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One Week a Month, or: Asric and Jadaar Go to the Darkmoon Faire

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"It's dreary. Dank, even." Asric folded his arms and looked around with disdain.

"Through the portal less than a second, and already you've complained. A new record." Jadaar started down the path. Though he didn't intend to admit it to Asric, between the crushed black stone underfoot and the thorny, gnarled woods crowding close, he too was finding this first glimpse of the Darkmoon Faire quite forbidding.

"These blinking arrows … ridiculously eager." Asric's head snapped up at a rumble thunder from the storm clouds darkening the afternoon sky. "Jadaar! You said the weather here would be pleasant!"

"It's warmer than Northrend, isn't it?" Jadaar glanced at the signs as he passed, Ignore the Darkened, Eerie Woods and Ignore the Eyes that Blink and Stare. "You said you disliked the cold. And there has been very little work to be found at the Tournament for some time now."

"Well, true, but – "

"I was promised that we would find suitable itinerant employment here, as the Faire management is eager to utilize our talents."

"So they need a clown?" Asric snickered. He was now almost jogging to keep up with the draenei's long-legged trot.

Jadaar shrugged. "Yes, yes, insult me all you want. I could have made an unkind comment about the need for thieving drunkards – "

Asric began to puff up, but then the baleful yellow roaming eyeball over the Faire's entrance swiveled to watch them approach. "So this is it? Seems small."

"It's at least twice as large as what they used to set up before," Jadaar said.

A Forsaken in a colorful tent greeted them as they passed under the arch. "Welcome to the Faire!"

"We're here about a job?"

She nodded. "Check in with Silas and Burth."

"How do we – ?"

"Big ogre. Little gnome. Can't miss 'em."

"It's quite … aromatic," Asric said as they moved down the midway. He wrinkled his nose, then swore in Thalassian as he was almost tripped by a gaggle of children.

"No worse than the Tournament."

"Far worse."

Looking wistfully at the large number of stalls that still had their awnings down, Jadaar said, "I do hope there's a drink vendor open."

"And you called me the drunkard?"

Jadaar lifted his head and said loftily, "I am thirsty from the journey here. The prices the shipboard concessionaire was charging were outrageous." He added. "And I did not call you a drunkard. I said I could have made an unkind comment about drunkards. In general."

Asric harumphed. "Will we really make enough here in a week to live off for the rest of the month?"

"That's what they told me," Jadaar replied.

"Who?"

"An … informed source." Jadaar's tone of voice made it clear the subject was off-limits.

"I hope so," Asric said. "After all, I have a standard of living to maintain. I'm accustomed to certain comforts." He pointed at a blue-tattooed ogre and gnome in a black suit walking toward them. "Those two look like Silas and Burth."

"Comforts? Yes, well, I'm sure you will find a soft, warm place to sleep," Jadaar said as a flyer fluttered across the ground and came to rest against his hoof, "as well as some debauched person to share your bed." He stooped to pick it and began to crumple it, to toss it away, but something caught his eye and he began to read.

"As long as they're not blue," Asric muttered, "and don't hog the only blanket."

"Unacceptable!" Jadaar roared.

Asric was taken aback. "I didn't mean – "

"You'll never believe," Jadaar interrupted, shaking the paper in a fury, "who's selling Infallible Tikbalangs down by the dock!"

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(02) 6 Mar 2012