The first game was the drunken road, a game in which two of the teams stand opposite, drink in hand and ready to chug. As the first one finishes, they place the empty mug upside down on their head and pat the shoulder of the next in line.
The first round was Clan Dark Iron versus Clan Bronzebeard. At first it seemed, that the Dark Irons would win the round, but Gwetha managed to turn it into a tie.
The second round, Wildhammers versus Bronzebeards looked equally balanced, with me and my old friend Donar being exactly equally fast, sadly the last Wildhammer was a bit faster than the finally awoken member of the original Bronzebeard team.
During the equally close call of a third round, in which the Dark Irons eventually triumphed over the Wildhammers, the remaining two members of the Bronzebeard team showed up, which meant for me that I could only enjoy watching the second game, Boulder tossing, and the third game, pink belly.
I have to admit, drinking those meads this fast had a small impact on me watching the second game. The bright and hot sun did not really help either. I saw the three teams throwing their boulders time and again, three times to be exact. I only remember the last count: Dark Iron 18, Wildhammers 14, Bronzebeards 8. This last count may be example of the overall game. The lads and lasses of Shadowforge once again showed that it's a damned good thing we have them at our side as trusted allies and siblings of the children of Khaz'Goroth. I can't deny that I felt a certain satisfaction at the fact that the Bronzebeard team lost, considering they took it at somewhat granted that I would step down after the first game was finished. But maybe that's the mead speaking again.
After a short break it was time for pink belly. I tie a lot of memories to that game...
Two dwarves, two full mugs on their head. No gauntlets, no chest-plates, no shirts. Last mug standing wins. A simple and fun game, known amongst dwarves of all kind.
It's always packing to watch the fists impact the enemy's guts and peering at the mug on their head, hoping it will (or won't) fall.
The first fight: Dark Iron versus Bronzebeard. Winner: Bronzebeard at the 4th punch
The second fight: Wildhammer versus Bronzebeard. Winner: Wildhammer at 3rd punch (0-3)
The third fight: Widlhammer versus Dark Iron. Winner: Wildhammer at 4th punch
After a night of drinks and good talks, it was time for the third and final day of this year's Highland Games. The Bronzebeard clan, much to my dislike, seemed out of competition for the win, it would mainly be a battle between the Wildhammers and the Dark Irons. I wondered if the hosts of the games would finally claim their very first victory in the tournament.
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With less folk being sober enough than expected, Thane Throrgar Stormheart decided that the teams would be filled up with Wildhammers to support the team captain of the respective clan. Baruk of the Stormhearts leading the Wildhammers, Morgrim Coalhammer leading the Dark Irons and me leading the Bronzebeards. As luck would have it, shortly before our turn began, two more Bronzebeards, Eadwald and Captain Gemir Goldbraids himself, joined Osgar Ironhands and me. And so the dreaded game “Wall” began. One team member runs over a crumbling old wall, whilst the other times hurl boulders at them.
Us and the Wildhammers managed to make two Dark Irons stumble and fall, whilst both our teams only had one poor lad fall down... In the Bronzebeard case, me...
At this point, the Thane Stormheart named the overall statistics of that time:
Bronzebeard: 5 points
Wildhammer: 9 points
Dark Iron: 9 points
A bit disappointed at our certain loss, however motivated to keep fighting as best we could, we moved to the hearth of Kirthaven again, where five kegs waited lined up against a wall. It was time... for the GRIM MILE.
Barleybrew, Thunderale, Blackrock Lager, Dark Iron Rumsey Rum and a Slammer Mixture. Those were the contents of the five kegs and the order in which we would face them.
One of our team, Osgar Ironhands, was laid beneath the first keg. The Thane would open it up, letting the liquid pour all over the lad, who had to drink as much he could in five seconds. Then, the keg was closed again and us other two were to roll him over his belly to the second keg. This process would continue until we either reached the fifth keg, or, as in Osgar's case, when he puked up after the third keg.
Next were the Dark Irons, who came until after the fourth keg before Morgrim's body gave in.
Under the pressure of defeat or win, the Wildhammers started their run and it almost looked like Khres' gut would start it's rebellion after the third keg, he kept it together until after keg number four, ensuring one last tie between the deep-dwelling and the high-flying clan.
The tie-breaker was the perfect incarnation of the Highland Games: Easy, brutal, fun. In one word: Dwarven. How does one play RAMSHEAD? Simple, two people stand opposite each other, then they headbutt each other until a winner is declared. I wish the whole Alliance would use this for certain decisions... Although the Draenei would have a rather unfair advantage... Maybe if we wore our horned helmets? … Och, right, the finale of the games.
The two team captains, Barkor and Morgrim looked each other in the eyes with respect and determination as it began. Barkor tried his best but Morgrim didn't even flinch. Alas, every time Morgrim was the attacker, Barkor was seen stumbling more and more. After the third round it was clear to all: The fourth Highland Games had been won by the Dark Iron clan! Now all that remained was a toast to the great late Thane Grahda Stormheart, who invented these games just four years before his peaceful journey to the Titans.
As the rest of the night is spend with drinks and games and more drinks and more games, I finish these lines in a rather drunken state on the back of my ram. I apologize to the editor for my writing.
For Khaz Modan! For Khaz'Goroth our maker! For the dwarves!
May the Titans watch your ways, now and ever,
Torryk, o' clan Ironskin