[Story] The Tea Party

Nash has been keeping secrets. Well, just the one secret that I know about, if there’s more I don’t know about them yet. And it’s not as if he did a very good job about keeping this one, either – I asked go with him last time and he took me. Because really, it’s not a big deal. So why wasn’t he telling anyone? That’s the part I don’t understand. Of course I don’t expect him to tell me every little detail, but meeting with another sin’dorei living in the city? I don’t know, it just seemed like something people might want to know.

At first I didn’t know she was, because she had an illusion that made her look human. She must be a mage of some kind to be able to do that. We went over the wall of her house and into the courtyard and just walked into the sitting room like it was nothing. I can assure you I was confused by that point. She’s sitting there expecting us, and sipping tea. Well, she expected him. But then she said she knew who I was, because Nash told her who I was. He didn’t mention that before, either. I didn’t like it, I smelled a trap. She’d caught him breaking in after his necklace, and rather than attack him or turn him in, she decided she wanted him to come pay her social visits. I assumed of course that she meant something else by that, which again isn’t my business. Nash is free to do whatever he wants with whoever he wants, I just would have liked to know, is all. He said it wasn’t like that, but I think it would have been, if she had her way.

She made us tea and gave us cookies to eat. It was bizarre. She was really nosy and wanted to know a lot of things about me. She started out talking about how I was an elf, which is always my favorite subject. Like did I live in the forest, and why did I come here? None of your damned business, lady. And how I could seek out other elves here and talk to them if I ever felt lonely or something. Those elves aren’t my friends, I don’t have anything in common with them. Whatever their reasons for leaving are their own and they don’t need to talk to me about it. I’d rather not have to speak Darnassian, anyway. That part of my life is done, thankfully.

Then she wanted to talk about herself. That was okay, and I have to admit it was kind of interesting just because it was so weird. She ran away from home because her father wanted her to marry some guy, I can’t blame her for that. I’m glad that custom never caught on among kaldorei, though I can see them being all for that. The guy she ran off with was a worgen who was there studying dirt in the Dead Scar. Because he’s a researcher, she said. Okay. That’s pretty weird, though I know I can’t say anything because Rose is a worgen too. I’m just glad she doesn’t go around sniffing dirt clods. I wonder if Rose knows him? I mean it’s dumb to assume that every worgen knows each other — I don’t know every kaldorei. But it is possible. This lady must have spent some time in Ironforge too, because she was asking about my time there. And she has a girlfriend who is a dwarf. Again, unusual but it’s not like I didn’t spend some time with dwarf women while I lived there. Can’t really blame her. She also likes dwarven ale and Gilnean wine. So her taste isn’t that bad.

Nash said he hated going, and I don’t understand why he did. Just tell her he didn’t want to. Sure, there was a risk she’d turn him in, but I doubt she would take it given that it would put her at risk too. But I asked if she’d be able to do an illusion for Nash, like she had. Just enough that he could go without a hat. At first she said she couldn’t because she’d need to maintain eye contact with the subject, but  I asked if the necklace could be enchanted to do that and she said it could. Nash insists he doesn’t need it, and maybe he doesn’t, but it couldn’t hurt anything. The only thing she said was to avoid the mage district, because they’d know it was there. I think it’d be worth it, but she said she’d need to redo the spell every week or so. Which means Nash would still need to visit her, and I’m not sure if he wants to. Maybe he deserves having to sit and listen to her talk every week for not being honest with people. I don’t know why it bothers me, but it does. I’ve never lied to him, or to anyone I cared about.

He also told the lady that Rose is my girlfriend. I don’t know why he’d do that, unless it was just because he didn’t feel like explaining it. He knows well enough that she’s not. Do I wish she was? Yeah, of course, but that’s not going to make it happen. Believe me, I’ve thought about it a lot. If I thought I could change her mind after all this time, I would have tried it. Though maybe that lady has some ideas. It sounds like her two are fine with everything, so maybe she knows something that I don’t.

[Story] Story a Week 31 – Dull

The Harrier frowned at his knife as he went to cut the twine from the package of parts on his work-desk. It had taken some sawing to get through, and the ends of the twine looked frazzled and frayed. Though it wasn’t his best knife, it was still a good one — he didn’t own any that weren’t — and it held an edge well. It must have just been too long since he’d remembered to sharpen it. That, he realized, or someone else had been using it in the meantime. That was possible, Pup was the most likely culprit, though he had a blade (or two) of his own. Or Rose or Josie could have just grabbed it off his desk for quick jobs, they sometimes carried their own, but not always. What reason was there for them to carry a knife around the shop? Going through town was one thing, but not here.

The shop was safe. He frowned at that word, too. Safe was boring, safe was predictable, safe was — like his knife, dull. The Harrier fetched his sharpening stone before putting it away, so he wouldn’t be surprised by it being dull when he next reached for it. Nash had pointed it out before, but he’d dismissed the idea then. He was still juggling shipments at the docks, still smuggling and re-selling. He hadn’t gotten dull. But like a knife, you could never really be sure until tested — and he had to admit that he did feel dull. The shop had meant to only be a cover for their other activities, but it had been profitable enough to take up most of his time. Especially around the winter holidays — which would be coming up soon enough — he had to work on clocks and watches full time to keep up with the demand. The money was decent, not as lucrative as other ventures, but it was steady.

He drew the blade along the wet stone, hearing the satisfying rasp of it against the metal. But what was he supposed to do about it, exactly? He’d been away from the game long enough that he couldn’t be sure of his street contacts. Things like straight up robbery or blackmail were out, they were just too dangerous and too easily tracked back to him. More importantly, any risk he took would also come back to everyone else — to the shop, to Pup, to Rose. And to Nash. Being a sin’dorei in Silvermoon was dangerous enough. To thumb his nose at fate by committing illegal acts was something else. He couldn’t be the one responsible for Nash being discovered, and for the rest of them being arrested for hiding him. Nash always swore he was never caught, but if he found trouble himself, Harrier was certain that he wouldn’t turn the rest of them in.

But didn’t he miss it, just a little? He had to admit that he did. He missed the danger and uncertainty, his heart racing with anticipation in the moments before they moved. He missed his talks on the rooftops with Josie and Nash. He missed sneaking Pup out past his bedtime. It was a risk that had brought him to all of this, his failed attempt to rob Rose. He’d found something much more valuable, but what was he doing with it? Nothing, that’s what.

Nash still went out most nights, sometimes he came back and sometimes he didn’t. The Harrier never asked questions. But tonight, he’d ask to go along. Maybe an opportunity would present itself.

[Story] Story a Week 25 – Harrier’s Journal

[[ This started with the word “rabbit” but it’s not actually about rabbits so I’m not sure if I should really count it or not… ]]

Nash has really taken a liking to that rabbit. I have to admit I’m surprised, it just doesn’t seem like the kind of thing he’d really be interested in. But he’s made it a little house to live in, and wrote his ridiculous name over the door. He even went to the library to get a book about how to care for them — and used a fake name to get the library card. That’s a lot of trouble to go to for a pet rabbit. I suggested he could go to the market around closing time, they throw out the bruised vegetables or the greens and he could take some for the rabbit. No one would mind since it’s just trash anyway, it’s not even stealing. I think it’s made him gentler somehow, having someone else to take care of.

But maybe not. He’s getting restless without any jobs to do. I told him I’d ask around, but I’m a little out of the loop right now to be honest. The shop is keeping me busy enough with making watches and clocks that I don’t really need to find other work. I still keep up with my business at the harbor, but not much else. Nash says the watches are too complicated, but I think he could learn if he tried to. I knew absolutely nothing about how to make those things when I arrived in Ironforge, but it interested me so I learned it. I think that’s the key. He just needs to find that thing that he’s really interested in. He said he didn’t think it was rabbits though. I told him he could do a show with the rabbit, do tricks and stuff like have it jump out of a hat. I think people would pay to see that, but he’s worried that people would stare too much and he’d be discovered. So then I said he could wear a mask, as part of the act, but I don’t think he cared too much for that idea either. Maybe magic isn’t his area of interest either.

I don’t remember how, but we got onto the subject of what I would do if something happened here like in Dalaran, and elves weren’t allowed in Stormwind anymore. Obviously, that’s probably not ever going to, but I doubt the elves in Dalaran expected it either. Humans have definitely got weird ideas about elves and other races before, it’s not so odd to think that they’d do it again, especially if there was some big bad thing that happened to cause them to blame us. I’d want to go back to Ironforge if I could, dwarves aren’t usually as jumpy, but they are allied with the humans so maybe they wouldn’t let us in either. Nash said we ought to go somewhere neutral, like Shattrath (too weird) or the Darkmoon Faire (even more weird). Of all the places I could live, I think the middle of dark woods with mud and animal poop is probably on the bottom of my list. Nash seemed really excited about it though, he was saying I could sell my clockwork animals there. He’s probably right about that — they also have those tonk things that always need repairs — but where would I get supplies in a musty old tent? I wouldn’t even have a proper work area or lamp, either. But I went along with it. Doesn’t hurt to think about it, right? Nash said it’s important to have a plan. I don’t think it’s much of a plan, but he’s not wrong. I said he should do a show where he’s blindfolded and throws knives. I’ve seen some guys swallow knives, but I don’t think he should do that, I am not sure how safe it would be. Not that throwing knives blindfolded is really safe either, but at least he’s not the one getting stabbed if he misses.

And what if cursed Gilneans were thrown out too? I can’t imagine Rose ever leaving the city otherwise. I think she’d stay until they made her leave, or maybe fight them. Still, I went along with it. I said she could do acrobatics on her horse, something like that. She used to ride a lot, back in Gilneas. I’m not sure if Blackjack would be too interested in doing tricks, but it’s all imaginary anyway.

Nash is right, though. I should have a plan, I mean a real plan, if something were to happen. I have money saved up, but that’s not enough.

 

[Story] Thorns – Harrier’s Journal

I went with Nash to look for eggs for the holiday. It’s really more for kids, I think, as there weren’t a whole lot of adults actually looking for eggs. But Nash never got to go as a kid, not to mention I am not going to pass up any free chocolate. I could have just bought some in a shop, but it’s more fun getting it for free off the ground, right? This holiday is a bit weird when you think about it. I’m not sure who hides all of the eggs, either. The kids kept finding more, so someone must have been placing them, but we never saw anyone doing it. Nash said he wanted to just wait for the guy and take all of them before he hides them. That would work, but it’s not really in the spirit of the whole thing. He also said we should just take some out of the kids’ baskets while they weren’t paying attention. Look, I’ve done some not so great things, but I’m not going to steal chocolate from kids. Besides, if we got caught they’d make us leave and draw a lot of attention, which is the last thing Nash needs. I finally talked him out of it. We didn’t get a whole lot, but we found a few that the kids had missed. There are always some hidden up higher and I got those ones, that the kids didn’t see or couldn’t reach.

There’s a booth where they sell things, baskets, toy rabbits, and things like that. They also sell real rabbits, I guess if you don’t feel like trying to catch your own. I got a black one and I pretended like I found it in the bushes. Nash had been all excited about one before, but then he kind of got cold feet. Like what if it dies? It shouldn’t die, I think rabbits are pretty easy to take care of. You just need to feed it grass and vegetables, maybe hay. We will need a little pen so it doesn’t get loose or anything. And I think it would be a good idea to keep the rabbit away from the furry people during the full moon. A rabbit would just look like a tasty snack to them if they’re in wolf form. Nash wanted to name it Mister McHoppers, which I think is a pretty silly name but hey, it’s his rabbit. He’s never had a pet. I haven’t either, I never really had any desire for one. I can understand where he’s coming from, because if it dies there’s really no one else to blame except yourself. That is a lot of responsibility. A lot of the sentinels have animals, but they’re not really pets so much as partners. But I remember Risarra showing me her saber cub right after it was born. I bet a nightsaber would be a pretty useful pet in the city, because it could guard your house.

Nash said it wasn’t exactly like he imagined it, but it might have been a little unrealistic. Like I think he thought chocolate was going to rain from the sky or something. It’s not quite like that. But he did say it was okay, which is something. I’m just happy I got some chocolate.

[Story] Thorns – Harrier’s Journal

Nash must have had an eventful night a little while back, but he doesn’t want to talk about it. From what little I did get out of him, he drank too much, then somehow ended up falling off a roof. I didn’t scold him for being careless, though maybe I should have. I think I already made my point about that before — not that it seems he’s taken it to heart. Usually he doesn’t drink to excess, so I do wonder what was the reason for that, it’s not like he just lost count or something. And which roof did he fall off of? I sure hope he wasn’t thinking of breaking in while he was drunk, Rose would have a fit for sure. Nash also mentioned that he tried to see Star, but she was busy. I explained that happens a lot, because that particular house is usually popular — I guess humans have a particular taste for elf women. He was sort of curious about that, asking if they hired any men too. I don’t know if they do, I imagine one of them must — there’s a house that serves every sort of interest if you look hard enough. But I don’t know why he’d want to get back into that kind of work, especially after being out of it so long. Maybe he just wants a fallback, but still, it’s a little worrisome. I told him I hadn’t really gone looking so I didn’t know, which is true. But I am certain there are humans in the city who like elf men, too.

More so, we got to talking about the egg holiday coming up, because I’m working on some little figures that can be mounted inside of egg shells, for the shop. Nash seemed really curious about it and asked a lot of questions. Personally, I don’t care that much about eggs, but they do have chocolate in them so that’s nice. Nash wanted to know if there were bunnies inside any of them, I said that I think maybe there were. They’re magical eggs I guess, or maybe you take them and turn them in for prizes. I haven’t actually gone to it since moving to Stormwind. I just remember the chocolate. As far as I know, it’s a human thing started by the nobles but it’s spread out to other places, probably as another excuse to eat chocolate. Nash said he always wanted to go as a kid, but never could. So I suggested that we could go, and suddenly he doesn’t want to anymore. Something about how it wouldn’t live up to his idealized picture of it, I didn’t really understand. Even if it’s not the greatest thing ever, it’ll still probably be okay, and we’ll get to eat chocolate. I would definitely make sure he got a little bunny, though I have no clue where we’d put it and I worry that Pup might try to eat it or something. Or Rose might drop it into a stew. Once again I have no idea if he actually wants to do something and won’t admit it, or doesn’t and would resent me nudging him into it. He’s awfully difficult to read most of the time. I also suggested he use some of the bath salts we have, to make his bruises feel better, and he didn’t seem to want to do that either. Maybe he wants to hurt, I don’t know.

[Story] Thorns – Harrier’s Journal

I still don’t understand Nash. He won’t let go of that stupid necklace, he’s like a starving dog with a bone. The house it’s in is heavily guarded, probably with magical locks as well. He keeps saying he knows how to get past those. Sure wish he’d share his secret. I keep telling him it’s not worth the risk. There’s a very high chance he’ll be caught, and the guards won’t go easy on him once they see he’s not a human. They’ll torture him and come after us next. I’m not worried about me, but Josie and Rose and Pup had nothing to do with this. They shouldn’t be locked up for Nash’s bad decision. Of course he swears he won’t tell, but I have to wonder if he’s ever been tortured before. Maybe he has. Either way, he’ll be dead or locked in the Stocks and he won’t see any of us again. I pointed that out, but I guess his necklace is worth more to him than that. I just can’t imagine anything that would be worth that much to me. Things can always be replaced. People can’t. I mean, maybe my hat, but I could always get a new one.

I know the necklace has memories attached to it, but they exist apart from the actual thing. I tried to explain that, but I am not sure he agrees. Plus, I’d think he wants to forget about his past. I know I do. Here he has a blank page, none of what happened matters anymore. Why keep holding onto it? I’m not who I was back in Ashenvale, I’m sure Nash isn’t the street kid in Silvermoon either.

I’m working on a new batch of clocks for the shop. Probably some mantle ones and maybe some standing. I’d love to do another really tall one, there’s so much more you can do with a large clock. Granted, the little ones are a fun challenge too, but in a different way. I wish I could get another job like the tower I did for that mage at the school. Maybe someone should suggest it to the mages here. I wonder about the figures I made for the kids, whether they’re broken or thrown out already. Nash insisted that we go and check on them. I really don’t think we’d be welcome back there, and I’m not really keen to go. But I’d fix them up if they were broken, assuming they still had the pieces. Just seems like a waste to me, but I guess there’s probably one kid who really liked it and keeps it carefully on a shelf or something. Does that make it worthwhile? I don’t know.

So I don’t know if Nash is going now or not. He seemed completely set on it, then suddenly he changed his mind again. Unless he’s just saying that so I stop pestering him about it, which is definitely possible.

I got a reply back from Ashenvale. She liked the chocolates, and she’s relieved there aren’t any demons here. They haven’t heard from the old man either. That’s a relief. Hopefully he’s happy somewhere away from the sentinels.

[Story] Thorns – Harrier’s Journal

Risarra sent me a letter. She was kind enough to just write “Elf” on it this time, rather than Sorias. Which is funny, but the mail carrier knew who it was for and I’d rather the whole city didn’t know about my old name. It was a surprise, I hadn’t expected to hear from her since the last time she wrote, about the demons in Ashenvale. I’ll admit I was a little worried — maybe she was writing because things had got really bad there. But they hadn’t. She was just asking about the old man who’d come through a while back. I’m not sure why she thought I would know where he is. Stormwind’s a big city, and there’s more than one elf here. If he’s still here, I haven’t seen him, but I’m sure he’s good at staying hidden. I know I am, if I want to be. Even if I had, I sure wasn’t going to tell the Sentinels where he is. Good on him for finally shaking them off his trail. I don’t want to lie to her, but I’d definitely lie to the others. Fortunately, I don’t have to — I haven’t seen him nor do I know where he went. Risarra asked if I remembered Avanniel. I do, she’s a horrid harpy. I’m guessing that’s the one who is looking for the old man.

Risarra wrote that the orcs are more or less gone, but there are still some demons. That was a relief, whatever my own feelings toward Ashenvale and the sentinels, I don’t want it burned down or devoured by demons. Most of them — Risarra included — wouldn’t do very well here in a big city. Let them stay safe in their forest, far away from me.

The goblins have started to put up their decorations for their holiday — ribbons and paper hearts everywhere. As far as I can tell, it’s purely invented to make a profit, yet no one seems to mind. They line up to buy gifts for people every year. I guess I can understand, I like getting gifts for people. I just think I’d be more enthusiastic about it if things were different. The person I want to buy things for isn’t interested, and I know Nash will be disappointed if I don’t do something for him. I know he liked the dragonhawk, but I’m not sure what else he’d like. Usually people buy chocolate or perfume or something, but I don’t think he’d really want either of those. Gilnean wine is becoming too expensive now, because it’s been all used up, but I heard there was a vineyard that’s going to try growing it here. I don’t know if it’ll work, because I know things like the soil and the weather affect the taste of the wine, but I’ll buy some when it’s for sale anyway. I also know those goblin dresses are definitely not Rose’s style. She’d sooner strangle with me one than wear it. Pretty sure Nash isn’t into dresses either.

Hopefully I figure out something in time. I have a while yet, I think.

And I should write back, though I guess it’ll be a short letter.