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Ah'Lam Creekwhisper
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*A plain, leatherbound planner, very much like the sort one might buy cheap from the front of a book shop. In addition to a listing of daily tasks penned into the front cover ("Morning tea, forms, meditation, afternoon tea, check leathers..."), the following pages are mostly a mishmash of dated reminders and checklists for the chores of a specific day, scrawled little observations, and sometimes illustrations so deformed and childish as to be almost comical in their expression.*

 

Sixth of November - Year xx

--gear in shape?

--checked rules and guidelines?

--bought more food to cook later?

 

My first day on the job was a huge mess about something to do with ghosts, possession, people losing bodies and getting them back, and a very bad dead man. 

To clarify: my first guild meeting was interrupted by the emergency beacon going off on our communicators. The gnome who was talking about using a spirit board for her house last week went and used it today, and ended up with us burying her and a dwarf out from under a pile of furniture, brawling with said furniture when it started trying to attack us, lots of ghosts showing up, an especially angry burned orc ghost flying off the handle at Commander Longsight, and the night elf Frovelos cutting off the gnome's arm (the good one--the other one is already a prosthetic, it turns out) and trying to run off with his own soulstone before the ghost, shadow, evil thing posessing him left and gave him back his own body again. (I think?) And apparently the ghost business has been going on for a while, so we still need to look into that and see about putting an end to it. Oh, and the burned orc thinks Commander sent a little girl to burn him alive, when it's really a big misunderstanding.

So much of it was happening all at once, I just ended up shutting down until I could get some attention tea in my system and think straight again to start making sense of it all. No wonder Bey's so calm these days, if she had to get used to things like this happening all the time.

...speaking of, I should let her know how things have been so far. 

 

I almost forgot about the fishing trip with Remus, too. I need to remember to check my gear and schedule soon so we can figure that out.

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*There is a stretch of several days where the contents are fairly boring--mostly it's just more daily reminders and task lists. Only recently is there a break in the monotony, with something resembling an actual recounting.*

 

Fourth of January - Year xx

--review etiquette, conduct and handsigns

--start considering meal plan

--start gathering shed fur for garments (since Em asked so nicely)

--get in touch with Rem to hang out again

 

I was this close to playing mama for a baby yeti. Thankfully I have no intentions of seeing what damage a grumpling can wreak, or how they get along with dragon turtles. Plus, they'd probably make the worst sweaters.

Anyways, furlough's finally over. I've enjoyed all the lounging, eating, fishing, and roughing it with Rem, but it feels a bit strange to be doing pretty much nothing but that for my first month in the guild. It'll be nice to get to work, and--you know--really earn my place here through more than just cooking for infirmary patients or getting into one fight with ghosts and body snatchers. 

I've been initiated officially, though! I'm not normally one for reds and golds, but I have to admit I feel rather sharp in the tabard. And it was nice being called a "calming presence" too, when folk were speaking up for me. I think maybe I'll try to strive for becoming more of that.

And, Lunar Festival! Em and Jo are hosting a HUGE open party in a couple of weeks, and I've already been picked to cram SO much food into peoples' gullets! I'm going to have to start looking into what I can make that'll sit well with all the different folks there, night elf and tauren and whoever else ends up coming. Night elven food seems pretty similiar already to Pandaren cuisine, but Tauren food is about where my knowledge ends. Maybe I can ask Bey if she knows anything about what they like to eat.

Of course I'm going to have peaches, though. That's pretty much a given as soon as you put me in charge of feeding masses of people.

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Thirteenth of February - yar year xx

 

I dreamed that the Isle was gone.

 

Land and the Lions were far behind me, below the world's edge, and as I wandered the oceans I was so happy to finally be on my way home. I felt in my bones that it had to be close. 

But all I found was silence, and an empty blue sky.

No matter how far I searched, no matter how intently I questioned the waves or the breeze, I found not a trace of home or family. 

"But surely they cannot be nowhere," I cried to the ocean. "Home was somewhere in the past, and surely it must still be somewhere?"

The depths only repeated what I had been told:

Not here. You will not return.

"But I must go back. Where am I to go?"

I did not receive a reply. There was not even the sigh of a breeze to answer me in that infinite, empty horizon.

 

 

 

I haven't felt so homesick since New Cifera.

 

--how to find audience with the bronze dragonflight?

--how to talk to a bronze dragon?

 

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Twenty-Third of March - year xx

 

I honestly don't remember much of the mission last night, even the parts I was awake for before hand. I've been gradually piecing together bits and snippets, but maybe getting struck on the head jostled my short term memory temporarily. What I do remember is an awfully high-pitched giggle, and the avalanche, and a moment of realizing my ribs and arm were broken. Most of the clearer memories start happening up in the infirmary, of feeling too unsteady and sick in the stomach to sit up, of the pandaren fur sweater being mentioned, pie, and bantering with the new visitor Baejian over breakfast pancakes. 

Right now I'm still a bit dizzy, but at least I can sit, and stand up for a few minutes at the time. Right now I'm just going to focus on stretching out my muscles, and cooking a bit, and then maybe I can catch some of the Swordbrethren to get a full account of everything that happened after I blacked out.

And, on the bright side, this was still a light slap compared to the thrashing I got at the Wall.

 

There was also a sticky bun sitting on my bed's headboard that helped quite a bit with the wooziness. I think I might have my suspicions on who was responsible for that.

It's totally M of course.

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--Figure out ideal clothing for glider travel, both long-distance and agility maneuvres. Consider streamlining, what will catch on the wind more easily, what will guard against the cold of higher altitudes without hampering handling?

I've had this kite for two weeks now and it is still just as exciting as it was when I got it.

It really is no small thing to make mountains and oceans seem inconsequential, and yet that is precisely what has happened. Granted I haven't actually tried to fly too far over the ocean yet--I am not yet sure that I could keep a wind going long enough to make it to another landmass--but it really is amazing to be able to go just about anywhere unfettered by gravity, to be able to look down on a storm as it is breaking, to travel so high that you lose sight of the earth to sunset painted clouds all around, to sail in solitude with the clear night sky and a gentle breeze. No need to worry for a mount, either; no concerns about letting it rest, or keeping it calm. I can just push a switch, unfold the kite, and take off right there and then.

I am still completely an ocean girl at heart, but I think I could get used to spending so much time in the sky.

 

<The text breaks off momentarily for a messy ink sketch of what is presumably a dragon seen from above, surrounded by cartoonishly simple clouds>

 

Alright, that was actually rather poor compared to seeing it in person. But I promise it was completely amazing to be above one for a change. I didn't know dragons came in white? It's gone now, so I can't catch up to ask.

I don't think I've touched earth but for a few hours in the last two days. Maybe I'll become the next Liu Lang and lead some others to live in the sky someday.

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I've just realized I didn't bring my attention tea with me. That'd explain why my memory of things is so blurry and fragmented lately.

Ah'Lam Creekwhisper
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SHIT I LEFT MY TEA AT THE KEEP I COMPLETELY FORGOT ABOUT THE SERVITORS AND FEEDING RAMBO AND NUBBIN OH MY GODS

Ah'Lam Creekwhisper
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Oh my gods I even left my comm back at the Keep.

Alright. Okay. Had tea. Brain's calming down. Time to catch up on things.

Haven't missed too much. A mission to Karazhan, meeting on Sunday where a few applicants got promoted.

Someone's been taking care of the turtles in my absence, too. Thank the ancestors. I am never leaving them like that again.

That's enough kite flying for a while, I think.

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Seventeenth of June - year xx

--totems ready for tomorrow, Saturday?

--waterproof bracers, in case of needing to punch naga

--consider ways to calm people in event of depth panic

--get armor cleaning equipment set out and ready for return

--check fishing tackle, rod

--keep looking into portals to the Isle (or airship, but could be way more expensive)

--gifts?? Drinks? What's good for a coming cub?

--find someone to take care of Nubbin during trip

--write to Granny Will most of them even still talk to me after Tai? But maybe I should anyways. Just to let them know I'll be around for a bit. I don't know.

 

The jinyu have a method of listening to the rivers and lakes and hearing what the waters have to say. It has become powerful enough that a good Waterspeaker can even hear tidings of what is to come in the future.

Oftentimes when I work with water, I can gather fleeting impressions of what it has met before reaching me--fish, otters, disturbances from travellers splashing through, sometimes an angler's boat. Is this some manner of low-key communion with local elementals, or with the waters themselves? Is this how the jinyu do it?

If I clear my mind, I find I can gain a clearer image of what the water has to report, or expand how far away I can feel.

What would it take to search an entire ocean for a moving landmass? Could it be done?

 

I've always assumed that someday when I was done adventuring and fighting, I'd surely take Rambo and return home to mama and baba. Of course I did--it'd break my heart if the last I ever saw or heard of my family was that day I left. But it didn't occur to me until now that I'd find friends and loved ones off the turtle that I would also want to stay close to. What about the mainland Creekwhispers over in the Valley? What about the Servitors? You can't settle in several places at once--how do you choose something like that? 

I might be overthinking this again. Maybe I don't necessarily need to worry myself right now about a thing that might not become all that relevant for (hopefully) several decades more. We do have to worry about Vash'jir tomorrow--I'll do my best to concentrate on that, and then on enjoying furlough with Li.

Just like when I get overwhelmed by too many noises or things happening at once. Take tea, settle down, and focus on one thing at a time.

 

 

Also, why on earth did I not consider the airship angle? Way to overlook a proven and obvious method again, Lammy. Four years straight on this, it's a new record for time spent spacing out on something.

 

((The remainder of the page is taken up with scribbly doodles; poorly rendered figures with air bubbles encasing their heads; something that might be a naga or a very emaciated saurok; a surprisingly recognizable tortoise munching fruit alongside a more clumsily drawn dragon turtle; a batch of roundish figures surrounded by hearts and angry scribbles that resemble two pandaren smooching before a displeased gnome or robot.)) 

Ah'Lam Creekwhisper
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Eighteenth of June - year xx

 

Vash'jir.

 

Everything was awful and I cannot deal with this right now.

 

Nothing was okay. There was no way for it to be okay.

This is not okay.

 

 

We might not be okay when the Legion arrives

 

Later. Not right now.

 

 

 

 

 

I want to be home.

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I used to love the ocean. Now when I look at it I can only think about those cages.

Ah'Lam Creekwhisper
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Nineteenth of June - year xx

I suppose I should talk to someone. But right now, the idea of talking about it--or even just being in the noise of other people at the Keep--feels like one of the most difficult and unpleasant things I could try and do.

I don't think I could talk if I wanted to, anyways. Not well enough to actually be understood or say what's on my mind. Solitude and quiet feel like all that's helping me to keep it together.

 

There was nothing we could have done to help them. I understand that. I'm not saying  M and Jo were wrong. This wasn't even one of those times where I could feasibly have made a better decision or paid closer attention to what I was doing and gotten a better outcome--the circumstances were entirely beyond my control, concentration problems or not. But it doesn't make the fact of what happened any easier to bear.

And this was just a bunch of naga under the ocean. What are we going to do against the full force and numbers of the Legion? 

Suddenly it's not helping to just hope and have faith that things will work out for us in the end. Look where that got us last night. Or in Stratholme, or with Tai and the Dread Wastes...

 

I don't even know anymore.

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Fifth of June - year xx

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about doing another rescue so soon. I'm still too keenly aware of how easy it would be for one mistake to cause another Vash'Jir, and with that still at the back of my mind it's hard to justify staying confident that things will just "work out in the end." Now that we're actually back home without another death, though, I'm beginning to realize just how much my stomach was hurting from trying not to worry too much. Or maybe that's also a side effect of spending  time in a plague riddled ziggurat filled with shambling undead and giant zombie spiderbeasts. Either way.

Also, there are some STUPIDLY big beetles in Naxxramas that provide a very unpleasant crunching sensation and  noise when stepped on. I found this out the hard way while trying to be a sneak, of all things.

Also also I think I doubly owe Anthus those noodles and pork buns. What a friend.

 

I feel like there's more to be writing about, but honestly, I just feel ready for a bath and a sleep. Going to try and think happy thoughts so I don't end the night on a stressed note. 

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Nineteenth of July - year xx

Tired.

I barely slept. All my dreams were of the Hinterlands made a dead and gray tomb, whispers brushing past in place of air, and the Keep--our Keep--nothing but a heap of rubble. I think I saw Tai before the place flooded with green fire. 

Ancestors, please don't let me lose this family like I lost Tai. I don't know how I can bear the thought of losing M or Izzy or Fro or Anthus or anyone. I don't think I could bear to lose Li. 

I gave up on sleep well before the sun rose. Thought if I couldn't sleep, I could go out to the lake and meditate and clear my head. But that didn't work so well, either--too much of the agitated elements plucking at my thoughts through the rain and the calm. Even the land seems to know what's coming--the earth is tense as if in anticipation of being shattered, the winds push and whisper ceaselessly about dark skies and the smell of felfire. 

I have this horrible ache deep in my gut now. I'm almost afraid to stray too far from the Keep. I sincerely hope this is just the product of stress and an overanxious mind. The energy brew wore off well before I got to my bed, so at least I know it can't be that.

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((A slightly crinkled sheet of parchment is tucked away carefully between the pages; a child's drawing of a small Pandaren holding the hand of a large Pandaren resembling Ah'Lam, and written in poor script, the words "Please come back soon Big Sister Ahlam."))

 

Twenty-Third of July - year xx

I...don't know if it's a side effect of all the fel in the air out here, but I had the strangest dream about rainbow-shooting cows taking over Stormwind. I suppose it's much better than reliving Vash'jir or more catastrophic visions of Azeroth crumbling in green fire, so I'll happily take it.

But other than that and almost thinking we'd lost the rest of our flying team, things have been swell out here in the middle of oblivion and gloom. Meggi was fine, Jo was alright, and what was his name Etharion's human no that sounds rude will be fine if he takes it easy for a while. And it sounds like the detonation team got in and got out again without another injury like Seda's, so all in all, things actually went far better than I was prepared for. I didn't even have to call out any of the elementals I'd brought along into my totems. 

Note to self--stop by the Hinterlands and send them home before we mooch a portal off of Dexter. The storm seems irritated that we ended up staying out here longer. 

It was...nice, having such a large team last night. More people to worry for, yes, but there's a particular sense of security, too, from having so many of your people by you when you go into danger. Even more so to know Li Shang was out there with us--I wonder if this was how he felt fighting with the Black Lotus back in the day, just, having each others' backs so completely, this level of complete trust and calm from having each other together, and that togetherness helping us to take our happiness out even into someplace as ruined and dead as this former Valley. I've even found a bit of hope that somehow, we might all make it through whatever  the Burning Legion can throw at us.

I could get used to fighting like this on a regular basis. I don't think I'd mind if all this togetherness continued on into the long term, either. It seems I wasn't entirely joking when I made that quip about all that affection being mutual. 

 

--> Thoran! That was his name! Remember that.

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