Brann Bronzebeard peered at the Temple of Uldum and scowled.
“Schnotzzis,” he growled, lowering his spyglass. “I hate these guys.”
“Vat a pity,” a voice came from behind him.
Brann whirled to find himself surrounded by soldiers, each of whom had their rifle pointed at the dwarf. The soldiers’ ranks parted and a goblin dressed in black stepped forward, looking Brann up and down.
“You and I are vedy much alike,” Commander Schnottz drawled, blowing cigarette smoke from his cavernous nostrils. “Archeology iz our religion, yet ve have both fallen from ze pure faith; our methods have not differed as much as you pretend. I am but a shadowy reflection ov you: It vould take only a nudge to make you like me, to push you out ov ze light.”
“Now ye’re getting nasty,” Brann snarled, backing toward the cliff.
“How odd that it should end zis vay for us after zo many stimulating encounters. I almost regret it. Vere shall I vind a new adversary zo close to my own level?”
“Try the local sewer.”
Schnotzz’s soldiers raised their rifles at this affront before the goblin waved for them to hold fire.
“Your notes on ze Coffer of Promise,” he said, holding out a black-gloved hand. “Now.”
The prince of Ironforge shrugged, and smiled.
“I donnae have them any more.”
Schnottzz stared up at Brann a moment, sucking on his cigarette before barking a laugh.
“It’s pervectly obvious vere ze diary is. You’ve sent it to zat mountaineer and his vife. Our scouts saw zem arrive zrough ze portal vrom Stormvind.”
The goblin nodded, rubbing his hands together gleefully.
“He sticks out like a zore thumb. Ve’ll find him.”
“The hell ye will,” Brann growled. “Flinthammer’s got a two day head start on ye, which is more than he needs. Ringo’s got friends in every town and village from here to Everlook. He speaks Dwarvish, Common and all the dirty words in Gnomish. He knows every local custom. He’ll blend in, disappear. Ye’ll never see him again. With any luck, he’s got the coffer already.”
Meanwhile, in Ramkahen, Ringo took off his sweat-soaked hood and fanned his face, glaring at the bemused tol’vir surrounding him in exasperation.
“Does anyone here speak Common? Dwarvish?”