[Story] Story a Week 25 – Harrier’s Journal

[[ This started with the word “rabbit” but it’s not actually about rabbits so I’m not sure if I should really count it or not… ]]

Nash has really taken a liking to that rabbit. I have to admit I’m surprised, it just doesn’t seem like the kind of thing he’d really be interested in. But he’s made it a little house to live in, and wrote his ridiculous name over the door. He even went to the library to get a book about how to care for them — and used a fake name to get the library card. That’s a lot of trouble to go to for a pet rabbit. I suggested he could go to the market around closing time, they throw out the bruised vegetables or the greens and he could take some for the rabbit. No one would mind since it’s just trash anyway, it’s not even stealing. I think it’s made him gentler somehow, having someone else to take care of.

But maybe not. He’s getting restless without any jobs to do. I told him I’d ask around, but I’m a little out of the loop right now to be honest. The shop is keeping me busy enough with making watches and clocks that I don’t really need to find other work. I still keep up with my business at the harbor, but not much else. Nash says the watches are too complicated, but I think he could learn if he tried to. I knew absolutely nothing about how to make those things when I arrived in Ironforge, but it interested me so I learned it. I think that’s the key. He just needs to find that thing that he’s really interested in. He said he didn’t think it was rabbits though. I told him he could do a show with the rabbit, do tricks and stuff like have it jump out of a hat. I think people would pay to see that, but he’s worried that people would stare too much and he’d be discovered. So then I said he could wear a mask, as part of the act, but I don’t think he cared too much for that idea either. Maybe magic isn’t his area of interest either.

I don’t remember how, but we got onto the subject of what I would do if something happened here like in Dalaran, and elves weren’t allowed in Stormwind anymore. Obviously, that’s probably not ever going to, but I doubt the elves in Dalaran expected it either. Humans have definitely got weird ideas about elves and other races before, it’s not so odd to think that they’d do it again, especially if there was some big bad thing that happened to cause them to blame us. I’d want to go back to Ironforge if I could, dwarves aren’t usually as jumpy, but they are allied with the humans so maybe they wouldn’t let us in either. Nash said we ought to go somewhere neutral, like Shattrath (too weird) or the Darkmoon Faire (even more weird). Of all the places I could live, I think the middle of dark woods with mud and animal poop is probably on the bottom of my list. Nash seemed really excited about it though, he was saying I could sell my clockwork animals there. He’s probably right about that — they also have those tonk things that always need repairs — but where would I get supplies in a musty old tent? I wouldn’t even have a proper work area or lamp, either. But I went along with it. Doesn’t hurt to think about it, right? Nash said it’s important to have a plan. I don’t think it’s much of a plan, but he’s not wrong. I said he should do a show where he’s blindfolded and throws knives. I’ve seen some guys swallow knives, but I don’t think he should do that, I am not sure how safe it would be. Not that throwing knives blindfolded is really safe either, but at least he’s not the one getting stabbed if he misses.

And what if cursed Gilneans were thrown out too? I can’t imagine Rose ever leaving the city otherwise. I think she’d stay until they made her leave, or maybe fight them. Still, I went along with it. I said she could do acrobatics on her horse, something like that. She used to ride a lot, back in Gilneas. I’m not sure if Blackjack would be too interested in doing tricks, but it’s all imaginary anyway.

Nash is right, though. I should have a plan, I mean a real plan, if something were to happen. I have money saved up, but that’s not enough.

 

[Story] Story a Week 21

[[ This week’s word: Ripe ]]

Risarra hurried down the narrow trail, a basket over her arm. It was rare for her to be awake so late in the morning, but she was far too excited to sleep. The starberries she’d noticed on her patrol the other night should be fully ripe now. She could smell their sweet scent in the air, warmed by the morning sunshine. Starberries had been Risarra’s favorite ever since she was little, she loved their translucent sky-blue color and sweet flavor, the way the juice burst into her mouth when she’d bite into one. And if you were to look at the end that attached to the stem, you would see the pattern of a star left there on the fruit. Her mother used to say that Elune had made them as a special treat for the kaldorei.

She knew of a special spot, one along her patrol where few others rarely went. It was hidden in a small grove, behind some boulders overgrown with moss. The entrance was easy to miss if you didn’t know to look for it. Of course she planned to share the starberries, it’s just that she wanted to eat a few for herself first. Especially since she had come all the way out here this late in the morning to get them. Risarra smiled as she stepped into the clearing. The entire shady side was overgrown with the starberry bushes, their vines twining up onto the sides of the rocks. They preferred shade, and needed plenty of rain. Thankfully they had plenty of that in the past few weeks. The vines were laden with plump, ripe berries in their clusters. Risarra wondered if she should have perhaps brought a larger basket. She set it down on the grass and got to work, careful not to squish or bruise any of the starberries. Her mind wandered thinking of all the things the cooks could make with them — jam, pies, muffins, wine. Did Bear like starberries? She didn’t know if it even mattered. He would eat what she brought regardless of whether he liked it or not. But she supposed it couldn’t hurt to bring him just a few.

The rustling of leaves brought her back to the grove, and Risarra was startled to see a bear had joined her. It seemed unaware of her presence, head and shoulders buried deep in the leaves, picking off clusters of berries with its lips. It wasn’t one of Bear’s, she would have recognized them and, she hoped, they would her as well. Risarra remained still, watching for a reaction. If she had to escape quickly, she wanted to plan her route ahead of time. There was the gap in the boulders, through which she’d come in. That would work so long as the bear didn’t reach it first. It might not be able to fit through the opening, either. Or she could go up into one of the trees, just enough to jump out on the other side. The tree wouldn’t slow the bear down for long, though, not even with a belly full of starberries. She heard a squeak, and two cubs clamored out from underneath the bear, standing on their hind legs and trying to reach the berries. She remembered what Bear had said, that a mother protecting her cubs was the most dangerous kind of bear to come across. Risarra watched them in silence, uncertainly. She didn’t want to startle them, but neither did she want to hurt them. The mother bear pulled down one of the vines, bringing the berries low enough for the cubs to eat. They did so eagerly, their little jaws smacking with delight. Risarra couldn’t help but smile at their reaction to their first taste of starberries.

The mother bear paused, lifting her nose to sniff at the air. It was then she noticed the elf, crouched on the other side of the grove. She watched Risarra for a moment, checked to be certain her two cubs were safe, then returned to eating berries. Risarra sighed, relieved. Though she would still be cautious, she was happy to share her starberries with the bear family. There were plenty to go around.

[Story] Story a Week 19

[[ Prompt: Dice

Yeah it’s Sorias again, haha. I like writing him! ]]

Sorias fetched another platter of drinks from the back room, opening the tap from the enormous barrel and shoving the mugs underneath. Inevitably, some spilled this way, but it was much faster, and if the patrons were happy, Blackbrew was happy. Besides, the stuff was stolen anyway, so he didn’t care too much if a little was wasted. He emerged from the back room with the tray of drinks, hurrying around to set one beside each person seated at the table. When he’d accepted the job, of course he hadn’t known exactly what the dwarf had in mind. But barmaid was certainly not what he expected. He wasn’t just serving drinks, though. He was watching the entrance for anyone suspicious, and watching the patrons for any weapons or otherwise out of the ordinary. When he’d first started, Sorias had asked what that meant, and Blackbrew said that he would know when he saw it. He was right about that. The dwarf had given him a dagger of his own, finer than any he’d had in Kalimdor. It was long and straight, with serrations along the sharper edge and a delicate curve to its tip. Sorias liked it a lot, it reminded him of an eagle’s claw. He had free rein to use it whenever he deemed it necessary — which thus far he hadn’t. But he liked knowing it was there all the same.

“Oy, elf!” shouted one of the dwarves. “We’re starvin’ here.” Blackbrew — and the other dwarves — never called him Sorias. He was “Stretch” to Blackbrew, and simply “elf” to the rest. That suited him just fine. He was all too happy to leave his old life behind. Sorias pushed through the swinging doors into the makeshift kitchen, piling a bowl with stale bread and some suspect cheese. Their food wasn’t the greatest, but no one came here for the food. It was an underground alehouse, like several around Ironforge, sort of an all-in-one vice central. Blackbrew held nightly gambling, as well as selling stolen and smuggled goods, occasionally a hired woman would stop by to work the crowd as well. Sorias knew of a few others, Blackbrew paid him to visit them and get information, but it seemed that Blackbrew’s was the longest-running. It likely had something to do with the hefty bribes paid to the guards. Sorias himself was also something of a novelty, he’d not seen any other elves in his time in Ironforge.

Most of the patrons were huddled around the dice table, stacked with piles of gold coins. Sorias had never seen that many coins in one place before coming here. They won and lost them like it was nothing at all. He hadn’t actually figured out the rules, they were complicated and seemed to change at the whim of those playing. Sorias heard the rattle of the dice in the shaker and then a tremendous roar from the dwarves at the table. He guessed something good had happened.

“Why don’t ye join us, Stretch?” Blackbrew asked, with a sly grin. Sorias knew what that grin meant. It meant he wanted to win back all the money he’d just paid Sorias this week.

“I don’t know if it’s a good idea–”

But before he could protest any further, he’d been herded into a chair that was much too small for him and was seated at the table with the others. He still had no idea how to play, but he wasn’t about to admit that in front of everyone and look foolish.

“Yer turn,” said the dwarf behind him, with a curly red beard. He pushed the dice shaker into Sorias’s hand.

Reluctantly, he shook it and poured the dice out onto the table. There was a collective gasp from the dwarves. Was that good? He had no idea. The faces of all five dice had threes on them.

“Bite my foot,” grumbled one of the dwarves, tossing his hat down onto the floor. “I’m out.”

Blackbrew grinned widely and pushed a stack of gold coins over to Sorias’s seat. “Well done, Stretch.” He had no idea what he’d done, or why it was good, but seeing the coins made his eyes widen. They were huge and heavy. He didn’t even know how many there were. It seemed the game was over for the night. The dwarves who remained moved to different tables to talk or do business. Blackbrew slipped the dice into his pocket and winked. “Now get back to work, Stretch.”

[Story] Story a Week – 18

[[ Originally this prompt was “coin” which grew into an idea about the Harrier’s first partner so… that’s what this is. There’s actually no coin in the story though 😛 This takes place in Menethil, when he’s just arrived in the Eastern Kingdoms. ]]

Sorias was cold, dirty, and hungry. It was much colder here than Astranaar had ever been, especially at night. Fog engulfed the docks and the bay like a giant hungry fish, swallowing everything up. He soon learned, as well, that he couldn’t expect a place to sleep. There was no large building that was open to everyone, all the little houses of the village were private — and had owners. They didn’t look too kindly on him trying to sleep in their stables, either. Meals weren’t served as a group, everyone prepared their own food in their own houses, and though Sorias checked the waste barrels in the evenings afterward, there was rarely any waste. He tried to fashion a fishing pole out of a stick and some discarded line, but he couldn’t find a hook. Probably the stick would have snapped if a fish ever tugged on it, anyway. There weren’t even any trees in the village, or he might have tried to sleep in one of them, embarrassing as it was. He told himself he wasn’t a tree elf anymore, but the situation was desperate.

He couldn’t go back, though. It’s not that he believed they were looking for him — he rather doubted that was the case. But now they had an excuse to call him an outsider, to fire on him if he returned to the town. He’d surely been branded an exile and an outlaw, and who knows what stories they’d made up about him. He didn’t care about that, he assured himself. But he did wonder what Risarra thought. He frowned, laying his ears back. Let it think it was her fault, because in a way, it was. A chill, wet wind blew in from the bay and Sorias shivered in his spot below the dock. It was muddy and awful, his clothes would be absolutely caked in it by tomorrow. He would have to find a place to wash them without attracting too much attention, if that was possible. The last thing he wanted was a bunch of dwarves laughing at his naked self.

Far up the road, his keen ears heard a jostling of metal, and he crept out from his resting spot to have a look. Despite the fog and rain, someone was coming into town, pushing a large wagon laden with all sorts of utensils and tools. Was he a traveling merchant? Curiosity got the better of Sorias and he came out for a better look. The dwarf was short and broad, as all dwarves are, and he had an enormous black beard that grew almost to the ground. He had on a floppy leather hat to keep the rain away. As Sorias watched, he began to pull legs out from beneath the cart, and unfolded a little canopy. He wasn’t likely to have many customers on this gloomy evening, Sorias thought. Before he realized it, the dwarf was squinting at him.

“What in blazes are ye?” called the dwarf. Sorias looked anxiously to the little houses, but no one seemed to have stirred — just yet. He didn’t want to attract a whole crowd. He came out from under the docks, trying to brush off the mud, but that just spread it all over his hands.

“I’m an elf,” Sorias replied. He thought it best not to cause trouble, though he had a dozen other answers he could have given. I’m a fog giant, or an overgrown murloc, or a ghost.

The dwarf snorted a laugh. “I kin see that. You fall off a ship or somethin’? Awful far from Kalimdor.”

Sorias’s ear twitched. “Yeah. Something like that.”

The dwarf scratched his beard thoughtfully as he looked Sorias over. He didn’t like the way he was doing that. “I might be able ta use someone like you,” said the dwarf.

For what? Pulling the cart? Sorias frowned. Even he had some dignity left. “What do you mean?”

“You look like you could use a job, am I right?” the dwarf asked, looking him over again. Sorias looked a mess, certainly. “I could use someone to help with my business,” he continued. “Someone who knows Kalimdor.”

Sorias didn’t think he knew Kalimdor very well at all, but he wasn’t about to turn down the offer. Maybe it was a trap of some sort, but he could sort that out once he’d eaten and got warm. He was sure he could overpower a dwarf if need be. “Yes,” Sorias said. “I could do that.”

The dwarf grinned broadly and clapped his hand to Sorias’s. “Good ta hear it. The name’s Blackbrew.”

[Story] Thorns – Harrier’s Journal

I went with Nash to look for eggs for the holiday. It’s really more for kids, I think, as there weren’t a whole lot of adults actually looking for eggs. But Nash never got to go as a kid, not to mention I am not going to pass up any free chocolate. I could have just bought some in a shop, but it’s more fun getting it for free off the ground, right? This holiday is a bit weird when you think about it. I’m not sure who hides all of the eggs, either. The kids kept finding more, so someone must have been placing them, but we never saw anyone doing it. Nash said he wanted to just wait for the guy and take all of them before he hides them. That would work, but it’s not really in the spirit of the whole thing. He also said we should just take some out of the kids’ baskets while they weren’t paying attention. Look, I’ve done some not so great things, but I’m not going to steal chocolate from kids. Besides, if we got caught they’d make us leave and draw a lot of attention, which is the last thing Nash needs. I finally talked him out of it. We didn’t get a whole lot, but we found a few that the kids had missed. There are always some hidden up higher and I got those ones, that the kids didn’t see or couldn’t reach.

There’s a booth where they sell things, baskets, toy rabbits, and things like that. They also sell real rabbits, I guess if you don’t feel like trying to catch your own. I got a black one and I pretended like I found it in the bushes. Nash had been all excited about one before, but then he kind of got cold feet. Like what if it dies? It shouldn’t die, I think rabbits are pretty easy to take care of. You just need to feed it grass and vegetables, maybe hay. We will need a little pen so it doesn’t get loose or anything. And I think it would be a good idea to keep the rabbit away from the furry people during the full moon. A rabbit would just look like a tasty snack to them if they’re in wolf form. Nash wanted to name it Mister McHoppers, which I think is a pretty silly name but hey, it’s his rabbit. He’s never had a pet. I haven’t either, I never really had any desire for one. I can understand where he’s coming from, because if it dies there’s really no one else to blame except yourself. That is a lot of responsibility. A lot of the sentinels have animals, but they’re not really pets so much as partners. But I remember Risarra showing me her saber cub right after it was born. I bet a nightsaber would be a pretty useful pet in the city, because it could guard your house.

Nash said it wasn’t exactly like he imagined it, but it might have been a little unrealistic. Like I think he thought chocolate was going to rain from the sky or something. It’s not quite like that. But he did say it was okay, which is something. I’m just happy I got some chocolate.

[Story] Thorns – Harrier’s Journal

Nash must have had an eventful night a little while back, but he doesn’t want to talk about it. From what little I did get out of him, he drank too much, then somehow ended up falling off a roof. I didn’t scold him for being careless, though maybe I should have. I think I already made my point about that before — not that it seems he’s taken it to heart. Usually he doesn’t drink to excess, so I do wonder what was the reason for that, it’s not like he just lost count or something. And which roof did he fall off of? I sure hope he wasn’t thinking of breaking in while he was drunk, Rose would have a fit for sure. Nash also mentioned that he tried to see Star, but she was busy. I explained that happens a lot, because that particular house is usually popular — I guess humans have a particular taste for elf women. He was sort of curious about that, asking if they hired any men too. I don’t know if they do, I imagine one of them must — there’s a house that serves every sort of interest if you look hard enough. But I don’t know why he’d want to get back into that kind of work, especially after being out of it so long. Maybe he just wants a fallback, but still, it’s a little worrisome. I told him I hadn’t really gone looking so I didn’t know, which is true. But I am certain there are humans in the city who like elf men, too.

More so, we got to talking about the egg holiday coming up, because I’m working on some little figures that can be mounted inside of egg shells, for the shop. Nash seemed really curious about it and asked a lot of questions. Personally, I don’t care that much about eggs, but they do have chocolate in them so that’s nice. Nash wanted to know if there were bunnies inside any of them, I said that I think maybe there were. They’re magical eggs I guess, or maybe you take them and turn them in for prizes. I haven’t actually gone to it since moving to Stormwind. I just remember the chocolate. As far as I know, it’s a human thing started by the nobles but it’s spread out to other places, probably as another excuse to eat chocolate. Nash said he always wanted to go as a kid, but never could. So I suggested that we could go, and suddenly he doesn’t want to anymore. Something about how it wouldn’t live up to his idealized picture of it, I didn’t really understand. Even if it’s not the greatest thing ever, it’ll still probably be okay, and we’ll get to eat chocolate. I would definitely make sure he got a little bunny, though I have no clue where we’d put it and I worry that Pup might try to eat it or something. Or Rose might drop it into a stew. Once again I have no idea if he actually wants to do something and won’t admit it, or doesn’t and would resent me nudging him into it. He’s awfully difficult to read most of the time. I also suggested he use some of the bath salts we have, to make his bruises feel better, and he didn’t seem to want to do that either. Maybe he wants to hurt, I don’t know.

[Story] Thorns – Harrier’s Journal

I still don’t understand Nash. He won’t let go of that stupid necklace, he’s like a starving dog with a bone. The house it’s in is heavily guarded, probably with magical locks as well. He keeps saying he knows how to get past those. Sure wish he’d share his secret. I keep telling him it’s not worth the risk. There’s a very high chance he’ll be caught, and the guards won’t go easy on him once they see he’s not a human. They’ll torture him and come after us next. I’m not worried about me, but Josie and Rose and Pup had nothing to do with this. They shouldn’t be locked up for Nash’s bad decision. Of course he swears he won’t tell, but I have to wonder if he’s ever been tortured before. Maybe he has. Either way, he’ll be dead or locked in the Stocks and he won’t see any of us again. I pointed that out, but I guess his necklace is worth more to him than that. I just can’t imagine anything that would be worth that much to me. Things can always be replaced. People can’t. I mean, maybe my hat, but I could always get a new one.

I know the necklace has memories attached to it, but they exist apart from the actual thing. I tried to explain that, but I am not sure he agrees. Plus, I’d think he wants to forget about his past. I know I do. Here he has a blank page, none of what happened matters anymore. Why keep holding onto it? I’m not who I was back in Ashenvale, I’m sure Nash isn’t the street kid in Silvermoon either.

I’m working on a new batch of clocks for the shop. Probably some mantle ones and maybe some standing. I’d love to do another really tall one, there’s so much more you can do with a large clock. Granted, the little ones are a fun challenge too, but in a different way. I wish I could get another job like the tower I did for that mage at the school. Maybe someone should suggest it to the mages here. I wonder about the figures I made for the kids, whether they’re broken or thrown out already. Nash insisted that we go and check on them. I really don’t think we’d be welcome back there, and I’m not really keen to go. But I’d fix them up if they were broken, assuming they still had the pieces. Just seems like a waste to me, but I guess there’s probably one kid who really liked it and keeps it carefully on a shelf or something. Does that make it worthwhile? I don’t know.

So I don’t know if Nash is going now or not. He seemed completely set on it, then suddenly he changed his mind again. Unless he’s just saying that so I stop pestering him about it, which is definitely possible.

I got a reply back from Ashenvale. She liked the chocolates, and she’s relieved there aren’t any demons here. They haven’t heard from the old man either. That’s a relief. Hopefully he’s happy somewhere away from the sentinels.