The gnome pressed her nose to the bear’s black one. The bear seemed a little perplexed by this, but highly entertained.
“And what’s your name?” She batted her big blue eyes at the bear, laying prone on the distillery’s floor, feet kicking in the air.
“Crapper.” Ringo growled, quaffing a rhapsody malt before spitting foam across the bar as Beli’s hand retracted from a location only wives normally freely grab in public. “OR! We don’t have a name picked out yet! Muradin’s beard, woman, you’re gong to leave me a eunuch! And I need another malt!”
The gnome leaned forward, and began whispering into the bear’s ear. Turning his delicate parts away from Beli, Ringo sipped his new drink, watching the bear and gnome on the floor.
“What’s her story, then?”
Jarven Thunderbrew glanced up from wiping the bar clean of beer spit.
“Dolly? Gnome’s not right in the head, I’m afraid.”
Beli wiped her mouth and pushed the trencher of roasted boar meat away from her.
“She doesn’t look like a leper gnome.”
“Nay, it’s not that.” Jarven put the mug down, sighing. “The stress of what happened in Gnomeregan caused her to …” He made a vague gesture with his hand, indicating Dolly was somehow unstable.
Dolly was muttering strange noises on the floor now, eliciting growls of excitement from the bear, who was sure this was some interesting new game.
“What’s she doing now?” Ringo gestured with his mug. Dolly was moving stiffly around the room, trailed by the bear.
Jarven scratched at his whiskers.
“Dolly was one of the Techbot technicians. When it went crazy, she snapped. Thinks she’s a robot herself now.”
Ringo shook his head, gesturing with his empty mug for another.
Jarven poured him another, looking abashed as he did so.
“The Gnomeregan Benevolent Association paid me a deposit to watch her here, but it’s run out and she has a habit of wandering into guests’ rooms at night and starting conversations. I’m losing business because of her. Next time I head to Ironforge, I was going to turn her over to High Tinker Mekkatorque. Let him deal with her.”
Beli poked Ringo in the back.
“Light blast you, woman, I didn’t say ANYTHING!”
“Take her with us.” Beli said.
“Eh? You’re against the entire idea of a militia, so now you want to take along an insane gnome?”
“She doesn’t have to fight. If she used to be an engineer in Gnomeregan, she’s probably organized. She could be our quartermaster.”
“Since when are you worried about barmy gnomes? You hate people.”
“She needs someone to watch over her. The gnome king just cares about vengeance. Anyway, don’t argue with me, it’s settled.”
Beli wandered over to the gnome to introduce herself, who snapped out of her rigid gait to twirl around, modeling her red dress for the dwarf.
Ringo sighed, downing his drink.
“This is what I get for marrying a Rockbottom girl, eh?”