Archive for April, 2010

Leafsong’s Diary 29.4 – In which Leafsong feels better, and a whole lot worse.

Unbelievable!

It’s unbelievable.

My status as a student of the Stormwind branch of the Cenarion Enclave is being revoked, unless I show them that I have some tiny bit of druidic talent in the next three weeks.

I admit, it has been two years. Two years, and the most I’ve managed to accomplish is coax a half-dead root back to life, and produce several dozen sprouting seeds. I might as well be a particularly skilled gardener.

But, on the other hand, it’s only been two years. Aren’t Kaldorei supposed to think of time as passing in decades, centuries, even? A year is meant to be a blink of an eye, to us. We are a people who take their time, surely? Two years is a heartbeat. It’s nothing!

Perhaps it’s the loss of our immortality, that has placed this new urgency on doing things quickly. Or maybe it’s the increasing Eastern influence, our short-lived allies infecting us with their impatience.

Whatever it is, I HATE it. It’s been TWO YEARS, not two millenia! I wonder how long it took the Arch-druid Staghelm to produce his first sapling. I bet it took him at least a year. Or two. Or three.

Anyway, I’m not going to spend all my time worrying about it. I have other things to think about! It’s Mirae’s first birthday the day after tomorrow, and I still haven’t found a good present. And then, it’s only four weeks until the twins are born. I don’t think I can wait that long! I feel about as vast and bloated as that human airship, Breaker of Sky. Whatever it’s called. I’m going to start researching methods of bringing on labour early.

Also, I forgot to mention earlier. My lifemate cured me. This is why I’m a terrible writer; I should mention such things first. OH WELL.

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Leafsong’s Diary 27.4 – In which Leafsong is poorly.

I don’t feel very well.

I don’t know why I’m writing in here now, actually, I don’t even like writing at all much at the best of times. My husband recommended it as a way to try and improve my literacy. It does help, somewhat, but it’s still a chore. It’s a chore even when I’m feeling well and healthy.

And I don’t feel well and healthy at the moment, I feel bloody awful. It’s my own fault, too! I accompanied my mate and his posse (alright, I have to stop calling them that. It’s not a posse. It’s a guild) to Feathermoon Isle in Feralas. There was some sort of prisoner exchange going on, one of my husband’s men had been captured by the Sunguard a week or so prior, and he was to be exchanged for a Sindorei hostage. The actual exchange was to take place on the Feralas coastline, and I ignored my husband when he told me to stay on the island. I wanted to see what was going on! I mean, there was no indication that it was going to be a violent confrontation. I gave the man meant to watch me the slip, swam the crossing and hid in a bush halfway between the Sindorei faction, and my mate’s party.

The prisoner exchange took place, and although all communication was in Thalassian and I didn’t understand a word, it seemed to be going well. The horrible Sindorei arcanists  began to conjure portals in order to leave, when in the midst of their preparation, my husband gave the order to fire.

I could do nothing but cringe in the bush as the battle raged around me, my eyes popping out and my arms wrapped around my stomach. I was only wearing my normal clothes, shapeless cloth-y things, which wouldn’t be adequate protection against a paper dart! The sounds of fighting and yells were just dying down, and I began to breathe again, when I felt something prick the skin just above my collarbone. I felt there with my fingers, but found no dart, no wound or bleeding. There was just a small, almost invisible, purplish dot. When I ran my fingertip over it, it felt slightly raised, but prompted no adverse sensation.

At that point, anyway. We began to travel north towards Astranaar, and I began to feel slightly nauseous. By the time we reached the city, I felt as if I had frogs leaping and crawling inside my stomach, trying to hurl themselves up through my gullet. It was the most peculiar feeling. I think my husband just thought that I was worn out and exhausted from the traveling. I didn’t tell him.

And now it’s the morning after, and I still feel rotten. The mark on my neck tingles to the touch, and there is the finest reddish line running up the underside of my arm. I took every potion and herbal remedy I could possibly use without overdosing myself last night, after my husband went to bed, and it didn’t do anything at all. Except cause some nasty side-effects. Ahem.

Anyway, I have to do something about this situation. Hopefully without my husband finding out. I’m sure that if he found out that I had endangered the lives of his unborn children through my own foolhardiness, there would be hell to pay!

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Names

She looked up as something occurred to her.

“OI, n’do?”

He raised his eyes over the sheaf of parchment he was perusing, a greying eyebrow rising. “Yes, darling?”

“Why did I take your name when we became lifemates?”

“What.”

She persisted: “I mean, most women of our kind don’t take the man’s name. They keep their own, or the man adopts the matriarchal name. Why aren’t I still Leafsong Gladefall?”

“Because it’s tradition.”

“Tradition, from antiquity! Most of society has discarded Highborne custom, if you hadn’t noticed!”

Aphel let out a grunt, returning to his letters. Leafsong scowled, sliding off the counter and pushing the papers down with her fingers.

“I know, let’s change your name to Ashamal Gladefall! And the babies’ names.”

“No.”

She widened her eyes accusingly at him. “You can’t just say no, straight away. We are lifemates! You’re meant to consider my opinions fairly and respectfully, not just dismiss them out of hand!”

He closed his eyes for a moment with a muted sigh, the lines in his forehead creasing. After a moment, he gazed up at her once more.

“No.”

She made a huffing sound and flicked the papers into his face, before turning on her heel and marching away.

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Leafsong’s Diary 22.4 – In which Leafsong is experiencing some discomfort.

It’s just over a week and a half until Mirae’s first birthday. My husband has already bagged buying her a giant mirror (safety glass) to look at, so I’m slightly stuck as to what to get her myself. I’m not good at buying gifts for people. I don’t see the point of gifts, really (unless they are for me.) I never got anything for my birthday when I was younger. But Mirae isn’t me, and I want to do things properly for her. Maybe I’ll get her some ribbons for her hair, or something “girly”. I think she’s going to be a girlish-girl. Unlike her mother. I’m more mannish than my own husband!

I’ll have to get Analith something too, otherwise he’ll get jealous and wreak vengeance. Little beast has teeth and knows how to use them.

I’m nearly eight months into my childbearing now, and my body is starting to slow down. I find that I have trouble standing if I’ve been sitting for a while, and that I can’t do more than a quarter of my usual delivery route before becoming weary. I feel bloated and clumsy in everything I do, although I don’t look that massive (because I have the physique of a stick, normally). My feet and hands have swollen up, they look almost as chubby as a child’s; and every so often I get a rush of heat flushing up my neck to flood my face. And don’t even get me started on the bladder problems. I swear, it’s shrunk to the size of a pea. I can’t finish a glass of water before I’m – anyway.

The miracle of life is bloody overrated! Bah!

I also find myself getting up in the middle of the night because I’m so uncomfortable. Just my luck that as soon as Mirae begins to sleep through the whole night, the little bas- the unborn babies decide that one a.m is a great time for a party. They also quite like three a.m. And five.

It’s not so bad though, my mate usually wakes up too and accompanies me downstairs. We sit together on the counter; I dictate inventory stock to him and he fills in the irritating paperwork. He is always surprised at how much I can hold in my memory. I told him that anyone could develop a superb memory if it took them less time to memorise a delivery route than it did to  read the directions along the way!

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Untitled

Leafsong crouched behind the counter in the GHE: SW branch, her tongue sticking out in concentration as she wielded the tiny brush in her hand. Mirae, her small feet drumming on the floor, gazed up at her mother with slight trepidation. Leafsong shot her eyebrows up, questioningly.

“Why’re you giving me dirty looks, baby?”

Mirae’s small, fine-featured face contorted into an expression of mild alarm, her round eyes swiveling towards the implement in Leafsong’s hand. Leafsong glanced at it, then shrugged a bony shoulder.

“It’s a brush, not a spiked mace. I ain’t gonna hurt you. Come ‘ere-”
“Ahh-ahh-ahh…min’daa”

Mirae attempted to make her escape, but her mother was too fast for her and shot out a hand, grabbing a pudgy foot and dragging the baby towards her, sliding over the well-worn wooden boards. Mirae looked petulant, spreading her arms like a starfish and twisting her head around, making plaintive noises of objection. Leafsong pulled the baby up onto her rounded belly with a grunt, and gently turned the small chin in her direction.

“Now, stay still. You’re a year old now. You’re old enough, so stop fussing!”

She dipped the tip of the brush in the rounded glass pot which sat beside her crossed legs, pulling up a blob of silvery liquid. Mirae, eyes wide, sat as still as a rock as Leafsong carefully began to daub the brush over her cheeks.

“Look, you can be like your min’da-!” Leafsong whispered quietly, careful not to touch the baby’s long eyelashes. She held her breath as she painted a delicate whorl on Mirae’s right cheek, then moved her brush over to repeat the pattern.

Mirae gazed up at her mother, solemnly, her lips slightly parted. A moment later, she let out an almighty —

“AAAACHHOO!”
“FFFFFFFFFFFFF-”

Leafsong stared down at her ruined handiwork in dismay. Mirae looked faintly bemused, then let out a giggle at the other’s distraught expression. A long silver streak dashed horizontally beneath her nose, turning what had been two symmetrical traditional markings into a fancy attempt to mimic facial hair, complete with sideburns and moustache. Leafsong pursed her lips tightly for a moment, her twitching foot sending the pot rolling beneath the counter.

“…Right. Well, I ain’t doing that crap over.”

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IRL?

Hmm so I was wondering the other day who would play Aphel and Leafsong in an IRL film (I was bored of studying, alright!?) I asked Aphel, and he was like Jeremy Irons. I – shamefully, for a native Brit – didn’t know who he was, so had to GI him:

I can definitely see Aphel as that guy. That guy is actually super hot, IMO. Though I might be somewhat biased as I have been told I have “weird” tastes in hot men. I thought the geek scientist dad in Honey I Shrunk The Kids was hot. HE IS HOT!!!

Leafsong was really hard actually, because she isn’t really based off anyone. And there aren’t many not-hot 20-ish actresses on Google. No, she does not look like Emma Watson. No, she does not look like Scarlett Johansson (ha!) No, she DEFINITELY does not look like Kristen Stewart (kill me!) There aren’t that many scowly, wide-eyed, long-nose, solemn faced actresses in Hollywood nowadays, I suppose. Actually, that description sounds really like a horse. Or a ….

Hrrmmmmmmm


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Morning excursion

At seven in the morning, the Cathedral District was still relatively hushed. A cluster of novices were gathered beside the fountain, listening avidly to a sombre-faced, grey-bearded paladin. A stout dwarf hauled a large, covered cart behind him as he set his reddened face towards the marketplace. The last flickers of light in the lanterns were slowly subsiding as the sun slowly began to overtake the shadows, illuminating the smudged grey cobblestones.

A bead of sweat ran down Leafsong’s forehead. It trickled down the end of her long nose, slid coolly down her neck and traced her protruding collarbone before disappearing inside the grubby hem of her shirt. The paladin’s resonating lecture echoed dimly from below, his words faint as they were carried up and past her by a stiff seaward breeze. Her fingers dug deeper into the limestone crack, her lips pursed in determination.

She had been climbing for long enough that she couldn’t quite remember what had possessed her to make the decision in the first place. Couldn’t remember the thought-process which had distracted her so radically from her usual morning delivery routine. She had a vague recollection of an overheard comment, some sarcastic quip directed towards her by a fellow early-morning salesperson. Something along the lines of how well the formerly aloof Kaldorei had assimilated themselves (lowered?) into the common rank and file of the Alliance. That they were also willing to hawk their cheap wares on the street, alongside the peddlers and hawkers. That they were even becoming nicely Easternised.

Leafsong wasn’t sure why this comment had riled her so much. Perhaps it had simply added to her prior, barely-voiced concerns that Analith and Mirae gazed with awe and astonishment around Darnassus, but looked upon Stormwind with familiarity. Or that Analith’s Common vocabulary was beginning to overtake his native tongue. Nevertheless, whatever the cause, it had led to her being in her current predicament.

No-one had noticed her yet, clinging to the rear of the Cathedral’s eastern tower, perhaps near eighty feet off the ground. She continued to climb, her face set, aware only of her fingers and toes curled  like a monkey’s, digging into the cracks between the stone blocks. I may peddle my goods alongside the humans she thought to herself, her eyes half-shut against the increasing sunlight, and I may genuflect and pander to their wishes like a fawning salesman

She closed her eyes fully, and was transported instantly back to her girlhood in Moonglade, her satchel hanging from her back, her feet unclad and covered in blisters, clambering up the great trees of Nighthaven. Elevated thus above her competition, her voice carried further and attracted more curious passers-by. She remembered clambering up the dangerous mountain-route to Hyjal, forsaking the more conventional road for the quicker, nearly-vertical climb to the summit. She had marked her own route, flagged with red scraps of cloth, snaking her way across a knot of twisted roots, a five-foot gap easily crossed, a leap from one branch to a higher. She had come to know the art of ascending intimately; she knew that a slender branch could support more weight than it suggested, and that a seemingly-sturdy branch could hide a rotten core. She knew how to test the integrity of a wooden limb with her toes, her fingers digging through the cracked hull of bark to discern its fortitude.

This Cathedral is nothing more than a tree grown by Man, she thought to herself as she hauled herself up another foot, her swollen belly pressed against the sun-warmed stone. It has its study trunk (her slender fingers reached up to grip the angled, stone edifice above her) and its treacherous branches (a tile beneath her naked foot shifted an inch and her grip tensed). I can almost feel the chill wind of Nighthaven- cooler than these balmy human breezes-

It almost came as a shock when her hand came up once more and grasped – nothing. Her eyes opened, and she realised that the sensation of cold air was no illusion, but simply the product of altitude. Bracing herself, she hauled the rest of her body up and over the curved stone lip. The ledge was narrow, no more than a foot wide. Carefully, she shuffled around to sit with her legs dangling over  the edge, her back leaning against the bronze-tiled spire.

The people below were tiny, the paladin’s voice no longer audible, his tiny arms just barely visible as he gesticulated. The wind tugged impatiently at her hair, lifting her plait and ripping strands free from the black band. She reached behind to grip it with her hand, pulling it back from her face, her other hand settling on her rounded stomach. I might be humanised in more ways than I would like to admit she thought to herself, proudly, but I can still climb a tree like I’d never left the West.

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