He Don't Need No Rockin' Chair

--by Pellinor

((Original forum thread here))

Deep beneath the dwarven city of Ironforge there is a hall. And it is here, in this dank and dim place that the dwarves keep their undesired degenerates against their will. Sealed into drab chambers with no visitors and no beer the inhabitants of this place quietly await their doom and curse their progeny for not visiting.

On the left side of this hall, behind the 14th door, sat a particularly sad dwarf, longing for the objects of his affections. His friend. His axe. His wrench... He sniffled in the dark and blew his nose on the white linen sheets. He couldn't remember the last time he'd been happy, oh so woeful was he. He laid down on the floor and decided he would just wait until he was dead. Of course he didn't remember but he'd done this several times before, three already this morning, but eventually he'd forget what he was doing and get up and look for something to tinker on. His keepers had removed all the metal from his room after he'd taken his doorknob and turned it into a grenade.

It was at this time that his ancient ears picked up a warbling coming from the other side of his door. It was muffled but his heart leaped at the sound. He scurried on his hands and knees and stuck his ear to the chamber door to hear better. "'Ey? Wot? Stund Beck?"

He sat down and blinked trying to understand the message. He was still working on that when the door just blew up. Flying stone and wood zoomed into the room and by whatever manner of chance the dwarf remained the only thing unharmed in the tiny chamber. He coughed a bit in the dust and the smoke and looked up to see two sinister bright shining green lights not too far from the floor. The warbling and chirping was much clearer now... well except for the ringing in his ears. His hands shot up towards the green lights and his cry rang out through the hall. "Archimedes!"

The mechanical squirrel let out a very pleased beep and leapt into Pellinor's arms. Of course he wasn't content with that, running all about the dwarf while Pell giggled and laughed. "Oy, da door's open," he realized after awhile, "les get outta 'ere!" Archimedes was quickly on top of his head as Pell poked it out into the hall. Just a bunch of locked doors. He could hear the sounds from his cell mates floating through the air and the heavy tread of their keepers coming, probably to see what the whole noise had been about. "Oy, whar ta now Archimedes?" A quick warble later and he was off dashing down the corridor, a single dwarf with long unbound grey hair upon which sat a small robot and a white linen gown that didn't quite close in the back. He got to the end of the hall and found a door... and six strapping young dwarves dressed in that light blue that's really only used by medical people. They all faced him and prepared to wrestle the geriatric guerrilla back to his room. Pellinor set his feet and scrunched his face ready to fight for his freedom even if it meant punching a whippersnapper or two, but it didn't quite come to that. Archimedes launched from his hair, over the orderlies, and landed with keen precision on a big red button set in the wall. As the button went down the blood drained from the orderly's faces and dozens of locks clicked throughout the halls as the doors to all the chambers slowly swung open. A few moments passed as everyone stood in shock, but then the prisoners promptly rushed from their cells using wheels and walkers and occasionally their own feet and a veritable flood of elderly dwarves descended upon the lonely six youths. Meanwhile, Pell and Archimedes were already through the door and moving as fast as his stubby feet could carry them. His little dwarven keister continued to flash through the night as he passed the sign that read "Welcome to the Ironforge Golden Retirement Home."

In the City under the Mountain, Ironforge, there exists a great library and museum, the likes of which are difficult if not impossible to come by elsewhere in the living world. Behind the rows of exotic fossils and elaborate displays, and beyond the walls of books, past the studies, through the galley, down some stairs, around a corner, down the hall and third door on your right and you'll find a small circular door with the name "Runegear" etched into a copper plate hung on the door.

Behind this circular door is what could only loosely be described as a room. Piles of bits of metal hide many of the walls and a shoddy bed and small work bench are the only bits of recognizable furniture in the chamber. Occasionally an actuator would actuate or an emitter emit or a whizzer would begin to whiz and on the whole the entire thing gave the impression of a great buzz of activity.

Or at least, there used to be. Pellinor returned to his old home still wearing the all-too-revealing gown from the retirement home and not feeling all together happy about it. He was even less pleased that the copper plate with his name had been removed from the door and instead there was a scrap of wood with a broom roughly scrawled on it. He flopped his poorly covered keister on the cold stone floor and moped with all the moping power he'd accumulated in his great many years. "Oh, Archimedes. Whar we go now? Ain't got no tools. Nah money. Nah beer. Nah tools. Ain't even got us a scrap a' arms or armor. Nah home..."

Archimedes, who had taken to sitting on Pell's mercifully clothed lap, cocked his head to head to the side in a decidedly squirrelly-like fashion. They sat for a few minutes without moving before Archimedes began to fold in and out and about himself. Before long a small green, ordinary-looking stone appeared from out of his tail and he held it up to the dwarf.

"Oh, eh? Wot?" Pellinor took the guildstone in his fingers, not immediately recalling what it was, and poked it with his fingers a few times. "Oy! Eh?"

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