[Story] Risarra’s Letter

My dearest Bear,

I will put this letter into the box in the sin’dorei town. There are very few people awake at night — mostly they are undead, and they don’t pay much attention to anything anyway. I sent it to Zhyra at the outpost, because you don’t have a mailbox at the house and I also didn’t want any sin’dorei knowing where you lived, just in case. I hope it reaches  you, and if not then I will have to tell you everything when I get back. Unless I’m captured by sin’dorei, of course. That was a joke (hopefully).

It is very cold here, much colder than I expected. Avanniel said that usually mages keep it warm all year round using magic, but either that isn’t true, or the mages don’t warm this part. There is snow covering the ground, which is very beautiful but it means we must also take extra care not to leave tracks. We move along in the brush and leaves, so our track is obscured. I have a sleeping roll but I would much rather have you here to keep me warm. I hope all is well back there. Is Zhyra checking on you? I told her to, in case you run out of dumplings. Are the bears all right? Do they miss me?  I miss them, but mostly you. Avanniel and I have been talking and I told her that she should invite the old man to live with her once all of this is settled, and it just made me miss you all the more.

We were unable to find the girl, so we split up to observe different houses in the woods. At mine I found an sin’dorei who told me that he didn’t know of anyone being held prisoner. There is a kaldorei at a school but she wishes to be there. So I wasn’t sure what was going on — either there is more than one kaldorei here, or the sin’dorei are lying. I had only seen them from far away before, and not often — they don’t come into Ashenvale usually. So I didn’t really know what to expect. But he was polite enough once he got over his initial surprise. I can’t really blame him for that, he probably isn’t used to sentinels appearing out of the shadows. He had some little cakes that were very sweet. They didn’t have anything inside of them but they had a soft sweet stuff on top. I would like to make some for you, but I’m not sure what they use for that. Anyway, he told me that he is a ranger, which I gather is similar to a sentinel, except there can be men and they don’t all have bows. He told me to meet with his captain, because he would know if anyone was being held prisoner here.

I was worried that it might be a trap, but the sin’dorei was so nice and pleasant. I know, I guess if you were going to trick people, that would be the best way to do it. But he told me about his husband and I told him about you and he had some interesting ideas. And he agreed to tell the captain we were coming so he wouldn’t be startled and try to shoot at us.

Avanniel went with me to see the ranger captain. She hadn’t found out anything on her scouting mission, but I was sure mine would lead to something. He lives with his family there and the oldest boy likes to pretend he is a nightsaber. The captain himself was wary at first, but once we explained our reason for being there, he relaxed a bit. He told us the same thing: that he didn’t know of any kaldorei besides the one at the school, and she was certainly not a prisoner. So our next step is to investigate the school, which is a magic school so that makes me nervous. I’ve never fought against a mage before, but hopefully they are reasonable and just tell us what we want to know so we can leave. It turns out that some rangers have animal friends too, and the captain loves nightsabers and other cats. We got to talking about them and he was so excited to hear about the ones we have in Ashenvale. He even went to the bookshelf and showed me a book about them, I had no idea so many colors of cats even existed! I wanted to stay a lot longer and keep talking about nightsabers, but Avanniel was getting impatient.

I guess I never really thought about the idea that sin’dorei must have hobbies and interests just like we do. I mean, they are just people, but when you talk to one face to face it’s different. I think if they wanted to come to Ashenvale, as long as they were nice like the ones I met, it would be okay. It also makes me wonder if the girl here really isn’t a prisoner, if she is choosing to stay because she likes it. Yes, it’s different and far from home, but is it possible? Certainly. A friend of mine ran away to live with humans in Stormwind, so couldn’t someone decide to stay with sin’dorei? They are more like us than humans anyway. It’s something to consider. Either way, I hope we find answers soon because I can’t wait to see you again.


[Story] Imralion’s Journal

I forgot about the goblin holiday until Aeramin mentioned he was cooking for it. I mean, he usually cooks anyway but he mentioned it and then I felt bad. I’m not sure what to get for him anyway, he has a lot of magic books and supplies, and he always says he has enough robes. I decided I’d get chocolate because everyone likes that. I took Marta with me, for one because I wanted to get her some chocolate too, and because I had promised to take her to pet the horses. It works out well because the younger kids’ classes end earlier in the day than the magic classes, Aeramin has to stay and help the fire students in the afternoon if they ask for it, and they often do. He’s also been taking Roderick with him, that is good because he can be with him most of the day, and if Roderick needs a break or a change or something, the nursery is right there and Ter’s mother is there to watch  him. She’s excited to have a new baby around too.

I asked Aeramin if we could surprise Marta with a real horse, or maybe a pony, but he said we don’t have a place for it. He’s right about that, I just thought maybe a small horse would fit. But in the city they have stables for all of the blood knights’ horses, and I can take her there. Plus, they have to take them out every day and exercise them, which means Marta could ride on one as long as I was there to make sure it’s safe. And I know there’s a toy shop that has carved wooden horses, I figured we could stop there after we bought the chocolates.

My mother is going to be visiting soon, I guess it’s all right because she wants to meet the kids. I am guessing she’ll probably bring them things too, which they will like. We are going to have dinner with Arancon and Anorelle soon, so Marta can meet them. I wonder if Aeramin will let her ride on the machine? I figure it must be safe if they take their baby in it, but I don’t know.

Marta said she hadn’t had chocolate before, at least that she could remember, so she was pretty excited about it. I might have let her try one of each kind in the box. It’s okay, I got a new box for Aeramin too. At the stables I let her pet one of the horses that I knew was calm, she liked how soft his nose was, and how his mane felt like people hair. I tried to explain what he looked like but it’s hard not to use colors. I said he was shiny and warm and he had a stripe on his nose. I asked if she wanted to sit on his back and she did, and I led him around a little bit on the rope. I think I’ve created an addict. Every knight needs a horse though! She wanted to know when we could come back again and I said probably tomorrow. I wonder if we could buy a small horse and just keep it here? I’ll have to ask.

At the shop she asked me to find a wooden horse that looked like the one at the stable. There wasn’t an exact match but I found one that was really close, it even had the stripe. She said she was going to put it on the table next to her bed so it would be close by all the time. I might have bought a couple of extra that she doesn’t know about yet.

Her friend Nerine invited her over for a sleepover, I guess that will probably be on the weekend. It should be fine but Aeramin is worried, I said it’s Professor Raleth so nothing bad is going to happen. I think it’s good they are settling in to the school and everything well, I know it can’t be easy to go to a new place. But at least she knows some people, and she seems to be getting along well with Malwen too.

[Story] Fairsong Academy – My Week by Nerine

My Week, by Nerine

Teacher wants us to write about what happened to us this week, so that’s what I am writing. It didn’t happen this week, but I moved from the orphanage in Shattrath here to the Ghostlands. I have a new mom and dad, and also two brothers. None of them are tauren, but I think that’s okay. Miss Lali knows Taurahe already, and Raleth knows some, but he asks me to help him learn words after he helps me with my homework. I think it’s good that he’s trying to learn instead of just making me learn Thalassian, which I am also learning, but it’s hard. It isn’t like Taurahe at all. I know Common a little better, which is what we use in class usually because there’s a lot of different people there.

I get my own room which is nice. I had a bunk at the orphanage and a little box for my things but now I have a whole room. Miss Lali and Raleth said I can pick the color for my walls, I can’t decide if I want green to look like a field of grass, or blue like the sky. I’m still thinking about it. They also got me a little tent that I can read books or sleep in. It’s really cool. I am going to ask if Marta can stay over one night and sleep in it too. Maybe Malwen as well. I’m really happy that Marta is here because she is my best friend. She doesn’t make fun of me and I like to help her with things because she’s blind. Even though she’s blind, she is really good at a lot of things. She and Roderick got adopted by Mister Firewind and his husband, I’m not in his class but he seems nice. Marta likes them anyway, that’s what is important.

We’re still getting used to everything here, like it’s much colder. Mulgore and Shattrath were both really warm so I didn’t even have a scarf and a hat, Miss Lali got them for me. Also, it gets really muddy here because of all the snow and rain, so I have to wash off my hooves before I go inside. They didn’t tell me that but I don’t want to leave mud all over the house. Everything is bigger here, too. The school is gigantic, it’s the biggest building I’ve ever seen. Our house isn’t too big but it’s pretty big. Having little brothers is pretty good. I like to play with them sometimes but most of the time they just play together, they like to build things. It’s okay though because I can play with Marta, and also with Malwen. She’s an elf who lives at the school and she has so many dolls! I want to ask Miss Lali if there are any tauren dolls. I think I would like one. But she’s been pretty nice, she didn’t ask about my tail. Maybe she doesn’t know that I was supposed to have one. She showed me her pet turtle and that was neat. I don’t know if I could have a pet.

Mister Fairsong said there weren’t any other tauren here but one time a pandaren came to visit. I’ve never seen one, but he said they have fur too. I mean, I guess that’s kind of like a tauren but a lot of things have fur that aren’t like tauren. It’s been okay though, the only bad thing is my desk and chair are kind of small, but they’re getting a special one made for me. The school has parties for different holidays and there’s a love one this weekend. Malwen had to explain it to me because I didn’t know about it. There are paper hearts all over the place. She explained it can be love for your family and friends, it doesn’t have to be like kissing. Which is good because there’s no one I want to kiss. In class we made cards for our family, I’m happy to have a family even if they’re not tauren. They’re still a good family.

This weekend I also want to play in the snow with Marta and Malwen if it didn’t all melt. The end.

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Terellion’s Journal

Since we got back from Shattrath, I have been working on a lot more manaberry recipes. Some of the students got to try them for the first time, and now they want manaberry everything! Fortunately the bushes we got a while back are starting to grow berries, I’m afraid we might need to get more though if there’s going to be such a demand for them. It would be nice if we could plant some outside of the greenhouse, but the weather here is much colder than Outland. There was snow on the ground when we returned! The kids really liked that. I had never seen it until I moved out here, I’m still amazed every time. The world looks so different, even familiar things, when they are covered in a blanket of snow.

I think Brier especially liked it, though she wasn’t too sure what to think of it at first. I’m glad Marta is going to the school so maybe she won’t feel too different, though no one is part orc. The three of them — Malwen, Marta and Brier — are all close in age, so I hope they’ll all be friends. My sisters are a little older, but I still think they’d be willing to be friends too. I like that our school is going to have so many different people. I think it’s good for the students to learn about people other than just elves, because then they won’t be scared of them or hate them when they see them outside of the school.

The manaberry cookies aren’t too complicated. I experimented with using fresh berries as well as dried. I think the dried worked out a little better because they don’t add as much moisture to the mix, and they have a nice chewiness that goes well with the cookies. But I’ll ask the students and Hethurin for their opinions. I’m also wanting to make some ice cream, I will need to ask Raleth or Keyalenn for help with that. We have an ice room to keep things cool, but it’s not cold enough to freeze things. I think it’s just mixing the manaberry jam with cream, but I have to test it to be sure. And of course, pies are pretty easy, once you get the crust made properly. It’s more difficult than cake because you have to roll it out and put it in the pan, and my first ones didn’t look that great, but they tasted good. It’s easier to make mini pies, which are good because then you can eat the whole thing, which seems more fun than just a slice.

Isturon came into the kitchen to talk to me. I wasn’t too happy about that, he said he doesn’t want to be enemies with me. I am just worried that he’s with my mother only because she’s the one who didn’t leave him, not because he actually likes her for who she is. He said that he’d still be with the others if they didn’t leave, so I think I’m right about that. I also worry that Verisna might try to do something to her, or to him because she knows it would upset my mother. She had no problem getting his money taken away just out of spite, so I can believe she would do something else. Isturon said he would keep it from happening, but how is he going to do that? There are wards here, but not on the roads and other places. I don’t think he’s taking it seriously enough.

He also doesn’t care about planning the party at all. You would think he would, because it’s supposed to be for him and my mother, but he’s just letting her and Telaena and Hethurin do everything. I mean, if you let Hethurin plan everything it’s going to be really fancy and expensive. He said he might like if they could dress like pirates, and I think that would actually be a good idea. I could make a cake that looks like a treasure chest, with candy gems and gold coins and stuff. That way we could have skulls because Elthanni likes them and it wouldn’t be too weird. I just don’t know if pirates have flowers, but I guess they could. Hopefully Hethurin will agree to it, and not say it’s too tacky. I mean, it kind of is, but it’s different from boring wedding parties, and I know my mother really liked their pirate trip.

I still can’t say I’m really happy about it, but like I told Isturon, I’m not about to let my mother have a bad cake for her wedding party. And I guess she’s happy? My sisters seem happy too. I’m the only one who doesn’t seem to like it. So maybe I’m wrong. I guess we’ll see in time.

[Story] Imralion’s Journal

We’re back from Shattrath and getting the kids settled into their new rooms. Well, Marta has a room, but Roderick is still tiny so he’s in ours. It’s kind of small, but it’s only temporary until we can get the builders here in the spring. Still, she seems to like it. I asked if she wanted anything like more pillows and she said she already has one pillow. Well I know she has one, but I meant like a whole pile of pillows. I mentioned dolls too, because I know Malwen likes dolls and she’s about the same age. There’s a fancy shop in Silvermoon with all different kinds of dolls and soft animals and things, Aeramin got her a dollhouse in Shattrath with little tiny dolls but I mean the kind you can hold.

There was snow when we got back, which was nice because Marta had never got to play in snow before. I think she was born in Shattrath, because she said she was looking for her mother in the Lower City, but I’m not sure. I figure she’ll talk about it if she wants to. I  haven’t told her about Lin and I growing up in an orphanage yet, but I will soon. We watched everyone come and adopt the babies too, always hoping that we’d get our own parents but it never happened, so I know kind of what it was like for her. Not exactly of course, we didn’t have orc kids at ours.

She asked what she should call Aeramin and me, and I told her it was her choice. But I have to admit I kind of wanted her to call me ann’da. It’s weird because not that long ago I wasn’t really sure about wanting to have any, but now that they’re here it’s the best thing. Roderick is really cute, but all he can do right now is eat and sleep and poop. Marta wants to learn how to be a blood knight, so I got the smallest training armor I could find (which was still way too big for her) and a practice sword and we went out in the yard. Right now I just want her to get used to the feel of the sword and getting comfortable with it. She said the armor felt too heavy but I’ll see if I can get some kid-sized made. I don’t know if she’d ever be able to fight off demons, though they are pretty noisy, but she can feel confident anyway.

She also said she likes the spicy vegetables! She’d always ask the Matron for them but she said the other kids didn’t like them because they were too hot. I’m going to cook them for us both to eat and it’s going to be great! Maybe I was a little worried she would feel out of place because she’s a human but I couldn’t imagine a better kid. Lin already wrote to our mother and she’s on her way to visit because she wants to meet them. I don’t know if she mentioned they’re humans or not, but I’m pretty sure it won’t matter. I’m sure Arancon and Anorelle won’t mind either, which is good because Marta seemed excited about having grandparents. Oh yeah! And she said she liked horses but had never got to be around a real one, so I said I could take her to the blood knight stables to pet one. Maybe she’d like a little toy horse? Or a few.

We made a dragon out of the snow, with sticks for horns and leaves for the scales. I’m not that great of an artist but I think it looked pretty good. Aeramin seemed impressed anyway. I feel bad now though, because maybe I should have given Lyorri a chance. Maybe she would have turned out to be a great kid too, and I didn’t even get to know her. I know there’s nothing that can be done now, but when she’s older she’s going to know that we didn’t want her and I wish I could go back and change it. She has parents, and a new sister, I just hope that’s enough.


[Art] Leaf Rustle

We played a one-shot D&D adventure on Friday and I asked the DM to come up with a random character for me. As it turns out, I got something I really loved – a Kenku Druid! So I wanted to draw her to remember her short but glorious adventuring career.


[Story] Fairsong Academy – Irael’s Journal

Shattrath is always exciting, it’s so exotic and different from anywhere I’ve been before. Well, I guess I’ve only been to Silvermoon and the Ghostlands, but even in pictures I’ve never seen anything like it. Professor Firewind gave us kind of a lot of work to do, but Felarius said he’d help me so it went a little faster. He’s already doing fire magic and summoning, though he said he only has an imp. I’m not allowed to tell anyone about it, but he talks to me about it sometimes. I was curious, I’ve never seen an imp before. He said it’s kind of like a cat, but it can talk and says rude things to him. I think if it says rude things he should either get a new one or put it in a corner until it shapes up. But I don’t know anything about summoning.

Usually we just get food in our rooms but one night we went to the restaurant with the pie. I think the Headmaster tells them ahead of time when we are coming so they can bake up extra. I had a sandwich that was so delicious! I am not sure what most of the things on the menu are, but I can remember things I had the other times we were here. Felarius had some meat that was probably really expensive. I still don’t like spending too much money, it still feels a little weird. I did want to go to the market though, I wanted to find a necklace for my mother to match with her earrings, and also something to put on the wall of my room. I guess a lot of the rooms have paintings from Vaildor, like Felarius said he has one with a dragon on it. That would be pretty neat, but mine is just blank, so I wanted something to put there. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted but I figured they’d have different things here than in Silvermoon. Plus I know the ones in Silvermoon are really expensive, things here usually aren’t as expensive because there aren’t as many people here.

We found a booth with a lot of little paintings, they were made with really bright colors and they almost seemed to glow because the background was black. I liked them. I found one of the big mushrooms in the marsh and I decided to get that because it was unusual and it reminds me of Outland. They had a lot of other ones, there was one of a naked girl but Fel didn’t want it, I guess it probably wouldn’t be allowed on the wall anyway. He wanted to look for supplies for the little kids’ class. I thought a book about Outland animals would be useful to help the kids learn, especially if they’ll be coming here for trips eventually. They had a lot of different colors and paints, I thought about getting some but I really don’t know how to paint. My mother used to paint things in the factory but that’s not the same as painting a picture. They had soft toy animals too, of different Outland creatures. Felarius got one for the classroom and then he asked if I wanted one. They had a moth and a sporebat. I’ve seen moths before, but sporebats are really weird. It’s like they are meant to swim underwater, but they float in the air, I don’t know how. Also they have pretty spots along their body and they have dust which I guess is spores. I could have bought it myself but he wanted to pay for it. I felt a little silly because they’re for little kids, but it is really cute. I could put it on my bed underneath the mushroom painting.

I found a nice necklace for my mother at the jewelry booth. I helped Fel pick out some earrings for his sister, I barely know her so I really don’t know what she would like though. I guess he was asking me because I’m a girl. Then he wanted to get a necklace for me, which I thought was weird because it was kind of expensive. I mean, he doesn’t have to buy me things. Then he wanted to know if I’d go to the dance at the school with him, which obviously we will already be going to. But I know what he meant. I was more surprised than anything, I didn’t know he was interested in anything like that. I haven’t been looking at guys here mainly because I want to get good grades and become a mage. And I mean I like him, he’s been my friend since we came here because we both know what it’s like to be from the Row, and it’s like we have this secret. I don’t have to explain things to him because he already knows, I know a lot of people wouldn’t like it. So maybe it would be okay? But what if it’s against the rules? It’s not for other students, but they aren’t from the Row either. So I should ask Professor Firewind what he thinks.

My mother said I should give it back because it means he wants something in return. I know what she means, but I’m pretty sure Fel isn’t like that. I should ask, just to be sure, but it would be pretty awkward. I guess if he asks I can just give it back then. She also says that he’s not good enough for me, but we’re from the same place. So that would also mean I’m not good enough for him. She didn’t have any answer for that. I mean, we already stand together and talk at the dances anyway, so I don’t see what one dance could hurt. He said he doesn’t know how, but I don’t know either so that makes it a little easier. It would be bad if he was a really good dancer and I wasn’t.