A short World of Warcraft story by ZAM user matrigs.
The next couple of days became increasingly nightmarish for Atnas. He drove his horses without rest; the thought of the Night Elf village emptied of life before he could even get there. The weather eased considerably as he passed briefly through Astranaar but word was that Darkshore was at it’s darkest. It was said that nothing was to be heard but Onu’s mournful chant. The sleigh sped on into that darkness and eventually stopped before the dwelling of that tried village. It was as he had feared…everyone, child and adult alike were deathly ill. The goblin did his best to see to it the Troll’s Blood was given to everyone, but within his heart he wept.
“Can I but comfort them more? Anything for that and I ask nothing else.”
Bethlamae lay still in her bed, her shallow breathing the only sound in the room as her parents, feverish themselves, stood vigilant. The goblin, quietly knelt down beside her.
“Hey Wee One. I have something here I’m betting you might be interested in.” was all he could manage, but it was enough to open her eyes.
“Papa Winter was here?” she whispered clutching the box.
“He might still be here…I don’t know” he answered. “Maybe we’ll find out after you see what’s inside.”
With the help of her mother, Beth pulled the battered ribbon and lifted the lid of the box. The child’s eyes flashed with such life it took the breath of the goblin from him and replaced it with joy. She held the doll up for her parents to see until her strength ebbed and then happily hugged it close and drifted off into sleep. The goblin turned with eyes shimmering.
“I’m so sorry… I… nothing from Ratchet could be…” Bethlamae’s mother just smiled, touching his cheek to still his tears.
“You brought happiness with you…it’s Winter Veil morning. We are forever thankful.”
She drew the weary deliverer out of the room so he may rest. Beth’s father tucked his daughter in and something so simple but so wonderful happened. Schuh’s poor stitching of the doll gave way and it’s stuffing spilled onto the bed. He held it up to candlelight so he could confirm what his bleary eyes couldn’t believe. It took everything he had to quietly take the doll from the room. It took even more to share what he discovered.
“Sansam…Golden Sansam and Silversage! Beth’s doll is bursting with it! There’s some Dreamfoil too! Some others…I…” was all he could manage before bolting out the door to their amazement. He returned shortly with a neighbor who was a seasoned alchemist. He poured out the blessed petals from Beth’s doll and calculated their power.
“Strong ingredients, incredibly strong…but not nearly enough for a whole village. It could be diluted into a vaccine but I would need a load of firebloom for that.” he determined and then shook his head. “But there isn’t a sprout of it in the pile.”
From the corner of the room came a very tired but very relieved voice, “I have stacks of the stuff in my sleigh. And here I thought they were just good for my sinus'.” By the time the stunned elves realized what the goblin had said he was already asleep.
Late that Winter Veil night Atnas awoke only briefly, so it seemed, to confirm his hopes. Elves were all about Bethlamae’s home, working their magic with the herbs and even the air itself seemed to breathe new life into the village.
“Like the Big Guy's workshop I’m betting” he murmured distantly.
He was drifting off again, but took back into that blissful sleep something to dream all night on; Beth standing at his side, her hand in his and in her other, a healthy and very loved doll.
matrigs - I wrote this several years ago after I made my first nervous run from Darkshore to Ratchet so it's all pre-Cata. Hope you all have a Happy Christmas.