— The beginning of madness
Imagine Silent Hill 2, set in the world of World of Warcraft, and being narrated and played as though it were a Text Adventure game. This is the basic concept behind the Fan Fic known as You Awaken In Razor Hill.
The story follows Tednugent, a level 80 Orc Hunter, and his feline companion, Scratchfever, as they find themselves in the middle of Razor Hill, a small town, after a night of heavy drinking. It quickly becomes clear that something is very wrong: the town and its environs are completely deserted, large swaths of geography are seemingly erased from existence, leaving gaping holes, and the area quickly becomes enveloped by a foreboding black fog. Ted and Scratch soon become embroiled in a struggle for survival and sanity as the darkness brings with it horrors of its own — horrors almost as dangerous as the inane, conflicting reader-submitted ideas constantly vying for attention in Ted's mind.
It can be read from the beginning here.
Tropes specific to this fanfic:
- Action Survivor: Ted. Eventually becomes more of an Action Hero.
- And I Must Scream:
- The Undead Blips. The reveal of what they actually are is one of the most horrifying moments in the entire story.
- Also, Mary herself.
- And Pyramid Hogger quite probably counts as well. Let's just say this isn't a nice place to be a character in.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Early on, Ted muses if there were bigger versions of the "Lesser" Ravening Worms he fought in Tiragarde Keep. Sure enough, he faces a 25-foot long Middling Ravening Worm en route to the Echo Isles which he sics Larry on. Near the end of the story, his "Track Hidden" ability detects a "Greater" Ravening Worm inside the Barrens, but it isn't seen until Ted, Annie and Scratch finally go on the offensive. The creature is described to be as thick as a sizable portion of Orgrimmar and around a quarter of a mile in length.
- Bag of Holding: As this is the World of Warcraft universe, Ted's bag can hold, among others, a full cactus costume made from an actual cactus, vials of troll sweat, multiple weapons, multiple Random Armour Parts, utility items such as the Hazardous Shovel Array, This Thing, and an Arcanite Ripper. This doesn't seem to encumber Ted at all.
- Battle Aura: Mary's Hate has an incredibly powerful one near the end, capable of generating violent tornadoes and blasts of disintegrating wind.
- Beat Still, My Heart: The Teddy Bear Zalazane gives to Ted is actually Mary's still-beating heart. Ted himself seems to be the only one not to notice.
- Big Bad: Mary's Hate.
- Big Damn Heroes: Annie during the climatic battle.
- Big Eater: Starving Amphibious Sharks are always hungry. "A Pit of Endless Ravening"-hungry. The slightest indication that there might be food nearby sends all of them into a frenzy.
- Bittersweet Ending: For Annie at least, as she has been trapped in Broken Azeroth for so long her entire guild disbanded in her absence, much to her dismay when she finds out after their escape. Thankfully she has since managed to restore contact with some of them and has started her very own Tailoring shop in Booty Bay, but she still gets constant nightmares each day from the hell she endured.
- BFG: Actually a Big F&%^ing Bullet: the Godstorm Shell. Essentially what happens if you make a miniaturized nuclear warhead using voodoo. It's big enough that when Ted tries to use it against Pyramid Hogger, it won't fit into his rifle, and he has to jury-rig a matching BFG together later in order to load it.
- Black Comedy: A staple of the fic. Dusk routinely goes out of his way to initially make the prospect of dying in the Dark World as ridiculously hilarious as possible while still being pants-wettingly terrifying.Well, the Narrator is clearly a twisted motherfucker who is apparently getting off on your sheer terror, but youre still alive thus far, so you suppose he might possibly have your best interests in mind. That or hes just waiting until your demise would be really funny.
- Bookends: The main plot begins and ends with Ted heading to Razor Hill on a quest; the first time to follow the clue from Mary's letter and the second time to give her corpse a proper burial in the normal world of Azeroth.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Scratchfever, who is a saber-toothed lion, giving relationship advice:He's tried so very hard to drill these simple, simple lessons into your head.
Just be yourself.
Ask her about herself and really listen to her.
Kill her cubs upon becoming Dominant Male to force her back into estrus and ensure that the next generation descends from your genes.
- Bring My Brown Pants: Discussed very early on when Ted was considering his options for survival. Played straight a little later when he's running for dear life once Pyramid Hogger shows up, and relentlessly mocked by the forumgoers thereafter. Poor Ted.You hurl yourself back towards the Junction, Scratchfever in hot pursuit, and leave skid marks in your wake that may or may not be the result of terror-loosened bowels.
- Butt-Monkey: Ted at the beginning, before he decided to stop being such a total pansy.
- Catchphrase: "Best *&%^ing tailor in the world!"
- Character Development : At the beginning of the story, Tednugent and Scratchfever are little more than paper dolls to be played with by the people controlling the plot: posters on the original forum where this was first housed. At the end of the story, they are fully-fleshed characters capable of acting on their own and defying the instructions of the posters.
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Ted's engineering skill is directly proportional to how much he insists on thinking of himself as a god-like engineer.
- Moreover, because the story takes place in a video game that actually has an engineering profession, Ted, who is not a real engineer, is prohibited from making real engineering items. His ability to create is tied directly to how impossible that thing is to create; to the point where he manages to create one very large rifle by combining two much smaller rifles. The only reason why this new rifle wasn't ready to fire right away was because the two smaller ones were themselves broken and incomplete. By the very end, he has created Steve the Impromptu Shredder, a stomping, armor-plated war machine with fully-actuated limbs and weaponry and a whole barrage of readouts and gauges Ted does not even remember building. He built it out of a whole bunch of wholly random items he grabbed as quickly as he possibly could, based on faint memories of what these war machines looked like.
- We later discover that everyone who has entered this world has proven capable of feats, tried out of sheer desperation (and influenced by the random chorus of the forum), that should not have been possible. For all but Annie and Ted, though, it wasn't enough.
- Chekhov's Gag: The Salted Fish that Ted retrieves in Sen'jin Village are noted to send Scratchfever into an unstoppable frenzy at the mere scent of them, which is hilariously demonstrated when he demolishes part of an inn just to get at a piece of one. Ted puts it to good use near the end, with awesome results.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Scratch, who (after some character development) likes to relate stories about the Shrunken Heads he keeps as pets, and to fingerpaint happy pictures on your weapons. This is probably why he remains a lot less panicked over the situation than Ted does.
- Crazy Survivalist: Annie, who has survived in what is basically hell for not even she knows how long. Her mind has not.
- Dark World: The entire story except for the ending and epilogue takes place in one of these. Aside from Everything Trying to Kill You, everything is covered in "Abyssal Darkness" that seems to consume the light around it, and limits visibility to exactly the breadth of whatever path or location Ted and Scratchfever are at, and not a yard farther.
- Deadpan Snarker: The narrator.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Discussed and averted once Annie escorts Ted and Scratch to the Crossroads.
- Determinator: During the first major fight with Pyramid Hogger someone tells Ted to just give up-it's better that way. He responds by deciding that no, it isn't, and the story promptly forbids ever even acknowledging suicide commands because of this trope.
- Distress Call: Mary's Quest.
- The Dragon: Pyramid Hogger.
- Drop-In Nemesis: Pyramid Hogger.
- Eldritch Abomination: Literally all of the native wildlife would be a strong contender for Eldritch status, but it's the Ravening Worms that really take the cake.
- 11th-Hour Superpower: Steve. And, for Scratch, his Loyalty level gets so high that it breaks his in-game entity and he bugs into Evade mode.
- Escape from the Crazy Place: The fanfic mainly revolves around forum posters helping Tednugent and Scratchfever escape the "Broken World of Azeroth".
- Even the Rats Won't Touch It: Larry does not immediately move to messily devour Ted after being tamed, even though it is at the time a very unhappy Pit of Endless Ravening. Ted later finds out, through Eyes of the Beast, that it's because the Troll Sweat and Oshu'gun Crystal Powder he dumped on himself earlier, now all dry and crusty, make him smell exactly the opposite of appetizing.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Starving Amphibious Sharks, Lesser Ravening Worms, Immolating Strawmen...pretty much the only thing not trying to kill Ted is Scratchfever, and Annie towards the end of the story.
- Evil Is Visceral: The Crossroads in the Dark World is all but turned into the Bloody Bowels of Hell, thanks to Pyramid Hogger.
- Expy: Pyramid Hogger, for Pyramid Head of course.
- Fluffy the Terrible: Larry the Starving Amphibious Shark.
- Food as Bribe: Scratchfever will do anything for salted fish.
- Foreshadowing: The world itself reacts badly to any jokes about Mankrik's wife. Some of the "players" on the forums correctly guessed the significance of this. There is also an earlier bit wherein Ted attempts to access the Help files, and instead gets a mangled wall of text with "Help me find Mankrik's Wife" hidden in the broken sentences.
- Hearing Voices: Every Player Character who winds up in the Dark World. From a meta point of view, this is because this was a collaborative forum-based game where the PC was "played" by hundreds of different people.
- Hell Is That Noise: Scr@pe
- An interesting variation, because the story is in second person, you as the audience is the main character hearing the sounds.
- Also features cloth rustling sounds, things in the dark, and various other stock Horror movie sound effects. Constantly. Until right at the end. The Narrator actually comments at that point that this is the first time it's ever been completely silent since you woke up in Razor Hill. Meaning the sounds were so constant, you mentally tuned them out to the point where you don't realize they were still there until they are gone.
- Heroic Sacrifice:
- Scratchfever gets violently slain early on while defending Ted, mostly for laughs as his bravado and obliviousness to danger gets him killed horribly a couple of times. Good for him that Ted can use the Revive Pet skill.
- Right before the denouement, an apologetic Zalazane opts to give Ted the means to stop Mary's rampage at the cost of his own life, getting ripped apart by Pyramid Hogger in the process.
- Ted, near the end, takes the full brunt of Mary's destructive aura in order to return her disembodied heart to her chest. He gets better, and so does she.
- Homage: To Silent Hill, couched in another Homage to World of Warcraft, and the whole thing is a Homage to MS Paint Adventures, itself a homage to text adventures like Zork.
- Hope Spot: At one point in the story, Ted creates an incredibly powerful bullet known as the Godstorm Shell, and muses that he should save it for use on Pyramid Hogger. Upon being cornered by Hogger, however, he fails to even fit the bullet into his rifle because the caliber was too big.
- Humanoid Abomination: Pyramid Hogger has this kind of a vibe going for him, not to mention the Immolating Strawmen. But in the end, it's Mary's Hate that shows Ted what it is to be a Humanoid Abomination.
- Idiot Ball: By necessity. Ted was controlled by the communal whims of over a hundred forumgoers, and noticeable percent of the commands given were deliberately moronic, For the Lulz. The manner in which the author handled this must be seen to be truly appreciated.
- Implacable Man
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Ted, throughout. He finally gets a drink towards the end of the story and it is awesome. Ultimately averted at the climax, however, when he discards a bottle of alcoholic Deus ex Machina after realizing he doesn't need it to defeat Pyramid Hogger after all.
- Insurmountable Waist-High Fence: "You can't go North to the scuttle shore to find that damn boat, there is a Straw Man blocking your path." Or the slightly more Horrifying, "You cannot haul ass to Sen'Jin, there is a Pyramid Hogger blocking your path."
- Jerkass Gods: "The narrator is such a dick".
- Journey to the Center of the Mind: Ted unwittingly embarks on one when he is forced inside Zalazane's mind without warning.
- Kleptomaniac Hero: "Loot the hell out of it" is one of the more often-repeated commands for Ted. Justified since Ted needs all the help he can get and there's no-one to legitimately buy things from.
- Kleptomaniac Hero Found Underwear: Early on, Ted comes into possession of some Exciting Undergarments and becomes compelled to wear them on his head. They remain there for basically the entire adventure.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Scratchfever at the beginning of the tale, the first time at Ted's command and the second time as a defensive reflex. It gets him killed both times, but thankfully Ted can simply revive him at the cost of mana. He becomes smarter later on, though.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: The moment Ted decides "No more hiding" while fighting the Starving Amphibious Sharks, he suddenly becomes infinitely more badass, while Scratchfever's level of awesome seems directly tied to his loyalty level. Both of these are lampshaded later, when Ted looks back on his journey so far. Annie later imitates Ted's "No more hiding" at the climax, and proceeds to lay the druidic smackdown on Pyramid Hogger.
- Ludicrous Gibs: Pyramid Hogger disposes of Zalazane in this fashion.
- MacGyvering: Ted. Holy crap, Ted. He makes things that logically should not physically function, but do because he is convinced he is an amazing engineer. Later, Annie can pull off some of the same stuff with her tailoring, including unravelling metal spoons and weaving them into a Tinfoil Hat.
- Meat Puppet: Incubators, hollowed out Quillboars (and possibly anything else that might have been in the Barrens) that are filled with Larval Ravening Worms
- Mental World: Zalazane traps Ted in his own mental landscape, which resembles a decrepit old troll temple in the center of a virgin rainforest. While inside, all sense of proportion and dimension are off, with the zone being fully sized one second and incredibly tiny the next. Curiously, however, the items which Ted crafts and/or retrieves while inside Zalazane's mind are retained once he exits, and several of them become highly useful to him later on. Not to mention that Scratchfever manages to follow him inside the mental landscape. This is largely attributed to some sort of limited reality bending possible only in the Dark World.
- Mind Rape : It was implied in the story that Zalazane raped Mary's soul after she was murdered by Quillboars.
- Mini-Mecha: Steve.
- Mission Control Is Off Its Meds: The Mission Description for Mary's Quest starts off fairly normal, then becomes quirky, if supportive, then starts to sound kind of mocking and unhinged. Then it turns out to have been the voice of Mary's Hate all along.
- Mouth Stitched Shut: The various types of Zalazane Zombie all have their lips sewn shut.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Zalazane gets a major Villainous BSoD after realizing what his machinations have done, both to Mary and to Azeroth.
- "Nothing" is Scarier: Long stretches of relative silence and inactivity only serve to heighten the tension, especially after we learn what is actually happening here.
- Oh, Crap!: Too numerous to list. Suffice it is to say, shit goes wrong so often it's a surprise when shit goes right.
- The Power of Hate: What made the Dark World so dark in the first place.
- The Power of Love:
- The better Scratchfever's relationship with Tednugent is, the more awesome Scratch becomes. Reaches its logical conclusion at the climax, where he becomes strong enough to overpower Pyramid Hogger.
- At the climax of the tale, Ted becomes smart enough to realize that since the Dark World was spawned by hatred in the first place, then acts of violence will do precious little to destroy it. He instead elects to expose himself to Mary's full wrath in order to replace her disembodied heart, all the while apologizing for everything that has happened to her, which results in his body slowly disintegrating. He succeeds, and both he and Mary get better.
- After the above, Pyramid Hogger's rampage is ultimately stopped when Ted presents Mary to him, tells him he can be with her again and therefore he no longer has to suffer or fight endlessly. Hogger's weapon and armor break off of him and crumble to dust as a result, and all the characters finally escape and return to real Azeroth.
- The Power of Rock: Ted can effectively invoke Deus Ex Machinae by playing guitar riffs so awesomely that the Lords of the Chord smile upon him. Requires Liquid Courage, however, or else Ted's Devotion to the Lord of the Chord will be Lame. The consequences of a Lame Devotion are never seen but noted to be severe.
- Punny Name: "You are an Orc Hunter and your name is Tednugent. You feel this is an exceptionally clever name, but nobody ever seems to get the joke. You have a Cat for a pet, his name is Scratchfever. You feel this is also an exceptionally clever name. Nobody ever gets this joke, either."
- Each of Ted's other pets (none of whom are ever seen) are all similarly named - he has a Cobra named Stranglehold, a Gorilla named Weekendwarrior and a Devilsaur (tyrannosaurus) named Littlemissdangerous.
- Also, Annie (full name: Anniemal the Lazerbeast) who is a Druid. (Druids in World of Warcraft can turn into animals.)
- Real Men Wear Pink: Ted enjoys hugging his cat, is a reasonable dancer, sings very often, has an obsession about being blonde, knows quite a lot about flowers and is very good with a needle. It's implied his real professions may be tailor and/or herbalist, and his insistence that he's an engineer is out of embarrassment. He also wears "exciting undergarments" on his head through most of the adventure.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Mary's Hate is using the Dark World to kill everyone who ever laughed at her.
- Sanity Slippage: Everyone who ends up in the Dark World gradually goes absolutely nuts from Hearing Voices until eventually they are killed by Pyramid Hogger. Annie, though not entirely sane, has managed to remain lucid, if quite unhinged.
- Scenery Gorn: Oh, so much. Not only are the normally populated zones of Durotar empty, but several areas show signs of carnage that had occurred before the story began. Notable examples are Tiregarde Keep being filled with mountains of desiccated corpses from an ancient battle, the sudden and inexplicable appearance (and disappearance) of bloody piles of Gorn inside Razor Hill's training hall, the Barrens becoming shrouded in gigantic brambles and teeming with zombified Meat Puppets, and the most horrifying example of all: the entire Crossroads town in the Barrens, recreated out of the rotting bits and pieces of players killed by Pyramid Hogger.
"Kagemasa Kozuki must be informed of this at once!"
- The most obvious references are the protagonists themselves: Tednugent and his pet lion Scratchfever.
- Early on, a random forumgoer instructs Ted to try and go Super Saiyan.
- The Konami Code is directly quoted, or more accurately, drawn in the dirt near the end of the story.
- Telekinesis: Mary's Hate demonstrates this ability by effortlessly crushing Steve and twisting Ted's rifle into a pretzel near the end.
- Terms of Endangerment: It's a rare thing for a story to make the pet-name "Sport" into something horrifying.
- The Worm That Walks: The Incubators and Pyramid Hogger are an interesting variation, being corpses that are controlled by a hive of Larval Ravening Worms. For Pyramid Hogger, however, it's more of a Painful Transformation initiated by the worms entering Mankrik's petrified body.
- This Loser Is You: The Incubators. Appearing near the end of the story, they're the husks of everyone who was in the Barrens when Mary destroyed the world. They are constantly babbling about things commonly discussed in the General chat channel there — memes, insults, asking for the location of Mankrik's wife, and so on. To World of Warcraft players, Barrens General chat—colloquially known as "Barrens chat"—was considered one of the most annoying things in the game prior to the Cataclysm expansion splitting the zone in two.
- Threatening Shark: Starving Amphibious Sharks smell the roasting pig Ted leaves behind and subsequently infest Sen'jin Village. These particular sharks are as large as a great white, with thick, clawed legs in place of pectoral fins, jaws hinged all the way back at their shoulders, always secreting some slimy mucus from their bodies.
- Tinfoil Hat: Annie wears one that gives her immunity to "CIA Satellite Brainwave Surveillance, Mind Control and Tracking", explaining why she wasn't picked up by Ted's Tracking earlier. She makes him one shortly thereafter so that Ted can switch off Aspect of the Beast safely.
- Wave-Motion Gun: The Godstorm Shell functions like one when Ted finally gets to use it, the projectile ripping through the very fabric of reality and obliterating everything in its path.
- Weirdness Censor: At a certain point in the story, part of Ted's mind becomes so terrified it decides to drop out of having to process all the horrific events going on around him and starts playing pretend by imagining things like being at the Mad Hatter's tea party or trying to warn the Horde leadership about an invading army of Red Coat Pyramid Hoggers.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Ted makes a one-person Arena team and is matched against a team of five Paladins one win away from 2600 Arena rating. They laugh at him for being a "Huntard" and mock him for naming his pet "Larry"... and then the match starts. A later update stated that Scratchfever is still Ted's primary pet, oblivious to the fact that he's no longer evade-bugged after returning to the real game world, and while Annie finds out her guild disbanded in her absence, she has since managed to restore contact with a few guildmates and eventually set up her own Tailoring shop in Booty Bay.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Mary. Having had her soul raped by Zalazane following her death and becoming the butt of several million players' jokes transformed her into a literal vortex of hatred that can summon world-devouring monsters. Pyramid Hogger, being none other than her distraught widower Mankrik, likewise qualifies.
- The Worf Effect: Larry has far higher stats than Ted's strongest pets and even Ted himself, but manages to do little more than occupy Pyramid Hogger's attention for a few minutes before being brutally killed.
- You Do Not Want To Know: Annie was Feral-specced when she woke up in Razor Hill, and respecced to Balance... without the help of a trainer. Apparently the experience was unpleasant.
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