[Story] Fairsong Academy – Morthorn’s Notes

The trip to Silvermoon went well, I think. As soon as we arrived, Des dashed off to find her guard. I must admit that it would be useful to be able to make portals to visit Lani, it would save me a great deal of walking through the forest at night. He seems like a nice boy, and it’s good for Des to be able to relax after everything that’s been going on. She’s far too young to have to be concerned with all of this. Our first stop was the paper and quill store, where I learned that Vaildor isn’t very good with coins yet. I helped him count out the money that Lani had given him, and compare it with the price of the set of pencils that he wanted, to see if he had enough. Truthfully, he went a little over, but I thought it was worth contributing a few of my own coins so that he could have good supplies — he got a set of charcoal pencils of varying hardness, and a nicely bound book to sketch in. The poor boy was so excited about the prospect of having some pencils and paper! He wasn’t very talkative at first, and admitted that normally he had to keep his head covered and avoid notice when they visited the city before. I thought that was strange. Why would his father try to hide him like that? The more I learn about the situation, the more questions arise.

He’s so naive about everything. I had to warn him to avoid pickpockets, and certain areas of the city — wouldn’t he know that, having been here before? He also didn’t know about Winter Veil. Granted, it’s not celebrated everywhere — staunch traditionalists really don’t approve — but it seems to have caught on as a festive gift-giving excuse. He doesn’t have any friends his own age, and asked me about whether there were any living in the woods. There are a few, I can recall offhand that a few of the households have children still at home. But it’s not very practical to visit them because they are so far away. Some friends here in the city would be far better, and they would have art as a common interest.

Vaildor said that he was hungry, so we stopped at one of the little cafes along the market. I don’t think he could read the menu, fortunately it had drawings of each of the dishes. Either he wasn’t as hungry as he said, or he didn’t really like what he’d ordered. I wish he had said something, so I could get him something else, but I think he didn’t want to cause a fuss. I thought to stop at the robe shop before we visited the school, perhaps he’d make a better impression with new robes than ill-fitting old shabby ones. Lani had given him enough for decent robes, but not extravagant ones, so we went to one of the less expensive shops. Still, the one he picked out was very nice and fit well, I think. Lani should be pleased with it.

As for the school, it looked expensive. Not ridiculously expensive, but enough that I’m not sure if Lani could afford it. Inside, we were given a pamphlet with information about the admissions process and the classes offered. There was no age limit mentioned, which is encouraging. They ask for a portfolio of work to be submitted for review, as well as an in-person interview. I’ll have to speak with Lani about the tuition. I’m not sure if they offer any scholarships or not. Oh, that was another thing: Vaildor wanted to visit the Spire and inquire as to his record of birth. I mentioned that if he had indeed been born in the city, there would be a record of it. But he doesn’t know his mother’s name, and we aren’t certain of his father’s either — his own name could have been changed without his knowledge as well. I told him that I would have Lani send an official inquiry — they don’t think very highly of people coming in off the street to ask questions, they have Policies that Must Be Followed. I have my doubts whether they’ll find anything, but it’s a start at least.

Before going home, we stopped for desserts at a pastry shop. Vaildor bought two cupcakes, one to bring home for Lani and one for himself. I thought that was very thoughtful of him. He admitted that he’s not sure if he wants to go with his father if he should return, that he’s getting used to the idea of staying in the Ghostlands. I suspect that Lani has a lot to do with that. Oh, and he wanted to know if Lani and I are getting married. Are we? I really don’t know. He said that her mother has still been searching for suitable husbands for her. I didn’t know that. I don’t think that I want to live at the school, but she can’t move into my house either. The building doesn’t have living quarters in it — unless I ask her to put them in. It might be too late for that. And I worry that she’ll keep her strange fear of, well, anything even after we’re married. I don’t think I could stand having a wife who didn’t want to do anything ever. We talked about Virinde too. I haven’t even told Lani about her yet. I know I need to, but Vaildor might mention it before I get the chance. He asked if he could draw her portrait, though the only one I have is my locket, painted when she was just turning five years old. She’d be his age, I think I mentioned that too. I’m not sure why he’s so intent on drawing her — on one hand, I’m flattered, but on the other I think I might break down when I look at it.

I suppose it’ll be good practice. Vaildor likes to draw people and buildings, so I suggested that he go along with Lani with the builders. They should provide plenty of opportunity for him to sketch and prepare his portfolio.

Either way, I need to talk to Lani again soon.

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