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Long Overdue
#1
Spoiler:
It only took until, what? July? When did Embers of Life end?

Too many patients, not enough caregivers. Those were the words an old Orc veteran repeated to himself as he changed the bandages on a crying warrior who would have to learn to use his other arm if he wanted to use his axe. He quickly moved to the next patient, who needed nothing more than to be rolled to avoid bed sores. He was rushing to get out of the small room he and his mate used to house patients; the crying, the moans, the smell of men halfway between death and life mixing with that natural Drag stench made the old warrior want to gag. He covered his mouth with both hands, took two deep breaths, and moved on to the last patient. Change the bandages, clean the blood, roll, march out.

The smell of the common room, while still that awful Drag odor, was a welcome relief to an Orc that spent a good hour or more (he was never good at guessing what time it was, especially in the Drag) with a group of almost-corpses. It was better than spending time with the Forsaken, but not by much. His mate was sitting cross-legged on a wolfskin rug, reading a letter once, then again with the letter brought closer, then once more, but this time using her finger to follow the words. The veteran joined her, thinking over what words to say that would tell her he took care of the wounded, while showing his displeasure at having to do it alone. As he thought, he found himself leaning in to see why the letter was so interesting.

Quote:To the Rockshatter family,

Wake up Jof'waz or give him to someone competent enough to do their job.

-Norell Rocketpunch
P.S. Show this letter to any Rocketpunch store on Kezan and receive 2% off any purchase of five or more explosives

The warrior gave the letter another read over, turning to his mate after to see her open a small coin purse. He held out his hand as she shook five coins out of the bag; a single gold coin and four copper coins were all that was within. Norell was usually more generous with his funds, which was as surprising to the couple as his friendship to the troll.

“Cheap little bastard, ain't he?” The veteran laughed once and smiled for his mate, bouncing the coins in his hand. He wanted to toss the letter in the fire and force Norell to come down to Orgrimmar, but he could use that discount to buy fireworks for whatever holiday was coming up next. Too many holidays. He looked back as his mate as she took the coins from his hand. The first time the Rockshatter family met Jof'waz was when he was nothing but a still-breathing corpse and Norell was paying the couple to care for him. The goblin made a lot of boasts for the troll, claiming that Jof'waz was revived by the Red Dragonflight after fighting a Scourge army. By himself. The couple “believed” the story once they heard how much Norell would give them, but they believed the troll to simply be in a coma.

“We'll give him a day or two, see if he awakens. After that, we need to toss him out.” His mate said as she tossed the light coin purse to a nearby table, going in the back room to check on the patients. Alone with his thoughts, the veteran had one thing on his mind.

Why the hell isn't Jof'waz waking up?



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Where's the priestess? What about the elf? Why isn't anyone hearing him scream for help. Mouth opens, no words. He tries again. When did all that blood get there? Priestess? He tries to cry out again. Gurgle. Armor feels like it's getting torn up like scrap. Another dagger? Claw? Right in the throat. Stupid knights. Summon ghouls with a Lich nearby. Lich! Where is he? He has to kill the Lich, reclaim stolen glory! Damn Voragh. Damn lizard.

Priestess?
Kapre?
Mahen?
Anybody?


Something was cooking. No spices, but it felt like ages since Jof'waz last sat down and ate something that wasn't scraps or days old. The poor life of an engineer and matchmaker; being Jof'waz is suffering. The troll took another whif, hoping to capture that heavenly smell, but got a nostril full of black smoke. He blew his nose, rubbing his goggles (then remembering to lift them and rubbing his eyes), and looked for the smell's origin. It raised two very important questions, though one isn't as important as the other: Where was his armor, and why was he on fire? ...Fire!

Jof'waz yelped, slapping his hands over his chest to put out the fire. When that didn't work, he remembered a lesson from his adoptive father about fire. He stopped, he was already laying so he didn't drop, but he could roll. It was then he learned that he was sitting in a rowboat until he tumbled out and continued to roll in the sand. He continued to roll until he felt water on his back, which was the only prompt he needed to dive under. He rose up seconds later, scooping up water and patting down his arms just in case.

Jof'waz chewed on his gums as he tried to process the new development. He was at Northrend, but now it seemed he was on an island. He woke up on fire. For reasons unknown, the fire did nothing permanent. His armor was still gone. His old wounds seem to have vanished as well, there weren't any scars on his hands...

...Armor feels like it's getting torn up like scrap. Another dagger? Claw? Right in the throat. Stupid knights. Summon ghouls with a Lich nearby...

Both hands shot for his throat, rubbing and caressing, tracing for lines that should be there. Nothing, yet again.

He assured himself that this was just a dream, and made up a quick hypothesis on the spot. He returned to his beached rowboat in search of large enough to cause great pain to himself. There were oars, some sort of box that smelled like worms, but nothing else to note. He reached for an oar, but realized that there was something else he could to test his little theory: The damn boat itself.

“Chu got dis. Juss un little 'it, dat all it dakes, mon. Lift 'ead, an' slam. Lift, slam. Lift slam!” The troll gritted his teeth, prayed to whatever Loa was listening, and slammed his forehead on the boat. He winced, but he felt no pain. He did it once more, eyes wide open as all he felt was his head against wood. For the troll, this was a good enough reason to assume that he was just dreaming. He wasn't dead. Nope. Not dead.

Another hypothesis needed to be tested, and the troll had plenty in his head. First, he tried to part the sea with his mind. That didn't work. Next, he jumped and flapped his arms in an attempt to fly. The first attempted failed, but it would not stop Jof'waz from trying another five times. He failed each time. He jumped in the ocean and dunked his head under the water for a third test. It felt like five minutes, and he wasn't drowning. Anything fun he wanted to do was a no-go, but anything that would kill him or otherwise hurt him just wouldn't do their thing either. This is a terrible dream. He wanted to leave.

Jof'waz pushed the rowboat out to sea and, taking a minute to learn how to actually row, shouted goodbyes to the island that he had no idea existed until recently. He didn't get far, as the waves pushed him back to the island as the land was becoming just a dot in his sights. The boat washed ashore, and all Jof'waz could do was cover his face with his hands and curse the heavens in Zandali. It was then a sound from the jungle filled the troll's ears.

A drumbeat.

Jof'waz didn't think anyone was living on this little hellho- Dream! It's a dream! Of course there would be people, I'm just dreaming them up to deal with my loneliness! Jof'waz repeated this to himself as he scrambled out of the rowboat and charge without considering any potential danger that could be lurking in the trees and under the earth. It didn't matter. The moon was hanging above the island, the drumbeat was getting louder, and it was smelling more and more like a party. Once he parted the foilage, he beheld the grandest sight.

Trolls! Hundreds... tens... handfuls of them! Blue and green trolls gathered around a fire, dancing like the party never ends. The smell of pork and chicken whiffed up his nostrils as the female trolls did their proper job of cooking a meal for the whole... tribe? They looked more like a loose collection of trolls united by their love of good food and dancing. There didn't seem to be a leader, but that was because Jof'waz only looked between the food and the dancing. When he finally let his eyes wander elsewhere, he spotted a large troll, too blue to be from the forest and too big to be from the jungle, sitting on a throne of what looked like other trolls. He frequently stood up and moved elsewhere, and his throne would break and follow him. They seemed happy to be nothing but a chair for a large troll, but that didn't matter to Jof'waz.

“If dat mon expectin' me ta serve as 'is chair, I gonna knock 'im in da throat.” Jof'waz said perhaps a little too loudly, as the large troll finally cared enough to look over him. The tribal leader studied poor Jof'waz with simple curiosity, finally breaking into a smirk and keeping an eye on him. It was creepy, but it didn't matter. So long as Jof'waz could just eat and dance and not be a chair, everything would be fine. So Jof'waz left his hiding spot in the jungle, joining the other men and women around the fire, and danced as only Jof'waz could dance. That wouldn't last long.

Jof'waz danced for five minutes, and everything was fine. He danced for ten, and the cooks left their area and joined the fire. He danced for fifteen, and the dancers ceased to party. He danced for twenty, and he realized he was the only one left dancing. Just as he about to ask what the problem was, five of the strongest trolls grabbed him by the arms, legs, and even the tusks and looked up to their glorious leader to learn what to do with him. Jof'waz couldn't see the leader, and it seemed the man had no love for using words. So he was carried from the party, with no idea of any crime he committed, and with no knowledge of what the large troll told the other trolls to do.

He was carried through the jungle and foliage, returned to the beach and rowboat he woke up on, and left there as the other trolls turned to return to the jungle.

“Ah! Wait, wait!” Jof'waz kicked his legs and jumped on his feet, chasing after the trolls. “Wha' be da-” Before he could finish, one of the trolls pushed him back on the sand and returned to the jungle. Jof'waz was denied the right to party, and that's terrible. The drums continued to beat as the moon took forever to set, and the sun just didn't feel like coming up yet. Jof'waz was still there, in the sand, listening as the drum beat until the sun finally took its sweet time to rise up. “Dat nah be fair...”

The troll rolled on his belly and watched the waves of the ocean, the rowboat that wasn't strong enough to best the waves, the ship out in the distance. Wait, ship?

Ship!

Jof'waz wasted no time. If the island didn't want him, he would just best the ocean and get a free ride on that boat. He pushed the rowboat out to sea, and rowed like his life depended on it.

Surprisingly, the waves were calm.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Day two. The Rockshatter gave the troll two days to get up out of the bed, and for two days he continued to sleep. They had some hope on the first day when they heard him groan, but nothing happened. They got in contact with Norell, who was thankfully on Kalimdor on business in Ratchet, and he would arrive soon to pick him up. He wrote something about a “Love Exchange”, but neither of them could understand it. Sounded like a whorehouse.

The old veteran was tending to the patients as his mate waited for the goblin to arrive. The last one he would care for is Jof'waz, and all the troll needed was bandages. He searched the dimly lit back room with one hand covering his nose and mouth, searching for a new roll. He dropped on his ass the second he heard a creaking cry behind him, and he turned to see the once unwakeable troll slowly rising to sit, crying out in pain with every inch. His first and quick reaction was to push the troll back down, which seemed to only make him cry out more. The veteran was not trained for this. He left the room to grab his mate, and found her and Norell at the door. Perfect timing.

“The troll is awake.”



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Killer – Lich (NPC (Embers of Life) – Krilari)
Resurrecter – Dragon (NPC (Embers of Life) – Krilari)

Short term (1-3 months):
-Nightmares
-Shaking
-Fear of the undead
-Coughing up blood

Long term or permanent (4-6 months, unless permanent):
-Inability to wear anything above leather armor
-Trouble breathing
-Needing a back brace and cane to move around
-Trouble lifting
-Regular ol' coughing fits
-Scars along the neck and chest
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