Ironshield slumped down against the boulder on the side of the road, exhausted. He'd been trudging along this stretch of dusty road for what felt like weeks. His armour was chafing at his neck and ribs and his pack seemed to grow heavier with every step despite the dwindling supplies. He pulled a half an apple from his pocket and bit down. It was browned and withered and far from Juicy, but it served to take a bit of an edge off the gnawing hunger. He needed to reach civilization soon.
Two months earlier he had been sitting in a dingy corner of Stonefire Tavern in Ironforge when a Slender stranger had sidled up to him and basically barged into his quite conversation with a fellow veteran of the third war. He should have sent him packing right then, with a boot in the seat of his skinny human britches for good measure, but he hadn't. The stranger had spoken of untold riches, hidden in the southern deserts of Kalimdor, just waiting for someone brave enough, strong enough and wise enough to bring them home. With the little'un on the way and the lack of funds after all the devastation wrought recently by Deathwing, a bit of nest egg would be a welcome boon. If only he hadn't been so darn Vain! He knew it was a fools errand, but he thought he could handle it.
He'd stocked up on supplies and set out forthwith. The map the stranger had supplied was rather vague, but just accurate enough for him to find the quiet cove. He hunted around, following the various clues, until he finally found the cave. It was a narrow gap in the rocks really, little more than a crack, but once he'd made his way through he discovered the Shaft beyond. With a makeshift Torch, and a coil of rope he had made his way down into the depths of the earth. He was lucky to not encounter anything more dangerous than a couple of foot long centipedes but eventually he found it. A massive trove of treasure. Coins and plate and Jewellery of gold and mithril and silver. And lord of all the riches, a mighty diamond which shone with a light of its own like a glorious Star. He couldn't believe his luck, he could live off of this one find for the rest of his days.
He packed what he could into his bag, abandoning half of his food and water in the process. He would take what he could back home and return at a later date to retrieve the rest. The grapefruit sized diamond he wrapped in a cloth and hid in a bag under his tunic. It was uncomfortable but safe. He made the treacherous journey back into daylight just before his torch flickered out.
That was five days ago now. He had trudged through the desert for three days before he had run out of food in his small bag and gone into his main pack for more. At first he had thought it was heatstroke playing tricks on his mind, but he had spent the best part of a day confirming it. All the treasure he had found was trash. The coins were some kind of cheap soft grey metal. The plate was painted, rusted steel, and the pearls and ivory clearly poor wooden imitations. Worst of all the massive diamond was plainly a lump of common quartz. He was positive of what he had seen in the cave, but now outside in the desert sun all the glorious riches had turned to dross. Whatever the value of the items in the cave, it was clear they were enchanted to ensure they would forever remain Hidden.
Is that Gadgetzan on the horizon? There is certainly a line of smoke rising from a spot where it should be. He set off for home, he'd even be pleased to see a goblin right now.