[Story] The Ghostclaw – Fishing

“Ann’da, can we go fishing?”

Sath’alor looked over the stacks of paperwork that covered his desk. Most were reports that needed to be read and filed, some were equipment requests, there might have even been a letter of inquiry in there, but he hadn’t got that far into the pile yet. Whatever it was, fishing sounded like a much better idea.

“We sure can,” he said, patting Rylad on the head as he got up. Perhaps he’d already known that his ann’da would say yes, because he had on his boots and coat. “Do you think Zaren would like to go too? I think he’s big enough.”

Rylad seemed to consider for a moment and then nodded. “Yeah, but he can’t hold a pole.”


“He’d drop it,” said Rylad.

That was probably true. While Zaren had grown a lot, he was still little, and he was still at the age where he was more interested in eating things off the ground than much else. “I’ll help him,” Sath’alor suggested, and Rylad agreed to that plan.

Nessna was still away on her patrol, so he left a note that he’d taken the boys fishing with him. He also put on the scratchy new sweater she’d just bought for him. It would take some getting used to, but it was certainly warm. And it had lynxes on it. Sath’alor had never seen a sweater like that before, and he would have bought it if he had, so he was pleased with her choice. He wrangled Zaren into a hooded suit with a zipper, and helped him into his boots. Rylad could do most of it by himself, so he fetched the fishing poles and basket. They could stop along the way to look under rocks for grubs and worms for bait.

The forest was ablaze with autumn color, the once-dead trees having regrown some of their leaves over the past few years. Birds and little animals — squirrels and chipmunks — dashed and chirped overhead. Rylad delighted in stomping on every particularly crunchy leaf along the trail, hearing the satisfying crackle they made. The morning was chilly, but not too cold, and the day would grow warmer as it went on. It was a day that was practically made for fishing.

He baited the hooks and helped them get into the water. Rylad was an old pro at fishing, he gripped his pole and stared intently at the water, watching for any splashes or ripples. Zaren was more fascinated by the grub on the hook, but Sath’alor didn’t let him eat it. He had snuck some cookies in his pack though, and gave one of them to each.

Rylad had a lot of questions about fish, though. Sath’alor didn’t really know terribly much about them — his main interest in fishing had been finding food for his cats to eat.

“Do fish sleep?”

“Where do fish pee?”

“Does it hurt them to get caught?”

“Do fish have ann’das?”

Sath’alor hoped they might catch one or two — fresh fish with spices sounded delicious for dinner. But even if they didn’t, it had been a perfect day.


[Story] The Ghostclaw – Sath’alor’s Journal

Nessna and I took the boys to visit her father at the healers’ in town. It’s only fitting since he (and Lani) were the ones who saved her in a similar situation a few years back. I’m sure it’s not a time that Nessna wants to recall at all, but it’s hard not to make comparisons. At least from what I have heard and seen, Isturon’s not as badly injured as Nessna was. He does have some felfire burns, but Lani is skilled in dealing with those. Actually, Nessna said he was arguing with Lani about how best to treat them. If he’s still able to be stubborn, he can’t be doing too badly. I’m glad he’ll be okay. We aren’t especially close or anything, but I know how much it would upset Hethurin and Nessna and the rest of the siblings if something were to happen, and of course the boys. They were rushing out the door as soon as we said the words “go visit grandpa”.

He did need to rest while we were visiting, though — Lani’s orders. It makes sense that he’s receiving a lot of visitors and it can be tiring. We’ll have to either come earlier in the day before he’s tired, or later in the evening after he’s eaten. Trying to keep the boys busy and not restless wasn’t easy, especially because they were hungry and we hadn’t brought anything more than a few snacks. Maybe we could stop and eat at the school on the way, though I hear they’re pretty busy of late as well with the new babies. It’ll mess up their sleeping for a bit, but I guess it’s worth it, I’m sure Isturon appreciates getting to see them as well. It also means I’ll be leaving the rangers alone more for a bit. Sunashe is normally the one who keeps everyone in line, but he’s attending to Lin and Tialan. I trust most of them not to get up to much trouble, except maybe Faeris and Julan. Nessna said Julan already went out on patrol in heels one time. I really should say something, because I can’t really afford to have anyone twisting ankles right now, but until then I guess it’s not hurting anyone. I can only imagine Sunashe’s expression when he finds out though. It’ll be interesting to see if anyone else takes charge, my bet would be Arancon.

Being there did remind me of when Nessna was recovering though, and how Lani wouldn’t let her get up or do anything. We’re going to bring some cookies or something for him to eat, and maybe some books to read. I really have no idea what kind of books he likes, Nessna said there are magazines about healing. I didn’t know such a thing even existed, sounds boring but if that’s what he wants, we can get it. I thought some adventure stories might be better, but that’s me I guess. And maybe flowers too, they are cheerful and make the room smell nice. I’d wanted to get Nessna some back then but I hardly knew her and I didn’t know if it was appropriate or not. And not everyone likes flowers anyway, especially from some guy when you’ve just lost your husband. I’m just thankful every day that she does, and she didn’t think I was some kind of creep.

It was good seeing Isandri too. Iannor is getting so big, I think he’ll have to start going to school soon. I don’t know what I’ll do when Rylad has to go, it’ll be strange not having him here. When Hethurin is less busy I’ll ask him about it.

[Story] The Ghostclaw – Sath’alor’s Journal

Had an unusual transfer yesterday. I guess he’s not exactly a transfer, but he was sent by the Spire. He was actually sent here instead of serving time in jail, I’ve never heard of it happening but given the situation it makes sense. I’m guessing they decided to do that because he’s already well-trained with a bow, which Sunashe was certain to point out. I know he prefers when the rangers use them rather than crossbows or close-quarter weapons. Another perk, he used to live in the area, so he already knows the roads well. It shouldn’t take him long to learn the routes at all. Of course I was curious as to what crime he’d committed. According to his papers, he was robbing people on the roads. It didn’t say that he’d killed anyone, which makes me feel a little better. I do believe in giving everyone a chance, but I’d certainly keep a closer eye on him in that case. As it is, I’m not too worried. After speaking to him, he says he only stole from rich people — makes sense, right? And there’s nothing much here to steal. He’ll have everything he needs. The Spire requests that his pay is sent to them for restitution, but I’ll make sure he has a little spending money of his own. I think he’ll make a great ranger, and getting him up on his feet will help everyone in the long run. Still, I kind of wonder what sort of reputation the Ghostclaw has, if they’re sending us criminals…

He seems to be settling in well. He found a bunk in the mens’ quarters and he’s impressed with Orledin’s baking already. I feel that if he wants to be here, he’ll try harder rather than seeing it as a punishment. It’s got to be better than jail, he has already said that. Sunashe was suitably impressed, and he’s not easy to win over. I’ve started him out on the targets just to get an idea of how much experience he has, but I’m sure I’ll be able to put him onto a patrol soon. I don’t know if they warned him about the demons or not, but I’ll mention it to him. I know Sunashe already told him about Orledin and Salenicus, I doubt he’s used to working with death knights but hopefully he will adjust soon enough.

It’s starting to get cold at night, I think we’ll get frost soon. Hopefully that will slow down the demons, I bet they don’t like the cold. I wonder if they have nests like spiders do? That would make it easier to wipe them all out at once.

It’ll be the winter holiday soon. I need to figure out what to get for Nessna — the boys are easy.

[Story] Story a Week 42

[[ Prompt: A tragedy that ends in romance

I was boring and re-used characters again, though I’ve written these events before and I don’t think they actually happened on the same day. Creative license! ]]

Sath’alor sat on a cot in the healers’ tent, waiting for one of the mages to make a portal to send him back to Silvermoon. It seemed they had been gone for a long time, but he couldn’t be sure. Every breath caused him to wince in pain. The man healer had been the one to look him over, press on his ribs and tell him that some were broken. Sath’alor had been bandaged tightly all around and told to report to a healer in Silvermoon if any further problems presented themselves. He knew he’d been lucky. When the proto-drake staggered back onto him, he was sure he was dead. Sath’alor had heard the sickening crunch as some of his ribs gave way, felt the crippling pain surge up his side. But someone had pulled him out from underneath and escorted him to the tent. He barely remembered it himself, until he was lying on the cot with Hethurin’s sister looking down at him. She didn’t scold him, but he scolded himself plenty. How stupid could he be, standing too close to the drake like that? What did he expect to happen? Now he was being sent home before he’d even really had a chance to help. It wasn’t even their war, this was between one orc and the rest of Kalimdor, but the elves had been dragged into it, all the same. No one really wanted to be there, and the conditions were terrible. Things had been much better back in Pandaria, but still there was some allure to the idea of being sent home as a war hero. That certainly wasn’t happening now.

Many had been injured in the siege, and worse. Every day rumors went around the camps about a unit being exploded from the crude iron bombs, or crushed in the tunnels beneath the city. It was a lot more difficult to hold onto his dreams of glory when Sath’alor heard about those. One of the newest rumors concerned a siege machine that had been driven over a unit of archers. That one was especially disturbing because it could very well have been his own unit. Judging by the commotion in the other healer tent, Sath’alor knew something must have happened since he’d come in; whether it was that or another incident.

When he awoke, he still wasn’t sure what time it was, but the sky outside was a great deal darker. He was no longer alone in the tent; one of the other cots was occupied and a man stood beside it. Sath’alor thought it must be the healer at first, and indeed the man’s hands lit with a soft glow in the darkness of the tent. But he was much older, his hair a dark brown rather than the other healer’s pale blond. He looked familiar, but Sath’alor couldn’t place him. The woman on the cot lay very still, he could not even see the rise of her breathing. He did recognize her; she was one of Hethurin’s sisters, who was a ranger as well. He knew very little about her, except that she once served in Eversong, and had a small baby back at home. He was no healer, but it looked as if she might not make it. She would need much more sophisticated healing than they could offer here in this dusty tent. It all struck Sath’alor as very unfair if she should die, leaving her child alone before he even really got a chance to know who she was. He doubted very much that she had come here seeking any kind of recognition — if she had a small child she should have been exempt from fighting though. Maybe it had been her choice, as it had been his.  

On his way out, the old healer glanced at Sath’alor and nodded briefly. They didn’t speak, but he could see the worry etched in his features. Sath’alor did not often pray, but now he did, that the mage would arrive quickly and the other ranger would survive to see her child again.

[Story] The Ghostclaw – Sath’alor’s Journal

My letter must have worked, because Orledin and Salenicus came back not long ago. Salenicus says they had to leave because Orledin was whining, but I find that a little more unlikely. I’ve never heard him whine, he says he’s unhappy about some things, sure, but that’s not the same. Maybe when you become undead, you lose your patience for listening to people. It might explain Sorrowmoss anyway. I talked to Orledin a little after he got back. He seemed relieved to not have to be there anymore. I guess they were going to have to go fight demons, which is more or less what I expected, but I need them fighting demons here. Julan did fine on the late patrol, but it’s really difficult for living people to adjust to that schedule, and Sorrowmoss came to me to complain that he talked too much. I think Julan also likes having someone to talk to and flirt with, and Sorrowmoss doesn’t really fit either of those criteria. The builders just finished up Julan and Faeris’s cabin, along with Sunashe’s lizard barn, so I know Julan was eager to spend time there and not just sleeping the whole day while Faeris was away on patrol. According to Arancon, the mens’ quarters have been a lot quieter since they’ve moved, and no one has seen anything in any closets lately, so that’s good. There are hardly any full beds in there now, though, or the womens’ quarters either. I have flyers up but I’m guessing everyone is away fighting demons. Maybe once they get back they’ll want to be rangers, I hope so at least.

Sightings here have been staying about the same, no more and no less. Aeramin came around to work on our wards with the information they got in Tanaris. I wonder if they’re studying the demons here, too, but I didn’t ask. It would make sense. As long as they stay away from the school and my ranger building, I guess I don’t care what they do with them. The autumn ball is coming up soon. I haven’t thought of any ideas for masks yet, well besides Rylad who still wants to be a tiger. Sometimes I’ll find him sleeping in Clementine’s bed, I don’t think Nessna knows he does that. I don’t think she’d be very happy about it, but at least I’m not trying to let him ride her. I was talking to Sunashe, and he’s wanting to get a saddle made for his lizard. Well, a basket first, because babies can’t hold on to a saddle very well. Sometimes I think he’s just joking and trying to see how people will react. I asked him if he had any ideas for his baby’s name and he said “Tiny”. He couldn’t possibly be serious about that. He said he didn’t see what was wrong with the name, and Lin would probably like it as well. Based on what I know about women, he’s going to be in for a surprise there. It just doesn’t seem like he’s taking it very seriously, I guess. Maybe it’s not really sunk in yet. I mean, Rylad was already born when I met Nessna so there wasn’t any time when he was just an abstract idea, and with Zeran I already kind of knew what to expect. But I told him it’s important that he makes sure Lin is taken care of, both physically and emotionally. Carrying around a baby can’t be easy, and I know the birth part isn’t easy, so he should be helping her get ready for that. He should also be thinking about names and getting the room ready and things like that. I mean, I’m no expert or anything but that’s what I think. A lot of people never get the chance to be a father, so he should be taking it seriously. Especially with everything that’s going on.

The spiders will be starting to come out soon, now that it’s a bit cooler, the ones who were born in the summer will be getting large and looking for mates. We clear out the caves the best we can, but obviously we can’t get all of them. I’ll admit, I’m glad we leave some to grow up, because then we can have spider legs to eat. They’re one of my favorite dishes in the fall.

[Story] The Ghostclaw – Sath’alor’s Journal (and Letters)

Things aren’t going so well. Orledin and Salenicus just walked off during their patrol the other night. Sorrowmoss said that they went into a dark, shadowy portal which I assume means they went back to the death knight citadel, because neither of them were mages before. So at least I have some idea where, but I don’t know why they’d just leave. Were they unhappy? I know Orledin was lonely sometimes, but everyone was at least polite to him, and loved his baking. He has his cat, which he didn’t take with him. Nessna says that’s proof he’ll return, and I hope she’s right about that. Salenicus hasn’t been here as long, so I could possibly see him leaving, but not Orledin. Why wouldn’t they at least tell me what was going on? I’m writing a letter, but who knows if the scary dead people in charge will agree to it, or even read it. Can I go there if I need to, like I had to go find Sunashe? I hope not, I don’t think it’s a very safe place to visit. I’ll see what happens with the letter, I guess.

Nessna agreed that we should have a plan in case things get too dangerous here. She thinks we’ll be able to handle the demons, which we are for now, but if things get really bad it’s better to have a plan already in place. She said that Hethurin would allow us to stay at the school, it’s big enough for everyone and there are magical wards in place. We have some here that he made, too, but I assume they’re stronger at the school because they’re closer to him. Maintaining them must be tiring, and it’s likely ours would falter sooner. I have an alarm horn that can be heard far into the forest, that will be the signal to head to the school. That way, anyone on patrol will also know what’s happening.

I think Sorrowmoss would be just as happy doing her patrol alone, but I don’t really feel it’s safe. If something were to overwhelm her, we wouldn’t know until the morning. Thankfully, Julan volunteered to take hers temporarily, until Orledin and Salenicus get back. He wanted extra pay, but I don’t mind paying it. The overnight patrol is rough for us living people.


Dear Sirs,

Two of my rangers, I have reason to believe that two of my rangers, Orledin and Salenicus, are at your stronghold. They are both highly trained rangers and an important part of the team that keeps the Ghostlands safe for both living and unliving residents. Presently, their help is needed to ensure that the demon invasion is kept controlled. Please urge them to return as soon as possible.

Captain Silverdawn,
The Ghostclaw Rangers

PS – Pancat meows because he misses Orledin.


Dear Hethurin,

I tried to come by to talk to you, but Tik said you were sleeping. I just wanted to ask if it was all right if the rangers and Nessna and I stay at the school in case things get really bad out here. So far, it hasn’t, but it’s always good to have a plan in place. Also, after things get back to normal, I was wanting to take her on a trip. Would you be able to watch the boys for a few days? They’re really good and I know you have a place they could stay.




Congratulations, Nessna told me that you and Ordinicus had your wedding. I hope it was nice, and you’re going on a relaxing trip. I’m glad you are happy and doing well, though it wasn’t how I imagined things would go it all worked out in the end.




I tried to write you a poem, but it was really bad. So just imagine that there’s a really beautiful and romantic poem here instead. It explains how much I love you and how happy you make me feel. It’s also maybe a little bit dirty. I can’t wait for our trip, you’re going to love it.


[Story] The Ghostclaw – Sath’alor’s Journal

[[ Starting Legion story stuff with our characters! Like WoD we’ll probably just pick and choose which aspects we use because the lore is kinda… iffy in some parts. Demons have been spotted in the Ghostlands! ]]

I wanted to think it was a joke at first, but Hethurin doesn’t make jokes, at least not like that. He came to show me the flyer, and to ask if I wanted wards made around the building and the cabins. The way he explained it, Aeramin had shown him how to do it properly. I guess all that messing around with demons was actually useful for once. The paper said there are reports of demons showing up everywhere, in places they’ve never been seen before. In some places, there are a lot of them, and structures are there, too. I’m not sure why demons would need structures, but I’m sure it can’t be a good thing. Hethurin’s wards should keep them away from the immediate area, but we have to keep the rest of the forest safe. In the morning I’ll call a meeting and tell everyone what’s happening. I’m going to increase patrols for the time being. I’ll take one too, as long as someone’s there to watch the boys.

I’ll have to tell Nessna tonight, too. The thought of anything happening to her — or to the boys — ties my stomach in a knot. I know we can’t be exempted if there’s a call to fight, but I’ll write in hopes that they keep us here in the Ghostlands. Someone has to be here to protect it, and my rangers are well-trained and know the area well. I hope it’s enough. I know what Nessna will say, because we’ve talked about it before. She’d say it’s better to go and fight, because if we don’t, there will be nothing left of our home. I can understand that, but at the same time… I don’t want to go through that again. I don’t want her to go through that again. Too many elves died last time, Vessen included. That shouldn’t have happened. Nessna should have been able to be happy and not go through all of that pain and sadness. When I went, I didn’t care if I died or what happened to me. But I do now. It would kill me to lose any of them, I don’t think I could take it. I’ll take them and hide, if that’s what it takes. I don’t know if Nessna would let me, though.

I told Hethurin we’ll patrol up by the school, and the day patrols can check the town as well. I don’t know how the town people feel about death knights yet, but maybe they won’t mind if they’re killing demons. I haven’t seen any yet. I don’t know what kind they are. I hope they aren’t the really big ones. Even so, I guess they’d die just like anything else. I don’t know long all of this will go on, either, I don’t think anyone does. I’m hoping for the best, but I’m still afraid.