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I’m just a humble demon. I don’t pretend to know how humans live, but I do think it’s odd that they call this place the Eastvale Logging camp, despite the fact that it’s larger and more populated than the town of Goldshire. The logging camp has three houses, stables, a lumber mill, lots of inhabitants, and even a crowd of delicious-looking children.

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Supervisor Raelen is in charge of this little corner of the insane asylum that people call the “Eastern Kingdoms.” Norman introduces himself and gives her his usual self-destructive offer of help.

“I’ve got a real problem on my hands,” she says. “I have a deadline looming for an order of lumber, and I’m running out of time. The wolves and bears north of here have forced my workers to run away from the bundles of wood that they’ve already chopped.”

“Your workers ran away from piles of wood?” I ask. Norman usually kicks me for remarks like this, but this time he lets it slide.

“I need someone to go collect the wood for me,” she continues. “If you could collect eight bundles of wood for me I might just make my deadline!”

Norman sighs, “I see where this is going. Let me guess: you want me to go out there by myself and get torn apart by bears and wolves so that your gang of men with axes will remain safe?”

“I’ve already talked to the guards about clearing the animals,” she adds.

“Oh? Well, then, splendid!” Norman says with surprise. “We’ll wait until they’re done.” He sits down and makes himself comfortable.

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“Hey genius,” I say. “That’s you.”

“What is?” Norman asks.

“The person clearing the animals. Remember earlier? Guard Thomas asked you to kill a bunch of wolves and bears? Obviously she asked him to do it and he passed the job to you. You’re waiting for yourself.”

“Blast it.”

We hike into woods and begin killing wolves.

This quest used to really irritate me, pre-Cataclysm. See, originally they asked you to kill “prowler” wolves. The problem was that prowlers only appeared in this one spot. All around were other wolves that looked the same and were the same level and were just as close to the camp, but only the prowlers counted. Often people would drift a little too far and end up killing the wrong animals for half an hour, wondering why they weren’t making any progress.

With Cataclysm, they removed silly restrictions like this. They also added a nice feature where important mobs have their names always appear over their heads. This makes it easy to sort out the stuff you need from the stuff you don’t.

Good changes, all.

Burning fur is not my favorite smell, but after a couple of hours you kind of get used to it. We go through the woods and end up bumping into the Murloc village again, then we turn around and work our way back.

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“Okay, so we’ve killed the wolves. We just need to kill five bears and we’re good,” Norman says.

“I haven’t seen any bears.”

“Me neither.”

We take another loop through the woods looking for bears, and end up killing another eight wolves.

“Are you sure this isn’t a prank,” I ask. “Like, are bears made-up? Did those idiots send us out here to kill a mythical creature?”

“Bears are real!” Norman insists.

“I don’t believe in them. I certainly don’t believe there are enough of them around here to be causing problems for this camp.”

We make another loop through the woods. We find the remains of a bear someone else has killed.

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“See! Bears exist!” Norman says triumphantly.

“This could be a hoax,” I say suspiciously. “I bet someone just put wolf hair on a cow or something.”

“It’s not a hoax. This is a real bear. We just need to find one that’s still alive. So that we can kill it. And four more.”

We do another loop around the camp and kill another half dozen wolves. Then we go to the edge of the forest and end up getting too close to Murlocistan, which is a bad move all around.

“There!” Norman shouts. He’s pointing at something brown in the distance.

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“What? You mean that brown cow?”

“It’s not a cow, it’s a bear,” he argues.

“I’ll believe it when I smell it roasting. Whatever it is, we’re going to have to kill some more wolves to get to it,” I point out. And then we end up doing exactly that.

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“See? Real!” Norman says once we’ve killed the thing. “Bears exist in this world.”

“Not anymore. You just killed the last one.”

“There are plenty more around here, I’m sure,” Norman says.

“Soooo … at the going rate we’re going to need to kill about ten thousand wolves before we can kill five bears,” I tell Master.

“This is stupid,” he admits.

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“I suppose just saying you killed five bears is out of the question?” I ask hopefully. “Better yet, just go back and say you killed every bear you saw. That’s not even a lie.”

“No, the job said to kill five bears, so we’re going to kill five bears. But I have an idea. I remember seeing bears around the Stonefield’s farm.”

“That’s on the other side of the forest. Those bears are not threatening the logging camp.”

“Neither was this bear. But it will let us fill our quota,” Norman shrugs.

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So we travel to the other side of the forest, and kill five bears around the Stonefield farm. While we’re there, Ma Stonefield waves us over for help.

“Let me guess,” says Norman. “You need help with all the bears crawling around your property?”

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“No.”

“Oh,” Norman says, disappointed. “Let’s hear it, then.”

Ma yells to us, “The Brackwells have a prize-winning pig, Princess. The sow is HUGE, and she got that way from sneaking over here and eating my veggies! It just so happens that she’s here now! Princess must die! Bring me her collar as proof of the deed and I’ll give you something for your time!”

Norman says, “You know about fencing, right? That’s what most people use when they’re trying to grow a garden and they’re surrounded by wild animals. A fence keeps animals out. And fencing is cheaper than hiring adventurers to assassinate creatures one at a time.”

“PRINCESS MUST DIE!” Ma yells.

That’s actually the name of the quest.

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Norman and I walk ten steps into her field and light Princess on fire. She’s a big pig. She’s still wearing her first-place ribbon.

“Done,” Norman says. The pig is still sizzling a bit as he says this. Ma pays us the cash.

“You sure that was the smart move?” I ask as we walk away. “I mean, you killed a prize-winning pet. This could come back to haunt you later.”

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“I thought you’d be happy,” Norman says with surprise. “We killed something. You’re always trying to get me to kill things.”

“Don’t get me wrong, I am one hundred percent in favor of killing. But I’d prefer if we weren’t idiots about it. Kill stuff in secret. Blame other people. That kind of thing. If done right, killing that pig could start another feud. Imagine, a three-way feud! It would be hilarious. What you want to avoid is having everyone unite against you.”

We head back to the logging camp and Norman reports our five dead bears and seven dozen dead wolves.

“Great!” Norman says as we march back into the logging camp. “We’ve killed the animals, so now the woods are safe for … us. So we can collect the wood for the workers who are too scared to enter the woods on account of the dead wolves and the bears that nobody can find.”

“Don’t try to think about it too much, boss.”

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So we go out into the forest, pick up the bundles of wood, and, just for good measure, end up killing another dozen or so wolves and a Murloc.

We bring the wood back to Supervisor Raelen and she sends us on our way.

We check the job postings. An interesting offer catches the Master’s eye:

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The part of the poster that really grabs our attention is this:

He is also a suspect in the kidnapping and disappearance of the Brackwell’s prized pig, Princess.

“Word travels fast!” I observe.

“This makes no sense!” Norman protests. “We just did that!”

No, really. The game sends you to kill an NPC who is (wrongfully) accused of doing something you did in an earlier quest. How many people even realized they were murdering someone to cover up their own crime? I’ll bet most players have no idea.

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It turns out James Clark is living right inside the logging camp. He has his own house and everything. Well, door-less shack, but that’s the only kind of house anyone has around here. The point is, he’s not hurting anyone. He’s just standing around.

“Why would they put this man on a wanted poster?” Norman asks. “I expected they wanted us to hunt him down, or fight through his gang. But he’s right here in town and everyone knows it. The guards could deal with him anytime they wanted!”

“You do not want that. This is a stroke of luck for you. Now get in there and give him the business.”

“What? Why? Why is this good luck?”

“Imagine if the guards came and tried to arrest him. They would read him his list of charges, and he might provide some alibi that proves he wasn’t the one that killed the famous, expensive, beloved family pig. Then they might go looking to see who else might have done it. As strange as it may sound, they might even get it right.”

“But … I can’t just walk into a man’s house and kill him.”

“Why not?” I shrug, “You’ve killed other people. They say he’s guilty of murder.”

“They also say he’s guilty of killing a pig when he isn’t.”

“True. But you might end up on the wanted poster yourself if you don’t get rid of him.”

“Really?” he asks anxiously.

“Sorry boss. You gotta kill this guy. It’s basic self-defense.”

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So we go inside James Clark’s house. He doesn’t seem to mind. All three of us are gathered in the middle of his single unfurnished room.

“So … hi there,” Norman says nervously. “I hope you don’t mind us coming in like this, but … er. Anyway. I’m really sorry about this.”

There is a minute or so of screaming and stabbing and James being hit on the head with Noman’s staff. After that he goes down.

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“Sorry Jimmy,” I say. “But thanks for being such a good sport.”

“I feel queasy,” Norman says.

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“Look boss. Don’t sweat this. You’re in the clear now and he might have been guilty of something anyway. And besides, now you get to report back to the guards and get paid for this.”

Norman stares at the floor for a while. Finally he says, “I think we should leave Elwynn Forest. For good. Maybe try to help people someplace else.”

Next Week: Let’s get out of town for a few days.

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