Archive for pandaria

30 Days of Character Development #5: Korrina

Posted in 30 Days of Character Development with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

[Each week, 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.]

 

korrina_profile1Name:  Korrina

Occupation:  Horde military trainee, apprentice blacksmith, part-time ore miner

Class:  Warrior (arms)

Age:  15

Group affiliations:  Horde (member), Dead Peons Society (a.k.a. “DPS,” member and resident badass)

Known relativesThura (mother), Broxigar (great-uncle, deceased), Varok Saurfang (great-uncle), Dranosh Saurfang (second cousin, deceased)

First appearance:  “Being a role model is a full-time job” (first mention of trainee group), “Dead Peons Society” (first mention of DPS by name), “Buried treasure” (first full, named appearance)

Key posts and plot points:

  • Garrosh first took on a group of high-aptitude trainees in “Being a role model is a full-time job,” and the group adopted its name in the eponymous “Dead Peons Society” after an…unfortunate incident involving a lazy and excessively fragile peon.  Korrina was part of the group from the beginning, but was not named specifically until the Krasarang Underground arc.
  • Along with many of her fellow DPS trainees, Korrina accompanied the Warchief to Pandaria and continued her training there, in part under the guidance of Mag’har blademasters Krimpatul, Burzum, and Ishi.
  • Korrina and the other trainees joined Krimpatul on an ill-fated mission to secure the Temple of the Red Crane for the Horde, beginning in “Departures.”  In “Fear leads to anger,” Garrosh learned of an Alliance victory at the temple that appeared to claim the lives of the trainees; unknown to the Warchief, Krimpatul led the trainees into hiding in a nearby system of caves, as detailed in “Reports of my demise” parts 1 and 2.
  • C13_3-2At the urging of Elder Cloudfall, Garrosh traveled to the temple grounds to investigate the trainees’ disappearance.  There, after accidentally falling into the underground caverns, he found Korrina and the rest of the DPS, in “Buried treasure.”  This post marked Korrina’s first formal appearance in the blog and the first time she’s referenced by name.  Garrosh and the trainees eventually made their escape from the caves, though not before Korrina demonstrated her badassery on some unsuspecting saurok.  (And she would have put the hurt on Varian, too, if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids Gurtash and Ruekie…)
  • For those keeping score at home, DPS members who have been named thus far are Korrina, Gurtash, Ruekie, Giska, and Kulkesh (our main players in the Krasarang story); Ruekie’s twin sister Tuekie; and Lok’osh, who was killed in the saurok cave.
  • Korrina is based on the baby arms warrior of long-time WCB co-conspirator Khizzara, author of Blog of the Treant.  Many thanks to Khizzara for letting me steal her character, and for her many contributions to her character – including a large portion of the in-character responses that follow!

In his/her own words:

Describe your relationship with your mother or your father.  Was it good?  Bad?  Were you spoiled rotten, ignored?  Do you still get along now, or no?

Well, I don’t know who my dad is.  My mom never talks about him.  I think he was killed in honorable combat like a true orc hero, but his death made mom sad so she doesn’t say much.  She doesn’t talk about my greatparents either.  They probably died in the 2nd or 3rd war?  I’m not sure… I should ask but sooooo awkward!

My mom is pretty cool though.  Good in a fight.  She’s not as famous as some of my relatives, though…

Mom was a pretty good mom, I guess.  She had to go off and fight and stuff when I was small, something about how her axe was super special, and she had to go chop down an important tree or something.

…Okay, I know that sounds lame, but it was harder than it sounds, okay?

Anyway, since my dad is dead, I had to stay in the orphanage while she was gone to war.  That happens to everyone, though, so whatev.  She’s back now but I’M off at war.  I write to her, though, so she won’t worry too much.

C10_2-2What are your most prominent physical features?

My totes awesome purple mohawk!!! And my bulging biceps LOL

Name one scar you have, and tell us where it came from.  If you don’t have any, is there a reason?

Only ONE!!??  I’m a WARRIOR, I’m MADE of scars!  Okay, hmm… Well, most are just nicks and cuts and things, but once, when I was pretty little, I was playing on top of the old bank in Orgrimmar, the one before Warchief Garrosh rebuilt things, and I slipped and fell and landed on the cactus in front of the door!  So all these cactus needles went through my left arm and leg and had to be removed, so I have all these evenly spaced circular scars there.  It looks pretty cool, actually.

How vain are you?  Do you find yourself attractive?

Um… I guess I’m pretty average looking??  I never thought about it much.  Looks aren’t important when you’re usually covered in dirt, sweat, and blood, anyway.

Describe your happiest memory.

This is maybe stupid, but once while mom was away my uncle Varok came to visit me at the Org orphanage — well, I guess he was visiting Warchief Thrall, but he spent a whole day with me.  He showed me some cool fighting moves and bought me ice cream and a little teddy bear (which I still have, shh!) and let me stay up real late while he told me stories.  It was a pretty chilly night (it gets cold in the desert after dark), but I didn’t want him to send me to bed, and orcs are tough, so I didn’t complain.  And it was a really clear night, so he pointed out all the major constellations in the night sky, and we watched the Blue Child come up.

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

Strawberry.  Deep purple (like my hair!).  Power of the Horde by the ETC!  Twilight jasmine is pretty, and purple too!

Who do you trust?

I trust my fellow DPS with my life.  And my captain/Warchief Garrosh.  Never go into battle with people you don’t trust.

I also trust my axe, Lizardbane.  (I named it that because it’s great for killing saurok!)

Can you define a turning point in your life?  Multiples are acceptable.

- When my mom went to war and I had to live at the orphanage

- When I started warrior training

- When I went with the DPS to Pandaria

How are you with technology?  Super savvy, or way behind the times?  Letters or e-mail?

I’m not a goblin or a nerd, but yeah, I grew up with computers, so I know some tech stuff.  Letters or email?  LOL it’s not like I’m old and in my 20s or something.  I just text or whatev.  Unless it needs to be more official, and then it depends on how urgent the message is.  Birthday card for Uncle Varok?  Snail mail.  Homework?  E-mail.  And if I really need to send a message, I find that AXE to the FACE works pretty well.

What does your bed look like when you wake up?  Are the covers off on one side of the bed, are they all curled around a pillow, sprawled everywhere?  In what position do you sleep?

I sleep on my side with my hand on Lizardbane.  Usually I wrap the blanket all around myself kinda like a cocoon.  I don’t need a blanket though.  A warrior can sleep anywhere, anytime!

C14_2-2How do you react to temperature changes such as extreme heat and cold?

I endure them without complaint.

Are you an early morning bird or a night owl?

Night owl.  Do NOT talk to me before 10 am unless you want an AXE to the FACE.

Are there any blood relatives that you are particularly close with, besides the immediate ones?  Cousins, uncles, grandfathers, aunts, etc.  Are there any others that you practically consider a blood relative?

I love my Uncle Varok, but I don’t get to see him much.  He’s stationed in Northrend.  This is going to sound dumb, but I want to be as awesome as he is someday.

My cousin Dranosh was a cool guy, but he was way older than me, so I didn’t know him much.  I was sad when he died, though.

I didn’t really meet my uncle Brox.

I guess I’m mostly on my own, but it’s okay because the DPS is like family.

What does you desk/workspace look like?  Are you neat or messy?

I keep my weapons and gear neat and tidy because well-maintained gear is gear that keeps you alive!  Otherwise… well, just… don’t look in my bags, okay?

Do you have any irrational fears?

I fear failing to protect my friends, but that seems pretty rational to me.  I’m also kinda scared of falling off buildings and landing on cactus.  Cactuses.  Cactusi?

C14_2-3What would your cutie mark be?

Your skull with my axe through it for asking something so stupid.

If you could time travel, where would you go?

Knowing the Bronze Dragonflight, it’s probably a matter of WHEN, not IF.  And I doubt I’ll have much choice in the matter of where.  But I guess I’d like to see Draenor… the old Draenor, before it shattered.  When the orc clans were still brown and strong.

What might your ideal romantic partner be?

I’ve never thought about it.  I guess… strong, confident, skilled in combat, smart (no peons please!), tough, loyal, honorable… a real ORC man, you know?

But I dunno, seems like a bad idea to fall in love.  Everyone dies young, so you either lose them, or they lose you, and your kids grow up in the orphanage.

Describe your hands.  Are they small, long, calloused, smooth, stubby?

Why?  That’s kinda creepy.  Do you have some hand fetish or something?

They’re strong and wield a big axe.  Think about that when you ask questions.

What’s your favorite comfort food, favorite vice, favorite outfit, favorite hot drink, favorite time of year, and favorite holiday?

Pulled pork.  Um, what?  I don’t think I have any of those.  My armor.  Hot cocoa!  Autumn.  Brewfest.  Um!  I mean!  WINTER VEIL.  Yes.  Winter Veil.  >.>

How do you smell?  Do you wear perfume or cologne?

Strong hands.  Big axe.  Remember?  Get away from me, you creeper!

Besides, I’m standing right in front of you.  What are you going to ask next, what I’m wearing?  When I’m standing right in front of you?

But come on, I’m a warrior!  I wear plate armor and do vigorous physical activity all day.  I don’t smell of roses.  Idiot.

 

Previous Profiles:

  1. Spazzle Fizzletrinket
  2. Ben-Lin Cloudstrider
  3. Dontrag and Utvoch
  4. Taktani

* * * * *

[A few reminders and announcements!  First and foremost, last call for the Transmogs for Shayari contest – today is the last day to send your entries to garrosh1337@gmail.com.  I’ve already gotten many great outfits, and will be looking forward to seeing a few more before the day is out.

Along those lines, I’m planning to put together a pretty big post next weekend, showing off the wide range of looks that folks have offered for everyone’s favorite half-draenei girl.  (Sorry, Garona.  Don’t come after me.)  In order to give myself room to put that post together, without derailing the blog’s main continuity too much, I’m also going to skip next week’s 30 Days profile.  I’ll have a new profile haphazardly slapped together the following week (or weekend, most likely).  Any requests, as far as whom?

And speaking of next weekend, just a reminder that we’ll be having our next installment of the SoO meta raid.  As always, all are welcome; as always, feel free to add Averry#1116 on RealID to reach me to come join the fun.

And finally, one more item to look forward to next week: It’s mailbag time!  The Warchief is already busy sorting through his mail, but he can always use more.  Use the e-mail address above or the handy form below to submit your thoughts and questions before it’s too late!]

 

30 Days of Character Development #4: Taktani

Posted in 30 Days of Character Development with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

[Each week, 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!]

 

taktani_profile1Name:  Taktani

Occupation:  Part-time scribe, full-time general annoyance

Class:  Druid (feral)

Age:  21

Group affiliations:  Horde (member), Cenarion Circle (member, though they don’t usually like to admit it)

Known relatives:  None admitted to

Earth Online notes:  Would you let her on EO?  Seriously?  She’s heard of Earth Online, and watched over Dontrag and Utvoch’s shoulders while they’ve played, but so far everyone has managed to keep her from playing it herself.  Mercifully.

First appearance:  “Monday mailbag” (first mailbag letter), “Ut’s on first, Tak’s on second” (first full comic appearance)

taktani-taurenKey posts and plot points:

  • Taktani first wrote in to Garrosh’s mailbag, in her own inimitable fashion, after encountering Utvoch in Mulgore.  She continued to write several more times, prompting Garrosh to draw on an invention by Spazzle, the TranslationMaster2000, to try to make sense of her…unique writing style.
  • After Mokvar was attacked and incapacitated, Taktani wrote to Garrosh to offer her services as a substitute scribe.  The Warchief…politely declined.  She caught up with Garrosh in Pandaria in “Ut’s on first, Tak’s on second,” eventually winning a begrudging appointment to scribe duty.  As you can imagine, she was quite thoroughly excited.  Since then, she’s been called upon to provide transcripts of some of Garrosh’s conversations, though Garrosh has needed to maintain a certain measure of diligence to prevent her from indulging too heavily in artistic license.
  • Early on, Tak befriended Dontrag and Utvoch (or, as she calls them, “Mr. D and Mr. U”), who generally try (with limited success, not unlike everything else they try to do) to watch out for her.  She appears to get along better with Utvoch than Dontrag, but it’s hard to tell for sure, since…really…is there anyone she doesn’t like?
  • Hold that thought.  She doesn’t like Malkorok very much.  Because even Taktani’s generosity of spirit has its limits.
  • Upon first arriving in Pandaria, Taktani met the hozen flight master Tak-Tak, whose name puzzled her considerably (and perhaps set off the closest thing Tak could experience to a crisis of identity).  Since then, Tak appears to be suffering from ongoing confusion about how names work in Pandaria, as evidenced by her recurring impulse to repeat people’s names (i.e., Mr. Warchief-chief).
  • In one mailbag letter, Tak noted that her birthday was “yesterday.”  The mailbag was posted on November 5; depending on how long prior to the mailbag she sent the letter, that would place her birthday sometime in late October to early November.
  • Taktani is based on the kitty druid of longtime reader and commenter Inuki.  Many thanks for letting me use and elaborate on the comedic gold mine that is Tak’s boundless innocence, and for all your ongoing contributions to her presence in the blog (see below for more of them!).

toomuchtakIn her own words:

Describe your relationship with your mother or your father.  Was it good?  Bad?  Were you spoiled rotten, ignored?  Do you still get along now, or no?

I played outside lots and lots!  My parents didn’t like when I brought my toys home though.  They yelled about mud and stains and other stuff like that.  I haven’t seen them in a while.

taktaktakName one scar you have, and tell us where it came from.  If you don’t have any, is there a reason?

I have a little scar right here on my face.  Do you see it, Mr. Interview Person?  See?  Right there!  I scratched myself with my claws the first time I turned into a cat!  I forgot I had claws!  It’s right there, under my eye!

How vain are you?  Do you find yourself attractive?

Yes?  No?  Maybe?  I don’t know.  Everyone looks all nervous when they see me.  Does that mean I’m pretty?

Describe your happiest memory.

I got to meet Mr. Warchief Sir!  It was a great day!  He let me pounce on him!  Then he made me his scribe!  Or maybe he made me his scribe, and then I pounced on him.  I forget.  It was something like that, though!  Mr. D and Mr. U and Mr. Monkey and lots of other people were there!  Yay!

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

No?  Why would I?  Nothing bad happens to me!

[Fate protects fools, little children, and ships named Enterprise.]

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

ALL THE ICE CREAM!!  Purple.  No, blue.  No… ooh butterfly!

Who do you trust?

<blink>

<blink>

Everyone?  Is there a reason I shouldn’t?

Can you define a turning point in your life?  Multiples are acceptable.

The day Mr. Warchief Sir asked me to be his scribe!  And the day I left home.

yayHow are you with technology?  Super savvy, or way behind the times?  Letters or e-mail?

Technology?  You mean like the keyboard Mr. D is yelling about?  It’s shiny!

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

I have fur!  I jump in the water if I’m hot and I don’t get cold.  Splash!  OOH and I can turn into a fish too.  Or is it a seal?  Or maybe a… I’m not sure.  A swimmy thing!

Are you an early morning bird or a night owl?

I’m a bird, but not an owl.  Does that make me an early morning bird?

Are there any blood relatives that you are particularly close with, besides the immediate ones?  Cousins, uncles, grandfathers, aunts, etc.  Are there any others that you practically consider a blood relative?

comfyperch

Not really?  I like Mr. D and Mr. U, and Mr. Warchief Sir!

What does you desk/workspace look like?  Are you neat or messy?

<looks around the desk, covered with inkstained pawprints EVERYWHERE>

Um… I think it looks okay.  It doesn’t look messy to you, does it?

Are you a good cook?  What’s your favorite recipe?

Does cheese count even if I don’t cook it?  Do you want some cheese, Mr. Interview Person?  I can go get you some!  That’s almost like cooking it for you, right?

What’s your preferred means of travel?

Paws and wings!

Do you have any irrational fears?

I don’t like being alone.

What would your cutie mark be?

It’s a dot and a moon on my shoulder!  Yay!

Are you superstitious?

I’m super!  Aren’t I?

What’s your favorite comfort food, favorite vice, favorite outfit, favorite hot drink, favorite time of year, and favorite holiday?

Cheese!  What’s a vice?  Fur!  Chocolate!  Spring!  PRESENTS!

How do you smell?  Do you wear perfume or cologne?

I smell like a bird!  Or a cat!  Or a bear!  Or a Tauren!  Sometimes people tell me I smell like the wrong thing.  I think they’re silly!

 

[A reminder!  Get your Transmogs For Shay submissions in by Saturday, March 1!]

30 Days of Character Development #3: D&U

Posted in 30 Days of Character Development with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

[Each week, a post will profile one of the blog’s many supporting players.  (See the first profile for more details.)  Since I didn’t get around to posting a profile last week, this time around I’m making up for it with a double of sorts.  Feel free to chime in with recommendations for other characters you’d like to see more about!]

 

d-and-u_profileNamesDontrag and Utvoch

Occupation:  Horde infantry soldiers (ranks: Dontrag—Sergeant; Utvoch—Scout)

AgeDontrag—31; Utvoch—29

Class:  Warrior

Group affiliations:  Horde (members), Overlord Krom’gar’s army (former members)

Known relativesDontrag—Adrasa (sister), Ug’thok (nephew); Utvoch—Krila (aunt)

Earth Online notes:  D&U play EO with mains GilbertRose (Dontrag) and SteveKravitz (Utvoch), and are members of Garrosh’s guild <Warchief>.  Utvoch briefly changed his character’s name to “Dranosh,” but was roundly criticized for the name choice, because really.  He reversed the name change shortly thereafter.  Also, guildmate Sylvanas Windrunner appears to take particular amusement in baiting the duo into arguments about which of them is which.

First appearance:  “Visiting Zoram’gar” (first mention), “Underneath the bunker” (first full transcript appearance)

Key posts and plot points:

  • An unsuspecting Garrosh first encountered Dontrag and Utvoch at Silverwind Refuge in “Visiting Zoram’gar” and dispatched them to join Overlord Krom’gar’s forces in Stonetalon.  He would later encounter them during his investigation of Krom’gar’s operations in “Underneath the bunker” – featuring D&U in supporting roles in Mokvar’s first transcript.
    (D&U can be found in-game both at Silverwind Refuge and in the Deep Reaches beneath Krom’gar’s fortress.  In the latter instance, they’re joined by goblin questgiver Blastgineer Igore; blog readers may take a certain amusement in Igore’s quest-text commentary on our cerebrally challenged friends.)
  • After Krom’gar’s “dismissal,” D&U remained stationed in Stonetalon, under the command of newly appointed Overlord Cliffwalker.  They were frequently recalled to Orgrimmar and other locations for various missions, but remained officially assigned to Cliffwalker in Stonetalon prior to their dispatch to Pandaria.
  • Evidently, according to a letter from D&U in one mailbag, Utvoch has (or had) enrolled in some extension courses, including diplomatic writing.  Academic records from the undertaking have not been released.  At one point, Utvoch convinced Dontrag to take a class with him, but the pair failed the course when they were caught handing in the same paper.  To the same instructor.  Yes, really.
  • Utvoch – sans Dontrag – traveled to old Hillsbrad, ten years in the past, with Garrosh, Mokvar, Liadrin, and Faranell during the Anti-Plague of Southshore storyline.  Like the other members of the group, Utvoch later found himself trapped between two fluctuating timelines; Garrosh and Mokvar noted, with no small degree of amusement, that this situation likely led to many confusing discussions between Utvoch and Dontrag.
  • Utvoch met and befriended Taktani in Mulgore just before she started writing in to Garrosh’s mailbag; Dontrag would meet her as well not long after.  Since Taktani’s arrival in Pandaria, Garrosh has charged D&U with keeping an eye on Tak and generally helping her navigate the complexities of the adult world, a job that Utvoch appears to have taken to somewhat more enthusiastically than Dontrag has.
  • Many people, Garrosh prime among them, frequently lose track of who is Dontrag and who is Utvoch – which is actually rather peculiar, given that they don’t really look very much alike.  Sylvanas, in guild chat, seems to understand which of them is which, but deliberately baits them into arguments on the subject anyway.
  • Regular readers will be well aware of Garrosh’s habit of giving people (often dismissive) nicknames.  Dontrag and Utvoch are among his most frequent targets; some of his favorites for them include the Dumbass Duo, Ketchup and Mustard, and the Wonder Twins.

In their own words:

dontragutvoch

Describe your relationship with your mother or your father or both.  Was it good?  Bad?  Were you spoiled rotten, ignored?  Do you still get along now, or no?

I didn’t know my father.  I think he was killed in the attack on Shattrath.  I got along pretty well with my mother, though.  She always used to tell me how I could be anything I wanted to be and accomplish anything I set my mind to.  Then I started working with the trainers and she had her first parent conference.  After that she mostly saved the thing about being whatever you want for my sister.  –Dontrag

I don’t really remember my parents.  They both died in the first war after the Dark Portal opened.  My aunt ended up raising me until I was old enough to fend for myself.  –Utvoch

How vain are you?  Do you find yourself attractive?

I guess I was a little vain for a while, during that year in the Barrens when I was trying to get away with the comb-over.  I started losing my hair early and it took a while for me to accept that I wasn’t fooling anyone.  –Dontrag

I don’t think I’m bad looking or anything, but I don’t really think I’m anything special.  Luckily I spend most of my time hanging out with this guy, so I figure I must end up looking like at least a 7.  –Utvoch

What are your most prominent physical features?

My thick, full head of hair.  –Utvoch

Screw you, Ut.  –Dontrag

Name one scar you have, and tell us where it came from.  If you don’t have any, is there a reason?

Well, I’ve got this one scar on my forehead, on the right side.  I was trying to explain which of us was which that time in Karazhan, and, um…well, the Warchief kind of got impatient and backhanded me. –Dontrag

C7_4-2

I’ve got one across my left cheek.  It’s just above the line of my beard, so I don’t think you would really notice it unless you were looking for it.  I got it when I got those people killed by that yeti in Hillsbrad because I accidentally went out of my way to kill a giant moth, and the Warchief got really mad and belted me.  Although the worst part was how he yelled.  He got that tone that he gets.  –Utvoch

Oh, yeah, I’ve got one on my face, too, right under my left eye, from that time the Warchief—  Wait a minute, when you said to name them, did you mean you wanted us to name them name them?  In that case, I think I’ll call the one under my eye Al.  –Dontrag

I think I’ll name mine Dranosh.  It means “Heart of Draenor” in orcish.  –Utvoch

Everybody knows that, you idiot.  And it’s still not cool to use that name.  Anyway, for the one on my forehead, maybe I’ll name that one The Reminder.  –Dontrag

I don’t get it.  But I love the idea of a name that’s “The” something.  I have to remember that if I ever have kids.  –Utvoch

What does your desk/workspace look like?  Are you neat or messy?

Depends on which of us used it last.  I try to keep our desk sort of organized back at the barracks.  Donty’s a slob, though.  I always end up having to pick up after him.  It’s like having a second job half the time.  –Utvoch

Depends on which of us used it last.  It’s not so much that I’m messy, really – it’s more me being lazy.  I don’t care enough to put in the extra effort to put everything in order.  And I mean, I would if I had to, but I figured out a long time ago that Ut’s compulsive enough that if I just leave it alone, he’ll do it eventually himself.  So, like, it’s not so much that I’m messy as I delegate well.  –Dontrag

Do you have any irrational fears?

Other than the Warchief getting a little madder than usual one day and stabbing me?  Fire makes me antsy.  I always get nervous around fire mages.  Or mages casting fireballs in general.  I always get this weird creepy feeling like I’m about to get torched–Dontrag

Owls freak me out.  Not even, like, giant ones, either.  Although those are even freakier.  Just plain old regular owls.  The way they stare at you, and plus, when they go “who!”, I always feel like they’re mocking me and Donty.  –Utvoch

If you could time travel, where would you go?

Probably old Hillsbrad, since I didn’t get to go last time, just to see what the big deal was.  –Dontrag

Maybe back to that time we went back to old Hillsbrad, and let Donty go instead?  That whole thing was really confusing, and I think the Warchief got even madder with me than usual, and plus there was that whole thing with the end of the world, which wasn’t a whole lot of fun.  –Utvoch

What might your ideal romantic partner be?

I won’t lie.  I’ve always had a thing for tauren women.  Can’t resist them.  (It’s the hooves.)  –Utvoch

You are a sick, sick orc, Ut.  –Dontrag

30 Days of Character Development #2: Ben-Lin

Posted in 30 Days of Character Development with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

[Each week, 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.]

 

benlin_profileName:  Ben-Lin Cloudstrider

Occupation:  Counselor, specializing in meditation and stress/anger management

Age:  57

Class:  Monk (retired)

Group affiliations:  Horde (member), Huojin Pandaren (member), Shang Xi’s Academy (former student)

Known relatives:  Ting Cloudstrider (daughter), Dewei Cloudstrider (son), Kenji Cloudstrider (husband, deceased)

First appearance:  “Anger management

Key posts and plot points:

  • Ben-Lin met Garrosh – along with many other blog notables – while conducting an anger management seminar in the fittingly titled “Anger management.”  The session proved…less than productive.  Since then, she has continued to meet with Garrosh in an attempt to teach him to better control his temper.  (Admittedly, visible results have been questionable at best, but let’s be fair – she had the deck stacked pretty heavily against her.)
  • Traveled with the Horde expedition to Pandaria and accompanied Garrosh on his first trip to Tian Monastery (“I think I can remember your name”, “Shock the monkey”, “Getting around with the Shado-pan”, and “The geometry of shadows”), where the Warchief first encountered Elder Couldfall.  She also joined Garrosh on a follow-up journey to Tian to recruit Elder Cloudfall’s aid in “Moments of transition.”
  • Worth noting is that Ben-Lin appears to be one of the only people capable of making Garrosh stop and listen with any regularity (such as “ordering” him back to bed while he was sick with the Pandaren flu in “A sniffly Warchief is a cranky Warchief”).  Evidently, the Warchief has trouble holding his ground with greatmotherly women.
  • A few behind-the-scenes notes for those who might be interested: Ben-Lin is a veritable walking bundle of science-fiction referentiality.  The name “Ben-Lin” is a deliberate nod toward another even-tempered mentor figure – and, in fact, the name was largely chosen specifically to set up this joke:
    ben_panelHer last name, “Cloudstrider,” was likewise meant to parallel “Skywalker.”  (Also worth noting – the names of the two pandaren who have become mentors of sorts for Garrosh: Cloudstrider and Cloudfall.)  And, lest the Babylon-5 fans among you feel neglected (I know you’re out there!) – Ben-Lin’s outfit and, to a lesser extent, speech patterns were designed to be reminiscent of the B5 character Delenn.

In her own words:

What is your most prominent physical feature?

I have been told that my eyes are fairly distinctive.  They are violet, which is highly uncommon among pandaren, and held by many among our people to be a sign of inner balance.  This was pointed out to me many times as a small child, though my parents would likely have held me as a counterexample at the time.

Describe your happiest memory.

Ironically, the passing of my husband Kenzi.  This is not to say that I wished his death, or that I do not miss him dearly.  He was some years older than me, and had been in poor health in his final months.  The night he died – he knew the end was close – we sat and reflected on our life together.  There was no sadness or regret.  Each memory served only to remind us how much more this life had given us than we could ever fairly have asked.  He held my paw, and thanked me for making him young, then passed away peacefully.  I did not feel grief.  I felt – and continue to feel – grateful.

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

No.  I believe that every step of our journey is a part of what makes us who we are.  I have had misfortunes and hurts, as do we all, but they have all left remainder that has helped to shape me.  Without any one of them, I do not know who I would have become.

C3_4-5Can you define a turning point in your life?  Multiples are acceptable.

There are two: my coming to Shang Xi’s Academy, and my departure from the Wandering Isle to begin a new life among the Horde.  Each marked the beginning of a new adventure.  The first began in my youth and opened a world to me of learning, friendship, love, enlightenment – all of which are, of course, different words seeking vainly to express the same thing.  I look forward to discovering where the second will take me.

How are you with technology?  Super savvy, or way behind the times?  Letters or e-mail?

I am almost comically inept with most machinery.  Much of it is new to me; having lived almost my entire life on the Wandering Isle, I was not in a position to keep up with the latest inventions.  This is likely for the best.  Given my poor skill level, exposure to the latest technologies would only have provided me with new and better ways to embarrass myself.  Letters, most certainly.  I do not have the e-mail.  To this day, I know the internet only by reputation.  (That reputation does not, by and large, inspire me to investigate further.)

What does your bed look like when you wake up?  Are the covers off on one side of the bed, are they all curled around a pillow, sprawled everywhere?  In what position do you sleep?

My bed tends to be relatively tidy, and I make it each morning after rising.  I sleep on my back; I am a very deep sleeper, and usually do not stir very much during the night.

Are you an early morning bird or a night owl?

An early morning bird.  I wake each morning just before dawn.  Wherever I live, I always take care to have a window that faces east, so that I may watch the sun rise.

Are you a good cook?  What is your favorite recipe?

I cannot say that I am an expert cook, but I am told that my wildfowl ginseng soup is quite good.  I wish I could have inherited my father’s skill with the steamer; I often miss his steamed crab surprise.  I have tried many times to recreate it.  The result often tries even my discipline over my temper.

C4_2-1What’s your preferred means of travel?

I prefer to travel by foot when possible.  If not, I am adequately proficient in the use of Pandaren kites.  I prefer not to employ animal mounts, as I suspect they have destinations of their own that they would prefer over mine.

Do you have any irrational fears?

Is there any other kind?

What might your ideal romantic partner be?

My years of study and meditation tell me that it is unwise to cling to some imagined ideal; such perfect fantasies serve only to impoverish our appreciation of the reality before us, beautiful often precisely for its flaws.

My heart, however, tells me: Kenji.  Again, I am grateful.

Are you superstitious?

I am a mother of three.  Hardly can one say that, without having spent many hours with crossed fingers.

How do you smell?  Do you wear perfume or cologne?

Though my sense of smell, I would venture, is unremarkable, I do have a sensitive nose, which most perfumes tend to irritate.  My one compensation is that I often let snow lilies soak in the water before washing my fur.

 

[OOC note: Running a little behind on posts after a bit of a trying week.  Luckily, there’s a lot in the pipeline, so we should have some relatively rapid-fire posting this week, including, yes, the follow-up to that last little freakout-inspiring nugget.  Also stay tuned for news and announcements concerning the return of the Friends-of-WCB meta raid!]

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:

Remembered

Posted in Comics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

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* Lok’osh was one of the DPS trainees until he was killed by saurok.  Garrosh learned of his death here.

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* After falling from a ledge in the caves, Gurtash woke to find he’d injured his hand.

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* Elder Cloudfall gave Garrosh this speech (among other bits of cryptic goodness) when the Warchief first visited Tian Monastery.

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Exit strategy

Posted in Comics, General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

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So the good news was that it didn’t take very long for me to find Gurtash.  He dropped a pretty long way, but not particularly far, so tracking him down wasn’t too big a production.  Other than him being shell-shocked from getting an owie on his hand, or whatever the hell else was making him all jumpy all of a sudden.

The bad news was that it WAS a pretty long way down, so getting back up to the other trainees was going to be a giant pain in the ass, especially considering I had a kid in tow who wasn’t going to be good for much first-hand climbing.  Luckily there were a bunch of ledges and outcroppings on the way up that were pretty much within range of a good heroic leap.  Which, yes, by the way, I can do straight-up vertically, because I’m fucking OP that way.  Anyhow, a few jumps and we were almost there, but…well, you know the old saying about the last step being a doozy.  A couple more feet and we would have been all set, but, hey, you know me.  Even dangling from a great height, I always try to look for the positive.

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So once we finally got past the clown shoes portion of the proceedings, we were finally able to make it to the opening Giska spotted and escape to the surface.  We came out in a rocky area near a lake, where we had the joy of another batch of saurok who were only too happy to stop their fishing trip to make trouble.  And promptly get their asses handed to them.  Stupid lizards.

By this point it was starting to get dark, so we made camp in the wilds for the night.  I figured once the kids had a chance to rest up, we could start making our way back to Domination Point.

And, speaking of getting back to business, I think it’s been way too long since I’ve dipped into the ol’ mailbag, so consider this your last call to contact your Warchief about all your burning questions.  Cue the handy-dandy web form for those who have an irrational fear of e-mail…

The dark below

Posted in Comics with tags , , , , on December 15, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

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Between a saurok and a hard place

Posted in Comics, General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

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So after King Chin made his exit, and I got my voice back after yelling for, oh, ten, maybe fifteen hours, we figured it was time to get the hell out of the caves before the saurok were able to follow through on their plan to collapse the place in on us.  The caverns were mostly a big winding maze, but I figured backtracking the way those other humans had come would probably be our best bet to get closer to a way out.

There had been signs of life scattered all over the place in those caverns from the get-go – old torches and tools, extinguished campfires, all kinds of little odds and ends – but they were relatively scarce in the deeper parts of the caverns.  For whatever reason, I guess the saurok weren’t too interested in venturing too far underground.  As we made our way along, though, we started finding more and more random saurok junk.  I took is as a good sign that we were headed in the right direction.

Another positive sign: actual saurok.  Well, a positive sign in the sense that it probably meant we were getting closer to the surface.  Not so positive in the sense that, you know, they wanted to kill us.  Just because they were clearing out of the place doesn’t mean they didn’t have time to stop and pick a fight, because, hey, when you’re a stupid lizard man, any time is a good time to get your ass handed to you.  Funny how the equation gets changed a little when you add yours truly to one side of it, huh?  Then THEIR side of the equation gets straight-up flipped upside down.  That’s right, bitches, YOU JUST GOT RECIPROCALED.  Only then I guess that might make the equation into a proportion, and then we would have to cross-multiple our…melee attacks…and…carry the one…um…FUCKING MATH METAPHORS.

Although, credit where it’s due: some of the kids are getting to be totally not terrible in a fight.

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Anyway, we chopped our way through a few more packs of saurok while we continued toward the surface, or at least our best guess at which direction that would be.  Eventually, every so often, the ground started to shake with tremors.  Hard to say for certain, but the smart money says that was the saurok shaman working their mojo to try to collapse the caves.  The longer the quakes continued, the stronger they got.  At one point we had to change direction after one passageway was blocked by falling rocks, and eventually the tremors became so strong that cracks would break open in the ground beneath our feet.  And then I guess the quakes decided that even that wasn’t quite enough for them, because, well…

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* Lok’osh, one of the DPS trainees who’d gone to the Temple of the Red Crane, was killed by the saurok before Garrosh arrived in the caves.  Garrosh learned what happened to him here.

* * * * *

[Quick OOC notes:  Yes, as I’m sure many of you are ready to point out, Gurtash wasn’t actually present for the last page above, so you wouldn’t think there could have been comic panels drawn for those events.  Just roll with it for now; it all gets accounted for eventually!

By the way, anyone needing a quick refresher on which trainee is who can find a visual cheat sheet at the end of this post.

Also, thanks to everyone who came for the “Meta” raid a couple weekends ago!  It was a great time for me, and hopefully for everyone else involved.  I’d like to see about making it a semi-regular event – maybe one weekend a month or so?  Stay tuned for updates!]

Strange bedfellows

Posted in Comics, General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

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So I’m going to spare Gurtash having to draw like ten pages of action shots and bottom-line this for you: it took a little doing, but Varian and I were able to beat down that sha that sprung up out of where-the-fuck.  Which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise – I mean, really, anyone who thought I would be writing this to inform you we’d been fucking KILLED, take a step forward.  Then take another few steps toward the nearest steep ledge and just fucking kill yourself, because seriously, too stupid to live.

Anyway, once the sha was out of the way, we got back to the much more important matter of beating the shit out of each other.  Check it out, though – we weren’t even five minutes into round two when ANOTHER sha popped up out of nowhere and had something to say.  So we had to drop everything again and take care of the sha.  Fucking rude, if you ask me.

Anyway, we polished off this one and got back to business.  For a few minutes, anyway, until – can you believe this shit? – ANOTHER sha showed up.  At which point it was way past rude getting to be just plain annoying.

Now, if it depended solely on pinhead Varian, we probably would have been going round and round like that for-fucking-EVER, but because your Warchief IS indeed the sharpest tool in the shed, after this pattern repeated itself another, like, eight or nine times, I realized that it was our fighting that was causing the sha to keep spawning.  Feeding off of our anger and hate and…well, really, let’s just call it the whole damn sha cocktail.

So, on the up side: Now we knew how to keep the damn sha from rolling up on us over and over.

On the down side: I had to put a (temporary) stop to adding to the human’s scar collection.

Seriously, do you know how fucking DISTASTEFUL it is to be stuck in a room with Varian and not be able to punch him in the face?  (Note to Genn Greymane: How the fuck do you DO it, man?)

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Seriously.  How, Genn, how?

Anyway, that went on for a little while.  At least the trainees weren’t within earshot most of the time, so I could give Varian an earful.  Otherwise I’m liable to GET an earful from Orphan Matron Battlewail whenever I get back to Orgrimmar, what with the giant bone she has to pick with me about swearing so much around the kids.  Because, yeah, in situations like these, watching my language should TOTALLY be one of my priorities, right?

Anyhow.  Whatever.  After fuck only knows HOW long with Varian playing the role of “annoying little bird sitting on Garrosh’s head and pecking away verbally,” I finally managed to get him talking enough to find out how he ended up down there – after the battle at the temple, word got back to him that his soldiers had chased some orc trainees into the wilds, and he went out to join in the search.  Something about making sure his people didn’t get “overzealous,” whatever the fuck that means.  Anyway, while he was scoping out the area he managed to fall down one of those cracks in the ground, same as I did.  Idiot.  So here he was.

I’m not sure how long we were stuck there basking in the glow of each other’s delightful company, but eventually Giska came running in with a scouting report.  Apparently there were noises coming our way, and so she snuck off to check on it all stealthy-monk style, and, come to find out, there was a handful of humans heading our way.  Because hey, why not, right?  Was there anybody NOT in these caves at this point?  Who knew the fucking saurok caves were party central around these parts?  Hey, maybe fucking Koltira Deathweaver was down here too – mystery solved at last!

So, fast forward to the humans arriving, the initial “Holy shit, it’s Garrosh!” moment (RECOGNIZE, BITCHES), and the clusterfuckery of getting them to cool it before we got an in-person reminder of what’s black and white and tendrilly all over.  From that point, the humans huddled off to themselves, but I managed to listen in on bits and pieces.

I guess these newest arrivals had found the main entrance to these caves, up in the heart of Saurok Town, and had gone in searching for King Chin.  From what I can gather, they had to make their way through a shitload of saurok activity.  Seems over the last couple hours, the saurok had been spooked by the appearance of a bunch of creepy black monsters (GEE I WONDER WHERE THOSE COULD HAVE COME FROM), and now it looked like they were getting what passes for shaman in lizard-land to do some kind of rituals to close off these caves altogether with earthquakes and cave-ins and shit.  So that spurred the humans to pick up the pace looking for Varian, and look at that, they found him safe and sound, because things always work out nicely that way so long as your name isn’t fucking ME.

Luckily, the humans had a mage with them.  I say “luckily” there, because for some reason I thought, hey, cool, mage portal, we can all just pop the fuck out of here, only I didn’t realize that APPARENTLY mages can rig their portals so they can only be used by the people they WANT to use them, because I guess mages are FUCKERS like that.  So I guess the “luckily” was, in fact, only “luckily” for them, as opposed to a big juicy serving of UP YOURS for me and the kids.

And of course, class act that he is, Varian couldn’t resist sticking it to me on his way out the door.  Portal.  Whatever.

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