Sunday morning Dire Maul Tribute run

As Kairi touches down at Tanaris, Bafrogar greets her.
“Dire maul?”
“Probably, yeah. Though we had no call to arms yet.”
“It will come.” And Bafrogar gets the Gryphon to Feralas. Kairi doubts for a second. Her first thought was to do some farming first, wait untill the far away country of the UK awakes, but she is kinda late today, it is already a quarter past eight. A gryphon to Feralas it is.
While flying to Feralas, the in evitable call comes.
“Arena’s up.” Proclaimes Gompertz to the whole guild.
“I know. I’ve been staring at Skarr for about 10 minutes now.” Answers Hillerson, the main tank who is always ready for action and can’t not do the early dire maul run, it’s a family affair for him and his brother.
“Developed an intense relationship with Skarr by now, have you?” Asks Kairi innocently.
“Yes. A sort of love-hate relationship.”
“Pity we have to kill him.” Muses Kairi
“Yes, well, that is how things are.”
“We could just ask him nicely” ventures Bafrogar.
“We could, we could. Though I doubt he will hand over the loot.”

Dire Maul is a ruin, but a pretty ruin, with plants and marble-like structures. If set on earth, it would be similar to some roman ruins, with round gazebo’s, white stone, pillars and arches. Big wooden doors show the different area’s: the entrance links to the patio, which has three dungeons, to the east, north and west. For now, the goal is the oval arena, set in the middle of the raised stone platform. The amount of greenery gives it a kind of romantic feeling, totally lost on the adventurers who are just here to kill stuff, get loot, get buffs and get out.
Gompertz jumps in from above, he has not yet had his coffee and needs to kill something. “Let’s go.”
“And thus we follow our corageous leader” says Kairi, jumping down the ledge where Hillerson started his intense relationship with Skarr.
While Hillerson unsheaths his flaming swords, Kairi sends in her wolf Angua and Gompertz runs forward to enjoy this change from the normal pace. Bafrogar will do the healing today, leaving him to try and hurt as many enemies as possible. Skarr is not really a challenge for the foursome; though he is a big, armored ogre with a bad temper and probably a smell worse then his fashionsense, it takes but a few seconds to bring him down. Bullets, holy spells and flaming swords prove to be his downfall.
“Shitloot. But sellable.” Is the verdict.
“Well, let’s get the buffs, so we all can be nicely buffed up tonight for our raid.” Says Gompertz, who will never truly leave his role as raid leader.
“Yes, and loose them on the first trash, apparently.” Hillerson adds, cheerfull as ever.
“Did that on my first raid ever. Big anubis thingy, bam, dead.”
“Yes Kairi, I remember. Good times.”
“Yeah, I thought you would Gompertz, I remember you saying ‘and she got all the buffs’, and me feeling just a little embarassed. Luckily, I don’t do that anymore. Except for thursday, when I killed myself on pulls during three separate occassions. Two of them, I think, on that same thrash.”
Walking out of the arena through the underground paths once reserved for gladiators and their opponents, they circumvent the sleeping ogres, and the random ogres walking around. Easily killable by now, but not necessary, and speed is of the essence. Nobody wants to take their time and work through boring stuff on the sunday morning, as the items from trash are useless and there is no experience to be gained anymore.
The entrance to the northern dungeon is empty; it’s about 8:30 server time and people are generally speaking still sleeping. The habit of doing a dire maul tribute run to get the buffs started out in ancient history, and is carried by Gompertz, who will always find a group of people crazy enough to do this on their sunday morning, instead of being lazy on the couch or sound asleep in their beds. Truth be told, for him and Hillerson it’s even earlier at 7:30 local time. After their run, people will be queuing up here to enjoy the hard earned buffs, both alliance and horde, making it a prime spot for an ambush or just a killing ground.
“I’m going to make coffee.” Proclaimes Gompertz.
“And then forget about it?” wonders Kairi.
“I’ve had coffee already. I need that.”
“You maybe, Hillerson, but I don’t drink coffee on an empty stomach. Seems to be a bad idea.”
“That might be smart, I probably should not have done that either.”
Kairi tries to save the conversation before it heads in quite the wrong direction; “Okay, well, let’s not discuss the effects of coffee on an empty stomach, but let’s wait for Gompertz to return then.”
“Yes, you will have to wait a bit longer, I forgot the frost oil to trap the guard. I’m heart stoning now, and will fly back.”

“Hillerson, are you jumping over me?”
“Maybe….”
“Are you getting a bit bored?
“Possibly…”
“Could you say it when you pull a pack?”
“Well, yeah, I could, but we’re fine.”
“Ofcourse we are, you got an amazing hunter and a great healer to pick up the slack.”
Bafrogar silently heals Kairi and Hillerson, probably wondering if so much talking is really necessary.
“Gompertz, we’re still waiting for you, and the pack we killed respawned.” Says an impatient Kairi, while Hillerson is back to dwarf-jumping.
“No no no, that can’t be. It has not yet been three hours.”
“Well, the bodies disappeared and a new patrol is coming.”
“Different pat, must be.”
Hillerson charges forward again, as this pack must also meet their faith at the hands of the flaming thunderfury and thorium bullets. It may be slight overkill for one ogre and it’s wolves, but it works.
Right after that, Gompertz walks in and Hatti joins the party.
“Goodmorning, slackers.”
“Hatti, goodmorning to you too.”
“HATTI!”
“KAIRI!”
“Right. Let’s get on with this. Up the ledge.” Gompertz leads the charge, while Kairi tries hard not to look too stupid in retaking the same jump she does every week six times, as she does every week. Seeing how her lavajumping skills are already infamous, there is no need to add more to that list.
They sneak over the ledge. Ogres to the left, a pit to fall into to the right, and here they are, stuck in the middle with each other. Running, hiding, running, hiding. Even the wolf is on the ledge, but Angua seems unencumbered by any sense of danger or self-preservation and leisurely looks around while everybody else is trying to hide from the patrol. Step by step they pass the ogres with their guard dogs. Silently tiptoeing around, until they reach the part where the ledge is broken off, and Hillerson charges forward, swords at the ready like a herald of doom, into the next big, not-so-cuddly ogre. Wolf, human, night-elf and dwarf band together to get the poor ogre, who never even had a chance, down.

While peacefully drinking after wards to prepare for another bloodbath, Kairi receives a snowball to the back.
“Hmm. Now who would that be?”
“Come on, you slackers.”
“Hatti, some of us need mana. Not all of us are bloody rogues. I hate rogues.”
“Yes, me too. That’s why I became one.”
“I know. Best origin story ever, the rogue who became a rogue out of pure vengeance.”
“Yes, I had my mage first, but I play this one more often. It is more fun.”
“By the way, I saw a warrior level 60 yesterday with no guild.” Adds Gompertz to the conversation.
“What, you want to recruit him?”
“Yes Hillerson, we always need more warriors, you know that.”
“Well, what was he geared like? I know you inspect everyone you meet.”
“I got the key. He was okay, pre-bis and some blues from Zul’ Gurub. We might be early enough to get him to join. I talked to him, but he’s not convinced yet. That’s up to Sevenn or Awi.”
“Right. KILL THE EYE!”
“No, let’s keep it alive as a pet” proposes Bafrogar. But the eye is alread dead, killed by the skilled rogue who is always ready to throw some snowballs.
“Hmm, Sevenn told me that’s how to make them friendly. Talk to them, pat them, give them treats.”
“Well, Kairi, you want to try that out with the next one?”

Walking through a stone tunnel, made to size for the ogres and not the tiny dwarf, another warlock with its spawn and brute friend finds it’s death. The world is harsh for poor ogres, set to stand watch over a stone dungeon where adventurers will come to kill all, just for the chance to be crowned king for a mere two hours. But that’s the way it is, if they did not like that, they should not have become Ogres.
Hatti sneaks around invisible, a skill hated by all opponents, tolerated by all allied players, and clearly loved by all rogues. As soon as Hillerson charges the unassuming scorpids, Hatti murders everything that is in the neighbourhood, saving Kairi bullets as all are dead before she can fire a second salvo. A few more packs meet their untimely death, and Gompertz prepares the trap for Slip’kik. With a zing the trap is sprung. That makes the walk to the next pack way easier.
“Hatti does the same amount of damage as us combined, Kairi. Is not really fair, is it.”
“Yeah, I know Gompertz. Makes me feel a bit surplus here.”
“Well, you did pretty good at Onyxia yesterday.”
“Thanks.”
“Probably would’ve died if there had been another breath though.”
“You know, you did not need to add that last bit. You could’ve been, you know, just positive.”
“Nah, not this early in the morning.”
“Have you had your coffee yet?”
“No, I forgot. I’ll be right back.”
“There is going to be a day when Gompertz does not forget his coffee. But today is not that day.” Sighs Kairi.

“Right, okay, I’m back. Let’s continue.”
They work their way up the ledges, round and round higher up the tower.
“I hate stairs. Though these are not stairs. I still hate them, stairs are a hunters’ natural enemy.”
“These should be fine, you can get enough range, right?” says Gompertz while Hatti opens the door using lock-picking. Gompertz has got about 19 keys on him, but why use one when a handy rogue is available.
“Yes, it’s the principle. Also, please notice how I keep attacking the warlock first as you told me.”
“No, I said to kill the demons first. But well done.”

“Everybody got mana?” Enquires Hillerson, before charging one of the last packs before the dungeon. As every self-respecting pack, this one has gathered around a fire while it’s broad daylight. The poor Ogres must be cold wearing nothing but a loincloth, clinging close to the campfires.
“Yes, thank you.” Says the most important and ever polite mana user, Bafrogar.
“Alright, let’s go.” And Hillerson charges in, swords at the ready, followed by Gompertz in his pink ankle-long dress, hands surrounded by a yellow glow. Kairi sends Angua in to do some ankle-biting while Hatti backstabs anything she can touch. In between, bullets fly and Bafrogar tries to make sure nobody actually dies and all goes as planned. And it does, until Gompertz accidentally pulls the boss.
“What? Where did he come from?” Wonders Hillerson, already running towards Kromcrush to gather him also in his little group of friends, which is reducing in size by the second.
“It wasn’t me!” Yells Kairi, used to getting blamed for all accidental pulls. “It wasn’t multishot.”
“No, no, it was me or Hatti. One of us got too close. Probably me. But it’s fine.”
“Yeah” adds Hillerson, sounding as if the next words are not to be taken at face value. “We’re fine.”
Bafrogar continues to be the silent hero in this all, keeping everyone alive while bullets fly and two packs and the boss get dealt with at the same time.
“I’m out of mana.” Says Kairi.
“I have been for a while now” adds Gompertz. “As long as Baf has Mana, we should be fine.”
“See, easy.” Concludes hillerson after the fight, while Baf is still patching everyone up.
“By the way, Gompertz, I sent all requests to buy buffs to you. I keep getting them, being the hunter. I don’t want to deal with that.”
“But it’s free money.”
“It’s annoying.”
“Well, I told them you do it to annoy me and you’re toxic.” Says Gompertz.
“Autsj.” Adds Hillerson.
“I’m not toxic. Maybe slightly annoying at times. Also, why, it’s free money, isn’t it.”
The conversation continues while Hatti throws snowballs.
“Come on, slackers.”
Kairi blows a kiss to Hatti. “Who’s the slacker? This is the first DM:T you join in a long time.”
“Well, yes, I had to get my pvp rank. But I’m done now, so I can do other things in my weekend.”
“I thought you liked pvp.”
“Not that much. I just wanted to get to rank 12.”
“Well, that’s dedication that is.”
After a pack of wolves is dealt with, Kairi grabs a few Gordok Chewey Toys, which look remarkably like human ears. Fair enough, dogs get pig’s ears to chew on. There is probably little difference between them.

In a round hall, ghosts stand watch under the arches. Ignoring the pack to the left and the right, the party walks past the debris, indicating that this was once a glorious hall, fit for a king indeed. Climbing up the broken dais, they venture to the left to kill some more watchdogs, who all have been generously gifted some chewing toys. After the pack is murdered, it is time for the boss. Hatti stealths to the middle, while Hillerson gears up to get into full charge. The wolf gets sent in, and a short but ferocious fight ensues to kill King Gordok, while Gompertz keeps Cho’Rush the observer occupied. As soon as the king is dead, all ogres become friendly instantly, deferring to the quite literal king of the hill. Mizzly the Crafter comes up to herald of the heroic defeat of the king, proclaiming this means that they are all king. All of them, like in Narnia where four can be king, only it’s five here. Ogres are not choosy, it seems, as long as someone can be blamed for everything that goes wrong, be it one person or a group.
Even before rolling, Gompertz loots the chest. It holds four major mana potions, two of which he donates to Bafrogar, as paladins should always stand together.
“Right. Roll for chest.”
Hillerson wins the loot, which would have been some good items before starting to raid.
“Oew, a tarnished elven ring. Those are pretty good.” Says Gompertz.
“They are, I had two for a while actually.” Adds Kairi.
“I thought they were unique.”
“Well, they are not.”

Kairi puts aspect of the pack on and starts to walk.
“I love Pack” Muses Gompertz.
“I know. The only good thing about hunters, I’ve been told.”
“I never said that.”
“No, a certain mage with a habit of dying as much as possible did. But it’s okay, he’s very generous with water whenever I need it, so I’ll just take the verbal abuse.”
The ogres are mighty friendly now, bestowing gift upon gift to make sure they will not be murdered by their new kings and queens. Slip’kik, not too smart, stuck in the ice, will give spell power, while Fengus gives attack power and Mol’dar bestowes the adventurers with Stamina. Some booze is bought at Stomper Kreeg, who is showing of some belly dancing, which is rather impressive seeing the amount of belly he has. Watching it for too long might make you a bit seasick though.
“Okay, well, time to get to Stormwind and get some more people in.”
While Kairi steps into the portal, a snowball hits her from behind. Hatti is going to get a really, really hard time when snowballs are readily available again for all.

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