- -by Jezzrunka
The wind blew particularly hard in Tanaris today, and the sand which held countless secrets beneath its dunes blew through the air with stinging persistence. On the outskirts of Gadgetzan, the only major population center in the area, several figures stood and gazed out upon the landscape. Most of the shapes were easy enough to make out: Goblins. And thats not much of a surprise considering the proximity to the Goblin city. However amongst them was a tall, hulking form, many many feet taller than even the tallest goblin.
The form was bipedal, with a large, broad back which bent to be almost parallel with the sandy ground. Two long, large arms connected to the broad shoulders, and the creatures fists were buried into the sand to help prop up its size. Stooped and hunched, standing much like some gorilla out of Stranglethorn Vale, the creature was still much taller than any Night Elf. Perhaps even a Tauren!
The oddities only began with the size and posture, however, for upon closer inspection the creature was clearly some form of Troll! Long tusks, perhaps two feet in length, jutted from the Trolls wide mouth and slung low, undoubtedly capable of dealing grievous wounds to anyone that got in its way. A rugged leather harness, leaving the majority of his considerable frame exposed, slung over his back and connected across the chest and back, and then latched to his pants.
Atop the Trolls head rested a bright yellow miners helmet, much akin to something an industrial worker would wear, and a candle that burned brightly and seemed undaunted by the whistling wind and screaming sand. And while his stature and size were intimidating enough, the veritable arsenal of explosives hooked around the Trolls belt was even more frightening: stick bombs, detonators, frag grenades, dynamite, and even a landmine clanked together haphazardly; all in dangerous proximity to the candle atop the substantial creatures head.
In terms of raw weaponry, a large blunderbuss with a huge barrel and flared out muzzle was also strapped over the Trolls considerable back. Two swords clung to his belt, and an odd, metallic gun with an ornate dragon head for a muzzle, also hung and clanked with the other weapons.
A bit of distance behind the Troll and Goblins sat a smaller, more typically sized female Troll. Demurely rested on her knees, she sat in the sand with her head lowered quietly. Her skin, a shimmering light blue, served as a stark contrast to the fiery red and brown landscape and her hair, voluminous and black with dark blue overtones, whipped in the wind about her fair, clean face. Two tiny, barely noticeable tusks protruded from either crack of her mouth, and a large, iron ring hung from the septum of her nose, just brushing against her upper lip. She glanced up at the group before her, but made not a sound. Her torso was covered by a leather harness, crossed at the center of her chest and at her back, several loops and rings hung from the leather. A simple loincloth covered her lower body, at least as far as her crotch was concerned, but she sat quietly with her exposed legs in the sand. Amidst the pelting wind and burning sand, she did not flinch. She simply watched.
One of the Goblins, standing closest to the Troll, looking up at him and grinned, "Yah ready big fellah?"
The Troll looked down at the Goblin and grinned in response, "You betcha! Lets kick dis pig!" His voice echoed and elicited a glance from the female behind him.
Another Goblin, a few meters from the Troll, raised his hand and fired a flare, which signaled some unknown message to a far off Goblin. A moment later, a loud blast of noise came from Gadgetzan proper, and a large clay-gryphon tumbled forward and aft through the air. The Troll squinted in the sandstorm and pulled the blunderbuss from his shoulder. He leveled it and squinted, before squeezing the trigger. The blunderbuss, scaled to the considerable size of the wielder, let out an explosion and sent powder and dust up into the maelstrom of sand. The gryphon jerked in the air and burst into pieces, falling to bits to be lost forever.
Behind them, an object rose from the sand in the form of a human. The Troll whirled around, gripping his stick bomb, and hurled it at the fake form. The bomb hurtled towards the shape and buried itself in its chest, before detonating with resounding report and creating a hail of wool and bolts in the objects place.
The gauntlet, however, was far from over. Atop a nearby hill, several barrels emerged and rolled in their direction. The Troll grinned and grabbed another stick bomb, but paused as he regarded the explosive. Shaking his head, he grabbed another bomb, a larger, thicker frag grenade, and hurled it at the incoming objects. With a blast and a shower of debris, the barrels were but a memory.
Amidst the chaos, the female watched quietly. The look on her face was one of reverence and awe, but there was a concern present. The explosions continued: gunfire, guffawing, explosions, even a few curses here and there. As the smoke blew about and diffused with the sandstorm, the Goblins and Troll remained where they were. Craters freshly fashioned from the various explosives rapidly filled with sand, and the chaos that ensued was suddenly wiped from the landscape, as if it had never happened.
The Troll turned to his female counterpart and winked, "Ya see, Vashana!? Dat be ow its done! Dat be ow yah take care o da problem! When da reason fails da force prevails!"
Even with all the bombs he had thrown, countless explosives, large and small, hung from his belt. Laughing loudly with the Goblins, the Troll tipped his helm, and one small spark from the candle atop his helmet flitted into the whirling air.
It danced like a piece of fluff trapped in a snow globe. This way and that it swirled and shivered, but clearly it was not in a globe, and no one around the Troll knew what was about to happen. The spark, so defenseless and helpless, twirled around the torso of the Troll and landed, lo and behold, on the wick of a stick of solid dynamite still snugly attached to his belt.
That little tiny spark grew and burned.
And somewhere in Gadgetzan, members of the Alliance and Horde prepare for war. And somewhere in the town the auctioneer is haggling with buyers. Folks are eating and telling stories, while others seek shelter from the storm.
But for one moment, in the distance, a loud BOOM rocked their lives, and the burgeoning plume of smoke which rose from the horizon was a clear indication that a tremendous amount of explosives had just gone off.
One on looking Goblin looked to another, "Wasnt Jezzrunka out there today?"
"Yup," the other Goblin replied, "he sure was."
The two Goblins paused for a moment, before nodding to one another.
--Lilithia 18:48, 2 January 2007 (GMT)