I awoke to a strange and startling sight this morning. I had been camped on what I thought was simply a natural depression some distance up a hillside, and had slept relatively well for it, if you disregard the heat of the land. But I woke early to a shuffling sound right next to my head, and then a voice with a thick accent spoke in a whisper. I became alert immediately since that particular accent almost guaranteed combat - though I was admittedly somewhat compromised what with my lack of armour (among other things). In my defence, the heat is stifling, and far from what I'm used to.
I leapt to my feet, reached for the sword a few feet away and prepared myself. Oh, how I cringe thinking back to how I must have looked.
Fortunately (I think), the two ashen-skinned Dwarves who were now looking up at me were grinning somewhat bashfully, and showed that they were unarmed. One of them was good enough to toss me the blanket I had neglected that night and I made myself decent, and then they began to introduce themselves (though I kept relatively guarded throughout).
They were Dark Irons, that much was certain, but they weren't aggressive. They said that they were part of a group called the Thorium Brotherhood, and that they had split away from the other Dark Iron Dwarves some time ago.
They took me and Styric back to their camp, which just so happened to be further up that same hill - not too much further, however. In truth, that natural depression was probably quite visible from there. They then fed me and my horse, but perhaps a little too much. I think both Styric and I shared a moment - neither one of us wanted to continue eating, but with a Dwarf's nature towards food, we didn't know if it would be rude to stop or not. Though I'm sure I just imagined that in Styric's eyes. She is a horse, afterall.
Either way, they soon stopped shovelling food in front of us, and began asking me questions. I had expected that, but I had also expected them to be a little more prying in nature. They actually just seemed generally curious as to why I was there.
I told them that I was just passing through, but one of them - one with a significantly louder beard - was eyeing me a little more suspiciously. I didn't have to wait long to find out why, however.
Not an hour later, he called me to one side - they were all addressing me as Lady Sunleaf, and despite my insistance that the title wasn't deserved, they continue to do so even now. Apparently just being Elven is enough to consider me of noble blood. This Dwarf, Oilfist he said his name was, asked for my help. He explained their position towards the other Dark Iron Dwarves, and that the Dark Irons were, as ever, trying to bolster the ranks of Ragnaros, and do the fiery Lord's bidding.
After his explanation of the status of the two factions, he asked me for my help. I tried to explain to him that I'm not a warrior, a spy, or anything else of any recognisable talent or use to their situation, and that the only thing I could lay any claim to would be the playing of the lute, but he wouldn't listen. So now I've gotten myself caught up again, and this time in a far stickier situation. At least in Uldaman we had walls around us. Out in the 'Cauldron' as they've been calling it, I won't feel so safe.
But they're feeding me, their giving me a bed, and even repairing my dented armour (it got damaged after I slid down a hill near 'old' Kargath with next to no control over my direction, except generally downwards). And I'm not the only one here with a weapon so I won't be entirely on my own. I suppose the situation could be worse, and I think I owe them something, even if it isn't much.
We'll see. They want my help heading down into the area tomorrow, so I had better rest up.
-- Atherya Sunleaf