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This is merely a silly story, and has nothing to do with anything that has ever happened or will ever happen inside the game. Spot each and every one of the seventy-six popular culture references in this story and win a cash prize! Rated PG-13.

Chapter III. To Entertain Strangers Edit

Exhausted, sweaty and hungry, Buri arrived in Stormwind. He had managed to sneak out of the base, travel on foot to the human town of Southshore, spend the night there, then pay for a ride all the way back to the capital. He knew exactly where to go for help, and he had it all planned out.

“This message is obviously very important”, he thought, staring down at the note in his hand; “…if I find out where these necromancers are and defeat them, I’ll be a hero! And they won’t be able to make a doomsday-device. Hurray!”

Buri hadn’t ever faced necromancers before, so he knew he needed some help. Throughout all his travels, he only ever encountered one paladin he knew where to find. But first, a quick snack was in order. Buri tucked the note away in his pocket and entered Trias’ cheese shop – it was quite late, and it looked like they were just closing. Ben Trias seemed to be the only one inside at the moment, and he was busy wiping the floors; as he noticed the dwarven customer, he quickly put on his yellow hat and greeted him with an “evening, sir.”

- Evenin’, Buri replied. “I was jes’ comin’ frem th’ gryphon area, when I suddenly ‘ame over all peckish.

- Peckish, sir? Ben replied, with a confused look on his face.

- I’mma hungry, said Buri, “…gimme’ sum’ Alterac Swiss!”

- I’m sorry, said the cheese merchant, “We don’t have any today.”

- Nevahmin’, said Buri, “Jes’ gimme’ sum’ Dalaran Sharp, then.”

- Sorry, sir, we just ran out of Dalaran Sharp, Ben explained.

- No matter, Buri sighed, “… som’ Cheddar then, please?”

- I’m sorry, sir, but never this time of the week.

Buri mumbled something rude, and then asked “Stormwind Brie?” to which the shopkeeper responded;

- I’d say yes, but we had a small rat-infestation here yesterday… all eaten.

Buri frowned. “Spiced Onion Cheese?”

- Sorry, sir, responded the shopkeeper.

Buri growled under his breath. “Any Holiday Cheesewheels? Kobold Fresh? Any Stranglethornian Junglecheese? Everlook Soft? Spiced Biggerwheel? Some Blue Gnomish, perhappies?”

Ben Trias shook his head.

- Well, screw yeh… useless gnoll-face, barked Buri, before he exited the shop and zigzagged his way towards the old town district. After reassuring himself that there were no bandits nearby, Buri sneaked up to the Pig n’ Whistle tavern and peeked inside.

He saw a couple of humans sitting at a table. One of them wore plate armour, and looked quite muscular. His visible skin was covered in soot, and his unwashed, blond hair was braided; his eyes were hidden behind a pair of large, strange-looking goggles.

Buri immediately recognized the human, it was the same human that helped him and his friend travel safely through the Swamp of Sorrows, long ago; and from the looks of it, he was flirting with Bartleby the Drunk.

Buri sat down next to him, poking him repeatedly in the arm. The tall, plate-covered human stared down at the dwarf through his goggles, commenting on the rudeness of gnomes these days.

- Clean yer goggles, Buri sighed, “Issa’ me, Buri.”

The human wiped his goggles off with his hand and stared down at the dwarf again.

- Sorry, he said, “It gets steamy in here.” He then turned back to Bartleby, and gasped as he realized he had been making moves on a man.

- I’ve been trying to tell you, retard, commented Bartleby, before leaving the two at the table.

“Sonar is sorry! Sonar didn’t hear!” shouted the plate-covered human, before straightening his braids out and staring down at Buri again.

- Liss’n, ‘uman, I need sum’ ‘elp with sum’thin’, whispered Buri, and then ordered himself a drink and some peanuts from the barmaid passing by.

- Right, said the human, “… just so you know, Sonar was not just hitting on that man. Sonar is in a committed relationship.”

- Sonar’s drunk, grumbled Buri while he pigged out on the peanuts.

- Sonar does not drink, commented the human and crossed his arms.

- Well, Sonar ‘till needs glasses, giggled Buri and stared at the huge goggles covering the human’s eyes.

- No, Sonar drinks from the bottle, retaliated the human and grinned at the joke he just made.

Suddenly, a muffled crunching could be heard, and Sonar turned his attention away from Buri.

- Sam…? Sam! No chewing the table! Bad Sam! Bad!

A mechanical squirrel crept up from under the table, eyeing its master. It spit out a few splinters and jumped up on Sonar’s shoulder, where it started cleaning itself, for some reason. Sonar urged his mechanical companion to say hello to Buri, who was too busy drinking a pint of cherry grog to care.

- Wha’ th’ hell d’ yeh keep that wee thin’ aroun’, Buri asked, “… all it evah’ ‘oes is cause trouble n’ chew on things.”

- Sonar would never abandon the wise sage, and the wise sage would never abandon Sonar, said the braided lunatic, and gave a thumbs-up.

“Besides, he isn’t a wee thing; he is a miniature-giant badger-hunter-companion!”

Buri sighed deeply, and emptied the bowl of peanuts into his pockets.

- Any’ay, I was goin’ t’ ask fer ‘elp. Yer paladin, ain’t yeh?

Sonar gave another thumbs-up, grunting “Uh-huh!”

- Great, great, sighed Buri, “I’mma havin’ trouble with sum’ necromancers… erh, coul’ yeh help me fight’em? It woul’ be awesum’. Jes’ a few of ‘em, methinks, n’ we’ll be ‘eroes! Well, me any’ay. So, what’yah say?”

- You don’t have to be a mighty paladin, like Sonar, to fight shadowy types, said Sonar, “… but it helps!”

- So… will yeh ‘elp me kill ‘em?

Buri looked hopefully at Sonar, who scratched his chin and corrected his goggles, while the mechanical squirrel picked at his ear.

- Sonar promised Prayher that he would be with her tomorrow, but if there are shadowy types that needs to get punched by Sonar’s mighty fists, Sonar will go there and punch the shadowy types with Sonar’s mighty fists! Where are they?

Buri checked his pocket, and stared at the note he stole from the scout. It said nothing at all about location.

- I’mma have t’ ask th’ person I foun’ th’ note on, grumbled Buri, “Bah’ it’ll only take a minute… when I ge’ back t’ Garok. Wanna’ come alon’? Yeh can wait outside th’ base.”

- Sonar will do so, Sonar exclaimed, “Sonar will punch those shadow-bad-guys in their stomachs, and then he will beat them until they promise they won’t stay alive anymore!”

The dwarf and the human left the inn and headed towards the gryphon area, only to find out that it was closed off for the night. Ever since the accident one week before that, almost no-one was allowed to fly at night. Two gnomes had been flying adolescent gryphons on a cloudy evening and collided with a male draenei (high on Winterfall Firewater) coming in from the north. This happened over the Burning Steppes, and all three, plus the gryphons, were crushed on the stairs of the Blackrock Mountain, where they scarred a group of orcish raiders for life.

“How th’ hell d’ yeh get high on firewatah, anyway?” pondered Buri.

- Sonar hears you can boil it and inhale the fumes, commented Sonar, “Not that Sonar would know anything about that.”

- Yeah… right, grumbled Buri, “Anyway, we need t’ get to Garok. Maybe we can ‘ead down tah’ th’ closest watah and grab a boat.”

- Sonar thinks the sun will rise up and go to bed again before we reach Hillsbrad in a boat, said Sonar and sniffed the air around him. “Do you smell gnome?”

From the shadows stepped a bearded little gnome, holding a staff. He stared angrily at Sonar, who gesticulated vigorously in his direction and said "Yep! Gnomes smell like candy."

“Name’s Puck; can I help you gentlemen with a portal?” uttered the gnome, and picked a stone from his pocket, with a glowing rune on it.

- Uh, yeah… d’ yeh make ‘ortals t’ Southshore?

Buri eyed the gnome up and down, while Sonar tried to calm the mechanical squirrel, who cowered in fear behind one of his boots.

The gnome gazed at the squirrel with a puzzled look on his face, then turned to Buri and said, “No, not really… I can give you a nice, safe portal to Ironforge, though. It’s a bit more costly, but it’s your only chance if you’re in a hurry.” The gnome pointed at the barred gryphon roost, a few hundred feet away.

- Sonar thinks we can wait until dawn comes again, said Sonar and gave another thumbs-up.

- Nuh-uh, Buri grunted, “We’re takin’ portal righ’ now, then we fly t’ Southshore. How much will it be, wee feller?”

“One coin for the human, two coins for you.”

Buri checked his pockets and handed the gnome three silver coins, and then pointed out that Sonar had to pay that back later. The gnome stared at the coins.

- Yes, yes, very funny - now hand me the gold, he exclaimed and threw the coins on the ground. Buri shrieked and ran to pick them up, while Sonar paid the gnome.

When two guards approached to see what was wrong, the gnome opened a shiny portal with a loud buzzing sound. Sonar carefully stepped inside, followed by Buri, who before he crossed into it, yelled “Help! Help! Th’ gnome is suckin’ us intah th’ nether!”… Just for the heck of it.

The guards rushed at the gnome, who cursed and quickly jumped into the portal himself, and closed it behind him.

- Aw, hot diggity dandelion, not again, muttered one of the guards and spat on the ground.

“Think it was some kind ‘o warlock, Zoiros?”, asked the other one.

- Ilithios, you stupid waste o’ life. That gnome opened a portal, only wizards do that, responded the first one.

“Maybe the warlocks have learned how to open portals! We’ll never catch ‘em now, when they’ll be all like… jumping in n’ out o’ the portals, and we won’t catch them, because they jump in n’ out… n’ summon demons, n’ kill people, but then jump into portal, n’ we can’t follow, ‘cause we can’t think with portals” whimpered the second one.

The first guard buried his face in his hands and muttered something about the whole city going to hell, then dragged the second one back to the command centre, where cake was served.

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