Magni Bronzebeard stands, still petrified, next to several extremely large tomes, attended by Advisor Belgrum and Honor Guard Dunstan. Advisor Belgrum used to be located in the Halls of Explorers, and his dialogue indicates that he feels he is to blame for Magni's current predicament. Belgrum was involved in the events of the Shattering, helping to translate the tablet that led to Magni's eventual petrification and heading up the interim goverment prior to the Council of the Three Hammers. Honor Guard Dunstan appears to be a new NPC (unless he is related to a certain mountaineer).
I was very interested to see that Magni stands within a pattern of stones laid on the ground. We don't know whether the laying of this pattern was part of the ritual that transformed him, or part of the result. Aside from the platform these NPCs stand on, there is a long winding pathway that leads down below. The narrow path juts out over the traditional bubbling pool of lava, at the bottom there are two guarded doors. Presumably these lead to the natural caverns and hallways that make up the rest of the Hall of Thanes, containing the burial chambers of past kings. There is no sign that the doors can open at the moment, and there is no sign of the titan relic known as the Iron Forge that gives the city its name.
If I were a suspicious and optimistic blogger, I would say that the textures on those doors make them look mighty temporary. Will they open up more of Old Ironforge in the future? I'd love to see the story of Ironforge take center stage, either as a new area within the city, or perhaps as a possibility for new instances. I wouldn't bet on such a thing for 4.1, but I'll keep my fingers crossed for later in the expansion.
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