

I asked him to stay, but he left. I should be used to it by now. But he hasn’t come back yet, and I’m torn between being worried something happened, and furious that he’s probably doing the ritual or whatever right now. Why did he even ask my advice if he was just going to do it anyway?

I thought this was going to be good, that he’d feel better and everything would be okay. But it hasn’t been like that at all, and now he’s run away, or worse. Rose blamed me, of course. She said I need to go and find him. I checked in his usual places, but couldn’t find any sign of him. Star hadn’t seen him either. I didn’t check at Zar’s house, because I was afraid I’d find him there. I’ll wait a bit longer before I do.

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[Story] Fairsong Academy – Heart’s Tempest

“Xarola!” Sorelle knocked on her friend’s door, though it was late she could see the candle-light glowing underneath the door. She was often up reading, or making notes on herbs in her little notebook.

“”What’s wrong?” asked Xarola as she opened the door, inviting Sorelle inside. “Did Salenicus come?”

Xarola’s room was bright and colorful, herbs tied into bundles and hung to dry from every available space. She and Vynlorin often went into the woods together to look for them, and now in the winter spent a lot of time in the greenhouse with their cuttings. It was nice that they had something like that to do together. Salenicus showed an interest in learning about plants, she hoped that he would help her with the seedlings in the spring. But it would probably be a long time before they could go on walks together, at least while he was a ranger.

“Not yet,” replied Sorelle, sitting down in Xarola’s comfortable chair. The arms had bundles of icecap and mint tied to them, lending it a fresh and cool scent. “I think he will be later. That’s what I wanted to talk to you about.”

“From what I saw, things were going pretty well,” Xarola said, grinning.

If Sorelle could have blushed, she would be. “I guess so.”

“I saw dancing. And kissing.”

“That’s true,” Sorelle said. There had been, and it seemed that Salenicus had been practicing — he seemed more sure of his steps, more confident. And he hadn’t stepped on her feet once. “We tried the wine too. He said it was allowed, but I didn’t really taste it anyway.”

“So?” Xarola asked, sitting in the other chair. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing, I mean, I just wanted to ask if you had any more books about the ranger and the mage. He said he liked the last one.”

“I told you he would,” said Xarola. She looked over the small bookshelf, taking a few off and looking at the covers. “Here. This one’s by the same writer, but different characters. He should like it too though.”

Sorelle looked at the cover, where a ranger and mage embraced on a cliff in front of a storm. Wind whipped their hair and the mage’s dress artfully behind them. “Heart’s Tempest” was the title. “Thanks,” she said, trying not to sound too doubtful. Sorelle liked to read them, but she knew they weren’t very realistic, people didn’t talk or act like that in real life. Especially not Salenicus. Most of the time he wanted to talk about patrol, which was interesting, but not very romantic. Maybe he just didn’t know what he was supposed to say, Sorelle could relate because she didn’t know either. There had been boys at her school in Dalaran, but that was different. Salenicus wasn’t a student, he was older — and an elf. He was above schoolboy pranks and notes left in study books.

“Your dress was really pretty,” Xarola said, and Sorelle smiled a little. She’d spent so much time on it, she was glad that someone had noticed. Thankfully, Salenicus had too. And no one had stared at her during the dance, they’d all been busy dancing or talking. They’d danced inside, with all of the lights and music and decoration, and it hadn’t been so bad. She could probably do it again. But the next dance wouldn’t be until spring. That gave her plenty of time to work on a new dress.

[Story] Valentine Shorts 2.5

[[ Still not feeling 100%, and everyone’s home right now… but here’s another Valentine short to go with the other one. ]]

The way Terellion had explained it, Braedra expected the ball to be no different from most of the others — an opportunity to eat food, drink wine, and for the students to stand around nervously and not ask each other to dance. The ballroom was draped in red and pink ribbons, with paper hearts affixed to everything in sight. Terellion’s cake held the spotlight on the largest table, white with delicate pink flowers made of icing, and topped with sugar swans. He’d been working on those for days now, bringing her several failed attempts in the process — the girls were happy to eat them no matter how odd they looked. They’d both insisted on new dresses, too, in order to better match the theme.

Braedra just wore her red and black gown, it was comfortable and close enough that it wouldn’t stand out. She also liked it because it was forgiving of stains — those were a very real risk when looking after babies. The nursery was busy, as it always was for parties. In addition to the usual teachers’ children, the rangers brought theirs along as well. She loved having them, but she was glad of Isturon’s help when it got so busy — she only had so many hands. She slipped out to fetch some food while some of the babies had settled down for naps.

As she piled her plate up with food, a new student lingered nearby. As it turns out, he wasn’t a student, but he’d been hired to help Lilithel in the stables. He suggested that Hethurin build a pond in the gardens for fish, and he was quite knowledgeable about them, having kept them in the past. They could be relaxing, Braedra agreed, like a living painting. It was all a perfectly normal conversation as far as she was concerned, which was partly why his offer was so surprising. The other reason was that he was barely older than Terellion. Stunned, but not wanting to hurt his feelings, Braedra explained that she wasn’t really looking for anything like that right now. It was true, wasn’t it? Going to lunch and dancing once didn’t necessarily mean anything.

But when she returned to the nursery with a plate of food for Isturon, he’d gotten her a gift too. It wasn’t an expensive gift, thankfully, but she still felt awkward for not having got him one. Terellion said it was just an excuse for goblins to sell things to people, so she hadn’t felt that it was required. He’d also invited her to dinner in the city, and perhaps a play. She insisted that he didn’t need to go to all that trouble, but he said he wanted to. Perhaps it was a good idea to visit the Confessor in town after all.

[Story/Screenshots] Character of the Week – Raleth Surana

[[ This is the Raleth that exists in the Dragon Age games. He is my canon Warden, an elf Mage. I lost a lot of my old screenshots when my old hard drive failed, but here’s one I snagged from another post! ]]

The new kid certainly didn’t look like a mage. He was impossibly thin and pointy, his eyes sunken and dark, dirt smudged on his face and shirt. Nevertheless, Raleth sat across from him at the table with his food tray.

“What do you want?” the kid snarled, but Raleth could see the tracks that tears had left in the dirt on his cheeks.

“I just thought you might want a friend,” shrugged Raleth. “It’s kind of weird at first, but I can show you around. My name’s Raleth.”

The kid’s dark eyes narrowed. “Why?”

“Just–” Raleth paused. “I know what it’s like. Feeling different from everyone. Being scared.”

He wiped his nose on his sleeve roughly. “I’m not scared. And what do you know? You look like you’re some noble’s pet.”

Raleth glanced down at his apprentice robes, the same ones that every student wore, that the new kid would receive probably right after the meal. “They give these to us,” he explained.

“Oh,” said the boy, lowering his gaze. “I’m sorry. I’m Farrin.”

Raleth didn’t blame him for his mistrust, it was bred into you in the alienage. Farrin was old enough to have seen what life is like, and to be suspicious of strangers — even elven strangers. He himself had been much younger when he’d been taken, and hadn’t yet seen the things Farrin had — or his mother. She’d cried when they came to take him, but they were tears of joy. “You’re going to have a good life now, Raleth,” she’d told him. “You’ll have food and a warm bed and never go hungry.” He’d been a little afraid to leave her behind, but how could he possibly disappoint her? He’d tried sending letters to tell her how he was doing, but his mother couldn’t read and he’d never received a reply. But she hadn’t been wrong — the Circle was safe, and he was well cared for. A cage it might be, but at least it was a pleasant one.

“Have you been here a long time?” Farrin asked, after he’d wolfed down his tray of food. He was eyeing Raleth’s roll, so he gave it to him.

“I was seven or so, I think. So yes.”

Farrin blinked. “That young?”

Raleth nodded. “It’s rare for someone to be brought so old, actually. Usually they’ve gone on the run already.”

Farrin frowned and tore the roll apart, chewing one half of it. “Maybe I should have.”

“No — you don’t want that. It’s safe here. The instructors will show you how to do everything properly and safely. And it’s kind of nice having others to talk to. I kind of felt like — I don’t know,” Raleth sighed. “An animal on display.”

“How do you stand all the humans, though?” Farrin’s dark eyes darted toward the other table, where several of them sat together.

“It’s not a big deal here,” Raleth said. “I mean, not really. Not like it is out there. As long as you can keep up with classes, they don’t really care if you’re an elf.”

Farrin watched them doubtfully. “Really?”

“Really. And,” Raleth added. “Some of them aren’t that bad.”

“Don’t you ever miss it though?” Farrin asked.

“The alienage?”

Farrin scowled and shook his head. “The rest of the world.”

How could he miss something he had never known? But yes, it was true that he sat near the windows in the library sometimes, looking out over the lake and imagining what lay beyond. He’d seen paintings in books of faraway lands and exotic animals and fancy costumes, but that’s all they were to him — just fantasy. They were forbidden to leave, trapped here within the Tower unless the Chantry decreed otherwise, so there was no point in fighting it. Raleth had been at the Circle long enough to see what happened to those who tried.

“Maybe a little. But I think it’s worth it to learn to be a mage, don’t you?”

Farrin didn’t have an answer to that.

[OOC] Toofache

I have an extremely painful toothache (with accompanying infection) so for the past couple of days I have not been able to do anything other than lie in bed. Over the counter pain relievers aren’t working any more, and my prescription one hasn’t been filled yet. Hopefully it will this evening, and I’ll feel better tomorrow and can write again then.

[Story] Valentine Shorts 2

[[ Really having difficulty concentrating today due to a bad toothache, I can’t get it looked at until tomorrow though. So this is shorter than I wanted, might try to do more after it’s fixed. ]]

Leinath glanced up and down the street before stepping out of the shop, his packages tucked safely under his arm. Anyone familiar with that particular shop would surely be able to guess at the nature of his purchases, wrapped in long boxes. He ducked quickly down another street, ears burning even though he was sure no one had seen him. The gifts hadn’t been his idea, Orledin had asked for them in a round-about way, and since he couldn’t go himself, Leinath had offered to buy them. He thought he’d picked out a good variety, though he hadn’t wanted to spend too much time staring at the display on the wall. Hopefully Orledin would like what he’d chosen, but it wasn’t really the kind of gift Leinath would have picked out.

The problem was that he couldn’t use most usual gifts — wine or chocolates, he didn’t even need a scarf to keep warm on their patrol. He thought about buying something for the kitchen, but they already had everything that Leinath could imagine. What about his other — admittedly strange — hobby? Other than wire and clay, Orledin didn’t need much for that. There weren’t any bones for sale in the marketplace, either. Leinath walked out into the main market, bustling with shoppers, in hopes that he would see something that inspired him.

Most of the merchants were goblins, their stalls decorated with bright ribbons and heart shapes cut out of paper. Leinath stopped to look over them, but he couldn’t imagine either of them wearing the sort of things they had for sale. At least, not yet. A dusty booth near the back of the market caught his eye, piled with all manner of strange items. The elf behind the counter claimed they were artifacts, dug up from far-off lands. Leinath was no expert, but they certainly looked exotic — there were jade carvings from Pandaria, a drinking horn from Northrend, miniature statues and clay tablets from Uldum.

The bright paint and feathers of the troll artifacts stood out from the others. Leinath leaned in closer to look at them. Maybe Orledin would appreciate something to decorate his hut? He could leave it there, and they could stop by after their patrol again. He was drawn to a carved wooden puppet in the shape of a raptor, strings attached to a pair of crossed sticks overhead. The elf showed him how the sticks could be moved to bring the raptor to life, seeming to bob its head and lift its legs in a lifelike manner. It was painted in bright green and blue, and even had feathers attached. It wasn’t a practical gift at all, but Leinath liked it. He hoped that Orledin would too.

[Art] The Last Ice Dragons

With this batch, my art goal is complete! (At least until I get another Ice dragon.)

Trying to decide if I want to try to do an art shop, not sure if there’s a big demand for cute cartoon dragons.

dancinghare_echo2dancinghare_zenithdancinghare_joelledancinghare_xyliah