"Today, in the left corner, stands the guardian of the World's Heart!" Tirion's voice rose to a crescendo to be heard over the explosive cheering of the audience and the music thundering forth from the gnomish sound projectors. "Ozruk!"
Break yourself, break yourself
Break yourselves upon my body
Break yourself, break yourself
Break yourselves upon my body ...
And so it went. A frown grew on Tirion's face, displeased with the so-called hippity-hop, but what the audience wanted, the audience would get. The moment the music faded, the old crusader motioned to the other corner. "In the right corner stands ..." Tirion leaned forward, squinting to make out the form far below. He sighed deeply. "Vanessa, what are you doing here? Where is the Cardboard Assassin? And why are you wearing that chapeau?"
Vanessa shifted her gaze from the rocky behemoth before her, up toward the old man above in the stands. "He's dead."
"What do you mean he's dead?" Tirion demanded. "He was never alive to begin with!"
"Your medical staff is untrained in the care and feeding of paper men, Lord Fordring." Vanessa smiled sweetly. "They tried to quench his thirst and he fell all to pieces."
Ozruk snorted with a start. With all the coherence of an old man waking from an afternoon nap, the stone guardian asked, words slurring, "A protector has fallen?"
Vanessa ignored him. "As our dearly departed assassin's manager ..."
"No, Vanessa." Tirion cut in. "Absolutely not!"
"... I will compete in his place."
"Fine. I don't even care anymore." Tirion groaned and took his seat. "I will allow it."
"Champions," Vanessa mocked, lowering herself into a fighting stance. With a flick of her wrist, a poison vial went soaring through the air toward the ancient of earth. "Begin!"
The rules of the ring
- The WoW Insider Ring is considered neutral territory, where both combatants are able to access their usual encounter mechanics and abilities. If you can't visualize it inside the squared circle, visualize it someplace else -- but you must take into consideration all of each bosses' abilities and mechanics.
- Assume that each opponent is intelligent and capable of strategic thinking.
- All of the competitors' abilities, including crowd control and other effects to which bosses are usually immune, work on their opponents (with apologies to considerations of lore on this point).
- Assume that the opponents share similar levels, health pools, and comparative overall damage output.
- Don't get caught up in gameplay mechanics and what actual players might do in each encounter.
- Don't neglect style, story, and scale. Everything is a factor; seeking balance is your goal as a spectator and judge.
Break yourselves upon my body!
Ozruk utterly dominated his opponent in round one with 81% of the popular vote. He knocked out Lord Godfrey with just shy of 70% of the popular vote. He took out the unstoppable Eregos with ... not quite 60% of the vote! Ozruk's reputation as being entirely invincible has been slipping over the weeks, but all you really need is one vote more than the other guy to win, right? Can he pull it off?
Ozruk's arsenal includes ... learn more about his flawless physique or read other adventurers' first-hand reports.
Your tale ends here!
Vanessa VanCleef is a cheater. Plain and simple. She was knocked out in the first round by the Cardboard Assassin, but with her skill at intrigue and conspiracy, she managed to find a way to get into the finals. Will her cheating ways be enough to put her over the top against Ozruk, the fan favorite to win the tournament and an all-around scary dude?
Vanessa VanCleef's toolkit includes:
other adventurers had to say about her, or learn more of her story!
You can't please everybody, but Tirion Fordring, Two Bosses Enter Overseer, certainly tried. He granted Vanessa VanCleef permission to compete alongside the Cardboard Assassin in a tag-team match against Whitemane and Mograine, and there was absolutely no question who won -- Vanessa and the Cardboard Assassin dominated utterly. Of course, it also marked the end of the Cardboard Assassin's career, so it wasn't much of a win for him.
Reader Qing Guang knows Vanessa's fighting style well and outlined Whitemane and Mograine's defeat for all of us.
The Crusaders never stood a chance.
Whitemane and Mograine stood staring in confusion at the odd pair, glancing back and forth from their synthetic foe to their unexpected one. They hardly noticed when Vanessa began to speak.
"I've been waiting a long time for this, you know. Biding my time, building my forces, studying your twisted minds.
Now, cheaters, let us see how you fare when you are the victim of foul play, rather than the instigator..."
As the two Scarlet champions stood baffled, the young VanCleef slipped around behind them and jabbed each with a syringe. Their consciousness immediately slipped away...
They awakened in a room filled with treasure. Something was definitely wrong here. Sally reached up to secure her hat, only to find a filthy turban in its place. Perplexed, she looked down at herself in horror - a wretched little pygmy! Meanwhile, Renault fought to raise himself off the floor where he lay sprawled, only to discover that he, too, had had a transformation... a scaly one. Heavy footsteps padded somewhere to their left. A voice, disembodied, floated in on the desert winds.
"Augh led the pygmies by maintaining fear and awe. But the other denizens of the Lost City were unmoved, and they did not appreciate his theft of their ancient treasures..."
Two Neferset approached from the outside. They stopped in front of the statues and stepped apart, revealing a third behind them, his decorative helmet marking him clearly as the leader. The ram-horned Neferset stepped into the room and forcibly dragged Whitemane and Mograine outside.
"So," he said, "You are the little bit of camel dung that looted our town as we fought, hmmm? Let us see how well your flunkies respect you when they have us to fear instead."
He called out, and several towers of pygmies waddled into view. Shortly thereafter, swarms of crocolisks surged from the water. He left them to their fate.
Fortunately, the Scarlet champions discovered they still retained their abilities. The pygmies and crocolisks stood no chance against the power of the Light, and Whitemane and Mograine easily disposed of them.
The nightmare shifted.
The duo stood chained, held by a trio of Twilight's Hammer cultists in what appeared to be a large smithy. The two champions seemed to have resumed their normal forms, though the value of that given their present situation was unclear. One of the cultists jangled the chain and pointed at an anvil, indicating the hammer lying upon it. The voice bubbled up from the molten metal in the great pit at the center of the room.
"This is life in Khardros' Anvil: work or suffer. A chain of oppression is maintained through fear, even for those at the top of the ladder..."
Pounding footsteps indicated the arrival of their other defeated opponent. Forgemaster Throngus looked at them with an expression of frustration mixed with terror.
"Why you not work? You gotta work, or you get beat... we all get beat! Throngus no want to get whipped!"
He raised a massive hand to smack them. They readied themselves for another difficult fight... but all slipped away into blackness.
Vanessa VanCleef yanked her daggers out of the two corpses, letting them fall to the ground. She had learned from her mistakes. Never rely solely on one gambit when it will enable a surer plan of victory. Turning, she patted the Cardboard Assassin on its flimsy head and strode out of the arena.
The battle begins!
Remember, Two Bosses Enter matchups are all about substance and style, not gameplay, mechanics, and numbers. Don't base your strategies on player tactics, which opponent has been easiest or most difficult for you personally, or the difficulty of each opponent relative to instance progression. Vote for the spirit of the battle as set forth above. Set aside differences in opponents' health pools, game level, and actual damage output. Absolutely no game mechanics nitpicking!
Set aside the world order -- let the WoW Insider Ring determine who's the champion! Your votes determine the outcome in WoW Insider's series of fantasy deathmatches, Two Bosses Enter, One Boss Leaves.