The other, she was standing on the very top of Storm Peaks, listening to the howling winds. This was always her favorite thought. In it, Ailde always reached upward and plucked one of the brilliant stars like pins. How small and insignificant we are, she told herself. It was hard to believe Storm Peaks shared the same Azeroth as Tirisfal Glades or Felwood.
She must have relished in her own thoughts for some time, for the muffled voice of the Stormpike professor grew dimmer like the dull lights that filled the hall. Of course, the warlock didn't mind. Its not like Professor Haelga Galehowl was going to mention anything important. How and why the elder Dwarf was interested in the Modan company somewhat befuddled Ailde. True, the company had been around for quite sometime and their exploration was known to those interested in archaeology.
But, Professor Galehowl always thought so lowly of an organization based out of Khaz Modan opening their doors to other races. According to her, the Elves, Pandaren and Draenei would never understand the significance of the Titans like a human, Gnome and most importantly, a Dwarf. There had been countless times in the past where Ailde had to listen to Haelga Galehowl's air of superiority.
Oh, it had nothing to do with race for Ailde. The Ironforge native could never stomach prissy Stormpike Dwarves completely. But, for the sake of business she sure did kiss up to those present in the Explorers' League. Her voice always rung with confidence whenever she spoke of Modan Co's recent exploits, even if it was a subject the League did not have their radar on.
In the mind's eye of the warlock, her pale hands were reaching out to pluck one of the many stars of Storm Peaks until the hag's voice shattered her dreams.
"Ailde Denhollow," Haelga's pitch echoed across the lecture hall. In unison, many faces turned to face her. The warlock silently hoped her cheeks did not flare into an embarrassed blush. She sure as hell didn't know who was who.
Ailde's large brown eyes flickered across the room until they found the elderly Dwarf who was stooping just a tad in front of an open map of Pandaria. She waited for Haelga to scold her for not paying attention or to ask a question. Instead, the old hag hobbled across the room with a dossier and handed it to a pink haired Gnome sitting in the front row. In perfect sequence, the Gnome lass turned around to pass the dossier back to a Dark Iron Dwarf, who then handed it to a human. Eventually, after two humans and surprisingly, a High Elf, the dossier reached Ailde's palms.
"The lion's roar from Stormwind can be felt across Azeroth," Haelga began, fat withered hands resting on an ancient cane. "The Explorer's League has been sent to Pandaria to secure dig sites, as well as a plethora of other like minded organizations. I trust your...company can do the same?"
The question floored Ailde. Of course, she did not doubt the company's capability in exploring untouched ruins or waltzing in a new continent. She did not predict the expectation of the Explorer's League to weigh down on her. But, she wasn't sure if it was their expectation or the fact the eyes of strangers watched her in silent judgement.
"Denhollow," Haelga's voice thundered with impatience.
The Dwarf bobbed her head into a dutiful nod, appearing as if she just yanked herself from a violent storm It was hard to imagine this was the same Ailde who wore a smug grin and known for her no nonsense temper. "Aye. We can do the same," she responded.
And so, Haelga continued, listing what had to be done for the League but Ailde was too shocked to listen. The echoed demands of King Varian and the rest of the Alliance began to rain down on Ailde like Horde bombs in Krasarang Wilds.