Friday, January 15, 2010

When Worlds Collide

Thick, black smoke roiled beside the airship, tracing a path off into the distance where the Horde ship had fled. Fulguralis landed roughly back on the wooden deck and took a mental inventory.  The Dwarf Priest stood over near one of the massive cannons, casually dusting the soot off her robes.  His Paladin wife landed nearby with a fiery flourish and tucked her shield around her back before fetching a small beverage container that had been concealed somewhere inside of her armor.  Taking a quick swig, she glanced around guiltily.

The rest of the group gathered raucously around the Druid of the group, chanting loudly for him to change into a bear.  Fulguralis rolled his eyes.  He had heard rumor about the lack of jetpack design consideration for the bulk of a bear.  It was childish, but all the same the Warlock watched intently from a distance.  The druid held his hands out to silence the group, reaching out to accept a pack from one of the engineers on-board.

A puff of white smoke obscured him for a moment.  When it cleared, a snarling bear stood where the Druid had just been.  Sure enough, the straps of the jetpack, having been designed for bipedal adventurers, did not fit quite properly.  In fact, the pack situated naturally in such a way that the business end of the device was on the butt of the bear.  The group looked on expectantly as the snarling bear turned this way and that, demonstrating the situation of the device.  With a bearish grin, he activated the device.

Fire spewed forth as if originating from within the bowls of the bear.  Literally.  To Fulguralis, it looked like explosive flatulence.  The group roared with laughter and even the Warlock had to snicker.  It didn't get much better that fart jokes after successfully thwarting the plans of the Horde.  Comically, the massive bear zipped around the airship while the group pointed and laughed.  Several of the alliance officers ducked as they nearly got clawed by the buzzing beast.

Eventually, though, the airship found a place to dock on the side of the Citadel and slowed to a stop.  A tortured scream reminded the group that, while fun could be found in adventure, this was ultimately a very serious search and rescue mission.  The smiles drained from the faces of the group, and a look of hard resolve replaced mirth.  It was time to get back to business.

As one, the group left the relative safety of the airship and stepped onto the Citadel platform.  Steel rasped loudly as weapons were unsheathed in unison.  Warily, the adventurers spread out, anxious to get on with the next challenge to bar their path.  Fulguralis hung to the back and side of the group as he watched his wife stalk forward with a stout, Dwarven Warrior at her side.  Small particles of shadow seemed to swirl around the Warlock's hands as he prepared to launch an attack on anything that moved.

"Pssst!" The tap on his shoulder made him jump.

Fulguralis spun swiftly to find himself face to face with a rather odd pair of Gnomes.  "I almost killed you, right there, you have no idea!" he whispered threateningly.  One Gnome stood a step or two in front of the other, and the looked an unlikely pair.  The one in front had a long, white mustache, curled on both ends, and green eyes glinted with mischief.  The second Gnome was staring intently at his own feet, his clean shaven face laden with thick, round spectacles.  "Who the fel are you?" Fulguralis asked.

"Why sir, we are but two simple travelers, sent to aid you on your journey," Mustache said with a dramatic gesture of grandiosity.

Fulguralis eyed the Gnome back suspiciously, "Who sent you?"

The Gnome looked puzzled for a moment before answering, "I know not, my Liege.  My colleague here," he gestured towards Glasses, "is a studied disciple of the Light.  We go where he is called."

"I think he's had a bit too much Light," Fulguralis said, observing the absurdly thick lenses.  "Are you his keeper?"

"You could say that," Mustache replied.  "I prefer to think of myself as an Adviser.  I've studied long and hard in the King's library and traveled abroad gaining the knowledge and wisdom of the Ages."  Fulguralis stared blankly at the Gnome, still not understanding.  Why here?  Why now?  Seeing this, the Gnome continued hastily, "I am The Mouth, and he is The Hand."

"Mouth and hand of what, exactly?" Fulguralis asked.

"Why the Twisted Nether, of course," Mustache answered.

"I want nothing to do with the Nether," Fulguralis declared, turning his back on the travelers.

"That would be most unwise, good sir," Mustache explained, spreading his arms.  "Not all of the Nether is tainted by evil.  We come to offer guidance."

"I don't need guidance," the Warlock replied, keeping his back turned.

"Look, if you want to defeat the Deathbringer that will, in a few scant moments, make an appearance upon that raised dais, you might pay heed to the advice that the Wisdom of the Ages has to offer," Mustache said with a trace of annoyance in his voice for the first time.

"How do you know what will come through that door?" Fulguralis asked over his shoulder, one eye on the strange pair.

"It is of no consequence.  The Circumference of Time stretches beyond this place, driven by a force that is not of this world.  Even if I could explain, the words would fall upon deaf ears.  My mission here is simple: you must take this, and make use of it as the Mighty Blue Creator wills."  Mustache gestured to Glasses, who produced a rumpled sheet of parchment from a concealed pocket.  Gigantic, magnified eyes focused on the Warlock, and hesitant feet brought the paper within Fulguralis's reach.  He snatched the gift from a trembling hand and looked at it skeptically.

"What is this?" Fulguralis asked.  He got down on one knee in order to view the document and so that Mustache could peer over his shoulder.

"Why, it is a strategy!  Tailored for your group!"

Fulguralis saw a rough sketch of the room they now stood in.  On the dais, several pictures were drawn, symbols that obviously represented a few members of their group.   The placing of his wife and her Warrior counterpart were rather obvious.  There was an archer for the Hunter and a Totem for the Shaman.  For the Warlock and Mage, however, the pictures looked the same.  Then there were two symbols that seemed to represent the healers, though one seemed as if it were a mistake.

"Okay, I understand most of the symbols here, but why are there two Warlocks.  We have only one in our group, me."

"Ah, the other is the mage," the Gnome said a bit bashfully.  "You know, Warlock, Mage.  What's the difference really?"  A small geyser of fire erupted under the Gnome, sending him jumping into the air.  "I'm sorry, sir!  Really!  There is much difference!  I misspoke!"

"Hmmph," Fulguralis grunted and the geyser went away.  "I see a red cross, which I take to be one of our healing members, but what is this last thing?"  Fulguralis pointed at the other red symbol.

The Gnome frowned, "Why the Priest, of course."  He then squinted over the shoulder of the warlock as if noticing something for the first time.  Turning to Glasses, he abruptly smacked the timid Gnome upside the head.  "You dolt!  I told you to draw something Priestly, not something Panty.  Oh dear!  My apologies good Warlock.  I swear the strategy is valid, despite my colleague's poor hearing."

Surprise washed over the Mustache's face as Fulguralis doubled over, shaking with laughter.  "Thanks you two... Ha!  Panty!  You may... go now!"  The Warlock could hardly talk between bouts of laughter.  "We will... take this... under adv... isement.  Priestly Panties!  Ha!"

Mustache looked at Glasses, who merely shrugged and walked back towards the airship.

"Hey!  Jessabelle!" Fulguralis shouted with mock innocence.  "I have a present here for you!"



    Also, you are sooooo mean.

  2. Hey, atleast you don't look like the Symbol for Prince. :P

  3. My Warlock IS sexist :-D.

    At least give me "clever" points. And do you have any idea how hard it is to find that clip art icon at work? :-D