Archive for varian

The Liebster Award comes to Orgrimmar

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

liebsteraward

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:

Humans.

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.)

Dontrag.

Utvoch.

“There”/”their”/”they’re”.  Because FUCK YOU, internet:

grammar

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:

fyv

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:

metzen

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:

 

 

And 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.

  1. Do you write a blog?  Link it here if so!
  2. What was the first Azerothian blog you ever read?  Was there an early memorable post that hooked you?
  3. Recommended reading, part one!  Link and endorse three bloggers that you’d encourage your fellow readers and minions should check out.
  4. Recommended reading, part two — link one single post, from wherever, that makes you think “OMG, people HAVE to read this.”
  5. How long have you been reading the Command Board?  What post or storyline was your jumping-on point?
  6. One more chance for shameless self-promotion: Are you on Twitter?  Give yourself a non-Friday #FF here if so.  Also feel free to recommend a few accounts worth following.
  7. What class do you play on Earth Online?  (Don’t try to deny that you play.  I know my readers.)
  8. What real-life ability to do you wish your Earth Online character could use?
  9. Here, I’ll throw a bone to Utvoch.  The age-old hoof question: Fem-taur or draenei girls?
  10. Whose head would you rather have on a pike, Varian’s or Magatha’s?
  11. If the world were going to end (or change substantially) in, say, oh, six months or so, what would be your bucket list of things you’d want to get done first?

There, you have your assignment.  Get to it!  YOUR WARCHIEF HAS SPOKEN.

Monday mailbag

Posted in Mailbag with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

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Okay, people, it’s been WAY too long since I’ve dipped into the ol’ mailbag, and I have a HUGE backlog of letters, so let’s get right to it, shall we?

 

Hail Warchief!

The Feast of Winter Veil is approaching, and it made me think. What do you hope to get from Greatfather Winter this year? Do you have any special family traditions? I look forward to seeing Orgrimmar all decorated for the festivities.
Happy Holidays!

–Lorewalker Shara

PS you may want to avoid using tinsel to decorate around Mortimer, unless you like festive poop! Might be a good idea to keep Taktani away from it too, thinking about it.

Hey, Shara, thanks for writing.  Hopefully Orgrimmar is looking all Winter Veily these days.  I’ll be back for a check-in soon, but I’m probably only going to make it back to town JUST in time to catch the end of the festivities.  As for my wish list… I remember addressing this point a couple years ago, and most of the stuff on that list still stands – especially Varian and Magatha’s heads on pikes – but there are a few more things I can think of that I might add to the list for this year.

  • An actual explanation that makes sense for what the hell was going on with Mokvar while I was away.
  • A wireless network here in Pandaria that’s actually reliable, so I can log onto Earth Online without it being a fucking comedy show.
  • An on-site goblin tech guy who can maintain that network without the whole thing going kablooey and spitting out two burnt pieces of toast every time there’s a breeze, because let me tell you, Grizzle Gearslip ain’t happening.

Come to think of it, so far all of these could pretty much be covered if I could get a bunch more Spazzles.  Because really, as much as I clown on the guy, he actually knows what he’s doing and gets shit done, and unlike half these other jokers, I don’t have to worry about him running around behind my back doing spirits-know-what.  So, other additions to the list:

  • A scribe that doesn’t have traitorous tendencies, a busted-up writing hand, or the disposition of a six-year-old on a sugar high from eating all the Hallow’s End candy EVER.
  • The secret to controlling the sha.
  • A First War commemorative chess set.  This is the normal-sized, less creepy version of the chess set Medivh had over in Karazhan.  It’s been rumored to be in the works for years, and I’ve finally started to see them showing up on ebAH.  Yes, I play chess.  Don’t act all surprised, for fuck’s sake.
  • Varian’s head on a pike.  Did I mention this one?

As far as having family traditions for Winter Veil…not really.  I mean, keep in mind, Winter Veil is a pretty recent thing for us Mag’har.  We didn’t have Winter Veil back in Nagrand, so we only started picking it up at all after Thrall came out to Garadar a few years ago.  Greatmother Geyah really has taken a liking to it, but that’s about it.  Plus, not to get maudlin and shit, but it’s kind of hard to have family traditions when you don’t really have a family.  I mean, I never knew my dad, and my mom died when I was young.  I’m an only child.  As far as I know.  Assuming Grom wasn’t a bigger pimp than anybody’s given him credit for.  Anyhow, point being, Greatmother is pretty much the only family I’ve got nowadays, and even SHE’s not a blood relation – she’s just the one that raised me after Lakkara died.  So, yeah.  AREN’T YOU HAPPY YOU BROUGHT THAT UP?  BET YOU FEEL PROUD.

 

Greetings Warchief!

I am in desperate need of your assistance. I approached Regent Lord Lor’themar with my issue but he said that it was beyond his scope and directed me to contact you.

I recently inherited a house and it is in terrible need of redecoration. You have done a great deal of renovation recently and I was wondering if you could give me some tips to make my house look amazing. Attached is a picture of the house.

WoWScrnShot_112313_213143

Thanks,

–Tegwin

Grats on the new house, Tegwin.  Not so grats on the place looking like such a shithole.  Because, yeah, that place needs some work.  I mean, seriously…the wispy, billowy day-glow curtains?  A bearskin rug with the bear head still attached?  Strewn out there like you’re getting ready to do a photo shoot you already know you’re going to regret in five years?  And… Is…is that a hookah?  Just sitting there, right out in the open, in the living room?  What are you, one semester removed from college and stuck with a slacker troll roommate who keeps swearing he’ll have his half of the rent this month, and this time he means it, mon, only you know perfectly well that’s not happening because felweed’s a hell of a drug?

So, okay, a few things.  You have to lose the pastels, first of all.  I know that probably goes against every last one of your blood elf sensibilities, but trust me on this.  You want strong, commanding colors – the kind that will make people think “Holy fuck, some serious shit goes on in this place” when they walk in.  Lots of reds and grays.  Err on the side of darker.  Go too dark with the red and you get a bloody crimson, which is still pretty badass.  Go too light and you get pink.  See where I’m going with this?

Mount some weapons on the walls.  If you haven’t cleaned them lately and they’ve got some bloodstains, all the better.  It adds to the color scheme I’m talking about, plus it conveys a message of “This person is not to be fucked with.”  Spikes.  You can never have too many spikes.  Or skulls.  Get some skulls in there.  If you can carve up the body of one of your enemies and, say, make their skull into a chair for yourself, awesome.  Or maybe turn their bones into an end table.  A hat rack will do in a pinch.  If you haven’t killed any notable enemies lately, but you’ve got an infamous foe that you really only know by reputation but somebody in your family killed, and you have THEIR remains somewhere handy, that’s just as good, because that fucker was brought down by your bloodline (AGAIN NOTICE THE BLOOD MOTIF) and you totally deserve to share credit for the accomplishment.

This is all for your living room, of course, and I know my tastes can be a little hardcore.  I figured you might want to take it down a notch or two for your bedroom, so I went to Garona to get a woman’s opinion.  Didn’t get very far, though.  I told her I had a question about the bedroom and tried to ask her if she matches her rugs and curtains, or words to that effect, but she just got all pissy for some reason.  So, not much help there.  I seriously don’t know what’s up with her sometimes.

Speaking of which…

 

Dear Warchief,

I’m writing this letter to you in secret and I hope it gets to you and I’m not killed in the process.  *looks around*

It’s about Garona Halforcen.  Sir, she scares the everliving shi—uh—crap out of me.  *looks around again*

I happened upon some history stuff about her and now I’m all confused.  She was there when the first invasion from the Dark Portal, then she had a kid with an old man, and she is half-orc, half-dradne dranin demon *looks up spelling* DRAENAI.  (She looks like an orc.  Smells like one too.  I don’t see it.)

Now I’m all confused and sitting in a dark tunnel with a lot of thinking time had me thinking about her again.

What I want to know…*looks around*

How old is she?  She’s got to be like….ANCIENT.  *hides paper, looks around*

She doesn’t make sense and I don’t want to ask her.  She’s scary.

–Ruekie, Shaman In Training

PS:  There’s a lot of talk lately with the orc kids about the Red Pox, and if there is something scarier than Garona it’s that. I heard you had it once. Did it hurt? Can you get it again? Can we get it? Can an outbreak happen again? Too many questions and we are getting freaked out. Like FREAKED out. Really.

Okay, first of all… Um, Ruekie, you realize we were JUST in those caves all alone and out of earshot of Garona, right?  Not sure why you didn’t just ask your questions THEN, but whatever.  Kids.

First, the Red Pox?  No, seriously, you don’t want to get into the Red Pox, that was just a bad scene all around.  I don’t know why you kids would be talking about it now, but really, just let that shit die.  Nobody needs to be digging up THOSE memories for anybody.

Okay, now that that’s settled, on to your main point.  Yeah, I’ll grant you the scary thing with Garona.  Scariest bitch I know who hasn’t come back from the dead.  Although it’s probably a sad statement about my life that the list of people I know who HAVE come back from dead is a lot longer than you would figure.  Because – I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before – NOBODY STAYS FUCKING DEAD ANYMORE.

Anyway, here’s the deal with Garona.  Yeah, she’s half orc, half draenei.  Back in the day, Gul’dan bred an orc and a draenei to create a personal assassin – enter Garona.  Yeah, she looks mostly orcish, but I guess these racial mixes are kind of a crap shoot as far as which race’s physical traits you get.

Anyhow, to tell you the truth, I’m not sure exactly when Gul’dan actually orchestrated her birth.  I know it was definitely before the Dark Portal opened, and that was about 30 years ago, but before that, there was a window of about 20 years when Gul’dan was up to some Really Bad Shit, so the breeding experiment could have happened anywhere in there.  Let’s shave off the first couple years to give Gul’dan time to come up with this idea and for Garona to be brought to term.  That would mean that Garona would have to be anywhere from, say, 32 (She’s not.  Seriously.  I’m 35.  There’s no damn way she’s younger than me.) to around 48 or so.  Anywhere in between, your guess is as good as mine.

Hang on, though – this gets more complicated when you add the fact that Gul’dan had Garona aged magically so that she could get right to work, no childhood needed.  Swell guy, huh?  Anyway, the age of adulthood among orcs varies a little from clan to clan, usually somewhere from 13 to 15.  (Yeah, I know, kid, can you believe it?  Technically you’re an adult.  Hard to imagine you’re a grown-up, huh?  Well, let me clue you in on a little secret: That thought won’t stop seeming weird for another 20 years.)  So that would mean, however old Garona is according to the calendar, she really has the body of a woman 13-some-odd years older.  So now we’re looking at a physical age putting her somewhere between 45 and, like, 60-something.  Which is kind of a big deal when you consider that 70 is about as old as you could reasonably hope to live as an orc, even if you do a perfect job taking care of yourself.

Oh, but hang on, we’re not done yet.  It’s about to get more complicated.  (Don’t look at me – I didn’t make this shit up.)  Because, see, since Garona has that draenei half, her aging is even more fucked up.  Draenei live for…like…forever.  I mean seriously, I think the average draenei lifespan is something like “infinity minus twelve.”  So you mix THOSE genes in with our good, wholesome “70 if you’re super lucky” orcish genes, and…well… You’ve got a woman who’s technically, like, 40, only with the body of a 53-year-old, only not really because 53 doesn’t mean anywhere near the same thing to the draenei part of her, so…um… Who the fuck knows?

She’s old, okay?  Only she’s kind of not.  Only she is.  Whatever – you go figure it out.  Meanwhile I’m going to go check around the room and make sure there aren’t any whooshing sounds coming from the corners.

 

The following is written in elegant, but slightly shaky, cursive script on pale peach-colored parchment paper

My dear little Roshy,

How are you doing? I have missed you. It’s beautiful here in Nagrand – we’re having the most glorious late-fall weather.  I hope all is well in Orgrimmar.

Why didn’t you tell me you have a girlfriend?  Sounds serious too… She has been sending me letters telling me about how deeply in love you both are, and has included many pictures of you with little hearts and flowers drawn on them.  She says you’re getting married in the spring?  Why didn’t you mention it?  You would think you’d keep your own family informed, dear.  We’ll have to have a little chat the next time you visit.  You are coming home for Winter Veil, are you not?

Also, you should take some pictures of the two of you together.  And perhaps find a new photo studio.  These look like they were printed on magazine paper instead of proper photo paper.  I can’t properly frame them for display, especially not with the lipstick kisses smeared all over them.

All my love,

–Greatmother Geyah.

Hold on, hold on, what… how the… it… GODDAMMIT, SOMEBODY IS FALSIFYING RECORDS OF THEIR WARCHIEF, and…and…  Oh fucking hell, now I’m going to have to go out there and explain Photoshop to her.  It was bad enough when I had the bright idea to try to show her the internet.  Nothing in my e-mail for two months but forwarded pictures of wyverns asking for cheeseburgers.  And WHO is this woman who’s…ugh.  You know what?  I don’t even think I want to know.  Even though I can probably think of a couple likely suspects.

Now I’m just imagining somewhere in Orgrimmar there’s a dim, candle-lit room with walls covered by pictures of me, and…no, no, don’t even go any further with that, Garrosh.  That way madless lies.

And now on top of everything, I have to squeeze in a trip to Nagrand before Winter Veil totally runs out on me, or I’m never going to hear the end of it.  Ugh.  Maybe I’ll bring Gurtash, and see if I can maybe distract her a little with the cute kid factor.  Or Ruekie?  I bet she’d like Ruekie.  Plus Rook might want someplace to hide anyway, what with her probably having Garona out for her head as soon as this post goes live.

 

Very good to hear you have escaped the Saurok caves unharmed. The Horde would be in a very dire position if we were to lose our leader.

I do have one question. Have you ever thought of asking a mage if they could manage to conjure lemon squares? I have no complaints, but the same old sticky buns are a bit tiring after some time (not to mention they turn stale and hard as a rock after some time sitting in a bag). Perhaps you should collaborate with my wife? I am sure she would be very good to collaborate with, or maybe another mage closer to your location.

Regards,

–Shen-Wei Pureblossom

Thanks for writing, Shen-Wei.  You know, I HAVE thought of this lemon squares angle before, but here’s the thing.  First off, there was a point around this time last year that I really thought Gija down in the Cleft of Shadow was on to something, but the problem is, lemon squares don’t really lend themselves to conjuring, apparently.  I mean, you can abracadabra up some pastries that are sorta, KINDA in the same ballpark as lemon squares, but you can tell they’re not the real thing.  It’s like the drop-off from real leather to that fake shit that the damn DEHTA hippies try to pass off and think they’re fooling anybody.  And once you’re used to eating the real thing, I mean, come on.  It would be like going from having me as Warchief to, I don’t even know, a fucking TROLL or something.

Second of all, having spent my whole life eating those lemon squares, let me tell you, we don’t need mages recreating Greatmother’s recipe, because IT’S ALREADY MAGICAL.  (See?  See how I’m already working on smoothing things over with her?  For real, I’m so fucking diplomatic you could just shit a brick.)

Also, even setting all that aside… Nothing personal, but I don’t take anybody up on any suggestions that include the phrase “perhaps you should collaborate with my wife” ever since the Incident That Shall Not Be Discussed over at Tharl Stonebleeder’s house.  Now stop making me think about things that cannot be unthought.  MOVING ON.

 

Hail Warchief.

Rumors are flying that there is a red pox outbreak. Is this anything like the scourge?

–Kelytas, Blood Elf Paladin, Borean Tundra

Wait, again with the Red Pox?  No!  We’re not going to talk about the Red Pox.  Why the fuck is everybody so curious about the Red Pox all of a sudden?

 

I really enjoyed that Photo-Op you had with King Varian a while ago.  I couldn’t help but notice that King Varian had a wonderful tousled-Anime-pigtail thing going on that was at the same time sexy but tough, and you…well, you just look cranky.

I checked in with the Couturier Barbershop in downtown Orgrimmar and was quite frankly shocked at the dismal array of hairstyles available.  An up-swept Mohawk with a scarf?  Are you kidding me?

I know you might have a couple of things on your plate right now but seriously, you really need to look into this before the entire Horde start looking like extras from Naxxramas.

Maybe you could contact King Varian, find out who does his hair and we could have a Stylist Exchange with one of our Barbers so they could learn some new hair techniques and bring back the Glory of the Horde.

I also noticed that our Tailors are in desperate need of new patterns.  Malevolent-style silk pantaloons?  Really?  That is so last-season…

–A Concerned Fashionista Blood Elf

Lor’themar, is that you?

Yeah, let me get right on that.  I’ll send a special diplomatic courier right over to Stormwind with a note that says, “Who does your hair??”  Yeah, that would go over great, I’m sure.

Hmm.  Actually, come to think of it, a message like that would probably seem SO weird to Varian that it might fuck with his head a little.  Like, I can totally imagine him reading that and thinking, “Garrosh wouldn’t give a shit about my hair…WHAT IS HE UP TO?”  And then he gets all paranoid and shit.  And meanwhile I’m just sitting back and not doing anything, and the longer this goes on the more paranoid he gets – ESPECIALLY when it’s time for him to go to the barber, because, hey, THIS IS WHAT GARROSH WAS ASKING ABOUT.  And maybe he gets so messed up and suspicious that he stops going to the barber altogether, and his hair grows and grows, and finally he’s just got this total mess of a rat’s nest on his head, until maybe he eventually can’t stand it anymore and shaves it all off and ends up bald.  Same as me.

There you have it, ACFBE.  Problem solved.  Garrosh comes out ahead of the curve yet again.  Boom.

 

Hail, Warchief!

I’m studying Orcish History at school and need to write an essay. I thought I’d write about the Red Pox and it’s impact, and I thought it would be neat if I could quote you on the subject, if you don’t mind.

I know it was a terrible illness, but there aren’t any first-hand records that I’ve been able to find. What was it like to live with the Red Pox? Do you remember much from those years? Did you notice any major differences between Orcish society as a whole and the way Orcs lived in Garadar? Pretty much anything you can remember would be great.

Thanks!

–Anonymous Scholar, Orgrimmar

Okay, so at least NOW I have some idea of why everybody’s got the Red Pox on the brain this week.  So okay, fine, just this once I’ll talk about it, seeing as I’m probably one of the only Red Pox survivors a lot of these kids will have the chance to meet.

It sucked.

What, you wanted more?  FINE.

I’m not going to waste time going over the symptoms, because there must already be records of that, and I’m pretty sure neither one of us wants to spend our lunch break reviewing my childhood vomiting habits.  But yeah, I had it as a kid, and even setting aside the physical suffering of it all, I can’t stress enough how much of an effect it had on the culture of Garadar.  I mean, you asked if there were any major differences between Garadar society and orcish society as a whole?  Fuck, what WASN’T different?  The Red Pox hung over our whole culture.  It touched everything.  We had whole generations who were born and died – prematurely, granted – under the bane of that thing.  That was the worst part of it, really – the sense of resignation it left us with.  It was like, for a lot of us, there was this sense that the Red Pox came for our grandparents, and then it came for our parents, and now it’s going to come for us.

Over the years, our shaman kept working to find a cure, and every so often there would be a glimmer of hope that maybe they had something.  But then there would always be some disaster that would undo it.  After a while that became part of the gloom and doom of it – the shaman would come up with a new possibility, and you never quite stopped hoping, but deep down you were thinking, “Okay, let’s see what fucks it up THIS time.”  Even when they finally did find a cure, and the suffering could finally end, a lot of us couldn’t even quite believe it was really happening.

Adding to all this, by the way, was the fact that over in Telaar, the draenei had their own parallel illness going on for a while.  It was called the lank distemper – or the “Lanks,” as a lot of folks ended up calling it.  Basically an infection that caused severe dehydration and loss of appetite, so the afflicted would wither down to these scrawny shadows of their former selves.  Sometimes the two diseases would flare up as if they had a contest going to see which one could kill more victims.  Which made for some miserable times for everybody involved.  Believe me, for anyone who was living through it, you do NOT want to get them started on the whole Lanks / Red Pox rivalry.

Is that enough?  Are you happy yet?  Or do I need to relive the time the conjured healing sphere rolled between Bullrok’s legs and into the lake, too?

 

Dear Garrosh;

Winter Veil is here! Time for a great orc cheer! Lok’tar!

I am so looking forward to making cookies and milk for Greatfather Winter this year with my new cooking skills I learned from Pilgrim’s Bounty holiday. I may even add some lemon squares to add some extra favor. I’m really hoping this year he’ll give me a ferocious armored bloodwing with exotic leather saddle for riding. That would be so cool! (Sigh, I’ll probably end up with another copper racer though.)

What are you hoping for Winter Veil this year, Mr. Garrosh sir?

Varian on a spire tree?

Blood and thunder!

–Ruekie, Shaman-Still-in-Training

PS: Greatfather Winter looks awful familiar, but I can’t quite figure it out. Kinda like Mr. Saurfang, but that would be impossible…I think. (Nothing is impossible with Mr. Saurfang.)

PPS: Winter Veil holiday is a great time for eating. Try no to eat too many lemon squares, though, sir. It doesn’t take much to make your muscles look like marshmallows.  D: 

Bye!

Wait, Ruekie AGAIN?  When the hell is she writing all these letters?  Fuck, maybe I should hire HER as a scribe, if this is how fast she can crank out pages.  Anyway.

So also, before we get into anything else…hang on, you want a BLOODWING for Winter Veil?  A frigging BAT?  All of a sudden, a WYVERN isn’t good enough for little miss tornado-pants?  You’ve seen Mortimer in action, up close and personal, and you’ve decided, “Nah, let’s give the universe a sporting chance – keep the wings, take away all the parts that really make the wyvern badass, and replace them with a giant blind rat”?  Are you KIDDING me?

I already answered the part about what I want for Winter Veil a few letters up, so no need to get into that again.  And I’m not going to dignify the lemon squares thing with a response.  But I have to comment on that thing you said about Greatfather Winter.  You know, one thing that people always say about Greatfather Winter is that there’s no way the guy could possibly fly all around the world and deliver presents to everyone in just one night.  Well, I think you might have found the one gaping hole in that theory.  So, next time you find yourself in an argument with some skeptic who doesn’t want to believe in Greatfather Winter, just unload this one on them:

“I’m telling you, there isn’t enough time for Greatfather Winter to do all that!  It isn’t physically possible!”

“What if Greatfather Winter is really Saurfang?”

“Oh… Um… Well then.”

 

Yo Mon!

I hear you had de red pox, mon. On dat game Earth Online dey has a disees call chicken pox. Es dat de same? (What do chickens haf to do wit dat?)

Dey say in dat game, once you hav it, you cannot get et again. Yah, mon, you are now invisible to dat disees, like de lich king’s horse.  Dat is good news!

Cheers, mon!

–Bobbette, Out der somewhere

Okay.

So.

I am beginning to get the very distinct impression that I may be getting trolled.

 

Hey mon!

What’s dis I be hearin’ about da Red Pox breakin’ out again?  It be all anybody be talkin’ ’bout dese days!  If you get it, does dat mean ya turns red?  I remember seein’ some red orcs back in Hellfire Peninsula, mon, was dey havin’ da Red Pox?  Dey go from green ta red?  Don’t get me wrong, mon, I don’t want nobody gettin’ sick, but if dere be anudda outbreak, look on da bright side – all dat red an’ green togetha be lookin’ nice an’ festive for Winter Veil!

–Bob, Shado-pan Monastery

I hate you.  I really, truly hate you.

 

Excuse me, Warchief, I write to you from Dustwallow marsh, I came here to see if I could find test subjects for a new flamethrower, and found something much more interesting, there is this mysterious woman on the road to the ruined theramore (hah!) and she seems to be able to send me back in time to look at theramore and the swamp before theramore was destroyed, I went to sleep at mudsprocket and woke up in present day. She seems upset that I was killing humans as soon as I was there, and refuses to send me again.

–Ritaba, Mudsprocket 

Wait, wait, hang on.  Let me get this straight.  You’re telling me that there’s someone hanging around Dustwallow Marsh sending people back in time to Theramore before we blew it up?  As in, making it possible to totally sidestep our whole victory and interact with the place like it was before?  That… fucking hell, THAT DEFEATS THE WHOLE POINT OF US BLOWING IT UP IF YOU CAN FUCKING DO THAT!

You know, this has the Bronze Dragonflight written all over it — or at least it WOULD, if it weren’t for the fact that this is PRECISELY THE SAME KIND OF SHIT they they’ve been recruiting people to PREVENT for years now, and by the way didn’t I just march through like 50 miles of steaming shit over their whole “integrity of the past” deal last year?!  But hey, apparently it’s NO BIG DEAL when you’re talking about Theramore, right?  SURE!  WHY NOT?  Hey, how about I zip on back to the past and start fucking with shit too, because I GUESS THAT’S ON THE MENU NOW, RIGHT?

Fucking dragons.  FUCKING TIME TRAVEL!

UGH!

 

I have been reading the history of Pandaria, and discovered something no one has bothered to take note of, seven burdens of Shaohao, the story of how the last emperor of Pandaria defeated the six sha and locked them away in a poor fashion (He couldn’t have kept them from causing havok any time someone gets cranky?), and there are older writings indicating a beast with seven heads, perhaps there is a seventh sha never recorded, it could be the key to controlling them.

–Yinsun, Vale of Eternal Blossoms

Now see, THIS is an example of some research that might actually be useful.  You might be on to something there, Yinsun.  It DOES seem kind of fishy that we have this story about Shaohao and his seven burdens, and this seven-headed thingamabob, and then we only have six sha that we know about.  It’s definitely worth considering whether we’ve got one more sha on the loose that nobody’s thought of.  (Hell, I was even bouncing ideas about this around with some people on Twitter a little while ago.)

For anybody keeping score at home, we might as well start with the basics.  Right now, we’ve got six sha accounted for: the Sha of Doubt, the Sha of Anger, the Sha of Despair, the Sha of Violence, the Sha of Hatred, and the Sha of Fear.

So, okay, let’s suppose there’s one more out there.  Since the sha we know about all seem to be named for pretty major negative emotions or vices…hmm…let’s see, what do we have left for major negatives?

There could be a Sha of Greed, I suppose.  Although…I mean, we have goblins with us, and I have to figure if there were a Sha of Greed, people like Grizzle Gearslip would be setting the fucker off left and right.  The Sha of Jealousy, maybe?  Makes sense on paper, but again, you’d figure we’d be having outbreaks all over the place, seeing as we’ve got a base full of people who’ve been watching me stroll around day after day.  And you KNOW the peeps get jelly when they feast their eyes to the pure awesome that is yours truly, amirite?

So we’re kind of running out of major vices to pair up with the missing sha.  What else is there?  Free-associate, Garrosh… hmm… the Sha of Gluttony?  The Sha of Sloth?  The Sha of Anteater?

Hang on…I think that line of thought took a wrong turn on me somehow.

Maybe we’re going about this wrong.  Time to think outside the box a little.  For all we know, this last sha could be kind of a niche sha, something more specific and less…well…grandiose.  Which might explain why this one might have been able to fly under the radar all this time.  So, let’s see, what else could be out there as the sneakier, subtler bane of our existence…

  • The Sha of Social Awkwardness
  • The Sha of Small Talk
  • The Sha of Poor Table Manners
  • The Sha of Bad Penmanship
  • The Sha of Bad Spelling
  • The Sha of Typos (possibly related to above)
  • The Sha of Not Picking Up After Your Wyvern
  • The Sha of Repetition
  • The Sha of Redundancy
  • The Sha of Telegraphing Bad Jokes
  • The Sha of Walking Really Slowly in Front of People at the Mall
  • The Sha of Paper Towels with Inexplicably Strong Perforation So You Try to Snap Off One Square and End Up Yanking Out Half the Roll
  • The Sha of Telling the Same Story Over and Over and Over Again Even Though Yes I Already Know How You Met Eitrigg Okay Tirion

Okay, you know what?  This is going nowhere fast.

Wait, wait, hang on a second… I could swear I HAVE seen another sha somewhere.

shaofhappiness

HOLY FUCKING HELL THAT’S IT!  THE SHA OF HAPPINESS!  Come to think of it, I even remember seeing this fucker on Twitter!  Fuckin’ A, I KNEW all those annoyingly happy assholes like Mylune were up to no good!  IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW.

 

Okay, that’s going to do it for this time, but keep those letters coming.  You guys really stepped up to the plate with this batch of letters, so you know what that means — THE BAR HAS BEEN RAISED.  So keep it going, and I’ll try to be back with more wise words soon.  Handy form included:

Between a saurok and a hard place

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *

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

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

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

Strange bedfellows

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Seriously.  How, Genn, how?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Clobberin’ time

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

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

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

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

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

How about THAT, by the way, huh?

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

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Cheat Sheet

Posted in Words from Behind the Curtain with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

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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:

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Don’t blame the healer

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

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It took a little doing, but eventually I got the DPS kids to fill in the rest of what had gone down after they’d sealed themselves in the cave.  (I’m not going to stick Gurtash with having to do comic panels for every last word of it when we can just exposition our way over it, because seriously, that would burn through a TON of paper, and there’s only so much Ashenvale lumber on hand.)  (For now.)

Like Gurtash and Giska were saying last time, they encountered saurok – multiple packs of them, actually – and did their best to fight them off while fleeing deeper into the caverns.  By the time the saurok gave up pursuit, the kids were pretty far underground…and one fewer in number.  Lok’osh – another orphan that Gurtash knew from Matron Battlewail’s place – got hacked up pretty badly in the fight, and while the rest of the kids managed to get him out of there with them, his injuries turned out to be too much for him.

He was a good kid.  Quiet, but I guess that comes with being a rogue.  I was maybe going to introduce him to Garona one day, except for the fact that, you know, who needs to be subjected to that, right?  So maybe not.  Anyway, moot point now.  Unfortunately.

I decided to have the kids check our perimeter while I figured out our next move.  There were two ways into the small chamber where they’d set up camp, and I’d just used one of them a short while before, so we knew that one was clear.  So I had the batch of them chain their way down the other passageway to scout as far as they could.  Standard procedure in unfamiliar territory, when you have limited numbers and want to play it conservative – one of them plants themselves in the passage, within sight of me, then the others spread out while going further.  Each one in the chain goes as far as they can while still maintaining line of sight with the person before them.  This way you cover the widest range, without anybody ever being in a position where the cavalry can’t be called in within ten seconds.  Plus it would be giving them something to do to get their minds off Lok’osh and feel like they’re helping.

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Korrina couldn’t get close enough to get a good look – I’m sure she would have tried, if they all weren’t under orders not to try to be a hero – but she was pretty sure she could see shadows moving further down the tunnel, and something seemed to be making some noise.  I rounded the trainees up in the passageway and had them chain behind me while I went down to check it out – not even for the sake of them backing me up, really (spirits help me if I ever wind up needing the kids to save my ass), but mostly so they could call me back if something snuck up behind them.  No surprise to anyone, Gurtash made a point of making himself the last link in the chain to me.  As the passage started to widen into another room, I reminded him to keep me in sight, but also told him in no uncertain terms to stay back, no matter what.  And down I went.

So…yeah, hold on to your hats for this one.

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