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[Xyra]


Day 19

I was not expecting this to turn out the way that it did.  I went into this search for my father expecting it to be one big damn wild goose chase that would end up much like the show down between my sister and my former best friend, with one of us being dead by the other's hand.  Obviously I'm still alive or I wouldn't be writing in this miserable journal. 

My father was at my brother's grave when I found him.  He was in his elven form--his robes, normally immaculate, torn and bloody--he sat next to the marker that had my brother's name crudely carved into it.  He didn't even look at me when I approached.  I spoke to him, at length, using every foul word that I could to get a rise out of him.  He hated how filthy my mouth had gotten since I'd started hanging around the rest of the Alliance.  But for once he didn't even bat an eyelash.  That was five days ago.  So I camped out nearby and brought him food and water for the next two days.  In the middle of the night three days ago he started talking.  He talked about why he'd become a druid, he talked about meeting my mother, he talked about how happy he'd been to have a daughter and a son (my sister and brother) and he talked about how he'd been content with his lot in life.

And then he looked at me.  After probably six hours of rambling, he looked right at me and said, "And then you came along and you were all of your mother and none of me and I was so happy, but I could never show you.  Not ever.  Because I knew... you weren't really mine."

If there's one way to punch your kid figuratively in the gut, it's to claim that their not yours.  And if there's a way to figuratively blow your kid's mind apart, it's to kill yourself before their very eyes.   I dunno where he got the knife, he wasn't one to carry something like that with him.  He had it to his throat before I could stop him.  He bled out in my arms on top of his son's grave.  So I buried him there, next to his child.

I left in a hurry after that, not wanting to linger, not wanting to dwell on what he'd said and done.

I found my way home to the Moonglade. Mother was there, looking anxious when I appeared on her doorstep.  I told her he'd been killed while fighting demons and that I'd buried him next to Challen on Hyjal.

She's downstairs crying again.  I don't blame her.  He was the love of her life.  And she doesn't need to know that in the end the reason he killed himself was because he thought she'd cheated on him.  Or at least, the taint from the Nightmare made him think so.  I might ask her one day, if his suspicions were true.  After all, my brother and sister did look like my father, at least in part, I never did.

For now it doesn't matter.  Or, it does matter, but I can't bring myself to dwell on it.  I've had enough.  I'm going back to Stormwind and to Aden and to a place where I feel like I belong.  I'll still be a druid when I have to be.  But I sorta miss my leathers and daggers.  And I miss Aden even more.

*the entry is slightly smeared and looks as if a few drops of water had landed on the page here and there*

[Xyra]

Day 12

There are some days when it just doesn't pay to get out of bed.  After fending off advances from that moronic hunter and his insane owl (who vomited a half-digested mouse carcass on my boot, the owl, not the hunter), I trudged my way through Darkwhisper Gorge and was promptly attacked by a dozen demons.  I managed to kill them all but the last with little more than bruises and scratches to show for it.  The last one was a fire imp. Little bastard was sniping me with fire balls.  I eventually found him, then had to hunt down some herbs and spend time making salve for the burns. After resuming my trek, I ended up stumbling and fainting because one of the scratches I'd gotten was from a poison coated blade.  I was so distracted I didn't notice.  Luckily I remember the right words for the poison cleansing spell.

I'm not one to believe in luck, per se, I just go about my business and do my damnedest not to get killed.  But it was almost as if this endeavor was cursed with bad luck.

Then again, I've had more than my share of breaks on Father's cold trail, so I suppose it can't be all bad.

Once I was beyond the Gorge and on my way toward Hyjal I picked up father's trail. He shifted out of cat form and started making his way diagonally across the face of the mountain.

And now I know why he's here.  He's searching for my brother's grave.  It's been a long time since I thought of Challen.  I grieved and then I moved on.  It was hard enough losing him and Zylitha in the same place.  But on top of that my parents-- no, my father wanted me to return to the Dream with them.  I can only remember calling my father a coward for wanting to hide before I left them both. 

Maybe, just maybe, Father is done hiding from his loss.  Elune, please let that be it.  Please.

No way to send Aden a message from here.  I am hopeful the next time I return that the hawk I trained will be recovered from his ordeal.  I named him Bones because he apparently likes to crack open the bones of the rabbits he catches to get to the marrow.  Disgusting, but makes for a fitting name.  Plus, Nox tolerates him, which is a plus.

Depending on what I find here, I may return to Stormwind in the next few days.  I admit it, I miss Aden more than I thought I would.  It's like he crawled inside of me and hollowed out a place for himself and the only thing that actually fits there, filling it up, is him.

[Xyra]

Day 9

I should have put on some extra weight before I came to this Elune-forsaken place.  I swear whatever ass I had has long since frozen off.  The worst part about being cold is just how hard it is to get warm again.  Layers of insulation just don't help when you're slogging through four foot drifts of snow for hours at a time or when your boot drops through a weak point in the ice and your whole leg gets soaked with freezing water.

I tromped all over that damn lake looking for signs--paw prints, foot prints, fire pit remains--there was nothing there. Which means either he didn't stay long or the snows already covered his tracks.  I ran across a hunter with the most insane owl pet I've ever encountered. The beast wouldn't fly even though it's owner said it was able to do so when they hunted. It would just hop around and hiss and flap it's wings.  It even ate a shoe it found laying in the snow.  I made sure our encounter was short, no telling just what the hell that poor thing had, but I didn't have time to suddenly come down with insanity too.  (In retrospect if I were a good druid I would have offered to try and heal the poor thing.  On the other hand, I'm not a good druid.  In fact, I'm probably going to hell, but that's neither here nor there.)

So after a brief conversation I found out the hunter tracked my father to foothills of Hyjal. Apparently the hunter liked his fur coloring and wanted to skin him.  Also, the hunter claimed his owl wasn't insane before that little tracking expedition.  Of course they tracked him into Darkwhisper Gorge, so I just assumed something tainted it there. But now that I think about it, perhaps I should find that owl again. If my father some how tainted that bird, it could mean he can spread his infection.  And if he can... Fucking hell.

I pray to Elune I'm wrong. But I can't take the chance. I have to find that damn owl again.  Looks like my return to Stormwind will still be another few days.


*a copy of a letter pressed between the journal pages*

Dear Aden,

I hope this letter finds you well.  I'm freezing my ass off and wishing you were here to keep me warm.  You may have a frozen druid in your bed for a few days once I return.

Winterspring wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the ice and snow and the Elune-forsaken wind.  I'd almost lost father's trail, but lucked out and ran into a hunter who'd picked it up when he first arrived and tracked him into the Darkwhisper Gorge.  Father's headed to Hyjal.  And worse, I think he's able to spread his infection, somehow.  I'll have more details once I track down that hunter and his insane owl again.

I don't expect a reply, I know you're busy and honestly there's nowhere for you to send the letter anyway.  I send these more as a way to keep myself going.  And to remind myself that there is someone out there who cares.

I miss you.

Xyra

[Xyra]

Day 6

If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's never trust anything that's the color of slime.  Goblins are about as slimy as they come.  I can usually handle the goblins in Booty Bay. The ones here in Winterspring however are just a pain in my very frozen ass.  The best way to bargain with a Goblin is to bribe them in a way that they can't refuse and gold isn't always the best way to do so.  The problem is these frozen little toads are interested in things I'm not exactly so good with.  Don't get me wrong, I love explosions and can handle most mechanical things. But these goblins seem to have a love for the strange.  Perhaps it's frostbite to their brains.

Lanfith stayed for a day in this place, talking with the local tailor and enchanter for whatever reason. I've always found that while Lanfith's stature seems to make her a target or a source of oddity even among her own people, when speaking with her, her height seems to disappear.  At least it does to me.  The way she talks about this man she's working for, however, he apparently can't see anything but her height.  I need to stop being so nosy when it comes to my friends and their lives, but I'll be damned if I let Lan get involved with someone who wants to treat her like a doll and set her on a shelf to be admired.

After all the haggling and stupid errand running I've done for these Goblins the past few days, I finally found someone who caught a glimpse of my father.  He was out on the nearby frozen lake attacking highborn spirits and muttering to himself in a language the goblin didn't recognize.  If I needed proof that my father is now officially batshit crazy that was it.  It just didn't make any sense, but perhaps I need to stop trying to make sense of what he's doing since this is Nightmare taint I'm dealing with.

No word from Aden.  Not that I expected any.  And honestly what could he possibly have to say. "Learned to smite undead today, wish you were here?"

I had a dream about Aden and a painting that apparently represented his wife.  He doesn't have anything like that in his place, but he did in my dream.  And I accidentally ruined the painting while practicing some of my druidic magic. Why the hell I'd be practicing in his place in the first place I have no clue.  To say he was livid was an understatement.  I apparently replayed the scene when he smashed that chair in his place in my dream. Only this time instead of a splinter I ended up with the entire chair being smashed into me.

I know better than to think Aden would ever hurt me.  And I also know that dreams are seriously fucked up no matter what.  But there's still some truth to it.  I'm worried that I'll tread on his wife's memory in some way that I can't fix or apologize for.  And it shows when I'm with him.  I tread so carefully.  I know he sees it, but I don't think he realizes why I'm doing it and I know it puzzles him.  But, like me, he's not willing to bring it up.  He wants me to broach it.  And I want him to broach it.  And neither of us will unless I just stop being such a coward.  I can face down demons, undead and even dragons, yet I'm afraid of runing this.  So much for not being a coward when it comes to Aden eh? 

Well I've got a few more days to work up to it and be prepared.  And if I weren't fooling myself I'd admit that I'm more worried about hurting him than I am being hurt.  I love him, but he's also my best friend and I just don't want to start tromping all over his memories.

The cold must be addling my brains. Where the hell am I getting all of this crap?  Just fucking talk to him, woman.

[Xyra]


Day 4

Lan finally arrived.  I did my best not to go stir crazy while waiting. I even tried meditating.  And that's when I realized I suck at meditation. In fact, trying to meditate only made things worse.  Apparently I have issues with emptying my mind of all thought. Who knew?

Aden mentioned a few nights ago that he's still struggling with keeping himself from reacting as he use to when it comes to things that upset him.  He seemed almost defeated, as if the fact that he's now a paladin should make his reactions a switch that he can just flip whenever something happens.  I reminded him that change doesn't happen over night and the fact that he was struggling not to react the same way was a real start.  He just needed to continue to remind himself and eventually his reactions, which seem to be more positive now that he's training to become a paladin, will be second nature.

It's a lot easier said than done, of course.  I'm still struggling as well.  Perhaps this time away from him will give me a chance to put my skills as a druid where my mouth is.

Lanfith met with a few of the Timbermaw.  Apparently she can speak their language as well, which is a bit unsettling, but at the same time I can't deny its uses.  She found a few witnesses that said my father took the tunnel that leads into Winterspring.

Bloody brilliant. Not only am I following my insane, Nightmare-tainted druid father, but now I have to freeze my ass off to do so.  I really hate the cold.

It's been raining in the Moonglade, so not only is it hot but it's humid as well.  I can't decide which I hate more.

Regardless, I'm going after my father. I'll be dragging Lan with me as far as Everlook then I'm sending her packing back to Stormwind.  Apparently she has some man who gave her a job and a new purpose.  The problem is, she's so mentally fragile right now, I have a feeling he'll just turn her into a cute little doll that he can fawn over.  Disgusting.  I just might need to put a backbone back into her once this is all over.

I spoke to Mother, briefly.  I miss her.  I miss how she use to be.  Before Gelki, before all of this crap with her memory gone wrong and before my father almost killed her.  She's like a ghost now.  A wraith.  It's killing me to see her like this.  It's one thing for Father to treat me so harshly, but I won't let this slide off my back like so much water.  No, he's going to set things right, one way or another.


*A copy of a Letter pressed between the journal pages*

Dear Aden,

Father's trail leads into Winterspring so that's where I'm headed. I don't know when I'll be near a mailbox again, so I'm sending you this letter now.

I'm sure your training is tough, but I'm also sure you're managing and excelling.  I never was good at pep talks or encouragement, but you know I'm there every step of the way.

I miss you.

~Xy

[Xyra]

Day 2 - Search for Tridix

The Moonglade is one of the more beautiful places on Azeroth. Aside from the Lunar Festival it's also one of the most boring.  The Cenarion Circle meetings are about as exciting to watch as water boil.  And at least with the boiling water you can make something.  Most of the time the meetings end on a note to discuss things again next time.  Fucking bureaucrats.

That was the first day.  Today I was actually able to begin my search for my father.  Now that he's nuttier than a oak tree in spring and taken off like a rocket from a gnome's satchel, I honestly haven't a clue where the hell he's headed.

A few warders and druids who saw him take off into the Timbermaw tunnel in cat form, however.  His is coloring is pretty drastic, white face and belly and midnight blue back and tail.  Problem is, those furblogs only barely tolerate me enough to let me pass without tearing my throat through my nostrils.  I'm gonna have to pull in Lan to talk with them. Apparently she got in good with the furry bastards sometime back and renewed her relationship while she was exiled a few months ago.

So here I am, sitting on my ass, waiting for her to show up.  And I'll be damned if the first thing that pops into my head is the look on Aden's face when I admitted the words I'd said three days ago were 'I love you.'  Of course I have a feeling my expression was even more stunned after he kissed me brainless and admitted he felt the exact same way.

Damn human.  He twists me up inside.   But I'll be even more damned if I let go of this without a fight.  I'm a lot of things, but a coward isn't one.

All right, enough sappy, touchy feely crap.  More another night when I have more news.  And I will.  Father won't be getting away from this.  I just hope like hell he isn't doing anything insane or stupid or both.

[Washue]

Dear Journal,

Much has happened since I last wrote on you.  I will try to remember everything that happened and in what order it happened.  I'm a bit busy preparing for my Birthday Party next week, though, so I may have to stop and come back later.

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I'm going to stop here, but I'll be back.  There's still much to say about Northrend and Keowuk and my next Birthday Party.

Sincerely,

"Little" Washue Ravenhoof

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[Sorra]

I've been sitting in the dark for the last hour trying to make a decision.  I just can't seem to.

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Loss

Elisabeta and I met when we were so young.  She had it all together on the outside and I didn't.  Yet on the inside, I knew the path that would lead me where I wanted.  Unfortunately for Sabe, she didn't have a clue.  We've known one another for a hundred years and yet, in all that time, she never opened up to me about her parents and what happened to them.  I pieced it together, but it still wasn't the same as her trusting me with her parent's deaths.  Instead, she trusted me to be her one confidant and that, more than anything else, told me she was a true friend.

I was foolish to think that working near the Blue Dragon Flight in their current, deranged state, would pose no threat to myself.  And though I always worked with others, it took merely one moment of inattention for me to be kidnapped.  They were rough, but not to the point of death--they needed me alive so they could suck my magic from me.  It will take me some time to recover from this.  I'm not certain I ever will again to be honest.  There are so many things I've now forgotten~

*ink blotch*

Elisabeta came, however.  I some how knew she would.  She came and she pulled me out of the prison they held me in.  She pulled me onto her windrider and we took off for Warsong Hold.  I honestly don't remember much of what happened, but we were blasted apart and I pulled out the stupidest, most worthless, yet life-saving spell of them all: slowfall.  And yet, I couldn't find Elisabeta until she was too far away.  She was dashed against the rocks on the shoreline.  I touched down a mile away, but I swam anyway.  I was so desperate to get to her I ignored everything, including a broken ankle, until after I found her body.

I polymorphed her body so I could carry it.  I hobbled to the Amber Ledge and colapsed there.  A few days later I woke in Dalaran.  They had a ceremony for Elisabeta.  Because she was a corporal and on her way to becoming an Argent Champion, several officers were there to pay their respects.

She's buried on my estate now.  I planted a willow near her grave in her memory.

*tear drop*

I will miss you, my dear friend.  I will never forget your sacrifice, I swear it.  I hope you've finally found peace. 

And now the part I dread.  Informing Jakaresh of her death.  This won't be easy, but it's something I must do.

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The New Adventures of Washue and Squirrel

AKA: Washue and the Stompy Dinosaur

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