They Rely on Numbers

24. Legion, Ringo's Tale | December 30th, 2016 | 1 Comment »

Widge and Beli in the beer garden

“You know,” Widge Gearloose said, putting down his glass, “Gnomes just number years instead of naming them. It’s a much more logical system.”

“What are ye talkin’ about?” Beli Flinthammer said, forcing the twin images of Widge to resolve themselves into one. “How’d ye expect anyone to remember that?”

The noise didn’t help. Everyone was there at the party: Baelan, Cordovas, Dinhalia, Glondor, Ikeya, Jhakir, Kyroson, Mollie, Mozzbi, Nerraro, Omanoma, Phia, Pika, Piko, Ringo, Saehdrin, Shmooty, Turing, Ukatorr, Vamen, Vimes, Whiskyjack and Xaus.

“It’s very easy,” Widge said, warming to the subject. “It’s all separated with decimal points, starting with which High Tinker’s tenure it occurs during, followed by a decimal point and another digit based on their current term — High Tinkers are elected, you know.

“But I’m getting ahead of myself: Before the number, there’s a mathematical symbol, denoting whether it occurs before Gnomeregan’s founding, after its founding, after the fall of Gnomeregan, after Operation: Gnomeregan or after the expected point in the future when all of Gnomeregan will be under full gnomish control once more. So, if it’s before the founding, the year is marked with a minus sign. If it’s after the founding, it gets an equals sign. If it’s after the fall, it gets a division sign. If it’s after Operation: Gnomeregan — the current era, in other words — it gets a multiplication sign. And, if it’s a date in the future, after gnomes retake the remaining part of the city, it gets a plus sign.

“So, after those initial two digits and mathematical symbol, there’s digits for the year, month, week and date, each using the gnomish base-10 system with 10 months in a year, 10 weeks a month and 10 days a week. I mean, wow, the non-gnomish calendars make zero sense and don’t even use a consistent numerical base.

“After that, there’s a digit for the 10 gnomish hours of the day, 100 gnomish minutes and 100 gnomish seconds. There’s even smaller digits available for those who want to get really precise, but honestly, I think you can figure out the rest from there. It’s pretty intuitive, as you can see.”

Beli looked up from her mug again and furrowed her brow. Behind Widge, fireworks were bursting high over Dalaran.

“I’m sorry, could ye repeat that? This drink was a wee bit stronger than I expected.”

“Or maybe it was one of the eight or nine before that one,” Widge volunteered. “Anyway, to the end of a bad, non-intuitive, non-base-10 year!”

“Aye, may the Year of the Kraken go screw itself!” Beli raised her mug enthusiastically, splashing several patrons in the beer garden, although this was a fairly common experience and no one seemed to notice. “Bloody Burning Legion! Bloody Naaru bringin’ bloody bad news!

Beli and Widge drank, Beli setting her mug down hard enough to make the flying city wobble, Widge suspected.

“Happy New Year!”

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Some Good Will Come

24. Legion, Ringo's Tale | December 20th, 2016 | 1 Comment »

Ringo, Frostmaw and Hati in Highmountain

Ringo Flinthammer and Frostmaw crept down the slope, the snows of Highmountain giving way to muddy hills with the sting of salt water blowing in the breeze.

“You think I cannot find you, little dwarf?” the rumbling voice called from above them on the ridge. “My people traversed these mountains before the Unseen Path arrived on these shores.”

“And me with nae traps ta lead ye into,” Ringo muttered. “If’n we get out o’ this, bear, remind me ta start preparin’ some o’ those again.”

A chunk of rock near Frostmaw’s head exploded, causing the bear to roar with displeasure.

“The next shot will not miss!” the voice roared from above. “Surrender and tell us what you know of the resistance to the Burning Legion!”

Ringo threw a glance over his shoulder, but saw the sniper nowhere. Laying one hand on Frostmaw’s meaty neck, he hustled the bear down the slope and behind cover.

“What, this is nae the way ye want to spend the Feast of Winter’s Veil, bear?” Ringo grinned, digging through a belt pouch.

It was quiet a moment, and Ringo peeked out repeatedly, waiting for hostilities to begin anew.

“Our victory is assured, little dwarf!” the voice called out finally. Ringo thought he saw movement in some scrub just to the side of the path he’d used to descend. “You and your people should return home to your mountains and resume mining, or whatever it is you weaklings do.”

“Aye, that’s about it,” Ringo called, glancing at the trees and sky overhead. “In between rescuin’ princesses from evil stepmothers.”

Ringo ducked just before the shot caused rock chips to explode from the boulder he and Frostmaw were hiding behind.

“I tire of this game! Surrender and let me take you as my prisoner to Feltotem, or …”

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Servants of a Dead God

24. Legion, Ringo's Tale | November 15th, 2016 | 2 Comments »

A very angry Beli Flinthammer

“Oh, that’s just great!” Beli Flinthammer snarled, her voice echoing off the pale stone of the Netherlight Temple. “When you want something, it’s all ‘Come pay attention to Tinkles! The bloody windchime wants you to hear all about Illidan’s first pimple!’ But when someone has a question, you just clam up, don’t you?”

She was getting stares, she knew — she could hear comments from the priestesses behind her in Darnassian and Draenei — but she didn’t care, not even enough to turn around and tell them what they could do with their snickers.

“Do you know what I was doing with my life before those discs were discovered in Uldaman and dwarves learned where we came from? I was studying to be a mage! Everyone said that was no fit thing for a Bronzebeard dwarf to be then — I had to fight every single day! But the day we heard about the Titans, we realized that we had a purpose in this world. I walked right out of the Hall of Mysteries and became a priest in the Hall of Explorers instead.

Beli the Dwarven Mage“But now, but now …”

Beli raised her staff as if to strike the silent heart of the naaru Xe’ra. She thought better of it, then raised the staff again before lowering it once more. Behind her, Beli heard other priestesses let go their held breaths.

“But if they’ve been dead, all along, before we even heard of them, what have we been doing, all this time? Who has been answering my prayers? The Light? Elune?” Beli spat on the floor. “If I am not a priestess of the Titans, what am I? ANSWER ME!”

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The Bear and the Lady Fair

24. Legion, Ringo's Tale | October 18th, 2016 | No Comments »


It took a while for Frostmaw to recognize the smell.

Everything was so vivid here, more intense, moreso than anywhere he’d ever been. As a cub, growing up in the snows of Dun Morogh, scents carried a long way, as there were few competing smells on the wind.

But here, the air was full of birdsong and animal cries, and more distantly, the sounds of things strange and unnatural, the kind of half-remembered nightmare that would haunt him in the early spring after long sleeps. The colors were so intense that Frostmaw sometimes had to shut his eyes to give them a rest — who knew there was so much green in the whole world? And the air was full of smells, layered one atop another, plants, animals, water, earth, again and again and — blood. Bear blood, a lot of it.

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Dwarven Wardrobe: Sawed Off Priest

Beli's Tale, OOC | September 19th, 2016 | No Comments »

This ensemble, built around the Sawed Off guild tabard, has been my go-to transmog over the years. The white color represents the snow of Khaz Modan while the brown color represents the deep earth that the Ironforge dwarves have fortified themselves in. The silver and gold trims reflect the metals found in fine dwarven craftsmanship. The fur fringes provide warmth against the chill and is a personal nod towards Frostmaw, Ringo’s long-time bear companion. I favor this outfit for its overall simplicity and practicality along with its layers of sentimentality.

Personally I prefer to carry maces like a proper dwarf priest when opportunity allows, however, the Crackling Staff is near and dear to my heart. It is a simple white crystal staff from Alterac Valley — a snow-covered dwarven PvP battleground that I spent many months in. At the time, the only reward for reaching exalted status with an Alliance race was to unlock racial-specific mounts for purchase. There were no incentives for dwarven players to reach exalted with Ironforge since we already had access to our own rams early on, but it was unthinkable to me to reach exalted with another race before my own. I even made sure that handing over armor scraps to a dwarven NPC, Murgot Deepforge, was the final action in reaching exalted. So anytime I’m not wielding a mace and a stick of dynamite, you’ll see me running around with this staff instead!

Head: Hidden (or Alaina’s Bonnet)
Shoulders: Outlander’s Pauldrons
Cloak: Mantle of Vivification
Chest: Barbaric Linen Vest
Shirt: Officer’s Shirt
Tabard: Renowned Guild Tabard
Belt: Sash of Arcane Visions
Bracer: Rocket-Fuel Soaked Bracer
Gloves: Evidence Collection Gloves
Pants: Leggings of Charity (or Archaeologist’s Pants)
Boots: Harvester Boots
Weapon: Crackling Staff

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