[Story] Story a Week 21

[[ This week’s word: Ripe ]]

Risarra hurried down the narrow trail, a basket over her arm. It was rare for her to be awake so late in the morning, but she was far too excited to sleep. The starberries she’d noticed on her patrol the other night should be fully ripe now. She could smell their sweet scent in the air, warmed by the morning sunshine. Starberries had been Risarra’s favorite ever since she was little, she loved their translucent sky-blue color and sweet flavor, the way the juice burst into her mouth when she’d bite into one. And if you were to look at the end that attached to the stem, you would see the pattern of a star left there on the fruit. Her mother used to say that Elune had made them as a special treat for the kaldorei.

She knew of a special spot, one along her patrol where few others rarely went. It was hidden in a small grove, behind some boulders overgrown with moss. The entrance was easy to miss if you didn’t know to look for it. Of course she planned to share the starberries, it’s just that she wanted to eat a few for herself first. Especially since she had come all the way out here this late in the morning to get them. Risarra smiled as she stepped into the clearing. The entire shady side was overgrown with the starberry bushes, their vines twining up onto the sides of the rocks. They preferred shade, and needed plenty of rain. Thankfully they had plenty of that in the past few weeks. The vines were laden with plump, ripe berries in their clusters. Risarra wondered if she should have perhaps brought a larger basket. She set it down on the grass and got to work, careful not to squish or bruise any of the starberries. Her mind wandered thinking of all the things the cooks could make with them — jam, pies, muffins, wine. Did Bear like starberries? She didn’t know if it even mattered. He would eat what she brought regardless of whether he liked it or not. But she supposed it couldn’t hurt to bring him just a few.

The rustling of leaves brought her back to the grove, and Risarra was startled to see a bear had joined her. It seemed unaware of her presence, head and shoulders buried deep in the leaves, picking off clusters of berries with its lips. It wasn’t one of Bear’s, she would have recognized them and, she hoped, they would her as well. Risarra remained still, watching for a reaction. If she had to escape quickly, she wanted to plan her route ahead of time. There was the gap in the boulders, through which she’d come in. That would work so long as the bear didn’t reach it first. It might not be able to fit through the opening, either. Or she could go up into one of the trees, just enough to jump out on the other side. The tree wouldn’t slow the bear down for long, though, not even with a belly full of starberries. She heard a squeak, and two cubs clamored out from underneath the bear, standing on their hind legs and trying to reach the berries. She remembered what Bear had said, that a mother protecting her cubs was the most dangerous kind of bear to come across. Risarra watched them in silence, uncertainly. She didn’t want to startle them, but neither did she want to hurt them. The mother bear pulled down one of the vines, bringing the berries low enough for the cubs to eat. They did so eagerly, their little jaws smacking with delight. Risarra couldn’t help but smile at their reaction to their first taste of starberries.

The mother bear paused, lifting her nose to sniff at the air. It was then she noticed the elf, crouched on the other side of the grove. She watched Risarra for a moment, checked to be certain her two cubs were safe, then returned to eating berries. Risarra sighed, relieved. Though she would still be cautious, she was happy to share her starberries with the bear family. There were plenty to go around.

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Sorelle’s Diary

Dear Diary,

I asked Xarola what to do, and she said that she thinks he definitely likes me, because he comes to visit all the time. I don’t know if that’s true, because Orledin comes to visit all the time too, though he spends all his time in the kitchen. I just thought he came along because he was bored, or to keep an eye on Orledin or something. I can see him doing something like that. I said I didn’t think so, because he’d never given me any signs or anything like that. I also told Xarola about how they treat Hernester, and she said I should go and talk to the captain there. I really don’t think he would listen to someone he doesn’t even know. A lot of people don’t like being told they are doing things the wrong way. Xarola said he’d listen to me because I’m undead and I know more about it, well that’s not really true in my experience. Then when I was already there I could talk to Salenicus. But I don’t even know what I would say. He stopped coming to visit anyway, so I thought that was the end of it. Then Linarelle came to see me and I told her about it, and I guess she talked to him because he changed his mind and brought flowers.

They were nice flowers. I’m pretty sure they were bought in the city because they aren’t ones that grow here, and it’s still a bit too cold for flowers. There was a card too, with a poem. He didn’t write it but he said that was how he feels. It was a nice poem. I didn’t know he felt any of those things. I mean, just because I’m the only person here who is undead too. I guess there’s the ranger, but she doesn’t talk to them. So he picked me because I’ll talk to him. He said that he was lonely, I can understand that at least. But it’s a long way to go just to talk to someone every day. I mean, we can’t do any of the things in the book — well, most of them anyway. That’s another thing, he said his wife used to read those books. I don’t know what to think about that. Does he still miss her? He probably does. He’s a lot older so I should have figured he would have had a family before. He also said he doesn’t care that I’m a human. Obviously I don’t care that he’s an elf, but I think elves tend to care a little more about that kind of thing.

They have the night patrol, but they take a couple of breaks during the night. I said it would probably be okay to meet outside in the garden, as long as I tell Tik. It wouldn’t be a good idea for them to be coming inside in the middle of the night, it might wake people up and scare them. But out in the garden, or the woods would be okay. Salenicus said he was going to try to get Orledin and the other ranger to stop here. I hope they aren’t just going to be standing around the whole time. That would be awkward.

[Screenshots] Llothien Prowler

Aka “that damn fox mount”. Finally just now got this, after 9 months of trying. At first, I religiously did my Nightfallen caches, and farmed up the mana every time withered training was up. I got every toy and pet, but never any fox. Though it seemed like everyone else in the game had it, several people in my guild were also members of the No Fox Club. I started taking every eligible alt whenever Nightfallen was up, but after taking 9 characters 3 times I was over it. I finally got it when I did Nightfallen dailies out of frustration with not being able to find any treasure chests for the weekly on my warlock.

I didn’t really feel happy or excited, just relieved, and annoyed that it took so long. I feel bad for the people who still don’t have it. Who thinks this is a good system? Why does RNG permeate every single aspect of this expansion? If I work for nine months, I feel like that should be rewarded. My PVP prestige mounts didn’t take that long. They were a grind, but I could look and see exactly how much further I had to go, and I could choose whether or not I wanted to work toward them on a particular day. No feeling of, if I don’t do it today I might miss out. A while back I started working on the sewer rat as well. Same thing. I’m about halfway now, I know that eventually I’ll get it if I keep at it. And I bet it won’t take nine months.

fox1
(Nice typo on the relic too lol)

I had to do a couple days’ worth of stupid missions before I actually got the mount.
fox2

[Story] Story a Week 20

[[ My word this week was: bread! ]]

Leinath stopped to check the instructions again. Was this the second or third time he’d kneaded it? Would it matter? Bread was so much more complicated than cookies. With cookies, you just needed to measure everything and then mix it together. Sometimes you had to keep the dry ingredients separate from the wet at first, and then sometimes you had to mix in the nuts or chips later, but that was it. Nothing more complicated than that. A few of them you had to let the dough rest in the cooler for a while, but it didn’t need any more attention. Bread, on the other hand, was downright demanding.

It had been Orledin’s suggestion, he assured Leinath that he’d done enough baking to be able to handle it. And at the time, he’d agreed, but now he wasn’t so sure. He’d never baked anything before coming to the rangers, and he felt that he’d suddenly got in over his head. The first part had been easy enough, mixing the flour and salt and other things. But then there was the yeast. Orledin explained that these were tiny creatures that ate the flour and it made the dough rise. That was kind of gross when you really think about it, but he assumed they died when the dough baked. Still, he’d always think about eating the corpses of all those tiny animals from now on. You had to have just the right temperature and amount of water, or the bread wouldn’t rise properly. He’d already had to start over once because of that, thankfully Orledin wasn’t in the kitchen to see that. Leinath was sure he’d be irritated over wasting ingredients like that. Once it did rise, then you had to take the dough out and knead it. Then back into the oven to rise again. This was repeated once or twice, he couldn’t be sure, and then finally the bread was baked. If he got to that stage, Leinath figured, it would be difficult to mess up. He hadn’t had any burning incidents since that first week. And he had to admit he looked forward to being able to eat it after all this work. Corpses of little creatures or not, there was nothing like hot, freshly made bread.

Orledin came in to check how he was doing. He took over kneading, though it seemed that he did it in a different way, and much more efficiently. He seemed surprised that it wasn’t in the oven yet, but thankfully he didn’t look into the trash bin and see the failed first attempt. Orledin was an expert at bread though. Besides the normal kind, he could make all different shapes, like little round buns or fancy braided twists, or bread with brown flour or soft bread with nuts in it. He thought they could probably sell it in town — well, maybe once there were a few more living residents. Still, Leinath thought he wasn’t doing too badly for someone who was brand new at it. His old friends would hardly believe it, if they could see him now. A legitimate ranger, and one who was baking bread at that.

He opened the hot oven and slid the pan with the dough inside. Now it was just a matter of waiting.

[Story] The Ghostclaw – Linarelle’s Journal

I had a really lovely day, and the best part it was all a surprise. I always say Sunashe isn’t very romantic, but sometimes he does a good job. In some places there’s a special day to do nice things for mothers, but as mine is far away — she’s back working for the Reliquary — I didn’t give it much thought. Most of the rangers here don’t keep in touch with theirs either. The thought didn’t really occur to me that I was one as well. It seems silly now that I think about it, but it’s true. So I certainly was surprised when Sunashe brought me flowers in the morning and made breakfast. Well, he often makes breakfast, but it was extra nice, there was cut fruit and little cakes as well as eggs and juice and toast. He also brought some sunflowers for Snowflake, because he said it was “moth day”. Oh dear… had he really got confused about the day? I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed, but at the same time he’d gone to so much effort and it was so sweet that I didn’t say anything. I was going to enjoy Moth Day all the same.

After patrol, he’d made up a whole lovely dinner. I think some of it he might have got at the school, but he did cook a lot of it. No, it wasn’t moth! Salenicus asked me that. Even if I wanted to eat a moth, I don’t think they would be very good eating. Only the body would be edible and they’re insects so there wouldn’t be a lot of meat, not like spiders. He made a roasted wild bird with herbs, fresh greens and potatoes, bread and a lovely sauce. For dessert he brought out a tray of the cutest little moth cookies. He admitted that Orledin made those, I saw them later in the kitchen as well. The patterns on the wings were made with icing, they were just adorable. Snowflake also got some fruit to nibble on, in her own bowl. Normally she doesn’t eat with us, but it was a special occasion after all.

And he gave me a card, it was so sweet. And it mentioned that I was a mother, so he was just teasing me with the moth day stuff after all. I have to admit that I’m relieved! It was all so nice though. I think I should plan something for him for Lizard Day, although I’m not sure when it would be. Maybe near Father’s Day.

I got a chance to talk to Salenicus too. I’m a little annoyed that Orledin didn’t even give him my message, or maybe he tried and he just wasn’t listening. I think I did manage to convince him to go to the school again though. And he said he’s going to bring flowers, and a poem. If I’m right, that should definitely work. I may have exaggerated just a tiny bit, but she’s certainly not going to change her mind if he stays away forever. I hope it works out okay. It must be so lonely being undead. He’s already talking about living together though! I hope he doesn’t say that, he’ll probably scare her off.

[Story] Xanaroth’s Journal

I stopped by Magister Firewind’s house to meet his new student. He’d been caught with certain books, and Hethurin agreed to allow Aeramin to instruct him safely, rather than expel him altogether. Many people aren’t so understanding, so I’m grateful that he allows his students to explore subjects that he may not agree with. However, he’s not to study or practice on the school grounds, which is where Aeramin came in. It’s far safer this way, he can learn the foundations required to summon safely and without putting others in danger. But then Aeramin said he thought I should take over his lessons, for what reason I do not know. I was surprised by the suggestion, but quickly agreed. It’s been far too long since I’ve had a student, and I look forward to watching him learn and progress. He’s studying fire magic currently, which is a good starting place. I intend to begin with the classification and attributes of various types of demons. He has a few books, but I can loan him more. It’s difficult not to give them all at once, I have to remember that he’ll be easily overwhelmed by too much information too fast. I can hardly believe I was once that naive and eager.

I intend to organize my work-room and give him his own corner to use for study and practice. Most of what’s down there are my notes for the book, but it’s been overdue for organizing anyway. I am a little concerned that Vallindra might not be pleased, but she shouldn’t see or hear him at all aside from when he arrives and leaves. That, and the baby will be here any day now. I know Hethurin teaches his classes with one (or two, sometimes) in a sling, and I expect that would work well for me. But later on, once Felarius actually begins summoning, we will have to find another arrangement. There’s no way I would expose my child to even an innocent looking imp; too much can go wrong. But I suspect that is quite some time off, I suppose how quickly Felarius learns and where his individual strengths lie.

I’m uncertain of Aeramin’s reasons for giving me his student. I’m not complaining, of course. On the contrary, it was a pleasant surprise. He did make a remark about not wishing to make Imralion jealous, which I found rather strange. Would he really be jealous of Aeramin spending time with a student? He did say there had been issues in the past, not necessarily with Imralion, but others. I suppose if Vallindra had a very handsome young blood knight wishing to visit her often, I might not like it very much. Whatever the reason, I look forward to it. And to finally meeting my son or daughter as well.

[Story] Story a Week 19

[[ Prompt: Dice

Yeah it’s Sorias again, haha. I like writing him! ]]

Sorias fetched another platter of drinks from the back room, opening the tap from the enormous barrel and shoving the mugs underneath. Inevitably, some spilled this way, but it was much faster, and if the patrons were happy, Blackbrew was happy. Besides, the stuff was stolen anyway, so he didn’t care too much if a little was wasted. He emerged from the back room with the tray of drinks, hurrying around to set one beside each person seated at the table. When he’d accepted the job, of course he hadn’t known exactly what the dwarf had in mind. But barmaid was certainly not what he expected. He wasn’t just serving drinks, though. He was watching the entrance for anyone suspicious, and watching the patrons for any weapons or otherwise out of the ordinary. When he’d first started, Sorias had asked what that meant, and Blackbrew said that he would know when he saw it. He was right about that. The dwarf had given him a dagger of his own, finer than any he’d had in Kalimdor. It was long and straight, with serrations along the sharper edge and a delicate curve to its tip. Sorias liked it a lot, it reminded him of an eagle’s claw. He had free rein to use it whenever he deemed it necessary — which thus far he hadn’t. But he liked knowing it was there all the same.

“Oy, elf!” shouted one of the dwarves. “We’re starvin’ here.” Blackbrew — and the other dwarves — never called him Sorias. He was “Stretch” to Blackbrew, and simply “elf” to the rest. That suited him just fine. He was all too happy to leave his old life behind. Sorias pushed through the swinging doors into the makeshift kitchen, piling a bowl with stale bread and some suspect cheese. Their food wasn’t the greatest, but no one came here for the food. It was an underground alehouse, like several around Ironforge, sort of an all-in-one vice central. Blackbrew held nightly gambling, as well as selling stolen and smuggled goods, occasionally a hired woman would stop by to work the crowd as well. Sorias knew of a few others, Blackbrew paid him to visit them and get information, but it seemed that Blackbrew’s was the longest-running. It likely had something to do with the hefty bribes paid to the guards. Sorias himself was also something of a novelty, he’d not seen any other elves in his time in Ironforge.

Most of the patrons were huddled around the dice table, stacked with piles of gold coins. Sorias had never seen that many coins in one place before coming here. They won and lost them like it was nothing at all. He hadn’t actually figured out the rules, they were complicated and seemed to change at the whim of those playing. Sorias heard the rattle of the dice in the shaker and then a tremendous roar from the dwarves at the table. He guessed something good had happened.

“Why don’t ye join us, Stretch?” Blackbrew asked, with a sly grin. Sorias knew what that grin meant. It meant he wanted to win back all the money he’d just paid Sorias this week.

“I don’t know if it’s a good idea–”

But before he could protest any further, he’d been herded into a chair that was much too small for him and was seated at the table with the others. He still had no idea how to play, but he wasn’t about to admit that in front of everyone and look foolish.

“Yer turn,” said the dwarf behind him, with a curly red beard. He pushed the dice shaker into Sorias’s hand.

Reluctantly, he shook it and poured the dice out onto the table. There was a collective gasp from the dwarves. Was that good? He had no idea. The faces of all five dice had threes on them.

“Bite my foot,” grumbled one of the dwarves, tossing his hat down onto the floor. “I’m out.”

Blackbrew grinned widely and pushed a stack of gold coins over to Sorias’s seat. “Well done, Stretch.” He had no idea what he’d done, or why it was good, but seeing the coins made his eyes widen. They were huge and heavy. He didn’t even know how many there were. It seemed the game was over for the night. The dwarves who remained moved to different tables to talk or do business. Blackbrew slipped the dice into his pocket and winked. “Now get back to work, Stretch.”