Latest Humorous T-shirt Slogan:
This one has to be taken in context to be appreciated. The girl wearing this belly shirt was maybe 5'0" tall, with a muffin top going on, despite the fact that she
was clearly in her third trimester of pregnancy. In addition she was wearing a thong that came up past her low-rise jeans and pushed her muffin top down over
the edge to really emphasize the roll. I'm not in perfect shape so I don't expect that others should be, but when you are wearing that
shirt, along with the rest of the outfit, you open yourself to scrutiny (and perhaps random looks of horror).
It's fun to hate:
The Soccer Moms who insist that they drive gas-guzzling SUV's for the safety of their children despite the fact that they are 6 times more likely to be in a rollover
accident than any other vehicle. It's like beating your child unconscious with the butt of your gun so that he will remain on the floor, thus making him less likely
to be hit by a random bullet coming through the front window.
When Shadowtwin reigns supreme:
There will be mandatory, passive birth control required to participate in any form of government assistance. If you can't afford to raise your child on your own we are here
to help you, but we must first make sure that your reproductive organs are adequately contained. If you don't like that policy all you have to do is support your kids your
damn self! Vote Shadowtwin!
Wildly inaccurate, yet shockingly precise, predictions based completely on happenstance and arbitrary universal fluctuations. Your Horoscope:
A typographical error in your Church's newsletter will lead to you performing sex acts on dozens of anonymous strangers in your pursuit of "oral highground."
The stars did recently tell your wife to "listen to her heart" regarding whether or not she should leave you. The stars did not intend for you to listen to her heart. But once you used that bonesaw on her sternum (not trusting the stethoscope which just responded with a cryptic thumping sound), we're pretty sure she made up her mind anyway.
The stars would like to apologize for stating in their last prophecy, "Be wary of the stranger you meet at beach this weekend. The stars aren't sure why, but they don't trust him." Through a cosmic hiccup, that information was supposed to be released this month. The August prophecy should have read, "A dark and handsome stranger will approach you on the beach, profess his love for you, and sweep you away for a jetset marriage. After which you will lead a long, happy, prosperous, healthy life as the Queen of a small island nation." We apologize for any inconvenience this error may have caused.
Your new stopwatch will allow you to time how long you can hold your breath underwater down to the thousandth of a second. Unfortunately, poor planning will mean that you are not able to actually share the information with anyone.
Your innovative new device for beauticians to use while giving pedicures can be wildly successful and make you quite wealthy IF you change the name. Trust us, no one is going to buy a "Ped-O-File".
Your Mother always told you to wear clean underwear just in case there was an accident and paramadics had to see them. But as you board that plane today, the stars want you to know that you needn't worry about it. The debris field will be more than 8 square miles, making it impossible to find most human remains. Not to mention that the ensuing fire burned so hot that it disintegrated not only all fabric, but most of the thin metals aboard as well.
You just had to get that genital piercing, didn't you? The stars tried to warn you not to, but you went ahead and did it anyway... Now all your worst fears will come to bear when, at a campground this weekend, you run afoul of this guy:
The less traveled by areas of the Grand Canyon's north rim offer some of the most breathtaking views of this natural wonder. You will soon find out they also include some of the worst footings and none of the handrails. They do, however, provide equally awe-inspiring, terminal velocity impacts.
The stars heard your pleas, begging for someone who you could share your love with and embrace for the rest of your life. If you are still single, throw your arms around the closest person to you at 3:44pm GMT on Dcember 9th -That'll be the one. Trust us, you won't have time to be picky...
The stars have piled up most of your things on the front porch. You can stay at a friend's house, but you aren't coming back home until you admit what you did and apologize. The stars' Mother was right about you... (you must have really pissed them off; the stars were in tears while they told me this)
The stars have been doing a little thinking and a lot of math. The population of planet earth is roughly 6,796,590,704. That means that roughly 566,382,558 people share each astrological sign. About 18,620,796 have the same birthday. Based on average life expectancy as many as 248,277 people were born on the same day, in the same year, for every zodiac sign. How can one statement possibly predict the future of all of them? Ehh, fuck it. "A full moon while Venus is rising is an omen of good things to come."
They say you never know how you are going to react to a crisis. After a home invasion this weekend you will: You will scream, "Do whatever you want to my wife, but leave me alone!" You will then create a distraction by throwing your newborn at the assailant as you dive through the window to safety. Now you know. Music lost to history:
Aerosmith - Dream On
When I started doing these, I could never have imagined that I would be putting an Aerosmith song here. Since I was born
in 1974, this song is well before my generation. It was recorded in 1972 and released in 1983 on Aerosmith's Self-Titled Album, but to read the information on it at
Wikipedia most of us would become familiar with it from a re-release in 1976.
Like most of the music being released in the late 60's/early 70's that was pushing the rock-n-roll envelope, Dream
On relies heavily on solid composition and and melody. Before the era of the modern effects processor, these bands
had no distortion to hide behind (or very little), and synthesized instruments hadn't yet made their way into music. In
that way the music always sounds more raw to us today because, quite simply, it was. While it seems laughable to think
about today, music like this was so far removed from the bubble-gum pop of the 50's that it still wasn't accepted into the
mainstream. As the baby-boomers became the target demographic, the rock-n-roll movement really started to pick up speed,
with bands like Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith clearing the path for the much darker and heavier bands like Black
While I (and most of my generation) are probably far more familiar with the Aerosmith of the late 80's and early 90's, the
reason this song makes it onto my MLtH page comes down to one thing: Age. Not necessarily the age of the song; In fact,
as I sat down to do the research for this today, I had no idea when it was released, but would have guessed (closely) the
mid 70's. Tyler was born March 26, 1948, meaning that this song was written when he was only 24 years old. I'm not sure
why, but I have always thought this song was pretty amazing given his age at composition. I suppose it is human nature to
wax poetic about the days of yore and the imminent passage of time, but the melody sets a mood that makes you feel it
right along with him. As the song nears the end and his lyrics become more more frenzied, you can almost feel the pain
(longing?) in his voice. Listen to it with headphones and no distraction sometime, you'll see what I mean.
I wrote a short bit some time ago about Kelly Sweet's cover of this
song (see the video on Youtube). While I have since gotten over
the initial hatred I felt towards the cover of the song, I still just can't like it. The words are there; she hits the
notes; but I just can't hear it in her voice. As if there is somthing very personal about the song and Tyler's
deliverance of the lyrics that just can't be duplicated. At least to me.
That said, I have heard Aerosmith doing the song with an orchestra, and it also seems to lack the passion of the original.
So perhaps the thing that I like so much about it is the under-produced, raw sound of it, or it may be that I am still
hearing it through the ears of that impressionable youth that heard if for the first time in a dusty old Van with my Uncle
Art. Either way, it seems it is Lost to History.
I Can't Believe it's Not Porn! WhorePresents.comYep, it's not porn. It's not a site with gifts for sale either, which is probably a good thing since I can't imagine that any woman
would be at all flattered to get a gift -no matter how nice- in a box that says "Whore Presents.com" on it.
My reading list changes from time to time, and there are many sites that I visit that are not on the list.
They are listed in the order that I visit them, enjoy!
Shadowtwin.com: April 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
A Short Story
While loading World of Warcraft recently I saw a ling to a creative writing contest. I haven't really sat down and written a short story in a while, so I figured I would give it a go. Without further ado I will post that story here, reserving my notes for after.
The sun’s rays were just beginning to spill over the tops of the mountains of Kalimdor as Pedan stole silently through the streets of Orgrimmar. The streets were near deserted in these pre-dawn hours, with only an occasional patrol from one of the city guards (Grunts as they were called) disturbing the now calm city. This was just as Pedan liked it; his task was easier performed in silence. As he made the turn into the Valley of Spirits, he took another look to make sure he hadn’t been followed. Satisfied that he was indeed alone, he took up his post on the west of the pond and sat down. Today, he hoped, would be the day.
With one mighty swing it began. His lure touched down near a stand of cattails, just where Old Crafty was rumored to have been seen before. Old Crafty was the fish that Pedan had been trying to catch since coming to Orgrimmar, in truth it was the reason he had come here in the first place. Pedan was Undead, he had grown up near Brill in the Eastern Kingdoms, one of the few places where Undead were safe from the murderous hands of the Alliance forces. It was there in Trisfal Glade that Pedan had learned how to fish and, rather unfortunately, how to fight. He had spent many a night, and even more early mornings on the shores of Stillwater Pond or Brightwater Lake fishing with is brother, Lekor. Lekor kept him entertained with stories of Old Crafty, the most elusive fish in all of Azeroth. Said to inhabit the waters of both the Valley of Spirits and the Valley of Honor in Orgrimmar (an impossibility, as Pedan had found when he arrived in Orgrimmar. The two bodies of water were located at opposite ends of the map, and no fish, no matter how crafty, was capable of traveling between the two), he was more myth than fish. Anyone who ever pulled in a line with the bait gone claimed that it had been taken by Old Crafty.
Pedan’s line caught a nibble and he hauled it in. Another Mud Snapper. He put it in his pack and cast again. Since the Death Knights had descended on Azeroth all trade supplies had become immensely valuable. The Death Knights were the product of a powerful magic, and while they were skilled fighters, most lacked the most basic trade skills. Without the ability to catch fish of their own, they would buy them and experiment until they were able to learn to create the fish that granted special powers when eaten. A pack full of fish like these could bring a couple of gold at auction. That is what kept Pedan going. He was here to catch Old Crafty, but picking up a couple gold for the trash fish he caught along the way made the task seem less arduous.
Pedan loathed the Death Knights, for it was a Death Knight that had killed his brother. His brother, like him, was a Rogue. Also like him, his brother was far more skilled in his trade professions than he was in battle. Pedan had actually passed his brother in his combat training, he was at his 34th rank while his brother was only at his 32nd. They had gone together to do some fishing off the coast of Stranglethorn Vale, hoping to catch some larger fish in the Vile Reef. They were just outside of Grom’Gol when a Human Death Knight appeared and struck down his brother in two hits. Pedan had fled and managed to make it back to the relative safety of the camp. He waited there for his brother, knowing that the Spirit Healer could bring him back to life, but he never came. The next day his brother's body lay lifeless on the ground just outside Grom’Gol, and the day after, and the day after that. And on and on until he eventually quit going to check. He had never seen someone actually die; the Spirit Healers were always able to bring them back, but this time, it seemed, it really had been the end.
In the months that followed he was filled with a vengeance, and set out to bring his combat training to a high enough level to combat the Alliance Death Knights. He followed the orders of all the Horde factions, a mercenary for hire, doing anything that was asked of him, and killing anyone who got in his way. He had misplaced his hatred on the Scarlet Crusade and the Witherbark Trolls. On the Syndicate and the Bloodsail Buccaneers. On anyone who stood in his way. It was while he was at his 51st rank of combat training, doing a favor for Timbermaw Hold in Felwood, that he too was struck down by a Death Knight. A heartless, Human Death Knight who, at his 80th rank, found it necessary to strike down the rogue in training. That was when Pedan gave up his quest. He couldn’t complete his training with the Death Knights on their killing spree.
That was when he thought back to the time spent fishing in Trisfal, and his brother’s stories of Old Crafty. While he wasn‘t sure if the fish was real, he needed something to do to keep his mind off of things. There was nothing wrong, he reasoned, with carving out a modest living for himself while he waited for the chaos to pass. But once he reached Orgrimmar he became so obsessed with the fish that he gave up on his combat training completely. For several weeks now he had done nothing but fish. He fished as his friends went off to battle the servants of the Lich King.
A frantic scream broke through Pedan’s reverie, “Orgrimmar is under attack!”
This was another circumstance that came with the arrival of the Death Knights. While the Horde was off battling the servants of the Lich King, the Alliance seized on the opportunity to attack their major cities. Most every able-bodied soldier of the Horde was battling in the snows of Northrend, leaving only a skeleton crew of City Guard to defend against such attacks. By the time news of the attack reached Northrend, and transportation was secured to Orgrimmar (or The Undercity, or Silvermoon -wherever the Alliance was attacking) it was usually too late. The city would be sacked leaving nothing but skeletons filling the streets; the city’s leader then absent for hours as the Spirit Healers worked to revive them; crushing the spirit of the Horde and giving the Alliance a renewed confidence.
“Orgrimmar is under attack!” came the alarm again.
Pedan watched as dozens of Alliance soldiers rode past him on the way to the Grommash Hold and the throne of Thrall, the Warchief. They were all rank 80 soldiers, and he knew that he would be powerless to stop them. He was thankful, though, that the Horde and Alliance had made an agreement that each factions’ major cities were safe haven -an agreement which both sides adhered to implicitly- that meant the Alliance could not attack him unless he attacked first… At least not with swords, though the gestures they were now throwing at him were just as hurtful. He did the best he could to ignore them as he continued to pull in Mud Snapper after Mud Snapper.
The attack on Orgrimmar had been going on for ten minutes or more, panicked screams for help came from the local defense as more and more Horde forces made it back to defend the warchief. Pedan felt a tug on his line and began to pull it in. This fish had some fight in him, not like the mud snappers he had been catching all these weeks. He let his line go slack before yanking hard to drive home his hook. The tug-of-war continued for several minutes before Pedan was finally able to bring in this monster. Once he hauled it to the shore he could hardly believe his eyes, for there on the end of the line was Old Crafty. He knew it instantly. He had never seen a photo of the fish, and eyewitness descriptions varied so widely that he had secretly wondered if he would even know if he caught him, but as he stared at this fish in bewilderment he knew -there could be no mistaking- this was him. He stood there for what seemed like hours (but was really only a couple of minutes) staring with a mixture of shock and bewilderment. What now? Surely a merchant would give him a pretty penny for him, to finally prove that he was real. But then what? And then he knew what he had to do, “I got you, old boy,” he whispered to the fish “better stay away from these aquadynamic fish attractors." And with that he turned him loose. No one would ever believe it, but that wasn't what mattered, what mattered was that he believed it. And in that instant he believed a lot more than just that.
He carefully packed away his fishing pole and pulled out his daggers. He coated their blades with instant and deadly poisons. He mounted his horse. He was going to help save the warchief.
Just how he was going to help wasn't clear to him as he made his way to Grommash Hold. His daggers would be all but useless against the Alliance, whose defense was far superior to his melee skill. He wasn't sure just how he was going to do it, but if he could catch Old Crafty, he reasoned, he could do pretty much anything.
He entered the throne room in stealth. He hadn't attacked anyone, so he was able to walk right into the fray without taking any damage. He stood and watched for a time. There were bones of the Alliance and Horde alike littering the floor. It looked like about a third of the Alliance forces had been downed, but one by one they would resurrect and continue fighting. He looked around to see who was healing them. He saw a couple of Shamans and a Druid casting healing spells, but they appeared to be focused on the group that was attacking the warchief. He looked back towards the door and saw a lone Priest. He watched as she would target each resurrected Alliance soldier and cast one mighty heal to bring their health back to near full before they would rejoin the melee. That was how he would help, they may be too skilled for his weapons to land, but his class skills would have a much better chance.
He watched for a few minutes making sure he knew who the healers were. There were only four of them left of the now 20 or so remaining Alliance soldiers. There were also probably 15 skilled Horde fighters assisting the warchief, it wouldn't take much to turn the tables. The Horde was beginning to attack one of the Shamans, he wouldn't last long with the kind of damage he was taking, if two of their healers were to go down this would end quickly. He looked around and saw an Undead Mage, he whispered to him, "I am going to Cheap Shot this Priest to lock up her skills just as soon as that Shaman falls. If you can kill her, this will be over in a hurry." "She's going to dodge it." He replied. "Maybe, but if she doesn't we win." "Alright, wait until I have nearly finished casting my Pyroblast spell." "Done."
The Priest didn't move as he snuck up behind her, not viewing him as a threat since he had not yet joined combat. The Mage and Rogue watched in anticipation as the Shaman inched ever closer to death, and just before his health was gone, the Mage began to cast Pyroblast. Pedan waited until the last possible second before attempting the Cheap Shot. He missed! The Pyroblast was in the air, and Pedan was now in combat, one hit from any Alliance soldier in the room would likely kill him. Thinking fast he Kicked, this one landed, stunning the Priest. The Shaman went down and within a couple seconds a Hunter who had been attacking him assisted the Mage in killing the Priest. She was down without casting a spell. The Mage and Hunter turned their attention to the Druid as Pedan vanished and quickly ran out the door. The Alliance soldiers could easily have killed him, but the tables had turned and they now had trouble of their own. The rest of the Horde soldiers joined in on the remaining Shaman and Druid. Both healers were down in seconds. The Alliance soldiers then went down in short order until all that remained was the warchief, the Horde, and the bodies of the Alliance.
Soon after, Thrall went back to his seat on the throne, looking disinterested as always. Pedan almost got the feeling that his actions went unnoticed, but he had seen as the Priest went down that the warchief had granted him full honor for his part in the fight. He approached the warchief to speak to him.
"Lok'Tar" Thrall said (he was always a man of few words).
"I just want you to know that it was my honor to defend you." Pedan said, a pride filling him.
He waited for the warchief to respond, but after a few moments of silence he turned to walk away. Once he had taken a couple of steps Thrall did speak, "For the Horde!!"
Pedan had a new vigor after this encounter. He vowed that never again would he be caught so woefully unprepared to defend his leaders. He also vowed to exact revenge on Varian Wryn, the king of Stormwind, the Human Capital. The majority of the Alliance soldiers had been Human, so it must have been Wryn who ordered the attack on Thrall. But first he must get his combat skills to the 80th rank.
With his renewed fervor, Pedan was able to tear through Winterspring and Silithus. Soon he was at his 60th combat level, and headed to the Outlands to continue training. It was here that he began to encounter the Alliance Death Knights in force. Most were near his equal in skill, and most times he was able to fight them off. This he didn’t mind; he had never been one to back away from a fair fight. Sometimes, though, he would run into one of the highest rank, there was little he could do then. He would try to vanish and run away, but their diseases made it impossible to stay hidden for long. Even if the diseases didn’t break his stealth, their skill was such that they could see him blending with the shadows if they were within a dozen yards of him. He began to only train at night, and to despise the Alliance Death Knights more and more. So it went as Pedan continued and completed his training in the outlands and moved on to help his brethren battle the forces of the Lich King in Northrend.
When Pedan first arrived in the Howling Fjord he hadn’t been prepared for the bitter cold. Wearing only light leather he felt particularly vulnerable to the harsh conditions, but he knew that the whole of the Horde army was subjected to the same -some of them only wearing light cloth- and bore their suffering in silence. He must do the same. He also found himself unprepared for the tenacity of the Lich King’s forces. While their combat training was equal to the foes he had been battling in Netherstorm, they hit much harder and could take much more of a beating before submission. Now in addition to keeping an eye out for the Alliance Death Knights, he also had to be very cautious to make sure he could battle the Lich King’s army one soldier at a time. His training was a bit slower, but steadily progressing all the same.
Pedan had reached the 76th level of training by the time he reached Zul’Drak, and found that he was now at or above the level of most of the Lich King’s army and, more importantly, of the Alliance Death Knights training in this region. With his goal in sight, it finally began to get easier.
Pedan was battling the scourge near Voltarus when, after a particularly ill-advised attack on three of the sickly beings, he found himself on the very edge of death. Once he was mercifully clear of the melee, he began to bandage himself. It was then that he saw him, an Alliance Death Knight swooping in on his skeletal flight. He struck Pedan, in the middle of tending to his wounds, with a hard two-handed blow. The blow had not left him poisoned though, and Pedan made use of this fortuitous turn by vanishing. He sprinted immediately away so as not to end up in the Death Knight’s circle of Death & Decay. Though the Death Knight was at maximum combat level, it was only four ranks ahead of him, and Pedan was able to successfully hide at a safe range as the Death Knight searched in vain. After a couple of minutes the Death Knight seemed to give up the search for him, and turned his attention to an outcropping of Saronite ore. Pedan took advantage of this and used the time to break stealth long enough to eat and restore his health. The Death Knight was at the ore now and began to swing his pick. His health now full, Pedan began to wonder, if he had first strike, could he do it? He knew he was going to try, for even as he was wondering, he had refreshed the instant and deadly poisons on his daggers. He may have been an easy kill in the past, but he was now a master poisoner, and given the opportunity to strike first, if he used his skills well, he was sure he could do it.
He snuck up behind the still mining Death Knight, and steeled himself. Now was the time. Before the Death Knight knew what was happening, Pedan had hit him with Garrote and Backstab. After a quick Sinister Strike, he hit him with a Kidney Shot, incapacitating him. He waited a couple of seconds to regain some energy before hitting him again with a couple of Sinister Strikes and Rupture. As he saw the Death Knight attempt to cast, a quick Kick shut him down again. A few more Sinister Strikes and a couple of Eviscerates and it would all be over. Pedan stood above the body of the Death Knight who had so recently, and so cowardly attacked him. He raised his arms in the air and cheered. This was a blow not only for him, but for every brother of the Horde who had been mercilessly slaughtered by his kind. Most of all for Lekor. While it was unlikely that this particular Death Knight had been the one that killed his brother, the symbolism was the same; no longer would he be a slave to the ways of the Alliance Death Knights.
Pedan completed his combat training in a work-like fashion. Having killed his first Death Knight, he found he had a flare for it. Now instead of cowering and running away when he encountered one, he was more likely to kill them before they had the chance to kill him. From that day on not once did a Death Knight best him in combat. This allowed him to complete the missions he was assigned in very matter-of-fact fashion. He would simply kill anyone who tried to stand in his way. Soon he could train no more in combat, and it was time to seek the vengeance he had sworn that day in Grommash Hold.
Pedan began to gather his friends and members of his guild for the attack. He had done extensive study into previous attempts the Horde had made to take down Wryn and he took these into account as he made his plan to assault Stormwind.
The Horde’s attempts to kill Wryn had always focused on using the tram between Stormwind and Ironforge as a base. He was going to use the fact that the Alliance would expect this to happen again to his advantage. Forty of them would make the trip to Stormwind under the cover of night. Once at the gates of the city they would split up. While five of their strongest would make a lot of noise on their way to the tram, the rest of them would quietly sneak through into the Stockades. The five creating the diversion would be a group of three Paladins, a Druid and a single Warlock. They would go just inside the tram and battle anyone that came to face them. If anyone noticed the others slipping through to the stockades, they would quickly give up on looking for them to go join the fray in the tram. They would give them ten or fifteen minutes to attract the attention of the whole of Stormwind, then they would make their way to the King’s Chamber. This distraction would give them the valuable time they needed to set up guard at the doors to the King’s Chamber to make sure no one could get in.
The five from the tram would then come inside Stormwind and use the tram entrance as a point of defense to fight off anyone attempting to reach the King’s Chamber from Ironforge. Five more would stand in the long hallway to the King, two Warlocks, two Death Knights, and a Druid would fight off anyone who happened to make it that far. That would leave thirty of them for the assault on the King. As the King neared death, they would pull in their positions so that they all could be there for the death of the King.
They would start the trek from Grom’Gol base camp in Stranglethorn Vale. If they started from there, Pedan reasoned, they could probably make it all the way to the castle without alerting any of the guards in the various regions. He set the time for just before dawn on a Monday morning, this should catch them completely unaware. Pedan issued only one rule before they were to start: No one was to attack an Alliance Soldier in training until they reached Stormwind, and then only if they were attacked first. There was no honor in killing a man so far beneath you in rank.
Pedan flew into Grom’Gol early on Sunday morning. He had instructed his allies to meet him there in the early dawn hours on Monday so the Alliance wouldn’t see their army mobilizing, but he wanted to be sure he was the first there. He knew the importance of keeping their presence a secret until they were ready to strike, and he feared that some over-exuberant soldiers may not be able to maintain their silence once they arrived. The men that he had chosen for this mission were selected for their combat prowess, not their discretion. He had made it clear that no one was to leave Grom’Gol before the raid was to start, and he would be there to enforce that.
Pedan made his way to the shore of the Great Sea and had a seat. He chuckled as he saw one of the Ravasaurs that had struck such fear in him when he last had visited the camp, the little thing looked so weak. He smiled and reached for his pack. From it he pulled his trusty fishing pole. While on his quest to reach the highest rank of combat he had found occasion to drop his line in a lake or two. Vendors in the Outlands and Northrend had tried to sell him a new pole, something flashier, but he had never replaced it. When it came down to it, it was really just a stick and a string. A true fisherman didn’t need anything more. He cast his line and watched as the waves slowly bobbed it up and down. He reached for his pack again and pulled out a container of Rumsey Rum, the fish always bite better when you have a drink.
“It seems some things never change.” Came a voice from behind him.
Pedan looked over his shoulder, rubbed his eyes, and blinked a couple of times. There behind him stood Lekor. He jumped up and ran towards him, “Lekor, my brother, I thought you were dead!”
“I was, for a time.” He said, then looked to the ground, “and then I just wished that I was.”
“What do you mean?”
“When I died that day and the Spirit Healer imbued me with the power to return, I realized that, in the spirit form, I could travel all of Azeroth without fear. And I did.” He was still staring at the ground as he spoke. “I saw so much … But it wasn’t real. I traveled to the furthest reaches of the map, I saw all the things I had always wished to see… But I didn’t really see it; I saw ethereal resemblances of it. I eventually realized how cowardly this was, and I used the power to restore my form.”
“But why didn’t you seek me out, Lekor? Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I tried to, Pedan, at first. But as I arrived in Orgrimmar, I was just in time to hear that you, a Rogue of the 51st rank, managed to single-handedly kill a Priest of the 80th rank. You saved Thrall… You were a hero… What would you think of your brother, the coward?”
Pedan laughed, “Is that the story you heard? I assure you I did not single-handedly kill the Priest, in truth I took only two swings, and the first one missed.”
“But even so, you had the courage to join the fight. You were taking on Alliance soldiers that were 30 ranks your better, that is something I could never do.”
“You shouldn’t have to, Lekor. No one should have to. That is why I am here. I am leading an army to Stormwind in the morning, the message to the Alliance thugs will be clear: they are no match for the Horde, we work together to fight the Lick King … or they die.”
“But will it really work, Pedan? Will they not just retaliate against our leaders?”
“It is a show of strength, brother, surely they have seen that they can not fight the armies of the Lich King alone. They would waste their time -squander their newfound strength- assassinating our heroes in training; attacking our cities as we do battle with the Lich King..” Pedan smiled, a thought coming to him, “You should ride with us, Lekor. You should be there when we bring justice to the villainous King and his henchmen.”
“At my rank it would be suicide.”
“No. We have on our side powerful Warlocks that could capture the essence of your soul to keep you fighting should you suffer a fatal blow. We have Priests and Paladins that can call on holy power to shield you from their swords and protect you from their poisons. We have Mages that can call on the power of the Arcane to protect you from their magic and keep their curses from you. Our Shaman can fight any disease they should use… We will show them that their highest ranked soldiers can not best our weakest; strength that comes from solidarity. The strength of the just.“
“I will ride with you if you wish, Pedan, but I fear this show of strength may be seen as an act of defiance, not justice.”
“Defiance and justice are not mutually exclusive.” Pedan turned back to the great sea and sat down, “But enough of this. Have a seat, Lekor. It has been too long since we have spent a day fishing, and I have some Rumsey Rum Special Reserve for just such an occasion.”
Lekor took a seat beside Pedan, and dug his fishing rod out of his pack. He accepted a mug of Special Reserve, took a sip, and cast his line.
“I caught Old Crafty, you know.” Pedan said.
Lekor smiled, “Sure you did, brother, sure you did.”
They sat there throughout the morning and into the late afternoon fishing. They were smiling and laughing as they hadn’t done since their days fishing in Trisfal Glade. It could have been their joy at being reunited or it could have been the Rumsey Rum, but it was probably a little of both. Pedan told stories of his training in the Outlands and Northrend, the creatures he had faced, the quests he had accepted, the Death Knights he had slain. Lekor listened in wonder, there was so much he had yet to see.
As night fell they made their way back inside the gates of Grom’Gol. Pedan was pleased to see that almost everyone had already arrived. He had feared that some may try to back out, for as sure as he was that they would not fail, what they were doing was not going to be easy. Though it was still hours before they were to ride out, Pedan started arranging the army into groups. They would strike as one, but it was important that each man and woman knew their specific goal. Their party would be divided into eight groups, with each group watching after their own. He went over the specifics of his plan in detail, making sure that everyone understood: They must defeat Varian Wryn, and they must keep Lekor alive.
Once he was confident that everyone was ready, Pedan gave the order to mount up. They would use the Death Knight’s ability to turn water to ice and ride up the coast of Stranglethorn Vale into Westfall. They would turn to the shore at Gold Coast and ride the road from there to Elwynn Forest. Stormwind was surrounded by mountains on three sides so this was their only choice. The party would then wait at Crystal Lake as they sent their first group in. They would give them a five minute head start before the rest of the group would ride in and meet up in the stockades.
They began their ride across the water and were careful to stay just far enough from sure to be beyond the sight of any Alliance scouts, but not so far out as to be into uncharted waters. Their ride was uneventful until they reached the gold coast in Westfall. There they encountered an Alliance hunter of the 19th rank in battle with the murlocs. A warrior name Waltar jumped from his horse, ran up to the little hunter, and fell him with one mighty swing. He then stood above the body laughing. Pedan stopped and brought up his hand to signal the rest to stop. He imitated Waltar’s laughter and turned to face him, the rest of the group sat in stone silence.
“You find that funny, Waltar?”
“Did you see how fast he fell? He was a weakling!”
“Then why did you strike him?”
“He is the enemy… He would have done the same to me if the situations were reversed.”
“Which is it, Waltar? Did you strike him down because you viewed him, a 19th ranked soldier, as the enemy, or did you strike him because you think he would have done the same?”
Waltar stared at him in silence.
“This is exactly the type of cowardly, spiteful act I would expect from the murderous Alliance scum. Killing an untrained soldier is not killing the enemy, it is like killing a defenseless child. You are not defeating an enemy, you are feeding his hatred; that one blow will plant a seed of rage in his mind that will grow until he has perfected his skills, and then it will blossom. He will unleash that fury a thousand fold on our soldiers in training. This is not the action of an honorable soldier of the Horde!”
“Then why do we ride on Stormwind, Pedan? Is this not an act of vengeance?”
“This is justice! They would use their newfound powers to lay siege to our cities while our able-bodied warriors are fighting in Northrend.”
“And you think that their able-bodied soldiers will be there guarding Wryn? Then why are we riding out under the cover of darkness? Why did you ask that we so closely guard the time of the strike? This is no more justice than striking down that hunter!”
Pedan sat in silence for a moment, he realized that Waltar was right. As the forces of the Lich King were growing ever stronger in the Eye of Eternity, Naxxramas and Ulduar, he was planning to raid the alliance haven under a pretense of justice; perpetuating the infighting that would give the Lich King time to raise an unstoppable army. Until the land was rid of him there could be no peace for either side.
“It pains me to say it, but he is right. We can not attack Stormwind tonight. As long as the Lich King lives he must be our priority.” Pedan turned to the Mage, Izell, “Open us a portal to Dalaran, Izell.”
As the mage began channeling the spell, Waltar looked to Pedan, “What now, then?”
“We must destroy the servants of the Lich King. Tonight we ride on Ulduar!”
And there you have it. Now on to a few notes.
The contest stated that the size constraints were 3000-10,000k words, but I really wanted to keep it down to 5000 -reasoning that they will be reading hundreds of stories, I didn't want to waste too much of their time-. 5000 words should be plenty to get a story across. I managed to bring it in at just under 6000, but it began to get quite rushed. In reading it now, it seems almost like a fable; there is little or no extraneous activity and the dialogue is clearly not how the characters would really speak.
When I initially came up with the story idea it actually ended during the battle with Wryn, when a low level alliance soldier attacked Pedan and Pedan struck him down. That was what made him realize the futility of attacking to make his point to the alliance. I ended up scrapping that when I had gone to nearly 7000 words with the raid on Stormwind barely beginning and no end in sight, and even that was as rushed as it is now.
Once I had a reasonable ending, I did a quick spell check and submitted the story without revision. While I know I could spend a couple hours on it and make it much better, I also know that I have dozens of unfinished stories that will always remain as such. I just wanted to turn this in before I had a chance to talk myself into ripping it apart and starting over.
Do I think I have a chance of winning? Not even remote. I'm sure there will be thousands of people submitting stories with far better ideas, and who have taken much more time polishing their work. It is what it is: a quick story that was fun to write, and hopefully enough to hold a reader's interest for a few minutes. If you read this far, it held your's. :)