Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Garrosh's Landing

Aefa grumbled as she crunched across the gravelly beach. She'd only been in Northrend for a few hours and already the cold had seeped into her bones. The cold didn't seem to bother the Orcs who called Warsong Hold, well, their base - she doubted whether anyone called Warsong Hold home.  It was a cold, soulless place in the middle of a war zone.  The people there did what they had to and prayed to go home to their families. 

Aefa didn't hold any particular allegiance to the Horde or their Warchief, but she had joined the fight for the North because she had a bone to pick with the Lich King. Her father, along with other sin'dorei, had followed Prince Kael'thas and Illidan to Northrend many years ago. They had been defeated by the then Prince Arthas Menethil and forced to retreat. Aefa's father never survived that battle. When her magical studies had required her to visit the city of Dalaran in order to progress, she had jumped at the chance to see the place where her father had died and perhaps take part in another successful attempt at the Lich King's life.

The reality of the trip to Northrend hadn't been so glamorous. She had been told on arrival at Warsong that she was required to help the war effort in Borean Tundra for a while first before continuing her journey to Dalaran. Now she had been sent down to the icy beach near the Hold and ordered to fetch some goblin's toolkit and a few shiny trinkets for one of those strange walrus-people. As if the task couldn't get any more distasteful, a cold, damp mist was covering the beach and it was hiding all sorts of creepy Kvaldir spirits, who weren't hesitating to let Aefa know that she was certainly not welcome there. At least her Molten Armour was keeping the chill away a little. 

Aefa fired another frostbolt at an angry spirit and turned away as it froze in place, letting her water elemental finish it off. She looked up the beach at a damaged building.

What a forsaken place, she thought as she called the elemental over. "This must be the shack the goblin was talking about. Let's go check it out. " 

The elemental muttered something and followed after Aefa obediently. The elemental didn't say much and Aefa didn't speak Kalimag, but Aefa found it was as good a companion as any after she had parted ways with Mengfu back in Draenor.

She poked around in the hut but the thingummy-jig the goblin was after was nowhere to be seen. She was just about to head out the door again when she heard a faint whimpering noise from somewhere above.

Aefa crept up the rickety stairs, trying to be quiet in case it was another spirit up there, but instead she saw a young Tauren girl huddled in a corner, wide-eyed and whining slightly.

"Are.. are you here to... rescue me?" she asked pitifully. "Please don't let the bad things hurt me!"

Aefa sighed. She hated escorting pitiful souls out of their predicaments but there was usually something in it for her at the end. Plus, this Tauren girl looked like she could use the help more than some others she had helped recently.

"Alright, " she said, helping the Tauren to her feet. "Have you a name?"

"It's Mootoo. My fathers name is also Mootoo, Elder Mootoo. Oh, will you help me find him? I think I know the way out of this mist!" She set off down the stairs with a clatter.

Aefa and the water elemental shared a withering look, and then hurried after the Tauren.

By the time they got downstairs, Mootoo had already wandered out of the hut door. She announced, "I think it's this way!" and headed off straight towards a group of Kvaldir ghosts.

Aefa saw where she was headed and said in a loud stage whisper, "Don't you think it would be better to go this way?"

Mootoo shook her head. "It's definitely this way. I can feel my father's aura!"

The ghosts fell upon her in a few seconds and Aefa and the elemental dove into the fray, throwing water and ice at the attackers. Once the ghosts were reduced to piles of seaweed on the beach, Aefa stood panting. "I'm sorry, I don't know any healing magic to tend to your wounds but..."

"No matter," said Mootoo, "this way!"

Aefa hurried after the girl as she wandered into another pack of Kvaldir. The girl has a death wish, she thought as she wound up another frostbolt. She was sure the muttering she heard from the elemental was a few choice elemental oaths.

Eventually, the mist thinned. Mootoo shouted "Father!" and ran into the enormous embrace of a large Tauren standing on the edge of the camp.

"Daughter! You've returned!" He turned to Aefa with a look of joy. "Thank you so much, blood elf! Please accept these gloves as a token of my thanks. "

"Well, you're welcome," Aefa smiled at the happy reunion, even as she wondered what kind of father would bring their daughter to such a dreadful war-torn place as the frozen North.  Her own father certainly would never have allowed such a thing.

She turned to the Goblin, who was looking hopefully at her from a short distance away.  "I'm sorry, but you can go find your own thingummy-whatsit," she said, shuddering.  "I am NOT going back into that mist again.  I wonder if there's anywhere in Warsong Hold a girl could get a hot bath..."


This story sums up my feelings about escort quests.

It also raised a couple of questions:
  • When you summon a Water Elemental, is it the same one each time? Warlock demons have names so you know you have summoned your old mate Flaadhun or whatever, but elementals all look alike. We should be able to name them.  Aefa usually refers to hers as "Welly", which she suspects it hates.
  • There are a distinct lack of bathrooms in Azeroth! The occasional dip in a stream or the ocean is all very well, but sometimes a girl just needs a hot bath, y'know?

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