After that encounter with the gnome in Stormwind Harbor I traveled to Ironforge for an audience with High Tinker Mechatorque.
The gnome-king explained the situation in so many words, then more or less drafted me into the newly raised Gnome Army. Our objective: Take back Gnomeregan, at any cost. We were to be supported by the latest and greatest in Gnome battlefield technology.
What could possibly go wrong?
My first job was to convince some actual Gnomes to sign up, and this was done with a device that seemed to have the function of a cattle prod. Oh well. At least it got them to stop chattering.
Then it was off to Kharanos, where the base camp had been set up. I got to see some of the latest and greatest battlefield technology in action, by being asked to test it. Not to actually use it in battle, mind you – Just to test it, to ensure that it was safe for the Gnome operators. I also had to conduct a bombing run on the occupied Gnome city.
Finally, all preparations had been completed. Mechatorque held what I am sure he considered a rousing speech, and then the Gnome Army, consisting largely of anything but gnomes, began to march on Gnomeregan.
We brought the surface under our control after a lengthy and costly battle, and then we descended into the depths of the city. Here, the battle began in earnest, as we were ambushed by Troggs at every corner.
Finally, we arrived at the underground train depot – Only to find that Thermaplug had set up a trap. A radiation device that was to kill us all!
Luckily, some smart gnome managed to teleport most of us back to Ironforge just seconds before the bomb went off, making Gnomeregan uninhabitable for many years.
The campaign was not an entire waste of innocent lives, however. The gnomes now hold the surface area of Gnomeregan, and hopefully they can gain control of their home over time.
Another dragon from Malygos’ insane blue Dragonflight, Eregos, guarded the Oculus. The Oculus is a strange place, with many platforms floating in mid air, suspended by the use of magic – the very thing Malygos is attempting to fight. We came here to ensure that the path to Malygos was clear – and to make certain that Eregos would not
The construction of the Oculus – floating platforms – made it necessary for us to ride and fight on dragons ourselves for most of our attack on the site. At the very end, we engaged – and killed – Eregos himself, dealing a vital blow to Malygos’ forces.
Two of my companions plunged to their deaths, but we finally killed the beast.
I like Stormwind, as much as I can like any structure built by humans. It’s not nearly as bad as some other cities of Azeroth. There’s a beautiful park, and with the exception of the Dwarven District and possibly Old Town, Stormwind is clean and pleasant. I enjoy walking through its streets, listen to the hustle and bustle of the humans. They are always so busy, always hurrying, never stopping for two minutes to appreciate the beauty of nature or a pleasant breeze…
But Stormwind is not home. Seeing the arches and the Moonwell, I realized that I had not been home, truly home, in years. Perhaps it was time to return to Darnassus.
I got as far as Stormwind Harbor. I was looking back out over the sea when a little gnome with big, beady eyes began to pull on my cloak.
“Uhm! Hello, Miss?!”
I looked at the little one, waiting for her to speak her mind.
“Miss, Miss, you are a mighty warrior, no?!”
Undoubtedly the small creature had been wondering about the weapons on my back and on my belt. I knelt down, so as to be on eye level with her, and explained that I was but a traveler, weary of war.
“Owww.” She frowned. “That’s bad!”
“Uhm…” She shuffled her feet and I had to wait patiently while the gnome bit her lip.
“Because,” she finally continued, “Because we need mighty soldiers! You see there will be this attack and we must recruit people, such as humans, or dwarves, or even the noble Night-Elves, such as you, for the attack, so that the attack might work! You see, because if it fails, then many will suffer and we won’t succeed, and we want to succeed because it’s about our home! Of course we could try again but if we fail once then maybe we don’t get a second chance! You see!?”
“Slow down.” I had trouble following her line of thought. “Who is attacking whom?”
“Oh.” She looked at me as if the question was covering a completely unexpected topic. “Why, uhm, Miss, have you really not heard?! We will take back Gnomeregan!!”
That, I had, indeed not heard. Gnomeregan had been overrun by some sort of mechanical horrors many, many years ago, even before I left Teldrassil and began to travel Azeroth. The gnomes had always seemed happy to live in Ironforge, and though they were refugees and everybody knew that, I think nobody really expected them to want to return home again.
“And you, little gnome, are looking for a handful of adventurers to attack Gnomeregan?”
“Oh no,” the gnome replied. “We are looking for every experienced soldier we can find! Most are in Northrend and only now are some returning, but now we are building up our troops and – oh, no, we will do this right, we gnomes always do! We are building up an army and we will fight them and we will win back our home!”
An army of gnomes…. What an idea.
“Won’t you please help, Miss Night Elf? Please?!”
Those big beady eyes – how could I have said “no”?
One of the dragons I killed during my stay in Northrend was Cyanigosa, a mighty female blue dragon, sent by Malygos himself to assault Dalaran. She was attempting to free prisoners in the Violet Hold, barely held back by the Kirin Tor. Several others and myself entered and fought the dragonkin, the nasty creatures they did free, and in the end, Cyanigosa herself.
A dragon in a confined space can be interesting, but she did not put up much of a fight.
Her death meant that Malygos’ assault on Dalaran was doomed – and eventually, the Aspect of the blue dragonflight would fare no better than Cyanigosa.