“Bael gets fussy around mid-morning, so have some milk ready then, and try and put him down for a nap,” Beli said, licking her thumb and neatening her son’s eyebrows.
“I’ve raised three children, Beli,” her mother Dorae said, shouldering the backpack full of Bael’s things. “Stop yer worryin’.”
“Stormwind’s such a big city, though,” Beli said, stepping out of the way as a bouncer hustled an angry drunk out of the Deepwater Tavern.
“Life in the district’s not much diff’rent than Anvilmar. Certainly more properly dwarvish than Quel’Danas has been. Yer father is working on a big new construction project there, and there’s plenty of dwarves around, including plenty of little ones for Bael to play with. When ye’re back, he’ll be waiting for ye.”
Ringo returned from the dock, mopping his brow with a rag.
“We’re all packed, Beli, and the animals are aboard. The Northspear’s going to be leavin’ with the tide, so we need to get a move on.”
Beli glared at her husband a moment before turning her attention back to their son.
“Bael, are ye sure ye don’t want to say ‘mama’ before we go? Mama?”
“Cat,” Bael announced, pointing at a skinny old tom marching back from the docks, a stolen fish in his mouth.
Beli sighed, then winced when someone aboard the Northspear let loose a blast from the ship’s steamwhistle, a warning for all to get aboard.
“We’re the last, then?” When word had spread that they were heading to Northrend, the Flinthammers had shown up in Menethil Harbor to find almost a dozen of their friends waiting at the Deepwater for them and insisting on going along.
“Aye, we’re the last.” He knelt down and gave Bael a bear hug, the toddler responding by jerking on his whiskers. “Be good and yer grandpap will take ye mining. I gave yer grandma a wee pick just for ye. I bet ye can find some good Titan artifacts in the hills of Elwynn.”
Beli pushed Ringo aside and enveloped Bael in a massive hug.
“Bael, don’t forget us. Don’t forget me! Oh, there are kobolds in Elwynn, maybe he’d be safer with –”
“Beli,” Dorae Rockbottom said, putting a hand on Bael’s shoulders and extracting him from his mother. “Northrend has the Scourge and spiders and the Titans know what else. He’ll be fine with us. The day yer father can’t make kobolds turn tail and run for their holes is the day he climbs a tree and calls himself an elf. Now, go.”
The steamwhistle blew again, longer and more urgently this time.
“Beli, come on,” Ringo said, taking her elbow. “It’s time.”
With a heavy sigh, Beli waved goodbye to her mother and son as she allowed herself to be led to the steamship and Northrend.
As she turned away, Bael waggled an arm at her.