Topic Beware the Squagon!
Edited by Imperon on 7/11/12 10:24 AM (PDT)
The common room is one of the more interesting places inside Mahr Carreg, the tower that serves as Imperon's Showdah's home as well as home to a small army of servants, various guests and whatever Ocheliad are currently on Tower Duty. It's large enough to easily accommodate five hundred or more people and quite often does so.
As far as Ocheliad go, "interesting" involves fights (both food and fist), explosions, chases, pranks, gnome antics, arguments, magical duels, druids hiding under the furniture ready to pounce on unsuspecting passersby and anything else that might be found in a primary school dining hall, mercenary barracks or your local asylum. It would be hard to tell a riot apart from a party, and in the Ocheliad, the two are often the same thing.
Even during its quieter times, the common room hums with activity. At any hour of the day there are Ocheliad getting off duty and seeking food or a couch to crash on. It's rare for the billiards tables to not be in use and thanks to the druids, space near the fire is always at a premium.
The furniture in the common room is all made out of heavy wood. A sign on one wall reminds occupants that breaking the furniture, whether for use in an upcoming brawl or during an occurring brawl, is strictly against the rules. Some artistic member of the Ocheliad carved a rough hewn picture into the wooden sign featuring a humanoid figure urinating off the edge of the sign. The rest of the furniture in the common room fares little better. The servants in the tower regularly must replace this couch or that table after something gets broken.
Despite all this, one chair always sits alone, unoccupied and untouched by Ocheliad mischief. Imperon's high backed, overstuffed easy chair is by far the cleanest piece of furniture in the massive room. It is also the most luxurious and the most sought after. But rumors persist that it eats people and the Ocheliad all avoid it.
Almost all, at least. Katryia the druid has never shown a single ounce of fear of either the chair or its owner. Her continued survival, despite directing so much of her energy towards annoying, frustrating and hampering the Ocheliad's lord and master, continues to amaze the rest of the Ocheliad.
This day the white panther was curled up in the chair, her feline head propped up by one arm rest while one of her back legs and tail d#*** over the other. Fast asleep, the feral druid purred to herself. Her tail twitches this way and that as she dreams and her nose twitches now and then.
A chicken wing, attached to a string, attached to a fishing pole held by a young woman named Sathrasa slowly lowered itself down in front of the dreaming druid. Sathrasa, a girl form Gilneas, was a scout, thief and general trouble maker within the Ocheliad. She sat on the back of a nearby couch, her feet on the cushions. With a brown slouch hat pushed down almost over her eyes and a fisherman's vest thrown over her customary leathers, the worgen's impression of a fisherman was just good enough to evoke laughter from nearby Ocheliad.
In her sleep, Katryia sniffed the air and flexed her claws. Sathrasa gently nudged her pole forward, letting the chicken wing, fresh from the kitchens, swing near the cat's nose. Katryia's neck stretched out toward the chicken and Sathrasa reeled in the line a little, pulling the morsel out of her reach. The cat frowned, but her eyes remained closed and she remained soundly asleep.
When she settled down, the chicken wing was lowered back into range. "If she wakes up while you're messing with her dreams," said a tall draenei female sitting near Sathrasa, "she's likely to be very cranky."
"Oh relax, Kolli," Sathrasa said to the other woman, "she never wakes up, not when she's sleeping in the boss' chair." Kolli rolled her one good eye. Standing over seven feet tall and missing her left horn, Kolli was a rather imposing sight. She absolutely towered over the much smaller Sathrasa. Yet it was Sathrasa who was teasing the sleeping druid and the much larger Kolli who was reading.
Sathrasa dangled the chicken wing just a little too close to Katryia's mouth. The druid's head snapped forward and engulfed the treat. "Dangit," Sathrasa said, "she wasn't supposed to be that fast." Sathrasa hauled back on the fishing pole, trying to retrieve her bait, but even asleep Katryia was not about to let go of food. So the worgen hauled harder, and Katryia pulled back.
There was an ominous creak and Sathrasa's wooden fishing rod shattered. The top half snapped forward, pulled by the taut line, and slammed into Katryia's forehead. The druid awoke, hissing and spitting. The chicken wing ended up in Kolli's lap.
"Ew, Sath!" Kolli roared, trying to stand up and push back on the couch in the same motion. That jostled Sathrasa and the worgen began to fall backwards. She grabbed the back of the couch, but between her momentum and Kolli, the whole couch went over backwards with a loud carash. Katryia leaped into the air, startled by the sudden noise and in a moment the white panther transformed into a white squirrel, which scurried up a wall hanging to sit on one of the broad rafters and chitter angrily at Sathrsasa.
Most Ocheliad in the room were laughing and pointing, either at the squirrel or the Gilnean girl. Sathrasa was trying to pick herself up and disentangle herself from the remains of her fishing rod at the same time. The result being that she wasn't able to do either thing well, instead just twisting and writhing on the ground as more and more Ocheliad took to laughing.
Her tail fuzzy with annoyance, Katryia the squirrel wasn't sure why people were laughing, or what had woken her up, but she knew Sathrasa and she was sure that the trouble maker was responsible. Which meant revenge.
Katryia kept the rafters well stocked with nuts of various sorts. She didn't eat them, she used them as projectiles. Her nearest stash was of acorns, which were plentiful in the forest south of the tower. Taking one in paw she wound up and hurled the nut straight at Sathrasa.
"Ow!" The young woman howled as a flying acorn bounced off the side of her head. "Ow! Cut it Ow! Out!" More acorns followed and nearby Ocheliad scrambled for safety. Katryia may have started out targeting Sathrasa, but anyone nearby was also a target. Kolli fended off flying nuts with the book she'd been reading. Other Ocheliad used seat cushions, plates and each other as shields against the bombardment.
Growing tired of throwing acorns after she'd loosed several dozen of them, Katryia settled for loudly scolding Sathrasa in a variety of chitters and other noises. Sath was almost untangled from the fishing line when the common room suddenly went quiet.
It often did that when Imperon appeared. Off duty Ocheliad need not worry about saluting him as they would were they on duty, but each Ocheliad took a moment to make sure they weren't doing or saying something that would bother their boss. Half of them hoped that Imperon was there to deal with someone who'd broken the rules. If it required Imperon's personal intervention, it would be fun to watch. The other half were busy hoping that they weren't the reason the boss had appeared.
Kolli was in the former group, Sathrasa the latter. While Kolli snapped off a smart salute as she came to attention, Sathrasa cringed. But Imperon paid no attention to either of them. His nose was already in a book and he moved unerringly towards his chair.
Until he encountered one of Katryia's acorns. The mage's eyes widened as his leading foot shot out from underneath him, the acorn he'd stepped on shooting across the room. He dropped his book in an effort to maintain balance but it was all for naught. "What the-" Imperon managed before going straight over on his back with a resounding WHAM! The quiet that had descended on the common room became an absolute stillness.
Imperon scrambled to his feet, adjusting his hat as he did. He glared impartially at everyone in the common room. "What did I step on," he asked? No one had the courage to answer. Taking a step backwards as he looked down at his feet, Imperon promptly went down flat on his face as his boot heel found yet another acorn. There was a collective intake of breath from the gathered Ocheliad. No one yet had the courage to make a break for it, that might just draw the mage's wrath. They stood in horrified silence as their lord rolled himself over onto his back and gingerly felt his nose.
High in the rafters above the mage, Katryia had been preparing for a second assault on the people who woke her up. She didn't realize that they had inadvertently saved her from being caught by Imperon. Nor would she have cared if she had known. The druid, still bearing her squirrel shape, had made multiple acorn pyramids by emptying one of her many stashes of ammunition. hundreds of acorns now sat beside her in three separate piles. She had also found a stash of sunflower seeds. Her cheeks bulged wide with all the seeds she had stuffed into her face. She made for a comical sight.
Edited by Imperon on 7/11/12 10:27 AM (PDT)
Imperon's appearance had cheered her greatly. The mage was a favorite target for Katryia's pranks. His fall, however, shook the rafters and Katryia watched in anger as her three piles of acorns wobbled, shook and...Imperon fell again. It jostled the acorns just a little too much.
Down on the floor Imperon pulled his hat off and his eyes widened as he saw a veritable rain of acorns descending on him. He barely had enough time to cover his head with his arms before several hundred acorns rained down on him. Curled up in a fetal position he could only endure the assault until the last acorns had fallen.
For several moments the only sound in the common room was that of acorns rolling across the floor. Then the chittering of an angered squirrel joined in. Imperon leaped to his feet once more. A muttered word sent the acorns rolling in all directions away from himself. "Katryia!" He yelled. Smoothing out his clothes and recapturing as much of his dignity as possible, the mage sat heavily in his chair. He scowled up into the rafters until he spotted the small white squirrel who was still busy scolding him. "Katryia! Get down here," the mage snapped at her.
The squirrel paused, grinned and then leaned forward. Her head went up, then down, then up again as she measured the distance between herself and Imperon. "Kat," Imperon said, "don't even think about it. Katryia! No!" Up, down, up, down. Katryia launched herself from the rafters. She wasn't just a squirrel, she was a flying squirrel. She glided straight down to land directly on the mage's face.
Kolli was having trouble staying silent. Seeing a flying squirrel attach itself to Imperon's face was too much. She burst out laughing. It only lasted a second before she clamped her mouth shut, but it was enough to start a rolling tide of laughter as every Ocheliad in the room who'd been struggling to stay quiet found that they could no longer do so.
"Here I thought I was the stupid one in the room," Sathrasa said. She was one of the few Ocheliad not laughing. In fact she was still crouched behind the overturned couch, trying her best to not be seen by Imperon.
Fortunately for the assembled Ocheliad, Imperon was more concerned with getting the squirrel off his face than with punishing laughter. He snatched at Katryia, who simply scurried this way and that, dodging his hands with ease. She chittered and laughed at his inability to catch her even as she spit sunflower seeds at him.
From his face she ran to one shoulder. Imperon tried to grab her but she jumped to the arm rest of his chair, ran down beneath the chair and came back up his left leg. He tried to dislodge her by kicking his leg upwards and she used the momentum to catapult herself right back onto his face. Scrambling up on top of his hat she stood proudly for a moment before Imperon tried to get her again, his hands closing on the spot where she had been standing. But she wasn't there anymore.
Katryia ran down Imperon's had and dropped onto the back of his chair. Clinging with her four little paws she grinned when Imperon leaned forward, vainly trying to spot where the squirrel had gone. The collar of his shirt bowed out just enough for Katryia to imagine she might be able to squeeze between the mage and his silken clothing. To her mind, that would be hilarious.
Imperon felt the paws on the back of his neck and snatched at Katryia again. She would have gotten away but she overestimated how much room she had. the mage's hands closed on her body even as she got her head down below his collar. As he leaned back again, Katryia found her head caught. If she hadn't had her cheeks stuffed to overflowing with sunflower seeds, the little druid might have not been in such trouble.
As it was, however, Imperon was tugging on her and she was trapped. So she spit out all the seeds.
"AAAAARGH!" Imperon released the squirrel and jumped from his chair. "KATRYIA!" He bellowed as he pulled his shirt loose and began wiping seeds off his back. "I am going to...oh when I get my hands on you!"
Katryia stood in the middle of the floor, bowing to the laughter and even some applause from the gathered Ocheliad. Sathrasa had vanished, convinced that nothing good would come from hanging around. Kolli still stood at attention, once more trying not to laugh.
"Damn it, Kat, you got sunflower seeds down my pants, too!" For the moment, Imperon was too angry to even formulate a plan for getting a hold of the druid. Instead he just continued to retrieve sunflower seeds off himself and his chair while yelling at her. Even as a squirrel, Katryia purred, it was all so highly entertaining.
"Don't worry, boss, I'll get her for you!" Adriscimnya, a kaldorei member of the Ocheliad stepped forward. She approached Katryia with hands out, intent on snatching her from the stone floor.
Katryia, however, was having none of it. She'd play with Imperon, but she wasn't about to let any other Ocheliad make a grab for her.
The squirrel exploded outwards, stretching in all directions. Fur became scales, teeth became fangs and between one step and the next, Adriscimnya found herself facing a small dragon. No more than four feet long, not including tail, Katryia was not the most imposing dragon ever. But she certainly had fangs, and claws, and was growling at the elf in front of her.
Taking a step back, Adrscimnya scowled. "That won't stop me you squirrel...dragon...squagon! I'll still take you on!"
Katryia perked up. Squagon? She liked that idea. Smiling suddenly a shudder went through her and a ridge of fur sprouted along her back. Her tail went from draconic to resembling that of a squirrel, complete with bushy fur. Where her front fangs had been, she now sported a dragon-sized pair of buck teeth.
There was laughter. Lots of it. Even Imperon couldn't help but chuckle between glares as he continued retrieving sunflower seeds from his shirt and pants. The only person not amused was Adriscimnya. "Dragon, squirrel or some freak combination, you're going down!" she yelled and leaped on top of the dragon.
Katryia squawked in surprised and began to thrash as Adriscimnya tried to get the small dragon in some kind of a choke hold. Then Katryia grew. Before the eyes of the watching Ocheliad, Katryia doubled in size, and kept growing. She didn't stop until she was the size of a small pony. It became clearthat there was no chance Adriscimnya was going to actually hurt her.
She craned her neck around to look right at Adriscimnya. The elf was clinging to her back, with her feet now dangling several feet off the ground. The squagon gave her a buck-toothed glare and growled.
It sounded like an angry squirrel. A very big squirrel, but still an angry squirrel. The common room erupted in yet more laughter. This time, Adriscimnya joined in. She laughed so hard that she lost her balance, failed to keep a hold of Katryia's furry back, and toppled over to land on the floor in an undignified heap.
Katryia's eyes widened. She looked at the downed Adriscimnya, then at Imperon. Then she looked at the nearby Ocheliad. All were pointing and laughing. Ducking her head in embarrassment at being laughed at so loudly and by everyone she could see, Katryia turned back into a squirrel and scampered up Imperon's right leg. She crawled across his lap and up his shirt. By the time she made it to his chest her confidence had returned. She paused, fluffed Imperon's beard with both little paws and snuggled up against his neck, chirring quietly to herself.
Imperon sighed, patted the squirrel's head with two fingers and picked up his book. "Beware the Squagon," he said with a chuckle.
Well, Tyrynna, I think the Ocheliad has the one and only Squagon right now.
This story is based on actual guild chat RP. I altered it a bit, naturally, but Adriscimnya did actually tangle with a "squagon". For anyone who thinks a druid changing into a squirrel or something other than what's in game doesn't "Make sense", please remember that druids in early beta had an ability that let them copy critter shapes. But after one too many flagged tauren druids in Elwynn tricked lowbies into attacking their rabbit form, Blizzard pulled the plug on that ability.