Archive for September, 2012

It’s a celebration, bitches!

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

We took our time marching back to Orgrimmar from the glowing crater that used to be Theramore.  Most of the way, Baine and Vol’jin sulked and moped like somebody had killed the family pet, but overall the troops were in good spirits, to say the least.  And then, when we finally approached Orgrimmar, morale took an even greater turn for the better.

Outside the city, people were gathered to greet us.  Hundreds – maybe thousands – of citizens of every race, gathered at the front gate and all across the Dranosh’ar Blockade, waving, cheering, crying out to us as we approached.  They were gathered so densely that we couldn’t even get in the gate when we finally reached it.  It was like the hero’s welcome we received on our victorious return from Northrend – only better.  More raucous.  More jubilant.  More hopeful for the glorious future for the Horde that we could all feel dawning.

The crowd chanted my name as I sat on my worg at the gate.  They wouldn’t stop until I finally called for them to listen while I told the tale of our triumph.  When I finished, they burst into another spontaneous chant: “Death to the Alliance!”

Music to my ears.  Almost enough to full the hollow ache that’s nagged at me since Northwatch.

On the way back to Orgrimmar, I sent orders to Captain Gharga and the fleet at Theramore for the next stage of our plan.  The fleet will spread around the continent and form a blockade around all remaining Alliance ports: Lor’danel, Feathermoon Stronghold, Rut’theran Village, Azuremyst Isle.  They’ll all be sealed off from outside support and then, one by one, we’ll move in and pick them apart, until finally, Kalimdor will belong to the Horde and the Horde alone.

But that will be a victory for the future.  The NEAR future, make no mistake, but the future nonetheless.  For today, we have another victory to celebrate.

I’ve ordered six days of festivities in Orgrimmar to commemorate what I know will prove to be the turning point in the history of the Horde.  All of our warriors are instructed to remain in Durotar for the length of the celebration, and I’ll be issuing individual summons for all those I’ll be expecting to stay in Orgrimmar proper.  Six days of celebrations – raptor fights for our entertainment, sparring contests with generous prizes funded personally by yours truly, food and drink for all.  As it happens, our return home coincides almost perfectly with Brewfest, so all the better – beer and grog from around the world!  Tap every keg in sight, boys and girls, and let the ale flow – all on your Warchief’s tab.  Let it wash down the feasts – and oh, man, will there ever be feasts.  All accompanied by lok’tras and lok’vadnods by the best of our bards and poets.

And you know what that means.  Oh yeah.

 
          to a young mage

 

Jaina, are you shattered
Over Theramore, all splattered?
Towns, by sleight of hand, you
Can’t just conjure up, now can you?
If not, tough – no QQ’in’,
You’re just stuck now ruling ruins.
Of course, that would assume
You weren’t blown up when things went boom;
Chance you’re grieving now decreases
If you’re smashed to little pieces!
But whether live or dead you lie,
Now you’ll weep and you’ll know why:
Orcish destiny restored,
All opposed fall to the Horde!
Tis the blight humans were born for,
The Alliance that you mourn for.

 

EPIC VERSE!

 

Enjoy it, Horde.  Soak it in.  You’ve earned it.

 

 

[Header image provided by Khizzara from Blog of the Treant, used here with permission and many thanks.]

The fall of Theramore

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

Victory from the jaws of defeat.

Or, no, that’s not quite accurate.  Defeat was never really in the picture.  This was more victory from under the guide of defeat.

That much sweeter, in a way.  Let the humans think they’d won, right up to the moment that their doom became inescapable.  The moment they realized it was upon them, and had nothing left to do but stand there helplessly and watch it come.

Today was a good day.

 

After we left Northwatch Hold, we marched south and made short work of Fort Triumph.  I couldn’t help chuckling at the irony of the name while we annihilated what passed for its defenses.  I think our soldiers were so eager for battle after the long wait at Northwatch that they threw themselves with ever great ferocity into the fight once it finally came.

The long wait at Northwatch.  To them – what? – six days?

They’ll never know how long their Warchief had been waiting for this moment.

We continued on our way into Dustwallow Marsh and divided our forces at the fork in the road.  Half of our troops traveled north with me, while half went east with Malkorok.  We would meet at Theramore and strike both its gates at the same time.  As my half of the army made its way north, we added reinforcements from Brackenwall Village – Krog and Draz’Zilb among them – then continued on our way toward Theramore.

My contingent was the first to reach the city.  Jaina had recruited aid from the Kirin Tor to help strengthen the city’s defenses against our battering rams and siege engines.  It was a wise decision on her part.  Pity I’d been counting on it.  Me and…what’s his name, the blood elf guy.  I can never remember.  I should probably work on that, seeing as he really stepped up to the plate with more than one part of this plan.

See, Jaina had called in mages from the Kirin Tor to help hold the Theramore gates against our attack.  A powerful mage could reinforce a gate for a good long time against our siege.  As it happened, though, one of those crucial, city-saving mages was a guy by the name of Thalen Songweaver.

A blood elf.

See if you can guess who writes his checks.

Down came the gates, and in came the Horde.

Malkorok’s forces joined ours in the midst of it all, and Captain Drok and the rest of the Horde fleet hit the harbor.  Our troops flooded into Theramore, laying waste to its defenders.  Jaina and her wizard friends did a decent job of chipping away at our numbers from above, but on the ground, none of the Theramore soldiers could hold their own against our assault.

Everything was going perfectly until Jaina’s new blue dragon friend turned up and started dropping boulders and trees over the broken gate.  Kalecgos… I remember meeting him, once, just after Deathwing’s defeat.  Apparently mortality’s left him pretty damn bored these days, because now he had nothing better to do than meddle in battles that were none of his concern.  Problem was – as Baine and Vol’jin were only too quick to point out – at the rate the big lizard was going, he would shore up the opening right quick, and seal us all inside.  At that point, closed in without any further reinforcements from outside, it would just be a matter of time before the mages picked us off.

So, I ordered our forces to fall back.  We cleared out of the city and retreated to the north and west.  We all regrouped just west of the bridge over Dustwallow Bay, overlooking Theramore.  Baine was less than thrilled about how things had gone.  Can’t really blame him, though, considering he wasn’t seeing the big picture.  The foolish tauren thought the siege was all there was to this attack.  For all he could see, this was a loss.

But see, here’s the thing.  When you fight me, there’s never just one piece to the plan I throw at you.  Sure, it would have been nice if the siege had gone perfectly.  But that’s the beauty of it all.  It didn’t have to.

Welcome to fighting Garrosh Hellscream, Theramore.  Evern when I lose, I win.

Sure, you fought off the attack on your gates…  And kept yourselves busy while Drok slipped into the harbor and dropped off a small, elite strike team, who crippled your aerial defenses and recovered our agent Thalen Songweaver.

And sure, you managed to secure that north gate again…  And sealed yourselves in, within the city walls.  With some of the Alliance’s greatest generals, who’d come to aid in the defense.  Closed in together.  Nice and compact.  All in one place.

Boy, it sure would suck for you if I had, say, a giant bomb I could drop on you right now.

Oh, wait.  I do.

Goblin sky galleon.  Blood elf mana bomb.  And the immeasurable power of a handy little relic called the Focusing Iris.

Goodbye, Theramore.

The troops cheered around me as I pointed to our victory and the sky glowed white and purple with the aftershocks of the mana explosion.  Louder and louder, raucous voices all around me.  Some stared in shock, confusion, maybe even…misguided disapproval.  No matter.  Give them time.  They’ll come around.  Eventually, victory wins everyone over.  And we won.

I turned and looked over the bay, holding Gorehowl over my head, taking in the sight of our triumph, of the mark we had left on this world, never to be forgotten.

Deep down, in some tiny, hollow corner, I knew it still wasn’t quite enough.

But it would do.  For a start.

Monday mailbag

Posted in Mailbag with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

So yeah, I know I’m just getting this mailbag in under the wire for it to count as Monday, but whatever, it’s hard to get a stable internet connection out here in the fucking swamp.  I’m writing from the field as we make our final march into Dustwallow Marsh.  I figured I haven’t answered any mail for a while, so it might be good to offer up a few messages from the my loyal Horde minions before we but a roflstomping on the humans.

Let’s see what we’ve got…

 

Written on a heavy parchment in multicolored inks, the first impression of this letter is one of chaos. Small sketches of Tauren, prairie wolves, swoops, and other sights of Mulgore clutter the margins, at times encroaching on the text itself. The sketches are obviously done quickly, but with moderate skill; the subjects are clearly recognizable even though the drawings are rough and unfinished. In contrast, the words meander across the page, crooked and shaky, with the occasional backwards letter. Many times a word will be started in one color of ink and finished in another, as if the writer got distracted halfway through the word.

Dear Mistr Warcheif Sir,

I have a question, and the nice ork Mistr U told me to write to you and ask. Hes visiting, and hes been reel nice to me. He talks a lot. Sumtimes I cant ask him anything because he talks too much. But he told me to ask you. He said you would kno. I wanted to ask if brown orks taste diffrent than green orks. Do green orks taste like mint? Are brown orks chocklate? Tauren taste like fur. Why are you brown when the other orks are green? Did you eat too much chocklate? Everyone tells me I cant eat too much chocklate, itll make me sick. Did you get sick from chocklate? Mistr U needs to go now, so I have to stop riting and give this to him.

The letter is signed with a large, inky pawprint, a small sketch of a Tauren druid in cat form, and the shaky name “Taktani,” with every letter in a different color ink.

Um…

Hmm…

Well…

<scratches head>

The FUCK is this?

Okay, so I get that the talkative orc this person is talking about is probably Utvoch… I mean, starts with “U” and talks too much, how many of those could there be?  And I guess this is good since it confirms D&U must still be alive in the restored timeline after…well…you know.  Um…I GUESS that’s a good thing.  Not sure what Utvoch is doing in Mulgore rather than Vindication Hold up in Stonetalon, but whatever.  I guess being killed in the line of duty earns you a little R&R time.

As for you, Taktani…um, no, brown orcs don’t taste like chocolate, and green orcs don’t taste like mint.  Although it IS kind of funny thinking of that, since it would mean, what, Thrall and Aggra are going to have mint chocolate chip babies?  Heh.  But no, we just taste like….orc.  I mean for real, I get enough attention from the ladies as it is, what with me being Warchief and dead sexy and all — last thing I need is for word to start getting around that I taste like chocolate too.  Dude, I won’t be able to walk down the fucking STREET.

Anyway, Taktani, thanks for writing just the same.  Hopefully you’ve outgrown Tauren Kindergarten-Land in Mulgore, and are off doing some bigger-kid stuff.  The Horde can always use more good soldiers, especially on my watch with me looking far and wide for ways to keep the troops busy.  Ashenvale’s looking pretty nice this time of year, if I can make a recommendation.  Just don’t get too much of the damn night elf glitter in your eyes.

 

Hey mon!

I’m writing’ to ya from one of our ships headin’ down to Theramore!  I’m on a boat, mon!

Make sure ya watch it to da end, mon!

–Bob, S.S. Echo Isles

I… he… what the hell IS this, the mailbag of WTF?!

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that this Bob guy managed to dig up a new and creative way to be stupid.  Funny, though, I’m pretty sure that’s the song I’ve been hearing Vol’jin humming to himself for most of the trip down.  Maybe it’s some kind of a troll thing…

 

Hail, Warchief!

Time is short, in more ways than one. I’m writing this for those of us on the road to Theramore.

The hour of assault approaches. There may be some who doubt why we’re here. Why we’re doing this. Why we must. The reason can be given in one word: Taurajo. A hunters’ camp, not a military target, annihilated by marauding Alliance soldiers. Soldiers, I say? I misspoke: they weren’t soldiers, they were bandits. Bandits supplied, equipped, and brought to Kalimdor through one place and one place only.

That is why Theramore must burn.

That is also why I make what may sound like a peculiar request. When we make the final assault, those of us who aren’t compelled otherwise should wear Thunder Bluff’s colors. Not only will this show our solidarity with our Tauren brothers, it will also remind those cowards why we come. To remind them that Justice neither relents, nor sleeps.

For the Horde! And for Taurajo!

–A Concerned Citizen

Now THAT’S what I’m talking about!  Go to it, ACC, lay some truth on them motherfuckers!  I’ve got to say, one thing that’s fucking infuriated me on this trip has been seeing how many of our people HAVEN’T on board with me with the post-Taurajo hate.  Check this out — I even heard a rumor that Baine was telling people that Taurajo was a legitimate military target, and the human commander at least gave the civilians room to flee, and he wonders if we’ll conduct ourselves as honorably.  This is BAINE talking.  BAINE.  THE FUCK IS THAT SHIT?  In what backwards-ass universe am I more pissed off about Camp T than chieftain of the fucking tauren?!

Anyway, I’m definitely encouraging the troops to follow your suggestion, ACC.  And on that note, we’re about to spit up the force for the final march.  I’ll update again soon…can’t wait to see the looks on the humans’ faces.  I’ve got a little surprise planned for them…

Now Inviting: F Y V

Posted in Words from Behind the Curtain with tags , , , , on September 22, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

Hi everyone — a quick out-of-character announcement from Averry.

I’d mentioned in response to a comment a little while back that I was planning to create a guild for friends and readers of blog-Garrosh to come hang out an meet each other.  I finally got around to creating the guild about a week ago (I didn’t want to interrupt the recent alternate-reality story with an announcement at the time), and so now, come one, come all, <F Y V> is now ready and waiting with open arms!

Ultimately the guild is going to be a (mostly) alt guild for screwing around and socializing, although I wouldn’t be above using it to instigate a cross-realm retro-ish raid or two as time goes on.  Above all else, I thought it might be a good way to meet some more readers and fellow bloggers, since I don’t often get to interact with you all directly while tucked away behind the Garrosh persona.

So, if you’re interested and dropping by and saying hello, <F Y V> is located on Kargath-US server, and run by a certain goblin by the name of Spazzlefizz.  If Spazzle himself isn’t online, feel free to look for me under my Battlenet tag, Averry#1116.

That’s all from me for now!  We now return to the imminent destruction of Theramore…

Be seeing you,

Averry

Same as it ever was

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

I was groggy when I woke up, and even after I opened my eyes, it took a few minutes for my head to stop spinning.  Finally my vision cleared up and I found myself sitting in a chair, sprawled forward over a table.  There were papers under my face, and a few of them stuck to it courtesy of a small puddle of drool.

I straightened up in the chair, plucked the clingy pages from my cheek, and looked around the room.  It was the admiral’s quarters in Northwatch Hold, the room I’ve been using the last few days of our stay here.  The drool-smeared papers in my hand, and others spread around the table, were covered with maps of Theramore, lists of troop assignments, armament logistics, the crew manifesto of a goblin air galleon.

I ran my hands over the table to make sure it was really there.  And then my uneasy brain went looking for hallucination in the next most likely place.

Had I imagined it?  The other world, the demons, the Scourge, the fall of Orgrimmar…everything…could it have just been a dream?  It seemed so real, the memories were so vivid…but…

I stood up, gathered more of the papers from the table, and started paging through them — not even reading anything on them, really, just wanting something I could feel in my hands.  As I held the documents over the tabletop and looked at all the words without ever reading any of them, my arm brushed another paper, this one creased and folded, jutting out of my belt.

The military documents spilled around the floor as I grabbed the folded paper and rushed to unfold it.  It was worn and stained with what looked like blood, just a torn-off scrap, not even half a page.  Scrawled across it was the familiar handwriting of the Master Apothecary of Sylvanas’ Royal Society.  Or the man who would become him.

They’re going to turn against you.  Don’t let them.

He really, REALLY never listened.  It’s like some weird matter of principle with him.  I don’t even know if he was really trying to help, offering some begrudging, misguided gesture in parting…or if this was his way of giving me one last middle finger for the things I’d forced him to do.  I don’t know if I could hold either against him.

But that sealed it.  It all happened.  Except that it didn’t, now.

It worked.  We did it.  We saved the world.  It all happened, just the way I remembered it, just the way it was supposed to.

I walked over to the tower window.  I needed some air to clear my head.  I leaned out and looked across the Barrens.  I could see Horde banners below, and a squad of Kor’kron wyvern riders circling past as they patrolled the area.  And as I looked off into the distance, staring at the horizon more than anything, I started to make out wisps of smoke, faint black tendrils reaching up to the sky from old, spiteful fires that refused to go out completely, even after all this time.

Taurajo.

I turned from the window and stepped back into the room.

And then I grabbed one of the chairs arranged around the table and threw it against the wall.  The chair broke into pieces.  I ran over and grabbed them up, one after another, breaking them into smaller pieces and smashing them against the wall again.  And then a second chair.  And a third.  Screaming with each one — AT each one.

I threw them around the room until the chairs were pieces and the pieces were splinters, smashing them against the walls and the floor and each other as if by breaking them enough I could force back the thoughts I couldn’t help thinking.

I ran across the room to a bookcase that stood against one wall and sent it toppling.  Books spilled around the floor.  I lunged down, hunched over, grabbed them by the fistful and hurled them against the walls.  Watched them clatter back to the floor.  It didn’t help.  I grabbed up more of them, pulling them open, ripping them apart at the spines, flinging loose pages around until they fluttered uselessly down around me.

Fluttered like shimmering white wings.

I pounced back on the broken bookcase, yanked out one shelf, flung it across the room.  It clattered to the floor.  It didn’t break.  I wrenched out a second shelf and threw it against the door, leaving a deep gash in the wood.  That one didn’t break, either.  Somehow that only made me angrier, sent me into a rage at its stubbornness, its stupid defiance, refusing to snap.  How DARE it — how dare ANYTHING — and I ran to the door, grabbed up the fallen shelf, and beat it against the wall until it splintered.

It didn’t help.  It wasn’t enough.

The door to the room opened and Malkorok leaned in.  I only heard bits and pieces of whatever he said — something about the noise, and my yelling, and if I was all right.  I spun on him, struck him across the face, then threw him back out of the room and down the stairs before slamming the door, rattling it on its hinges.

Today is not the day to ask me if I’m all right.

I grabbed one of the broken chair pieces and jammed the door shut.  I wasn’t in any mood for interruptions, least of all from the likes of him.

The admiral’s bed — flung over, frame snapped, mattress torn open.  Feathers floating through the air and scattering around the room.  The nightstand next to the bed — lifted over my head and slammed down onto the floor, shattered awkwardly into pieces.  Its single drawer split off awkwardly and spilled letters and trinkets across the floor.  Part of it splintered off as I swung the nightstand down onto the floor and stabbed into my forearm.  I barely felt it.  I didn’t even notice until a spattering of blood started to dribble onto the letters and papers strewn around the floor.

It still wasn’t enough.  It might never be enough.

Go be a hero, he told me.  Go save the world.  I did.  We won.  And all I had to do was kill him.  All I had to do was burn Taurajo.  All I had to do was become the final secret conspirator against our people in time of war, once upon a time.  All I had to do was save traitors, destroy families, forsake all honor in the face of a battle too dire to be won by any other means.

I don’t know how long I can stand to live in this world if these are the choices I have to make to save it.

I was racing around the room in circles, kicking at anything in reach, clawing pictures down off the walls.  Only really half seeing what was around me, just grabbing anything I could, then throwing it or stomping it underfoot or breaking it over one knee.  At some point I found myself spinning in place, roaring madly at nothing, and then threw myself at the table, beating it with both fists, pounding over and over until the wood buckled and the beams split and it all came crashing down and still there I was among the pieces on the floor.

I pulled myself up and looked around the ruins of the room, choking down air in gasps.

This room isn’t big enough.  It isn’t big enough.  Nothing in it is big enough.

I need something bigger.

We march tomorrow.  Theramore burns.

 

 

[Wrathgate (wide shot) image provided by Angelya from Revive and RejuvenateProfessor Putricide, Putress, and Cairne Bloodhoof (living) images provided by Rioriel from Postcards From Azeroth; click the links in this sentence to see the souped-up Postcard versions!  All images used here with permission and many thanks.]

The future never happened

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

The time portal was more dizzying than usual, but when we finally emerged on the other side, there it was – Hillsbrad, just like it looked a few months ago.  Ten years ago.  A lifetime ago, it seemed, and for all that’s happened, maybe it was.  It was early in the morning, and the first rays of sunlight were just starting to peek through the trees.

At one point while we made our way toward Southshore, Edwin asked if it was a good idea for us to be taking the road like we were.  At first I didn’t realize what he meant – I thought he was worried we’d run into someone who would recognize him, but I figured we could always improvise a cover story if we needed to.

Then I looked at my hands.

I don’t know if something went wrong with the portal, or if maybe Soridormi was making such an effort to get the timeline crossing to work that she couldn’t bother with anything else, but when I came through, apparently, I wasn’t changed into a human form.  I was still my normal (and let’s face it, dead sexy) orcish self.

So yeah, we got off the road and into the outskirts of the woods right quick, because the last thing we needed was some patrol to see an orc rolling around loose down the road from Durnholde like it was something to do.

We made our way down to Southshore and hung around the surrounding woods.  It was still early in the morning, but we could see the first signs of activity as some of the townspeople started to emerge from their homes and tend to their livestock.  We waited a while longer, and finally a few people came out of the inn – Alexandros Mograine, along with Fairbanks and Doan.  They went around to the stables, carrying bags.  The rest of the Silver Hands would be checking out soon.

I reminded Edwin that our opening could come any minute, and ran through the details I knew for probably the fifth time since we’d arrived: at some point the kid Herod would turn up with younger-hexed-Edwin, older-Edwin would sheep Herod and break younger-Edwin’s hex, older-Edwin would go invisible and bolt.  Guy-who’s-with-me-right-now-Edwin (and wow am I getting sick of specifying) nodded all the way through, but I got the sense he was getting sick of me reminding him he’d only have a short post-hex pre-invis window.

Finally, after a few more minutes, a young boy came running up from the docks chasing a frog.  He caught up to it just in front of the inn.

Herod was in position.  It was almost go time.

Edwin didn’t need any prompting.  As he started getting up to make his move, I shook his hand and wished him luck.

From the entrance to the inn, a second human named Edwin Faranell appeared.

The Edwin who’d come with me turned just long enough to shove a folded-up paper into my hand and say “Good luck to you, too,” and then he was off.

I didn’t even fully register the paper – I was too concerned with watching Edwin go, and I tucked it into my belt.  While Edwin ran into town, I kept looking around, because let’s face it, this is US, and the universe wouldn’t let us get through something important without some kind of final infuriating wrinkle.  Sure enough, the universe didn’t disappoint, because look who was riding toward town on horseback, from the northern road: Kel’Thuzad.

Right off I thought of about half a dozen ways KT could make a mess of this, most of them involving some variation of the phrase “Why are there two copies of that guy I know in front of the inn?”  All I could think was Kel’Thuzad couldn’t be allowed the chance to spot Edwin.  My head was too busy racing in circles to come up with much in the way of a clever plan on the fly, so I ran with what I know best: the simple approach.

I jumped out of the bushes, charged Kel’Thuzad, and knocked him off his horse before he could reach the town square.  As soon as I was in plain sight, two of the town guards saw me and ran to intercept, yelling about an orc intruder.  They were pretty weak, and I slapped back what passed for their attacks pretty easily, but I didn’t work too hard to put the smackdown on them.  Let them pay attention to me.  Let the whole town pay attention to me.  Just for a few more minutes.

More shouting was coming from the town, and when I looked back over my shoulder, Mograine and his two Silver Hand flunkies were running up to help the guards.  Doan stood back and tossed some fireballs at me – stung a little, but nothing I couldn’t shrug off.  KT, on the other hand…yeah, those frostbolts of his were no joke.  Meanwhile, I had Mograine and Fairbanks and the two weak-ass guards swiping away at me from all sides.

I kept trying to look back at the inn, but in all the commotion, I couldn’t really see anything anymore.  Then, while I was trading swings with Fairbanks, Mograine managed to grab me by my shoulderguard and spin me so I was facing the square, with my back to him.

And then a sharp, warm pain in my back.

It’s a funny thing.  For all the bizarre distortions and traveling in time we’ve done, it’s the moment that has nothing to do with time magic that stands out – when time slows down for all its own mundane reasons, breaks down into flashes, reduces itself to images that come drop by drop.

Looking past the crowd in the square.  Catching the shortest glimpse of a third Faranell appearing in front of the inn as if from nowhere.

The blur of my Faranell rushing toward the other two.

My eyes dropping to look at my chest.  The blade of the Ashbringer, jutting out, coated with dark blood.

The fact that it didn’t even hurt nearly as much as I’d think it would.  The thought that maybe that was still coming.

Looking back up, to the sight of flickering yellow cracks spreading silently in the air around the inn.  A pulsing yellow ball of light swelling up without a sound, then bursting out in all directions.

And I remember looking down again at the sword bursting from my chest, and the blood coming in slow-motion spurts.  And I remember, just as the wave of warm yellow light washed over me…I think I remember laughing.

The rest is darkness.

And then I woke up.

 

 

[Header image provided by Angelya from Revive and Rejuvenate, used here with permission and many thanks.]

Let’s do the time warp again

Posted in General, Transcripts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

It was late when we arrived in Dalaran.  After the bunch of us got off the Windrunner, Dranosh ordered Drok to take his crew and report to Bolvar and the Argent Vanguard to help however much he could.  As the ship made its departure, we got going to the Violet Citadel.

On the way, we passed through the center of the city.  It was an eerie sight for me.  In the middle of town, on the spot where there should have been the monument to the defeat of the Lich King, there’s a memorial honoring Tirion and the heroes who were lost with him in Icecrown Citadel.  Liadrin stopped for a minute and offered a prayer for the fallen.  Jaina.  Dontrag and Utvoch.  Saurfang.

A gnome was making his way around the city lighting all the lampposts when we arrived at the Violet Citadel.  Rhonin was waiting for our arrival and was pacing around in the main hall like a restless animal.  Liadrin started to break the news to him about Jaina, but Rhonin cut her off.  I think he already knew, as soon as he saw us walk in without her.

He took us upstairs, where he summoned a portal for us to the Caverns of Time.

 

 

People get so used to taking mage portals that before long they forget how disorienting they are at first.  You’re in one place, then there’s a flash of light, and for half a second you’re nowhere.  You feel this dizzying whoosh run through your whole body and you feel like you’re falling, and then all of a sudden you’re somewhere different.  New sights, new sounds, new everything.  After you’ve done it a few times, you learn to roll with it and regain your sense of direction quickly, but every so often, when you first arrive in a new place, something happens to throw you out of your routine and reminds you just how unsettling it can be.

The ground shook violently under our feet as we arrived at the Caverns of Time.  Not even just the ground – the walls, the ceiling, somehow even the air seemed to shudder around us.  Bronze dragons were racing around, and bunches of drakonids ran up the ramp toward the surface.  Anachronos was rumbling around, barking orders, rallying the cavern’s defenders.  I don’t think I’d ever seen him so animated.  After a minute, he spread his enormous wings and flew up the winding passageway with a handful of bronze drakes close behind.

In the middle of the chaos, Chromie teleported in right on top of us, talking a million miles an hour, and finally ushered us back to Soridormi, near the Hillsbrad portal, before teleporting away again.

 

SORIDORMI:  Thank the Titans you’ve made it.  We don’t have much time.

GARROSH:  Do I even want to ask?

SORIDORMI:  The Legion must have pieced together what we might try to do, as I’d feared.  They started their attack some hours ago.  We’ve been holding them back, but the battle has been a costly one.

The entire cavern quakes as shouts echo from the surface passageway.

DRANOSH:  Well, we brought you a present.

Dranosh steps back and gestures to Faranell, who is holding the Focusing Iris.

FARANELL:  <handing the Iris to Soridormi>  Will you be able to do it?

SORIDORMI:  <nods>  It will take me a few minutes to open the portal and stabilize it, but I can get you back to Southshore, yes.

DRANOSH:  Wait, Southshore?  What’s in Southshore?

LIADRIN:  A very long story

GARROSH:  Well now for the 50,000 gold question – what do we do when we’re back there?

MOKVAR:  Please don’t tell me we have to go in and kidnap old-Edwin and switch him with young-Edwin but also do something with original-young-Edwin while we’re at it to make sure old-us don’t still grab original-young-Edwin by mistake, because, I mean, not enough aspirin in the world.

LIADRIN:  Not to mention we would have to do something about the chameleon shard attunement in that case, if this Edwin doesn’t end up tending to it…

DRANOSH:  Is there a reason why everyone but me seems to know what’s going on wherever it is we’re going?

LIADRIN:  Honestly?  Because everyone but you was there the first time.

GARROSH:  We were all there before, Dranosh – the four of us, in old Southshore, about ten years ago.  That’s how all of this started.  That’s why the Legion and the Scourge are winning now.

LIADRIN:  None of this was ever supposed to happen.  It’s only happened this way because events in the past were altered, and have snowballed into what’s happening now.

DRANOSH:  <blinking>  Okay, I think I need a second here…

GARROSH:  While you’re doing that… Sori?  What’s the plan here?

SORIDORMI:  I can get you to Hillsbrad the morning of the last day you were there.  That’s when the disruption began.  And ultimately, this rests on Edwin.

FARANELL:  Oh great…

SORIDORMI:  You’re right, Mokvar; trying to switch off versions of Edwin would be far too complicated and leave too much room for something else to go wrong…

The cavern shudders again, more violently.

GARROSH:  Okay, this is sounding like we’re going for the simple approach.  I’m a big fan of the simple approach.

SORIDORMI:  Ordinarily, the one thing one must never do when traveling in time is to interact with oneself.  In this case, though, that’s exactly what Edwin will need to do: force a crossing of timelines between both – or rather, all – versions of himself present in that time.  If Edwin can make physical contact with both iterations of himself at once, it should short out the crossed lines and snap each version back to where he’s supposed to be.

LIADRIN:  That last morning – that was when future-Edwin broke past-Edwin out of Mokvar’s hex.

MOKVAR:  There’s our window.  They’ll both be within a few feet of each other.

SORIDORMI:  If he can do it, the shorting out should trigger both realities into resetting themselves and separating.

GARROSH:  You get all that, Doc?  Today’s your turn to save the world…

The ground shakes once again, and the cavern walls around the surface passage buckle.  A handful of bronze dragons rush down into the cavern, with a swarm of demons close behind.  Behind the initial wave of demon shock troops, Varimathras and Prince Malchezaar descend into the cavern.

CHROMIE:  <calling out while circling around the cavern in dragon form>  They’ve breached the cavern!  Fall back and regroup!  We have to hold them!

LIADRIN:  Soridormi, do you need all of us to go back?

SORIDORMI:  Edwin is the only one who has to go.

DRANOSH:  <to Liadrin>  I think that’s our cue for one last battle of the line.

Liadrin nods, draws the Ashbringer, and runs into a pack of terrorfiends, tearing through then with one spinning swipe of the blade.

<to Garrosh>  This was your mission from the get-go, Overlord.  Go see it through, and I’ll talk to you when it’s over.

Dranosh starts to turn to join the battle.

GARROSH:  Dranosh!

Dranosh looks back.  Garrosh looks at him in silence for a moment.

…Give them hell.

DRANOSH:  <smirks>  I don’t really think they’re running short.  <starts running toward the demons>  Now go be a hero – that’s an order!

Dranosh leaps into a group of felguards and bursts into a Bladestorm.

GARROSH:  You’re the boss.  Lok’tar, Warchief…

FARANELL:  Soridormi… I’ll try my best at this, but even if it works…

Soridormi nods to Faranell and starts to channel a spell through the Focusing Iris into the time portal.

Well…Garrosh said that…the other me may have thrown off the timeline without even meaning to, just because of what he knew.  But now me…I’ve seen so much, how do we know I won’t disrupt history all over again?

Soridormi reaches into a belt pouch and tosses a small tuber to Faranell.

SORIDORMI:  This is a Nepenthe Root.  Is grows only here in the Caverns of Time.  Eat it once you’re through the time portal; it will take an hour or two to take effect.  The root is a powerful purifier on the mind – its effects will ripple through your entire timeline, purging any memories out of synch with their natural timeframe.

GARROSH:  It’s not going to oops-mindwipe him completely, is it?

SORIDORMI:  No…the worst side effect he might experience would manifest itself as sporadic and random lapses of memory.

 

The demons continued flooding into the cavern while Dranosh, Liadrin, and the dragons fought to hold them at bay.  A group of doomguards managed to get all the way back to the Hillsbrad portal with us.  Mokvar, Edwin, and I managed to fight them off while Soridormi continued channeling her spell.  Once they were dead, Mokvar pushed his notes into my hands and said to take care of Edwin while he helped the rest with the demons, and ran off into the fight.

I looked past Mokvar as he ran into the fray and saw Dranosh going toe-to-toe with Varimathras, then leaping up and sending a Mortal Strike tearing straight into the dreadlord’s throat.  One more swing and he had Varimathras’ head off altogether.  He caught it, spun around, and sent it flying at Malchezaar — pointed so that the dreadlord’s horns pierced straight through Malchezaar’s eyes.

The portal glowed brighter as Soridormi poured more magic into it.  Then the ground shuddered again, and large chunks of the stone around the surface passage broke away.  With a demonic laugh announcing his arrival, Kil’jaeden, Lord of the Burning Legion, stepped down into the Caverns of Time and started walking directly toward us.

Liadrin tore through at least twenty demons with one of her Divine Storms, and ran between Kil’jaeden and us.  The demon lord extended his hand toward her, palm extended, and released a torrent of shadow magic.  Liadrin held the Ashbringer over her head and projected a shimmering shield of holy magic around herself.  The two stood there, facing each other down – Kil’jaeden kept pouring more power into his shadow torrent, Liadrin kept drawing on the Light and the power of the Ashbringer to hold it back.  As she exerted herself more and more, a gleaming white light shone out of the Ashbringer and around her whole body – and after a moment, just as Soridormi called out to us that the time portal was ready, the glowing, pulsing light surrounding Liadrin sharpened into the shape of a naaru.

Liadrin looked back at us.  Her eyes were white and glowing.  For all the fighting and screaming and magic eruptions, I should never have been able to make out an individual voice, but just for a moment I could hear hers – in my head.  It was accompanied by a musical chiming, and echoed by a second voice, one I’d heard but not quite heard once before…the voice of A’dal.

We can’t hold him forever.  GO!

I grabbed Edwin’s arm and pulled him through the portal as the ground shook and the walls quaked.  The Caverns of Time disappeared in a dizzying rush of light, and the sounds of battle ringing in my ears faded into a memory of the future as I felt myself sliding back into the past.

I’ll see you on the other side.

Wrath of the Lich King

Posted in General, Transcripts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

Show time.

The group assembled today on the Windrunner: me, both Saurfangs, Liadrin, Edwin, Jaina, Mokvar, Dontrag, and Utvoch.  I figured the way the Scourge have swarmed through practically all of Northrend, I’d just as soon not leave anything to chance, which is why we brought so much heavy-artillery personnel.  Drok and his crew had the ship ready to go, and we set off for the Nexus in Coldarra.  Once we had the Focusing Iris, we’d head straight for Dalaran, where Jaina’s Kirin Tor friends would be ready to port us straight to the Caverns of Time.

We arrived at the Nexus and docked the ship on one of the upper ring platforms that was equipped with a teleportation orb.  One problem: the platform was swarming with Scourge – all the platforms were.  Vargul and skeletons mostly, with a couple necromancer types lurking around the back.

I’ll tell you, Mokvar was right the other day.  This really wasn’t fair.

Between me whirlwinding through skeletons by the bushel, Liadrin Diving Storming her way right through the heart of them, Jaina flame-roasting undead in bunches, and – yup – Saurfangs Young and Old cleaving down everything in sight, it didn’t take us long to clear a path to the teleportation orb.  The only down side was that those necromancers kept summoning more undead, and every so often a proto-drake would fly by and drop another damn vrykul to help keep the influx coming.

 

GARROSH:  They’re not getting anywhere, but neither are we if we just stay up here all day killing these fuckers…

The necromancers cast another summoning spell, and some hundred new skeletons appear on the platform.

LIADRIN:  <slashing by one of the vargul>  We don’t all need to be up here – you go, I’ll stay and protect the ship.

GARROSH:  You sure?  There’s still an awful lot of them.

Liadrin rushes into a cluster of vargul, dropping them all with another spinning Divine Storm.  As she finishes her follow-through, she lands on one knee, slamming the Ashbringer down onto the platform floor; a shimmering flash of yellow-white light bursts from the Ashbringer and shoots out in a horizontal shockwave in all directions.  The light rips through the skeletons and sends them spilling onto the floor, burning with holy fire.  Still on one knee, Liadrin tilts her head up at Garrosh.

LIADRIN:  I’m not worried.

Jaina runs to a clear area near the gunship and starts channeling a spell.  A glowing blue runic circle begins to appear on the floor beneath her.

JAINA:  I’m placing a portal marker here.  Once we have the Focusing Iris, I’ll be able to teleport us directly back.

Several more vargul drop onto the platform.  While Liadrin engages them, several val’kyr and gargoyles descend down over the Windrunner.

SAURFANG:  <rushing back to the gunship and cleaving through gargoyles>  I’ll stay back as well to help guard the ship.

MOKVAR:  Well now you’re just running up the score on them.

SAURFANG:  The rest of you – go!

DRANOSH:  You all heard the man.  Let’s get moving.

 

We took the teleportation orb into the Nexus.  The sight that greeted us froze us all in our tracks.  Around the circular room and down every hall, the ground was littered with the lifeless bodies of blue dragons.  We all just stared for a minute while the sight sunk in.  I think it hit Jaina the hardest, what with her probably having had some dealings with the blues over the years.  She knelt down over one of the dead dragons and put a hand over its face.

 

JAINA:  This… I know her.  This is… Her name is…was Kirygosa.  She was a daughter of Malygos…

UTVOCH:  Wait, when you said there were going to be a lot of dragons here, I thought you meant they were going to be alive.

GARROSH:  …Seriously?

FARANELL:  That’s got to be an act, right?  I mean he can’t possibly really be that stupid.

MOKVAR:  Dontrag and Utvoch: raising the bar on lowering the bar, since the dawn of time.

DONTRAG:  Hey, I didn’t say anything!

GARROSH:  Yet.

DRANOSH:  <surveying the halls>  Most of the…  <glances back at Jaina, then lowers his voice slightly>  …most of the blood seems fresh.  Whoever did this did it fairly recently.

GARROSH:  Probably still nearby.

Jaina stands slowly, still looking down at the bodies.

JAINA:  Kalecgos considered her one of his dearest friends…

DRANOSH:  The next time you see him, you can tell him all about the world of pain we brought down on the ones who did this to her.

GARROSH:  It has to be the Scourge, based on upstairs.  Not sure why they’d be coming after the blue dragons, though.

JAINA:  At this point, they’re one of the only major powers left between them and all of Northrend…  It was only a matter of time before they struck here.

GARROSH:  That’s the thing, though – yeah, they have the Horde and Alliance on the ropes, but why wouldn’t they finish them off first, THEN take on the dragons?  The Lich King has to know he’s got the upper hand.  Why divide his efforts?

DRANOSH:  Maybe he wants to finish both off quickly?

GARROSH:  All the time we were up here fighting him, did you ever know Arthas to be impatient?

JAINA:  He’s not.  Anymore.

DRANOSH:  <shrugs>  Either way.  I am the impatient type – let’s go find that Focusing Iris and let it be finished.

 

We made our way deeper into the Nexus, finding more slain dragons all the way.  As we worked our way down a long, descending passageway, we could hear sounds of combat, and reptilian cries of pain.  I ordered Dontrag and Utvoch to make sure they kept Edwin safe under pain of so-much-worse-than-death-your-admittedly-limited-brains-would-melt-just-trying-to-imagine-it.  The bottom of the passage was dark and filled with shadows.  As the floor leveled out from the end of our descent, we turned a corner and came to a doorway.

The room was large and circular, with crystalline patterns in the walls and floor, like so many of the other rooms here.  In the center of the room, hovering in the air of its own accord, was the Focusing Iris – an enormous blue orb, glowing with arcane power.  On the far side of the room, four humanoids – a human, a tauren, and a pair of dwarves – all wearing armor like that of a death knight, stood over bodies of blue dragons.  More bodies filled the room, and the air reeked with the smell of draconic blood.  Two more death knights, a draenei and a troll, flanked the doorway on either side, and as we came around the corner they called out a warning.

And as the sentries cried out, in the center of the room, out from behind the Focusing Iris stepped Tirion Fordring.  Covered in spiked black armor, wielding a runeblade, eyes glowing a deathly pale blue.  I’ll tell you, I was never crazy about Tirion, but this was still horrible to see.  Even Tirion deserved better than this.

 

TIRION:  <grinning broadly>  Ah, how serendipitous!  It appears fate has set us all upon a parallel venture, and I find myself reunited with personages of no small familiarity.  I greet you all, good orcs and humans, and welcome you to the curtain’s rise on the final act of this grand endeavor!

GARROSH:  By the spirits…

Tirion gestures to his minions.

DRANOSH:  What?

Tirion’s Deathbringers rush at the group, blades poised.

GARROSH:  He still loves to talk.

Jaina casts a Cone of Cold that slows the death knights’ approach.

DRANOSH:  <shrugs>  Time to do what we do.  Lok’tar!

GARROSH:  For the Horde!

DONTRAG and UTVOCH:  For the Horde!

MOKVAR:  For the Horde!

JAINA:  Um, actually…

Jaina exchanges a shrug with Faranell.

Okay.  Whatever.

Garrosh, Dranosh, Dontrag, and Utvoch rush forward to engage the Deathbringers, and the two groups battle back and forth, with Tirion lurking by the Focusing Iris, watching and taunting.

TIRION:  Good, my glorious vassals, unleash your fury and show these intruders the fate that awaits those who would interfere with the work of our dread lord the Lich King!  Woe be to any who stand against us!  Their ruined bodies shall be the latest paving the way to our inevitable dominion over this world!

GARROSH:  <exchanging blows with the tauren>  The hell are you even HERE for, Tirion?  What do you fuckers even want with the Focusing Iris?

TIRION:  Well could I ask you the same, young Hellscream!  But as it will profit you naught, I will tell you, so that you might meet your end knowing the full scope of your failure, and indeed the hand you and your ilk have had in bringing forth this very hour!

DRANOSH:  <aside>  That’s it, get him monologuing…

GARROSH:  <aside>  He’s going to be monologuing anyway, might as well get him going on something useful maybe…

Dranosh and Garrosh continue pushing back the tauren and human.  Dontrag and Utvoch spar with the two dwarves, aided by chain lightning from Mokvar, while Jaina launches a seething fireball that incinerates the troll.

TIRION:  Did you truly believe your ill-fated ploy to deny the Lich King your precious Sunwell would go unanswered?  That the master of the Scourge would be halted by your sad, trifling magician’s tricks?  You merely delayed the inevitable; and now, with the Focusing Iris in hand, the Lich King’s mightiest seers will shatter the meddlesome bubble conjured by that poor, doomed, suddenly so very solitary dragon Kalecgos—

Jaina lets loose another pair of fireballs, finishing the dwarven death knights fighting Dontrag and Utvoch.

JAINA:  Kalcgos’ flight had no part in this war, Tirion!  The old you – the real you – he would be sickened to see what you’ve done to these innocents!

TIRION:  Oh, Lady Proudmoore, do not be so naïve as to think the blues innocent – or yourself.  It was Kalecgos who chose to throw in his lot with your kind and aid in your foolish charade at the Sunwell, and all of you who interfered in the Scourge’s march.  The Lich King was content to leave these pitiable lizards be – for now.  It was you who forced his hand, you who altered his plans, you who made the Focusing Iris a necessary implement—

DRANOSHSpirits, he likes to talk…

GARROSH:  Dude, you have NO IDEA.

TIRION:  —and you, all of you, who helped bring this fate upon the Blue Dragonflight today!  From their blood shall flow the coming of a new age for this world!  From their deaths shall be forged a new future, bathed in carnage!

JAINA:  <gathering a fiery glow in her hands>  You want carnage?  Arthas will have more blood than he ever bargained for!

Jaina unleashes a massive fireball that tears through the draenei death knight and badly burns the tauren and human – whom Dranosh and Garrosh quickly finish off – and hurls Tirion back against the far wall.

DRANOSH:  Remind me not to piss her off.

GARROSH:  No shit, right?

Tirion pulls himself up and faces the group.

TIRION:  You all shall pay dearly for—

DRANOSH:  <charging in and knocking Tirion a few steps back>  Pro tip, Tirion – when your boys are taking it on the chin, might be a good idea to stop running your mouth for a minute and help them out.

Garrosh joins in, and Tirion begins scrambling to deflect both orcs’ blows.

TIRION:  You think I fear you, boy?  Through the Lich King I have seen power the likes of which you cannot comprehend!  By his will I have cast off death itself, and risen anew, ascended, greater than I might ever have dreamed in my former, paltry, limited existence!  You do not know what you trifle with, you—

As Dranosh and Garrosh unleash a flurry of blows from both sides, Jaina singes Tirion with a surge of flame, then freezes him in place with a frost nova, throwing off his footing.

GARROSH:  Tirion…

Garrosh locks one of his axes in a parry with Tirion, then drops his second axe from his free hand and swings his fist under the runeblade and into Tirion’s gut.

Shut.

Garrosh breaks the parry, forcing Tirion’s blade hand to swing to one side, where Dranosh hacks it away at the wrist.

The fuck.

Garrosh and Dranosh bring their axes down from either side, slamming vicious into the base of Tirion’s neck.

UP!

Tirion slumps lifeless to the floor.

JAINA:  <looking down sadly at the body>  You have been missed, old friend.  May your spirit finally find its rest now.

MOKVAR:  Okay, let’s get what we came for and go.

JAINA:  Let me get it into a more manageable form…

Jaina holds her hands out to the Focusing Iris and begins channeling beams of arcane magic into it.  Slowly, the Focusing Iris shrinks until it has been reduced to a shimmering blue sphere about a foot in diameter, hovering in the air.

There…now we just need to—

Jaina is interrupted by a shadowy, purple tendril of magic that lashes out at her from the doorway and yanks her back toward it.  Her body flies backward through the air and – with a hideous slicing sound – into a blade held out from the dark hallway:

Frostmourne.

As Dranosh steps in to catch the falling Focusing Iris, the Lich King strides into the room, Jaina’s body still impaled on the runebalde.

LICH KING:  Impressive…

The Lich King shakes Frostmourne, dropping Jaina’s body to the ground.

Most impressive.

UTVOCH:  Okay, this isn’t so bad, there’s just one of him against all of us…

The Lich King drives Frostmourne’s blade into the floor, releasing a shockwave that knocks the group back against the far wall of the room.  As they recover, the Lich King hold Frostmourne aloft and begins channeling a spell.

LICH KING:  Now then…a further test…

Crackling purple energy shoots out of Frostmourne in all directions.  Slowly, the dozens of dragon corpses around the room begin to rise, eyes glowing a dull blue, bodies withered and gaunt.

GARROSH:  Oh…shit…

DONTRAG:  You really have to keep your mouth shut, Ut.

The nearest few reanimated dragons rush at them.  Garrosh, Dontrag, and Utvoch step in to intercept them and start to fight them back, with Mokvar and Faranell casting spells at them from behind.

The Lich King continues channeling.  After a few seconds, Jaina’s body rises from the floor; her hair has turned white save for a single blonde streak, and her eyes shimmer with a lifeless blue glow.  She looks around the room, then faces the Lich King.

JAINA:  A-Arthas…?

LICH KING:  I have missed you…my Queen.

Jaina grins hideously, turns, and unleashes an enormous fireball that incinerates two of the dragons on its way toward Faranell.

DONTRAG:  Doc!

UTVOCH:  Look out!

Dontrag lunges at Faranell while Utvoch rushes in from the opposite side.  Dontrag shoves Faranell out of the fireball’s path, just before the flames reduce both him and Utvoch to smoldering heaps of ash.

DRANOSH:  Edwin!  Jaina was our ride out.  That’s your job now – port us out of here, and fast!

FARANELL:  But— I’m not that powerful a mage!

Dranosh shoves the Focusing Iris into Faranell’s hands; a bluish white glow shimmers over his body.

DRANOSH:  You are now.  Fire it up!

Garrosh and Mokvar – both fighting dragons – back up toward Dranosh and Faranell.  Faranell closes his eyes, mutters an incantation, and teleports the group away in a blinding flash.

 

We reappeared up on the ring platform where we’d docked – a few yards off from Jaina’s targeting rune, but hey, I’m not going to nitpick over a clutch save from Edwin.  When we appeared, we were greeted by the sight of an enormous pile of Scourge corpses that formed a hill leading up to the Windrunner.  Dozens of vargul, hundreds of ghouls and skeletons, val’kyr, geists, a couple frost wyrms…and sitting on top of the pile were Liadrin and Saurfang, taking turns drinking from a waterskin.

 

LIADRIN:  <looks up at them>  What kept you?

DRANOSH:  We had guests.

GARROSH:  Come on, everyone get on the ship.

SAURFANG:  Where are the others?  Lady Proudmoore, and the…cerebrally inexpansive duo?

GARROSH:  They didn’t make it.

SAURFANG:  What happened?

DRANOSH:  Arthas is here.

LIADRIN:  By the Light… Get on board, and quickly!

GARROSH:  What happened to you not being worried?

LIADRIN:  I wasn’t.

DRANOSH:  Fire it up, Captain!  Top speed to Dalaran!

The group boards the Windrunner, which disembarks from the platform.  After a moment, the ship shakes and creaks, then begins to slide slowly backwards.

DRANOSH:  Um, Drok?  I don’t think I said anything about reverse.

DROK:  We’re still on full ahead, sir, I don’t—

GARROSH:  Uh, I think you guys might want to have a look at this…

They turn to look back at the ring platform, where the Lich King now stands, channeling a dark purple band of energy from his hand that grips the gunship, and using it to slowly tug the ship back toward the Nexus.

MOKVAR:  He’s— he’s death-gripping the ship!  How is he death-gripping the whole ship?!

DRANOSH:  Drok, this would be a good time to give the engines a little extra – we’ve got to get out of here!

DROK:  I’m giving them everything she’s got, sir!  I can’t change the laws of physics!

Saurfang stands at the railing, watching as the Lich King slowly drags the gunship back toward him.  Saurfang looks back at Dranosh, then to Garrosh.

SAURFANG:  He’s looked out for you since you were children.

Garrosh gives a quizzical look, then nods.

Look out for him now.

Saurfang turns and launches himself off the deck, toward the platform below.

FOR THE HORDE!

Saurfang barrels into the Lich King and they both crash onto the floor.  With the Lich King’s death grip broken, the gunship lurches forward again and starts to pull away from the Nexus.

DRANOSHFather!  No!

Garrosh intercepts Dranosh as he rushes to the edge of the ship and pulls him back.

GARROSH:  Get us OUT of here, Captain!

DRANOSH:  <spinning back toward Drok, still in Garrosh’s grip>  No!  Turn us around, Drok, we have to—

Garrosh spins Dranosh back to face him.

GARROSHYou know what he’s doing!  DON’T LET IT BE FOR NOTHING!

Dranosh stops struggling.  Garrosh releases him, and as the gunship continues its escape, he walks to the railing and looks down at the platform, where the Lich King knocks Saurfang away from him.

LICH KING:  Foolish old orc!  You dare stand against me?  Do you know how many of your kind I’ve slain?

SAURFANG:  You…murdered…children.  <draws his axe>  You answer to Saurfang now!

Saurfang charges the Lich King furiously, cleaving and slashing with his axe.  The Lich King parries with Frostmourne, and the two grapple back and forth as the platform shrinks from view.

 

I’m writing from the Windrunner now.  We should reach Dalaran soon.  I’ll update again when I can, if the news is good.  If it isn’t, I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be here to keep updating.

In the meantime, we continue on our way to Dalaran.

In silence.

 

 

[Header image of the Nexus provided by regular reader and commenter ZugZug.  Gunship image provided by Rioriel from Postcards From Azeroth; click here to see the souped-up Postcard version!  Both images used with permission and many thanks.]

Days of future past

Posted in General, Transcripts with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

The trip from Kalimdor to Northrend isn’t exactly a short one, but normally it’s never really felt long to me.  This time, though, it felt like it took forever.  A short way into the flight, I took Edwin down below deck to talk to him alone and laid out the story for him – how his other self had managed to mess up the timelines, and how that’s led to everything being a disaster in this world.  The worst part is that he barely responded to any of it.  Just sat there, listening, staring at the floor most of the way though.

I was expecting him to get angry or argue with me or something when I told him what we needed to do, but he didn’t say a word.  Just sat there, almost-but-not-quite nodded…I guess it shouldn’t surprise me.  It’s an awful lot to get dropped on you all at once, and then that’s without it even being YOU that’s responsible, in a way at least.  And without it being your BROTHER whose meant-to-happen death is the lynchpin to the whole damn thing.

Liadrin was there to greet us at the Argent Vanguard.  The place was much more heavily fortified than the last time I’d been there.  Over the last several months, Horde and Alliance forces had been pushed back from the Borean Tundra and Dragonblight, and so now most of the combined troops have been consolidated here.  The base was expanded and reinforced, with more buildings, ramparts, a keep for the command base, a docking tower for airships…really impressive, actually, until you stop to think what made it necessary.

When we arrived, the base was in the middle of fending off an attack by Nerubian tunnelers.  Nothing to worry too much about, according to Liadrin – these Nerubians crop up every so often and are more of a nuisance than anything.  Fitting enough for a big ol’ batch of cockroaches.

From the docking tower, we could see Saurfang and Bolvar leading some of the troops around and beating the bugs back.  While Drok and his crew tended to the Windrunner, a couple of Liadrin’s aides took Jaina, Faranell, Dontrag, and Utvoch down to their temporary quarters to get settled.  The rest of us stood on the docking platform, watching the skirmish below.

 

DRANOSH:  Definitely not enough of them to really get anywhere.  Why even bother?

LIADRIN:  To be a disturbance, most likely.

GARROSH:  Why waste soldiers – or, well, bugs – just to annoy your enemy?

LIADRIN:  Think of it from the Lich King’s perspective.  You have an effectively unlimited supply of minions.  They don’t need to eat or sleep or rest.  You enemy does.  Why wouldn’t you use some of those minions to disrupt your enemies’ sleep and stop them ever settling in for a meal in comfort?

GARROSH:  You know, when you put it like that, it’s actually kind of creepy smart.

DRANOSH:  I think I’m going to go down and give the good guys a hand.  It’s been a while since I’ve been on the winning side of a fight.  <smirks at Garrosh and gestures toward Saurfang below>  Besides, can’t let the old man get too big a lead on me.  You want in?

GARROSH:  Go ahead.  I’m going to stay up here and get caught up with Liadrin.

DRANOSH:  Up to you.

Dranosh leaps down from the docking tower.  Liadrin and Mokvar move to either side of Garrosh.  They continue to watch Dranosh while they talk.

LIADRIN:  Have you told him?

GARROSH:  No.

MOKVAR:  Are you going to?

GARROSH:  <pauses for a long moment>  If I did, do you think there’s any chance at all that he would turn back?

MOKVAR:  <shakes head>  No.

GARROSH:  Then let him go to the end not having to know who killed him.

 

We watched the battle for a while – Mokvar and I filling in some of the extra details on the Great Time FUBAR for Liadrin – until it finally wound down and the Argent troops returned to their stations.  Liadrin and the others went into the keep to see about squeezing in a meal uninterrupted, but I wasn’t feeling very hungry, so I stayed outside and figured I’d take Mortimer out to stretch his wings some.

There was an orc soldier at the stables tending to another wyvern when I went to get Mortimer.  We got to talking while I saddled Mortimer up.  Guy name of Gar’lok.  Turns out he was one of the soldiers at the Wrathgate.  He asked a million questions about the demon attack on Orgrimmar, but above all he was worried about whether his kid had gotten out in time.  Something told me not to ask, but I couldn’t help it.  His kid was a boy.  Named Gurtash.  Of course.  I wrapped the conversation up quickly and took Mortimer out.

We circled around the base a few times, then as we were flying over the keep, I spotted Mokvar and Edwin standing outside, looking over the base.  I brought Mortimer down and joined them.

 

GARROSH:  Everyone still inside?

MOKVAR:  Back in their quarters now, mostly.  Liadrin was going to meet with Bolvar.  I think she’s going to have him take charge of the base while she’s away, once we’re ready to go.

GARROSH:  What about Saurfang?

MOKVAR:  I think he’s assuming he’s coming with us.  Can’t blame him, really – how often does he get to go on a mission with his son?

GARROSH:  This will be his last one, if we manage to pull this off.

MOKVAR:  You know we will.  Especially now.  I mean, come on, bringing two Saurfangs?  That’s not even fair.

GARROSH:  Heh.  Let’s hope.  <looks to Faranell>  You hanging in there okay, Doc?  You’ve been pretty quiet.

Edwin stares silently into the mountains.

Doc?

Edwin continues staring wordlessly.

Edwin?

Edwin turns to face Garrosh, still not speaking.

Look, I know you’ve had an awful lot dropped on you today, so I can see why you might be having trouble wrapping your head around it all.

FARANELL:  <looking down at the ground>  I’m not doing it.

GARROSH:  Um…

MOKVAR:  Oh boy…

GARROSH:  You WHAT?

FARANELL:  I said I’m not doing it.

GARROSH:  You understand this whole thing kind of HINGES on you, right?

FARANELL:  Yes, I do.  I also understand that if we do what you were talking about doing, it means Patrick is going to die.  Hell, not even just die – what did you say? – he gets turned into some undead mastermind working for the Scourge?  He doesn’t even get to rest in peace!

GARROSH:  I know, I know, it’s wrong and it’s awful and it’s not fair, but it’s the only way to set things right in this world.

FARANELL:  And who decides what’s “right,” Garrosh?  You?  I’ve heard people talking – here and in the future – and I don’t exactly get the sense that you have this great track record for deciding what’s “right.”

GARROSH:  Edwin, this isn’t what was supposed to happen.  Hell, you were in Orgrimmar – did you not see those demons overrunning the place?

FARANELL:  You also said back in my time – where I came from – the Scourge was going to overrun Lordaeron.  So if you’re so fired up to go change the past, why don’t we just go stop that from happening, too?

GARROSH:  Because like it or not, the Scourge invasion was what was supposed to happen, it’s what ALWAYS happened—

FARANELL:  It always happened to you, Garrosh!  Why is it okay to fix your present and not mine?

GARROSH:  Things only ever happened like this because the past got MESSED with, Edwin!

FARANELLYour past!  Not mine – these events you’re talking about that “had to happen” – they haven’t happened yet for me!  They’re my future!  Who the hell says Patrick wasn’t “supposed” to be alive?

GARROSH:  He’s only alive because you – he – the OTHER you went back and mucked things up so he WOULD!

FARANELL:  So what?  Good!  I’m glad he did!

GARROSH:  Edwin, that’s exactly the kind of shit that an ENTIRE DRAGONFLIGHT devoted their lives to preventing!

FARANELL:  Well—

GARROSH:  You can’t go back and change the past just because you don’t like how it turned out!

FARANELL:  I—

GARROSH:  You see how things play out in the future so you decide you’re going to go back and prevent it?  Nothing good can come out of that, Edwin, it—

FARANELLDon’t go to Pandaria!

GARROSH:  …

MOKVAR:  Oh…crap.

GARROSH:  Did…you not hear ANYTHING I was just saying?!

FARANELL:  What, you don’t like a little tinkering with your future?  I thought that’s what we did around here.

GARROSH:  What happened with Patrick HAPPENED.  And if we don’t set it right… Look, I get that you care about him, but look around.  You’ve got to realize people are DYING because of this!

FARANELL:  You’re asking me to kill my brother!

Garrosh punches Faranell, knocking him down.  While Faranell gathers himself, Garrosh stands over him.

GARROSH:  Listen to me carefully because I’m only going to say this once.  I get that you’re scared.  I get that you’re upset.  You have a right to be.  I am too.  And if you want to be angry at me for laying all this on you, you want to hate me, you go ahead.  <glares at Faranell a moment, collecting himself>  But don’t you DARE stand there and talk to me like you’re the only one losing a brother.

FARANELL:  <head hanging>  It’s…it’s not right…

GARROSH:  You’re right.  It’s not.  <looks around>  There are a lot of things that aren’t right.  <looks back to Faranell>  I think you need to see some more of them.

 

I pulled him back up, brought him to the stables, and had the flight master set him up with a gryphon.  Then we took off and flew a path around Icecrown – taking care more than once to steer clear of the frost wyrms that seemed to be in flight nearly everywhere.

We flew over Ymirheim, where legions of vrykul were marching, training, lining up in squads.  We flew over the Shadow Vault, back in Scourge hands, where saronite from the Weeping Quarry was being used to build massive siege engines.  We flew over the front gates of Icecrown Citadel, surrounded by thousands of flesh giants and colossal skeletons.  One battalion after another of zombies and ghouls.  Gargoyles enough to blacken the sky, until I got the bright idea that we maybe didn’t want to be flying around out there.  On the way back to the Argent Vanguard, we flew over the Broken Front, where an army of Scourge was gathering and marching east, while frost wyrms circled over Scourgeholm.

We landed back at the base, on a hill where the Argent people had put up a large tent that served as a makeshift chapel.  From where we stood, we could see the mountains beyond the Breach, and part of the field swarming with gathering undead.

 

GARROSH:  This is what we’re facing.  You know those Scourge I told you about, the ones that wiped out Lordaeron?  They weren’t even a fraction of this.  And they’re coming.

FARANELL:  Patrick… Right now, Patrick is safe in Thunder Bluff.

GARROSH:  Right.  He’s safe in Thunder Bluff NOW.  Before that he was safe in Hearthglen.  And safe in Andorhal.  How long before he runs out of places to be safe?

Faranell lowers his head quietly.

Liadrin’s people will fight to the last person to hold them back.  I’ve got no doubt of that.  But sooner or later, it WILL be the last person.  And then all of this gets unleashed on the rest of the world.

FARANELL:  I just don’t want him to die.

GARROSH:  Doc, it doesn’t make me any happier to tell you this than it makes you to hear it.  But Patrick is going to die.  The only question is, how many others are you going to let die with him?  How many would he LET you?

Faranell paces around for a moment, occasionally looking back toward the marching Scourge, then walks up to the entrance to the chapel tent.  From inside, Argent Confessor Paletress steps to the opening to meet him.

FARANELL:  You’re the confessor?

PALETRESS:  <nods>  I’m Argent Confessor Paletress.  Do you need to unburden your spirit?

FARANELL:  Yes, Confessor.

PALETRESS:  Tell me what it is you’ve done, friend.

Faranell looks past the Breach as waves of Scourge gather, frost wyrms circling in the sky above them.

FARANELL:  I couldn’t even begin to tell you what I’ve done, Confessor.

PALETRESS:  I’m sure it’s not as bad as you believe.  Guilt often weighs on us far more heavily than the true weight of our sins.

FARANELL:  It doesn’t matter.  What I’ve done isn’t what I’ve come to confess.

PALETRESS:  What do you wish to tell me, then, my friend?

Faranell watches a frost wyrm tearing down the tower at Crusader’s Pinnacle in the distance.  He looks down and rubs his hands over his face, then finally lifts his head, not quite returning his eyes to Paletress.

FARANELL:  I’m going to kill my brother.

 

“The Light does not abandon its champions.” If only she knew.

The parting of ways

Posted in General, Transcripts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

Dranosh and the others arrived with the Windrunner this morning, along with a surprise – Jaina Proudmoore.  The message I’d sent to Dranosh in Theramore said there’s a chance to fix things but we need to get the Focusing Iris from Northrend, and when Jaina heard that part, she volunteered – check that, insisted – she join the party.  Imagine my delight.  Still, the enemy of my enemy, I guess.

So far this morning, we’ve had an uncharacteristic run of mostly good news.  Based on the head counts, most of the civilians got out of Orgrimmar in time.  Military losses were heavy – in addition to Vol’jin and Zaela, it turns out Nazgrim didn’t make it out – but still not as disastrous as they could have been.  Dranosh brought the remaining civilians – Horde and Theramore alike – with him along with a few support officers.  Thunder Bluff is further from the combat zone, it’s separated by natural barriers, and its position on these mesas makes it easier to defend.  There really isn’t anywhere SAFE to tuck away the civilians anymore, but this is the safest of unsafe options.

The better news is that a couple hours into scouring the city this morning, Utvoch earned his keep and spotted Edwin over on the Spirit Rise.  He’s spooked as all hell, no surprise – he got dropped into this world just in time for the attack on Orgrimmar, without warning or context or any friends from the Caverns of Time to help make sense of it for him.  I’ll try to start filling in some of the blanks for him on the way to Northrend.  Gotta, say, I’m not looking forward to explaining how his brother fits into all this.

Other than loading up the Windrunner with a few supplies, there’s just one piece of business to tend to.

 

CAIRNE:  I understand the honor you show me today, Warchief, and I will strive to be worthy of it.  As I have watched over the tauren, so too will I watch over the people of the Horde.

DRANOSH:  I’m hopeful that we’ll return soon successfully.  But if we don’t, I need to be sure that our people will be left in good hands.  Now they will.  May the spirits guide you, Cairne.  Let everything you do be done for the Horde.

Dranosh salutes Cairne.  Cairne responds in kind.

They’re yours now, Warchief Bloodhoof.  Lead them well.  Aka’Magosh – for the Horde!

CAIRNE:  For the Horde.

ALL ASSEMBLED:  For the Horde!

DRANOSH:  <clasping Cairne’s hand>  I hate to abdicate and run, but I have a few last preparations to make before we go.

CAIRNE:  I understand, Warchief.

DRANOSH:  <grins and walks away>  Call me Dranosh.

Dranosh walks off.  Garrosh approaches Cairne.

GARROSH:  I should probably go help him in a minute.

CAIRNE:  You have important work ahead of you, I know.

GARROSH:  <glancing around and nodding>  So many things that aren’t what they should be.

CAIRNE:  Overlord, if I may offer a word of counsel?

Garrosh nods.

Do not trouble yourself so deeply over what should be.  It is something I have noticed in you, Garrosh – your readiness to point to what should be, and recoil against the world for failing to be so.  As if it has wronged you.  It is, I suspect, the source of so much of your anger, your impatience, your…

GARROSH:  <faintly grinning>  Are you saying I have a temper?

CAIRNE:  You’ve heard this before?

Garrosh chuckles.

I merely mean to say, Garrosh, that there is little to be gained in fretting away one’s life with should be.  “I should be higher rank by now.”  “This land should be ours.”  “He should agree.”  “She should love me.”  There is no should be; there is only is.  And there is no deeper well of discontent, no darker shadow to impoverish our lives as they are, then a misguided sense of should be to nag at us by false compare.  “Should be”: so simple a phrase to nourish so many agonies of the spirit.

Cairne hesitates a moment, then tilts his head with the hint of a smile.

Pardon me, I prattle on.  You’ll forgive an old man his ramblings.

GARROSH:  You wear it a lot better than Tirion ever did.  <pauses, then grins sadly>  I think I should have listened to you more.

CAIRNE:  There you go again.  <smiles>  But you are listening now.

GARROSH:  Well, hopefully you’ll let one more “should be” slide.  <looks up at Cairne a moment, then offers his hand>  Dranosh made the right choice.  You should be Warchief.

CAIRNE:  <gripping the hand>  And so I am.  In this, for once, you need not torment yourself, my young friend.

Garrosh looks around briefly.

GARROSH:  I don’t know if we’ll be back here again.

CAIRNE:  Nonsense.  I have every confidence you will be successful, Garrosh.

GARROSH:  <looks at Cairne uncomfortably>  Still.  Just in case.  <stares at him a moment more>  I don’t think I’ve told you that I admire you.  If you don’t see me again…know that honor and respect for you went with me to the end of my days.

CAIRNE:  <nods slowly>  May they be many, Overlord.  And thank you.

 

I left Cairne and made my way over to the docking station on the Spirit Rise to meet Dranosh.  When I got there, he was standing on the edge of the rise, overlooking western Mulgore, and in the middle of a rather pointed discussion with…ahem…a familiar face.

 

DRANOSH:  I understand your concerns, General, but I’m confident in Warlord Cromush’s forces at the new front.

KROM’GAR:  I simply don’t see the wisdom of taking one of our newer gunships out of the fight in order to go on – I’m sorry – some fool’s errand in Northrend.

DRANOSH:  Overlord Hellscream assures me—

KROM’GAR:  Overlord Hellscream, as far as we know, may simply be putting as much distance as possible between himself and death by inventing some secret mission to fly off to!

DRANOSH:  I’m going as well, Krom’gar.  Are you going to accuse me of cowardice, too?

KROM’GAR:  Begging your pardon, sir, but—

DRANOSH:  Let me be frank, General.  With the state of affairs in Kalimdor, one more gunship will not make much difference here.  But one gunship in Northrend might be able to put an end to this mess before it’s even started.

KROM’GAR:  But how, sir?  Why do you even believe—

As Dranosh and Krom’gar talk, Garrosh walks over to them.  Before Krom’gar can finish his sentence, Garrosh steps up next to him and casually shoves him off the edge of the rise, sending him plummeting to the ground far below.

GARROSH:  Don’t listen to that guy.  He’s a dick.

DRANOSH:  <blinks a moment and glances over the edge>  Wow, you really don’t like him, do you?

GARROSH:  Let’s just say we have some history.  Or did.

DRANOSH:  Lucky for you I was considering the same thing when he started calling you a coward.

Garrosh looks over at the Windrunner being loaded with supplies.

GARROSH:  You know…this mission we’re going on…  I know I haven’t exactly been open about a lot of the details.  I’m figuring based on where I had to go for information that you can guess some of the reason why.  And yeah, there are some details going on here that I really can’t tell you, but you have to understand—

DRANOSH:  How long have you known me?

GARROSH:  Huh?

DRANOSH:  Since we were, what, six?  How many times has one of us saved the other’s neck?  You’re telling me we need to do this.  You think I need more than that?  It’s getting done, period.  You don’t need to sell me, Garrosh.  I trust you with my life.

 

I’m going to skip over the part where I looked over the edge for a second and wondered if Krom’gar could use some company in splat-land.

Oh, but also, speaking of Krom’gar, it bears repeating:

Anyway.  Here’s the plan from this point: we’re taking off for Northrend within the hour, and will rendezvous with Liadrin and the rest of our people at the Argent Vanguard.  We’re keeping the group relatively small – me, Dranosh, Mokvar.  Edwin.  Captain Drok, obviously, since the Windrunner is his ship, plus a minimal crew to operate it.  Dontrag, Utvoch…Jaina…you’ll notice who I just lumped together there.  Jaina’s put her Kirin Tor friends on notice, so once we get the Focusing Iris from Coldarra, we’ll high-tail it to Dalaran, where they’ll be able to port us directly to the Caverns of Time.  From there, with any luck, it’ll be a short trip to Normal-ville.

Time for me to get on board.  More updates soon.

 

 

[Header image of Thunder Bluff provided by Angelya from Revive and Rejuvenate.  "Dismissed" image provided by Rades from Orcish Army Knife.  Both images used here with permission and many thanks.]

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