Post by Monday
Vas’karaz’s laughter sounded from the portal as it shut behind them, leaving Avery literally shaking in rage in the first display of emotion Korsin had seen from the priest. “DAMNATION!” yelled the priest. “You’ve doomed them! Foul being of the infernal pit, I will destroy you!”
Korsin’s eyebrows climbed into his hair. “Settle yerself,” he told the priest, “Or I’ll kick ye out.” Avery took a deep breath and closed his eyes. Opening them a moment later, his calm façade was in effect. “My apologies, good dwarf. It will not happen again,” he replied.
Nodding, Korsin turned his attention back to the road and started south, guiding the walker with a sure hand. Gorgron noticed this and asked, curiously, “Where are we? You seem to know.”
“Twilight Highlands, just north of Thundermar,” Korsin informed the shaman. “I’d recognize it in an instant.” Gorgron nodded, understanding. “You fought in the war didn’t you? Between the Wildhammer and Dragonmaw?”
Korsin nodded. “Aye, that I did. Two bloody years I spent fighting on the front lines. Afterwards, I said to myself, ‘I will never fight on the fronts lines again.’ And I haven’t yet. I put all my energy into engineering various machines, such as this. Five years I spent on this, and it’s been twenty since I was on the front lines.”
Gorgron glanced askance at Elsoris’s corpse. “What will we do with him?” he asked. Korsin shook his head angrily. “Him? It’s an it. It doesn’t deserve to be called human, nor animal.” Gorgron lifted an eyebrow. “That’s a little harsh, dwarf. Why would you say that?”
Korsin closed his eyes and took a deep breath, though the walker never deviated from its course. “You never saw what the Twilight’s Hammer did to Ironforge, did you? Of course you didn’t, you’re an orc.” Gorgron nodded, motioning for the dwarf to continue. “They infiltrated the city, and let Earth Elementals loose. I’ll admit, it was the first time I saw them move against us.”
“They ravaged the city, destroyed my house, killed my wife and one of my sons.”
Korsin fell silent, and appeared to keep his full concentration on the road, although a truly perceptive individual would notice the moisture in his beard. Gorgron sat back and exhaled. Who would do such a thing? Why would the elements allow it?
Disturbed, Gorgron pondered these questions.
Avery sat back. “We’re short a lookout,” he said. Korsin nodded. “Aye,” he said, voice slightly hoarse, “We’ll pick on up in Thundermar. I know somebody that will help us, and I know he isn’t a member of the Twilight’s Hammer.”
Something clanked on the roof, and Gorgron glanced up. “What was that?” he asked. Korsin grabbed his goggles and slipped them on. “Orcs!” he whispered, and slipped his pistol from his jacket. Checking the load, he set Black Walker on autopilot.
“Don’t let them know we’re here until the last moment,” he said, still wearing the goggles. “They’re gathering just outside the door. I can hurry and open it and possibly take them all down.” Gorgron nodded, relieved that he wouldn’t have to kill other orcs, although an uncomfortable feeling roiled in his gut at the thought of a dwarf slaying his kinsmen.
Avery, as if knowing exactly what Gorgron was thinking, set a hand on his shoulder and nodded. The priest’s intense blue eyes gaze speared into Gorgron’s, and Gorgron nodded back, settling against his chair. “We must be prepared to do anything,” he told the priest. Avery said nothing, but stood and followed Korsin.
Gorgron flinched as the door banged open, and several shots rang out, followed by yells. A few minutes later, Korsin appeared in the door, his pants spattered with blood. “They won’t be bothering us anymore,” he said distractedly, and sat back at the controls, rubbing absently at the blood stains.
Thundermar came into sight, and Korsin ran up a flag of Ironforge. A dwarf on a gryphon sailed down and stopped, hovering in front of the walker. “Hail!” he called, “Who is wantin’ to enter Thundermar, flying th’ flag o’ Ironforge?”
Korsin leaned out the window. “Korsin Frostrock, captain of Black Walker here, of Ironforge! With me are Avery, a priest of the Holy Light, and Gorgron Axeshatter, an orc Shaman.” The dwarf looked interestedly into the window, waving at Gorgron. “A shaman? So am I! We’ll have tae talk! Oh, Forndar be my name.” Gorgron nodded, pleased at the presence of another shaman.
“Get going, and tell Ironbeard we’re here! I need to talk to him, urgently!” Korsin yelled at the other dwarf. Forndar nodded and drew back his head. “I’ll tell ‘im. Feel free tae come into town.”
Korsin nodded and waited until the gryphon was gone before walking his machine into the bustling town. Dwarves stopped and stared at Black Walker as Korsin carefully wended his way through, until he stopped at a certain house. Made of brick, and covered with grass, the house blended into the environment, reflecting the nature of its occupant.
As the walker stopped, Forndar exited the house and waved cheerfully at them, before disappearing into the city. Ironbeard came out the door. Tall for a dwarf, he had a braided brown beard, brown hair drawn into a ponytail and several tattoos up and down his arms of traditional symbols. He had weathered, but kind features, and green eyes.
“Korsin!” he called, running at the other dwarf, who embraced him. “Ironbeard! I haven’t seen you since the war!” Ironbeard pulled away and nodded seriously. “Aye, it’s been awhile. And yer in trouble I see.” Korsin waved the other into the walker. “I need to get rid of this one before anyone else sees it,” he said, gesturing at Elsoris. Ironbeard looked at the body disgustedly. “What did he do?”
“It,” replied Korsin, “Was a member of the Twilight’s Hammer, and attempted to stop us from shutting the portal to the Dark Below.” Ironbeard looked up. “Twilight’s Hammer? Do ye know who sent him?”
“It told me that it was sent by Grand Pyromancer Chloris,” Koris said. Registering the expression on the other’s face, Korsin asked, “That name familiar?” Ironbeard made an affirmative gesture. “Aye. Grand Pyromancer Chloris is the leader of the Twilight’s Hammer in th’ area. He’s the one that burned down Kirthaven.”
Korsin winced. “I see. We need to get to Stormwind however. The city was in need of aid by us, and we were on our way there when a dreadlord hijacked our portal.” Ironbeard looked up in alarm. “Dreadlord? Why didn’t you mention this earlier?”
“I didn’t think it was that important,” Korsin said. “We injured him pretty good.”
Ironbeard sighed and lifted the elf’s body, taking it outside and dumping it in a pit. “The gryphon’s can have ‘im.” They proceeded inside the house. “I’m afraid I can’t help ye,” Ironbeard told Korsin. “Nobody can get in or out of the Highlands since the Hammer sealed up Grim Batol all tight. And we need yer help here.”
Korsin nodded. “Very well. However, since I killed it, I need a new lookout and ranged specialist,” he said, gesturing at the dead elf. “Will you join us in return for helping you against the Hammer?” he asked.
Ironbeard nodded. “I will.”