[Story] Imralion’s Journal

We all went over to Arancon and Anorelle’s house for dinner, right before they were going to leave for their trip. Aeramin said it’s some kind of pirate island, but I assume it’s not real pirates, otherwise they would steal everyone’s things. Apparently Hethurin’s father and Braedra went there, and they told Arancon about it. The island is down in Booty Bay, which I thought was just full of goblins, but maybe they’ve cleaned it up. Or maybe the goblins are also the pirates. 

Arancon went in to cook, and he wouldn’t let Aeramin help, which I thought wasn’t very nice. Aeramin is good at cooking and he would actually be able to be useful, unlike me. Plus, they could have more time to talk about things. Anorelle took the kids for a walk while he was doing that, so they wouldn’t be around underfoot in the kitchen. Really, none of them would, Marta knows better than to play in the kitchen when people are cooking, and the little ones you can just put into a corral or something to keep an eye on them. Though Tiros is able to walk a little, so pretty soon he’ll be hard to catch, I bet.

Anyway, Aeramin was really anxious the whole time we were waiting. He was convinced that Arancon wanted to tell him something bad, or that he was going to have a new sibling. I don’t see why that would be a bad thing, he likes Tiros and I don’t see how one more would make a difference. I think having a brother would be fun, although Lin is more like a brother than some girls, she likes shooting bows and being a ranger. Aeramin thinks that Arancon likes Tiros better, and he’d like this new sibling even more than that. I don’t know how he could think that, because we don’t like one kid better than the other. 

Sure, I do more things with Marta right now, but that’s because she is older. Roderick can’t do those things, but he will be able to, and then I will do them with him too, if he wants to. Or maybe he’ll like different things. That’s the point, they’re both different, but one isn’t better or worse than the other.  Even though he admitted I was right, he still thought Arancon would feel differently. I know he’s not the best dad ever, but he’s not that much of a jerk.

And he is trying. He wouldn’t be going to talk to Aeramin or invite him over if he didn’t care. Obviously there’s nothing he can do that will undo the past, and it’s up to Aeramin whether he wants to forgive him for that or not. And it’s true that it’s weird to apologize for something you don’t even remember, I’m not sure if that even really counts. What would I do if my father came to me now and wanted to spend time with me? I think it would be really difficult to accept. I would probably feel angry and betrayed, like Aeramin probably does.

But that’s not going to happen, so I don’t think about it too much. I still find myself feeling a little jealous that Aeramin has a father who is trying to do things with him, and he doesn’t want to. Maybe  Arancon would let me go with him instead. But Aeramin did say they are going to get lunch sometimes, so that’s a good start. I’d ask to go too, but I think some time alone together would do them good. At least that’s what I hope. Aeramin has been feeling a lot of stress lately and he needs something to cheer him up. Maybe he’ll want to go look at pirates too.

[Story] Imralion’s Journal

Arancon showed up at the blood knight building in the city, which was a little unnerving. He said that he wanted to talk to me, I certainly didn’t want to do it there, so we went to the lunch place nearby. Aeramin and I often go there when he used to come by to visit, and a lot of the other blood knights frequent it as well, so it’s usually pretty busy. It’s good but not too expensive, and they don’t take too long to get your food, which I like. Also, they have a really good spicy sandwich and they give me extra sauce if I ask, which is nice of them. 

I had no idea what he wanted to talk to me about. We’ve barely ever talked at all, and that’s fine with me. I always got the idea he didn’t really like that Aeramin was with me instead of some girl. Well,  he said that he was sorry for “whatever he did” before — he didn’t actually remember what he’d said to me. So I had to remind him that he asked how much I was paying Aeramin to be with me, and he probably did make some comment about me not being a woman, but I don’t actually remember that either because it was a long time ago. To be fair, he said that back when he was still drinking, but why did he wait until now to say anything, if he didn’t mean it? I think it’s a little bit weird. He said he was also sorry for all the times he’d said horrible things to Aeramin, and hit him, but I said that I can’t forgive him for that, it’s between him and Aeramin. I wasn’t there, and I don’t know my own father, so it’s hard for me to be objective there. Would I still want to know him if he treated me terribly? I might, it’s better than pretending that I don’t exist at all.

We talked about the kids too, and that helped. He agrees with me that Marta should be able to do things on her own without us always watching over her — as long as it’s not something dangerous. She is really good at figuring things out, and if she needs help she will ask for it. People just assume she can’t, but a lot of the time, she actually can. He also mentioned that he and Anorelle wanted to go on a trip, and wanted to know if we could watch Tiros for them. I said that was no problem, it’s not like adding an extra baby is a whole lot more work, and he and Roderick can play together. Well, they could drool and poke each other, which is pretty much what Roderick does. The place they’re going sounds really fun though, it’s in Booty Bay and it’s a whole pirate theme thing with restaurants and everything. Apparently Isturon and Braedra went and they really liked it. I bet Aeramin would like seeing me dressed up like a pirate. I should ask him about it. Marta would probably love it too, Arancon is going to see if they have any activities for kids there. 

Aeramin might like some time with just him and I. He had been talking about going and finding some girl, which I thought was really strange. I mean, sure I’d brought it up years ago, but now we have the kids and I don’t really know if it would be appropriate, especially because Marta is old enough to notice something is up and ask questions. Then Aeramin said he meant only like for fun, and not anything long-term, which is even more confusing. Am I too boring? It’s true that I don’t have a ton of experience, but he’s never complained before. Then he said he liked that I didn’t want to look for someone else, so why did he even bring it up? Oh, and he thinks everyone likes me. I’m pretty sure that isn’t true. 

Anyway, they’re going to have us over for dinner soon, so Arancon and Aeramin can talk a bit more. It does seem like he’s trying to be sincere, but I still think he could have said something sooner. I guess it’s better than never. And he said he’d make some spicy stuff for Marta and me.

[Story] Imralion’s Journal

Aeramin and I left to go overnight to Ironforge, so we could go to the dwarf festival. It’s our first time leaving the kids so I was nervous about it. They stayed with Arancon and Anorelle, so I shouldn’t have been, obviously Aeramin turned out fine, but that wasn’t really Arancon’s doing. I worried he might give them rides in his machine and go too fast, or crash into a tree or something. Or he might give Marta a lot of sugar or forget to read her a story at bedtime. He might forget to change Roderick, but probably not because Tiros is about the same age. But maybe they can’t handle two babies at once, and they would take care of Tiros first. I don’t know. Aeramin said I should try to relax and have fun, which is true.

The event was actually really fun, I thought it would be but I didn’t really know what to expect. I’ve never even met any dwarves before. They’re really short but also really wide, and very hairy.  Their beards go all the way to the ground, sometimes. Aeramin said that female dwarves have beards too, so you can’t tell which is which. I did see some without, but maybe those were younger dwarves, whose beards hadn’t grown in yet. We also speculated about whether they knew about sausages or not.

The sausages were really good, too. (I mean, the ones you eat.) We had some beer that was made by humans, and that was good as well. I thought next time we should bring the kids, because I thought Marta would like the music and getting to pet the animals. There were rams, and also little rabbits hopping around in the snow. Aeramin said that some humans might get upset that we have human kids and take them away. I don’t see how that could happen, since we signed the papers and everything, but he said it was possible. I don’t want to risk that, but I still think they’d really like it here. 

I worry about Marta wanting to have human parents when she’s older. She seems happy with us, especially now that she has Prince, but humans could give her a horse too. And they’d know more about human food and human customs, and all of that. I hope she doesn’t decide she wants to live with humans when she is older. I guess Aeramin and I could move to the human city now, though he’d have to leave the school. We can figure that out if it happens later on. She also has Nerine in the Ghostlands, which I know is important to her. I hope she’ll be happy with us even when she’s older. 

We bought a crate of food to bring home for Arancon, and a couple of bottles of the human beer. It’s pretty strong, but it’s good. Then we got some things for the kids, they had little soft toy rams. I got one that was gold with a white stripe like Prince for Marta, and we got one for Tiros and Roderick too, but they don’t really care what color they get. They are just going to chew on it anyway. They also had these little leather shorts and Aeramin and I made a bet about who would win the ram race, and the loser had to wear some. 

Well, neither of us won, because the races were completely rigged! We ran a bunch of times, and every single time we lost. I’m pretty sure the dwarves were giving  beer to the rams that were being ridden by tourists. A dwarf won every time! I wanted to complain, but the people in charge were dwarves too, so what good would it do? I felt bad, because Aeramin really wanted the hat that you could drink out of, but the best I got was fourth place. He tried a bunch of times too, but he didn’t do any better. At least it was still pretty fun, except when I fell in the snow, that kind of hurt.

I carried the food up to our room in the city, and then I carried Aeramin because he’d had a lot of the human beer. He probably could have walked, but it was just faster to carry him. It was a long way though. I showed him the lava underneath the bridge, and outside our window. I thought he would like that. The room was really neat, all the shelves and furniture and everything were carved out of stone, and there was a fireplace and a rug made from a bear skin. I’m just worried that Aeramin might not feel too well tomorrow. 

[Story] Imralion’s Journal

I never thought much about the fall holiday, it was just a time to wear masks and eat candy at the ball, which was okay, but nothing special. But as soon as the leaves started getting crispy underfoot, Marta couldn’t stop talking about it. I guess it’s a really big deal for humans, or at least the ones in Stormwind. Apparently they have fields where they grow lots of pumpkins, and people carve them and put candles inside. Why? I don’t know, but she was super excited about it. Of course I wasn’t going to say no, and it was hard not to be excited too.

So I found a farm in Eversong that grows pumpkins — they actually claim that the seeds are from Elwynn pumpkins, but I don’t know if that’s actually true. You can walk out on the field and pick one off the vine, Marta assured me that is what you are supposed to do. I made her wear boots, and also a hat and scarf, though it turned out to be too hot for those yet. She brought them back and made me carry them. Aeramin was worried that she might trip over one of the vines, and I was too, but I guess they were crunchy enough that she could hear them okay.  Roderick was more interested in trying to eat one. They had some tiny ones that he could probably chew on or something, but I think they’re probably too hard for a baby to chew. 

They also had a stand with apple cider and donuts, those were both tasty. We watched the kids run around among the pumpkins, there were some elf kids there too, so maybe it’s catching on here. Aeramin was worried about Marta carving, but I promised that I’d supervise and help her. I’m not going to just hand her a knife and walk away, although she’s been practicing with training swords so that’s not that different. She knows how to be careful with a blade. But I figure it’ll turn out better if I help her, not that I’ve ever carved anything before. Hopefully if I mess up she won’t be able to tell.

Aeramin is feeling a bit stressed because of Maerista being away, but that’s not her fault. He was complaining that Hethurin is wanting him to submit a lesson plan for the entire year. At first I thought he was over-reacting a bit, because I can see wanting to know what teachers have planned for the year, but then he told me the other teachers don’t have to submit one. It seems pretty unfair if it’s just him, or Hethurin thinks he needs the extra organization. I didn’t say that though. I wish there was something I could do to help him, I suggested that maybe one of the other teachers could help with the beginner class, but Aeramin said it wouldn’t work because they don’t know magic. I don’t know, I think anyone could read off of notes, but he said he would have to make notes. Yes, he would. 

We’re going to go ahead and buy the older horse at the blood knight stable for Marta’s birthday, though it’ll be a bit early. I’ve brought it up with the owner and I don’t expect I’ll have any trouble getting him to sell. He seemed to like the idea that his horse would be cared for by a cute little kid instead of just standing around the stable all day. Lilithel already has a stall and all of the equipment so we just need to bring him home. I’m sure she’s going to be there every day right after classes get out.

Aeramin also was talking about getting his hair cut so Roderick can’t grab onto it. I mean, I can understand, I always have to make sure mine is back because he’s got a very strong grip. I like his hair long, but short might look nice too. It does take him a long time to take care of because it’s so curly, though. Being short would mean he has more time for other things, like carving pumpkins.

[Story] Imralion’s Journal

Hethurin came and found me at the beach party. That’s unusual because usually we don’t talk much — it’s not that I don’t like him, but we really don’t have a lot to discuss. He starts talking about magic and I have no idea what he’s saying, I could  bore him with discussing different types of swords or something, if I wanted to. Actually, Terellion might know something about that. I should try talking to him about swords sometime. Anyway, I knew the reason even before he said anything, Aeramin’s been putting off doing his grading for the end of classes. I’m not really sure why, I don’t think it would take that long if he just took the papers all down into his work room one afternoon. I even offered to help with them, but Aeramin said I wouldn’t understand it. That’s true, but I could tell if they tried or not. At this point, he might as well just give them all a good grade, which is probably what he’s going to do. Normally he asks Maerista to do it, but she’s busy because her baby is due anyday now. Still, I bet she could get it done before him because she usually is fast about doing work. 

I told Hethurin that I’d pester Aeramin about it, even though I already do and he’s sick of it. Hethurin also said that the builders would be starting on our house really soon. I’m so excited to hear that! We definitely need more room with two kids, Marta needs her own place to play that is safe for her, and Roderick will eventually. I wonder if we might get some more later on, maybe, there were a lot of kids who needed parents. At first I was a little hesitant about it, I wasn’t sure if I’d be a good parent or if I’d like it, but they are great. I can see why Hethurin wants so many now, though I probably don’t want quite that many. He asked me about whether I worry about them being human, by which he means they won’t live very long. I have thought about it, and I do worry, but I guess I try to put it out of my mind. I don’t want to think about them getting old and dying while we’re still around. Maybe there will be some kind of potion they could drink to stop it, or Hethurin could do that time portal stuff. 

Oh, anyway, we’re going to need to stay somewhere while they’re working on the house. Originally we’d planned to stay together in the living room, but Hethurin thought it would be too crowded for a whole month. Then I’d suggested we could put up some tents outside, it could be an adventure like camping, but he didn’t like that idea either.  He said there are spiders and lynxes and bats that could eat the kids. Okay, first of all, I’ve never seen any of those things come into our yard and if they did, I could have my sword near me. I used to sleep around demons, I can handle a bat. But I guess he has a point, a tent really isn’t a good place for a baby, and Aeramin was worried about having to pee outside. So Hethurin offered us rooms at the school, that way we can have a real bathroom and some privacy, Marta could even  have her own room. I guess that’s better, I didn’t know he had room for us. We could still even do the tents if we put them up in the ballroom, I thought Marta and Nerine might like doing that. 

He also said it wasn’t a problem  if we wanted to put our horse in the school stables. I mean the horse that we haven’t bought yet, but are planning to get for Marta. There’s one at the blood knight stable that she really likes, he’s an older guy who is nice and calm and slow for a kid. I’m sure the owner would be willing to sell him to us. That’s a lot simpler than building a stable at our house, plus there’s not really a good place for one. And we wouldn’t have to scoop out the stable, either! That’s a win-win situation for sure. Marta could go riding after class and there are some gardens and trails that would be good for her to ride on. I still don’t want her going out by herself in case the horse gets spooked; even a steady old horse can be unpredictable sometimes. I either lead him or walk next to him so Marta knows I’m still there and I’m ready in case anything happens. 

The other thing he wanted to know was if Aeramin knew anyone on the Row who needed jobs. That’s pretty much everyone, but he means people who are trustworthy and reliable and who could work at the school. He needs some more teachers, as well as people to work on the grounds and cleaning and stuff. Aeramin is going to talk to some people he knows. I wonder if Kuul would like to work in the yard? I should ask him.

[Story] Imralion’s Journal

I’ve been reading a lot about horses to be ready for when we get one for Marta. I’m glad that Aeramin agrees we should get one, but he’s worried that it should be for some holiday and not just because. He’s worried she might get spoiled. I guess that makes sense, but I told him I didn’t think she would get spoiled from one thing. It’s not like we’re going to buy horses for her all the time. I also pointed out that she probably never got presents or special things while she was at the orphanage, I know Lin and I didn’t. The only time we got anything, everyone else got it too, so it wasn’t special really. And it was usually like candy or something, not a horse. Her birthday isn’t until the fall, and the gift holiday isn’t until winter, and those are both far away. I thought we could make up a holiday and give it to her then, and just say it’s an elf holiday, but Aeramin said that she might ask the kids at school about it. I didn’t think about that.

Either way, I have been talking to people at the blood knight stable, and there’s a man who has a farm out in Eversong with some older horses. Basically he takes the ones that people don’t want anymore and takes care of them. He probably has one that is gentle enough for a kid. I thought about a small one, but I think regular size is better, because then she can still ride it when she gets bigger. Aeramin was worried that the horse might be too old and die, which I guess could be an issue, but hopefully not for a while. Horses can live a long time, at least for humans, about thirty years. I learned that in the horse book. I have learned way more about horses than I want to, and Marta still knows more than me. She likes to tell us horse facts at dinner. Like the names for the parts are so weird, like a cannon and a poll. What’s a cannon? Aeramin thought that name was funny, and thought it was something naughty. It’s just a part of the leg! Why don’t they just call it the leg?

But then we were also talking about pirates, probably because of the wedding. I remember that Isturon and his wife went to Booty Bay and they had some kind of pirate theme vacation. I started thinking about whether they have one for families, I mean I figure they must. I want to ask Isturon about it when he gets back, because I think it would be a lot of fun. Plus, I don’t think Marta has ever been to the beach and I’m pretty sure she would love it. There’s a beach here at the school but it’s been pretty cold, and also it’s not that big. Aeramin was worried that Roderick might not like it, I mean he’s too young to remember anything either, but if it’s fun we could always go there again. I hope they give us hats, we had pirate shirts at the wedding but not hats. Of course, we’d have to wait to get the horse until after that, I’m pretty sure that Marta would refuse to leave her horse behind otherwise. We also need to make sure that she likes the horse she picks, so she has to be there and it can’t be a total surprise. We can surprise her by not saying where we are going, though. But I’m pretty sure she will be able to tell from the horse sounds and smells.

We’re also going to try cooking some things soon. Aeramin is nervous about that because there’s knives and fire. But it’s not that dangerous, plus I’ll be watching her the whole time. We’re going to make spicy vegetable dip, it’s great that Marta likes spicy things too. Before I was the only one who ate them! Now we can both enjoy them. Roderick is too young to try them, but hopefully he’ll like them when he’s older.

[Story] Imralion’s Journal

I forgot about the goblin holiday until Aeramin mentioned he was cooking for it. I mean, he usually cooks anyway but he mentioned it and then I felt bad. I’m not sure what to get for him anyway, he has a lot of magic books and supplies, and he always says he has enough robes. I decided I’d get chocolate because everyone likes that. I took Marta with me, for one because I wanted to get her some chocolate too, and because I had promised to take her to pet the horses. It works out well because the younger kids’ classes end earlier in the day than the magic classes, Aeramin has to stay and help the fire students in the afternoon if they ask for it, and they often do. He’s also been taking Roderick with him, that is good because he can be with him most of the day, and if Roderick needs a break or a change or something, the nursery is right there and Ter’s mother is there to watch  him. She’s excited to have a new baby around too.

I asked Aeramin if we could surprise Marta with a real horse, or maybe a pony, but he said we don’t have a place for it. He’s right about that, I just thought maybe a small horse would fit. But in the city they have stables for all of the blood knights’ horses, and I can take her there. Plus, they have to take them out every day and exercise them, which means Marta could ride on one as long as I was there to make sure it’s safe. And I know there’s a toy shop that has carved wooden horses, I figured we could stop there after we bought the chocolates.

My mother is going to be visiting soon, I guess it’s all right because she wants to meet the kids. I am guessing she’ll probably bring them things too, which they will like. We are going to have dinner with Arancon and Anorelle soon, so Marta can meet them. I wonder if Aeramin will let her ride on the machine? I figure it must be safe if they take their baby in it, but I don’t know.

Marta said she hadn’t had chocolate before, at least that she could remember, so she was pretty excited about it. I might have let her try one of each kind in the box. It’s okay, I got a new box for Aeramin too. At the stables I let her pet one of the horses that I knew was calm, she liked how soft his nose was, and how his mane felt like people hair. I tried to explain what he looked like but it’s hard not to use colors. I said he was shiny and warm and he had a stripe on his nose. I asked if she wanted to sit on his back and she did, and I led him around a little bit on the rope. I think I’ve created an addict. Every knight needs a horse though! She wanted to know when we could come back again and I said probably tomorrow. I wonder if we could buy a small horse and just keep it here? I’ll have to ask.

At the shop she asked me to find a wooden horse that looked like the one at the stable. There wasn’t an exact match but I found one that was really close, it even had the stripe. She said she was going to put it on the table next to her bed so it would be close by all the time. I might have bought a couple of extra that she doesn’t know about yet.

Her friend Nerine invited her over for a sleepover, I guess that will probably be on the weekend. It should be fine but Aeramin is worried, I said it’s Professor Raleth so nothing bad is going to happen. I think it’s good they are settling in to the school and everything well, I know it can’t be easy to go to a new place. But at least she knows some people, and she seems to be getting along well with Malwen too.