Krasarang Wangliang (Demon of Krasarang Jungle)

My father would say, “the jungle – it is always watching, waiting. You must respect it – what it can do, without fear.” I could remember looking over the hills, they would break and crumble from the soft, grassy sage fields into the jagged rocks and twisted branches of the trees below. And it was quiet – the hum of insects chirping in the fading golden sunlight, draining behind the Valley of the Four Winds, but nothing else but an occasional whisper. A whispering breath of a breeze.

Soon it would be dark and we would set in for the night over a huge bowl of noodles, or stew, or dumplings that mother would make. He always said, stay away from the jungle – it hungers. Curiousity was the lure of the Krasarang, he warned sternly, it will gnaw at you like late afternoon hunger until you convince yourself to take a step into its shadowy paths. Never go alone and never at night. I never understood why his teachings came so clearly AFTER I had ignored them – my mind was racing as a looked along the wrinkled roots and uneven ground for a hint of a well worn path.

It was this way, I assured myself trying to calm my racing heart. Focus, I thought taking in a slow cool breath through my mouth, pausing, and mindfully releasing it. Chi, be mindful of your chi – don’t give into fear; the sha can see you when you are fearful I remembered. That never seemed to help.

The sun had set already and what little light was beginning to fade as slowly as my hope for getting back before dinner, and worse, before anyone noticed I had gone. If I could find the shoreline, at least I could follow the coast back to the hillside near home. I wondered if Yunqi had made it back, her constant pleading not to go further was tempered by her curiousity for adventure. The wincing pang in my stomach was either hunger or guilt, at this point I couldn’t–

Something screamed in the jungle or was it a bird, a hozen? Focus…breathe. Another slow, shuddering inhale – hold it – mindfully release. That horrible sound still echoed in my head like something mocking or in horrible pain, shrill at first and quickly lowering to a moaning growl. Then I realized – I could hear the ringing in my ears and the faint pulse of my heart throbbing. The jungle was silent as if with that noise it held its breath in apprehension of what was taking place within it. A convulsion of noiselessness in what should have been a chorus of life. And whatever made it – whatever caused it is in here with me.

wangliang

I made my way down the uneven slope, the soft warm soil caking beneath my feet, when a chilling memory interrupted my progress. It was a nursery rhyme we used to sing:

“Beware the Wangliang, Feeding on fear, Demon of Krasarang, Pities not a tear, Slaying the straying, Their cries draw him near.”

Looking up I could start to see the first stars appeared twinkling coldly as spectators to my fate almost cheerfully applauding my situation. Ahead I could see a glimmer behind the strange shadows the trees would cast in the dying embers of sunlight. It was late in the season for glowflies – they usually come out later this time of year.

A breeze softly blew, I could hear it, yet I felt no wind on my fur. I stopped, heart beginning to pound again with the drumming of my pulse thumping in my ears. The sound of the breeze continued, the sound of air moving softly but no leaves rasping, no blades of grass rustling, it was not the wind. I strained and squinted to see what that light was – a campfire? It flickered and fluttered like a torch in the wind and that whispering sound grew softer still until I saw it – the golden eyes flickering like embers in the darkness. The dim outline of a fanged mouth agape, almost in a death grin and as I looked adjusting the the shadows, my eyes screamed in horror as my knees became numb. My heart pounding I could no longer feel it beating – frozen in fear.

A body crumpled and shriveled lay in the dirt below, it moved – or was it the shifting light? Did it? Yes, it moved almost imperceptibly slow, a hand, a claw weakly moving as if swatting an insect away in futility as a shimmering cascade of glowing golden smoke drifted up into the mouth of the Wangliang.

I closed my eyes – I think I did, but I could still see everything happening. I leaned in closer to the form of whatever — I gasped breathlessly. Did I make a sound or was that in my head? The smoking heap, almost amorphous in its spasms and convulsions shifted to reveal a face. Eyes, nose, cheeks – a face, a face I could recognize, the face of Yunqi – gaunt, pale, flesh draped over a skull like a caricature drawn over a skeleton. Its – her – eyes fixed on me somehow with maddening focus as if standing in full daylight and her jaw dropped open with a horrible, hoarse, dry gurgling rattle and uttered, “Run”.

Ch 16 – Some things are better unexplained…

The dim stairwell filled an array of shapes and smells from the jungles as passengers from the zepplin disembarked. Some were tired guards returning from Grom’gal camp others were goblin porters and tower crew scrambling to prep the ship for a snappy turnaround. It was perfectly noisy and busy enough to provide Ras and I with cover while we waited. Occasionally, part of a yell would pierce the grumbling and shuffling echoing like an unnatural waterfall. As the last of the passengers worked their way down the steps, Ras looked at me with a sickened stare – silence.

Both of us opened the door, ignoring whatever noise we made only to find Felicious standing over the broken and bloody body of Dinburg strewn over his desk, legs dangling. Felicious looked at me puzzled, sharpening her already razor like nails with a small file, “I think we’re done here”, she said with a disappointed smirk.

“Keeezan! Felicious! You KILLED him?!”, I shouted, unaware of the echo trailing from the hallway.

“What can I say? He didn’t have enough…stamina for me I guess.”, she said with an evil wink.

There was a two or three second pause as Ras and my life flashed before us thinking how we were going die and from whom first. “Ras”, I said, “close the door…quickly- QUICKLY”

I started to pace, then grabbed Ras by the cheeks, “Whadda we gonna do? Wait! You’re a priest right? We just heal him back up and Snappo!”

Ras looked at me dumbfounded, “Grim…I’m a warlock” promptly slapping me across the face in my desperate delirium, “we don’t heal, we soul steal – remember?”.

“Engineer!”, I said spinning Ras around shouting, “you got cables?!”

Ras looked at me in disbelief, “Oh, I wouldn’t use them on a goblin – that’s…that’s”

“Perfect”, I said grabbing one of the ends out of his netherweave bag. “Felicious! You prop up what left of his shoulders so I can plug this end in here! Ras you get the other end and stand behind Felicious and make sure we’re grounded or whatever and crank these babies up!”

Felicious grabbed Denburg under the shoulders, his head slumping forward into her chest. Ras was close behind Felicious cranking up the battery, “Hey, would’ya mind the tail?” and I was behind Denburg clipping on cable to his side and propping him up from behind. Ras sparked the cables up with a hissing buzz when the door opened.

A gobliness technician came in holding a stack of reports complaining, “Would you believe they forgot to bring the shipment of little paper umbrellas from Grom’gar – AGAIN! I don’t know what’s gotten into them down there, they must have a case of jungle…”

She stopped mid-sentence to see the four of us clumped together in what appeared to be some sort of ritual weirdness, “Oh…”

“You can…you can leave those on the chair for Mr. Denburg…we’ll uh…we’ll be done here in just a minute, uh- I think.”, I stumbled trying to look like we knew what we were doing.

“S-sure…you want me to come back in a min- an hour… later! I’ll come back later after your cabling – COPULATING – um…”, and she slammed the door behind her.

The cables discharged and Denburg’s body began to stir…

Chapter 14 – Igniting the Past

We decided not to test Uncle Tizzo’s threat on becoming turtle bait and the mood on ship. Ras was able to book windriders for us to Orgrimmar and we found lodging at The Broken Tusk. Gryshka, the innkeeper, was able to find us some woolen wraps and put us upstairs. It was still dark when we rose from what little sleep we could get. Ras was brewing a mug of goldthorn tea when I came in from outside.

“You couldn’t sleep either?”, he asked quietly. “How are we going to get anything from this Denburg? We can’t just march into his office and start asking questions. We should forget this and move on, there’s bigger adventures out there for two enterprising warlocks like us.”

“I had to catch up with an old flame.”, I growled still not full awake, “She might come in handy.”

Ras went back to finishing his tea and we gathered our things and settled up with Morag, the barkeep who was quietly opening up. Shafts of red and golden light stretched next to shadows through the city giving it an unworldly glow while we worked our way through the center of town towards the zepplin towers. The streets were thick with activity, orc soldiers moving from place to place, tradesman barking their wares, and the Auction House had already been open for an hour.

“Grim, let’s look at the zepplin schedules – they’re in front of Grommash Hold; we might find out when he’ll be there.”, Ras whispered trying to be positive. The Warchief’s command palace jutted out of the center like a burning blackened tusk. It was defiant, standing squarely in the middle of the Valley of Strength, forcing you to yield around it in order to get anywhere in Orgrimmar. We moved from the crowds of people along the main road to the building and passed by a pair of Kor’kron soldiers. One of them put out the but of his sword, still in it’s scabbard, “What business do YOU have little one?”, he asked. The other soldier smirked and looked at the crowds.
“Just wanted to check the zepplin schedules, uh, sir.”, I said trying not to irritate the guard – and Kor’Kron guards are very easily irritated.
The guard face scowled with one lower tusk justting up from his lip in annoyance, “You want THAT board,” pointing as grabbing my head and screwing it to the right.

As we stumbled over to the parchment schedules, I found Denburg’s name scrawled on the roster – he was due in this morning from the Undercity. I was just about to make a note of it when there was arguing, then something large knocked me over stomping past. A goblin hurled to the ground with a thud, “I’ll get us on scheduuule!”, he cried sailing through the air. He grabbed his yellow engineering helmet and scrambled to grab his papers and began to scurry off.

“No more EXCUSES. I want that zepplin fleet ready to assemble our forces in Northrend or your head will adorn the first prow out of Orgrimmar!”, Garrosh Hellscream boomed, standing over the trembling crowd.

I looked at Ras, “That’s our in.”, and we followed him from a short distance. He was hurriedly looking through his papers and apparently running late. We barely kept up pushing past orcs, trolls, and other creatures filling the winding dusty roads. As he walked behind a table and put down his things, he wiped a rag across his grease smeared face, turned and saw us, and asked, “Yeah, yeah, whaddaya want?”

“I’m here to see Denburg please.” I said trying to be as polite and important sounding as I could.

The mechanic just looked back at me, “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that – did you say Denburg? As in Skymaster Denburg? You gotta be kiddin me. Beat it.” The mechanic grumbled some obscenities under his breath shaking his head and chuckling to himself. He grabbed a spanner from under the counter and started to head out the doorway.

“I see,” I said in a repressed urgent tone, “I guess the Overlord’s report will have to wait. We were on our way here when…”

The mechanic turned his head to look back and sneered, “Beat it pal, you don’t look like orcs to-“, before he dropped his spanner with a loud ping. Visibly shaken, he came back to us and stammered, “Wait a minute, you were there when the– Oh, uh, I’m uh… I hope you don’t take offense to… I mean, I didn’t realize…”

Ras leaned forward and smiled, “Is Skymaster Denburg available? It won’t take long.” I think Ras actually began to enjoy watching the mechanic squirm.

“No, um – Yeah! Wait, he’s uh… He’s actually here from the Undercity – the towers at Undercity. I can get you to see him – now, you’ll, you’ll remember that, right?”

“I would hope you wouldn’t mention this to anyone, it’s…official business.”, I added as Ras nodded thoughtfully. We walked up the steps to the flight deck where the operations area was. Ras whispered to me, “You really think we’re gonna be able to get anything other than thrown off the tower for this?”

“I called in a favor…but it ain’t gonna be cheap”, I said shaking my head.

“How’s that pal?”, the mechanic asked.

“Oh, I said ‘Say, this is pretty steep'”, smiling as best I could; it seemed to be a good enough answer as we continued up. Turning back to Ras, I whispered, “Don’t worry, I got us some help, she’s done this sort of thing before and – she’s a pro – ain’t that right babe?”.

Ras looked in the dimly lit stairwell and could faintly make out a beautiful shadow of a face, a succubus. “Grim, you brought one of them?! Are you crazy? She’s likely to kill us as well as everyone else up there for the sheer thrill of it”.

Before I could say anything, a cold, spaded tail gently covered my mouth and a seductive whisper echoed from the dark, “You remember that cupcake…”

Guild Bank’s Full – What do you do?

If the guild bank is too full, you do have another option, especially for mats or higher end crafted items that could be sold. Send any mats or items to Grimfeather at the guild “The Laundromat Bank”. Grimfeather allows us to have an additional 3 tabs (and growing) of materials. If interested in helping sell goods, you could whisper Grimsparkle about creating a bank alt toon and joining “The Laundromat Bank”.

He's all beefcake and business...

Machinima Work Update

A draft version of the Laundromat interior

Started work on an interior digital set for the Laundromat lore. Its bare bones right now but the employee uniforms and goblin washing machines look nice. Eventually one of them gets retrofitted to make “Go Juice”, slang for goblin espresso with disastrous results.

First Post

This is the first post for our guild site. Here there will be a recruitment form and other fun stuff as well as some machinima once things get started.

If you are interested in joining the guild, you will need to be on the Shu’halo server and look from Grimsparkle, Zuel, or Raspootin.