The morning sun was shining gloriously somewhere. Here beneath the murky boughs of Duskwood, however, that brightness did not penetrate. An ever-present fog blanketed the forest floor and large, dark trees veiled the sky above, giving the feel of eternal twilight.
Stepping through the mist intrepidly, her eyes used to the darkness, Gaeladrial searched the gloom until her gaze fell upon a spark against the grey. Fiery locks matching her own caught the small bits of light present and refracted them, flashing like hungry tongues of fire.
“Ah, there is my beautiful daughter. When we missed you at breakfast I thought I might find you here.”
Amaeris glanced up with the softest hint of a welcoming smile, her stormy grey eyes meeting her mother’s own crystal blue. The young woman knew her secret reading place was well-known to her mother, if no one else. It was nothing more than the shell of a fallen house, with hardly any of the four walls still standing. The shattered fireplace’s hearth was mostly whole and it was there, upon a stool that was once a chair, that Amaeris would come to find peace and quiet.
Gwaehiir, Amaeris’ constant avian ally, screed softly in acknowledgment as well. The large, black storm crow had been nursed by Amaeris from an orphaned chick into the powerful hunter and loyal companion he now was.
“My apologies, Mother. I was awake before the sun, and thought I would step away and read, as not to wake anyone. It appears the time has gotten away from me.”
Gaeladrial smirked and placed a warm, comforting hand on her daughter’s shoulder and then sat beside the younger version of herself. “No need for apologies, dear. What are you reading?”
Amaeris colored slightly. “It is a chimeric book written by a Dalaran scholar. Frippery mostly, but I find it interesting all the same.”
Nodding, Gaeladrial patiently waited for her daughter to continue.
“Well, it is set in a realm where humans are the only race – no elves or dwarves or tauren or trolls – and the only creatures are those like our small forest and plains animals. There are no dragons or naga. Oh, and there is no magic.”
“No magic? That sounds awfully barbaric…” Gaeladrial scoffed.
“Not really. Instead of magic, they have machines. They have machines that show pictures, like a scrying glass might. And they have machines that provide them with information, much like a book. And each human seems to have their own self-propelled carriage… similar to the war machines the gnomes and goblins create. The strangest part is, these humans never seem to worry that one will backfire or do the opposite of what they intended – their machines always work flawlessly.”
Gaeladrial chuckled. “If only that were the case… To have machines that work more often than naught, instead of the other way around.”
A thoughtful look on her face as she studied the books tan leather cover, Amaeris nodded slowly.
“Ahh, but that is what the fantastical creations of our mind are for, eh, my daughter? To imagine things that could not possibly be.”
“Yes, they make for good stories.” Amaeris smiled at her mother.
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Awaiting the Muse by Jamie Roman AKA Effraeti is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.