The inoculation process was long and arduous. I was bored almost instantly, but the work had to be done. A cleanup crew had been assembled to put down the crazed owlkin quickly and painlessly. Some of the healthy owlkin reluctantly helped us with the process, even though we caused the problem in the first place. My job was to give the owlkin injections to make it safe for them to drink the water until we could get the water cleaned up again. I wanted someone to give me one of the tranquilizer rifles the Elekk handlers use, filling the darts with the owlkin’s medicine, but everyone else thought this was a bad idea.
Several long and boring hours later, we had finally finished. I still don’t know why I had to help, especially after being attacked and injured, but I think I should’ve been up in a hospital bed getting some rest and recovering instead. “Oh, but you’re a plate-wearing Paladin,” I hear you saying, “you should be able to take lots of damage without a problem.” How about you have a pissed off bird attack you in your sleep wearing only a torn shirt and some ripped up cloth pants that aren’t even good enough to protect you from a stiff breeze while also not having a weapon? It sucks, and I never want to do it again, even though it has already happened again, but that’s a story for another time.
Anyway, to get back on topic, after we had finished, I went back to the hospital, had something that resembled food for dinner, and went to go sleep on a crappy cot. The next day I was going to have to help find a way out of the valley, so I tried to get some good rest. It was going well, until Aldar awoke me in the night.
“Kaat, I need your help,” said Aldar, obviously troubled by something.
“What is it Aldar?”
“One of the scouts we sent out hasn’t returned back. I was wondering if you could go look for him?”
“Aldar, I’m tired and injured, so why me?”
“I’m considering this me paying you back for not letting you kill owlkin earlier, because I’m giving you a giant hammer!”
Aldar really knows how to motivate me. He quickly unsheathed the hammer from behind his back and handed it to me. The hammer was old, with plenty of chips and small cracks in the head, and the wooden handle was so well worn it was now shiny from use. It was a piece of crap, but still a weapon, and better than nothing. I loved it.
“Thanks Aldar,” I said with a big smile, “I’ll find him, don’t worry.”
“Good. While you’re out there, keep an eye out for any other survivors, and also look for a way out of this valley.”
“Understood. Which way was he headed?”
“He was on the other side of the lake, near a large ridge. We thought there may have been some activity around that area, so he was going to check it out.”
“Ok, I’ll head that way in the morning. Just a few more hours,” I yawned.
“No Kaat, go now. Do you think I would’ve woken you up in the middle of the night if it could wait until morning?”
“Ok, true, but not this time. He should’ve been back before the moon rose over the valley, and it’s high in the sky.”
“Alright,” I said grudgingly. I grabbed a few bit of food, some medicine and bandages, along with my new giant hammer, and headed out the door into the night, wondering what horrors Azeroth had in store for me this time.