It had started off as such a nice day, too. Raska had been sitting and teaching her daughter Laeka how to speak to elementals while her son had been beating the training dummies with a mace. The sun was in the sky, the elementals weren't fighting, and there hadn't been any major fel incursions since Kil'jaedan's defeat.
The nice day turned a bit rough when Maurata came through the portal from Dalaran in a huff. "THOSE MEN ARE IMPOSSIBLE!" she not-quite-yelled back over her shoulder before turning to look at Raska. "They don't want to pack food; they don't have enough bandages, they're taking no allowances for the elements being fel corrupted, all they're about is 'we must go crush the forces of the legion!' well, duh, of course, we do, but we need to eat and prepare for the sick and injured too!" She threw her hands out like Raska had a magic wand to fix it with.
"Uhm." Raska managed.
"I bet they don't even eat breakfast!" Maurata fumed before throwing herself down on the ground beside Laeka. "Hey kiddo, how goes the lessons?"
The orcling blinked up at the pandarian, "Okay I guess?" she offered shyly.
"Good to hear," Maurata answered with a firm nod before turning to Raska. "You should go make those men see reason."
Raska sighed. Khadgar she had no problems arguing with, but Velen was just all creepy with the face tentacles and his insistence that the weird glowy aliens knew the answers to everything. The less said about Illidan, the better. She really didn't want to go have to deal with any of them. Maybe she could just beat all three about the head with Ashean's mace. Not that she thought her son would part with it.
The orc got to her feet; she supposed someone better explain logic to the supposed leaders of the expedition. Jaina Proudmoore would have been a better choice, even if she did blame the actions of one of the many. Humans could be so pigheaded. "Fine. Will you keep an eye on the kids?"
"SURE!" Maurata said with just a bit too much enthusiasm. Raska really hoped that meant the woman was just happy she was getting her way, not that she was planning on teaching a pair of orclings some very bad habits. At least they'd stopped belching the human's anthem every time they saw a member of the Kirin Tor. Raska wasn't quite sure who to blame that on, but she strongly suspected "Uncie Chewie."
She came back through the portal muttering about shoving humans, draenei, and elves into a big bucket and kicking them into the maelstrom. Normally she though Maurata tended to overreact, but in this case, she decided the Pandaren was under-reacting. Where was the warchief and why wasn't SHE dealing with this mess? Raska was more than ready to just pack up the kids and head up into the Alterac Mountains and go back to losing hearthstone to Drek'thar. One day she would figure out how an Orc who was blind, possibly senile, and in theory in the last days of his life, could soundly beat anyone who dared sit down across from him.
She was rubbing one temple in hopes of banishing the lurking headache when a wolf went dashing past with her son on it's back. Said wolf was bucking and bouncing like a human's horse after bean day. Ashean was giggling and holding on with a tight grip around the wolf's chest.
The wolf made an "Errrp!" noise as he spotted the irritated looking mother and came to a scrambling halt. Said wolf coughed as the giggling orcling slid off his back and onto the ground.
"CHEWIE!" Raska bellowed. The resulting look from the wolf-formed shaman made her snort and regain her sense of humour. She'd seen more convincing innocent looks from the wolf packs after they broke into the butcher's shop.
"Mamma! Mamma!" Ashean said, bouncing to his feet and clambering up his mother to be held one-handed. "Uncie Chewie was telling me Tauren can eat so much meat they sweat!"
The shaman in question had been turning on his hind paw in an effort to escape.
Raska sighed and asked her son, "Where's your sister?"
"Bakin' cookies with Maura'a." Ashean said. "Cooking is BORING."
"Don't let your Auntie Maurata hear you say that or you'll get a twelve-hour lecture on how the proper spices saved the Pandaren Empire."
"Pandas have an empire?" Ashean looked confused.
"I have no idea." Raska replied honestly before putting her son down, "Now go pester your sister." Her son looked quite happy to accept this mission and ran off towards the ramp up towards the stone circle.
"Chewie." Raska said, turning her attention back to the Tauren shaman who had been attempted to sneak off again.
The Tauren shaman in question let out a low whine.
"Oh for hell's sake, I'm not going to bite you because you were being silly with my son. I trust you to keep him out of most trouble, and even if he'd gotten injured in some silly stunt, that's what Orc children do."
He eyed her warily.
"How long are you going to hide out in the Maelstrom? This is getting just ridiculous."
"Chewie, don't make me come over there and kick your butt. Go back to being a Tauren and talk to me!" Sometimes she felt like a mother to half of Azeroth. Things were easier when Thrall lead the Earthen Ring. Then these things would be his problem. He seemed to have thrived on arguing with idiot humans and their pet elves. But no, he got a guilty conscience over the stupidest things and flounced off leaving the rest of them to sort it out.
Chewie sighed and reformed into the Tauren warrior who was only twice her size.
"Well?" Raska asked, tapping her foot.
"Well what?" He asked.
"How long do you plan on spending hiding out here?"
"SHE KISSED ME!" Chewie spluttered as if that explained everything.
"You were an elf; she was an elf --"
"I WAS NOT AN ELF!" Chewie protested, drawing himself up to his full height and looking quite offended.
"Oh, I'm sorry, blue skin, pointy ears, half your usual height, no fur or tail.. what exactly were you then?"
"I may have LOOKED like an elf," he sniffed, "but I was NOT an elf."
Raska looked at him with a one-eyed closed cynical look. "Okay. You, for those of us who do not understand the finer nuances of Tauren culture and ways, seemed to be an elf, she IS an elf even if she was being a different sort of elf, murder mayhem all around, hiding in a small alcove while finding spies.. these things happen!"
Chewie managed to look even more offended, "They do not!"
Raska kicked him in the shin, metal toed boots ringing nicely on his shin plates.
"OW! What was that for?"
"Quit acting like a baby and just go talk to your best friends already. Sheesh." Raska turned on her heel and stalked off to find her children.
She ignored the muttered 'Do not.' which was followed by a grumbled 'I'm going fishing.'
Really. Grown ass shaman. So he got kissed by an Elf, it could be worse. He could have married a mage who turned out to be a warlock, wouldn't that have been fun? Idiot.
Maurata was happily pointing at a box of bricks being held by a fire elemental. "So, this is how your people probably cooked things without ovens when they were all locked up."
Laeka's brow furrowed, "Did not. We didn't have the elementals then, did we, Momma?"
Raska shrugged, "I wasn't there." She'd been a child hiding up in the mountains with a few of her other clanmates who had escaped the roundup. She highly doubted that the orcs in the pens had cared enough to summon elementals even if they could have.
"Okay, this was how *I* cooked when I was stuck camping out in the middle of nowhere because my mother thought it was some sort of learning experience when all I really learned was how to pick bugs out of my fur."
"Ewwww," Laeka said.
"Exactly." Maurata agreed, opening the brick oven and pulling out a tray of cookies. Raska was pleasantly surprised they looked edible, but then, Maurata could probably turn mud into chocolate if she put her mind to it. The healer handed a cookie to each orcling before holding one out to Raska. "How'd it go?"
"Yup!" Maurata agreed happily as she bit into her cookie.
"So we all agreed Lady Liadrin would go with them."
"Did Lady Liadrin agree to this?" Maurata asked with mild curiosity.
"Not. My. Problem." Raska said firmly and bit into the cookie. It was a very delicious cookie.
Suddenly the day was looking better again.