Vaelarian’s biggest gripe about staying in Feathermoon Stronghold was the open inn. Luckily, he often woke just before the sentinels started their drills. No matter the circumstances, it was never pleasant to be woken by shouting women. His second biggest gripe was all the fresh fruit. It was nice at first, but now on his fifth day of fresh fruit for each meal, he was ready for something different. Stew would be good, but with that beast in the forest, he didn’t dare go too far out of town. Perhaps it had left. Vaelarian wasn’t too keen on finding out.
He had spent the past few days observing. He had not run into anyone he knew, yet. It was bound to happen eventually that one of them would pass through.
He had been surprised to see there were draenei whom had decided to live here. He had counted three, a male and two females, staying in town. Another, a female, had come into town with a male elf, and talked with one of the others before going again, probably just visiting. There was also a special unit of worgen being trained. They were kept off in their own area, quite far from the elven forces training area. He wondered if any of them knew of the one in the forest.
Today, there seemed to be a great deal of activity around one of the buildings to the north of the inn. He had heard, from the sentinels, of a new shop that was opening soon. Perhaps that was what was going on. They were supposed to have scented soaps and perfumes. He’d have to check it out later. Lali might like something like that.
He had received a letter from Lali with some money to pay for the inn. She had asked him if he would take part in the wedding. Apparently there was some way the bride’s family had to show approval by walking with her. He wasn’t quite sure what to reply to that, as he didn’t quite approve. He would have to figure it out soon. Their plans to wed seemed to be moving along. She wrote about the dress she was getting, and said that they had chosen a place already. He made a mental note to ask if they had picked a day to wed yet. He wanted as much advance notice as possible.
He stepped down the stairs on the side of the inn facing the sea. He stopped midway and sat, looking out towards the island. He wasn’t sure where he would go after this. He wasn’t sure to go back to his camp, not with that death knight loose in the forest. He couldn’t go back to Ashenvale. Stonetalon was swarming with orcs. One of the sentinels that he spoke with suggested Desolace, but he hated centaurs.
A fluttering of wings as a white bird landed not far off, distracted him from his thoughts. It carried a fresh catch in its talons. Vaelarian was considering trying to scare the bird off and make his stew with the catch, a rabbit, when the bird transformed. He frowned. It was a druid. He couldn’t scare a druid off. He rose and began to descend the rest of the steps. Perhaps he could talk the druid into sharing some of it.
The short kaldorei sat on a rock near the shore as he started skinning and gutting the animal. Vaelarian sat on another nearby rock, noting that the druid had taken some potatoes and vegetables out of his satchel. Vaelarian smiled slightly. “Making stew?”
The druid looked over. “Yes.” He answered curtly before returning to his task.
Vaelarian noticed the druid had far too much for just himself. Perhaps he was entertaining one or two of the sentinels.
“I’m sick of the fruit the inn has.” Vaelarian commented. “Would you like some help making it?”
The druid looked at the ingredients he had gathered. “I can handle it.” He looked back at Vaelarian, and twitched an ear. “I understand being sick of fruit though. You can help. I can’t spare much of it. Some is for my mate. She’s draenei.”
Vaelarian raised a brow, but didn’t say anything about the druid’s mate being draenei. Instead he took one of his smaller knives and started peeling the potatoes. “Thank you. My name is Vaelarian Ashclaw. I’m staying at the inn for a few days.”
The druid started cutting the rabbit meat. “I’m Terivanis Summerleaf. I live here.”
Vaelarian wanted to make a comment about living in a town full of sentinels yet choosing a draenei for a mate. He didn’t. The druid was being kind enough to share some of his stew. The last name was familiar. “You’re the one opening the shop, aren’t you?”
The druid’s ear twitched. “It’s open today. My mate is handling the shop. I just keep it stocked.”
Vaelarian nodded, picking up the next potato. That explained the faint floral scent in the air. “I was thinking of stopping by there later to get something for my granddaughter.”
“Oh, is she training here?” Terivanis asked as he continued cutting the meat into small chunks.
“No. She did a few years ago.” Vaelarian frowned. “She didn’t last very long before returning home. Sentinel training is rigorous. She’s still young though. There’s time to come back to it if she changes her mind.”
The druid smiled. “Has she looked into the priesthood? My sister tried the sentinels for a few weeks, but found her calling as a priestess instead.”
“It’s been suggested. She doesn’t seem so interested in that either.” Vaelarian added the potatoes to the pot the druid had set out. He wasn’t about to tell the druid that she was off studying magic.
“She must be interested in something.”
“She likes writing.”
“Some priestesses copy prayer books for other priestesses.”
Vaelarian wasn’t about to specify exactly what kind of writing his granddaughter liked either. “She’s not the type to enjoy copying. She writes creative stories, but nothing to do with Elune. I guess I can hope she can sell her stories somehow.”
“What do her parents think?”
Vaelarian twitched an ear. “They both died when the orcs pushed further into Ashenvale about a year and a half ago. She was able to escape.”
The druid’s ear twitched twice. He looked out towards the island for a moment. “I’m sorry.”
Vaelarian felt like there was more the druid wasn’t saying. “I have a feeling they stayed behind to fight so that my granddaughter would have enough time to get to safety.”
The druid responded with only a slight nod.
They sat in silence, continuing to prepare the food. Terivanis lit a small fire to cook over. “It’ll be ready in a couple of hours. If you want to check out the shop you should go now. I don’t think she intends to keep it open all night. I’ll keep an eye on the stew.”
Vaelarian nodded as he rose to walk to the shop.