Wednesday, November 12, 2014


The Worgen stood, arms crossed as he watched the ground below. To those used to his usual attire, he appeared far more armored, having arrived wearing both a helmet and pauldrons, a heavy mace resting on his back. Behind him a few others were going about making their final preparations, having been rushed to pack their needed items. Luckily for them, they were among the damned, meaning that they were free to neglect bringing many things other were not.

                His gaze was rested firmly on the large Orc-ish construct, the portal that usually swirled within it having once been green now having been replaced with one that was a shade of red. He frowned. Despite having heard it multiple times, it didn’t change the fact the fact that there was no way of knowing what was now on the other side of it. The Worgen did his best to not even begin to think of what had become of those who had made use of the Dark Portal before its change and could now be stranded Light knows where.

                A human man stood off to his left and a few steps behind, mouth slightly open as he watched the portal. The Worgen looked toward him, snorting, “Gonna have somethin’ fly in there and nest if you ain’t careful mate.”

                The man blinked, breaking his concentration on the hallway in front of him. Looking to the Worgen he closed his mouth, mumbling “Force of habit,” before resuming seeking out the door. If his attention waivered for too long, it was far too likely that Samuel Dorsey would simply walk on by it while his mind ran onto other things.

                “Right,” the Worgen said, smirking slightly. “Remind me where we’re goin’ again.”

                Dorsey let out a sigh of relief, coming to a stop in front of a thick metal door, happy that he could converse without missing his mark. He raised a fist to pound against the door, someone inside pulling at some bolt, a muffled “It’s unlocked,” being barely heard from behind the door.
                As they entered, the Worgen noted the numerous marks of multiple explosions around the room, which was filled with a number of workbenches and cabinets, their doors flung open to reveal multiple reagents for any number of explosive devices.
                Behind one of the workbenches, purposefully lower than what one might expect, stood a Dwarven woman, her black hair tied back, goggles pulled over her eyes. She didn’t even bother looking up at them as she spoke, hands constantly working at putting more powder into a small shell casing, “Who’s the stiff?”

                The Worgen’s brow slowly inched up, “She talkin’ about you or me?”
                “You,” the Dwarf replied, putting a wick gently in her creation, before placing a cap over it, “Dorsey’s been a good old delivery boy ‘round here a number o’ times. You ain’t, Stiff.”
                Dorsey coughed into his hand, nodding, “Yes. Well. I have nothing to deliver today, Natalia.”
                “Figured as much. Supplies’re gonna be dwindling for as long as this whole thing decides to go on. Got about a hundred requisition orders to fill out and I’m gonna have about ‘alf o’ the materials I do now, and it is gonna be a grand ol’ time, I tell ya.”
                The man shook his head, “I believe you will have to put those requisitions aside, Natalia.” He slowly backed towards the door.
                The Dwarf finally looked up, pulling her goggles off and setting them onto the table. She slowly worked her way towards the human, staring him down, “You implyin’ I’m bein’ cut off, Sammy? That what you’re tellin’ me?”
                He shook his head more and more, “No, no, that is not what I meant, I simply meant that you will not be working here, and thus will not be able to complete the requisitions.”
                “So I’m bein’ sent outta here! One o’ the better folks who don’ mind stayin’ down here, an’ you’re gonna cut me off o’ what I’m supposed to be doin’! Well screw you an’ your damn paperwork, Sammy, I ain’t havin’ it. You can march righ’ back to the folks who gave those orders to you with yer tail between your legs, ‘cause I sure as hell ain’t havin’ it.”
                The Worgen coughed, prompting the Dwarf to turn her attention to him, “An’ who the hell’re you?”
                “Redamous,” the Worgen muttered, “Also the guy you’re bein’ assigned to.”
                She looked back to Dorsey, “’Scuse me?”
                He nodded warily, “You have been assigned to one of the Ebon Blade’s first responders to join those embarking upon the new Dark Portal, as the small squad’s explosives expert.”
                The Dwarf squinted slightly, “So what you’re tellin’ me is you wan’ me goin’ with tha’ fella, through the Dark Portal to nobody-knows-where, an’ help blow stuff up.” Dorsey nodded slowly. She chuckled, turning to look at the Worgen, “Well hell, shoulda started there if tha’ was where it was headed all along.”

                “I’ve been tellin’ ‘im tha’ for ages now,” came a voice from behind him. They both looked towards the female Dwarf, tinkering with a box of explosives who didn’t even bother to raise her gaze to them as she spoke, “But it’s always jus’ a ‘force o’ habit’. Ain’t never been different, doubt it’ll ever be different, ‘til some Nerubian nests in there an’ i’s youngin’s take off ‘is entire lower jaw.”

                Dorsey frowned, rubbing the lower half of his face at the very thought, looking forward once again, this time at the field below, a number of soldiers moving this way and that as they took their positions, waiting for their chance to charge.

                The Worgen followed his gaze, shaking his head, “Feel special?”

                “I suppose,” Dorsey muttered, “But it’s not like we aren’t going to be among numerous others once we’ve a foothold to insert from.”

                “Still gonna get in there an’ get to murder some stuff pretty good ‘fore that, though. Suppose tha’s a nice little start to things,” Redamous mused.

                “I would certainly hope things are to be murdered, else I will feel that my time is being wasted otherwise,” a voice came from between and below them.

                “We’re goin’ to get a what?” Redamous asked, keeping pace behind the human.

                “Weapons master,” was the only reply he got.

                They emerged into an area filled with the sound of numerous hammers hitting anvils, and filled with the smell of multiple kinds of ores filling the air as they slowly worked their way towards becoming useful. Elsewhere runes were being inscribed into weapons and armor, before they were sent off to whoever they were intended for.

                Dorsey’s target was in the back corner of the room. A small workspace had been set up, with a smelter placed directly behind an anvil, which was only a few yards at most away from a Runeforge. It was squared off with various weapons and armor racks, the majority of them empty aside from a few freshly made pieces that were still awaiting their turn. The Worgen immediately noted a stepping stool, it sticking out against the rather large anvil.

                A Gnome slowly made his way up the stepping stool, appearing from behind the anvil, dropping a number of tools for his next piece in front of him. Red was almost certain that he could have fit a number of them into his hand at the same time.

                The Gnome looked up at them after his items had been dropped into their places, his bald head being somewhat illuminated by the glowing embers in the smelter behind him. He pointed towards his left, where they both spied a pile of papers that were likely larger than the person they were addressed to, voice raised, “If you’ve an order form, please deposit it over there in a timely fashion. It will likely be filled within the next,” he stared up, calculating the numbers, “Fifty-two days, seven hours, and thirty five minutes.” After a short pause, he pointed towards another pile of papers, this one working its way up to the height of the human, “If you are filing complaints, please place them over there and allow one to two years for response.”

                The Worgen slowly turned his head to stare down at the human, eyebrow raised yet again, “Really?”

                The Gnome spoke before Dorsey had the chance, “Really what?”

                Red looked back towards the Gnome, “’Pparently you’re the blacksmith for a little excursion.”

                Dorsey coughed into his hand, nodding, “Blacksmith and architect, actually.”

                The Gnome’s eyes slowly went wide as he hopped up on the anvil, striding over it and hopping off it to stand in front of the two, “Well I must say that this is a rather timely change of events then. I do assure you that you would be hard-pressed to find someone better suited for such a job. I am an expert in the realm of metalwork, and have built entire towns on my own.”

                “Those model towns don’t count, Phineas,” Dorsey muttered.

                “I have built entire sections of buildings all on my own, and they scarcely fell down,” the Gnome said, not giving the man time to continue on. Holding up a hand above his head, yet still a ways below the Worgen, the Gnome grinned as best he could, visibly shaking with excitement, “Phineas Stormcrank, at your service.”

                “We can assure you that your time is not going to be wasted, Phineas,” came another voice to their right.  “There will be plenty of uses for your particular skillset, that I am more than certain will only grow in number as our forces settle in.”

                The Gnome looked towards the arriving elf, nodding, “That is for the best, I am certain. We’ve no need of sending me back to the smithery. No need at all.” He began muttering something to himself about geists and their ‘sportery’ as he wandered back behind them.

                Dorsey looked towards the elf, as did the Worgen, raising a hand to greet them, “How nice of you to join us, finally.”

                She took her position to the Worgen’s right, and a few paces behind, hands folding behind her back, “I’ve had a few matters to wrap up before we departed. I am sure you can sympathize.”

                The man nodded, “I suppose I can.”
                The elf brought her arm across her chest, saluting the Worgen, “Sir.”

                The Worgen returned the gesture, though with far less of an official feeling. The elf’s motion was obviously well practiced. Whether due to a life of service, or simply being trained for it in death, he couldn’t say. Her back was as stiff and straight as could be managed, her purple hair cut short, and her armor almost spotless.

                “Lastly, our translator as well as second-in-command, Gwendolyn Mourningstar,” Dorsey said, half-heartedly.

                Something appeared to amuse her, though she was tightlipped on just what it was.

                “Redamous,” the Worgen muttered, stepping to the side slightly to observe the two.

                The elf turned towards him, “I am well aware, sir. I always make sure to do my reading for assignments. I do hope that we are not taking too much of your time from the 1113th. It would be horrible for us to do so.”

                “Suppose that depends on how long this is gonna take.”

                She nodded, “Then I suppose we will have to find out, and do our best to reduce the amount of time the operation requires of you then.” She turned back towards the other man, feigning concern, “Are you feeling well, Samuel?”

                He nodded in return, arms crossing. For the first time, the Worgen thought he actually looked displeased. “Perfectly fine, miss Mourningstar.”

                The elf shook her head, “Something is obviously disturbing you. Please, we shall not judge you for anything regarding such.”

                “Then you’ll forgive me for wondering why there needs to be a second for a group of four people,” he said flatly.

                “There must always be a chain of command to follow, and considering the place we are going to, and our lack of knowledge regarding it, we very well may need it,” she said, no show of concern over the fact that the person should would have been replacing in such a situation was standing all of a few feet away from her. “Besides. It is a five-person expedition.”

                He frowned, almost looking panicked at that. There was no fifth person mentioned in the paperwork. Someone had been missed, and there was a chance his hide would be had for it. His look of worry only amused her more. She took a few moments to let it sink in, before saying, “You are to accompany us. I was sent the information regarding such this morning. I’m sure your schedule will easily free up for such, considering.”

                “Orders?” Dorsey asked, finally looking away from the commotion below them.

                The Worgen took in a breath, pulling out a small pocket watch to glance at, “Looks like we got some time ‘fore things get set in motion. So I guess we best get to waitin’.”

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