01 April 2011

Syn has the Better Story 4...

Syndalee: Part Three (A Work in Progress by Ruth Hinman... all rights reserved)
Home: Stormwind

Syn sat cross-legged on the parapet overlooking the bustling city and smiled when she caught sight of Fionna hurrying her way.
“Fi!” She called down and then waved. Once she’d been seen, Syn hurried back inside to race down the stairs. “I need you to help me. You’re the only one I know who might be able to help me. I’ve got to get to Stormwind and not have anyone know I’ve gone.”
The little mage looked at her pale friend and laid a hand on her arm. “Are you unwell?”
“I need a specialist there.” She said, the half lie lingering in her mind as a terrible betrayal.
“I can make you a portal. Do you need me to come with you? You’ve been so pale and tired since we got back from Icecrown.”
Syn shook her head. “Trust me, I can do this. I just can’t have Myrrdinn clinging and worrying. Not right now.”
Fionna studied the woman warrior and a knowing light shone in her eyes as she cast the portal. “That specialist might not be a lovely blonde haired mage called Alanna, would it?”
Syn blushed. “Please, please, don’t say anything yet.”
“In a million years I’d never take that one gift from a man.” She smiled up at her friend. “I hope Alanna can help you.”
And Syn was through the portal and studied her surroundings and then collapsed and vomited up the tea and toast she’d just had for breakfast. “Goddess, please let this be what I want it to be and not some terrible side effect of being in that horrid place.”
“Oh my, are you alright?” The young man leaned over her and she gagged, shaking her head. “Let me go and get you some help.”
“No.” She reached for him and took his hand to bring herself back to her feet. “No, I just need to get to Alanna’s tailoring shop. It’s around the corner from here.”
“I know the place. I was just going there to get a new shirt. She makes the best silk shirts anywhere.”
Syn studied the blonde haired young man closely and smiled. “She can make you one that’s Stormwind blue. I have one.”
He eyed her suspiciously, the gown she wore didn’t strike him as all that grand. “I’m not always dressed in dresses.” She laughed. “This one is the one I wear when I’m making potions that might bubble and stain. It’s a work dress. Trust me, no one else in the city can make you a silk shirt that feels like air when you put it on and that is also city certified Stormwind blue.”
Syn waited miserably on the steps outside the shop while the young man went inside to have a look for himself at the color Syn had suggested for him and then was scooped up by her worried friend when he’d told the lovely and perpetually pregnant mage about her sick visitor.
“Syndalee, what is it honey? You look terrible…”
“And you’re pregnant again!” Syn laid her hands on her friend’s enormous belly and smiled up at her. “Ready to have more so soon?”
“So few mages ever have children, I guess me and Jonahs have decided to populate for all our friends. Syn, oh my gosh, honey you look green.” She turned her friend over the side of the stoop and held her hair while she retched, as only a true friend could ever do. “Matthew, go get mommy a wet cloth please. The one I use when you scrape your knee.” And the boy of perhaps 5 or 6, Syn couldn’t properly remember, raced away into the back of the shop.
“I’m hoping this is the starting place to having my own baby, actually.” She admitted to her friend who cheered out loud and thanked her son a bit distractedly. “When was your last flow?”
“That’s the thing. I don’t have them. Not since Outlands when that old woman told me I’d killed the Goddess in myself by living as a man would live.”
“Oh that nasty old spiteful thing, Syn, there’s no such thing.” But she studied her friend’s pale face and nodded. “And that’s just fine. I have just the proper old witch to take you to.” She turned to her children and called them to her. “Matthew, go and send a message to your father that he has to come and collect you all now from Madame Pirelli’s shops.” And with a little organizing and Syn with an armload of squirming 2 year old boy, they made their way around the corner and down the hill, meeting up with the fast legged Matthew at Madame Pirelli’s shop, where the mage was already closing up and preparing for an afternoon with her favorite adopted zoo.
She eyed Syn knowingly and smiled when the girl blushed. “So maybe I get to babysit for you too?”
Syn promised that yes, the woman who was one of her favorites in Stormwind would certainly have her fill of any baby that her body might produce.
“I haven’t had a flow in a really long time.” She said for the third time.
“That can sometimes happen when you take herbs to staunch your flow or fertility. You’ve been so active as a warrior and grieving and other things that also seem to affect it. From what Alanna says though you’ve been happily married and doing less fighting recently. Perhaps you’d have started again if you weren’t already pregnant?”
Syn glowed at the word and her hands closed over her still flat belly. “How long do you think?”
“You’d have to tell me very personal things about a man I’m very jealous you managed to land, girlie.” The mage teased and then pressed her fingers to Syn’s belly again, pressing her back onto the bed gently and feeling more completely. “Wow, hon, I’d swear it was more than two months. Closer to three. You’re nearly a third of the way there from the size of your womb, or you might have more than one. I can only do enchantments to find out what the stars might suggest, I have no way to actually tell you.”
Syn sat up and hugged the woman tightly. “I have a lot of embarrassing questions to ask. Would you feel more comfortable if I asked them of Alanna?”
“I can answer them without you needing to say them. No, making love to your husband cannot hurt you or the baby. No, it’s a myth that certain foods will give you certain traits in your offspring, honestly, take care of your body and it will take care of the baby. Umm… yes, you can still do most everything you’ve ever done, though I might recommend against taking long rides on horses or boats and I’d definitely recommend that you stop the whole fighting thing for a bit. Where was I? Oh, you’re nauseated because the baby is growing more quickly than you’re eating and taking care of yourself, so your body is actually undernourished. Use herbal remedies for energy and for health and they’ll help, but also drink that lovely Draenic tea because it’s a perfect food. Oh, and Syndalee?”
Syn laughed, her mind reeling trying to remember everything she’d been told.
“Be gentle on him. A baby is the one thing he’s always wanted. You’ve never seen him with other people’s babies. He wants so badly to be a father that he begged me once to let him know if there were any children who needed to be adopted. And if you tell him I told you that I’ll tell him you’re lying.”
Syndalee lay in bed beside him, his seed still swimming in her belly and slicking her thighs and she shivered a little in worry.
“What’s on your mind, my love?” Myrrdinn rolled to caress the fullness of her breasts and smiled when the nipples tightened and invited more touching.
“Good I hope. That was an incredible moment we just shared.” He tickled her side and she laughed, rolling towards him and wrapping her thigh and her arm around him instinctively.
“I don’t know why I’m suddenly shy.” Syn laid her fingertip over his lips when he would have teased her again and he rose up onto his elbow, eyes glinting in the low light that always filtered through the window of their high apartment in Dalaran. “Did you mean it when you said you wanted to have a family and give up this life of going from one fight to the next?”
“I’ve never meant anything more.” He said. “Well, and that I love you more than life itself. What’s on your mind, Syn?”
“You remember I said that I’d not had a flow since Outlands? That an old woman told me that I’d ruined my fertility by acting like a man?” At his gruff nod she laughed and removed her fingers from his lips again. “Well, maybe she was right and maybe she was wrong and maybe I’m just the luckiest woman in the world. Myrrdinn, I confirmed today in Stormwind that I’m going to have your child.”
He was silent for a long moment before his whole body seemed to surge with energy that startled her. “A father? You’re going to have my baby?” She nodded and he laughed and gathered her so close that she could barely breathe and then released her suddenly afraid to squash her. “When?”
“My midwife estimated it would be very near your birthday.”
“How do you remember when my birthday is? Do I remember when my…? A baby. Syn, we just… maybe we shouldn’t…” He leapt from the bed.
She sat up and pulled him down onto the bed with her again. “Let me tell you what I know about this so far, ok? I can make love to you in any way any time as often as I want to and we can’t hurt the baby or me if we’re not trying to. I can eat what I enjoy and not worry overly about what traits certain foods will give an unborn child. There is nothing that can determine the sex or health of a baby before it’s born, no matter who is selling the test. I need to stay active and buy a load of that wonderful tea that Grugworg and the shamans all drink. Oh, and I need to stop fighting for awhile. None. Not even to defend myself. The midwife thinks that I might have stopped my flow by overexerting my body before and taxing it with a poor diet and too much hard activity.”
“Already planning me an army like Alanna’s then, my sweet?” He leaned and kissed her so tenderly and deeply that she groaned and dragged him back down to her, closing around him as he expertly slipped inside her.
“With you forever, one at a time until there are no more.” She promised and rose into him as he plunged deeply.
After, she teased the curly hairs on his chest and smiled into his still shining eyes.
“Yes, my love? You’ve just made me the happiest man in all of Azeroth. I can’t imagine what you might say that would be anything nearly as amazing as what you said before.”
She laughed and laid her head on his chest, listening to his heart and breathing in the smell of him. “I was just thinking if we want a wedding for our friends we might do well to do it sooner than later so no one thinks we only did it because I’m pregnant.”
A thrill shot through him and he laughed. “Say it again.”
She loved him so much that she rolled to cover him and kissed a different part of his face with every time she repeated the words until he shivered and begged her to finish him or roll away.
Later, with the sun rising outside and her body coiled into his warmth with the open window over the bed bathing them in the sweet smell of the flowers that bloomed perpetually in Dalaran, Myrrdinn caressed her bare shoulder and thought about the date she’d been given for the baby’s birth.
Syn had fallen pregnant the first night he’d been with her, or so soon after that it didn’t matter. If the midwife was right, and he suspected he knew the beautiful dark haired midwife who would have been the first sought by his beautiful wife and her always beautifully pregnant seamstress of a best friend. And if it were that midwife then that midwife would be right without a doubt, Syn had become pregnant that first night when he’d begged the gods with his whole heart and soul and released into her that she would be forever his and that she would truly belong to him and be marked forever in the universe that they’d answered his prayer and planted his seed in her womb to grow.
“No wonder you were so cold in Icecrown, my love.” He kissed her face as he settled in to sleep at last and dreamed dreams of the absolutely mundane bliss of playing with a child on the stoop of a tiny house in the country outside of Stormwind where he could just be a father and a man and care for his family without being called away.
“What in the world could they be summoning me for, Myrr?” Syn laid the beautiful gilt invitation on the small table just inside of the door and stepped out onto the stoop, bending carefully to pick up a basket of warm bread and sweet rolls that she’d forgotten upon seeing the official invitation on the door.
“I think I have an idea, love, and it’ll be good news.”
“They’ve already awarded us for our meritorious service to the King, and given us our stipends and land grants. I can’t imagine…?” She could see that he was waiting to speak and stopped. “And you know something else.” She said at last.
“Do you know that your mother and father were the first mages to explore the Citadel?” Syn’s blank face told him that she had not and that she was still holding her tongue. “Well, apparently they had much more to leave their daughter than just some journals and treasures that would only really be treasured by an orphan child or another mage.”
“What kind of more?”
“I’m not sure, but more and enough of it that it’s been in safekeeping by agents of the crown who somehow didn’t know that you were that child until the day we stormed the Citadel.”
“Myrr?” She sat heavily on the bench under the lovely window that her gloriously retired husband had built with a saw and nails and laborious cursing because magic was not something to be used in the building of his retirement home.
He laughed aloud and joined her against the warm window full of flowers. “Easy, my love. Easy.” The mage had never known a heartier pregnant woman in his whole life, and he’d sometimes gone out of his way to know quite a few in the past few years, and his wife was positively pale and wan.
“Why would Varian’s advisor be ordering me to the castle if it were good news?”
He shrugged. “I’ll accompany you, my dear and if we have to then we’ll fight our way out the old fashioned way.”
“And what way is that, precisely?” She laughed when he raised his fists and winked. “Oh, I see, and I’ll throw specially made potion on them that burns them and leaves the palace whole?”
“Precisely. Do you need to get dressed and ready or should we head out now?”
The image of Stormwind all abustle and teaming with so many different people from so many different places brought a smile to her face and she rose, crossing to check herself in the mirror on the wardrobe. “I need to dress, I think. I’ll be right back.”
“You can’t hide being pregnant, my dear. That’s not something even magic can do.” He teased when she stuck her tongue out at him on her way up the stairs and he groaned in peaceful joy. Three months of this bliss so that his tiny little wife had just begun to really show that his love grew in her, and so that her entire wardrobe was changing slowly to less extravagant delightfully frivolous gowns and was becoming more serviceable and roomy.
If he’d been pressed he would have to admit that he was so admiring of her expanding middle and her beautiful glowing aura that even if she never recovered her figure or was marked in the middle from growing too big too quickly, he would be hard bent not to ravish her at any moment that she stuck her tongue out at him that way or whispered his name the way she always did as she drifted off to sleep.
Good to her word, Syn was back down and dressed for the city in a lovely blue gown with soft neck and sleeves. She’d allowed her hair to grow again and already it was teasing her collarbones and tickling in little bouncing curls around her neck, glowing fire red in the sunlight as he’d remembered her hair used to do when she’d still been at the academy.
“And a little cheat saves my wife time on dreaded horseback.” He winked and closed her in his arms before casting the spell that would call them a portal.
“Horses are so ungraceful when compared to griffins, that’s all.” She laughed and stepped through the portal with a shiver. The baby shifted in her womb suddenly very active and she laid her hands on her rising belly and spoke to the child in soothing sounds that were really only gibberish except for the syllable “Jules.” Already they’d decided that their first born would be Julian or Julienne, depending on its sex and so both of them referred to their unborn offspring as Jules.
“I’m telling you I’m going to have a mage.” Syn gasped when the babe finally resettled and she could move without the distraction of another human swimming circles in her middle.
“Every time.” Myrr said and laid a hand on his wife’s middle. The baby was still moving quite a bit and Myrr smiled proudly. “I’m worried it’s distress not excitement. Should we hire a ride back home?”
“We’ve been told at least a half dozen times that the portal doesn’t hurt babies in the womb. Pregnant mages have used them to excess. This is something unique to Jules and I’m alright to accept that.” She shrugged. “We can over think a thing, you know. The pair of us think too much, I think.”
He huffed and took her arm as they strolled down the lane at a leisurely pace towards the trade district and then across the bridge to the old town where Syn wanted to stop to say hello to an old friend who was accepting a post at the school.
“Sweets!” The warrior raced forward and his face expanded from grinning to outright beaming at the sight of his little friends’ rounded belly. “Oh, Sweets! Well done! How soon?” He reached, as everyone did, for the half melon under her dress and Syn laughed. “Men amaze me. About three months time, in that area anyway.”
“Oooh, please let me know so I can come out. Oh, Syn, that’s just amazing.” He hugged her and nodded his approval at Myrrdinn who also beamed.
“You’d think a woman never had a baby the way you all treat me.” She poked him and looked around the quad with a broad smile of her own. “I love what you’ve done with this place. It’s more like it was when we were in school.”
“Well, I think we don’t need the dummies as much as we need each other, and so this way there’s room for more partners to duel.”
“I learned so much from you Morgan. Do you remember how long it took me to understand the weight and balance of a staff?” She blushed. The one weapon she’d become so obsessed with that she’d carried it in place of her bladed weapons to force herself to overcome her deficit.
“Well, I still can’t throw worth a damn, even though you lent me those beautiful stars of yours.” He shrugged and invited them to join him in his rooms for a cup of tea.
They visited for a long while and if Syn were slightly quieter being in the room where she’d spent so many stolen hours making love to her own instructor, neither of the men seemed to notice or mind. And when they were saying their goodbyes Syn had drawn Morgan a map to their home.
“While it’s really more customary for mages to gather in sitting rooms and warriors to gather in the bars and inns, I’d like to start a new tradition of bringing all of my friends into my parlor, the clanky ones and the dress wearing ones.”
“I’ll second that motion.” Myrrdinn said with a laugh and shook Morgan’s hand. “Come by when they give you furlough. I have 2 extra rooms until we can fill them with friends or family.”
“I’ll do that, Sweets and Myrr. Believe me. I miss you both and it’s only been a few weeks.”
Syn nodded and understood. She missed it so much that she was keeping herself in shape with the long fluid exercises she’d learned from a night elf druid who insisted it would keep her warrior body honed and would never harm the baby. “Come stay with us. You’ll be surprised that Myrrdinn is such a good cook.”
“Man of his age a bachelor for so long, I’d be surprised if he hadn’t.”
“Does that mean that you’re also an accomplished chef, Morgan?”
“Absolutely.” The man shrugged. “I’m young yet. And there’s a lovely girl at the armorer’s down the road here that just lights up the whole place when she goes for a stroll.”
Syn winked at the man and laughed aloud when he sighed. “She’s terribly shy, though.”
“Oh the shy ones are the best.” She nodded for him. “They give you time to think what the hell to say.”
Myrrdinn studied his wife as they walked away, almost accidentally in the direction he’d indicated.
“What are you doing, wife?”
“Snooping. You don’t have to join me.”
“I’d just have done it myself later anyway.” He admitted and they entered the leatherworker’s shop and Syn closed her eyes and breathed deeply the smells of tanned hides and smiled broadly.
“May I help you, mayam?” Sweet faced, broad smile with lots of teeth, and the most brilliant blue eyes that Myrrdinn had ever seen. She was just the sort of girl that a man like Morgan would fancy, he thought to himself.
“Actually, you just might be able to.” And for half an hour the two women lingered over a drawing board in the back while Myrrdinn watched a young man of maybe 15 working a belt.
“I’m sure I can do it, Syn. Please, stop back in a few days and we’ll see if it will fit you.” She extended her hand to Myrrdinn shyly and her eyes lowered a bit. “I’m Emilee, sir. Congratulations on your upcoming event.”
“It’s my pleasure to meet you, Emilee. And thank you. I’m quite stupid excited about it myself.” The girl’s eyes flickered up to his and she smiled when she met sincere happiness in them.
“In a few days, at most. I want to see if I can make a sling for a baby. I’d never have thought of it and it seems a really brilliant concept.”
“I’ll be back. I see my midwife at the start of next week, is that too long for you to wait?”
“That will be perfect. Thank you, Syn, for giving me such an amazing idea.”
“No, Emilee. Thank YOU for not laughing me out of the shop. Sometimes people think my ideas are a little strange.”
The young man turned, an ugly gash scarred him from eye to neck and made his face look like he was always smiling on one side. Until he smiled, and then the light of his brilliant blue eyes was so awing that Myrrdinn’s heart jumped at the boy’s beauty. “I’m just sitting here thinking how convenient a sling to hold the baby would be for just about everyone, I think it’s really clever.”
“This is my brother Alan.” Emilee said proudly. “It’s just the two of us here in the shop, and he’ll never steal your idea.”
Syn laughed and laid her hand on the young mans shoulder before leaning in to whisper into his ear, “Make her steal it, Alan. I didn’t share it with her because I plan on marketing it. I asked her to make it and now the pair of you can perfect the idea.”
And then they were gone as the young man chided his sister and she playfully rebuffed him.
“There’s a long story there.” Myrrdinn whispered as they exited the old town and made the short walk up to the main entrance of the palace.
“A few, I’d guess. Oh I hope she fancies Morgan. What a really beautiful girl.” One of the guards eyed the familiar faces and asked for credientials. The keep was on alert and Syn frowned over her shoulder at Myrrdinn as she presented the guard with her papers and invitation.
“Oh, Syndalee.” The guard snapped to salute and blushed under his helm. “Forgive me, mayam. I’m not accustomed to seeing you so, civilian.”
She laughed and bowed to him. “If I can have my way then I can be a guest instructor at the academy and never have to see battle again.”
He nodded and smiled broadly at Myrrdinn. “Congratulations, man. How soon will you be a dad?”
Syn rolled her eyes and strolled slowly up the grand hallway, loving the sound of the plate boots on the tiles and missing it a bit as her soft leather soled slippers padded silently. Her hands were damp and chilled and a feeling of dread kept trying to squirm into her belly, which was causing Jules to shift and flutter in her middle, doing nothing to help her ease her mind.
Myrrdinn bounded up the hallway and joined his wife, the picture of married bliss. It had only taken the better part of a lifetime to be finally where he’d wanted to be since he’d been a young man just setting out. He knew he’d become the embodiment of Syn’s playful threat to make him younger, and it thrilled him.
“How much?” Syn gasped again when the smiling mage repeated the figures from the book. “Forgive me.” She rose and crossed the room quickly, stepping out onto the balcony where she leaned, breathing heavily of the fresh cool air that blew in from the tree-lined side of the keep. They were miraculously and entirely independently wealthy. There were townships all over the world that had not even a small portion of the wealth her parents had apparently amassed in service to King Wrynn.
She paced a few steps back and forth and dried her palms on the front of her dress nervously before returning to the room where the pair of men waited silently and patiently with her husband.
Anger gripped her and she clenched her fists in her skirts, trying to overcome the hurtful emotion and finding that it only forced it to well into tears and she gave a startling cry that resembled a battle cry.
“Syn?” Myrr started to rise and the anger in her melted to agonizing hurt right before his eyes and he raced to catch her in his arms as she burst into sobs and raised her fists against his chest, clenching his robes and shuddering all over as she cried.
“How could they just die, Myrrdinn? How could they leave me all alone and never think to my future?”
The older magus understood and rose from his place at the table. “Syndalee, I’m afraid there’s more on that issue. It would seem that they did, in fact, see to your future and had strictly guarded your wellbeing and that the person they named as your protector was never given word.”
Syn raised her tear-stained face from Myrrdinn’s robes, sniffing miserably and then accepting a lovely lacy handkerchief from the other mage.
“What do you mean?”
The mage withdrew a missive from his pocket and handed it to her. “That was in a box on a desk in my old friend’s study. His sister found it some years ago and didn’t understand it, so she stored it with other belongings that went to a library and a young magus brought it to my attention and I started trying to piece this whole puzzle together.”
Syn opened the unsealed letter and her heart pounded and Jules shifted like a flight of butterflies in her belly and she hiccupped with unspent emotion. “Myrrdinn, you’ll want to see this.” She handed him the letter. “Weren’t you apprenticed to Lord Pallis?”
“I was.” He scanned the note and his brows furrowed. “You’d have grown up with me.” He laughed.
“I was too far behind you.” She whispered and turned to the other mage. “So why…?”
“He died, Syn. He drowned in an experiment. Almost the same day that your parents did.” The older man answered for Myrrdinn. “The Gods work in mysterious ways, girl. He’d agreed to take you as his ward in the event that anything should happen on what was supposed to be your parent’s last mission for a few years.”
Syn looked at Myrrdinn and he could feel her meaning. “They’d retired?” He voiced. “And were recalled?”
“I think perhaps I hold the answer to this part of that mystery.” The young advisor rose and joined the trio in the center of the room where a breeze still blew in from outside and smelled powerfully of fruit blossoms from the orchard. “Syndalee, your parents couldn’t resist when it was decided that a special party be formed when the location of the Citadel was discovered. At first only your mother was going to go, because of her specialty with potions. And then only your father was going to go, because his diplomacy and excellence in languages was unsurpassed. Finally the pair of them couldn’t let the other go alone and unprotected, and so they went together and took every precaution they could think of for what they believed was two weeks away.”
Again Myrrdinn met his wife’s eyes and felt her pain and also her pride. “I’ll never really be able to put the picture of them together in my mind.” She said at last. “Every time I think I have them formed in my heart and mind they become something new and different. I always knew they were heroes, lives given in service to the crown. I never knew they’d distinguished themselves so thoroughly.”
“I think you undercut your own merits, girl.” The old man laid his hand on her shoulder and waited for her brilliant green eyes to light on his own pale blue ones. “See, they died on a first exploration of a place that you shut down for good.”
Syn was still unsure what had been told to the others who had not been in the Citadel on the hideous and beautiful day when Arthas Menethil had indeed been put to rest. She didn’t correct the man and felt Myrrdinn’s tense agreement with her silence.
“Well, it’s a simple thing to go where many have been before and fight your way through. It’s a whole other thing to be brave enough to risk everything and go ahead as the first.” She sighed heavily and reached to embrace the old mage. “How in the world was I lost, then? The greatest pair of mages in the world and their child is lost in a shuffle of papers like a half-thought spell or recipe?”
“That, I think, is precisely the way it happened.” The advisor said with a sad shake of his head. “Mages are different, Syn. Surely you of all of us know that best. Eccentric and lively and sometimes quite… self centered. I think perhaps a thought occurred that they’d forgotten to see to you? Or that they’d already entrusted you to someone else? I don’t really know and it doesn’t really matter in the end. The outcome would be the same even if there were really anyone culpable in the whole thing, which I sincerely doubt there is.”
“As do I.” She whispered and her fingers stroked her throat, feeling warnings of the swelling in her vocal cords that always signaled another bout of horrible laryngitis. “So this unbelievable amount of gold that my parent’s stored away for me… is it all in Dalaran or…?”
“It’s been here in Stormwind the whole time. That may be a contributing factor to the fact that it wasn’t known about. See, Syn, your mother was titled before she was married. Lady and master, remember? Her family money was always here and she must have just preferred banking where she was known. She’d been alone for five years before she married your father, her whole family killed in an attack by Orc’s while on holiday in Outlands. She was also their only ever mage. In generations they’d only been warriors and civilians.”
Syn smiled at this thought. “And my father?”
“A relative unknown until he was discovered in Dalaran for being such an incredibly gifted mage. There was no school of magic he couldn’t master and no ability that he couldn’t perfect and alter to his own mind. You can be proud to call him your father, girl. Proud and a little fearful. If his genes flow in that babe in your womb, and manage to mingle with those of its father?” The old man laughed and raised his eyebrows as if to say BOOM.
Syn caressed her belly. “Then I can only pray that the former teachers of Dalaran can all be found because any child of mine will have only the finest teachers and greatest opportunities.” She laughed then at their stunned faces. “Afterall, I’m quite suddenly more than set for life.”
They all laughed and lingered for a few moments over the finer details before Syn excused herself to go home and turned to the pair of them before stepping through the portal her husband summoned almost in unison to her announcement. “I want everything that can be found of them collected. Are there people here that I could pay for their time, or any that you could recommend who are independently employed?”
The pair exchanged knowing glances and the advisor nodded with a smile. “I’d planned to send her to you tomorrow at your home. A woman who says she’s actually been briefly aquainted with you, a Shaman called Gozier? She helped us with some of this research and when she recognized you in the details asked permission to help you continue your research if you were so inclined.”
“She will always be welcome in my home, and thank you. I apologize for my lapse of control.”
The men seemed to have already dismissed it and so both simply nodded and waved goodbye. Once the pair were well and truly through the portal the advisor looked at the mage and heaved a sigh of relief. “Do you really think she’ll settle for the gold and not request a return to her title?”
“I think she seemed aware of a title and wasn’t interested in it. Varian said to give her anything and everything she requested. She is, afterall, one of the very select few who stormed the Citadel and lived to tell about it.”
“Gozier will tell her about it anyway.”
“Perhaps. That Draenei is an interesting journey all on her own.” The mage laughed and shook his gray haired head. “Syndalee and Myrrdinn are already titled in their own right, and took small parcels of land in Elwynn as their prize. I sincerely doubt that either of them has any interest in a collapsing keep in a haunted land.”
Syn lay in bed and moaned in absolute abandon. “Oh Goddess, Myrrdinn, wherever did you learn to do that?”
He laughed and lowered her leg back to the bed, dipping his hands in the bowl of oil on the bedstand before lifting her other leg and slowly massaging it into the flesh of her aching limb. “From my first woman friend, actually. She insisted that any of her partners learn the fine art of massage. I think the idea was that if one could resist her charms for long enough to carefully and completely massage her whole body then he could also resist reaching the finish point until she could join him.”
Syn blushed and nodded. “A very wise teacher, then. I owe her my very warmest thanks.”
“I think she’d love you, actually.” He laughed suddenly and looked down at her surprised face. “You’re quite a lot like her. More I think than I’d really thought about until now. Lady Sylvianna of Darnassus would probably invite you to stay forever, in fact.”
“Sylvianna the warrior?”
“Sylvianna the very much retired for a million years warrior, yeah.” He laughed. “We joke about me being so much older than you are, and she had me by so many many years that I was daunted.”
He laughed and dipped his hands in the light oil before working his way gently up over her ripening belly, circling and poking back when Jules perfect footprint appeared on his wife’s taut stomach.
“I think we’re getting close, love. I can count toes now.”
She smiled and reached for him and frowned a little when he stubbornly continued their nightly ritual, something he’d suggested a couple of months before and had not missed once, at least in part. Syn suspected he enjoyed it as much for having her entirely naked and swollen with his child before his eyes as he did for the few moments of dedicated and totally devoted service to the love of his life, as he called it himself.
“Alanna guesses next week.” She said and laid her hand over his as he lingered over the baby who kept pressing back against his gently pushing palm. “Some moments I can’t wait and others I’m willing to continue this way forever. I’m afraid, Myrrdinn, sometimes.”
He shushed her and leaned to lay a kiss on her lovely lips. “We’ll figure this thing out, my love. I’ve done lots of this stuff for other people. It’s a little daunting to do it for my own child, I’ll admit.”
She wrapped her arms around his neck and drew him down onto the bed, rolling onto her side and lifting her thigh up high over his hip. “Yes, and you’ll be the perfect father, Myrrdinn my love.”
He moaned and slid into his wife’s body with a low growl and drew her as close as Jules permitted and moaned her name over and over as she clung to him.
Julian Daniel, named for his father’s parents, lay beside his mother in the bed and pushed up on his elbows to better see his little brother.
“No, Julian. He’s not old enough to play with you yet, darling.” Syn smiled at her sons and reached for the older one who had her eyes and his father’s dark hair. He had also, just as was predicted, been so powerfully magical since birth that he had his father contantly consulting texts and tomes and other magus for ways to curtail the headstrong little man. Only 10 months of age and already able to bring whatever he desired to his crib, including one surprising night when he’d brought his mother to his bedside while she’d been sound asleep.
Myrrdinn frowned and lifted the dark haired boy into his arms to turn him and look at him. “I know you understand me, Jules, and it’s important you let your brother get big enough to play with you himself.”
The baby boy looked seriously down at the newborn in his mother’s arms and then back at his father and smiled. “Play?”
“I would love to.” Myrrdinn laughed and Syn smiled up at him, waving with one arm as her day old second son nursed at her breast heartily.
This second pregnancy had been miraculously less stressful on her body until the child’s birth when she’d screamed for so long that they’d had to teleport an inconsolable Julian with his Grandpa Grugworg, to the capital city for some visiting time with friends. The baby boy, called Nicoli, was at birth as large as his older brother had been at almost three months old and Syn’s little body had struggled mightily to give him birth until at last the shaman Gozier had broken free from the mages and warriors and common people of the town and raced up the stairs, taking command and raising the girl onto her feet, even though the midwife protested.
“Learn something, human.” The Draenei had eased Syn’s arm over her shoulder and then climbed into the bed with her to bring the girl’s other arm up over her shoulder and make eye contact with her. “Syndalee, look at me. That’s a girl.” And then to the midwife she said, “Think, woman. These hips and a beast the size of Grugworg? Besides…” Suddenly a quad of totemic beacons appeared around the bed, “Even if this baby tries to fight his way out, we’ve got all the healing we need here now. Cast me some light and make us some water. She still needs you.”
The mage midwife sprang to stunned activity then, conjuring water and bathing Syn’s sweating face. The baby’s head was just too large for the canal, she could see, and made frightened eye contact with the Shaman who nodded. “For Argas, then.” She stepped back and let the mage take her place and then climbed down and around the humans with such catlike grace that even Syn was impressed, as distracted and exhausted as she was after twelve hard hours of trying to push the baby from her body and failing to get even his head out.
“Syn, my love, I have to be a little personal for a moment.” Gozier kissed her friends’ cheek and felt the fever the girl possessed. “Trust me. Soon. So soon you’ll forget about this indignity in your relief.”
The shaman vanished downstairs and returned with a bottle from Syn’s own alchemy supplies, winking at the girl as she poured the light pink oil over her hands and then climbed back onto the bed behind Syn’s trembling and overly hot body.
Gozier knelt behind Syn and reached around so that her arms were around the shaking woman’s hips, bringing her fingers to the woman’s sex as gently as she could and slipped a narrow finger covered in the massage oil between the baby’s massive skull and his mother’s own pelvis, moving in slow gentle circles one side and then the next, always murmuring in her own tongue against Syn’s shoulder until it became nearly erotic and the weary warrior let her head fall back on Gozier’s shoulder.
The Draenei shrugged that shoulder. “Wake up, darling. Wake. No sleeping yet. I know the pain is drifting away and that you’re tired.” The Shaman’s voice was calm and soothing but the mage could see and feel the woman’s real fear. If the warrior was tired then the fight was nearly gone from her and they’d lose them both.
“Syndalee, get this baby out now, do you hear me?”
“He just isn’t ready yet.” Syn had whispered and shrugged, moaning low and deep in the pain of another contraction that trapped Gozier’s finger against the baby’s skull so painfully that the Shaman hissed and made an oath.
“Oh, that should be his middle name.” Syn teased the other woman and the moment seemed to revive her just a bit. She gave a mighty push and felt Gozier’s hands circling over her belly and pressing in towards her spine.
“So close.” Myrrdinn’s weary voice whispered from where he knelt on the floor.
“What in the world are YOU doing in here?” Gozier hissed and nodded to the door. “You needn’t see the work involved in bringing you a son.”
“Please.” Syn nearly sobbed and reached for her husband over the midwife’s shoulder. “Please stay. Goddess, Myrr, I can’t feel my legs and I keep pushing and pushing and he just wont…”
When the contraction passed Gozier gestured to the bottle on the side of the bed. “If you’re staying, pour it on my hands. Hurry. Another will be along soon. She’s nearly got this thing done.” She nodded her thanks and Myrrdinn watched in amazed silence as the woman began again to apply the oil around the baby’s head and stretch Syn open wider and he understood. With the gravity of the world pulling the weight of the baby down his exhausted wife could bear down and be supported by the other women.
When Gozier massaged in circles and pressed the baby in and down Myrrdinn was more grateful than any man could be that one of their many friends was a totem toting narrow hipped demon goddess of a woman from another planet. Syn gave a mighty growl and cried out hoarsely and he watched as his second child’s head met Gozier’s waiting palm and then nearly cried out in alarm when, without even looking, the Shaman pressed the baby’s head hard to the side and a shoulder appeared and his wife sighed in relief as the babe slipped with a slurp and then a sudden wailing into Gozier’s waiting hands.
The Draenei looked up at the mage. “Hold your wife now, keep her up for a few more minutes if you can. Let the midwife do her job.”
And Myrrdinn’s robes hit the wooden floor and he knelt in front of his delirious wife, supporting her as the women worked below to staunch the blood and deliver the afterbirth and do all of the things that were done when a child was born. And he kissed her cheeks and felt how hot she was with alarm. He caught Gozier’s eyes and she nodded.
“We call it birthing fever. It usually passes by morning.” She gestured idly with one hand and two of the totems changed shape and color. “These should help you, Syn. Have a lie down, darling. And meet the boy who caused you so much hardship.”
And Syn took her baby boy in her arms and kissed his head. “Nicoli Frenzy.” She’d christened him and then feinted so quickly that if her husband had not been there to catch their baby, the child would have tumbled to the bedding below.
“She very nearly died up here.” Gozier was nearly accusing of the midwife who was pale and nodded agreement. “I had no idea it would be so hard. Julian was such an easy birth on her. I told her it was unwise to be pregnant again so soon.”
Gozier nodded. “It happens though.” The Draenei said and laid a hand on the human woman’s shoulder. “Next time call me. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy this.” Her fanged smile made Myrrdinn laugh. “If you need a healer just call my name to the wind. I’ll be listening.”
That was a balm for them all, as the Shaman climbed into the bed with Syn and began examining the woman’s body more carefully now that the baby was in good hands and being cared for properly. The strain on them both would be more telling the next day, Gozier knew, and she intended to forestall any rebounds from this ordeal if she could.
Over the next few hours healings were done on both mother and child and the midwife received a massage from an incredibly gifted Night Elf warrior who asked her over and over if she wouldn’t prefer a lift back to her apartments in Stormwind.
When Myrrdinn re-emerged with his new son in his arms there was much oohing and ahhing all around and Grugworg appeared with Jules and Alanna who had been unable to tear herself away until she knew that her friend was alright and had then offered to fetch the mage and missing son. Grug made eye contact with the exhausted Myrrdinn and understood when he realized that Gozier was still upstairs. He passed Jules to his father and they were happily reunited as he lifted the newest of his prizes and looked him square in the eyes.
“This is a proper warrior’s child.” He pronounced with a broad fanged smile. “A proper Draenei.” And then he turned to the little mage in his father’s arms. “Don’t you think so, Jules? Do you think your brother will be your greatest friend and protector?”
The boy smiled and reached for the baby and Grugworg happily brought the newborn to his brother’s reach. “Gently.” Myrrdinn whispered.
“Let them meet. There is a reason that they are like mirrors of each other and born so close. We may never even understand it, and there is still a reason.” The wise old Draenei watched as the little boy who was really no more than a baby himself leaned to his infant brother and closed his eyes with his forehead resting against Nico’s forehead for a moment. The newborn made a laughing sound and closed his fingers tightly around Jule’s fingers so that everyone in the room could see for themselves.
Alanna wiped tears from her eyes and caressed both boys with her hands. “I’m going to go see to your mama. You two behave now and don’t let these naughty mages talk you into any trouble.”
And as Syn recalled, pulling her suckling babe from her breast to roll painfully to the other side and let him finish his fourth feeding that day, Alanna had come, heavily pregnant and exhuberantly bragging, into the room and told them all about how the boys had bonded so quickly.
“So the prodical mage has brought the baby home. Both boys need to see their mama.” Gozier stroked Syn’s hair back from her overly bright eyes. “And then mama needs to sleep.”
After feeding both boys Syn had drifted into a heavy sleep brought by exhaustion and something that she imagined the Shaman or one of the many mages in the house must have whispered in her ear. And in the dawn’s early light she’s roused to Nico’s lusty cries for food and carefully risen to fetch him only to meet Myrrdinn at the bedside, baby already in his capable hands.
“Shaman’s orders, seconded by a highly recommended midwife, love. Bed for at least as long as it took you to give birth.”
She’d sighed and laid back again, noticing that her clothes and the bedding had all been changed and thinking to herself that her friends deserved so much more than the participation they’d asked for in return for all that they’d done.
And then, well fed and beatufully pale like his mother in the bed between his parents, Nico sighed in his sleep and Syn made eye contact with her husband.
“You gave me a real fright there, love.” He whispered. “I’ve never been so afraid and helpless at once. I don’t know what I’d have done if Gozier hadn’t cursed and come racing up here.”
“She offered to work with Mae.”
“Yes. She did it again downstairs in front of witnesses. Grugworg is a very happy grandfather, Syn. He christened Nico a proper Draenei.”
“He did, huh?” Syn beamed and leaned to kiss the baby’s dark head. “He looks just like Julian.”
“He’s massively bigger.”
Syn winced and laid her hand on her belly. “I noticed.” She laughed and raised her hand to Myrrdinn’s in the low gray light that was just seeping into the room. “They’re beautiful, Myrrdinn, like their father.”
“No, my darling.” He covered her hand with his own and closed the smaller one entirely in his. “They are beautiful like their mother. I’m just a lucky old sod who chose well.”
And he watched her drift to sleep and went to go to their other son who would be waking soon. He brought the sleeping boy into the bed with them and tucked him in next to Nico who stirred and then settled when Jule’s hand settled on his belly. Myrrdinn woke when Syn groaned, trying to lift the bigger baby over her newborn and helped her so that she could slip back a bit and feed him, back against his infant brother who seemed almost to curl into shape behind him.
Over the years that passed three things became apparent to Nico and Jule’s parents and friends and huge extended family as the boys matured.
First was that as magical as the first born son of Myrrdinn and Syndalee was, even at birth, his little brother was not except in one extraordinary way that had first been learned when he was only a few months old and his older brother had taught him the trick. Nico could call out over any distance without speaking to his sibling and the boy would appear, by magic, at his brother’s side. None of the mages who studied it could figure out whether it was a gift that Nico had been given by his birth or by his incredibly gifted brother.
The second realization after three years was that the miracle of having her two boys so close together was the end of the run of childbearing for Syndalee. She never had a flow and never again became pregnant. Neither Myrrdinn nor Syn even questioned it after the first night when she’d said to him that the Goddess had spoken quite clearly and she would not be having a little girl. She’d been gifted two incredibly beautiful and bright boys and she would not tempt the fates by even wishing for something more than what she had. Myrrdinn had laughed and accepted that she didn’t ever seem in the least bit unfulfilled or ungrateful.
And the last one was that no matter how much peace one who used to be a world defender attempts to bring on the world, no matter how many fights one abstains from or refuses to enter in the name of peace and retirement, there is always something that comes along that cannot simply be let go.
For ten years Syndalee enjoyed the peaceful life of a woman of some station raising her young family with a loving and devoted husband. They were in the process of allowing their sons to begin their training when everything changed.
... more to come... Happily Never After

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