Sitting on what seemed the most uncomfortable bed she had ever been on, Niquisse pulled out her silver combs. Running them through her shimmering hair, she thought on the strange conversation she had just had. This man, Tellanon, told her things her cousin had kept from her for years. No, her entire life.

He had told her the stories about the Silverthorns. The pale, beautiful Kaldorei family from which they had sprung. That they all came from the same bloodline, the same man in fact. Kalithil Silverthorn. Their own name an off-shoot. The Greythorns were all but gone now. It was just the two of them. And still he hadn’t told her.

She made up her mind to confront him with her newfound knowledge. It might be a huge mistake, but she was tired of being told to wait. Be patient, Niqi. All in good time, Niqi. Well she knew something now, didn’t she?

After running tasks in that gloomy town, she almost lost her nerve. She made an excuse about wanting to wash up before they talked. She ran back to the inn and changed. She met him at the Blue Recluse and decided to see if he would open up with a little prodding.

“I met one,” she told him.

Gilræn arched an eyebrow. “Indeed?” He sounded intrigued, but also a little nervous.

“And he turned out to be something of a family historian.”

“A historian?”

Niquisse nodded. “He found our conversation quite….interesting.”

Gilræn shifted slightly. “I see…” he responded warily.

Niquisse watches Gilræn’s face carefully as she asks her next question. “Are you by any chance familiar with the name Shadowthorn?” Gilræn eyes widened almost imperceptibly.

After a moment he replied softly, “Indeed I am.”

Niquisse nodded, keeping her eyes on his face. “He was one.”

“Well now…that’s…that’s quite extraordinary.” It seemed to her, he was actually surprised.

“Is it?”

“Yes, it is.”

Niquisse pushed a little farther. “He had some interesting things to share with me.”

Gilræn eyed Niquisse warily. “Such as?”

“How old are you cousin?” She kept her face studiously blank.

He regarded her quizzically. “That’s…an odd question.”

“Not really. You’ve never told me.”

Gilræn shrugged. “It never seemed important.”

“And once again, you are avoiding answering me.”

“Oh, no…well, to be honest, I am not even sure of the number. It’s rather large.”

Niquisse took a slow sip of her wine. She set the glass down very carefully, never taking her eyes from him. “Are you the first to bear your name?”

All Gilræn could do at first, was blink. “Well I don’t know…”

Niquisse was growing impatient. “Let me ask this way, if that was confusing. Do you know if you are named for someone?”

“Oh, not that I am aware of, no.”

Niquisse threw her hands in the air, her hair flying wildly about her. “Oh for fel’s sake….


She cried at him. “I was hoping you would just tell me. But you are going to make me ask you point blank, aren’t you?”

Gilræn looked confused. “Ask me what?” Niquisse couldn’t tell if he was honestly lost or if it was a carefully crafted deception.

Gathering all her nerve, she blurted out. “Are you Kalithil’s son?” Gilræn eyes went very wide. “One of his very first children?”

“He…I mean…” His voice grew very quiet. “How could you know such a thing?” His ears drooped slightly.

“Because Tellanon Shadowthorn knew…”

“I don’t understand. What did he know?”

Niquisse sighed. “He knew your name. He knew you were one of the first. He knew that you had split from the family. He didn’t tell me why, but he knew a fel of a lot more than I do.”

“That’s…well…that’s one very dedicated historian.” His voice shifted, admitting the truth of it. “But then I suppose he would be.”

Niquisse sat quietly for a minute, trying to gather her thoughts. She took a long sip of her wine, rolling it around in her mouth before starting again. “So will you tell me something?”


“What happened?”

Gilræn furrowed his brow. “Happened?”

She nodded. “Why did you not stay with him?”

Sighing, he shook his head, “That is a rather personal question, Niquisse.”

Niquisse nodded. “Oh, I gathered as much. But I deserve to know why our family is no longer part of theirs.”

Gilræn looked down. Very quietly, “Fathers and sons do not always see eye to eye, Niquisse.”

Her face softened a little. “Was it your decision or his?”

Gilræn continued, but there was a sadness to it. “A little of both. Kalithil did not approve of Azshara and her…sycophants. But I wanted to learn from them.”

“I see.”

He shrugged, “What can I say, it turned out he was right about them.” He paused a moment before adding, “I have a had a very long time to think about that.”

Niquisse sighed, frustrated. Her tendrils twisted a little, “Why keep this a secret from me?” He smiled faintly. “Oh, right, family trait. Keeping secrets.”

His pale eyes regarded her, surrendering. “How do you tell someone you are thousands of years older than anyone has any right to be?” He whispered.

She dropped her elbows on the table, her hands open wide. There was a tinge of anger mixed with disappointment and betrayal to the pitch of her voice. “I’m not just someone! I’m your blood! The only left!”

“I was going to tell you eventually.”

Niquisse’s voice grew louder, exasperated. Tendrils flailed and lashed out. “What if something happened to you? I would know almost nothing about where I come from!”

“I made arrangement for such an eventuality,” he told her matter-of-factly.

She pursed her lips. “An arrangement.”

“Magical in nature, you would have been given the information you needed to find any remnant of our people here.” She sighed heavily. Leaning back in her chair, she downed the last of her wine. Gilræn fidgeted and looked at the table.

They sat for some time in silence before the conversation moved on to other matters. Niquisse paid attention the best she was able, but the secret revealed weighed heavily on her mind for the rest of the night. What else has he kept from me? Can I even trust he is telling me the truth now?