[Story] Story a Week – 18

[[ Originally this prompt was “coin” which grew into an idea about the Harrier’s first partner so… that’s what this is. There’s actually no coin in the story though 😛 This takes place in Menethil, when he’s just arrived in the Eastern Kingdoms. ]]

Sorias was cold, dirty, and hungry. It was much colder here than Astranaar had ever been, especially at night. Fog engulfed the docks and the bay like a giant hungry fish, swallowing everything up. He soon learned, as well, that he couldn’t expect a place to sleep. There was no large building that was open to everyone, all the little houses of the village were private — and had owners. They didn’t look too kindly on him trying to sleep in their stables, either. Meals weren’t served as a group, everyone prepared their own food in their own houses, and though Sorias checked the waste barrels in the evenings afterward, there was rarely any waste. He tried to fashion a fishing pole out of a stick and some discarded line, but he couldn’t find a hook. Probably the stick would have snapped if a fish ever tugged on it, anyway. There weren’t even any trees in the village, or he might have tried to sleep in one of them, embarrassing as it was. He told himself he wasn’t a tree elf anymore, but the situation was desperate.

He couldn’t go back, though. It’s not that he believed they were looking for him — he rather doubted that was the case. But now they had an excuse to call him an outsider, to fire on him if he returned to the town. He’d surely been branded an exile and an outlaw, and who knows what stories they’d made up about him. He didn’t care about that, he assured himself. But he did wonder what Risarra thought. He frowned, laying his ears back. Let it think it was her fault, because in a way, it was. A chill, wet wind blew in from the bay and Sorias shivered in his spot below the dock. It was muddy and awful, his clothes would be absolutely caked in it by tomorrow. He would have to find a place to wash them without attracting too much attention, if that was possible. The last thing he wanted was a bunch of dwarves laughing at his naked self.

Far up the road, his keen ears heard a jostling of metal, and he crept out from his resting spot to have a look. Despite the fog and rain, someone was coming into town, pushing a large wagon laden with all sorts of utensils and tools. Was he a traveling merchant? Curiosity got the better of Sorias and he came out for a better look. The dwarf was short and broad, as all dwarves are, and he had an enormous black beard that grew almost to the ground. He had on a floppy leather hat to keep the rain away. As Sorias watched, he began to pull legs out from beneath the cart, and unfolded a little canopy. He wasn’t likely to have many customers on this gloomy evening, Sorias thought. Before he realized it, the dwarf was squinting at him.

“What in blazes are ye?” called the dwarf. Sorias looked anxiously to the little houses, but no one seemed to have stirred — just yet. He didn’t want to attract a whole crowd. He came out from under the docks, trying to brush off the mud, but that just spread it all over his hands.

“I’m an elf,” Sorias replied. He thought it best not to cause trouble, though he had a dozen other answers he could have given. I’m a fog giant, or an overgrown murloc, or a ghost.

The dwarf snorted a laugh. “I kin see that. You fall off a ship or somethin’? Awful far from Kalimdor.”

Sorias’s ear twitched. “Yeah. Something like that.”

The dwarf scratched his beard thoughtfully as he looked Sorias over. He didn’t like the way he was doing that. “I might be able ta use someone like you,” said the dwarf.

For what? Pulling the cart? Sorias frowned. Even he had some dignity left. “What do you mean?”

“You look like you could use a job, am I right?” the dwarf asked, looking him over again. Sorias looked a mess, certainly. “I could use someone to help with my business,” he continued. “Someone who knows Kalimdor.”

Sorias didn’t think he knew Kalimdor very well at all, but he wasn’t about to turn down the offer. Maybe it was a trap of some sort, but he could sort that out once he’d eaten and got warm. He was sure he could overpower a dwarf if need be. “Yes,” Sorias said. “I could do that.”

The dwarf grinned broadly and clapped his hand to Sorias’s. “Good ta hear it. The name’s Blackbrew.”

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