Fresh Growth – Chapter 8

The hippogryph moved almost at my thoughts, its connection to the forest mirroring mine. I steered it towards Azshara, and as soon as we were above the path of the smoke I took several gulping breaths of reassured air. It would take considerably less time to get to Bilgewater Harbour by flight than by walking, thankfully.

“Thanks back there for keepin’ me alive.”

“Not a problem. I’ve seen kaldorei justice before – not all of us realise when we overreach. Besides, you’re more important dead or alive, and by the time I’m in a position where I would want to kill you, you’d be far too safe.”

“Y-you want to kill me?”

“By the Goddess, no. Not after tonight. If I had known about this bomb a month ago, a week, two hours, maybe. But there’s been too much death tonight. Too much death recently.”

“Guess I didn’t think of it that way – just with you bein’ an elf an’ all…”

I smiled coyly at his naïveté, a welcome distraction from the death weighing on my mind.

“I’m an elf, yes. But I’m also a druid, and a mother. Death where there’s any hope of redemption is a waste, especially in the face of more death. There are certain pillars in druidism, in balance, in our entire culture – Duty first. Others second. Self later.”

“I guess you’re right. Never considered it really – it’s been them versus us since we got here.”

“Some are inclined to deny it for posterity’s sake. But peace in Kalimdor is in the best interests of our race as protectors of the forests. What happens now is simply how we come to that peace.

So, we have a while – is there anything else about this bomb I should know before we reach Bilgewater?”

He shifted uncomfortably.

“I don’t know much about it, really. I heard that it was to be used against the Alliance in Kalimdor, but we weren’t sure where. Main guesses would be Darnassus or Theramore.”

“But – there are more civilians than soldiers there! This is a war, not a genocide!”

“Hey, I’m not saying it was gonna be used there! All we knew was the Horde leadership wanted another one. Besides, it didn’t exactly get a chance to be used.”

“That can be debated. We’re coming to the bridge across Southfury River now.” Below us, the beautiful sapphire waters of Southfury drifted out of mountain crevasses and through towards the obscured shores of Durotar. We passed Talrendis Point without interference.

“The bomb was supposed to be enough to do a lot, wipe out an army before a major fight at the very least, put the Horde in a good position for takeovers.”

“Well, we’re both worse-off now. And I doubt you’re going to be able to make any more of those things, anyway.”

“Yeah. Garrosh isn’t gonna be happy when he finds out.”

Garrosh can go to the fiery pits of the Firelands as far as I care, half of Ashenvale could be on fire now because of his warmongering.”

“He’s hardly the only one to blame for all of this, y’know.”

I sighed. “I know. But this event could make things so much worse for everyone, and I doubt the Horde would be making such large bombs if Thrall were still in charge. We’re getting close now, that looks like the coastline.” I pointed ahead to where small stretches of ruined kaldorei cities shrank into a dark, looming mass. Ahead of the looming mass was a spectacle of late-night oil lighting.

“Yep, that’s the Harbour alright. Come down as close to the top building as you can, the less people know about this right now, the better.”

“Alright.”

I leant forward on the hippogryph and it began to dive towards the largest building on top of the island, the wind bristling against us as we dropped in altitude. Within a few minutes, we hit ground and the hippogryph ran to a stop outside the dimly-lit doors of Bilgewater Harbour’s Command Hall.

“Stop right there, elf!”

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