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The little Death Knight pretends to scan the group of creatures blocking his party’s progress up the tunnel. He has identified at first glance what looks to be a healer with herb bags and shiny bangles tied to its robes, as well as another robed figure who is probably some sort of spell caster. The other three appeared to be the more up close and personal types, with stone axes and crude cudgels dangling from their belts, although one looks like it might have a bow stuffed under its ragged cloak.
It is not this motley group of ruffians ahead of him that has made him poss to consider, it is the motley group of ruffians behind him that has him concerned. He does not know them. He had offered his services to one of the disreputable match makers in the trade district, and been matched up with this lot.
The Hunter was his greatest concern. The tall slender Night Elf seemed to look down on him more than the physical difference in their height would account for. The Gnome had seen his type before... many times before. The Hunter was young and arrogant; blustering about his accomplishments as he tried to impress everyone with his greatness, particularly the young female priest who had come along to heal them. This guy was the type who always looked for a scapegoat to divert attention from their own inadequacies when things went wrong. They usually blamed the point man, referred to more colloquially as the “tank”, or they blamed the healer, and from the way he was prancing around with his chest puffed out in front of the cute young priest he was not going to be blaming the healer on this run.
“It will be easy” the hunter had proclaimed as they had trudged up the dusty path to the tunnel entrance. He had told a story of his guild’s exploits the previous week. How their Tank with his impressively large shield, and even more impressive beard, held the attention of every hostile so that they never even noticed the Hunter as he peppered them with arrows, killing far more than the Feral Druid and Mage combined.
The little Death Knight chuckles to himself remembering the story. He is fairly sure that if he sat down with that Dwarven tank over a beer that the story the Dwarf would tell would be somewhat different. Never the less, the story was clearly a setup. If the Hunter pulled some hotshot antics and got somebody killed, he would be blaming the tank for not being able to keep control of the situation the way his guild tank could. Never mind that the Hunter probably kissed ass and toed the line when his guild tank was in charge.
Edited by Dancingblade on 2/27/2011 3:12 PM PST
Shuffling behind him brings the Death Knight’s thoughts back to the moment. The group is getting impatient. The textbook pull here should be easy. The Rogue would sap the caster and the Hunter would launch a trap to ensnare the healer in a block of ice. The Death Knight knew he could keep the other three occupied easily while his group picked them off one by one. Safe and controlled. The healer could probably use the time to sort out the inventory in her pack while they were at it.
But nothing is textbook in a pickup group like this. Keeping the enemy healer out of action was probably too much responsibility to give to this particular hunter.
Without even bothering to turn his head, the Death Knight twitches a finger in the Rogue’s direction and then points toward the caster on the outskirts of the group ahead. The rogue, who had only spoken a few curt words since joining the expedition, lookes weathered and experienced. Besides, a rogue who does not like to sap things is about as common as a Blood Elf who does not like his reflection.
It is hard to keep track of the rogue as he slides through the shadows, but when the caster suddenly slumps silently to his knees the little Death Knight knows it is time to move. Reaching up with two fingers he channels unholy force around the neck of the enemy healer, cutting off the flows of magic through it’s body, if only for a moment. The healer shrieks in some guttural language and charges toward the Death Knight. The others look startled for a moment, then two of them charge along with the healer, pulling their crude weapons. The third, as the Death Knight had half expected, pulls a bow from beneath his grubby cloak.
The Death Knight stoops and waves his arm forward to project a large circular rune at his feet. It shimmered with a dull orange hue. His enemies annoyance at his intrusion turns to searing hate as they step into the circle and their very skin begins to rot. He raises his hand again, this time toward the creature with the crude bow. A ranged attacker could be dangerous. Not being in the thick of the melee combat it might notice the other members of the Death Knight’s group, the people who it was his job to protect, and at a distance it would be hard to do anything about it.
Reaching toward the distant figure, the Death Knight projects force once again, this time grasping the bowman’s whole body and, with a quick snapping back of his hand, pulling the hapless figure through the air to drop in the circle of pain at the Death Knight’s feet.
“Yeah baby! Want some of this?” the Hunter whoops behind the Death Knight as he gleefully let loose a flurry of arrows into the disabled caster in the distant shadows. The pain brings the caster back to his senses and cold fire erupts from his hands as he waves them furiously at the Hunter. “Fail tank! Hold agro!” the Hunter exclaims, before grabbing his throat and falling on his back; groaning and waiving his feet in the air feigning death with less acting skill than one would expect from a five copper play in a village market. The caster then turns on the flustered priest who is channelling her focus and energy into healing the smoldering gash in the hunter’s side.
Technically it is the tank’s job to protect every member of his party, but tanks know that when things get tight, the only one who is not truly expendable is the healer. The Death Knight has expended his unholy energies and cannot pull a second victim to him so soon. He resorts to subtler measures. Using dark talents learned from the Scourge during his years of subjugation, the Death Knight whispers directly into the mind of the robed caster: “Kill the Gnome.... the priest is weak and unimportant.... KILL THE GNOME!”. The caster gives a shake of its head, as if to ward off confusion, and turned to face the Death Knight.
It always seemed disconcertingly easy to persuade creatures to attack him, the Gnome thinks as he calmly projects an anti magic shield around himself to absorb the casters wrath. Gripping his sword with both hands he turns back to the four in front of him. They are starting to notice that the Gnome is not alone. Clearly they need to be reminded of his presence.
Out of the corner of his eye the Death Knight sees the Rogue vanish. The caster will be dealt with. It is the guys who don’t talk much and just do their job that you can count on.
Edited by Dancingblade on 3/11/2011 12:07 PM PST
One of the guys on the tank forum got really bored at work and posted a little story about his Paladin preparing himself for a fight. It was relatively well written. A druid respondid with a similar, and quite funny story about his bear tank starting a pull. Then people started writing their own stories to see if they could outdo each other. The first Death Knight one was not very good, so I decided to write one.
I don’t normally write in the present tense, but the format was sort of dictated by the original post.
I reposted it here for your enjoyment
Ah, the Twitter generation! LOL :)
For me short is anything under 100 pages.
Edit: Null, you made me laugh more than once. Well written. You should probably reserve a few more posts though. You still have four bosses to go :)
Edited by Dancingblade on 2/25/2011 4:30 PM PST
Casual Encounters, Part I
The young Undead Mage opens his eyes. He finds himself in a completely new place. Disoriented, he tries to remember how he got here. He could have sworn he was jumping about in Orgrimmar just a few moments ago, but the last thing he remembers seeing is a still image of some kind of highly-structured furnace city, overlooked by a broken bridge. He swears this is the last time he downs that many Sulfuron Slammers that quickly, but he knows he’s deceiving himself and will do it again as soon as he finds his way out of this dungeon. These random transitions into dungeons happen all too often.
The Mage quickly turns his attention to his surroundings. He notices he is in a group comprising himself and four other people. Rather new to these kinds of adventures, the Mage decides to inspect the group to figure out what exactly their roles would be, should they seek to venture through this dungeon. He notices a young Blood Elf girl clad in plate armor, whose eyes glow blue and whose two-handed sword shines with the light of runes inscribed into the blade. She is a Death Knight.
The Mage glances over the rest of the group. He sees another Undead, who happens to look much like he does, clad in the long aquamarine-colored robes that the priesthood is known to don. To the Priest’s right is another Bloof Elf chick, accompanied by a tiny Imp. From this he suspects that this must be a Warlock. The fourth stranger is a large Orc wielding a large axe. The Orc is very quiet and sullen. He gets the idea that this Orc has an ego inflated far beyond recommended pressure levels and could burst from within at any moment. Better not f-ck with this one.
“So what’s the sitch?” asks the Mage, trying to diffuse the tension that is so common among a group of random strangers forced to commune.
“Shut up, b-tch,” replies the Priest, whose rhymed response seems almost poetic.
“And make us water,” adds the Warlock.
“All right, all right,” the Mage mutters while exhaling, clearly annoyed with what seems to be the standard treatment of Mages. The Mage pulls out his spell book. Where is it? Come on, why isn’t water in the Frost section of this book? Shouldn’t this thing come with an index? Ah here we are, “Arcane.” The Mage mutters the name of the spell, albeit very quietly. Such a trivial spell should never be muttered loudly lest such emphasis be mistaken for pride, and no one cares about Mage water, even though they demand it. Hypocrites.
“Ritual of refreshment…” says the Mage quietly.
A large swirling mass of blue air and bubbles appears before the Mage, who sustains the magic invoked by his incantation by stretching his arms up above his head, his hands glowing white.
He blinks (his eyes).
Why isn’t anyone clicking this thing?
“Yo, click this thing, will ya?” the Mage implores, impatiently.
The Priest and the Warlock raise their hands and allow the magic of the swirling portal to channel through them, harnessing the magical strength contained within each of the three channeling the spell. The portal disappears, and, where there was nothing a few moments ago, a floating platter holding many stacks of cake appears. It looks delicious.
The Mage takes four cakes. Each cake looks like it contains about 20 slices. Perfect for an adventure. There will even be some left over after this adventure is through.
The Priest and the Warlock each take four cakes as well. Restless from all this waiting, the four strangers run ahead to find their way out of this place. The Mage follows suit, but only after quickly eating a slice of cake to replenish his energy.
They reach a large, cavernous room where there is one large group of ruffians to the side and a large ogre patrolling the area. The group of ruffians consists of one ogre and three humans. The humans’ heads are covered with hoods—probably cultists. Weirdos. The Mage takes a good look at them and drifts into thought, remembering previous encounters like this one. Just like this one. The Mage begins to daydream of all the ways he could use his spells on these pathetic cultists. Scorch, Living Bomb, Fireball, Fireball, Hot Streak, PYROBLAST--
“F-cking pull already, Mage,” says the Priest.
Edited by Null on 2/25/2011 2:22 PM PST
The Mage is confused. Shouldn’t the Death Knight be the one to pull?
“Why aren’t you sheeping?” the Priest demands, clearly agitated.
Suddenly he remembers. He’s supposed to Polymorph one of the adversaries to catch them off guard while the Death Knight moves in to draw their attention. One fewer cultist to worry about. Wait, who to sheep?
“Uh, you never told me which one to sheep,” complains the Mage.
“Idiot mage, clearly the one with a moon on top of his head,” replies the Priest. A moon? Oh now I see the moon. Wait, what the hell, how did that---whatever. Sheep first, ask questions later.
“POLYMORPH,” yells the Mage while looking at the unsuspecting cultist, somehow unheard by everyone in the whole damn cavern. The cultist becomes a… turtle. Good enough! The pack of cultists and the ogre suddenly see the Mage. Furious, they start stomping their way over to him, but are suddenly distracted by a Death Knight with a shiny sword. The mage targets the ogre, figuring that the large skull above the ogre’s head means it’s the one he should attack. Scorch, Living Bomb, Fireball, Fireball, IGNITE, IMPACT, FIRE BLAST…
The impact of the Fire Blast spreads fire to every foe within the ogre, igniting them all, including the formerly-human turtle. The turtle charm is undone by the fire.
The cultist, now free from the fetters of turtledom, turns immediately to the mage. The cultist runs over to the Mage and whacks him several times over the head with her staff. Just as the cultist is about to deliver a fatal blow, she is seemingly gripped by the force of death itself toward the Death Knight. Thank the Elements for Death Knights!
The foes are quickly subdued. That was easy. The Mage walks over to the bodies of the fallen enemies and searches their pockets for gold bullion coins.
“Well, that was fun,” says the Mage, chuckling, one hand scratching the back of his head nervously.
“Mage, move!” exclaims the Death Knight. Now the Death Knight is being bossy. The Mage decides not to listen. He’s suffered enough derision already. First being forced to conjure cake out of thin air for no reason, and almost being brought to the brink of death by a cultist, only to be insulted and told to move? This Mage will not have that!
The large ogre boss patrolling the area marches closer.
“Mage, move! Seriously!”
The Mage pretends not to listen, counting the gold coins slowly, adding them to his money pouch one-by-one.
The ogre takes a few slow strides toward his favorite spot in the middle of this cavernous room. His shadow now covers the Mage. The Mage looks up, gulps, and whispers, “Ice Barrier.” This isn’t going to be enough! The Mage thinks about turning into a giant ice cube. No one attacks ice cubes.
Before the Mage processes another thought, he is propelled toward the Priest, white wings of air forming directly behind him. The Death Knight rushes in and takes a few swings at the ogre with her sword, diverting his attention from the idiot Mage. Before the Mage could begin casting a spell, the ogre’s health diminishes considerably.
The ogre looks pissed. He stomps on the ground hard enough to pull everyone within a yard from him, and yells, “Stand still! Rom'ogg crack your skulls!” Everyone is constricted by chains, and a giant mushroom/wheel/thing a few yards from everyone connects each chain. The Mage hears a booming, growling voice echoing throughout the cavernous room.
“RUN AWAY, LITTLE GIRL, RUN AWAY.”
Edited by Null on 2/25/2011 2:29 PM PST
I have to say that the trolling in this thread is rather disappointing. Frostfel's short story comment was funny, but the rest lack creativity. Come on guys. You can do better than that.
Null, I enjoyed your story, although you stick to a very literal interpretation of game mechanics which works against the immersion factor to some extent. I love the anti hero twist of the main character being one of the “bad” DPS. And I particularly appreciated some of the Mage in-jokes.
Threats of violence. We take these seriously and will alert the proper authorities.
Harassing or discriminatory language. This will not be tolerated.