The lights in main room were dim, casting shadows over the faces of the two men standing behind the Don. Though their features were obscured there was little doubt they were a pair of the troll’s rumored zombies.
Seated across from the Don, arms nestled comfortably on stuffed armrests, the draenei’s smile grew wider, parting his lips while he waited for the troll to speak. He let his gaze canvas the table taking in all the knick-knacks, like the used ashtray facing the pair of guest chairs, one of which he occupied. His host seemed preoccupied with a pair of carved dice, but patience was a virtue Mosur found he could summon an abundance of when necessary.
The moments passed by, the only movement in the room belonging to the flick of the draenei’s tail and the troll’s constant toying with his dice, the gentle clattering of them on the leather desk mat was the only sound to be heard while they waited. The dice looked out of place compared to everything else on the desk, they were crude and appeared to be carved out of cheap, yellowed ivory. In contrast other items on the troll’s desk were expertly carved, smooth with a lacquered sheen and full of deep rich colors. He spun them on their corners between thumb and finger and let them fall then inspecting them for a few moments before repeating the motion.
“It be done,” the troll spoke after a final drop of the dice. A pair of ones showed on the carved lopsided faces. His gaze shifted upward to read the draenei guest’s face.
“We’re certainly glad you approve Don. We’re only looking for a mutual working relationship with you and your family in the future and thought a proper show of neighborly goodwill was in order.”
“Neighborly good will? Dah Cabal lookin’ ta move some ah its business ova ta Kalimdor, dat be what dis is all about?” He questioned, still studying the well dressed man across from him.
“I can’t say for certain. It is a possibility in the future, but we aren’t planning to at the moment, no. We’ve just been aware that you’ve been making more and more of your home here in Stranglethorn, and as I said wanted to show you proper appreciation.”
Leaning back the troll pressed the butt of his palms against the front edge of the desk, pushing himself comfortably back against the chair and pulled open the desk’s front drawer. His attention had dropped away from his guest as the draenei offered no real threat to him in his own home with his own protections. “Ya said dis wasn’t ah gift ya was lookin’ for anyt’ing in return fa, but Papa be honest. Ya have done him a great service dis day, d’oh ya may not know it.” He lifted a leather-tied necklace from the drawer, hanging from it was a white porcelain jar, though one flattened in design. The leather lace was looped through the small handles on either side, the jar itself was just bigger than an old fashion gold piece. He held it out toward the draenei and read his curious expression. “Ya know Papa’s reputation, so ya know when ah be tellin ya dis will grant ya any wish, ya know it ta be true. Take it.”
After just a beat Mosur reached out and took the leather-lace necklace from the trolls hands and glanced down at it. “A wish, huh? So I could just wish for enough money to retire on?” He chuckled, though the idea of selecting one wish was a bit overwhelming. It would be something he’d have to think about.
“Ya could wish fa somet’in like that, ya. But Papa gonna give ya ah warnin’ just dis one time. Ya best be careful w’at ya wish fa, dah spirits be fickle t’ings mon. Best be makin sure ya wish is some kinda selfless else dey may take it outta ya blue hide.” The Don’s right eye glinted in the low light as he settled back into his chair and stared in silence.
Several moments passed before Mosur realized they were done here, the meeting over, dropping the joking tone he quickly responded as he stood. “Thank you Papa Don Sowdi for your generosity. I will take your words under advisement.” With a shallow bow at the waist he turned and left, passing through a thick curtain of beads and down the stairs back out through the trolls main lobby.
“Well, how did it go?” The unmistakable voice of Zaanthe.
“It went well. Papa was pleased with our show of goodwill. He even gave us a gift in return.” Mosur tilted his head to the side and looked back over his shoulder grinning at the Cabal’s �pretty boy’ enforcer.
He decided not to tell the Cabal about the Don’s generous gift, at least not till he’d had time to think it over. He kept the the leather-strung porcelain jar around his neck to keep it safe. He had a lot of ideas and a lot of questions. Primarily, how did one use the wish? Was it a simple �I wish�’ or did he need to break the porcelain while wishing? Maybe just break the top of it off at the neck? Was it even hollow? These were questions he should have asked in that window of silence the troll had given, he figured. Beyond how it worked though he had to decide what to use the wish on. Should he plan out an elaborately worded wish, or save it for an emergency? Maybe there was an expiration date on the wish itself and if he waited too late it wouldn’t be worth anything.
“If you could wish for anything what would it be?” Mosur said flopping down a pair of jacks on the table and a three in the center.
“Anything?” The hollow question rang back at him. The well dressed man sitting across from him drew another card.
The light above them swung and the ground above their heads rumbled causing Mosur to look up at the underground structure’s ceiling. He was certain the trains would cave this area in one day, but his host didn’t seem to mind, didn’t even look up anymore. It could hardly be called a room, the old sewers had been cleaned up long ago and left empty. It was cheaper than filling them in. Sometimes the transients found there way down here but they didn’t always make it back out. Mosur was seated on a metal container which looked like it had come from the docks, and the table they played cards on was the side of a wooden container held up by milk crates.
“I would wish that the remainder of my tenure were to go smoothly.” The man, another draenei, laid down a set of three 9s and placed one on top of the stack.
“Tsk, isn’t that a little selfish?” Mosur countered and drew another card he laid it down on his side. “On your 9s.” He said and put one in the center stack face up.
“Depends on how you look at it. Yes. No. For my tenure to go smoothly it means my sister would have to have a comfortable and easy life, and to stay out of trouble. That in turn would make my tenure easy, I don’t mind things as they are, I just want her to have better.” He drew a card and then place it on top of the pile.
“Making someone else’s life easier so it makes your life easier, hum I wonder if that counts.”
“Mosur, are you trying to have one of your philosophical discussions with me? You asked a question and I answered it, what do you really want to know?”
“Oh, nothing. You know me, I just don’t have Sister Superior to yammer to anymore,” He grinned and played his turn.
“Mm. And what would you wish for Mosur?”
“You know Tae, that’s what I’m trying to figure out.”
Mosur looked down at the small worn notebook, soft brown leather wrapped decades old pages full of words in many different languages. This page however was written in simple draenei accompanied with later added notations.
Sister Superior was alive and well, still completing her duties.
-This doesn’t often work in stories the dead always come back as horrible amalgamations or without the same memories. Selfish.
Clear out some of the bad families.
-‘Bad’ is objective, even if the families are named. Bad Karma comes back on you. Selfish.
Have less Rook inclusion.
-Probably too selfish, there’s no getting rid of that bastard.
“Humph, well�” he murmured, looking over the page, he’d scribbled the words down here and there and–try as he might–he couldn’t think of anything selfless. Or at least, anything selfless that he didn’t consider a waste. Though arguably that’s what made them selfless; no benefit to himself whatsoever. “And here the Don said it was a gift, a favor.” He groaned and rolled his head back, it was more a bother and an annoyance than anything else right now.
“Hey Moe! Grab your jacket we have to go!” The low-toned voice yelled from one end of the hallway.
Mosur popped up out of the chair and tossed the tanned book onto the bed. Grabbing his jacket from the chair back and gun from the table he hustled out the door and down the stairs. They had a run tonight but by the sounds of things the time had been pushed forward. “What’s the word?” He asked pausing in the back alley of the Heart.
Hadeon watched the lithe draenei straighten his collar and re-tuck his shirt while he explained. “Kedron sent me a message. They’re moving the crates out before the sun goes down. I know we don’t normally meddle in the affairs of other families but their practices still sit poorly with me and we’re not going to let that cargo sail. You all know what this is about, bust open the ones you can, Zrimgor and I will take care of the rest.” The old soldier glanced around at the rest of the Cabal and nodded his head motioning for them to head out.
This wasn’t Lucdamis’ dock, though neither he nor Nesuros would probably have issues with this cargo. No, this was one of the more recently built Westfall docks, no one had really placed claim to it yet, though some were beginning to use them like they owned them. Mosur started to think the families needed to get together and have a discussion about it before it got out of hand.
“Okay, okay, okay,” Mosur said and held up both hands, his pistol still held in his right hand with his finger free of the trigger. His thoughts whirred as he tried to think of a way to get them all out of here, out of this mess. Zaanthe was out cold and his two knights were dealing with issues of their own. “How about we all just walk away from this.”
“Walk away from this?!” The well dressed night elf roared. “Do you know how much you bastards have cost me? Do you know how much trouble you’ve caused, how much of my cargo you’ve �liberated’?” His voice got louder with every few words.
“Yeah but we can make a trade or a bargain you kn-” Mosur was abruptly silenced by the ringing of a gunshot as Greensen fired into the air.
“No! There is nothing you can do to get yourself out of this. It’s about time you people-“
“What about a wish!?” Mosur blurted out and hooked his thumb around the leather thong about his neck. He pulled the white porcelain pendant free continuing to hold his hand open.
Stunned for a moment Greensen stomped his heavy shoed foot on the dock and fired another bullet. The shot whizzed past the draenei’s ear. “What kind of idiot do you take me for?”
“No, no, it’s true. You know the Don, the Papa? Papa Don Sowdi, the troll, the one that dabbles in the arts still yeah? Yeah this is from him, a favor for a favor. It’s real, he said it would grant any one wish.”
The elf sneered at the draenei and looked back to one of the fair-skinned entourage that accompanied him, rumor was they were a seer. “Well�is he telling the truth?”
Mosur watched as the calmer underling studied him, watched his eyes narrow. Was he some kind of shadow weaver? Did he do the kinds of things Rook could? Mosur didn’t know he stood there hoping to be believed, his heart pounding and his throat tightening.
“He speaks the truth.” The soft voice of the elven seer came after what seemed like an eternity. “The Don bestowed this gift to him a week past and he has agonized on what to wish for saving it until this instance where he has now offered it to you.”
“That is all I see.” The seer spoke again, bowing their head.
“What the fuck Mosur!” Zrimgor growled looking up from his hands and knees. Greensen’s men had done a number.
Greensen gritted his teeth and sneered at the draenei. “Toss your gun in the water.”
“Why didn’t you tell us about this? Why don’t you just wish us out of-” Hadeon’s gruff but annoyed lecture was cut short as a bullet tore into the left side of his abdomen.
“Shut up!” Greensen stomped again the agitation in his voice rising..
“Do we have a-“
“TOSS YOUR GUN IN THE WATER!” He screamed cutting off the draenei he was bargaining with.
Mosur exhaled and tapped the side of the trigger guard with his finger. The gun wouldn’t do him much good anyway, he only had one bullet and by now Greensen’s men had time to gather around. With a flick of his wrist he tossed the gun toward the edge of the deck, it landed with a clatter and slid another inch or two before splashing into the dark waters below.
“Now the necklace. Lay it down and then get out.” He said tempering his tone and leveling the gun toward Mosur once more.
Mosur ducked his head and pulled the necklace free; he bent to place it on the ground not sure what would happen if the porcelain broke. He kept his gaze on the trigger happy elf and stood back up.
“I said get your guys and GET OUT!” He raised his voice at the end again and watched as Mosur struggled to lift Zaanthe with Zrimgor’s help. Hadeon was already backing out with his one arm limp at his side and his other pressed against his wounded abdomen..
“Consider this the only mercy you’ll ever see from us…and spread the word.” He said darkly and walked over to lift the necklace as the four draenei hurried in their escape. “Any one wish, huh?”
“What the hell Mosur! Any one wish? And you just gave it away to that bastard!?” Hadeon cursed him.
“Why didn’t you just wish us out of that situation?” Zrimgor’s deep voice questioned immediately after, it was likely what Hadeon was going to say at the docks before he’d been cut off.
“And where the hell… you said you got it from the Don? That was more than a week ago, you didn’t tell any of us!” Hadeon continued to bitch as the moved into Elywnn.
“Lets not start pointing fingers about unshared information now. You said he was trafficking humanoid cargo- those guys were dead!”
“Whatever, undead, they were undead that weren’t attacking back which meant he had some way of controlling them or making them docile and you didn’t tell me or Zaanthe. Last time I checked you’re also undead!”
“That’s not the point here, why did you give something that powerful away!”
“That is the point! Because of everything that happened I had to give it away! I could have wished for something, sure, but it had very specific rules to it, I couldn’t ask for something selfish or it was going to backfire, it’ll probably backfire on Greensen. Besides it got us out of there one way or another so…wish granted!”