Kallixta stared at her friend with the shock she was feeling showing as plainly as the sun in the sky. "Never. It just never occurred to me. Why would I? Have you ever wished to be of a different race?"
There was a stretched moment of quiet as Aldonza considered the turnabout. "I have, but never for long. It's just I overhead some others talking about it, which is why I brought it up." There followed another pause without either talking. Aldonza fiddled with her empty beer stein, prodding it with a finger to push it in circles, before she gathered the conversational reins again. "Some have real advantages over humans, you know. I feel life just flashing past and I'll not accomplish much in my time. So I dream about it sometimes."
"What advantage do you really think would be worth it?" the dwarven paladin asks with puzzlement.
"A longer lifespan? Seriously, Kalli. I'm past middle age, remember, while many in your family consider you immature." The human's eyes flash with a mix of emotions, but her fingers don't stop. The stein has drifted further from its origin, but she is ignoring it. "And many seem better equipped to fight. Azeroth is a dangerous place and these bones are feeling fragile. Not to mention I feel thin skinned next to you. Oops, there I go mentioning it. Doesn't that get under your... Stone Skin?" Human laughter echoes differently in an Ironforge tavern than it might elsewhere.
With a smile for her friend, Kallixta nods, accepting the joke and point. "Humans do seem frail and short-lived. You could dedicate yer life to a worthy goal and still not spend fifty years at it, eh? And yer a mite tall looking. You and those elven folk all look too stretched out in a Procrustean way."
Aldonza wrinkled her nose at the newly mentioned race. "Elves?"
"Not yer ideal?" Kallixta asks curiously.
A small shrug. "Is wasn't their height I was thinking about, but I'm already taller than you. No, I was thinking they just seem too sure of their beauty. They'd never understand others don't see their grace and want to be like them. Too sure of themselves."
A dwarven laugh erupts this time, sounding much more at home. Kallixta continues to chuckle as she makes her reply, "Methinks that's a charge more oft said of humans, girl. Center of the Universe, aren't they? Thought the Titans looked like themselves and all, at least until recently. In their own image, or something. So if it ain't the elves, then you'd want to be Draenei?"
Aldonza shakes her head as she raises her heads to make horns and then dangle tentacles beneath her chin. "Although to be fair, I suppose a Draenei girl finds it attractive. They do seem to know a few things."
Kallixta agrees, "I envy their attunement to the Light. Both Humans and Draenei seem more at home with being a Paladin. Oft they make it seem easy while I'm struggling. Probably my imagination."
Aldonza gives another laugh as she points her finger across the table, "There you go, measuring everything from one point. If you were magically changed into a Draenei or Human, you might also change what you do. Maybe you'd be a Shaman or something."
Kallixta's reaction is one of obvious shudders, not hidden. "I don't trust that Voodoo. It's a perversion of the elements, that is. And they're corrupting the dwarves with it."
"Kallixta, honey..." Aldonza chides, "You grew up with the Wildhammers. Didn't you see it there?"
A frown slowly passes through puzzlement before settling into a sigh. "It seemed quaint, at the time. They seem to be more careful about it. Since the Shattering, I don't find it quaint any more. Most unsettling. You gotta be careful, messing about with the Elements. Too capricious. No dedication."
Aldonza hides her exasperation over the repeated theme. Sometimes her friend is a bit too stubborn to see things needing a wider view. "Yes. I totally agree." Aldonza knows a thing or two about diplomacy too, and without having a father in the business, so to speak.
"So when we started this exercise, what were you thinking? That you wanted to be a Gnome?" Kallixta looks over at the human, looking for clues before she actually answers.
"No." Aldonza shakes her head firmly, "That's not what I was thinking. Too different from me, and I don't just mean things like mischief. They just don't know proper limits. They wiggle their way into all sorts of tiny crannies where they ain't welcome. Like Warlockery. I think they're a more dangerous ally than the Refugees."
"I don't get it. We went through all the good races of the Alliance. You weren't thinking of Horde, were you?"
A wry chuckle is her answer, "Not hardly. Nor some corruption, like the Worgen. It's too obvious to you, Kalli. Think, my friend. Where have I made my home?"
"Ironforge" is the quick response, not requiring Kallixta to actually think as suggested. When her mind catches up, she finally groans, "Ooh! Yer thinking you'd rather be a Dwarf. Yer smarter than I thought. Or was it just you've been seen too many good-looking Dwarven studs?"
A snort is her only answer.