Tag Archives: Ashenvale

Aerrissa – A Sentinel on Patrol

Things were different now, in many ways.  Aerrissa slipped through the thick underbrush lining one of the steeper hills between Stonetalon and Ashenvale.  The last time she had fully served in the sentinels was well over 300 years ago, and in Feralas.  While she had held a higher rank back then, she found herself doing much of the same things.  Patrols, cleaning armor, sharpening weapons, etc. were all part of her routine again.  What was different was the constant threat of the orcs.

The people were different as well.  She hadn’t made much progress in making new friends yet, and had spent little time in Ashenvale before now.  She had made some efforts, but had been kept busy with her work.  She veered off the path and began climbing up the hill.  Recently, there had been a push to check on the elves that stayed deeper in the forest, and higher up on the hills.  The orc activity had lessened, which made it more feasible to keep watch over the more remote areas.  She knew where many of them lived already.  Some would move around from time to time, but they never strayed too far.

The sentinel captain at the spire had also warned that criminals could be hiding in the hills.  There was a list, some with drawings, most without.  All of them had a basic description, which was never very helpful.  Any number of elves could fit the descriptions.

She checked on the Temil family first.  They had never moved from their spot since she had started her patrols, and as expected, they were still in the same camp.  A young boy, no older than 20, greeted her as she approached.  She met with his mother, uncle and aunt inside the camp.  Everything was fine here.  She continued along her patrol route.

At the top of the hill, she waded across a small river to an island that sat in the middle of it.  A bear resting near an old stump raised it’s head.  “Hello Norr.”  She reached down and rubbed behind the bear’s ears.

“The sentinels have come to check on me again?”  A male voice called out.  Moment’s later, he appeared from the other side of his tent.

“We check on everyone we can, Bear.  Everything’s been fine, I trust?”

Beroleth, whom everyone called Bear, nodded.  “Norr was acting funny the other night.  I thought he saw something in the forest, but there was nothing there.  It might have been a bird or something small.”

Aerrissa smiled, “I’m glad all is well.”  She bent one last time to pat Norr before heading off into the woods along the stream.

She hadn’t went more than 20 yards when she stopped.  She had heard something behind her.  She turned to look, but nothing was there.  She looked around at the surrounding trees before twitching an ear and continuing on her patrol.

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Beroleth – Arrows

Norr’s head raised, sniffing the air.  Beroleth looked up from his work.  He had spent most of the evening making more arrows.  He had been just finishing the fletching on one of them.  Norr, his large, grey bear, stared intently into the forest.  Beroleth couldn’t see anything.  He twitched an ear, listening.  He heard nothing out of the ordinary.  After another minute, Norr lowered his head and went about resting again.  Beroleth scanned the tree line visually one last time, and seeing nothing, he continued with his work.

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Aerrissa – Leaving Darnassus

(( Just a short one today!  I have to raid soon! ))

Aerrissa Summerleaf made her way to the hippogryphs from the Tradesmen’s Terrace.  She carried two bags with her.  In the larger one, she carried her clothes, spare armor, and her bedroll.  In the smaller, she carried a few eating and cooking utensils, as well as some more personal things.  There were some very old letters, a few new ones, the fletched end of a broken arrow, a tiny sentinel figurine, a feather, and a small statue of Elune.  She wore her sentinel uniform, and had her hair in a long loose braid that hung over her shoulder.

They hadn’t been sure to let her come back.  They had believed her to be dead, after all, and she had made no effort to change what they had thought.  However, at the time, she had been a volunteer, having still been on her leave with two children under 300 in her home.  She had a long record of service before then, and upon looking at that, they had reinstated her, although she was to start out at a lower rank and work her way up again.  Aerrissa was fine with that.

She was to report to Ashenvale, to the Stardust Spire.  Orcs had apparently been moving up the pass there from Stonetalon, and although they had been driven back for the time being, the sentinels there had decided to increase their patrols of the area in case of another attack.  She secretly hoped she would be asked to scout out one of the more dangerous areas.  She was eager to use her skills.

She paid for the hippogryph ride to Ashenvale and secured her bags to it before hopping on its back and leaving for her new home.

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Story – A Letter Arrives

Sentinel Avaniel Windblade frowned as she began to read the letter.  Her eyes widened and she almost dropped the letter.  The sin’dorei, the one that had been in the grove with the moonwell, was writing to her?  She briefly wondered if the paper were corrupt.  She put it down on the ground, placing a rock on the corner to hold it in place.  She knelt to continue reading.  If Vaelarian was still alive, it was worth it to risk reading the rest.

She laughed, repeating the next line to herself out loud, “‘… I want to reassure you that he only helped me to protect his grand-daughter.’  He helped you, all right.  He let you escape.”  She scowled and continued to read.  Her jaw dropped open at the next line.  “Safer with you?”  She muttered, “Incredible, he either thinks I’m stupid or he’s completely insane.”  She read the rest silently.  Her expression showing clear disbelief.  A small lapse in judgement?  He traded his granddaughter for information on the horde’s movements.  There was no way that could be considered small.  The girl would have been safer with her people.  She should have been sent to training, but Vaelarian had refused to force her, perhaps because she always claimed she would go eventually.  She would have made a fine sentinel.  She was already decently skilled with her blades.  If Vaelarian hadn’t given her up as he did, she would still be safe in Ashenvale.

She pushed the rock off the paper, and using her dagger, stabbed the paper where nothing was written.  It stuck to her dagger as she lifted it to carry in front of herself.  She wouldn’t touch the paper, not from a blood elf, but she had to show the others.  Vaelarian was alive.  If there were a chance they could lure him back and apprehend him, then that would be one less traitor on the loose.

She smiled as she made her way back to the spire.

 

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Vaelarian – Date Cancelled

After the talk with the young sentinel, Vaelarian wasn’t sure if would be safe to return to the spire.  He had hoped her youth would have made her be a little more open-minded than some of the older sentinels.  She had already poked around enough that if she asked the right questions to the right people, she would have known most of the story anyway.  He asked if she had visited the town near the moonwell and she said she had come from there, that the blood elf had escaped from there.  She must have been talking about a different town.  If she had gone there and talked to the priestess there, she would have known that he was bringing Lali back by force.  She would have known he was at the moonwell the night the orcs had died.  The young sentinel had not asked the right people yet, but when she did… Vael opted to tell her as much of the truth as he dared.  Yes, he let the blood elf escape.  Lali went with him.  All three of them had killed the orcs.  He left out the part about carrying the blood elf to the hills so he could recover.  He left out the part where Lali kissed the blood elf.  He left out that they had visited recently.

She still did not take it well.

She called him crazy and claimed he had doomed his granddaughter.  He tried to explain that making friends with mages wasn’t as bad as having an orc’s axe embedded in your skull, but the young lady was only spurred further into disgust and repulsion at what he had done.  She had huffed off into the small settlement around the spire.  Certainly to tell everyone how Vaelarian Ashclaw had let a sin’dorei live.  Not only live, but he allowed the vile thing to take his granddaughter as well, through a portal, to a city full of mages, to drain her mana and do some demon rituals with her blood.

Maybe he would be lucky.  Maybe she hadn’t told anyone.  He flicked an ear as he descended the steep hills near the spire.  Maybe Avaniel would still want to see him.

He approached the spire carefully.  Hiding each time a sentinel passed too near.  Who had she told?  Did everyone know?  Maybe they were looking for him.  Would they arrest him?  He spotted Avaniel near the tower entrance.  He snuck along the side of the clearing to the wall of the tower.  He tossed a pebble near her feet.  What if she didn’t want to come with him?  She turned and looked his direction.  She cautiously stepped towards the side of the building.  He stepped closer to the back wall and motioned for her to follow.  Did she see him?  She did.  She followed.

He was hoping she would be quiet.

“Vael!  How much of it is true?”  She wasn’t quiet.  She folded her arms and tapped her foot, waiting for an answer.

He frowned.  The girl had told.  “That depends.  What was said?”  He definitely wasn’t going to agree that it was true that Lali was being used in some demonic sacrifice.

“You know what was said.”

Women.  He swallowed.  “I let a blood elf go.”

Avaniel grabbed his ear and yanked it.  She held it tight.  “You let him go.”  She growled, “With Lali.”  She released his ear.  He rubbed it as she continued, “How could you do such a thing, Vael?  Was it just so you could get me alone with you in your camp, without anyone to watch?”

Whoa, he said nothing about that!  “No, no, Avaniel,”  He watched her hands closely, making sure they stayed away from his ears.  “I just want her to be safe.”

“Safe?”  She shouted.  Certainly, everyone at the spire could hear her.  “Safe with a blood elf?  Are you out of your mind, Vael?  You should have killed him.  She’d be a lot safer with the nasty thing dead.”

“He saved my life.  He helped me kill orcs.  He was the one who told me about the reinforcements and where they were coming in.”

She snorted, “So you’re using her as a bargaining chip to get more information?  Don’t you care at all for her well-being?  What is wrong with you?”

Others had heard.  Two more sentinels appeared around the corner of the tower.  He glanced behind himself at the other corner.  Three more on the other side.  He had no choice.  “Avaniel, I’m sorry.”  He bolted towards the bushes.  Shouts went up.  A sharp pain in his buttocks almost stopped him.  He kept running.  He swung his arm back.  An arrow.  He was shot in the butt.  He headed up the hills towards his camp.  They didn’t know the exact location, but they knew the direction.  They would know to look for him there.  He couldn’t stay long.  He reached his small shack and grabbed his bags.  He carefully extracted the arrow from his rear.  He stuffed a spare shirt down the back of his pants to catch the bleeding then continued going south, descending the hill into Windshear Valley.  He stopped at Windshear Hold to write a quick letter before continuing along the path to the Barrens.

Dearest Granddaughter,

Ashenvale is dangerous now.  I’ll write with my new location when I get there.

– Vael

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Vaelarian – A Date

Vaelarian’s hair was still damp when he approached Stardust Spire.  It had mostly dried, enough to work out most of the tangles and pull it back into a proper ponytail.  He had taken care to wear his best leather as well.  He smiled as he approached one of the sentinels.  “Hello Avaniel.”

“Hello Vael.”  She smiled back and joined him as he continued walking towards the spire.  “How have you been?  Are the orcs staying out of the hills?”

“I’ve been fine.  I haven’t seen many orcs.  I still get a scout now and then, but with their reinforcements to Stonetalon halted, their numbers are lower.”

She grinned, knowing fully well who single-handedly sabotaged the zeppelin carrying their reinforcements.  “Yes, the spire has been a lot more quiet lately as well.”

“Well with things quieter, I’ve had a little more time to hunt and gather vegetables.  Perhaps you would like to join me for stew some night?”

“You forget.  You don’t let anyone know the location of your camp.  I can’t very well join you if I don’t know where it is.”

He stopped outside the door to the spire.  “Would it be okay then, if I came to get you?”

Avaniel smiled.  “I’d like that.  I’d be free tomorrow night, if you can make it then.”

“I’ll be here.”  Vaelarian smiled back.  He stepped inside as Avaniel went back to her post.  “Any mail?” he asked while looking over some of the spices available for sale.

“Another letter from Dalaran.”  The man raised a brow as he handed it to Vaelarian.

“Yes, my granddaughter has gone to stay there.  It’s safer than Ashenvale at the moment.”  Vael frowned as he opened the letter and started reading.  “I need to buy some paper… and postage.”  He thought a moment before picking up one of the spice jars and putting it on the counter as well, “And that.”  He quickly paid then sat at the table to pen his reply.

Dear Latahlali,

All is well here.

Your grandmother is dead.  She most likely didn’t die when your father was so young, but I am mostly sure that she is dead now.  We weren’t mates.

– Vael

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Latahlali – Story

Latahlali woke as the sun’s rays peeked up over the horizon.  Raleth still slept beside her, and she kissed him gently.  She had been worried about staying the night in Ashenvale, but everything seemed okay.  She poked her head out of the tent.  She didn’t want to leave Raleth alone in the tent, not without knowing exactly where her grandfather was first.

She spotted him near the lake, fishing.  She walked to him and sat nearby, close enough for him to notice and speak with her, but far enough that she would have time to react should he try to poison her or something.

“Good morning.  I see you’ve managed to switch to sleeping at night just fine.”

“Good morning.”  She wanted to add something about her change in sleep habits, but didn’t.

“Did you sleep well then?  You had enough blankets?”

She nodded, still watching him carefully.

“I’m sorry about trying to bring you back.”

She twitched an ear.

He continued.  “I thought you were being immature and foolish.  I still think you may be, but this is one of those things that you will have to learn for yourself.  Maybe I’m wrong.  He does seem to care greatly for you.”

Lali nodded again.  “I know he loves me very much.  I love him too.”

“It always starts that way.”  Vael looked out across the lake.  “Experience has taught me that it doesn’t always stay that way.  Things can change.”  He paused then looked at her, “How much did your father tell you about your grandmother?”

Lali blinked, “He told me once that she died when he was little and he didn’t remember her.”

“I suppose he didn’t.”

Lali frowned, “What does that have to do with anything then?”

Vael looked back across the lake.  “He didn’t remember.  Things changed.  It wasn’t her fault.  It wasn’t my fault.”

Lali frowned in silence.  “But sometimes it works out, right?”

Vael nodded as he reeled in his line.  “Sometimes.”  He frowned slightly as he turned to her again, “I’ll try to keep word about it quiet around here.  I’ve gotten some questioning looks already at the spire while picking up my mail.  I want it to be safe for the both of you to visit me, for as long as possible.”

“Could you come to Dalaran?”

“I have no way to get there quickly.”  He stood and started walking back to his shelter.

She followed behind him.  “He could come and open a portal.  Or I can, when I learn how to.”

Vael thought for a moment then nodded.  “That would work.”  He leaned his fishing pole against the small shack.  “I need to get some sleep.  You’ll be going when he wakes up, I assume?”  He nodded towards the tent.

“Yes, I think so.”

Vael hugged her.  “Elune be with you, Lali.  Write soon, okay?”

“I will.”  She watched as he crawled into his shelter.  “Elune watch over you, Vael.”  She whispered as she turned and started walking back to the tent where Raleth slept.

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