Joined: 09 Apr 2006
Location: Great Lakes, USA
|Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:39 am Post subject: Dalaran Dreaming
|“Joo know Ah care fo’ joo, eyah?”
The trolls voices were soft, not meant to be overheard, but Amadahy’s cat form had sharp ears. Sleep broken, she cracked one eye and glared resentfully at the troll man and woman crouching on the other side of the huge fireplace, willing them to take their discussion somewhere more private. After a few more soft exchanges and some giggles, they moved off towards the stairs to the second floor.
It had been a good dream, she thought as she got comfortable again. Amadahy the woman might love the snows of Northrend, but her cat body insisted on getting plenty of sleep in the best and warmest place available. The hearth at the Filthy Animal suited her. She slipped back into dreaming.
The turf was springy underhoof and filled with tiny flowers. Birds sang and everywhere around her were the signs of life and growth. She waded through the hock-high grass towards the Great Tree that stood alone in the center of the plain.
The Tree rose up, taller than mountains, but this was a dream and she could see the birds nesting in its branches, hear them calling to each other, and even understand their words, most of which were variations of “my branch my branch my branch mine, goangetyourooooooown!”
The Dream might be tainted with the Nightmare now, but it was still more home to her than the waking world. She laid a hand on the bark of the Tree and lost herself in contemplating it.
After a long while she became aware of an unpleasant humming under her hand and beneath her hooves. The breeze brought her the scent of bread baking...no, burning! She sniffed uneasily and looked around her. The Dream could become the Nightmare, all too easily, and a grass fire here would kill her just as quickly as one in the waking world.
The horizon was clear, no sign of smoke or flames, but the ground continued to tremble and the birds fell silent around her.
Then it began! With a roar like a hundred enraged dragons, the earth beneath the Tree rose up and began to crack. Birds fled screaming as the Tree began to thrash, spilling nests and hatchlings onto the ground below. The Tree groaned and slowly, horribly, began to tear itself in half as the earth below it rose and shook and split.
She didn’t recall deciding to Change. Too terrified to flee, her cat claws sunk deep into the roots of the Tree, Amadahy scrabbled on the edge of the rift which seemed to go down into the very heart of the world. Flames singed her whiskers and the nose-twisting stench of burning stone and sulfur choked her. Far above her, the crown of the Tree balanced precariously on its torn and splintered trunk, the two halves now separated by many feet of magma-filled chasm. The grass at the edges of the split began to crisp and burn and soon the wood of the Tree itself would catch fire.
Flames leapt up, crackling hungrily, and she stared into them, scrabbling frantically backwards away from...
...the hearth of the Filthy Animal. One of the servers had fed the fire, which was crackling merrily and sending off sparks.