"This will be another one of them stories ?" Fal says as he rolls his eyes in my direction as he sees me writing in my journal. I simply nod as anything said will only start up his incessant questions and questionable commentary. I hunch up preparing for the peek over my shoulder as he stretches and stands on tip toes. "Back acting up old timer?". Gets greeted by something I shouldn't write down and a cuff to the back of the head that I avoid. This is generally the way we spend our days awaiting the call to Icecrown Citadel, let me stop rambling about now though and tell the tale I'm supposed to be telling.
Word spread through out most of Northrend of a tournament sponsored by the newly formed argent crusade. A martial battle to test one skill and possibly if the stories are true champion a city once again. Gone is my happy memories of the city to which I was born. That my old city almost crowned this monster the first time is a horror that I shall always carry. For a chance again to be from somewhere and not a wondering sell sword but again to have a home. I find Fal and tell him some of what I heard and some of what I hoped. He scoffed at me and said a home youngster you always have a home with me in the mountain. I tell it its a open tournament with champions from all the Capital cities. This peeked his interest and he softly grumbled into his beard "wonder what they call Champions back in Ironforge." Well if your so set on doing it he dead pans over to me we might have to practice up some long unused skills for both of us.
So for the next few weeks he took pains in showing me how little I remembered of fighting with a huge mace again in my hands. The inertia one must over come and then to control the swing as not to overbalance yet maintain a solid base. Lessons poorly learned in a distant youth, when the shield and sword called to me as my martial instruments. Although I had a good teacher back then they couldn't spin two monstrous weapons with which the ease Fal does. So under his glaring eyes I got a huge compliment. One day you will be okay. Then the pendulum swung back the other way as it must.
Fal may easily be my better in the art of massive damage, but I, I have mastered the sword and shield. The joy of wave of enemies bashing themselves away as I hold the ground on which I stand. It took him sometime to remember how to balance to adsorb the blow and recoil into attacking motion. He learned quickly and showed me a couple moves that I never learned so was taken a bit by surprise. He gently chuckled to himself and said something about a dang holy bubble.
Our martial skills to a level we felt comfortable with we preceded to the tournament grounds. We were greeted by goblin profiteers looking to pay little and get paid themselves considerably more for our work to fulfill their contracts. We find the contact person for this tournament and get given some task of killing off small scourge units and searching for some special swords. Then a piece of news that made me smile, jousting . For a minute I wondered if Fal would know the skills of mounted combat. Our first combat on the mounts they gave well trained steeds of war, was simply against target dummies. I carefully watch Fal go for his first pass. Flawless, up out of the saddle, knees flexed but braced all his weight balanced behind his lance and shield. His lance shattered under the impact of a perfect hit. He reined in his mount and rode past me chuckling and said to me "We Dwarfs do have a cavalry". Again this man of middle years as judged by his people, a group of season way past a number any human can live astounds me yet again.
My time behind a lance was during my training in the silver hand and jousting to me was time well remember from my younger years. As a set the lance into my stirrup as I prepared to charge my first target dummy, my mind drifted back to a time that seems forever ago. On the training fields in novitiate for the knights many an hour was spent this way. Some on similar stationary targets and some at hanging shields. The thunder as a train war steed bears down upon his target, to me its the finest music their is. A harsh pounding sound occasional punctuated by the trumpeting of my horse as he stormed to do his own battle with the opposing horse. Lost in this memory came sharp thump on my head and Fal gruff voice asking if I was scared of wood these days. I settle into my stance and the warhorse surged forward a solid thump in my shoulder and the sound of shattering wood let me know I had scored a solid hit.
After proving ourselves worthy of fighting for them we moved up to small sorties against Arthas's mounted troops slowly drawing out the unit commanders and not just his throw away minions. Once we even went against one of his undead worms. Fal shouts to me to keep out the hammer he made me as he has some armor he wish to try out. Some new combination of ore and the very elements of the earth that is supposed to shield one from the bitter cold that many of Arthas minions use in battle.
It has since slow done and soon we are told it will be a more proper tournament. But for the work and martial prowess Fal and myself showed and the work for some goblins to earn funds to pound out bents and such. We we awarded something dear to me and maybe to Fal also based on what he said to me. Me I am Graimerin of Stormwind again I rdie into battle in defense of my home. Fal well Fal on the other hand is now known as Falromord of Ironforge or as he so nicely put it. "where else is a self respecting Dwarf from".