The last of the cargo had been strapped to the hippogryphs and was now winging its way southeast from the dark wood platform overlooking the gray waters of Auberdine.
Beli had just finished ministering to the small dwarven community in town and was packing away her vestments, climbing the steps of the flight platform automatically, when she looked up and saw what Ringo was up to.
She reached out, grabbing his mustache and pulling his head around to face her.
“What, exactly, do you think you’re doing?”
Ringo’s face was trapped facing her, but he swiveled his eyes to the side, trying in vain to look at the night elf hippogryph handler, who was dressed in little more than a handful of hippogryph feathers and was gyrating and rubbing her thighs together in an unladylike way, to put it mildly. Dwarves didn’t worry about such things normally, but there was a limit, and a half-naked night elf about to gyrate against her grinning husband was over it.
“Well, this young lady …”
“She’s tens of thousands year old.”
“Really? You wouldn’t know it to look … OW!”
“What? Were? You? Doing?”
Ringo tried to look as serious and dignified as he could with a fistful of his mustache in his wife’s fist.
“Something’s going on with the night elves. They’re all acting like lovesick cubs. I think we ought to stick around and see if we can get to the bottom …”
“There will be no getting to the bottom of anyone for you. On the hippogryph, NOW!”
Ringo clambered on, averting his eyes from the cooing night elf, rubbing his mustache and checking to make sure his whiskers weren’t coming free. His hippogryph made a small noise as it kicked off the platform before wheeling to fly across Ashenvale Forest, towards distant Theramore.
Beli glared at the night elf, who was licking her lips and murmuring something. The dwarf cracked her knuckles and stretched out her arms, her elbows and shoulders popping pleasantly. The night elf ignored this all, staring over Beli’s head at a flummoxed human paladin checking off a list of salted fish for the war effort.
Beli gave the night elf a shove in the stomach, and she tumbled backwards off the platform, landing in the ocean with a splash.
“Cold bath, that’s the best thing for you, longears.”
Beli tossed her leg over the hippogryph and quickly secured herself to the saddle. The beast leapt from the platform and followed its mate southeast.
The war was waiting for them.