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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.

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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:

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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Clobberin’ time

Posted in Comics with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

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[OOC Preliminaries:  Okay, so yes, I know, I’ve been criminally slow in updating the blog.  I’ve been caught in an all-too-busy real life these last few months, and even when I have had some free time after work, I often haven’t had the mental energy to work on anything that required much focus.  And I didn’t want to just toss stuff on here that was half-assed.  Whole-assed only for my readers!  (That sounded better in my head.)  Anyway, thank you for your patience.  I don’t want to make any sweeping promises that I won’t end up keeping, but I should be able to get back to more of a normal schedule from here on.]

[Also:  Don’t think I’ve forgotten about my idea to do a blog-friends Siege of Orgrimmar group!  More on that very shortly!]

[Also also: DAMMIT, Blizzard, I already DID that idea.  FUCKING TIME TRAVEL.]

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So, getting back to the long-overdue story of what the hell happened in those caves.  More specifically, what the hell happened after I turned that corner and found Varian giving me the OH HAI GAIS face.

How about THAT, by the way, huh?

So, yeah, as you might imagine, Varian and I were pretty quick to recognize this as the opportunity it was for the two of us to sit down and hash out our differences like adults.

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For whom the bell tolls

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

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Well THAT was a big whole production to go through for not much of anything.

Last night, I gathered a select group of Horde personnel at the Emperor’s Reach – an ancient, abandoned mogu structure that we found in Kun-Lai – to finally tap into the power of the Divine Bell.  Malkorok brough a battalion of Kor’kron troops to oversee the proceedings, including some who were hand-picked to have the honor of being the first to be gifted with new power.  The best of the best.  Juggernauts.

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Blademaster Ishi was on hand as well, along with a few other select Horde heroes from the Pandaren campaign, and once everyone was gathered and ready, I took up the hammer…mallet…um…weird-looking club doohicky?  Look, for honest, I’m not sure WHAT that thing was supposed to be.  But it was better suited for ringing a bell than Gorehowl would have been, so whatever.  Point is, I cracked out that bad boy, and for the first time in who-knows-how-long, the Divine Bell rang.

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And so marks the last point in the evening that things went to plan.

As the Bell rang, we could see the dark, shadowy outlines of bizarre, twisted creatures appearing on the platform.  Transparent and shifting, but just enough to know they were there.  So THAT’S what these sha look like.  Up to this point, I’d only seen them in bits and pieces – claws mostly – when they’d partly seized onto other people.

Yes, I said “partly.”  I wouldn’t have thought that what happened to Burzum was only partial corruption by the sha.  Little did I know.  Because now, I was treated to a front-row seat as, one by one, the sha descended onto our Kor’kron juggernauts…and transformed them into sha themselves.  They were horrible to behold – I can see why the pandas and even Tak-Tak yammer on about steering clear of them.  I tried to urge the Kor’kron on and encourage them to seize control of the sha energy coursing through them, but no such luck.  They couldn’t.  They lost themselves to it.  And in the end there was nothing to be done but for the Horde champions on hand to slay the Kor’kron-turned-sha before they ran out of control.

Clearly, Malkorok had overestimated the mental toughness of that first batch of Kor’kron.  I was just about to let Ishi show the rest of the bunch how a true veteran of the Mag’har does it, when I was interrupted by a surprise visitor.

Want to know who?

YOU WILL NOT FUCKING BELIEVE THIS SHIT.

Anduin.

Yes, THAT Anduin.

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Anduin Wrynn, Prince of Stormwind.

Anduin fucking Wrynn, Prince of Stormwind, former prisoner of General Nazgrim until who the fuck even knows what happened I mean WTF, and newest volunteer to be a speechifying hemorrhoid on my curvy brown ass, because, hey, why not give fucking EVERYONE a turn at this point, right?

So, yeah, fucking ANDUIN comes strolling on up like it’s something to do – props, by the way, to my alleged BODYGUARD Malkorok for the crack security job there – and starts yapping away about the dangers of the Bell, and Garrosh-you-mustn’t.  You know, the ol’ Baine-Vol’jin standard.  Same tune, different verse.

Worked just about as well for him.  I shrugged him off and rang the Bell again, and this time, the sha magic descended onto Ishi.  Unlike the initial Kor’kron, he actually put up a fight and resisted…for a moment, anyway.  Then, after a minute, he was altered into a sha as well.  Except in his case, even with his body gone, his voice remained.

His voice, but not his words.

While our champions fought to subdue him, Ishi started spewing out words consumed by fear and rage and despair.  No sign remaining of the strong, brave orc I knew, despite my urging for him to retake control.

In the end, there was nothing left – again – but for our champions to put him to rest.  But of all his rantings before he fell, there was one that kept echoing in my thoughts.

Why should we be slaves to honor, when we could slaughter the children of our enemies while they sleep?  My blade thirsts for Alliance blood!

Control your anger, I told him.  There is killing, and then there is murder, I told him.  We’re not the ones who murder innocents.  We’re no the ones who kill children, confused and far from home.  Left to rot in a festering swamp.  Baited into a coward’s trap, tricked into an early death by a vainglorious king…

And then I looked up to find the presumptuous whelp of Varian Wrynn yipping at me.

He was fourteen years old.

Among the orcs, that made him a man.

The human brat used some mallet to crack and silence the Divine Bell, and I was far past my threshold for patience.  I swung my hammer at him.  He ducked out of the way, and the blow slammed into the Bell, which was already cracking apart.  The Bell shattered, and the pieces crumbled onto the whelp, burying him under a massive heap of metal and stone.  I could hear him cry out as his bones snapped.  Then silence.

Good.  Let Varian have a taste of true suffering.

It’s back to the drawing board for us.  For now.  I’d underestimated the effort it would take to master this sha power.  Ishi and the others were too weak-willed, and they failed me as a result.

This is what I get for not taking matters into my own hands.

When the time comes, soon, I won’t repeat their failure.  And I won’t repeat the mistake of delegating our fate to lesser orcs.  Too much depends on it.  Too high a price already.  The Horde will pervail, strong, proud, united in purpose – a rebirth of glory.  And it all depends on me to lead the way.  It’s ALWAYS depended on me.  I see that now.

I won’t fail.  I CAN’T fail.

I have a destiny.

I’m the One.

Divine do-over

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 6, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

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So I think the internet has decided it doesn’t want me playing Earth Online for the time being.  Spazzle was right – this is what I get for trusting Grizzle Gearslip to set up a stable network.  Remind me to stick with construction and excavation projects for him from now on.

Probably just as well.  I have more important things to be focusing on right now.

First and foremost in the “more important things” file: We’re back in business on the Divine Bell front – and then some.  Courtesy, believe it or not, of some clutch work from one of the blood elves.  I know, right?  I won’t hold it against you if you need to go back and read that again to make sure you got it right.  Anyway – Fanlyr Silverthorn was able to work some Kirin Tor mojo to sneak a Horde operative into Darnassus, where the Divine Bell was being held, then teleported it out to Silvermoon.  That’s right, the night elves worked so hard to get to the Bell before us, tucked it away deep in the heart of their capital city…for like fifteen minutes, before they had it swiped right out from under them.  Oh man, would I love to have seen the looks on their faces when they figured out what happened.

Of course, you would think that this would come across as GOOD news to anyone on the Horde side of the fence, but spirits forbid I should ever have a conversation with Lor’themotherfucker that didn’t involve him crying and moaning and wetting his panties over something.  And let me tell you, he was in fine form this time around.  I could barely even figure out what the fuck he was bitching about, something about his people being put in harm’s way or some such (as if people never, EVER get put in harm’s way in the middle of, you know, A FUCKING WAR), and Jaina being pissed off about something (as if THAT’S ever a bad thing).  Seriously, I don’t know what hair he’s got up his ass, but enough is enough.  Calm down already.  Don’t flip a bench, Lori.

Anyway, I’m having the Divine Bell transported to Pandaria pronto so we can get to work.  We found another ancient mogu structure in Kun-Lai that should make for a good site to conduct the first of what should be many glorious uses of the Bell.  I’m having Malkorok hand-pick some of the very best of his Kor’kron to stand guard and participate in the proceedings.  I’m also having Ishi head up that way to supervise the setup of the Bell and help me with the first trial.  Hopefully, after Burzum went all sha-batty on us, and Krimpatul went MIA with the rest of the…casualties…at the Temple of the Red Crane, and Ishi himself got beaten to the Divine Bell by the damn night elves, well, hopefully I’ll have a blademaster finally do my Mag’har proud and help put a win on the board for us.

Once we tap into the power of the Bell – and by extension, the power of this “sha” magic – we’ll wield a power unlike anything either side has seen in this war.  And unlike the mogu, we won’t be leaving our enemies any room to rise up against us.  Never again.

Shadow boxing

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

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Well, this just goes to show what I know.

After our whole SNAFU with the sha claw, Regent-Lord Eyepatch went back to Silvermoon to personally supervise his people’s study of that sha box we recovered.  Before he left I tried to impress on him the importance of that project (I believe my exact words were “This is actually important, unlike everything else you’ve ever done in your life, so try not to make a giant fucking mess this one time, Lori”), and after leaving him to his devices a couple days, I sent some people up to Silvermoon to check on him and try to prod things along.

I just received a report back from Eyepatch.  And so, remember last time, how uneasy I was about having to rely on the blood elves for all these important jobs?  All the angsting I was doing over whether they could pull this off, rather than defaulting back to their standard “giant fucking mess” M.O.?  Well, after all that handwringing I was doing, you would probably expect Ponytail’s blood elves to find a way to pull off some spectacular new level of fail.

AND YOU WOULD BE RIGHT.

Let’s even set aside the fact that Ponytail started out crying about how anyone who tried to probe the box magically ended up being affected by powerful, negative emotions, because hey, it’s totally fair for him not to think of that possibility what with him being RIGHT HERE WITNESSING THAT VERY SAME THING HAPPENING WITH THE KOR’KRON NOT THREE DAYS AGO.  But then, we’ve long established that these blood elves aren’t exactly world-beaters when it comes to seeing things coming (DRINK).  So, moving on, witness fuckuppery the next: even AFTER having these problems with the crazy outbursts, Ponytail’s peeps kept plugging away, and ended up releasing some kind of sha creature that had been sealed in the box.  In a room with a couple of his mages and a handful of guards.  And nobody else.

So okay, let’s recap that for those of you keeping score at home.

AFTER traveling around some of the sha and mogu sites in Pandaria…and AFTER being on hand for our failed Kor’kron experiments with the claw… Eyepatch brought the box back home to Silvermoon…so he could stick it in a basement with minimal guard and a grand total of two magic-users on hand to work on it.  And then released a beastie that proceeded to kick the snot out of his generously snotty elves.  To the point that if some of MY people hadn’t been on hand to save the day, that sha thing might still be running roughshod over Silvermoon and we’d be having to get Sylvanas to send a task force over to bail them out.  (And by the way, don’t think for a minute that THAT wouldn’t make half the blood elf population drop a brick in its collective panties – HEY LOOK GUYS THERE’S AN ARMY OF UNDEAD HEADED THIS WAY OH SHIT NOT AGAIN.)

I mean, there are at least half a dozen reasons why that’s just a spectacular steaming heap of fail, but the winner right off the top of my head, I think is… WHY DID YOU EVEN BOTHER BRINGING THE DAMN BOX BACK TO YOUR HOME CITY if you weren’t going to positively SURROUND it with an entire fucking LEGION of your very best troops?  You go to all that trouble for like five guards?  Hey, guess what, Eyepatch, we could have put our sha junk under the watch of five random assholes right here in Pandaria.

LIKE HEY HOW ABOUT THESE GUYS EVEN, REMEMBER THEM?

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So yeah, this is what Lori is crying about this week.  Well, today.  The week is still young.  Meanwhile, he’s already sent me four messengers, with each of the last three delivering an extra addendum to his written bitch-and-moan fest.  They’ve been arriving every couple hours, so I’m just imagining him sitting around in whatever palace he has up there (I’m guessing pink features heavily in the décor), sending off a letter, and then as soon as the messenger leaves, grabbing another parchment like “AND HERE’S ONE MORE THING!”

I did send him a response back to the first one.  Although…just to amuse myself, I addressed it to “That guy in Silvermoon, you know, the one with the poofy hair.”  I’m not sure which thought amuses me more: the amount of time it’s going to take them to narrow it down to Ponytail, or the look he’s going to get on his face when he sees it.

I know, I know.  I’m a stinker.

More soon.

"'Lori'? Seriously?"

“‘Lori’? Seriously?”

Sha-touched

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

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So of course, since Baine arrived here in Pandaria, he managed to get here just in time to bear witness to a frigging spectacular FUBAR with our efforts to make use of that sha claw.  And naturally, Regent-Lord Ponytail had to be on hand too so I could have a nice bitch-and-moan one-two punch.

Like we’d guessed, infusing soldiers with at least some measure of the claw’s sha energy was simple enough.  For these initial experiments, I didn’t want to leave much to chance, so we brought in a half-dozen Kor’kron for the tests.  The idea is that the Kor’kron are the best of the best within the Horde ranks, so they would be most likely to have the strength of will and discipline to maintain control over the sha influence – and these particular Kor’kron weren’t even your garden variety.  I had Malkorok hand-pick the very best of his people.  Razors.  If anyone was going to keep their shit together, it would be them.

Well, those Kor’kron may have been razors, but we wound up taking some razor burn.  All of the soldiers we exposed to the sha claw suffered some severe changes to their behavior.  Some became extremely temperamental.  Some were listless and depressed.  Some turned antsy and paranoid.  And ALL of them became prone to violent outbursts playing off of whatever other mood swings they were going through.  With the help of a few adventurers who happened to be on hand, we managed to slap some sense into the Kor’kron, but that doesn’t change the fact that the whole experiment went down as a pretty dismal failure.

And of course, cue Baine and Ponytail griping and crying and complaining, with an extra side order of holier-than-thou from Baine and estrogen from Ponytail.

I seriously need to find some better fucking minions.

Anyway, it’s becoming pretty painfully apparent that unless Lor’thefucker’s people back in Silvermoon make some breakthrough with the sha box they recovered, we’ve got everything hinging on us finding the Divine Bell so we can gain better control of this sha power.  Which means we’re majorly counting on the blood elves who are working on interrogating Shan Kien.  Which means, any way you cut it, we’ve got everything riding on Ponytail’s people.

Fuck.

Did I mention I SERIOUSLY need to find some better minions?

Memory lane

Posted in Comics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

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After the disaster up at Shado-Pan Monastery, Krimpatul and I brought the sha claw that we’d taken from Burzum back to the Sanctum of Two Moons.  I’m hoping that if we examine it and conduct a few experiments, we can figure out a way to draw on that sha power without…you know…the accompanying crazy-going.  While we get going on that, I’m sending Krimp over to Tian Monastery to round up the DPS trainees and bring them back to Domination Point.  Hopefully they managed to pick up a few useful tricks from the monks there.

Oh, but hey, guess who was here to greet us at the Sanctum when we got back?  Baine Bloodhoof, newly arrived in Pandaria.  That’s, like, the best news I could get without there actually being any good news.  Because I’ve been suffering from a severe deficiency in pain in my ass ever since Vol’jin took the big grave-flop…

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* Much to his disgruntlement, Garrosh learned of Dezco’s tauren expedition during a planning session for the Dominance Offensive.

** Dezco and Anduin have (some of) this exchange at the Temple of the White Tiger.

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[Old Orgrimmar background images provided by Rades from Orcish Army Knife, used here with permission and many thanks.]

A Shado-Pan of a doubt

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 6, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

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So, based on the early returns, this sha energy and I are going to have a real love/hate relationship.

Let me explain.

While Burzum and Krimpatul were doing their respective investigating, I went back up to Kun-Lai Summit to do a little more checking around.  Ponytail and his blood elves had cleared out of the Valley of Emperors, and by the looks of it, the mogu who had been up there had decided not to take their chances coming back after the grade-A ass-kicking I’d given them.  Which, by the way, makes the mogu smarter than at least half the enemies I’ve run into over the years.

I flew around the mountains for a little while to see if I could spot any more mogu activity, but didn’t have a whole lot of luck, so I decided while I was in the neighborhood to check in at that monastery I’d heard about – the Shado-Pan Monastery, I think it’s called.  I figured the monks there might have something they could tell me about the mogu, or the sha, or, hell, even just give me some idea why that Cloudfall guy at Tian Monastery felt the need to be so damn cryptic.

Problem is, all of that assumed the monks would actually, you know, TALK to me.  When I got there, though, I could barely get anyone to answer the damn door.  I knocked away for a while, and at first some fat panda dude poked his head out and asked who I was…but then after I told him, he just slammed the door shut again.  After that, they just let me knock away all I wanted, and the only answer I got was one time when someone behind the door yelled “We don’t want any,” and this other time when I guess they decided to get cute, and one of them did a bad troll voice like “Dere nobody home, mon” – which, I can HEAR you TALKING, idiot, so there obviously IS somebody home.

Fucking pandas.

Eventually, Burzum and Krimpatul arrived, and we set up camp near the monastery to compare notes.  Krimp reported that the sha outbreak around the Temple of the Red Crane was mostly gone, other than some stray animals in the area that had been affected, but that those animals seemed a good bit stronger than the garden variety.  Seems like they were able to be infused with sha energy just from proximity to the manifestation there, which tells me that it shouldn’t be that difficult to tap infuse some of our soldiers with that power, assuming we can find a sha source to draw on.  THAT’s going to be the tricky part, I’m guessing – finding a source – since it’s not like we can reliably just summon these sha things up out of thin air.

Burzum, on the other hand, gave a whole breakdown of the pandas fighting an ongoing sha outbreak near the Temple of the Jade Serpent.  (By the by, don’t ask me why these pandas seem so obsessed with naming everything after rainbow-colored animals.  Can the Temple of the Mauve Meerkat be far behind?)  The sha down there were still much more active, and according to Burzum, the pandas there deliberately took steps to AVOID being affected by the sha energy.  Because, I don’t know, I guess they feel like a dose of extra power might take the edge off their signature bouncy goofiness.  Don’t ask me.

Whatever they’re thinking down there, though, it seemed like Burzum had gone native on us some, because while he was talking about it, he got really insistent about not thinking it was such a hot idea to try to tap into this sha energy.  He seemed to get really stressed out over it, actually, to the point that I could even see him going a little pale in the face.  I managed to calm him down some, but he still seemed more than a little antsy.

At that point, I gave the blademasters the rundown of the warm welcome I’d gotten at the monastery.  Burzum wanted to try talking to them himself, and I figured what the hell, if he wanted to try beating his head against the wall, let him knock himself out.  So he went over and knocked on the door, and one of the pandas stuck his head out to see who it was…and I’ll be damned, they let the fucker in!

So Burzum was in there for a little while, and I figured eventually he’d be back to bring me and Krimp inside with him – you know, after he’d finished buttering up whatever antisocial panda had had the bright idea to lock me out.  After a while, sure enough, Burzum came out again, but instead of showing us the way in, he let the pandas shut themselves up in there again while he came staggering back to us looking more upset than ever.  And I’m talking SERIOUSLY shaken – I don’t know what those pandas said to him, but dude was beyond just pale at the point and was looking out-and-out GRAY.

That’s when he started yammering a bunch of incoherent nonsense – “Is this what we’ve come to?” this, and “losing our way” that, and all the while getting more and more visibly upset.  Krimpatul and I tried to talk him down from the crazy, but Burzum wasn’t having it.  He kept ranting on and on, until finally the ranting gave way to flat-out growling, and the next thing you knew, Bruzum’s arms started to morph into these tendrilly black claws and his whole body seemed to exude shadows.

And that’s when he attacked us.

I’ll say this for that sha stuff – because obviously that’s what had to be coursing through Burzum’s system – it really is no joke.  I’ve sparred with all the blademasters a bunch of times, so I know their strength, but this was way beyond the normal Burzum scale.  It took Krimp and I everything we could muster to keep the upper hand, and even then we were only barely able to hold him off most of the time.

Eventually, though, Krimpatul got in a few solid blows to disorient Burzum, at which point I hacked off one of those creepy-ass claws at the elbow.  That turned the tide in our favor for good.  I made one last attempt to talk Burzum down, but he was long gone by that point.  So Krimpatul and I finished him off.  As he fell, he muttered something about “should have remained in Garadar,” and the rest was silence.

I’d just as soon spare Burzum’s memory from people seeing the state he was in at the end.  He was a good man, and whatever came over him in those final moments, I’m certain his spirit will find its way to those of the honored ancestors, even if he’d fallen far from home.  Krimpatul and I found a quiet spot in the mountains nearby and laid Burzum’s body to rest.

Except for that severed claw.  That’s coming with me back to the Sanctum of Two Moons so the braintrust can give it a good going over.

Rest well, Burzum.  Spirits willing, we’ll make sure you didn’t die in vain.

Sha hunting

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

templeofjadeserpent

I’m giving the blood elves a few days to see if they can get anywhere with Shan Kien — that’s the name of that mogu dude we captured in the Valley of Emperors — but in the meantime I’m going to try to explore other avenues.  From what I’ve been able to gather, the mogu’s Divine Bell artifact was able to focus and infuse the power of what the pandas call sha.  Basically dark power come alive, sparked by emotions like anger or fear.  And even though this Divine Bell sounds like it’s the key to harnessing this sha power to the fullest, that doesn’t mean we can’t do a little testing at the source.

After we’d finished our visit to Tian Monastery the other day, Burzum had stayed behind to see if he could learn a few new tricks from the pandas.  I had Gurtash stay with him, and after I’d left for the Sanctum of Two Moons, I had the rest of the DPS kids brought over to do a little hand-to-hand combat training.  Now, personally I’m not so big on the fancy martial arts moves — I’m a much bigger fan of just pummeling your opponents to death when you’re not hacking them into little pieces with an axe.  But then, that’s ME.  Seeing as I’m 300 lbs. of rock-solid awesome and not some skinny fourteen-year-old, I don’t really NEED a whole lot of bells and whistles in my asskicking toolkit.  But I figure it might be good for the kids to see if there’s anything useful they can pick up from the pandas.

Also, side note, since I forgot to mention this before — on the way back from Tian, I made a stop at this place nearby called the Arboretum, where they train cloud serpents for some big race.  It took some doing, but I managed to talk them into letting me participate in the race even though I didn’t have my own cloud serpent.  I will neither confirm nor deny that “talking them into” this involved slapping a few pandas around.  Anyway, the race was pretty fun, and you seriously should have seen the looks on the other riders’ faces — and their cloud serpents, for that matter — when Mortimer left them all in the dust.  I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: wyvern > all.

Anyhow, I digress.

Getting back to the actual business at hand, I’m having Burzum head down to a temple in that neck of the woods that’s been hit by a pretty major sha infestation.  Temple of the Jade something-or-other, which really doesn’t help narrow it down much, seeing as it’s in a region called the Jade Forest, and half the stuff around there is called the Jade Whatever-Whatever.  Lesson: them pandas sure do love them some jade.

Meanwhile, I’m assigning Krimpatul to investigate another temple not far from our base at Domination Point, a little ways to the north.  I hear tell there was a major sha outbreak there until pretty recently, so he might be able to learn something there.  While they’re both doing their thing, I’m going to do some extra checking around in the northern mountains, and then the two blademasters will meet me there to compare notes.  I hear tell there’s another major monastery in the northwest part of Kun-Lai Summit, so it might be worth convening there and seeing what the monks have to tell us.

More soon.

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