[Story] Tsi Ku’s Reflections

I’m not studying here, but maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea. That elf really got me annoyed, and Master Cheng suggested that I write about my feelings. He also let me use the steam room, which was really nice. I wonder if Aranae has ever been to it, I bet she has. Anyway, I ought to be used to elves and their rude questions by now, I certainly saw a lot of them on the island. I don’t know how they can be so ignorant when they work with those yaungol-looking Tauren already. No, I don’t have fleas, I keep myself clean just like you do — maybe even more because I go in the water almost every day at home. Yes, I can speak like an elf, and probably better because I can actually say their names, or at least I try. It’s so annoying to have your name pronounced wrong all the time! My name isn’t even difficult, they should see some of the other ones pandaren have. But like I said before, that wasn’t so unusual. Probably half of the elves that came to the island were like that, either they asked rude and inappropriate questions or they just ignored us completely like we were stupid yaks or something.

It was worse because he was bothering Aranae, and I could tell she didn’t want them there. I’d got a letter from her saying that she’d be at the temple, so I made sure to be there when she’d arrive. My parents thought it was pretty strange that I wanted to go meet an elf there, but I explained that she was my friend and I was worried about her coming back from Kalimdor safely. I’d heard stories about some of the pandaren who went there. It scares me when I think about it, because I could have very easily been sent; I know how to speak orcish and I’ve worked with Horde people before. I guess it was for the best that I went back home instead of staying on the island. Aranae didn’t want to talk about it too much, she did say that she injured her foot but it was okay now. I hope she wore boots there, I’ve heard the ground is so hot it can burn the pads of your feet. She came back here to the temple because she wants to keep studying, instead of going back to the elf city. That means we can see each other more often, which is good! I am kind of curious about the elf city though. Maybe someday I’ll go, in a few years when elves have had more of a chance to get used to us and won’t give me a dirty look for getting fur on their clothes or something. I can’t believe he said that! His hair is way longer than mine, he’s probably the one shedding all over! It turns out the elf was her brother, and he’d brought a girl elf with him, he said she was his apprentice. They do magic stuff, like making portals. He said “you people” ought to know about portals, and I know there are some pandaren who do that stuff, but I personally don’t know anything about it. I just thought it was rude the way he said that. But anyway, he said he wanted to apologize for putting itchy leaves into Aranae’s underthings when he was a kid. What a brat! I wouldn’t blame Aranae if she wanted to kick him right then. Oh, he also turned her into a sheep once, but he wasn’t sorry for that. I didn’t really believe Aranae when she said her family was annoying, but now I’m kind of starting to believe her. He kept wanting her to go back with him, which I think is a really bad idea. I know she doesn’t want to, plus they might try to make her stay and then she’d have no way to get back to the temple. Her brother and the apprentice stayed to eat dinner, but then they left afterward, through a portal. That must be weird.

But afterward I talked about how I don’t think she should go, thankfully she agreed with me. It just seems strange that he’d want her to go there so badly, especially when she said she didn’t want to. He ought to listen to what she wants. Oh, she also said that I was her best friend. That was pretty nice. I don’t think I’ve ever been anyone’s best friend before… well maybe once, but not anymore I guess. I don’t know.


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

More demons, this time at my house. The place where we live! Luckily Nessna was able to kill it, but what troubles me is the fact that I don’t know how long they’ve been there. I feel responsible for not finding them sooner, it’s my job isn’t it? Hethurin said that they could have just arrived, which I suppose is possible. Clementine normally wanders around outside, and she surely would have noticed a demon. I just think about what could have happened if I had missed it, if Clementine hadn’t been quick enough, things like that. I was really worried that Nessna was going to be upset with me for putting Rylad in danger, but she said that taking him to the school was the right thing to do. Hethurin was worried when I told him about it, understandably, and wanted Rylad to stay there with them. I thought it might be a good idea, just until we get the demons under control, but Nessna doesn’t want to leave him there. Kestrae still swears she has nothing to do with it, and says that she and Aeramin are going to find the one who summoned them. I’m not sure if I believe her, and what will they do if they find him, anyway? She said they’d need to go inside the ziggurat to investigate, so I had to tell the other rangers to allow them through. Honestly, I think they were a bit suspicious too. I don’t blame them. She swore she’d never put Rylad in danger, but why aren’t they doing more? If she knows something, she’s certainly taking her time about it.

I should probably tell Nessna what I know too. I promised I wouldn’t, but I want her to be prepared if anything happens. And I don’t want any secrets. My only worry is that it’ll cause trouble for Hethurin somehow, like if she freaks out and tells people there’s a summoner at his school. I don’t really believe Nessna would do that, but she’s protective of her brother, so I guess it’s possible. She twisted her ankle while she was killing the imp, and I told her that she should let Lani look at it. She pointed out that Lani would probably make her stay in bed for months again, which I have to admit is probably true. Nessna can still walk on it, and it’s not too swollen, so I agreed that we don’t have to tell Lani for now, but I’ll go get her if it gets worse. I did agree to take on Nessna’s patrols until her ankle feels better though, which means she can stay home with Rylad. Rangers who aren’t on patrol are checking the building and perimeter every hour, Nessna will have to check the house while I’m away, otherwise I do it. Clementine helps a lot; she’s another set of eyes and ears, and hers are much more keen than mine. I wonder if Nessna would be willing to work with one, there are plenty of lynx in the forest here and it wouldn’t take too long to earn one’s trust. I don’t know if she’d be interested, but I should bring it up.

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Terellion’s Journal

Tik and I have been working hard to get the garden ready for the ball. Luckily, it’s not as much work as the ballroom was, but there’s still quite a bit. Like there are some paving stones that need to be replaced because they are missing, likewise with some of the borders. There’s a lot of dead vines and leaves from over the winter, we’ve been raking those into a big pile and burning them. I found a dead spider in one pile which was pretty gross, I’m just glad it wasn’t full of baby spider eggs or something, that would be even worse. There’s also trimming, some of the branches on the trees look straggly and weird, Tik is mostly doing that. I told Tik it would be cute if we trimmed the shrubs into different shapes, like maybe a dragon or something. I know Hethurin likes dragons, plus it would match with the statue out front. Tik just sort of shook his head and he said I could do it if I wanted to, but the truth is I haven’t the first clue how to make a dragon out of a shrub. I wonder if there’s a book about how to do that. You could put something in for eyes that glow, but I’m not sure what.

Speaking of dragons, I’ve been watching Renner when I get the chance. But he doesn’t act like a dragon at all. Whenever I see him, he’s just either studying or writing things, just like the other students. Obviously I can’t ask him if he is, but I’m starting to wonder if he just made that up. Then again, the one book said that dragons spend hundreds of years perfecting their disguises, so maybe you can’t just tell from looking. I wonder if he’d turn into a dragon if he got really mad. I’m not going to try that though.

Hethurin has been working really hard on his spell for traveling in another time. I mean, he always works hard but I’ve hardly seen him, even for cake. We were talking about it last night, how he doesn’t think he’d be able to make all three of us invisible. I thought he was going to say I couldn’t go anymore, but I asked if Des would be able to help with the spell. I know spells are stronger if more than one person casts them. I thought it was a pretty good idea, and I think he did too, except he said that he didn’t have time to teach Des how to do it. I suggested that they use his trick where he goes to another time and teaches here there, and then come back. I know that’s possible because he’s done it before, to go fishing. I had no idea of course, because it’s only a few seconds here, but he told me about it. So right now I think that’s what his plan is, of course that means Des will be going along with us. I don’t really mind that, but I kind of worry about Hethurin being away for so long. I mean, it won’t be long to me, but for him and Des it’ll be months, he said. I promised that I would write some letters that he could open while he’s there, since I won’t be able to write to him. I hope he doesn’t forget about me. I don’t really think he would, but it’s going to be strange having him gone so long. Well, not for me. I keep forgetting about that.

He also was talking about going back to using his “real” name. To me, he’s always been Hethurin, so for him to change it would feel strange. I like his name now. He wants to do it so he can carry on his father’s name I guess, which he never cared about before, but now he does because it’s the opposite of what his mother wants. I think he shouldn’t worry so much about what she wants, but he can be stubborn sometimes. I also said it would be kind of weird to have Fairsong Academy without a Magister Fairsong, but that’s just me. Maybe he can call it Brightwing Academy. Just kidding. I need to go write those letters to Hethurin now.

[OOC] Moving!

We’re moving in a month or so, which means a lot of my free time is now occupied with boxes and packing tape. I’ll try to write when I can but things may be a little sparse until we’re settled in. The great news is that I’ll have my own art room/work area in the new house!

In the meantime, here’s some really really old art of mine I found while packing.

This was a book for my Calligraphy final in high school. All the text inside was done by me, as well as a lot of the illustrations. The cover is a paper cut-out!

This page is from a notebook that was an on-going project in college. It’s a world I’d made up and adapted for play in the GURPS roleplaying system. I  drew  a couple of comics (and quite a lot of art) set in this world too. I actually thought I’d lost this notebook so it was really awesome to find it.


[Story] The Ghostclaw – The Intruder

There wasn’t much of a garden to speak of on the ranger grounds, not yet. The tangles of brush and dead wood had been trimmed back, so there was an open area where the targets were set up for practice. Eventually, Sath’alor wanted to make it look nicer though, with some hedges and maybe even flowers. The day was bright, a pleasant change from the dreary spring rains, though a few fluffy clouds lingered in the sky. It was a good day for working outside, and Rylad was eager to help. Since Hethurin had enchanted the little stick hawkstrider, Rylad had hardly set it down, galloping around the ranger building — and now around the yard outside. Sath’alor planned to build the stable next, so perhaps in a few years Rylad could try riding on a real one. Those were a lot more difficult to ride, in his experience.

He’d already grown so much in the short time he’d known them, it was hard to imagine him as a tiny baby. Sath’alor wondered often what he would look like when he was older, and more importantly, what he’d think about him. Nessna would have to explain everything sooner or later, which wouldn’t be easy for anyone. He told himself not to worry about it too much, but sometimes it crept in all the same. It reminded him of his time with the bears in Pandaria, and Sath’alor found other ways to get his mind off the subject. Today he was putting up posts for the fence that would enclose the small yard. It was more for looks really, it wouldn’t keep out any bats or spiders that were determined enough to get in. But it would probably keep Rylad in, and would lend the whole place a slightly more civilized air. Rylad came around to inspect his work every now and then, riding up on his stick hawkstrider. Clementine came outside to enjoy the sunshine as well, stretched out in the new spring grass.

Sath’alor had finished setting six of the posts and was about to take a break for lunch when Rylad found something interesting off in the brush beyond the lawn. “Kitty!” he said, pointing into the tangle of branches. Sath’alor glanced to where Clementine lay — she was no longer dozing, but alert, looking to the spot where Rylad pointed. Sath’alor twitched an ear uneasily. Maybe one of the lynx had come to investigate; they weren’t exactly dangerous normally, but he didn’t want to take any chances. He walked over and picked up Rylad. “Kitty kitty!” he pointed again, clapping. Sath’alor didn’t see anything there, certainly not anything the size or color of a lynx. From behind him, he heard Clementine growl a warning, and in that same moment the two tiny eyes appeared in the shadows of the underbrush, burning like embers. The white tiger leapt, seizing the thing in her jaws and shaking it to break its neck.

“Kitty?” Rylad wailed, upset by the commotion. Sath’alor looked at the tiny thing that Clementine had dropped from her jaws. That was no kitty. That was an imp. An imp that someone had summoned here, that had been only feet away from Rylad.

“Go get your boots,” Sath’alor told Rylad, trying to keep his voice steady. “We’re going to see Uncle Hethurin.” After he’d gone inside, Sath’alor glanced around the yard for something to carry the dead imp in. He couldn’t just put it in his pack; the blood was corrosive and would ruin it. An old bucket leaning against the building would have to do. He scooped the crushed imp into the bucket and covered it with some dirt. In the supply room, he got out the backpack they had made for carrying Rylad; it had arm and leg holes cut out so he could safely ride on someone’s back. The buckles ensured that he wouldn’t fall out even if they were riding. Sath’alor fixed Rylad’s boots so they were on the right feet and tied the laces. He paused to leave Nessna a note, as she would be returning from her patrol soon.

Went up to the school. Rylad is with me. Please check the house and around it, I’ll explain when we’re back. I love you. -Sath

Hethurin might know something about the imp — what kind it was, and who it belonged to. But the person he really wanted answers from was Kestrae.


[Story] Xanaroth’s Notes

There isn’t much happening in the ziggurat, although I did see an imp in the mirror the other day. Regrettably, I didn’t see it come in — it could have been while I was asleep or otherwise occupied. I have Beluri watching while I cannot, and while she’s a good imp, she is still an imp and prone to distraction. I think it must have come in from outside, if it had been summoned there, I would surely have seen its master. And it’s not the same one as before, Aeramin assured me that one was banished. As for its purpose, I can only guess. It could be keeping an eye on the rangers, though they’re outside. I suppose it could be guarding whatever’s inside the ziggurat, though I wouldn’t trust an imp to guard anything of importance. We met with Aeramin and Kestrae the other evening; he suggested that we attempt to investigate what’s inside there. Vallindra and I cannot risk being named as summoners if we intend to live here with any regularity, though Aeramin had a plan for that too. First, he will bring Hethurin along under the ruse that they are merely curious mages. Hethurin must already know of Aeramin’s involvement, and perhaps Kestrae’s as well, but he absolutely cannot know mine and Vallindra’s. That’s why Aeramin suggested that we stay behind. I’m still not certain that it’s a good idea, but I think it’s safer than Vallindra’s idea about distracting the rangers. Honestly, I don’t think experienced rangers would fall for something so simple, especially as they work in pairs. Second, I think it’s more dangerous. The rangers worry me a great deal, especially the captain. He knows what Kestrae is involved in, and he no longer has any reason to protect her. She insists that he wouldn’t do anything, but I wonder if that’s just wishful thinking.

We also had supper at the school. I was as surprised as Vallindra by the invitation. I thought it was perhaps some sort of trap, so I insisted that I accompany her. I told her that it might calm Hethurin if I was present, and I think that it did. I’m not sure why he becomes so irrational around her. Everything that happened was at his father’s orders, not Vallindra’s. If he’s upset with anyone, it should be him. One of his students was there, I suppose watching that we didn’t try anything while we were there. She’s very young, probably no more than eighty. I try to remember what I was like at that age, but it’s difficult. The main reason Hethurin wanted to see Vallindra was to tell her about tearing some dress when they were children. I’m not sure why he couldn’t have sent a letter, but I’m thankful for the wonderful dinner. He’s also planning to have a ball, though I’m sure she won’t be invited again. If she’s out working that night, I may be able to find time to drop in for a little while at least.

Their parents have split up. It was in the letter from Vallindra’s mother. I was a bit surprised at that, usually when a pair have been together for so long they endure it, or find ways of making it tolerable. Vallindra said her mother has a new “friend”, so perhaps that was part of it. I hope she doesn’t get any ideas about replacing me with muscular younger men in the future. Oh, and one of her other sisters is getting married soon. I wonder if we’ll be invited to that one. The other one, the ranger, has moved in with the captain. It seems we’re all caught up on the family gossip now.

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Maerista’s Journal

I know Des is scheming something. Last night while I was minding my own business reading, she came over and started asking me all these questions. Like she was asking about the ball and if I was going to dance with anyone. Why? So you can gossip about that too? I think she was trying to figure out if there’s anyone I hoped would ask. I said there wasn’t because I’m still not sure what’s going on with  Salastion or not, last time we talked I kind of got the idea he’d changed his mind about it. Then she’s saying things like I’m pretty and they should all want to dance with me. Are you kidding? They don’t even talk to me, why would they want to dance? I’m really not sure what she was trying to do, but it’s not going to work on me. Then she was saying how she really wanted us to be friends. Seriously? Maybe you could have thought of that a year ago when you were being the Magister’s pet. She claims she’s not though, of course. She also claims she’s not flirting with tons of guys when she’s the only one who has a boyfriend. Whatever, I don’t want to argue with her. I said that I’m here to study, because I am. If I want someone that badly I can ask Father to look for me. I think he already is, though he hasn’t asked me to meet with anyone lately.

The Magister was acting really weird too. He kept talking about a memorial he had made for a bug he killed when he was a kid or something. I really wonder sometimes if he’s okay. I guess he felt guilty because he pulled its wings off and put it in a box, and then it died. He said he kept it because he wanted a pet. Gross. Who wants a bug for a pet? I was going to say something about how he shouldn’t feel bad, but Des just said everything. Whatever. They talked about the Magister’s mother too, apparently she and Hethurin’s father are separated and she has a new younger guy. That’s pretty scandalous. I wonder if everyone knows about it yet. Probably. We’re the last people to hear anything out here. Oh, and Des kept asking about if the rangers were going to come to the ball or not. I don’t know why, she already has a boyfriend. I know the Captain is seeing Nessna, but I think the other two are single. She already has one, that should be enough! He asked if I was excited about it too, but luckily Des answered that too before I had to say anything. The answer is I’m not really. Last time I wished I’d spent the time studying instead, although the food was nice. I can just make up a plate and then go up and study. The Magister did mention inviting students from another school, probably one in Silvermoon. Can you imagine? That would be so embarrassing. I don’t think anyone in Silvermoon would want to come out to a spooky old school for a ball. I don’t know what I’m going to wear yet either. It’s warmer now, but the nights are still chilly. Maybe something that has a little scarf.