Stubborn. If there’s one thing everyone believes about dwarves, it’s that we are stubborn to a fault. Stubbornness, however, is borne from our other, more tasteful traits – Loyalty, honor, tradition.
Being stubborn is about following through. Getting it done. Being there through thick and thin. Facing hardship head on. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose, but rarely will a dwarf not try. I know stubbornness is what brought about Moira’s rise to power, and also what keeps the Council both working and at odds with one another.
I spend the majority of my time out and about in the Dwarven realms, doing what I can to help others tough it out and make it through these trying times. When I am in Ironforge or Stormwind, I hear of the other kind of stubbornness. That born of arrogance and greed. The kind that makes you selfish.
As I watch the Horde turn on their leader, I can’t help but think back to the Cataclysm, and Moira’s return to Ironforge. Both struggles were born of stubbornness, yet the outcome is vastly different . Moira learned from her mistakes. Garrosh refuses to admit he makes any.
Tradition. Traditions teach us, they give us comfort. They bring us together. They give us commonality. Sometimes they give us purpose.
Tradition is not just handed down. We make our own traditions – toasting fallen comrades or greeting one another with words from a meaningful shared experience. These traditions are just as important as those our grandfathers taught their daughters who teach us.
I spend much of my time these days in Halfhill, where tradition is steeped in the pure waters from the Vale, and harvested from the earth. The rumors are that the waters are at risk. Endangered by a man who hides his ambition in the traditions of the Warrior Horde. By a man who has abused those traditions so completely that his own people turn away from him.
Other shamans pass through Halfhill, interested in this place for the exquisite cooking or magnificent plants that can be grown. Trolls, Tauren, even Orcs. They hide their traditions, fearing that outsiders will think they support the man who flaunts those traditions. They speak in hushed voices only with those they know. Passing messages, to be sure. Making new traditions.
Loyal. One thing you learn young in the Wildhammer clan, as a Doyle, is that we fly together. No Doyle, and no Doyle Gryphon are ever left behind. But things were changing in the Highlands. The Twilight Cult was getting more active. Out of Loyalty to my home, I was asked to leave it.
Loyalty is not just the oaths you make, but how you feel in your heart. Brawls broke out everywhere in Ironforge when I arrived, and all of them were about Loyalty. Loyalty to our leaders, both living and dead. Loyalty to our homes, to our traditions.
I spend my days in Ironforge, my truest loyalty stripped from me while I was away. But I am a Doyle, I will live as a Doyle and die as a Doyle. I hear tales from the heroes of Pandaria, of Garrosh and his misplaced loyalties.
In the high mountains of my homes, I imagine the gryphons flying free, untethered to dwarvish loyalty. And I hope they are happy.
This is the second in a 10-part series. Hero is the first part.
The Light teaches a great deal about honor. Dwarves as a whole consider themselves honorable. But honor is more than respect. It’s doing the right thing. It’s how you know you’re doing the right thing. In times like these, there is so much shadow it’s hard to see the Light, and we must look closely to find the honorable.
Honor is defined more by what you will not do, than what you will. At Stonard, not killing those who do not bear arms against us. At the Wrathgate, standing beside the Horde rather than fighting them. Letting Maev take the final blow against Illidan. And at Orgrimar, discerning between those who follow Garrosh, and those who would stop him – regardless of previous alliances.
I spend much of my time in quiet contemplation, speaking with Lorewalkers and Shado-Pan to understand what the Sha are and how best to heal the Vale. But my heart seethes at the wonton destruction caused by one man whose sense of honor has abandoned him.
This is a 10-part series. The Clan of Three Hammers: Hero, is the first installment.
Hero. I’ve been called that. I don’t think it’s true, until I reflect on what I’ve done. What I’m doing now, sitting in this shrine turned inn. It’s a strange time we live in, and stranger still the things I’ve seen.
A broken world where the plains remained largely untouched. Our own world torn asunder by the one who should be keeping it. A frozen continent overrun with undead, whose very thoughts are driven by a madman. A place where negative emotions are manifest.
Heroes are defined by their deeds. Heroes do what needs to be done, sacrificing themselves to the cause. Am I a hero because I stood in front of Illidan and walked away when he did not? Am I a hero because I’ve face Arthas? Am I a hero because I chased Deathwing to the Maelstrom, and there, ensured he did not return to the earth?
I spend a great deal of my time on the terrace, looking out across what was once one of the most beautiful places in Azeroth. The changes were caused by one man. Am I a hero because I believe he should be stopped?
Across the wasted pools of the Vale is the Temple of the Moon. There, those who would call me enemy make their temporary home. Those who were led by the man whose lust for power is so great he will stop at nothing. I imagine that across this field is another hunter. An orc, perhaps, or a troll. And she gazes across the devastation and her heart aches just as mine does.