[Story] Xanaroth’s Notes

* I was finally able to meet with Kestrae and Aeramin regarding the research on the Black Harvest. I hope that Aeramin’s personal drama won’t be having any further effect on the project than it already has. According to him, Sanimir’s recent visit was a surprise. I’m not sure if I believe that, but neither did I feel like arguing with him on that point. I know from experience he’ll cling to a lie forever.

* Kestrae suggested that we keep watch on the other sites as well. I think it’s a very good idea, one which won’t require much in the way of time or expense. Theronil the ranger should be able to make such an enchant, and hopefully he won’t charge us too outrageously for it. There are only two other sites that we know of, but I suggested that we have more mirrors ready. They could also be used for communication, if that becomes necessary. (Hopefully it doesn’t.) Aeramin says he’ll be in Netherstorm in the next few days, and can keep an eye on the site there.

* Vallindra has been keeping an eye on the travelers passing through the sanctum in Shadowmoon. I told them of the human figure that I’d seen, but neither had read anything specific about any notable humans. Of course, there’s not much information at all, so that doesn’t surprise me. If there were any notable symbols on his clothing, I didn’t see any. She also mentioned a Forsaken female there at the sanctum, and said she would continue to watch for anything unusual while she conducts her ley-line research.

* The subject of her safety came up again. She offered to observe the Shadowmoon site while she was doing her other work — alone. She believes that as long as she doesn’t go too close to the more dangerous demons, she’ll be safe. It doesn’t work that way. I would think that Aeramin’s example would have been demonstration enough, but she insists that she is careful. I have no doubt that Aeramin was being “careful” too. I would at least like to be present, so in case anything does happen I can protect her, or at the very least distract it long enough so that she can escape. The voidwalker is no match for some of its deadlier cousins, I’m not sure if she really comprehends that.

* Kestrae was asking about the wedding plans. I can never quite be sure if she’s mocking me when she does so. I’m content to let Vallindra do what she wishes for that, the color of the napkins or the ribbons doesn’t matter at all to me. I do hope that she narrows down a date soon, so we can have notices printed to send to my parents. The shock may well kill them, though I hope not. They’d be pleased with my choice, I think.

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[Screenshots] LOTRO Teal Firework Pony

This morning’s update put in a new horse, a recolor of the Fireworks-Laden steed. I was able to buy it on my Hobbit, not sure if the others will get enough in time (it ends tomorrow). Best part is that her name is Sparkle!

sparklepony

[Story] Sath’alor’s Reflections

I’m afraid that I’ll never leave this place. I ask the bears when they think I’ll be able to go, and they never give me a real answer. They say vague things that don’t mean anything, why can’t you just answer the question? I’m trying to do what they want but it’s difficult. Going back to Shattrath didn’t help anything, I really shouldn’t have. I’m glad I saw Isandri, but now she’s angry with me and I thought I would be okay seeing Kes with someone else but I’m not. It all just seems unfair.

I only know two other elves here, and I don’t know where Cadellus is. Aranae thinks he’s gone off to hide somewhere or something, but if I were him I’d have left this place long ago. She thinks he wants to stay and finish his training or something. Training in what? Punching things I guess. She was saying that he’s supposed to leave and report back to his captain. I asked her if she knew who his captain was, but she didn’t. I was curious if it was anyone I knew. Before when we talked, she said she wanted to stay here for a long time and maybe become a teacher, but now she’s talking about leaving too. Great, so I’ll be the only elf stuck here with all of the bears.

She really doesn’t like her family either. Well, she said she gets along with two of her sisters, but not the others. Her older sister is getting married, but she doesn’t want to go because her sister made her wear a dress once, or something. And she doesn’t like her little brother because… I’m not sure why, but she made him get muddy so he’d get in trouble. I tried to point out that’s exactly like what her sister did, but she didn’t seem to get it. I thought about Mierra and Isandri and all the rotten things I did to them growing up, but I didn’t dislike them. That’s just what older brothers do. But I didn’t tell Aranae about that, to her I’m still just Toruviel, who doesn’t have any sisters or people who left him.

Aranae was talking about arranged marriages and whether my parents ever tried to arrange any for me. I said they didn’t, which was mostly true – they couldn’t really afford to, nor was I very interested. Most girls don’t want a man who is out in the woods all the time. Weren’t they concerned with passing on our name? I suppose Father might be, a little, but he doesn’t bring it up. I know I’m a screw-up in that regard, I don’t need my parents to remind me of it. I asked about Cadellus, I thought they were a thing but she says they’re just friends. Then she asked if I liked him… really? I said if she stayed here she’d probably end up married to one of the bears, and she thought that was really gross. She asked if they had hair there, how would I know?

Aranae says the regent lord is here in Pandaria, and the war might be coming here. I don’t want to fight in a war. I don’t think the bears would allow them to come here and make people fight… at least I hope not.

 

[Story] Morthorn’s Notes

Subject “H”

I found myself back at the manor to speak with Subject H again. He seemed to be in high spirits on his return from his trip, so I asked him how that went. I know the main purpose of his visit was to speak with his former partner, so I asked how that conversation went. I was surprised to hear that he hardly spoke with him at all, and that H would not be returning to meet with him again. But, he said, he was okay with it. It seems he has finally found some acceptance of the situation and made the choice to move forward. What an encouraging sign! He spoke of some of the other friends he visited while there, including the fiance of his sister. Again I was surprised to learn that he gets along well with the man, even asking him for advice in his situation. H wondered how he could not see his sister in the way he does, and I explained that we all have different perspectives. He has only known the sister for a short time as an adult, whereas H grew up with her, and their relationships are much different.

H admitted that he still has difficulty trusting people, though he feels he is doing well with those who are near him — his apprentice, the butler, and his two house guests. That’s a great deal more than he trusted before! He admitted that he doesn’t fully trust me yet, I hope that will come with time. I can usually sense when a subject isn’t quite telling me everything, but I allow them to choose the right time to tell me. H inquired whether or not I keep notes, and I said that I do, though I don’t use any names, only an initial. Still, I know that there is enough identifying information in my notes that I keep them locked and hidden. I asked if H might be willing to help me construct some magical wards to protect them further, it’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. He liked the idea, and I think my answer reassured him at least a bit.

He seems newly dedicated to his dream of building a magic school at the estate, an idea which I think would help both him and the surrounding countryside. As people begin to return, resources such as schools will be needed. Most folk who live here cannot afford the instructors in Silvermoon, and the travel can prove to be an obstacle as well. When speaking with my subjects, I try to avoid interjecting my own experience too much — for one thing, we aren’t there to talk about me, and for another I don’t wish to influence them too much. But the reason I started talking to people like this was as much to help me as it was to help others. I think the magic school will help H in the same way.

 

[Story] Imralion’s Notes

I guess we’re back together again. I didn’t exactly plan for that to happen — actually, I didn’t know for sure what was going to happen. I guess I wanted answers, but now I have them and I’m not sure if he’s just saying what I want to hear or if he really means it. And I feel bad about Hethurin, too.

Since the last time Aeramin and I talked, I’d been busy with our training in Netherstorm. That’s good because it gave me something to do instead of worrying about it all day. You wouldn’t know it but there are a ton of demons here, it must have been important to them at one point, or they’re attracted to all of the magic that’s here. I finally got to see some observers and hounds of Culuthas, which was kind of cool because it’s much different than seeing a picture in a book. But it also made me think of Aeramin, because I remember studying about them with him. It seems like so long ago. The Captain says we’ve progressed a lot over the course of our trip, and I guess he’s right. I’d hate to think there are things like this roaming around back home, though. I still thought about him some at night. I wondered if I’d done the right thing. It’s not really that Hethurin stayed over that bothered me — I think I believe him that nothing happened then. It’s that he told me he still loves someone else. I’m not crazy to think that’s not good, am I?

Then I got the letter — well it was really a note. My first thought was that I guess Hethurin said he didn’t want to go back. As it happened, we had the night free so I decided to go and see Aeramin in person at his house. I knew there was a chance that someone else might be there, and it might be awkward. It was awkward, all right. Just as I was about to knock on the door, Hethurin’s apprentice saw me and said hello. I guess she’d come by for her lessons, and I was sure that her instructor must be somewhere nearby. Aeramin looked surprised to see both of us, but he let us in. He’d been cooking a roast — who cooks a roast for just themselves? Maybe he had an idea that we were coming. Or maybe Hethurin was supposed to come over. It was good, though I think it would have been better with the spicy vegetables. I stared at my plate and listened as they talked about magic. It seems she’s having some trouble with her spells, then they said that their magic wasn’t so different from what I did. I think it is, I mean I can use the Light for some things but not a lot. There are others who are so much better at it than I am. Mainly it just makes my weapon better, and I explained how that made it better for killing demons. I think his apprentice was impressed by that, she went on about how brave I was and how I was keeping everyone safe. I don’t feel brave, they’re terrifying. I think if you aren’t terrified by them, you’re probably under one of their spells or something.

Hethurin knocked on the door, and that’s when things got really awkward. I didn’t know what to say. I thought that they would want to talk — I mean maybe we should all talk and figure out what’s going on, but the look on his face… he just wanted to leave as soon as he could. I don’t want to force Aeramin to pick but I guess maybe I am, and he said that he had. I was surprised at that because of what he said before about Hethurin. He and his apprentice left in a hurry — he made a portal back to the Ghostlands — and then we were alone again.

I asked if that meant that Hethurin wasn’t coming back, and what would happen if he did. Aeramin said that he’d made up his mind when he wrote to me, well he could have included that in his note. Part of me is still worried, that things aren’t really resolved, and I’m afraid of what might happen if Hethurin talks to him alone. Like maybe he’ll change his mind again. But he asked me to stay, and I did, even though I know it’s probably not a good idea. Now I don’t know all over again, am I staying here in Shattrath? Lin is going to be unhappy with me. She’ll tell me I’m an idiot.

We have to go to Shadowmoon in a few days, I have to admit that I’m glad knowing Aeramin will be there too. Hethurin made a remark before he left, he said I should be careful there because Aeramin would be upset if something should happen to me. He mentioned the demon that hurt Aeramin, just the way he said it made it sound kind of mean. I told him if I found that demon, I’d definitely take care of it.

 

[Story] Shadows of Shattrath 6

Uldred found the girl at the library again. This wasn’t very unusual; he spent almost every evening there, well into the late hours when they finally shuttered the windows and turned down the lamps. Normally he didn’t have very many others for company, sometimes he would see Kestrae or Aeramin, and once in a while one of the other magisters. He thought that most of them had moved back to Silvermoon by now, after having fled Dalaran. Uldred might have left too, if there was anywhere left to go. Like the displaced elves, his home was completely gone, but for a different reason. They were, he realized, supposed allies of those foul skeletons, the raised dead who now polluted and corrupted the peace of Gilneas. He thought he might ask one of them about it some day, to ask whether they might come to their senses soon and reconsider their allegiances.

There were a lot of things he meant to ask, but never did. The first night that the apprentice was back in Shattrath, he hadn’t spoken to her at all. He meant to, had his hand resting on the door to open it and go in, but somehow he couldn’t. What would he say? What if she’d forgotten who he was already? What if she didn’t want him to speak to her at all, and was only doing so to be polite? When he tried to practice what he would say, the words got tangled up in his tongue and he felt more of a fool than usual. He’d never been good at talking to people in general, and talking to girls — especially pretty ones — always turned into a disaster. No matter how hard he tried, fate seemed to find a way for him to ruin it. While his mother was still alive, his father had been keen to arrange meetings with some of the local girls. Uldred knew that the purpose of this was to find him a suitable wife, so that he could have a family of his own and carry on their name. Some of the girls had been outright unpleasant, but for the most part they were kind enough. And pretty of course, that was where he got himself into trouble. Maybe if Father had found him drab and plain girls, things would have gone better. He remembered all of their names. There was Charlotte, whom he’d offered to carry her books, only to accidentally spill her ink-well all over her pretty new blue dress. He’d accidentally trod on Abigail’s toes, and allowed Frances to step into a puddle — it was much deeper than it had appeared, so her shoes were entirely soaked. After a time he learned not to say much at all, so then of course they found him stubborn or dull. He tried to make conversation, but they all seemed entirely different creatures than he was, and had no idea where to begin. Matters only became worse when he began to study magic, and his eyes were opened to its possibilities, while the girls that Father found only wished to speak of shoes or plays.

Des liked magic though, last night she had surprised him at his table and wanted to sit and talk again. He suggested that she work in a different area for a while, if she was finding fire too frustrating. Sometimes, he explained, it was better to focus elsewhere for a while, then approach the problem with a fresh view. And she talked about her teacher again, as she always did. That made it seem a bit safer, somehow. She also told him about dragons, and for a moment he considered telling her about the plagued drake. Des wrote the number of the shelf down, where he could find the books on dragons. He hadn’t seen them yet, and hoped they might have some information to help him understand it better. Maybe when she came back again, and he didn’t look quite so sick, Uldred could let her see the dragon.

[Story] Xanaroth’s Notes

* Though I’ve had the mirror for quite some time now, I’ve only once seen anyone in it — and even that was but for a few moments, and from a distance. It was a human, the best I could tell, though I couldn’t say for certain. What I could tell for certain was that it was one of us, just the way he — I’m fairly certain of that too — moved around the circle. He moved with confidence but was well aware of where his feet were being placed within the circle. Only one of us would take such care. I need to speak to Aeramin soon — we should all speak together, actually. I am curious if he has any idea who this human might be.

* I’ve been doing my own research into this Black Harvest, as well as any known summoners in recent history. As I expected, there’s very little to go on, and what information I did find only seems to contradict itself. I wonder if I might not have better luck simply asking for gossip in Lower City. I went up to one of the enclaves upstairs, where the older and more obscure books are kept, in hopes of finding something new. I hadn’t even known those rooms existed until recently. Vallindra went out to study the lines in Shadowmoon further, and most likely work with her voidwalker again. I thought I should at least do something productive rather than wait and worry at home.

* I was a bit startled to find Sanimir there, and from his expression he was just as surprised to see me. He relaxed a little (though very little) when I assured him that Vallindra wouldn’t be coming along. She tends to lose track of the time when she’s working, and she’s making up for time lost while we were tending to the dragon. I know he still blames her for all of the bad luck that’s befallen him, though she was trying to keep him safe. I can’t say that I wouldn’t have done the same, were he my son and refused to listen to reason. I expected him to be angry with me, accuse me of conspiring with her — which admittedly, I did.  The last time we spoke, he tried to convince me against our relationship, and I believe that’s what he was doing again last night.

* He asked what I would do if she left, which I admit did alarm me. Had she ever done that before? Sanimir said that he hadn’t, at least that he knew of. Of course, he had no knowledge of her being with anyone before me. I hope I haven’t accidentally said something I shouldn’t have. I suppose I’ll hear about it from her soon enough if that’s the case. He asked what I would do if she left, or if I left and she found someone else. I told him that I wouldn’t, he doesn’t know what it’s been like for all these years. She’s not perfect, neither am I, but I wouldn’t simply walk away unless she made it perfectly clear that she wanted me to. I’d try to work out whatever problems we might have. He couldn’t have known that I worry about it happening, that she might change her mind and decide she wants someone younger, or wealthier, or I don’t know what. Could he?

* Finally he admitted that he was seeking advice for his situation with Aeramin, and I remembered then that he’d moved another man into their house. I can’t pretend to understand what’s going through Aeramin’s mind, so I suggested that they speak so he might have a better understanding of the situation. It can’t be easy for him, and I wish there were more I could do. I know Sanimir doesn’t trust me, I don’t blame him for that. But I’ve always thought he was a good boy at heart. He asked if I thought he was still in danger with Aeramin. I said I wasn’t sure. Magically speaking, I think he is. Emotionally speaking, it’s impossible to say. Though I think if Aeramin is already looking to replace him, that can’t be a good sign.

* I know Sanimir was only being hypothetical, but I had to ask Vallindra when she came home, just to be sure. I think I probably irritated her because I might have asked more than once.