In Lordaeron, back when there was a Lordaeron, they had a saying: “A dwarf’s hill is his kingdom.” Wherever Ringo and Beli Flinthammer lived, even if it was simply a partition and a set of cushions of their own in Sun’s Reach Harbor, it was Flinthammer Hall. Wherever they laid their heads at night, that was their home.
“See that rock?” Ringo had once joked to Beli, putting down his cloak for her to sleep on, in a dusty corner of the Badlands, “That’s me pillow.”
After the final battle in Icecrown Citadel, Ringo and Beli had thought that their home, in a tower overlooking the village of Thelsamar, on the shores of Loch Modan, would be the real, the final Flinthammer Hall.
Arriving home for the first time after Deathwing’s attack on the Eastern Kingdoms, Ringo’s heart sank as he saw the home was dark, with no fire in the hearth, not even smoldering coals. He had seen the damage the dragon had done to the Stonewrought Dam and the muddy puddle that once was the loch. But Thelsamar still stood and he’d hoped to find his wife and son at home, safe and alive.
He lit candles and looked around the house.
There were still a few of Bael’s toys scattered about, but his favorites were missing. Likewise, Beli’s worn mace was gone, as was her traveling cloak. Throwing open her wardrobe, he saw backpacks and bags were gone, too, along with many of her clothes and weapons and trinkets from the campaigns in Quel’Danas and Northrend.
His wife and son were simply gone, without a trace, along with Lucky, the black lion Ringo had trained to serve as Bael’s guardian. Gone without a trace.
Or perhaps not …
Ringo knelt, spotting a piece of paper that had slipped off a table and landed beneath it.
“Ringo,” the note began, written in Beli’s hand. And that was it: The rest was a blob of blue ink, smeared illegibly by water. Looking up, Ringo saw a new crack in the ceiling, created, no doubt, by Deathwing’s attack on the mountains of Khaz Modan. The crack glistened with rainwater seeping in from above.
Ringo straightened up, staring at the note. Beli was alive to write the note, and thought to tell him where they were heading. He dried the note with the hem of his cloak, folded it up, and slipped it into his bag, and headed back out the door.
“Aggramar, watch over them,” Ringo prayed, as he locked the door behind him.
He’d find them. Somehow.