[Story] Hallow’s End

[[ Happy NaNo Eve! Working on getting into practice writing at this time for NaNo. A short Hallow’s End story. ]]

“Mama look,” shouted Relanos. “Mama look, I’m jumping.” The elf boy crawled on top of a boulder with his arms outstretched.

“I’m not sure bears jump,” said Tathariel. “And I need to tie your hood. You’re not a bear yet.”

Relanos bounded over to his mother with his best bear growl as she tied the strings on his hood. In the doorway, Jaellynn frowned faintly. “I still say this isn’t a good idea.”

In truth, her mate was right. Hallow’s End was a holiday to commemorate the forsaken breaking free of the Scourge, coinciding with the humans’ harvest festival. Neither were really appropriate for a young kaldorei. They were losing hold of their own traditions already, there was no need to speed it along with strange human ideas. They’d both agreed to raise Relanos with traditional kaldorei customs — but the moment he’d seen the pumpkins in the glade he’d been obsessed. A day where you wear a costume and collect candy? It was easy to see why children would be enchanted by the idea. Reluctantly, Tathariel had agreed to help Relanos make a costume. At least he wanted to be a bear, which was a good costume in her opinion.

“It’s just one night,” Tathariel reminded Jaellynn. Relanos didn’t understand the meaning of the day or what it stood for. As far as he was concerned, it was about candy and being a bear. “Look how excited he is.” Relanos, now with his bear hood on, was stomping around the house and roaring as he pulled out the cloth bag Tathariel had saved for him.

“I want candy!” roared Relanos.

“That isn’t how you ask,” said Tathariel gently.

“Trick or treat!” roared Relanos.

“And?”

“Thank you!” roared Relanos.

“Are you coming with?” Tathariel asked Jaellynn. “I think it will be fun.”

“I don’t have a costume,” Jaellynn protested.

“I don’t either. Come on.”

Relanos ran ahead on the path to each of the little houses in the glade, knocking on the door hurriedly at each one. Tathariel worried that they might be irritated by the disruption, but everyone seemed just as excited about the holiday as Relanos. They gave him candies wrapped in paper, apples, cookies, and all manner of treats. Tathariel had to hold the bag so he didn’t eat all of them on the way to the next house. All of the residents knew Relanos, of course; they’d seen him in their yard or playing at the moonwell or fishing with Jaellynn. A handful of tauren children, perhaps relatives of Karnum, were out in costumes as well. Relanos momentarily forgot about his candy and went to play with them while Tathariel held his bag. She took out one of the paper wrapped candies and ate it.

“I guess you were right,” Jaellynn said at last, as they watched Relanos running with the tauren children. One of them was a kodo, and wanted to pretend they were hunting each other.

“Hmm?”

“He’s having fun.”

“Are you?” asked Tathariel.

He smiled faintly. “Yes.”

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[Story] Tathariel’s Journal

We don’t often get visitors in the glade. Father and Kelanori used to come now and then, but they’ve been away aiding the war effort. I’m not sure how I even knew he was there, I just had an odd feeling, I suppose. Everyone must have been staring, because he wasn’t very subtle. It was a death knight — a blood elf one — and he was riding on a skeletal raptor. I wonder if he animated it himself, like Jaellynn did for his gryphon. He must have. I was afraid at first, because I was alone. I knew the tauren would act if he tried to attack me, and I could always change into my bear form, but I didn’t want to have to do that.

I asked why he had come, and he said that he was looking for Jaellynn. Then I was more worried. Was he here on behalf of the blood elves he had killed? Or had he come from the death knight stronghold, and they were here to take him back, or worse? Though he had armor on, I didn’t see any weapon, and he wasn’t making any motions to attack. Of course it can be difficult to tell what a death knight is thinking. Believe me, I know. He explained that he’d spoken to Jaellynn before, at the stronghold. I found that a bit unbelievable, because I know how much he dislikes blood elves. But I suppose he would have to get along there, at least temporarily. The death knight said that he was really a baker, not a death knight, and he’d brought cookies for Relanos and I. Well, he said for Jaellynn’s mate and son. So either he really did speak to Jaellynn, or he’d spoken to someone who knew him. That didn’t explain how he found our house. Evidently they have records of all of the death knights there, and he’d just looked it up. That’s a little unsettling.

Finally he told me the real reason he’d come: there was an elf he liked and he is living. He wanted Jaellynn’s advice in that area, I am guessing. I am not sure if he’s the best person to ask. For one, I don’t think he even considered the idea before I brought it up, and even then I think it took some convincing. The fact that this blood elf is interested at all is a good sign though, I think. I didn’t know how to explain the strange people in Darnassus. I told the blood elf that we’d met in Darnassus and we were studying together. I also told him about the orcs. I don’t think he’d be allowed to kill orcs, and it probably wouldn’t impress a blood elf so much. Maybe trolls though, I don’t really know how blood elves think. Mostly I said he should just get to know him as a person, do ordinary things like ordinary people do — as much as he can, at least. It will help him see the death knight as just a person and not a dead person. It does take time though. I hope it works out for him. I’ll have to ask Jaellynn if he knows him and can check up on him later.

I also asked about Sakia. I haven’t seen her for a long time, and I don’t know if she was sent to fight or not. I don’t think she would enjoy it very much if she was. I enjoyed going to the shops with her, and I wonder about her sometimes. Unfortunately, the blood elf didn’t know her. I also think about talking to that alive blood elf in case he wants some advice or something. There must be others out there in my situation.

The cookies were very good. I ate a few, and let Relanos have the rest. He was delighted.

[Story] Tathariel’s Journal

I didn’t get one of the letters from the Circle. I can understand why, I’ve only been studying for a little over a decade, nothing compared to most druids. Like Father. But I heard about what was happening, obviously, and I wanted to do whatever I can. I know that Relanos would be safe with Jaellynn, and I’d worry but I know he’s more than capable of keeping them both out of harm. I expected that he’d make a fuss about it, and tell me I couldn’t go, but he didn’t. He just said that he thought I wanted to go get another kaldorei child from the orphanage. Or maybe he did mean to make me stay, because it stopped me in my tracks. I do want that, very much, I’ve wanted it for years. And surely there are a lot of children without parents if the Legion is invading. But maybe it’s not the best time to bring one home. I worry constantly about the safety of the Grove. I know Jaellynn is here, and the tauren, and I believe it would be for the best that I stay here and keep it safe too. It is our home, and there are no large towns or soldiers here to protect it.

I suspect that my father might have spoken to Jaellynn about it, too. I know he worries and still thinks of me as a child, even though I have one of my own. I’m sure he said it was too dangerous and I have to stay behind, like I did before. Part of me wants to go anyway, just to prove him wrong, to show that I can do whatever I wish — but I think deep down I know he’s right. Not that I am not strong enough, but that I’m more useful here protecting the Grove. I will wait and see what happens. Jaellynn went one night to the death knight fortress. There was a call sent out to all of them as well, not a letter but it spoke directly to them. I think that would be a bit unsettling. He went, only to tell them that he’d be remaining in Desolace. I’m glad he wasn’t forced to go somewhere else. Maybe they can’t be forced anymore, and that’s good.

Father plans to go, of course. I don’t know yet whether Kelanori and Farahlor will go with him. Feathermoon is a large settlement, well protected by the sentinels. I wouldn’t worry about either of them staying behind, but I will likely go and check on them if they stay there, just in case. It isn’t a very far flight, but I’ll have to take a hippogryph if Relanos is with me. He doesn’t understand any of what’s going on, and I don’t want him to. It’s much too scary for a little person. It’s scary even for me, if I think about it too long. He plays with his toys and searches for frogs along the banks just as if it were any other day. Would it be wrong to just go and see if they have any available? There must be a lot now.

[Story] The Letter

[[ Sorry this is short and lame, I’d meant to do some nice stuff for Father’s Day but it’s really difficult with kids here all day D: ]]

Tathariel took the letter curiously from the Tauren. She wasn’t expecting any mail. Was it from her father? A glance at the delicate script told her that couldn’t be the case. Kelanori, then? But she couldn’t imagine why the priestess would be writing to her. Her breath caught in her throat when she saw the address. Darnassus. Now she knew who it was from, it had to be. Months ago, she had flown to Darnassus to see about adopting another child. Of course she loved Relanos, but he was big enough to have a little sibling. And she wanted a girl, she had to admit, someone she could dress in pretty robes and put ribbons in her hair. Granted, Jaellynn would let her braid his hair, but it wasn’t exactly the same.

The letter didn’t say whether there were any girls, only that some orphans were “available”. She’d go as soon as the sun began to set, but it was hours until then. It seemed impossible to wait that long. A few days ago, she’d helped Relanos press his hands into some clay. It was meant to be a gift for Jaellynn, a sort of keepsake, but Relanos had pressed little handprints all over it, not just in the center. Still, she hoped he would like it. Carefully she had etched Relanos’s name in the clay and allowed it to dry in the sun.

He seemed less excited about the letter than she was, but it was always difficult to tell with him. His emotions were subdued, greyed out; still more than others like him, Tathariel guessed, but starkly different from most living people. Tathariel was anxious about asking him to accompany her to Darnassus, there might be some who still recognized him there. She couldn’t very well go alone, most wouldn’t give a child away to a single parent, even orphans who needed homes. They did have the papers from the orphanage in Shattrath, though, and could bring Relanos along to demonstrate that he was healthy and well. Jaellynn would just have to be cautious. He suggested wearing a hooded cloak, but she thought it might look a bit suspicious. Hopefully it would be dark enough and the priestesses wouldn’t ask too many questions.

And she hoped there was a little girl. What would she look like? Would she like fishing or watering flowers, or would she prefer catching frogs and playing in the mud? Or maybe it would be an older girl, already talking and with her own personality. Tathariel thought that would be okay too, though she might find it more difficult to accept her new father. And would he accept her? Getting another child had been all her idea, she was the one who brought it up. He said they had Relanos already, maybe he didn’t really want any more? She was certain that he’d change his mind once she was home with them.

[Art] Happy Birthday!

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Today is Kazta, my Trooper’s fourth birthday! She was not my first SWTOR character — that would be the Twi’lek siblings, Zamarra and Malavar. But she instantly became my favorite, I loved everything about her: the storyline, her voice actor, her armor, her companions, and of course the gameplay. In a way she’s spoiled me because I compare all other MMO classes to her and most can’t measure up!

Later this month (January 30) is my 10th WoW anniversary as well. Tathariel is not my main, but she is my very first character and the one I first explored most of the world with. She was originally a Tauren, but got a faction change some years back and became Ornasse’s daughter. Druid is still my favorite class!

 

[OOC/Screenshots] Happy 9th Anniversary!

Today marks 9 years since I started playing WoW. It really doesn’t seem like that long! It was something I was interested in, and some of my friends played, but I’d held off because I was worried that I might get addicted to. (Might?! Hah!)

I’d played StarCraft at a friend’s house before, but never WarCraft, so I really didn’t have any idea about the lore or factions or anything. I thought Druid sounded the most interesting, and I went with Tauren because the idea of running around as a cow totally cracked me up.

So here is my very first character, created back on January 30, 2006.

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I was so excited when I got my forms!

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I first saw the World of Warcraft through her eyes, I did all of the druid class quests, and the world events like the Gates of Ahn’Qiraj and the Scourge invasion. I remember hunting for Noblegarden eggs with her, and going to Zul’Gurub for the first time.

My second character was a Forsaken Warlock. Here she is at level 6, fresh from the grave.

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About four months or so later, I decided that I wanted to try out Alliance side because I wanted a paladin. She became my new main, and then shortly after rolled Ornasse, my Alliance druid. There was no faction change back then!

Today, Tahanah is Tathariel, Ornasse’s daughter. I use her for RP, but otherwise she isn’t doing a whole lot. She’s still leveling up.

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Sora hasn’t changed — until the new models came along and she lost her skeleton face. But she still has good old Nokjub, her imp.

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And here is Ornasse today. I change his mog frequently, but this is his current one!

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I’ve made some really great friends and had so many good adventures in WoW, even when at times I find the game itself not so fun, those are the things that keep me playing. Hopefully Tahanah and Sora and Orny and all the rest will be around for at least nine more years!

[Story] Tathariel’s Journal

It was my birthday not very long ago. Ordinarily I don’t really remember it at all, other than the fact that it’s at the end of the summer. I’ve lost track of how many years ago it was, because it didn’t really matter — or it didn’t used to. I noticed this year because Relanos has got so big. He certainly doesn’t look like a baby anymore, there’s no trying to fool myself into believing that’s true. He’s growing, getting older, and I know that means he’ll eventually ask questions. I think on some level he knows, he tells me that I’m warm. If he’s told Jaellynn that he is cold, he hasn’t mentioned it to me. But I’m sure he probably has.

And none of us knows how many years we might have left. I hope it’s many, but even if it is, Jaellynn won’t change. We’ll grow up and grow old before his eyes, and he’ll be left behind. I knew that back then, of course, but most of the time it’s easy to forget when we’re caught up in ordinary everyday life. It’s only times like my birthday that I remember again. What will become of him? He’ll be all alone eventually, unless of course he finds someone else. I don’t know how I feel about that. I think he’d be happier, but I don’t think he would. I know I wouldn’t.

It was an ordinary day, though Relanos brought me back some flowers from near the lake. There are enough now that it won’t hurt anything to pick a few, though I’m sure Karnum would scold him if he saw it. There’s been news from Durotar; the orc has been captured. I have a feeling the humans had a hand in that. The kaldorei would never permit such a thing. Many had gone to aid in the siege, when I visited Father in Feathermoon, there were only a scant few left behind. The naga haven’t been a threat for some time, so they could afford to leave their posts. Father and Kelanori were permitted to remain at home, as they are caring for Farahlor. He’s not exactly a baby anymore either, but still young enough that having his parents away would be disruptive. The stronghold felt eerie without the sentinels, too quiet. Father says they still haven’t returned, they must be dealing with the remnants of the orc’s forces — or perhaps it isn’t really over after all.

I haven’t brought up the idea of another child since the last time we spoke of it. I want to, but I don’t want him to agree simply because it’s what I want. Maybe he’s right, maybe we should wait until Relanos is older, but I think he’d like a little sibling very much. Of course, they may not even have any right now — but with as much fighting as there’s been recently, there are sure to be orphans. I know that’s an awful thing to think, but I can’t help it. I haven’t been to Astranaar recently, that’s the most likely place that any orphans would be.

Soon it will be winter again, though the glade never really gets as cold as the rest of Desolace. Winter is the time that we met in Darnassus, after my father had left me behind to go to Hyjal. I should wear something nice then. Maybe he’d agree to go look in Astranaar after that.