[Story] Vassanta’s Journal – To Draenor

Dear journal,

I haven’t written here for a long time. I guess that’s because usually there’s nothing unusual going on. Jaeyn and I go hunting, or we practice our bows or swords, and go exploring with Dog and Sketch. It’s quiet but it’s nice. Then I heard about the portal in Shattrath, and ever since then I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I’d brought it up a few times before, but he didn’t seem especially interested and I didn’t want to push it. I know most elves don’t like taking portals, because they don’t like using magic stuff. I tried to forget about it, but I couldn’t. I kept thinking about if my father and mother were really there, and how much I’d like to see them again. We were eating in Shattrath, and Jaeyn remarked on how empty it was, so I brought it up again. I told him a lot of people had gone to the portal to the other Shattrath, and maybe we could go too.

I have to admit, it does sound like a crazy idea. He asked how it works, and I said I don’t know exactly. I don’t know any magic at all, so I’m the last person you want to ask. I assume it’s like a regular portal, except somehow it’s also able to go to an earlier time instead of just another place. I don’t know if it makes you younger, too. That would be kind of strange. I mean, it must, right? Jaeyn also wanted to know what would happen if I saw myself there. That’s a good question. It would be pretty weird. I guess I would talk to myself? Aren’t there things I would have liked to say to my younger self? Definitely. And I would listen to my own advice, wouldn’t I? Jaeyn was also really curious about the animals and things. I explained how it was in the past, so Draenor hadn’t exploded and the magical energy hadn’t affected things yet. So while some of the animals and plants would be the same, others would be as they were before the explosion. Like there probably wouldn’t be any mana wyrms, things like that. He asked about fish, I said there were more fish in this Draenor, because the oceans and lakes were still there. Also, they weren’t affected by magic, so more of them would be safe to eat. I remember going fishing with my father when I was little, maybe we could do that again, and Jaeyn could come with. I’d like that.

I was a little worried about whether he’d like Jaeyn or not, I mean, he’s obviously not a Draenei. But no one had ever seen a night elf at this point, so they shouldn’t have any bad opinions about them. I figured he would be a good ambassador, they would see what a good hunter he is and be impressed. I told Jaeyn about the rangari, and how I thought he’d like what they do. Maybe he could be one. Jaeyn thought that a rangari was a really giant toad, because of how the word sounds. I told him if we found a really giant toad, we could name it that. I’ve seen toads in the marsh, but they weren’t giant, just regular toad size. But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I figure we could add it to the islands for an attraction. If we end up staying on this Draenor, they could be actual islands with water!

He did say that sometimes meeting people again didn’t always go as we planned. He was talking about his brother, but now I wonder if somehow he knew and was trying to warn me.

Jaeyn said the portal felt weird, but thankfully he didn’t have to go pee. I guess that’s because he went before we left. It felt like walking in a dream, to see all the same places again after all those years. I was surprised and sad to learn that there was fighting in Shattrath, but it was demons, not orcs. I guess that’s something. But I was so excited to show Jaeyn around and we wouldn’t be able to if there’s fighting going on. Still, I asked if Valadaar was working and they told me to check one of the villages close by. I practically ran the whole way! People stared at Jaeyn a little, but not too much. I guess some night elves had already come through the portal before us, so they had seen a few. They might have been staring because of his fake tail, or because they thought he was a dragon. He’d worn his dragon armor. I wore my good Shattari armor, because I wanted my father to see it. I knew he’d be proud of me.

I couldn’t believe how young he looked! I went up to him and I wanted to hug him but the puzzled look made me stop. It’s me, I said, but he still looked confused. Don’t you remember? He said he thought I was playing a funny joke, but he didn’t know who I was. How could he not know? What about Vajarra, I asked. Who? And mother? He didn’t have a mate, he explained, he was busy with his work and hadn’t had time to meet anyone. It had to be a mistake, everything was supposed to be the same! He was my father, but he wasn’t really, he was a stranger that looked like him, which was even worse. I’m ashamed to admit that I cried. Jaeyn didn’t say anything, he just held me and let me, but I’m glad he was. It would have been even worse if he wasn’t there. I hate crying, I hate feeling like this. And I hate knowing that my hope of seeing them again was just that, hope. Nothing real.

Just so it’s not a wasted trip, we’ll go exploring and catch some fish for the next couple of days. I don’t want to talk about it, but I should. At least I know Jaeyn will understand and not laugh at me.

Bye journal,
~Vass

[Story] Winter Veil Postcards – Vassanta

There was very little that either Vassanta or Jaeyn needed in their little house in the Terrokar wastes. There were their weapons and armor of course, and a few supplies for cooking, but they could travel and move easily, as they chose. Still, Vassanta liked the excuse of the dwarf holiday in order to buy him a gift. Last year she’d got him a little robot toy which he’d liked a great deal. She hadn’t the first idea what she would get him this year, but she knew the place to go — the market in Shattrath. She’d be sure to find something suitable there.

She walked among the stalls, slowly looking over the wares. There was a booth that had all sorts of books, but not the fancy sort they had up in the library. They were the kind printed on cheap paper, that had stories that ran from mildly spicy to outright lurid. Still, Vassanta thought they were amusing, and picked out a few to buy that looked interesting. They could read them together later and laugh over the story. As it neared mid-day she got hungry, and stopped at one of the stalls that sold food. The sign claimed it to be grilled talbuk meat, but in this part of the market that was unlikely. She bought some anyway though, and sat watching the other people in the market as she ate. One of the strange squishy fungus people padded by on his soft feet, and asked Vassanta for a coin. She fished some silver pieces out from her pouch, and dropped it in his outstretched hand. He smiled gratefully at it for a moment, before looking back to her curiously.

“Why you not go to old Shattrath?” he asked. “Other draenei go there.”

Vassanta glanced around. She had noticed there seemed to be fewer draenei in the market, but she hadn’t thought much of it until now. “What do you mean?” she asked. “Old Shattrath?”

His small purple arm stretched out, pointing toward the center of the city. “Portal,” he explained. “Old Shattrath.”

She shook her head and smiled what she hoped was politely. The fungus person was surely mistaken. And what did he mean by Old Shattrath? Still, she ought to go and see what was going on before she left, maybe the other draenei were gathered there for some reason. There was a small crowd gathered around a mage, a portal flickering faintly. The mage looked exhausted.

“What’s going on?” she asked the person closest to her. “What’s happening?”

He was an older anchorite, the age written in lines on his face, but he looked gentle. He explained that yes, the portal was to an older version of Draenor, where Karabor still stood. He wanted to see it in its glory once again. Vassanta didn’t see how it was possible, surely mages were capable of amazing feats, but to go to a different time? But everyone she spoke to assured her that it was true. If it was in the past, she asked the old anchorite, her voice wavering, were the people still there? They were, he assured her.

Vassanta’s legs felt as if they wouldn’t support her anymore, and she excused herself to a nearby bench. Was it really possible to see her father again? Would he even recognize her now? It would depend how far in the past the portal went, but in that moment Vassanta decided that it didn’t matter. She had to go, even if it was just for a little while. She was certain that Vajarra would share the old anchorite’s wish to see Karabor again, as well. She’d dreamed of studying there, before everything went bad, but never had the chance. On this, the sisters would certainly agree. But what about Jaeyn? He didn’t like taking portals, and she thought that would hold doubly true for portals to another time. But she couldn’t leave him behind, either, especially if she would be there for any length of time. She was in such a hurry to get home and ask him that she forgot about the rest of his gift until she was already on the gryphon back.

 

[Screenshots] Level 100

Finally got level 100 tonight! Vass was actually about a bar ahead, I guess from mining. I still have a lot of quests left to finish, and I want to start working on gearing up. Sath is next up for leveling!

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[Screenshots] The Last Hordebreakers

… probably. Vass and Vajarra finished their titles and got their 502 boots. I do have another troll I might try to get to 90 before it’s over, but I’m not super motivated.

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By the way, Huuot the Tauren Druid: Tagging mobs and then dragging them onto other people to make them kill them for you is extremely rude 🙂

[Art] Adventure Time With Vass & Jaeyn

I don’t actually like Adventure Time, but I thought the idea and style would fit these guys perfectly. Plus it’s way easier to shade. I think it turned out pretty cute though!

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[Story] Winter Veil Postcards 2

[[ The other 6! They are kind of depressing this time around… sorry 😄 ))

Ornasse

The stormcrow beat his wings once, twice, to maintain his height. Where once the flying had been swift and treacherous, its shifting thermals and sudden jets of hot air, it now took some effort on Ornasse’s part to stay aloft. Though it had not been long, not even by human measurements, the forests of Hyjal had moved to reclaim themselves. The servants of Ragnaros had been banished, sent back to the realm of fire, and green growth sprouted over the charred ground.

Like all of the battles in his long life, this one would soon fade to little more than memories, perhaps with a scar or two to go along with them. Though his time in Hyjal had been different; Kelanori had been there. She was the beacon of hope that drew him home across these burning meadows each evening. Though he protested her staying, there were probably fewer places more safe than an ancient’s blessed shrine, and he had the selfish luxury of seeing her every day.

And the worgen, the very strange worgen who had followed him home from that nightmare. Ornasse had expected her to leave by now, returned to her pack or wherever it was that worgen went. For a time it seemed that she had, he would find her huge paw-tracks in the mud leading out of the town. But each night, if he looked, he could find her eyes glowing bright and blue in the night, like two wisps. She was watching, keeping them safe. He felt strange about it, but Kelanori didn’t seem bothered.

The druid alit on a crooked log, pausing to rest his wings. He was not so young as he once was. Tendrils of bright green vines covered the charred bark, drawing from the nutrients of the dead wood. From death, came life. It was the way it had to be. It was growing fast, aided by the work of the awoken Ancients, and the druids who remained behind. Farahlor was growing fast too, he thought he could already see himself in the child’s features. Who would he be? What would he become? In truth he had no idea how to be a proper father. He had been absent for all of Tathariel’s youth, and it was only by some miracle that she didn’t hate him for it. Things with Farahlor would be different.

Vassanta
There was nothing Vassanta could possibly want for Winter Veil. Her life had come a long way from the time the Exodar screeched to a crash in Ammen Vale. Most of it she could never have imagined, certainly not finding happiness with an elf, of all things. And hyenas, they didn’t even have those on Draenor, though Vassanta thought they would do well on the Bone Wastes.

Though she didn’t want anything for herself, she wanted to buy something for Jaeyn. If she asked, he’d probably say that he didn’t want anything either. He had a whole collection of good bows, and several impressive polearms. He had Dog, the faithful nightsaber who had remained by his side for many years, and Tumbles the bear they’d raised from a cub. Unless Jaeyn suddenly decided that he wanted a kid, Vassanta figured they both had everything they could possibly want.

Still, she had an idea for something he might like, and she made an excuse about needing new shoes to go into Shattrath for the day. She didn’t even -wear- shoes on her hooves, though some draenei did. Jaeyn touched her hooves often enough to know that, but he didn’t ask questions. Maybe somehow he knew her real motives.

The streets of Shattrath seemed busier than usual to Vassanta, and she noticed more blood elves than usual. She made a sour face. She’d thought they’d finally all left the city for good. As long as they kept to their own part of the city, they were tolerable — barely. She made her way down to the market in Lower City, jangling her coins as she went.

One of the stalls held an assortment of toys, mostly carved of wood, though some were soft and stuffed with wool. The one that Vassanta was interested in was neither — a boxy metal thing with a crank on the back. It was, the shopkeeper assured her, a rocket bot. When wound, the contraption would walk and sparks would shoot from the cannons that formed its arms.

Perfect, Vassanta said, and handed her coins to the toymaker.

Soranasha
Soranasha paused, her quill dripping two spots of ink onto the page. She frowned down at it, sighing quietly. She’d have to redo the entire thing. Master Andarthir was very fussy about having spots and smears on his pages.

She rose and moved to the little window that overlooked the dense forest below. For safety — his own — Andarthir had never told her exactly where they were, but she knew it was somewhere in Kalimdor. Soranasha could smell the sea, and on clear days she could see it, a vast grey line on the horizon. But today was not clear, today the air was crisp and tiny snowflakes danced on the wind. She remembered snow, from the time before. It never actually snowed in the city; the bubble kept out all of the rain and bad weather. But if you went out beyond into the countryside, you could see it. They took a carriage out once, the wheels getting stuck in the deep drifts, and they ended up walking instead. One of the boys had put snow down her robe in the back and she had shrieked in surprise. How cold it had been! How she wished she could feel it again.

Sometimes she wondered about the others, whether they ever thought about her at all. She thought of them, though she didn’t remember the names of the boys anymore. Maybe her memory was beginning to go. That happened sometimes, in time the decay would claim it. She wondered if it was better to know how long she might have left, or not. In the end, it didn’t really matter anyway. She picked up her quill again, and started a fresh page.

Stormpelt
The scent of the green pup-whelps was long gone from Stormpelt’s nose, of course her nose was not half of what it had been before. Still, she had not seen track nor camp of them in almost an entire month now. For a time, she had watched the purple pup-whelp, the one who was like Leaves. Unlike Leaves, he was alone and no one ever came to see him. Stormpelt thought he might simply need a Grub Grub of his own for company. But then one day, she didn’t see him anymore, and she could not find his track no matter how long she searched.

Leaves said that the green pup-whelps didn’t belong in the forest, and she should fight them should she see any. She had looked forward to this, eager to prove her worth to her new master, but the opportunity had never arisen. Each night, she kept watch over the village in case any should try to sneak in. The ones with stinging thorns did not shoot at her any longer, they were accustomed to her presence. Leaves had told them she would not harm anyone, though they still watched her with mistrust in their eyes. It was a look that Stormpelt knew well these days.

She sat back on her haunches and took out Grub Grub, still cold and groggy. The forest was colder these nights, and though it did not bother her any, it made the bloodworm sluggish. She sought shelter in caves or beneath branches to try to stay warm and dry. Slowly, the bloodworm stirred, its mouth searching over Stormpelt’s paw for food. Instead, she showed Grub Grub the gift that Berries had given to them both: a little cloth pouch sewn with a ribbon. Carefully, she opened the bag and put the bloodworm inside. Grub Grub was sure to stay safe and warm in there.

Sath’alor

He saw them when he went to find a mage. They were sitting on a step in front of a building, across from the inn. Her, and Aeramin. There was another man with them, one that Sath’alor didn’t recognize. He’d expected it, but that didn’t make the shock of actually seeing it any less. The ranger pulled his hood further over his face and hurried past. They didn’t notice him. He was a ghost.

He considered going back, saying hello, saying that he knew. But what good would it do? Better that she move on and be happy, even if that meant that he wasn’t part of it. He was trying to do the same, but he found it more difficult than he’d expected. This new place would help. None would know him there, and there were new people to meet, new cats to befriend. The mage charged him an outrageous price for the portal, but Sath’alor paid it.

Sath’alor asked to go to a forest, and the mage had obliged. It was a riot of green, and seemed to stretch forever. The natives — short and hairy creatures — assured him that cats lived in the area. They used a strange word for them, but when Sath’alor mimed claws and roaring, they seemed to understand what he meant.

Though he didn’t know the forest well, he found a high place overlooking a stream to make his camp. Tomorrow he would begin searching for a new friend.

Isandri

Theronil had been right, if the rumors were true. They’d left Dalaran just in time. Isandri heard the rumors in the library, and at the counter at the inn, down in the market. They couldn’t -all- be wrong, and they all said the same thing: the sin’dorei were no longer allowed in Dalaran. Those who had surrendered were locked up, and those who hadn’t… it seemed too horrible to even consider. Thero’s brother was still there, unless he’d moved and not told anyone. Though she had her own differences with Teniron, she knew how important he was to Theronil, and she feared his reaction if he should lose his only remaining family member. Were letters even being delivered? Or would they use them to find her and arrest her, too?

Most of her friends had come to Shattrath, but that only made her feel more guilty. Why should she feel relieved when so many others were suffering? And what if she -hadn’t- listened to Thero? The thought of it made her shudder.

The gifts were wrapped in bright gold paper, with red ribbons, but the sight of them made Isandri want to cry. She thought of the people who had bought gifts for their family and now would never get to deliver them. It didn’t seem fair. Someone had to do something. But she feared that it would only lead to more suffering, for everyone involved.

[Story] Vassanta’s Journal

Dear journal,

Things are going good. We’ve been living in the house on the biggest island. Some plants have even grown up there now, so it seems like it’s been there for a long time. It seems like it belongs.

We just had the candy holiday again. I actually forgot all about it, until Jaeyn started working on his new tail for his costume this year. At first he didn’t want me to see what it was, because it was supposed to be a surprise, but I found out anyway. Then I said he couldn’t wear a tail again because he wore one last year, and you aren’t allowed to wear the same thing twice in a row. But he said it’s a new, improved design so it doesn’t really count as the same thing. The mask is the same though, but he looks so cute with a tail that I didn’t really argue. It is a better tail though, he made it out of cloth this time instead of paper, so it’s more durable, and he stuffed it with soft stuff inside. It doesn’t move quite like a real tail is supposed to, I guess we’ll have to try to fix that for next year.

Then I said I don’t know what I want for my costume, and Jaeyn went and got a bunch of plants and sticks and leaves. He said I should be a sporeling. That’s really not what sporelings look like, but he was so excited about it that I went along with it. The people who hand out the candy don’t really care what your costume is, anyway. We went into Shattrath and visited all the inns and shops where they were handing out candy. I also got an orc mask, so then I was an orc sporeling I guess. Or an orc who fell into a pit of leaves. I don’t know.

While we were there, we saw something really crazy, we saw a bear person! I said we should have brought Tumbles with us, so he could talk to them. But I didn’t think Tumbles ought to eat candy, and he surely would if he saw a big bucket of it. Jaeyn said they were pandaren but he’d never seen one before, only read about them in books. Now that I think of it, it might have just been someone’s costume that was done really well to look like a real one.

We’ve been working some more on our fighting stuff. I want to try it out on some blood elves soon, but there aren’t any on the islands yet. I guess I should remind Jaeyn about that. Last time we caught one, we accidentally left it behind. I’m pretty sure there are still some in the forest, but that’s a long way to carry it back. We’d need to put it on his rocket. I am not sure how I feel about a disgusting blood elf riding on our rocket, even if it is to be captured for the islands.

I haven’t heard from Vajarra in a while, I guess I should probably write to her. I do miss seeing her, even if she’s annoying sometimes.

Bye journal!
~Vass