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Category: 13. The Shattering

The slumbering king

The slumbering king

Old Ironforge

It had been more than six years since Ringo Flinthammer had descended into the depths of Old Ironforge, down steps that had been carved by some of the first dwarves to awaken in the Eastern Kingdoms, transformed during their long sleep from the Earthen the Titans had originally created them as.

The passage down still filled him with hushed awe, despite all that he had seen and done since that time. He felt the unseen eyes of all the kings of Ironforge upon him, and knew that they found him wanting.

There, on a platform suspended over the fiery heart of Ironforge Mountain, was the last king of Ironforge, the one whom Ringo imagined must be most disappointed in him.

“Ah have failed ye, me king,” Ringo said, pulling off his green mountaineer’s hood and falling to one knee.

The diamond form of Magni Bronzebeard stood above him, arms outstretched, unmoving since the day he’d read the invocation off the tablets brought back from Ulduar in an attempt to stop the elemental invasion of Khaz Modan.

“Ah have sought th’ aid o’ th’ Earthen Ring, consulted with th’ Earthen o’ Deepholm and even the tol’vir in Uldum. Ain’t none o’ them know how ta turn ye back ta flesh, which Ah swore ta find out.”

“Mountaineer,” a gentle voice interjected from a shadowy corner of the room, “Who said this was your responsibility?”

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I’m on a boat

I’m on a boat


As Theramore vanished on the western horizon, the small group of passengers aboard the Lady Mehley made their way away from the rail and below deck.

They were a motley collection heading to the Eastern Kingdoms: A dwarven married couple and their great white bear, a gnomish member of the Kirin Tor, a dwarven paladin of the Argent Crusade (whose nervous hippogryph was attempting to sleep away the voyage in the hold), and a very jumpy goblin.

“So, what do ye reckon ye’ll do, then, when we arrive back in Khaz Modan?” Beli Flinthammer asked her husband as she dropped into a chair in the galley.

“Ah know meself,” Mountaineer Ringo Flinthammer said ruefully. “If’n Ah go with ye to see our wee one, Ah won’t want to return to me mission. Ye’ll have ta give him the presents Ah bought him and tell him Ah’ll see him as soon as Ah can.”

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What Ringo and Beli can see inside a lightless box.

“Ah cannae believe Brann just left us in here, after them adventurers let him out of his vault.”

“Ah reckon he’s still mad.”

“Ah reckon so.”

“Can Ah ask ye somethin’?”

“Aye, got naught else ta do.”

“What in th’ blazes are ye feedin’ th’ bear? If he farts like that again, Ah’ll not be responsible fer me actions.”

“Reckon it were a scorpion. He’s been crunchin’ somethin’ every time Ah turned around since we’ve been in Uldum.”

“Makes sense.”


“Ah donnae reckon th’ Tol’vir will know about how to turn Magni back from stone, ye know. They got turned thousands o’ years ago and ain’t inquisitive like th’ mechagnomes and Earthen were. They’re farmers.”

“Aye. No’ sure what else ta do, though.”

“Twilight’s Hammer might know. Good luck gettin’ them to talk.”

“Worth a try, though, if we e’er get out o’ here.”

“Ye can go, Ringo. Ah miss our wee one. Ah’ll head back ta Stormwind and th’ District. It’s nice now, what with the portals an’ auction house and the new inn and all.”

“Seems like everyone’s there nowadays.”

“Aye … oh, fer cryin’ out loud, how can he still be fartin’ after all this time without more scorpions?”



The Temple of Uldum

Ringo and Beli Flinthammer landed with heavy thumps and blinked at the seemingly bright sunlight as the Schnotzzis jerked the hoods off their heads.

“Ye again,” Ringo spat, glaring up at Commander Schnottz. “This is yer last chance, greenie: Cut us loose and we will nae feed yer naughty bits to the bear.”

“You are in a position unzuitable to give orders,” Schnottz drawled, tapping the ash off his cigarette. “And bezides, I vould not vant to miss zis touching reunion.”

He clapped his hands together suddenly.


A door somewhere behind the Flinthammers was flung open and a pair of goblins dragged in a struggling Brann Bronzebeard, who looked at the Flinthammers and seemed to sag a little in the guards’ arms.

“I vill take ze book now,” Schnottz said, grinning at Bronzebeard’s expression.

“W-what b-book?” Ringo stammered.

“You have ze journal in your pocket.”

“Ye idjit! You think a mountaineer would be that stupid? That he would bring me journal all the way back here?”

He paused.

“Ye didnae, did ye?”

There was a long silence.

“Ye didnae bring it, did ye?”

“Well, uh …”

“Ye DID?”

“Look, can we discuss this later?”

“I should have mailed it to a leper gnome!”

“Will ye take it easy?”

“Take it easy? Why do ye think I sent it to a mountaineer in the first place? So it wouldn’t fall into their hands!”

“Ah came here to SAVE ye!”

“Oh, yeah? And who’s gonna come to save ye, MOUNTAINEER?”

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The Flinthammers descend to an Uldum tomb

“Here’s what Ah donnae understand,” Mountaineer Ringo Flinthammer said, as he and his wife moved forward toward the tomb’s dark mouth. “If th’ prince wanted us ta do somethin’ with this book, why no’ send a note along with it? It’s jus’ a bunch o’ barely readable scribbles about some bloody coffer.”

“If he sent it to us, it must be because he wants us ta find it before the Horde does,” his wife, Beli said, waving her torch at the tomb’s mouth and squinting.


“Hurry. Ain’t nothin’ ta be scared of here.”

“That’s what scares me.”

Indeed, the opening of the tomb and the first few rooms were merely dusty, but neither dwarf, nor the massive polar bear trailing them, relaxed any.

“Ringo, why is the floor moving?”

“Gimme yer torch.”

He waved the torch ahead of him, recoiling at what he saw.

“Snakes,” he shuddered. “Why’d it have ta be snakes?”

“Asps,” Beli muttered, “Very dangerous. Ye go first.”

“What? Nay, ye go first!”

“Ye have the torch, ye daft idjit: Wave it at anything that slithers.”

“The whole place is slitherin’!”

“They’re just snakes, Ringo.”

“Ah hate snakes, Beli! Ah hate ’em!”

“Come on! Show a little backbone, will ye?”

Placing her boot on his backside, Beli gave her husband a shove, sending him bouncing down into the darkness, screaming.

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