Rusty’s metal-clad wings sang with the fine mist falling over the northern jungles of Stranglethorn Vale. The dragon’s rider, Mountaineer Ringo Flinthammer, squinted at the canopy of dark green leaves, trying to pick out a safe place to land near his quarry.
Jungle animals beat a hasty retreat as the dragon heavily set down, and Rusty frantically beat his wings to keep from toppling forward onto his face. Proto-drakes were powerful beasts, but no one would ever accuse them of being elegant.
“Ringo Flinthammer!” a voice called out, and a figure shuffled out of the brush, jotting notes down in a journal.
“Widge Gearloose,” Ringo replied, sliding down off Rusty. “Just th’ gnome Ah was lookin’ fer.”
“Come about the Zandalari uprising, I presume.” Widge closed his book and marched forward, hand out-thrust to shake Ringo’s hand.
“Every blessed few months,” Ringo sighed, “Jus’ when it’s gettin’ nice and borin’, something new crops up.”
“Well, some would say that’s a good thing,” Widge offered.
“Like, no sooner were we kickin’ Yogg-Saron in th’ arse when th’ Argent Crusade started up their bloody tournament. Anyway, Ah come ta ask fer help from a portal expert. Ah cannae get through th’ Twilight Portal to the Bastion of Twilight in …”
“Time for that later,” Widge said, cutting him off. “I need your help to …”
“Cho’gall’s minions know how ta turn Magni back ta flesh!”
“Hmmm, the Curse of Flesh redux?” Widge pondered. “That could work. Still, he’s not going anywhere, whereas the trolls are on the move and …”
“You could always go ask another gnome, I suppose,” Widge said.
“Voca was busy gradin’ papers …”
“I just have one or two errands we need to do before taking the fight to the the Zandalari in Zul’Gurub, and then we’ll be off to the Bastion of Twilight, so help me, Mimiron,” he tore a sheet of paper out of his journal and thrust it at Ringo. “First off, I’m going to need you to collect the venom sacks from 10 jungle serpents, 12 patches of fine fur and six vorpal claws …”
“Khaz’goroth on a cracker!” Ringo snapped. “Ah’m surprised ye donnae want me ta go get 20 bloody rat pelts fer ye as well.”
“Never fear, I did that part already …”