‘Everything that is… is alive.’
Bofain woke up with a roar, soaked in sweat and tears. He didn’t know why but lately the dreams had become more frequent and more vivid. However, they would always evaporate as soon as he woke up, yet these five words remained, as if they had been burned into his memory.
Bofain got up, slipped into his furry slippers and made his way to the fireplace. It was still dark outside, so he grabbed his tinderbox, pulled out the flint and felt it in his hands. The familiar touch was calming and he closed his eyes while allowing his heartbeat to settle down. He opened his eyes and looked down on the familiar piece of flint. So smooth, yet dangerously sharp around the edges. Being a dwarf, he had always felt a strong bond between his soul and the earth, rocks, mountains and hills.
For as long as he could remember, he had been good with his hands. He could take any rock and turn it into a magnificent masterpiece. His ability to handle the raw substances surpassed any other craftsman in and around Ironforge. Perhaps apart from his father, but even he claimed that Bofain had far greater talent than he had ever had. Nevetheless, Farar was an esteemed craftsman and was renowned for having taught his son so well. But what everyone else did not know, was the fact that Farar had never taught his son how to craft. From the day he was born, he had had this gift
He lit the fireplace, gazed out the window and sought a familiar shape on the hilltops outside the gates of Ironforge. His father had been a hunter for many decades, but because of his keen eye, ability with a gun and loyalty to the king, he had been chosen to watch the great city. Because Ironforge was built beneath the ground, it had always been subject to great mystery and fairytales of incredible riches. And despite the fact that dwarves are known for being fierce warriors and fighters, the promise of gold often seemed to make people forget. Even though the city had natural defenses in the mountainous walls, thieves and rogues would always find a way. But in terms of finding these thieves and rogues, Farar was the best. Bofain was proud to be his son and he wished that he would one day be as respected as his father.
He heard a thud from the other room. “Aaargh,” yelled Olric. Olric was about the same age as Bofain and an orphan. Farar took him in when he was just a young boy. His parents had both died to the scourge when they were trying to heal diseased villagers in Andorhal. Farar knew his parents well and decided to adopt him as his own. Ever since, Olric had been in training with High Priest Rohan.
“Are ye up yet, ya yellybelly?” Olric asked. “I almost thought ye was under attack, so loud was yer screamin’ last night!”
“I dun’no,” Bofain said – “The dreams are becoming more vivid, more alive, but all I remember when I wake up are these words that make no sense to me.”
“Arhh, dun’ worry, we’ll go find ourselves some lassies and drink from their bosoms until we can’na stand on our own feet! Ye just need ta stop thinkin’ so much!” Olric proclaimed.
Bofain was not convinced, but Olric had always been his best friend and whenever Olric took him for a drink, he actually did seem to forget everything else – at least until the next day. Then it felt like a hoard of gnomes started tinkering and exploding stuff inside his head. He went back to the window and looked to Farar.
Out on the mountain, Farar let out a high-pitched whistle and waited a few moments. The sun would rise in a matter of minutes, thus ending his shift. He closed his eyes for a moment to feel the wind against his face. He felt the icy tingle of snowflakes touching his skin and took a deep breath. This was his life, his nature. A big white bear appeared behind a rise, lazily making his way towards Farar. The bear moved with an almost elegant clumsiness, but Farar knew that if a danger arose, he would move quicker than the quickest of gnomes, possess the strength of a tauren and elegance of an elf. Samson was more than just a bear. He was more than a mere pet. He was a companion, a partner and the best friend Farar could ever have. His loyalty and affection for Farar was without limits and Farar returned the feelings. It was going to be a great day, he noted. The skies were clearing up and the sun shone brightly behind the mountaintops.
A sudden change in the wind alerted Samson. His muscles tightened and he stuck his nose in the air. At the same time, Farar had readied his gun and begun setting up a trap. A sprig snapped behind, followed by a rush of air and suddenly Farar was face down in the snow. Samson rushed to his aid with a fearsome roar, but Farar quickly got to his legs and called him off. Behind him stood Thri with a grin on his face.