[RP] The Tree, Part V
My friend Claire is awesome. We’ve written a lot together over the last year or so and it’s always fun, even when the subject matter is sad. When she wrote Fenniel’s reaction to the news of his wife’s death, I started to feel guilty about just what I’d done not only to my character, but to hers. Even now when my characters interact with Fenn, I think that maybe I made a mistake. The urge to roll back the clock and pull a Dallas appears. “See everyone? It was just a dream. Let’s pretend none of that happened, okay?”
I thought long and hard on that decision, though, and with Claire’s feedback every step of the way. She didn’t want Libby to die, but she supported me whatever my decision. In the end, I chose the dramatic. I had a story in my head that wanted to come out, unpleasant as it might be. Should I have quietly shelved the idea and given it the happily ever after we all want for ourselves but so rarely grant our characters? I still don’t know if it was the right thing to do.
One thing is certain, though. With Libby’s death, Claire’s character-a sweet, shy, nerdy guy with more to offer than he’ll ever know-will be free to find someone new, someone he won’t have to hide, someone who can commit to a more full-time presence than I could ever offer on my neglected druid. That character has yet to appear, leaving Fenn holding the bag. But I know it’s only temporary. Things will get better for Fenn. How do I know? Because Fenn, like his player, is amazing and it’s only a matter of time before good things find him.
It had been three days since Fenniel last saw Libby. Every day that went by created an empty pit in his stomach.
Where did she go, and why isn’t she answering her stone? Did something happen to her? Did she forget how to turn into a bird, and fall down the cliffs? Is she stuck waiting for my help?
He’d searched the entirety of Feralas several times a day since she hadn’t returned, hoping to find a sign of her. A single thought kept nagging at him, in the back of his mind.
What if she realized I’m not worth it, and left me?
He shambled into Camp Mojache on his way to work, a total mess. He hadn’t slept or bathed in days, and his hair hung in his face, tangled and frizzy.
“Elf!” A large tauren male in the robes of a druid elder flagged him down. Fenniel turned towards the voice, and made his slow way over.
“Elf, you are the one that lives with a tauren woman, yes?”
Fenn nodded anxiously. “Yes. She’s short, has black fur, and long braids.” Fenn panto-mimed Libby’s nervous braid-pulling motion. “She’s been missing. Have you seen her? Did she leave a letter for me?”
The tauren frowned. “Rainsinger Libby.”
Fenniel nodded again. “Yes. Have you seen her?”
He put a heavy and warm hand on Fenn’s shoulder. “Elf, the druid was found dead yesterday, in Desolace.”
Fenniel smiled awkwardly. “What…no…that’s…that’s a terrible joke.” A nervous laugh escaped him. “Why would you say that? That’s a terrible joke.”
“It is no joke. She appears to have been the victim of a warlock ritual, and her body was found by the Tauren of Desolace. Her spirit has gone to the Earthmother. Is there a member of your tribe that we can contact for you?”
“My family…I…” Fenn’s eyebrows knitted together, his face turned a vivid shade of pea green, and he leaned over and threw up on the ground in front of him, barely missing the tauren’s hooves.
A heavy sigh escaped the Elder’s lips. “Let’s sit you down. I’ll have an herbalist make you some tea.”
His arms clutched around his middle. “No, no, no. I want to see her.”
“Her body will be burned tonight, on a ritual pyre. I know you may think you want to see her now, but given the circumstances it’s best you don’t. Leave this to the Shu’halo.”
His legs went out from under him, and he sat down heavily on the ground. “No. You’re wrong. It’s not her.” Tears started streaming down his face.
“I am sorry, Elf. The body has been identified by a member of her tribe. The woman is gone.”
“I need Aedoren.” He choked out the words between sobs.
The tauren knelt down on the ground in front of Fenn, avoiding the vomit puddle. “Is that a member of your tribe? Where does this Ay-do-ren live? We will help you get to them.”
“I can’t do this.”
“Let me help, Elf.”
“Please say it’s not true.” Fenn flung his glasses off, letting them skitter across the dirt, and wiped at his eyes.
“I wish it wasn’t, just as much as you, Elf. This is a terrible offense against our people.”
“NO.” Fenn looked back up at the tauren. “You don’t understand.” His words dissolved into heavy sobs again.
The Elder’s voice was quiet, and calm. He put his hand on Fenn’s shoulder again, attempting to steady him. “Who is this Ay-do-ren? Let me take you to them. Take a deep breath.”
Fenniel gulped in air, his body shuddering with the force of his sobs. “Aedoren is m-m-my sister.”
“Good. Where does your sister live?”
His shoulders shook. “S-silvermoon city.”
The tauren nodded. “I will contact an emissary of your city, and we will get you to your sister as soon as possible. Where did you and the druid live?”
“On the coast, in the cliffs. She found it when she – when she – when she turned into a bird.” Fenn started sobbing anew.
“I understand, Elf. Does your sister have a surname, in the custom of your people?”
“It’s D-dusksinger. Dusksinger.”
The tauren picked up Fenn’s glasses and handed them back to him. “Come inside with me, Elf. Everything will be alright. Just come inside with me.”