Report #00022: Travel to Strange Lands, Meet New People, Shoot Harpies!
The question I am most commonly asked is, “How are you?” My answer is almost always, “I’m Fizzy.” That gets me more than a few strange looks, plenty of chuckles, and some bloody gits feel the need to ask the question again as if I didn’t answer it already. I’m telling the truth, though! The only other response I could offer would be something like, “I’ve had about enough of the bloody undead, I could do without having something’s guts stuck in my hair for a while, and I’ll be having words with someone if I hear anymore rumors about dwarves studying the sort of arcane magic that’s been getting us into trouble ever since a bunch of elves decided they were too special to play by the rules. But I’ve also got more cheese than anyone deserves and a few bears to share it with, my brother is a bloody hero, and I woke up this morning to find I’m still a dwarf. I’ve had my heart broken, I’m not getting used to seeing good folks die, and I’m late to meet someone for a drink. So if you don’t mind getting out of my way, the tavern is just over there.”
There’s a better way to say all that, you know. “I’m Fizzy,” works just fine.
But I had to take a wee bit of time to think on how to word the longer response, and I suppose I should have stopped and considered some of it before. The war in Northrend has been weighing heavily on myself. More heavily than I expected. It keeps me seperated from Little Brann. Aye, I took him out to meet Brann Bronzebeard himself once, but I won’t be running into a Light-forsaken place like the Fleshwerks with the cub nipping at my heels. His been my responsibility and one of my greatest joys ever since that mountaineer turned him over to me, and I swore I’d do my best to take the place of his mother. What kind of mother would I be if I didn’t put him somewhere safe while myself is out there flinging burning skeletons at abominations and blowing up the risen dead? A wee cub shouldn’t have to face that. He can barely hunt for himself and I still tuck his blanket in around him at night.
Serhilde was bred for war, but I worry over herself, as well. And Frostbolt is a fine beast, but it took him a while to adjust to Dun Morogh after living his whole life at Frostsaber Rock. Those frostsabers are a bit different from the other big cats. There were times I felt guilty about taking him away from there, but when I gave him the choice he always kept following myself. Still, I’d like him to see peaceful snows again… not what we’ve been up against in Icecrown.
There’s life to be lived out there! I’ve been released from my duties in Northrend, and staying behind to assist with taking down what’s left of the Scourge is my own choice now. For the record, I’m still thinking it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if we found out the Lich King isn’t quite as dead yet as folks like to think, but folks do like to think it and I can’t say I’m not ready to go home. As if I was needing a reminder that what we’ve been fighting the undead for all this time is life, Amethyst… the dragonhawk I rescued on the other side of the Dark Portal… has a hatchling to raise now. I suppose I’ll need to do some traveling to figure out where it would be best for her to raise little Sapphire, but I suppose dragonhawks would prefer somewhere warm.
I’ve got beasts to make happy, a copy of one of Brann Bronzebeard himself’s journals with maps and all, and I miss my brother and being able to make it back to Ironforge in time for dinner. Of all the things I am… hunter, tracker, friend of animals, explorer, former mage, dwarf, ambassador, cheese-lover, Quantum Mechanical engineer… what I am most is Fizzy Stouthammer. I think I almost lost sight of that a few times in Northrend. I want to share tales over a few pints, whether it’s in a tavern or next to a campfire. I want to know every stone in Khaz Modan. I want to make sure the gryphons at Aerie Peak haven’t forgotten Bronzefeather and myself. I want to be there to watch my brother’s back when he goes into Blackrock Mountain now and then to remind the bloody Dark Irons that he hasn’t forgotten how his father died.
I was unpacking the last of the boxes I’d put in storage when I made that trip to Bouldercrag Refuge, and the things in that box are as much a part of myself now as they were when I was a gno before I went. A coin Elling Trias once made a wish on. A book bearing the title Gryphon Riders: The Bearded and Feathered Heroes of the Skies. The letter Brann Bronzebeard himself wrote to me when he sent my first Explorer’s tabard. The few pages of dwarven history I was able to save from some of those books in Karazhan. A few flasks filled with Stouthammer Lite. I pulled all that and plenty more out of that box, and it was like pulling out bits of myself and putting them back where they belong.
I am Fizzy Stouthammer. It’s about bloody time I get back to being Fizzy Stouthammer.
I’ll be doing some personal traveling. I’ll also be going back to making my rounds at the dig sites in Kalimdor. I’ll be spending some time with my brother, and plenty of time with my beasts. I’ll be getting home to Ironforge more often. I’ll be letting bloody gits know when they’re being bloody gits. I’ll be having a decent drink whenever I can.
In the event that I don’t make it back in time to put up the Cheese of the Month Club’s next announcement, I’ve written it out and left a copy of it with Haggle. Aye, I know what you’re thinking about that. That’s why I’ve also made it clear to that gnome who walks around the Great Forge selling pie that if he doesn’t remember to put up the copy I gave to him I’ll let him explain it to Frostbolt when we get home. And just in case that fails, as well, I’ve left another copy with Mangorn Flinthammer and promised to tell everyone I meet that he truly does have the finest wares in the land. I’ll be doing my best to make it home in time to put the notice up myself, though, and I’ll be sending reports back by gryphon the same as I’ve done before when I couldn’t get back.
If the war against the undead is truly coming to a close, Fizzy Stouthammer is ready to live again!