[Art] Zaethir

File is over on Livestream as ZaethirFoxy!

[Story] Magic Lessons 71

Raleth mentally counted the coins remaining in his pouch as the goblin behind the counter brought down various jars and boxes.  There was more in the bank, of course, but his gold had been disappearing at an alarming rate these past few days. Mostly that was thanks to Vaelarian, Lali’s grandfather who had suddenly turned up in Dalaran again for a visit. He’d spent nearly no time at all with them, only coming by to ask for yet more money. Raleth knew how much the inn he’d chosen cost. While everything was more expensive in Dalaran, this inn’s rates were far more reasonable than most. Nor did the sweets at the sweet cart cost very much. Yet last night, Vaelarian had sat at their table again, proclaiming that he needed coins yet again to pay for his room at the inn. Raleth finally put his foot down and told Vaelarian he couldn’t spare any more. For a moment, he was worried the old kaldorei might stab him, but he didn’t. He simply gathered up his things and announced that he would no longer be in contact with Lali after he arrived in Ashenvale.

For one who claimed to love his granddaughter, Vaelarian certainly treated her badly. They were the only family the other had, and while Raleth knew perfectly well that families didn’t always go the way they were supposed to, he imagined that he’d at least treat his brother a bit better in the same situation. He had a fairly good idea where all of his money was going, and Raleth was tired of having to pay for it. They’d have to save up, if they were going to have their own family. Raleth twitched an ear, watching the goblin pull a step-stool over to the bank of shelves and climb onto it.

So far, there hadn’t been much progress in that area. The healer said she wasn’t, which surprised both of them. Raleth thought that perhaps she might be mistaken — maybe she wasn’t used to dealing with kaldorei, after all, but Lali seemed to take the woman’s word for it. Right in the street, Lali suggested that it might be his fault.  He wasn’t trying hard enough, she said. Raleth certainly believed he had, but he promised to do something about it. He didn’t dare ask at the regular herbalist — for one thing, she knew him there, and he’d be too embarrassed. And some of the items Raleth sought weren’t exactly easy to find. The little shack in the sewers specialized in things that weren’t easy to find. The goblin knew exactly what he wanted, even without having to spell it out.

Lined up neatly on the counter were an assortment of little jars and boxes, the labels mostly illegible, but Raleth could make out a few of them. Powdered shoveltusk antler, Stranglethorn tiger gall, deep-sea squid ink. Whatever concoction the goblin was making, it was sure to taste vile. But hopefully it wouldn’t take much.

And then Aeramin showed up, the young mage Raleth had hired to help with his translations. He seemed a good student overall, and Raleth liked him well enough. He explained that he needed an advance on his pay to find a new apartment for his parents in Dalaran. Of course he did. Raleth could hardly refuse, could he? Aeramin was appropriately grateful and hurried off again. Raleth just hoped he wasn’t spending his gold where Vaelarian had been.

Earlier that evening, they’d also picked out a stunning mage robe for Lali. Technically, she wasn’t allowed to wear mage robes yet, having not passed her trials. But she needed something for Fnor and Amyn’s wedding, and she said she didn’t want to wear an apprentice robe. And she looked stunning in it, sure to turn the heads of mages all over the city. It was black and red, trimmed in gold, and cut out on the sides to reveal just enough. That had been expensive too, but worth every coin.

The goblin set the last jar on the grubby counter — silithid husks — and set to mixing. Raleth watched as he crushed the ingredients in his mortar and pestle, and tapped the powder into a jar. Mix with a cup of boiling water, drink twice a day. Raleth winced inwardly, but thanked the goblin, taking the last few coins from his pocket. This had better work.

[Art] Malavar and Ashara

I guess she’s mad…

Watch me draw this on my Livestream, filename is MalavarAshara. The first part where I was doing her inks is missing, because I had to restart my computer due to my tablet being weird.

 

[Story] A Tangle of Brambles 90

She isn’t Summer, I remind myself. But I can’t help the comparison. She’s here all the time now, her skirts rustling around the shop while she dusts the shelves, or counts the parts. The customers love her. I’m sure the recent increase in business is in part because of her. I’m sure some of them like me, too, but Josie has a softness and an innocence about her that many men find irresistible. Women too, I suppose.

Her friend from the docks has been sending flowers. She puts them in a vase in the shop, and it brings some of her softness and brightness into the otherwise rather bare and dusty shelves. I haven’t asked her about him lately. I haven’t asked much of anything important, because I’m afraid to make cracks in the fragile peace we have now. But I’m sure she knows, and is daintily stepping around the subject just as I am. I think about asking her to go somewhere, just the two of us. We could go riding, except she doesn’t have a horse and I’d have to rent one for her. Or we could both ride Blackjack. I think she’d blush at the suggestion. I’ll ask later today, or perhaps tomorrow. Or the day after. I’m worried about what might happen if she says no, but I’m more worried about what might happen if she says yes.

The elf has made a habit of calling her “Kitten”, but not where she can hear. Kittens are bold and fearless, and turn into cold and calculating killers in time. I don’t think she’s a kitten. He made her a bird, too. It’s a larger bird than mine, with strong shoulders and a long beak. It looks like the ravens back in Gilneas. I’d like to see it, to hold its weight in my hands, to watch the gears turn and the springs unwind. I didn’t get her anything. I guess the dresses, indirectly, but nothing so nice as the bird. Sometimes she goes up to the workroom to watch him. I did, at first, but he gets so absorbed in what he’s doing that he doesn’t even notice I’m there. Still, it’s a sort of magic to me, the way he knows just which part to put where.

Lord Harrowmont sent over some of his work for approval. He’s not as skilled at documents as Pretty Boy, but there’s no doubt that he has skill. And he can do something that Pretty Boy couldn’t. Woven in among the ordinary letters, nearly too tiny to notice, strange symbols and sigils lend a power far above any ordinary documents. He assures me they can change things, suggest things, make things happen. I don’t pretend to understand it, but I’m happy to take advantage of it. Carefully, though. I have a feeling that magic like that isn’t exactly legal. But then, none of us are.

[Story] Isandri’s Diary

Dear Diary,

Poor Thero is such a wreck! His operation is this morning, but already for the past few days he can’t think about anything else. I’m trying to be supportive but it’s like he doesn’t want to hear anything besides his own worry. The night before last he said he needed me to help him “relax”. I couldn’t believe that! Like I’m some hired woman who only exists to make him feel better. I told him if that’s all he wanted, there were plenty of houses he could go to here. I mean, just the way he said it, like it was my duty and it didn’t even matter what I thought. So of course after that he was upset and wouldn’t come to bed, so he went and worked at his desk for a while. Teniron brought a whole big box of jewelry, and Thero’s going to enchant it so he can sell it. I keep trying to sneak little peeks into the box, it’s not like I need any more but still, it’s fun to look at, you know?

Then yesterday he refused to eat. He’s not allowed to eat after midnight so he won’t have anything in his stomach for the operation, I guess, but all he ate was some toast at breakfast. I didn’t realize that’s all he’d had, so I was trying to get him to eat something last night before it was too late. He’s as bad as a toddler! “I’m not hungry”, he kept saying. Well, you certainly will be in the morning when it’s time to leave and you haven’t had anything! Thankfully, Teniron and Kestrae backed me up, but he didn’t want to listen to either of them any more than he listened to me. I think Teniron finally did coax him to eat some soup, but then it came up as soon as we got home. I know he’s scared, I’d be too, but I’ll be there with him the whole time, and he just has to focus on how much better everything will be after he’s healed. I hope he’s not planning to be this impossible the entire time he is healing.

If he was hungry this morning, he didn’t say anything, but he was practically shivering. For a while, I thought he was going to refuse to go, but I finally coaxed him through the portal. The fact that he’s in Silvermoon didn’t help matters at all, I’m sure. I wonder if he’ll ever be able to go back there. I mean, I like Dalaran, but I grew up around Silvermoon, and I do miss it sometimes. I helped him pack a little bag with an extra robe, I also brought a few books — those are mostly for me while I wait, but just in case he needs them too. He’s in talking with Sanimir’s father right now, hopefully he’s getting all of his questions answered. And hopefully he won’t back out at the last moment. I know this will be good for him.

[Art] Risarra at the River

Watch the Livestream of me drawing this here! Filename is RisarraRiver.

 

[Story] Tathariel’s Journal

Jaellynn went out today to find the nests. He must have found something, because he was gone for quite a while. It was hot, and Relanos was a bit fidgety, so I took him down to the water to play. That boy is probably going to learn his seal form before any others! While we were down there, the girl from last night showed up. She was trying to be sneaky, I think, but when she saw Relanos she showed herself so she could get closer to him. I hadn’t noticed before how young she is, she looks barely old enough to be out on her own. I wondered for a moment if that blood elf really did somehow put a spell on her.

She kept her distance and watched us warily. I didn’t see the blood elf anywhere around, so I tried talking to her. I wasn’t worried that she’d try to hurt us, like I said, she was curious about Relanos. I asked where the mage was, and she said he was somewhere safe. She said he wasn’t laying eggs, because he’s not a bird. Maybe Jaellynn would believe it if he heard it from another kaldorei…  She said the eggs were from dragonhawks, or hawkstriders. Then she told me that she had a hawkstrider, a white one, and the blood elf bought it for her. So it’s true, they are mates. I knew from the way she hesitated that they were. I was completely baffled. How does something like that even happen?

I brought Relanos up on the bank and we sat in the flowers. The girl told me about how her grandfather said Ashenvale wasn’t safe — I remember hearing that as well. He took her to Dalaran to study with a Highborne, but then she ran away and the blood elf came to find her, and the grandfather stabbed her. To be honest, I really couldn’t follow her story very well and I’m sure there’s a lot more to it that she didn’t feel like telling me. She said that she moved into his house right away, because apprentice mages normally do that. But then she said that he loved her already, so surely she had to know what he had in mind. Weren’t there any proper kaldorei men in Dalaran, I asked? I guess there probably aren’t many. But a blood elf is so short and pale, and I asked if he wasn’t small everywhere. The girl insisted that he’s not, but I don’t know. I don’t think I want to find out.

She said that I was just looking at his appearance, and not what he’s really like. She had a point. Isn’t that exactly what people did to Jaellynn? I explained that he was the same way, gentle and protective, not at all like most death knights. The girl didn’t ask about how he and I got together, though she did want to know how we had Relanos. She told me they’re going to try to have their own child. I shouldn’t feel jealous, but I do. I worry about how a child like that will be treated by others — but I guess she could have said the same about ours. At least Jaellynn can sometimes pass for a normal kaldorei, if people aren’t paying too close attention. There’s no way that a blood elf could. I wonder if I could write to her in Dalaran. Jaellynn would never approve though.