[Story] Thorns – Booty Bay

Our room is in a pirate ship, I’m not sure if it was a real ship that they turned into rooms, or they just built it to look like one. Either way, it’s perched up on a hillside, so it looks out over the bay. When the sun goes down, the sky lights up with all different colors, and it’s reflected on the surface of the water. You can just sit and watch it while you do nothing, but in my case I was putting clock parts together. It’s not really that I was bored, it’s just habit when I’m not doing anything else. Besides, if we want to stay longer, I’ll have to send some stock back for the shop soon. Summer’s not usually a busy time, but stuff does still sell now and then.

We decided to stay in and order food from the room menu, because we hadn’t done that before. Usually we’d pick one of the little spots along the dock to eat, though they mostly all serve the same thing — fish. It’s not really boring because there are a lot of different kinds of fish, plus there are a lot of different ways to cook it, or different spices. I’m surprised Nash hasn’t asked about cooking any yet, there’s no stove in our room though. They thought people would want a fake parrot made out of feathers, but not a stove. I guess a stove doesn’t fit with a pirate theme.

I got fried clams with chips, and Nash got some clams with pasta in butter and garlic. Both were good. You can also order umbrella drinks off the room menu, so we did that as well. I got one called a “shark bite” which has a candy shark filled with cherry juice so it kind of looks like blood. Nash was a little freaked out by it I think, I had to assure him I didn’t actually want to drink blood.

I can tell he doesn’t want to leave, and it’s understandable. I brought up the idea of opening a second shop here, since a lot of people come through the bay. I’m not even sure if it would even be possible — how much rent for the shop would cost, for one, and the more pressing issue of how I’d  make enough stock for both shops, especially in the holiday season. But then, maybe the bay isn’t as busy then — the weather’s rougher, so maybe summer is the busy season here. Anyway, it’s something I would have to talk to Rose about, to see if it’s even possible. Would it be bad living on the beach? Definitely not. And Nash wouldn’t have to worry about getting nabbed by the guards, either. He also insists that he’ll be able to help build soon, and I think he might be able. He’s already able to make some repairs and replace parts, and he’s going to try making his own clock with the shells he found on the beach. Maybe he’s a little slower than I am, but I’m sure he can catch up. I’d miss them though, and Pup. Maybe they could come visit now and then, it’s not that far away. I bet they’d all love the beach.

In one of the shops here they have stuff you can buy, like funny shirts, and also pirate shirts. I think Nash and I both need one of those, and maybe drinking glasses or something. Nash wanted me to pretend to be a shark, that boy is a little odd sometimes.

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[Story] Thorns – Booty Bay

We’re here in Booty Bay now, the minute that Nash got home from the Cathedral from getting his cast taken off, he wanted to leave. We were able to go in my flying machine, which made it a lot easier to get down there rather than trying to hire a gryphon. I haven’t been here in ages, I remember it being kind of sleazy, which I guess it still is, it’s a goblin town after all. But it seems like they’ve fixed it up a bit so it’s a place that people would want to visit. Aside from all the shops, where they sell anything you can imagine, there are also a lot of bars and places that you can stay. Our room is nice, it’s got a little balcony that looks out onto the harbor, and the windows on the other side face the jungle. There’s a little ice box with drinks in it, and since it’s still early in the season, we don’t have any neighbors. Nash was nervous when we first arrived I think, he kept his hat on and he was worried that people would recognize him as a blood elf. But like I told him, no one here really cares. Goblins don’t care what race you are, or who you’re talking to, as long as you have gold. I made up enough stock that the shop should be good for several days, I did bring some tools and parts with me, in case  I find time to work. If I’m able to, I can send them back, though I don’t expect there will be a big rush this time of year. I also thought Nash could start on his seashell clock if I brought the parts. If I run out of anything, I’m sure one of the shops will have it, they’re goblins after all, they’re big on making mechanical things. They probably have some interesting things that I can’t get in Stormwind.

Once we got settled in, we went out to the beach. It’s really beautiful, the sand is pure white and the water is the brightest blue I’ve ever seen. I brought a tray of drinks down with us, while they do have ale and beer, most of what they sell is the fruity stuff with little paper umbrellas in them. I was telling Nash about the ones they have that are frozen too, they’re nice when it’s hot out. The food here is great too, there’s all kinds of seafood, I never really had it living in the forest, or in Ironforge. All they have is dried fish, and it’s pretty gross and salty. They have fresh fish here, and it’s roasted the same day they caught it, with all kinds of vegetables. There’s also clams and crab and things that they get from the beach. I actually think I like fish now, at least when it’s done like this.

Nash finally took off his hat and started to relax a little, I think. He wants to go swimming, I said that there might be sharks, but I think the harbor would be safe enough. In any case, there are goblins with explosives there to scare away any sharks. I’m a little worried that he might get a sunburn, but he says he won’t. I guess we’ll find out later. He asked what color I’ll get if I get a tan. Honestly, I don’t have any idea. I had to remind him that I’m a night elf, so it’s not like I ever spent a lot of time in the sun. The forest is really dark and shadowy, and Ironforge is underground. Stormwind has big buildings blocking the sun, and I’m inside most of the day anyway. If I’m not, I always have my hat on. Probably just darker? I don’t know.

He says he doesn’t want to leave. I think he was probably joking, but I’ll admit it’s kind of tempting. We could just stay here and I could make clocks and ship them back, just drinking cold fruity drinks and laying on the beach during the day. But I’d miss Stormwind I think. And I know I’d miss Rose, even if she doesn’t miss me.

[Story] The Ghostclaw – Checking In

Teloth found his brother in one of the study rooms, nearly obscured by a stack of books. The butler, Tik, had showed him in, and now lingered in the hallway, Teloth presumed to make sure he wasn’t going to start any trouble.

“Hey, kid.”

Tystus peered over the pile of books and scowled. “I’m busy. The final exams are this week, I need to study.”

Flopping into one of the chairs, Teloth picked up a book and opened it to the page that was marked with a slip of ribbon. It was an incomprehensible diagram, Teloth couldn’t even tell what it was supposed to be. Did Tystus really understand any of this stuff, or was he just pretending?

“While you were studying, I went on a date. To the theater. With my girlfriend.”

Tystus squinted at his older brother. “No you didn’t.”

“Yep. We went to this restaurant that only serves things with vegetables.”

“You don’t even like vegetables,” grumbled Tystus, scribbling something onto his paper.

Teloth shrugged. “It was pretty good though. She doesn’t like killing animals to eat them.”

Tystus pretended not to hear him, continuing to take notes out of the book in front of him.

“And then we went to the play. It was about troll hunters.”

His quill paused for a second and he looked up. “Really?”

“Yeah. It was cool, in one scene they had to fight off a whole band of trolls, and escape from the troll temple.”

Tystus frowned faintly. “Well, I have to study if I want to do well on the exams. I don’t want to fail and have to go home.”

“Oh, and we kissed.”

Tystus glared at him again. “No you didn’t. Who would kiss you?”

“She wants me to meet her mother.”

While that was true, Teloth was a little worried about it himself. They’d only been to one dance and one outing, it was a little soon to be meeting anyone’s parents. And Esladra told him that she wouldn’t exactly approve of him. While they weren’t poor, they weren’t really rich either, and they definitely weren’t noble or anyone important. Teloth knew that’s the kind of thing mothers liked. And they definitely didn’t like guys who worked in hawkstrider stables. That was just his job for now, he wouldn’t be there forever — although he did enjoy it. They’d talked over dinner about starting their own farm one day. There wasn’t one in the Ghostlands anymore, so they should have a ready market. Esladra told him that her father had grown up on a hawkstrider farm, and her aunt ran it still. He hadn’t ever imagined himself running a hawkstrider farm, but he found the idea interesting, and he did seem to have a natural knack for the birds. That is, if Esladra’s mother didn’t put a stop to things. She assured Teloth that she’d want to see him regardless, but he did wonder what kind of things her mother might say. No doubt they were nothing good.

“Okay,” Tystus said flatly. “I’m still busy though.”

“Just checking on you, like I promised I would. You should write to Mother.”

“I will,” said Tystus, not looking up from his notes.

“I’ll see you at the summer ball.”

Tystus didn’t bother to reply. Teloth put his hat back on, and went out to find Tik. He’d need help finding the way out of the enormous house.

 

[Story] Thorns – Cheesy

I think I’ve figured out the secret to cheering Nash up. At least, until he changes his mind about it again. He mentioned a little while ago that he wanted some cheese, and I remembered he said that he likes the kind with holes in it. So I went to the cheese shop and I let the guy help me pick out a bunch of different kinds, I got a whole basket with different ones to try, and also a big chunk of the hole kind. For myself, I got the smoky kind that they serve at Brewfest, I like the taste and it reminds me of being in Ironforge. It would be better if we had some stout, I guess, but it’s still good.

We ate the cheese and we talked about stuff. I had no idea he was so crazy about cheese, maybe they don’t have it in Silvermoon? But I suppose they must, they probably have fancy cheese that only rich people are allowed to eat. I told him about the one from Darnassus, I never really liked it much, one because it stinks and two, because it reminds me of being in Astranaar. Nash asked me if it smells like druid’s feet. I’ve never smelled druid’s feet, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that’s what they smell like. Nash said he liked it though. He made me try the soft cheese, I thought it was kind of weird but then he showed me how you’re supposed to spread it onto bread, like butter. That makes more sense, it also tasted good. I could definitely eat more of that. I still think the smoked Ironforge cheese is the best though, Nash asked me how they make it. I think they just put the wheels into the smokehouse along with all the sausages and other meat, it has that same rich smoky flavor.

Nash wanted to know if I’d do things if there was a dwarf woman here in the house. That’s a weird thing to ask, but I think I know what he was getting at. I told him I wouldn’t, that stuff is just for fun and not really serious. I didn’t think this was either, but maybe it is now? Nash said it’s not complicated, even though he’s been saying that for weeks and hiding in the bathroom to cry. But maybe he means it now? I don’t know, I don’t really understand what he means when he says that. But I told him I wouldn’t, unless he wanted to of course. I’m not sure if he’d be interested in any dwarf women. He wanted to know if they are hairy, I said that a lot of them are. I mean, they’re dwarves.

He asked again if I’m happy, and I said I just kind of feel like I’m existing, doing things day to day. I think he understood what I mean, at least he said he did. But again, he has a history of saying he understands when he really doesn’t, and then getting upset by it either. I like making clocks, I like working in the shop. Sure it’s a lot less exciting than what we did before, but it’s also less dangerous, and less chance of getting us all into trouble. That’s important if we’re allowing a blood elf to live with us. Nash wants to keep helping with the clocks, he’s still convinced that he has to do something in order to stay. I told him I do like having breakfast, he’s getting pretty good at omelettes.

His cast will be coming off soon. I guess he’ll need to go see the girl at the Cathedral to do that. Nash said he wants to go visit her, instead of Zarellina. I’m not sure if I trust her any more than Zarellina, but it’s good for him to have more people that he can trust and talk to. If nothing else, I know she can keep a secret, and that’s important. Once his cast is off, we’ll be able to go on our trip. I think Nash is pretty excited about it, I’m looking forward to it as well. I’ve only been a couple of times, and that was just to get shipments. I think it’ll be a lot of fun to go walk on the beach, and swim in the water, and get drinks and stuff. We can look for shells, and Nash wants to use some to make a clock, his own, not fixing one that I gave him. I figure a clock with shells would be good for the bathroom.  If nothing else, the trip gives him a chance to get outside and not have to wear his hat for a while. The weather should be nice enough, it’s a little early yet but that means it shouldn’t be too crowded. It’s not a huge place for people to visit, but I remember it being pretty busy when I was there before. I hope I don’t trip over any goblins.

[Story] The Ghostclaw – Teloth’s Letter

Dear Minn’da,

I’m not sure if Tystus wrote to you or not, when I asked him he said that he hadn’t. So I’ll keep you updated on everything that is going on out here. There are so many trees! That’s the first thing I noticed. Quite a few of the estates have been purchased and are in the process of being fixed up, but there are still a lot that are empty and abandoned. I bet if you wanted to, you could find a little one out here for the same price as Silvermoon. It’s something to think about anyway, and you could keep a better eye on Tystus that way. The school he’s at is very fancy. It’s on a very large estate, there are some buildings where the students live, a giant garden, a greenhouse, and a fountain out front. I expected it to be really tiny, but it’s actually very impressive. Next time they have a visiting day, you should come to see it. You’ll be amazed! Tystus seems to really be enjoying his classes, he says he likes his teachers a lot. He wouldn’t tell me about his grades. I will tell you he wasn’t dancing with anyone at the ball, though.

I forgot to mention the ball. The people at the school hold them often, at least one every season, more for other things like weddings. They’re fancier than any I ever went to in Silvermoon! The food is amazing and everything was decorated, even the garden. I went with a girl — well, I didn’t exactly go with her, she was already there, but we ate together and we danced. Let me explain how that happened! I work in the stables at the ranger lodge, taking care of the hawkstriders, and the captain had a new guy come in to help me. But he scared them, and I ended up getting kicked by one of them. I’m all right, but I had to go to the healers’ in town to get stitches. It turns out this girl works there, and she was the one who took care of me. Her older sister is usually the one who sees people, Esladra usually takes care of women who are pregnant, and their babies. Except there aren’t any right now, so she’s taking whatever work she can get. I know what you’re thinking, but it’s way too early for that! Well, she told me about the ball and I asked if she’d go with me. I am pretty sure her family is rich, her sister and father are doctors, and her brother is the one who owns the school. So I’m a little worried about that, but I guess that’s a long way off too. She is a really good dancer, so I should thank you for making me do the dance lessons when I was in school, I guess! We’re going to next ball, but that’s not until the summer. There’s a beach along the edge of the estate and I think it’ll be nice to walk there at night with the moons and lanterns and everything. But I also think that’s a long way off, so we will hopefully go to dinner or something soon. It can’t be anywhere too expensive, but I want to go somewhere that’s nice. She’s probably used to really fancy places.

I also think she might want to meet the hawkstriders. She said her aunt owns a farm for them, but she didn’t seem to know a lot about them. Like she didn’t know they had a herd leader, and different personalities. I guess a lot of people probably don’t know that. But there is one called Midnight that I think she would like, he’s very gentle and he likes to snuggle his head against you, especially if you bring him treats. I bet she might like going on a ride with him, but I’d have to ask the Captain of course since they’re not mine.

Don’t worry, I told Tystus he should write to you soon. I know he’s busy with school work but he can’t be too busy to write his minn’da a letter, right?

Love,
Teloth

[Story] Thorns – Stew

Nash made stew for dinner. He said he’s trying to cook the easier recipes first, which is a good way to go about it. I thought it was pretty good. There was meat, and a lot of different kinds of vegetables. I forgot to tell him that he should try putting stout in, they do that in Ironforge and it’s really good, makes the broth taste really rich and good. He also made bread, which is I think a lot more complicated because you have to mix it just right, and then wait for it to rise, and then bake it. Some of the outside was a little dark, but it wasn’t bad.

What did I make? I made a mess. It doesn’t matter what I say, it’s always the wrong thing. I’m really trying, but it’s like he takes whatever I said and makes it fit what he wants to hear. I said I thought it was great that he wants to learn to cook, but he should do it because he wants to rather than because he has to work to stay here. He took that to mean that I don’t want him to cook anymore. When did I even say that?! I thought guys were easier to understand than girls, that’s not true at all. At least Rose tells me when she’s mad, and usually she tells me exactly what I did, too. Not Nash, he insists everything’s fine and then he goes and hides in the bathroom all night. If things are the same whether I try or not, maybe I shouldn’t try anymore? Nash said he’s going to keep things not complicated, which means not getting feelings involved, but I don’t really believe that. I think he’s just saying it because he thinks it’s what I want him to say.

And why does he think he has to work to stay here? It’s his home, and he’s part of the crew. Well, we’re not much of a crew right now, but some jobs could come up in the future and I’d want him there for that. Either way, he doesn’t have to cook or clean or do anything besides be himself, and it hurts that he thinks he does. Like he’s only here because I want him in my bed. While it’s a nice perk, it’s definitely not the only reason. I also told him he doesn’t have to, if he doesn’t feel like it or he’s not interested or whatever, and he said he’d never say no. That’s creepy. He’s allowed to say no whenever he wants to. Apparently I should have just lied when he asked if I was happy, that’s the lesson I’m getting here. I don’t see why his feelings depend on my own, he can be happy even if I’m not. It’s not like things are bad, either, just — I don’t know, not amazing or something. But like I told him, I don’t think my life has ever gone amazing, I’m just trying to get by.

I can’t ask Rose for advice, obviously, and Star wasn’t much help. She just told me I’m an idiot, which I already knew. I don’t need to pay for someone to tell me that.

[Story] The Ghostclaw – Teloth

Teloth secured the latch of Ruby’s stall, watching as she dipped her head down to eat the grain from her feeding trough. What happened wasn’t her fault at all, and Teloth was relieved that no one was calling for her to be sent away. Normally, the big female was affectionate and predictable, she liked to poke her beak into Teloth’s pockets searching for treats, and groom the hair on top of his head. But she was wary of strangers, and took some time to warm up to new people. It had taken her a couple of weeks to allow Teloth to enter her stall and groom her. The captain had sent the new kid to help in the stable, not that Teloth really needed help anyway. He’d been too loud, even after Teloth told him to speak in a calm voice. Then he’d knocked over some crates and things just got worse from there. Startled, Ruby had reared back and slashed at Teloth with her powerful claws, knocking him against the wall.

He’d walked all the way to the clinic in town, which meant it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but Ruby’s claws had left deep gouges across his chest, and the blood had soaked through his shirt. Once he got inside the clinic, he took it off, and got a better look at his injury. Already the skin on his side was turning a vibrant purple, and felt tender to the touch. The healer, a prim woman, took one look at him and left the room. Teloth figured that maybe she didn’t like blood, which would be pretty odd for a healer. Another woman came in a few minutes later, this one younger and armed with a kit of supplies. She asked what had happened, and whether anyone had given him anything yet. She’d been cute, and Teloth tried his best not to wince at the cleaning solution, or when she stitched up the cuts on his chest. He half hoped they’d leave a scar, because then he’d have an impressive story. Normally, she tended to women who were pregnant, and their babies, but there hadn’t been any of those in the area lately so she did what work she could.

Seeing an opening, Teloth had asked if she had any children of her own, and no, she wasn’t even married. Her mother had been looking, but she lived in Silvermoon and apparently hadn’t had much luck. According to the girl, there was a dance coming up soon at the school that Tystus attended — her brother was the headmaster there. A dance sounded like the perfect opportunity to get to talk to her more, when he wasn’t dirty and bleeding. He hadn’t been to one since leaving the city, and she said they had several during the year. He’d also be able to check in on Tystus, and Teloth was sure he wouldn’t have a date.  Esladra had even walked home with him from the clinic, and promised to come check on him. She said it was to check his stitches, but he’d hoped it was because she wanted to see him again. Getting kicked by a hawkstrider had turned out to be a pretty good thing after all.