Child of Chance

The quarter was teeming with people. Every race of the alliance, all moving, talking together, the city bustling with the day to day lives of its people. The young Draenei woman looked around at the area and then back down to her map. Mouthing the shop names to herself, she didn’t realized she’d started idly walking right towards the ramp to the mage tower. The people around her seemed to fade away as she wandered, her hooves meeting the stones as she started her way up. Her eyes remained on the parchment as she bumped fully into a tall, pale night elf wearing fine clothes of blue and gold. She stumbled slightly before looking up at his face. He blinked down at her. She smiled sheepishly. “Apologies.”

The Kal’dorei nodded. “Quite all ri…” he tapered off, furrowing his brow. A frisson crawled up his spine, that unmistakable pull he felt when he was in the presence of his blood. He nearly stumbled, confused to be feeling it with a Draenei.

“I should not walk without paying attention to my direction,” she offered. He studied her face intently. “Is something wrong, Sir?”

“I… ah…” Shaking his head to clear it, he continued. “You seem strangely familiar.”

The woman tipped her head to the side, “Perhaps we have met before? Though, I do not recall.”

Warily, he said, “I know few of your people, so that seems unlikely.”

She gazed at him thoughtfully. “Your coloring, it is much like my own. Maybe I look similar to one you know in some way?”

He arched a long eyebrow, clearly intrigued. “That it is.” 

She offered him a gentle smile, holding up the map a moment. “I am still learning my way around. Perhaps you could show me where to find some decent food? I am hungry from spending all day searching for someone.”

He gestured to the right, indicating the sign that read ‘The Blue Recluse.’ “The tavern here is probably the best in the city. Hmm.. would you join me for supper?”

She suddenly flushed a pale purple, her expression shifting towards embarrassment. So inappropriate! He’s inviting you for a meal and you don’t even know his name! Mother would be disappointed. Give him yours. The Draenei bowed before him, “Forgive me, my name is Mishun. I should have introduced myself.”

“I am Kalithil,” he responded in kind. “No need to apologize, child.” He offered his arm to her.

She took it, smiling. “I would like that. Food is always better with company, Kalithil.” They walked across the soft grass and up into the building. Walking around the corner of the entry into the tavern proper, she chuckled at the gathering at the railing. The ‘rail flowers’ her mother had called them. The ones who stayed back, watching others enjoyment, but never joining in. “This looks to be a nice little place,” she offered.

Kalithil nodded, indicating the steps to the right. “Let’s go upstairs. The floor here can get rowdy in the evenings,” he explained. She nodded and walked at his side to the upper level. He led her to a small table and pulled out one of the chairs and stood behind it, waiting.  She chuckled, taking the seat and allowed him to push it in for her. He arched a long eyebrow as he settled into the chair beside her. 

“A gentleman. Not a common thing in the cities,” she commented, pushing her hair behind her ear. 

“Call me old fashioned,” he smiled.

She bit her lip, holding back a chuckle. “If you wish.”

His brow furrowed. “Did I say something wrong,” he inquired as he waved away the arcane familiar that floated beside his head. 

She laughed, her eyes sparkling. “No, it is simply that you said old and it struck me that you actually appear older than most.”

The ancient elf chuckled. “You speak your mind.”

“I try to, though I prefer not to be rude.”

“Ah. But you are correct, I look old. Probably because I am,” he opened his hands in surrender of the fact. “Think nothing of it. My wife said much worse the day we met.” He smiled wide, the corners of his eyes crinkling.

Mishun returned the smile happily. “And you ended up marrying her, so I would think you value honesty.”

“That I do. So, tell me. Why the map?”

“This is my first trip to Stormwind,” she explained. “My mother and I lived on Azuremist.”

“That’s a long way to travel. But you said you were looking for someone?”

She smiled faintly, her body stiffening ever so slightly. “I am.” At that moment, a server approached the table. She ordered a very simple meal of stew and a glass of juice. She motioned for Kalithil to order if he wishes. He ordered himself an ale and a cheese and fruit platter.  The server stepped away from the table with a nod. Mishun returned her attention to Kalithil. “I am attempting to find my father’s side of my family. Well, my father too.”

“Hmmm, I see,” was all he said as he continued to look her over carefully. 

Mishun cleared her throat, which brought his attention back fully around. “You keep looking at me as though you are attempting to figure something out. It might, perhaps, be simpler if you asked?”

He smiled faintly. “I hope you won’t be offended if I say you don’t quite look like the average draenei.”

She reached up and quickly covered her long ears with her hair. “No,” she murmured. “I… have some features that are different. From my father.” 

“Would it be rude of me to ask why that would be the case,” he asked quietly.

“Why I look different you mean?” He nodded at her. “My father was like you. A Kal’dorei,” she explained. 

Kalithil furrowed his brow, thinking. His fingers tapped lightly on the table. “A fairly unusual combination.”

“It is,” she acknowledged. 

“I suppose you came here to see if he is among the survivors then.” His features showed sympathy, all the while he continued to watch her, looking for some sign that would tell him why he felt drawn to her. 

She shook her head. “No, my parents met here, in the city. So it seemed the best place to start.”

“A wise choice.” He leaned forward, his hands coming together, the fingers lacing one by one. “Yet you do not know where he is.”

She sighed heavily. “My mother made some, we’ll call them questionable, choices. One of them being that she had a few nights of…” She stopped a moment and cleared her throat. “Fun with this man.”

Kalithil looked surprised, not expecting her to speak so openly on the subject. “And she…ah… chose a Kal’dorei.”

Nodding, “Mother didn’t care much about the race of her partners. She would find someone who she found interesting or attractive in some way. And that was that. She stopped all that when she found out she was pregnant with me. But it seems that she didn’t think this man was father material. So she never told him.”

His lips pursed slightly. “I see. If I may ask… why are you telling all this to a stranger?”

Her shoulders came up into a shrug. “Well, I’ve no idea where to start, other than this man frequented a tavern in this district. So I thought, maybe if I told my story, someone might know. But…” Her mouth twisted around as she attempted to work out how to explain. 

Kalithil looked at her askance. “You seem nervous, child. You do not have to share all of it with me if you do not wish.”

“It’s very complicated. And I am not certain where to begin. Something that caused this condition must have come from my father, as no one my mother knew ever had this situation happen.” She placed the tip of her thumb nail in her mouth, biting on it while she worked out the best way to word it all.

“Some sickness?” He looked her over sympathetically.

“It’s not an illness. Surely healers could fix that. This sounds entirely crazy…” she tapered off. Do I tell him? He looks like a Mage, maybe he knows something. 

Kalithil chuckled. “Child, I assure you that there is very little you could say that would qualify as crazy to me.” He smirked slightly, his eyes shining with mirth. 

“Perhaps. But I have told every Mage among my peop… the Draenei community. None even knew where to begin.” She sighed heavily. 

His smirk became a wider grin. “I suspect you will find me different.”

“All right. You see, chronologically, I am only 2 years old.” Kalithil’s face drained of what little color it normally possessed. She looked at him, concerned. “I have said something to upset you.”

“Wh-what do you mean by that?” He sat there, stunned. It cannot be. 

“Oh…yes. It is very complicated.” she conceded. “I honestly do not understand how all of this works. But it seems I have lived for a little over one hundred years. But had these strange little moments where I would skip locations and my mother was different.” Kalithil went completely still. “To her, it seemed that I was suddenly jumping in age. Years at a time.”

He sat there quietly for a few moments before whispering, “Young one… Mishun, right? Do you know his name?” He already knew the answer. The reason he was drawn here. 

“My father?” He nodded slowly. “Mother could not remember all of it. But that it had Silver in it. So that is what she named me.” She smiled faintly as he furrowed his brow. “It is what Mishun means. Silver. She said his name was something with an A. And the last name was Silver-Something.”

Kalithil leaned back in his chair and looked up at the ceiling, rubbing his face with both hands.

“I have upset you in some way. I apologize,” she offered. “Though… it does seem you perhaps know about this person?”

“How are you supposed to find this man? How are you to recognize him, I mean,” he asked in a tone that bore a hint of panic.

“Mother said he had very pale skin and hair that was snowy white. It was messy in contrast to his clothes that were impeccable,” she recalled. “And he would sit with another man who had the same coloring, but while my father was mostly friendly, the other was rude.” She furrowed her brow. “Kalithil…that is what you said your name was, right?”

He looked over at her, his mouth opening as if to speak several times, but always stopping. He took a number of deep breaths before he was finally able to speak. “Yes, Kalithil. Kalithil Silverthorn.”

“Silverthorn? That’s interesting! Oh! Is this man perhaps somehow related? Or someone you would know? I do not know how Night Elf names work. It could be this man comes from somewhere near you.” She smiled wide, excited at the idea that she may have finally found a lead. 

The server arrived with the food and drinks. She set everything down and Mishun paid her happily. She raised her glass to Kalithil before starting to take a sip.

The elf smiled faintly, leaning in a little. Ever so softly he said, “Mishun… child… I would bet my own life that you are my granddaughter.”