[Story] Imralion’s Journal

Aeramin was at the ball. Of course he was. I swear, he has this sense about when I’m about to try to talk to Kavia. Most of the night he spent with his father, which I thought was a little unusual. Normally he tries to avoid him completely. They were probably talking about Lyorri. I kept accidentally bumping into them, like when I went to get wine or when we were going to go out to the garden. Like I said, “accidentally”. If I didn’t know better I’d think Aeramin had one of his imps spying for him, though I know Hethurin would never allow that in the school. I managed to mess up that too. I just suggested that Lyorri might like the play room better than the ballroom, because there are a lot of toys and usually other babies there. Aeramin took that to mean that he should go hide her away because I don’t want to see her. That’s not what I meant at all. I was trying to think of what she would like. He always thinks I’m not trying, but I am. He’ll probably sleep in the basement anyway, no matter what I say. And then he calls Hethurin stubborn…

I think things went okay with Kavia, though. For once. We had some food, I showed her the fish rolls and the other things, and the cake. I really liked that cake. I bet Terellion could do really well making cakes for parties and stuff, not that I think Hethurin would allow him to go work in the city. But maybe he could deliver them with portals or something. Anyway, Kavia and I had wine, as I mentioned, I was surprised that Aeramin was drinking it right in front of Arancon. I guess he must be pretty confident about not drinking if he can go to parties now. Later on we went out to the garden, it was really pretty with the branches and ribbons hung up, cold but it wasn’t snowing. I let her use my cloak and I was going to be subtle and put my arm around her but then she asked me to, so it wasn’t very subtle. But it was nice. I said that I wanted to spend more time together and she said it was difficult because of her patrols, and because of Aeramin. I know it is. I wish I knew an easy solution. I keep thinking that he’s going to get annoyed with me one day and ask me to leave. I really don’t want that, but at the same time I really want to spend time with her too. I wish everyone could just get along. She did agree to go to an inn though, I will have to make the arrangements. I said Eversong, because it’s close and there are a lot of inns there, but I’m thinking maybe the island would be better. It’ll be quiet this time of year and we could get a really fancy room, and walk on the beach. I haven’t told Aeramin about it yet. He was asleep when I got home, in the basement just as I expected. Some of his imps were around him and one was messing with his hair. I sure wouldn’t let any demons mess with my hair, but I guess he trusts them. I was a little annoyed because I had to walk home alone in the dark; he’d gone ahead without me. Arancon said he hadn’t felt well, but I’m not sure if that’s true. That guy doesn’t like me anyway.


[Art] Rendeer

Renner helps Hethurin deliver toys to all the orphans. (But probably half of the toys are dolls for the girls.)


[Story] Fairsong Academy – Loralinde’s Diary


I still feel like I’m dreaming. It’s one of those really good dreams that goes on for a very long time and you can remember everything, but still a dream. I feel like I’ll wake up tomorrow and it will just be a regular day and Keyalenn didn’t give me the most beautiful ring ever. He must have been planning it for a while. I mean, if it’s not a dream. This was my first winter at the school so I didn’t know what to expect, the other parties have been lovely but this one was extra fancy. I think there’s just something about all of the lights and snowflakes that makes it more special. And mistletoe. Terellion put that everywhere, wasn’t that thoughtful of him? Keyalenn’s parents were there though, as well as everyone else, so I couldn’t kiss him too much, but enough. I saw them at the party but we didn’t talk really. I hope they like me and don’t think we’re too poor to marry him or something. We aren’t poor really, but I have so many sisters and that many weddings adds up. Luckily the actual wedding won’t be for a few years yet, so we have time to save up. And plan! I want it to be perfect just like him. His ears are so nice. I can’t wait to touch them whenever I feel like it. He said that in the spring he’ll get his own house, because he’ll be helping Magister Raleth with the frost classes, and I can live there too. I am not sure if Magister Fairsong would allow it, but I guess he has to if we’re engaged. I guess that’s probably part of the reason he asked. I don’t mind though. I know Des has done some of those things, and I’ve read about it in books, but I bet it’s even nicer to try yourself.

I hope it snows, we were talking about that before he asked. It never snows in the city, but Keyalenn said it does out here sometimes, because it’s colder and wetter. I’ve only seen it in paintings, but it looks so beautiful and peaceful. He said we could go for a walk in the woods, which sounds so nice. He also said the snow crunches when you walk on it, I didn’t expect that. It looks like soft puffy clouds. I believe him though, he’s a frost mage after all so I’m sure he knows all about snow and ice things. Then we could sit in front of the fire and watch it snow and drink hot drinks and I could look at his ears. It sounds so perfect. I didn’t know what to say at first, I was too surprised. At first I thought he meant right now, which would be nice but I want to finish my classes, especially after my parents went to all the trouble to get me transferred here. I know we’re kind of young too, but a lot of people get married when they are young, even Mae is married and she just graduated last year. It is a little strange that he asked someone else before me. He said it was a mistake but then why would he ask? I’m not jealous exactly, besides she’s got someone else and I’m not worried that she’s going to change her mind. Though really she should, I’d much rather have an archmage than a smelly old ranger. Well I shouldn’t say that because Pero is very nice. But anyway. I was just more curious what she was like, if she was more pretty than me or whatever. If she hadn’t said no they might be engaged right now and I would have never met him at that party or come to this school. That makes me sad to think about.

After he went to tell his parents and I showed the ring to everyone. They all thought it was really nice. Then Des told me Pero had just asked too! I bet they planned that. Hers will probably be before mine, because she’s closer to graduating. I think it will be really fun to have someone to plan with. That way everyone else won’t get sick of us talking about it all the time. I think Xarola might have been already. I told her I’m sure that Vyn will ask her soon, they’ve been together for a long time.

I have to write to my parents if his family hasn’t already. They will want to meet him of course but they’re going to be impressed, I’m not worried about that. I feel like the luckiest girl ever!

[Story] The Winter Veil Ball – Ordinicus

There were never any parties in Shadowmoon. I think I’m still getting used to the idea, though we’re far removed from the city still, it’s a lot different than how I lived before. I imagine if I’d never left for Outland, I’d be an expert at these sort of things by now. I don’t regret anything though, I enjoy the work we’re doing and I like the other guys I work with. Hethurin is all right to work for too, he’s a bit picky sometimes but he doesn’t treat us badly like the guests used to. I think about how they are doing back at the inn sometimes, whether it’s even still running. I’d guess it’s probably not; we were barely holding on even back then. And that was before they discovered the new portal. Kestrae says a lot of people have gone through that one. Does the same inn exist there? Are there still holes in the roof? I don’t know. I think she’d like to go and find out, some day. I’d like to go with her, but there’s still so much to do here. It seems the more we finish, the more people want to hire us. Which isn’t a bad problem to have, really. I’ll be able to save up more than enough if we decide to move somewhere else.

There are still several houses on the Academy grounds to fix up, then I overheard the ranger captain talking to Hethurin about having some cabins added on to the ranger site. Even if he were to wait until spring, we’ll likely still be busy then as that’s when everyone wants to start building. I thought about going over but I didn’t, mostly because I don’t want to cause any problems between him and Kestrae. I think things are mostly smoothed over, and he seems like a reasonable enough guy, but it’s probably better that I don’t interfere. Anyway, he said he might have them work on it themselves if we’re not available. I wonder what Kestrae would think if I was working on the rangers’ site. They must be getting a lot of new people if they are needing to add on already. That got Kes to talking about children again. It doesn’t help that seemingly every woman around here is expecting. I never know what to say about it, I mean, I still don’t feel we’re secure enough to be ready for something like that. Being here still feels a little temporary, and I admit that I still have a few doubts about her research. I think as long as she took precautions it would be okay but it does worry me a bit. I haven’t the first clue how to take care of one, either. I’m not sure if I’m prepared for that, but then again maybe no one is. Thankfully she didn’t press the subject too much but I know it’ll come up again, probably sooner than later.

We took home a whole plate of food. I hope Tik made a lot of extra, because I think everyone else did too. They sure went all out for this party. I hope they at least had some time to enjoy it.

[Story] The Ghostclaw – Letter to Nessna

My dearest kitten,

I hope you don’t mind that I wrote you a letter, I’m never very good at saying things even when I’ve practiced them over and over in my head. Besides, this way you can save it and read it later if you like. Maybe if I’ve done something stupid and you need to be reminded why you put up with me.

It’s hard to believe how much can change in a year. I guess you might not remember it very well; you had so much going on then. We’d both just returned from Kalimdor, and you were still quite badly injured. I remember that Lani wouldn’t even let you out of bed to walk around the garden. I can’t imagine what it would be like to come back alone as you did, and trying to adjust to everything again. For me, it was the first time I’d been even close to Silvermoon in more than two years. I’d spent them alone, away from everyone — even my family — by my own choosing. I think it helped, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t lonely. At last year’s ball though, I was only concerned with making sure the party was safe and no one came who wasn’t supposed to. I was worried about getting the ranger quarters built and finding enough people to help out. Your offer was a great relief and gave me some hope that maybe it would work out after all.

Of course it didn’t take very long for me to notice all of the other things about you, but I was certain it was far too early for you to even consider that. I know you must miss him still sometimes, and probably always will. I just hope he knows that you and Rylad are being looked after and he wouldn’t be too upset. If you ever talk to him, make sure he knows that. If I was in his place, I’d have done the same without a moment’s hesitation. Hopefully he knows that too.

While I was away all that time, I often thought I’d never really be happy again. There were times I thought I should just stay away forever, forgotten out in the wilds. I’m glad that I didn’t. I still find it hard to believe that you’d be interested in me. I’m not perfect and I make mistakes sometimes, a lot of times if you ask certain people. I don’t know if I deserve someone as good as you and Rylad, but I try my best to prove that I do.

I could hardly believe my ears when you asked about Rylad being a brother last night. You did say that, right? If you feel it’s the right time then I am ready too. I’ll even take your patrols if you need me to, you know, if you need me to. Not that I don’t think you can do it, but it might be hard to carry your bow or something.

Love always,

PS – The chair is the best gift I’ve ever got. It’s perfect. I feel like a king when I sit on it! Did Rylad’s grandfather make it? If so, I hope that means he doesn’t dislike me anymore.

[Story] Fairsong Academy – The Winter Veil Ball

Hethurin hated his gift. He wouldn’t even take it. He kept saying that it wasn’t important to him and I should keep it. But that’s the reason I wanted him to have it, because it does mean a lot to me. By giving it to him I’m telling him how important he is, and besides, I’d still kind of have it then. It also means I won’t leave so he could stop worrying about that. But he wouldn’t take it, so now I don’t know, and now he doesn’t have a present at all.

Everything was good up until then, although he did drink a lot of wine. I wish he wouldn’t do that, because it makes me worry about him falling asleep downstairs. Or having a really bad headache the next day. Luckily this time he was upstairs before he fell asleep, but I still thought about saying something. I thought it would just make things worse though. He said he hosted the balls for everyone else — the rangers and students and friends. I thought that was a little weird, like shouldn’t he have them because he likes it? I don’t know. Everyone did look like they were having a good time though. Pretty much everyone was either dancing or sitting with someone. Tik told me about a plant you can hang up and people are supposed to kiss you if you stand under it, I put that around in different places. I’m not sure if people noticed but there was definitely kissing going on. I put some all around our room too, but of course there wasn’t really any kissing after he didn’t want my present.

Tik made the spinach rolls, he also made some that had smoked fish inside. I thought that sounded a bit weird, but he was right — they turned out really good. Everyone loved the cake I think, I made a whole miniature one just for Hethurin. I don’t know if he was very excited about that either. I thought for sure he’d love his gift. I don’t know what to think now that I know he doesn’t. Hurt I guess mostly. He got me a lot of things, he paid the rent for my mother’s house and he got me a set of fancy baking pans with gold. I asked him what he wants me to make and he said cake. There was also some little fancy glasses for drinking with. And now I didn’t get him anything at all. It was the best gift I could think of and he didn’t even want it.

Maybe I should go talk to the Confessor, even if he’s married to Hethurin’s sister I don’t think he would tell anyone about it. I’m just worried I’ll cry if I try to talk to someone about it, I was doing my best not to last night but Hethurin might have noticed. I couldn’t tell. Then he wanted to sleep on the couch and that’s worse, I didn’t want him not wanting to be with me after he didn’t want my present. I don’t even know what I’ll do with it now. I guess I could give it back to my mother, but I don’t know how I’ll explain that.

[Story] The Ghostclaw – The Winter Veil Ball

The ball was nice. I can’t really compare it to last year’s, because I didn’t go. Speaking of that, Gael was there too, with his mage. I don’t think he noticed me at all though, he definitely didn’t say anything. But even compared to the other balls I’ve been to, it was nice. I really should have bought a new dress though. Everyone else’s looked so nice, even Im was wearing a robe! I hadn’t really thought about it until the day of, and by then it was too late of course. I only really have three dresses, and I thought this one would be the most appropriate because it was red and gold. But everything was decorated in blue and silver, so I didn’t match at all. Des had a really nice dress. She and Pero are going for a little trip soon, and it’s all that he can talk about. I can’t blame him for being excited about it, though.

Sunashe couldn’t bring my gift along to the ball, because he said it was too big. I made him try to guess what his gift was, I told him it was something useful. So he guessed things like lizard food and bowstring wax. He said that he always needed that, so then I thought that maybe he’d just bought me a giant box of wax. I wasn’t in too big of a hurry to get back and see my gift in that case. I think he liked the watch, he said he’d never had anything so nice before. I never did figure out what to put on it, I thought maybe my initials or something, but I don’t know. This way I can add something later on if I ever decide. There weren’t any with lizards, but I did find one with a dragon engraved on the front, that’s close enough I hope. There’s also a little place where he could put a picture if he likes. I said we could read the book while we went camping. I guess Nessna was right, I could have just gone camping with him and I think he’d have been happy with that, but it didn’t feel enough like a gift. I wanted to get him an actual thing he could keep.

We stayed for a while, the food was all really delicious and the cake was amazing too. I thought the snowflakes were just decorations but they were made of sugar and you could actually eat them! I can’t imagine how long it must have taken to make those. We danced for a while too, he’s quite a good dancer which I guess I didn’t expect. I mean, we’ve danced before but it always surprises me a little, I don’t know why. He’s always polite and says that I am too, even though I know I’m terrible. The Matron made us take lessons but they were very rare and I think we mostly forgot everything in between anyway. I should write her and tell her they’ve gone to good use, at least.

He didn’t get me wax though, back at the ranger building he got me a vase with flowers, and a whole set of dishes. I can tell that they must have cost a lot, they’re made of good porcelain and very delicate. The best part is that they have little moths on them; around the edges of the plates and on the mugs and saucers. I’ve never seen a set with moths on them so he must have had them custom made. I can’t imagine how much he must have spent on them! Even to get flowers this time of year is very expensive, because they have to be brought in from other places or grown in a greenhouse. They feel way too fancy for here, and I wasn’t sure when I’d ever be able to use them, then he told me that the captain is building some cabins and we could stay in them. We, as in us living together. He didn’t even really ask, it was just sort of decided. I’m not sure if I want that just yet, I tried to say it was too soon but he said we’re practically living together already. Except we’re not, because I can always go back to my bed if I want to, or if things don’t work out. Living together is a lot different and we’d see each other all the time, good and bad. I’m afraid of getting too involved and having something bad happen, it’s happened plenty of times before. He says he wouldn’t do that but I don’t think anyone ever plans for something like that to happen. I agreed to at least give it a try, because they haven’t even been built yet, it probably wouldn’t even be ready until the spring. Maybe by then I’ll feel better about it. I wish there was a way to know if everything will be all right.