Pfft. Gnomer, foshizzle. A hop, skip, and jump to the west, and we were there.
And there he was, sitting just inside the instance's entrance. He was plopped on the floor, had a little fire going, and a can of Coke Zero was resting in his lap. His helmet was off, and it was partially filled with sunflower seed shells. He was reading a paperback book, "How to Win Friends and Influence People."
"So... is it any good?" we asked timidly.
"I wish I'd read it before I got my ass handed to me at Light's Hope Chapel. Maybe I wouldn't have lost control of those hundreds of thousands of Death Knights."
"Mind if I join you?"
"Mind if I convert you to evil and make you slaughter all your friends and family? Wait. Dale says to convert you to my way of thinking via anecdote... sure, sit down, dude.. Not sharing my soda, though."
"Nice to meet you, by the way. My name is BigRedKitty, and I'm a big fan of yours."
"I read your interview with Ghostcrawler. Nice work, making up interviews and getting paid for it. Where can I get that job?"
"You... um, you have a great job. You're Arthas!"
"And just what do you think that means; I'm Arthas."
"You're... you're Arthas! You're the whole deal, the big enchilada! Eleven million people want to find you..."
"And kill me."
"You're Alliance. You've got five million friends, minimum. Horde players, same deal. Burning Legion, they have all the demons to play with. Me..."
"You've got the Scourge!"
"I was corrupted by the Scourge and made the leader of it. I didn't want to be the big bad guy. I had a future in Lordaeron! I had a hot girlfriend..."
"You didn't really..."
"I had a hot girlfriend, a kingdom of my own, and I was going to be a righteous Paladin. Shoot, I've missed out on the entire Ret Pally OP thing!"
"Look at me. Do I look like I'm 'better'?"
And in truth, he looked pretty shabby. The ebony armor was showing a few scratches, the sword was a bit bent, the helmet was oozing spittle – Arthas was not a proficient sunflower shucker – and the cape had a tag sewn into the hem that said, "100% polyester blend". Certainly not epic gear, that's for certain.
"Look Arthas, you got a raw deal, I'll admit that. But here's the thing: you are the only 'Uncertainty' in the entire World of Warcraft. That's got to mean that somebody likes you."
"Yeah. Burning Legion, they had to be defeated. They're demons; nobody cares. Go back to old-world WoW. The Gates of Ahn'Qiraj. That invasion was doomed too, of course they'd be defeated. Every major world boss, instance, raid, and evil faction is guaranteed to fall to the might of the Horde and the Alliance. Except you. You're future isn't written yet. That's huge!"
"I'm going to die. That's a given."
"No, no it's not! You will either fall... or be Redeemed."
"Yes! Redemption is the core of almost every religious belief. When people finally get a chance to meet you in battle, they will eventually defeat you, as that's the whole point of putting you in the game as a raid boss. But when you're defeated, one of two things will happen: you'll either die, or you'll be set free. Imagine that, boy-o! Some uber raiding guild busts in your crib, smacks you around, eventually gets you down, and poof! Arthas is freed from the prison of his own making!"
"I'll admit it makes little sense to kill me off completely..."
"And you'd be mad as hell!"
"I would be pretty mad at the guy who corrupted me..."
"Arthas is back! He's got a fever, and the only prescription is..."
"NO! Not cowbell! REVENGE!"
And Arthas shot up and kicked the fire with his boot, sending ashes and embers down the elevator shaft, aggroing a bunch of Leper Gnomes.
"I'd be a pretty popular guy then, wouldn't I?"
"You'd be a bigger star than you are now, which is saying something. The next expansion could be called.. oh I don't know, "World of Warcraft: Arthas on the Warpath." The Alliance and Horde would help you hunt down and destroy the very creature who made you the Lich King, Ner'zhul!"
"Yeah, baby! Now that's right in my wheelhouse!"