Distant Hoofbeats on the Plains of Xoroth

Ringo sighted down the wooden barrel of the gun. Well, he thought it was wood. It felt like wood, but the barrel — carved in the shape of a long-snouted monster with lots of teeth — shouldn’t be able to stand up to gunfire like this one did, if it really was wood.

“Something wrong with the gun?” Beli asked. No one else had wanted to take it from the mare’s saddle sheath, much less try it out.

“No, not at all. It’s dead brilliant.” Ringo twirled the long rifle around one thick fingertip like a pistol. “I was just wondering, though …”

“Wondering what?”

Ringo looked back at where Voca was cooing into the infernal horse’s ear like it was a pony at the faire.

“She said it came from the Plains of Xoroth, aye?”

Beli nodded.

“Well, I’m not always great with names, but wasn’t that a region of Draenor?”

“I don’t see the problem …”

“Isn’t Draenor all blown to smithereens after Kurdran Wildhammer led the heroes of Stormwind through the Dark Portal and did whatever it is that they did?”

Beli began to look concerned.

“And if the Plains of Xoroth are still there,” she said, glaring at the mount, as though it would suddenly confess its origins.

“Aye, if the Plains of Xoroth are there, then what’s going on, on the far side of that wee portal?”


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