So…this is probably going to be kind of a long story. Bear with me.
I got up extra early to make the trip over. I didn’t bring anyone else along – just Mortimer and me. I didn’t want any extra people making noise and drawing extra attention, and besides, depending on what I found there, I figured I might prefer to be by myself anyway.
I could see the remains of uniformed orc bodies scattered around the outskirts of the temple grounds, but I wasn’t able to get close enough for a better look right away. The place was crawling with Alliance patrols. Strange, seeing as the temple itself looked like it was back in the hands of the pandas, so it’s not like the humans were keeping watch over their own outpost.
I took a pass around to size up the deployment of patrols. They were circling around the temple, but also ranging to the north and east, where the temple grounds gave way to swampland. A little ways into the wilds there were some mogu ruins spread out over some hills. A pair of humans looked like they were standing guard outside what used to be the entrance to a cave in the hillside – used to be, until it had been sealed with rocks. Probably a cave-in. Not sure what the point would have been of posting guards, but who knows what these humans are thinking.
I flew further up into the surrounding hills. More patrols. Mostly circling around a handful of cracks in the ground and rock face. It took me a few minutes, but it finally hit me that the cracks would have led down into the same caverns as the cave entrance. Probably, anyway. I was never too great with spatial relations that didn’t involve swinging an axe. Anyway, whatever was in there, the Alliance were keeping all possible points of entry locked down. Maybe even sealed the cave themselves, who knows.
Whatever it was, if it was important enough for all this attention, I figured it was worth checking out. So I landed by one of the cracks. Now, granted, there were a bunch of Alliance soldiers patrolling around there, but, you know…to make a short story shorter, hi, how are ya, chop chop, dead dead, moving on.
I set a grappling hook in the rocks and lowered myself down into one of the cracks. The opening was narrower than I was expecting, and went down further – I think each of the cracks opened into a different point in a series of tunnels, as opposed to one big cave like I was thinking originally.
Now for the fun part. While I was still lowering myself down, guess what? My rope snapped. Maybe I really HAVE been putting on some weight lately. To be fair, the Shrine of Two Moons really does have some kickass food. So anyway, down I dropped. Don’t you worry, though, because my fall was cushioned by a big ol’ pile of ROCKS. Awesome, huh?
After I took a minute to thank life for chiming in with another installment of Hey Everybody, Let’s Piss Off Garrosh: The Home Game, I started exploring. At first, the caverns seemed to have been built by someone, with walls and floors made up of stonemasonry. Pretty soon, though, gaping holes in the walls gave way to a system of natural tunnels that wound around deeply and grew wider, mostly, the further they descended from the surface. Looked like side passages splintered off pretty regularly, but I tried to stay with the widest path. I figured that would make it easier to retrace my steps if I needed to.
Eventually, after I’d made my way deep underground, the jagged walls all started to blur together, and I started to worry that I was starting to travel in circles. I was about to try retracing my steps when I happened to look down a side passage, and saw flickering light in the distance. I made my way closer, turned a corner, and then…well…
Every once in a while – not often, but sometimes – life decides to be generous.