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One Long Day





     A gentle breeze swept across the dry fields of the barrens, as a young plainstrider leaned over picking at a patch of peaceblossom. The odd looking bird slowly consumed its breakfast completely oblivious to the fact that it was about to become breakfast. 

A large cougar lay low in the browning grass, his eyes narrowing, mouth salivating, and muscles tensing as he studied his prey.  The golden fur on the cougar’s back straightened and its ears perked as it heard a sharp but distant whistle just as the powerful feline prepared to ravage the unsuspecting avian.  In immediate response to the sound, it leapt up and charged toward the sound at full speed. 

The startled plainstrider was left unharmed and only vaguely aware of its incredible luck.  However, this new awareness was cut short as its head slid from its body and dropped to ground.  The body of the bird fell at the feet of a troll fading into sight.  The troll crouched and retrieved something from the dead animal’s body and disappeared without a trace.


Xyanka Pucklepot swept the floor of the Broken Keel Tavern. The little goblin rarely spoke; he simply went about his work while frowning at the mess the night crowd had left him.  It was normal for The Keel ‘s usual crowd to get a little rowdy, however last night, things had gotten completely out of hand. 

Some young bucks from a vicious guild of assassins had been celebrating the completion of a difficult quest, when a group of Alliance arrived and began to taking advantage of the young ones.  The Alliance members were apparently new to the area because most regulars would have known better.  

Before the Ratchet guards could react, a large Tauren sprung from the shadows and commenced to do things to the alliance that the goblin hoped he would soon forget.  Hours later, the goblin still got sick to his stomach at the thought of that Nightelf being snapped in two.  

Xyanka was shaking his head as if trying to force the image out, when he found himself in the shadow of an immense figure.  The Tauren from the night before had awakened from his slumber and was now standing in the doorway of the tavern with his back to the goblin.  Xyanka was surprised to see him out his usual armaments. 

The Tauren was wearing a dark finely crafted silk shirt; hand stitched woolen leggings, and fuzzy bunny slippers made from the hides of four very unlucky bunnies. With his attention being so focused on the Tauren, Xyanka almost jumped out his boots when a light colored cougar approached the Tavern’s doorway and growled.  The Tauren however, appeared amazingly unfazed.  Slowly, he reached back toward the sword on his hip.  The cougar hungrily licked its lips and watched the Tauren intently.  Xyanka remained frozen in place, much too terrified to move.   Carefully, the Tauren moved his hand past the sword, dug into a deviant skin pouch, retrieved a slab of bear meat, and tossed it into the air toward the cougar.  With lightning speed, the cougar snatched the meat out of the air and moved off to eat it in private.

“Looks like I interrupted breakfast.  Sorry, friend.  Felonius gets cranky if you get in the way of a meal.”  The Tauren offered in a deep and powerful voice.

“Th..tha.. That’s ok Mr. Baaradon sir.  I.. I..I wasn’t scared at at at all.  That kinda thing happens all the time.”  Xyanka managed, fear dripping from every word.

“Fear is nothing to be ashamed of little one.  Fear comes to us all it’s our ability to control such fear that separates the mighty from the weak.”

            Felonius finished the meal provided by his master and appeared to be in a much better mood.

(Note: To the untrained eye a cougar’s good mood looks very much like his fowl mood.  The moods of cougars are actually quite distinctive. A happy cougar could rip a man to shreds in seconds where an angry cougar would take slightly longer, smile less, and enjoy the kill much more.

Baaradon left the tavern and entered the stable.  He secured his harness and packs to rather large Kodo and once satisfied that that everything was in order he mounted the beast and rode out towards the Southern Barrens followed closely by Felonius, his faithful companion.

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