A Cure for Madness (Interlude Part 1)

Well, I finally got around to it. Irritating that it took more than a week. Again, some background info. Brewfest is Oktoberfest manifest in WoW. Massive drinking festival invented by dwarves and adopted by goblins also, inexplicably. Radzi, is a female gnomish scientist. Mage, if you can’t guess. Snowy is a blue drake, although for all the illusions nobody can know that, and has a long story I shan’t explain behind her. Noriam, mentioned in passing, is a male gnomish soldier, and a firearms technician. If I write about him any more, that will become a lot more clear.

That was a while ago now; Itharian had drawn from the mailbox a letter from and old friend. Noriam had alerted him to a new development on the Eastern Kingdoms – he (and most of the rest of his species) was moving in on Gnomeregan, preparing to take it back from the troggs and lepers. Even in his state – Ayris had made a promise and he would keep that promise. So, with the first boat back overseas he went; to help how he could. He thought a lot on the route; pondering over his progress so far

How far had he even got? It was hard to tell; even he had noticed minute tweaks to his emotional responses, but whether he could say he was calmer or less unpredictable for it remained in question. It did occur to him that perhaps a reaction to a friendly face after this long would be a good benchmark – helpful, that the gnomes had generally chosen to take their home back now then, as his travels were drawing thin in purpose and direction.

Thankfully, even as he arrived on the shores of Stormwind, it became quickly apparent that Brewfest had started – and thus the hilarity ensuing as people pile into Dun Morogh to drink themselves into a stupor. Itharian included. He made straight for Ironforge, vaguely encountering a few old friends and doing little else than passive conversation before hurrying onto the tram. As the metal tunnels rushed by, he tapped his chin thoughtfully; ‘I wonder if this is what Gnomeregan was like.’ The tram came to an abrupt halt before he knew he’d gone, practically; although startled he moved toward the Commons.

“Doc! Ayris!” called a voice from his right as he was about to leave Tinker Town; he turned abruptly to see Radzi approaching in her battle-mage regalia, her staff tapping against the ground noisily as she went, “Good to have you! Pick up one of Gelbin’s weird motivator-things and head down to Steelgrill’s. Everyone’s there.” By everyone, he assumed she meant any gnome worth their salt. “I need to finish off a spell with Snowy here. Take care!” She left as quickly as she had arrived, and remarkably unperturbed by Itharian’s complete absence of response. Putting it down to being accustomed to him; and then it struck him. Snowy? He had barely noticed the blue whelpling flapping around her shoulders. Wasn’t it an illusion she was working on?

This was mostly irrelevant to Itharian as he bypassed the bizarre Gelbin regardless of Radzi’s suggestion, and quickly the heavy scent of alcohol coursed through the air. Ironforge was never exactly a clean zone for alcohol, dwarves were overly fond of it all year anyway, but Brewfest was something else. You could probably get tipsy from breathing the air just outside the gates.’Wonderful’, thought Itharian; Darnassus was pretty dry as far as drink went. Barkers on racing rams streamed past, babbling adverts for their respective breweries and cracking snarky comments about the competitors. Ayris grinned and walked on, into the open air of the Dun Morogh foothills. The scent of ale was intoxicating now, as he headed down, adjusting his hat as the wind blew (without effect on aforementioned scent) past him.

With a smirk and a crack of his knuckles, Itharian stepped forth into the grounds. Duty to his promises would have to wait – Noriam would understand anyway, wouldn’t he? – the lure of Brewfest had always been a festival to forget. Who knows, maybe it would add to his search for a cure for madness.

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