So there I was … a 47th Level Warlock with a specialty in demonology, ready to break through and level to 48. It was hot in Gadgetzan. Well, it’s always hot in Gadgetzan, since the sun is always at meridian height (Goblins are really kind of binary creatures when you get right down to it: Sun, No Sun, Buy, Sell, Live, Die … It’s no wonder that it’s always midday there during the day.)
It was just about time to take off for the Un’Goro Crater. I had a hot mission from the Arch Druid in Darnassus to secure some soil samples for … Whatever. I’m a Warlock not a tree-hugger, damnit. The Elf was offering me good coin to bring him a few bags of dirt, and I wasn’t about to turn my nose up at it. Not with the Azeroth economy looking like it does these days, what with the Gnomeregan Exile bailout and all.
No, sirree. I was on it like stink on a Noxious Ooze.
I was beatin’ feet to the local Gryphon Master to charter a flight when he came on me out of nowhere. Taking a right out of the armor repair shop, I found myself face to face with an 8-foot-tall Orc Warlock. Big, green and ugly (Which is a fair description of any Orc as they pretty much all look alike) … and as he stood there, quietly staring me down, I could tell he was open for business.
The next thing you know, the big pile of chartreuse pig-puss throws down a dueling flag.
It was like a moment from High Noon, and I was Sheriff Wil Kane. You could almost hear “Do not forsake me, oh my darling” playing in the background (almost, but not really, as playing this in-game would most certainly put Blizzard in an actionable position with the music publisher.)
Now this kind of thing happens in Gadgetzan all the time. It’s one of those frontier towns where Alliance and Horde grudgingly live side-by-side, mingling in an acrimonious, and sometimes down right violent, atmosphere as members of each faction tries to scratch out a living in the harsh environs of the unwelcoming desert … It’s kind of like Tatooine without the totally lame cantina band and the general vibe not unlike the one in “The Trouble with Tribbles” episode from the original Star Trek series. The one where the Klingons and the Federation guys were on this space station and Mr. Scott got pissed because … Well, you get the idea.
The tension ran high and tempers tended to flare as if everyone was hungover from a six-week-long crack binge. Anything could happen.
I quickly eyed my opponent. A level 42, who didn’t even have one of his demons conjured. The arrogant sumnabitch thought he could throw down with me and walk away from it. Well, Orcs were never known for being the sharpest battle axes in any armory, and this one was no exception.
I let him have it … right between the eyes.
I opened with my usual volley … A Curse of Agony, followed by a Corruption spell, followed by an Immolation spell.
You gotta’ respect the classics.
Just as I was about to hit him with a Searing Pain spell, one of his incantations got through. He hit me with a Fear spell. The oldest trick in the book. A play I make again, and again, when I want to take a ‘lock or a mage out of the game just long enough to get the the hurt goin’ and start takin’ him down with my debilitation mojo.
I thought I’d had it … he hit me with a Shadow Bolt, and I could feel the hit points coming off me like scales off a leperous murloc. It was when I realized my Void Walker had jumped into the fight, and the Jolly Green Blow-hole’s had been entranced by my large blue companion, while I was running around like Vork from The Guild at a government surplus cheese distribution.
That was all the advantage I needed. The next thing I new, the Orc’s spell was done, I regained control, and lobbed a Shadowburn in his direction. That spell, along with the cumulative effects of my other incantations were all it took. I heard the tinkling sound of a soul shard appearing in my Timbuk2 soul shark pack and knew it was over before the earth shook from the impact of a giant corpse hitting the dirt.
My opponent was dead. I had won.
It was over just as fast as it had started, but now there was one more, eight-foot-tall, green carcass rotting in the midday sun in Gadgetzan.
And if victory, and life itself, were not compensation enough for this fool’s deadly underestimation of my necromantic skills, I had also earned the WoW Duel-icious Achievement for winning a duel. I have never been one to use my powers capriciously, and this had been my first showdown.
I paused for a moment, to remind myself that someone had died here … But then I realized it was a friggin’ orc, and no one would really give a rat’s ass except maybe his mother. (Although probably not a whole lot of grieving going on there either … Orc females were a decidedly un-maternal lot who were just as likely to use their offspring for a light snack as they they were to nuture them through infancy.)
Continuing my journey to the village Flightmaster, I handed over my fare and mounted the puddle-jumper Gryphon for the excursion over to the Crater. Little did I know another potentially deadly confrontation would shortly ensue.
In another town, another time, I might have ridden off into the sunset, or not ridden away at all.
But this was Gadgetzan, and there is no sunset, so I just layed-on some Hawaiian Tropic and enjoyed the ride … Another day was over in Azeroth, and I was still alive.