Gloria ended up being born yesterday. February 12th, ‘round about noon, maybe a little bit beforehand. Eunie’d started having contractions the evening before. I’d been working on Iadric’s breastplate all day, ended up getting home about half past eight or something like that, and by then I figure she’d already had one or two. She was…well, calm’d be an understatement. Definitely a lot more composed than I was when she told me…she’d already had the presence of mind to get herself a little bag packed for us to take with us down to the Quel'Talan. I’d gotten the chopper ready a couple of days beforehand, put a couple cushions in the sidecar so that the ride wouldn’t be quite so bumpy if we ended up having to make a dash down to the harbour. Good thing I’d gotten it done in advance. Not sure I would’ve been capable otherwise. Should’ve seen the way my hands were shaking when I was trying to get the keys in the ignition…ride down ended up being at a slightly less uniform pace than I normally would’ve liked, between panicking and speeding up and then remembering that I needed to go slow to keep it from being bumpy. Wasn’t really much cause to be worried, at least at that stage. Like Cainam said, might’ve been if the contractions’d been coming ten or twenty minutes apart, something like that. As it was, we managed to get down to the ship and get ourselves all settled into the rear cabin a good while before things properly got underway. Had a sandwich, courtesy of Matthes. Two of us even managed to get a little sleep, which was probably a good idea. Ended up being a pretty long night…no issues or anything, thankfully. Had been a little worried, considering Lassair’s still out of action down in Nethergarde, but Cainam ended up handling it just fine.

Turned out pretty well. Gloria’s healthy, a decent sort of weight. Appetite’s around about where it should be. Eunie didn’t seem to have any issues with feeding her, so I guess that’s one less hurdle to worry about. She’s maybe a little quieter than I might’ve expected, but hopefully that’s not a sign of any underlying problem or anything like that. Either way, I think the three of us’ll be staying on the Quel'Talan until Cainam or somebody else gets a chance to look at her and Eunie, just make sure that everything’s as it should be, aren’t gonna be any surprises once we end up taking her home. She’s got a lot of hair. More than I think either of us would’ve expected. Blonde, closer to Eunie’s than mine, but I guess there’s a chance that it might darken or something as she gets older. We started putting a few plans together for things we’d like to do, when we are able to get her home. Figured it might be nice for the three of us to head out and wander around the outskirts together, once Eunie’s got her shapeshifting figured out again. Figure that won’t be too difficult a process, considering how quickly she seemed to pick it up when she was first learning. I might need to start doing some more cooking on account of Eunie being meant to eat an extra meal, considering she’s feeding Gloria. Morning might be a good time for that, before I head off to work, wherever that ends up being. I can cook stronger meats now, now that Eunie doesn’t have to worry about her stomach acting up. Picked up a box of holiday chocolates while I was out last night, so we’ve already made a start taking advantage of that. Other thing we talked about was having her baptised. Think Eunie was keen on doing it twice, once in the cathedral or something like that and then another time out in the woods or something along those lines. I kinda liked the sound of the idea. Maybe not the most traditional way of going about it, but I don’t think sticking to tradition’s necessarily our strongest point to start with.

Wouldn’t have minded just sitting there all evening, but there was a little work to be done. Gather from what Beras said when I got there that there’d been another incident down south, something about dealing with a plague of some kind near Surwich to placate some orcs or…something. I don’t know all the details. I’d taken my signet off during the night, only heard about what was happening on account of Eunie telling me that they were asking for somebody who knew how to do transfusions. Eunie said she’d be alright on her own for a little while, so I headed down. Didn’t really need to, in the end. Others’d taken care of most of the wounded by the time I got there, then Belindlice ended up doing the transfusion after I’d gotten things set up for her. Still, got a good chance to talk to her. She said she’d seen a guy in red armour or something who’d waved and then disappeared when she looked back. Wondered what I thought about it. Could be something to be wary of, but if she only ever ends up seeing him that once, figure it’s just as likely to be the fatigue and the heat and dust and that playing tricks on her than anything serious. Speaking of serious things, heard this story about how her husband’d tried to prank her one time by propping a bucket of water on a door. She ended up getting back at him by doing the same with one of mud. He apparently kept the bucket as a trophy for a good while afterwards. Never really pictured Belindlice as a prankster…then again, guess that would’ve been before she went through a lot of what she did. Told her the story about that one hunting trip I took Catherine on, just before I headed back to Stormwind to pick up those chocolates and head back to the Quel'Talan for the night. Not a bad trip, really.

That was it, really. My first day of being a father. It’s…well, hard to describe the feeling. Just holding Gloria or sitting there while Eunie is…aren’t many things like it. Not sure I’ve really gotten my head around it just yet…then again, figure I’ve got plenty of time. Not planning on not being around any more for a long, long while yet. What that means as far as the way I live my life…not really sure just yet. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see how things go. Figure that’ll be the case with a lot of things, from here on out. Just a matter of taking a lot of things as they come, crossing bridges as we come to them. Don’t expect that I’ll ever really know everything there is to know about being a dad, but I guess that’s life. You never stop learning. Long as I keep just picking things up where I can, doing my best, I think I should be alright.

Spent a fair while yesterday talking to Sina. Must’ve wandered up while I was having a little bit of a nap, sitting ‘round outside. Can’t quite remember how we got onto that topic, but asked her if she’d put any thought into bringing Rurik through to Draenor, now that we know things’re a little more stable this side of the portals than we’d thought to start off. Said she’s waiting until things over in Talador’ve calmed down a little, mentioned something about planning on settling down there. As it turns out, she’s not actually planning on coming back to Azeroth any time soon. Not permanently, at least. Sounds like she’s banking on either being able to hop back and forth through the portals whenever there’s anything much going on back on Azeroth or us setting up some kind of branch of the Sigil on Draenor. Guess I couldn’t say for certain without talking to Agnes, but doubt the latter’s gonna be a happening thing. Having seen the way things’ve gone on Azeroth with the Sigil since most people left, doubt splitting people up’s likely to do much for our effectiveness. As for the former…I don’t know. Not easy to get back and forth through the portals now. Don’t know whether it’s likely to get easier once the military doesn’t need them anymore, or if they’ll even keep them open at that stage. Not exactly pleasant to think about what the situation’d be if they didn’t…not like Sina doesn’t care about Azeroth or anything, doesn’t care about the Sigil, but Draenor’s more her home than Azeroth ever could’ve been. Maybe not this Draenor, but one that’s pretty similar. Her family’s here, or something close to it. Even if it meant never seeing the Sigil again, don’t know she could bear to leave them. Guess there’s some consolation in thinking it’s gonna be a fair while yet until the situation Draenor’s been dealt with, ‘til people do start looking at packing up and heading home.

Would’ve been talking to her for a few hours or so, in the end. We’d just been talking a little about Osbern’s books when this other guy showed up. Turns out she’s never actually sat down and read any of them…strikes me as a little strange, but guess it’s something that’s between the two of them. Anyway, name of the guy who turned up was Tarmikos Fletcher. Paladin of one kind or another. Didn’t say where, exactly, but got the impression he’s been pretty heavily involved in fighting against the Iron Horde since he got to Draenor. Said it’s his purpose to wield a blade in the name of the Light, strike down anybody who’d try do evil, taint the world with darkness. Like a slightly better-mannered version of Stehl, almost. Think he might’ve impressed Eunie a little, way he was talking about it. Don’t know he made quite the same impression on this gnome who was there. Mathen, I think he said his name was. Said something about being a First War observer. Not exactly sure what that means, ‘part from the fact that he was there in some capacity or another, saw enough to get to thinking that there’s no way for war to really be a good thing. Inclined to agree with him on that one, although it’s not like we really have a choice about it a lot of the time. Even if everybody forgot about all the old grudges they’ve got and we didn’t have things between the Horde and Alliance to worry about, still plenty of other people out there looking to cause trouble, groups like the Legion, individuals with a couple screws loose. Lucky for Tarmikos, probably not gonna be a little while until there’s no more need for somebody willing to pick up a weapon to protect people. Spent about ten years now hoping the world’d settle down one of these days. Hasn’t worked yet.

Anyway, that was, uh…not the lightest of conversations. Did get to talking about some slightly more positive stuff after those two left and it was just Eunie and me left out there. She’s apparently been managing to talk to this one Draenei woman lately who seems to’ve taken a fair bit of interest in Gloria. Not the only person around who has. I’ve noticed a few residents taking notice when I’ve been wandering around either carrying her or with her in her pouch. Guess it’s not all that unexpected, considering none of them’ve seen a human baby up until now. Must be interesting.  I mean, guess I didn’t have a parent’s perspective on things back then, but was for me when I first saw a draenei kid. Course, get looks on occasion even when I’m on my own, although not sure I like those ones quite so much. Guess that’s not unexpected either. I mean, not like people adjusted all that quickly to worgen back on Azeroth, and druids’d already been wandering around changing forms all over the place for a few years by then. Like Eunie said, isn’t really anything on Draenor for worgen to get compared to. Guess as long as people’re still willing to have us around, talk to us here and there, could be worse. Anyway, story with the woman Eunie’d been talking to is that she’s something a little like a combination between a teacher and a nanny. Said she’d be willing to take care of Gloria for us for a little while, if ever we need it, I guess on account of being curious about her. Figured it might not be all that bad of an idea to take her up on that. Like Eunie said, it’s good for everybody. She gets to spend a little time with a human kid and the two of us get to take some time off, spend an evening together, maybe take a trip somewhere. Think Eunie’s pretty keen on heading west one of these days, seeing what Karabor’s like. Figure there are plenty of worse ways than that to spend a day.

Saw Sinafay yesterday. Think she’s been busy out of the city these past few days. Probably not a bad thing really, if it saved her having to think about all this business that’s been going on with the Golden Law the past few days. Sounds like she’s been occupying herself trying to get back in touch with the elements. Got water figured out now, but that was only on account of how grim the whole situation with Osbern was looking after the fight against Bordros, how desperate she felt. Hope she doesn’t go looking for more situations like that…maybe wasn’t such a good idea on my part to wonder out loud whether you might need a combat sort of scenario that wasn’t going your way to figure out how to use fire again. I mean, wouldn’t like to see her go risking herself without good reason. Still, don’t go so far in saying that as some other people. Got to talking about it with Argonas. First time I’ve seen him in a long time now. He seemed to think she should give up the whole shamanism thing, wanted me to try convince her as much for him. Get the feeling that’s just as much to do with his views on shamanism as wanting her not to go putting herself in danger. Seems to think that the Light’s the only proper pursuit for a draenei, went so far as to call shamanism a hobby at one point while we were talking. I did ask her to try keep safe as much as she can, but asking her to give it up completely was a little more than I was willing to do. I mean, regardless of what their traditions are, it’s obvious from the way she’s been since she lost her connection to the elements how much it means to her. How happy it makes her. I mean, Argonas is a good guy, a friend, but she shouldn’t have anybody asking her to live her life a certain way just to make them happy. Sounds like she’s had to hear enough of that sort of thing already. If she’d listened, don’t know her life’d be in nearly as good a place as it seems to be now.

Eunie mentioned over the comms that the Haethons were doing some sparring out front of the cottage just as that conversation was wrapping up, so the two of us figured we’d wander over in that direction, check it out. Only saw a couple of fights, these two worgen women to start off, Iadric and Rhett after that. Rhett had a pretty solid victory in that one. Did some pretty serious damage to Iadric’s armour, ended up throwing him straight out of the ring. Just about wound up getting hit while he was flying. No permanent damage done, thankfully, although had to shuffle the work schedule around a little to make sure I had time to patch up his gear. Speaking of armaments, actually, think I might see about tracking down a wooden sword. Eunie was talking about getting back in fighting shape with her staff and fists, way she was back when we met. Figure we could do some sparring together to help her out, if she’s interested. Think Agnes is doing some more training as well, actually. Arrived at the sparring ring in her training armour. Talked to Stehl about it a little, about maybe trying to learn a couple paladin techniques. Don’t think she’d be keen on it if it meant giving up on the shadow at all, but guess she’s probably got enough knowledge with the Light that she’d be able to put it to work protecting her or as a weapon as well as just for healing. Figure she’s in good company if she is looking to learn that sort of thing. Between Aurric and every other paladin in the Sigil, don’t think she’d have any shortage of potential mentors.

Was a bit of an issue between Strahm and Rhett. Got into an argument, I guess on account of the history they’ve got, ended up fighting each other. Balderos and Stehl didn’t seem to think it was too major of a situation, seemed to think it was all in good fun, although I got a little more concerned myself with the sorts of things they’d been saying beforehand. Wasn’t reassuring when they started using magic against each other. Think Rhett ended up using blood magic, of all things. Heard people calling it that, but could’ve figured it out alright on my own from the way it smelled when all this smoke started pouring out of his armour. Don’t think anybody was too happy to see it. Agnes threatened to wipe his brain if he uses it against our people in the future without their consent. Sounded like Devoner’d talked to him about it before, wanted to confiscate his armour and weapons as a punishment for disobedience. Don’t know if he will’ve been successful in that or not, resistant as Rhett was sounding to it. ‘Specially for a guy who defines himself by combat as much as he does, doubt you could come up with anything more humiliating. Guess that’s their concern, though. For my part, just talked for a little with Stehl, Iadric and Balderos about that sword Iadric’s planning on having made, what it’d take to get one empowered with dragon blood. Mentioned I know a Twilight drake, that one I caught during the war in Dragonblight. Wonder how he’s getting on nowadays…don’t know if I’ll need to track him down again, but guess that’s an option to help them out. Don’t think he’d help too willingly, but I guess we’d find out if we had to go down that path.

Did manage to get Gwenelle’s sword to her yesterday, before we headed north to try get Cainam back. Managed it, in the end, but I guess I’ll get onto that in a minute. She seemed pretty happy with it. Said it was perfect, in actual fact. Couldn’t take all the credit considering I’d help on the sheath and the chasing on the hilt, not to mention the enchantment on the blade and to make the embossing a little more sturdy, but guess the design at least is mine. Wonder if I could see about getting more into that sort of weapon business in future. This sword and the one for Sarah are definitely some of my favourite projects I’ve ever worked on. Definitely more interesting than making standard issue falchions and longswords and that to go to weapon stores. Actually, speaking of Sarah, turns out she and Matthes’re back from some kind of vacation they were on. He was on the mission. Good to see him again. Should hopefully get the chance to catch up with her again soon enough. Anyway, back on track, do quite like the amount of customisation that goes into making a weapon like that. Bound to be a few wealthy people in the city who wouldn’t mind having something along those lines. Guess it’d be tough to get a similar result without knowing them as well as I do Gwenelle, but something to maybe think about.

Anyway, the mission. Headed down and met people on the docks after I’d arranged some last minute supplies to get sent up to Menethil, just in case we needed an emergency supply run. Didn’t need them, so figure I’ll maybe head up that way Sunday, get them back from Burt and pay him what I owe him for asking around, keeping his boat in port for the day in case we needed it. Had a fairly big group of us. More than a dozen in total. Like I said, Matthes was there, then there was also Rosalinde, Stehl, Iadric, Balderos, Gwenelle, Lumenar, Mitta, Sinafay and Balderos. This Corlo guy tagged along as well, guess he’d been a guard for the Haethons or something at some stage, then Eunie showed up as well just after we’d gone through the portal. She’d dropped Gloria off with a sitter for the evening. Didn’t want to miss the mission, seeing as it was Cainam we were heading out there for. Really good to see her in action again. Never seen her fight quite like that before…some of the cat stuff I’ve seen once or twice, but not sure I’ve ever seen her do much fighting as a bird before. Really good for hit and run tactics. Kept swooping down, slashing at things with her talons and then getting out of there before they got a chance to hit her back. Pretty handy having her on our side, and that’s without getting into all the scouting she was able to do from overhead, and her magic with roots. Wore her out, so probably for the best if we don’t want up in any more situations like that any time soon. Still, if I do wind up having to fight again before too long, idea that I could be doing it beside her’s not a bad one.

Portal Gwen was able to get set up for us took us to that crater up in Hillsbrad, place where Dalaran used to be. Took us a minute or two to find the right path out of there heading north, but no major issues at that stage. Took a little while to decide on a plan when we got to the shore of the lake, had to pick between this rickety-looking path and a few rowboats. Ended up deciding on the latter. Couple of people must’ve gotten off-balance, got a little wet, but no issues as a result, ‘part from the smell. Ran into murlocs when we got to the far shore, but they weren’t all that hard to take down, many of us as there were. After that, headed through Ambermill, along the road down into this town near the swamps. Think it was Pyrewood, but don’t know if there might be some other smaller settlements dotted around there. All ruins, anyway. Wasn’t until we got there that we ran into any trouble, at least aside from the weather. Don’t know whether it was the residents or the Forsaken trying to hold of the Liberation Front, but somebody’d heaped up all this stuff, made a barricade blocking the road. Started trying to take it apart, but we were only part of the way through before somebody or something from the Forsaken camp up the road took notice. Guessing it was an abomination, but couldn’t see for certain, heavy as the rain was. Wound up having to take refuge in the one place in town that wasn’t falling apart, this manor off to one side of the square. Something about the gates on that place…almost got the feeling I’d seen them somewhere before. Not a nice place…residence of some kind of warlock, from the journals people were finding. There were runes drawn all over the place. Sort of stuff you’d use for blood magic. Creepy place…didn’t have to stay in there too long, thankfully. One well-placed lightning strike later and we were free to carry on. Weather picked up after that. Not necessarily a good thing. Smell might not’ve been so bad if it’d kept raining…

Road leading towards the city was covered in corpses. Ones that were still moving around seemed pretty occupied eating the ones that weren’t, so we didn’t have any issues slipping past. Things were even worse once we got into the city. You could barely breathe for the smell of rot…looked for a second there like we might’ve been able to sneak past the ones gathered up around the cathedral as well, barricades they’d put up between themselves and the gates, but no such luck. They broke through, came down on top of us. Held our own, but doubt we would’ve much longer if we hadn’t been able to fall back to the bridge as quickly as we did, slammed the gates shut. Think the worst injuries were from there. Would’ve gotten my face chewed off if Rosalinde hadn’t come to the rescue. From there, managed to find the tunnel that leads underneath the city, took that out towards the cemetery near Keel Harbour where we were meant to be finding Cainam. Good thing I’ve still got a few memories of the city’s layout from when I was there with the Scarlets. Light only knows what we would’ve come across if we’d had to carry on through the streets and then take the roads to get there. Tunnel was hidden behind a fake wall, so no way we would’ve found it just by luck.

Things weren’t much better once we got out of the city. Smell wasn’t, at least. Worse, if anything. Thankfully, didn’t take us all that long to find what we were looking for. That deathknight who set us on the trail was waiting outside the gates to some of the crypts, Cainam’s father. Wasn’t tough to fight on his own. We were ripping him apart before he used these magical tendril things to lift us up in the air, raised a whole lot of corpses, had them all come together into this sick-looking flesh golem. That wasn’t a fun thing to kill…still, we managed it. Didn’t wind up with too many injuries in the process. By the time we’d taken care of that, Balderos’d grabbed the deathknight’s attention, managed to put him down. Amount of effort people put into making certain he wasn’t gonna be getting up again, figure this means that we’ve seen the last of him. To his credit, didn’t sound like he was an entirely willing party in what was going on, but still, guess it’s not a bad thing to have one less threat to be concerning ourselves about.

Cainam wasn’t at the crypt the way we’d been told. What we did find was some kind of magical residue. Guess somebody’d used fel magic to open a portal out of there. Would’ve been the end of the road if we hadn’t had Lumenar and Gwenelle on hand to open up our own to follow them with. Wound up at this big sort of shrine, statues around like those ones at the Dark Portal. Looked like somewhere in the Twilight Highlands, but I didn’t hang around to make sure. Soon as we got there, there was this big eredar waiting for us, I guess a demon who’d been summoned by this warlock who must’ve been running the show. Just about did some serious damage, but it didn’t have all that good of a chance with as many of us as there were, even with everything we’d already been through that night. Once he was finished, warlock wasn’t too tricky. Tried to change into a demon, but Rosalinde, Sinafay and Miraneev managed to cut him down pretty quickly. Once that was done, all that was left was to take care of Cainam. He was in a pretty rough state. Could well’ve been killed by the drop from where warlock’d had him hanging if Sinafay hadn’t managed to catch him. Severely malnourished, few gashes, lot of bruises. Still, he was alive. Lassair, Sinafay and Miraneev were all taking a look at him last night, so figure they’ll be able to patch him up alright, even if it takes a long time before he recovers.

There was something the warlock said, something about how as long as Cainam was alive, there’d still be this portal to allow some nathrezim into the world. Don’t know whether to believe him or not. Even if I did, though, we weren’t gonna leave Cainam out there to die or anything. If some dreadlord wants to cause trouble, let him. We’ll deal with it, same way we deal with everything else. A friend’s death is too high a price to pay, no matter what sort of safety it’d give us.

Rumours’ve started floating around of Defias activity in Duskwood. Had that guy Dreuger come up to me yesterday, guy who was helping out the Scarlet priest who’d had lost his son a few months ago now, I guess a noble of some kind who’s hung around Darkshire in the past. Anyway, he told me that there’d been rumours Gavin’s son’d been delivering weapons to former members of the Defias, maybe helping some kind of attempt at resurgence. Didn’t even know the man had a son…never seen him around town before, that much is for certain. Even if he does exist, I’ve only got the name of one witness who’s seen anything going on, and we haven’t got hard evidence of any materials or anything going missing from around the smithy. That in mind, I don’t see this as anything to be getting too worried about just yet. Talked to Eleysia about it. I guess if we just keep an eye on the place, maybe send a few defenders out towards Westfall on these training runs she’s planning on holding if anything does come up.

Wouldn’t be the first time we’ve had to deal with Defias. Darkshire’s been lucky, never really been the target of anything, but we did have some issues with them out in the woods for a while, back before the Cataclysm. There was a fairly big group that ended up taking over Addle’s Stead for a while, attacking a few travellers out on the road from time to time. Other concern was the grave robbers. Haven’t seen all that many wandering around the cemetery since I got back to Duskwood, but we used to find small groups of them wandering through fairly regularly, three or four usually. Wasn’t all that common, but you’d occasionally find one of them carrying a red mask with them. Not much, but enough to give us some idea of a connection between the groups.

Mottie lost her arm. Last week, during the rescue mission and that, she seemed to have this sort of brace on it to hold it in place and let her use a dagger, I guess to deal with the muscles not working after that poison she was having trouble with. Guess it ended up looking like the arm was never really going to heal, so she ended up cutting it off. She doesn’t seem too bothered by it, I guess in part ‘cause Eleysia’s offered to build her a mechanical one to replace it with. Should be interesting to see the result. I know she was keen on putting one together for Chay after he lost his, so I’m guessing she’ll be pretty happy with the chance to do it this time around. Anyway, Mottie was in good spirits when I saw her yesterday. Had a good talk about explosive arrows. I’ve still got the couple she gave me a little while ago, with the explosives sort of embedded in the heads, but I think she was planning on making a start on some that’d have the payload attached to the shaft. Ones I have at the moment’d probably be fairly effective against single targets, but the ones we’re talking about’d probably be better suited to dealing with a swam of ghouls or something like that. Probably a more common situation around here, really.

Apart from that, got word yesterday that the hunt’s back on for that faceless guy SI:7 were looking for around here, maybe a month or so ago now. We saw him around a fair amount at the time, sort of standing behind buildings and trees and that sort of thing, just watching really. Been a little while since last anyone saw him, but he has apparently been sighted, linked to some kind of goo that Trap guy had a sample of when he was around the inn. Voodoo magic, apparently. I can’t claim to know all that much about troll magic, but at least it gives us some idea what we’re working with. Like Eunie said, could well be someone in the Sigil who knows how to deal with that sort of thing. Guess we’ll have to ask around if he starts making regular appearances again.

Spent most of my second day of the plague down on the ship working the still, trying to get as much sea water processed as I could do. Rest of the time I spent out of the house was moving it and the other supplies around, getting them up to the Cathedral, distributed to people ‘round the city working to cure the sick. Had an easier time of it than I had done the day before. Still a few sick people around, but it looked to be a lot quieter than it had been the first day of the outbreak. Could barely hear yourself think inside the Cathedral the first day with all the sick and wounded, people in there taking care of them, trying to keep them alive. Pretty much empty the second day. There were a few people around, but didn’t look like they were doing all that much. Couldn’t even find anybody to give the jugs of water I’d brought up, ended up having to leave them just lying at the base of one of the columns. Hope it was able to do some good. Did give one bottle to this woman on the bridge while I was talking home who looked feverish, wasn’t able to go home to rest on account of the city being quarantined, but aside from that I don’t know for certain if any of what I was pumping out actually got used. Guess it’s not likely to go off or anything, if it wasn’t put to work right away. Thought about taking a jug or two home, but as far as we are outside the city, figure a little boiling’s probably all our water needs to be safe even with the main sources around the city being contaminated.

Way the city was, ended up heading home earlier than I have done most nights recently. Found Eunie and Gloria sleeping on the grass out front of the cottage. Had heard shouting earlier in the day about infected swarming the front gates of the city, but considering everything between them and us, figure hanging around outside was still pretty safe, even if it was probably a good idea on Eunie’s part not to wander on down to the ship. Live in a pretty safe spot, really…don’t know I’ll want to spend my whole life as close to the city as we are now, but for right at the moment, suits us pretty well. Nice that Gloria’ll be able to get used to trees and lakes and all that without us having to keep an eye out for wolves or murlocs. Two of us ended up taking Gloria out for a wander, wound up talking about where we would move if we ever had to. Mentioned it might be interesting to try out Darnassus or Moonglade or something for a little bit, just to see what it’d be like, but don’t know how that’d work out in the long run. Eunie was keen on somewhere a little closer to home, maybe a place up in the hills around Redridge. Didn’t actually sound like all that bad of an idea, really…could build ourselves a log cabin, get a garden set up, maybe a forge. Maybe something to think about for if we do wind up getting sick of the city, want a change of scene. Might not be quite so safe as the outskirts, but I think we’d get on just fine. No swamp monsters or anything like the ones Eunie saw when she was heading down through the Wetlands for the first time. Funny those…seems odd that something that looks to be made out of plants can be so aggressive.

Did get to talking about more intimate things as the evening went on a little. Got to thinking about this joke Stehl’d made about Balderos and Lassair getting up to various things with her in animal forms, figured I’d ask Eunie about it. Sounded like she thought it’d be a little on the weird side, which didn’t come as all that much of a surprise. Wouldn’t surprise me if a few people get up to that sort of thing, people’s appetites being what they can be at times, but our tastes so far’ve tended to be a little on the tamer side than some. Do have something a little special in mind for the beach trip, if we can convince somebody to take care of Gloria for an evening, but that’s still pretty tame by comparison to some of what I’ve seen people getting up to on the more regrettable occasions I’ve had to pass through Goldshire. Nice to be able to make jokes about that sort of thing, all the same. Speaking of the trip, know I’ve said as much before, but I am really looking forward to it. ‘Specially having Stehl on my mind these past couple of days, could really use the break, bit of time to wind down, spend some time just hanging around with friends, bit alone with Eunie here and there. Just hope we don’t wind up having trouble following us down there…do feel reasonably optimistic. Don’t want to tempt fate or anything, but I get the feeling not even the Samaritans could get themselves excited about attacking a bunch of people running around on the beach, playing volleyball and whatever else it is we wind up getting up to.

Sinafay’d gotten her horn stuck back on when I saw her Monday night. Work Lassair did getting it reattached was pretty remarkable, really. If you didn’t know it’d been cut off, you’d never know from looking at it. Guess it helped a lot that it was a clean cut, but still, must’ve taken a fair bit of skill to pull off a job like that in as short a timeframe as she took to do it. Think Sina’s feeling good about it. Must be good having the weight on top of her head all balanced out again. Had gotten used to being off-balance, but hopefully shouldn’t take too long to adjust to things being even as it did when they weren’t. She’s not up to getting any use out of her axes just yet, state her injuries from that explosion’re in, but doesn’t sound like it’ll be too long before she’s able to get into that sort of thing again, see how much easier it is without having to compensate for being off-balance. Shouldn’t be too long either before she’s able to head-butt things, maybe a few days or something just to make sure that things’re stuck on the way they should be. Kinda symbolic in a way, when you think about it. I mean, assuming that Eidrann was honest in that letter he sent about not wanting to give us any more trouble, that damage he did to Sinafay’s horn could well’ve been the trouble he’ll ever give any of us. Now that it’s all healed up, almost like a sign that we’re done with him, done with the harm he’s caused, done with the worries he’s given us. We’re free to move on, get on with our lives without him hanging over us. Nice sort of thought…that is, assuming he is being honest.

Had this pandaren guy wander up while we were talking. Jinhua was the name. Can’t remember the last one. Had this odd-looking robe with a demon skull on the front, but I don’t think he’d noticed it until I pointed it out to him. Guy’s got one hell of a rough story behind him…used to be in the Shado-Pan, wound up having his son and his wife killed by mantid while they were scouting beyond the wall. Still got his daughter around, sees her now and then despite the fact that she wound up joining the Horde. He might’ve gone with her, but couldn’t stand it with the amount of damage they’d done to Pandaria during the war. Don’t know if the Alliance’d be completely blameless in that either, but then again, only really heard snippets of everything that happened over there. Pretty friendly guy, in spite of everything. Spent a good while talking to him about all sorts of things, some more serious than others. Spent a fair while talking about how broken the world seems nowadays, how it just seems to keep getting more and more dangerous. Still, few nice places. He mentioned the Vale might be starting to get better. Halfhill apparently hasn’t been too badly affected by everything that happened there. Still got all the food, all the giant vegetables. He’s got a farm there himself. Get the impression he might still be fairly new in Stormwind, all the things he seemed uncertain about. Didn’t really get the whole concept of the Light, for one thing. Did try explaining it to him a little, so hopefully he’s got a slightly clearer picture now. Little similar to what the priests of Chi-Ji teach, funnily enough. Always interesting how you can get those similarities between two cultures from such different areas and conditions.

Eunie and I spent a little while talking to Danior, after Jinhua’d headed off. Sounds like he’s maybe not getting on too badly, all things considered. Things with the law’ve gotten cleared up, so he doesn’t have to worry about having the guards on his case anymore. He’s been able to shift to this friend’s farm out in Redridge, gotten started doing some alchemy to keep himself busy. All seem like good signs. I mean…well, like Eunie said, pain’s obviously still there, even if he’s managing to hide it a little. Figure it probably will be for a good while yet. Still, seems like he’s on a good path as far as getting through it goes. Y’know, keeping up social contacts, keeping busy, taking care of himself, all that sort of thing. Long as he keeps carrying on that way, figure he’ll make it long enough that things start feeling a little easier. Tend to, given enough time. Until then, guess we just hope he carries on, do what we can to help out. Did talk about this vacation that’s been discussed a little, actually, where might be a good idea to go for that. Eunie mentioned maybe going to Aerie Peak, seeing the gryphons up there. Wouldn’t be a bad idea. Don’t remember it being too dangerous a place, long as you stay away from those holdings the trolls and forsaken’ve got, take care if you’re wandering around out in the woods. Few things to see and do. Could be good…’specially for Danior, might help him out to have a change of scene for a couple days or something.

First day of Noblegarden Monday. Few people were already getting really into the spirit of it. Couple were messing around with magic, changing hair colours and that for the fun of it. Gwenelle and Danior ended up turning theirs pink, though obviously the change was a little more apparent in the latter’s case given that he’s covered in the stuff. Rosa got hers changed to blonde as well. Little surprising, seeing her that way…guess it’d be kind of like if I’d seen Sarah when hers was the same colour. Get used to seeing people with just one colour, ‘specially if it’s a little on the distinctive side. Stayed away from all of that myself. Don’t think I’d look good blond…’part from that, bit of stuff to take care of, preparations for the anniversary dinner and that. Managed to track down Hisalla as well. Found her beside the fountain in the Dwarven District. First time I’ve seen her in a dress. Gift from Mottie, apparently. I’d figured she’d be the kind of person to go around in armour all the time, but I guess I was wrong on that. Anyway, managed to get the radio frequency to get in touch with Anasella from her, so I figure I’ll try get in contact with her and check she’s alright. Might be able to fiddle around with that communicator-type thing Louk gave me. Asked her a couple questions about this Branwynn character seeing as I figure I’ll end up talking to her sooner or later. Sounds like Hisalla trusts her, but…well, haven’t decided just yet exactly how much that counts for. Still don’t trust Hisalla on a personal level, sure as hell wouldn’t ever trust her with my life, but as long as she’s helping bring down the Mannoroc Pact, guess I don’t really have a choice. Maybe that’ll be enough for her to talk to me honestly one of these days.

Anyway, that was the only serious stuff for the day. Just the anniversary dinner, ‘part from that. I’d spent a fair part of the day cooking, making that chilli crab dish I did for our first love festival together. Took that and some other stuff up to this little spot I’d picked out in the mountains just above Northshire, then got myself all tidied up. Got my hair and beard properly combed, dragged out that old tuxedo that I was wearing when I got married, put a flower in the lapel. Made this little wreath to go around Broadwing’s neck, but he wasn’t all that fond of it, kept trying to peck at it until I took it off him. Still, at least looked fancy for a little bit. Got this basket of cupcakes from Gwen when she and some of the others were on their way down to the pond, then we headed off on our way. Gave Eunie her gift once we got up there, this book I’d picked out that’s all about finding and growing exotic fruits, sorts you’d find ‘round Stranglethorn and Sholazar, places like that. Has a few recipes for cooking them. Odd sort of title…storekeeper informed me that there’s one by the same title and the same author that’s a little on the raunchier side of things, far as subject matter goes, but I figured that wasn’t really what I was in the market for at that particular moment. Got onto dinner after that. Turned out pretty well really, considering it’s only the second time I’ve ever cooked that particular recipe. Might have to make it again some time, see what I can do as far as improving it goes. Has to be one of the fancier ones I know my way around.

Sat up there talking until a little before midnight. Talked about stories we might tell Gloria when she’s old enough to understand them, how things might change as she gets older and we start getting on a little bit in years, maybe when more kids come along. Mentioned grooming briefly, but I don’t think that’s necessarily the kind of topic either of us’re all that well versed in. Eunie probably knows a little more than I do, but she’s not the type to be sitting inside worrying about makeup and all that when she could be out in the woods or messing around in the garden, that sort of thing. One of the things I love her for, really. Talked a bit about what life was like back at the abbey, sorts of people who wound up there. She mentioned that there were a few nobles’ daughters there, told me about one from Alterac who went there when her parents were trying to force her into marrying somebody. Ended up staying there for a long time, becoming a priestess. Guess it was a refuge for a lot of people, stifling as it sounds like it could be at times. Think Eunie’s wondering about maybe going back there some day, seeing the people she used to know, showing them what she’s made of her life. Imagine it’d come as a shock to a few. Can’t be many who end up leaving for the same reasons as she did, going on to live the life she has.

It was a pretty good night, all in all. Had hoped to make it something special. I know I’ve said it plenty before, but before Eunie came along, never could’ve imagined my life looking the way it does now. Sitting down and reading through old journal entries that I wrote back before we were together, almost like they’re written by somebody else entirely. Someone who felt old, who didn’t see a future for themselves apart from wandering, drifting from place to place, occasionally finding a battle needing to be fought. Somebody who pictured himself wandering up and down lonely roads until the day he died, nothing but his weapons to keep him company, nothing but just waking up the next day to look forward to. Eunie’s changed all that. I’ve settled down, I’ve got Gloria in my life. I’ve realised that I’ve got a whole lot of life ahead of me, that I have got a future I can look forward to, that I’ve got somebody to share it with. Feel better with her than I did for a long while beforehand. Finally had somebody who could see parts of me I couldn’t see myself, who could make me a better person. Somebody I want to see happy, want to do everything for that I possibly can. All that…much as I go on about it, no way to express how grateful I am. Just hope she knows what she means to me.

Here’s to another year to come, whatever it brings with it.

Spent a bit of time hanging around the ship before we had to start heading off to get to the lecture the other night. Talked about weapons for a bit, actually. See, this high elf…what’s his name again? I can’t recall…I’m sure I’ve heard it once or twice before at this stage. I know he used to hang around the Sigil a whole lot back when they were based up in Thelsamar rather than Stormwind, plus I know I went on a patrol around the city with him and Agnes at one stage. Not sure if we’ve ever really talked much, though…anyway, he’s with the Golden Law nowadays. He came by wanting to talk with Agnes, hoping to sort out some sort of arrangement to borrow supplies for these first aid classes he’s hoping to run, but didn’t come by at quite the right time to find her. Got onto the topic of weapons ‘cause of this rapier he had with him. Sort of weapon Lumenar’s not too fond of, doesn’t think it’s really much good against anything with anything in the way of armour on it.

Not sure I agree with her on that…I mean, it takes a lot of skill, but if you can get the point in the joints between plates and that, it can do a fair bit of damage. Still, maybe not as effective as a hammer, sort of thing Argonas’d prefer using. Takes a good amount of work on armour to make it stand up to a mace going full speed, but even that might not be enough if you were dealing with one of those totems you see tauren lugging around sometimes, pretty much a whole tree turned into a club. Not an easy weapon to use, but it packs a fair punch. Eunie didn’t like the idea of it, more because of the fact that you have to kill a tree than because of any practical concerns. Not sure the others really bought into the idea of plants feeling pain, but hearing her talk about the way they whisper…well, won’t keep me from using firewood to keep warm, but I’m not just gonna brush it off either.

Talked about blacksmithing a bit after the lecture as well. While a few of us were heading over to this bar in the military ward, these couple of paladins introduced themselves to us, Liotuse and Rosalinde Duval. Turns out Rosalinde’s quite the smith, lives and breathes it at times according to her husband. He knows a little bit himself, or at least as much as she’s had time to teach him. Might need to see if I can’t work with them at some stage…I mean, when repairs do start being needed, could be good to spread the load a little. Aside from that, always open to learning new things. I mean, I’ve only really been smithing for…what, two, three years at the most? Not a long time. I mean, I do a reasonable job, but still need advice now and then from some of the other smiths around the forge. Talked about that draenei as well while we were there, one who thought I was a ghost for some reason. Kialthos is the name. Seems like the sorts of comments I’ve heard out of him so far aren’t exactly too far outside the ordinary for him. Discussing them proved a bit of a corrupting influence on the company we were with at the time as well…it was almost a bit of a relief when Rabbit wandered in, allowed for a change of subject.

I had to head off after that, make a quick stop at the auction house, but turns out Kialthos’d actually made an appearance while I was away. Made some sort of comment to Eunie about her popping like an egg, plus a few other things about strange objects coming out of womens’ nether regions…put her in not too good a state. Scarf she was knitting was just about long enough to wrap around the cottage by the time I got home. Had to get her thinking about fawns before she’d calm down. Sorts of conversations that go on sometimes, it’s a good thing not everything raunchy gets that sort of reaction out of her. Her jaw did drop when Lumenar made a joke about having some slightly less-than-innocent dreams involving myself, but I think that’s less being offended than just not knowing how to respond. Figure I could teach her a thing or two about making comebacks, make it a little easier for her to keep a straight face. It’ll take a little practice, sure, but if she’s willing to learn, I’m sure we’ll get there one day. Guess there are certain advantages to being a scoundrel…

‘Round home, things’ve been definitely been a little on the quieter side the past couple of days than they are out in the Blasted Lands, not that that’s really anything all that difficult to attain…guess the only exception to that’d be Saturday night, after I got back from the ball. When I first got back to the ship, things were looking more or less the same as usual. Mitta’d managed to get Lumenar sitting out on the deck, was running around a little fetching water for her, but I figured it wasn’t anything to take too much notice of. Figured I’d leave them be, make sure I wasn’t interrupting any kind of conversation they might’ve been having while I was out there. After I left though, things got a hell of a lot worse. I came running back when I started hearing some pretty concerning stuff over the signet rings, found Lumenar lying on the deck with Mitta and that other gnome kneeling over top of her. As it turns out, her heart’d stopped and she’d given up breathing while I was away. She’d more or less recovered by the time I got there, but…damn. Thought for a second there we might’ve lost her or something, that the poison might finally’ve had enough kick to finish her off. Then that whole bit when she started rambling on in Thalassian or something while we were hauling her inside…

It was one of those times I wish I knew more about healing than I do, enough to be able to be some actual help, know whether or not she was gonna be able to pull through. It’s a good thing Luxiwen wasn’t too far off, Light bless her…she looked to be in a hell of a state herself, but that wasn’t stopping her from doing everything she could to help, bar any magical or herbal healing. Maybe for the best I can’t do that sort of thing…probably would’ve started blasting her with it or something, opened a whole new can of worms with that oversaturation thing they seem to go on about, reading through some of the stuff in the ledger. She wasn’t able to do much other than hold or hand, whisper in her ear, but…well, if she did anything, it was enough to make the difference. She came to after that, started speaking again. It was like all of a sudden, all the worry with the poison’d just…disappeared. Like in that moment, we all knew she was gonna be alright. I didn’t linger long, but…well, I slept a fair bit better that night than I did when I first saw her again, that night I joined the Sigil. She’s got a long way yet to come, but she can do it.

On a lighter note, speaking of joining the Sigil, Eunie got herself officially inducted just yesterday. We met on the Quel'Talan in the afternoon, while she was wearing this draenei mask she’d found. We were joking a bit about it when Balderos came on board, said over the signet that he was wanting to talk to her. See, she’d been talking earlier about wanting to speak to Lassair, trying to find out whether she’d mind having an assistant on hand. Anyway, Balderos went ahead and let her know that, with all the help she’d given the Sigil so far, they’d be happy to have her as an official member. Guess it would’ve been hard to turn her down. I mean, like she said when they were announcing it over the signet ring, the two of us’re sort of like a package deal. Still, she seemed pretty happy about it. I think it’ll be pretty good for everyone concerned. I mean, I get to be around her while she’s working, she gets better and better at healing and using druid magic and the Sigil gets themselves an extra healer in case the workload stays as high as it has been recently. Think she’s a way off being able to do the more practical side of things as well as the magic part, all the surgery and that Agnes and Rabbit do, but if she sets her mind to it, I don’t think she’d have any trouble.

With that taken care of, we got ourselves a couple of tabards. Mine’s a little loose around the sides, so Eunie offered to make a couple alterations here and there, but I wore it around a little anyway. Feels pretty good…I mean, really makes you feel like you belong to something. Feels like ages since last I had one on…I mean, it was a bit over two months ago that I left the Coalition, and I wasn’t wearing that one towards the end either. Last time I actually had any tabard on probably would’ve been…I guess one of the noble meetings or something? Maybe that mission to bring Lady Haethon back…Light, feels like it’s been years. Still a little work to do on this one, of course. Like I said, Eunie’s making a couple of alterations, then I’m planning on making it a little sturdier as well. See, what you can do is get a layer of mail and weave that into it. Adds a little protection against melee weapons, but the other thing is that if you’re getting shot at, bullets or arrows or anything like that, it’ll spread out the pressure and reduce the penetration, keep you a little safer. Was wondering initially whether I might want to leave Eunie’s for a bit, but I figure I can make it work for her as long as I’m not joining it up at the sides. That way, only thing that’ll need to be changed once the baby’s born is how much fabric there is. It’ll keep me busy for a little keeping those sets made, but until I start getting repair orders, I figure it’s as good a way to occupy my time as any.

I did tell Eunie I’d bring her back a souvenir, that last day I spent in Durotar before I started heading home a couple of days ago. Just…well, didn’t expect it to end up being quite as large as it did.

See, I did get around to doing that last scouting run the morning before I was planning on packing up the camp and heading back home. Hadn’t expected to find anything, maybe the odd orc wandering around the edges of the marshes, but that wasn’t the case. Thing is, where I’d gotten my camp set up wasn’t all that far south of this bridge, only one that leads between Durotar and the Barrens aside from the one further north that goes straight into the heart of Orgrimmar. Road’s not entirely intact on the Durotar side with the flooding ‘round that area, but close enough to being in one piece that it’s still the main path for anybody who’s getting around by following the roads. Didn’t fall into that category myself, but it looks like this tauren warband did. Don’t know how many of them there would’ve been to start off, but I found the bodies of three of them. Some of the loyalists must’ve figured out they were coming, staged an ambush once they got onto the bridge, weren’t able to move around as freely. Cut the three tauren down, plus two of their kodos.

Was one left, though. Black hide, juvenile going from the size of it. Wouldn’t have been worth the effort of killing if the rest of the warband were either coming down on top of the attackers or trying to make a break for Razor Hill, although going by the scrapes and scratches it’s got, doesn’t look like it managed to avoid getting caught in the crossfire completely. Wasn’t sure what to do with it…though did cross my mind that I could’ve brought it down, used it for food, although that would’ve been a waste considering I was planning on getting back into friendly territory by evening at the latest. Someone else probably would’ve tried the same if I’d just left it there, but…way it was just standing around, wouldn’t have felt right just walking away. Anyway, I figured I’d see if I couldn’t make some use out of it, load it up with my packs to make the trip back over to Ratchet a little quicker. That worked out, made the trip fairly easy, so…well, figured there wouldn’t be any harm taking it back to Stormwind, seeing if someone there’d be interested in buying it if I couldn’t figure out any other use to set it to.

Course, once Eunie laid eyes on it, she had other plans. Had her bubbly as anything talking about how cute it was. Don’t know exactly how we’re gonna keep it fed, but…well, if Eunie can make tomato plants grow the way she did before I left, don’t think we should have any trouble finding some kind of solution to that little issue. She was pretty happy to see me too, of course. I know it hasn’t been easy for her, having me be away these past few days like I have been. Don’t think I could put her through that again…still want to do something to help, of course. I mean, long as Garrosh is on the throne, we’re still in danger, just like I said before I left. Doesn’t mean I have to fight myself, though. I mean, supplies, armour, weapons…are other ways I can help out besides getting into the fray, risking getting myself hurt even worse than I did when we were trying to take the docks just outside the city. Guess that’s something to think about another day, though. For now, I’m pretty happy to be back home, be able to enjoy a fire, just be close to Eunie. Seems odd to think I was only out there a few days…still got some catching up to do from when I was away. Sinafay’s had her baby, apparently, so that’ll be one of the things on the list after I check up on how Lumenar and Mitta’re getting on. Hear Mottie was out there as well, so I’ll have to see if I can’t track her down.

Few things to do, but there’s no hurry. I’m home now, safe. Right at the moment, I figure that’s what’s most important.

I’ve been reading a lot lately, come to think of it. Keeping me a little busy, to be honest. I did get out one book the other day after Eunie’s run-in with those hornets on herbs, just sort of refreshing my memory about the sorts of applications they have. Nothing too fancy, alchemy or anything like that, just a few notes to remind myself about general properties. It isn’t quite as good as the notes my father made when he was still travelling the world, but at least these ones aren’t lying in a chest at the bottom of the ocean somewhere near Northrend. Don’t know how soon I’ll be able to get any use out of it, but I guess it’s handy sort of stuff to have some knowledge of. Pays to prepare for worst case scenarios, I guess. Other main book I’ve been having a look at was this one on brewing I got out that same day with the wasps, few recipes for spirits and that. Better reading about it than experiencing it first-hand too much…almost starting to worry if I might be going a little heavy on the mead living as close to the Golden Keg as we do now.

Anyway, got onto the topic of brewing when I was talking to Eunie, couple of nights ago now. Her family’s actually got a little bit of a background in it, from the sounds of things. Father used to brew ale, not an uncommon thing for families around Lordaeron who had a little bit of land to their name from the sounds of things. Recipe’s lost, unfortunately, but she still remembers the taste. Guess a dwarf or a pandaren or something might be able to come up with some kind of recipe from that much, but it seems like kind of a long shot. We could always look about looking into other things, though. Probably won’t be until the spring that we start really thinking about getting a beehive set up, but when we do the option of making mead’s on the table, or something with honey in it. Could make a little stall or something like that, see if anyone’s be interested in buying it. I don’t know we’d have a massive amount of space for it around the cottage, way it is now, but I did mention I could start having a think about building a cellar for it. Could be handy to have for storage as well, come to think of it. Might be one more thing to think about reading up on over the next few days.

I’d been around Duskwood a fair amount that particular day, patrolling up and down the roads. Whole place’d been fairly quiet, really. Looked like there might’ve been some kind of scuffle going on in the inn, couple of people who looked upset, few injuries here and there, but it was pretty much all wrapped up by the time I came in. Don’t think it would’ve helped all that much to do any more digging into it. Only other people I ran into were this group of explorers or something out towards Raven Hill, around the crypts. Don’t know what they were up to there, exactly, but they looked capable enough. Didn’t strike me as the cultist sort of crowd, too polite when I asked if they were alright out there. Day before was pretty quiet apart from the news I got from Mitta. Ran into her along the road to Raven Hill, just after the crossroads. Turns out she was around there looking for Mottie. From the sounds of things she’d turned up a while back, tried attacking Sarah and Matthes, my guess’d be when we ran into Belindlice and after I left them to enjoy each other’s company. It’s…well, it’s interesting news. I mean, I was glad to hear she’s alive, but it was pretty startling to hear that sort of thing about her. Hoped Mitta’d be able to get to the bottom of it all, figure out what was going on with her. I mentioned that I had found her dagger in the centre of the cemetery a while back, tucked it away behind some barrels and a sack of flour in the inn to keep it safe, sort of thinking that might help her out as far as finding a trail goes. Did, as it turns out.