Ashle walked down the stone path of Eversong woods, late in the night, she had been walking for hours, carrying her boots in each hand when they began to hurt her feet. She didn't feel the pebbles poking into her skin even if her head faced the path making no attempt at avoiding the stones. No matter how much a stone hurt her thoughts were else where. It had been a few days since she read the Dalaran Daily only to discover her close friend Liore Sunstorm was murdered. She hadn't heard from her friend in many months, he was always off on some adventure or making some delivery to some side of Northrend. Her work had kept her in Silvermoon City and took up alot her time.
Approaching House of Ral'Kas front gate, she looked up to the wall. Thinking back when Liore had climbed up there in attempt to find her. This was after the treatment he got to fix himself.
He has had a purpose for as long as he can remember. Before all else, his attention has been there. Before family, friends, hearth and home, his attention settles elsewhere and makes his fingers itch for his bow, his ears hear the breeze, and his eyes see them, hidden in the forest.
Trolls. Perhaps now, it is done. We few set out and hit them again. Finishing what was started so very, very long ago for Razyel. A war he remembers beginning, when it was simply the way of things for the rest of us. Who, but Razyel, could remember a time we were not fighting trolls? They, with their lightning lives-—shortened further with perpetual fighting—-certainly could not. No one, for generations in Quel’Thalas, could remember peace.
Artisania Stillwater-Ell'Karan had ordered a cake.
She picked it up from the little wagon in Dalaran at the appointed time, mid-morning, while the icing was still fresh and setting up in little swirls and tufts around the rim of the confection. Very tempting indeed, but she carried it carefully in its little paper box back to the apartment without even peeking once, though she did lick her fingers after setting it out on the table.
No sign of her flashing dimples.
From the journal of Heidel Duskember Sunrunner:
It is an ill sky that broods above. A fittingly inauspicious omen for the insidious new invasion that has begun. My plans of announcing my wedding to Andrade are now impossible; a private ceremony will have to do for now, because anything larger would be sure to suffer an attack. Any large gathering sees an outbreak of this mysterious plague, so we will have to arrange a more fitting celebration of our shared joy when and if the emergency passes. For now, I will invite only a few close friends. For my part, I believe Teledriath and Artisania will be my guests. Perhaps Tylien as well, and Hallan and Alynesse. It will be quiet, and short, but hopefully full of joy.
Artisania Stillwater-Ell'Karan fell into the kitchen chair. No tea was necessary.
I threw out the last of the strawberry ice cream today. I remember when I bought it. It was before we were even together: we'd had an argument about Zahaith. We were barely more than acquaintances, but I knew she was special. So the ice cream goes, because there is no one here to eat it.
Artisania Stillwater-Ell'Karan allowed her eyes to rest on the envelope a little longer.
Of simple paper and sealed with a certain shade of red wax, it had arrived in the mail brought daily to her desk in the library, but this was no University matter. Not only was it addressed to "Arteen Stillwater" - however publicly her given name was now recorded, in her daily life she still used Artisania, especially in matters of business – but the handwriting was immediately recognizable. That certain loop in the "A", the roundness of curve to the "S" her own hand shared, had been taught by the same teacher in the same village schoolhouse in Eversong, quite a long time ago.
She knew the letter was from her sister.
High above them, the sun shone bright in a clear blue sky. Beneath them, the earth embraced their bodies. Warm light fell across their smiling faces; cool breezes tickled the soles of their feet and wound between their toes. All was well, and in the quiet rhythm of their hearts beating, their souls rested in perfect peace and contented bliss.
All was well.
Arteen Stillwater opened her eyes.
Today, we will join two of our dearest friends in the blessed state of Ka'eltiel.
Artisania Marveloso moved her fingers over the gold band.
She turned it over in the light, her elbows resting on their rough worktable, her eyes narrowed as she sought imperfections in the shining surface. This was no work of eternium, hard as stone and polished to a blinding shine; nor was it of khorium, steeped in magic to form a chaotic constant, always reverting to its natural form. No, this was gold, dug from the hills of Feralas and smelted down months ago, yet still somehow holding within a mote of that green world, the living earthiness, the timelessness, the wonder of unbroken life like the golden shafts of sunlight through green canopies above.
With a slight smile on her face, Artisania turned the gold band over, setting it down on a soft dark chamois. Floating just above, a crystal infused with the arcane shone brightly, glittering off an inscription she had engraved on the inner surface of the band. She knew the words were trite, the same words lovers had exchanged for eons. They were simply what words sufficed; only a touch of a reminder of all that lay beyond, as much as a kiss was a reminder, or a gentle expression in a time of need.
((Written two days ago, and burned immediately after))
My heart is a mutinous bastard. I never used to feel these things, before you. I could kill and steal and fuck with a clean conscience. Hell, I enjoyed my work. I didn’t even know how to say ‘love’ in anything but the old tongue, and my lips had no use for those words. Until you.
Liore buys a gift for his sister Tylien, recalling the past few weeks of his life.
Showing Ixinane the felpits in Shadowmoon Valley,
Palling around with Kharris and Iloam,
Visiting Tylien in thunderbluff and having a rather revealing conversation.
Sitting with Kharris in gadgetzan and having another honest conversation.
Wondering if his fortune thingy was pointing at Bellani,
Trying to be his best self, for no other reason than curiosity of the results.
((I swear to god. I'm so mad at myself for having the urge to write and totally being incapable of not writing utter rubbish for a post. I'll fix it later.))
Artisania Marveloso stared at her husband in disbelief.
His wavering outline moved towards her through the Nether, and she would have thought him a ghost if she were not sharing the same existence. The whole of her quavered, the smooth highlights of her form fading in and out of the shadows as she breathed – no, she did not breathe. Her chest moved in breath and yet no fullness tightened her lungs. She merely existed, as he did, as he raised his hands towards her and touched her.
Artisania Marveloso certainly thought the Nether looked closer this night.
Although it could hardly be argued that it wasn't indeed closer, standing at the top of Hellfire Citadel with the ramparts behind them. In the darkness the opaque sphere of stars and worlds and wringing spirals of energy swept above them, dancing just above their heads. Heidel had disappeared in the green glow of his hearthstone; Teledriath stood beside her; Razyel and Tylien recovered with their companions nearby. Artisania knew the spaces they occupied around her, as well as that of the fallen fel orc commander and his dragon mount. Distances had always made sense to her. That certain twisting ribbon of energy above – yes, yes it *was* almost within her reach.
A flashing explosion pulls my eyes to the south even as the booming challenge rolls through my ears and makes the ground shudder under my crouching form. Someone has used a bomb to set fire to one of the monstrous wooden catapults, again. I watch it burn for a minute, and Greta patiently waits next to me. Under my hands, even gloved in leather, I can feel her fur is coated in the grit of Hellfire Peninsula. The scent of char finally arrives on a breeze that smells like it started in Nagrand.
The shaman walks with me on the plains of Mulgore.
In the pools of vision, from time to time, things could be seen, but that was not what I sought. The stories spoke of other things, more potent visions, and the ways to achieve them, and so it was that I turned to Kharsh. This time, it wasn't his strong arm I sought, but spiritual guidance.
"You're certain you want to do this?" comes the inevitable question as we stop before the entrance to the lodge, dug into the mesa. The path disappears into a hole in the ground, covered over with a bright Tauren weave, the only other trace of its presence a thin curl of smoke rising from what must have been a chimney.
Artisania Marveloso shivered as his fingertips curled around her.
"You, Entoten! Sit there! I'll stand with the Librarian!" Eberict commanded, whispers of fel swirling about his robes as he came to stand behind her and clasp his hands over her shoulders. Artisania crouched further on her knees, her head lowered and her face hidden in her hands. "Go go!" he continued, "before we lose this train of thought!"
Earlier today Artisania told me that we should keep our thoughts. For "someday."
She's right. That Someday is very important.
I've been slightly overwhelmed with everything lately. I think the tea party brought that into focus. Ever since we stepped through the Portal, I just feel ... overwhelmed. There's a whole world there. Well... maybe not a whole world. But enough. It is familiar to Razyel, and he tells me how to read it. But it smells odd, like too much ozone after a thunderstorm. The dust of Hellfire doesn't feel like the dust of the Badlands. ... The swamp air of Zangarmarsh doesn't taste like the air of Dustwallow, or the Swamp of Sorrows. The smell of Shattrath isn't at all similar to that of Thunder Bluff.
At the party.
Scartaris would not respond.
Artisania had no time, busy with everyone.
Teledriath spoke to him, but emergency called.
Tylien introduced Razyel, but they didn't have time either.
But everyone talked.
Heidel heard all these things.
And the demons stirred.
For now, he silences them.
((Warning: Sex implied, mild language))
Nothing is predictable. In fact, any bloke that tells you not to worry, everything is fine, is probably got a hand in your pocket or a knife under the table. That’s about the time you should start to worry.
I don’t take any moment for granted. Know my exits, always have a plan B, don’t take jobs from gobbos, …and never, never drink over Holiday.
That was my first mistake.
Artisania Marveloso's heart was still pounding.
((Warning: This post contains spoilers pertaining to the Blood Elf Paladin quest for the epic Charger mount. If you do not want to know what happens in that quest, please do not read this blog! For those aware of the quest, some details have been altered for the sake of RP. ))
Artisania Marveloso leaned heavily upon her staff, even as she gently rested it against the wall, its flames dimming as her hand drew away.
Her hand was shaking.
(( Author's Note: This song is what I was hearing as I wrote it. It may help to have it open. Or not. Is up to you! ))
I am not worthy of the gift that I was given long ago. My actions have proven that beyond question: I do not deserve the Light.
At any point along the way, I could have chosen to stop. I could have listened to my fears and walked away from Lady Liadrin. The Blood Knights do not have as much of a reach beyond the Portal as they think; I could lose myself there easily. Similarly, I could lose myself in the hinterlands of this world, the wilds of Feralas, the snows of Winterspring, the deserts of Tanaris...one can hide quite effectively, especially if one bribes the Goblins for supplies "under the table". But I let my lust for power take control, power and freedom, and stayed to listen, and that was the beginning of the slippery slope.
((Warning: Incest implied, sex and strong language))
People who think they know me might tell you I spend all of my free time at pubs and whorehouses. Nobles would say a rogue surely can be found no farther than the nearest gutter. But that’s just it.
They don’t know me.
Artisania Marveloso breathed fire.
Not literally, of course, but the fierce, heated air in the Burning Steppes stood substitute well enough. The orange sky burned behind scorched mountain peaks, draining in rivers of lava throughout the cracked and desiccated land. Ash covered everything. Artisania brushed it from her shoulders as she walked the stony ground, her shoes slipping over chunks of slag and rough basalt.
Teledriath knelt momentarily at the side of a fallen golem, the strange metallic figure still smoking from their attacks. She pulled a bright fragment from its broken belly, smiling to Artisania through the smudges of soot across her face. Artisania had to smile in return.
*mailed in a scroll-case to Hunter Rise, Thunder Bluff. A short note attached, written in Common with Orcish translation following in Goblin handwriting*
Dear Lady Sunstorm,
I was commissioned by a friend of yours to draw this for you and your husband Master Windblade, in honor of your recent binding ceremony. My apologies for being so late, been busy here and such. His portrait is to follow soon, have my word on that.
Wishing you blessings of the Light and good hunting,
P.S. Hope you didn't mind me watching you some, had to sketch a likeness. Nice bear by the way, she must like pie!
((picture under the cut!))
I have never been good at being delicate. I am a straight-forward
girl. I just say the things I want to say--or hold my tongue all
More often than not, I say it. Father used to get so angry when I'd
admit I'd done something against his wishes. "Just tell me how you're
going to punish me and get on with it." His face would go beet red.
Gods, I miss him... I could use his advice, he was always the diplomat.
But I am trying, Iloam. Really trying. I don't want to hurt you.
You've been so good to me, and I really didn't see this coming when I
let you comfort me.
I am a killer. I am a thief. I am not the bloke you want your daughter to bring home for dinner. You don’t want to know the things I’ve done to her. Trust me.
But I am not fearless. This is what scares me.
((Disclaimer: This post is extra-long and carries a dual-purpose: the letter part is a summary of what has been happening and the italics revisit the events of Saturday night in Silithus. Feel free to read one or the other, or take the plunge and read the whole thing at once. I suggest a lovely beverage, and I apologize for the length. Artie is long-winded in her letter-writing. >< ))
Artisania Marveloso had written a letter:
My Dear Tylien,