Episode 44: The Terrible Tale of Carrotus Maximus - Part Two
The magical frogs had created a mess in Highpass. Soldiers had initially picked the frogs up to remove them from the camp, totally unaware that they were magical in the first place. From the sounds of it the first six soldiers had simply turned into frogs and started hopping around like the rest. This, of course, made killing the invaders rather troublesome as there were allies in the field that couldn't be easily distinguished from the attackers. To make matters worse, a few brave souls had attempted to scoop up their fallen frog friends only to discover that the magic persisted.
A dozen Highpass workers were now bouncing around among the original wave of magical frogs that came into the camp. Fortunately, the frogs could only turn people if they made direct contact with them. After quelling the initial panic that I found on my arrival, I was able to organize a frog-catching exercise. Blankets from the soldier's beds were thrown over the invaders and they were round up in short order.
As I put the last frog into a small container I had crafted as a prison, there was a bellowing horn that sounded in the distance. I had heard that sound before. They all had.
The Horde was coming.
"General! We're down to just a few fighting men," someone shouted. "We won't be able to hold them back!"
I grimaced. "Stay here. Don't touch these frogs. We need to scout out the situation."
Gron Canyon: Gorgrond
There was no doubt about it. The Horde were riding out of the canyon and they looked ready for a fight. The atmosphere between the Alliance and Horde had been one of uncomfortable acceptance, but increasing conflicts in Nagrand and Ashran were causing small uprisings to crop up all over the place. A tenuous peace treaty had brought them this far, but it seemed that old hatred was boiling up again.
There were at least fifteen riders. It was a mix of blood elves and undead from the looks of it. That wasn't totally surprising. The Orcs were caught up with their own concerns here on Draenor and the Tauren saw little reward from these smaller raiding parties.
Still, fifteen riders were far too many to hold off with the limited number of defenders left in Highpass. If I was going to help them, I needed to figure out how to turn the soldiers back into humans and organize a counterstrike. I wouldn't have time to turn that many...
A candle was lit in my mind. The perfect plan.
The same plan Fiona had for the monster carrot.
I turned back for Highpass. I was going to save them all.
The few defenders left had doubted my plan, but I was locked on target. I knew what I was doing and I was certain we could pull it off. I sent each of the able-bodied soldiers to defensive positions behind shrubs and rocks where the Horde would not see them. Then, they waited for the riders to arrive.
I stood under the main tent as the riders approached with weapons drawn. The few non-militant occupants cowered behind me but I didn't budge. The riders slowed as they saw the total lack of defense. All eyes locked on me.
He smiled at them and with a wave of his hand, ice surrounded the riders, locking them all in place.
The soldiers leapt from hiding, throwing their special attack directly at the horde assailants. As the attacks landed true, the Horde raiding party was suddenly turned from the intimidating war riders into small frogs. A blood elf escaped the attack by blinking away; a fellow mage, I realized.
Without his mount he was vulnerable and I quickly jumped to his location, hitting him again with the ice lock. The mage twisted around and blasted fire at me, but I had been a fire mage for years and years. There was nothing a fireball was going to do to stop me. A quick ice shield blocked the blast and as it melted away I reformed it into an ice lance and shot it forward. It speared the elf through the chest and the challenger fell dead.
"You should have let us turn you to a frog," I said as I turned back to camp.
By the time I walked back, the Alliance defenders had already used their bedding to round up the newly turned frogs and those that they had tossed into the fight.
"That's a lot of magical frogs," a dwarf said as he held up the heavy sheet filled with the creatures.
I grabbed the bag and looked down at all the squirming reptiles. I scrunched my face and then looked back to the dwarf. "Okay, we pull them out one at a time and I'll remove their curse. If it's a horde we take them prisoner. If it's one of ours we put them back to work."
"Aye, let's do it then."
I rolled up my sleeves and tried my best to remember the spell to remove a curse. It had been a rather long time since I had used that ability. I set my staff to the side and looked to the sack of frogs.
It was going to be a long day.