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Hear No Evil

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The orc pressed the side of her face to the ground, smoothing her hand over the grass, the blades of which were only a few shades darker than her skin. Breathing in deeply, her eyes closed, Mother Azkur’s entire being was tuned to whatever sensations she received from the one she called, ‘Earthmother’.


Laurent had met the Orc Shaman in nearby Tarren Mill when she had been passing through, completing a few minor diplomatic tasks for Silvermoon City. The shaman had almost immediately introduced herself to Laurant the minute she arrived, and began to tell her about “the plight of the Earthmother.” She seemed nice enough, if not just a bit odd, but they had become friends anyways over the number of times that they had met since then.


“She is in danger,” Laurant heard the orc woman say, “She is being threatened from within… by an old evil… Can you hear it?”


Laurant shook her head ‘no, and took another deep breath and gripped the totem next to her, which Azkur had promised would help her focus herself, and open her mind to the Earthmother’s voice.


She had intended on dragging her friend, Sarandal, on a fishing trip to the small serene pond nearby the Mill, but as with the first time she had met Mother Azkur, the shaman almost seemed to come out of no where the moment she had arrived, and asked her to come with her, and to bring her friend along as well. Shortly thereafter, Mother Azkur had Laurant and Sarandal resting their hands on the ceremonial totems which she had placed in the ground, trying to listen to the voice of the earth, which neither were sure that they were even capable of doing. But skepticism was no match for Mother Azkur, the force of nature that she was.


Laurant’s totem smelled of fresh spring water, the kind that made someone feel clean just from the taste. She hadn’t encountered anything like that in years, not since before Arthas attacked Quel’thalas. Barely opening one of her eyes, she looked over next to her and saw Sarandal gripping a totem smelling of fresh soil. Apparently the nature of the totems were somehow supposed to describe something about their inner selves, and while she might question that she was matched with a water totem, she knew that Saran’s was spot on.


He too was giving it his best effort to try and hear the Earthmother’s voice, but Laurant could see from the tell tale confounded smirk that was pulling at the corner of his mouth, that he was nearly as confused as she was. The Sin’dorei had never been as in touch with the earth as their annoying Kal’dorei cousins, and until now, Laurant had never thought much of that difference.


Sighing, she focused her attention back on her totem. Laurant would be the first to admit to herself that she knew nothing about nature, and obviously - but wait…


Laurant breathed in sharply as a faint buzzing sound itched from within her mind. Unintelligible, but… Laurant strained harder to hear the voices, as if they were really there speaking to her. But they weren’t really there, were they? No, they were, more like …


She was trying to identify the feeling, when a burning sensation set into her chest, igniting an anger that bubbled within her like fiery lava. Slowly it rolled through her, thick and molten, setting her skin aflame, urging her on to violence. But then the burning sensation was gone, and her skin suddenly became damp and clammy, and so cold. Laurant’s throat felt like it was closing up in panic, becoming more swollen and waterlogged with each passing moment, the water of hysteria filling her mouth, cutting off her air, and threatening to drown her.


She could see people running every direction, weapons out and arched, as they cut away at the body rushing towards them, spraying red blood on the emerald grass beneath their feet, both angry and afraid at the same time. Angry, and wanting to snuff out the existence of their enemy. Afraid, because they knew that their enemy wanted to do the same to them, for the exact same reason, and even more afraid because there seemed to be no escape from this cycle. They were cursed to forever repeat it, over and over again, until …


One emotion after another flashed through her, and she could see it, the story unfolding infront of her, and for just a brief moment, she could see how it all tied together. It was all so terrifying, and she wanted to scream outloud, ‘Stop! Please… stop!’ And just before all the pieces fit together, just before it all made sense, and the answer to avoiding all of this revealed itself…it was over. Barely even one second had passed, and as she glanced to her right, she still saw Sarandal there, gripping the earth totem, his smirk just now transforming his mouth into a disciplined line, signaling that he was making another push of concentration to hear what Mother Azkur desperately hoped they would.


“She is in danger,” Laurant heard the orc woman, running her hand over the smooth grass, which didn’t seem as bright as it had before, but now carried a tinge of red. “She is being threatened from within… by an old evil… Can you hear it?”


Already, Laurant could barely remember what she had just heard or seen, as if she had just awoken from a dream. Only the faint sensation that she didn’t want to listen to those voices again remained.


Mother Azkur lifted her head, smiling at Laurant. “Did you hear her?” asked the shaman, smoothing her robes down over her legs.


Returning Mother Azkur’s stare, Laurant shook her head ‘no’.


“I’m sorry,” was all Laurant managed to say.

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