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March 28th, 2011

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March 7th, 2011

I begin to wonder if this business with the twilight box will ever be over. We spoke to Naelaedra and she was very upset. She found out that the new Keeper is leading an expedition to Eldre’thalas to see about putting it there. She’s Highborne — and the Keeper isn’t — so of course she knows a lot about what it’s like there and whether it’s safe or not. She said in no uncertain terms that it should be put there, and she’s worried about the safety of those going.

Aside from Kelanori, I really have a difficult time being concerned for any of those fools. It sounds horrible, I know, but I feel it’s their own fault they are in such a situation. She wanted to speak to Jaeyn and see if she could convince him not to allow it. Well, good luck with that.

Jaellynn was going to find Kel and ask her not to go, but she was nowhere to be found yesterday. And Naelaedra apparently tried to speak with Jaeyn, she said that maybe I was right about him. Maybe? He agrees it’s not safe but is going to allow it anyway. She says that it would be better off in Dalaran. So long as no one gets hurt — no one innocent, I mean — I don’t really care anymore.

Nae still thinks he’s chasing after that draenei. I told her that talking doesn’t mean anything, but she’s entirely convinced. I can’t imagine that though… hooves and horns? That’s strange. I mean, I like them enough, rather more than humans, certainly but — that’s weird.

Jaellynn sent a letter to father asking him to meet. He’s completely un-nerved over it. I really don’t know why he’s so nervous, I’m sure it will be fine. And they’ll have lots of time to talk about man things. It will be good for both of them.
[[ A neatly folded paper, left on Vassanta’s bed in the Darnassus inn. ]]

Dear Vassanta,

I am pleased to write that the Sentinels have requested my assistance in Astranaar. I understand that the attacks by the Horde have intensified, and they are in need of healers to tend to the wounded. Please do not worry too much, the Sentinels are on guard at all hours to make sure the townspeople are protected. I can be reached at the inn here if you should need anything.

I know you do not want to hear any more of my words on the subject, but I promise they will be the last until the inevitable happens. I don’t want to see you hurt like that again. I know we often disagree, but you are my sister and the only family I have. It is not a matter of if but when your elf friend gets bored, or his curiosity about your strangeness is sated, or he decides that he wants to settle down and have his own family. You told me that you have changed your ways, but have you really? I do not wish for him to be hurt by your thoughtlessness either. You both hold a very dangerous snake by the tail, and I know for a fact that you are not immune to its venom.

This will probably make you angry but I feel that it had to be said. I did leave another plate of petal cookies on the table, you may give them to him or eat them as you wish.

Love,
Your sister

March 5th, 2011

We had to go back to Feralas again, to look for more antlers and to observe the druids. Plenty of observing happened, but not of druids. Well, not those druids. We found some steam pools up in the hills and we went swimming. We haven’t done that in forever. It was nice.

Jaellynn told me he wants to try studying to be a druid. He was afraid to tell me because he thought I’d think it was silly. But I’ve been saying he should since the first night that we met! I think it’s a wonderful idea. Earlier in Darnassus he showed me how he can make a spark that looks very much like a druid spell. I know he can use his other talents to accomplish the same things that other druids can. I’m just so happy that he seems to have finally found the confidence to believe that.

He wants to find a shan’do. I suggested father, because he already knows about Jaellynn, and I think he does genuinely like him. He might worry about other druids finding out, but it will be fine if they practice somewhere remote. Like Desolace. Jaellynn’s worried that he won’t agree to it. I know he will, at least, I’m very certain he will. He always wanted a son that he could teach to be a druid. Instead he got a daughter... and now a death knight. But a death knight that’s also sort of a druid.
Nearly everything about this place reminds me. Or perhaps it's only that I cannot forget, wherever I go.

The grey clouds that lie over the hills.

Once, I had everything. The appearance of everything, at least.

The waves that broke upon the dark rocks, the smell of salt in the air.

The labyrinthe house that overlooked the ocean was burned, the stables thrown open and the horses stolen. I don't know what became of the servants. I hope they ran.

The patter of rain on the roof.

I am the last of our line. My father was killed in the rebellion. He was lucky. He lay outstretched on the stones, with his throat torn out. His eyes were still open, staring up into the rain.

The cry of sea-birds as they skim over the waves.


This isn't me. I don't want this. I have to find a way to get it out of me. I don't care what it takes.

March 4th, 2011

We were in Feralas again today. When I got up, Jaellynn had his armor on. I asked if that was a good idea, since we’d be going to the druid camp, but he said he wanted to be able to protect me. I can’t really blame him after the surprise of the satyr yesterday. Still, I wondered if druids that lived deep in the woods with little contact with the outside would react well to him. Druids in Darnassus still would react poorly, if they knew.

After a little bit of wandering, we found the camp again. Actually, he found it. I just followed him. We found the elder druid there and asked him about the stags. He kept staring at Jaellynn, looking away, and staring back. I realize that he probably didn’t know what he was, though he sensed something strange about him. It could have gone much worse, though. I am just worried he might mention it to one of the others in the shan’re if they should come through. I should not have let him wear the armor. The elder druid told us that he was conducting a study on the stags to learn the source of the problem. He said he needed their antlers to do so, and that we should go and kill some of them! Can you believe that! I know they are ill and suffering, but it seems so senseless to kill them in such a manner. Fortunately Jaellynn came up with a better idea: we would find some antlers that were shed, or from stags who had already died. So we set out into the woods to find some antlers.

Not finding any, we looked in the harpy nests to see if they might have used some for building. Either someone is picking the antlers up, none have died yet, or we are both not very perceptive. I hope it’s not the latter. I think Jaellynn plans to send a report to Tularius on the matter.

Since we were not too far away, we walked the rest of the way home. He was being broody again, which isn’t unusual, but I had a feeling it had to do with the conversation we’d had last night. I mentioned that I wondered sometimes what would have happened had we met when he was alive. I didn’t say I would prefer it, or anything like that, I only said that I wondered — which is natural, I should think.

At home he finally admitted that he was worried I might decide that I didn’t like having a mate who was dead, and that I would decide to find a different one. At first I felt angry, why would he think that about me? Have I ever made him doubt me? But I realized it’s a perfectly reasonable fear for him to have. I still don’t think he realizes that I’m all right with the challenges that his situation presents. “I’m dead,” he likes to remind me. So what? Physically — mostly, yes. Though he is quite alive, just not in the usual sense. Mentally? He’s not dead at all. To me, he doesn’t seem dead, nor has he ever; and I often forget that he doesn’t need to eat or sleep, that most people don’t feel cool when you touch them, that he can’t become sick. And his eyes… they’re like deep still pools of clear water, they’re exotic and beautiful to me — but he hates them. I tried to reassure him that something like that would never happen. I know what he is from the start, and all the implications that result. I wouldn’t be here if I had a problem with any of them. I just hope he believes me.

March 3rd, 2011

More meetings. At the temple this time. Tularius told us that Xiatris had left. He sounded surprised. Really? I’d leave too if the ineptitude of my “commander” nearly killed me. He said he hadn’t appointed a new Keeper yet. I guess there aren’t any more girlfriends to get promotions they don’t deserve. I wonder why he didn’t pick Kelanori, she’s experienced and she seems wise -- most of the time. He said we were supposed to send him suggestions. Maybe I will.

He talked about a trip to Eldre’thalas and asked if any of us wanted to go. Kel said she did. Both Jaellynn and I were surprised by that. She never travels anywhere, and wanting to go with a bunch of Highborne to a dangerous magical place? That seems very unlike her. I hope she hasn’t been affected by the box. That other (male) priest was even more strange tonight, I’m fairly certain it’s altered his mind. Nobody seems to notice, though. Tularius told us to go into the temple and pick up tasks, like it was no big deal that a Twilight box was there.

After the priests left, Jaellynn and I told him about our research. We talked about the tainted moonwell samples, and the demonic banner, and the sick stags. We also mentioned the wildkin in Hillsbrad, and the strange elementals. We’ll talk about it some more at the druid meeting, but we’re still going to find out what we can in the meantime. We gave the water samples to Tularius, and came to Feralas so Jaellynn could draw the symbol on the banner.

We booked the inn at the top of the tower, I know it was expensive but it was so nice. I hope we can have a house this nice someday. Then we went out to the moonwell so he could find the banner. There was an enormous satyr there, with a glaive! I guess we know it’s demonic for sure now. He was really large, and sure looked like a leader of some sort. Jaellynn hadn’t brought his armor or weapon, so he had to summon a ghoul. I’m happy to say that it really doesn’t upset me anymore. I know he doesn’t like it, but I feel safe with him, even if he doesn’t have a weapon. He sketched the banner quickly and then we left, in case more demons came.

We still need to ask the druids if they know anything about the stags. But that’s for tomorrow.

March 2nd, 2011

Vassanta suspected that Dog could only be found if she wished to be. The draenei was certainly no tracker, and there were nearly endless places where the saber could hide. Yet it usually took little time to find her when it was time to hunt, Vassanta was convinced that the animal somehow knew, and chose to show herself.

That had been the case this evening, and the saber’s enthusiastic purr lifted her spirits enough to bring a small smile to her face. She untied Piglet from the tree beside the inn. She wanted to ride, as far away as she could before the night grew too late. Running away, Vajarra would say. Vassanta had to admit that was true, but she couldn’t say precisely from what. Nothing is going on, she’d assured both Vajarra and the elf’s brother. But did she run tonight because that was true -- or because she had been afraid to ask if it was?

They rode into the crumbling hills of the Barrens, a small outpost of huts that encircled a pen of animals. The orcs were sleeping. Dog did not seem to hesitate, and neither did Vassanta. Was it honorable? No. But neither were the orcs who sacked Shattrath, striking down children before their mothers’ eyes. She could afford them no mercy, because she knew they would give her none. Vassanta tipped one of the torches over, leaving the hut to burn. She stopped and opened the animals’ pen before they left, though. They at least deserved a chance.

Dog seemed to know something was wrong. She would run back to her side every so often, bumping her hand with her broad muzzle. Vassanta stroked her head and told her everything was all right, but Dog was more perceptive than that. But how could she explain to Dog, when she didn’t even really understand it herself?

Earlier, Vajarra had been spectacularly unhelpful, distracted by her books. “You know what will happen,” she had said, in that tone that Vassanta couldn’t stand. The tone that said Vajarra was wise and knew everything, even though all she ever did was sit inside the temple and read. But Vajarra had never actually experienced anything, and it was easy to say all those things and sound deep and meaningful when it was someone else’s life -- someone else’s feelings. Everything had been so much easier when she hadn’t had any. She blamed Malcos for that, too.

Somewhere, across the dark plains, she could hear the sound of voices. Alarm cries, perhaps, raised by the smoke. Patrols would soon be heading this way. Reluctantly, she turned Piglet’s head back toward the forest.
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