Moments of transition
After the last straw that was Garona’s report the other day, I decided that enough was enough. I’d spent enough time flying half blind though everything and not calling in every possible resource. So today I took a trip back to Tian Monastery to get some answers out of that Elder Cloudfall guy about this “destiny” I’m supposed to have. This time I wasn’t taking no for an answer – if I had to beat some answers out of his cryptic panda ass, so be it.
I brought Ben-Lin along for the trip, since I figured she seemed to get along well enough with Cloudfall the last time, and maybe having her in tow might make it a little easier to bring him around. I also brought Taktani, to take her first crack at transcribing…and Gurtash, too…you know, just in case.
Luckily, this time, Cloudfall was out strolling around the grounds when we arrived, so we didn’t have to waste time tracking him down. So…over to Tak…
(We landed at the monastery place and everybody got all excited to see a pudgy fuzzy panda man going for a walk.)
GARROSH – It’s Elder Cloudfall! Yay!
GURTASH – Yay!
BEN-LIN – Yay!
TAKTANI – I don’t know who that is, but yay too!
CLOUDFALL – Hi, Mr. Warchief! It’s really good to see you again because I guess we’ve met before, only Tak wasn’t there for that. But I bet it was fun!
GARROSH – It was!
BEN-LIN – Lots of fun!
CLOUDFALL – Oh that’s good! I’m so glad I didn’t miss it!
TAKTANI – Aw, I guess I did miss it! I’m sorry I wasn’t there too!
CLOUDFALL – Me too!
GURTASH – Me too too!
BEN-LIN – But you’re here now, Tak!
TAKTANI – Yay!
GARROSH – Yay!
CLOUDFALL – Yay!
GARROSH – Well I’m sure super happy to see you again, Mr. Panda! Hold on a minute, I have to talk to Tak!
(So that’s when Mr. Warchief asked to look at my transcript to see how I was doing do far, and he got really mad for some reason and yelled at me, and I’m not going to write those things down because I don’t want to make Mr. Warchief look mean and then people might not like him as much. But he told me I should just try to write down exactly what everyone says, word for word, and not – oh here, I can just show you!)
GARROSH – So, yeah, Tak, you should just try to write down exactly what everyone says, word for word, and not do these…embellishments or translations into Tak-speak or whatever, okay?
(See? So I guess I’ll try to do that because I don’t want Mr. Warchief to get mad again, especially after some of the things he said he was going to do, they sound like they would hurt. But I don’t want you to think Mr. Warchief is mean! He probably just didn’t sleep too well and that’s why he’s grumpy. Maybe he needs a new bed because he maybe doesn’t sleep well a lot. Anyway I guess being a scribe is really serious so I’d better try to concentrate.)
CLOUDFALL – It’s a pleasure to welcome you once again to Tian. Lady Cloudstrider, and Gurtash, I believe?
BEN-LIN – The pleasure is mine, Elder.
GURTASH – Oh wow, you remember me?
CLOUDFALL – Indeed! I never forget a face, or a name.
GARROSH – Oh great, another guy with an uber-memory. Nothing ever goes wrong with those guys.
(I didn’t understand what that meant but Mr. Warchief gave me a mean look when he saw I was going to ask something. Maybe Mr. D and Mr. U can explain later.)
CLOUDFALL – One face is unfamiliar to me, however, Warchief Garrosh. Tell me, who is your feline friend?
GARROSH – Oh…yeah. Her. This is Taktani. She’s helping spot Gurtash a little as my scribe and record-keeper.
TAKTANI – Hi, Mr. Panda! It’s nice to meet you! You can call me Tak! Or Tak-Tak, if that’s the way—
GARROSH – Don’t get started on that shit again.
TAKTANI – But Mr. Warchief, I just—
GARROSH – Anyway, she’s kind of in her trial period. Her really, really tenuous trial period.
CLOUDFALL – Ah, well, I’m sure she’ll perform admirably.
GARROSH – That’s because this is your first time meeting her.
CLOUDFALL – In any case, I should provide an introduction in kind. You all remember our hozen friend, I’m sure.
(Oh I forgot to mention there was a monkey man, like the one at our fort, walking with Mr. Panda!)
CLOUDFALL – Taktani, allow me to introduce Zhi-Zhi.
ZHI-ZHI – Much pleasings to be making your acquaintances.
TAKTANI – Your name is Zhi-Zhi, Mr. Monkey?
ZHI-ZHI – The emphasizings should be on the first syllable, but yes.
TAKTANI – So we do say everyone’s name twice here!
BEN-LIN – No, Taktani, we say people’s names normally here. It is simply a naming tradition among some of the hozen.
TAKTANI – Oh, I think that’s what Mr. D and Mr. U were telling me before.
GARROSH – I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but yeah, Dontrag and Utvoch were right. So…congratulations, universe. You win again.
BEN-LIN – Oh, is that who “Mr. D and Mr. U” are?
GARROSH – Yeah, Ben. You’ve met them?
BEN-LIN – Briefly, yes. I only was able to speak with them for a short time before I needed to go due to the mysterious onset of a terrible headache.
TAKTANI – I’m sorry you didn’t feel good. Are you better now, Ms. Ben-Lin-Lin?
BEN-LIN – I am, thank you.
TAKTANI – Or is it Ms. Ben-Ben-Lin?
BEN-LIN – Although I believe it may be returning.
GARROSH – Tak, just zip it and try to focus on the scribing, okay?
TAKTANI – Okay, Mr. War-war-chief-chief. Chief.
GARROSH – THAT’S NOT HOW NAMES WORK HERE.
BEN-LIN – It is a curious thing, Garrosh: there are times when I would swear that you are, in fact, heroically even-tempered.
GURTASH – (leans over to me) Make sure you get that down.
CLOUDFALL – Zhi-Zhi, while our guests are here, why don’t you take Gurtash’s mount to the stable. Do you have your wyvern with you as well, Warchief Garrosh?
GARROSH – Mortimer? No, not here with us.
(Elder Cloudfall waved to Mr. Zhi, and Mr. Zhi led Gurtash’s wyvern away.)
CLOUDFALL – I’m surprised, Warchief. You seemed rather attached to the animal; I would have thought you would bring him with you.
GARROSH – Well, I rode him out here for the trip. But there was a pond with some cranes nearby and so I figured I’d let him go do some hunting for lunch while we were here.
CLOUDFALL – Oh…Warchief Garrosh, I’m not sure if that was wise. The Jade Forest is full of predators.
GARROSH – And?
CLOUDFALL – Well…are you not worried that your wyvern will be harmed?
(Mr. Warchief and Gurtash turned and looked at each other for a minute, and then they both burst out laughing really hard. Mr. Warchief laughed so hard he had to lean on Gurtash and I think he even cried a little.)
GARROSH – Yeah, we…we better go find him.
GURTASH – (barely getting the words out between laughs) He might be in trouble, Captain!
GARROSH – From all those predators!
CLOUDFALL – Warchief Garrosh?
GARROSH – I love you pandas. Don’t ever change.
CLOUDFALL – Ah. Well then…to what do I owe the pleasure of your visit today?
GARROSH – Yeah, right, down to business. It’s pretty simple, Elder. We all know you and monkey boy have seen something about my future in those…whatever…vision caves or whatever you called them. Last time I was here, I let you squirm out being all cryptic and evasive, but I need answers, and this time around you’re going to give them to me.
CLOUDFALL – Warchief Garrosh, surely you cannot expect me to lay out your future for you. Nothing has changed since—
GARROSH – Listen, Lunchbox, last time you told me that when I was “ready,” we would meet again. Well check it out, here we are, meeting again, and believe me, I’m ready as all fuck.
CLOUDFALL – You may be ready to hear, Warchief, but I still question whether you are ready to meet the fate before you.
GARROSH – How about you let ME worry about that, Deep-Dish? Tell me what you’ve seen, for starters, and we’ll take it from there.
CLOUDFALL – It’s not as simple as you would presume. You don’t understand the nature of the visions.
GARROSH – Illuminate me.
(Mr. Cloudfall just stared at Mr. Warchief all serious for a minute. I hope he’s not getting a headache too!)
CLOUDFALL – Let me try to explain this, Warchief Garrosh. The visions I spoke of provide a piece of the future, but they do not spell out events step by step. They are fragments – as if you were to look at a painting, but only see the reds and yellows, but not the blues or greens. They are pieces without context.
GARROSH – “Context”? Are you serious? You’re going to stonewall me over fucking CONTEXT?
CLOUDFALL – Warchief Garrosh, context is the solitary line that separates an act of barbarism from an act of kindness. Even were I of a mind to tell you—
GARROSH – Listen to me. You only just met us, so I don’t expect you to understand what’s at stake here. So yeah, you know what? Context. So let me explain this to you. You want to dance around what the future holds? My people are in the middle of a war to DETERMINE their future. And you do NOT want to know what I’ve already sacrificed trying to secure. And meanwhile, I’ve got the people who are supposedly on MY side in all this running around behind my back, undermining me at every turn, cutting deals with my worst fucking enemies for what reasons I can’t even guess. I NEED TO KNOW what the fuck is going on with all this.
CLOUDFALL – (sighs) To know anyone’s fate is a dangerous prospect, but to know one’s own—
GARROSH – Are you worried about spoilers, Gramps? Well, here, maybe this will help – I’ve already been spoiled. I’ve already had one person take a peek into my future and come back with a report. He told me “they” were going to turn against me. And now it looks like he was right, only maybe he wasn’t. I don’t fucking KNOW. And I’m trying to look out for an entire fucking CIVILIZATION, and THESE are the things I’m having to spend my time thinking about.
(Mr. Panda got very quiet and mostly just looked at the ground. I think maybe he didn’t want to make Mr. Warchief any more upset. Or maybe he was sad to hear lots of people are being mean to Mr. Warchief. That’s not very nice even if he does get grumpy sometimes.)
GARROSH – Listen, I get that you’re worried about giving away too much, or telling me things that I’m not going to be able to make sense of. But there’s got to be some chunk of it that I can latch on to. Give me SOMETHING.
CLOUDFALL – I wasn’t lying when I said that the visions were mere fragments. Incomplete – not least of all because the events surrounding them are still in motion, still in flux…
GARROSH – How about this, then. You and monkey boy both said I have a destiny. The first time I met Chimps, he kept calling me “the one.” Let’s start there. What the fuck was he talking about?
(The Elder man got quiet again and rubbed his chin while he stared down for a minute.)
CLOUDFALL – You…are the one who brings the peoples of the Horde together under a common cause. The one who sets in motion the events that bring about the emergence of a new Horde, a rebirth…
(Mr. Warchief looked all happy and proud. I don’t blame him! He’s going to be a hero! Yay!)
GARROSH – Okay, so, why in the FUCK would you not want to tell me THAT future?
CLOUDFALL – Because you don’t know how you get there.
(Uh oh, Mr. Warchief got all serious again and looked at Mr. Panda all impatient.)
GARROSH – And…?
CLOUDFALL – And neither do I.
GARROSH – You’re about to get cryptic on me again, aren’t you?
CLOUDFALL – I’ve seen the reds and the yellows of your future, Warchief Garrosh, and I know that you stand upon a fulcrum: the choices you will make in the days ahead will determine how your destiny takes shape. For now, I do not know the shape of that future or where it will take you. I know only that it is born in pain.
GARROSH – Yep, I called that one.
CLOUDFALL – Warchief Garrosh?
GARROSH – Whatever. The important thing is, as long as I know the Horde comes out strong on the other side of this, I’m ready to deal with whatever pain it takes to get there.
CLOUDFALL – No.
GARROSH – What?
CLOUDFALL – I wasn’t lying about that last time, either. You’re not ready for what’s coming. (pauses, thinking) But…I think I can help you. If you’re willing to face the shadows I once told you weighed upon your steps.
GARROSH – If I say yes, will there be a point where this doubletalk of yours starts to make sense?
CLOUDFALL – It may. And if it doesn’t, you’ll be no worse off than you are now, I suspect.
GARROSH – I’m all ears.
CLOUDFALL – This is not something I can tell you, but a journey I believe I can guide you on. There is a place, far from here, where you may be able to see for yourself, and begin to face your destiny.
GARROSH – Man, you pandas really do love to lay it on thick, don’t you? You’re on, though. Where to?
* Garrosh received this message from A’dal here, while accompanying Liadrin to Shattrath.