In times gone by, many a long night I spent roaming the plains of Alterac Valley, waging war on the Alliance. Everything’s all wham bam thank you Ma’am these days, but back then, battles in Alterac were epic affairs. Hours turned into days as we fought to defend the Keep, moving from stout defence to rapier attack and back again. One experienced a sense of achievement, even in defeat, when a battle had ended and there are many who look back on these glorious days with a sad regret tinged with the fondest of memories. I paid a visit a few weeks back to Drek’Thar, a brave chief whose side I had fought by many times, to catch up on recent events and to relive old adventures. He was his usual garrulous self and as always, was never short of something to say.
Ah Magpawacar, you have returned my friend. Long it has been since you have entered the domain of the Frostwolf. It is indeed good to see you once more. A little bird has informed me of your efforts in telling the stories of the citizens of Azeroth. I can only commend you and wish you well. These are strange and dangerous times for all of us. Our very existence is in peril, the defiant Scourge threaten all that we hold dear. And yet whilst our brethren are valiantly defending our freedoms and beliefs in the frozen north, we must remain vigilant here in the Valley. Vanndar remains as scurrilous as ever, his minions forever pillaging and rampaging through our outposts. Their confidence knows no bounds these days, safe in the knowledge that their positional advantages offer them more chances of victory than defeat. Yet, lest they forget, we are the Frostwolf and as long as my blood flows through my veins, Alterac Valley will never truly succumb to the Alliance menace. One day I will face Vanndar and put constant war to bed once and for all. He shall know his true place in the history of Azeroth, a bitter defeat at the hands of Drek’Thar. That day will come, Magpawacar and I hope you will allow yourself to be a part of it.
I’ll not lie to you, dear comrade, times are tough. The never-ending snows of the Great Winter continue to swirl about the Valley with little signs of a thaw. The Alliance deplete our packs of wolves and accordingly food shortages are commonplace. Perilous expeditions to the north are required more often to replenish our food supplies, and too often have I lost brave warriors and hunters in the quest for sustenance. There once was a time when the plains were abundant with wild beasts, providing enough food for all in the Valley. Now the scavengers rule with vicious abandon, driven by hunger and their desire to live themselves. I cannot foresee an end, Magpawacar, but hope must not die or we are doomed.
We have adapted to meet the challenges that face us. We conserve our resources wisely, using only the bare minimum to keep warm in the cold nights. The braziers are extinguished by midnight to save on fuel, the guards clothed in thick warm hides, imported from the fur traders of Northrend. Our meals are rationed and still my brave people stand tall against those brazen dwarfs and their human patsies. We shall fight them from the watchtowers and fight them on the hills and in the caves. We shall never surrender. The proud warriors of the Horde have my word on that. Tell the people Magpawacar what you now know. Relight the fires of Horde resistance against the Stormpike. Let the Frostwolf not be forgotten in the heart and minds of our companions. We can achieve a new beginning and forge our own destiny. Farewell, my brother. For the Horde!
Every now and then I like to slip into someone I haven’t played with in a while. And it’s not the neighbour’s wife if that’s what yer sleazy mind is thinking. Icklemagz is my chunky young Dwarf, idly loitering around Stormwind and it’s fair to say he has his uses from time to time. Apart from being of perfect proportion to wipe my Mammoth’s backside, he does provide me with many little nuggets of information and gossip from the Human capital. The latest rumour has it that raiding for the Alliance is to be curtailed due to tiredness in the classrooms the following day, whatever that is meant to imply. I’ve been using Icklemagz to spread the news of my quest to bring the voices of the unheard to the masses of Azeroth and beyond. I was surprised that so many came forward to speak to my lowly Dwarf. It must be my innate animal magnetism that does it. At least in the case of Melris Malagan anyways. Macho macho man indeed.
When I get off my shift tonight I really must nip over to the Apothecary’s and get some lotion. This suit of armor really chafes you know. I said to them when I achieved the position of Captain of the Guard that heavy plate was not my style and that the steel brings my skin out in a rash. Did they listen? Those big hairy lummoxes wouldn’t be able to distinguish pure unblemished skin from a ravasaur’s scaly manjewels. All beef steak and no crab terrine that’s what I say. Yet what can I do? This job requires butch struttings and heart guffaws, slapping the nubile maidens on the posterior being par for teh course. I can only be glad to paid attention in drama lesson back when I was at school. The art of deception and pretense was one skill I’m glad I learned back then.
My predecessor as Captain had a reputation for sowing his wild oats amongst the fair lassies of Goldshire. I’m not expected to be the same, the city elders have paid out enough in child maintenance to the hicks in the country, but then again, I am the paragon of Stormwind manhood and should be prepared to act accordingly if the need arises. The thought of siring a new breed of human superhero to defend Stormwind from the beefy orcs and the delicate blood elves always gives me a chuckle. I wouldn’t mind a tussle to the death with one of those Blood Elf Paladins with his jaunty laugh and taut but….wait… I’m going off track here. Focus Melris, focus.
Justine knows my true self. She’s been by my side for a while now and we share everything together. Her knowledge of facial products is staggering. I tell her she should leave the army and set up her own parlour. I fancy doing a bit of crimping there myself once my tour of duty ends. Wash and blowdry Madam? Trim the hair from your lips, m’lady? Always better to be upfront with your clients I think. Justine has said she would think about it, though I do think she’s more interested in getting down and dirty on the battlefield. Everyone’s different eh? She does like a good bitch and a gossip though which makes the day bearable here in the city centre. “Oh look at him with big shiny sword”, she’d say, knowing rightly we’d both be chuckling at the double entendre. She swore herself to secrecy about my, well you know, double life. And for that I love her dearly. We’re like girlfriends really.
After the Apothecary’s I’m going to go home and have a long hot bath. My armor weighs an absolute ton and usually by about late evening, my muscles start to really feel the strain. nothing beats a steaming lavender bubblebath though, to ease the stresses and strains. I’m supposed to be meeting a friend tonight at the Gilded Rose, so I’ll not dwell in the bath too long. Don’t want to be all pruned on a first date, paints a bad picture. Hmmm, might need to replenish my stock of oils and creams. I’ll see what’s on offer at the Apothecary’s when I’m there. Oh I just wish this day was over, so much to do, so much to wax. Oh no, the gnomes are running amok in the cheese shop again. They should know enough about the rat-traps by now. I’ll have to go release them again. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to talk to you again sometime. Take care of yourself.
The last few days have been hectic to say the least. Magpawacar Junior, the latest addition to the family, has decided to develop a taste for yodelling repeatedly throughout the day. My comely good lady wife has informed me that he will grow out of this habit soon, but I remember vividly from Little Miss Magpawacar, that young trolls are reluctant to give up a good thing. Especially if it involves driving their doting parents doolally. Little Miss Magpawacar has requested for her upcoming birthday a new pet, so I dropped by Breanni’s store in Dalaran for some advice. I’m not a huge animal or bird lover and as such my collection of pets is rather small. Breanni, however, was full of helpful tips and was more than delighted, upon hearing of my mission to spread the unknown voices of Azeroth, to tell me a bit more about what her take on life in Dalaran is. She did warn against getting a Mechanical Yeti as a pet though. Too hyper apparently.
It’s been 14 months now since I opened up shop here in Dalaran and for the most part business has been steady. Admittedly some days are better than others but I’m making enough to live on and to indulge myself in my favourite pastime every now and again. I know it’s not very politically correct these days, but I collect fur coats. To hell with all the naysayers and dogooders out there. A girl needs to look good from time to time, as well as keeping warm. With a location so close to the chilly winds of Icecrown, Dalaran can be a nippy place. There’s nothing worse than a chapped thigh, although Mei does advocate moisturising them regularly. Full of good sound advice that girl. Thanks to her, going bareback riding in the Winter is no longer as uncomfortable as it used to be. Mind you she’s been acting a little strange recently. I’ll offer my assistance if she needs it but for now I need to focus on acquiring my new coat.
The latest fashion craze is a knee-length number made from Arctic Fur. I’ve mine stored safely in my closet although I might put it up for sale. It seems every Legolassie, Gimpdk and Ilikecake is wearing one now that the fur in question is as common as a bearded Dwarf. Manure dressed up as fertiliser if you ask me. There’s no thrill in owning something if everyone else has one. What I want is something different, something totally unique. Being totally honest with you, I considering designing my own and crafting it myself. The main problem lies in the materials. They’re not what you would call easy to obtain.
The feral hound Magmadar lies deep within Molten Core and his hide is desirably pure. It can only be the searing temperatures in his natural habitat that keeps his fur so soft and combined with Vael’s scales from Blackwing Lair, the perfect coat would be created. Unfortunately I cannot persuade any brave adventurers to escort me to the Old World to obtain these items. Many have trawled the depths of Blackrock Mountain too many times in their past and the distant gaze in their eyes betrays the horrors they had experienced within. Few travel there in this day and age so I may have to wait. I’m not going anywhere though so if any hardy soul is intending to visit the Core, please let me know. I’ll make it worth your while.
For now I’ll content myself with expanding my business here in Dalaran. A future hope would be to sell rare and exotic pets. Mei does fairly well with her exotic mounts stall outside so I think there could be some mileage in that idea. I will say once and for all now though, I’m not selling insects or arachnids. If it’s got more than four legs then it’s only fit for squishing. Some daft orc same into the store the other day looking to buy a wasp. A wasp of all things! I told him I didn’t, nor ever would, sell those vile creatures and I wasnt going to start now. The fool said I had one in the window. It took all my powers of persuasion to get him out of the shop. Intelligence is not a orc’s strongest feature. He’s now the proud owner of a wasp in a jar though. The easiest four hundred gold I’ve ever made.
I had thought about offering pet insurance although it’s a risky proposition. I’ll need to examine the pros and cons of that market a little more, it is a time of war after all. Mind you, a large premium to protect their Hyacinth Macaw against gnome flu might be just what the avid collector needs. Nasty virus that gnome flu. Starts attacking the ankles and before you know it, you develop neck cramp and then you’re brown bread. Unpleasant indeed.
Hmm, so much to think about. Now, anyone at all planning a vacation to Blackrock Mountain. I hear it’s warm this time of year.
Chief Engineer Bilgewhizzle sent me an urgent mail this morning requesting assistance in the sandy wastes of Tanaris. Water, one of life’s most precious resources, is in increasingly short supply and the Goblin’s are getting worried.
It hasn’t rained for 6 months in Tanaris, friend. Six Months! We need your help. The Wastewinder Bandits are gaining in confidence and branching out in their operations, slowly but surely taking over the best locations for drilling. Zul’farrak trolls are becoming restless and rumour has it they may advance on Gadgetzan in a quest for water. The drought is creating panic among the citizens, people fearing the end for this famous, longstanding trading outpost of Kalimdor. Time is no longer about money, Friend. We need bodies and resources to help us construct new drilling platforms in the desert. Experience in engineering is not essential but we do need strong, able-bodied males and females for some intensive labour. We ask you, the good brave citizen’s of Azeroth, to put aside your differences for a short time to lend us your support. Noggenfogger Elixirs will be provided free of charge upon completion of the project. I’ll tell you no lies, my friends. The work will be arduous and the temperatures rarely dip below 35 degrees celsius. The crocolisks are roaming in search of water themselves and are considered more hostile than normal. The Wastewinders are remorseless in their ruthless quest for expansion and profit, water racketeering becoming highly lucrative. But I know you are strong and courageous. You are our last hope. Save Gadgetzan. Do not abandon us.
Bilgewhizzle pulls no punches in his request for help. I’ll head along there myself later this week to examine the situation for myself. I have a debt of gratitude to repay to Gadgetzan. I think we all have.
What a load of old bankers, eh? I’ve been hearing more and more complaints about the banks in Azeroth, ranging from excessive charges for guild bank space to rumours about what the banks do with their profits. There’s talk about the banks investing heavily in the Defence Industry, a practice which is ethically dubious to say the least. I’m personally considering going undercover to do a little investigation into this whole steaming cesspit. Moral mayhem is rampant. What triggered my suspicions about this whole scurrilous affair was a conversation I had with Novia, a bank clerk in Silvermoon City. Times are quiet in the Blood Elf capital, so Novia was happily willing to shoot the breeze with me as I deposited some gems into my vault.
Three bloody years I’ve been working here and I’ve never seen it so quiet. A tree fell in Murder Row the other day and no-one heard it scream. It resembles a ghost town here these days, the only regular visitors being young elves transporting and storing goods for their Masters who are busy waging war in Northrend. The Arcane Sentries are growing restless at the lack of meaningful action and one fears they may eventually run amok through the city out of boredom. And to top it all off we’re not getting a bonus this year.
Yeah Yeah! I can feel your sarcastic love already searing through the atmosphere. We’re overpaid, underworked and have led the good life for far too long, right? Too busy going on corporate love-ins to Quel’Danas and attaching conservatories to our plush city dwellings? You can be as smug and sanctimonious as you like but you have no grounding in the reality of our lives, mine in particular. You would think with a good education I would earn more than the City guards but I don’t. The annual bonus was what made it actually possible to live in the city and even then it’s only a small fraction of my already meagre salary.
It’s always the ordinary bank clerk who bears the brunt of the anger about the bonuses being splashed about the banking trade. All you lot do is come into the bank and give us grief about charges on your accounts and whine about non-existent interest rates on your savings. Then you all stand about outside the banks, no city excepted, like Exodaran chavs with yer bling and shinies and talk about how your mothers did this and that and to whom and you expect to have your complaints taken seriously!! You shout abuse in our faces and then behave like children who have sucked on a lemon lollipop. Well let me tell you a little secret. We have a competition here at the bank to relieve the boredom. When someone uses the term “noob” in the trade channels we access their vault and snotter into their netherweave. If you’re a repeat offender then you had better hope I haven’t had curried wolf kabobs the night before.
Let’s be clear on one thing. Before ye start hurling invective in my face and the faces of my many colleagues around Azeroth, remember this. We are not the decision makers and we are not pilfering your hard-earned cash to pay for Azsharan nannies to look after our offspring. We just stand here and all day and listen to your gibberish in the trade channels. It’s the bigwigs upstairs you should be directing your ire too. And yes, yes they do sit on truesilver thrones and are fanned by harpies from Rohemdal Pass. They decide to charge you 1000g for a new guild bank tab, not me. Supporting the war effort is not exactly cheap you know. And neither is squirrel-fur toilet paper.
Yes you heard me right. The war effort. Do you seriously believe Sylvanas, Thrall and Fordring have a limitless pot of gold to fight this incessant war? The money has to come from somewhere you know. Did you honestly think Emblem gear made itself? No wait, I forgot. Thrall has a magic handbag from which he pulls weapons and armor and yes, every now and then he’ll give you a spoonful of sugar to help the bloody medicine go down. In the most delightful way of course.
I’ve had enough talking to you lot. In one ear and out the other as always. I’m off to talk to the union about getting this bonus back. it’s the least we deserve for putting up with your roflcopters and STFU’s. And the missus wants a new cage for her Green Wing Macaw. No Hyacinths for us lowly clerks, contrary to what you think. And one final thing, quit stuffing our bank vaults with old patterns and recipes. No-one bloody wants them and neither do you.
Friday night came and went and it seems Marcia got more than she bargained for. Mei, never a wallflower at the best of times, let her hair down and her secret out at the Legerdemain. There may be repercussions. I’ll let Marcia fill you in on all the details.
In hindsight it was a blessing I didn’t have to work today. I woke up in a cold sweat, tongue as furry as my granny’s chin and the slow dawning realisation that things could never be the same again. Everything happened in such a blur last night that it’s hard to piece together an actual chain of events. I shouldn’t have drunk so much at the beginning of the evening, but the cheap cocktails after a hard week at work were just too tempting to resist. At least though that creepy bartender was off duty, apparently resting in advance of some sort of skindraft operation.
I managed, as planned, to sneak away at 8:45pm and nipped home to for quick shower and a change of clothes. I’ve mastered the art of quick make-up application so by 9:30 I was waiting by the front door for Mei to arrive. When she hadn’t appeared by 9:45 I became concerned as Mei’s normally very punctual. Unfortunately I had no way of getting in contact with her, so I stuck out my thumb and hoped for a ride downtown. One hairy hog-ride later, the brightly lit signs of the Leger appeared in front of me. The hog-rider drove off, but not before offering me the thrills of his Golden Rod. Typical yuppie enchanter! They think they’re the dog’s bollocks when it comes to their job but really they’re ten a penny these days and the cost of their training is still ridiculously expensive. And don’t get me started on those Alchemists with their fancy “potions”. Needless to say the hog-rider wasn’t too enamoured when I informed him that I’d seen bigger golden fishsticks.
The usual Friday crowd were in the Leger when I entered. The jukebox was still out of action so the atmosphere was quiet apart from what sounded like a vicious argument coming from upstairs. I ordered a jug of the Cocktail of the Day, and sat quietly near the back, mainly to be able to see all who entered the bar. You have to keep your wits about you being a single woman these days. I poured myself a glass, all the time wondering whether Mei was fine and hoping it wouldn’t be long before she put in an appearance. A couple of Trolls were sitting near the Commerce entrance bemoaning the lack of original hairstyles available at the barbers in Dalaran. This was not the evening I was expecting nor hoping for. By the time I’d finished my fourth glass, draining the dregs of the jug in the process, I was ready for leaving. Suddenly, without warning, Mei staggered down the stairs looking more than a little inebriated. She shouted some obscenity in the direction of where she came and sashayed over to the bar, fluttering her eyelashes at the stand-in bartender. She ordered herself a carafe of Dalaran’s finest wine. Whilst she was definitely a little the worse for wear she showed no obvious signs of distress, casually flirting with bartender as was her usual manner.
As I stood up with the intention of approaching her at the bar, a dark night-elf melded at the bottom of the stairs, his face a seething red, his flaming eyes boring into the back of Mei’s head. “You, Mei Francis”, he hissed. “You are a conniving harlot. Watch your back as soon no-one else will”. Mei turned to respond, her drunken gaiety briefly subsiding to vent forth her vitriol in his direction but he had vanished into the Dalaran night as quickly as he had appeared. The trolls looked up briefly from their ales, shook their heads and returned to their discussion. The affairs of human and elf were not for them it seemed. Mei casually flicked back her tousled hair and turned her attentions back to the bartender. “Mei”, I called out as I neared the bar, “What was that all about?”. Mei turned to me, a little confused as to why I was there. It was obvious she had forgotten about our arrangement but that mattered little to me at that moment in time after what I had just witnessed. “Marcia! When did you show up?”. I though better of mentioning what we had planned, preferring she would eventually remember herself. Lying, I said it had only arrived about 15 minutes previously, saying nothing about having heard the arguments upstairs. If Mei had seen through my facade she didn’t show it. In fact she beckoned me over and asked what I wanted to drink.
Something wasn’t right, I thought. Already Mei had reverted to secretive mode, pretending as if the events of the past 10 minutes hadn’t occurred. I had asked for a strong spirit to drink and Mei said she would take something similar, using the opportunity to resume flirting with the bartender. “Mei”, I asked again, “what’s going on?”. Her curt response and accompanying look gave me a sense of foreboding and sorrow which I’m still feeling as I talk to you now. “You wouldn’t understand”. I cannot fathom why she would have said this so nonchalantly. She had known each other for almost 2 years and had become close friends. We had always stood up for each other in the face of harassment from the yahoos and boors who normally spend their time hanging about the bars and concourses of Dalaran. We’d even gone on holidays to Southshore together. Could the bond we had developed be so casually broken in a matter of a few uncomfortable minutes? “Try me”, I said. “Okay but not right now. I need more to drink and to have me some fun”, was her reply. “Let’s get sloshed and find ourselves a couple of blokes”.
This was not an ideal situation but what could I have done. If I forced the issue she would have clammed shut and that would have been unproductive. Mei has a stubborn streak, not dissimilar to an orc’s. The girl’s not for turning if she had made her mind up. I resigned to the fact that I may not even learn anything that evening. I was mistaken.
IT all became a bit of a haze after that. Mei’s thirst for alcohol knew no bounds. IT was as if she was possessed by some inner demon. To the patrons of the bar she was just a young woman, acting sluttishly and being a lilttle over-rambunctious. She even attempted to seduce one of the trolls, one of societies last remaining taboos. Whilst harmony is fragile in Dalaran, offering sexual favours to members of the other faction is seriously frowned upon. The trolls were not amused and left, cursing under their breaths at the brazenness of the human woman with no restraint. I managed to keep pace with Mei but after 2 hours of necking chasers with my wine I had to stop. Everything was all wrong. I had a sick feeling in my gut and it wasn’t the alcohol.
By this stage Mei was slumped in her chair. I could wait no longer. “What did that Night elf mean by you having to watch your back?”. “You know I will do all I can to help”. The fiery, defiant look in her eyes had dissipated. What remained was a resigned look of anguish, smothered with more than a little fear. A slow, drawn out sigh prefaced her next shocking words, words I’m still trying to comprehend. “Marcia, I…I..I’ve sold something I shouldn’t have, which wasn’t mine in the first place. A rare animal. And the buyer was Horde”. Dumbstruck I waited for her to continue. I knew the perilous nature of what she had just said. “What was it?”, I probed, hoping that it wasn’t a beast of spiritual significance to the elves. There was no higher sin in their culture, an unforgiveable transgression. But the drink had won its battle and Mei lapsed into a deep slumber. All that was practical at that stage was to help her home but public transport had ceased for the night and the streets themselves were empty, bar an occasional hawkstrider and it’s master. Nothing suitable for transporting a heavy drink sodden woman home at any rate. I booked her a room upstairs at the Leger and left a note saying I would return today.
I’m never keen on walking the streets of Dalaran alone, especially in the wee hours, but I knew I had to. I could not afford another room for myself and I really needed to clear my thoughts. It takes a lot to scare me but this revelation shook me to the core. Mei’s attitude towards me throughout the course of the evening had been ominous. SHe had never been so aloof. Her eyes kept betraying her apparent gaiety. It is imperative I see Mei as soon as humanly possible. A friend in need and all that goes with it. Oh there’s too much racing through my mind right now. When I know more I’ll let you know too. The old adage of a problem shared is a problem halved may well ring true. I only hope that it can be resolved.
I mentioned at the beginning of my storytelling adventures that every inhabitant of Azeroth has their very own hopes and dreams. Some seek solace and respite from the ongoing conflict whereas some seek to take a more active involvement in the many wars raging all over the universe.. However there are some who just wish to express themselves and release their hidden talents. “Slim” has kept himself to himself for far too long now in the wilds of Terrokar and he has a point to prove.
If ya want something, I can get it for ya. The limited edition Harpie Hustler with Sister Rathtalon? No bother but it’ll cost ya. Need an orphan to clean yer chimneys? Can ya wait a week? Nothing’s impossible in this world mate. Well nothing except introducing commonsense into the city trade channels. It’s no wonder ya’ll find me out here in the relative peace and quiet of the Bone Waste, if ya disregard the effin’ click click click of the bleedin’ scorpids.
One of these days though I’m gettin’ meself out of this dump. There’s only so much wailing from the Lost Spirits a man can take. Business ain’t exactly booming these days. Ain’t sold me a bloody watch or lady’s fake designer handbag in ages. I blame those scourge anorexics with their toxic pots of green squelch trying to take over the world. Seems everyone’s too busy dealing with them to take a trip to this neck of the woods. Dealer Tariq has told me he’s thinking of heading to the big smoke to set up a backstreet shop selling toy trains and something called Leggoo. He’s sharp enough that bird.
Been thinking of doin’ something similar meself. Head for the bright lights of Dalaran or even Shattrath. I just wanna sing mate, be an entertainer, it’s a real no-brainer. Gotta find me a place to dazzle the human race, dishing out my rhymes, the stories of our times. You really need to hear me, I gotta let my voice free, the people will go crazy for the real Slim shady. I’m stuck in this hellhole, i got music in ma soul. I’m Slim and I’m shady, c’mon baby save me.
There’s a venue in Shattrath which has live music. I might start there, Maybe they’ll try my styling’s, something different from the Dadrock playing there every hour, the same bloody song over and over. It’s time for something new, Slim Shady and his crew, you is gonna dig our rap, quit grinding to that crap. Everybody gotta stand up, please stand up, Slim’s coming to yo’ city, it aint gonna be so pretty.
I have to try. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. There’s an underground scene in Dalaran which might be ready for my kind of rhyme and tune. Yep, time to diss the Shatt and head where the real players are, Slim’s gonna go global and I ain’t talking Orgrimmar.
The words are building dams in me head and I have to let them out. The frustration of not be able to get my voice out there is reaching a crescendo from which there may be no turning back. There’s no turning back now. Don’t try to stop me, why not come and hang with me, the time is right, let’s boomcrash the night, I’m Slim and I’m shady, this time there ain’t no maybe.