III – The Fortuneteller

Orgrimmar was thick with stuff. Dust. Bodies. Noise. Motives. The hot Durotar sun made a half-hearted effort to tan the parchment of her skin.

Verthilde looked around for a moment, then continued her walk up The Drag. It was a slow walk, as she paused to look at each shop, every stall and business shingle.

“Looking for something?” A city guard wanted to help. Or was suspicious of the Forsaken.

“I thought,” she peered at a sign on an upper-story shop, “there might be a soothsayer along here. A seer.”

A laugh. Relieved? “Better choice would be Valley of Spirits, Valley of Wisdom. Just follow the path over that way and you can’t miss it.”

As it turned out, if you were already lost in Orgrimmar, you could miss it. She stopped outside the city gate wondering where she’d gone wrong. A goblin standing on a box yelled in her direction.

“Come right on over! Entertainment for all ages! Win a prize, impress that special someone! The Dark Carnival has just what you need! Freakish sights from exotic climes! Don’t wait–we’re only in Durotar for a limited time!”

It sounded very familiar, this Dark Carnival thing. Didn’t they have a sage? She wandered over to a collection of tents and booths. A few people shuffled through the carnival eating their funnel cake and spicy meat buns. She could hear cheers and reedy music coming from one tent, outside which a sign depicted a scantily-clad dwarf dancing surrounded by snakes. A group of heavily-muscled orcs took turns throwing small leather balls at targets; the competition seemed to be less who could throw best and more who could insult the others’ throwing most imaginatively.

A sign:

CONSULTATIONS
Sees all – Tells all
MADAME ROSAJIN
past – present – future

Verthilde went into the dark little tent, letting the flap fall closed behind her.

“You look troubled, child. Sit.” The troll woman held out a hand over the scrying crystal resting on a low table. “Silver?”

“How much?”

She immediately wondered if the question was a mistake.

“For you, fifty silver.” She nodded her thanks as Verthilde handed the coins over. “Now what is on your mind this day? What brings you to Rosajin?”

“The past. My past, can you tell me anything about it?”

“Anything?”

“I don’t remember anything before a couple months ago. Before I was raised.”

“Ahh, now. Rosajin understands. You have the energy of Lordaeron on you. You remember that?”

Verthilde shook her head. “I live near there now. I don’t remember anything. Except, sometimes images in my head but I don’t think those are memories.”

The troll shrugged. “Spirits showing you something? You ever see something before it happened?”

“No.”

“You do, come see Rosajin. You might be touched by ’em.” She made some passes over the crystal. “Your past we be looking for, yes?”

“Yes.”

“The way be openin. That young lady there, she be you?”

Verthilde looked at the crystal, but saw nothing. She decided it was a rhetorical question.

“Looks like you, but you have a daughter?”

Verthilde shrugged. “I told you, I can’t remember.”

“I see you goin’ to market with your daughter. You have a sad look. Like you’re working hard but the people around you, they don’t appreciate you.”

“Can you see where it is?”

“City. Size of the market, must be a big city. You’re dressed alright, better than now. What you got in those satchels? Stuff for sellin?”

Something about the troll was bothering her. Then she realized.

“Those tusks aren’t real, are they?”

Madame Rosajin stopped in the middle of a sentence about a bag full of eyes.

“You’re not even a troll, are you?”

“Hush, child. What I am isn’t important. What’s important is that the spirits are tellin me there’s a dark force around you.”

Verthilde pushed her chair back.

“No, wait! My powers are real. And I can’t give your money back. Policy. Just because you don’t like your past doesn’t mean it aint so! You need my help!”

Verthilde stood in the sun and dust outside the tent. A hand tugged at her sleeve. She looked down.

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