[Story] Story a Week 23

[[ I used the word “Fern” which I could swear was on my list but apparently wasn’t, so I have no idea where I got it. But here’s a story about ferns. ]]

Vynlorin knelt on the carpet of moss, plucking a small piece and crumbling it between his fingers. It had a slight, subtle scent — green and woody, evoking spring sunlight on the forest floor. That was the scent he was trying to capture, something that would be suitable for a ranger. But knowing your goal and actually achieving it were two completely different things. Perfumers could spend decades trying to perfect that one particular scent. To complicate matters, he didn’t really have a proper laboratory, either. He kept tiny jars and bottles on every surface of his room — the shelves, his desk, the windowsill, but it was a sort of organized chaos. He looked forward to having a real work-room, fully stocked and with proper storage.

Even without a laboratory, Vynlorin thought he was close to being satisfied with his fire-inspired perfume. Due to the spices he’d used, it even gave a slight warming effect on the skin when used. The only thing missing, he thought, was the subtle hint of ash at the finish. He’d tried using both ash and charcoal, but neither left much of a scent, certainly not enough to linger after the other stronger notes had dissipated. Still, he’d given samples to Xarola and Master Firewind, and some of the other fire students and they’d all been enthusiastic about it. Some encouragement was needed as he struggled with trying to pin down a frost scent — and this ranger one. There were a number of mints he thought about trying for frost, but none of them had the right watery edge to them. When he was stumped like this, he would simply smell everything and hope for inspiration to come.

Vynlorin pulled another small tuft of moss and placed it in his basket. Even if it wasn’t exactly what he was looking for, he wanted to save it to experiment with. He glanced around the forest for anything else he could try. Leaf litter? Messy, and the odor had the faint undertone of decay — not what someone wanted to wear for perfume. Mushrooms? Possible, but it would be difficult to distill them. Vynlorin took one just in case, its surface brown and woody like bark. Tiny white flowers speckled the forest floor, but they didn’t have much scent at all. Ferns? He paused, considering. They were plants, but not flowers. Most simply had a green sort of scent, nothing especially unique. But Vynlorin crushed a few of the small leaves and held them up to his nose. Yes, it mostly smelled of green, but it had a deeper complexity as well — reminiscent of a fresh rain, shadowy places, and soft earth. In short, it would be the perfect addition to his ranger scent. Smiling, Vynlorin took out his small knife and cut a bundle of fern fronds and lay them carefully in his basket. He had some work to do.

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Vynlorin’s Journal

I’m so relieved that the ball went well! I was so nervous all night I thought I would throw up. That really would have impressed Xarola’s mother. I wanted to wait until the right time too, when it wasn’t too loud and we were alone. For a while she was talking with the other girls, so I couldn’t do it then. I did end up talking to Zalindri’s fiance though. I’m not sure what to think of him. Honestly, I think he was kind of rude and snobby, but maybe he just isn’t used to this place. And he doesn’t know anyone here at all, he knows Zalindri but not very well. They’ve hardly spoken at all. He just kept saying things that seemed rude to me, like we must not be able to afford a real mage school if we’re going here. Even if I was, I’d rather go here because it’s small so the teachers can give you a lot of help, and we have private practice rooms. It’s also got fun things to do like the forest and the beach, and the headmaster takes us on trips. He said it sounded boring. I’m not sure what his idea of fun is, then. I did suggest that maybe he could work at the clinic in town, because he’s studying to be a priest and will need to look for a job soon. Then he’d at least be closer to Zalindri and could get used to the Ghostlands. But I don’t know if he even wants that. He didn’t seem very nice to her either. Like I said that Zalindri is really smart, because she goes to a mage school and she’s always studying and she does well on her tests, but he said that’s different from common sense. Which, I mean, I guess it’s true but it’s not very nice to say about your future wife. It’s really not my business what she does with her life but I hope she knows what she is doing. If I were her, I don’t know if I’d stay engaged to him or not. I see the people here who are and they act so different, you can tell they care about the other person even if they aren’t around. If you ask Lora about Keyalenn she’s always excited to talk about him. That’s how I feel about Xarola too, I mean sure everyone has their little flaws but you look past that to all of the good things. Xarola doesn’t have any though.

I found her finally and brought some food over to eat. My plan was to put the ring into one of the little bags of chocolates, but I had to ask her a bunch of times if she wanted one! I was worried that she wouldn’t. So while she went to the bathroom to look for Zalindri I went and got two from the table. They’re really fancy chocolates from a shop in Silvermoon. I thought about getting some of them before but they were too much. So I know she’d like them. I put the ring inside her bag and brought them over, but then she wouldn’t eat any! I had to remind her to try them. She was confused at first, and then she cried which I thought was bad but it was just because she was happy. She said she liked the color too. I’m going to ask the headmaster if we can have a house, I guess it probably won’t be until next summer because the builders can’t work now and I think all the houses are taken. But maybe not. Xarola said she wants an herb drying area and I could work on my extracts and blending in the same place, we could start making some of the magical perfumes for our business! And of course it’ll be great to see her every night and morning too. I’m trying not to think about that part too much because it’ll make me impatient. We won’t have the ceremony until after we both graduate, but I like knowing that it’ll happen eventually.

[Story] Story a Week 40

[[ Prompt: A story about a secret

Some secrets are good! This is one. ]]

Vynlorin hurried down the market street, hoping to reach the chocolate shop before it closed for the evening. The lamps were already being lit, so he knew he didn’t have a lot of time. He already had two parcels. One, tucked under his arm, was the latest of the dragon books that Xarola liked so much. This one was about a nether dragon, the sort they’d seen in Shattrath on one of their school trips. He was certain she’d be excited to read it. The other parcel was much smaller, and hidden safely inside Vynlorin’s coat pocket. Every now and then he paused to make sure it was still there. It had cost a lot of gold, he’d been saving up since last year. Several months back, he’d made a trip into the city to visit the shop and see how close he was to being able to buy one. While he couldn’t get the biggest or fanciest ring, he was sure Xarola wouldn’t have liked one of those anyway. The one he chose was subtle and classic, a bright gold band with a ruby mounted above it.

It was also important that he talked to Xarola’s mother first. Though he’d met her before, he wanted to be sure she knew about his plan and was okay with it. He didn’t have to, of course, but he felt it was the right thing to do, especially because they were both so young. Standing on her porch, he almost lost his nerve, and then he wished he’d brought some sort of gift, like flowers or wine, to make things go better. Though she seemed puzzled to see him without Xarola, she let him in. Vynlorin didn’t want to just blurt it out the second he got there, so they talked about normal things first. She was worried about the school being safe with the demons; he told her about the wards and the ranger patrols, as well as the emergency portals. He also told her about the new greenhouse that had just finished being built. She could grow some of the more rare herbs there, even in the cold of winter. He and Xarola had already planned out what to plant in their section. To his great relief, she seemed to like the idea, at least when he explained that they wouldn’t have the wedding until they were both finished with their studies. Vynlorin understood just how hard she had worked to send Xarola to mage school, and how important it was to her. He wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize that, and he felt the same way. It had been his dream ever since he could remember. She said she didn’t want to have to pay more for one of the houses, though. Vynlorin didn’t think anyone paid more tuition for that, but he would have to check with the headmaster to be sure. He thought maybe he should wait until after he gave Xarola the ring though, just so fewer people knew about it beforehand. It should be a surprise. He already worried that she might have figured it out when he said he needed to go into the city alone. She’d definitely figure it out if her mother was there at the autumn ball. Vynlorin suggested that she could wear a mask, at least until he gave it to her. That way she could still be there, but wouldn’t give it away.

He had some ideas about that, too. He liked the idea of asking Terellion to make a special cake, but that would be yet another person he’d have to trust to keep the secret. Instead, he thought he might put the box inside one of the little pouches of candy. He would just have to slip it in before Xarola opened hers. Maybe there was a better idea, there was still time to think about it. He’d stopped for the chocolates and book partly to dispel any suspicions she might have, and just because he knew she would like them. And he had a little left over after buying the ring. He hadn’t been exactly sure what color stone she’d like best, but Xarola’s mother insisted she would like ruby the best. Now came the most difficult part — waiting for the autumn ball.

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Vynlorin’s Journal

[[ Just a quick one today, everyone’s home and I can’t concentrate enough for anything complicated! ]]

It’s so weird to think that Keyalenn is a professor now. Well, I guess he isn’t really, but he’s going to help Professor Raleth with the frost classes, so he’s like a professor’s assistant. Which still makes it seem a little weird. He still seems like the same guy, but in the spring he’s going to be moving into his own house and he probably won’t come talk to us as often. Or maybe he’ll become boring because he’s a teacher! It’s so strange to think about how he used to get in trouble for doing pranks all the time, that’s why he had to leave his old school. Now he’s all serious and responsible. I guess that’s good, but I kind of miss the old Keyalenn sometimes, or at least hearing the stories about his pranks. I suppose I’m a little jealous too, I wish I could be moving into my own house with Xarola, though I would miss talking to the guys as well. Keyalenn and Lora aren’t even married yet, which I thought would be against the rules but he said it’s okay since they are engaged. I wish I could afford to buy Xarola a ring, then we could too. All of the money I get from selling flowers and herbs goes to pay for my books and robes and supplies. I don’t want to ask my family for money because they’re already paying for me to go here. We aren’t poor exactly, but they don’t really have extra money, almost everything goes back into the business. The reason I can even go to magic school at all is because this one costs so much less than the ones in Silvermoon. I know Xarola’s family doesn’t have a lot either, it’s just her and her mother. And I think she’d probably like any ring I got but I want it to be a nice one. Especially since Lora is going around showing hers off, it probably cost a ton. I don’t even know if Xarola would say yes either, I mean I think she would, but there’s always a chance she wouldn’t. She might want to travel first or move somewhere else, or maybe her mother arranged someone for her in the city, who knows.

Maybe I could bring it up at the goblin day party. We don’t normally have one here at the school, but I thought it might be fun because it’s an excuse to dance and eat a lot of cake and spinach rolls. So what if it’s a made up goblin holiday! Salastion seemed to like the idea, and one of the new guys. He has a really weird name, it’s like Gull or something. I haven’t had time to talk to most of the new students, between all my classes, and I feel kind of bad about it. But at least we talked a bit last night. He seemed to like the idea too, but he didn’t know which girl he should invite. He suggested that we just invite all the girls and then we could dance with them there, I guess that could work. I explained how they always talk about us though, like secret stuff that they won’t tell you about. I’ve tried asking Xarola, believe me. The new girls seem nice though, I’m sure they’d be willing to dance with them. I am glad I don’t have to worry about who I am going to dance with! Unless she doesn’t want to of course. I told Gull to get some flowers or chocolate for the girl he likes, or those dragon books. They all seem to like those. I think there’s a new one out now, Xarola has been carrying a book around and hiding it inside one of her study books. I don’t know why she’s so embarrassed about it!

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Vynlorin’s Journal

The party was nice, we wore masks with different herbs on them again. It’s the same as last year but it was different herbs so it still counts as a different costume. Plus I think I’m getting better at making masks this time around. Mostly we used paper but Xarola also picked some real ones to put on which made them smell nice as well. It’s going to frost soon, so there won’t be a lot of herbs that can be gathered then, though there are certain kinds of barks and berries you can find, and sometimes mushrooms before it gets too cold. Most of those things don’t work very well for perfume, but they still sell well. I keep telling Xarola she should write it all down to keep track but she says she doesn’t need to. Maybe I will. It would help me remember things.

My brain is full with all of our school work. Fire continues to go well, I’m able to change its shape and move it around, but arcane and frost are still not going very well. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to teleport. Sometimes it feels like everyone’s so far ahead of me and I’m never going to catch up. Like Keyalenn is talking about taking his exam soon, and then he’s going to stay and be Magister Raleth’s assistant. I’m happy for him but he won’t be able to come and talk with us if he’s a teacher assistant. Also he’d probably move into his own house, he says he can teleport but he’ll probably be too busy with papers and things like that. He said he won’t be able to see Loralinde anymore either if he’s a teacher, because of what people would say. I don’t think I could do that. I asked him what he’s going to do and he said he’s going to talk to her parents about getting married. Personally I don’t see how that would change anything, I think people still might talk, but maybe not. I guess the other option is that he just waits until she finishes, but that could be a few years. I think we’re all way too young, but I didn’t say that. He said he still has the ring from the last girl he asked but he doesn’t want to use that one, which makes sense. He ought to pick out one that this girl likes anyway. I bet Xarola would like one that had flowers carved in it, but I think it’s still too early for me too. I’ve thought about it though, once we both have finished. I don’t know if she plans to stay here after, I’ve always liked our idea about opening our own shop. It’s funny because I wanted to go to mage school instead of run the shop, but I ended up thinking about making perfumes anyway. Maybe she’d want to take over our parents’ one with me, but I’d have to talk to my sisters about that too. We still have a lot of time to figure it out. I haven’t even got to look at her chest yet! I don’t think Keyalenn actually knows how to get girls to let you.

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Vynlorin’s Journal

Remember that new student we got a little while ago? Well, Keyalenn is spending all his time with her now instead of with me and Salastion. Usually we’d talk there in the afternoon while we did our work and ate, but now he’s always in the library with her! And the worst part is that he won’t even tell us anything that happened. He just said that they went over their notes. All afternoon? It’s so weird, he couldn’t stop talking about that ranger girl but it’s like he doesn’t want to say anything about this one. Maybe it’s because it could get back to her, I guess that’s a good reason. He didn’t even get to look at her boobs. Lhoris told us about how he has looked at real ones, and more! I’ll admit I’m pretty jealous, he said it was the daughter of his neighbor and he just snuck in her room and they started kissing and stuff. He made it sound like it’s just so easy, that kind of thing hasn’t happened to any of us. Though it makes me wonder if he might be making it all up, I don’t know. I guess he could be, so he’ll seem cool or something. If it’s true he’s the youngest of us and the only one who’s done anything like that. He asked how come I haven’t with Xarola, and I’ll admit I have thought about it. But there’s no privacy at all, we’re not allowed in each other’s rooms and there’s always people around in the school. Maybe out in the woods, except I wouldn’t be surprised if the Magister has scrying things out there too. Plus, we’re supposed to be working on our classes and stuff. I wouldn’t want us getting in trouble, especially her. Besides, I figure once we’re both older and graduated, we can live together and do that stuff whenever we want to. They all sounded kind of surprised about that, like why I wouldn’t I want to stay with her after? She’s good at fire magic, and she’s smart and pretty, and she knows a lot about plants. I thought if the mage thing doesn’t work out, we could always make perfumes. I probably wouldn’t want to work at my parents’ stall, though I could sell them there. It could be a whole mage-themed collection or something, you know like firebloom and cinnamon for fire, and some kind of mint plus winter’s breath for frost. I think that would sell pretty well. Also, I don’t want Xarola to slap me. I know she’s not the kind of girl who would do things like that, and I don’t want her to get the wrong idea. If I can think of a good way to bring it up while we’re on a walk, I will, otherwise I’ll just keep waiting. By the time we’ve both passed our exams we’ll have been together for a long time.

Keyalenn did mention getting a painting for that girl though. It didn’t go so well with the ranger, but he thinks this girl likes art more. Where does he get all the money for this? He said his parents would just give him more. They must have figured out that he’s not actually using it for robes by now, but I guess maybe they don’t care? I wish I had enough money to not even care where it went. Anyway, he was asking us for ideas about what to put in the picture. I told him it shouldn’t be exactly the same because what if the girl somehow finds out about the other one? She’d probably be mad. At least if it’s different Keyalenn could say it’s not the same thing. I thought ghosts would be pretty scary, and good because there are actually ghosts here, but I don’t think he liked the idea much. He thought of a demon, one of the kinds with their mouth on their stomach. I agree, that would be pretty scary I guess, but I think if the picture is too scary she won’t want to hang it up. I hope he keeps that in mind. I think a painting of Xarola holding a basket of flowers would be nice, like when we go pick them in the forest. I wonder how much that would cost?

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Vynlorin’s Journal

Salastion and I wanted to go to the Faire since it was here, we figured it might help Keyalenn to stop thinking about work for a little while. Okay, and that ranger girl. There are always lots of girls there, sure some of them are gnolls and undead, but they still count, right? He didn’t even seem to want to go though, even when we went to the cake stand. He said there’s cake back at the school, which there is. But these cakes are good too, and they’re small little individual cakes, which are neat! There are also brownies, which I like a lot. He finally agreed to take one that had a lot of frosting on it. We got drinks too, which is fun because they have all different kinds there. I like the Darkmoon Reserve but it’s REALLY strong which I learned my lesson with last time. I drink it really slow now. The fizzing one is nice too, Keyalenn says there’s no alcohol in it, but I’m really not sure. I would be surprised if any of them didn’t. I remembered to buy some wings after we got drinks and dessert, they’re really good and it’s not good to just eat cake for dinner even though I’m pretty sure the Magister does all the time.

I told the guys about how he’s trying to trick Xarola into eating fish. I am not sure why he’d want to do that, she could get really sick! He’s never been mean to her before so I just don’t understand. I warned her about it though, and I said that if he tried to get her to eat anything weird, to just bring it to me and I’ll eat it. Then she can pretend that she did. I don’t know what happens if she eats fish, but I doubt it’s anything good! He did say that we’re for sure having a spring ball. I want to get a nice robe in some pale spring colors, but I’m worried it might look too silly. I guess it will depend what kind of dress Xarola gets, if she is getting one at all. Oh, that’s another weird thing. Keyalenn said that he doesn’t like the ranger girl anymore (which is good!) but that he only wants a mage girl now. Salastion and I think he shouldn’t limit himself so much, but he said that he doesn’t want a ranger because she’d have muddy shoes. Honestly, I don’t see how muddy shoes are such a big deal. Xarola has muddy shoes anytime we go out looking for herbs but she can just wash them? But then he said it was so they could study together, which makes sense I guess. Still, if the right girl for him happens to be a ranger, it would be silly of him to not talk to her just because of that. Salastion is going to talk to one of the Magister’s sisters, the one who was here to help with the babies. I personally think it would be a little weird to be seeing the Magister’s sister, but what do I know. Maybe it would help me pass my classes!

Anyway, Keyalenn says he’s too busy for a girlfriend anyway, with all of his classes and working on the music for the ball. I guess he’s probably right, he has been working a lot lately. It’s weird, he used to always joke and play pranks but now he just wants to study all the time. I guess almost failing your classes can do that to you. I don’t think Xarola takes up too much time, but it’s easy because we both live at the school. If I had to travel to see her, it would take up more time, but I could go on weekends or something. Hopefully that doesn’t happen.

My fortune from the gnoll said that a stranger is a friend that you haven’t met yet. I wonder if it’s talking about the new student? We don’t have one yet, but hopefully soon. There’s a room now that Mae passed and has moved out.