Report #00014: Questionable Financial Practices and Old Gods
I have been more than just a wee bit bothered lately by a voice I keep hearing whispering in my mind. It unsettles me and brings back memories of what happened when I was in Whisper Gulch… before I had that book I had to destroy. At first, I thought this might be related to my recent transformation. Besides being able to feel nearly every bloody rock for miles around, I’ve also noticed other sensory development in myself lately. I suppose a fair amount of this could be due to the training I’ve been put through by Burningbeard and by the time I’ve spent traveling with my new animal companions. I’ve learned to smell things I never so much noticed the smell of before. I can hear footsteps as light as those of an elf in a still environment, and even in a busy city in certain circumstances. I am the same Fizzy Stouthammer I’ve always been, and a completely new one at the same time. I suppose I may just be more of myself than I was before.
I thought the transformation might have brought on a return of the guilt I went through after that trip to Whisper Gulch. It’s never been easy to accept that I was forced to take the lives of fine Explorers’ League members. I know it was a merciful act. I know I saved them from something much worse, and that the Light took their souls and did whatever it is the Light does with the souls of such fine men. But there’s a difference between being a gnomish dwarf, or dwarven gnome, who favors one part of her heritage more than the other, and then simply being a dwarf that way the Titans intended. I’ve spoken to no one about the voice and tried to push what I had to do there out of my mind.
I don’t believe I was correct in my assumption that this was just a bad memory coming back to haunt me, though. I’ve seen strange behaviors that make me think others have heard this voice as well, and even that they may have given in to what it tells them. The voice isn’t as threatening as those whispers in Northrend. Not exactly. I recall the voice there saying things like, “They are coming for you…” and, “There is no escape… not in this life… not in the next…” Then it would get worse, telling me to kill my friends before they killed me, or telling me I’d be all alone in the end. The voice I’ve thought I’ve heard recently seems to be whispering that there is something wrong with my financial accounts. I suppose it’s just trying to rattle me a bit. “Your account has been suspended unless you contact us…” or “Routine scan shows your account has been compromised. Please contact us…”
Well, that’s just bloody insane! Aye, my more valuable belongings were stored in the Ironforge vaults while I went to the Storm Peaks, but I’ve gotten all my cheese back since then. I might go to the bank a few times a day to change money or use the mailboxes nearby, but I’m sure the bank tellers would have let me know if there were any problems with my account. Barnum and Bailey Stonemantle are fine dwarves who know their business, not a couple of bloody circus clowns! I trust them more than I just some voice trying to whisper into my mind without my consent.
There’s been quite a bit of talk, though, about folks who may have given in to what this voice tells them. It seems friends and loved ones have noticed that someone who has been hearing the voice will suddenly start acting as though they’ve been possessed… going into the banks at odd hours and ignoring everyone they’d normally stop to speak to, attemtping to commit robberies, and disappearing without a trace. They sometimes turn up later with no memory of what they’ve done or where they’ve been, and they’ve lost everything.
I look back at what I just wrote, and it’s a wee bit disturbing. But I knew where I was going. I went to the Storm Peaks on purpose. And it wasn’t a voice that pushed me there, but a yearning inside myself… something almost instinctual. And you don’t see these other bloody gits coming back as dwarves!
The goings-on from folks listening to this voice certainly cause a fair bit of chaos and upset every time it happens. And the voice just keeps at you when you ignore it. I can’t say how many times I’ve willed myself to ignore the voice… shut it out completely… only to hear it again in a day or two. And it creeps into my mind no matter where I am. I can’t get far enough away from it. I’ve seen other folks screw their faces up in annoyance the same as I do, quickly shaking their heads to clear their minds.
If this is one of the Old Gods, I’m not sure what to make of it. The reach of the voice is terrifying, but it’s not so difficult to resist. Is it possible this is all that’s left of Yogg-Saron himself? A bloody snake oil salesman?