Alinash’s Arrival

I’m inside the school. I’m known as Lhoris Brightblade here, and they actually all believe me when I say I’m 50! Most of the other people here are young; well, older than me, but still young. I met the headmaster this morning and I don’t think he’s a day over 100.

I arrived last night. At first, I was worried as one of the people who works here said that the headmaster was busy. However, he then invited me to eat, and after I was done filling up on food and cake, I was shown to a room.

Having supper here before meeting the headmaster gave me an excellent opportunity to ask a few questions. The worker was there, and one of the students was as well. The worker, Terellion, said he makes cakes. Des, the student, said she’s been there the longest. Terellion told me after she left that she’s one of the more advanced students. I decided before arriving that my parents are rich, and that my mother must be a little nuts and worried about me. So I never went to regular school, but I had tutors at home. They believed I have the same amount of general education as everyone else. Oh, and I made up a dear old grandmother on the fly. She was an enchanter, but she died during the Scourge attack upon the city. So tragic. They believed me, but now I need to feign a keen interest in taking the enchanting class.

There are only seven students here, so I’ll be the eighth, but I don’t know if I count because I’m not really a student. I guess I do because they don’t know any better.

I asked if I could take walks on the school grounds and was told that I could. I actually hate walks, but it’s good news as I’ll be able to go see Harrier without raising any suspicion. After what I found out at supper, I have a feeling it would be best to go see him very soon. There are builders who are going to start working on fixing up the abandoned houses on the school grounds. Harrier and I had chosen one to stay in as it was near the school, and we had a good view of the main building from there. However, if builders are coming, he needs to be warned ahead of time. It’s not that I don’t think he could get out unnoticed if they started going there, but I’m worried he might not take everything with him if he only has short notice. Then the workers would find whatever he had to leave behind, which, depending what’s left, could be bad. I’ll warn him the first chance I get to take a walk.

They said there was a butler here named Tik who makes all the meals. I think he has a funny name, but he makes wonderful food. I’ll have to ask him to pack a large lunch for me when I go for my walk. I’m sure Harrier would appreciate it. It’ll also give me a chance to talk to the butler who may have a sort of key for the wards when the headmaster isn’t here.

I did speak with the headmaster this morning. He said he didn’t sense much magical ability with me, but I came across as very enthusiastic. He said I could study there even if I wound up not being able to pass the test to become a mage. Understanding magic is just as important, so he says. I completely agreed with him. I explained the situation with my schooling. He did not seem happy to learn I have no test scores. So now he wants me to take some test that he has to go get in Silvermoon. I hate tests. Maybe he’ll also get the answer key. If he does, I hope it’s not left anywhere warded! I don’t know how I’ll pass if I don’t get my hands on the answers first.

Of course, I can avoid all of that if I can find the book first. He said it would be a few weeks before he can get the test for me as he’s preparing for the end of the semester and any free time that he does have is spent planning for his wedding. Oh, yeah, he’s getting married to the cake baker. He wouldn’t shut up about that. Anyway, he said I couldn’t officially enroll in the school without some kind of test score, but he would let me sit in on the classes. The best part is he’s letting me stay here free until I’m officially a student. That works out quite well since when I write my crazy, old, eccentric mother to tell her to send payment, nothing is going to happen because she doesn’t really exist. This gives me a few extra weeks at least, and that should be enough to find a book.

I have a feeling that I’ll need that time. Oh, it’s just finding a book, but in a huge house with a million bookshelves. I don’t think it’s going to be as easy as it sounds. I lost count of all the bookcases I saw while the headmaster gave me a tour of the school. I hate so many bookcases. There’s one in my bedroom, so I imagine that means all the students must have their own. He also mentioned individual practice rooms, and I bet there’s books in there too. I’ll have to make friends with the other students so I can get in their rooms and practice rooms.

If I can find a way to sneak Harrier in, then he’d be able to check rooms while most people are busy with classes. It may not be too difficult. Oddly, I saw another kaldorei here at the school while I was on my tour. She had the strangest looking child with her, with purple skin and green eyes. If the people here are kaldorei-friendly, then maybe I can invite Harrier as my friend. I suppose I’d have to explain how I met him somehow, but it’s something to think about.

I do really need to talk to him, and not just about the builders. Things happened the morning I returned from Silvermoon. They were good things, I thought. Well, I didn’t stop him. It’s been a long time since I’ve been with anyone like that, not counting that one whore I trust in Stormwind with my identity. I mean, if it’s paid for, it doesn’t count.

Speaking of whores, I was surprised to find one here at the school. Oh, he’s a teacher and a fire mage now, but I remember him standing out on the corner of our street in Murder Row. As I recall, he never had to stand out there for very long before he was gone again. I used to spend a lot of time looking out the window when Syrina locked me in the room. I knew it was him before the headmaster introduced him. I had been trying to not be noticed, but he looked right at me when Magister Fairsong introduced me as Lhoris Brightblade. Then he said it was nice to meet me or something, and repeated my name, but when he said it, he said ‘Brightblaze’, my real last name. The headmaster corrected him and told him my name was Brightblade. The whore repeated Brightblade then said ‘right’ and flashed me a smile. I hate whores.

I was a bit alarmed after that. I thought my cover was blown, and that he’d tell the headmaster for sure. I asked the headmaster if I could go to the library. If that whore was going to say anything, I was going to get to the most likely place for the book before being told to leave. Anyway, the headmaster led me there and left me to study. I started looking for the book right away. I just wanted to get the book and get out.

However, as I was searching the shelves for it, the whore came in. Then he said my real name again, like he thinks this is some sort of game or something. I hate games! He asked me who I was going to kill. Just like that, aloud, in the library with open doors. I informed him that I’m not in that business anymore. He said that was good because if a single hair on anyone at the school was harmed, he would see to it that I suffered eternally. I assured him that I wasn’t there to hurt anyone, and expressed doubt that he could make me suffer more than I already have. He said that I didn’t really want to find out. I suppose if he’s a fire mage now, I really don’t. Then he asked me what I had come to the school for. I’m reluctant to tell him the real reason. I almost did. He could help so that I’d leave the property faster and he’d know his friends were safe. I didn’t though because I thought he could rat and then I’d never get the book. I told him I was in it for the free meals since I don’t have any work. He said he was keeping an eye on me, which I found funny since he only has one working eye now. He has a nasty scar around the other and it’s all clouded and gross looking. But then he smiled at me again like he thinks he’s ahead of me or something. I hate smiling whores.

I’ll have to tell Harrier about that too, of course. I’m worried that he’ll think it’s too dangerous to continue, but I think if the whore was going to rat, he’d have done it by now. I am a little worried that he’ll want payment for his silence, much like that swine in Silvermoon did. Hopefully, he’s happy enough with just threatening me.

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A Day in Silvermoon

Alinash Brightblaze approached the Shepherd’s Gate. There were less people than he had expected which would make passing the by the guards slightly more risky. He filed into line behind a farmer with a cart who was bringing his goods to sell in the market. He smiled briefly as he saw one of the two guards at the gate stop someone ahead of them and began to ask him questions. That was good. There would be one less pair of eyes on him.

He moved closer to the gate, staying directly behind the farmer’s cart. He eyed the guard interrogating the man he had stopped as if it were a spectacle to slow down and watch. In reality, he simply wanted to keep his head turned away from the other guard.

Alinash flinched as someone grabbed his arm. With his head turned, he hadn’t seen that the idle guard had, in fact, taken notice of him.

“Hey, you!” The guard shouted at him as he pulled him away from the other elves passing through the gate. Alinash suppressed the impulse to reach for one of his daggers that he had hidden on his person for self-defense. The guard continued, “You’re a bit young to be traveling alone. Don’t you have schooling to attend?”

Alinash bit his lip. He hadn’t had to deal with comments about his youth for a few years now. “I’m sorry, sir. I should be in school. You’re right about that. But my baby sister is gravely ill. Minn’da has to stay at home to take care of her, and Ann’da has to work the fields on the farm or there won’t be any food to eat. Minn’da said it would be okay if I miss school just this once. Please, sir. I have to go to the Spire, and see Priest Sunstone. Minn’da says he’ll help.” Alinash silently hoped that Priest Sunstone still worked at the Spire. He was well-known in Murder Row for taking charity cases. He supposed if the priest was no longer there, and the guard knew of it, he could just feign ignorance on the part of his false mother.

The guard said nothing about the priest, but still seemed concerned that he was missing school. “Did your Minn’da write a note?”

“Minn’da doesn’t write very well, sir. I don’t think she’d be able to if she tried. She wasn’t very good in school, and then she had me so she couldn’t go anymore.”

“Just let the kid go through and see the priest. Do you know your way to the Spire, kid?” The other guard, having finished questioning the elf he had stopped, stepped over.

Alinash’s heart was racing, but he continued on with his acting. “I do! I’ve gone there with Minn’da a few times. I’m sure I remember the way.” He grinned innocently as a proud child would.

The first guard let go of his arm as the second one nodded and said, “Just be careful not to make a wrong turn and end up on the Row. There’s lots of unsavory types there.”

Alinash nodded in agreement. “I’ll be careful. Thank you, sir!” He hurried off through the gate, pacing himself to be in a rush, but not too much of a rush. For him, he couldn’t round a street corner fast enough. At least they hadn’t recognized him. He wasn’t going to give them any reason to be suspicious. He didn’t look back, but calmly, with only a hint of a child’s enthusiasm for saving his imaginary sister, made his way to the first street that turned towards the Spire. The library and the market that he wanted to visit were both on the way to the Spire, so his lie worked out well.

He hurried along the streets to the market, carefully picking those which he remembered were patrolled less often by the guards. He hoped the patrols were the same since he had left a few year years ago. He supposed they must be as he reached the market without seeing a single guard. He noticed one arcane patroller making it’s way through the crowd at one end of the market. Alinash had no doubt there were guards at their posts around the market as well. He hoped the posts were all at the same places he remembered them being. He joined a steady flow of people heading along one side of the market, opposite the direction of the arcane patroller. He knew there was a wine shop in this direction as well.

He found the shop without incident, and bought two bottles of aged Silvermoon red. He had thought briefly of stealing them, but good wine was something worth paying for. Besides, if he was caught, he’d only cause trouble for himself, and trouble was the last thing he needed in Silvermoon.

He made his way back out into the market after securing the bottles in his bag. The wine shop owner had asked about his age, but Alinash had expected that he might. He simply told the man that his father had sent him to get it for a party that he was throwing for later that day. The shop owner had believed him, and made small talk about the party as Alinash paid.

All in all, things were going quite well. Alinash quickly found a stall with hand-made blankets, and bought one for Harrier, who had complained about the scratchy blankets at the chapel. True it was warming up, but it was still cold at night sometimes. It was also true that he’d only be using it on the way home. Alinash hoped he’d like it anyway.

He started heading out of the market and towards the gate that led towards the Spire when someone brushed up against him. He caught the elf by the wrist just as his hand was going in Alinash’s pocket. He turned to look at who would dare to pick his pocket while tightening his grip on the wrist. All he could see was the lower half of the elf’s face from under his cloak. He narrowed his eyes as he watched the surprised mouth curl into a sly grin.

“Brightblaze. Imagine finding you here.”

The smile seemed familiar, but it wasn’t until the elf said something that Alinash could place it. “Paeris Skyweaver, reduced to picking pockets?” He let go of the other elf’s wrist and took a few steps towards the gate.

“An elf needs something to live off of. I wouldn’t get too sassy if I were you. There’s a nice price on your pretty little head, and there’s guards right over there.” Paeris nodded towards one of the guard posts as he followed alongside Alinash.

Alinash furrowed his brow in thought as he continued walking. “Our employer was caught. How are you not wanted as well?”

“They arrested him before they got to his office. I destroyed his records of me before they had time to get there and figure out who worked for him. I was lucky. I was in the right place at the right time.” He looked at Alinash as they passed through the gate, “We all thought you had left the city.”

“I did.” Alinash twitched an ear in irritation. “You say you were lucky, but you could have just as easily have been a rat. How else would you have known he was being arrested elsewhere at the moment that you were destroying the records?” His voice lowered as they passed through a crowd on the other side of the gate.

Paeris lowered his voice as he replied, “I never rat when I’m paid well, and as much as I did dislike our former employer, he gave us very fair percentages. Speaking of being paid well, there’s a guard post just ahead, and you did stop me from taking your coin. Given the price on your head, I think you owe me to keep quiet.”

Alinash kept his voice low, “You’re a swine, Paeris.”

Paeris held out his hand, “Now, or I yell for help.”

Alinash hesitated, quickly considering his options. He could easily flee on foot and very likely get away. He had an advantage of being shorter than most elves, and therefore easily lost in a crowd to even the tallest guards. However, even if he did manage to flee, that would leave him without the trip to the library for the book. The book was the reason he had to come back to Silvermoon in the first place. The street was too crowded to silence Paeris in any way. Alinash did feel he could use a good kick to the throat, but not in front of so many people. Running him through with a dagger wasn’t a valid option in this crowd either. Alinash reached for his coin purse. He held it out and dropped it in Paeris’s hand.

“It feels light.”

“It’s all I have.”

Paeris twitched an ear. “You have an hour before I tell the guards I saw you.”

Alinash scowled at the other elf before heading off in the general direction of the library. He looked back a couple of times to make sure he wasn’t being followed. “Swine.” he muttered under his breath as he walked by a large fountain. The library was just on the other side of the fountain. He was aware that time was ticking now, especially since he wasn’t even sure if Paeris knew how long an hour was. He quickened his pace to the library.

He was relieved to see the library was open, and there wasn’t anyone standing at the door telling him he wasn’t allowed to go in. He’d never been to the library before, and wasn’t sure what to expect. He’d never seen so many books in one place. He wasn’t sure where to start looking for the one he had come for. He realized that his bewilderment must have shown on his face as an older elf approached him.

“Can I help you? You look a little overwhelmed. I’m Belanor Sunseer, one of the librarians.”

Alinash glanced around at all the book shelves, still unsure the other elf could help him find just one. “I’m looking for a book.”

The older elf smiled, “You are in the right place. Are you looking for a specific book, or a book on a specific subject?”

“A specific book.” Alinash still didn’t believe the elf could find it, but decided to give it a try anyway. It would be better than looking through them all himself. “It’s called Time to Cast. I think it’s about magic.”

The librarian looked at him. “An early mage student? You barely look old enough to be finished with your general education.”

Alinash withheld an ear twitch. No one ever mentioned how young he looked in Stormwind. “Oh no, it’s not for me. It’s for my older brother. He asked me to come get it for him on my break between classes.” Alinash lied to prevent any questions about magic studies that he wouldn’t know the answers to, as well as to excuse himself for not being in school at the moment.

The librarian nodded, “This way then.” He led Alinash past long rows of books and into another large room with even more books. Alinash wondered how many other rooms there were.

The librarian stopped at a cabinet full of drawers, and slid one out, revealing cards inside. He started to flip through them. “You said Time to Cast is the name of the book?”

Alinash nodded.

The librarian slowed as he flipped through the cards, looking at each one more carefully now. He went a few cards back and flipped through the same ones again. “It appears we don’t have it.”

“How can you tell? You’re not even looking at the books. My older brother was sure it was here.”

The librarian sighed. “We can check the section I think it would be in if we had it, but I assure you that every book we have has a card in the library index.”

Alinash followed the other elf down a long corridor of books to the section he thought it might be in.

“I don’t see it anywhere here either.”

“If someone borrowed it, can you tell when it’ll be back?”

“No one borrowed it if there’s no card for it.” The librarian said. Another librarian happened to turn down the same row of books. The first librarian motioned for him to come over. “This is Tandar. He works this section of the library. Tandar, have you heard of a book called Time to Cast? Our young friend here is looking for it for his older brother, who is certain we have it. I’ve not found any card for it in the index, nor can we find the book on the shelf. I thought you might know more since you keep this section organized.”

Tandar frowned as he joined the other two elves, “Time to Cast? It wouldn’t be on these shelves. These books are for beginning mages and that book is rather advanced. Some of the Magisters complained that it had some outdated spells, so it was taken off the shelf.”

Alinash twitched an ear, “What happens to books that get taken off the shelf?”

“We store them in another room and put them out for sale one weekend per month.”

“So you still have it. It’s just in another room.”

“Oh no,” Tandar answered, “This book was taken off the shelf months ago. It was sold the first time it went out for sale.”

“Sold? To whom?” Alinash was beginning to get impatient. He tried not to let it show.

“You’re lucky I actually know the answer to that question.” Tandar stated. “I happened to be filling in that day for Karesh at noon so that he could go get lunch. He’s the one who usually handles our book sales. Any way, the book was sold to a young mage. I remember him because he said he was the headmaster of a new school in the Ghostlands. Naturally, I didn’t believe him, but I looked it up, and they’re actually on the ranked list, and not at a very bad placement on it either.”

Alinash raised a brow, “The Ghostlands?”

The second librarian nodded, “Fairsong Academy, if my memory serves me right.”

“Fairsong Academy.” Alinash repeated. “Thank you. I’ll let my brother know. Perhaps he’ll make the trip there and ask if he can borrow it.” He frowned slightly and headed back towards the library exit.

He wasn’t sure how much time was left in Paeris’s hour, but the quicker he made it to the Shepherd’s Gate, the better.

The gate to Eversong was in his sight when he heard the warning bell sound. His ears straightened and he looked about. The guards were being put on alert. The bell sounded once more. It was a high alert then. They would have someone running around to all the guard posts to inform them what it was about. Alinash knew he only had a limited amount of time before the guards at the gate were informed about what they were on alert for, and he had a bad suspicion that it was him they were looking for. He quickened his pace towards the gate. The guards, a different pair than the two he had seen when he had entered the city, watched the crowd with sharp eyes. He kept his head down and walked just off to the side behind an older blond woman, hoping to be mistaken as her son and not looked at past that.  They were no more than three yards away from the guard post when a younger guard ran up to the older two.

“What are we on alert for?” One of the guards posted at the gate asked.

The younger guard took out a rolled up piece of paper and unrolled it in front of them. Alinash couldn’t see it from the angle he was at. He looked back down at the ground, keeping pace with the older woman near him.

“Brightblaze? This poster has been hanging up in the headquarters for quite some time now.”

Alinash stiffened at mention of his name. That swine. I hate that swine. He forced his feet to keep moving and tried to appear at ease. I’m just following my old mother home.

“He was spotted between the market and the Spire by someone who claims to have been neighbors with him in the Row. He’s sure he’s not mistaken.”

Alinash passed the guard post, keeping his eyes on the ground, and matching the older woman’s pace.

“We’ll watch for him then.”

The other guard spoke up, “It’s probably a false alert. You know how it is. People from the Row get a sniff of gold, and suddenly they start seeing all sorts of things if they think they’re getting paid for it. Sorry to say for him that seeing someone doesn’t pay unless it leads to capture. We’ll be on alert anyway. We’ve been looking for this one for a while.”

The voices faded behind him. Alinash couldn’t make out anything else that was said as he walked further along the path leading away from the gate. The older woman he had followed out headed south at the fork in the road. He took the path heading west that led back to the ruins that he and Harrier were staying in. He had much to discuss with him.

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Lunch in Silvermoon

Isturon Lightmist had just seen his last patient of the morning and was looking forward to going out for lunch. He finished up the last notes for the patient file and stretched in his chair. It was the first day in weeks that he had actually finished on time for lunch, which meant he usually had to find something in his own kitchen in the back of the house to eat quickly before the afternoon patients started to arrive.

As he stood, there came a knock at the door. It was likely Keras, his receptionist who had been with him for years. Perhaps she would like to join him for lunch out. He opened the door.

“Sir, your son is here to see you.” Keras said before Isturon had a chance to mention lunch.

“Oh, he is?” Isturon said, caught off guard. While his son did have a tendency to drop in whenever, it was rare to see him in the middle of the day on a weekday without prior planning.

“Yes. He’s in the waiting room.”

“Thank you, Keras.” he said as he walked past her down the hall, the idea to eat lunch with her already put aside. The waiting room was only two doors down. He smiled he entered the room, “Hello, Hethurin.”

“Hi, do you have time to talk?”

“I was about to go to lunch. Did you want to eat, or do you need to be back to the school soon?”

“I have time. I just finished teaching the morning lessons. I don’t need to be back for another hour or so.”

“I was thinking about going to that one place with sandwiches at the exchange. Does that sound-” Isturon paused as his son started casting a spell. “Hethurin, that’s not really necessary. It’s not far by foot.”

Hethurin continued the cast just a few seconds longer until a portal opened up in front of them in the waiting room. “Well, it’s here and done, so we might as well use it.” He stepped through the portal.

Isturon sighed and followed him, immediately appearing next to the restaurant he had told his son about. They took a seat outside, and ordered their sandwiches. Isturon took note of his son’s small frowns, and slight ear twitches. “Something’s bothering you.” he said as they waited for their sandwiches.

“I suppose.” Hethurin frowned a bit longer this time while looking at his water. After a slight pause he looked up, “Do you ever worry about us, or miss us?”

Isturon raised a brow, “Us?”

“You know, me and my sisters, or I guess, Vaildor too.”

Isturon sat back in his chair, “I do miss all of you. At the same time, I know you’re adults now, and perfectly able to take care of yourselves. You more than proved that when you moved to the Ghostlands. You have no idea how much I worried then, but look at you now, running a school and engaged. I’m very proud of you, and while I do miss you, I know you’re okay.”

Hethurin didn’t speak immediately. He appeared to be pondering his father’s answer as the waiter brought the sandwiches to the table. After the waiter left, he spoke, “Do you know the orphanages look for sponsors for the orphans one week a year?”

“I wouldn’t have time to take care of an orphan.”

“Oh. No. I didn’t mean you. I meant I had one at the school last week, and now I miss her so much, and I’m worried because she isn’t staying with us anymore because I had to take her back to the orphanage. Her name is Malwen. She doesn’t even have a last name, but she wants one so badly. Her favorite color is blue. She’s seven and a half.”

Isturon’s brow raised as Hethurin continued.

“I bought her a dress, and Terellion made her cake with blue flowers and bought her a doll, and we took her to the faire, and she ate all the food there, and we won a gnoll doll prize for her, and she rode the carousel, and we had our fortunes done and we thought they meant something because they made sense.”

“Fortunes?”

Hethurin nodded, “Mine said, ‘An unexpected relationship becomes permanent.’ Terellion’s said, ‘You may be only one person in the world, but to one person you may be the world’, and I guess it could have meant me, but I really think it meant Malwen. Oh, and her fortune was ‘Make a wish, it might come true.’ Why didn’t it come true? I think that fortune gnoll is a big fat liar.” He stopped to take a bite of his sandwich.

“So you mean to adopt her then? Did you talk to the matron?”

Hethurin nodded again, “We really want to keep her. We had to take her back after the faire, and the matron was mad because we were a bit late. I guess she wanted the kids back during the day, but she didn’t say that before, so I thought it was just supposed to be anytime monday, and we were having fun, so it wound up being late on monday. Anyway, she wasn’t happy about that, but we asked anyway, but then she said that one of the kids came back with a broken arm because of an accident earlier in the day, and she really had to do things by the rules because she thinks there might be an investigation about that. So she wouldn’t extend the sponsorship and we can only go there to visit on weekends. We can’t apply to adopt her yet because we’re not married.”

“Well, if you really want to adopt her, get married.” Isturon stated before taking another bite of his sandwich.

Hethurin looked at him with a puzzled look, “We’re going to. You’re going to officiate it. Remember?”

“Yes, and that’s fine if you want to wait another two and a half months, but you could still have the wedding then even if you got married in the Spire today.”

Hethurin blinked in stunned silence for only a few seconds before abruptly standing up, knocking over his chair, then stumbling as his robe was caught on the falling chair. “Okay. I’m all right.” He said, catching his balance. He bent to straighten the chair. He started casting a spell right there, but stopped. He reached into a pocket and left some coins on the table. “Pay for my sandwich. Oh, here’s some extra. Thank you.”

Before Isturon could say anything else, Hethurin started casting his spell again. A few seconds later he faded from view, no doubt he was off to bring up the subject to Terellion. Isturon continued sitting and finished his sandwich.

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Malwen

The teacher said we had to write about our weekend over the weekend. I guess most of the other kids are going to write about their parents and brothers and sisters, but for once I don’t have to write about the orphanage. It’s Children’s Week, so the matron set up a sign asking for sponsors to come take us outside the orphanage for a bit. The older kids got to go earlier in the week, and I was starting to think I wouldn’t get to go this year, but then Mister Fairsong came in and the Matron called me over and asked me to pack some nice things for the weekend. I was so excited.

The first thing I noticed about Mister Fairsong was how fancy his robes were. I wish I had dresses that fancy! They were so pretty. He started talking to me after we left the orphanage, but I was a little shy. He said he was going to the robe shop because he was going to get married soon and needed to check on the progress of the robe he ordered. He also said he’s a mage. I know there’s a lot of people who are mages, but I don’t get to see any at the orphanage. I think magic looks really fun because you can just teleport all over, and make things appear from nowhere!

We arrived at the shop and he was talking to the people there about gold shades, and stuff. I wasn’t listening very well because I was looking at all the beautiful things they had there. I’ve never seen so many fancy things in one place before!

He asked me if I was hungry, and I really was, so I said yes! We went to a really nice shop with really good sandwiches. He bought a really big sandwich for me with chicken in it. It was so good! He just had a glass of water, but we sat while I ate. We talked some more. Mostly he asked questions about the orphanage, and what I liked to do and things like that.

After we ate, he made a portal. I was a little afraid to go through it, but he explained that he lived too far away to walk, and that the portal was completely safe. We went through it at the same time. That helped. Everything changed at once. One second we were outside in Silvermoon, and the next we were inside in a huge house! Mister Fairsong lives in the Ghostlands, which is kind of scary because I’ve never been outside of Silvermoon before except once last year when my sponsors then took me for a picnic just outside the gate. That was kind of nice, but this is even further.

The house is really big and fancy. Mister Fairsong said he runs a school to teach older students how to do magic. He also said there’s a class for regular studies for younger students because there isn’t any other school in the area. He said there’s only a couple students in that class right now, but there’s a lot of babies in the area, so in a few years it’s going to fill up!

He introduced me to Tik, his butler. Tik was really nice and said he’d take my things up to the room. Mister Fairsong told me after he left that Tik’s always lived there. I guess that must be a long time because Tik looks a bit old!

Mister Fairsong said it was time for me to meet his fiance, Terellion. We took another portal, but this time, I think it was just to another part of the house. Mister Terellion was there, and one of the magic students was too. They called her Des, and she seemed more like she was visiting than a student. They had cake and I got to have two big pieces. It was really good.

Mister Terellion seems really nice. He doesn’t wear fancy robes like Mister Fairsong. After they started talking, the topic quickly went to adopting me! I can’t believe it! I really really hope they’re not just saying that to make me happy because it happened last year, but the ladies then only came to see me a couple of times after they sponsored me and then that was it. The Matron said she didn’t know why they stopped wanting to adopt me. They didn’t tell her. I see a lot of kids in school who are mean and they’re brats and I wonder why they have a family and I don’t. I don’t think I’m a bad kid. I try really hard in school, and I don’t fight with the others like Ratha does. Her feet stink anyway. Not having a family makes me sad sometimes, and I really want to stay here with Mister Fairsong and Mister Terellion. I think they’ll be really great ann’das, but Mister Fairsong said they have to get married first to make it easier to prove they can provide a good family for me. They’re going to ask the Matron to extend the sponsorship. I really really hope she says yes! I also really really hope they mean it!

The room I’m staying in is mostly blue, which is one of my favorite colors and outside I can see the path that leads up to the house. There’s another house at the bottom of the hill, and this morning, Mister Fairsong and Mister Terellion showed me the garden. It’s on the other side of the house and it’s pretty big. One side of the garden has a wall, and then a cliff that overlooks the beach and the sea. It’s so pretty! The flowers are starting to bloom in the garden and I wished I could have stayed there all morning, but Mister Fairsong and Mister Terellion wanted to take me shopping. I have a new dress now, and it’s so fancy, I feel like a princess wearing it! Mister Terellion braided my hair and bought a doll for me. She’s really pretty too and has blond hair like me. I know if I take her back to the orphanage, I’ll have to let the other girls play with her to, but I’m a little worried that they might ruin her. I really hope the Matron agrees to extend the sponsorship.

Tomorrow, we’re going to the faire. I’m really excited about that too. I’ve heard about the faire, but I’ve never been there. Mister Terellion said they eat kodo feet there! Gross! I guess they also have good food. I hope so!
I have to go back on Monday. I’m worried that the Matron will say no and then Mister Fairsong and Mister Terellion will have to leave me there and then they won’t come back. I’m worried about if they adopt me too. I’ve never had a family before, and while Mister Fairsong has students, they’re a lot older than me, so I probably won’t have anyone to play dolls with anymore, but I’ll also have my own dolls, so maybe that will be okay.

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The Dancer

Aeramin Firewind walked along the Silvermoon streets. He’d just gone for the fitting at the tailor who was working on the robes for Hethurin’s wedding, and was glad when he was finally able to leave the shop. Of course, Hethurin had insisted on being there the whole time and he kept going on and on about the wedding, and his robes, and the flowers, and the invitations. It seemed it never stopped with him. Aeramin was less than thrilled about having to be in the wedding, and thought it would be nice when it was over and things got back to normal at the school.

Despite not wanting to be in the wedding, he was enjoying the planning he was doing for the party before the wedding. It was to be a bachelor’s party, but with two bachelors who probably wouldn’t enjoy separate parties as much. Aeramin hoped that was the case anyway as he was planning their parties together.

He turned away from the road leading to the bright market filled with vendor stalls and shops, and passed through one of the gates to another part of the city. The buildings were closer together here, and at the angle they faced, the sun only made a rare appearance on the street below. Murder Row had always been dark, but then, he had never had a problem with that. His pale skin burned much too easily to enjoy the sunlight as much as other sin’dorei did.

It had been some time since he had been back, a couple years anyway. His last trip here was to help see his father out of the city and to the Ghostlands.  Before that, he had shown up occasionally to make sure the old man was eating and that the priests at the Spire were still bringing him food. Now that his father had a job in the Ghostlands, and had quit drinking, he could take care of himself again. While Aeramin was thankful for that, he was angry that his father hadn’t thought to sober up sooner. He frowned as he turned another corner to a smaller path.

It was still early in the day, but they were already out. One woman held a fluffy handbag which matched her fluffy stole which was conveniently not covering her cleavage. He didn’t recognize her. “Hello, handsome.” She said while making sure here cleavage was uncovered and taking a step toward him. She came close enough to put her hand on his shoulder.

Aeramin brushed it away. “Hi. Do you know if someone named Julan still works around here?”

She pursed her lips together in a pout before answering. She pointed first, and then said, “He’s usually down at the other end.”

“Thanks.” He turned before she started pouting again and hurried past another woman who called to him who was wearing a skirt and a vest that were far too short. A group of shirtless men watched him pass. One of them whistled. Aeramin recognized some of them, but didn’t stop. He wanted to ask Julan first.

The other end of the street opened up to another street. This one was slightly larger and a bit busier. He turned the corner to see the person he was looking for leaning against the wall.  “Julan. Hello.”

Julan turned to him, his long, blond curls bouncing with the movement of his head, and one eyebrow going up in surprise. “Firewind, you’re not coming back, are you? I’m earning more since you left. What happened to your face? “

“I got in a fight with a demon, and no, I’m not coming back. I have some work for you if you want it.”

Julan grinned, “You always were fun to play with, but you’re coming back as a paying customer now? I’m honored.”

“It’s nothing like that. I have a boyfriend now.” Aeramin paused, noting the disappointment on Julan’s face. “But I am planning a bachelor party, and we need a dancer. I know you’ve done that sort of thing before.”

“You remember that? It was a lot more than dancing, I’ll have you know.”

“I figured, but this will be just dancing. The bachelors will both be there together. I’ll be there with my boyfriend, and the only other who might consider it is undead.”

Julan shrugged, “I’d do it if he paid extra. I have this guy living in with me right now, but he’s lousy at helping with the rent. I need to make ends meet somehow.”

Aeramin tried not to shudder. Cold undead bodies were way past his limits. “Anyway, the dancing, will you do it? I’ll pay ten gold per hour. The party will last a few hours. You also get free cake.”

“Free cake is good, but I want twenty per hour.”

“Fifteen.”

“Deal. Where and when is this party?”

“It’s in the Ghostlands. It’ll be in a couple of months.”

“The Ghostlands? Aren’t there a bunch of undead out there? It sounds dangerous. I might need more after all.”

Aeramin sighed, “It’s not that bad actually, and the party will be at the ranger building. I can’t think of a safer place to be. All the same, I will be providing a portal. You won’t have to travel along the paths, and you’ll have zero travel expenses to worry about.”

“Is that both a portal there and a portal back?”

Aeramin nodded.

Julan paused thoughtfully before he smiled and said, “I accept then.”

“Good. I’ll contact you again when the time comes closer.” Aeramin said hurriedly. He was eager to leave the Row and get back home.

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Alinash’s Notes

((Written poorly in thalassian script))

I hate schools. I hate stupid old books, and I hate dumb human mages. Most of all, I hate old, rusty, iron bars. We had to crawl out a window to get out of the old school in the Plaguelands. There used to be iron bars over the windows, but they had been partially removed from the window we used. There were still the ends of them sticking up and out all around. I was being careful, but one of the rocks that made up the window sill slipped, and while trying to catch myself, my leg slide against one of the bars sticking out from the side. I think it could have been worse. At least I didn’t get caught anywhere on the bottom of me, but it was hard to see that at the time. I’m not sure if Harrier understood my thalassian cursing or not.

Luckily, he was there so he was able to help me walk. I probably would have bled to death while I finished cursing otherwise. There was blood everywhere. I couldn’t believe it was all mine. He helped me get it wrapped up so that the pressure would help it stop bleeding, and helped me get back to the chapel we’ve been staying at. Once we were here, one of the people stitched it up and used some light spells which made their hands glow bright. They said it would help it heal faster. I hope it won’t take too long. I hate being injured. The guy who stitched it said that it would probably leave a scar. I don’t care as long as I can walk normally soon.

At least we found the book, but there is bad news about that as well. It’s in really bad shape. Sections of it are missing. Some of the pages are torn. What’s left isn’t very readable, as it got wet. We did find some other things though, so if he deducts the condition of the book from our pay, which he shouldn’t because it’s hardly our fault, but if he does, maybe we can still make this trip worthwhile by selling the other things.

Of course, there’s another book too. Hopefully the second book will be easier to obtain, and it’ll be in better condition. I think it will be. It’s supposed to be in the Silvermoon library, and the sin’dorei take care of their books. I suppose if it existed at the time of the Scourge attack it may have been damaged, but I don’t doubt that if it was damaged, efforts would have been made to restore it. We’ll find out as soon as my leg is better. I hope it won’t take too long. It hurts a lot to walk anywhere, and I’ve been relying on Harrier to bring me food and water. I also hope I don’t have a limp or anything. I hate limps. How am I supposed to get back into Stormwind if I’m crippled?

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A Letter to Linarelle

(( Carefully placed in her lunch before patrol. ))

Dear Linarelle,

I’ve been getting your letters so I thought I would leave you one. Maybe you don’t think about me on patrol, but I think about you a lot, and I think maybe you do too, so I hope you like this letter.

I didn’t tell this to you last night because I thought you might like a letter about it, so here it is. I went to the school to ask for a few things. Magister Fairsong has agreed to let us stay there for a night. It won’t be the same room as last time because he has a new student in that room, but he said the room we’ll have is really nice and the largest guest room. He said it has a nice view of the trees in the forest next to the garden. There’s a large bathroom across the hall. He said Tik would make us a special room and bring it up to us, as there is a small table and two chairs in the room, so it’ll be a private dinner. He said he could put candles all over too because he bought too many candles. I think that will be nice and romantic.

I keep thinking about you, and how special you are to me. It hurt so much when I thought you wouldn’t want to marry me and didn’t want to be with me. I never want to feel that way again! I can’t wait until we have our own cabin. I want to wake up next to you every morning without having to worry about packing up the tent and taking it back, or how much it rained, or anything like that. I want to nibble your ears in the morning light coming through the window, and not worry that there’s anyone outside listening. I want it to be just you and me. I can’t wait.

Oh, and your brother stopped by the other evening while you were still out on patrol. He wanted to let you know that he loves you, and that he’s still watching out for you even if you have me too.

I have to go so I can get ready for patrol!

Love,

Sunashe

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