[Story] Ordinicus’s Report – Sanctum of the Sun

The dragon is watching me while I work, his head resting on his paws. He’s watching me just like everyone else, waiting for me to make a mistake again. I don’t know what it is they expect of me — well I have an idea, but I don’t understand why it’s me. The rare times we do get to be alone, she just talks about other people. I don’t know if she even knows anything about me. And I don’t know why she has to be so mean, I tried asking that but she says they were mean first. I don’t think that makes it okay, I think if people are mean to you, it’s even more proof that you should be nice back to them. Obviously they need it more than most. Or maybe things are just different here in Outland. Here if you get a bad reputation, everyone knows about it. Nobody in Silvermoon cares about things like that, they have much more to gossip about.

Sanimir wants me to go there — well, to his house in the forest. The part that’s now got scourge in it. He was saying there are ghosts in his house, I think he was just trying to play a joke on me. Ghosts aren’t real. I explained they’re just tricks of the light or the way the wind sounds in the trees. There are much scarier things to worry about there, like scourge. He also mentioned big spiders, but if they’re anything like small spiders they won’t want to be around people. Kestrae sort of invited me to that, and then Sanimir mentioned that he had some shelves and furniture that needed fixing and I said I knew how, so I kind of volunteered myself for that too. For free, I guess. I mean not that I need a lot of money here, but if I’m going into the city all the time I need it for renting the dragonhawk and paying for my dinner. That place is expensive. I guess it’s good I don’t need a room at the inn, at least.

I’m so embarrassed, I fell asleep on her couch last night. I still had my boots on and everything. She said it was late so she was going to bed but I could tell she was mad or something, so I said she should stay and talk more. But then I fell asleep and messed that up. She doesn’t like that we always talk about other people, well she should stop bringing them up then. She said she didn’t want to upset Sanimir by telling him where Aeramin really was, but if I were him I’d be more upset if I found out later that my friend knew and didn’t say anything. That’s me though.

So then I asked why she didn’t come to the Sanctum more and she said she wanted to, but didn’t really explain why. She’s so secretive about some things, but not others. I mean most of the summoners that come at least try to pretend they’re something else, even here where it doesn’t matter. They say they are mages or researchers or professors. Kestrae just tells everyone. Maybe things have changed in Silvermoon after all. It’s been years since I’ve been there. Sanimir said we can take a portal right to his house, so I guess I won’t need to go through there, but now I’m kind of curious to. I bet Harkin wouldn’t be allowed though.

[Story] Letter from Imralion

Lin,

I haven’t heard from you in a while. I hope you’re doing okay and don’t miss me too much, haha. If you get bored with going out in the forest, you could come here to Nagrand with us. It’s really beautiful, I know you would like it. There aren’t many trees, it’s more of an open plain with some big hills surrounding it. There are a lot of animals though, mostly talbuks which are those deer-like creatures. If you’ve ever been to the Barrens, they look a lot like gazelles but bigger. I’ve never seen one personally but I’ve seen them in a book, and some of the other guys said it’s true. There are also clefthoof, which are just about the size of a small house, and covered with really long shaggy hair. They look dangerous, but they aren’t really unless you bother them, their eyesight isn’t very good so they could step on you if they don’t see you. Normally they aren’t aggressive though, unless you get too close to a bull one.

We’re staying in the orc town, it’s pretty different. They all live in these huts made out of dried clay and they don’t have doors or anything. The orcs here are Mag’har which means they have brown skin and don’t have any fel taint, unlike the ones on Azeroth. Other than that they seem pretty similiar though, I guess they probably haven’t seen many elves. They stare at us a lot, and sometimes the young ones come to spy and listen, but I don’t think we’re doing anything that interesting. Someone said maybe orcs eat elves, like trolls do, but I hope that’s not the case. I figure the Captain would know better to bring us here if they were just fattening us up for a feast or something.

To the west there’s a really big demon forge, bigger than the ones in Hellfire. There’s a big portal nearby, so the demons are able to summon in more of their kind. The first day we were there, we saw a pit lord. I’d seen a picture of course, but it’s nothing like seeing it in person. Of course we were safely far away, but I admit I still got scared by the idea of getting close to it. I don’t think I was the only one, either. Don’t worry though, we aren’t going to go fight it — maybe later on. How does something that big even move? What does it eat? How does it relieve itself? Okay that was probably a gross mental image, but sorry.

Aeramin was able to come visit too. He’s been gone looking for some books or something, for his research. I’m a little worried that he went out there alone — I mean I would have thought he’d learned not to do that because of what happened in Shadowmoon. I don’t really feel like it’s my place to tell him what to do, but I do worry a bit. Things are going pretty good I think, we talked about the stuff I’d been wondering about. Although his answer wasn’t what I expected. Still I think it’ll be okay and maybe one day he’ll change his mind. Don’t worry, I’m not going to go into any details or anything. I am kind of worried that the same thing will happen to me, like after we do something he’ll decide he doesn’t want to see me anymore. There’s really no way to tell beforehand, is there? I’m still kind of nervous about it in general, but last night was nice.

I found a nice place to camp up in the hills though, it overlooks a big lake. I wanted to maybe go swimming in it, but it’s deep enough that it might have crocolisks or some other kind of weird Outland things in it, so we decided not to. Maybe we can go back to that other place tomorrow.

How is your lizard doing? Does it have a name yet?

~Imralion

[Story] Ordinicus’s Report – Netherstorm

It’s hard to find any time to talk to Kestrae alone. There are always people around, especially at the Sanctum. And at the Sanctum, the Commander will have a fit if I stand around talking too long, especially to a paying guest. I don’t even know what I’d say, the last few times we have got to talk didn’t go so well. I know what she wants to happen but every time it seems like things might go that way, something else happens and I’m not sure again.

She wanted to go back out to Netherstorm to collect crystals to compare with the Shadowmoon ones. I think she really planned to go by herself! Even without the dragons nesting, it’s not safe for someone who isn’t used to being around them. Sanimir wanted to go too, which was okay but it meant we couldn’t really talk very much. He brought Harkin some melons, hopefully he won’t want to go home with him instead of me! Sanimir got in a fight with his sister there — well it wasn’t really a fight so much as him telling her off. He kept talking about how she wouldn’t be safe with the other mage and how she was evil and a witch. It was pretty mean, to be honest, and then later Kestrae said Sanimir did a good thing by doing that. He asked if I would have protected him if she got mad and tried something. Are you kidding? I’d be fired so fast. Unless he’s planning on paying me or something, I’m not his personal bodyguard. I guess I could be, if he needed one. I don’t really know if I want to leave Shadowmoon though.

It got me thinking about what he said about being safe. Sanimir went off to check for basilisks — I’m fairly sure that’s what the Netherstorm dragons eat, because there aren’t any flayers around. She said “it’s complicated”, you bet it is. Because before she said it was safe and she wouldn’t let anything happen to people, but then she admitted that it is dangerous. What am I doing in the middle of all of this?

He found eggshells up on the ridge, which is really odd. It’s not the right time of year for the dragons to be breeding. Maybe it was a bad egg, and the mother abandoned it. I had to explain how all the dragons nest at the same time, that way their babies are all the same age and can protect each other. Also there’s enough food for them to eat. He kept saying maybe the dragons would just lay eggs when they feel like it, but it doesn’t work that way. If they are nesting, there’s no way I’m going to let them go near there.

Sanimir’s going to bring his apprentice out to look at the dragon soon, too. I think it really likes him, it let him sit close and hardly moved at all. I hope they can make him better soon. Vallindra said she thinks he somehow ate some of the Netherstorm crystal — or one of the Netherstorm flayers. That makes sense, but how would he possibly have gotten to it? Kestrae thinks maybe someone did it on purpose, but I don’t think so. I can’t imagine anyone would want to hurt one of the dragons intentionally. I hope he’s able to talk soon.

[Story] Letter from Imralion

Aeramin,

Remember how I said we had a few days in Shattrath? Well the Captain decided to change his mind about that. It’s totally unfair and no one’s happy about it, but I guess on the bright side we get to go see the forges sooner. I’d rather have the time off though. That time was really the only time I’ve got to relax since we got here. I keep wanting to tell people about it, but then I feel like if I tell people it won’t be secret anymore, and then next time we go there will be a huge crowd. And all the frogs will be gone! You’ll have to make them the real way sometime, and maybe a few more so it’ll be a whole meal. There ought to be a lot in the swamp, right? I mean assuming you still want to go there. You probably think I’m just making up an excuse to not see you but it’s true, you can ask any of the other trainees. Or the Captain.

It was just kind of a surprise, I mean not really because I kind of suspected but suspecting and hearing it are two totally different things. Back when we first came here, Lin thought that was the only reason you wanted to help me study and I told her that wasn’t true. Maybe it was part of the reason, but not the whole reason — right? Anyway, I should probably tell her if we’re going to be hanging out together, but then it might be  a bad idea because she might want to come along too. I mean unless I explain it’s like private but that might be worse because she might be angry at me because she saw you first or whatever. Everything is a competition with her, it always has been. At least her little lizard thing is keeping her busy for the time being. I don’t know why she likes that thing, I think it’s a baby one but its teeth are super sharp and it’s already bit her a few times. It’s kind of a red color with golden stripes, I told her it was very patriotic. I don’t think it has a name yet, we’ll have to think of one. I mean of all the animals to keep for a pet, she has to get a blinking lizard with really sharp teeth and a tail like a whip.

The Captain says we should get our days off later this week, I hope that’s still okay. I really want to go see the swamp there. I guess swimming is probably a bad idea there though, huh? There are probably crocolisks or something in the water.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what we talked about too. It’s probably weird of me to admit that but

I got some books about demon forges from the library. I found that other section while I was there too. I’m doing more research.

~Imralion

[Story] Ordinicus’s Report

I’m kind of glad I have something to do away from the Sanctum today. I made such an idiot of myself last night. I mean I guess I had an idea of what she wanted but to hear it like that was something else. And then she gave me that book! Maybe to help me figure it out, maybe she figured that I need the help. I know what’s supposed to happen!

Last night Vallindra brought the crystals from Netherstorm for her experiment. She wants to feed them to the flayers here and then observe for any unusual behavior or changes. So that means we have to find a way to keep track of which flayers ate them. I thought about cutting a notch on them somewhere, but that would upset and hurt them and I’d rather avoid that if we can. So then I thought about tying a piece of string or ribbon onto them somewhere they couldn’t reach. They can’t really grasp things with their claws very well, so as long as it wasn’t somewhere they could scratch it off on a rock or something. But of course, if we catch them it would have to be after they’d eaten the crystal. Vallindra suggested that she could turn them into sheep for a little while, right after they ate. We went out and did a test, I tied the string around the sheep’s tail and hopefully it will be around the tail when it changes back. Unfortunately, it ran off so quickly that we couldn’t see. I bought some bright red ribbon at the market, that should hopefully make them easier to find. And today I’m trying to find the one we marked yesterday.

I don’t think she’s so bad at all, we even talked a little bit while we were looking for flayers last night. I mean she’s kind of a snob, but most mages are in my experience. They haven’t yelled at me or complained to the innkeeper, which some of them do. I guess Kestrae and Aeramin blame her for what happened to Sanimir. But from what Aeramin said, they’re not even together anymore, so it doesn’t really seem fair for him to be mad about that still. I don’t know. It’s a lot of trouble, like I said before. Vallindra had a new ring too, I didn’t notice it until Kestrae mentioned it — guys aren’t looking at rings unless they’re going to try something, which I wasn’t. Vallindra has someone, and I’m definitely not going to get a mage angry with me. Or a summoner, that’s even worse. And I have someone, or I think I do. I’m not sure, especially after last night.

I looked at the book a little, while I was out on the ridge. Harkin was keeping guard in case any flayers came. It started out pretty normal but then the knight in the story took the farm girl into the woods and, well. I’m glad she couldn’t see my ears then. Does she expect that to happen, it’s not very realistic. Or maybe it is, I don’t know. But I don’t think I could ever say the stuff they do in the story, it’s just so… I don’t know. Who talks like that? I mean I really like spending time with her and I like when we talk about normal things, it’s just like she expects that stuff to happen I think. And it will just, when it seems like the right time. Out in front of everyone, especially the Commander, isn’t the right time.

I need to write back to Sanimir too.

Sanimir,

Yes, it’s fine if you want to come see the dragons now. Your apprentice can come too. They are even more magical than regular dragons, from what I understand, so it might be a good learning experience. Kestrae and Aeramin are usually here, if that will be a problem I’m just telling you.

The best wood in Outland comes from the really old trees, but most of them having arakkoa (bird people) living in them, and they won’t let people cut them down. A lot of buildings just use stone instead, but of course you can’t use stone for roofs. Well, unless it’s in little tiles.

~Ordinicus

[Story] Xanaroth’s Notes

* I found Kestrae in the library — rather she found me. I’ve been helping Vallindra with her research on the dragon, looking for more information on the Nether and its effects on natural living things (as opposed to its usual residents). Vallindra is going to compare the crystals in Shadowmoon with those in Netherstorm to see if there are any clues there.

* I was a little surprised to see her, a little more surprised that she would speak to me. But she was actually civil, and I told her a bit about my research with the ley-lines. More would still be better, would allow us all to perform more important things. I don’t think Vallindra is ready yet — I want to be triply sure in her case — but I don’t think it will be long. And I’d always intended for them to help, it was the reason I approached them in the first place. Kestrae seemed intrigued, at least. She asked about the ones we’d seen before, on the plateau. I extended an invitation to her, and to Aeramin, if he can remain focused. I can only hope he’s learned his lesson in humility and following directions. I regret that he had to learn it the way he did, but if it turns him into an asset I cannot say that it was a bad thing, overall. Kestrae assured me that he will be able to focus, and agreed that he would be removed from the research if he could not. I should have talked to Vallindra about it first, but she didn’t seem upset. Just surprised.

* I’m not sure why Kestrae dislikes her so. All of her trouble has been with me. I think they blame her for what happened to Sanimir. That’s ridiculous, that was his own choice. It was his father who ordered the isolation and silencing, not Vallindra. She was only trying to protect him. They don’t need to be friends, they need only get along in order to work together.

* She asked, of course. I kept expecting more venom, more accusations of hypocrisy. She just asked if I was taking precautions to keep her safe. Of course I am. Vallindra wasn’t very happy that I’d told Kestrae, and said I should have warned her first. I assumed they already knew, that was my error I suppose. Since I’d requested permission from her father, it isn’t exactly a secret, at least I don’t want it to be. And as we live in the same house, it’s rather difficult to deny.

* Then Kestrae asked about the wedding. I said we hadn’t discussed anything like that yet, which was true. But now that it had been brought up, I thought we should. I need to find a proper ring, or at least a proper stone. The jewelers here have incredible skill, but they don’t have access to Azeroth stones. That would mean another trip to speak with her father, as well. And her mother, she warned me about that. I’m sure I can survive a few questions.

[Story] Ordinicus’s Report (and a Letter)

I hope the dragon is well enough to tell us his name soon, Kestrae doesn’t like to call him “dragon”. I was surprised to see her come out to the Sanctum the other night, I thought after the disaster of the faire she might be too busy or something. Every time I think I know what’s going on, she seems to change her mind. Maybe she doesn’t know either. I asked about her and Aeramin and she just said she spends a lot of time with him. I noticed that, I just don’t know if she has time for me too. If people don’t pay attention I usually just leave them be, I’m not the sort to demand it. Maybe I should be? I don’t know.

Sanimir wrote to me, and I wrote back and then he sent a reply. I really don’t know what I’m supposed to write. I don’t even know him, and he’s talking about magic that I really have no idea about. And he’s asking about my father, I’m not sure if I want to talk to him about that stuff. Kestrae said that he left Aeramin, he took his ring and his cat back. I wish I had some advice, but I don’t. I’ve never been in a situation like that, though from the way Kestrae talks, I think she has. I’ve asked about it but she never seems to want to talk, which is understandable I guess. It’s like me wanting to talk about all that family stuff.

The two mages came out to look at the dragon, and Vallindra had some good ideas about some things to try. I know she’s not especially friendly but most mages aren’t anyway, I can’t understand why she and Kestrae clash so much. She says it’s because of what she did to Sanimir, but I don’t know. I wasn’t there, so I didn’t see it. All I know is that she seems to want to help now, and I’m not going to turn that down. Kestrae did ask if I liked her, that was weird. Even if I did, I saw her kissing that other mage she’s with, remember?

They agreed to do some research and we met out at one of the domes in Netherstorm. It’s the biggest one, with a whole town inside of it. There are others too, but they are smaller and not as well maintained. They’re still really interesting though, and I thought they might want to look around them after we looked at the dragons. We went down to the cliffs, where there are a lot of crystals so the dragons gather. From what Sunfall told me, the crystals are actually crystallized magic. The flayers scrape at them and eat the scrapings, and the dragons eat the flayers in turn. The dragons in these grounds were moving very sluggishly, Kestrae said it was maybe because of how close they were to the Nether — a band was moving right overhead. Vallindra thought it was because there weren’t any flayers to eat, which was true. But if the dragons were starving, they’d move to find food, they wouldn’t just stay there and be hungry. My own theory is that something in the Nether itself is affecting them, in which case I have no idea how to help them. Vallindra suggested that I try feeding the one at the Sanctum with flayer meat. That means I have to go out and shoot flayers, but I can do that. The tricky part will be getting the kitchen to butcher it… I might have to do that myself. The dragon is eating a bit better, so maybe he’ll take some solid food now. Kestrae said there isn’t much study done on them, so there wasn’t much in the books she looked at. Well, she should write one then! I bet she and Sunfall could cooperate on it, and it would be really good.

I was really glad that Vallindra came to help, even though she went back early. I think it proves she’s not all bad after all. She even said she didn’t want Kestrae to leave. I’m not sure if it’ll convince her though. After she left, I asked Kestrae if she wanted to talk and she said “about what?” But then when we went back to the spire, I showed her the trees in the dome and she thought it was pretty and talked about wanting to come here again. She’s really confusing.

Hethurin,

You don’t have to write if you don’t want to. They keep me pretty busy with the repairs and I’m also helping to take care of the dragon. Do you know anything about nether drakes? I guess you know a lot about magic. Can magic make animals (or dragons) sick?

My father isn’t happy because he wanted me to keep studying to be a priest, but I didn’t like it. That’s the main reason. He also wants me to go back to Silvermoon, but I like it here. I guess you can understand that.

Fixing roofs usually isn’t too hard. You have to repair the beams first, that’s what holds the shingles in place. The only reason it’s hard sometimes is there isn’t enough wood. There aren’t any trees in Shadowmoon and the ones in Terrokar aren’t really good to use because the wood is kind of soft. Did you know wood can be soft? It can. So most of it has to be imported from Azeroth and that takes a while. Also, the forest in Terrokar has really huge spiders and no one wants to work out there. They’re bigger than Harkin.

Most parts of Shadowmoon aren’t safe. If you stay near the Sanctum, or the Aldor settlement, you should be okay but still sometimes there are infernals. Everywhere else is pretty dangerous. If you want to see a nether drake you should come and look at the one I’m trying to make better. There’s a trainer here who knows a lot about them and he can answer all your questions, though I can answer some.

~Ordinicus