[Story] Fairsong Academy – Terellion’s Journal

Last night the pool boy showed up on our doorstep. He’s just about the last person I ever wanted to see again. I thought he might be here to spy on Hethurin, so I had him wait in the sitting room until we talked about it. The pool boy said that he had come to get a note saying that Hethurin forgave him, and he wasn’t to return until he had one. He claims that he was the one who put something in Hethurin’s tea and left him in the dirty inn with a healer who didn’t know what he was doing. While that might be true, I think it’s more likely that Verisna did something, and now that she’s caught, she is making someone else take the blame for it. Since when has she ever worried about her relationship with Hethurin? Especially if she thinks our kids aren’t even real grandchildren. I just feel like she’s up to something. I told Hethurin that maybe he’s here to spy on us, but he didn’t seem worried. He said we don’t have anything to hide. That’s true, but that doesn’t mean I want someone reporting back everything I say or do, either. Hethurin pointed out that we could keep him as long as we wanted, although I don’t actually want him to stay here. I had the idea of having him help Lilithel in the stable, that way he’d have to shovel hawkstrider poop, and she’d have more time to spend with her baby. Maybe she and Tik could even work something out.

Hethurin said he could stay in the builders’ house with Ithorel and Ethirdir. There’s a spare room there, though there are plenty in the students’ building. This way I suppose he could help with building too, in the spring. Provided he knows how to use a hammer, that is, but I guess it can’t be that difficult. Nothing we said seemed to upset the pool boy at all, and he insisted he wanted to do this to go back to Verisna. I don’t understand how he doesn’t see how evil she is, and how she’s using him. It’s not impossible that he really loves her, I guess, but it just seems unlikely to me. He’s younger than I am! I also don’t really know if I like the idea of keeping him here and making him do terrible things. We’re not like that. I guess it’s true that he could leave whenever he wanted — we aren’t the one making him do this, she is. And he could always refuse. I still have a bad feeling about all of it. I let him have some cake and told him about the ball. At first Hethurin didn’t want to allow him, but I thought maybe he’d see how much better our parties are and he could report back to Verisna. And we always have plenty of food.

Tomorrow I’m going to bake some test versions of the party cake for Hethurin to try. It’s going to have white layers with chocolate and manaberry jam for filling. I’ve also been practicing making sugar swans to put on the top. I was worried for a minute because Hethurin said he didn’t like swans, but I think he was actually confusing them with geese. It would have been bad to change the theme just a few days before the ball! I’m also going to bake some of those little candies inside with messages in them, so everyone should get one in their piece. I think that will be fun. I have to make sure Hethurin gets a good one.


[Story] Risarra’s Journal

It’s still hard to believe I have my own hippogryph. I keep going to the stable to look at her. As soon as I saw her in the paddock, I knew that’s the one I wanted. Not only is she the most beautiful hippogryph I’ve ever seen, she’s gentle and affectionate. Her feathers are white and silver and blue, like the snowy hills in Winterspring. I decided to name her Frostwing. I like to think that she likes me too, whenever I come to the stable I bring her a little treat, and she nudges my hand with her beak to get at it. I haven’t really had an animal friend since Magnolia — there was the bear that I helped back to health, but it wasn’t really the same. With Frostwing I feel that same connection, but at the same time, the fear that something will happen and we’ll be separated. But the breeder assured me that she’s a strong and confident flyer, well-trained and we shouldn’t have any problems at all. She said that Frostwing had obviously bonded with me. I haven’t tried riding her yet. I will soon, once she’d had a chance to settle into the stable. I want to take her somewhere quiet, away from distractions so she won’t be startled. Near the camp might be good, so she can get used to being there — she’ll be staying there when I do. There is a lake and plenty of soft grass for her to rest on there, though I might see about building a fence to keep animals away from her. Not the bears, but wild sabers and things like that.

The trip was nice. Feathermoon has so many people, and many different buildings. Their barracks are enormous! We stayed in a fancy room in a fancy inn. I was worried there might be druids there, but we didn’t see any. We ate in the restaurant, and they had a sampler plate will all different kinds of dumplings. Some of them I’ve never even tried before, so I tried to figure out what the ingredients might be. I’ll have to write down all my recipes so I don’t forget them. They also had a very nice sauce for dipping, just the hint of spice, Bear seemed to like it a great deal. We drank sparkling wine and had a berry cake. I brought him a book of poems, I thought he might like to read them while I’m away, or we could read them together. I think that would be even nicer. He got me a bracelet with a little bear charm and a hippogryph charm. I like the idea of carrying a tiny bear around with me all the time. There was also a candle that smelled like fresh spring flowers, Bear said he’d bought it at a shop here. I thought it might be a good idea to get more, because we can always use candles for the house, and it smelled so lovely. The shop was run by a strange looking woman, Bear said she was a draenei and she’d seen them in Northrend. No one else seemed to find her presence strange, so I thought little of it, but she had horns and a tail! To her credit, she spoke enough Darnassian to ask us what sort of scents we wanted, and soon I’d forgotten about the strange woman as I smelled all of the different perfumes and soaps. They were lovely. We ended up getting quite a few candles, as well as some soaps — I had a little money left over from buying Frostwing.

Once she’s accustomed to the route, I’ll be able to ride Frostwing back to the camp even when Avanniel is away. That means I can spend more time there, and I do like that idea. Bear talked about making the house larger, adding a kitchen and I suggested a little reading area like the cabins had in Winterspring. I feel happy and hopeful for the future, though I don’t know what it will hold I feel safer with Bear there.

[Story] SWTOR – Xarlo’s Meditations

[[ Attended a little RP event and wrote up my character’s impressions of it! This is Xarlo, the Jedi Knight, though IC he has not completed his training. ]]

“The more we learn, the more we discover what we do not know.”

My former Master always said that to me. I found it puzzling and more than a little frustrating at times, but he was right, of course. He was right about a lot of things. Since the temple fell, I’ve felt adrift — both physically and mentally. I search for meaning on my own, but I lack the experience and discipline to discover it, I fear. It could have been mere chance that guided me to scan the old frequencies, but I don’t think it was. I believe my Master’s hand guided me, pushing me forward though it might not be comfortable. Through the static, a call for Jedi to gather in a hidden enclave, unknown to the Eternal Fleet but familiar to those of our order.

It could have been a trap, of course. I believed my armor and saber would be protection enough, though I could imagine my Master’s scoffing expression. I’m not certain what I would have done if it had been — but it wasn’t. At least, I don’t think it was. Two Master Jedi led the gathering, an exploration of the Jedi code and its shades of meaning. The recitation felt comfortable and familiar, like a favorite pair of well-worn shoes. Those gathered brought their own perspectives and approaches, and though I thought to speak up many times, I remembered another thing my Master was fond of saying — “You have two ears, Xarlo, and one mouth. Listen twice as often as you speak.” The woman who sat near me had attained the rank of Knight, in spite of her youth. She was always ready with a wise insight or explanation. I would very much have liked to speak with her more, but she had business with one of the Masters. Also, I got the feeling she was not comfortable with my presence, just the slightest tension in her bearing. I don’t take it personally, though I did at first at the academy. Some humans sneeze if they’re around beings with a lot of hair. I keep myself well-groomed and clean, but to some it doesn’t matter.

There were two Sith, as well, sitting on the far side of the room. I tensed despite myself at the sound of their voices. But they raised no weapon, nor even their voices in anger, though their unease could be felt by all present.  I would like to believe that they came to learn and better understand, rather than to spy or hunt down unwary padawans. While I did not agree with their interpretations, I believe it is valuable to hear different opinions. Always ask questions, always challenge. Otherwise how do you know why you do what you do? I don’t know if I would speak to them or not. What would we have to say to each other?

Though I felt I had gained a great deal of knowledge, my confidence was shaken. I am not usually one for many words, I prefer to act. But in truth, I worried that my ignorance and inexperience would be plain for all to see, and I did not wish to look foolish in front of a Master. After the talk was over, I sought a serene ledge overlooking a still pool. I felt misaligned, off-course, as I have for some months now. I opened myself to the Force, allowing it to show me the correct path to take. I have much thinking to do yet.

[Art] More Ice Dragons

37/42 done! Only a few more left.


[Story] Character of the Week – Imralion Sunsorrow

[[ Imralion is a blood knight and the brother of Linarelle. He met Aeramin while training in Shattrath and they have been together since. Here he’s spending some time with his nephew. ]]

Imralion looked at his nephew as soon as Linarelle closed the door. She and Sunashe would be staying overnight at a winery in Eversong, and they needed someone to watch Tialan for them. That someone turned out to be Imralion, though his sister made it clear that it hadn’t been her idea. Sunashe had insisted it would be better for Tialan to stay with someone he knew — though Imralion had doubts that the baby knew him at all. He’d seen him before, sure, but never spent much time together. They’d dropped him off complete with a bag full of his things, and — thankfully — written instructions. It was only one night, Imralion reassured himself. How bad could it be? And he could always ask Aeramin, though his experience with babies was barely more than his own. He had taken care of Lyorri for a little while, though.

Right now, Tialan was sitting in the middle of his blanket on the floor, chewing on some of his toys. Lin said that he’d be teething, which meant he’d be chewing on a lot. A long string of drool ran out of his mouth. That was kind of gross, but Imralion wasn’t sure if he should wipe it up or not. Maybe drool was good for teething. He consulted the sheet of paper and it didn’t say anything about drooling, only that he might like to eat cool things if his gums hurt. He was also talking, at least, he was making baby sounds that sort of sounded like words. He was kind of cute, Imralion had to admit. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad.

Aeramin came up from his workroom and blinked in surprise. “We’re babysitting,” Imralion explained. “It wasn’t my idea.” He knew babies weren’t exactly Aeramin’s favorite topic, but thankfully he didn’t seem upset by the idea. Arancon was always nagging Aeramin to spend more time with Lyorri, but this wasn’t Lyorri so maybe he wouldn’t mind. After sitting with Tialan a few minutes, Aeramin got up to start cooking supper.

Tialan started to cry. No, it was more of a shriek. Who knew such a loud sound could come out of such a tiny thing? Imralion didn’t know what to do. He consulted the list. Aeramin poked his head out of the kitchen. “What do I do?” Imralion asked.

“Is he wet?”

Imralion blinked. How was he supposed to know? “Uh…” Aeramin came over and felt the baby’s bottom.

“I don’t think he is.”

“Maybe he’s hungry,” suggested Imralion. “What does he eat?”

The sheet did have that on it, but Aeramin knew the answer too. “Soft things, he can’t really chew yet. He’ll have to wait a little bit while it cooks though.”

Tialan continued wailing. “What do I do until then?”

Aeramin shrugged. “Maybe he wants to be held.”

Imralion looked at the crying baby, uncertainly. “How do I do that?”

“Just pick him up. He’s old enough to hold up his head.” Aeramin disappeared back into the kitchen again. How did he know so much about babies, anyway?

“Okay, here goes,” Imralion said under his breath, reaching out and picking up his nephew, his face red from crying. He hiccuped but then stopped, reaching for Imralion’s hair. “Hey,” he called into the other room. “I think it worked.”

“See, you’re a natural.”


[Story] Fairsong Academy – Seline’s Diary

Dear Diary,

There’s so much homework here! I heard some of the other students saying there’s actually not that much compared to their old schools. I can’t even imagine how they had time to eat or sleep before, then. I suppose it would go faster if I understood it better. Magical theory is really complicated and magical history seems like it all runs together and I can’t keep everything straight. I tried making cards to try to remember things better, that works for a while but then it seems I forget it all again. It’s also difficult to do all my fire and arcane foundation homework when I really want to just work on my frost. It’s not the teachers’ fault, they seem nice and everything, but I just would rather work on frost. I know it’s important to understand all schools, because they interact with each other, and also it’ll be on the final exams. But it seems like my fire and arcane homework always take twice as long.

I have my own room, and we have a sheet for times on the shower so I don’t really see the other girls in the bathroom often either. Sometimes I think about trying to talk to them, but I don’t know what we’d talk about. They’re probably doing advanced fire spells while I’m still in baby foundation and history classes. Anything I said would probably sound dumb. I write to my father every week and he always asks if I have made any friends, as if that was the reason I came here. Except I know that’s part of it, he said a smaller school would be better for me because it wouldn’t be as many people. But how am I supposed to know who would be a good friend just by looking? It seems like a poor way of choosing. The other boy who started at the same time as me seems to have made friends already though. So maybe I’m just really bad at it (but who didn’t know that).

That boy did come to study with me. Except I feel bad about it now, because I really didn’t feel like it. I don’t think it was on purpose, but I was hungry and I went to the main house to get something to eat while I read. I think it’s easier to focus if your stomach isn’t growling. Anyway he was really upset with me and kept doing other things like looking at books and getting wine. I don’t think he’s much older than me, he shouldn’t be drinking wine. I don’t want to have too much and do something foolish, but maybe he doesn’t care. Finally we worked on our worksheet, but it was weird the whole time. I don’t know if he’ll want to study again. It does help to have someone to compare answers with, but it’s also bad because I feel silly if I get too many wrong and he doesn’t. He talked about the ball coming up, they’re having one for the fake goblin holiday. The one about love, where you’re supposed to go with your date and kiss and stuff. I definitely don’t want to hang around for that, I told him I’ll take some food and go back to my room. He did say there would be chocolates too.


[Story] Thorns – Hangover

Harrier squinted at the array of tiny clock parts on his workbench. He could hardly focus on any of them, let alone remember how they were supposed to go together, with his head throbbing. He’d definitely overdone it last night, finishing his own bottle of Eversong wine, and most of Nash’s bottle of red as well. Normally he wasn’t so irresponsible, especially during the shop’s busy seasons.

Marjolaine stepped in from the front of the store, and gave him a suspicious look. “Are you going to have those orders finished today? Mister White’s already been in asking for his.” She wasn’t upset about anything at all. In fact, she probably hadn’t even thought about it today.

“Yeah,” he replied, picking up a gear and setting it inside the case in front of him. “Just — not feeling great.”

Thankfully, she didn’t say anything to that, only shaking her head and returning to the front of the store, where no doubt an impatient Mister White waited. She’d probably scold him later about drinking too much, but then again she might not. She and Josie were busy making plans for the farm, drawing out the buildings and where the crops would be planted, the places where the fences needed repairs, and what color curtains to put in the windows. They were excited, he could see it in their expressions and hear it in their voices. She didn’t care at all, and probably hadn’t ever. It had just taken him this long to finally see it, because he hadn’t wanted to.

So now what? Harrier had thought Nash would be excited about the farm, a place he could walk around freely and let his rabbit roam. But when they’d talked about it, he’d suddenly changed his mind, saying he wanted to stay in the city. It was impossible to tell with Nash if what he said was what he genuinely wanted, or just what he thought you wanted to hear. Harrier suspected that his decision to stay was the latter, but he’d been so strangely solemn about it. If they’d be staying here alone, wouldn’t he be at least a little happy about it? He had been there that night, at least as much as Harrier could remember, but he’d disappeared again this morning. Marjolaine simply said he’d gone “out”, which Harrier knew meant that he was probably upset. Had he said something stupid? It was certainly possible, most of the night was a blur. It wasn’t really fair to make Nash listen to his complaining, especially when it was about a subject he knew was sensitive.

But maybe once it was a reality, once it was just the two of them, and they could repaint and rearrange things as they wanted, he’d warm to the idea. Or maybe he’d decide to go to the farm after all. He’d asked if they would ever visit, but he couldn’t see any reason to. It would just reopen the scars all over again, and they were far too fresh and painful. Later that evening, when Nash returned from wherever he’d gone, maybe he’d be willing to talk.