Growing up in Shadowforge City’s dwarfanage was not unusual.
The Dark Iron dwarves had been at war against the arrogant Bronzebeard and brutish Wildhammer clans for more than 200 years.
Despite what some idiots were desperate to believe — that the Bronzebeard who called herself the “queen regent” had brought peace to the Dark Iron — most who lived in Shadowforge still conducted themselves like a people under siege.
And that meant, every time an adult Dark Iron left the relative safety of Blackrock Mountain, they dropped their child off at the dwarfanage and told them goodbye. If they survived the hostile world outside, they would reclaim them.
But if not, their child was already prepared for the worst and looked over by matrons who would raise them and train them so that they could avenge their parents.
His own parents had never returned from Grim Batol. During the Second War, they had been sent there to recover some artifacts believed lost during the War of the Three Hammers. But while they were there, the orcs of the Dragonmaw clan had descended on the city, claiming it for their own. Both his parents had been killed.
He had shed no tears. If he was the sort of child to show that kind of weakness, he would have cried when they dropped him off at the dwarfanage. But he had not. He had known that they were doing Ragnaros’ will and that the world outside of Blackrock Mountain’s fiery embrace would likely be the death of all of them.
Although she tried to be strong, his daughter always cried when he dropped her off at the dwarfanage.
When he had gone to fight alongside the Twilight Hammer outside the gates of Ahn’Qiraj, she had cried.
When the Twilight Hammer had called upon him once more, to help set fire to the so-called “world tree” Nordrassil atop Mount Hyjal, she had cried.
And when his wife claimed she believed the disgusting and obvious lies that the Firelord had been destroyed, his daughter had cried when they had divorced.
But now, she had a chance to be strong, to prove herself worthy, to do something in service to the true lord of this world.
“Hello,” he told the matron at the dwarfanage, who was younger than the matrons in his memory. “My name is Duerthic Blackfire. I’m here to pick up my daughter, Marisi.”