Even the snow smells different here. Wrong, somehow. A different place. A different time.
Outside the village of Throm’Var, on the northwestern coast of this strange yet oddly familiar place, I rode the black wolf, Coal, through white flurries. The flakes danced across my snout. I huffed them from my nostrils when they tickled.
I gave a firm thump against the side of Coal’s neck with the palm of my hand. He stopped. I slid off to walk on my own hooves for a while. I could’ve sworn, even the chill touch of the drifts in those mountain heights felt wrong.
That musing distracted me. Kept me from paying close attention to my surroundings. I didn’t notice the hole ahead until I toppled in head first. Almost didn’t see the monstrous worm below until it was too late. Struck it on what passed for its head, bouncing off, armor clanking as I struck the hard ground and rolled.
This is how it ends, I thought. No chance at avenging myself against the warlock and breaking his curse. Instead, I’d spend my last minutes, lost in time, digesting in the belly of an invertebrate.
But then fate intervened, in the form of Agawa, of the Drunken Monkey Brewery clan. An old friend from my own time, someone I never thought I’d see again. The tauren shaman struck a flurry of blows and cast elemental spells that left the worm lifeless on the cave floor beside me.
Slowly, I got upright and saluted the hero.
“It has been a long time, Stamp,” Agawa said. “Does Awenita still lead the Tears?”
Shame warmed my cheeks. The last time I had spoken to any member of my own clan, the Tears of Draenor, the mighty Kormok led them. “Stamp not sure,” I said. “Stamp not speak to clanmates in…some time.”
I thanked him for his aid, but then departed in silence. Found Coal waiting outside, growling with smug satisfaction. I listened to the mournful howl of the alien wind. Watched Agawa’s form vanish in the distance.
If he’s in Draenor, I reasoned, surely others have come. I would not wish my companions the ill fate of a destiny unstuck from the time they know. But if some are here, I should welcome their company. Together, we might find a way home.