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footballdude
Premium
join:2002-08-13
Imperial, MO
reply to Adalicia

Re: You Awaken In Razor Hill (Intermission)

This stuff is inspired. Long winded, but inspired.


Adalicia
Om Nom Nom

join:2009-10-13
Lincoln, NE
kudos:13
reply to VinceAtLSU
Bare in mind that this was a series of posts, back and forth between the OP (Alex Levinton) and a wealth of forum goers. Originally starting on Monday, 30 November (2009) at 11:55 it finally came to an end on Wednesday, 02 December (2009) at 01:28 with an epilogue that came later on that day and a follow up to several questions that were asked post end on Friday, 04 December (2009) at 17:05.

This went on for a fairly long time, had a retarded number of replies and views.
--
Lore Nerd. Role Player. Raid Leader. Discipline Priest. Slightly Annoying. Also Likes Kittens.


VinceAtLSU

join:2008-09-22
Slidell, LA
cool, that's kind of what I figured. The OP is a talented story teller.


stvnbrs
Premium
join:2009-03-17
Cary, NC
kudos:5
reply to Adalicia

Re: [ Lore] You Awaken In Razor Hill

Click for full size
He walks from Razor Hill to Org
Just found this on PTR, couldn't believe it.


stonhinge
Premium
join:2003-07-28
Topeka, KS
reply to Adalicia
It's Silent Hill done in the style of Zork, set in WoW, by Douglas Adams. Unmitigated Awesome.
--
When the ship lifts, all bills are paid. No regrets.


stvnbrs
Premium
join:2009-03-17
Cary, NC
kudos:5
reply to Adalicia
Finally finished this, need moar!!!!


Rhenai

join:2010-09-07
Elkhorn, NE
kudos:1
reply to Adalicia
This is great - feel like I'm reading an eBook, can't wait for the next download. I grew up with Larry the Lounge Lizard, and then played an online, text-based game - Gemstone - for years before I fell into WoW - this brings them all together. Thanks so much for sharing.


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
reply to Adalicia

Re: You Awaken In Razor Hill (Intermission)

Thanks for sharing the addictive reading material
must have more NOW


Someone2

join:2010-09-15
reply to Adalicia

Re: [ Lore] You Awaken In Razor Hill

Damn my eyes hurt from reading that all in one go but PLEASE POST THE REST AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!


Rogue Wolf
Ate the Leftover Chicken You Had Saved

join:2003-08-12
Troy, NY
reply to Adalicia
I don't mean to steal the OP's thunder, but there is a site where the whole story is posted. I won't put up a link because a) it's easily Googled and b) some folks would probably prefer to read it all here.

Also, the story gave me a deep and burning need to name something, anything, "Hazardous Shovel Array".

And did Blizz actually put Tednugent (with a shorter name) and Scratchfever in the game? Oh, em, gee, that is FREAKIN' AWESOME.
--
Justin Timberlake brought sexy back. I'm putting it away again.

This content may not be retransmitted by your cable company without significant rate increases!


stvnbrs
Premium
join:2009-03-17
Cary, NC
kudos:5
said by Rogue Wolf:

And did Blizz actually put Tednugent (with a shorter name) and Scratchfever in the game? Oh, em, gee, that is FREAKIN' AWESOME.
See screenshot above. That is an NPC that travels 1/2 way to Org, sits down, then heads back to Razor Hill. I didn't track his entire trip, but thought, wow Blizz is F*&$ing cool!

PuffTMD

join:2010-02-05
Escondido, CA
reply to VinceAtLSU

Re: You Awaken In Razor Hill (Intermission)

said by VinceAtLSU:

holy balls. i'm about 3/4 in. I need a break. maybe i'll pick it up tomorrow. god i hope the end is worth it... i have a feeling it isnt. but i'm in this far, i must finish. thanks for posting.
It's worth it. It truly just keeps getting better and better.


stvnbrs
Premium
join:2009-03-17
Cary, NC
kudos:5
reply to Adalicia

Re: [ Lore] You Awaken In Razor Hill

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q u o t e:

Wait, officially? IE, Blizzard asked you to write something?!

If you replace Knack, I think I would weep. With joy.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Officially, Blizzard's lore department caught wind of this story and contacted me a couple months ago. They asked me for pitches for short stories, I delivered about three or four and they liked what I came up with so they had me sign a contract and an NDA.

I can't tell you what characters i'm using, but it's short fiction.
It's not novels, not yet at least, I am not supplanting Knaack.

I do get the feeling they want to see precisely what I can do working within their IP without meta or satire, so maybe novels later? I really have no idea. It's one hell of an opportunity, I'm doing my best to ensure I don't squander it.

source:Uldum Realm Forums
Posted 07/18/2010 06:59:24 PM PDT by:Dusk (the author of this story)


VinceAtLSU

join:2008-09-22
Slidell, LA
wow, that's pretty awesome


flaymore

join:2010-08-11
Evansville, IN
reply to Adalicia
this is pretty amazing i want morrrreeeeee

well worth the read


StumpMan
Premium
join:2001-07-26
Clinton, NC
reply to Adalicia
^WIN^

I especially loved the Hitchhikers Guide game references. Classic! Can't wait to read more!


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
as we wait on ada to post more heres a sample that I thought was funny

quote:
Pile of Assorted Herbs and Secret Spices - Colonel Saurfang's special blend of eleven herbs and spices. Required for creating potions.


spellbane

join:2008-02-12
Knightdale, NC
reply to Adalicia
Read the whole story today. I finished what you posted and copy pasted the rest into an email. long read, but definitely an epic story.
I only wish I was there for the beginning of it all. Made me think, wouldn't it be cool if this was something regular that happened on forums. It was certainly very entertaining. I wouldn't have thought to say some of the really dumb stuff people said, but it made it even more amusing when he responded.

Keldori

join:2010-03-05
Belle River, ON
reply to Adalicia
So how many parts is this thing? Its a masterpiece to btw lol


Someone2

join:2010-09-15
reply to Adalicia
NEED MOAR NAO PLOX


Adalicia
Om Nom Nom

join:2009-10-13
Lincoln, NE
kudos:13
reply to Adalicia

You Awaken In Razor Hill (Part Eighteen)

> get nekkid. If this is a dream, you might as well respect the classics

And we're off to a fine, fine start.

As you whip off your clothes, it suddenly occurs to you that you haven't even begun to study for your Snake Trap Theory and Practice final!

Oh god, you are so fucked, Professor Staburfase is going to flunk you and then your dad will give you that speech about how you've been the hugest embarrassment of his entire life and any second now the Valley of Trials Cheerleading Team will show up to point and laugh at your pathetic little -

oh no

(Your Self-Esteem is now 55%!)

You screech the thought process to a halt, your Armor clutched to your chest.

Wow that spiraled out of control fast.

Something about being in someone else's mind is seriously weakening your control over your own.



> Be prepared to resummon Larry because you don't remember Zalazane being so powerful he can put people into his mind.

As much as Larry is a physical powerhouse to a kind of scary degree, Scratchfever is way better for your Self-Esteem.

As a matter of fact... just... just looking at him, the way he gazes at you with pure Loyalty and abject devotion..

Man. If your Cat loves you this much, you must not be all that bad, you know?

There must be something to love about you, right?

(Your Self-Esteem is now 75%)



> See if by combining the Bottle of Dire Mojo with a Saronite Bullet you can get anouther IWIN button.
> Dip one in the dire mojo (i think that was what it was called) to make: One bomb to rule them all. Put the beastly bomb into the box with your golden bullet for safekeeping.
> Consider combining your brand new vial of Dire Mojo with your hazardous shovel array to see if it will allow you to dig yourself out of Zalazane's head.


You lift the Bottle of Dire Mojo out of your bag and are immediately flung off your feet by some kind of localized earthquake.

You hit the ground, clutching the bottle. It's rumbling and bucking so hard you need both hands to hold on to it.

You move it once, slowly, carefully in the air and the ground under you rolls like boiling water, toppling Wheelbarrows, sending Diggling Implements tumbling in all directions and rattling the Planks of the Fence and the Shack against each other, threatening to simply tear them apart.

Very, very carefully, you return the bottle back into your bags.

If you Uncork this here, you might break Zalazane's Dream.

Doing so while you're still in it might not be such a great idea.

God, that's just like you, isn't it? It's just like your Dad always said, you never think before you act, never. You just nearly destroyed yourself and for what? Really? For what?

Some cosmic trinket that's not actually guaranteed to do anything?

The fucking labels keep telling “you this shit will kill you,” and here you are, banking on them being helpful.

You feel so stupid, so incredibly stupid.

(Your Self-Esteem is now 55%!)



> Play a facemelter with your arcanite ripper that can acually melt faces.
> Singing to yourself seems to make your morale or will stronger than that of Zalazane, at least near where you stand... Dos this mean if you can construct some wicked-ass amps, and break out some heavy riffs on your Arcanite Ripper, you could expand your influence over a greater portion of Zalazane's dreamworld, and bend that reality to your will?


This place is fraying your edges out raw. Every thought, emotion and whim that so much as crosses your mind is being amplified a hundred times over and shot back through you.

The slightest thought in the wrong direction sends your Self-Esteem into a screaming nosedive.

You upend your Arcanite Ripper and twist the pommel, producing knobs and strings from within the axe with a metal shhhhak.

Lame or not, you need to give a Devotion to the Lord of the Chord right now, or, or, or you don't know, you just have to.

He'll help you, he's got to, you just need to call Him and, and, and, and He'll, He'll forgive you if your Devotion is Lame, he won't really mind, you'll just, you'll -

Scratchfever tackles you, shakes you by the shoulders and slaps you across the face.

Get a hold of yourself, man!

You rub your cheek.

You... you don't know what came over you... you're okay now... whew...

(Your Self-Esteem is now 25%!)

Oh shit - oh shit - oh shit - you can't even see your fingertips at all anymore and your vision is fading because light is just passing through your eyes oh god you need an Ego Boost fast



> Spam Volley at random objects, just for the hell of it.

You aim a Volley past the Fence and into the Miniature Subterranean Primordial Forest and let fly.

A rain of bullets crashes down like a meteor storm in the unsuspecting Forest, stamping a circle of ruin down into the miniature landscape. Fires spring up within and around the radius of your fury and begin to spread into the forest, ancient trees and innocent creatures bursting into flames and screaming, their cries echoing up all around you.

There. Breaking stuff smaller than you always cheers you up.

(Your Self-Esteem is now 45%!)

Okay. You've got some substance back.

You need to be more careful, frivolous thoughts could be fatal.



> Have sex with the nearest critter and have Catscratch video tape it.

Speaking of which, seeing as you've got your pants off, you may as well fuck a squirrel.

(Your Self-Esteem is now 35%)

Wait! Wait! Not a squirrel! You are not a pervert! You have a healthy interest in sex and it's nothing to be ashamed of! You meant, um, you meant...



> Start bragging about how you totally made out with Mary in Razor Hill (leave out the fact she was all corpsy when she got her arm around you). Maybe that will draw out Z. in a jealous rage.

Man, she was all over you.

And she was hot like fire, did you see those curves?

You're here to save her, too, you are her only hope.

You're going to find her and Pyramid Hogger's going to be looming over her all menacing and horrible and she'll be screaming your name as you pop him in the face with the Godstorm Shell.

You cannot wait for that part. You are going to shoot that scary motherfucker so hard and then you're going to sweep Mary off her feet and then, my friend, you are going to totally going to score.

(Your Self-Esteem is now 75%!)



> Dress up Scratchfever as Mary and dance with her if the first doesn't work. Use whatever is available for costuming- coconut bra and such.
>If catscratch refuses to be the "girl", you'll have to switch roles, and dress up in the coconut bra and grass skirt yourself.


You sweep Scratchfever up into your arms and run your hand over his head, practicing the Intensely Badass line you'll whisper to Mary as something explodes in the background and sweeping, orchestral music builds up.

You lean in for the explosive kiss that will set the whole world on fire.

(Your Self-Esteem is now 85%!)

Scratchfever, cradled in your arms, stares up at you, his paws folded somewhat defensively across his chest, staring wide-eyed at you, politely deflecting your kiss.

It's... it's not that he's got anything against such, such things, it's just he... he really considers himself more as as your Right Hand Man, you know? I mean, he loves you, he's just not in love with you, you understand?

This rejection doesn't upset you or disturb your Self-Esteem, seeing as how you were just lost in the moment and are Not Actually Into That Kind Of Thing.



> if not, jam a large stick upright into the ground, and hang anything noticeable onto it, then move straight in any direction until you hit a limit, then turn 180 degrees, and attempt to return to the stick.
> If you find no boundary, then return before the stick disappears from your keen vision
> If you do not return to stick, try to find some familiar landmarks


You ram a Shovel in the ground in front of the Gravedigger's Shack and walk to the edge of the Fence.

You turn around and carefully observe the Shovel as you step back and forth. It looks like Scale and Perspective are a constant within the Fence. You test this out further, moving along the perimeter of the fence and keeping an eye on that Shovel.

So long as you're within the Gravedigger's Yard, scale and perspective appear to function normally. It's just everything beyond that Fence that's all weird.



> Once you have this information on dimensions, test some other directions to try to get the same result

You pick up a rock and toss it over the Fence.

It smashes down a copse of ancient Miniature Banyan Trees and remains the exact same size as when you tossed it.

You pry two of the Fence Planks apart just enough to slip a flat stone through the Fence, and the rock vanishes from sight almost immediately.

You peer over the Fence, squinting your Keen Eyes for it, but it's far too small to be seen.

You lean back against a Wheelbarrow, rubbing your chin.

'Strange Thoughts' indeed.



> Wait a minute.. You're an engineer. Can't you make high-powered explosives out of some ground up rock and cloth? Let's make some bombs! Collect rocks, grind them up, and magically combine them with some (or all) of your exciting undergarments! You should create at least a half a dozen sticks of dynamite.
> Strap the remainder of the bombs to your chest, raising your badass level 15 points!


Oh you know what time it is.

You seize one Wheelbarrow, fill it up with Digging Implement Handles and toss in an Immolation trap before grabbing a second Wheelbarrow, upending it and fitting it on top. You poke the trigger on the Immolation Trap with a rusting Spade and it pops, coating the Handles with Magic Fire.

There we go, that looks sort of like a Forge!

Now, for an Anvil. You seize the last Wheelbarrow, upend it and set it on the ground. Perfect!

Time to make us some bombs, yo!

You seize a large rock, haul it to your Anvil and slam it down on top, badly denting your Anvil in the process.

You flip your Blacksmith's Hammer out of your bag, spin it in your hand like the old pro you are, and proceed to hit the rock with it, over and over and over, cracking bits of it off and buckling your Anvil in half.

You cut a bit of Rope out of the Ladder and unravel some of its strands into what you figure Fuses look like and attach them with small Trowels hammered into spikes.

(Tednugent has received item: Two (2) Smallish Rocks With Bits of String Nailed To Them)

(Your Self-Esteem is now 95%!)



> Realize that this may be a controllable dream world.
> If so, spawn a laser cannon out of your face.
> (If that guys post about the dream being controled well this is sorta like that.) Imagine Harpy slave
> Aggro hulking zalazane zombie
> If that fails insult hulking zalazane zombie till he crys and leaves you alone. Or feign death.Or send harpy slave if it works.


You concentrate with all your might on Face Lasers and Harpy Slave, straining until your entire body shakes and your face goes purple. You let out an almighty “Hrrrrrnnnnggggggg” as you visualize the Face Laser and envision every single feather on that sleek, soft, firm rump, until you get really light headed and black out for a few moments.

You lift up your head and feel up your face for your new Laser, glancing around for your Devoted Slave.

Nope. Didn't work.

You hang your head, dejected. Looks like you don't have the ability to alter Zalazane's Dream.

It's probably because you're not Zalazane.

This notion – that you failed because you attempted the impossible – does not stop you from feeling terrible about it.

This damn creepy-ass stalker's got stronger brains than you?

(Your Self-Esteem is now 65%)



> (if door does not open) attempt to goad Zalazane out of hiding once more by urinating on the mummified trolls. If they somehow come to life, just blow 'em to bits. Cuz that would be freakin' badass

You unleash bladder hell all over a long-dead Mummified Troll.

Take that. Yeah. You like that? I bet you like that.

This makes you feel a little better about yourself. After all, you're the one doing the pissing.

(Your Self-Esteem is now 75%!)



> Use shovel array to break and enter into Gravedigger's Shack
> Use shovel to pry open the shack door.
> Investigate inside of shack.
> Attempt to pry Gravekeeper door open with a shovel
> (if door opens) investigate the shack, looking for anything that would get you the hell out of here
> The guy's a Gravedigger. Someone that fucked in the head has GOT to have some Liquid Courage stashed away. TO THE SHED!
> If not, simply use the shovel array to dig your way out.


You brandish your Hazardous Shovel Array, locate the Broken Handle you jury-rigged as the activation lever and yank it, hard.

The Array roars to life like the awakening of an Elder God, letting out a grinding VRRRRRRRRUNNN unnnunnnunnnunnunnn unn unn, flailing a dozen shovels, picks and hammers back and forth so hard, just holding on to it is shaking the hell out of your entire body.

Wait, hang on you've got this

You spin, trying to keep the machine steady, the Hazardous Array thrashing and mauling the air as you struggle to regain some semblance of control.

Scratchfever dives for cover under a pile of Mummified Trolls.

it's okay, everything's fine, don't panic you've got everything under-

The Array rips clean through what's left of your Anvil, shredding battered, rusted iron like paper, just plowing through it and the stone you set on it and blasting them into strips. You let out a short cry chopped into ululation by the earthquake-force vibrations slamming through your body.

it's cool, wait, hang on, you've totally got it

You trip, stagger forward, and the Hazardous Shovel Array rips the whole front of the Gravedigger's Shack clean off it's frame, reducing wood planks to toothpicks in seconds. You fall backwards and struggle to shut this fucking thing off!

It kicks in your hands, lets out a long whine of grinding gears, sputters and puts to a halt, those flailing shovels and picks jerking a few times as they gradually come to a rest.

You sit on the floor, gasping for breath and make sure all your fingers are still attached as you stow the Array away in your bags.

You have no idea how where the two-stroke engine in the Hazardous Shovel Array came from.

You don't actually remember building one, but you're not particularly surprised it ended up in there.

Your skill in Engineering is legendary.

(Your Self-Esteem is now 85%!)

You approach the Gravedigger's Shack and are met with a blast of cold wind that just cuts right through you. You suddenly remember the whole “currently naked” thing and quickly get your Armor back on.

You put your hands on the shattered wooden frame and peer in.

There's absolutely nothing shack-like about this, you're looking... you're looking down a long, stone tunnel, mossy and decaying, the stones uneven, parts of the walls gently crumbling away.

There is a bright light at the end of it.

Scratchfever comes to your side, safely in Prowl as you ratchet a round into your Rifle and slowly, carefully, make your way down it.



> Scream at Zalazane. "RIGHT NOW I NEED YOU TO WAKE UP. JUST WAKE UP, ZALAZANE. PLEASE, WAKE UP."

You creep carefully down the tunnel, your rifle pointed dead ahead, keeping a careful eye open for anything remotely resembling a trap.

“Zalazane?” you call out down the tunnel. Your voice echoes back, distorted and torn by the rush of wind.

You crouch down and try again.

“Zalazane! I need you to wake up, Zalazane! You need to wake up, so we can talk!”

You glance down at the cocked Rifle in your hands and quickly hide it behind your back.

“Just wake up, Zalazane! Wake up and we can talk all about how much you loved Mary!”

The name 'Mary' echoes back at you a thousand times. You lick your lips. This is getting nowhere. You press on down the tunnel.

The light at the end of the tunnel burns bright and brighter as you approach, its stark light nearly blinding you as you come out of the darkness and into the light-

…......... …......... …......... …......... …......... …......... ….........

all i wan'ed was to love her
she was beautiful, mon.
like sunrise over da sea.
ev'ry time she move, it like she was dancin'
dancin'
to some music only she could hear
so beautiful


You shield your eyes from something that burns like the sun as you step out of that tunnel, squinting until your eyes adjust to the light.

You are standing at the very apex of the Stone Troll Temple in the center of the Subterranean Primordial Jungle, overlooking the vast, rolling carpet of green cut through with slashes of raging blue.

Crumbling statues to long-dead Gods you don't even recognize loom over you, their forms obscured almost completely with a thick shroud of green.

Behind you, the Spire of the Temple rises up into the air, nearly touching the Cavern Ceiling far, far overhead. You shield your eyes – there's something mounted at the top of that spire that is burning fiercely. You can't make out what it is.

Before you is a huge Stone Sacrificial Altar, stained black with centuries of blood and holding what appears to be a large book that is literally bound in stone. All around the Altar are piles upon piles of Shrunken Heads, hundreds of them, maybe thousands, just heaped up in great mounds, shrivelled and misshapen to the point where it's impossible to tell what race they once were.

To either side of you are immense stone doors that appear to lead into the Temple itself. There doesn't seem to be any visible way of opening them, they're just monstrous slabs of stone set into high doorjams, intricately carved with what appear to be highly stylized renditions of Ravening Worms.

These seem to be hieroglyphics, but you can't quite tell what sort of story they're trying to tell without closer inspection. The dominant theme appears to be Worms slaughtering and devouring people by the thousands.

Cheerful.

Beyond that is the beginning of the vast, stone stairwell that leads all the way down the Temple and into the modest Troll Village, far, far below. The way down is cluttered with crumbling supports and choked with opportunistic vines and mosses – it doesn't look very safe to descend, at least normally. It's also not an exaggeration to say that there's about a quarter of a mile's worth of stairs between the top and the bottom of the temple.

There's a very large forest fire a few miles off, gradually spreading and consuming swaths of jungle. It clearly originated from a mile-wide circle of absolutely ruined earth.

Off in the distance you can see what you first mistake to be a cliff face that would rival the Howling Fjord and is, on closer inspection, a titanic Haphazard Fence, each Plank over a thousand feet tall and hundreds wide.

(Nothing on Hidden within Range.)

Your sense of direction is entirely screwed up – your dot on your 'minimap' has not budged – you do not know which direction North is.

There is a Stone Altar here.
There is a Stone-Bound Tome on the Altar here.
There is a Vast, Unsafe Stairwell Down here.
Behind you is a Tunnel leading to the Gravedigger's Yard.
To the Left and Right of you are Immovable Stone Doors.


--
Lore Nerd. Role Player. Raid Leader. Discipline Priest. Slightly Annoying. Also Likes Kittens.


Adalicia
Om Nom Nom

join:2009-10-13
Lincoln, NE
kudos:13
reply to Adalicia

You Awaken In Razor Hill (Part Nineteen)

> Since we may be Out In The Real World again, equip Pyramid Hogger Action Figure again in case we find him. Keep an eye on the Bottle of Dire Mojo in case the Figure needs a shot of power.

You're staring directly at the rock you tossed over the fence, earlier. It appears to be roughly the size of Orgrimmar, a gigantic, squat boulder dominating part of the horizon.

The massive fires caused by your earlier volley are steadily creeping all around it, licking up the sides and steadily eating its way towards the Temple.

You have no reason to believe this shit is any more real than it was a moment ago.

You Equip the Pyramid Hogger Action Figure in your Offhand anyway.

This action kicks your Arcanite Ripper off of your back, returning it to your bags.



> Whistle a lively tune to keep spirits up
> Specifically, whistle "Always Look On the Bright Side of Life." That ought to send your spirits through the roof.


The last time you sang "Always Look On The Bright Side of Life", you got Extremely Depressed without being in someone else's brain. Trying it now might possibly disperse your Consciousness on the spot.

Instead, you scour your brain for the single most upbeat song you can remember - a jaunty old Orcish folksong called 'Dorfen Bones Is Made of Cake (And Human Skulls Is Pie)' - and begin to whistle it as loudly as you can.

God, this song brings you back.

When you were really little, your mother used to sing this to you as she cradled you to sleep, bopping you gently on the nose with each rousing chorus of "Crush all Human / Stomp all Dorf / Eat da Gnomey and Burn da Elf'.

And then, when she was done singing to you, she'd wrap you up safe and sound in your Worg Fur blanket, nestle you into your Raptor-Bone crib and tuck your little Toy Rifle under your arm as you drifted away, telling you how proud you'd make her when you grew up big and strong and took up Thrall's banner for the Glory of the Horde.

"Lok'tar ogar, Teddy," she'd whisper to you as she kissed you on the cheek and made everything in the whole world just... just right.

Just right.

(Your Self-Esteem is now 100%)

There. Fully solid, fully in control.

Time to find out what the fuck is going on here.



> Examine Stone Bound Tome
> Examine Hieroglyphics


You move to the Altar and brush a few errant piles of Shrunken Heads aside, squaring yourself before this gigantic Tome. You've never seen a book with a slab of granite for a cover. You didn't honestly think such a thing was possible. You get your fingers under the lip of the cover and heave, grunting as you strain to open the book.

You lose your grip and the cover slams shut with an echoing TOOOM.

Looks like the pages are made of stone, too. Who the hell makes books out of solid stone? How the hell is this remotely practical?

You pull out your Ripper, get the edge under the cover and use it as a lever to force the book open. The cover teeters in the air, falls and smacks the Altar so hard, it shatters into several pieces.

You duck your head and look around quickly, immediately prepared to swear blind that it was like that when you got here, but nobody seems to have seen that.

You creep closer to the book and stare at thin, stone pages.

This story is told entirely in large, highly stylized hieroglyphics carved into each page with hands that far surpass mastery. You run your fingers over the images, flipping pages carefully and with no small effort.

The story unfolds:

1) A Little Orc Girl standing on what appears to be a beach. She is lifting her hands to the Sun, a swirl in the sky. There are flowers in her hair. She seems deliriously happy. At the bottom of this page, the letters M A R Y A are carved in large block-print that seems completely out of place.

2) A sickly-looking Troll crouched over a large fire. This must be Zalazane. His Self-Esteem appears to be even more fragile than yours - this is his own mind, this book is obviously his own memories, and he clearly sees himself as a monster. The Troll hunched over in this image looks positively horrifying, his tusks all twisted, hands gnarled, eyes dead and hollow as he holds what appears to be Voodoo Ingredients in each hand, posed as though hurling them into the fire. Unpleasant-looking swirls of force accompany his movements, frozen in the stone.

Over the Troll's shoulder, you can make out the Little Orc Girl on the beach.

3) This appears to be a montage of the Little Orc Girl, Mary (or Marya?) growing up. In each image, Mary is a little older, a little more mature.

In order, Mary:

A.) Plays with a teddy bear;
B.) Wields a stick as though it were a sword, swinging it at what appear to be flowers;
C.) Dances in the wind;
D.) Wields a wooden sword and training shield, sparring against what appears to be a Straw Dummy;
E.) Sits on a cliff watching a highly stylized sunset;
F.) Wields a sword and shield, sparring against a Male Orc;
G.) Bathes in the Ocean, entering the breathtaking fullness of her beauty;
H.) Wields a sword and shield, sparring against and clearly besting four Male Orcs in full Plate armor.

This last image shows her nearly full-grown. She's holding the sword and shield over her head triumphantly, her four defeated challengers kneeling before her with their heads bowed.

This entire page of images was carved on top of another, larger, less-formed carving of Zalazane. The end result makes it look like all of these events are happening directly under Zalazane's eyes, that he has been watching every single thing she's done for her entire life.

4) Mary and a Male Orc. Both are in Full Armor, possibly indicating military service. The Male Orc is kneeling before her, her hand in his. There are sunrays emerging from all around them, hawks in flight overhead.

It's a glorious image - Mary and this Male Orc are obviously deliriously in love and the emotion inherent in this scene radiates from the page, making you feel extremely warm.

If your Self-Esteem weren't already maxed, this would have done it.

She looks so happy.

5) Zalazane at his fire, furious. Fire and lightning are erupting and raging all him, his eyes are spiraling holes of pure, jealous rage. His hands are clenched into fists. He appears to be screaming.

Over his shoulder, off in the distance on the shore, you can make out the figures of Mary and the Male Orc, caught in a passionate embrace.

6) This page is missing. It seems to have been broken clean out of the book.

7) This page, too.

8) Mary is lying on the ground like a broken doll. This entire page has been painted red.

9) Zalazane hunched over Mary's body. One hand is deep within her open chest cavity, the other holds her Heart up in the air, over his head. Lightning storms around her Heart, flames streak up from the open hole in her chest.

Zalazane's eyes are even larger hollow spirals. It seems to be indicating that his jealous rage has blinded him.

10) Zalazane back before his fire. He's holding her Heart over his head in both hands. Flames are streaking off of it. He looks more monstrous here than in any of the previous images, positively demonic, to the point that his body appears to be losing shape - less a Troll and more a series of jagged, Troll-shaped lines.

Magic is happening here, he's doing something to her Heart.

11) Mary's Corpse. She's curled up into the fetal position. Her chest is wide open and hollow.

12) Mary's Corpse. Thorny Vines appear to have sprouted from her body, filling the page with unsettling swirls.

13) Mary's Corpse. It has become a shriveled, broken thing, neglected and alone, baking in the sun. Thorny Vines have filled the page, almost completely cocooning her. The lines on this page are uneven, unsteady, as though the image is preparing to come apart at the seams.

14) Mary's Corpse, shrouded in Thorny Vines. The spot over the hole in her chest gapes wide open.

Ravening Worms are pouring out of this hole.

15) You recognize this montage of images. It's the same one that's emblazoned on the Stone Slab Doors that appear to be doors leading into the Temple. Ravening Worms are tearing through the countryside, razing villages, levelling cities, slaughtering and devouring screaming Humans, Orcs, Trolls, every race on Azeroth, tearing them apart and swallowing them whole.

16) Azeroth, shrouded in Ravening Worms. The world appears to be breaking apart.

That's the last page.



> There is a simple solution to Immovable Stone Doors....HAZARDOUS SHOVEL ARRAY GO

You yank on the Activation Lever, but nothing happens. It sputters a few times, the shovels gamely wobble back and forth, but nothing else happens.

Looks like the Cooldown on your Hazardous Shovel Array is down.



> If that doesn't work (or I can't start it) try my new bom...er...Smallish Rocks With String Nailed To Them

You pluck one out of your bags and hurl it, full-force against the Stone Slab Door.

It smacks solidly against it, breaks in half and patters to the ground.

...oh.

(Your Self-Esteem is now 70%)



> Because you're the darned best engineer ever to live, use your Ornate Spyglass (possibly made on the spot) to try to look into the troll town

Gah. Lens. What the hell are you going to use for a lens? You look around, frantically. There's nothing here that looks even vaguely crystalline enough to serve as a lens!

You bite your lip and coil your hands, placing them together to sort of resemble a tube and peer through that.

It... works?

It works!

(Your Self-Esteem is now 80%!)

You don't seem to get great magnification with your... with your hands... but it's enough to get some details of that Village all the way down there.

Looks like a ghost town, the place is ravaged all to hell, like something really terrible happened there - and recently.

There's a figure down there, gaunt and stooped, crouched in the middle of the town in a mildewed, dusty cloak. Its shoulders are juddering. It appears to be crying.



> Ready your rifle; if the stone book told you anything, Zalazane is one crazy motherfucker and will not hesitate to put a dagger between your eyes.

Readying your Rifle is not the problem.

The problem is that your Rifle may be a little too ready.

You're quite prepared to put a bullet into his left eye the moment you see him and you really kind of should ask him at least a question first.



> Make cautious way towards town
> Look for anything in the town that may be advantageous to you if Zalzane goes crazy.


You let out a short, sharp whistle for Scratchfever, who has been batting around Shrunken Heads like a cat possessed, just having the time of his life.

He give you a pleading look, hugging three Shrunken Heads to his chest. Can he keep them? Please?

Look, look, this one's named Arthur! He's a plucky Mushroom Salesman who lives in the Undercity! This one is Cheryl, Arthur's free-spirited wife and boy, does she ever get him into the darnedest situations!

Oh and this one is Abuonaxtrus the Devourer, their wacky next-door neighbor.

Can he keep them?

Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease?

(Tednugent has received item: Arthur the Undead Head!
Tednugent has received item: Cheryl the Blood Elf Head!
Tednugent has received item: Abuonaxtrus the Devourer the Eredar Head!)


Eeeeeeeeeee thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou!

You are like the bestest Master there ever was purrpurrnuzzle he promises he'll feed them and clean up after them purrnuzzlepurr and swears they won't suddenly start screaming pure insanity at you when you least expect it nuzzlenuzzlepurr.

(Scratchfever has gained 2 levels of Loyalty!
Scratchfever is your Beloved Familiar
Your Self-Esteem is now 90%!)


You begin to make your careful way down the Vast Stone Stairwell and right away you can see this isn't going to work.

The Stairwell is about a hundred feet wide and sweeps down the face of the Temple, a quarter-mile bracketed by great, Stone Pillars and Statues to Long-Dead Gods, many of them long since toppled, laying over each other and the Stairwell and blanketed in mosses, forming death traps of slippery, nearly impassable terrain.

Parts of the Stairwell are just gone, crumbled completely away leaving gaping pits that reveal just how thin the stone under your feet is.

This whole Temple appears to be hollow inside, just a vast, ominous, facade, impressively decorated but poorly built.

It also appears to still be in the process of crumbling.

You don't think it's at all safe to proceed this way.



> Cycle through trackings to find out what exactly is in the town.

Still those same Zalazane Zombies.

It seems like physically, you're frozen in place on the Main Echo Isle.

Nothing seems to be attacking you, though, and there's still nothing on Hidden, so you manage not to panic even a little bit over this.

You've really come a long way, haven't you? It wasn't that long ago, not that long ago at all, that the continual realization that your Physical Body is out there somewhere, exposed to the world and completely defenseless in a horrific alien landscape, surrounded by... surrounded by monsters... really... really big monsters, actually with, with, um.

um.

(Your Self-Esteem is now 50%)



> Give Scratchfever a motivational speech.

You steel yourself, kneel down, and rest a hand on Scratchfever's head.

"I know you're scared," you say. "And I don't blame you."

Scratchfever stares at you and then nods slowly. He's not really sure what you mean, his Self Esteem's been at 100% pretty much nonstop since you got here, but he's willing to play along.

"Now I know it looks like we're in some deep shit, and to be honest, we probably are. We're trapped in some lunatic's mind in some crazy monsterland trying its damndest to pretend it's the real world.

"We may very well have died, Scratch. We may very well be in hell.

"But I'm here. I'm right here. I won't ever abandon you. Where we go, we go together. We share this burden. No fear, Scratch, no fear and no despair. You're never alone.

"Side-by-side, Scratch.

"I'm here. I'm right here."

You hug your cat close, having managed to make yourself feel much much better.

(Scratchfever has gained 8 levels of Loyalty!
Scratchfever is your Anchor
Your Self-Esteem is now 90%)



> Prepare to give (or if I get there, just give) Zalazane a solid "You done did wrong, son."
> Imitate troll accent to get that troll's attention


"HEY MON," you roar down the stairs in the single most insulting approximation of a Trollish accent as you can muster. "LES' DAWK A-BOWD DAT GOIRL YA DONE MOIDERED." Your hands clench into fists, pure fire pumps through your heart and you scream, "LET'S TALK ABOUT MARY, YOU PIECE OF SHIT, LET'S TALK ABOUT HOW YOU KILLED-"

"never" hisses a voice old and dry as dust behind you. "i never laid a finger on 'er. not while she lived. not while she lived."

You spin around, your Rifle up to your shoulder, swiftly sighting down the barrel right between eyes so old and so mournful, just looking into them sends a shock of sorrow right through you.

He looks like he died long long ago and nobody had the heart to tell him - like one of these Mummified Trolls came to life and covered himself in a cloak so moldy he appears to be wearing a coat of moss.

He looks old, decrepit, his face shrivelled, hands gnarled, leaning heavily on a wooden cane. His skin is cracking, crumbling away like this Temple and just as hollow within.

(Mary's Quest
Locate Zalazane - Complete)


--
Lore Nerd. Role Player. Raid Leader. Discipline Priest. Slightly Annoying. Also Likes Kittens.


Adalicia
Om Nom Nom

join:2009-10-13
Lincoln, NE
kudos:13
reply to Adalicia

You Awaken In Razor Hill (Part Twenty)

> Rub your chin

Hmmmmmmm.



> Get ready for any surprise Zombie attacks, set Scratchfever on defensive.

He's been on Defensive since you woke up, but you double-check to make sure.



> Make sure that you aren't being Punk'd. That damned Ashton Kutcher could be hiding anywhere.

If you see that smarmy schmuck's pissant face you will 'accidentally' shoot him a couple dozen times in the stomach.

You're not bluffing.

Even if it means passing up a chance to go partying with Wilmer Valderama and his limitless supply of Venezuelan hookers, you will fill that gangly prick with daylight, you don't care. You just don't care.



> Look long and hard into the eyes of Scratchfever, as he surely has some valuable insight on what to do next

You give Scratchfever a long look.

It appears he would like you to give him a fish. When you've got time, there's no rush, but, you know, just so you remember.

Fish.

He'd like one.



> Check Zalazane's level and type (undead/humanoid/etc)
> Check to see if he is a player, if so inspect him


He doesn't appear to have a type, he's definitely not a player and where his level would normally show is... is the icon for your Map button on your minimap?



> Shoot a saronite shell into the wall of the temple to make it crumble more
> Observe any reaction from Zalazane
> Keep talking in a fake Troll accent. Hey, it worked the first time, right?
> Continue the conversation carefully, you're in HIS mind after all - but don't let your guard down.
> Screech like a monkey until the guy in the middle of the town notices.


"Eyyy, mon," you bark. "I be Tednugent."

You move your Rifle one inch to the left and pull the trigger. The weapon bucks in your hand as the Shell punches a hole the size of a skull through the wall directly behind Zalazane. The wall judders and crumbles inward, folding itself and falling away into the Temple. It takes a very long time before the roar of the stones hitting the ground far, far below echoes up.

Zalazane's right cheekbone falls away, sections of his face simply cracking off and falling into dust, pattering down before him. He is completely hollow inside.

He does not react to this in any other way, gazing right through you, barely moving.



> Casually mention what a great engineer you are whenever the chance presents itself
> Apologize for setting everything on fire. You didn't really mean it.
> Ask Zalazane (nicely) to tell his side of the story, and if he can explain what's going on.


"But I suppose you already know who I am," you say, Rifle level with his forehead. "What with the whole 'you sucked me into your fucking head' thing. Speaking of which, sorry about setting your brain on fire."

You ratchet another round into place.

"I'm getting really tired of this, Zalazane, I gotta tell you. My inventory is full of insane shit I don't even begin to know what I'm supposed to do with, there are crazy monster hellbeasts coming out of the woodwork, Razor Hill is intermittently filled with fucking corpses, the world is breaking, Zalazane.

"Everything is coming apart at the seams.

"And you know why.

"Zalazane," you ask, as politely as you can, "What the fuck did you do?"

Zalazane blinks slowly and his mouth stretches into a wide, wide grin and either laughs of coughs at you, lips curling away from rotting teeth.

"hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah"

The hoarse, dry-as-dust laughter echoes down on you like thunder as Zalazane draws himself up. His cheek is rumbling back together, the Temple quaking all around you, the world rippling and juddering.

"quessss tionssss."

The word booms up from within the temple itself and the floor collapses underneath you and suddenly you're falling -

(Scratchfever has despawned!
Scratchfever's Happiness is 75%
Scratchfever Could Go For A Bite)


Zalazane thrusts a hand forward and you are caught between massive, stone fingers and Zalazane suddenly larger than the sky, a towering monolith of stone and moss with volcanic pits for eyes and immense, curling tusks. that sweep overhead.

"so many quessss tionsssss."

He occupies all space. There is nothing else but him and he is staring down at you in the palm of his hand and smiling as if contemplating simply closing his hand and crushing you like an insect.

"an i got allll de an swerrssss."

There is nothing but Zalazane's face, now, vast and stone, clasped in vines and shrouded in moss, his eyes volcanic pits, his mouth a roaring chasm. His voice booms over you, shaking you to the core of your being. Roots streak up all around you, tangling up into your arms and legs and lifting you up off your feet, danging you over an endless pit of nothingness as he brings his face close.

"which one ya want me ta answeerrr firrss', little bug?"



> Ask Zalazane how to work your newfound Juju (and how to do the Troll dance)

You pull the Bottle of Dire Mojo out of your bag and the world shakes all around you. Stones dislodge from Zalazane's titanic form and his gigantic face contorts into horror.

"I found this in your brain," you shout. "What's it do?"

Roots curl and wind around your arms and hands, crushing into your chest and face, contorting your body, trying to pry the bottle away from you.

You get your thumb under the cork as the roots nearly fold you in half.

"I have nothing to lose, Zalazane," you rasp. "Knock it off."

And then solid ground is under your feet again.

You are standing next to the ruins of the Gravedigger's Shack, near your Forge, which has almost completely degraded into a heap of burning rust. Right next to you is the Fence, and beyond it the Miniature Subterranean Primordial Forest and Temple, pretty much exactly how it looked before.

Zalazane sits across from you, on a small heap of Mummified trolls, hands in his lap, dejected. He's back to being hollow and crumbing - his cheek's come back, but there are holes elsewhere as though he's having difficulty keeping himself together.

The Bottle of Dire Mojo is still in your hand, thumb under the cork.

"i'm sorry," he whispers. "i'll tell ya. i'll tell ya everythin'. i'm so sorry."

(Your Self-Esteem is now 100%!)



> If you want to destroy the town, walk back through the tunnel and in the the fenced in area grab a really big rock. With this rock, smash the town. Next, go back to the temple to examine your handy work.

Calmly, you return the Bottle of Dire Mojo to your bag, lift up a rock, give Zalazane a hard glare and wing it at the Temple.

The rock plows into the stairwell, straight through the hollow center and out the back, bringing a good portion of one half tumbling down into itself, pillars and statures and decorations breaking and tumbling down and away into great, roiling clouds of dust and debris.

Zalazane's left side from his elbow to his knee collapses in on itself and he shudders, leaning back against the pile of Mummified trolls as half of his body crumbles into a mound of dust and earth.



> Ask Zalazane what happened to the world.
> Ask how Mary died.
> Demand to know what he has done, and how it can be made right!
> Once you figure out his side of the story about the whole Mary fiasco, ask Zalazane about the vines erupting from Mary's chest cavity and what the deal is with the whole Ravening Worm Holocaust
> Find out what can be done to stop said extermination of the mortal races at the hands of evil worms


"Now you tell me what you did," you growl, advancing on the crumbling Troll. "And you tell me how i can undo it. You tell me how i fix this, Zalazane-"

"ain't no fixin what i done, mon. now is when it all comes apart. nothin' but dust now. nothin' but dust and hate."

"No more riddles. Enough is enough, Zalazane. Tell me what you did."

Zalazane gazes sadly at you.

"she died. she died an i could feel it. i could feel it an i was angry, I was so angry." He shakes his head. "what did this orc know bout her. where was he, her whole life. where was he? he din't know her. he din't know nothin of her.

"jus some. interloper. stealin her away.

"stealin her away.

"i loved her. i loved her so much and she die with him in her heart. her spirit went to him.

"not to me.

"not to me.

"couldn't stan' da thought of her heart in his hands.

"forever"

He licks his lips and more and more of his body crumbles into itself. The Temple is rumbling down now, coming apart and falling away within itself, piece by piece leaving nothing but the vast, central spire bearing that blazing light at the top.

Zalazane is down to his head, his right shoulder and arm. He doesn't seem to notice.

"so i stole it. i took her heart from him da way he tak' it from me. i took her heart and i pushed my fingers into it and i twisted it. and i hurt it.

"i hurt her. i hurt her so bad.

"i hurt her so very bad.

"t' punish her. for not choosin' me.

"i fill her wit' hurt. and i fill her wit' hate. i want'd her t' hate him. hate him so she'd love me. only me."

He gives you a sick, pathetic smile.

"here's me. zalazane. voudon spirit walker. soul flayer. witch doctor. here's me so great an mighty an old an so wise and here's me so angry, mon. so angry i can't think.

"i taught her hate and she learn hate well. she learn so well, hate is all she have.

"an it festers in her. an it burns in her. an it consumes her until there's nothin' but hate, dark and savage and hungry and monstrous raging up in her, in her hurt, in her heart.

"an here's me, zalazane, voudon spirit walker, an i think i can control it. i think i can control her hate. i think i can make her love me.

"my mary. my beautiful mary. what i done to ya. what i done.

"she hurts so much now the whole world can feel it. she hates so hard the world can't hold it.

"she rages and hates and the world suffers for her. the whole of the world. for lettin her hurt so much, for lettin her hate.

"all my fault.

"what i done t'ya. my beautiful mary.

"what i done."

And then the entire world shakes all around you and Zalazane's eyes go wide.

"he's here," he shrieks and the ground shifts and buckles under your feet. "she's found me. he's here."

He lurches forward and something is pressed roughly into your hands.

"take her home. find her and take her home or she-"

And then the world tears wide open and you're falling again.

............. ............. ............. ............. ............. .............

You gasp for breath as your knees slam into sand. You struggle to get your Rifle into your hands. Scratchfever is nowhere in sight. Where's your cat - oh right he despawned in the - wait where the hell are you now.

You're on the Main Echo Isle. The Fog Shroud is completely dispersed, you can see the Abyssal Darkness that domes the Isles, the large, dark shapes in the water and the Zombies-

The Zombies have been torn apart. It looks like an edged tornado just blew right through them and blasted them apart. The island, its crumbling old Ruins and Small Primodrial Forest are all smeared with shredded Zombies, limbs and bodies lying mangled and crumpled up in oozing heaps.

Something suddenly looms over you. You fall back and bring your rifle to bear -

Zalazane?

The Troll lifts up over you, his head lolling, eyes unfocused, and is swung down into the earth like a hammer by a massive, hulking, hunched form with a vast, angular helmet.

Your blood goes to ice.

Pyramid Hogger lifts Zalazane up into the air like a toy and the Troll screams out in agony as the great beast seizes, wrenches and finally plucks free first his left arm, and then his right. The Troll shrieks as his bones shatter through his muscles, his flesh tears, sinews popping and snapping until his voice is a twisted, gibbering thing, shrieking and shrieking and shrieking and the monster takes hold of a leg and swings Zalazane into a tree so hard its trunk crunches inward and Zalazane's body bursts into a glut of red and brown.

You take a step back as that massive, Pyramid helmet slowly turns with a sound of tortured, screeching metal, towards you.

scrape

It tosses what's left of the Troll aside and with that tortured, metal roar, slowly lifts its gigantic knife.

oh shit

(Tednugent has received item: Worn Teddy Bear.)

Wait Tednugent has received what?


--
Lore Nerd. Role Player. Raid Leader. Discipline Priest. Slightly Annoying. Also Likes Kittens.


Adalicia
Om Nom Nom

join:2009-10-13
Lincoln, NE
kudos:13
reply to Adalicia

You Awaken In Razor Hill (Part Twenty-One)

> Invent new swear word to express current emotion

“Fekktig.” (adj. 'fech-tik')

As in; “If only that fekktig troll hadn't wasted so much time being insufferably emo, he could have told me where Mary was before the giant monster pulled both his fekktig arms off.”



> Wish for more exciting undergarments to apply to your forehead, it was very menacing.

God, you wish things were as simple as they were back then, when you could take solace in cowardice, you weren't apparently the last hope of Azeroth and the worst you really had to worry about was accidentally blowing yourself up trying to make a cat toy for Scratchfever.



> Open up pet panel
> check mounts


Blank. Not even one.



> feign death, just try it (even though you failed acting class, try it)

You grab your throat with both hands, gasp, choke, and topple over.

Is he buying it?

You don't want to peek.

scrape

He's not buying it, run run run run



> Dodge the knife!

You fall back as that gigantic shank of raw iron comes down like a comet where you'd been standing a moment ago and roll back and away-

oh shit he's way faster than he looks

-and he's suddenly in melee range again, the weapon clasped in both hands and not much more than a blur of grey as it streaks through the air-



> Dive out of way of gigantic knife. Hide.

You hit the earth hard as it cleaves the air over your head with a sound like artillery fire sailing overhead. You scramble to your feet, dash and hurl yourself behind a small copse of trees and a crumbling Stone wall, fumbling to get your Godstorm Shell out of your bag.

scrape

There is a groan of tormented steel, the knife sheens through your hasty cover and simply bursts it, the tree trunks erupting, stone bursting into splinters and dust, sending you hurling towards the Ocean's edge. You halt yourself from tumbling into the water with your hands. The water's filled with dangerous shapes.

Starving Amphibious Sharks. Dozens of them. Hundreds, filling the water to overflowing. They're waiting patiently for Pyramid Hogger to be finish so they can clean up the Isle. A shadow falls over you and -

scrape

-you dive away from a meteoric strike, the Isle rumbling and quaking from the force of the blow, pitch yourself forward and just run.

This Isle is not big enough to duck him forever. You're getting a bit winded and if anything, he's getting faster. You duck as a boulder streaks over your head, crashing into the water. The Starving Amphibious Sharks thrash themselves into a feeding frenzy over it.

You fingers finally locate and grasp the Godstorm Shell, deep in your bags, you lift your Rifle -

scrape

You dodge almost too late, almost too late, and the tip of that Knife catches you between the ribs, sending you spinning off your feet.

(Your Health is now 65%)

You hit the ground in a tumbling heap and slam into a tree. You gasp hard as pure agony overwhelms your entire left side and you bite down a scream of pain. It takes a few moments for your vision to clear. What's left of Zalazane's head lolls from the broken tree you slammed into. The part of his face that isn't just ground meat gazes stupidly through you-

scrape

-you hurl yourself aside as the tree vanishes into a cloud of splinters and gobbets of Troll. You don't know how you got your feet under you but you're running. You can barely feel your left arm and every breath crackles like your lungs are full of broken glass but you're still alive. Trees and stone erupt into splinters and dust all around you, shrapnel smacking against you and you don't even feel it, you just run.

You can't run much longer.

It's still in your hand. The Godstorm Shell. You can feel it pulsing in your hand. You didn't drop it.



> load godstorm shell
> blow that hogger into tiny hogger pieces
> If that doesn't work load the GodStorm shell and utterly destroy him.


Thirty yards. You turn and lift your Rifle.

scrape

Your hands don't tremble. You' ve been waiting for this.

You kiss the Godstorm shell, press it to the breech and it doesn't fit.

It doesn't fit?!

The Saronite Godstorm Shell appears to be too large a caliber for your Rifle!

“Motherfucker!” you roar, shaking your Rifle in both hands. You really wish you'd thought to check this earlier.



> Eat a cupcake

“Oh come on,” you wail, “I haven't even seen a cupcake out here!”



> Propose to Pyramid Hogger

”Wait,” you scream, “Stop! I find myself strangely attracted to you, maybe if we could get together for a dri-”

You fall back as that Knife opens your Mail Chestplate like a box. You hit the ground backwards, choking in pain.

(Your Health is now 45%!)



> Plan B challenge him to a yo momma contest

Your legs feel like rubber. You have no idea how you got back up to your feet. You're bleeding from you don't know how many wounds, you can't feel your left arm at all now, you're running out of steam and Pyramid Hogger is in the process of redefining the word 'relentless.'

“Your mother is so fat-” you begin and then gasp as his fist collides with your midsection, the shock of impact bursting through your body. Light pops behind your eyes. You don't even realize you were airborne until the ground comes up to meet you. You stare up at the dome of Abyssal Darkness, unable to catch your breath.

For a long, horrifying moment, you cannot feel your legs.

(Your Health is now 25%)



> Ponder why so many voices in your head decide to make you do random things, and wonder if you are insane.

You are in the process of thinking that perhaps your mind has just completely snapped and you've gone batshit insane when suddenly you ponder that perhaps your mind has just completely snapped and you've gone batshit insane.

You hope one of those voices tells you to cry again, because you really want to right now.



> Well you were denied doing this before, and doing it now would not be a good plan. So just THINK about running around naked yelling "The British are coming! The British are coming!"

Part of your mind decides it's had enough of this nonsense, shuts down and goes off to do it's own thing.

In this portion of your mind, you are galloping furiously through Durotar on Scratchfever's back, naked save for a tri-corner hat made of Exciting Undergarments, as several hundred Redcoat Pyramid Hoggers slowly scrape their way across the Southfury River towards Orgrimmar.

The Warchief must be informed of this at once!



> If all else fails well then, never thought you would but.....bullet to the brain

You're so tired. You've never been this exhausted in the whole of you life.

Enough.

Enough of this.

It's over. You're done.

Just let that knife just come down and split you apart.

Any moment now, you'll randomly decide to stick a feather duster up your ass and offer him some fekktig chocolate Noblegarden Eggs.

It's better this way.

It's better this way.

The hell it's better this way.

You jerk your legs up at the last moment and roll away from an iron guillotine. You lurch to your feet, blood pattering down in your trail, your left arm curled protectively up over the ragged gash in your chest.

To hell with that. To hell with giving up. You're an Orc. You're an Orc.

You will never again allow such a thought to cross your mind.

(Tednugent will no longer respond or react to any commands that he directly kill himself.)

Godstorm Shell didn't work? Fine.

You don't need it.

What you need is some time to work.



> /flex at Catscratch. Then /lick him. Then hug your cat, hoping Hogger won't fall on you.
> Call Scratchfever
> Cast Glyphed Mend Pet on Scratchfever
> Throw a salted fish at Pyramid Hogger
> Roll into ball and protect all vital/sensitive regions
> Wonder where Scratchfever is
> Pull out a fish you had in your bags
> Dngle the fish around and whistle
> Summon Scratchfever.
> In a desperate attempt to annihilate Pyramid Hogger, fire your loaded rifle at him while throwing the Salted Fish. Scratchfever will prolly do the most damage.
> Summon Larry and use him to attack Pyramid Hogger.
> Summon Larry.
>Inform Him That Pyramid Hogger is a rare delicacy.


You dive away from that storm of iron, the earth tearing up in its wake.

You only have one Salted Fish left and Scratchfever didn't fare so well against this guy last time.

This situation requires far, far less subtlety.

You cast Call Stabled Pet.

“Larry,” you roar as Pyramid Hogger looms over you. “Dinnertime.”

THOOM THOOM THOOM THOOM THOOM

The Isle rumbles with footfalls so powerful, they shake the earth even before Larry spawns. Larry the Starving Amphibious Shark erupts through the aether mid-lunge, monstrous pectoral legs spread wide, maw gaping and crashes into Pyramid Hogger with a noise like continental drift.

The great beast is forced back a pace.

(Larry has spawned!
Larry's Health is 85%
Larry's Happiness is 95%
Larry is a Pit of Endless Ravening)


The monsters rage and thrash against each other, clasped together like lovers, Larry's jaws a horrible snapping blur as he presses hard for Pyramid Hogger's throat, but the monstrous Gnoll smashes a fist into Larry's side and hurls him free.

Larry tumbles over shattered stone and wood and is back up in moments, tearing up the earth as he charges back in, lunging high and slamming against Pyramid Hogger.

There. You chew on that for a while, you metal-face motherfucker.

Alright.

When all else has failed you in the past, what's seemed to save you most is Engineering and Voodoo.

Wait, have Engineering and Voodoo been 'saving you' or 'making everything worse'?

Your head feels light. It's hard to move any of the fingers on your left hand. Red mist is coming out of your mouth with every wheezing breath.

You can't remember.

You really hope it was 'saving you'.

The roar of Larry and Pyramid Hogger's war raging through your ears, you duck behind a mangled ruin of a Stone Wall and get to work.

Engineering first.



> Combine Saronite Godstorm Shell with Bottle of Dire Juju
> Combine whatever results from that deadly mix with the Hogger Action Figure.
> Combine the Saronite Dire Juju Godstorm Hogger Action Thingy with your Hazardous Shovel Array.
> Coat whatever it is with your Crippling and Deadly Poisons.
> Combine THAT with the Teddy Bear.
> Douse it all with your remaining vials of troll sweat.
> Wrap the. . . whatever it is. . . up in your Masterwork Fishnet Parachute Pants
> Bind that with your Partially Burnt Exciting Undergarments
> Combine THAT thing with your Tikbalang Ward
> Combine the thing with your Arcanite Ripper.
> Take the salted fish out of This Thing, stash fish in pocket. Combine This Thing with the other thing.
> Stick the Smallish Rock With String Nailed To It on top.
> Stick Big-Ass Ammunition in your rifle


Wait, go back, you need to get a pencil or something – combine the Teddystormalang Rippiflemojoward with the This Crippling Deadlybeararray and then secure it with the Masterrock Fishcanite Undergarments?

Or … or was it the other way around?

You can't get your eyes to focus. You feel like you're drifting. You hands are shaking as you empty out your bags, brow knitted as you stare helplessly at everything you've got.

Larry grunts as Pyramid Hogger brings the flat of his great Knife down hard across the Shark's side. Larry buckles down into the earth, lets out a savage grunt, rears up to lash a line of deep grooves across that huge, Pyramid helmet and then lunges in, trying to get his jaws over the Gnoll's entire head

You start throwing stuff together, just piling everything you have on top of each other and wind it up in a huge parcel around your rifle with your Masterwork Fishnet Parachute Pants.

There.

Larry forces Pyramid Hogger back a pace, and then another, and then another, unleashing a furious barrage of Claws and Bites, seizing its arm and thrashing back and forth, shredding tough, leathery flesh and releasing a glut of black ichors to patter down into the sand

You struggle to lift your Giant Pile of Stuff but your left arm just doesn't move anymore. You gasp, trying to lever the Pile up onto the Stone Wall but the knot you tied in your Masterwork Fishnet Parachute Pants comes free and all your stuff topples down all over you.

You cry out, rushing to grab the topping components and stuff them back into place.

Larry's teeth gain purchase somewhere under that helmet and he Bites with all of his strength. Pyramid Hogger roars in pain, a squall of tortured metal and rumbling earth. He seizes Larry's upper and lower jaws and pushes, dislodging Larry from his throat and then yanks Larry's jaws apart with a sharp CRACK

Larry makes a gibbering sound, twitching and flailing wildly

The Gnoll lifts his Knife up against your Shark's belly,and thrusts, impaling Larry through the midsection and then twisting the knife, tearing Larry's body apart.

(Larry has died!
Larry's Happiness is 0%
Larry is a Pit of Endless Ravening.)


Okay, then.

Voodoo.



> If that doesn't work combine Dire Mojo with Pyrimid Hogger Doll and use it as a true voodoo doll.
> Dump the Dire Juju/mojo on your Hogger doll. Since this will for sure make it a real voodoo doll, Unload all your remaining clip into the doll.
> Use a little mojo on the Pyramid Hogger action figure
> Sprinkle a little more on each of the three Shrunken Heads, hoping they'll come to life and aid you in battle (or if all else fails, be something magical to throw at Pyramid Hogger)


You feel cold. All you can hear is a constant ringing that goes right through your body.

scrape

Your hand trembles as you lift the Pyramid Hogger Action Figure and stuff it into your useless left hand. You fumble, almost blind, through your Pile of Stuff for the bottle of Dire Mojo.

scrape

Your fingers are slick with blood. You drop the bottle twice before you manage to wrap your hand around it.

scrape

He's standing right over you. All you can see of him is a great, black shape, looming over you. You hear, rather than see, that monstrous Knife lift up into the air.

You can't think of any last words.

You just get your thumb under the cork and push.

There is a POP so loud it's all you can hear for a good, long time, the earth buckles, shudders and shifts under your feet, sending you tumbling end over end into a tree, driving the last of your breath out of you.

You can see Pyramid Hogger. He looks smaller. Why does he look so small?

Red light shines down on you. You squint to focus your eyes.

Thank you for choosing Da Voodoo for all your deus ex machina needs!

The Isle has been split clean in twain by a sudden gaping chasm, slashing right through the center.

The earth groans as it yawns open wide into a roaring whirlpool, hungrily devouring the Sea around it and all within it, sucking down dozens upon dozens of Starving Amphibious Sharks like waste down a flush toilet.

Across the chasm, hundreds of impassable feet away on the opposite half of the Main Echo Isle, Pyramid Hogger rages impotently at you, pacing back and forth along the new and sharply steep cliff face like a trapped animal, bellowing horrible promises without words of a terrible vengeance.

You're safe. He can't get to you. You're safe.



> Worn Teddy Bear, main hand, GO!

You lift the Worn Teddy Bear at the monster. He stops pacing, frozen like a cat preparing to pounce. You move the Worn teddy Bear left and right in the air. The monster's Pyramid helmet follows these movements.



> Pyramid Hogger Action Figure offhand, GO!

This takes superhuman effort. There is nothing but adrenaline in you right now. Your arm is a mangled hash of torn flesh and battered muscles, but you do it. You lift the Pyramid Hogger Action figure.



> Brandish both at Pyramid Hogger

You thrust them at the great beast across the chasm.

The monster makes an extremely dangerous sound.



> HAVE IT KISS THE TEDDY BEAR

You turn the Teddy and the Action Figure to face each other and smoosh their noses together.

Pyramid Hogger flings his arms into the sky and roars in unfathomable rage.

The sound of your own soft, pained laughter is the last thing you hear as the darkness sweeps up over you and carries you down and away.

…........ …........ …........ …........ …........ …........ …........ …........

Desert hardtack is moving underneath you.

You're in the air, supported by something strong and hairy.

Something smells like barn.

And then you slide back away into the darkness.

…........ …........ …........ …........ …........ …........ …........ …........

You wake up with a start and then scream in pain.

Absolutely everything hurts, every single part of your body. There is no inch of you not in twisting agony.

You gasp for breath and suddenly realize you're breathing. Your eyes are open and you're breathing.

You're alive.

You sit up, very very carefully.

You're back in the Razor Hill Inn.

Your Pile of Stuff sits in one corner, as well as your …

Armor?

You look down. You're completely naked save your loincloth. Someone has thoroughly bandaged almost your entire body, your more serious wounds packed with reeking poultices.

(Your Health is 85%!)

Your Armor has been fully repaired, as well as your Exciting Undergarments – also cleaned and folded, all ready and waiting for you.

You look around.

You appear to be alone.

There's a note sitting on your chest.

All it says is 'West'


--
Lore Nerd. Role Player. Raid Leader. Discipline Priest. Slightly Annoying. Also Likes Kittens.


Adalicia
Om Nom Nom

join:2009-10-13
Lincoln, NE
kudos:13
reply to Adalicia

You Awaken In Razor Hill (Part Twenty-Two)

> Check Quest guide


Quest Log - 3/25

*1) The Warchief must be informed of this at once!

*2) Mister Monster Likes to Dance

*3) (NEW) Mary's Quest – Step Two

You did it! You made it through!

You found Zalazane, got Mary's Heart and didn't get torn to pieces!

We knew you could do it. We just knew you could!

Just one last leg, baby, just one last task and this Quest is all done.

It all comes to a head here!

Ready? Feeling brave? Want to go home?

Find Mary. Find her.

She's scared. She's alone. She's in more pain than you can ever imagine.

Find her. Take her home.

Save her, Ted.

Save her or we're all fucked.


--Objective--

-Locate Mary

-Mary's Spirit Put To Rest



> Look at note "west"
> Then you say it must be a trap


“hey,” you burble, “this mus' be a trap.”

You blink, listening to yourself.

Why does this must be a trap? Why did you say that? If the person who left this for you wanted to kill you, why would they have thoroughly bandaged you? Why did you even wake up at all?

You're beginning to think you need to start paying less attention to the voices in your head.

It seems like some of them would prefer it if you simply exploded here and now, for their entertainment and edification.



> put on your armour, and wear your helmet this time
> Put on armor resummon and summon the kitty.


Every motion feels like your insides are on fire. Your chest aches every time you move your arms, parts of your body are simply numb and other parts you only wish were numb.

It takes you some time to get your Armor back on.

Whoever repaired this did an excellent job. It looks as new as the day you got it.

You can't put on your Helmet, though, as it is making up most of the core of your Hazardous Shovel Array.

You do, however, slip your newly-repaired Exciting Undergarments back on your head.



> Sniff poltices and wonder why they smell so bad

It's the Khadgar's Whisker. When crushed and mixed with water, it releases a bitter, pungent odor. Most Health Potions using Khadgar's Whisker also call for Sungrass, specifically to cut that odor and the accompanying taste.

There's also some Goldclover and a little Liferoot in some of these poultices. By itself, Goldclover has a delicate, buttery scent, but when mixed with the Liferoot, the smell takes on a sourness, vaguely like curdling milk.

What?

So you know about Herbalism. So what? It doesn't make you any less of a man.

it... it doesn't, does it?



> And travel west, still naked, pretending a bunch of red coat Pyramid Hoggers are chasing you.

In that section of your mind that refuses to take any part in the actual proceedings, your wild, naked Scratchback ride has taken you clear to Thrall's Chamber, where he, Vol'Jin, Cairne, Lady Liadrin and Sylvanas are busily Declaring their Independence from the Tyrant King Pyramid George.

Vol'Jin wants the Declaration to rhyme and is in the process of attempting to coax Thrall into a Declarative Rap Battle through judicious use of Masterclass Beatboxing.

Sylvanas wants the Declaration to make special allowances for excessive eyemakeup for Forsaken women.

Lady Liadrin is attempting to stick a straw into the back of Sylvanas' neck.

Cairne is sitting in a corner, slowly chewing his cud.

This is very silly.



> Go to the Valley of Trails while being chased by the pretend Hoggers. You haven't been there this whole time... why not? Maybe every NPC in the game is waiting there, with the city of Orgrimmar, to throw you a party...
> fantasize about said party...


Another part of your brain sees how much fun the part of your brain embroiled in Revolution is having, and decides it's time to go.

'Screw you guys', it says as it shuts completely down, drifting off to do its own thing.

In this isolated corer of your mind, Mary, wearing a huge top hat that reads 'IN THIS STYLE 10/6' is throwing a huge Tea Party in the middle of the Valley of Trials.

Scratchfever, wearing bunny ears, sits next to Mary, waxing philosophical on the nature of meaning and existence and why children should be seen and not heard.

Larry awkwardly juts halfway out of a very small pot of sugar with a large pair of mouse ears perched precariously on top of his head, ravenously snapping at anyone and anything that comes into reach.

You are wearing a frilly, powder-blue frock. At long last, you are finally Blonde.

You weep with joy.

“CLEAN CUP!” Mary declares and everybody runs around in circles for no readily apparent reason, many partygoers being snapped up and chewed into paste by Larry.

This is even sillier.



> Think about the action figure and the teddy bear, why was hogger scared of them? is there a way to use both at the same time which could bring agony or death to the creature?
> Examine the teddy bear for clues


You drag yourself over to your Pile of Stuff and rummage through it, movements slow and painful, until worn button-eyes are staring you in the face.

You cradle the Worn Teddy Bear in your hands for a moment.

This is an expertly-crafted toy. Its body is made of a soft sort of plush cotton, threadbare and well-worn, patches of rougher cloth showing through places where the fur has been rubbed clean away.

It has big, blue, buttons for eyes that show evidence of repeated repairs. The whole Bear does – this toy was owned by someone who loved it to pieces. Holding it in your hands, you can feel this. Love, affection and childish devotion radiate from this Bear.

It's the first source of Good Vibes you've encountered out here. At all.

You're hugging it to your chest before you know it and you have no idea why. You can't help yourself.

This Bear demands to be loved, in the sweetest, most innocent manner imaginable.

You cannot bring yourself to Deny Love to Bear.

You tuck the Bear under your left arm, which is only just beginning to not hurt so much you can't even move it..



> Contemplate if Mary's lover is Pyramid Hogger

This is the first thing to enter your mind that makes any sense.

That monster didn't so much as notice you were alive until Zalazane was wholly dead and if you were Mary's lover, you'd probably have done pretty much exactly the same.

Furthermore, before you were kicked out of the Dream, Zalazane's words – 'He's here, she found me, he's here' – clearly indicated that Mary and the beast are at least somehow connected.

You wonder if you led Pyramid Hogger to him, if he found Zalazane because he was following you.

This opens many further questions, but your head hurts far too much to consider them at the moment.

Instead, you stare up at the ceiling, left arm holding the Bear snuggled into your chest.

Man.

Either these Poultices are fantastic, or this Bear's got some kind of healing power to it, you're feeling better already.

You wiggle the fingers of your left hand and only slightly shriek in pain.



> Think about who carried you to razor hill. Seeing as they smelled like a barn and they carried you through durotar, then it is most likely a tauren. Maybe there is someone else out there in this hell hole?

Well, obviously a Tauren. You hope so anyway. Most things that smell like barn and aren't Tauren are rarely especially friendly.

Or, at the very least, rarely have enough opposable thumbs to work a bandage and repair your gear.

You wonder where all these Humanoids are coming from. It wasn't long ago that Track Humanoids was about as guaranteed to be empty as Track Elementals.

You Track Elementals, just to be sure.

Nothing.

(Nothing on Hidden within Range.)



> a devilsaur would come in very handy right now, if the narrator will let you go tame one of those Giant t rex like monsters to do battle with the hogger take advantage of this. If not let the idea go.
> Wish there was a Devil Saur to tame.


You had a Devilsaur once, named “LittleMissDangerous.”

Never again.

Cleaning up after that mindless son of a bitch was a full-time-job with endless, mandatory overtime. Do you have any idea the kind of solid waste a twenty-foot Dinosaur can produce?

Yes, as a matter of fact, you do.

Thrall himself commanded you to ditch LittleMissDangerous after the debacle that was last year's Brewfest.

You'd pretend you were upset at your Warchief's decision, but really, six-foot heaps.

Apart from which, LittleMissDangerous's STR was about an eighth of Larry's – and while Larry did considerably better than you'd imagined any living thing ever could, you saw exactly how that fight ended.

You've no real reason to believe bigger is especially better.



> Summon scratchfever
> Cast Call Stabled Pet and bring Scratchfever out again, apologizing for making him miss some of the action
> Summon Catscratch and tell him you would be proud to carry his litter you love him so much
> Summon Catscratch
> Call Scratchfever


It takes you considerably longer than usual to collect enough concentration to cast the spell, but the panel appears before you pop any of your wounds back open.

"Scratch," you rasp. "C'mere."

Scratchfever emerges from the aether nervous and tentative as a visitor at a hospice. He's clutching a bouquet of flowers in his mouth with a large card that reads 'Get Well Soon'. He lays these on your chest and then proceeds to latch himself on to you.

He was so scared. You almost died! Did you know you almost died?

Oh, why do you have to be so brave?

You rest your hand on his head as he throws himself over you, openly bawling.

“I'm fine, Scratch,” you whisper. “Everything's fine. Look what I found.”

You lift up the Bear to his face.

Scratchfever gives you a bizarre look. He's not entirely sure why you're holding a beating, disembodied heart, but then, honestly, there's a lot he's not entirely sure of.

He gives it a polite lick, so as not to cause a scene.

You tuck the Bear under your arm again as Scratchfever helps you up to your feet.

For some reason, you can't bring yourself to stow it away in your bags

(The Worn Teddy Bear will remain, and must always remain, someplace visible on Ted's Person.
He will be unable to follow commands that tell him to drop the Bear or otherwise let it out of his sight or off of his person.
The Worn Teddy Bear cannot be combined with any other object or used in Engineering schemata.)



> Next time you see Hogger remember that frost traps are a great and glorious thing and should be used in such situations.

“I'll keep it in mind,” you croak and Scratchfever gives you a scared look.

Who are you talking to? Are you talking to yourself? Why are you talking to yourself? This is exactly what happens when he lets you out of his sight. Well no more of that, mister.

He's not leaving your side ever again.

Unless you Dismiss him. He can't do anything about that.

Or if he dies again. His mortality rate's been kinda high.

Oh, oh, also he might randomly despawn again, that could also happen.

Apart from that, though, never again.



> Build Larger Rifle so you can use the Godstorm shell.
> You're an Engineer. Build a rifle to fit the Godstorm shell!
> Figure out if you can build a solid and reliable rifle to fire the godstorm shell with. If you can go about making it then do so when ever is appropriate.


You rummage gamely through your Pile of Stuff.

There's nothing here you can even pretend you think looks vaguely Rifle-y.

You're about to give it the old college try, but your arms just hurt far too much to get a grip on your Blacksmithing Hammer.

You'll keep this in mind and give it a shot later, when you can feel all your fingers.

Meantime, you stuff it all back in your bags, returning your Pile of Stuff to your inventory.



> Remember that there were rifles in the innkeeper's quarters, go examine them to see if the Godstorm shell would fit

Scratchfever helps you up the stairs.

These Rifles are mostly decorative and are in absolutely terrible shape. Most of them are missing firing pins or other essential parts – but even if they weren't, these are all .22's, a smaller caliber than your 30-30 Rifle.

The Godstorm Shell, on the other hand, appears to be a .50 caliber Magnum round, which, to be honest, really does make perfect sense.

With Scratchfever's help, you take two of these Broken Rifles anyway.

Who knows, they might come in handy.

(Tednugent has received item: Broken .22 Rifle
Tednugent has received item: Useless .22 Rifle)



> Loot the town I mean hey no ones stopping you.

This is true.

It's also true that nobody was stopping you the first, second or third time you were in Razor Hill, when you also looted the town.



> Dance wildly in the middle of town to celebrate your achievement of Continued Life

You begin to thrust your pelvis out into the beginnings of a wild, riotous dance to celebrate your continued existence, but pain rips through your body and you whimper, falling against your cat.

You manage to sway. Is swaying alright? It's not especially wild swaying, but it's pretty joyful.



> Hmmmm west, hey wait it has to be a trap I shouldnt just go without........ Hey scratchfever stop licking me, oh gosh you look hungry, ill go look for some foo................ *You slap yourself and listen to your brain " Concentrate Ted dont let anything distract you" You look at Scratchfever licking the ground " NO CONCENTRATE"

You blink as something in your brain shifts around like a great, wounded bear, banging around inside your mind, knocking stuff off the shelves and generally making a mess of things.

Short attention span? You're supposed to have a short attention span, now? All of a sudden? But... but...

Look.

Your memory is already kind of terrible, you are often suddenly possessed of ridiculous ideas and you are plagued with a virulent Indecisiveness that puts Hamlet to shame.

Do you really need more crippling neuroses?

Your head hurts too much for this.

Instead, you elect to continue Joyfully Swaying for a little while longer.



> Take the Oshu'Gun Crystal Powder and the vial of troll sweat, mix them together an attempt to summon a kitten eating machine. * Of course, your skills in alchemy are currently unknown. WHAT COULD GO WRONG!

You pour your last Oshu'Gun Crystal Powder into your last vial of Unbranded Troll Sweat.

There we go. A vial of sparkly sweat. Splendid.

(Tednugent receives item: Vial of Sparkly Troll Sweat.)

You look around for the kitten eating machine to just magically appear for a moment before realizing you're just being extremely silly again.

You feel somewhat relieved that you haven't been attempting Alchemy all this time.

Boy, and you thought your Engineering expectations were nuts.



> Fold the exciting undergarments into a tri-corner hat and place on head.

It takes you a little while to get the folds right, but you manage.

You are now wearing a Tri-Corner Exciting Undergarments Hat on your head.



> Mount your cat (Not like that)
> Aaaaaaaand, head...west.
> Go west.
> Head west
> get ready to go make sure you have everything you can get of use from razor hill then start heading west.


Scratchfever holds himself steady as you drape yourself over his back, winding your arms around his neck.

He doesn't mind, does he? It's just you're so very tired.

No, he doesn't mind. He's moving carefully, so as not to spill you off his back, out of Razor Hill and onto the Westward Path.

.............. .............. .............. .............. .............. ..............

You are on the long, winding trail through the Abyssal Darkness, deeper into Durotar and beyond, towards the Barrens. You're pretty sure that's where this is leading. The path doesn't so much as bend at any point, it's a straight shot dead across the Red Rock Desert.

You cling to your cat's back.

Someone's been on this trail. Recently and forcefully, You don't even need to use your Keen Eyes and Heightened Senses to detect this - someone was up this trail, and that someone cleared the living shit out of this trail.

The path is strewn with bits of monsters. Scratchfever is picking his way through twisted, mangled corpses of Lesser Ravening Worms and... something you can't quite make out, it looks like... like bits of hollowed-out Quillboars laying strewn across each other.

You can make out what appear to be animal wounds on these corpses as you're carried over them – claw marks, bites, slashes, you recognize these wound patterns. Looks like... like a cat and a bear worked these monsters over, the evidence of mauling mixed with strange, Arcane burns, like...

strong, hairy, smells like barn

Like Moonfire. Like Moonfire!

A Druid!

Oh god. Oh god! It's a Druid!

There's a Druid out there somewhere and its on your side!

Or... or possibly on your side. At least it appears to share your enemies.

You love Druids. Especially when they're helping you. Doubly especially when they're helping you. Oh baby oh baby, you can already feel that sweet, sweet Mark of the Wild all over you.

God, you hope it's a Feral. You could use some Leader of the Pack like nobody's business.

Or a Tree! Oh, sweet heaven, you would love it if you'd managed to stumbled onto a Healer out here.

Healing Touch, here I come!

Things are looking up. Things are finally looking up.

You're almost at the Southfury River. You lift your head, half-expecting to see a thrust of Redcoat Pyramid Hoggers marching across.

What meets your eye is no less horrifying.

The Barrens, what you can see of it through the Abyssal Darkness, is a solid mass of monstrous, coiling Thorny Vines, dense and thick as the imaginary Subterranean Primordial Forest, engulfed in shadows that seems to shift and move independently from the Vines casting them.

Scratchfever stops at the Southfury River, staring

This was his home. He was born here.

He remembered it being a lot more, you know. Savannal.

Not quite so much like an Endless Blackened Vine Forest of Unrelenting Horror.


--
Lore Nerd. Role Player. Raid Leader. Discipline Priest. Slightly Annoying. Also Likes Kittens.


Adalicia
Om Nom Nom

join:2009-10-13
Lincoln, NE
kudos:13
reply to Adalicia

You Awaken In Razor Hill (Part Twenty-Three)

> [?] Help

Help File - Warning! File corrupted! Errors found!

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> Select verbose mode

The Narrator was not aware he could be more verbose.



> Z
> Z
> Z


You've come to the Southfury River and Durotar's border into the Barrens. The Abyssal Darkness opens here, doming the River, as well as, apparently, the entirety of the Barrens beyond.

The River's run dry. It's just a deep, sandy groove in the earth strewn with rocks and fishbones keeping in a near-solid mass of coiled, tangled Thorny Vines that appears to have overrun the entire Zone.

You're on the outside looking into a vast, Briar Thicket piled up hundreds of feet into the sky and you know you're being watched. You don't even need to see things moving, you haven't detected the slightest glint of an eye, you're being watched and you already know it. You can feel the sensation of inhuman eyes creeping all over you like bugs and it suddenly occurs to you that there's no way in hell you're going in there until you can at least stand under your own steam.

You pat Scratchfever on the collarbone and he comes to a halt, slowly hunkering down to let you sort of slide ignominiously off his back.

Scratchfever tugs you over to sit up against a large rock and you put your hand on his head.

You just need to rest a little bit and get some things in order, before you're quite ready to walk headfirst into that Briar.



> Hey, the narrator flat out told you that the teddy bear is a disembodied, beating heart. Pay attention!

What?

You lift the Bear up to your face. Its faded, yarn mouth is perked up in a sweet little smile, big, blue, button eyes all wide and innocent. This Bear may have been well-loved once but the more you look at it, the more you can see evidence of some pretty horrifying abuse.

You run your fingers over some pretty extensive scar-like stitching – it looks like this poor little guy's been ripped apart and sewn back together repeatedly, over you don't even know how long.

Witnessing this fills you with a deep sorrow you cannot adequately express.

This poor Bear.

This poor little Bear.

You hug it close, to let it know everything will be alright.

Wait, you lost track of your thoughts.

What were you thinking about, again?



> Hold the bear out in front of you and use Eyes of the Beast to look at yourself.

You hold the Bear up to Scratchfever (no, really, he's stuffed, but thank you), force your consciousness into his and see... a Worn Teddy Bear in desperate need of affection.

These may not be your eyes, but it's still you doing the looking.



> eat teddybear so it can never ever leave you ever again. IT"S YOURS DAMMIT

[bquoteEat it? Hasn't this poor thing been through enough?

You make the Bear a little Harness out of your Masterwork Fishnet Parachute pants instead, so that it hangs safely and securely in front of your chest, where you can hug it whenever you think it needs more hugging.



> Cycle through trackings
> Put track humanoid on in hopes of seeing the druid


First things first.

Your Tracking extends only a little ways into the Barrens, but enough to give you at least a fair idea of what you'll be walking into as soon as the capacity to do so returns.

Easy ones out of the way first: Elementals, Giants, Dragons, Demons, all blank.

Undead looks weird. The Nameless Blips are there, but they're moving around a lot, and some of them are moving considerably faster than others. Some of these seem to be Named, but their Names are solid broken text.

Humanoids is blank. Completely blank.

So is Beasts, which is very troubling. You swap back and forth a few times but there's nothing in Range that looks even remotely Druidic.

Maybe, maybe it's deeper in. Maybe, maybe he's got some kind of, of Aspect of the Beast thing. Do Druids get those? Jesus, you hope he isn't dead. You could seriously use some buffs.

You bite your lip, steeling yourself for Hidden. This is going to be terrible. You know it's going to be terrible. You know it. You're ready for it

You swap to Track Hidden and are immediately taken off-guard by exactly how terrible it is in there.

There are hundreds of concentrated Blips – multiple Blips clustered on a single point – labeled 'Larval Ravening Worms'. Closer inspection shows that each Larval 'node' contains thousands or tens of thousands of individual entities. Each of these blips is moving. Jerkily. Mechanical, birdlike motions, jerking a few points in one direction and then halting and jerking in another entirely.

There's something else, just at the end of your Range, something brushing against the very edge of your perception, flickering in and out of your Tracking.

There is at least one Greater Ravening Worm in there.



> have Scratchfever put you down and use eyes of the beast to scout while you rest.

You begin to concentrate and Scratchfever places his paw on your hand, staring you right in the eyes.

No.

Last time you did this, you ended up abandoning him in Abyssal Darkness – not that he's still upset about that or anything, but you did.

It is way scarier in that Thicket than it was in the Abyssal Darkness.

He's been compromising for you. You might not have noticed this, but he's been going out of his way to keep his Happiness up all on his own so you can focus your attention more on saving the world or blowing it up or whatever the hell it is you're doing out here. You have not seen Sad Kitty Hungry Now Face in well over fifteen pages. He's done his best to fit your needs and now it is your turn.

You said the two of you were in this side-by-side and he's accepted that to mean 'in spirit' during occasions when you'd rather have a big, stupid Shark around, but right now he is holding you to it.

He'll go in there, yes. Absolutely. He'll go in there and he'll take the first hit for you, he'll gladly die as many times as he needs to, to keep you safe, but he is not going in there without you.

…Alright. You nod. Fair enough.



> What are you thinking! mana at 65% turn on Aspect of the viper.
> Cast Aspect of the Viper, sit on the banks of the river till mana is full and you are a little bit less sore, then switch back to Aspect of the Beast and continue on into the Barrens.


(Aspect of the Viper is now Active.
Tednugent is Trackable.
Your Mana Pool is 70% and rising.)



> Use frostweave bandage to return to full health.

You retrieve one of your Frostweave Bandages and wind it carefully around your left arm, the infused Healing essence flowing swiftly into your battered muscles and torn tendons, mending them back together.

(Your Health is now 100%)

You flex out your left hand. That's so much better.



> Test to see if the brambles can be set on fire

You shuffle a bit to draw yourself up and produce an Immolation Trap from wherever you've been getting all these traps from. You flick your wrist and fling it like a frisbee at an errant coil, the activation crystal popping on impact, dousing the Vine and the ground around it in gleaming, Magic Fire.

The Vine didn't even quiver when the metal Trap smacked into it, those things appear to be solid as stone and about as impervious to heat, it's not even discoloring. The Magic Flame wears away, leaving a thin layer of soot on the vine and absolutely no other evidence that you did anything at all.



> light flare in case of grues

You spark a Flare between your fingers and flick it in a wide arc through a gap in the Bramble Wall, observing carefully.

Your Flare patters off of Thorny Vines, briefly illuminating an endless labyrinth of coiled brambles and snarled briars before something moving very very fast snaps up the Flare before it can hit the earth.

You hope that wasn't a grue.



> Throw the Smallish Rock With String Nailed To It far into the mass of thorns, to see if anything moves or is flushed out.

You lift this, perhaps your finest...

You stare at it for a long time.

Okay, seriously, what the hell is this?

There's a fekktig two-stroke motor in your Hazardous Shovel Array you stil don't know how you ended up with and yet this was the best you could come up with? It doesn't even look like a pretend bomb.

This Thing was a greater technical achievement.

You hurl the Smallish Rock With String Nailed To It into the Brambles, thankful that your continued existence isn't tied to your Self-Esteem anymore, because man.



> Wait, how did you keep the stuff you found in Zalane's head?

That's a very good question, one you've been avoiding asking yourself.

You figure it's got to work on the sort of dream-logic that permits you to fly right up until the moment you realize you can't.

You lift Cheryl the Blood Elf Head. You can see the Shrunken head clearly. It's got weight in your hand. You can put your fingertips over it and feel the leathery, wrinkled contours.

Clearly it exists, so it continues to exist.

It will likely cease existing the very moment its sheer impossibility dawns on you, so you quickly shift your mind to other matters.



> Consult Abuonaxtrus the Devourer the Eredar Head for advice

You lift up the Eredar Head. Even Shrunken, it's about the size of a gourd.

“So what do you say, Abuon,” you begin, cupping the head in your hands. “What do you figure I should be doing?”

“Well” you say in a gruff but squeaky voice, wiggling the Demon Lord's Head with your fingers. “I think you should erase the stain on your pride those Smallish Rocks left behind, because you are an awesome Engineer.”

“Do you really think so?”

“Absolutely,” you reply. “Your skill is spoken of in hushed tones throughout the Burning Legion!”

“Well that's nice of you to say,” you say and pat Abuonaxtrus the Devourer on the head.

Scratchfever sniffs. You did his voice okay, but Abuonaxtrus talks MORE LIKE THIS. BOOMING, NOT SQUEAKING.



> being the engineer you are you break out your Useless .22 Rifle and Broken .22 Rifle, and combine them because we all know that .22+.22 =.44 rifle.
> Attach Abuonaxtrus the Devourer the Eredar Head to the rifle, carefully so it will not block the exit of the Godstorm shell. You do not add Arthur and Cheryl, those are for something else. and to give the Saronite Godstorm Shell a little extra kick
> coat the inside of the new .44 Godstorm Rifle of Troll Voodoo Doom with the Dose Deadly Poison, Whatever gets hit with this sucker aint getting up!


You lay these two Rifles across your lap, staring at them in deep thought.

Your hands move almost independently of your mind, stripping the rifles down to their component parts, re-arranging them and re-assembling them, twisting slides into place, screwing together firing mechanisms and greasing them with both bottles of Da Voodoo ™ Brand Troll Sweat.

You click together parts you're not sure where you got, screw a massive barrel you made by somehow combining the two smaller barrels, pour both your Deadly and your Crippling Poisons down into it, hang Abuonaxtrus on it and stare at your creation.

You've constructed a beast of a firearm, the burnished-steel barrel is thick like one of Larry's legs and appears to somehow be inscribed with the same highly stylized renditions of Ravening Worms you saw in Zalazane's Dream. The weapon's profile is sleek and extremely long, looking like nothing so much as a flintlock anti-tank rifle with an Eredar Shrunken Head dangling from the end of the barrel.

But it's incomplete.

There are holes where you didn't have parts to fill – a trigger and guard, a good portion of the breech and loading mechanisms - the corresponding parts on the .22s were just too worn away and you couldn't find anything to replace them with.

Well.

You did, in fact find the perfect parts to replace it.

Your own beloved Rifle could easily fill in those gaps, but (and this is a huge 'but') you'd have to completely dismantle it to do so.

Destroying it in the process. Irrevocably.

You'd be able to fire the Godstorm Shell, but not your stock of 30-30 Saronites – this new weapon's barrel is just too large for them.

Apart from your one almighty shot, you'd be defenseless.

You stare at the monstrous Briar Patch, biting your lip.

This is too large a decision to make on your own.

For right now, you stow the monstrous weapon away.

(Tednugent has received item: Unfinished Gris-Gris Hammer .50)



> after time passes continue to go west

You can stand under your own steam now, and walking around no longer induces cries of agony.

Your body's nearly back to your full range of motion, Health maxed, Mana...

(Your Mana Pool is at 100%!)

Mana maxed. You swap Aspect of the Beast back on.

(Aspect of the Beast is now Active.
Tednugent is Untrackable)


Okay, then. You've successfully run out of ways to put this off.

Time to go.

…........ …........ …........ …........ …........ …........ …........ …........



> Head in to Barrens carefully
> Try and stay on the path, assuming there still is one.
> Head into mass of thorns
> If any eyes are seen within clumps of darkness between the thorns, do not stare at them for more than three seconds. Just run.
> Search for the Druid
> find druid


Scratchfever drops into Prowl and slides silently right behind you as enter the tangled, fractal labyrinth of coiled brambles and sweeping briars, keeping low to the ground and as much out of sight as you can.



> Make absolutely certain to stay as far away as possible from any Giant Scary Thornvines.

This just isn't possible.

There's no path. There isn't even anything that looks like it's trying to pretend it's a path.

Soon, you're not even walking on ground, creeping over and through snarls of vinework meshed up into knots until you're not entirely sure how high up you are.

It's like you're creeping through barbed blood vessels in the corpse of a Titan, the vines forming near-solid, impassable walls all around you. You force yourself through a loop of brambles, slip, and slid down a Vine thicker than the Razor Hill Inn and move towards what you hope is a passageway.

You press your back against a titanic Thorny Vine, trying to get your bearings. Your arms and legs are burning from the effort of clamoring through this stuff, but you don't get the feeling you've gone very far.

This is hopeless. You don't even begin to know which direction you need to be, Track Humanoids and Beasts aren't revealing that Druid anywhere, and it's getting harder and harder to keep completely clear of those Larval 'nodes', moving jerkily all around you, completely shrouded from sight by the Brambles.



> Turn on/keep on General Chat. Hey, even mindless idiotic drivel is better than nothing, right? ...Right?

You tune into the General Channel and are almost deafened by the roar of a hundred million voices shrieking terrible jokes in horrendously mangled English, espousing the glories of washed-up former Martial Arts stars and getting into completely retarded profanity-laden shouting matches over absolutely nothing, all at once.

It's just a wall of obnoxious sound screeching through you like feedback, it's like you're tuning into every Barrens Chat on every server from every moment of its history, all at once.

You can't bear to keep this on, it's making your ears bleed.

You shut the channel off.



> Tell Scratchfever unnecessary overheard Chuck Norris jokes.
> Upon entering Barrens wonder to yourself "where is Mankrik's wife?"


Something about this situation strikes you as funny. No matter what's gone wrong about this horrible place, no matter how utterly alien and perverse this place is, you can always count on Barrens Chat to act as industrial-grade mental steel wool.

You nudge Scratchfever, grinning like a loon.

“Hey,” you whisper. “I hear Mankrik's Wife made the mistake of telling Saurfang that Sword Spec is superior to-”

You don't get to finish the terrible joke. As the words leave your lips, dozens of voices rise up all around you, squealing, grunting, porcine voices muffled and howling through layers of vine, all screaming at once.

ERE'S MANKRIK'S WIwhere's mankriMANKRIK'Sck norris doesn't do K-K-K-K-K-KRIK'S WIFE MANK fu stfu gtfo l2p nub ORRISCHUCKNORRISCHUCKNORRI RIK'Sorris does a roundhouse kick andELLEFFGEE DUBYA CEEub u stupid nub u don no wat UCK NORRIS ROUNDHOU

You close your mouth tight and ratchet a round into place as quietly as you can. You're waiting for the tiniest movement to give you an excuse to just open up and begin shooting, but you can't even tell what direction these voices are coming from, they're just everywhere, echoing all around you.

You check your Tracking.

There are no less than six Larval 'nodes' jerking aimlessly about within thirty yards of you. Up or down from you, you can't tell.

You lick your lips. You wait as those echoes finally die down and there is again some semblance of silence.

Okay then. Not gonna do that again.

You move forward, creeping into a rolling patch of Briars that forms a natural tunnel and there's something directly in your path.

You lift your rifle, levelling it with a hunched shape crouching in the center of this path, small and stooped and bristling – it looks, it looks like a... Quillboar?

It turns very slowly towards you and your heart drops into your stomach, your hands flexing on your Rifle.

It's a Quillboar, but terrible, terrible things have been done to it.

As you stare at it, you can see, and clearly, that this Quilboar is dead and has been dead for quite some time. It's body is rotting away, absolutely ravaged as though it's slowly losing its shape from the inside.

It's being held aloft by extremely thin Thorny Vines that connect up into some invisible point far above and dig into the porcine Humanoid's wrists, feet and the top of its head, like a marionette.

Exactly like a marionette, you realize with a sharp flush of freezing dread. It's slowly turning, swiveling jerkily around on its Thorny Vine strings, and as it turns towards you, you can see that its eyes have been gouged out and the empty sockets are roiling masses of tiny Larval Ravening Worms.

The Quilboar is stuffed full of them, tiny Worms falling from holes in its hollowed body, its skin rippling and undulating with them as those vines jerk and swivel, puppeteering the Quillboar to face you.

Its jaw unhinges and a small shower of tiny, writhing Larval Ravening Worms fall out.

“nub” it grunts, jerking unsteadily towards you. Its feet barely brush the vines beneath it, completely suspended on its strings. “stfu. nub. nub. l2p. nub”

You do not wait any longer.

You aim between its ravaged, hollowed-out eyes and pull the trigger.

The Rifle bucks in your hand and the Puppet Quillboar's head splits open, releasing a juddering glut of hissing, flailing Larval Worms like blood as the Quillboar swings back on its strings.

“REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” it shrieks, shuddering and lashing back and forth and that sound is picked up by hundreds upon hundreds of throats, echoing from all around you.

You fire again and again, teeth gritted, blood raging, the bullets slamming into and through the hollowed puppet, spilling more and more worms and the Vines all around you are shaking now, something huge is moving-

And then something comes down hard on your shoulder. You scream and turn, aiming your rifle at a gigantic, horrible monstrosity, something like an upright bear with huge, googly eyes and a cruel, hooking beak and come this close to blowing a gigantic hole right through it when it bellows “GET DOWN”

It shoves you out of the way as it thrusts its clawed paws forward and directs a tidal flood of magic water through the tunnel, smashing into the foundering Quillboar Puppet and ripping it clean off its strings, sending both it and the thrashing Larval Ravening Worms away and out of sight.

The shrieking sounds echo louder and louder, the brambles all around you shifting, quaking, unfurling as something gigantic begins to move and this new monster seizes you around the waist, lifts you bodily and takes off like all hell is on its heels.

wait that was typhoon

The world around you becomes a whirlwind of motion, the beast careening through a labyrinth of tunnels as something thrashes and rages somewhere behind you. You catch glimpses of Scratchfever in Prowl, struggling to keep up. You glance up at the monster carrying you.

A Moonkin.

It's a Moonkin! The Druid!

You found him! He found you!

Suddenly you're airborne as he simply flings you against a wall.

“ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?” it screams, right in your face, and my god this Druid's breath is awful, it's, it smells, it smells like... “You nearly brought the whole goddamned nest down on you! What the hell were you thinking, taking potshots at an Incubator? Are you retarded? I think you must be retarded, you retard.”

Flecks of spit streak out of its beak as it snaps at you, that familiar stench drowning you in waves.

You are in a small Pocket of Vines, somewhere deep within the Thorn Hell. There is only one way in or out of this vaguely spherical chamber, and it's filled with this Druid's meager possessions – a small pile of what appear to be Random Silverware, a few bags of food, and a small pile of Raptor Eggs.

The Druid gets between you and his possessions, guarding them jealously.

This Druid looks... like it has been out here... alone... for some time.

It's a dishevelled wreck of greasy, bloodstained feathers and fur, it's wearing some kind of, of bizarre goggle apparatus that includes truly gigantic lenses over each eye, magnifying them to unsettling degrees.

One of its eyes is moving around just a little independently of the other.

It is wearing a Tinfoil Hat.

You're just about to sheepishly apologize to him - honestly you had no idea that shooting at horrible monsters was suddenly a bad thing - when suddenly, realization strikes you like a bolt of lightning to the center of your forehead and the right neurons fire up in your brain.

That smell. That smell that's washing over you every single time it opens its mouth.

You know that smell.

It's alcohol.


--
Lore Nerd. Role Player. Raid Leader. Discipline Priest. Slightly Annoying. Also Likes Kittens.


Adalicia
Om Nom Nom

join:2009-10-13
Lincoln, NE
kudos:13
reply to Adalicia

You Awaken In Razor Hill (Part Twenty-Four)

> Ask the druid's name and professions.
> Apologize as best you can to the drunk bear/owl/deer thing for nearly getting both of you eaten
> Let him know you're on his side and that you can possibly end this nightmare
> Ask druid for Buffs
> Is it a boy or a girl moonkin? you should find that out


You lift up your hands, both as a gesture of peace and to create some kind of wall between yourself and the waves of Drunken Hobo Stench washing over you.

“I'm sorry. I didn't know. It won't happen again, I promise you. Thank you for saving me, here and back at Sen'Jin.” The Moonkin relaxes visibly. “I'm Tednugent, this is Scratchfever.”

The Moonkin sits down across from you. “My name's Anniemal,” she flips up the lenses over her eyes. As it turns out, the lenses weren't actually magnifying them all that much. “But my friends call me Lazerbeast.”

“Lazerbeast.”

“Yeah, Lazerbeast, you wanna make something of it?”

“Not even a little,” you say, quickly. “Can I have some buffs, Lazerbeast?”

“I said my friends call me Lazerbeast. You call me Annie. And I'm almost done with your buff.” She lifts a Half-Finished Tinfoil Hat from the bags next to her, producing what appear to be Knitting Needles crafted out of Amphibious Shark claws.

She's knitting a tinfoil hat. Out of cutlery.

“You're... you're a Tailor?”

“I didn't used to be,” Annie replies, knitting furiously. “I don't even remember what I used to be. I think I might have been an Alchemist. Working with plants comes easy but I don't know. I can't remember. I woke up in Razor Hill and it just occurred to me I should probably be a Tailor. Something, something in my head kept. Kept telling me to make things. Sew them together and wear them.

"And then one day something in my head, something in my head told me to make a hat out of forks.

"And it worked. And it worked. It worked.”

She lifts up the Half-Finished Tinfoil Hat, comparing it with your head for a moment before setting back to work.

“This is crazy, isn't it,” she says, not looking up at you. “That's what you're thinking right now. This is crazy. I am crazy. You're thinking that right now. Aren't you.”

You sit down across from her, shifting your bags. “You'd be surprised what seems normal by now,” you reply.



> Examine the tinfoil hat. Use dressing room to see how it would look on you.
> Ask about tinfoil hat and stats on it.


“So, um,” you begin as Annie sews a bobble made of sporks to the top of the Tinfoil Hat, “What's. Um. What's the hat do?”

“They don't have senses,” the Moonkin replies as she crosses to you. “The Worms. Just touch. No sight, no sound, no smell. They hunt through Tracking.”

Annie plants the Tinfoil Hat With Spork Bobble on your head, fitting it snugly over your Tricorner Exciting Undergarments Hat.

“And now they can't Track you anymore.” That huge crooked beak twists into what is either a large grin or very bad gas. “I am the best fucking Tailor in the world.”

(Tinfoil Hat With Spork Bobble

Head
4,989 Armor
+48 AGI
+63 STA

Equip: Wearer gains Immunity from CIA Satellite Brainwave Surveillance, Mind Control and Tracking)



> Ask druid why he is also here.
> Ask the druid what happened to Azeroth and Outland. Also ask how long it's been since before all these events unfolded.
> Ask the druid if you could tell him more about what has been going on around here and more about the "nest" you just entered.
> Ask the Druid what he's doing here


“This is why I couldn't find you," you mutter, chewing your lip as you gingerly touch the Spork Bobble. "That's how you've stayed alive? Hiding?”

“Hiding,” Annie replies quickly, nodding. “It's safest in here. Nothing but the Worms dare be this close to her. To Mary. It's safest in here.”

She nods harder.

“I woke up. I woke up. I woke up in Razor Hill. I woke up in Razor Hill and everything was wrong. Everything. Orgrimmar was gone, there were. There were mosnters. Monsters, everywhere. And. And. And there was. There were. Things. Things in my head. In my head. Telling me to do things.”

Tears well up in her eyes.

“Crazy things. Like. Like 'walk up to monsters and challenge them to thumb-wrestling contests.' Like 'knit a tank out of forks and spoons that shoots cannonballs made of used napkins.'

“I think. I think I may have gone a little. A little mad. A little mad.”

She turns to face you very suddenly.

“I was. I was Feral when I woke up. I was Feral.”

She gets very, very close to you and her eyes are wide and tormented. Her beak twitches.

“I... I Respecced. I Respecced. There are no trainers out here. I did it myself. I did it myself.”

You cringe. “Jesus,” you mutter. “Where... where does the gold go-?”

“You don't,” she hisses, inches from your face, “Want to know.”

She draws away from you.

“It's been. I don't know how long since I woke up. Must be, must be years now. Every so often. Every so often, someone else shows up. Right there. In the middle of Razor Hill. They show up and go insane almost immediately, trying to build siege weapons and full suits of armor out of body parts and bits of string and blundering wildly into death trap after death trap after deathtrap until.

“Until.

“Until he catches them.”

She shudders hard.

“Until he catches them.”

“Pyramid Hogger," you whisper.

She nods quickly, her hands over her beak.

“Pyramid Hogger. It's only a matter of time. He doesn't. He doesn't come in here. Not in here. Not so close to her. Never. Never.”

She turns towards you very suddenly again.

“But you. You did it. You found Zalazane. You got through his brain and you got it. You got it, didn't you. Her heart. You have her heart.”

You draw away. For some reason, your hand goes to the Worn Teddy Bear dangling over your shoulder. “I didn't find any-”

“Nobody's ever got this far. Nobody,” she continues. “Nobody's ever gotten to Zalazane. They never make it past the Sharks. And then he catches them and. And. And.”

She shakes her head quickly.

“You're the first. You're the first. You can save her. You can stop this.”

“Stop what? Annie, what the hell is going on here?”

“She's scared,” the Moonkin whispers. “She's scared and she's hurt. She's been all alone for so long. Can't you feel it?” She hugs her knees to her chest, sinking down to the floor.

“I wasn't strong enough. I wasn't. I couldn't save her. I want to go home.”

Her face screws up and tears start flowing.

“I want to go home. I have a Guild and a family and I haven't seen them in, in, in years. In years and years. They must think I'm dead. I'm so tired. I'm so tired and I want to go home.”

She huddles up into herself and is lost to violent, shuddering sobs for a good, long time.



> Ask druid about Pyramid Hogger

“So... so what is Pyramid Hogger, anyway?”

“Patient," Annie says, haunted.

“There was a Rogue once. Pyramid Hogger cornered him. In the Training Hall. The Razor Hill Training Hall. The Rogue was, I think he was trying to make an automatic stabbing machine or, or something in there and then Pyramid Hogger was in the door. The Rogue Vanished and, and Pyramid Hogger just. Just stood there. Blocking the doorway.”

She shudders hard.

“Days and days and days. That poor, that poor Rogue. Pyramid Hogger stood there and waited and he stood there and he waited until that poor bastard Rogue nearly starved to death, until he was too weak to remain in Stealth. And. And Pyramid Hogger got him. Just walked over and picked him up and. And he. And he.”

She makes a breaking motion with her hands.

“In two. Just right in two. Like he wasn't nothing but a bundle of sticks. He did it slowly. Each bone. One by one. Right in two. And then he took the Rogue away. Away. To the Crossroads.”

She looks at you, helplessly.

“I've been to the Crossroads. I was. I was. Curious I was, I was curious and. And I follow. I followed him. I followed him. To the Crossroads. I saw. I saw..”

Her voice cracks a bit, her eyes filling with tears. Her beak trembles.

“Thousands,” she whispers. “Thousands. All. All over. Everywhere. Everywhere. There've. There've been a. About. About twenty, about, about twenty people. Twenty since I've woken up and until you woke up. Since I started hiding. Hiding. He. He caught all of them. All of them. He caught them and he broke them and he took them to the Crossroads. He took them to the Crossroads.”

Her beak clatters as she looks away from you, her paws shaking badly. She seizes one of the Raptor Eggs and pokes a hole in the top. A scent like fermenting sulfur fills the small Vine Pocket as she downs it all, throwing back her head and just pouring Fermented Raptor Egg down her throat.



> Question her if she's seen any huge fucking worms nearby

“Have you ever... have you ever seen the Greater Ravening Worm?” you ask and Annie freezes solid.

She brings the empty Raptor Eggshell down, smashing it against the vine and wipes her beak with the back of her hand.

“Yeah,” she whispers. “I seen it. It's worse. Worse than you can imagine. Its nest is in, in the center.” She points vaguely at the brambles. “I can take you there. I think. I think that's why I'm here. I think that's why I'm still alive. Why he never found me. Never found me. I have to, I, I have to take you into the nest. I think...” she says and her left eye twitches wildly for a moment before she can get it under control and both of them more or less pointed towards you.

“I think I have to take you to her.

“So you can. End this. All this. All this. Please.

“I just... I just want to go home.”



> Ask him, and anything else you can think of, If Mary happens to be the wife of a Certain Mankirk....

“Is... is Mary, is Mary... Mankr-”

“Don't” Annie snaps, very suddenly. “Don't say that name. Don't ever say that name. Or the other one.” She leans in, hissing conspiratorially. “Alker-way Exas-tay Anger-ray. Never. Never. It attracts them. The Incubators. Like moths to a flame.”

“But is she?”

“I don't know. You probably know more than I do. I'm. I'm still pretty sure Blood Elves have something to do with all of this, honestly.”

"Fucking space pirates,” you mutter. “We should have held out for Murlocs."

“Seriously."



> Feel superior about yourself because you know exactly where Mankrik's wife's beaten corpse is, and tell Scratchfever, just in case he doesn't know.

You turn to Scratchfever, nudge him and whisper, “She's under the elevator in the Undercity.”

You blink. That's not right.

“She's... next to the Enchanting Trainer in Uldaman.”

That's not right either.

You scour your mind. Having tea with Illidan? No... the Wyrmbog?

It slowly dawns on you have no idea where she is.

Where the hell is Mankrik's Wife?



> realize that the godstorm shell can not destroy hogger. If the bottle of dire mojo couldn't kill him then how can a bullet made from the same stuff do it? You need to be ready with not just that bullet but to bring everything you have. everything your friends have and the spirits of your great ancestors to the table for this one.

You have, in fact, always been a large fan of grotesque overkill, but this... well...

For one thing, pulling out the life essence of every living thing on the planet to serve as your magic projectile is commonly referred to as 'Global Necromantic Genocide' and is the kind of thing that is generally only attempted by people like Kel'Thuzad and Kael'Thalas.

For another, you recently set yourself on fire with your own Immolation trap.

You don't even want to imagine what you'll do to yourself with a gigantic ball of explosive soul.

You thrust this train of thought from your mind.



> using the worn teddy bear and the heads of Abuonaxtrus, Cheryl and Arthur, lighten the druid's mood by entertaining him with a short puppet show comically illustrating some story from your journey

“MROOOOR” goes Abuonaxtrus, dangling from his Gris-Gris Hammer. “I BE ZALAZANE AND I BE HUGE LIKE A MILLION FAT KIDS RARRR YOU BE IN MY BRAINS AND I BE ALL SCARY AT YOU”

“Dear me! Frightfully sorry to trouble you, but I've located this bottle in the recess of your subconscious. Pray, sirrah, tell me its purpose, posthaste!” says Arthur in his unflappable British accent.

“OH NO NOW I AM ALL SMALL AND CRUMBLY AGAIN BECAUSE NO AMOUNT OF MAGIC POWER CAN MAKE ME NOT SUCK AAAAHHHH”

“Now you jolly well listen close, by Jove, you will disclose to me the fullness of your misdeeds or I will deliver you a sound thrashing, eh wot?” says Arthur, pushing into Abuonaxtrus' face.

“I HAVE DONE TERRIBLE THINGS BECAUSE I AM A GIGANTIC DOUCHEBAG WHO COULD NOT HANDLE REJECTION. SORRY FOR DOOMING THE WORLD AND EVERYTHING, IT'S JUST THAT MY GENITALS ARE SO VERY SMALL.”

And then Scratchfever launches himself onto Abuonaxtrus and bludgeons it with the Pyramid Hogger Acton Figure.

You and Scratchfever take a deep bow as Annie claps delightedly.

Scratchfever is enormously proud of you.

Not only did you get Abounaxtrus and Arthur's voices perfectly, that is exactly how he remembers all of those events transpiring.

(Scratchfever has gained 3 levels of Loyalty!
Scratchfever is Almost Maxed.)



> Ask the Druid to show you his Bear Form, if he does:
> Open Call Stabled Pet
> Put Scratchfever in a vacant slot, if you dont have one, Ditch the Snake, then stable Scratchfever
> Place a Frost Trap on the floor
> Target Druid
> Cast Tame Beast


“Hey,” you begin, as nonchalantly as you can. “Can you show me your bearform?”

Annie eyes you carefully. Well. Her left eye does, anyway, her right eye sort of creeps away from you, apparently deciding it would prefer to just do its own thing.

“Why, so you can try to Tame me?”

“No, no,” you reply, hiding the Frost Trap behind your back. “Druids got art upgrades to their Cat and Bear forms a few months back, maybe I can help you figure out how long you've been here.”

“And then try to Tame me.”

“I'm not going to try to Tame you!”

“Yes you will.”

“I swear, I will not-”

“What, you think you're the first Hunter to get that idea? Really? In this place?”

She taps her Tinfoil Hat, her beak screwed up in what you've come to recognize as the closes thing a beak can get to smiling.

“Best fucking Tailor in the world.”



> When you have a calm moment, realize that things could be a lot worse right now, your alive and you might just have a friend
> Try to subtly inquire whether or not mister Druid has some spare Liquid Courage
> know that the almighty booze shall save you and have a kegger party
> Know that keeping joy in you heart and booze in your kidneys will keep you happy long time!
> Pester the boomkin for booze, because you could sure as hell use some


“Fine,” you grumble and point at the pile of Raptor Eggs. “I need a drink. I need a drink. Can I please-”

“No” Annie barks, hurling herself between you and the Eggs. “They're all I have. They're all I have.”

“Relax, relax!” you exclaim in a manner you hope is soothing. “Calm down! I won't-”

“One. You can have one. They're all I have. You can have One.”

(Tednugent receives item: Fermented Raptor Egg)

Oh holy god it sure is. This smells like sulfur and ammonia mixed together. You can see dark lumps floating around inside there, through the shell.

You stow it away before you have to smell it anymore.



> Scratch the following pattern into the dirt at your feet: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Select, Start

You carve this into a Vine with the edge of your Arcanite Ripper and close your eyes, waiting for immortality.

When nothing happens, you arch your eyebrow.

This game is apparently not published by Konami, which means all these Silent Hill references have been wholly unauthorized and may, in fact, constitute plagiarism.

Kagemasa Kozuki must be informed of this at once!



> Contemplate using the godstorm shell on said giant worm if you encounter one on your way, if hogger wasn't destroyed by the other mojo, you may as well use it on something just as dangerous and hope placing mary's heart will destroy it

Mm. Possibly. You have nothing else on-hand that you figure could kill something as big as you imagine the Worm is.

You still need to finish the Unfinished Gris-Gris Hammer .50, though, before you can put too much thought in how awesome it'll be when you shoot something with it.



> ask the druid if he or she has any spare parts you can use for your godstorm shell rifle.

You don't even need to ask. The pile of cutlery doesn't... it doesn't look useful to you for some reason. It might be because Annie's actions have... marked it as being... cloth... or something.

Your head is starting to hurt.

“I've got a weapon,” you begin, carefully showing her the Saronite Godstorm Shell and the Unfinished Gris-Gris Hammer .50.

You can't help beaming with pride as she admires your handiwork.

“I'm going to finish this, Annie. I'm going to find Mary and I'm going to save her and you and me and everyone else and we are all going home, but I need help. I need to finish this weapon. I need more parts. Do you know where I can find anything, anything at all, that might help me finish this?”

She gives you a sick, sick smile.

“The Crossroads,” she whispers.


--
Lore Nerd. Role Player. Raid Leader. Discipline Priest. Slightly Annoying. Also Likes Kittens.


Adalicia
Om Nom Nom

join:2009-10-13
Lincoln, NE
kudos:13
reply to Adalicia

You Awaken In Razor Hill (Part Twenty-Five)

> Agree to go to Crossroads with her leading the way.

“Alright," you say. “The Crossroads it is.”

“Wait you what?” Annie sputters. “What? Did, did, did you not hear the part where that's Pyramid Hogger's-”

“No, I heard you.”

“Ted. Ted it's.” Her eye twitches very hard. “It's really bad in there, Ted. You don't. You don't really want to-”

“Doesn't matter.”

“No. No! You're out of your mind! Ted, you can, you can find other parts for your gun, you can, you can go back to Sen'Jin, or, or-”

“The Crossroads. That's where he takes them. That's what you said. The players he catches, that's where their bodies are, right?”

Annie nods. Her hands are shaking very badly.

You lift the Hazardous Shovel Array out of your bag and set it next to you.

“Look at this,” you say. “I made this out of shit I found lying around here. The casing used to be my helmet. I made this and it works. I've made explosives out of wands and underwear. I made this.”

You lift the Godstorm Shell up to her eyes.

“Now you said there was thousands of them, thousands of players all broken up and rotting in the Crossroads. Thousands, right?”

“I. I don't. I don't.” She shakes her head. “Yes. Thousands.”

“Thousands of players who wake up with heads filled with nonsense, building ridiculous shit that inexplicably works. And it all ends up in the Crossroads.” You flash her a fierce grin. “We're going to loot the hell out of it.”

Annie stares at you. “Now... now when you say 'we',” she coughs, “You... you are talking about you and your cat, right?”

“We'll get lost in minutes. You know how to get there.”

“I'm not going back there.”

“What was all that about how you lived because you have to take me to-”

“To Mary! To the Lair of the Greater Ravening Worm! That way!” she points. “South! The Crossroads is in the opposite direction, I have no obligation to-”

“Annie.”

“No!”

“I want to go home too,” you say, quietly. “I don't want to die out here and I don't want to hide. We can finish this, but we can't the way we are now. We need better weapons, better gear. That's in the Crossroads. What we need, what we need to finish this is in the Crossroads.

"We'll go quick, Annie, I promise. In and out, just grab everything we can carry and bring it all back here and then we'll go save Mary. And then we'll go home.

"But I need your help, Annie, I really need your help. I can't do this without you. Please.”

Annie hugs her knees up to her chest. She stares at some point off in the Bramble for a very long time.

“O. Okay,” she says. “Okay. Okay. I'll take you. I'll take you.”

“Alright," you nod. “Let's get ready.”



> Modify your cactus costume into a thorn-ghilly suit, specifically altered to be stealthy against the insane nightmares in the forest. Ask Annie, she's a tailor!

You dump your Cactus Costume out of your bags.

“I'm the only one here without Stealth,” you say. “Can you do something about that?”

She licks her beak, staring at the parts. She grabs a handful of spoons and unravels them, spinning them into thread. “Yeah,” she says. “Piece of cake.”

“I need to be able to move in it,” you remark, looking over her shoulder as she gets to work. “And if it you could fit it so-”

“Hey,” Annie snaps. “Best fucking Tailor in the world. Shut up and let me work.”



> Inform Lazerbeast that even if she is the best Tailor in the world, your Engineering is far superior. Have you SEEN the things you've made?
> Regardless of the above, see if you can improve the [Tin Foil Hat] with your epic engineering.
> take of the tinfoil hat and put it under your Tri-corner exciting undergarments. Its a little stupid looking, and it counters the epicness of your Tri-corner hat by covering up said Tri-corner hat.


You pluck the Tikbalang Ward off your neck and snap a trowel off of your Hazardous Shovel Array, swiftly stripping them down to their component parts. You pluck both your Tricorner Exciting Undergarments Hat and the Tinfoil Hat with Spork Bobble off. and lay them on the pile.

You hunker over this pile of stuff in your lap for a moment, fingers moving in a blur.

With no small measure of pride, you lift the fruit of your labors and brush a few spork bits aside.

(Tednugent has received item: Crotchless Tinmail Helm with Spork Bobble and Miniature Radar Dish)

You tug this over your head and fiddle with the little radar dish for a few moments until it begins slowly sweeping back and forth.

You test it to make sure it's working properly.

You set the Radar to Track Hidden, and swap your own Tracking to Undead.

(Track Hidden is now active.
Track Undead is now active.)


Yeah, Tailoring's nice and all.

It's just that Engineering is so much better.



> Note: Put some nitro boosts on your boots, flexweave underlay on your cloak and a hand mounted pyro rocket on your gloves when you get the parts. Remember to put a scope on your Godstorm Gun.

You look over what's left of your possible materials supply and frown.

There's a few problems with making these particular items – they're all actual Engineering items, set in stone within the game world.

You already know what it takes to make them – and more importantly, so does the game.

For example, the Nitro Boosts require Handfuls of Cobalt Bolts. You can't simply craft Cobalt Bolts out of thin air, you need to smelt Cobalt Ore into Bars and then smack those with your hammer until they become Bolts.

You try to convince the game that a handful of spoons is no different than Cobalt Bolts, but it's not fooled. It knows what makes that item and it knows that you don't have those mats.

More to the point, the game knows you don't know how to make any of these items.

You chew on your lip. If you force the issue, you might end up reminding the game what your actual Professions are and everything you've made might simply cease working.

This place makes your head hurt.



> See if you can find something to make Jeaves with. Your a godly engineer after all.
> If successful buy the needed parts for the gun from him... or steal them.


You rub your nose. You know you don't have the parts for Jeeves, but...

You pull your Unstable Shovel Array out of your bag and stick Arthur The Undead Head on one of the Pickhammers.

Hm.

Maybe.

But you'll need a hell of a lot more raw materials, you've got almost nothing left to use.



> Realize that pet talent points came out at the beginning of the last expansion, and make Scratchfever more than just worm-fodder. We can rebuild him...better...faster...STRONGER!

Can't fix stupid though.


“It's okay, Scratch,” you whisper as you carefully pile a few gold on top of his head. He looks up at you, eyes filled with consternation. “You probably won't feel a thing.”

He closes his eyes tight as you bring your Blacksmithing Hammer down on the coins.

You wince, your hand over your mouth, staring down at your unconscious pet.

You really hope that didn't cause lasting damage.

(Scratchfever has been Respecced for enhanced Stamina and Strength.)



> /lick the nearest vine. You know you want to...

You touch your tongue to the closest vine as soon as you're sure Annie isn't looking.

It is far less exciting than you anticipated.



> Realize that as a supporting character in a somewhat horror-esque narrative, Annie will most probably die in the most terrible, painful way possible. Say goodbye now so you won't be distracted (or choked up) later.

“Annie,” you say. “We might... we might not... both... come back. If we don't... I'm... I'm really glad I met you out here. It was my honor to have-”

Annie shoots you a hard, hard look. “I'll lead you there but I'm not going inside, Ted. In there, you are on your own and I will leave you to die at the first sign of trouble. I'll call out an alarm and after that I won't even look back to see if you're following me.”

“Huh.” You open and close your mouth for a moment. “That's. That's a little harsh.”

“Yeah well,” she mutters, hunching back over her work. “I've got a good 'not dying' streak going for me. It's the sort of thing I'm pretty fucking intent on keeping up.”



> Realize "Lazerbeast" would be an odd name for a feral druid, and since she didn't, er, "respec" moonkin until she ended up out here... Politely ask Annie who her friends actually are, and if they exist (and aren't hats), try and figure out if you can coerce them into joining your party with Annie. The more warm bodies between you and ... all of that, the better!

“So um,” you say, a bit awkwardly. “Who... who exactly calls you Lazerbeast?”

Annie shoots a glacial look right through you. “My friends,” she snaps.

“And these friends... would they happen to be-”

“Shut up,” she growls.

Yeah, they're probably hats.



> Ask Annie about the vines that were being used as strings to control the incubators. If she doesn't know who the puppeteer is, see if she can guide you to the top of the warren of vines so you can check for yourself. The thought of something up there controlling those things makes you very uneasy, and now that you're untrackable, it's probably a good idea to figure out how they work. If you have to, work it in as other voices in your head order you towards the crossroads, since it's on the way anyway.

“I have a few questions about the Incubators,” you begin.

“I don't have many answers,” she mutters, biting a length of spoon-thread. “I stay the hell away from them as much as I can.” She glances at you. “Because I am not retarded.”

“Well... what do you know? I mean... okay, where do their strings connect?”

She sighs, resting her work in her lap, staring off into space for a moment. “I don't think they do,” she says, chewing on her claws for a moment. “Probably, probably the same place Moonfire comes from. Just up. Some point up.” She shakes her head. “I've never tried to check. They're. They're easy enough to avoid but I've, I've, I've seen them, seen them swarm. Swarm. Just hundreds and hundreds of them all show up at once, just, just out of nowhere. The Vines part for them.” She stares at you. “They're flammable and they're drawn to ancient non-humor. That's. That's as much as I know.”



> Ponder as to why jokes about the spouse of Mankrik and Alker-tay Exas-tay Anger-ray irritate the Incubators.

“Why do... those names... attract them?”

Annie gives you an annoyed look. “Why do you think? Look where we are. Have you listened to the General Chat out here? If you had to listen to this garbage forever, don't you think you'd want to slaughter every source of it?”

You lift your eyebrows. “Good point.”



> Also, ask Annie to examine the Encrusted Foul-Smelling, Sparkly Substance smeared all over your body. If she thinks it's useful, offer to trade her your vial of sparkly troll sweat for another fermented raptor egg.
> If she agrees, drink the first egg. Courage ho!
> If she does not agree, save the egg. You'll need courage down the road, you're sure of that.
> Either way, try not to wonder whether or not those are actually raptor eggs, since, y'know... moon chicken. /shudder.


“Anyway, you've probably noticed my smell-"

“Yes,” she grumbles. “Could you possibly not sit quite so close to me?”

“Well, I made it out of Troll Swe-”

“Troll Sweat and Oshu'Gun Crystal Powder. Everybody starts with three of each. It's only a matter of time before they either try to drink it or dump it all over themselves. Only the most retarded try both.” She eyes you.

“Well, I. It's. You. You know the uh. The Sharks on the, on the-” you lick your lips. She's staring right through you, one eyebrow raised. “Nevermind.”



> Before leaving for the Crossroads, tell Annie about how you got past the sharks, and how you tamed one. In great detail.

“So, you've been watching me?” you begin, as casually as you can. You carefully inspect your fingernails. “Did you see me on the beach? How I Tamed that Shark?”

Annie glares at you.

Oblivious, you continue. “Tamed the hell out of him. His name's Larry. He's a Pit of Endless Ravening.” You polish your fingernails on your shoulder. “I probably could have let him take care of all the Sharks on the beach, but you know. Where's the exp in that, right? Am I right? Yeeeaaaah.” You nod, extremely proud of yourself. “Blew them up. To hell and back. Blasted them into a billion pieces with a magic explosive I-” you glance up at her and freeze solid by the sheer force of her Glacial Stare.

“Are you about done waving your manhood in my face, or do you have more self-satisfied grunting you'd like to direct my way?” She watches you expectantly.

“Right, fine,” you sigh. “Sorry. No need to be such a bitch.”

“What was that?”

“Nothing."



> You already suspect she is a Tauren but just to be sure...check.
> If she is actually a night elf ask her to shift to night elf form and stand there and idle for a few moments while you watch. Tell her it will raise your spirits immensely.


Gotta be a Tauren, she's speaking Orcish. Or English. Or... or whatever, whatever language she's speaking, you understand.

You think, anyway. Yeah, she's got horns, not antlers. Gotta be a Tauren.

Either way, you're pretty sure she wouldn't be especially up for supplying that kind of fan service, so you elect not to bring it up.



> When Annie's not looking, since you are a Manly Man and work hard to maintain that front, coo and cuddle with Scratchfever, and assure him that, Annie or no Annie, he's still your everything.

Scratchfever's still unconscious from his Respec, but you cuddle him anyway when Annie's attention is fully occupied.

It's actually a lot safer to cuddle him when he's like this – he's extremely pointy and is, on occasion... a bit... aggressively affectionate.

You take full advantage of his unconsciousness.



> Once again imagine your fighting the revolution against a King George Pyramid Hogger. It has never failed to make you happy in the past. Try to telepathically share the day dream with Catscratch. He will probably like it too.

This is no time for idle chatter, Benedict Garrosh has turned traitor, declaring his allegiance with the Pyramid Empire!

As we speak, he is leading Pyramid Redcoats in a surprise attack on Valormok in Azshara!

The Horde Faction Leaders gather in an intense meeting, carefully and passionately debating whether or not they actually care enough about Valormok to bother doing anything about it.

Vol'Jin is surprised Valormok actually exists. He'd always thought it was something of a tragic joke.



> Think of ways that you can possibly kill pyramid hogger.

You chew on your lip.

Godstorm Shell seems your best candidate thus far, which makes it all the more important that you complete the Gris-Gris Hammer. 50 as soon as you can but you don't know. You really don't know.

You're beginning to wonder if he can be killed or if he'll just keep coming back, over and over and over, haunting your every moment until you run out of time and he catches you.

And he catches you.

Your stomach ties itself up into a knot and you shift uncomfortably.

You rub your chin nervously and something scratches your face.

That's weird. Your Guitar Pick is in your hand.

You tuck it back into the hidden pocket in your bracer.



> TRUFFLE SHUFFLE!

Impossible. Just impossible.

Not that you're a twig or anything, but you don't really have the girth for such a complex and devastating maneuver.

God.

If only you were an Ogre.

“Alright," Annie's voice cuts into your reverie. “I'm done.”

She holds up the fruits of her labor and you must admit, immediately, she does fine work.

It's a flexible suit that fits perfectly over your Mail Armor - she helps you pull it on, fussing over stitching – and presents a remarkable facsimile of of the Bramble, matching the chaotic pattern of vines as well as adding increased protection.

You flex a bit, testing out your range of motion. Perfect. Your movement shouldn't be hindered at all.

It even has a hood you can pull over your Crotchless Tinmail Hat.

When you pull the hood up and crouch down, you're completely indistinguishable from your surroundings.

Annie holds your chin steady as she paints the last touches over your face with some sort of viscous green goop.

For one brief moment, she stares you right in the eye.

“You're going to be walking headfirst into the worst place in here. The worst place in here,” she says. “You're sure about this?”

“Don't worry,” you grin. “I do this all the time.”

She doesn't say anything else. She just slaps on the last touches and then turns away, moving to get her own gear in line.

You nudge Scratchfever until he bats his paws and finally wakes up. He stumbles around for a few moments, a bit loopy, before he seems to remember where he is and slides back into Prowl.

You check your rifle and get your gear together.

“Alright," you say. “Lead the way.”

A shimmer of yellow and green illuminates the room as the Moonkin shifts, curls into itself and melts fluidly down to the ground, into her Cat form, immediately entering Prowl.

Scratchfever's eyes bug out of his skull for half a second before he gets control of himself.

Well hell-looooooo Annie.

He ducks behind you, grooms himself furiously and then nonchalantly strides up next to her.

Don't worry. He'll back her up on Point.

Really.

You can hang back a little ways. If you want.

don't blow this for me



> Go Crossroads.
> Head out to Crossroads loot your brain out and run like hell.


Scratchfever and Annie Prowl out of the Vine Pocket with you close behind, crouched down and creeping as silently as you can.

The voices of the Incubators, calling out to each other, shrieking and screaming and chattering away come at you from all sides, muffled by god-knows how many layers of vines. You watch their Blips nonstop, holding your breath each time you pass by one of the jerking Larval Nodes. You can hear them moving, rustling around out there, but none of their Blips seem to so much as drift your way.

It's harrowing. There's almost no light in here and the vines are so twisted, so gnarled, so horribly chaotic it's only minutes until you've completely lost track of where you are and where you've been. You climb up a steep incline, using thorns as footholds, struggling to keep up with the Cats and you're almost positive you've seen this tunnel before. It all looks the same, a horrible, impassable labyrinth, there's no way this Druid really knows where she's going – wait are the vines moving?

The more you stare at them, the more it looks like the tunnels are actually shifting all around you, constantly altering the labyrinth.

You're almost positive the Cats have gotten you hopelessly lost when suddenly a blast of wind strikes your face, carrying a scent of decay so strong, you have to force the vomit back down your throat.

The tunnel curves and opens up. Annie and Scratchfever hop down. You crouch in the aperture leading out of the Thorn Hell Bramble, steeling yourself for the worst. You lower yourself down from the hole and creep to the edge of the Brambles.

It's not enough. It would never be enough.

You sit there, crouched, at the edge of the Bramble, staring at the Crossroads and she was right.

You really didn't want to see this. You bite your lip, staring.

The Brambles part around the wooden barricades that enclose the Crossroads, surrounding the nightmarish town but not entering it.

It would appear Pyramid Hogger has a bit of a creative streak.

The barricade is a riot of torn, broken corpses of all Races, savaged and broken players dangling in various states of decay and destruction from every single post and piled up in great heaps, stripped and shredded and strewn in deliberate patterns.

Bodies hang from the entrance, bodies staked upright into the earth, posed in grotesque and perverse tableaus, frozen in a macabre dance, ravaged arms extending mismatched hands in a mockery of a welcome.

Come right in.

You can see more of this over the wall, hints of great, looming structures built from mangled remains lashed together with sinew and rope made of skin.. Thousands of them. Thousands and thousands. You can only see a little from where you are, and that little will stay with you for the rest of your life.

It's Hell. You are looking at the gates of Hell.

There's nothing Hidden in there, but Track Undead is going nuts. There are hundreds of fast-moving Undead blips in there, apparently named 'Dire Scavengers.' Everywhere.

You glance at Annie, who is staring right at you.

She hasn't changed her mind.

She's not going in there.

All you, Ted. All you.


--
Lore Nerd. Role Player. Raid Leader. Discipline Priest. Slightly Annoying. Also Likes Kittens.


Adalicia
Om Nom Nom

join:2009-10-13
Lincoln, NE
kudos:13
reply to Adalicia

You Awaken In Razor Hill (Part Twenty-Six)

> ?

Warning. File Not Found.

Whoops!

If you are reading this message, it means you either tried something we didn't think of or you have attempted to enter an area that is unfinished or otherwise not intended for Player access.

We're sorry for the inconvenience and hope to clear this issue up with future patches.

Thank you for your patience and enjoy your adventures in the Broken World of Azeroth!



> Switch to Aspect Of The Monkey since you no longer need Aspect Of The Beast to remain Hidden and you really want to make sure you can dodge whatever happens if they notice that the brambles you're disguised as don't actually belong in the hellish nightmare-town.

You love this Aspect. It always makes you feel like you're wearing springs in your heels.

(Aspect of the Monkey is Active.)



> Realize that this world has no spirit healer and you can't rez here, if none of the other players could neither can you.

It's crossed your mind.

Even before you discovered you were far from the first Player stranded here, you'd gotten the feeling that the penalty for dying in this universe was a little more severe than Durability loss.

You crouch at the outskirts of the Brambles, your hand pressed into your chin. You don't even realize that you've chewed clean through your lip until you see the blood on your fingers.

The front Gate into the Crossroads is a garden of crushed heads, shapeless and decaying like rotting pumpkins months after All Hallow's. A tapestry of tanned skin dra.pes over the palisade walls, Elf and Human and Orc and Troll skin mingling and stitched so that they fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. A party of skinned Gnomes stands frozen in a grotesque mockery of their dance. Their arms and legs have been broken off and replaced with Tauren and Draenei limbs, posed and held in place with spars of bone and lashes of sinew and hair.

Players. Not bits of scenery. Not flavor graphics. Players. Every single shred of flesh has a name. Broomhewer's Corpse. Axeface's Corpse. Marrowak's Corpse. Ownerpwner's Corpse. There's a rotting 'Human' statue in the middle of the garden of smashed heads, arms outstretched in welcome and every single one of its fingers is marked as from a different corpse.

You close your eyes and lower your head. You can't look at this anymore.

Yeah, sure, you've died before. Who hasn't? But it was always, always.. more, more of a temporary inconvenience than anything else. Just release, run back, pick up your corpse and get on with it.

This place... this place is definitely set to 'Hardcore Mode'.

For one brief moment, you cannot stop yourself from considering... just considering.. what that must be like. Permanent death. Permanent. You can't wrap your brain around it, it's just too big. Releasing in a world that doesn't let you revive.

And then you find yourself staring at the Nameless Blips and slap both hands over your mouth.

Players.

That's what they are. The Nameless Blips.

Dead players.

You're not ready to go in there yet. You desperately grasp for things to occupy yourself, just to put it off for one moment more.



> Open a ticket.

“Dear GM

I am in Hell. Please get me out.

Love, Ted.”


We are experiencing a high volume of tickets...



> Consider running into the crossroads and saying those names very loudly just to see what the heck would happen. After all....if nothing else, that would be an ending worthy of Tednugent, Grandmaster Engineer.

Because when you're staring into Hell, what you really want to do is draw a lot of attention to yourself.

No, wait, you got that entirely backwards.



> Be extremely thankful that you've gotten better at resisting some of the voices in your head and that some of them seem to be trying to help you or at least not make you completely insane.

Well, as the severity of the situation has dawned on you, you've been less willing to just blindly follow every single impulse that enters your mind.

For the most part, anyway.

You are still wearing underwear on your head.



> Wish you had said unnaturally-bred dog plus gang of meddling kids. God knows he'd find some way to make Pyramid Hogger cry. With slapstick through and through.

Depending entirely upon your point of view, it would be either the very worst or very best Special Guest Episode ever.



> Ask Annie where alliance toons wake up at.

She scratches 'RH' into the dry, cracked soil.

Razor Hill, apparently, same as Horde.



> Examine guitar pick.

This is a Simple Reed Pick you carved yourself during a Naxxramus raid, while the Raid Leader was busily attempting to explain the difference between left and right to the newer recruits.

There's nothing particularly special about it, though you are proud enough of it that you've kept it on-hand since you finished it, in that tiny little pocket you sewed in your Bracer.

It doesn't even show up in your Inventory Screen, as it appears to be considered part of your Ripper.

It's by far your favorite Pick and you can't imagine playing your Arcanite Ripper with anything else, but it's been a very long time since you've had the booze to really play, so your Pick hasn't seen a great deal of use.



> build a light saber

Hmm.

A focused plasma projector with a one meter range could come in handy.

You carefully consider how you'd go about building one.

Shouldn't be too difficult, you'll just need some crystals, a metal tube, a thermal energy condenser, nanoparticle plasmic generator, a few doctorates in theoretical physics and several hundred billion gold for research and development.

Maybe you could apply for a grant.



> obviously there is no schematic in game that would let you build a mech suit normally, but try building one out of all of the parts you find. nothing like a robotic saftey suit to keep you out of danger.

This, on the other hand, might actually be possible.

You'd need Large Armor Parts for something like that, though, lots of them.



> Now that she is in Cat Form, attempt to tame Annie. Maybe you can respec her afterwards!

Despite knowing that her Tinfoil Hat protects her from Taming, you give it a shot anyway, because hey, why not?

You press your hands on her forehead and feel a very unpleasant twinge as she carefully places her claws in a very delicate area on your body. She gives you a hard eye, flexing her claws a little to make sure you understand that you are one twitch away from an Unpaid Gender Change.

Oh yes. That's why not.

You smile wide at her – joking! joking! lol! – and pull away.

You don't think you should ever try that again.

Scratchfever presses his face in his paws.

This is why you're still single, you know. This.



> make sure you keep the teddy bear strapped to your chest, obviously it bothers pyramid hogger and he won't risk harming it.

The Worn Teddy Bear still dangles right over your heart. When Annie helped you get the Thorn Camo on, you made sure the Bear was on the outside.

The Bear absolutely draws his attention, but you're not so it'll actually afford you any real protection against him.

The monster definitely wants it and it's very possible that it will take pains not to harm the Bear, but the Bear is very small. He could easily hack you into a hundred pieces before he came anywhere near it.

More to the point, you won't let any further harm come to this Bear, either. Thinking about that Knife actually makes you want to hang the bear off your back, instead, just to ensure its safety.

You don't do this, however, because you're not sure how you'd react if you had the sudden need to Give Love to Bear and Bear was not immediately within your grasp.



> Imagine what Annie would look like in humanoid form

Like a big, gawky Tauren with a lazy eye and crusty, Fermented Raptor Egg-stained hair that has not been washed in you have no idea how many years. Also, godawful breath.

This image isn't quite as appealing as you hoped.



> Remind Annie that she could always help you repopulate this post-apocalyptic world, since you two seem to be the only living beings

You sit down next to her and carefully place an arm around her.

You're just about to flex your extremely underdeveloped romantic muscles – the words you were actually going to say were 'Listen, if I get back alive, we should do it' – when a soft, sharp sound right behind you gives you pause.

You glance back at Scratchfever, who is very carefully sharpening his claws on a Thorny Vine, ripping it open to reveal thick, fibrous matter within.

He gives you a delightful smile as he sees you've noticed.

No, of course he's not threatening you. Silly!

He always rips chunks of out things when he sharpens his claws, it's got nothing to do with your arm and your obvious intentions nooooo it's just he likes to keep his claws so sharp is all.

So very, very sharp.

But please, do go on.

You were just about to say something to the woman of his dreams?



> Apologize to Scratchfever

Of course you were completely kidding, as Annie isn't even your type.

You like your women to be more svelte, you like them lean, you like them feathered and you like them to be a little less barking mad.

He purrs and nuzzles you.

That's right.



> Make sure you can reach the Hazardous Shovel Array in case of emergencies. It could be that the only way to defeat Pyramid Hogger is with something even more indiscriminately destructive.

You loop a vine from your Thorn Camo through the Hazardous Shovel Array and hang it under your left arm where you can reach it quickly.

This thing's reach is about a quarter of Pyramid Hogger's Knife, but that doesn't mean it won't be pretty useful.



> Realize that Pyramid Hogger might be hiding in The Crossroads, waiting for you.

You've encountered Pyramid Hogger twice now and you've learned a number of valuable things.

Firstly, he's the single scariest fekktig thing you have ever witnessed in your entire life.

Secondly – and more importantly – he's Undead and he shows up on Tracking.

Tracking and Hidden are both on right now and you always have at least one eye on that particular Gaming Abstraction.

Inside the Crossroads are lots of fast-moving Undead Blips, those 'Dire Scavengers', but not Pyramid Hogger. You've been waiting for his blip to show up.

This is the belly of the beast, here. If that thing sleeps, this is where. You knew there was a high chance of him being in there when you decided to go there.

You're not getting caught off-guard.

You will not decorate this place.



> Ponder if this is real life, or just a game.

Well, it keeps referring to itself as a game, but every single time you've been injured or injured yourself it felt pretty real.

Honestly, though, who can say?

For all you know, you could be nothing but a figment in the imaginations of several dozen people, granted thought and function based on communal whim.

Or something even simpler, like words on a screen. Hundreds and hundreds of tiny little bits of light forming a series of simple symbols recognized to be communication.

A sum of text.

There we go. You feel nice and insignificant, now. Perfect frame of mind to go risk horrible death.

After all, if you're not real, you can't really die, can you?

… can you?



> Allow Scratchfever to spend his last moments with Annie
> Call Larry
> Summon Larry He IS an unstopable eating machine after all.
> Allow him to feast on the corpses to raise his happiness. He did just have his jaw broken off, after all.
> Reconsider pulling out Larry. While he is an unstoppable machine, you are currently standing in front of what is essentially one large Larry buffet. Vividly picture what would happen if you let him loose in here. So much for stealth.
> Pull Larry out and look at his talent tree and spell-book. Something as epic and creepy as Larry must be unstoppable spec'd correctly.


You consider this carefully.

While Larry is basically just a large, mobile stomach, he's not exactly 'unstoppable' when compared to Pyramid Hogger.

He may not have been quite full health when you threw him at that thing, but you don't really think that extra 15% would make much of a difference. He'd buy you time and nothing else.

No. Subtlety is desperately required here and Larry is about as subtle as a jackhammer to the forehead.

You have only the barest, most basic control over him to begin with and confronted with Pyramid Hoggers'... unique brand of creativity...

He'd flip his shit, really, he'd just start eating and never stop. He'd completely wreck the place, indiscriminately gobbling all of Pyramid Hogger's carefully arranged 'artworks' and that, that sounds exactly like a large red button that reads DO NOT PUSH.

No. You'll stick with Scratchfever, but you'll be ready to swap him out for Larry if you need a one-Shark riot to cover your retreat.



> Give Annie a flare, so she can release it to warn you if anything happens.

You press the Flare into her paw and quickly show her how to ignite it. She nods once.

If that's the 'get the fuck out of dodge' signal you want, that's the one she'll give you.



> Turn your back on Annie and Scratchfever and study the layout of the crossroads as best you can, while giving them a moment for a tender farewell. Ah, cats in love.

You make a few quick hand-signs that indicate you're going to scout a bit ahead, Scratch is to work out any final details with Annie – specifically, how and where to regroup in case of sudden fecal deluge.

There. That ought to make it up to him.

You creep forward, teeth gritted, breathing through your mouth. The Crossroads is engulfed in a thick miasma of decay. The air is hazy with releasing gases and what you can see in there is...

The town appears to have been torn down and completely rebuilt in a near-perfect facsimile of the Crossroads, entirely out of bits of people. Every building, every fence, the lookout towers, everything, recreated in bone and skull and rotting flesh, down to the NPCs.

The NPCs. Quest givers, vendors, there's the Stablemaster. Recreated in corpses, held upright with complex knottings of hair and dried sinew. Their heads and limbs are mismatched and their bones are draped in skin and dressed in clothing made from more skin. There are a thousand eyeless faces in there stretched out over everything and all their ghosts are watching you and have been watching you all this time.

You pull back, sitting down facing away, just away from this.

Can't chicken out now, Ted. Besides. This is the worst place here. If this is the worst and you live, that's it. The worst is over. Everything else, finishing this, must be easier.

You just need to get through this. Just this and everything else will be easy.

In spite of yourself, you look back in one more time. One of these 'NPCs' isn't made of people.

It's right near the Gate and appears to have been carved out of... some kind of dark stone, you can't quite tell from here. It's an exceptionally well-crafted sculpture of a Male Orc sitting down right by the gate, with its face in its hands, an image of despair.

You lick your lips and look up over at the Cats.

Scratchfever is in the process of giving Annie a particularly tender nuzzle. She nuzzles him back, tentatively, scared but willing to be strong.

Scratchfever notices you and Prowls over towards you.

He gives you a patient smile.

See? That's how it's done.



>Consider applying the Sparkly Troll Sweat to your Thorn Camo Overlay in order to make it appear more like an undead or something. That was the whole reason you made it right?

You make a very careful choice.

You will do whatever it takes to live.

Whatever horrible choices you make to achieve this goal, you will live with.

You close your eyes, reach out and quickly rip a section of the Skin Tapestry off of the Palisades and quickly dra.pe it around yourself, wrapping up in a mottle patchwork of Orc and Night Elf skins. There are nostrils under your fingers. There's a nipple over your Miniature Radar Dish.

The Patchwork Skin Cloak is held in place by the thorns on your suit and if you crumple up, you just look like a lump of parts.

You close your eyes and lower your head.

“I'm sorry,” you whisper, pressing your hand over the formless, stretched out face. “I'm sorry.”



> Silently sneak in akin to those meddling kids from that show with the unnaturally-bred dog
> Loot the town, while humming "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch"
> During the enusuing carnage loot like a Chinese farmer in a raid set to FFA.
> Hum the theme from Mission Impossible inside your head while stealthily approaching the Crossroads
> Search for salvage while keeping a close eye on tracking
> head into the crossroads, while being careful and begin searching for loot, it is disgusting but this is it your big chance to find something in this mess that you can build together to help defeat pyramid hogger.
> once you have as much useful items as you could safely get your hand son book it the hell out of the cross roads.
> finish your godstorm rifle
> Begin to sneak into the crossroads with Scratchfever.


Alright. Alright.

You've run out of ways to put this off.

Time to go.

You whisper a soft prayer, grip your hands into fists around your Rifle and creep into Hell.

….......... ….......... ….......... ….......... ….......... ….......... …..........

You are in the Crossroads and your eyes are on the ground because you cannot stand to look at this much longer. You duck quickly behind a large tent made of bone spars and tanned Human skin and survey this place as quick as you can.

The 'Dire Scavengers' appear to be skeletal hands joined at the wrists, creeping like spiders over absolutely everything. They don't appear to be threatening - they don't appear to even notice you. They just clatter and creep over the horrible scene, oblivious.

From where you are, you can see the Inn, the Flightmaster's hub, the Professions Hub, the Blacksmith's Hub, the Lookout Tower and the Vendor's Hub. Six major locations.

You're giving yourself ten minutes and then you're getting the fuck out with whatever you have.

That amounts to two locations you will thoroughly search and loot and then you're leaving everything else behind.

Pyramid Hogger isn't here and you have no way of knowing how long that will last. You're not taking any chances. In and out, fast as you can.

Inn
Flightmaster Hub
Profession Hub
Blacksmith Hub
Vendor Hub
Lookout Tower.

Ten minutes.

Two locations.

Go.


--
Lore Nerd. Role Player. Raid Leader. Discipline Priest. Slightly Annoying. Also Likes Kittens.


Adalicia
Om Nom Nom

join:2009-10-13
Lincoln, NE
kudos:13
reply to Adalicia

You Awaken In Razor Hill (Part Twenty-Seven)

(Blacksmith Hub by a landslide.
Profession Hub beat out Vendor Hub by a fair margin.)


> reload the user interface, maybe that will make the situation less sickening

For a horrifyingly long moment, your eyes fill with a Loading Screen and you are blind, deaf and dumb.

You flail out you hands but can feel nothing, not even your own movements. Your consciousness is trapped in limbo as your body sits there, waiting patiently for you in hell.

It takes about a minute and a half before you return to yourself and can again see and act and they are the longest ninety seconds of your entire life.

Nothing's changed.

You're never doing that again.



> Aspect of the Cheetah.

Spring heels is spring heels, time is wasting and what you need is speed.

(Aspect of the Cheetah is now Active.)



> Search Blacksmithing and Profession Hubs.

Professions Hub is very close by, only a few yards from the Southern Gate you're crouched by. Blacksmith's Hub is at the exact opposite end of town, up at the North Gate.

You decide to hit the Blacksmith's first and loot out the Professions on your way back.

You flex your fingers, loosen your bags and tap the ground for Scratchfever's attention.



> Apologize to Scratchfever for hitting him with a hammer earlier.

Scratchfever gives you an odd look.

He doesn't remember anything about you laying him out cold with a hammer, why do you purple monkey sock elevator?

His eye twitches out-of-control for a good eight seconds, but he gets a hold of himself.

What were you talking about?

And why does he taste blue?



> Ask Scratchfever to help you look, in case he sees something you miss.

You're trying to explain to him precisely what sort of things to look for and he's just staring right over your shoulder at one of the Dire Scavengers as it struggles to pull a leathery sinew out of a rotting thigh.

You have no time for this.



> Have Scratchfever patrol the outskirts of the Crossroads and keep watch, in Prowl of course. Make sure he knows to come and alert you if he notices ANYTHING heading towards the town.

He snaps to attention as you send him off to Patrol the Perimeter of the Crossroads.

He picks a route that takes him as close to the walls as he can muster without disturbing any of the intricate hair-and-sinew rigging holding up the corpse mannequins.

He keeps low and moves quickly away.

That's it then. All you, Ted.

Ten minutes, starting... now.

You take a deep breath and move deeper into the town.



> avoid the hands, they could be an alarm system if you bother any of them.

This is another one of those things you didn't really need to be told.

They're held together by lashings of sinew and they quietly clatter as they creep, like spiders - exactly like spiders - over hellish tableaus. This place would be deathly silent if not for them, scraping their 'thumbs' at the ground or ripping small chunks of brown, rock-hard meat from ancient bones with little clicks of bone against bone.

Not only are you going to stay the hell away from them, you're also not even going to consider screaming in horror and firing wildly at them.

Not even a little. You are cool, calm and collected.

You pass by the Flightmaster. he appears to have been completely recreated out of crushed, mangled heads. Two separate Troll heads make up its face. His Wyverns are skinned Night Elves folded up like origami swans.

You stare at the ground, moving a little faster. Dire Scavengers are clicking and chittering all around you and all around you are people just like you. Just like you. Just like you.

You need to occupy your mind or you're going to snap worse than Annie.



> Ponder exactly what type of cat Scratchfever is.

No need to ponder, you've spent sixty or seventy levels with him, you know his taxonomy inside and out.

Scratch is a fine example of the species Panthera Leo Smilodon, the Common Saber-Toothed Lion – colloquially known as a 'Savannah Highmane'.

you pass the vendor's hub, next to the inn. you can't stop yourself from looking up at it as you walk by. just long enough to see two 'vendors', one crafted entirely out of hands, the other of feet, posed in proud display of their wares to a tauren with gnome and blood elf heads for fingers.

your eyes go back to the ground

lions think of lions

Commonly found in the Barrens, Leo Smilodon generally stand at 1.5 meters tall at the shoulder, weighing between three and four hundred pounds. Their pelts are nearly always a golden tan in color with a darker brown mane, though notable variations of stark white and pure black are well-noted on record.

Large, social predators, Leo Smilodon travel in familial prides consisting of one large Alpha Male, his large collection of Wives, and an assortment of Lesser Males.

passing by the inn, now. you peek inside for one moment. pyramid hogger has recreated a rogue attack on the innkeeper. the rogue, his head a misshapen lump of bones with several faces stitched together all around it, is posed with one knife in the air and the other buried in the innkeeper's kidney.

the innkeeper's head is human and frozen in a completely real contortion of terror and pain.

stop looking

stop looking

lions

Sadly, unchecked hunting by overzealous young Adventurers seeking prized Small Furry Paws coupled with the Crossroad's own voracious appetite for Savannah Lion Tusks has significantly dwindled the numbers of these great cats and Leo Smilodon is listed as an Endangered Species in Kalimdor.

You haven't ever told that last bit to Scratchfever.

He'd only worry.



> Think about how, all this time battling monsters and venturing into the subconcious of an undead troll, you've been wearing Exciting Undergarments on your head.

Well, to be fair, they've been a good deal safer up there than in your pants.



> Take exciting undergarments off your head if you haven't already...

What?

Take them off?

The Crotchless Tinmail Helmet with Spork Bobble and Miniature Radar Dish?

The Uberpanty that's giving you an extra Tracking and free Untrackable?

The Godknicker that represents the apex of synergy between Tailoring and Engineering, comprising the single finest example of Exiting Undergarment Technology ever conceived?

No, actually, you're pretty sure you'll go ahead and leave that on.

Besides, anyone who's around to see how silly you look is already trying to kill you, mostly insane or your pet.

And you've seen Scratch chase butterflies off cliffs, you're not concerned about him judging you or anything.

eyes on the ground eyes on the ground eyes on the ground



>Cue music (in your mind) to set the mood and pace. I was thinking Disturbed - Indestructible, but maybe you have something better.
> Sing "You're a mean one, Mr.Grinch" while you loot the town.


okay, almost there. almost there. There's the Lookout. There are figures on it, you won't look. You won't look because there's no need to and you're almost there

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch.
You really are a heel.
You're as cuddly as a cactus,
You're as charming as an eel.
Mr. Grinch.

You're a bad banana
With a greasy black peel.

You're a monster, Mr. Grinch.
Your heart's an empty hole.
Your brain is full of spiders,
You've got garlic in your soul.
Mr. Grinch.

I wouldn't touch you, with a
thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole.

You're a vile one, Mr. Grinch.
You have termites in your smile.
You have all the tender sweetness
Of a seasick crocodile.
Mr. Grinch.

Given the choice between the two of you
I'd take the seasick crocodile.

You're a foul one, Mr. Grinch.
You're a nasty, wasty skunk.
Your heart is full of unwashed socks
Your soul is full of gunk.
Mr. Grinch.

The three words that best describe you,
are, and I quote: "Stink. Stank. Stunk."

You're a rotter, Mr. Grinch.
You're the king of sinful sots.
Your heart's a dead tomato splot
With moldy purple spots,
Mr. Grinch.

Your soul is an appalling dump heap overflowing
with the most disgraceful assortment of deplorable
rubbish imaginable,
Mangled up in tangled up knots.

You nauseate me, Mr. Grinch.
With a nauseous super-naus.
You're a crooked jerky jockey
And you drive a crooked horse.
Mr. Grinch.

You're a three decker sauerkraut and toadstool
sandwich
With arsenic sauce.


You need to strain to get your voice high-pitched enough to emulate James Earl Jones' light, airy tones, but you feel the effort is worth it.

The Narrator, meanwhile, has selected 'Yakkity Sax' as the most appropriate music for this scene.

For most scenes, actually.



> Whatever you do, don't lose that Pyramid Hogger Action Figure.

It's in your Offhand, which means it's securely on your right hip through means you don't even begin to understand.

However it works – seriously, there's no holster or anything, it just sort of floats there – your Pyramid Hogger Action Figure isn't going anywhere.

blacksmith's hub. five corpse mannequins gathered around an array of cold, dead forges. two of them hold a massive pair of tongs, gripping a lump of unformed metal, a third raising a hammer over it. this hub is tangled with hair and sinew lashing.

there are large wooden crates stacked up all over.

you hurl yourself at them and don't even look at the items you're grabbing

(Tednugent has received items:
Stack of Heavy Armor Plate
Stack of Light Armor Plate
Semi-Automatic Chainsword Hammerator with Tru-Grip Handle
Multi-Armed Automated Stabbing Array with AccuStab™ Action Feature
35 Saronite Buckshot Shells (30-30)
25 Saronite Incendiary Rounds (30-30)
10 Saronite Sabot Rounds (.50)
5 Saronite Explosive Rounds (.50) )


There. That's all you can grab without ripping down Corpse Mannequins.



> GET ANOTHER BOAT

You waste a good ten seconds looking around for a Boat.

Considering as how the Crossroads are wholly landlocked and actually a fair bit away from the nearest source of flowing water, you're not especially surprised you don't find one.

scrape

Your heart stops cold and you lift your head. North. Faint.

You shoulder your bags, straining a little against the new weight, and haul it back to the Professions Hub.

Almost done. Almost done. Just a little longer, that's all you ask, please, just a little longer...



> Since he's so successful, ask Scratchfever to train you in the ways of love once things have settled down.

He's tried.

Lord knows, he has tried. Even you acknowledge this.

back the same way. past the lookout tower and you will not look, past the vendor's hub and you will not look, past the inn and the flightmaster and you will not look

He's tried so very hard to drill these simple, simple lessons into your head.

Relax.

Just be yourself.

Ask her about herself and really listen to her.

Kill her cubs upon becoming Dominant Male to force her back into estrus and ensure that the next generation descends from your genes.

It just never sticks.

this stuff is really really heavy. your legs are quivering.

scrape

still not on tracking. not on tracking but you can hear him.

he's coming



> chide yourself for not being clever enough to have three main proffesions, then get over it, remembering your the planets BEST GOD DAMN ENGINEER EVER.

Mostly you're just annoyed that 'Theoretical Physicist' isn't an available profession.

scrape

You could really use one of those light sabers.



> after several minutes of looting contemplate the idea that the godstorm shell might not need to be fired from a gun, but instead hit with the flat of your mighty axe, because it's so fucking bad ass that normal logic melts away around it, and only lawless flogic works on it... i mean, did you see what it did to your hand?!

Well... well, see... here's the thing.

You've been a Hunter for quite a few years and there are a number of pretty significant things you've picked up.

scrape

First and foremost is that off-label munitions usage generally begins with the words 'hey guys, watch this' and always ends very, very messily, generally two to three seconds later.

you hear a patter of feet. scratchfever is prowling fast towards you, his eyes wide

there. there he is. there's his blip. a hundred yards north of town.

scrape

you crouch and saddle one of your loot-laden bags over Scratchfever's back. Almost done.

go. you'll meet him outside, you'll just be one minute.

find annie, make sure she doesn't leave without us.

your cat gives you a long look and Prowls out of sight, slipping out through the gates, part of your haul in tow.



> You are the Lord Epic Tinker. Make a tank!

If you can find enough parts, you'll make several, but you're not sticking around in here one second longer than you have to.

professions hub. three corpse mannequins, bared muscles, bared teeth.

bared troll teeth. jammed into human jaws.

don't look don't look don't look

There is a hissing sound and a soft pop overhead.

Annie's tossed your Flare.

scrape

just go get everything and go almost done almost done just grab everything you can and go

(Tednugent has received items:
Pile of Cogs and Gears
Duck-Billed Arquebus
Pile of Assorted Herbs and Secret Spices
5 Empty Vials
Potato-Powered Flashlight
2 Health Potions
1 Bottle Distilled Rageohol)


scrape

that's it you're done get out go go go

You hurl yourself out through the South Gate, scrambling clumsily under the weight of your swag and heave yourself into the Brambles, feverishly grabbing on to thorns and dragging yourself up, gasping, arms straining, heart roaring, to pull yourself up into the aperture, back into Thorn Hell.

scrape

Annie and Scratch latch their claws into your bags and drag you up into the Brambles.

The three of you sit there, shrouded in Briar, staring at each other.

He's less than six feet away. He's right on the other side of the Bramble. He can reach you.

He can get you.

scrape

You're too scared to move.

Annie's eyes are wide and terrified.



> Cry a little when you leave the crossroads in 10 minutes... its been a good while since you've broken down, and you could use the stress release. (make sure annie and scratchfever aren't watching, you don't wanna make a fool of yourself after all, even though Men cry too.)
> If you make it out alive, give Scratchfever a big hug and thank him for being such a steadfast companion.
> If you make it out alive, thank Annie for everything she's done for you.


as quietly, as quietly as you can

as quietly as you can.

((

www.youtube.com/watch?v=vA1DGClM ··· =related
))

If I ever leave this world alive
I'll thank you, for the things you did in my life.
If I ever leave this world alive
I'll come back down and sit beside
your feet, tonight

Wherever I am you'll always be,
More than just a memory,
If I ever leave this world alive.

If I ever leave this world alive
I'll take on all the sadness
That I left behind.
If I ever leave this world alive
The madness that you feel will soon subside

So in a word don't shed a tear
I'll be here when it all gets weird
If I ever leave this world alive

So when in doubt just call my name
Just before you go insane
If I ever leave this world
Hey I may never leave this world
But if I ever leave this world alive

She says I'm okay; I'm alright,
Though you have gone from my life
You said that it would,
Now everything should be all right

She says I'm okay; I'm alright,
Though you have gone from my life
You said that it would,
Now everything should be all right
Yeah should be alright


You put your hand on Scratchfever's paw, gripping it tight.

Best fucking cat. Best fucking friend.

Scratchfever's eyes are open, he does not flinch.

He's not afraid.

scrape

It was a good life.

If it ends here, his only regret will be that this road didn't go longer.

Side-by-side. Just like you said.

(Scratchfever has gained 2 levels of Loyalty!
Scratchfever is Nearly There)


scrape

You count your heartbeats roaring in your ears, waiting for that sound of tormented steel, that Knife ripping these vines away like they were nothing but fog. Waiting for those hands to grab you and lift you and break you and pull you apart.

scrape

Your eyes open.

It's receding.

His Blip is moving North. Away from you.

scrape

Away. He's leaving. You're safe. You're safe.

You inhale so hard you go lightheaded and Scratchfever is right there to keep you from falling.

You fling your arms around your cat and cry openly, relief, sorrow, disbelief, a hundred thousand emotions raging through you all at once.

You bawl right into his shoulder, you love this cat so fucking much and you're alive.

You made it.

You made it through Hell and you brought back souvenirs.

Scratch, a bit embarrassed, pries himself away from you.

He gives you that little grin. See? Everything will be fine.

(By the way, fish. he'd still like one. In case you'd forgotten.)

Annie and Scratchfever take point and lead the way back towards Annie's Nest.

This is it. Last stop.

Everything you're going to make, you'll make in there and then you're off.

Enough of this.

For you, for Scratch, for Annie and for every single Nameless Blip watching you in mute desperation and despair.

It's time this game was ended.

(On Closer Inspection of your Swag:)

Stack of Heavy Armor Plate - Exactly as it sounds, this is a stack of Platemail Sections, mostly Breastplates, Legplates and Shoulderplates.

Stack of Light Armor Plate - Same as above, but each piece is composed of Chain and Ringmail.

Semi-Automatic Chainsword Hammer with Tru-Grip Handle - An extremely ambitious weapon, this is a jumbled, evil-looking mix of a large Warhammer, a Double-Edged Bastard Sword, and a sizeable hunk of industrial machinery.

When activated, it looks like the sword will vibrate and spin like a buzzsaw, the hammer will flail wildly and its wielder will probably die horribly in thousands of pieces.

But the handle looks really comfortable.

Multi-Armed Automated Stabbing Array with AccuStab™ Action Feature - This is a mechanical harness that fits over your shoulders and effectively grants you two additional arms.

These arms aren't precisely Doctor Octopus-caliber, however, as it appears that all they can really do is stab.

However, upon careful activation - from across the room, with a stick - you quickly discover that the additional arms are very very good at stabbing, jerking and thrusting violently enough to shake the Vine Floor beneath it.

Duck-Billed Arquebus - This is an archaic, short-barreled shotgun with a "Duck Bill" attachment, a broad, flat, vaguely shovel-shaped barrel, intended for spreading shot over a broad area.

For reasons you do not quite understand, it has a fuzzy barrel, webbed feet dangling from the stock and under the handgrip and a beaver-like tail jutting out from under the flintlock firing mechanism.

Also the duck bill is unnervingly leathery and there are screws set into the barrel that look like beady little eyes.

The whole weapon looks very much like a bizarre little animal with a stock and trigger.

It appears to accept 30-30 rounds, but is especially suited for Buckshot Rounds.

Potato-Powered Flashlight - The light this sheds isn't very bright, but then, you really weren't expecting a luminous potato on a stick to be all that great of a light source.

Pile of Cogs and Gears - Exactly what any burgeoning Engineer needs to spit in the eye of Physics. Required for building complex moving parts.

Pile of Assorted Herbs and Secret Spices - Colonel Saurfang's special blend of eleven herbs and spices. Required for creating potions.

1 Bottle Distilled Rageohol - A mysterious bottle of trembling, burbling, violent red goop. It moves and undulates in the bottle, like a lava lamp in reverse. You don't know what this does, but it looks really angry.

5 Empty Vials - These appear to be live thermonuclear warheads.

Hah! Just kidding. They're empty bottles and you were silly to expect them to be anything else. Required for creating potions.

2 Health Potions - Hey, guess what these are. No, really, guess!

Wrong! They're Health Potions!

35 Saronite Buckshot Shells (30-30) - Scattershot rounds for your 30-30 or Duck-Billed Arquebus.

25 Saronite Incendiary Rounds (30-30) - Hollowpoint rounds filled with Goblin Fire for your 30-30.

10 Saronite Sabot Rounds (.50) High-velocity armor-piercing rounds for your Unfinished Gris-Gris Hammer .50

5 Saronite Explosive Rounds (.50) High-explosive rounds for your Unfinished Gris-Gris Hammer .50


--
Lore Nerd. Role Player. Raid Leader. Discipline Priest. Slightly Annoying. Also Likes Kittens.