[Story] Story a Week 7

[[ Another weird prompt this week… not happy about having so many I don’t like. So I wrote a little Valentine’s thing instead. ]]

It was the first time Risarra had even heard of the goblin holiday. She’d only been to Darnassus a handful of times, and never further than that. So she didn’t know what to make of the package from Stormwind; a small heart-shaped box of chocolates, a bag of hard candies, and a tiny vial of perfume. Sorias had sent it, along with a small note, but it didn’t explain what the things were or why he’d sent them. Avanniel made a face when she saw them sitting on the table at first-meal time.

“I wish they’d send those filthy goblins out of Darnassus,” she muttered. “But the people in Darnassus never did have much sense.”

According to Avanniel, the treats were all some sort of holiday invented by the goblins to sell candy and other things. You were supposed to buy gifts for people — so it was similar to what the dwarves did, except it was closer to spring and everything was pink. Also, there was meant to be some romantic connotation to the gift — the little hard candies had words printed on them in Common. Things like “Be Mine” and “Kiss Me”. Risarra wasn’t sure what to make of that. She had no intention of kissing Sorias, especially across the sea in Stormwind. She assured herself that he probably just didn’t know much about the holiday either, and had just sent them to be nice. The chocolates were very nice, after all. They were enrobed in a shell of chocolate that cracked when you bit into it, and the middle was filled with a creamy, sweet center. There were different flavors inside, some vanilla, others chocolate, and others some sort of berry. Risarra wanted to make them last as long as possible, but they were just so delicious she ended up eating most of them straight away. She did share a few with the other sentinels first.

She liked the little vial of perfume best, though. According to the writing on the bottle, it was called “Forever”, and it was like nothing she’d smelled before. Risarra thought she could recognize some of the scents in it, but then it would change and she couldn’t be sure. She dabbed a little on her wrist, and it seemed to shift as it dried, becoming deeper and more complex. It really was lovely. It was rare for the sentinels to wear perfume; it made them more noticeable to both animals and orcs, but sometimes for special occasions. There weren’t any of those coming up, though, besides the kite festival but that wasn’t for a month or so yet.

Zhyra suggested that she should wear it when she brought the dumplings to Bear’s camp. Risarra thought that was a bad idea — who knows how the animals might react to a strange scent. They were not normally aggressive, but maybe it had some sort of effect on bears that she didn’t know about. She certainly had no expectation that Bear, the elf, would notice it. He didn’t seem to notice anything at all, other than whether she had a basket of food with her. Maybe they ought to make dumpling-scented perfume. Still, she dabbed a few more drops onto her wrist, and added a touch behind each ear. It seemed a shame not to use it, if nothing else, she could enjoy the scent.

[Story] Valentine Shorts

[[ Four little short Valentine stories… three happy and one not. ]]

“Don’t peek,” Terellion said, stopping to check Hethurin’s blindfold.

“I’m not,” Hethurin protested. “Do I smell cake?”

Malwen covered her mouth to suppress a giggle. “Maybe,” said Terellion. “It’s just a little further.” He led Hethurin carefully, mindful that he wouldn’t trip and re-injure his leg. He’d checked the garden path carefully for any rocks or roots that might get in the way. The girls were already waiting there, Malwen in her frilly pink dress and holding her new doll, and Narise in her buggy. Terellion had given Malwen a lollipop to bribe her into not spoiling the surprise, and Narise kept trying to grab for it.

“Okay,” Terellion said at last. “You can look now!”

The garden was a riot of pink, red and white — though it was still too cold for real blooms, Terellion had tied paper roses to the ends of the branches. Ribbons were draped between the branches, and wrapped around the lamp posts. Paper hearts fluttered in the breeze, and on a table in the center rested a large heart-shaped cake.

“I helped!” Malwen exclaimed. She took Hethurin’s hand. “Come see!”

Raleth inspected the robe carefully, walking around the dressmaker’s mannequin to ensure that every detail was right. The tailor seemed anxious, waiting for his customer’s approval. If he thought it odd that the robe was such a large size, he hadn’t said anything to Raleth.

She hadn’t had a new robe in a very long time, and he wanted it to be a special one. Though the tailor had plenty of pink and red cloth in preparation for the holiday, Raleth didn’t think they would go well with Lali’s features. Instead, he chose a shade of cool blue and lilac for the main fabrics, and elaborate embroidery on the sleeves and hems. It would be fancy enough to wear for parties, but still safe enough that she could hold the babies and not worry about them swallowing a bead.

He wanted to do more though. Lali never once complained about missing her family or old friends, though she surely must. Here she was in this strange place, surrounded by strange people who didn’t even speak the same language most of the time. Raleth knew that she sometimes got letters from the Tauren back in Kalimdor, but she hadn’t gone to visit. He’d bring it up soon; he could take care of Naraleth for a few days. Or maybe she could bring him with, and he could finally meet his grandfather. It troubled him that the old man hadn’t even bothered to see Nareleth.

Raleth nodded to the tailor. “It’s perfect.” The tailor smiled, relieved, and began to fold the robe up to be wrapped.

Flower shops seemed to spring up like mushrooms around Stormwind close to the holiday. Normally, there were only two, with a couple of stands. Now, it seemed like they were on every corner, barrels bursting with blooms in every color imaginable. The Harrier took his time to visit them all, trying to decide which stand had the freshest and most lovely flowers. They all had roses, of course, but he wanted something unusual. One stand caught his eye, near the Cathedral. They had roses of every color, striped and white and yellow and pink, but the most outstanding were a deep purple in color, nearly black. The gnome claimed they were grown in Un’goro, in volcanic soil and watered with red wine. The Harrier didn’t really believe that was true, but he bought them anyway because they were stunning, and he thought that Rose might like them. He still had the ring he’d found in the ruins of Gilneas, it was still safely hidden away in his locked trunk, but it still didn’t seem like the right time. Perhaps it never would be, but he wasn’t willing to give up just yet.

He walked home along the streets, rather than take the roofs. It was slower, but he didn’t want to risk dropping or bruising the flowers. It also meant that he passed more stands selling things for the holiday — little candies, cheap perfumes, those flimsy night dresses. His ears perked when he saw the chocolates, though, packed neatly into bright red boxes. Josie would like some of those, so would Nash and Pup. He bought one for each, and carefully wrote their names with the quill provided at the stand. Maybe he ought to get him something else. He still felt guilty for the way things had gone, though Nash seemed to be less upset, maybe he was just better at hiding it. The Harrier certainly knew what that was like. He glanced around the marketplace. Most of what they were selling wasn’t really appropriate. But then he remembered the wine shop, it was even on the way home. Maybe they’d carry something from Silvermoon there.

Imralion woke in the chair, and it took him a moment to remember where he was. He was at the healer’s building in Tranquillien. Aeramin was still fast asleep, as he had been last night, but Imralion could see the slow rise and fall of his chest. He was breathing. It had not been an easy few days, but somehow things had got even worse. Lani, the healer, said that Aeramin had mixed a number of potions and was lucky to still be alive. Imralion felt responsible; if he hadn’t brought up wanting to live in the city, Aeramin would never have been so upset. He still didn’t know what was best — for him, for Aeramin, and for Lyorri — but he knew he couldn’t abandon Aeramin right now.

His father had been no help at all. He’d told Imralion that he should leave while Aeramin was with the healers, but that felt cowardly and cruel in his mind. Maybe Aeramin was right, maybe he should have tried harder. But he’d been trying for months now and it didn’t seem that things were getting any better between them. If anything, Aeramin had been spending more time in the basement and less time with him. He’d nearly begged Imralion to stay, which was not the reaction he’d expected. He thought Aeramin would agree, he could visit Lyorri more often and she could even stay over at the house, and he could come to visit Imralion at his leisure. But he didn’t see it that way. Part of it was that he wasn’t sure what sort of future they could have; Aeramin wanted to be involved in his daughter’s life, but Imralion didn’t. He resented his own father for leaving without a word, he didn’t want the same thing to happen to Lyorri. Her circumstances weren’t her fault, she was just a baby. But that didn’t make it any easier for Imralion to accept.

The door opened quietly, and Lani came in to check on Aeramin. She listened to his breathing and felt his forehead, and washed it with a damp cloth. She gave Imralion a look but didn’t say anything. Maybe she blamed him too, it was impossible to tell. The sun was already up, he would need to report to his post in the city soon. But he wanted to be there when Aeramin woke, Lani had said it would probably be later that day. He took a scrap of paper and wrote a short note on it.

I’ll be back after my shift. Your father will come today too. He paused. Should he write more? He wasn’t sure if Lani — or Arancon — would read it before Aeramin did. And he wasn’t really sure how things were between them. I’m glad you’re okay. ~Im

He folded the note and tucked it under Aeramin’s hand, on top of the blanket. Hopefully he would wake soon.

[Art] Valentine Roundup

I tried to draw today but it just wasn’t a good art day, hopefully tomorrow will be! I have a lot of ideas for things to do but my fingers aren’t cooperating. In the meantime here are all of the valentines I’ve drawn for past years. These should be able to be printed out and used, though I haven’t tried it personally.

Draenei Valentines

Druid (Night Elf) Valentines

SWTOR (Imperial) Valentines

SWTOR (Republic) Valentines

Tauren Valentines

Warlock Valentines

 

[Art] Happy New Ear

new_ear

 

I’d like to say I’m going to draw every day this year, but I know realistically that won’t happen, especially with Mr Hare being deployed for half of it. So I will just say I’d like to draw “more” without quantifying exactly what that is 😛

Anyway here’s a terrible elf pun to start things off well.

[OOC/Screenshots] New Pet Stuff!

It’s been an exciting few days for pet stuff in WoW. First there is the White Murloc Egg, found in Borean Tundra, that gives you a murloc pet! Here’s the WowHead link if you need directions. Since most people have already got theirs, it shouldn’t be too crowded now.

There are also some new decorations to make your garrison a bit more festive (and spooky). Level 100 characters can do four dailies which earn you special currency to buy them in your garrison. These were also pretty busy yesterday, but I suspect it’ll die down as the holiday goes on.

spoopsath

One of the decorations is a box of “creepy crawlies”, and it spawns three types of ghostly critters in your garrison. These can be battled and captured, they are level 25 but not too difficult. There’s also a spider rare who can drop a toy. If you don’t really feel like doing the dailies, you can garrison hop to someone else’s and tame them there. I saw several listed in the group finder yesterday, and I had mine open for a few hours for people to come tame pets.

Since I’ve had most of the holiday content done since 2009, I’m excited when new stuff is added! I think the daily system is nice, though a bit odd since garrisons will be obsolete in the next expansion. Still better late than never!

[Story] Fairsong Academy – The Masked Ball

[[ Some short stories from the Hallow’s End ball at Fairsong Academy! ]]

I think the party was great! Everyone that we invited showed up, and they all had masks, some even had full costumes. Mine didn’t actually have a mask, because I was the Regent Lord, though I did have an eyepatch. I found this paper mask of a human at the store but I don’t think Hethurin thought it was funny. I did! I was even dancing like a human. I think he did laugh a little at that part. I’m not sure why Hethurin still seems sad about it. I thought for sure the party would cheer him up, seeing all of the masks and everyone having a good time. He loves being a host and it was a great party. I convinced Tik to let me set up some games too, just silly ones like trying to catch an apple with your teeth or balancing an egg on a spoon. (That one can get messy, so it was outside.) But he didn’t seem to want to eat at all, even the spinach rolls! Tik also made these grilled meat skewers that were really good, I ate probably about ten of those. The only thing Hethurin wanted was cake, I made the chocolate and caramel one especially for him. He also drank a lot of wine, which he doesn’t usually do so he got a bit tipsy. Okay, a lot tipsy. I had to make sure that he sat down somewhere, but even then he kept getting up and getting more. The only thing that finally stopped him was a girl that kept trying to talk to him. It would have been funny if she wasn’t so determined! I finally had to make her leave because Hethurin was getting upset. He should have just told her that I was his boyfriend. I wonder why he didn’t, or maybe she just didn’t believe him.

Other than that I had a really nice time. We even danced, and he sat close to me. I said we should have a fire in the fireplace later, but he had had too much to drink by that point. It’s not really a good idea to make fires after you’ve been drinking. I think Des had a nice time too, she danced with Perothis and they went out to the garden. He seems to like being with the rangers a lot, which is good. He can visit the school more often now.

I don’t know what we’re going to do with all of the pumpkins. Tik suggested that we could feed some to the hawkstriders, but I don’t think they can eat that many.  Maybe some animals in the forest would like them, we can put them out in a pile far enough away from the school.

Aeramin made our masks for the party, I think we were hawkstriders or at least some kind of bird. Mine was blue and made with peacock feathers, but I think Aeramin just used them so he could snicker at the name. His had red feathers. I tried to find some clothes that were blue to match it, but I didn’t do that great of a job. At least he matched. There were a lot of people there, some of them I couldn’t recognize because of their masks. I guess that’s supposed to be the point of a mask party.

Somehow the girls from the city showed up. I know I didn’t invite them, and Aeramin swears he didn’t, but I kind of wonder. Morrainne said she overheard it, which I guess is possible. But how did they find the school? It is the only school out there, so maybe it wouldn’t be too hard. She’s very determined. I could recognize them because they just had little masks on that didn’t cover very much of their faces. Plus, Morrainne was licking the spinach rolls again. Why does she do that, it’s so gross! They were talking to someone who had on a skull mask and cloak, I’m not sure who it was. It didn’t take long for them to get bored and find us. Great, I thought we were going to escape, but no.

They were asking about the school and Morrainne decided she wanted to meet Hethurin. I assume to try to impress him with her spinach roll trick, nobody warned her it wouldn’t work on him. Still I bet it was kind of funny to see. I’d hoped Aeramin would talk to the other girl since he seems to like her, but he didn’t really. He just kept giving me a look like I was supposed to do something. He’s still convinced that she’s interested, but I don’t know. Then he said he’d make my lunch for me so I could eat with her. Thanks a lot.

The girls didn’t stay too long, I’m not sure where Morrainne went but I suspect that she fell asleep in the garden or something. The other girl went to look for her. Aeramin and I danced a few songs, which was nice. Lin was there too, with the ranger who has a lizard. Aeramin mentioned that he came asking for warm rocks for it or something, I do remember Lin mentioning something about a lizard. Honestly I thought she was joking, but I guess not. I’ll have to ask her about that later.

[Story] Valentine Hearts 2

Vallindra was an extremely difficult woman to shop for. He wanted to buy her expensive gowns and shoes, the finest hats and jewelry, but she preferred to spend her time roaming around the Scar mapping ley-lines. Of course he admired her persistence and dedication, in fact it was this focus that impressed him early on. But sometimes — especially for holidays — he wanted to buy her things. She seemed reluctant to take time off for a dinner in the city, so he’d planned out a meal that he could prepare in their kitchen at home. It still wasn’t fully finished, so he hadn’t all of the tools and utensils that he’d need, but somehow he’d have to make do. He wasn’t the best cook, but he’d follow the instructions carefully and hoped that she’d at least appreciate his effort.

He had bought her gifts while he was in the city, though. He found a fine notebook, bound in good leather, in which she could write her notes. He also bought her a new set of pens, all in silver, and some large parchments which could be used to make maps. Xanaroth thought she’d appreciate the practicality, if nothing else. At first he avoided the goblins’ stall, dismissing their wares as cheap and opportunistic, but every time he passed by, he couldn’t help but imagine Vallindra in one of those little silk gowns. So against his better judgment, he bought one of them — a red one. She’d probably hate it, but maybe she’d wear it once anyway.

The Confessor picked up the slip of paper and read it. It had been slipped under the door while he’d been out making his visits around the countryside. Dinner would be ready at seven, the note said, and a table had been saved for them. He found it amusing that he’d had to make reservations for a private dinner at the school, but he supposed a few others might have had the same idea. Hopefully it would allow Lani to relax a bit more. And, he had to admit, himself as well.

There was still one more trip to make before the evening, he had to pick up the locket he’d ordered from the jeweler. He’d once given one before, but he’d taken special care to ensure that this one didn’t look too much alike. It was made of bright fine silver, and he’d asked for a phoenix to be etched into its face. For new beginnings, and for rebirth. It wasn’t easy, he’d told Tik that. He’d come uncomfortably close to telling Tik more than the butler wanted to hear, probably. But it was reassuring, in a way, to know that he wasn’t the only one who struggled with such things. Maybe one day soon he’d call on Tik again, to see how he was doing. Tonight though, he wasn’t working.

Imralion looked over the map one last time, checking that everything was just right. He’d had an awful time trying to figure out what to get for Aeramin. He had a lot of robes already, and Imralion didn’t have the first clue how to shop for those, anyway. At first he thought of a book, but all of the magical ones were far too confusing, and he didn’t suppose that Aeramin would be too interested in one of the fluffy romantic books. What Imralion really wanted was for them to be back home in Shattrath, and that’s what gave him the idea.

He thought of all the trips they’d taken together, while he was training in Outland and they were first getting to know each other. He’d enjoyed those a great deal, and it seemed that Aeramin had too. On his trips into Silvermoon, Imralion had put his gold safely away in the bank — far away from Arancon’s eyes and fingers, and now he thought he had enough saved up. He’d already talked to a mage about having a portal made, and he’d already written to the innkeepers asking about whether rooms would be available. He couldn’t give an exact date of course, because Aeramin was still finding little tasks that needed to be done. But soon, he assured them.

Last, he’d bought a map of Pandaria, and marked all of the places that he thought they should visit. Of course they could add more, once they saw what was there. Some time away from everyone — especially from his father — would surely do them both good.