[Story] Fairsong Academy – Nerine’s Journal

Everyone at the school is getting ready for the candy holiday. I didn’t know it was such a big thing, at the orphanage we ate candy but everyone only got a few. There weren’t decorations or costumes or anything, Marta told me about those. Well, also we have been working on making masks in class, Miss Lali brought in this big box filled with different things like feathers, and sparkles, and fabric. She said the theme is “haunted forest”, but I don’t even know what I was supposed to make. Marta said to think of something that’s in a forest, but that means what, trees? So I said I wasn’t sure, and she said just to put things on that I liked. I used some of the feathers and a lot of the sparkles, because I like how they look. Miss Lali said that’s “abstract”, I don’t really know what that means.

I helped Marta make her mask. She wanted to be a haunted horse. I don’t know how a horse could be haunted, but one time I saw a horse that was like a skeleton, so I figured that’s what she meant. We made it white so it looked like bones and then it had hair like the mane, and also some sparkles because I told Marta that the sparkles look really nice. 

They’re also putting decorations all around the school, Tik and Terellion have these old branches that are painted black and they’re everywhere, so it looks like they are growing inside the school. Then there are spiders and bats and things, at first I thought they were real spiders but they aren’t, they are just made of paper and wool and things like that. I mean, it would be pretty strange if they just brought real spiders inside, I guess it would do the job of scaring everyone though. Marta said that’s the point of it, to be scary. But I don’t really see what candy has to do with it. 

There’s also a lot of pumpkins, so many pumpkins. There’s piles of them out in the garden and also inside. I’d never even seen one before so Marta had to tell me what they were. I said they’re round but also lumpy, and orange with a thick shell. Somehow they are connected to the holiday too. I don’t try to understand human holidays. Most importantly, there is candy. A LOT of candy. The Headmaster put buckets practically on every table, and you can just take some whenever you want. Nobody says anything if you take a whole bunch, either. Like the first day I just took one, but then I saw other people were taking more, and one kid grabbed a whole handful and put it into his book bag. Marta said if I eat too much I’ll get an upset stomach, so I’m just saving some for at night when I want a little snack. 

I like when she’s able to come over and stay in my tent. We can pretend we’re outside under the stars because my dad painted little dots all over the ceiling. I helped tell him where the different star groups are, and we looked it up in a book. Honestly, I don’t really even remember it very well, because I was so little. But I’m glad to have them anyway. Sometime I’d like to go visit, maybe Marta would be allowed to go too. But her dad worries a lot, so I don’t know. Like her dads went away for one night and she stayed with her grandfather, and she said they fussed a lot when they came back. They don’t have to worry when she stays here, I always look out for my friend!

Sometimes I even let my brothers stay, but they have their own tent. It’s a little smaller, but it’s still good. Then we pretend to have a fire, and tell ghost stories sometimes. Naraleth says there are a lot of ghosts in the forest outside of the school, but I don’t believe him. Besides, how would he know? He and Wyrran are going to be nightsabers for the holiday, probably like the whole younger class is. Maybe I should change mine into a lynx, at least I know what those look like, instead of an “abstract”.

[Art] Sewing!

I think I mentioned here that I am trying to learn how to sew. I chose some projects that I thought I could handle given my (low, low) skill level, and I’m proud to say that they have turned out okay!

So far I’ve made some trim for kitchen towels, a pillowcase, and some drawstring pouches. These last are super fun because they are very easy and quick, and don’t require much fabric at all. The skull one is for gaming dice, and I plan to make a bunch more using some of my scraps.

Next up, I am going to try making zippered pouches to learn how to install zippers, and also do a flannel pillowcase. After that I’m not sure, I want to be learning one new thing every new project – but I also have a deep need for a lot more pillowcases.

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[Screenshots] SWTOR: Onslaught

The new SWTOR expansion is out, and I’ve played through the main storyline with Kazta. (I think there might be more on the planets, but I haven’t gone to them yet as I’m working on getting everyone to the new level cap first.)

I also took my Knight through, because some important companions returned to him, and my Sith Juggernaut because I wanted to see the Imperial side. I was really impressed with how the storylines managed to show the same events from both sides — I mean, that’s always been a thing but I think it was done particularly well this time. I recognized scenes and situations from the other. I also really liked the  new characters and look forward to seeing more of them.

My Juggernaut is a Saboteur, which means he’s secretly helping the Republic while maintaining the appearance of helping the Empire. So from time to time, he will get options for actions or lines that are labeled “Saboteur”. I was worried at first, because it didn’t seem like the story would allow him any chances to do so, but later on it definitely picked up. I have to say, I really enjoyed his Saboteur storyline and I expect it’s more interesting than the loyalist version, but I’ll find out later on.

Pictures are behind the cut, as always. I tried to keep them in correct order, but I never do, people should be used to that by now around here. I have a lot of pictures with Cat Husband looming ominously in the background, he’s good at that.

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[Story] Imralion’s Journal

Aeramin and I left to go overnight to Ironforge, so we could go to the dwarf festival. It’s our first time leaving the kids so I was nervous about it. They stayed with Arancon and Anorelle, so I shouldn’t have been, obviously Aeramin turned out fine, but that wasn’t really Arancon’s doing. I worried he might give them rides in his machine and go too fast, or crash into a tree or something. Or he might give Marta a lot of sugar or forget to read her a story at bedtime. He might forget to change Roderick, but probably not because Tiros is about the same age. But maybe they can’t handle two babies at once, and they would take care of Tiros first. I don’t know. Aeramin said I should try to relax and have fun, which is true.

The event was actually really fun, I thought it would be but I didn’t really know what to expect. I’ve never even met any dwarves before. They’re really short but also really wide, and very hairy.  Their beards go all the way to the ground, sometimes. Aeramin said that female dwarves have beards too, so you can’t tell which is which. I did see some without, but maybe those were younger dwarves, whose beards hadn’t grown in yet. We also speculated about whether they knew about sausages or not.

The sausages were really good, too. (I mean, the ones you eat.) We had some beer that was made by humans, and that was good as well. I thought next time we should bring the kids, because I thought Marta would like the music and getting to pet the animals. There were rams, and also little rabbits hopping around in the snow. Aeramin said that some humans might get upset that we have human kids and take them away. I don’t see how that could happen, since we signed the papers and everything, but he said it was possible. I don’t want to risk that, but I still think they’d really like it here. 

I worry about Marta wanting to have human parents when she’s older. She seems happy with us, especially now that she has Prince, but humans could give her a horse too. And they’d know more about human food and human customs, and all of that. I hope she doesn’t decide she wants to live with humans when she is older. I guess Aeramin and I could move to the human city now, though he’d have to leave the school. We can figure that out if it happens later on. She also has Nerine in the Ghostlands, which I know is important to her. I hope she’ll be happy with us even when she’s older. 

We bought a crate of food to bring home for Arancon, and a couple of bottles of the human beer. It’s pretty strong, but it’s good. Then we got some things for the kids, they had little soft toy rams. I got one that was gold with a white stripe like Prince for Marta, and we got one for Tiros and Roderick too, but they don’t really care what color they get. They are just going to chew on it anyway. They also had these little leather shorts and Aeramin and I made a bet about who would win the ram race, and the loser had to wear some. 

Well, neither of us won, because the races were completely rigged! We ran a bunch of times, and every single time we lost. I’m pretty sure the dwarves were giving  beer to the rams that were being ridden by tourists. A dwarf won every time! I wanted to complain, but the people in charge were dwarves too, so what good would it do? I felt bad, because Aeramin really wanted the hat that you could drink out of, but the best I got was fourth place. He tried a bunch of times too, but he didn’t do any better. At least it was still pretty fun, except when I fell in the snow, that kind of hurt.

I carried the food up to our room in the city, and then I carried Aeramin because he’d had a lot of the human beer. He probably could have walked, but it was just faster to carry him. It was a long way though. I showed him the lava underneath the bridge, and outside our window. I thought he would like that. The room was really neat, all the shelves and furniture and everything were carved out of stone, and there was a fireplace and a rug made from a bear skin. I’m just worried that Aeramin might not feel too well tomorrow. 

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Irael’s Journal

I had so much fun at the dwarf festival! I’ve never been before, but the headmaster has, so he knew how to make a portal there. Because we are allowed there now, he said it was safe for students to go. I don’t really know much about beer, but he said there were a lot of foods to try, and it sounded fun to go somewhere I’ve never been. I think we were partly there to keep an eye on my mom and Felarius’s dad, actually. I wasn’t too worried, but I wanted to make sure they had a good time!

When we arrived, the first thing I noticed was all the snow. It’s just now getting cold at night at the school, but here they already had snow on the ground. I guess that’s because it’s on top of a mountain. There was a band playing funny music, as well as some booths with games, and a lot of people were dancing. Down at the far end, people were riding on rams and they were going really fast! I thought that would be fun to watch, but I don’t think I’d actually like to ride one. Thankfully Fel didn’t ask me to. 

We didn’t know which food to try, so we got the plate with one of everything. It turns out that dwarf food is really good! My favorite was the twisted bread thing, it had big pieces of salt on top of it. But the cheese and sausage were also really good. Fel doesn’t drink a lot of beer either, so we had a hard time deciding what kind of beer to get. We thought it would be okay to have just one glass, especially since we were eating food with it. The ogre beer smelled really bad, and I thought maybe we should get dwarf beer since it was a dwarf festival and all, and it was probably traditional. In the end we tried a Pandaren one, which I picked because I like Pandaren food a lot. And I thought it was pretty good! I hope we can try another kind next year.

It sure looked like my mom was having fun too. They mostly sat at a table eating food, like we did, but I think they walked around the booths too. I know Fel’s dad wasn’t about to be riding any rams. I want her to be happy, she’s been on her own and just worried about me for so long. She should have time to be happy for herself now. And it definitely seems like she is, living at the school is so much better than the Row. The headmaster is a fair boss and doesn’t make her work really late hours. And if things work out with Fel’s dad, that would be really great. It might be a little weird, but not too much. Besides, I knew Fel before she knew his dad.

Fel was worried that things won’t work out with them, I admit I’m worried about that too. But he thinks they’ll have a fight or something. I know my mom isn’t just going to leave over some dumb reason, because she doesn’t take him for granted. I’m more worried that he’ll change his mind and leave, like my dad did. I never got to meet him, I don’t know anything about him, not even his name. And I’m not sure if Malora is too keen on the idea of them getting together. I guess it’s a lot different for Fel and Malora, because they had a mom before. My mom isn’t trying to replace her or anything like that, but I can see how it might be hard for them. They probably wish it was their mom here instead of mine. But I think Sorhorn would be a pretty good dad. Like I told Fel, it’s not like we all have to live together anyway.

I’m pretty sure they stayed in one of the Ironforge inns. Fel and I didn’t, though he did say something about it. I know it’s kind of a double standard, but my mom isn’t trying to finish mage school. And I’m fine with waiting to do that kind of stuff anyway. We’ll have plenty of time later on, when we are older. 

Oh, we also bought some things at the souvenir booth. We got little hats, they are so funny looking. Fel’s has a purple feather, which I think matches with his robes. Mine has a red feather. I plan to let my little toy mana ray wear it at home. We also got these little tiny miniature beer mugs. They had leather shorts, but Fel refused to try them on.

[Story] Thorns – Brewfest

Brewfest is still my favorite time of year, even if Nash didn’t want to ride rams with me. That’s the best part! He said it would aggravate his old injuries, which I assume meant his leg. I guess he’s right, but we could have ridden slowly so we didn’t fall off. Or we could have watched the other people race. It’s true that I fall off more because I’m too tall for the rams, even if I pick the tallest one they have. 

It’s fun to see the new ales they have every year. There were a lot more Orcish ales this time, as well as some ones made by Trolls and Ogres. Brewfest had always allowed them to come, but I guess with the treaty, more felt comfortable about it. I think it’s good, even if Ogre ale smells like dirty feet, it’s good to have a variety of different things to try.  Someone out there must like it. They even had a booth with sin’dorei spirits, and some kaldorei were there selling the sparkling wine they have for festivals. I think it’s okay, but it’s not really ale, maybe in the future they will learn some new techniques from the orcs or ogres or whatever. 

Nash’s sin’dorei friend was there, I saw them talking at the table while I was riding rams. I didn’t think about the fact that it might be their first time visiting Ironforge, that would be pretty exciting. I’d still like to see Silvermoon one day, even though I know Nash says he can’t go back. It’s hard to imagine that he’d still be wanted after so many years. If it’s anything like Stormwind, there are plenty of  people doing crimes that the guards can’t focus on just one for too long. I mean, unless he’s some kind of crime leader, which I don’t really believe either. All the things he told me are just ordinary stuff for the most part. 

I also talked to him about going to Gilneas, or I tried, at least. I wanted to know how he felt about it, whether he wanted to go or would rather stay in Stormwind. It’s ultimately not my decision, at least not fully. If Rose wants to move the shop, I’d go, but I’m fine staying too. She hasn’t given me an answer yet either way, but I can’t imagine she wants to give up the farm. Then again, they have farms in Gilneas, too. 

Nash just kept saying it’s north, well yeah, of course it is. That’s all he would say, and I reminded him we’d already been there once so he should have some idea of what it’s like. He said there weren’t people there, and that is true, but I doubt it would change too much. People are pretty much the same everywhere you go. Then he got weird and asked what I thought about him, and I didn’t know what he meant but he wouldn’t explain. He does that a lot, asks weird vague things and then says to forget about it when I don’t understand.

Then he asked about what we’d be doing in ten years. I said I’d probably still be making watches, I am pretty good at it and I enjoy it, I don’t see that changing.  Ten years isn’t really very long to any kind of elf. Nash said he’d be making simple ones, but I think after ten years of practice, his would be just as good as mine. Well, maybe not the little animals, I’m proud of those. Besides that, I don’t really know.  Will I live somewhere else? Maybe. The whole city could get destroyed again, or something. Maybe I’ll decide that I want to go back to Ashenvale (yeah, right).

[Story] Thorns – Homecoming

This morning, the elf asked me if I planned to go back to Gilneas. The question caught me off-guard,  because I hadn’t even considered that it was a possibility. Evidently there is a group that is working to repair buildings, cut back the brambles, and clean up the rivers and streams. That last will probably take some time, but I think they’ve enlisted the help of some druids or shamans. I expect that anyone still alive can re-claim their old property, and the rest will be sold. I don’t have the papers for the estate anymore, I’m sure most people don’t, but maybe some records still exist somewhere. 

I’ve been away for so long that I just assumed I could never go back. Now that it’s an option, I’m not sure what I think. I love the farm, I love having the animals around and collecting the fresh vegetables and herbs from the fields. I love the feeling of freedom and privacy that the farm affords, tucked back in the forest. I have to admit that I’ve come to love Stormwind as well, even if it wasn’t my home, it has become so over the years.

And of course I don’t want to give up the shop. We’ve worked so hard to make it successful, and I can’t imagine just quitting now. But we could move it to Gilneas, couldn’t we? People there will need clocks and watches, and there probably aren’t even any others there currently. I don’t think Josie would mind, but the elf would be another matter. I can’t expect him to travel back and forth all the time, nor do I think he’d want to move to a strange city. I guess he did do it once though, he came all the way to the Eastern Kingdoms. 

I could have him just send the completed orders when he’s finished, but it’s easier  having him there if a customer has a special request. In addition, people like to watch him work while they are in the shop, and they often buy more after seeing things made in front of them. I will consider his opinion, but I have to think of what’s best for myself too. I can’t tell what Nash wants. It’s impossible, even on the best of days. I don’t honestly think he knows, either. 

Maybe it’s better to leave Gilneas in the past. I don’t regret anything that happened there, but maybe it should stay there — in the past. Or we could go just to visit sometimes, find a nice inn with a view of the harbor and watch the mist rise over the water. I’m just worried that once I go, I won’t want to leave again.