Monday mailbag

mail19

So I was finally able to get a decent internet connection going again, long enough to get my mail sorted out, and I figured since I have a decent bunch of letters from you peeps, and I haven’t offered any mailbag love for a while, I might as well do just that.  Because you know me – your Warchief is nothing if not all about the love.

 

Hail, Warchief!

It’s my first weekend back in Silvermoon in I don’t know how long, and man, is the mood different around here these days. Whether you’re going to think that’s good news or bad news depends on how you interpret that.

Remember my first letter? The one where I was basically advocating high treason against the Regent-Lord? A lot of us used to be dissatisfied that he was doing a whole bunch of nothing. The impression around here, at least if you believe the spin from the Silvermoon Star-Tribune, is that the Regent-Lord’s approval numbers are way up since he started getting jiggy with it down in Pandaria. Yes, the Star-Tribune is calling what Lor’themar’s doing down there “decisive leadership” and “proactive management”. And the public seems to be buying it.

Either that, or they’re just glad that he’s somewhere else, and hoping he eats a Mogu hammer somewhere along the way. That’s the other way to look at it.

To be honest, I’m not sure which one I’m buying, yet. That’s something I’ll have to think about when I get back to Pandaria.

–A Concerned Citizen

Hey, ACC.  You know, my first reaction here is that people probably ARE a little happier about Lori because he’s been away.  Problem is, if that were true, you’d think that I would start finding him less annoying since he’s gone BACK to Silvermoon recently.  But…nope.  He high-tailed it out of Pandaria, then promptly made a big ol’ cluster fuck of that whole business with the sha box…and the less said about the sideshow going on in my Earth Online guild, the better.  I suppose it’s still a LITTLE less irritating, but only because I don’t have to listen to him live and in person.  At least until he comes strolling back down here again.

Also, not for nothing, but are you sure the reports in your little dorky newspaper are reliable?  Who’s doing the writing?  It’s amazing what a little propaganda can do for a ruler’s perception.  Or so I’ve heard.

 

Dear Warchief,

I’ve been following some of your interactions with Lord Theron and I was wondering if you limited your observations to him or if you think all Blood Elves are like that.

I’ve been in Pandaria just about since the beginning (but I can’t explain how Anduin got away–that was General Nazgrim’s job, not mine) and have tried to do my part for the Horde.  Also: Pandaren don’t seem to have barbers.  Anywhere.  Not a one on this damn continent.  You should give us credit for coming here anyways even with that sacrifice.

Respectfully,

–Vyrin Dawnstar, Shrine of Two Moons, Pandaria

P.S: If anyone told you about Anduin and the Temple of the Red Crane, I deny it all.  Not me.  Nope.  Must’ve been someone else helping him.  If that hasn’t been brought to your attention yet, please ignore this part.

Hmm…  Well, Vyrin, I guess that depends on what you mean by “all blood elves are like that.”  I mean, like what?  Spindly and break-easy-ish?  Because, well, sorry, but you guys kind of are.  A little too preoccupied with the uber-luxurious hair?  I refer you to your second paragraph.  (By the by, I think the lack of barbers in Pandaria is because the pandas just shed.  Can you imagine the cleanup crews you’d need in Silvermoon if the elves were like that?)  That said, I DON’T think all blood elves are like ol’ Eyepatch in the absolutely-completely-utterly-useless department.  I mean, Lady Liadrin has always struck me as pretty sharp and on top of things, and…um…okay, give me a minute here, I’m sure I can come up with a second example.

Hang on.

Um…

Okay, I’m going to have to get back to you on this, but seriously, I’ve got a…reasonably strong suspicion there’s at least one more I can name.

Also, though, what?  Anduin at the Temple of the Red Crane?  I’ve heard some scouting reports about that Red Crane place, actually.  I may have to do some followup on that place…

 

My Dearest Warchief,

That scar on your lip is so sexy. It makes you look very manly and tough. I’ve been wondering though how you got it. I’m sure there is some extraordinary tale of bravery and valor associated with it. I’d like to hear it.

Your devoted admirer,

–Wega

Hoo boy.  Here we go again with Wega.  So…yeah… For those of you who maybe haven’t noticed, Wega is talking about the scar I have on the right side of my upper lip:

scar

So, okay, I know you’d probably figure I got the scar from some glorious battle, or one of the times I’ve squared off with Varian, or something else like that, but as it turns out, it was really more of a fluke injury.  One night about a year and a half ago, give or take, I was trying to reorganize some of my junk in Grommash Hold, and I was stashing a couple boxes of stuff on a high shelf.  While I was stretching up to reach the shelf, I lost my footing and fell over.  Now, ordinarily that wouldn’t have been a big deal, except it just so happened that Mortimer was there with me, and was curled up on the floor sound asleep.  Until I slipped and fell, and landed right on top of him, and he was so startled that before he knew what was going on, he snapped at me.  And, yeah, got a nice chunk of my lip.

So, that was fun.

Gotta say, though, in a way it was kind of endearing afterward – once Mortimer knew what was going on, he DID act all sad and apologetic, and spent the next few days following me around trying to make nice.  Once again, wyverns are better people than most people.

Now granted, having my lip cut open by wyvern fangs wasn’t exactly fun, but depending on how you look at it, I still don’t think I’ve gotten the worst of it from Mortimer.  That honor probably goes to Malkorok.  A few weeks ago, I was talking to Malkorok while I was getting ready to leave the Sanctum of Two Moons, then walked past him to the landing platform out front.  Mortimer was following along behind me, and just as he was passing Malkorok, Mortimer stopped, lifted one leg up…and fucking peed on him.  Oh man, you should have seen the look on Malky’s face.  Especially when I pointed out, “Dude, considering what that usually signifies for a wyvern, you LITERALLY just got owned.”

Heh.

Hehehe.

<snort>

 

Mr. Garrosh, sir!

I want to thank you for helping us DPS kids and, you know, stuff.

I have a question though.

What happened to all your hair? I saw pictures of you and you had hair at one time, but now you don’t. Do you plan to grow your hair again? How would you wear it?

–Ruekie, Shaman-in-Training, Domination Point

What is this, fucking “Everybody Ask Garrosh to Explain His Personal Appearance Week”?

Oh, wait, hang on, it’s one of the kids.

What is this, blankety-blank “Everybody Ask Garrosh to Explain His Personal Appearance Week”?  You kids – DO NOT read that first part from a couple lines up, YOU UNDERSTAND ME?

Anyway, yeah, Ruekie, I used to have a ponytail, right up through my time in Northrend.  I wore my hair like that going all the way back to when I was a kid.  To tell you the truth, it was pretty much the best of iffy options, as far as something I could do with my hair that would look maybe-sorta decent.  See, while Grom had a really thick, full mane of hair, I guess I must have gotten mine from my mom’s side of the family, because my hair was always fairly coarse and stringy and just…patchy all over my scalp.  Even as a kid, I pretty much had the beginnings of male pattern baldness going.  And really, it shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise that I wouldn’t have that great of a head of hair – you know the old saying, grass doesn’t grow on a busy street.

Anyway, the ponytail was just a way to yank it all together that didn’t look flat-out terrible.  Eventually, when I moved to Orgrimmar, I figured the hell with it and just cut it off.  Which first of all, is much more low-maintenance.  No more spending ten minutes every morning tugging it all together and trying to bind it up and then having the band be too loose so you start feeling it slipping out little by little all morning, or getting that one strand caught halfway through the pull-through and then feeling your roots getting pulled every time you look to one side, or…ugh, yeah, whatever.  Way easier this way.  Not to mention it’s way more practical in battle – it’s one less thing to get caught somewhere, and one less way for an enemy to grab you from behind.

Besides, much better to just embrace the baldness and go with it, rather than try to compensate with something that looks maybe-not-quite-terrible-if-you-squint-a-little.  This way, it just announces to the world, “Yes, I’m bald.  DEAL WITH IT.”  Confidence is very sexy, don’t you think?

(Maybe I shouldn’t have put it that way.  I can hear Wega scribbling out another letter as we speak…)

 

Heya Garrosh,

Cool little web form you have here.  Sometimes those techie goblins do have some good ideas.  (Not often, but sometimes.)

Anywho, my question for you this week is this: If you were to retire from warchiefin’ tomorrow, who would you choose as your successor and why?

Thanks!

–Kaija

You know, Kaija, this is actually a pretty decent question.  For all the good things about the Horde, we don’t really have a clear line of succession.  I mean, obviously if I were going to retire – presumably years down the road when I’m a gray-haired (FIGURE OF SPEECH, RUEKIE, DON’T GET EXCITED) old man basking in the triumphant glow of my many glorious victories – I would be in a position to sit back, think it over, and pick out an appropriate successor as Warchief.  But what if something happens before I have the chance to?  What if I get sick or injured?  What if somebody decides it would be a bright idea to throw me a surprise party for my 70th birthday, and the ol’ ticker finally gives out?  What if – I know this is a long shot, but still – what if I die in battle somehow before we even get to the wrinkly stage?  What then?  WHAT THEN, I ASK YOU?

So, it’s probably not a bad idea to put a little thought into who a good successor would be, and maybe establish that that person is next in line, just in case something happens.

And then, you know, make it very clear to that person that I’ve left the Kor’kron with special instructions to follow in the event that I should die under circumstances that are in any way even remotely fishy.  Such instructions including, but not limited to, the agonizingly slow execution of the successor, their siblings, their friends, their relatives, their next-door neighbors, and anyone who’s ever been seen being polite to them in public.

You know.  Just FYI.

Anyway, we might as well be systematic about this, so I’m going to review some of the likely candidates to follow me as Warchief – and just for shits and giggles, I’m going to group them into suitable categories and even give my best estimate at their odds of getting the nod.  Place your bets now.

 

THE “OH SNAP DID I SAY THAT” DIVISION

VOL’JIN
1,000,000 to 1

Not really an option, because guess what, bitches?  HE’S DEAD.  HAHAHA <snort> that cracks me up more than it probably should.

 

THE “I GUESS I’M OBLIGATED TO AT LEAST MENTION THEM” DIVISION 

JASTOR GALLYWIX
999,995 to 1

I mean…I guess he’s technically leader of the Bilgewater goblins, but… Well, like, does anybody even know where the fuck he IS half the time?  I’m pretty sure the only times I’ve ever seen him were at the meeting of Horde leaders to prepare for the Theramore attack, and the celebration in Orgrimmar afterward.  And, well, with the meeting, I pretty much sent notices to every goblin I could think of and then crossed my fingers hoping that word would reach him.  And at the celebration…yeah, mountains of free food and booze, so of course he was going to show up for that.  Honestly, I don’t get why the guy’s so low-profile.  He had a fucking pleasure palace built in Azshara, and you can’t even find him THERE.  Believe you me, if I ever commissioned the construction of Garrosh’s Pleasure Palace, you could call off the search parties, my ass would be there.

Hmm.  Hang on a second, I need to jot something down on next month’s agenda planner.

 

LOR’THEMAR THERON
500,000 to 1

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA… Yeah, sure, this guy as Warchief.  Do I really even need to elaborate here?  Come on.

 

SYLVANAS WINDRUNNER
200,000 to 1

You know, she would actually be a pretty strong candidate – to her credit, she IS intelligent, charismatic, and competent – if she didn’t creep the living FUCK out of everyone.  Not to mention make you worry that she might then replace that aforementioned living fuck with some kind of weird-ass UNDEAD fuck under her control.

 

BAINE BLOODHOOF
150,000 to 1

He’s a great warrior, he takes good care of his people, and you can practically see Cairne when you look in his eyes (not that that makes me at all awkward, no sir).  He’s also freaking Vol’jin Lite what with the bitching and the moaning and the OMG Garrosh how could you.  Because if there’s one thing you don’t want to stand for, it’s actually GOING TO WAR with the people you are ALLEGEDLY AT WAR WITH.  Last thing the Horde needs is a fucking carebear in charge.  And Thrall me no Thralls – Guy Smiley sat on his hands way too much too.

 

THE “I BET YOU DIDN’T THINK I KNEW ABOUT THIS MEME” DIVISION 

A BASIC CAMPFIRE
5000 to 1

HAHA SEE I BET YOU ASSHOLES DIDN’T THINK I HAD A SENSE OF HUMOR ABOUT THAT SHIT.

 

THE “DIDN’T YOU RETIRE LIKE TWENTY YEARS AGO” DIVISION

DREK’THAR
500 to 1

Chieftain of the Frostwolf clan and friend to Durotan way back in the day.  Lived through the corruption of the orcs, but refused to drink the blood of Mannoroth – granted it was largely because Durotan ordered the Frostwolves not to, but it still shows a certain level of principle AND loyalty to his clan all at the same time.  Greatmother speaks about him just fondly enough to make me feel uncomfortable.  The main down side, other than being blind and spending most of his time getting rolled around in a wheelchair by Captain Galvanger these days, is that since the Cataclysm…well…not to be mean, but let’s face it.  Dude has just gone batshit senile.  And that’s not even getting into the whole thing with him shitting himself.  I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again.  Old age is not kind.

 

EITRIGG
200 to 1

He’s been around for ages, advised both me and Thrall, has watched over Orgrimmar while I’ve been down here in Pandaria, and has always been staunchly devoted to the well-being of the Horde.  If we had some kind of lifetime achievement award to dole out, I would sign him up for it tomorrow, even if he DID get a little grumbly with me over the Theramore thing.  Who didn’t, right?  Shows what those fuckers know.  Anyway.  The point is, though, as much as I like Eitrigg, he’s pretty much one of those guys who’s basically a permanent lieutenant.  You know the ones.  Year after year, they’re always second in command to one general after another, and somewhere along the line, after like the fourth guy gets promoted over them to take command, you realize there’s a reason for it.  Perfectly good at his job, but he’s just never going to be suited for the big chair.

Also, if he were in charge, can you IMAGINE how much time freaking Tirion would probably be spending in Orgrimmar?  Do you really want to subject people to THAT?

 

VAROK SAURFANG
100 to 1

Veteran of two wars.  Served as Thrall’s right hand and as my executive officer in Northrend.  He even served as acting Warchief for a little while, that time when I was off the grid.  At the age of nine zillion, he’s still one of the biggest badasses around.  He doesn’t sleep – he waits.  Death once had a near-Saurfang experience.  Mannoroth became more powerful by drinking HIS blood.  There was going to be a street named after him in Orgrimmar, but the plan was canceled for safety reasons because nobody crosses Saurfang and lives.  When warlocks make someone run away in fear, they pay a royalty to him.  He’s considered an honorary shaman because he commands the element of surprise.  I’m at least 50% sure some of these facts are made up.  But you get the point.

So what’s the case against?  You mean, other than at least two or three occasions that he’s threatened to kill me?  You mean OTHER THAN THAT?  Frankly, he’s a holdover from a Horde that’s a thing of the past – too old, too sentimental, too backward-thinking when we’re trying to move our people forward.  Too willing to extend an olive branch to the Alliance when we need to be smashing them over the head with the whole fucking tree.

Mostly the threatening-to-kill-me thing, though.  I don’t want to tempt fate.  (Along similar lines, by the way, fate doesn’t want to tempt Saurfang.)

 

THE “I MIGHT ACTUALLY CONSIDER PICKING ONE OF YOU PEOPLE” DIVISION 

WARLORD CROMUSH
50 to 1

This one is a dark horse candidate, no question.  But the dude did yeoman’s work in Gilneas when he had the thankless job of keeping Sylvanas marginally under control, he’s run a tight ship in Hillsbrad at a time when the Horde finally secured a firm hold on the region, and he’s been our primary command officer in the Eastern Kingdoms going on a couple years now.  The fact that he’s been able to work with the Forsaken with some measure of success is a major plus – yeah, they’re creepy and sketchy and just plain ol’ EEEESH, but they’re handy to have around.  He probably needs some more grooming for higher things, but he’s worked his way into the conversation for future high-profile assignments.

 

MALKOROK
25 to 1

You know, Malkorok really has most of the bases covered: he’s smart, uncompromising, and relentlessly devoted to the Horde, with a sharp tactical mind and an indisputable ability to get shit done.  He’s reshaped the Kor’kron, tightened up security, and demonstrated he’s one of the people you want fighting beside you on the battlefield.  Down side?  Well, let me put it this way.

About a year ago, some goblins tried to start up a business making wyvern food.  They did all kinds of tests to find a good formula for it as far as ingredients, they did focus groups to give it the most appealing packaging, they launched a huge advertising campaign for it and made sure it was easy to find at all the vendors…and absolutely nobody bought it.  How come?  Because for all the things they had going for them and all the effort they put into packaging it just right…wyverns just didn’t like it.

Draw your own conclusions.

 

GENERAL NAZGRIM
10 to 1

You all know this guy, and have probably worked with him on at least an occasion or two.  And really, if being Warchief was purely a military matter, this would probably be the guy.  He’s an excellent strategist and tactician, he adapts well on the fly, and since he came up through the ranks the old-fashioned way (I remember him serving under me in Northrend as a piddly-ass sergeant…and to put that in perspective, remember, freaking DONTRAG made sergeant), he appreciates what it’s like to be one of the grunts in the trenches and isn’t afraid to get in there and get his hands dirty by their side.  Okay, there was that whole disaster where he shit the bed on security and let Anduin get away, but maybe he can delegate.  But here’s the thing: being Warchief isn’t solely a military job.  It’s also the political head of the Horde, which means that as Warchief, Nazgrim would essentially be steering the ship of state.  And, well…we all know what happens when that guy gets near a ship.

 

WARLORD ZAELA
5 to 1

Leader of the Dragonmaw and a no-kidding-around badass warrior.  She took command of the Dragonmaw clan after helping to overthrow the nutjob “Warchief” Mor’ghor – gotta admire someone who has the stones to take down a corrupted leader for the good of the clan.  She was new to leadership at the time, and I’ll admit I was probably a little tough on her in my assessments early on, but she’s really grown into the role, and she’s been stepping up to work on some more projects for me the last few months.  I’ll also admit I might be swayed by seeing how she went about her business in that other world.  Still a little green, though…I mean, green in the “inexperienced” sense.  Not green in the fel-magic-drinky-drinky-demon-blood-grr-rarr-proud-ancient-culture-down-the-drain-oops sense.  Was that insensitive?  Anyway, she could probably stand to have a few more years working closely under the Warchief before she’s in line for the job herself.  But she’s definitely on the rise.

 

WARLORD BLOODHILT
2 to 1

Bet you didn’t see this one coming, did you?  Just goes to show what an outside-the-box thinker your Warchief is.  Hell, sometimes I’m so far outside the box that I don’t even know where the fuck the box is.  What box, anyway?  Fucking metaphors.

Anyhow, some of you might remember Bloodhilt from the southern Barrens, where he assumed command of our operations after former Warlord (and current zombie sous chef) Gar’dul managed to make a giant mess of things down there.  Bloodhilt cleaned up Gar’dul’s fuck-ups, secured our position in the area, and made it possible for us to make our move on Theramore.  Since then he’s made the trip with us to Pandaria, where he’s been commanding officer at Domination Point.  Just a solid, stand-up officer who’s done nothing but impress from day one.  Any way you cut it, you can get used to seeing his name cropping up, because he’s not going anywhere.

 

So, there’s your breakdown.  On that note, I’m going to call it a day as far as answering the mail goes, but keep those letters coming and I’ll try to answer more of your questions as time allows.  Since Spazzle’s form doohickey worked pretty well for this batch of e-mails, here it is again:

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9 Responses to “Monday mailbag”

  1. ((Well, once your widow’s peak and bald spot have joined forces, there’s only one answer for it that allows you to retain some dignity. Bow to your destiny, nuke it to bedrock, and be done. It really is a huge time-saver, too. Five minutes with a razor and I’m good for the whole day. Haven’t had a bad hair day in nearly fourteen years, now…))

  2. I wonder what Edwin thinks when you call Forsaken things like creepy. Although, knowing him, he may consider that a compliment.

    Also, I vote for Eitrigg.

    • Hey, I like Edwin, but he IS a dead guy walking around being conspicuously not-entirely-dead. You can gloss over the creepy all you want, but there IS creepy there to be glossed.

  3. Hmm. So maybe it’s just the Blood Knights who aren’t squishy, breakable and useless? After all, when my unit goes mogu-hunting, the orcs are hiding behind me, and you did cite Lady Liadrin as your example of a useful blood elf. She’s currently my immediate superior, now that Captain Bloodblade died by bomb in Razor Hill (Light preserve her).

    I’d be more than willing to accept that argument. Mages smell funny, and it’ll be a long while before I forgive warlocks for the whole “demons at the Sunwell” fiasco.

    I also had some more examples of Blood Elven leaders for you, but I just realized that we killed most of them in Outlands. Awkward…

    • Same for us with some of our old orc leadership, so I feel ya there.

      • You’ve gotta give Thrall/Go’el that, at least. He may be wishy-washy about the Alliance, but he was pretty serious in his responses to people who tried to overthrow him.

        Also: what name is he going by these days? I ran into him in Durotar a while back, and boy was it wierd trying to figure out what to say. Any ideas on that count?

    • I’ve long since given up trying to keep straight what he’s calling himself this week. Last I heard he preferred “Go’el,” but seeing as the sun has risen and set more than once since then, who knows.

    • There was Knight-Lord Bloodvalor. Remember him? And Master Pyreanor, over in Orgrimmar.

      And my own unremarkable self, for what that might be worth.

      To be honest, I hadn’t noticed the lack of barbers in Pandaria. Between dimensional ripper malfunctions, old seaforium destabilizing in my backpack, and close encounters with high-torque power shafts, my hair hardly ever gets long enough to need one.

      • Bloodvalor…right. He couldn’t even get into Shadowfang Keep on his own to get the materials for my graduation present. Not all that impressive. Master Pyreanor (whoever that is) is my own personal Lor’Themar…as in, who’s that again? Maybe Aethas or Halduron?

        But yeah, I do blacksmithing and smelting, so my hair ends up getting cooked a lot or pinched out when I’m working at an anvil. There’s a reason I keep it pulled back–I know how you feel there.

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