[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.

[Story] The Ghostclaw – Linarelle’s Journal

Sunashe wrote a poem for me for the goblin holiday, you know the one where you are supposed to give things to the person you love. It was kind of strange, because of course it was about lizards, but I got his meaning. And it was sweet, even if strange. No one’s ever written me a poem before — well, I’m not counting that weird one that the kid from the school wrote. It’s too cold to go camping yet, and we have our cabin now anyway so we don’t really need to, but I made sure he knew that I appreciated my poem. I feel a bit guilty about everything that happened before, especially him leaving, but I wasn’t sure yet. It isn’t an excuse though, and I’m trying to make up for it.

Im showed up here at the main building a few nights ago, he told me he wanted some of the inheritance after all. He said he was going to use it to get a place in Silvermoon, on his own. On one hand I was irritated, because Mother and I have been the ones filling out all the papers and going to all the hearings, and all this time he says he doesn’t want it but now suddenly he does? But on the other I’m happy, if it means he’s finally going to leave that mage, and it’s not like I could refuse to give it to him. His name is on the papers too. He still hasn’t even spoken to our mother outside of a few words. I wish he would at least try. It really wasn’t her fault, and I understand why she did what she did. Sure, she could have found us sooner but she didn’t want to cause more trouble in our lives. It’s been slow but we’ve been spending more time together and it’s been nice. Im should want that.

But then Aeramin drank a bunch of potions all together and Im had to take him to the hospital, where he’s been staying. We heard about it from Arancon, his father. I’m half tempted to go over there and drag Im out by his ears myself. Of course I don’t want Aeramin to die, but now he’s basically made sure that Im can never leave, he can always do it again or threaten to. Not to mention how Im must have felt when he found him. I think it’s a really awful thing to do to someone you’re supposed to love. I want to talk to Im about it, but I’m sure I would just be wasting my breath. Maybe Kavia can get him to listen.

[Story] The Ghostclaw – Linarelle’s Letter

Dearest Sunashe,

We have arrived safely in Northrend, thankfully the flight from Dalaran was uneventful, aside from some snow flurries. I know Orledin didn’t plan to disappear, but I almost wish he’d done so in the summer rather than the creep toward winter. It’s already so cold, I can’t imagine that it could get colder, but the locals assure us that it will. I’m also thankful that we were able to take a portal to Dalaran rather than having to come to Northrend by ship, it would have added a great deal of time and I can’t imagine that being at sea in the winter is a pleasant experience. Outside of Dalaran, there are not really any large towns, we’re staying at an outpost with orc huts. They cut down on the wind, but that’s about all. I’m told there are some Taunka villages somewhere here as well, I’d think they at least know a thing or two about keeping warm. They do at least have a very large firepit, and keep it stoked at all hours, even during the night.

Thanks to the other death knight’s report, we have a place to begin looking: the Nerubian burrows. I guess that makes sense given how many times we’d gone into caves to squish spiders. I only hope we’ll be able to find him without too much trouble; I’ve never actually seen a Nerubian before but I’ve read they are larger than a person. Hopefully we don’t meet any, and hopefully no one makes any references to squishing spiders when it’s around. I’ve never really considered myself squeamish, either, but there’s something unsettling about going into an underground spider burrow, especially in this strange land. It doesn’t seem safe at all, I guess maybe that’s why they send death knights. I hope he’ll agree to come back, we all like him and miss him. If nothing else, he should come back for Pancat. The guys talk about Des and Vellira a lot, which I can understand. It just makes me miss you more though. The worst is at night when it’s cold, and I wish you were there to warm me. I wonder whether you’re too cold at home, and if you’re worried about me. Is Snowflake okay? I hope she’s eating for you and doesn’t miss me too much. I’m not really sure if a moth can miss someone, but you never know. It’s winter so her body slows down and she eats less, so she needs to eat higher quality food. Pero talks a lot about the dragonhawk he’s going to get. I am sure he’ll have lots of questions for you about training. Are the recruits still driving you crazy? I kept thinking of good lines while we were hiking but I didn’t write them down so I forgot them. Just imagine I’m saying them. I miss you.