[Story] Character of the Week – Linarelle Flamereaver

[[ Lin is Imralion’s twin sister, currently a member of the Ghostclaw rangers. ]]

Linarelle pried open the lid of the wooden crate, revealing a tangled nest of straw and a sealed envelope. She recognized the handwriting right away as her mother’s, and broke the seal with a smile. The box had arrived earlier that morning, but she hadn’t had time to open it before her patrol. The sturdy wooden box looked as if had travelled a great distance to arrive in the Ghostlands, its corners scuffed and the ink-stamps faded from the sunlight.

Dearest Linarelle,

Please forgive me for not being there with you today. I promised I would never spend another of your birthdays away, but I hope I am there in your heart and your thoughts. I’ll make it up to you and Tialan when we return. The professor has discovered a tomb that has been untouched by thieves or raiders, so it promises to be a very important trip. Maybe they’ll put something in the museum in Silvermoon, and you can tell everyone that your mother helped find it. Please wish Imralion well for me too, even though I know he’s going to make that face.


When they were little, they’d never known their birthday — not for certain. The Matron could guess, based on how big they were when they’d been left with her, but not the exact day. Imralion had seemed to take this indignity in stride, he didn’t seem to really care which day he got cake and presents, so long as he got them. But to Lin, it was part of their story that had been taken away from them. She remembered crying under her little cot in the orphanage because she insisted it wasn’t her real birthday that day.

Now, of course, they had it back. Their mother had returned to their lives, and it had been awkward at first, and there had been a lot of difficult conversations. Imralion still seemed a bit hesitant, but she thought eventually he would come around. He was less angry about it than he had been, but he still bristled at the mention of their father. Lin could understand that — her mother had her reasons for giving them up, her father didn’t even have an excuse. He didn’t deserve to know how they were doing now.

Linarelle removed the straw, curious to uncover what her mother had sent. She’d already bought Tialan everything he could possibly need for the next several years. Lin thought spoiling her grandson was her way of making amends for her absence, but then it was probably just a grandparent thing. He had dozens of little outfits and shoes and hats, not to mention all of the toys and books. They didn’t really need anything; their house was small but neat, even with the enormous lizard lounging on the floor most days.

It was an art piece of some kind, hardly the kind of thing you’d want to have around a little baby, but they had shelves that were out of his reach. It was from Uldum, a golden statue of a humanoid figure with the head of a lizard. The figure wore a head-dress inlaid with different colored stones, and held some kind of weapon in its carefully sculpted hands — a staff with some kind of symbol on its end. Lin didn’t know exactly what she’d expected, but it wasn’t a lizard-man statue. Still, it was beautifully sculpted, the gold burnished to a warm patina. She wondered just how long it had lain underground, just waiting to be discovered. And perhaps Sunashe would know something about who the figure was supposed to be. At the very least, he’d be excited about yet another lizard decoration.


[Story] The Ghostclaw – Linarelle’s Journal

I think that Sunashe has been feeling a little down lately, since the draenei ranger came from Shattrath. After I had put Tialan down for his nap, I went out to the practice range to find him. I also brought some of the cookies from the kitchen, normally he tries to avoid them, but a few won’t hurt. I was surprised to see him out there alone, usually there is at least one of the other rangers practicing. He’s always reminding the crossbow rangers that they need to learn to use a proper one, but I suppose they don’t listen. Sunashe said that perhaps the draenei should be the one training recruits, since his skill must have impressed Sunashe. I haven’t watched him myself, but I doubt he could be better than Sunashe, an Eversong veteran. Even if he is, no one could replace him. He said the others treat him as sort of a novelty, asking him to perform tricks which he happily does. I don’t know if there’s really anything wrong with that, but it’s sort of humiliating for the draenei. He probably doesn’t even understand what they are saying, I know I wouldn’t if I was the only elf around draenei all the time. I think the cookies cheered him up a little, at least.

I also suggested we should go camping somewhere again, once the weather warms a bit. Sunashe liked that idea a lot, though he said we should leave Tialan with someone to watch him. I’m not sure, I think I’d worry about him the whole time. Especially when he suggested Imralion watch him! Im’s never even cared for a pet, let alone a baby, I shudder to think what might happen in his care. I also think Aeramin wouldn’t be very enthusiastic about the idea, and it would probably cause strain between them. I don’t want that, even if I think it was a bad idea for Im to marry him in the first place. I don’t think I could stay with someone who had betrayed me like that, and Sunashe said he couldn’t either. I hope I don’t have to find out. But if we do have to leave Tialan with someone, Hethurin would be a better choice, he already has three children who are doing well. Or Lali, or Terellion’s mother, they take care of the babies at the school all the time. I want to get a new dress for the ball, I saw one in the city that’s pink with a slit on the side. Sunashe insisted that he get new armor to match, if that’s even possible, I hope it doesn’t cost too much. Pink armor really isn’t something you can wear often, unless you’re Julan I suppose.

We talked about the other new rangers a little. Really there’s only one, and she doesn’t talk much to anyone. Sunashe said she’d transferred from Eversong, which makes me wonder — why would anyone leave there for here? It’s not that our unit is bad, but it’s certainly less prestigious and well-known. Sunashe said maybe she just wanted a change, but I suspect there’s more to it than that. Maybe I’ll try to talk to her and find out. The guy who works in the stable wants to learn to shoot, too. While we still need him to work in the stable, it could be useful to have someone who can take over a patrol if one ranger is sick or away. I haven’t talked to him much either, he still seems to be getting used to the routine and everyone here. Sunashe says his brother is a student at the school.


We spoke a little about his past as well, when he was living in the city. It sounds like it was awful, I wish he didn’t have to go through that. But it brought him here, so in the end perhaps it was worth it.

[Story] The Ghostclaw – Linarelle’s Journal

I had a really lovely day, and the best part it was all a surprise. I always say Sunashe isn’t very romantic, but sometimes he does a good job. In some places there’s a special day to do nice things for mothers, but as mine is far away — she’s back working for the Reliquary — I didn’t give it much thought. Most of the rangers here don’t keep in touch with theirs either. The thought didn’t really occur to me that I was one as well. It seems silly now that I think about it, but it’s true. So I certainly was surprised when Sunashe brought me flowers in the morning and made breakfast. Well, he often makes breakfast, but it was extra nice, there was cut fruit and little cakes as well as eggs and juice and toast. He also brought some sunflowers for Snowflake, because he said it was “moth day”. Oh dear… had he really got confused about the day? I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed, but at the same time he’d gone to so much effort and it was so sweet that I didn’t say anything. I was going to enjoy Moth Day all the same.

After patrol, he’d made up a whole lovely dinner. I think some of it he might have got at the school, but he did cook a lot of it. No, it wasn’t moth! Salenicus asked me that. Even if I wanted to eat a moth, I don’t think they would be very good eating. Only the body would be edible and they’re insects so there wouldn’t be a lot of meat, not like spiders. He made a roasted wild bird with herbs, fresh greens and potatoes, bread and a lovely sauce. For dessert he brought out a tray of the cutest little moth cookies. He admitted that Orledin made those, I saw them later in the kitchen as well. The patterns on the wings were made with icing, they were just adorable. Snowflake also got some fruit to nibble on, in her own bowl. Normally she doesn’t eat with us, but it was a special occasion after all.

And he gave me a card, it was so sweet. And it mentioned that I was a mother, so he was just teasing me with the moth day stuff after all. I have to admit that I’m relieved! It was all so nice though. I think I should plan something for him for Lizard Day, although I’m not sure when it would be. Maybe near Father’s Day.

I got a chance to talk to Salenicus too. I’m a little annoyed that Orledin didn’t even give him my message, or maybe he tried and he just wasn’t listening. I think I did manage to convince him to go to the school again though. And he said he’s going to bring flowers, and a poem. If I’m right, that should definitely work. I may have exaggerated just a tiny bit, but she’s certainly not going to change her mind if he stays away forever. I hope it works out okay. It must be so lonely being undead. He’s already talking about living together though! I hope he doesn’t say that, he’ll probably scare her off.

[Story] The Ghostclaw – Linarelle’s Journal

I promised Orledin that I would stop by the school and talk to the undead girl there. I was due anyway because I needed to bring by some milk. It still feels a little strange to put it into a jar and carry it there, but I don’t mind because it really seems to help the new baby there. And I can bring some food home for dinner, which Sunashe appreciates. It’s not that either of us is bad at cooking, just that Tik’s is so much fancier. It’s like getting food from a fancy restaurant every time. I don’t really know Salenicus at all, he keeps to himself when he’s at the building and he’s on the night patrol with Orledin and Sorrowmoss. From what Orledin tells me, he doesn’t talk a lot there either. He might not be happy that I’m interfering at all, and it’s probably a bad idea, but I do like Orledin and he feels a bit guilty about it, I think. It was his idea to bring Salenicus to the school in the first place. I don’t know the girl, either, but I said I was willing to talk to her. Mostly I wanted to find out what she actually said — if it’s a situation like I was in with Keyalenn, I’ll just tell Orledin that plainly. Not that it really helped in that case, either. Or with Gael. I’m probably the worst possible person to ask for advice about men, but I offered anyway.

Classes are over when I finish my patrol, I think Tik was a little puzzled when I asked to see her, but the girl was even more puzzled. Luckily she wasn’t up in her room, but reading in the common room, curled up in one of the soft chairs. I think she must have been very pretty when she was alive, even for a human, but now she just looked sad. I guess I can’t blame her. She was worried that I had asked for her until I explained that I was one of the rangers. I might have taken a little creative liberty with the message because I had a feeling that it would help. She may be dead, but she’s still a girl. I told her that Salenicus was sad about not being able to dance and he hadn’t stopped talking about it, and that he wondered what he’d done wrong, and if he could ever show his face here again. Like I said, a bit of an exaggeration but there was probably some truth in it. The girl seemed surprised and she said that it had been unexpected, and not romantic at all. It was supposed to be like in the books. Well, I can definitely understand her there. I didn’t mention that some men just don’t know how to be romantic, because I didn’t think that would make her feel better. That’s not entirely true, he does sometimes, but it’s rare and definitely not like in the books. But he does mean it, and that’s what is important.

She also said she thought it was just because she was the only undead girl, and I could understand that too. It doesn’t feel good thinking they’re only interested because you’re the only option, it’s like winning a race that no one else is running. She said it was fine if he wanted to come back again, she doesn’t hate him or anything like that. I made sure to ask that he wasn’t bothering her, and she said he wasn’t. I made her promise to tell me if she changed her mind about that. I do feel bad about what happened with Keyalenn, but I think it all worked out for the better anyway. He has a girl his own age, who’s also a mage, and they seem really happy together. Of course he couldn’t have known that at the time though. The girl also said if I or the other rangers wanted any dresses, she could make them for us. I thought that was a nice thing to offer, though honestly I don’t know if any of us wear dresses very often. Or ever. I don’t think Nessna or Vellira have ever worn one, I guess I do sometimes. Anorelle I’ve only ever seen in armor. I thanked her and said I’d consider it. Then again, maybe Julan would like one.


[Story] The Ghostclaw – Linarelle’s Journal

I guess I was right about going to see the healers. It’s still not really feeling real, but Lani and Esladra said I definitely passed my test. I was really nervous about it, so I’m glad Sunashe agreed to go with me. At first he was saying we could take the test home to work on it. It doesn’t work that way! I don’t know if he’s excited yet, I’m not sure it’s really set in for him either. He was surprised when I told him though, and I think it was a happy kind of surprised. Right now I don’t feel any different at all, aside from being a little more tired than usual, but that’s not really very strange. Once other things start to happen, I think it’ll be more real. I’m glad there are a lot of other people around who have had them so I can ask questions. Nessna has  had two, so she’s an expert, but she said every baby is different, which makes sense of course.

Esladra also said that someone at the school was having one too, named Lilithel. I didn’t recognize the name at first, but I went out after my patrol to see if we could talk. I think it would be fun to have someone to talk to who is also going through it at the same time. It turns out she’s the hawkstrider keeper, and she’s much older than I expected. Tik is the father, that’s a little weird to picture. I wonder if the Magister knows? I guess he does now. We had some tea (normal tea) and cake and talked for a while. She seems nice, but I’m a bit worried for her. I know there are more chances for things to go wrong if the mother is older. I worry about if something happens and she still has to see other babies, I think that would be awful. She had a daughter a long time ago, but she died in the attacks, so at least she’s done this before. I asked if she and Tik were going to get married or live together and she said they weren’t, she would raise the baby but Tik would be nearby. He doesn’t want to move out of his room in the house, and it’s too small for them all to live in. Besides, she was married before and her husband left her alone to raise her daughter. I can understand why she’d be wary to trust anyone again, but what I know of Tik, he would never do that. Still, she seems happy with the arrangement and I guess that’s all that matters. It just made me all the more grateful to have Sunashe with me every night, and he’ll be able to help with the baby during the night and see him or her all the time. That reminds me, Sunashe thinks that our baby won’t cry at all because it’ll be happy. I’m pretty sure he or she will cry sometimes, that’s just what babies do. I suggested that he talk to some of the other guys about it, the Captain or Gael. His wife was there at the school too, and she was really excited when I told her. She told me that I should get Sunashe a sweater for the autumn and winter patrols, they really keep him warm. I’ve seen Gael’s a few times but I guess I never thought about getting one for Sunashe. She gave me the name of a shop where they can do any design you want. Perfect. I’m going to see if they can put a lizard design on it, that will make a great winter ball gift.

Talking to the others has helped, but I still worry. What if I don’t know how to take care of it? What if I’m a bad mother? The thing I worry about the most is something happening to Sunashe and I have to raise the baby alone. He says he won’t leave, but something could happen on patrol, or worse, if we are sent somewhere. Lilithel says he won’t, because of his leg — well, she put it more crudely than that. She said they don’t send amputees, which I guess he is, but I don’t like that word. What if it’s too difficult and I have to give the baby up? Hopefully there are enough people around who can help me that it won’t happen. I’m going to write my mother and tell her the news, she’s going to be overjoyed. I hope she can come back when it’s closer to the time and help me. Maybe she’ll bring that gentleman friend of hers.

[Story] The Ghostclaw – Linarelle’s Journal

The students at the school are taking a trip to Shattrath. I guess they haven’t been in a long time because the baby was too small, but she’s a year old now so they feel comfortable taking her. Of course that meant Aeramin was going, so he asked Im to go along with. Because they’re all a bunch of mages, they can make him portals to get to his post every morning, so he went along. I thought it would be nice to go with Sunashe, too. The last time we were here was when we were trying to get Blinky back, not really a very fun time for either of us. Things are definitely better now.

We’re in the same inn with all the students, our room overlooks the forest and there’s a little balcony and everything. Sometimes we eat there but sometimes we go to the restaurant, too. I actually haven’t seen much of Im, I think they’re staying at Aeramin’s old house and going on some other trips. That’s fine, I really don’t need to hear all of the details. It seems like so long ago when we were here for his training, though it wasn’t really. It’s just that a lot has changed since then.

I told Sunashe about the plans for the stable. It’s not a surprise, but I think he had forgotten about it because he was puzzled at first. The builders are already booked for the whole building season, but they should hopefully be able to squeeze it in at the end. It’s not a very large stable and it won’t need as much work or finishing as a whole house. I’m still thinking about whether we should get some hawkstriders or not, I think they’d be nice though it would be odd if we only had two and not enough for all the rangers. I suppose we could just ride them for fun, but we don’t have that much time together usually except at night. I’ll have to consider it. But Blinky will have his own stall with comfortable hay and a holder for his food. He’s getting so big that I’m worried his tail is going to knock things over in the house. There’s nothing really breakable right now, at least. Sunashe said he didn’t want anything else, but I still want to get him something. It feels wrong not to. Maybe a new bow, or some new armor, or a lifetime supply of bow wax. Actually I was joking about that, but he seemed to like the idea. That figures. He did say he’d like to get another lizard,  but I’m not sure if he’s going to have time to train another one in addition to Blinky. Especially if the captain finds more new recruits.

I didn’t really mean to bring it up but somehow we got on the subject of babies. I know I want one eventually — my mother would prefer it was sooner rather than later. I guess she has a feeling it won’t be happening for Im anytime soon. Sunashe said that it was my decision, which I guess it is, but he’ll be affected too. Mostly I’m scared, I’m scared of how much it would hurt and I’m scared that I don’t know how to take care of a baby, and I’m scared that something might happen to Sunashe. I don’t think he’d disappear, he says he won’t but he did before. Granted, that was a misunderstanding but it could happen again. Or something could happen to him on patrol. I don’t think I could raise a baby all by myself. What if I had twins, like our mother? I’m scared that it would be too much and I’d have to give them up too, then I’d hate myself and Im would hate me too, and so would the babies eventually. I want to talk to Nessna about it, but she just made it seem like it was no big deal. I mean, she’s had two so maybe it’s not, but I bet she was worried about the first one.

[Story] The Ghostclaw – Linarelle’s Journal

I finally got the plans finished for the stable! It took a little while because it’s a very busy time for the builders right now, they’re drafting up all the plans and gathering supplies that they will need to start work in a few weeks. I know they’re doing the houses on the school grounds first, but they like to have all the plans done ahead of time so they can schedule things better. Also I think they won’t really have time for that once it’s summer. I’m sure Gael probably helped with them, that’s strange to think about, but he didn’t say anything about it. It’s just a stable anyway, nothing weird about that. It’s only for Blinky and perhaps a hawkstrider or two, so it’s small. There are four stalls and two small storage rooms, one on either side of the walkway. I was so excited to see Sunashe’s expression when I showed him! I think maybe he forgot that we talked about it though, or he couldn’t tell what it was from the drawing. That could be, the drawing doesn’t really look like a stable — it’s like a graph of everything and the measurements. But once I told him he was really excited, it was nice. We talked about maybe getting a pair of hawkstriders too, then we could go riding together. I’d like that a lot. I feel so guilty sometimes when I think about almost missing all of this with him, from misunderstandings or my own foolishness. I’m glad I didn’t.

We talked about the new recruits too, well I suppose they aren’t so new anymore. He thinks they’re ready for patrols soon, as long as the captain agrees. We’ll have to move the teams around again, most likely. Sunashe is still unhappy that the other death knight won’t use a bow at all. A lot of them, including Orledin, don’t use a bow on their patrols, but they at least have it with them and know how to use it if need be. I think that’s good enough. But this one doesn’t want to practice at all, because he says it’ll make a crease in his fingers. It’s supposed to do that! Whoever heard of a ranger without a bow crease?

As for the rest of the gold, I am not sure if I want to keep it in the city or just in a locked chest at home. In the city, it would be a lot more difficult to spend it and would probably be safer, but what if something happens there? I wouldn’t even know until it was too late. I think we should save it to maybe get a larger house one day, you know, if we need it. We don’t yet, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. I don’t think Im will be able to buy a house, but he plans to find a place to rent in the city. I am not sure why, because Aeramin will have a fit again if he stays away for even one night, but I suppose he can do what he wants with it, it’s his money. I do wish he’d spend more time with our mother though. She’s going to be returning to her work with the professor soon, but she’s promised to write to me. I’ll miss having her nearby.