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The noise below bordered on deafening, despite the late hour.

It was nighttime in Garadar, late at night, but the village was not sleeping. Winter was coming, and the festival season was approaching. Many preparations were being made for this year's pilgrimage to the great plains surrounding the holy caverns of Osho'gun. This would be the first time that the orcs had made such a trek in many years, but the revival of ancient traditions was bringing a new sense of strength and purpose to the Mag'har. Many tribes would be gathered on the plains to share in contests of strength and tales of glory. Heroes would be honored, clefthooves and talbuk would be hunted, and the healing past would be remembered.

Much work remained to be done, but tonight was to be a night of celebration. Since the catastrophic destruction of Draenor, the celestial phenomena that marked the turning of the seasons were unreliable. Despite this, the shaman had all agreed that tonight was to mark the beginning of the festival month.

Sreng crouched lightly atop a tall post. His nostrils twitched at the smell of clefthoof fat sizzling in the roaring bonfire, before a sudden change in the wind whispered promises of winter with razor clarity. Below him, his tribe, the Ironsong, mingled freely and happily with the Mag'har, sharing meat and drink.

Damoxian glared long-sufferingly at a starry-eyed Mag'har girl who had done nothing but follow him around for the past week. Zlinka and Oryx were proudly showing off a tiny, sleeping bundle of a baby girl named Zora, while little nub-horned Luna used her father's arm to pull up on her tippy-hooves, refusing to be left out of the adults oohing and ahhing. Dispaya had enchanted several broad Mag'hari hunters with her voice and her tales of Azeroth. Mahiah, Sound, and Fleethoof were discussing the finer points of wound-binding and tree-mending, occasionally slipping into their own rolling, musical tongue for the words that had no orcish analogues. With deliberate seriousness, Khrale jabbed with a stick at a blazing log that had slipped and rolled from the fire. Daichallar drove a fist through the top of a fresh keg, and filled his tankard with frothing beer. Someone made a joke that Sreng couldn't quite hear over the roar of the fire, and Kosath responded with his mellow, even chuckle. Shillatae danced enthusiastically for a pair of Mag'har drummers, and Eveline reclined on a blanket, staring at the swirling Outland sky while speaking quietly with Anca. Anca was being considerably less quiet, pointing out this twist of the sky that looked like Snuffletusk, or that swirl of stars that just had to be a cluster of Netherdrakes sharing tea.

Despite the open-air setting, the heat of so many bodies and the bonfire was stifling. Sreng had become overwhelmed by the press, and had slipped away more or less unnoticed. It had been an easy matter for the long-limbed troll to climb to the top of the tall post. Perhaps no higher than twice the height of a tauren, and some distance from the fire, it was a different world up there. Sreng could survey the whole happy gathering from a bit of a distance, but he could also feel the cold breeze of late autumn, and watch as it rippled the grass on the plains out beyond the village.

They were enjoying themselves. They were proud and happy, and had made new friends and conquered new challenges in this bizarre world. The troll sat, quietly watching, his face betraying no emotion other than a quiet pensiveness. But he felt a strange sort of isolation, neither able to fully enjoy the company of the Tribe from afar nor in the stifling immediacy below.

Somewhere in the distance, the long bellow of a clefthoof belled lonely over the plains.

"Warlord." A deep, self-possessed voice came from below, at the base of the post. Sreng glanced down and saw Degrang staring up at him. "What are you doing?"

Outland had changed Degrang considerably. Once the orc longed for the "glories" of service to the Legion, myopically remembering the days of Blackhand's Horde. Upon encountering the fel orcs of Kargath, Degrang had forsaken any notions of the glory of being Fel-Sworn. He strode with a greater sense of purpose, and seemed stronger than ever.

"Jus' gettin' some air. S'really hot tonight." muttered Sreng in response.

"Hmm." Degrang turned and strode away, having no patience to argue. It was not a hot night, and Sreng knew it.

Sreng watched Degrang's confident swagger as the aspiring Blademaster returned to the moot. The wind blew another promise of winter through Sreng's hair, but the its pristine crispness did nothing to salve the troll's isolated and confused spirit. He shuffled a bit atop the narrow apex of the post.

A snowflake, the first Sreng had seen this season, drifted past the troll's face, and he watched it spin and fall.
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Very nice post Warlord !!
I think you captured everyone's personality perfectly.
Etsuko - Monk
Razzlixx Blingwell - Warlock
Cloudjumper Wildmane - Druid (Inactive)

Sing True Ironsong!
Wonderful! I love the atmosphere you conjure up... I can hear everyone chatting, and feel the cool night air and the warm fire. *Happy sigh*

As someone who seeks perfect moments in life, I believe you have captured one perfectly Sreng.
Kosath Whitehorn
"The Tribe is my weapon.  I am their shield."
I absolutely loved this, Sreng. Well done!
"She is a soothsayer. She’s a mystic. She is a witch doctor, able to see into people’s hearts and minds. She’s also touched by the elements." -Naomie Harris

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