Archive for valley of emperors

A Shado-Pan of a doubt

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

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

Let me explain.

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

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

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

Fucking pandas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And that’s when he attacked us.

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

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

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

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

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

Sha hunting

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

templeofjadeserpent

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

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

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

Anyhow, I digress.

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

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

More soon.

Garrosh to the rescue (as usual)

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

valleyofemperors

You know,  I’ve got to tell you, that Regent-Lord Ponytail is a real piece of work.  First he bitches and moans because I assumed his people could handle themselves, then he tries to refuse extra help, only to have it turn out that he damn well needed it in the first place.  “Why are you crying, Lor’thewhoever?”  “Because it’s raining!”  “Why were you crying yesterday?”  “Because it wasn’t!”  I swear I’d be half tempted to compare the high-maintenance fucker to Garona, except I’d give even odds Garona has a bigger dick.

YES I SAID IT.  SOMEBODY had to say it.

Anyway.  After we finished up at Tian Monastery, I flew up to Kun-Lai summit to see what ol’ Eyepatch and his Reliquary peeps managed to find.  Turns out, they found a big gang of mogu running all over an area called the Valley of Emperors.  Now, credit where it’s due – this time, rather than getting slapped around and then crying about it like a little girl, Eyepatch recruited some extra muscle from back at Domination Point to tag along and protect him.  Like a little girl.  So, you know, at least dude is being more proactive about his little girling.  That’s something, I guess.

Anyhow, by the time I got up there, Ponytail had already collected some kind of sealed crate from the mogu, along with documents indicating the mogu were mobilizing now that some ancient ruler of theirs – the “Thunder King,” I think – has been resurrected.  Because, as I might have mentioned once or twice before, nobody ever stays fucking DEAD anymore.

Ponytail had sent his hired help into one of the nearby tombs to try to track down the leader of this particular batch of mogu, which was fine, but when I told him I wanted to go in and check for myself, he just started protesting and arguing.  Because his people were perfectly capable of handling things on their own, and why don’t we just wait here until they get back, because wind chill factor just adds to the ambience here on this snowy mountainside don’t you think?  So I finally got sick of him stalling, and explained that I was going into the tomb whether he liked it or not.  This explanation took the form of me clocking him one.  I’m fairly sure – but not 100% — that he didn’t lose any teeth.

So I went on down to the tomb, and boy was it a good thing that I did.  The valley around the tomb was pretty much overrun by mogu.  Which meant, first of all, that Ponytail’s people would have had a hell of a time getting back OUT once they were finished – and second of all, bonus exercise for yours truly.  Granted, it was BRIEF exercise, but it felt good to break out Gorehowl and clear a path for myself while dropping a mogu or two.  Or three.  Or 37.  Really, the mogu should probably still count themselves lucky – I would have killed even more of them, but I think I forgot to carry the 1.

By the time I fought my way into the tomb, Eyepatch’s hired help had engaged the mogu leader…and were getting their asses handed to them.  Luckily I showed up before they got completely flattened, and gave a good thorough beatdown to the mogu head honcho.  BOY IT SURE IS A GOOD THING I WAITED WITH PONYTAIL AND DIDN’T INTERFERE DOWN THERE HUH GUYS.  I tried to get the mogu to cough up some information on that Divine Bell relic, but he wasn’t having it.  I was about to give him a nice lethal demonstration of my default penalty for being uncooperative, when one of the blood elf magisters ported him back to the base camp and yammered out this whole deal about giving his people a chance to get the information we want out of the prisoner.  So, whatever.  They want to take a crack at it, fine, even though I can’t see much that these elves are going to do to change the mogu’s attitude, unless he needs his highlights touched up or some shit.

At that point there wasn’t much else for me to do other than follow my handy-dandy trail of mogu corpses back out.

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Pimp away.

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Pimp away.

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So after I pimped my way back to Mortimer, I left word for Lor’thewhatever to get his people working on the prisoner AND that sealed box they found, and headed on back to the Sanctum of Two Moons.  I’ve got a couple things I want to check on while the elves get started.  I’ll update again once I’ve had a chance to follow up on a couple leads.

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