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Category: 15. Rage of the Firelands

Murder was the case they gave me

Murder was the case they gave me

Leyara, a female Druid of the Flame

“Well, it took some doing — and a lot of shuttling in kimchi pie from Darnassus,” said Widge Gearloose, lowering his voice as he and Ringo Flinthammer tucked into their dinner beneath the spreading arms of the Sentinel Tree, “But I think I’ve figured out why the Avengers of Hyjal wanted an expert in elf-killing.”

“Ah’m completely shocked that night elves once ag’in cannae deal honestly with so-called ‘lesser races,'” Ringo growled, bits of food shooting from his mouth, each particle eagerly tracked by Frostmaw, who slurped them up off the ground.

“It seems like some important Tauren druid was almost killed by an important night elf druid. She’s gone over to the other side, but it would be politically awkward if a famous widow of some battle or other were killed by the elves themselves.”

“So, they bring in a dwarf who e’erybody knows ha’ nae trouble killin’ elves ta do it fer them?”

“That’s what it sounds like.”

Ringo sighed, staring at the hazy apparition of Sulfuron Keep in the distance.

“Hard ta imagine this is what me mother wanted me ta do fer Lesaris. So, what’s this political elf’s name?”

Leyara Staghelm.”

Clawing at the truth

Clawing at the truth

Druid of the Flame in the Molten Front

Ringo Flinthammer turned his face, spitting out the sulfurous dust that made up the ground here in the Firelands.

“Elves are full o’ crap, ye see,” he muttered, reaching out and thumping the thick neck of his bear, Frostmaw. “After th’ Battle fer Mount Hyjal, the night elves were no longer immortal and they knew they had to make changes. They started trainin’ women druids an’ th’ Druids o’ the Claw and the Druids o’ the Talon both taught other druids their secrets. And where’ver th’ Druids o’ the Lookin’ Like a Bloody Tree were hidin’, they taught th’ others their tricks, too.

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Insane druids

Insane druids

The Molten Front

“Khaz’goroth on a cracker,” Ringo Flinthammer snarled through his hand as he surveyed the Molten Front, “It smells like Hodir’s farts here.”

“That’s sulfur that you’re …” Lesaris began.

“Don’t bother,” Widge Gearloose said, waving a hand at the druid. “He just needs something to complain about.”

“So, why do ye need me ta kill these elves of yers?” Ringo asked, ignoring the gnome’s characterization of him. “Ye’re elves yerselves. Or at least half of ye Avengers are.”

“We know little of hunting elves,” Lesaris sighed and something in his tone made Ringo and Widge feel every year of the 10,000 he had lived. “Before Malfurion awoke us, we had been fighting the Burning Legion. When we awoke, it was to fight demons once more. Before that … before that, I tended the region of Ashenvale now known as Felwood. I know how to battle harpies, owlbears and quillboar. Elves … I never thought our own people would turn against us.”

Ringo snorted, ready to lecture Lesaris on the history of elves and elf-descendants in the history of wars and disasters, but Widge kicked him in the shin, hard.

“This is what you do, Ringo Flinthammer,” Lesaris continued, unaware of or ignoring Ringo’s attempted outburst. “Your deeds on the Isle of Quel’Danas are well-known. Killing elves is your destiny.”

“Ah’m more than a damned killer!” Ringo flushed red. “Ah’m a father — a good father! Ah know all th’ animals o’ Khaz Modan. Ah’m handy with an arclight spanner, too.”

“The Druids of the Flame assault our front line, Ringo,” Lesaris said, his voice rising, growing strident. “These vile creatures have turned their backs on Elune’s teachings and worship instead the Fire Lord, Ragnaros. Twisted by his insane power, they desire nothing more than to bury us in ash.

“We must counter their attack immediately! Killing elves is your destiny, Ringo Flinthammer, and it defines who you are.”

“Ah kin think o’ one elf Ah’d like ta kill right now …”

The protectors of Mount Hyjal

The protectors of Mount Hyjal

Lesaris in the snow

Lesaris sniffed the air and snorted in disgust.

It had only been days since Malfurion Stormrage had awakened Lesaris and his fellow Druids of the Claw within the Barrow Deeps. Even now, Lesaris could hear the Horn of Cenarius ringing in his ears.

He and his fellow druids had not slept their entire time in the depths — at some point during their hibernation, Lesaris and some of the others had awoken, but remained in the bear form they had taken on during hibernation, but their minds had gone feral. Even now, with the effect banished by the horn, Lesaris still felt more comfortable in this form.

But now, the bear form was almost a curse, as the stench of demons wafted on the wind that continually circled Mount Hyjal. After thousands of years in the Barrow Deeps, nothing had changed: The Legion was attempting to break this world, just as they had during the War of the Ancients.

Ursoc give me strength,” he growled. He had spotted demons’ footprints here in the patchy slush on the lower slopes of the mountain.

A desperate alliance bound three enemies together: The kaldorei; the humans of Lordaeron; and the brutish slayers of Cenarius, the orcs; all now sought to stop the Burning Legion’s advance up Mount Hyjal. At the mountain’s summit was Nordrassil, the World Tree. If the Burning Legion were to destroy it, not only would the kaldorei lose their immortality, but the world would be irrevocably weakened, setting the Legion up to drain Azeroth of its magical energies once and for all.

Lesaris had been patrolling the slopes of Winterspring, picking off demonic stragglers and keeping the undead Scourge forces from reinforcing the forces higher up the mountain.

He broke into a loping run, snow and mud spraying behind him as he ran.

But the demon he sought was dead, its green blood steaming in the snow. A number of dead demons and Scourge lay around it. In the middle, were two strange creatures, both seemingly slain as well.

The snow near Lesaris exploded and, a moment later, a roar like thunder rolled through the valley.

“Donnae get any closer, ye demon!” a woman’s voice called out.

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Opening the door

Opening the door

The Firelands

The druid, Lesaris, drew a handful of herbs from his pocket and began sprinkling them on the ground. He then drew a branch of no tree native to Stranglethorn Vale and began sketching Darnassian runes in the dirt and muttering a prayer.

“So,” Widge Gearloose said after a moment, breaking the silence, “No offense, Ringo, but why you?”

“Nae offense taken,” Ringo Flinthammer shrugged. “Ah’ve got four brothers, after all.”

“And Durkon‘s the great hero of the Alliance.”

“An’ a fathead.”

“And Bragh‘s got a greater gift with animals, which you’d think druids would be impressed with.”

“Ye’d think.”

“And Mordun‘s half-wild himself.”

“A wee bit more than half, Ah’d reckon.”

“And Ely‘s got a better head on his shoulders.”

“If ye need accountin’ an’ other gnomework, anyway.”

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