This is basically the journal of Bellonich Grizzlehand.
Visits to MerriEdit
"Hello, Merri. Its been a while, eh?"
The old dwarf stood serenly by the large tombstone in the back of Anvilmar's graveyard. A red rose was clutched tightly in his hand, and a somber look was on his face. Behind him, Puanga the white bear sat quietly, looking around. Dalene stood reverently off to the side, paying her private respects to her old mentor.
"Ah finally got out of Dun Morogh, like we talked about when... Well, the Loch was beautiful. The sun settin' over the dam was truly a sight to see, sweet'eart. Reminded meh of you." He wipes a silent tear from his eye, and continues.
"There was lots of ogres out there that needed a good thrashin'. It were good to have Dalene there, for surely Ah needed a strong paladin woman at me side. I wish... Well, ye'd be proud o' her, Merri. She's done right by yer trainin', ye know. And almost as stubborn as ye were, too!"
The old dwarf chuckles softly, but it sounds forced through layers of pain. He contemplates for a moment before speaking again.
"Made it up ta Menethil Harbor, too. Ye never seen so much bustle! The boats back and forth, the merchants, the sailors... It were a sight ta see. I know ye always wanted to see the ocean, and I know a piece o' ye was there wit' me."
"Well, I ain't got much else ta say. Ye know I'm not a dwarf whos good wit' words. So... I'll jes say it. I love ye, Merri, and I miss ye. Ah'll be back soon to tell ye more."
Bellonich bent down, and laid the red rose on her grave. A few of his tears fell on the rose, and when they had stopped, he stood tall and turned. Dalene and he exhanged sad but knowing glances. He let her say her piece as well, waiting quietly off to the side with the polar bear. When she finished, the three of the them set off back towards the horizon, back towards more adventure...
"What a weird bunch, Merri."
Bellonich had a wry smile on his face as he sat peacefully, leaning against Merri's tombstone. Puanga was hunting rabbits nearby, and every now and then the old dwarf could hear his companion growling from down the hill. He fiddled with a red rose in his hand as he continued.
"I hadn't met many humans before recently, as ye know. So after our last meeting, I made it a point ta head down ta Stormwind, the big city for them big folk. Let me tell ya, if ye thought Ironforge were a big, exciting city... well... those humans sure pack 'em in tight!"
The old hunter chuckled as he remembered how busy and crowded the human capital had been.
"I met lots o' nice folks down at this tavern, call it the Wisps and Spirits. They sure are a dramatic lot, these folks! Fightin', cryin', screamin', laughin', wailin'... ye name it all, it all happens in that crazy place! There were even a kidnappin' there, and I helped track down the bastard."
"Then I heard that the kidnapper was a good fella, and the lasses he stuffed in a crate where the bad ones! Can ye imagine such a thing? I ain't convinced one way or the other. Back in me day, if ye stuffed someone inta a box, ye was a bad 'un! What a crazy bunch, these humans."
Bellonich gets lost in his thoughts for a moment, and a frown creases his face. He turns with seriousness to face his wife's grave.
"I encountered some o' dem Plague victims. The Scourge, they call 'em. Undead. I... I feel bad about it sometimes, but I count my lucky stars ye died the way ye did, love. I wouldn't have the heart ta put a hammer to yer head, zombie or not."
He pauses for a moment and cocks his head, as if listening intently.
"Wot? That was 50 years ago, and it were an accident! I telled ye that a hunnerd times! BAH! Quit bringin' that up!"
Despite himself, Bellonich finds himself chuckling at his memories. Decades ago, he had been repairing one of the fences around their home, and hadn't realized Merri was so close behind him. He had jumped around in fright, hammer in hand... Well, it was lucky she was wearing her helmet! He never lived that one down.
"Well, Dalene's got herself mixed up wit' a bunch o' new friends. There's a human or two amongst 'em, but mostly them elves! Yeah, ye know how she was about elves. They seem a good bunch though, for the most part. She'll be alright."
"I gotsta get movin' on now, Merri. There's a boat o' cursed ghost pirates floatin' off the shores of Menethil Harbor, and I figgered I'd help the old crew get free o' their bonds. Wish ye could be here with me. I could use ye're help... and ye're laughter. I miss ye, love."
He reverently laid the rose down on her grave. The last one had long since rotted or blown away, and he the cranky old dwarf saw some symbolism in that. But he kept his observations to himself as he picked up his gun, and started walking down the hill to where Puanga was catching dinner...
Bellonich walked up to Merri's grave, a rose in his hand as usual. The white bear, Puanga, padded along softly behind him, always respectful when here. He settled down for a nap near the fence of the graveyard. Though this was his first time here, Dawkro, the tiny red dragonling, could sense the seriousness of this place. He ceased his usual noisy, active flitting about, and instead settled quietly on Puanga's shoulders.
"'Allo, Merri. Aye, I've been good. Met a few new interesing folk ye should meet!" The old dwarf smiled warmly, a rare occasion indeed.
"Dalene has introduced me to her group o' friends, the Ru Gyouten. It's elvish for Sunbeam or somethin' just as silly. They seem a good bunch. Young at heart the whole lot of them, always laughin' and runnin' about. You'da liked 'em."
He pauses, reflecting on the individual friends he's made over the past week or so. Sometimes he smiles to himself, other times a stern frown creases his brow. He glances around quietly, as if thinking of something to say. His gaze falls on the little whelpling, curled up on Puanga's head.
"Oh, heh. Forgot about that one. Merri, this is Dawkro. Caught him diggin' around me backpack fer food one day when campin' out in the wetlands. I almost throttled him good, but he's quick! Followed me around fer a few days. Not sure why I kept feedin' 'im, but I thought ye'd appreciate 'im. Ye always did wanna see a dragon up close. Now he's one o' the family."
Bellonich grins warmly at the pair, sleeping happily at the base of the fence.
"Well, Merri, I need ta be off now. Lots ta do, lots ta see. But I'll never stop comin' back here ta visit ye, my love." Bellonich sets the rose on the grave, as always, and kisses the tombstone lightly. Before pulling away, he whispers softly, "I miss ye, so much, lass..."
Larger Than LifeEdit
The dwarf, looking more spry and alive than before, came up the hill to the graveyard, the bear and dragon in tow. A rose grasped lightly in his hand, he kneeled down in front of the large tombstone. His pets quietly shuffled off to the side, as always, and he began to speak.
"Merri, ye're not gonna believe some o' the things I've seen!" he began, his voice full of excitement. "Ye know the old tales, about where we dwarves come from? About the Titans and the Earthen and alla that? They're bloody true!"
"A group o' friends and I went inta Uldaman, the ancient site of the Titan's work! Oh, if ye coulda seen it. The architecture, the runes, the magic and machines... it were all too much. But I'll tell ye this, Merri. It's renewed me. Before, I was just wandering, aimless, looking for something to pass the time 'till I could be with ye again."
"But now... I have a purpose again, Merri. I need to learn as much about our people as possible. I want to see the ancient sites, walk over ruins none have walked over in 10000 years, and discover truths long since forgotten!"
The old dwarf pauses to catch his breath, and stares out into the mountains. He looks over at his animal companions, and frowns. He turns back to her grave, a more serious look on his face.
"Puanga's gettin' sick. I think it's all this runnin' about from mountains ta jungles ta deserts... he just ain't built for all that, ye know? I talked ta me ol' friend, Thorgas Grimson, and he said he'll watch after Puanga for me. Looks like I'll be flyin' solo for now."
He sighs deeply, letting his head hang low in silent prayer for a moment. Bellonich then places the rose down, says his goodbyes, and stands to leave. "C'mon, ol' bear. Let's get ye to yuir new home."
Trotting slowly up the worn gravesite, a gnarled old grey ram bleated softly. Equally old and grey, it's dwarven rider hopped down from the saddle. Bounding up behind them was a large black gorilla, clearly energetic and curious, despite the serenity of the atmosphere around it.
The old dwarf turned a stern eye toward the ape, who suddenly looked dejected. Bellonich, feeling sorry for the beast, tossed him a banana, which the gorilla happily took off to the side and began to eat. That business taken care of, Bellonich tied the elderly ram, Frakson, to a nearby post and headed towards his wife's grave.
"As ye can see, Merri, our family's gotten a bit bigger! I've got a whole damn menagerie followin' me around these days! The monkey's name is Gazro. Rescued 'im from some poachers a while back. The ol' ram is a veteran, like us, of the old wars. But he's ready to be back in action, just like me!" Bellonich laughed to himself, though the smile on his wrinkled face seems to be fading. "Ah, but it's good ta be seein' ya again, lass. Things have certainly been crazy out in the world."
He turns suddenly somber, and speaks in low tones. "Demons have burst through into the world again, Merri. Through the portal that orcs used so many years ago. I'm sure ye remember it well, as do I. Well, the door is open again, and the damn things are pouring out. They're calling for all fighters to help repel the invasion. There's talk, even, of sending a force through to the other side, to fight back against the demons."
He coughs violently for moment, before turning back to the grave. "I'm going with them. I can't just sit here, poking around in the dirt, when good men and women are going in there to their deaths, all to protect folk like me. A force is bein' put together now, and I'm gatherin' me gear to go. I don't know when I'll have the chance ta come back and see ye, if I even survive."
"But know that I love ye, and if I'm killed out there, I'll be lookin' for ye on the other side."
The old dwarf gathered his supplies, and turned to leave. Smiling through his tears, he faced the tombstone one last time. "See ya soon, me love."