So that was interesting.
Right after I finished yesterday’s post, Ji Firepaw arrived in Orgrimmar with a group of pandaren from the Wandering Isle, looking to sign on with the Horde. And, first impressions…well, I’ll be honest. First impressions weren’t so impressive. I mean, I realize I should know better than to jump to conclusions based on appearances, but…well…the words “roly poly” come to mind. And granted, I’ve heard from multiple sources that these pandaren love them some beer, to the point that I guess Chen Stormstout left kegs lying around all over the Barrens…more power to ’em…but dude, I was not expecting every last one of them to have a beer belly.
You know, on Earth Online they actually have an animal that’s supposed to be inspired by these pandaren. They don’t even try to hide it – they went ahead and called them “pandas,” for fuck’s sake. They’re these basically pudgy bears that just kind of lumber around pudgily, being lazy and nonthreatening most of the time. Unless – you guessed it – you try fucking with their food. I guess I’d just assumed that the EO devs were taking some liberties designing these panda animals, but, hey, shows what I know. The genuine articles? Same deal. Hell, I think I’m just going to take to calling them “pandas.” It’s not like “pandaren” exactly rolls off the tongue.
Anyway, when Ji and his people showed up, I was a little taken aback by all this, and I started rambling on with my “Welcome to the Horde” speech. Maybe I laid on the “bad cop” act a little heavy, about having to earn their keep and prove their usefulness like the other members of the Horde did (granted, the best I could come up with for the blood elves on the spot was “they can hold a sword, I guess”), but hey, I was a little rattled and busy thinking “Holy crap, is there no translation for ‘No more, thanks, I’m full’ in fucking Pandaren?”
So I had the pandas head up to the Ring of Valor so I could put their skills to the test. Matter of fact, I took a page out of Tirion’s book from that whole Argent Colisseum thing he set up in Northrend. You remember when he rounded up three monsters from up there (okay, four – he had not one, but TWO jormungar worms!) and had people fight them? Well, I had the same deal waiting for the pandas, only I did Tirion one better: instead of rolling out the monsters one at a time, I set all of them loose at once and had the pandas go at it.
Side note, by the way – before I got the monster-fighting party going, I did a little more off-the-cuff speechifying at Ji and the other pandas, about presenting them with a gift, which turned out to be the chance to prove their combat skills to me, and how I’d heard about the martial arts prowess of the pandas, and really ran kind of long with it all, and all of a sudden it hit me that HOLY CRAP I’m getting like Tirion THAT way too, so I shut the fuck right up at that point and let out the monsters. Because the fuck, dude, is it just something about supervising gladiatorial combat that gives people diarrhea of the mouth?
Anyway, though, funny thing happened once Ji and his people got the monsters sprung on them: those pandas fucking owned FACE. I’m not even kidding. Those beasties got freaking WRECKED. So I stand corrected – some of the recruits could stand some more practice and experience, for sure, but overall you pandas really are ready to go. And you know, gotta say, I look at you teddy-bear-looking motherfuckers and I wouldn’t really expect you to be badass, but I’ve got to hand it to you pandas, you get the fucking job done. Daps, pandas.
Only down side? Now I’m down three perfectly good monsters. I was originally going to pit them against Alliance prisoners, and kick back at the Ring of Valor to watch the prisoners fight for their lives for entertainment. Maybe tell them they’d win their freedom if they survivied, only find some ironic way to phrase it so if they did win I could just turn around and have them dropped into boiling oil or some shit. Oh well. I guess we’ll just have to get some new monsters. Not a rush, since we at least have until I get the rest of the parts for the popcorn machine.