Lilybeth woke to find Kalithil gone. Not unusual. He often rose early to work. On the table by the bed was a letter addressed to her. Sitting up, she wrapped the blankets around her and broke the blue seal.
Kalithil mentioned that you have not had the opportunity to get to know more of our family. I was hoping that you would join me in Dalaran for the day. Or perhaps somewhere else, should the idea arise. I hope you are well and able to come.
Find me at A Hero’s Welcome. Come to the garden in the back. You can ask the bartender if you haven’t been there. I’ll have food brought out, so don’t eat!
Her eyes shot open wide with excitement. Tindomiel wanted to meet her? The woman was “the best of us” according to Kal. Infinitely patient and kind, he had said. Lilybeth had seen her before, but never had a chance to actually meet her. This was unreal. She read the letter three more times to be certain. Flipping it over, she examined the seal. Silverthorn. Unmistakable.
She launched herself out of the bed, grabbing the first gown in her bag. She held it up and cast it aside. Within moments the room began taking on the look of a tornado ravaged town. But she managed to dress herself and nervously plait her turquoise hair. Closing her eyes for a moment, she took a deep breath. Then another. She opened her eyes and made three quick gestures. The room was restored to order and she stepped out.
Silver hair blew in the breeze out in the open garden. The woman smiled to the girl who brought her the plates. She looked it over, checking each item. She had no idea what Lilybeth liked, so an assortment had been ordered. She thanked her and dropped some coins into her hand. She returned to her book, pages gently turning while she waited.
It didn’t take long. But then, Kalithil and Forosuul had told her the woman was excitable. Out of the corner of her eye, a flash of blue hair shimmered. The color reminded her of the southern seas. So different from the family’s own silver, was it any wonder Kalithil couldn’t help but take a little notice? A small smile spread onto her face as she rose to great her.
“Hello. Are you Tindomiel?” Her voice shook ever so slightly.
“I am. Tindomiel Silverthorn. You must be Lilybeth. Come, join me,” she gestured to the table, laden with food behind her. “I didn’t know what you might like, so I ordered a bit of everything.”
“You ordered all of this? For me? Wow! I don’t think I can eat this much! Oh…wait, you mean for both of us. Gods! Of course you did. Oh! Yes! Lilybeth Starblossom. It is so nice to finally get to meet you! I used to…” she clamped a hand over her mouth and took a slow breath in. She bowed and started again. “So very nice to meet you Tindomiel. Lilybeth Starblossom. Student of Kalithil Silverthorn.”
Tindomiel chuckled. “Student huh? I thought he had elevated you to something else. But we can come back to that. I know you know that I speak with him often. No sense in pretending otherwise. Sit, please.” She took her own seat and made herself a plate of cheese, fruit, and a bit of summer sausage. “Never mind the formalities. I am not Kajeda, nor am I Kalithil. We are out in a beautiful place, with nice food and hopefully…new friends?” She looked at the younger woman, her face gentle and calm.
“Oh thank you!” Lilybeth dropped herself down onto the bench, taking a mix of things and dropping them onto her plate with no real care to how it landed. “I suppose we are a bit more than that. I am not sure what to call it for now.” Her face flushed. “But it’s something wonderful I think.” She took a few bites and washed it down with some of the juice at the table. Somewhat nervously, she started. “I am guessing that Kalithil wanted you to talk to me about…about the Matriarch. I didn’t mean to! I’m so sorry! I didn’t know it would upset her so much!”
Tindomiel immediately sensed the spiral beginning. She held up a hand to stop her. “Lilybeth, wait. Please, just wait.” She laid her hand gently over the girl’s. Waiting for her to stop talking she looked her right in the eye. “You had no way to know. It really is going to be alright.”
“You didn’t see! She…she…gods she growled! And the sound she made was not…”
“Normal?” Tindomiel chuckled. “No, I would imagine not. A few more moments and you may not have been looking at an elf before you. I know just how terrifying my mother can be. One day, I will have to tell you about the first time I met her.”
Lilybeth swallowed and nodded. “Kalithil said you would not take sides. I…I don’t understand it.”
“Sides? What side is there to take? You both made a mistake that evening. You for, I would imagine, saying too much. She for taking out her grief and anger on you. Sound about right?”
“Yes,” she cast her eyes down, ashamed that this woman knew without even being told.
“There is only one way to look at this. You cannot do that alone. Neither can my mother. You need someone outside of it to help you both see. And that is alright. Now,” she smiled, “let’s start with this. What do you think you need to do?”
“Do? She told me never to speak of it to her again! She…I don’t know.” She hung her head.
Smiling, Tindomiel poured them each a new glass of juice. She pushed a long silver lock of hair from her face. Lilybeth sat quietly, confused. After a moment, Tindomiel sighed. “There isn’t much you can, or indeed should do for now. She needs time. Not just from you, but in general. Your best course of action is to do something helpful for the House. It can be anything, it doesn’t need to be a grand gesture. Just be helpful and polite.”
“I am not sure what I could do to help. I am good with books. Transcriptions and rune work? Glyphs and maybe warding?” Her shoulders slumped. “I thought I was helping. The Matriarch said if I could keep Kal’s attention, he would stay. And the House needs him. But then I opened my mouth.”
“Then keep Kalithil’s attention. For now, that might be enough. However, there are some things you could do for me. And helping me, well, that will go a long way with Kajeda. All I need do is mention it.” She winked lightly at the younger woman. “I heard you are good at copying books. Care to help me with a few?” She placed a stack on the table.
Lilybeth’s eyes lit up, joy flowing from her. She snatched up the pile, scanning each cover. As she reached the bottom of the pile her mouth fell open. “How do you have this? Kalithil doesn’t even have this! I have seen references to it, but I though it was lost!” Her hand rested reverently on the cover.
Tindomiel smiled warmly. Carefully taking the book, her long fingers ran gently over the worn leather. “This was in the library of our house when I was a child. I never learned where it came from. I suspect it once belonged to my father. No one else in my previous family cared much for knowledge the way I do. Can you read it?”
Lilybeth took the book back, gently opening it. The page was covered in long flowing script. A language from another time. “It’s in the old tongue. Gods, this is incredible. I think I will need some help reading some of it.”
“I think you know someone who can. He will likely want a copy of his own though.” She smiled down at the cover, tracing the letters carefully.
We Are Kaldorei
Hours passed as they talked, friendship blossomed. They wandered the city, discovering little shops and merchants along the way. By the end of the day, Lilybeth had several new dresses and a complete understanding of why Kalithil spoke of Tindomiel the way he did. As she made her goodbyes, she felt entirely better about everything. A stack of books in hand and bags of purchases over her shoulder she turned to Tindomiel with a smile. “He’s never going to believe this. Heck, I’m not sure I do!”
“He will. He knows me well enough by now.” She smiled, pushing a bit of hair from Lilybeth’s face. “Just be yourself. You are a beautiful person. He sees it. I’m sure of it. Mother will come around in time. Just let her lead any conversations you have.” She touched the tattoo on the young woman’s neck. “This really is lovely. I admit, I’m a little jealous.”
The tattoo flashed, brilliantly. “It’s also fun.” She laughed, her eyes shining brightly. “Thank you. Thank you for everything today.” She bowed, low and reverent.
Tindomiel place a pure white hand on her shoulder, gentle grace flowing from her fingertips. “Be safe, my dear friend. Take care of him for me.” She smiled and walked away without another word.