Report #00021: Brunnhildar Village – Go for the Cheese, Stay for the Bears
I recently decided to visit the Hyldnir in Brunnhildar Village again. I was hoping they’d give me some of that cheese if I defended my old title around there. It’s not as if they can see a difference in me anyway. They’ve always thought I look like one of themselves, and that’s bloody strange considering they’ve got women around there who should be able to see right the fel through that sort of disguise! But if running around dressed like a giant blue harpoon-slinging attitude on legs gets myself some cheese… well, I’ve done stranger things for cheese.
In spite of how they treat men the Hyldnir aren’t so bad. They love bears! Little Brann was happy to see them again, even if they did give him strange looks for being as small as he is and being a male bear. Now that I think about it, he might have just been happy to see the other bears. And I suppose at least one of those bears turned out to be happy to see myself.
I noticed one bear quite a bit smaller than all the others out there, even if she is bigger than most of the bears in Dun Morogh. She wasn’t even getting any armor put on herself. Not unless you call carrying a bucket in your jaws “wearing armor”. And since everyone thinks I ask too many bloody questions as it is, I didn’t think this would be a good time to stop. I asked one of them about the bear, and was told she’s always been a wee bit on the small side of runt and that she’d never make a warbear. If she’d been male, they would have just killed her! I know I said the Hyldnir aren’t so bad, but I don’t think keeping yourself around to do silly little chores all your life is being very merciful. I don’t suppose any of them would like it if someone said, “Well, I suppose yourself is too small to be anything but a complete failure. But since you have the decency to be female, we’ll let you be a bloody servant to everyone else!”
It was a little tricky to say what I wanted to in the poor bear’s defense without admitting to being a dwarf. It’s not something I usually watch myself about. There’s no bloody shame in being a dwarf. It’s not like I’m a bloody human, or bloody elf. Or bloody blood elf. But I figured it’d be in my best interest not to let them find out I’ve been tricking them about what I am all this time, so instead of saying I learned any of this from my brother I told them it was something I “heard from a travelling dwarf before I sold him into slavery to murlocs”. And then I told them this about my brother’s wife, Krona:
“Krona Stouthammer was no taller than your own kneecaps, if she was even that tall. But she was a great warrior… as feared by her enemies as she was beautiful. She had golden hair she braided, and that braid would fly out like a bloody whip and sting an enemy when Krona was whirling in battle. She could lift a hammer as big as herself, then jump over the head of her opponent and spin around in the air before she brought that hammer down with enough force to crush a skull and keep going until it got stuck in the ground! Then she would lift that hammer right back up again and do it all over… as many times as it took until there was just a pile of folks who had needed killing laying around her feet.
And it wasn’t work for Krona, either! Battle was a sacred joy for her, it was. The heat of battle made her blood race and her face would light up, and all her enemies could see that she was the dwarf they should bloody well be afraid of because she couldn’t be stopped. Lifting that hammer made her feel more alive than she ever did most times outside of combat. Folks would see Krona raising that hammer over her head, a huge grin on her face, and they knew when she went charging ahead that some bloody git was about to be sorry they’d been standing in her path.
Krona sacrificed her own life in a war to stop demons and the undead from gaining control of what might have been the greatest source of power in the known world. She died celebrating the glory of battle, and the glory of everything she was fighting to save. The glory of mountains, and rams, and strong brew, and great tales told over a few pints in a tavern… and bears. Krona took down more demons and undead than the demons and undead took down Kronas. Because of Krona Stouthammer, there’s still a world here for bears to live in.
So I don’t believe that bear can’t be a warbear just because she’s a wee bit small.”
I think a few of them would have been glad to call Krona their sister when I finally stopped talking. One of them, though, she gave me a funny look. She said if the story was true, then aye… Krona was a great warrior and it was a bloody shame she wasn’t born on of their own. But she suspected this was a tale I’d been told by a male looking to save his own life. That would be my fault for not being so honest about how I knew all this. If she met my brother… Well, I’m not sure if I’d want to see that fight or not. But she smiled at me in a bloody odd way and said it amused her that I would tell a tale like that all for a bear that was too weak to be much good. And if I believed the bear could be a warbear, then maybe she should be my own warbear. Not that they gave me any armor for her, or anything. They just sent the bear and myself on our way. Didn’t even give me the bloody cheese!
I picked up on the patterns in their names while I was there, and I figured the bear deserves a good name… one for a warrior. So I’ve named her Serhilde, and she seems right pleased with it. The way she gets all bloody excited and rushes into a fight, growling and snarling and stomping those big paws of hers all over the place… Well, I suppose herself and Krona would have gotten on just fine together.