Gillain’s Journal – Day 3

<shudder>

I don’t expect you to believe what I am about to relate. I wouldn’t believe it myself if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I left Thelsamar in Loch Modan, headed for Menethil Bay. Mountaineers Gravelgaw and Wallbang urged me to stay to hunt Troggs but wanderlust was getting the better of me and I could not be stayed.

Menethil Bay is in an area called The Wetlands. I’d heard little about it and wasn’t sure what to expect. I followed a winding road out of the Loch, through tunnels that seemed to turn back on themselves. This is where I got my first surprise.

Orcs! Orcs on the road, mere leagues from the Loch! Big, nasty brutes, and I am ashamed to say I was glad to see adventurers stronger than I battling them so I wouldn’t have to. I’d had no idea there were orcs on Azeroth, but as I was headed for Kalimdor I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised that orcs have made the reverse trip.

When finally I left the last tunnel and set foot in The Wetlands it was with great relief. Relief that was short lived as I consulted my map. I still had far to go over uncertain terrain, with no aid to be hoped for. Steeling myself, I set off at an easy jogging pace.

The road was in decent repair and reasonably safe. Great lizards lounged in the sun not far off. Lizards with row upon row of sharp teeth. Crocolisks! I’d seen a trainer with one once but I’d never seen them in the wild. Some of them looked hungry. I gave them a wide berth…

Well, all but one. Suddenly a pain shot up my leg. A young croc I hadn’t noticed had taken a fancy to me. I say “young” but it was much bigger than I. Never mistake me for a warrior! I put on a burst of speed, using all my tricks of evasion and dodging and happily soon left the hungry reptile in the dust.

Not much later I encountered a croc hunter. A swarthy fellow who showed no fear among these beasts. He asked me to carry a bundle of hides into town since he wanted to avoid going home. Crocs he had no fear of, but his wife was another matter entirely! Ho! I gladly took the bundle and went on my way.

The rest of the trip was filled with much anxiety but was otherwise uneventful. One bridge, in particular, was littered with the corpses of those who’d come before me. I stopped and studied the nearby bushes, the surface of the water…seeking danger and finding none. Finally a ran across the bridge; the quiet was unbroken. Whatever had killed these poor souls had departed.

Menethil Bay, it turns out, is quite a bustling seaport and it was good to get a chance to catch my breath. I didn’t stay long, though. I’ll have to explore if further another time. I delivered the bundle of hides, got some coin for my trouble and headed to the docks to take ship across the sea to Darkshore in Kalimdore.

Of that journey, I recall nothing. [The boat ride across the sea isn’t in the game yet so you just teleport across. -dc]

I arrived in the town of Auberdine in Darkshore. Another bustling seaport, this one filled with Night Elves. They are a curious people when seen going about their normal business. I never saw a single child. I know they are long lived but surely they must have some children? There were fewer shops than I would’ve expected and I never did find an inn or tavern.

But work, that I found. I was sent to investigate some ruins. There was, I was told, a strange blue light that kept demons at bay. Not liking the sound of that much, I headed into the forest.

Bears! Ye gods, there are more bears in Darkshore than there are trees! Aggressive brutes, they are, and I had to kill more than a few as I made my way to the ruins.

As to the ruins and these ‘demons’ well, demons they may be, but the grells seem like flesh and blood to me. Shortish gangly creatures. Thinking on it, I suppose they do have some similarity to that Imp that Keenie summons. They are not strong, though, and my blades cut them down swiftly as I made my way to the blue light.

And that is how I met Asterion. The light was his prison. How long he’d been there I cannot say, but I got the feeling he’d been there for many lives of men. And he wanted me to free him. His words were fair but I still felt uneasy, yet still I did his bidding, killing an odd half-horse, half-man creature to get a Seal from it.

Asterion then sent me south to another ruins to annoint this seal is some supernatural flame I’d found there. At this point I was thinking how much I missed the Defias Brotherhood. Immortal elves emprisoned in magic cells are outside my normal scope of operations.

But things were about to get worse.

Because what wandered the other set of ruins but…ghosts. I kid you not. Ethereal beings floated about, wailing their torment and causing the hairs on the back of my neck to stand on end. How does one kill a ghost? I approached the first…the shade of a beautiful high elf maid. Taking a deep breath and expecting to be struck dead, I attacked her. And found that ghosts do bleed, after a fashion. At least, my daggers bit something and she vanished, but not before chilling my blood with her screams.

Feeling a bit more confident I moved forward, dispatching these beings to their final rest while collecting the corrupt trinkets they carried for later destruction. Eventually I got the seal to the flame and annointed it. My work here done, I slipped out of the ruins and returned to Asterion.

Hesitantly, I used the Seal to free him from his cell. I half expected him to reward me with a painful death, but he did not, though before going on his way he did mention getting revenge on his captor, who still lived (how long is the lifespan of these creatures)? I still do not know if I’ve unleashed an evil on the world or not.

At this point my nerves were frayed and my body fatigued. I headed back to Auberdine and found a quiet corner. Rolling up in my cloak I settled down to write this journal entry, and now I will sleep. There is more to be done here. I hope that it will not entail more encounters with the supernatural denizens of this world, but I suspect it will.

Tomorrow I shall discover what a “furbolg” is…

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