Memories of Halfhill

Tindomiel pushed her long, silver hair back out of her face as she stirred the bubbling pot on the stove. Sprinkling in a mix of spices, she smiled at the aroma. Closing up the lid, she wiped her hands off and turned to the table to continue kneading the dough. She hoped to travel with a good amount of food so they wouldn’t put any extra stress on the kitchens at Kalithil’s fortress. As she covered her formed loaves with a cloth, she smiled. She could remember a time when she couldn’t cook at all. What was it now, six years? Seven? Her face broke into a smile. She could remember it so well.

He had gone off to train with a Master, hidden out in the woods. He told her he didn’t know how long it would be. That she could do as she wished. She told him she would wait. So she found a position at the inn in Halfhill. It wasn’t much. Mostly she helped keep the place tidy. In return, she was granted a room and meals. Anything else, she would have to do extra tasks, but she hardly minded. So many gardens there, and farms. It was the perfect place for a druid who only wished to heal and grow things. To keep the world alive. So she went, learning to cook from the masters of each culinary skill.

It was a morning much like any other in Halfhill, perhaps a year after he’d gone. She was outside in her little herb garden, picking something to go in a soup she planned to make later that day. As she clipped the delicate leaves, she looked down the path, the one that led down the hill into the world beyond. Every day for a year she had gazed down that path, hoping to see him there. Every day for a year she had let out a sigh, disappointed at the empty path. Today, though, there was someone there. A tall lean figure, not a local, dressed in green. She wondered idly who it could be. Her heart realized it before her head. It began to thump. She looked again. Long silver hair. She nearly fell in the mud in her haste. She leapt to her feet, racing down the path, tears streaming into the air behind her. As she reached him she threw her arms around him. He held himself stiff, awkwardly patting her back until she released him. She laughed brightly and gave him a nudge. “Still? You haven’t seen me in a year and you still can’t hug me, huh?” For his part, Forosuul flushed, embarrassed. Standing back, she looked him over. She was surprised. He was trimmer, taught and firm, much as he had been when they first met. And there was something – a sense of peace – about him that she had never seen before.

“Well, come inside and tell me what you learned.” she said as she pushed the door inward and the found a table. They talked for hours, until they could barely keep their eyes open. Wandering up to her room, he once again took his place on the floor, despite her arguments to share the bed.

The following morning it was decided. They would stay there for a while. He would travel to the various Temples and Masters, learning what he could from them. She would sell her leather works and they could enjoy the peace that Pandaria offered them. They found a small house on the east side of the village with a small garden already filled with vegetables and flowers. Forosuul planted a few others, giving himself access to the much needed blossoms and leaves for his inks. He purchased a small bed for himself and they shared a quiet comfortable life in the tiny cottage.

Every morning she would rise to find him already up. After dressing, she would poke her head outside to watch him practice. His movements were fluid, deliberate. It was like witnessing the wings of a bird through each flap of its wings. After he was done, he would wash his face off and water the plants before coming inside as she was preparing breakfast. They would talk or read, sometimes neither. In those times they would just enjoy the quiet of each other’s presence.

Tindomiel had set up a small worktable in the back corner of the house, shelves filled with needles and thread to embroider her leather pieces. He in turn, would use their dining space to write or to meditate. Occasionally she would look up from her work and spy him watching her. If she smiled, he would smile quickly and look away. Looking back now, she can only laugh. He was so young. So scared of what they could be. Terrified of what he might do to her. Viewing it through her eyes again, he already loved her. She knew that now, but back then, all she could do was hope. She had known he needed time, so she gave it, gladly, if only to be in his life.

How long they lived that way, she couldn’t quite remember. After a time, things started to go badly. The Vale had been destroyed and they realized they could no longer sit back, idle. So they packed up their things and left. They hadn’t even discussed it. One morning they just did it and they were off to rejoin the world’s battles once more.

Shaking her head, she sighed. If only they would have been able to speak their hearts then. So much time they could have enjoyed together, in so many other ways. But as Forosuul was wont to say, “It couldn’t happen any other way.” So she stood, lifting up her tray of bread and placing it in the oven, smiling at the quiet life they once lived.