Drotara wasn’t pleased with the situation. Saurfang had asked him to bring a younger, less experienced Orc with him as he journeyed into the Sholazar Basin. He had been tasked to assess the Alliance presence there and provide intelligence to determine whether it was worth the effort of establishing a Horde outpost.
He easily could have gathered this data by himself, but all this did was complicate the situation. Grakk was his name. The same young Orc from the zeppelin who scoffed at Drotara’s patient demeanor was now charged with accompanying him. He said he was under the tutelage of Grezz Ragefist of Orgrimmar. Trained in the art of melee weaponry, Drotara didn’t doubt his ability to absorb pain.
Night had fallen by the time the group had reached the basin. Lush foliage covered the ground with massive trees reaching with outstretched branches obscuring the night sky. It reminded Drotara of Un’goro Crater. It’s as if he knew these trees and plants. It was all oddly familiar. Yet…
It’s as if he knew these trees and plants. It was all oddly familiar. Yet…
“The fish looks done” Grakk mumbled. It would have been far too much work and far too noisy to hunt down an animal when trying to remain invisible to the unseen denizens of the area, much to the chagrin of Grakk. Catching fish was quiet. The group had set-up a small camp nestled near a group of rocks and a large tree to help conceal the light from their campfire.
Drotara had kept the fire as small as possible while still being able to cook the fish. Grakk pulled his off the fire and quickly tore into it. Drotara removed the remaining two from the campfire, tossed one over to Temujin, and then promptly put out the campfire bringing the visibility to near blindness. In the darkness you could hear Temujin chomping down on his share of the dinner.
Drotara leaned back and began savor his fish. There had been many times when he had gone without a warm meal and Drotara would make sure he takes the time to enjoy every one he has.
“Why do you waste food on him? He looks like a ghost, does he even need it? And can’t he catch his own?” Grakk’s words were barely more than a whisper in the darkness but it was obvious he was referring to Temujin receiving a third of the food they had caught.
“He’s as much a part of this expedition as you are. He’s seen more battles than you have, fought by my side longer than you have and is as much a servant of the Warchief as either of us. Given his past accolades it would be more fitting if he was asking why you deserved the third fish.”
Drotara didn’t need to be able to see Grakk to grasp his displeasure with the response. But he didn’t say anything either.
Drotara grabbed his bow and stood up in the darkness. “Stay here.”
“Who?” Grakk inquired. “You. Temujin is coming with me.”
And with that, the two strode out of the camp into the black. Drotara wondered if Grakk would listen. What were the chances of him stumbling out into the night in his less-than-inconspicuous armor attracting who knows what. While he may have been instructed to bring him along, he wasn’t exactly in a position to hand-hold him through the finer nuances of scouting.
Despite his bulky Orc frame, Drotara was able to scour a nearby rock face with relative ease, giving him an elevated position to peer into the darkness. And there it was.
The flickering light of another campfire in the distance. Drotara gathered the camp wasn’t more than a few hundred yards from their current position. He nimbly hopped down the opposite side of the rock face with Temujin in tow and silently crept closer to the illusive campfire.
He reached within shouting distance of the opposing camp, and watched as large flames danced across the trunks of the surrounding trees, casting the shadows of the nearby figures. He dared not venture too much closer but needed to somehow get a better gauge of the camp’s inhabitants. Glancing up, he found a few sturdy branches that he used to pull himself up to see if he could get a better view.
5 humans. 6 bedrolls. And a fire large enough to indicate they were not an attempt at being discreet. The light illuminated their armor, bearing the royal seal of Stormwind.
The empty bedroll was what concerned him however. Temujin curled up as small as he possibly could at the base of the tree as Drotara peered into the surrounding darkness as the light from the nearby campfire tapered off.
The ability to hunt and track their quarry wasn’t all physical skill. There was the skill of the arcane. There more than a few tricks that Drotara relied on that happily blended both, although his skill at any magic was no more than rudimentary. Quietly listening, he started preparing his traps. He felt confident he hadn’t been noticed but combating five Stormwind soldiers wasn’t a fight he wanted to voluntarily start.
He quietly lowered himself back to ground level and set about preparing his traps in the most direct visible path out of the camp. And that’s when the echo resonated through out the area. A Warrior’s battle shout, loud enough to bring the guards out of slumber.
Drotara had seconds remaining as the guards clamoring for their weapons in the night’s darkness. He finished laying his traps, motioned for Temujin and took off in a full sprint back towards the camp.
Behind them, Drotara could hear the muffled yells of the Alliance soldiers. Upon hearing the battle shout they bolted into the night towards the sound. And just as he had planned, right through the traps he had left in his wake. They were more than adequate to keep them busy while Drotara ran back to see what was going on.
Upon reaching the campsite, he saw Grakk lying on the ground, heavily wounded. But his assailant hadn’t made a clean escape yet. Drotata let loose a blunt-tipped arrow that landed on the rogue with almost enough force to knock him over. Another arrow was on its way by the time the would-be assassin spun around to see who was retaliating against him.
Unfortunately the last thing he would see would be the jaws of an ethereal wolf clamping down on this throat.
Drotara grabbed Grakk, heaved him over his shoulder and made haste to abandon their camp. It wasn’t safe anymore and the rest of the soldiers wouldn’t be too far behind.
I received some decent responses from my first creative writing endeavor, so hopefully this second is as well received. Also, I would like to point you over to http://suckatzerg.qqpewpew.com. A good friend of mine has decided to write about his current and future endeavors in Starcraft 2. He is a great player and a skilled writer. I hope you enjoy his new addition to the community.
As always, thoughts, comments, etc. Leave’ em here in the comments!