She woke up alone, as was often the case.  The early morning sounds of Dalaran wafted through the open window.  Not what it used to be, she thought. Dalaran after the Cataclysm was much quieter, even restful for the weary souls left in the wake of Arthas’ demise. Even the air seemed more invigorating than it was elsewhere in Northrend.

When she sat up, she noticed a rose on the pillow next to hers. The stem was wrapped in a bit of parchment, and the parchment in turn wrapped with a red ribbon.  Smiling, she untied the ribbon and read the note therein.

Today’s your first day back on the job!  No matter what, we’re all very proud of you!

– A.

First day back. Right.  Oh, bother.

Rubbing her eyes blearily, she set about getting ready for the day ahead. Checking her lists, and making sure her things were packed right. Every bit of gear gemmed just so, enchanted correctly, reforged, in what the Sisters at the Temple assured her, with the latest configuration for a successful Discipline priest.

On her dresser was another letter. For what seemed like the thousandth time, she picked it up. It had arrived three days ago, and her life had Officially Been Turned Upside-Down as a result.

Jasra,

The time has come, lass; we need you.  I’m not sure what is going on in this new place that the Navy has found, but we know the Horde’s on the move after they destroyed Theramore, and this is likely the next place they’ll be poking around. The Alliance needs all the good healers it can muster, so I have to ask; will you lend a hand?

I wish I could let you stay where you are for the duration without even asking; you earned your "retirement" in Icecrown.  And even if you choose not to come, I won’t argue; it’s your decision.

However, should you  decide to return to "active duty", see Sky Admiral Rogers in Stormwind. I’ve put a good word in for you, so she’ll be watching out for your arrival.  I think you’ll like her. She reminds me of Flora, but with more angries.

I have to close now; the Skyfire’s leaving within the hour. I’ll be scouting ahead to see what’s what. Hopefully we’ll get together in some agreeable tavern in this place called "Panderia".

Your favorite uncle,

Grimmtooth

Well, if it was him asking, she wasn’t going to let him down.


She had left but she always found herself coming back here. The years after Arthas’ fall had been spent here with the Azuregazes at the Legerdemain, doing such exciting things as making beds, preparing cheese platters, and serving wine to guests that had no idea that their serving wench had once stood before Arthas’ most terrifying creations without flinching. 

It was blissfully, quietly, wonderfully, uneventful.

Evenings were spent with Arille and Amisi, in a warmth that had nothing to do with hearths and everything to do with how her heart spoke to her.

Grimmtooth and his clan would always be her "family", and just a word from any of them would bring her to their side. As near as made no difference, even if not of her blood, they might as well have been.

But Amisi and Arille had found a way into her heart that was unlike anything she had felt before. Her family "of choice", then?

And now she had to leave one family to help the other.


Properly dressed and packed, she drifted down to the common room of the inn for breakfast. Arille grinned and waggled a hand at her as she took her accustomed table. Early morning tasks for him included taking inventory and restocking for the night to come, but he was never too busy to make her feel at home.

Enjoying a light meal of cheese, fruit, and mulled wine, she went over her lists once again.  She almost didn’t notice Amisi coming down the stairs. Her smile shone out amid her dusky complexion.  "Well, you’re up early."

Jasra smiled back; "You may have snuck off without waking me, but I did notice." 

Amisi motioned her up. "Well, let’s have a look at you. After close to two years in retirement, I’m not sure you remember how to dress yourself."  Dutifully, the grinning Night Elf stood and bowed.  "I stand ready for inspection, madam."

Sizing Her Up

Amisi looked up at her. "Your halo’s on crooked."  Jasra’s grin got wider. "This surprises you?"  As Amisi reached up to adjust it, Jasra reached out to stop her.  "Don’t bother, the thing never sits straight on me anyway." Amisi chuckled. "Well, all right then."  She took a seat at Jasra’s table, and Jasra reseated herself.

They traded small talk and ate for a while, then Amisi took on a serious mien. "No matter where you go, you always have this place to come home to.  We’ll miss every moment you’re gone. Nothing will be the same without you here. Come back as soon as you can."

"I will. You two are the only reason I can even go out there."  Looking around, she realized everything was prepared.  "I guess it’s time for me to go, isn’t it?"  Amisi’s sad smile was her only answer.

Standing, she hefted her pack and her staff. "I’ll be back as soon as I can. "  A quick grin; "Don’t sell my stuff."

As she passed the bar, Arille stepped out to block her path.  "You’re not getting out of here without a hug, m’dear."  His voice was rough for a change; his hug was warm and welcome, as always. "Don’t embarrass us", he whispered in to her ear, and then ducked back behind the bar, laughing. Nobody ever warned me that Highborn had a such an odd sense of humor.

As she turned, Amisi was waiting. "What he said", as she hugged Jasra. "Come back to us."

Jasra stepped foot outside of the Legerdemain. Looking back, she saw comfort, good friends, and more. Looking forward, uncertainty. Danger. Excitement. She grinned at the Unknown.  "Well, let’s get this thing started, shall we?"  Calling her favorite flying carpet, she set out of for the portal to Stormwind – and new adventures.

ext-jas-leaving


OOC-ly, beware the 4th wall

I’ve been rewriting this for weeks.

In a way, Jasra represents all that soured me on raiding in Wrath; not the events themselves, but an inability to deal with certain things in her environment. Thus, when Cata came out, Jasra gave voice to those feelings. It was months later before Grimm found a home with the Effers, which profoundly changed my outlook and helped me gain a certain perspective.  Thus setting the stage, Flora came along and helped advise the Bunnies in some seriously late but fashionable T11 and T12 raiding, and it was good.

To make this possible, the Bunnies’ long-suffering GM set aside her main, a mage, and filled in for Team Heals. Her main, therefore, didn’t see ANY tier gear, and what she had was purchased from endless nights of grinding Heroics.  In the end, even she burned out and we pretty much only saw her on our two designated raid nights.

So, guilty feelings, I has some.  Even if it’s not justified.  But also if it is.

Having mentally mended some fences and resolved to be more a grown-up about some things (seriously interesting concept when you consider my RL age), it was decided that our dear GM should get a chance to shine with her mage once again, and Jas was just going to have to suck it in and start flinging Frisbees again.  I think our GM will be happy with Frost’s new idioms, and she, like Illume, has been fond of the Frosty ways, so it’ll be a homecoming for her, of sorts.

It’s just a damned shame that playing Warlocks is so much FUN now.   But it’s worth it if it brings a smile to our GM’s face and motivates her to come out and play more often.  And I get that she’s reluctant to let go of the priest altogether, so Flora may see some action from time to time after all.

The mood of this piece is one of awakening, of renewal, and of finding one’s place in the world. Jasra had a place in the world, lost it, found a new place in the world, and now she’s going to try to keep both within her grasp.  I won’t say exactly what kind of relationship she has with the Azuregazes, as it’s more fun not to know, but it’s a deep connection, and it will be kept alive.

In closing, and totally unrelated: getting the damned Halo to work right in WoW Model Viewer is a gigantic pain in the bottom. It would be a lot easier with true chroma-key software, but one goes to blog with the tools one has, not the tools one wants. In the end, it was just easier to shoop it in manually. Bleah.

And now we hit "publish."

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