The curtain rises. Spotlights illuminate the left and right sides of the stage separately, as Garrosh leads the Horde forces across the Barrens on one side and Varian leads the Alliance from Theramore.
The Horde is gonna have its day
The Horde is gonna have its way
Alliance think we’re jokin’, no doubt,
But once their king is broken,
We’re kicking them out.
We’re gonna look ’em in the eyes
We’re gonna cut ’em down to size
We told ’em they could can it: war cries.
We’ll kick ’em off our planet
Once Garrosh, he dies
We’re gonna stop it tonight,
We’re going to drive them off and take Kalimdor!
We’ll turn the tables tonight,
We can’t afford to mess around anymore –
Green-skins invade us!
The Legion made us!
But this time we’re the ones who’ll finish this war!
A spotlight illuminates a Theramore courtyard at stage right, where Jaina is seen with Rhonin.
I really do not like this plan
Things really could get out of hand
They’ll show up for the battle:
With you there, maybe that’ll
Give an excuse
Jaina nods to Rhonin and rushes out.
A spotlight illuminates Mokvar crossing the Southfury River into the Barrens.
This stinks like saronite.
Tonight the flames of war could be fanned.
When our two leaders fight,
That Malkorok may have something planned.
One more spotlight illuminates the Theramore tower, where Deliana looks out a window.
The past may come back calling,
The future that we’re stalling,
And now, out of my sight,
There’s such a fright
That what we’ve done is coming to light…
The Horde is coming out on top tonght!
We’re gonna watch Varian drop tonight!
They’ll go slow as molasses,
Cry and pout.
The door will hit their asses
On their way out.
Garrosh, Malkorok, the rest of the Horde group, and Deliana overlap:
<to Malkorok> You keep a wide-open eye.
In case he tries something sly.
For the Horde!
For the Horde!
And they might have a surprise
Our role it might indict,
Tonight the flames of war could be fanned.
The Horde, Alliance, Mokvar, Deliana, and Jaina – who is now riding across Dustwallow Marsh – overlap:
HORDE and ALLIANCE:
We’re gonna stop it tonight!
We’re gonna end it tonight!
They’re gonna get it tonight!
Here we’ve made it,
Here we’ve made it,
Home: we made it.
We can’t afford to mess around.
Alliance has to win the day,
Alliance has to find a way.
We’ve got to stop it tonight.
We’re gonna grind them to the ground,
The Horde is gonna have its day,
The Horde is gonna have its way.
We’ve got to stop it tonight.
We just might
Have one chance to get it right:
Now Jaina’s got to find a way
To broker peace before the fray:
Will cooler heads carry the day?
Our future could be bright –
I’ve got to stop it tonight!
When our two leaders fight,
That Malkorok may have something planned.
MOKVAR and DELIANA:
The past may come back calling,
The future that we’re stalling,
And now, within my sight,
And now, out of my sight,
MOKVAR and DELIANA:
There’s such a fright
That what we’ve done is coming to light…
Blackout. From either side of the stage, the Horde and Alliance enter the Battlescar in the Southern Barrens. Both groups spread out over their respective sides of the field, then Garrosh and Varian approach each other at center stage, accompanied by Malkorok and Mathias Shaw.
VARIAN: You’re a classy guy, Hellscream, anyone ever tell you that?
GARROSH: I can have them put that on your gravestone if you want.
VARIAN: Are you ready?
GARROSH: To finally put you in the ground? I’ve been ready for that for years.
Varian draws Shalamayne and extends it in front of him.
VARIAN: Your blade?
GARROSH: What about it?
SHAW: If you would let us inspect it for doctoring.
GARROSH: What the hell are you implying?
VARIAN: We’re not implying anything. It’s just customary to examine each other’s weapons so we can see no one is—
MALKOROK: The two-legged rodent is suggesting you would poison your blade, Warchief. For that alone this mongrel will—
GARROSH: You DARE insinuate I would cheat, human?
VARIAN: Obviously, Garrosh, you would never employ questionable methods when faced with honorable combat. Nevertheless.
Varian gestures with Shalamayne. Garrosh grumbles, then begrudgingly draws Gorehowl and holds it in front of him.
SHAW: Thank you, Warchief.
VARIAN: Now then.
GARROSH: Have your people stand back, Varian. This is between you and me.
VARIAN: You do the same.
Garrosh waves to the Horde group, which steps back and spreads in a semicircle from the side of the stage to the background. Varian signals to the Alliance members, who mirror the Horde’s movements.
MALKOROK: Now – begin!
Garrosh and Varian rush at each other and begin to fight as furious music swells. They lunge and parry, circle around the middle of the stage, and match each other’s moves in rhythm with the music. As the duel unfolds, the spectators begin to shout and cheer for their respective leader, until the cacophonous yells begin to blend into a rhythmic chanting that becomes a counterpoint to the music.
Several times over the course of the fight, Garrosh and Varian lock weapons until one of them shoves the other back toward one side of the stage. Each time, they circle around then resume their clash at center stage.
Slowly, in the background, Malkorok begins to make his way closer to the Alliance side of the circle. From under his cloak, he withdraws a long dagger, shining with a sickly green gleam.
Mokvar enters at the edge of the stage. As he arrives, Garrosh and Varian lock blades and rotate around as each tries to outmuscle the other. Garrosh finally gains the upper hand and flings Varian back toward the Alliance side. Malkorok moves toward him from behind, dagger in hand.
MOKVAR: No! Look out!
Mokvar runs to center stage and tackles Varian to the ground, in the process knocking him out of the way of Malkorok’s stab.
FALSTAD: They’re attackin’ His Majesty!
SHAW: That one had a dagger!
MALKOROK: <recovering himself> That treasonous scribe! He’s helping the human!
SHANDRIS: They were never going to honor the duel!
GARROSH: Mokvar! You! If I didn’t see it with my own eyes…!
The two sides rush at each other and begin fighting, largely in the background. At center stage, Garrosh dodges a few Alliance swings, then grabs Mokvar and holds him by his neck while drawing Gorehowl back.
As Garrosh prepares to swing, Varian grabs him from behind – jarring Garrosh enough to make him lose his grip on Mokvar – and plunges Shalamayne through his back and out of his chest.
GARROSH: <looking down at the blade> Oh for fuck’s sake…AGAIN?
MOKVAR: Oh…oh crap…
GARROSH: Also, how come this doesn’t actually hurt? I mean I know I’m badass and all, but…
BARNES: <from offstage> It’s just a glamour, you silly actor – special effects can’t really hurt you.
GARROSH: I… <looking around> Oh…
BARNES: Now stop breaking the fourth wall and get back to your scene!
GARROSH: Aren’t YOU the one—
GARROSH: <sighs> Fine. <flatly> Oh I am slain. Oh agony. Now I shrug off this mortal coil, it is to laugh, the end. And shit.
Garrosh drops to the ground, where he lays mostly still while making a half-hearted attempt to play dead. Around him the fighting rages on between the Horde and Alliance.
DONTRAG: He killed the Warchief!
UTVOCH: You bastard!
VARIAN: Victory! Hellscream has fallen! For the Alli—
Garona unstealths behind Varian and stunlocks him, then unleashes a flurry of blows until he drops to the ground.
GARONA: House of Wrynn! Two generations running! Tell Anduin to sleep lightly! Booyah!
Garona stealths again. The two sides continue to battle frantically.
MALKOROK: Now! With Wrynn slain! Now, shamans, show the dogs the first of our surprises!
A handful of dark-clad shaman emerge from the Horde group and begin channeling spells. Several of the surrounding boulders begin to glow, then rise up as molten giants and begin to attack the Alliance.
JAINA: By the Light! What’s happening here?!
FALSTAD: The devils ’a broken the agreement!
SHAW: They’ve killed Varian!
The molten giants stomp on several Alliance soldiers and send the group scattering.
JAINA: We have to get out of here! Everyone to me!
The Alliance rush to Jaina, who teleports them away. The shaman stop channeling their spells, and the molten giants collapse back into boulders.
MALKOROK: Horde! The Alliance flees, but they will not escape! Quickly, to Brackenwall Village! We will regroup and bring the fight to them! For the Horde!
The Horde exits, leaving the stage empty save for the bodies of Garrosh and Varian. The stage lights lower, save for dim lights still illuminating the bodies.
GARROSH: Well that sucked.
VARIAN: Yeah, it kind of did.
VARIAN: Still, though…
VARIAN: For the record, I got you.
GARROSH: Fuck you, Varian.
Blackout. In a Theramore tower, Deliana paces the room.
DELIANA: Jaina! What happened?
JAINA: <sighs> Varian is dead.
DELIANA: What?! How? You mean now we have to…?
JAINA: It’s not that simple. Varian is dead, but so is Garrosh. I’m still not sure how it all happened – by the time I got there, things had already—
A knock at the door is heard.
JONATHAN: <outside> Lady Proudmoore!
JAINA: Come in, General.
The door opens and General Marcus Jonathan enters, along with Jaina’s night elf bodyguard Pained; the pair holds Mokvar captive.
JONATHAN: Lady Proudmoore, this orc was found lurking outside the city. He didn’t resist capture, but he did insist on speaking with you.
JAINA: You know him, Deliana?
PAINED: You should be more selective in your friends. Shandris says this is one of the orcs that helped kill Varian.
DELIANA: He what?
MOKVAR: That’s…not entirely accurate.
JONATHAN: That’s enough from you, orc.
DELIANA: There has to have been some mistake.
JONATHAN: There were several, starting with the decision to trust these green-skinned—
JAINA: That’s enough, General. You can leave us. I’d like to have a few words with the prisoner.
JONATHAN: As you wish.
JAINA: You too, Pained. Please wait outside.
PAINED: With all due respect, my lady, my place is—
JAINA: Is where I tell you to go, Pained. I can take care of myself.
PAINED: Yes, ma’am.
Jonathan and Pained exit. Jaina turns to Deliana.
JAINA: How long have you known him?
DELIANA: We go back quite a few years.
JAINA: You trust him?
DELIANA: I’ve spent the last six years hiding in Ironforge for safety. I think he did more to protect me from Orgrimmar in that time than any of the dwarves ever did.
JAINA: <turns to Mokvar> They say you attacked Varian. Here’s your chance to explain.
MOKVAR: I jumped him. That much is true. But I wasn’t attacking him. I was trying to push him out of the way of the one who was.
JAINA: Who, Garrosh? Why would you try to swing the duel against the Horde?
MOKVAR: No, not Garrosh. If it was just him and Varian, I would have stayed out of it. It was Malkorok. He was about to stab Varian from behind.
DELIANA: Malkorok… Of course it was Malkorok.
MOKVAR: It ended up backfiring. Both sides thought I was working against them, and in the chaos, Garrosh was killed. And by that point I don’t think anyone was interested in honoring the terms of the duel.
JAINA: I don’t even know how many on our side will be willing to listen to reason now.
DELIANA: Jaina, can’t you rein them in? You’d have to be one of the highest ranking people left.
JAINA: I can try, but I don’t know how much good it will do. With Anduin still a boy, there’s no clear line of succession, so right now I’m merely one in a sea of voices.
MOKVAR: The Horde is having its own problems with succession, only worse. It looks like Malkorok is effectively taking over.
DELIANA: Oh no…
JAINA: Who is this Malkorok?
MOKVAR: A Blackrock orc who used to work for Rend Blackhand. At least he gave the appearance of it. I don’t think he ever really served anyone or anything other than his own agenda.
JAINA: I take it having him leading the Horde would be bad news for all involved.
MOKVAR: Let’s put it this way. I know Garrosh was no bargain. But this guy? Malkorok would make Garrosh look like Thrall.
JAINA: Do you think there are others in the Horde who will still resist him?
MOKVAR: I know there are others who won’t be thrilled to have him in charge. The only question is whether Malkorok’s managed to scare them into submission.
JAINA: Then you need to go do what you can while there are some who’ll still listen. And if not…
Jaina reaches into a pocket and produces a small, smooth stone with totemic markings, then slips it into Mokvar’s hand.
…I think you know what this is for.
Mokvar nods. Jaina starts to channel a spell, and a portal appears in the room.
Go now – hurry.
MOKVAR: What will you tell the others?
JAINA: You let me worry about that.
DELIANA: Stay safe, Mokvar.
MOKVAR: I think “safe” is long off the board for all of us. But it’s partly our fault this is happening.
DELIANA: I know. Be careful.
MOKVAR: Always am.
Mokvar disappears through the portal.
Blackout. In Brackenwall Village, the Horde group arrives, met by Krog and Draz’Zilb.
KROG: Malkorok? What are you all doing here?
MALKOROK: The human king is slain – but not without a cost! The dogs turned on us with aid from one of our own, and murdered the Warchief!
KROG: They what? Garrosh is dead?
MALKOROK: He is…but we will ensure that he soon finds himself in good company.
FARANELL: Wait, didn’t we have an agreement with the Alliance that the duel would decide control of Kalimdor? And, well, Varian did kill Garrosh before—
Malkorok steps up to Faranell quickly and knocks him down with a vicious blow.
MALKOROK: Unless you wish to lose more pieces of that rotting corpse you call a body, mage, I recommend you choose your words carefully.
Malkorok glares around as some of the group exchange looks in uneasy silence.
UTVOCH: I can’t believe the Warchief died…
DONTRAG: What are we doing now?
DRAZ’ZILB: Surely we can’t let the Warchief’s death go unanswered!
MALKOROK: Nor will we! Listen to me, soldiers of the Horde! I had little doubt the Alliance pigs would show their true colors in this affair, but we will see to it that they pay for their treachery!
Oh, and speaking of treachery! Here’s the dog who turned on his own Warchief to lend aid to the human! Seize him!
Mokvar is apprehended by a pair of Kor’kron and brought closer to the group.
MOKVAR: It’s funny how selective your memory is, Malkorok. I’m a traitor for helping Varian, but you’re awfully quick to gloss over what I was helping him against – we both know it wasn’t Garrosh.
MALKOROK: You think I hide my role, scribe? Hardly – I take pride in it! I came to the aid of my Warchief; you came to the aid of his mortal enemy. Tell me again which of us here should hang his head!
LIADRIN: Wait, you were interfering with the fight? It was supposed to be honorable combat!
MALKOROK: You will be silent, elf!
Malkorok steps toward Liadrin and throws a punch at her; she deflects it with a paladin bubble, then stuns Malkorok with a Hammer of Justice.
LIADRIN: Now now, didn’t your mother teach you not to hit a lady? She would be ashamed.
MALKOROK: <seething as he collects himself> She taught me to crush my foes.
LIADRIN: Then she would be doubly ashamed if the lady in question were to beat you down.
MOKVAR: That’s why I jumped in – to keep him from ambushing Varian and—
MALKOROK: And slaying the leader of our enemy! Are you fool enough to think you serve our Warchief by saving his nemesis?
MOKVAR: Garrosh Hellscream had many failings, but he believed in honor. At least until he started having his steps shadowed by the likes of you.
MALKOROK: In battle, nothing is more honorable than victory.
MOKVAR: Funny, I can think of at least one victory Garrosh would have gladly given back…
MALKOROK: Keep spinning your words, scribe – it’s what a coward like you does, isn’t it?
Malkorok turns to the rest of the group.
The rest of you – what I am calling for is not words. Your fallen Warchief did not spend his days dawdling over words. He sought action. For the safety of the Horde! For the glory of the Horde! So let this scribe lull you into submission with his words – I call on you to act! To avenge your leader! To finally strike the human disease that has too long infected this continent. Will you join me? Or will you sit here, and bandy about words, and wring your hands over niceties – until the Alliance again show themselves for what they are, and again come to enslave our people, and again leave the ground stained with orcish blood?
Many of the Horde troops, including most of the Kor’kron, start to shout in support.
Good! That is the Horde I know! Now, all of you! Follow me, and we will show the Alliance what becomes of those who draw our wrath! To Theramore! More surprises await the humans…
DRAZ’ZILB: None greater than how quickly they’ll fall before us!
KROG: Hell yeah, we’ll roll over the humans so fast they won’t even know what hit them!
MALKOROK: Oh no, soldiers, not quickly – quick is painless. And these humans must be made to suffer for their crimes against our people!
DRAZ’ZILB: Now you’re talking my language!
DONTRAG: <aside> Does this seem a little strange to you?
UTVOCH: <aside> All I know is they killed the Warchief… I guess it makes sense to go after them…
MALKOROK: Every pain these humans have brought to us will be repaid tenfold tonight! You want to avenge your Warchief? Then leave your pity and your mercy here – bring only your rage and your cruelty!
Horde, Horde, angry Horde,
Get cruel, Horde!
Vow again, gents, for your vengeance,
Get cruelly cruel, Horde!
Don’t relent, ’cause we have spent
Too long holding back.
Set in mind that humankind
Is overdue for some cruel payback.
Horde, Horde, vengeful Horde!
Stay fierce, Horde!
From the skies comes their demise,
Bring them to tears, Horde!
Fight, Horde, fight,
Each human we’ll smite, each fool floored.
Unleash, be cruel, Horde,
Mokvar, Liadrin, and Faranell watch the rest of the group march off behind Malkorok.
LIADRIN: I can’t believe I’m saying it, but I think I’m actually glad Garrosh didn’t live to see this…
Mokvar tries to take a step, but is restrained by the two Kor’kron who’ve remained behind, and are still holding him.
<looking back and forth between the Kor’kron> Huh.
One of the Kor’kron slumps over, sapped.
KOR’KRON #2: What the—?
The other Kor’kron turns into a sheep in a puff of smoke.
FARANELL: That’s better.
Garona unstealths behind the sapped guard.
GARONA: You really have a way with people, Mokvar.
MOKVAR: I know, right? Still…thanks for sticking with me. All of you.
LIADRIN: I think we’re about to be outcasts among the outcasts.
FARANELL: Eh. You get used to it.
MOKVAR: I was hoping there would be more who would listen…
LIADRIN: Right now they don’t know what to think. So most of them aren’t.
FARANELL: And the rest of them are Dontrag and Utvoch. So, you know…
GARONA: What was that business about the surprise for Theramore?
LIADRIN: I don’t know, but…wait…that part about it coming from the skies…
FARANELL: What are you thinking?
LIADRIN: <looks up> There’s been a goblin sky galleon circling around the western Barrens all night…
FARANELL: Sending troops in by parachute?
GARONA: He would send a gunship for that. A galleon isn’t designed for troop deployment, just…payload.
LIADRIN: I think he’s planning to use a bomb…
MOKVAR: Jaina’s trying to calm the Alliance down and get them to listen to reason, but that’s off the board if Malkorok escalates things even more.
FARANELL: Remember when this cunning plan was going to spare us a big, messy, drawn-out war?
MOKVAR: I’m hoping we can still limit the damage…
LIADRIN: What do you have in mind?
MOKVAR: For starters – Garona, can you stealth into Theramore? We need you to warn them about what Malkorok’s doing.
GARONA: Wait, you want to warn the Alliance that a Horde attack is coming?
LIADRIN: To keep all of this from getting any further out of hand than it already is.
MOKVAR: And to let them see that not all of the Horde has gone crazy.
GARONA: Ugh, fine. I’ll get in and try to warn them.
LIADRIN: What about Edwin and I? What do you want us to do?
FARANELL: I can handle that.
MOKVAR: Get back to the Eastern Kingdoms.
LIADRIN: Why? We should do something to help here.
FARANELL: Don’t argue with the man. Not-here sounds terrific.
MOKVAR: Look, there’s no telling how much uglier this is going to get for us. If things really go bad in Kalimdor, we need some good people still standing over on the other continent.
LIADRIN: There’s still Sylvanas and Lor’themar to run things there.
MOKVAR: You mean Miss “When in Doubt, Throw More Plague on It”—
FARANELL: You do realize who she has in charge of making all the plague, right?
MOKVAR: —and Mr. “Does Anyone Actually Know Who I Am, and By the Way Does This Dress Make Me Look Fat”?
LIADRIN: Seriously, why does no one ever remember who Lor’themar is?
MOKVAR: Liadrin, really, I know you want to help, but right now the best way for you to do that is by getting somewhere safe.
LIADRIN: What are you going to do?
MOKVAR: <taking out the stone he’d received from Jaina> I’ve got one more card to try playing.
LIADRIN: Whatever it is, good luck.
MOKVAR: To all of us.
Garona stealths and sneaks off; Faranell teleports himself and Liadrin away. Mokvar holds out the stone, channels a spell for several seconds, then disappears in a green flash.
Blackout. In Theramore, Jaina joins Deliana in the tower above.
JAINA: You haven’t moved since Mokvar left.
DELIANA: <shrugs> As long as I keep looking and not seeing anything, then nothing else is coming apart.
JAINA: Hopefully he’ll be able to convince them.
DELIANA: Hopefully. Thank you for being willing to listen to him.
JAINA: I’ve been rumored to know what it’s like to trust an orc when it’s not a terribly popular thing to do.
Rhonin enters. As he does, stagelights illuminate the Theramore courtyard below, where Garona unstealths. The scene below unfolds as the conversation in the tower continues: Garona is immediately attacked by Pained, Shaw, and a few of the Theramore guards; she attempts to fend off their attacks without actively striking anyone, while trying to talk, but to no avail; eventually more Alliance troops mob her, beating her viciously.
JAINA: Rhonin – any luck calming them down?
RHONIN: <shaking head> No more than you’ve had so far. This entire turn of events is proof of why both sides should have listened when we tried to start peace talks.
JAINA: I don’t think listening was ever the strong suit of either of the leaders involved.
RHONIN: Still, I’m hopeful that given a chance to calm down, they’ll eventually be willing to reconsider.
JAINA: The question is whether they’ll give themselves that chance to calm down.
RHONIN: You think they might do something rash?
JAINA: If they don’t, the Horde might. Either way, we all lose.
Falstad and Jonathan drag a bloodied Garona up to the tower and enter, followed closely by Pained and Shaw.
JONATHAN: Lady Proudmoore, we have another Horde captive!
JAINA: What…what did you do to her?
SHAW: Nothing these orcs don’t deserve.
FALSTAD: Aye, the troops made sure this one’d be takin’ some partin’ gifts, if’n she escapes…
JAINA: This… Is this what it’s come to now? Is this what we’ve reduced ourselves to?
PAINED: We didn’t start this war, my lady.
GARONA: <halting> No…but Malkorok…is coming…coming to finish it.
JAINA: Malkorok! He’s still in charge? Mokvar couldn’t stop him?
GARONA: He…he tried… And then he…he sent me to…to warn you…to… <looks around disgustedly> …to save you…
JAINA: Warn us about what? What is Malkorok doing?
SHAW: <shoving Garona> Answer her, orc!
JAINA: Let her!
GARONA: Malkorok…Malkorok is bringing the Horde to…to attack Theramore…and… <spits out blood, then looks around again angrily> He’s throwing the whole force at the north gate…
PAINED: We can pull everyone into the keep and fortify it, my lady – they’ll never get past the walls without siege engines.
SHAW: Still, I’d recommend sending out an advance force to intercept, maybe thin out their numbers before they can get here.
JAINA: See to that, Mathias. While you go out to meet them, we’ll make sure the city is sealed up tightly. General Jonathan?
JONATHAN: Yes, Lady Proudmoore?
JAINA: I want you, General Redmane, and Admiral Aubrey coordinating the defenses here. I’ll speak to Rhonin about setting up some spells to reinforce the outer gates.
JONATHAN: Yes, ma’am. I’ll relay your orders.
Jonathan runs out. As he releases his grip on Garona, she jerks to one side and pulls free of Falstad’s grip, then stealths.
FALSTAD: Dammit! Where’d tha’ one go?
PAINED: We’re having a very bad day with prisoners today…
JAINA: Never mind that – everyone get to work preparing for the attack.
The other officers exit.
I’d hoped it wouldn’t come to this…
DELIANA: I think I see them coming…
JAINA: <sighs> I’d better get down there, then…
Jaina exits; Deliana continues watching from the window.
Blackout. In Dustwallow Marsh, near Theramore, Malkorok enters with the rest of the Horde force, stage left. From stage right, an Alliance group enters, led by Falstad, Shandris, and Shaw.
SHANDRIS: There they are! Stop them! For the Alliance!
The Alliance rushes at the Horde and the two sides begin fighting. Malkorok stands back, surveying the battle and watching the sky. As the fighting rages on, he fires a flare into the sky; after a moment, a blinding burst of light flashes from offstage to the right, as an enormous explosion is heard. The blast throws several of the Alliance on the right side of the stage a good distance to the left, and many of them sprawl on the ground unconscious.
MALKOROK: HAHA! There! It is done! See what becomes of the enemies of the Horde, Alliance dogs! Now, quickly, finish them all, and—
MOKVAR: <offstage> Not so fast!
Mokvar enters in ghost wolf form from stage left, closely followed by Vol’jin mounted on a raptor and Baine Bloodhoof on a kodo.
VOL’JIN: Yah, mon, dere been enough killin’ already taday!
MALKOROK: You! I see the traitor has made friends among the malcontents! No matter, troll, you can watch and learn how—
BAINE: We will watch nothing other than you standing down!
MALKOROK: Stand down! Do you think yourself Warchief now, tauren? Is that an order?
BAINE: No, Malkorok, I know I’m not Warchief. <stares Malkorok down a moment> And yes, that’s an order.
From stage right, Jaina staggers in unsteadily.
SHANDRIS: <pulling herself up slowly> Jaina…you…you survived…!
JAINA: Rhonin…Rhonin ported me out of the city at the last second… But he…he…
MOKVAR: <looking offstage to the right> Liana…?
JAINA: <looking back> My…my city…my people… They’re…they’re…
MALKOROK: Enough of this! Soldiers of the Horde, this is our moment – strike down your enemies once and for all, and—
BAINE: They will do nothing of the kind, Malkorok!
VOL’JIN: You be done givin’ orders, mon!
MALKOROK: And who will, troll? You? You think you have any authority to take over here?
VOL’JIN: Funny ting you be askin’, mon.
Another ghost wolf enters behind Vol’jin, Baine, and Mokvar.
I ain’t da one who be takin’ over.
The ghost wolf moves to center stage and transforms into Thrall.
THRALL: I believe you’ve done more than enough today, Malkorok.
MALKOROK: So the prodigal shaman returns! No matter!
Malkorok draws his axes and rushes at Thrall. Before he can reach him, Thrall extends one hand and summons a whirlwind that holds Malkorok suspended above the ground.
THRALL: I’ve faced far more imposing threats than you. More menacing and chilling than the likes of you could even imagine.
MALKOROK: <struggling to break out of the whirlwind> Yes, I know all about your battle with Deathwing, shaman…
THRALL: I was talking about Aggra with morning sickness.
Jaina finally pulls her attention away from the ruined city and approaches center stage, looking around angrily.
JAINA: I tried to tell you… And Rhonin… You did this…all of you…did this with your hate… <starts to build a fireball in her hand> Well now I have some hate of my own…
THRALL: Jaina, no!
JAINA: Don’t try to defend him, Thrall! You see what he did here!
THRALL: <glares over to Malkorok, still suspended> I could care less what happens to this…this. But the rest of my people have done nothing.
Jaina continues gathering the fireball in her hand as she eyes Malkorok. In the background, Dontrag and Utvoch can be seen helping Falstad and Shaw to their feet.
JAINA: Get them out of here.
SHAW: But Jaina, they—
JAINA: Today isn’t the day for anyone to argue with me. Get them together and get them away from here, Go’el.
Thrall nods, then gestures to Vol’jin and Baine.
BAINE: All of you, come and come quickly.
VOL’JIN: Time ta make ourselves invisible like da Lich King’s horse!
BAINE: You really need a new joke. Seriously.
The Horde slowly makes its way offstage to the left; Baine and Vol’jin follow them. Mokvar finally pulls himself away from the sight of Theramore and slowly walks across the stage, stopping to stare a moment at Malkorok as he goes, then exits as well. Jaina’s gaze never moves from Malkorok.
JAINA: We’ve all lost a great deal to this conflict… <looks back over her shoulder> All of you…leave us.
The Alliance members trickle out; Shaw is the last one to linger at the edge of the stage.
SHAW: Um, actually, strictly speaking, there isn’t anyplace for us to go to anymo—
JAINA: Get OUT, Mathias.
SHAW: Random swamp wandering it is, yes ma’am.
JAINA: You should go too, Thrall.
THRALL: I suspect there are more than a few pieces to pick up back in Orgrimmar.
JAINA: You should go help pick them up, then.
THRALL: I’m sorry for your people, Jaina.
JAINA: A lot of us are sorry. Or will be.
Thrall releases Malkorok and starts to walk away.
MALKOROK: The great Warchief! That’s it, is it? You side with this human over your own kind!
THRALL: <continuing to walk away without looking back> You are not my kind, Malkorok.
MALKOROK: Don’t you walk away from me when I’m—
Malkorok starts to move toward Thrall but is stopped when Jaina unleashes her fireball on the ground in front of him, cutting off his path with a wide patch of flame.
JAINA: Malkorok, is it? I don’t think we’ve been properly introduced. I’m Jaina Proudmoore. <summons another fireball in her hand> I think it’s time we had a long, long – terribly long, really, and maybe unnecessarily slow – talk.
The curtain closes. Just as it does, a bright red flash can be seen through the heavy cloth, accompanied by an orcish voice crying out. The remaining stage lights go out.
Archive for draz’zilb
The attack on Theramore is on hold.
I’m still fuming over…hell, what am I NOT fuming over right now? Yesterday when I finished my debriefing with Draz’Zilb over the Grimtotem messenger, I just stormed back in here to the war room and threw that model of Theramore the Gob Squad had made into the wall – bounced it right off the pin-covered strategic map we’d drawn up of Dustwallow – smashed it to a hundred pieces…
Any now I get to spend my time thinking about what I was about to do, if I hadn’t been stopped by absolutely NOTHING other than sheer dumb luck.
Let me be clear about something (you know, before I get another talking to from ACC): I don’t suddenly have qualms about attacking the humans, or hitting Theramore if it makes sense strategically. But the last several days I got myself so wound up in a fury I was about to go rushing into a thrown-together attack, and more importantly, it wasn’t just the attack itself. It was how I was going about it. Specifically, Draz’Zilb’s corruption idea. That wasn’t just a military strike – assuming the spell worked the way it’s supposed to, that would be wiping out EVERY LIVING THING from the point of deployment spreading and spreading until it had physically run out of things to kill.
I’ve got no problem with fighting a war. But now that I’m seeing straight, I’ll be damned if I’m going to become a war criminal. I’m not going to fight the humans by becoming them.
And in this case…after that baiting by Magatha…
That’s twice now she almost turned me into a monster.
So Theramore is going on the shelf. For now. At least until we’ve had a chance to work out an actual military plan that doesn’t involve necromantic weapons of genocide, and I’m not letting my temper make my decisions for me. The Dustwallow map is staying where it is until then, as a reminder…
In the meantime, though, I still have a few things I need to do – starting with informing Draz’Zilb his little pet project is canceled – and some pieces I still need to pick up.
You know, they say you’re not supposed to kill the messenger, but in this case I just couldn’t help myself. So that was that for Grimtotem #1. As for Grimtotem #2, the one we found lurking around the Dranosh’ar Blockade, I still wanted some answers about what HIS deal was, so I handed him over to our old friend Draz’Zilb and told him to work his magic (literally). Here’s what he dug up.
Both of these Grimtotem were among a small portion of the tribe still loyal to Magatha. Ever since her business with the Twilights, most of her people got pretty chilly with her, at the least, but she still has a handful of supporters. These were two.
The original messenger was sent with Magatha’s letter several days ago. The whole point – obviously – was to give me a few days after…well, you know…to give me time to stew and suffer and really sit down for a big serving of my own liver, and then slap me with the truth to rub salt in the wound. Apparently, though, after the messenger was sent out, Magatha somehow caught wind of what we have brewing for the humans – Draz’Zilb’s uber-corruption and Sylvanas’ plague and the attack on Theramore and I’m thinking maybe I should stop announcing this stuff on the internet. Anyway. So she decided it would be better to hold off on telling me the truth until AFTER I’d opened all those cans of worms. Why not get me going taking my vengeance on the humans, THEN hit me with the revelation that I was avenging myself on the wrong people? In Magatha-World, that’s just getting the best return on your investment.
So, that’s when she sent Grimtotem #2 to try to intercept Grimtotem #1, to try to prevent that letter from being delivered just yet. It was just pure dumb luck that we got it before that could happen.
That’s us. Just swimming in good luck.
If you’ve been paying attention lately, you might have noticed I’ve been having a lot of contact with some of our people down in Brackenwall Village – Krog about the goings-on in Stonetalon, Draz’Zilb about his potential uber-corruption spell. It hasn’t been a coincidence.
No surprise to anyone that I’ve been on a pretty steady boil ever since I realized that Varian and Jaina were in the guild and must have heard me talking about where I was going with my mother last week. I don’t know why I should be shocked by anything these humans do at this point. Thing is, though, Varian I can at least see. I mean, make no mistake, I hate that motherfucker, but at least it makes sense for him to have it in for me as well, and he’s not one to make any pretenses about it. We’ve had bad blood going back to the Violet Citadel, probably further, not to mention he’s a hateful dimwitted warmongering orc-hating bigot, so of course he would grab any opportunity to strike at me. And if an innocent has to die in the process, all the better. It’s Varian. I get it.
But Jaina? THAT sticks in my craw. Let’s even set aside all the joking around and clowning I do on her and all the cracks about her being a slut which granted they’re totally true but not really germane to the conversation right now. But this is the woman who tried to play herself off as Little Miss Peacemaker. Always playing the diplomat, coming off like she’s the level-headed human willing to yank Varian back when he’s being an asshole (which, admittedly, probably kept her pretty busy). Always hiding behind her incomprehensible friendship with Thrall, like that made her better and nobler than the rest of her kind. Like she just wants to be our friend too.
And she was a part of this. Even if she wasn’t taking action herself, she knew. She was there. And all the while she probably kept on wearing her “Oh dear me, why can’t we all work together?” fake smile.
So guess what our first target is going to be.
I’ve been meeting with General Nazgrim to work out the logistics for our first strike on Theramore. We’re planning two waves. The first will be a ground strike launched out of Brackenwall, hitting the main gate of the city with several infantry detachments with artillery support. That initial wave will serve two purposes: one, to break down the city’s outer defenses and allow our troops to make their way inside, and two, to keep Theramore’s defenses focused on the main gate, while the second wave comes in by sea and hits the harbor.
The second wave will be the key one, and deceptively small. We’ll be bringing quite a few ships, but very few troops aside from the actual crews necessary to navigate the vessels. The real purpose of the naval strike will be to hit the harbor, land, and get a single squadron to deliver the real centerpiece of the attack: Draz’Zilb, bearer of the new experimental chain corruption spell.
Remember how I mentioned Draz’Zilb’s spell sounded promising, but needed to be tested until controlled conditions? Well Theramore is going to be our field test. Our troops are going to get Draz’Zilb into the city long enough for him to find a decent-size cluster of humans, cast the spell, and then get back to the harbor while the chain reaction begins. Once the spell is deployed, our incursion group will fire off a signal to let all our troops know it’s underway. At that point, EVERYONE will head to the ships – the ground troops near the front gate can be making their way around the outer walls toward the shore – and then get out of there by sea. Hence bringing so many ships when we didn’t have that many troops in the naval group.
It works out perfectly, really. Theramore makes the ideal test target: a solitary human colony, densely populated but easy enough to isolate. As much as Dustwallow Marsh is swarming with life, it’s mostly spiders, crocolisks…nothing that isn’t expendable. Black dragonkin, the last leftovers of Onyxia’s brood? Good riddance. Yeah, a couple Grimtotem settlements, but do you think I’m going to shed any tears over them? The whole marsh is separated from the rest of Kalimdor by mountains and sea, perfectly enclosed. No spreading of the chain corruption beyond that one zone, however it plays out.
I love when things work out neatly like that.
Nazgrim and I are getting the last details sorted out. I even got a couple of the goblins from the Gob Squad to come in and put together a scale model of Theramore and its environs for us here in the war room, to help plan out troop and ship placement.
The only small wrinkle is the ogres in Brackenwall, seeing as we don’t want to end up wiping them all out with the corruption. Would be kind of rude, what with it being Draz’Zilb’s spell and all. So I’m having most of the ogre population – the ones who won’t be going on the actual attack – relocated temporarily to Alcaz Island. They’ll be safely isolated there until everything blows over, plus we can even use the island as a staging ground for the naval strike.
Preparations are already underway. I’ve had the ogres moving in small numbers for the last couple of days, so we can do it gradually enough not to draw attention. A couple more days and they should be safely situated on the island, and then we’ll be ready to start. And if things go according to plan, pretty soon Sylvanas’ plague will have some competition over on the other continent.
I mentioned the other day that I’ve been talking to Draz’Zilb down in Brackenwall Village. Granted, he can be creepy as hell sometimes, but dude knows how to get shit done, and he can be pretty damn handy as times as long as you don’t have to stay in the same room as him for too long. I think this is one of those times. He has something he’s been working on that might turn out to be pretty useful right now.
Odds are, most of you have heard of this spell that warlocks use called Seed of Corruption. Basically it seeds a target with a kind of shadow detonation that hurts the original target and anyone else that’s nearby. Warlocks that are really on top of their game can even cast the spell with an extra wrinkle, so that all those nearby targets caught in the detonation are afflicted with extra shadow damage that rots away at them over time.
Draz’Zilb tells me he’s worked up a way to take this to the nth degree. He believes he’s augmented the spell so that after that initial detonation, those surrounding targets that are afflicted with the additional ticking corruption? Well, after it finishes ticking, THEY detonate too. So, bonus A, the damage from that additional detonation, combined with the initial kaboom and the ticking corruption, would be enough to kill anybody short of a no-kidding-around badass. And more important, bonus B, it creates a potentially unlimited chain.
Think of it: Victim #1 takes the initial seed and goes boom, and the initial burst of damage also hits nearby Victims #2, 3, and 4. Victims #2-4 get whittled down by the additional ticking corruption, then THEY all detonate as well with a second shadow burst. And now…THAT explosion hits nearby Victims #5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. Who also get afflicted with corruption and take a time-bomb seed of their own. Repeat. Repeat. Keep repeating until there’s no one else around to spread the corruption chain to.
Obviously, if you don’t mind waiting a little, this makes for a potentially awesome one-step method for wiping out groups of enemies on a massive scale. I’m looking right at you, Stormwind.
That’s assuming it works, of course. First we have to test it out to make sure Draz’Zilb is right. So we need to give it a test run in a somewhat controlled setting. Then, it’s game on.
I killed her. Me and my big mouth.
Not literally. But I might as well have. It was enough that she died because I left myself vulnerable when Grebo attacked. But Grebo just BEING there was my fault.
I had to go yammering on in guild chat about where I was going with her. Not even thinking about who might be there listening in. How many times do I have to run into people pretending to be something they’re not on the internet before I get it through my thick skull? And so, there they were, Varian Wrynn and Jaina Proudmoore, right there in my own guild, soaking it all in. I might as well have sent them fucking invitations and enclosed a poisoned blade. And lo and behold, a pack of humans turn up out of nowhere.
It’s the only thing that makes sense. That’s the only time I talked to anyone about where we were going, other than my mother herself and a few of the guards we passed leaving Orgrimmar and traveling through Ashenvale.
I know what you’re thinking – how to account for Grebo. He’s still an orc, right? So why would he be working with humans if that’s who’s behind this? And see, that’s where you’re just looking at the surface. Grebo WAS an orc. That thing that attacked me in Demon Fall Canyon? That was Grebo’s reanimated corpse. I’ve been talking to Draz’Zilb out of Brackenwall Village – he’s no stranger to necromancy, and he tells me that when someone is resurrected, there’s a whole range of possibilities as far as how much of the actual person is still there. Maybe it’s the entire being come back whole. Maybe it’s an empty shell, walking around wearing the original person’s face. Maybe it’s any of a million points in between, any combination of memories, motivations, personality, will…anyway, he tells me it wouldn’t be much of a stretch at all to rig things so whoever you’re raising is going to be perfectly cooperative, whoever you happen to be.
No shock to anyone, I’ve been going over and over this in my head all day. I ended up needing to get out of my war room and get some air, so I took Mortimer for a ride around Durotar. I was planning just to fly around some and hopefully clear my head, but on one loop around we passed over Tiragarde Keep. And I happened to look down.
So I landed. An hour later and I was still there. Not even rushing around, just taking my time, wandering through the keep, cutting down any humans I could find.
Usually we’ve been content to leave this human outpost alone – it doesn’t pose any real threat, and the humans there are weak even by human standards, and in a way they’re handy to have around as a training exercise for some of our up-and-comers out of Razor Hill. Send the young blood over, have them take out some easy human pickings, we keep the cockroach population under control and the kids feel like they’ve accomplished something. Everybody wins.
Not today. Today I’m in no mood to humor them. Today I’m done tolerating their presence, these pathetic vermin daring – PRESUMING – to claim a foothold in our lands. These two-legged rats from Theramore (THERAMORE), sitting here almost within eyeshot of Orgrimmar… I’m done with them. They’re like animals – every action I’ve ever known them to take shows it. WORSE than animals, even – at least a dog understands loyalty, and a wyvern has some instinctive sense of honor. Like animals, but less. So I slaughtered them like animals.
It was a good afternoon. While it lasted.
A long time ago I swore I’d make the humans regret the crimes they’ve committed against our people. Somehow I let those words become just that: words. Got lazy, grew complacent, contented myself with sitting around on a throne made out of the skull of an enemy I didn’t even kill myself and puffing out my chest like I’d done enough.
Legionnaire Nazgrim finally returned home to Orgrimmar last week after extended duty in Vashj’ir. I’m promoting him to General and putting him in charge of the initial stages of what comes next. I’ll be laying out our military plans in the next few days, but I don’t plan on wasting much time before we get to work. I’ve already wasted enough. It’s time I got to work doing what I should have done long ago.
Kill them all.
So the other day I asked for suggestions for inspection stops in the Eastern Kingdoms. The suggestions pretty much clustered – a lot of recommendations for the northern regions like Hillsbrad, Tirisfal, and the Plaguelands, and then some others for our southern outposts in the Blasted Lands and the Swamp of Sorrows. For the time being I’m going to table the northern settlements. For one thing, hitting all the outposts will definitely take more time than I can spare in one chunk, and also, more importantly, after this past week’s mailbag, I have some business I need to go check on in Outland, so I figure it would just make more sense to deal with the southern outposts on my way to and from the Dark Portal.
I took a mage portal down to the Dark Portal and flew up to Dreadmaul Hold. Things are fairly well under control there, still some skirmishes with the Dreadmaul ogres but nowhere near as much as there had been when we first retook the outpost and kicked the ogres out. But you were right, A Concerned Citizen, Warmatron Okrilla is getting a little carried away down there, first and foremost with the ogres. Look, everybody knows I’m not exactly warm and fuzzy, and I’m not one to back away from a good war when somebody wants to go at it with me. But that doesn’t mean you don’t try to maintain SOME sense of honor while you’re fighting your war. And this? Taking Dreadmaul ogres captive and forcing them to be your slave labor? That’s just not cool. That’s the kind of shit that the Scourge did up in Northrend, or the Twilights in all the places they cropped up in like roaches. You don’t do that with your prisoners, with maybe the possible exception of Alliance prisoners if you happen to need a food taster…and even THAT’S not hard labor, unless maybe the food is really badly undercooked, I guess. (And in that case the cook knows he’s going to be taken out by the rear gate and beaten around some, so we know THAT problem won’t be coming up again, will it now, Marogg?)
What’s more, I was also getting reports that Okrilla wasn’t allowing non-orcs into the outpost at all. Turns out that was kind of an exaggeration, other Horde races are free to go there, but from what I saw when I was there, any tauren or trolls or whatever that happen by definitely get a lot cooler reception than orcs. And so…again…I’m all for orc pride. Totally down with that. And yeah, I might have gotten a complaint or two about my decision to restrict Orgrimmar’s main residential areas to orcs and tauren, but here’s the difference. That was a tactical decision about the defense of the city. Yeah, bitch all you want about the undead or blood elves not having their own houses there anymore or whatever, but I’m still not trying to stop them from COMING to the fucking city. Some blood elf wants to come in and do some business, see a trainer, use the portals, pick up a few assignments for jobs in the outlying zones, just hang out with some friends, whatever, great, have at it. Unless he’s Johnny Awesome. Then, fuck him. But anyway.
So I ended up sitting Okrilla down and giving her a talking to about all this. Like I said, I totally get the orc pride, and on a related note even being a little territorial about Dreadmaul Hold. After all, it WAS our city back when it was founded as Rockard. But I laid it out in no uncertain terms that I don’t want to be hearing about any more racial problems, because at the rate she was going it was just a matter of time before she started giving orcs and non-orcs separate vendors and flight masters and whatever else. And as for the ogres, she wants to take prisoners, fine, take prisoners and hold them, or use them as bargaining chips to get the rest of the Dreadmaul to back down, or interrogate them for information, do what you need to do, but we’re not going to be doing any more slavery. Hell, we orcs were kept as slave labor by the humans at one point, so if you’re going to get hung up on orc pride, then it should be a point of that pride to fucking be better than that shit. Besides, we have ogres working with us, and the last thing I need is Draz’Zilb getting all bitchy with me.
So, there you go, that’s my day. Freed the slaves and cut off separate-but-equal at the pass. Go me.
I’m heading back down to the Dark Portal (and I am TOTALLY going to check on the naga and murlocs that ACC mentioned while I’m down that way). I’ll write more from Outland once I get there.