Hethurin’s Practice

Hethurin Fairsong turned over the hourglass as he cast his spell. He was practicing viewing the past today, an activity that Renner let him do on his own now as long as he followed a few simple rules. As it was merely a vision, he wouldn’t actually be there. Nothing would change from him viewing it. A scene came into focus. It was a busy day at the market in Silvermoon. His mother, who appeared much younger than she was in the present day, busied herself by handing out coin purses to five girls who ranged between 22-50 in age.

“Make sure to pick something nice, and don’t be late getting home. Remember we need to work on getting things ready for your grandparents. Both sets will be visiting for your brother’s birthday.” She reminded them, the oldest was already running off. The youngest girl lingered as the others left.

“Aranae, go buy a nice dress for your grandparents to see you in.”

“I don’t want a dress. Can’t I get some nice pants instead? Dresses are stupid.”

“No. That’s out of the question. Your grandparents are visiting. The least you could do is look nice for them.”

“But Minn’da, I hate dresses! Besides, you’re just going to spend ten times more on the little brat’s robe, and he’ll be the only one they notice anyway.” She sneered at the boy of 10 holding their mother’s hand.

“Of course they’re going to notice him. It’s his birthday.”

Aranae mumbled while crossing her arms, “They never come for my birthday.”

Their mother sighed, “Aranae, stop being difficult. Go join your sisters. Lanthiriel can help you pick something out. I need to take Sanimir to the robe shop, and you’re just holding us up.” She turned quickly, making sure Aranae wouldn’t have time to argue, and started heading towards one of the shops, pulling the young boy with her.

Hethurin’s vision followed them as they passed through the crowd towards one of the tailors.

“Minn’da,” the boy looked up at his mother’s back as she led him across the busy marketplace. “Why do I need robes? Not many of the other boys wear them yet.”

“Sanimir, we’ve been over this before. You’re going to be a Magister when you’re older. It’s never too early to start looking like one. Do you know how many elves test positive for magical ability as early as you have? Less than one percent, that’s how many! Most elves don’t develop it until they’re four times your age. You know what that means, right?”

One look at the boy showed that he did as he must have been told at least ten times already, but his mother wasn’t looking at him. He kept his mouth shut while his mother continued.

“You’re going to be a very powerful Magister some day, maybe even an archmage. Come now, let’s get your robe.”

A knock on his study door interrupted the vision. His study was next door, but the door to it was right next to his practice room door in the hallway. He heard it loud and clear. He let the vision fade and went to open the door, which gave a protesting squeak as he pulled it open.

“Aeramin, hi.”

“Oh, sorry, I didn’t know you were in that room. I’m not bothering you, am I?” His eyes looked past Hethurin to the hourglass on the table.

“No. I was just practicing some spells, but I can finish later. What did you want to see me for?”

“I have some questions about the students and testing. That’s all. It can wait until another time if you want.”

“Aeramin, it’s fine. Come in, we can go to my study.”

Hethurin shut and locked the practice room after Aeramin entered. Very few people ever got to see his practice room.

“What’s in the cage?” Aeramin asked as he looked around while Hethurin unlocked the door to the adjacent room.

“A rat.”

“Like Nosey?”

Hethurin opened the door and motioned for Aeramin to go in. “Like Nosey, but I just call mine ‘rat’.”

Aeramin hesitated, taking another glance at the hourglass before entering the study. He sat in one of the chairs as Hethurin relocked the door between his study and his practice room. He then went to the second door in the room, the one leading to the hallway and unlocked it before going to take his seat at the other side of a desk. “So, students and testing. You’re not making them fail again, are you?”

“That’s the thing. I don’t want them to fail.” Aeramin stood and looked out the window, “But at the same time, I want to make sure they know the things they should know. Maybe I’m not a good teacher.”

“Nonsense. Maerista, our first graduate, was primarily your student, and now she’s helping you. I’d say that’s success.” Hethurin said as he watched Aeramin begin to broodily pace. He stopped at the bookshelf. He appeared to be looking over the titles.

“Maerista was already advanced when she came here.”

“Are your current students who are specializing in fire doing poorly?”

Aeramin turned to face him, “Well, no, but the others-”

“The others just need a base understanding of fire magic. When I went for my testing I was asked to cast one single fire spell, light a candle. That’s all! The written test had a couple of questions on theory, but they weren’t difficult either. I think you’re worrying too much.”

“Should I make the tests easier?”

Hethurin shrugged, “That’s up to you. I guess you wouldn’t have to curve the grades as much.”

Aeramin frowned a bit, “Maybe you could show me some of the tests you give them. If I see how hard the arcane tests are for the fire students, then maybe I’ll have a better idea of how difficult to make the fire tests.”

Hethurin nodded, “Sure, I have some. Hold on, let me find them.” He turned in his chair to open a drawer in the cabinet behind him. He started flipping through the folders. “I’ll give you a couple that I already tested them with. I can give you the results too, if you’d like.”

“Yeah, that sounds good.”

Hethurin found the folder he was looking for. He took it out of the cabinet and turned around as he said, “I gave them this test two weeks ago. I’ll need it back when you’re done with it as I intend to do a follow up test and a comparison with their results on the first test, but you can borrow it for a few days.”

Aeramin had turned back towards the bookshelf while Hethurin’s back was turned to him, but quickly turned back around and walked over to the desk to take the folder. “Thanks. I’ll look it over and see how difficult it is from a non-arcane mage point of view. Hopefully, it’ll help me get a better idea of how hard the fire tests should be for the non-fire students.” He put the folder in one of the pockets of his satchel. “I should go, I have a private lesson starting soon. Again, I’m sorry for interrupting your practice.”

“It’s fine. Narise is probably going to wake up soon anyway, so it was about time I took a break.”

Hethurin waited for Aeramin to leave before locking the door and teleporting up to the nursery.

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Lunch at the School

Aeramin Firewind read through the answers one of the students had given on the latest test as he took a bite of the sandwich that Tik had brought to him in his office at the school. He twitched an ear as he heard a knock on the door. “Come in.” he said, not looking up until the door was fully open. His ear twitched once more upon seeing who it was. “Hello, Julan. You know I’ve been asked not to provide you with portals for a while.”

Julan smiled, “I thought you might make an exception.” He walked in and half-sat on the edge of the desk with one thigh along the edge and the other foot planted on the floor.

Aeramin sighed and looked up at him. “Julan, no exceptions.”

“Please! I miss everyone there, and I just want to visit for a little while. No one wants to do anything out here! Besides, I’m curious to find out if there’s any news.”


“About the murders! I hope no one else has gone missing. The last one to disappear was practically just a kid. I don’t even know if they found him or not.”

“You could just ask Imralion. He’s investigating the murders on the Row. He hasn’t mentioned finding anything new, but if you want news, he’s the one to talk to.” He paused a moment before adding, “And don’t you dare flirt with him.”

“Please, it would be easier if you just made a portal. Then I could just ask my friends there in person.”

Aeramin sighed, “That would be fine, except that’s not all you’ll do while you’re there.”

“You’re welcome to join in.” Julan flashed a smile and winked.

Aeramin leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms. “Julan, I have a boyfriend. We’ve been over this before.”

“And your boyfriend has been seeing one of the ranger ladies, and how long have you been with him? You said a few years, right? But your daughter hasn’t even seen her first year yet. I’m not stupid. I can tell an open relationship when I see one. Besides, I wouldn’t tell. You could take me right now on this desk, and no one would be the wiser.”

“Julan, no, and my relationship with Imralion is not as open as it appears to you. Didn’t the Captain suggest getting an animal or something so you would be able to keep busy and adapt to life off the Row a bit better?”

Julan frowned, “Umm, yeah. I got a book about animals so I can pick one.”

“Maybe you could go read that instead of bothering me for a portal when you know I can’t make one for you.”

“Maybe I’ve already read it.”

“Oh, really? Where’s your animal then?”

Julan grinned, “Right here.” He deftly swung both legs up on the desk and scooted to sit in front of Aeramin in one swift motion, knocking papers on the floor. He let his legs dangle off the desk, one on each side of Aeramin, and his thighs spread. He leaned back a bit, bracing himself with his hands and breathlessly said, “My animal is aching for attention.”

“Julan…” He was interrupted by a knock at the door. He lowered his voice,“Get off the desk. You almost sat on my sandwich.”

Julan frowned, but did as asked. He stood next to the desk as Aeramin went to open the door.

Julan stood frozen with a look of fear as student known as Lhoris entered the room.

“Oh look, there’s two whores now.” Lhoris said, regarding Julan, “Why are you here? Are you teaching dick conjuration or something?”

Julan stared at the student as Aeramin answered, “Alinash Brightblaze,” Aeramin said, making a point to use the student’s real name, “ I see you remember Julan. He recently moved to the area, and joined the rangers. Julan, you remember Alinash, don’t you? He’s going by Lhoris for now.”

“Remember him? There’s wanted posters up for him on some of the boards. You do remember what he used to do, right?” Julan spoke quietly, the fear apparent in his quivering voice.

“No one is in danger here. I’m only here for food.” Alinash stated.

Aeramin glanced at Julan, “Don’t worry. I have a feeling his ruse is almost at an end. He’s in the magic student classes now, and he’s going to have to come up with his tuition money. Unfortunately for him, the rich mother he’s made up doesn’t really exist.”

“Actually, I came here to talk to you about that.” Alinash said, then glanced at Julan before adding, “In private.”

Julan walked close to the wall, putting as much space between himself and Alinash as possible, “I was just leaving anyway.”

Aeramin waited for the door to close, “I’m not giving you a loan or anything. You’re going to have to go somewhere else to eat for free.”

“I’m not here for food.” Alinash took a seat in one of the two chairs on the other side of the desk.

“I figured that wasn’t the entire truth. What are you here for?”

Alinash hesitated and twitched an ear. He leaned forward in his chair, resting his elbows on his knees, “A book.”

“There are a lot of books in this house. Magister Fairsong has built up an impressive library in the few years he’s lived here. I assume there’s a specific book you need?”

“Yes. It’s called Time to Cast, and I’ll leave as soon as it’s found. I have reliable information that it’s here, somewhere. I’ve checked the library, and bookshelves in almost every room. There are three rooms I haven’t been able to even get a glimpse of. The headmaster’s office, practice room and bedroom. I thought you, being a teacher here and his friend, may have access to one or more of these rooms. Will you help me find it?”

Aeramin leaned back in his chair, only noticing now that the stack of papers he had been grading was still half on the floor. He didn’t move to pick them up, opting instead to keep his eyes on the young elf on the other side of the desk. “You want me to help you steal a book from my friend? There had better be something in it for me.”

“You want me to leave, right?”

“If I wanted you to leave that badly, I’d turn you over to the blood knights. I happen to be very well acquainted with one.” Aeramin crossed his arms

“No! I just want this book. What do you want?”

“I don’t want anything in particular. I just don’t want to steal from my friend. Perhaps we can compromise. Do you absolutely need the original copy, or do you just need the content?”

Alinash hesitated a moment before answering, “I need a translated copy, from Thalassian to Common.”

Aeramin paused thoughtfully before nodding slightly. “I’ll look for it. When and if I find it, I will keep it in my possession. I will allow you to copy and translate it while I’m able to keep an eye on you. Afterwards, I will return the book it’s original location, and you will leave. Does that sound acceptable?”

Alinash frowned, “It would be faster if you allowed me to copy it on my own.”

“I don’t trust you.”

“I don’t really have another option then, do I?”

“No, you don’t. I’ll let you know if I find it.”

Alinash frowned and got up to leave the room.

Aeramin waited until the door clicked shut before leaning over to pick up the papers.

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Zalindri’s Diary

Dear Diary,

I passed the summer term. Summer classes here aren’t that hard. You can easily pass even if you skip half the classes, which not a lot of students do, but sometimes it was just too warm. I’d rather spend a day on the beach here than in a classroom! I went to most of my classes though. I was actually a little worried about the fire exam, but I heard that Magister Firewind curves the grades a lot, even though the tests are usually difficult. I did wind up passing, and didn’t do too bad after all. I think he should just make the tests easier.

Luckily, my chosen specialty is not fire. I’m doing great in my arcane classes, and Magister Fairsong has started teaching me some of the chronomancy basics, which is where my real interest lies. He doesn’t cover much about it in regular classes, but he’s given me a couple of books to read, and we go over it in the private lesson. It still all seems fairly easy, but I’m just beginning. I expect it’ll get more difficult as I advance.

A lot of the students are moving to the new buildings. They’re not far from the main building, and a lot of the rooms are bigger. While I think it would be fun to be in a building with just the other girls, but I like my room here in the main building. Not to mention it rains a lot in the spring and fall, and I don’t know how to teleport yet. Mostly, I guess I don’t really fit in with the others. They’ll spend all evening at supper talking about guys. I suppose I still could, but it feels weird now that I’m engaged.

My mother wrote to tell me that they finalized the agreement. I have, at least, met him before. I guess he’s kind of cute, but I don’t really know him very well. Plus, he’s finishing his training as a battle medic. He’ll probably be gone a lot of the time, so I won’t get to know him very quickly either. The good part is that I’m allowed to finish my studies before the wedding, so it’ll be a while yet. Maybe as long as things remain quiet, I’ll get to know him a bit better before I finish school! I have a feeling he’ll ask me to something for the mask holiday coming up. I’m a bit sad because I’ll miss the mask party here at the school, and I’m sure it’s going to be nice! I guess something in Silvermoon would be nice too. I’d suggest that he visits here, but I don’t know. That might be a little weird. What if I wind up not liking him, and everyone notices? I guess I should just wait and see if he wants to do something in Silvermoon.

Speaking of boys, one of them, Lhoris, was being annoying the other evening. He knocked on my bedroom door, and despite the fact that there’s a rule here that boys can’t go into the girl’s rooms, he kept asking if he could come in. He was complimenting me and just being really weird. At one point he asked if he could just come in to see the view from my window. I guess it’s a good view, but you can see it just as well from the garden! Luckily, my room is on the same side of the building as Magister Fairsong’s room. His is at the other end of the hall. He came out of his room with the baby, and saw us. He wanted to know what was going on. I told him the truth, that Lhoris was trying to get me to let him in my room even after I said no. Lhoris lied and said he was just trying to ask some questions about the class. Magister Fairsong believed me, thankfully, and asked Lhoris to go with him. I don’t know what he said to him, but he hasn’t been back to my room.

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Hethurin’s Notes

  • It’s been a couple of weeks, but I still wanted to write about it. Terellion and I had our wedding and it was great, except I fainted. I don’t really know what happened. I just started feeling a little dizzy. I tried to fight it, but I woke up on the ground. I wanted to continue, but Lani made me lie down longer and then my father made me sit in a chair for the rest of the ceremony. Everything else was perfect. I think everyone had a good time.
  • I don’t feel a lot different, but I do know that Terellion will always be by my side, not literally, but I know he’ll always watch out for me, and I’ll always watch out for him. It’s relaxing to know that he’ll never betray me, and I’m free to love him as much as I want! It’s a lot!
  • We were technically married before the wedding, but everyone knows we’re married now. It was really embarrassing to know I passed out in front of everyone, but now I can call him my husband.
  • Malwen was adorable in her dress and with her flowers, and Narise was dressed up too, and quiet, which is good because I wasn’t sure she would be. I think she might be getting a tooth because she has times when she isn’t happy at all, and there’s nothing anyone can do to fix it. Maybe she knew her ann’das were getting married and it was time to be quiet! Probably not. It’s more likely that she tired herself out the night before, but if she did, Terellion didn’t tell me. He didn’t seem tired either.
  • I didn’t sleep very well the night before. I stayed at my sister’s place so that Terellion and I wouldn’t see each other before the wedding. Malwen was with me. Lani’s guest room has two small beds so she got one and I got the other. I don’t think there was anything wrong with the bed or anything. I just had a hard time sleeping.
  • Then the next morning was really busy with everything going on. Aeramin helped a lot by teleporting to the school and back to coordinate things, and I know teleporting isn’t easy for him. I just think of how much concentration I need to cast a fire spell, and I know it’s like that for him with arcane based spells. I’m grateful to have him as a friend.
  • The food was amazing. I’m really grateful for Tik too. I don’t know what I would do without him at the school. Terellion made the best cake ever. I might have taken a couple of pieces to save for later. I’ve learned how to make small time bubbles. Renner said they were perfect for keeping cake. I have to keep some for him too.
  • Our trip lasted a week, but it was only one night in real time. Chronomancy helped us have our trip alone without worrying that we were leaving the girls for too long. Well, we still worried a little, and it was a week long for us, but only one night to them. Everything was fine.
  • Our first night was in Dalaran, in the past. We got the best room at the best inn. We had to stay in because I didn’t want to run into my younger self in the city. That would really mess things up. Everything has to happen the way it did or things might not be the same. Though there were some parts I could have really done without, I like where I am now, and I wouldn’t want to change it for anything. Anyway, we stayed in, and that was a lot of fun, so it was completely fine that we didn’t leave the inn.
  • The next few days we spent at the dragon shrines. We stayed in the Emerald Shrine first and I told him about the green fuzzies and everything. He thinks I should try to get the students to study them. Maybe I will! We also spent nights in the Bronze and the Ruby shrines. We stayed at the top of the big tree in the Ruby Shrine. It branches out and in the middle is a large flat area, big enough for at least 20 people to camp.
  • We also went to Sholazar Basin, and I showed him some really good places to fish, and the fish were biting really well too, so I got to bring back a whole bunch. Tik looked at me funny and asked if I really went fishing on our trip after the wedding. I just smiled and shrugged. He probably knows that’s not all we did, but it was a lot of fish!
  • Anyway, we’re back now and I’m teaching classes and Ter is back to work too. We’re both busy with the girls too when we’re not busy with our work. Narise has been crying a little more, so it’s rare that I get to carry her all day while teaching. There’s always some point where she starts crying. Ter is never very far away, and he comes to get her when he hears her so that I can keep teaching.
  • Malwen is excited about her classes starting back up soon. She’ll have more classmates this year. Vaildor and Kiandris will be returning. Vaildor will be continuing his program with the art school in Silvermoon so he’ll only be here three days a week again. Terellion’s mother and sisters have moved out and have settled into their new house, and his sisters will be able to attend. In a few years, I might have to pay the builders to make Lali’s classroom bigger! There are a lot of babies in the area, and now Nessna is having another. That room will definitely be too small.
  • The one student for general classes this summer will be taking tests this week and hopefully moving on to magic theory classes this autumn. Lhoris came to us last spring with only a home-tutored education. His tutors weren’t very good, but from what he’s said about his mother, I wonder if she didn’t plan it that way so he’d have to stay with her forever or something. Maybe she thought if he was uneducated, then he’d have to believe whatever she said. Well, he’s here now. Luckily, she hasn’t shown up to take him back, but I expect she will when he writes and asks for the tuition money. I intend to speak to him after his passes his general education tests to see what he thinks she might do. I might decide to waive his tuition fee. He studies hard and he’s a good student. I don’t detect much magic ability in him, but he’s just barely over 50. It might still be developing.
  • The other exciting thing is I’ll be able to take more students this fall. I’ve put signs up already, and the new buildings are almost done. I’ve also put a couple signs up looking for a couple of people to work for me, one for each building. They’ll need to do all the things Tik does here, minus cooking, because everyone can eat here at the main building. They’ll just need to make sure things are kept tidy, call lights out to make sure the students aren’t up too late, and probably restock the practice rooms in the new buildings. Ter might want to do that, so I need to ask him first. There will also be some gardening to do around the new buildings, but I think it’s already too late this year.
  • I’ll have to find out which students want to move to the new places, and who wants to stay in their current rooms.
  • Kes and Ordinicus have moved into their new place too. They’re neighbors with Ter’s mother and sisters! Lilithel has moved to the house at the bottom of the hill next to the stable. She spends most of her time with the hawkstriders and dragonhawks in the stable, so it works out well to have her right there.
  • That frees up Lilithel’s room. The student buildings are almost done. After they’re done, there’s going to be more work done to the house. We’re having a door put between our room and Lilithel’s old room and turning it into a nursery for Narise. Malwen’s bathroom needs to be built, and the tower needs to be modified to house a clock too. That’s going to be a lot of work. Hopefully it will be done before the rainy season starts again.

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Aeramin’s Notes

  • I’m so glad the wedding is over. Almost everything went as Hethurin planned, which was quite a feat considering how much there was to coordinate. And guess who had to make sure everything went right. Yeah, me. I had to teleport to the school, and back to town a few times to make sure things were going well and everything was on time. Teleports aren’t easy on me. Luckily, everything was perfectly timed with our arrival at the school’s garden gate.
  • There was one thing that went wrong. Hethurin passed out during the ceremony. It was a warm day and his robe had at least four or five layers. He was also very nervous, which probably contributed to his light-headedness more than anything else. I was standing next to him when he started to sway. I moved to catch him just as Terellion did on the other side. I wound up guiding him towards Terellion. I guess it was a bit symbolic, now that I think about it.
  • Of course, he had three priests rushing to his side as well. His father was already up front as he was officiating. Two of his sisters joined. I stepped back and wound up having to calm Vaildor and Malwen down a bit. Vaildor thought Hethurin had died, and Malwen was worried about him being okay. I had to assure them both that Hethurin was still breathing and would be fine. He wasn’t out for long, but his father and sisters made him lie down for a while right where he was. Tik had a glass of water for him almost as soon as it happened. I have no idea how that man can be so fast.
  • After about ten minutes, the wedding resumed, but Hethurin sat in a chair until the end when it was time for them to kiss.
  • I’ve never been to a wedding so fancy, much less been in one. That’s including the wedding his parents planned when they arranged his marriage to Xyliah. I thought that was fancy at the time, but it was nothing like this. He must have spent a fortune on it. I know he did on the robes. He even paid the tailors to come out to the Ghostlands to his sister’s house to make last minute adjustments! He also had someone come out to do our hair. I wound up hating having my hair done by someone else. They pulled it back in a braid and that was it. Hethurin did tell them to make sure my hair wasn’t prettier than his. He said that! I thought it looked awful, but Imralion said he liked it. Sometimes I can’t tell if he’s just trying to be polite or not.
  • Im and I have talked about most of the things that were bothering me. He said he’d be okay with Lyorri visiting when she’s older, which is good. However, I still feel guilty about mentioning her in any conversation with him. I feel like I can’t talk about her. I don’t know how having her visit when she’s older is going to work, but at the same time, I want to be part of her life. I don’t want to be ashamed of her. Maybe it took a while, but I think I’m finally bonding with her a bit. She has the sweetest little smile, even though she only has five teeth, and the cutest laugh. I’ve noticed she has different cries for things too. She has a hungry cry, and a wet diaper cry. She even has a Kes cry for when she want’s to be held by Kestrae. I don’t think she has one for me. She doesn’t cry a lot while I’m there. She tends to be very serious and observant, but prone to bouts of laughter. I love her.
  • But I also love him, and I can’t talk to him about her because I feel guilty. Maybe I should talk to the confessor soon. I don’t know.
  • Im has been investigating the murders on Murder Row. Well, not all of them, just the ones involving the male prostitutes there. I don’t know if he’s really doing it for them or not. He might just be doing it for me. I don’t know. If he cared about the people there who were affected by it, he would know their names, right? I found him at one of the restaurants in Silvermoon when I went to give him his portal home the other day. We sometimes eat there before coming home, so I knew to look there when he wasn’t at the building. He was there with two prostitutes. I didn’t know either of them, though the one does look familiar. He had bought them food. I ordered for myself, and asked for some extra bread with my order. I pushed it closer to them after it was brought to the table. I kept waiting for some sort of introduction to learn their names. I found out afterwards that he doesn’t even know their names. He doesn’t know them. He doesn’t know the names of the victims. Well, he did say he had those written down somewhere, but he doesn’t remember any without looking at his paper.
  • It makes me angry. It’s just the way people in Murder Row have always been treated. We’re not people there. We’re not worthy of having names. If anyone is sent to investigate anything they’re not doing it because they actually think it matters. They’re doing it out of some obligation, whether they were told to by their supervisor or they think they owe it to their boyfriend, it’s all the same. The murderer is going to get away with it as long as they stick to the Row. I bet if this was happening anywhere outside the Row, they would have called in more than one to investigate. The crime scene would have been searched thoroughly for clues, witnesses would have come forward, the body would be examined for clues, they would have dusted for fingerprints, and I bet there’s a high chance they would have caught the guy before he went on to kill more. But this is in the Row so no one cares.
  • I don’t know why it makes me so angry. That’s the way it’s always been.
  • I’ll be hearing from the mage I sent to find information on Imralion’s parents soon. His mother showed up to see him soon after Hethurin’s wedding. He’s decided that he’s not very keen on a relationship with her. It makes me worry that my own daughter will reject me when she gets older. After all, I’ve given her away so she can have a better life. Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like if my own parents had given me away to make sure I didn’t have to grow up on Murder Row. My mother was good with me, but she was always a little absent-minded. My father wasn’t good with me at all. I can’t think things were very difficult growing up with the Matron at the orphanage, at least not as difficult as it was growing up on the Row with a drunk and abusive father, and a mother who trained herself to forget about it and constantly forgive him.
  • Imralion’s father never wanted him. He paid Im’s mother to give them up and keep quiet. She placed them with the Matron. She didn’t abandon them to the streets. She didn’t just leave them to die out in the woods. She left them with someone she knew could care for them. I think if I were Im, I’d give her a chance now that she’s here. I guess I kind of understand how he doesn’t want to, kind of. I mean, not really, and the mage is going to come asking for his payment soon. I hope Lin appreciates that I helped find her mother, at least. With my luck, she’ll probably just wind up hating me more somehow.

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Malwen’s Diary

Dear Diary,

Last night, Arcann’da and I stayed with my aunt and uncle, Lani and Morthorn, in Tranquillien. It was different staying in town because my bed was smaller, and I had to share a room with Arcann’da. There were two small beds in the room, but I don’t think one was bigger than the other. If it was, I would have let him have it because I don’t think he slept very well. I woke up once during the night and he was awake. He said everything was okay, and that I should go back to sleep, but when we visited his friends in the little house at the bottom of the hill before coming here, he kept saying he was nervous, so I think it’s that! This morning I told him not to worry and that Ann’da and Mr. Tik are going to take care of everything at home. I think he needed to hear it because he hugged me and said thanks.

I can’t wait to see the garden! It’s going to be beautiful! Ann’da has been working on it all summer, and Miss Lilithel has been helping when she isn’t at the stable. I’ve been helping too, but I know most of the decorations must be going up this morning. Ann’da has been working on things for the cake too. It’s going to be the most amazing cake anyone has ever seen! I’m really excited.

Today has been going really well so far. The tailors from Silvermoon are here. My dress fits perfect. There was also a flower delivery and everyone has flowers now. The guy with the flowers had more that he had to deliver directly to the school. Oh, and there’s another guy here doing everyone’s hair! He put mine up, and gave me little curls along the side. I got to look in the mirror, and I really like it! Arcann’da said he didn’t want his hair too different, but he had a couple of braids put in, and on the end of his braids, he got a gold thing with a gem hanging off it. Then after his hair was done, he had to try on the robe. There weren’t many adjustments to do, but he insisted they fix the one sleeve. I didn’t see anything wrong with it. His robe is so pretty. He looks like a princess, or maybe a king because he’s a boy.

Vaildor and Aeramin are also going to be in the wedding and they get to ride in the carriage with us. Arcann’da is going to make a portal so that my aunt and uncle and little cousin can get there on time. They had to get changed too and have their hair done. Aeramin hates his because it’s pulled back in a braid. I don’t know why he hates braids, but he does! Vaildor had some curls done too, so his is more like mine. They have matching robes that kind of look like Arcann’da’s robe, but less fancy. Renner, one of the students, was here earlier to get his robe, but he had to go back to the school because there’s supposed to be guys with swords there. This is so exciting!

The carriage is here, and there’s six beautiful hawkstriders with it. I think they have extra feathers on their straps for the carriage because I’ve never seen hawkstriders with so many feathers before. We’re just waiting for the right time now. I already ate, but Lani is trying to get Arcann’da to eat a little more because he didn’t have much breakfast.

I can’t wait to arrive to the party!

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Julan’s Log

I’ve done it. I’ve left Murder Row. Of course, I have more reason now than ever before. Not that I didn’t have good reasons before, it’s just more relevant to my continued survival now. There have been some murders there recently that seem to be targeted towards the male workers there. At least, that’s what the others and myself were able to put together. Unfortunately, there’s rarely any investigation into these things in the Row. They just send someone to pick up the body, then it’s over. A lot of times they’re slow about coming to get the body, so more than enough people see the evidence. This time, there was enough to put together that the murders are connected.

I was lucky because an old friend, Aeramin, hired me to dance for a party. He used to work the Row as well, so I knew he would understand, and with him not on the Row now, and a mage on top of that, I figured he might have some ideas about where I could work. I explained everything to him when he came to make the portal to the party location, and he said he would see what he could do.

He found a job for me with the rangers! I couldn’t believe it when he told me I had to meet the ranger captain. I’ve never held a bow before in my life! I’m immensely grateful for the opportunity, but there’s a lot of training to do. I met with the captain, and I was able to start staying there immediately.

There are two other guys staying in the men’s quarters. Well, three, but one doesn’t really count because he’s a death knight and doesn’t sleep. I’m doing my best to make friends here, but I guess they don’t like it when I flirt with them. I find it really difficult to not flirt with guys. It’s just what I’ve always done, and it worked out well for me before. But yet, here, it’s different. I didn’t even mean anything by it, but the one ranger instructor does have a nice butt. I guess he didn’t like me looking because now they have a woman training me.

She’s nice. Her name is Linarelle. All the girls are nice. I think I get along okay with them. It’s the guys who don’t like me. One of the guys who stays here is Aeramin’s father, and I accidentally flirted with him. Then he said something about catching me in bed with his son once. I don’t even want to talk to him again. I’m so embarrassed. I do kind of remember that, but I wish he didn’t! Then the other one who stays here has a girlfriend. He had to tell me a couple times before I decided it was a bad idea to try to talk to him again.

Then the death knight wanted to know why I didn’t flirt with him. Umm, because he’s dead and that’s just a little gross, maybe? That’s what I said to him because it’s the truth. He actually seemed to be mad that I wasn’t flirting with him. Maybe that’s just the way he is. Death knights must be mad a lot of the time.

I’ve accidentally flirted with Aeramin too. He doesn’t get mad at me. He just says it’s nice, but he has a boyfriend. I’ve met his boyfriend, and wow! No, I don’t expect Aeramin would be interested in anything with me right now. That guy has a really nice body. His boyfriend didn’t seem interested in me either. It’s almost like no one does anything out here!

Anyway, his boyfriend is actually trying to investigate the murders. I don’t know if anything will come from it, but I told him all I could remember about what I heard. While I may be safely away from the Row, I have many friends who are still there. They are still in danger.  I really hope he can find the guy.

I hope to visit my friends soon, but I have to ask Aeramin for a portal there. I don’t want it to be a portal where I go through and then I’m stuck there either. I need him to go with me so that I can get back! I’m not sure how keen he is on going there and seeing some of the other guys. Hopefully, he won’t mind. I’d like to see them to find out if there’s any new information.

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