The last Warchief
Dranosh kept staring down at the ruins of Orgrimmar as we circled high above the city. We were too far to hear anything other than the faintest sounds of the demons and undead, but the fires were unmistakable even from here.
I finally went over and stood next to him. He didn’t look away from the sight below. We stood there in silence for a few minutes.
DRANOSH: Do you remember the first time you saw Orgrimmar?
GARROSH: <nods> Thrall brought me, not that long after he came to Garadar.
DRANOSH: My father took me. He was so excited to show me the new home the orcs had built. So proud to introduce me around – every grunt, every merchant, everyone. I remember thinking how every last person in the city seemed to know him.
GARROSH: Well, he IS Saurfang.
DRANOSH: <nods, then pauses> Maybe Thrall should have chosen him. Or Cairne. Or…Vol’jin. <shrugs> Or you, for that matter.
GARROSH: I thought you said I’d be terrible at it.
DRANOSH: Have you looked down there? At what I’ve led us to? I don’t think you would have done much worse.
GARROSH: <staring down> This…this wasn’t your fault. You’ve been a good Warchief.
DRANOSH: Then why am I in danger of becoming the last one?
Remember when I said this timeline was the better one? Well, as long as time is getting screwed with anyway, let’s go back and erase that I’d ever said that. Orgrimmar was bad enough…but now Dranosh…
At least the Wrathgate killed him quickly. Not one little piece at a time.
We stood there silently for I’m not sure how long, until Dranosh finally turned around and gave Drok the order to set us on our way to Theramore. As we started to pull away, Dranosh took one more look down at the burning shell of Orgrimmar.
DRANOSH: I still don’t understand how this happened…
MOKVAR: Warchief? I think I might have at least a few answers for us…
Mokvar pulls a frog from until his cloak and dangles it by one leg.
GARROSH: Is that…?
DRANOSH: Is this the one who did this?
GARROSH: Not alone. But he was the ringleader of those warlocks in the Cleft of Shadow, anyway…
DRANOSH: <visibly fuming> Oh… Oh, bring him out. I want to talk to this one…
Mokvar nods and drops the frog on the deck, then zaps it with a frost shock to break the hex. Before Neeru Fireblade can react in his restored orc form, Dranosh grabs him by his robes and shoves him back against the railing.
DRANOSH: Oh hello, Neeru, so glad you made it out in one piece…
Neeru struggles against Dranosh’s grip, but Dranosh only shoves him back harder.
It would have been such a shame if you’d gotten yourself killed back there and cost me the chance to do the honors myself.
Neeru looks around at the gunship, then grins and chuckles cruelly.
NEERU: Based on our surroundings, I assume the day goes badly, eh, Warchief?
GARROSH: Not nearly as badly as it’s about to go for you if you don’t talk.
DRANOSH: I’ve got a lot of questions, Neeru, but here’s the main one – why?
NEERU: <laughing> Why? Why would I work against my enemy? Are you really that naïve, boy?
DRANOSH: How is the Horde your enemy? You’ve been a citizen of Orgrimmar for years!
NEERU: And a warlock of the Burning Blade for longer! That shaman who came before you wanted to believe so badly that some of us might yet be redeemed that he gave us haven in his precious capital. Even when his agents told him my loyalties might be…conflicted…the trusting fool still left me there in my tent to go about my business unimpeded.
GARROSH: Wow, seriously?
MOKVAR: You didn’t know about this?
GARROSH: Would have been nice if he’d left me a fucking note about it or something…
NEERU: <chuckling> Allegiance to the Shadow Council is not foresworn so readily.
DRANOSH: So you’ve been sitting there all these years plotting this?
NEERU: This specifically? No, no, boy. Simply…watching for moments of opportunity. And the Scourge attack on Orgrimmar proved a superb one.
GARROSH: While we were busy watching the rear gate, there was nobody to keep an eye on you bastards in the Cleft.
DRANOSH: Is that what the demons were doing in the Deadwind Pass? Gathering for your go-ahead?
NEERU: Our go-ahead, and more importantly our beacon to target their portal. The Legion also happened to have, in the Deadwind Pass, some ideal resources for a surprise attack such as this.
GARROSH: Malchezaar, in Karazhan.
NEERU: Holder of one of the most powerful sources of portal magic in this world – the Book of Medivh.
DRANOSH: Hold on – I’ve heard of Malchezaar, but I thought he was dead.
MOKVAR: He was.
MOKVAR: Didn’t take.
DRANOSH: Excuse me?
NEERU: <chuckling> Your mind is so comically linear.
GARROSH: Malchezaar hung out in the highest level of Karazhan, where it pokes through into this whole other dimension.
GARROSH: Time doesn’t work the same way up there…it’s like it’s locked in this infinite loop. So people went up there and killed him, yeah, and then a few days later the loop would reset, and he’d be there alive again.
MOKVAR: And then someone else would kill him, and in a few days the loop would reset again.
GARROSH: On and on endlessly.
DRANOSH: And he just stayed there to die over and over? Why would anyone do that? Why wouldn’t he just leave?
NEERU: Because so long as he was there, he could never truly die, you fool. No matter how many deaths he might endure – hundreds, perhaps – the Netherspace would always restore him. The perfect hiding place for the Legion to stash away a key weapon for safekeeping, until the time would come that he would be needed.
DRANOSH: So today the demons cracked Malchezaar out of storage to bring them here…
NEERU: <smirks at Garrosh and chuckles> I wish you could have seen the look on your face when—
DRANOSH: <shaking Neeru violently> I would be a little more worried about the look on you face when I cut off your head and stick it on a pike, Fireblade!
NEERU: Do you wish to, Warchief? Then by all means. I had no delusions that I would escape this endeavor alive. But I believe. Don’t you see? It doesn’t matter if you kill me. I’ve lived long enough to see Orgrimmar burn.
Dranosh loosens his grip on Neeru and stares over the warlock’s shoulder at Orgrimmar.
DRANOSH: You’re forgetting something, Neeru.
Neeru arches an eyebrow quizzically.
Orgrimmar is behind you.
Dranosh draws his sword and runs it through Neeru.
You haven’t seen anything.
Neeru seizes up, then goes limp on the sword. Dranosh extends his blade over the deck railing, then shakes off the body, letting it plummet to the rocks below.
GARROSH: <spitting over the side> Dismissed.
Dranosh stands at the railing, looking down, then looks back at Orgrimmar.
DRANOSH: I should have caught what they were doing. This should never have happened.
Garrosh stands next to Dranosh.
GARROSH: You’re part right. This shouldn’t ever have happened. <looks at Mokvar, then back> What if we could fix it?
DRANOSH: Yeah, sure, we’ll just rewind time and take it all back.
MOKVAR: Not exactly.
GARROSH: Look…what I have in mind isn’t a sure thing by any means, and I’m not even sure exactly how to do it myself. But I think I can find out. And if it works…well, things won’t be perfect. Like, at all. But the demons won’t be running roughshod over the world, and the Scourge will be under control.
DRANOSH: Sounds pretty perfect to me. You sure you haven’t been dipping into the felweed again?
GARROSH: I’m serious. It won’t be easy, even if we can do it at all. And…I don’t know if we’ll all make it through alive. In fact…I’m pretty sure we won’t.
DRANOSH: But Orgrimmar, our people – they do?
GARROSH: I think so, yeah. If what I’m thinking works.
DRANOSH: <nods slowly> If that ends up being the cost… A mediocre Warchief is a small price to pay for the survival of the Horde, don’t you think?
GARROSH: I don’t know. I’ve only seen great ones.
DRANOSH: What do we do?
GARROSH: First I need information. <thinks for a minute> And before we get too far along to Theramore, I need to make a quick side a trip to Ashenvale.
DRANOSH: What’s in Ashenvale?
GARROSH: An old friend.