Being a parent ((Preservation from Umbral GuildPortal))

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Being a parent ((Preservation from Umbral GuildPortal))

Post by Vivimord » Mon Nov 30, 2015 7:04 am

((Originally posted by Honnete.))

{{This is something I've been working on for a while. Burnil - and Ginnalby - 's player has quit WoW and deleted his characters, so I wanted to write something about Honnete's reaction. I haven't got to that yet.}}

Ginnalby missed his mother. Of course Dadda gave cuddles just as good as Mumma. And he had time to play, too, not like Mumma always working. But he didn’t smell the same – that indefinable scent of milk and leather and cold air that Mumma always had. Dadda smelled of growing things and steamy heat and lots of different kinds of drinks.

Dadda had great stories, too. Not like Old-Pa whose stories were all about fish. Ginn even found himself missing those, and the stories of the walrus men who Old-Pa hung around with all day. Of course Ashie loved those stories. Old-Ma had taught her to fish, and they spent hours and hours just standing on the shore staring at the sea. BORING! Ginn had jumped at the chance to come and spend some time with Dadda for a while. Ashie only came to Dadda for short visits. She was quite happy to be with Old-Pa and Old-Ma while Mumma was working. She seemed to like the deader Mumma had taken to spending time with, too. Not Ginn. The deader wasn’t warm like Dadda, and he didn’t tell good stories. Besides, he took too much of Mumma’s time.

This visit was longer than the others had been, though, and Ginn was missing his mother and his twin sister. He waited for his father to wake up. Dadda was always sleepy in the mornings, maybe ‘cos of the drinks he had with the gobbos at night. Maybe just ‘cos he was getting older and it hurt to wake up. That’s what Dadda said, anyway. Ashie said that Witby just shook his head sadly when she tried to talk to him about Dadda. Ginn snorted. Just like Ashie, being silly. As if Witby could talk to her, he was just a dumb old wolf! Silky didn’t talk, did she? Well, Ashie never said she did, either, he thought, trying to be fair. But it was just silly, thinking Witby could talk.

A cold nose nudged his back, and Ginn turned to hug his father’s pet. Even if Witby couldn’t talk he was fun to play with, and maybe ride on. Today the wolf growled when he tried to climb onto him. Growled and took hold of Ginn’s small hand in his huge jaws, gently tugging him towards where Burnil slept. Ginn came along willingly. After all, he’d wanted to talk to Dadda about going back and seeing Mumma and Ashie for a while. Perhaps Witby would wake Dadda up. Maybe Dadda would tell him a story, or take him out in the jungle again to pick plants!

Burnil was sprawled on his sleeping mat, snoring, when Witby’s cold nose nudged him in the side. Simultaneously, a small boy bounced on top of him, shouting, “Dadda! Dadda!” “Gerroff!” he complained. He’d been having such a good dream, too….. the beautiful orc had just taken her clothes off and pressed against him. Things were just about to get interesting. Witby and Ginnalby weren’t any sort of consolation for being woken up from a dream like that. But Witby whined and nudged him again, harder. And Ginn wasn’t about to get off his Dadda, though he did stop bouncing and cuddle close.

“Stoppit, Witby, silly ole wolf,” he muttered. Another nudge. “STOPPIT! OK, OK, Burnils gettin’ up.” The nudges stopped, though the anxious whining didn’t. Witby wanted him to do something, it was clear. Burnil carefully picked Ginn off his chest and set him down at the foot of the mat, then scrunched himself up to a sitting position. That wasn’t good enough for Witby, who grabbed his master’s hand in his jaws and pulled. “Ow! Leggo!” Burnil protested. Ginnalby started punching Witby’s flank with his small fists. “Ya hurtin’ Dadda! BAD Witby! Stoppit!” Burnil’s thoughts were muzzy, but he could envisage this getting dangerous if he didn’t intervene.

“OK, OK. Let Burnil pick up da cub, Witby.” He grabbed for the little boy, and successfully lifted him out of reach.

“Wassup, silly ole Witby?” He evaded another snap of the wolf’s jaws and Ginn’s flailing arms. “Ya want Burnil ta go witf ya?” The wolf barked once, an affirmative sound, and turned to lead the way. Burnil was in no doubt that Witby would try to force him if he didn’t follow, so he hastily pulled on some old overalls and a pair of shoes before heading out the door. Ginn demanded, “A ride, Dadda!” so Burnil sat the boy on his shoulders. “No grabbin’ the beards, cub!”

Witby led them out of Booty Bay, to a nearby shore. Amid the tangled trees and ancient ruins a glimmering oval stood. Fragile looking as a soap bubble, but solid. Burnil scratched his head. “Wass dis, Witby?” he enquired. Meanwhile Ginnalby was kicking his father’s chest with his heels. “Lemme DOWN!” he demanded. Burnil shrugged and swung the child to the sand – then made a frantic grab for him as he dashed towards the shiny thing. His hands just missed the child, as the oval started to glow more brightly and irised open. Ginnalby murmured, “Ooh,” his face lit by a glow from whatever was before him….. and walked forward. Through the portal. “Ya ain’ goin’ alone, Ginn!” Burnil screamed, and dived after the boy.

Witby looked sad. This wasn’t what he had had in mind. Not at all. But he supposed he should go too. Someone had to look after the younglings. If there had been anyone watching on the beach, they would have seen the portal disappear with a pop as soon as the wolf passed through it.

***************

“Hmmm. I ain’ ‘eard from Ginn in a coupla days, or Burnil neithah,” Honnete muttered as she came back to the apartment in Dalaran after a long night of trying to defeat Old Gods. “Time ta take a bit uv a break, I reck’ns. Ashie? Ya wan’s ta go ta Booty Bay ‘n visit ya Dadda ‘n Ginn t’morra?”

“Ooh, yah, Mumma, I been missin’ dem.” The little girl looked up from her task of twisting wires and braiding feathers. “Sides I c’n get some nice flowahs ‘n stuff down dere fer betta fish’ooks.” Honnete nodded. She knew Ashie took her self-appointed task of making fishing lures for the whole family very seriously. They were good lures, too. Definitely helped with catching the fish. Even the Kalu’ak thought so, and they were famous anglers.

***************
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Re: Being a parent ((Preservation from Umbral GuildPortal))

Post by Vivimord » Mon Nov 30, 2015 7:04 am

((Originally posted by Honnete.))

{Next instalment}

Laszlo Copperkettle prodded the bundle of belongings with his foot. It still didn’t look as if there was anything there that he could sell to make up for the rent his lodger owed. The orc had been an odd one, he reflected. Good company, especially over a few drinks, but talked funny even for an orc. And the little boy he’d had living with him – well, Laszlo reflected, what female would have wanted to mate with the fellow? No wonder she’d sent the resulting offspring to his father.

A large axe interrupted his thoughts, thudding into the ground at his feet. He leapt back, and looked up at an unmistakably female body. Topped by a very angry face. “W’at does ya t’ink ya be doin’?” she asked. “Dose be Burnil’s t’ings. W’ere is ‘e? ‘N w’ere be my son?” The last words were delivered in a tone terrifyingly flat. A small orc girl, around his own height, peered at him around her presumably-mother’s legs. “Yah,” she said. “W’ere be my bruddah? W’ere’s Ginn?”

“Your son, ma’am?” Laszlo enquired. Best to be polite, he thought to himself, particularly to an armed and angry orc.

The female’s face flushed a darker green. She leaned down to him, her face inches from his, and spoke clearly and slowly. “Yah. My. Son. Ginnalby. ‘E wuz ‘ere. Wid his fathah. Burnil. ‘N I fin’s ya ‘ere, ‘n no sign uv Ginn or Burnil. Tell me. Now. Afore I…” She raised the axe. The threat was obvious.

“Neither of them has been seen for the last week.” Laszlo knew he was babbling, but couldn’t stop himself. “I’m the owner of this house, I came here to collect rent, and I was just trying to find some trace…” The woman snorted. “Tryin’ ta fin’ stuff ta sell, more like. Get OUT!” Her voice rose to a scream, and Laszlo wasted no time in scuttling towards the door. “Wait!” her voice held a hint of pleading. “Ya…ya knows anyone as might know w’ere dey’s gone?” “You could try asking at the tavern, ma’am.” He backed slowly through the door. “The orc – Burnil – was there most nights.” His last sight before he ran back to his home was of the woman on her knees, her back to him, frantically scrabbling through the small pile of junk.

“Nuttin’. Nuttin’. Ginn’s toy squirrel, ‘n da skull I give Burnil. Dey wouldn’ve lef’ dose if dey wuz meanin’ ta travel.”
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Re: Being a parent ((Preservation from Umbral GuildPortal))

Post by Vivimord » Mon Nov 30, 2015 7:04 am

((Originally posted by Honnete.))

{Instalment 3, and if anyone wants to chime in at this point, feel free. Honnete is desperate for information.}

The goblin bartender spat on the floor, narrowly missing the orc’s foot. “Must have bin a week or so ago, last I saw the big orc fella with the broken tusk. Sure it was at least that. Them poncy pretty elfs just come round that mornin, recruitin for their war. Them and the big blue guys with the hoofs n horns. E was drinkin then, but he didn leave till much later. Haven seen im since that night.” He jerked his head at a small group of males in a corner. “Those fellas usually drink wiv im.”

Honnete crossed to the table, sizing up its occupants carefully. The troll wasn’t likely to be a threat, and she hoped the two Tauren wouldn’t be either. But the human? How could Burnil have changed so much as to have made a habit of drinking with someone that he would once have shot on sight, she wondered. However, threats wouldn’t get her information here. And she had Ashie to think about too. “Drinks on me, fellas.” She forced herself to speak pleasantly and neutrally as she plonked a brewfest pony keg on the table, following it up with four pottery mugs. The human male slurred something and filled his mug, sloshing it straight down before refilling it. The troll had clearly been smoking something most of that day. He picked up the mug, turned it around and sat there giggling at it. One of the Tauren brought out a bowl – several times the capacity of the mugs - and filled it. The other Tauren just looked at her. “That’s nice, lady, but why’s a pretty thing like you buying drinks for us?” His companion threw an arm around his shoulders. “Who cares, Stronghoof? The drink’s good.”

“A pretty thing with a child – in a place like this,” the Tauren continued. “Not very safe for pretty ladies, this kind of inn. Not very safe for cal..children, either. Tell us, pretty lady,” he leaned forward over the table and placed one massive paw on her wrist. “What are you doing here?” Honnete’s instinctive response was to turn her wrist, breaking free…..but perhaps it would be better to let him think she was trapped for now. Or perhaps – yes. She moved towards the table rather than away, sitting on the grimy bench, and smiled her best smile at the Tauren, trying not to show too much tusk. “I can’…c’n not drink ‘f ya doesn’ let go uv me,” she chided. “Pour me a mug, ‘ey?” Stronghoof was clearly taken aback by her words and actions, just as she’d intended. He grabbed a mug and sloshed drink into it, then set it in front of her. ‘E mus’ reck’n ta get me drunk, she thought. Well, two c’n play at dat. Mebbe I s’prises ‘im yet. Aloud, she said to Ashena, “Go get dat gobbo ta give ya a drink, sweetie. Somefin’ fer cubs. I ‘specs ya c’d ask w’at Ginn useta drink w’en ‘e come in ‘ere.” She handed over a coin to her daughter, allowing the males to see the flash of gold. “Tell ‘im t’anks fer steerin’ me ovah ‘ere, ‘n ‘e c’n keep da change. Den come straight back wid ya drink.”

“Ya not drinkin’ yet, mista?” she asked the sober Tauren. “Doesn’ ya know ‘s rude ta make a lady drink on ‘er own?” She grabbed the other large bowl and filled it from the keg, adding a splash of volatile rum she’d bought earlier. “Drink up, Strong’oof!” she encouraged, raising her own mug to her lips. She did take one large swig, but held most of the next one in her mouth and trickled it back into the container as silently as possible. If Ashie hadn’t been with her she might have just matched these males drink for drink and damn the consequences, but she couldn’t risk her cub. Her one surviving cub, part of her mind kept trying to tell her. No, not true, can’t be true! another part insisted. Honnete wasn’t used to having different parts of her mind fighting with each other. Usually there was just the one, just her, doing what needed doing or what she wanted to do. Forgetting the bad things, leaving them behind. Ginn couldn’t be left behind, though. Not Ginn. She’d birthed him, him and Ashie. Loved them. Cared for them – sometimes with her foster parents’ help - even when Burnil had gone missing before. He’s gone missing before, her mind insisted. But he had come back, the other part of her mind retorted. Maybe not this time? She shut that thought off, firmly. Ashie had come back to the table, and now sat at her mother’s feet taking apart Ginn’s toy train set. Ashie looked unhappy too, as unhappy as she felt herself. Ginn wouldn’ve lef’ ‘is train set behin’, that second part of her mind reminded her. She looked across at the Tauren. He seemed maybe a little more bleary now – she certainly hoped so. Now to ask some questions, she reminded herself.

“I ‘eard from dat gobbo ovah dere,” she gestured loosely at the bartender, “dat ya fellas useta drink wid Burnil. Big orc, one tusk broken, long beards. Mebbe ‘e brung ‘is li’l boy in ‘ere sometimes?” She tried to slur her words, to sound drunk. As though she wasn’t desperate for the answer.

The troll giggled, a high-pitched sound. “Useta smoke wid im too!”

“Yah,” she agreed. “Burnil allus liked ta smoke da crazy weed too. ‘Ad a ‘ookah ‘e got from da Blades Edge Mount’ns. Liked ‘is drink ‘s well.”

The Tauren wasn’t as drunk as Honnete had hoped. He was eyeing her carefully. “I reckon this is the pretty lady Burnil always used to talk about, friends,” he warned. “The one who left him.” She cursed inwardly; there went any chance that the males would let something slip. Time for a wild gamble on honesty. “I be worried. Burnil ain’ been seen fer a week or mo’. ‘Is lan’lord wuz lookin’ t’rough ‘is stuff ‘cos ‘is rent wuz overdue. But dere be stuff in ‘is rooms as ‘e wouldn’ve lef’ behind ‘f ‘e wuz plannin’ ta take off. Any uv ya know anyt’ing ‘bout w’ere ‘e might be? ‘Im ‘n ‘is cub ‘n Witby?” She looked around hopefully. The troll just giggled some more. The drunk Tauren shook his head silently. The human snored, face down on the table. The sober Tauren shook his head too. “You’re a hunter, pretty lady, or so the orc said. Track him. If he wanted you to find him he’d have told us. If he wants to see you he’ll be back.”

Honnete seized on the implication. “Did ‘e tell ya ‘e wuz goin’, ‘n w’ere?” The Tauren shook his head, mockingly. “That’s for me to know…pretty lady.” His eyes raked her up and down, and his tone made it clear what he wanted in exchange for information.

It’s worth it if he can tell me something, she thought. “Dis li’l one needs ta sleep somew’ere safe,” she said aloud, indicating Ashie. “C’n I meet ya latah?” The Tauren smirked, an expression she’d never seen on one of his race before. “Certainly. I’ll be here waiting, pretty lady.”

And after all that, he didn’t know anything, she thought disgustedly to herself later. She slipped out of the Tauren’s room, leaving him sated and snoring. Like a pig – nah, Silky sounds more civilized. Silky lives in a better place, too. The room smelled rank, had done even before. At least now she knew – probably knew, she corrected herself – that Burnil’s drinking companions had as little idea of where he was as she did. But the Tauren had said something maybe-useful, back in the inn. Track him, he’d said. She hadn’t tried that.

Stranglethorn Vale is wet and steamy at the best of times, and this was rainy season. There were no smells of an orc and his child to be found, not after a week. Or maybe more, Honnete thought. The bartender had only been reckoning from the last battlefield recruitment drive. She was reduced to tracking by sight. No footprints, either, not with all the rain. She did find some fabric snags, on a bush bordering a path to the beach, that might have been from Ginn’s clothes. But no other traces.

She would just have to try and get information some other way, she resolved. Perhaps a shaman could help?
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Re: Being a parent ((Preservation from Umbral GuildPortal))

Post by Vivimord » Mon Nov 30, 2015 7:04 am

((Originally posted by Honnete.))

The young woman pressed further back into the shadows as two drunks reeled past, singing loudly and off-key. She probably didn’t need to. The shadows had cloaked her well enough through the night that had passed. Still no sign of movement from the door her quarry had entered earlier. Insubstantial totems swirled at the edge of her vision. No sign of disturbance yet, no sign of activity by the Infinite Flight. Perhaps the Keepers had been right that her quarry’s life was of no interest to the Infinites….. but they had been wrong before. Their calibration hadn’t been precise enough to get her back in time to stop whatever the Infinites had done with Burnil and Ginnalby, after all.

Ah, movement – there! The young woman watched, pulling her cloak closer around her to hide herself, as her quarry – Honnete, she reminded herself, she does have a name - slipped out of the door. She looks disgusted, she noted. Not surprising, a calm part of herself commented. The Tauren had surely not been a freely chosen bed partner.

The young woman followed as Honnete moved through the streets towards the tunnel out of town. The huntress wasn’t noticing her surroundings at all, which allowed her follower to move close enough to see the woman’s face. Eyes wide, tears slowly leaking from the corners, haunted expression. Focused totally on her goal, whatever it might be. Tracking, the follower realised as she watched Honnete examine the ground closely, she’s tracking. The huntress even bent to sniff the ground at one point. She stopped at a bush, examined a scrap of fabric, sniffed at that too. The follower wasn’t sure whether to be relieved or disappointed that the scrap didn’t yield any scent. Honnete, for all her strength of purpose, would be no match for the Infinites. But the watcher knew the same strength of purpose would continue to fester in Honnete as long as she didn’t know what had happened to her child. It would drive her to further excesses, prepared to do anything for information. Anything. No matter how unsavoury, no matter how personally dangerous. No matter that her remaining child would grow up without the love and guidance of either parent.

Of course, the watcher reminded herself, there would be Old-Ma and Old-Pa for the child. And the Forsaken whom Honnete had asked to protect her twins long ago. He would take that task further, and become a father and mentor to the lonely child.

The watcher knew she could not interfere. Not yet. Changing the woman’s present and future would mean changing the child’s life, after all. Even though the Infinites had changed the present in the first place, the Keepers might believe that further meddling was unjustified. All the young woman could do was to watch as Honnete activated her hearthstone magic and returned to Dalaran. And wait, for now.
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Re: Being a parent ((Preservation from Umbral GuildPortal))

Post by Vivimord » Mon Nov 30, 2015 7:05 am

((Originally posted by Honnete.))

“Dere be no sign,” Honnete repeated. “None at all. Dey be gone. Gone widout trace.” Her voice was heavy with unshed tears, her expression desperate.

“We will find them,” her hearer assured her. “And you’ve already searched Stranglethorn far around the town. If they had met with harm you’d have seen signs already.” He put his arms around her, offering support, but her body was stiff in his embrace. Unable to relax. At last she voiced her deepest fear.

“W’at ‘f Burnil wuz so upset by us not bein’ mates dat ‘e took ‘imself ‘n Ginn ‘n …’n…..” Her voice was more broken than usual, tears falling freely now. His hands moved to her shoulders, shaking her briskly. He scolded, “Don’t you think like that! You’d have found something if they were dead. Trust your own abilities, huntress.” She blinked, shocked out of her misery by his action. “Mebbe….” she conceded, her body relaxing into his embrace, accepting comfort for a moment. “But dere not be any sign uv dem, ‘n nobody seen eithah uv ‘em in ovah a week. ‘N dey didn’ take deir stuff. Ginn w’dn’ve let ‘is Dadda leave ‘is train behin’ ‘f ‘e ‘ad any choice.”

“So perhaps they had no choice. But someone would have seen something – even in Booty Bay – if they’d been taken by force. So they left voluntarily, but expecting not to be gone for long.” His calm, reasonable tone calmed Honnete, as he’d hoped it would, and helped her to think rather than feel. “But ‘oo?” she asked aloud. “Burnil’s drinkin’ buddies dun know nuffin’.” She winced a little as she remembered how she’d got that information.

“Well, who might he willingly have gone with?” he asked. She started to count on her fingers. “Well, me, I s’pose. Da drinkin’ buddies, othah frien’s uv Burnil’s….prolly da Noxies, ‘n da ‘Orde Misfits. Dat shaman in da Netherstorm as tol’ ‘im about da demon blood……” She thought a moment more, then added, “I knows ‘e wuz frien’ly wid lotsa people. ‘E useta visit Miss Labrae ‘n Mista Hod in deir ‘ouse in Silvahmoon. ‘N ‘e w’d prolly ‘ve gone wid any pretty gal – but not wid Ginn.”

“Well!” he encouraged. “You have a lot of people to talk to, it sounds like. We know it wasn’t you, and it wasn’t the drinking buddies. But that still leaves a lot of possibilities.” She cheered a little with the prospect of action. At last, something to do that might help. She hugged him impulsively, squeezing the breath out of his ribs. “T’anks! I gets onta dat ri’ away!”
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Re: Being a parent ((Preservation from Umbral GuildPortal))

Post by Honnete » Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:24 am

{{I think I need to write a bit more of this. From Ginnal's point of view.}}
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