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Draquesha last won the day on August 29 2020

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  1. The hot Zuldazar sun beat down on Xiomara's skin, making the little troll smile as she ran around with her friends. She had always been fast and strong, tall and powerful. Xiomara was a monster. She was proud. She heard the boys, her friends, to her left, her head swiveling quickly towards them as she ran in their direction. Nobody could hide from her for long, she had keen eyes like an eagle! It was why she always liked Pa’ku so much. They were the same. The little troll felt discomfort in her stomach; different from the butterflies she felt when she was hungry, but not quite different enough that she noticed. Was she hungry? She had skipped breakfast that morning. But she always did! Her parents never prepared her breakfast and she always scrounged up lunch off of Rohq. Always. That was the nature of their friendship, after all. She brushes the pain aside, figuring that it was a bad case of stomach troubles. Could have been a bad dinner she’d eaten the night before. It was fine. She continues to run around, her bright eyes seeing movement in a nearby bush. Xiomara easily finds and smacks Rohq in the shoulder, cheering for herself and jumping up and down. They exchange a good laugh and he places his large hands over his eyes, counting loudly as she runs to find her own bushes to hide in. She lays on the ground, to keep from being seen. She was always good at hiding, too. Rohq rarely found her. As she waited, the pain in her stomach grew stronger and stronger and stronger until it felt like a knife had been thrust into her abdomen and TWISTED, making her little face scrunch up. She flopped, feeling like she was about TO DIE. She struggled to keep from making little pained noises as the knife twisted and twisted, and suddenly Rohq’s smiling face popped into view as the brush was set aside. Gotcha! He looked so proud of himself… until he saw her face. It didn’t take much to make her friend worried, especially given how they had met to begin with, and she was quickly taken away to find a medic. Rohq had gotten surprisingly strong recently, a fact that Xiomara envied. She was the strong one! That was her job! How could he be stronger than her suddenly? She was snapped from her thoughts as she was set down in a chair, a medic coming to gently touch her forehead. Xiomara dramatically explains what had happened through gritted teeth, hands crossed over her midsection and doubled over. She rarely cried, but today tears welled up in the corners of her eyes. The medic raised an eyebrow at Xiomara and gently shoos Rohq out of the tent, though the pair of trolls exchange a look and protest. They had to be together during this! They were always together during the tough times. Ride or die! Right? She looks fearfully at the medic. What was so important that Rohq couldn’t be there to hear it with her? With enough coaxing (a lot of coaxing, at least ten minutes of disagreement), the stubborn two finally agree. The medic crouches beside the young girl, taking hold of her hand and looking up into her eyes. Her voice is calm and even, motherly, as she asks the girl if she has a family that can come to get her; to ask if the girl had a mother who would rather explain to her the important milestone she was undergoing. Xiomara shakes her head: no. She didn’t have a family that would come get her. She didn’t have a mother who would want to explain what was happening. She considered asking for Rohq’s family to come, but she couldn’t bring herself to burden them any further than she already had. The medic sighs, closing her eyes for a moment, before patting Xiomara upon the hand again. The pain continues to cut and dig into the small troll, her eyes continuing to water. She wipes at her eyes, tiny hands balled up. IT HURT. Maybe she needed to use the bathroom! That usually helped. She quietly asks the medic to use the restroom, struggling to remain polite in the midst of her DYING. The medic agrees, though her face says she is uncertain. Xiomara slowly makes her way to the restroom and what she sees causes her to SHRIEK. The shriek cut through the silence, like a hot knife through a stick of butter; it pierced the heavens. She runs out, her eyes wide, as she shows the woman her undergarments, stained bright red with what looked like blood. SHE WAS DYING! HOW COULD THE LOA LET THIS HAPPEN TO HER?! The gentle medic takes Xiomara’s hand again, her voice soft. Her face was etched with concern – concern that the girl had nobody to call in this trying time, concern that she had no place to go. After a moment, the medic sighs and places her hands upon Xiomara’s slender shoulders, looking into her bright eyes. She slowly explains what was happening to the girl, using simple and understandable terminology, waiting patiently as she asked questions. The girl made a face, like she was about to protest. But-! This hadn’t happened to Rohq! How could this only be happening to her, they were the same! Weren’t they? The medic chuckles and considers her words, telling the girl that this would never happen to Rohq. But how could this be? The words take a moment to settle in her mind. The shock upon her face told the medic everything she needed, and she gently patted the girl once more. Rohq was a boy, she was a girl. There would be differences between them, especially as they got older. They wouldn’t stay the same forever. Xiomara feels the sting of tears in her eyes again, though this time not because of the pain in her abdomen. Tears begin to spill from her bright eyes, rolling down her scaly cheeks, as the realization that she couldn’t be one of the boys forever begins to set in. But she’d always been one of the boys. She’d never been different! They were her friends and now they’d look at her like some outsider! She wails. Loudly. And before the medic even has a chance to stop her, the door bursts open as the other young Zandalari sprints in, with the quickness of lightning Rohq was beside her again. Friends until the end, right? Ride or die. He looks at the medic, like she had just stabbed his best friend. HOW DARE SHE?! The young boy starts to protest in return, his normally polite and friendly persona shed to show a fierce and loyal protector underneath. To say this medic had the patience of a saint may have been an understatement, as she pinched the bridge of her large, hawklike nose and began to calm down the rowdy children. First, to get Rohq to stop trying to punch her, and then to get Xiomara to cease her tears. Neither of these things were helpful besides to help escalate the other child. She crouches down beside the two, hands upon their shoulders. Xiomara looks at Rohq, rubbing at her puffy eyes again, attempting to keep from wailing about how he would abandon her now that she was different. And in that moment he laughed. The laughter snaps the young girl out of her wailing, causing her to look at her best friend with wide, confused eyes. Why was he laughing at her? She was serious! She balls up her little fists and punches him in the shoulder. Hard enough that it might have caused a bruise on him. The punch to the shoulder was met with more laughter, before the young boy wraps his friend up in the biggest, sweetest hug that a boy his age could manage. Why would he abandon her just because she was a girl? They’d known this for ever now! Since the beginning of ever, duh! He punches her back, gently, in her shoulder, as he tells the medic that they were going back to his house to talk to his parents about what happened today. Xiomara sniffles again, protesting against causing the family any more trouble, but Rohq stubbornly disagrees and pulls her away before the medic can say another word. She was one of the boys and she was part of his home. Regardless of whatever weird doubts she had, for whatever weird reason, because she was a weird butt-butt, she was part of the family! Couldn’t escape now, Butt-Butt!
  2. Growing up, Halime had always known it would one day be her responsibility to watch over her caravan. She the granddaughter of the caravan leader, after all, and with the ever present and tragic reality that she had lost her parents, she was the only one in the line to watch the caravan. It was a responsibility she shouldered with pride from a young age. She learned how to call upon the rains with Dede, she learned about what little politics existed within her caravan from Nene. She learned how to speak and hold herself with confidence and poise and yet, none of it mattered. It was all gone, destroyed within a puff of smoke and a stray lightning bolt on a particularly dry summer. Everything that had ever mattered to her in her short life disappeared before her very eyes, including her Nene and Dede. The little fox felt her entire world begin to close in on her, the flames engulfing her vision, when suddenly she felt the pull of strong arms around her waist. And that was when she met him. When she opened her eyes, he was there, looking down at her with his dichromatic eyes. The most beautiful eyes she had ever seen. His hands were upon her cheeks, preparing to pry her jaw open (likely for mouth to mouth), even though she was clearly breathing normally. Her heart leapt out of her chest. Was this the man that had rescued her from the fires? Was this her hero? That had been years ago, and yet the events of that day still weighed heavily upon Halime’s slender shoulders. Had she had a better grasp of the rain waters, could she have saved her caravan? Or maybe if she had been able to detect the fires quicker? She sits in contemplation amongst the open plains of Bastion, her feet digging into the grass. She sighs. The little fox flops down into the grass, spread eagle. She pulls out a few wads of paper from inside her shirt, tossing them aside in the grass with a frustrated grunt. For the last few years, she’d spent so much of her time trying to impress him. And yet, he never paid her any mind. She was nothing more than another face in the caravan, there was nothing special about her to him. She flops down, rolling around in the golden grass like a child, her thoughts swimming in her head. Duty. Responsibility. Honor. These had defined the little vulpera’s life for as long as she could remember. She had always pushed herself to fit into the mold Dede had left her. Stand strong. Stand proud. Speak clearly, speak firmly. Lead. She felt like she was finally on the right path to becoming a suitable leader but suddenly she had no guide, she had no mold to follow. She only had herself. But was she enough? One mistake didn’t take away from the whole, right? She pulls out a handful of the grass, tossing it upon her face and blowing away the strands forcefully. It flies right back into her face, landing into her awaiting eyes and causing the little vulpera to scratch at her face angrily. Ugh. She couldn’t do anything right! And like that, she cried. She wasn’t sure for how long she had laid there, perfectly still in the grass, but it felt like both an eternity and only a moment had passed. The almost oppressive light bore down upon her, like the ceaseless summer she knew so familiarly from back home. The only thing missing was the burning heat. Bright green eyes turn upwards, staring at the open sky. A larion flew by, its wings spread open as it soared high above the vulpera. So carefree. So open. Weightless. She wished she could be like that, instead of anchored to her responsibilities, her emotions, her duty. The girl picks herself up off the ground, taking a few cautious steps forward. She had nowhere to go. Sure, she had the Port. She had the company. But was that a home for her? Did they really want her there? Her eyes begin to sting again as she rubs at them frantically. That elf from the mess certainly didn’t. Nor did Rhuss or Hakipp. If she couldn’t even convince her family to like her, how could she convince anyone else? Try as she might to stop it, tears began to well up in her eyes again, falling down her little furred cheeks. Her steps are slow, struggling, like her feet were made of lead. Keep moving, stop standing around. Forward, not back. Forward, not in the same place. Always forward. She wasn’t sure where forward was, but she continued. This was how she always calmed herself, by walking. Moving. Wandering. But it was also how she managed to get herself in the most precarious situations, as she stepped right off the edge of a large cliffside. Wind rushed past her, making her large ears flap like wings to keep up. She finally felt weightless. She finally felt free. . . . And then she didn’t. But she hadn’t hit the ground, she was still… weightless. She was still in the air. The sway of the wind had changed, her hair and ears flopping to behind her. She was still moving forwards but without that feeling of being trapped. She reaches down, hands grabbing hold of fur almost like her own, which startles her. What-? Who? She opened her eyes slowly, looking ahead of her and finding that same larion that had been flying overhead not too long ago. Together, they fly. And they fly for ages, over the open plains of Bastion. The larion touches down upon the ground not too far away, setting her back down upon the solid pathway leading towards Aspirant’s Rest. At least the larion seemed to like her. She smiles, so big it made her cheeks hurt, as she reaches up and takes the large animal’s head in her hands, bringing it down for pets and affection. She certainly couldn’t leave now. The words of the Kyrian ring in her head, like the ringing of their vespers throughout the entirety of Bastion, while she walked with her new friend along the road. To where? She didn’t know. But again, she walked forward. What was it they said? Not to let her past define her? She sighs, resolute. Those were the words she needed in that moment. She’d felt the weightlessness. She’d felt the freedom. And she knew. This was where she was needed. She’d made her decision.
  3. Every day began the same for Janis Aristaeus Bearcharger. Wake up as the sun did, wrapped in blankets, beside his wife. Eat breakfast, table framed by the rising sunlight. Allow his wife to braid his long hair as he washed his face. Get dressed in front of the mirror, debate with his wife whether to wear the green tie or the blue. But only for a few minutes, he had a schedule to keep, after all. Rushing out of their home, Janis would run down the road towards the burgeoning city of Silvermoon, intent to keep to the rigorous schedule he always kept. He stops in front of a large building: strong and imposing, with rigid white lines and bright red crystalline features atop tall spires. Typical Sin’dorei architecture. The bank was bustling, as it always was before the working day. Men and women came and went, in and out, with checks in their hands. Janis takes a seat at his desk, finding it already piled with papers. Once he finally settles in, turning his nametag around to show he was here to work, he begins to slowly work through the papers: requests to transfer money, opening new accounts, closing old ones, the usual. It was a normal day in the office. He sighs, tossing his braided hair over his shoulder and adjusting his glasses upon his nose. He takes the sides of his frames, moving them up to make sure he could see properly. Circle vision was such a curse. The papers go by relatively quickly, as they usually do. Read this, sign here. Approve this, stamp that. One stack becomes two, becomes one again. As he finishes working, a woman comes up to his desk and takes a seat in front. Her white blonde hair is drawn back, held back by a bright yellow and green headband. A large purse sits upon her lap and a young man stands beside her, he looks like he might be either her lover or her son. Not that means much to Janis, he’s used to it by now. The woman takes out a checkbook, opening it to one of the blank pages and tapping with her finger. She clears her throat. The woman speaks curtly, matter of factly. She is straight to the point. Aleister, the name of the young man apparently, is here to open a bank account and Janis is to help them. Easy enough. He has opened enough of these in his time with the bank, including for his many children. He runs through the questions as he did every time he opened a bank account: contact information, financial history, consent to terms. Sign. Stamp. Seal. Finish. Next! An older looking gentleman approaches next, holding a clear file folder with several papers housed inside. His hands are shaking. Janis gestures for him to take a seat as he adjusts his glasses again. He really needed to get those refitted, the constant adjusting was getting annoying. The man is clearly nervous as he describes his ideas: an investment in a business, a shop for exotic goods imported from Zandalar right here in their home city. He needed a loan. A small one, he promises. Janis considers the idea, turning a pen in his hands several times. He spins his chair from side to side, never once letting his gaze leave the man for long. The banker seems uncertain of the returns given the nature of their people, explaining to the man that he needs to know that the bank will see its money back, turning him away gently. If he is able to return with documentation to show that his business will succeed, he will offer the money. Next! Nothing. There are no more for the time being. Finally, a moment to relax by himself. Janis begins to take the papers he’d signed and stamped from before and sorts them into separate piles for filing. This is relaxing. He enjoys this greatly and it takes up much of his morning. Eventually, the time for his lunch break rolls around (before he’d gotten the chance to put the files away, damn it!) and Janis pulls out a small, packed lunch from underneath his desk. As he unsealed the lunch, he could feel the heat radiating from inside of the perfectly temperature-controlled container. Magic: an elf’s best friend. It seemed the servants had packed him leftovers from the night before: slices of roasted meat and potatoes, baked vegetables, a slice of toasted bread. Nothing too spectacular for a none too spectacular day. The food disappears as quickly as it appeared from beneath his desk, and the man returns to his work. Not five minutes after his lunch had finished had a young woman come bounding towards his desk, jittery and excitable, trembling like an animal that had downed a few too many espressos. She clasps her hands together, bright eyes shining as she stared at Janis eagerly. He raises an inquisitive eyebrow at her, silently asking her what she was interested in. She spoke quickly, a little too loudly. On the bright side, Janis wasn’t going to fall asleep from his heavy lunch after an encounter with this little pixie sprite of an elf. She’s quick to answer, saying she has a deposit to make. She produces a coin pouch, that jangled loudly with every movement, that she plops down unceremoniously into Janis’ awaiting hand. He counts through the money in rapid fire Thalassian, marking it down upon a notepad. With all the money accounted for, the deposit is easily made. Forms are signed. Money is taken. A job well done. With the woman gone (and a sense of stability returned to Janis’ view), the man takes the files from before and quickly strides down a hallway towards a long corridor full of shelves placed back to back, without any space between them, except for at the ends. With a single wave of his hand, the shelves begin to shuffle, as if on wheels, until Janis is faced with the exact spot he was looking for to begin shelving his files. He pulls up a seat, beginning to place folders into boxes and boxes onto shelves. The day ends as quietly as it started, with Janis packing up his bag and starting towards the door. As he’s about to leave, a courier rushes in and thrusts a letter into his hands. He looks down at the letter, addressed to him from one Soren Qianas Bearcharger. He eases the seal open with a slender finger, reading over the contents and frowning, before returning it to his bag with a sigh. That was trouble for another night. Today was an ordinary day for an ordinary man who had an ordinary family that didn’t crash boats into rocks willy nilly.
  4. As she did every weekend, Soleil Titania Bloodstorm had visited a bakery within the sprawling city of Silvermoon to snatch a pair of overly chocolatey cookies for her and her beloved. The paper bag that housed them is placed into a light brown satchel slung over her shoulder as she strolled through the city towards where she always found her Starlight’s portal waiting to take her home. She stands tall. Confident and relaxed. The paladin whistles to herself. Nothing extraordinary, a simple tune she’d picked up at the bar one night. She whistled because Light save if she ever started to sing. She sways along to the tune, twirling around, and causing her fluorescent yellow armor to angrily clink and clank. In the quickly emptying courtyard, the sound echoes back off the walls to her as the sun begins to hide away from the approaching night. The shadows grow longer, the city lights slowly (dimly) coming to life. Soleil feels her breath grow shorter as she waited… and waited… and waited a little bit more. Eventually, none are left but Soleil, the moon, and the many stars watching over her in the darkened courtyard (as they always had since she was young). Soleil’s glowing green eyes nervously scan the empty courtyard, her armor providing most of the little light visible. She holds her hands together, trying to pretend she was still confident as she steeples her fingers, but it’s clear that her hands are shaking. Whatever confidence she hoped to show was easily seen as the ruse it was. Okay. Okay. This was fine. This was absolutely not a problem. Starlight got busy and she didn’t have time to make a portal. That’s what this was! Starlight knew that she had family nearby, so she wouldn’t be abandoned. Starlight knew. Starlight wouldn’t forget her. She struggles to move her feet, feeling like she was rooted in place. The paladin takes another deep breath. She taps her forehead. She taps her temples. She taps her cheeks. She taps her shoulders. It centers her and she manages to finally find the strength to move. Slowly, very slowly, she starts to make her way out of the courtyard and away from the guarantee that there would be a portal waiting for her. A small pouch strung up and around her neck, like a necklace of sorts, is pulled out. The hearthstone inside is held in her hands, squeezed tightly, like she might break it with her iron grip, before she finally musters the strength to send a quick “I’m spending the night at home” to her beloved. With every loud step, her heart is beating in her chest as if it were about to leap out and run away. Thump. Thump. Thump. She silently curses to herself, remembering just how far out of the city her father’s home was. The lights of the city begin to fade as she finally leaves the outer limits, the roads illuminated only by the faint glow of a few roadside lamps and the bright glow of the paladin’s armor. The walk home seemed a lot longer when she didn’t have the familiar company of her brother leading the way. No distracting stories, no smell of soap as his hair whipped her in the face, no explanations of the stars above. No matter how much she imagined him being there, the cold emptiness of the night was all the reminder she needed that she were alone on this little walk. The walk wasn’t long, she could manage it within ten minutes. It was a walk she was all too familiar with. Out the city gate, down the road, take a left at that fork. She knew it like the back of her hand. After what felt like an eternity of shuffling along the road, Soleil finds a branching in the road. Left to Mrs. Starstrider’s, right to her father’s home. She doesn’t hesitate and quickly turns to the right with a sudden burst of energy. Relief. Home, warmth, light. Safety. As she rounds the corner, she feels her stomach drop like she was falling out of the air, like it was about to spill out onto the ground in front of her. Cold and imposing, she walked towards her family’s darkened home. She takes a few shaky breaths. She taps her fingers her fingers against her temples. She taps against her cheeks. She taps against her shoulders. Calm. She was calm. She continues forward and twists the doorknob. Locked. Locked? Sure, it was late. They were in bed, of course they’d lock the doors! She fishes a key ring form the same pouch that housed her hearthstone and attempts unlocking the door. The key smashes into the lock, unable to fit inside. Panic begins to build in her chest. Locked outside. In the dark. Unwanted. She continues her tapping upon her temples, her cheeks, her shoulders. Over and over, until the rhythm of it calms her down enough to search for the spare key she always knew was hidden in the planters on the windowsill. Always. Plated fingers turn over the dirt, uprooting flowers and herbs, until finally she finds the key in question. Good, not everything had changed. It was merely an oversight! They’d forgotten to tell her that they were getting new keys. The key fits into the lock, of course, granting her access. Everything seems normal. Everything seems fine. Everything is… no, everything is not fine. Everything is not normal. As she peers further into the home, she notices that the house is in a state of disarray. It was like a tornado had swept through, furniture upturned, and walls laid bare. She flicks on a light switch. It doesn’t turn on. SHE FLICKS ON A LIGHTSWITCH. It continues to not turn on. Her heart starts to pound, threatening to jump out her throat. To flop onto the floor and hide away from everything in the world. She pushes against walls that aren’t there, walls that feel like they’re closing in on her, as she rushes through the home. She slams open doors, looks under blankets, throws pillows across rooms. Nothing. Nobody is here. Nobody is there. She is well and truly alone. Again… The world starts to spin, like she was on a ride at the Darkmoon Faire she never agreed to get on. A ride she desperately wanted to get off of. The paladin settles down onto the floor, choking upon the very air she needed to survive, as her trembling hands pick up a small sphere sitting beside her. As her hands come into contact with it, the orb begins to glow a soft, warm light that washes over her.
  5. Brick Aneirin Howe was never one for his studies, a fact that his mother Meirwen knew all too well as she continued to drill him on which spoon to use and when. She pinched at the bridge of her nose as she listened to her son's latest explanation of why some part of him was bruised, battered, or broken. Sometimes it were all three at the same time because, instead of the little nobleman she were trying to raise, she'd ended up with a little monster. A monster she loved, but a monster nonetheless. "I was runnin' wif that kid from down the street, Mam! You know the one, 'e's got the really big, poofy 'air loike you and we was runnin' to see 'oo was faster when I tripped on the cobbly stones and went slidin'. 'e got to the end of the street before me, but 'e chea'ed because I fell over. So, we's gonna go again anovver day." He holds up a skinned elbow proudly, red and raw from the small rocks he'd run over on the road. He flashed her a grin (that was too big, one of those childlike smiles that lit up his entire face, because it took up the entirety of it), several of his baby teeth missing. As the boy went on, she watched while he took one of the spoons and placed it on his crooked nose, holding his hands out proudly, and showing her just how small of a spoon he could manage to keep from falling. One of the spoons finally went clattering to the table below him, unable to hold on much longer and seeking sweet freedom away from the young boy. The boy picked it up, crinkling up his nose as he placed the spoon back. His eyes crossed as he kept a careful watch on the spoon. Meirwen snatched the spoon away, setting it back down onto the table with a sigh. Meirwen nodded in the direction of the room they shared, unable to keep the smile off of her face. As much as she wanted these lessons to go well, she had almost as little idea of what she were doing as the boy she were trying to teach. The room was... cozy, to say the least, almost too small for the two of them to share. The walls were bare, save for a framed finger painting of a fish that the boy had made at school. Most of the walls in their home were the same. A few small pieces of artwork (never very good, all things considered) set against an old, bare wall. But while they weren't swimming in money, Meirwen had made a point to decorate with whatever she could. The window had a set of tasteful yet worn curtains that helped keep out the light in the mornings, the bed had a large, woven quilt. Their house was a home, damn it! She pointed at the bed as an invitation to sit as she pulled out a small tin from within their broken, shared wardrobe. Once filled with festive, holiday cookies from Winter's Veil past, the tin now housed buttons, string, and needles. The wrong tin. Meirwen sets it back with a purse of her lips, grabbing a near identical one. Near identical in that it were the same tin, but with a dent in the side, and filled to the brim with bandages and what little medicine they could scrape together. There would have been more if the little monster didn't get hurt every other day. "Lambkin," she finally says, a glimmer of playfulness in her eyes, as she begins cleaning the injury with what little alcohol they had. "You 'ave to be more careful, we's runnin' out of the good stuff to patch you up. You can't beat no neighbor boys if you's so clumsy. 'ow're you gonna be a lil noble lad if you can't even use the two feet I gave you?" She pokes him in the nose, knowing full well that this scheme to teach him to be noble was all for naught. But it was at least a fun little way to bond with her son. "Why're you teachin' me to be one of them stuffy nobles anyway, Mam? Not loike we's one of them." He shrugs his little shoulders, a pout upon his face. "Why I gotta act loike somefin' I'm not?" "Because you is one," she says simply, eyes softening as he winced away from her touch. She takes one of the last few strips of bandage from their little tin of medical(?) supplies and wraps his arm with it. "Because your da's noble." "But 'e's not 'ere!" And now it were Meirwen's turn to recoil, that had stung. Defiant. Stubborn. Too aware for his own good. "Why I gotta be loike 'im? Why can't I be loike you?" Because being like him is better for you, she wanted to say. Because being like me means struggling. But she couldn't say that. She placed her hands upon his shoulders, looking into his warm, brown eyes. But what could she say? She struggled with her words when the little boy spoke up again. "I loike you be'er than 'im, anyway." She laughed. She couldn't help it. As much as she wanted to, she couldn't stay serious any longer. She never was good at being serious. "Obviously, it's so you can infiltrate their ranks and become one of them," she says with another chuckle. "Don't you wanna know wot it's loike on the ovver soide of the 'ills? Come on, I can show you 'ow to talk loike one of them and you can show off for all your lil friends. Wif the funny voices, ye? The ones you loike so much? I'll put a pot of tea on and we can make fun of them togevver." Meirwen watched as Brick's little face lit up, like a thousand lights had been turned on. Tea? Funny voices? Silly words? That was everything to him. That was why he loved her so much! He seemed to move on past their little conversation quickly, kicking off of the bed and following after her towards their meager kitchen. Kitchen? Was it really a kitchen? Or was it more of a kitchenette? It could barely fit the both of them, with a small countertop and a few overhanging shelves that they struggled to fill with much. An old, dented tea kettle is set over a fire as the two take their seats at the worn, round table that served as dining space, living space, guest space, and everything else under the sun. The woman looks across the table at her son as a smirk played upon her lips. She holds up several of the spoons from earlier: large and small, long and short. All from different sets that she had managed to sneak away during her time as a servant in various noble homes. It was her dirty secret: spoon thief. Her voice changes, from whatever potato mouthed, street talk they usually frequented into something half resembling the sounds she had heard while working. "So, which of these spoons do you think I can hold on my nose the longest?"
  6. Today was the day: the day Draquesha would turn ten years of age! At ten she would be able to finally say which family job she would pursue -- whether she would join her father's family as hunters or follow after her mother as a shaman. Though they knew long before that she, unlike her brothers, lacked the magical aptitude to follow in her mother's footsteps, she finally had the opportunity to become more than her failings. She had spent the last week, no the last month, looking forward to her birthday. Her birthday meant that there was finally a day for JUST her! No brothers, no parents. No. This was her time. Finally! She didn't have to worry about rocks being thrown at her face or wayward magic used to encase her bow and arrows. No. Today, she could relax. She could enjoy today. She had stayed up all night, waiting eagerly as the moon came and went. She lay in her little pile of blankets on the ground, staring up at the ceiling of their thatched hut giddily. Father would let her use his bow today! Father would take her out to hunts now! She could stand in the spotlight now, as the only hunter in the family now! The little troll shoots up immediately, blankets tossed aside, pillows thrown asunder, as the light of the sun finally begins to stream into her room. Little Draq had risen before anyone else had, setting out to get her daily chores finished. She whistled a cheerful tune, brushing the dirt away from their front walk and dancing in the rising sun. As she was spinning, arms out around her, and kicking up more dirt than she was intending to sweep away, a pair of strong, adult arms picks the tiny troll up and pulls her in for the biggest, warmest hug she had ever remembered. The tiny troll found herself erupting into a sea of giggles, arms wriggling to try getting out of the hold that had her. Who was it? Who had a hold of her? Was it her shitty brother? Was it one of her parents? Maybe it was an uncle or an aunt. She never did find out. Without another word, the arms carry Draquesha inside to their little worn hut. The hut is simple, with two three rooms: one for her parents, one for her, and one for her brothers. Somehow she'd managed to luck out at get a room alone. Somehow. She figured it was because she was the only girl. Or maybe because she was the nonmagical child. The center room was well decorated, with many handmade ornaments and knickknacks collected throughout her family's many years on the Isles. Bright red and blue masks with white accents, the skull of an old murloc long since killed, beads, and stone carvings. On the walls hung a long bow with a quiver of arrows, a fair few more lain upon a nearby table that were being worked on. It was simple, rustic, but it screamed of home to the little troll. As the adult holding her brought her inside, Draquesha couldn't help but smile when she saw the baked desserts sitting on their meager dining table. The family hadn't much, but they always did their best for special occasions. Her mother had sent her away the night before to play at a family friend's home to allow her to make the birthday treats without a little troll managing to get her little fingers in every single pie. Once she were finally free of the horrid adult's arms, Draquesha ran up to the table that she was finally taller than, and got a good look and smell of what was waiting in her near future: a pie with a pinched crust, filled with a sweet and sticky coconut mix; a warm coconut cake with spices that her mother had gathered the week before; and a sort of sugary sweet, sticky, and coconutty bar that was dyed bright green (the little troll's favorite color!). Excited, wiggly fingers reach out, trying to steal a few of the treats, before being carefully swatted away. A finger is waggled in her face, 'no, not yet'. First, she had family to greet and gifts to receive! She had always hated this part. The same conversation, over and over and over again. The well-wishes followed by the simple, shallow words exchanged between parties. Were they really interested in her? Did they actually want to know how she were doing or were they posturing for her parents' sake? She had been given paper and furs, a skull headdress, a necklace made of shells. It was all the same thing every year! Nobody knew her or they would have known she didn't need this! As she finally rounded on the last relative, she found a man holding a small, wooden cage. He was an uncle, one of her father's many brothers from the Echo Isles. Her mother's family were never able to attend, not that little Draquesha minded. It meant less gifts, but it also meant less talking. Her uncle looked at her from where he sat upon the floor, legs crossed near the center of the room. In the cooler months, they might have had a fire here, but in the heat of the summer that was unheard of. As all in her father's family were, the man was a hunter and the injuries he sported proved as much: a patch over an eye he had lost from his son's missed arrow; a nose broken so many times it looked like it an angry zigzag; and a missing finger on his already few fingered left hand. Draquesha bowed respectfully to her uncle, taking a seat in front of him and crossing her legs. The cage is slid towards her and she looked at it curiously. The cage makes a sort of excited chirping, clicking noise. Draquesha gasps, holding her head closer to the cage and poking a finger inside... only for it to get bitten by whatever was inside! She yelps in surprise, trying to get the finger back from the little creature inside. When she finally gets the finger back, she waggles it at the creature inside the cage, 'no, don't do that! That was mean!". She finally gets a closer look inside the cage, finding a newly hatched raptor: bright red with blue and green accents. Fluorescent blue eyes stared back at her, sizing her up. Assessing if she were worthy of it. She stared back, determined. They kept this little staring contest up for what seemed like ages, until a hand tapped at her shoulder and she looked up to see that same uncle gesturing for the cage. When she gives it back, he cracks it open and the little raptor she'd just had a staring contest with began to run around the room, chirping at everyone present, before returning to Draquesha and squeaking at her loudly. As she tries to pick the little monster up, her little monster now, it would try biting at her again. She smiled brightly, the most genuine smile she had sported since she'd begun speaking to the relatives. The little raptor bites at her legs as she finally stuffs her face with coconutty cakes, fingers covered in the shredded fruit when suddenly ouch! That one had hurt! He'd grabbed hold of her ankle and scratched her. Uphill battle with this little one, it seemed. She would work on that. No, they would work on that.