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re: Cantique and the Tauren


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Cantique's Pen

Cantique sits at a table in the inn at the desert outpost of Gadgetzan. Her legs dangle from the rough wooden chair, which was not made for dwarfs such as she. She has unrolled a bit of paper and has set her small ink bottle on the top corner of the page to hold it down against the breezes that continually blow through the place. Without seeming to, Cantique studies a Male Tauren who is standing talking to the innkeeper. She notes his height with amazement, and the rough heavy armor which hangs from his muscular frame.

Cantique pretends to be busy with her paper, ink, and quill but she cannot help but stare at the brown and white hair which covers his body and realizes that one of his long horns has its tip broken off.
- - - -
Later, she wrote: Folk amaze me. During a trip to Gadgetzan, I watched as a male Tauren looked out of the corner of his eyes at me. As his gaze swept downward to my tabard, his eyes widened. A puff of dusty sand came out of his nose as he snorted and he quickly turned his gaze elsewhere. Handing the innkeeper some copper he turned and went outside, but after a few moments came back into the inn carefully carrying a cloth-wrapped bundle. The Tauren walked over to a Goblin who was standing in the back of the room. I had spoken earlier to the Goblin cook about a recipe he was willing to teach me. I could only assume that the Tauren wanted the recipe as well and was bringing the cook his requested items; however, they both looked over at me and caught me staring.

The short, large eared Goblin stretched up and mumbled something to the Tauren who nodded, turned, and began making his way to where I sat. He carefully placed the bundle down on the table and unwrapped it. It was a giant egg. He pointed to the egg and then to me, shrugged his shoulders, tipped his enormous head to one side and blinked his huge lash-rimmed eyes. Admittedly I did need one more egg to pay off that Goblin with the secret recipe. I nodded and motioned for him to sit as I examined the egg. It was about as big as my head with a fresh splatter of what looked like mud mixed with blood on the mottled brown shell. As I continued to check it for cracks, I surreptitiously looked at the owner and breathed in his scent. He smelled of grass and dust. I could hear him breathing, the sound like a rumble of air whooshing past the opening of a stone bottle. Never having known one of his kind I could not read his body language or his facial gestures and as such was at a loss as to his temperament.

I put fifty silver pieces on the table next to the egg and he laughed. What a surprise. His laughter was deep, rich, and melodic! Not at all derisive. He leaned toward the egg and tapped the scarred wooden table with his knuckle two times. Not wanting him to see where I kept most of my coin, I turned my back and reached for the thong around my neck to draw my soft leather coin-keep from my bosom. After slipping a bit more silver onto the table, I waited. He reached for his egg and I quickly added more coins to the growing pile. As he pushed the coins around with his huge hand counting them, I held my breath. Finally, he nodded his great horned head, scooped up the silver and proffered what I can only surmise was a smile.

As I began wrapping my egg, he stood, stepped back two paces, planted his hooves firmly, and bowed. I felt my face grow flush as I stumbled through my curtsey. He nodded again and left. I paid near a hundred silver for that egg, but I gained more than just an egg. I have a bit more insight into the nature of the folk called Tauren. It was worth every bit of it.
- - -
Back home from her travels, Cantique kneels on the ground and scoops into her hands rich black loam from a freshly dug hole. Carefully she begins to cover items which had been in her home since she was a child. As she buries the Tauren-horn necklace, the hooven dish, and a tablemat made with Tauren hair, her remorse and self disgust evident on her face, she weeps.




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