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Category: 13. The Shattering



The Temple of Uldum

Brann Bronzebeard peered at the Temple of Uldum and scowled.

“Schnotzzis,” he growled, lowering his spyglass. “I hate these guys.”

“Vat a pity,” a voice came from behind him.

Brann whirled to find himself surrounded by soldiers, each of whom had their rifle pointed at the dwarf. The soldiers’ ranks parted and a goblin dressed in black stepped forward, looking Brann up and down.

“You and I are vedy much alike,” Commander Schnottz drawled, blowing cigarette smoke from his cavernous nostrils. “Archeology iz our religion, yet ve have both fallen from ze pure faith; our methods have not differed as much as you pretend. I am but a shadowy reflection ov you: It vould take only a nudge to make you like me, to push you out ov ze light.”

“Now ye’re getting nasty,” Brann snarled, backing toward the cliff.

“How odd that it should end zis vay for us after zo many stimulating encounters. I almost regret it. Vere shall I vind a new adversary zo close to my own level?”

“Try the local sewer.”

Schnotzz’s soldiers raised their rifles at this affront before the goblin waved for them to hold fire.

“Your notes on ze Coffer of Promise,” he said, holding out a black-gloved hand. “Now.”

The prince of Ironforge shrugged, and smiled.

“I donnae have them any more.”

Schnottzz stared up at Brann a moment, sucking on his cigarette before barking a laugh.

“It’s pervectly obvious vere ze diary is. You’ve sent it to zat mountaineer and his vife. Our scouts saw zem arrive zrough ze portal vrom Stormvind.”

The goblin nodded, rubbing his hands together gleefully.

“He sticks out like a zore thumb. Ve’ll find him.”

“The hell ye will,” Brann growled. “Flinthammer’s got a two day head start on ye, which is more than he needs. Ringo’s got friends in every town and village from here to Everlook. He speaks Dwarvish, Common and all the dirty words in Gnomish. He knows every local custom. He’ll blend in, disappear. Ye’ll never see him again. With any luck, he’s got the coffer already.”

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Portal overload

Portal overload

Ringo looks into a portal leading to Uldum

“Well, Ah reckon this is better than another long sea voyage,” Mountaineer Ringo Flinthammer told his wife and bear. “Remember the Ahn’Qiraj war?”

Beli Flinthammer groaned.

“Spend all that time at sea cold, miserable and pukin’ and they punish ye by droppin’ ye off in Kalimdor after.”

“Still, ‘s weird havin’ all these portals in Stormwind. ‘s like we’re bein’ stalked by Dalaran or somethin’.”

“DON’T USE THEM!” squawked a nearby human. “The Earthen Ring is attempting to hijack a franchise exclusively guaranteed to Stormwind’s mages …”

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A gift of adoration

A gift of adoration

A draenei paladin outside the Golden Keg

It turned out the Earthen Ring had created a stable portal leading back to Stormwind in the Temple of Earth. Frankly, Ringo Flinthammer thought this just smacked of the shaman showing off, and was indicative of a lack of taste in their choice of destination. Still, it meant that their rams could graze on the green grass of the pasture just outside the gates of the rebuilt Dwarven District, and Ringo had reunited with Rusty.

“The new place has a better menu,” Beli Flinthammer said. The pair had just eaten dinner at the Golden Keg, the bar which had replaced the Bar with No Name, which Deathwing had destroyed in his attack on the city, “But it’s hip-deep in bloody elves and squid.”

“They’re all over the District now,” Ringo nodded grimly.

“Ah couldnae help but notice,” Beli said, her tone taking on a studied nonchalance, “Somethin’ else was all over the District as well.”

“Them wee paper hearts? Pfft, just another ‘holiday’ invented by goblins, Ah reckon.”

“Of course it was!” a voice piped.

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King of the Mountain

King of the Mountain

Stonefather Oremantle

“You have my undying gratitude, and that of my people, Mountaineer Flinthammer,” rumbled Stonefather Oremantle, leader of the Earthen of Deepholm, “But while I sympathize with the plight of your king, I cannot help you.”

“What?” Beli Flinthammer snarled, taking a step forward. Only her husband and the shaman Gyorgi Stonekeg prevented her from doing something stupid. “Ye owe us!”

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A time for heroes

A time for heroes

Ringo and Beli riding a rocket together

My Lady Soridormi,

I trust this missive finds you well. As you recall, I was/will be dispatched to Deepholm to investigate reports that our enemies were attempting to take advantage of the damage to the World Pillar wrought by Neltharion’s ascent from the Stonecore and subsequent return to Azeroth.

What our enemies hope/hoped to achieve, I cannot fathom — this may well have been a feint to divert our attention from elsewhere/elsewhen — but in any case, I have/will have reversed the damage they wrought.

Neltharion’s reemergence into Azeroth has brought the presence of the Earthen Ring, the Alliance and the Horde to the Elemental Plane, and it was not difficult to disguise myself as one of the Earthen Ring and direct members of the Alliance and Horde to aid the Earthen population of Stonehearth.

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