Underbelly Blues

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Day 68. I trudge back into the sewer, the dripping, oozing pit of sin of Dalaran. Something drops onto my ear from above – too heavy for a drop of just water. I ignore it as my ear tingles.

Through the Circle of Wills, though what will drives me here again, I cannot say. Those damn turtles are at it again in a corner, listening to an old rat. They're planning something, I know it.

I climb up the pile of trash and into the next room. You'd think they'd install steps in here at some point. I walk past the Cantnip and Crows and resist the urge to go have a pint of Caraway Burnwine.

Instead I make my way out onto the dock, saying hello to Angelo. He says nothing, just nods. I visit him two or three times a day, pawning off the crap I catch. The colourful ones I can understand... I hear they taste great fried in butter. Then again, what doesn't? He takes the sewer carp too, and they look as bad as the sickly looking fish we get back home. He says he can sell them to the Hero's Welcome. Says dwarves will eat anything after a couple beers.

Makes me shudder. Hell, I'll cannibalize anything I can kill, but not those big mouthed, foul smelling carp.

I'm pretty sure one day he'll get sick of me, sick of paying out for more crap than he can probably make a profit with. And then where will that leave me but with dripping bags full of dying fish?

I get to the edge of the dock and try not to notice the two marks I've worn into the wood. I grab the pole from my back and start to wind my lure onto the hook.

I worked hard for this pole. Days – weeks! – of sucking up to those fat bastards. They stink too. They smell of crab and salt and sweat, making their houses out of the carcasses of slain sea monsters. Hell, even the Quillboar smell better. Still, this pole is a beautiful thing, almost without equal. Carved from the strongest yet most flexible wood in Northrend, curved to perfection to reduce upper arm fatigue, it's almost perfect. I even got them to engrave my name into the handle at no extra charge!

So I cast, staring ahead at the mossy bricks, listening to the constant drip and flow of Dalaran's refuse. A dip and I pull back, watching the carp struggle weakly against my line.

I want that rat. A fellow fisherwoman once joked that if we have a leather worker of sufficient skill, he could take the drowned rats we pull up sometimes to make me the prize rodent I want. I asked around, but no one had the recipe. You can find anything in this town, do I have to believe it doesn't exist. Next I searched out an alchemist, looking for an Elixir of Large Rat or something. Had to beat up that blood elf to get him to stop laughing and answer me. His imp is gonna have to do his potion mixing for the next little while. Jerk.

I want that damn rat. Pretty sure I've flirted with catching it a few times. There would be a tug on the line but my timing would be off, my pull to hard or too quick, and it would get away.

“Patience, girl.” Nat would say. “It's not like you're getting any older.” I trained under Pagle – some might say for too long. He would hear of some rare sighting in Booty Bay or off the coast of Feralas and he'd send me half way across the world to get it. Got most of them too. He's demanding, but he's the best, too. Fished up both Gahz'ranka and the Lurker Below... Unbelievable. He needed twenty-four other guys to finish them off once they were caught, but still. He never had to fish up this damn rat, though. I hear even the Lurker only needed three casts. I've stopped counting after 3000.

“Patience, girl!” Nat would sit behind me, his feet up and his hat down over he eyes. How he knew when I missed a fish, I'll never know. He would slap me upside the head with his fishing rod. I can take out ogres twice my size and demons that spit acid. Could never avoid that damn slap.

I bet you there isn't even a single giant rat in these sewers...

“Patience, girl!”

“Enough, Pagle!” I grab him by the scruff of his shirt, lifting him off the floor with two fists. “Enough!”

The human mage stares back at me in a panic, half a mushroom in his hand. “Ha!” I say, blinking away the image of Nat Pagle. “I thought you were someone else.” I say awkwardly. He winces at the gutterspeak. With a toss I throw him into the green waters of the sewers, where he flounders before sinking in a mess of bubbles.

So I cast, staring ahead. I want that damn rat.

Sugarrat 08:50, 13 April 2009 (UTC)