Archive for darkwhisper gorge

Demon’s Bargain

Posted in Words from a Scribe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

cleft

After the dead end in Winterspring, I mentioned that I still had one more possible stone to turn over.  It’s not one I particularly wanted to turn over, considering who I’d be finding under it, but at this point I don’t really have the luxury of wasting time and hoping something else falls into my lap.  So yesterday, I took a walk down to the Cleft of Shadow to have a talk with Neeru Fireblade.

I had known Neeru a little when I had first started training as a warlock, but since moving to Orgrimmar and changing to shamanism, I hadn’t had contact with him beyond occasionally passing on the street.  I’d always avoided the Cleft of Shadow; after Thrall gave me sanctuary in Orgrimmar, the last thing I wanted was to be caught anywhere near the fel magic of the warlocks.  Now, after years of avoiding the place, I couldn’t help but feel a little uneasy just from purple light that illuminated the cavern as I made my way down.

 

Neeru Fireblade channels a spell while Mokvar approaches.

MOKVAR:  Neeru.

NEERU:  <looking at Mokvar over his shoulder>  Mokvar.  Just a moment.

Neeru finishes channeling.  Small flames burst from a large windroc carcass that sits on a nearby table, then flicker out after a moment.  Neeru turns to Mokvar and points to the sizzling fowl with a smirk.

Undercooked.

MOKVAR:  What do you do if it needs salt?

NEERU:  Count myself lucky that I didn’t make a larger mess of the preparation than that.  I’m hardly a chef.

Neeru sits down at the table.

I hope you don’t mind if I go ahead with dinner.

He gestures to a second chair across from him; Mokvar sits.

It’s been a long time, Mokvar.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you venture down this way.  What brings you to the land invocations and mediocre cuisine?

MOKVAR:  I’m looking for information, and I think you may be on the short list of people who might have it.

NEERU:  <gnawing on a leg from the roasted windroc>  I’m hardly a person in the know these days, but ask away.

MOKVAR:  The Nether Prism.

Neeru pulls the drumstick away from his face slowly and looks up.

NEERUWell now.  What have you gotten yourself into, Mokvar?

MOKVAR:  More a matter of what I’m trying to get myself out of.

NEERU:  All the more interesting, then.  I haven’t heard talk of that particular bauble in an age.

MOKVAR:  I wish I could say the same.

NEERU:  <eyes Mokvar closely>  The last I heard of the Prism, it was in the hands – or claws, I suppose – of that drakonid Valthalak.

MOKVAR:  That was years ago.  After that, it made its was to an imp named Vi’el, in Darkwhisper Gorge.

NEERU:  If you’re interested in the Prism, why don’t you go seek out the imp, then?

MOKVAR:  I did.  He’s dead.  What became of the Prism from that point is anyone’s guess.

NEERU:  Really now.  And how did you happen to know about this imp in the first place?

MOKVAR:  Let’s just say it took a roundabout path getting from Blackrock Spire to the imp.

Neeru leans back in his seat and folds his arms.

NEERU:  You?  You mean to tell me, Mokvar, that a relic as potent as the Nether Prism managed to change hands from Gul’dan all the way down to the likes of you?

MOKVAR:  When you’re starting with Gul’dan, I don’t know if “down” is the right word.

NEERU:  <chuckling and picking up the windroc leg again>  Well well, Mokvar…you say you came to me for information, but it seems I’m learning a fair bit more from you.

MOKVAR:  I think you know more than you let on.

Mokvar leans forward and drums his fingers on the table.

Then again, so do I.

Mokvar glances around at the other warlocks practicing invocations.

How many of them will it take?

NEERU:  <mouth half full of windroc meat>  Take?  For what?

Mokvar leans closer to the table.

MOKVAR:  To channel your targeting beacon for the demons.

Neeru drops the windroc leg on his plate and looks up.

How many warlocks?  How many of your collagues…in the Burning Blade?

NEERU:  The Burning Blade died with the last vestiges of the old Horde.  Anyone will tell you I cut my ties with them when I pledged my loyalties to Thrall.

MOKVAR:  <nods>  Of course.

Neeru starts to reach for his food again.

Are you waiting for a signal from any agent of the Legion, or are you on hold for Malchezaar specifically?  You might be waiting a while if it’s the second one.

NEERU:  I don’t know where you’re getting these fairy tales, Mokvar, but—

MOKVAR:  You know, it’s a funny thing.  Grom Hellscream died slaying Mannoroth and freeing our people.  Now his son walks around wearing the demon’s tusks, and sits on a throne carved out of its skull.  It would be a shame if the Warchief got the notion that someone in Orgrimmar was still cooking up something with the Legion.

NEERU:  <waving toward Ragefire Chasm>  If you really think Garrosh is above cutting ethical corners for the sake of—

MOKVAR:  If you’d like to roll the dice on how Garrosh would react, be my guest.  It’s not my neck at stake.

Neeru stares down at his food.

NEERU:  I wasn’t lying when I said I don’t know what’s become of the Nether Prism.

MOKVAR:  But?

NEERU:  But if I were to hazard a guess as to where it might have gone…after the imp…  <glances around furtively>  There have been…rumblings among the warlocks since the fall of Deathwing.  It started when the human Kanrethad reconvened his circle of fel masters, the same ones who had worked to expand the powers of the warlocks before the Cataclysm.

MOKVAR:  I’d heard about that much – the Council of the Black Harvest, isn’t it?

NEERU:  <nods>  Our own Ritssyn from here in Orgrimmar was among them.

MOKVAR:  What are they doing?

NEERU:  Running around on fool’s errands all over the world – and beyond – to seek out even greater sources of power for themselves.  That Kanrethad thinks he can build a coven of the mightiest warlocks in existence and position himself at its head.

MOKVAR:  You don’t think they’ll be able to do it?

NEERU:  I think that when you set out with a plan of “Let’s go make ourselves more powerful than anyone ever,” you find either disaster or a far heftier price than you’d counted on.

Mokvar nods.

Nevertheless.  If the Black Harvest are trying to consolidate their power, I’d hazard a guess that the Nether Prism would be just the sort of item that would interest them.

MOKVAR:  Do you know what’s become of Ritssyn?

NEERU:  I believe he and one of the others made their way off to the Firelands.  For all the good that will do you.

MOKVAR:  What’s that supposed to mean?

NEERU:  Mokvar, don’t you be a fool too.  You can’t seriously expect that the Black Harvest would talk to you.

MOKVAR:  I think I’ve already shown I can be pretty persuasive.

NEERU:  <chuckles>  Mokvar, don’t be naïve.  You’re hardly one of the movers and shakers of the world, I’ll grant, but surely you can’t believe that you’re not noticed.  Standing for all those years in Thrall’s council room.  Attending advisors’ meetings with the leaders of the Horde.  Hellscream’s personal scribe.  Never mind the fact that they’ll know you were a warlock yourself once before you decided you didn’t want to dirty your hands with the fel arts any longer.  Do you really think they’ll be willing to tell you anything?

MOKVAR:  I guess I’ll have to figure out a way to be very persuasive.

NEERU:  Assuming you can ever find them.

MOKVAR:  We’ll see.  <getting up>  Anyway, I suppose I got what I came for, or as close to it as I’m going to.  Enjoy your dinner, Neeru.

Mokvar turns to walk away.

NEERU:  Mokvar.

Mokvar stops and looks back.

How did you know?

MOKVAR:  How did I know what?

NEERU:  Don’t play games with me.  You know perfectly well what I’m talking about.

Mokvar grins.

MOKVAR:  Let’s just say I get around.

 

I left Neeru and made my way out of the Cleft of Shadow, mostly preoccupied with how I was going to track down the Council of the Black Harvest.  I was so caught up in my thoughts that I didn’t notice the light go dimmer than it should have as I went up the last bend of the cavern.  That’s when two spectral assassins appeared out of nowhere and attacked me.

I fought them off as best I could for a minute, but my shocks and chain lightnings aren’t nearly as potent as a shaman who’s been training at it his whole life.  They were quickly gaining the upper hand when Garona unstealthed behind them and had at both of them with a flurry of blades that was faster than my eyes could follow.  It bears noting, by the way: Garona’s no joke in combat.  I hadn’t really noticed before.  Those spectral assassins dropped fast.  While she resheathed her weapons, I tried to come up with something to say without much success.

 

MOKVAR:  Garona…I…

GARONA:  Garrosh knows what you’re doing.  I hope you do, too.

MOKVAR:  Then why…?

GARONA:  Before he left for Pandaria, he asked me to look out for you.  Until he tells me otherwise, that’s what I’m going to do.

MOKVAR:  Well…thanks…

GARONA:  Don’t.  You know that if he tells me kill you, I’ll have to.

Mokvar nods and starts to turn to go.

Don’t give him a reason to.

Garona stealths.

 

I think it’s safe to assume that pretty soon Garrosh will be getting a letter informing him that I went to see Neeru Fireblade.  I don’t figure that’s going to do a whole lot to improve his mood any.  Still, he’s having Garona go on protecting me, for now at least.  And with these two assassins down, chances are I’ve got a couple days before I have to worry about the next wave coming for me.

Still, I don’t have the luxury of a lot of time.  I have a new lead to follow, and it needs to lead somewhere quickly.

 

Mokvar

 

 

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

Demonology Anonymous

Posted in Words from a Scribe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

blackrock2

Now for the hard part.

I left out a few details last time about my past with the Veiled Blade, and everything that’s been going on recently.

I said before that when we killed Lord Valthalak, we took his spellbook along with the pieces of an amulet that ended up bringing the spectral assassins down on us.  But there was one more part of the spoils: a demon relic called the Nether Prism, a crystal that could be used, among other things, to focus fel energies and dominate the will of demons.  I was a warlock back in those days, and I arranged to have the prism included as part of our deal with Malkorok.  I wanted to see how much the Prism could be used to augment my powers.

I thought I could handle it.  I thought wrong.

The Prism magnified the power of my spells for sure, and for brief windows of time I could use it to control powerful demons.  At least more powerful than the dime-a-dozen ones that your garden variety warlocks can summon.  In more powerful hands than mine, I suppose it could have been used on even greater ones.  But if there’s one thing I learned, it was that I was nowhere near warlock enough to master the energies that flowed through that crystal and keep them under control.

It became pretty clear to me that I couldn’t afford to keep toying around with the Prism.  The problem was, though, that it wasn’t going to be as simple as sticking it in the back of the sock drawer and forgetting about it.  The Nether Prism radiated fel energies.  Demons were drawn to it.  And using its magic to deal with the demons when they turned up would just make it radiate more.

As if life wasn’t already too complicated, it was at this point that I learned Valthalak’s spectral assassins were making short work of the rest of the Veiled Blade.  I couldn’t keep taking my chances running around from place to place alone.  So I turned to Thrall.  He offered me sanctuary in Orgrimmar; all he asked was that I be on hand to aid the Warchief when needed.  I only ever told him the barest details about my past.  I never said a word about the Nether Prism.  Thrall was only barely willing to tolerate the presence of warlocks in Orgrimmar at all, given the orcs’ history; I couldn’t imagine he would have been willing to take me in if he’d known the whole story.  It’s hardly a coincidence that that was when I abandoned demonology altogether and took up shamanism.  I wasn’t about the bring dishonor upon the man who’d given me a safe haven, or overstay my welcome.

So, the Nether Prism had to go.  In the last days before I moved to Orgrimmar, I traveled to Darkwhisper Gorge in Winterspring.  Hidden away in a cave there was an imp named Vi’el, a collector of relics and exotic items.  I passed the Prism off onto him and hoped he wouldn’t realize what he had on his hands.  I know looking back that it probably wasn’t the wisest move in the world, but at that point I just wanted the blasted thing off my hands.  So I left it with Vi’el, and went on to Orgrimmar to begin my new life.  And started working out ways to deal with the spectral assassins before they came knocking on my door.

For a while, it worked.  I thought that chapter was done.  But as often ends up being the case around here, life still had one more surprise epilogue waiting.

 

deliana 

As soon as the spectral assassins attacked me in the Drag, I knew what they were and where they were from.  Even with Ji fighting by my side, they were able to wear me down fairly quickly; Ji kept fending them off as best he could while I watched for an opening to pop back up.  That was the point when we had one more surprise guest, this time a face from the past that was actually welcome: Deliana.  She’d stealthed her way into Orgrimmar to come looking for me, and after she helped Ji and I fight off the assassins, she snuck back with us to my house to compare notes.

The notes weren’t good.  Something had stirred Valthalak’s spirit; I remember when he’d been laid to rest the first last time, the adventurers I’d sent mentioned him saying something about things being settled “for now,” but I didn’t really give it much thought at the time.  Now, though, he was awake again and sending out his assassins.  Only this time, it wasn’t over the amulet; it was over the Nether Prism.

From Deliana’s perspective, this all started with Theldren turned up in Ironforge, seeking protection from Moira Thaurissan.  Something had brought the last scattered remains of Nefarian’s old minions out of hiding and sent them scrambling after anything demon-related they could find.  Deliana overheard Theldren repeating that “something’s coming,” whatever that means.  We don’t know most of the why’s and wherefores; all we do know is that whatever’s behind it has stirred Valthalak enough to make him want his old trinket back.

I wasn’t going to go to Garrosh with any of this.  I didn’t think he would have received the last bit about my past with the demons well in the best of circumstances, much less now that we’d been through that ordeal with the Burning Legion in the other timeline.  Not to mention the minor detail that I was fraternizing with a human in Deliana.  We decided that we had to keep her involvement in all of this a secret; Ji, being maybe the one person who was truly neutral to all of this, came into our confidence.

It became pretty clear pretty quickly that it wasn’t going to be possible for Deliana to stay hidden in Orgrimmar, especially after Garrosh stepped up security for me after the attack.  (At least he meant well.)  Deliana even had a run-in with Malkorok at one point when he was coming to talk to me and happened to catch her sneaking her way to my house.  She was only able to get away because Ji happened along and was able to blindside Malkorok with a Quaking Palm that stunned him.  We got Deliana out of Orgrimmar and she went into hiding in Azshara, with Ji stepping up to ferry messages back and forth between us.

Which brings us to Winterspring.  The trip to Timbermaw Hold was basically just a cover for us to meet up with Deliana in Everlook, and from there…Darkwhisper Gorge, to find Vi’el.  After the Cataclysm, most of the demons had abandoned the gorge for the underground caves, and the Twilight’s Hammer had moved in.  Now the cultists were gone and the demons were back in force – and gone crazy, fighting among themselves.  Even back in the day, there weren’t this many of them.  We could barely turn around without being jumped by another felguard or pack of felhounds.

We found Vi’el at his cave – dead.  The cave had been ransacked; half of the belongings that remained had been burned, singed with green flames.  We turned the place upside down, but it became apparent fairly quickly that there wasn’t anything to be found.

I’m not sure where we go from here.  The spectral assassins are still coming, Krog already having intercepted one just the other day.  Vi’el was the only lead we had back to the Nether Prism, which I have to figure is our only means of getting the situation under control.  Short of dying.  Again.  Deliana has gone back into hiding in Azshara while we come up with a new plan.  I think I might have one more possible stone to turn over, but it may reach the point – in fact, I suspect it will soon – when I need to give up the secrecy and bring all this to Garrosh.  Hopefully he’ll understand.

I should maybe go see about making some lemon squares.

 

Mokvar

Now as I was saying…

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

darkwhisper1

Okay, first of all, HA HA HA, Sylvanas, very funny.  April fools, blah blah.  It took freaking FOREVER to get the blog fixed back to the way it’s supposed to look (well, it took SPAZZLE forever, from what he tells me…but I had to WAIT like forever for him to get finished, so YOU tell ME what’s worse).  That and re-lock-down blog security.

I think we’ve got it fixed now, though.  Might have been partly my fault, to be honest.  Spazzle tells me it actually might not have been the wisest decision for me to make the blog admin password “garrosh.”  Go figure.  Still, I’d like to know where Sylvanas learned to become this uber master hacker apparently.

Okay, anyway, moving on.

So as I was about to say before little miss Banshee Queen went all smartass on us, I still needed to update everyone on what was going on in Mount Hyjal.  You know, after I managed to get away from the grabby huggy dryad.  Who, let me just say one last time, what the fuck.  Anyhow.

So when last we left Garrosh, before everybody in the universe decided they were going to jump on the Let’s Piss Off Garrosh Bandwagon, I was checking on reports of a Twilight’s Hammer enclave still milling around making trouble in Hyjal.  I flew down to Darkwhisper Gorge, where the reports were coming from, and sure enough, I found a batch of Twilights gathered at what’s left of Doom’s Vigil.  When I arrived, there were about a dozen of them gathered in a circle, all channeling some sort of spell.  Needless to say I put a quick end to that…for the sake of saving space I’m going to skip past the blood and death and severed limbs and all that stuff, which let’s be honest only took up a couple minutes anyway, and by this point I’m sure you can all use your imagination for this kind of thing anyway.  Bottom line is “bunch of Twilights” got a quick revision into “pile of corpses,” which is kind of fitting, since once I had the chance to have a better look at the place, I noticed a bunch of other bodies laying around the area – a couple orcs, a couple trolls, a bunch of tauren, a human or two, I think, but who really cares about them?

At this point I was getting ready to take off, when I thought I saw something moving among the rocks in the mountainside nearby.  I went to check on it, and found a cave – pretty easily accessible from the camp, but easy to miss with the way the surrounding rock was laid out.  There was another body, a night elf this time, on the ground right outside, and there seemed to be some light flickering inside.  So, in I went.  That is, after I got Mortimer calmed down some – like I said, I was just about to leave, so I had actually just strapped Gorehowl to the saddle, and I don’t know what was getting Mortimer so spooked but he damn near took off with the axe before I even had the chance to get it back again.

Anyway, I finally got Gorehowl and went in.  The light was coming from a basic campfire someone had left there, and the light from the flames combined with the rock formations inside the save made for a lot of shadows that made it kind of hard to get your bearings in what was really a pretty small chamber.  Or room.  Or…I don’t know, whatever you call the inside of a cave.

I was so busy situating myself that I didn’t even notice right away that there was a figure moving on the far side of the campfire – it was obscured by the shadows at first, but once my eyes had adjusted to the light, and it moved again, I could see the figure was an orc.  And then when it moved, and turned toward me, it didn’t take any doing to recognize those features.

Krom’gar.

And so yeah, first thought?  I KNEW I should have had D&U go back and make sure his body was accounted for at Cliffwalker Post!  Doesn’t ANYBODY stay dead anymore?  But before you start freaking out like I was, hang on for my SECOND thought, which was pretty much “Boy, good thing I’ve still got this AXE with me,” and jumped across the campfire, and whipped Gorehowl around for a swing that went right through Krom’gar, like WHEW right through him like he wasn’t even there, so that Gorehowl ended up ricocheting off the rock wall and jarring itself out of my grip, so the handle flew up and clanged me right in the head, and OWW.

And meanwhile there’s Krom’gar still there staring at me, not a scratch on him.  It took me a second to piece together, but basically for those of you who haven’t already done the math, Gorehowl went flying through him like he wasn’t even there because, well, he wasn’t.  It wasn’t Krom’gar back from the dead.  It was Krom’gar, dead.  A spirit, or something like it.

Here’s where I actually wish I had Mokvar with me this time, because for the couple minutes I managed to talk to the ghost, it would have been nice to have someone there getting some of this stuff written down.  But, here’s the gist of it.  The spirit-formerly-known-as-Krom’gar was really mostly interested in being cryptic and otherwise telling me I knew how he was going to tackle things in Stonetalon, and I had gone soft and had put him in charge to do the things I knew I couldn’t, and a whole bunch of other utter bullshit like that.  As if I would ever have been okay with….bah, forget it.  Anyway, I finally managed to get an answer from him on why his ghost would be in some random cave in Hyjal – it was because I was there, basically.  He was there because I was there.

See, when the dead move on to the spirit realm, they leave echoes behind.  A piece of them stays with whoever is left living who had been important to them, or who they were important to.  We all have these echoes of spirits that we carry around with us, the people who were close to us, or helped make us who we are for good or ill, or who cared about us, or whatever.  They just go through the world with us, invisible, never making a sound, never interfering, just…tagging along because they’re part of us.  I’m not even going to get into the reasons why I would be carrying Krom’gar around with me.  If you’ve been following along with me, you already understand, and if you don’t, it would probably take a lot more doing to explain than I’ve got the mental energy to deal with right now.

While he was semi-kinda-spelling this much out, it didn’t actually occur to me right off to ask why one of those echoes would all of a sudden become VISIBLE to me like this, but stay tuned.  That’ll make more sense in a second.

So I don’t want to make it sound like this was just some expositiony fireside chat between me and ex-Krom’gar, because like I said he was mostly interested in being vague and cryptic and generally getting under my skin.  Which, you know, really set him apart from so many other people from among the LIVING.  But I managed to drag that much of an explanation out of him in bits in pieces, and then after a few minutes he hit me with his cryptic big finish – check this one out: “From within it consumes, Warchief,” like, yeah, the fuck – and then flickered away into the shadows.

And it was at that point that I finally noticed something else in the shadows against the back wall of the cave: a totem.  Different design than the typical elemental totems that shaman use, but unmistakably a totem.  It looked familiar, actually, and after wracking my brain a couple minutes I remembered: it matched the description I’d heard from some of the elders back in Garadar of this thing called a “shadebind” totem, which was this very rare variety that could be used to draw some of those baggage spirits off of someone and make them appear in the mortal world.  Usually they were only ever used in rare cases where an important elder was having some kind of spiritual crisis, and even then it didn’t always work.  Just creating one required a pretty rare level of knowledge and shamanistic power, much less getting the rituals right.

I was pretty much marveling over where one of these things even could have come from, when I noticed one more detail.  The markings along the side of the totem – mostly random shaman-type stuff that I don’t know enough to make sense of, but then, mixed in with them in a couple places, there were a couple specific tribal markings, ones I’ve already seen more than I’d care to.

Tribal markings of the Grimtotem.

So, five points to anybody else whose best guess here matches mine, as far as who might be a clever enough shaman to pull off one of these doohickeys, plus have occasion to be hanging around a Twilight camp.  Yep.

As for what Magatha might be after, your guess is as good as mine.  For all I know, she didn’t have any reason to think I’d even be turning up in Hyjal, so it’s not like I can even assume she’d planted it there for me specifically.  She could be after something else entirely and I just happened to be the one to come along and trigger the damn thing.  Who knows.  All this really tells us for sure is she’s on the loose back in Kalimdor, and she’s up to something.  Which really isn’t anything we shouldn’t have guessed anyway.

So…that’s as much as I’ve got for right now.  At this point I’m not even sure there’s anything else to be done as followup, so we’ll just have to see.

And I swear, though, if that ghost thought I actually WANTED him to…never mind.  I’m only going to make myself angry.  More soon.

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