[Art] Halla Plush

A halla is never named by its Dalish companion. Rather, a halla will use three names throughout its lifetime; its Hoof name is learned upon first setting her hooves upon the forest floor at birth, and known only to the halla herself. As she matures, the delicate antlers will grow from her forehead to reveal her Branch name, used among the other halla of her herd. But the last is not revealed to her until she has bonded to a Dalish companion, and this is her Heart name. No other will ever know it but these two.

[[ This plush halla was designed and sewn by me, based on a creature from the Dragon Age games. She stands approximately 9 inches tall and is 9 inches long. Her antlers, hooves and nose are made of paperclay. ]]



[Story] Morthorn’s Notes

I went to the school again, and nothing happened, again. Although this time her father was there. I expected that he’d be busy with Rylad again, and he wouldn’t notice me. But no, he was right there at the table with Lani, being disapproving. It was awfully awkward, even moreso than usual. I made small conversation about Nessna and whether she was healing all right, and that the rangers were patrolling now. Hethurin said that he hadn’t expected me, but he kind of had to, didn’t he? Lani was drinking water again. I don’t know if she’s just trying to make a point or what. She hadn’t mentioned trying it to her father, which surprised me because she’s a grown woman. Why does he even have any say in what she’s doing? But maybe that’s the reason why. Then she said she didn’t like it after all, so I have no idea what she thinks now.

He had a lot of questions for me. He wanted to know why I didn’t visit every single night. Why would he want that? I assume he knows what men and women normally do when they’re seeing each other.  I explained that I had many other patients to visit, and the trip out to the school is quite a long walk. I suppose that one day I should invest in a hawkstrider, but I don’t know where I could keep it now. There’s a stable for travelers, but it’s about as reputable as the inn (not very) and expensive on top of that. Maybe once the building is finished, but then of course I wouldn’t need a hawkstrider, would I? That’s another thing, I asked whether he’d had any luck finding workers yet. He’s looking in Silvermoon, which seems a bit risky to me. I’d rather hire workers who have experience out here and won’t run away home at the first sight of an enormous spider. And he’s going to put them up in the inn. I tried to persuade him against that, and Hethurin suggested that they could stay at the school. I don’t know if that’s such a good idea either, especially if he doesn’t know anything about these men. They could be criminals or worse, in a house with several young students and potentially a baby.

Then Isturon asked to speak to me in the kitchen, which immediately filled me with dread. It turns out he just wanted to know why I’d bought Lani the book. Evidently there are some rather colorful passages in it. I had no idea! It’s not as if Lani ever mentioned them, nor did the book-seller. I can’t really be angry with him, he wouldn’t have any reason to say anything about it. Most women enjoy that sort of story, I think. Isturon said that Lani refused to read it — yet she’d already asked me for the third book. I certainly need to be more careful in the future and actually look at the book first. He also mentioned that she’d told him of “impure thoughts”. Had she? I’d never heard about those either. You’d think she would tell me rather than her father.  At least he agreed that we don’t need an appointment keeper at the new building. I’m perfectly capable of keeping track of appointments, I already do my own. I did all of Lani’s paperwork for her while we were in Kalimdor, appointments aren’t even as complicated as that.

In the end he said he thought that Lani had made a good choice. For what, we aren’t engaged! Though it may have been a hint, I don’t know. Why would he even ask about the book and her drinking wine if he thought I was a good choice? I have no idea.


[Story] The Ghostclaw – Linarelle’s Patrol

We started our new patrol last night. I guess Gaelardrim already warned him, because Tylenthis had a proper bow at least. And I asked what kind of food he brought, and it was normal food. He said it was a little strange adjusting to the new time of day — he’d been going with Nessna in the early morning, so it’s a big difference. He asked what was different, I told him it was darker. But really, there are more Scourge active at night usually, and there are different animals active. The bats, mainly, though the cats hunt at night usually as well.

The captain asked us to keep an eye out for places that might have spiders nesting in them, and mark them on the map. We did that while we made our way along the normal route. Honestly, I don’t know that much about spiders. Where do they like to live? Inside of boots, but these are really giant spiders. Tylenthis asked if I’d ever killed one before, and I said I haven’t, but it can’t be any different from shooting anything else. I’m not sure where you would aim though, I guess the head — but spiders don’t really have a head. So the small part, I figure. I asked how their shooting practice was coming along, and he seemed really hesitant to show me, but he finally did. At first he missed really badly, but he tried another target that was better lit and he did a lot better. I figure that’s because he had some training on the island, while Gaelardrim was just walking around hammering in tent pegs the whole time. I guess that’ll come in handy if we ever need to camp.

He wanted to talk about himself, which was okay I guess. I mean, it makes sense to get to know each other especially since you’re all alone in case anything happens. But honestly I don’t really care. Tylenthis said he moved out here to start over, which I’d think implies something bad, but he said there wasn’t anything. How boring. I guess he was just living at home in the city and thought this would be more exciting. I asked what he’d been doing with Nessna, and she’d shown him some basic tracking skills. I thought it might be good practice if she and Gaelardrim could make a trail during their patrol, then during ours, he could try to follow it. I’ll bring it up with the captain. Maybe he’d let us follow Clementine, I’m sure it would be interesting to see where a tiger goes during the night.

Oh, he wanted to talk about the captain too, he thinks something’s going on with him and Nessna. I thought the flowers made that pretty obvious, but he didn’t know about that. Tylenthis said he bought a stuffed toy for Rylad, though. It’s not enough that even the old lady and the cat have someone, but that means there’s no chance with the captain either. Tylenthis said it’s a bad idea to be with someone you work with, but it happens all the time with rangers. It’s kind of inevitable, besides most women don’t like guys that run around in the woods and get all dirty. He asked if I had a boyfriend too, you’d think he would know from all that talking to Gaelardrim. I’m doing what the Confessor said and trying to focus on anything else for now. Hopefully I can talk to him soon. I think he’s avoiding Lani’s father, not that I can really blame him.

[Art] Halla Plush Progress

I finished the sewing on the halla plush today. Tomorrow I’ll start sculpting his hooves! He looks a little scruffy because he isn’t stuffed yet and hasn’t got to comb his hair!

Finished but inside-out

Finished but inside-out

Turned, waiting for hooves and antlers!

Turned, waiting for hooves and antlers!



[Story] Fairsong Academy – Maerista’s Lesson

Dear Magister Firewind,

I hope your trip is going well. Have you seen a lot of pandaren yet? It’s so strange to think that only a few years ago we thought they just existed in books. What will we know about a few years from now?

I had class today. Teaching is a lot harder than I thought it was going to be! Don’t worry, your notes were fine and I could read them okay, it was just kind of weird. We started with some simple fire manipulation exercises. They all seemed to have a hard time with it! I mean, I know they’re all just starting out but it almost seemed like they were having trouble  on purpose. Like Xarola kept putting her flame out, and Salastion thought he was moving his, but he was actually just breathing on it. The exercise was to stretch a flame anyway, so even if he was moving it, that’s not what he was supposed to be doing! I let them do that for a while but they seemed to be struggling, so I thought some reading would be good. I gave them a chapter to read and do the questions on. Oh my goodness, they just talked the whole time! Salastion kept saying how he liked frost magic so much better, which I thought was totally rude. If he likes it so much better he can just go to that class and skip this one. I tried to get them back on task which worked for a little while but then I mentioned that they could ask me if they had any questions. I meant about the text, not about things in general! Salastion started asking me stuff that makes me wonder if he’s even read any theory at all, like he was asking how fire magic creates fire from nothing, while ice magic uses the water in the air. Honestly! So I had to explain the basic differences between magical and non-magical fire to a student who should already know this! I don’t blame you, I just think he wasn’t listening in his other classes. Oh and then Xarola starts talking about kittens and about whether or not Lani is getting married. I don’t know! And class time is not the time to be asking about it!

Being a teacher is a lot more difficult than I thought. I did organize your desk and the supply cabinet though. After class was over, we all went to the dining room, which was a little bit weird. I mean, a minute ago I was a teacher but now I’m a student again. I know the teachers often eat with us, but it was weird to be on the other end, like do they see me as a teacher still? I guess I’m not explaining it very well. We talked about whether there will be a ball in the spring. I hope there is! They should have it outside in the garden with all the flowers. I hope you and Imralion will be able to come. Hopefully the rangers will be finished by then too, and they’ll be able to attend. Salastion said he was going to ask both of us to dance, but then Xarola said she doesn’t know how and she volunteered me to teach her — with Salastion. Excuse me, I didn’t agree to this! I said I would think about it.

At least they did okay on their papers, so maybe they were actually reading after all. I just hope they get in some more practice on their own time, they have their own practice rooms and everything! Hopefully things will go a bit better next class.


[Story] Morthorn’s Notes

I stopped by the school to visit with Lani again. I didn’t see Lin, which I guess is to be expected now that the rangers have begun patrolling officially. It makes me feel a little safer walking along the roads at night. Soon it’ll stay light further into the evening, which will also help.

Lani got me gifts for the holiday. The first was a bottle of wine, nice enough that she must have asked someone for help on what to pick out. I told her we should save it for a special occasion — like when we open the office. She also made me a scarf, I thought that was very sweet. It’ll make those walks home a little more comfortable. She made a remark about keeping me warm, but I don’t think she meant it that way. Sometimes I think she does mean it, but then others I’m not sure. She’s very confusing. But it is a very thoughtful gift and I do like it a lot. I know I’d already got her something, but I brought a book for her as well. It’s the sequel to the one I already brought her. She wanted to loan the first one to me, but Des expressed interest in reading it, so I said that she could borrow it first. I’m not sure why Lani was so reluctant about that, I have plenty of books to read at home. The seller at the book-shop said there were others too, so I may have to get those when I get the chance as well. But I probably shouldn’t read them out of order.

We talked about how the ranger building is coming along, and our office in town. Lani says that she wants to hire someone to keep appointments and greet guests when they come in. On one hand, it would save me a lot of paperwork, but on the other I’m not sure I’m so keen on the idea. First of all we’re going to have to pay this person, and it’s not exactly as if I’m rolling in gold already. It’s only fair that I would pay half, but as I’m not a healer I can’t charge as much as they do. The other reason is a little more selfish, I mean I thought it would just be us working together. If someone else is always around it’ll just be awkward, but I guess she doesn’t mind. She really seems to want someone. I suppose I’ll let her pick someone out then.

The other thing that was strange is that she was having wine. The dozens of times that I’ve asked if she wants any, she never did. So why does she now? She said it’s because she wants to be able to have it with me, but I’m worried that she’s trying to change for my sake. I told her I don’t want to do that — if she doesn’t like it, that’s perfectly fine with me. I’m not offended if she wants something different than I do to drink at dinner. I’m a little worried that it might affect her strongly since she’s not used to it, or worse, affect her work. I tried to talk to her about it but that didn’t go very well. She’s already doing it when I’m not here, which sort of calls into question her claim that she’s drinking it because she wants to drink with me. In all honesty, I should be doing less of it. Maybe that’s her plan all along.

Oh, her father is going to be here next week too. Maybe I can find other patients that need calling on. It’s not that I dislike him, but he always has this disapproving look about him. When I told Lani that, she just said that she hasn’t been forbidden to see me. What a ringing endorsement!

[Story] The Ghostclaw – A Note

Dear Nessna,

Hopefully you will get this and Lani doesn’t read it, but I’m guessing you get up earlier than she does, so you should find it first. That and it has your name on the outside. I lost track of time working today so I didn’t make it to the school as early as I’d hoped, and you’d already gone to sleep. The good news is that the walls should be ready for the stone and plaster soon, and it’ll actually look like a real building. Then we’ll need to make sure we have a roof because I’m sure it’s going to start raining before too long.

Thankfully, Hethurin was still awake so I was able to show him the paper with the symbols. He asked where they were from, and I said that you found them in a ziggurat along the scar. He also asked if there was anything else there. I said there was just one Scourge, but you have to tell him about Vallindra soon. I hate lying to him. He’s already wary of people and I don’t want him to mistrust me (or you) too. I agree that he’ll be upset about it, but I’d rather that he was upset and prepared than caught off-guard. The most worrying thing is that he said the symbols were used for summoning demons. I’m not sure how he would know that, but I have no reason to think it’s not true. Would Vallindra be involved in something like that? Or do you think it’s someone else? He wanted to know if the symbols were fresh or if they looked to have been used, but I have no idea how to check something like that. If they were used, there could be demons around the forest as well. I told him that we’d keep an eye out for any and be sure to tell him. That’s the last thing we need! I haven’t seen any, but they might be able to go invisible or something. I definitely don’t want any around the school, we should make a quick check of the perimeter during our normal patrols. Hethurin says that he has wards up, but something broke through one of them recently. So it’s better to have more eyes watching to make sure everything is okay. I really don’t know what to do if there are people summoning demons around here.

We’ll also need to check on the spiders soon, before it warms up and they start to hatch. They’ll be a lot easier to deal with while they are still eggs. I think Orledin was able to find where some of them were hibernating, so we can add that onto the patrol too. I’d suggest bringing fire for that, since I doubt you want spider guts all over your boots.

I forgot to ask about the kittens! I guess I can do that before I leave tomorrow, if Hethurin isn’t too busy. I ended up staying in the guest room because it was pretty late, but I couldn’t sleep until I wrote this. I feel really bad about not being able to see you, but Hethurin said your father will be visiting so maybe you will have a little more time to visit. I thought maybe we could go practice down on the beach or something. I’d love to be able to talk more soon.