Archive for magatha

Tweeting dryad, bleating crone

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

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So, a quick aside.

Not to derail this whole thing that’s going on with Mokvar and Blackrock Spire, but after last time, with that little cameo we have from Little Miss Crazy-Nymph up in Hyjal, hoo boy, did the shit ever hit the fan on Twitter.  It started innocently enough with a comment from reader and frequent commenter Shen Wei Pureblossom, and… um… things went downhill fast.  Including appearances from a bunch of familiar faces.

And…well…here:

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Heh.  Hehehe HA!

I tell you, Magatha getting fucked with never, ever gets old.

Resuming our regularly scheduled…stuff…soon.

 

 

[A huge thank you to @ShadoPanShammy, @Mylune_, @Ji_Firepaw, @Wyvern_Mortimer (yes, really), and @M_Grimtotem -- all of whom you should follow, by the way -- both for providing the enormous entertainment that was this exchange, and for allowing me to reproduce it here.  More Twitter lunacy to follow in short order, I'm sure.]

 

The enemy of my enemy

Posted in Comics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

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* Garona intervened to protect Mokvar when he was being attacked by spectral assassins here, after his meeting with Neeru Fireblade.

** Mokvar had this exchange with Deliana on the way out of Onyxia’s lair, having just struck his deal with Magatha Grimtotem.

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* Spazzle reported on Mokvar’s rather tense debriefing with Eitrigg here.

** After Mokvar broke arrest and fled Orgrimmar with Deliana, he arranged to meet with Spazzle in Everlook.  Spazzle detailed their meeting in Winterspring here.

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Burning bridges

Posted in Comics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

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* Mokvar and Deliana met with Magatha in Onyxia’s lair here; Magatha agreed to help Mokvar enhance his elemental powers enough to survive a trip to the Firelands.

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[A quick OOC programming note -- just a reminder to everyone, this Saturday (September 13) will be our next Meta raid!  As always, be watching for me on Battlenet around 8:00 PM EDT for our monthly Flex raid of Siege of Orgrimmar (and/or some other random shenanigans).  All are welcome; feel free to add Averry#1116 if you haven't already.  Hope to see many of you there!]

[...Edited, because I find my link-backs work better when I actually link them.  Oops.]

30 Days of Character Development #7: Mokvar

Posted in 30 Days of Character Development with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

[Periodically, a post will profile one of the blog’s many supporting players.  (See the first profile for more details.)  Feel free to chime in with recommendations for other characters you’d like to see more about.]

 

mokvar_profile1Name:  Mokvar

Occupation:  Scribe; former advisor to the Warchief; former mercenary; currently between gigs, as it were.

Race:  Orc

Class:  Warlock (currently and formerly), shaman (formerly)

Age:  44

Group affiliations:  Horde (former citizen, currently banished), Earthen Ring (former member), Veiled Blade (former member)

Known relatives:  Drulla (mother, deceased), Vokmar (father, deceased), ex-wife (heretofore unnamed)

Earth Online notes:  Founding member and officer of Garrosh’s guild <Warchief>; presumably demoted from officer status since falling out of good graces with Garrosh, though it’s currently unclear if he’s actually been demoted or gkicked.  Main toon is Bartleby (class unknown); has at least one alt, LamontCranston (not a member of <Warchief> and unknown by most of the guild, possibly all but Spazzle).

First appearance:  “Visiting Ashenvale” (first mention), “Underneath the bunker” (first transcript)

mokvarprofile2Key posts and plot points:

  • Garrosh first mentioned Mokvar in the very early days of the blog, during an inspection trip to Ashenvale.  After completing an aerial bombing run over Astralaan, the Warchief was most irate that Mokvar wasn’t able to adequately sketch him walking away from the resulting explosions; Garrosh ordered Mokvar back to Orgrimmar to train up inscription under pain of, well, pain.  (Interestingly, the job of keeping visual records of some of Garrosh’s expolits would eventually fall to Gurtash in the form of his comics.)
  • Mokvar would return a few weeks later in “Underneath the bunker” to record the first of many transcripts of the Warchief’s dealings.  (Also of note is that this transcript marked the first appearance of Dontrag and Utvoch.)  From that point on, Mokvar would frequently accompany the Warchief in his adventures, recording Garrosh’s discussions with such luminaries as Tirion Fordring (“Where did all the words go?”), Mylune (not once but twice), Garona and Johnny Awesome (“Awesome job, Mokvar”).
  • Mokvar traveled back in time to old Hillsbrad with Garrosh, Liadrin, Faranell, and Utvoch in an attempt to trace the origin of a magic “anti-plague” that was devastating the Forsaken (The Anti-Plague of Southshore).  While there, Faranell switched places with a past version of himself and inadvertently set off a series of events that would eventually cause massive disruptions to the timeline (Timequake).  In the ensuing chaos, Mokvar was one of the only people to be aware of the changes that had occurred, and helped the Warchief reset history to its proper course.  To this day, Mokvar remains one of the only people – along with Garrosh, Liadrin, and Faranell – who remembers the events that transpired in the other timeline.  (Okay, yes, Utvoch remembers, too…but would you really bet your next paycheck on him understanding any of it?)
  • Just before Garrosh left for Pandaria, Mokvar was attacked and killed under mysterious circumstances (“Death of the author”), though his death was made temporary by his ability to ankh as a shaman.  This brush with death marked the beginning of the Mokvar saga that continues to this day; a detailed, post-by-post account can be found here, but here’s the semi-sorta-short version: In his mercenary days before coming to Orgrimmar, when he was a member of the Veiled Blade, Mokvar had acquired, then disposed of, a powerful warlock relic called the Nether Prism; now, years later, the Prism’s prior owner (the drakonid lord Valthalak) has sent spectral assassins after Mokvar in an effort to recover his prize.  Mokvar reunited with old mercenary friend Deliana to try to recover the Prism, then launched into a run of suspicious, erratic behavior – traveling to Ironforge under diplomatic cover, then being charged with the murder of one of its citizens; turning for aid to Neeru Fireblade, then, even more damningly, Magatha Grimtotem; breaking out of Orgrimmar while under arrest, leading to his eventual banishment from the Horde.
  • mokvarprofile4After Mokvar disappeared from Orgrimmar, he remained off the grid for several months, save for elemental indications to fellow shaman Spazzle that he may have met his final demise.  Ji Firepaw, however, wasn’t willing to give up hope for Mokvar’s survival (and rightly so – did anyone really think that I was not only going to kill off Mokvar, but do so off-screen? Really?), and continued investigating Mokvar’s whereabouts.  Ji’s search eventually led him to Blackrock Spire, where Mokvar made his dramatic, fel-infused return in “The scouring of the Spire.”
  • True story: I originally introduced Mokvar not even as a real character, but as a plot device to justify inclusion of the transcripts.  I realized early on that I wanted to include dialogue in the blog, but I didn’t feel like it would fit stylistically to have Garrosh writing it out as it would appear in a novel – one thing I try to maintain (with ranging degrees of success) is the appearance that Garrosh really is writing everything in the blog, as a blog, rather than a short-story-but-we’ll-call-it-a-blog-even-though-we-know-it’s-really-not-wink-wink.  Mokvar as a scribe provided an excuse to include that extra material.  Another true story: When I was first choosing Garrosh’s scribe, I pretty much went into Grommash Hold and semi-randomly picked someone who looked like he didn’t have much else to do. Who knew?
  • For the fashion/transmog-minded among you: Mokvar’s warlock attire is roughly based on the Tier 9 warlock set.
  • Mokvar’s Earth Online character, Bartleby, is a reference to the title character in Herman Melville’s short story “Bartleby the Scrivener.”  (Scrivener = scribe!)  Mokvar likewise references the story on a few occasions when repeats Bartleby’s signature line, “I would prefer not to.”
  • For anyone who hasn’t pieced it together by this point: Mokvar’s close connection to Deliana is based on their parallel in-game roles.  Pre-Cataclysm, Mokvar (in Orgrimmar) and Deliana (in Ironforge) were the questgivers who sent adventurers on the (very long and painful) quest chains to upgrade the old “Tier 0.5” dungeon sets.  The two characters offered essentially the same quests, which provided the basis for much of the in-blog backstory about Lord Valthalak.  (Valthalak’s spirit was the end boss for that quest chain, by the way, and for anyone who missed it during vanilla, fighting him at level was a NIGHTMARE.)

In his own words:

In there one event or happening you would like to erase from your past? Why?

My last job with the Veiled Blade, when we went into Blackrock Spire to collect Valthalak’s goodies.  It turned out to be nothing but trouble, and cost most of us our lives – all of us, in fact, other than me and Deliana.  (And strictly speaking, it cost me my life, too; it just didn’t stick. So, congratulations to Deliana for being the last one left standing. Was anyone running a pool?)

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? Color? Song? Flower?

Tigule and Foror’s Lok’tar S’more-gar.  Cerulean blue.  The Lokvad’nod Broxigari.  Any daisies I’m not pushing up.

Who do you trust?

After everything we’ve been through, I trust Deliana with my life.  The same goes for Ji and Spazzle.  I trust Thrall and Eitrigg implicitly, and I’ll probably always be grateful to Thrall for giving me a safe haven all those years ago.  I trust Liadrin for her judgment, Saurfang for general badassery, and Garrosh…well, I trust Garrosh to be Garrosh.

mokvarprofile3How are you with technology? Super savvy, or way behind the times? Letters or email?

I’m no Spazzle, but I’m good enough with technology to get by.  I’m not really what you would call tech literate in the broad sense, but I do okay with specific tasks on specific devices; once I learn how to do something, I’m usually fine, but then I don’t like to stray too far from what I know, even if something new and better comes along.  I still prefer to write by hand, but I usually end up having to type things out – people are always complaining about my handwriting.

How do you react to temperature changes such as extreme heat and cold?

Heat doesn’t bother me at all.  I hardly even notice it.  Cold, on the other hand… spirits, I hate the cold.  You could not have paid me enough money to go to Northrend.

Are you an early morning bird or a night owl?

Neither, really.  I have pretty strange sleep habits: I usually tend to sleep for 2-3 hours at a time, scattered around random times in the day.  It’s a holdover from my mercenary days, when we would often have to be on the move on short notice; I developed the ability to sneak in what sleep I could when I could, and it’s stayed with me.  So now you’re equally likely to catch me awake at some odd hour in the middle of the night, or asleep in the middle of the day.  It’s the main reason why I don’t like surprise visitors.  That and the recent habit that surprise visitors have been getting into of trying to kill me.

What’s your preferred means of travel?

On wolfback.  I like feeling my feet on the ground…or at least my wolf’s feet, indirectly.  If I have to fly, I’d rather take a zeppelin or gunship.  I’ve never gotten completely comfortable on a wyvern (although I still prefer them to bats or dragonhawks or…well, I don’t know how people manage to keep their balance on those carpets).  I’ll fly on one if I need to, and I have lots of times – it just makes me uneasy while I’m up there.

If you could time travel, where would you go?

Don’t even joke about that.

Are you superstitious?

I definitely believe that there’s something out there that’s either looking out for me, or has it in for me.  I’m still not sure which.  Check back with me again another time.  Unless I’m dead, in which case we probably have our answer.

What might your ideal romantic partner be?

Someone calm, grounded.  Stable.  Not prone to emotional swings or extreme highs and lows.  Someone who’s figured themselves out, gotten comfortable with themselves, grown out of the drama and the need for everything to be a thrill ride.

If your life were a genre, what would it be?

Pretty definitely something in the action/adventure area, or at least a suspense thriller.  Be careful what you wish for, I suppose.  Sometimes I think I should have listened to my mother and been a banker instead.  When I was younger, I couldn’t wait to go out into the world and have adventures.  Thirty years of adventures later, I think I’ve had more than enough excitement.  I’d love to be bored.  I’d love to settle down comfortably in a quiet corner of Orgrimmar once we get to the other side of all this, and age into some old man who everyone considers pretty dull and uninteresting, except for every so often when he rattles off another one of his crazy stories — which most of the kids probably won’t believe really happened anyway.  I think I’ll enjoy that.

 

Previous Profiles:

  1. Spazzle Fizzletrinket
  2. Ben-Lin Cloudstrider
  3. Dontrag and Utvoch
  4. Taktani
  5. Korrina
  6. Mylune

The Liebster Award comes to Orgrimmar

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

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So this one was a surprise.  Here I was, going through my volumes and volumes of fan mail LIKE I GET ON A DAILY BASIS, and lo and behold, I get a message from someone nominating me for an award.  The someone in question was Myriade, writer of Myriadoscope, and the award in question was something called the Liebster Award, which I didn’t really know anything about at the time but which I could already say with confidence that I DAMN WELL FUCKING DESERVED.

So I did a little looking around to see what the deal was with this award, and what I would need to do to beat out the other nominees to win it, like if there was honorable combat involved because holy crap you know I would be all over that shit, but, come to find out, it doesn’t work that way.  There’s no final WINNER, just a chain of nominees naming other nominees to draw people’s attention to other blogs.  Which is kind of cool, as far as spreading the word about good reads, even if it IS a little hippie for my tastes what with the “we’re all winners!” vibe, which, come on.

Anyway.  Here’s the quasi-official description of the award, which everybody seems to be quoting, because it’s the hip thing to do these days:

Well, it is only an AWESOME award given to up and coming bloggers. Given by other up and coming bloggers. It’s a cool way to find other blogs and feel like you are getting into the blogging stratosphere. It is simple, you get nominated by someone else, mention their page and a link to their blog in your Liebster Award Post, answer the 11 questions they give you, then tag 11 other nominees and give them a new set of 11 questions to answer.

So, as you can see, receiving the nomination means I have some work to do now.  FUCKING AWESOME IDEA FOR AN AWARD, FOLKS, HONOR PEOPLE BY STICKING THEM WITH FUCKING HOMEWORK.  Anyway.  Here are the 11 questions from Myriade:

1.  Favourite race/class in WoW and why?

Quick note on the lingo here: Those of you who aren’t as internet-savvy as yours truly might be a little thrown off by that “WoW” acronym.  Apparently it’s a new thing in online circles to use that as an abbreviation for “Whole of World,” as in, fucking everywhere.  Which, granted, is kind of like how some people will literally say “LOL” now rather than just laughing, which I’ve never really gotten on board with myself, because fuck those assholes.  Anyway.

As for the actual question, I mean, come on, you even need to ask this?  Orc, because what the fuck else would I want to be, and warrior.

2.  Achievement/Title you’re proudest of?

Obviously, the easy answer here is the title of Warchief.  Hard to top that one.  Still, I could probably make a case for Chieftain of the Warsong Clan, since that one came from me pulling my emo head out of my ass to assume my place as leader of our clan and Grom’s successor.

But, nah, I’m still going to go with Warchief.

Although, since I’m probably going to be heading down to Blackrock Mountain soon, I may have to see about picking up [Leeeeeeeeeeeeeroy!] while I’m in the neighborhood.

3.  What’s in your bags (any character, or all of them)?

Huh.  I’m not sure if this is asking about real life, or my Earth Online characters.  I mean, for myself in reality, I don’t really walk around with a whole lot of stuff on me.  (Such as, you know, a shirt.)  I try not to weigh myself down more than I have to, seeing as I need to be ready to leap into action at a moment’s notice, and really, keeping Mannoroth’s tusks balanced on my shoulders can be a tough enough job on its own, without lugging extra crap around with me.

As for my EO toons, hoo boy, they have flat-out TOO MUCH stuff in their bags.  Just tons of random crap, receipts from vendors, little odds and ends that they’ve picked up but aren’t really useful for anything but I still haven’t ever gotten around to tossing.  And by the way, I just have to ask, who the fuck is the psychopath over at Genesis Entertainment who designed the bag system in Earth Online?  Dude, you can’t carry fucking ANYTHING with you!  You pick up like six or seven things, and your bags are full.  Have these game designers never left their houses or something, so they don’t even know about stacks of 20?!

4.  Favourite expansion/instance/boss fight?

Huh.  Another Earth Online question.  Okay.  Well, there’s still plenty of content I’ve never gotten around to, to be honest, but I’m pretty fond of the BlizzCon raid.  It’s always kind of a hoot seeing which random contestant spawns you get in the cosplay gauntlet leading up to the Joker Jay <Host with the Mohr– er, Most> boss.  But I think my favorite encounter is the Lore Panel council fight — you know, the one with the lead quest design guy, and the historian adds, and most of all the council leader guy, Chris what’s-his-face, the dude with the beard who kinda sounds like Varian.  I LOVE getting to run up and smack that guy in the face.  Especially if it’s one of those pulls where he randomly mind controls me for a minute and makes to do some shit that doesn’t make a damn bit of sense.

5.  Pet peeve in WoW?

Wait, you want me to narrow this down to one?  I don’t know about that.  But here’s a few, off the top of my head:

Humans.

Gnomes. OMFG gnomes.

Whoever it is who keeps using the last of the toilet paper in the Grommash Hold outhouse and not putting out a new roll.  (Your Warchief does NOT like having to do the Waddle of Shame over to the storage shed.)

Dontrag.

Utvoch.

“There”/”their”/”they’re”.  Because FUCK YOU, internet:

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Varian, especially the way he keeps breathing.

Being corrected on which one is Dontrag and which one is Utvoch, as if anybody really gives a shit.

6.  What inspired your blog?

I think I mentioned this way back in my first post.  It all got started when Eitrigg recommended I take up blogging.  He said I might find it a helpful outlet, to talk about what’s on my mind, keep a running record of my experiences, all that sort of thing.  I think he figured it would give me a chance to reflect more, and think about situations before acting.  Or some lazy old man shit like that.  Anyway, that’s how it got started, and it’s just been a gravy train of awesome since then.  AREN’T YOU LUCKY.

7.  Favourite blog-related moment?

Umm… Well, considering I detail almost everything that happens to me here, pretty much any moment from the last couple of years would be a blog-related moment, right?  Gotta say, that one mailbag where Windblossom wrote in about clocking Varian still gives me all kinds of happy.  Memory lane:

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I’m sure there others.  I might point out others as I think of them.

8.  One thing you can’t live without?

Okay, okay, go ahead and make your joke about lemon squares.

Real answer?  Sappy as it sounds, Gorehowl.  Not even for what an awesome weapon it is, either.  Having it with me is like a constant, living (but not) reminder of where I’ve come from, of the legacy of my father and the resilience of the Horde, of everything our people have endured and overcome.  Having it with me is like a validation of our kind.  Like a little part of Grom is still here, watching what he enabled us to become.

9.  Place you’d most like to visit?

Hmm.  You know, I’ve gotten around a whole lot the last few years, between the Northrend campaign, and all my inspection visits around Azeroth, and now all our work in Pandaria…  I’m not sure if there’s really anywhere I haven’t gotten to see at this point, other than, like, other planets and shit.  Or, say, getting to see places I know, like back home on Draenor, back before things got all fucked up.  But that would be changing WHERE I’d most like to visit to WHEN I’d most like to visit, which is cheating, for one thing, and also, FUCKING TIME TRAVEL.

10.  Favourite fictional character?

At the risk of being repetitive, this guy:

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I mean, can you imagine if someone like that actually existed?

11.  Soundtrack to your life?

Well, most days, when things are going fairly well, it’s pretty much this:

 

 

But there’s also this:

 

 

And this:

 

 

(Also, in that one, note the Mortimer cameo at 3:24!)

And, let’s face it, given the clowns I usually have surrounding me, some days I feel like it might as well be this:

 

 

And last but not least, if I’m honest, when I’m in one of my more puckish moods, this:

 

 

Also, the kazzoo?  That’s totally me.

 

So, next up.  This is the part where I’m supposed to link 11 more blogs, and give those bloggers 11 questions of their own to answer.  One problem, though — I was going back through some blogs to tag, and while there are a few that still haven’t gotten a nomination already, for every one I found that no one had gotten to, there were like 10 would-be nominees that were already off the table.  So, you know, if you do the math there, that means that in order to pull together my 11, I would have to rifle through something like 110 blogs, and, I mean…I’m just way too lazy for that shit.  I mean really.

SO.  Here’s where I cheat a little and change things up, so I can still do some tagging and point some attention to some worthy bloggers, while also indulging my laziness.  STAND BACK, BITCHES, because your Warchief is about to flip the script like Lor’themar flips benches.

SO, here’s the deal.  I’m still going to toss out 11 questions to be answered, but instead of scraping together a blog list to tag, I am tagging…YOU.  That’s right, you — if you’re reading this post, consider yourself tagged, so you scroll your ass right down to the comments and post a reply with your 11 answers.  NO DUCKING OUT ON THIS COMMAND FROM YOUR WARCHIEF, PEOPLE.  Especially if you’re one of my regular readers and commenters — I know you’re out there, and I know who you are, and most importantly I KNOW WHERE MANY OF YOU LIVE.

And now, the questions.  READ ’EM AND WEEP.

  1. Do you write a blog?  Link it here if so!
  2. What was the first Azerothian blog you ever read?  Was there an early memorable post that hooked you?
  3. Recommended reading, part one!  Link and endorse three bloggers that you’d encourage your fellow readers and minions should check out.
  4. Recommended reading, part two — link one single post, from wherever, that makes you think “OMG, people HAVE to read this.”
  5. How long have you been reading the Command Board?  What post or storyline was your jumping-on point?
  6. One more chance for shameless self-promotion: Are you on Twitter?  Give yourself a non-Friday #FF here if so.  Also feel free to recommend a few accounts worth following.
  7. What class do you play on Earth Online?  (Don’t try to deny that you play.  I know my readers.)
  8. What real-life ability to do you wish your Earth Online character could use?
  9. Here, I’ll throw a bone to Utvoch.  The age-old hoof question: Fem-taur or draenei girls?
  10. Whose head would you rather have on a pike, Varian’s or Magatha’s?
  11. If the world were going to end (or change substantially) in, say, oh, six months or so, what would be your bucket list of things you’d want to get done first?

There, you have your assignment.  Get to it!  YOUR WARCHIEF HAS SPOKEN.

The Tao of Ji Firepaw

Posted in General, Transcripts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

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So since that last little…discovery…Liadrin’s been buzzing around Orgrimmar, helping with the relocated refugees.  At least as far as the world at large can see.  Most of the new arrivals have settled in pretty well.  A few are pretty eager for some payback against the Alliance, in fact, so we’ve even gotten a few new recruits out of the deal.

Mostly, though, she’s been helping Shayari get adjusted.  Ordinarily, I wouldn’t be too keen on a blood elf taking up the job of teaching someone what it means to be Horde, but I’ve worked with Liadrin enough to know she’s got a pretty good head on her shoulders.  Plus Shayari already seems to be on decent enough terms with her, so she’s probably going to be more comfortable with Liadrin than she would with some other random person.

Meanwhile, I had a meeting this morning with Krog, who was reporting on a few investigations he was working on while I was in Pandaria.  What he found ended up prompting me to schedule another impromptu meeting this afternoon.

Kicking it over to Tak’s record…

 

(Yay!  I get to be Mr. Warchief’s scribe again!  Mr. Warchief looked super serious, so I guess this was a big important meeting.  Ms. Ben-Lin Panda Lady was there, and so was Mr. Krog, another orc I don’t know too well.  I’m sure he’s nice, though!  Mr. Warchief must have a hard job if he needs so many people to help him!  I hope I do okay!

Mr. Malkorok came in at the start of the meeting, but he only stayed for a minute.  He didn’t look very happy, though.  He should smile more!  I bet he wouldn’t be so grumpy then.  He brought Mr. Goblin and Mr. Ji Panda Man with him.  I think maybe their feet were sore, because Mr. Malkorok was carrying them by their collars.  That’s nice of him!  Maybe he’s starting to be nicer!)

MALKOROK – Here they are, Warchief.  Let me know if they cause you any…difficulty.  (flinging Spazzle and Ji into the room)  I’ll be only too happy to use less of a soft touch to show them out.

(I guess not.  He seems so mean sometimes.  I don’t understand why.  =(  )

GARROSH – That’ll be all for now, Malk.  I’ll check in with you later.

MALKOROK – Yes, sir.  If you’ll excuse me, then, I have a few matters to see to with the provisioners.

(Mr. Malkorok left.  Yay!)

SPAZZLE(rubbing his head)  So… um… what’s going on, boss?  You know if you wanted to see me, you could have just shot me an IM, or—

GARROSH – Yeah, well, I wanted to make sure you got over here without any extra stops along the way.

JI – Oh.  Um… is it a surprise party or something?

(Ooh is it?  I love parties!  Yay!)

GARROSH – Oh, there’ve been some surprises, all right.

JI – Is there cake?

SPAZZLE – Ji…

GARROSH – But this is no party.

(Oh.  =(  )

SPAZZLE – So… what’s up, boss?

(Mr. Warchief looked back at Mr. Krog and Ms. Ben-Lin-Lin.  Then he turned back and stared at Mr. Goblin and Mr. Ji for a minute.  He looked really angry – I wish he wouldn’t get so upset!)

GARROSH – Did you really think I wasn’t going to find out?

SPAZZLE(blinking)  Um…?

JI – I don’t think I underst—

GARROSH – YOU keep quiet, Paddington.  I’ll get to you.  (turning back to Spazzle)  Now then.  Back to you.

SPAZZLE – Uh… okay…

GARROSH – See, I’ve had Krog here looking into a few security matters while I’ve been away.  And, oh man, did he ever have an earful for me this morning.

SPAZZLE – Oh…  So, um… what was Krog… uh… looking into, chie—

GARROSH- Don’t sit there and act like you don’t already know, dammit.  Don’t insult my intelligence on top of everything else.

(Mr. Goblin started looking really nervous.)

GARROSH(pointing to Ji)  Now, THIS one I could understand, because seriously, who knows WHAT Stuffed-With-Fluff here is thinking any given day.  But YOU?  You’re the last one of ANY of these clowns I would have expected to go sneaking around behind my back.

SPAZZLE – I… sneaking around…  (eyes going wide)  Oh… oh frak

GARROSH – OH FRAK IS RIGHT, whatever the fuck it means.  Did you SERIOUSLY think I wasn’t going to find out you were getting mixed up in this Mokvar business?

SPAZZLE – I swear, boss, I only ever talked to Vol—V—ohlOh.  Oh!  Oh…yeah.  The Mokvar business!  Right.  That’s…that’s what I’ve been doing, all right.  Red-handed, yes sir.  That is indeed the entirety of my suspect behavior, absolutely.  Don’t, um, don’t know what I was thinking, chief!  (slapping his own hand repeatedly)  Bad!  Bad Spazzle!

GARROSH – Dude, seriously, you are so fucking weird sometimes.

(Everyone’s so upset today!  It makes me sad.  =(  )

JI – Garrosh, you shouldn’t be angry with Spazzle.  I was the one that—

GARROSH – Believe me, Deep-Dish, there’s PLENTY of blame to go around.  From what I can tell, you’ve BOTH been keeping plenty busy.  MATTER OF FACT – Krog, you wanna give them the short version before they start getting a case of patchwork memory?

KROG – Yes, sir.  (flipping through a note pad)  Shortly after Eitrigg banished Mokvar

GARROSH – Only good move the old prune made while I was away, by the way.

KROG – …Fizzletrinket was observed meeting with Mokvar and the human Deliana in Everlook, Winterspring.

SPAZZLE – Wait, how did you trail me to Everlook?

KROG – I’m a rogue.  Work it out.

SPAZZLE – But why were you observing me?

KROG – I observe everyone.

GARROSH – He’s very thorough.

SPAZZLE – But I hadn’t done anything—

GARROSH – Until you did?

KROG – To continue…  (flipping through pad again)  No unusual behavior observed until some weeks later.  A short time after the purge of Dalaran, Fizzletrinket is known to have reached out to Earthen Ring contacts in and around Orgrimmar.  Shortly thereafter, Firepaw observed traveling to Earthen Ring outpost in Twilight Highlands.  Subsequent investigation indicated Firepaw had approached Earthen Ring elders concerning locating Mokvar.

GARROSH – So.  Here’s where one of you starts talking.  I don’t really care which one.

(Mr. Goblin and Mr. Ji stared at the floor.  Maybe they didn’t hear Mr. Warchief?  Oh, or did someone drop something?)

GARROSH – Okay then.  How about this.  Why weeks of nothing, then all of a sudden you jump into Mokvar mode?  Was it a signal?  Some message he got to you somehow, maybe something you planned for at your little get-together in Winterspring?

JI – We haven’t heard anything from Mokvar, no…

GARROSH – I know he gave you something, Greenie.  Some— what was it, Krog?

KROG – A small parcel, sir.  Delivered to Fizzletrinket in Everlook.  I wasn’t able to confirm what it was exactly.

GARROSH – Yeah.  So…was that part of it?  Or is it some other surprise I get to look forward to?

SPAZZLE – It… it was a totem.

GARROSH – Go on.

SPAZZLE – It’s called a recall totem.  Shamans attune themselves to them so they can teleport back home with their Astral Recall spell.

GARROSH – And Mokvar was giving it to you because…?

SPAZZLE – So… when this was all over…he could bring himself home.

GARROSH – Oh, so you mean, back home to the place he got himself BANISHED from?  And you just went right ahead and helped him set up to pop back into town and do spirits-knows-what he’s planning?

SPAZZLE – It doesn’t really matter at this point…

JI – You don’t know that.

GARROSH – What the hell does that mean?

SPAZZLE – The totem… the totem went out.  It fizzled out.  The spirit link between Mokvar and the totem was broken, and the only reason that would happen is if Mokvar was dead.  Like, for-real dead.

JI – We still can’t be sure.

SPAZZLE – You only say that because you’re not a shaman.  You don’t understand.

JI – I say it because I’m not a pessimist.

SPAZZLE – Anyway.  That’s…that’s why we were trying to reach the Earthen Ring.  To see if there was any way to find out for sure what happened to Mokvar.

GARROSH – You just said he’s dead.  What else is there to know?

SPAZZLE(shrugging)  I don’t know.

GARROSH – Huh.  Dead.  (thinks)  Good then.  Best news I’ve heard all day.

BEN-LIN – Garrosh, please—

GARROSH – Not now, Ben.

BEN-LIN – If he is indeed gone, there is nothing to be gained from—

GARROSH – Ben, CAN it.  So.  You two.  Why?

SPAZZLE(staring down)  I guess I just wanted to believe there was a reason for all the weird things he was doing.

BEN-LIN – Garrosh, it does not appear there was really any harm in—

GARROSH – DAMMIT, BEN, STOP ACTING LIKE MOKVAR WAS SOME POOR INNOCENT VICTIM!  I still don’t understand half the shit he was doing, but I don’t need to.  Dealing with some human, with that Neeru Fireblade…most of all cutting some kind of deal with MAGATHA.  You haven’t been around that long, Ben, so I don’t expect you to have any idea what that MEANS—

BEN-LIN – I understand your anger, Garrosh.  But what Ji and Spazzle have done—

GARROSH – IS THE SAME DAMN THING.  (glaring back at Spazzle and Ji)  Listen… I can deal with the bitching from Baine.  And I can take it from Lorthe’motherfucker, because what else would I expect from him?  And I can take it from Sylvanas, because let’s face it, she’s kind of evil anyway.  They come with the job.  I inherited them.  But THEM… Spazzle and Mokvar… I CHOSE them.  I fucking LET THEM IN.  And now—

BEN-LIN – And now you feel betrayed and angry.  I understand.

GARROSH – Is this where you give me one of your speeches about pushing the anger down and burying it, or some shit?

BEN-LIN – Not at all.  Your emotions are real and valid.  They cannot be contained and ignored, or they will only fester; they must be let out, and dealt with.

GARROSH – Listen, you’re here to help me try to talk sense to Double Stuff over there, not to start fortune cookie-ing on me.

SPAZZLE – Look, chief, I get why you’re mad, and I’m sorry…

JI – I’m not.

GARROSH(blinking)  Excuse me?

BEN-LIN(facepawing)  And here we go.

JI – I’m not sorry.  Mokvar is my friend.  He’s your friend, too.  I don’t know why you’ve chosen to forget that, but I don’t regret trying to help him.

GARROSH – Lunchbox, maybe you just haven’t been paying attention to what the fuck’s been going on, or maybe it all just slipped out of your damn head, what with all the bacon fat you’ve got up there apparently—

SPAZZLE – Whew, and I thought I was in trouble up to a minute ago.

GARROSH – …but I tried to help Mokvar too, when all the weird crap started happening.  I tried to PROTECT him – and he thanked me by running around with at least two and maybe three or four of enemies.  If he was such a great friend, you want to explain to me why he’d be dealing with the likes of Magatha?  Riddle me THAT one, Pudge.

JI – I don’t know.

GARROSH – Yeah, so—

JI – That doesn’t mean he had no reasons for doing what he did.  It only means we don’t know what those reasons were.  Until I find out, why should I assume the worst?

GARROSH – Because you’ve got an ounce of sense in your head?  OH WAIT, APPARENTLY YOU DON’T.

JI – Garrosh, I don’t know all of what Mokvar was doing, but I know he’s a good man.  So whatever he’s done, I’m willing to trust it was what he needed to do.

GARROSH – Yeah, well, that’s great, Second-Serving, but you know what?  Some of us have to live in fucking REALITY-LAND.

JI – Garrosh—

GARROSH – Seriously, Ben, do you hear this shit?

BEN-LIN – I do.

GARROSH – I don’t know where he gets this crap.

BEN-LIN – We study it, sir.

GARROSH – Yeah, well— what?

BEN-LIN – Consider, Garrosh: I know – well, I suspect – you are already familiar with the Huojin philosophy of action, that challenges are to be faced directly and decisively.

GARROSH – Yeah, I remember one of you people yammering about that when you first got here.

JI – That was me.

GARROSH – It was?

JI – Yes, sir.  Right before you made us fight an arena full of monsters.

GARROSH – Ah.  Well then.

BEN-LIN – And while we hold to this ideal of decisive action, Garrosh, another key component for us is that those actions be based upon the world as it is, not as the world as we might wish it to be.

JI – Otherwise, you expend your energy trying to force square pegs into round holes, then raging at the pegs for not fitting.

BEN-LIN – It is a point I have tried to make with you before, Garrosh.  Much of your anger, I feel, stems from insisting of the world, “This is not supposed to be happening this way,” then attempting to force it to happen some other way.

GARROSH – Funny, I feel pretty sure it stems from the fact that I’m surrounded by TRAITORS AND FUCKING MORONS.

KROG – Um…

GARROSH – Not you, K.

BEN-LIN – “Traitors and morons,” as you put it—

GARROSH – FUCKING morons.  Not just garden variety.

BEN-LIN – …being a perception, you see, grounded on the insistence that those people’s choices and intellects should be something other than they are.

GARROSH – I… erm… what the FUCK does any of this have to do with fucking ANYTHING?  I don’t even know what we’re fucking TALKING about!

JI – It’s not that complicated, Garrosh.  Things happen in the right way, at the right time – when you let them, rather than struggling against them.  Mokvar needed to act.  So he followed the path that the world placed before him.  Just as I, faced with a friend in danger, acted by following the path that was available to me.

BEN-LIN – According to Huojin, the greatest wrong would be not to act.

GARROSH – Oh for fuck’s sake… Well, whatever, Heaping-Helping, your “paths” or whatever have reached a dead end.

JI – Actually, I’d wanted to ask you, I was thinking—

GARROSH – Well DON’T.  DON’T think.  Just do what you’re fucking told for once.  Starting with parking yourself at home and staying there.  (turning to Krog)  Krog – escort Stay-Puft here back to his house, and make sure he stays there.  I’ll have a guard sent over to keep an eye on the door.

KROG – Yes, sir.

GARROSH – Consider yourself under house arrest until I decide what to do with you.

JI – But I think there still might be a—

GARROSH – THERE’S NOT.  THE END.  Now GO.

JI – If you say so, Garrosh.  Time will tell, I suppose…

(Mr. Krog left with Mr. Ji.  I’m confused.  Everybody seems so upset and nervous and they’re yelling and arguing and nobody seems to be getting along even though we’re all friends and I don’t understand why.  It gives me sad kitty face.  =(  )

SPAZZLE – Really, chief, try not to be too hard on him.  He’s just been worried since Mokvar disappeared, and—

GARROSH – Why are you talking like you’re off the hook now yourself?

SPAZZLE – Um…

GARROSH – You can count yourself lucky that, far as I can see, you’ve mostly just been the messenger in all this.  And BOTH of you are lucky Mokvar’s gone to the big rez timer in the sky, otherwise I wouldn’t be nearly so generous with either one of you.  But you, Short Stack, you can consider yourself under house arrest too while I cool down.  Just so happens, I’m not so worried about you trying to skip town before I post the guard.

SPAZZLE – Uh…yeah, okay, chief… I guess I can keep myself busy online for a while, while you…you know…think things over.

GARROSH – I mean, seriously, with all the time you spend on Earth Online, you’ve practically been on self-imposed house arrest almost the whole time I’ve known you.  You’ll live.

BEN-LIN – I think it is wise that you are not rushing to a decision with angry, Garrosh.

GARROSH – Yeah, whatever, Ben.  Anyway, Spazzle, you get your tail back home pronto.  I need to go track down Faranell and see if he’s finished those tests on Shayari yet.

BEN-LIN – Shayari?

SPAZZLE – Yeah, she’s…  (stopping himself, looking to Garrosh)  Um, that is…

GARROSH(shrugging)  Whatever, I’d end up telling her anyway.  Shayari’s my daughter.  We think.

BEN-LIN – Your… you have a daughter, Garrosh?

SPAZZLE – It’s okay if you need to sit down.  I did at first.

GARROSH – Yeah, we think so.  Faranell’s doing his tests now, but her story seems to check out.

BEN-LIN – I see.  (thinking)  Well then.  I will clear my schedule for the next week.

GARROSH – Turns out, she was born back in Nagrand when I was like eighteen, only I never knew about her until just a few days ago.

BEN-LIN – So…you have a long-lost, newfound…teenage daughter?

GARROSH – Yeah.

BEN-LIN – Very well.  The next two weeks.

SPAZZLE – You haven’t heard the best part yet.

BEN-LIN – Oh dear.

GARROSH – Uh, yeah, she’s…kind of…well, her mother was draenei.  Shayari was living with the Alliance in Dalaran until, you know, the shit hit the fan and Jaina kicked her out…

BEN-LIN – A month.  One month, but that is as far as I can go.

GARROSH – Anyhow.  I need to go find the doc.  Might as well get this confirmed, as if there’s any doubt left at this point, what with how Mortimer is doting over her.  I’ll expect you back at your house before the guard gets there.  Don’t make me come looking for you, Greenie.

(Mr. Warchief left, still grumbling a little.)

BEN-LIN – A daughter… why that is… How old did you say she is?

SPAZZLE – Seventeen, I think.

BEN-LIN – Goodness, that is…that is simply remarkable!  And he had no idea until now?

SPAZZLE – You wouldn’t ask that if you’d seen the shade of gray he turned when he found out.

BEN-LIN – My word… This is astounding!  Garrosh reunited with an unknown daughter, from across faction lines!  I scarcely have words for it!

SPAZZLE – Huh.  You know, not for anything, but you seem really jazzed about this.

BEN-LIN – Are you kidding?  (beaming)  This is going to put my grandchildren through college.

 

 

[A quick update on the Transmogs for Shayari contest!  First of all, thank you to the many readers who have already sent in outfits for Shay – they’ve been great so far, so keep them coming!  I just wanted to correct an error that I noticed in the original announcement: I had listed the deadline for the contest as Saturday, February 27.  This is problematic, in that February 27 is not a Saturday.  Don’t ask me what happened there.  I was probably having another one of my many episodes.  At any rate, I figure I may as well err on the side of giving people more time rather than less, so let’s revise the due date to the next Saturday after the 27th, which would be March 1.

I think.  Hang on.

<checks calendar all paranoid-like>

Yes, there we go.  So, officially: the deadline for the Transmogs for Shay contest is SATURDAY, MARCH 1!  Get thee to mogging!]

Monday mailbag

Posted in Mailbag with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

mailbag29

Okay, people, it’s been WAY too long since I’ve dipped into the ol’ mailbag, and I have a HUGE backlog of letters, so let’s get right to it, shall we?

 

Hail Warchief!

The Feast of Winter Veil is approaching, and it made me think. What do you hope to get from Greatfather Winter this year? Do you have any special family traditions? I look forward to seeing Orgrimmar all decorated for the festivities.
Happy Holidays!

–Lorewalker Shara

PS you may want to avoid using tinsel to decorate around Mortimer, unless you like festive poop! Might be a good idea to keep Taktani away from it too, thinking about it.

Hey, Shara, thanks for writing.  Hopefully Orgrimmar is looking all Winter Veily these days.  I’ll be back for a check-in soon, but I’m probably only going to make it back to town JUST in time to catch the end of the festivities.  As for my wish list… I remember addressing this point a couple years ago, and most of the stuff on that list still stands – especially Varian and Magatha’s heads on pikes – but there are a few more things I can think of that I might add to the list for this year.

  • An actual explanation that makes sense for what the hell was going on with Mokvar while I was away.
  • A wireless network here in Pandaria that’s actually reliable, so I can log onto Earth Online without it being a fucking comedy show.
  • An on-site goblin tech guy who can maintain that network without the whole thing going kablooey and spitting out two burnt pieces of toast every time there’s a breeze, because let me tell you, Grizzle Gearslip ain’t happening.

Come to think of it, so far all of these could pretty much be covered if I could get a bunch more Spazzles.  Because really, as much as I clown on the guy, he actually knows what he’s doing and gets shit done, and unlike half these other jokers, I don’t have to worry about him running around behind my back doing spirits-know-what.  So, other additions to the list:

  • A scribe that doesn’t have traitorous tendencies, a busted-up writing hand, or the disposition of a six-year-old on a sugar high from eating all the Hallow’s End candy EVER.
  • The secret to controlling the sha.
  • A First War commemorative chess set.  This is the normal-sized, less creepy version of the chess set Medivh had over in Karazhan.  It’s been rumored to be in the works for years, and I’ve finally started to see them showing up on ebAH.  Yes, I play chess.  Don’t act all surprised, for fuck’s sake.
  • Varian’s head on a pike.  Did I mention this one?

As far as having family traditions for Winter Veil…not really.  I mean, keep in mind, Winter Veil is a pretty recent thing for us Mag’har.  We didn’t have Winter Veil back in Nagrand, so we only started picking it up at all after Thrall came out to Garadar a few years ago.  Greatmother Geyah really has taken a liking to it, but that’s about it.  Plus, not to get maudlin and shit, but it’s kind of hard to have family traditions when you don’t really have a family.  I mean, I never knew my dad, and my mom died when I was young.  I’m an only child.  As far as I know.  Assuming Grom wasn’t a bigger pimp than anybody’s given him credit for.  Anyhow, point being, Greatmother is pretty much the only family I’ve got nowadays, and even SHE’s not a blood relation – she’s just the one that raised me after Lakkara died.  So, yeah.  AREN’T YOU HAPPY YOU BROUGHT THAT UP?  BET YOU FEEL PROUD.

 

Greetings Warchief!

I am in desperate need of your assistance. I approached Regent Lord Lor’themar with my issue but he said that it was beyond his scope and directed me to contact you.

I recently inherited a house and it is in terrible need of redecoration. You have done a great deal of renovation recently and I was wondering if you could give me some tips to make my house look amazing. Attached is a picture of the house.

WoWScrnShot_112313_213143

Thanks,

–Tegwin

Grats on the new house, Tegwin.  Not so grats on the place looking like such a shithole.  Because, yeah, that place needs some work.  I mean, seriously…the wispy, billowy day-glow curtains?  A bearskin rug with the bear head still attached?  Strewn out there like you’re getting ready to do a photo shoot you already know you’re going to regret in five years?  And… Is…is that a hookah?  Just sitting there, right out in the open, in the living room?  What are you, one semester removed from college and stuck with a slacker troll roommate who keeps swearing he’ll have his half of the rent this month, and this time he means it, mon, only you know perfectly well that’s not happening because felweed’s a hell of a drug?

So, okay, a few things.  You have to lose the pastels, first of all.  I know that probably goes against every last one of your blood elf sensibilities, but trust me on this.  You want strong, commanding colors – the kind that will make people think “Holy fuck, some serious shit goes on in this place” when they walk in.  Lots of reds and grays.  Err on the side of darker.  Go too dark with the red and you get a bloody crimson, which is still pretty badass.  Go too light and you get pink.  See where I’m going with this?

Mount some weapons on the walls.  If you haven’t cleaned them lately and they’ve got some bloodstains, all the better.  It adds to the color scheme I’m talking about, plus it conveys a message of “This person is not to be fucked with.”  Spikes.  You can never have too many spikes.  Or skulls.  Get some skulls in there.  If you can carve up the body of one of your enemies and, say, make their skull into a chair for yourself, awesome.  Or maybe turn their bones into an end table.  A hat rack will do in a pinch.  If you haven’t killed any notable enemies lately, but you’ve got an infamous foe that you really only know by reputation but somebody in your family killed, and you have THEIR remains somewhere handy, that’s just as good, because that fucker was brought down by your bloodline (AGAIN NOTICE THE BLOOD MOTIF) and you totally deserve to share credit for the accomplishment.

This is all for your living room, of course, and I know my tastes can be a little hardcore.  I figured you might want to take it down a notch or two for your bedroom, so I went to Garona to get a woman’s opinion.  Didn’t get very far, though.  I told her I had a question about the bedroom and tried to ask her if she matches her rugs and curtains, or words to that effect, but she just got all pissy for some reason.  So, not much help there.  I seriously don’t know what’s up with her sometimes.

Speaking of which…

 

Dear Warchief,

I’m writing this letter to you in secret and I hope it gets to you and I’m not killed in the process.  *looks around*

It’s about Garona Halforcen.  Sir, she scares the everliving shi—uh—crap out of me.  *looks around again*

I happened upon some history stuff about her and now I’m all confused.  She was there when the first invasion from the Dark Portal, then she had a kid with an old man, and she is half-orc, half-dradne dranin demon *looks up spelling* DRAENAI.  (She looks like an orc.  Smells like one too.  I don’t see it.)

Now I’m all confused and sitting in a dark tunnel with a lot of thinking time had me thinking about her again.

What I want to know…*looks around*

How old is she?  She’s got to be like….ANCIENT.  *hides paper, looks around*

She doesn’t make sense and I don’t want to ask her.  She’s scary.

–Ruekie, Shaman In Training

PS:  There’s a lot of talk lately with the orc kids about the Red Pox, and if there is something scarier than Garona it’s that. I heard you had it once. Did it hurt? Can you get it again? Can we get it? Can an outbreak happen again? Too many questions and we are getting freaked out. Like FREAKED out. Really.

Okay, first of all… Um, Ruekie, you realize we were JUST in those caves all alone and out of earshot of Garona, right?  Not sure why you didn’t just ask your questions THEN, but whatever.  Kids.

First, the Red Pox?  No, seriously, you don’t want to get into the Red Pox, that was just a bad scene all around.  I don’t know why you kids would be talking about it now, but really, just let that shit die.  Nobody needs to be digging up THOSE memories for anybody.

Okay, now that that’s settled, on to your main point.  Yeah, I’ll grant you the scary thing with Garona.  Scariest bitch I know who hasn’t come back from the dead.  Although it’s probably a sad statement about my life that the list of people I know who HAVE come back from dead is a lot longer than you would figure.  Because – I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before – NOBODY STAYS FUCKING DEAD ANYMORE.

Anyway, here’s the deal with Garona.  Yeah, she’s half orc, half draenei.  Back in the day, Gul’dan bred an orc and a draenei to create a personal assassin – enter Garona.  Yeah, she looks mostly orcish, but I guess these racial mixes are kind of a crap shoot as far as which race’s physical traits you get.

Anyhow, to tell you the truth, I’m not sure exactly when Gul’dan actually orchestrated her birth.  I know it was definitely before the Dark Portal opened, and that was about 30 years ago, but before that, there was a window of about 20 years when Gul’dan was up to some Really Bad Shit, so the breeding experiment could have happened anywhere in there.  Let’s shave off the first couple years to give Gul’dan time to come up with this idea and for Garona to be brought to term.  That would mean that Garona would have to be anywhere from, say, 32 (She’s not.  Seriously.  I’m 35.  There’s no damn way she’s younger than me.) to around 48 or so.  Anywhere in between, your guess is as good as mine.

Hang on, though – this gets more complicated when you add the fact that Gul’dan had Garona aged magically so that she could get right to work, no childhood needed.  Swell guy, huh?  Anyway, the age of adulthood among orcs varies a little from clan to clan, usually somewhere from 13 to 15.  (Yeah, I know, kid, can you believe it?  Technically you’re an adult.  Hard to imagine you’re a grown-up, huh?  Well, let me clue you in on a little secret: That thought won’t stop seeming weird for another 20 years.)  So that would mean, however old Garona is according to the calendar, she really has the body of a woman 13-some-odd years older.  So now we’re looking at a physical age putting her somewhere between 45 and, like, 60-something.  Which is kind of a big deal when you consider that 70 is about as old as you could reasonably hope to live as an orc, even if you do a perfect job taking care of yourself.

Oh, but hang on, we’re not done yet.  It’s about to get more complicated.  (Don’t look at me – I didn’t make this shit up.)  Because, see, since Garona has that draenei half, her aging is even more fucked up.  Draenei live for…like…forever.  I mean seriously, I think the average draenei lifespan is something like “infinity minus twelve.”  So you mix THOSE genes in with our good, wholesome “70 if you’re super lucky” orcish genes, and…well… You’ve got a woman who’s technically, like, 40, only with the body of a 53-year-old, only not really because 53 doesn’t mean anywhere near the same thing to the draenei part of her, so…um… Who the fuck knows?

She’s old, okay?  Only she’s kind of not.  Only she is.  Whatever – you go figure it out.  Meanwhile I’m going to go check around the room and make sure there aren’t any whooshing sounds coming from the corners.

 

The following is written in elegant, but slightly shaky, cursive script on pale peach-colored parchment paper

My dear little Roshy,

How are you doing? I have missed you. It’s beautiful here in Nagrand – we’re having the most glorious late-fall weather.  I hope all is well in Orgrimmar.

Why didn’t you tell me you have a girlfriend?  Sounds serious too… She has been sending me letters telling me about how deeply in love you both are, and has included many pictures of you with little hearts and flowers drawn on them.  She says you’re getting married in the spring?  Why didn’t you mention it?  You would think you’d keep your own family informed, dear.  We’ll have to have a little chat the next time you visit.  You are coming home for Winter Veil, are you not?

Also, you should take some pictures of the two of you together.  And perhaps find a new photo studio.  These look like they were printed on magazine paper instead of proper photo paper.  I can’t properly frame them for display, especially not with the lipstick kisses smeared all over them.

All my love,

–Greatmother Geyah.

Hold on, hold on, what… how the… it… GODDAMMIT, SOMEBODY IS FALSIFYING RECORDS OF THEIR WARCHIEF, and…and…  Oh fucking hell, now I’m going to have to go out there and explain Photoshop to her.  It was bad enough when I had the bright idea to try to show her the internet.  Nothing in my e-mail for two months but forwarded pictures of wyverns asking for cheeseburgers.  And WHO is this woman who’s…ugh.  You know what?  I don’t even think I want to know.  Even though I can probably think of a couple likely suspects.

Now I’m just imagining somewhere in Orgrimmar there’s a dim, candle-lit room with walls covered by pictures of me, and…no, no, don’t even go any further with that, Garrosh.  That way madless lies.

And now on top of everything, I have to squeeze in a trip to Nagrand before Winter Veil totally runs out on me, or I’m never going to hear the end of it.  Ugh.  Maybe I’ll bring Gurtash, and see if I can maybe distract her a little with the cute kid factor.  Or Ruekie?  I bet she’d like Ruekie.  Plus Rook might want someplace to hide anyway, what with her probably having Garona out for her head as soon as this post goes live.

 

Very good to hear you have escaped the Saurok caves unharmed. The Horde would be in a very dire position if we were to lose our leader.

I do have one question. Have you ever thought of asking a mage if they could manage to conjure lemon squares? I have no complaints, but the same old sticky buns are a bit tiring after some time (not to mention they turn stale and hard as a rock after some time sitting in a bag). Perhaps you should collaborate with my wife? I am sure she would be very good to collaborate with, or maybe another mage closer to your location.

Regards,

–Shen-Wei Pureblossom

Thanks for writing, Shen-Wei.  You know, I HAVE thought of this lemon squares angle before, but here’s the thing.  First off, there was a point around this time last year that I really thought Gija down in the Cleft of Shadow was on to something, but the problem is, lemon squares don’t really lend themselves to conjuring, apparently.  I mean, you can abracadabra up some pastries that are sorta, KINDA in the same ballpark as lemon squares, but you can tell they’re not the real thing.  It’s like the drop-off from real leather to that fake shit that the damn DEHTA hippies try to pass off and think they’re fooling anybody.  And once you’re used to eating the real thing, I mean, come on.  It would be like going from having me as Warchief to, I don’t even know, a fucking TROLL or something.

Second of all, having spent my whole life eating those lemon squares, let me tell you, we don’t need mages recreating Greatmother’s recipe, because IT’S ALREADY MAGICAL.  (See?  See how I’m already working on smoothing things over with her?  For real, I’m so fucking diplomatic you could just shit a brick.)

Also, even setting all that aside… Nothing personal, but I don’t take anybody up on any suggestions that include the phrase “perhaps you should collaborate with my wife” ever since the Incident That Shall Not Be Discussed over at Tharl Stonebleeder’s house.  Now stop making me think about things that cannot be unthought.  MOVING ON.

 

Hail Warchief.

Rumors are flying that there is a red pox outbreak. Is this anything like the scourge?

–Kelytas, Blood Elf Paladin, Borean Tundra

Wait, again with the Red Pox?  No!  We’re not going to talk about the Red Pox.  Why the fuck is everybody so curious about the Red Pox all of a sudden?

 

I really enjoyed that Photo-Op you had with King Varian a while ago.  I couldn’t help but notice that King Varian had a wonderful tousled-Anime-pigtail thing going on that was at the same time sexy but tough, and you…well, you just look cranky.

I checked in with the Couturier Barbershop in downtown Orgrimmar and was quite frankly shocked at the dismal array of hairstyles available.  An up-swept Mohawk with a scarf?  Are you kidding me?

I know you might have a couple of things on your plate right now but seriously, you really need to look into this before the entire Horde start looking like extras from Naxxramas.

Maybe you could contact King Varian, find out who does his hair and we could have a Stylist Exchange with one of our Barbers so they could learn some new hair techniques and bring back the Glory of the Horde.

I also noticed that our Tailors are in desperate need of new patterns.  Malevolent-style silk pantaloons?  Really?  That is so last-season…

–A Concerned Fashionista Blood Elf

Lor’themar, is that you?

Yeah, let me get right on that.  I’ll send a special diplomatic courier right over to Stormwind with a note that says, “Who does your hair??”  Yeah, that would go over great, I’m sure.

Hmm.  Actually, come to think of it, a message like that would probably seem SO weird to Varian that it might fuck with his head a little.  Like, I can totally imagine him reading that and thinking, “Garrosh wouldn’t give a shit about my hair…WHAT IS HE UP TO?”  And then he gets all paranoid and shit.  And meanwhile I’m just sitting back and not doing anything, and the longer this goes on the more paranoid he gets – ESPECIALLY when it’s time for him to go to the barber, because, hey, THIS IS WHAT GARROSH WAS ASKING ABOUT.  And maybe he gets so messed up and suspicious that he stops going to the barber altogether, and his hair grows and grows, and finally he’s just got this total mess of a rat’s nest on his head, until maybe he eventually can’t stand it anymore and shaves it all off and ends up bald.  Same as me.

There you have it, ACFBE.  Problem solved.  Garrosh comes out ahead of the curve yet again.  Boom.

 

Hail, Warchief!

I’m studying Orcish History at school and need to write an essay. I thought I’d write about the Red Pox and it’s impact, and I thought it would be neat if I could quote you on the subject, if you don’t mind.

I know it was a terrible illness, but there aren’t any first-hand records that I’ve been able to find. What was it like to live with the Red Pox? Do you remember much from those years? Did you notice any major differences between Orcish society as a whole and the way Orcs lived in Garadar? Pretty much anything you can remember would be great.

Thanks!

–Anonymous Scholar, Orgrimmar

Okay, so at least NOW I have some idea of why everybody’s got the Red Pox on the brain this week.  So okay, fine, just this once I’ll talk about it, seeing as I’m probably one of the only Red Pox survivors a lot of these kids will have the chance to meet.

It sucked.

What, you wanted more?  FINE.

I’m not going to waste time going over the symptoms, because there must already be records of that, and I’m pretty sure neither one of us wants to spend our lunch break reviewing my childhood vomiting habits.  But yeah, I had it as a kid, and even setting aside the physical suffering of it all, I can’t stress enough how much of an effect it had on the culture of Garadar.  I mean, you asked if there were any major differences between Garadar society and orcish society as a whole?  Fuck, what WASN’T different?  The Red Pox hung over our whole culture.  It touched everything.  We had whole generations who were born and died – prematurely, granted – under the bane of that thing.  That was the worst part of it, really – the sense of resignation it left us with.  It was like, for a lot of us, there was this sense that the Red Pox came for our grandparents, and then it came for our parents, and now it’s going to come for us.

Over the years, our shaman kept working to find a cure, and every so often there would be a glimmer of hope that maybe they had something.  But then there would always be some disaster that would undo it.  After a while that became part of the gloom and doom of it – the shaman would come up with a new possibility, and you never quite stopped hoping, but deep down you were thinking, “Okay, let’s see what fucks it up THIS time.”  Even when they finally did find a cure, and the suffering could finally end, a lot of us couldn’t even quite believe it was really happening.

Adding to all this, by the way, was the fact that over in Telaar, the draenei had their own parallel illness going on for a while.  It was called the lank distemper – or the “Lanks,” as a lot of folks ended up calling it.  Basically an infection that caused severe dehydration and loss of appetite, so the afflicted would wither down to these scrawny shadows of their former selves.  Sometimes the two diseases would flare up as if they had a contest going to see which one could kill more victims.  Which made for some miserable times for everybody involved.  Believe me, for anyone who was living through it, you do NOT want to get them started on the whole Lanks / Red Pox rivalry.

Is that enough?  Are you happy yet?  Or do I need to relive the time the conjured healing sphere rolled between Bullrok’s legs and into the lake, too?

 

Dear Garrosh;

Winter Veil is here! Time for a great orc cheer! Lok’tar!

I am so looking forward to making cookies and milk for Greatfather Winter this year with my new cooking skills I learned from Pilgrim’s Bounty holiday. I may even add some lemon squares to add some extra favor. I’m really hoping this year he’ll give me a ferocious armored bloodwing with exotic leather saddle for riding. That would be so cool! (Sigh, I’ll probably end up with another copper racer though.)

What are you hoping for Winter Veil this year, Mr. Garrosh sir?

Varian on a spire tree?

Blood and thunder!

–Ruekie, Shaman-Still-in-Training

PS: Greatfather Winter looks awful familiar, but I can’t quite figure it out. Kinda like Mr. Saurfang, but that would be impossible…I think. (Nothing is impossible with Mr. Saurfang.)

PPS: Winter Veil holiday is a great time for eating. Try no to eat too many lemon squares, though, sir. It doesn’t take much to make your muscles look like marshmallows.  D: 

Bye!

Wait, Ruekie AGAIN?  When the hell is she writing all these letters?  Fuck, maybe I should hire HER as a scribe, if this is how fast she can crank out pages.  Anyway.

So also, before we get into anything else…hang on, you want a BLOODWING for Winter Veil?  A frigging BAT?  All of a sudden, a WYVERN isn’t good enough for little miss tornado-pants?  You’ve seen Mortimer in action, up close and personal, and you’ve decided, “Nah, let’s give the universe a sporting chance – keep the wings, take away all the parts that really make the wyvern badass, and replace them with a giant blind rat”?  Are you KIDDING me?

I already answered the part about what I want for Winter Veil a few letters up, so no need to get into that again.  And I’m not going to dignify the lemon squares thing with a response.  But I have to comment on that thing you said about Greatfather Winter.  You know, one thing that people always say about Greatfather Winter is that there’s no way the guy could possibly fly all around the world and deliver presents to everyone in just one night.  Well, I think you might have found the one gaping hole in that theory.  So, next time you find yourself in an argument with some skeptic who doesn’t want to believe in Greatfather Winter, just unload this one on them:

“I’m telling you, there isn’t enough time for Greatfather Winter to do all that!  It isn’t physically possible!”

“What if Greatfather Winter is really Saurfang?”

“Oh… Um… Well then.”

 

Yo Mon!

I hear you had de red pox, mon. On dat game Earth Online dey has a disees call chicken pox. Es dat de same? (What do chickens haf to do wit dat?)

Dey say in dat game, once you hav it, you cannot get et again. Yah, mon, you are now invisible to dat disees, like de lich king’s horse.  Dat is good news!

Cheers, mon!

–Bobbette, Out der somewhere

Okay.

So.

I am beginning to get the very distinct impression that I may be getting trolled.

 

Hey mon!

What’s dis I be hearin’ about da Red Pox breakin’ out again?  It be all anybody be talkin’ ’bout dese days!  If you get it, does dat mean ya turns red?  I remember seein’ some red orcs back in Hellfire Peninsula, mon, was dey havin’ da Red Pox?  Dey go from green ta red?  Don’t get me wrong, mon, I don’t want nobody gettin’ sick, but if dere be anudda outbreak, look on da bright side – all dat red an’ green togetha be lookin’ nice an’ festive for Winter Veil!

–Bob, Shado-pan Monastery

I hate you.  I really, truly hate you.

 

Excuse me, Warchief, I write to you from Dustwallow marsh, I came here to see if I could find test subjects for a new flamethrower, and found something much more interesting, there is this mysterious woman on the road to the ruined theramore (hah!) and she seems to be able to send me back in time to look at theramore and the swamp before theramore was destroyed, I went to sleep at mudsprocket and woke up in present day. She seems upset that I was killing humans as soon as I was there, and refuses to send me again.

–Ritaba, Mudsprocket 

Wait, wait, hang on.  Let me get this straight.  You’re telling me that there’s someone hanging around Dustwallow Marsh sending people back in time to Theramore before we blew it up?  As in, making it possible to totally sidestep our whole victory and interact with the place like it was before?  That… fucking hell, THAT DEFEATS THE WHOLE POINT OF US BLOWING IT UP IF YOU CAN FUCKING DO THAT!

You know, this has the Bronze Dragonflight written all over it — or at least it WOULD, if it weren’t for the fact that this is PRECISELY THE SAME KIND OF SHIT they they’ve been recruiting people to PREVENT for years now, and by the way didn’t I just march through like 50 miles of steaming shit over their whole “integrity of the past” deal last year?!  But hey, apparently it’s NO BIG DEAL when you’re talking about Theramore, right?  SURE!  WHY NOT?  Hey, how about I zip on back to the past and start fucking with shit too, because I GUESS THAT’S ON THE MENU NOW, RIGHT?

Fucking dragons.  FUCKING TIME TRAVEL!

UGH!

 

I have been reading the history of Pandaria, and discovered something no one has bothered to take note of, seven burdens of Shaohao, the story of how the last emperor of Pandaria defeated the six sha and locked them away in a poor fashion (He couldn’t have kept them from causing havok any time someone gets cranky?), and there are older writings indicating a beast with seven heads, perhaps there is a seventh sha never recorded, it could be the key to controlling them.

–Yinsun, Vale of Eternal Blossoms

Now see, THIS is an example of some research that might actually be useful.  You might be on to something there, Yinsun.  It DOES seem kind of fishy that we have this story about Shaohao and his seven burdens, and this seven-headed thingamabob, and then we only have six sha that we know about.  It’s definitely worth considering whether we’ve got one more sha on the loose that nobody’s thought of.  (Hell, I was even bouncing ideas about this around with some people on Twitter a little while ago.)

For anybody keeping score at home, we might as well start with the basics.  Right now, we’ve got six sha accounted for: the Sha of Doubt, the Sha of Anger, the Sha of Despair, the Sha of Violence, the Sha of Hatred, and the Sha of Fear.

So, okay, let’s suppose there’s one more out there.  Since the sha we know about all seem to be named for pretty major negative emotions or vices…hmm…let’s see, what do we have left for major negatives?

There could be a Sha of Greed, I suppose.  Although…I mean, we have goblins with us, and I have to figure if there were a Sha of Greed, people like Grizzle Gearslip would be setting the fucker off left and right.  The Sha of Jealousy, maybe?  Makes sense on paper, but again, you’d figure we’d be having outbreaks all over the place, seeing as we’ve got a base full of people who’ve been watching me stroll around day after day.  And you KNOW the peeps get jelly when they feast their eyes to the pure awesome that is yours truly, amirite?

So we’re kind of running out of major vices to pair up with the missing sha.  What else is there?  Free-associate, Garrosh… hmm… the Sha of Gluttony?  The Sha of Sloth?  The Sha of Anteater?

Hang on…I think that line of thought took a wrong turn on me somehow.

Maybe we’re going about this wrong.  Time to think outside the box a little.  For all we know, this last sha could be kind of a niche sha, something more specific and less…well…grandiose.  Which might explain why this one might have been able to fly under the radar all this time.  So, let’s see, what else could be out there as the sneakier, subtler bane of our existence…

  • The Sha of Social Awkwardness
  • The Sha of Small Talk
  • The Sha of Poor Table Manners
  • The Sha of Bad Penmanship
  • The Sha of Bad Spelling
  • The Sha of Typos (possibly related to above)
  • The Sha of Not Picking Up After Your Wyvern
  • The Sha of Repetition
  • The Sha of Redundancy
  • The Sha of Telegraphing Bad Jokes
  • The Sha of Walking Really Slowly in Front of People at the Mall
  • The Sha of Paper Towels with Inexplicably Strong Perforation So You Try to Snap Off One Square and End Up Yanking Out Half the Roll
  • The Sha of Telling the Same Story Over and Over and Over Again Even Though Yes I Already Know How You Met Eitrigg Okay Tirion

Okay, you know what?  This is going nowhere fast.

Wait, wait, hang on a second… I could swear I HAVE seen another sha somewhere.

shaofhappiness

HOLY FUCKING HELL THAT’S IT!  THE SHA OF HAPPINESS!  Come to think of it, I even remember seeing this fucker on Twitter!  Fuckin’ A, I KNEW all those annoyingly happy assholes like Mylune were up to no good!  IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW.

 

Okay, that’s going to do it for this time, but keep those letters coming.  You guys really stepped up to the plate with this batch of letters, so you know what that means — THE BAR HAS BEEN RAISED.  So keep it going, and I’ll try to be back with more wise words soon.  Handy form included:

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