[Story] Imralion’s Journal

It only took us a few moments to get to the Spire. I don’t know how people travel without mages, it’s so much longer and more uncomfortable! Hethurin had been here before, so he opened one up for us right away. I half expected that he’d want to come along too, especially since he knew Aeramin hadn’t finished his papers yet. I guess he still could. We went to the inn and got our room, it’s pretty nice although ethereals don’t really know what kinds of things “fleshlings” like. There’s a tub, but it’s not very big, and Aeramin said they probably only put it in after someone complained. It’s not that the ethereals are trying to be mean, they just don’t think about these things because they don’t have bodies. They’re having to make rooms for their customers with things they don’t ever use, like beds and tubs and chairs. Actually they might use chairs, but I’ve never seen one sitting down.

My favorite thing about the Spire is all of the ethereal food. Like the rooms, they don’t really eat food in the same way that we do — they just feed on energy or sometimes crystals which are made of energy. But we need to eat, and so they’ve come up with all different kinds of food for the guests, but it’s like they haven’t ever seen normal food so it’s really weird. I mean that in a good way. I remember having the cubes last time we were here, so I definitely wanted more of those. They are very dense and chewy, and they have a kind of meaty flavor though I don’t think they’re actually meat. I mean, I guess they could be? They’re not even exactly good either, but I like eating them because they’re neat, and one little cube can make you feel full. They have ordinary water, but then they also have a drink that’s crystals. When you put it in your mouth, it becomes liquid, I don’t know how they do that either! I think it would be popular back home, I told the ethereal at the inn that he could make a lot of money selling the crystals to elves. He seemed intrigued by the idea.

I shouldn’t say “he” because I don’t think ethereals have any gender, I mean they are just made up of energy and I’m pretty sure there aren’t any male or female parts under those wraps. But Aeramin said he could still think of himself as a he, and he does have a male voice, I guess? I suppose they could just change whenever they feel like it, which seems like it would be handy. I’d like to know more about that, and ethereals in general, but I feel like it would be too nosy to ask them.

Aeramin hasn’t really relaxed yet. Our room is really nice and it has a balcony overlooking the dome below. But he’s worried about reading all of the papers in time, and having to grade them. I offered to read them again, but he said I don’t know fire magic. I still know how to read, though! Then I suggested he could just give everyone an A, but then he said some students were doing better in the class and they deserved a higher grade for their work. So give the ones who work hard an A and the others a B, I mean, he should know who works hardest in his class. Hopefully he’ll relax and be able to finish soon. I don’t like when he feels anxious. I signed us up for a tour of one of the domes, the ethereal said they have dinosaurs inside it. I don’t think he’d lie because then people would just ask for their money back. The domes have different things, one has all different kinds of plants and herbs that are used for medicines and potions, there’s the dinosaur one of course, and another with animals that used to live here before the planet exploded. I think it’s good that they are trying to save them from disappearing like that. I wonder if some ethereals could put a dome in the Ghostlands? I guess it’s doing an okay job of regrowing by itself, but I bet it would keep spiders out.

I hope we can stop by Shattrath sometime, I want to get more of those spicy vegetables that I like. I know it has some bad memories for Aeramin because of what happened with his mother, but there are good memories with me there too, I hope. I’ll have to see how he is feeling in a few days.

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[Story] Imralion’s Journal

Between final exams and everything going on with his father, Aeramin seems to be having a hard time lately. You’d think that the exams would only be rough for the students, but he has to grade them all, and they wrote essays and he has to read all of them. I offered to help, I may not know a lot about fire magic, but I can still tell if the essay makes sense and if they support their ideas. I don’t think Aeramin agreed, though. At least once he’s done, he’ll have the whole summer where he won’t have to read any more essays. I suggested that we should take a little trip, just for a few days so he can relax and not worry about everything. He liked the idea, but he didn’t know where he wanted to go, so I suggested maybe the mushroom place on Draenor. That’s one of the first places we went together, and I remember he cooked frogs for me. Or I thought maybe we could go to the ethereal domes, those were interesting because they had all kinds of different plants and animals inside of them. I also thought the ethereal food was neat, ethereals don’t eat regular food because they are just made of energy. I think they eat crystals or something like that. But for “fleshlings” they sell these little food cubes, they’re weird but kind of cool too. Either way, it shouldn’t be very busy, we can relax and look at the scenery and he can finish his papers there without worrying about Hethurin nagging him about if they’re done yet.

Aeramin wants to go to his father’s wedding before we go though. He said I was welcome to come, but I said I think I’d rather just go to the party after they get back. That’s the part that’s going to have all the good food, anyway.  I know there won’t be any drinks because Arancon doesn’t drink, but I don’t mind that. Aeramin didn’t know what to wear, he has like hundreds of robes and he can’t think of one to wear to a wedding? I told him something summery, like yellow or white or pink. He just can’t look better than the bride, that’s the only rule. He’s also planning to invite them for dinner when they get back, I think that will be okay. It’s not like I really enjoy being around Arancon, but at least he’s a lot more tolerable now. I’m pretty sure Anorelle makes sure that he doesn’t say anything too rude.

I asked him about what he’d think if they had a kid, so he’d have a sibling. I always thought he wanted one, but he said he didn’t. I think it would have been awful having no one around, Lin can be annoying at times but she’s still my sister, and we always looked out for each other. That was especially important because we didn’t really have parents, just the Matron, and she had a lot of other kids too. I kind of feel bad that Aeramin never had that, and he seems determined to hate this future sibling no matter what. He’s worried that Arancon will forget about him and like the new kid better, he also said the new kid would lie all the time. I’m not sure what they would lie about, also babies can’t even talk, but I assume he means when they’re older. Arancon isn’t just going to forget about him, if he wanted to do that, he already would have. He moved out here and he comes to talk to Aeramin, people don’t do that if they’re trying to forget about you. Trust me, I should know. Do you think our father ever came to talk to us? No, of course not. Of course it’d be different since Aeramin is already grown up, and the baby would just be a baby. They wouldn’t grow up together or anything, but I told Aeramin that they’d probably look up to him. Then he said he’d want to corrupt them. Why would he say that? That’s weird. Anyway, I really hope he changes his mind because it’s possible that it could happen. They’re old but so are Tik and Lilithel, and they just had one.

I need to write to the inn at the domes and reserve our room, I think they have a tour to take you around to the different domes too. We should definitely do that! We only got to see one of them last time, but there are several.

[Story] Imralion’s Journal

I’m a little worried about Aeramin. Sometimes he gets in these moods where he doesn’t want to talk or do anything but stay in bed, but this has lasted a few days now. I’ve tried my best to help, but it’s hard when there’s really nothing I can do to help the situation. And I’m not sure if he wants to talk, or just wants to be left alone. I’ve made sure that he eats, and I also tried distracting him by doing things around the house without my shirt on. He at least smiled a little at that. He hasn’t told me, but I’m pretty sure he’s upset about missing his mother. He’d been doing okay, but seeing his father with someone else must have brought up all those feelings again. And I know he’s upset because Arancon could have stopped drinking when he was with Maena, but he didn’t. I can agree, that seems kind of unfair to his mother. He invited us over to dinner at his house. It sure has changed a lot from the last time we were there, I hardly even recognized it. He’s painted the outside and put new shingles on, there were also flowers planted around the outside. Inside, everything is new and fixed up, there’s new furniture and it actually looks like a real house now. Before it just looked like an abandoned dump, which it was.

Arancon made this chicken that was really spicy, I thought it was great! Aeramin said he couldn’t eat his, so I ate it while they were talking. Though now that I think about it, I wonder if he just wasn’t eating because he was too upset. At least he ate the cake, that’s something. It was a coffee cake with cinnamon crumbs on top, Orledin made it I guess. We just talked about normal things. Arancon’s girlfriend seems all right, though she’s definitely younger than him. I’m not sure what she wants with a mean old jerk anyway, though I guess he was being okay. Later on, Arancon asked me to help move a tree that fell on the back porch, because his hand is in a cast from when he punched Bailas. I think he just wanted me out there so he could talk about stuff. He said he was sorry for the things he said before. If you’re sorry, then why did you say them in the first place? Anyway, I told him that I wasn’t the one he needs to apologize too. Aeramin is the one who needs to forgive all the bad things that he did. Sometimes I wish Arancon wasn’t such a jerk, because maybe he could kind of be like my dad, but I don’t know.

After dinner, she went in the kitchen to help Arancon with the dishes. They were in there a really long time. I started to think something besides dishes was happening in there. It took so long that Aeramin was starting to fall asleep, so he said that we were going to leave. And Arancon told us to shut the door on the way out. Which means that he was staying, and probably she was too. Lin says that old people are allowed to do that stuff too, but do they have to flaunt it in front of everyone? That’s gross. She asked if Aeramin and I would stop when we were older and I said no, of course not. But that’s different. How is it different, Lin said. I can’t explain, it just is! Then she made it worse by pointing out that our mother has that man she works with, and probably stays in the tent with him. That’s really not helping, Lin. At least she hasn’t brought him around, though she probably will, because Lin will tell her to just to annoy me.

 

I had to drag Aeramin out of bed to get him ready for his classes, and I didn’t want to be late to work either. I want to get him something that will cheer him up after I get off, but I’m not sure what would be good. Chocolate maybe, or a book from the book shop. If I have time before he comes to pick me up, I’ll get both.

[Story] Character of the Week – Imralion Sunsorrow

[[ Imralion is a blood knight and the brother of Linarelle. He met Aeramin while training in Shattrath and they have been together since. Here he’s spending some time with his nephew. ]]

Imralion looked at his nephew as soon as Linarelle closed the door. She and Sunashe would be staying overnight at a winery in Eversong, and they needed someone to watch Tialan for them. That someone turned out to be Imralion, though his sister made it clear that it hadn’t been her idea. Sunashe had insisted it would be better for Tialan to stay with someone he knew — though Imralion had doubts that the baby knew him at all. He’d seen him before, sure, but never spent much time together. They’d dropped him off complete with a bag full of his things, and — thankfully — written instructions. It was only one night, Imralion reassured himself. How bad could it be? And he could always ask Aeramin, though his experience with babies was barely more than his own. He had taken care of Lyorri for a little while, though.

Right now, Tialan was sitting in the middle of his blanket on the floor, chewing on some of his toys. Lin said that he’d be teething, which meant he’d be chewing on a lot. A long string of drool ran out of his mouth. That was kind of gross, but Imralion wasn’t sure if he should wipe it up or not. Maybe drool was good for teething. He consulted the sheet of paper and it didn’t say anything about drooling, only that he might like to eat cool things if his gums hurt. He was also talking, at least, he was making baby sounds that sort of sounded like words. He was kind of cute, Imralion had to admit. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad.

Aeramin came up from his workroom and blinked in surprise. “We’re babysitting,” Imralion explained. “It wasn’t my idea.” He knew babies weren’t exactly Aeramin’s favorite topic, but thankfully he didn’t seem upset by the idea. Arancon was always nagging Aeramin to spend more time with Lyorri, but this wasn’t Lyorri so maybe he wouldn’t mind. After sitting with Tialan a few minutes, Aeramin got up to start cooking supper.

Tialan started to cry. No, it was more of a shriek. Who knew such a loud sound could come out of such a tiny thing? Imralion didn’t know what to do. He consulted the list. Aeramin poked his head out of the kitchen. “What do I do?” Imralion asked.

“Is he wet?”

Imralion blinked. How was he supposed to know? “Uh…” Aeramin came over and felt the baby’s bottom.

“I don’t think he is.”

“Maybe he’s hungry,” suggested Imralion. “What does he eat?”

The sheet did have that on it, but Aeramin knew the answer too. “Soft things, he can’t really chew yet. He’ll have to wait a little bit while it cooks though.”

Tialan continued wailing. “What do I do until then?”

Aeramin shrugged. “Maybe he wants to be held.”

Imralion looked at the crying baby, uncertainly. “How do I do that?”

“Just pick him up. He’s old enough to hold up his head.” Aeramin disappeared back into the kitchen again. How did he know so much about babies, anyway?

“Okay, here goes,” Imralion said under his breath, reaching out and picking up his nephew, his face red from crying. He hiccuped but then stopped, reaching for Imralion’s hair. “Hey,” he called into the other room. “I think it worked.”

“See, you’re a natural.”

 

[Story/Art] Character of the Week – Makota Riversong

[[ Makota is a young Sunwalker whose best friend is a kaldorei. ]]

weekly_makota

Makota sat atop one of the rocky hills, so high she thought she might be able to touch the clouds. Below, the tents of their new village clustered together like mushrooms, and she could see the people going to and fro on their business. A hunter scraped and hung hides to prepare them for making into leather, while a fisherman cleaned and hung his catch to dry. Mothers mended clothes while they watched their children playing in the grass, and smoke rose from cooking fires, carrying delicious scents with it. From here, everything looked peaceful, but Makota couldn’t help but worry. How long would it last? Their old life, their old village had been changed in only moments, and she worried that it might happen again. While a few of the hunters had weapons, most of the village wasn’t armed. And what good would weapons do against orcs, who already placed themselves in charge? No matter how peaceful it looked, Makota’s heart couldn’t let her worry rest.

She turned an ear to the sound of hooves scraping the rock behind her. “Ahali!” she cried, standing to greet the old man. “You shouldn’t have climbed all the way up here,” Makota scolded him. “It’s too high.”

Ahali let out a little snort of amusement. “I’m here, aren’t I?” he asked. “Therefore it wasn’t too high.” Makota frowned. She knew how his old legs bothered him most days, and he shouldn’t be climbing hills, he should be resting by the fire or on a riverbank. She noticed something paper in his hands.

“What’s that?” asked Makota, gesturing to the paper.

“Oh, this?” Ahali looked as if he’d just now noticed it, which Makota guessed was teasing, but she couldn’t really be sure. Old people sometimes did forget things. “A letter came for you–”

Makota took it from him eagerly, before he’d even had a chance to finish. The paper was dirty and water-stained, as if it had taken a very long time to reach the village, but Makota recognized the handwriting right away. Her eyes moved quickly over the words.

“It’s from Lali!” she exclaimed, and Ahali smiled. He’d probably figured that out on his own, who else would be sending her a letter? “It says she’s — this can’t be right. She’s in Eversong Woods, isn’t that in the Eastern Kingdoms?”

“Mmhmm,” said Ahali, looking down over the village as well. “That’s where the sin’dorei live, isn’t it?”

That sounded right. Lali’s letter explained that she was at a magic school there, that she was well and missed her friend. Most exciting of all, Makota was invited to visit — she could come through a magical portal that her blood elf made, so it wouldn’t take hardly any time at all. “Ahali,” she said, holding the letter tightly. “You’ll go with me, won’t you?” He’d gone along to Dalaran, and the swamp, he’d been at her side ever since her mother had been killed. She wasn’t sure what to do if he wasn’t there.

“You go ahead,” Ahali said at last. “Tell me all about it when you return.”

It would only be for a little while, Makota assured herself. And he probably wouldn’t be interested in a magic school anyway. He’d be happier here, and she’d tell him about all of the exciting things she saw when she got back. “Don’t go climbing any hills,” she said.

“We do have to get back down,” he pointed out.

Makota took his arm and helped him down the steep trail. She had some paper in her tent, and she’d write a reply as soon as they returned to the village.

 

[Story] Imralion’s Journal

I ended up spending some of my time at the party with Aeramin’s father. It wasn’t planned — Julan showed up with some kind of emergency and dragged Aeramin off. They were gone for quite a while, in the meantime I made up some plates for both of us. I might have eaten some while I was waiting, too. It’s difficult not to. I didn’t expect Arancon to be there at all, I can’t ever remember seeing him at one of the parties. He said he was there to see Lyorri and give her some presents, which is a good reason I suppose. But as far as I know, there wasn’t anyone watching him to make sure he stayed out of trouble, Tik probably keeps an eye out, but he’s got enough other things to worry about.

It’s so frustrating that he still says things about Aeramin like he does. I’m not sure which of us he’s trying to upset. He implied that Aeramin was doing something other than talking to Julan, and that’s what was taking him so long. I trust Aeramin, I don’t worry about him doing something like that. Why would his own father say something like that? I mean, I guess it’s better than in the beginning, when he thought I was paying for Aeramin’s time. I know they don’t get along well, but I always figured a bad relationship with your father was better than having none at all. I thought eventually he’d come around and we could at least be friendly. Or maybe he is, he just isn’t good at showing it. I think he still resents me for not wanting to keep Lyorri. I know he definitely still brings it up with Aeramin and they argue about it. But in the end I think it worked out for the best, I don’t know.

Arancon was saying that he doesn’t know how Tik can keep up with a baby at his age, so he didn’t think he would really be able to keep Lyorri. He might be right, but I think a lot of people have kids when they are older, so I don’t know. He was only in his 70s when Aeramin was born! That’s so young. I can’t even imagine already having a child at that age, but maybe you’re never really ready. Then he was saying the ranger building isn’t any place to raise a child. I’m pretty sure Lin’s kid and the captain’s are doing just fine! It’s definitely better than Murder Row, which he admitted. I don’t know, it just seemed like he was trying to convince himself that he did the right thing. He brought a bunch of toys for her, and the other kids as well. There were some stuffed animals holding candy canes and he gave me an extra one. I would have given to Lin’s baby, but he said he’d already given him one. Plus I don’t think babies can eat candy canes anyway.

I don’t know if he wants us to be friendly or not, he’s impossible to read. But I figure if I’m trying to get along better with our mother, it wouldn’t hurt to try to have a father too, even if he’s not mine. At least I’ve talked to this one, which is more than I can say for our real father. I have no interest in getting to know him.

[Story] Story a Week – Mother

It was difficult for Imralion to think of her as “Mother” — the closest thing he’d had was the Matron, and while she’d done her best, there were lots of other children who needed her attention too. But at least she’d never given them away, as their mother had. Admittedly, it was a little easier to understand her perspective after the situation with Lyorri, but Im still thought she should have tried harder to reach them. She could have come to find them, kept in touch or even just to see that they were all right. But she hadn’t — not until recently, and she and Lin had spent a lot of time together. Imralion only agreed to this outing for her sake, he’d promised to at least make an effort to get to know their mother. And, she’d said she would help pick out a gift for Aeramin, who was next to impossible to shop for.

She met him in the square after work, Imralion still wearing his blood knight armor. She embarrassed him by fussing over how handsome he looked right there in front of everyone. They were going to get things for Lin and the baby while they were there as well, and Sunashe and Aeramin. Imralion thought she seemed happy and excited to spend time with him, so he tried his best to feel the same way. But they still barely knew each other — he didn’t remember her at all, and he’d been just a small baby when she’d given them up to the Matron. What did his mother know about him? That he liked to sleep and burp? They ate at one of the little restaurants along the market, and Imralion got a bowl of spicy soup. She didn’t know that about him, either. How do you cover decades in such a short time? He told her about his blood knight training, how they’d gone to Shattrath and he’d met Aeramin there. She wanted to know more about Lyorri, why he hadn’t agreed to keep her and whether they could take her in now. At the time, he’d been hurt and angry and seeing her reminded him of that, but now he thought it would be okay. Of course, it was too late now, because Lyorri had her own family and was doing well with them. He couldn’t very well tell them he’d changed his mind and take her back. And he couldn’t ask Aeramin to adopt one, after he’d had to give his own away. It wouldn’t be fair. Though, he shrugged, maybe it would happen one day. He didn’t feel like he was ready to take care of a child, but maybe no one ever did. Lin had said she still had no idea what she was doing, but their son seemed to be happy and doing well. So long as it didn’t get trampled by Sunashe’s lizard, at least.

His mother had her own life in all the time she’d been away, as well. Imralion asked about her work with the Reliquary, she and her partner had discovered a great many relics and items from the past buried beneath the dirt. At first, she said, it had been a distraction from the pain of losing them, but it had grown into an interest all its own. She hoped to donate some of their finds to the museum in Silvermoon, where people could see them every day. Imralion had to admit that he found it interesting. Maybe he and Aeramin could go along on one of her expeditions one day, and she seemed delighted by the idea.

As much as he resisted, Imralion found himself enjoying the evening after all. Maybe it was the festive decorations and music played by enchanted instruments in the market. Or maybe time was beginning to wear the edges off his anger. She wasn’t perfect, any more than he was, and maybe she had made a mistake. But she was doing her best to correct it now — which was better than never. She pointed out a beautiful bookcase that would be perfect for Aeramin’s study room — it didn’t hurt that she had good taste, either.