Tag Archives: Alinash

Alinash’s Notes

We’ve finally returned to Stormwind. Harrier seemed worried that I would want to go back to Silvermoon or something because he said it was different going back home. I don’t think it was that different. People in the city are still two-faced liars and all the guards want take me in to make me pay for my crimes or some shit. Nothing’s changed. The only thing that has changed is that I’ve decided not to attempt to write to Syrina anymore. She’s not even my real mother. She’s just a whore who took pity on me at first, then took advantage of me when I was older. I hate her. Harrier thought it was because I didn’t want to get her in trouble. I suppose it’s fine if he thinks that. I’d rather not have to talk about the real reasons. For a long time, I forgave her, and I accepted it as the way things were. I don’t forgive her now.

It was the time I spent at the school in the Ghostlands that made me make that decision. The headmaster there never asked me for anything. I explained, with a lie, that I couldn’t pay the tuition, and he let me stay anyway. I figured there would be some strings attached, but all I needed to do was pass my tests. I was never asked for more than that. I didn’t have to do work, or sleep with him, or anything. Just study, and pass the tests. It was odd, but nice. I felt bad about lying to him in the end. I never really felt bad about lying before either. There’s no need to when everyone else does it, but he had never lied to me. He’d never done anything to hurt me.

I guess I learned a lot at the school, and not all of it was for my studies there. I learned that not everyone is out for themselves. Even that whore, Firewind, was looking out for the others, and I can’t blame him. They are good people, and I’m not, and he knows that. He knows what I used to do.

It was also during the time that we were gone that Harrier and I started sharing a bed. He had a room at the school because he got a job there making clocks, but he always snuck into mine at night. Things weren’t supposed to be complicated. I knew going into this that things had happened between him and the boss, and that things could happen between him and the boss again. And really, it’s not complicated. It’s just sex, but then last night, after getting back, we were talking to Josie, and she mentioned that the boss had missed him. He questioned her on it, and Josie said that the boss said she loved him. At that point, I was thinking to myself that it was done. There would be no way he wanted to see me anymore, but then Josie went to the kitchen to make cookies for us. Then we started talking about sleeping arrangements. At first he said I’d have to sleep on a cot, but then he said I could sleep in his bed. I don’t think he’d offer to let me sleep there if the boss and him are going to be sharing a bed, so I nodded, but now I’m confused. It’s not supposed to be complicated. She loves him, but I think he still wants me, which is odd. No one’s ever really wanted me before, not like that. So it might be more complicated than I thought it would be, but it feels kind of nice to be wanted. We did share his bed last night, and today he’s going out to find some clothes for me. I hope he can find things that fit right. In human sizes, I’m about average height, but I’m still kind of scrawny, even after eating amazing food at the school for the past months. I think I did gain a little, but it doesn’t show much. Humans tend to be a bit thicker than elves. I suppose I can make adjustments on anything that doesn’t fit quite right.

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Winter Ball Notes

The winter ball was great! I was a little worried… Actually no, I was a LOT worried. I was worried the ring wouldn’t fit, or that she wouldn’t like it, or that she’d say no for some reason, even if we did kind of talk about it beforehand. I don’t think I needed to worry as much as I did because she said yes! I think she’s really excited too. I hope she can still concentrate on her studies!

She’s going to go for her testing a couple of weeks after the holidays are over. I’m so excited for her! I’ll be going with her, so I really hope we can go to eat after to celebrate!  Magister Fairsong has already offered her work after she graduates, and this spring, as soon as it’s warm enough, he’s having more of the houses on his estate rebuilt. One of them will be for her! We’re already discussing what we want. She’ll need a nice work room and office. We want a nice bedroom too! I’m sure I want a small stable built onto the side for my dragonhawk. I want it enclosed so that it doesn’t get cold, and I can get to it from a door in the house.

Oh, that’s the other thing! I went to pick up my egg from the breeder just before the winter ball. I was told it would hatch in a couple of days, but it hatched the next day! I’m so glad I was there because I got to be the first person the hatchling saw. Now there’s a lot of work feeding it. Luckily, it eats like a bird, literally. That means for twelve hours a day, I need to feed it every fifteen minutes, but the other 12 hours, it sleeps. It’s only for a couple of weeks before it’s older and can eat different food that’ll take longer to digest. It’ll grow a lot during that time too. Its eyes barely open, and it’s only about the size of my hand right now. I carry it around a lot inside my shirt. That way I know it stays warm, and I can still go on patrol and see Des. I take its food with me and feed it every few minutes.

I still don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl because when they’re this young, it’s hard to tell. It’s a beautiful blue shade which is good cause that’s what I paid for! I was lucky to have enough left over after the ring, but I had been saving for months so I guess that worked out in my favor. I got her a really nice ring with gems woven in vines. They aren’t large gems, but I think it looks really nice the way it is. I guess there was another proposal at the winter ball and the other girl had a huge diamond ring. It must have cost a fortune! I really hope Des likes hers. I picked it, not because it was cheaper, but because I thought it was the best one for her. I guess if she doesn’t like it, we could always go back and get a different one.

 

***

 

She said yes! I couldn’t wait to tell my father, which worked out well since I invited my family to the Winter Ball at the school. Now he can contact her parents, and get everything arranged! I’m so happy! I’m hoping it’ll be fine for her to move in with me in the house I’ll have in the spring. I asked Magister Fairsong, and he said if we’re engaged it’s okay as long as her parents approve of it. I think if they approve of the engagement, they’ll be fine with it. I hope they are anyway! I guess they could be jerks, and say they won’t allow it until we’re married, which will be after her studies are done. I really love her so I hope they’ll understand that!

I’ve been trying to spend as much time with her as possible, but I also have to dedicate a lot of time to review right now. I’ll be taking my test in just a couple of weeks now. I’m really nervous about it! Everyone keeps telling me that I’ll be fine, but what if they ask something I don’t know? Or what if I just forget? I can’t count the number of times I’ve forgotten something temporarily, but then it comes back to me later and I feel dumb because I forgot! I guess it’ll probably happen, but hopefully it won’t happen too much!

 

***

 

I’ve done it. I’ve finished copying and translating the book. It took a long time because I’m not really good at writing, and I’m sure the translation is riddled with spelling errors. I’m also sure the mage paying us will be able to figure out what I mean. I’m much better with speaking common than I am with writing it.

Harrier is finished with the clocks, but we decided to stay for the winter ball for the free food. There’s bound to be a ton of leftovers that we’ll be able to take when we leave.

This morning, I spoke to the headmaster and told him how much I appreciated everything. I was being mostly honest, though he doesn’t know about the book. He allowed me to stay here free of charge as a student. I think a poor student, but he said that I might have some slight magic ability. I never knew it. I just kept insisting that I wanted to learn theory even if I wound up never able to cast, and he let me stay. I thought I’d be able to find the book, and leave quickly, but it didn’t work out that way. Then the whore had to be a little bitch about it. He found the book. Somehow, he became a fire mage and is the instructor here for that. I guess he’s not a whore anymore, but he recognized me. Being a teacher, he has greater access to rooms that students can’t get into. He managed to find the book, steal it, and let me copy it. He never left me alone with it, which I suppose he knew I’d take it and run if he had. At last, I’m finally done.

Anyways, after I told the headmaster that I appreciated everything, I went back to my lie about my mother. My real mother is long dead. I don’t even remember what she looked like, but my fake rich mother wants me to go back to Silvermoon and go to a very prestigious school there. I told him I’d try to get her to send money here for my tuition expenses for the time that he allowed me to study for free. I don’t know why, but I felt a little guilty saying that. It’s never bothered me to lie before. It shouldn’t now.

Anyway, he knows I’ll be leaving soon. I think he also knows that Harrier is done, so hopefully it doesn’t seem suspicious when we leave on the same day.

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Alinash’s Notes

I hate tests, but I didn’t fail them all. This comes as a surprise. I actually had a perfect score on my second language exam. I was able to choose between Common or Orcish. I don’t know a single word in Orcish, but I guess a lot of schools teach that now. Not that I ever went to school for very long to begin with. This whole being a student now is jarring.

Harrier has it so much easier. He just sits in the sitting room at the desk they set up for him near the window and works on clocks all day. I have to take stupid tests about things I don’t know, and don’t need to know. Do I need to be able to list all the past kings, not only of Quel’thalas, but human kings too? I don’t know how that’s supposed to be applied to anything useful in real life. Unfortunately, I didn’t pass everything, though my average was passing, if just barely. The headmaster still wants me to take some normal classes. That’s both a curse and a blessing, I suppose. It’s good because the normal general education classes are free. He’s asking the teacher of them to make a lesson plan tailored to what I need to learn based on what I missed on the exams. So I get a free class this summer instead of having to fake that my horrible, crazy mother refuses to pay for magic school. The bad part is I have to actually go to class and understand.

Of course, I could get out of it if I were able to find the book. I don’t think Harrier has had any luck either. I’m almost desperate enough to ask for the whore’s help, but then I would have to admit that when I told him I was just hungry, it was a lie. However, if he truly wants me to leave, and I think he does because it must be tiring to follow me around so much, then it’s possible he could help. It’s just as possible he may tell the headmaster, and that’s not what I want. I need to find something to convince him to keep quiet, if we decide to ask his help. I’m leaning towards it anyway as he may be able to get to places that we cannot, like the headmaster’s study. I’d be surprised if he were able to get into the bedroom to check there, but at the same time, I should never underestimate the abilities of a successful whore, and he must have been very successful to pay his way through magic training.

The other students have accepted me here. Some of them helped me study for my general education exams, and I did get to follow them into their rooms while they searched for a book they needed to show me something. I haven’t found the book in any of the rooms I’ve been into. Some of them also showed me their practice rooms, and of course, there are bookshelves in all of them too. Hopefully, Harrier is allowed in all of them for the clocks.

I hate the Ghostlands and I hate books. I just want to be done with this job so we can go back to Stormwind. At the same time, I’m hesitant to leave. Once we go back, Harrier will be staying at the house with the others, and I’ll return to my apartment with the view of the hole where the park used to be. I hate sleeping alone.

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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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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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The Letter

Alinash Brightblaze decided to take the letter back to the room that he and Harrier had rented at Light’s Hope Chapel in the Eastern Plaguelands before opening it. He had hoped to find Harrier there, but other elf had woke and left while Alinash was out. While people of all races were allowed here, they did raise some eyebrows by fraternizing with each other. Alinash had not bothered to disguise himself here. While there were a lot of humans at the chapel, this wasn’t Stormwind. Sin’dorei were allowed here just as much as any other elf or race. Alinash had even seen a tauren on his way to check the mail this morning. Still, he and Harrier decided it would be best if no one had a reason to remember them, thus they didn’t spend much time together outside of the room.

Alinash sat on his bed and began to open the letter. The mage had promised to send further instructions, and the letter had arrived right on time, only a day after their arrival here. Alinash unfolded the letter, and read it, frowning in confusion as he read.

Greetings Sirs, Sorry I am late. I hope you’re well, and the kids did not trip you. I just went out to the well for water as my glass was empty. Research should prove the shows greatly tire out the performers. They will first need water, a book, and rest. I was thinking of the last show I performed, located near the town in the Plaguelands, not Scholomance, but it’s near there. The biggest thing is the fact good evidence has been found of another show soon. The shows stopped their existence there for problems of rat infestation. Perhaps a trap would help! Partially, I think the translated show was a copy, and doomed anyway. As a performer, many well meaning people suggest I go back. I would, but I don’t like rats. Father says that he would not also. I don’t enjoy the suggestions and the name calling.  That’s not, of course, to say the story isn’t a book waiting to happen. In many cases, it’s common to write what is happening in your time. Biographies, histories, tales and essays are quite magic to read in a study. Young men look interesting when they’re into reading about the linear histories of nations. Magic to the ladies! Perhaps, I’ll write one. You do think that can work, right? I find a pen and an envelope to write. Elf be damned! Now, there is an idea to be a writer. Help me bring to you my work, and translate it to another. The words in the title will be first before the rest can start going.

Other things, like the current gossip, are second written in a book, as always it is. An author is called a word magician time and time again. To write is to cast words upon pages. It’s really something to last forever and be known. The only best location is home. It was there I read Silvermoon Stars Showing their Butt. A good book, it entertained me. What is your favorite? It’s unclear to me. What if you only like it when I perform? Is that so? But still, I wish writing there was easier but, I really think that would be best for either of us. You like my shows. Not to boast, but I have loved performing on this. I write a book, and maybe you, or others, won’t enjoy if I do. Damn it to shadows now! Has anyone said? I’ve been searching and greatly moved by these emotions too. I’ve come too far to give up. I continue performing. I want to keep going. Know this is true. It’s easy to lose new ideas when changing location like that, but I will carry on. Don’t stop me. I expect you will, but a gnome and a human cannot be together, and will never carry a candle in the night. Only if an elf performs the show would it work out. Be careful! Many are very difficult. You are welcome to try. Sugar in candy helps sometimes. Silver and gold help. Moon them, if needed. Perhaps not, but if you try, maybe you could convince them, even befriend them, and then a new relationship blooms. Blood oaths from an elf are not trustworthy at midnight. Only noon. The best place is chapel. This letter is too long now. I’ll help myself.

– Lark

Alinash frowned and folded the letter back up. He put it in his pocket and headed out to find Harrier. It had to be a code. Maybe together, they could figure it out.

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