We got lots of gifts from the Earth Mother and the ancestors, but the first of all of them was the wind. When you get out onto the plains you’ll get to know it real well, because one way or another it’s going all the time. You’ll have to learn to speak during the pauses, and until you learn to gauge its changes you are in for some some entertaining adventures in al fresco urination. The winds of Mulgore will speak to you while you sleep, if you camp out in the open, telling you the tales of our people and those that went before.
Listening for the wind and its changes is something we moo-folk do a lot, which is the second thing you’ll have to understand while travelling through our lands, if you don’t want to go crazy. I’ll illustrate this by sharing with you how you rent a kodo for your ride from Thunder Bluff to Bloodhoof.
You will already have learned a lesson in cool-headed patience with the elevator business. It’s time to apply it. Here is how your first conversation with a kodo keeper will go:
“I’d like to rent a kodo,” says the travelling Hordesfolk.
The kodo keeper will continue examining a flaky spot on the inside of his hoof, tapping his thumbs idly on the buckle of his belt.
“Hello?” says the visitor. “Are you renting these kodos? I have silver to pay.” You can overlay the appropriate accent in the orcish, depending on what species you may be. Elves will start to mop their brows with their hankies. Bits will begin to fall off of the Forsaken. It’s hot, it’s past lunchtime, and the goblins wouldn’t let you take Fluffy on the airship, so it is this or walking. You are in no mood.
“Fine day,” says the kodo keeper, the words rumbling up slowly from his chest like the grinding of mountains. He tilts his straw hat at nothing in particular and nods to you, as if he’s considering his reply to your questions, walking among his penned herd and occasionally reaching up to groom some nits out of the tough kodo fur.
“Yes,” says the traveller, in their own idiom. The most even-tempered of orcs wonders if headbutting the fellow would sharpen his attention. The blood elf wonders if his lawyer will consent to take the flight out if he decides to sue. “Yes, yes, it’s a fine day and we’re all very in harmony with the Earth here, now sell me a Na’aru-damned kodo!”
There’s another glacial pause. The sun continues to beat down. The wind changes, falling behind the massive bluff of the city above, and there’s a moment’s calm. “Ayuh,” says the kodo keeper.
“What does that mean?” Is this a joke? Perhaps he isn’t the kodo keeper at all, but simply someone’s cousin who got into too many charging contests with the other bulls when his skull was still hardening. Maybe the grandmothers are all leaning over the edge of the bluff and enjoying your misery. You look up but of course, you see no one. “Can… I …. rent… this…. kodo?”
“… ayuh,” says the kodo keeper again. He fusses with his hat. He fusses with his belt. He fusses with the kodos. “You know,” he adds, nodding slowly, “I have a cousin in Bloodhoof village. Keeps a mighty fine li’l lodge.” The wind picks up again, sighing – atleast it’s a relief from the heat. “Might be you could… run Khemlo the kodo here over that direction… if’n that’s where your headed. Don’ want to… be a bother.”
“Yes, perfect, that’s excellent, marvellous, I agree,” says the traveller, nearly giddy with relief. Finally you are going to escape this place and get on your way through the fabled lush grasses of Mulgore. Finally you, too, will rest beside the crystal waters of Stonebull lake and drink from them, eating seared bullhead trout you caught yourself, seasoned with mouth-watering fresh-picked silverleaf. You too will lay down to rest in the cool shade of the mulgore pine, its needles fragrant and soft beneath you, knowing that there is fairly little chance you will be mauled to death by our handsome wolves and tawny leopards. You too will hunt Venture company employees for sport and make sure they earn their danger pay.
“That’s mighty good of you, friend,” says the kodo keeper, suddenly much more lively and enthusiastic. “I’ll just go see if any of my cousins have news to take to Bloodhoof with you, and you can be on your way.” Things will proceed. You will meet the kodo keeper’s whole family and they will want to barter with you or send some mail in your pack. They will ask you to collect a certain number of pelts or lost items or perhaps to murder some dwarves. You should probably start writing all this down because if you come back this way they will all expect visits.
When you get to Bloodhoof the lodge will be full, of course, Hemet Nesingwary having come to town. You will have to sleep outside next to the kodo for warmth, who are very affectionate and who hardly ever roll over during the night.
It’s all a bit much. But say, you know, I have this cousin in Camp Taurajo, and if you happened to be heading that way….How We Do Things in Mulgore »