So back to business. Now that some of the holiday festivities are behind us, it’s about time I fill you all in on what’s been going on with this whole phylactery business.
GARONA: I’m not sure we’re getting anywhere. Do you think we should bring in that ogre from Brackenwall?
GARROSH: Draz’Zilb? No, that won’t work here.
GARONA: Why not? It got you what you needed from that Grimtotem.
SKARR: Foolish bulls, cows, grazing in the woods, running around and back and forth, chasing their tails, they look for Skarr, they look, but no, they never find him, stupid cows, never look the right way in front of behind them and see…
GARROSH: First of all, Draz’Zilb’s voodoo mojo thingy was all about forcing the prisoner to come face to face with their greatest fears until they give in just out of self-preservation.
GARROSH: You think self-preservation is the way to go with a lunatic? A lunatic working for the Old Gods, for that matter? Either he’s crazy enough to think they’re going to spare him…
SKARR: Preserved, yes, kept for the masters, held for them, alive, alive, need Skarr alive, all of us alive until we all die, die for the masters, die in glory, die in flame, HAHA!
GARROSH: …or he knows he’s going to end up dead. And signed on for it anyway. Either way, we’re not dealing with a normal mind here.
SKARR: Haha, you talk like Skarr not here! Skarr knows! Skarr mind have more than you think, Skarr almost outsmart so smart you think, you think, you…you… <stares>
GARROSH: Besides…Draz’Zilb’s thing will kill him.
SKARR: HAH! Kill! Kill! All around, blackness all, all awaiting. It comes, it comes, crawling, swarming…
GARONA: I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing.
SKARR: Death comes for you all. HAHA!
GARROSH: No. We want this one alive. He’s not just some random foot soldier.
SKARR: Stupid foolish cows.
Garrosh leans in close, staring into Skarr’s face.
GARROSH: There’s something in there.
GARONA: We’ll get it.
Skarr grins wide and lets out a crazed laugh.
GARROSH: But before too long the Twilights are going to know he’s gone missing, and it’s not going to take a whole lot of brain power to figure out where he went. Hell, with all the spies they seem to have, they might already know.
SKARR: Stupid orcses, think you so smart, Skarr outsmart you, almost outsmart and hack and hack and kill in the woods!
GARROSH: Wow he’s proud of that poison move.
GARONA: Sharper than most ogres would think to do, I’ll grant him.
GARROSH: But, point is…if we kill him, they’ll find out quick enough. And then they’ll know we have everything he knew. So we keep him alive.
SKARR: Hold Skarr, yes, yes, keep me close, watching – HAH! – waiting, watching, tick, tock, the hour comes, tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock…
Garrosh leans in closer, still staring.
GARROSH: Oh, don’t worry, Skarr. You’ll still die eventually.
SKARR: <grin fades> Orc die too. Die in fire! Shadow and flame, tick, tock, the Hour of Twilight comes…
GARROSH: <shakes head> No… See, Skarr, that’s just it. Your big bad hot-shit apocalypse we’re all going to die in? It’s not coming.
Skarr’s face melts into a scowl as he glares at Garrosh in silence.
GARROSH: And you’re going to live just long enough to know that you lost.
Garrosh walks away from the ogre and stands by Garona, both of them watching him intently.
SKARR: <mutters> Tick, tock…
GARROSH: Would be nice if he didn’t just talk in circles, though.
GARONA: That’s fine. Let him talk in circles. That’s good.
SKARR: Yes, yes, round and round, circling spinning, circles closing, closing, always closing in around you…tick, tock, tick…
GARROSH: See? How is that good?
GARONA: Remember, I’ve done my share of interrogations, too. The Twilight’s Hammer…the humans…
SKARR: Stupid stupid foolish cows, chasing, chasing, chasing their tails…
GARONA: Crazy or not, when they talk in circles, you just have to let them keep talking. Let them keep circling. It means they’re circling around what they know. Sooner or later they’ll give you what you want…because they don’t know how to talk about anything else.
SKARR: Skarr know what orcs want.
GARONA: And this one, he wants to tell us.
GARROSH: The what you say?
SKARR: DIE! FLAME AND SHADOW!
GARONA: Have you ever had a conversation with someone where they kept steering it back to the same topics over and over?
GARROSH: I’ve…had the experience.
GARONA: It’s the same idea.
SKARR: Skarr knew you come, he knew…
GARONA: They keep coming back to the things they want to talk about. And especially this one…I bet he’s dying to let it out. Aren’t you, Skarr?
SKARR: Burn and drown and crush and suffocate! HAHAH!
GARROSH: Fuck, how did THIS guy get put on a job like this?
GARONA: Mmhmm, exactly.
GARONA: He’s probably never been trusted with something this important before. Have you, Skarr? Just another ogre, a good enough fighter probably, but really nothing special. But then the Twilight’s Hammer comes along…
SKARR: They need Skarr! Skarr knows, Skarr sees…since the Maul…
GARONA: You were there when Cho’gall came to the Maul, weren’t you? Had his gathering with the Gordunni…
SKARR: Skarr look into it…look into nothing, nothing, Skarr know then, Skarr know, nothing all the way down…
Garona steps closer to Skarr, watching his face.
GARONA: He saw something in you, didn’t he? Cho’gall. Ogre to ogre. And he trusted you.
SKARR: All the way down…
GARONA: It must have been a good feeling.
GARROSH: You’re not going to start getting all touchy-feely now, are you?
GARONA: You must have been so…proud.
GARROSH: Because really, it’s not a good look for you.
SKARR: Cho’gall trust Skarr. Cho’gall give Skarr. Give Skarr vision, give Skarr the truth, give Skarr, give Skarr purpose—
GARONA: Gave you the phylactery. And a mission to keep it safe, is that it?
Skarr falls silent.
GARROSH: I don’t get why THIS guy would be the caretaker of something that important, though.
GARONA: Have you SEEN the other ogres?
GARROSH: Yeah, none of them are exactly geniuses, but still, I’m not seeing what’s so different about this one.
SKARR: Skarr BELIEVE.
GARROSH: You believe. Believe what?
GARONA: Don’t you get it? Everything. The whole hopeless crusade… You were the only one who really GOT it, weren’t you, Skarr?
SKARR: Others say. Others pretend. Or tell Cho’gall what they think he want, not listening, never listening, silly brothers, never listen, never seeing, lost in the forest, blind for the trees, fight over ashes in house aflame, fire and shadow, burn and crush and drown—
GARROSH: Fighting in a burning house…
GARONA: The others wanted to get on Cho’gall’s good side as a means to an end – power, riches, rewards. But see? Those are all…well…things of this world. As long as there are still things left in the world that you want, then you still haven’t really given up.
GARROSH: <nodding> He was the only one in the burning house going “Fuck it, let it burn…”
SKARR: Skarr look into nothing and nothing look back…nothing see nothing, nothing see itself, mirrors in mirrors and circles and circles, round and round into nothing…and it was good…
GARONA: Cho’gall wanted to see who had given up.
SKARR: Nothing, nothing, all the way down…
GARROSH: Okay… So I get it, Skarr. The other ogres, yeah, they were busy focusing on what would be in it for them if the Twilights won, and that’s fine for the battleground fodder, right? For your garden variety foot soldiers, you don’t care if they’re just in it for the paycheck…but for the inner circle, you want the people who are all-in, is that it?
SKARR: Cho’gall notice Skarr. Cho’gall remember. Keep in mind, keep in mind…
GARROSH: So when the time came for him to hide the phylactery away, you were the one he went to.
GARONA: The one who was worthy.
GARROSH: So fine. You’re the chosen one. Kudos to you, nice job on the hopeless despair, real feather in your cap there. So what happened to it? If you’re the keeper of this big-fucking-deal trust, what are you doing hiding in a broken-down gnoll village?
SKARR: Stampede the Maul…clatter of hoofs, rattle of swords…
GARROSH: The Grimtotem.
GARONA: It adds up. He was up in Dire Maul at some point, and that’s where the Grimtotem started hitting more of late. It makes sense he would head south to make sure they didn’t find what they were after.
GARROSH: So he high-tailed it down to the Lower Wilds with the phylactery, and…wait a minute. If the Twilights already HAD the damn thing, what’s this whole big production been about? Why have those cultists running around hitting the ogre hot spots like they were looking for something when they already knew where it was?
GARONA: Why are you having our people in Dustwallow carry on like the ogres there might still be holding the phylactery?
GARONA: It’s just a way to keep the Grimtotem busy looking for it, keep them one move behind…
SKARR: <chuckling madly> Chasing their tails, chasing their tails, silly stupid cows…
GARROSH: Just a big misdirect.
GARROSH: Should I be worried that this cult and I seem to think so much alike?
GARONA: No comment.
GARROSH: Well hang on again, wasn’t the whole point with the Grimtotem that they were trying to find this thing BEFORE the Twilights? How did they even get started on a race to fins something that wasn’t lost?
GARONA: Who knows where the Grimtotem were getting their information? Or exactly how they were putting the details together? Look at it – they could have learned somehow that the Twilight’s Hammer needs the phylactery to bring back Cho’gall. Which they do. And that it’s somewhere among the ogres. Which is was. Beyond that, who knows? There’s a million ways they could have gotten the details twisted around, mistaken it being hidden for being lost…
GARROSH: So where is it now?
Garrosh and Garona both turn to Skarr.
GARROSH: WHERE. IS IT. NOW?
SKARR: <chuckles> Safe.
GARROSH: Well it sure as hell isn’t in that camp you were staying at, I know that much. We turned the place upside down after we got your fat ass under wraps.
SKARR: Not matter, not matter, what you do with Skarr not matter, Skarr do his job, Skarr… What happen now…not in Skarr’s hands.
GARONA: They have it.
GARROSH: Is that it, you big ball of crazy? You finished your end of the job keeping it safe, and you handed it off to the cult? Pass it along then stay behind to make sure it looks like there’s still a search on while everybody else spins their wheels?
SKARR: Tick, tock, tick—
GARROSH: KNOCK IT OFF with the idiot tick-tock bullshit.
SKARR: Sliding sands through the glass, through the hourglass, slipping away…
GARROSH: And that goes for whatever other time-passing metaphors you’ve got up your sleeve!
SKARR: Sands passing, sands sliding, slipping, sifting, sifting, shifting sands, shifting, sifting, si—
GARROSH: So help me, ogre—
GARONA: Wait, wait, I think I get it.
GARROSH: Oh. Yeah. Of course. Why didn’t I realize you could speak fluent crazy?
GARONA: I’m SERIOUS. The sands. It’s not a random time metaphor there just to taunt you.
GARROSH: What then?
GARONA: And by the way, since when is “metaphor” a part of your vocabulary, anyway?
GARROSH: Keeping on track, please?
GARONA: Well I’m just saying, metaphors? You?
GARROSH: Why do people keep talking like I’m some kind of illiterate moron? I DO write poetry on the side—
GARONA: You do? Poetry?
GARROSH: —so you’ll EXCUSE me if I actually managed to pick up a literary device here and there, okay?
GARONA: Do you write a lot of poetry?
GARROSH: Can you PLEASE stay focused? The sand thing isn’t a metaphor, fine, and yes I know what the fuck a metaphor is, stop the presses, big fucking deal, so what IS it? And so help me, if you get smart as say it’s a simile—
GARONA: Is that the one with “like” or “as”?
GARROSH: Really not the point.
GARONA: I’m just wondering, I always get those mixed up. Metaphors are the ones without “like” or “as,” right? And similes are with “like” or “as”?
GARROSH: Oh for fuck’s sake. YES, fine, similes use “like” or “as”, are you happy now? HERE, just to illustrate the fucking point: “I would really LIKE to get out of this conversation AS soon AS possible,” can we fucking move on please?
GARONA: That really doesn’t sound like a simile.
GARROSH: <rubbing head> You were actually doing pretty okay today, you really were.
SKARR: Circling, circling, round and round, endless wailing, endless darkness, darkness dying souls…
GARROSH: Right there with you, Skarr.
GARONA: And what’s that supposed to mean?
GARROSH: How about we focus on what something ELSE is supposed to mean, like say, I don’t know, the fucking thing about the sands which apparently aren’t going through the hourglass, and…oh fuck, wait, is it the Caverns of Time? Sands of the hourglass sounds like of Nozdormu-y, is that it?
GARONA: I just said it wasn’t a metaphor.
GARROSH: Well technically, that would be pretty literal, not a metaphor.
GARONA: How would that be literal?
GARROSH: Um, he was referring to sands passing through an hourglass, and that’s time, and those are the Caverns of Time, where all kinds of timey whimey stuff goes down – I’m not sure how much more literal you can get than that.
GARONA: Yes, I get the connection, but an hourglass is still a metaphor for time in that context, isn’t it?
GARROSH: If you really want to split hairs, I suppose, but it’s more kind of a dead metaphor.
GARONA: A dead metaphor?
GARROSH: You heard me.
GARONA: What the hell is that? I think you’re making this stuff up now.
GARROSH: I’m not making anything up, it just so happens I’ve read a fucking book or two in my life, is there a problem with that?
GARONA: And besides, why would they send the phylactery to the Caverns of Time? How does that make any sense at all? The place is crawling with bronze dragons who are on our side.
GARROSH: Well then what’s YOUR answer, little Miss Brainstorm?
GARONA: Although I suppose it’s not that big of a stretch, since there’s also that whole thing about sand, and there is a lot of sand in Tanaris, and in a roundabout way that’s kind of—
SKARR: It’s Silithus! For N’Zoth’s sake, it’s fucking SILITHUS! FUCK! Twilight agents picked up the phylactery, and they’re delivering it to SILITHUS, okay? Can you just SHUT UP now?!
GARONA: See! SEE?! I knew it! I KNEW it was Silithus!
GARROSH: I think you’re really overlooking the most illuminating part of that little outburst.
GARONA: Because, you see, the Twilight’s Hammer has always had a presence there, and then there’s the reference to “shifting sands”…
GARROSH: No, really, you want to step back and look at the bigger picture here.
SKARR: In order to carry out the resurrection, they need the residual energies from C’thun’s chamber in Ahn’Qiraj to focus the spell. It’s where Cho’gall tried to restore C’thun to this world, and the place is attuned to his spirit as a result…
GARONA: And see, even the words he was using – shifting, sliding, slipping, sifting, Silithus!
GARROSH: Right, it’s Silithus, we get it.
GARONA: I’m just saying, it’s exactly what I thought it was!
GARROSH: Yeah, good for you, that’s great.
GARONA: I could have told you, too, if you’d have let me get a word in edgewise.
GARONA: Instead of going on about what a big literary expert you’re supposed to be.
GARROSH: I never said I was—
GARONA: You’ll notice who actually managed to read between the lines and figure out what was going on here, though.
GARROSH: I SAID good job.
GARONA: Yes, but there was a tone.
GARROSH: There was not a tone.
GARONA: I picked up a tone.
GARROSH: I think I would know if I had a tone!
GARONA: Because you’re such an unparalleled master of language, is that it?
GARROSH: For fuck’s sake, here we go again.
GARONA: I need to see this poetry of yours, by the way.
SKARR: Is she always like this?
After this point I was heading back to Orgrimmar for Winter’s Veil stuff, which came in handy since it let me put a little distance between me and Garona, who let me tell you, dialed it up to eleven after the way things finished up with Skarr. Meanwhile she’s gone ahead to Silithus to start chasing down the Twilights. I’ll be heading down soon myself. With any luck we can make some quick progress before the Twilights piece together that something is up.