* Ever since she first met Garrosh in person, Taktani has had trouble letting go of the misperception that saying someone’s name twice is a Pandaren custom.
[Once again, more tomorrow...]
* Ever since she first met Garrosh in person, Taktani has had trouble letting go of the misperception that saying someone’s name twice is a Pandaren custom.
[Once again, more tomorrow...]
[Brief preliminaries: Yes, I know I'd promised that this episode would be posted Wednesday, but life sort of undermined that plan. (In a good way, overall -- I had a sudden last-minute influx of work earlier in the week, which was bad in terms of free time suddenly evaporating, but good in terms of, you know, $$$.) This first installment is just a short lead-in, but I wanted to have something up as soon as possible, rather than keeping everyone waiting for the whole thing to be done; along those lines, I'll be posting a new chunk of the comic every day until it's complete. This is something I've wanted to start doing with the comics for a while, anyway: shorter installments posted more frequently. Fingers crossed...]
So, yeah, after I got off the game and went to see Spazzle, he gave me the rundown on Ji. Apparently, after I shut down ol’ Double-Stuff’s bright idea to go poking around Blackrock Mountain for clues about Mokvar, he decided, nah, I don’t have to listen to Garrosh, because really, when has he EVER fucking done that? So he up and took off on his own. And yes, as some of you more attentive readers might remember, he WAS under house arrest with a guard stationed outside his door, but evidently a Kor’kron enforcer is no match for that Rosy-Palm Talk-to-the-Hand move that the pandas all seem to know, and yes, why the fuck I’m PAYING these people is beyond me, too. Anyway, we don’t know a lot of the specifics, other than the fact that Ji managed to high-tail it out of Orgrimmar, and that he’s planning to hit up Blackrock Mountain.
Before I get things together to head down that way, though, I had one other piece of personal business to see to…
So this one was a surprise. Here I was, going through my volumes and volumes of fan mail LIKE I GET ON A DAILY BASIS, and lo and behold, I get a message from someone nominating me for an award. The someone in question was Myriade, writer of Myriadoscope, and the award in question was something called the Liebster Award, which I didn’t really know anything about at the time but which I could already say with confidence that I DAMN WELL FUCKING DESERVED.
So I did a little looking around to see what the deal was with this award, and what I would need to do to beat out the other nominees to win it, like if there was honorable combat involved because holy crap you know I would be all over that shit, but, come to find out, it doesn’t work that way. There’s no final WINNER, just a chain of nominees naming other nominees to draw people’s attention to other blogs. Which is kind of cool, as far as spreading the word about good reads, even if it IS a little hippie for my tastes what with the “we’re all winners!” vibe, which, come on.
Anyway. Here’s the quasi-official description of the award, which everybody seems to be quoting, because it’s the hip thing to do these days:
Well, it is only an AWESOME award given to up and coming bloggers. Given by other up and coming bloggers. It’s a cool way to find other blogs and feel like you are getting into the blogging stratosphere. It is simple, you get nominated by someone else, mention their page and a link to their blog in your Liebster Award Post, answer the 11 questions they give you, then tag 11 other nominees and give them a new set of 11 questions to answer.
So, as you can see, receiving the nomination means I have some work to do now. FUCKING AWESOME IDEA FOR AN AWARD, FOLKS, HONOR PEOPLE BY STICKING THEM WITH FUCKING HOMEWORK. Anyway. Here are the 11 questions from Myriade:
1. Favourite race/class in WoW and why?
Quick note on the lingo here: Those of you who aren’t as internet-savvy as yours truly might be a little thrown off by that “WoW” acronym. Apparently it’s a new thing in online circles to use that as an abbreviation for “Whole of World,” as in, fucking everywhere. Which, granted, is kind of like how some people will literally say “LOL” now rather than just laughing, which I’ve never really gotten on board with myself, because fuck those assholes. Anyway.
As for the actual question, I mean, come on, you even need to ask this? Orc, because what the fuck else would I want to be, and warrior.
2. Achievement/Title you’re proudest of?
Obviously, the easy answer here is the title of Warchief. Hard to top that one. Still, I could probably make a case for Chieftain of the Warsong Clan, since that one came from me pulling my emo head out of my ass to assume my place as leader of our clan and Grom’s successor.
But, nah, I’m still going to go with Warchief.
Although, since I’m probably going to be heading down to Blackrock Mountain soon, I may have to see about picking up [Leeeeeeeeeeeeeroy!] while I’m in the neighborhood.
3. What’s in your bags (any character, or all of them)?
Huh. I’m not sure if this is asking about real life, or my Earth Online characters. I mean, for myself in reality, I don’t really walk around with a whole lot of stuff on me. (Such as, you know, a shirt.) I try not to weigh myself down more than I have to, seeing as I need to be ready to leap into action at a moment’s notice, and really, keeping Mannoroth’s tusks balanced on my shoulders can be a tough enough job on its own, without lugging extra crap around with me.
As for my EO toons, hoo boy, they have flat-out TOO MUCH stuff in their bags. Just tons of random crap, receipts from vendors, little odds and ends that they’ve picked up but aren’t really useful for anything but I still haven’t ever gotten around to tossing. And by the way, I just have to ask, who the fuck is the psychopath over at Genesis Entertainment who designed the bag system in Earth Online? Dude, you can’t carry fucking ANYTHING with you! You pick up like six or seven things, and your bags are full. Have these game designers never left their houses or something, so they don’t even know about stacks of 20?!
4. Favourite expansion/instance/boss fight?
Huh. Another Earth Online question. Okay. Well, there’s still plenty of content I’ve never gotten around to, to be honest, but I’m pretty fond of the BlizzCon raid. It’s always kind of a hoot seeing which random contestant spawns you get in the cosplay gauntlet leading up to the Joker Jay <Host with the Mohr– er, Most> boss. But I think my favorite encounter is the Lore Panel council fight — you know, the one with the lead quest design guy, and the historian adds, and most of all the council leader guy, Chris what’s-his-face, the dude with the beard who kinda sounds like Varian. I LOVE getting to run up and smack that guy in the face. Especially if it’s one of those pulls where he randomly mind controls me for a minute and makes to do some shit that doesn’t make a damn bit of sense.
5. Pet peeve in WoW?
Wait, you want me to narrow this down to one? I don’t know about that. But here’s a few, off the top of my head:
Gnomes. OMFG gnomes.
Whoever it is who keeps using the last of the toilet paper in the Grommash Hold outhouse and not putting out a new roll. (Your Warchief does NOT like having to do the Waddle of Shame over to the storage shed.)
“There”/”their”/”they’re”. Because FUCK YOU, internet:
Varian, especially the way he keeps breathing.
Being corrected on which one is Dontrag and which one is Utvoch, as if anybody really gives a shit.
6. What inspired your blog?
I think I mentioned this way back in my first post. It all got started when Eitrigg recommended I take up blogging. He said I might find it a helpful outlet, to talk about what’s on my mind, keep a running record of my experiences, all that sort of thing. I think he figured it would give me a chance to reflect more, and think about situations before acting. Or some lazy old man shit like that. Anyway, that’s how it got started, and it’s just been a gravy train of awesome since then. AREN’T YOU LUCKY.
7. Favourite blog-related moment?
Umm… Well, considering I detail almost everything that happens to me here, pretty much any moment from the last couple of years would be a blog-related moment, right? Gotta say, that one mailbag where Windblossom wrote in about clocking Varian still gives me all kinds of happy. Memory lane:
I’m sure there others. I might point out others as I think of them.
8. One thing you can’t live without?
Okay, okay, go ahead and make your joke about lemon squares.
Real answer? Sappy as it sounds, Gorehowl. Not even for what an awesome weapon it is, either. Having it with me is like a constant, living (but not) reminder of where I’ve come from, of the legacy of my father and the resilience of the Horde, of everything our people have endured and overcome. Having it with me is like a validation of our kind. Like a little part of Grom is still here, watching what he enabled us to become.
9. Place you’d most like to visit?
Hmm. You know, I’ve gotten around a whole lot the last few years, between the Northrend campaign, and all my inspection visits around Azeroth, and now all our work in Pandaria… I’m not sure if there’s really anywhere I haven’t gotten to see at this point, other than, like, other planets and shit. Or, say, getting to see places I know, like back home on Draenor, back before things got all fucked up. But that would be changing WHERE I’d most like to visit to WHEN I’d most like to visit, which is cheating, for one thing, and also, FUCKING TIME TRAVEL.
10. Favourite fictional character?
At the risk of being repetitive, this guy:
I mean, can you imagine if someone like that actually existed?
11. Soundtrack to your life?
Well, most days, when things are going fairly well, it’s pretty much this:
But there’s also this:
(Also, in that one, note the Mortimer cameo at 3:24!)
And, let’s face it, given the clowns I usually have surrounding me, some days I feel like it might as well be this:
And last but not least, if I’m honest, when I’m in one of my more puckish moods, this:
Also, the kazzoo? That’s totally me.
So, next up. This is the part where I’m supposed to link 11 more blogs, and give those bloggers 11 questions of their own to answer. One problem, though — I was going back through some blogs to tag, and while there are a few that still haven’t gotten a nomination already, for every one I found that no one had gotten to, there were like 10 would-be nominees that were already off the table. So, you know, if you do the math there, that means that in order to pull together my 11, I would have to rifle through something like 110 blogs, and, I mean…I’m just way too lazy for that shit. I mean really.
SO. Here’s where I cheat a little and change things up, so I can still do some tagging and point some attention to some worthy bloggers, while also indulging my laziness. STAND BACK, BITCHES, because your Warchief is about to flip the script like Lor’themar flips benches.
SO, here’s the deal. I’m still going to toss out 11 questions to be answered, but instead of scraping together a blog list to tag, I am tagging…YOU. That’s right, you — if you’re reading this post, consider yourself tagged, so you scroll your ass right down to the comments and post a reply with your 11 answers. NO DUCKING OUT ON THIS COMMAND FROM YOUR WARCHIEF, PEOPLE. Especially if you’re one of my regular readers and commenters — I know you’re out there, and I know who you are, and most importantly I KNOW WHERE MANY OF YOU LIVE.
And now, the questions. READ ’EM AND WEEP.
There, you have your assignment. Get to it! YOUR WARCHIEF HAS SPOKEN.
So, I know I have plenty to update you all on after last time, but before I start getting into any of that, it’s time to dip into the mail…
A few questions for the Warchief:
I’ve noticed that Saurfang has not shown up in the EO chat logs for quite a while. Has he been dropped from the guild or simply quit playing?
Garona seems fairly, well… Bipolar. Has anyone thought to see if Faranell has some sort of magical or alchemical cure?
Why do folks get bent out of shape when I grab a burger? Tauren aren’t cows, so it’s not canabalism.
What is your favorite spirit or brew? I’m willing to buy you and Malkorok a drink, although I suggest not drinking his.
–Karlsohn, Thunder Bluff
Hey, Karlsohn, thanks for writing. I guess I’ll tackle these in order:
Yeah, you know, I was thinking of this when I logged on the other day. For those of you who might not remember, I got Saurfang to give EO a try with a refer-a-friend invite over a year ago, and got him into the guild. He seemed to take to the game well enough, and was flying through levels for a while there, but then he just stopped turning up. Like I said, this occurred to me the other day, so I looked up his last login – he hasn’t been online since around the time of the Theramore victory. I guess EO didn’t grow on him THAT much, or maybe he got to the point where he was going to have to start paying the monthly subscription, and, well, you know how old guys are about parting with their hard-earned coppers. And it’s not like I’ve been in contact with him much since things started heating up in Pandaria, so, y’know, your guess is as good as mine there.
Holy fucking hell, Karlsohn, that idea is frigging BRILLIANT. Why the fuck did nobody think of this before? Assuming Faranell’s got anything in that lab of his that’s not…y’know…fucking acid or something, he’s got to have SOMETHING that can even Garona out. And if he doesn’t, I’ll take the acid. You know the old saying: sprits grant me the strength to fix the things I can, the acid to liquefy the things I can’t, and the…um…some third thing I don’t really care about. Anyway.
Don’t worry about the tauren, they’re just sensitive like that. I’ve tried making the exact same point with them, but apparently cows are close enough to give them the heebie-jeebies. Personally, I think they need to learn to relax a little, because let’s face it – so far in recent memory we’ve established relations with cow people, lizard people, bear people, goat people, buffalo people, walrus people, spider people, fish people, cat people, bear people again, monkey people, and bug people. At the rate we’re going, if we make a point of not eating anything that resembles a race we know, the menu is going to get real short real fast.
I’m pretty fond of Blackrock Lager. Also, the ogre brew I tried last time I was in Outland packed a pretty good punch. (Don’t try mixing it with felweed, though.) Also, don’t worry about me drinking Malkorok’s drink. True fact: the guy is really big on those fruity weirdo drinks, like the ones that always come with those little umbrellas in them. I mean, I like some cherry grog now and again, but that’s as far as I go.
I’m going to be a warrior, much to Matron Battlewail’s dis disapt well, she isn’t happy. Do you have any advice for a newblood like me? I want to bring glory to the Horde, but not if I trip while charging at the training dummies! What if that happens in battle?! I don’t want to make you and the Horde unhappy!
Lok’tar, Mirembe, thanks for writing. Try not to worry about Battlewail too much. She always seems to have some kind of complaint about something. “What about the children?” my ass.
Anyway, if you’re having trouble with your warrioring, have I ever got some good news for you. There’s sort of a boot camp off the coast of the Barrens where you can go to work on your skills, above and beyond what you get from your regular trainer. Matter of fact, it used to be the only place where warriors could learn Berserker Stance, before it sold out and went all mainstream. So, next time you manage to give Battlewail the slip, head on down to Fray Island. It’ll be tough going at first, I’m not going to lie, but give it time. Orgrimmar wasn’t built in a day (especially that front gate, post-Cataclysm, because goblin contractors), and remember, there’s no shame in not being as awesome as me right off the bat. Well, okay, there’s a little shame, but not much. Point is, stick with the program, hang in there through the rough patches, and they’ll make a man out of you. Unless you’re a girl. In which case they’ll… erm… um… that is… they’ll…do something. Something good. Or whatever. SEE, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS RUINED A PERFECTLY GOOD PEP TALK THERE.
Ey, warchief, didja know dat wyvern got three ballsacks? Dat’s all.
I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again.
Felweed is a hell of a drug.
Yeah, these are my readers. Sadly.
Please explain Twitter. I try to explain it to some other orcs, but they think its only to tell people that you’re going to the bathroom or to post pictures of food. It got even worse when Dontrag and Utvoch got involved to explain Twitter.
Sir, seriously, why are some orcs so damn dumb? It’s embarrassing.
–Ruekie (@RuekieShaman), Shaman-in-training
FOR FUCK’S SAKE, REUKIE – um, I mean, for crying out loud, Reukie (YOU HUSH NOW, BATTLEWAIL), DO NOT TELL DONTRAG AND UTVOCH ABOUT TWITTER. Are you freaking kidding me? There isn’t enough failure and jackassery on the internet already? No. Just NO. A world of no. All the no that’s ever been ’no’wn.
But anyway, fine, I’ll try to help you explain the whole Twitter thing. I’m really kind of amazed that there are people so stupid that they don’t already know what it is. So, Twitter is this… thing…on the internet. Where you go and type stuff. Like publicly. On a web site. Unless you’re doing it on an app. (Which I am in NO WAY WHATSOEVER going to try to explain to the Wonder Twins.) And so you can type things into Twitter, and other people on the internet can read it and respond and shit. It’s kind of like having a little tiny blog, read by other people with little tiny blogs, only you all have fucking nuclear ADD so you can’t stay focused on any post longer than 140 characters. Or I guess you could maybe think of it like texting, if your texts weren’t being sent to anyone in particular. So you go to send a text, and when the little texting robot asks you who to send it to, you just throw up your hands and you’re all “Fuck it, whoever, I don’t care. Everyone. Send it to everyone, ever.” That’s Twitter.
Let me stress again: D&U, YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO START FUCKING AROUND WITH TWITTER. Although, it actually MIGHT be funny to get Tirion started on it, and then see how many times he runs up against the 140-character limit before his fucking head explodes.
Dear exalted Warchief,
As we have seen, when Ji Firepaw was first introduced to you, he (as a mark of respect for and recognition of your status) called you Emperor. You appeared to take violent offense to that, and my question is, why? You fit the definition. You are the undisputed ruler of both your own national people, and a wide-ranging (multi-continental) group of non-orc nations, who none-the-less submit to you. (Even we of the Ebon Blade, though not a nation as such, acknowledge your position. Well, most of us. Some of us. Whatever.)
See, I think you’re misreading me there, Sintra. People seem to do that a lot. I swear, if people keep pointing out my “violent offense” at things, I’m going to start thinking that maybe possibly YOU GODDAMN MOTHERFUCKERS THINK I’VE GOT A FUCKING TEMPER OR SOME SHIT.
That said, I was pretty much correcting Ji simply because “Warchief” is my title, not “Emperor.” Officially. Yet. You’re right, though — I DO fit the definition. Seeing as how “Warchief” has been the title for a good long while, though, I figure I should keep rolling with it until I do something that, say, leads to a dramatic increase in Horde territory, power, and influence. Like, I don’t know, wiping out a rival power or three and annexing their lands. Now, see, THEN you could make a pretty good case that the Horde had achieved honest-to-fuck imperial status. And at THAT point, well, I can’t see there being much opposition at all to a triumphant leader declaring himself Emperor. Which DOES have a ring to it, I have to admit. Maybe I’ll even have some new processional music written up for myself and everything.
If you had the opportunity to meet your younger self, let’s say at 5 years old, what would you say to the young Garrosh?
What do you imagine that youngster would think of you?
–Kee, Jade Forest, Pandaria
Okay, first of all, considering all the timey-whimey shit I’ve already had to deal with, don’t even JOKE about shit like that. Haven’t we dodged enough bullets with time being fucked with? Do we have to sit down and come up with MORE clusterfuckery we could stir up for ourselves? Seriously, at this point, I don’t even want to be REMINDED of the Bronze Dragonflight. If I ever see any of those fuckers again, it’ll be too soon. Or too late. That is…um… FUCKING TIME TRAVEL.
But okay, if you want to play some weird hypothetical game with this, here. If I could talk to 5-year-old me – at which point I would have JUST been recovering from the red pox, and my mom would have still been alive – I would mostly tell him to spare himself the whiny emo phase, because Grom was actually pretty awesome. Don’t take everything at face value – yeah, on the surface it looks like the old man was a real piece of work, but it turns out that he was a hero in the end, and nobody even knew. And I have to figure young-me would listen, because he’d be sharp enough to take one look at how awesome he grows up to be and figure, damn, I must know what I’m talking about.
Oh, yeah, and while I was at it, I would tell myself to lay off the draenei chicks, because man oh man, is THAT one ever going to come back to bite you in the ass.
Speaking of which…
Heeey, how ya doing Hellscream!
My name is Kitti Scrollwiki, Goblin Scribe for the Azeroth Inquirer, Horde Edition. There are raging hot rumors about you and my readers everywhere just want to know more!
Who is Shayari’s mother? It is rumored she is Draenei. Is this true?
How long ago did this happen?
Is the mother very pretty? What attracted you to her?
How did you meet?
How long was your romance with her?
What food would best describe her?
Did Greatmother know? How did she respond?
Where can we find her now?
Is there any chance of reconciliation with her?
Are you paying child support?
How are your current girlfriend(s) reacting to all this? For that matter….who are your current girlfriend(s)? Inquiring minds want to know!
Oh, oh, oh, oh….
IS IT TRUE YOU ARE SHAYARI’S FATHER? (I almost forgot that, silly me.) This has been the hot topic of Orgrimmar while you were gone.
(By the way, if you have any juicy details you want to share, you know, just between you and me…I won’t tell anyone. On my honor as a Goblin.)
Don’t delay in responding! The Love Is In The Air followup edition is preparing to go out and this will make the pages sizzle! Hellscream’s Torrid Love Affair! Cha-ching!
Keep it real!
–Kitti Scrollwiki, Scribe, Azeroth Inquirer, Horde Edition
Yeah, so, I had to figure I was going to have to deal with some shit like this. As much as we’re trying to keep a lid on the whole Shayari deal, you had to know some rumors would start slipping out. So…same as with the letter further above, let me take these in order:
Shayari’s mother’s name was Marsiya. Yes, she was a draenei. I mean, really, have you seen Shayari? You weren’t able to piece that much together? Incisive journalistic mind you’ve got, I see.
Shayari’s seventeen years old. Why don’t you get out a pencil and paper and see if you can math out your own answer to this one.
What, you think I’d go slumming? Even back then, I didn’t have to settle. THE LADIES LOVE GARROSH.
Our eyes met from across the crowd. The moon was full and bright, its luminous glow dancing upon the surface of the water, and the air was sweet with honeysuckle. Across the lakeside pavilion, orc and draenei spun and danced in dizzying spectacle as the midsummer gala launched into its annual reverie. Distant voices, mirthful and musical, whispered unnoticed through the warm breeze, the whole of our attentions rapt upon each other’s gaze, in one of those singular moments both uncanny and sublime in which the universe seems, fleetingly, to reveal itself to the soul. IS THAT THE KIND OF SHIT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR? Fucking hell. We both lived in broke-ass starving villages shoved off into the ass end of a planet that some fuckhead went and blew up. What the fuck do you THINK we were doing? We were both out hunting to see if we could find enough food so that, hey, maybe THIS week half a dozen people we know WON’T croak, and we ended up fighting over who had dibs on that extra-meaty-looking talbuk, and somewhere in middle of kicking each other’s asses we took a good look and realized, hey, this one’s not half bad.
Depending on how you count, two months or eight minutes. Admittedly, not my best work.
Fish, because I hear tell fish is brain food, and she obviously was smart enough to know not to ask a FUCKING STUPID-ASS QUESTION LIKE THIS ONE.
NO SHE DID NOT. And does not. And still has a fucking killer right hook, so ixnay on abbingblay, for fuck’s sake, okay?
Go to Nagrand, pick a patch of ground that looks good to you, dig about six feet down, and cross your fingers.
See above. Unless you brought a Ouija board, not likely.
Oh, I’m paying, all right. I’m paying.
No comment. Also no comment. And ESPECIALLY no comments from YOU, Garona.
And finally: No comment. Classified. Matters of internal security.
Okay. Deftly handled, if I do say so myself. Hopefully that puts an end to the Shayari inquiries.
Garrosh Hellscream, Warchief of the Horde,
I write to you after witnessing the disgusting perversion you show towards my people, specifically a child who may or may not be sired by you. I can see clearly that your kind are filthy mongrels even outside of battle, and will never be among the holy Naaru you pig fucking animals. Goodbye and may the Naaru char your city to dust.
–Vindicator Toriix, Exodar
As the child in question might say, you mad, bro?
I mean, really, I don’t know what you’ve got going on over at the Exodar – other than, y’know, hanging out with the talking chandelier and disco dancing like a motherfucker – but woo boy, you need to relax like nobody’s business. Seriously, dude, you need to get laid or something. Believe me, it’ll help you unwind.
Speaking of which, I’m not going to dignify perversion-this and mongrels-that with a response, but I do have to correct you on point of fact: not pig-fucking. Goat. Goat.
P.S. Your mom says hi.
That does it for this week, but as always, keep those letters coming. E-mail me at email@example.com or use the handy-dandy form below.
[Each week, a post will profile one of the blog’s many supporting players. (See the first profile for more details.) Feel free to chime in with recommendations for other characters you’d like to see more about!]
Occupation: Part-time scribe, full-time general annoyance
Class: Druid (feral)
Group affiliations: Horde (member), Cenarion Circle (member, though they don’t usually like to admit it)
Known relatives: None admitted to
Earth Online notes: Would you let her on EO? Seriously? She’s heard of Earth Online, and watched over Dontrag and Utvoch’s shoulders while they’ve played, but so far everyone has managed to keep her from playing it herself. Mercifully.
Describe your relationship with your mother or your father. Was it good? Bad? Were you spoiled rotten, ignored? Do you still get along now, or no?
I played outside lots and lots! My parents didn’t like when I brought my toys home though. They yelled about mud and stains and other stuff like that. I haven’t seen them in a while.
I have a little scar right here on my face. Do you see it, Mr. Interview Person? See? Right there! I scratched myself with my claws the first time I turned into a cat! I forgot I had claws! It’s right there, under my eye!
How vain are you? Do you find yourself attractive?
Yes? No? Maybe? I don’t know. Everyone looks all nervous when they see me. Does that mean I’m pretty?
Describe your happiest memory.
I got to meet Mr. Warchief Sir! It was a great day! He let me pounce on him! Then he made me his scribe! Or maybe he made me his scribe, and then I pounced on him. I forget. It was something like that, though! Mr. D and Mr. U and Mr. Monkey and lots of other people were there! Yay!
Is there one event or happening you would like to erase from your past? Why?
No? Why would I? Nothing bad happens to me!
[Fate protects fools, little children, and ships named Enterprise.]
What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? Color? Song? Flower?
ALL THE ICE CREAM!! Purple. No, blue. No… ooh butterfly!
Who do you trust?
Everyone? Is there a reason I shouldn’t?
Can you define a turning point in your life? Multiples are acceptable.
The day Mr. Warchief Sir asked me to be his scribe! And the day I left home.
Technology? You mean like the keyboard Mr. D is yelling about? It’s shiny!
How do you react to temperature changes such as extreme heat and cold?
I have fur! I jump in the water if I’m hot and I don’t get cold. Splash! OOH and I can turn into a fish too. Or is it a seal? Or maybe a… I’m not sure. A swimmy thing!
Are you an early morning bird or a night owl?
I’m a bird, but not an owl. Does that make me an early morning bird?
Are there any blood relatives that you are particularly close with, besides the immediate ones? Cousins, uncles, grandfathers, aunts, etc. Are there any others that you practically consider a blood relative?
Not really? I like Mr. D and Mr. U, and Mr. Warchief Sir!
What does you desk/workspace look like? Are you neat or messy?
<looks around the desk, covered with inkstained pawprints EVERYWHERE>
Um… I think it looks okay. It doesn’t look messy to you, does it?
Are you a good cook? What’s your favorite recipe?
Does cheese count even if I don’t cook it? Do you want some cheese, Mr. Interview Person? I can go get you some! That’s almost like cooking it for you, right?
What’s your preferred means of travel?
Paws and wings!
Do you have any irrational fears?
I don’t like being alone.
What would your cutie mark be?
It’s a dot and a moon on my shoulder! Yay!
Are you superstitious?
I’m super! Aren’t I?
What’s your favorite comfort food, favorite vice, favorite outfit, favorite hot drink, favorite time of year, and favorite holiday?
Cheese! What’s a vice? Fur! Chocolate! Spring! PRESENTS!
How do you smell? Do you wear perfume or cologne?
I smell like a bird! Or a cat! Or a bear! Or a Tauren! Sometimes people tell me I smell like the wrong thing. I think they’re silly!
[A reminder! Get your Transmogs For Shay submissions in by Saturday, March 1!]
[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!]
Occupation: Horde infantry soldiers (ranks: Dontrag—Sergeant; Utvoch—Scout)
Age: Dontrag—31; Utvoch—29
Group affiliations: Horde (members), Overlord Krom’gar’s army (former members)
Known relatives: Dontrag—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.
Key posts and plot points:
In their own words:
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
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
Hi, everyone. Averry here with a reminder and an announcement.
First, the obligatory reminder – tonight at 8:00 PM EST, we’ll be having our second Friends-of-WCB Meta raid of Siege of Orgrimmar. All are welcome to join in (well, unless we fill up…). You can always find me on RealID as Averry#1116.
Now for the real announcement!
I’ve been happy to see that people seem to be embracing the character of Shayari since her debut a few days ago. We’ll be seeing plenty more of her (not in the Gurtash sense), and I’d like her to be a departure from the one conspicuous Warcraft norm: People who, apparently, wear the same outfit every single day. Clearly, Shay is a little more fashionable and stylish than that.
So, to that end, I’m announcing a TRANSMOGS FOR SHAYARI contest! The basic gist: All you transmog fanatics (I know you’re out there!) are invited to put together an outfit for Shay to wear in at least one – likely multiple – upcoming comics.
A few notes and caveats as you consider the possibilities:
Please e-mail your entries to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) by SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27. If at all possible, try to model your transmogs on a female draenei character, or save them as WoWhead outfits and share the link. (Being able to refer to the outfit on a draenei model will just make it easier for me to translate it into comic form.)
I’ll choose my three favorites, and incorporate them into future comics as opportunity allows over the weeks that follow. In addition to their own personal satisfaction, and boundless blogosphere fame (cough), winners will be able to pick one of the following prizes:
Well, what are you still doing here? Get transmogging! Shayari has a wardrobe to fill!
* The Warchief’s Command Board makes no guarantee that Mylune will not have another episode in mid-embrace. Hug at your own risk.
[A quick update -- I need to correct an error in this announcement: I listed the deadline for the contest as Saturday, February 27. This is problematic, in that February 27 is not a Saturday. Don’t ask me what happened there. I was probably having another one of my many episodes. At any rate, I figure I may as well err on the side of giving people more time rather than less, so let’s revise the due date to the next Saturday after the 27th, which would be March 1.
I think. Hang on.
<checks calendar all paranoid-like>
Yes, there we go. So, officially: the deadline for the Transmogs for Shay contest is SATURDAY, MARCH 1! Get back to mogging!]
As promised in my last post, here’s an overview of the state of the blog. I realize that after two years of accumulated in-jokes and storylines, the Command Board may be a bit disorienting to a newcomer (or, for that matter, to a long-time reader who blinked at the wrong time), so I’ve tried to break this down into a semi-sorta-kinda FAQ. Most of this will be familiar to long-time readers (though I’ve also included a few behind-the-scenes notes that some of you might find interesting), but I hope it’ll explain a few things for new arrivals.
I hate Garrosh! Why does Garrosh seem so sympathetic in this blog? Are you one of those Garrosh apologists/fanboys?
Comically enough, I originally started the blog because I really didn’t like Garrosh either, and saw the blog as a way to have a few chuckles mocking him. It wasn’t long, though, before I decided that I would get sick of the outright-mockery approach pretty quickly, so I started branching out. Part of the result was letting blog-Garrosh become (I hope) a bit more multifaceted, while still remaining true to his temperamental self. Including the LOLs.
Ultimately, I don’t set out to justify anything Garrosh does, just to present it in a way that makes sense in light of the character, and if that pushes a black-and-white scenario into some shade of gray, well, that makes for a more interesting story anyway. And, keep in mind, the story here is being told, generally, from Garrosh’s point of view, so I don’t know how that perspective wouldn’t be sympathetic. Everyone is the hero of their own story, after all, and nobody thinks they’re a bad person.
Why isn’t there anything here about the siege of Orgrimmar?
What are you talking about? There was a post titled “The siege of Orgrimmar” a good solid year ago – if anything, shouldn’t you be asking why Blizzard is coming so late to the party? (By the way, I didn’t realize until just now that patch 5.4 was released almost exactly on the one-year anniversary of the “Siege or Orgrimmar” post. How awesomely freaky is that?)
Anyway, to give a real answer: Time-wise, the blog has not yet reached the events of patch 5.4. The storyline is currently playing out the midst of 5.2; Lor’themar Theron and Jaina Proudmoore have recently set up shop on the Isle of Thunder, while Vol’jin is still recovering from his injuries at Shado-Pan Monastery.
This time lag between the game and the blog, by the way, is partly by design. I’d always intended the blog to run a bit behind the game; coming into MoP, I realized that if I tried to follow in-game events too closely, I wouldn’t have time to adapt my own ideas to fit Blizzard’s story. There have already been a few instances in which Blizzard’s story has taken a turn that’s forced me to change gears in a way that would have been disastrous if I didn’t have a month or two of lead time. Of course, I’m clearly more than a month or two behind – that’s been a result of various real-life circumstances slowing down my output over the last few months. I’m working on it!
So the blog basically retells in-game events, from Garrosh’s point of view?
Yes and no. The blog operates within Blizzard’s continuity (with the aforementioned time delay), but also weaves additional storylines in and around the canonical Blizzard plots. Anything that happens or is stated explicitly in-game is canon, obviously, and the blog is bound by it.* That said, I sometimes like to put other stories around Blizzard’s, to give them context that might change the way those events are perceived. (This was a large part of my motivation for the Timequake story leading into Theramore, or, more recently, the blog events surrounding the Divine Bell / Domination Offensive storyline.)
Also, while the point of view is mostly Garrosh’s, there are some posts that present events from other perspectives. Most notable are the “guest” posts by Spazzle (Garrosh’s tech goblin), which help fill in story details that Garrosh wouldn’t necessarily be privy to. You can always identify a post written by someone other than Garrosh by the color of the text – Spazzle’s posts, for instance, are always written in green text, and almost always include the phrase “Spazzle Speaks” in the title. Also, as a rule of thumb, when Spazzle et al post, Garrosh remains oblivious to anything that might be revealed; the conceit at work here is that Garrosh doesn’t really care what anyone else is writing, so he doesn’t bother reading it.
* The one instance that I’ve flat-out fudged in-game details is the way I’ve chosen to incorporate the events of “A Little Patience.” From the Alliance point of view, that scenario takes place almost immediately after Varian arrives in Pandaria; in the blog, I’ve pushed those events a bit later in the story. This was largely a matter of convenience: I knew that I wanted there to be a military operation in Krasarang in which Garrosh’s trainees went missing, and I realized fairly late in the going that “A Little Patience” lent itself to that story pretty readily. Hopefully those Alliance-side readers out there will be willing to turn a blind eye to my blatant and shameless revision. (Horde bias rears its ugly head again! GRR!)
Garrosh has trainees? When did that happen?
Right here! As part of the escalation of the war effort, the Kor’kron started a training program to prepare orc teenagers for eventual military service. When Garrosh learned that Gurtash – an orc boy from the Orgrimmar orphanage whom Garrosh had taken under his wing – had been conscripted, Garrosh volunteered to take Gurtash’s trainee group under his own supervision. (Side note: In my head-canon, Garrosh has a bit of a soft spot for the orphans, being as he is one himself.) The trainees, who have nicknamed themselves the Dead Peons Society (DPS for short) have accompanied Garrosh to Pandaria and joined him on a few adventures. Fairly recently, they went missing after the Horde loss in the “A Little Patience” scenario, and were eventually found by Garrosh, hiding away in an underground system of caves. That’s brought us up to the point where we are now, story-wise: Garrosh and the trainees underground, looking for a way out.
Is the entire supporting cast from within the game?
Mostly, but not entirely. I’ve invented a few characters for the blog – Spazzle being the highest-profile – but I’ve tried to keep it limited, and tried to restrict those characters to fairly peripheral positions in the lore. The one glaring exception was the storyline involving Garrosh’s mother, Lakkara, who isn’t mentioned anywhere in the actual lore. It just struck me as odd that there’s no record of who she was, or what happened to her, and besides, in a mythology packed to capacity with father/son relationships, I thought it was about time somebody’s mom got a little screen time.
Otherwise, when a character turns up who doesn’t exist in-game, that character was often inspired by a reader and/or based on someone’s game character. For instance, both Gurtash and Mortimer (Garrosh’s personal wyvern) became blog characters thanks to mailbag letters from Khizzara from Blog of the Treant; Khizzara’s own namesake has made a few appearances as Spazzle’s cousin; doodle-prone kitty druid Taktani became a full-fledged character (and boy, is she ever a character) after making several mailbag contributions; and many of the DPS trainees are modeled on the baby orc alts of friends.
In general, though, if you see a supporting character turn up whose name you don’t recognize, the smartest first guess is that he or she is based on a questgiver or other NPC somewhere in-game. (Wowpedia is your friend!) I deliberately picked a lot of relatively minor NPCs – people like Mokvar, Elder Cloudfall, and Dontrag and Utvoch – to use as supporting characters because I figured their relatively peripheral status gave me more latitude to work with them, give them backstories, etc. After all, what are the odds that Blizzard would actually do something with one of these people to contradict my own concoctions?
(Either way, if you’re not sure who someone is, I’ve also maintained a partial list of supporting players on the About the Blog page, including some of the more pertinent information about them.)
Speaking of which – in the SoO raid, Mokvar is a mini-boss! Isn’t he missing? How are you going to deal with that?
First… um, yeah, that whole “no way they’re gonna do something with this guy” really blew up in my face on this one, huh?
And second… So, everyone who thought I was going to lay out this big storyline for Mokvar, and make such a production out of his disappearance…and then have it turn out that he really is dead…step forward.
Didn’t think so.
For those of you unclear on Mokvar’s whole story, which has been unfolding gradually for quite a while, you can check here for a brief overview and links to the relevant posts. Very short version: After becoming the victim of a mysterious attack, Mokvar sets out to track down a powerful relic from his warlock days, with the aid of a human named Deliana (who was Mokvar’s Alliance equivalent in the old dungeon set quests); over the course of his quest, he starts to behave increasingly strangely, culminating in his eventual flight from arrest in Orgrimmar. His whereabouts are now unknown.
Stay tuned. You’ll see where this is going!
With Mokvar gone, how are you handling the transcripts?
Prelinimary: The blog contains several transcripts of conversations that Garrosh has engaged in. The premise from the outset has been that Mokvar is (or was) Garrosh’s personal scribe, and records all these conversations for posting. This explains, by the way, a number of occasions when Garrosh mentions summoning Mokvar to an event, or otherwise noting Mokvar’s presence, as a way of leading in to a transcript.
Since Mokvar is off the grid, Garrosh has passed transcription duties to two people: Gurtash, who records his transcripts in the form of comics; and Taktani, a friend of Dontrag and Utvoch and long-time mailbag contributor, who’s started to (and will continue to) write a few transcripts, laden with her own unassuming brand of commentary.
What are these guild chat logs that keep cropping up?
Garrosh and several of the supporting characters play an MMORPG called Earth Online – the basic premise being that, to these characters, Azeroth is reality, and our real world is actually the game world of the MMO. Garrosh started his own guild, called <Warchief>, and several familiar faces (including Spazzle, Sylvanas, Lor’themar, Faranell, Garona, and Dontrag and Utvoch) are members. Also worth noting is that Jaina Proudmoore is a member of the guild…although she doesn’t realize (yet?) who her guildmates are in “real life.”
The guild chat logs recreate some of the exchanges that the members of <Warchief> have within their game, usually including regular guild chat, officer chat, and, in some cases, whispers. I make no pretense about the fact that some aspects of these logs are based on my own guild-chat expeiences, especially officer chat. The transcripts are always presented from the point of view of whoever posted them – usually Garrosh, but occasionally Spazzle.
Where did this whole thing about lemon squares come from?
Garrosh loves lemon squares. Don’t you?
Real explanation: Very early in the blog, Edenvale of The Gamer’s Fridge posted a recipe for Garrosh Hellscream’s lemon squares, and pointed me to her post with a comment on the Command Board. Since then, it’s become a bit of a running gag – the recipe, according to Garrosh, was his greatmother’s secret family recipe, and he was most perturbed that this random night elf had apparently gotten ahold of it.
What does “FYV” mean?
An abbreviation of one of Garrosh’s favorite turns of phrase, of course: “Fuck you, Varian!” Among other things, Garrosh often finds a way to slip that phrase into his EPIC VERSE compositions.
Speaking of which, what’s this “EPIC VERSE”? Garrosh writes poetry?
You sound surprised. Garrosh is an orc of many interests. What, do you think he’s some kind of one-note caricature or something?
Okay, fine, game-Garrosh kind of is.
Honestly, I just got a kick out of the obvious dichotomy of Garrosh Hellscream, gruffest of the gruff, also writing poetry on the side. True to form, Garrosh doesn’t view his compositions as just any poetry, so he prefers to call them EPIC VERSE. In caps. Always. It’s sprinkled throughout the blog – almost always in purple text, to stress its epic-ness – and ranges from limericks, to parodies of other famous poems, to reader requests, to epic rap battles.
So, that’s as much as I can think to cover. Other gaps can probably be filled in through the Major Storylines page, but if there are questions that anyone still has, in terms of getting caught up or clarified, by all means toss them into a comment and I’ll make sure it’s answered. And so, on that note, I’ll sigh off with the promise – unconditional promise! – that before the week is out, you’ll have the continuation of the actual STORY part of the story! Which left off, as you might recall, right here:
After the disaster with the Divine Bell, I spent a couple days channeling old-Nagrand-Garrosh – brooding and moping in my quarters here at Domination Point. Other than occasional tactical reports from General Nazgrim, most people had the good sense to leave me to myself. Hell, even Dontrag and Utvoch managed to keep their yaps shut for a couple days. This may or may not be related to me slapping them around several times when I first got back to the base.
The time to myself gave me the chance to think more about where to go from here. After what went down at the Emperor’s Reach, it’s painfully obvious that I need to start taking matters into my own hands. Trouble is, in practical terms, I’m not sure what that actually ENTAILS. So, one step at a time: Time to act one the one avenue I have open to me, and worry about what comes next when I get there. Elder Cloudfall told me he could help prepare me for my destiny, or however he fortune-cookied it, so it’s time to take him up on the offer.
Granted, I’m not exactly thrilled about what little I’ve heard about that Kypari Zar place, so a few more answers might be nice. Any bets on whether I’ll actually get them?
Anyway, I had some trouble tracking down Cloudfall at first. He wasn’t anywhere on the base, and Ben-Lin didn’t know where he’d wandered off to. Finally, Jorn Skyseer told me he’d been talking with Cloudfall about some of the areas nearby that our hunting parties have been hitting up, and he pointed me toward the island to the east. The one where the trainees used to go crane hunting when we first set up shop here in Pandaria.
I flew over to the island, with Taktani in tow. Cloudfall was sitting on a rock along the shore. He and Zhi-Zhi were sitting back to back in one of those meditation poses that look like they would hurt your legs like hell, eyes closed, off in their own little world.
GARROSH – Hey, Gramps.
(Mr. Elder Panda man and his money friend just keep sitting on the rock and being quiet.)
GARROSH – Elder?
(Elder Panda still doesn’t respond.)
GARROSH – Hello? Chimps? Anybody home?
(Mr. Monkey didn’t answer either. I hope his ears are okay!)
GARROSH – (tapping Zhi-Zhi on the shoulder) Hey, Banana Boy!
ZHI-ZHI – (jumping, startled) AAAH! Oh…oh, the One! Much apologizing, Zhi-Zhi did not see you, was thinking great thoughts.
GARROSH – Uh, yeah, whatever. So listen, I… Hang on. (turning to me) Tak?
TAKTANI – Hi!
(Mr. Warchief kind of stared at me for a minute. Maybe he forgot what he was going to say?)
GARROSH – Yeah, hi. So now that we’ve met, is there a reason why you’re not, y’know, writing anything down?
TAKTANI – Oh! I’m sorry, Mr. Warchief. I forgot to bring my paper.
GARROSH – You…forgot.
TAKTANI – I left it back in my room!
GARROSH – You realize that’s the ENTIRE reason I bring you places, right?
TAKTANI – Don’t be mad! I’m sorry!
(Mr. Warchief rubbed his eyes and forehead for a minute. I think maybe his eyes were sore because of how sunny it was. I should give him some sunglasses for his birthday! Does anyone know when his birthday is?)
GARROSH – (still rubbing his eyes) Of all your crimes, Mokvar, this may be the most grating…
TAKTANI – I don’t understand, Mr. Warchief.
GARROSH – Never mind. Okay, look, Tak, you’re not off the hook yet. You just made some extra homework for yourself.
TAKTANI – But I’m not in school, Mr. Warchief!
GARROSH – Yeah, well, maybe this will teach you lesson #1: Don’t forget the tools of your damn trade!
TAKTANI – I’m sorry! :(
GARROSH – So…here’s what you’re going to do. Most of the sand around here looks pretty wet. So YOU, little miss Swiss Cheese Brain, can just sit yourself down and write your notes in the sand, and then come back with your paper and copy it later.
TAKTANI – Ooh, that sounds fun!
GARROSH – BEFORE THE DAMN TIDE COMES IN. (sighs) Okay. So. Back to you, monkey boy. What’s up with Old Man Furball here? Is he off in some weird panda brain-freeze zone or something?
(While Mr. Warchief was talking, I started writing everything in the sand like he said, like this and this and this and YAY this is fun! Oh and I did like he said and came back later to copy it all down and I even brought Mr. D and Mr. U to help check my spelling, because they’re smart and nice. And SEE, Mr. Warchief, I got it all done just like you said! Oh oh oh but while I was writing it out, there was a seagull flying around, and it pooped on the first page. I hope you notice it’s there before you touch it.)
ZHI-ZHI – Ah, ah, yes, Elder Cloudfall is in deep meditation. Much more focused than Zhi-Zhi. As matter of fact, Elder has been teaching Zhi-Zhi meditation techniques, teaching to block out everything around Zhi-Zhi. Will help to center Zhi-Zhi.
GARROSH – So you can think more great thoughts.
ZHI-ZHI – Ahh! You are understanding!
GARROSH – So how long does it usually take for Captain Comatose to come back out of these—
CLOUDFALL – (not moving, eyes still closed) I can hear you, Warchief Garrosh.
ZHI-ZHI – Elder!
GARROSH – So, Gramps, if you could hear me, any particular reason you didn’t answer me before?
CLOUDFALL – (continuing to keep his eyes closed) I was in the midst of pursuing a line of thought. I felt it more pressing that I complete it.
GARROSH – Isn’t it kind of rude to just ignore people when they talk to you?
CLOUDFALL – Is it not rude to interrupt people who are clearly meditating?
ZHI-ZHI – But, erm, Elder, you are hearings all the transpiringses…um…were we not practicing our deep meditation exercises?
CLOUDFALL – I have been practicing these techniques since before your great grandmother was born, Zhi-Zhi.
GARROSH – So anyway, now that you’re done with that—
CLOUDFALL – I’m not.
GARROSH – You’re what?
CLOUDFALL – As I said, Warchief Garrosh, I have been availing myself of the peace and solitude of the beach to think.
GARROSH – Um, okay?
CLOUDFALL – I’m not finished.
(Mr. Panda Elder still hadn’t opened his eyes, and now he settled back into place more.)
GARROSH – Hang on, you’re seriously going to blow me off so you can fucking go back to…whatever, going over your grocery list or backtracking to wherever you left your keys, or whatever the fuck you’re doing?
(Mr. Panda didn’t say anything.)
GARROSH – (to Zhi-Zhi) Is he for real?
ZHI-ZHI – (shrugs and waves one hand) Is easier not trying to argue, truths to telling.
CLOUDFALL – There. (opens his eyes, stands, and turns to Garrosh) Now I am finished.
GARROSH – Well yay.
TAKTANI – Yay!
GARROSH – DON’T START.
TAKTANI – Oh. :(
GARROSH – So do you mind telling me what was so important that it couldn’t wait?
(Mr. Panda man looked around the beach a few times.)
CLOUDFALL – Your pupil, Gurtash, and his peers. I understand they used to come here on occasion.
GARROSH – Oh. Yeah. They used to go hunting here.
CLOUDFALL – (nods) This is a sacred place, you know. The Cradle of Chi-Ji, the Great Crane.
GARROSH – Look, if you’re going to start complaining that they came here to—
CLOUDFALL – You misunderstand me, Warchief Garrosh. I did not come here to pass judgment. I came merely to visit a place of some import to the youths, away from the bustle of your fortifications, and allow them to enter my thoughts.
GARROSH – Ah. Yeah. They’ve been in mine a lot lately, too.
CLOUDFALL – Indeed.
(Mr. Warchief got kind of quiet and Mr. Panda man stayed quiet for a minute too and watched him.)
CLOUDFALL – In any case, I’m sure you did not seek me out to revisit such things. How may I be of help to you?
GARROSH – By doing what you came here for in the first place. You said you could help me get ready for this great destiny of mine.
CLOUDFALL – Indeed. Or rather, I believe I can help you to meet it. Whether it will prove to be great or not will be very much up to you.
GARROSH – Well, either way, you said that this Kypari Zar place is where he need to go to get started. So, whenever you’re ready to go, let’s go.
CLOUDFALL – I also told you that you carry many shadows with you.
GARROSH – Kind of the point of us going to that Zar place, right?
CLOUDFALL – Indeed. But you carry more now. Perhaps needlessly.
GARROSH – (sighs) Can you bottom-line this, maybe, or are you going to do a whole speech again?
ZHI-ZHI – (waving his hand) Really much easier not to tryings with the arguings.
CLOUDFALL – (pointing northward) The temple to the north. That is where the…calamity occurred?
GARROSH – Yeah, don’t remind me.
CLOUDFALL – Have you gone there since then?
GARROSH – No.
CLOUDFALL – You should.
GARROSH – Look, Gramps, I get that you’re probably going for some kind of hippie closure crap here, but if you think it’s actually going to IMPROVE my mood to go up there and find a bunch of—
CLOUDFALL – Warchief Garrosh, no facts that you find there will be so damaging to the soul as the nightmares your mind has conjured in their absence.
GARROSH – (looking north) Yeah, maybe.
CLOUDFALL – And in the process, you may allow yourself the opportunity to bring one lesser shadow with you on our journey.
GARROSH – (sighs) You’re just going to stonewall me until I go, aren’t you?
ZHI-ZHI – Really not worth tryings to—
GARROSH – (slapping Zhi-Zhi) Shut it, Spanks.
CLOUDFALL – Kypari Zar will still be there when you are done.
GARROSH – (turns and starts to walk toward Mortimer) Yeah, fine. I’ll drop little miss Happy Kitty here off at the base, and get a couple things squared away, then… (stops, then looks back at Cloudfall) You know, I’ve heard of that Kypari Zar place before.
CLOUDFALL – (perks an eyebrow) Oh?
GARROSH – Last year. I didn’t even know what “Kypari Zar” was. But someone in…high places…told me if I went there, I would die.
CLOUDFALL – (nods slowly) You may. In fact, you will.
GARROSH – Not the best sales pitch, Gramps.
CLOUDFALL – You will die if you go there. But then, you will die if you do not. Just as I will die if I take you, and I will die if I do not. That we will die is assured, Warchief Garrosh. The only question is how, and when, and why.
GARROSH – That’s a cop-out and you know it.
CLOUDFALL – I know no such thing.
GARROSH – (shrugs and climbs onto Mortimer) Well, whatever. I’ve got enough on my mind these days, what’s one more thing, right?
CLOUDFALL – If I might make a suggestion, Warchief Garrosh. A great many years ago, a former mentor offered me certain words of solace. A phrase of great power and wisdom, and consolation to the soul in times of need.
GARROSH – What’s that?
CLOUDFALL – Have a drink. Next one’s on me.
Not the worst idea in the world, actually. I might head downstairs and see what we have on tap. Meanwhile, I’m going to put a couple things in order here at the base, then take Mortimer back out for a flight over to the Temple of the Red Crane. For better or worse.
After the last straw that was Garona’s report the other day, I decided that enough was enough. I’d spent enough time flying half blind though everything and not calling in every possible resource. So today I took a trip back to Tian Monastery to get some answers out of that Elder Cloudfall guy about this “destiny” I’m supposed to have. This time I wasn’t taking no for an answer – if I had to beat some answers out of his cryptic panda ass, so be it.
I brought Ben-Lin along for the trip, since I figured she seemed to get along well enough with Cloudfall the last time, and maybe having her in tow might make it a little easier to bring him around. I also brought Taktani, to take her first crack at transcribing…and Gurtash, too…you know, just in case.
Luckily, this time, Cloudfall was out strolling around the grounds when we arrived, so we didn’t have to waste time tracking him down. So…over to Tak…
(We landed at the monastery place and everybody got all excited to see a pudgy fuzzy panda man going for a walk.)
GARROSH – It’s Elder Cloudfall! Yay!
GURTASH – Yay!
BEN-LIN – Yay!
TAKTANI – I don’t know who that is, but yay too!
CLOUDFALL – Hi, Mr. Warchief! It’s really good to see you again because I guess we’ve met before, only Tak wasn’t there for that. But I bet it was fun!
GARROSH – It was!
BEN-LIN – Lots of fun!
CLOUDFALL – Oh that’s good! I’m so glad I didn’t miss it!
TAKTANI – Aw, I guess I did miss it! I’m sorry I wasn’t there too!
CLOUDFALL – Me too!
GURTASH – Me too too!
BEN-LIN – But you’re here now, Tak!
TAKTANI – Yay!
GARROSH – Yay!
CLOUDFALL – Yay!
GARROSH – Well I’m sure super happy to see you again, Mr. Panda! Hold on a minute, I have to talk to Tak!
(So that’s when Mr. Warchief asked to look at my transcript to see how I was doing do far, and he got really mad for some reason and yelled at me, and I’m not going to write those things down because I don’t want to make Mr. Warchief look mean and then people might not like him as much. But he told me I should just try to write down exactly what everyone says, word for word, and not – oh here, I can just show you!)
GARROSH – So, yeah, Tak, you should just try to write down exactly what everyone says, word for word, and not do these…embellishments or translations into Tak-speak or whatever, okay?
(See? So I guess I’ll try to do that because I don’t want Mr. Warchief to get mad again, especially after some of the things he said he was going to do, they sound like they would hurt. But I don’t want you to think Mr. Warchief is mean! He probably just didn’t sleep too well and that’s why he’s grumpy. Maybe he needs a new bed because he maybe doesn’t sleep well a lot. Anyway I guess being a scribe is really serious so I’d better try to concentrate.)
CLOUDFALL – It’s a pleasure to welcome you once again to Tian. Lady Cloudstrider, and Gurtash, I believe?
BEN-LIN – The pleasure is mine, Elder.
GURTASH – Oh wow, you remember me?
CLOUDFALL – Indeed! I never forget a face, or a name.
GARROSH – Oh great, another guy with an uber-memory. Nothing ever goes wrong with those guys.
(I didn’t understand what that meant but Mr. Warchief gave me a mean look when he saw I was going to ask something. Maybe Mr. D and Mr. U can explain later.)
CLOUDFALL – One face is unfamiliar to me, however, Warchief Garrosh. Tell me, who is your feline friend?
GARROSH – Oh…yeah. Her. This is Taktani. She’s helping spot Gurtash a little as my scribe and record-keeper.
TAKTANI – Hi, Mr. Panda! It’s nice to meet you! You can call me Tak! Or Tak-Tak, if that’s the way—
GARROSH – Don’t get started on that shit again.
TAKTANI – But Mr. Warchief, I just—
GARROSH – Anyway, she’s kind of in her trial period. Her really, really tenuous trial period.
CLOUDFALL – Ah, well, I’m sure she’ll perform admirably.
GARROSH – That’s because this is your first time meeting her.
( :( )
CLOUDFALL – In any case, I should provide an introduction in kind. You all remember our hozen friend, I’m sure.
(Oh I forgot to mention there was a monkey man, like the one at our fort, walking with Mr. Panda!)
CLOUDFALL – Taktani, allow me to introduce Zhi-Zhi.
ZHI-ZHI – Much pleasings to be making your acquaintances.
TAKTANI – Your name is Zhi-Zhi, Mr. Monkey?
ZHI-ZHI – The emphasizings should be on the first syllable, but yes.
TAKTANI – So we do say everyone’s name twice here!
BEN-LIN – No, Taktani, we say people’s names normally here. It is simply a naming tradition among some of the hozen.
TAKTANI – Oh, I think that’s what Mr. D and Mr. U were telling me before.
GARROSH – I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but yeah, Dontrag and Utvoch were right. So…congratulations, universe. You win again.
BEN-LIN – Oh, is that who “Mr. D and Mr. U” are?
GARROSH – Yeah, Ben. You’ve met them?
BEN-LIN – Briefly, yes. I only was able to speak with them for a short time before I needed to go due to the mysterious onset of a terrible headache.
TAKTANI – I’m sorry you didn’t feel good. Are you better now, Ms. Ben-Lin-Lin?
BEN-LIN – I am, thank you.
TAKTANI – Or is it Ms. Ben-Ben-Lin?
BEN-LIN – Although I believe it may be returning.
GARROSH – Tak, just zip it and try to focus on the scribing, okay?
TAKTANI – Okay, Mr. War-war-chief-chief. Chief.
GARROSH – THAT’S NOT HOW NAMES WORK HERE.
BEN-LIN – It is a curious thing, Garrosh: there are times when I would swear that you are, in fact, heroically even-tempered.
GURTASH – (leans over to me) Make sure you get that down.
CLOUDFALL – Zhi-Zhi, while our guests are here, why don’t you take Gurtash’s mount to the stable. Do you have your wyvern with you as well, Warchief Garrosh?
GARROSH – Mortimer? No, not here with us.
(Elder Cloudfall waved to Mr. Zhi, and Mr. Zhi led Gurtash’s wyvern away.)
CLOUDFALL – I’m surprised, Warchief. You seemed rather attached to the animal; I would have thought you would bring him with you.
GARROSH – Well, I rode him out here for the trip. But there was a pond with some cranes nearby and so I figured I’d let him go do some hunting for lunch while we were here.
CLOUDFALL – Oh…Warchief Garrosh, I’m not sure if that was wise. The Jade Forest is full of predators.
GARROSH – And?
CLOUDFALL – Well…are you not worried that your wyvern will be harmed?
(Mr. Warchief and Gurtash turned and looked at each other for a minute, and then they both burst out laughing really hard. Mr. Warchief laughed so hard he had to lean on Gurtash and I think he even cried a little.)
GARROSH – Yeah, we…we better go find him.
GURTASH – (barely getting the words out between laughs) He might be in trouble, Captain!
GARROSH – From all those predators!
CLOUDFALL – Warchief Garrosh?
GARROSH – I love you pandas. Don’t ever change.
CLOUDFALL – Ah. Well then…to what do I owe the pleasure of your visit today?
GARROSH – Yeah, right, down to business. It’s pretty simple, Elder. We all know you and monkey boy have seen something about my future in those…whatever…vision caves or whatever you called them. Last time I was here, I let you squirm out being all cryptic and evasive, but I need answers, and this time around you’re going to give them to me.
CLOUDFALL – Warchief Garrosh, surely you cannot expect me to lay out your future for you. Nothing has changed since—
GARROSH – Listen, Lunchbox, last time you told me that when I was “ready,” we would meet again. Well check it out, here we are, meeting again, and believe me, I’m ready as all fuck.
CLOUDFALL – You may be ready to hear, Warchief, but I still question whether you are ready to meet the fate before you.
GARROSH – How about you let ME worry about that, Deep-Dish? Tell me what you’ve seen, for starters, and we’ll take it from there.
CLOUDFALL – It’s not as simple as you would presume. You don’t understand the nature of the visions.
GARROSH – Illuminate me.
(Mr. Cloudfall just stared at Mr. Warchief all serious for a minute. I hope he’s not getting a headache too!)
CLOUDFALL – Let me try to explain this, Warchief Garrosh. The visions I spoke of provide a piece of the future, but they do not spell out events step by step. They are fragments – as if you were to look at a painting, but only see the reds and yellows, but not the blues or greens. They are pieces without context.
GARROSH – “Context”? Are you serious? You’re going to stonewall me over fucking CONTEXT?
CLOUDFALL – Warchief Garrosh, context is the solitary line that separates an act of barbarism from an act of kindness. Even were I of a mind to tell you—
GARROSH – Listen to me. You only just met us, so I don’t expect you to understand what’s at stake here. So yeah, you know what? Context. So let me explain this to you. You want to dance around what the future holds? My people are in the middle of a war to DETERMINE their future. And you do NOT want to know what I’ve already sacrificed trying to secure. And meanwhile, I’ve got the people who are supposedly on MY side in all this running around behind my back, undermining me at every turn, cutting deals with my worst fucking enemies for what reasons I can’t even guess. I NEED TO KNOW what the fuck is going on with all this.
CLOUDFALL – (sighs) To know anyone’s fate is a dangerous prospect, but to know one’s own—
GARROSH – Are you worried about spoilers, Gramps? Well, here, maybe this will help – I’ve already been spoiled. I’ve already had one person take a peek into my future and come back with a report. He told me “they” were going to turn against me. And now it looks like he was right, only maybe he wasn’t. I don’t fucking KNOW. And I’m trying to look out for an entire fucking CIVILIZATION, and THESE are the things I’m having to spend my time thinking about.
(Mr. Panda got very quiet and mostly just looked at the ground. I think maybe he didn’t want to make Mr. Warchief any more upset. Or maybe he was sad to hear lots of people are being mean to Mr. Warchief. That’s not very nice even if he does get grumpy sometimes.)
GARROSH – Listen, I get that you’re worried about giving away too much, or telling me things that I’m not going to be able to make sense of. But there’s got to be some chunk of it that I can latch on to. Give me SOMETHING.
CLOUDFALL – I wasn’t lying when I said that the visions were mere fragments. Incomplete – not least of all because the events surrounding them are still in motion, still in flux…
GARROSH – How about this, then. You and monkey boy both said I have a destiny. The first time I met Chimps, he kept calling me “the one.” Let’s start there. What the fuck was he talking about?
(The Elder man got quiet again and rubbed his chin while he stared down for a minute.)
CLOUDFALL – You…are the one who brings the peoples of the Horde together under a common cause. The one who sets in motion the events that bring about the emergence of a new Horde, a rebirth…
(Mr. Warchief looked all happy and proud. I don’t blame him! He’s going to be a hero! Yay!)
GARROSH – Okay, so, why in the FUCK would you not want to tell me THAT future?
CLOUDFALL – Because you don’t know how you get there.
(Uh oh, Mr. Warchief got all serious again and looked at Mr. Panda all impatient.)
GARROSH – And…?
CLOUDFALL – And neither do I.
GARROSH – You’re about to get cryptic on me again, aren’t you?
CLOUDFALL – I’ve seen the reds and the yellows of your future, Warchief Garrosh, and I know that you stand upon a fulcrum: the choices you will make in the days ahead will determine how your destiny takes shape. For now, I do not know the shape of that future or where it will take you. I know only that it is born in pain.
GARROSH – Yep, I called that one.
CLOUDFALL – Warchief Garrosh?
GARROSH – Whatever. The important thing is, as long as I know the Horde comes out strong on the other side of this, I’m ready to deal with whatever pain it takes to get there.
CLOUDFALL – No.
GARROSH – What?
CLOUDFALL – I wasn’t lying about that last time, either. You’re not ready for what’s coming. (pauses, thinking) But…I think I can help you. If you’re willing to face the shadows I once told you weighed upon your steps.
GARROSH – If I say yes, will there be a point where this doubletalk of yours starts to make sense?
CLOUDFALL – It may. And if it doesn’t, you’ll be no worse off than you are now, I suspect.
GARROSH – I’m all ears.
CLOUDFALL – This is not something I can tell you, but a journey I believe I can guide you on. There is a place, far from here, where you may be able to see for yourself, and begin to face your destiny.
GARROSH – Man, you pandas really do love to lay it on thick, don’t you? You’re on, though. Where to?
* Garrosh received this message from A’dal here, while accompanying Liadrin to Shattrath.