25 October 2011

The Leatherworkers [Tier 12]

The tauren made a quiet whuffling sound in the back of his throat, which the orc recognized as a snore. They had been up very early for their first appointment, acquired after weeks of rituals, paperwork, and more rituals. The druids of Hyjal would sing wood for armor, if the leatherworker was dedicated enough to undergo long ceremonies praising and thanking the tree. The pair had done that, and finally been approved for the singing ceremony, which had taken place that morning while the sun rose.

It was a beautiful ceremony, the orc mused. Just time-consuming. The pair had waited awkwardly while a team of druids sang in the pre-dawn coolness. For a while, it had seemed as though nothing was happening. Then, bark began to peel away from the tree in thick strips to coil heavily at the druids' feet. When they finished singing, the leatherworkers had a formidable pile of bark, and the tree looked as though the bark had been removed weeks prior.

The druids had helped to pack the bark away after another lengthy ceremony, and then seen the leatherworkers off. And that wasn't even the hardest part of the day.

Their windriders touched down in a curious grove sporting a whirling portal to the Firelands. The orc nudged her companion awake, and he snorted. Together, they led their mounts through the portal and trudged to the steam geysers. The Firelands were oppressively hot, but they waited until they had reached their destination before donning their fire-resistant gear.

Thick aprons and gloves, a face cover, and long-handled tongs completed the ensemble. They flipped a coin to see who would go first. Sighing in defeat, the orc lowered her mask and grabbed the tongs. Several minutes later, she was gingerly holding a strip of bark over a bubbling vent. Every so often it would emit a bubble of noxious smelling gas. Soon, it began to pop and hiss, and the orc steeled herself.

"I hate this part," she whispered like a mantra. "I hate this part I hate this part I hate this-" the geyser erupted in a pillar of flame, charring the proffered bark. When it subsided, the bark glistened blackly, and the orc's flame-retardant gloves were on fire.

She roared wordlessly, and the tauren put out the fire in short order. She placed the still-smoking bark into a thick, inflammable bag, where it would remain hot until magically quenched and affixed to leather. That finished, she settled down to rub a cooling salve into her hands.

The tauren took up the tongs for the next piece. He decided to say nothing about his companion's missing eyebrows.


  1. Oh please say you have the rest of this story in the pre-publish stage or at least almost there. I am seriously getting closer to making your blog part of my top five must reads list.

    This pair, a Tauren and an Orc, are really fun to read about. I would like to learn more about their back story and how they are connected. Did this story start with them getting the feathers or is there more?

    Keep up the great work, and love the new theme of the blog. The autumn leaves in the background are a nice seasonal touch. I might be inspired to touchup A Druid's Doodling if I can only find, get help with, or just muck around with the banner some more.

  2. I have a blurb written for Tier 13, to be published in the indefinite future. After that I will have caught up to the current tier and will probably go back into their respective histories to examine the earlier tier sets. Thanks for reading! This nameless pair has really grown on me.

  3. They are very dedicated to their cause! I hope that growing mushroom gardens on the shoulders of the T13 armor will prove to be a welcome respite from the trials of the previous few tiers... but I suppose that obtaining the spores for said gardens from the Sporelings might be quite a challenge in and of itself.

  4. Really liked that. Brought it all very much to life. Liked the eyebrows bit at the end too :)

  5. As a leatherworker myself on my druid, I appreciated this story!

  6. Thanks everybody! Also, @kamalia, I think you've given me a better idea than I originally had for the mushroom collecting, so thanks! :D

  7. I thought this was a very interesting look at the details that go into that simple ten-second cast on our LWing bar. :) Nice work!