Chapter 1: The Ride to Redridge
The Sun began to rise over the sleepy province of Westfall casting its friendly glow over the planes below and casting its glare through the farmhouse window onto the form of Vetreth Morrowdawn. He moaned. The form began to fidget until eventually it cast of its sheets and sat up. I hate early mornings. He thought to himself as he began stretch his arms out in a yawn. He reached for his shirt and trousers and checked that he had everything he needed for the journey.
A man was calling for him outside, Eugene's here already... so much for breakfast before I leave.
He got up and made his way towards the door before going back for a long wooden box that was under his bed. Just in case. He made his way downstairs where he was met by his father.
"I'd tell you to make yourself at home but you've done that already apparently" He said to his father smiling, he reached over to give him a hug.
"No time for that my boy, you've got a long journey ahead of you today, I'm hoping you'll get to Goldshire at the least but as an incentive, if you can get there by mid afternoon you can take a few days off when you come back". Eugene replied also smiling. "Here, take these coins, buy Yvette something nice... oh and I want you to take this letter to the blacksmith there too."
"Letter? What are you scheming now Dad..."
"Don't you worry, let's just say I might be securing your future, and your grandson's future" Eugene winked. "Now get going or you won't even be past Westbrook garrison by sunset." Eugene untied his horse from the cart he drove here and rode off, waving to Yvette who had just got up to see what the racket was.
Vetreth loaded up his luggage into the back of the cart, tucking his bags inbetween the crates of horse shoes. He then walked over to his horse and brought it over to the cart and attached the shafts of the cart to the horse's saddle. While he was by the cart he placed the long thin wooden box under his seat. He turned round to see Yvette scrutinising the box.
"What's in that box Vetreth?" She asked with a stern look in her eye.
"Which box?" Vetreth replied. His face a mask, hiding any emotion that he may have.
Yvette walked over to the cart seat. "This one!" she said pointing at the box underneath the seat of the cart.
"That... that is my insurance..." Replied Vetreth uneasily. His wife looked him in the eye raising an eyebrow. He quickly glanced away. He'd never been good at lying to his wife's face.
She lifted the lid of the box "I thought as much..." she replied. Disapproval written all over her face. "Just be careful ok?"
"Don't worry, it's just for protection, if things go well it won't get out of the box. If things go less well... then at least I brought something to smooth things over." he got up onto the cart and brought up the reigns of his horse and started the horses at a trot.
"Wait up a minute" his wife said. He stopped in front of the house and his wife leaned up and kissed him. "Don't be too long!" she called over to him as he started the horse moving again. A gentle trot at first but after a few moments he started it up in a gallop.
The journey north was mostly uneventful and he passed Sentinel hill within the hour, passing by the traders that held their wares beneath the sentry tower where the soldiers of Stormwind watched over Westfall, protecting and guiding the populace and settling local disputes over land and possession. He continued northwards passing the Saldean's farmstead and beginning the long journey east through what remained of Westfall and Elwynn forest and beyond. He reached the Westbrook garrison by mid morning where he was delayed momentarily by a large and formidable Gnoll. After several more hours of travel Vetreth arrived in Goldshire.
Vetreth got down from the cart and left it on the road next to the Lions Pride Inn. He decided to explore the town. Within the town were several stalls and a large blacksmith. the major feature of the town was the inn however. Vetreth had not eaten yet today so he decided that visiting the inn would be a highlight of his trip. He entered the inn and was greeted by a roaring fire and a bustling room full of happy patrons enjoying their meals, and in the case of some the alcohol.
"What can I do ya for?" the barmaid asked as Vetreth approached the bar.
"I'll have whatever meal is quickest to make" he replied before finding a table to sit down at.
A woman sidled up to him. "Want to come upstairs with me?" she asked " There's a particular room I know of that's is quite empty..."
This act of gross indecency shocked and offended Vetreth. "I'm married and have a son!" he said loudly to the woman. "Now let me eat my meal in peace!"
The barmaid came over carrying Vetreth's food. "Oh I recognise you! Aht! I've told ya before, stop botherin' my patrons!" she turned to Vetreth. " I hope she didn't offend you, a lot of the younger generation have taken to performing acts of gross indecency in the guestrooms upstairs. We try to stop them but there's telling some of 'em" She placed the food on the table in front of Vetreth.
"'ere you go darlin'".
Vetreth ate the food quickly for he had not eaten for several hours. After finishing his food he returned outside to continue his journey to Lakeshire. He untied his cart from the post next to the inn and got onto the seat at the front of the cart. Before starting off he checked under the seat for the box, he felt its reassuring form and started the horse onwards towards his final destination for the day, the Eastvale Logging camp. The sun had passed through the centre of the sky and was now deep in its descent as it falls covering the forest in a silvery mist. Vetreth had passed the Tower of Azora and, having crossed the river, was making his way to the Eastvale Logging Camp when darkness placed its grip on Elwynn, casting its black gaze over the forest and making travel over long distances a serious danger as the dark that seeped in from Duskwood had a strange effect on the forests of Elwynn at night, unleashing all manner of horror on the world. Indeed, many a resident mentioned sightings of deformed green peoples, similar in stature to humans but bulkier. The guards did not believe these stories as anything more than superstition but the residents knew, something was changing in Elwynn at night, and not necessarily for the good.
Morrowdawn rode up to the logging camp ad spotted a man that seemed to be in charge.
"Hello?" He called out to the man
The man turned around. "Hello! What brings a stranger to these parts at this time of night?"
"I've been travelling all day from Westfall and was hoping to stay here for the night?" Morrowdawn replied. "I have money to pay for any burden I may place upon you."
"It will be our pleasure to have a guest, unfortunately the only room we have is in the stables but I'm sure we can make things more comfortable for you I have to warn you though, our operation begins early and you'll probably be disturbed."
"That will be fine." Vetreth replied. "I'll only be staying for the night and I'll need to be up and ready to leave early so that will suit me fine."
Vetreth hitched his horse to the fence surrounding the stable. He climbed up to the back of the cart and extracted his satchel from the back of the cart. He then returned to the front of the cart and took the box out from under the seat. He moved into the stable and found a soft patch of hay. He made himself comfortable and soon began to slumber, underneath the watchful eye of the moon.
Morrowdawn woke with a start. There was something happening out there. He could hear the crackle of flames as men were shouting. Crashes could be heard as things were thrown against a building. This doesn't sound right, Vetreth thought to himself. He got up and ventured out of the stable doors.
He was greeted by chaos.