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Kitty
#1
 A large black cat appeared out of nowhere in the front courtyard of the Guildhall, scattering pets and critters to the tops of tables and the depths of shrubbery.  Bowstrings creaked as arrows were made ready.   "Whoops! Sorry about that," the cat hollered into the ringing silence. "Hai everyone!"  A cricket chirped.  The cat suddenly burst into flame, singeing a brown patch into the grass at his feet before he could extinguish himself.

"Merps, this is not going exactly how I had planned. But look! I brought beer!" He rummaged through a worn, lumpy, voluminous backpack and hauled out a large keg of Thunder Bluff Porter, condensation beading on its sides. A crate of frosted mugs followed swiftly. "And food!" Diving back into the pack, the cat emerged with a massive haunch of roast centaur, steaming hot and smelling of sage smoke and garlic.  He jammed a pike into the ground, spitted the roast, and artfully arranged a decorative border of baby carrots and steamed potatoes around it in a neat circle.

"Please help yourselves," he shouted, baring his teeth in a snaggletoothed grin.  A faint, smoky tentacle emerged from somewhere on his back and waved gently until he slapped it out of existence. "Gah!"

A small brown bunny hopped quietly out from behind a bush, picked a carrot from the platter, and snuggled up against the cat's furry side to nibble on it.  A baby clefthoof, a badger, four kittens, and a smoky bomb tottering around on tiny mechanical legs soon followed.  Weapons were slowly lowered. Plates, hands, and mouths began to fill with the feast.  When all was quiet again, the cat drained his mug, sat up straight, squared his shoulders, and formally addressed the assembled company.

"I hate change," he said around a large mouthful of meat, "but sometimes it is the best way forward. I've carried the standard of my guild for many years now. Once the halls rang with laughter and glowed with torchlight.  Marching troops wore paths through the training fields and the forges were kept hot crafting equipment for war." 

Tail flicking, he padded over to the keg and refilled his mug. "In recent years the guild hall has been empty and and the fires have been cold.  I have kept the floors swept and the larder full but no one has come. With a new threat on the horizon I think the hour for change has finally arrived."

The cat stood and became a burly, black-furred Tauren with a gap-toothed smile. "We have some history, you and I. Time and again I have fought alongside all of you and have seen your dedication to defense of home and family." He thumped his chest. "These things are first in my heart as well."

He weighed a chipped and stained polearm in his hands, then stepped forward and set it on the ground in front of the Hall.  "I offer my services, my skills, and my self to the needs of the Ironsong Tribe, if you would find use for them." Stepping back, he swatted another ghostly tentacle. "A terrible storm is coming to our world and I'd like to face it with friends at my side.  I have been long alone in the forests and far from society, but I will come if you call." He bowed, flashed a grin, and vanished into the trees.

A faint shout echoed back to the fire, "Enjoy the rest of the keg!"

(edited for embiggening)
Nganga Nyeusi
He is fast and is the danger.
What's a dazzling urbanite like you doing in a rustic setting like this?
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#2
Shantow watched as the figure disappeared into the trees. After taking another bite of the roasted centaur, which was delicious by the way, he drained the rest of his tankard and belched loudly. To no one in particular he mumbled, "That's funny, because I have always considered him Ironsong."

With that, he leans back in his chair, and a grin begins to grow into an enormous smile.
Shantow the Bear
The Ironsong Tribe


"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." King
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#3
Back from a long day battling the Legion, Zlinka walked tiredly toward the guild hall.  She noticed the singed grass first, and was instantly alert.  Infernals, here?  So close to home?  She knelt to examine the sign, but there was no fel stench.  She wrinkled her nose.  Not fel…  but something else, something familiar… was it…  hair?  Burned hair?  CAT hair?  And there, just beyond, were those paw prints?

She followed the prints up to the guild hall and found a pike jammed into the ground with the remains of a roast beast around it.  And carrots, artfully arranged and untouched.  And just beyond, a keg of beer, with…  what were those marks on the wood?  Little circles all in a row, the mark of a tentacle.

Zlinka stood up.  Burned cat hair, roast beast, beer, and tentacles.

There was only one person who could have left sign like this.  She scanned the edge of the forest behind the guild hall.

“Nganga!” she called, “Where did you slink off to?”  The words echoed through the woods, but there was no reply.

Then, just beyond the keg, she glimpsed something else:  a familiar polearm, chipped and stained, lying on the ground in front of the guild hall.  Nganga had borne this weapon for years and she knew just how it flashed in the light of battle.  And here it was, in front of the Ironsong guild hall.

Zlinka smiled from ear to ear, eyes crinkling at the corners.

She flipped the polearm up into the air with a foot and caught it easily in one hand as she strode into the hall.  Past the great stone fireplace, past the trestle tables, past the oak shelves with their leather-bound volumes of guild records, she carried it, to a warm, stone-flagged hallway.  Doors lined the corridor there, with names by each one.  Zlinka leaned the polearm next to one of the doors, took down the wooden nameplate, drew her dagger from her belt, and carved the letters N-G-A-N-G-A into the wood.

Then she hung the name over the door.

“There,” she muttered to herself, “you rascal, come home."
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