Vaelarian returned to his camp after a quick visit to the larger camp with the mailbox. He had received a letter from his granddaughter, dated a few days ago. She had apologized, but given the way she had tried to cover everything, he wasn’t convinced that she knew why she was apologizing.
“Kids these days.” He mumbled to himself as he tossed his pack near his tent. He didn’t remember his son ever giving him this much trouble. Until he met that tramp. But that was when he was very much an adult. He couldn’t say as much for the tramp. She was barely 200 years old when she convinced his son to leave Ashenvale, and had him move to the Southern Barrens with her. She still wasn’t 300 when they had announced they had decided to become mates. She had a baby six month later. A healthy, full term baby. He had hoped that baby would be like her mother at all. She’s even worse.
He picked up a smaller bag from just inside his tent, and took a dry towel off a tree branch at the edge of his camp. He headed down towards the river. He wasn’t sure what to do. He was still quite angry that they had held him in that cage for so long. He was surprised to find that no one had discovered his camp during the time he was gone. He knew he was very lucky to still have all of the things that were important to him. He wouldn’t even consider speaking to either of them again if things had gone missing. He still didn’t understand how the guards could hold him, when all he was doing was going to talk to his granddaughter and her mate. Her mate. He could accept that, even though she wasn’t even half a century old. Just like her mother. It won’t last. It can’t. He’ll die in a century or two. Vaelarian knew he might also die within that time. Then she’ll be alone.
He frowned as he sat at the riverbank and opened his bag. He took out a shirt, and dipped it in the water before rubbing the soap on it. He scrubbed where blood and mud had dirtied it. Raisse’s blood. She won’t talk now. Lali and Raleth are safe. He laid the shirt out on a large rock nearby and continued washing the rest of the clothes.
When he finished what was in the bag, he took off the shirt he was wearing and washed it as well. He swatted a bug off his arm and stripped down to wash the rest of his clothes. He laid everything out on the large rock after washing and rinsing. Then he waded into the water himself.
The river was fed from the melting snows of Wintergrasp. Vaelarian shivered as he waded deeper. The warm air in the basin was a sharp contrast to the chilly water. He took a deep breath and fully submerged himself in the water.
He normally enjoyed swimming while bathing, but in such cold water, he was eager to finish. He lathered his soap, and washed away the dirt. Although it was cold, it was also refreshing. He stepped out of the water, and back up the riverbank where his clothes lay out on the rock. He wrapped the towel around himself, and gathered the clothing to take back to his camp to dry. He decided he would write back to Lali. Maybe. In a few days.