Stoen goes to a volcano

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Stoen
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Stoen goes to a volcano

#1 Post by Stoen » Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:19 pm

The Gnome looked up at the volcano. Un’goro crater. They said it had been ages since it last erupted, but he could still see the light of the molten stones inside illuminating the night sky in a reddish hue. He took a deep breath as he began climbing upwards. He could already feel the sweat on his forehead and the heat was not going to lessen as he got closer to the center.

He had to do it though. It was lovefest. Lumi had been working so hard and he had decided to arrange for a traditional Draenei date night for her. She had always been fond of Draenei things, a preference that had only strengthened when her father had arrived on Azeroth. Sir Auronen had never much cared for the Gnome. Stoen half suspected that he was telling Lumi all about the importance of traditional Draenei culture to subtly remind her that her fiancée was decidedly not traditionally Draenei.

The Gnome had asked sir Auronen for advice on traditional Draenei dates. The old Draenei had snuffed and told him to, step one, jump into a volcano. Step two, get a rock there for the woman. It made sort of sense. The Draenei valued the Light and vindicators had the ability to shield themselves from all harm for a limited time. Surviving in a volcano would indeed be one of the greatest tests of ones affinity with the light in that regard.

Or the old man just wanted Stoen to die. That was entirely possible too.

Stoen’s hands found a rest on the side of the mountain. He pulled himself upwards, grunting as the heavy backpack weighed him down. He had never been strong. He could not wear plate and move at the same time and it had taken him years to learn even the simplest spell using the light. He took a deep breath as he pulled his water skin from his belt and drank deeply. This would work. He had a plan.

The gnome knew he could not throw himself into a volcano. Well, technically, he could but it seemed a bad idea. Instead, he had asked Devvy if she had any leftover Saronite and she had graciously given him a sack full of the metal. He had spent days slowly transmuting it into Titanium before Lylieth had smelted it into Titansteel for him.

Titansteel should be able to survive the heat of a volcano and he now had a chain-link net made of it. Another chain extended outwards from the net so he could pull it back up. He was not sure if it was a good plan or not but it was, decidedly, a plan and he needed to try. Lumililja needed a break from the stress of war and having her fiancée head to an active volcano was the best idea he had to help her relax.

He managed to drag himself further up the volcano. It was getting unbearably warm. Even breathing was difficult. The Gnome leaned against the mountain as he took a small potion from his belt and downed it. Fire protection. It tasted horribly - it was really just a mix of fish oil and dragon guts - but it would help him make it the last of the way. He covered his mouth and nose with a small scarf. He was not certain how toxic the fumes were this close to the mouth of the volcano.

Stoen could see it now. The fiery top of the mountain. The rest of the way was mercifully free of climbing. When the mountain had erupted, it left the top covered in magma that had since stiffened, creating a surface perfect for the next step of the plan.

The gnome wiped his forehead with the back of his hand as he kneeled. He felt lightheaded. It was so terribly hot, but he knew not to take a break up here. He needed to complete the plan, step by step, and get off the mountain as fast as possible. He took another swig from the water skin. While lukewarm water was not the refreshing drink he needed, it would still stave off dehydration.

He put down the heavy backpack. His shoulders ached from the weight they had carried and he knew that they would continue hurting for a few days. He carefully opened the backpack and pulled a radio-controlled cart. A tonk, they called it. He had once won it at the Darkmoon Faire. It was the first part of the plan.

Stoen knew he could not get any closer. The heat was already stinging his eyes when he looked towards the mouth of the volcano. This was fine. This was why he had planned everything out. He pulled the chain-net out of the backpack and placed it onto the tonk. It would drive over the edge and into the volcano. Hopefully, when he pulled it back up, one of the rocks would have gotten caught in it.

He pointed the tonk towards the mouth of the volcano. This was it. It was time to…

To…

Wait. He looked at the tonk. This was step four when he had written it. He was doing it as step three. Climb mountain, put chain on tonk, drive tonk into volcano. Something was missing. He consulted a small piece of paper from his back pocket. It was hard to read. The heat was making him feel dizzy and sweat kept rolling into his eyes.

Oh. Step three; tie the other end of the chain to something. He peered down at the chain dangling loosely from the tonk. He picked it up and wrapped it around a nearby rock formation that peered from the mountain. He decided not to tell anyone how close he had been to just driving the chain net into a volcano with no way of retrieving it. He put a few curved iron rods through the chain-links to fasten them together.

He clicked a few buttons on the tonk. He did not need to control it manually. It only needed to drive forwards, plummet over the edge and into the burning magma below. It sped off in an instantly, its speed barely lessened by the titansteel chain net it carried. Gnomish technology. Clearly. Goblin tech would have exploded, Dwarven tech would have done just as much as it was meant to and Draenei tech would be covered in crystals. He watched as it went over the edge and into the mouth of the volcano. Then nothing. No “Plop” sound. Apparently, lava did not make plops.

Stoen sat down. Lava was not water. It would not sink fast. He took hold of the water skin again and drank deeply. Part of him wanted to pour the water over himself to cool down, but he knew he had to conserve it. The backpack had already been heavy enough without making room for water just to pour over himself. He drank another fire protection potion and grimaced. Fish oil and dragon guts remained as unpleasant as ever.

As the net sank into the magma below, the gnome watched the chain grow smaller. It was taking a while. Stoen sighed. Apparently things did not sink as quickly in magma as they did in water. He wiped his forehead again. It was hard to breathe. He wanted to tear the mask off and inhale deeply, but he knew he should not. The mask was the only thing guarding him from whatever fumes were in the air here. He sighed. He had to be strong. He had to complete the plan and get the rock.

Auronen had told Stoen, that he would convince Lumililja to leave the young Gnome. Stoen knew that he could not tell Lumililja this. It would not be fair, not when she was fighting so much on the frontlines. Plus, she had been so happy when her father returned. He did not want to lessen that happiness. Stoen just had to take it. Let Auronen tell Lumi what he wanted to and hope that she still wanted to be with the Gnome.

He needed that rock.

The rock was proof that he could do whatever a traditional Draenei suitor could. It would prove to Lumililja that she was not giving anything up by being with Stoen, that he was just as capable as the tall, muscular Draenei men Auronen was telling Lumililja about. Stoen looked down at his feet. He was, wasn’t he? He took a deep breath. Yes. Yes, he was. Lumililja said he was and Lumililja was the smartest person in the whole world. So if Lumililja said he made her happy, then he made her happy.

Plus, this way he would be able to tell sir Auronen that he darn well got the rock from the volcano and that the old man had been completely wrong when he thought that Stoen couldn’t do it.

That wasn’t the reason though. Stoen was here for Lumililja.

But he could say it to sir Auronen.

It wasn’t the reason, of course.

But he could. Totally.

The chain had stopped moving. Whether it had reached the bottom or just gotten stuck on its way down, Stoen did not know. He would have to see. He reached into his backpack for the last item he had brought: Thick gloves. Metal transferred heat and the chain was smoldering. He slipped them on and began pulling. He panted from exhaustion, pulling the chain through the thick magma. This was the last step. Once this was done, he would be finished. His arms were trembling by the time he saw the smoldering net appear over the edge. One last pull to get it to safety, then the gnome collapsed, gasping for air.

He did it. He had managed to pull the net up. Now he just needed to check it for rocks. Now, he sternly reminded himself. Do not rest here. Finish the job and get off this mountain. He looked up towards the titansteel net. His eyes widened.

Oh yeah.

Gravity.

As the net rolled down the mountainside towards the small Gnome, he ran. He jumped off the cliffside. Lumililja had taught him all about levitating he just had to concentrate. As he fell, he closed his eyes. Levitate, levitate, levitate…

He opened his eyes. Still plummeting. This was not the plan. He closed his eyes again, tried to think of Lumililja’s lesson. Levitate, dammit, levitate. His hands lit up for the briefest of moments and the torrent of air against his face stopped. He opened his eyes. He was floating a few inches above the ground. He sighed in relief. The cold air on the ground felt so good on his face.

Stoen’s sigh of relief was quickly replaced by a gasp. The net! He had forgotten the net up there. He would have to climb back up. The young Gnome perched his neck upwards to look towards the mountaintop. The net was falling towards him.

Oh yeah.

Gravity.

With a shriek, he managed to jump out of the way as the magma encrusted titansteel net hurled towards him. A splatter of magma dove into the ground a few inches from his face. Too close. Way too close. He staggered onto his feet. He looked over to the titansteel. Smoldering. Covered in magma. He swallowed hard, getting closer.

What if sir Auronen had lied? What if there were no rocks in the volcanos? It was a definite possibility. Could Stoen impress Lumililja just by saying he visited the place? He was unsure. He took a swig from his water skin and poured the remaining liquid over the smoldering pile of titansteel and magma. It sizzled and burned. The Gnome took a few steps backwards.

The Gnome blinked a few times in surprise as the sudden shift in temperature caused the magma coating the net to break open with a loud crack. He took a careful step forward, his eyes fixed on the smoldering pile. Was this really..?

Huh. A rock. Stuck there between the magma caught in the net. A rock.

Deep in the jungle of Un’goro crater, birds scattered as the exhausted Gnome roared in triumph.

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