HALLS OF STONE
Brann Bronzebeard: Well, now. I’m surprised to see other adventurers in a place such as this! If I’d known you were comin’ I woulda tagged along with ye instead o’ flying this infernal gnomish contraption. Now that you’re here through, ye can help me get to the Tribunal! If my research theories about these halls is correct, information pertainin’ to the creation o’ the entire dwarven race lies within!
—Brann, It would be our honor!—
Brann: Time to get some answers! Let’s get this show on the road!
Take a moment and relish this with me. Soon … all will be revealed. Okay then, let’s do this!
Gaze upon it comrades! What a wondrous sight indeed! If only my dear brothers could be here with me at this moment in time. They would not believe what a discovery this will be! The Tribunal are the librarians for the Titan discs, which are stored in this very room. Look! You can see the discs beneath the floor! We must hurry, the greatest discovery of Dwarven kind is just up ahead!
—Let’s move Brann, enough of the history lesson!—
Brann: Now keep an eye out! I’ll have this licked in two shakes of a -
Abedneum: Warning, life form pattern not recognized. Archival processing terminated. Continued interference will result in targeted response.
Brann: Oh, that doesn’t sound good. We might have a complication or two.
Kaddrak: Security breach in progress. Analysis of historical acrhives transferred to lower-priority queue. Countermeasures engaged.
Brann: Ah, you want to play hardball, eh? That’s just my game!
Couple more minutes and I’ll—
Marnak: Threat index threshold exceeded. Celestial archive aborted. Security level heightened.
Brann: Heightened? What’s the good news?
So that was the problem? Now I’m makin’ progress…
Abedneum: Critical threat index. Void analysis diverted. Initiating sanitization protocol.
Brann: Hang on! Nobody’s gonna’ be sanitized as long as I have a say in it!
Ha! The old magic fingers finally won through! Now let’s get down to—
Abedneum: Alert: security fail-safes deactivated. Beginning memory purge and …
Brann: Purge? No no no no no … where did I—Aha, this should do the trick…
Abedneum: System online. Life form pattern recognized. Welcome, Branbronzan. Query?
Brann: Query? What do you think I’m here for, tea and biscuits? Spill the beans already!
Tell me how the dwarves came to be, and start at the beginning!
Abedneum: Accessing prehistoric data… retrieved. In the beginning the earthen were created to—
Brann: Right, right… I know the earthen were made from stone to shape the deep regions o’ the world. But what about the anomalies? Matrix non-stabilizin’ and what-not?
Abedneum: Accessing… In the early stages of it’s development cycle, Azeroth suffered infection by parasitic necrophotic symbiotes.
Brann: Necrowhatinthe—Speak bloody Common, will ye?
Abedneum: Designation: Old gods. Old gods rendered all systems, including earthen, defenseless in order to facilitate assimilation. This matrix destabilization has been termed “the Curse of Flesh”. Effects of destabilization increased over time.
Brann: Old gods, huh? So they zapped the earthen with this Curse of Flesh… and then what?
Kaddrak: Accessing… Creators arrived to extirpate symbiotic infection. Assessment revealed that Old god infestation had grown malignant. Excising parasites would result in loss of host—
Brann: If they killed the Old gods, Azeroth would’ve been destroyed…
Kaddrak: Correct. Creators neutralized parasitic threat and contained it within the host. Forge of Wills and other systems were instituted to create new earthen. Safeguards were implemented, and protectors were appointed.
Brann: What protectors?
Kaddrak: Designations: Aesir and Vanir. Or in the common nomenclature, storm and earth giants. Sentinel Loken designated supreme. Dragon Aspects appointed to monitor evolution on Azeroth.
Brann: Aesir and Vanir… Okay, so the Forge o’ Wills started makin’ new earthen… but what happened to the old ones?
Marnak: Additional background is relevant to your query: following global combat between Aesir and Vanir—
Brann: Hold everything! The Aesir and Vanir went to war? Why?
Marnak: Unknown. Data suggests that impetus for global combat originated with prime designate Loken, who neutralized all remaining Aesir and Vanir, affecting termination of conflict. Prime designate Loken then initiated stasis of several seed races, including earthen, giants and vrykul, at designated holding facilities.
Brann: This “Loken” sounds like a nasty character. Glad we don’t have to worry about the likes o’ him anymore. So… if I’m understandin’ ye right, the original earthen eventually woke up from this stasis, and by that time the destabili-whatever had turned’ em into proper dwarves. Or at least… dwarf ancestors.
Marnak: Essentially, that is correct.
Brann: Well, now… that’s a lot to digest. I’m gonna need some time to take all this in. Thank ye.
Abedneum: Acknowledged, Branbronzan. Session terminated.
Brann: I think it’s time to see what’s behind the door near the entrance. I’m going to sneak over there, nice and quiet. Meet me at the door and I’ll get us in.
—- At the Forge of Wills room we fight Sjonnir the Ironshaper—-
Brann: Don’t worry! Ol’ Brann’s got yer back! Keep that metal monstruosity busy, and I’ll see if I can’t sweet talk this machine into helping ye!
Sjonnir the Ironshaper: Soft, vulnerable shells. Brief fragile lives. You cannot escape the curse of flesh!
Brann: This is a wee bit trickier than before… Oh, bloody—incomin’!
What in the name o’ Madoran did THAT do? Oh! What: I just about got it…
Ha, that did it! Help’s a-comin’! Take this, ya glowin’ Iron brute!
Sjonnir the Ironshaper: Flesh is no match for iron!
Loken will not rest… until the forge is retaken! You change… nothing!
Brann: Loken?! That’s downright bothersome… We might’ve neutralized the iron dwarves, but I’d lay odds there’s another machine somewhere else churnin’ out a whole mess o’ these iron vrykul!
I’ll use the forge to make batches o’ earthen to stand guard… But our greatest challenge still remains: find and stop Loken!
HALLS OF LIGHTNING
Loken: I have witnessed the rise and fall of empires… the birth and extinction of entire species… Over countless milennia the foolishness of mortals has remained the only constant. Your presence here confirms this.
My master has shown me the future, and you have no place in it. Azeroth will be reborn in darkness. Yogg-Saron shall be released! The Pantheon shall fall!
What hope is there for you? None!
You stare blindly into the abyss!
You cannot hide from fate!
Your ignorance is profound. Can you not see where this path leads?
Come closer. I will make it quick.
You cross the precipice of oblivion!
Your flesh cannot hold out for long.
My death … heralds the end of this world.