Among the champions

Among the champions

It takes a special kind of cold to chill a dwarf to the bone. The snows of Dun Morogh last year-round, with only the hottest days of summer thinning the ice that cover Iceflow and Helm’s Bed Lakes the rest of the year, save for the fishing holes the dwarves hack out with axes.

Dwarves and even gnomes scoff at outlanders who find Dun Morogh inhospitable: “It’ll put hair on yer chest,” “toughen up, Sally” or “here, have another mornbrew” are their standard replies.

But the cold of Icecrown was different somehow; it seemed almost malicious, creeping inside Ringo Flinthammer’s boots and gloves, plastering his ice-coated whiskers to his face and neck and giving him the first windburn he’d gotten in a cold climate since he was a child. And there were times where the wind sounded like something whispering terrible thoughts into his ears …

Ringo shuddered, putting such thoughts from his head, and headed back inside the tent he shared with Beli. From outside, there was a crash of thunder from the Storm Peaks that loomed above the plain where the Argent Crusade was building their jousting grounds.

“Close the flap, ye slack-jawed daffodil! Ye’ll freeze my pumpkins off!”

She complains about everything you do, a voice whispered in Ringo’s ear.

Ringo resealed the tent against the wind and removed his gloves, rubbing his cold and raw hands together as he watched his wife slip on her blood-stained mooncloth robe.

“Ah thought ye said the Argent Crusade stopping the push against Arthas to have this tournament was foolishness,” he said, blowing hot air into his clenched hands.

“Aye,” Beli said, picking up her staff, a thing of twisted black metal and wood taken from one of the Scourge’s flying necropoli. “It’s daft as can be.”

Her place is to obey, not to question her betters, the voice whispered to Ringo.

She whirled, swinging her staff forward, then pulled it up into a defensive pose, muttering the first few words of a spell.

“But if they’re going to do it anyway, I’m going to crack some skulls for the glory of Ironforge, by Magni’s beard!”

She is prideful and thinks she is better than you, the voice hissed in Ringo’s ear.

“Ah’m thinking maybe ye were right,” Ringo said, brushing fruitlessly at his ear; the voice couldn’t be shooed away that easily.

A boom of thunder from the Storm Peaks drowned out Beli’s next comment.

“Ah mean,” Ringo continued, “The Alliance is distracted with fighting the Horde after they betrayed us at the Wrathgate …”

Only a coward would not seek vengeance …

“And we are not even laying siege to Icecrown Citadel yet.”

Another roll of thunder.

“And up there,” Ringo said, nodding through the tent at the Storm Peaks, “The Iron Dwarves are up to something in Ulduar and the Earthen, our cousins, are fighting a losing battle.”

No concern of yours …

“Would the Titans really want us stopping to play silly jousting games instead of bringing the fight to our enemies?”

Unworthy coward. She will leave you when she sees you for what you are.

“SHUT UP!” Ringo roared. Beli blinked in surprise, holding her staff out as protection. “SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP! Bloody whispering! Ye’re driving me barmy!”

Beli eyed her husband carefully.

“Maybe ye should get some fresh air, or somethin’. Take the bear for a walk.”

“Aye, or somethin’,” Ringo said, stalking out of the tent, and back into the cold.

3 thoughts on “Among the champions

  1. The official line is an open show of defiance will do much to lift spirits in this cursed place, as well as ease relations between the Horde and the Alliance. Work it out in competition, rather then battle, you know.

    Of course, that’s the official line. For all I know Fordring’s up to something, although I can’t fathom what.

  2. Wow, that new “Ventriliquism for Beginners” kit I bought is really paying off.

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