Two more months, give or take a couple weeks. Two more months of my husband, my sister, my mother, my Shan’do, my friends just hovering over me, worried about “my condition.”
I’m just pregnant. Difficulty is common.
Elwynn Forest, Present Day…
“How exactly did you do that?” Lirriel asked, watching Aerella wrangle both Lirriel’s infant and Cerwis’ toddler, getting both diapers changed and clean clothes on in the time it took Lirriel to clear the table and put lunch’s remnants away.
“I had a lot of practice,” her mother blithely answered, holding up Sameth and blowing on his round belly. The little boy giggled, lunging forward to leave a slobbery kiss on Aerie’s cheek. The baby, lying on the blanket, kicked his feet while he watched with a smile.
Lirriel eyed Aerie, skeptical. “I couldn’t have been that much of a handful.”
Elwynn Forest, roughly 20 years ago…
“Light help me,” Aerella muttered at the virtual caravan approaching the little farm, her mother in the lead, head held high as she examined the tiny cabin, its garden, the small barn out back and the rented out fields. The neighbor’s farm hands paused in their work to eye the wagon and pack mules coming up the short lane.
“It’s Grandma!” Lirri squealed, dashing across the yard, old Uncle Hal hobbling behind her.
Moirina Magrall swung herself off the wagon seat to hug the little girl. “Good to see you, missy. My, how you’ve grown!”
Two more months, give or take a couple weeks. Two more months of my husband, my sister, my mother, my Shan’do, my friends just hovering over me, worried about “my condition.”
The Truthhammer estate in Ironforge was quiet on the day of the eldest daughter's birthday. A grand event had occurred two days before to mark it, leaving the many young and old who attended feeling stuffed with food, drink, and good times. Lauralei sat comfortably in an old chair, musing over the her day. It had been a full day event, with plenty of food, her first real drink, and plenty of dancing with cute boys who's beards were starting to come in. And of course, the gifts and well wishes from her seemingly endless line of aunts and uncles who wore the Meddler tabard. Nestled in her lap was a book from her human godmother, an older hardcover called "Pillar of Fire" that was supposedly by her father's assistant, Gilberte. Mama Lirri had handed it to her with a wink, saying that she was "old enough now", whatver that meant.
Even with the relief of the Cataclysm’s end, the world was dark and upside down if one wore Dragoon colors—which made finding reasons to smile all the more important.
Lirriel found Wesley Brennan dozing in the Library. The young corporal had been pouring over paperwork and personnel paperwork for weeks. She let the worg pup she’d brought off its leash and told it to sit. It waited obediently while she walked up to the desk Wes slumped over.
“Good evening, Wesley.”
“You know,” Alynore said between accepting bites of stew, “if we do this, I’m going to lose weight and with my luck, it won’t be any of the flab I’ve picked up the last couple weeks.”
“We need our commander on her feet,” Lirriel answered as she offered bread. “Especially since you seem so intent on getting yourself killed before you heal.”
((Speculative entry for Anushin's 15 year challenge, with a possible future for Lirriel. My other alts may get entries, haven't decided. Borrowing from Cerwis' 15 year blog.))
Young voices rose in laughter outside. Lirriel peeked through the sitting room curtains. Her three ruffians were greeting their cousin Sameth, thinking they were being sly about sneaking treats.
Her world was burning.
Laughter echoed through the caverns behind her eyes. At first, she thought it was Ma, but flashing images of bouncing imps and sword-whirling shivarra made her claw for her missing weapons.
The fire was in her side, spreading down her legs and across her torso, clawing at her throat. The familiar stench of fel choked her from the inside. She tried to cry out to the Light, straining to hear the warm safety of chimes.
Pinapple Peppercog situational report on incident 1024-B:
Incident occurred roughly fifteen minutes after tenth bell. Corporal Brennen was organising a team to investigate reports of fire oil creation within the Keep grounds, the investigation lead to the search of the Silver Dragoons' stables. Recruit Anders had found an out of place trunk in the lower level feed storage area, which had been rigged with a trip wire to set off a simple fire oil explosive, Anders took the brunt of the damage, Brennan managed to move him out of the room and contact us via the comm unit. Fortunately, the incident coincided with the return of Corporal Giulietta and Lt. Alynore from their service to Dolraan of the Meddlers' campaigns against the Twilight. They arrived on the scene around the same time as I had organized some recruits into a bucket brigade to help douse the flames, and the Judiciary had arranged an on scene infirmary.
Dishes, unfortunately, did not pack themselves. Lirriel wrapped each plate and stacked them carefully in the crate. Soon the house in Elwynn Forest would be finished. It would be nice, she thought, to be a local healer, watch her husband train young people for the militia—and start their family, finally, now that the world-ending threats of the Lich King and Deathwing were dealt with.
For now, a little voice in the back of her mind whispered, bringing with it a brief memory of cold, and burning eyes invoking a promise…She shook herself from those unpleasant thoughts, reaching for a bowl. She almost dropped it when someone knocked on the apartment’s door.
Cassandra Miller sighed as she adjusted her headgear, a rather exquisite and exotic feathered hat, she turned to look at the others, shaking her head at the similarly ridiculous looks they were now sporting. Hlin, decked out in a Bowler cap with matching monocle, was wearing a frown apparent to all around her, “I still dinnae get why we kinnae just kill the stupid blighters!” she complained as she kicked the dirt.
“Because I’m not going to like hauling you all in if you become enemies of the state, Hlin.” Lirriel was wearing a pilot’s cap, brushing her hair back as she slid the matching goggles over her eyes. Dacianna nodded in agreement, her fake afro shaking wildly as she did. Lenresh finished tying down the last crate in the bed of their wooden pushcart, the elf had apparently chosen a headband with eagle feathers and beaded jewelry draped from it.
Deep in one of the hidden valleys that dot the burning steppes, a ramshackle wooden structure sits nestled against a box canyon wall. Three stories tall and with a set of mine cart tracks leading out of a lower enterance in a pit. Hoodoos and boulders dot the otherwise lifeless landscape, the home base of the Reliable Excavation and Demolitions Corporation, a front for the Teufort Mercenaries. The Meddlers, Staroda, Lirriel, and Cassandra Miller of SI:7 knelt down along the top of the canyon, surveying the area.
"Alright, we have a plan. Every week, the mercs move another shipment of hats from their employers from the loading dock at the far end of the canyon into their base. This is when they're most vulnerable, pushing the cart along that track there." Staroda explained, pointing out the track on the small mock-up he'd drawn in the dust.
The acrid winds of the Burning Steppes blew past the group of nine adventurers standing on a high bluff. All the races of the Alliance stood together in this group, discussing their work.
"That's the seventeenth ogre camp we've hit this week. Who would have thought there were so -many- in a region almost completely devoid of plant life?" Lenresh commented, leaves falling from his enchanted druidic armor.
"Ogres are second only to Kobolds in their ability to live just about anywhere. It's really quite fascinating." Finkswitch responded, adjusting his goggles. "Almost as fascinating as their ability to spread while being technically not intelligent enough to breed sexually. I have a theory-"
I apologize profusely, I may have accidentally "hooked" your mother "up" with the Commander this evening.
Lirriel’s arms wove through the air while her feet slid over the floor. The words of former instructors and mentors jumbled in her head; she needed to sort through the noise. So she danced through the meditative exercise learned in the Abbey long ago.
Study of the Holy Light is not religion; it is a philosophy. No one entity dispenses power to practitioners based on behavior. It works through the willpower of those in tune with its presence in all life.
A dwarven man and human woman exit a room in a cathedral in the city of Stormwind. They are tired, haggard, and worn in both body and soul. The room behind them is filled with hushed discussions. A grave betrayal has occured, witnessed by the pair. They nod to each other, the woman placing her hand gently on the dwarf's shoulder before they go their seperate ways. There will be many questions asked in the coming days.
The dwarf goes to a small bakery in an alley. Inside is a draenei woman frosting cupcakes. Not a word is said as the dwarf makes his way to the back, sitting in a chair and exhaling heavily. The woman brings him a confection, and sits at his side, and there they sit for a long time.
Lirriel studied the pages she held in her hands. One was on Dragoon parchment. The other was plain, bleached paper. Both had a few, neatly written lines marking their surfaces.
The priestess closed her eyes, lips silently forming familiar prayers for guidance, her small form rocking slightly as she knelt in the morning light coming through the bedroom window.
It never could be easy.
((Remember this writing challenge? I fiddled with it a few times in drafts and notes, but was never satisfied. Until I was doing new dailies and seeing how my passive spell abilities worked toward completion credit.))
The druid screamed in rage, bursting into a flaming cat to rake at Lirriel's shining bubble.
The dense heat of the Firelands made the priestess cough as she summoned a pillar of Holy Light down onto the fiery feline. Around her, the fallen Defenders she'd struggled to reach gasped as healing energies reflected off the spell and into their injured bodies.
First up was a trip to the Craftsmen's and Trader's Terraces and her various friends and colleagues there, armed with various new—or newly rediscovered—items and techniques to share and trade, as well as a cheerful, friendly disposition. Luckily, the latter came naturally.
She hadn't noticed the Judiciary walking in through the open door. In retrospect, she should have figured it out, since it was the Judiciary's office.
“So you like this one then? It's a little busy for my tastes, but I think the colors work well,” Lirriel said.
To Commander B.H.
Reservist Application form 89-56a
Applicant's name: Kae Wynn
Race: humanoid looking, robotic base
Sex: Female (parts are no longer interchangeable.)
Age: looks adult age due to robotic base, was activated with in the last year.
"A note from the Chamberlain sir."
"He'd like to remind the Dragoons that a certain level of decorum should be maintained in public areas, lest we...distract the servants and guards from their duties. Specifically, when it comes to how people dress in public. Apparently, someone was scandalized by Night Elf legs."
"It wasn't a suggestion." Cerwis's firm voice came back over the guild stone, causing Nel to inadvertantly snarl. Something that the stone fortunately did not pick up as Alynore continued on after the Lieutenent.
"Reg is plenty smart. he's also an athlete and male, so he's allowed to go caveman now and then."
The worgen drew in a heated breath before responding in an even tone to hide her irritation, "Very well, Ma'am." She then chucked the stone across her quarters, hearing it rebound off one stone wall after it finished skidding across the ground. The stone continued to sqawk as the conversation continued on with Nel glaring at a wall. Not really paying full attention to the talk.
Joseph Johanson strode around her quarters, tacking various reports up onto appointed places on the wall. J.J., as Cerwis called him, was her Page. He called her Lieutenant, he was built like a farm boy, and he had dashing good looks for a Human with his long blonde hair and his blue eyes. She had no idea what he thought of her, yet there she sat in just her nightie and robe with her bare feet propped up on a footstool while he worked on the task she'd given him. J.J. looked over at her and held up a paper, “Sorry, Lieutenant. I forgot where you wanted this one to go. It's the Wiltshire-Brasco report on Black Dragonflight activity in the Highlands.”
“With the... Hm. Put it next to the Splinesolder-Guiseppe-Young addendum on Twilight Activity near the Obsidian Forest,” she advised.
He nodded and walked over to that section of the wall to line the report up with the addendum. Someone knocked twice on the door before turning the knob. J.J. wheeled about and arched an eyebrow before striding over to intercept the would-be intruder, “Excuse you, Sir, but you should know better than to--” J.J. reeled back as the other man's fist impacted with his nose, successfully breaking it. Another swing laid the Page flat. Cerwis grabbed the handgun off her desk and waited.
Larosa laid a purple hand gently upon the smooth wood of the door. The other hand reached for the handle as the Kaldorei stood in the doorway for the last time. The morning bells began tolling and as the seventh reverberating note died in the air, Larosa glanced around the room. The bed was regulation made, the walls bare of maps and hangings, and the desk and wardrobe were clean and empty, waiting for another to settle themselves into the room. Only the faint smell of tea, silverleaf, and jasmine in the air and the faint scrotch marks to the desk were a clue that the Elf had ever stayed in the room. Sadness rose in her gut as the blue haired Elf turned to shut the door firmly, remembering the good and the bad that had happened within those four stone walls.
Larosa didn't realize just how much this room had become her home, until she had to move once again. She lingered on the memories of early evening meetings with Del as they went over squads and training, drinking beers and joking. How she would read when the sun rose and she couldn't sleep, how she had smiled proudly when she first was assigned this room, and how it felt to put her uniforms in the wardrobe for the first time. Even the bitter memories of writting all those condolence letters and disarming the bomb at the desk with Reggie floated to the front of her mind. She remembered that first night she had spent in the Hall and it still seemed like only yesterday to the Elf. Two duffle bags in her hands, her bow on one shoulder, her swords on her belt, and Pittch at her side, making her way through the crush of other Dragoons and recruits to her first bunk a floor below that was just large enough for her and her saber.
A purple ink stained hand rubbed the bridge of her nose, as if mentally trying to erase the the whispers from her memory. She didn't need the little snippets of whispered gossip breaking her concentration. Not when she was trying to find a trail to someone who was targeting her and her Dragoons. She had to put that to the side and just let the guards have their fill, until the next hot topic came round for this week. Most of them were humans anyway and they tend to have short attention spans . . .
"An affair with her own Sergeant's husband?"
*Lifting said body part up produced a large headache that forced her eyes to open and suddenly close from a blinding light.*
*fingers slowly moved to form fists, the older callouses on her fingertips reassuring her that she did still have ten fingers and not eight.*
*toes wiggled, the lack of boots was silently disturbing, but the feeling of socks and a weight of what was likely a blanket over her legs eased her thoughts.*
"I owe Laelan a drink." Larosa thought as she squirmed in what she figured was an infirmary bed, "And Cerwis might want a better explanation of what happened between me and Reggie in my room.
This truly was a nightmare. The magic chains that bound him to the ground had a silencing effect which left him helpless as well as powerless, and he had to watch as the inky shadows on the ground tore apart and devoured his loved ones as they tried to fight or flee. He needed to wake up.
This had to be a nightmare and he had to wake up. He had to or he would go mad. He struggled against the chains until the shadows started to coalesce nearby. They rose and shifted in shape until they were a rough copy of one of the women they, it, had just torn to pieces.
“This is your fault, you know. You gave her to the paladin.”
“Silence,” Terenius hissed between clenched teeth. The wind ruffled the warlock’s cloak as mist obscured the procession.
“Stealing the Light. Good one. Ever wonder if you so weren’t obsessed with your experiment, you’d have been able to do something? Just a thought.” The imp prodded and tormented.
“Begone,” Terenius whispered and dismissed the wretch. He bowed his head and shook the damp from his robe.
When the moment’s fury broke, he was forced to agree. Not that he’d give his servitor the satisfaction, but Terenius recognized he owned blame. Not that he handed her over. He remanded her to the mansion for her own…no, for the family name.
He didn't kill her, but he didn't help her.
Steam rose from his cloak as he turned his back.