Vaelarian’s Letter

Vaelarian Ashclaw crouched in the tall grass overlooking the small valley.  A copse of trees obscured most of the view, but he could see the trail leading out, and he could hear the saw.  There was a small harpy population living in this area of the Barrens, one of the few places with enough trees in the region.  While Vaelarian could care less about the harpies, he didn’t want them forced to move north.  He loathed even the thought of having to deal with them in his camp on a daily basis.  It was better for both him and the harpies if they could keep their trees where they were.

On the further side of the valley, he saw the top of one of the trees start to tip.  Even from this distance, he could hear the wood crack as the noise from the saw stopped.  The branches made sharp crackling noises as they hit against other trees and snapped on the way toward the ground.

He moved around the ledge overlooking the valley.  The less time he had to spend in harpy territory, the better.  No doubt they were already aggravated.  Vaelarian decided it was best if he didn’t make it worse.

He made his way around to the closest he could get to where the tree fell, planning his quickest route to the area while dealing with as few harpies as possible.  He slipped down the steep bank and took cover in a bush next to one of the trees.  He could clearly see the saw machine from his hiding spot.  A goblin sat in the seat operating the saw.  Vaelarian stayed back, watching, as some orcs entered the area.  The saw had already cut the limbs from the tree.  All that remained was a log.  The three orcs hefted it up on their shoulders and carried it down the path out of view.

Vaelarian slipped in closer as the orcs left.  The saw operator had already started on another tree.  The goblin running the machine was oblivious to the old kaldorei inching closer behind him.  He didn’t even have a chance to call out as the elf grabbed him from behind.  Vaelarian made it fast, slitting the goblin’s tiny throat, nearly decapitating him, then dropped him back into the seat of the saw machine.  Blood covered the controls of the machine, not that Vaelarian was even going to attempt to turn it off.  It would have to run out of power eventually.  He quickly rummaged through some documents kept in a small drawer inside the machine.  He grabbed some that looked important, as well as some that didn’t look as important but were blank on one side.  He took the pencil left in the bottom of the drawer too, and quickly left the scene.  The machine was still running.  Maybe one of the orcs carrying the logs would know how to turn it off, or if they didn’t, maybe they could maim themselves trying.

He hurried back to his camp in the hills.  He piled the important looking papers into a stack he intended to take to Astranaar soon.  He sat with the paper that was blank on one side, and began to write with the stolen pencil.

***

(Letter written on old, dirty, bloodied paper.  On the opposite side of the paper is proof of ownership of a goblin shredder written in Orcish.)

Dear Lali,

The Barrens are dangerous now.  I am assisting the Sentinels in gathering information, as well as making it difficult for the orcs to accomplish anything.  I am fine, but I won’t be able to visit soon.

The orcs and trolls have been killing each other in the Barrens.  We have little information to go on, though word has arrived from Darnassus that we are to continue stealing supplies, and fighting orcs.  I’ll fight trolls too if they get in the way, but it was specified that we are to focus on the orcs.

It is unsafe for you to visit at my camp.  Perhaps Astranaar would be safe, but Raleth would not be welcome there.  I will write again when I can.

– Vael

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