Tag Archives: NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo 2011 Summary

16 Dec

Now that I’ve posted all of my NaNoWriMo story, it seems like a good time to reflect on what I’ve done and what I’ve plan to do. And then post it on the blog. Because that’s what bloggers do.

What I Have

50050 words, officially, 50777 unofficially.

Ten or so ‘chapters’ written, of variable length, all with horrible titles. Here are links to the Raw Drafts:

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9

A general idea of Brulee and Creme’s past.Greetings from NaNoWriMo WINNER 2011 nanowrimo.org

A new character to roll on Feathermoon (Brulee’s sister).

Ideas for their future adventures.

A neat winner’s graphic for NaNoWriMo.

The satisfaction of winning NaNoWriMo three years in a row.

Not too shabby if I do say so myself.

What I Plan To Do

Come up with a title for this adventure.

Edit all the chapters to fix minor mistakes and take inventory of what in there is good to keep, and what should be taken out.

Write out a rewritten plot so it makes a little more sense, especially considering it should mesh with other people’s RP stories on Feathermoon.

Add more scenes with both characters.

Write short stories with Creme and Brulee, together or individually, to get a better handle of their personalities.

And countless things I haven’t thought of yet!

It seems like a lot of work to do, doesn’t it? (Especially with that part about ‘countless things’ that need doing — and I don’t even know what they are yet!) And all of this would be for a story that will never be ‘officially’ published.

A screenshot of Brûlée.(Not that the majority of my writing would have ‘publishing’ as an end goal. However, a lot of people use NaNoWriMo to kickstart a novel they would like to see published, and I ‘considered’ publishing some of my previous NaNo stories (the type of considering that isn’t really serious). But this year’s story, being more or less WoW fanfiction, wouldn’t really be a candidate for publishing, due to a limited audience. And copyright issues, I’m sure.)

A human mage with short orange hair in a brown dress.

Creme - A human mage who becomes an orphan in just the first section! D:

However, I feel that if I’m going to RP with my characters Creme and Brulee, with their punny names and all, I should at least finish this backstory. This is something that never got played out in game, but is very integral to their characters. The only downside of writing this all down outside of game is that it doesn’t involve others on Feathermoon very much at all. It doesn’t explain how Brulee and Creme became associated with Stormwind University (besides being mentioned in passing only once), nor does it involve others even in passing during the events. It makes sense that my story about my characters adventures would, well, focus on them, but it would be nice to have some scenes with others who aren’t just NPCs. Not to mention some people’s characters might actually have noticed Lakeshire under attack and would care to do something themselves…

Have you ever had to merge a out of game story into in-game canon before? Sneakily told everyone ‘oh yeah, this all happened during the last expansion, sorry for not telling you sooner’? Or do you get others to add bits to your draft and integrate them into the final history? Let me know — I think I need some help on this front!

[Raw Draft] NaNoWriMo 2011 – Chapter 9: Battle Plans

14 Dec

I participated in NaNoWriMo, and here is the END of the story I wrote this year.

That’s right, this was the last chapter I wrote. And it’s a cliffhanger. Unless you count the end paragraph that sums up where the rest of the story would go. >.>


Brulee and Creme have made it to Lakeshire, though Creme is hurt and randomly unconscious. A cast of local characters lead Brulee to a makeshift infirmary in the Inn, where she heals up Creme some. Then the cast of local characters lead Brulee to the mayors office, where she explains what all is going on (‘The orcs aren’t Horde, and they’re working with the Defias!’) She then tells them about a battle plan using some of that Rethban ore to blow stuff up. How did she know it would blow up? I don’t know. How did she know it was there? I guess she saw it while she was on the cliff, because everyone knows Draenei have eagle eyesight. … *cough*

Anyway, after running about with the locals for a bit and making sure they prep for the attack the next morning, she goes to check on Creme. The girl is fine, and also gambling. They have a little talk, and prepare themselves for the big battle the next day. The End!

Yup, I was phoning it in. Sorry. (Not really). But I’m sure you’ll be reading more about these two in the future!

Chapter 8: Free Falling

“She has been shot,” Brulee murmured as she and another, a human man of the town, pulled Creme to shore.

“Looks like,” he said. “I’m surprised you actually made it here without taking more injuries. You both must be crazy.”

Brulee opted not to comment on this as she scooped up Creme in her own arms – making sure to keep the wound arm to the outside. “I need to treat this wound. Is there-”

“Right this way,” the man interrupted. He started walking towards the main town area away from the lake’s shore. “I’ll get someone to take my place,” he called out to another one of the guardsmen who was on the shore with him. The other nodded.

“Bought time for a rest anyway,” he said to Brulee.

They walked not too long to get into a nice homey place.

“This is the inn here. We’ve been keepin’ most of the injured here ’cause of the nicer accomodations.”

“I see,” Brulee said as they entered.

The nice tables that had once been in the dining area – and it must have been the dining area, judging from the nearby bar that had remained in one of the corners – had now been pushed aside or removed for building barricades, no doubt. In its place were many rolls of blankets, many of which were occupied by various people who were likely injured.

“We’ve been usin’ the inn as our infirmary, seein’ as we usually don’t have this kind a trouble. An’ the midwife’s house is too far out and too small,” her guide rambled as they stood in the entrance. “Oy, Bri!” he called across the room to a woman who was tending to someone, “We’ve got another ‘un.”

The woman, who looked fairly young but older than Creme, if Brulee were to judge (but who was Brulee to judge these things? She had such a time trying to guess a human’s age), spun part way around to look at them, still kneeling. She tucked some of her blonde hair that had wandered in front of her her view behind her ear.

“An’ hello to you too, Jordan. Is there another attack or…” Bri started, still well across the room.

The man shook his head. “No, not exactly. Just a couple travelers come to warn us that we’re in imminent danger of attack.”

“Well that seems rather obviously now doesn’t it.”

Jordan frowned. “No, they mean-”

“Ahem.” Brulee interrupted. Creme was still in her arms, injured. She didn’t have time for them to jibber jabber away right now.

“Oh. Right,” Jordan said. “Bri, you got space for one to rest here? She got hit while they were headed into town.”

Bri nodded. “Oh yeah. Still no room upstairs, but I think there’s a few empty blankets over there if that’ll work.” She pointed to her right, their left.

“Thank you very much, Miss.” Brulee said curtly and walked over through an aisle of the blankets there.

She could feel all of their eyes tarting at her, at least the folk who were awake. The man, Jordan, and Bri’s conversation clear across the room had certainly woken up quite a few of the injured. Most had bandages on but were well enough to talk amoungst themselves it seemed.

‘I guess Draenei are not as common here as well then,’ Brulee thought wryly. She knew some had come to the Eastern Kingdoms, of course, but they were apparently still rare enough outside of the major cities.

She gently laid Creme down on an open mat and went to check the girl’s wound.

“I’ll just be going to find the next watch,” Jordan said from teh doorway. “I’ll be back in a few.”

Brulee nodded absently. Right now she needed to focus on healing.

‘Poor girl. She looks utterly exhausted. I hope I did not push her too much. If this puts her off from future training…’ Brulee frowned. Proper training was always a must for mages, lest they accidentally call upon the wrong powers and called attention to the Legion.

She removed the ruined fabric from around teh area of the wound. It was still bleeding freely, though she would soon put a stop to that. Reaching out with the Light’s power, eyes half closed, she felt that the wound had not been too deep. It seemed to have missed bone as well, which would make this much easier.

Gently, she called upon the Light’s power some more, feeling it swell into her hand and then into Creme’s wound. She coaxed it to help knit the flesh back together and to have it form new muscle and skin yet again. The healing would not be complete, not with her level of skill, but the wound would be closed and well on her way to healing.

There. It was as good as she could under the circumstances. Brulee slowly exhaled, and with that let the power of the Light fade from her hands.

“Oh, so you can channel the Light too?”

Brulee jumped a bit. She hadn’t expected Bri to come up behind her like that.

“Oh! Uh, yes. Yes I do. Do you do too?” Brulee asked, turning towards the human and standing.

Bri shook her head. “Oh no, I just work with bandages. We don’t have many here who know how to heal with the Light as you just did. Would you be able to help out with the injured? We got many here that could use a little helpin’ a long but our healers are tapped.”

Brulee was a little surprsied. She had never thought her healing was good enough that anyone would be needing her to do it. The town must be in dire straights, though it looked like that already.

“I am sorry, but I am not the most skilled in healing myself. Only minor wounds such as that are within my skill-”

“I’m pretty sure we’d take any sort of help to get people out there and fighting. And that didn’t look so minor to me.” She gestured at Creme.

“She will still need some time to fully re-cooperate but it at least has been sealed.”

“Well I-” Bri started but then Jordan showed up at the entrance, immediately waving his arm at Brulee.

“Miss Draenei! The Magistrate wants to see you in the war room, pronto!” He yelled, again with no regard for sleeping patients, who were now buzzing about with various conversation or complaints. Bri was definitely shooting glares at him as Brulee excused herself from the room.


The war room, as it turned out, was another building down the road that apparently normally functioned as their town hall. The Magistrates office had been set up with a rudimentary map of the surrounding area with various household items placed around to mark troops and such.

“Ah, it is most nice to meet you, Miss…”

“Brulee. Paladin Brulee,” she responded. Might as well remind them that she was trained in combat, even if she was foreign looking to them.

“Paladin Brulee. It is a pleasure to meet you,” said Magistrate Solomon. “Were you sent by the capitol? Are there reinforcements on the way?” He sounded so eager and desparate. Brulee felt bad that that wasn’t the case at all.

“I am afraid we were not sent here by Stormwind and there are no armies that I know of that are here to stop this assault.”

Those in the room, including a couple of Stormwind guards that had been stationed here, Jordan, the Magistrate, and a few other more war seasoned citizens, groaned in disappointment. It would have seemed like the obvious reason why she came there.

In fact, one of the guards even pointed that out. “Then why would you and your friend even attempt to reach town through the Horde orcs outside if you were not bringing us news of help?”

“Even though we did not come with additional help, I am not without news.”

“Do tell,” said a gruff looking old man. He was one of the citizens, she was sure, as he was not wearing a guard uniform and was not introduced to her quite yet. The Magistrate only introduced himself, in fact. He seemed a bit self-centered in that regard.

“First of all, the orcs are not members of the Horde.”

“Ha!” the gruff man exclaimed. “You’re obviously not up with teh times. Of course they’re part of the Horde – whyelse would they be wearing Horde symbols and planting Horde flags in their camps?”

“To try to start a conflict, I am thinking. I have learend first hand that these orcs are not part of the Horde.”

“From who?” asked the Magistrate.

“The Horde itself.”

“So you’re an agent of the Horde then?!” the older man said. He reached for his sword, but one of teh guards stayed his hand.

“Of course not, Gerald,” snapped the female guard. “Draenei are our allies. I am sure she can explain.

And so Brulee quickly summarized what exactly had happened earlier that day. Her storytelling, it seemed, was convincing enough.

The Magistrate rubbed his chin. “So… the Horde spies – in our territory I might add – are convinced that these are not their soldiers?”

“Yes. I would likely agree with them, as all of us were attacked.”

“And you came here because you wished to tell us about this little revelation?”

Brulee nodded. “And it seemed like the best option at the time, without us having any supplies.”

“We are a little light on supplies here as well, though the lake has still been providing us with some food, when they haven’t been attacking us full on and we’ve had time to fish some. But still it is getting hard to feed everyone…”

“Won’t have many left to feed at the rate they’ve been pushing the attacks,” Gerald accused.

The Magistrate glared at him as Brulee continued to speak.

“But along our way over hear, we overheard a camp speak about how the orcs were in leage with the Defias.”

Nearly all the room jumped to attention when she mentioned that. “The Defias?” the male guard asked. “What all did you hear about that?”

Brulee informed them of what they had heard. Apparently the Defias were as bad as Creme was letting on, because it led to a whole new set of discussions.

“But if we know that the Defias are going to ‘save’ us, could we not just surrender?” the Magistrate asked.

“Orcs wouldn’t just let us surrender just like that” Gerald said. “I have no doubt that even if they are under the Defias finger that they wouldn’t slaughter the people just for fun.”

“He’s right,” the male guard chimed in. “And even if we did just surrender, I think the Defias would get suspicious.”

“But what good is knowing about this if we aren’t to surrender?” the Magistrate exclaimed. He threw his arms up in frustration. “It’s not like we can beat them!”

“Actually…” Brulee said, holding up a finger, “I am thinking that you can.”


They took another short walk across to the other side of the town; Brulee, the Magistrate Solomon, the two guards, Gerald, and Jordan (who Brulee suspected was just tagging along for the gossip he would have afterward sto tell, as he seemed to not be contributing to the conversation much).

“This building here is the Blacksmith’s, yes?”

“That’s right,” the Magister said. “Kara and Karen work here. Not the most skilled in making weapons, even though we’ve tried a bit, if that’s what you’re driving at.”

Brulee shook her head, and looked around. The torchlight showed a large pile of a material that looked somewhat familiar.

“And this here?” she asked, pointing at it.

“Why, that’s Rethban. Loads of it, but it’s not meant for weapons or shields. Much too weak for that.”

Brulee bent over and felt some between her fingers. It was almost like coal, but was very similar to another material. She grinned.

“This, my friends, is fine explosive material. I was sure I had seen some from the cliff above. I am sure you can free the city with this.”

“But how?”

(( Brulee explains a great plan involving blowing things up. The village commences in implementing that plan)).


It was late in the evening – or morning, as it may have been now – when Brulee finally went to the in  to check on Creme. She found the girl sitting up, awake, and playing some sort of gambling game with a few other patients. Her left arm had been put into a sling, she noted, so at least that was beneficial.

“And it looks like I win again,” Creme said. She grinned as she scooped up the copper coins – where had she gotten copper to begin with, Brulee wondered – from the pile in front of their group admid the groans of the four other players. She then noticed Brulee.

“I’m gonna have to sit out the next hand or five,” Creme said.

“Good,” said one of the other players. They all had a chuckle, including Creme, as she stood up to talk with Brulee in a quieter corner of the infirmary. There was quite a bit of activity going on, considering the time.

“I was not aware you were the gambling type,” Brulee said, raising an eyebrow.

Creme merely shrugged. “It’s a fun way to pass the time.”

“In the middle of the night?”

Creme grinned. “Well with all the noise going on out there with your bomb making hardly can rest tonight, least the ones who aren’t to badly hurt.”

Brulee chuckled. “I suppose you all have heard about this foolish plan of mine as well.”

“Yup. One of the guard-type came in hollering about it to Bri there.”

“I am just hoping it will work.”

“Yeah, me too.”

“… So, how is your arm feeling?” Brulee asked, leaning over slightly to better inspect the wounded arm.

Creme scrunched up her face. “It’s stilla bit sore. But I guess it’s mostly healed up, thanks to you.”

“It was the least I could do. I am just sorry that I had left you out there to be shot at. I wasn’t thinking that they would notice you farther away from shore.”

“There miiiight have been a fireball that accidentally went off in the water that made them notice me too.”

“I see.” So that’s what the noise had been. “Even so, I am thankful that you made it through alright. And you see, there are spells that are handy besides fire ones, no?” Brulee grinned.

Creme, of course, looked away. She looked a bit red faced as she said, “I guess so,” in a tone that wasn’t very resentful at all.

“But I think that we both should get some rest before the sun rises again. Tomorrow will be a very busy day.”

Creme grinned. “Yup, I bet it will be.”


((And so the next day they went out and the town resoundingly beat back the orcs. Creme and Brulee went to inform Stormwind of all of this, and then investigated why the Defias were working with the orcs. And they eventually solved the mystery and Creme gained her freedom from the Necklace…  but Brulee decided to stay in Stormwind! And they still hang out and stuff because Creme is still on probation, just not a necklace one! The end???))

[Raw Draft] NaNoWriMo 2011 – Chapter 8: Free Falling

13 Dec

I participated in NaNoWriMo, and here is the continued story I wrote this year.

We left off with Brulee falling off a cliff! This chapter switches back to Creme’s point of view (I was very tempted to leave it at Brulee’s point of view, because it may have been more fun to have her think about falling while she was falling, but I digress), where she sees Brulee fall of the cliff and reacts instantly to save her. Turns out that yes, she does remember how to cast feather fall and therefore jumps off the cliff to feather fall them both down to safety.

They then have a series of heartfelt talks (falling off of cliffs seem to beget those things), and eventually determine that going to Lakeshire is the best course of action, once Brulee calms down a bit. There is more talking on their way there. They are almost found by a group of orcs, who are working with the Defias! The orc and Defias have a loud conversation of their plans, which Brulee and Creme decide to tell Lakeshire about ASAP!

Once they reach the edge of the lake by Lakeshire, Brulee has Creme cast Feather Fall on them so they can run across the water to get to the town. And they do so, though a little fireball mishap alerts some orcs to their arrival and they get shot at. Creme takes an arrow to the arm, and then ridiculously swims under the water using an ice tube to breathe. Because that’s the first thing you would think to do if you were underwater being shot at if you were a fire mage. … This is what happens when I’m writing late at night trying to get my wordcount up. Worst. Idea. Ever.

Anyway, she gets to shore and passes out, because blacking out is the easiest way to transition to another scene, apparently.

I will note that so far, Creme seems to be way more ‘badass’ in combat than Brulee, when I would think the opposite would be true. Still, I wanted Brulee to fall off the cliff because A) Brulee is afraid of heights so it makes it more interesting, and B) Creme can use feather fall to redeem herself (and learn more about her abilities to cast non-fire magic!) Character development all around!

And again, the number of typos in these later chapters is probably higher than the other ones, as I was getting a bit worried I wouldn’t finish on time. And I think I had a cold during these last few chapters too. I was feeling a bit better while writing this chapter, though.

Chapter 8: Free Falling

It was funny, really. How one moment you could be shocked learning the orc who kidnapped you was the same one who helped out your dead mom escape from a ruined city, and the next you’d be fighting for your life when some different orcs attacked.

Brulee had moved her away from the edge, towards back from where they came earlier, when one of the Horde people shouted. It was probably that creepy undead felllow; he wasn’t up on the cliff earlier, which suited Creme just fine. They had heard about the Scourge in the North and what they did, even down in Stormwind. It woudl’ve been pretty hard not to know about it, given the refugees that had poured in from the North, with their stories of folks who came back from the dead to terrorize them. Creme had hoped to never see one in her life, let alone hordes of them. And then the damn things that captured them had one in their group. It gave Creme the creeps. And it knew it too, the bastard. But Brulee didn’t want them to cause a scene by trying to escape or nothing. Which made sense; they were definitely out armed earlier.

But none of that really matter now, because they were under attack by a different set of orcs. Creme supposed it would’ve happened one way or another. The town of Lakeshire was definitely under attack, and they definitely would have wandered right into it if they had continued on their journey without interruption the next day. Just seemed a bit unfair that they had to get kidnapped before they faced them this time. At least they might’ve been expecting this… just not so soon.

The big orc and Brulee both pulled out swords and charged forward to meet their attackers. From the way Brulee had moved her aside, Creme guessed she didn’t want her in any of the combat. Certainly a noble sentiment, one that Creme appreciated for a short moment as the Draenei took on two orcs before another one went right for Creme.

Luckily, those few moments were enough for her to prepare herself. She had been waiting for an excuse to lay on with the fire spells and this seemed like a pretty good time to do so. She wasn’t gonna be caught off guard like she was last night.

IT was a large orc that was charging her. Some sort of warrior, if Creme was to judge. His lack of armor certainly made her think that, but mostly the fact that he was mindlessly yelling as he charged her wielding a giant battleaxe that made her suspicious.

“No mercy,” Creme thought grimly, before letting lose the fireball she had waiting in her hands.

Her aim was right on (it always was in school, even if the spell never turned out quite right). It blazed and roared right into the Orcs chest. Whatever he had been expecting from this scrawny human it certainly wasn’t some sort of fire. The orcs face controted from surprise at seeing the fire to pain as it seared his flesh. It barely slowed him down.

Seeing that the orc was still coming, Creme shot off several quick blasts of searing flames; super heated with bursts of boiling hot air. The grass singed as the fire went over it, and the orc staggered under the blow of each one, succumbing to the shock and burns.

Creme sent another fireball his way for good measure. The orc crumpled to the ground in a burning heap.

“He’s dead. Probably dead. Funny, I never thought the first thing I’d kill would be an orc, of all things.” Creme thought, trying to keep herself from shaking.

She looked around. The other orc was taking on a good three at once, and the Tauren was… was casting some sort of spellwork against another set. Some thorny vines of some sort had wrapped around the feet of several more orcs further away, holding them back. Their faces were contorted in rage at not being in the thick of the battle, no doubt.

But where was Brulee? Creme turned around – hoepfully no one would jump her in the meantime – and saw her Guardian fighting two orcs at once near the cliff’s edge. And it was in that instant Creme saw the two swing together, knocking the draenei off the edge of the cliff.

“No!” she cried, racing forward. The two orcs had just turned around and were surprised to see her racing toward them.

There was barely any time for her to process exactly what she was doing as she charged him. Later she considered all of it rather foolish. They swung at her as she raced forward but she dodged their sideways strikes by going under, simultaneously setting their feet on fire. That was always a good trick, especially when the heat got ramped up like she just did.

She was sure she could hear them yelling in pain, and secretly hoped they would fall off the cliffs themselves, but really had no more time to worry about such things at the moment because she just ran off the cliff herself.

It was on purpose, of course. She had to go save Brulee.

Of course, Creme did have some self doubts about her whole plan, but in her defense, it was made up right there on the spot when Brulee had fallen. “Guess in situations like these you don’t get too mcuh time to think things through.”

It looked like Brulee had fallen pretty far already. Creme needed to get a bit closer for her plan to work. She tried to make herself fall faster by making herself more aerodynamic. As she did so she prepared the spell.

The spell itself was pretty simple. A feather fall. Just made you as light as a feather so you’d drift down in case you fell from somewhere pretty high, or didn’t want that jar you just dropped to smash on the ground. The people at the mage school taught it pretty early on, since it was a nice simple non-attacking spell that taught all sorts of prinicples of magic Creme could really care less about right now. She had used it before, especially when she first learned it because what’s more fun than jumping off of roofs with your friends while you’re super light and scaring all the passerbyers?

“Hopefully I still remember how to use it or we’re both goners,” Creme thought.

A second or two ticked by and she was close enough to Brulee to cast the spell, as the ground loomed ever closer beneath them. She thrust out her hand at Brulee and willed the magic to work ((its magic ahahaha))).

“And it did! Praise the Light!” Creme thought as she zoomed past a considerably alarmed and puzzled Brulee, who was now gently floating down the remainder of the way to the ground. “Now I just need to do the same thing for me.”

Her mind went blank for one panic filled second as she tried to summon the same power that she did just a moment ago with NO FIRE coming out of her fingers this time! Another seemingly long second was spent channeling the energy for the spell, and then finally she too was gently floating into the valley below.

She looked up to track where Brulee was. Further up, and moving further a little further away from the cliff than she was. Hopefully they wouldn’t have any trouble finding each other.

Her journey down ended short, however, when she ran into the tops of one of the pine trees down in the fields below. Creme swore, because the tree was rather prickly and she would’ve rather landed straight on the ground. Instead she had to untangle herself from the branches and give a hop to float down some more, since at least the spell was still in effect.

Finally she touched down on the ground. About fifty yards away she saw Brulee landing as well, the draenei collapsing in a heap on the ground.

Creme jogged over to her.

“Il gul Sha, O azgala o gul aman!” Brulee said breathlessly as Creme got near. The draenei was sitting on the ground, limbs akimble, one hand over her chest. She was breathing heavily and shaking.

Creme tilted her head to the side. The draenei was obviously speaking a different language, but it didn’t sound like the Orcish she was hearing earlier. Maybe it was whatever Draenei usually spoke? It sounded kinda flowing, not as harsh as the Orcish was to her ears. She still couldn’t understand it though.

“Uh… what?”

Brulee’s eyes looked to unfocus slightly before focsing again on her. “Oh… I am sorry… I was uh.. I was just saying … I was saying that I thought I was dead.”

“Yeah. I guess it was kinda a close one, wasn’t it?” Creme responded, trying to keep it light. She turned around to gaze up the cliff they fell – or in her case jumped – off of. Looked up and up and up to the top. Creme gulped; it was amazingly high. Suddenly she felt she made a really stupid decision to jump off; what if her spells hadn’t worked?

There was a little smoke from up on the cliff, but it was high and far enough away that Creme couldn’t hear any other sounds of the battle. She hoped that the Horde members could handle themselves well enough not to fall off a cliff.

“Pretty high though wasn’t it?” Creme said, before slowly sinking to the ground next to Brulee.

The draenei nodded. There was a moment of silence again. Brulee had started rubbing one of her horns with one of her hands; the other was trembling slightly. Creme situated herself on the rough grass, crossing her legs and trying not to be obnoxious and let Brulee collect herself some more. Even from their short time together she hadn’t seen her mentor so shaken.

“And she definitely has the right to,” Creme thought. “Most people don’t have someone handy around to stop them from falling to their deaths when they’re pushed off a cliff by some freaky orcs.”

Brulee first broke the silence between them.

“Thank you. I owe you my life.”

Creme turned to stare at her, surprised. Had anyone ever said anything like that to her before? Ever? Thanked her for any of the risky heists they had taken? Sure they might’ve thanked her, but no matter how many rough situations they had been in, it had hardly ever been life or death. What should she say back?

As quick as she turned to look, she turned her head away to hide the blush that was creeping across her face. “It- it was nothing. I just couldn’t let you get too far away ’cause of these stupid necklaces.” She uncorssed her legs and brought them up to rest her head on in a grump fashion.

“We shall have to see about these necklaces then, when we get back into town,” Brulee responded. Creme was surprised to hear that, that was for sure. But she didn’t turn her head to ask more. If Brulee felt that it should be removed, it didn’t mean that the Warden or any of them did. And it’s not like she had seen out her whole punishment or anything, really.

“I must be admitting,” Brulee continued, her voice quavering slightly, “I was not thinking of what would be happening to you when I had fallen. I suppose it is… selfish? Yes, selfish of someone to be so focused of their own worries at a time when they are beliving they are dying. … Thinking of my sister… praying for a miracle to happen that I may not perish in what would actually be rather embarrassing. I had been knowing the cliff was there but I was not paying attention as I should have been.” She chuckled lightly, ending in a sigh. “I am out of practice, just as Sister Lakosha said.”

“She’s rambling,” Creme thought ((stating the obvious)). She kept looking away though. Hearing someone ramble was embarrassing enough; watching her would make it even more embarrassing for the both of them.

Brulee continued to prattle on. “And then the Light answered my prayers, even as I was panicking in the air. You came down as well with your magic! I was so suprised to see you falling – I was almost not sure how I had stopped falling util I saw you stop falling as well. I was not sure if you were going to stop yourself as well. Did you fall off as well? Pushed off?”

Creme shook her head no. “I, um, jumped.” She sat up some to face Brulee, since it seemed she was done rambling for the time being.

The draenei’s eyes widened. “You came after me on purpose? You threw yourself off the cliff?”

“Uh, yeah. I guess so. I mean I’ve sorta done this kinda stuff before. I mean, using the Feather Fall…” Creme scratched the back of her head.

“Remarkable that you would even do so to help me! A thousand thanks to you, friend! A thousand thanks!”

“Friend? Are we friends? Does she think of me as a friend?” Creme’s thoughts felt guilty. But would she have thrown herself off a cliff for anyone who wasn’t a friend?

Brulee continued to speak, apparently unaware of Creme’s guilty conscience and still full of adrenaline. “I am not sure if I would ever willingly go off a cliff, even if I was knowing how to float down from one. I am not a, how you say… friend? No, fan? A fan of heights. Just looking down from there made me very nervous and afraid. And then as if to prove that I was afraid of them I was knocked off from them!” Her hands were thrown up in exasperation. “I do not wish to be climbing up a hill again, whether or not I have my savior mage with me or not!”

All this hero talk directed at Creme was making her decidedly nervous. She better show Brulee quick that she was no good for battles or nothing or else this would get out of hand and everyone else would be wanting to make her do even more helpful things. Not really what she was looking for.

Though if word got out to the Warden how she saved Brulee’s life – and she woudl bet that Brulee would tell him the story each time he asked – maybe her sentence -would- get reduced so there would be less time for her to have to wear the stupid necklace.

But why did she feel guilty for even thinking about doing that?

She decided to change the subject to avoid any more of those complecated feelings.

“Sooo… what’re we going to do now?” she asked.

“I am not so sure. Most of our things are either at their camp or with our horses up there…” Brulee eyed the cliff and Creme did too. Nothing seemed to have changed; she couldn’t even see anyone up there. Maybe the other Horde members had been defeated. A lump formed in her throat. It would’ve been nice to talk to the Orc who knew her mom, and now he might be dead too.

Brulee continued. “And I am not so sure what would be a good plan next. I was thinking that I would have been dead by now but I am still here. So this may require some thinking.”

Great. Brulee was usually the one who came up with whatever they were going to do next, and here she was addlebrained from a little fall. Okay, a big fall. But that probably meant that she had to think of what to do next.

“Well…” Creme started, thinkihng out loud, “I guess we really have three options. We could go back to Stormwind, or we could go try to find the Horde camp to get our stuff and regroup there, or we could try to go to Lakeshire.” The last one seemed a bit farfetched in her mind; they had just seen that Lakeshire was pretty much surrounded by an angry orcish horde.

“Hmm…” mused Brulee. “I am not sure how we could get to either Stormwind or the Horde camp. My understanding of the land here is not as good now that we are off the road.”

“Yeah, I know what you mean. I don’t think I could really point out which way Stormwind is in,” Creme added, slightly sheepish.

Brulee pointed off to her left. “I am thinking it is over there but I am not sure the mountains are passable if we were to be walking that direction. And since our horses are up on the cliff, or scattered about by the attackers, we would have to go by foot with no food or water. Unless we were to find some.”

Creme stuck out her tongue. “Eww. I don’t think I could tell if some plant was edible or not.”

“You could always be hunting something to eat, yes?”

“Hunt something? Me?”

Brulee smiled. “And it would be pre-cooked would it not? With all of the fireballs?”

Creme tried not to look amused at that statement. “But then I would need to like sneak up on them or something right?”

Brulee nodded. “Yes, you would be needing to do that. Hunting does take much patience, and I am assuming you have not done too much of it ever?”

“Food is sold in stores or on carts.”

“Hm, indeed. Then it would be hard to be traveling very far without knowing many directions. And I am not knowing about what you think, but to be attempting at finding the Horde camp after falling for some time, we would be having to take a long way around, yes? Unless you can make us float up a cliff?” Brulee giggled again; she seemed to be having a case of the sillies after the fall.

“No, I don’t have nothing that makes me go up.”

“Then it would also be taking a long time to get there and they may have moved the camp while we have been gone or have been taken over by the bad orcs.”

Creme frowned. “I guess if they found us up here, they might ahve found the toher Horde camp…”

Brulee nodded. “It would have many problems for us if we were to go back for our supplies and then found that the camp has been overrun and we are attacked again. If we were to even find the camp. I am afraid I was not paying as close attention as I should have to wher ethey were taking us, though I am afraid I may have forgotten anyway after a fall like that!” She laughed again.

“Um, yeah. I guess…” Creme said. She was afraid where Brulee’s logic was leading them.

“And I am not saying I am wishing much harm upon our Horde friends up there, and I am certainly hoping that they have defeated the orcs, but they likely are thinking that we are dead and it may be best for now if they keep thinking that. Especially since the ones at the camp may not be so friendly if we were to approach them, yes? So I am thinking that since these other options may be harder for us to easily travel to without being found by some of these bad orcs, that we should go to Lakeshire.”

There was a pause. Creme sucked in a big breath of air and let it out.

“You know when I mentioned that we maybe could go to Lakeshire?”

“Yes? I am aware of you mentioning that.”

“I didn’t actually mean for you to want us to go to Lakeshire. Because of all of those orcs. You know. The bad ones. Surrounding it. With a blockade.”

Brulee waved her hand dismissively. “Yes, yes. I know there are many orcs there surrounding it. But since we know they are there we can easily deal with the problem.”

“You have a plan for dealing with them?”

“I am sure one will come to me.” Brulee set a hand on her knee and pushed herself up into a standing position. Creme continued to stare at the draenei like she was crazy.

“So we’re going to Lakeshire… with no plan on how to get in there through a blockade… and no plan once we get in?!”

Brulee tapped the tip of her left horn with her left hand, grinning. “Ah – I never said I didn’t have a plan for when we got into there, yes?”


<walka walka walka>

Of course the plan wasn’t as easy as Brulee had laid out. Lakeshire hadn’t seemed that far away when they were on the cliff, but it turned out it was taking them a good amount of time to get there. Creme was getting pretty tired. They had been walking for almost the whole afternoon. The sun was getting pretty low in the sky.

Brulee glanced back at her. The draenei had definitely calmed down since after the fall, and was leading the way with gusto. Too much gusto, in Creme’s opintion. Brulee knew how to walk and walk fast she did.

“Are you needing a break?” the draenei asked her, sounding a little concerned.

‘No doubt she heard my heavy panting,’ Creme thought, slightly embarrassed. She was a city girl, after all. Marching through the hills of Redridge was a little harder than a leisurely storll (or quick sprint) across the city of Stormwind. Made her feel a bit out of shape though, to have the Draenei who was obviously older than her be able to walk around longer than her with no sign of exertion(though by how much older Brulee was than her she wasn’t too sure; obviously old enough to learn orcish from before the orcs came to this world, which was before Creme was born. But a lot of things happened then and a lot people were way older than her. Brulee didn’t look it, though. She had heard that they lived like a long time like teh Night Elves did, which was cool when you first thought about it, but then your would realize how much it would suck to be a teenager for like a hundred years or something. Not cool).

“Um, yeah. I Guess. IF we have the time,” Creme said, slowing down her walking pace a bit. She didn’t want to lag them behind just because of her. She was sure she could soldier on if needed. But a break would still be nice.

“Oh yes, there will be some time. I do not think we are very far now from the lake, and we cannot be entering the town until it is dark out.”

Creme nodded and tried to slow down her breathing some so she didn’t sound quite so out of breath. She wasn’t too sure if approaching the town at night was the best idea, but at least they woudl be less noticed in the cover of night by both the orcs and the townspeople – and hoepfully the townspeople wouldn’t mind them coming ashore much at all in the night and hopefully wouldn’t shoot at them.

Brulee looked around and picked out a nice rock to sit on. Creme followed suit on another nearby convenient rock and caught her breath.

‘Ew, I’m sweating a lot too. And it isn’t even that warm outside. Does adventuring usually mean this much running around? Maybe not. We did have horses before. I didn’t like them at first but after walkin’ I think I’d prefer fallin’ off allt he time!’ she thought to herself, wiping off her brow with her hand, and then grimacing at feeling the sweat there. She wiped off her arm on her pant leg. And then she frowned, trying to look like she meant that because it looked like Brulee was about to laugh at her antics or something like that. She seemed extra giggly from after falling off the cliff. ‘Maybe she’s usually like that when she’s not on duty watching some human kid or something. Maybe I’ve just been holdin’ her back ’cause she’s got a sense of duty and there’d be something she’d rather do but I’ve messed it all up for her and this is a chore…’ That would make more sense, it would. Only Paladins and Guards would be crazy enough to link themselves to a troublemaker in an effort to redeem then. Weird.

Her breath caught up with her again. “I guess we can go now,” she said. Creme made no movement to get up though.

Brulee leaned back on her rock. “I am not in a hurry right now. As I was saying, we are not far from the town now. We can sit around some more. I too am thankful for a rest. We had been walking for a good time just then.”

“Are you sure we’re close?” Creme asked suspiciously, eyes narrowing slightly as she looked over to Brulee for once.

Brulee nodded decisively. “I am quite certain. We had passed a landmark I had seen from the cliff and it is not too far from where the lake was, and we shall be crossing the lake in the night time when it is safer.”

“Safer, right… Wait – you saw something that looked like a landmark from way up on that cliff?” Creme asked, surprised. She made out the various orcs camps from that distance, but barely. The orcs had looked super small, and even the town’s buildings were too. “There was no way you could see any really good details up there, could you?”

Brulee looked surprsied right abck at her. “But of course! Everything was crystal clear for me, down to the last detail of the camps and the town. Of course I was not thinking that we would be approaching the town at that point, but a few of the details of the land stuck with me even after the falling.” She tilted her head to side a bit. “Was it not as clear for you?”

Creme shook her head. “No one could see that far without a spyglass or something.”

Brulee pursed her lips. “Hm… Perhaps no human could.”

“So that’s what your glowy eyes are good for huh? Seeing long distances?”

“And they can light your way in the dark,” Brulee smirked. Creme stifled her laughter. She didn’t want Brulee to think she thought she was funny or anything. That would be giving the wrong impression for sure.

But there wasn’t much else to do besides talk right now anyway, if they were waiting for the sun to set.

“So… ” Creme started, “you have a sister?”

Brulee smiled and nodded. “Oh yes, I do. She is called Shamundi.”

“Just Shamundi?”

Brulee nodded.

“Sounds like a funny name to me.”

“And ‘Creme Stonemason’ is a funny name too, to me,” Brulee snapped back lightly.

Creme felt herself blush slightly. “I guess it would be weird for you, huh. I mean, it’s pretty weird one for a Southerner too.”

“Southerner…? Oh – you are meaning someone who is from the Stormwind area?”

“Yeah. The name I got i more common up north. I guess Mom took a liking to it when she was up there.”

“Ah yes. But you see, there would be reason to think anyone’s name would sound funny if ti came from an area not near you, so you would be learning to keep quiet on such things.”

“Um, right.” Brulee sounded a bit irratated. Savign her life or not, I guess making fun of a name was a touchy kind of thing. And it was her sister’s name of course. That probably was more special than other types of names.

“So… what does yoru sister do? Is she a paladin too?”

Brulee smiled again; Creme supposed talking about her sister was still an okay topic then. The draenei shook her head as she spoke. “Oh no, Shamundi never had the patience or the interest for learning more about the Lgith’s powers. She never was very adept at controlling the Light as many of us are. Plus, she always thought the teachers were stuffy.”

Brulee smiled as Creme giggled to herself. “Ha… that’s what I’ve always thought to.”

“Oh? And you think I am stuffy?” Brulee said, suddenly looking serious.

“Uh…” Creme opened her eyes innocently. Maybe Brulee didn’t like her laughing much at all. “.. er… no? Maybe? No?” she said at a poor attempt at placating the draenei.

Brulee’s face cracked into a smile. ‘Ah, she was faking!’

“I am glad you do not see me as too stuffy. Shamundi would always tease me about these things when I was studying the books so much. Yes, she would tease me about it, as did my brother Alee.”

“You have a brother as well?” ((Though we may have covered this already earlier but I don’t remember right now))

“I did, but was killed during an orc attack.”

“Oh. Um. I’m sorry to hear that.” Creme said.

“Thank you. Many of our people have suffered from the orcish rage and lust for battle. Your to. Is that not why your mother had traveled to the north?” ((would brulee know this?))

“Yeah.” Creme nodded.

They were quiet for a moment. Creme was caught up in her own thoughts about orcs and such, how they caused so much trouble for people who would normally never meet. What a strange coinsidence that they would end up on the same planet, crash landing there.

“At any rate,” Brulee continued, “my sister kept her studies focused on the more material aspects of this world.”

“… like what?”

“Oh, the um… tinkering with metals and other things? The uh… how you say… mechanical things?” Brulee made some fiddly motions with her hands.

“… Engineering?” Creme supplied.

Brulee smiled brightly. “Yes! That is the word – I had forgotten it. Engineering. That is what she did. She fixed things like our holoprojectors and engines and other such mechanical things, and would sometimes make new ones. Exploding bombs too, she liked making those. I am sure the two of you would get along nicely, because she is usually so full of energy and you both like to set things on fire. … When appropriate.” The last bit was added on as what seemed to be an administrative afterthought to try to prevent furhter trouble from Creme.

“Haha, sounds like a lot of fun.”

“It is much fun for her. I never understood half of the things that she would talk to me about when she worked on such things. Engineering is mostly a hobby for many of our people, so perhaps that is why the more common terms were not shared as much outside of those who became experts, as many of us devote our lives to the Light. However, we all understand the need for the technology engineers produce.”

Well that was an interesting tidbit. “Oh, so most of your people are Paladins then?”

Brulee shrugged. “Or Priests. At least those who are adept at channeling the Light are. All… or almost all Draenei have some connection with the Light. It is just stronger with some than others.”

“So… all of you can heal and stuff?”

“More or less. Just rudimentary stuff come to the untrained though, such as healing of a bruise or minor scrape. The more complex wounds, they are requiring a more skilled hand or else the wound is made more worse.”

“Huh. That’s pretty cool. So the ones who aren’t as skilled with using the Light, they just do other things?”

Brulee nodded. “Of course. There are many roles for everyone to fill in the world, as you know. Many become warriors of some sort to protect the villages, like my brother did, alongside the Light wielding Paladins and Priests. And those who are comfortable safely wielding the powers of the Nether also fight with magic as Mages as well, such as what you do. We have faced many dangers as a people, from the Bruing Legion to the orcish hordes. Defense of our people was put at a premium. I suppose the times have been changed now that we are upon Azerothn and we have our many Allies to help and be helped by. I am sure it is a more peaceful time for our craft people. They are our engineers, as you say, and our tailors and our jewel makers. Embellishing things with jewels has always been a rather pleasant thing to do for ones armor.” She leaned in with a smile on her face. “Though I do not think any of those other types of jobs are glamorous as being a Paladin.”

“I suppose you wouldn’t.”

“Indeed.” Brulee looked up at the sky. “I suppose I have been talking long enough and you have been resting enough too, yes?”

Creme nodded. They had been sitting here for awhile, hadn’t they.

“Then let us get going,” the draenei said. She stood up, brushing whatever the rock may have left behind from her own behind and tail. It still boggled Creme’s mind that the draenei had tails. She had played around in her mind of trying to pull on Brulee’s but would imagine it would only make things horribly horribly worse for her if she did. Like shocks via the necklace worse. She wouldn’t put it past Brulee to do something like that iehter. If someone pulled on your tail it would be like someone pulling on your hair only worse, she suspected.

Creme got up too and started after Brulee, who was leading the way again. That was probably for the best, it was getting pretty dark out since the sun was almost down, and since Draenei could apparently see better in the dark… well, it just made sense.

“So… where’s your sister now?” Creme asked, trying to keep the conversation going.

Was it just her imagination or did Brulee’s back get straighter when she asked that?

“She… is in The Exodar,” Brulee responded.

“Oh. Um. Is she working there?”

There was more silence.

‘Did… did I say something wrong? We were just talking about her. I don’t see why she ahd to get all uptight about her now.’ Creme thought to herself.

“She…” started Brulee, but then she stopped speaking again. They were still walking though. Creme decided to let her sort out what Brulee was going to say. Maybe they were all out of sorts and had a fight or something.

“My sister… has been very ill. Since The Exodar crashed here. She was caught up in some of the worst of it and has been in a sleep ever since.” Brulee’s words were said with a tight voice and broken inbetween. Creme involuntarily gasped. No wonder why Brulee had spoken so fondly of her, and had been so hesitent to speak now. Creme never had any siblings, least not any real onse. But if someone she was close to at the orphanage got into serious trouble like that… a lump formed in her throat.

“Jeeze, you just can’t catch a break can you,” she murmured under her breath.

“Hm?” Brulee asked sharply. She hasn’t heard apparently, her head moved slightly to the side but the most Creme coudl amke out was one of her glowing eyes, overpowering the rest of her face.

“Oh. Just sayin’ I’m real sorry to hear that. I hope she gets better soon.”

Brulee nodded. “I agree. I had been waiting for her to wake up but-” She stopped speaking and stopped walking. Creme just about ran into her.

“But what?” she asked, sounding annoyed. The last thing she wanted to do was to run into a giant draenei carrying a huge ass sword on her back.

“Shh!” the Draenei said. Her head tilted to a side and then dodged towards some bushes to the left, grabbing Creme’s arm as well and pulling her roughly into the cover.

“Ow! Hey, what is-”

“Shh!” Brulee said again as they crouched down into the bushes.

Creme glared at her, but lowered her voice down to a whisper. “What, did you hear something?”

Brulee nodded, her eyes slitted. Probably either to keep them from being to bright in the dark… or because she was glaring at her for stating the obvious.

‘Well I didn’t hear nothing,’ Creme thought, just as there was a snap of a twig not to far ahead of them, followed by the sillouette of an large Orc, lit up from a latern behind them.

Creme’s eyes widened as she tried to make herself even smaller in the itchy bush Brulee had pulled them into, all with trying not to make another sound. Thank the Light that the orc up there didn’t pop up when they had been walking or else the sound of her breathing might’ve given them away!

They watched the latern lift up, moving from side to side. The orc was obviously looking for something; possibly even them? Hopefuly whatever landmark Brulee had seen wasn’t another orc camp of some sort.

“Do you see anything?” said a male voice in perfect Common. Creme nearly jumped in surprise from hearing that – there shouldn’t be any Common speakers outside the town.

The orc turned. “Thought I herd some noise,” the orc rumbled in less than perfect Common. It was heavily accented.

A second figure appeared in the lantern light some distance ahead. It was a human, wearing some sort of black leather, probably. But more improtantly, this human had a red mask across his face.


The human peered around the area. “I don’t see anything except some stupid plants. It was probably some animal or something.”

“Bunnies no talk.”

“Yes, that’s very astute of you.”

“I heard talk. I tink.”

“And I ‘tink’ that you should get back to camp where you should be guarding us from actual dangers, should they stumble across. Stick with the plan, o’ buddy boy.” The human slapped the shoulder of the orc.

“I been tinking dat da rewards haven’t been comin’ as soon as you sed dey would be.”

“The plan requires patience, my friend. They town is on their last legs. When tomorrow morning comes around, you all push through and round everyone up, give them a good scare. Take their loot. And then… we come and ‘chase you out’ like we planned. You get the rewards, we get the thanks of the people. And if they don’t thank us… well, at least we get the town.”

“But what if we kill all dem?”

“We still get the town. It will make a great base of operations..” The voice trailed off. It appeared that the human was leading the orc back to the camp.

They stayed still for quite some time afterwards, ears, straining to hear any more sounds from anyone else from teh camp they apparently stumbled close to. It was quiet.

Brulee was the first to move out of the bush. Creme stayed in it as the draenei looked around. The sun had completely set now, only the twilight lights in teh sky.

Brulee waved her hand for Creme to exit the bush, and so she did. The two of the scurried off in a slightly different direction set by Brulee, away from the camp but still, presumably, towards the lake and Lakeshire itself. They moved quietly at a much faster pace for Light knows how long before Brulee finally slowed down.

“I think it is safe to talk here,” she said, keeping her voice low. Creme took a couple of quick steps up to walk next to Brulee, for easier conversation.

“I am not sure what they were speaking of,” Brulee continued, frowning. “But it does not look very good for this town if there are humans working with the orcs. That seems very strange.”

Creme nodded, even though Brulee probably couldn’t see that. “Yeah. The Defias. They’re up to no good.”

“The Defias?” Brulee asked.

“Yeah. They’re… well… I guess they’re a bunch of renigade theives, now. They don’t like Stormwind at all.”

“Is that so? They are bandits, then?”

“Yeah… I’ve heard a lot of them are usually out in the woods. And over in Westfall. But I hadn’t heard of them out here before.”

“You seem to know much about them for being from the city.”

Creme shrugged. “Sometimes they try to drum up support from some folks in the city.”

“Would not the guards-”

“They aren’t doin’ it out in the middle of the streets where the guards are. They do it, you know, secret like. In the back alleys, where people who know about them or would be in favor of them would go.”

“In favor? Not many are in favor of thievery.”

“That’s not what they do – what they say they do, at least. They’re against the Crown ’cause of the riots.”

“Riots against the Crown? They are motivated by some politics?” Brulee sounded rather shocked from all of this, even with keeping their voices hushed.

“It’s complicated. I think it has to do with the Stoneworkers Guild. They were rebuilding the city. And they thought the Crown said they were getting paid. Except the Crown never paid them. And then there was riots.”

“Was this something recent?” Brulee sounded concerned.

“No. Happened when I was a kid.”

“Oh. And the Stoneworkers…?”

“Left town, driven out. One or the other. They formed the Defias. To get back at the Crown and get their payment. But it’s been some time. They’ve turned more to petty crimes than ones against the Crown itself. It hurts more of the people who didn’t go with ’em.”

“Hm… Oh. I believe we are here. At the lake.” She slowed down even more.

In front of them the lake stretched out. Creme could see Lakeshire not to far away across the Lake. They had torches going. And on either side were the orc encampments. They seemed generally peaceful now. It was likely both sides were resting this evening, for the big attack they now knew was going to happen the next morning.

<Get across the lake. Next chapter is time for preparing for battlez!>

“So now what?” Creme asked. “We swim across this lake? In the middle of the night when it’s dark. And cold.”

“That is not what I had in mind.”

Creme crossed her arms. “And what did you have in mind then? Finding a boat? I’m sure all those orc camps would be just happy to lend us one. Or were we going to just sneak through them?”

“That is not the plan at all. Don’t be silly. The plan is for you to get us there.”

“Me? You must be jokin’. I can’t get us there, it’s not like I know any teleportation or nothin’-”

Brulee put her hands out to stop the whining. “No no, it is not that. It is using the Feather spell. It was making us light as feathers, yes?”

Creme nodded slowly, dubious.

“So all we are needing is for you to be casting that spell again on us, and we shall tiptoe across the water into the town.”

“But don’t they have those barracades up? And like… be expectin’ orcs showin’ up on the water too and shoot at us and stuff?”

“Do not be worrying about that so much. I am thinking we can persuade them not to be shooting us at some distance away, and we can safely make it into town without attracting too much attention from any of the enemy encampments. Hopefully.”

“If you say so…” Creme said. She wasn’t too sure this plan would work, especially since she had never tried to walk on water with a feather fall spell on before.

“And if worse comes to worse I am sure we could swim over there,” Brulee added cheerfully.

“More like freeze to death.”

“I am very sure that the Light would keep us warm! Now then, if you would like to be focusing on casting your spell we shall see if this plan is holding water, as you say.”

“Making puns already, are we?”

Brulee sniffed. “I will have you know I am mastering the playing of words when speaking the Draeni language” ((or… not. Really she says:))  “Puns? What are you meaing?”

“Nevermind,” Creme muttered. Before the draenei could ask what she meant by that, Creme briskly started preparing the spell. “Alright, I’m gonna try castin’ it now.”

A moment’s concentration on the spell – and making it not be a fireball -and Creme carefully aimed at Brulee. The draenei glowed lightly for just a brief second as the spell settled into her.

“There. Try it out.”

Brulee did so, carefully stepping one foot – well, Creme supposed it was actually a hoof – out onto the water. It stayed on the surface of the water. The draenei moved her other hoof to the water, and it held above the surface too. She bounced a bit and didn’t sink.

“It seems to be working then,” Burlee said. She turned her head to look at the town, eyes narrowing. “It does seem to be some distance away. Will you be alright casting this spell many times?”

“Um… maybe. I haven’t done too much practice doing continuous casting stuff though…”

“Then we will have to keep a brisk pace across the water. It should not be too hard as it seems to be a very calm lake, but I am not one to be looking forward to swimming while wearing full armor.”

Creme nodded and then cast the spell on herself. It was weird seeing her hands glow so much without flames popping out. Plus she had never really noticed the glow of the Feather Fall spell before. It was pretty subtle, but I guess always got lost in the light of the day… or the heat of the moment when falling down. Usually paid more attention to the ground and not to whether there was a little extra hint of light.

She stepped out onto the water and then freshened up Brulee’s spell as well. “Let’s go.”

Brulee led their jog across the water at a brisk pace. There was no talking now, just gentle splashing noises as they went over the top of the lake. The lake was very calm, just like Brulee said it was. Creme still watched her footing though. It seemed a bit more slippery to walk on water than ground, but that sorta made sense. Plus she didn’t want to fall into the water, ’cause she reckoned if she did she’d have even more trouble casting the spells, and if she stopped casting the spells they would sink down.

And boy was the spell casting hard to keep up with, especially while running. Even though it was getting chilly out, sweat from both the jogging on concentrating on the spellcasting was dripping down her forehead not even halfway to the town.

‘And now it’s Brulee’s turn for a refresher…’ she thought to herself. The draenei was starting to sink into the water a little bit, a sure sign that the spell was weakening. Brulee’s pace didn’t slow down though, a sure sign that the Draenei trusted her… or the draenei was just really sure of her footing. Or didn’t even notice herself sinking into the lake. Or…

‘Focus!’ Creme thought. She glanced down at her hand to see that instead of the plainer arcane spell that she had already subsconsciously summoned a fireball instead of the proper feather fall spell.

“Oh fer crying out-” she said. Angrily she cast the fireball into the water on her right. It was a small one, but enough to light the area a bit before it burst into steam behind her.

Brulee heard the loud hiss from the steam, twisting about to her right while still moving forward. “What? What was-”

Creme gritted her teeth. “It was nothing,” she forced out. Concentrating, she produced the proper spell and cast it upon Brulee.

‘And now one for me.’ She knew she had slowed down some but at least Brulee had too, after hearing that noise.

“We are not too far now,” Brulee called over her shoulder. “You are doing very well.”

Creme didn’t respond. She was too tired to be talking out loud right now.

‘Says the draenei running with ease. She’s probably just patronizing me for not being as fit, for barely knowing how to do a simple spell like this. I guess Sarah was right after all, wasn’t she. That it might be handy to practice. But who woulda thought I’d be in a jam like this?’

“Oh dear. It seems that the town has noticed us already,” Brulee said. It soudned a bit quiet from where Creme was standing since the draenei was facing forward this time, apparently staring at the town and them who noticed us.

‘That… was probably my bad for not concentrating hard enough. They must’ve seen the fireball and then us ’cause not much else happens across the lake, right?’ Creme carefully conjured up the next feather spell for Brulee, making sure there wasn’t mistakes this time.

Brulee apparently noticed the slightly glow of the spell being recast, because she shouted “I think I can be sprinting there from here. I will let them know we are not bad as they can welcome us to the village.” She started to take off.

“But-” Creme called, for a moment trying to keep up. But Brulee’s warrior, er, paladin training was evident as the draenei easily pulled away.

“Do not worry!” Brulee cried out, her voice fairly distant. Creme slowed down her jog some, watching the Draenei charge the village in the distance. She was running as straight as an arrow… and then was dodge something? Was it arrows? And then the draenei raised up her arm and a dazzling light emitted from it. Wings lit up her back and the area around her was clear as day.

‘Well if my fireball didn’t alert everyone in the area to our presence than that damn well will’ It was one thing to let the villagers see that no, you weren’t some orcish invasion from the sea, but Creme was pretty sure that the orcish camps on the sides would see that too. She quickly recast her feather spell on herself and picked up the pace.

And not a moment too soon. She felt a shapr gust of air brush past the back of her head. IT mussed her hair. A quick glance towards the subsequent splash confirmed it was an arrow that went right for her head – and almost got it too! Judging from the angle it didn’t come from the town either. That means the orcs must see ’em too.

She nearly fell over onto the water in her effort to hurry up and not get shot at. A few more splashes from arrows popped up in her general location, apparently less accurate than that first shot. There were probably a good number of them aiming at her. Creme started running in an erratic pattern and speed; partly ’cause a funny moving target was harder to aim at, and partly because she was losing her balance while running on water.

Up ahead, Brulee had apparently made it to the village shore with no more trouble. Maybe she was talking with them up there at first, but she turned and pointed out to where Creme was and then obviously saw she was running for her life from something.

‘Good to see she’s at least a bit concerned.’ Creme thought. A few more arrows whizzed by. Quite a few of them were falling short. If she got a bit farther over, maybe they would get out of range. Or maybe when she got closer to the town they’d be out of range too. Brulee had the big light show but no one was shooting at her or the people who wer eon the shore.

It looked like Brulee was trying to go back out on the water but someone was holdling her back. Talking?

An arrow went close to her head again. She instinctivly ducked and kept moving forward. But finally her luck ran out as another arrow pierced her arm. Creme cried out in pain and stumbled to the water’s surface. And then fell through it.

‘The spell worse off! Damn damn damn, it hurts!’ Creme thought. She cluthced at her arm, still under the water and tried tugging at the arrow. It came out with little resistance. The water stung and the wound felt warm against the cold water. She winced and almost cried out again, if it wasn’t for all that water she would otherwise be breathing.

Creme forced open her eyes. The water stung them too, but most of her attention was more focused on the pain in her arm. And trying to get a way out of this situation alive.

She couldn’t see much with the lack of lighting. There were some blurry lights ahead, where the town was. That’s where she would have to go. Aftter getting some air. She moved towards teh surface but then an arrow plunged into teh water right where she was about to go up. It didn’t go very far down, thank the Light, but it might be more complicated if she were to surface.

‘But I need air – wait! That spell. If I can just alter it a little…’

Creme let go of her her her wound with her good arm – her right one (which was for the best since that was the arm she prefered to cast spells with) – and twisted it a bit, calling once again the arcane powers. This time she was going to focus on the ice, the water. She was in a lot of water, after all. She just needed a way to get the air without being seen.

‘First to make a pillar…’ A thin column of ice sprung forth from her hand, from the water around her.

‘And then tho hollow it.’ Ice manipulation was some of the work her teacher had her work on before. She never liked it, but it would come in handy now. If she didn’t run out of breath before she finished.

She couldn’t see it happening, but she could feel the center of her icy creation hollow out from her hand up. She made sure the top went above the water before it finished, and then placed the still sealed bottom part to her mouth. It was very cold. She hoped it wouldn’t freeze to her lips. Her right hand still held it and she opened up the bottom part.

‘Air! Sweet air!’ Creme sucked at it greedily at first, until she realized the tube was starting to melt. She redoubled her concentration on keeping the power flowing through to keep the creation from melting in the water. The water was cold but not as cold as the ice itself.

A few more arrows crashed in the water above her, but she ignored them, instead swimming steadily with her legs propelling her towards the town lights.

It took her a few minutes at least to get to shallow water where she could stand. That was probably out of range of the archers. She stood up, dropping the ice tube and letting it melt, coughing and sputtering from the water that got in, and shivering from the cold and pain. She kept walking more or less towards the town.

Creme heard a familiar voice shout “There she is!” but was too tired to acknoledge it. All the spellcasting she just did must have worn her out far too much. The second someone approached her she fell into them, blacked out.

[Raw Draft] NaNoWriMo 2011 – Chapter 7: Negotiations

5 Dec

I participated in NaNoWriMo, and here is the continued story I wrote this year.

Brulee wakes up the next day after the attack on them the night before, surprised that she isn’t dead. Creme is with her, and it turns out they had been captured by some members of the Horde! Luckily, Brulee still knows Orcish from back when Draenei used to trade with them, so she’s able to talk with them. Turns out they didn’t mean to attack them the previous night — it was just a horrible misunderstanding and  an accidentally fired arrow. Yup. Not only that, but the Horde wished to warn them that Lakeshire was under attack by orcs! And no, those orcs weren’t part of the Horde, but the people of Lakeshire thought they were! They had sent off a letter to Stormwind to tell them ‘hey, that isn’t us’ but were still scouting the area. Before any further plans were made, some of those attacking orcs snuck up on them and attacked the Horde, Brulee, and Creme! Worse, they were on the edge of a cliff, and Brulee was knocked off! And that’s the end of the chapter.

So here’s where I was trying to make up where the plot would go even more, as I hadn’t really decided what globe-trotting adventure Creme and Brulee would get into. When I was first thinking of their story, I thought that perhaps The Missing Diplomat questline would function. However, I don’t think I ever actually finished that with them before Cataclysm, and I’m not to familiar with the specific events. However, I did remember the questline involving Brother Paxton, and thought that would be enough of a springboard to get some adventuring going on.

However, I’m not sure that I will leave it as Lakeshire being under attack (or even include a scene with the Horde). I do want their story to work with the in-game RP on Feathermoon, and if I say ‘remember that time Creme and Brulee stopped that attack on Lakeshire?’, a person who lived in Lakeshire might be like ‘no I do not’. This might be hard to rectify at any rate, since I’m writing this as events that happened during WotLK, which means it’s a little dated and hard to ‘fit in’, especially if I were to ask folks if they wanted a part in this story. But I think I can worry about this another day.

Another problem with adding in a second language scene is that I had been using brackets to denote my OOO notes in the story, usually when I would take a break and wanted to easily remember what to write next. And then I used brackets to denote they were speaking Orcish. It confused me a few times, when I wondered why my note looked suspiciously like dialogue… since it was actually dialogue.

The number of typos in these later chapters is probably higher than the other ones, as I was getting a bit worried I wouldn’t finish on time. And I think I had a cold during these last few chapters too. Colds certainly leads to fun while writing!

Chapter 7: Negotiations

Her head was throbbing when she woke up. Brulee started having flashbacks to several chapters ago I mean the few short years ago when she had landed on Azeroth. But the pain she felt today was much less.But why was she head in pain? They had been going to Redridge, to Lakeshire, and then they had set up camps and then.. . Oh yes. The attack. The attack of Orcs, of all things. She had been fighting them but she was overwhelmed.

But I appear not to be dead, Brulee thought. How odd.

She groaned slightly, unbidden from her but headache was strong enough.

“Oh good, you’re awake,” Crème’s sarcastic voice said. It mostly sounded as surly as it usually did, though there was an undercurrent of worry in it.

“Indeed,” Brulee groaned. She tried bringing up her hands up to her head but found them stuck, bound behind her back.

Instead she gently cracked open her eyes. It was bright out; judging from the light it looked to be the next day, during the midday. Their surroundings looked vaguely familiar, though it wasn’t an area they had passed through before. So they were still in the Redridge mountain area. They were in some sort of encampment, or at least at the edge of it. There were a few tents amoungst the small group of trees they were in, a simple stone campfire, a few supply packs lying around. Near them lay their own supplies, and if she was hearing things right their horses were nearby too. There was no sign of their apparent captors, thought.

“What happened?” she asked, and then grimanced at the sound of her voice some more. It was croaking from being so dry.

“I was gonna ask you that,” Crème replied. Her voice didn’t sound much better. But at least she looked well enough, from what Brulee could see. A little dirty and her hair was all over the place, but not more worse from wear than she was.

“We were attacked by some Orcs but I got overwhelmed during the fight,” Brulee said. “I am pretty sure they had snuck one of their number up behind me and knocked me out.”

“Yeah, they knocked me out too. My head is killin’ me.”

“Agreed. I would do more to help but my hands are tied.” Brulee lifted her amrs up slightly from behind her back to demonstrate. “And I have just woken up now so I am not knowing what happened after I was knocked out.”

“Well I’m guessing they took us to this camp of theirs,” Crème said with an obligatory eyeroll. “I’ve been awake for an hour or so and I’ve seen ‘em walkin’ around a lot. I think they’re all doing some more plotting or whatever the Horde does when they get prisoners.”

“Oh! They are part of the Horde?”

Crème nodded. “Most of ‘em were wearing some sorta red tabard with a picture on it that  I’m pretty sure is the symbol of the Horde.”

“But we are not at active war with the Horde! What business do they have capturing citizens of the Alliance?”

“Pretty sure a concept like ‘active war’ isn’t held by all of them, otherwise they wouldn’t be attacking us, would they.”

“But this is Alliance territory. It would not stand for them to be here.”

“Well there weren’t very many of them. Only ten or so.”

“That is true.. .” Brulee said. In fact, she noted there were less than she was expecting during her skirmish with them the previous night.

“They tried to talk with me earlier, when I woke up,” Crème continued. “But I didn’t understand anything they were saying. It was all gibberish to me, and I guess they didn’t understand the Common I was speaking. Well, at least not very much. They had one of them cow people with them and they had a few words they could say that I understood, but it was all really heavily accented and some of it didn’t make sense. They gave up after awhile.”

Whatever questions Brulee wanted to ask her ward had to be put off for the moment, for one of their captors walked back to the area of the camp that they were in. It looked to be like a common Orcish soldier, if Brulee was to be the judge of things.

<Hey! I think the Draenei chick woke up,> he shouted in Orcish, turning to face where Brulee assumed the rest of his companions were. Brulee was pleasantly surprised to realize she still remembered some of the orcish she had learned when on Draenor. This would make it much easier to communicate.

The rustling of branches and twigs alerted them to the arrival of some more members of the Horde; two more orcs, a tauren, and an undead Forsaken. Brulee kept her eyes on their enemies, though she could see Crème stiffen at the sight of the Forsaken. Who could blame her, seeing the dead walk? Many in Stormwind has shared stories about the fall of the north to the Scourge, and no matter whether they worked with the orcs or were mindless creatures of violence, they were always viewed as the enemy. (The Forsaken was apparently used to reactions like the one Crème had. It waved and grinned at her, creepily.)

One of the orcs looked young, like the one currently in the camp. She had more decorative mantles than the other one though. The third orc was grizzled and old; Brulee could see his eyes had the red taint upon them. She had later learned that demons from the Legion had corrupted their former trading partners, before they had left to attempt to conquer Azeroth. Later the demonic forces that controlled them were removed, but signs of the taint that once existed in them remained.

The Tauren, a towering presence even for being female (usually lesser in stature than their male counterparts), stayed farther away from them, arms crossed and watching as the two newcomer orcs approached. The older male stayed in the lead.

He stopped a few feet from them, looking between the girl and the Draenei. His eyes seemed to linger an extra long time at Crème. Brulee could see that the girl was trying her best to not freak out and keep her usual too cool for you demeanor. Emphasis on trying.

<Do you speak Orcish?> rumbled the leader orc. He seemed resigned to the fact that their troops were not as equipped to speak Common as he had hoped. BRulee was sure that their earlier conversation with Crème was discouraging. But he obviously had some hopes that she could speak Orcish, and he was right to do so.

<I do speak some, yes,> Brulee responded. She could see Crème boggle at her out of the corner of her eye.

“Wha- you speak the same as them?” she squeaked.

“Yes. We used to trade with them, you know.”

“With the bloodthirsty orcs?”

“They weren’t always bloodthirsty-“

<What are you speaking about?> the orc interrupted. He looked unhappy that they were speaking freely. He obviously couldn’t understand the Common that they spoke.

<I am explaining why I can speak Orcish, Mister…?>

<General Stormblade,> he corrected. <Please focus on our conversation for now, Miss…?>

<Paladin Brulee. A pleasure to meet you under such nice circumstances. May I ask as to why we are captured and bound in a territory where you have no juristdiction? This could be considered an act of war.> She watched as the Orc frowned; possibly partly from her accent. It was rather atrosious.

<Hrn. I apologize for the situation. We were thinking of a way to peacefully ask you questions at your camp, but Bonecrusher here was playing with his bow and arrow – against orders I may add – and happened to shoot at your tent.>

Brulee raised an eyebrow. The orc that had called the others over did looked particularly chagrinned.

<And you expect us to believe that?>

<It is farfetched, I know. But we mean neither you nor your companion any harm.>

<Then why are we still bound?>

<Your attack against us, while justified, was rather violent. We wished to talk to you to get a truce before letting you go.>

Brulee eyed him for a moment. It all sounded very suspicious, especially considering how much they fought back. But it was true that she did strike first, didn’t ask questions later.

<Very well. Undo our bonds so we may talk.>

The orc stared at her again, no doubt thinking the same things that she was about their conversation.

<Fill in your companion and then we shall do so. And no weapons for you, either.>

<That is fine.> Brulee then turned to Creme. “They say they just wish to talk and will undo our bonds.”

“Just wish to talk?! After knocking me upside the head and then tying us up here? I doubt it. They’ll kill us in a a minute, no doubt about it!”

“I am not so sure. He seems sincere enough, for an Orc. And his friend does appear to be stupid enough to accidentally let loose an arrow. So we shall let them undo our bonds. Do not be attacking them when they do so. We shall see if talking is all they wish to do. If so, all will be well. If not, we cna fight better with our hands free, yes?”

Creme nodded. “I guess so…”

Brulee nodded and turned her head to the Orc General. <My companion understands the situation. If you would kindly untie the bonds?>

General Stormblade grunted in acknowledgement and waved a hand forward. The two orcs deftly moved forward and cut their bonds. Both started to rub their wrists to ease the tension there.

<What do you wish to speak about that would require you to kidnap members of the Alliance?> Brulee asked the General pointedly.

<Kidnap? We did… well, I suppose you could view it as such. But this is a longer story. Come sit at our encampment to discuss it, unless you would prefer to stand here.>

<We can talk here.> Brulee said. If it came down to another fight, she felt that this environment would be safer, especially if there were more of them elsewhere.

<Very well. Let me explain the situation then. Feel free to translate for your companion as needed.> The General glanced at Creme.

“He’s going to explain what’s going on,” Brulee said. “I will explain the important parts to you.”

“Like the part where they beat us up and why they did that? Because that would be swell.”

“Indeed.” Brulee said to her. <Please go on,> she directed at the Orc.

General Stormblade nodded yet again before launching into his explanation. <As you may be aware, there is a set of Orcs not associated with the Horde; a clan of former Dragon controllers. A subset of them live not far from your Alliance town of Lakeshire. There presence was noticeable, but did not concern Horde affairs. And I am guessing that their presence ws not large enough for the Alliance to go take care of them.>

He paused in a few places to allow Brulee to translate his words.

<However, they have recently amassed a seige of some sort against Lakeshire, a seige.>

<Why would that be of concern to the Horde?> Brulee asked, confused.

(( They had received a missive! ))

<Apparently they had managed to get word out of town that this seige, caused by these random orcs, was actually an organized attack by the Horde!>

Brulee squeezed her fists tight. <Which would explain your presence here.>

THe orc sighed. <WE are here because of that letter that was sent out. Apparently your Alliance cannot spare an army to route their supposed Horde foe. They sent a missive to Orgrimmar asking us to cease our attack or they woudl be forced to attack us.> He snorted a laugh. <We were quite surprised to hear that we had infiltrated the middle of the Alliance territory with an army that didn’t exist to attack a town that we had no reason to be attacking. That is why we were dispatched, to investigate the situation.>

Brulee raised her eyebrow. <That is a likely story, I am sure.>

<It is true,> interjected the female orc. Brule presumed she was second in command. <We would not mount a scouting expedition here of all palces if it were not. The real action is in Northrend.>

That, at least, was true. Brulee vaguely recalled that the reason she was sent to Stormwind in the first place was because so many of the Alliance were sent to Nrothrend. If that was the case, it would make sense that the Alliance couldn’t protect their own people.

“They’re probably right about the Alliance being unable to send an army,” Creme supplied after Brulee finished translating that part. “Stormwind’s always been letting peopel further out fend for themselves.”

“Really? They could not spare some of their forces?”

Creme shrugged. “Guess they figure if you live farther away you’ll be tough enough to fend for yourself.”

Sounded rather rough. Brulee knew that her people would not leave each other in their times of need. She supposed those humans had a different mentality.

<So the Horde could not muster an army to root out the pretenders?> she asked.

The Genreal replied again. <We didn’t know at the time what was going on here. We’re just a scouting party. If they were Horde troops we were to give them orders to cease their attack. IF they were not… well, we were to report back. And we are quite sure that they are not members of the Horde.> The orcs exchanged nods.

<They were very aggressive when we attmpted to make contact with one of their camps,> supplied the female commander. <And after we dealt with that encampment, we took a good look at their supposed Horde symbols. The flags and tabards were old and tattered. It was apparent they had been stealing older supplies from somewhere. Some of the symbols and colors used were even outdated from the ones issued to current soldiers.>

The General nodded in agreement. <We’ve already sent our mage back to Org with our report that these orcs are not ours and we’re waiting for a response. I’m sure that this report will be sent off to the Alliance as soon as possible.>

<If that’s the case, why did you attack us?> Brulee asked, apparently exasperating the Orc some more.

<We had only wished to talk to you to see if you had heard of any trouble happneing to Lakeshire. We haven’t seen anyone come up the road there of late and wished to ask some questions.> he said.

<Well, we have seen a few other sets of humans,> the woman orc chimed in. <But most of them ran away when we tried to approach all peaceful like, and Paweh’s Common isn’t as good as she thought it was.> She gestured back at the Tauren, who looked a bit embarrassed.

<I ken at least write common fairly well,> Brulee heard the Tauren mumble.

Her comment was apparently ignored as the orc General Stormblade went on to explain more.

<But you are one of those Draenei. When Reggie-> he indicated the undead <- scouted you headin toward Lakeshire, I figured you might be able to understand Orcish, given our… history.>

<I suppose you guyessed right. But approaching our camp at night? Armed with arrows which you shot at the tent?>

<Sorry,> mummbled Bonecrusher.

<He’s not the brightest. But Reggie was unable to report back to us until night fell and he wasn’t sure where you made camp until he saw the fire. We appraoched late and were discussing the best way to appraoch you without starting anything but…>

<Obviouysly you failed at that regard.> Brulee finished for him.


<So is the attack on Lakeshire all you wished to talk to us about? We thank youf or the warning, but we still have pressing business to attend to there…>

The General gave her a stern look. <It woudl be foolhardy for you to go to Lakeshire without a force large enough to route the enemy. The other travelers we have seen were captured or killed by those renigades around, or ran from there. MEanwhile the entire town isn’t captured yet, but is complete surrounded. I am doubtful that any of their people have managed to sneak through he blockade.>

<You were merely wishing to warn us of the danger?> Brulee asked. She put a hand on her hip, doubtful about their intentions. Though they still hadn’t turned on them.

<Well, we were also hoping you could report the situation back to your capitol, in case you arrive there before our own message does. After all, it would be more believeable coming from Alliance members than those from the Horde.>

<And we are just supposed to take your word for it and wander back to Stormwind? I think not.> Brulee scoffed.

The General’s brow furrowed tightly; he looked quite annoyed. <Fine then. We shall go scout Lakeshire yet again so you can see with your own eyes what has befallen the town. Your things are in the main camp. Gather them up and eat and then we shall move out.>

He turned to address the rest of his troops about this turn of events as Brulee filled in the last part of the conversation to Creme.

“If they are tellin’ the truth, it sure would explain why none of the letters have been delivered ((though why would those letters be returned and the letter carrier wasn’t explaining why they couldn’t deliver them? Maybe this ie being kept hush hush)) and he hasn’t gotten any of his ore.” Creme said, still rubbing her wrists some.

“But I have my doubts if they are telling the truth. I shall feel better once I have my sword and armor once again.”

“Sure. I really don’t like the looks that old talkin’ one kept giving me either. It was kinda creepy.”

“Yes, I was noticing that. But he doesn’t seem to wish to cause us any more harm or inconvenience us much more further, so we shall go ahead with their plans for now.”


The orc was true to his word. They collected their armor and weapons. Brulee made sure to equip herself with all of her armor, that she did not have that evening. She also had the time to patch up the bumps on her and Creme’s head by using the healing power of the Light.

After their break they left a few of them at that camp, lest their messenger return and find them not there. General Stormblade and the Tauren Paweh led, both riding wolves (they did better in this territory than Kodos, Paweh had quietly explained). Brulee and Creme both rode their horses. The dreaenei had a hard time convincing the human to ride her own mount, but if they were to make a break for it, she would feel guilty if she left the other horse to the captors. And apparently the girl learned faster under pressure, because she hadn’t fallen off yet. Brulee kept her ahead of her, so she could better monitor the girl’s progress on the horse, just in case she fell so she could easily helped her before one of the Horde members decided to.

Leading from behind them was the rogue, Reggie. He was on an undead horse, which Creme did not like the look of (Brulee didn’t either, but she didn’t make it obviously as such). The undead did keep his distance from them, either out of respect for Creme’s apparent uneasiness or because there was some strategic advantage to lagging behind. Maybe both were applicable reasons.

It was mid-afternoon when Stormblade held up his hand, calling for a stop.

<We’re here,> he said. <Across this lake we can see the town of Lakeshire, and we can see what is happening there from here safely. Well, relatively safely.>

Brulee dismounted and walked over to Creme, who was still on her horse. “Come now, we can see what is going on from here,” she said quietly. She held out a hand for Creme to hold as she got down. Creme used it but uttered no thanks. It was a step up, though, as at least she didn’t ignore the hand as she no doubt would have before.

General Stormblade and Paweh had already crept forward to the line of trees and bushes at the cliff’s edge. Their journey had taken them high into the mountains; a short conversation with Creme had confirmed that Lakeshire was indeed ‘thataway’ and you ‘could probably see it from up higher from teh mountains around it, yeah’ which was more or less a solid confirmation that they weren’t being led astray, coming from her ward. It was no surprise, then, that the path they had chosen to take led upwards to a cliff edge in the mountain range.

She and Creme moved up to the foliage lining the cliff as well, taking up a position next to the Tauren.

Stormblade gestured off to his left and downwards. <See? This is the city.>

Brulee and Creme both followed his gaze. She had to squint a bit against the sun’s glare, and because they were so high up, but the damage below was clear – Lakeshire was definitely under siege.

Tall baracades of some material, msot likely wood, surrounded most sides of the town, except the areas that bordered the water. No wait, there were some stakes pointing out from there, small but pointy enough to stop any who wanted to swim to shore before a defense could be mounted. There were the remains of a dock there, either torn down to build up their walls or destroyed in some sort of attack.

Outside the borders of the town were many encampments. They were on all sides, but most especially on the road and bridge that was the main route that went past the town.

<At least fifty of them waiting outside the town,> the General said. <And we know there are more patrolling the nearby roads and such. Do you believe me now when I say that the town was under seige?>

<Yes, I do. But are you sure that these are not Horde troops?> Brulee asked, doubt in her voice.

Stormblade growled in frustration. <Of course! Otherwise we would stop this madness.>

<Some of us don’t want full on war with the Alliance,> Paweh added.

<There are more important things going on in the world right now,> Stormblade said. Brulee wasn’t too sure if he actually was against fighting the Alliance, but certainly against attacks on a town such as this.

<I am surprised to hear that you would not wish such attacks to be done on villages of innocents,> Brulee said, glancing at the General with hard eyes. If he had assumed that she could speak Orcish, it was well enough to assume that he knew of the attacks orcs did against her unsuspecting people, driving them into hiding.

He moved away from the cliff’s edge and stood, eyes still locked on Brulee’s. <Times have changed, Draenei. The demon’s blood no longer fills our actions with unending rage and need for battles. I had felt it drain even as we had gone through the portal to this world, and if I could change anything it would have been to stop our slaughtering of the innocents, the ones who were not warriors.> His face softened for one moment before the grizzly winkles appeared in full yet again. <But I cannot, and now can only try to protect the innocents in this world who are not prepared for the vigors of battle.> He looked at Creme again. The girl was ignoring their conversation, focused still on the sight of Lakeshire. Most likely she was tuning out all of their prattle anyway, as it was in a language she did not understand and was likely to never really want to learn anyway.

Brulee stood too, brushing off some dirt from her knees, only after backing away from the cliffs edge. It was a little too high for her comfort.

<That is very admirable of you,> she said, trying to keep her voice light and neutral. To not betray her anger at him, for all the suffering so many families – her family – had suffered because of his race.

If he had heard his irritation, he said nothing about it. Instead, he merely turned his attention to Creme and the Tauren, who were still surveying the town.

The stood there for a few minutes before he spoke up again.

<This human you travel with… she looks familiar to me.>

<Oh, she does? Is that why you’ve been looking at her so much?>

<Yes. Have you noticed much?> He seemed a little concerned.

<Yes, or I wouldn’t have pointed it out.>

<Hrn. I suppose so. Yes, she reminds me of another human that was her age years ago, when we first came to this planet. It was sometime after the destruction of their city… I was with a scouting party and we came across a small group of humans fleeing.>

<And did you slaughter them without mercy?>

The General shot her a fierce glare. <Watch your tongue, Draenei. Do you think I would be speaking to you of slaughtered innocents? That would lack tact.>

<I would not put it past you.>

Stormblade sneered at her, but continued on with his tale. <The demonic influences were lessened, and they were obviously not looking for a fight. I had our scouting party gurad them overnight and escort them to some routes I knew were safe from less… kind orcs who were still filled with bloodcraze. I had befriended one of them during this time, a young human girl. She was a sharp one. Think she even picked up a snatch of Orcish during that week. She’s the one that reminds me of that one there.> He pointed at Creme.

<What was her name?> Brulee asked.

<Hrn… I believe it was something like… Elize?> The orc sputtered out the foreign name. Apparently Creme had been paying attention to their conversation because her head shot up, eyes shifting warily from the Orc to Brulee.

“What did he just say?” Creme asked suspiciously.

“Oh. General Stormblade was just telling me that you reminded him of another human he had met once, someone called Elize.”

Creme stood up sharply. “Elise? Did he say Elise?” Her eyes were opened wide; she seemed very surprised and nervous.

<Yes, that’s how you say the name,> Stormblade said, nodding to Creme. <Does the girl know this human?>

Brulee quickly translated this as Creme continued to ask questions of her own.

“What did she look like?” Creme asked. “Brown hair? Brown eyes? About this tall or so?” She was very frentic as Stormblade provided affirmative answers. Both he and Brulee were surprised at Creme’s sudden interest in their conversations.

Brulee eventually tried to calm Creme, holding her shoulders to keep her from wiggling about and to focus their conversation. “Creme, calm down. Do you know who he is talking about?”

The girl’s face was pale. “Yeah,” she said in a barely audible voice, “I think he’s talking about my Mom.”

It was Brulee’s turn to be surprised. She mentioned this tidbit of information in orcish, while still holding Creme.

<What a coinsidence,> murmured the General. Even the Tauren had stopped watching the village to pay attention to this soap opera drama (though it appeared the undead was sulking off somewhere where they couldn’t see, being a proper rear guard).

“Are you sure?” Brulee asked quietly, searching Creme’s eyes. The human looked about ready to cry.

Creme nodded. “Y-yeah. Mom had told me a few times about when she was escapin’ from Stormwind, csome Orcs found them. But they were good Orcs. And she made a friend. … She always said she wanted to meet him again someday but-” she cut off, obviously holding back some tears. Brulee tucked her gently against her armor and rubbed her back.

Stormbalde was frowning. <What is the matter with her? Is everything alright?>

<Her mother had passed away years ago,> Brulee said quickly. The orc nodded, understanding.

<I am… sorry to hear that. I would have hoped to meet her again someday under nicer circumstances. It is an honor to meet her child.>

Brulee translated quietly as Creme collected herself. She was trying not to cry, so there were only a few tears for her to wipe away.

Then from down the path from which they came there were some noises. All of them turned their heads to look down that way.

<We were followed! Incoming!> came a cry from Reggie. Brulee couldn’t see him, but that didn’t mean his didn’t mean his warning didn’t hold true. Their group quickly prepared for battle. Creme looked confused for a moment.

“What’s going on?”

“We’re under attack. Prepare yourself,” Brulee said quickly.

“Wha?” came Creme’s reply, but she ignored in favor of pulling out her sword and moved forward in front of Creme a bit, away from the cliff edge. The General too pulled out a sword and charged forward, while the Tauren hung back some. No matter.

They did not get far before a small group of orcs burst through the foilage; Reggie was nowhere in sight.

<We have you now, spies!> shouted one, charging at the General.

Brulee had no time to pay attention to how he handled his foe, because two of the orcs charged at her. Her brought up her sword sideways across her chest, parrying their overhead swings. Using the momentum of their strikes she turned sideways, causing them to pass her due to their charge. Well, the one who struck the end of her sword passed her; the other held his ground. He attempted to disarm her by bring his sword up rapidly while it was still under hers, but she lifted her sword out of the way and attempted to swipe below his feet. He stepped away.

She could hear the other orc behind her charge at her again. She dodged sideways and this time parried his blow. They exchanged a few more swipes at each other, dancing about the clearing.

She realized too late, when one of the orcs started grinning widely, that she had moved dangerously close to the edge of the cliff.

She planted her hooves firmly as they both in tandem struck her sword. She blocked, but her hooves slipped. The backmost one slipped off the edge of the cliff.

The attackers did nothing but turn away as they watched her teeter at the edge of the cliff and fall with scream.

[Raw Draft] NaNoWriMo 2011 – Chapter 6: To Redridge

4 Dec

I participated in NaNoWriMo, and here is the continued story I wrote this year.

Creme and Brulee travel to Redridge. Along the way, Creme makes a fool of herself by thinking Brulee doesn’t care that she’s an orphan. They then make a camp, including a campfire. Brulee tries to help Creme learn to use other spells besides just fire ones. And then they are attacked by a group of mysterious strangers and poor Creme gets to black out again at the end of the chapter. That seems to happen to her a lot.

I think this chapter is when Creme starts to act a little nicer, due to her social faux pas.

It’s also a chapter where I make up some more mage-based technobabble on how they cast spells.

And a chapter where there’s gratuitous word count upping by describing and explaining in detail how to set up a proper campfire. I think it probably should be removed. XD

Also, at some point I had to write some of this chapter in Word, since I didn’t have internet connection. So if you see accent marks or funny quote marks, that would be why.

Chapter 6: To Redridge

The day was going much better than Creme had hoped.Sure, falling off the stupid horse repeatedly had pretty much sucked. Riding on the same horse with Brulee looked stupid and was vaguely embarrassing. But really – who thought it was common knowledge to ride a horse? She was lucky to have even seen horses before, let alone ride them. And none of the mages she ever talked to mentioned riding horses as part of their job.

Though now that she thought about it, she had seen most of her teachers ride one at one point or another. Maybe that was just something they kept newbies like her from learning how to do until they learned to control all types of magic.

Which wasn’t enough motivation for her. From what she experienced so far, riding was stupid, boring, uncomfortable, and painful. Why would she want to become a skilled mage if the reward was getting thrown off a horse? And horses were smelly anyway. She could hardly imagine keeping one, or even hanging around stables like those boys did. Some of the other orphans would do that, to try and become like those other stableboys. They would say that it would be a good introduction to a steady career. Creme just thought they smelled like horse poo all the time. Who in there right mind would want to smell like that?

But anyway, now the day was looking up. Sure, she was still avoiding riding the horse by herself, and was still having to ride along with Brulee, but at least she didn’t have to go to that service thing Brulee was looking forward to. She hated attending services about the Light. Riding seemed a lot better than that.

Plus, the draenei seemed to enjoy riding in silence. She kept looking around at all the boring trees and grass and whatever else all the nature around them contained. Flowers, no doubt. There were always flowers. And bugs. Creme knew there were bugs; they kept biting her. Her hands kept moving to swat them away. Apparently the bugs didn’t bother Brulee though, ’cause her hands were steady on the reins the whole time.

Probably had something with her being a Draenei. Maybe the biters didn’t like the way her blood tasted or the way she smelled. Lucky thing, she was.

And now they were almost to the border of Redridge. Creme had been making out the tops of the red peaks from between the trees for some time now; she was certain Brulee could see them too, with all her looking about at everything. Soon they would cross the bridge over the river and get into the valleys between all the peaks, where most everyone who lived in Redridge was. ((Double check that they cross a river into Redridge))

“This’ll be the farthest I’ve been from Stormwind my whole life,” Creme mused.

“Is that so?”

Damn. There I go again, speaking out loud. I gotta remember to keep my mouth shut around her. Don’t want to let her think that we could even be friends with these damn necklace things on.

But she had spoken, so felt compelled to respond. “Yeah.” At least a one-word answer would probably silence the lady.

“You have always lived in Stormwind?” Brulee asked gently.

“Most of my life. Before that we lived out in the forest, not too far from the city.”


“Me and my mom.”

“Oh. And you both moved into the city?”

“No. She died.”

There was a brief silence.

“I am sorry for your loss. May the Light be with her soul,” Brulee said. The words stung at Creme. How many times had she heard those words, or at least similar ones, coming from the Paladins, the Priests, the guards, in passing, not really caring.

“No you’re not. You wouldn’t know anythin’ ’bout it,” Creme spat out in a whisper, turning her head to the side. There she stewed in the silence between them. Served the Draenei right for bringing it up, for  trying to connect with her.

“Both of my parents were killed in an Orc raid upon my people,” Brulee said stiffly, from behind her. Creme’s breath caught in her throat. “I pray each night for their souls to be watched by the Light, as I do for my brother and ever other friend who has left this world and as I will do for your mother.” Creme watched as the Draenei’s hands tightened on the reigns. “Do not be so quick to judge the experiences of others, lest you also be judged by them.”

Silence descended upon them once again, broken only by the sounds of both horses feet upon the dirt path. Brulee’s grip upon the reigns remained tight and she seemed to be holding herself more stiff than before, trying to avoid contact with her. It was many minutes before Creme could muster enough courage to speak again.

“I.. I’m sorry,” she managed to say.

Brulee gave a non-commital grunt. Creme really hoped that she was accepting the apology.

The silence between them carried on as they traveled across the large stone bridge into Redridge. The sun was setting as they did so, it would soon be dark, and they would not be at a town. Guess that’s what happens when you start a day’s journey with less than half a day’s worth of light left.

Just as the sun was about to dip completely below the horizon, Brulee stopped their horse. “It will be too dark soon. We will set up a camp here.”

Creme said nothing as she dismounted, in a much more clumsy fashion than Brulee would do, even with the Draenei’s funny legs. She tried to emulate the motion, but as she did not have stirrups when riding on the same horse as her mentor, she could not brace her foot while slinging her other leg over. The best she could manage was gently sliding/falling over to one side, clinging to the horses neck for dear life. It was a wonder the horse didn’t try to shake her off with all the pushing and pulling she did to it.

Brulee swiftly dismounted once Creme had gotten off, with great precision in her movements. She quickly undid the lead between the horses and led them off to the left side of the road. Creme followed.

The landscape in the area was much different than Elwynn. It boggled Creme’s mind that just moments (hours?) ago they had been in a lush green forest full of pines and leafy trees with brilliant colored grasses and bushes. Now they were surrounded by reddish brown peaks in the distance, with few trees to be seen. The grass was much more sparse, a lighter hue, with the red-brown soil peaking through. The bugs seemed to be the same though.

The paladin led them further away from the road, to a small area tucked in between some folds in the cliffs. There were high walls surrounding three sides of the clearing, thought the ‘entrance’ spanned about ten or twelve yards or so.

“We will be making camp here. It is far enough from the road to avoid any unwanted travelers attention from there, and protected by this cliff from the other sides.”

The Draenei thrust the reins of the horses at Creme. “Hold these.” Creme did so and watched as Brulee pulled the packs off of Willow and found one of the stakes that was in the packs, along with a hammer. She deftly struck the stake into the ground, and then held out her hand to Creme for the reins again. Creme led the horses to her, and she tied them to the stake.

“Do you know how to make a tent?” Brulee asked.

“Make a tent? But they gave us tents.”

Brulee sighed. “I am meaning, to set on up, to sleep in.”

“No. I’m pretty much a city girl.”

“Humph. Then tonight you shall be learning to set a tent up. Remove it from the pack please.”

Creme did so without arguement, and continued to follow Brulee’s instructions with only a few incidents of torn fabric that needed to be sewn. It was almost completely dark by the time the tents were finally up.

<do some more camp things: gather firewood, light fire for warmth/heating some food, try to light orb with magic but fail, start to have more heart to hear discussions>

“That took longer than I was hoping it to. We are still needing to gather some firewood,” Brulee said. She dusted some of the dirt off of her hands. Creme could see her glowing eyes examine her, judging her.

“I can go get some,” Creme volunteered.

More appraising looks were shot her way. “No; I shall be getting the wood.”

Great. She didn’t trust me to go off and pick up some sticks.

“In the meantime,” Brulee said, “you may go through the packs and find something suitable to eat for dinner. Not too much though. It is meant to last several days during our trip.” With that, the Draenei spun around quickly and walked off into the woods.

And she doesn’t trust me to pick out a reasonable amount of food for dinner either, Creme thought. AT least she would know how to do that. And who couldn’t pick out firewood anyway? You’d just grab some sticks from a tree or something. There was plenty of wood around.

Grumpily, the human turned to the packs and started to dig around. It was getting pretty hard to see what all was in there, and she ahdn’t really paid attention to where everything was put when the packs were, well, packed. But it wouldn’t be tooo hard to find the food, she hoped. All they would need is a bit of that bread-like stuff and some of the cheese because that was way more parishable than some of the other things and it was best to eat it first. And some of the jerky too. That would really hit the spot.

Still none of those items turned up in her search of the pack. It was mostly just clothes and other random things that she was sure that would not come in handy while they were traveling. Why did they need all that stuff anyway? Oh, it was sleeprolls for the inside of the tents. Maybe those would be handy. And a blanket. It was rather chilly outside, even with it being fairly warm during the day.

But still no sign of food. She contemplated making herself a little fireball in her hands to see things better with, but that was probably a bad idea. Creme was pretty sure that Brulee would not approve, which  on its own wasn’t a good enough reason not to do it. But coupled with the necklace of doom and the fact that the last time she had made a fireball orb to see by she set lots of things on fire (accidentally, even! She hadn’t even meant to set them on fire in the first place! It was just that fire came so naturally too her. The other aspects that other mages controlled with ease seemed too finiky for her, and it was hard to control all that fire that would want to so willingly be channeled by her.

Ah, here was some of the bread stuff. Tack, or whatever it was called. The priests at the Abbey kept it on hand for travelers and sent out shipments for soldiers. They were so lucky to get some of that instead of the real bread. Brulee had accepted it graciously of course. Creme was pretty sure the Draenei actually had meant that it was appreciated and really wanted it. She was also pretty sure that the Draenei had never eaten it before.

Creme had, though. A few times it was stolen – she did not consider Stormwind’s guards to be above being targeted for theft. Other times it was a kind ‘gift’ to the orphanage from some ‘generous’ donor, given to the children when times were tough. She certainly hoped that the ‘kind donors’ weren’t actually the folks at the Abbey and were instead from some rich fatcat who just wanted to look kind for giving food to adorable children on a budget (And there were plenty of those bu tthat was a story for another day).

She bit off a corner of the tack. Yup, it tasted exactly like the type she had had before; dry, crustly, and generally tastless. Nutritional her butt.

There was a rustling noise from behind her. Creme stood up hastily, arms loaded with some of the food from the packs. In the dim light she made out Brulee’s figure.

“I am returned,” the draenei said. Her arms were full with what Creme assumed to be wood. Some of it looked a bit small though.

“There are not as many trees in this area so there is not as much wood to be finding. However the… how you say, pines? Yes, the pine trees have many dry needles about them that will make for good fire starting.” She paused. “Though I suppose I had no need to worry about starting a fire when we have a mage skilled at such things.”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever. Why didn’t you just use the stuff on that tree over there?” Creme pointed over to one of the single trees in view.

The blank look that Brulee gave her was facinating to say the least.

“You do not simply burn a living tree! Do you know nothing of setting up the fires for camp? Without magic? A living tree contains far too much moisture. You must be finding already dead limbs from a tree.”

Creme stayed silent during this admonishing, rather resentful. How was she supposed to know this cmaping business? She had planned to live in Stormwind her whole life; there wasn’t any need to learn to set up a fire on her own. Either her magic would take care of it or someone who actually owned the fire would. And wood came from bundles sold by, well, woodsmen, not from the ground around them.

Brulee was busily preparing an area for the wood to rest as the light around them grew less and less with each passing moment. Creme watched out of the corner of her eye. The two larger logs went on top, in an area not too far from the tent. Underneath were the medium sized ones, with the little bits of pine all set up to be underneath it all.

Brulee waved her over. “Come here, and set but a spark of fire to this. You can do that right?”

“Of course,” Creme snidly remarked.

“Give me to food as you do so then,” Brulee said, standing up from the kneeling position she had held moments before. Her arms outstretched for the food selection Creme had made and was still holding, and Creme bundled it over, trying and succeeding in not spilling any of the food to the ground.

“Watch me,” she replied. Gently she coaxed some flame to her hand; it was quite bright in the descending darkness, even the small amount she had made. She tried to make it even smaller, on the tips of her fingers, as she knelt closer to the wood pile.

“Make sure you light the little ones on the bottom,” Brulee said.

“Jeeze I know!” Creme deftly touched her sparked fingers to the pine needles below. They sparked up and soon the pile of logs was merrily aglow (or did she mess it up completely? Eh).

Brulee nodded in approval. “Well, fire mage, you are useful for one thing. Now shall we see what you picked out for dinner?”

<Random scene in which an orb is attempted to be lit for light.>

“Ah, but campfires are not the only thing that can give out light while on the road, yes? Especially not for a mage such as yourself. Or at least it should not be troubling.”


“Yes!” Brulee beamed as they sat by the campfire, dinner most definitely finished being eaten. “Your teacher, the Magister Smith, she has given me something for you to practice on and I am thinking that this would be a good opprotunity to be trying it out, as it is rather dark except for that fire being there.”

Creme groaned. How like her ‘teacher’ to give her ‘guardian’ some stupid project or homework to do while she was out. It was like being in regular school at the orphanage all over again. ‘Make sure you count how many apples everyone eats during class today’ she’d ask. ‘Don’t forget your homework if you’re going to the park!’ Oy.

“Do not be so negative about these things,” Brulee said, obviously catching Creme’s lack of excitement in trying to do whatever the project her teacher thought she was going to do. “It is a very handy skill to have. I am sure there are many people who would be quite happy to be learning about the arcane like you are.”

“Then why don’t they? I’d ‘be happy to be learning’ about something complete different.”

“Learning to be a mage is not always a choice for one to take, if the knowledge of the arcane is already embedded within your heart. Now, here is the training that is to be done.” Brulee deftly rummaged into one of the bag sthey had originally brought for their journey and produced a small clear orb.

“Oh, not this again,” Creme said.

“You are already knowing what is to be done?” Brulee said cheerfully. “Good! Now take this and do as your teacher had instructed, to put light in the orb.”

Brulee tossed the crystal orb over to Creme, which the human caught instinctly and then stared at it vacantly.

“Who ever thought putting light in an orb would be a good idea?”

Brulee tsked at her. “Come now, it is a very useful thing to have. If the light can be sustained without a mage present, it can provide useful glow with only minor recharging, which certainly saves on other material costs. It provides a nice steady glow unlike the flames normally produce, which is good if a more natural steady light is needed for a task one needs to complete.”

“But doesn’t it take, like, a very high level mage to do any of that fancy permanent glow stuff? That’s way out of my league.”

“Hmm, maybe this is something that comes more easily to Draenei magi.”

Creme rolled her eyes. “Yeah right. Our archmages could take on your archmages any day.”

Brulee chuckled. “If you are saying so. But this is still a useful skill. Even applying the glow when you are only holding it is still something that is safer than the light of a campfire or of holding flames in your hand, and can also be easily brightened or dimmed. Sometimes there can even be a little residual glow if the spell is strong enough.”

“Jeeze, you sound just like my teacher.”

“Where do you think I am learning all of this information?” Brulee asked with a smile. “Now please be trying to light the orb.”

“Fine,” Creme responded. She started to squint up her face as if she was expelling a lot of effort and squeezed the orb some. She added some grunting noises of effort for extra effect; the draenei would be sure to buy it.

“Phew!” she exclaimed after what felt like long enough. “I guess I just don’t have it in me tonight to do any of this.”

“How strange that you were able to easily light that fire just earlier,” Brulee said. “And I do believe your teacher said that you should not fake these things, so if you would like to try again, that would be most good.”

Dang. Smith must’ve told her about this gig and what to look for when I’m not really trying. I should cast more spells in front of a mirror to see what I really look like.

Creme shot a glare over at Brulee for good measure before attempting yet again, this time actually attempting to channel the arcane through her hand to the orb resting in it.

It was supposed to be a form of the arcane that was similar to fire – the light, the energy – without any of the heat or it’s unpredictable nature. Summon the fire into the orb, letting its essence bounce along inside the crystal structure trapped until it is later released by a similar process.
She closed her eyes again, to better focus on the magic. Fire she could do. Nice and easy, just like always.

“I think you have set the orb on fire,” Brulee stated matter of factly.

Creme opened her eyes. Her palm was indeed on fire, and the orb surrounded by fire. So it wasn’t really on fire, because it didn’t melt or get damaged or anything. But the fire definitely wasn’t in the orb.

“Try again please!” Brulee said.

Creme sighed. Alright, so fire was there, it just needed to go inside the orb. That orb, there in her hands. She could feel it there, physically in her palm. And if she concentrated hard enough, she could feel it more on the magical planes as well. It was there that she wanted to focus the arcane energies, not in the physical world that she was so used to. She concentrated on doing such.

There was a short intake of breath from Brulee. Something had happened. Creme cracked open her eyes to see a faint glow in the orb. It dimmed and flickered when she opened her eyes to look at it, but she steeled her mind and focused on keeping it steady.

“Very good!” Brulee said. She sounded pleased. For some reason this made Creme feel good about what she just did too, if only a little. She tried not to think about that. It was stupid anyway; why would she care about her.

But what would be more exciting if it was brighter. She closed her eyes again and concentrated harder on making the orb full of the arcane magic. Slowly but surely she felt it gorw in that little sphere. It even got bright enough where she could see the glow from behind her closed eyes.

In the background, Brulee was murmuring things, most likely words or encouragement or some such thing. “Good job” or “Very bright”. Creme tuned them out, until after a little bit after she started to brighten the orb they took on a more urgent tone.

“It cannot hold that much! There’s too much power. You should stop-”


There was an explosion. Creme could see her mental image of the orb shatter from the power she had been channeling into it.

“Oh shit! That was too much!” Creme thought to herself. Her brain belatedly registered that Brulee had been warning her of exactly that happening not just a moment ago, but she had been too focused on her success to listen.

She was half expected to be full of little glass shards, but when Creme opened her eyes she was there and complete unharmed. Next to her was Brulee, who had apparently knocked the orb away just in time and somehow protected them. That’s what paladins did, after all.

A yard or two away lay the smoking remains of the orb. What once was clear was now a smokey gray. Some of it was still smoking, in fact, the round shape now splintered into many different chunks in the area.

“Oh. Um. Sorry about that. And thanks,” Creme said, embarrassed. How foolish she felt, having to be rescued from her own spell. But wasn’t it really Brulee’s fault for making her practice, anyway?

Or maybe it was her own fault for not wanting to practice with the proper supervisor in the first place.

“You need more practice at this it seem,” Brulee sighed. “But obviously there will be no more of that now. Let us put out the fire and prepare for the rest of our journey tomorrow.”


Dinner was more or less a pleasant experience, though Brulee commented that there was far too mcuh food. Though the look on her face when she first tried the hardtack was hilarious. Served her right for wanting it the first place.

The fire was put out now (something Creme had a little something to do with; her attempt at an ice spell turned into water that put out the fire (sure, it was hot water, but at least it wasn’t more fire)) and they were in the tent. In theory trying to sleep. It was really kind of awkward to be in the same tent as the draenei, right next to her in fact. She knew Brulee wasn’t asleep yet; she always breathed more heavily when she was sleeping. Not that Creme knew from staying up late and trying to sneak away at night. Nope, not at all.

“A.. about the orb,” she started to say out of the blue, because why not. “I’m really sorry that it exploded. I didn’t mean to.”

There was silence for a long moment. Long enough that Creme began to question whether the Draenei was actually awake at all.

“I am sure you were not meaning to,” Brulee responded, finally.

“Yeah. I guess it’s just something I can’t do.”

Brulee turned her head to face Creme’s. “Can’t? Or do not want to?”


“If you were wanting to, you could practice easily to learn such a thing. But you do not.”

Creme stayed silent as Brulee continued to speak.

“When I was younger and still in more training for learning to become a paladin, I wished to become better at using the sword. Did I sit around all day without a care in the world because I did not want to practice? No. I worked hard to train each day so I could become great at wielding a sword.”

“Well I don’t want to wield a sword better! I don’t want to learn magic better!”

“Do you not? You do not want to not explode orbs?”

“That doesn’t count because it was training I didn’t want to do in the first place!”

“Then do you want to light buildings on fire and pay the price for doing so?”

“Whatever. Those buildings had it coming to them.”

“Would you want to learn if it your skill were to save your friends?”

“I-” Creme stopped short. Had she not already done so when she burnt down that building? Was there really any difference in doing so with fire than with any other mage spell? Would she have approached it differently if she could have performed a different skill? Or the same type as the one she had done but with more finesse?

“Fire is not always the answer, Creme,” Brulee said softly. “Problems cannot always be solved through just the flame, just as they cannot always be solved with just ice and just arcane. There is a balance, just as the sword must balance with the shield and still be guided by the Light’s hand.”

“But I never wanted to be a mage! I never wanted to have this power! It just, just showed up when I was little and I could never not make it happen!”

Brulee’s eyes narrowed. “And I,” said the draenei, “never wished to take up the sword in the Light’s name, to increase my combat prowness, to kill on the field of battle. War was thrust upon me and my people. I wanted us to live, and therefore I learned.”

“But whatever situation I may be in, my mage skills would help no one.”

<refute! also, ask if there would be a situation in which a certain power would have been useful and refer to Elise?>

“Just as now your mage skills had no part in assiting in starting a nice campfire without messing with any flintstones?”

Creme snorted. “That’s not a real situation.”

“Of course it is. I do not think we culd have made a fire as quickly otherwise and then we would have been cold. And you would not have learned so much about making proper fires, either.”

“But that’s boring. It’s not ‘life or death’ or whatever motivated you.”

“Surely you have been in a situation in your life where some sort of spell would have made it easier?”

“No. ” Crème crossed her arms, even while lying down because she is awesome like that.

“Think harder, then. I know I could have made more of a difference in protect my fa- my people had I bothered to learn the art of the sword before the Orcs attacked. And I know that if I had learned to use the Light for healing before they came instead of just reading about it, I could have helped more as well. And I know that our mages were helpful both in and out of battle; with their offensive spells, defensive shields. The food they conjured, the portals they set up. I am sure that you could have the potential to be that useful too.”

Crème stayed silent. She didn’t need to keep hearing all of this stuff from the draenei. It would just be better if she had never had a connection to the arcane. There would be less fires started, less problems started at school. . . . Less distractions during their heists, less fires started on the nights on the street when they were cold and needed to warm themselves. Less attempts at trying to conjure some food for the kids to try and fill their bellies, if only temporarily. Less complements from her mother at the fire creatures she made in the fire, at her attempts to make ice sculptures from the well water.

Crème felt her eyes tear up. Damn that paladin. This was all her fault, for making her think about these things too much. Obviously it would’ve been better if they had never had this conversation. .. . Just like it would’ve been better if she hadn’t brought up that whole thing with Brulee’s family and stuff. She supposed it was only fair, then, that Brulee would be drilling her so hard about these things. And would not the draenei also have felt torn up about talking about her family? And how was she supposed to know that her magic reminded her so much about her mom?

She didn’t, of course, but Crème didn’t really didn’t want to talk with her any more about this. The human turned on her side, away from the draenei. Ther eewas silence for a little while longer before Brulee said ‘Good night’. Crème said nothing in return, as she had already drifted off to sleep.


Crème awoke being roughly skaken. It was still dark.

“Wha?” she said.

“Sh,” Brulee replied, her voice a barely audible whisper. “There are people outside. I think they have blocked the exit.”

Crème stiffened. Were there some bandits? Or was it the gnolls that Brother Paxton had mentioned being in Redridge mountains?

“I thought we were hard to find here?” Crème asked, just as quietly as Brulee had. She slowly sat up, getting out of her sleeping roll. Brulee’s hand stayed on her shoulder.

“It must have been the fire that gave away our location. I was careless with that, but I was not thinking that there was much danger so close to the border of the woods.” Brulee sounded worried, but her hand’s grip on Crème’s shoulder was held steady.

“Prepare yourself for some fighting,” the draenei continued, giving Crème’s shoulder a quick squeeze before she stood within the tent. Crème could see even in the low light that Brulee held her sword, though she wasn’t wearing her armor. It was likely too hard to put on in the dark, if they she woke up due to intruders.

And not too far from them Crème could hear some noises. Those were the intruders Brulee was talking about, Crème thought. They were talking too, although it was quiet murmurings. Crème tried to make out what they were saying, btut he words sounded foreign to her.

“I will exit the tent in a moment and try to distract them. When I do I want you to-“

Any further instructions Brulee had were cut off when an arrow entered their tent between the two of them. Crème backed away as Brulee took the opportunity to charge forward. The draenei glowed with the power of the holy Light as she charged force with a battle cry.

There had been some sort of heated discussions shortly after the arrow was sent through the tent, but those abruptly ended when Brulee charged forward. Crème could hear the clash of steel, but no more arrows went through the tent.

After a few moments, Crème finally managed to gather up the courage to leave the tent herself. Whatever Brulee was doing seemed to be distracting whoever was attacking them well enough.

Crawling out of the tent revealed a fight between Brulee and quite a few. . . Orcs? Were those really orcs? The only light was coming from Brulee, who was fiercely attacking them. One or two lay on the ground.

I guess this is one of those situations where knowing a mage spell would be handy, Crme ethought to herself. She never had to use them in real combat before, not against people who weren’t training her and could reverse the damage of her spells or avoid the damage all together or who were just training dummies.

Just take it easy, she thought to herself. Don’t want to start a wild fire or something, I Don’t think Brulee would like that. Though maybe a wildfire would be preferable than being killed by orcs.

Quickly she gathered up some fire in her hands, looking for a target to throw her fire at. But before she could launch it, something heavy struck her on the back of her head, causing her to fall to the ground, blacking out.

[Raw Draft] NaNoWriMo 2011 – Chapter 5: Mundane Chores

3 Dec

I participated in NaNoWriMo, and here is the continued story I wrote this year.

This chapter is back to Brulee’s point of view. It’s been a few weeks since Brulee has been assigned to Creme. She muses on the work they’ve done, and then they head over to Northshire Abbey to collect a book. And then, of course, they start to go to Redridge Mountains to get some ore for ink for copying the book.

When they first leave Stormwind, they grab some horses to ride for the day. Cue hilarious scenes of falling off horses. 

Chapter 5: Mundane Chores

Brulee supposed she may have been a bit rough on Creme. The girl had obviously had some troubles, given the lengthy history that the Warden William Wilshire had given her. She had perused the record at her quarters before she got to packing; while it was long, the crimes seemed mostly minor, even though they were very numerous. Certainly no self-respecting Draenei child would steal so much food, no need to steal that much food. Those who wanted were kept well, and even though the Warden assured her that Stormwind’s orphans were indeed well fed, she wasn’t convinced. From her few short visits she had gone on, they seemed hungrier than they should, and starved for meaningful attention.

But she did agree with the Warden’s assessment of Creme; her crimes had gotten much more violent and costly as she got older. No doubt to her improper training. Indeed, Magister Smith had expressed her concern about it when she had gone to visit about it earlier. If the girl did not learn control, she would never get far. And apparently a well trained mage could earn a sizeable wage. Apparently this had never interested Creme, or perhaps she would have taken more interest in her studies. Obviously the girl had a passing interest in earning money; otherwise she would not have stolen jewelry.

“Cracking a rib may have been a bit out of line,” Brulee worried to herself. Sure, the girl had threatened her with bodily force, but Brulee had seen her hesitation. “She was just scared. Unsure of what to do with herself. I have seen it with prisoners before, unsure of their new situation. Corner her and she will lash out, much like a wild animal. But she knows better now.”

Indeed, the human’s attitude had adjusted marvelously after the little knife incident. After she had woke (with rib healed to the best of Brulee’s ability, of course), Brulee was given a similar amount of respect that the Magister and Warden seemed to afford. No doubt because she proved herself in the girl’s eye, lashing out with a similar violence that Creme obviously didn’t think she was capable of. But who would have heard of a Paladin being taken down by a mere knife-wielding thief? It was true that she was not in her armor, but hand-to-hand combat was one of her areas of expertise.

Brulee was confident that her ward would not lash out in such a fashion again. But her attitude while working with the community service they were scheduled to do was definitely lacking.

Just the other day at the shipyards, Creme was entirely lackadaisical about doing any sort of manual labor. They were there to deal with a rat infestation and the girl nearly set fire to all the shipments with her carelessness while casting spells, trying to burn out the unwanted creatures. Brulee had to force her to stop doing it the so called ‘easy way’ and put down the traps like the foreman had wanted in the first place.

“Her poor attitude is reflecting poorly on both me and her and the system itself,” Brulee worried to herself. The Warden had been clear to her that this was a pilot program, helping trouble youths and allowing novices of other disciplines such as guards or paladins, etc, to practice their own training (he was quick to assure her that they wanted a more experience person to be one of the first for this program. Apparently her disdain for the word ‘novice’ was evident on her face).

But perhaps today’s task would be different. It was utterly simple. Just travel to the abbey outside of Stormwind to fetch a book borrowed from the Cathedral. It would take them only an hour or two by Elekk, ah, no, horse. They rode horses here. Brulee could not afford to bring an Elekk with her at any rate, and the Order of Paladins here had graciously lent her an older warsteed. Riding one of their horses was similar enough to riding an Elekk, and the horse, ‘Morning Star’, responded wonderfully to her touch.

“I am sure that they will provide Creme with a steed of her own,” Brulee thought to herself. “If not the girl could certainly ride with me, though I’m sure if she enjoys riding on her own it could get awkward. Well, more awkward than it would be otherwise.” She was absolutely right in thinking that their relationship, as it were, had gotten off to a really rocky start.

“No matter,” she thought to herself as she slipped on the last piece of large armor (cause she had been getting dressed this whole time; should probably go back and mention this maybe), her chestpiece. The gloves and helm could be put on later, after they had a quick breakfast. “Rocky or not, I am responsible for her future well being, so I may as well be tougher now.”

She couldn’t wait to tell Shamundi about all of this. Brulee was sure that her sister would get a kick out of the fact her brave, bold paladin sister almost got knifed by a young mage (even though she obviously had everything under control). In fact, the whole situation seemed like a comedy of errors, or quite strange considering Brulee’s previous work. Shamundi never thought Brulee to be the best teacher, yet her she was, in a role that was effectively teaching someone how to live a proper life.

But Brulee had barely found the time to write her sister, with everything being so chaotic since she had been there. Her first letter was tucked away in her personal chest, waiting to be handed to her sister in person. Hopefully after their little book returning adventure she could find the time to write without Creme glaring at her neck.

Speaking of, the human girl had yet to wake that morning, even though the sun was already well past the horizon. Brulee glared at the lump in the bed, hidden under covers. Here she was, dressed and ready to go before their days ride and her ward had yet to stir – just like every other morning so far. Brulee had let the girl sleep in as late as possible the first few days, out of compassion, but now it was clear that the human was not a morning person.

And there was a much more fun way to deal with someone who slept in.

“Time to wake up, Creme!” she called out sharply with great volume. It elicited no movement from the bed.

She called out again. “Time to awake, Creme!” There was a small groan and the lump under the covers shifted into a new position, followed by absolutely no movement again.

Brulee frowned. “I said, it is time to get up!” She marched over to the other bed (her own already made up again, no wrinkles) where Creme lay, and pulled off the covers with a sharp yank. There was a groggy yelp of protest.

Creme’s hands started moving about, most likely in an attempt to find the covers again.

“Hey!” the girl groggily said. “Gimmee those back. I was sleeping…”

“And now you are not sleeping. It is time to get up. We have a half-day journey ahead of us, and I am wishing to get back before the afternoon so we may be attending the services.”

Creme groaned. The girl was certainly a complainer. Brulee wondered how anyone had ever put up with all of her whining about this and that.

And who wouldn’t want to go see a most beautiful service in the honor of the Light after a pleasant morning’s ride through the countryside? Brulee was looking forward to seeing the forest surrounding Stormwind; she had not seen it yet but had heard it was the must luscious of greens. Really, the girl would complain if she was given the key to the castle (this phrase isn’t very draenei like).

“You knew this was on the schedule for today,” Brulee admonished. “And see, I am already dressed and ready to break fast. If you would not want to be shocked I would suggest you get dressed immediately.”

Creme stopped lying about the bed in denial and sat up, shooting daggers at Brulee. Brulee just stared right back. A young whippersnapper such as Creme was not going to intimidate her.

“Fine,” snapped Creme. She got up and started tossing clothes onto the bed to wear.

“Would you not prefer to be wearing your mage robes if you are to be on official business?” Brulee asked. The girl had picked out her usual outfit. It was plain and a bit worn, but obviously she preferred it to the robes, which she kept complaining bitterly about.

“If we’re gonna be ridin’ on some horses, ‘m not gonna be ridin’ with no dress on.”

“Ah. That is a good point. Sitting to the side is uncomfortable…”

“Wearing dresses is uncomfortable. I have no clue why you wear ’em,” Creme shot back. She had started to take off her pajamas so Brulee turned around as they continued their conversation.

“I think they are very comfortable for every day wear. Certainly easier to put on than armor.”

“Then why don’t you just wear a shirt and pants?”

“That would mean I would need to put on two things instead of one,” Brulee said with a grin, looking back. She could see Creme stare at her blankly, no doubt trying to guess if that was a joke coming from ‘the Draenei’ or not. The human shook her head.

“They’re too hard to run in. And-” she said with a finger shake “- don’t get me started on how all the mages say you need to wear them or else people won’t take you seriously. They only put the best enchants on the stupid robes so you have to wear them if you want to do your best, they say.”

Brulee raised an eyebrow. “But I am sure that those enchants can be added to other types of clothing. And I have seen great mages from our people wear pants and shirts and I assure you that they looked very mage like and threatening.”

“Huh. Really?”

“Yes. I am sure we could try to find something similar for you if robes are really such a problem.”

“That would be-” Creme started, sounding excited, before Brulee heard her clear her throat. “I mean, that would be alright, I guess. Not that I need you to do any favors for me.

Darn. So close to making a connection with the girl. At least she had an angle to do so now.

“Very well. Are you ready to get some food?”

“Yeah, yeah, I’m dressed.”

Brulee turned to eye her ward. Her hair seemed to be flying away again, as usual.

“Hm, very well. Let us go.” Brulee moved for the door.

“What’re we having?”

“Just some apples, and then we will have them pack us something to eat for lunch.”

“Apples? I hate apples!”

Brulee looked skyward, asking the Light for strength to deal with the endless complaints.


After breakfast, they made their way to the Cathedral of Light. There were stables there where her mount was taken care of by the stablehand, Peter.

“Paladin Brulee, it’s good to see you again,” he said cheerfully as the two of them entered, Brulee walking with confidence and Creme looking around, seeming a bit out of place.

Brulee nodded to the young man. “And it is good to be seeing you again, Mister Peter, yes?”

Peter beamed. “I knew you’d remember, Ma’am. What brings ya here today?”

“I am needing my steed for the day. That is alright, yes?”

“Yup, no problems there, Ma’am. I’ll get the boys on gettin’ her all ready for ya right away.” Peter turned and whistled sharply; a couple of young boys popped their head out of a couple of different stalls.

“Get the Paladin’s horse tack all ready and get ‘er saddled, lads,” he yelled to them, causing the boys to stop whatever stable chore they were doing to run about collecting the tack and grooming the horse. “An’ anything else ya need?” he asked, turning once again towards Brulee and Creme.

“Ah yes. Is it possible we could borrow a horse for my ward for her to be riding?” Brulee asked, gestruing at Creme. Peter opened his mouth to respond by Creme cut him off.

“Wait wait wait – you want -me- to ride a horse?” Creme asked incredulously.

Brulee looked down at the human, blinking in surprise. “But of course, how else you would ride if not on a horse?”

“I, um, I thought I was gonna be riding with you.”

“If Peter has a horse for you to use, you can be using that instead of riding with me.”

Peter interjected. “An’ I do have a right lovely one for you to use. Willow’s an old gel, but she’s nice and easy goin'”

Brulee smiled at Creme. “See? Problem solved! You can ride on your own.”

“Um… I don’t actually know how to ride,” Creme mumbled.

Brulee looked taken aback. “What?”

“I said I don’t know how to ride a damn horse,” Creme repeated, glaring at Brulee. “Is that a problem?”

“Hm… I do not believe so.”

“So I’ll just ride with -”

Brulee waved off the rest of Creme’s sentence. “This ‘Willow’ horse, is she good with newer riders?”

“Oh yes,” Peter said happily. “We use her for practice all the time with the new recruits.”

“Excellent. Would you not be minding if an unseasoned rider such as my ward would to be riding her? I would not want to cause you any trouble if that were a problem, but I am sure that I would be able to keep on eye on both Creme and your horse.”

“That’ll be fine,” Pete answered reassuringly. “Willow knows how to treat a new rider, and she’d be back here if she ended up getting lost for some reason, so there’s no need to worry. I’ll get her saddled up for ya.”

Peter moved off to find more helping hands to help get the second horse set.

“I can’t believe your making me ride a horse,” Creme mumbled.

“It will be good practice for the future! I am sure we will be having much fun!”


<cut to less fun>

“How do you stop this thiiiing AHHH!” Creme fell off her horse, for the third time, as it gently cantered past Brulee’s steed. The girl fell right onto her bum, rolling down one of the grassy hills before landing on her back.

Willow, the mage’s horse who was now riderless, slowed down and came to a halt a few dozen yards ahead and started to eat something that looked interesting. Brulee figured the horse would stay there.

She pulled on the reins of her own horse to slow her down to a walk, turning around to head over to where her ward lay.

“Are you alright?” she asked, trying to hide the amusement in her voice as she dismounted.

“I am going to kill that damn horse,” Creme groaned, slowly propping herself up on her elbow. Her face contorted slightly; Brulee could only guess that the girl had hurt her bottom during the fall.

She led her horse closer and tucked the reins over nearby bush.

“You will not be killing any horse. It is not yours, and I would not stand for such a thing anyway. It did nothing to you.” The Draenei leaned over to the girl and used some healing Light to ease her pain, evident as the girl’s expression looked less pained and more annoyed.

“Yes it did,” Creme responded, sitting up. “It threw me off!”

Brulee snorted. “No, you fell off. Did I not tell you to sit up straight? To keep your hoov- feet firmly in the stirrups?”

“Well yeah. I was totally doing that.”

“No, you were not. Your feet were dangling about and you were slouching in your seat like a sack of berries. And-” Brulee continued quickly when the girl was opening her mouth in attempt to defend herself, “- you did not even bother to remember how to slow or stop your horse with the reins. Flopping them about would make the horse only want to move faster.”

They both stood up. Creme looked incredibly frustrated.

“Well I told you I didn’t know how to ride, and I don’t see no reason why I should ever bother learning! It’s not like I’d ever get a horse of my own to frolic around the countryside with.”

“If you were to become a full fledged mage I am sure they would be needing to send you around the countryside somehow and riding is a very convenient way to do such a thing.”

Creme rolled her eyes. “That’s what portals are for. And they wouldn’t want me to be a mage anyway, let alone one that goes around doing whatever mage business mages do.”

“And here I was thinking we were going out on ‘mage business’ right now,” Brulee said lightly.


“You are a mage; you are out on business. Therefore it is mage business, yes?”

Creme looked a little disturbed. “You mean this is the kind of stuff that mages do anyway?”

“At least apprentice ones who have not studied enough magic. I am sure that more skilled mages deal with issues of greater magical importance.”

“Oh, so you’re teamin’ up with them, tryin’ to get me to throw away my life studyin’ magic that I don’t care about?”

“I am just trying to steer you in a beneficial direction. But enough talk. We are being very late for the appointment that we are going to.” Brulee decided not to add that they were late because Creme kept on falling off her horse and was having issues steering it. “Let us go find your horse; I do not see it right now but I am sure she is nearby.”

“I’m not riding that thing no more,” Creme spat, though she did start trudging in the direction her horse was last seen.

“Then you may either lead your horse or ride with me,” Brulee said. She led her horse back onto the dirt road and mounted up.

“And I’d rather walk than ride with you!” Creme called back, before running off to find her horse.


An hour later, the two of them rode up to the Northshire Abbey, Creme sitting in front of Brulee on Morning Star. Willow had been tied behind them, and was quite content to follow.

“They girl just couldn’t keep up with the pace I had set with the horse,” Brulee thought to herself. She finally hauled the girl up to ride with her in awkward silence for the rest of the trip.

A guard approached their small caravan. “Welcome, travelers. What brings you to the Abbey?” he asked cordially.

“We are hear to be speaking with a Brother Paxton?” Brulee asked.

“Ah yes, Brother Paxton. You can find him in the Abbey’s library.” The guard gestured unhelpfully to the Abbey’s building, where apparently the library was. “I can watch your horses while you visit.”

“That would be most kind of you, sir,” Brulee said. She allowed Creme to awkwardly dismount before gracefully getting off the horse herself. “We should not be taking too long.”

The guard nodded and started to lead their horses to a nearby field. Brulee and Creme entered the library, Creme walking with a funny gait from not being used to riding on horseback for a period of time. Brulee smiled briefly, before remembering that finding amusement in the misfortune of others was not very appropriate for a follower of the Light. Even if the person only had a mild discomfort and was frustratingly annoying as well.

After a few misturns within the Abbey, they finally made it into the library. There was only one person there, a human man with long light brown hair. He was sitting at a table, pouring over a book. Brulee felt an itch to join him and read. But now was not the time for that.

“Brother Paxton?” she asked. He looked up and around, startled. He had been reading intently enough that he apparently had not heard them come in.

“Yes! Yes, that is me. What can I do for you?” he said quickly. He had a strong tenor voice. He stood up, pushing his chair back, and made his way over to them.

Brulee looked to Creme. It was her duty, after all, to retrieve the book. But she said nothing. Brulee coughed and pushed her forward a bit.

The girl obviously was trying to hide her annoyance at this but managed to muster out a few vaguely polite words. “We’re here for a book.”

“A book?” Brother Paxton asked. “Which one are you interested in? We have many of them here, obviously, with this being a library.”

“Yeah, a book. It was, uh…” Creme started patting her pockets, and then searching them.

“It is called ‘The Stresses of Iron’,” Brulee supplied, and handed over the note Creme was no doubt looking for. It had fallen out of the human’s pocket during one of her falls and Brulee has picked it up for safekeeping.

“Uh, yeah, that,” Creme supplied. “They want it back at the Stormwind library. Someone wanted to reference it or something like that.”

“Ah, yes. I have it right here. But I am afraid I haven’t finished copying it for our Abbey’s records,” Brother Paxton said. “I’ve run out of the ink I need. I make my own, you know. It’s very high quality stuff; the pages look as new for years and years. Very good for creating archival copies.”

“Annnnd… are you going to make more ink?” Creme asked.

“I would if I could but I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“I am missing a key component for my ink, Rethban Iron Ore.”

Both Brulee and Creme stared expectantly at him, and he stared back for a moment before realizing he apparently needed to continue his explanation.

“Rethban Iron Ore is a type of iron ore that is found in the Redridge Mountains.”

“Can’t you go get some more?” Creme asked. It was a rather obvious question if Brulee could say so herself; it seemed as if Brother Paxton had merely been lazy or forgetful in fetching more ore for his ink.

But he shook his head. “My usual supplier, Foreman Oslow, over in Lakeshire, hasn’t been responding to my order requests. In fact, one of my older letters has been returned.” Brother Paxton stepped away from them and rummaged in a nearby desk. After a moment he produced a very worn envelope.

“See, here it is. I opened it to retrieve my gold – payment for the ore, which was never received.”

Brulee took the letter before Creme handled it, lest the girl ‘accidentally’ burned it. The outer envelope and letter within did indeed look rumpled from it’s travel. The contents of the letter was exactly as Brother Paxton had said; a brief inquiry of health followed by a request for a shipment of ore, along with payment (now no longer attached).

“Were you present when the messenger came to return the letter?”

Brother Paxton shook his head again. “No, I’m afraid I was helping out in the fields when the letter arrived again. No one had thought to ask about why it was returning. I hope that the reason for the letters return is a mundane one… I know that Redridge can be a dangerous place. There has been rumors of nearby groups of Gnolls organizing…”

“Gnoll?” Brulee asked.

“They are a rather violent race of hyena or dog-like humanoids,” Brother Paxton explained. “They often are more of a threat to each other, fighting within their tribes, but if they organize sometimes they turn against our settlements. They are not very common around the area of Elwynn Forest, but they do gather in the Redridge mountains.

“I see. So you are saying that you are unable to return this book to us without more ink, and you will require more of this special Rethban Iron Ore to make this ink to finish copying the book?” Brulee asked.

“Yes, that is correct.”

“Then I think we best return to the city to inform the librarian that the return of the book is delayed. Thank you very much for your time, Brother Paxton.”

“It was my pleasure-” Brother Paxton started before Creme interrupted.

“Hey – how about we go to Lakeshire and the ore for him?” she asked in a oddly helpful and cheerful tone, considering her usual demeanor.

“Would you do that for me?” Brother Paxton asked, sounding pleasantly surprised.

“Of course. We live to serve, after all,” Creme said.

“But we were not preparing for more than a day’s journey,” Brulee cautioned. “And this Lakeshire, it is further than a day’s ride, yes?”

“Oh yes, it would probably take a full day’s ride to get there,” supplied Brother Paxton. “Maybe a little more, a little less, depending on how fast you go and the weather.”

“I am sure the kind Brothers and Sisters here could provide us with some more supplies,” Creme said helpfully. “A little more food and water”

Brother Paxton nodded enthusiastically. “Oh yes, we have plenty to spare, especially if you were going to do this favor for me.”

“And I’m sure you would provide us with the payment for the ore…”

“Of course! And a little extra for your traveling expenses.”

Brulee was a little uneasy about where this was going. “I am sure we would be able to pay for our own traveling expenses, Brother. If we were to be going. But I had thought that Creme and I would be going back to the Stormwind to be attending the afternoon service…”

“But Mister – I mean Brother Paxton here is countin’ on us to get his ore now! You wouldn’t want to let him down, would you? And if we just pop on over to Lakeshire and pop back nice and quick, we can get the book back to Stormwind even quicker and no one will have to go out on a second trip to go get the ore – or worse, force poor Paxton here to return the book afore he’s finished copying it.”

Darn. She had a point about sending everyone on the second trip. Though Brulee was pretty sure her alterior motive was to get out of going to the service (or does Brulee not notice this and we figure that out later).

She ran her hand down the length of her horn and then sighed. “Fine, fine. If you would be so kind as to provide us with supplies for two or three days of travel we will be going to get the ore you need for your ink.”

Both Brother Paxton and Creme started to smile widely.

“I’ll go send the novices to fetch those things for you right away, Paladin Brulee! And in the meantime, won’t you please join us for lunch?”

“We would be delighted,” Brulee responded, trying to match the enthusiasm that both of them displayed as she prepared herself for an afternoon of aggravating impromptu riding lessons.

NaNoWriMo 2011: Completed!

30 Nov

That’s right — I’m a NaNoWriMo Winner!

Greetings from NaNoWriMo WINNER 2011 nanowrimo.org

I kept up the pace pretty well this year… though the graph shows the pace picked up towards the end of the month:

Stats and Graph for NaNoWriMo 2011

Note the plateau, followed by a spree of writing once I realized I needed to write like 3k words a day to make it. Vroom!

Google Docs had me at 50777 words, while NaNoWriMo’s official word counter had me at 50051, so I barely sneaked in! Sure, I still had time (I finished around 9 PM CST) but it would be rather depressing to add a few more words in later after I thought I cleared it with room to spare, eh?

I plan on posting the rest of what I wrote as raw drafts later this week. I would have done it sooner, but most of my free time last week was spent writing! 3k word days left little time for anything else! And after the raw words are posted, I’ll sum up my plans for this ‘lovely’ piece of fiction.

What I know right now is that I won’t be working on it much during December. The holidays are a busy time, and I have a Secret Santa Art Trade piece to work on too! Not to mention playing more WoW since 4.3 just came out… And playing more Skyrim… and watching the SA play Skyward Sword… Yup. I’ll have plenty to keep me busy. 🙂

So keep an eye out for the not-so-thrilling ‘conclusion’ to the story, with commentary!


[Raw Draft] NaNoWriMo 2011 – Chapter 4: An Uneasy Match

23 Nov

I’m participating in NaNoWriMo again this year and I thought I’d share my progress with you.

Back to Creme! She goes to mage class (for better learning not to set things on fire) and learns who her guardian is — surprise, it’s Brulee! Turns out she’s not really on board with the magical necklace thing, and tries to make Brulee undo the magic. Brulee has none of it.

This is the first time I did a scene gap. It seemed a little boring to write about Creme’s plans to force Brulee to get rid of the necklaces (probably because she’s spending most of her time pouting and glaring), so I skipped right to the conflict. I’ll probably be redoing most of this section anyway, to establish more of Creme’s life and mage training before the thieving incident. This would probably require multiple chapters dedicated to one of them, which would also work out in the end. Right now I’m keeping it back and forth though.

There’s more northern accent fail in here. Then I mostly forgot about it.

Also, I get to use the term “space-goat” in this chapter. It makes me giggle.

And have I mentioned I’m bad at coming up with chapter titles?

Chapter 4: An Uneasy Match

The bells sounded in the background. Creme rolled over, trying to sleep through them yet again.”One… two… three,” she counted in her head. “Four… five.. six… seven… eight… nine… Nine o’clock. That’s important for some reason. Why is nine o’clock important…”

A tingling sensation around her neck caused her to itch at her neck. There was something there…

A shock that coursed through her system caused Creme to bolt upright in bed with a yelp a pain.

She brought her hands to her throat. The necklace! The probation! It all came flooding back to her.

Nearby a few of the other older orphans were stirring. They would appreciate Creme making a big fuss and waking all of THEM up. They had a great time last night mocking her for having to watch the little ones and put them to bed while they had a night on the town lasting for hours, all because SHE took the blame for them. At least Harvey and a couple others had thanked her when she got back, and she played it completely cool, saying the Warden let her off just almost like every other time but had told her not to do that ever again or it was the Stocks. That scared them well enough. They probably wouldn’t get into trouble like that again any time soon, and there was no need for them to know that the Stocks were a viable threat this time.

The necklace shocked her again, stronger this time. She jumped but held her voice in; didn’t want to wake anyone else up.

She had gone to bed dressed, so there was no need to change clothes. All she really needed to do was to get to the Mage Quarters and fast. There was no telling if the necklace was going to do anything worse than shocking her, and she was pretty sure the first shock was weaker than the second.

Creme bounded down the tunnel of their little headquarters and up the stairs into the orphanage proper. There was no time to quietness or subtlty as she left this time; it would take a good five to ten minutes running down to the mage quarters as it was, depending on the traffic.

Bounding down the hall to the exit, Creme dodge a few kids who were wandering the halls. She heard the Matron say, then yell, something in her direction but she ignored it.

The streets were bustling already with traffic for the day before it got too hot at the noon hour, when many businesses would close down for lunch anyway. The Cathedral square seemed to have some outdoor training going on that Creme dodged through, though not before stumbling due to an even greater shock from the necklace.

Her entire route to the Mage Quarter was filled with people who stared as she ran by – was she a theif? Or just late? Not to mention the shocks on her neck kept getting worse and worse.

It was a quarter after nine by the time she got to the bottom of the Mage Tower where she usually met her teacher… who was there, waiting for her. Creme bent over panting as she teacher raised an eyebrow at her, getting up off the bench that she was waiting at.

“Did nae Warden Wilshire tell ye ta get here at nine o’clock sharp?” Magister Smith asked. She was from the North as well; even trained in Dalaran. Though spending time with all those hodie todie mages did nothing to remove her accent.

“I … overslept…” Creme managed between huge gasps of air. Sweat ran down her face and she was pretty sure her hair was a giant mess, not to mention her clothes. The necklace seemed to have stopped shocking her, which was a plus.

“Hm. Well if I were given a wee necklace an’ was told it’ll do ‘orrible things to ye if ye do nae get tae ye destination at a certain time, I would’ve gotten up early.”

Creme shot her teacher a glare, still bent over, hands on her knees. “I’m not used to gettin’ up early.”

“Lass, nine in the morn is nae early. I’ll give ye a second tae catch your breath afore we begin.”

Creme nodded her thanks and slowly regained her breath, eventually straightening up to an upright position.

“Ye alright nae?”

Creme nodded.

“Good. Nae we need tae go up tae the top o’ the tower here fer some ferther instruction.”

Creme groaned. More walking!

Magister Smith grinned. “I’ll see ya at the top!” she said, before disappearing in a puff of arcane.

“Stupid high-level mages with their teleportation…” Creme grumbled to herself as she trudged up the steep, curving ramp that led to the up section of the tower.

Magister Smith was waiting for her at the top, with a small bundle of items in her arms. Creme’s belongings.

“‘ere are ya things, luv. Nae go change intae your robes fer some trainin’ afore your day really begins.”

Creme groaned. “The stupid stuffy robes? I don’t really have to, do I?”

The Magister tsked her. “Tsk tsk. Ye want ta make a good impression on your company, and robe are really the only way tae go for that. Mages always wear robes.”

“It’s just a stupid dress.”

“A magically stupid dress. Nae git goin’ and changed,” her teacher said, steering her off to the nearby room for her to do so. “An’ bring the rest of your stuff out wit’ ye once you’ve finished!”

Ten minutes later a rather rumply looking Creme emerged in a rather ill fitting blue and purple robe, cinched high around her waist. Somehow it already seemed to contain wrinkle; she was good at that. Wrinkling clothes on demand.

Smith looked her over and sighed; she obviously was not surprised. She waved her hands in front of her towards Creme and her pupils ensemble smoothed out and even seemed to fit slightly better.

“Stupid high level mages and their wardrobe fixing spells,” Creme grumbeld to herself yet again.

“I fixed your hair too,” Magister Smith said with a grin. “Yeh really should learn tae take better care of yaeself.”

Creme ignored that comment. “So what am I gonna do with the rest of my stuff? Why’d ya take it out?”

Magister Smith blinked at her in suprrise. “Why, because you’re moving, of course! Did nae the Warden tell ye?”

“No. He neglected to mention that fact…” Creme said.

“Ye and your new guardian so tae speak will be movin’ in taegether down at the inn over here.”

“Ew!” Creme’s face twisted in disgust. “You mean I have to share a room with some crudy old guy like the Warden?” Her mind was working overtime to block out the mental images, not to mention the fact there would probably be problems with that set up anyway. Old men were always trying to grab things, those creeps. Well, the Warden didn’t, nor did the other really old nice fellows, but they all pretty much smelled. All guys, in fact, smelled. Growing up with them kind of put that fact to a head, especially while she was sharing the basement room with the gang. Lots of stinky, stinky guys.

Magister Smith was containing her laughter, but didn’t succeed very well at doing that at all. “Or … that would not be an issue because your guardian is a woman.”


“Indeed. So take your things with you for now to the training grounds. We have some time to kill.”


They had just finished with a particularly grueling session (Magister Smith was not pleased that the ice orbs Creme was supposed to summon kept on turning into boiling water and flame. “You must learn to control the arcane with greater precision!” she would exclaim. “There will come a  time where you will NEEd to channel the icy or more arcane aspects of magic and then it will fail you if it starts bursting into flame!” Creme didn’t very much well care, as she didn’t mind teh heat and it was sometimes amsuing to see her teacher try to dodge the fireballs and get her hair and clothing singed (which Magister Smith did not appreciate, since she always seemed to like her appearance to be neat and tidy, which is why she had invested in learning spells to keep her and others’ hair and clothing itdy and wrinkle free)). Both seemed irritable and sweaty from all the practice, when another apprentice entered the room (fortunately after the training ended, because otheriwse they might have gotten a face full of water-fire ball).

“Um, excuse me, Magister Smith! But um, you have, like a, vistor here for you, and um, her?” squeaked the younger boy.

“Finally!” Magister Smith buttered in an still very audible way. Louder, she said, “Very good. Please tell the Paladin we will be down in a few minutes.”

The boy scurried out.

“A paladin?” Creme asked, accusingly. She hated talking with Paladins. They were always so righteous and ‘holier than thou’, talking about their special connection to the Light. Some even hated mages using the arcane, which would make it even worse.

“Yes, a paladin. I’m sure she will be an excellent fit. Paladins can help neutralize the damage from any of your wayward and accidental spells.”

Creme humphed, but slowly stood up from her meditation position. Magister Smith flourished her arms some more to fix up their appearances some (hers more than Creme’s, Creme noted).

They headed down to the base of the Mage Tower, Creme’s arms still full of her things. Down at the base stood the young messenger they had seen before, next to a…

“Draenei?” Creme exclaimed. She had seen them around the city before, but they weren’t too many of them around.

“What’s she doing here? Where’s the paladin?” asked Creme, to Magister Smith.

“She is the paladin, ye silly. She’s the one who’s going tae be your guardian.”

Creme stopped in her tracks. “What?! You want me to be led around by… by a space-goat? What the hell?”

Magister Smith glared at her. “Watch yer tongue, lass. A paladin is a paladin, and she’ll school yer ass as much as any other one would. Don’t cross her, fer she’ll be the one who can dole out punishes through that new little piece ye got ’round yer neck.nb              vcccccccf sorry about that a cat stepped on the keyboard. Ye understand?”

Creme stayed silent, glaring off to the side as she started once again down the spiraling ramp.

“I said, do. ye. understand?” Smith said, reaching out and pulling Creme to face her by the shoulder.

“Yes, ma’am,” Creme said in her most ‘it sounds sincere but it’s not really sincere but close enough that people won’t get mad at me’ voice.

The Magister sternly stared at her for a moment longer before allowing them to continue.

At the base awaited the appretince and the Draenei, as mentioned above.

The Draenei dwarfed all three of them. At least a foot and a half taller than Creme, a foot taller than her teacher, for sure. The young boy who had fetched them barely came up to the woman’s waist!

The Draenei’s skin was blue, sort of like the Night Elves. Her eyes glowed like the Night Elves too. But her ears were short; at least Creme shot they were short ’cause she couldn’t see them sticking out anywhere in the lady’s short, dark blue hair that stuck out all over the place in little wavy curls. And also the fact the draenei had some horns sticking out the side of her head; Night Elves didn’t have those. This particular draenei’s horns were smaller, curving around the side of her head. It sort of matched what her hair was doing; Creme supposed it looked nice. For her being not a human with blue skin.

She was also wearing some armor. It was silver and gray, with little bits of blue-grey trim. Most of it seemed to be plate, though some of the areas like around the arms were covered in a sturdy chainmail. She was carrying a helmet on her hip; across her back there was a large broadsword, tucked over the knee-length cape she wore. Well, relatively knee-lenght. Draenei knees looked funny, all backwards ish.

“Creme, this is Paladin Brulee,” Magister Smith said cordially. “Paladin Brulee, this is Miss Creme Stonemason, a mage trainee.”

Brulee gave a short bow while Creme herself made a half-assed attempt at a curtsy.

“I am pleased to be meeting your acquaintence, Miss Stonemason,” Brulee said in accented common. It was phrased oddly.

“And it’s good to meet you too, your Paladiness,” Creme said, barely holding back her sarcasm. She could see Magister Smith glare at her in the corner of her eye.

Apparently the sarcasm was lost on Brulee. “I am glad. It will be good for us to be spending this time together, for the keeping you out of the trouble, yes?” she said happily.

Creme tried to keep her face neutral. How could anyone say that a punishment like this could be ‘fun’, as if they were just getting together and hanging out like friends?

Magister Smith intervened in the silence as Creme stared. “I bet it will be. But first we must set up the spell for you.”

“Oh, yes,” Brulee said.

Creme watched quietly as the Magister put a similar necklace to hers onto the draenei, only this one was purple. Magister Smith whispered some words and twiddled her fingers in a mage like way and both necklaces glowed for a moment.

“There, yer all set,” Magister Smith said as Brulee examined the necklace now looped around her neck. “Ye remember the instructions given tae yae, right?”

Brulee stared blankly for a sec, and then answered, “Oh yes, of course! I am understanding how this will be working. They are linked, yes? And I can give commands to it to stop any, what did he say… ‘tomfoolery’?

Magister Smith grinned. “Ha, yes, that’s exactly right. Ye can give it a go nae, Creme here’s already gotten a taste of the punishment already.”

Brulee looked mildly concerned. “Are you sure?”

Magister Smith nodded and grinned. “Oh, absolutely.”

“Hey, wait a minute here-” Creme started but was cut off with a small jolt when Brulee whispered a foreign word to her. “Ouch!”

“Oh my, was that too painful? Perhaps I should not have said it…” Brulee said, still concerned.

Magister Smith waved her off. “Do nae worry. She deserves the punishment she’s gettin’. Got herself into it with her theivery. We’re jus tyring to puta  stop tae it and if it invovles a little shock here an’ there, she’s no one to blame but herself.”

“IT is a strange system you have here, but if you think it is best for the girl…”

“Well I don’t think it’s best for me,” Creme said grumpily.

“Nobody asked you,” Magister Sarah said. “Now you two get today to get aquainted and to get you settled into your new quarters. But then Brulee has a list of tasks from various citizens of Stormwind you will need tae complete.”

Creme rolled her eyes. “Bunch of stupid things, that is.” (( what is this I don’t even))

“Ah, it will be good to be doing service for the communities,” Brulee beamed happily. “Thank you very much for the introductions, Magister Smith. I shall be off now with my ward. Come along, Creme. Let us go to our place of sleeping together.”

The Draenei turned smartly and began to walk off. Creme shot an annoyed and helpless look at her teacher, who did nothing but shrugged as if to say it was Creme’s problem now, before she followed her new ‘guardian’ and tried to devise a way to break the magic and get out of her sight!


<lunch time?>

Creme started her reign of sabotaging their relationship by avoiding all of Brulee’s attempts at small talk. Such questions as “How are you today?”, “Where do you live?”, “Have you been in Stormwind many years?” were met with single syllable answers or non replies. The Draenei’s annoyance started to become more apparent as they walked to the nearby inn where they would be staying now.

The Draenei cordially greeted the innkeeper, who seemed to know what was going on, and she led them up some stairs and down the hall to the farthest room on the left.

“We will be staying here while we are in the city,” Brulee said as she fumbled with a key to open the door. “Most other long-term guests stay on the upper floors that are further away from the exit, he had told me.”

“Obviously my silence ahsn’t stopped her from trying to keep the conversation going. Rather stubborn of her, I guess. Sooner or later she’ll “be shutting up”,” Creme thought to herself as the Draenei opened the door. “But this room,” she thought with some surprise, “isn’t as bad as I thought it would be.”

It was a spacious suite, considering some of her other accommodations that she had had in the past. Two double-sized beds rested on opposite sides of the room against the wall, with room for end tables on the inner sides. There was room in the center of the room for a table with a couple chairs around them, and a small half-sized closet thing, which Creme supposed housed some chamber pots. As she walked in she could see a couple of wardrobes were lined up on the same side of the room as the door, which was to the far right of the room. A couple of mage globes provided a steady glow of warm light around the room. There were also a few decorative tapestries on the empty sections of the wall; fairly innocuous images of various animals and plants found in the forests outside the city.

“Well this ain’t half-bad,” Creme said aloud.

“Yes; it is much bigger than my first rooms here. I am very much enjoying the space, even through I am the moving in for the second time on my trip,” Brulee chimed in, eyeing Creme with slightly amusement on her face. Creme looked away, surprised and then annoyed. She had spoken without prompting! Bah!

To correct for this, Creme immediately turned away from the Draenei, heading for the closests to store her things.

“I am using the one with the chest in front of it,” Brulee helpfully added.

Creme pretended not to notice that she said that, moving directly for the one without the chest, further down the wall. She then busied herself stashing her her items haphasardly in the wardrobe. Out of the corner of her eye she saw the Draenei removing some armor and putting it almost reverently away.

Creme tossed her regular clothes out onto the bed behind her. No way was she going to keep wearing this robe if the Draenei was changing out of her armor.

Several minutes later both of them were dressed in what was apparently their clothing of choice; Creme in sensible, comfortable, easy to move in pants and vest and shirt; the Draenei in a different stupid stuffy dress, just like mages. Creme coould hardly believe it, yet here it was – a paladin who wanted to dress like a mage! Ridiculous. No one wanted to dress like a mage.

“Would you like to go to have some midday food?” Brulee asked.

“Not really.”

Brulee frowned. “I am supposing I am not phrasing this right. I am going to get something to eat at the tavern below, and you are to be coming with me.”

“Oh, it’s going to be like that then? You’re just gonna flex your muscle and make me?”

“I believe that is my job to do so, Miss Stonemason,” Brulee said sternly.

“Whatever. I’ll go. Just don’t expect me to eat nothing.”

Brulee’s face turned to surprise. “Ah! You are not hungry?”

“Can’t eat if you don’t got no money,” Creme shrugged. She was lying, of course. She did have some money stashed away, but Brulee didn’t need to know that; better make her feel guilty for starving her ward.

“Ah, yes, money. It is no problem. I have a, how you say, stipend? Yes, some stipend money to be spending on food and other things for you on me.”

Creme perked up a bit. “What, so you can buy other things for me? Like what?”

“The things that are required for living. The food, the water, the clothing, the room,” the Dreanei said. “I am allowed to pay for these things with coin from the Crusader and the Warden.”

“So… nothing interesting, you’re saying?”

“I am sure those things are quite interesting. Now come, let us be going,” Brulee said, and downstairs they went.

The meal that Creme ordered was one of the best ones she had had in a long time. A simple stew, well spiced, with meat and potatoes and carrots. It was tasty. Brulee had ordered some too, after she had pried a suggestion out of Creme. The young mage had hoped the Draenei wouldn’t have like the meat or something, but Brulee thought it was tasty too.

“Stupid Draenei, liking meat and things. You’d think they wouldn’t like all this stuff,”

<there should be more smalltalk here, but we’ll move right along to where Creme tries to make a mess of things. Setting: hallway by the bathrooms?? Or by their room; Creme is trying to threaten Brulee to turn off the necklace (though she really wouldn’t kill the Draenei!)>

The dinner knife Creme had smuggled into her sleeve (why would she need a knife with stew?) came out in a flash. She charged Brulee, in an instant winding the Draenei with a swift knee to the stomach. Creme followed it up  by using her left hand to push the Draenei’s head back to the wall, while the knife in her right hand moved up to threaten the Draenei’s throat.

“Obviously this Paladin’s never seen real street combat,” Creme thought rather smuggly to herself. She growled quietly out loud, keeping it quiet in case anyone had heard something funny. “I told you I was not gonna be hangin’ around you no more. You break the necklace’s spell and I leave you alone, no funny business. I just hightail it out of town. I’m not gonna be nobody’s pet.”

She felt Brulee squirm some, trying to get her hand off her mouth or to bite her hand. Creme pressed the knife a little closer to the Draenei’s neck, depressing the skin but not enough to cut it. She hoped the Draenei couldn’t feel how much her hand was shaking. She never had to kill no one before, and really hoped the Draenei wasn’t going to push her luck.

Luckily, the Draenei stopped moving when the knife got closer, though her eyes were hardened into a very intense glare. Creme tried to keep her cool.

“I’m gonna let you talk a bit to answer me, but no funny business with the magic words. Any shocks might cause my knife to slip. Nod if you understand.”

Brulee gave the slightest of nods, and Creme slid her left hand off her mouth, though kept it on the Draenei’s chin, in case she did something funny.

“Would running away solve your problems?” Brulee asked sharply, though not with full mobility of her mouth. Her head was tilted back, away from teh knife, glaring down at Creme.

“It would be better than following you around. My whole life I’ve been kept dwn from people like you, people who don’t understand how life works for those without money, without privleged. Been coddled by cops who think they’re doing me a favor when…” she faltered for a moment, but then pressed on with both her speech and her free hand. “… when I woudl have been better left off alone!” Her voice was still little more than a whisper, though it spoke volumes on it’s own.

“Would killing me solve your problems?” Brulee asked coldly.

Creme tried to hide her surprise and the uneasiness in her own voice. “Kill you? Not if I don’t have to. Just undo the spells of the necklace.”

“And what if I said I could not do such a thing?”

Creme blinked. This wasn’t going according to plan at all. “What? No, you have to know. They wouldn’t put a thing on you if you couldn’t undo it.”

“It is not my duty to ‘undo’ anything about these trinkets. IT is my duty to escort you and keep you out of trouble.” The unspoken words “such as this” hung in the air between them.

“Liar!” Creme spat, pressing the knife again. It bit into the Draenei’s skin, causing a thin line of blood to be drawn. It eased down the knife’s blade.

“I do not lie about such things,” Brulee said coldly again, disdain clear in her voice. “I cannot break these necklaces. You cannot leave my presence until the punishment is over. And I think you-” The draenei quickly brought her hands up, surprising Creme as she moved the knife out of range of her throat “-have made-” Brulee twisted Cremes wrists with enough force to cause the knife to drop and Creme to cry out-“-your point.” On the last syallable, the draenei delivered a sharp elbow to Creme’s gut, causing the girl to be the one who was winded, and this time knocked to the floor, stomach and chest flaring with pain.

Creme gasped and coughed as the Draenei, still in her silly robes, no less, moved cloiser to lok down at her.

“And I am not needing a necklace to keep a girl like you in line.”

There was silence for a moment. Maye the Draenei was trying to give her time to talk back, but Creme could only hold hold her sides as she tried to recover from that elbow.

“Hm. It is time for you to sleep. We can discuss this more in the morning,” Brulee said.

“Wh.. but,” tried to ask, but Brulee whispered some other words. The necklaces began to glow and Creme drifted off into unconsciousness.

[Raw Draft] NaNoWriMo 2011 – Chapter 3: Duty to the World

22 Nov

I’m participating in NaNoWriMo again this year and I thought I’d share my progress with you.

Back to Brulee (are you sensing a theme? I hope so. I plan on switching PoV from one to the other, though I still need a little work on actually making the PoV based on, you know, my character). We find her a few years after the crash, studying the Light. She’s pretty much been doing just that as she’s still waiting for her sister Shamundi to wake up. Her superiors have had enough of Brulee’s ‘time off’ and Sister Lakosha requests that she go represent their order in Stormwind. Brulee reluctantly agrees, eventually realizing that this is probably for the best.

Once in Stormwind, she writes to her sister about her activities with the intent of giving her the letters later. Crusader Powel (another great name there, I’m sure), her supervisor in Stormwind, interrupts her writing to mention that he has a different job in mind for her (I wonder what it could be?!)

I spent a good time recapping various WoW details that probably didn’t need to be recapped, especially since I didn’t do research. Brulee also seems to act a bit too pouty here for being a full-grown adult paladin, but I wanted to convey that she did not want to leave her sister alone. Also, I really need to work on Northern accents some more. Time for me to be spending some more time down at the Pig & Whistle…

Chapter 3: Duty to the World

Four weeks prior to the events in the previous Chapter.Brulee slowly turned the page of the book she was reading, filled neat handwriting of the language called ‘Common’, spoken by their allies on this world.

It was, in her opinion, a fascinating read. The people of Azeroth had a relationship much like her people did, across many races. It shouldn’t have surprised her, really. There were many followers of the Light that they had met briefly during their travels. But the pink-skinned humans and dwarves had learned to command the Light with as much finesse as many of her brethren, and with very similar ideologies as their own. Their Night Elf allies also worshipped the Light, and even with their different stance on it’s source, also controlled it well.

In fact, all of the races from their Alliance had some faith in the Light; even the Gnomes, who had apparently relied more on their experience with the mechanical and physical world than to worship the Light. But more often than not ceremonies of all types were performed with the Light’s blessings, and performed by those who dedicated their life to it, much as she had.

It was with this common philosophy of the Light that eased the fears of the people of Azeroth. Who could have blamed the Night Elves, seeing them crash onto a nearby isle, appearing like those demon Eredar that had haunted their planet in the past, for attacking them at first? But the Light ended up easing the tensions between them all. Brulee would not be surprised if the Naaru had it’s hand in that too.

And that was another thing; their new allies had been fairly accepting of the existence of the Naaru. Some paid them no mind, but many thought their existence sparked curiosity as to their existence and provided even more questions to ask about their faith in the Light. A new era had begun for them, prompting pamphlets, booklets, and novels on the subject. Experts on the Light made copies for all the major churches and sanctuaries of the Light, included their ship turned city, Exodar.

Brulee spent all of her time reading them. She was almost done with this particular set by a Brother of the Light from Stormwind. He had some interesting thoughts, but nothing entirely new. Several other scholars, one Dwarf and several Draenei, had already explored these thoughts before. But it was nice to see a slightly different take on it from someone who had not been exposed to the other works. The book itself seemed to have been completed slightly before the other ones, meaning it was a simultaneous theory. How delightful!

She jotted a quick note down in her notebook about this. Her notes already consumed over half the pages, with several other books completely full in her quarters, the testament to her extensive research on the Light over the few years since the crash. Perhaps someday she would write a book on the subjects herself, but for now she was content to catalogue their libraries data for later entry into their yet to be completely repaired databanks.

That was just one of the many things awaiting repairs, even years after they landed. There had just been so much to do. Once all the survivors had been found, the dead properly buried, the various camps full of their people had to gather. Their leaders, spiritual and physical, had had a conference, in which it was determined it would be impossible for The Exodar to fly again, just as Brother Kalim had said. With the Night Elves, the first to make contact with them, offering them a place with their people and with like-minded people of the world who also had had unpleasant contact with the Burning Legion and would help them with their fight, it made sense to not try to run again. Azeroth would stand with them against their greatest threat.

Then came the time to rebuild, to try and make this place a home. The shell of the Exodar would be suitable to house most of their people, it was decided, though some of the other crash sites would be kept to keep an eye on the tarnished lands and to provided food for the city. The islands had been mostly uninhabited by Night Elves, though nearby lived some intelligent creatures called Furbolgs. They would not inhabit too much of their land, however. Camps that were not to be kept had the injured and sleeping people moved, while any more permanent structures of those camps were torn down for scraps and other usable parts. The few permanent villages they were keeping had permanent structures built. Some used parts of the crashed ship to shape their buildings, while others were built from the scrap materials. The building process was still ongoing in some places.

The Exodar was no exception to the rebuilding process. Even with the position with which it landed, all of it’s nooks and crannies were used to build a working city. Carefully it was divided into districts: one for their Shaman brethren, who had helped them escape from Draenor; one for followers of the Light, central to their people; and one for the traders and the creators, those who could craft and make the items they needed to live, where one could trade their wares for other goods and services. Not to mention the great hall they had put together for their Naaru visitor, with it’s spiral upwards to the inn where most of their allies would stay. Those that lived in the city usually stayed in the living accommodations in the various other tiers, in small nooks and crannies that could serve as more private rooms in the generally open layout of the ship. Or city, as it was now.

While many of their people lived within their city, quite of few did not like it’s confines or the reminder of their journey to this planet. They stayed on the surface (as the ship had sunk deep into the ground, causing much of The Exodar to be beneath the land), either in the other towns that the Draenei had built, on the outskirts of the city, in the countryside of the islands they now called their home. Some even moved to other cities of their Allies: the peaceful and beautiful city of Darnassas, built in the boughs of a great tree (a world tree, she had learned. It was very fascinating that a larger tree used to exist, until the Burning Legion came, and the significance of such a tree to the planet. The Night Elves’ history was nearly as long as their people’s own history, and just as tragic); Stormwind, the human’s city of white stone and blue roofs, full of winding and twisting streets and bridges over watery canals; Ironforge, the impenetrable fortress of the Dwarves and Gnomes, built into the heart of a mountain with molten fires of the earth that burned night and day.

At least, Brulee had heard that others had made homes in those cities, and in smaller towns and villages across Azeroth. She felt no need to leave the Exodar. She had everything she needed here. She was not the only one who read these books. Books came in from around the globe to their library; she was merely providing a service by catagorizing them, one by one, in her free time, aka the time not spent helping to repair the Exodar or otherwise continue to help her people with the rebuilding process of the Exodar.

She turned another page of the book, and was about to make another note in her own notebook when the light click of hooves on the smooth, hard sruface of the libraries floor alerted her to someone entering the room. She glanced up to see another of her mentors from the circle of Light-following Paladins, Sister Lakosha.

Lakosha was very tall, even by her people’s standards. Her skin was the lightest of blues, and it shimmered in the dim lights, as if telling of her great power. It lined her muscles, which stood out with her wearing vests and close fitting pants. It was obvious that Lakosha trained often, which Brulee knew to be true as she herself would try to attend one of Lakosha’s training sessions once a week, to try and keep herself ready for combat should the need arise. The tall draenei’s hair was straight, falling clear to her shoulders, past her face tentacles, while her horns went straight out to each side. Her face, usually stern or pulled tight with concentration as she blocked, attacked, and parried during training, was usually filled with concern and worry.

“There you are, Sister Brulee,” she called out as she briskly walked to Brulee’s chair. Brulee quickly set down her books onto a nearby table and stood.

“What bring you here, Sister Lakosha?” Brulee asked, searching the other’s face for answers. “Is this about my sister? Has there been a change in her status?”

Lakosha shook her head, a pained expression crossing her face for a moment. “No, this is not about your sister. If I had news that she had awakened I would have come running.”

Brulee relaxed from a tension she hadn’t realized was there until Lakosha settled her fears. “Then what has brought you to me?”

“You have,” Lakosha replied. Brulee blinked, puzzled.

“I do not…”

Lakosha smiled. “Come; let us take a walk and I will explain.”

“As you wish, Sister.” Brulee quickly brushed her robe to make it fall straight and the two of them walked in silence out of the library into The Vault of Lights.

Brulee looked about as they walked. Down in the central terrace a class of young draenei were being led about the holoprojectors depicting various types of agents of the Burning Legion. It was one of the more recent projects completed in The Exodar, the refurbishing of one of their most important teaching tools. Images of the Legion were familiar to all Draenei, whether they had faced them in combat before or not, as well as strategies to defeat them. Sometimes even their allies would come to learn from this presentation, to share with their students at their home.

“Tell me, Brulee,” Lakosha said, interrupting the silence, “what does it mean to be a Paladin?”

Brulee brows furrowed again; that sounded like a question one would ask a novice of the Light, not one with her years of experience. She still humored the Sister with an answer though. “To study the Light, to spread it’s teaching to others. To ask the Light to fill others’ lives, to have it aid us in our stuggles,” she supplied, a standard schoolbook answer.

Lakosha smiled lightly. “Very good, but I believe you have forgotten a tenant. ‘To protect those in trouble with its grace’, is it?”

Brulee blushed and nodded. She did forget that tenant. It was not one her books often focused on; many of the writers focused on the Light’s ideology and healing power.

“And that tenant implies so much more, does it not?” Lakosha asked. “It asks us to protect the weak. It asks us to look after children who are left without parents, to protect them from the harshness of the world. To go out and find trouble, and then right those wrongs, to protect the innocent in the world from getting into more harm.”

Brulee nodded again; all of those sentiments were true.

The Sister continued. “After all, one can more easily apply aspects of our faith and demonstrate them to the world if we are out in the world, even if it is not our own.

Brulee could feel the Sister’s eyes examine her for a reaction. She kept her face straight forward, unmoving.

“That is why I have spoken with the high council,” Sister Lakosha continued cautiously. “We have decided that it is time you were sent on a mission to help our Alliance members.”

Brulee stopped dead in her tracks, face going from surprise to anger as she flipped to the side to face Lakosha. “Send me away?” she accused. “I was promised that I could stay here, close to my sister, until she has awakened! And now you ask me to leave here, to leave her alone?”

Lakosha’s voice stayed calm, and even her face did not display much guilt from Brulee’s accusation. “That was when first landed, Brulee.” She reached out to put a hand on Brulee’s shoulder but Brulee shrugged it away. Lakosha looked hurt for a moment but continued to speak. “We did not know if she would live or die and did not want you to suffer if she were to pass away while trying to help out Allies. Keeping you here to rebuild would keep you close to your sister. And your studies of the Light have been most invaluable.”

“Then why have me leave? Why can I not just stay here, if my studies have become ‘invaluable’ as you say?”

Lakosha sighed. “As helpful as they are, our numbers are stretched thin. Many are still back on shattered Draenor, cleaning up after dealing a blow to the Legion there.”

Brulee nodded slowly. She was aware that many of her people returned to Draenor through ‘the Dark Portal’, in her opinion a rather depressing and dangerous endeavour all together, to return to your old homeworld shattered and broken. It was where their former allies, the Orcs, had been consumed by madness and raced through to this world in an attempt to conquer it. It was rather ironic that they were sharing a world yet again.

“And many others in our order have duties to the Alliance to perform in the northern continent, to clear the world of the undead threat that once threatened to consume it.”

“What do these conflicts have to do with me?” Brulee asked.

“Do you not see, Sister?” Lakosha demanded. “We are no longer alone in our fight against the Legion. We are no longer running from our conflicts, but making a stand with our allies. We are no longer a single entity that focuses on our own problems, but one that helps out those who have help us! Our allies need our assistance, no matter how small, on the many fronts that they fight!”

Brulee stepped back from Lakosha’s fury. Never had she seen her teacher with such anger; perhaps she may have looked fierce in training, but never with her words.

Lakosha mirrored Brulee’s movement with a forward step of her own. “But you are stuck, Brulee. You are stuck in our past mindsets, at least partly. If you do not go out into the world, if you do not progress your training further, you will never be a complete paladin.” Her voice calmed slightly, though it still carried an edge. “I have seen it in our trainings, as infrequent as they have gotten to be. You have lost the spark that aims to swing your blade; your prayers are half-felt, your mind instead focused on the theories in your books, your heart staying by your sister’s side. And I understand why it would be there, do not get me wrong. Family has been important for all of us.” She paused for a moment, her eyes’ glow unfocusing for just a brief moment. “But in the heat of battle, ones heart should be focused on the Light.”

“Y-yes, Sister,” Brulee managed to get out, nearly shocked into silence.

Lakosha returned to a more neutral posture. “I am glad you understand. I have spoken with Brother Kalim and others in the high order. We understand that you are out of practice at the moment, and shall not be requesting your presence for any high combat areas for the time being, such as in Northrend, in the fight against the Lich King. But a request had come in from our fellow human Paladins in Stormwind. They are looking for an expert in the Light to help guide troubled youth. And given your recent activities, you would seem to fit the bill for that job.”

“You wish for me to go to Stormwind?” Brulee asked with distress.

Lakosha appraised her. “Yes. It is the council’s wishes you travel there and follow the orders of one Crusader Powel in his attempts to better the youth of Stormwind.”

“For how long? And my sister…” she protested.

“I would like a year-long assignment would be best, unless you would wish to stay longer.”

Brulee shook her head violently.

“Then in a year you would be recalled here for a time of rest before a new assignment would be found. As for your sister, the priests who have been caring for her will let you know the second she awakes, and obviously immediate transportation would be arranged for you to return here, just as we would for others who’s close relatives still lie in comas.”

Brulee nodded. “That sounds reasonable,” even though her own voice sounded slightly suspicious.

“Then you accept your assignment, Sister Brulee?” Lakosha asked.

“Do I have a choice?” Brulee asked, resigned.

Lakosha smiled, once again her serenely pleasant self. “Your passage to Stormwind will be in one week, Sister. Please be prepared.” She bowed to Brulee, and Brulee to her, before walking off to the training grounds.


<Brulee visits her sister.>

It was a bitter pill for Brulee to swallow that Lakosha was right about everything she had said.

That first evening, she went to her quarters to pray on the matters, reaching out for the Light for comfort. It came, but to her chagrin, it was weaker than it had been in the past.

The next day, she went to the training grounds to get some practice in, and was flustered that she could not even disarm the newest trainee. Nor was her connection to the Light as strong as it used to be.

It was only right, she reasoned, that she follow the advice of her esteemed elders then and travel and live in Stormwind.

She packed many things. Her personal belonging that she would wish to bring with her all fit into a single large chest, including her day wear of robes, her training outfit, her battle armor, her ceremonial armor. That was sure to impress the children; it glinted with platinum and purple metal, fitted together with the finest of linens dyed white and purple. It had always held a special place in her heart, reminding her of the time it was first granted to her, an heirloom passed down from her grandmother she never met, Bru’sha, a great paladin in her own right. She was surprised it had made it through the crash with little to repair, along with many other goods that had been stored on the Exodar in one giant holding room.

She did not bring many books with her, as most of the ones she read belonged to the public collection. She did, however, straighten out her notes, spending a full day writing out a copy for herself, and then giving the originals to the library for reference. Even if they were just notes, it would be helpful for other scholars of the Light, she was sure. And keeping a copy for herself would allow her to write out that book she had been contemplating, if she could find the time.

A few requests had filtered in through from various areas; could she bring this or that trinket it to so and so who was living in Darnassas, on her way to Stormwind? Or to such and such living at the Menethil harbor, or those in Ironforge or Stormwind itself. Various foodstuffs and trinkets filled another crate entirely, as requests continued to filter in through the week.

Even later in the week, she spoke with Lakosha about the trip’s details. A boat would take her from Exodar to Darnassas. A night’s stay there would lead to a quick flight across the sea to Auberdine, part of the mainland of Kalimdor. From there a public trade boat would take her straight to Stormwind on the Eastern Continent, with a few stops along the way, for trading no doubt. All in all it would take quite a few days to get to Stormwind. Lakosha assured her that the Crusader had a place for her to stay all ready, so she wouldn’t need to worry about securing room and board (though the Inn there would be available if she arrived at an unexpected time).

However, Brulee saved herself time each evening to go visit her sister, even if it was just for a moment. It was on her last night in Exodar that she set aside the entire evening to spend with her still comatose sister.

She walked into the infirmary where those still stricken with the spell from the crash rested; they were in the back, while any other injuries were addressed in the front. The Priests on duty gave her nod; she was a familiar visitor there.

She headed directly for the curtained area in the rear, flicking them open to the purple-glowing room in which the still sleeping Draenei remained. This was just one such infirmary, holding a few dozen Draenei. Most of them had been close to the malfunctioning engine at the time, trying to repair it, just as her sister had been.

The plush pods held the sleeping Draenei. Due to their proximity to the explosion, most of them had sustained serious injuries, but all of those had healed, leaving scars.

She could still see them on Shamundi, as she approached her. Her hair, still growing slowly, had been arranged to cover her missing horn. Her damaged eye now had a stylish patch covering it, also blocking the scars. Scars dashed across her body where the wounds and bandages once lay, before ending in the stump of her right leg, missing the lower half.

“It is still much better than it was,”  Brulee thought as she eased in to a stool next to the pod-like bed, and leaned against the rim of the bed, looking down upon her sister. “And she was asleep during the healing. She would not have to be aware of the pain she went through, so I hope.” And she was still well cared for. The Priests would work their healing power upon the prone, to keep their muscles from deteriorating completely, to keep them well when they could not eat; advanced healing spells that were far beyond Brulee’s ability.

It had taken over a year since she had woken for the priests to be sure that Shamundi would not simply pass away in her sleep from the injuries. A year Brulee had spent close to her sister, hoping that she would wake so they could share some words, a year she spent helping with the reconstruction with all her mind’s focus on the healing of her sister, a healing she could not perform. How powerless she felt because of it.

And now she would have to leave her here, alone in a strange world. She knew her sister, if she did wake, would not really be alone. But they were the last two of their family – the last. Elders had been claimed by the Legion long ago. Her parents died to the Orcish raids, when they had lost their minds to some sort of evil and slaughtered her people. Her brother, dear Alee, so young and bold, died while defending against those same Orcs as one of their hidden villages was under attacked. Many lives were saved that day, but many had paid the price.

What would she do if she were to lose her sister too? It would almost be too much to bare. Brulee knew others had lost their entire families to their people’s enemies, and if Shamundi were to die, Light forbid, she could likely soldier on as they did. But here her sister lay, unmoving, neither alive nor dead, and the uncertainty she felt about this drove her crazy.

“Perhaps that is why they recommended I spent time away. To not have her weigh so heavily on my mind…” Brulee thought, oddly calm. Perhaps in Stormwind she could find peace.

Spurred by this thought, she pulled out her small notebook that she always kept close at hand and scrawled a message for her sister. Other’s had done so, letters left in the bed with the sleepers, and with her now leaving, it seemed like a good time to do so.

Dearest Shamundi,

I am alive and well, waiting for you. Do not worry, I shall come to your side as soon as you call.

With everlasting love,

Was there anything else to say that the Priests would not? Would a longer explanation in the note sooth her sister’s fears and panic at the thought of being asleep for so long? Brulee doubted it would; a simple note would do.

She folded it in half and placed it next to Shamundi’s head on her pillow.

“Goodbye, sister. May the Light be with you.” She leaned over and kissed her sister’s cheek before leaving the ward for the last time.


<Brulee is on a boat? Or just Brulee has been in Stormwind for awhile and thinks about the boat. Probably in Stormwind, yah.>

“Tha’ was a great talk ye di’, lass,” Crusader Gregory Powel said to Brulee with a thundering slap to her back. She tried not to wince.

“Thank you, sir,” she replied in her accented Common. Her reading and writing of the Common language shared between races of the Alliance was much better than her spoken, but she still understood most things everyone said, and vis versa. Its live application was certainly more difficult than just practicing it with other Draenei.

Not to mention the accents. Crusader Powel had lived in the North of the Eastern Kingdoms for years. She had to concentrate doubly hard to follow what he was saying half the time.

“I’m sure the laddies and lasses ‘ill ask more questions about the Light next time, eh?”

“One could be hoping so, sir,” she replied while packing away her props. Exactly all of the questions that the orphans asked today were about her people and ‘why did they have horns’ or ‘why did they look so funny’ or ‘I heard you guys were demons’ or other such nonsense.

“Good, good! Well I’ve some business ta attend ta, so I’ll let ye run off and do whatevah ya’d like ta. Light bless!” the Crusder cheerfully exclaimed as he walked out of the room.

“Light bless for you too!” she called out half-heartedly. She assumed he wouldn’t have heard anyway.

All of her things were packed so she too left the room, a rented out one in one of the shops in town. She carried the crate with her both of her hands out of the building, with nods to the shopkeeps as they went about their daily business.

Outside the shop she attracted stares, partly because she was a Draenei, she supposed, but also her ceremonial armor seemed to be a little up-dressed in the city. Judging from what the Paladins typically wore in Stromwind, purple seemed outlandish to them.

“No matter,” she thought to herself while consulting her map of the city to determine how to navigate back to the Cathedral where she was staying. “I think it still looks stunning.”

She only got lost three times on her way back to her room, a marked improvement from the last time she had to find her way in the city. A nod to the Paladins stationed – they stared at her armor too, she noted, hopefully in jealous – and a quick trip to the lower levels of the Cathedral got her to her rooms, where guests of the Order would stay.

It was a small space, enough for a bed and a desk and her chest of belongings, but it was enough for her time in the city. A year and it would all be in distant memory.

<letter writing time!>

She took the time to change out of her armor and into a comfortable dress, as there was no need to wear the armor in her own room, or even if she wasn’t on official business. Brulee then sat down at her desk. It was fairly worn; the retainer of the rooms had said it was likely passed down from some student or another before it ended up here.

From a drawer in the desk she pulled out some parchment, an inkwell and a feather pen she had purchased just the day before. Since she could not be near her sister physically, Brulee had decided to write to her. She would have started sooner, of course, but had nothing to write with for much of the journey, and had otherwise been kept busy until today. But the rest of the afternoon and evening were free for her, so she now would have plenty of time to write about the events that had heppened.

“Besides, it may give me a chance to reflect on what I have done so far…” she thougth to herself. As much as she hated to admit it, Lakosha and the other elders were right to be concerned about her. The crash had effected her more ddeply than she had realised, and this time away would give her a chance to reflect on it.

She undid the stopper on the ink, dipped in her pen, and began to write.

Dear Shamundi,

I find myself traveling to Stormwind, the human capitol, on business for the Paladins. It was a three-leg journey, by boat, by bird, by boat. I must say I enjoyed sailing much better than flying, as I still am uneasy with heights. The first boat ride was short and uneventful, from our island to the Night Elves’. The sea was clam that day, and there were quite a few people going to and from Darnassas that day, due to usual trade and other business between our people.

The second ship’s journey was much longer. I am fortunate to not have gotten seasick, as several of my traveling companions did. I did what I could to sooth them, and it helped them on most days to not throw up. But we did sail through one squall that even my assistance was futile in keeping their dinners in. Even I felt a tad queasy, but the sailors on the ship kept us afloat and did their work commendably.

I ran across Tohki at one point of harbor. Menethril, I believe. You remember her, yes? She is the one who set the garden on fire with her machine. She has been staying there for some time, though I did not quite understand what she was helping with. All that techno mumble jumbo went over my head as usual, though she was quite pleased to receive the order of food she requested from The Exodar, along with a new part. She ran off after she got that. I’m sure she was just really excited.

Stormwind itself is as impressive as they say it is in the stories I had heard from others. It is a huge sprawling place, filled with tall buildings and stores with water running all throughout the town. It is filled with humans and dwaves and gnomes, and even a few night elves and other draenei. Truly a great city. They say it had been rebuilt only some odd twenty years ago, and I can understand why. It is close to the sea and beautiful fertile valleys all around. Truly an idyllic place.

The central point of the city is their temple to the Light and its users, called the Cathedral. It is one of the tallest buildings in the city. Its bells wake me every morning, chiming the time for the city.

The various preists and paladins who follow the Light live and work here. It is their central communication point for all who follow teh Light, so they may send their resources across the world to the areas that need it, much like our own Council. Those who have permanent positions in the Cathedral stay in the quarters upstairs, while visitors such as myself are given guest rooms in the lower floors.

The room is nice. I foresee I will spend little time in it as my duties here continue to increase, so its small size is of no consequence. And they made sure the bed was big enough to fit my tall form! I tower over many of the humans here; only some Night Elves I can face more eye to eye.

Perhaps that is why I attract such stares when I walk about the streets. Crusader Powel, who is my mentor here, has said that oft times male Draenei have elicited panic from those familiar with the Eredar. But now the stares are more from the curious who have not left Stormwind that much. Seeing a Draenei is still a rarity for them.

Crusdaer Powel himself is an interesting persone. He is an older human, and has lived much of his life in the northern reaches of the Eastern Kingdoms. This means he has a horribly hard accent to parse through when I am listening to him speak Common! Most of our teachers for Common spoke the common accent that many in Stormwind have, so this Northern accent is certainly causing me to think harder! I can only ask him to repeat a phrase so many times! Luckily, I think he has caught on to my difficulties and has started to speak a little slower and clearer in my presence. It helps, but I cannot help feeling a little foolish being spoken to like a child! I have thrown myself into studies of Common even further to prevent this from happening much more.

Taking shopping trips in the city helps this, as I must force myself to converse with others for this or that item, such as this parchment and ink I am writing you with. Most of the shopkeeps are polite enough not to ask too much about my appearance; it is a dreadfully awful conversation to have to explain to someone that yes, I do look blue and yes that is my natural skin color just like those Night Elves. I must bite my tongue to not ask if they have always been so pink or brown, for that would leave only a negative impression upon them.

At least the children I have met so far in order to teach them in the ways of the Light have asked more intelligent questions, such as where we had come from or if the horns have any functionality besides stabbing people (yes, stabbing people! Such violent little youngsters, though it certainly can be understandable considering the vast amounts of war these people have seen, much like our own people. However, I have set them straight on the matter that no one stabs anyone with their horns, and I shant mention the incident with the cake if you won’t). I hope that we can eventually move past this phase and actually talk about the Light, but I guess there is novelty to having a Draenei for a teacher instead of one of their own. I’m sure once I tell them that stealing is wrong they will think twice about it less they have an ‘alien’ chasing them down the street for punishment!

The teaching schedule so far has been pretty empty. Crusader Powel mentioned several of the classes I had been scheduled to handle had been moved to a different initiate due to my late arrival (the storm I mentioned earlier had set us off course and delayed our arrival by several days!) I have spent most of my time here so far preparing reading over their materials for the classes I may or may not end up teaching and generally getting to know the other priests and paladins here. Quite a few of them have similar interests in the theory of the Light as I do and have wished to speak of it further. We have had several long discussions over the dinner tables here and

A knock on the door interrupted Brulee’s writing. She set down the pen and pushed out the chair to stand, mentally switching herself back into ‘Common’ mode as she called out, “Come in, please!”

The door swung in, revealing Crusader Powel. “‘ope I’m nae interruptin’ anythin’,” he said with a cheerful voice, as it always seemed to be.

“No, you are not at all, sir. Do be pleased to enter,” Brulee said, gesturing to the small open space in front of the door.

Powel grinned. “Ye sure have a funny way of puttin’ things.”

Brulee ginned back, though mentally she was kicking herself. The grammar phrasing was always the hardest to do. At least she got the point across. “As you do too, sir. What brings you to here?”

“Ye know how most ye classes were rescheduled?” he asked, getting down to business. Brulee nodded.

“Well I think I have just the job fer ye ta handle in its place.”

“Is that so?”

“Yah. Jus’ come wit’ me and we ken talk ’bout it. See, involves this girl…” he started as the two of the exited her room.

[Raw Draft] NaNoWriMo 2011 – Chapter 2: The Problem With Authority

21 Nov

I’m participating in NaNoWriMo again this year and I thought I’d share my progress with you.

The second chapter switches back to Creme. Time has passed, and she’s now 17 years old… and in trouble with the law! This is not an uncommon occurrence for her, for the Warden William Wilshire (one of the sillier names I’ve come up with, I know) seems quite familiar with her.

Her crime? Stealing expensive goods and accidentally lighting things on fire. The punishment? A magical necklace that will keep her close to a guardian who will then do community service with her (read: questing). I wonder who that guardian will be…

At any rate, Creme gets to roam free that evening, choosing to go to her squatting grounds at the Orphanage, where she talks with the Matron.

Creme is ridiculously sulky; I probably need to adjust her character to have more depth instead of just scowling at authority figures all the time. I may also need to later write a scene with her ‘gang’ and flesh them out a little. It also may make more sense that a private individual would ‘sponsor’ her and make her travel with a guardian rather than having a member of the guards do it.

I’m also ignoring the fact that Stockades would be under seige. My guess is that the common civilian wouldn’t be aware of that so they could still hang it over people’s heads.

Formatting from my original document doesn’t copy/paste over into the wordpress blog, so please be reassured that various emphases and thoughts are actually italicized.

Also, there is a rant against The SA in there because he was reading aloud what I was typing. I don’t like it when he does that. >.>

Chapter 2: The Problem With Authority

“Here goes the Warden again, always with his lectures,” Creme thought grumpily to herself, leaning on her chair in a most casual fashion. The teen, almost full into womanhood, wore a rumpled brown vest with a small white undershirt with no sleeves. It was usually warm enough in Stormwind to go without them. Her pants were also rumpled, a slightly heavier fabric in blue. Sandals were on her feet. Her orange-blond hair was cut short around her ears, the ends of it turning out from her head.The room itself was the same as always; a cramped wood paneled space with a single dirty window to one side. One crappy wooden desk, two crappy wood-back chairs, one wooden door, and one wooden guy.”-And were you not, Miss Stonemason, supposed to be working at The Gilded Rose at this period of time?” came Warden William Wilshire’s sharp question that demanded an answer.”I ‘spose,” she mumbled, disinterested.

“You “‘spose”,” the Warden repeated flatly.

“Yup. ‘Spose I was.”

“And why do you suppose when you should have been there?” he asked with great emphasis.

“‘Cause I didn’t wanna work there, man.”

“Sir,” he corrected.

“Sir,” she repeated, rolling her eyes.

“And because-” he continued, “you did not wish to be working at your honest job, you decided to go stealing?!” The Warden slammed his palms down on his crappy wooden desk, causing it to shake. Creme sat up in her seat; it seemed the Warden meant business this time.

“S’not like I haven’t done it before, Mister Warden Sir,” she said with an innocent feel. The Warden was not amused.

“When they’ve brought you in to me before it was because you were stealing food to share with the orphans. Not jewelry!”

“What’s the big deal?”

“What’s the BIG DEAL?” he roared, jumping out of his seat. Creme leaned away from him in her chair, taken aback. “You ask me what the big DEAL is about this? Here I am, with my young ward, who I have said to the force I will take under my wing and stop her stealing rampage in the city. Here I stand, taking the heat for you and keeping you out of the prisons because she is too young, it’s only food, the orphanage can barely afford to feed and keep their children, she’ll grow out of it. I find you job after job after job, and you get dragged back in here for stealing at your workplace, for stealing even more food than anyone could eat, and now for stealing Light-forsaken JEWELRY!” The last statement was punctuated by another fist against the desk. Creme was speechless.

“You know how much that shit cost, Creme? Do you know how much?”

Creme shook her head.

“Five. Five hundred. Five hundred gold pieces. FIVE. HUNDRED. That’s more than I make in a year. More than you’ll likely see in your life.”

“Not if I had gotten away,” Creme muttered.

Warden William shot her a glare. “Funny thing about running away from the scene of a crime. It’s a lot easier if you don’t leave a TRAIL OF FIRE!”

“Well I didn’t mean to set the house on fire.”

“Of course you didn’t mean to. You never mean to. And yet things around you just keep catching on fire. And have you been going to your lessons?”

“A few of-”

“Not enough of them, apparently. I spoke with your teach, Magister Smith. She hasn’t seen you for weeks.”

“Well I’ve been busy.”

“Busy stealing! Busy getting into trouble! Busy causing trouble for me, for everyone in Stormwind!” The Warden threw up his arms in apparent defeat, falling back into his seat.

They were silent for a moment; the Warden obviously trying to contain his anger, Creme stewing with her own anger and guilt. The Warden was the first to speak again.

“I know you’re not a bad kid, Creme,” he sighed. “I know you’ve had it rough.

<explaination of why he doesn’t like this, why the others want her in Stocks, and what the eventual deal is. She has to go to her mage trainer.>

Your mom, she was a good lady. I said I’d watch out for all you kids from the riots, and I’m doing my best. But your mom wouldn’t want this-”

“Don’t talk to me about what my mom would’ve wanted,” interrupted Creme. She glared at the warden, fists clenched.

He put his hands up defensively. “Fine, fine. I don’t want this for you, Creme. But you’ve pushed it too far this time.” He leaned forward, hands now on the desk in front of him, clenched together. “Do you know how much this latest fire has cost our great city, Creme?”

She avoided his gaze, causing him to repeat himself.

“Do you know how much it cost?”

“I dunno, like fifty gold or something?”

“One thousand. One thousand gold. Twice the cost of the necklace you stole. And on top of your theft charges, you are charged with intentional arson.”

“Intentional?” Creme squawked indignantly. “I told you it was an accident.”

“Shooting fireballs at someone and missing is still intentional harm!”

“I was just trying to light my way to see!”

“Then obviously you need more training!” the Warden spat. They glared at each other again.

“Do you know what happens when someone is charged with theft of this degree and arson?” he asked, calmly again. Creme shook her head.

“You go to the Stocks.”

Creme’s eyes widened in surprise. “The stocks? You – you can’t send me there! I’m not a real criminal!”

“According to the law you are. That’s what most everyone else in the guard wants me to do. Send you to simmer and stew in the Stocks with the rest of the thieves and murders of the kingdom for a few years or more.”

“So you’re just going to abandon me then,” Creme said in a defeated tone.

“That’s what they want me to do. But I’ve talked them down to a final solution. One last chance, Creme,” he said, waving a single finger in her direction. “This will be your last time getting help from me. Any more slip ups with the law and you will be in the Stockades and there will be nothing I can say to keep you out of there. Do you understand?”

Creme nodded, still looking a tad angry. She knew the Warden wasn’t messing around this time. From all their many, many talks in the past, he had never brought up the Stockades as a possibility for her. She had obviously been too young to throw in there in the past; only adult criminals went there. And stealing food was something all the street urchins ended up doing on the streets of Stormwind; it wasn’t too big of a deal. Maybe she did push it too far; it wasn’t the first time she burned something down; maybe that’s what made this a much bigger deal.

“What’s the ‘solution’ then?” she asked.

“A strict probation along with community service,” the Warden said succinctly.

Creme stared at him. “And what does that mean, exactly?”

The Warden sighed. “It means these things. Listen closely. First, you will be assigned a Guardian who will be spending their time with you. All of their time.”

Creme rolled her eyes with a disgusted sigh. “It’s not you, is it?”

“No, it is not. I’ve arranged for an experienced Paladin to be your guardian. She will be performing acts of service along side you.”

“She in trouble too?”

“No, she is not. Turns out some folks like to help people out just because they are kind. Fancy that. She gets to help out you AND others at the same time. At any rate, you and your Guardian will be linked so that you may not run away from her, so she can keep tabs on you.”

“Linked?” Creme asked, puzzled.

“Yes, through a spell some mages whipped up from us. I guess if you actually went to your classes you would know about things like this. Let’s see, I have it here somewhere…” The Warden rummaged around in one of the drawers of his desk and pulled out a thin blue necklace. It looks like a simple string, except it had a metallic hint to it and a small clasp at one end.

“Put this on,” he said, waving the necklace at her. She grabbed it suspiciously and played with it in her hands.

“Do I have to?”

“Unless you would rather like a trip to the Stocks, yes.”

Creme frowned, but complied. She fiddled with the clasp to undo it and slipped it around her neck. She then spent a long time trying to reclasp it around her neck, prompting the Warden to leave his desk. He walked around behind her chair and latched it himself. A light blue glow emitted from the area where the clasp was; it hummed softly too, vibrating slightly on Creme’s neck.

Her hands reached back to try and find the clasp herself as the Warden walked back to his desk. The entire necklace felt smooth, a fact she confirmed as she turned it around.

“What just happened to this?” she asked, puzzled.

“It’s magic. Don’t you know? Or have you not gone to class.”

“Even if I did go to class I wouldn’t be learning about magical objects yet,” Creme replied sharply.

The Warden shrugged. “I’m not too familiar with the details myself. But this will be the object that keeps you near your Guardian. You’ll suffer some very… unpleasant consequences if you’re not near her.”

“But I’m not near her right now. Isn’t this a problem?”

“It hadn’t been attuned to her yet. Right now it’s scheduled to activate if you do not report to your teacher at the usual place by 9:00am tomorrow morning.”

“Oh. That’s kinda early, isn’t it?”

“I guess you will just have to wake with the rest of us then,” the Warden huffed. “Now, onto further rules of your probation. Your Guardian will be with you at all times-”

“You mentioned that already.”

“I was just recapping. Besides her being ever present at your side, you both will have to perform community service. This will be tasks both in and out of the city.”

“You mean I have to leave Stormwind?”

“Yes. You will have to, at some point, leave the city and attend to the Alliance’s needs elsewhere. We have need for skilled mages on the field-”

“But I’m not a skilled mage!” Creme protested. “I can barely handle most of my spells-”

“All the more reason for you to get some hands on practice, especially when it comes to not burning things.”

Creme ignored his quip. “And you expect me to fight for the people who ruined my life? Who killed my mother?” she asked, her voice dropping. She knew better than to exclaim these things loudly in the house of guards.

The Warden frowned with concern. “I understand your feelings on the matter.” His face grew more stern as he continued to speak. “But you must put aside these differences for the time being. Instead of thinking it as aiding Stormwind’s royalty, consider it helping your fellow man. And woman. People out there need your help, not just the city.”

Creme frowned; she wasn’t convinced. “And is that all there is to this strict probation?”

“Ah; you will have to report to Magister Smith for lessons when you are available. Every day at 9:00 am until she or your Guardian sees fit to have you leave, unless you are out of the city on business.”

“Nine in the morning again?” Creme asked. “Can’t you guys pick a better time than that? A time when normal people get up, for example?”

“That is a normal time, Miss Stonemason. I believe that is all the important information you need to know for now. Remember to report to the Mage’s Tower at 9:00 am sharp to see Magister Smith and your Guardian. In the meantime, you are free to go and tidy up your affairs.”

Creme stood and gave a quick bow to the Warden. She headed for the door.

“And Miss Stonemason – if you get into trouble between now and then, I will escort you to the Stocks myself.”

“Understood, Warden,” Creme called out behind her as she stepped through the door… which she slammed for good measure as she marched out of the guard hall.


It was early afternoon as Creme wandered the streets of Stormwind aimlessly. The streets were bustling with people running their afternoon errands, businesses still open and doing all sorts of business, no doubt.

“This,” Creme thought to herself, “is probably the worst amount of trouble I’ve ever gotten into. Even worse than the cart crash incident. Or the exploding watermelons. He at least thought that was funny too.”

She ambled down the familiar cobblestones in the Trade District, fiddling with the blue necklace which seemed to now be a permanent fixture to her attire. She couldn’t see it looking down, just feel it. It was definitely too small to slip over her head; she had tried that already to no avail. A nearby store window, while small, let her give it another look. It was just like a shiny string of metal, but it felt soft and very light against her skin. She tilted her chin from side to side. It actually looked like a fancy piece of jewelry, not unlike the jewelry she had tried taking just the other night.

The Warden was right about one thing; it was a pretty stupid idea to steal some jewelry. She didn’t need the money; if she really wanted to she could’ve kept that job at the inn. It was mundane work though. Folding linens, taking orders for ridiculous amounts of food and drink and then serving that food and drink, keeping the fires going, cleaning up disgusting messes. And then there were the accidents; fires becoming too large because she fed them too much magic and it consumed all of the wood in an instant. Burning guests who touched her in the wrong places. Crisping the laundry in an attempt to get it to dry faster. Candles that became melted wax. Sometimes she didn’t even intended to use her magic to do these things; it just came to her. One of her teachers said it was because she had an ‘innate talent for contacted the arcane’, whatever that meant. But apparently she only liked arcane that was on fire. Her teachers had tried working her to learn other spells, but it was a lot harder and seemed like a pain. ‘If you learn other schools, you can control your outbursts’ they had said but that just didn’t seem to be happening.

The store owner started to give her dirty looks for staring at the window for so long. She gave a little wave to her and began to meander again.

“Yup, pretty dumb move for us to go steal something that wasn’t food,” she thought to herself. Her little gang of orphans who she hung out with came up with the idea. Harvey said it would get them enough cash to feed themselves for years without needing to do another thing ever. And why not try it? They had stole food before with marginal success, they reckonned this wouldn’t be much different.

They obviously did not do the needed research. Jewerly stands had guards, sometimes in plainclothes nearby. They had magical alarms. They had city guards watching out for them. If she hadn’t set the cart on fire, the guards would’ve gotten her friends too. It was just an unfortunate accident that the nearby building caught on fire too.

She fiddled with the necklace some more as she walked. “I wonder how much this cost. Mage trinkets are expensive as it is… how did the Warden convince everyone not to just lock me up.” He really did care about her. He meant well. He had always been good to their group. Hell, he was good to all the orphans from the wars, but especially them who had lost their parents during Stormwind’s reconstruction. He had been friends with her mom and her dad, and even Mister Jordan. The Warden really did understand.

<note that she hasn’t seen necklaces like this before, so it might be an original punishment plan. her meanderings eventually bring her to the orphanage>

And she never had heard of anyone getting a punishment like this before. What kind of cop let their criminal go after a single night in the slammer on apparently strict, magical probation? Not any she had heard about before. She had been expecting some time in the slammer or something else unpleasant; the building did burn down and all, even if they recovered all the things they had taken. There were usually consequences for burning things.

Not that she was complaining about not being dragged down to the Stocks. The Stockades were a nasty place; once you went in, you pretty much never went out. A few of her gang still had parents down there ’cause of their involvement with with Defias. The place was guarded up the wazoo, and she did not doubt that it would be a rough place for a woman to be.

“But a mage made necklace? He couldn’t’ve just through of that in one night. Maybe he was preparing for it. As if he expected this from me.” Creme kicked a nearby pebble. She had let the Warden down, it was obvious. But it didn’t bother her none. He didn’t control her life. She did. So what he got her a special necklace that would apparently try to keep her out of trouble and did so specially for her to keep her from ending up in jail? He probably did that for all the orphan kids anyway.


She made her way over to The SA to kill him because he was reading what was written. Slowly she crept behind him, sharpening her knife on her whetstone that she carried for just such occasions as this. (Aka for MURDER). She made nary a sound as she slunk across the living room, footsteps muffled by the thick carpet. Soon she was at the futon, knife at the ready. Her victim was unsuspecting, as he kept reading the words. AND THEN SHE STABBED HIM AND KILLED HIM. AND THERE WAS NO ICE CREAM.


She made her way over one of the many canals in Stormwind, stopping at the top of the bridge to look down at the water. It was barely murky; she could see to the bottom. They said there was a team of mages who’s job it was to purify the water in the city so people could drink from it whenever they wanted. It always seemed clean enough to she and her friends did, but there were those who would still snub it. They were probably right to do so, given the number of drunkards who would pee in it each night. But it was good enough for a drink or a swim when you were board, as long as you avoided the fishers or the heavily trafficked canal channels, where the merchant goods would come into the city from the port to be loaded into carts to be taken around the city. /longsentence.

There was her reflection again, clear in the oddly still waters. Creme tried tucking a wayward hair away behind her ear but it just popped out again, like it always did. Nightingale always did say her hair would look lovely if she grew it out, that it would be nice and wavy, but her Mom had always like her with short hair, so she left it short.

“Still as stubborn as ever, Mom.” she thought wistfully before moving on to wander the city streets.

Evening had fallen by the time her feet had carried her to a familiar location; Stormwind’s Cathedral. It had just started to toll it’s bells for the hour. Creme counted them to herself; one, two, three, four, five, six, seven. Reliable as always those bells. Loud, filling nearly every crook and cranny of the city until ten o’clock, where they stopped chiming for the sake of the sleeping populace, only to start again at 6 the next morning. Every hour, on the hour. There were a few other bells for special occasions, but there was only the one big one that rang for the time.

It was familiar, like everything else in the city. Creme remembered the times she fell asleep to the gentle peals of the bells at night, or the elated feeling she held when they would go off for the last time in the evening while she was still awake, even though she wasn’t supposed to be. That feeling never left even as she got older, and left her home in Stormwind’s orphanage to go off to better ‘opportunities’ that would ‘further her in the world’ but only left her feeling dissatisfied.

Maybe that’s why she was back here, at the Cathedral. The orphanage was not far from the Church’s tall spires, it’s ever present gaze upon them. It still was one of the best maintained buildings in the city, though it’s white stones did not gleam as bright as they did when new, Creme thought. But even the resentful workers who stayed in their city would pay their respects to those who followed the Light, who healed and guided them, and would provide repairs to the stone and woodwork of the church.

Creme stopped standing around in the square and headed to the east, to where the orphanage sat in less glory than the church, though for many like her it was not that much less important. It was what had saved them from starving on the streets, from becoming another casualty to ‘war’, as it were. Everything was due to the wars. Men and women were needed to fight – never mind the children they left behind.

She approached the doors to the Orphanage cautiously. Creme technically didn’t live there anymore. She was supposed to be living at the Inn, where she had been employed. Well, they pretty much had fired her, or if they hadn’t fired her they weren’t expecting her back. None of her belongings were there anyway; she kept most of her non-essentials at the Mage school. Things like the few extra clothes she had (and the ones provided by the mage school itself; no way was she going to wear a freakin’ robe if she didn’t have to), that silly mage staff they insisted that she use. Important things she left at her group’s hideout… which was, ironically, in the back of the orphanage.

Nightingale knew about it, of course. She knew about everything they did. Creme still maintained that the lady had eyes on the back of her head, to keep track of so many kids like she did without too much help. Or maybe she was a mage type too, leaving little spells and things around to alert her when a kid was about to do something bad.

But she let them stay in the dusty old back basement, a room from the Stormwind that had been here before the new one. They had built right on top of some places, leaving spooky rooms beneath. That’s where the older orphens stayed, when they could not find steady employment or someone to marry (as if that was ever an option she would consider, even IF she had a sweetheart who was in a position to ‘provide’ for her) once the state stopped caring for them at sixteen.

Sixteen was the magic number after all, where they could stop being considered children and start being considered adults on the records. No one cared if some adult was found dead in the street.

And while she legally could not provide them the food, the room was one never intended to be used by the orphanage at all. In fact, Creme was pretty sure that it moved over some as you wandered down the rickity stairs and the small tunnel, so their little underground room was actually underneath some shop on the other side of the street. So Nightingale let them stay there, as long as they didn’t get into trouble.

Which was exactly what Creme was in. Nightingale usually didn’t like a fresh jailbird hanging around the property. She always knew when you got into trouble too. Her and the guards were in cahoots. ‘It’s in your best interest,’ she would say, before giving you the spanking of a lifetime. Creme’s behind ached just thinking about it.

“Ah, but the seven bell just went out. That means it’s bedtime for the little ones, and dinner time for everyone else. She should be plenty busy. Busy enough for me to slip right in.”

With those comforting thoughts, Creme quietly crept into the Orphanage’s front door. Her feet carefully set themselves upon certain wood boards of the flooring; years of practice told her which ones would squeak and which ones would not. Creme’s awkward gait lead her down the one of the hallways that circled the central common area, where the kitchen, dining hall, and learning area were. She could hear the sounds of the older kids chowing down. From the smell of it, it was some fresh cooked bread and … fish? So a fancy meal!

Her nose betrayed her, as it alerted her stomach as to how hungry she was, exactly. She hadn’t eaten since the morning guardhouse meal of oatmeal, with no honey or any other frills (obviously, since it was jail food). It growled loudly, just as she was crossing a door frame to get to the other side.

A few more observant eyes saw her small dash, eliciting giggles from those near the door. And one pair of those eyes Matron Nightingale.

Creme knew she was caught but kept going, just in case Nightingale was feeling lenient.

“Creme Stonemason! What a delightful surprise to have you here this evening! I wasn’t expecting you!” the Matron called out from the dining hall with a fake cheerful voice she saved for when her children got in trouble (or when she was pretending to be quite pleased at the fact the Orphanage was getting even less money from the Crown than usual and would therefore have to pull lots of strings to get all of her children fed, a task she looked forward to with GREAT cheer, it’s no trouble at ALL.)

There was no escaping getting called out in front of everyone. It was much worse if you ran, she knew from experience. Nightingale was much faster than you would think for someone so old. Creme slowly shuffled to the doorway, leaning against it casually as if that was her plan all along.

“Oh. Hey, Miss N. Thought I’d just drop by for a bit…” Creme began, hoping that she could just slink off somewhere – anywhere – else real soon.

The Matron’s eyebrow raised slightly at being called Miss N. Creme knew that she wasn’t fond of that nickname, but most everyone around there who knew her well enough could call her that without fear of retribution.

“I’m so glad you could find the time to visit!” exclaimed the Matron, bubbling with an eery pleasantness. She moved over to the doorway from her position at the head table, where it looked like she was about to enjoy her meal. The rest of the dining room, satisfied that the Matron was about to chew out Creme as she always did, settled into their food with gusto. The fishy smell from earlier turned out to be some sort of chowder.

Matron Nightingale quickly appraised Creme, looking her from head to toe. “Why, is that a new necklace?” she pleasantly hummed.

“She never misses a damn thing,” Creme thought to herself sourly. “Oh, this? It was uh… just a gift. Got it just today.”

“Is that so.”

“Oh, yeah. Totally. Probably could get you one if you’d like it,” continued Creme nonchalantly.

“I don’t think I’d be in the market for something as… interesting as that,” the Matron demurred. “Strange that such a gift given to you would be blue; anyone who would give you such a nice trinket would, or should, know that you do enjoy red. It would look much nicer with your outfit at your employment or one of those nice robes they made for you for your lessons.”

“Oh for Light’s sake, she knows everything I did. Did Harvey tell? Probably had his ass covered with soot, no doubt. No guessing on her part where that came from.” Creme had always been one of Nightingale’s more challenging charges. Not too many others had a tendency to light stuff on fire all of the time.

“Yeah, I’m sure,” was what Creme said out loud. “I think blue is a very nice color.”

“Is that so…” the Matron mused again, starting at Creme long enough for the teen to break eye contact.

“At any rate,” Nightingale continued, “since you are here for the evening, it would be ever so helpful if you could volunteer some of your time for the children. There’s a set waiting for a bedtime story that would be so very excited to hear you read to them.”

Ah, the Matron had taken pity on poor old Creme. She had probably heard about the incident the night prior and the punishment thereafter. If Nightingale wanted her only to help out for the evening, she would with gusto, for Nightingale would not force her to leave after getting in trouble if she had helped in the evening. She would not be sleeping out on the streets tonight!

“Yeah, I can go read some stories,” Creme said. She turned to head down the hallway where the little ones slept.

“And if you could help with the dishes, it would be most kind,” Nightingale added.

Creme turned, walking down the hallways backward. “Yeah, I can help with that too.”

“And there’s some laundry to be done.”

“Okay,” Creme replied, scooting back faster.

“And if you could wipe off the tables and stoke the fire and-”

“Gotta read the stories now! Bye!” shouted Creme as she escaped into the younger children’s room. “Maybe I didn’t get off so easy after all!”