Patron Familias (Part Three)
Stormwind, Mallorey Estate
Alynore finally gets back to Stormwind via portals and makes her way to the Mallorey manor, Venner's notes and Elsbeth's old journal stuck in her bag. She’s still in civilian clothes as she hammers on the door. It opens immediately. “Good evening, Commander,” the doorman says. “His Lordship is expecting you. If you will follow me.”
Nore nods curtly and follows into the house, eyes glancing to the sides to take in the decor. Family portraits line the wall, except one seems to have been taken down. "In here, Commander."
Lord Mallorey is waiting in a room with comfortable chairs and a large bar in the middle of the bookcase. Nore steps into the room. "Thanks for agreeing to the short notice. Figured we better get this settled sooner than later."
"I suppose so. Drink?"
"...Yeah. It's that kind of night."
"What would you like?"
Alynore shrugs. "Something strong sounds good." Alynore looks around to see if the missing painting is in here with Lord Mallorey. The books are also a real eye-draw.
Mallorey retrieves a glass and pours some bourbon into it. "Your friend, Mister Venner, has discerning taste in bourbon." Mallorey fills his own glass and carries 'Nore's to her. "The painting is there, leaning behind that chair."
"For a Lakeshire boy, he's got refined tastes. He's also meddlesome and like the annoying little brother I never had." She takes the glass with a muttered thanks, and goes to look at the painting.
Mallorey follows. "He had a lot of his mother's looks in him. And you...you're the very image of your mother."
"I've been told that a lot." She studies the younger Mallorey's painting a short while. "So what's your take on all this?" Nore frowns, realizing what he said. "And how would you know what Ma looked like?"
Mallorey takes an artist's pad from a table and shows Alynore a picture in it. "Unless my son could look into the future, there's no mistaking it."
"He was quite the artist." Alynore says as she studies the familiar lines on the pad.
"He was. I have all his drawings I could find in his room."
"But that had to come from Outland," Nore says.
Mallorey nods. "All of my son's effects were given to me after the Portal was reopened."
"Must have been an interesting experience. Going through his things, learning what there was to learn about his life on Draenor."
"It was heartbreaking, Commander. And a task I have suffered through before."
"And a few times since then, by my understanding. I can empathize, some." She pulls Elsbeth's journal from her bag. "Lot of this was meant to be given to me when I came of age, but, well, things happened along the way."
Mallorey sits down in the nearest chair, ignoring the twinge of pain. "Does she...does she mention my son?"
Nore sits across from him. "I'll admit; I was kinda reading backwards, newest entries to oldest, cuz I was…I wasn't sure if I wanted to know. With Llane's stunt though…I peeked ahead. I never bothered to learn your children's names, they weren't relevant to the Dragoons doing the job. The name Zach wouldn't have meant a damn thing to me before tonight." Nore hands the journal over to Mallorey, certain pages in an earlier section marked. "You suspected something, didn't you? Before you even came to the Silver Dragoons." Nore asks quietly.
Mallorey takes the journal with trembling hands. "Yes. I did."
Nore nods, looking at the portrait again while Mallorey looks over the journal. "At least she ain't as descriptive as Gilly Lachlan," she says when the silence stretches too long.
"No. No, she isn't. My son mentions her several times over the course of a few weeks, but he never wrote exactly what their relationship was." Mallorey sighs and gently closes the journal.
"Once he was gone, she just...never mentioned him again. Her way of doing things."
"I understand." Mallorey produces a journal of his own. "Here is Zach's, if you wish to read."
Alynore hesitates a moment, and then takes Zach Mallorey's journal. She spends some time reading before letting out a breath. "So. Don't see that this changes business. Not on the say-so of some old journals from two dead soldiers, anyway."
"Indeed. And, as I told Mister Venner, it would be a lot safer for you if you weren't my granddaughter."
Nore laughs shortly. "Safer? Sir, I work for you. Your enemies are already mine. Not to mention, I've been kidnapped and tortured for being associated with Harrigan, the Dragoons' own crazy troubles, being friends with the Meddlers...And my tendency to go into old Titan structures or dragons' dens and punch whatever monsters I find in the face. Safe isn't exactly a state I'm used to." Alynore finally finishes that drink he gave her earlier, sitting half-forgotten on the stand by her chair.
"True. But I'm sure it's much easier without having to worry about a knife in the back, or poison in your cup, or the political and financial maneuverings in the court."
"Probably. I ain't exactly looking to be some fancy lady anyway. I like the life I got. I just...Guess I just want to know. And this may be as close as I get."
"I fear so. Would you like another?" he asks, indicating her drink.
Alynore considers it for a moment. "No. Better not. Thanks though."
"As you wish. However, I want you to have this." Mallorey takes the artist's pad and carefully tears out the picture of Elsbeth.
"Are you sure you should...I mean..." She hesitates.
"I want you to have it. I don't know if you have any pictures of your mother, but I think my son would have wanted it to go to you."
"I...appreciate it, sir. Thank you." Alynore smiles.
"You're welcome, Alynore."
Alynore passes Zach's journal back, having seen what she needed to there. She takes the picture. "I should probably get going. It's late, and there's more than enough to think on."
"Please forgive me if I don't show you out. And, if I may say, Alynore; I would be very proud if you were my granddaughter."
"I...thank you, sir. I can find my way out. You going to be all right?" She looks over the old man; she didn't miss the wince when he sat down.
"I'll be fine, my dear. It's merely a reminder that I'm not young anymore."
Alynore nods and murmurs a prayer of blessing, something to make things a little easier, for a brief time. Not much else she can do. "I'll see you around then. Light keep you, Lord Mallorey."
"And you as well, Commander Alynore Forrester."
Nore nods formally, taking her mother's journal and Zach Mallorey's sketch as she leaves. The study door clicks shut behind Alynore, the door of the manor closing behind her shortly after as she steps into Stormwind's streets. She glances back once, and then clutching her small package, heads home.
After a while, Lord Mallorey gets out of the chair to look at his son's portrait. "I wish you were here, son. I wish you could tell me. Did Elsbeth just like your grandmother's name, or did she use ‘Alynore’ to remember you?"
Lord Mallorey sighs at the silent portrait and makes his way to his rooms.
((Zach's 'sketch' is a heavily 'shopped photo of actress Rose Leslie.))