The sun broke the tops of the eastern trees sending its rays of light dancing on the surface of the river. A little fish jumped into the air, and for a split second appeared to look from side to side, like a child crossing the street, and then vanished without a hint of a splash beneath the water’s surface. Nmimo the Murloc, son of Yrgl, stretched his neck and gazed out over the river. Inhaling deeply to take in all the sharp, clean scents of the river, Nmimo stepped forward and waded into the river until the water reached his knees.
This will be a perfect day, I can feel it, Nmimo thought to himself. The sun is shining, the fish are jumping, the water meanders at a perfect flow down to the farmlands below. But here, in the most beautiful village in the world, Murtlerglee, there is peace and…
Nmimo’s thoughts of a perfect day were suddenly interrupted by the scream coming from his hut. Turning to see what happened Nmimo suddenly felt his vision go dark. He collapsed. But just before his sudden stun and fall he saw a light and a flash and then nothing.
Nmimo awoke and was suddenly very cold. He looked around to get his bearings and found himself in a stone walled room with only one small window covered with bars. He sensed that it was day outside, but he felt no sun on his skin. It was almost as if there were a storm outside that ceased to allow the suns rays to penetrate its defenses.
A jangling of keys and a twist of a doorknob later Nmimo was face to face with none other than Tirion Fordring, leader of the infamous Argent Crusade.
“What is your name, young Murloc? Speak!” boomed Tirion’s voice.
“M…m…m…Nmimo…s…s…s…sir.” He stammered.
“Well, Nmimo, it seems that we have a problem. Come with me immediately.” Tirion, without waiting for an affirmative response from the young Murloc turned on his heel and strode gracefully and powerfully from the room. Nmimo, unsure of what to do, but sure that it didn’t include staying in that cold…cell any longer than necessary quickly fell in behind the Paladin.
Up some steps, down a wide hall lined with suits of armor, turning left up another flight of stairs and finally into a circular room Nmimo and Tirion entered. All eyes turned on the little Murloc, and I mean all of them. In the room were representatives of every race, class, spec and all other diplomats that could conceivably be found in Azeroth or beyond.
Tirion escorted Nmimo to a chair in the center of the room. “Sit here, young Murloc.”
Nmimo, sitting in the chair as directed became nervous, his eyes started to blink unusually fast and his feet tapped the floor with increased rapidity. Overwhelmed by all of his surroundings he spoke up to all who would listen.
“Uh, would anyone be so kind as to explain what is going on…please!”
As if he were ignoring Nmimo, Tirion Fordring stood and looked around the room, gaining the attention of all present, and spoke.
“Welcome friends, allies, comrades to the Trial of Nmimo the Murloc. Today we shall decide the fate of a Murloc who, despite a plethora of denials, is charged with the slaughter of his entire village of Murlocs. A crime so horrific and dishonorable that we, the Argent Crusade, have deemed it within our jurisdiction to try and sentence the guilty party according to our laws. But before, we shall hear the story directly from the Murloc himself.
Nmimo, please come forth and stand before this council. Place your hands on this pulpit I have here before me and relate your actions to all who have ears to hear. Doing so now will lessen your sentence. Refusing to do so will require immediate punishment…nothing less than death will suffice for your ill deeds.
If Nmimo was scared before, he was terrified beyond imagination now. He, a murderer of his own kind? Never! There must be some mistake, he knew it. How could anyone believe him possible of such atrocity? And what about his memory, all he recalled of that day was a light, a flash, and being stunned and collapsing to the ground. After that he recalled nothing until this morning. Certainly did had no memory of a previous interrogation where he denied the claims. Surely running would be to no avail, not with so many powerful people here to stop him the instant he made the escape attempt. But there had to be a way out of this, there just had to.
I have to start somewhere, so I’ll try this. “Dear Council, honorable and noble, I, Nmimo the Murloc come before you today as an imperfect Murloc. When I was but no bigger than a tadpole I remember taking my brother’s snail collection to a mound of fire ants and pouring them into the mound laughed so loudly that my brother heard me and came running to see what I had done. Upon witnessing such treachery he told our mother who promptly grounded me from any fishing for a week. That was a painful week for my stomach, I can tell you that.
But this…taking of lives of my brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers I have no recollection for I did not do it.”
Tirion started and raised his sword and with fury on his lips cried, “Thrice now have you denied your involvement in the slaughter, and now thrice shall you die. By the hand of this Warlock, Priest, and Warrior you shall suffer three horrific deaths, the final to be your last.”
“Please wait, oh mighty Tirion, for not only do I not recall the day in question, I do not recall previous denials on my part. Plus…” but the crowd already started to grumble and cries of “Death to the Murloc” began being chanted among the council and audience member.
“PLUS,” shouted Nmimo, “AS I WILL ALWAYS DENY MY INVOLVEMENT, I SHALL GIVE YOU ALL THE INFORMATION YOU SEEK TO APPREHEND THE TRUE CRIMINALS, FOR THEY STAND AMONG US TODAY…AS TRAITORS TO THE ARGENT CRUSADE.”
Tirion was startled, his hesitation due to the conviction now present in the Murloc’s voice, conviction that wasn’t present in previous interrogations. Maybe he didn’t do it and my rush to judgment has been hasty. What if he’s right and we have a far worse treachery in our midsts today? Tirion mused to himself. Trusting his instinct Tirion raised his sword again and addressed the crowd.
“We shall hear his story and judge for ourselves if he speaks the truth. Tomorrow, just after your morning jousting training and daily quests, all now here in attendance, and any other you can gather, shall hear the tale and evidence of young Nmimo the Murloc.”
Then turning to Nmimo he added, “And it better be good.”
Come back tomorrow and find out!