[Story] Imralion’s Journal

Aeramin’s started giving lessons in our house now. It’s one of the kids from the school, and he’s interested in learning the sort of magic that Aeramin knows. He explained that it’s better the kid learn properly and safely, without experimenting on his own. That makes sense, and it has to be here because that kind of stuff might give the school a bad reputation. The student’s not supposed to tell anyone about it, but I am a little skeptical if that’s possible. I know how much kids at school talk, I remember how much we talked in blood knight training — most of them still talk a lot. I guess he won’t if he wants to stay at the school, but it’s hard keeping something to yourself when you’re really excited about it. I just hope he doesn’t talk to the wrong person about it, and I guess he’ll have Aeramin, though he’s not a fellow student.

They won’t be learning anything dangerous right off; he’s mostly still learning theory I think, and Aeramin is going to teach him about the different kinds of demons. I’m sure I still have my books, but those are more focused on how to kill them rather than how to use them, so it’s probably not too helpful. I promised that I’d stay closeby in case any demons got any funny ideas. The imps probably won’t, they’re mostly well-behaved (if annoying), but some of the larger ones are more dangerous. Aeramin said he wants me around if he ever summons the felguard, because it’s still got a bad attitude toward him and will try to escape. Let’s see if it can escape a sword! I won’t kill them unless I have to, but I have no problem doing it if it comes to that.

He also suggested that I go see my sister soon, he’s going over to the rangers’ to reinforce the wards. I really should, he’s my only nephew after all, and he is cute. It’s just awkward having to talk to Sunashe and my mother, too. If I’m lucky, it’ll just be Lin who is home, but I doubt it’ll work out that way. I would guess she’s back on her patrol, at least part-time. Aeramin said the woman at the  school is already back working at the stables, and she just had one. There are going to be a whole lot of boys starting school all at once in a few years.

The spring ball will be soon, too. It’s always all flowery and pastel, I feel like my armor sticks out awkwardly. I suggested maybe I could wear a nice shirt or something, but Aeramin would have to help me find one, I’m no good at picking out clothes. I think a pastel robe would be too much though.

[Story] Imralion’s Journal

I ended up talking to Arancon after all. I didn’t actually plan it, but he was out in the sitting room eating cookies when I was about to leave from visiting Lin and the baby. She says that Sunashe is being helpful, and doing things, but I still don’t really trust him not to mess up. The baby hasn’t really done anything except sleep in the time I’ve been around though. Lin says he wakes up to eat pretty often but that’s about it. And go to the bathroom, but I don’t want to be around for that either. Anyway, I couldn’t pass up warm cookies.

We didn’t really talk about Aeramin much, or we did, but it was more about how he’s a terrible father and ought to be doing more for Lyorri. I can understand his point of view, but I don’t think he’s seeing it the way Aeramin does. He thinks Lyorri will be upset if Aeramin was around but not involved. I think it’s better to just let her have two parents who actually want her and Aeramin can be like a fun uncle or something. It’s going to be confusing for her either way, and she’ll probably be upset either way. I wish I had the answers, especially since I’ve been through something sort of similar, but I really don’t. I don’t think either of them is totally right or totally wrong. Honestly it makes my head hurt to talk about it so I didn’t argue much. Arancon did talk about his wife a little though. He said after you’re married, you do things just to be nice to them. But Aeramin already does that. He brings me things he knows I like to eat, or makes the bath up, things like that. He doesn’t have to, but he does it because he wants to make me happy. So in that way I don’t see how being married would be any different. But then Arancon said that it makes you change because you have to think of the other person more, but he wouldn’t explain it. He said everyone changes differently. I guess that part could be true, but I think we do that as well.

One interesting thing was that his wife’s father didn’t like him. I guess I can relate to that. At least he doesn’t accuse me of paying for Aeramin’s time anymore though, I guess that’s something. He got really weird when he mentioned Aeramin’s research at the Spire though, like he was hiding something but Arancon didn’t want me to know. It’s not going to work. I know he’s looking up information for someone he used to work with, and it doesn’t bother me. I trust Aeramin, he’s not going to do anything stupid. It seems like Arancon was just trying to cause trouble or something. I don’t even think I want to bring it up with Aeramin because of how obvious it was. I think he’d be offended if I even had to ask about it, so I won’t.

I guess the biggest thing that stuck with me was that he said he’d go back and do things differently. I took that to mean you shouldn’t have any regrets. I don’t think I do, but then you never do at the time, do you? It isn’t until later that you regret things. It’s something to think about anyway. He said he wished he’d never moved them to Silvermoon, or at least had them move and he stay behind. But then I think Aeramin would be upset with him for always being away. There’s always a consequence for your actions, and sometimes you can’t predict it ahead of time. I do believe that he just did what he thought was best at the time. I can’t be mad at him for that, but then I didn’t go through what Aeramin did. Unfortunately I’m not any closer to an answer though.

[Story] Imralion’s Journal

It’s been a busy week. The first thing is that I’m an uncle now. The priestesses came to our house to tell me after the baby was born. I’m not mad about that, I don’t need to see that I’m sure Lin wouldn’t have appreciated me hanging around waiting the whole time either. I’m just glad I was home when they came, otherwise I would have had to wait and I would have been wondering the whole day what the baby looked like. It looks like Sunashe, by the way, at least its hair does. Although Lin said sometimes baby hair can change color when they get older or something, but I don’t know if that’s really true. It’s a boy and his name is Tialan. It’s a good name, except the first two letters are the same as “Tiny” and I am sure Sunashe is still going to call him that. If you ask me, Lin shouldn’t encourage him at all. I guess it could be worse, it’s not “Lizard”. He’s really cute, and really tiny. And he has both legs. Lin was really tired when I went to visit, obviously, but I think she liked the toy frog. She also asked if I’d brought any food. I didn’t know I was supposed to! She wasn’t really in any condition to talk. Our mother was there too, she’d been there the whole time and was helping the priestesses and fetching things for them. But I didn’t really want to talk to her, at least about that. It was okay talking about Tialan, though.

Aeramin wants to get married. At least, that’s what he says he wants, but I can’t help but think he’s saying it because he thinks it’s what I want to hear. Sure, I’d thought about it before. We’ve been together for a while and been through a lot, isn’t that what you are supposed to do? But if things are okay now, why change it? When I brought it up before, he looked like he’d seen a ghost and changed the subject right away. Now he wants to? I guess seeing the baby reminded me about how I might want my own family one day. It would be okay if it was an adopted one too, it doesn’t matter to me. My family name isn’t even mine, I’m not worried about passing it on or any of that nonsense. But if Aeramin’s still feeling guilty about Lyorri, I don’t think he’d be willing, at least not now. And who knows, it could be worse in the future if she does decide she hates him. Then again, I expected him to be upset about Tialan and he wasn’t, so maybe things are different now. Maybe I could see how he acts if I ever get a chance to watch him. It’s going to be tough because our mother wants to take care of him too. I hope Lin warned her about Sunashe wanting to let him ride on real lizards.

So I’m not sure what to tell him. If I agree to it, what if I regret it later? And who is supposed to ask anyway? If I say no, will he be hurt and resentful? He said it doesn’t matter either way but I think he’d feel rejected. I would too if I’d asked and been told no — though he didn’t really ask, either. I think things are pretty good right now, I want them to stay like that. But it could be good too, right? Aeramin said that Hethurin feels happier now. I wanted to ask Lin what she thought about it. I assume she’s happy as well. Maybe I should ask some more people, like Arancon, but I don’t know how helpful he’d be since his wife died. That probably influences your feelings about it.

[Story] Imralion’s Journal

Lin’s going to have her baby pretty soon. She’s getting really big! I don’t know she can even walk around, let alone go on her patrol. Lin said that she’ll keep going for now, but probably not too much longer, because I guess it’s uncomfortable. I told her I didn’t need all the details but she told me anyway. I guess now I know. She’s also worried about getting the crib and everything set up before he or she gets there. Just while I was there she kept trying to move things around and I said she shouldn’t and did it for her, but then she’d change her mind and want me to move it back again. I tried not to be too excited, but I kind of am. I’m going to be an uncle, and I can play with the baby whenever I want to. I’ve tried not to act too excited around Aeramin because I know he’s probably not too happy about it. If I’m excited about my niece or nephew, couldn’t I have been excited for Lyorri too? I guess I could have. It’s different though, there’s no bad feelings associated with this one.

Our mother’s already come back from Tanaris to help Lin take care of the baby. She’s staying at the inn right now, but since it’s not very nice I expect they’ll just let her stay at their house for a while. Maybe she could sleep at the ranger building with the female rangers, that would be something. I hope she has some names in mind. Lin said she’s still thinking about it, but I’m still afraid my niece or nephew is going to be named Lizard or something.

To make matters worse, it’s Lyorri’s birthday so I think Aeramin is extra grumpy about that. I guess I can’t blame him. He wasn’t sure whether he should go to her party or not. I had wanted to buy something for Lin’s baby so I suggested he could at least bring a gift for Lyorri, even if he didn’t plan to stay. He surprised me by saying yes to that. I was afraid of bringing the subject up, but he says he’s not upset about it, and I can even watch it for them at our house. Then again, he might just be saying that, I know sometimes he says things to cover his feelings up. Like he brought up the subject of people marrying mages and I made a joke about him being a good catch because he’s good at cooking and he got all weird about it. Obviously I’ve thought about it before, but it’s never really been that important because things are okay. Things have been going pretty well lately so I guess I’ve thought about it a little more. But then other times I think about wanting to have our own kids or whatever, though I guess we could adopt some like Hethurin and Terellion did. Or just borrow Lin’s kid. Anyway, he seemed really weirded out by the subject so I guess I won’t bring it up again. He said he’d been engaged three times before and they never worked out. I knew about Hethurin and I think he’s mentioned the other one, but I didn’t know who the third was. Apparently it was a girl that he worked with or something. No one’s ever asked me at all!

I wasn’t sure what to get for Lin’s baby, without knowing if it’s a boy or a girl especially. Aeramin said I should get them something useful, like diapers, but that’s not a very exciting gift. I mean, who wants to be the uncle who gives you diapers? Not me. I thought about getting a soft toy lizard but they didn’t have any lizards. Maybe they’re not popular for babies, someone should tell Sunashe. I did find a frog though, I know a frog’s not a lizard but it’s kind of close, and it’s really cute. The baby can cuddle it or chew on it or whatever. Aeramin got Lyorri some dresses, and a cloth doll with yarn hair.

[Story] Imralion’s Journal

We’re back from Tanaris. I’m kind of glad because it’s not the most comfortable place, and Vallindra and her husband are annoying. They both act like they’re better than everybody else and we’re just there to be the hired help or something.  I half expected her to order me to carry her luggage. Luckily they kept to themselves most of the time.

I was able to get a lot of notes done. I’m not the greatest artist but I at least tried to record all of the major features of the new demons that I saw, of which there were quite a lot. I would have liked to get to kill some, in order to better learn what they might be weak against, but Aeramin and the others wanted them alive. Still, I took a guess based on their appearances and what other demons they were similar too. It’s reasonable that a huge plated demon won’t be hurt much by an ordinary sword, for instance. One really weird thing was the giant imp. We saw several, so I don’t think it was just one that grew really big or anything. Aeramin brought one home. I’m kind of worried that it’s going to bully the other little ones. Or get into things. Imps are enough trouble already without being tall enough to open doors. He says they have enough to fortify the wards, so that’s good. I really hope my notes are helpful to the other blood knights.

Kuul applied for training and was accepted. They’re basically accepting anyone who looks remotely able to hold a sword right now. I’m not saying that to be mean or anything, it makes sense. Better to have more people prepared if it’s needed than not enough. He’s really excited about it though. He already went out and bought armor. I’m not sure how he was able to afford that. I told him that they provide training armor and weapons, so he might want to see if he can get his money back. Kuul said he wanted to look like he was serious, which makes sense I guess. But armor is expensive. Also, he wants me to train him. I’d figured that would already be the case, since I’m the closest one out there in the Ghostlands. I have some dummies in the yard and I said he could use them, it’s going to be kind of weird having him around all the time. I don’t really like it but Aeramin suggested it anyway, so I’m sure he’ll be fine with it.

He also found a lot of leads into the murders while I was away. Apparently me being there was just holding him back. I don’t know how to feel about that. Actually I do, I feel bad about it. Why was I wasting all my time and energy on these people who don’t even like me when he could have done it alone? I don’t know. I just hope he can find him soon. Then again, if he’s training to be a blood knight, maybe they won’t trust him either.

Lin wrote to me, she’s going to have a baby. With the weird lizard guy. I guess I’m excited to be an uncle, but I don’t know if Aeramin is going to want to see another baby around. It probably also means our mother will be returning to visit again. No doubt she’s thrilled that Lin is getting along with her so well and she’s giving her a grandchild. I don’t really need to be around her, either.

[Story] Imralion’s Journal

Some days I feel like we’re never going to make any progress on this thing at all. Lately it’s been like that. Someone else went missing, and of course no one knows anything about who took him or where. I want to find him before it’s too late, I feel like it’s my fault if it does. But it’s so frustrating. Even though I’ve been around there for months, most of the people don’t trust me, even if Kuul is there with me. I feel like yelling at them, don’t you want this person to be found? But that would only make it worse. I think I’d take help from the only person who was trying, no matter who they were. Since we know he’s taking them somewhere on the Row, and keeping them there, it has to be a place that’s relatively private. I’m guessing it’s one of the buildings or rooms that is rented under a fake name. If he’s just using it to hold people, it’s probably vacant most of the time. I’m not above sneaking around and looking in windows, except it’s not easy in armor. It’d be something Kuul would have to do, but I don’t know if he really got the hint. I can’t exactly tell him to do it, because it’s illegal, but I think catching this person is more important.

Speaking of hints, it’s getting a little weird with him too. Like Aeramin is always saying how I should hire him to do paperwork or be my assistant afterward, which I think is weird to begin with. But lately Kuul has been acting like he’s trying to flirt with me, he wore a new shirt and it was unlaced most of the way, and he kept talking about how he’d make me sandwiches for lunch every day if he had a hot boyfriend. I’m assuming he meant “like you” but he didn’t come out and say it. Still, it was weird. I don’t know why he’s so set on that idea, I told him I can make my own sandwiches, it’s not like they’re difficult, or I get them from the shop that’s near my office. Sometimes I take leftovers from dinner the night before, too. Kuul said that Aeramin should be doing it. Aeramin has plenty of work to do, between preparing his lessons and grading papers and his own research. I told him about it and he kept offering to make me sandwiches. Why does everyone think I can’t make them myself? If it mattered to me I would have brought it up already. I just thought it was weird.

Kuul also thought I should be the one acting as bait for the killer. This after he said I don’t fit in and no one trusts me. Why would he think the killer would be so dumb as to fall for such obvious bait? I wouldn’t know how to act or what to say. Honestly I think he just wanted me to have to wear those little shorts. There’s no way I’m going to. First of all, I don’t really trust Kuul to be able to stop the guy if he does show up. Second, as I said, everyone would know right away that I was a fake, including the killer. And if they didn’t, there’s no way I’d go through with any of that, even fake. It would feel wrong. I don’t want Aeramin to have to do that, and there’s sure no way I’m going to, either. Eventually he agreed that we could watch the one inn where a lot of guys take their customers. I still think they should get better organized, have a set place to go if they feel they’re in danger, a signal they can send to others to get help. Aeramin agrees with that too, now if I can just get Kuul to go along with it, and convince them, too.

I am going to loan him some of my books, he says he wants to start studying to be a blood knight. I know they’re usually from good families but there’s no rule about it, if he passes the tests they’d let him do it, so he’s really excited about that. I dread when I’m going to have to show him how to use a sword. I can only imagine all the jokes he’s going to make.

[Story] Imralion’s Journal

Kuul has been helping me with the investigation. Mostly he’s been filing papers, which can’t be very interesting but he seems happy to do it. I was able to get some information from the Spire but it’s not very well organized so we are working on that. His handwriting isn’t very good but he can put things in the right folders. He is working on it, though. I asked him if he might not want to learn magic one day at the school, but he said he’s too old. I don’t know if that’s really the case, but maybe he’s just not interested, I know I’m not. Then I suggested that maybe he could go to the rangers, I know their captain will train people and someone from the Row already went there and he’s doing fine as far as I know. Kuul said that he would rather be a blood knight. That’s not easy. I didn’t want to discourage him, but I think it might be really difficult for someone from the Row. It’s one of those places in the city where your name is important. But they let me join, so I guess if he’s good enough it won’t matter. Or if no sons from rich families are trying out during that time. He wants me to train him. I had to make sure he meant actual training and not something else. I guess I could do it, I’ve never trained anyone before but it could be helpful for me too. Then he could go during one of the trials and hopefully impress them enough. I think he should make up a fake name and a mysterious background. They’d probably like that more than the Row. I am going to give him one of my old swords that isn’t very good. It will be fine for practice.

He’s the one who is actually on the Row a lot of the time, and hears things. It’s still so frustrating to me that people don’t trust me and won’t talk to me like they do to him. I guess I can understand why, but I’m actually trying to help them. Making it more difficult doesn’t help, it’s already difficult enough. A lot of times proper records aren’t kept so we haven’t been able to identify the man who rented the building yet. And evidently he never paid taxes either, which doesn’t surprise me too much. Kuul has been telling the workers to keep an eye out for him. I don’t know if that will do much, because they were before and someone still went missing. The need to eat has to over-ride the need for caution eventually. I thought about making a signal they could use if they were in danger, something like a code word that wouldn’t tip off the murderer. Then they could alert people around them if they felt something was off. Kuul seemed to like the idea. Hopefully it’ll catch on, and actually help. But if the murderer takes them somewhere isolated, it still won’t save anyone. I feel like that kid dying is my fault. I should have stopped it somehow. I don’t want any more to die.

Things are okay at home, though Kavia keeps coming over. Aeramin keeps trying to invite her to stay over, or he asks if I want him to leave the room. I still think they should spend more time together. I did try asking about Lyorri and that didn’t go very well either. But I guess Kestrae and Ordinicus have finally adopted her, and changed her name away from Pumpkinhead. Arancon must have been steaming mad about that, I wish I could have seen it. Serves him right though.