Saturday, 30 January 2010

Rumblings in the Hinterlands

Aefa and Mengfu stopped next to a small waterfall, where the water in the stream formed a pool between the rocks.

Mengfu jumped off his riding wolf and approached the water, the electrical current around him arcing and popping. He muttered under his breath and waved a hand, dismissing the lightening shield before reaching into the water to wash the Silvermane Stalker blood off his hands.

Aefa looked disappointed. "I thought I was going to be treated to another fried orc impression," she complained.

"Ha ha," Mengfu said, unamused. He scooped up a handful of the streamwater and took a drink, then stood up, wiping his hands on his leather armour, then muttered again to recast the lightening shield around himself.

"At least I never get zapped by my own protection," Aefa chuckled as she recast her own Mage Armor and sat down to drink some of her own conjured spring water.

"What's that? You hear something?" Mengfu looked around apprehensively.

"I can't hear a thing over your sparkly spellcasting," Aefa joked.

"That's what I mean," Mengfu said quietly. "It's too quiet. "

Aefa looked around the forest clearing. He was right. Apart from the stream trickling downhill, there was no other sound - no birds, no insects, not even the howl of an owlbeast.

Suddenly out of the bush to the left of where Aefa stood, a Silvermane wolf came crashing out, a crazed look in its rolling eyes. Aefa let out a shout and started casting a Frostbolt, but before a surprised Mengfu could ready his axes the terrified wolf had already dashed into the bush at the other side of the creek.

"What was THAT all about!?" Aefa said, slightly panicked.

Before Mengfu could answer, a low rumble began. Aefa looked around to try to identify which direction the sound was coming from, but she realised with a cold knot of fear that the sound was coming from underground.

Then the ground began to shake. It started like a shiver, then there was a horrible cracking sound and the ground beneath their feet jolted sideways. Aefa grabbed Mengfu's shoulder to stop herself falling over.  Her hawkstrider let out a terrified squawk and flapped in terror.

It was over a few seconds after it began  A few small rocks in the creek tumbled against each other and a branch crashed down somewhere in the forest behind them. Then silence again.

Aefa turned in horror to see that the waterfall had stopped. A few heartbeats later, the water filled up over whatever new obstacle was at the top of the cascade and the water spilled over and flowed once again.

Aefa realised she had been holding her breath, and she let it out with a stream of expletives. "An earthquake?" she continued, "I've never heard of there being earthquakes up here before!"

Mengfu looked shaken, but checked over his armour to make sure nothing was damaged. "Last week in Gadgetzan I heard a traveller talking about an earthquake over in Ferelas." He frowned.

Aefa looked back at the waterfall, now splashing gently into the pool again.  She shivered, and compulsively renewed the magical barrier around herself.

"Come on," Mengfu said, coaxing his wolf out of the bushes where he had been cowering. "let's go back to the village, I could use a stiff drink. "

Aefa agreed wholeheartedly and they headed back into the forest away from the stream, trickling down its new course.  Gradually the insects resumed their chattering and an owlbeast hooted into the evening air.


How are your characters dealing with the changes happening in Azeroth?  Have they experienced any earthquakes?

I am going to try to write some more fic snippets leading up to the world events the Cataclysm will bring - thanks for indulging me ;)

PS.  The photo is of a waterfall in the Gold Coast Hinterlands, 24 Jan 2010.
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