Archive for neeru fireblade

Inside job

Posted in Comics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

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* Mokvar went to Neeru Fireblade here, seeking leads in his hunt for the Nether Prism.  Garrosh would be less than thrilled to know about this, given the role Neeru played in the fall of Orgrimmar in the alternate timeline that Garrosh and Mokvar experienced during the Timequake storyline.

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* This exchange was part of Mokvar’s conversation with Neeru in “Demon’s Bargain.”

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 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!]

Desperate Times

Posted in Words from a Scribe with tags , , , , , , , , on February 6, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

orgrimmar11

Neeru Fireblade may very well have been right about the Council of the Black Harvest not being willing to talk to me, but for now that’s going to need to be a “cross that bridge when I come to it” concern.  For now, the much bigger problem is going to be finding them.  My best in is probably going to be Ritssyn, given his Orgrimmar ties, but he’s still far from a sure thing, and even that’s assuming I can track him down.  He was supposedly on his way to the Firelands, but that’s not exactly a place to go take a casual stroll alone without really knowing what you’re getting into, especially if you’re like me and your command of the elements leaves a lot to be desired in the first place.

So, I’m going to need to take the indirect approach to this.  I have Ji out helping me with part of it; this morning he left to do some investigating for me in Desolace.  Meanwhile, I just came from a private meeting with Eitrigg.  At least I think it was private.  I didn’t notice any stealthy whooshy sounds while I was there, but who knows?

I gathered from Eitrigg that Garrosh isn’t exactly thrilled with what he’s been hearing about me – no shock there – but he hasn’t sent along any specific orders where I’m concerned yet.  Considering that he’s known me for several years now, Eitrigg’s willing to give me the benefit of the doubt for the time being, although even he expressed concern about whether I’m sure I know what I’m doing.  The truth of the matter is, the last thing in the world that I am right now is sure, but circumstances aren’t affording me a luxury of options.

Still, without showing too much of my hand, I managed to persuade him to let me borrow one of the sets of diplomatic tabards and banners that we issues to the emissaries we send various places.  While I have those colors displayed – and remain visibly unarmed – I’ll be allowed free passage into nearly any territory, including within Alliance borders.

I’m about to take a trip to Ironforge.

Right now, I can’t really go into more detail than that.  Ultimately, if things work out the way I hope they will, you’ll understand why.  Still, I know I’m taking a considerable risk here, but it’s a necessary one.  If I don’t have this all resolved and accounted for by the time Garrosh gets back from Pandaria, he’s more likely to have my head on a platter than anything else; and if these spectral assassins keep coming after me, I’m just as dead.  Even with Garona watching over me – which I’m sure she won’t keep doing forever – it’s just a matter of time before the assassins start coming often enough and in great enough numbers that they’ll finish me off before anyone can do anything about it.

I’ll be leaving soon to meet Deliana in Ratchet, and from there on to the Eastern Kingdoms.  It’s probably going to be a few days at the very least before I have the chance up write anything here.  If you have any extra fingers, cross them.

 

Mokvar

Demon’s Bargain

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

cleft

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

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

 

Neeru Fireblade channels a spell while Mokvar approaches.

MOKVAR:  Neeru.

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

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

Undercooked.

MOKVAR:  What do you do if it needs salt?

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

Neeru sits down at the table.

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

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

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

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

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

MOKVAR:  The Nether Prism.

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

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

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

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

MOKVAR:  I wish I could say the same.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Neeru leans back in his seat and folds his arms.

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

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

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

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

Mokvar leans forward and drums his fingers on the table.

Then again, so do I.

Mokvar glances around at the other warlocks practicing invocations.

How many of them will it take?

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

Mokvar leans closer to the table.

MOKVAR:  To channel your targeting beacon for the demons.

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

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

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

MOKVAR:  <nods>  Of course.

Neeru starts to reach for his food again.

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

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

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

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

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

Neeru stares down at his food.

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

MOKVAR:  But?

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

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

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

MOKVAR:  What are they doing?

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

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

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

Mokvar nods.

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

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

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

MOKVAR:  What’s that supposed to mean?

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

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

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

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

NEERU:  Assuming you can ever find them.

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

Mokvar turns to walk away.

NEERU:  Mokvar.

Mokvar stops and looks back.

How did you know?

MOKVAR:  How did I know what?

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

Mokvar grins.

MOKVAR:  Let’s just say I get around.

 

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

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

 

MOKVAR:  Garona…I…

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

MOKVAR:  Then why…?

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

MOKVAR:  Well…thanks…

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

Mokvar nods and starts to turn to go.

Don’t give him a reason to.

Garona stealths.

 

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

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

 

Mokvar

 

 

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

The siege of Orgrimmar

Posted in General, Transcripts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

This may wind up being all over the place – so much happening that I’m not even sure where to start.  I’m going to try to cover as much as I can remember, in as much detail as I can, and I’m having Mokvar edit in what he can, both from his notes at the time and also – probably mostly – his best estimates after the fact.  I’m not even sure I should be taking the time to write this all out, but if things go badly from here, I feel like there should be a record somewhere of how it happened.

If you don’t hear any more from me, then this is the story of how the Horde fell.

I guess I should start at the beginning.

 

Our fears based on the scouting reports were justified.  The Scourge force in Winterspring, which by all accounts had grown to massive numbers, swept south into Azshara and across the zone unopposed.  We had early warnings from patrols that they were on their way, but there wasn’t anyone to slow them down, and as news came in I found myself wondering why the goblins weren’t putting up any resistance.  It took me a few minutes to put two and two together and realize that there WERE no goblins in Azshara, because the Bilgewater Cartel in this world had apparently never joined the Horde.

It’s strange how things work in this world.  Every time I flash into this timeline from ours, I find myself dropped into the middle of whatever was going on here.  I still remember where I was and what I was doing in the original timeline, but within a few seconds, I also remember, more or less, what was happening here – at least enough to get my bearings.  And I’ll have these other, scattered memories – or fragments of them.  Images, places, little snippets of things that I’ve done and seen here.  Just enough to get by.  And yet, I wind up drawing a blank on the big picture.  I know what’s happening as it’s happening, but I don’t know how it got to be that way.

So I still have these gaps, like with the goblins, or for that matter the Scourge, or the demons – big chunks of altered history that I just have no idea about, and it’s not like there’s been a point when I could ask someone without setting off all kinds of warning lights.  “Oh hey, you know these major historical events we’re in the middle of, and that I’ve personally lived through?  They’ve kind of slipped my mind.  Give me a quick recap?”  Best case scenario, they decide Garrosh has finally gone off his rocker.

So funny thing, standing on the rampart over the Orgrimmar rear gate, watching those masses of undead coming over the hills, I couldn’t help getting lost in my head for a minute.  Wondering where Spazzle is now.

Zaela directed the main defenses as the Scourge arrived and threw themselves against the gate.  The rampart was packed to capacity with catapults and lined with archers.  Nazgrim led an entire legion of infantry down to take them on directly, striking quickly then backing off under cover fire from the rampart.  Even at the battle of the line at Elrendar, I’d never seen so many Scourge.  We killed thousand upon thousand of them, and yet the fields of Azshara teemed with them endlessly.

Dozens of gargoyles and val’kyr flew past our outer defenses and swooped through the streets of the Valley of Honor.  The Kor’kron air guard dove in to engage, but even they could only keep up with so many of them at a time.  I rushed back inside to help fight off some of the ones close to the ground.  As I was hacking up a val’kyr, I heard someone screeching for help behind me – turns out it was that strange monkey-man Zhi-Zhi that Nazgrim had found stranded at sea, being tugged back and forth between a pair of gargoyles.  I charged in and cleaved them down.

 

ZHI-ZHI:  Ah!  Ah!  Many thanksings, yes, much appreciations for saving Zhi-Zhi!

GARROSH:  What the hell are you even doing back here?

ZHI-ZHI:  Zhi-Zhi, uhh, Zhi-Zhi come for fishings of crawdads!  Nice pond for fishings!  Good for snacks!

GARROSH:  Fishing?  Dude, did you not notice there’s a major battle going on here?

ZHI-ZHI:  Yes!  Yes!  Less competitions for Zhi-Zhi!

 

At that point Dranosh came running in to direct another infantry battalion to the gate and redeploy the units covering the interior stop points.  As he approached us, the ground shook as a deep, rumbling noise echoed around us.

 

DRANOSH:  <looking up to the gate>  What the hell was that?

GARROSH:  I don’t know – did they bring battering rams?  Or maybe they’ve got flesh giants at the gate now?

ZHI-ZHI:  Oh no…

Zaela runs in from the gate as another rumble shakes the ground.

ZAELA:  What’s going on in here?

GARROSH:  That’s not coming from the gate?

ZAELA:  No, I came to try to see what was causing it.

DRANOSH:  Status report back there?

ZAELA:  Getting hit hard, Warchief, but we’re holding.

DRANOSH:  As long as the gate holds, we can pick them off for as long as they want to keep coming.

Another rumble, lounder, crashes through the air as the ground shakes forcefully.  Garrosh stumbles in place briefly before regaining his footing.

GARROSH:  What the hell IS that?

ZHI-ZHI:  <closing eyes and shaking head>  Cracks, cracks, everywhere cracking…closed circle coming…

MOKVAR:  I think that came from the Drag – or maybe the Cleft of Shadow?

GARROSH:  The Cleft of…there couldn’t be anything going on in Ragefire…?

DRANOSH:  Right now I’m not interested in guessing – check it out, Garrosh.  Find out what’s going on back there.

GARROSH:  On it.

ZAELA:  I’m coming too, Overlord.

ZHI-ZHI:  <hands on head>  From within, it consumes…

 

Zaela, Mokvar, and I ran back to the Drag as quickly as we could.  The ground shook beneath us while we ran past one building after another, looking around frantically for any telltale signs.  Finally we ran into the Cleft of Shadow.  And my rage bar hit overload.

They were standing in a circle – about a dozen warlocks, each standing in a glowing, purple rune, with Neeru Fireblade among them, chanting some sort of incantation.  They were all channeling some kind of spell with red-purple ribbons of magic energy flowing from their hands to the middle of their circle, where a swirling disk glowed and shuddered on the ground.  The closer we got, the more we could feel the low trembling of the ground under our feet.  The warlocks repeated every few words that Neeru said as he continued his chant, and they grew louder each time as if they could feel success looming closer.

The swirling disk pulsed more brightly as we closed on the circle of warlocks.  Zaela and I didn’t waste any time worrying about the details of what they were doing – we charged in and started cutting them down.  Mokvar threw a hex on Neeru Fireblade to put a stop to his chanting, then helped us take out the rest.  But with every warlock we killed, the glowing disk only glowed brighter, and as I cut down the final one, with his last breath he just laughed.

 

WARLOCK:  Too late, you fool!  He comes!  He comes!

The disk glows brighter as the ground shakes with greater force.

GARROSH:  What the hell WAS that spell they were casting?  Why doesn’t it stop?

MOKVAR:  Because the real spell wasn’t coming from this side…

ZAELA:  This side?  Of what?

MOKVAR:  The spell they were casting was a locating beacon…

The ground rumbles loudly.  The disk expands and starts to glow bright green.  Zaela pulls Garrosh back to keep the edge of the disk from grazing him.

…to set a target position for this.  For a portal.

The disk gives off one more bright flash, accompanied by a buckling of the ground underfoot, then settles into a duller, steady pulsing.  From the center of the disk, a giant blue man’ari eredar rises up, holding open in one hand a book covered in shimmering arcane runes.  About a dozen terrorguards and abyssals rise up from the portal behind him.

GARROSH:  Oh…fucking hell…

MOKVAR:  Wait, is that…?

GARROSH:  I’m thinking so.

ZAELA:  Who?  Who is he?

The eredar snaps the book closed and waves a hand behind him.  Several domguards and shivarra begin to emerge.

GARROSH:  Malchezaar.

ZAELA:  Wait, Prince Malchezaar?

MOKVAR:  Yup.

ZAELAKarazhan Prince Malchezaar?

MOKVAR:  Karazhan-in-the-Deadwind-Pass-where-the-demons-were-gathering Prince Malchezaar, yeah.  That’s the guy.

ZAELA:  Wasn’t he killed?

GARROSH:  Over and over.  Funny thing about that

 

The first of the demons rushed at us, and Zaela, Mokvar, and I went to work.  Malchezaar did that creepy laugh of his – the one that only a few people should ever have heard but way too many have – as dozens more demons came pouring out of the portal.  Mokvar kept an Earthquake rolling under the demons while Zaela and I stood side by side and slashed them down as they ran at us.

 

GARROSH:  We’ve got to stop them here before they get into the city!

ZAELA:  I think you’re underestimating how many of them may be coming, Overlord…

MALCHEZAAR:  <chuckling>  Yes, yes, Overlord, you do not face Malchezaar alone—

GARROSH:  Yeah, yeah, I know, Squid-Face, everybody’s heard it, the legions at your command, shut up!

MALCHEZAAR:  Oh, no, orc, not the legions at my command – the Legion at His command!

Another deep, low rumble shudders through the ground, accompanied by an even deeper laugh echoing from the other side of the portal.  Slowly, an enormous, clawed red hand rises out of the portal.  Several of the demons turn to look, then cackle hideously.

GARROSH:  That…couldn’t…

MOKVAR:  Oh…oh shit…

Zaela turns to Garrosh and grabs him by his shoulders.

ZAELA:  Overlord…go!

Zaela spins away from Garrosh and charges at a nearby doomguard.  She leaps up, grabs the doomguard by one horn, and uses her grip to flip over its body while wrenching its neck around and snapping it.  Still holding the horn, she flings its entire body into a cluster of succubi, then throws herself into a pack of a dozen felguards while launching into a bladestorm that sends severed limbs flying left and right.

ZAELA:  <glares back at Garrosh as several demons converge on her>  Garrosh – GO!  Warn the Warchief!  Kagh!

The giant hand reaches to one side of the portal, dragging a heavy red arm behind it, and presses against the ground as another laugh bellows from beneath.

MALCHEZAAR:  Oh yes, do – warn the Warchief, Warchief.

MOKVAR:  <looking to Garrosh>  Did he—?

GARROSH:  Later.

Garrosh pulls at Mokvar’s arm and runs toward the exit of the Cleft of Shadow; Mokvar scoops up the still-hexed Neeru Fireblade and follows.  As they rush to the exit, Zaela tears through demons at the portal’s edge, while more emerge by the dozen.  Garrosh turns a moment to look back at her before following Mokvar out to the Drag.

GARROSH:  Aka’Magosh, Warlord.

Garrosh and Mokvar emerge into the Drag with about twenty demons in pursuit.  Horde soldiers on the street turn in surprise at the sight, then run to intercept the demons.  Mokvar turns back to face the entrance to the Cleft and holds his hands toward the stone that forms the cavern.

MOKVAR:  Spirits of Earth, I know I’m still kind of new at this, so please, please don’t pick today to be finicky with me…

GARROSH:  <looking around and grumbling>  “Warchief,” he says.  This world has seriously got to stop finding new ways to be fucked up…

The stone shakes and begins to crack; the cavern entrance collapses on itself just as another pack of demons near it from the other side.  The ground shakes violently as an angry growl rumbles from behind the heap of rock.

GARROSH:  That buys us some time, but it won’t hold them forever.  We have to get to…ah, here we go…

From the gate to the Valley of Honor, Dranosh and Vol’jin rush in with a squad of Kor’kron.  Orcs, trolls, and tauren pour into the drag from either side, running around in confusion as they engage the demons.

VOL’JIN:  How da demons get here?!

GARROSH:  It was the walocks – they were helping the Legion open some kind of portal, and—

The ground shakes again, forcefully, and a deep laugh echoes from below.

—and I think the big guy is with them…

The Horde troops finish the last of the demons, but look around anxiously at the sound of the demonic laughter.  The boulders blocking the Cleft of Shadows passage begin to buckle and shake.

Dranosh leaps onto a broken siege engine, gestures to the crowd with both arms, and calls out loudly.

DRANOSH:  Hear me, sons and daughters of the Horde!  We have been betrayed from within our very home, and the Burning Legion comes into our midst!  I look among you, and know that this is not a battle you dreamt you would fight today – but the battle is upon us nevertheless, and we will meet it!  I look among you now, and see the fear in your eyes – fear for your home, for your family – but I tell you, do NOT fear them!  Remember instead – it was your home, your family, that these very demons defiled!  These same demons who destroyed our beautiful world, who left your fathers and mothers and sisters and brothers lost or forever scarred!  These same demons who today have come – and delivered themselves to the justice they have too long eluded!  The Burning Legion comes today, my friends – and I do not fear them!  I PITY THEM!  Rise up now!  Rise up for the moment we prayed would come!  For Draenor!  For Azeroth!  FOR THE HORDE!

 

I’ve heard troops shouting “For the Horde!” more times than I can count.  I’ve never heard it as deafening as it was right there – just as the boulders blocking the cavern finally cracked and the demons came rushing out.

The flood of demons was met by a raging wave of green and brown and blue as our soldiers threw themselves against the monsters, crashing into them and pushing them back.  Vol’jin called out to a squad of Darkspear shadow hunters, who lined up on the ledge across from the Cleft and rained arrows down onto the oncoming demons, then he ran over to Dranosh.

I started to run past Dranosh to rejoin the fray.  He grabbed me as I passed and pulled me to face him.  His look was grim and urgent, and his eyes were more terrified than I’d ever seen them.  I think a little piece of me died at the sight.

 

DRANOSH:  We need to get the civilians out of here, and we need to get them out NOW.

Captain Drok runs into the Drag, leading a squad of troops.  Dranosh grabs him by his arm as he passes.

DRANOSH:  Drok, I’ll take care of your men – I need you to get up to the Skyway.  I want every zeppelin and gunship we have ready to take off and I want them ready ten minutes ago, do you understand?

DROK:  Yes, Warchief!

Dranosh runs after Drok’s troops, cleaving down a pair of felguards as he goes.  After cutting down a terrorfiend, he looks back over his shoulder at Garrosh, Vol’jin, and Drok.

DRANOSH:  You heard me!  All of you – GO!

 

Dranosh rushed back into the battle, and Drok ran off to the Skyway elevator.  Vol’jin and I split up, him racing to the Valley of Spirits, me to the Valley of Strength.  I ran from building to building – through crowds of panicking citizens – ordering them to the Skyway and trying to herd them into some vague semblance of order.  Droves of orcs and trolls, blood elves, tauren, even some scattered worgen and gnomes.  Humans.  I never thought I’d see the day I’d be racing around helping save humans.  Desperate times.

I KNEW Orgrimmar needed some kind of emergency alert system.

I followed the crowds up to the Skyway elevator near the entrance to the Drag and tried to keep them moving in as much order as a frightened mob could maintain.  All you could hear was the sound of people shouting and screaming and the rising growl of the demons.  Every so often, the ground shook again beneath us.

After one tremor, I felt someone jostle me, and I turned to see a human had bumped into me in his rush to the elevator.

A familiar human.

 

FARANELL:  Wha— Garrosh?

GARROSH:  Hey, Doc, I— DOC!  What are you—oh shit, Soridormi said you might

MOKVAR:  Doesn’t that mean the timelines are merging?

FARANELL:  <looking around panicked>  What—what’s going on?  What happened to Orgrimmar?  I was…I was walking back to my quarters, and there was a flash, and…

GARROSH:  Yeah, weird dizzy feeling for just a second?

MOKVAR:  It’s the other timeline, Edwin.

GARROSH:  Welcome to the end of the world, Doc.  You picked a great time to drop in…

MOKVAR:  Actually…Garrosh…

A loud crashing sound comes from the back of the city, followed by a rise in the overlapping screams and shouts.  The ground shakes again violently.

FARANELL:  I don’t understand – all this is happening because of what I did?  I mean, the other me?  How—?

GARROSH:  Long story, Doc, and I don’t even know all of it.  <steadies himself after another tremor>  But wait a minute – if you’re here

MOKVAR:  Exactly!  If he’s here, and we can get him to Soridormi—

GARROSH:  —then maybe THIS “you” can actually fix actually fix fix ytilatrom actually fo fix you raef fix namuh eht fix can esab eurt you rieht ta evah have tcartsba ro a detacitsihpos destiny revewoh emit some of fo some snoitagitsevni some lla some some of some of what’s gone wrong and—

Garrosh looks around the Northwatch Hold admiral’s quarters, horrified.

No – no, no, NO, NO, NO!!

Garrosh lashes out, smashing the table in front of him and pummeling a goblin messenger across the room and into the wall.

MALKOROK:  Hah!  Indeed, Warchief, nor should you stand for such incompetence!  Perhaps you should put an end to his sniveling existence – the Horde can surely afford the loss of one pitiful weakling.  Haha!

 

{TO BE CONTINUED}

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