(Just a quick note here – my good friend, Siasha, decided that she wanted to join in the fun and put some of her work out for others to read. It’s written in what I’d call “stream of gnome-consciousness,” and I hope you all find this as hilariously funny as I did; she’s got a way with words. – Pix )
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I really really really…really don’t like boats. They float, sort of. My mother’s third cousin, Archimedes Waterbobble once tried to explain to me why exactly a boat is able to float and he rattled on about buoyancy and displacement until one of my little brothers set his eyebrows on fire. Kinda lost his train of thought. All I really got out of it is that boats don’t sink because they hold the water out.
I learned something interesting today. Elekks don’t like boats any more than I do. And they don’t like hawkstriders either. Which is ok because the feeling is mutual. It isn’t ok when I’m trying to walk between two of them trying to bite chunks out of each other on a smelly, rocking boat in order to get to my gear which I left on my riding harness.
Which is why I’m sitting on top of my saddle packs trying to write in my journal instead of taking it back up to the deck where the light is better. I don’t want to go near either of those creatures. I hope the raptor tied next to them has them both for lunch.
I may have to rewrite this later to make it more legible, it’s rather difficult to work around the swaying of the boat and the ink bottle keeps trying to tip over. My cousin, Arnest Inkyfingers, says he’s got a quill that keeps the ink on the inside and won’t spill… I’ll have to see if I can bribe him with a nice new cloak to send me one.
King Wrynn (You know, I’m not sure that man is right in the head. He’s got that crazy look in his eyes I’ve seen on certain feral druids…) patched up this boat pretty decently. At least it doesn’t seem to be leaking, which is good since I remember the water needs to stay on the outside to keep the boat floating. After defending the harbor last week from the scourge attack, he pressed every engineer in the city into service in order to get these boats sea-worthy again. Pacificus was working on the other boat… I’d feel better if I’d been assigned to that one but, oh well. I know the sails on this one will make it even if the boat itself sinks. Myself and two other tailors mended all the holes put in by a misaimed ballista. (Drunken dwarves shouldn’t be allowed to work heavy machinery in battle.) It’s too bad they wouldn’t let me put a little embroidery around the edges. I think it would have made the boat prettier.
Early yesterday morning, His Majesty marched his army on board and then packed every adventurer he could wrangle with tales of glory, honor and the greater good… into whatever corners were left over. The rest of us he had to cough up some cold hard cash to get onto these floating barges. So here we are packed in like fish in a barrel after the Booty Bay Fishing Extravaganza.
All of us. Our packs, our weapons and supplies and, Makers grant us patience… all our assorted mounts.
Now, my mechanostrider, that my daddy gave me for my birthday 4 years ago (It’s yellow with pretty little pinstripes – My brother did those, he’s very talented.) doesn’t do well in salt air or in the cold so I left it at home and brought my kodo instead. Yes, I’m a gnome. Yes, I have a kodo. No, it won’t step on me. Different story.
Perhaps bringing Thudder was not the best of choices, he doesn’t like those cats the Night Elves ride. They keep eyeing him and licking their chops. It makes him nervous.
I think he stepped on one of the Hawkstriders, it’s limping. But the Blood Elf that owns it thinks Thudder belongs to one of those large, rabid-looking Tauren warriors, so it’s not really a problem at all.
After some careful consideration, I believe that if I were to do that trip over, I think I’d just bring my Dreadsteed. Nothing would think he’s tasty, I wouldn’t need to worry about feeding him, and his residual heat would have warded off some of the chill from the icy water coming off the front of the boat. Then again, he might have accidentally set the boat on fire and then where would we be? And, in the end, when we landed on the docks at Valiance Keep, I was pretty thankful for Thudder after all. That mass of people all getting off the boat at once was almost the death of me. I felt much safer once I was able to get back up on Thudder’s broad back, let me tell you!
But, before they would let us off the boat we had to listen to the usual long litany of cautions… how to prevent frostbite, shark infested waters, don’t kill potential allies, don’t track penguin poop in the keep… yada yada yada… very boring.
I really didn’t hear half of it. There was this uppity rogue and I was busy tying his shoelaces together. Some of the nice sailors taught me a couple good, solid knots and I needed to practice. But then again, I don’t think anyone else was listening either. They were either nervously eyeing the icebergs floating nearby or they were goggling at the penguins. Cute little birds. I’ll have to see about catching one and taming it as a pet later on. Unless they’re good to eat of course…
Nice place, the Keep. Standard human architecture. We keep telling them they need to make the steps shorter and put in some nice, motorized kitchen lifts to the upper floors…. I know someone who’s been trying to petition Lord Bolvar Fordragon to hear his plans on indoor plumbing…he’s been waiting to hear back.
Oh! That reminds me that I need to send a letter to Wocket and tell him that I think I’ve figured out a waterproofing material for the parachute on his drag racer that is more fire resistant than the last one I made.
Anyway, I was sitting down with the local Dwarf cook, discussing this stew recipe that he had concocted using the local ingredients. We were arguing over which spices would bring out the right flavors when it happened… That bastion of light and propriety, Pacificus (Lovely paladin; knows how to swear in 8 languages and can send just about anyone into a towering rage in seconds. Very useful in bar fights.) finds me and asks me to do her a “favor”.
A favor. Makers preserve us, a favor that sends me out on another series of boats… (If you can call a turtle with a hut strapped to its back, chasing a carrot on a stick through the water a boat) all the way out to the other side of this green-forsaken continent.
Odd thing, everyone’s been complaining about the cold. It’s not cold. Loch Modan gets cold like this every winter. Especially in the higher peaks. Personally I think if those girls would put a little more armor on and show a lot less skin, they’d find themselves a great deal warmer. But that’s the price of fashion I suppose. They do insist on trusting to magic for their armoring instead of good, solid steel and adamantite. But I’ve already ranted on enough about those scanty little succubus wanna-bes in my other three journals.
It’s not the weather, you know, that makes people shiver here. It’s not the wind blowing off the ice-crusted waves or the feeble sunlight seeping down through the overcast sky. It’s Him. It’s the stench of his taint coming down out of the mountains that chills you all the way down to the center of your bones, makes the air burn in your lungs and makes everything taste slightly like decay. (Which is why I was discussing spices in the first place.)
Another chance to write in my journal.
Here I am riding on a turtle. Excuse me… boat. At least this one doesn’t rock in the waves like those Alliance Icebreakers do. Makes it a bit easier to write. Sensible me, I left Thudder in the warm stable back at the keep. I’ll summon Fireblaster when I need him. (Don’t laugh. My niece named him and she fed him something… I don’t know what. Whatever it was, I think it was sticky. But it’s rather irrelevant now and he won’t answer to anything else, so I’m stuck with it.)
Pac declined to accompany me, as she had been requested to go on a mission. Something that involved killing invading zombies for some locals, which left me alone on this “boat” ride with only my felhound to keep me company.
He’s good company, actually. His coarse fur is warm and at least he doesn’t complain and whine incessantly like that stupid succubus does. I gave him one of my soulshards to chew on. Gnawing on that will keep him happy for hours. I think he likes the little screechy scream it gives out when his teeth grate against the sides. In any case, that one is his now. Felslobber is not something I want to try cleaning off.
Sigh. I wonder if it’s going to be hard to find Lelissa when I get to Howling Fjord. What’s a fjord anyhow and why does it howl? I suppose I’ll find out in a few more hours.
So, after all of the trials and tribulations to get to here in the first place… I landed in Kamagua and found out it’s the wrong place.
The Tuskarr here are very nice. Smell like fish all the time, but very nice. They gave me directions to get from their little fishing village, where the turtle docked, to the mainland and how to find the place where the humans were building some fortress. Westguard Keep.
Captain Adams is a fine dwarf. A bit stuffy, but they all are. He’s got a nice beard, at least. He was kind enough to provide me with a map and directions on how to get from the new Westguard Keep, to Valgarde, where the icebreaker docks when it comes over from Menethil Harbor. (Apparently the harbor at Kamagua is too shallow for the big alliance boats. I ought to send them my uncle’s dissertation on harbor maintenance and mechanized dredging processes.)
On this lovely journey across the fjords…oh, I found out what a fjord is. It’s a long, narrow inlet of water with steep sides that was carved by glacial activity. Rather interesting but still a funny name. There are a lot of bridges around here. I finally found Valgarde. Saw the smoke and after searching a bit, found a trail that let me down into the valley. I had to fight my way past some of the biggest, stinkiest worgs I’ve ever seen. They were attacking the alliance port. I killed a few of these strange Vrykul giants who seemed to object to me turning their dogs into barbecue. The first time I saw one of them, I thought that they were pretty tall… taller than Lelissa even. After I’d killed enough of them to make the others wary of approaching Bruzzhum and me without substantial reinforcements, I let him play with one of their decapitated heads while I checked out a couple of the corpses. Scientific research, of course. I pulled out my pocket multi-dynamic folding exact-o-matic measuring device and took multiple readings.
Yep, they’re taller.
Once I actually got to Valgarde and past the harried-looking guards, I spent the next two hours working my way through the governmental red tape that humans seem to adore. Normally, I would indulge them and let them play their games since they’re so fond of them, but I was in a bit of a hurry. So, after what I thought was a reasonable enough time not to be rude, I bribed a clerk to just look quick and see if any Draenei warriors of her description had debarked recently. She had. Earlier in the day in fact. It seems my timing was as good as usual. Another small bribe and a promise to see if I could get him one of Arnest’s self-contained multi-dynamic spill proof ink quills provided the information of her current whereabouts.
Having dinner with the Admiral. It figured.
Finally, I find the silly woman and hand her the tiny little envelope that I’d hauled my petite little arse across the entire continent to give to her. You’d think she’d be excited to see me. You’d think she’d appreciate the effort I’d gone to.You’d think she’d at least say “Thank you, Siasha.” But no. The bubble-head just stood there with the letter in her hand giving me a blank stare like the one Charlie gave me the other day when I told him he’d have to go out and find his own oil for greasing his collywobble machines because I was heading off to Northrend.
“A what?” she says. A what… well what in the world did she think it was? “It’s a letter! You know, the things where people write down what they want to say to you when you’re not around and then they sucker some poor schmuck like me into delivering it by hand like there isn’t a mailbox in every city that the alliance has. Like there isn’t a postal service that gets paid to deliver these things! Unlike me…
I stood there, giving her my very best meaningful glare and the glowy-eyed squidcow just stood there like a post.
“I am sorry… I do not understand this word… what is ‘schmuck’?”
For the love of little goldenbark apples… almost, I exploded right then and there. Fortunately, the utter confusion on her face brought me to my senses.
That and the fact that I really didn’t want to spend the time to explain it to her. “Never mind. Just open it and read it.”
Oops, I smell my dinner burning. I’ll have to finish this tomorrow. Unlike SOME people, I didn’t get invited to dine with the local military brass. Oh well. Chairs are too tall for me anyhow. Very inconsiderate. I’ll have to invent them some better ones.