Elevated Discourse: The Explorer Task

Can't We All Just Get Along?

THE LAZY SNIPER’S own Jaedia recently posted an open-air challenge, the Explorer Task:

Take your character on a journey around Azeroth and Outlands… I would like to know when you visit a certain area or zone, how your character feels and reacts to their surroundings. Take a few screenshots to share as you go, or if you’d rather not, don’t. It’s entirely upto you how you handle this project. If you don’t RP, you can just put yourself into your character’s shoes and imagine how YOU would feel and react. Take the idea and run away with it.

I had to take a crack at it. Liala’s main motivators are: anger, hunger, more anger, healyness, and swearing, which made her the ideal candidate. Add to that the hot, spazzy feeling battlegrounds invariably invoke within my soul, plus a true story, and it wrote itself.

Liala flattened her back to the wall as the Taurean thundered by. “Goddammit,” she muttered under her breath. She crouched quickly into the shadows, willing the shaggy beast to pass by. “Nothing to see here, move along.” Liala opened her eyes to find him miraculously gone, an empty field stretching ahead of her beyond its frame of purple trees.

Breathing a prayer to any God listening, the elf marshaled her limited forces and pulled away from the wall, heart pounding. Behind her lay a house.

A smoke-wreathed cottage- charming in any other corner of Azeroth- held uncertain death, its open door leering suggestively. Were there more inside? What was lurking behind that quaint fountain? Was that a susurrus from the bushes?!

There- allies in the field! She ran towards them with a pathetic relief bordering on tears, throwing up grateful bubbles that shone in the sunlight. The grass turned yellow and then gave out to dusty rubble under their feet, mossy boulders changing to craggy sandstone as they ran, silently intent on their goal.

The forbidding terra cotta walls of the fortress rose before them.

Red flags draped over the battlements and hung in tattered banners over a small road disappearing around the back of the fortress. Liala followed the group as they raced up the path, sternly ignoring her internal misgivings.

As they crossed into a small collection of outlier shacks and tumbledown spare parts, she stopped suddenly, her head spinning.

Ambush!

Rogues materialized out of thin air, racing about the stricken priest. Her fellow allies hesitated not a moment, but ran ahead into the dark void of the fortress. The rogues danced giddily back and forth around Liala, slashing and darting with unholy relish as they sapped her will to continue. Unable to move even a finger in self-defense, she slid, lifeless, to the ground.

Blast!

Back to the shimmering twilight world of this strange Azerothian outpost which seemed so queerly disconnected from the outside world. No paths in. No paths out. Liala gripped her staff until her knuckles whitened and tried to ignore that last thought, face burning with rage and humiliation.

She waited silently, looking over the cliff in the vain hope she might suss out approaching death from this bleached-out realm, just this once.

With a flash the twilight world disappeared, reality once more blazing its bright colors, the wind snapping the blue and gold flags on the stony castle behind her. Instantly she threw up her hands to bless those around her.

“l33thealz, priest”

Liala blushed and hid her smile behind her staff. “Thanks :)”

The very trees grew pinker around the edges, the cliff below the graveyard shook itself and took on the aspect of a gentle incline. The fearsome warriors standing beside her looked more noble, more powerful, in that instant than she had ever seen them.

“… NOT!”

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