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Category Archives: Baar Crawl I : One Long Day

Baaradon, a member of the Mute Assasins is finally taking a day to get some rest, but things don’t seem to be going his way.

Richard Steelhindge stared out into the dank gloom of the marsh and wondered why he was there.

“You ever wonder why we’re here?” he asked his fellow guardsman Dexstar Brightshire.  The two of them were on day watch rotation of the front gates of Theramore. 

“It’s one of life’s great mysteries isn’t?  Why are we here?  Are we the product of some cosmic coincidence or is there really a god; watching everything, with a plan for us and stuff?  I don’t know man but it keeps me up at night.”  Dexstar replied thoughtfully.

“What?…I mean…”  That was all Richard managed to say before a shot rang out.  Dexstar turned and watched his friend fall to the ground.  He spun around and reached for his sword, but it was too late.  A second shot rang out.  This one struck Dexstar in the chest lifting him off the ground and forcing him to crash against the outer wall of Theramore.  Two Guards on patrol heard the shots and came running.  The third shot must have been a multi-shot for both guards collapsed.  The lookout in the tower, reached out for the alarm bell only to be violently attacked by a dragonling.  This surprised the young guard since the Dragonkin of the marsh were not prone to attacking the Alliance city.  Then he noticed behind all the dragon squawks the distinct sound of clicks, whirling gears and other mechanics. 

He may have had time to marvel at it but then as if to show how life-like it truly was, the dragonling incinerated the lookout with a breath of fire.

Most people would have thought Baaradon had chosen the absolute worst time to attack the Alliance camp for at that very same moment the Scarlet Blade were in the process of leaving Theramore.  Blade Soldiers drew their swords and took up positions to protect Captain Kreig as Baaradon made his grand entrance into Theramore. 

Captain Kreig, a powerful human sat upon his mount and frowned.  His face reflecting the hard years he had spent on the battlefield.  A long ragged scar marred the skin on his left cheek.  It had been rumored that a dragon in the badlands suffering its last throes clawed him as he’d pried out its heart. 

Kreig also wore a patch over his right eye which was said to have been plucked out by Thrall himself in combat.  This last however, was not believed by most of the Horde, for they knew that such battle would have ended with Kreig losing much more than an eye.  It was these types of stories and lore that help Kreig earn his fearsome reputation. 

“Tauren, you must have a death wish to come here alone.  You face not only The Alliance but the Scarlet Blade as well.  You must face me!  Do you even know..”  Baaradon cut him short.

“Know who you are?  Yes, human I am well aware.”

“You are either very brave or very foolish.”  Kreig remarked.

“I have been accused of both.  I have no quarrel with you this day.  I’m here for a thief.  He has some items of mine and I will have them back.  I am told he is a new recruit of yours.  He is called, Pilfer.”

     Pilfer loaded his kodo with supplies for the long trek.  He preferred traveling by raptor but they were more for traveling light when speed was imperative.  What the Kodo’s lacked in speed they more than made up for in their endurance over long distances and their ability to carry large loads; which was the current need.  As he finished up his last minute checks, he watched with great apprehension the grand precession of Captain Kreig and his personal guards. 

Pilfer was beginning to question his decision to join up with the Scarlet Blade.  He thought his crew must be fools to be following Kreig, but that only led him to wonder what that said about him since he had followed along with them. 

Pilfer was still thanking the gods that he had managed to avoid fighting for his life over that stupid robbery.  Kreig had been uncharacteristically merciful in not killing him and his crew.  He had noticed that it seemed more like Kreig had let him live and the crew were just not worth the effort.  He was usually very perceptive about such things but passed it off to overactive imagination.

     “Let’s mount up and please try not to get us into anymore trouble.”  Pilfer said in a warning tone.  Gar and Maricon both nodded silently and finished securing their gear.  That’s was when the first shot rang out.

     At first no one was sure what was going on; some hadn’t even heard it. Then, a second shot.  Guards looked from one to another, trying to determine where it was coming from.  Pilfer glanced up at the lookout for some sign of whether there was an attack or just someone have a bit of target practice.  What he saw was strange.  The lookout seemed be dancing, or at least, that’s what it looked like from Pilfer’s point of view right up until the man was suddenly consumed in flames.  Then a third shot and this time there was no doubt about what was going on. 

The forward Theramore patrol fell to the ground and the Scarlet Guard took up positions around Kreig.  Gar and Maricon reached for their weapons and Pilfer instinctively went stealth.  The group watched a large Tauren Hunter step out of the Marsh mist and cross the Theramore threshold.  Pilfer recognized Baaradon as the victim of their earlier exploits and as Baaradon and Kreig exchanged words, Pilfer began to flank the Tauren. 

Kreig grimaced at the Mention of the rogues name.  “How much trouble is that little elf going to be?” he wondered. He knew; however that he didn’t need this kind of trouble.  He’d recognized the Guild markings that adorned the Tauren, and the Mute Assasins were not a Guild to be trifled with.

“So, What is it you want Tauren, not that you’re likely to get it.  Just call it morbid curiosity.”  Kreig addressed the Tauren in a smug and powerful tone.

“I have come for the heads of Pilfer and his crew and also for the equipment they stole.” Baaradon replied flatly.

“The Scarlet Blade protects their own, lonely Tauren, but those three have been nothing but trouble since they joined us.  You are lucky, I am feeling generous today.  You may have the warrior and the mage.  They will also return what they have taken.”  Kreig gestured to the guards to move and make the statement a reality.

“And the Rogue?” inquired Baaradon.

“The rogue…I’m afraid, will have to remain with me.” Kreig explained sternly.  Baaradon seemed to be considering it, when he heard Felonius give a nearly inaudible growl. 

“Very well, I will take…”

     “Your last breath my friend.  That’s what you’ll be taking.”  Pilfer suddenly appeared behind Baaradon with his dagger at the Tauren’s spine.  “You made a mistake comin here.”

“And have made mistake making yourself visible.”  Baaradon replied calmly.   A thundering growl from behind them distracted Pilfer for only a moment but that was all Baaradon needed.  Before he could blink Baaradon’s massive hand was around his neck.  Pilfer struggled to get free but the more he struggled the tighter the Tauren’s grip became.

“It shall be your last.”

“Release him!  Release him now or you will follow him filthy beast!”  Kreig with sword in hand leapt from his stead and landed within striking distance.  Both Baaradon and Pilfer were surprised by Kreig’s concern for Pilfer’s well being, but neither showed it. 

Guards approached the standoff and dropped Baaradon’s belongings at his feet.  Now it was Baaradon who growled.  The sound was so terrifying that Kreig thought it could have been a weapon had the Tauren wanted it to be.  Baaradon hurled Pilfer like he was bail of hay then reached into one the sacks and withdrew his Dwarven Hand Cannon and fired twice. 

It all happened so fast; it took most a few seconds to catch up to what had just happened.   It was quite evident to all, however when Maricon collapsed.  Gar with a cry of fury charged Baaradon who dodged the clumsy Orc with little effort.  He stumbled pass the Tauren and landed with his face planted between the paws of Felonius.  Felonius’s attack was so brutal that several of the guard turned away to avoid being ill.

“Take your gear and leave Tauren, my patience wears thin.”

“Very well, Human.” Baaradon spat, as if the word human were a curse.  He gave a sharp whistle calling his Kodo, who then carried him and his gear off through the marsh.

       

Quistadora rose from the waters of the Lush Water Oasis.  The water trickled off her blue skinned body as she reached for a panther skin towel to dry off.  “Hey Baar baby, what took you so long?” Baaradon laid out the day’s events, including Scarlet Blade’s curious interest in Pilfer.   By the time he had finished his story the sun was beginning to set.

“My apologies Quista, I’ll have make it up to you.” Baar offered as he helped her pack her raptor.

“I’m gonna hold you to that.”  Quistadora replied.  “I’m headed back to Crossroads, you coming?”

“No, I’m gonna see if I can catch some more Deviant fish before I head back.”  Baar pull out his fishing pole and waved goodbye to Quistadora as she rode off to Crossroads. 

Too bad she never made it.

The atmosphere of Dustwallow Marsh was almost unbearably thick and humid.  It was late afternoon and the sun hung low in the sky, casting an eerie setting of gloom throughout the marsh.  The marsh like any other place in Azeroth could be extremely dangerous due to the highly aggressive and territorial disposition of the creatures in this area.  The area was inhabited by less intelligent creatures like crocs, spiders, and raptors, as well as other far more intelligent beings such as Dragonkin and Humans.

Baaradon’s kodo trotted across the marsh at a slow and steady pace and brought his kodo to halt as he entered Brakenwall Village.  Though it had been a long time, Baaradon was no stranger to Brakenwall.  His unexpected appearance had garnered no more than a passing glance from its inhabitants.  After securing his mount, he made way to the local regent dealer.

     

Balai Lok’Wein was rummaging through a pile of sacks when Baaradon approached her.  In fact, it wasn’t until he was standing over her that she noticed him at all.  She was very surprised to see him but to look at her no one could tell.  Balai extended a hand for Baaradon to help her to her feet.  At full height, Balai only came up to Baaradon’s chest.  She swept her dark green hair back and then brushed dust off her dress and apron. 

“Baaradon of da Mute Assasins, Wat brings you bock ir mon?”

“I am in need of information and I figured a woman of your talents could help me in this regard.” Baaradon replied.

“Ah, might ave wat you need.  Wat you lookin for?”  The troll vendor inquired with a careful gaze.  Baaradon reached into a pouch and pulled out the torn patch.  Balai recognized it immediately and did a quick look around to see if anyone else had seen it. 

“You mus be bringing the Assasins if you wun trouble wit dem.”  She cautioned.

“No it’s just me.  What do you know of the Blade?”

“Best be keeping your voice down. You, gon talk bout dem.  Dey pass through ir a few times.  Must ave sum sort of base round here. Dey be meetin wit Krog he may know more.”

    

     Baaradon looked around the camp until he spotted the Orc that Balai had told him about.  Krog was sitting by a post near the camps single inn, which was little more than a cave, gnawing on some cured ham. 

Krog hadn’t noticed the hunter walking towards him.  Hunters always had the unique ability to go unnoticed when on the prowl.  It wasn’t stealth ability like a rogue, more like a state of being completely unremarkable.  Unless someone was deliberately drawn to look, they would simply not draw any attention of any kind.  Baaradon often joked that Hunters were better than rogues for they could be invisible without actually being invisible.     

Unfortunately for Krog, he was not looking at the Tauren.  Instead, he was face deep in his slab of meat.  It wasn’t until a hoof pounded the ground next to him that he realized he was in trouble.  The force of the war stomp knocked him over and before he could recover, Baaradon had leaned over and grabbed him by the collar.

“Tell me what you know of the Scarlet Blade” Baaradon spat as his grip tightened.  The Orc began trembling and barley managed a reply.

“If, I do they’ll kill me.”  Baaradon smiled but this smile was one that would scare death herself.

“And you would fare better than you would if you don’t talk.  Now out with it!”

The altercation with Baaradon and Krog drew the attention of the villagers including Overlord Morokk.  Morokk like most ogre was an enormous mass of muscle.  He was covered in armor and sported a large spiked gauntlet.  He watched the two men disapprovingly.

        Baaradon scarcely had time to dodge the blow from Morokk.  Krog however, was not so lucky, as Morokk’s fist collided with his face and propelled him backwards about 2 yards.  His unconscious body went limp in a pile of raptor dung.  Morokk hadn’t expected the Tauren to be aware of the imminent assault much less be able to avoid it altogether and so was caught off guard for a brief second.     

Baaradon was quick to take advantage of Morokk’s confusion. 

“This isn’t a good time Morokk.  Walk away.”  Baaradon growled as he thrust out his leg, planting his hoof firmly in Morokk’s midsection.  Morokk stumbled back his armor absorbing most of the blow.  Baaradon was a formidable fighter to be sure, but he knew that this was not where his strength lay and that Morokk could probably take him in straight melee.

“Ha ha, Tis always good time for fight, Tauren.”  Morokk flexed and his armor tightened as his anger grew. 

 

Baaradon made his move.  He unslung his Silver-plated Blunderbuss and fired a concussive shot dazing Morokk.  There was a loud roar like that of a wild tiger or a cheetah and suddenly with blazing speed he closed the distance between the two of them.  Stopping only briefly to plant a trap at Morokk’s feet, he rolled to his left and was back on his feet.  As the daze effect began to lift from Morokk, he stumbled forward triggering the trap.

Baaradon gave a sharp whistle and in response his faithful Kodo thundered to his side.  The tauren casually stepped closer to Morokk.

“As I told you I have no time for this.  The orc has given me what I need, so I will now leave you to cool your head.”   Mounting his kodo, he rode out of town leaving the ogre trapped in a block of ice.

Baaradon awoke to the pleasant aroma of Zhevar stew.  His body still aching from the rogue’s crippling poison.  The Hunter uttered a low curse as he rose from the blanketed bed; his head still spinning. 

“Take your time Baaradon, the poison they hit you with packs quite the punch.  You’re lucky to be alive.” A soft voice advised.  

Baaradon searched the room for the source of the voice.   An older male Tauren sat in the corner preparing a bowl of stew.  He passed the bowl to a young female Tauren who brought it to Baaradon.  Judging from the softness in the voice he figured it was she who had spoken earlier. 

“This is for you Baaradon, but you may want to sit while you eat.”  Baaradon offered no resistance.  The hunter glanced around the room. 

“Your pet is outside with our Stable Master.  He is fine animal.  It was he who brought you to us.  My name is Yonada.” The young Tauren informed as if reading his mind.

“This Inn… Am I in Camp Taurajo?”  Baaradon inquired.

“Yes, and though I know you need to rest, you can’t stay here.  If word reaches those who attacked you that you are alive they will return in force.” This time it was the male Tauren who spoke.

“Byula, you can’t send him away like this! He needs to get his strength up first.”

“Worry not old man I have no intention of staying long and as for the ones who attacked me…mmmh…They will meet my blade soon enough.” Baaradon’s eyes almost seem to burn red with anger as he spoke of the fate of his assailants. 

“Here you may need this.”  Byula tossed Baar a torn piece of leather.       “When we followed your beast’s trail back to where you were attacked, we found your Kodo and a dead orc wearing that emblem.”

“It’s the mark of the Scarlet Blade…  I have heard of them.” 

Baaradon tucked the leather into a pouch and stood.  “I didn’t know they had a presence in Kalimdor.”

“They started recruiting in Gadgetzan a few weeks ago.”  Yonada replied.

“Their sect is dangerous and I will not have them harm any of the people Of Camp T, it is time for you to leave Baaradon.”

“I agree.  Yonada, please send for the messenger and have him meet me at my Kodo.” 

The young Tauren nodded and dashed out of the inn. 

“Thank you for help and for the stew, Old man.”

Baaradon purchased some extra supplies and rations from Byula and tipped him for his assistance.

“May the eternal sun smile upon you, Baaradon.” 

The Hunter left the inn, retrieved Felonuis and prepared his Kodo for the journey.   A small orc boy came running toward Baar completely out of breath.

“You have a message sir?”  He panted.

“Yes, see that this scroll gets to Wolfguard of the Mute Assasins.  You should be able to find him in Orgrimmar.”

 He gave the boy the scroll and 2 gold coins.  The boy smiled in amazement of the generous payment and immediately ran for the flight master.  Baaradon knelt down gently petted Felonuis. 

“You’ve saved my hide yet again my friend, ready to get some payback?”  In answer Felonius growled.  “Good, so am I.”  

Baaradon mounted his massive Kodo and rode off.

      

     Pilfer fidgeted restlessly as he awaited his audience with Captain Kreig.  Though their heist had gone off without a hitch, freelance activities were frowned upon by the Blade hierarchy.  Pilfer was well aware of this fact but he also knew his crew would be pulling that job with or without him.  Being that he was part of the crew he to would have to face any punishment they earned; so he figure why not have the spoils as well. 

Pilfer’s tattered leather armor was worn, dusty and entirely mix-matched.  He pulled his cloak tight in an attempt to hide the ripped shoulder armor he wore where once there had been a crest displaying a silver shield carrying a dagger entangled in a red “S”.   The Scarlet Blade emblem had been torn away when he had evaded the cougar’s attack during the robbery. Pilfer had always thought himself to be quick but felt he had been lucky that the emblem was the only thing that had been torn from him. 

His nervousness eventually gave way to impatience and he began to pace.  His crew, of which consisted entirely of gentlemen of questionable character, simply sat at a table in a corner of the room playing Donjot.    Maricon was a troll Mage skilled in Arcane magics.  Gar, an Orc warrior, and Sliver an orc rogue.  Sliver unfortunately, was no longer with them having been ripped to shreds by Felonius.   

Pilfer, was a young Blood-Elf, slender but with a very solid build.  His ears perked when he heard footsteps drawing near.  He removed his hood revealing long black hair, a sharp and menacing contrast to his dark pink skin and green eyes.  Slowly, he stroked his carefully groomed goatee while watching a large ogre enter the room.

     The lumbering mass of muscle approached Pilfer, the floor trembling with every step, and gestured for Pilfer and his crew to step through an enormous doorway.  Pilfer was startled by the appearance of this door since only moments before it had been a wall and a bookshelf. 

“Magic…hmmf” Gar muttered and spit out a glop of snuff residue.  This action angered the large ogre. We he spoke it was with a deep voice that echo throughout the hall.

“DO THAT AGAIN AND WE’LL BE MOPPING IT UP WITH YER FACE, FILTHY ORC!”  The Ogre then turned and started down hall.  

Pilfer cast look toward Gar so scornful the room seemed to become cold.  Without a word Pilfer was across the room.  The movement so quick, Gar hadn’t fully registered that he had moved at all.  Pilfer’s Assassins rush and subsequent backhand, was all one fluid movement like eloquent poetry. “You try my patience, for which I had little to start, Gar.  Embarrass me again and you shall not live long enough to take a last breath.”  And with that said Pilfer turned and followed the ogre with the others quietly bringing up the rear.

The harsh temperatures and bright sunlight across the Barrens was no match for the Tauren and his two animal companions as they made their way along the golden road.  Though Baar missed the scent of healthy grass and the feel of the gentle breeze along the Mulgore landscape, he found the Barrens quite comfortable.  He even smiled to himself thinking what a beautiful day. 

 

In the distance, he caught a glimpse of something glittering.  Leaving the road was risky business for the inexperienced, but Baar was far from inexperienced and felt confident he could handle anything the Barrens had to offer.  As he approached glittering object, he saw that it was exactly what he had surmised.   A large copper vein sat nestled atop a small hill.  Baar brought his Kodo to heel at the bottom of the hill.  Here, his beautiful day quickly took an awful turn. 

 

     The blow was so swift it caught the Tauren completely unprepared.  It was all Baar could do to keep from puking as the world became a swirling blur and he tumbled off his Kodo.  Felonius became enraged as he watched his master fall.  The cougar detected at least four attackers approaching.  Driven by pure instinct and rage, he charged, opening his mouth to let out a menacing growl meant to strike fear in hearts of his enemies.  It might have worked, if that had been accomplished; instead all that came out was a very unimpressive “Baaaaaaa”.  

 

As his head began to clear, Baar watched his friend pace back and forth in utter confusion unaware that he was now a sheep.  He attempted to stand but instantaneously sustained cuts in both legs and across his back.  The wounds were painful but not life threatening and Baar easily pushed pass the pain and continued rising to his feet.   

Amazingly enough, the mighty Tauren gained an unsteady upright position.  Staggering back and forth trying to focus on his attackers as the poison introduced through his cuts began to take effect.  Baar drew his sword but it immediately slipped from his hand and hit the ground with an audible thump.  Shortly there after, he joined it.

      

Pilfer remained stealthed behind a tree and waited as the Tauren approached the copper vein.  Once in position, he sprang from the shadows, sapped the unsuspecting hunter, and back rolled into a crouched position.  His eyes never left his target, knowing that the Hunter’s pet would quickly retaliate.  Just as he’d expected the attack came swiftly. 

Maricon cast his sheep spell on the angry beast and Pilfer, though startled by the Tauren’s attempt to recover, swiftly whipped out his daggers and with blazing speed laid three well placed cuts.  He stood before the massive Tauren and watched incredulously as he continued his struggle to stand.  The Rogue was actually impressed with the Hunter’s ability to reach an upright position but knew it to be and exercise in futility.  Still, his body tensed momentarily, when the hunter managed to focus on him and draw his sword, but relaxed when the Tauren collapsed at his feet.

“Quickly, grab the bags and let’s get out of here before the spell wears off his pet!”  He gestured to his companions who proceeded to do as instructed.  They had the kodo stripped of Baaradon’s belongings within a few seconds.  It just happened to be a few seconds too long.

     The fog lifted from Felonius as the spell wore off.  Without hesitation he advanced on Pilfer, who to his credit sensed the attack coming and leapt to his left and out of harms way.  Unfortunately this left one of his partners wide open.  Felonius grabbed the unlucky rogue by the throat and pulled him to the ground.  Pilfer, not wanting to test the cougar’s resolve, signaled for the others to follow as he made a quick retreat. 

Felonius made short work of his victim but was too late to catch any of the others who were now fleeing.  Not wanting to leave his master defenseless; the cougar returned to the tauren, grabbed his shirt within his teeth and dragged the hunter to a small nearby village.

BAAR TABS

 

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.

BaarCrawl 01