Through the Gates of Fire

There was brief moment when I entered the Gates of Fire this past weekend where I seriously considered bolting. I’d like to say it had nothing to do with the orcs and elves and dudes with swords traipsing past me –but actually it was a conversation that I suppose was in English that involved units, realms, Urk Kuldar and something called a Dragonhood that really freaked me out.

But the Zombie Survival Crew commander-in-chief is no chicken.

Since we discovered the Unnamed Government Agency is not the ally we once thought it was, Zombie Survival Crew Command is actively recruiting fighters for the Zombiepocalypse. And where better to find true warriors than a Dagorhir event?

As the weekend unfolded in a haze of campfire smoke, exotic foods, even more exotic drinks and a mystery “skunk” that walked past the tent led by a ‘being’ called Dante, I learned some valuable lessons about the Dagorhirim and their world (and picked up a posse of protectors). There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that not only are these gentlemen and ladies perfect recruits for the ZSC, but engagement with them will enhance any ZSC member’s combat readiness. They’re experts in hand-to-hand combat, have survival gear by the truckload and can make a fire (and a meal) out of just about anything.

In order to save both sides from any potential friendly fire incidents, I suggest the following as reasons and rules of engagement for Zombie Survival Crew cadres and the Dagorhirim:

Rule #1 – Smile and nod. Zombie Survival Crew brigade members are unlikely to understand half of what the Dagorhirim say anyway, so just smile.and.nod

Rule #2 – Top recruitment target units are Sparta and Rome. These units are among the most cohesive and organized. And, hell, just look at this Spartan, Lith, striking out with his sword.

Rule #3 – Beware of Merkwood off the field of battle They are a lively, uber-friendly bunch but you are quite likely to find yourself in a “dare, double-dare” kind of situation with these guys that you can’t quite get out of without injuring yourself.

Rule #4 – Top individual recruits are Dagorhirim along the lines of Ogre, Mac, Viccer, Vors and Cancer. These guys are either tall or big, or both, and excellent to hide behind. I’ve already staked claim to the space behind Viccer during battle –the guy’s sword is as tall as I am, so I’m calling that a win.

Rule #5 – Do not accept anything to consume from the Apollyon leader Blackhawk –especially after dark when it is harder to see what he’s handing you. Just trust me on this one.

Rule #6- When you find yourself in battle with the Dagorhirim, you *may* find it a little confusing at first. At one point, I couldn’t tell if I was coming or going and then I got clocked by an arrow in the head so it really didn’t matter. However, Zombie Survival Crew Command recommends brigade members consider attending Dagorhir events and participating in the melee fights to prepare for urban-setting fighting during the Zombiepocalypse.

Rule #7 – It is probably wisest to avoid those who appear to be speaking in tongues. While they’re not zombies, and thus should not be put down, attempting to carry on a conversation with these individuals will give you a headache. Please, just trust the chief on this one.

Rule #8 – It might seem natural to focus recruitment efforts towards the males of Dagorhir. This is a mistake. The female fighters –like Fyxe, Havok, and Arzus– are tough, trained and worth a dozen men.

Rule #9 – Beside combat and basic survival skills, the Dagorhirim have among them talented seamstresses and tailors, like Kevat, who should be considered high value recruits. When the Zombiepocalypse hits it’s going to be hell on the wardrobe, and when the inevitable rips and tears occur you won’t be able to just wander into a Wal-mart for quick replacements.

Rule #10 – Don’t let the pallor of their skin fool you. Unlike Tolkien’s Orcs, the Orcs of Dagorhir –like Gix, Vors and Surg– are actually quite friendly. They’re also quick on their feet and loyal.