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Catalinetta

Homesick

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The citizens of Silvermoon were quiet. There was a lull between Hallow's End and Winterviel, where the remaining Sin'dorei went about their daily business without the distraction of celebration. It was one of the most sincere parts of the year, where they could pretend that things were normal, despite the war on the Isles and the impending doom presented by the Burning Legion. Silvermoon's citizens were so small in number by now that nearly everyone still living within its protective walls knew each other’s name.

It was this familiarity that gave the citizens something to talk about whenever anyone visited. After the war in Outland, hardly anyone outside of Sin’dorei came into their city. A few Horde ambassadors remained stationed there, but for the most part, the elves knew each other and liked it that way. To further this knowledge, the portal working mages were known for gossip and made sure to spread the word if anyone interesting appeared.

It was this trail of whispers that led to half the city knowing that a death knight was in town. As the first to greet her in the city, the portal workers regarded their visitor with practiced smiles. Catalinetta tried to look friendly, despite her gray hued skin and striking blue eyes. She waved hello to the mages, but they did not wave back.

Not one to push her luck, the death knight walked into the city, looking around for anyone or anything familiar. It had grown so silent since her last time there, when the Scourge was on their doorstep and the Horde answered their call to arms. Hardly anyone wandered the streets, but she caught sight of a few elves who seemed to actively avoid her as she walked. The silence was almost deafening.

Eventually, she came to a small series of residential buildings. They were well-kept, if not cramped. Catalinetta approached one of the doors and stared at the number for a few moments. It was hand-carved from white wood, intricate designs depicting hawkstriders and dragons on every inch, opening up to a purple and magenta stained glass design at the center. Swallowing down her apprehension, the death knight gave a nervous rap on the wood with her grayish knuckles.

Movements behind the door alerted Cat to a presence. The familiarity of their walk made her ears perk with recognition, her eyes glowing just a little brighter. They seemed to regard her behind the glass for a long while before finally unlatching the door, and opening it just enough for her to see an elven woman inside.

“…what do you want?” She asked, her voice low.

Cat looked behind her and saw that there were others watching them. Across the street, several other elves were watching through their windows. She turned back to the woman in front of her, an older Sin’dorei with grayish hair and fel green eyes. “I-I’m Cat,” she said quickly. “Catalinetta? Y-your sister’s youngest daughter? It’s me, aunt Alia. Remember?”

The older woman cocked her head, unsure. Catalinetta reached up and removed the string holding her pigtails in place. Her long black hair fell down to her shoulders, eliciting a sharp gasp from the home owner. “Good gods, Cat? Is that really you?”

The hint of a smile tugged at the corners of Cat’s mouth. She nodded quickly. “Yes, aunt Alia. It’s me. I just came home to—“

“You can’t be here,” the other woman said quickly, sticking a hand out of the door to point toward the street. Her voice had grown quiet and severe. “You have to go. Now.”

Cat’s mouth floundered as she searched for the words to respond. “A-Aunt Alia, I just wanted to see mother, she—“

“She’s gone, Cat,” Alia said firmly, her eyes narrowed. “They’re all gone. The Scourge saw to that. The Scourge and your master.”

“Not my master, auntie,” Cat said quickly, shaking her head. “We’re free of him, now. The Knights of the Ebon Blade, we—“

“Don’t talk to me about those puppets!” The older woman spat, opening her door just enough for Cat to see the rest of her. She wore the robes of a magistrix, her long hair tied back into a thick braid, her neck bedecked in a necklace missing half of its gems. “You were raised from the dead to serve the Lich. The same Lich that killed my sister and her family. You are not my niece. You are a… a ghost of the past. Nothing more.”

Biting her lip to keep it from quivering, Cat looked down at the steps. She couldn’t recall her voice ever being so weak. “Please, auntie… I know it was hard for you, and I know nobody wanted to see me after it happened. I waited so long before trying to come back. I just want to visit their graves. I didn’t get a chance before I—"

“Your graves,” Alia interrupted impatiently. “You’re buried there too, Catalinetta. You, your brothers, your mother and father. We lost everything, everyone. All of you died when the Scourge attacked, do you understand?”

The death knight looked dumbstruck.

“Do. You. Understand?”

Catalinetta nodded slowly and watched as the door shut in front of her. She turned around to see the neighbors quickly shut their curtains. Silvermoon, in all its golden splendor, felt like a tomb. Staring back at the intricately carved door, she waited until her aunt moved from the glass before walking down the stairs, and back to the portals.
 

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It had been at least two months since Catalinetta attempted to visit her aunt. Since then, her un-life had been a whirlwind of events, including:

  • A rejection from the only guy she ever loved
  • A trip to rescue a friend from a dreadlord that resulted in another friend being maimed (accidentally) by Cat herself
  • A secret romance with the same guy who rejected her
  • Experements by the Scryers
  • Coming back to the Sanctuary guild hall to find her room had been ransacked
  • A sudden engagement to the same guy who rejected then accepted her

It was a lot to get through. She pieced it all together in her head as she walked through Silvermoon, still in her black death knight armor with her runeblade axe swinging casually at her hip. Kreyen (the guy mentioned in her list of recent events) had insisted that she return to Silvermoon and speak with her aunt. The idea that her aunt actually wanted to see her baffled Catalinetta, but she went anyway. Kreyen seemed adamant about her going, which she regarded as a sign that this was a serious matter.

Once again, she came upon the elaborately carved wooden door. Gathering her courage, the death knight gave a few light knocks and stood ready to be told to leave.

No one answered the door for some time. Cat knocked again.

Almost immediately, she was answered by a pale Sin’dorei male with gold hair. He wore a servant’s uniform and smiled brightly until he saw how Cat was dressed. “Hello! How can I hel…. Oh. Hello.”

Cat frowned and rolled her eyes. “Lady Rosewood, please. I’m her niece. Catalinetta.”

The servant blinked and laughed awkwardly, glancing behind him. “Ah… yes. Right! Right. I was told you might be coming. Ah… follow me!”

The servant pushed the door open a bit wider, allowing Catalinetta inside.

It was the first time she had stepped foot into the home of her aunt, Lady Rosewood. She knew that her husband was a well-to-do nobleman, and that despite them being married so long, her aunt had no children. Walking through the house was a strange experience for Cat, who had never actually seen how her aunt lived. She was led to a sitting room, where Alia was reclining on a sofa with a large book in her hands.

“Ma’am?” The servant said, nervously. “Your niece is here?”

Alia’s head jerked up in Cat’s direction. The two looked at one another for a long while before Alia waved her hand dismissively at the servant. “Go. Get out of here.”

Cat watched as the servant scurried away, then turned back toward her aunt. Alia was standing, but she looked more worried than anything.

“Come inside,” the older woman said to Catalinetta. “And close the sliding door.”

Cat did as she was requested and slid the door closed behind her. “Kreyen said I needed to come see you,” she said timidly. “Something about you having something to say to me?”

Alia smiled sadly, her round face marked with deep dimples in her cheeks. “So he didn’t tell you?”

“No, but I think he wanted to...” Cat squinted at her aunt. “Is… is this bad news?”

Alia sighed. “Well… that will be for you to decide.”

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