Continued from Savior
Lodur and Estherras had kept at a steady pace. Ahonan chirped happily while dancing between the lightning bolting between the spires of Lodur’s shoulders. The land was quiet for the most part. There were minor disturbances, but bands of heroes for both the Alliance and the Horde already had matters well in hand. The shaman and hunter continued on their journey to the north peacefully.
It wasn’t long before the large gears and pipes of an obvious gnomish construction came into view. Steam could be seen pouring into the air from the site, while wind socks and banners flowed in the tundra’s wind. A smile began to creep across Lodur’s face. He had quite a fondness for gnomes and their eccentricities. Estherras leaned forward in her saddle;
“You know, I often wonder how gnomes keep such large structures in tact. I mean they do have a penchant for blowing themselves up at least once a week.”
“You’re just jealous because the only thing you’re good at is making a mess for other people to clean up. Don’t make me remind you of that time in the Black Temple where you edged yourself just a tad bit too far into the room…”
“Point taken, but at least I didn’t blow up! Besides you were getting bored waiting for Heim to finish strategical planning. I’m just here to keep you young and on your toes!”
Ahonan landed in Lodur’s lap and curled up into a ball chirping happily as he drifted off to sleep. He patted the small gryphon’s head lightly and smiled. Lodur looked up, they were almost there. He could make out the forms of gnomes running around between what was likely aircraft making adjustments. Lodur always appreciated how nimble they were, and always enjoyed their company. Even if they all tended to be quite eccentric.
“Yeva should have already secured passage for us to Dalaran, so we should not have to spend too much more time in the tundra. I’ll be honest, I’m a little excited to see the guild once more. I wonder what their reaction will be.”
“Shock probably, Zabos may fall over, and that makes me happy.”
“Well, I did tell some of the guild what happened. Not everyone will be caught completely off guard. But I do suspect that most of them won’t know what to make of it.”
They continued on until they reached the outskirts of the airstrip. As they approached they were greeted by a green haired gnome. He nodded at Lodur and the two travelers dismounted.
“Greetings! You must be Lodur, your dwarf friend said you would be coming. I am Ahzek and I’ll be making sure you have a safe flight.”
The gnome looked over at Estherras.
“Although I was only told there would be one passenger, I’m certain we can make an adjustment. Please, follow me.”
As the two walked behind the gnome, they watched as he made quick hand gestures at the other gnomes. He lead them to the end of the airstrip where a biplane was being rolled into place.
“Ah, here we go. Um… she… er… only seats two, so you’ll have to share a spot, but… I think we should be OK. Maybe. Definitely maybe.”
Lodur looked at the gnome and back at Estherras.
“Well, only one way to find out now isn’t there friend?”
Lodur boarded the plane and took the seat at the rear, with the hunter following behind. The space was cramped but workable, and the two settled in for a cozy flight. Ahzek scaled the side of the plane, and positioned himself into the pilot’s seat.
“It’s not a long flight to Dalaran from here, but we do have to head over the basin and through an area that has seen some recent… um… non-living avian action. I highly suggest strapping in with the belt-o-matic 4000 and holding on tight, we may have to engage in evasive actions.”
Before Lodur or Estherras could reply, Ahzek started the engines and took off down the runway at break-neck speeds. Pressed against the seat, they were soon in the air. Eventually the plan leveled off and Lodur glanced over the side of the plane. Rolling plains of white snow went by far beneath them. Slowly the mountains ringing the north eastern part of the tundra came into view and the plan started to climb again.
As they went over the peak, they could see the snow give way to the balmy jungle of the basin. Hot springs and ancient titan technology kept the valley lush and green. As the trio flew toward the end of the basin approaching the mountains closest to Icecrown they began to see the signs of the undead corruption. A flock of gargoyles could be seen circling above the ice.
“If we’re lucky, they won’t notice us and we’ll be able to sque…..”
Ahzek was cut off by a deafening screech. The flock of gargoyles stopped circling and started towards the plane
“well… em… yes. This is unfortunate.”
“By unfortunate do you mean ‘we’re going to get knocked out of the sky and fall to our deaths’?” Estherras was already eying the incoming gargoyles. “Hey Lodur, think you can throw some lightning while I shoot things in the face?”
“I’ll do my best, but you know I’m not good with that. I’m a mender, not a breaker”
“Well, something is better than nothing. Start chucking bolts!”
Ahzek started to take evasive action as the pack of gargoyles reached the plane. Estherras let loose arrow after arrow.
“Hold this thing steady! I can’t get a clear shot!”
“If I do that they’ll catch us!” Ahzek was clearly not one for a fight.
Lodur leaned forward, “friend, you need to trust us. Hold her steady and head straight for Dalaran.”
Ahzek nodded and leveled out the plane. Immediately two gargoyles fell, arrows from both their eyes. Estherras whooped loudly as she notched another arrow. Lodur took Ahonana and gently put him in her backpack, he growled his displeasure. She then closed her eyes and focused inward on the fire that burned deep inside her. The spirits of fire answered and the air around the plane began to crackle and pop with energy. Instead of lightning bolts, orbs of pure electricity began to circle the plane. Every time a gargoyle attempted to latch onto the plane, an orb would fly out and strike it with an audible explosion of power. More gargoyles fell as Estherras continues to place arrow after arrow on target. They were well over Icecrown by now, and were approaching the boarders of the citadel. The screeches of the flying undead roused more of their friends from the ramparts. They were coming in too fast now.
“I’m out of arrows! Damn it! I’ve got nothing left Lod!”
The lightning shield was proving unable to keep up with the renewed undead assault, and the gargoyles scored hits on the wings and body of the plane, tearing chunks from it.
“Ahhhhhhh! No! She can’t take much more of this!” Ahzek yelled from the pilot seat. They Dalaran was in sight, and they just had to survive a little bit longer. Lodur dropped the shield and began to plead with the spirits of wind.
“Ancestors, spirits I beg you. Aid us in our time of need. Protect us please. Do not let this foul corruption destroy us!” The wind began to pick up, slowly at first. More chunks fell from the plane as it lurched closer towards Dalaran. The wind picked up speed, gusts batting the gargoyles and sending them careening out of control. Each time they attempted to swoop in on the plane, another gust blew them back.
“It’s working! It’s Workin…” Ahzek was cut off by the sound of the plane’s engine sputtering. “Oh dear. This is not good!” The engine coughed and died as the gargoyles fell back, deciding the prey was not worth fighting whatever unseen forces battled back. “Well, the good news is we’ll make it into Dalaran. The bad news is, it’s going to be a bumpy landing.”
Estherras laughed “HAH! It figures right? We can kill a god, but we can’t survive a little plane ride.”
Lodur eyed his traveling companion and then turned back to the gnome. “Do you not come prepared to bail in the case of an emergency?”
The gnome perked up “Yes! But oh, that would mean leaving poor Delores here to crash.”
“Friend, you can rebuild your plane, you cannot rebuild yourself. I think we should take our chances.”
“Yes, yes you’re right. Here take this.” Ahzek passed back two small backpacks to Lodur and Estherras. “Put them on, and when I say jump, jump. The altimeter-3260 should recognize our descent and deploy safety measures automatically!”
“Should?” Questioned Estherras.
“Well, only one way to find out there. Here we go, we’re over the edge of the city! JUMP!”
The gnome launched himself from the plane with Estherras and Lodur right behind him. They were heading right for the landing zone of Dalaran at break neck speeds. On time, all three backpacks deployed their chutes and their descents slowed. They watched as the plane veered right and plummeted down, missing the walls of the city by mere inches as it fell to the earth below. The trio landed and were immediately rushed upon by healers and mages.
The gargoyles were no where in sight, and after an hour or so the three were cleared from any injuries.
“Well, I’ll give you this gnome, you sure know how to make a flight interesting. Sorry about your plane though.”
“Yes, well, nothing to be done about that now. We’re alive and I can try to salvage her later.”
Lodur walked over to the gnome and handed him a large bag of coins. “This won’t cover the cost of the plane or parts, but it will at least give you a good start. Thank you for the flight and may the elements smile upon you friend.”
Ahzek looked into the bag and saw the pile of gold contained inside. He gasped “Thank you miss, thank you!” He began to bounce and recite the new specifications his plane would follow. Lost in thought the gnome disappeared into the city proper.
“Well, now that we’ve almost died, and made a gnome very happy, what do you say we make our way to the meeting. Hopefully they haven’t started by now.”
The two thanked their healers and made their way into the city. Lodur placed Ahonan on her shoulder and he chirped, happy to be out of the bag once again. It was time to meet the guild.