[Story] The Ghostclaw – Faeris’s Journal

Julan and I are back from our trip, and back on our patrols again. I have to admit, walking around in the forest isn’t as fun as laying in the sun on a beach while drinking a tasty drink with a little paper umbrella. And it’s definitely not as fun as inviting people over to our room. But at the same time, it’s good to be home again. Kavia was excited to see me, and wanted to know about everything we did. I left some parts out, obviously, but I told her about the town and the beaches and things like that. It’s also good to see our little cabin again, and spend time with just Julan. Not that it wasn’t fun having guests, but sometimes I like to have him all to myself.

We unwrapped all of our presents from the party. Most of them were practical things, like my parents got us a set of dishes. We already had a few, and it’s not like we really cook here much, but it’s nice that they are made of wood so they won’t break easily. Maybe my mother remembered all of the times I accidentally broke her dishes when I wasn’t paying attention. Orledin gave us some kind of skeleton that he’d put together with wire, which is a little creepy, but I guess we could use it for a decoration or something. The Captain gave us robes, they have the first letter of our names on them so we can tell them apart. That’s a pretty good gift. Julan’s brother gave us a box from the one shop in town. I was surprised because he doesn’t seem like the type of person who would even know that stuff exists, let alone go inside. But he got us some good things, we were having fun coming up with different names for some of them. The big one is called Mister Kaldorei. I guess Julan’s brother is going to stay here and do paperwork for the Captain, it’s good that they’re going to finally get to know each other. It has to be a little weird learning that you actually have a brother after all those years. My brothers are a lot older, so it’s kind of like I was an only child. They’d already grown up and married rich girls from good families, so my parents didn’t really care what I did. At times it kind of made me mad, but I’m glad about it now. I’m happy that I could make my own choice instead of doing what they wanted.

I also thought it would be fun to make up some of our own drinks like the ones they had there. Obviously they wouldn’t be exactly the same, but we could come up with the names and they’d be our own unique ones. And of course, we can’t make them for any of the other rangers, because alcohol isn’t allowed in the lodge. Unless we invite them to our cabin, I guess. But I don’t want to bend any rules, they can just be for Julan and I. When it’s cold and snowy outside, we could make up some drinks and put umbrellas in them and sit in front of the fire and think about the beach. I think that sounds nice.

I kind of wish we’d talked to the guys there a little more. Obviously there had to be some story there, otherwise how would a kaldorei even meet a sin’dorei? Maybe they were pirates or something, that would make sense. Except Julan said that the kaldorei was a clock maker, so I don’t know. Unless that was just his cover for actually being a pirate. Maybe. I just hope Julan doesn’t get any ideas about running off with kaldorei clock-making pirates.

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[Story] The Ghostclaw – Faeris’s Journal

I can’t believe I forgot to write in here! With everything going on I was too busy I guess, but I need to because some really important things happened. The first of course is that I gave Julan his ring. I’d thought about waiting until maybe the goblin holiday, or closer to our anniversary, but the winter ball is always so nice that I thought it would be a good time too. Besides, I’m not sure if I could have hid the ring from him for that long, and if he found it on his own he wouldn’t have been so surprised. I made sure to get a really nice one, but at the same time one that was fancy enough that he’d want to show off, because I know that he would. He’s been wearing it all the time, even on patrol, and just casually posing his hand in places so people will notice. It’s pretty funny, but I’m glad he likes it. I talked to my parents about it first, just so they wouldn’t freak out or anything. In the past maybe I would have asked, but I told them it was going to happen. My mother asked if I was sure and my father said I didn’t have to rush anything. I know they’re probably not all that excited about it, and it’s true I’m not that old, but we don’t have to have it right away. And I’m definitely sure, I’ve never cared for anyone the way I do for Julan, and he is so funny and makes every day interesting. I can’t see that changing. I know he sometimes gets a little carried away with the flirting, but as long as it’s just flirting and he’s honest about it, then it’s fine. I know I’m probably kind of boring compared to some of the people he knows, especially now that I’m a ranger. I enjoy it a lot, but every day is pretty similar. I guess it was before in Silvermoon too, except I would go to parties instead of patrol. I think this is better. Besides, this way they won’t even be tempted to try to match me up with some girl. My mother probably will still look for one as a back-up plan, but she’s going to be waiting a long time. I’m sure some people are okay with it, but I think it’s much better to find someone on your own, and I did!

I was really afraid he wasn’t going to say yes at first, just because he took so long to answer. But, I think that’s because  he was surprised, at least that’s what I hope. I mean, I don’t want him to say yes if he doesn’t really mean it, as much as that would hurt. He also wore this pretty skimpy outfit to the ball, and I was a little worried that someone might notice and ask us to leave before I got a chance to ask him. I wanted to stay for the food and dancing, too, because the school always has the best food. Thankfully, I think everyone was more focused on their own thing — oh and there was a lot of mistletoe hung up too. Like, everywhere I looked I could see some, I don’t know whose idea that was. I’d be tempted to say it was Julan’s, except I know he was patrolling the few days before the ball. I helped Julan put the ring on and thankfully it fit! I’d taken some string and measured it for his finger before I went to the shop, that was tricky to do while he was sleeping. He went around to show everyone, I did talk to the captain about it before too, he was the only one who knew besides my parents. I wanted to make sure that it was okay, I don’t know why it wouldn’t be, but I just wanted to be certain. We haven’t decided on any plans just yet, I think Julan is still getting used to the idea. But I want to see if Orledin can make some of those cupcakes like he did before.

The other weird thing is we have a new ranger from Shattrath. He’s a draenei, so he’s really huge and spiky. Julan keeps asking if all of him is huge and spiky, but either he doesn’t understand or he is pretending not to. I mean, he probably shouldn’t ask that, but I admit I’m curious too. He also keeps trying to touch his tail, whenever the new guy sits on a chair or couch there’s nowhere for his tail to go, so it just kind of hangs there. I don’t know if he can pick up things with it or anything like that, Julan dares me to try to touch it but I don’t think it’s a good idea. He also has hooves, I am pretty sure he could stomp someone to death with those, so I don’t think we should make him mad. I am not even really sure how to tell if he’s mad or not, because he always looks mad. Right now he goes on the night patrol with Salenicus and Sorrowmoss, so I don’t see him that often.

Anyway that’s all I wanted to write about. I’m really glad Julan said yes!

[Story] The Ghostclaw – Faeris’s Journal

I had to give dancing lessons to Salenicus the other day. He asked Julan first, but I guess Julan told him that he didn’t know how to dance — which is pretty silly considering that’s what he was doing when he first came here. Maybe Salenicus forgot that part, although I guess to be fair he wasn’t here yet. But it’s not like Julan hasn’t talked about it, either. Maybe it was for the best, because I’m not sure the style of dancing Julan was doing would be allowed at a school dance anyway. My mother made me go to all kinds of lessons when I was younger, and I’ve been to a lot of dances in the city, so I do actually know them pretty well. That doesn’t mean I’m a good dancing teacher though, I don’t think I am. Plus, honestly I didn’t really want to have to hold hands with him and stuff, so I picked the easiest dance I could think of that didn’t require a lot of touching. Just a regular waltz, which is easy to remember and would go well with slow songs, which is I assume mostly what they would be playing. And you can always just go faster if you need to. But then he said he might dance out in the garden, where I’m not sure you could hear the music anyway. Which you could do, but it’d just be a little weird.

The girl he’s going to dance  with studied in Dalaran — I mean old Dalaran — so I’m going to guess that she knows how to dance properly too. They used to hold balls there all the time, and anyone who could afford magic school in Dalaran is rich enough to be sent to dance lessons. So Salenicus better hope that she’s forgotten all of the steps, or she can pretend to be impressed by a boring waltz, I guess. I kept asking if he remembered, and he said he did, but I told him it was a good idea to practice anyway. It helps to let your feet remember how to go, then you can focus on other things like talking when it is time to dance for real. Or kissing, but I don’t even want to think about that. Would it be cold? I bet it would.

He was also married before, and had two kids before he died. I’m assuming that they died too, but even so, that’s kind of a big deal. I’m not her, but I’d hesitate a little if Julan had been married before, that’s a serious thing to lose and I’d worry he still wasn’t really over it. Also she’s a human, and a lot younger than him, he got really upset when I mentioned that. He said I was shallow for thinking about her having small ears and being too different from an elf. I don’t think it’s shallow to like how a person looks at all, obviously it’s not the only thing that matters but it’s important. Maybe dead people don’t care, but then why is he trying to impress her by dancing anyway? He also asked if I was with anyone before Julan, obviously I was, and obviously Julan was too. But neither of us had anyone we were really serious about, and that’s a long way from being married and having kids. I just told him that he should talk to her about it because she might hesitate because of that. Probably not during the dance, though.

I suggested he bring her a present too, normally I’d say like wine or candy but she can’t eat those. Flowers are good, he wants to get a live plant to put in a pot, because it won’t die as fast as cut flowers.  I mentioned that all plants die eventually, I think he pretended not to hear me. But she likes working in the greenhouse, so she’s probably pretty good at keeping plants alive, and she would probably like that for a gift. He doesn’t have a mask yet though, so he should make one soon, the dance is only a few weeks away. Julan and I haven’t either, he keeps thinking of stuff that’s funny but probably wouldn’t be allowed at a school dance. I think we should make a set for the school and then a set to wear here, we could hang them on the wall when we’re done too.

[Story] The Ghostclaw – Faeris’s Journal

Today is our first full day on the island. We arrived last night on the boat, we could have just got a portal from one of the mages at the school, but I wanted the whole experience of getting to ride on the boat and seeing the island get closer. It isn’t a very long ride, but they have snacks and drinks and you can stand up on the deck in the breeze. I’m glad I reserved the room ahead of time, because they were really busy — it’s the summer and everyone wants to go visit the beach. The room I got overlooks the harbor, so you can see the boats coming and going from the docks. You can also see the sun setting in the evening, making the ocean look all red and gold, it’s really pretty. The room itself is fancy as well, there’s a huge tub and bed, and a little ice-box with different kinds of drinks in it. There’s also a paper with things you can order if you don’t feel like going to one of the restaurants. It’s pretty expensive, but we’re on vacation so I’m not worrying about how much we’re spending. Besides, I have plenty saved up. I haven’t really spent anything since I came to the rangers, and I don’t plan to buy anything big for a long time. I don’t mind spending a lot on something that we’re both really going to enjoy and remember for a long time. Especially because I don’t think Julan’s ever really had a real vacation before. He’s so excited about everything, it’s like he doesn’t know what to do first.

I wanted to go down along the beach today, aside from swimming in the ocean there are all sorts of little shops along the beach where you can get food or drinks, or candy. There’s one kind there that I really like, it’s soft and squishy and they make it in all different flavors. There are also games you can play to win prizes, like they have at the Darkmoon Faire. Julan said they’re all just rigged, which they probably are, but I wanted to win him a prize anyway. I spent way too much on the game where you knock bottles down with a ball, but I finally got a red toy dragonhawk. Its eyes are kind of crooked, but it’s cute. We looked for shells on the beach and went in the water (it was colder than we expected). Being here reminds me of those trips I used to go on when I was little, except I’m here with Julan and not my parents. That makes it even better, not that being with my parents was bad or anything, but I’m doing whatever I want to do and with someone I want to be there. I guess it’s because I never really did anything like this before, I mean sure there were people that I saw in Silvermoon, but it was never really serious. And we never did things like going on a trip together. Julan is different, and I really want him to have a good time and have good memories of being here with me. I hope he is, it seems like it. Although we did both get kind of sunburned, that’s not so good. But tonight I want to go to one of the restaurants, there are a lot and they’re all really good. I know this trip is going to be over too soon.

[Story] The Ghostclaw – Faeris’s Journal

I’m planning a trip for Julan and I, kind of an anniversary thing even though I actually came to the rangers in the fall. So it can be a little early, that’s okay. Julan didn’t say anything anyway, so either he doesn’t mind that it’s a bit early or he doesn’t remember when I got there. I had to look back in my journal to find out. I wrote about him back then, too. It’s a little weird to read it now — I didn’t write anything bad, of course, it’s just strange because I didn’t know how important he’d turn out to be and how he’d change things. I think he might have been a little reluctant, I told him we could go anywhere he wanted, which is true. I have plenty saved up from our wages — what am I going to spend it on out here? And I can borrow some from my parents if need be. I have everything I need here, including a place to live, so why not spend it on something we’ll both enjoy? Julan said he didn’t know where he wanted to go. I’m not sure if that’s true or he just didn’t want to say. He must have thought about places? Or maybe he just thought he’d never get to go, so it wasn’t something he worried about.

I kind of picked for us, I suggested we should go to the island. Yeah, it’s kind of boring and cliche but there’s a reason it’s so popular. It’s really nice. The beaches are beautiful, with clear blue water and white sand, and the hotels are built right along the shore. There are all sorts of restaurants and places to drink, there’s even a boardwalk with games where you can win prizes. It’s the kind of place that everyone wants to go. I used to go with my parents every year, and I enjoyed it enough, but I’m really looking forward to going with Julan. We’ll have our own room, and he always makes things more fun. He said he’d been once, when he was really little, but he hardly remembered it. That was before the attacks though, so everything’s been rebuilt since then. It’s a lot fancier, a lot more busy than it was when I was little. My other idea was the goblin resort, but he didn’t seem to sure about that one. Honestly, he’s probably right to be wary. If I’m going to lose a bunch of gold gambling, I’d at least rather do it in a place that’s beautiful, with good food and drinks instead of smelly goblins and whatever those things they hire are. I really hope he likes it, but I’m not worried at all. Once he sees the hotel and our room he’s going to flip. They even have a menu you can order food and they bring it right to your door. I think Julan was a little worried about the cost, but he shouldn’t be. I’ll take care of it, I want to do this for him.

There shouldn’t be any trouble at all getting a few days off. The Captain always gives people time when they ask for it, and it’s not like we’re really busy right now anyway. And it’s the first time I’ve asked, so I am definitely due for some.

[Story] The Ghostclaw – Faeris’s Journal

Both Mother and Father came today to see me at the ranger building. I didn’t expect that Mother would come, usually she’s busy with her own things, but I guess she was curious enough to want to come see where I live for herself. I’ll be honest, I was kind of nervous about it. I didn’t care what they thought before, but now I feel like I’m actually doing something important and I want them to see that and be proud of me. Also, I was kind of worried about what they’d think about Julan. I know the Captain wouldn’t make me leave if I don’t want to, I already asked him about that. He said that since I’m an adult, I’m the only one who can make that choice, unless of course I do something really stupid and get kicked out. Which I’m not. I have more freedom here than I did in Silvermoon, and I get to do something to help people, and earn my own money too. We picked up the cabin the day before, putting away some of the stuff that I don’t think parents need to see. I thought they’d still probably dislike it, because they like fancy expensive stuff that’s covered in gold and junk like that. That’s just not our style.

They noticed the undead in the yard right away. I couldn’t do anything about that. He’s sitting under an eave right now, because it rains now and then. He doesn’t make noise or anything most of the time, so we kind of forget he’s there. My mother saw him and I could tell she thought it was gross, even though she didn’t say anything. I did tell them there were a couple of others there, though they’re a lot less weird because they act pretty much like normal people. I walked them around the grounds, I showed them the stable, our little garden where we grow vegetables, and the cabins. They thought Rylad’s miniature house was cute. I’m pretty sure they did think our cabin was tacky, but at least they didn’t say anything about that. They did notice that it was shared, I guess because no one else has single cabins. I’d mentioned that before, but maybe they forgot or something. I said they’d be able to meet him inside.

Orledin had made a fresh batch of cookies, so they liked that. I showed them around the common room, and the mens’ quarters. Some people were on patrol, but Salenicus was in there carving on some wood. I’m not sure if they even noticed that he was dead. They looked at the maps and I pointed out the route that I patrol on and the landmarks and stuff. The captain came out and said hello to them, he also went on about how much I practice and how much I’ve learned since coming here, and how I was a valuable member of the team. I think he knew they wanted to hear something like that, and I admit it felt nice to hear it too. They asked him some questions, mostly just about the area and the rangers in general. My father seemed interested in the fact that estates were cheap out here, I wonder if that means he’ll buy one. That might be strange having him closer, I don’t think my mother would ever want to leave the city though.

Julan was outside at the practice range. Maybe he was trying to impress Sunashe at the same time. He was wearing regular armor, like we’re supposed to wear on patrol. I was relieved about that! He was really polite and answered all of their questions. I think my mother might actually know his family, because she seemed to recognize the name when he said it. I hope she’s not going to digging up a lot of gossip but she probably will. I think I was holding my breath the whole time they were talking, but I can read my parents pretty well and I think it actually went okay. Which makes me feel bad, because he shouldn’t have to pretend to be a certain way just so my snobby parents will like him. I don’t care that he used to work on the Row, or that he likes to dress a certain why, so they shouldn’t either. But at the same time I think he’s trying to make things easier for me, which I appreciate. I don’t want them trying to make me leave, or worse, deciding that I need to marry someone’s daughter. I’m happy where I am now, I’m definitely not interested in going back to Silvermoon and I’m way too young to get married.

They stayed for dinner, they said they wanted the “authentic ranger experience” so they had some of the ranger food with us. They probably thought it was some exciting adventure they can tell their friends about. We had spider legs and stew from the garden. Julan didn’t even make any jokes, well except once when he said he used to be in the “Longwood” ranger unit. I almost choked when he said that but I don’t think they noticed, thankfully. I’ll have to think of something to make it up to him, but I’m not sure what yet.

[Story] The Ghostclaw – Faeris’s Journal

I talked to the Captain about having some kind of visiting day for families here at the ranger building. He seemed kind of surprised by it, I guess it’s not something anyone has asked about before. It’s not like the mage school where parents pay a lot of money to send them there — a lot of people here don’t really have any family, is my guess. Obviously the undead don’t, Arancon has his son but he doesn’t see him very often. Lin’s brother comes sometimes, and her mother is here right now because of the baby, but I don’t see anyone else visiting. Or maybe they’re like mine, and don’t really care to. I guess I just want to show my father that I’m doing well at something. It’s funny, because I always felt like getting sent here was a punishment, and maybe it was. At first I thought I was going to hate it, and it was a little strange being out in the middle of nowhere and walking around the woods all day, but now I actually really love it. Sure, going to parties in Silvermoon was fun, and it was an adjustment getting used to everything here. But I realize that I have a lot more freedom now. After my patrol and practice, I can do whatever I want. Nobody comes in to check on me. I have my own place to live, and my own money. I’m finally able to have my own life, and feel like I’m actually doing something important.

I think Julan was a little worried about it though. He offered to be away when they came to visit. I told him he didn’t need to do that. I’m not going to hide the fact that he lives with me. It’s my life, I’m the one who gets to decide that stuff now. I know my father will probably make a fuss about the fact that he’s not some rich guy’s daughter, but I don’t care. I probably won’t mention that he used to live on the Row, though. It’s not really any of their business anyway. We were waiting for the cookies to get done. I guess Orledin went somewhere, so he was late with getting them done. I also think he was making some for Lin, the fancy ones that look like little baby heads, like the ones he made for the school. Julan was wearing this funny leather strap thing, it looked really cold. It didn’t even cover his feet. I don’t even know where he gets this stuff. He told me he had a brother who was studying to be a mage, I didn’t know about that. He also told me about going into the troll ruins with Orledin one time and a bone monster tried to eat him. I can’t imagine ever doing that — even if I had been drinking a lot — but maybe he was just really lonely before I got here. I don’t want to imagine what either bone monster looked like. Ew. We think Orledin is trying to lure the new guy into the woods. He’s in there a lot, helping make cookies and Orledin is always looking at him in that weird creepy way he does. I wonder if we should warn him, but maybe it’s nothing and that guy just really likes baking. He’s from the woods though, not the city, so I can’t imagine he baked a lot of things over a campfire.

Anyway, the Captain said I was free to invite anyone whenever I wanted to, even though there’s no formal visiting day thing. I think I will, even if they say no at least I could say that I tried.