Character: Captain Matus T. Manks of the Venture, boldly going where no gnome has gone before
The day began very usually. We read through the “nightly” shift’s mining reports and prepared for our work the following day. I must say living on a world tidally-locked to its sun can wreck one’s sense of time quite well. This red dwarf is stuck in eternal sunset and no matter when you wake up or when you go to sleep, you will always see the same amount of light, and our bodies are set to identify how tired they are by the amount of light in the environment. After spending a month on the duty of protecting the grav miners here, I find myself lying awake in bed for the whole time designated as “night” on our timetables, and then feeling completely tired for the whole “day”. But that was by far the least odd thing that happened to me yesterday.
I was just checking with Mr. Sprocket the reports of the void storms incoming from the dark side of the planet when one of my hamster-rider ensigns reported finding new travelers not far away from the outpost. I was surprised. Not only we are located on the outer edges of the Gnadra Confederacy space, with the closest interstellar neighbors being uninhabited or uncivilized worlds, but hardly anyone would know the coordinates to make a portal here. Furthermore, I was informed one of the newcomers was a dwarf, which made me afraid the Dwarven Reich has found T3H-P1E and will attempt to blackmail the Confederacy into leaving it, for their own benefit. But it was far stranger than that.
The travelers I was introduced to included the aforementioned dwarf, called Ballough (not only the name did not sound very dwarven, he did not present a clan name), a mogu called Yu Gwai, an ogre called Lunk, a dohwar called Hwarné (if I wrote it down correctly) and the strangest one – a botani called Aeresham. I was expecting it to be a group of mercenaries the dwarf has somehow collected, but upon a short conversation I discovered they knew nothing about the Galaxy at large. They were groundlings from a planet called “Azeroth”, which I never heard about before.
If that wasn’t strange enough – a couple of groundlings from completely different races making it to T3H-P1E through a random portal – they claimed that their world has repelled Burning Legion attacks. In all my years as an explorer and all the history lessons I took I never heard of a world – least of all, a groundling world – repelling the Burning Legion. They were always thoroughly conquered or destroyed and in few cases where the Burning Legion armies were stopped, cooperation from multiple galactic powers was required. But these strange travelers, who looked like they would never fit together in one world, claimed they did it without outside help. It might have been just a tall tale, I thought, but we had to check it.
I immediately consulted Mr. Sprocket and the Star Fleet. We decided that their story is certainly interesting and as such it requires further investigation. Furthermore, Sprocket thinks they might come from the so-called Free Pocket. Gnomish vessels have never traveled through or past the Legion sector, but from some of our contacts, such as ethereals, we learned of a group of world deep within the Legion territory that have never been conquered. We have never heard any names or stories about how would they avoid the conquest, but it was enough to merit the Star Fleet’s curiosity.
After agreement from an arakkoa who was the strange travelers’ boss we sent Mr. Sprocket to Azeroth via their portal to investigate their world. Sprocket is yet to report back with his findings but he is the most thorough gnome I ever knew and he will definitely learn the truth about these people’s homeworld, be it a total fabrication, or an earnest truth. If what they were saying was true, the free peoples of this Galaxy might have found a valuable ally against the ever-growing Legion threat. I cannot imagine what kind of magic or technology they would have to employ to defeat such a threat. And yet, they never traveled past their homeworld. Curious.