Friday, October 23, 2009

Tricks and a Treat

A chill wind gusts through the human capital of Stormwind and stirs the robes of the warlock as he stalks towards the tavern. It had been another unproductive week, and Fulguralis was starting to worry he'd never see the inside of Ulduar again. There was so much left to do there, but the band of adventurers he'd joined up with had been temporarily dispersed by the recent festivities. A circular shadow crosses Fulguralis's path, causing him to look up in search of the source of the obstruction. His reaction allows him just enough time to catch a glimpse of orange and cringe.

The pumpkin makes a grotesque squishing sound as it settles on the warlock's head, reminding him of the mage brains he has stored back at home. The gourd quickly catches fire as the warlock's rage heats up and ashes rain around him. Once he can see again, Fulguralis looks around in a desperate attempt to identify the prankster that has just pumpkin-hatted him. Damn the holidays, he shouts in his mind, unable to eye the perpetrator.

He is nearly knocked over as a rambunctious group of small children brush by his legs, scrambling towards the next house. So intent are they to acquire their sweet loot, that they pay no heed to the common courtesies normally required when walking the streets of Stormwind. The ruddy whelps should step aside for their elders! They're just children enjoying the holiday, the warlock reminds himself. Memories of his own childhood holiday experiences threaten to swim up from the depths of repression within Fulguralis. With a grunt, he brushes them aside and continues towards the tavern. A warm drink will surely make the festivities seem more... festive.

Suddenly, Fulguralis feels a strange sensation course through his body and his vision becomes restricted by a hood that wasn't there a moment before. Looking down at his robes reveals the truth: he's been made to look like a ninja. Again, he looks around for the prankster but fails to find an obvious target amidst the holiday crowds. Damn Hallow's End.

In the past, he might have gone after the headless horseman or gotten some candy of his own to enjoy. This year, however, he just had too much on his mind to fully enjoy the holiday. Plus, holidays always resurfaced uncomfortable memories for the warlock, especially since his recent reunification with his lost sister. To make matters worth, she was off doing all the raiding and he was stuck here in the land of domesticity, dodging children, dressed like a ninja, and just wanting a warm holiday cider. Preferably with a kick to it. With another grunt, he dispels the magic that had clothed him in a costume.

Still, he couldn't blame his lack of raiding entirely on his sister or the holidays. Deep down, he knew that his group had just hit a snag in their part of the siege, and needed to re-think their approach. Some of the groups best minds were on it now and Fulguralis had been sending many letters to them with his own ideas. Hopefully, he'd get called back again soon.

Until then, he was stuck at home with his Paladin wife who insisted on making the holidays special. She was probably off decorating their home, handing candy out to the kids, and otherwise making him feel like a humbug for not enjoying the holiday like she did. It just wasn't there for him though, why force it? His place was in the back of a raid, in his sissy robe, flinging spells at some monstrous baddy. There, or in a tavern.

The bartender at The Slaughtered Lamb nods to him as he enters, then goes over to merrily refill the bucket of candy that stands on the end of the counter. Fulguralis pulls up a stool and sits at the other end of the bar, tingling slightly in anticipation. The sensation surprises him; it wasn't like this was his first time in a bar. I must need a drink more than I thought, he reasons.

"What'll it be, matey?" the bartender drawls oddly.

Taken aback and slightly confused, Fulguralis answers, "Just a cider, please. Hard."

"Yo Ho! Comin' right up," the man acknowledges, chuckling to himself and heading off to pour the drink.

Looking around, Fulguralis notices a few of the patrons smirking in his direction. The Lamb was pretty busy this time of year, as many adventurers returned home to visit family and partake in the festivities. Chances were, none of these people knew him. Still, what were they staring at?

"Here ye be!" the bartender returns, bearing a cider.

Fulguralis frowns and looks down. Of course, he thinks, remembering the tingling sensation when he'd sat down, I'm a pirate. Quickly, he takes a long drink of the cider, relishing the feeling of the warm liquid as it slides down his throat to ignite a cozy fire in his belly.

"Be it hard enough?" the bartender asks.

Raising his mug and smiling grimly, the warlock responds, "Yarr!"