Lanthiriel Lightmist sat in her own small office in the front of her home where she worked with her father. Her first afternoon appointment was late. She hated that. It put her behind for the rest of the afternoon. A family portrait hung on her office wall. Her mother was insistent on getting one painted every five years or so. She found herself staring at it now. How much things had changed since this one, painted a little over thirty years ago. Lanthiriel wasn’t even 100 then.
The blue-eyed high elves in the painting stared back at her. She had wondered if there was any truth in what the one priest at the sanctum had told her. The fel taint affected more than just eye color. Some claimed it affected minds as well. She frowned.
She had stood in the back row, between her mother and her older sister for the sitting for this painting. Vallindra, she was hardly home anymore. She couldn’t quite say where Vallindra might be at this moment. She did have a home in Dalaran, but she had also mentioned spending a lot of time in Shattrath during one of her last visits. Lanthiriel’s frown deepened.
There always seemed to be some kind of trouble when Vallindra was home. Maybe it was best that she was gone all the time now.
Esladra had always hated this painting. She had a tendency to turn around and talk, and the artist had captured that. Back then, she still wasn’t fully decided on what she wanted to do. Now she was finishing her training as a priestess, and instead of taking her apprenticeship with their father, she had gone to someone else. Lanthiriel thought for sure that father would insist that she remained with the family practice, as he had when Lanthiriel was ready for an apprenticeship, but he hadn’t. Lanthiriel did find it curious, but didn’t complain. She did enjoy the work, but wondered what had happened that Esladra wasn’t expected to stay with them.
Nessna had been clad in her ranger gear. Lanthiriel remembered how she had just started her training right before mother had made arrangements to have the painting made. Mother had thrown a fit over Nessna, and subsequently, Aranae, refusing to wear dresses for the painting. Aranae had less reason, but somehow, father was able to talk mother into letting both girls wear what they wanted. Nessna was married now. Lanthiriel didn’t see her very often since she had moved in with her husband. At least everyone knew where she was and that she was happy.
Aranae was still missing. She had left home about a month ago, without telling anyone where she was going. Vallindra had received a note from her in Dalaran, but had not seen her. No one had seen her. No one had heard from her since the note Vallindra received either.
And Sanimir. Everything was a mess with him now. Everything. She eyed the painted 60-year-old. He had not changed much in looks. He even wore his hair the same. Of course, his eyes, all of their eyes, had changed. Had that old priest at the sanctum been right? Was everyone going crazy from the fel exposure? She couldn’t erase the image of her young brother being silenced from her mind. And her father ordered it! That wasn’t even the worst part. Her father and one of her younger sisters looked into his mind. It was for his own good, they claimed. Lanthiriel had refused, though Sanimir himself had allowed it. It didn’t matter who allowed it, it was immoral to look into another’s thoughts and memories unless it was a dire emergency. Vallindra had claimed it was, but Lanthiriel wasn’t so sure.
However, there was what they had claimed to see. Esladra had stopped when she saw a summoning circle. Father said there was more after that. Her brother’s lover had promised to sacrifice him to a demon, but what if they were wrong? Father had been quick to give Vallindra the signal to silence Sanimir. He had fought back at that point, but he had a hard time explaining anything without being able to talk.
No one had said anything about that faint, strange magic that was felt just before father gave the signal to Vallindra. Didn’t they feel it too? Lanthiriel was sure it must have been strong enough. Perhaps it was part of the mind magic.
Was Sanimir safe now? Her father claimed he was. He had gone to see him. Vallindra went every Friday as well. She glanced at Vallindra in the painting. She certainly wouldn’t trust her older sister to watch after Sanimir. She wasn’t sure why father did.
There was a knock at her door. The receptionist they had hired stuck her head into the room, “Priestess, your patient has arrived.”
“Thank you. Tell her I’ll be right there.” Lanthiriel said as she stood. She glanced once more at the painting before making her way towards the door. The old priest at the sanctum may have been right.