“Rorry! Hon’ are you hungry?” Vanessa calls down a dusty, tome-riddled aisle. At the far end a small boy no older than ten with auburn hair blazes through a letter with giggles sprinkled throughout. His desk is riddled with books, playful candle light bounces across the library shelves and into the high rafters above. The orange glow streaks a slight highlight in her dark hair and reflects off the pearl white skin peeking out from her simple dress and apron. Her wispy features grant her the nickname “Ghost of the Library”, graciously given shortly after meeting the other servants. Dust kicks up as Vanessa weaves around the maze of disorganization all while balancing a delicate tray of tea and snacks.
“What are you writing there, Rorry?” Metal rasps along the desk while the boy swipes a steaming biscuit from the tray. Vanessa peers over his shoulder and pours a cup of tea. She scrutinizes the candles and their proximity to the tomes, but leaves it to be brought up later. The boy is known to be careless with fire and rumors of magical potential are abundant.
A warm smile meets the letter to Great Father Winter, “Aw, what are you asking for, Rorry?”
“No peeking!” He hunches forward, the awkward angle makes the quill tear the parchment in a few places. “If anyone but me knows then it won’t work!”
“Alright, alright. Eat what I’ve brought you, okay?” Vanessa scratches the top of the boy’s hair and his shoulders slump.
“Stop it, Vanessa,” He protests, but she knows better. Her hand gets behind an ear and he relents, the scratching nearly putting him to sleep. Vanessa’s cheerful laugh brings out a content smile from him. Ever since his family hired her she’s been so kind to him, almost like how an older sibling should be instead of the ones he has to deal with.
“Mmnn, ‘Nessa can you scratch my back?” The boy hunches forward, pushing his letter away as he rests his head on his arms. She laughs and obliges.
The boy can’t fight any longer and drifts into a soft sleep as he enjoys the backrub’s expert execution.
“Can you go back to my hair now, please?” He mumbles. Her nails move to his scalp and press down.
“Too hard.” Her nails bite the skin.
“’Nessa, stop.” The nails rake along down his neck and shoulders.
“Stop! Vanessa!” The boy yells, pinned down by some force. He struggles after feeling something slick along his skin.
“Stop! Stop it! Stop!”
Rhork surges forward, sprinting into a tree trunk in a small clearing of dense grass and foliage. The burst of motion and resounding thud send a few small creatures scattering into the underbrush with chattering cries. Clothing snags on the bark and prevents him from sagging down as he gets his wits together. He doesn’t remember when he fell asleep though the last thing he does recall is stepping through his portal to Stormwind’s Mage Tower, then falling, then a few branches, then the ground. The more he thinks the more his body aches of bruises and tiny cuts. Reaching behind him, he feels around for a side pouch to his travel pack. His glove comes back red and stained, though not the crimson of blood.
“Damnit, stupid cheap vials.” He pulls off the tree and checks his supplies. “No way.” He holds up the only vial of healing left, his landing having shattered the rest. The potion helps to alleviate the most major of pain. “That’s the last time I skimp out on quality…”
The tree’s cooling shade shield him from most of the overhead sun’s heat, though the humidity is another thing. Sounds of life from all directions flood the small clearing. Animals dart from limb to limb and send birds of all colors to flutter to the tree Rhork leans against. The roots, wild and large, make a suitable enough nook and off in the distance Rhork hears the rush of water. It’s deep enough to keep most of him hidden though not so deep that he needs to worry about critters. He unbuckles the top of his mantle and loosens the tie around his sleeves. Winter is coming to Stormwind and that is the weather he prepared for.
“Huh, never been to Stranglethorn before.” Rhork comments as he surveys the multicolored plants, various insects, and tiny flower monsters with teeth. He focuses specifically on the tiny flower monsters with teeth.
The trio of creatures step closer, cautious that the large humanoid will jump into action again. They were enjoying the sun’s warmth when this tall thing fell on their friend. The bites and scratches they worked tirelessly for are gone as well. The leader, a larger plant creature with a sharp stick squeaks out a ferocious roar, attempting to intimidate the humanoid. Rhork flicks his hand and sends a sparking bolt of electricity at the ground before them. Their resolve now shattered, the plant monsters scatter again to the bushes.
In a way, he thinks they look cute with their big eyes and bright colors, more-so now as they poke their heads out of the bush. Rhork sends another little zap in their direction and they scamper off to who knows where.
“Wonder what those were…” Pondering a name for the unknown creatures, it strikes him to let his friends know he’s alright.