We few, we flamed, we band of misfits stood at the entrance to Ragefire Chasm.
Our clothes still smoking, the sweet smell of cooked meat surrounding us like pork purfume, we stared into the entrance to the open pit barbeque from hell.
The gaping maw of the tunnel shone red in the light of the lava pools to either side, like the cherry glow of charcoal when it’s just right for the first steak. Smoke drifted across the path we would take, obscuring our vision. It was hard to see any details, as if we were trying to check how done the jerky was in a nice, big smoker.
I looked around at the others. “Anyone else hungry?”
The rest of the group gave assorted shrugs and variations of the theme “No.”
“Really, ’cause I’m starvin’ over here. How’s about some good bear jerky?”
“NO! Well, okay, maybe a little. Now shut up.”
“Hey, how do you make a bear jerky, anyway?”
“Well, first you find a bear, and then you get a cattle prod…”
“Hey, wouldn’t that make it a bear prod then?”
“You shut up too.”
“No wait, if it’s called a cattle prod because you use it to prod cattle, would a stick you use to move geese be a goose gooser?”
“I’m saying shut up. I know I’m saying it because I can hear the words coming out of my mouth. But somehow, you’re not doing it. We have extra imps, you don’t start with the shutting, I’m gonna start with the corking. I’ll shove an imp where the sun don’t shine.”
“Isn’t that the little valley in Slice, over near Lancre?”
“What? Oh, nevermind. Let’s do this.”
The ten of us did not rapidly proceed down the tunnel.
The seconds stretched out in silence.
Finally, I turned to Tom and said, “I don’t wanna go. My robe’s burned and stained, I still have a flaming arrow in my butt, the hair has been charred off my nuts and I smell like a mongolian barbeque. I need a bath. It ain’t right to be getting hungry when I smell that the ‘Locks been cooking.”
Tom turned to me and said, “I don’t care. Until we find someone to fill your spot, you’re going. And since we still haven’t had anything better than a rabid goat with diarrhea show up to apply for your spot, you’re it. Now grab your nutsack, charred though it may be and get your butt down that tunnel.”
Boldly we strode into Ragefire Chasm, determined to avenge the Vale, prevent whatever terrible fate would befall us all from Garrosh having the power of an elder god in his hands, and avenge the death of Taran Zhu. Although the Warlock may have been fidgeting with the front of his robe, and wishing he had a nice moisturizing cream.
We descended deeper into the caverns, fighting our way past more warriors, mages and assassins until finally we reached a chamber where General Nazgrim stood before ranked formations of orcs, each of them eager to fight the invaders of Orgrimmar. General Nazgrim looked less than thrilled. He seemed determined and as fierce as ever, but he didn’t look all that happy.
I stopped in my tracks.
“Wait, we’re going to fight General Nazgrim?”
“But I like him. Why are we fighting him? I ain’t got nothing against him, he’s a righteous Orc.”
“He’s standing between us and Garrosh.”
“How do we know that?”
“Because in this vast city there is only one way we can travel that isn’t blocked off, barricaded or broken. We can’t fly over and around anything because I don’t know why, and also the map we got from Wowhead that we’re following says we have to fight this dude here to go any further.”
“Wait, what? If Wowhead already sent scouts down here to map the place, why didn’t THEY kill Garrosh?”
“Because Garrosh paid Perculia off in socks. Lots and lots of socks. Nice, soft purple old god socks. With little tentacle things on top. Now shut up and soldier, soldier.”
“I ain’t a soldier, I’m a Warlock. That means I’m petulant and summon minions to do shit for me because I’d rather sell my soul to hell than have to do my own laundry.”
“And seriously, I like General Nazgrim. Can’t we go around?”
“No. Look, he’s right there watching us. He’s an honorable old Orc, and he’s sworn to serve the Warchief. If we’re gonna take down Garrosh, we gotta go through him to do it.”
“What if we tried talking to him? I mean, he can’t be happy about this. Maybe he’d, I dunno, go defend somewhere else?”
“He’d never retreat from a threat.”
“Can we at least ask? I’m not saying he’d have to retreat exactly, just, like, fall back and regroup in a different strategic location. Like that donut shop over on the west side.”
“We burned and looted it already. You drank two gallons of the Pumpkin Spice blend, and called the urn your own personal ‘Mana Tide’. Also, they wouldn’t let him in. Something about having too large of a personal weapon of destruction.”
“But we burned and looted it already. What could they possibly do to stop him?”
“They put up signs saying it’s not allowed.”
“No, that’s it.”
“Look, all he’s doing is pacing back and forth. We could stop, go get a bite to eat.”
“Pulling in 3… 2… 1…”
“Fine. Whatever. Don’t go crying to ME when your ‘Lock cookies taste like burnt nut hair is all I’M saying…”
Monstre and Crankpanktankration charged at General Nazgrim, knocking orcs higgledy piggledy in their rush to tackle the big bad boss.
General Nazgrim roared as he saw the young orcs die. The canny warrior shifted into battle stance and began to lay waste to the tanks.
As we spread out to focus on taking him down, a tear came to my eye.
Here was a fine champion, an honorable warrior and a brilliant tactician. To have to kill such as him to get to a piece of shit like Garrosh turned my stomach.
Hey, wait a minute.
“Hey guys, just a thought, but if General Nazgrim is such a brilliant strategist and tactician, why is he all alone in a small chamber just the right size for us to spread out and face him?”
“Shockwave, spread out before you get blown up!”
“Oh shit, look out behind you, Assassin!” “ARGH!!!” /deathrattle
“Too late. Sorry.”
“Banner! BANNER! Get it down!”
“Where did the Ravager come from, and why is it eating my face, kthxbai.”
“So. Much. Fail. ADDS UP! Seriously dude, backs + assassins = U DEAD BRO?”
“C’mere you little blinking motherfucker, I’m the dentist and this is your oral exam. Open wide and say ah.”
“WHY ARE YOU ALL DYING SO MUCH?”
“Because he’s like, General Nazgrim, and he’s in Defensive Stance, and to touch him is to die a horrible, agonizing death?”
“Defensive Stance! Shit, he’s a tank. EVERYONE STOP ATTACKING THE GENERAL!”
“But Tom, if we’re not attacking the General, what are we supposed to do? Twiddle our thumbs?”
Tom tossed me a bottle. “Here’s some cream, go polish your nuts. You can keep the bottle, I don’t want it back. No, really. Keep it.”
“What the heck did you use this for before you gave it to me, and why do you carry it around with you? Just ew, man.”
“ASSASSIN UP! Drop your lotion and get in motion, we got adds to burn down!”
Ravager chewed our faces, Mages and Warriors made for the scurrying and Assassins were a pain in the back, but we could tell the General’s heart just wasn’t in it.
As he fell, he said to us, “I stood by my warchief because it was my duty. I’m glad it was you who took me down.”
As we stood over the fallen figure of one of the finest warriors Azeroth would ever know, our hearts were heavy and our faces bleak. This was no victory, this was a tragedy.
I looked over at Tom and asked, “Is the rest of this mess going to feel this bad?”
He said, “According to the map, our next stop is to go find Malkorok and shove a big spear up his ass.”
As one, we all let loose with a delighted, and very enthusiastic, “WAHOOOO!!!!!!”
Hallelujah, we had the bitter course of the meal done, but there’s definitely room for dessert!
Let’s go git some!
“Hey, guys? This elevator over here? This goes pretty far down, right?”
“Wasn’t the Ragefire Chasm up there all filled with lava and shit?”
“That Chasm, like, right overhead?”
“Why didn’t we just, like, let that all flood this area down here?”
“I think Taran Zhu is still up ahead some where, and still alive.”
“Oh, okay. So we’re a carebear rescue party now, too. Good to know. Good to know.”
“No, you can’t bring the lava down anyway. If you did, we can’t get loot.”
“Damn. All right then.”