Purple lightning flashed across the sky as the ethereal camp buzzed with activity. In the centre of the clearing was a large machine, covered with strange writing and sprouting cables and wires which led to all manner of diagnostic devices and....a power source the likes of which Blazzit had never seen before nor since. He thought that he had wired everything up properly, but that was not a reliable indication of anything in goblin engineering. Especially goblin engineering interfaced with ethereal technology! Still, no goblin ever invented anything by not experimenting, and Blazzit was determined to bring something back to Area 52 that would make his bitter rival, Grendrel Frazzlenut, as jealous as Blazzit's engineering schoolmates had been when he demonstrated his combination cigar-lighter/decanter to them. Well, after he had overcome that unfortunate open-flame-and-alcohol problem that may have been responsible for his lady friend leaving him.....how was he to know that was her most expensive toolkit? With a shake of his head he brought his mind back to the machine in front of him.
The ethereals had no idea what the machine was for, and so he had been contracted to find out. Nobody knew anyone who could identify, let alone read, the alien writing, so Blazzit had resorted to the tried-and-true experimental methodolgy of turning it on and seeing what happened. Unfortunately there was no obvious switch or power source, so here they were, about to find out what happened when enough power to fuel every machine on Azeroth (so the ethereals said, anyway) was fed into it.
With one last glance over his work, he yelled "Clear!" and began the countdown. All activity ceased as the ethereals stood by with whatever precautionary measures they had devised. Blazzit contented himself with pulling his shaded goggles over his eyes as he reached one. He threw the switch.
The machine exploded.
Blazzit's eyes widened as something metallic and sharp hurtled toward him. Then, just as he was about to flinch, time seemed to slow. The shard came to a halt mere inches from his long green nose, then started flying back in to where the machine had been. There was a massive, horrifying ripping sound, and the debris - which a moment before had been exploding outward – was sucked into a tear in the fabric of reality.
Blazzit could feel it tugging at him too, and he saw in his peripheral vision others starting to stagger against their wills towards the tear. Suddenly a shape appeared at the centre of the vortex, and the rift closed violently, sending shockwaves in all directions. Blazzit was knocked off his feet and even turned a few backwards somersaults before his momentum faded.
As he picked himself up he became aware of a struggle taking place in the camp. Ethereals were doing their best to shackle something....a.....tauren? He gingerly moved closer, testing all his limbs and checking that everything was present and accounted for. Finally he had a clear view of the creature. It was a tauren, huge and black and very very angry. An ethereal raised his weapon to club the captive, but Blazzit halted it with a cry.
"Who are you? What are you doing here? And what did you do to my machine?!", he finished indignantly. The tauren glared at him. "Do you even understand me?". More glaring. "Bah! Fine then." He turned to the ethereal in charge of the camp. "I will need you to hold him until I can fetch some help from Orgrimmar. I hope Chieftan Baine can lend me some of his people....I bet he would be pleased to have news of another tribe of tauren!" Blazzit lost himself in daydreams of the grateful tauren leader rewarding him with riches....
"Chieftan Baine?" The gravelly voice was hoarse and alarmed. "Baine Bloodhoof?"
"Heh, so you can understand me. Yes...wait, you know the Chieftan?" Blazzit's face fell as his dreams of riches faded.
"What happened to Cairne? There was no talk of him stepping down last time I was in Thunder Bluff!" The tauren looked, as far as Blazzit could tell, almost panicked.
"Er....Cairne has been dead for months. Don't tell me you never heard of his duel with the Warchief?!"
The tauren looked stunned. "Dead? But...why would he duel Saurfang?"
"Saurfang? Hellscream! You think I am an idiot? I know who my Warchief is!" Blazzit was starting to lose his temper. "Give me your name, tauren! I have things to do!."
The tauren stared off into the distance, numb with shock. "I am Dahakha. Known as the Insane to some. Maybe I have finally lost it...."
"Right." Blazzit turned away, flicking his fingers at the ethereals. "Take him somewhere secure. I will-", he broke off as a screech sounded behind him. He whirled just in time to see a bird of prey clear the camp and fly off into the Netherstorm wilderness. The tauren was gone.
You guys, he won't even tell me what's in store!