Written quite some time ago for a storyline that sadly never materialized, this is nothing more than what one might see and hear inside the Pig and Whistle Tavern in Stormwind’s Old Town on a snowy winter night, very late and nearing closing time.
Inside the Pig and Whistle, three men and a dwarf sit, cloaked and hooded, huddled over a corner table covered with maps and beer mugs. Small curls of smoke rise from a carved pipe, hanging delicately in the cold air, far from the fire. Only the dwarf’s sidelong glance at a young mage coming down the stairs suggests that they notice her presence. She approaches Reese, the half-deaf barkeep, and asks him, loudly, about some food.
Two or three other tables hold inebriated occupants – the type that have nothing better to do than pass out at the inn and hope to wake up in a bed that doesn’t have lice or fleas. The barmaid, Elly, shuffles from table to table, smiling but not saying much as she refills the glasses time and time again.
Two men come inside from the chilly air, warming themselves by the fire for a few moments, their voices low and secretive. Gold changes hands between them, and a small parcel, and then they leave, each in a different direction.
A Stormwind Guard pokes his head inside, waving at the bartender and flashing him a gap-toothed grin.
“Yep, just the usual, same as before.”
Elly scutters over to him, refilling both his flask and a thermos of coffee. He takes a swig of both, promises to check back again in an hour or so, gives Elly a familiar swat, and disappears again into the blackness, the first white flurries of snow sticking to his blue cloak.
The mage sits close to the fire, eating a bowl of the day’s Undermine Clam Chowder with a small lump of cornbread and some of the tavern’s brown ale.
Half an hour or so later, Reese and one of his men begin sweeping up the tables and drunken men. The far table picks themselves and their maps up, vanishing up the stairs and leaving nothing behind but a few scattered scraps of paper amidst the empty mugs. The scents of pipe tobacco and some strange and far away place linger in the air.
One of the bar’s patrons falls out of his chair, knocking it over.
The mage, startled by the sudden movement, gets up, stands for a moment by the open doorway peering out into the black, snowy night, and then makes her way up the stairs with a small bottle of sparkling water and some muffins.
The downstairs clock rings twice, followed shortly by the deep chimes of the Cathedral tower, the peals hollow and dark against the soft whisper of falling snow.
A lone shadowed figure lowers itself out of one of the upstairs windows and disappears into the shadows…
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