Friday, December 4, 2009

The Light Is Loud

Fulguralis reaches up and cinches his cowl a bit tighter around his head to ward off a chill. Winter was settling over Azeroth, which in Icecrown meant business as usual. Thank the Light that dragons come with built-in heaters, thought the warlock.  Or maybe I should be thanking Alex. 

Lighter than one would think possible, the large reptilian beast beneath Fulguralis lands on the snowy ground between a row of canvas tents.  It's flared wings cause several of the Argent guards to scatter like scarabs.  The warlock pats the beast appreciably on the side of the neck.  It seemed to be picking up a few tricks from him along the way and that made Fulguralis proud.  If only he could have squashed one or twelve of them...  Who am I kidding, the warlock admits, I don't do thankful.

Fulguralis dismounts the dragon, pulling his robe down demurely to be sure it covers all the important places.  No one had seen his pants in ages, and he wasn't about to start showing them off now.  They were chosen for utility, not style.  In fact, as he thought about, he couldn't really recall which set he was wearing, so effectively had he blocked them from his mind.  That, and the constant chattering of minions tended to overshadow mundane things like what pants you had on.  Did he even have pants on?   Pulling on his belt, Fulguralis ascertains that he is, indeed, wearing pants.  One could never be too careful, especially around these Argent types.

Pants or no pants, he was going to get his promised audience with Tirion Fordring today.  He had a bone to pick with the old man. Fulguralis had been getting screamed at by the leader of the Argent Crusade every week for nigh on a month now.  There were a few things they needed to get straight if he was going to continue his work for the dodgy fellow.  Tirion, of course, was pleasantly surprised by his request for an audience and quick to grant it.  It's not like he apparently had anything better to do: parking his butt day in and day out on those wooden bleachers bellowing at folk and what have you.  He had evidently delegated the Iceclown Shitadel planning to one of his human minions.  Sorry, Icecrown Citadel.  And when they're human they're called underlings.  Got it.

Arthas.  That was the goal.  Sometimes the warlock found himself confused by all the pomp of this silly tournament.  If they really wanted to kill Arthas, they'd get twenty-five of the best warlocks, and sack the place over night.  That's fifty bodies, including minions, and minions are re-summonable.  There wouldn't be supply issues if they let the warlocks handle it.  But nooo, let's bring those Dalaran mages in on it, they're the smart ones.  Pffft.  Might as well go visit the Hunting Lodge while you're at it and bring those 'tards along. 

A tuft of smoke rises up and stings Fulguralis in the eyes, drawing attention to the fact that he had inadvertently set the hem of his cloak on fire.  Quickly, he stomps out the small blaze before repairing the vestment with a bit of magic and some spellthread.  Fordring is the focus today, not the mages and hunters.  The walrock sets his mind right as he approaches the door that leads to Tirion's war room on the tournament grounds.

The guards step aside, expecting the warlock as he enters and nods to the old man who rises from behind a large saronite desk in the center of the room.  Various devices of war lie scattered haphazardly around the room, along with colorful garments and impressive banners.  The area looks more like a glorified storeroom than a personal sanctuary. 

"Greetings Fulguralis!" Fordring booms.  "It is good to see you alive and well."

Wincing at the volume, Fulguralis says, "I'm right here you know, you don't have to shout."  Poor old fool must be losing his hearing.

"Apologies," Fordring continues at the same volume.  "What weighs on your heart, friend?"

"Well, it's these stupid champions of the Horde, Tirion," Fulguralis explains.  "Do you really think they're playing by the rules?  I mean, seriously, they send six guys to face our ten?  Then they resist or dispel every damn thing we throw at them.  I've fought the Horde before, these are not normal Horde!  They're probably being assisted by spellcasters in the stands.  You can't trust Grom!  He would do anything to give them the edge!  Why can't we just stick to the planned itinerary of beast?"

"There is no conspiracy at play here!  The walrock... er... Horde acted on their own volition!" Tirion yells.

Fulguralis shakes his head, "No, I didn't say they're being mind controlled.  I said they're juicing.  Or kungalooshing.  You know, taking special mage potions or yeti steriods or something.  I don't know.  Check them out.  Test them."

"But there is no conspiracy here!" Tirion maintains.

"Well how do you know?  Did you ask them?  Did you test them?"

"I'm Highlord Tirion Fordring! Soldier of the Light!  I would know if there was something foul afoot!"

"What if I told you the warlock council put ol' Willy up to it?"  Fulguralis suggests.

"Excuse me?  Are you trying to tell me that there is, in fact, a conspiracy here?"  Tirion questions, a bit of uncertainty creeping into his voice.

"Well I'm just saying you wouldn't really know now would you?" Fulguralis points out.  The warlock council would never confide in Fordring, so Fulguralis knows there is no risk in his bluff.  Wilfred had been the smelly kid in warlock class, there was no way the council would have sent him on a mission of any importance.  Hell, he had only been given the grandiose title "Grand Warlock" because of a high ranking cousin or something.  Or maybe it was sympathy for his destroyed home town.  Either way, that was probably why he'd been loaned out to the Argent folks in the first place, to get him out of our hair.  Fulguralis smiled smugly, "Have them tested is all I'm saying."

"I will do no such thing!" Fordring roars, red in the face.  "For as long as they are a part of this coalition, I shall trust them implicitly!  Darkness shall pale in the face of the Light!"

"What does that even mean?  And when they kill someone in a fit of some substance abusing mage-rage, don't say I didn't warn you," Fulguralis retorts, pointing a bony finger.

The two scowl at each other across the room.  Realizing he's not going to get anywhere with this Light-headed old man, Fulguralis swirls around and stalks out of the room.  What a douche, he thinks.  Mumbling to himself, the warlock imitates Fordring's deep voice, "The death of Wilfred Fizzlebang, while tragic, should yadda-yadda-yadda, I-like-the-sound-of-my-own-voice."  Who can say Fizzlebang once a day without giggling anywaysHa.  Fizzlebang.  Sounds like someone had too much to ale on a bad date.

Maybe if the guy didn't talk so much, we'd have killed Arthas by now.  And with Arthas dead, Tirion could become the undisputed talks-a-lot-without-action champion.  I hear that honor comes with a spiffy tabard.