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Fhenrir Phoenix is a tauren warrior that has served the Horde for over a decade. His staunch and unwavering commitment to fighting both the Alliance and the other threats from around the world has earned him the title of Lieutenant General. In the past, he struggled to find who he was beyond his duty. He has since settled into a (mostly) content personal life, with many close allies and a caring partner. He is generally ornery and humorless, but lets his guard down around those closest to him. But now... Fenny Cranksplat, in: "A Piece of Cake" One of my earlier memories is about a cake. It was at my birthday party. We were outside the house, sitting at a public bench in the park. Dad didn't invite anybody that wouldn't pay for their own food, so there were only Cranksplat family members watching when he brought out the cake. Crappy graying grass under the bench crunched with each of his steps, and he nearly slipped on an oil stain. But when the cake came down, I was thrilled to see it slathered in pink frosting and oozing some kind of chocolate sugary filling. Dad sliced a piece for me and set it on my plate. I must've had the biggest, fattest, happiest face an eight year old goblin could have. Then my older half-brother, Rigo, snatched my plate and started eating. I started bawling. "D-d-daaaad!" Dad slapped me in the back of the head. "Shaddap. I look like a cake dispensary?" I sniffed and watched my brother eating my chocolate oozing pink cake and was about to lose it again. "Pushovers don't eat," Dad said. Nearby in a pile of junk, I saw an old bent wrench. I wiped the snot off my nose, grabbed it, and beat my brother to a pulp. "Dat's my boy," I heard Dad say while I ate the rest of my reclaimed cake. After that, Rigo went to go live with Mom. Dad knew I was a fighter. When I was gettin' big enough to do proper work, he bought me my mech-mace. Well, he said bought, but it had an inscription on the handle that read "Love, Your Little Corkscrew." The spinning gears on the head looked kinda stupid, but they were supposed to make it 42% more Aerodynamic and 69% more Ouchy. "If you wanna keep eatin'," Dad told me, "ya better make dis a worthwhile investment." I worked my butt off every day with that thing, and by the time I was old enough to make myself useful, I went and got myself a job for the richest goblin I could find. Some jerk who counted coins at the bank needed some muscle to keep thugs out. "I... see. What makes you qualified to watch our gold, Mister... Fenny Cranksplat?" the banker asked as he read my resume. Well, it wasn't really a resume. It was a paper that I wrote "Hire Me" on, cause they said I needed a resume to apply. "I'm gonna level with you, buddy. Everybody in line out there bashes heads, probably about the same as I do. But," I dropped my mech-mace on his desk. "You don't have to pay to arm me. That's less risk on your end, cuz if I die or my stuff gets stolen, you didn't pay for a copper of it." The banker tilted his head and scratched his chin. The next day, I was working for the guy. I scratched my butt and leaned into anyone who looked funny for eight hours a day, and I was making more gold than Dad ever did. I had to crack a few skulls, but that was the way of things: either He probably resented me for it. Well, no, he definitely resented me for it. The old dope tried to rob me after I'd stashed up a couple months of pay under my pillow. I woke up one night face to face with him, his hand literally clutching my bag full of gold. "Hey," he said casually, sweat pouring down his forehead. I slept next to my mace, so I had it available to bash his head in. I woulda felt bad, but he kinda asked for it. By trying to steal my stuff. Nobody at the mortgage company really asked questions when I took over payments from my old man. They were still getting their gold, so they were happy. After a year or so working at the bank, I got approached by a guy in a shady outfit with a shady agenda. "Meet me in the alley down the block by the weird-smelling dumpster tonight. Got a job that'll triple yer pay." Didn't trust him for a second, but gold is gold, and my ladyfriend cancelled our plans for that night, so I went and checked it out. Flickering street lamp just outside the alley showed me the shadow of the guy waiting for me; the flabby, spidery shadow. Trade Prince Gallywix himself came out to meet me: maybe this really was something. He also had maybe a half dozen guards - that I could see, at least - surrounding him. "Hah, he actually came, boss!" one of them squeaked in an awful twang. "That he did," the Trade Prince said through his bouncing jowls. "So, your name is Fanny, right?" "Fenny." "All right, Fanny, here's the score. My boys say you got a night shift at the end of the week. You're gonna look the other way, for about two hours or so." "Why am I gonna do that?" "So ya don't have an affair with tha fishes tomorrow," another guard said in a leathery growl. I pulled the mech-mace off my back. "You wanna rumble?" "He's strapped!" the first guard shrieked. "No need for a rumble," the Trade Prince cut in. "It's bad for business. Tell you what: you do what you're supposed to, triple your pay." If I was loyal to one thing, it was to the coin. And a Trade Prince was worth way more than any random banker. His diet alone was probably worth more than my house; Gallywix had more chins than I had fingers. "Guess I won't see you later." The heist came and went, and I ignored it like I was supposed to. Once they were gone, I didn't even finish my shift: the bank was gonna know who to blame when their gold was missing tomorrow. Soon as the sun was up, I was at Gallywix's place. "Here to see the Trade Prince." "Shove off, no appointments for today." "He should be expecting me." "He ain't expecting you." "He ain't expecting a certain guy getting paid for a certain thing that wasn't observed last night?" The guards exchanged looks. "Be right back." One of them left, and I was left staring the other guard's ugly mug for just a bit too long. I was getting suspicious. Finally, the guard came back. "Go on in." So I get to the Trade Prince, hanging out in his spider tank thing. I had a sinking feeling when I realized just how much of an oily smell that thing put off, and how much noise it made when he moved around. Didn't notice either of those things in the alley. "You hinted at something out at the gate?" Gallywix said. "The job," I prompted him. "Ah, yes. Fenny Cranksplat, correct? The AWOL guard?" I was screwed. "Maybe. Listen, Trade Prince-" I didn't even get to finish my sentence. I woke up at the bottom of a trash chute. The only source of light was a square opening about three floors up. A goblin around my age poked his head through after he heard me shuffling around. "You awake? You must be the dumbest burglar on the whole island." "I didn't burgle anything." "Sure, sure. Hey, nice mech-mace, Little Corkscrew. Worth just enough to keep you out of cement shoes." They were gonna sell my mace. "I'll kill you!" I tried to climb up, but I couldn't get up the walls. They were coated in some kind of oil; or I hoped it was oil. "Clean up the whole place and we'll see about getting you a promotion!" "Screw yourself!" I shouted back. "Just think!" he called as he threw something into the chute that obscured the only source of light. "You could be "Lieutenant Garbage!"" The source of the shadow smacked into my face: A big piece of pink chocolate cake.
Fhenrir stood near the entrance to his outpost in Draenor, arms folded. The heavy plate armor over his thick Taurahe fur kept him well insulated, but he was still close to shaking. Not from the cold, but from sheer frustration. "No." Standing on the path just outside the gates was a herd of cattle. Run of the mill cows, the sort native to Elwynn and the rest of the Eastern Kingdoms. The cows had already been parked on the path for over an hour, and they seemed to arrive just as a shipment of resources was due to leave on that very same pathway. In the center of the herd was a lone orc with the features of an old man, but the energy of a young buck. A young buck that had frequently tried to seduce Fhenrir's wife back in the day. Jobolg wore the same grin Fhenrir had unfortunately come to know very well over the last decade. "Come on, Fhen. I wouldn't approach you about if it wasn't important!" "Yes, you would." "Okay, maybe, but listen. This really is important. Like, really important. Just take a chance and trust me on this. What do you have to lose?" "A lot." "Noooooo. Who's even paying attention to this Draenor anymore? The princess has left for another castle. The ships have sailed. The armies have moved on." "Not all of them." Fhenrir still took regular duty as a tactical officer on the planet, and helped hold positions against the Alliance. Both forces maintained fairly regular excursions to take advantage of the planet's ample resources. "A lot of them! There are demons everywhere on Azeroth! So this is the perfect chance to sneak in to Draenor and- err, totally innocently examine the effects of Azerothian life forms entering the ecosystem." "Let me be clear: No." "Come oooooooooon. The Horde has a lot to gain from this!" "Such as?" Jobolg paused a moment. "Unlimited supplies of meat?" Fhenrir was hesitant; that sounded too good to be true. But if there was even a chance, he'd be remiss to ignore the opportunity. "How so?" "These cows are clones!" Fhenrir took closer stock of the cattle. Sure enough, every cow had the same spotted pattern as the cow next to it. One patch of black over the left eye, and mixed black and white across the torso. "And you can produce them... indefinitely." "Absolutely!" Jobolg coughed after that, in such a way that he was probably mumbling some clause under his breath that Fhenrir couldn't quite decipher. "And you'll only do this if I help." "Your words, my friend!" Jobolg clapped him on the shoulder. "Your words." "And you'll move this herd so my supplies can be delivered." Jobolg grinned wide and devious. "So you'll do it?" Fhenrir wasn't sure how he always ended up agreeing to help Jobolg in his schemes. Every logical part of Fhenrir's brain told him he should hate Jobolg's guts, but there was something to Jobolg's charm that always won over some small part of Fhenrir. A small part that always got Fhenrir in trouble. ~ So Jobolg, Fhenrir, a squad of Fhenrir's Garrison troops, and a herd of cloned cattle began a trek through Draenor. "What's the destination?" Fhenrir asked. Again. "You'll see, you'll see!" Jobolg was positively thrilled. Fhenrir was not. "Jobolg..." "Trust me!" "Why would I ever do that?" Fhenrir grinned, the remark meant as a tongue-in-cheek jab. Though both knew there was truth in the statement, it didn't bother either of them. Jobolg offered a friendly laugh. ~ "Why would I ever do that?" Fhenrir asked again, this time with no smile. The caravan had come to a ledge overlooking Shadowmoon Valley. From a suspicious engineering bag that held far more material than anything its size rightly could, Jobolg had produced and assembled a mechanical cannon on the edge of the cliff, with a cow-shaped hole on the back just large enough to load the cattle into one at a time. "Fhen, this is critical. How else will I find out how these cows react to being introduced to Draenor?" "I'm not a biologist, but-" "Exactly, Fhen, you're not! But I AM a scientist! It's got "ist" on the end! Are you anything with "ist" on the end?" Fhenrir paused. "I don't think so?" "I don't think so, either! So help me shove this cow into the Cowapult!" Jobolg has already started shoving one of the cattle toward his machine. "I'm not shoving a cow into anything." Before Jobolg could protest further, one of Fhenrir's troops interrupted with a terrified scream. "ALLIANCE!" A team of troops descended upon the caravan. It was instant chaos. Blades clashed and the cows scattered. Fhenrir leapt into battle and immediately cleft some unfortunate gnome in two, then whirled himself toward a crowd of Alliance. They scattered in fear, but Fhenrir got a sinking feeling he and his troops were on the wrong side of this fight. One of the soldiers he smashed was carrying a pitchfork, and that brought Fhenrir to a halt. He leapt to the edge of the cliff and looked into Shadowmoon carefully. There, between a small crop of trees, was an Alliance farming outpost. With Jobolg's Cowapult aimed at it. "Jobolg!" Fhenrir shouted. "What?" Jobolg had just launched a volley of imps at some poor farmer. It was clear Fhenrir's caravan would take this fight; there didn't appear to be any Horde casualties. But even so, Fhenrir was enraged. "You're launching cows at a VILLAGE?" Fhenrir was fine with battling the Alliance, but these looked like civilians. And the plan was to fire cows at said civilians. "Fhen." Jobolg smiled. "I'm introducing them to Draenor's ecosystem." Fhenrir took a step forward to bash Jobolg's head in, but his attention was pulled to a stray cow wandering a little too close to the Cowapult. The machine reached out and enveloped the cow; it barely had time to moo before being sucked into the machine. "DAMN IT!" Fhenrir shouted. Jobolg grinned. "Fire in the hole!" He pressed a button on his belt. The Cowapult fired. Fhenrir ground his hooves into the ground, and leapt into the air over the cliff. He'd trained for years to leap directly onto his targets, to leap onto enemies, to leap from one airborne beast to another. But never was he aiming for an airborne cow. Still, Fhenrir collided with and caught the terrified animal midflight. They hurdled toward the village, but Fhenrir refused to become a tauren cannonball now. Just before they hit, Fhenrir mustered his energy and leapt again. With the cow in his arms, Fhenrir smashed into the dirt just outside the town. Fhenrir and the cow left a huge crater, and certainly drew the attention of every farmer in the village. "Fhen..." Jobolg's voice crackled over a small engineering device he'd glued to Fhenrir's belt. "I must admit, that was pretty cool." Fhenrir's back was buried into the dirt and the cow was resting on top of him. The beast had no interest in moving, especially as humans from the village, armed with torches and pitchforks, surrounded Fhenrir and his new crater. Fhenrir thought carefully about his next move, but that's when he looked at the cow and noticed something odd; the black spot was over its right eye. "Jobolg. Why does this cow look different?" "Oh, that! It turns out stealing cows and casting an illusion over them is a lot easier than actually cloning an army of them. Cloning cows would be immensely difficult and really not worth it at all." "So..." "Thanks for helping me get these little guys here!" Jobolg's voice crackled over the device one last time. "Fire in the hole!" The humans surrounding Fhenrir scattered as the Cowapult fired from the cliffs above. One by one, cows being used as ammunition rained down upon the poor farming village and people fled for their lives. Fhenrir sighed deeply, still pinned under the one cow he'd managed to save. The cow stupidly looked into Fhenrir's eyes, completely oblivious of what he'd just done for it, and lazily licked Fhenrir on the snout. The End.