Back in Thunderbluff, . . .
The flames from nearby torches flickered causing the shadows within Chief Cairn Bloodhoof’s tent to dance. The Bloodhoof chieftain himself sat on a blanket, leaning against one of the stout post holding his tent aloft. The honor guards stood to either side and just outside of the entrance as Cairn conversed with and shared an ivory handcarved peacepipe with another chieftain. Across from Cairn sat Rutahnma, chieftain to the Thunderhorn tauren.
Rutah spoke as the red tinted smoke of burning peacebloom swirled from his lips and nostrils. “Why should this concern me earth brother?” he asked Cairn while handing the pipe to him.
“You know as well as I that all things are connected, and even the Grimtotem are children of the Earth Mother,” explained the Bloodhoof chieftain. Rutahnma nodded in agreement. He knew that all life is connected to each other, and what effects one can have on others, espeacially having a greater effect on the greater scale that Stomphoof was causing. The fact that the Grimtotem are children of the Earth Mother is why Cairn permitted the old crone’s presence in Thunderbluff, and the balance between life is why he and the other chieftains had not acted against the Grimtotem when they discovered hints of dealings between her clan and underhanded forces. “I told him not to harm anyone here in the bluffs,” Cairn said. “I thought he may leave it at that, or that perhaps he may take his aggression out on a few Grimtotem but– He has inflicted something much more.” Cairn puffed from the ivory pipe etched with the miniature images of kodos and birds. Taking a bit of the sweet smoke into his lungs he handed the apparatus back to Rutahnma. The greying Bloodhoof held a pensive expression on his face that gave evidence of perturbed thoughts. “Most Grimetotem have long since lost themselves in the dark whispered that swelled up from the deep beneath the world, yet they are still the Earth Mother’s children. Stomphoof has all but wiped them from this life and is tipping the balance of life to too far an extreme.” Red smoke waltzed from Cairn’s nostrils into the air above as he spoke. “He may be done with their sluaghter for now but he has started walking down the same path that lead your brother to becoming the hate seething creature he is today. I hear that Magatha told him where to find his sister’s killers, but only the Earth Mother knows what he may do once he has dealt with them. His anger may not recede and then he may turn back to the Grimtotem finishing what he started, perhaps worse.”
Rutahnma retook the pipe, reflecting on Cairn’s words. “I understand the seriousness of the situation. Though still I ask, why do you look to me to speak to Stomphoof? I hardly know him only from mentions of him from friends and my hearthstone’s attunement to the Coalition’s communications.”
“Because, Rutahnma, you are the youngest of we chieftain, and you too know what it is to seek revenge. You also know all to well that should he be allowd to continue this path of destruction where it may lead. He could become another monster like your brother.” Cairn told the other tauren. Then as if talking to himself he spoke, “He seeks out his sister’s killers now, but will it end there?”
Rutahnma took a deep breath thinking upon it all and then nodded. ‘Another like my brother? Another monster?’ the Thunderhorn thought to himself. “I will see what I can do,” he told the fellow chieftain as he placed the peacepipe safely away into his pack and stood.
“I thank you earth brother.” Cairn said while standing from his seat. “I hope he will listen to you. Ancestors watch over you.”
Rutah nodded once more. “May the eternal sun shine upon your path,” the Thundehorn chieftain said in farewell. Then, Rutahnma set out to find the enraged butcher of the Grimtotem.