[Story] The Ghostclaw – Sath’alor’s Journal

Yesterday evening we all went to the caves where the spiders nest. Well, not all — Orledin and Sorrowmoss agreed to watch the ziggurat even though it isn’t their usual time. I felt bad for asking, but we can’t afford to leave it unguarded, because I’m sure the moment we do is the moment that summoner is going to start letting things loose in the woods. I don’t know if Kestrae is involved in that or not, honestly. I want to believe she isn’t, but then why else would she be here? If she is involved, I don’t know how much longer I can keep her secret for her. I will, but if it comes down to protecting her or protecting Nessna and Rylad, there’s absolutely no contest.

We had all of the places marked on the maps where we’d found nests before. I was impressed that there wasn’t too much grumbling or complaining about going into dark, damp caves full of spiders and who knows what else. None of them appeared to have hatched yet, at least that we could see. I suppose some might have been further in the caves, or in ones we missed, but the population should be much lower than usual this summer. Squishing spider eggs is really disgusting. Burning them is almost moreso, because then they make an awful popping sound, and they smell worse. Everybody was covered in goo by the time we were finished. We did run into a few adults, most likely the mothers I would guess. One tried to climb on Tylenthis, which did freak him out a bit, not that I blame him. Nessna killed a really huge one, that had to be like the queen or whatever. Do spiders have queens? I’m not sure. I remembered from when I visited Teldrassil once though, that kaldorei actually eat spider meat. They put it on little skewers and roast it, which sounds pretty weird until you think about some of the other weird things we eat. Bats, for example. Ty looked really surprised when I told him about the bat stew that he’s eaten dozens of times. Bat meat isn’t very good, it’s really stringy and greasy but when you mix it in with vegetables and spices it’s a decent stew. It’s not like we have a lot of extra money, I have to use what’s around here. I think I’ll get some spider legs and experiment with different ways to cook them. I figure they can’t be too different from crabs, which are already on the beach. I haven’t tried eating those before though, because of how close they are to the murlocs. They might be safe though.

After we got the spiders, we went up to the school to have dinner, and so Nessna could pick up Rylad. Lin disappeared right away, I figure she went upstairs to wash up, but I didn’t see her come back down. A lot of the students are in the habit of eating in their rooms, which seems a little weird to me. It would be strange to live with people and never see them. I like that we usually eat together, unless someone’s out on patrol. Speaking of that, I expect that the building will be done in the next few weeks. We’re going to need a lot of furniture, thankfully I have some money left over from the city for that. Nessna said that Rylad’s grandfather makes furniture, and agreed to ask him about it. I hope he can do it, I’d much rather support the business of someone we know. Well, I don’t really know him but. I’m glad she’s the one going to ask, otherwise it would be pretty awkward. Hopefully he can get it all done fairly quickly, it’s nothing fancy, just needs to be sturdy. She mentioned the portraits hanging in the school too, and I thought it might be nice to have one done of all of the Ghostclaw together. I’d have to find a student or something though, so it wouldn’t be too expensive. Maybe they’d do one of the three of us too, but that might be a little presumptuous, I don’t know.

I’m still not sure what she thinks a lot of the time. I was able to talk to Hethurin about it a little, after Nessna went to get Rylad at Lani’s house. Granted, he’s probably not the best person to ask for advice, but he says guys are just as confusing. Terellion has been through a loss recently too, though it’s not exactly the same. He said to just be there to listen if they want to talk, but Nessna hasn’t wanted to talk about it yet. She seems happy most of the time, but I also know she doesn’t seem like the kind of person who would want to show that she was hurt. I hope she’d trust me enough to talk to me about it. Even if it would be a little awkward. I do want to be there for her, for both of them. I mean for the long term too, even if I know I can’t bring that up with her yet. I can at least start thinking about it. Hethurin said her birthday is at the end of summer, so maybe I can save up for something by then. Her ears aren’t pierced though, so I can’t get her any earrings. He is talking about having another ball soon, in the spring. This time I’d like to attend as a guest if I can; he said he’ll probably hire the builders to guard. I’ll most likely wear my armor anyway, because he didn’t think I’d be able to convince Nessna to wear a gown. I wish she would, not that she’s not already beautiful, but I bet she’d look amazing. I’d like to maybe dance too, except I’m not very good at it and I’d be nervous about stepping on her feet. Ty seemed excited, I can’t figure out who he is chasing after right now though. Gaelardrim didn’t say anything about going, but I think it would be good if he did, if nothing else, at least for the free food.

I really hope this business with the ziggurat is finished soon, it’s making me nervous to know there’s a summoner out there in the woods somewhere. The strange blind man told Lin and Gaelardrim that he’d found undead out to the east — I’m not sure how he could tell that, but it’s as good a lead we have. Nessna agreed that maybe we could go camp out there, but I’m not sure if we could take Rylad if there’s a summoner around. Would she leave him overnight with the other guys? They’re probably even worse than I am. I’m getting a little better though, I think. His diaper actually stayed on the other day.

 

 

[Story] The Grovesworn

He could tell right away that something was happening in town. There were more voices than usual, ones that he didn’t recognize. He heard the scrape of stone and smelled freshly-cut wood. It seemed that something was being built, but what? He made his way to the inn, where there were little stands set up for the merchants to sell their wares. Most of them had been here for years, and would know if something was going on.

The man who answered him was one of them, he could tell by the way his tongue got stuck in his mouth, and the peculiar gurgling in his throat. Farandil hoped that the creature wouldn’t notice his look of disgust. “A healer is coming to town,” the undead explained. “Pretty one, too.” Farandil had little use for pretty. He believed that you could tell much more about a person from their voice, and more importantly, the words that they used. They gave him an accurate picture of someone, much more accurate than his eyes would have. A person could have a beautiful face hiding an ugly heart, but their words rarely lied. Still, he couldn’t help but wonder if he ought to go and see her. Maybe she would know something that the others hadn’t, a way to bring his sight back. Then again, he rarely missed it these days, and he feared that he would dull his other senses, to return to the way he had been before. He paused to visit the notice board at the inn; of course he couldn’t read the flyers posted there, but he could tell if any new ones had been added. There weren’t any today, so he had no need to ask someone what they said. He’d heard of some presses in the city that were able to emboss the page with the impressions of the letters, so that people like him might be able to read them. Of course, they had no such presses here, only regular quills and ink.

Farandil walked his usual way home, along the wide road that ran north and south, parallel to the scar. Though it was still yet cold at night, the days had begun to warm, and the new growth was sprouting all over the forest. Somewhere deeper in the wood, he heard the bright chirping of a bird, a sound he believed he might never hear again in this forest. There were other signs of life, too. His walking-stick told him that there were wagon tracks in the road, probably from the builders bringing the stone and wood into town. There were hawkstrider tracks as well, and the ground was soft enough that they must be recent. Farandil always brought his walking-stick when he went out, partly for balance but mostly to help him find his way should anything unusual happen. Once there was a tree that had fallen across the road, for example, and it had saved him from walking into puddles on many occasions. It was made not from a branch, but a very young tree. He had discovered its charred remains in the grove after the fire had passed through, but as it had been green, it was not fully consumed. Farandil believed it had survived because of its youth and resilience, as well as determination. He took it into the town and had it fitted with a metal handle on the top, and a little metal cap at the tip. It was the only thing he had ever taken from the grove, and he hoped he would be forgiven for it.

His ears perked, hearing the sound of someone ahead on the road. He heard the faint jingling of mail armor, and he thought it was only one person — until they spoke.

“Hello,” said one voice. She was a woman, probably close to his own age.

“Do you need any help?” asked the other. That one was a man, but he sounded less certain. What were they doing here on the road?

The woman answered that question. “We’re with the rangers.” He heard the pause in her voice. Sometimes people noticed his difference quickly, but others took more time. If she was a ranger, she was probably more observant than most. “Have you — is there any trouble here?” Have you seen. She had corrected herself. That meant she’d noticed.

Farandil pointed his walking-stick to the east. “There have been undead out that way, I’m sure of it. I don’t know when though.”

The man took a sharp intake of breath, and said something quietly to the woman. Farandil pretended not to, but he heard what he said: We have to tell the captain.

“Where do you live?” the woman asked. “We could send a patrol that way.”

“No,” said Farandil, shaking his head. “No thank you.” Strangers stomping around the grove was the last thing he wanted — even rangers, who were less likely to mess everything up. It was his grove, and no one else’s. He wanted it to stay that way. “But you should find those undead. Before they cause any trouble.”

“We will,” the woman said. “Good day.”

Farandil felt encouraged. If anyone could find those monsters, rangers could.

 

 

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Terellion’s Journal

So Hethurin was able to find out a little bit more about Vaildor. The good news is that he really isn’t his son, so that’s a relief. The  bad news is that he’s actually his brother. I didn’t really understand it very well, but the other Hethurin took him from another time, when he was still a baby but before the baby died. And then he brought him here to our time. But his parents still think Vaildor didn’t live. I probably got some of that wrong, but that’s how I think it goes. Hethurin says he can’t take him to live with his parents because they wouldn’t believe him. I don’t see why he can’t just tell them the same thing he told us, though. He said that Lani is going to let him live there with her, except she doesn’t know either. Des and Hethurin were trying to think of a story about how Vaildor is actually his son after all, like he met some girl in the library while he was studying in Dalaran and — I don’t even want to write it, that’s too gross.

First of all, Hethurin doesn’t like girls so I don’t know how he could even do that. Second, he’d never do something like that, just out in the open in front of everyone, in a library of all places. Can you imagine what people would say about him if he said that! I mean, he was worried about me causing a scandal, what if they heard that? I definitely don’t want people thinking that about him, and I don’t want them wondering if he really likes girls — especially his mother because then she’d try to find one for him again. Hethurin wants to allow him to stay with Lani and study, maybe in the library here, which would be okay. But then he said that he should work in the kitchen! We didn’t even talk about that first! I think he can shovel out hawkstrider poo in the stables if he wants to work. But then he suggested that he could work in the garden with Tik. Fine, I guess, even though I work in the garden too. It’s like now suddenly Hethurin wants him around again, he said it’s because he’s his brother. But how does he even know for sure? And he’s never even met him before a week or so ago. It’s not like growing up together at all. I wish he didn’t have to stay here, but I guess there’s not much choice. Hethurin won’t take him to the orphanage.

So then I asked him what about the other Hethurin, is he still out there trying to come into our time? And are dragons still chasing him? I don’t want them coming here to eat us! He said he didn’t know yet. Well that’s not very reassuring. I hope my armor and sword are going to be enough if they do. I’ve seen pictures of them in books, and they look really big and dangerous. Oh that reminds me, Hethurin told me I ought to look at some of the books on the shelf in our room. I’d glanced at them before, but the titles all seemed pretty boring. But now that he told me what they actually are about, they kind of make sense now. I can’t believe I didn’t figure that out before. I’d like to read some of those, they sound interesting!

[Story] Morthorn’s Notes

I went up to the house to see Lani last night. We were able to talk about some things, but there’s still so much more I haven’t been able to say. I thought Vaildor would have told her, but he hasn’t. In fact, I didn’t see him at all last night, he’s been working hard on his portfolio. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been as diligent about his reading and writing lessons, Lani said. It won’t do him much good to get accepted into a school if he can’t read at all — though arguably, art school probably doesn’t require as much reading as most. I offered to talk to him about it, I don’t know that I could teach him, but he may take it more seriously if I say it. Lani mentioned hiring him a tutor, or having one of the students at the school teach him. Most of them are rather young, but that might actually be an advantage if he’s better able to relate to them.

Vaildor didn’t mention our conversation — either of them — to Lani. I asked about whether her mother was still arranging something, and she said she’d received a letter, but didn’t want to meet with the man she’d found. I guess that’s something. I told her what Vaildor had said, and she said that it was up to me. I’d think it should be up to both of us! Then she asked if I’d spoken with her father, and I said that I thought that was her choice too. If she wants me to, I will, but I’m not sure how well that will go. Especially if they’re still looking for someone else for her. That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. I still don’t know where we’d live, either. Lani was talking about staying at the office overnight in case patients needed anything, but there isn’t living space there. She certainly can’t live at my place. Oh, and she’s considering formally adopting Vaildor if his parents can’t be found. I agree that it’s probably the best thing for him, but it will definitely make things more complicated — and not only the living arrangement.

He isn’t my daughter, but of course I can’t help but think of her. I guess it helps that he isn’t a girl, I don’t think I would have been able to hold everything together in that case. Lani still doesn’t know, and I’m not sure how to bring it up. Maybe I don’t have to, it’s not that I want to keep secrets but I’ve always found it difficult to talk about myself. I’m sure that’s why I like listening to others talk so much.

Lani said she was interested in the sort of things in her book, but “someday”. I suppose that’s better than never. She mentioned wanting the next book by that author, I should stop and get it when I go into the city. She gave me her father’s new address, so I can find him. I still haven’t decided what I want to say yet, though. Maybe I should write a letter first?

[Art] The Lightweaver

I’ve been working on this for the last couple days, it’s the Lightweaver, my flight’s deity on Flight Rising. My first time drawing her, I’ll probably try again now that I’m a bit more comfortable with her!

 

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The Lightweaver character and design belong to Flight Rising.

[Screenshots] Reins of the Weird Pink Chin Dragon

No it’s actually… Drake of the East Wind? I think? Anyway it’s the Cataclysm raid meta dragon, and thanks to some OpenRaid people, two of us were able to finish it last night. We still need one more boss for our last one, there’s an OpenRaid here if you’d like to come –> http://openraid.us/events/view/179152

Only 5 away from my blue dragonhawk (at least on my paladin).

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[Story] The Ghostclaw – Linarelle’s Journal

I’ll be glad when the building is finished, I don’t think it’ll be too much longer now. Everyone at the school is nice, but I admit I’m getting pretty tired of hearing about all their boy troubles all the time. Or not-troubles, as the case may be. That’s worse I think. Hopefully I can convince Sorrowmoss to talk a little, otherwise it’s going to be pretty quiet around there. I hardly ever see Nessna, and Gaelardrim doesn’t talk to me at all. Ty tries, but it’s always really weird. The other night we had dinner after patrol and he kept saying how he didn’t like staying at the captain’s house because he had to hear them or something. I really doubt anything is happening out in the open, and I’ve heard of much worse things happening in the mens’ ranger quarters at other places I’ve stayed at. I think he just wants to complain, which I guess I’m doing too but still.

Des is so young, but she’s already planning a trip with her boyfriend and staying overnight. You can practically feel the waves of disapproval coming from Lani. I just hope she’s careful, a lot of guys — young ones especially — will just totally change after you give them what they want. Believe me, I’ve been there. Lani is convinced that either the Confessor isn’t interested, or his doesn’t work. I’m pretty sure that’s not the case, but I guess I’ll leave that to her to figure out — someday. He must really like her if he’s sticking around through all of that. She wants to get married, but they haven’t been seeing each other that long, and then she made some comment that I guess was supposed to be about Nessna. I suggested some books to Lani, but I kind of doubt she’ll look at anything like that. You’d think a healer would know more about how men worked.

Last night Hethurin wanted us to come look at the thing we found, he’s been keeping it in the stable. It was frozen in ice using a magic spell. Kestrae has been staying at the house for a few days (with her boyfriend too, of course) and I guess she knows a lot about them, so he was asking her questions. She said it’d be ok to unfreeze him, which Hethurin did. They were asking it questions about who its master was, and what he wanted. It was weird looking, I’ve never seen one up close before. Its skin looked like it was charred, but it didn’t seem to be in any pain, and it had a really annoying voice. I don’t think I could be a summoner just for that reason. Finally they got the imp to say that his master was going to summon more of them. We’ll have to ensure that someone is always at the ziggurat. I described the undead as best I could, but honestly it’s hard to describe someone’s features when they are all rotting and falling off. The one in the robes was probably the summoner, and the other was a guard or something like, because he had heavier armor. That one seemed more out of it, less able to talk and make sense. Kestrae said we need to do something to stop them, but what? It’s not like we can just shoot them. Hopefully the captain will have an idea.

I’ve had a little time to talk to the builders, usually at mealtimes. They’re both pretty strong, which makes sense, they said they used to work on a farm. One of them is a little too young I think, but the other is nice. It turns out that he was on the island too, he remembered me from there. How about that! I feel bad that I didn’t remember him as well, but I hope he didn’t notice. I’ll have to be sure to patrol near their building site.