Jun 05, 2020 8:34 AM
welcome to the world of warcraft
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Kobolds are pesky critters who live mostly underground. Their preferred habitat is a mine dug by other people, because mining is hard work. Goldshire has a lot of mines, because of all the gold. Hence, y'know, the name. There are several that have been tapped dry, and therefore are attractive to kobolds. Normally it's the job of the Stormwind Guard to patrol these abandoned mines regularly and keep the kobold presence down to a level that won't affect the villagers. However, the Guard has been stretched thin of late, doing who-knows-what at the whim of various nobles. To make up for this, a militia has been organized, consisting of grizzled old veterans too old for active service and eager youngsters who want something more out of life than the same boring job as their parents.

The target of choice today is Echo Ridge Mine in Northshire, one of the oldest in human lands and fairly swarming with kobolds. They're not much of a challenge for even the inexperienced adventurer, but if you're not careful, one can get up close and BONK you right on the head with a crude club.

As just happened to Theriel.

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"Theri!" a voice calls out. A fireball wooshes past to hit the kobold squarely in the chest. It runs around in a panic for a moment, then flops over with a dramatic final gurgle.

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Theri is on the ground now.

"Ow?" she says, in the puzzled tones of a person who does not clearly remember how she got to be on the ground. 

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"Oh my gosh, are you okay?" Her friend Diane rushes up to her side. "Here, I think I have an apple somewhere..." She starts patting the pockets in her favorite red shirt. She sewed it herself, saying that no one else will ever put as many pockets on a garment as she needs.

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Ten minutes ago she was sitting at a computer. Ten minutes ago she was also hunting kobolds with her friend who she has known for years and has also never met. 

"My head hurts," she reports, slightly unsteadily. "Um. Apple sounds great thank you you're great." She glances down at herself to check whether she is otherwise okay and does a slight double-take. 

Is she holding a mace? Wait, of course she is, she mined the ore herself to take to the blacksmith and everything, it took forewhat

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"Aha!" Diane pulls out an apple, only slightly bruised, and offers it to Theriel.

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Spectacular. Now she can eat this apple very gratefully and have an excuse not to have to say any words using her face for a minute. 

Which is good, because they would be very garbled words, because Theriel is deeply, deeply confused. 

On the one hand, of the two sets of memories she now seems to have, the set where she remembers Diane and Goldshire and learning to use this heavy two-handed bludgeoning weapon are probably her real memories, since here she is in Goldshire with Diane. But on the other hand, the other set of memories seem to contain a lot of things Theriel of Goldshire could not possibly have just imagined in their entirety and had them be remotely internally consistent, such as for example a working understanding of computers or the ability to do calculus, and they are quite sure that Goldshire is not a real place. Although she's not sure she can derive the fundamental theorem of calculus from memory, maybe she is just hallucinating that it's a real thing? Is it possible to hallucinate so hard you invent Microsoft Office?? 

... huh, she feels way better now. Like, a weird amount better considering she almost certainly just got concussed. 

She tilts her head, pokes herself in the temple. No more pain. "Nice. Thanks Diane, you're a lifesaver." 

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"Ehehe." She smiles smugly. "The power of pockets."

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"The most important part of clothes." Nod, nod. 

Theriel gets up and dusts herself off. Blue pants, front-laced shirt, boots, mace. Okay, so she has... generic rpg starting equipment, that's totally fine and not at all weird. 

She hefts her weapon. The weight of it is strangely, comfortingly familiar. 

"Alright, let's try that again, shall we?" 

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"Yeah! This time try remembering to dodge or block or whatever it is you do with that thing. My back's gonna start hurting if I have to carry us all day."

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"Rude," says Theri, extremely fondly. 

And so they attempt to fight kobolds again. Whether or not she hallucinated the existence of computers, it does seem like if she tells her body to attack that thing right over there, it definitely has - 

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- a cached response. 

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The kobold does not like this very much. In fact, it very much does not like this.

Its indignant screech is cut short by another fireball to the chest. "HaHA! Take that!" crows Diane. "Nice one, Theri."

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She grins broadly in Diane's general direction and goes after the next one. 

Hitting actual monsters in real life with an actual weapon is, it turns out, at least twice as satisfying as either of hitting actual people with fake weapons or hitting imaginary monsters with imaginary-real weapons. It is therefore incredibly tempting to dash around at top speed swinging wildly at everything and cackling, but - mages run out of mana, don't they? Theriel keeps half an eye on the one backing her up, ready to stop and wait if it seems called for. 

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She waves for a pause after the next one, pulling a small flask out of a pocket and sitting down to drink.

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Obliging pause. (Bounce gleefully on toes, spin in a circle.) More time to figure out what in the absolute heck is up with her brain. 

She grew up not so far from Echo Ridge Mine and yet, also, doesn't remember having heard of it, or going there. The nearest memories she can summon up of Goldshire involve getting sucked into open-world PVP somehow. (Into what now, why does she have a mental image of the street full of fire and orcs, that definitely didn't happen.) Did she forget doing this quest at first level? (Is she first level, what does that even mean.) Wasn't there something with - lots of open fields, and a mage in a Stormwind Guard uniform who was very proud of her when she threw her first Judgment and it wasn't Diane - 

This is fine. She's fine. Smashing kobolds is a fantastic stress relief mechanism. 

"Good to go?" 

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"Ye-" She goes to put the bottle back in her pocket, then stops. "-Actually no. Need to summon some more water." She tosses the bottle aside. It poofs into nothingness when it hits the ground.

Diane holds her hands in front of her, making arcane gestures and muttering under her breath. A new flask appears in her hand, and she stuffs it away. "Okay, good to go."

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Magic is neat. 

She is gonna be so jealous when Diane learns to teleport but, also, she is going to get to jump off buildings and bubble her way out of taking any damage and she cannot wait to find out how much more fun that is in real life. Er, assuming that's actually how that works. 

... Well, off they go again, and presumably eventually they will kill enough kobolds that she will get some evidence of how much reality resembles this video game she may or may not have hallucinated, right? Because either they will, unlike video game characters, experience normal human fatigue, or they will, like video game characters, level up. 

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There's no ding, but neither is she overly tired by the time they've killed eight more kobolds. The remaining ones start shouting about candles and run away.

"I think that means we win!"

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oh no the candles now she's sad about killing them get it together, Theri, if this is fake they're fake and if it's real they've been attacking real people. 

"Yeah! We were awesome!" Enthusiastic fist-pump. 

And now they ... collect payment? Loot the kobolds? Why is she expecting to see a floating yellow question mark that she can follow to know what to do, that is actually insane. 

Let's go with looking for loot, followed by reporting back to whoever is in charge of this little militia. 

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They can scavenge a few copper pieces plus some miscellaneous shiny things from the bodies. Diane also collects some scrap fabric. It needs washed, but is still usable.

Then it's back to Marshal McBride at Northshire Abbey, who is in charge of the militia efforts here.

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Ooh, miscellaneous shiny things! None of them good enough to make jewelry out of, probably, more's the pity. Theriel cheerfully reports to Marshal McBride that she and Diane killed ten kobolds, and is there anything else she/they can do to help? 

She resists the urge to add "arrest a large and memetic gnoll, perhaps," because that would be a bizarre thing to say and also possibly they would die, but only barely. (Should she be caring about efficient leveling? Eh, probably not, she's never leveled efficiently in her life. And the plot is all the way in the ocean right now or something anyway, right, they pretty much ignored the whole sword of Sargeras thing because Azshara is the exciting new - wait, why do her hallucinatory memories think there's a giant sword in the planet. Theriel does kind of live in the middle of nowhere and everything relatively speaking but she's pretty sure she would have heard about that.) 

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There's been reports of a group of bandits nearby. They could check it out, if they're so eager to help. Milly Osworth is hanging around the monastery somewhere, and may know more. Marshal McBride will continue to stand here, overseeing things. It's a very important job, and keeps him quite busy.

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If she's going to live here and be a paladin she probably needs to get over being nervous about hitting actual people with actual weapons smart quick, huh. 

.. Yeah, she's down for investigating some bandits. With Diane, hopefully. "You're in, right? Can't very well go fight things by yourself without me between you and the kindling," grin, "you'd get hit with a single leaf and die or something." 

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"Excuse you," she pouts. "I'll have you know that I have weeded entire gardens without incident. But yes, obviously I'm in."

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Giggle.

And they're off to see Milly Osworth! 

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