The whispers in Darnassus said it was bad. The natural order warped and twisted by the strange energies leaking from the wreckage. Wreckage that the Exodar had left strewn across the land as it came out of the heavens like a shooting star and crashed upon the face of Azeroth. I made the mistake of looking for myself.
Abominations roam the land. Creatures twisted and driven mad by power leeching from the great red crystals that litter the landscape. Most trees have shed their leaves, dying slowly. Others have become restless, attacking any that cross their path. But the worst was how the poison has effected the water. Instead of bright and clear the waters run red. Almost as though the land itself is bleeding.
The elders say that the Dreani are good people, that they were just fleeing the forces of evil. They claim that the damage done to the land was unintentional, and I believe them. They had every right to flee, and sometimes bad accidents happen to good people. The questions burning in my mind had no outlet, no one who could answer.
I was at the inn in Darnassus, sitting at the bar having an ale when she walked in. A Dreani woman with a black lion at her side. Yet another adventurer from the look of it. Yet another who had seen the damage done to the land and done nothing to heal it.
A little deeper in the cups than I had ever allowed myself to go I flagged her over, bought us a round of ale (like I needed any more) and introduced myself. With an amused smile she took a stool next to mine. That’s when I started talking, started asking the questions I had been holding inside.
It is now two long years after the crash. Why are you still poisoning the land?
Your people come out of the wreckage, gather your things, and leave. Why don’t you help?
Why don’t your people fix what they have broken?
You left to fight those who drove you here by going to outland? I understand that, but why are you off in Northrend fighting to clean up the mess a human caused while here, the land still bleeds?
Amusement passed from her features, thoughtfulness took its place. Then thoughtfulness passed as well as she reached a decision. Flagging down the barkeep she reached into her pouch and put down enough to cover us both. I realized there were many empty mugs on the table, and the remains of a meal to boot. I must have lost track along the way.
As we walked towards the center of town she started to speak. She told of how she and her people had become allies of the Humans, Dwarves, Gnomes, and yes even Night Elves.
She told of battles fought on a broken world to avenge what had happened to her people.
She spoke of places in Northrend where nature was bent and twisted to the will of the litch king, of places where even death was no release from his service.
She talked of family lost, friendships formed, and debts to be paid.
One of those debts was to the land itself, and to those who had suffered because of it.
As we walked to the bank she explained to me that she had to go back to Northrend. She had debts to pay to those who had fought at her side through the broken world of outlands. ”I cannot stay and help the land” she said, ” but I can help you on your journey. ”
Then she started pulling things out of her battered footlocker for me to try on, Leather armor, shiny and new, A staff with green gems glinting at both ends, a worn leather pouch full of coin, bags and pouches to carry things in. “These should serve you for a time.” she said.
Then she pulled out something wrapped in a tattered bloodstained robe. Carefully unwrapping it she told the story of a friend long gone, a friend that had worn this armor as he faced down the demons of outland. The mantle was battered and worn, but fit like it was made for me.
”The other things I give as gifts, Giligan, but these hold many memories for me. When you reach your 80th season I wish them back.” she said. “You will be able to find me in the city of Dalaran, just ask the barkeep for Drupadi.”