[Story] Story a Week 42

[[ Prompt: A tragedy that ends in romance

I was boring and re-used characters again, though I’ve written these events before and I don’t think they actually happened on the same day. Creative license! ]]

Sath’alor sat on a cot in the healers’ tent, waiting for one of the mages to make a portal to send him back to Silvermoon. It seemed they had been gone for a long time, but he couldn’t be sure. Every breath caused him to wince in pain. The man healer had been the one to look him over, press on his ribs and tell him that some were broken. Sath’alor had been bandaged tightly all around and told to report to a healer in Silvermoon if any further problems presented themselves. He knew he’d been lucky. When the proto-drake staggered back onto him, he was sure he was dead. Sath’alor had heard the sickening crunch as some of his ribs gave way, felt the crippling pain surge up his side. But someone had pulled him out from underneath and escorted him to the tent. He barely remembered it himself, until he was lying on the cot with Hethurin’s sister looking down at him. She didn’t scold him, but he scolded himself plenty. How stupid could he be, standing too close to the drake like that? What did he expect to happen? Now he was being sent home before he’d even really had a chance to help. It wasn’t even their war, this was between one orc and the rest of Kalimdor, but the elves had been dragged into it, all the same. No one really wanted to be there, and the conditions were terrible. Things had been much better back in Pandaria, but still there was some allure to the idea of being sent home as a war hero. That certainly wasn’t happening now.

Many had been injured in the siege, and worse. Every day rumors went around the camps about a unit being exploded from the crude iron bombs, or crushed in the tunnels beneath the city. It was a lot more difficult to hold onto his dreams of glory when Sath’alor heard about those. One of the newest rumors concerned a siege machine that had been driven over a unit of archers. That one was especially disturbing because it could very well have been his own unit. Judging by the commotion in the other healer tent, Sath’alor knew something must have happened since he’d come in; whether it was that or another incident.

When he awoke, he still wasn’t sure what time it was, but the sky outside was a great deal darker. He was no longer alone in the tent; one of the other cots was occupied and a man stood beside it. Sath’alor thought it must be the healer at first, and indeed the man’s hands lit with a soft glow in the darkness of the tent. But he was much older, his hair a dark brown rather than the other healer’s pale blond. He looked familiar, but Sath’alor couldn’t place him. The woman on the cot lay very still, he could not even see the rise of her breathing. He did recognize her; she was one of Hethurin’s sisters, who was a ranger as well. He knew very little about her, except that she once served in Eversong, and had a small baby back at home. He was no healer, but it looked as if she might not make it. She would need much more sophisticated healing than they could offer here in this dusty tent. It all struck Sath’alor as very unfair if she should die, leaving her child alone before he even really got a chance to know who she was. He doubted very much that she had come here seeking any kind of recognition — if she had a small child she should have been exempt from fighting though. Maybe it had been her choice, as it had been his.  

On his way out, the old healer glanced at Sath’alor and nodded briefly. They didn’t speak, but he could see the worry etched in his features. Sath’alor did not often pray, but now he did, that the mage would arrive quickly and the other ranger would survive to see her child again.

[Story] The Ghostclaw – Faeris’s Journal

My father keeps sending letters asking how I am doing here. I’m guessing he’s probably sent them to the Captain as well, but I get them regularly, every week. I keep meaning to write back, but I’ve been busy. He’s heard about the rumors about the demons, and wants to know if he should make me go back to the city. That’s especially ironic since it was his idea to make me go here in the first place. I think the rumors about the demons make them sound much worse than they are. It’s just a few every now and then, and little tiny ones. They’re no bigger than cats. Truthfully, it’s kind of exciting when we find some. Patrol is a lot more boring when you don’t see anything at all, and you’re not supposed to talk. I wouldn’t tell him that though, then I think he’d make me go back for sure. If all this had happened when I first got here, maybe I would have wanted to leave, but not now. I’ve gotten used to it, and I have my own cabin with Julan.

I know he would definitely have something to say about me spending time with a guy, especially a guy from Murder Row. He’d make me leave immediately. But it’s not his life, it’s mine, and I can do what I want. Right now that means staying with him. I’ve never really got the chance to be with anyone for a long time, like a real relationship, so it’s been great. Julan is a lot of fun and I think he likes being with me, too. We got furniture for our house and went to the city together, and no one said anything. It’s really cozy and comfortable, way better than the old quarters. I mean, they’re okay but we have a really big bed with tons of pillows, and there’s no one else around. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, but I’m happy right now. If my father caught word of any of it, I’m sure he’d arrange me to some boring girl who’d want me to stay home all the time. I wonder if Julan thinks that, maybe I’m the boring one? That would be awful.

I really didn’t like when he was on night patrol, because he was gone when I was in bed and then he had to sleep during the day so I had to be extra quiet so I didn’t wake him. Thankfully, that only lasted for a week or so until the death knights came back. Never thought I’d be grateful to see death knights again, but I was. His patrol partner was the weird dead girl. I asked if she smelled and if you can see her bones, he said not really, and sometimes. That’s pretty gross. I don’t think I’d be able to stop staring if I was on patrol with her. He also said she never talked, at all, and she got mad when he talked. How annoying! If there aren’t any demons to kill, you need to talk to pass the time.

I guess I’ll work on a letter. I’ll keep it short and to the point, tell him we’re allowed to stay here because we need to kill the demons that are in this area. Nothing else. He doesn’t need to know everything.

[Story] The Ghostclaw – Sath’alor’s Journal

My letter must have worked, because Orledin and Salenicus came back not long ago. Salenicus says they had to leave because Orledin was whining, but I find that a little more unlikely. I’ve never heard him whine, he says he’s unhappy about some things, sure, but that’s not the same. Maybe when you become undead, you lose your patience for listening to people. It might explain Sorrowmoss anyway. I talked to Orledin a little after he got back. He seemed relieved to not have to be there anymore. I guess they were going to have to go fight demons, which is more or less what I expected, but I need them fighting demons here. Julan did fine on the late patrol, but it’s really difficult for living people to adjust to that schedule, and Sorrowmoss came to me to complain that he talked too much. I think Julan also likes having someone to talk to and flirt with, and Sorrowmoss doesn’t really fit either of those criteria. The builders just finished up Julan and Faeris’s cabin, along with Sunashe’s lizard barn, so I know Julan was eager to spend time there and not just sleeping the whole day while Faeris was away on patrol. According to Arancon, the mens’ quarters have been a lot quieter since they’ve moved, and no one has seen anything in any closets lately, so that’s good. There are hardly any full beds in there now, though, or the womens’ quarters either. I have flyers up but I’m guessing everyone is away fighting demons. Maybe once they get back they’ll want to be rangers, I hope so at least.

Sightings here have been staying about the same, no more and no less. Aeramin came around to work on our wards with the information they got in Tanaris. I wonder if they’re studying the demons here, too, but I didn’t ask. It would make sense. As long as they stay away from the school and my ranger building, I guess I don’t care what they do with them. The autumn ball is coming up soon. I haven’t thought of any ideas for masks yet, well besides Rylad who still wants to be a tiger. Sometimes I’ll find him sleeping in Clementine’s bed, I don’t think Nessna knows he does that. I don’t think she’d be very happy about it, but at least I’m not trying to let him ride her. I was talking to Sunashe, and he’s wanting to get a saddle made for his lizard. Well, a basket first, because babies can’t hold on to a saddle very well. Sometimes I think he’s just joking and trying to see how people will react. I asked him if he had any ideas for his baby’s name and he said “Tiny”. He couldn’t possibly be serious about that. He said he didn’t see what was wrong with the name, and Lin would probably like it as well. Based on what I know about women, he’s going to be in for a surprise there. It just doesn’t seem like he’s taking it very seriously, I guess. Maybe it’s not really sunk in yet. I mean, Rylad was already born when I met Nessna so there wasn’t any time when he was just an abstract idea, and with Zeran I already kind of knew what to expect. But I told him it’s important that he makes sure Lin is taken care of, both physically and emotionally. Carrying around a baby can’t be easy, and I know the birth part isn’t easy, so he should be helping her get ready for that. He should also be thinking about names and getting the room ready and things like that. I mean, I’m no expert or anything but that’s what I think. A lot of people never get the chance to be a father, so he should be taking it seriously. Especially with everything that’s going on.

The spiders will be starting to come out soon, now that it’s a bit cooler, the ones who were born in the summer will be getting large and looking for mates. We clear out the caves the best we can, but obviously we can’t get all of them. I’ll admit, I’m glad we leave some to grow up, because then we can have spider legs to eat. They’re one of my favorite dishes in the fall.

[Art] Custom Funko POPs – Dogs

These guys are basically just straight repaints, except I cut the ears off the Husky and made them folded over. They are going to be Joker (our current dog) and Banjo (my late dog). After several layers of base coat I think they are almost ready for detailing.


[Story] Story a Week 41

[[ Prompt: A romance that ends in tragedy

I’ve been wanting to write my Dragon Age Warden, Raleth, for a while. As he picked the (spoilers!!) ending where he chooses to sacrifice himself, I figured he’d fit for this prompt. It doesn’t actually happen in this story but whatever. ]]

The archdemon opened its jaws and screamed, a sound so shrill and un-nerving that Raleth could feel it in the ground beneath his feet. Panic seized him and he could do nothing but stare as the monstrous thing snaked its head toward him, its eyes burning with sickly flame. It roared again, this time so near that the force of it pushed him back, like a gust of wind in a storm. It smelled rancid, the stench of fouled meat and damp caverns. He turned and ran, the dead leaves kicking up underneath his feet, dodging the thin, black trees, slimy with moss and lichens. Raleth didn’t dare look, but he could hear the flapping of the leathery wings close behind, feel the rush of air as they flapped and stirred the leaves from the ground. He didn’t know where he was going, but somewhere, anywhere away from it. Maybe there was a cave he could duck into, but couldn’t it smell him? It had found him here, after all, somehow. Far ahead, wreathed in fog, Raleth could see figures silhouetted there and it briefly gave him hope. He was saved, someone was here to drive the monster off him and send it back to its fetid pit beneath the earth. But they weren’t people, he realized, as the shapes drew closer. Their bright eyes cut through the fog, leaving sharp lines of light. They were spirits of the fade, warped and twisted, and they weren’t here to help him. Not at all. Raleth gasped, and nearly stumbled over the root of a tree. His robes were wet and muddy from the forest, he could see the hem unraveling. How long had he been out here? The pause was all the Archdemon needed. It reared back its serpentine neck, and struck.

Raleth awoke with a start, and for a few moments he believed he was actually dead, until he realized that he was breathing heavily. Dead people don’t breathe, he was sure of that.

“Dreaming again?”

The bard’s features were outlined by the embers of the dying fire. It was her watch. Of course it was. Raleth felt his ears darken with embarrassment.

“Yes,” he said, gathering up his pack and blankets. He had strewn them off his sleeping mat. The dreams were bad enough, having to explain them was worse. He was sure he sounded crazy.

“Was it a bad one?” asked Leliana, stirring the fire with a stick. She lay a small log on it, and it flickered weakly into life again. “When I had bad dreams, they used to tell me to think of something else after. Something nice.”

If it were that easy, Raleth thought, he surely would. But they were so vivid, so real, unlike any he’d had back at the Circle. Almost if they were something else, prophetic, perhaps. But he knew that sounded crazy too. Still, he appreciated that she was trying to help. And it would probably be some time before he could sleep again. He could still feel the archdemon’s roar echoing in his ears. He wrapped one of the blankets around his shoulders and moved over to the fire to warm his hands. It wasn’t yet winter, but the nights grew very cold, especially at this late hour. She smelled nice, like some kind of flower. Raleth couldn’t identify it, but he knew it wasn’t the one he’d found for her in the woods. That one had been light and delicate and simple, unassuming. The one now smelled more exotic and fancy, like somewhere in the city. He thought about asking what she’d done with it, but decided not to. It would be awkward, even more awkward than things were presently. He thought, sometimes, that maybe there was something in the way she smiled, but he was probably just imagining it. Back in the Circle there had never been any girls who liked him that way. But he saw how they acted around boys that they did like, and he thought it might be similar. Or maybe she was just friendly to everyone. It seemed so. He didn’t want to make assumptions where he shouldn’t. Besides, he was an elf. He knew how that made him look to others. Especially someone who’d travelled so far and seen so much. She liked to tell of her homeland, and how opulent it was. What interest could she have in an elf from the poorest part of a city that stank?

“Are they from…?” she trailed off. Raleth knew what she meant. The demon’s blood that now ran through his veins, was part of him. Whatever it was that had marked him and set him upon this path, one that he couldn’t step off of no matter how much he wished to. He would have been happy to go back to the Circle, even with all its rules and templars, and forget about all of this. But then he wouldn’t have met her, would he?

He nodded. “They’re so real. I don’t know if they’re meant to show what will happen or –” Raleth paused, frowning. “Something else.”

“I have them sometimes,” Leliana said, her expression growing more serious. “Not like yours, I’m sure. But visions.”

Raleth nodded, he remembered. She’d said that she foresaw his arrival in a dream, that it was a sign from the Maker that she was to join them. Raleth believed in the Maker, dutifully said his prayers every day in the Circle chapel, but he didn’t consider himself especially religious. Still, how did he know it wasn’t true? Maybe it was. Stranger things had already happened to him. “Did you  have any recently?” he asked. About me, was what he wanted to know, but he didn’t say it.

Leliana paused, and he thought he saw a hint of a smile. What did that mean? “I’m not sure yet,” she said. “Sometimes their meaning isn’t clear at first.”

“Oh,” said Raleth. Of course he wanted to know what she meant, it was frustratingly vague and — he guessed — intentionally so. But he could hear others beginning to stir. It was close enough to dawn that it would be useless to try to go back to sleep now. Soon they would be cooking and packing up the camp and preparing to move. Streaks of pale light brushed the horizon. Whatever chance he might have had to say something was gone.

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Loralinde’s Journal

I haven’t had time to write in my journal at all! I’ve been so busy getting settled into the new house and getting everything put away. We don’t really have that much stuff but it still takes a while to get it all unpacked and put in the right places. We do have a lot of books! We had to get a second shelf to hold them all. So there’s one in our room for relaxing type books, and then all of the magic and history books and things like that are in the sitting room. I suppose we could put a small shelf into the practice room, but we usually just use the ones at the school anyway. It feels so strange to say “our room” but in a good way. Keyalenn is so sweet. He brings me food sometimes, usually just a snack since we eat supper at the school, but if we’re up late at night or sometimes in the mornings. It just shows that he cares. I try to make sure that he knows I do, too. It can make it difficult to study sometimes when he’s there. It’s a bit easier at the school because other people are there, and we’re away from our room.

Classes are in full swing and we’re actually approaching the exam week. I feel like I’m making good progress in fire. Maerista has been teaching us a lot, since Magister Firewind went to study the demons in Tanaris. They’re going to use them the make the wards stronger, which is a good thing. I’m so worried about one of them getting through. Normally I’d say that any kind of demon magic is bad, but I suppose in this case it’s worth the risk. I know Magister Fairsong wouldn’t allow it if it wasn’t safe. He also told us about where to go if some do get through. Which they won’t. I hope.

The autumn ball is almost here! I’m so excited because it’s my most favorite ball of all. Well, I really love the winter ball too, but the autumn ball is spooky and I feel like the ghosts are more willing to communicate then. Maybe they think the ball is for them? I hope so, I am not sure if ghosts can feel emotion but if it makes them happy, then that’s good. I’d like to try to get Melath, the father ghost, to talk to me again soon. The little girl ghost just cries, I’m not sure if she can actually talk. I’ve seen her just stand quietly before, but not talk. I will probably try to reach them again in their room, if Magister Firesong will let me.

I got to talk to Zalindri a while ago. I feel a little bad for her because she always seems so lonely, it doesn’t seem like she talks to anyone outside of class and she’s always studying. I mean, it’s good to study but having friends is nice too. She told me that her fiance will try to come for the ball, but she’s worried that people will say bad things about him. I don’t think anyone here would be that mean, but I said that they could talk to Keyalenn and I if they wanted. At least she’ll have someone to talk to during the party and hopefully she’ll have a nice time. I admit I am curious to meet him. They were arranged, and they don’t really know each other well, but this could help change that! If they have a nice time maybe he will start to write letters to her. He’s studying to be a priest so he doesn’t have a lot of time to write. I can understand that, but I think it would be very lonely not to hear from the person you’re going to marry. If I went to a different school than Keyalenn, I’d still write to him every day. Maybe more than once.

[OOC] SWTOR Hype Shuttle – All Aboard

I haven’t been playing very much SWTOR lately, I kind of fizzled out with the Dark vs Light event, because I already have two of almost every single class, most of them max level. It was a really great event for newer players, but for altoholic veterans like me, there wasn’t a whole lot to motivate me to do it all again, especially when I’d just spent all summer leveling alts. Some of the requirements were frustrating, too, for example having to buy a house (stronghold) on your DvL character. I already own 3 out of the possible 4, so that one wasn’t going to happen. Then of course Legion launched and that’s been taking up most of my gaming time, though I’m getting close to being done with grinding on my main character. Legion is so unforgiving to alts that I’ve not been playing them much, but once the next patch arrives that should be eased a little bit, and I’d like to pick one to focus on. I’m not enjoying Warlock as much as I had hoped, but my Paladin is pretty fun. He would have the flexibility to fill any role, as well. Currently my plan is to just get my alts to 110 and just let them run old raids for transmog.

Anyway, I still keep my SWTOR sub active, and I still follow the news there. They just released the trailer for the next expansion, Knights of the Eternal Throne, which is coming out in December (just in time for Rogue One!) It’s got me all jazzed about playing again, here’s the video on YouTube –> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbpDxrew4A0

It features Senya (aka SpaceMom), my favorite character from the last expansion, and her daughter. I think I’ve written about it before, but it makes me so happy to see older female characters being awesome and kicking butt, especially when they get to wear sensible armor and not be central to a man’s storyline. They’re also giving another one of my favorite NPCs as a subscriber reward, so I’ll be looking forward to that! While I think some aspects could have been done better, overall I was very happy with the last expansion and I look forward to seeing where the story will go. Hopefully they will have listened to the community concerns and made things even better! I see that there are three different difficulty levels, and I would assume different rewards for each.

I did drop some cash for the latest pack, as well. I like almost every single armor set in it, and some of them are really awesome (like Theron’s jacket and pants). I really wanted the luggerwahl mount, the creature that the scavenger in the Force Awakens rides when Rey finds BB-8. It’s the highest rarity, but when I opened my very last pack, there he was! I’m so excited. Wish I could get that kind of good luck in WoW too!