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Old friends at the Loch

Darlain's picture

The cobblestones of the road clicked against the talons of the Dwarf’s hawkstrider, maintaining a living pulse as she maintained a steady pace down the maintain trail. She had traveled it many times, the dislodged stones and the patches of grass that managed to worm their way up through the road served as familiar landmarks. She smiled as she traveled the around the last curve of the trail, marked with the sight of the Mountain Kings, their stone hewed faces belaying a sense of pride, as hammer and axe were lifted to the heavens, a relic of a time when the clans were one, a kingdom large enough to rival that of the humans. Though the times had changed and the people with them, the Sentinals of stone were ever present, welcoming travelers to the lands beyond, proudly displaying the strength of her people. She drove the strider on, between the massive structures, and the road opened up to the hilly basin before her.

 Rolling grey clouds sprawled across the horizon, a flash of light and the distant crackling of thunder proved the motivation for the dwarf to give her companion a sharp kick, the bird responding with a fast paced canter, the rains of the summer months were unpredictable, what looked to be a pleasant drizzle could be driven by harsh mountain winds, difficult conditions to be traveling in. Soon enough, she saw the familiar sight of the Grand Brewery Keg poking up above the small, river carved canyon. She was back, back to the town that saw her age from girl to woman.

 The town had changed little in all these years, a few new homes dotted the nearby hillside, the newest of them taking on the less earthy Wildhammer makes, preferring the stone made styles of Ironforge, only natural, of course, with the Wildhammer retreating from alliance service, returning to their homes to the Eastern Highlands. She had heard tale that her mother had remarried and traveled with the caravans after her departure, which she viewed as more a blessing than anything else.

 The usual familiar faces greeted her as she passed by, Mountaineer Langarr, who was now getting a bit on the old side, his once prideful jet black beard dulling in color. She offered him her own smile as she hopped off her mount, giving it a swat on the haunch, the well trained bird then ran off back up the road to forage for food. She exchanged the usual pleasantries with Langarr, updating the old timer with talk of her family and travels, politely listening to his own. Poor thing lost one of his sons to the spiders this season.

 Soon enough they had traveled to the Grand Brewery where the usual afternoon crowd had settled to drink away the incoming rainstorm. She knew most of them, they’d all been colleagues of her father, and soon she had found herself purchasing a round of proudmug ale in honor of her father. She sat and listened to tales of the old days, tales of hijinx with her father and how many had remembered her as a wee lass of fifteen. The hearthstones in particular had a lot of tales, they had been rather close to the family, and it warmed her heart to see them still together, still living their dream every day.

 After a decent amount of time, and admittedly more ale than she should have drunk, she gave the patrons her thanks, making her way out of the Brewery and smiling as the scent of rain filled her nostrils, she stepped outside just as the first few droplets of rain landed on her brow, the skies wasting no time in letting loose a pleasant drizzle of rain. While other dwarves out on the streets rushed about, hurrying to their homes for shelter, giving excited shrieks, she simply walked down the road, enjoying the feel of the droplets against her skin. She walked the path north through town, the cobblestones soon becoming scarcer and scarcer until they completely gave way to the grassy earthen path, leading down to the lakeside. Few travelers would know the location of the Deepwater household, nestled into the hillside, right on the water’s edge. She smiled at the couple, exchanging pleasantries as Warg gathered up the two fishing poles, and the bait bucket. He’d made a pretty penny as a fishing guide in his day, yet these days he took to boating less at the insistence of the wife, after all he couldn’t swim if his life depended on it.  “Ya sure yer friend is coming?” he said in a gruff voice. “Aint many come down tae fish when it’s rainin’ like this.”  She simply smiled and nodded, “She’ll be late most likely, jus’ set up the rain gear fer me while I wait.”

 After a bit of gabbing with Khara while Warg set up the rain tarp, she found herself enjoying the winds of the summer storm casting an unbaited line out to the waters of the loch, an empty chair and unbaited fishing pole beside her. She smiled as she looked out onto the waters, content with the fact that they would always be there, one of the few constants in her life, the peaceful waters stretching out as far as she could see.  It brought back warm memories, her father and her, fishing for hours and hours together, not a care in the world. As she sat back, her gaze lifted to the eastern horizon and she caught a glimpse of a silhouette in the sky. She smiled, getting out her timepiece and chuckling to herself, noting the two hours that had passed the designated time in the note. The figure grew larger, taking on the distinct shape of a gryphon and rider who soon  pitched down sharply, landing on the nearby dock.

 The gryphon was good stock, she noticed, adorned with a feathered crown to match the one worn by her rider. The rider had fiery red hair that hung down behind her in a single long braid, her face was marked with blue tattoos, some she recognized as the markings of a gryphonmaster, the others unfamiliar, unlike any she’d seen before. The rider approached, a rather large grin on her face. “By Kurdran’s brass balls Darlain, them ‘ill dwarves ‘ave made ya all soft and fleshy these last six years,” The rider said in a thick Wildhammer accent.

 Darlain sighed, but soon grinned broadly and embraced her oldest friend. “Shut up and lets get tae fishin, Silda."