At the start of this year I was really enjoying Heroes of the Storm, a new DotA-clone by Blizzard Entertainment. I was even going to write a review before the beta came out, but then the beta re-worked my favorite hero and I lost interest (even though he was too powerful, so he deserved it). Before I started drafting the review though, I wrote some HotS fan-fic on a flight somewhere. Mostly because of the challenge, this isn’t a deep and lore-driven world like the three it’s based on. But I overcame that, to write this backstory for the map “Dragon Shire”.
It was a dark and stormy dragon-knight. The nexus was trying random hybrid combinations to create the ultimate warrior, and this knight’s blackened scales and brooding personality terrified his opponents. His plaited mane and centaur body less so. But the nexus is eternally persistent in its efforts to smash worlds together, so this was not the last dragon/knight to grace its lands. Amidst its many battles, terrible combinations unfolded. The horse kick followed by dragon breath. The knight breath followed by talon strike. And the axe-to-the-face followed by flying away. Then, one day, there chanced to be a permutation with axe-to-the-face followed by dragon breath. And the Nexus was finally content. With the body of a dragon, and accouterments of a knight, this hero was ready to face the storm! But, was the storm ready to face him?
In the eternal tavern, other heroes gathered to discuss the newcomer:
Abathur: Dragon sequences superior. Must assimilate.
Malfurion: No-one should have that kind of power. I would imprison him eternally beneath the earth.
Illidan: Is that your answer to everything, brother?
Diablo: He will be rent asunder by my fury!
Raynor: Cool down there fireball, you got the stinker trophy back already when they ditched “knight-breath”.
Tyreal: Together, we will exact justice. But how?
And so, the heroes hatched a plan to get rid of that troublesome knight once and for all. Not an easy task in the constantly reshaping nexus. Soon enough, the heroes were back in the garden of terror for another brawl. This area was a fearsome, over-grown labyrinth centered around a giant Venus Fly-trap. I say “fly” trap, because it would eat anything that flew – from insects to air-ships. It loved to pick things up with its thorned vines and hurl them into the air, thus adding new things to its menu. While battle raged around it, the heroes kept their nefarious plan in the back of their minds. And when the fly-trap wrapped its thorny vines around the dragon knight, the other heroes executed their bold, decisive plan in-sync. All of them walked away hurriedly, whistling and turning their backs. Most dastardly, they left him alone in the plant to be slowly digested over the next few years. The dragon knight could not see this of course, he was still struggling against the squeezing stomach walls of the giant plant. The gastric muscles ripped the axe from his hand, and he unleashed a howl of frustration like only a dragon can. A howl of fire. As the highly flammable digestive juices began to break down his armor they realized that they were a highly flammable fluid in a confined space, now sharing it with fire. The resulting explosion took out most of the battleground. Flaming plant-meteors bombarded the landscape. Anything that survived the initial impact did not survive the wildfires that scoured the garden and turned it entirely into an ashen wasteland. After everyone (including the dragon knight) respawned, everyone (excluding the dragon knight, and certain pyromaniacs) was displeased.
Sgt. Hammer: What kind of a plan was that? You torched that garden so fine, it’ll be closed for weeks.
Uther: The little light there is in this cursed place must be protecting him.
Kerrigan: We need a better plan than just killing him or leaving him to rot.
Nazeebo: We need somtin’ tha’ pleases the spirits here mon. Somtin’ to up the battles when he’s gone.
Tyrande: We do have a plan to decorate the battlegrounds with his corpse…
And along that line of thinking, the heroes prepared for their next round of battle. This time, on Pleasant Shire. Pleasant Shire was a verdant green grassland, where minions wore happy face masks permanently bolted to their faces. Where tower shot flowers, with powers (they explode)! It was Draggie vs Malfurion in the center of the three lanes when the battle started, but before the contest truly began everyone converged on the dragon knight. Betrayed by his own team, he had been forcefield-ed into a corner.
“You cannot contain me!” bellowed the dragon knight. Tassadar began to implore Malfurion, “Hurry, while the force field holds him.” As Malfurion began to read his scroll of power, the dragon knight reached into his armor and pulled out a scroll of his own! Fevered chanting filled the air,
Dragon Knight: Ka’lat za ben zct ka….
Malfurion: Anadu fallah beth ell…
Murky: C’mon Malfie, you can do it! Malfie, malfie, malfie! Do do do do do it… [translated from Murloc]
And at the same time, they all fell silent and each began to have its effect (except Murky, who effectively was annoying Malfurion a long time ago).
The dragon knight began to swell in size, crushing the forcefield as it rapidly outgrew its confines. But at the same time the scroll of petrification took hold, rooting him in place as the as the curse of stone crawled up his feet and onto his legs. He was barely outgrowing the petrification process when his massive growth halted. His lungs turned to stone as he shouted “Noooooooo!” to the smiling, yet uncaring, landscape.
Everyone looked back at the hall of storms for a moment, as their hopes hung in mid-air. Would the nexus revive him, and this would all be for naught? They waited, and waited a full six seconds before Tychus’ gun “accidentally” went off and the brawl resumed.
Twenty minutes later they were back at the tavern’s hearth, except the dragon knight, celebrating a successful mission. They had chopped up the dragon knight’s chair into kindling, before remembering it was fire-proof, and then buried it. And the nexus remade that verdant shire around the massive statue, and still lets the dragon knight out on weekends. Or whenever it amuses the mindless thirst for battle that the nexus is made of.