The End of an Exile
- - by Jaero
Two weeks. And then I will be home or closer to it than I have been in many a moon. Sailing the South Seas with a buccaneer crew out of Lost Rigger Cove ain’t something this soldier would have seen coming ere ten years back. It’s painfully clear the influence they’ve had upon my vocal wiles. ‘Course were it something I didn’t take well to, they may‘ve found me out an’ tossed me in the Maelstrom.
There are clouds on the horizon. I am weary of the endless sundering sea. I long for sturdy ground with which to plant my feet.
I hope to the heavens that my message was not intercepted before its arrival in Northshire. I wager there be but one way to find out. And I shall, one way or another, when I come out of the Vale by the northerly passage.
What worries me most of all is that Shirebourne has resorted to asking my aid. It means there is no one left to trust. If I’ve been called out of refuge, what does that mean for our kingdom?
Ever yours, Azeroth.
- The Orcslayer
The silver-white moon shimmered faintly through the storm clouds upon the obsidian waves of the South Seas; the water reflecting perfectly the eerie stillness of the air. The eastern horizon revealed the great tempest that would crash into the Jungle within hours. A lone frigate with black sails sat safely off-shore against the chaotic backdrop; a silent sentinel standing vigil against a looming predator.
With a gentle breeze of the westerly wind, a piece of the ship’s dark silhouette split from it and glided gently towards the Wild Shore of Stranglethorn Vale. As the shadow drew near to the beach, the clouds parted for a moment and the moonlight shone upon the guise of a gray-bearded man on a small raft. He was arrayed with a three-point hat, a loose red shirt, dark pantaloons, leather boots, and an eye-patch over his right eye. The man rowed vigorously, as though a host of sea giants were at his heals.
Striking land, he quickly debarked, carrying a large satchel under one arm and a sword in the other. Finding cover under the eaves of a palm tree, he planted his sword in the sand and turned heal, gazing back at the ship with a fiery look in his eye. Suddenly a great clamor erupted on the distant ship. The air filled with a chorus of steel ringing and guns singing. The man chuckled as he watched from the beach. “Pirates” he spat, cursing at the ship.
The fighting continued for a few minutes, but their mutiny was cut short by the deafening roar of rolling thunder. Realizing their impending doom, the pirates laid down their arms and scrambled to their stations. The fight had cost them precious minutes that they could not spare, for in their wrath, they failed to notice the storm was nearly upon them. The buccaneers sailed south towards the cape of Booty Bay, pushing the frigate to its limits.
Within a few moments, the frigate would likely be swallowed by the storm, torn asunder by the lightning, and shattered on the rocks along the coast, but it was of no consequence. They deserved what ever horrid fate befell them. The gray-bearded man turned his back to the thunderheads and he knelt down, dumping the contents of his satchel. A parcel wrapped in deep red cloth fell to the ground with a clang! He carefully pealed back the fabric to reveal a set of tarnished old plate armor.
Carelessly tossing away his pointed hat, he tore off his red shirt, scattering the buttons in the sand. He held it up for a moment, peering through a bullet-sized hole where his heart would have been. A wide grin spread across his face as he looked down at the chest piece he was wearing. It had a small dent where the bullet struck.
Another narrow escape, he thought to himself. You’re getting too old for this.
After adorning himself with the rest of the armor, he shook the sand off the red piece of fabric and clasped it around his neck - for it was a long, beautiful cape wrought of the finest mageweave. Seizing his blade from the ground, he fastened the sheath to his belt. His shoulders were broad and his chin high as he was clothed in garb more natural to him. He was no pirate, but a grizzled warrior; a veteran of many battles, and many winters.
The salty wind began to howl. The storm was mere moments from the beach, and he would still need to find cover for the night. Heading inland, he set forth into the dense jungle at a swift pace.
To Be ContinuedEdit