[Story] Fairsong Academy – Raleth’s Journal

Lali’s grandfather is the most impossible person to live with.  He’s been staying here, in our house, eating our food and complaining about it. The vegetables are weird, why don’t we have any deer meat, the wine isn’t strong enough. Then he’s either glaring at me or calling me “blood elf”, or outright insulting me. The things he says sometimes are so inappropriate I can’t even think of a reply. If it wouldn’t upset Lali, I’d throw him out. Or turn him into a pig or something. Maybe both, I could turn him into a pig and let him loose near all the hungry lynxes. I just can’t believe she’s related to him, she’s so kind and he’s awful. The moment I hear him saying things like that in front of Naraleth I’ll put my foot down. I certainly don’t want him saying such horrible things. He’s probably already taught him curse words in Darnassian.

I thought I’d ask for suggestions where I might search for the tauren. “Kalimdor”, yes, thank you that’s very helpful. Then he suggested I look inside every tent for them, because they live in tents. Yes, I know that too. I thought he might know where they would go after being forced out by the fighting with the orcs. He said they could be in Stonetalon, or Hyjal, or Feralas, or Winterspring, perhaps the swamp. Does he want me to spend months searching all of those places? Probably so. I know some of those places also have a lot of sentinels. At least that is one topic we largely agree on. But he says he knows many of them, so he might be able to get some information about where the tauren are at present. He said he couldn’t write from here, because then they would know his location — and Lali’s as well. According to him, she is still considered missing and I’ve done some sort of spell to keep her trapped here. So he suggested using another location, I know they sell post boxes in Ratchet for shipping purposes. I’ve been there before, so it would be a simple matter to travel via portal. If he actually follows through and writes them, I could send them from there. I am wary though, as I can’t read Darnassian very well and he could — in theory — write anything he wanted. Like that I’m holding him captive as well, or something else damaging that could put Lali in danger. I doubt he would do that, but he’s unpredictable so it’s impossible to say for sure what he might do.

It doesn’t help that I couldn’t recognize the tauren if I saw them, I don’t think. I have their names, but surely there are some names shared among them. They all look alike to me, aside from their spots or whatnot, but if they are wearing armor it’s impossible to even see that. Vaelarian said one was old, I know that much already. The younger one was brown, I think? Or maybe grey? I can’t even picture them at all. I wonder if they’d want to live out here. It would be very strange, but at least they should not be in danger. I’ve seen a tauren ambassador in the city, perhaps she could help them to adjust. Though I haven’t seen any besides her, not in the markets or the shops or any place. Silvermoon really isn’t designed for them.

Naraleth will be a dragon in Lali’s history play that they are putting on. I always enjoy those, she works so hard on them and the kids are cute in their costumes. That means he’ll already have something ready for the masked ball. I’m not sure what Lali and I will be just yet, maybe dragons as well. She could be a green and I could be  a blue, like Naraleth, or perhaps a bronze.

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[Story] Story a Week – Snail

Terellion and Malwen gathered burlap bags of fallen leaves and dead twigs, bundling and tying them up to be burned later. The grounds and gardens needed to be cleared of debris before the masked ball, and it also made for less work next spring — otherwise all of that old vegetation would rot beneath the winter snows. Terellion clipped the errand branches of the hedge maze with his clippers, and Malwen followed behind gathering up the sticks. She’d finished her schoolwork for the day and eagerly ran outside to help with “outside stuff”. She had a pair of overalls and her own little work boots so she wouldn’t get any of her dresses muddy. He thought before long, she might be able to help in the greenhouse with some of the older students, she would probably learn a lot about plants.

They finished trimming the hedge maze, removing the dead flowers from around the fountain, and put all of the fallen leaves into bags. No doubt there would be more soon, but it looked tidy for the time being. Terellion checked the greenhouse for leaks or breaks in the glass, and then it was time to clean out the garden. This late in the season, there were no edible vegetables or herbs left, they had all either flowered to seed or withered in the late summer heat. The only thing still growing was the row of plump orange pumpkins, which would soon be carved and cut up for pies. He started at one end and set Malwen at the other, pulling up the droopy greens and half-eaten roots. It was a little sad to see the garden end, but they would re-plant it again in the spring, and the vegetables would grow anew. They might even need to expand, given how many staff and students were living here now — not to mention those that brought food home. He knew some of them did that, Aeramin for one, sometimes others as well. Tik encouraged the growing of fresh produce here at the school, not only did it cost less, but they were fresher as well. Terellion left the little wooden markers in place, though he had a chart drawn inside showing where to put everything. They might need something different, or more space for one crop.

“Ann’da!” Malwen cried, crouched over a leaf. “What is this? Is it a snail?”

Terellion put down his rake and went over to look.

“That’s a snail, all right. He’s eating the leaves, see the little holes where he’s already been?” Malwen nodded. “We should probably move him off, since there won’t be any food here soon.”

She stared at him. “So he’s just going to starve to death?”

“Well, he’s a wild animal. He has to find his own food.”

Malwen frowned thoughtfully. “What does he eat in the winter then?”

Terellion shook his head. “I don’t know.”

The little girl dropped her little shovel and ran out to the greenhouse, emerging a short time later with a glass jar and lid. She plucked a few of the leaves from the plant and put them into the jar. Then, carefully, she picked the snail up by its shell and set it inside as well.

Hethurin wouldn’t like a snail inside at all, but he knew better than to try to argue with Malwen when her mind was made up. “He’ll need some holes in the lid, so he can breathe. Let’s go do that, we need a hammer and nail.”

At dinner, Malwen set the jar with the snail on the table, until Terellion encouraged her to set it beneath her chair. If Hethurin didn’t have a fit about it, Tik surely would. From time to time, Malwen would pick up the jar and drop a piece of vegetable into it. He wasn’t sure that snails would eat cooked vegetables, but admittedly he didn’t know much about snails. Later that evening, she marched into Hethurin’s library and demanded a book. About snails. He didn’t have one specifically, but he lent her a book on the native wildlife of the region, and that seemed to satisfy her request.

The next afternoon, they were tying up the bushes to prepare them for wintering. They would be covered with a layer of burlap to help insulate them from the cold and snow. “How is your snail?” Terellion asked.

“Good.”

“Does he have a name yet?” Malwen named every single one of her dolls, her soft animals, and sometimes even furniture. Surely the snail would have earned one.

“She,” Malwen corrected him. “Her name is Shelley.”

“Oh? It’s a lady snail?”

Malwen nodded. “She has eggs, that’s how I know.” She held up the jar for him to see, and sure enough, there were dozens of perfectly round, translucent eggs hidden beneath one of the leaves. How was he going to explain a baby snail invasion?

 

[Story] The Ghostclaw – Anorelle’s Journal

I don’t write often, mostly because there’s very little to write about. I fill out my reports properly, but that’s just about events on patrol. I have to be as objective as possible there, and truthfully there is not often very much to report. We have not seen any demons for some time, and the only trace of any undead is near the Scar, which is to be expected. Very rarely, Nessna and I will come across someone alive there, either people wishing to study it or sometimes casting magic to attempt to regrow things. I know there are some who can do such things, and it may be having some effect. There are small sprouts in the cracks here and there, but I haven’t gone any closer to investigate. I’m not sure how long those spells take, perhaps they are just making the existing plants stronger. They never wish to talk much, which is understandable I suppose.

There is another party coming up soon, the masked ball. I hadn’t put any thought into what I might wear, I always just wear my armor. No one seems to mind or say anything. In the past, Orledin and the other undead would be watching the road for trouble, but from what I understand both he and Salenicus will be attending the ball. So I intend to keep watch where I can, to help Sorrowmoss. She cannot possibly watch the entire estate at once, it’s too large. But I was also invited to a wedding, which was unexpected. It’s for Aeramin, and Arancon wants someone there to ensure that he isn’t tempted to drink anything. That makes sense, but I’m not sure if I could stop him if he really wished to — I may have guard training but I am still smaller. He said I just had to threaten to tell Aeramin, I hope that will be enough deterrent but I’m worried that it may not be, given how their relationship has been in the past. I think it would be better to find a distraction — the food perhaps, I hope that will be enough. I don’t know if armor is appropriate for a wedding. It’s nice enough armor, but I will feel out of place if everyone else is in a dress. Arancon said that Aeramin will be in a dress, that’s not very helpful. Maybe I should buy one? I don’t know who the other guests will be. I don’t know how to dance, but if I were to try, I assume it would be easier in a dress. At the very least it would hide what my legs are doing better.

It’s hard to believe I have been here nearly two years already. We spoke a little about his time in the guard. His captain wanted him to punish children who were stealing apples from the market. That does sound like something most of them would say. I know that not every guard and every captain is corrupt, but like much of the city, it looks polished and lovely on the outside. It takes time and close notice to see the cracks and corruption beneath. I didn’t, for a long time, because I didn’t want to. He asked if my captain was still there, and as far as I know he is. I try not to dwell on it too much, I was very angry at the time but now I wonder if I might be better off. Maybe one day I will be a ranger captain, but not for a long time. I think ours is doing a fine job.

[Story] Imralion’s Journal

I worry sometimes that Aeramin will be treated badly forever, no matter how long he teaches or how important his research becomes. Somehow people can always tell and look down on him for his past. I wish I could change it, I didn’t exactly have it easy being at the orphanage, but at least we didn’t have that mark of shame. And it certainly hasn’t followed us around, at least that I’ve noticed. I don’t know if it’s even intentional either, but bad things just seem to happen to him. Like the other night, he was a bit late getting home. I wasn’t too worried, because I knew he’d gone to try to arrange the food for the party, and I figured that would take a while.

He showed up with his hood up, which was unusual. I finally got him to take it down and he looked like he’d been in a fight — which he had. I think he was worried I’d be upset or something, which I was, but not with him. He had run into Lyorri’s mother there — I guess she lives in the city now? If that’s the case, why couldn’t she keep her own child? Why would she leave her outside in the cold to possibly die? Well, that’s what Aeramin wanted to know, too, and he tried to ask her. I don’t blame him at all for that, I would have done the same thing. She grabbed him and went down a hallway, and I admit I did get a little worried about that, but then her husband saw and thought Aeramin was trying to do something with his wife. And that’s how he get bruised. On top of that, the restaurant thought he was the one causing problems and made him leave, without the food. I wanted to write a letter and tell them they’re being jerks, but Lin said I should just let it go and let Tik take care of it. She might be right, but I think it would make me feel better if I at least wrote it, even if I don’t send it. I’m definitely going to tell everyone I know not to go there anymore though. And I can’t believe how awful that woman is. I wonder if her husband knows that she had a child that she just threw away? I don’t think it would be a good idea to tell him though, because he’d probably blame Aeramin for that too. I thought about going to look for them, but Aeramin said the guy was really big. It’s probably not going to help anything to go and confront him, but I definitely want answers from that woman too.

I feel terrible that happened to him when it’s supposed to be a happy time. I got him some wine and then I went to Lani’s to see if she had anything that might help reduce the swelling. There was some nasty smelling cream, I’m not sure if he’ll use it but it’s worth a try. The Confessor also gave me some chocolates from his desk. Probably won’t help the bruises, but they might make Aeramin feel better at least. Aeramin said he’ll ask Julan to help do some makeup if they haven’t gone away in time, I guess that’s probably a good idea.

Oh also, I had to tell Lin that lizards aren’t allowed. I know she knows that, but she said Sunashe was asking because the card didn’t specifically say. That guy is so weird sometimes. Of course lizards aren’t allowed, I thought that was just assumed.

[Story] Brewfest

Brewfest is my favorite time of year. It always makes me feel a little homesick for Ironforge, standing out in the snow surrounded by dwarves, eating cheese and sausage and drinking good ale for once. They sometimes get dwarven ale in Stormwind, but it’s just not the same. You need all the atmosphere to really make it taste right. In the past few years, it’s expanded to have all kinds of other ales too — ogre (yuck), troll (weird), and Pandaren (pretty good actually). It’s fun to try the different ones, they’re definitely different and unusual, but I always go back to the dwarven ones. I will say the Pandaren ale is interesting though, I think it’s made with a different kind of grain, and it’s quite strong. They have food stands too, the cheese and sausage are my favorite but there’s bread too. It’s good to have something to eat to help balance all that ale.

We all went, I think Pup is old enough to go with Nash and I, but Rose said differently. Maybe next year. I think it’s so they can keep an eye on him, as if she thinks I won’t? I’m not that irresponsible. I hope she at least lets him try some, he’s definitely old enough. Maybe cursed Gilneans react differently? Though I’ve seen her drink wine plenty of times with no problem, maybe it’s something you have to learn to control though. Either way, he was really excited about the ram racing when I told him about it. I hope Rose lets him ride one, watching is fun but actually racing is the whole point of it. Even when you end up landing on your behind in the snow. I thought Nash would be happy now that he’s got his dumb necklace back, but he seemed really quiet. I know part of it is that he’s worried someone’s going to notice that he’s not a human. It’s true that dwarves (and gnomes) are short and could see his eyes easier, but I guarantee they’re not looking at people’s eyes during Brewfest. Coin purses, maybe. But most everyone is just focused on trying the ales and watching rams and having a good time. There could be something else, there usually is, but it’s not as if he’s going to tell me about it.

I tried asking about how his visits were going. I don’t think he likes them, I figured he’d at least like the company of another elf. I wouldn’t want to visit some other elf just because they’re an elf, but he seems to want that connection to his past. And she seems nice enough. She’s interesting to talk to, that’s for sure. I wish I knew how she was able to keep everyone happy like that, it would sure make things easier. I’m pretty sure Nash wouldn’t be okay with everyone being all together like that, and I know for a fact that Rose wouldn’t. Even besides that, she must have some interesting stories about hiding in Stormwind too. Maybe she even has some tips for Nash — although he can’t do illusions. Which is why he hopefully keeps going for his visits, even though he says he hates tea. What has he got against tea? It’s all right.

[Story] The Ghostclaw – Leinath’s Journal

Orledin got out all these boxes of paint and stuff the other night to make our masks for the ball. I’m not good at art, I mean obviously I know what a fox looks like, but knowing it and getting something else to look like a fox are two totally different things. The mask just goes over your eyes, it doesn’t have a snout or anything so that’s the first thing that’s not right. I figured that making it orange would be a good starting point, but it doesn’t look right either — it’s too flat and doesn’t look like fur, also the color’s not quite right. It needs shading or something, but I don’t know how to do that. I put some white for the cheeks but it’s not really even, and those should be fluffier. I glued some feathers on, but I’m afraid it’ll just look weird since foxes don’t have feathers. And I think the nose is crooked, too. Honestly, I think I’d rather just buy a nice one in the city, but I feel like Orledin would be sort of insulted if I did that. He says everyone will be able to tell it’s a fox. I’m not so sure. There are plenty of other blank ones, I guess I could try making another, but I don’t think I’m suddenly going to get better at art by the time the ball happens. I know the Captain always makes cat masks, so maybe he’ll have some advice. Or maybe his are bought too, I don’t know. Maybe I could get some fur to put onto it, that might look better. Or everyone can just think I’m some kind of weird orange and black monster.

Orledin’s making a skull. In some ways I think that’s even more complicated because you have to get all the bumps and things right, but then it’s really just one color. He said he had some to look at back in the forest, as long as it’s not a troll skull or something it should work fine. It’s sad to think of someone dying out here all alone and being forgotten about like that, he’s just sitting in a pile of other bones somewhere. Orledin said he’d take it back to the family if he knew who it was, but of course there isn’t any way to know. I hope whoever it is doesn’t mind being a model for a masked ball costume.

He wants to dance, too. I’m not really surprised that he asked, but I don’t know how to dance — at all. I’m kind of worried about it, because I don’t want to look like an idiot constantly stepping on his feet. He said he doesn’t either, probably to make me feel better, but if he lived in the city he probably at least has a basic idea.  Maybe if I just stand still and sort of sway, it’ll be okay. I’m looking forward to the food too, and everyone says they decorate the ballroom and gardens really well, so that should be good. I still think it’s so strange that I’m being invited to things like that now, I definitely snuck into my share before but I couldn’t really enjoy those.

[Story] Story a Week

[[ Don’t remember what week it is, so I’m leaving off the number. I didn’t use a prompt this week because I already knew what I wanted to do! ]]

Sullivan let his illusion dissipate as he entered the cool dark of the tavern. It was on the forest floor, open to any and all travelers, including the less pleasant kind. But that was exactly the sort he sought today. His eyes scanned the chairs and benches, searching for the one he had summoned here to meet him. Sullivan acted on his own, without the council’s knowledge or approval. But something had to be done. The hunters had scoured the forest and found nothing, not one sign of where the rogue wizard had gone. Perhaps they were content to believe that he had moved on, but Sullivan would not. He could not. His black ears pinned back briefly at the memory, but he shook it away. There in the corner, that had to be her, the one who called herself the Scarlet Moon.

He had expected her to be intimidating. Anyone who hunted people for money had to be. And he knew that fenlings were large, they had passed through their city often enough. But even slouched in the corner, hidden in the shadows, this one was enormous. She had to be at least triple Sullivan’s size, perhaps even larger. She wore oiled leather armor, studded with metal, and wore one blade that Sullivan could see. No doubt there were several others hidden. The mark of Ramador, the War-Bringer, had been burned into the flesh around her right eye. Sullivan could not even imagine how much it must have hurt. She sniffed the air toward him as he approached and grunted.

“Where is my coin?”

Sullivan crawled onto the bench across from her, suddenly feeling very small indeed. He untied the pouch of silver from his waist and set it on the table. “That’s the deposit,” he said, nudging it closer carefully with a paw. He was honestly afraid she might leap across the table and bite him. “And expenses. The rest will be–”

The fenling put down her drink, her tongue licking over her fangs, and picked up the bag. “This isn’t much,” she said.

Sullivan knew it wasn’t. Without the council’s backing, the fee was being shouldered by himself alone. He’d had to sell some of his books even to raise what she was now holding in her enormous paw. But she had agreed to meet and come all this way, which meant she would likely agree to take the job. Or so he hoped. “W-what else would you want?” he asked, half afraid of the answer.

Her yellow eyes held him firmly, like a mouse beneath a predator’s paw. Sullivan was suddenly thankful he was not the one who would be facing her down unexpectedly.

“Interesting question,” she said, scratching her chin. He had got a better look at her when she leaned forward into the light. Her fur was a non-descript mixture of browns, blacks, and white. It would be difficult for anyone to describe, which Sullivan supposed could be useful. But she was by no means forgettable. “No more coins?”

Sullivan shook his head. “There are spells,” he said hurriedly. “For your weapon. Or other things. Very useful.”

The fenling’s nose crinkled up into a hint of a snarl, and he worried again that she might bite him. Or simply swallow him whole. “No tricks, asenji.”

“It’s not a trick! Perfectly safe, I swear. I doubt anyone in your pack has something like–”

Her muzzle lifted further, showing her gleaming fangs. “No pack.”

Sullivan exhaled a breath. Of course she had no pack, it made sense. She hunted alone because she didn’t need anyone else. “Still,” he said weakly. “Consider it.”

She did, studying the little pouch of coins for several long seconds, before she scooped it up and dropped it into her pack. “Dead or alive?” she asked.

He had considered this question already, before he’d even made the decision to take matters into his own hands. Did he want Harvian to die? Yes, of course. But death would be over quickly. He wanted Harvian to suffer as he had, to regret his actions for the rest of his miserable days. “Alive, if you can,” Sullivan said. “But kill him if you must. I just want him.”

The Scarlet Moon rose within the darkened tavern and extended her paw to Sullivan. “It will be done,” she said, and he thought was certain he heard pleasure in her voice.