[Story] Ashenvale – Risarra’s Journal

Two important things happened, and I’m not sure about either of them. The first is that Avanniel got a letter from the old man, the one who she let to go look for his grand-daughter. He wrote that he is in the Eastern Kingdoms — which is where he’s supposed to be. A blood elf took her and is keeping her there. But Avanniel pointed out that the address on the envelope is a box in the goblin town on the coast. Is he actually there, and lying about where he is? Avanniel wants someone to go there and watch for him. If he’s expecting a reply, he will have to go there soon to get it. She also suggested asking the goblins about him, though I don’t know much about them, I expect that will take some coins. I asked who will have to do that, and she said she didn’t know yet. I don’t want to, it sounds awful. Goblins are terrible little things and I can only imagine how bad a town full of them would be. And it’s really far away. What if something happens? But if I get picked, I will have to go. There’s no way around it. Avanniel is concerned that he may have fallen under the blood elf’s control, as well. If he is, I’m not certain he would be able to write such a letter, but of course, if the blood elf is pulling the strings it is possible. It could be a trap, too. In the letter he asked about whether any tauren were in the area. That’s a very odd thing to ask, does he think they have her? Avanniel said she grew up with them, so she might return to them. But I haven’t seen any in the forest for quite a long time. I know there is a small camp at the border, but it’s too dangerous to go there alone. If she was there, I think she would have been killed by now. I will keep watch for any tauren on my patrols, but I don’t expect to see any.

Bear said that if I had to go to the goblin town, he would too. I thought that was very kind of him to offer, but I’m not sure Avanniel would allow it. I would feel a bit safer, though I know he wouldn’t want to stay in a goblin town any more than I do. Probably less, given how much he dislikes Astranaar. That’s the other thing that happened. I don’t regret it, I’d been thinking about it for a very long time and it was nice. But now I don’t know what it means. Bear was talking about moving his house to a different spot, and I think he was saying that because I wanted it. I know he’d be unhappy, not to mention the bears would have less room, and I don’t want either of those things. He has a good camp, and he’s already done a lot of work on the little house, I’d hate for him to give it all up just because I don’t want to walk as far. I do want to see him more often though, I’ll just have to get up in time to make it back to the barracks to report in time. Unless I got a hippogryph, but I don’t know where I’d keep it. And he doesn’t say things like Sorias did, I know they aren’t the same person but I guess I expected it a little. He does things though, he picked a whole basket of berries and I am taking the extras back for muffins and jam. Are we mates? I don’t know. I can’t exactly ask Zhyra about it and I think Avanniel would just roll her eyes.

Advertisements

[Story] Risarra’s Journal

The nights are getting cooler, and tonight we started baking sweet cakes for the ghosts. Sorias says that in Stormwind, the humans put on masks around the fall time. He said he’s never seen anyone leave out ghosts cakes. I wonder if he does. Probably not. He also wrote that if I see any more demons, I should go there. If I see any demons, I’m just going to kill them. It’s not necessary to go anywhere, and I wouldn’t want to leave people here with no one to look after them. Like Bear and Nim. I guess Bear would probably be okay, but there are plenty of people who need us to keep the forest safe.

I packed up some ghost cakes and a lot of dumplings and went to see Bear. Avanniel said that I should just tell him what I want, that men don’t understand hints and things like that. I guess she would know, and it makes sense. I also wore a dress, it’s the one I wear when I need to go into the temple.  It’s pretty but I don’t think it matches my hair very well, but it’s the only one I have and I got it secondhand anyway. Maybe one day I’ll make it to the market in Darnassus, but I have a lot of things I need to buy before dresses, like new boots and bow-strings.

He wasn’t there when I first arrived and I thought maybe he was asleep or something, but then he came up the trail. He said he’d been trapping down in the valley, but there were no rabbits anywhere. Something must have spooked them, I know goblins run machines down there and they’re very loud, or there could have been orcs. But I think orcs are usually too dumb to trap rabbits. I’m glad I brought a lot of dumplings, so he wasn’t hungry. They were making a lot for the ghost holiday, so there were four different kinds. We both like spider the best, but so do a lot of people, so I had to take some of the others too. There were chicken, vegetable, and fish ones. I also brought a little jar of the sauce, they’re not quite as good without the sauce.

Bear said he never left out ghost cakes before. I wasn’t sure if he was teasing me or not? But maybe they don’t do that in Feathermoon. They didn’t live in the town, but surely they had the same holidays? So I had to explain it to him, which was very strange. He asked if there would be any ghosts at the camp, and I said I didn’t know. Ghosts can go anywhere they want, I suppose. I said that if the ghosts didn’t take them, then his bears would surely want to eat them. It’s more just a way to show that we remember and honor them, as ghosts don’t really get hungry anyway. He seemed to like them though, he ate a lot. I remembered Avanniel’s advice and I just asked if I could stay, and he said I could. I think he might have been a bit surprised, but I can never really tell what he’s thinking. He hardly talks at all. I’m not used to that, and maybe that’s why I became uncertain again.

Because what if he doesn’t actually want me to stay, or what if I do — do I stay out here at his camp and go back every night? I’m not sure if I want to give up living in town with the other sentinels, I think I’d be awfully lonely. And what if it’s not what I expected it to be, or what if either of us change our minds after? I know it happens, but I think it would still be painful. But he’s worked very hard on his house — he even built little shelfs to put things on, and he’s been fixing it up for the winter. I still think it would be quite cold there, even with a fire inside. It did feel warm and safe with him there, and he does have very nice ears. I might have touched them a little. I just wish I knew how to be certain.

[Story] Ashenvale – Risarra’s Journal

I wrote my bear report and submitted it to Avanniel. I know she knows I wasn’t just observing bears, along with probably everyone else, but they didn’t say anything where I could hear it at least. I didn’t see very much of them, either. Maybe they didn’t like my smell and decided to stay away. I did see them at the edge of the camp at dusk when I was getting ready to leave. They ate some fish, which seem big and healthy, which means the river is doing well. I just wrote about their behavior and things like that, the female bear (Espen) doesn’t have any cubs, but she’s also a different type of bear I think. Bear said she’s from Northrend, and her fur is lighter in color, so it makes sense she may not want to have cubs with the other bears. Or maybe she’s just not sure about them yet, I can definitely relate there. I don’t know if he was talking about us or not, I can never really be sure. He did say he wanted to help raise a child if he had any. I’m not opposed to it one day, but I’m far too young to be thinking about that right now.

He had tidied up the camp when I arrived, not that it’s usually messy or anything but I could tell he’d straightened things up. Also his hair was long and unbraided, and had those little waves you get if you leave it braided for a long time. It looked nice. It made me feel embarrassed of mine, I used to have it long but it got to be such a pain having to comb and braid it all the time that I just cut it short. I can still tie it back a little, and it’s way easier now, but I admit it isn’t very pretty. If I was a priestess I would have time to sit and comb my hair all the time, but I’m not.

I brought the spider, and the berry muffins, and he also had some fish he’d caught before. He said he forgot he had them, how do you forget that? I think it would smell pretty bad to leave fish around, though I guess the bears would find them pretty quickly. I also am not sure where he got ice in the summer. We have a small shed for it, but by this time it’s usually pretty much gone. I know in the city they have ice that’s made by mages, but of course we don’t have any of those here, and I think most of the sentinels wouldn’t use it anyway. They might be right, and it has some magical residue on it, but when it’s really hot I think I’d take the chance.

We just talked about normal things while we cooked the food. Mostly about druids and places he’s been, things like that. I’ve never really been anywhere; to the edge of the forest and to Darnassus, but that’s all. I want to, someday, but Northrend sounded pretty awful. I don’t think I want to go there. He told me about his mother and how she really wanted him to be a druid. She died when Auberdine was destroyed, and he feels like she’d still be disappointed in him. I wanted to say that wasn’t true, but how would I know? I told him there are more important things, like being a good person and helping others. If she’s not proud of that, then I don’t know what else to say.

We watched the sun come up over the hill. It was so late I was practically falling asleep right there. I didn’t want to be rude, but I don’t know how he can do that, I have to be up right at dusk for my patrol every night. It was also awkward because I didn’t know if I was supposed to sleep out on the grass or what. There are some trees in the camp, but not many, and it would be difficult to sleep in the bright sun. He said I could use his shelter, which was okay, but then he said he could stay there too if I wanted. Did I? I said I did, maybe I just wanted to see what would happen. I’m not sure whose idea it was to kiss, maybe both. I haven’t kissed anyone before and I wanted to know what it was like. Now I know, it’s pretty good. Nothing else happened besides that though, but it was nice having him there, if a little strange. I was so tired that I fell asleep right away so I’m not sure what he thought about it.

 

[Story] Ashenvale – On Patrol

Risarra had trouble keeping focused on her patrol. The chance of any danger was slight; no orcs or demons had been spotted in the forest for weeks, and the midsummer bonfires burned brightly, lifting everyone’s spirits. The spicy incense still hung in the air, even this far from the town. But none of those were reasons to lower her guard, Risarra was well aware. She could hear Avanniel’s voice scolding in her head: Danger waits for you to look the other way. When you least expect is when it is most likely to strike.

She crossed the river at the bridge, pausing to look down into the clear water. Fish rested there in the shadowed parts of the bank, and she considered stopping to catch some. It would be rude to show up without anything to eat, worse than that, she’d be hungry all night unless Bear had some fish. What she’d agreed to was reckless and foolish, Risarra was well aware of that. And no doubt she’d hear about it tomorrow, Zhyra was sure to notice that she was missing, as well as Avanniel. She planned to make up an excuse, though she wasn’t sure exactly what yet, but she had a feeling they’d guess what she really had planned.

More than likely nothing would happen at all, just like the other hundreds of times she’d gone to Bear’s camp. He would eat, and she’d talk and that would be all. If he had any other intentions, surely he would have made them clear by now. Although he did come to town, finally, and maybe that was the reason she’d finally agreed to stay with him. She knew the real reason was because he wanted the delicious dumplings that they made in town, but it had still taken months of coaxing, and even then he’d stayed outside the edge of town, across the bridge. He brought a basket full of berries, which Risarra had given to the cooks. They gave her muffins baked with the berries inside, and she planned to bring those along as well. And he brought sticks. She wasn’t sure what to make of those, it was the oddest gift she’d received. He said the bear had wanted him to bring them to her, and she wasn’t about to argue with a bear. She stowed them in the little chest underneath her bunk, just in case.

She did consider what might happen otherwise, though. He might try to kiss her. She decided that would probably be all right, as long as the bears weren’t watching. Anything more than that, she wasn’t certain about. She knew what was supposed to happen, more or less — she’d seen stags and sabers, and of course she’d heard the talk from the other sentinels. But knowing and doing were two entirely different things, and she didn’t want to try it simply for its own sake. She’d seen how some of the sentinels acted around the druids, the way they tried to get their attention, always tried to talk to them and stand near them. It shouldn’t be like that, like some strange competition. Risarra reminded herself that Bear might not be interested in that at all, so she may be worrying about something that wouldn’t happen. It was a bad habit she had, one she endeavored to break. Just wait, she told herself, and see what happens, and then decide. She did want to find something to eat though. Fish were good, but ordinary. A nice roasted spider would do well. She remembered where she’d seen a nest earlier in the season, with luck they would be large enough to eat now.

[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] Risarra’s Journal

I wonder if all men are as clueless as Bear is. Avanniel says they are, but that really makes me worry for the future. How is our society going to move ahead if half of them don’t even understand anything at all? I don’t know anyone who has one, otherwise I’d ask them. I would guess they probably would say they aren’t, otherwise they wouldn’t be with them in the first place. Unless they got lonely enough to ignore it, which I suppose is possible.

I thought I might take him some of my extra candy, I hadn’t eaten it all and I know it came from Sorias, but once he gave it to me, it became mine so it wouldn’t really be from him. Except I don’t think Bear understood when I explained it at all. He thought you were supposed to buy candy for the goblins. Why would anyone do that? I told him you bought it from them, and then gave it to someone else, but I still don’t think he got it. I also told him we’d had chocolate in Astranaar. The goblins had been selling it at a discount because it was the last day of the festival, so some of the sentinels bought some and brought it back for us. He could have had some if he hadn’t been so stubborn. I still haven’t eaten it all yet. Maybe I’ll try again, but maybe not.

He didn’t notice the perfume, either. Or maybe he did, because one of his bears got up and left when I got there. I thought it smelled nice. Definitely not enough to scare bears away. They should be used to my smell by now, I come by every few days at most. And of course, Bear didn’t notice at all. He said he wanted to give me some fish to take back. That’s good, I guess? We can always use fish. But I’d think he needs them to feed to the bears. We did talk a little though, which is more than usual. Most of the time he just stares off when I’m there. He talked about the places he used to live, and the sentinels there. I’ve heard about Feralas, but never been. I know there’s a large sentinel outpost there, you’d think he would like it, but he says they’re scary. I never heard anything so silly. I’m not scary, but I didn’t ask if he thought that. He probably would say yes, but he just puts up with me because I bring dumplings. He also asked what I like to do after patrol. Usually I just read books, or fish or something relaxing like that. He said that he likes fishing too, but he falls asleep during. That’s so strange. I told him he shouldn’t fish so close to dawn if that was the case.

I’ll have to ask Zhyra about the other one, or maybe go look for him myself. But he’s more used to Zhyra so he’d be less likely to hide from her. I should warn her not to use any perfume either.

[Story] Story a Week 7

[[ Another weird prompt this week… not happy about having so many I don’t like. So I wrote a little Valentine’s thing instead. ]]

It was the first time Risarra had even heard of the goblin holiday. She’d only been to Darnassus a handful of times, and never further than that. So she didn’t know what to make of the package from Stormwind; a small heart-shaped box of chocolates, a bag of hard candies, and a tiny vial of perfume. Sorias had sent it, along with a small note, but it didn’t explain what the things were or why he’d sent them. Avanniel made a face when she saw them sitting on the table at first-meal time.

“I wish they’d send those filthy goblins out of Darnassus,” she muttered. “But the people in Darnassus never did have much sense.”

According to Avanniel, the treats were all some sort of holiday invented by the goblins to sell candy and other things. You were supposed to buy gifts for people — so it was similar to what the dwarves did, except it was closer to spring and everything was pink. Also, there was meant to be some romantic connotation to the gift — the little hard candies had words printed on them in Common. Things like “Be Mine” and “Kiss Me”. Risarra wasn’t sure what to make of that. She had no intention of kissing Sorias, especially across the sea in Stormwind. She assured herself that he probably just didn’t know much about the holiday either, and had just sent them to be nice. The chocolates were very nice, after all. They were enrobed in a shell of chocolate that cracked when you bit into it, and the middle was filled with a creamy, sweet center. There were different flavors inside, some vanilla, others chocolate, and others some sort of berry. Risarra wanted to make them last as long as possible, but they were just so delicious she ended up eating most of them straight away. She did share a few with the other sentinels first.

She liked the little vial of perfume best, though. According to the writing on the bottle, it was called “Forever”, and it was like nothing she’d smelled before. Risarra thought she could recognize some of the scents in it, but then it would change and she couldn’t be sure. She dabbed a little on her wrist, and it seemed to shift as it dried, becoming deeper and more complex. It really was lovely. It was rare for the sentinels to wear perfume; it made them more noticeable to both animals and orcs, but sometimes for special occasions. There weren’t any of those coming up, though, besides the kite festival but that wasn’t for a month or so yet.

Zhyra suggested that she should wear it when she brought the dumplings to Bear’s camp. Risarra thought that was a bad idea — who knows how the animals might react to a strange scent. They were not normally aggressive, but maybe it had some sort of effect on bears that she didn’t know about. She certainly had no expectation that Bear, the elf, would notice it. He didn’t seem to notice anything at all, other than whether she had a basket of food with her. Maybe they ought to make dumpling-scented perfume. Still, she dabbed a few more drops onto her wrist, and added a touch behind each ear. It seemed a shame not to use it, if nothing else, she could enjoy the scent.