The sounds of knocking on me door brought me instantly awake this early morning, reaching, reflexively for me weapon. Remembering where I was, safe in the deep stone embrace of me hut in me beloved Khaz Modan, I took a breath, sat up, and wiped a hand over my brow. The dreams still haunt me from me from time to time...I suppose they always will, as do me dreams from the Third War, and me dreams from the 'peace' inbetween all the wars. This one against Arthas was different. The dreams aren't fading as fast this go about. They don't tend to when ye are forced to kill your friends over and over, and have to hear their screams in your sleep.
The knocking again, insistently on my door.
Knocking again, louder.
As I was not well rested, I growled a response, threw me cloak on, and headed for the door.
A young captain was outside, with another soldier in dark colored, vaguely familiar armor. Another soldier stood outside, in the snow, holding the rams. The dwarven captain saluted respectfully. The dwarf in the dark armor stared straight into my eyes, unflinching and unsmiling.
"Commmander Thogrum, the Council of the Three Hammers respectfully request your presence in the Hall of the Kings as soon as possible."
He offered a sealed envelope with the seal of Ironforge on it in.
I stared at the young dwarf. Council of the Three Hammers? What in six blue hells was going on? What was the Council of the Three Hammers? This was clearly an official delegation, and this was official correspondence, but what was this all about? And who was this in the dark armor who was staring at me so inpertiantly?
"Laddie, What's this all about?"
"It's all in the letter, Sir. We must get moving. We have many other letters to deliver to all the senior leadership of the Ironforge Armed Forces. Mauradin's orders. We got to you a bit late Sir, because of how far out of the city you are living these days. "
The dwarf in dark armor leaned towards me and spoke in a low, thickly accented voice, his words dripping with sarcasm.
" And, if ye please, 'Commander', make yer journey in haste. The Queen doesn't like to be kept waiting, and ye'd be wise not to cross her...'Commander'"
The dwarven captain spun to him in a fury.
" As you were, Roderick! Do you know not to whom you speak? This is a champion of Ironforge, one of Magni's own! He has defended the Anvil and the Throne since ye were playing with toy hammers in yer infested pit of a city!"
The dark dwarf grinned and held his hands up.
" I meant no offense, Captain Stonehammer"
He smirked, and turned walked down to the yard, where the soldier with the rams waited.
The young captain turned to me again.
" Commander, I apologize for my companion's lack of respect. But, respectfully, sir, hurry to the Council. Things have changed greatly in your weeks away, and we need all of our people home. We need you. Ironforge needs you."
He glanced at the yard, where the two dwarves now mounted, waited. He quickly and subtly pulled an envelope out of his cloak, and swiftly passed it to me, and whispered.
" From Mauradin himself. It will explain it all. Please hurry, Sir. Time draws short."
With that, I watched the lad turn, decend the steps, mounted his rams, and in a thunder of hooves, the three dwarves moved out at a gallop, leaving behind a trail of hoof prints in the snow.
As I watched the dwarves move out into the distance, I glanced down at the two envelopes in my hand.
I had a uneasy feeling about this letter, and about the strange interactions of the soldiers. I remember this feeling as me fleet set out for Northrend. I remember the feeling as I approached the Dark Portal. I remember the feeling from a countless battles in countless places. The feeling means trouble, no matter the time, or place.
Well, time to get to work. I broke the seals and began to read.