Picking up right where we left off last time…
Archive for krimpatul
So how about that, huh? The DPS kids were tucked away in the system of caves, making camp in a small chamber deep underground. We burned up a chunk of time talking over each other at first, with everybody wanting to know how everybody else had gotten there, but after I explained about how I’d found the caverns, I finally managed to get their side of the story from Gurtash.
So…let’s kick it over to the kid himself.
So I think the internet has decided it doesn’t want me playing Earth Online for the time being. Spazzle was right – this is what I get for trusting Grizzle Gearslip to set up a stable network. Remind me to stick with construction and excavation projects for him from now on.
Probably just as well. I have more important things to be focusing on right now.
First and foremost in the “more important things” file: We’re back in business on the Divine Bell front – and then some. Courtesy, believe it or not, of some clutch work from one of the blood elves. I know, right? I won’t hold it against you if you need to go back and read that again to make sure you got it right. Anyway – Fanlyr Silverthorn was able to work some Kirin Tor mojo to sneak a Horde operative into Darnassus, where the Divine Bell was being held, then teleported it out to Silvermoon. That’s right, the night elves worked so hard to get to the Bell before us, tucked it away deep in the heart of their capital city…for like fifteen minutes, before they had it swiped right out from under them. Oh man, would I love to have seen the looks on their faces when they figured out what happened.
Of course, you would think that this would come across as GOOD news to anyone on the Horde side of the fence, but spirits forbid I should ever have a conversation with Lor’themotherfucker that didn’t involve him crying and moaning and wetting his panties over something. And let me tell you, he was in fine form this time around. I could barely even figure out what the fuck he was bitching about, something about his people being put in harm’s way or some such (as if people never, EVER get put in harm’s way in the middle of, you know, A FUCKING WAR), and Jaina being pissed off about something (as if THAT’S ever a bad thing). Seriously, I don’t know what hair he’s got up his ass, but enough is enough. Calm down already. Don’t flip a bench, Lori.
Anyway, I’m having the Divine Bell transported to Pandaria pronto so we can get to work. We found another ancient mogu structure in Kun-Lai that should make for a good site to conduct the first of what should be many glorious uses of the Bell. I’m having Malkorok hand-pick some of the very best of his Kor’kron to stand guard and participate in the proceedings. I’m also having Ishi head up that way to supervise the setup of the Bell and help me with the first trial. Hopefully, after Burzum went all sha-batty on us, and Krimpatul went MIA with the rest of the…casualties…at the Temple of the Red Crane, and Ishi himself got beaten to the Divine Bell by the damn night elves, well, hopefully I’ll have a blademaster finally do my Mag’har proud and help put a win on the board for us.
Once we tap into the power of the Bell – and by extension, the power of this “sha” magic – we’ll wield a power unlike anything either side has seen in this war. And unlike the mogu, we won’t be leaving our enemies any room to rise up against us. Never again.
As if Elder Cloudfall’s parting comment about Kypari Zar didn’t already leave me with enough on my mind, I had a hell of a greeting waiting for me at Domination Point. When Gurtash, Ben-Lin, Taktani, and I got back, we learned that an Alliance strike team had attacked the base – and killed Warlord Bloodhilt. General Nazgrim and Blood Guard Gro’tash were able to rally the good guys and drive the Alliance off, but by that point the damage was done. During the defense, we also lost Stone Guard Ruk’Ra, Chief Bombgineer Snicklefritz, and Or’Dac of the Stonemaul ogres in Brackenwall Village. Way too many good people gone in one day.
During our debriefing, Nazgrim said that based on the way the Alliance force went about the attack, he believes they were targeting Bloodhilt from the outset – they went straight for the command center and bypassed any number of other viable strike points along the way. So in Nazgrim’s assessment, the Alliance objective was to take out the on-site commanding officer. Cut off the head of the beast, basically.
GARROSH – I only wish I’d been here when the human bastards attacked.
NAZGRIM – With all due respect, Warchief, I’m rather glad you weren’t.
GARROSH – Why? You don’t think I could have made the difference in stopping them from getting to Bloodhilt if I’d been here?
NAZGRIM – Sir, I don’t know that the Alliance had any reason to believe you wouldn’t be here. If you had been, you might have been the target instead of the Warlord.
GARROSH – (scowling) I don’t much like the idea that Bloodhilt might have died in my place, Nazgrim.
NAZGRIM – You’re our Warchief, sir. You are the Horde. Rest assured, any one of us would gladly lay down our life for your survival.
I’ll tell you right now, this is going to bother me for a while. Bloodhilt was a good man, someone I had an eye on for more and greater things in the future, and his death leaves a tough hole to fill. I’ve appointed Nazgrim to take over as commanding officer of the Dominance Offensive. So that covers things logistically, at least.
It’s pretty obvious, though, that we need to step up our defenses. I’m having our naval forces increase their patrols in the area, and I’m also going to see about establishing a wider perimeter on the ground. Bases, watch points. There’s that old panda temple to the east that Krimpatul reported on recently – it’s in an ideal position to monitor enemy activity in Krasarang Wilds, plus it even has a structure already in place. So I’m having Commander Scargash take a couple divisions of troops over to secure it as a Horde outpost and early-warning station. There’s no sign of Alliance activity in the vicinity now, so it should be a quick, clean takeover.
I’m also having Krimpatul go with Scargash and his forces, and bring the DPS kids along with him. For one, Krimp has been there before, so he knows the area and can probably be helpful to Scargash. Plus, it might be good for the trainees to be present to see a low-impact operation in action. From what I hear, too, that temple is kind of the king-size version of that island full of cranes near here, the one where the kids have been hunting for waterfowl to help with the food supplies. So I figure they can do some more hunting in the new spot, too. Good for their morale to see us eating well and know they’re the reason why. Not to mention, they’ve always seemed pretty fond of Krimp, so they’ll probably enjoy spending some time with him in the field.
ONE piece of good news that’s come in: Some of our scouts have just reported that they’ve found a structure along the northern Kun-Lai coast that matches the one where Shan Kien supposedly hid away the Divine Bell. I’m sending Ishi there with a unit of Kor’kron to check it out. I’m trying not to get my hopes up too much, in case this turns out to be a wild goose chase, but with any luck we’ll finally be in business soon.
Meanwhile, Elder Cloudfall should be getting here…well…when he gets here. Between then and now, I’ve got some thinking to do.
After the disaster up at Shado-Pan Monastery, Krimpatul and I brought the sha claw that we’d taken from Burzum back to the Sanctum of Two Moons. I’m hoping that if we examine it and conduct a few experiments, we can figure out a way to draw on that sha power without…you know…the accompanying crazy-going. While we get going on that, I’m sending Krimp over to Tian Monastery to round up the DPS trainees and bring them back to Domination Point. Hopefully they managed to pick up a few useful tricks from the monks there.
Oh, but hey, guess who was here to greet us at the Sanctum when we got back? Baine Bloodhoof, newly arrived in Pandaria. That’s, like, the best news I could get without there actually being any good news. Because I’ve been suffering from a severe deficiency in pain in my ass ever since Vol’jin took the big grave-flop…
* Much to his disgruntlement, Garrosh learned of Dezco’s tauren expedition during a planning session for the Dominance Offensive.
** Dezco and Anduin have (some of) this exchange at the Temple of the White Tiger.
So, based on the early returns, this sha energy and I are going to have a real love/hate relationship.
Let me explain.
While Burzum and Krimpatul were doing their respective investigating, I went back up to Kun-Lai Summit to do a little more checking around. Ponytail and his blood elves had cleared out of the Valley of Emperors, and by the looks of it, the mogu who had been up there had decided not to take their chances coming back after the grade-A ass-kicking I’d given them. Which, by the way, makes the mogu smarter than at least half the enemies I’ve run into over the years.
I flew around the mountains for a little while to see if I could spot any more mogu activity, but didn’t have a whole lot of luck, so I decided while I was in the neighborhood to check in at that monastery I’d heard about – the Shado-Pan Monastery, I think it’s called. I figured the monks there might have something they could tell me about the mogu, or the sha, or, hell, even just give me some idea why that Cloudfall guy at Tian Monastery felt the need to be so damn cryptic.
Problem is, all of that assumed the monks would actually, you know, TALK to me. When I got there, though, I could barely get anyone to answer the damn door. I knocked away for a while, and at first some fat panda dude poked his head out and asked who I was…but then after I told him, he just slammed the door shut again. After that, they just let me knock away all I wanted, and the only answer I got was one time when someone behind the door yelled “We don’t want any,” and this other time when I guess they decided to get cute, and one of them did a bad troll voice like “Dere nobody home, mon” – which, I can HEAR you TALKING, idiot, so there obviously IS somebody home.
Eventually, Burzum and Krimpatul arrived, and we set up camp near the monastery to compare notes. Krimp reported that the sha outbreak around the Temple of the Red Crane was mostly gone, other than some stray animals in the area that had been affected, but that those animals seemed a good bit stronger than the garden variety. Seems like they were able to be infused with sha energy just from proximity to the manifestation there, which tells me that it shouldn’t be that difficult to tap infuse some of our soldiers with that power, assuming we can find a sha source to draw on. THAT’s going to be the tricky part, I’m guessing – finding a source – since it’s not like we can reliably just summon these sha things up out of thin air.
Burzum, on the other hand, gave a whole breakdown of the pandas fighting an ongoing sha outbreak near the Temple of the Jade Serpent. (By the by, don’t ask me why these pandas seem so obsessed with naming everything after rainbow-colored animals. Can the Temple of the Mauve Meerkat be far behind?) The sha down there were still much more active, and according to Burzum, the pandas there deliberately took steps to AVOID being affected by the sha energy. Because, I don’t know, I guess they feel like a dose of extra power might take the edge off their signature bouncy goofiness. Don’t ask me.
Whatever they’re thinking down there, though, it seemed like Burzum had gone native on us some, because while he was talking about it, he got really insistent about not thinking it was such a hot idea to try to tap into this sha energy. He seemed to get really stressed out over it, actually, to the point that I could even see him going a little pale in the face. I managed to calm him down some, but he still seemed more than a little antsy.
At that point, I gave the blademasters the rundown of the warm welcome I’d gotten at the monastery. Burzum wanted to try talking to them himself, and I figured what the hell, if he wanted to try beating his head against the wall, let him knock himself out. So he went over and knocked on the door, and one of the pandas stuck his head out to see who it was…and I’ll be damned, they let the fucker in!
So Burzum was in there for a little while, and I figured eventually he’d be back to bring me and Krimp inside with him – you know, after he’d finished buttering up whatever antisocial panda had had the bright idea to lock me out. After a while, sure enough, Burzum came out again, but instead of showing us the way in, he let the pandas shut themselves up in there again while he came staggering back to us looking more upset than ever. And I’m talking SERIOUSLY shaken – I don’t know what those pandas said to him, but dude was beyond just pale at the point and was looking out-and-out GRAY.
That’s when he started yammering a bunch of incoherent nonsense – “Is this what we’ve come to?” this, and “losing our way” that, and all the while getting more and more visibly upset. Krimpatul and I tried to talk him down from the crazy, but Burzum wasn’t having it. He kept ranting on and on, until finally the ranting gave way to flat-out growling, and the next thing you knew, Bruzum’s arms started to morph into these tendrilly black claws and his whole body seemed to exude shadows.
And that’s when he attacked us.
I’ll say this for that sha stuff – because obviously that’s what had to be coursing through Burzum’s system – it really is no joke. I’ve sparred with all the blademasters a bunch of times, so I know their strength, but this was way beyond the normal Burzum scale. It took Krimp and I everything we could muster to keep the upper hand, and even then we were only barely able to hold him off most of the time.
Eventually, though, Krimpatul got in a few solid blows to disorient Burzum, at which point I hacked off one of those creepy-ass claws at the elbow. That turned the tide in our favor for good. I made one last attempt to talk Burzum down, but he was long gone by that point. So Krimpatul and I finished him off. As he fell, he muttered something about “should have remained in Garadar,” and the rest was silence.
I’d just as soon spare Burzum’s memory from people seeing the state he was in at the end. He was a good man, and whatever came over him in those final moments, I’m certain his spirit will find its way to those of the honored ancestors, even if he’d fallen far from home. Krimpatul and I found a quiet spot in the mountains nearby and laid Burzum’s body to rest.
Except for that severed claw. That’s coming with me back to the Sanctum of Two Moons so the braintrust can give it a good going over.
Rest well, Burzum. Spirits willing, we’ll make sure you didn’t die in vain.
I’m giving the blood elves a few days to see if they can get anywhere with Shan Kien — that’s the name of that mogu dude we captured in the Valley of Emperors — but in the meantime I’m going to try to explore other avenues. From what I’ve been able to gather, the mogu’s Divine Bell artifact was able to focus and infuse the power of what the pandas call sha. Basically dark power come alive, sparked by emotions like anger or fear. And even though this Divine Bell sounds like it’s the key to harnessing this sha power to the fullest, that doesn’t mean we can’t do a little testing at the source.
After we’d finished our visit to Tian Monastery the other day, Burzum had stayed behind to see if he could learn a few new tricks from the pandas. I had Gurtash stay with him, and after I’d left for the Sanctum of Two Moons, I had the rest of the DPS kids brought over to do a little hand-to-hand combat training. Now, personally I’m not so big on the fancy martial arts moves — I’m a much bigger fan of just pummeling your opponents to death when you’re not hacking them into little pieces with an axe. But then, that’s ME. Seeing as I’m 300 lbs. of rock-solid awesome and not some skinny fourteen-year-old, I don’t really NEED a whole lot of bells and whistles in my asskicking toolkit. But I figure it might be good for the kids to see if there’s anything useful they can pick up from the pandas.
Also, side note, since I forgot to mention this before — on the way back from Tian, I made a stop at this place nearby called the Arboretum, where they train cloud serpents for some big race. It took some doing, but I managed to talk them into letting me participate in the race even though I didn’t have my own cloud serpent. I will neither confirm nor deny that “talking them into” this involved slapping a few pandas around. Anyway, the race was pretty fun, and you seriously should have seen the looks on the other riders’ faces — and their cloud serpents, for that matter — when Mortimer left them all in the dust. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: wyvern > all.
Anyhow, I digress.
Getting back to the actual business at hand, I’m having Burzum head down to a temple in that neck of the woods that’s been hit by a pretty major sha infestation. Temple of the Jade something-or-other, which really doesn’t help narrow it down much, seeing as it’s in a region called the Jade Forest, and half the stuff around there is called the Jade Whatever-Whatever. Lesson: them pandas sure do love them some jade.
Meanwhile, I’m assigning Krimpatul to investigate another temple not far from our base at Domination Point, a little ways to the north. I hear tell there was a major sha outbreak there until pretty recently, so he might be able to learn something there. While they’re both doing their thing, I’m going to do some extra checking around in the northern mountains, and then the two blademasters will meet me there to compare notes. I hear tell there’s another major monastery in the northwest part of Kun-Lai Summit, so it might be worth convening there and seeing what the monks have to tell us.
Construction is coming along quickly here at Domination Point. That’s what we’re calling the new outpost, by the way – pretty badass, right? Thought of it myself. Anyway, we’re making good progress getting the place built. Warlord Zaela sent some of her Dragonmaw construction crew with us, and as any of you who were there will remember, a couple years ago when the Dragonmaw joined the Horde, they got Dragonmaw Port rebuilt FAST. As opposed to, say, the goblin contractors who STILL haven’t quite finished the job in Orgrimmar. Which is really pretty ridiculous at this point. I mean, can you imagine how embarrassing it’s going to be if Orgrimmar comes under siege, and we STILL haven’t finished fixing the place from the LAST major problem?
So that’s coming along. While we work on getting the base built and securing the area, I’ve also been keeping Gurtash and the rest of the DPS busy gathering food. Turns out there’s an island close by that’s practically swarming with these huge cranes that have enough breast meat on them to feed half a regiment. They’re a little big for the kids, but it’s been good practice for them working as a team. Also, as part of the Pandaria landing team, I’d brought three of the Mag’har’s best blademasters from Nagrand: Ishi, Burzum, and Krimpatul. So I’ve been having the three of them take turns going out with the DPS when they go hunting, just to keep an eye on them. The kids seem to be hitting it off with Krimp especially. He’s got the gruff lovable mentor thing going for him. Kind of like me.
In other news, General Nazgrim and his team arrived here today. Which was a good thing – one, because Nazgrim is always good in a fight, but two, because that gave me a chance to ask some pointed questions based on Krog’s reports on a certain former captive of theirs.
Case in point: How exactly Nazgrim and his crew managed to turn this:
The extent of Nazgrim’s response pretty much consisted of “Oh, so, um, you heard about that, huh?”
One other part of Nazgrim’s arrival, though – along with his regular crew like Kiryn and Shokia, he also brought one of those monkey people he’d recruited back in the Jade Forest, a hozen named Tak-Tak who’s going to be helping our flightmaster Kromthar. And here’s the thing. This was the first time I’d met a hozen…only it wasn’t. Some of you might remember – a few months ago, when time was going all wonky and I was flashing into that alternate reality, I met a monkey-like creature, name of Zhi-Zhi. Who’d been found washed ashore after the destruction of his home in the southern islands. It was the first time I’d ever seen a creature like him…but he seemed to know a thing or two about me.
And so THAT was the first time I ever met a hozen – only now, those events never happened. Except I still remember them. FUCKING TIME TRAVEL. Head hurts.
So after Nazgrim introduced me to Tak-Tak, I pulled Monkey Boy aside and tried picking his tiny little brain some. He said most of the mountain hozen up north were pretty hostile, same for the hozen on the islands to the east of here. According to him, the only hozen who’ve managed to shill at all – and from what I can tell, “chill” would be a VERY relative term – would be the forest hozen where he’d come from. Most of those, he says, have stayed in villages like Grookin Hill, but some individuals have gone off to live with the pandaren in one place or another. He rattled off a few places some of them had gone, and most of the names blurred together, but then one stuck out – a place in the Jade Forest called the Tian Monastery. That one rang a tiny little bell. When we get a little breathing room, I may need to pay them a visit over that way.
Anyhow, back to work. I’ll keep you posted on news as it happens, assuming my internet stays up.