[Art] Dragonhawk

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[Story] Letter to Another Friend

Dear Kestrae,

I must apologize again for rushing off the way I did the other night. I often eat dinner in that restaurant so if you’d like to meet again, it’s a good place to find me. During the daytime, I’m busy with my studies and guests aren’t really allowed in the sanctum. After dinner I like to go and read at my little spot overlooking the ocean, but I haven’t told anyone where that is, aside from Theronil of course. You could also try the shop, of course, but I’m not there unless it’s really busy and they need help.

He brought a book about Kalimdor, have you ever been there? Most of the places are so beautiful, but it sounds like they’re very dangerous. It’s such a shame what happened to Azshara, I can’t believe they allowed that! Sometimes I’m glad we’re so far away from Orgrimmar, Theronil says it’s awful. We can just stay here and pretend they don’t exist? Not really, but it would be nice.

You have to tell me how you know him. Is there anything important I should know? I haven’t asked him about how he was injured but I can take a guess. He said that both of his sisters died, and his parents too. That’s awful. I know we were lucky not to lose anyone — my father was injured, but not badly. I can’t even imagine what it would be like. I do wonder why Teniron hasn’t got in touch with me, though I suppose he might have spoken to him about it already. Besides, he’s much too old.

At first I wasn’t sure if he thought of me like that, but I suppose he must if he’s climbing up that big hill to meet me for three days in a row. But he never said anything before last night. Then he said that I was the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen. Really now, that’s a bit far-fetched, isn’t it? I haven’t seen every girl in Dalaran, but I have no doubt there are beautiful ones there. I know there are in Silvermoon. It just made me a bit wary, like he’s trying to talk me into something. And he did say he likes me which I’m assuming means not just as friends. I dearly hope Sath wasn’t this confusing. Oh and then I think he was going to kiss me but it was right outside my house and not romantic at all. I think I accidentally hurt his feelings. It’s not that I didn’t want to exactly, it’s just that I want it to be nicer than outside our house where my parents might come out and see us. It just didn’t seem like the right moment, do you know what I mean? When we were reading poems up on the hill while the sun set… that would have been better. But even so it seems awfully fast, I mean I just met him. It’s all very sudden.

I don’t know if I need advice or what, mostly I just wanted to tell someone! You and my apprentice mage friend are the only people I can talk to about it. You’re still not telling Sath, right? He’d skin the poor fellow!

~Isandri

[Story] Magic Lessons 62: Sora’s Diary

Dear Diary,

I don’t know what to do. I think I’m freaking out. Normally I’d be happy that Master Heller was gone for a few days and I have the whole house to myself, but right now it’s too much emptiness. He went away to a gathering or a convention or something. Maybe it’s actually another secret wedding, but I don’t think so.

I don’t like calling them. I haven’t done it since I came here, just that one time with Nokjub but that one doesn’t really count. He’s just a little thing, like a squirrel or a sparrow. I mean a real one, one that has to do what I want it to. I hate them, I hate how they talk. I hate their hisses and the way they smell. Yes, they smell, they smell like the Nether. The hound doesn’t talk — he still smells and he still hisses, but he doesn’t talk. I want someone to talk to, not someone who’s going to say things back like “It’ll get better” or “It’s not so bad”. It is that bad, and it’s not going to get better.

Master Heller isn’t here, so I draw the circle in the front room. Even after I brush away the chalk, you can see the outline a little bit. I’ll have to scrub it with water later. The hound snuffles around the room, feeling with its tentacle eye things. Eventually it settles down next to me. Its body is warm and makes me feel a little better. Its skin feels like a snake or an alligator. The best part is that it doesn’t say anything, it just listens. Sometimes it will lift its head and make a little sound so I know it’s still listening.

Someone sent a package yesterday. Well, I know it was either Kestrae or Theronil. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Theronil, so it had to be Kestrae. I should probably send it back. I know she’s just trying to be nice but I said I didn’t want it. Now it’s here and I don’t know what to do with it. It’s really pretty, the chain looks like mithril and whoever made it took a lot of time and care. There are amethysts and rubies suspended along the chain in the center. It would match my robes. A boy wouldn’t have known that, at least not that boy. Why would she send it in the mail? I know who sent it. It’s in the bottom of my dresser right now, still in the box.

The hound doesn’t understand either. I wish I knew someone who did. I’ve seen a few others in the city, but I’m afraid to talk to them. Most people like me are scary, and burn with hate for living people. I don’t yet, but I’m afraid that I’ll start to.

~Sora

[Story] Letter from Raleth

Master Sorran Dawnstrike,

Please thank Mother for the generous gift. Am I correct in guessing that Father knew nothing of it? I’m sure the most recent lady Dawnstrike will appreciate it. My old crystal set was missing several pieces (a hazard of having cats), so it is most welcome. As for her first question, the ceremony already took place, two days ago. It was small, but lovely.

As for her second question, I’m quite certain that there are no grandchildren imminent, at least that I am aware of. We plan to have her finish her mage studies before we even consider it. I know that’s not the answer she wanted, so I’m glad it’s you giving her the news and not me. I’ll be sure to write and let her know if that should change. You could ask if she’d like a kitten in the meantime, our female cat is expecting.

My own research has been neglected of late, and you’re right, I should address that. Things should return to normal once we return to Dalaran, and I’ll have the time to devote to the translation. I don’t know why the magisters are so fussy, it’s not as if they gave me a grant or anything.

Regards,
Senior Enchanter Raleth

[Story] The Golden Wood

“You’re home late,” Isandri’s mother remarked, when she finally came through the door. Father, as usual, was working in what he called his workshop. He had a proper one at the shop, but he had turned Sath’s old room into a smaller workspace, so that he could work at home. Privately, Isandri thought her father worked too much, but any time she brought it up, her mother explained that he had to do it. It was the way of things, someone had to do all the work to keep the family going. Money wouldn’t just fall into their laps, as she was fond of saying. Isandri froze for one panicked moment, but Mother didn’t say anything else. She simply returned to washing the dishes.

She didn’t notice all the books in her satchel, or that her ears were dark. Isandri had a lie ready for the latter — the wind had blown in off the water and made the night cold. She didn’t have one prepared to explain away all the books. But what was she hiding? She hadn’t done anything improper. She’d met a friend to read, that’s all. And that’s all he was, he hadn’t tried to kiss her or anything. But she knew what her parents — and especially Sath — would have to say about it.

Her older sister, Mierra, was combing her hair at the vanity. Of the siblings, she was the only one to inherit their mother’s warm, brassy color. Isandri and Sath’alor had their father’s honey blonde locks. Though they were both grown, they still shared a room for the sake of space. Their father having a place to work was more important for the family than separate rooms. For the most part, Isandri didn’t mind it. Mierra was closer to her own age than Sath, and of course she was a girl, so she wasn’t afflicted with the same cluelessness that struck older brothers. She arched a delicate brow as Isandri dropped the heavy satchel onto her bed. “You took all those with you?” she asked, setting the bone comb down on the vanity. “That must have been heavy.”

Lying to her mother was one thing, it was worse to lie to her sister. But she had to, for now. She changed into her night-dress and got under the covers, picking up the poetry book. Even though she was tired, she wanted to read just a few more before she went to sleep. First she’d met her friend Selandra for lunch, the apprentice mage. She hadn’t thought to ask if she knew how to make portals to Dalaran. That would have been useful to know. Then, that evening she’d gone to have dinner at the same restaurant for dinner — it was one of her favorites, in part because it was right across the square from the sanctum where she studied. Many other students went there as well, so it doubled as a sort of gathering place for those who couldn’t — or wouldn’t — go to the taverns. Kestrae had surprised her there, and they’d had the chance to talk a little. It didn’t surprise her that Sath was completely messing things up with her. She loved her brother, but he could be incredibly thick at times. And in no area was that more true than his dealings with women. She told Kestrae that it wasn’t completely his fault, the female ranger had betrayed him badly. What she didn’t tell her was how he’d cried after that. Some things were meant to stay between siblings, even stupid big brothers. He’d always put his ranger duties — and his cats — above any other women who’d come into his life, and understandably none had tolerated it for long. Privately, she didn’t know if Kestrae would either, but she claimed to love him, so Isandri had promised to talk to him on her behalf. She had no idea what she’d say, but maybe a woman’s perspective would help.

They spoke of Theronil too. Isandri hadn’t meant to, but Kestrae asked how she’d met this mysterious fellow. It had been at the wedding, and it wasn’t difficult for her to narrow it down from there. She told Kestrae the truth, about how he’d promised to meet her again, with books from the library. She promised to write to her about it. What was there to write though? She’d fed his dragonhawk again, and tossed the ball for her — she had no idea they could be trained to do that. They talked about Dalaran and Northrend, and a little about Kalimdor. One of the books he’d brought was about Kalimdor, complete with lovely painted maps of those far-away lands. They’d talked about his injury, a little. Isandri wasn’t sure how to broach the topic, surely it wasn’t a pleasant one, but she couldn’t very well ignore it either. He told her that the orcs saw it as a sign of weakness. Isandri pointed out that it was proof that he was strong enough to survive. To come through something like that required strength, and not just physically. She wasn’t very advanced in her training, but tomorrow she’d see if there were any books on that sort of injury at the sanctum. Of course she didn’t know exactly what had happened, but he mentioned that they considered amputation. That was another reason she was confused. Why would he bring that up if he wasn’t just a friend?

She looked across to Mierra’s bed. “Are you awake?”

Her sister groaned. “What?”

Isandri closed the book and set it on the small table next to her bed. “Do you know if they’ve arranged anything for you yet?”

Mierra gave her a curious, sideways look. “Not that I’ve heard about. There was that tailor, I think they were talking to his parents a while back, but I don’t know if anything came of it. And that old scribe–”

“Oh, him.” Isandri shuddered. “Well, you should ask.” Because Mierra wasn’t exactly getting any younger herself. Normally, Sath would have to marry first, but as he was a ranger, he was sort of excepted from that rule. Many rangers never settled down, and it wouldn’t have been fair to make both sisters wait on him.

“Someone has to stay and help with the shop,” Mierra said, lying back down again. “You know that.”

Isandri did know that, and she was grateful that Mierra had volunteered for the task. Her older sister seemed to genuinely enjoy the work, and whatever man their parents found would have to as well. Isandri wasn’t sure how many eligible men would want to work making leather armor and harnesses and things.

She blew the lamp out and settled down beneath the blankets. Maybe he had wanted to kiss her, but had been afraid. She’d only kissed one boy before, a hawkstrider handler at the stables. It was horrible and slobbery, and he tried to put his hands all over her. Since then, she hadn’t let anyone else try. She didn’t think Theronil would be like that. He was smart and handsome and he didn’t smell like hawkstrider poop. Maybe tomorrow she’d have something to talk to Kestrae about.

[Story] Letter to a Friend

Dearest Selandra,

I apologize for not writing sooner, I suppose you know how it is, getting caught up with your studies and all. But I simply have to tell someone, and by that I mean someone not in my family, or at the sanctum. I know you’ll keep it quiet, won’t you? Of course you will!

A while back, some friends of my brother asked if I could perform their wedding ceremony for them. Of course I hadn’t done any before but I said yes. They gave me some ideas to work with and I spend hours and hours coming up with everything and then rehearsing it so it was perfect. I think I was as nervous as the bride! It all went wonderfully though and from what I can tell, everyone was happy. A couple people even complimented me on it, so I guess I didn’t mess it up too badly. But that’s not why I’m writing.

After the ceremony there were drinks and everything, and I sat with this ranger. Selandra, you should have seen him, he had the fanciest gold armor. You would have thought he was the one getting married. Oh and he has a red and gold dragonhawk that matches with it. So of course we started talking a little bit. His hair is perfect, Selandra, you should see it. He does have a brother, by the way — he’s quite a bit older but he’s very charming and he’s a jeweler. I might go snooping around to see if I can find out anything about their shop, he said it was destroyed but there might be some records or something. Anyway, he just sort of abruptly left and I was wondering what I’d said wrong, maybe I’d offended him or something. His leg is injured, I didn’t ask how it happened but maybe he’s sensitive about that. I don’t think I stared, I didn’t even notice until he got up actually.

But then yesterday I found a letter from him waiting at the sanctum, he wanted to know if he could meet me. I have my little perch where I like to sit and read looking over the water. I invited him there and he actually showed up. He’s so nice, he told me about Dalaran and the libraries there. I asked what it’s like, but he was kind of vague. If I go I’ll definitely report back for you, though. He said he’d bring me back some books from there, I’m going to have so much to read! He also let me feed his dragonhawk, she’s so delicate and beautiful. I don’t know very much about them but she must be fairly old to be so large, and she’s red and orange so she has to be from these woods. He told me she likes to play fetch with a ball, I didn’t even know they could do that!

He wants to come visit me again, it’s all so sudden. I can’t tell my parents and I certainly can’t tell Sath, he’d completely flip. I want to talk to his girlfriend, we talked a little bit before the wedding, but things have been so busy that we haven’t had the chance again. I simply had to tell someone though! Will you be able to meet for lunch today or tomorrow? I’m sure I could slip out between lessons.

~Isandri

 

[Screenshots] Too Many Ponies

Ive been keeping at my envelope-chasing in hopes that everyone will get one or the other of them. Yesterday was a good haul! Only problem is, well…

Those are ponies that character already has, and they’re bound to the character so they can’t be traded. I’m hanging on to them in the vain hope they’ll be unbound in the near future.

My Captain did get one, at least. I need some more of the Lossoth though!