Winter!: Prepare for holiday gaming!
The Young Hunter's Tale- The Veiled Sea.
The young Hunter sat on the grass on the heights above Rut' theran Village, watching the sea.
The village was at the extreme south end of Teldrassil. It faced south over the Veiled Sea towards the great and wild continent of Kalimdor, a land that had drawn many an adventurer, and would draw many more.
The sea. The young Hunter had heard of it, and now he looked upon it for the first time. He watched the waves wash rhythmically against the shore of the sleepy little village, as they had for millions of years. It was hypnotizing. Overhead, gulls cried as they wheeled in the sky, looking for fish.
The ship made its way to the dock. He picked up his bow and his pack, and strode down the path through the town and out onto the pier. A few others awaited at the end of the dock for the large sailing vessel to halt. Rut' theran had a Gryphon station, but, like others, he lacked the funds for the flight by giant bird. And so, the ship.
He stepped up the gangway to the vessel along with three others. As he found a place along the railing to set down his gear, he studied his traveling companions.
And an odd assortment they were. A tall Night Elf Warrior, shield slung over his back, was a journey-companion with a Human, a Rogue dressed in dark leather armor, bald pate shining in the afternoon sun. He had seen Humans before, but this was the first time he had seen one up close- the man had a sly look about his face, and a brace of deadly fighting blades at his belt. He made the young Hunter feel unsettled.
The third was a Dwarf Hunter- squat and powerful, with a full beard- who traveled with his pet bear. The young Hunter had only heard tales about the master craftsmen and skilled fighters of Ironforge before this day. He was the natural focus of attention from the others. He spoke in a curt, booming voice:
"Name's Hurten, and a curse on all boats! A Dwarves' feet belongs on solid rock!"
The Elf Warrior said that his name was Moonwarden. The human just smiled as if to himself, but later on his companion called him Remi. The young Hunter spoke his name, and said that this was his first voyage by sea.
"Ya will get use ta it lad", the Dwarf said gloomily. "Just stay near the rail acase you be ill!" The bear snuffled and pawed a mop-bucket on the deck.
The Human spread his cloak out upon the deck, and his companion and the Dwarf played at dice. The young Hunter walked along the railing, looking up at the billowing sails, trying to stay out of the way of the crew as the ship got under way, moving out into the Velied Sea.
The trip was a brief one, Kalimdor being separated from Teldrassil by essentially a strait. As the afternoon lengthened, a rocky shore with gloomy pines became visible to port. Darkshore, as this coast was known.
The young Hunter gazed at the land that meant many things to him- adventure, danger, mystery...life. He already felt he was changing inside, as if a door was closing behind him, yet splendid gates were opening ahead. Strangely, he felt the urge to tell someone about his father, and what this journey meant to him.
Up ahead, the docks of Auberdine appeared. As he went to retrieve his gear, he heard the Dwarf growl, which was answered by a near-roar by his bear.
"I'd a known it. The boat leavin' for Khaz Modan leaves about now from the same docks ahead! I need ta make that boat!"
The ship pulled up to the long pier stretching out from the shore. Across on the far side of the pier, another ship was docked, yet the sails were being unfurled, in preparation for getting underway.
Remi, laughed. "A silver piece says that Master Dwarf shall miss his ship! What say you Moonwarden, and you, Sir?"
The Warrior Elf grinned and took up his bet. The young Hunter shook his head smiling, saying his coin was in short supply.
Hurten look ill-humored about the wager, but then again, he seemed to always be ill-humored, perhaps.
As soon as the ship pulled up to the dock, the Dwarf shouted out to his bear and leaped powerfully onto the dock before the ship had even stopped. Stumbling a bit, he ran towards the other ship at the end of the pier, his short, powerful legs moving his body along as fast as he could. His bear lumbered after him.
Remi and Moonwarden laughed and cheered, yelling out comments to either move faster or slower, depending upon their wager. The young Hunter stepped onto the dock, watching the Dwarf run in the distance.
The ship suddenly lurched away from the dock as the anchors were pulled up. Hurten kept running grimly, but it was over- he ended up plopping down upon his bottom at the end of the pier, chest heaving with exertion, as he watched the ship sail away. His bear came up and sat next to him, the duo looking comical, both sitting, their legs splayed out in front of them.
Remi applauded and demanded his coin from Moonwarden, who passed it over with a wry look. The Hunter smiled and nodded to them, and walked down the dock towards the village of Auberdine.
As he stepped upon the shore of Kalimdor for the first time, his heart thumping in his chest, he turned around and waved at Hurten the Dwarf still sitting on the pier in the distance, chewing his beard in vexation.