Report #00040: King Magni and the Hall of Thanes
I waited for days after the news about King Magni to be allowed to see him. I don’t suppose I could have actually made myself go down there, but I wanted to know I had the option. I got sent away every day. Told that this, that, and some other bloody thing were being given priority, King Magni wasn’t going anywhere, and why wasn’t I helping down in Kharanos? Every day, I muttered something about having been chased off by a bloody swarm of shaman, took my bears with myself, and wandered off.
They let me in to see King Magni last night.
Everybody’s gotten so used to calling the place “Old Ironforge” that I sometimes suspect even a few dwarves have forgotten what it really is… the Hall of Thanes. The resting place of our kings. I wanted to know once what was behind the door in the High Seat that was always locked, and it was Greta herself who fed me enough stew for a whole bloody army and spent the whole night telling me tales about the Hall of Thanes, the old Iron Forge that Ironforge got its name from, Modimus Anvilmar… no one could tell a tale like Greta! Not even Ol’ Durty Pete.
I went down there last night with my brother, Serhilde, and Little Brann. Those bears have been in King Magni’s presence plenty of times before, so I didn’t see any need to keep them away now. There comes a point where you make just one more turn on your way down and you can’t help but see the white light dancing off the stone walls. And you get a wee bit closer and you realize it’s diamonds down there! And you get a wee bit closer, just past another couple of guards, and… and there’s the Honor Guard standing there and it’s not diamonds. It is diamonds, I suppose, but it’s not JUST diamonds. And it shouldn’t bloody well be diamonds!
It’s King Magni down there. Frozen in place. Looking like he’s screaming. Not the kind of screaming you do when you wake up because some elf is knocking at your door wanting to collect donations to support orphaned butterflies. It’s the kind of screaming I don’t think I’ve seen anything do since I was in Northrend. And if you’re trying to look at things through eyes that are half-closed and full of tears, the diamonds don’t look too much different than ice.
I asked my brother if he thought King Magni might be in pain, but he says he doesn’t think so. I don’t know if he really believes that or if he was trying to make myself feel better. I don’t know if King Magni can feel anything right now. Maybe he’s not in pain. It’s better than the alternative… that he might be frozen in a moment of complete agony that just never stops.
I was a wee bit hard on Belgrum, I suppose. He was down there already when we got there and started saying how this was all his fault. I told him it is his fault. But it is! It’s his bloody job to find out about these things before trying them, and we’ve learned enough of our own history now and seen enough of the things the Titans created that he should have bloody well known his first impression of what those tablets were needed to be questioned! Even now, he’s not listening when I try to tell him what I think they were.
I hope I’m right about those tablets, though, because that would mean King Magni’s not in pain. When the elves tried to get the whole world blown up by demons… the first time… the Earthen were so injured by the Sundering they went into hibernation. I think King Magni’s done a hibernation ritual when he thought he was doing a communication ritual. But if I’m right, how long will he sleep? When the Earthen woke up, they were dwarves. What would a dwarf become if he slept long enough?
I told my brother to fix him. He says he can’t. I think my brother lacks faith. Highlord Fordring always says to put your faith in the Light. My brother’s a bloody paladin. If he can’t fix something himself, the Light can, and since he’s an instrument of the Light that means he can fix anything. I think he forgets the Light isn’t just a tool for retribution. The Light isn’t a bloody hammer that you just go beat every trouble you have to death with. Maybe he sees it that way on account of having been a warrior. All I know is that I feel more myself in the Light’s presence than I do any other time or place. So maybe King Magni could be himself again with enough Light shining down on him.
Little Brann just sat there on the floor and stared up at King Magni. I wish I knew what was going on in that wee bear brain of his. Probably thinking of all the times he climbed onto King Magni’s boots and pawed at him. I always thought he was going to get me thrown out of Ironforge that way, but King Magni always allowed it. I told that cub tales every night for weeks after I first got him home about Brann Bronzebeard himself, and how he was a very special bear to be named after King Magni’s own brother. I think I might have confused him a wee bit and he maybe thinks he is King Magni’s brother.
Before we left, I made a promise to King Magni. I don’t know if he could hear myself speaking or not, but it doesn’t much matter. A promise is made with your heart, not your mouth. I swore I’m not giving up on him. I’m a bloody Stouthammer, and that means I don’t give up just on account of something being impossible! There’s bears in the Hillsbrad Foothills to be saved, and relics to be dug up, and I’m still trying to get some of those Wildhammers to teach me how to brew their ale. But that’s all work to keep myself busy. (Except saving the bears… that’s important.) When something’s figured out about King Magni, I’ll be the first one flying home to help.
He’s in the right place, though. In the Hall of Thanes, where our greatest kings rest, King Magni is the greatest of them.