Attack of the petting zoo
Okay, so we’ve established that something fishy is going on with these gear-toting animals, pretty much all over the place. Since I brought up the issue earlier in the week, I’ve been getting reports flooding in from all quarters about animals carrying weapons and armor. And then, a couple days ago, I had my bizarre and disturbing trip to the plateau in Mulgore where a zillion and one critters and zipping around with knives and helmets and…I don’t know, at this point I’m surprised they don’t have fucking rocket launchers or something.
I don’t much like the way this is going right within view of Thunder Bluff. I also figured that with so much crazy-ass stuff going on with animals, it might be a good idea to check in with our own resident nature-boys, the druids. So, I decided to kill two birds with one stone (and hope the metaphorical birds weren’t carrying, you know, metaphorical explosives armed with metaphorical dead-man’s switches) and bring this business to the attention of Thunder Bluff’s very own head-honcho druid, Hamuul Runetotem.
Hamuul was as disturbed by all of this as I was, and decided he wanted to check on things personally. We flew over to the Critter Plateau of WTF earlier today, and seeing as this seemed like one of those “let’s keep a record of shit” occasions, I sent word to Orgrimmar for Mokvar to fly over and meet us there.
Apparently, before he left, Mokvar and the messenger I’d sent had a few go-rounds of “Why does Garrosh want me to fly out there again?”, “No, really,” “Seriously, what’s the actual reason?”, and so on.
Gotta be honest. I don’t blame you one bit, Mokvar.
Hamuul Runetotem rejoins Garrosh and Mokvar after circling around the plateau in flight form.
GARROSH: So, what’s the verdict, Hamuul?
HAMUUL: Very peculiar…
GARROSH: Wow, peculiar. I’m glad I brought you in on this. Keen insight right there, dude.
HAMUUL: Clearly someone is tampering with the conduct of these creatures, though I’m at a loss to speculate as to who.
GARROSH: Well, yeah, obviously they didn’t smith this stuff up themselves.
GARROSH: So any other bright ideas about… <looks up> Hold up…
A brown and violet eagle flies up to the group and shapeshifts into Malfurion Stormrage.
GARROSH: Wait – the hell?
HAMUUL: Greetings, Shan’do.
MALFURION: A pleasure as always, Hamuul.
GARROSH: What is HE doing here?
HAMUUL: I took the liberty of bringing this matter to the attention of certain allies.
GARROSH: Uh, yeah, LITERALLY Allies.
MALFURION: <nods to Garrosh> Warchief.
GARROSH: <nods back> Antlers.
HAMUUL: It would be a courtesy to address him by his actual name.
GARROSH: Meh, Malfunction Stormface, Antlers McBeardyface, po-tay-to, po-tah-to, boo hoo.
HAMUUL: <to Malfurion> Probably the best we’re going to get.
MALFURION: Good enough.
GARROSH: Okay, so now that we’re all buddies and shit, do I get to find out why we’ve got one of the night elf leaders rolling on through Horde territory like it’s something to do?
HAMUUL: I thought Master Stormrage might be of some aid in determining the cause of these unnatural developments.
MALFURION: I can be on my way just as easily if you prefer.
GARROSH: Yeah, whatever, fine, I’ll cut you some slack what with the whole Ragnaros thing. I suppose you might have a good read on some of these animals, what with…you know…you practically being one and all.
MALFURION: I’m a druid. We all take on animal forms.
GARROSH: Yeah, right I get that. But… <gestures toward the feathered wings on Malfurion’s arms and the bear paws he has for feet> …you know…
MALFURION: <sighs> All right, one last time…
HAMUUL: You don’t have to.
MALFURION: No, it’s fine. I get this all the time.
HAMUUL: If you wish.
MALFURION: As a result of the years my spirit dwelled within the Emerald Dream, I gradually took on the attributes of many of the creatures whose forms we druids assume.
GARROSH: Yeah, but…dude, you’ve got paws.
MALFURION: Yes, and?
GARROSH: That doesn’t weird people out a little? I mean, okay, I don’t really know how you night elves roll, other than, y’know, how you roll over dead after you get chopped up a little, but…
MOKVAR: Sadly, this really is him on his good behavior.
GARROSH: I’m serious! Don’t you get sick of the “get your paws off me” jokes at home or whatever?
MALFURION: <rolling eyes> I’ll have you know, if anything, Tyrande really seems to go for—
HAMUUL: Hush, Malfurion!
GARROSH: HAH! Did you just shush him? Because that’s kind of awesome.
HAMUUL: <sighs> The point. Being. Master Stormrage kindly offered his aid in determining what has been happening with these animals…
GARROSH: Yeah, fine, whatever. Let him help. Are we going to have any more special guests showing up that I need to be warned about?
A giddy squeal can be heard in the distance, followed by the voice of…
MYLUNE: Oh look at all the adorable bunnies!
Mylune prances past the others, excitedly racing after random rabbits and prairie dogs.
MYLUNE: They’re just so cute and warm and soft and snuggly and squee!
GARROSH: After last time? Really?
MALFURION: In Hamuul’s defense, she just happened by when he was explaining the situation to me.
HAMUUL: She heard “rabbits and prairie dogs,” and, well, that was pretty much that.
GARROSH: Okay, fine, let her do her thing. Maybe she’ll fall down a rabbit hole or something. In the meantime…
MYLUNE: Oooh and cute little prairie dogs too! Yay!
GARROSH: …um…any other insights on what’s going on up here?
MALFURION: Obviously the creatures are being armed by someone, but based on how these animals are reacting to us, they’re unaccustomed to a humanoid presence.
HAMUUL: A druid, then, appearing in animal form?
MALFURION: Most likely. Not any affiliated with us, though, I can’t imagine.
Mylune continues scampering around the plateau, chasing assorted critters and emitting happy squeals at frequencies only occasionally perceptible to the orcish ear.
GARROSH: Well riddle me this, Antlers. How do I know some of your Alliance buddies aren’t behind this?
MALFURION: Warchief, I could try to hide behind some sort of sweeping statement of principle, but even setting that aside, look around. If the Alliance were going to encroach on Horde territory, do you really believe this is the best idea they could come up with?
MALFURION: The Alliance leadership may be many things, but they’re not idiots.
MOKVAR: You’ve met Varian, right?
Mylune grabs at a rat, which wriggles around in a desperate, ill-fated attempt to escape her grasp.
MYLUNE: Oh no no no, Mr. Sneaky Rat, you don’t get away that easy, silly thing! You mousey-faces need love too!
GARROSH: By the way, did she miss the part about them being, you know, armed and shit?
HAMUUL: I’m fairly sure she just hears “cute animals,” and the rest becomes something of a blur.
A few prairie dogs gather up closer to Mylune, while a group of rabbits hop over to her. One bounces up into her hands, which sets off a torrent of joyful squealing.
MYLUNE: Ohhhhh I love you too, little bunny rabbit!
She squeezes the rabbit against her, only to have it bounce free. While she tries to regain her grasp on the rabbit, some of the other critters gather around closer to her.
MYLUNE: No no, Mr. Bunny, I’ve got— ooh careful with your teeth there, Mr. Bunny, those are a little sharp—! But don’t worry, I won’t drop— eek! Careful, little bunny, you really have some choppers, hee hee!
GARROSH: Um, is it my imagination, or are they…?
Several critters gather around Mylune, and, while she tries to resume hugging her original rabbit, a second rabbit hops up onto her shoulder and starts weakly swinging at her neck with the tiny axe it carries in its mouth.
MYLUNE: Now settle—ouch!—settle down, silly little Bunny-Pants, Auntie Luney—oof!!—Now stop that, you little cutie-pie!
Some of the prairie dogs run in close to Mylune’s hooves and start jabbing at her with their tiny daggers.
MYLUNE: Noooo, silly little—eek!—little fuzzy-wuzzies! OUCH! No, that hurts! You don’t want to hurt—AAH!—to hurt Autie Luney, do you? <skipping around, trying to keep her legs clear of the prairie dogs> No, don’t! Aunie Luney—ooh!—Auntie Luney just wants to love you!
A trio of rats start shooting BBs at Mylune with their miniature rifles. The prairie dogs scampering around her feet are joined by additional mini-axe-carrying rabbits.
MALFURION: I tried to warn her about forcing her affection on woodland creatures…
MYLUNE: <tilting her head to avoid the weak swings of the rabbit on her shoulder> No! No, bunny! Stop! Please—EEP!—please, fuzzies!
GARROSH: Gotta say, I knew something bad was going to happen to her.
MYLUNE: <sobbing> No! You’re too—AAH! your teeth really are sharp, bunny—! Ooh! You’re too cute and sweet and—ugh!—and loveable to be mean like—like— OWW!!! <grabs the rabbit hopping at her chest and pulls it away> That fucking HURTS, you carrot-sucking son of a BITCH! <glares down at the rabbit in her hands> I try to be nice to you motherfuckers and this is the thanks I get?! Well FUCK THAT!
Mylune flings the rabbit away – narrowly missing Garrosh’s head – then grabs the axe-carrying rabbit on her shoulder. Seizing it by its ears, she whips it around in an arc in front of her and slams its body into a nearby tree.
MYLUNE: I’ve HAD IT with this shit! YOU COCKSUCKERS FUCKED WITH THE WRONG FUCKING NYMPH!
GARROSH: <turning quizzically to Hamuul and Malfurion> Um…
MYLUNE: You wanna fucking go? OKAY, WE’LL FUCKING GO!
Mylune kicks a nearby prairie dog off into the distance, then stomps on another as she brings her hoof back down.
MYLUNE: <grabbing a rabbit in one hand, a rat in the other> How do you like me NOW, assholes?! <smashes the rabbit and rat together, head first> HOW DO YOU FUCKING LIKE ME NOW?!
MOKVAR: Is it wrong that I’m actually finding this kind of hot?
GARROSH: Don’t make me put a talking ban on you too.
Mylune tramples a group of prairie dogs that have been stabbing ineffectually at her legs, then snatches up a rat. She whips the rat around in circles by its tail, lashes it through a pack of critters, then launches it into the air beyond the edge of the plateau.
MYLUNE: <glaring around at the remaining critters> ANYBODY ELSE WANNA BE A FUCKING HERO?
A handful of rats shoot more BBs at Mylune, who runs over and tramples them into the ground. Several rabbits start to regroup behind her; she turns on them and glares.
MYLUNE: ANY OF YOU FUCKING PRICKS MOVE, AND I’LL EXECUTE EVERY MOTHINGFUCKING LAST ONE OF YOU! <looks around side to side, breathing hard with fists clenched> Yeah, that’s right! KING KRUSH AIN’T GOT SHIT ON ME!!
Garrosh turns to Hamuul and Malfurion and appears to start talking a few times before actually uttering the words.
GARROSH: So…that was unexpected.
HAMUUL: You might think.
MALFURION: You have no idea how much money is going to change hands over this back at Nordrassil.
HAMUUL: I had her for August, myself.
MALFURION: Ah, pity. So close.
GARROSH: Wait, you mean you guys…you know what? Never mind. Let’s not even.
MALFURION: Suffice to say there are those who’ve…had their concerns.
MYLUNE: Oh shut your fucking pie hole, Mal! <looking around at the scattering critters> Yeah! Yeah! You BETTER run! I… <breathing starts to slow to normal> See what you…
Mylune closes her eyes and takes a deep breath, then looks around slowly at the scattered critter bodies.
MALFURION: And here we go.
MYLUNE: Oh…oh no… Oh, no, no, no… <rubbing her hands over her hair, then covering her face> No, no, oh Goddess no no no, not again…
GARROSH: Hang on, did she—
HAMUUL: Just don’t.
Mylune looks around sadly, whimpering more and more incoherently, and starts to cry uncontrollably while slumping down onto the ground.
MYLUNE: No, no, nooo…
MALFURION: <to Hamuul> Shall we?
HAMUUL: We may as well.
Hamuul and Malfurion walk over to Mylune and help her to her feet.
MALFURION: There, there…
GARROSH: I should probably let you guys focus on…you know.
HAMUUL: I can fly ahead and tell Cenarius to clear his afternoon.
MALFURION: Probably for the best.
MYLUNE: <sobbing weakly> Mr. Thumper, I’m sorry…!
Okay, so, um…yeah.
I’ve got a few ideas on where to turn next in all of this, but first…yeah… I think I need a drink.
Actually, I think I need several.
Actually, I think I need a brewery.