I just received some art I commissioned from SirMeo on Tumblr. I got in on her scenery sale, and am very pleased with the result! I was able to watch as she worked on it too which was super cool!
Priest Haldeith Sunstone put his notes on the small side table next to his chair. “Sunashe, every week you come here, and talk about the past. I’ve let you, of course, but I have begun to question if you ever think about the future.”
The statement caught Sunashe off-guard, but he knew the answer. “There’s a reason I’m here and not in the tavern.”
The old priest nodded silently. Sunashe guessed he was waiting for him to elaborate.
“There’s no specific reason. None other than I don’t want to be like that.”
“And how would you like to be?”
Sunashe paused in thought. Only one word came to mind. “Better.” He felt that was the obvious answer, but there wasn’t really anything else.
Of course, Priest Sunstone always looked ways to get him to say it in more words. “What does better mean to you? What do you want to be better?”
There were obvious answers to those questions too. “Well, I don’t think I’m going to grow my foot back, so I’d like to get better at dealing with that. I’d like to get better at drawing my bow again, but the pain in my other leg and my shoulder keeps me from practicing as much as I’d like.” He paused a second before adding one last thing, “I’d like to get better at forgetting.”
“Forgetting would be a dishonor to those who fell fighting alongside us, would it not? It’s okay to remember, but you do seem to do it perhaps a little too much.”
Sunashe frowned. Priest Sunstone was right.
“About the other things. Did you see the priest I recommended?”
Sunashe frowned more. “I can’t afford that kind of treatment. The spire pays for my sessions with you, and gives me a small monthly allowance. It’s hardly enough. I spent what I had saved up before on my prosthetic foot. There’s no more left.”
“Would the friends you’re staying with be able to help?”
Sunashe shook his head. Most of them were in the same situation. Only by pooling their money together were they able to afford the two bedroom apartment that the six of them lived in. He hated the living arrangements, but there was no other option.
“I told you to tell him I sent you for a reason. I spoke with him a couple of weeks ago. Two of his daughters have moved to the Ghostlands. One was working alongside him for quite some time, but she’s gone to open her own practice in Tranquillien.”
“I still doubt I’d be able to afford it.”
“The other daughter is a ranger. There’s a new unit out there now. They’re short-handed, and when he told me that they’re looking for people, I immediately thought of you. They’re training people who have never held a bow before, and while you can’t practice as long as you wish you could, you can still shoot decently. Correct?”
“Yes, but I’d be useless on patrol. I can’t walk very far.”
The priest smiled, “If you go out there and show them how well you can shoot, I think it’s quite possible they’ll convince the priestess to see you in exchange for an experienced ranger. I know their father, and the priestess quite well. They’re good people. I’m sure she’ll see it makes sense.”
“But then I won’t be able to see you anymore.”
“It would be a bit far, wouldn’t it?” Priest Haldeith Sunstone smiled again, “As luck would have it, the priestess has just gotten married, to the Confessor who lives in Tranquillien. I believe he works by donations though I’m not entirely sure. You shouldn’t have to worry about the Spire paperwork, and you won’t have to give him more than you can afford, I’m sure. Of course, you’ll be working again, so perhaps you could afford to give him a little more. My point is, you’ll still have someone to talk about things with.”
Sunashe nodded, taking in all the information. “It’s a lot to think about. Do you really think she’ll see me for free?”
The priest nodded, “I’m sure of it.”
Sunashe smiled a little, “I’ll think about it. Thanks.”
- We’re in Shattrath this week. I’ve been spending a lot of time in the library. Renner has as well. He wants to look for things about infinite flight magic. We’re not having much luck. I don’t know what he hoped to find when he himself claims that the majority of books about dragons are mostly inaccurate.
- If there are books about the infinite flight, I don’t think we’ll find them in Shattrath.
- I’ve also been looking for other books as well. Things to help me with teaching and stuff like that. Those are a lot easier to find, but still there’s some that aren’t the right fit for my teaching style or they’re too out-dated, or they might not be right for the students, and things like that. I’ve been going through them slowly to make sure I get the best ones for both me and my students.
- Anyway, that leaves me in the library most of the day. They still have lessons in the morning too. Luckily, Raleth and Aeramin both live in Shattrath so they’re able to make it for their classes. We use the rooms upstairs in the library for the classes so that we don’t bother anyone trying to read.
- Vaildor is with us this week. Lani and the Confessor left for their trip after the wedding. My father stayed with Vaildor for the first couple of nights, but he had to go back to Silvermoon and we were going to Shattrath, so Vaildor is here with us. He wanted to come anyway, so it works out well. Terellion doesn’t know how much I appreciate that he’s been taking time to go with him to the Lower City and keep an eye on him. Lani would kill me if anything happened!
- I did show him the art books in the library the other day. I think he liked those. Terellion said he really likes exploring the Lower City, and he wants to see all the shops. They’re buying things with my money. I don’t mind really, but I don’t think we should just give him everything he wants. He should learn he has to work for things, right? I don’t know. I didn’t tell Terellion to stop letting him get things. I guess it’s only for a week so it can’t hurt anything.
- Two of my students have been “sick” since arriving here. I took them to the healers and found out that they weren’t really sick. The healers talked to them both a bit and determined it wasn’t anything contagious and that they were both just upset about things. They wouldn’t tell me what things though so I had to talk to them myself. Keyalenn is still upset about Linarelle, and now he thinks he wants to talk to her again but he’s too far away and time is passing, but at the same time, he thinks she hates him. It doesn’t really make much sense.
- Maerista’s upset is much more understandable, at least it is to me. Her parents want her to marry someone who she doesn’t want to marry. She likes one of the rangers and is afraid to tell them about him because rich families don’t really like rangers much because they usually don’t have a lot of money. I understand completely. I was forced to marry someone when I loved someone else, and I didn’t feel like I could tell them because the person I loved was far from who they expected me to be with. I told her that she’s in charge. She doesn’t have to marry anyone if she doesn’t want to. I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure she doesn’t have to get married unless she wants to, including allowing her to stay at the school for free.
- I know I’m risking her parents saying bad things about the school because of that, but it will be worth it to know that she doesn’t have to go through that. They may be angry for a while, but I think they’ll get over it in time, just like my father did. He was really unhappy with me at first, but now I think we’re closer than we were before.
- She said her parents aren’t crazy, so she won’t be dealing with anyone like my mother. I think she’s still mad at me.
- Anyway, she can stay at the school for as long as she needs. She’ll be safe there, and free to make her own decisions. The worst thing that she could do is to get married to make her parents happy. She needs to do what makes her happy, and everyone else will just have to deal with it.
- Speaking of being happy, I’ve been wondering what it would be like to be Terellion’s husband. I guess nothing would change really. Maybe that’s why he doesn’t ask. I ordered flowers to be sent to the room because I know he’s in and out of the inn all day. I think he’ll like them.
- Maybe Aeramin would know more about stuff like that, but if Imralion’s around, I guess asking about how to get Terellion to ask me to marry him could get awkward. What if Imralion wants to marry Aeramin! Maybe I can talk to him in the library after lessons. That way, I won’t upset anyone else.
Some really short stories I wrote that relate to the guests at the Confessor and Lani’s wedding. Sorry they’re all out of order.
[[ This one takes place just after the Confessor and Lani’s wedding ceremony. ]]
Keyalenn Goldbrand lay on his bed, staring at the ceiling. He wasn’t sick. That was a lie he had told in order to be excused from the festivities early. While he was happy for the Confessor and Lani, and he did want to be there at their party, he couldn’t take the heartache he felt when seeing Linarelle. During the ceremony, he had tried to ignore his feelings, but the more he tried , the worse he felt. So, after the ceremony was over, he told the Magister he felt ill and that he was going to his room.
His stomach growled. He could hear the music from the party in the garden outside his open window. The thought occurred to him that he could go out, and get some food to bring back up. Maybe no one would see him, but then, he thought he might not be that hungry. It was just his stomach growling. He didn’t really feel like eating.
If he did go, he might see her, and that was the deciding factor. He lay still upon the bed, staring at the ceiling as tears welled up in his eyes. He’d rather not take the chance.
[[ This one takes place the evening before the wedding. ]]
It was a different house, Aunt Lani’s house, and there was so much to explore. Rylad was faster on his feet now than he was the last time he was here. He ran from one room to the next. The stairs were blocked, and the rooms were small, but it was fun. Aunt Lani wasn’t there, but he wasn’t alone. Two other elves sat at the table in the small dining room. One of them used pencils on a book. That wasn’t right. Minn’da said it wasn’t good to draw on books. The older elf here didn’t seem to know there was anything wrong with it. Maybe it was okay here.
Rylad stopped running and climbed up on one of the chairs to stand on and see better. The older elf reached over to help Rylad, but Rylad pushed his hand away. Rylad doesn’t need any help! The older elf still kept his hand near Rylad’s back without touching him. That was okay. Rylad hit the table with both hands and yelled in triumph.
He started to climb up on the table and reached for one of the pencils. That was when the older elf picked him up. He took the pencil out of Rylad’s hands and handed it to the other elf who was still sitting with his book open. The other elf took it. Rylad screamed. They took his pencil! He started kicking and flailing his arms as he continued to cry. Where was Minn’da? He cried out her name. Maybe she would come for him. He didn’t want to be picked up. He arched his back and cried louder as the older elf carried him to the other room.
Where was Minn’da? Where was Saff? He cried for both.
“Shh. It’s okay. Look, here’s your blanket.” The older elf said as he sat in a chair and pulled the blanket, which had a little tiger on it, over Rylad. His voice was gentle and soothing. Rylad forgot why he was crying as the older elf rocked him back and forth. His eyes closed and he drifted off to sleep.
[[ The last three take place the day after the wedding. ]]
Perothis had arrived home late the night before, and wasn’t able to speak to his parents then as they were already asleep. He woke up early this morning, and started planning what he would say to them. It wasn’t that they were against him becoming a ranger some day, and preferably, that’s what Perothis would like eventually anyway. For now, he was working, and training in the city. He was supposed to be saving up money for further training, but Desdeyliri had introduced him to the ranger captain in the Ghostlands the night before. He’d be able to join them and receive free training.
Of course, the obvious benefit was that he would be much closer to Des, and would be able to see her more often. Another obvious benefit would be the free training and immediate work. He was already saving up to get his own place as well, so being able to do that without worrying about further training would be ideal.
He did think he would miss the city, just a little. He’d miss his friends and his parents, and maybe even his sister a little too. He wasn’t sure about buying a house in the Ghostlands either. Most of them were in need of extensive repair. It was either that or build his own home, and he didn’t know much about building or fixing! Of course, the captain had mentioned that he would be able to stay at the ranger building. That would do to start with.
He heard his mother call out his name. Breakfast was ready. He took a deep breath. It was time to tell them.
Gaelardrim had always preferred to think of himself as being a logical person. If something didn’t make sense, he didn’t consider it an option. He was surprised then by his recent thoughts concerning one of the students at the mage school. There was no doubt her parents would not approve of her seeing a ranger. Mage students often came from the more affluent homes, those that could afford the tuition. They typically didn’t approve of their daughters running about with guys who didn’t have much, like rangers. Gaelardrim knew that first hand. His own family had been wealthy.
Of course, he didn’t have it now. The money was tied up in the Silvermoon courts as they decided exactly where it should go. Gaelardrim wasn’t sure he wanted it, even if they did decide it belonged to him. The mansion he had lived in, sat locked and rotting on one of the streets where most of the homes were in the same state and situation. His family was gone now. He was the only one left. The only one who saw that it didn’t make sense. The only one who had refused to go.
And yet, while he could see that he was setting both himself and Maerista up for heartbreak, he didn’t understand how he could still feel so powerless to stop it. He should be able to just say he couldn’t see her anymore and let that be that, but the very thought made him shake his head, almost in panic. He wanted to be with her, but it didn’t make sense. He had even kissed her!
“I love her.”
“What was that?” Ty asked. They had been practicing at the targets as they did every day.
Gaelardrim looked up, unaware that he had spoken out loud until Ty said something. “Oh, nothing. That was a nice shot.” he said, nodding towards the target.
Thankfully, Ty didn’t question any further, and allowed the conversation to turn towards their practice.
They’re hiding something. I know it. That was the one thought Vallindra kept having since meeting the boy her sister had adopted. They had told her that he was a local orphan. A local orphan who happened to have the same name as her dead brother. She would have been able to accept that as the truth, if she had never met him, but the moment she saw that dark red hair she had her doubts. His face was too close to how Sanimir looked at the same age, but he was far too young to be the real Vaildor, besides, she remembered very well that night over a hundred years ago when he had died as a baby. She frowned slightly. No. I won’t feel guilty for that. I was just a kid.
She shook her head. Whatever had happened then was done, and in the past. That didn’t change the fact that there was a boy here who looked like he belonged in the family and had the same name. She was determined to get to the bottom of it. She picked up her pen and began inking a letter to the Spire in Silvermoon where they kept the records.
It’s done. I’m a wife now. Everything went almost perfect. There were a few problems, but nothing terrible. We had all fallen asleep in the ballroom the night before. Tik woke us up with breakfast. Hethurin showed up shortly after, and went with me by portal to Silvermoon to get the dresses. That was when we found out about the biggest problem of the day. There were supposed to be four dresses, but they only had two. Mine was finished and the one for Desdeyliri was done, but they had messed up the order for the other two. There were supposed to be three identical dresses for the girls! We had to make sure the one that was done was Des’s first, then I picked similar dresses for the other two. I had to go with what the shop already had made, and in their sizes so there wasn’t a lot of choice. Luckily, I found two that would work and went back to the school with Hethurin. He went back upstairs to get ready. I left the dresses there in the library while I went down to the house to get my father and Vaildor. My father said things went well the night before and that Nessna had come to get Rylad already. He needed to get ready yet, so I brought Vaildor back up to the school with me. I left him to wait in the library while the girls and I went to get ready. We used the second classroom as that one has a door on it, unlike the main classroom, and we didn’t want anyone to walk in on us. We were all helping each other with our buttons and zippers. Then there was a knock at the door. Xarola said it was Hethurin, and that he said he’d be with Vaildor, which was a relief. I know he wasn’t happy about it, but there was no way I was leaving him to meet the rest of the family on his own. I’m glad Hethurin volunteered to stay with him for me.
The girls did my hair after that. We could see a little into the garden, though there were a few bushes and trees between where all the guests were and the room we were using to get ready. Xarola was trying to count how many people were there. I was a bit worried that the Confessor would get cold feet and not show up, so I was relieved he did.
Finally, it was time for the ceremony. I’ve never been so nervous and excited at the same time. My father performed the ceremony, and I think the Confessor was just as nervous as I was. Thankfully, neither of us passed out! I think my father cried a little at the end.
It was time to eat after. Tik made all sorts of food. The spinach rolls were a big hit, just like they were at the ball, so I went inside to help him make more. He kept saying I shouldn’t be inside, but I wanted to make sure there were enough spinach rolls. I did leave him to finish on his own when the Confessor came inside too. I had a glass of wine with him, and we danced for a bit after eating. I threw my flowers. I tried to aim them towards Nessna, but Xarola caught them. I don’t think the flower thing is very accurate anyway. If she’s the next one to get married, I think the others are all going to be waiting a long time because she’s still pretty young!
I slipped away to help make more spinach rolls as we were running out, again. I took the tray back out to the table, but then I couldn’t find the Confessor. I also couldn’t find my father. Or Hethurin and Vaildor. My mother was also missing, though I had seen her earlier with her boyfriend. I spoke with Aranae for a bit. She was looking for Hethurin too so she could get her portal home. She brought a pandaren with her. I think the bear ate all the spinach rolls.
It rained a bit, but it didn’t last long, and after, I finally found the Confessor. I guess he was inside talking to some of the others. We decided to leave then, before it started raining again, which we didn’t want because we were traveling by dragonhawk. It was quite a distance to travel that late in the evening especially after having wine, but I felt safe with his arms around me.
After we got to the inn we’re staying at, I put on the red dress. I was a bit nervous, but it was really nice. I think he was worried about hurting me. It did hurt a little, but it passed quickly into feeling really good. It was a little weird waking up in the morning next to him. Not a bad weird, but a good weird. It was like I forgot for half a second, then remembered I’m married. It was good, but it’ll take some time to get used to!
I’m really enjoying the time alone with him, though I am still drinking my tea. He thinks it’s better to wait to get settled in. I don’t see why. It’s not like I won’t be able to do anything while pregnant. Many women work right up until the time they go into labor! I don’t think it’s going to take nine months to move in, but I don’t want to argue either. I’ll bring it up again once we’re home.
The beach is really nice, and we’ve been going there a lot. I think I have a tan. I am a bit worried about how things are at home. I didn’t see Vaildor or my father before leaving, so I hope everything’s going well. I hope Hethurin’s okay too. I know it was hard for him to have so many people there at once. I also hope Nessna isn’t mad at me for not throwing the flowers better!
Things had been better while sitting next to Isturon. They waited as each of their sisters came over. Of course, they were curious about his name. Some of them mentioned how he had similarities to other family members. Esladra came out and asked if Vaildor was actually Hethurin’s son. Isturon had gently insisted that Vaildor was only a local orphan with a coincidental name and likeness. She seemed to believe it. All in all, it was going fairly well.
At least it was, until Verisna stepped up to the table where the three men sat.
“Hello, Mother.” Hethurin said, warning the other two to look up from Vaildor’s drawing. A glance sideways showed him that Vaildor looked up with a big smile.
“You, you imposter! You weasel your way into this family by claiming you’re my son! What are you after? An inheritance? I’ll make sure you get none, you little con-artist.”
Vaildor’s short-lived smile faded quickly, replaced with a look of shock.
“Verisna. There’s some misunderstanding.” Isturon spoke gently, trying to smooth things over, “Lani has adopted him. He’s just an orphan with…”
Verisna didn’t let him finish. “Liar.” she called him while looking him directly in the eyes. “I’ve heard an entirely different story before.” She looked Hethurin’s direction.
Hethurin bit his lip, “Oh.”
“Hethurin, how much did you tell her?”
Hethurin nodded, “I was on a roll with the truth. It just kind of came out.”
Verisna’s brow went up. She looked at Isturon, “He told me some crazed story about someone kidnapping him in timelines or something. The boy needs help, and this other boy is just a con artist.” She looked again at Vaildor, who still sat with a shocked look on his face. “I know your type. You crawled out of a gutter on Murder Row, decided you’d find a well off family that you look like and pretend to be a long lost relative.”
Vaildor shook his head. He was visibly shaking now.
Verisna continued, looking again at Isturon. “You can’t possibly believe the story that Sanimir’s telling. No son of mine wastes his time scribbling on paper.”
Hethurin picked up one of Vaildor’s pencils and started doodling some stick figures along the edge of Vaildor’s paper.
“What do you think you’re doing?” his mother asked.
“Getting disowned. I wish I had known this before.”
Verisna blinked. “I didn’t mean you. I meant this imposter.”
Hethurin opened his mouth to reply, with intentions on pointing out that when she said ‘no son’ it meant not any, including him, but he was cut short of saying anything when Vaildor quickly got up and ran inside. He found himself saying instead, “I’ll go find him.”
He could hear his parents still arguing as he went towards the house.
“You can’t believe that story.”
“No. I believe he’s an orphan from…”
“You know I’m right! He’s a con artist. You can go ahead and be stupid and put him in your will, but at least I know better.”
Hethurin shut the door behind himself, and started looking for Vaildor.
After the ceremony, Hethurin accompanied Vaildor back to the tables set up where they would eat. They had sat near the back during the ceremony, along with Terellion, the other teachers and the students. Hethurin felt it was best if Vaildor was kept away from his mother and sisters during the actual ceremony, and so, had chosen strategic seating in the middle of people from the school. Renner had kept asking when they would get to the cake part, and Keyalenn kept saying he felt sick and wanted to go upstairs, but, despite a couple of noisy students, the seating arrangement had worked. Now was going to be the hard part.
They found a table off to the side. Hethurin sat in one of the chairs and motioned for Vaildor to sit next to him. “We’ll wait here. Father should be sitting with us shortly.”
Vaildor frowned, but sat without protest. He took out his sketchbook and started updating his drawings from earlier with the correct dress styles.
It wasn’t long before their father, Isturon, returned outside. He sat on the other side of Vaildor. “Everything’s okay so far?”
“No one’s come over yet,” Hethurin replied, “I saw Esladra looking though. Would you stay with him while I get some food?”
Before his father could answer, Vaildor looked up from his drawing. “I want some food too.”
“I’ll get you a plate.”
“I can get my own plate.”
Hethurin looked to his father, “Tell him it’s better if…”
“Hethurin, take him with you so he get his own plate.”
Vaildor jumped up out of his seat before Hethurin could respond.
Hethurin frowned, “Fine.”
He lead him to the table where the food was at. Unfortunately, one of his sisters was already there, and it was one of his least favorite.
“Hello Vallindra. Have you met Vaildor?” Hethurin asked as he took two plates from the pile at the end of the table, and handed one to the young elf next to him.
“I can’t say I have.” Vallindra replied as she raised a brow. “I heard Lani adopted a boy from the area. Is this him?”
Hethurin nodded. He turned briefly to help Vaildor get some salad on his plate. Vaildor scrunched up his nose at the vegetables.
“Interesting name.” She commented as she put some spinach rolls on her plate. “Did she make him change it to bother mother? I didn’t think she had it in her to pull something like that. Then again, I didn’t think she had it in her to pull what she did to go to Kalimdor. I heard all about that. Mother’s still quite livid about it.”
“I’ve always been called Vaildor. Lani didn’t make me change it.” the boy answered her this time.
Vallindra put a few last things on her plate then turned to look directly at Vaildor. She opened her mouth to say something, but paused and looked at Hethurin. She looked back at Vaildor after a moment then mused, “You two look incredibly alike.” She turned and joined her husband at one of the tables.
Vaildor looked at Hethurin.
“Finish filling your plate so we can go sit.” Hethurin said quietly. “I’d rather not be questioned about you without some back up.”