Time Between Wars. Edit
It was a clear day in Sholazar Basin and Sprock Sprocketwhistle the Second, a gnome of great reputation, was circling over the area in his flying machine.
He saw ahead of him a clearing in jungle. In it was the avalance, still covering the mountain pass to Icecrown Glacier.
He decided to lose altitude to observe the few ghouls who remained there, most of them were imobile like sculptures, a few wandered back and forth, utterly aimless and as passive as sheep since the Lich King's defeat.
sprocketwhistle, like many of his kin suffered from incurable curiosity. His flying machine was now on the ground, he only hoped the flat snow mound he had landed on would hold up.
He adjusted his goggles and gloves and slid down the mound to approach the creatures, he had heard they were harmless now but he had encountered ghouls before and knew how hungry for flesh they could be.
He was only armed with his Zapper-Charger 6000, a invention that had been planned as a tool to quickfix gyrowires but was now almost as notorious of a weapon as the Death Ray. He had not planned to go so near the creatures hence he had brought no other weapons, the Zapper-Charger 6000 would do fine anyway, either it would send a burning jolt from ghoul to ghoul until none was left or expode in his hands, granting him a quicker, less painful death than then ghoul's greedy claws would.
Sprock was now walking among the undead, none of them seemed to even notice him. He strode upwards. After a while he was starting to regret this little field trip, The ghouls were all the same, horrificly deformed corpses and there was no sign of some sort of technology being used to drive these creatures.
He looked around, below him was the basin and above were the looming ever-dark skies of Icecrown Glacier. He now noticed a handful of ghouls that seemed to be gathering over something in the snow, this different behaviour roused his interest again so he strode towards the group.
Sprock was now able to see what all the commotion was about, something, no, Someone was lying in the snow and that someone might still be alive.
He sprung into action, charging up his futuristic weapon and shouting at the ghouls to back off.
Surprisingly they did.
"I think he's waking up" said a gentle female voice.
Wladhimyr Anvilheart opened his eyes, surprised to find himself still among the living. He was lying in a small tent, next to him stood a human female, telling him to stay put as she offered him a drink.
He accepted the mug and emptied it in one go, like thirsty dwarves are expected to. A blue haired gnome entered the tent, took a small bow and introduced himself as sprock sprocketwhistle the Second.
Mr. Sprock explained how he had found and hauled Wlad to the flying machine, after the effort of removing his heavy plate armor with the help of his trusty Gnomish Army Knife.
The dwarf thanked his rescuer, not only for his life but also for having the sense to retrieve his hammer instead of leaving it to be lost with the armor, it was a treasured family heirloom.
Wladhimyr was back on his feet that very evening (ignoring the camp doctor's orders). The lush jungle was a pleasant change of scenery from Icecrown.
He swung his hammer above his head, it felt a little heavier than usual, he wondered if it was just the ordeal or if the Light, that had always enhanced his strenght, had truly stopped answering.
He swung it again, with more vigor. The heavy weapon would usually give a faint glow during such attacks but he neither saw or felt anything, it appeared the divine Light had truly severed him from itself.
Sorrow almost owerwhelmed him. "Why?" he asked himself, "I've broken none of my sacred vows, what does this mean?"
He had lost his tome, armor, seal and his connection to the Light. He looked down at his feet in shame and anger but from the corner of his eye he saw the hammer in his hands, it had the mark of Ironforge carved in the hilt, "Home" he thought. "I need to get home, regain my senses, rest ... perhaps it will put things right."
Wlad decided to return to Dun Morogh as soon as possible. Just before his departure, one of the dwarves at the camp that had given him some clothes came to him with another gift.
"'ere ye go lad, a farewell present from all of us, since ye don't 'ave any armor on, ye might want to use this tae keep a lil' distance between yerself an' any creep that ye might come across on yer way to Valiance Keep", said the dwarf and presented Wladhimyr with a large box, whithin it was a weapon many a noble paladin would have frowned upon. A gun.
The musket was obviously old but still in working condition, it's barrel was freshly polished and it shined like a ceremonial sword. Wladhimyr had not handled a gun since he was a beardling. To admit that he was not sure how to use would force the other dwarf to mock him so he ended up accepting the gift with hopes of not having to use it.
The ride to Valiance Keep was eventless and so were the weeks at sea. Wladhimyr payed his fare by shoveling coal and unlike the humans that shared the task with him he could stay at the job for hours, it was not so different from stading in the great forge and he enjoyed the workout, it did not only distract him from his worries but it also returned his lost strenght.
Once in Stormwind he hurried to the dwarven district. If there was someone that could cheer him up now it was his horse, Elton. He came to an empty stable. (well, there were a couple of rams in it but no horse) He knocked at the door, the sign on it still said Stoneshield so his relatives had not moved, perhaps Elton had been allowed out to some grassy field.
Wladhimyr's great-aunt opened the door and as first she acted like a Dark Iron was standing on her doorstep. For Wlad was still covered in soot and appearently no-one had expected his return. The Stoneshield household decided to throw him a welcoming party and Wlad was to go and take a long bath with his pipe, a pint of ale and enjoy himself, which he did.
After dinner he asked if he could see Elton, His great-uncle exchanged looks with his two sons befor saying "Sure, 'e's out in tha stables"
"Strange", Said Wlad, "I did nae see 'im when I checked earlier."
As soon as he said that he noticed his cousins looking at each other awkwardly, he stormed outside and into the stables to see a unfamiliar white steed. His cousins came running after him.
"Pa told ye 'e be there", said the younger one.
"That is nae my 'orse... Where is Elton?" demanded Wladhimyr.
"What do ya mean, tha..." continiued the younger one before being struck on the shoulder by his older brother, "Oh stop this, it won't work... Wlad, When ye did not return along with tha rest of tha Army, Pa was sure ye 'ad perished ... The blacksmith business ain't been doin' so well an' a 'orse like that was quite exspensive in upkeep so... ya kno'..." explaned the older brother.
"So 'e sold it? To who? I am sure we can correct this, I'm ready to buy 'im back. nae problem", said Wlad but his cousins just shook their heads.
"Pa sold 'im to tha glue factory, we're so sorry, Cousin."
Wladhimyr was struck with grief and walked away, a month would pass before he was able to speak a word to his great-uncle again.
He now appeared to be quite broken, his life had forever changed and he was confused, he had nothing to do. Almost every day he made his way to the Golden Keg until one night two soldiers sat sharing a drink in the memory of a fallen comrade. one of them stood up and raised a glass towards an empty chair.
"Those damn Orcs! I said it was just a matter of time before they would be back at their old game! The blackbloods won't stop until this world is theirs, and with good ol' Wallard gone they are a step closer... Our trio may be down to two but we shall avange him a thousand times over!"
Those words made Wladhimyr remember the oath he took a long time ago, an oath he swore way before taking up the path of a paladin. Those oaths were now broken but the first one still stood.
He now knew what to do.