Lilybeth was sitting at the edge of the pond, her feet dangling in the water. Carefully reshaping the tip for her quill, she hummed to herself. Once she was happy with it, she opened her inks and prepared her pages. Documenting his life was a welcome distraction. Just as she finished, the man she chose to call father approached. “I am ready when you are, An’da,” she said with a smile.
Forosuul chuckled. “So. Where were we?”
Flipping back to the last completed page, “Remulos just gave you your name.”
He grinned at her knowingly. “Oh yes.”
“Are you going to tell me what is making you smile so much, or make me wait some more?” She chided him, her eyes bright. Her quill dipped into the ink and was brought to the page, waiting.
Forosuul chuckled. “Ok, well, at this point, I began my studies as a druid.” Lilybeth smiled and writing again, watching his face. “I trained in all aspects of that discipline, but for some reason, I never took all that well to wearing the different shape-shift forms. The exception perhaps, the raven. I was most comfortable following the path of Balance or Restoration.” Lilybeth tipped her head to the side. “I found a great deal of happiness in healing wounds, rather than causing them.”
“I would think it would bring you a lot of peace,” she responded warmly.
Forosuul stretched out the fingers of his right hand, regarding it. He flexed, baring his talons and sighed. “It would not last, but I didn’t know that then.”
Lilybeth placed a hand on his knee. “You had it for a time, perhaps there is a way to feel some of it again some day.”
“That is extremely unlikely.” He paused, adding quietly, “One might say impossible.”
“Perhaps. But there must be some way to give you some peace.”
“Time will tell, I suppose.”
Lilybeth nodded. “So healing and a mixture of arcane and life magics? That’s quite the change from your former life.”
“Quite. But I took to it well. My teachers said I was a natural druid.” Lilybeth smiled at him, her quill still moving across the page. “I’d been studying for perhaps 6 months, when one day I was off alone in the forest of the Moonglade. I was sitting at the base of a great tree, leaning against it, reading.”
Lilybeth grinned wide. “One of my favorite things to do.”
“And then she was there.”
She blinked. “She?” Forosuul gave her a look that says, Who else could I possibly be talking about? Lilybeth’s eyes go fully round. “This is the moment? This is when you met Tindomiel? Oh my gods! Yay!” The pitch and volume of her voice seemed to rise with each word. She squealed for a moment before regaining her composure. Forosuul chuckled. “What was she wearing? Did you know right away? Was she just as beautiful then? Who spoke first?” Faster and faster the questions came, her excitement overflowing.
Forosuul laughs aloud. “Slow down, Lily!” She clamped her mouth shut with a snap. He continued, “I was sitting on the edge of a small clearing. It was off away from where one expects to find people there, and through that clearing she walked. She looked almost lost, but also determined. She was looking for something.”
Lilybeth’s hand continues, but her eyes are glued to him. “What was she looking for?”
“The way to Nighthaven.” She looked at him, confused. “What.” he asked.
“So she wasn’t training? How did she get in?”
“She’d learned of the way, she never told me how. She had come to present herself for training. No letters of recommendation, nothing. But she was determined.”
Lilybeth giggled for a moment. “I can see that. She seems like someone who will not let things get in her way once she’s made up her mind.”
Forosuul nodded. “Of course, I didn’t know that at the time. I was just sitting there and someone wandered by.” He paused, giving her the faintest of smiles. “But…I was…transfixed.” She sighed, smiling. “Her skin was as pale as mine, which by itself is rare. She glowed in the light of Elune. She colored her hair back then, a concession to Mire, who hated her pale skin and silver hair.” He regarded her for a moment. “It was a bit like yours, but more green.”
Lilybeth wrote out the description and stopped suddenly. “She colored her hair? Just to make Mire happy?”
Forosuul nodded. “Mire was always unhappy that she took after her father in looks.”
Lilybeth pouted. “But Tindomiel is so beautiful! How could she not see that?”
“Mire doesn’t see what you or I see.”
She started rambling a bit once again. “I mean, all of you are. It’s like standing amongst marble statues of gods and goddesses. Mire is a foolish woman.”
Forosuul smiled faintly. “That is an understatement. Anyway, she wandered into my clearing, so I called out to her. I started her and she jumped. Once she saw that I was just another Kaldorei, she seemed to relax, but said nothing. I asked her if she needed help. And that is when she spoke her first words to me, which I will never forget.
Lilybeth stopped writing and watched his face intently. “And?”
“Your accent is positively vulgar,” he grinned.
Lilybeth’s pale blue face went blank for a moment before crinkling up. She laughed out loud, her eyes sparkling at him. “That’s terrible!”
“It was true though. Imagine our language spoken through the country dialect of Elwynn.” He chuckled at himself before taking a drink of water.
She sat there thinking, giggles overtaking her. “That’s kind of funny, actually.”
Forosuul nodded. “As I recall, I got a little defensive, told her I’d only learned the language the previous year.”
“Was she nicer after that? Cause she sounds like she was a little mean…”
“She had been raised in Mire’s house. It was a wonder she was even tolerable company,” he responded, chuckling a little. Lilybeth laughed. “When she saw I was reading, she took notice and started asking me questions. She seemed shocked to learn I’d been studying there for months. She seemed to think I was a bumpkin. Which, I mean, I was, so….”
“Well, to be fair,” she responded, her tone playful. Forosuul laughed lightly. “So what happened next?”
“We started talking. I very awkwardly told her she was beautiful, she got irritated at that.”
Lilybeth blinked at him. “Why?”
“Well, halfway between irritated and disbelieving. She’d had Mire trying to breed her for years. She was wary and kind of hostile to anything leading in that direction.”
Her eyes went wide. “Ohhhhh. She thought you were just trying…got it.”
Forosuul nodded. “Bumpkin though I was, I could tell right away she didn’t want to hear that, so I dropped it quickly.”
Forosuul smirked. “I have moments.”
Lilybeth made a face at him. “Don’t be like that, An’da.”
He continued, not catching what she had said at first. “She asked me what I was reading so I showed it to her. She seemed to decide that maybe I was not so bad…be like what?”
“Down on yourself, like you aren’t smart. You are,” she responded, trying to sound reassuring.
“I said I have moments, Lily. Maybe I meant I have a lot of moments.” He grinned at her. Lilybeth giggled. “We talked a while, she asked me my background, I told her some of it. Nothing that might scare someone off of course. When she learned of my upbringing, she seemed to think that made me, if not more acceptable, then at least someone with whom to display good natured pity.”
“Because you grew up so far from our society?”
Nodding, he continued. “Eventually, she asked if I knew the way to the village, so I showed her the path. I assumed that would be the last I’d see of her.”
Lilybeth beamed at him. Seeing her joy, he laughed. “Lucky for both of you, it wasn’t,” she said, matter-of-factly.
“Indeed. She found me,” he paused for a moment. “Every day. I am not sure why. Maybe because I was the first person she met there?”
Lilybeth shook her head, azure curls flying about her face. “You know that isn’t why.”
Forosuul rolled his eyes. “We’d just met, and I was far beneath her station, she was not thinking in those terms then. I hate to rain on your parade, but it wasn’t love at first site, Sel’de.” She sighed, throwing her hands up in surrender. “So, um, anyway, she found me every day. She’d wander the village or come looking for me in that clearing.”
Lilybeth smiled wide. “That really is so sweet.”
He frowned a moment. “She had a lot of self-doubt. She wasn’t sure she could handle the druid training.”
“Tindomiel? But she’s so strong! She had doubts that she could do it?” She sounded truly shocked at this.
“She was a lot different then, Lily. She had only just broken away from Mire. She had suffered years of systematic emotional abuse from her birth mother, and physical abuse from Silannah.” Lilybeth’s eyes shifted, sadness filling them.
Seeing this, Forosuul moved the conversation along. “Yes, She would seek me out, looking for that clearing where we first met, or wandering the village until she found me.” Lily wiped off her quill with a cloth and dipped it into the ink again. She smiled at him, grateful he was moving on. “I think she sensed that I was also an outsider among my own people, so she felt comfortable speaking with me.”
“And you formed a bond.”
Forosuul nodded, smiling. “She told me who she was, which was information she usually kept secret. She didn’t want anyone informing on her to Mire.”
“I wonder why she trusted you so much, so quickly?” She gave him a sly, knowing look and winked.
Forosuul smiled faintly. He gave her a shrug. “Who knows.”
“I’m guessing it didn’t mean all that much to you at the time.”
He looked off into the distance. “Oh, but it did. It terrified me.”
“It…why?” She looked thoroughly confused.
Forosuul looked at her oddly. “I feared what would happen to her if she got close to me,” he whispered.
“You mean if you,” she thought carefully how to phrase it. “Had an episode?”
Forosuul nodded quickly and moved on. “We spoke every day, we trained together. We helped each other, celebrated out successes together, and grumbled over our failures.”
Lilybeth smiled faintly. “That must have been really nice.”
Forosuul responded sadly, “It might have been, had I not been so worried. I grew to care for her a great deal, and she made it quite apparent the feeling was returned.”
Lily’s excitement burst free, the words flowing out in a nearly continual stream. “What did she do? What did you do? Was is sweet? Was it amazing?” She slapped her hand over her mouth, stopping the question explosion.
Laughing, he responded, “She would…be affectionate. In small ways mostly.” Lilybeth raised a long eyebrow. “But…well, like one night, we stayed out late, observing nocturnal life.” She grinned at him. “We ended up sharing a room, and she insisted we share the bed for warmth.” Forosuul colored slightly.
“Did you…you know?”
Forosuul looked at her sternly. “We did not.” His tone left no room for further discussion. Shrinking back a little, she quietly nodded. “I put on a facade of being oblivious to her efforts. Or acted like I did not understand her intent.”
“An’da!” She exclaimed, “That’s terrible!” She sighed heavily. Settling down her quill, she poured herself a glass of water.
“Sel’de, I believed if she got too close, I would kill her. I believed it fully, I was certain of it.” His shoulders slumped a little.
“Because you thought you might have one of your violent episodes? But why didn’t you tell her? Why pretend you didn’t feel the way you did?”
Forosuul remarked softly, while staring at the back of his own hand. “Isn’t it strange that I worry not at all, now that I truly do carry a monster within me…Lily, I just told you.”
“Well…Now you know you are in control. Therein lies the difference. But I still don’t understand why you wouldn’t just talk to her.” Forosuul sighed. Lily continued softly, “She is the best possible person for you.”
“And I knew that even then. But I didn’t think I deserved it, you see?” Lilybeth nodded. “I was convinced that being around me put her in danger, but at the same time did not want her to leave. I also believed if she knew the truth she would shun me, so I did not tell her. I walked a fine edge for all of those years. It was a miserable half-life.” Lilybeth looked a little sad as she tried to find the right words to put down on the parchment. “But when we traveled together, adventured across the world, I could, some of the time, forget all that. And it made it worthwhile.”
Lilybeth smiled a little. She finished the page and hung it magically in the air to dry. Reaching over, she pulled another, “How long did you travel together?”
“Oh, years, let me think….We completed our training not long after the Dark Portal was re-opened.” A small smile began to form on his face.
“So…wow…you two were together a really long time then.”
“We went to Outland together. Its funny, we didn’t discuss it. We finished druidic training, and we just started traveling. We both just assumed that is what we would do.”
“You just knew. Didn’t you?”
“It simply had to be. It couldn’t happen any other way.”