[Story] Tathariel’s Journal

A blood elf came into the grove while Jaellynn and Relanos were away fishing. I was a little wary at first, but I thought maybe he’d come from the orphanage to say they had a kaldorei available. But once he got closer I recognized him, he’s a death knight who spoke to Jaellynn before at their gathering place. He didn’t really look like one, aside from the eyes, he dressed in normal clothes just as Jaellynn does most of the time. When he was alive, he used to be a baker, and I agreed that he was an unlikely person to be chosen for this. I might have been a little nervous at first, but he’s quiet and gentle. He wanted to get some advice for dealing with his living friend. Honestly, I don’t know if Jaellynn is really the right person to ask about that. I think it was more my idea than anything, and it took some convincing. But I’m happy for the blood elf — Orledin is his name — and I tried to be helpful. I think it’s important for death knights to try to have as normal of lives as they can now. I know it’s not an easy thing, and there are still a lot of people who won’t accept them living nearby, but any progress is good.

Orledin seemed upset that his friend had got him boots, I don’t know why because I think boots are a very good gift. They’re useful and practical, everyone needs boots. He did also tell me that they danced together at the ball, and they kissed. Orledin said he put some warm water in first so his friend wouldn’t notice the cold as much. I told him I don’t think there’s any point in trying to hide what he is, surely his friend knows and I don’t know how much some water is going to change that. If he’s like me, he’ll probably stop noticing it after a while. Sometimes I still want to offer Jaellynn things to eat or drink — oh, that’s another thing, Orledin brought us cookies. I refuse to believe anyone who brings us cookies could be bad. And they were very good cookies too, Relanos wanted to eat all of them before supper time. Anyway, he seemed to be asking what he should do next, and I suggested that they go somewhere nice together, there must be some nice places in Eversong. Orledin seemed surprised when I told him that we went to Stormwind, while that wasn’t really my idea, it turned out to be a nice trip after all. Orledin said there are troll huts in Eversong, I don’t know if those would be very romantic, but the idea is to spend time together away from other people. They go on their patrol together, which is something, but there are other people there too. And from what Orledin said, it’s not really permitted to kiss or anything like that during patrol. Then Orledin suggested going to the Undercity, which I agreed was a terrible idea. I’m not sure he’s very good at this, and as I said, I doubt Jaellynn will be a great deal of help either.

The most exciting thing is that Orledin said the magic school there often has fancy balls, with lots of food and dancing. He said that there is a kaldorei teacher there, as well as some draenei, and there are a lot of children so Relanos could come too. I’ve never been to a fancy ball, but it sounds really nice. Jaellynn thinks it might be a trap, I doubt that they’d go to all that trouble just to trick us, but I said I would write to the kaldorei there and see what she says. And I’ll write it in Darnassian, so hopefully no blood elves would be able to read it. I definitely didn’t get the idea that Orledin was trying to trick us, though. He doesn’t seem like that kind of person at all. I hope he’ll agree to go, he might feel safer if he’s allowed to wear his armor. I also think it would be a good idea for me to speak to Orledin’s friend if he’s there. He probably has a lot of questions and I could answer them for him. Well, some of them. Things are a little more complicated when it’s two guys, apparently.

I also wonder how Sakia is doing. I haven’t heard from her for a long time. I hope she’s well.


[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] 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.


[Story] Tathariel’s Journal

Sometimes you’re able to see a storm coming and prepare for it. Others, you’re going about your everyday life when suddenly you look up and the sky is black and menacing. There’s a storm here, but not the sort we’ve come to expect on summer afternoons.

Life in the glade has been quiet and peaceful, I don’t think I’ve even written in my book for months. Jaellynn has been busy tending to his plants, and the frequent summer rainstorms have kept them lush and vital. Whatever he’s doing to the plants, he must be doing to Relanos too, because that boy has started to sprout up like a weed. He’s still a baby to me, of course, but I hesitate to describe him as one anymore. I can’t believe he’ll be three years old soon. He can say a lot more words now, it seems he’s learning a new one every other day. In a way I’m glad Jaeyn isn’t around to teach him anything I’d rather he didn’t learn. We don’t hear from them very often, Jaeyn and his odd draenei. The last I’d heard, they were on their little island in Outland, making their cabin or whatever it is. While we’ll probably never be friends, I do at least hope that he’s happier there. I know he wasn’t happy in Darnassus, making decisions that he never wanted to make.

We don’t hear much from Terivanis either, I would guess that he’s busy with his shop. Father says it’s doing very well, which is probably to be expected in a town full of women. Sometimes he sends me soaps to try, and I have to admit they’re very nice. I wish I could get Jaellynn to try some, but I don’t think he sees the point as he can’t really smell them. It isn’t a terribly long trip to Feralas, but getting Relanos to hold still on the hippogryph’s back can be a challenge. Still, I’d like to go and see my little brother soon.

All that may have to wait though. Some Tauren came through the glade not long ago to speak with Karnum. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but they were speaking so loud that I couldn’t help but overhear. They probably didn’t realize that I can understand Taurahe — at least a little. I admit, I couldn’t get all the words, but the ones I heard were ominous. I could see it in Karnum’s expression, too. After they’d left, I asked him what it was about. The visitors were passing through on the way to the Barrens. It seems a great many Tauren — along with others — are gathering there for some kind of battle. With orcs. We’re probably far enough away that it won’t affect us directly, but I don’t know what’s going on. It could have repercussions that affect us even here, especially if something should happen to the Tauren. They live with us here in the glade, what if they have to leave? I don’t know that we can maintain it alone, it’s a lot of work. I have to talk to Jaellynn about it, but I know what he’s going to do. He’s going to want to go there for himself, and possibly get himself hurt. Or he’ll never come back. It’s not that I doubt him — I still remember that first night when he killed those four orcs without hesitation, all to protect me, who he hardly knew. But if there’s something even bigger than one kaldorei there, I don’t want him going alone.

He’s always been there to care for us when we’re afraid. But what if this is different?

[Story] Tathariel’s Journal

Jaellynn went out today to find the nests. He must have found something, because he was gone for quite a while. It was hot, and Relanos was a bit fidgety, so I took him down to the water to play. That boy is probably going to learn his seal form before any others! While we were down there, the girl from last night showed up. She was trying to be sneaky, I think, but when she saw Relanos she showed herself so she could get closer to him. I hadn’t noticed before how young she is, she looks barely old enough to be out on her own. I wondered for a moment if that blood elf really did somehow put a spell on her.

She kept her distance and watched us warily. I didn’t see the blood elf anywhere around, so I tried talking to her. I wasn’t worried that she’d try to hurt us, like I said, she was curious about Relanos. I asked where the mage was, and she said he was somewhere safe. She said he wasn’t laying eggs, because he’s not a bird. Maybe Jaellynn would believe it if he heard it from another kaldorei…  She said the eggs were from dragonhawks, or hawkstriders. Then she told me that she had a hawkstrider, a white one, and the blood elf bought it for her. So it’s true, they are mates. I knew from the way she hesitated that they were. I was completely baffled. How does something like that even happen?

I brought Relanos up on the bank and we sat in the flowers. The girl told me about how her grandfather said Ashenvale wasn’t safe — I remember hearing that as well. He took her to Dalaran to study with a Highborne, but then she ran away and the blood elf came to find her, and the grandfather stabbed her. To be honest, I really couldn’t follow her story very well and I’m sure there’s a lot more to it that she didn’t feel like telling me. She said that she moved into his house right away, because apprentice mages normally do that. But then she said that he loved her already, so surely she had to know what he had in mind. Weren’t there any proper kaldorei men in Dalaran, I asked? I guess there probably aren’t many. But a blood elf is so short and pale, and I asked if he wasn’t small everywhere. The girl insisted that he’s not, but I don’t know. I don’t think I want to find out.

She said that I was just looking at his appearance, and not what he’s really like. She had a point. Isn’t that exactly what people did to Jaellynn? I explained that he was the same way, gentle and protective, not at all like most death knights. The girl didn’t ask about how he and I got together, though she did want to know how we had Relanos. She told me they’re going to try to have their own child. I shouldn’t feel jealous, but I do. I worry about how a child like that will be treated by others — but I guess she could have said the same about ours. At least Jaellynn can sometimes pass for a normal kaldorei, if people aren’t paying too close attention. There’s no way that a blood elf could. I wonder if I could write to her in Dalaran. Jaellynn would never approve though.

[Story] Tathariel’s Journal

Summer is certainly here. The glade was green before, but now it’s covered in a million flowers and it’s just so beautiful. Someone hung up ribbons for the fire festival, and while we haven’t gone to find the bonfire yet, some evenings we can smell the smoke when the wind changes. I’m certain that Relanos would enjoy it — especially if they have food there too. I seem to remember that they do, but it’s been so long since I went to one of them.

Mother took me once when we lived in Ashenvale. The bonfire was built on the sand near the shore, and I’d never seen so many elves before in my entire life. They had a sweet that was melted over the fire and then put between two sweet crackers. I ate so many of those that my stomach was upset later. There were fire jugglers, and I remember being so afraid that one of them would slip and catch on fire, but I didn’t dare look away. And I remember the reflection of the bonfire on the ocean as the sky darkened and turned to purple. Sometimes I wonder where she is, and if she’s all right. I don’t know if Father handled things the way he should have, but nor do I think she should have disappeared without telling him. I don’t want to take sides. I just want everyone to be happy. I know Father is. I mentioned to Jaellynn that we ought to go visit soon, so the boys can play together. He says Relanos will just poke Farahlor and put his fingers in his nose. Maybe that’s what brothers are supposed to do, though. I just think it’s good for him to play with other children, there aren’t any here at the glade.

Last night we had some excitement in the glade. We saw a sentinel — at least, she looked like a sentinel. Sometimes we get elves passing through, but we usually recognize most of them, and they usually aren’t sentinels. She was there with a blood elf, Jaellynn noticed him first and he went and changed into his armor. I don’t know why he wanted to frighten the sentinel, but his aim was to scare off the blood elf. That’s when the sentinel told us she wasn’t a sentinel at all, but the blood elf’s mage apprentice. They were from Dalaran, he explained, and they’d come to visit the glade. I don’t think Jaellynn believed them, but I know things can happen — I have my sentinel marks, and I’m not one either. But why would a kaldorei study magic? In Dalaran, of all places! I’ve heard of elves doing some pretty outlandish things, but that’s got to be near the top. The sentinel said that her grandfather brought her to study there. I have a feeling there’s a lot more to this story, because right now it just doesn’t make sense.

Jaellynn asked if they were going to lay any eggs. I remember the draenei saying that blood elves don’t do that, maybe that’s why he looked so confused. Also, probably only females lay eggs — that’s how it works for all other animals, after all. The blood elf insisted that he wouldn’t, but Jaellynn’s going to check for nests tomorrow, all the same. The sentinel said something strange, she said “we” weren’t going to lay any eggs. Just the way she said it, made me wonder. But that would be disgusting! She kept saying horrible things about Jaellynn too, like that she wished he started to rot. I know she was just angry but still, I didn’t like it. Reminded me too much of those stupid elves back in Darnassus.

But I guess she had a point. If someone saw Jaellynn and I, and didn’t know, they might think that he was keeping me against my will too. So maybe she really does like to stay around a blood elf. I wonder if she can really do magic. I hope they don’t cause any trouble here.

[Story] Tathariel’s Journal

If you had told me a year ago that I would love him even more, I would not have believed it possible. But somehow it is true, somehow the definition of love has grown and expanded to include him. I suppose there are still some who would say I’m mad for choosing him, but I don’t care what they think. I know better. I also know it’s true that most aren’t like him, most don’t have any feelings at all. They are no more than hellish machines, bones held together by a loose collection of skin. Or they are like Father’s little guard dog, with some understanding but drifting moorless in a world where they no longer belong. Jaellynn is lucky to have found a place to  belong, just as lucky as I was to have found him.

He is younger than I am — or he was. But the things that he has seen and been through have aged him greatly. He doesn’t look or act like a young elf, and especially now that he’s a father. While sometimes he does foolish, dangerous things, most of the time he is the one fretting and fussing over our son. Well, maybe he does those foolish and dangerous things while they’re out alone. Relanos isn’t old enough to tattle on his father just yet.

Lately I’ve been thinking more about another baby. Except I’ve been thinking of the sort we can’t actually have, one that I carried. I daydream about what it would be like, sitting in our comfortable old chair with my hands resting on my belly, feeling the first flutter of life within. I plan out how I’d tell him, my smile giving the surprise away. Guess what? Of course it can’t happen, all of my daydreaming is only that. It strikes me as so unfair, that I can never be a mother in the way most others would define it, but worst of all, Jaellynn won’t ever get to hear that news. And then I feel horrible and guilty for even thinking about it, because I know how much it would upset him. He wants everything to be normal, or as close to normal as we can manage. He probably hides much of it from me, but I know he wishes things were different. I haven’t thought about it for a while. But I guess I have thought about it.

His plants have thrived in the spring rains. I guess “exploded” would be a better word for it. They’ve only brightened his mood, and he spends hours out there digging and trimming and perhaps even talking to them, I don’t really know. Even Karnum remarked on how strong and healthy they look, and asked if we’d put Relanos out in the garden to grow him so fast. I’ve never been around many Tauren — at least before we lived here. I was wary and avoided them at first, I found them crude and didn’t like the way they stood around in big clumps, taking up the whole glade. But we’ve grown to know them, and befriend them, especially Karnum. It’s impossible to dislike that old druid. Most of the others are friendly as well, though some still regard us with wary caution — exactly as we regarded them at first.

And as for the animals, my preferred area of study. I’ve been working with one of the other druids to study and test the thunder lizard blood samples regularly. They don’t show any signs of disease, and I believe we’ll soon reduce the testing to twice a year or so. The basilisks have established themselves around the small lakes. We walked around and counted nests this spring. They won’t be leaving any time soon! Slowly but steadily, the plant growth continues to spread out from the glade, and the animals follow soon after. The kodos also have their calves, bumbling and precious. I wonder if Karnum would help me tame one to ride. Jaellynn would have a fit, but I know Relanos would love it! We could make him a special little side-saddle for him to ride in.