Meanwhile, somewhere else in the city, Row leans against the wall of one of the corner buildings which form the entrance to the Park, a former leisure district which became a refuge for visiting night elves. Now it was the only place in the Eastern Kingdoms where you could find druid trainers. And also Stormwind’s one and only proper Moonwell.
The still unconscious Aleister under his arm mumbles some incoherent words and is dripping with brown mud. Of course the gnome had to collapse right into the biggest puddle of the whole side street. And soon he would start to wake up again.
Row sighs. “Looks like today there are no half-way measures”
Suddenly from between two other houses Rani emerges, whistling in a very suspiciously unsuspicious way, sniffing innocently at some flowers and making her way slowly over towards the well’s platform. Halfway there, she suddenly stops in her tracks, throws her arms up in the air, produces a sound like a dying turkey, dramatically presses her hands against her chest and collapses. Once down in the grass, her limbs start moving like if she would have been hit by a lightning bolt.
One after the other, the druids start to take notice and finally run towards her, one of them yelling at the Sentinels to fetch “that gnomish physician from Fizzle Street”. Soon, a cluster of pointy ears is forming around Rani who is doing the acting performance of her life, playing out the slowest, longest and most gruesome death a gnome had ever to enudre. When the youngest of the druids eventually tries to help in a more practical way and reaches out his fingers towards Rani’s thorax, her mouth suddenly bursts with dark purple sludge. It was just a handful of well chewed Ravenberries she still had found some minutes ago in her pocket, but the success speaks for itself. The collection of elven heads in her field of view suddenly move back at least two feet.
Row’s grin nearly goes from one ear to the other. The Sentinels were gone, the druids occupied. Now would be the perfect time. Running counter-clockwise along the houses which surrounded the Park he is able to get to the backside of the Moonwell without any of the other persons in the vicinity noticing him.
He grips Aleister firmly with both hands, heaves him over the fringe of the basin and plunges him deep into the surprisingly cold water.
This is the moment Aleister finally is waking up.
It is cold. It is wet. He wants to breathe but his mind is telling him not to. He opens his eyes and all he can see are two gigantic blue hands holding him in some kind of bathtub and a blurry face grinning at him.
From one moment to the next, the formerly relaxed gnome in Row’s hands literally kicks into action and the waters below his face start to explode into small angry feet sending holy liquid into every direction.
“Just a few more seconds! You will thank me afterwards! …I am sure. … in about a decade or two.”
The sound of wild splashing is suddenly cut by a scream, followed by a high pitched voice:
"He is trying to drown that little child!!!"
Row looks up and sees a human couple in rather expensive looking clothes pointing at him. He smiles back as if he already had waited for them. “Perfect!”
The elven druids who had gathered around the slowly but surely dying Rani stop discussing the details of gnomen anatomy and turn their heads, look at the screaming humans, then at the Moonwell and finally spot the tall rogue and the wildly splashing gnome. Their faces drop in horror, and after a second of shock they start to rush back to the holy waters.
While Row’s left arm finally pulls Aleister back out of the pool, his right hand reaches for a small sack which is attached to his belt, ripping it off and throwing it onto the floor. The Flash Powder explodes into a thick cloud of grey nothingness, shrouding the elf and the dripping wet gnome, who is about to open his mouth for presumingly a tirade of gnomen swearwords.
“… my head, my po… WHO ARE YOU AND WHY ARE YOU TO…”
The angry words of the gnome suddenly stop as swift as they had started. A gust of wind divides the smoke into multiple smaller wisps, and Row and Aleister had vanished.
At roughly the same time, Rani stops the cramping and choking and opens one eye, carefully peeking around. The druids seemed to have gathered again around the Moonwell, Row and her friend are nowhere to be seen. Instead the air is filled with shouts and starting discussions about if and how the waters need to be cleansed again. One of the elves is holding up one of Aleister’s boots with two fingers, still dripping brown dirt into the pool beneath it.
Suddenly she hears a whispered “Run!!” from the shadows of a bush next to her. That’s something nobody needs to tell her twice right now. Especially because at the other end of the Park the Sentinels return with an elderly gnome who seems to carry two big toolboxes.
A short time later, Rani and Row enter the guild hall again. The still sleeping Aleister is rolled up in one of Row’s capes, carried by the elf like a baby. He looks much dryer now, but at two spots of his skull some obvious bumps are about to emerge.
“Ah can’t belief dat worked! Ah thought we couldn’t get dem away widdout ‘avin’ sum sort of dragon distractin’ dem!”
Row smiles widely at Rani. “Well. Who needs a dragon when you have a gnome?” He carefully places Aleister in one of the chairs and looks around the hall.
While raising an eyebrow he asks “And what have you all done while we were gone?”