The bar was nigh on empty, the dim light from fading lamps and candles casting flickering shadows across the walls. The bartender, a blood elf with long blond hair and clear evergreen eyes, cleaned a few mugs just to pass the time. When you’re a blood elf, you can just magically wish for the dishes to do themselves and chance are, it will happen. Whistling, the bartender turned towards the patron sitting on the stool in front of him.
“Now stranger, anything else before I close up?” He put the mug he was cleaning in front of the figure.
The man sat in silence for a few moments, his cloak hiding most of his features save for a mesh of rich, auburn coloured hair that fell out of his hood.
“Actually, I haven’t had a bottle of Pinot Noire in… two years? I’d like a bottle.” He paused for a moment. ”… please.”
“That’ll be twenty silver coins please.” The clattering of coin sounded throughout the bar, and moments later the bottle was empty.
The man wiped off his chin, put the bottle on the counter, and smiled at the bartender. ”You’re a super nice person, ‘tender. Mind if I call you ‘Tender?”
The bartender just shook his head and continued to clean glasses.
The man stood up. ”Thank you all for the terribly soundless evening. It was soundless, like, without sounds.” He bowed, nearly fell over, and turned to the exit,
And collided with a Death Knight.
The Death knight’s cold, eerie and metallic voice chilled the evening air. ”Funny, bumping into you here. Sit down and have a drink, it’s on me.”
The man shook his head. ”I think I’d rather go somewhere else, if you don’t mind.” He started to make for the exit again, but a large, gauntleted hand grabbed his shoulder and held him fast.
“I didn’t ask.” Grinning, the Death Knight sat the man down at a table, then sat down opposite him.
The Death knight’s ice blue hair framed his elfen features, all perfectly maintained despite his resurrection. His cold eyes were the only real give away of his ‘profession’ other than a hefty smell of gore and decay. His armor was thick and plated, and showed gouges and scars of having fought fiercely up in Northrend against his former master.
“So to what do I owe you the pleasure of my company, Death kinniget?”
The Death knight looked pensive for a second. ”Actually, it’s to ‘whom’, and a lot of people at that. First, do you remember Eldadres? He studied for a long time on where you could have been, and how to get in contact with you; and although he didn’t find a way to contact you, he found out a way to track where you were in a general sense. You went to universes I didn’t know existed, planes where I didn’t you could exist. What they all had in common were the elements. Which is where the second person comes in: Windpaw, a shaman. She focused really hard on learning how to find out which place you were in by speaking to the elements of that plane. So when you came back to this one, we knew you had come back, down to the second you came.”
The man shifted in his chair, not uneasily, but largely because the chairs were uncomfortable, more so than he remembered.
The Death knight continued. ”Once you got here, we only needed to track you down. So, you owe Aifel here too. The instant you set foot back on Azeroth, he was on your trail.”
From the shadows of the bar emerged a young blood elf. His spiky brown hair did nothing to cover the completely uninterested look on his face. He sat down at the table with them. ”Sup.”
The death knight continued. ”Once he had your movements all mapped out, he informed me of where you would be. And here you are.”
The man smiled. ”I suppose you got help from another old friend of mine. Where’s Colemand?”
The Bartender turned around. ”Alright, now that he knows, can someone take this frivolous magic off of me? It tastes like mildew.”
With a wave of the death knight’s hand and some arcane mutterings, the bartender turned from a young blood elf bartender into a stooped, fearsome looking Forsaken death knight.
“Much better. I don’t know how you can all live with that crap all the time.” Colemand sat down at the table as well. ”Honestly, it’s worse than being dead, and now I know both.”
The Death knight shook his head. ”Well, no one said you had to be here Colemand. You could have stayed in your kitchen, feeding the war effort.”
Colemand’s guttural laugh filled the bar. ”Hellscream doesn’t know the meaning of food! Cooking for his army felt like cooking dirt. I’d rather go out and make my own food. Besides, I haven’t made a Gnome pie in ages, and I heard they make them in priests now, too. If there’s anything more delicious than irony, I want to taste it.”
The man sat still for a moment, then looked up at the blood elf across the table from him. ”So why all the love? I’m not the most important elf on Azeroth, not by a long shot. I wasn’t even present to see the downfall of Arthas. I’m definitely no hero of the Horde, and I’m certainly not on Hellninny’s good side.”
“True, but Hellscream does know that you got shit done. With Deathwing on the rise, that’s what needs to happen; but that’s not the reason we sought you out. To be honest, Hellscream probably doesn’t care that you’re here at all.” The Death knight clasped his hands together. ”Look, we all know you left to search the universes. For a woman, no less. A gentleman’s move on your part, to pursue love; but it didn’t work, did it?”
The man’s face turned sombre as the death knight continued. ”Maybe she died, maybe she didn’t love you, maybe both. Either way, she’s not in your life anymore. And now you’re here, drinking yourself silly from the west coast of Kalimdor to the east coast of the Eastern Kingdoms. We’re here to make you do what you were born to do. You are a hunter, and a damn good one. Maybe not the most practical, nor the most flexible, but certainly one of the best.”
The room went silent. Aifel sat silently picking his teeth with a dagger. Colemand starting scratching doodles into the table using a clawed, iced finger. The death knight sat in silence his hands still clasped in front of him. The man stared down at the table. This continued for what seemed like ages, the silence falling on the room like a musty covering.
Finally, the man looked up at the death knight. ”I don’t see how a lot of what you said is your business. You’re treading on ground that I honestly don’t want anyone to tread on yet; but you’re right about one thing, Elnoriah.”
The man threw back his hood to reveal long auburn hair, tied to keep it out of his face, bright evergreen eyes, long elegant ears and eyebrows, and a large smile. He whistled sharply, a piercing sound, and no sooner had he done so than a large black wolf had bounded into the room and knocked the man over and started licking his face.
“I am fabulous.”