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A Vignette

Author: Vanth

Part 1

Vanth groaned, rolled over, and promptly fell out of bed. God damn if he didn’t have the MOTHER of all hangovers. His grabbed his head. It felt like the entire Ironforge Army Core of Engineers was practicing demolitions inside his skull. Never again would he mix volatile rum with Tequila. Earlier that day, Vanth had just finished brewing up a batch of Goblin Rocket Fuel for a client, and he had some extra rum left over. It had just been one experiment. The resulting concoction was interesting and hey, why not try it out?

Vanth staggered to the privy, the bed sheets winding in between his skeletal legs, nearly tripping him. As he stared into the mirror, inspecting his burning yellow eyes and grey-green face, he lurched suddenly from side to side.

“Oh Dark Lady preserve me.” Vanth groaned. “Not again.” Vanth looked at the privy with dread. It was then Vanth realized that it wasn’t he who was moving.

An explosion had wracked the inn.

After that surreal moment of transition from fully drunk to fully alert, Vanth began to process more details. The muffled sound of shouting. The unmistakable crack of a rifle-shot. A cacophony of baying and hissing. Another explosion.

Quickly, Vanth grabbed his Whirlwind blade, a cloak, his backpack and his good boots. There was no time to put any of his armor on and that worried him. He looked down for a second, digesting the fact that he was dressed in beach-comber shorts, a white wife-beater, an open shirt with a loud red-and-yellow floral print, and a pair of sunglasses.

No more experiments with volatile rum that’s for sure. Assuming he survived what ever was causing this racket. It sounded like a war downstairs.

Part 2

Vanth slammed his door open, his Whirlwind blade held in a high-guard position. He lowered it slowly, seeing five grim-faced individuals taking shots at the mob of baying undead massing below the balcony.

“By Sylvanus….” Vanth whispered in disbelief, “The Scourge is attacking!” Milling about in the inn’s foyer, were a mass of things that were once a father’s son, a mother’s daughter. Ghouls, their faces caked with pestilential earth and stained with crimson, scrabbled amongst themselves, seeking a foot-hold up the ruined stairs. Articulated skeletons cackled madly and hissed. A bleached-white Tauren skull sat on the tiny skeleton of a human child; and the thing snorted loudly as it tore apart the flesh of an eyeless goblin bruiser.

Laughter broke into Vanth’s thoughts. The young warlock was beside herself, pointing at his clothes.

“Well, well” he thought. “If they can laugh at a time like this then we are doing all right. Just think, it could be worse. What if you didn’t fall asleep in your clothes last night?” Smiling broadly, Vanth winked at the girl.

“Looks like we got a problem here.” Vanth said.

.......

Vanth listened intently to the rest of the group.

“I agree with Dmitri.” he stated, “The roof is our best option. The goblins built these tenements so close together we can jump from roof to roof until we hit the docks. Frostcat, if Astarin blows a hole in the ceiling can you levitate us all out of here? If you can’t, we can try a human ladder. If we stand on one another’s shoulders some of us will reach the roof. Let’s get the dwarf and the orc on the roof so they can and pull the rest of us to safety.”

Vanth began rummaging through his backpack. Glass clinked and a pungent aroma cut through the smoke like a knife. “If we need that ladder, I may have just the thing…”

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