Welcome to the semifinals!
The premise/challenge this time is as follows:
Goodness, that last round of competition was pretty exhausting, eh? You and your ship could really use some time to relax, and a holiday at a ritzy hotel sounds like the perfect getaway! There’s only one problem: your opponent from the first round needed to blow off some steam after their loss and they thoroughly trashed the very hotel that you booked! Tell us all about the location from your world that you chose to visit, how your previous opponent wrecked the place, and how in the world you plan to fix it and bring this vacation back from the brink.
So who does that mean we’re up against? The illustrious Bonfire hosted the Sick Day Saviour entry which featured Ashley Williams of Mass Effect. Meanwhile, if you would like to see my first round entry, feel free to take a peek here.
This time around we face Winst0lf and their blog, winst0lfportal. They were up against Lightning of Final Fantasy 13, so I look forward to seeing how their Persona 5 team from Blitz round one fares here.
Let the games begin!
Given the nature of this situation, my typical prose style didn’t seem like it would cut it. Per the request of the challenge Tyrande and Malfurion need to head off to a ‘ritzy hotel’ for a holiday and then find it already attacked, only to pull their trip from the brink of ruin with the power of their relationship.
So let’s have a conversation this time, dear reader, as we imagine how such a Scenario might play out.
Before laying things out, I’d like to ask that we remind ourselves of the full definition of ‘ritzy’: expensively stylish.
Location Location Location
Unless you’re a Goblin, ‘ritzy hotel’ is not something you’re going to find in World of Warcraft in the traditional New York movie style. The landscape is dotted with inns though. If the goal is to select an out of the way, safe, and neutral rendezvous one location immediately came to my mind: Binan Village.
So ritzy in this case is going to be all about the cost of getting to Binan for an average Azeroth citizen. Meanwhile, trying to recreate the stylish atmosphere it offers would also be prohibitive. It’s a location event vacation! Finding this particular aesthetic outside of Pandaria is simply not going to happen easily in Azeroth. Probably why it’s one of my favorite locations. The Pandaren know how to make a place feel peaceful.
This cozy village would be a perfect venue for a fancy ‘bed and breakfast’ situation for our heroes. The inn is aptly named ‘Brew and Stew’, for instance.
Seated at the mouth of a cave and surrounded by a river that drains into a lake, this would be the perfect place to hide away from the troubles in the rest of Azeroth and give the couple a chance to be themselves without all the stresses of leadership. To get there requires one to relax on a boat ride along the river (as long as the cave has recently been cleared of its more hostile denizens, of course.)
Foods served at the inn involve succulently traditional Pandaren fare.
Finally, this location hosts the annual “Brewmoon Festival”. While neither Night Elf strikes me as a heavy drinker, I wouldn’t put it past them to sample an alocoholic ‘Kun-Lai Kicker’ by timing their visit to partake of the festival.
For the sake of hypotheticals we’ll assume that an upstanding officer like Ashley Williams went on her own Kun-Lai Kicker bender. A physically fit space marine — to offer a nod to another Blizzard franchise — letting off steam would therefore likely match the destruction capabilities of a local Yaungol (imagine an angry cow person that really likes fire), or an Orc.
What would this mean for the Brew and Stew and the surrounding village? Likely smoldering fires, wrecked furniture, and a low chance of a few holes in the roof (the folks in the Mass Effect universe apparently use modern-like weaponry only limited by overheating.)
I don’t see a trained military officer like Williams ever shooting through walls regardless of her level of inebriation as that could hurt civilians. Therefore actually drawing her firearm seems unlikely to me except to start a drunken dazed fueled fire. If you can draw from personal experience like I can, some people, when mixed with alcohol will decide that they can create an expansive bonfire and have it ‘be fully under control’ only for it, well, not to be under anybody’s control.
At least this challenge didn’t require the use of a barbeque…
Another reason Binan came to mind is because it hosts an example of one of my favorite game mechanics of the Mists expansion: scenarios. In game mechanic terms, scenarios are small group content tasks that can be completed outside the MMO traditional tank/damage/healer formula.
For the Binan scenario specifically that means you are literally taking part in defending the village and/or putting out fires. As the player you’re diving in and saving the citizenry as the Yaungol attack. All in all, fixing the village, because Tyrande and Malfurion are leaders with extensive resources behind them, would be a very easy task.
Let’s ramp up the difficulty a bit though. Tyrande and Malfurion’s bond was forged in the game’s lore 10,000 years ago when the evil force known as the Burning Legion (yep, even sounds evil, doesn’t it?) is let in through a gateway their race’s leaders create. Pretty cliche if you want to look at the lore through a harsh critical lens: leaders sought more power, ended up finding a force that showed they bit off more than they could chew, but allied with this new force anyway because of said promises of power.
Naturally I’m horribly simplifying a trilogy of books for this event (and strongly recommend War of the Ancients as a fantastic fantasy series if you can find copies at your library). To yet again butcher a story for the sake of brevity, they team up with their band of ‘for the people’ oriented members of their Night Elf race and other allies (a different group of angry cow people and time travellers?!)
Therefore the fix turns instead into a couple’s retreat to honor the original spark that brought them together on a much smaller scale: helping rebuild the village themselves, without the backup of their soldiers or servants.
Bonds forged in the fire of hardship will often prove to be the strongest bonds of all. Time has indicated through both the in game stories and books that hardship only brings this couple closer together.
Just look at how terrifying they are when they decide to go to war.
With the priestly and druidic powers at the couple’s disposal they would likely administer to any burn victims or otherwise wounded (assuming that Tyrande is able to hang up the ‘Night Warrior’ motif for this exercise, I mean, she is here to relax).
Once the couple is done focusing on the people, she’d let Malfurion lead in the task of the damaged structures and furniture.
If we really play with game mechanics, Malfurion is a druid. As is typical of fantasy druids, summoning or growing more wood to help in rebuilding, patching, and otherwise repairing should be a (twig) snap.
What that would leave the couple with, at the end of their two week holiday (obviously I’m an American), is a first week filled with being who they are at their core: righters of wrongs. Bringers of justice.
The second week in Binan could then be filled with the relaxation and satisfaction of a job well done. Knowing that they saved the brew festival, made the locals happy, and would likely be invited back next year free of charge (crap, my American is showing again) as honored guests.
Binan Village would be left better for Williams’ steam venting. The couple’s relationship would be reinforced by what made it what it still is in the first place: side by side, they can face any adversity because they have each other.