Going Home, Part 1: An Unexpected Detour

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…

I relax in Stormwind's Park
I relax in Stormwind’s Park

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?!”

A Small Gnome Hailed Me
A Small Gnome Hailed Me

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!”

“Why, gnome?”

“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”?