[Story] Winter Veil Postcards 2017

[[ I know it’s Thursday but I’m still doing Winter Veil stories instead! ]]

Terellion carried the brightly wrapped packages as they made their way through the Silvermoon market. Ordinarily he would have held Malwen’s hand, but his were both full — and hers were both sticky from the candy cane she was happily eating. He was sure to keep an extra close eye on her as they made their way among the stalls and crowds. They’d already bought some gifts for the students — lavish hawkstrider feather quills and inkwells — and some blankets and clothes for Galandil as well as Tik’s baby. Malwen had insisted that Narise get a doll of her own, and they’d settled on a soft cloth one with button eyes, in addition to a cuddly toy lynx. Terellion was sure that Narise already had one at home, but Malwen said that this one could be a big sister to the other, and watch after her. It was impossible to argue with that.

He set the packages down on one of the chairs and helped Malwen into hers. A morning of shopping and looking around built up quite an appetite. “We still need a gift for Arcan’da,” said Terellion, looking over the menu. “What do you think we should get for him?”

She was old enough now that Terellion thought she might be able to keep a gift a surprise, but even if not, Hethurin would like anything she picked out, even if it was strange. “Snails?” she suggested, over her sandwich.

The last thing that Terellion wanted were more snails in the house. Shelley and her enormous brood grew larger by the day, and they’d be indoors until the weather warmed in the spring. Even then, he wasn’t sure Malwen would be so willing to let them all go. “Um, well he already has Mittens,” he pointed out. “He might be jealous of another pet.”

“Oh,” Malwen said. “What about a dragon then?”

“A real dragon?”

Malwen giggled. “No, don’t be silly! Like a — statue dragon.”

Hethurin already had the enormous bronze dragon that stood at the entrance of the school grounds, but Terellion knew of a shop that sold small statues suitable for a shelf or desk. After he’d ensured that Malwen’s fingers were clean, they went in to look around.

“I like this one,” Malwen gasped, going immediately to a dragon cast in metal. Its pose was rearing up, a translucent orb of either glass or carved stone was set between its front paws. The orb had been enchanted to glow with a faint light, giving the statue a more lively appearance. “He could put it on his desk, because he’s a teacher.”

Terellion wasn’t sure if he’d really like it, but neither did he have any ideas for a present. He paid and added the very heavy package to the stack that he was carrying.

“What do you want for Winter Veil?” Terellion asked, once they’d left the store and stood in the square again.

He expected that Malwen would say dolls, or something for the snails, but she hesitated. “Well…”

Terellion looked at her curiously.

“It might cost a lot.”

“You can still tell me,” Terellion said. “It might not be that much.” Besides, they’d not even spent all the gold that Hethurin had sent them with, and if there was one thing he didn’t mind, it was buying gifts — especially for the children.

“The kids in the orphanage, I don’t think they’re going to get any presents,” said Malwen. “Could we take some to them? I know they’d really, really like some presents.”

Terellion set his boxes down and gave Malwen a hug. “Of course we can. That’s a wonderful idea. I need your help picking things out though.”

“Okay!”

He knew Hethurin would want to go along as well, not to mention he’d need the help moving that many gifts at once. They could go when Hethurin came to make their return portal, and he could already imagine how excited he would be — maybe even more so than the orphans.

Advertisements

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Sorelle’s Diary

Shattrath has been really interesting so far. I’ve been before, but this was the first time that I got to go and see the dragons. In Dalaran, we’d see blue dragons flying overhead sometimes, but they were always very far away. Still, I remember sitting and watching them in the sky and thinking how beautiful they were. The ones here are beautiful too, in their own way. Their heads are pointed like a shark, and they have crystal spines on them. Hethurin said that they’re dangerous and not to get too close. That’s probably true of all dragons, but these ones especially look ferocious. The place where they live is dark and barren, the ground is just hard rock and there are no plants or trees anywhere. Green stuff comes up through the ground and I guess it must be lava, because I don’t think the people from Undercity brought it here. Crystals grow in large clumps all over and they are beautiful, these humanoid things with big claws scrape at them and eat the little pieces that flake off. Hethurin put us into pairs and we had to fill out a sheet with our observations. My partner was someone I’ve never even really seen before, his name was Amor-something. I just remember Amor because that’s what he wrote on his paper.

He probably wasn’t too excited about getting me for his partner, but he said he’s been here about six months and still doesn’t know anyone. After class he just goes straight to his room and doesn’t go to the parties or anything. I felt bad for him, I’m sure others would talk to him if he tried. He seems nice, he’s not undead or a human or anything that would make others dislike him, he just gets nervous. So maybe I could be his friend, kind of for practice, though that might make others think he’s weird too. I don’t know. We worked hard on our sheet, I tried to think of anything else we could add on for extra credit. He’s studying frost mainly, but he thought it would count toward our Arcane grade. Maybe it does, if so I hope we got good points on it. We even got a little piece of the crystal that one of the things chipped off while it was eating. I thought for a minute that Amor was going to eat it! That probably would have been really bad, aside from eating rocks, it was very sharp and who knows what kind of magic is in them. The dragons are almost transparent in places, as if they are fading out of existence. That might happen if he ate it! Anyway, I hope he didn’t mind being my work partner too much, and I told him he should go to the parties even if there are a lot of people. At least to eat the food, I would if I could. Normally he said he waits until everyone’s already left.

I told him about the greenhouse too, and he seemed kind of interested, though he didn’t want to be there when someone else was. Usually it’s just Xarola and Vyn, once in a while Tik goes in to get cooking herbs and things. I found a library in Shattrath about different plants here, and I’m going to try to get some seeds to take back to the school so I can try to grow them. I’m not sure if it will work, but hopefully at least some will sprout. I still don’t really know what’s going on with Salenicus, but at least I have something to keep me occupied at night.

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Braedra’s Journal

Terellion and all the students are away on a trip to Shattrath. I’d still like to go one day, it sounds so exotic and interesting, and I’m sure they could use the extra help supervising everyone. Terellion always tells me breathless stories about the strange things there, the bird people and naaru and the refugees in the Lower City. I’ll certainly ask to go next time, but the winter holidays will be here soon, and I wanted to take advantage of having everyone away so I could get gifts. The babies are the easiest to shop for — they like any sort of bright and colorful thing, I think little Galandil will want something to chew on, and Narise likes soft things that she can carry around with her. It might be a good idea to get her a soft doll so she doesn’t try to take any of Malwen’s! She’s a little more difficult, only because she has so many dolls already. I feel that another would just be forgotten. Perhaps something to do with snails, her newest fascination. Terellion’s baking has made him easier to buy gifts for — I can find some pan or bowl in the shops and I’m sure he’ll like it. The girls are too old for “baby things” as they call them, like dolls and toys, but not quite yet grown ladies. I thought perhaps a painting set or books might be good. I’m not certain about those books the students read though, no doubt they’ve already snuck looks at them, but I’m not sure I want to encourage that. Then again, I remember borrowing my mother’s to take into the bath, and I think I turned out fine, so maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. Hethurin is a puzzle, however. He already has so much, and his tastes in robes (and other things, surely) run to the extravagant. But I do want to get him something that reflects how glad that he’s in Terellion’s life, and ours. I’m very grateful to him for allowing us to stay here at the school, and letting the girls attend classes here. It’s so nice to be able to see them more, rather than having to travel to the city and back every day. And of course, I enjoy helping to care for all the babies. They’re just adorable and I’m going to be sad when they move up to Lali’s class.

I decided to enlist Isturon for help on my trip. For one thing, I am sure he needs to get gifts too — he has twice as many children as I do, and more grandchildren. I also thought he might be bored sitting around the empty school, his house isn’t finished yet and it’s so quiet without the students here. We mostly need to go to the same shops, and we could get lunch there besides. As I was, he was having difficulty finding something suitable for Hethurin. I suggested that they could spend time together, perhaps doing something Hethurin enjoys, like fishing. They would have the chance to talk and just enjoy each other’s company. That’s something you can’t really buy. Isturon seemed to like the idea, and even looked at fishing poles in one of the shops. Maerista, one of the younger teachers, suggested that I buy sweaters for everyone. We saw the sweater booth in the market, they do have a great many of them. And it can get cold out in the garden, so I got one for Terellion to wear while he’s working outdoors. I had one ordered for Malwen with a snail on it, I think she’ll like that. I’ll have to return in a week or so to pick it up. I do enjoy the city near the holidays, it’s always decorated so nicely with the lights and ribbons. There aren’t many evergreen trees, so they usually use some other sort of branch, I know the dwarves use evergreens though. We went to so many shops that it was difficult to carry all of the packages, thankfully they have mages for hire in the market who can make you portals to get home. We did have to ride from Tranquillien, but that’s not far. I can’t wait to see what Terellion does for the winter ball this year.

 

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Terellion’s Journal

It’s getting a little colder around the school, Malwen is helping me to get the shrubs covered before it freezes. Of course, she also wanted to cut some branches for Shelly and her children to climb on. There are so many of them, that I guess they do need some extra room to climb around. Do snails even climb? I guess they must, it’ll make the tank look more interesting at any rate. We also had to take down all the decorations from the fall ball, before long we’ll need to start making them for the winter ball. I think that one’s my favorite, I love the evergreen branches and sugar snowflakes and everything. We piled all of the gourds and leaves into the wheelbarrow and took them out to the forest. There we left them for the animals to eat, I let Malwen keep one of the tiny gourds to put into Shelly’s tank too. I know for a fact that they like squash because she gave them some from her dinner not too long ago. Hethurin said I should have made her eat it, but I know that he didn’t eat his, so I can look the other way once in a while. Squash was never my favorite either.

The workers are trying to get Isturon’s house done before the winter. I hope they do, so he’ll have his own place to go and won’t be in the school so much. I mean, it’s not that I don’t like him. He’s okay, at least he doesn’t think I’m trying to steal Hethurin’s money anymore. But I don’t like that he’s showing his clavicle so much. I think it’s not proper for someone of his age. The other night he was wearing pants and a shirt that was unlaced way too far. He said it’s the newest fashion, maybe it is, I don’t keep up with things like that. I know Hethurin wears pants sometimes, but usually it’s just when he wants me to notice his butt. Isturon better not be wanting people to notice his butt. Especially certain people, like my mother. Hethurin was convinced that something was going on, so I had a little talk with Isturon. I told him that he should look in the city for someone, like maybe when he was there getting lunch or shopping or something. I still think he’s too old, but he said he was seeing someone before he left for the islands. He was convinced she wouldn’t take him back, but I think he’s just not trying hard enough. I haven’t asked my mother about it, first of all because it would be too weird, and second because she’d just say I’m letting my imagination get away from me. It wasn’t my idea, it’s terrible and I don’t want to think about it. Besides, my father hasn’t been gone long enough for her to be looking for someone else. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t like it if she went around kissing other guys.

I guess Isturon also wanted to talk to Hethurin about what happened before I came here, when he was silenced at the ranch. I guess that’s why he made him come move branches off his lot instead of me and Tik, because that’s something we should be doing. Hethurin was really upset about it, I wish I could make him feel better, but there’s really nothing you can say to make up for your family betraying you. I guess it’s good that he’s still talking to his father, but he should never have gone along with it in the first place. Hopefully he’s trying to make amends. I wish I would have known so I could have helped him, or at least tried. None of his friends or family even did, well I think Xyliah’s husband did but not for a while. I would have gone there right away and figured out a plan to rescue him, just like in the books. Hethurin mentioned making one of the time portals, but I know it would make Renner upset, and he says it wouldn’t work anyway because I still wouldn’t know him. But I would if I traveled to a different time, right? I guess it’s better not to mess around with time portals. They made a big mess last time.

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Ratchet

[[ Hit 20k today, tomorrow is another write-in so I hope to get another big chunk done then! ]]

Raleth let his human illusion fade as soon as Vaelarian stepped through the portal. He’d made it far enough from the front door that he’d have time ask a few questions — he had many.

“What was that?” he demanded. “Those were sentinels, weren’t they?”

Vaelarian trudged ahead through the wet grass, pulling his cloak around his shoulders. Two days ago, Raleth had made the portal to the goblin town for Vaelarian to check his mail. Raleth had stayed back some distance, as much out of wariness as a wish to avoid having to smell Ratchet. Even from afar, the rotting fish and engine grease stench was overwhelming, not to mention whatever they were trying to pass off as food. The postal box was inside the general store, central along the little strip of shops, and Vaelarian assured him it would only take a few minutes. He entered, and a moment later was followed by two kaldorei women. Raleth guessed they had to be sentinels because of the bows slung over their backs.

Maybe, Raleth thought, they will shoot him outright and all of this will be over. But then he felt guilty for having had such a thought; no matter how much the old man irritated and frustrated him, Naraleth loved him, as did Lali. And Raleth had to admit that it was nice to be able to get away with Lali once in a while, though they couldn’t dine in town, there was still Shattrath and remote places they could take a picnic. He had no idea how he’d explain himself if he’d managed to get Vaelarian killed on a simple trip to the postbox.

“Vaelarian!” Raleth called after him, exasperated. He was ignoring him, which wasn’t unusual. Raleth considered a spell to keep him in place, but decided against it.

“Yes,” Vaelarian grunted.

“What did they want?” Raleth demanded. Though he knew Vaelarian had no particular love of the sentinels, it made him nervous to have him talking to them. They likely still wanted to know where Lali was, especially as he’d been writing asking about her.

“None of your business, blood elf.”

Raleth twitched an ear. “I’d say it’s my business as long as you’re living in my house.”

Vaelarian shot him a dark look, but shrugged. “Just asked where I’d been.”

“And?” Raleth suspected that any answer he got might be a lie anyway, but he was well armed enough with magic to protect himself from Vaelarian — and any other kaldorei who might come after them. They’d have to move again, and he didn’t want that. They were finally beginning to feel settled here, even Lali seemed to enjoy her work teaching the younger students.

“Kalimdor.”

Raleth watched Vaelarian warily. “They just let you go? I thought you were wanted.”

“I am.”

“I don’t understand.”

Vaelarian shrugged, turning back toward the house again. “I had a talk with their captain. You need to make me a portal every week or so.”

Was he spying for them? Raleth couldn’t be certain, it seemed unlikely but he didn’t trust the old kaldorei at all. On the other hand, he could tell them what the sentinels were doing — provided Raleth could get it out of him. He didn’t like the idea of spending so much time in Ratchet, either. Unlike Hethurin, he hadn’t studied time portals and a night in Ratchet meant a whole night away from Lali and Naraleth. He worried whenever they were left alone. He wondered, too, if the kaldorei were laying a trap for him. Did Vaelarian still believe that Lali was held against her will? How could he, after living with them for so long? He watched the old kaldorei go inside, without wiping the mud off his feet. He’d have to keep a close eye on him.

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Maerista’s Journal

It was a relief to see that Magister Firewind is back from his trip. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy teaching the classes, I did, but it’s definitely more work than I am used to! I told him that everything went okay, for the most part. No one set anything on fire or hurt themselves. Their work got done and everyone showed up for class and lessons. I was a bit worried that they might think it was a break since their teacher was gone and I was only the temporary one, but I should have known better. They are good students and work hard. Felarius missed a few of his private lessons though, which I found odd as he kept up in his classwork. Aeramin didn’t seem concerned, though, he said that he probably just went to study at his house. While he wasn’t home? Seems a little strange, but if Aeramin isn’t concerned then I won’t be. As I said, he did all of his class work. Maybe he doesn’t actually need private lessons anymore.

Come to think of it, Aeramin was acting a little strange too. I wanted to know how his  trip was, and he was vague about it. He just said that it was warm. Well, obviously! I meant all the other parts, whether it was romantic and wonderful and all of that. He did tell me a bit about the island, how they bring food out every evening on boats. That does sound exciting! I’d like to go with Gael one day if it’s not too much. We never really got a real trip before, he had to start working and I was getting ready for Zaeris. I think I’d miss him so much if we left him at home though, and who would watch him? I would trust Nessna, maybe Lin but Sunashe is always making comments about letting their son ride that lizard. I can’t tell if he’s actually joking or not. There’s Ter’s mother, she normally watches him during school hours so he would already be used to her. I don’t want to impose by asking her to keep him for a whole trip though.

I also told Aeramin that he needs to get a sweater for Imralion so he doesn’t freeze, and to protect his ears. He’s convinced that he doesn’t need them because he’s always in the city, or at home with Aeramin. Well, it might get cold in the city, and what if he has to go outside for some reason? It’s not like they cost a lot of money. I think it’s well worth it to keep your husband’s ears safe and warm. He at least agreed to look at them, I told him about the stall in the market. Aeramin thought they wouldn’t have any in his size, but they have lots of different sizes. I mean, orcs need sweaters too, and they’re definitely bigger than Imralion. We also talked about children a little, I said I’d like more eventually, probably once Zaeris is a bit older. He doesn’t want any, he said, but would agree to it if Imralion wanted. I thought that’s probably something you should decide before you get married, but he has a point in that it’s not just going to happen accidentally. I mean, unless someone leaves another baby on their doorstep.

I wanted to talk to Terellion, but he was busy making sure there was enough food out on the tables. That’s supposed to be Tik’s job, but he insisted. He also kept wanting to check in on Narise and Galandil. Malwen was out with the main party, but the other two were in the nursery room with his mother. I’m not sure why he was so worried about it, she has a lot of experience with babies and she watches them all the time. He said it was because Hethurin’s father was in there, too, and he suspected they might be kissing. Seriously? He has the strangest ideas sometimes. I’m pretty sure they’re not, but even if they were, would they be doing it with a bunch of babies around? I doubt it. Ter made me promise that I’d tell him if I saw anything though. I don’t expect that I will, but I promised.

 

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Sorelle’s Diary

Dear Diary,

I ended up wearing the purple mask. That one wasn’t in the last entry, but I made it to go along with the purple dress that I made. It looks really fancy and had all sorts of embroidery; I didn’t do that because I didn’t have time, but the cloth had some on it already so I cut it so it looked nice. It’s a good way to sort of cheat if you are busy, or also if you aren’t that good at embroidery, which I’m not. Either way, I thought it looked really nice and I made a mask to match with it, purple with black feathers and some little glass gems. I had shoes that weren’t too high so it would be easy to dance, and I put on some of the perfume that Xarola made for me. I think it had violets in it, which I thought would go well with the purple dress. I thought everything was perfect, so it was kind of disappointing. Maybe I should have worn a different mask? Or no perfume? I wish I knew what to do differently.

The party itself was lovely. I saw the ballroom when I went through. There were decorations in every corner and on every post, even hanging from the ceiling. There were autumn leaves made out of paper, and bats, and spiders. Tik and Terellion had put gourds everywhere too, some were carved and had candles inside like a lantern, the smaller ones were just for decoration. There was food in some of them too, like some sort of soup I think. I couldn’t believe how much food there was! It all looked wonderful and I so wish I could have tried it, but I know I would regret it after. Besides that, there was a warm spiced wine that smelled lovely. I miss being able to taste things. I think it’s probably the worst part about being undead. I stayed inside for a little, but I went outside to the garden to wait for Salenicus because that’s where he usually comes to visit. He said he came with Orledin, and one of the alive rangers. I guess none of the other undead wanted to come. I can’t really blame them, there isn’t much to do if you aren’t going to dance. He also said that Orledin was going to dance with the alive ranger. I wonder if that is true. It doesn’t seem fair.

We talked for a while, just about normal things like we do when he usually comes to visit. It was a little too far away to hear the music from inside, so we just had to imagine it. He was a better dancer than I expected, but not good enough that I had to remember any fancy dances, which was a relief.  I remember some, but it’s been so long I’m afraid I would have got the steps wrong. He did say my dress was nice, but that’s all. I guess after everything Xarola said I expected more, or he might have changed his mind and decided he didn’t really want to dance after all, and just went along with it because it’d be rude otherwise. He had his armor and sword, it was quite big and looked very heavy. I don’t know how he can carry it around every day. He said he takes it on his patrol, but the trainer makes him learn to use a bow, but not Orledin. That doesn’t seem fair, they should get the same treatment. And we can’t do certain things because our bodies don’t work the same way. Like we can’t make our muscles bigger, for instance. So it might always be difficult for him to use a bow. I said he should tell the captain about it, and hopefully he will understand. I know that some people don’t, because they don’t have much experience dealing with undead people, but from what I’ve heard he is fair to everyone. So much for romantic conversations though, talking about bows wasn’t in the dragon books.

I will have to ask Xarola about it tomorrow. She might have an idea what I did wrong. I don’t want to ruin anyone’s evening tonight though.