Practically all the major players have been arriving the last few hours — Baine Bloodhoof and Hamuul Runetotem from Thunder Bluff…Sylvanas Windrunner from the Undercity…what’s-his-name, that blood elf guy from Silvermoon. Vol’jin’s come up from the Echo Isles, even though I usually don’t have a whole lot of patience for him. Hell, even Trade Prince Gallywix crawled out from underneath whatever rock he usually hides under to attend. Everybody’s brought a considerable contingent of aides and lieutenants with them, and naturally I have a good-sized contingent of my people from here in Orgrimmar to show their support — Eitrigg, obviously, along with a slew of other aides and supporters like Shok Narnes, Captain Drok, Invoker Xorenth. Mokvar, of course, who’s going to make it a whole lot easier to record and post the meeting. Pretty much the only heavy hitter not here is Saurfang, and, well, I can see why he would decline the invitation, considering.
I waited outside the war room while everyone gathered and got settled into their places. I had my aide Malkorok — who’s been growing more and more important in our developing plans — watched over the gathering, then prepared them for my grant entrance. See, in addition to being an ongoing advisor and newly appointed supervisor of internal security, Malkorok’s also a pretty damn good hype man. So he took a minute to work up the crowd, and then…well, hey, why don’t I kick it over to Mokvar, who I think Spazzle hooked up to be able to feed his meeting notes straight on up to the blog…
MALKOROK: Your leader, the mighty Garrosh Hellscream, approaches! Show him all honor!
The assembly stands and burst into cheers as Garrosh enters, holding his arms wide with Gorehowl in hand.
GARROSH: I bid you all welcome! You are true servants of the Horde. Your Warchief calls you, and you come. <surveying the assembly> Much has transpired since I assumed the mantle of Warchief…
VOL’JIN: <aside to Baine> Most of it bad, mon.
GARROSH: We have faced trials and danger, threats to our world and our way of life. And yet, we persevere. We are the HORDE! We will not let anything break our spirits!
Garrosh raises Gorehowl above his head, and, starting with the orcs present, the assembly cheers.
GARROSH: You do not disappoint me.
VOL’JIN: <aside to Baine> Wish I could say da same, mon.
GARROSH: You are the finest representatives of your races – the leaders, the generals. And that is why I called you here.
Garrosh settles into his throne and gestures for the assembly to sit as well.
GARROSH: There is a menace that has been present for too long, which we must now root out without any mercy.
VOL’JIN: <aside to Baine> Aw, no, mon, don’ be so hard on yaself.
BAINE: <struggling to stifle his chortling> Stop…stop it!
GARROSH: A threat that has challenged us for years, to which we have, until recently, turned a blind eye in the mistaken notion that tolerance of a little shame will do no harm to the mighty Horde. I have—
Vol’jin and Baine glance at each other. Vol’jin doubles over and lets a chuckle escape.
GARROSH: Hmm? You had something to add, troll?
VOL’JIN: No, no, dat was just a sneeze, mon.
GARROSH: A sneeze.
VOL’JIN: Yah, mon. Allergy season, ya know.
Garrosh exchanges a look with Malkorok, who shrugs.
GARROSH: Um, yeah. As I was saying. And have said, and say again – ANY shame is a great shame!
VOL’JIN: <aside to Baine> A damn dirty shame, mon.
Baine lowers his head over the table and chortles.
GARROSH: Any— Um, you too, birthday boy?
BAINE: <wipes a tear from his eye while looking up> Apologies, Warchief. I think I may be having some…trouble with allergies as well.
VOL’JIN: I tink dere might be a bug goin’ round, mon.
GARROSH: Oh for fuck’s sake… Ugh. Never mind. I…where was I again?
MOKVAR: “Any shame is a great shame.”
Baine and Vol’jin double over slightly, barely containing another fit of chuckles.
GARROSH: Right, right. Any shame is a great shame – ANY injury is a great injury! And apparently any sniffle is a great fucking sneezing epidemic. But whatever. Point is, WE WILL ENDURE IT NO LONGER!
Vol’jin smirks at Baine and gives an exaggerated nod.
GARROSH: We have a destiny to fulfill. And there is an obstacle to that destiny – one that we must crush beneath our feet like the insignificant insect it truly is. For far too long – nay, even a MOMENT would be too long! – the Alliance pests, not content with their stranglehold over the Eastern Kingdoms—
SYLVANAS and LOR’THEMAR: <overlapping> Hey now!
GARROSH: —have wormed their ways into OUR lands, OUR territory. Into Kalimdor. Chipping away at our resources and sullying the very earth with their presence! They are crippling us, preventing us from growing, from reaching the heights that I know – I KNOW – we are capable of achieving! For I believe in my heart that it is not our fate to bow and scrape and sue for peace before the Alliance. It is our right to dominate and control this land of Kalimdor. It is ours, and we will claim it as such!
Led by Malkorok, many of the orcs stand and cheer emphatically. After a few moments, the cheers subside.
GARROSH: To that end, it is my intent to lead the Horde on a mission that will restore us to our rightful path. Our first target will be Northwatch Hold. We will raze it. And once we have reclaimed that land as ours, we will move on to the next step – THERAMORE!
Baine, Vol’jin, Malkorok, and several others spring to their feet – some cheering, some crying out in protest. Frandis Farley – one of Sylvanas’ Forsaken lieutenants – shouts over the din.
FRANDIS: Warchief! The lady Jaina is too powerful! She has been passive and quiet. Rouse her, and we will have war on our hands – a war we are not prepared to fight!
BAINE: She has behaved with fairness time and again, when she could have responded with force or deceit! Her diplomatic efforts and her decision to work with Warchief Thrall have saved countless lives! To storm her realm with no provocation does not give honor to the Horde, and it is foolish besides!
MOKVAR: Also I really, really hope this isn’t about your old guild leader…
BAINE: Wait, his what?
MOKVAR: He had an old GM he was pissed at who turned out to be from Theramore.
VOL’JIN: A GM from what, mon?
MOKVAR: This MMO we play.
VOL’JIN: Hey mon, you don’ live in da basement in here too, do ya?
GARROSH: WILL YOU SHUT IT? Dammit, trolls should be seen and not heard. Ideally not seen, either.
VOL’JIN: Oh, so you wan’ me invisible, mon?
GARROSH: If only.
VOL’JIN: Like da Lich King’s horse!
GARROSH: ENOUGH ALREADY!
VOL’JIN: Sorry, mon.
Garrosh lets out a long sigh while Malkorok edges closer to Vol’jin’s side of the room, eyeing the troll chieftain uneasily. Garrosh finally gathers himself.
GARROSH: Now then… First of all, Thrall has given leadership of the Horde to me. Whatever HE did or did not do means nothing now.
VOL’JIN: <aside> Aye, you’ll be seein’ ta dat, won’t ya, mon?
GARROSH: I am the Warchief, to whom you have all sworn loyalty. My decisions are what matter. And those of you who condemn my plan do not even know what it entails. Be silent and listen!
Some – but not all – of the assembly return to their seats.
GARROSH: You respond to this as if the conquest of Theramore were the goal. I tell you now, it is only the beginning! I do not speak solely of destroying the human foothold in Kalimdor. I speak also, and even more vigorously, of the night elves. Let them flee to the Eastern Kingdoms as we crush their cities and take their resources!
VOL’JIN: Drive dem all out? Dey been here longer dan we have. An’ we try somet’ing like day, da Alliance be over us like bees on da honey! You just be givin’ dem he excuse dey been looking for!
GARROSH: My soul is sick of the back-and-forth in Ashenvale that has gone on nearly since we set foot in this world. And I am even more sickened by our own blindness to what we should and must do. The night elves claim compassion and wisdom, yet they murder us when we harvest a few trees that would provide life-giving shelter! The night elves have lived here long enough. Let them now linger only as a bad memory. It is the Horde’s hour to reign on this continent, and reign we shall! This is why Theramore is key, do you not understand? <scanning around the chamber> We crush Theramore, we stop the potential of Alliance reinforcement from the south. And then – we give the night elves their due.
SYLVANAS: <rising> Warchief, the Alliance may indeed not send reinforcements. Not at once, at least. They will turn and vent their wrath instead upon those of us in the Eastern Kingdoms – my people and the sin’dorei.
Sylvanas looks to Lor’themar, who remains still and silent.
GARROSH: Wait, who’s that guy again?
GARROSH: The blood elf guy.
SYLVANAS: He’s… <rubs her hand over her face> Never mind. The point is…Varian will march on my borders and destroy us!
EITRIGG: Warchief, a word?
GARROSH: I have heard from you already, my advisor.
BAINE: We have not. Eitrigg was friend to my father and advisor to Thrall. He knows the Alliance in a way few do. Surely you do not object to the rest of us hearing what such a wise elder has to say?
GARROSH: <glares at Baine, then nods to Eitrigg> You may speak.
EITRIGG: It is true that the Horde has done much to recover from the Cataclysm. And it has been under your leadership, Warchief Garrosh. You are right. Yours is the title. Yours are the decisions. But yours also is the responsibility. Think for a moment about the consequences the consequences consequences si the ti consequences moment ereh consequences dna gnikam consequences about erew ew about erutuf tahw kniht ot delbuort su ogre fo yna yldrah dodge dna dias consequences eh erutuf consequences eht dire consequences gnikam dire erew dire ewdire dire consequences dire consequences if we fail.
DRANOSH: I know that all too well, Eitrigg. Which is why I’m not going to do this if everyone isn’t in agreement.
Garrosh blinks a few times confusedly, then exchanges a concerned look with Mokvar.
CAIRNE: <watching Garrosh closely> Overlord? Are you alright?
Garrosh looks up at Cairne and stares for a moment.
GARROSH: I… Yeah. I’m fine…Cairne… Just had something in my eye for a second.
MOKVAR: Might be allergy season…
DRANOSH: At any rate… We all know what’s at stake here. I know I’ve said more than once that I don’t intend to send more troops into a losing situation, but I think it’s safe to say this is a special case.
VOL’JIN: I don’ tink dere’s anyone gonna argue, mon. Quel’talas ain’t gonna hold long on its own, an’ we can’ let dem get to da Sunwell. Not again.
DRANOSH: A vote, then. One last battle, to hold the line, at least long enough to do what needs to be done?
EITRIGG: <scanning around> All in favor?
Cairne, Eitrigg, Vol’jin, and Zaela raise their hands. After a moment’s pause, Garrosh and Mokvar do the same.
EITRIGG: And opposed?
VOL’JIN: Dere’s nobody else here, mon.
EITRIGG: Well, still. It never hurts to be thorough.
DRANOSH: I should get you to do my paperwork for me.
GARROSH: You know, I bet he’d be good at that.
EITRIGG: I would not wish to intrude on your confidential documents, Warchief.
GARROSH: I’m sure he has plenty more important things to do with his time.
DRANOSH: I am Warchief.
GARROSH: Better you than me.
DRANOSH: <smirks> Spirits help us. You’d be terrible at it.
GARROSH: Well, it’s a good thing Thrall stuck YOU with the job then, isn’t it?
DRANOSH: <still smirking> No, but really. I think a basic campfire would probably do a better job than you.
GARROSH: <smirks back> Okay, enough. That shit is hurtful.
DRANOSH: What, are you turning sensitive all of a sudden? What’s next, are you going to start writing poetry too?
GARROSH: You never know.
VOL’JIN: Tell you what, mon, we can plan da first readin’ after we out of da fire.
DRANOSH: <turning back to the war map> Well, we’re all agreed. I’ll send a messenger to Silvermoon. The rest of you know what needs to be done to prepare.
VOL’JIN: Aye, mon.
ZAELA: Yes, Warchief.
DRANOSH: Let’s get to work, then. Metting adjourned. Lok’tar ogar!
VOL’JIN: For da Horde!
GARROSH: This will either end up turning the tide the tide tide si the ylno tide up saw tide sa gniht tide turning hcus on turning si ereht elpoep laudividni fo sratava yratnemom ogre eht ni tpecxe ecnetsixe dodge on sah hcihw your noitidnoc diulf your accept your a accept si accept emit accept accept you accept your oath.
Garrosh looks around confusedly again, finding himself absently patting the head of a goblin who appears to be kneeling in allegiance. Malkorok approached, ushering Lor’themar Theron with him.
LOR’THEMAR: You wish to see me, Warchief?
GARROSH: I do. I understand you are the leader of the blood elves.
LOR’THEMAR: Um…yes, Warchief. We’ve met several times.
GARROSH: Have we? Hmm. Must have slipped my memory…
LOR’THEMAR: I’m in your Earth Online guild.
GARROSH: You are? Huh.
GARROSH: Well, anyway. Out of all our leaders in there, save Gallywix — who’s supportive merely because he sees coins to be made — you are the only one who doesn’t question your Warchief. Not even when Sylvanas tries to play upon your sympathy. I respect that, elf. Know that your loyalty to me is duly noted.
LOR’THEMAR: The Horde embraced and supported my people when no one else would. I will not forget that. And so, my loyalty, and that of my people, is to the Horde.
GARROSH: I am the Horde’s Warchief, Lor’themar. And as such, I AM the Horde.
LOR’THEMAR: You are its Warchief. Is that all you wish of me? My people are anxious to return home and prepare for the war that is to come.
GARROSH: Of course. You may go.
Lor’themar walks off, rejoining the rest of the Silvermoon contingent.
GARROSH: <to Malkorok: That one is worth watching.
MALKOROK: They are all worth watching.
MOKVAR: Um…if I might ask, what’s that supposed to mean?
MALKOROK: <stares at Mokvar a moment> Suffice to say, scribe, that you are not the only one keeping notes. <turning to Garrosh> If you’ll excuse me, Warchief, I have a few matters to follow up on.
Captain Drok approaches and waits close beside Garrosh.
GARROSH: Go ahead, Malkorok. We’ll check in again later.
DROK: Warchief, a moment?
GARROSH: What is it, Drok? Oh…OH…is it…?
DROK: <nodding> I’ve just received word from our team in Northrend, sir. We have it.
GARROSH: <slowly grins, then nods> Good, good… I love it when a plan comes together.
The pieces are falling into place. Everything is lining up. I’ll be sending marching orders to the various leaders within the next day, and soon enough everything will be underway. Everything is going exactly to plan.
If only I didn’t have this nagging feeling the universe is trying to tell me something.