After leaving the pirate-infested Hiji behind, I continued to sail through the eastern part of South Seas. The winds were favorable most of the time, so I took this chance to study the maps I had of the area. The maps were confusing at best. On some, there was nothing but another long stretch of empty sea until you run into Stranglethorn Vale. On others, there were two islands painted on the way, but both were very poorly described. Having no formal names on the maps, there was only the vaguest shape and a warning sign. Had I noticed this back in Uldum, I would have consulted our best repositories of knowledge but given that the maps I took had nothing, I doubt I would find anything worth mentioning. Seeing that my course was taking me directly towards these two mysterious islands, I braced myself for danger.
Monthly Archives: May 2014
After finally sailing away from the Isle of Giants, I knew I was finally swimming away from Pandaria. Accordingly with all the maps I had of the area, I was entering a wide expanse of water with very few possible stops – no large islands, no significant naval trade routes. This particular corner of the South Seas lied completely on the fringe of civilization. My people have never sailed so far east. The Pandaren very rarely ventured beyond their mists. Humans were mostly frightened of this distant, empty sea, being told from childhood stories about islands full of giants and monsters and about mystical, distant lands full of forgotten warlocks who will share their magic with you for the price of your soul. Some of those stories can be quite captivating, in the hands of the right person, but ultimately they are all fiction. Although there are tiny islands with forgotten treasures and mysteries, they are very rare, and in the different part of the sea.
After the troublesome previous day, I had hoped for some respite for the next day. After spending more time sailing around the feet of Kun-Lai Summit I finally ran into a lower part of Pandaria with a more accessible coast. The pandaren apparently call it Zouchin Province. It is quite peculiar, really, as everywhere else in the Northern Pandaria, the coast is covered with cliffs and only few access points to the mainland. I theorized that Zouchin Province has formed from a sediment that settled around the shattered coast after the Sundering, but the historical records proved me wrong – apparently the current Zouchin Village was once a city and an administrative region in the Pandaren Empire. It remains puzzling why Zouchin did not share the fate of the rest of the plains that once stretched this piece of Kalimdor.
I sailed for a long time today, seeing no land. Indeed, the South Seas are wide and islands are sparse, especially in these parts. Since I left Uldum the only land I passed in the distance was two unoccupied islands. Bearing nothing of importance to me, I quickly left them behind. I heard that once adventurers sought out something or someone in there, but whoever it was, he was long gone. After that, there was nothing for hours. Just a wide, calm sea with nothing but fish and an occasional murloc to accompany me. Oddly, the murlocs were all swimming alone, though I was informed they always swarm their enemies. Perhaps they did not expect anyone in these waters and were not ready to attack. I began to fear they would inform others and follow my boat, but I did not have to.
I am Menrim, a scribe of the Neferset. Or at least, formerly of the Neferset. I served my tribe for fifteen years when Al’Akir’s elementals appeared to us and offered us a deal – to join Al’Akir, his master Deathwing and his masters – the Old Gods. I was among the few among the Neferset who saw the folly of such a deal. And in the end, my people payed dearly for aligning themselves with these creatures. The Neferset tribe has been nearly destroyed, and among the dead was my own brother Bathet. I am still alive because I defected. Some would call me a traitor, who changed allegiances to save his own life, but is it not them who are greater traitors? The ones who would seek to align themselves with enemies of all life and all existence just to pursue a long-lost origin of our people? I did what I had to do to do no evil. If only Bathet and others had seen what this “deal” was going to cost them, everything would look differently.
Let me tell you, I am never appreciated! Both under Maginor Dumas and Verroak Krasha I have done nothing short of a miracle. I’m a squawking wonder-worker, that’s what I am! I got the crazy old… vulture-parrot-owl thing terocones. Terocones! In Stormwind! Nobody sells the seeds these days! Do you have any ideas how much haggling it took to get someone to concede some cones? Do you know what I had to trade in? Gold. Okay, that wasn’t particularly odd, but terocones! And before Krasha placed the order, I didn’t even know what a terocone is. No spelljammer has ever reached this planet, we know literally nothing about this place, so we never heard of terocones.
Recently, after Krasha broke that harpy out of her cage and he had to evacuate to his own tower, I decided to follow him. Yes, he’s crazy and never appreciates me either, but at least he pays well. Because the cook he got at first was some dumb vegetarian ogre, they couldn’t eat any meat in the tower. So who do they go to? To ME, of course. And I bought a whole crate full of fresh Tel Abim Bananas. I had to WRESTLE a goblin for them. You think they’re short and weak? Well, not only they’re barely shorter than me, not only I have hollow, avian bones, the goblin was also packing heat (by which I mean some crazy fire-suit contraption worthy of a tinker gnome). He didn’t want to sell for my gold, so I wrestled him down, took apart the suit and THEN he sold the fruits. I also borrowed some apples.
That’s just two examples! I keep getting him some really rare things that I often have to go out of my way to purchase. Sometimes I even strike something lucky by complete accident – I thought I bought a crate of Ragveil and it turned out to be some “Chamaeleon Lotus” that is very, very rare and even considered extinct on this world. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I love doing all those crazy and rare business deals. That’s what I was made for. But I could use some respect and appreciation for my efforts. Maybe one day, I’ll earn enough gold to build my own spelljammer and escape this world back to Kwanhi, the dohwar homeworld. But until that day, I’ll keep on working.
Addendum: I took to using the word “squawk” as a substitution for expletives, as Verroak Krasha tends to do. I must admit, there is something to the sound of it that I seem to like.
Addendum 2: Apparently there are tinker gnomes in this world, as well as mechagnomes, so maybe a spelljammer did reach this world a long time but perhaps it crashed and no one reported back – but it seeded some things.
You may have noticed my talk about the gold I won recently, and the tower I began to build where I’m hosting my alchemy business. So over the weeks, the construction work was slowly progressing and right now the building is almost finished. Almost, and yet I’m already living in it because of certain problems that arose on the way. Because of the same problems, I had to quickly hire some basic staff already and in the end, living here right now feels a bit… incomplete.
Princess Yaochi stood in the burial chamber of the Thunder King, facing off against the two mogu warlords, one of whom stood in her way for the last couple of days. On her side stood only a Protector of the Golden Lotus she just found in the same tomb and a particularly smart turtle. The battle seemed hopeless, even more so considering what the warlords just said. Yaochi was shocked that they were happy to see her, that they claimed to have orchestrated everything… how could it be?
“That’s impossible,” she finally said, looking between the two smiling monsters, “you couldn’t have possibly planned everything.”
“Not everything,” Kun Yomi responded, “but we planned enough. You see, Qon’s consort has already read the tablet when you found her. We knew we needed blood…”
“…that didn’t come from a mogu,” Iron Qon interrupted, “so we left her to fight you. If you…
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The dull, rough noise of a man hitting stone was filling the room. Yu Gwai wasted no time trying to get himself and his companion free. Hours have passed, and if they waited even a short time more, the day would come again and Yaochi would be left with only a turtle to help her – one of very limited combat capability. However, despite the warlord’s best efforts at breaking the stone with the sheer mass of his body hitting repeatedly against it, the only result was bruises and exhaustion.
The princess just sat on the stairs, covering her ears from the noise and trying to think of a solution. Although she knew Yu Gwai was trying to help them, the noise was starting to get annoying. For hours she looked for a button or mechanism that would release the slab standing in the doorway, but to no avail. She…
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The princess and the turtle were meandering through the Valley of Emperors, trying to avoid the mogu troops suddenly populating it and to find a clue as to what they were doing at the same time. So far, they had no luck with the latter. They hid in every nook and cranny they could find and managed to avoid combat, but they didn’t know anything more than they did couple of hours before. Yaochi kept wondering why wouldn’t the Monkey King tell them more, or why wouldn’t he just defeat them himself. She felt resting this responsibility on the hands of a child – thinking about herself as a child for the first time in years – was just irresponsible, but what else could she do now?
As the day was drawing to a close, Yaochi was lying down on a ledge above one particular tomb, observing the movements. Two…
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