Archive for veiled blade

Collateral damage

Posted in Comics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 3, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

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* In Garrosh’s absence, Mokvar convinced Eitrigg to grant him diplomatic cover to travel to Ironforge.

** Theldren was one of the last surviving members of the Veiled Blade mercenary company, along with Mokvar and Deliana.  When Theldren appeared in Ironforge, after having fled Blackrock Mountain, Deliana ventured to Orgrimmar to inform Mokvar.

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* Word reached Orgrimmar that Mokvar had been charged with Theldren’s murder here.

30 Days of Character Development #7: Mokvar

Posted in 30 Days of Character Development with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

[Periodically, 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.]

 

mokvar_profile1Name:  Mokvar

Occupation:  Scribe; former advisor to the Warchief; former mercenary; currently between gigs, as it were.

Race:  Orc

Class:  Warlock (currently and formerly), shaman (formerly)

Age:  44

Group affiliations:  Horde (former citizen, currently banished), Earthen Ring (former member), Veiled Blade (former member)

Known relatives:  Drulla (mother, deceased), Vokmar (father, deceased), ex-wife (heretofore unnamed)

Earth Online notes:  Founding member and officer of Garrosh’s guild <Warchief>; presumably demoted from officer status since falling out of good graces with Garrosh, though it’s currently unclear if he’s actually been demoted or gkicked.  Main toon is Bartleby (class unknown); has at least one alt, LamontCranston (not a member of <Warchief> and unknown by most of the guild, possibly all but Spazzle).

First appearance:  “Visiting Ashenvale” (first mention), “Underneath the bunker” (first transcript)

mokvarprofile2Key posts and plot points:

  • Garrosh first mentioned Mokvar in the very early days of the blog, during an inspection trip to Ashenvale.  After completing an aerial bombing run over Astralaan, the Warchief was most irate that Mokvar wasn’t able to adequately sketch him walking away from the resulting explosions; Garrosh ordered Mokvar back to Orgrimmar to train up inscription under pain of, well, pain.  (Interestingly, the job of keeping visual records of some of Garrosh’s expolits would eventually fall to Gurtash in the form of his comics.)
  • Mokvar would return a few weeks later in “Underneath the bunker” to record the first of many transcripts of the Warchief’s dealings.  (Also of note is that this transcript marked the first appearance of Dontrag and Utvoch.)  From that point on, Mokvar would frequently accompany the Warchief in his adventures, recording Garrosh’s discussions with such luminaries as Tirion Fordring (“Where did all the words go?”), Mylune (not once but twice), Garona and Johnny Awesome (“Awesome job, Mokvar”).
  • Mokvar traveled back in time to old Hillsbrad with Garrosh, Liadrin, Faranell, and Utvoch in an attempt to trace the origin of a magic “anti-plague” that was devastating the Forsaken (The Anti-Plague of Southshore).  While there, Faranell switched places with a past version of himself and inadvertently set off a series of events that would eventually cause massive disruptions to the timeline (Timequake).  In the ensuing chaos, Mokvar was one of the only people to be aware of the changes that had occurred, and helped the Warchief reset history to its proper course.  To this day, Mokvar remains one of the only people – along with Garrosh, Liadrin, and Faranell – who remembers the events that transpired in the other timeline.  (Okay, yes, Utvoch remembers, too…but would you really bet your next paycheck on him understanding any of it?)
  • Just before Garrosh left for Pandaria, Mokvar was attacked and killed under mysterious circumstances (“Death of the author”), though his death was made temporary by his ability to ankh as a shaman.  This brush with death marked the beginning of the Mokvar saga that continues to this day; a detailed, post-by-post account can be found here, but here’s the semi-sorta-short version: In his mercenary days before coming to Orgrimmar, when he was a member of the Veiled Blade, Mokvar had acquired, then disposed of, a powerful warlock relic called the Nether Prism; now, years later, the Prism’s prior owner (the drakonid lord Valthalak) has sent spectral assassins after Mokvar in an effort to recover his prize.  Mokvar reunited with old mercenary friend Deliana to try to recover the Prism, then launched into a run of suspicious, erratic behavior – traveling to Ironforge under diplomatic cover, then being charged with the murder of one of its citizens; turning for aid to Neeru Fireblade, then, even more damningly, Magatha Grimtotem; breaking out of Orgrimmar while under arrest, leading to his eventual banishment from the Horde.
  • mokvarprofile4After Mokvar disappeared from Orgrimmar, he remained off the grid for several months, save for elemental indications to fellow shaman Spazzle that he may have met his final demise.  Ji Firepaw, however, wasn’t willing to give up hope for Mokvar’s survival (and rightly so – did anyone really think that I was not only going to kill off Mokvar, but do so off-screen? Really?), and continued investigating Mokvar’s whereabouts.  Ji’s search eventually led him to Blackrock Spire, where Mokvar made his dramatic, fel-infused return in “The scouring of the Spire.”
  • True story: I originally introduced Mokvar not even as a real character, but as a plot device to justify inclusion of the transcripts.  I realized early on that I wanted to include dialogue in the blog, but I didn’t feel like it would fit stylistically to have Garrosh writing it out as it would appear in a novel – one thing I try to maintain (with ranging degrees of success) is the appearance that Garrosh really is writing everything in the blog, as a blog, rather than a short-story-but-we’ll-call-it-a-blog-even-though-we-know-it’s-really-not-wink-wink.  Mokvar as a scribe provided an excuse to include that extra material.  Another true story: When I was first choosing Garrosh’s scribe, I pretty much went into Grommash Hold and semi-randomly picked someone who looked like he didn’t have much else to do. Who knew?
  • For the fashion/transmog-minded among you: Mokvar’s warlock attire is roughly based on the Tier 9 warlock set.
  • Mokvar’s Earth Online character, Bartleby, is a reference to the title character in Herman Melville’s short story “Bartleby the Scrivener.”  (Scrivener = scribe!)  Mokvar likewise references the story on a few occasions when repeats Bartleby’s signature line, “I would prefer not to.”
  • For anyone who hasn’t pieced it together by this point: Mokvar’s close connection to Deliana is based on their parallel in-game roles.  Pre-Cataclysm, Mokvar (in Orgrimmar) and Deliana (in Ironforge) were the questgivers who sent adventurers on the (very long and painful) quest chains to upgrade the old “Tier 0.5” dungeon sets.  The two characters offered essentially the same quests, which provided the basis for much of the in-blog backstory about Lord Valthalak.  (Valthalak’s spirit was the end boss for that quest chain, by the way, and for anyone who missed it during vanilla, fighting him at level was a NIGHTMARE.)

In his own words:

In there one event or happening you would like to erase from your past? Why?

My last job with the Veiled Blade, when we went into Blackrock Spire to collect Valthalak’s goodies.  It turned out to be nothing but trouble, and cost most of us our lives – all of us, in fact, other than me and Deliana.  (And strictly speaking, it cost me my life, too; it just didn’t stick. So, congratulations to Deliana for being the last one left standing. Was anyone running a pool?)

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? Color? Song? Flower?

Tigule and Foror’s Lok’tar S’more-gar.  Cerulean blue.  The Lokvad’nod Broxigari.  Any daisies I’m not pushing up.

Who do you trust?

After everything we’ve been through, I trust Deliana with my life.  The same goes for Ji and Spazzle.  I trust Thrall and Eitrigg implicitly, and I’ll probably always be grateful to Thrall for giving me a safe haven all those years ago.  I trust Liadrin for her judgment, Saurfang for general badassery, and Garrosh…well, I trust Garrosh to be Garrosh.

mokvarprofile3How are you with technology? Super savvy, or way behind the times? Letters or email?

I’m no Spazzle, but I’m good enough with technology to get by.  I’m not really what you would call tech literate in the broad sense, but I do okay with specific tasks on specific devices; once I learn how to do something, I’m usually fine, but then I don’t like to stray too far from what I know, even if something new and better comes along.  I still prefer to write by hand, but I usually end up having to type things out – people are always complaining about my handwriting.

How do you react to temperature changes such as extreme heat and cold?

Heat doesn’t bother me at all.  I hardly even notice it.  Cold, on the other hand… spirits, I hate the cold.  You could not have paid me enough money to go to Northrend.

Are you an early morning bird or a night owl?

Neither, really.  I have pretty strange sleep habits: I usually tend to sleep for 2-3 hours at a time, scattered around random times in the day.  It’s a holdover from my mercenary days, when we would often have to be on the move on short notice; I developed the ability to sneak in what sleep I could when I could, and it’s stayed with me.  So now you’re equally likely to catch me awake at some odd hour in the middle of the night, or asleep in the middle of the day.  It’s the main reason why I don’t like surprise visitors.  That and the recent habit that surprise visitors have been getting into of trying to kill me.

What’s your preferred means of travel?

On wolfback.  I like feeling my feet on the ground…or at least my wolf’s feet, indirectly.  If I have to fly, I’d rather take a zeppelin or gunship.  I’ve never gotten completely comfortable on a wyvern (although I still prefer them to bats or dragonhawks or…well, I don’t know how people manage to keep their balance on those carpets).  I’ll fly on one if I need to, and I have lots of times – it just makes me uneasy while I’m up there.

If you could time travel, where would you go?

Don’t even joke about that.

Are you superstitious?

I definitely believe that there’s something out there that’s either looking out for me, or has it in for me.  I’m still not sure which.  Check back with me again another time.  Unless I’m dead, in which case we probably have our answer.

What might your ideal romantic partner be?

Someone calm, grounded.  Stable.  Not prone to emotional swings or extreme highs and lows.  Someone who’s figured themselves out, gotten comfortable with themselves, grown out of the drama and the need for everything to be a thrill ride.

If your life were a genre, what would it be?

Pretty definitely something in the action/adventure area, or at least a suspense thriller.  Be careful what you wish for, I suppose.  Sometimes I think I should have listened to my mother and been a banker instead.  When I was younger, I couldn’t wait to go out into the world and have adventures.  Thirty years of adventures later, I think I’ve had more than enough excitement.  I’d love to be bored.  I’d love to settle down comfortably in a quiet corner of Orgrimmar once we get to the other side of all this, and age into some old man who everyone considers pretty dull and uninteresting, except for every so often when he rattles off another one of his crazy stories — which most of the kids probably won’t believe really happened anyway.  I think I’ll enjoy that.

 

Previous Profiles:

  1. Spazzle Fizzletrinket
  2. Ben-Lin Cloudstrider
  3. Dontrag and Utvoch
  4. Taktani
  5. Korrina
  6. Mylune

Demonology Anonymous

Posted in Words from a Scribe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

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Now for the hard part.

I left out a few details last time about my past with the Veiled Blade, and everything that’s been going on recently.

I said before that when we killed Lord Valthalak, we took his spellbook along with the pieces of an amulet that ended up bringing the spectral assassins down on us.  But there was one more part of the spoils: a demon relic called the Nether Prism, a crystal that could be used, among other things, to focus fel energies and dominate the will of demons.  I was a warlock back in those days, and I arranged to have the prism included as part of our deal with Malkorok.  I wanted to see how much the Prism could be used to augment my powers.

I thought I could handle it.  I thought wrong.

The Prism magnified the power of my spells for sure, and for brief windows of time I could use it to control powerful demons.  At least more powerful than the dime-a-dozen ones that your garden variety warlocks can summon.  In more powerful hands than mine, I suppose it could have been used on even greater ones.  But if there’s one thing I learned, it was that I was nowhere near warlock enough to master the energies that flowed through that crystal and keep them under control.

It became pretty clear to me that I couldn’t afford to keep toying around with the Prism.  The problem was, though, that it wasn’t going to be as simple as sticking it in the back of the sock drawer and forgetting about it.  The Nether Prism radiated fel energies.  Demons were drawn to it.  And using its magic to deal with the demons when they turned up would just make it radiate more.

As if life wasn’t already too complicated, it was at this point that I learned Valthalak’s spectral assassins were making short work of the rest of the Veiled Blade.  I couldn’t keep taking my chances running around from place to place alone.  So I turned to Thrall.  He offered me sanctuary in Orgrimmar; all he asked was that I be on hand to aid the Warchief when needed.  I only ever told him the barest details about my past.  I never said a word about the Nether Prism.  Thrall was only barely willing to tolerate the presence of warlocks in Orgrimmar at all, given the orcs’ history; I couldn’t imagine he would have been willing to take me in if he’d known the whole story.  It’s hardly a coincidence that that was when I abandoned demonology altogether and took up shamanism.  I wasn’t about the bring dishonor upon the man who’d given me a safe haven, or overstay my welcome.

So, the Nether Prism had to go.  In the last days before I moved to Orgrimmar, I traveled to Darkwhisper Gorge in Winterspring.  Hidden away in a cave there was an imp named Vi’el, a collector of relics and exotic items.  I passed the Prism off onto him and hoped he wouldn’t realize what he had on his hands.  I know looking back that it probably wasn’t the wisest move in the world, but at that point I just wanted the blasted thing off my hands.  So I left it with Vi’el, and went on to Orgrimmar to begin my new life.  And started working out ways to deal with the spectral assassins before they came knocking on my door.

For a while, it worked.  I thought that chapter was done.  But as often ends up being the case around here, life still had one more surprise epilogue waiting.

 

deliana 

As soon as the spectral assassins attacked me in the Drag, I knew what they were and where they were from.  Even with Ji fighting by my side, they were able to wear me down fairly quickly; Ji kept fending them off as best he could while I watched for an opening to pop back up.  That was the point when we had one more surprise guest, this time a face from the past that was actually welcome: Deliana.  She’d stealthed her way into Orgrimmar to come looking for me, and after she helped Ji and I fight off the assassins, she snuck back with us to my house to compare notes.

The notes weren’t good.  Something had stirred Valthalak’s spirit; I remember when he’d been laid to rest the first last time, the adventurers I’d sent mentioned him saying something about things being settled “for now,” but I didn’t really give it much thought at the time.  Now, though, he was awake again and sending out his assassins.  Only this time, it wasn’t over the amulet; it was over the Nether Prism.

From Deliana’s perspective, this all started with Theldren turned up in Ironforge, seeking protection from Moira Thaurissan.  Something had brought the last scattered remains of Nefarian’s old minions out of hiding and sent them scrambling after anything demon-related they could find.  Deliana overheard Theldren repeating that “something’s coming,” whatever that means.  We don’t know most of the why’s and wherefores; all we do know is that whatever’s behind it has stirred Valthalak enough to make him want his old trinket back.

I wasn’t going to go to Garrosh with any of this.  I didn’t think he would have received the last bit about my past with the demons well in the best of circumstances, much less now that we’d been through that ordeal with the Burning Legion in the other timeline.  Not to mention the minor detail that I was fraternizing with a human in Deliana.  We decided that we had to keep her involvement in all of this a secret; Ji, being maybe the one person who was truly neutral to all of this, came into our confidence.

It became pretty clear pretty quickly that it wasn’t going to be possible for Deliana to stay hidden in Orgrimmar, especially after Garrosh stepped up security for me after the attack.  (At least he meant well.)  Deliana even had a run-in with Malkorok at one point when he was coming to talk to me and happened to catch her sneaking her way to my house.  She was only able to get away because Ji happened along and was able to blindside Malkorok with a Quaking Palm that stunned him.  We got Deliana out of Orgrimmar and she went into hiding in Azshara, with Ji stepping up to ferry messages back and forth between us.

Which brings us to Winterspring.  The trip to Timbermaw Hold was basically just a cover for us to meet up with Deliana in Everlook, and from there…Darkwhisper Gorge, to find Vi’el.  After the Cataclysm, most of the demons had abandoned the gorge for the underground caves, and the Twilight’s Hammer had moved in.  Now the cultists were gone and the demons were back in force – and gone crazy, fighting among themselves.  Even back in the day, there weren’t this many of them.  We could barely turn around without being jumped by another felguard or pack of felhounds.

We found Vi’el at his cave – dead.  The cave had been ransacked; half of the belongings that remained had been burned, singed with green flames.  We turned the place upside down, but it became apparent fairly quickly that there wasn’t anything to be found.

I’m not sure where we go from here.  The spectral assassins are still coming, Krog already having intercepted one just the other day.  Vi’el was the only lead we had back to the Nether Prism, which I have to figure is our only means of getting the situation under control.  Short of dying.  Again.  Deliana has gone back into hiding in Azshara while we come up with a new plan.  I think I might have one more possible stone to turn over, but it may reach the point – in fact, I suspect it will soon – when I need to give up the secrecy and bring all this to Garrosh.  Hopefully he’ll understand.

I should maybe go see about making some lemon squares.

 

Mokvar

Confessions of a Mercenary

Posted in Words from a Scribe with tags , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

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Since Ji and I got back from Winterspring, I’ve had a lot on my mind.  Everyone could tell we’d been injured – nothing major, but enough to catch people’s attention, especially considering how concerned everyone has been about me the last few weeks.  I hadn’t really planned to talk to anyone about what happened while we were up there.  I still prefer not to.  But after Krog had another run-in with an attacker the other day, people are going to keep asking more and more questions.  So I think it’s time for me to start filling in some blanks.

The blanks start long before Winterspring.

Years ago, before I’d come to Orgrimmar, I was part of a mercenary group called the Veiled Blade.  On one of our jobs, we had been hired to acquire the spellbook of a dragonkin in Blackrock Spire named Lord Valthalak, one of Nefarian’s lieutenants in those days.  As often happens with these kinds of things, that involved killing him.  Mostly, anyway.  Trouble is, though, between Nefarian’s forces and his alliance at the time with Rend Blackhand’s Blackrock orcs, getting to Valthalak and killing him wasn’t going to be an easy task.

That’s where we cut a deal.  As it turns out, not all the Blackrock orcs where exactly thrilled with Rend putting them in Nefarian’s service…and, long story short, we managed to come to an arrangement with Rend’s head of security – an orc named Malkorok.  He would deliberately leave prearranged gaps in the guard patrols leading to Valthalak.  We would slip in, kill him, collect what we came for, and get out.  We get in and out with a minimum of fuss.  Malkorok gets a pocket full of gold and the satisfaction of knowing the dragons had been weakened, for whenever Rend finally turned on them like Malkorok assumed he eventually would.

That was the plan.  And it mostly worked.  We went in, we killed Valthalak, we got the spellbook.  But we also collected an enchanted amulet from him, and after no small amount of infighting, we divided it into pieces and split it among some members of the group.  Don’t ask me what the appeal would be of getting a piece of an amulet; I wasn’t one of the ones fighting over it.  And the ones who did…  Well, Valthalak wasn’t quite as dead as we’d assumed.  His spirit lived on, and it sent spectral assassins after those of us who’d been involved in stealing the amulet.  Again, I’m not sure why the big to-do about the amulet; in his shoes, I probably would have been angrier at us for killing him than for taking his favorite piece of jewelry.  Maybe it’s a dragon thing.

One by one, the members of the Veiled Blade started to be picked off by the spectral assassins.  Soon enough, there were only three of us left: me, a dwarf named Theldren, and a human named Deliana.  We all went into hiding – me in Orgrimmar, Theldren in Blackrock Depths, Deliana in Ironforge.  Separately, and quietly, Deliana and I started to recruit Horde and Alliance adventurers to gather the pieces of the amulet and put Valthalak’s spirit to rest.  It took some time, but it worked.  For a while.

That changed a couple weeks ago when I was walking through the Drag with Ji, and a new batch of spectral assassins came out of nowhere and killed me.

From the look of things on the blog after Garrosh reported the attack, some people were pretty quick to put two and two together and figure that Malkorok had been behind it.  Truth be told, I was only too happy to let him take the blame.  And for those of you who’ve wondered, now you can see a little better why he and I have bad blood between us.  Now maybe you have a notion of why I don’t trust him.  I know he can be bought.  Because I was one of the ones who bought him.

As for why I wouldn’t have told anyone any of this until now…well, that’s where things start to get complicated.  TL;DR alert in advance: This may be a long story.

 

Mokvar

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