Archive for southshore

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

Race:  Orc

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

The Roshy Horror Picture Show

Posted in Transcripts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

Barnes walks back offstage following his introduction, as the ghostly audience applauds.

BARNES:  Go no now, they’re waiting for you!

GARROSH:  Um, the FUCK you say?

MOKVAR:  Do you mean we’re supposed to…?

BARNES:  As I said, your tale sounds like an intriguing one…

FARANELL:  Ugh, I always hated school plays…

GARROSH:  Yeah, fine, but…

BARNES:  And if you want my help with your Malchezaar problem, you’re just going to have to help me with tonight’s audience!

GARROSH:  You can’t seriously—

BARNES:  Now don’t worry, the magic of the Opera House will help you along as you go.

GARROSH:  But we—

BARNES:  Now go on!  There they are now, entertain them!

GARROSH:  Ugh.  Fine.

Garrosh sighs and reluctantly trudges out on stage, followed by the rest of the group.  The audience applauds their arrival.

GARONA:  <scanning the applauding crowd>  I could get used to this, actually…

MOKVAR:  So, uh, what are we supposed to do?

GARROSH:  Beats me…

BARNES:  <echoing from offstage>  Oh, all right, I can see you have a touch of stage fright, so I’ll help get you started…

Music begins to play as an enormous, disembodied spectral mouth appears at the back of the stage and slowly floats forward.

GARROSH:  <jumping away from the mouth as it moves up>  The FUCK?!

 

{DEMON HUNTERS TRIPLE FEATURE}

PROLOGUE (a.k.a. THE LIPS):

Some adventurers came; they were not seeking fame,
But our audience would rejoice.
They knew axes and runes, not so much spinning tunes,
But our magic here would give them a voice.

They came on a quest, ventured seeking to best
A demon that they call Malchezaar.
But their prey they can’t face, while he’s in Netherspace;
Why they seek him, well that’s quite bizarre.

Demon hunters triple feature:
Spectral patrons will fill the bleachers.
Here one night only: Hordies singing!
Improv performances, they’ll be winging.
Oh oh oh oh oh,
At the late night triple feature opera show.

It’s a perilous tale!  Will our heroes prevail
As they journey the pathways of time?
At a dragon’s behest, everyone was impressed,
Though “Nozdormu” is a real bitch to rhyme.

But as they went along, something went wrong,
You’ll see, just wait for the surprise!
For they found themselves trapped as the worlds overlapped –
Watch it unfold now in front of your eyes!

Demon hunters triple feature:
Spectral patrons will fill the bleachers.
Here one night only: Hordies singing!
Improv performances, they’ll be winging.
Oh oh oh oh oh,
At the late night triple feature opera show.
The stars will glow,
Oh oh oh oh,
At the late night triple feature opera show.
An hour or so,
Oh oh oh oh,
At the late night triple feature opera show.
So here we go,
Oh oh oh oh,
At the late night triple feature opera show.

The ghostly mouth fades away.  Garrosh and the others look back and forth awkwardly among themselves as the audience starts to murmur.

GARROSH:  Yeah…so…

MOKVAR:  What now?

BARNES:  <offstage>  You folks really aren’t used to performing, are you?

GARROSH:  Yeah, how about I drop you into a battlefield with no prepping and see how YOU do, spooks.

BARNES:  <sighs>  Well, how did everything begin with this adventure of yours?

GARROSH:  Well, Sylvanas reported this whole—

BARNES:  Don’t tell me, tell them!

GARROSH:  Oh.  <turns to face the audience>  Uh…yeah, so, Sylvanas came to me with this problem…

A ghostly likeness of Sylvanas Windrunner walks onstage and approaches Garrosh.

…and…well holy crap, look at that…

Music starts to swell again.  Garrosh looks around in confusion.

SYLVANAS:  Hail, Warchief!

GARROSH:  Um…okay…

SYLVANAS:  I’ve got something to ask…

GARROSH:  Uh…yeah?

SYLVANAS:

…of your leadership, in which we bask.
But now, I fear, I must beg a task.

GARROSH:  This is…kinda weird…

 

{OH GOSH, GARROSH}

SYLVANAS:

We need your help now, son of Grommash!

LIADRIN and MOKVAR: <together, flatly>

          (Garrosh.)

SYLVANAS:

You’re leading the Horde with such panache.
          (Garrosh.)
That Theramore thing, we’ll just whitewash.
          (Garrosh.)
So I need to tell you now,
Oh gosh, Garrosh,
We need you.

The problem we have I know you’ll squash.
          (Garrosh.)
Whoever’s behind it, you will quash.
          (Garrosh.)
If you pull this off, Aka’Magosh!
          (Garrosh.)
So I need to tell you now,
Oh gosh, Garrosh,
We need you.

There is something killing the Forsaken
In Southshore – details are still vague.
Something magic, if I’m not mistaken.
Oh, but don’t fret, we weren’t making plague.

Nope.  No way.  <glances around furtively>

GARROSH:

I asked for a contact; you said him.
          (Edwin.)
This Faranell guy, with the dead grin.
          (Edwin.)
Your Banshee Queen, she’s been beggin’.
          (Edwin.)
So let’s get to work now, Doc,
Come in, Edwin,
I’ll save you.

So, Edwin…

FARANELL:

Yeah?  <looking disturbed to find himself singing>  Oh gosh…

GARROSH:

Where to begin?

FARANELL:

Well…Garrosh…

GARROSH:

What to do?

One side of the stage fades into the likeness of old Southshore, while the other side takes on that of the Caverns of Time.

FARANELL:

We’re kind of screwed.
Here is what we’ve got to do…

We’ll travel in time – really, no josh –
          (Garrosh.)
To trace back this anti-plague death slosh.
          (Garrosh.)
Once it’s found, I’ll put the kibosh.
          (Garrosh.)
That covers it, I think, so
Oh gosh, Garrosh,
Time we flew.

Oh gosh, Garrosh…

GARROSH:

Edwin, no chin.

FARANELL:

Hey!  Gosh, Garrosh.

GARROSH and FARANELL:  <looking increasingly uneasy with all of this>

Wow, that blew.

GARONA:  So, hold on, how did you all know to…you know…sing that?

GARROSH:  I just kind of DID…

FARANELL:  That was…weird…

BARNES:  <offstage>  As I said, the Opera House glamours will help you along — now keep it going, you’re on a roll!

GARROSH:  My dad never had to do any shit like this to kill fucking Mannoroth…

MOKVAR:  Okay, so next…

LIADRIN:  <turning to the audience>  The mission to save the Forsaken in the past was a success…

The scenery on one side of the stage morphs from the appearance of Southshore to that of Orgrimmar.

…but when we returned, we found that the past had been altered…

GARONA:  <looking around>  Oh wow, this is freaky…

Around them, Orgrimmar flickers between its normal appearance and one torn by battle, with demons and Scourge running about.

MOKVAR:  You should have been there when it was actually happening.

GARROSH:  Right, so at that point…

Music begins to resonate through the hall.

DONTRAG:  Uh, I think it’s starting again…

FARANELL:  Aren’t we lucky…

 

{TIME WARP}

GARROSH:

Noz has spoken
Time is broken,
All thanks to Faranell.
Now what’s left for me?

LIADRIN:

Ask Soridormi.

MOKVAR:

Timelines have gone to hell.

FARANELL:

I remember
Being in Southshore
Up till that moment when
The blackness consumed me…

GARROSH:

Now this future will doom me!

ALL:

Let’s do the time warp again!
Let’s do the time warp again!

FARANELL:

I took a turn to the left.

ALL:

It should have been to the right!

FARANELL:

Bad news, everyone!

ALL:

No Putricide in sight!
And now the surging Scourge
Invade us from Northrend.
Let’s do the time warp again!
Let’s do the time warp again!

LIADRIN:

It’s intriguing.

UTVOCH:

But mentally fatiguing…

LIADRIN:

With the demons blitzkrieging
We need a plan.

GARROSH:  <rushing in with Focusing Iris in hand>

Hey now, get out of my way!
We’re gonna fix up the timeways.
Hit the old Hillsbrad highways,
Back where it all began.

FARANELL:

Now I’m feeling regretful…

MOKVAR:

Wait till you get forgetful:
Those gaps in memory now and then.

GARROSH:

I see demons invadin’!

LIADRIN:  <drawing the Ashbringer>

I got dibs on Kil’jaeden!

ALL:

Let’s do the time warp again!
Let’s do the time warp again!

FARANELL:

Well I was running down the street
Toward the Southshore inn,
Had to tag myselves “it”
Much to my chagrin.
She’d told me the plan
And she seemed strong and wise;
She had a blood elf’s shape
And a dragon’s eyes.
I pounced myself and I felt displaced –
Time convulsing, snapping back in place.

ALL:

Let’s do the time warp again!
Let’s do the time warp again!

FARANELL:

I took a turn to the left.

ALL:

It should have been to the right!

FARANELL:

Bad news, everyone!

ALL:

The Legion joins the fight!
The fall of Orgrimmar –
It wasn’t if, but when.
Let’s do the time warp again!
Let’s do the time warp again!

Let’s do the time warp again!
Let’s do the time warp again!

FARANELL:

I took a turn to the left.

ALL:

It should have been to the right!

FARANELL:

Bad news, everyone!

ALL:

There’s nothing here that’s right!
We’ve got to fix this mess,
So turn the years back ten.
Let’s do the time warp again!
Let’s do the time warp again!

Everyone collapses onto the floor for a moment as the lights dim, the surrounding scenery fades, and a dark curtain slides in close behind them.  After a few seconds, they begin to rise to their feet.

DONTRAG:  So wait, all that really happened?

UTVOCH:  What have I been trying to tell you?

DONTRAG:  Why don’t I remember any of it?

UTVOCH:  Donty, the stuff you don’t remember we could just about crowbar into Razorwind Canyon.

GARROSH:  Enough, you two!

LIADRIN:  But, that pretty much covers everything important, doesn’t it?

A rhythmic bass line and drum beat can be heard in the background.

FARANELL:  More or less.

GARONA:  Why am I still hearing music, then?

GARROSH:  Yeah, good question, shouldn’t it be show over at this point?

BARNES:  <offstage>  You’ll have to forgive me — while I was drawing on your memories for the show so far, well…there was just too much other great material to pass up!

MOKVAR:  Oh no…

GARROSH:  Oh crap, what have you people been remembering now?

A heavy guitar chord echoes through the hall as the dark curtain parts, and, from just behind Garrosh, Lor’themar Theron struts on stage, dressed in a full Black Mageweave set.  (And no, not the male version.)

GARROSH:  The FUCK?

 

{E-TRANSVESTITE}

LOR’THEMAR:

Greetings, orc-kind!
Hope you don’t mind
My dropping in for a call.
It’s always quite the same:
You forget my name –
I never once called you Thrall.

Don’t get freaked out
By the way I look;
Don’t rush to judgments too early.
I’m not much of a man
In the daytime sun,
But online I’m one popular girly.

I’m just an e-transvestite
From trade chat channel,
Playing Earth Online.

Could you show me around?
Maybe help get this mob down?
Think you could spare me a dollar?
Or is your interest waning
In more dungeon chaining?
If you change your mind, give me a holler.

GARROSH:

Um, listen, dude,
I don’t mean to be rude.
I don’t want you throwing a fit.
You do your thing, fine,
Just…do it online.
No one needs to look at that shit.

LOR’THEMAR:

So you don’t like the sight?
Well now, you just might
Have met, in your times epicurean,
One hot sexy avatar,
Says she’s from Astranaar –
That night elf’s real name might be Malfurion.

I’m just an e-transvestite
From trade chat channel,
Playing Earth Online.

Why don’t you free up your mind?
You won’t be maligned.
Just try to enjoy the eye candy.
I mean nothing malicious
In looking so delicious –
But trusting noobs really are handy.

I’m just an e-transvestite
From trade chat channel,
Playing Earth Online.

Hey!  Hey!

I’m just an e-transvestite
From trade chat channel,
Playing Earth Online.

So, log on to play,
And look with dismay
At those female toons you’ve been observing.
But you’ve got those blinders
While in Dungeon Finder,
So I’ll dispel the veil…but not your perving!

As he delivers the last line, the curtain closes in front of him.  The audience bursts into raucous applause.

GARROSH:  Okay, what in the holy FUCK was THAT?

MOKVAR:  Well, you did call him out for playing a female toon…

GARROSH:  And also, THAT gets the ovation?

FARANELL:  Personally, I thought my bridge was pretty good.

GARROSH:  And a whole lot less discomforting…

Barnes walks out on stage with them.

BARNES:  A hand for our performers, ladies and gentlemen!

The audience applauds more.

GARROSH:  Okay, so we’re good now, right, spooks?  Ready to set us up with this mystery in of yours?

BARNES:  All in good time, sir.

GARROSH:  Wait, what the fuck is THAT supposed to mean?

BARNES:  <grinning>  Well as I said, sir, while I was casting the glamours, I took the liberty of poking around in some of your memories…and I’m afraid you all have far too much wonderful story material for me not to avail myself of the opportunity.

GARROSH:  Um…WHAT?

BARNES:  And we do still have another show to tend to after the intermission.  You and your friends are welcome, of course, to take the opportunity to rest and refresh yourselves…

GARROSH:  Intermission?  What intermission?

BARNES:  This one, sir.  We’ll resume with a new tale soon.

The curtain closes to mounting applause.

The future never happened

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

The time portal was more dizzying than usual, but when we finally emerged on the other side, there it was – Hillsbrad, just like it looked a few months ago.  Ten years ago.  A lifetime ago, it seemed, and for all that’s happened, maybe it was.  It was early in the morning, and the first rays of sunlight were just starting to peek through the trees.

At one point while we made our way toward Southshore, Edwin asked if it was a good idea for us to be taking the road like we were.  At first I didn’t realize what he meant – I thought he was worried we’d run into someone who would recognize him, but I figured we could always improvise a cover story if we needed to.

Then I looked at my hands.

I don’t know if something went wrong with the portal, or if maybe Soridormi was making such an effort to get the timeline crossing to work that she couldn’t bother with anything else, but when I came through, apparently, I wasn’t changed into a human form.  I was still my normal (and let’s face it, dead sexy) orcish self.

So yeah, we got off the road and into the outskirts of the woods right quick, because the last thing we needed was some patrol to see an orc rolling around loose down the road from Durnholde like it was something to do.

We made our way down to Southshore and hung around the surrounding woods.  It was still early in the morning, but we could see the first signs of activity as some of the townspeople started to emerge from their homes and tend to their livestock.  We waited a while longer, and finally a few people came out of the inn – Alexandros Mograine, along with Fairbanks and Doan.  They went around to the stables, carrying bags.  The rest of the Silver Hands would be checking out soon.

I reminded Edwin that our opening could come any minute, and ran through the details I knew for probably the fifth time since we’d arrived: at some point the kid Herod would turn up with younger-hexed-Edwin, older-Edwin would sheep Herod and break younger-Edwin’s hex, older-Edwin would go invisible and bolt.  Guy-who’s-with-me-right-now-Edwin (and wow am I getting sick of specifying) nodded all the way through, but I got the sense he was getting sick of me reminding him he’d only have a short post-hex pre-invis window.

Finally, after a few more minutes, a young boy came running up from the docks chasing a frog.  He caught up to it just in front of the inn.

Herod was in position.  It was almost go time.

Edwin didn’t need any prompting.  As he started getting up to make his move, I shook his hand and wished him luck.

From the entrance to the inn, a second human named Edwin Faranell appeared.

The Edwin who’d come with me turned just long enough to shove a folded-up paper into my hand and say “Good luck to you, too,” and then he was off.

I didn’t even fully register the paper – I was too concerned with watching Edwin go, and I tucked it into my belt.  While Edwin ran into town, I kept looking around, because let’s face it, this is US, and the universe wouldn’t let us get through something important without some kind of final infuriating wrinkle.  Sure enough, the universe didn’t disappoint, because look who was riding toward town on horseback, from the northern road: Kel’Thuzad.

Right off I thought of about half a dozen ways KT could make a mess of this, most of them involving some variation of the phrase “Why are there two copies of that guy I know in front of the inn?”  All I could think was Kel’Thuzad couldn’t be allowed the chance to spot Edwin.  My head was too busy racing in circles to come up with much in the way of a clever plan on the fly, so I ran with what I know best: the simple approach.

I jumped out of the bushes, charged Kel’Thuzad, and knocked him off his horse before he could reach the town square.  As soon as I was in plain sight, two of the town guards saw me and ran to intercept, yelling about an orc intruder.  They were pretty weak, and I slapped back what passed for their attacks pretty easily, but I didn’t work too hard to put the smackdown on them.  Let them pay attention to me.  Let the whole town pay attention to me.  Just for a few more minutes.

More shouting was coming from the town, and when I looked back over my shoulder, Mograine and his two Silver Hand flunkies were running up to help the guards.  Doan stood back and tossed some fireballs at me – stung a little, but nothing I couldn’t shrug off.  KT, on the other hand…yeah, those frostbolts of his were no joke.  Meanwhile, I had Mograine and Fairbanks and the two weak-ass guards swiping away at me from all sides.

I kept trying to look back at the inn, but in all the commotion, I couldn’t really see anything anymore.  Then, while I was trading swings with Fairbanks, Mograine managed to grab me by my shoulderguard and spin me so I was facing the square, with my back to him.

And then a sharp, warm pain in my back.

It’s a funny thing.  For all the bizarre distortions and traveling in time we’ve done, it’s the moment that has nothing to do with time magic that stands out – when time slows down for all its own mundane reasons, breaks down into flashes, reduces itself to images that come drop by drop.

Looking past the crowd in the square.  Catching the shortest glimpse of a third Faranell appearing in front of the inn as if from nowhere.

The blur of my Faranell rushing toward the other two.

My eyes dropping to look at my chest.  The blade of the Ashbringer, jutting out, coated with dark blood.

The fact that it didn’t even hurt nearly as much as I’d think it would.  The thought that maybe that was still coming.

Looking back up, to the sight of flickering yellow cracks spreading silently in the air around the inn.  A pulsing yellow ball of light swelling up without a sound, then bursting out in all directions.

And I remember looking down again at the sword bursting from my chest, and the blood coming in slow-motion spurts.  And I remember, just as the wave of warm yellow light washed over me…I think I remember laughing.

The rest is darkness.

And then I woke up.

 

 

[Header image provided by Angelya from Revive and Rejuvenate, used here with permission and many thanks.]

Let’s do the time warp again

Posted in General, Transcripts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

It was late when we arrived in Dalaran.  After the bunch of us got off the Windrunner, Dranosh ordered Drok to take his crew and report to Bolvar and the Argent Vanguard to help however much he could.  As the ship made its departure, we got going to the Violet Citadel.

On the way, we passed through the center of the city.  It was an eerie sight for me.  In the middle of town, on the spot where there should have been the monument to the defeat of the Lich King, there’s a memorial honoring Tirion and the heroes who were lost with him in Icecrown Citadel.  Liadrin stopped for a minute and offered a prayer for the fallen.  Jaina.  Dontrag and Utvoch.  Saurfang.

A gnome was making his way around the city lighting all the lampposts when we arrived at the Violet Citadel.  Rhonin was waiting for our arrival and was pacing around in the main hall like a restless animal.  Liadrin started to break the news to him about Jaina, but Rhonin cut her off.  I think he already knew, as soon as he saw us walk in without her.

He took us upstairs, where he summoned a portal for us to the Caverns of Time.

 

 

People get so used to taking mage portals that before long they forget how disorienting they are at first.  You’re in one place, then there’s a flash of light, and for half a second you’re nowhere.  You feel this dizzying whoosh run through your whole body and you feel like you’re falling, and then all of a sudden you’re somewhere different.  New sights, new sounds, new everything.  After you’ve done it a few times, you learn to roll with it and regain your sense of direction quickly, but every so often, when you first arrive in a new place, something happens to throw you out of your routine and reminds you just how unsettling it can be.

The ground shook violently under our feet as we arrived at the Caverns of Time.  Not even just the ground – the walls, the ceiling, somehow even the air seemed to shudder around us.  Bronze dragons were racing around, and bunches of drakonids ran up the ramp toward the surface.  Anachronos was rumbling around, barking orders, rallying the cavern’s defenders.  I don’t think I’d ever seen him so animated.  After a minute, he spread his enormous wings and flew up the winding passageway with a handful of bronze drakes close behind.

In the middle of the chaos, Chromie teleported in right on top of us, talking a million miles an hour, and finally ushered us back to Soridormi, near the Hillsbrad portal, before teleporting away again.

 

SORIDORMI:  Thank the Titans you’ve made it.  We don’t have much time.

GARROSH:  Do I even want to ask?

SORIDORMI:  The Legion must have pieced together what we might try to do, as I’d feared.  They started their attack some hours ago.  We’ve been holding them back, but the battle has been a costly one.

The entire cavern quakes as shouts echo from the surface passageway.

DRANOSH:  Well, we brought you a present.

Dranosh steps back and gestures to Faranell, who is holding the Focusing Iris.

FARANELL:  <handing the Iris to Soridormi>  Will you be able to do it?

SORIDORMI:  <nods>  It will take me a few minutes to open the portal and stabilize it, but I can get you back to Southshore, yes.

DRANOSH:  Wait, Southshore?  What’s in Southshore?

LIADRIN:  A very long story

GARROSH:  Well now for the 50,000 gold question – what do we do when we’re back there?

MOKVAR:  Please don’t tell me we have to go in and kidnap old-Edwin and switch him with young-Edwin but also do something with original-young-Edwin while we’re at it to make sure old-us don’t still grab original-young-Edwin by mistake, because, I mean, not enough aspirin in the world.

LIADRIN:  Not to mention we would have to do something about the chameleon shard attunement in that case, if this Edwin doesn’t end up tending to it…

DRANOSH:  Is there a reason why everyone but me seems to know what’s going on wherever it is we’re going?

LIADRIN:  Honestly?  Because everyone but you was there the first time.

GARROSH:  We were all there before, Dranosh – the four of us, in old Southshore, about ten years ago.  That’s how all of this started.  That’s why the Legion and the Scourge are winning now.

LIADRIN:  None of this was ever supposed to happen.  It’s only happened this way because events in the past were altered, and have snowballed into what’s happening now.

DRANOSH:  <blinking>  Okay, I think I need a second here…

GARROSH:  While you’re doing that… Sori?  What’s the plan here?

SORIDORMI:  I can get you to Hillsbrad the morning of the last day you were there.  That’s when the disruption began.  And ultimately, this rests on Edwin.

FARANELL:  Oh great…

SORIDORMI:  You’re right, Mokvar; trying to switch off versions of Edwin would be far too complicated and leave too much room for something else to go wrong…

The cavern shudders again, more violently.

GARROSH:  Okay, this is sounding like we’re going for the simple approach.  I’m a big fan of the simple approach.

SORIDORMI:  Ordinarily, the one thing one must never do when traveling in time is to interact with oneself.  In this case, though, that’s exactly what Edwin will need to do: force a crossing of timelines between both – or rather, all – versions of himself present in that time.  If Edwin can make physical contact with both iterations of himself at once, it should short out the crossed lines and snap each version back to where he’s supposed to be.

LIADRIN:  That last morning – that was when future-Edwin broke past-Edwin out of Mokvar’s hex.

MOKVAR:  There’s our window.  They’ll both be within a few feet of each other.

SORIDORMI:  If he can do it, the shorting out should trigger both realities into resetting themselves and separating.

GARROSH:  You get all that, Doc?  Today’s your turn to save the world…

The ground shakes once again, and the cavern walls around the surface passage buckle.  A handful of bronze dragons rush down into the cavern, with a swarm of demons close behind.  Behind the initial wave of demon shock troops, Varimathras and Prince Malchezaar descend into the cavern.

CHROMIE:  <calling out while circling around the cavern in dragon form>  They’ve breached the cavern!  Fall back and regroup!  We have to hold them!

LIADRIN:  Soridormi, do you need all of us to go back?

SORIDORMI:  Edwin is the only one who has to go.

DRANOSH:  <to Liadrin>  I think that’s our cue for one last battle of the line.

Liadrin nods, draws the Ashbringer, and runs into a pack of terrorfiends, tearing through then with one spinning swipe of the blade.

<to Garrosh>  This was your mission from the get-go, Overlord.  Go see it through, and I’ll talk to you when it’s over.

Dranosh starts to turn to join the battle.

GARROSH:  Dranosh!

Dranosh looks back.  Garrosh looks at him in silence for a moment.

…Give them hell.

DRANOSH:  <smirks>  I don’t really think they’re running short.  <starts running toward the demons>  Now go be a hero – that’s an order!

Dranosh leaps into a group of felguards and bursts into a Bladestorm.

GARROSH:  You’re the boss.  Lok’tar, Warchief…

FARANELL:  Soridormi… I’ll try my best at this, but even if it works…

Soridormi nods to Faranell and starts to channel a spell through the Focusing Iris into the time portal.

Well…Garrosh said that…the other me may have thrown off the timeline without even meaning to, just because of what he knew.  But now me…I’ve seen so much, how do we know I won’t disrupt history all over again?

Soridormi reaches into a belt pouch and tosses a small tuber to Faranell.

SORIDORMI:  This is a Nepenthe Root.  Is grows only here in the Caverns of Time.  Eat it once you’re through the time portal; it will take an hour or two to take effect.  The root is a powerful purifier on the mind – its effects will ripple through your entire timeline, purging any memories out of synch with their natural timeframe.

GARROSH:  It’s not going to oops-mindwipe him completely, is it?

SORIDORMI:  No…the worst side effect he might experience would manifest itself as sporadic and random lapses of memory.

 

The demons continued flooding into the cavern while Dranosh, Liadrin, and the dragons fought to hold them at bay.  A group of doomguards managed to get all the way back to the Hillsbrad portal with us.  Mokvar, Edwin, and I managed to fight them off while Soridormi continued channeling her spell.  Once they were dead, Mokvar pushed his notes into my hands and said to take care of Edwin while he helped the rest with the demons, and ran off into the fight.

I looked past Mokvar as he ran into the fray and saw Dranosh going toe-to-toe with Varimathras, then leaping up and sending a Mortal Strike tearing straight into the dreadlord’s throat.  One more swing and he had Varimathras’ head off altogether.  He caught it, spun around, and sent it flying at Malchezaar — pointed so that the dreadlord’s horns pierced straight through Malchezaar’s eyes.

The portal glowed brighter as Soridormi poured more magic into it.  Then the ground shuddered again, and large chunks of the stone around the surface passage broke away.  With a demonic laugh announcing his arrival, Kil’jaeden, Lord of the Burning Legion, stepped down into the Caverns of Time and started walking directly toward us.

Liadrin tore through at least twenty demons with one of her Divine Storms, and ran between Kil’jaeden and us.  The demon lord extended his hand toward her, palm extended, and released a torrent of shadow magic.  Liadrin held the Ashbringer over her head and projected a shimmering shield of holy magic around herself.  The two stood there, facing each other down – Kil’jaeden kept pouring more power into his shadow torrent, Liadrin kept drawing on the Light and the power of the Ashbringer to hold it back.  As she exerted herself more and more, a gleaming white light shone out of the Ashbringer and around her whole body – and after a moment, just as Soridormi called out to us that the time portal was ready, the glowing, pulsing light surrounding Liadrin sharpened into the shape of a naaru.

Liadrin looked back at us.  Her eyes were white and glowing.  For all the fighting and screaming and magic eruptions, I should never have been able to make out an individual voice, but just for a moment I could hear hers – in my head.  It was accompanied by a musical chiming, and echoed by a second voice, one I’d heard but not quite heard once before…the voice of A’dal.

We can’t hold him forever.  GO!

I grabbed Edwin’s arm and pulled him through the portal as the ground shook and the walls quaked.  The Caverns of Time disappeared in a dizzying rush of light, and the sounds of battle ringing in my ears faded into a memory of the future as I felt myself sliding back into the past.

I’ll see you on the other side.

Dying of the light

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

I haven’t talked about this much, but ever since Cromush and his people recovered that light crystal fragment from Southshore a few weeks ago, I’ve been in contact with Liadrin about it.  At first I let her hold it for safekeeping, since she was there from the get-go, and she seemed to have a better handle on what it was and what it can do than any of the rest of us.  Since then, she’s kept it with her up in Quel’thalas.

Not long after I handed it off to her, she brought it with her on one of her trips up to the Sunwell, so she could compare it with the holy energy radiating from the Sunwell ever since it was reignited by M’uru’s spark.  She says the two have basically the same feel, only that the fragment isn’t as potent.  Liadrin is pretty much convinced that the original dark crystal was the spark of a dying naaru, which the Knights of the Silver Hand partially restored by pouring holy magic into it.  Which means, now, that she believes the fragment she’s holding is a piece of a naaru’s soul.

Liadrin contacted me earlier this week and said she thinks that rather than holding the fragment, we should return it to the naaru, since it’s basically the spiritual remains of one of their own.  At first I wasn’t so sure about this – considering what we’d seen these crystals do, they could be incredibly useful against the Scourge or any other undead threats that might come along.  But then I got to thinking about what she says the fragment actually is – and, more importantly, thinking about the reason I was hesitant to give it up: basically I’d be saying we should hold the spirit of a once-living being captive, to leverage as a weapon against our enemies, rather than letting its kin lay it to rest, or do whatever they do with their dead.

I’ve been on the other side of that scenario.  Not long ago.  And I may be a lot of things, but I outright refuse to become THAT.

So, I ended up agreeing to her suggestion.  Liadrin said the best option was to bring the fragment to A’dal himself, and she invited me to go with her for the trip.  So yesterday morning I met up with her and had one of our mages portal us directly to Shattrath.

It wasn’t the first time I’d been to Shat, obviously, but usually when I’d gone there, I’d passed through fairly quickly.  I never really stopped in at the Terrace of Light or met A’dal before.  Liadrin took it as an occasion to give me a proper introduction – I think she kind of enjoyed showing off the fact that she on semi-kinda-sorta-friendly terms with our big glowy friend Captain Chandelier – and play up what a valuable “ally of the Light” I’d become, whatever the hell that means.

Liadrin did most of the talking.  She approached A’dal, got out the crystal fragment, and started giving the short version of where we’d gotten it.  Every so often she would pause for a minute, then go on talking some more.  Seemed like she was having a conversation, only I was hearing just one side of it.  She’d warned me beforehand that A’dal communicates through telepathy rather through actual audible sound, so I understood what was going on, but knowing in advance didn’t stop it from being a little unnerving to watch.

Still, watching it wasn’t nearly as unnerving as EXPERIENCING it.  After Liadrin ran through the story of what happened to us in old Southshore, I started to…well, “hear” isn’t the right word exactly, but I don’t really have a better one.  So…I started to hear this echoing, musical chiming in my head, strange and soothing all at once.  Then a calm voice forming words – except, as an echo, almost.  It was like I THOUGHT of the words myself, as if I were reading them, only without there actually being a book there to read, and then AFTER I already had the words in my mind, just by half a second, THEN the voice would echo them, flowing through my thoughts like a river.

Like I said, Liadrin had warned me about this, but no amount of warning could really prepare you for what it’s like.  I wonder if anyone ever really gets used to it.  A’dal echoed some words of thanks into my head, and a few other comments about it being good that I finally came to meet him, that he’d been aware of my passing my passing passing gnas my eh passing aware emit passing ot edo passing of latrommi na of emit ot edo na ni secalp rieht ot sevlesmeht hcatta youre ot welf dna sdrow elbahsirepmi etihw drah meht gnikam sih the tuohtiw enalp a morf sgnivahs ekil sllehs ekil llef spil boss sih morf dna mih revo sehcir sti deruop ksuh sti tilps emit drow stone eht aizer stone dias cracking stone emit cracking si cracking ti cracking cracking stone cracking stone while the floor shook under us.  Shatari guards raced across the Terrace to hold the breach, only to have half their number immediately taken out by a shadow volley.  As they fell, a demonic laugh echoed through the chamber – another thunderous crack, and an enormous chunk of the wall crumbled away.

From the other side of the fallen wall, Doom Lord Kazzak stepped into the Terrace.  As he took his first step in, he lashed the Warblade of Archimonde through a dozen more Sha’tari guardians, slaying them immediately, and he let out another laugh as he fed off their deaths to swell up that much larger.  Dozens of doomguards and man’ari rushed into the Temple from behind Kazzak.  Beyond the walls all I could see was smoke and flame.  Screaming voices came from every direction.

Liadrin tore through a wave of demons with a Divine Storm – barely even taking notice of them as she plowed through – and I took down a few myself with a whirlwind while we both closed in on Kazzak.  He deflected a few of our blows with his blade, while some of them glanced off his legs without seeming to hurt him much.  All the while I could hear a sound, higher and higher pitched, bubbling up in my mind, flowing and piercing all at once, coming from everywhere and nowhere.  I took another swing at Kazzak, then looked over my shoulder.

A’dal was turning to face the Doom Lord.  All the times I’d been here, I’d never seen him move before.  But there he was, turning, rising, floating toward the fight, that white glow around him growing larger and brighter.  And then that musical, liquid voice echoing my thoughts back at me.

It is not your time.  Go.  Now.  Leave this place, and never return.

A blinding flash of white and yellow swelled out from A’dal and burst over part of Kazzak’s body.  The demon lord recoiled, and you could see half the flesh from one arm and shoulder and part of his face had been burned away by the holy light.  Kazzak bellowed angrily and lashed his blade into A’dal.  The naaru lurched back and you could hear a harsh crystalline chiming from his body – then he straightened himself and unleashed another blinding burst of white light around himself and Kazzak, this time leaving most of the demon’s body burned and scarred, muscle and sinew exposed.

Kazzak reared back and screamed out in pain, letting loose another shadow volley that knocked me back and left another dozen or so Sha’tari troops lifeless on the ground.  Kazzak burst into that booming laugh as he fed off the souls of the fallen.  He swelled up larger again, some of his wounds regenerating, and, growling angrily, he lunged at A’dal, tearing his Warblade through the heart of his crystalline shape – which shook, buckled, and finally…cracked.

The screaming in my mind was the most awful thing I’ve never heard.

The shattered pieces of A’dal spun in place, pulsing, as he started to glow even brighter.  Liadrin rushed to his side while Kazzak stepped back, shielding his eyes with his arm.  Finally the white glow erupted as broken crystal fragments split and scattered around the temple, strewn in every direction in the wake of a shimmering white shockwave that knocked Liadrin and me back.

I pulled myself together and ran over to check on her.  She was sprawled out on her back, eyes wide with shock.  Before I could offer my hand, she’d pulled herself up, staring across the room at Kazzak while muttering “He…he…”  She steadied herself, tightened her grip on the Ashbringer, then screamed out as she charged at the Doom Lord, her back glowing with holy wings while her eyes glowed with murderous rage murderous rage rage sllaf murderous emit rage glowed tnemides rage emos htiw rage with yvaeh ssalg with a morf sllaf pord a sa tniop a ot srepat youre emit tnadnep semoceb yaddim ta dleif a sa daerpsediw si hcihw the emit thgil gnicnad a htiw derevoc erutsap ynnus a si boss hcihw emit tniop a ot gnirepat emit si gnillaf pord siht htuoy ym gnisol htiw od ot gnihton times sah ton times si trying times gnillaf trying pord trying siht trying trying times trying times, he said, he had hope that I would see them through.  I wasn’t sure what to say back – can’t say I’d ever had an actual conversation with my own head before – so I just sort of nodded and thanked him, and by this point Liadrin looked to be ready to go, so we gave the big guy a last respectful bow and turned to leave.

As we were about to exit the Terrace, I heard – felt? – that chiming, flowing sound swelling up in my thoughts again.  It was A’dal offering a final thought, calling me by name as if it could be anyone else’s head he was reaching into.  One last sentence came echoing back to me, then silence.

If you go to Kypari Zar, you will die.

I have no idea what that was supposed to mean.  That is, other than the obvious.  I get the dying part.  But I’ve got no idea what the hell “Kypari Zar” is, or why I would go there, or how I’m supposed to make sure I don’t.  Mostly, though, I’m really starting to get sick of people being all fucking cryptic.

I started to ask Liadrin about it, but she stopped me and said what A’dal chooses to share with anyone is for that person alone.  Fat lot of good that does me, right?  Oh well.  Not going to lose sleep over it now.  I’ll burn that bridge when I come to it.

More soon.

Return pilgrimage to Hearthglen

Posted in Transcripts with tags , , , , , , , on August 3, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

After Tirion’s aide Daria sent me that letter the other day, I arranged to take a trip back over to Hearthglen to see what we can do to help Faranell with whatever problems he’s having adjusting.  I brought Mokvar with me for note-taking purposes – and had to listen to him complain about all the zeppelin miles I’ve had him logging lately for my troubles – and also sent a message up to Liadrin in Silvermoon that Faranell’s having some issues and we’ll keep her posted on what we end up doing.

I ended up being delayed in Orgrimmar a little, getting Nazgrim and Drok set up on a few recon missions we need tended to, but after that we finally caught our zeppelin to the Undercity.  We arrived in Hearthglen this afternoon and got escorted straight up to Mardenholde Keep.  Tirion was there, obviously, and joining us at the conference table upstairs was the man of the hour himself, Faranell.

 

TIRION:  Again I’d like to thank you gentlemen for coming to meet with us.  It truly is a testament to your dedication to your people that even now, after a change that leaves your colleague adrift on the opposite side of what has, in many quarters, grown to be a contentious racial divide, even now you rush to the side of your comrade at the first word of his difficulties.  And doubtless, with such friendship to rally to his side—

GARROSH:  Seriously, dude, I’ve been in town like ten minutes and you’re already on round three of this speech.  Can we just get on with it already?

TIRION:  As you wish, Warchief.

GARROSH:  Thank the spirits.

TIRION:  In that case, I suppose this would be the time to defer to our friend Dr. Faranell.  I felt under the circumstances it might be best to include him in our deliberations, such that he might provide a first-hand account of his difficulties.

GARROSH:  So Doc, Tirion says you’ve been seeing things?  Visions, maybe?

FARANELL:  That’s just it, though.  I’m not “seeing things” as if they were just appearing around me.

TIRION:  This, you see, Warchief, is the line of discussion that prompted me to contact you on the matter at hand.  Please do go on, Doctor.

FARANELL:  Well, for instance, the first time it happened, I was walking down toward the front gates… I distinctly remember looking over at the mill…and then I felt dizzy for a few seconds.  I looked around again, and it was as if I were in Dalaran, in my old study there.

GARROSH:  Still sounds like a hallucination, just on a bigger scale – maybe one of the buildings you were walking by reminded you of Dalaran, or…?

FARANELL:  <shakes his head>  It wasn’t just the place, though.  I was in my study, sitting in my old chair, and Kel’Thuzad was there.  He was talking about some…new types of spells he’d been trying out.  After the first few words, I recognized what he was saying – it was a conversation we’d had about a year ago.  Well…it used to be a year ago…

GARROSH:  Hmm.  So it was a flashback.

MOKVAR:  Makes sense that he might have them, really.  <nods at Faranell>  That you would have them, I mean.  Sorry, Edwin…

FARANELL:  <shrugs>  It’s fine.  I’m starting to get used to people talking about me as if I’m not in the room.

MOKVAR:  Anyway, though.  I’m not surprised that you’re flashing back to some of your memories from before, strange as everything here must be for you now…

FARANELL:  But that’s the thing.  It wasn’t just a memory.

GARROSH:  How do you mean?

FARANELL:  I wasn’t just watching myself having this conversation I’d had before.  I was watching Kel’Thuzad talk, and then after a minute, he looked at me, and I must have had a strange look on my face, because I said I looked confused and asked if I was all right.  And that definitely wasn’t something that happened originally.

GARROSH:  So the memory was your starting point, and then you started interacting with it.  Sort of like a dream.

FARANELL:  Maybe.  I don’t know.  It all seemed so real.  And every detail seemed exactly right.

GARROSH:  Well you do have that super-memory.  Makes sense that you’d fill in the details really well.

TIRION:  It does, indeed, makes sense that one blessed with such a memory – eidetic, I believe, if I recall the terminology correctly – would likewise be, conversely, cursed in such a circumstance as this with hallucinations of an enhanced degree of verisimilitude, such that one might indeed have difficulty distinguishing the illusion from reality.

GARROSH:  Yeah, T-Ford, that’s what I just said, only with like half the words.

MOKVAR:  Edwin, you said that was the first time it happened.  How long ago was that?

FARANELL:  Almost two weeks now.

GARROSH:  How many more times has it happened since then?

FARANELL:  Three more.

GARROSH:  What did you see then?

FARANELL:  Once, it was just after I’d arrived at the inn in Southshore…that last time I was there.

MOKVAR:  I can see how your thoughts might go there, especially early on…

FARANELL:  Another time, it was three years ago, at my brother’s wedding.  In the middle of making my toast, of all things… I was standing there with everyone staring at me, like I’d just stopped in mid-sentence…

GARROSH:  Okay…so flashing back to fairly major events in your life.  I mean, it must suck for you to be going through it, but it does kind of add up, considering…

FARANELL:  You would think that’s what it is, yes, but here’s the problem.  The third time wasn’t something I remember happening at all.

GARROSH:  What was the third one?

TIRION:  This is, you will find, the most troubling of the set…

FARANELL:  I was back in Brill.  The town was being attacked.  Ghouls, skeletons, zombies…every kind of undead you can think of.  I was with a few other townspeople, trying to help fight them off…but they kept coming, and…I think I died.

GARROSH:  You…what?

FARANELL:  I don’t know.  But…it felt like dying.  <shrugs>  Not that I’ve ever died before, to know.

Garrosh, Mokvar, and Tirion exchange looks.  Faranell watches them grimly.

FARANELL:  It’s how I died, isn’t it?

Garrosh looks to Tirion for a moment, then back to Faranell.

FARANELL:  Not me me, obviously.  But…the other me.  The one you knew.  That…became one of them.  It’s how he died.

GARROSH:  The thing of it is…I don’t know.  It sounds like it could have been, but I don’t know.

FARANELL:  He was killed by the Scourge, wasn’t he?

TIRION:  Aye.  As were many – far too many – some years ago.

GARROSH:  But I don’t know the details.  Did he…well, the other you.  What did he tell you in the letter he wrote you?  About how he died.

FARANELL:  Not very much.  Just that he was killed when the Scourge swept through Lordaeron, and was raised as undead not long afterward.

TIRION:  I would imagine the undead incarnation of Dr. Faranell would have seen little purpose in filling out the details of such an event, insofar as he would have envisioned his younger self as being safely relocated to a time well removed from such events.  If anything, he likely would hardly have wished to revisit the experience himself…

GARROSH:  And so that’s the problem, at least for us here.

MOKVAR:  <nods>  Right.  We don’t have anything to compare this to.  So what you saw, Edwin, could have been how the other version of you died…or it could just be hw you imagine he would have died.

FARANELL:  Yeah…

GARROSH:  And the shitty part of it is there’s really no way for us to check on something like that, so we might just have to have to have have neewteb to ni have just stneve have eht lla have to ot stisiv to modnar syap dna syas eh semit ynam htaed if dna htrib sih nees sah eh you eerht ytxis neetenin ni flesmih dnif go ot rood taht hguorht kcab enog to sah eh eno ytrof neetenin ni kypari eno rehtona tuo emoc dna evif zar ytfif neetenin ni rood a hguorht you deklaw sah eh yad gniddew sih will no denekawa dna rewodiw elines a die peels ot enog sah yllib emit lines ni kcutsnu lines emoc supply lines sah supply mirglip supply yllib supply supply lines supply lines, so getting ammunition OUT here in much quantity is going to be a problem.

MOKVAR:  Just based on our trip up here, I’d say that’s only going to get more difficult.

LIADRIN:  I’m only too aware.

GARROSH:  I don’t think you are, though.

LIADRIN:  What do you mean?

GARROSH:  We passed Andorhal on the way here.  Tirion’s arrived.

LIADRIN:  By the light…

GARROSH:  <nods>  I lost eight Kor’kron just in passing, and had them raised right in front of my eyes.

LIADRIN:  <sighs>  We were already getting pinned in badly enough here, without coming under siege by an enemy who knows our defenses and capabilities better than we know ourselves…  Daria?

DARIA:  Yes, ma’am?

LIADRIN:  Have a messenger sent to Lord Tyrosus at Light’s Hope to ask for aid…

DARIA:  Yes, my Lady.

Daria runs out.

GARROSH:  Also…I think it might be time for us to start considering the backup plan you’d suggested.  If we can get some kind of improvised docking structure up, I should be able to get a gunship here to evacuate Hearthglen, and from there you and I can make the make the the meht make stseretni the i taht the tnemom yna the can ta kool can nac yeht dna era stnemom eht if lla tnenamrep woh ees you nac yeht ecnatsni rof go sniatnuom ykcor eht fo to hcterts a ta kool kypari nac ew yaw eht zar tsuj stnemom tnereffid eht you lla ta kool nac will snairodamaflart eht tsixe lliw die syawla detsixe evah syawla to erutuf dna to tneserp have to tsap have stnemom have lla have have to have to wait and see on any other cases, if they happen, and… Edwin?  Are you okay?

Faranell looks around the room, disoriented and visibly shaken, then lets out a sigh.

TIRION:  Dr. Faranell?

FARANELL:  It happened again…

GARROSH:  Just now?

Faranell nods.

TIRION:  What did you see this time, Doctor?

FARANELL:  I was…in a wooded area.  Dark, dreary…not sure where, exactly… There were orcs with me, fighting beside me…

GARROSH:  Fighting what?

FARANELL:  A group of… <pauses a moment as if searching for a word> …tauren, I think?

GARROSH:  It must have been a pretty quick fight.  You were talking not even a minute ago.

FARANELL:  No… That is, I wasn’t there long, but…it was at least a good five minutes.

MOKVAR:  No.

GARROSH:  It couldn’t have been.

TIRION:  Dr. Faranell, I can assure you, you were engaged in this very conversation with is until mere seconds ago.  There most certainly was not a window of some minutes during which you could have perceived the events you describe.

MOKVAR:  I remember reading once that dreams happen in a sort of condensed time…

GARROSH:  How’s that?

MOKVAR:  Just that when you have a dream, if it seems like ten minutes pass in the dream, it’s really only taking your brain a few seconds to experience it.  It just seems longer to you.

GARROSH:  Holy shit, that’s freaky.

MOKVAR:  Strange but true.

TIRION:  That would lend credence to our suspicion that the good doctor is suffering from a terrible affliction of the imagination…

FARANELL:  No, I’m telling you, I was there.

GARROSH:  Edwin, you were right here with us the whole time.

FARANELL:  I wasn’t imagining it.  It was happening.

GARROSH:  Okay, okay.  Fine.  Maybe so.  So much weird shit seems to happen to us, what’s one more thing.

TIRION:  It would appear indeed, gentlemen, that oddities do gravitate toward you.  A phenomenon to which I cannot say I find myself impervious, for if you recall—

GARROSH:  I’d really rather not, T-Ford.

TIRION:  Oh.  As you prefer, Warchief…

GARROSH:  Anyway… I suppose this is all we’re going to work out in one sitting.  We should probably let you get back home.

TIRION:  Miss L’Rayne?

DARIA:  Yes, Highlord?

TIRION:  Is the good doctor’s family still here?

DARIA:  Yes, sir.  His brother is waiting for him downstairs.

TIRION:  Excellent.  If you would be so kind, please escort the doctor down.

MOKVAR:  Hang in there, Edwin.

GARROSH:  Don’t worry, Doc.  We’ll get this figured out yet.

Faranell nods to them glumly.  Daria leads him out of the room.  Garrosh, Mokvar, and Tirion sit quietly for a moment.

GARROSH:  So what do we think’s really going on with him?

MOKVAR:  I’ve got nothing.

TIRION:  I too am at a loss for words, Warchief.

GARROSH:  You know, under different circumstances, that sentence would have been fucking spectacular, but…

TIRION:  I suppose I might venture, however…

GARROSH:  Oh.  Here we go.  That didn’t last long.

TIRION:  …though I cannot offer any helpful conjecture on the good doctor’s current, troubling condition—

GARROSH:  Oh so he doesn’t have anything helpful to say.  Watch him keep talking anyway.

TIRION:  —I would, whoever, hasten to commend you gentlemen on the camaraderie and fellowship that has compelled you to journey once again to our fine sanctuary, in hopes of aiding a friend whom in a very real sense you do not truly know.  It is steadfast commitment to honor, not unlike that demonstrated by your noble kinsman Eitrigg, without whose aid I likely would not be with us here today – have I told you the tale, as an aside?  I do not recall if ever I have regaled you with that episode from years gone past.

GARROSH:  Listen, I brought Dontrag and Utvoch with me again.  Don’t make me use them.

 

So…that’s where we stand.  A whole lot of nothing, and maybe an ounce or two more of YEEEESH.  For right now we’re just going to have to keep an eye or twelve on Faranell and see if anything else happens.  Let’s hope not.  But then again, I know our luck.

More soon.

“Daria’s Pro Tip for Dealing with Tirion #14: Never make eye contact. Eye contact makes him assume you’re interested, and increases word output by 25%.”

A sort of homecoming

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

 

It took some doing, but we managed to get Faranell somewhat calmed down.  Since he woke up, Liadrin’s been the only one who’s been able to approach him with any success, so after we received the buried letters from Southshore, I had her go to deliver his.  After that, we left him mostly to himself for a couple days, because seriously, the reality of the situation is more than anyone could be expected to digest.  Last thing he needed was to have extra people coming at him while the whole world was going topsy-turvy.  I can’t imagine what it must be like trying to come to terms with everything he’s just gotten dropped on him.

The only break in his seclusion came after the first day, when he asked Liadrin to let him see what had become of Lordaeron.  She was smart enough to send word over to the Undercity to have them clear everyone out of the upper ruins – she figured the sight of what had become of the city would be enough for him to try to deal with, without undead Deathguards wandering around.  When he finally went over, Liadrin tells me, he was viably shaken by the sight, and when they went into the throne room, he just knelt by that little blood stain on the floor – the one that nobody has ever bothered to clean up FOR WHAT REASON I CANNOT IMAGINE – and just stared off into space with his head tilted as if he was listening to something.  He finally pulled himself together and asked to go back, in a voice that was barely audible.  He hadn’t talked to anyone since then, until this morning.

While that was going on, I was working on what to do about his situation.  He can’t stay in the Undercity – it would be cruel, for one thing, to try to make him live there, or in any of the towns held by the Forsaken now, considering what he remembers them being like, literally just a few days ago from his point of view.  Plus, I don’t much like having him somewhere filled with Sylvanas’ people, considering her first reaction to learning about the new-old Faranell was to refurbish him to be closer to the other model.

Orgrimmar would be safer for sure, and I could personally make sure he was being watched out for, but that’s not such a hot option either.  Considering his most recent associations with the orcs, I’m thinking he’s not going to get comfy living in an orc city anytime soon.  And I mean, yeah, sure, I’m all about the orc pride, but not even I would expect him to be able to swallow, basically, “So, yeah, about all that shit we did?  We were kind of going through a thing.  We’re a lot cooler now, really.”

So, I finally came up with the best of a field of less-than-ideal options.

This morning, I picked up Faranell and Liadrin in Brill, and made the trip east to Hearthglen.

Between a good word from Eitrigg, and some paladin-speak from Liadrin, Tirion agreed to bring Faranell into the fold and help keep an eye on him early on.  We’ve given Tirion the rundown on Faranell’s story – I swear, the part where I was explaining how future-Faranell rigged things might have been the only time I’ve ever seen Tirion go speechless – so he knows what’s going on and what’s at stake.  Tirion and his Argent Crusade people still have plenty of work to do cleaning up the Plaguelands, so he’ll be able to put our boy to work helping with that.  More importantly, Hearthglen is mostly a human town, he has family there, and it’s a pretty insular community, which should limit a lot of potential problems.

I had a short meeting with Tirion when we brought Faranell up there.  He’s agreed to watch over him and keep us updated if he runs into any major wrinkles.  Eventually, once Voice From the Past gets settled, we can see about taking him around a little so he can see more of the world as it is now.  But that won’t come until he’s ready.

While I was there, I also had to give Tirion a little shit about his kid making life more difficult for us while we were in the past.  Once we were finished talking about Faranell and I was getting ready to go, I was like, “Oh, by the way, your kid is a dickwad.”  Tirion just kind of looked at me a minute, and then he pointed out that his son died a few years ago, killed by Isilien, in fact, after the kid came to his senses about the Scarlet Crusade.  So I took that in for a minute, and then I corrected myself: “Your kid WAS a dickwad.”  Fucking nit-picking Tirion.

I can’t really complain, though, since for once he didn’t seem all that ramped up to talk my ear off.  Part of it was just the shock of hearing Faranell’s whole story and trying to absorb it, I’m sure, and part of it was the fact that we had business to go over that involved him getting information from us more than vice versa.  Plus I think he had a meeting with Bolvar or something later today, so for once he was able to go about his business like people actually have things to do with their time.

Anyway, that’s done.  I’m back in Orgrimmar now, and Faranell’s off in Hearthglen getting settled in.  Hopefully he’ll be okay once he gets adjusted.  In a way, you kind of have to be jealous of him – I mean, how many people basically get to skip over the part of their lives that sucks?  At this point, like our old Faranell said himself, the future is wide open for him.

Good luck, Edwin.

 

[Header image provided by Angelya from Revive and Rejuvenate, used here with permission and many thanks.]

Special delivery from Southshore

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

I’ve got two pieces of news fresh from Cromush in Southshore, one on the state of the anti-plague and reliquary, and the other…well, it’s complicated.

The simple part first.  Cromush reports that our people in Southshore have finished deploying our counter to the anti-plague magic…which is sort of a counter in itself…is there a special term for a counter-counter?  I feel like there kinda should be.  Anyway, from what they can tell, the effect has dissipated, and once they make one last sweep or two of the area to be safe, Helcular and his Forsaken peeps should be good to move back in from Tarren Mill.

Cromush also sent a few of his scouts to search the cellar of the Southshore inn, and they successfully recovered the reliquary that Isilien and Doan had planted there a decade ago.  By all appearances, the holy magic that was bottled up inside has been dispelled, although the crystal fragment inside is still intact, and apparently not entirely spent.  Like I think I mentioned before, I’ll probably let Liadrin hold it for safekeeping, once we get it safely out of Forsaken territory.

That’s not the complicated part, though.  Cromush’s scouts returned with one other tidbit: while they were digging around in the cellar, they also found a small wooden box lodged into the stonework near the reliquary.  Inside were three sealed letters – one addressed to me, one to Sylvanas, and one to Faranell.  By all indications, the box had been there, undisturbed, for about as long as the reliquary, and the oddity of all this gets a little worse – or maybe better? – when you know who the three letters are from.

Faranell.

Here’s mine:

 

Hello Garrosh,

From my point of view, I only just saw you last a few hours ago, but by the time you see this note, I imagine quite a long time will have passed.  As you no doubt already know, I’ve written similar letters to the Dark Lady and, well, to myself.  Or rather, to the version of myself who is with you now.

So, about him.

I imagine you’ve probably already come to suspect this, but I’ll confirm it for you now: the version of me that you’ve brought with you to the future isn’t the one who traveled with you to the past.  Who you have with you now is the past, younger me.  The human me.  This did not, however, happen as a result of any mistakes or carelessness.  It was my doing.  I orchestrated the events leading to your bringing him with you.  I’d started planning to do so midway through our journey.

It really wasn’t difficult to manage.  After finishing his work with Doan, my brother told me that with Kel’Thuzad hovering about, Doan had grown paranoid (even for Doan) about someone interfering with the reliquary; he’d placed a warding spell on the canister that would stun anyone who tampered with it, knocking them out for hours or even days.  I realized that this could provide me the window I needed to do what I’d been contemplating for the previous few days.

When I left the inn the next morning, I found the child Herod playing with the frog he’d taken from Taelan.  Which is to say, of course, my younger self, whom Mokvar had hexed.  A quick polymorph spell took Herod out of the equation; at that point I needed only break the hex on my younger copy, pop invisibility quickly, and get away from the inn.  From a distance I watched myself go back inside.

When the other me returned to his room (since, naturally, where else would he go?), he would find a letter I’d left for him, along with the chameleon shard.  In the letter, I “explained” that I – that is, he – had learned that an inexplicably unhinged Kel’Thuzad, suddenly obsessed with Mograine and the rest, had planted a magic explosive in the inn’s cellar; that if detonated, it would kill anyone in the inn or nearby; that I had volunteered to have my most recent memories erased to prevent any mind-reading to reveal to Kel’Thuzad that I’d revealed his plans.  That the crystal I’d left there for myself, used as directed, could deactivate the explosive before it was set off.  There was more to it, further details to ensure the story would ring true, but I doubt I need to belabor it with you; if anything, I suspect the letters “TL” and “DR” are already dancing around the edges of your thoughts.  Suffice to say, remembering that I had already begun to grow wary of Kel’Thuzad by this point in my life, I knew which buttons to press to convince myself.

And so I sent my past self on his way to the cellar to unknowingly attune the shard and be rendered unconscious by Doan’s warding spell.  And before you ask why my younger self would trust this story left for him in a letter, much less follow its instructions, let me pose this to you: faced with gaps in your memory and uncertainty over whom to trust, how many sources would you trust above your own handwriting?  I know myself, and I knew I would take the bait.

I can’t say I’ve never lied to myself, but I don’t think I’d ever done it quite so literally.

And here’s where you’re asking why I would go to all this trouble.  Or, maybe you don’t need to.  In the end, it’s really fairly simple.  Since dying to the Scourge and reawakening in undeath, I had never given much thought to the life I had lost.  I accepted my new existence fairly readily.  I didn’t have particular occasion to look back at the old life I’d lost until we traveled to old Hillsbrad, and at that point, I wasn’t merely looking back on that life.  I was actually living it again.

I never really missed being alive until I was reminded of what it’s like.

I want it back.

I’m far from greedy or ambitious, and my wants, in tangible terms, are simple ones.  I want to look in the mirror and see my own face.  I want to feel sunlight on my skin without it burning.  I want to taste food again.  I want to smell that food cooking and feel my mouth watering without my jaw hanging off one hinge.  I want to smell baking bread and freshly cut grass.

I know that’s not in the cards for me, in the long run.  I’m not naïve about the necessities of time, and I know I can’t cheat fate.  My being here represents a reprieve, a brief window to literally smell roses I didn’t bother smelling while oblivious to time running out for me.  Now I know I’m living on borrowed time, and I can soak it in while I can, but I understand that that’s all it is.  I can’t live out my human life that might have been.

That is, this me can’t.  But the one you brought with you to the future can.

And that was the real point of it all.  To save myself, probably in the most indirect way imaginable.

I’ve thought through the logistics, and everything should line up.  You and the others came to the past with a version of Edwin Faranell.  You’ve brought one back with you.  One was already here, and one continues to be here.  The scales are still balanced.  I still remember everything I was supposed to have done, all the events that need to happen, and I can make sure they still unfold the way they always did.  I realize this raises all sort of questions along the lines of “How can I remember the events I did in the past, if my past self no longer did them?”, but from the conversations we’ve had with Nozdormu, I’m fairly sure that will simply be one of those oddities of time rewriting itself.

Meanwhile, I know that I can’t make major changes to history, or try to stop Arthas, or anything of the sort; while I won’t pretend it won’t pain me to watch some of those events happen again, I can at least take comfort in the knowledge, for instance, that the Lich King will be stopped, so history doesn’t need me to try to.

And then, soon enough, I’ll come to the end that was fated for me.  History says that a human named Edwin Faranell died in Lordaeron and was risen into undeath; a human named Edwin Faranell will.  As Liadrin pointed out, as long as I’m here, I literally am human again.  I can die as I was meant to, continue playing my part among the Forsaken, and, when the time comes, be there again to travel back with you to Southshore.

I’ll become the closed loop, holding my own place in history, while the other, younger me will be free to live – live – his days in a wide-open future.

In the letter I will have written for him, I will explain all of this, and lay out the basic facts he will need to know about this new world.  I’m sure he will be frightened by it, and rightly so.  I would only ask, Garrosh, that you look out for him early on.  While I have great admiration for Lady Sylvanas in a great many ways, I suspect she will be none too pleased with this turn of events, and she may not be above taking steps that would, let us say, undermine what I have sought to do here.  I suspect, though, that you will understand why I’ve done this, and may even sympathize; I would only ask you not allow it to be for nothing.

I do not expect that I will see you again.  Live well, Warchief.  I hope I will do the same.

Dr. Edwin Faranell
Once and future Master of the Royal Apothecary Society

 

Not going to lie.  I don’t even really know how to respond to that.

I’m not exactly thrilled about this, for a whole bunch of reasons, but at the same time, Faranell got the job done, end to end, both when we were in Hillsbrad and before.  And as twitchy as this whole switcheroo makes me, on all kinds of levels, as far as I can tell it’s not like he’s setting out to screw with the timeline or mess something up or whatever.  And I have to give it to him, he’s one of the few people around this dump who’s got the brains to pull off something like this AND go forward with it without causing some kind of stupidity-fueled collateral damage.  Plus, he’s just a good dude.  Or was.  Or, well…will be.

Faranell was right — Sylvanas was less than thrilled when she got her letter.  She right off started talking about how it would be easy enough to “correct” Faranell’s condition.  I didn’t like the sound of that at all, so I’ve charged Liadrin with guarding him, and had Bragor Bloodfist divert a few of his Kor’kron up to Brill to help make sure nothing fishy happens. Because here’s the thing.  For all intents and purposes, for the Faranell we knew, this was a last request.  And last requests that don’t bring harm to anyone, where the only thing at stake is the person making the request?  They should be honored.

I think I have an idea of how.  Stay tuned.

I see undead people

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , on July 10, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

Faranell regained consciousness this morning.

That’s where the good news ended.

Apothecary Zinge – one of Faranell’s colleagues down at the Apothecarium – was trying some sort of salve that they thought might help him recover.  Liadrin tells me all the Undercity apothecaries have been taking turns going up to Brill to tend to him, even beyond the rotation Sylvanas had set up to have him monitored.  I suppose for all their shortcomings, you have to give it to the Forsaken for looking out for their own.  Anyway, either the salve worked, or whatever was wrong with Faranell finally ran its course, because while Zinge was there, he came around.

And looked around.

And started screaming in terror.

Zinge tried to calm him down, and so did Nurse Neela and Dark Cleric Beryl, but he wouldn’t hear any of it.  It was only when Liadrin came in that they were able to calm him down at all, and even then only after the others left him and Liadrin alone.  He kept asking where he was, and no matter how many times she told him he was in Brill, his only response was that it couldn’t be.

Eventually, Liadrin got him calmed down enough to talk a little.  She says she tried to be fairly selective about what she said to him, but from what she can gather…he doesn’t remember anything.  At least, nothing about the here and now.  Nothing about our mission in old Hillsbrad.  Nothing about the anti-plague or the plague or even the Scourge.  To listen to him, Brill is still part of the human kingdom of Lordaeron, and every attempt Liadrin made to gently reference anything that’s happened in the last several years has drawn nothing but blank looks.

Which is to say…the last thing he DOES seem to remember is being in Southshore with his brother.  And that leaves us with two possibilities, neither of them good.

The first is that there’s something seriously, profoundly wrong with Faranell’s memory.  Nozdormu said there was something going wonky with time somewhere around the point we were in Southshore, and Faranell WAS having some pretty conspicuous issues with forgetting things while we were there, despite him saying he’d always had some sort of super-memory.  It’s not that great a stretch to think something went wrong in his head, maybe from coming too close to crossing his own timeline, maybe from something involving the holy-magic-splodey mojo.  Maybe something else.  I don’t know.

You’ve probably already done the math on what the other possibility is.  And as much as I don’t relish the thought of one of our sharper people maybe taking a mind-wipe, I honestly think I might prefer that to option number two.  Because if that’s the case…hoo boy.  And you know what?  I don’t even want to talk about that possibility.  Not yet.  Not until I can start wrapping my head around what the hell we’re going to do in that case.

Before I start in on that, though, if you’ll excuse me, I think I need a drink.  Or ten.

Also: FUCKING TIME TRAVEL.

 

 

[Header image provided by Rioriel from Postcards From Azeroth, reproduced here with permission and many thanks.  Click here to see the souped-up Postcard version!]

Monday mailbag

Posted in Mailbag with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 9, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

Okay, I haven’t tended to the mail in a little while since we were, you know, dislocated in the time-space continuum.  But we’ve got a few letters that have come in lately, so before anything else happens that gets me all distracted, let’s see what we’ve got…

 

Hail, Warchief!

I would dearly love to find out what happened to Koltira Deathweaver. He died defending Silvermoon, you know. I enjoyed working with him in Agmar’s Hammer, and again on Ogrim’s Hammer. I heard that he disappeared under mysterious circumstances right after we ran the Alliance out of Andorhal. But that’s all I know. Something’s not quite right here, though. My sources here are usually pretty good, but when I bring up Koltira, they invariably change the subject.

The guy you want to talk to about Bowling for Wildhammer is Malkar over in Bloodgulch. It’s not actually bowling, though, it’s more like fishing. You toss a hook up in the air, snag a gryphon, and haul the rider down to you. Then, you wear him out. Lather, rinse, repeat. A fine way to while away a dull afternoon. But I’m not sure how closely Zaela looks into what goes on in Bloodgulch. She may well know nothing about this.

–A Concerned Citizen

Hey, ACC.  Thanks for the explanation of the whole Bowling for Wildhammer thing.  I’m definitely going to have to take a trip out there and check it out.  Granted, yanking dwarves out of the sky and curbstomping them isn’t going to be quite as fun or satisfying as, say, humans or gnomes, but hey, it’s Alliance and it’s curbstomping.  Can’t rightly complain about that.

As for Koltira…yeah, I’d like to know what the deal is with him, too.  I’ve been trying to find out for a while now, in fact.  Bragor Bloodfist down in the Undercity has been under orders to find out what happened to him, seeing as Sylvanas and her people were the last ones to see Koltira before he went off the grid.  He hasn’t been able to get any answers, though, and considering he’s got his own whole set of issues down there, I’m not sure whether it’s a matter of there not being any answers to be had or of him just not having his head in the right place.  I mean seriously, I ask him for a Koltira update, and he babbles on about Sylvanas going off to the little ghouls’ room and being gone for like an hour.  Like I need to know the details of her bathroom breaks.  Maybe she’s got an irritable colon or something, who knows.  I know mine gets plenty irritable with some of the morons I have to deal with in this job.

 

Dear Warchief,

We all know you’re a big fan of lemon squares (who isn’t, am I right?).  Do you have any other favourite foods?

Your fan,

–Salaria

One word, Salaria: bacon.  Everything goes good with bacon.  Everything.  There is not one single recipe out there – I DARE YOU TO PROVE ME WRONG – that isn’t improved by adding bacon.  Need convincing?  Name any kind of food you can think of, and tell me it wouldn’t sound even better if you stuck “bacon-wrapped” in front of it.  SEE?  Hell, if you offered to give me “bacon-wrapped cancer,” I’d have to at least think about it.

Of course, even granting that everything goes great with bacon, the thing that goes absolute BEST with bacon?  More bacon.

Honorable mention: peanut butter.  Most of the above applies, plus it’s really handy for when I have to give Mortimer a pill from the vet, and in general it’s just hilarious to watch a wyvern chawing away on it while it’s sticking to the roof of his mouth.  Sometimes I’ll give him a big spoon of the stuff, and while he’s munching away, Gurtash will make up dialogue that Mortimer could be saying, since his mouth will be flapping open and closed almost like he’s talking.  Good times.

 

Hey mon,

I been doin’ dat regular errand for Marogg da infantry chef, where he be askin’ us ta steal Darkspear rice from da trolls in da Valley of Spirits.  I been tinkin’ dis be a real smart move, mon, keepin’ da trolls underfed and hungry.  All you I mean we orcs know da only way we be keepin’ da trolls down is if we keep dem weakened – we let ’em eat well and get strong an’ for sure dey be takin’ over da Horde!  We all know dere be no way we be holdin’ dem down if dey at full strength!  Good goin’ dere, mon!

–Bob, Echo Isles

Wait, wait, hold on a minute.  You’re trying to tell me, you think the only reason the orcs are able to maintain our position of dominance within the Horde is because we use sketchy methods to keep any potential rivals weak?  You’re saying we couldn’t stay in charge if the fucking TROLLS had three squares a day (along with whatever extra snacks they’re having because, you know, munchies)?

Well FUCK THAT SHIT.

I’ll SHOW you how fast we’d lose control if the trolls weren’t hungry all the time!  Marogg was supposed to be gathering up that rice to make jambalaya, right?  Well I’m issuing him orders RIGHT THIS MINUTE to have half that jambalaya delivered right over to the troll district.  What’s more, I’m ordering Borstan the butcher to start scheduling regular deliveries of assorted meats to the Valley of Spirits, maybe let those scrawny fuckers get some protein for once, and then for good measure, I’m even having Shan’ti arrange to have some fruits and vegetables – why someone would want to eat those is beyond me, but whatever – sent over when there’s a decent crop.

You think the trolls would take over if we didn’t keep them weakened?  BULLSHIT, the trolls don’t need our help to be weak, they came out of the box that way, so just you fucking watch and see what happens – or DOESN’T happen – when they can’t cry starvation anymore!

Go head, fatten ’em up, feed ’em all they can choke down, see how much good it does them!  You hear me?  That’s an order!  Feed those trolls!

 

Attn: Garrosh Hellscream, Horde Warchief
c/o Orgrimmar, Durotar KLM

Pursuant to Stormwind Revenue Statute LC14-99A17, subsection A4:

This letter hereby notifies the above named GARROSH HELLSCREAM (hereafter “DEBTOR”) of funds owed to the Stormwind Treasury, as per investigations conducted under authority of this office:

    • Debtor initially accrued debt under alias G. PATRICK SEITZ in the amount of 120 gold in unpaid charges at Kelly’s Inn and Tavern, Southshore, Hillsbrad Foothills EKD.
    • Proprietor Herman Kelly, esq. (hereafter “PLAINTIFF”) filed legal claim against one G. PATRICK SEITZ in the amount of 144 gold in rental and late fees.
    • Lordaeron Circuit Court 23 ruled in favor of plaintiff in amount of 144 gold; additionally 216 gold in legal fees, 150 gold fine for failure to appear at hearing and 50 gold in punitive damages.  Total debt incurred 560 gold.
    • Debtor failed to appear before court on three statutory appeal dates as per Lordaeron Small Claims Code 19C, classification 4 (Brill Act).  Upon expiration of appeal period, debtor incurred mandatory penalties of 407 gold, 611 gold and 1215 gold for missed payment dates.
    • Funds owed to plaintiff were reimbursed from Lordaeron Treasury under Small Business Shelter Provision 2219-A; debtor’s account was placed in collection.  Mandatory fine of 117 gold incurred.
    • Collection duties assumed by Stormwind Agency of Taxation and Recovery under Disaster Provision Act after unexpected decease and necrotic resuscitation of entire fiduciary authority of Lordaeron government.
    • Debtor accrued additional debts in the mount of 117 gold monthly for failure to pay fines; additionally cumulative interest fees at rates of 14 to 23% per annum as dictated by Stormwind Variable Rate Index.

As of current date, debtor owes funds to RATR in amount of 49,758 gold.

Please remit funds to RATR, Stormwind, within 30 days of receipt of this notice.  Additional penalties may apply upon failure to comply.

–Royal Agency of Taxation and Recovery, Stormwind City
(Routing path: Southshore; Tarren Mill; Lordaeron; Androhal; Stormwind; Theramore; Gadgetzan; Caverns of Time; Ratchet)

What.

The fuck.

Is THIS?

Okay, so hold up.  You mean to tell me, when we high-tailed it out of Southshore – and yeah, we didn’t bother paying at the inn when we took off, because guess what, we had some other shit to do that was kind of important – Kelly (Herman?  Seriously?  Fucking HERMAN?) went to the trouble of filing a lawsuit and keeping after it to try to get back the fucking pocket change we owed him?

And okay, I know what you guys are probably thinking, how the hell did they even manage to trace this back to me in the first place, seeing as I was using an alias and a human face and WAS TRAVELING THROUGH FUCKING TIME.  But you know what, really, you shouldn’t be surprised that they managed to find me, because TAX COLLECTORS.  Those fuckers will see through time and space like it’s nothing and track you through the Twisted Nether and OMG maybe I should get some of THEM to try to find fucking Koltira!

Anyway, Stormwind tax dudes working under royal authority, I was going to send you an I.O.U. for the gold, but on second thought I figure it would be a lot better to take this occasion to publicly offer you an F.Y.V.

That’s right.

Everyone say it with me.

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