The sun began to set for the day. Not that one could see it from here, the perpetual clouds and haze hung over the land as a perpetual reminder of where you were, in case the dead trees and lost souls didn't cause something to stir within. A far cry from the shimmering bronze that flowed across the Barrens and Durotar when the sun would go back in hiding.
His hammer still filled the air with its sound, keeping his own armor in tip top shape as well as giving a helping hand to the other smiths. The dwarf in charge of the forge kept a close eye on the orc, not because he was an orc, but to share and learn in their crafts through the limited communication they had. The Argent Dawn rejected no race that wanted to join the call against the Scourge, this was no place to bring in old hatreds or prejudices. The metals helped to form the bond between these two with simple hand gestures and approving nods.
The few tradesmen packed around the main area began to pack up their mules and lock up their wares. The day watch made way for the night watch, a troup of hardened veterans able to withstand the whispering night winds and howls of the souls in the distance. There would be no bartering or clanging to deafen ears, and the last thing the area needed was a guard cowering under a pew. Nukhan was banging out the last few bits before he started on his nightly polishing once more. The dwarf still stood there, leaning up on another anvil, chewing on the end of the long pipe that hung from his mouth, his small black eyes still squinting from decades of being at a forge.
His hammer stopped. His ear twitched ever so slightly as he picked up some sounds in the distance. A low rumbling, small pitches of metal shifting. The dwarf eyed the orc curiously, clearing his throat slightly to perhaps get his attention. The orc would have none of it as he dropped his hammer and grabbed his glowing axe, slowly walking towards the edge of the path below. His black wolf, Magnus, slowly stirred and stayed put near his gear, sniffing the air with excitement.
The guards looked over at the orc, shifting their feet slowly away from him as they eyed the grip on his axe. The orc still peered through the fog rolling in, sniffing the air slightly. He looked towards the guards and nodded to them, motioning with his head that they move back a few steps and nodding again when he felt they were in place. The rumbling and clanging grew loud enough now for the humans to hear. Nukhan looked back again and motioned for them to put their weapons away and bowed slightly, trying to assure them of something. The guards yelped something back to the others, he hoped it was a command to stand down. It was then that he made out the silhouettes.
Wolf riders. A good 30 of them began pouring down the path, the Frostwolf banner raised with the Argent symbol right underneath. Many of them rode in with unadorned plate mail. The one in front rode on a great white wolf with the armor of a Blood Guard, behind him a herald holding a simple white flag to assure the guardians no harm was following. Nukhan still looked forward, standing a bit taller. His heart couldn't help but race at the sight and sound, though his expression still held solemn.
The pack began to slow as the Guard and his herald still charged forward, eying the orc standing at the 'gates', so to speak. They pulled up abruptly, very close to Nukhan, the Guard jumping off of his mount swiftly. Nukhan saluted the orc with his free hand immediately.
The Guard returned the respect, "Throm'ka, Nuk! Word was that you were stationed here of late, good to see that you haven't made us ride any further from Alterac."
"Throm'ka, guardian. You look for me then?"
"I seek out who the seer tells me to. Word of your recent exploits have travelled quickly of late. The Defilers call you by name now... well, as best as they can. Our leader says he has seen you in a vision, and the spirits have spoken your name. That is all he tells me. The dwarves encroach once again, that is all I will tell you."
His brow furrowed slightly, "I understand, guardian. Allow me to gather my things and I will ride with you through the blood stained fields tonight."
"Gather only the stuff you don't care to lose... well, besides your axe, of course. I have a feeling you won't be wearing them for long." He gave Nukhan a quick smirk and a salute before hopping onto his wolf once again, heading quickly to the front of the pack that waited.
Nukhan's chest swelled as he gave the salute back. He turned to walk up the hill, passing the crowd that had formed to take in the sight. It wasn't often that this many orcs rode in peace. He quickly picked up a few of his things and secured what he could to himself, the rest being packed onto his wolf. The dwarf stood there behind him, tapping his foot, his head tilted slightly, puffing away at the pipe a bit faster now. Nukhan gave him a slight nod and looked back down, looking back up as the dwarf let out a loud laugh. He came up to Nukhan and grasped him by the forearm and muttered something in the dwarven tongue, slapping him hard on the back, followed by a large, worn down, toothy smile.
Nukhan did not know what connection the dwarf might have with the Stormpike. Good or bad, his expression was that of good luck and well wishes. The bond forged through the metals was on another plane, away from the battlefields, the mountain passes, and smoking pits. As he hopped on his wolf and began walking down towards the pack, he only heard one sound, the only sound he wanted to hear at that moment.
- clang ... clang ... clang*