WoW: Call Me Inktomi - Part Two
Call me Inktomi – part two
By Julie Whitefeather
The Story so far:
A young goblin, having been shanghaied off the streets of Steamwheedle Port finds herself chained to the oar of a slaver ship belonging to Martoc, a rather large and dangerous orc of the Blackrock clan. But as she relates, her story does not begin there – rather it begins with a dwarf.
Call me Inktomi - part two Stranger in a hot land…
But my story does not begin with a goblin, nor does it begin chained to the deck of a slave ship. Oddly enough, it begins with a dwarf - a particular dwarf named Brighde Blackwolf…
“Reet! So that’s ‘ow it was then?” said the dwarf slamming her mug of dark ale on the wooden table, splattering suds on the table and floor in the process.
“Aye,” said the second dwarf as, mug of ale in hand, she attempted to tip it’s contents into a mouth that was already swaying along with the rest of her body - she missed – entirely.
The fact that any dwarf would spill even a drop of good dwarven brew perhaps told of the stage of inebriation of the bearer of the mug. Despite that what she was drinking was, in fact, not good dwarven ale, nor anything like it, Brighde was determined not to waste any of the brew...even if it had spilled all over the table, the floor,and her armor. Brighde managed to get the brew just about everywhere except in her mouth. The dwarf wiped the suds off the front of her leather vest with her hand, followed by her mouth with the back of her sleeve. Indeed, to see any dwarf even attempting to be cautious with goblin brew told of the hard times upon which Brighde had fallen - and the hard floor upon which she was about to fall.
“Aye, said Brighde, successfully downing the remaining contents of her mug. She slammed the empty mug on the table with a nod that was so violent that her twin red braids slapped on the back of her steel armor, That’s ‘ow the tale come down tae me from me mother’s, mother’s, mother...”
A somewhat puzzled look crossed the face of the first dwarf as if she were trying to remember if she had locked the door to her house. She muttered a bit to herself - counting out the “mothers” on fingers which where very lithe for a human let alone a dwarf.
“...yer mother’s, mother’s...then turning to her old friend Brighde she said loudly, YER GREAT GRANDMOTHER!”
“Reet,” said Brighde taking another long draft of ale, “so ye knew ‘er then did ye?”
“Nooo,” came the reply, “I kin count is all - unlike some o’ the rest o’ us.”
“I kin’ count as well,” said Brighde in mock earnesty,”...I kin’ count the two o’ ye sittin’ across from me!” With that she laughed hardily and tried to take another long gulp of her ale – only to find the mug empty.
“So tell me Brighde, said the first dwarf, jus’ what is it that yer father was doin’ havin’ dealins with the Dark Iron Dwarves in the first place; him bein’ the father of a fine upstandin’ paladin such as yerself?”
“I kin’ tell ye that was a fact that he was no proud of in the first place.”
“Dealin’ with the Dark Irons?”
“Nooo, said Brighde, her speech now slurred than before, ‘avin’ a paladin fer a daughter. He was dead set agin it from the first.”
“Let me guess - ‘e asked ye ‘ow ye would ever ‘ave any children an’ yer mother cried fer half an hour?”
“O’ so ye heard already did ye?” asked Brighde.
“Noo. I ‘ad the same conversation wi’ me mum an’ da’ meself. ‘Lara’ ‘‘e says tae me one day, ‘ow will ye e’er have any wee bairns if ye keep up wi’ this life o’ yourin?’”
“What did ye tell ‘im?” asked Brighde, now barely able to hold herself upright in the chair.
“What could I say?” said Lara, “I offered tae steal ‘im a few.”
With this both Brighde and Lara laughed loud and long, both dwarves barely able to catch their breath. Finally the laughter settled down to a chuckle. Brighde ordered another round of the swill the goblin proprietor of the Crooked Keel Tavern passed off as ale. Both women sat drinking their ale in silence, just enjoying each others company; for that is what is said to be the measure of a true friendship - when silence can pass between two friends and not be uncomfortable.
The sound of the waves against the shore served as a background to the more present sound of laughter and clinking of glasses that was the sign of the stock and trade of every good tavern. In this case, it was not the sign of a very good tavern. It was the sign of being the ONLY tavern in the port town that was so far removed from civilization that Brighde described it as being located “out where God lost his shorts“. The air smelled of a mixture of hops, salt water and a slight odor of sweaty fur was ever present in towns such as these. It was a neutral port and the goblins that controlled the town kept it that way.
“Well I am glad tae see me ol’ friend, nae matter how sad the circumstances” said Lara finally breaking the silence.
“Well it’ll be good tae get back,” Brighde answered, “it has been a long time.”
“It is jus’ a shame that it took the death o’ yer mother fer the Thane tae bring ye ‘ome finally.”
There was a long silence. Then Lara spoke again, this time in a hushed tone so no one else around her could overhear the conversation.
“So jus’ what WAS yer father doin’ messin’ around wi’ the Dark Irons?”
Leaning in Brighde also spoke in an undertone, “Well it was the bloody Thane what sent da’ all that way out ‘ere in the first place...the right bloody bustard tha’ ‘e is.”
“Shh-shh-shh,” hissed Lara sounding somewhat like a drunken asthmatic snake, “Don’t let anyone ‘ear ye say somethin’ like that. Ye’are not the only dwarf in th’ pub…”
“Well the Thane ‘as that comin’ n’ a lot more I kin tell ye’ He be the whole reason tha’ dad is dead in the first place...” said Brighde her voice raising, then trailing off a bit as she noticed some of the other patrons of the Crooked Keel Tavern glancing in their direction
“I’LL SPEAK ABOOT ME COUSIN ANY WAY I PLEASE!!” the drunken dwarf yelled and slammed her mug on the table – and in the process spilling most of it’s contents either on table, floor or her companion Lara.
Lara set enough gold on the table to cover both the drinks and the damage and pulled her friend over to the door of the Crooked Keel Tavern.
“Not,” she said, pushing Brighde through the door of the tavern, “when your cousin is also the Bronzebeard family.”
“BAH!” roared Brighde, stumbling away from the tavern and just narrowly missing a headlong tumble off the docks that fronted the tavern. She stopped, steadying herself with one hand on a nearby wall and turned back to Lara…
“Who cares aboot the Bronzebeards? Ye air nothin’ but a cowaird, she said to her friend with a look that was originally meant to be a look of distain but came out looking more like someone who was trying to figure out why a multi-legged creature was crawling up her arm. The look on Brighde’s face rapidly changed from mock distain to shock as her friend whisked her off her feet and into a nearby darkened corner.
“I CARE about the Bronzebears that’s who,” said Lara.
Now she had Brighde by the color of her hauberk. Lara lowered her voice in a whispered threat just next to Brighde’s ear.
“I’ll thankee not tae speak about me king and ‘is family like that. And do NOT mistake the fact that we are childhood friends fer me willingness tae be called a coward be ye’ or anyone else. Do ye remember what happened th’ last time ye said that?”
Brighde rubbed the back of her neck where a scar still hurt her when it rained.
“Ye snuck up behind me, said Brighde in a level voice. Ye’ would never beat me in a stand up fight”
“A large smile ran across Lara’s face. Of course I would nae beat ye’ in a stand up fight. Why else would I sneak up behind ye?”
“Because yer’ a thief?”
“Well, there is that as well, said Lara patting her old friend on the back. Come lets be off tae yer room…such as it is. We need tae get ye ready fer the long trip back tae Ironforge. Ye nae want tae be late fer your mother’s funeral.”
“I kin nae believe she’s gone,” slurred Brighde through tears. “After all these years…God rest Mothairs dear soul.”
Brighde started off down the narrow dirt path that passed for a sidewalk and started to stumble. Lara steadied her friend and supported her under one arm.
Brighde turned to her childhood friend, and sniffed back her runny nose. The tears flowed silently and Brighde smiled a bit.
“It’s nae true what they said aboot ‘er ye’ know”
“What be that?” asked Lara
“That she drown’ in a vat of ale…” started Brighde
“…and she fought ‘em off three times afore she finally drown” they both finished at the same time. The both women roared with laughter.
“Come on’ let me help you home, or ye’ will end up fallin’ into the bay fer sure fer sure.”