2. Of old friends and older stories
As morning came, the chattering of the city folk seemed a little busier than normal. There were rumors of some sort of dark agent making its way through Azeroth. Then again there was always talk of something, the people are easily scared into one thing or another. After a stretch and gathering gear, it was time to speak with Telonis again and practice the new patterns.
As Fuzzy neared the leather and tailor shops, a voice called out “Sergeant!” A voice not heard in quite some time. A voice so familiar and strong. A voice that was friendly and weathered. A voice that.. “Hey, Fuzzy! I’d recognize that ass anywhere! What, are you doing some kind of internal monologue and can’t turn to see an old friend?!”, the voice shouted. Fuzzy knew exactly who it was. That melodious voice was of his dear friend Anthonius, a Paladin that he had served with for so many years during the early wars. He turned to see a plate clad battle-hardened soldier wearing pink goggles and wielding a spiked shield that could cook six critters at once over a hot flame. “Anth? It’s been so long! How have you been? How is Opalily?” Anth smiled and embraced his long lost Hunter friend. “You old purple bastard! Everyone is doing great! I had no idea you would be here! Why didn’t you call?!?”, Anth clammored. “Hey, only one of us is the engineer, here. If you can figure out how to make a communicator out of leather scraps then I’ll stay in touch a bit better.” Anth laughed and the two old friends caught each other up on tales of children, burned dinners, poor attempts at new professions, and regaled of their past adventures.
The old friends talked for hours until it was mid-day. “There is talk of something dark coming back to Azeroth”, Anth began. “Join me, join us! Help us protect this world from the danger that is brewing.”
“I don’t know, I left all of that behind me. It has been so long. I’m not sure this old body can even remember how to fight, let alone command a beast. I released all of my pets years ago and you know how much of a pain in the ass it is to tame one…”
“Oh I remember. It’s one of the reasons I became a Paladin. The smell of wet dog, or cat, or the foul stench of a bat just following you around got to be too much”, said Anth.
“So you would prefer to smell it at melee distance during a battle while I stand back and shout commands to my pet from a distance?” Fuzzy chuckled at the thought. The pets didn’t really smell that bad, but maybe he was used to the smell of wet fur.
“We could use a hunter with your long….history”. Anth always was a cunning linguist and jokester. Fuzzy sheepishly grinned at the joke, half heartedly thinking about the root question. Was it time to go back? How could he leave his family? How could he ensure they would be safe?
“I’m not sure what I would do if I knew the girls were ever in harms way, I couldn’t leave them unprotected”, Fuzzy explained.
“Dumbass, you have access to an entire garrison. They would be perfectly safe there.” Anth was right. The garrison was the perfect place for them to be while he was away fighting for their world.
“Let me think about it. I’ll have to talk things over with Erinia first.”
“Well don’t wait too long. This new battalion is pretty big. The Platoon I’m part of is a rag tag bunch of misfits with a great sense of humor, but also one of the best fighting outfits I’ve ever been part of.” Anth was grinning ear to ear as he described the group. “If you change your mind, come to the Inn at Boralus. The Innkeeper there can find us. Tell them you’re looking for the Humpday Heroes.”
“The WHAT? Surely you’re joking. They let you in?!? Do they even know about that time you were in Orgrimmar on the mailbox?”
“We, uh, we don’t talk about that. If I recall there was someone else there with me. I think you made 500 gold that day”, Anth slyly retorted.
“Yea, maybe that memory is best left to the abyss.” Fuzzy looked past Anth and saw an eerie orange glow in the distance, growing brighter. He nodded for Anth to turn around.
“What the hell is that?” Anth asked.
“I’m not sure. It sort of smells like something is on fire. Something big.”
“Smells? I don’t smell anything on fire. How could you smell something that far away?” Anth looked at his friend suspiciously. “Have you encountered any…friends…that your fellow night elves may have brought to town?”
“How does everyone figure this out? Is there a sign on my back or something? I’m taking a potion, it’s fine.” Fuzzy wasn’t sure how everyone knew his affliction, but it was slightly unnerving. How many others knew? Did Erinia secretly know?
Anth reached out his hand toward his dear friend. “Well, I better get going. I’m expected back in the harbor to train in the war games”
“Always a pleasure to see you, my friend. Maybe I’ll look you up in Boralus”. Fuzzy took his friends hand and pulled in for an embrace. It was great to see such a good friend again. The conversation had already began to weigh heavy, and Fuzzy could feel the fire of battle begin to spark in his soul. Maybe it was time. But no decision could be made without discussion. There was so much more to think of, and care for, now.