Elven Heritage Legacy Ch1 Pt4
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Elven Heritage Legacy Ch1 Pt4

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The heirship is brought into consideration as the children of the Elven Heritage Legacy grow up. Friends fight, parents worry, Greenmans grow like weeds - and where is Midina?

The heirship is brought into consideration as the children of the Elven Heritage Legacy grow up. Friends fight, parents worry, Greenmans grow like weeds - and where is Midina?

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    Elven Heritage Legacy Ch1 Pt4 Elven Heritage Legacy Ch1 Pt4 Presentation Transcript

    • Chapter 1.4: The Three Musketeers
    • Last time at the Elven Heritage Legacy…
      Founder Haldir and the other Elven immigrants celebrated Viridia’s return to health as babies were born and children grew older. Aranel succeeded in her studies and Achenar learned to walk, talk, and use the toilet, much to the delight of his parents, who had both been promoted and were expecting their third child.
      Though life was coming up roses for the Elvensong family, there was at least one elven immigrant for whom life had taken a difficult turn…
    • Midina Fairmaiden, (Pictured here with the girl half of the Elkthorn twins, Calanthe,) discovered last chapter that she was pregnant with the child of one of her many lovers.
      Though Talon Elkthorn offered to help his longtime friend and employee financially, Midina refused his aid and soon after the newest group of immigrant children became toddlers, broke off contact with her friends.
    • However, in the interest of (semi) chronological order, we begin this update with events at the house of yet another family of extras: the Greenman family, who has just welcomed a son, Briar. Rose and Jason Greenman are Seasons premades, and loyal friends to both the Elvensong legacy family and the other Elven immigrants. Rose is a family sim, and I wanted to see her genetics, so Briar here will be close to the same age as the newest legacy child. You won’t be seeing more of him until he grows a personality.
    • This is the main event. Haldir and Viridia’s second daughter Anariel has her mother’s skin tone, cc redhead gene, and her father’s eyes, the same as her sister Aranel. She can’t be a clone, as her brother Achenar has his father’s black hair, and I rolled the dice about fifteen times, so either the odds hate me or I have a lot of geneticized items wandering about my game.
      Ranting aside, Viri and Haldir are quite pleased with her, and immediately and in tandem rolled the wants to have seven more.
      Ha ha ha – NO.
    • My entire neighborhood is plagued by look-alikes. The Elkthorn twins, Elirand and Calanthe, share Chalimyra’s presumably dominant skin tone and blue eyes, but Cala looks more like Chali and Elirand looks more like Talon. The twins are the same age as Achenar, and quite a handful.
    • “Elir?”
      “Calla? Crib – Out!”
      “Dark now, Elir. Sleepytime. Go Bed!”
      “Scary noise. Where Mama?”
      Whenever one wakes up in the dark, the other is sure to follow. They did nearly everything together throughout their toddler phase, and did it cutely, despite the fact that they were a holy terror when both their parents came down with the (non-lethal) seasonal flu.
    • “Dolly one for you – dolly two for me. Dolly three say ‘I wanna come too!’”
      “No. Only two dollies. Twins don’t need anyone else. Silly Calla.”
      “Three! There is three! One twin, two twin, and three.”
    • “Twins is two.”
      “Twins need three.”
      “On’y two!”
      “Three for a’ventures!”
      “Don’t want three!”
      “Need three – twins and friend.”
    • Just next door, Achenar is sleeping. He’s a pretty quiet toddler, often left to his own devices after his younger sister was born. Aranel is a whirlwhind: Achenar is a steady, brisk breeze. He likes to nibble his fingers and play with the puzzle box in the main room.
    • Despite her earlier insistence that she wanted a dollhouse, not a baby brother, and the fact that she’s always having to step over his toys, Aranel gets along with him fairly well. She’s anxious for him to get big so that he’ll “be more fun and less stinky.”
      Since my update is so disastrously behind, I’ll skip ahead to the day that her wish was granted.
      While you’re here, have an Achenar montage.
    • “I Luv the blocks.”
      That’s Ana there in the background, fuming. Stupid nanny.
    • “Come on, ‘Enar. We’ve got to get you washed up for your big day.”
      “How big?” the toddler giggled.
      “Oh, big as an elephant!” replied his father, “Do you know what day it is?”
      “Birfday?”
      “That’s right. It’s your birthday – and now you’re going to get big, but first you need a bath.”
      “Big as an efelant?”
      “Not quite that big.”
      After a second or two of thinking, Achenar replied “Big as Ara?”
      “Exactly.”
    • “Come on in – the party’s starting in a moment.”
      Guests, left to right include: Chalimyra Elkthorn, Elirand Elkthorn, Eluisa, and Talon Elkthorn. Not pictured is Calanthe Elkthorn.
      In fact, the only one of the original Elven immigrants who did not show up is Midina Fairmaiden. This is because no one has heard from her since the toddler birthdays of Achenar and the twins. She hasn’t returned anyone’s calls or stopped by anyone’s house.
    • “Stupid grammar worksheet. Why can’t you use they instead of he or she? And what’s the difference between they’re and their?”
      “Aranel!” her father’s voice called, “Come to the kitchen – It’s time for your brother’s birthday party.”
      Abandoning her worksheet, Ara raced across the bridge towards the party… and cake.
    • And where were the other children? Outside, continuing an argument begun a long time ago.
      “All I’m saying, Calla, is that just because he has his birthday on the same day as us doesn’t mean we need him to be our friend. You can be nice to him if you want, but he’s never going to be one of us.”
      “For the last time, Elir, I’ve already told you that we need a third person. Achenar is it – he’s practically a twin, since he’s only hours younger than us.”
      “He is not a twin! Why isn’t being twins good enough for you, Calla? We’re together forever – we don’t need anyone else. Besides, he’s probably some little tattle-tale who will keep us from doing all the interesting stuff ---”
      “Is not!”
      “Is too!”
    • Finally, everyone made it into the main room for the cake. Elirand trailed in, sulking, having been unable to convince his sister that they didn’t need a third wheel.
      “Besides,” he grumbled as they approached the table, “he’s only a baby.”
      Viridia waited patiently for the children to get in place. Though Eluisa, who she hadn’t seen in months, had managed to make it, the party looked incomplete without Midina.
      Midina wanted to leave, she reminded herself, she was too proud to accept help from her friends. But what if she’s lost, or out of a job, or wandering the downtown streets homeless? It’s not easy raising a baby, even when you have a husband and a house.
    • “Make a wish, Achenar!”
      The toddler reached for the flames instead.
      “Wish!” he exclaimed.
      Wish for other friends, Elirand thought, You can’t have my sister and we don’t need you.
      Viridia blew the candles out before her son could singe his chubby fingers. Everyone else watched intently for the transformation to begin.
    • “Hurry up and get big so that we can have cake!” Aranel said, always willing to ruin a tender moment.
      Her mother just laughed as she placed the toddler on the floor. Patience was never one of Ara’s virtues, but she too was anxious to watch her son begin his childhood – especially in the company of the children of her best friends.
    • Everyone cleared a space on the floor for Achenar to wobble and stretch before the sparklies caught him.
      “The ground is further away: why is that? And I’ve lost my cute toddler lisp, and am beginning to talk in sentences. That’s strange.”
      What’s stranger is that I can’t find the shot with the confetti. However, educated readers should be able to guess what happens next.
    • “Hi, I’m Calanthe, but you can call me Calla. My brother and I are only a few hours younger than you.”
      “Then why are you already grown up?”
      “Scribbles had our party in the morning so we could come to yours tonight. She’s great like that.”
      Of course she thinks that – she’s the spoiled spawn of a motherloded extra. Still, you know what they say about flattery…
      “I can’t wait to go on vacation and fly in an airplane!”
      So that’s it. Maybe once I get this minor flu epidemic cleared up, kid.
    • “Are you sure you haven’t heard from Midi? At least she would keep in contact with you, Elu.”
      Eluisa shook her head at her friend and former housemate. “No, Viri, I haven’t. The last I heard from her was right before she had the baby. I offered to move back in with her, or at least stay for a while so that she wouldn’t be alone when she gave birth, but…”
      “But that was ---”
      “A long time ago, I know. But the old house is empty, and she didn’t leave us an address. I’ve been trying to find her for almost a year, but no luck so far. I’ll keep trying, but… hard as it is to accept, Viri, we’re just going to have to realize that she really doesn’t want to be found. I’m sure she has her reasons.”
    • “Mo-o-om, Calla’s playing with Achenar and I’m bored. Can we go home now?”
      Chali sighed. “What about your sister?”
      “She can live here if she’d rather be friends with Achenar.”
      “Oh, Elir,” Chali shook her head as she took her son’s no-longer small hands and they began to dance back and forth, “There’s nothing wrong with having extra friends, even between twins. You know well enough that you fight with Calla if you’re always together. Why not talk to Ara? That way you’ll have a friend here and Calla will have a friend here, and you can both have twice as many friends.”
    • “I have you cornered, thief! Come out with your hands up!”
      “But cops don’t shoot robbers – they handcuff them and take them to jail.”
      “We’re not playing cops and robbers, Achenar: we’re playing Musketeers and court spies.”
      “Does that mean I have to get put in the dungeon?”
      “No, a duel is always to the death. Pow!”
    • “Please, miss musketeer – call an ambulance!”
      “Oh dear – I didn’t mean to shoot you dead! Crime doesn’t pay, but I’m not sure you deserved that all the same…”
      “Now I wish I’d never… become a spy… If only there were time to join the musketeers instead!”
    • “It’s too late for meeee….”
      “When you’re done dying, let’s play something different. I’ve decided I don’t like shooting people.”
      “Okay. But you’re going to have to bring me back to life first – and this time I get to pick what we play.”
      “Deal.”
    • “I’m always happy to meet a new person, Elir, even if you are the same age as my brother. At least you won’t make any cracks about the ears like the boys in my class do.”
      “Why doesn’t Eluisa have any kids? I could play with them instead.”
      “I’m not married, Elirand. But one of these days I’ll have all you kids come down to my beach house when the weather warms up enough.”
    • “See, Calla? Nobody dies in Mary Mack, even if it isn’t a very exciting game.”
      “I wish there were more games we could play with three people. Elir’s off sulking because he’s feeling left out, but we can’t have a water balloon fight because it’s too cold, and there’s not enough snow for a snowball fight.”
      “Ask Elir to come over here. I’d like to meet him too.”
    • Despite initial misgivings, Elirand secretly found it nice to talk to another boy. Having a twin sister was nice, but it wasn’t the same.
      “And then we can pretend we’re astronauts, and fly to the moon!”
      “What about Calla?”
      “Eh, she can come if she wants. But she’s probably going to want to do boring girl things like play with dolls.”
      “What’s girly about playing with dolls?”
      “Well, it’s okay to do it with your sisters, but boys are supposed to run around and make lots of noise.”
      “Oh, okay.”
    • “Also, we’re supposed to pick up bugs and show them to our sisters to make them scream.”
      “I don’t think that’s very nice, Elirand.”
      “You know I’m not afraid of bugs, Elir,” Calanthe piped up behind them, “Especially not ladybugs or fireflies. Why don’t you talk about the spaceship – that was more interesting.”
      “Girls,” Elirand whispered to Achenar, rolling his eyes. Achenar paid no attention.
      “Ooh, I just thought of something really cool we could do!” he exclaimed.
    • “So my sister says that the moon’s really far away, so if we go there we’re going to need lots and lots of sandwiches.”
      “We’re going to need a rocket ship too,” Calla piped up, “And probably a sleeping bag.”
      “You really think we should go to the moon for our vacation?” Elir asked.
      “Sure, why not? I hear it changes shape. That sounds cool.”
      “Wow! Maybe we should bring you with us because you know so much about it.”
      “Cal-la,” Elirand groaned, “We don’t even know if we get to go yet!”
      “Time to go, kids,” Talon cut into their discussion, “Sooner or later we all have to go to bed.”
      “Aw man! But we were trying to figure out how to get a spaceship!” Elirand complained.
    • “Tomorrow’s Saturday,” Calla told her new friend as they headed towards the door, “Ask your mom if you can come over and help us find a rocket ship.”
      “All right, I will,” Achenar promised, “And we can have snowball fights here, as soon as it snows.”
      “Deal.”
    • “Vacation on the moon! That’s impossible, ‘Enar.”
      “Why? Just because you’re not coming?”
      “No – you have to grow up and be an astronaut before you’re allowed on the moon, dummy.”
      “Aw, man. Now what’re we going to do? I didn’t know that we couldn’t go.”
      “See, this is why I’m going to beat you at chess. I’m older than you and smarter than you.”
      “It’s not my fault I was born second, or that I’m not going to school until Monday. If I was in school already, I’d be as smart as you.”
      “You’re lucky you don’t have to start until Monday! You have this whole weekend to play, and I’ve still got homework! School’s boring, ‘Enar, except for the people there.”
      “You should invite some over for Ana’s birthday tomorrow. I’m going to have Elir and Calla, if mom’ll let me.”
    • In Riverblossom Hills proper, another birthday has just recently been celebrated. Briar Greenman has just grown up into a homely and chinless toddler. He is still doted on by his parents and sister, however: no one was sure whether his green mother was capable of producing a child with a regular sim.
      Rose and Jason tried very hard to conceive a baby before Rose had her plant baby, Daisy. Now they not only have one, but another on the way.
      Since this lot are my favorite premades, I’ve decided on a little side experiment. Now that Rose’s little trouble is cleared up, she and Jason are going to have 10 kids, who will be played at the same rate as the elves. So not only have I played them a lot to catch up, but this is where I start to have decent pictures again after my re-install. (Except for the other birthdays.)
    • Rest assured that I am not neglecting my elves here: It’s just about time that the Greenmans get some screen time, and I have plotty bits coming up.
      So Briar had a family birthday party, visible because his dad gets home at 2, when there is still daylight.
      Daisy did the toddler tossing honors. In fact, she dotes on her little brother, though I begin to wonder about her maturity. Technically, she should be a child herself, except that plant sims go straight from toddler to adult.
      “Fly up to the sparklies, baby sprout! Get bigger, and you can be my sprout-doll and play music on the floor.”
      Okay, so he’s a homely baby. News flash: all of them are ugly unless they’re related to you. Then they’re cute as a button. Though I’m not sure why buttons are considered cute, but what do I know?
      “Sprout doll is brown like dirt, not green like me. But he’s tickly, so I don’t care. We can bounce on the couch together!”
      Not yet.
    • Daisy really does seem sometimes not to understand that the baby is anything more than a toy for her, but Briar adores the attention. Whenever she’s not out in the garden, she’s playing with him, making toys or jumping on the couch.
      Nevertheless, Rose and Jason spend a lot of time with him, and Rose is more than up to his toddler training. You wouldn’t know she was pregnant with another if she didn’t occasionally stop to pop.
    • Perhaps it’s best for Daisy to remain at home, happy and blissfully ignorant of the unforgiving outer world. Not everyone in Riverblossom Hills is as tolerant and progressive as her father.
      “Go home, you green freak! We don’t need your kind around here!”
      “But I only asked you if you liked to stand in the sun!” Daisy sniffed. The random townie who Midina once dated was not impressed.
      Come to think of it, Midina has a real talent for picking up heels, and Daisy just seems to run into trouble whenever she goes out on her own.
    • Calanthe and Elirand made good on their promise to come over in the morning, though Elirand made a show of dragging his feet as they walked the three blocks to the legacy lot. Neither of them noticed their father following a discreet half a block behind them, watching to be sure that they made it to their destination.
      Achenar greeted them with enthusiasm, but the twins were disappointed to learn that their plans for going to the moon would have to be put on hold.
    • “Aw, man,” Elir complained, “but waiting until we’re grown up is going to take years!”
      Calla did some quick math on her fingers. “At least five,” she agreed, shaking her head. It was plain to all three of them that five years might as well be eternity. They were going to have to devise a different plan.
      “Ara used to be able to fly,” Achenar put in helpfully.
      “Could she fly us to the moon?” Elirand asked, suddenly hopeful.
      “I don’t know, but she’s inside painting and said not to get in her way,” Achenar replied solemnly, “something about starting portraits.”
    • “So we can’t ask her now?”
      “No, Calla, but we can wait until my little sister has her birthday party tonight. Ara’s bound to stop painting for that.”
      “But we have hours to wait before six o’clock!” Elirand protested, “what are we going to do?”
      “I’m sure we can think of something -” Calla began.
      “Hey, I have a great idea!” Achenar jumped up.
    • “What is it?” Calla and Elirand had jumped up, too.
      “It’s – Wow! What’s that?” Achenar shouted, pointing over Elirand’s shoulder.
      “What? Whe – Oomph.”
      The rest of Elirand’s sentence was cut off as Achenar’s snowball hit him square in the back. His protesting grumbles were drowned out by his sister’s laughter.
    • “I’ll get you!” he vowed, already grinning, “Help me out, Calla!”
      Achenar was doubled over laughing. “You should have seen your face!”
      “How could I see my own face? That’s where my eyes are.”
      “But it was so funny!”
      Elirand pondered that for a minute, as a wicked grin formed on his face.“Hmm,” he said as he stooped to pick up a fistful of snow, “did it look anything like – this?”
    • Both boys tore off into the snow covered yard, sending clots of white, fluffy mush flying at each other. Calla stopped on the sidewalk for a moment and smiled.
      “See, Scribbles? I knew they’d get to like each other eventually.”
      Before I could reply, she ran off to join them.
      Since when do the spares’ kids talk to me?
    • Though Calla was slow to join the boys, she made up for it in enthusiasm. Throughout the morning and into the afternoon, all three children could be heard taunting each other and shrieking with excitement.
      It was only when they were all dripping wet and beginning to shiver that they went inside. Calla went home to change out of her wet clothes, but Elirand decided to stay for the party.
    • “Next time, don’t stay out there until you’re blue,” Haldir advised his son, halfway through getting Anariel a bottle, “Your mother will have a fit.”
      “Y-y-yes, Dad,” Achenar replied between chattering teeth, trying not to spill the cocoa. Ana just gurgled happily and reached out a tiny hand to try and grab her brother’s pointy ear.
    • The two boys quickly discovered that there was something they could do without Calla to keep them company.
      “I can knock you over with the pillow!”
      “No way!”
      “Yeah!”
      “Take that!”
      After proceeding to knock the stuffing out of each other for about an hour, they were all warmed up and mostly dry. Also, it was party time.
    • Haldir and Viridia had, as usual, invited all the old crowd. But there was one face very obviously absent, and one person in particular who Viridia wanted to see.
      “So, do you think there will be enough sun tomorrow to melt all this snow, Elu?” Viridia waved her hands in the air to indicate the quantity of snow, and to keep herself from making any worried little gestures.
      Eluisa sighed. “What is it that you really want to ask me?”
    • “Well, it’s only that I was thinking that If you can locate a wizard, who obviously didn’t want to be found, and who you didn’t even know, you shouldn’t have any problem tracking down Midina, because you’ve known her for years,” Viridia said in a rush.
      Eluisa stood in the foyer and blinked for a moment. Chalimyra discreetly turned herself away from the conversation, knowing that it was going nowhere fast.
    • “I’m afraid it doesn’t work exactly like that,” Eluisa replied.
      “At the very least, you have to try,” Viridia insisted, “What if she’s lost? What if she’s starving, or in jail?”
      “Midina left without telling us for a reason,” Eluisa explained, exasperated, “Even if we can’t understand what the reason was, she’s not going to thank us for running after her as if she were a missing child.”
    • “But ---”
      “Think about it,” Eluisa continued over Viridia’s protest, “She could be anywhere: downtown, in Riverblossom, or in Bluewater Villiage. For all we know, she went back to Elphemera ---”
      Viridia shook her head when Eluisa mentioned the world that they had all left behind. “No,” she said firmly, “The Ellipsis is a one-way portal, you told us that yourself. And if you honestly think she would have gone back there ---”
    • “Look, Viri,” Eluisa replied, watching Viridia’s mouth twist and trying to remain patient, “I don’t know what happened, and I can’t know what she was thinking. What do you want me to do?”
      “You can start by not giving up on her!” Viridia exclaimed immediately, “You aren’t even trying to look for her anymore, there has to be something ---”
      “I don’t know how to find her!” Eluisa burst out, “I don’t think she wants us to find her, so maybe it would be best if we let her make her own mistakes.”
    • “Midina’s my friend, Eluisa,” Viridia replied quietly, “and yours too.”
      The closed in expression on Viridia’s face hit Eluisa like a ton of bricks. Ever since they had met up on their way to the Ellipsis, each looking to leave the land of their birth for different reasons, the other three women had looked to her to guide them through the perilous journey.
      Viridia still thought that Eluisa could get them through anything. If only she were right.
    • “It’s not like that, Viri,” Eluisa explained tiredly, “I haven’t given up on her. But I have some faith that she’ll be able to live without us.” She crossed her arms, staring out into the distance. “I’ve been looking for so long… I’ve tried everything. If Midina left, she had her own reasons, and I have to believe that she can handle them on her own.”
      “What she did was stupid, Elu,” Viridia pointed out, “But there’s far more at stake here than just her pride. What about her baby? It shouldn’t be more than a few days younger than Ana, and we don’t even know if it’s a girl or a boy.”
      Eluisa sighed again. Trust Viri to bring up the thing she’d been avoiding thinking about. Midina could handle herself, but Eluisa couldn’t picture her blonde friend adjusting easily to motherhood.
      “I’m trying.” She replied shortly, “The old fashioned way. Feel free to let me know if you have any better idea.”
    • “Hmmm,” Viridia pretended to think for a moment, “What about those powers you inherited from your wizard father? Just one look into a crystal ball and poof! Problem solved!”
      Eluisa winced inwardly. Viridia really didn’t understand a thing about magic – not that Eluisa did either. She only knew when it was happening.
      “You should know by now that I can’t do that,” she began, “If ---”
      “Have you tried?” Viridia asked.
    • “Looking in a crystal ball, no. Everything I can think of besides that, yes. Why don’t you ask a gypsy matchmaker to lend you her crystal ball so that I can show you exactly how much it doesn’t work?”
      Chalimyra shook her head, though neither of the two arguing elves could see. She wanted Midina back as much as anyone else, but she thought she knew why their blonde friend had made herself scarce. Midina’s many lovers had all been very strong-willed men. Not one of them would take learning that they weren’t the father of Midina’s baby well.
    • “You seem to think I can just wave my magic wand and wish this all away, Viri,” Eluisa continued, “But it just doesn’t work that way. As for trying to find her – what do you think I’ve been doing? It certainly wasn’t sitting here and changing diapers.”
      Viridia pulled away, stung. Her green eyes grew glassy as she tried to ignore the sudden silence between them.
    • Eluisa watched Viridia’s lips tremble with a sinking feeling in her chest. She knew that she had offended her friend, but wasn’t sure how to take it back. Think before you start talking, she chided herself.
      “Viri, I… I didn’t mean that,” she said quietly, “I’m sorry.”
      “No… I know you have been trying, Elu,” said Viridia in a flat tone barely above a whisper, “I just can’t understand… we were all supposed to be safe here.”
      Safe. Eluisa closed her eyes, pushing the memory away. She had convinced Midina to come with them, thinking that once they made it through the Elipsis, no one could follow them… nothing could hurt them.
      But no place was as safe as that.
    • “I miss her too, Viri. Sooner or later we’ll find her, I promise.” Eluisa watched the sadness creep out of the redhead’s face before adding, “We need to find your daughter first, I think. Isn’t this supposed to be a birthday party?”
      Viridia’s smile was back. “I can’t wait to see what she looks like.”
      “I’m pretty sure that she’ll have all of the usual features,” Eluisa returned with a straight face, “Eyes, a nose, pointy ears…”
    • As soon as Viridia had gone to get the baby and the cake, Eluisa’s shoulders slumped. Why did everyone come to her for answers – especially when she didn’t have any?
      One of those magic wands would come in handy right now. Viridia and Chali think I can somehow make all their troubles disappear. I’ve helped them once, but it was pure luck that I knew there was a wizard in town. But a wizard can’t help find Midi and her baby.
      Scribal Goddess, what am I going to do?
    • Oblivious to the drama surrounding them, the older siblings of the birthday girl were busy knocking the stuffing out of each other in another corner of the main room. Aranel was making sure to spend some time with her brother, because this weekend was the last few days of her childhood: on Sunday, she would become a teen.
      “Your bun wobbles when I hit you in the head!” Achenar cried, laughing so hard that he almost dropped the pillow. Ara laughed too, but her brother should have seen by the glint in her eyes that it was no time to let his guard down.
      “You mean like this?!”
      A pillow struck Achenar across the face, and his laughter was replaced by Aranel’s.
    • “Ready to give up, little brother?”
      “No way!”
      “Your eyes are crossed, ‘Enar. Time to surrender.”
      Achenar summoned as much dignity as he could, though his brains were still rattled. “A Musketeer never surrenders,” he told his sister proudly.
      “The motto is ‘All for one and one for all,’ not ‘never surrender.’ I think I really did rattle your brains.”
      “I’ll rattle yours!” the boy exclaimed, leaping forward to smash his pillow into his sister’s raised arm.
    • He wasn’t quick enough to block her blow, which landed on his pointy ear, and he had to stagger back.
      “Face it, ‘Enar,” Ara said as he shook his head, “I’m bigger and stronger than you, and always will be. I just clobbered you.” Her face took on a look of determination as she added, “That’s why I’m going to be the heir.”
      Achenar fought to shake off his confusion, “The heir?”
      “We’re a legacy family, ‘Enar. When we grow up, one of us has to be the heir and one of us has to move into a different house and be the spare.”
      Her brother frowned, “But I don’t want to leave!”
    • “You’re going to have to sooner or later,” Ara replied, “Dad’ll be mad if you don’t go to College. But you don’t have to move out now, just when I become heir.”
      “Why can’t I be the heir and you be the spare?”
      “I’m bigger, and stronger, and smarter, that’s why.”
      “That doesn’t prove anything,” Achenar insisted, “You’re only bigger and stronger because you’re the oldest. Who picks the heir?”
      Ara thought for a moment. “Mom and Dad,” she answered, “Oh, and Scribbles too, I guess.”
      Achenar frowned. “What if they don’t pick one of us? What if they pick Ana instead?”
      Aranel just laughed. “Don’t be stupid. She’s only a baby.”
      “Until six o’clock.”
    • Both of them crept over to the cake, drawn magnetically to the pristine white frosting and extra candles.
      Once she blows out these candles, Ana will be a toddler. She’ll be cuter than us, and the youngest. What if Scribbles decides she’ll be the heir? What if Mom and Dad pay more attention to her?
      If Achenar has to be the heir, at least he’s my best friend, after Mom and Dad. I can win against him without him getting mad. But Ana’s still a baby – I don’t even know what she’s like yet. What if she hates me?
    • “Where were Mom and Dad keeping the stone table?” Achenar wanted to know, “It looks just like the one from my birthday, but it’s new.”
      Aranel rolled her eyes at her brother. “That’s because they just give them back before midnight so we don’t have to pay for them,” she explained loftily.
      “But how does that work?”
      “The same way that we can hear Scribbles, but can’t see her even though she can see us. Things just work that way.”
      Yeah, she thought, I can definitely win the heirship from Achenar.
    • Just as the children were unaware of the troubles of the adults, the adults were blissfully oblivious to the fact that their children were already discussing such weighty matters as heirship.
      Reassured that Eluisa would find some way to locate their missing friend, Viridia forced herself to return to the true purpose of the party. This was supposed to be a celebration for her youngest child.
      Baby Anariel waving her tiny hands at her was what made her outward happiness more than a show. Her last baby.
      It was always a bittersweet moment, especially now when she knew that there would be no more babies in the house, but the excitement overrode it all.
      What will she look like? Will she be serious, like me, or active, like Ara?
    • Ara’s going to be a teen soon enough. All my babies are growing up, and everything here is so strange. How will they understand what life was like in Elphemera? How will they understand the sacrifices we made to raise them in a world of humans, to keep them safe?
      How do Haldir and I tell them about the legacy? How do we choose the heir? What if they don’t understand? What if they move away and we never hear from them again? What if we grow old here alone and our children abandon the Elven traditions?
      “Blow out the candles, Ana.” Viridia struggled to keep her voice level. Such a tiny baby… I want to keep them all here, I don’t want to let them go, I don’t want them to go away and leave me here…
      I can’t do this.
    • The cheering around her faded to silence.
      “I… I think I’m glitching,” Viridia said to Haldir in a small voice, “I can’t… I … You toss her.”
      Off in the distance, a bell struck six. There was silence throughout the room as they counted it’s tolling. No sparklies descended on Anariel, who blinked sleepily at them all. The strangers were interesting, but they didn’t matter much. She was warm and safe in her mother’s arms, but she felt that it wouldn’t last.
    • Silently, Haldir took his youngest child from his wife’s arms. Viridia sat down quickly: her hands were shaking. She didn’t know why she couldn’t let go, couldn’t make this transition to a new era… Surrounded by her friends, she had never felt so empty or so alone.
      It must be fighting with Elu that did it, she rationalized, I’ve never… we’ve never fought like that before. I didn’t know… no, I didn’t think about the fact that we’re different. We both want different things out of life, and we both want different things than Midina did – does. Changing diapers? Is that all she really thinks of me… that I enjoy changing diapers?
    • There was only a little cheering this time, mostly by the three children present, as the baby of the family flew up in the air into a mysterious cloud of confetti. She laughed as she looked down at the ground between her bear-pajama clad feet. It was a long way down, but her daddy would catch her safely. She felt the urge to crawl across the brown tiles, and investigate all of the feet standing on them.
    • “Now, where have we seen this before?” Haldir asked jokingly, holding the toddler up to face the crowd. There was scattered laughter, as much in relief that the baby was finally able to make the transition as in response to Haldir’s joke.
      One person, however, was not amused.
      Perfect, Aranel thought bitterly, not only does she look exactly like me, with the same hair, she’s stolen my old pajamas. At least Achenar had different clothes!
      I need help if I want to be the heir – I need people to like me better, even if my sister is cuter than me.
      How can I make them like me better?
    • After everyone moved away, taking slices of cake to their seats, Elirand and Achenar were left by the table.
      “I bet you she’s going to be just like my other sister,” Achenar said to his friend, “Why couldn’t I have had a brother? All girls do is paint all the time and be grouchy.”
      “That’s not true at all,” Elirand objected, “Your Mom’s a girl, and she’s nice. Calla’s a girl and she doesn’t paint at all – she just clobbers me with pillows. My mom’s a girl, and she beats dad at chess.”
      “Yeah, but Ara clobbers me with pillows and beats me at chess,” Achenar pointed out.
      “That’s not the point. Is Ara anything like Calla?” Elirand asked. “Besides the being a girl part,” he added quickly.
      “Well…. No, but…”
      “See, Ana looks like Ara, but she’s not necessarily going to act the same.”
      “I guess so,” Achenar finally had to admit.
    • He turned around quickly and began to tickle his sister. “Just don’t be exactly like Aranel, Okay? You can paint all you like, as long as you don’t have to beat me at everything. Ara looks out for me, and I’ll look out for you, but I promise not to treat you like a baby all the time, okay? Just as long as you don’t decide that you want to be the heir too.”
      Anariel understood none of it, but shrieked and giggled anyway. At least someone was paying attention to her rather than the sticky piece of food on the table.
    • Eventually, her brother left her for cake and her daddy came with a bottle. She stared up at all of the people in the living room and kitchen area, walking around and talking. Why wasn’t anyone paying attention to her? She wanted to go straight up the stairs, but couldn’t figure out how to lift herself up from step to step.
      She didn’t fuss about it too much, though. For one thing, she was too tired, and for another, she knew that sooner or later, her mommy or her daddy would pick her up and take her back to the nursery. She was safe with Mommy and Daddy, even if there were strangers in the house ignoring her. Her family loved her. Her brother made her laugh.
      Why wouldn’t her big sister pay any attention to her?
    • “Eluisa!” Aranel exclaimed, having followed her parents’ friend up into the dining room, “Mom said you give advice and help people, and I’m going to need your help.” She put on her best winning smile, “How would you like to help the next Legacy heir?”
      “I… aren’t you a little young to be thinking about heirship?” Eluisa asked faintly. Of all the things she wasn’t prepared for tonight, Aranel hadn’t even figured in her list of considerations.
      Aranel shook a finger at her, “I’m going to be a teenager in a little more than a day,” she reminded the older elf, “I’m not ‘too young’ to do anything! Except maybe drive, but we can take care of that later. Besides, all great legacy heirs start as kids,” she fibbed.
    • “Ara, look, I…”
      “I started early doing everything,” Aranel continued, “I flew when I was just a baby. I think that makes me perfect to be heir, especially since my brother and sister never flew.”
      “You flew?” Eluisa asked in barely concealed disbelief.
      “Uh-huh,” Ara nodded her head, “And I need you to help me make people like me best so that I can be heir.”
      “I really can’t do this,” Eluisa mumbled to herself.
      “You found Dad a way to cure mom when she was sick!” Aranel continued, “This isn’t even that big a deal, just a little favor… tell me what I can do.”
      Eluisa sighed, “Okay, first try making some friends your own age.”
      Aranel was gone before she finished her sentence.
    • “Okay, Elirand, I need you to be my friend so I can be heir,” she said, cornering the boy in the kitchen, “I’d ask Calla too, but she isn’t here and I don’t get along with the other girls in my class anyways.”
      “But I’m Achenar’s friend,” Elirand replied with stubborn loyalty.
      “You can still be friends with my brother, I just need you to support me as heir,” she explained.
      “What if Achenar wants to be heir? I can’t do that! And besides, you’re too old.”
      Ara resisted the urge to roll her eyes, “What’s wrong with being old?” she asked, “In just a few days, I’m going to be a teenager, and you can make all the kids at school think you’re cool if you’re friends with a teen.”
      She could see that he was tempted, but in the end he shook his head.
      “Fine. See if I ever let you hang out with me and my friends,” she grumbled.
    • “Oh man, ‘Enar. Your sister is weird,” Elirand blurted out as soon as he found his friend.
      “Which one?”
      “Both! Well, Ana’s too little to be weird, so just Ara, really. She wants me to help her be heir! And she thinks that I’ll be her friend if she just announces that she wants me to be.” He shook his head, “Oh, boy am I glad that my sister’s normal.”
      Achenar grinned at him. “That’s why I’m her friend.”
      “Time to go home, Elir,” Chalimyra announced behind them. Over both boys’ groans of protest, she added, “you can see each other tomorrow. It’s our turn to have you over, Achenar.”
    • It was, in fact, getting very late, and despite all their protests to the contrary, all of the children were very tired. As soon as Achenar changed into his pajamas and crawled into bed, he fell asleep. In the next room, his older sister slept as deeply as the toddler in the nursery.
      Achenar dreamed of vacations with the twins, and of swimming on the moon. They could live there forever.
      Aranel dreamed of flying before adoring crowds, the world’s greatest legacy heir, unaware that it was her last night of childish cares.
      Anariel dreamed of being taught to talk by a fluffy pink bear. She was only a very little toddler, after all.
    • Their parents were exhausted as well.
      “Viri?” said Haldir sleepily as they turned out the light, “You don’t have to worry, you know. Not about the kids growing up, or the legacy, or anything. Everything’s going to be all right.”
      For a while after that Viridia lay awake, a sad smile on her face as she stared at the ceiling. What she had wanted from life and what Midina had wanted weren’t very different after all.
      She prayed that wherever she was, and whatever she was doing, Midina could someday find a love like this as well.
    • More baby pictures. Because my founder is hot, and the kids are adorable.
      In addition to being eye candy, this slide exists as a shout out to those of you who’ve stuck with me through the hiatus, now a little shy of its fourth month, and especially to the boolpropmods, who basically held my hand through the process of discovering the original glitches that led to the uninstall/reinstall. We have the awesome mods, people. Of course, the forum’s not bad, too.
      I also wanted to take this time to point out a few little changes. With the uninstall/reinstall came a massive cc purge, and I made up all the pain and suffering to myself with a new set of default replacement skins. Thus, people are going to look a little different, and might for a few chapters if I pull that strangely pale/greyish S2. It doesn’t work so good in the evening light.
      Also, apologies for the picture quality. Some of them stretched out fine, some… didn’t. It’s a new medium, so love is greatly appreciated but definitely not required.