Ringo came upstairs into the common room of the Wildhammer Stronghold inn. There were the usual sounds of the fires crackling in the fireplaces, tankards being filled and thumping back down on tables and the bar after being emptied, but there was also something else: the high-speed chatter of excited gnomes.
“After all these years, I can’t believe it!” Widge said, drumming his feet against a chair’s edge gleefully.
“Well, it makes sense,” Piko said, waving a piece of paper in one hand. “Legal or not, civilian aviators have been flying them for years. Just look at the Explorers Guild!”
Ringo, wincing at the high-pitched sounds of glee, ambled over to their table.
“What’s all this, then?”
Piko and Widge turned on him as one, thrusting the paper at him.
“‘Tinker Town Times, your gnome town newspaper,'” Ringo read.
“Not that!” Widge said, stabbing at the paper with his finger. “THAT!”
“‘Mekkatorque approves civilian aircraft,'” Ringo read. “Wait, they’re letting us …”
“BUILD OUR OWN GYROCOPTERS!” Widge and Piko yelled together.
“Hmmm,” Ringo said, scratching his beard, and mentally cataloging the Flinthammers’ store of ore and parts.