Report #00020: The Snows of Northrend and the Fires of Ironforge
As ordered, I recently reported in at Valliance Keep in Northrend. I stepped off the boat and was tempted to have Bronzefeather just fly myself right over to Howling Fjord, instead. Given the choice between a recruitment center run by bloody gits or a quick path to the nearest Explorers’ League camp, I’d be choosing the Explorers’ League every time. Senator Redstone was clear that he felt Howling Fjord had prevented me from doing everything I could in the fight against the Scourge before, though, and I don’t care to push my luck with him any further at this point. It’s not that I think there’s all that much he could do about it, but I have to think of the Stouthammer name.
One of my first assignments was a Search and Recovery assignment. The last time I reported to Valliance Keep, it was because I’d been called there rather than ordered to go. It was just after Winter Veil, and I suppose this had quite a bit to do with my choosing Howling Fjord instead when I went to help my brother. It was at Valliance Keep that they told me Garret Rumrifle was presumed dead. They didn’t have the manpower to keep searching for his body, and so the bloody gits just left him out there all these months. Light only knows what he could have come back as! And not three days after I reported in this time, someone comes in and makes a report that they think they may have spotted the body in Dragonblight as they were flying over. And, of course, I get the assignment. I’m expendable, I suppose. And it’s not like they look at me now and remember what looked to them like a terrified little gnome walking in there before. Celidh Aletracker and Hilda Stoneforge both recognized myself as soon as we spoke, but the officers have other things on their minds, I suppose.
I rounded up a few folks to help me find Garret’s body. I’m not taking the strain of wandering around out there as well as I might have expected, and I wasn’t going to search for someone well-known to myself without good folks I know I trust to watch my back. My brother, Yablo Truewhisper, and my friend Mira Windsong all agreed to go with me. And I was sure to take Aldiel, the wee elemental phoenix Yablo somehow acquired to watch out for me in Northrend. The Scourge don’t take fire well, you know. Bullets, either, when it comes right down to it.
What should have been upsetting, but simple, became a bit more complex when it turned out Garret Rumrifle is not dead! At first, I supposed he was undead, and I started yelling for him to be set on fire. Turns out, he’s just not dead. He’s bloody well alive! It works out that we found that part out before any fires were set.
We took Garret to Ironforge by way of a portal that night, and then I went back to Valliance Keep to make my report the next day. The bloody git Commander tried to assign me to look after Garret a while. “You can keep each other out of trouble,” he said.
“Sir,” I said. “You don’t know many dwarves, do you? Besides, Yablo Truewhisper keeps myself out of trouble, sir.”
He shuffled through a stack of papers there, looking for the name. Then he says something that confirms for me we’d have the whole bloody continent secured already if they just put dwarves in charge. “Truewhisper is assigned to… MBB-ICC?”
“That would be ‘Muradin Bronzebeard – Icecrown Citadel’, sir,” I told him. “He’s been assisting Prince Muradin with launching the attacks there.”
Commander Whats-His-Bloody-Name looks over the edge of those papers at me and he asks, “Stouthammer, are you any relation to Friginne Stouthammer?”
“Aye, sir! “I answered proudly. “Crusader Stouthammer is my brother!”
He gave me a fairly well disgusted look and just grumbled about that explaining a few things.
The thing that sticks out for myself the most about all this is the snow. It’s around Valliance Keep, and Dragonblight’s covered in it. I was so focused on trying to fight my issues with harnassing the energy for spellcasting properly when I was in Northrend before that I just never noticed how wrong that snow is. It keeps reminding me that things aren’t right up there. Every step of everything I do out there is like trying to smelt iron into Brewfest ale. It’s long, hard, and more disappointing than anything else. And there’s all that snow. Not a bloody thing like the snow around Ironforge!
It comforts me to come home and see the fires burning here. Not just the ones for the festival… although I have learned to juggle torches now! The Great Forge is warm, and the flames dancing in the braziers around Ironforge seem to glow in a more beautiful way than they ever have before. I haven’t got bloody ghouls jumping out from around the corner to chase after me here. Well, not unless one of the Death Knights starts having a bit of fun at everyone else’s expense.
I never took to fire very well before. I worked so hard to find a way around my spellcasting troubles, and I ended up only being able to connect well with the water and frost energies. I wouldn’t even light a campfire for fear of burning my robes! The fires are comforting now. I suppose it’s possible that the Ironforge fires may be the only thing I’ll find that can melt the Northrend snow.