Tarlo Mondan had been at the Pandaren campaign from the first call for volunteers, and he’d been in plenty more battles before that. Orcs, moldering undead, twisted horn-heads that wore human skulls—he’d fought them all and lived.
What’d he gotten out of it? Enough scars to make him shave his scalp? Some pillage put away in a bank? No children, no wife, no home he built himself, no paintings on the wall. Not much to go out on. They were sailing home on the Patron’s Pride, but it could have been any other fat ship full of loot and new recruits. They’d stand in the first clean uniforms they’d worn in months, get cheap medals around their necks, and then do… what? Wait for the next call to arms?
Better the kid figure it out now. Sooner was better than later, alone with some brain-dead Horde ox barreling down on him. At least he could quit while he was young.
Of course, the kid never did. He had that same idiot’s gawp on his face when the third big wave of the night belched over the deck of their ship.
It knocked Tarlo to his knees. White, foamy water washed over everything, got in his mouth, and stung his busted gums, but he squinted and focused on the kid.