Amoola

The best laid plans of cows and men...

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Amoola    10

Rain poured outside as the guild hall door flew open with a gust of wind and large, sodden figure framed with a flash of lightning. As the door was pushed closed against the wind thunder rumbled outside the city.

With a sigh the large figure shook off some of the water to leave a lake sized puddle in her wake as her cloak hood hung from her left horn.

"Earthmother help us or we will all be drowned!" She laughed trying to untangle the soaked folds of the cloak from where it stuck stubbornly to her legs as if it has a serious wish for her to trip and fall.

"Cabriel, thank you for letting me borrow your oiled sack. My goods would have been ruined in the walk home." She commented pulling it from within her cloak Grinning at the elf who looked to be curled up with a book, half hidden in the Tauren sized wing chair by the fire.

"Let me get cleaned up and I'll show you how to make one of my favorite treats." She winked. Turning to the table she made careful progress. Setting down the bag, she continued on to the stairs.

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Cabriel    10

Cabriel loved rainy days. He’d opened the shutters on the windows in the greatroom to allow a cool breeze, heavy with the scent of the storm, to clear out the stuffiness in the room. He’d just finished revising his formulation for a more concentrated version of fire oil. Firefin snappers were, thankfully, a species that refrained from giving off the foul odor that other forms of sea life might, but still…the guildhall was definitely benefitting from the fresh air. All around the room and into the kitchen were scattered small vials containing the stuff, cooling so the stoppers would effectively seal with their characteristic little “pop”. Once they were finished, a third of the vials were auction house-bound, a third would be stored in Cabriel’s private reserve, and a third the young warlock would place in Sanctuary’s vault at the Orgrimmar bank. A rattle of thunder overhead made Cabriel happy that the trip outside could wait until tomorrow, when the oils would definitely be ready.

He was engrossed in recording his revisions to the formulation when Moola crashed through the door, The sight of her bulging bag of delicious ingredients made the elf’s stomach rumble audibly. He blushed slightly, smiling at the shaman.

“I can’t wait! Your recipes are always amazing!!”

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Amoola    10

A short while after leaving a trail of rain water up the guild hall stairs Amoola swept back down into the common area. A specially made and hand painted Trollish sarong was tied about her hips, left to flutter as she moved about. A midrift showing crocheted top covered any possible decency issues since she like to have as much freedom of movement when working in the kitchen as possible. A thin cream color scarf held her beaded braids and mane out of her face while a new leather apron enjoyed a ride on her shoulder.

Coming to a stop in front of the table she flipped open the bag and did a quick scan of the items she had bought.

"It looks like you have been busy already. If you have anything on the kitchen table could you please move it?" She smiled, picking up the bag. "We are going to need as much room in the kitchen as we can get." With that she moved tot he swinging kitchen doors and swept through. "You get to learn how to make my version of Bladespire bagels and Aunt Bess's strawberry cream cheese!" She called over her shoulder as she disappeared into the kitchen.

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Cabriel    10

To himself, Cabriel wondered which Aunt Bess Amoola was referring to.

"No worries! The table should be clear. I've just been tinkering around while the hall was empty and it's so gray outside. Glad the bag helped!"

Cabriel placed a leather bookmark in his grimoire and stood, stretching. On bare feet he padded across the hall and into the kitchen, watching Amoola arrange ingredients along the counter. A few of his vials of fire oil were arranged along the edge.

"Just go ahead and move those wherever. I'm waiting for the lids to seal. Bagels, huh? I'm not Azeroth's most acomplished baker. This should be interesting!"

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Amoola    10

She efficiently laid out the ingredients by size and when she would need them. A large bag of fresh Mulgore flour, a fist sized packet of Stranglethorn cane sugar, Revantusk sea salt, her secret mix of baking spices, a cube of yeast the baker had lovingly wrapped in waxed paper for her (after she had buttered him up with compliments on golden rolls put out for display.), butter and the fresh stawberries and soft white cream cheese.

She nodded in satisfaction giving the line one last look over. Then she moved the bag to the table sweeping up a couple of fresh dish towels on her way to the table. Carefully placing the lot on the table she smiled at Cabriel.

"Now this is one of the tricks to this recipe." She winked pulling a thick flat stone out of the bag. The dull gray layered rock was about as big around as a large plate and as thick as a rolling pin. "This, as simple as it looks has a big role to play in perfect raised breads." She held it out for him see. "The layers give the perfect balance of density in order for it to hold warmth and lightness so that I can move it about. Could you lay the towels out so that they are ready to wrap around this when I set it down? I'm going to warm this up." She smiled slightly as she closed her eyes in concentration.

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Cabriel    10

"Oh. It looks heavy."

Cabriel sidled over to a stack of neatly folded towels. Gingerly, he shook the dust from each and smoothed them down onto the flat surface of the counter. To make more room for Amoola and her sure-to-be delicious bagels, he pushed an assortment of bottles, vessels, a few stray utensils, and his vials of fresh oil to the edge of the surface near the wood-burning oven.

"I've always loved this oven. It makes everything taste so crispy and smoky. " He took up the iron poker from it's post on the wall and stoked the coals till they glowed. Outside, the rain fell harder, acompanied by a faint tracery of lightning over the Durotar sky. The whole scene was so...homey. Nothing wrong in the whole world.

"Done! What's first?"

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Amoola    10

Giving the stone a couple good shocks of flame she quickly put it down and wrapped it in the towels to stay warm.

"Well... First things first." She blew gingerly on her fingers to cool them. "We are going to need a good sized mixing bowl, a large wooden spoon, a small metal bowl and a fork." As she spoke she reached for each item.

"Since we have a nice hot stone, we are going to skip the usual method to warm the water for the yeast." She continued pouring about a cup of water into the small bowl. "Since we are using dish towels to insulate the stone the extra heat that we don't need will be released but while we wait for that to happen we might as well put it to use warming the water." She opened the towels just enough to place the bowl directly on the uncovered surface.

"Now if you could gently stir it, please." She handed Cabriel a fork as she reached for the sugar.

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Amoola    10

"My friend Alo sent it to me. I think he ment it as a surprise. I didn't know it was going to be in my mail box." She explained as she sprinkled three large pinches of sugar into the water he was stirring. "If you really want to learn some cooking you should visit him in Thunderbluff. He taught me most of what I know." She smiled fondly while crumbling the pale brown yeast into the sugared water.

"Go ahead and let it sit while we get the rest of this together. You get to do this part." She pointed to the bowl. "you will want about half the flour in the bowl, a good pinch of salt, and a couple pinches of sugar. I'm going to grab the eggs out of the cold box." She swished off while putting on the leather apron.

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Cabriel    10

"I love Thunder Bluff. Everything there always seems to peaceful. I'll have to ask around for your friend next time I'm up there.

He added the ingredients Amoola had specified, though somewhat nervously. He knew baking was much more a science than an art, and he didn't want to disappoint his friend. She seemed so excited to share her recipe with him. He made a mental note to find a dish in his own repertoire to return the favor.

Quietly, he said, "I wish I had an apron..."

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Amoola    10

"Oh, I wouldn't so much worry about asking around for him." She commented over her shoulder while looking for the small eggs in the cold box. "He cooks for innkeeper Pala. Spends his time behind the inn. Let alone you can't miss a big white Tauren who's blind yet gets around as if his eyes worked." She chuckled. "If you get the urge just drop in. Tell him you are a friend of mine and he'll treat you like family." Finding four eggs she returned to the table with them.

"Now let's see." She looked over the contents of the bowl then the face of her friend. "And relax. Please." She smiled at him. "Some might say that this is a high science, that needs the utmost perfection." She used a false sternness to her voice while a joking scowl crossed her face. "But, for those who walk with nature know that it is more an art." She patted him on the back. "It is as open to interpretation as any other art. What works in one place won't work as well some place else. Try boiling water in Mulgore some time and then see what happens when you do so high up in the Stonetalon area." She winked. "Now you can add the yeast water, the eggs and I will pour the milk. You can stir at first. When it gets to stiff for you I will take over, just let me know."

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Cabriel    10

He took the spoon and bowl, and began to mix. The dough came together quickly as Amoola poured, and smelled fresh and light.

"I made some spice bread a while back, when I was first trying my hand at this whole cooking thing. It was alright, I suppose. I accidentally grabbed powdered mageroyal instead of cinnamon -- they look so similar -- and as a result nearly killed Abanip."

He glanced up at the quizzical-looking shaman.

"I don't eat anything from a new recipe until I feed it to him first. There's just too many crazy people out there. You can't believe everything in a recipe until you try it, and I for one am not willing to put myself and my digestion at risk just because some goblin thought it would be funny screw with the quantities. Besides, he's an imp. When he dies, it's just on this plane. He'll come back in a few hours." He smiled.

"It's actually quite useful."

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Amoola    10

She blinked for a moment then cocked an eyebrow. 'It's not what you do but how you act.' she mentally reminded her self. 'There are are good and bad of all walks.'

"Let's see how the dough is coming together." She said scooping up a large spoonful of butter then rubbing it all over her hands and up a little ways past her wrists. "I would suggest you try rubbing some butter on your hands as well. I'm not the only one here with some form of fuzz." She said in answer to Cabriel's quizzical look as he watched. "It is easier to clean a greasy or fatty substance off of your skin and out of any hair then it is to get hair out of dough and vica versa." She smiled reassuringly at him as her hands reached into the bowl to test the dough. Finding it to her liking, she deftly pulled it out, pulled about a quarter of it off and dropped the smaller piece on the counter in front of the elf while unceremoniously dropping her own larger piece straight down with a loud thud. Automatically her hands began to knead and work the dough.

"Now what would you like for lunch? We are going to have a little break while this rises."

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Cabriel    10

The dough was squishy and cool and delightful. He loved the way it squeezed through his fingers and he kneaded it onto the counter, back and forth.

"This butter is going to do wonders for my cuticles. Ever since I left Desolace a while back I've had such trouble keeping them from getting so dry they hurt."

From somewhere in the next room, Cabriel heard the tiny "pop" sound of a vial of fire oil sealing itself. He smiled while kneading, and heard two more "pops" directly behind him on the counter near the oven.

"As for lunch, I believe I've some leftover stew I whipped up the other night. It's pretty tasty -- got the recipe in Booty Bay a while back. Apples, tomatoes, some paprika, peppers, and this strange stuff they call 'mystery meat' which I think is actually some kind of game bird. I'm sure it would be great heated up."

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Amoola    10

"Stew would be perfect today. Nothing like something nice and hot when it is cool and wet out." She nodded. "I think that we are about done for the moment." The dough felt perfect. It was at just the right elasticity. She plopped her dough into the metal bowl then set it on the towel wrapped stone. While Cabriel added his dough she grabbed another towel to cover the bowl.

Once the dough had been loosely tucked in Amoola retrieved a giant stock pot from the pantry. Placing it on the stove she began to fill it up with pitchers of water.

"It is going to take a while for this to start boiling. By then the dough will have risen. We can eat while we wait." She explained. "I'll let you warm the stew while I take care of this." She hummed softly as she topped off the stock pot with several pitchers of water followed it up with two large handfuls of salt.

Moving to the sink she preceded to scrub her hands and arms.

"Want to eat at the table in the common room? I can clear it a little so we have some space."

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Cabriel    10

“That sounds great! I’ve left a little clutter behind – just some vials I’m waiting on to seal. Feel free to shove them over. I’ll just hop upstairs and grab the leftover stew. Meet you in the common room!”

Cabriel snagged a towel from the stack and wiped his hands off as best he could. The rain had slowed to a gentle patter outside against the streets, though the clean-smelling breeze still blew through the hall. Amoola finished rinsing her hands, and Cabriel tossed her a towel. The tauren moved with her signature grace out from the kitchen and into the adjoining hall. Cabriel loved the sounds her myriad beads made as they clicked and clattered at the back of her neck.

The elf peeked at the dough again secretly, and smiled at the warm and earthy aroma it gave off as it rose. Happily, he bounded up the back staircase in the rear of the kitchen up to the narrow landing on the second floor.

Cabriel’s room was the second door on the right along the hall. Deep shelves hollowed from the masonry held all manner of texts on anatomy, alchemy, geography, and herbalism. His mechanical squirrel was there, powered down, as were tall stacks of carefully folded shirts, tunics, and breeches. He wished for better weather through the great south-facing window that illuminated the entire space, as it was nearly impossible for the warlock to locate the bag containing the leftover stew in the trunk at the foot of his bed. Boots and scrolls were tossed to the floor next to quills, candles, bottles of perfume, various recipe cards he meant to enter into his grimoire, and other paraphernalia on the ground as he rifled through the heavy trunk. Finally, after a long twelve minutes, the stew surfaced in a sealed earthenware pot.

“That took long enough,” he whispered to himself.

He paused momentarily for a once-over in the polished brass mirror near the door, discovered he looked attractively comfortable as usual, and strode out the door.

The smell of bagels laced the air in the stairway. “Moola! Are you getting impatient? I thought they needed to rise before we baked them!” He smiled as he carefully descended the curving stairs to the kitchen.

A “pop” punctuated itself into his ears, and another quickly followed. “Hmm…those were louder than usual.” The vials must have been really sealing tightly today.

He had made it almost to the bottom of the stairs when Amoola’s alarmed voice rang through the air.

“Fire! Fire!! What was in those vials, Cabriel???”

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Amoola    10

A rapid fire of several more loud pops followed the first as she desperately wished that the swinging kitchen doors had handles. Burning oil flew across the kitchen as she retreated out of the kitchen as quickly as she had entered. Her arms covered her head as she landed with a thud.

"Cabriel!" She yelled trying to pat down the spot on the hem of her sarong that had been caught by a piece of flaming glass.

What had started as a confusingly pleasant aroma of baking bagels had quickly turned to the smell of flaming oil and timber as thick black smoke began to pour through any cracks it could find in the kitchen for a means of escape.

"What the Fel is going on?!?" she muttered to herself. "Cabriel! Tell me you are alive up there!" she bellowed towards the main stairs.

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Cabriel    10

It smelled like fish now, that was for certain. Cabriel mentally reminded himself to record this detail in the formulation notes.

He poked his head out from the stairwell, shielding his eyes. The scorched scent of baked goods permeated the air along with the burnt firefin odor. Oil slid down the walls, slick with the blue-hot sheen of chemical fire. The old, weathered wood of the long table curled upward as the burning oil seeped into its grain, where it continued to smolder beneath the surface. Amoola’s towels suddenly became airborne, held aloft by wings of flame. The metal bowl that once held the pair’s delicious rainy afternoon treat now glowed red atop the stone. The elf’s stomach groaned in protest of the loss.

“I’m fine! I’m in the stairwell!” Cabriel coughed against the thick, acrid smoke that seeped up the stairs. He cursed out loud, thinking of how the smoke would likely ruin his exposed clothes.

“Not to mention the cloth I was donating to the quartermaster,” he exclaimed abruptly.

“What??” Amoola shouted.

“Nothing! Can you try and get it under control? I’m going to run around to the other staircase and meet you in the common room!”

The sound of crackling overwhelmed Amoola’s answer. On the way back up the stairs, Cabriel marveled at how such a simple adjustment to the formulation – removing the bones and scales from the firefins before pressing them for the oil (he theorized that the calcium contained in those portions counteracted the oil’s final combustion capabilities) – could produce such a radical change. He rushed, fast as possible on bare feet, to the second staircase of the guildhall, which led into the common room.

A loud crash resounded as the wood of the kitchen table buckled. Cabriel’s eyes followed Amoola’s upward to the heavy wood beams that supported the kitchen’s ceiling. He made a very difficult call.

“The kitchen is lost – maybe that whole wing. We need to contain the flames. Any ideas?”

Vilmah was going to kill him.

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Broxigan    10

A few foodstuffs was all he would need for his trip. The workshop had been lacking in it as of late and occasionally Brox would venture into the guild hall, via the portal he had created in the basement behind the odd, metal door.

It was that very door that swung open and the orc walked through with Vee perched upon his shoulder. The basement was rather empty, compared to the clutter it used to have when Brox's inventions occupied the space.

A brow arched curiously as scents bombarded his nose. First, it was the scent of pastries, then the scent of fish, then the scent of fire and ash.

Wait, fire and ash?!

Vee let out a small alarm right in Brox's ear, the orc cringing slightly as the high pitched wail pierced his ear drum. He rushed towards the staircase, stumbling over god knows what and scrambled up the stairs. The sting of the heat from the kitchen and the smoke in the air caused his eyes to water as his brow furrowed deeply.

"Okay. What the HELL is going on here?!" he called out loudly, crossing his arms over his chest, looking around, uselessly, as Vee chirped out.

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Amoola    10

"CABRIEL! Get your butt out of there!" A momentary pause was followed by Amoola cupping her hands around her mouth and bellowing. "If there is ANYONE in this guild hall you better wake up and get your asses out NOW!"

She had started toward the stairs when she thought she caught another voice. She paused.

"Cabriel I haven't the slightest clue about how to get this under control!" she bellowed watching the fire as it began to case the wall between the common room and the kitchen to take on a ember glow.

She turned to see what the shrilling noise was.

"Oh, Sweet mother of Thrall!" She moaned loudly. Her eyes passed over Brox and locked on the table covered in the jars Cabriel had been waiting on to seal. If her guess was correct there were at least twenty more jars that matched the ones torching the kitchen.

"Vee! Get Brox to the front door now! We're sitting on a time bomb!"

Her mind practically siezed up trying to think of some way to save this situation.

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Broxigan    10

Brox wasn't looking too pleased with what was going on. Vee was literally shrilling and beeping non-sense. The heat from the kitchen bombarded Brox as well as the smoke. His brow furrowed deeper as he shook his head, taking in a slow breathing.

"Amoola. Calm down. What the hell is going on? Time bomb? And why does it smell like the entire guild hall is burning down, hm?" Vacant eyes turned towards the kitchen, a brow arching curiously as he swore he caught a glimpse of something. Shaking his head, he turned back to Amoola's voice.

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Amoola    10

"Other then the fact that is is all a cooking lesson rampantly running off to fel in a hand basket I don't think that there is time to explain and I don't have all the details just yet." her voice rambled off quickly taking on a life of it's own. The smoke burned at her eyes and throat as she fought the strong desire to cough. "And just in case you didn't hear my yelling the guild hall IS on fire! Get your green ass out before the jars on the table get a chance to blow. I don't know what is in them but they match the ones that sent the kitchen up." Her voice strained to stay calm as she explained.

A sudden chill ran through her as the feeling of frigid water ran through her mind. Her fur stood on end as if she was trying to stay warm in complete opposition to the blasts of burning air rapidly taking over the guild hall. At that moment complete calm fell on the shaman ad she turned to Broxigan.

"Get yourself and Cabriel out." Her voice was flat and suddenly calm.

With out waiting for a response of any kind she moved a couple steps closer to the blaze. Firmly planting her hooves to the floor she opened her arms and began to chant.

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Cabriel    10

“Broxigan?? What are you doing here?” Cabriel skidded to a stop, his freshly pedicured feet sliding across the rapidly-heating stone floor. The sound of Vee squealing and chattering in alarm made the elf’s nerves vibrate all over his body.

He quickly scanned the great room; luckily, the fire was limited at the moment to the kitchen. A large archway, carved on either side with satyrs, harts, and wyverns, separated the two chambers. Along the hall’s floor, Cabriel’s green and gold gaze traced the worn treads on the many carpets strewn about, then up onto various lounges and chairs, bedecked with fringed pillows and knitted afghans. All flammable, yet at the moment, safe. He allowed himself a sigh of relief.

Until he noticed how close the table was that now was covered in the remaining vials of his catastrophic experimental oil. The heat raging from the blazing kitchen was licking at him enticingly, fed by the cross-breeze that blew through the open window.

Amoola had stepped forward, her short fur prickling and standing straight out from her body. Broxigan looked confused, backing slightly away toward the upward-leading staircase behind them. Cabriel knew he would be unable to touch the vials, and none of them could enter the inferno that used to be Sanctuary’s kitchen. He frowned at the memory of all the exciting recipes he had developed in that kitchen. But there was no time for sadness…only action.

Cabriel allowed his consciousness to shift slightly, blocking out awareness of the high temperature and smoky air momentarily as his fingers and hands wove a series of glyphs before him. The familiar sound of the nether – a weird conflagration of the noises of boiling, lightning, and cackling – crackled through the great room, and Abanip shunted into being (albeit unceremoniously, falling onto his barbed tail in a most ungracious manner).

“WHAT?!” The imp choked, then noticed the flames. “No. NO! NO NO NO!”

Cabriel was all business. “No.”

Abanip sighed in relief.

“At least not yet.” The imp made an exasperated snort. “Get those vials out of the hall immediately, then return here.”

The blood pact the warlock and minion shared was strong, and though it was through a screen of vile curses shouted in a combination of Eredun, Thalassian, Common, and Goblin, Abanip began hurling the red-hot vials of fire oil through the open window and into Orgrimmar’s wet streets.

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Amoola    10

A combination of the intense heat from the fire and the cool feeling she still felt washing over her caused the shamans eyes to close as if in sleep. Her hand moved in slow wave like motions as the calm continued to focus her mind.

She wasn't quiet sure what she was doing. Instinct and gut reaction said it was the best action to take. As the words of the chant slowly came to her she repeated them out loud.

The thick smoke threatened to choke her. The heat and flames felt as if they were trying to push her backwards, while the frigid feeling of flowing water threatened to push her forwards. The cold at her back keeping her skin goose bumped and fur standing on end.

Outside the steady rhythm of crashing jars of oil as they hit the street was slowly drowned out as the rain increased from a gentle steady patter to a resounding torrent pounding upon the pavement. Thunder rumbled in the distance as flashes of lighting lit the sky past the fortified walls of the city.

Within the flaming guild hall the shaman's voice flowed into a steady chant as the words became familiar. And aura of peace not unlike a gentle stream making it's way through a quiet glen, despite the fierce fire that licked it's way closer to where she stood.

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Broxigan    10

Quickly looking around, Brox could have sworn he saw something out the corner of his eye...if it were possible. The vibrations from the flames in the kitchen roared throughout the hall, the angered spirits within calling out to him as well as Amoola.

The heat had seemed to vanish for a moment as Amoola had dropped and begun chanting. That same sparkle twinkled in the corner of his eye before he finally caught on.

"Of course," he said calmly. Licking his lips, he walked over to Amoola, dropping down to one knee beside her. Both palms reached out, palms resting flatly upon the stone floor, similar to Amoola. He listened to her chanting a moment, the words lost to him. She did things her way, he would do things his.

Closing his eyes, he took in a slow breath, forcing all thoughts from his mind. The burning heat from the room beyond vanished, the smoke than wrapped around himself and the others seemed to go with the wind. His mind reached out, calling for the help of the spirits to calm to flames. His muscles relaxed, his head dropping as he faced the floor, breathing labored.

One hand rose from the floor, reaching down to his belt, pulling up one totem, setting it between the both of them. The palm of his hand dropped back to the floor as he sighed through his nose.

"I am with you, Amoola. You give the word..." he whispered, channeling his energies towards the tauren.

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