I did a little research for the hunt tonite.

ex·arch (ksärk) n.

  1. A bishop in the Eastern Orthodox Church ranking immediately below a patriarch.
  2. The ruler of a province in the Byzantine Empire.

Erm… So by my reckoning, this Magma Golem was either a bishop, or a Byzantine ruler… Well, there has been a history of rulers that weren’t exactly the most brilliant people in the world, so I guess I could accept this.

Let me back up a bit here: Bats was once again attempting to powerlevel me. Yeah, exactly – after I died the first time chasing the magma golems through Glendon Wood, we decided a new strategy was in order. Basically that consisted of you know, me not dying!

Yeah, that was a pretty radical idea when I suggested it. Bats was game, though, so we hopped up on top of the tent in the middle of town and awaited the Exarch…

Which leads me completely off track: tents. What the HELL are they making tents out of in Dereth? You know what the function of a tent is? It’s to drive you insane while you try and put it up in the pouring rain, then later to gather the rain into a large puddle that falls on your head when you try and leave the tent. I’ve been camping, I know. But not only do the tents in Dereth stand up nice and firm, but they stand up nice and firm with my massive buttocks jumping up and down on them. JUMPING! Up and down! Who builds these tents? Is there some freakish Derethian Cirque Du Soleil troupe running around building these things? I’ve been in bomb shelters that were shabbier than these things!

Er…where was I?

Death says, “By the lifestone?”
You say, “Shush!”

No, wait – I was on the tent. Right. So we sit up there, and this Exarch comes waltzing up. And let me tell you: I’ve run into some DUMB critters in Dereth…

Death says, “You ARE a dumb critter in Dereth!”
You say, “Would you shut the hell up already?”

Anyway. This Exarch – he’s about as sharp as my Ben & Jerry’s spoon (which, uh, being a spoon, is not really sharp, for those of you wondering). The guy is about ten times as tall as me, but he can’t figure out how to get on top of the tent! I mean, I don’t blame him – he probably took one look at my massive ass being supported by this…this cloth, and he figured there was some trickery afoot. Which might have given him a slight mental prowess – say, one step above a clam – except that instead of running away from the trickery, he proceeded to charge right up next to it and wave at us.

It was like one of those movies when the little kid tries to go after the big guy, and the big guy just holds him at arm’s length while the twerp’s swinging his arms like a windmill on speed. And the entire time he’s doing this, I’m shooting him in the face! I mean, what, did this guy go to the Black Knight School of Combat? Every time I blew off his boulders (ahem), I expected something like, “Right! I’ll do you for that! I’m INVINCIBLE!”

Only this was WAAAAAY worse – not only was I shooting him in the face the entire time, but Bats kept on imp’ing him! Over and over again – no kidding – for five levels – I beat on that guy. I mean, I suppose I should be embarrassed. It was like getting caught trying to rent Annie by the guys in your PK Guild. I mean, sure, it’s one of Carol Burnett’s greatest performances – and Tim Curry as Rooster! HA! Man, that is one of the best…

Death says, “OMG U GIANT POOF!”
You say, “QUIET, SLUT!”

I think even more pathetic than us beating up on him like that were his attempts to get me down to ‘ground level’ where he could take a few swings at me…

Oh, man – and even more pathetic was this guy that showed up halfway during the hunt – Ghost-UA or something like that? Anyway, by this point Bats and I had a rhythm: Exarch would show up, Bats would commence vulning, I’d commence shooting in face. Worked like a charm. Then this goombah comes running up – Bats has vulned the Exarch. I’m shooting arrows at it. While we’re doing this, Ghost runs up behind it and begins swinging. With a fire weapon. I dunno, maybe he was dropped on his head as a child. Or an adult.

Anyway, I’m not going to be rude about it – I try and be polite to the insane. I don’t need one of them showing up on my doorstep chewing on my doormat or something. But THEN, as I’m plucking away on this guy, he begins asking Bats for buffs. And to vuln the Exarch. When I tried to explain to him (still nicely) that we were hunting the Exarch and perhaps he should seek out something else – you know, like something actually vulnerable to fire – he insisted that he wouldn’t leave until he was allowed one kill.

Sorry, but at this point any pretense to politeness flew out the window. I began composing this really great insult, dealing with his heritage, his mother’s mating preference, the specific odor he exuded and something about his furniture of choice…but then the Exarch took notice of him.

Suddenly, in the murky depths of magma he had for the brain, the realization sunk in that there was someone on the ground trying to hit him. Like any large creature made of magma and powered by evil magicks is trained to do when someone (especially someone less than smart) approaches, he promptly went beserk.

Watching him chase Ghost through the village brought a tear to my eye, I must say…