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About Talaen

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  • Birthday 01/12/1975
  1. I have completed the latest course of training assigned to me. If my superiors are pleased with this, they have made no indication to that effect. However, I suspect only my death would please Knight-Lord Bloodvalor. I shall have to resume my priestly training as well. At least they have left me in peace to pursue learning at my own pace and attend to other matters. It has fallen to me to attend to matters of correspondence for the Order of Eversong while Lord Visca busies himself with other duties. As we have opened our doors to new recruits, I have responded to some applications and been trying to arrange interviews.
  2. Trolls. His father had been killed by them. He had defended Quel'Dorei lands against them in his youth. He had heard tales of the Amani rising shortly before the campaign to Northrend. But the Trolls had been dealt with swiftly and surely. Their leaders had been slain and their forces scattered and weakened. Now they were back with vengeance in their hearts. Word of the slaughter at Tranquillien quickly reached Talaen. With Lord Visca gone to the Outlands, it had fallen upon the Master Blood Knight to remain close to Silvermoon City and attend to the affairs of the Order of Eversong. While he did not ride with the assault force that mustered to defend the town, he was a member of the second troop to arrive and care for the few survivors. The wanton destruction sickened the albino but he maintained his cool composure. As he tended to a wounded old Elf, he heard the sobs of a mother bereft of her child. Death would have been a mercy. Instead, the child would most likely be sacrificed in some grisly ceremony then consumed by the Trolls. "Sir Wildthorn," the stern voice of his commander began. "When you are finished there, report back to headquarters." Talaen raised a pale brow but he nodded in assent all the same. He wondered at Master Sunstriker's reasoning, but perhaps the Blood Knight had received orders Talaen was not privy too. Finished with the elderly Elf, Talaen summoned his charger and set off with all haste toward Silvermoon City. Although he did not look forward to speaking with the noble, Talaen had no choice but to report to Knight-Lord Bloodvalor as ordered. The Knight-Lord had never made any secret of his disdain for the scarred albino commoner. Even after he proved himself a Master of the order, Knight-Lord Bloodvalor continued to treat him with icy contempt. There was never enough to lodge a formal complaint, but the Knight-Lord made his feelings plain with every cultured word. The noble eyed Talaen with a faint sneer as the albino approached. He was dusty and sweating from his swift ride back from Tranquillien, a far cry from Knight-Lord Bloodvalor's pristine appearance. He brought the scents of blood and smoke with him, disturbing the perfumed air of the headquarters. "What do you want?" the noble spit out as though speaking to one of the Wretched come begging at his doorstep. "Master Blood Knight Talaen Wildthorn reporting as ordered, Knight-Lord," Talaen responded with a bow. At least the Knight-Lord could not fault his manners. Despite their shared antipathy, Talaen treated the noble with the courtesy due to him but not a whit more. "Hmph. So they sent you. The most expendable, apparently." Talaen made no reply. He simply watched the Knight-Lord with a cool mask of indifference. It was a tired old dance they had done countless times before, yet the Knight-Lord seemed determined to play it out yet again. "Your lack of zeal toward your training has been noted, Blood Knight. You are henceforth ordered to resume your lessons and ready yourself to join in the planned assault on the Amani." "Yes, Knight-Lord," Talaen answered. He could not deny the fact that he had done little to advance himself in recent months. "Dismissed." Talaen bowed, turned on heel and departed. Once outside, he let out a sigh of relief as he summoned his charger. He returned to Visca Manor where his first duty was to pen a letter to Lord Visca. His liege must be appraised of both the Troll attack upon Tranquillien and Talaen's order to resume his training. The latter would leave him less time to devote to the Order of Eversong. Talaen sealed the letter and posted it. He was uncertain of how Lord Visca would react to the news. Would it be enough to bring him back from his mission to the Outlands? Talaen silently chided himself for not having written sooner. But, there had been little of interest to report and the Blood Knight had no wish to trouble his lord without cause. He had no idea how his letter would be received, but he hoped for some response from Lord Visca.
  3. Talaen crept through the darkness on silent feet. He could just barely make out the dim shadow of the Elf ahead of him. He had to keep up because there were no others following to make sure he did not fall behind. The forest seemed strangely silent, as though it were holding its breath. The usual sounds of the night were absent and it had the patrol on high alert. Would they encounter a similar squad of Trolls making their way through the woods? While open warfare with the Amani was a thing of the distant past, there were still skirmishes along the borders. The Trolls were always eager for Quel’Dorei blood to run upon their altars. The fact that they ate their victims only added to the horror of capture. So the Elves remained vigilant, always patrolling the perimeters of their shared territory in hopes of stopping any violence before it started. It was a strange sort of restlessness that had propelled Talaen out into the forest alongside the Farstriders. He should have been content with his life in Silvermoon City, but somehow he felt the urge for an adventure. While it nearly broke his heart to bid farewell to Tirion’s daughter, the albino felt he was doing the right thing in serving a short term with the Farstriders. However, it was impossible to explain such details to a small child. All she knew was that the Elf she loved as much as her own father would be going away for a long time. Lord Dawnsinger was completely supportive as always and that affection buoyed Talaen’s spirits and soothed his despair over leaving little Kariella behind as he embraced his new life among the Rangers. Talaen had learned quite a bit through his service with the Farstriders. They had a culture all their own, somehow separate from the machinations of society within Silvermoon City despite the fact that many of them went through a significant amount of training inside the city itself. The fact that he had been mildly self sufficient, able to cook and care for his gear, had initially surprised the Rangers. Apparently most Arcanists who served with them were woefully unable to function without servants. Talaen had proved to be an exception to this rule and it had earned the respect of those with whom he lived and worked. The albino was equally surprised to find that he was not looked upon as a freak of nature to the extreme that he was within the city. The Farstriders accepted his appearance without comment and even made provisions for his inability to tolerate harsh sunlight. While Talaen had worked in tandem with other mages before in complex castings, his new duties working alongside the Rangers presented unique challenges. He was frequently the only Arcanist assigned to a patrol and thus had to use his own judgment within the bounds of his commander’s orders to accomplish the goals of the mission. It was an environment which allowed him to flourish, meeting each trial with an open mind and the will to succeed. His time with the Farstriders was coming to a close. He felt a vague sense of disappointment. Should he extend for a few more years? He had found a camaraderie among the Rangers that he had never experienced before. He was accepted and even valued for who he was and the skills he possessed. Few judged him on appearance or birth. The nobles who came out to the forest quickly discovered that their titles meant little among these Elves who were weathered by wind and rain. He had even formed a few friendships and altogether it gave Talaen a refreshing sense of freedom. He bumped into the Elf ahead of him, earning a painfully hard squeeze of one hand on his thigh. Talaen held his breath, eyes watering for a moment. He had been woolgathering when he should have been paying the utmost attention to his surroundings. Now he heard it. Drums. Drums in the forest. What did it mean? Easing back a few paces, the albino looked about and mentally ran through the spells at his command. A dim light flickered in coded sequence, an ensorcelled disc of metal carefully concealed in the palm of the Elf in front of him. A moment later the squad was moving again through the forest, trying to get closer to the Amani village where the drums pounded furiously in the night. It was no easy task to move silently through the trees and undergrowth in the darkness. Talaen could feel his clothing sticking to his sweaty skin and he briefly longed for a bath. He was a bit more fastidious than most Rangers, much to the amusement of his comrades, and always bathed in solitude, eschewing the rowdy communal baths that were as much a social event as a means to get clean. Finally they were crouched among the trees just outside the village. Flickering shadows could be seen moving against the backdrop of a great bonfire. Troll voices shrieked and bellowed, making the hair stand up on the back of Talaen’s neck. He could feel powerful forces at work here. A hand tapped a question on his shoulder and he reached up to tap a reply. He could not identify the spell, but there was magic here. He would be expected to make every attempt at countering that magic should it be turned against the patrol. The Farstriders settled in to observe their foes. As long as the Trolls did nothing more than caper about a fire and howl into the night, the Elves had little to do. But these rituals had been observed before and they usually resulted in a squad of Trolls peeling off into the forest on a heading for Quel’Dorei lands. That was what the Rangers were waiting for but there was no telling how long this ceremony might continue until such a time. Hours passed as the Quel’Dorei maintained their vigil. Talaen shifted, trying to ease his cramped muscles. He worried that when the time came to move, he would be as awkward as a newly hatched hawkstrider. Suddenly the drums stopped and a shiver ran up the albino’s spine. He heard more shouts from the village then what was unmistakably cheering. Glancing sideways, he looked for his squad-mate who would signal their next move. Time seemed to contract as he waited for that subdued flash of light in the dark. Finally it came and Talaen lurched to his feet, moving stiffly as he followed the rest of the patrol. He was uncertain of how long they traversed through the gloom. Although he had been on countless patrols before which had encountered Trolls, the albino always felt a curious sense of detachment. He lost track of time and the night seemed to press in upon him, leaving him short of breath. Only through an effort of will did he stop himself from gasping for air as he hurried along in the darkness. The Elf in front of him stopped and Talaen froze in place. Another coded message flashed and Talaen slowly crept forward until he was at the squad leader’s side. He could hear the burble of running water and dimly see starlight reflected from the river below their position. The Trolls would have to cross the water and the best place to do it was at the ford before them. The squad leader tapped out a series of commands upon Talaen’s shoulder and the albino tapped his understanding and compliance in return. As the rest of the squad moved into position, he strained his eyes for any sign of the Trolls that would soon come out of the trees across the river. Surprised and pained shouts followed the sudden burst of light that Talaen called into existence above the river once the entire squad of Amani were out in the open. The Farstriders had been prepared for this and while the light was dazzling, they were not blinded by it. Bolts of magic flew from Talaen’s hands, pounding into the Trolls below as arrows sped from the bows of his compatriots. Trolls fell like grass before the scythe. Foolishly brave, they tried to ford the river and face their foes but only died for their efforts. The battle was over in a matter of minutes. Hands shaking, Talaen stared down at the carnage. Bodies drifted with the current, slowly being carried downstream. It was not the first time he had killed, but the act always left him disquieted. He fisted his hands at his sides to hide their tremors and took a few deep breaths to calm himself while the Farstriders moved down into the water to finish off any Trolls that might still be alive and retrieve what arrows they could. The squad leader clapped him on the back and murmured a few congratulatory words. While Talaen took pride in defending his homeland, he was sometimes frightened at the ease with which he slaughtered the Amani and the disturbing feeling of satisfaction at doing it. However, he had no doubt that the Trolls would dispatch him with equal relish should they have the opportunity and thus he tried not to question his feelings too deeply. They were bloodthirsty savages and had to be stopped no matter what. The bodies were gathered in a pile on the riverbank. It was now time for Talaen’s final duty. Calling upon his magic, he incinerated the corpses in a circle of fire as hot as a forge. His nose wrinkled at the stench of burning flesh but he grimly stayed close enough to maintain the spell. He could feel sweat beading on his face and again he longed for a bath. He was eager to scrub off the dark paint which felt greasy on his skin. He longed to throw back the hood and feel a breeze on the back of his neck, but he knew his squad leader would not approve because his white hair would shine like a beacon in the night. As if the fire were not already bright enough? He had categorically refused to dye his hair a dark color and thus was forced to wear a hood almost constantly while working with the Farstriders. Like many, he used grease paints to darken the skin of his face and hands so it would not gleam in the night. He had briefly considered shearing his long hair but, given the fact that his time with the Rangers would be brief, he had rejected that idea. Tirion liked his hair just the way it was. The crepuscular light of dawn was just filtering through the trees when Talaen finally released the flow of magic. He felt dizzy and swayed on his feet, his vision blurry with exhaustion. The hot ashes continued to smolder. His squad leader briefly laid a hand upon his shoulder and Talaen gave the Elf a grim smile before falling back into line. Their work was done here and it was time to return to their post for some much needed rest. As the albino drifted along through the lightening forest, his thoughts moved ahead to his homecoming. Yes, he would leave when it was his appointed time because Tirion and his daughter were waiting.
  4. Has time dulled the pain of my loss? I ran into a She-Elf while I was on an errand to Sen'jin Village. She approached me in a friendly manner, extremely friendly. She apparently found my reticence to talk somewhat attractive and put her arm around my shoulders. After I extricated myself from her casual embrace, we exchanged names and she chided me for being too formal. How can I be expected to shed the habits of a lifetime? I asked her as much and she began a short speech about how arrogant the Sin'Dorei were. I found it rather interesting that one Blood Elf would be criticizing our race as a whole. But, I do see her point. There is an arrogance to our people and perhaps others interpret my silences as hubris. We were joined by her dear friend who is an Orc. She warned me against offending him. Did she think me so ill mannered? I was scrupulous in my behavior and even tried to speak to him in his own tongue. Granted, I only managed a few words and I was unable to answer his questions without resorting to Thalassian with her translating, but I believe I acquitted myself with grace. Strangely enough, I didn't shy away from his questions about whether or not I had been on the front lines in the campaigns against Illidan and Arthas. I did not elaborate, but I was able to answer truthfully and directly about my injuries in The Fall and subsequent slow recovery which held me back from taking part in the assault on Illidan. The gnawing pain of those memories is no longer as sharp as it once was. The Orc was suitably impressed that I had served on the front lines against the Lich King and when it came time for him and the She-Elf to depart, he saluted me with respect. Earlier today I ran into Merriana. Something is very wrong with her. She didn't remember me, how she came to be huddled up on the floor in the Wyvern's Tail, her brother or even her own name! She appears to be well enough physically so I can only guess at some sort of magical influence. I went to Sen'Jin Village to consult with a Witch Doctor recommended by a Troll in Orgrimmar. It could be a powerful hex but I have no way of telling. I'm worried about her.
  5. “You summoned me, my lord?” “Come, none of that, Tal.” Lord Magister Tirion Dawnsinger smiled at the albino, his expression warm and inviting despite the admonition. Crossing to the sideboard, he poured two glasses of pale yellow wine. Even in the performance of that menial task, there was an understated elegance to the Quel’Dorei’s movements. Tall and lithe, he looked every inch the noble mage that he was. Drifting globes of light set off his fiery red hair, making it appear as though his head were crowned in living flame. Turning back to his guest, the noble held out one of the glasses, wordlessly bidding the other Elf to approach. “Thank you,” the compact Elf replied, eschewing both name and title as he accepted the proffered wine. The pair was a study in opposites. While the noble was tall and willowy with a thick mane of bright red hair and a golden complexion, the albino was shorter and almost stocky with his own gleaming white hair pulled up to the crown of his head into a thick braid that fell to his waist. His colorless hand lingered upon the noble’s for a moment longer than strict protocol would deem proper. Lord Dawnsinger merely smiled in response. It was a simple expression but one filled with a myriad of layered meanings. “My lady wife is expecting. I will name you as foster.” Pale eyebrows arose in shock. “Me!” Talaen sputtered, nearly choking on his wine. Spoken without preamble, the words startled the albino as much as if Tirion had suggested a plan to marry off his first born child to some human pig farmer! “Yes, you. Who else? Her simpering aunt? My debauched lout of a brother? My cat would make a better guardian!” The red-haired Elf scoffed, rolling his eyes in exasperation. Shaken, Talaen could only stare in wordless amazement. It was a high honor being offered to him, one that would not make him any friends neither among his fellow commoners nor among the nobility. The difference between them in years was only a few decades, but the gulf between commoner and noble seemed as wide as the Great Sea and just as troublesome. “Surely there is someone more suitable, Tirion,” he begged, his thoughts racing in a dozen different directions at once. Raising one slender hand, Tirion caressed Talaen’s cheek. “Tal,” he murmured, his eyes searching the beloved face. “My dear heart, there is no other I trust more than you.” Sighing, Talaen bowed his head, defeated by those softly spoken words. They had not been lovers in the physical sense for nearly a decade, but the bond between them remained as strong as ever. Duty had forced the noble Elf to marry and father a child. Honor kept him steadfast to his vows. What had been a passionate affair spanning more than twenty years had transformed into a lasting friendship built upon love and trust. Talaen knew why he had been chosen but that did not make it any easier for him to accept. “I will serve to the best of my abilities, my love,” the albino finally replied, the words forced out through the tightness in his throat. The sun dipped below the horizon, painting the sky with a brilliant array of colors and flooding the room with its dying light. Lifting his gaze, Talaen observed their reflection in one of the decorative mirrors lining the walls. They looked washed in blood and the albino felt a chill of premonition as twilight descended upon them.
  6. Just as the Lord Magister had promised, things between him and Talaen remained much the same as they had been before with the exception of their intimacy. The albino continued to work hard at his studies and soon settled into a comfortable routine. He even found himself looking forward to the time he would spend with Tirion, whether they would simply spend the evening working out difficult equations or in more pleasurable pursuits. They came to know each others moods and habits, taking care to respect most boundaries but also broaden a few. They both treasured the companionship they found together in being able to speak on a variety of topics and while Talaen was unacquainted with Quel’Dorei society personally, he came to know the players through Tirion’s descriptions. Likewise, Tirion became better informed of his own Apprentices through Talaen’s own accounting of their behavior. All together, it was a very satisfying relationship for both of them. In fact, Tirion had never before felt so comfortable with a lover. Talaen was not the first innocent he had taken to his bed, but there was still something fresh and new about the albino that continued to hold the noble’s interest. Perhaps it was his lack of cynicism that held Tirion so captivated. There was a rot at the heart of Quel’Dorei nobility that seemed to foul all it touched, but Talaen was free from that taint. Oh, the albino was not completely naive, but neither was he so completely jaded that he found life boring and meaningless. Tirion desperately wanted to protect that small vestige of innocence which remained within Talaen. It was a curious feeling that sometimes left the noble a bit shaken. For Talaen’s part, he found comfort and strength in their relationship. Tirion was an endless source of praise and encouragement. Even when Talaen failed, the noble remained steadfast and supportive. Beyond the fact that they were lovers, it was the first true friendship Talaen had ever experienced. He gradually learned that he really could speak to Tirion about anything without fear of censure. Even if the noble disagreed with him, they could discuss their differing points of view in a civil manner and often give each other a new perspective to think upon. If Talaen’s instructors or fellow Apprentices noted any changes in the young Elf’s demeanor, none of them made any overt mention of it. Talaen found himself coming to rely upon Tirion and it was a slightly frightening feeling for the albino but he gave in to it with courage. “So, Tirion, what’s this dalliance you have going on?” The Lord Magister’s heart skipped a beat yet he maintained his cool facade of faint boredom as he glanced over the ball room. “Hmm?” “Oh, come now, Tirion. Don’t play coy with me,” the other noble wheedled in a silky tone. Tirion glanced sidelong at his companion. Lord Magister Ainir Sunblade met that look and smirked. What did he know? Dawnsinger Spire was well shielded against scrying. Surely he was bluffing. “I have not the least idea what you’re on about, Ainir,” Tirion finally replied in a wintry tone. “Really? Then you mean to say you’re not bedding that pale creature you took in out of charity?” Only decades of navigating the treacherous waters of Quel’Dorei society enabled Tirion to maintain his poise. “Whatever gave you that idea?” he asked lightly. Somehow, he could not find it within himself to deny it outright. He felt enervated and it was all he could do to stand upright and bear the scrutiny of Lord Sunblade. “Oh, there are rumors, you know,” the other noble replied in a sing song voice. Tirion mustered a chuckle. “Rumors? There are always rumors.” “Yes, there are always rumors. But, there are rarely such juicy and tender rumors as those of a Master bedding his pale mutant of an Apprentice!” The acid in Ainir’s voice made Tirion burn with fury. Who was he to judge Talaen? How dare he call what they had together a mere dalliance? With an effort of will, Tirion made his voice light as he countered, “You really shouldn’t pay so much attention to rumors.” “So it’s true then. You’re not denying it.” No, Tirion could not deny it. The full depth of his feelings for Talaen suddenly yawned wide beneath him and he felt the room dip and sway. It had been nearly a year since that first kiss, that first night together. Had he loved Talaen even then? Lord Dawnsinger gave Lord Sunblade a frosty glare and turned to stalk away in a swirl of brightly colored robes. By tomorrow the rumor would be the talk of Silvermoon City. But Tirion did not care. All he cared about was getting back to Dawnsinger Spire and telling Talaen the truth. He prayed the truth would shield Talaen from the backlash of scandal that was sure to come. Tirion’s arms around him woke the albino from a sound sleep. He tried to murmur a drowsy inquiry as the older Elf held him tight. Instinctively, Talaen’s arms went about Tirion’s waist and he relaxed against his lover. Was he dreaming? Tirion had never come to him like this before. Their trysts had always taken place in the Lord Magister’s private suite. But it all seemed starkly real that Tirion was here, perched on the edge of Talaen’s narrow bed, holding Talaen as if his very life depended upon it. “Tirion?” the albino finally asked as his thoughts cleared. “I love you.” Talaen’s eyes opened wide in shock and he stared into the darkness. His breath caught in his throat and his heart felt like it would beat right out of his chest. He tightened his arms around Tirion, trying to anchor himself in reality. There was a simple truth here and it could not be denied. “I love you, too.” A sob of relief escaped Tirion and he went nearly limp against Talaen. The albino held him and soothed him. The noble felt curiously empty but also fulfilled as he never had been before. He loved and he was loved in return. Lifting a hand, he caressed Talaen’s cheek. “They know,” Tirion whispered. “What?” “We’ve been found out. It’ll be all over the city soon.” Talaen drew a deep breath and tried to take stock of this new information. “How much will it hurt you?” he asked softly. “Me?” Tirion chuckled, a bitter sound. “Very little. It’s you I’m worried about, Tal.” “Me?” Tirion sighed and rubbed his cheek against Talaen’s shoulder. “The other Apprentices will find out about this. There will be accusations. I... I’m sorry.” The misery in Tirion’s voice let Talaen know how helpless and frustrated the noble felt. There was little he could do to intervene between Talaen and the other Apprentices. While open fighting would not be permitted, there were plenty of ways for the others to express their displeasure. Talaen had experienced a variety of pranks and vitriol throughout his years at Dawnsinger Spire. It had been the worst during his first year but he had survived. Surely he could survive it again. “I’ll manage,” he offered, trying to reassure Tirion. “We’ll manage,” Tirion quickly replied, not willing to let Talaen think he was alone in facing what was sure to come. “Yes, we’ll manage.” Sure enough, the scandal broke over the city like a thunder cloud. The nobility were always eager for something to occupy their time and chatting up Lord Magister Dawnsinger’s slight fall from grace was soon the most popular of diversions. The noble refused to be cowed, however, and he continued to attend a variety of social functions, much to the surprise of his detractors. His calm indifference, rooted in the foundation of his love for Talaen, served him well and people soon lost interest in discussing his love life. Talaen stoically endured a renewal of hostilities among the Apprentices. He was accused of favoritism and trading his body for various rewards. His instructors were professional enough to keep their opinions to themselves, so he at least had some small relief on that front. With cool determination, he continued his studies, wary of the other Apprentices who eventually lost interest in baiting him. The time he spent with Tirion was more precious to him now than it had ever been before. The love they shared was a source of strength to the albino, allowing him to face each day alone until he could be with Tirion. Together they weathered the storm of gossip. Most of its fury was spent in the first few weeks and within a few months hardly anyone cared what they were up to. Tirion even joked with Talaen that after all they had been through, they could probably make love in the Court of the Sun and nobody would bat an eye. Of course the albino had blushed furiously and absolutely rejected such an idea, much to their shared amusement. The scandal that so many had hoped would tear them apart had, in fact, only served to bind them closer together.
  7. The detritus of the graduation celebration filled the hallways. Apprentices and newly appointed Arcanists celebrated the day by casting a variety of illusions which filled the halls with brilliant, dancing lights. Servants threaded through the passages, trying to both provide refreshments and clean up after the guests before things became too much of a mess. Yet with all the chaos of revelry about him, Talaen remained an island of stillness within the throng. He had no friends. His mother was forbidden to set foot on the Dawnsinger Estate. His father had been killed in action against the Trolls. No one approached him save for an occasional servant bearing a tray of drinks or tidbits for him to partake of. After sampling the wine and a few hours'd'voures, the albino slipped away to the refuge of his room. A knock at the door drew the Elf from his solemn thoughts. Opening the door, his eyes widened in surprise and a flush crept over his features. It was none other than Lord Magister Dawnsinger standing in the hallway. "May I come in, Master Wildthorn?" the older Elf inquired. Still blushing, Talaen hastily stepped back and opened the door wide. "Of course, my lord." The regal Lord Magister stepped into the room, seeming to fill it with his very presence. Talaen felt short of breath and crowded in the small room. He stepped back until he felt the chair at his desk pressing against the backs of his thighs. Lord Dawnsinger took in the spartan quarters with a glance. A wry smile tugged at his lips as he remembered his own apprenticeship in such a state so many decades past. Finally the Lord turned his attention to the Apprentice who stood sweating and nervous before him. Talaen could feel his face burning and his hands were clammy and damp. Only the Lord Magister had this effect on him and he could not explain why. His heart raced and a thousand butterflies suddenly took to wing in his stomach as the Lord Magister stepped further into the room to survey Talaen's meager belongings neatly stowed about the room. All together the Apprentice's things would probably fit in one pack. It was a rather sorry state when a body could fit the sum of his life into a single pack and probably have some room to spare. "What do you plan to do, Master Wildthorn?" "Do, my lord?" Talaen asked, dumbfounded. Turning to face the albino, the Magister nodded solemnly while studying the younger Elf with critical eyes. "Yes, Master Wildthorn. Do. What plans have you for your future?" In truth, Talaen had not thought so far ahead. Up until now, his only goal had been the completion of his training as an Arcanist. He stared at the floor, unable to meet Lord Dawnsinger's penetrating stare. His cheeks flamed with his embarrassment as he finally admitted, "I had not given it much thought, my lord. Perhaps I could find work as a gardener's assistant or something the like." "Pah! Grubbing in the dirt? And with the papers of an Arcanist who has studied under Lord Magister Tirion Dawnsinger? Are you mad or would you truly throw away such a promising career?" the Lord Magister thundered. Talaen was speechless. His face burned with shame and he dared not lift his head to face the Lord Magister's censure. How ungrateful he must seem right now to be willing to destroy his career and spit on the generosity of the Lord Magister due to his own lack of foresight. Most Apprentices had their lives planned for them before they even set foot in a class room. Talaen was one of a handful of students taken in as charity each year after passing rigorous examinations for potential talent. He wished a hole might open beneath his feet and swallow him up right that very second. Anything else would be better than facing the wrath of the Elf who had made so many things possible for a fatherless outcast of common blood. The Magister stood there, arms crossed and one foot tapping impatiently as he waited for some response from Talaen. As the seconds dragged on into minutes, Tirion realized he had crossed a line and there would be no response because he had offered none that would not be self damning. He could tell by the color of Talaen's ears and the slight tremor of the younger Elf's lean frame that his words had struck deep and true. Talaen wanted to please him, but if he said anything, it would be contrary to the Lord Magister's wishes and thus the albino remained in an agony of silence. "I want to you remain here, Talaen." "My lord?" That got his attention. His head jerked up and those ruby eyes stared in frank surprise at the Lord Magister. "I beg your pardon, my lord. You wish for me to stay here?" His glance around the room was almost fearful. Had he just failed some critical test? Would he never be certified as an Arcanist? "Not here in this room, Talaen. Here as an associate. You would be one of my personal research assistants. I have a small staff of Arcanists selected every few years from the graduate pool. One of my Arcanists has been recalled to his family to assume the Lordship. You will be replacing him. Well, not quite replacing him. You will be the most junior associate but the quarters are better than this and the pay is enough for whatever trifles you might desire." Talaen's mouth worked but no sound came out. His face went pale then crimson again. Finally he found his voice and managed to stammer out his gratitude. "Th-thank you, my lord. It is... it is more than I had dared dream!" Tirion waved a hand in languid acceptance of Talaen's thanks. "You still have some years of hard work ahead of you, Master Wildthorn," the Lord Magister warned. "You are not an Arcanist yet. And in preparation for your upcoming graduation and position as my research associate, you will have some added studies with me." "Of course, my lord," the albino replied, flushing again as he thought of spending time alone with the Lord Magister. An image of golden skin briefly played through his mind and Talaen dropped his gaze, his breath catching in his throat. His dreams had been plagued by the sight of Tirion with his lover and in some of them Talaen had even imagined himself in place of that dark haired Elf. The thoughts of what he might do with Lord Dawnsinger were nebulous at best, but always powerfully erotic and enough to make his blood rush and his heart pound. Lord Dawnsinger arched a brow at Talaen's bent head. He could tell the albino was blushing furiously, but he could not quite figure out why. Could it be the prospect of having additional studies with Tirion that made Talaen react thusly? Tirion smiled faintly, a small, satisfied expression. "We'll meet at the eighth candlemark each night except on restdays," Tirion said. It was late in the evening but not suspiciously so. However it would give them time to be together alone for hours that could lead late into the night. The Lord Magister planned to put that time to good use. Oh, he would certainly instruct Talaen in advanced studies of the Arcane, but he would also get to know the Elf better and become more familiar to him in return. Tirion longed to break through that icy reserve Talaen showed to everyone. Now and again there had been glimpses of the passion within Talaen, usually when the albino had accomplished a particularly difficult spell, but they were always quickly hidden behind that cool mask. The Lord Magister was determined to tear that mask away and see the fire that burned within Talaen. "Yes, my lord," Talaen replied breathlessly. It all seemed to be happening so quickly. One moment he was contemplating his lack of a future and the next moment he was looking forward to spending almost every night closeted alone with Lord Dawnsinger for hours. "Tomorrow is the restday. I shall expect you at my office on time the evening after then. Sun's Light guide you." With that the Lord Magister turned and made his graceful exit, closing the door behind him. Talaen stumbled to the bed and slumped down upon it, still in shock over the encounter. He could hardly believe his good fortune in being chosen to become a personal associate of Lord Dawnsinger. Laying back on the bed, Talaen scrubbed his hands over his face with a groan. How would he be able to stand being so close to Lord Dawnsinger? Surely the older Elf would be able to sense Talaen's feelings and then the albino might as well perish of embarrassment. But the Lord Magister seemed oblivious to Talaen's agitated state and for that he was profoundly thankful. The following day seemed to drag on forever. Talaen was restless and edgy. He tried to occupy himself with a variety of tasks, but nothing held his attention for long, not even working in the garden. Kneeling in the sun, hands buried in the cool dirt, the albino found his thoughts straying back to that night again and again. Did he really notice all those details or had he made them up in the months since? He found himself wondering what Lord Dawnsinger's skin would feel like, smell like and taste like. With a frustrated sound he finished planting the peacebloom and went to clean himself up. He ate little and slept fitfully, his dreams once more dominated by visions of Lord Dawnsinger caught in the throes of passion. Concentrating on his studies the next day was a challenge. Talaen frequently found his thoughts wandering. His instructors were baffled by this strange behavior and one even inquired after the albino's health. Embarrassed, Talaen tried to refocus himself. He keenly felt the eyes of his fellow students upon him and firmed up his cool demeanor. Somehow, he managed to make it through the rest of the day. Dinner was a forgotten necessity and he found himself faintly breathless and dizzy as he approach that heavy door with its ornate gold fittings. A hesitant knock brought an invitation to enter. Stepping inside, Talaen glanced around. He did not have many opportunities to visit Lord Dawnsinger's study and thus he was unfamiliar with the room. His face flamed as he took in the couch where he had seen Tirion engaged with his paramour. Ruby eyes quickly skirted away to take in the rest of the room with its assortment of furniture for guests, bookshelves lined with a fortune's worth of books and a massive desk set before tall stained glass windows. Lord Dawnsinger sat at the desk and watched Talaen. A brief smile curved his lips, the expression unseen by the albino as he gazed around. "Come here and have a seat, Master Wildthorn," Tirion invited, gesturing to the large chair situated in front of his desk. Once Talaen was seated, Tirion pushed a tome across the desk toward the Elf. "We shall begin with theoretical applications of the Arcane as discussed in this volume. While all your studies up until this point have been strictly confined to practical applications, much of my research involves the theoretical use of the Arcane and how such theories might be turned into practical applications. No idea is too far fetched that it should not be explored, do you understand?" "Yes, my lord," Talaen replied, glancing at the cover of the book. He did not recognize the name of the author. "Very good. Now we shall not always be meeting here. Sometimes we will meet in my casting chamber or my laboratory. There will be times when I shall guide you through castings or the preparation of various potions based upon Arcane formulas. But, for this evening you can make yourself comfortable and get a head start on reading. Tomorrow night we'll discuss the first three chapters in depth. You should be able to get that much read in about two hours, right?" "Of course, my lord." Nodding, the Lord Magister returned his attention to the paperwork he was doggedly working through. Talaen picked up the book and began to read. At first he had a hard time concentrating, distracted by Tirion's proximity. But eventually Tirion's calm indifference soothed the albino and the subject matter grabbed his attention. Engrossed in the book, he jumped when Lord Dawnsinger laid a hand on his shoulder. Flushed, he looked up at the Lord Magister who simply smiled down at Talaen. "It's been two hours," the noble said gently. Talaen nodded, feeling the heat of the Lord Magister's hand on his shoulder like a burning coal. Reluctantly he closed the book and stood, causing Lord Dawnsinger to withdraw a pace. His ruby gaze slid sideways, unsure of where to rest as words escaped him. "Good night, Master Wildthorn. Sun's Light be with you." Another jerky nod and Talaen fled back to his room, clutching the book like a shield to his chest. He felt such a relief that he had not embarrassed himself that it made his knees feel like water. The evening seemed almost anticlimactic compared to some of his imaginings. Once in his room, he even allowed himself a brief chuckle at his own foolishness. He would study hard and prove himself a worthy Apprentice and research associate. Though he was nothing more than a lowly commoner, a pale freak, he had been given an opportunity beyond his wildest dreams and he would not squander it. Ruthlessly he bottled up his newfound desire for Lord Dawnsinger and vowed to ignore it. The Lord Magister was his Master, nothing more. They settled into a routine of nightly lessons. As promised, some of those lessons took place in the Lord Magister's casting room or laboratory. Over the course of several months, Talaen learned to relax around Tirion, although never so much as to allow his frosty reserve to completely melt. But the Lord Magister was treated to rare glimpses of the albino's pleasure at success and even his dry sense of humor. He got to see a side of Talaen that the other Apprentices and instructors never even knew existed. The noble treasured such moments like the most precious of jewels. It was late and Talaen was exhausted. Every muscle in his body burned with the strain of prolonged casting. But the swirls and arcs of Arcane energy that filled the room were balanced so carefully that one false move would send the entire lattice into a collapse which could have devastating results. Sweat glimmered on his pale face and his brow was furrowed in concentration. The Lord Magister stood at the edge of the room and watched with bated breath. It was the most difficult casting the albino had ever attempted. Tirion could almost feel the waves of pain and fatigue coming off the young Elf. But Talaen continued the graceful movements with a precision born of determination. The energy shimmered and ever so gradually assumed a new configuration, the stable alignment which was the goal of the spell. Without thinking, Tirion crossed to Talaen and laid his hands on the albino's shoulders, squeezing as he exulted, "You did it, Tal! Magnificent!" Dazed, Talaen leaned back against his Master. He watched the pulsing lines of Arcane power and felt the heat of Tirion's body against his back. His own heartbeat suddenly sounded loud in his ears, pounding in time with the energy he had manipulated. The noble's hands slid down Talaen's arms then around his chest in a secure embrace. The albino did not even realize he was trembling as Tirion soothed him, murmuring in his ear, "Shh, I have you." The soft breath tickling his ear made Talaen gasp. His face flushed and he turned his head, trying to look at the Lord Magister. The desire he had tried to forget made itself known in force, racing through his body and leaving him breathless and weak. He was unresisting as Tirion turned him around and stared down at that pale face for what felt like an eternity before lowering his head to brush his lips across Talaen's mouth. The room seemed to spin around Talaen and he clutched at Tirion for support. "Master?" "Tirion." "T-Tirion," the albino murmured hesitantly, shaken by the intimacy of the moment. Hours later found them curled up together upon the Lord Magister's bed. The noble was almost giddy with delight. He had overcome Talaen's fear of exposure, praising the younger Elf's pale beauty and further gaining his trust, until at long last he had held Talaen in his arms, open and responsive beyond his wildest dreams. The noble dozed lightly while Talaen slumbered at his side. He was unsure of how long they had slept when Talaen suddenly sat up. The albino looked down at Tirion who stretched languidly and smiled up at him. It was all real, even down to the faint soreness Talaen felt. He blushed and Tirion chuckled, running a hand along Talaen's arm. "What now?" Talaen abruptly asked. Tirion arched a brow. "Well, we could either make love again, though I don't know if I'm quite up to it. Or we could simply go to sleep. However I do suggest that you might want to rise before first light if you wish to get back to your room without being seen." Talaen shook his head. He wasn't thinking about the immediate situation. His mind was on the future and it made his stomach churn. "No, I mean, what happens between us now. From now on?" "I suspect we shall carry on much the same as we have, though I do hope we'll make time for each other." "Time for each other?" Talaen echoed. "Yes, Tal, time for each other. Time to relax and enjoy each others company. Time to make love together." "You... You want to do this... again?" Tirion sat up and took Talaen's hands in his own. "Oh, yes, Tal. Very much so. I've wanted to do this for a very long time." Talaen blushed, ducking his head and looking at their joined hands. "Why?" It was such a strange question that Tirion was unsure of how to answer it. There was no doubt in his mind that the past few hours between them had been filled with pleasure for them both. But why was Talaen questioning it? Tirion frowned, trying to think of the full meaning of the albino's question. He realized that Talaen must be completely out of his depth in this situation. Here he was, a commoner who was viewed as an outcast by Quel'Dorei society as a whole, and Tirion, a noble Lord Magister, had brought him to his bed and made mad, passionate love to him for the very first time. Tirion knew the young Elf was estranged from his mother and that his father had been killed while he was a very young child. Had anyone ever shown him much in the way of kindness or affection? "Because I have wanted you for quite a while, Tal. At first I was struck by your beauty. No, not a word. You are beautiful to me. I don't care what others have told you. Then I got to know your mind. You're brilliant and I admire that greatly. You are not unkind despite those who have treated you cruelly. You are honest and honorable. You have a drive to work hard and succeed which I find impressive. I want to know you, Tal, the real you, not the mask you wear when you must face the world. Please, don't turn me away." Those softly spoken words, so full of earnest desire shook Talaen to the core. No one had ever given him so much praise in a single breath. He drew a shaky breath and nodded. Tirion released his hands and drew him closer for a warm embrace. "I saw you come in my study that night," the noble confessed. Talaen flushed. There could only be one night in question. It was the night that had haunted Talaen's dreams for nearly a year. Even thinking about it now made his breath quicken. "I... I didn't mean to... to spy on you." Tirion chuckled. "How could it have been spying? I forgot to lock the door. Anybody could have walked in. Only fate and good fortune made it you. And I'll never forget the look on your face, Tal." "You... You were amazing," Talaen whispered in a rush. "I've dreamed about you. About that night." "Have you really?" "Yes. I... I sometimes dreamed it was me there with you." "And does the reality hold up?" "Oh, yes!" Again the noble chuckled and he tightened his arms around Talaen as he lay back down. "There is no where else I would rather be than right here with you, Tal." "I thought I was dreaming again." "This is far better than a dream." "Agreed." "We really should get under the covers." It was Talaen's turn to chuckle and the sound brought a smile to Tirion's lips. He hoped to hear that sound with much greater frequency. With a quick bit of shuffling, they were soon snuggled up together beneath the light blankets. A murmured command doused the lamp and soon they both drifted off to sleep, secure in each others arms.
  8. I returned from Northrend to find the world much changed. While Silvermoon City and the Eversong Woods were not unduly affected, the Plaguelands have become different from what they once were. Orgrimmar is now geared for war as it never was before. Thrall has left the Horde in the care of Garrosh Hellscream, a choice I do not agree with. The new Warchief is too full of hate and given to rash decisions. In him I see a greater threat than even Deathwing. Lord Visca has been absent of late, undoubtedly still embroiled in political maneuverings. I do not envy him. However, I miss both his company and his counsel. He is wise for one so young. Another friend has passed. Though I have not yet spoken with his sister, I did hear the news. Death continues to stalk all that is dear to me.
  9. I have completed my training as a Priest yet I still have questions of faith. I hide them well and perform my duties as instructed. The power to heal or to harm comes when I call for it using the prescribed words and actions. Is this the Holy Light worshiped by so many? Dare I trust in this greater power for good or ill? Another Sin'dorei questioned me as to how many Blood Knights yet hold to their vows and style themselves as such. Am I an anachronism? Should I think of myself as a Paladin now? My Lord Visca considers himself as such. Perhaps it is time I should too. I met another former Blood Knight who did not quite call himself a Paladin but knew he was no longer a Blood Knight. Is this the path I am following? My Lord Visca is still overly concerned for my health despite my constant assurances that I am well. I am afraid to tell him that I have been back inside the Lich King's fortress and escaped without undue injury. There is still a host of undead within those cursed halls that must be dealt with despite the fall of the Lich King. Will the tide of walking dead ever cease?
  10. I should not be so surprised to discover this journal once again. In fact, I am pleased it survived my ordeal. The first lucid moments I can recall were filled with pain. But it wasn't the pain of my hand and arm that I remembered from The Fall. No, this was a deeper ache in my left hip and leg. I knew something was broken. Then Highlord Fordring was at my bedside. They thought I had been calling his name. How embarassing to admit that it was not him I longed for but instead my lover who had perished when Arthas cut a path of destruction through the heart of Silvermoon City. Highlord Fordring was kind and understanding. He prayed over me and wished me a speedy recovery. I was long in healing. My hip had been crushed and my leg broken. When I was finally well enough to be moved, it was no further than Dalaran. Bedridden, I longed to feel the wind on my face and see the moon and stars. The narrow window in my shared room was too far to allow a proper view of the sky. My addiction to Bloodthistle had also been found out. For days while I was still unconcious I had writhed in an agony of need for the drug. I still crave it but not to the degree that I had before. I think I can live without it now. Weeks and months passed and I grew stronger. The healers visited every day to ensure that my bones set properly so I might walk and ride again. I sometimes have a limp and a small ache to remind me of my folly, but I can once more serve my duties as a Master Blood Knight. While recuperating I took up my Priestly studies more seriously. Perhaps it truly is the Holy Light which answers my call. My superiors are pleased with my progress and if they know of my doubts, they have said nothing to me. My Lord Visca has been embroiled with politics. I have seen some of the plans for the future of our people. I can only hope such things come to pass. I believe change is needful. I was pleased to see him again. He asked me to share a drink with him and I believe I was companionable enough to suit his tastes. Perhaps nearly dying in Icecrown Citadel has mellowed me. Then again, perhaps not. I have met someone who reminds me of Tirion. He is a Death Knight and has that same long, fiery mane at odds with a quiet manner. He seems to enjoy reading and I often see him about the Wayfarers' Inn with a book. At first I was able to speak to him easily but then I became as tongue tied as always.
  11. Talaen


    The albino knew he was being followed. He felt it in that creeping sensation which made the back of his neck itch and the phantom sensation of his lost fingers tingling, yearning to grasp and shape the arcane energies which might once have easily brought him answers. Finally the Blood Knight turned to confront his pursuer. "Hey! How ya doin'?" the Goblin reporter grinned up at his quarry. He received a dispassionate stare in return. "Right. So, how 'bout you tell me what ya know 'bout this guy here, pal?" A portrait was shoved under the Blood Elf's nose, causing him to jerk his head back. He grunted, irritated with the Goblin's behavior, but studied the picture. "So, ya know the guy?" the reporter persisted, his stub of a pencil poised to scribble whatever juicy tidbits he might glean from the Blood Knight. Turning his crimson gaze upon the Goblin, Talaen rasped out a single word before bowing then marching past the reporter upon his own business. "Fool."
  12. I am worried for Mistress Areth'Dorei. I have neither heard nor seen her for weeks. I have no word of her either. Lerin seems content though and is growing like a weed. What will I do with a worg? Ambassador Redemptio left the Order some weeks past and I feel we are better for it. Her constant wheedling and needs for attention and conversation were wearing on me. Compounded with her false accusations then obsequious manner toward me when disproved, I was close to either challenging her outright or begging a leave of absence from Lord Visca that I might no longer have to bear her presence. Lord Visca and I seem to be on better terms now. We fought together in the defense of Silvermoon City. Alliance forces struck at the heart of our people; Sunfury Spire. The Horde rallied to our aid and the assault was broken. As the battle swirled around us, there was no time for recriminations nor politics. The Alliance has again betrayed our trust and the Horde has come to our aid, even the Forsaken. Will Lord Visca abandon his peaceful stance now that Fabled Order has severed the truce and so clearly played a key role in these actions?
  13. <p>you need a Carlton.</p>

    <p><img src="http://www.freemyspacegraphics.com/Graphics/Funny_Animations/images/18.gif" alt="18.gif" /></p>

  14. <p>*does things to people, with you, and things*</p>

  15. Would I become a monster to destroy one? Most assuredly so. Then I would fall on my sword, content that my duty was done. Lord Visca and I spoke at length again regarding faith. I fear we parted on uncertain terms. His belief in the Light is strong. Did he help the Kirin Tor interrogate their prisoners? Or did his honor forbid him to use such tactics? I continue to study the book he gave to me but the Aldor teachings are quite strict; black and white. Life has such an infinite variety of color. How can anyone be expected to live by such a code? Although he began as a Blood Knight the same as I, Lord Visca now considers himself a Paladin, a blessed warrior who serves the Holy Light. Could I ever be such a thing? He never knew Lord Dawnsinger and I am glad for it. For a moment I thought he purposely threw Tirion's name in my face to shock me. Then I realized he was speaking of Highlord Fordring. Have I outlived the scandal? With so many dead, it is not impossible. He would never want me to become a monster.