[Story] Morthorn’s Notes

I find it especially fascinating when I hear about a situation from different sides. Even then, I am certain I don’t have the full picture, but I do try my best to help everyone involved. Last night, Hethurin teleported into the clinic and wanted to talk. He had a lot on his mind, the most pressing was the situation with Terellion’s mother though. Hethurin is convinced that she and Isturon are involved in a relationship, and he is struggling with his feelings about that, and what it might mean for his family. All of that is perfectly reasonable, of course, though I tried to point out that it’s pointless to try to force someone to follow your ideas, especially when it comes to feelings. Hethurin kept saying that Isturon could simply find someone else, as if it’s ever that simple. I asked if he could simply give up Terellion and find someone different, which he admitted he could not. But somehow, he thought it would be different for Isturon because he’d been in other relationships.

Braedra — Terellion’s mother — just came to see me for the first time a few days ago. She was a little anxious about it, I believe, since she didn’t know me well. She admitted that she wasn’t sure if I could understand her perspective, but I told her that I would do my best and she could make up her mind whether or not she felt understood. Thankfully, she relaxed a bit by the end of the session and I believe she’ll come by to see me again. While she shares some of the same concerns as Terellion and Hethurin, she sees Isturon as a friend at this point. She admitted there may be the possibility of more, but she is struggling with the death of her husband and whether or not she’s ready to move on yet. I agreed with her that it was best to keep things slow for the time being, until she’d been able to sort through those feelings. I offered my own perspective on it, though my family was a great deal longer ago, so the feelings weren’t quite as immediate. It was still very difficult to let go of my worries though, and I still am probably far more cautious than I should be.

Isturon invited the family out for dinner, from what Hethurin said that includes Vaildor, but I’m not certain about Lani and I. Since she’s his family too, I would think so, but I’ll wait for an actual invitation. I haven’t been into the city for ages, I think Lani would really enjoy it. Hethurin said we could leave Telinda with one of the students for the evening. I know I’ll worry, but he says some of them have experience caring for younger siblings. Hethurin is also interested in sponsoring an older orphan who might not have many educational opportunities. I think that’s a wonderful way to give back to others, as well as improve the school’s reputation and awareness. And, he mentioned a little orphan he saw who was in need of a family. I think I know what Hethurin was trying to do, and I think it worked. I’ll have to talk to Lani about it of course, but I can’t imagine that she would oppose us taking in a boy who needed a family. We’ll have to meet him and see how he gets along with Vaildor and Telinda, of course, but Hethurin said he enjoys playing with the other children at the orphanage.

Hethurin’s final problem was one I’m not certain I can solve. His mother’s new husband is at the school and apparently causing trouble with one of the other employees, the woman who works in the stable. She’s also the mother of Tik’s child, and dismissing her might mean that Tik never sees him again. It’s not an easy situation, I suggested sending the husband back, but Hethurin isn’t ready to forgive him just yet. I suggested he could work in another place at the school, perhaps with the builders, hopefully that and a warning will be enough to prevent it from happening again. What people want to do in their own time is their business, but it shouldn’t be during work hours, or in the stable, of all places. Terellion is going to bring up the issue with Tik and see what he thinks of it. Perhaps he’ll have a better idea than I do.


[Story] Morthorn’s Notes

As promised, I went to visit Lilithel at the school. I had to wait until the evening, when she was finished in the barn and coming to take Ker’alith back to her house. I wasn’t sure if she’d be willing to talk to me, she could have had other plans, or simply not wanted to. She doesn’t know me very well, after all — she’s brought him to see Lani but never come to my office. Thankfully she did, though I can’t blame her for being a bit wary. She was unhappy that Tik had brought the matter up with me rather than asking her. Though she does have a point — it’s always best to speak with the other person directly — I can understand why he wouldn’t. It’s likely that he didn’t want to upset Lilithel or cause any further conflict.

Unfortunately, she didn’t seem very receptive to changing their arrangement. I suggested they could alternate full days, so she could have some during the day sometimes, and Tik could spend some nights with him. Lilithel explained that she needed to tend to the hawkstriders every day, and it wasn’t a suitable place for a child. And that Tik didn’t have a room, or even a bed for Ker’alith in his little room. She already feels that Tik has more quality time because Ker’alith is awake, even though Tik is working during that time. I can only make suggestions, I cannot make anyone do anything they don’t want to, and it doesn’t seem that Lilithel will budge on the matter. It’s unfortunate for Tik, but moreso for Ker’alith. I hope things don’t get more strained between them as he gets older, but I worry that it will. I can’t imagine how Tik must feel not being able to see his child every night.

Lilithel said the reason he couldn’t live with her is because he cleans too much. On the surface, that sounds ridiculous, but it could very well be the last of many small annoyances that added up. Or Tik may be cleaning because he’s anxious and doesn’t know how else to express it. Either way, though I’m not sure I agree with her reasons, they are hers and she is allowed to have them. I asked Lani if she would be upset if I cleaned all the time, and she said no. That’s a relief.

I also checked in on Hethurin while I was at the school. Lani intends to do a more thorough examination, even though her father looked him over. She wants to be sure there are no lasting effects and that he’s not ill. Terellion believes that his mother gave him something and insists that Hethurin wouldn’t have just fainted on his own. I’m not sure why she would do that, but I admit it’s not completely outlandish. More I just wanted to see that his mood was all right. He didn’t seem upset by the incident, and wanted to talk about the upcoming ball. He’s inviting some kaldorei guests and was worried about how much food they would eat. I told him that I don’t know how much kaldorei eat, but it’s always wise to make plenty of food for a party. We’ll definitely have to attend, if I have to I’ll talk Leinath into dancing with Orledin.

[Story] Morthorn’s Notes

It’s been a busy week at the clinic, and I had two unexpected patients. Tik, the butler from the school, has come by a time or two, but it’s very rare that I see him. I don’t think he’s entirely comfortable with me yet, as it still takes him some time to open up. Some people are just like that, and find it very difficult to express their feelings. I suggested that he could also write to me if he found that easier.

Mostly we spoke about his son, Tik assured me that he had a safe place to play in the kitchen while he’s working. Privately, I’m not sure that a kitchen is an ideal place for a young baby, there are too many sharp objects and hot pans that could cause serious injury. But Tik spends a great deal of his time there, and he wants to spend as much time with him as possible, which of course is understandable. I explained that he should install latches on the cabinets soon, before Ker’alith is able to crawl because then he’ll be into everything the moment Tik turns his back. I also suggested he might let him stay in the nursery room for part of the day — he’d be able to spend time with other babies and learn important social skills. He’d also be able to play with real toys, not spoons and pots. Tik did say he’d consider it, but he’s reluctant to give up any time with Ker’alith because his mother keeps him in the evenings. He didn’t go into much detail, but it seems as if their romantic attachment is ended, and the mother keeps Ker’alith with her in the evenings. Without hearing her side of things, I can’t make any recommendations. On the surface, it seems unfair to both Tik and the child, but she may well have her reasons. I’ll go to the school and see if she’ll be willing to speak to me. Even if she’s not willing to live with Tik, she should hopefully be agreeable to letting him see his son regularly, and at times when he’s not working.

I also saw Irael, one of the two scholarship students. She comes to see Lani every month for a check-up, as Hethurin insisted, and I make an appointment for her as well. She’s doing very well in her classes, and her mother likes living on the grounds. But Irael is concerned that she’s not made many friends at the school, and insists that the other students would reject her because of her upbringing. I think the students are an accepting and understanding group as a whole, and I pointed out that there are many unusual people at the school. I suggested that she try to focus on making friends with one person, then it might become easier.

Finally, Leinath came to see me. He’s one of the rangers, and one I’d not spoken to before. He’s been spending a lot of time with Orledin, learning to bake and now patrolling with him, and was having some difficulty with the idea of graduating to something more serious. I had to remain impartial, of course, but I’m delighted that Orledin has someone to spend time with. He’s always been so lonely and I know how much he’d appreciate company. Aside from the physical concerns, which Leinath said he’d discussed already, he is anxious about a new relationship since his former partner was killed in the attacks. It’s a familiar story, but no less painful. He doesn’t want Orledin to feel rejected, but he said he needs some time to adjust. As I usually do, I told him it was probably best to just tell him that outright. I also gave him some suggestions for remembering and honoring his former partner, that might help him be more able to move forward. Leinath promised to keep in touch, so I hope I’ll hear something from him soon.

[Story] Morthorn’s Notes

The clinic has been so busy that I hardly realized how little time I’ve had to write any personal observations. Ordinarily, this would be only in a patient file, but considering the identity of the patient… Lani certainly has the same stubborn-ness that runs in her family. I’ve been seeing Hethurin fairly regularly, as well as some of the students. Lani likes to nudge some of them in the direction of my office after their physical check-ups. Particularly, I think some of the scholarship students are having a bit more difficulty fitting in. The school is an entirely different world than what they are used to, in addition to the burden of keeping their true past and identity a secret. It was wise of Hethurin to choose two of them to receive scholarships, so at least they have each other to confide in. And myself, of course, though I’m not sure either of them trusts me entirely yet. It’s understandable, but I hope in time I can prove myself trustworthy to them.

I had a late walk-in last night as Lani was straightening up the exam room. She saw him as he came in, so there was no point in trying to deny who it was — her father. We’ve spoken before, of course, but never in a patient setting. I thought there might be some problem that had brought him to me, but he told me that everything was going well at the school, he was becoming accustomed to staying on the grounds there with his children and grandchildren. He’s considered retirement, but still wishes to help out with Lani’s clinic here and there. Hethurin is urging him to stay on the grounds, repairing one of the abandoned houses. All of this sounds encouraging to me, so I was uncertain why he’d sought me out. It could just be for the sake of conversation, but that’s not usually the case. Most people only come to me when they feel they have no one else to turn to.

He’d been seeing someone, he said, and was uncertain whether it should continue. He worried that his children might be upset by it. I advised him that his own opinion should be the priority here, that he didn’t need their approval in his personal life. Of course, he shouldn’t aim to upset them, but it can always be difficult for children to see their parents in a romantic relationship, especially if there has been a split previously. Many wish for their parents to get back together, even when that’s flatly impossible, as is the case here. Isturon’s children are grown, however, and should be more accepting of him moving on, and I told him that it was a positive change. The woman in question is Terellion’s mother. I can see how that could complicate things. While I haven’t spoken to her myself, I know through Hethurin that her husband died not terribly long ago. Even aside from Terellion and Hethurin’s possible opposition, she might not be to the point where she can consider another relationship. I thought it best that he proceed very slowly, allowing a friendship to build naturally before suggesting anything else. If she’s interested, she will probably make that fact known.

It’s a bit odd to be giving advice in romantic matters, as I’m really terrible at it. In both cases, it was the lady who initiated things, with me finally figuring out their intentions much later. Of course I thought about it, imagined what it might be like, but never actually acted until I was absolutely sure, and sometimes not even then. I suppose I overthink things, or worry too much about making a mistake. Were I my own patient, I would tell me that mistakes are important for growth, and sometimes we have pleasant surprises that happen as well as mistakes. But I’m not, and I continue along in the same manner even while I know it’s not the best. Isturon made a remark about Lani running off with a pool boy as her mother had, and while it was just to illustrate a point, I could imagine it all too well in dreadful detail. I’ve worried about being too boring or too old or too stuffy, many times before. He also implied that she was only interested in because I would fill out her paperwork for her. I assume that was also meant to be a joke, but it elicited the same panic in me. Was it true? What if she found someone younger, with better penmanship, who also enjoyed filling out forms?

Regardless, the moment he left, Lani insisted to know what we had discussed. And she was prepared for my reply. “He’s my father,” she said. “I have a right to know.” She didn’t, really, but I wasn’t about to try to force the point with her, I know better. I reminded her that what I told her was strictly to stay within our office, but I suspect she’ll go straight to him and give him her opinion. Then again, he probably expected that too.

[Story] Morthorn’s Journal

Orledin came to speak with me last night. To get things started, I asked him about what sort of books he had been reading, and which he liked the best. He said that some of the rangers had been borrowing them for the school on his behalf, since he’s still not allowed to go there himself. He likes the cookbooks the best, because he can find new recipes to try out, though I must admit I’m not sure how is able to tell whether or not they’ve turned out well. I suppose he can have the rangers try it for him, and tell him how it is. It does seem that they’ve accepted him well there, which is very encouraging. He is able to live — well, not live exactly, but stay — among them, and is part of their everyday routine. I know that he patrols with the other undead ranger, simply because they are both able to patrol in the middle of the night without ill effect. He doesn’t speak much about her though, so I don’t know how close they are. Orledin is still seeking someone that he can be closer with. The cat is some help, he said, but it’s not the same. I would never come out and say it’s impossible, because it isn’t. There very well could be someone willing to look past his condition — unlikely, but not impossible. After all, as I mentioned, the rangers don’t seem to mind it much. There are still few enough people here that it isn’t easy for anyone, alive or not, to find someone. I reminded him that I was alone for more than ten years, myself.

He told me that he’s been collecting bones from around the forest, raptor bones according to him. I’m not entirely sure how he can tell just from one little bone what it belonged to, but perhaps he knows a lot about raptors. There were certainly a lot of trolls in the area until recently, so it’s not unreasonable. My only worry would be some sort of spirit or curse laid on them; trolls are notorious for that sort of thing. Orledin said that was only an issue if you touch their jars. I hope he’s right on that account, I’m certain the captain would be displeased if troll spirits were haunting the ranger building. Orledin was a bit sheepish about it, worried that people might think him odd. I don’t think it’s odd, most everyone has some sort of hobby, and collecting bones happens to be his. I suppose some might see it as morbid, but there are many others who would appreciate the educational value of such a thing — the Reliquary in Silvermoon, for instance, or perhaps even Hethurin. Mounted, a raptor skeleton would make an impressive decoration for the school, and could be used to instruct students about anatomy.

Vaildor met a friend in town, and he has begun general education classes at the academy. I was able to speak to him briefly, I didn’t recognize him because they are newly arrived. His mother works for one of the nearby estates. That was about all I got out of him before they disappeared again. They’ve only known each other a short time but they seem inseparable. I have seen them working on school work together often. I hope they can remain friends, I know at times young relationships can be puzzlingly volatile to us adults. He seems like a responsible boy though, and I don’t think he and Vaildor will get into too much trouble together.

[Story] Morthorn’s Journal

Our daughter is finally here. She’s so tiny and perfect. Everything went smoothly, no doubt because Lani was prepared and her sister was here to attend to her. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t worried, but they made me wait in the patients’ waiting room with some tea that was supposed to be calming. I don’t think it was, but I barely had any. I kept thinking about all of the awful things that could happen. They didn’t, of course, she was born perfectly healthy and very very cute. Now that we know she’s a girl, we can get all sorts of dresses and little lacy hats and shoes and things. I thought it might be strange, but it’s not really. She has my hair! Well, just a tiny bit, little wisps of it, but you can tell it’ll be my color. I’ve already got to hold her a little bit, when she’s not busy eating. I thought Lani had a whole list of names ready, but she wanted me to pick one. I couldn’t even remember the ones from the list, so I just thought of the first ones I could. Now I’m wondering if that wasn’t intentional. We both agreed that Telinda was nice. Privately I’m relieved she didn’t go with the name that started with V that was on her list.

Her room is all the way on the other end of the house, so we’re keeping her in our room for now. I’ve moved the crib in and set it up, though I think she won’t be using that just yet either. I think she’s still too tiny to be alone in there, though I put her little dragonhawk toy in for when she’s ready. I expect all the visitors will come to see her soon, once Lani has had a chance to rest and she’s old enough to not be in danger of getting sick. Vaildor and Hethurin did come by already. Lani said he’s very excited to be a brother and wants to paint a portrait of her. I know he was feeling a bit apprehensive before, so I’m happy that he is so enthusiastic about the baby. It will be wonderful to have a way to remember what she looked like so small, as she’ll grow up very quickly. I’m already thinking about whether she’ll go to school at the Academy, I suppose she will, but Vaildor will have probably moved to the art school full time by then. Thankfully there are several other babies being born that she will be able to play with — Rylad and Iannor, and Mae’s baby who will arrive any day now. And there may be more after that, it’s impossible to say.

Lani won’t be seeing anyone for a few days, though I am still able to. Maybe she will let me keep Telinda in the sling at my desk, it’s easier for me because I don’t have to get up and look at patients. I’m not sure if she’ll agree to being away from her that long though.

[Story] Morthorn’s Notes

I think that Lani liked her gifts, at least she seemed to. She got me some books to read to the baby, and socks. Are my socks really that bad? Worse, did she notice that they were? I suppose it’s been a very long time since I bought any new ones. But still, it’s the sort of thing your grandmother usually gets you. They are nice socks though, and very warm. And she will be giving me a much better present in a few months.

The closer it gets, the more nervous I am about everything going right. Her sister is studying in that area specifically, so she should be a very good choice to attend the birth. Lani said her father will be nearby in case of emergency, and Isandri as well. With three healers present, anything unusual should be easily dealt with, but of course things can always happen. I don’t want to frighten her by talking about them, but I can’t help worrying. It’s been a very long time since I held or cared for a baby, I hope I still remember how. She and Des were discussing whether we’d prefer a girl or a boy, and whether we had any names picked out. I said that it didn’t matter to me either way, which is true. But a small part of me worries that a girl might bring up too many memories, too many comparisons. It’s natural for our mind to make such connections, despite our efforts not to. Then Lani said some of the names that she liked. One of them was a little too close. She had no way of knowing, of course. I am afraid that this dark cloud will hang over even after the child is born, and it worries me. I don’t know how to chase it away.

Des is going with her ranger for a trip to the island. According to Lani, her mother is there as well, with her “friend”. I must admit I’m surprised that he is still there, either Lani’s mother is continuing to pay him well, or he actually enjoys her company. It’s unlikely but certainly not impossible.

The ball was lovely. We both ate too much, and at one point went out into the garden to sit on the bench. It was cold, but not enough to snow. Lani said that she wished it would, and I had to agree. The forest looks so tranquil and peaceful with a blanket of snow. Perhaps it will soon. A lot has changed from a year ago; Lani and I are married, we have the new building finished and Vaildor is living with us as well. I hadn’t really thought about it until she pointed it out. Next year the baby will be here, but I don’t know what else the future will hold. Back inside, we danced but it seemed many had already gone home by that point. Or perhaps they’d retreated into the corners, where Tik or Terellion had cleverly hung some mistletoe. I’ll have to get some for our house before the holiday is over.