A Storm Over Kalimdor

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Somewhere behind dark clouds, the moon was high over Sun Rock Retreat.  Rain pattered down onto the dry red dirt, collecting in puddles and dribbling down the sheer cliff faces into the small Tauren village below.  Despite the hour and the weather, the distant sound of fighting could be heard echoing from over the canyon walls.  And standing above it all, looking down into the village below, was a lone Goblin.  A cigar chomped in the corner of his mouth lighting up his face and the pair of goggles resting upon his forehead in an orange-red glow.  He’d take a heavy puff from the cigar now and then, drawing on it to keep the dim glowing tip alight despite the rain fighting to extinguish it.

With a sigh, he reached into his vest and withdrew a pocket watch, exchanging it to his opposite hand to fling the water that had collected on his fingertips after reaching into his soaked clothing.  Lifting the pocket watch to his cigar to cast some light on it in order to read the time. He grunted and rolled his eyes before tucking the watch away once more into the wet clothing from which it had came.

“You’re late again.”  He commented aloud around the cigar, rolling it from one side of his mouth to the other.

Behind him, the sound of heavy steps in the mud grew gradually louder.  A Tauren approaching, walking up the steep wet slope of the path that lead to the top of the cliff.

“Sorry. Traffic.”  Came the flat joke in reply, a smooth baritone voice from the bull that strode toward the Goblin.

The Goblin rolled his eyes, visible only thanks to the glow upon his face.  But the smirk that pulled at the corners of his lips was obvious.  It was short lived though as he pulled a folder from under his arm, tucked into his armpit to keep it at least somewhat dry.

It wasn’t particularly effective.

Never the less, he held the damp folder up with a full extension of his arm for the Tauren to take it.  And as the bull came to a stop at the cliffs edge he took the folder, opening it in a hand.  The Goblin reached into his vest to retrieve a flashlight for the bull to read by, but stopped short.  Before he could retrieve the flashlight, the Tauren’s fingertips upon his free hand lit up with arcs of blue electricity.  His hand raised just high enough to light the pages.

Within the folder were photos and documents.  Horde insignias marked each page. Post combat reports and debriefings taken by Horde intelligence.  Thick fingers paged slowly through the folder, flipping from one page to the next before coming to rest upon a photo.  An image frozen in time of the carnage upon the beaches of Darkshore.  In the distance, the world tree Teldrassil smoldered, spewing smoke into the sky.  The Tauren visibly hesitated, an action which the Goblin recognized.

“It’s bad.”  Came the thickly accented voice of the Goblin.

“Bad is one word for it.”  The Tauren replied as he traced a finger along the photo, smearing raindrops across its surface.  “It would be ironic for me of all people to say Sylvannas has gone too far.”


“But Sylvannas has gone too far.”  The Tauren replied, closing the folder and holding it back out to the Goblin.  Realizing that he was done, the Goblin reached up and took it, tucking it back beneath his arm.

“So what do we do about it?”

“Nothing.”  Came the baritone reply.

The Goblin blinked, before looking up at the Tauren with a raised brow.  “The leader of the Horde is going too far in their conflict with the Alliance.  Again.  And we’re going to do nothing.  Again?”  He asked quizzically, wanting to confirm what he’d just heard.

“The whole reason myself and the others left was because our fight was over.  Our whole intent was to fight the battles the Horde could not.  Garrosh made our existence unnecessary.  For the Raven Cross to continue would simply mean becoming a part of the greater Horde war machine.  This is no different.”  The Tauren replied easily, shrugging his shoulders.  “And I have no interest in killing a fellow member of the Horde.  No matter how despicable they may have become.  It should not be our way.”

“So we just go back to watching?”

A nod of the Tauren’s head indicated his reply. Silence lingered in the air between them for a time.  Only the sound of the rain pattering down onto the world around them would fill the air.  The goblin stared at the Tauren for a time, before realising that the rain had finally won out against his cigar - it now was dark and wet. Grumbling, he pulled it from his lips and dropped it to the mud, stamping on it with a boot to make sure it stayed out.

“What about the others?  Have you heard anything about them?”  The Goblin asked, shaking his foot to dislodge mud from his boot.

“Not for years.  We all went our separate ways.  I’m not sure about the others that stayed and kept flying the flag, but they’re not in Sun Rock anymore.”  The Tauren replied, his eyes on the village below.  Even in the dark, the Goblin could make out the sombre look upon his face.  “It was for the best for everyone that we stayed out of touch.  The Alliance weren’t exactly going to take what we did lying down without looking for revenge.  We were a liability to each other.”

There was a brief pause, before the Goblin chuckled.  “So remind me why we still keep doing these little covert meetings, then?”

The grin from the Tauren was visible even in the dark as he turned his head to look down at the Goblin.  “Old habits die hard, my friend.”  With those words, the Tauren turned and started heading back towards the path up the cliff.  “I need to go see Teldrassil for myself.  Then maybe I’ll change my mind about our next move. Maybe it’s time.”

Nodding his head, the Goblin was silent and watched as his friend started walking away.  But before he was out of sight, the Goblin spoke up one last time.  “Dio!”

The Tauren lifted his head, and in the dark the Goblin could make out the silhouette of the Tauren as he turned his head to look over his shoulder.

“It was good to see you.  Unulu, too.  I’m assuming he’s around here somewhere, at least.”  The Goblin remarked.

In the dark, his expression unreadable, the Tauren smiled.  “Yeah, he’s around.  It was good seeing you, too, Chikt.  I’m sure we’ll be doing this again soon.”

With that, the Tauren continued down the path.  And as he disappeared out of sight, the storm went with him.

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