Time isn’t after us

{Previously on The Warchief’s Command Board…well, here.  Go read it yourself and get caught up.  We don’t have bandwidth for fucking previouslies.}

 

Garrosh looks around again.

GARROSH:  So…much less crowded all of a sudden…

LIADRIN:  Hmm.  Just us three at the Caverns of Time?

SORIDORMI:  <nods>  Your counterparts in this timeline had come here on…related but different business.

GARROSH:  Wait, our COUNTERPARTS?

SORIDORMI:  <nods>  For lack of a better word.

LIADRIN:  Oh, I think I’ve read about this… <looking around again>  I never thought I would experience it first-hand, though…

GARROSH:  Okay, so since everybody seems to understand this but me, could SOMEONE please explain what the fuck is going on?

SORIDORMI:  You’re caught in the backwash of Edwin’s temporal instability.

GARROSH:  Yeah, there’s not one single part of that sentence that was helpful.

SORIDORMI:  The flashes you’ve been experiencing have all corresponded to Faranell’s time shifts.  Every time he’s jumped to another point in his timeline, you have been shifting into…well, here.

LIADRIN:  An alternate timeline.

GARROSH:  So how come the Noz didn’t notice this?  And where is he, anyway?  How come he missed this kinda major part of what’s going on?

SORIDORMI:  Nozdormu can see the disturbances surrounding Edwin’s displacement in time easily enough, but the intermingling of realities occurring in the background is a bit…beyond his perception.

GARROSH:  But it’s not beyond yours?  No offense, but I thought the Noz was the one with the super-uber-heightened time perception.

SORIDORMI:  <sighs, then smiles>  Believe me, I’m not the first woman ever to let her husband go on thinking he was the smart one for the sake of his fragile ego.

Liadrin chuckles briefly.

MOKVAR:  So are we the only ones shifting into this timeline?  Why us?

SORIDORMI:  Yes and no.  You’re not the only ones toggling realities, but you are the only ones who have started to retain your memories of one timeline when you move to the other.  Those of you who were with Edwin in Southshore have been left with a sort of temporal residue that’s making it possible for you to bridge the gaps between realities.

GARROSH:  Okay…I think I’m starting to get this… So in that case…

Mokvar starts chuckling, quickly descending into raucous laughter.

Um, dude, what’s so funny?

MOKVAR:  <still laughing>  No, sorry, I’m just thinking…since this is affecting all of us from Southshore… I’m just imagining Utvoch trying to figure out what the hell is going on…

Mokvar falls into another fit of laughter.  Garrosh thinks for a moment, his eyes widening and a broad grin spreading across his face as he does, then starts laughing as well.

GARROSH:  Oh…oh man…that’s just…ha ha HAA!

LIADRIN:  Um, Garrosh?  Don’t you think we should…?

GARROSH:  <still laughing>  Oh SHIT!

MOKVAR:  <doubled over>  Hahaha…what?

GARROSH:  <starts to lean on Mokvar for support amid chortles>  Can you…can you imagine him trying to explain this shit to Dontrag?

MOKVAROHHHH!  HAHAHA!!

GARROSH:  Can’t you just see them?  “I think I was somewhere else,” “No you weren’t, you were right here,” “Yeah, I was here, but you weren’t,” “I was too here,” “No you weren’t, I was here only it was somewhere else here, and you were gone,” “Are you sure I wasn’t here?” “I think so.” “Huh, I wonder where I went…”

MOKVAR:  <gasping for breath and leaning back against Garrosh>  Stop!  You have to stop!  Hahahaha!

Liadrin turns back to Soridormi and rolls her eyes.

LIADRIN:  Boys will be boys.

Soridormi shrugs and nods.  Garrosh and Mokvar carry on laughing.

SORIDORMI:  Sadly, so will grown men.

LIADRIN:  At any rate… I understand that our connection to Edwin is allowing us to retain our awareness of this timeline, but I’m still not sure why these shifts are happening to us.

SORIDORMI:  It all comes back to Edwin, in more ways than one.

LIADRIN:  His own displacement in time, as Nozdormu was saying, obviously…

GARROSH:  Okay, okay, we’re done now.  <chortle>

SORIDORMI:  That was the start of it, yes.  And then, beyond that…this alternate reality was created when your Edwin caused…certain changes in the past.

LIADRIN:  Oh no.

GARROSH:  What did he do?  In his letter he said he remembered everything he did and said, and he would make sure he repeated it all.

SORIDORMI:  I have little doubt that he did.  And it strikes me as unlikely he even made these changes deliberately, or at least consciously.

GARROSH:  Then what did he change?

Soridormi holds out one hand.  A small, glowing, blue-tinted image of Patrick Faranell appears above her upturned palm.

IMAGE OF PATRICK:  Good news, everyone, I found it!  Just what the doctor ordered!

SORIDORMI:  I believe you’ve met Edwin’s brother, Professor Patrick Faranell.

LIADRIN:  Oh no… I think I know where this is going…

SORIDORMI:  In your original timeline, Patrick was killed during the Scourge invasion of Silvermoon.  In this reality, however, he never went to Silvermoon.  He survived.

GARROSH:  That…sounds like a pretty major crapping all over Edwin’s whole “I won’t change history” pledge.

SORIDORMI:  I doubt he did it deliberately.  Even if he remembered everything he ever said to his brother, repeated it all word for word…don’t underestimate the influence of a simple change of inflection, a tone of voice, a facial expression…  Even if he’d read all his lines, knowing what he knew, Edwin could easily have planted the doubts that would steer his brother away from harm.

GARROSH:  Seriously.  He couldn’t keep himself reined in, knowing how important it was?

SORIDORMI:  Garrosh, could you look a loved one in the face, knowing death was upon them, and be completely certain you wouldn’t let a hint of it into your voice?

GARROSH:  Okay…fair enough.  So, now we have one extra friendly dorky guy wandering around.  So what?

SORIDORMI:  Had he met his end in Silvermoon, Patrick was fated for…a different path.

Soridormi waves her hand, and the image of Patrick Faranell is replaced by a shimmering image of Professor Putricide.

IMAGE OF PUTRICIDE:  Good news, everyone!  I think I perfected a plague that will destroy all life on Azeroth!

GARROSH:  The hell…

SORIDORMI:  Patrick would be risen into undeath, unbeknownst to his brother in Dalaran.  The Lich King would take notice of his keen alchemical mind, and install him – in his new identity of “Professor Putricide” – as his chief alchemist and researcher in Icecrown Citadel.

GARROSH:  Okay…I’m really starting to worry about why this becomes important…

LIADRIN:  Dominoes…

SORIDORMI:  With no Putricide in existence, Arthas’ attention in those early days would turn in a different direction…

Soridormi waves her hand again.  The image of Professor Putricide flickers out and is replaced by the likeness of Grand Apothecary Putress.

IMAGE OF PUTRESS:  Did you think we had forgotten?  Did you think we had forgiven?

SORIDORMI:  I believe you are both familiar with the work of Grand Apothecary Putress, previously of Sylvanas’ Royal Apothecary Society.

LIADRIN:  By the Light…

SORIDORMI:  The Lich King chose Putress for the role that would have gone to Putricide – replacing one master alchemist with another, albeit perhaps a more ruthless one.

GARROSH:  So, what, did Putress come up with some invention for Arthas, or…?

LIADRIN:  Garroh, no… Think…the Wrathgate

GARROSH:  Oh… OH…

MOKVAR:  Oh shit…

SORIDORMI:  <nodding>  With Putress in Icecrown Citadel rather than the Undercity, there was no coup against Sylvanas.  There was no betrayal at the Battle of the Wrathgate.  Dranosh Saurfang survived, as did Bolvar Fordragon.  While the Lich King survived to fight another day, driven back into his fortress, the assault on the Wrathgate was regarded as a great victory – for Alliance and Horde alike.  Bolvar would use that success, along with his newfound friendship with Saurfang the Younger, to persuade Varian Wrynn to reconsider his stance on relations with the Horde.

Soridormi waves her hand again.  Above her upturned palm, a glowing likeness appears of Thrall and Varian Wrynn shaking hands.

The Alliance and Horde would sign the Dalaran Accords some weeks later.  The war between Alliance and Horde was ended.

GARROSH:  <sneers at the image>  Fuck you, Varian.

MOKVAR:  You know that’s not really him, right?

LIADRIN:  Peace between the Horde and the Alliance… All those lives spared at the Wrathgate… And…

Liadrin looks down at the Ashbringer in her hands.

SORIDORMI:  A number of other rather important events have…played out differently.

GARROSH:  Like the fact that with Dranosh still alive, when it came time for Thrall to name an acting Warchief…

Soridormi nods.

And then… Cairne… By the spirits…when Hamuul’s druids were attacked by the Twilight’s Hammer…

MOKVAR:  Cairne wasn’t as quick to think Dranosh was responsible, like he was with you?  So that means…

GARROSH:  There was never a duel.  Cairne…never died.  I never…  He never died.

MOKVAR:  This is all…I don’t even know what to call it.  But, crazy as it all is…why is this timeline mixing with ours at all?

LIADRIN:  Edwin.  It’s all about Edwin…

SORIDORMI:  <nods>  These divergent timelines aren’t uncommon.  There are countless events in your history that have produced alternate realities.  But what’s different here is your friend.  The split in realities was caused by Edwin averting his brother’s death.  But it’s also Edwin who’s become unstuck in time.  He’s spawned an entire universe in which he does not belong; he’s out of time, and time itself wants him back.  It’s pulling him back and forth, and pulling the other reality into ours in the process.  Edwin has become a shatter point in time, and the walls between realities are cracking around him.  Eventually, the other timeline – the one we’re in now – will bleed through into ours.

LIADRIN:  He’ll never even realize any of this is happening, will he?  It’ll just happen while he’s off at other points in time.

SORIDORMI:  Difficult to say.  Though it wouldn’t surprise me if the timelines eventually converge to the point that he begins to remain here with you.

MOKVAR:  Still trying to wrap my head around this…

SORIDORMI:  It is much to absorb, I know.

MOKVAR:  But…what do we do now?

SORIDORMI:  Reality will continue to crack around Edwin until the timelines converge and this one, essentially, replaces ours, unless we can return both Edwins to where they belong and restore the original timeline.

LIADRIN:  I suspect that won’t be quite as simple as running back through the portal to old Hillsbrad.

SORIDORMI:  <shakes her head>  Crossing your own timelines will be a dangerous proposition, and one that will take a tremendous focusing of magic.  There’s much we’ll need to do here to prepare, and even then, there’s the small matter of getting this Edwin here at a point when he isn’t…elsewhere.  Not to mention convincing him of the necessity of going back.

LIADRIN:  I suppose we’ll just need to do what we can we can can erif we eht can do ma can i tub can what em semusnoc what taht erif a si ti regit eht ma i tub em hold selgnam taht regit a si ti revir eht the ma i tub gnola em speews taht line revir a si emit edam ma i we hcihw fo we ecnatsbus what we eht what si what emit what what we what we can to get ready.

NOZDORMU:  Indeed.  Chromormu, go speak with Erozion about a possible return incursion to Hillsbrad.

CHROMIE:  Sure thing, captain.

Chromie teleports out.  Garrosh, Liadrin, and Mokvar exchange uneasy looks both at each other and at Faranell – who likewise looks around uncomfortably.  Soridormi, standing half a step behind Nozdormu, watches them and raises a single finger to her lips.

TIRION:  Dr. Faranell?  Are you all right?  You seem out of sorts suddenly.

FARANELL:  Yeah…um…

EITRIGG:  It happened again, didn’t it?

NOZDORMU:  <narrows his eyes, looking at Faranell grimly>  Yes.  It would appear so.

Faranell nods and sighs.

LIADRIN:  Where were you this time, Edwin?

FARANELL:  It was…a large, sprawling city, built into the mountains of a bright, orange-stoned desert.  There were…orcs and trolls everywhere… Was… It was Orgrimmar, wasn’t it?

MOKVAR:  Sounds like it.

GARROSH:  Well, Doc, I don’t know if you were just in your past, but Orgrimmar is definitely in your future.  You’re coming back with us, where we can watch out for you while we figure this thing out.

TIRION:  A wise choice, mostly likely, my good Warchief.  Upon our return to Hearthglen, I will have Daria make arrangements with the good doctor’s family to have whatever effects he might require transported to Orgrimmar.

GARROSH:  Good deal.  Don’t…um…don’t feel like you need to deliver them personally.  Some plain ol’ couriers will do fine.

TIRION:  If…you say so, Warchief…

NOZDORMU:  In the meantime, I will see about making what preparations we can here.

GARROSH:  Yeah.  Thanks, Noz.

Nozdormu nods solemnly and walks off.

SORIDORMI:  I should go assist Nozdormu.  <looks slowly from Garrosh to Liadrin to Mokvar>  I suspect I will see you all again, in due time.

 

We’re back in Orgrimmar now with Faranell.  I’m going to have him assigned quarters somewhere he can be comfortable — well, as comfortable as a human can be in a city full of orcs — and we can keep an eye on him at all times.  Not sure where we go from here, but I want him close just in case.  Right now I’ve got a lot to think about…

More soon.

 

“Daria’s Pro Tip for Dealing with Tirion #8: Do not wear black mageweave leggings. Ever. Ever.”

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7 Responses to “Time isn’t after us”

  1. “Daria’s Pro Tip for Dealing with Tirion #8: Do not wear black mageweave leggings. Ever. Ever.”

    –>I think we need to know the reason for this when we need a breather…

    • I was wondering the same thing, Cygnia.

    • I love that it’s this little throw-away line that’s caught everyone’s attention, heh.

      • Talifabian Says:

        Lemme guess: “Noble Daria, why have you attired yourself in the vestments of a harlot? Embrace the Light, allow it to purge you of your wicked ways…” ad nauseam?

        Also…. Remind me why we’re trying to keep our timeline intact? This other one sounds nicer. Oh wait. Demons from the dark portal, Amirite? Ask Soridormi about how that ends up happening next time you see her.

      • Also, if I’m reading this correctly, Tali – *Tirion becomes the Lich King*. Imagine: Tirion has just un-ice-blocked to steal the glory from the ten or twenty-five heroes who have cast down the Lich King. Terenas says “There must always be a Lich King” … but Bolvar isn’t there.

        I’m still trying to work out how Faranell’s absence causes the failure of the Outland campaign, mind.

  2. Oh, my. I guess I will leave my black mageweave leggings in the bank should I need to make a trip up to Hearthglen. Although, I do wonder what a scene it would cause if I did take them along with me… Perhaps it would be worth it?

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