Wrathful Wraith Welcomed to the Woods
Haunted Woods veteran Wan Dirx recently announced his retirement after eight seasons, shocking long-time fans. His departure paves the way for the up and coming Right Defender Crade Talvos, a Wraith Draik. After last year's ninth place finish, the surprise shakeup of the roster might just be what the Haunted Woods needs to claw their way back to the podium.
Searching for new talent isn't a novel concept to the Haunted Woods crew. Chelo Binay, a Halloween Chia, was replaced by Ghost Yurble Autrey Fulse in the second Altador Cup. The fifth Cup saw Fulse's departure, which prompted "Brains" Mortigan's rise to fame as the team's newest Zombie Center Defender. Despite being the winner of the first Altador Cup, the Haunted Woods has remained in the middle of the standings quite consistently. Not even the multiple changes in roster boosted them past seventh place, their best placing of all their non-winning seasons. The fifth Cup saw their worst showing, with a disappointing twelfth place finish. However, last year proved that the team still has a fight in them with a tie for ninth place with Maraqua. Wan Dirx himself has showered Talvos with praise and accolades, hinting that the Draik might be a force to be reckoned with during this year's tournament.
Crade Talvos is the only new player to enter the scene this year, as most teams have kept their players signed on. However, Kreludor and Krawk Island did trade and switch players Coco Metrone and Ealyn Hawkshanks, respectively. The swap has been met with ambivalence from fans, but time will only tell if the roster changes will have a positive effect on the teams involved.
Wan Dirx, before his retirement trip around Neopia, gave fans few comments to work off of before the teams hit the stadium for the practice round. He refused to spoil Talvos' name before the official roster announcement, only saying that seeing the Right Defender in action will give an accurate representation of the so-called "scary good" Draik. His assurance that his successor will help Haunted Woods' defense was said with complete confidence. So just who is Crade Talvos?
The enigmatic Crade Talvos has been shrouded in wispy mystery until now. The Wraith Draik was available for interview, along with the rest of his teammates. I had the opportunity to speak with the team to gather insight into their thoughts for the upcoming tournament and just how Talvos will be a great asset at Right Defender. The transcript of interview has been recorded below, so read on:
Hello, Altador Cup fans! Right now, live, is the Haunted Woods team – Crade Talvos included – ready to give their pre-tournament interview. So, let's start with Krell Vitor, the Kyrii captain: What have you doing in the preseason to prepare for this year's Cup?
Why Vitor? We have this yearly tradition of going out into the Woods to practice, because stamina and tenacity is key to a good offense --
-- Our defense is pretty great, if I say so myself. I've also got to babysit Junior here, you know, he likes to indulge in those Caramel Cream Puffs in the off-season --
-- I do not! I'm in peak physical condition, thank you. How many goals did you score last year, Vitor?
Enough to pick up your slack, slowpoke. Anyway, if you can emerge from the Woods unscathed, you can face anything on the pitch. Especially those Darigan Yooyus.
They are tricky, aren't they? Purple mavericks, I call them. You've got a sound off-season strategy, but what about during the season? How are you going to try to improve from ninth place?
Braaaainsssss braaaaaaains brains braaaiiiiinss!
Gnawing on our opponents isn't our strategy, Mortigan.
I think he means to say that working with Zo in our one plus three formation will be crucial to success. Plus, despite my size, I will be improving upon my goalkeeping skills.
And I'll be getting to the top of the GPG list!
Sounds good to me! Next question: Do you miss Wan Dirx?
Yes, he will be sorely missed!
He's lying. We're all sad to see him go.
Braaaainsssss braaaains brainssss!
I agree, he was so graceful.
Do we have a picture to show our audience at home? Yes? Excellent! Let's take a look, shall we?
Ah, sweet nostalgia!
Okay, I guess I miss that Techo mitigating tension in our arguments.
Braaainsssss braaaaainsss brainsss braainsss.
Right there with you, brother.
Get the lead out so you can revel in that eternal glory, Mortigan. Don't disappoint us either, Talvos.
Speaking of Crade Talvos, how has your experience been so far? You've been the talk of the stadium, as I've heard.
There was a gaggle of fangirls following you around yesterday...
I didn't notice.
Vitor's just jealous.
I've noticed that. But regarding my experience, it's been great. I'd aspired to play for the team ever since I was a young Draik.
Brainsssss braaaaaaainssss braaainssssss!
Crade's already gotten into a fair few fights. His wrath isn't pretty, let me tell you!
It's called passion, Fanetti. And you started the whole thing, "Brains"!
Not even Krell gets that mad.
I stand by my position! YOU DON'T STAND IN THE CORNER ALL GAME TRYING TO SCORE WITH THE DARIGAN YOOYU!
Oh! True, that's not conducive to a mercy rule victory. This might be the last question, according to the producers: Any last words for your future opponents?
Two: BRING IT!
Couldn't have said it better myself!
It appears that we've, unfortunately, run out of time for this Q and A session. It was enlightening, as always. Thanks for taking the time to participate! Good luck in the upcoming Altador Cup.
Haunted Woods fans have much to look forward to with their new player, and hopefully they will be standing taller by the end of the tournament. The future looks promising, for sure! As for the rest of the teams, good luck! This year's Altador Cup is shaping up to be an event to be talked about for months after its conclusion, especially with its new rules stirring much discussion amongst fans. Have a happy Cup, all!
P.S. AAOOO! AAOOO! AAOOO!