I've started playing the old classic games lately, Diablo 2 and Warcraft 3. Yes, not World of Warcraft but Warcraft 3 of the infinitely popular DOTA (Defense of the Ancients) fame. That custom map where players run around slaughtering mobs and other players alike in an attempt to gain godly items and pwn all the other players on the opposing team. It still brings back memories of sitting in a darkened LAN shop filled with youngsters as young as 7 or 8 screaming at the top of their lungs, strident screeches of rage replete with a steady stream of vulgarities that involve various portions of the female anatomy.
If anything, I noticed how playing DOTA almost inevitably leads to rising tempers. Shouts and curses of retarded teammates and/or opponents or loud accusations of failing to 'back one up'. Which naturally invites more colourful cussing. But I wasn't playing DOTA, much too rusty for that, just dicking around with the other custom maps and kicking ass on Diablo.
But I digress, as with so many great addictions (even erstwhile ones), I am often motivated to talk about it and once in a while, it even inspires a little yarn spinning, especially when I'm bored. Which I was today, negotiation was so fucking boring. Which made some of us feel like throwing up our hands in despair and going ,"Ah ok, never mind you win, let's go". Especially when the tutorial stretches for almost 30 mins past the scheduled time. I'll leave you with this Warcraft 3 inspired piece, hastily thought up, awfully clichéd but something that helped to while away the time.
They thundered across the vast plains, their steeds, specks of foam on their lips, churning up the ground beneath their hoofs, infected by the urgency which possessed their owners. It was spring, the time of regrowth and regeneration, when life burst forth and was manifested in the numerous forms of nature. Instead everywhere they looked, there was death and decay. From the brown withered grass and diseased trees to the murky lifeless waters of the lakes they passed.
" The corruption of nature and the rot these Undead and their demonic overlords bring to Azeroth sicken me to the core!" Antaral the archmage shouted, his disgust plain on his face. "Father, we must resolve to fight them and we need Tyrandre's and the Night Elves's aid if Azeroth is to survive. Our only hope is to reach Farla and get passage to Kalimdor."
Jaana his petite daughter, a budding mage herself, yelled back.
"I know that!" Antaral snapped. Then softening, he cried "If but only I had been at Dalaran with Jeriam to fight off those abominable Undead and their demons!" Tears filled Jaana's eyes. She was there at Dalaran, stronghold and enclave of the mages, when the Undead masses and their demonic masters assaulted the city.
The battle has been horrific, the mages hurling their arsenal of offensive spells at the intruders only to see them rise up again, an army of skeletons, as the demons fielded a whole range of horrific creatures. She was there when the city's defences were overwhelmed and failed, when the battle stopped and the slaughter started. She could still remember upon fleeing the city at the orders of her mentor, Jeriam, on the pain of death, the screams of the dying and the sight of her mentor being cut down.
"It would not have made a difference, I..." Jaana began and was abruptly cut off as a green meteorite streaked across the overcast sky and landed to their south with a reverbation that shook the ground. "Itaraal! Those cursed creatures of destruction are getting closer by the minute!" Antaral swore. "What are they father?" Jaana queried as another distant reverbation shook the ground.
"Mindless creatures of the void, they are summoned by the nefarious Dreadlords. They exist only to destroy everything they see which they do exceedingly well. Setaph has undoubtly fallen to them as has Lordareon to that traitor Arthas and his Undead army."Jaana craned her neck around and caught a glimpse of the burning city on the horizon, she fancied she could hear the cries of the innocents as they fell.
"But enough of that! Behold Farla, our hope! Never has it been so pleasant to see the city, rife with corruption, but unravaged or untainted by the demons and their Undead minions... as of yet "he concluded. They rushed down to the port, the bracing sea breeze in their faces, their trusty steeds nearly spent. Both breathed a sigh of relief as they saw the Cut-throat, the vessel due to take them across to Kalimdor, waiting. People were already boarding. Father and daughter moved forward.
It started with a low pitch whistling which rapidly ascended in frequency and magnitude till it became a deafening roar. The green meteorite crashed into the Cut-throat, cleaving it in half, creating a mini tidal wave in the process. The ensuing shockwave threw them off their steeds, flinging people like skittles. Wiping stinging sea water from their eyes, they were treated to the sight of a massive rock unfurling its limbs and glaring malevolently at its surroundings, its eyes twin pits of flame.
A hundred feet tall and enveloped in ethereal green flames, it batted aside a squad of soldiers foolhardy enough to charge it as one would an irritating fly; its flames immolating hapless people in its vicinity, their cries piteous and jarring.
"Ashaa'Rag!" Antaral whispered awed and horrified as the colour drained from his face. Jaana knew what he meant, The Burning Ones, in the Old Tongue which he always reverted to when extremely agitated. "Go!! Go!! Go to Pithom in the east! It is our last and only hope! You are my only hope! GO! I will handle it!!!" Antaral yelled, pushing Jaana away as the Infernal advanced, a sneer on that rocky, evil countenance.
"But Father! You cannot hold him alone! You won't make it!" Jaana pleaded. "Neither will we both!! He is immune to all but the strongest spells! You are my last hope, Azeroth's last hope! Better I die than you! GO!!!" he shrieked and with a flick of his hand propelled Jaana onto her stead and set it off galloping in the direction of Pithom away from the unholy terror.
"NO!!!!" Jaana screamed, wanting to stop the horse and go back to his aid but deep down, she knew that he was right. She resigned herself, torn between duty: the greater good, and emotions: the kinship.
A shriek and strangled cry she recognised all too well floated above the chaotic sounds of the dying city. Tears blinding her eyes, she dug her boots into her steed willing it to ride to Pithom with all speed. The knowledge that both her mentor and father, two men she loved deeply, had died so senselessly because of the mechanisms of these foreign intruders, consumed her totally.
Willing her heart to be cold and unforgiving, she swore vengeance against those who had destroyed her world and in a white hot fury, rode on to Pithom.