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A Blue Book with a Red Rose Pin

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July 17

I haven't kept a journal since I was eight years old. I suppose that means there's a lot to write about. When overwhelmed with ideas, it's usually a good idea to go back to the beginning.

For the last seventeen years I haven't felt truly at home. The only home I've ever had was in Andorhal, and I saw the state of the city only a few years ago. So that home is gone now. But it was gone long before the Scourge infested it or the Forsaken bombed it or the Alliance burned it down to stop them from spreading. My home was gone the day my mother, my sister, and I ran from it. Ran from him

I loved my father, perhaps even more than I had loved Mother. He saw a spark of something in me that his two other children apparently lacked. I loved his stories of fantasy and heroism, magic and monsters, knights and princesses. I loved seeing where he worked. His magical study was full of little wonders and knowledge. But that was before the hard times. The hard times started when we lost Owen.

He was my half-brother, but I remember him only fondly. He was older than my sister and I, so he was the first to head off to war. And of course, he never came back. The good ones never seem to come back, or if they do they aren't the same -- not as good as they were. Father lost a part of himself when Owen's letter came. That piece of paper caused all the grief that has ever befallen my family, or at least that's how it seemed at the time.

Father drank to forget. He drank until he couldn't remember the son he lost, or the lover he had lost before. The memory of his first love lived on in my brother, I'm sure of it. But Owen was gone, and so was she. He drank to forget they were gone, but in the process, he forgot about us as well. He lost his position as the Kirin Tor representative in Andorhal, and after that, Mother was put upon to provide for all of us. She had to somehow pull enough love from her heart to keep us all happy, Father included. There was little left for her. I couldn't imagine what kept her heart beating in the midst of it all. I couldn't then, but I can now.

Father drank until he forgot us, and once he had forgotten, he had no reason to love us. He had no reason to forgive, not even for the smallest mistakes. A drunken, bitter mage and three helpless girls do not for a healthy, happy household make. He usually just hit us. Sometimes he burned Mother by accident, trying to scare her or let off steam. He never turned his magic against Christa and I. Perhaps that was a small blessing. A sign that he could still come back from where he was. It didn't matter to me then. He wasn't the same father who had tucked me into bed at night and read me happy stories.

One night he tried to scare Mother with fire again, and I couldn't take it anymore. Something snapped inside me that I could never piece together again, and I cast my first spell. He was frozen against a wall, passed out in a drunken stupor. We were all gone by the time he came to. I often imagined what he must have felt like to wake up and find himself alone. When I was younger, I imagined anger and bitter rage. I was still afraid of him. As a teenager, I started to imagine sadness and sorrow. I hated and pitied him then. But as I grew, I knew exactly what he must have felt: alone and empty. By that point, I just missed him.

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July 19

The road away from home was long and arduous. Lordaeron was in a state of panic even then, before it was discovered Andorhal was the source of the misery. Fitting, really, that my place of birth was also the distribution center for the grain that brought a kingdom to its knees. The Cult of the Damned and its undead minions patrolled the wilderness between Andorhal and the capital, preying on any they felt confident enough to handle. One necromancer and his ghouls ambushed my mother, sister, and I in the night. Somehow Mother managed to fend them all off, but the necromancer threatened to end my life with a deadly spell. Mother shielded me with her body, and I thought she was gone then and there. It was the first time I felt the striking pain of true loss. Christa killed the necromancer after that. She barreled into his leg, toppling him onto the ground, then bashed his head with a rock until he stopped twitching. I don't know where she found the strength to protect us that way, and I regret I never got to thank her for it.

Mother survived, but the spell had lasting effects. Too much pressure on her heart lead to lightheadedness or fainting. There wasn't much we could do for her, and she still had to look out for us. Christa stepped up to help fend for us after that. She never complained about working again. I think she wanted to make Mother really proud of her, and couldn't stand to see her suffering so much to protect us. All I could do was whimper. I thank the Light every day Charlotte didn't turn out like me.

It was a long journey, but we did make it to the capital alive, all of us. I don't know how long it took after that before Prince Arthas returned to murder his own father. All I remember of those times was some church where refugees were cared for. We stayed there for the entire duration from what I can remember. I had a birthday during our stay, I think. Nine years old and I had already seen a man die, and almost lost my mother. It still wasn't enough to harden my heart to the world. I was soft, weak, and a burden on those around me. Just another victim of this sadistic world we live in.

I remember seeing the prince walk through the city with Mother and Christa. We felt so uplifted at his return, only to have our hope crushed in one fell swoop. The chaos the city fell into when it was overrun nearly spelled out our end again. Mother saved us. She took us south through Silverpine, but no matter how far we ran, the Scourge still hounded us and other refugees. Gilneas' border was still open to us then, and gave us safe harbor. I remember not being able to sleep at well for a long time after that. I lay in bed every night, thinking they would come for us again. It didn't matter that we were in the city, surrounded by soldiers at all times and that the fighting was far off to the north. I didn't feel safe anymore, not after Lordaeron. After Arthas.

Not until I met Parigan.

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