The Maiden’s Virtue thudded dully against the Auberdine dock. The water was dark and Ringo Flinthammer knew it would be cold if he or is wife ended up in the drink. As a result, he kept a careful eye on the bear, the bear cub and the murloc as they pulled their gear off one ship and carried it down the dock to the nimble elf caravel preparing to make way.
“I think they’re arguing about you,” Beli said, returning to the Maiden’s Virtue for another load of their gear. Behind her, a knot of night elves were bickering in Darnassian, glaring at the dwarves as they piled their gear up for the voyage west to the empty isle of Azuremyst.
“Or whatever it was,” interjected Beli.
“Or whatever it was landed west of here. Tyrande might have put together that expedition, but that ship is flying Alliance colors, so I’ll pull my beard out by the roots before I let them turn me away.”
“I think they might be willing to do that for you …”
“Sir dwarf!” One night elf sniffed as they stomped past. She was dressed partially in leaves with a set of antlers on her forehead. Elves and their fashions, thought Ringo. “Sir dwarf! You prepare for a military expedition, but the high priestess was quite clear: This is strictly an exploratory mission. Your weaponry and … warbeasts are out of place on this voyage.”
Ringo slapped Frostmaw on his broad behind, sending the polar bear onto the delicate-looking ship.
“Well, your treefulness, we’ll just stay out of your way, then, aye? If you’re right, and there’s no cause for concern, you won’t even know we were there,” he smiled insincerely. “But … if there’s a wee demon army waiting for us when we disembark, you’ll be alive to file a complaint.”
“Hope for the best, prepare for the worst!” Beli grinned sheepishly as she carried her last bundle aboard.
An officer rang a bell on the upper deck, signalling that the crew should prepare to cast off.
Beli shifted her bundle in her arms, staring at the dock.