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Baine Bloodhoof:As Our Fathers Before Us

by Steven Nix

Baine nodded lightly. "Perhaps. A peace could be fleeting, but is another conflict, in our own home no less, what we really need right now?" With that, he set out for Thunder Bluff.

* * * * *

Late one night, not too long after the latest attack, several tauren of Camp Narache gathered around the fire. Quilboar attacks had increased, and more and more water seemed to be drained from their lands to be sent to others.

The eldest spoke first. "This is not the way our lands were meant to be used. Baine so far has capitulated to every demand by the blowhard Garrosh, no matter how petty. How much longer can we sit here and watch him slowly give over everything we are to the orcs?"

Another, younger, tauren added, "We cannot be the only ones who feel this way. Have any of us talked with any of the other tribes?"

The first speaker sighed. "I have, and you know how stubborn the Steelrage and Stonehoof can be. They don't fully see how Baine's actions have affected Mulgore since his father's passing."

"Baine may not be his father, but I'm sure whatever he does is best for us. He would never have anything but the interests of our people in mind."

"Maybe so, but that does not mean that living here is any less dangerous. We Farwanderers are not a tribe used to remaining static; why don't we move on? Remember years ago, following the herds? We have a land to call home now, but at the cost of such freedom." He sighed and gestured at his comrades. "You remember: a different patch of sky every month? Why must we stay chained to a single land when we've always been free?"

"And where exactly should we go?"

The older tauren shrugged and stirred the fire. "I didn't say it was a perfect plan…"

* * * * *

Baine had tasked his Longwalkers with keeping watch on the quilboar's movements and these latest hyper-aggressive attacks. The quilboar had always been belligerent creatures, and now they were only increasing their hostility. Despite his robust network of scouts, attacks still slipped through, and no answers were forthcoming. He had not spoken with Hamuul in some time and hoped the old archdruid had found some clues.

Baine managed to find Hamuul at the base of Thunder Bluff, examining the wildlife. Not wanting to disturb his advisor, Baine said quietly, "I would seek your counsel, Hamuul."

Hamuul stood up with a smile. "Certainly, young Baine. I will offer what assistance I can; you know that."

"As you know, I recently spoke with the scouts about the quilboar's latest aggression. They were still baffled and could offer no answers. I know you have been communing with the Earth Mother more often as of late. Have you discovered anything that might shed light on this mystery?"

Hamuul grabbed a handful of grass, sniffed it, then let the wind carry it away. He watched as it landed and shook his head. "Sadly, not yet. Communing with the land takes time, Baine, especially with it in such turmoil. I shall continue my meditations. Consulting a shaman or two wouldn't hurt either…"

* * * * *

Baine shook his clouded head as he watched a muttering Hamuul head off. Too much had happened in his father's absence. He was not sure how he would resolve this, but he was determined to find a way. There had been too much strife in recent years, and a peaceful solution to this problem would be a breath of fresh air.

As he returned to the lifts, Baine met a group of tauren with packs and supplies. "Farwanderers! Are you preparing for a journey?"

They bowed their heads in unison, and the leader of the group said, "We are deeply sorry, High Chieftain, but we can no longer remain in Mulgore."

Baine closed his eyes for a moment. When he opened them again, what good humor he might have had was gone. "I would encourage you to stay, Greyhoof. I would be lying if I said these are not difficult times, but it is now more than ever that we need to remain united."

The elder tauren nodded. "Your words are true, but there is little we can do here. Remember the old ways? There are as yet lands that have not seen the taint of war. Life can be peaceful, free, if we roam once more."

"But the old ways no longer apply as they did. Nomads belong to a much larger world, a world that has been reduced by war and expansion. By remaining static, we have a home, and it is by remaining united as a people that we can protect it as it deserves to be protected."

Greyhoof shifted uncomfortably. "Unfortunately, Mulgore, as so many other lands, has simply become an extension of Garrosh's will. We merely wish to move to a land beyond his arrogance. We appreciate your taking up the mantle of leader after your father's passing, but these changes are too much."