[Story] The Ghostclaw – Shopping

Sath’alor had no worries about leaving the rangers alone for the evening. There was a leftover roast from the previous night for dinner, and Nessna was home to watch Rylad. The only difficult part was trying to make up an excuse for being gone all evening. He had some things to do in town, he said, which was true. He just wasn’t being very specific about what things. There were a lot of things to plan. One was already taken care of — Hethurin had agreed to take care of Rylad for the few days they were gone, after he and the students returned from Shattrath. Sath’alor didn’t think that Nessna would want to be away too long, and he himself would probably worry after a few days too. And while Winterspring was beautiful, it could be a bit uncomfortable for someone unaccustomed to the cold. That was part of the plan too.

He decided to go into Silvermoon first, it would give him longer to look at the shops, and he wouldn’t be able to talk himself out of it once he’d already bought something. The morning of the wedding, he had looked through Nessna’s things in their room to find her old ring. It wasn’t something he was proud of, it felt like an invasion and he ought to apologize for it, but she couldn’t know just yet. He’d been careful to replace everything exactly as he’d found it, but maybe she’d already noticed. It had been tucked inside one of her drawers, inside a small box which was inside a velvet pouch. The band was made of a white metal, twined with vines and leaves — it was exactly the kind of ring that he would have picked out for her. This was both comforting and unsettling at the same time — being too much like Vessen was something he worried about often. He used a piece of string to measure the ring, marking it with a pencil, and he’d brought that string along with him to the jewelry shops in Silvermoon. It wasn’t ideal, but at least he could show them the string and they should be able to figure out what size to buy for her.

Looking over the display cases, he already had some idea of what he wanted. He wanted it to have a stone set into it, something blue to match the armor that she was so proud of. There should also be a smaller stone, for Rylad. His promise was to him as much as it was to Nessna, and he wanted the ring to reflect that. The jeweler asked a lot of questions, and went in the back to get another one every time Sath’alor answered. At last he found the right one, and he knew it as soon as he saw it. The band was formed of several smaller strips, woven together in an intricate pattern. The stones were set flush with it, so they wouldn’t stick up and get caught when Nessna was on her patrol. It cost a lot, but he’d expected that. He’d been saving gold since returning to the Ghostlands, selling the pelts that he didn’t send home to his father’s shop.

That was Sath’alor’s next stop. He was a skilled skinner, but he didn’t know how to turn those skins into something you could actually use. That was his father’s business — and now his sister’s and her husband’s as well. They all blinked at him in surprise when he came in the door.

“I need a cloak,” he explained to his father, who was working in the back — in the room that had been his as a child. “Do we still have any yeti pelts?”

“Yeti?” his father asked, not looking up from his work. He was tracing around a metal pattern template with a pencil, preparing to cut pieces out of a hide. “That’s an unusual hide. What do you need a cloak for?”

Sath’alor scratched an ear. He’d expected this, but he hadn’t thought of a suitable reason other than the truth. He decided that was the best route, even though it would lead to a lot more questions. “For a girl. We’re going on a trip and I’m er…”

This time his father did look at him. “A girl? That mage from Shattrath?”

He did his best not to wince, but Sath’alor’s ear might have twitched just a little. “No, she’s a ranger. We’ve been together a while now.”

“I see,” said his father, going back to tracing the pattern pieces.

“I’ll bring her to meet you soon,” Sath’alor said. “I promise. I mean, if she agrees.”

His father said nothing, only nodded. Sath’alor could feel his doubt from across the table. “I think she will. You’ll like her. She has a son.” He did look surprised at that, stopping to look at Sath’alor again. “Her husband died in Kalimdor.”

“That wasn’t very long ago.”

“I know that.” Everyone seemed to want to point that out. “I just really love her. You know what that’s like, don’t you?”

“Yes, I guess I do. As long as you’re sure this time.”

This time. He ignored that for now, getting up from his stool. “Great. I’m going out the shed to find them. Thanks. Oh–” his father glanced up. “I forgot, it needs to have a pocket on the inside. A little one.”


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