From the drag came the constant drone of cicadas punctuated with shrieks of laughter from the orphans watching Midsummer torch jugglers. Inside the shop, the air was still and heavy, and the leatherworkers themselves even more so.
Most were working, or at least attempting to. The tauren, however, had finally succumbed to lethargy and was snoring softly over his pile of unfinished bracers.
"You don't even feel the cold, do you?" the orc asked, voice muffled by the thick, furred helm covering her face.
The tauren shrugged. "I've got a permanent fur coat keeping me warm."
His partner nodded and slapped her hands together a few times before reaching for their supply bags. "Let's get this over with. At least Dalaran is moderately warm compared to here."
They began to chisel sheets of ice from the cliff wall. The tauren tried not to look over his shoulder. "This place gives me the creeps. I feel like I'm being watched."
The orc studiously ignored the enormous frost giant at their back. Tiny dwarves dotted its shoulders. "They're all frozen. Completely harmless." A strong gust of wind whistled through the crystalline figures, making the orc curse.
Carefully, the orc reached out towards the tauren. The other leatherworkers watched with interest as she balanced something on his snout. They snickered when she withdrew her arm without incident.
The Sons of Hodir had agreed to help the leatherworkers after successful negotiations with the Cenarion Circle and more than one exchange of heavy purses. Now the pair sat in the expansive workshop of Dun Niffelem, adhering the carved ice sheets to pauldrons made of wooly rhino hide. The work was monotonous, and the tauren almost didn't notice when the orc snapped the last ring into place and stepped back.
"Time to get the big guy to work his magic," she said, rolling her neck.
The frost giant used a special technique to permanently freeze and fuse the components together. The ice sheets would remain frozen, impervious to any weather, making the thick hide lining indispensable. Unfortunately, the process was too cold for the leatherworkers to even watch. They retreated to another room.
"The waiting is the worst part," the tauren complained. "I'm so bored." He settled himself on a bench and leaned against the wall with a yawn.
The orc rolled her eyes behind the orange glass of her goggles. "I'll agree that it's the worst, but at least you're warm while you wait." She didn't bother to sit, but instead headed straight for the door. "I'm going to hover around the forge."
The tauren's eyes were already drifting shut. He grunted wordlessly at her back.
A sudden snort cut through the barely suppressed chuckling in the room. The tauren opened his eyes and sat up straight, blinking owlishly as he gathered his senses. He looked at the orc next to him, who gazed back as if nothing were amiss.
"I was so bored that I fell asleep in my dream," he told her. The movement caused the perfectly balanced stack of jump rings on his snout to cascade down his front. "What the...?" He looked from the orc to the others in the room. They dissolved into guffaws.