Sunday, March 20, 2011

Invoking Parlay

Mat sips a rum & Diet Lime Coke in Ratchet...
Many seasons ago...when the crisp fall air began to snap at tails and tabards, Mat became restless as the skittering leaves. And though she fears to confess these swaggering stories, for the reprimand, betrayal, and distrust they may conjure, she feels she must have others take heed, for dead men, indeed, tell no tales. 

These are the stories of her brief days flying the colors of the Bloodsail Buccaneers. Death Knights, who have crossed to the other side and back through the fire, blood, and frost, returning from the dead, have no fear of crimson fights and traitorous acts. Mataoka regrets the influence of a Death Knight, and the opportunistic achievement which cost her dearly. She keeps her Bloodsail garb in her bags, along with the title of Bloodsail Admiral, but rarely, if ever, takes them out. The bloodstains of the hearts of goblins will never wash away in the ocean's tide. 

So on this warm fall day, she jumps in with both hooves and no thought to the consequences, declaring war among her once loyal friends of the Steamwheedle Cartel, she and others plunder, pillage and butcher their way across Booty Bay. Mat finds herself entrenched deeper, crossed over the point of no return, and any forming regrets are not afforded the voice or chance--this is her worst moment, her darkest decision.

The impulsive Death Knight is warned by a member of the Alliance not to kill the banker...or there will be hell to pay, and the Devil himself will collect. The banker's soul is snatched by boiling blood, and the Alliance returns as a Horde shadow priestess. And although Mat pleaded with her, begged her--it was not her fault, she just wanted the title, the priestess kills her repeatedly. She resurrects, and is targeted. Mat's soul, damaged and bruised by the traitorous act, is further diminished by the priestess's soul-sucking spells.

Now for those of you who are thinking that Mat was only getting what she thoroughly deserved, you are correct. But until you've stood on the other side of the looking glass, until the mirror-mirror has told you you are no longer the fairest, or the rabbit hole's roots and vines don't ensnare your descent, you may not understand that every hero needs a moment of facing her dark side in order to return to the light...

And so Mat did.

She paid the devil his due. And proceeded to seek redemption and forgiveness--

Wearing a target, the red maligned goblins of Booty Bay, Everlook, Gadgetzan and Ratchet would summarily kill her on site. She would fly in nearly nude, vulnerable, but still extolled price of repairs, cloth, and travel days. This reputation took her seven times as long to repair as it did to exact. She is considered honored again with Booty Bay and Ratchet, but only neutral with her once- friendly Gadgetzan and Everlook. She sighs with relief and remorse every time she flies into one of these zones and isn't netted and shot. 

She learned the hard way where the graveyards and the flight paths cross.

It may not be possible to reach this achievement in the new world. The goblins are much stronger, and unless you truly have a death wish, Mat implores you to learn from her mistake and do not attempt this bloodstained and dubious achievement. 

Mat's friends know of these days, purse their lips, and are silent as stars. Their eyes speak loudest: their disappointment of her poor judgment is clear. Her friends would not offer tithe, bail money, or distract the bondsman; she came back and paid her dues all on her own. 

Aye, matey -- that's a tale worth hearing.

Postcript:  It would be cheaper to buy a football team named the Bloodsail Buccaneers than to pay the price of gold, cloth, time, and reputation. But at least you'd have the cheerleading outfit.

Theme songs:
"Remember (Walkin' In the Sand)" --The Shangri-Las
"Nobody's Fault but My Own" -- Campbell/Beck

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