Archive for zhi-zhi

30 Days of Character Development #2: Ben-Lin

Posted in 30 Days of Character Development with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

[Each week, a post will profile one of the blog’s many supporting players.  See the first profile for more details.  Feel free to chime in with recommendations for other characters you’d like to see more about.]

 

benlin_profileName:  Ben-Lin Cloudstrider

Occupation:  Counselor, specializing in meditation and stress/anger management

Age:  57

Class:  Monk (retired)

Group affiliations:  Horde (member), Huojin Pandaren (member), Shang Xi’s Academy (former student)

Known relatives:  Ting Cloudstrider (daughter), Dewei Cloudstrider (son), Kenji Cloudstrider (husband, deceased)

First appearance:  “Anger management

Key posts and plot points:

  • Ben-Lin met Garrosh – along with many other blog notables – while conducting an anger management seminar in the fittingly titled “Anger management.”  The session proved…less than productive.  Since then, she has continued to meet with Garrosh in an attempt to teach him to better control his temper.  (Admittedly, visible results have been questionable at best, but let’s be fair – she had the deck stacked pretty heavily against her.)
  • Traveled with the Horde expedition to Pandaria and accompanied Garrosh on his first trip to Tian Monastery (“I think I can remember your name”, “Shock the monkey”, “Getting around with the Shado-pan”, and “The geometry of shadows”), where the Warchief first encountered Elder Couldfall.  She also joined Garrosh on a follow-up journey to Tian to recruit Elder Cloudfall’s aid in “Moments of transition.”
  • Worth noting is that Ben-Lin appears to be one of the only people capable of making Garrosh stop and listen with any regularity (such as “ordering” him back to bed while he was sick with the Pandaren flu in “A sniffly Warchief is a cranky Warchief”).  Evidently, the Warchief has trouble holding his ground with greatmotherly women.
  • A few behind-the-scenes notes for those who might be interested: Ben-Lin is a veritable walking bundle of science-fiction referentiality.  The name “Ben-Lin” is a deliberate nod toward another even-tempered mentor figure – and, in fact, the name was largely chosen specifically to set up this joke:
    ben_panelHer last name, “Cloudstrider,” was likewise meant to parallel “Skywalker.”  (Also worth noting – the names of the two pandaren who have become mentors of sorts for Garrosh: Cloudstrider and Cloudfall.)  And, lest the Babylon-5 fans among you feel neglected (I know you’re out there!) – Ben-Lin’s outfit and, to a lesser extent, speech patterns were designed to be reminiscent of the B5 character Delenn.

In her own words:

What is your most prominent physical feature?

I have been told that my eyes are fairly distinctive.  They are violet, which is highly uncommon among pandaren, and held by many among our people to be a sign of inner balance.  This was pointed out to me many times as a small child, though my parents would likely have held me as a counterexample at the time.

Describe your happiest memory.

Ironically, the passing of my husband Kenzi.  This is not to say that I wished his death, or that I do not miss him dearly.  He was some years older than me, and had been in poor health in his final months.  The night he died – he knew the end was close – we sat and reflected on our life together.  There was no sadness or regret.  Each memory served only to remind us how much more this life had given us than we could ever fairly have asked.  He held my paw, and thanked me for making him young, then passed away peacefully.  I did not feel grief.  I felt – and continue to feel – grateful.

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

No.  I believe that every step of our journey is a part of what makes us who we are.  I have had misfortunes and hurts, as do we all, but they have all left remainder that has helped to shape me.  Without any one of them, I do not know who I would have become.

C3_4-5Can you define a turning point in your life?  Multiples are acceptable.

There are two: my coming to Shang Xi’s Academy, and my departure from the Wandering Isle to begin a new life among the Horde.  Each marked the beginning of a new adventure.  The first began in my youth and opened a world to me of learning, friendship, love, enlightenment – all of which are, of course, different words seeking vainly to express the same thing.  I look forward to discovering where the second will take me.

How are you with technology?  Super savvy, or way behind the times?  Letters or e-mail?

I am almost comically inept with most machinery.  Much of it is new to me; having lived almost my entire life on the Wandering Isle, I was not in a position to keep up with the latest inventions.  This is likely for the best.  Given my poor skill level, exposure to the latest technologies would only have provided me with new and better ways to embarrass myself.  Letters, most certainly.  I do not have the e-mail.  To this day, I know the internet only by reputation.  (That reputation does not, by and large, inspire me to investigate further.)

What does your bed look like when you wake up?  Are the covers off on one side of the bed, are they all curled around a pillow, sprawled everywhere?  In what position do you sleep?

My bed tends to be relatively tidy, and I make it each morning after rising.  I sleep on my back; I am a very deep sleeper, and usually do not stir very much during the night.

Are you an early morning bird or a night owl?

An early morning bird.  I wake each morning just before dawn.  Wherever I live, I always take care to have a window that faces east, so that I may watch the sun rise.

Are you a good cook?  What is your favorite recipe?

I cannot say that I am an expert cook, but I am told that my wildfowl ginseng soup is quite good.  I wish I could have inherited my father’s skill with the steamer; I often miss his steamed crab surprise.  I have tried many times to recreate it.  The result often tries even my discipline over my temper.

C4_2-1What’s your preferred means of travel?

I prefer to travel by foot when possible.  If not, I am adequately proficient in the use of Pandaren kites.  I prefer not to employ animal mounts, as I suspect they have destinations of their own that they would prefer over mine.

Do you have any irrational fears?

Is there any other kind?

What might your ideal romantic partner be?

My years of study and meditation tell me that it is unwise to cling to some imagined ideal; such perfect fantasies serve only to impoverish our appreciation of the reality before us, beautiful often precisely for its flaws.

My heart, however, tells me: Kenji.  Again, I am grateful.

Are you superstitious?

I am a mother of three.  Hardly can one say that, without having spent many hours with crossed fingers.

How do you smell?  Do you wear perfume or cologne?

Though my sense of smell, I would venture, is unremarkable, I do have a sensitive nose, which most perfumes tend to irritate.  My one compensation is that I often let snow lilies soak in the water before washing my fur.

 

[OOC note: Running a little behind on posts after a bit of a trying week.  Luckily, there’s a lot in the pipeline, so we should have some relatively rapid-fire posting this week, including, yes, the follow-up to that last little freakout-inspiring nugget.  Also stay tuned for news and announcements concerning the return of the Friends-of-WCB meta raid!]

Burdens of the spirit

Posted in General, Transcripts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

cradleofchiji

After the disaster with the Divine Bell, I spent a couple days channeling old-Nagrand-Garrosh – brooding and moping in my quarters here at Domination Point.  Other than occasional tactical reports from General Nazgrim, most people had the good sense to leave me to myself.  Hell, even Dontrag and Utvoch managed to keep their yaps shut for a couple days.  This may or may not be related to me slapping them around several times when I first got back to the base.

The time to myself gave me the chance to think more about where to go from here.  After what went down at the Emperor’s Reach, it’s painfully obvious that I need to start taking matters into my own hands.  Trouble is, in practical terms, I’m not sure what that actually ENTAILS.  So, one step at a time: Time to act one the one avenue I have open to me, and worry about what comes next when I get there.  Elder Cloudfall told me he could help prepare me for my destiny, or however he fortune-cookied it, so it’s time to take him up on the offer.

Granted, I’m not exactly thrilled about what little I’ve heard about that Kypari Zar place, so a few more answers might be nice.  Any bets on whether I’ll actually get them?

Anyway, I had some trouble tracking down Cloudfall at first.  He wasn’t anywhere on the base, and Ben-Lin didn’t know where he’d wandered off to.  Finally, Jorn Skyseer told me he’d been talking with Cloudfall about some of the areas nearby that our hunting parties have been hitting up, and he pointed me toward the island to the east.  The one where the trainees used to go crane hunting when we first set up shop here in Pandaria.

I flew over to the island, with Taktani in tow.  Cloudfall was sitting on a rock along the shore.  He and Zhi-Zhi were sitting back to back in one of those meditation poses that look like they would hurt your legs like hell, eyes closed, off in their own little world.

 

GARROSH – Hey, Gramps.

(Mr. Elder Panda man and his money friend just keep sitting on the rock and being quiet.)

GARROSH – Elder?

(Elder Panda still doesn’t respond.)

GARROSH – Hello?  Chimps?  Anybody home?

(Mr. Monkey didn’t answer either.  I hope his ears are okay!)

GARROSH(tapping Zhi-Zhi on the shoulder)  Hey, Banana Boy!

ZHI-ZHI(jumping, startled)  AAAH!  Oh…oh, the One!  Much apologizing, Zhi-Zhi did not see you, was thinking great thoughts.

GARROSH – Uh, yeah, whatever.  So listen, I… Hang on.  (turning to me)  Tak?

TAKTANI – Hi!

(Mr. Warchief kind of stared at me for a minute.  Maybe he forgot what he was going to say?)

GARROSH – Yeah, hi.  So now that we’ve met, is there a reason why you’re not, y’know, writing anything down?

TAKTANI – Oh!  I’m sorry, Mr. Warchief.  I forgot to bring my paper.

GARROSH – You…forgot.

TAKTANI – I left it back in my room!

GARROSH – You realize that’s the ENTIRE reason I bring you places, right?

TAKTANI – Don’t be mad!  I’m sorry!

(Mr. Warchief rubbed his eyes and forehead for a minute.  I think maybe his eyes were sore because of how sunny it was.  I should give him some sunglasses for his birthday!  Does anyone know when his birthday is?)

GARROSH(still rubbing his eyes)  Of all your crimes, Mokvar, this may be the most grating…

TAKTANI – I don’t understand, Mr. Warchief.

GARROSH – Never mind.  Okay, look, Tak, you’re not off the hook yet.  You just made some extra homework for yourself.

TAKTANI – But I’m not in school, Mr. Warchief!

GARROSH – Yeah, well, maybe this will teach you lesson #1: Don’t forget the tools of your damn trade!

TAKTANI – I’m sorry!  :(

GARROSH – So…here’s what you’re going to do.  Most of the sand around here looks pretty wet.  So YOU, little miss Swiss Cheese Brain, can just sit yourself down and write your notes in the sand, and then come back with your paper and copy it later.

TAKTANI – Ooh, that sounds fun!

GARROSH – BEFORE THE DAMN TIDE COMES IN.  (sighs)  Okay.  So.  Back to you, monkey boy.  What’s up with Old Man Furball here?  Is he off in some weird panda brain-freeze zone or something?

(While Mr. Warchief was talking, I started writing everything in the sand like he said, like this and this and this and YAY this is fun!  Oh and I did like he said and came back later to copy it all down and I even brought Mr. D and Mr. U to help check my spelling, because they’re smart and nice.  And SEE, Mr. Warchief, I got it all done just like you said!  Oh oh oh but while I was writing it out, there was a seagull flying around, and it pooped on the first page.  I hope you notice it’s there before you touch it.)

 

I didn’t.

 

ZHI-ZHI – Ah, ah, yes, Elder Cloudfall is in deep meditation.  Much more focused than Zhi-Zhi.  As matter of fact, Elder has been teaching Zhi-Zhi meditation techniques, teaching to block out everything around Zhi-Zhi.  Will help to center Zhi-Zhi.

GARROSH – So you can think more great thoughts.

ZHI-ZHIAhh!  You are understanding!

GARROSH – So how long does it usually take for Captain Comatose to come back out of these—

CLOUDFALL(not moving, eyes still closed)  I can hear you, Warchief Garrosh.

ZHI-ZHI – Elder!

GARROSH – So, Gramps, if you could hear me, any particular reason you didn’t answer me before?

CLOUDFALL(continuing to keep his eyes closed)  I was in the midst of pursuing a line of thought.  I felt it more pressing that I complete it.

GARROSH – Isn’t it kind of rude to just ignore people when they talk to you?

CLOUDFALL – Is it not rude to interrupt people who are clearly meditating?

ZHI-ZHI – But, erm, Elder, you are hearings all the transpiringses…um…were we not practicing our deep meditation exercises?

CLOUDFALL – I have been practicing these techniques since before your great grandmother was born, Zhi-Zhi.

GARROSH – So anyway, now that you’re done with that—

CLOUDFALL – I’m not.

GARROSH – You’re what?

CLOUDFALL – As I said, Warchief Garrosh, I have been availing myself of the peace and solitude of the beach to think.

GARROSH – Um, okay?

CLOUDFALL – I’m not finished.

(Mr. Panda Elder still hadn’t opened his eyes, and now he settled back into place more.)

GARROSH – Hang on, you’re seriously going to blow me off so you can fucking go back to…whatever, going over your grocery list or backtracking to wherever you left your keys, or whatever the fuck you’re doing?

(Mr. Panda didn’t say anything.)

GARROSH(to Zhi-Zhi)  Is he for real?

ZHI-ZHI(shrugs and waves one hand)  Is easier not trying to argue, truths to telling.

CLOUDFALL – There.  (opens his eyes, stands, and turns to Garrosh)  Now I am finished.

GARROSH – Well yay.

TAKTANI – Yay!

GARROSH – DON’T START.

TAKTANI – Oh.  :(

GARROSH – So do you mind telling me what was so important that it couldn’t wait?

(Mr. Panda man looked around the beach a few times.)

CLOUDFALL – Your pupil, Gurtash, and his peers.  I understand they used to come here on occasion.

GARROSH – Oh.  Yeah.  They used to go hunting here.

CLOUDFALL(nods)  This is a sacred place, you know.  The Cradle of Chi-Ji, the Great Crane.

GARROSH – Look, if you’re going to start complaining that they came here to—

CLOUDFALL – You misunderstand me, Warchief Garrosh.  I did not come here to pass judgment.  I came merely to visit a place of some import to the youths, away from the bustle of your fortifications, and allow them to enter my thoughts.

GARROSH – Ah.  Yeah.  They’ve been in mine a lot lately, too.

CLOUDFALL – Indeed.

(Mr. Warchief got kind of quiet and Mr. Panda man stayed quiet for a minute too and watched him.)

CLOUDFALL – In any case, I’m sure you did not seek me out to revisit such things.  How may I be of help to you?

GARROSH – By doing what you came here for in the first place.  You said you could help me get ready for this great destiny of mine.

CLOUDFALL – Indeed.  Or rather, I believe I can help you to meet it.  Whether it will prove to be great or not will be very much up to you.

GARROSH – Well, either way, you said that this Kypari Zar place is where he need to go to get started.  So, whenever you’re ready to go, let’s go.

CLOUDFALL – I also told you that you carry many shadows with you.

GARROSH – Kind of the point of us going to that Zar place, right?

CLOUDFALL – Indeed.  But you carry more now.  Perhaps needlessly.

GARROSH(sighs)  Can you bottom-line this, maybe, or are you going to do a whole speech again?

ZHI-ZHI(waving his hand)  Really much easier not to tryings with the arguings.

CLOUDFALL(pointing northward)  The temple to the north.  That is where the…calamity occurred?

GARROSH – Yeah, don’t remind me.

CLOUDFALL – Have you gone there since then?

GARROSH – No.

CLOUDFALL – You should.

GARROSH – Look, Gramps, I get that you’re probably going for some kind of hippie closure crap here, but if you think it’s actually going to IMPROVE my mood to go up there and find a bunch of—

CLOUDFALL – Warchief Garrosh, no facts that you find there will be so damaging to the soul as the nightmares your mind has conjured in their absence.

GARROSH(looking north)  Yeah, maybe.

CLOUDFALL – And in the process, you may allow yourself the opportunity to bring one lesser shadow with you on our journey.

GARROSH(sighs)  You’re just going to stonewall me until I go, aren’t you?

ZHI-ZHI – Really not worth tryings to—

GARROSH(slapping Zhi-Zhi)  Shut it, Spanks.

CLOUDFALL – Kypari Zar will still be there when you are done.

GARROSH(turns and starts to walk toward Mortimer)  Yeah, fine.  I’ll drop little miss Happy Kitty here off at the base, and get a couple things squared away, then…  (stops, then looks back at Cloudfall)  You know, I’ve heard of that Kypari Zar place before.

CLOUDFALL(perks an eyebrow)  Oh?

GARROSH – Last year.  I didn’t even know what “Kypari Zar” was.  But someone in…high places…told me if I went there, I would die.

CLOUDFALL(nods slowly)  You may.  In fact, you will.

GARROSH – Not the best sales pitch, Gramps.

CLOUDFALL – You will die if you go there.  But then, you will die if you do not.  Just as I will die if I take you, and I will die if I do not.  That we will die is assured, Warchief Garrosh.  The only question is how, and when, and why.

GARROSH – That’s a cop-out and you know it.

CLOUDFALL – I know no such thing.

GARROSH(shrugs and climbs onto Mortimer)  Well, whatever.  I’ve got enough on my mind these days, what’s one more thing, right?

CLOUDFALL – If I might make a suggestion, Warchief Garrosh.  A great many years ago, a former mentor offered me certain words of solace.  A phrase of great power and wisdom, and consolation to the soul in times of need.

GARROSH – What’s that?

CLOUDFALL – Have a drink.  Next one’s on me.

 

Not the worst idea in the world, actually.  I might head downstairs and see what we have on tap.  Meanwhile, I’m going to put a couple things in order here at the base, then take Mortimer back out for a flight over to the Temple of the Red Crane.  For better or worse.

More soon.

Fear leads to anger

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

ishitomb

Well, Elder Cloudfall arrived at Domination Point today – with monkey boy Zhi-Zhi in tow, no less – just in time to get treated to one of the very cheeriest of my cheerful moods.  Because no sooner was he on the premises than messengers arrived with a no-kidding-around one-two punch of suck.

So for starters, Ishi and his team of Kor’kron reached that mogu tomb that our scouts located, and were able to confirm that it IS the place that Shan Kien told us about…and then let a team of night elf Sentinels get in there FIRST.  Because SURE, WHY THE FUCK NOT, with the way this week has been going, right?  For fuck’s sake, how did the night elves even fucking KNOW about the tomb?  And they manage to get there AHEAD of us to boot?

Oh, but hey, don’t worry, because even though the night elves got the jump on us, Ishi and his people fought their way into the tomb and hacked their way through the elves, until they reached the Dentinel leader right on top of the Divine Bell…just in time to watch her SNAP IT UP AND HOP THROUGH A FUCKING PORTAL TO DARNASSUS.  DON’T MY MINIONS HAVE THE MOST SPECTATCULAR FUCKING TIMING?

Awesome.  JUST FUCKING AWESOME.

Oh, oh, but hang on, we’re not done with the parade of fantastic news yet.

As if losing the Divine Bell wasn’t bad enough…you know how I’d sent a detachment with Commander Scargash to that panda temple to set up an early-warning outpost for Alliance activity?  Well, they didn’t need to show much patience waiting for some Alliance activity to monitor, because as it turns out, they were attacked this morning by an Alliance force – led by Varian him-fucking-self.  Because apparently dude has nothing better to do with his time.  Based on the initial reports, losses for our side were near-total.  Including the Commander.  And very well also included…never mind.  I’m not letting myself think about it until we’ve had a chance to send some scouts to confirm.  But based on everything we have to go on at this point, it looks pretty damn bad.

I swear, if another messenger comes in here today with anything remotely resembling bad news, they’d better finish by naming their next of kin, because I would NOT want their life expectancy.

So now I get to spend the day with nothing to think about other than an assortment of things I DON’T want to think about.  Like how Varian fucking rolled on in and cost us I don’t know HOW many good people.  And how the Divine Bell — the key to my plans to tip the balance of power in this war – is now in the hands of our enemies.  And spirits know WHAT Varian’s going to do once he gets HIS grubby paws on it.  As if he hasn’t fucking done enough ALREADY.

Spirits save him when I finally get him in my sights again.  They were KIDS, dammit, and…

No.  Never mind.  I can’t even.

So Cloudfall, meanwhile, HE can just cool his jets about this Kypari field trip of his.  Right now I have bigger fish to fry than wandering off to the Land of Vague and Ominous.  Much less when I’ve got other sources telling me there’s more bad news there for me to boot.  We’ve already lost enough good people this week, thanks.  I don’t think we need more volunteers.  So he and his monkey sidekick can kick back and enjoy a little Horde hospitality until we’ve gotten a handle on things.  Ben-Lin probably won’t mind keeping Cloudfall company for a couple days anyway, and as for Zhi-Zhi, hell, goofball that he is, I’ll bet the kids will really get a kick—

Never mind.

I really need to start remembering where that fucking delete key is.

I need to go.  I think there’s a patrol leaving in a minute to do a sweep for Alliance intruders.

I need to go with them.

I need to kill something.

Moments of transition

Posted in Comics, Transcripts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

cloudfall1

After the last straw that was Garona’s report the other day, I decided that enough was enough.  I’d spent enough time flying half blind though everything and not calling in every possible resource.  So today I took a trip back to Tian Monastery to get some answers out of that Elder Cloudfall guy about this “destiny” I’m supposed to have.  This time I wasn’t taking no for an answer – if I had to beat some answers out of his cryptic panda ass, so be it.

I brought Ben-Lin along for the trip, since I figured she seemed to get along well enough with Cloudfall the last time, and maybe having her in tow might make it a little easier to bring him around.  I also brought Taktani, to take her first crack at transcribing…and Gurtash, too…you know, just in case.

Luckily, this time, Cloudfall was out strolling around the grounds when we arrived, so we didn’t have to waste time tracking him down.  So…over to Tak…

 

(We landed at the monastery place and everybody got all excited to see a pudgy fuzzy panda man going for a walk.)

GARROSH – It’s Elder Cloudfall!  Yay!

GURTASH – Yay!

BEN-LIN – Yay!

TAKTANI – I don’t know who that is, but yay too!

CLOUDFALL – Hi, Mr. Warchief!  It’s really good to see you again because I guess we’ve met before, only Tak wasn’t there for that.  But I bet it was fun!

GARROSH – It was!

BEN-LIN – Lots of fun!

CLOUDFALL – Oh that’s good!  I’m so glad I didn’t miss it!

TAKTANI – Aw, I guess I did miss it!  I’m sorry I wasn’t there too!

CLOUDFALL – Me too!

GURTASH – Me too too!

BEN-LIN – But you’re here now, Tak!

TAKTANI – Yay!

GARROSH – Yay!

CLOUDFALL – Yay!

GARROSH – Well I’m sure super happy to see you again, Mr. Panda!  Hold on a minute, I have to talk to Tak!

(So that’s when Mr. Warchief asked to look at my transcript to see how I was doing do far, and he got really mad for some reason and yelled at me, and I’m not going to write those things down because I don’t want to make Mr. Warchief look mean and then people might not like him as much.  But he told me I should just try to write down exactly what everyone says, word for word, and not – oh here, I can just show you!)

GARROSH – So, yeah, Tak, you should just try to write down exactly what everyone says, word for word, and not do these…embellishments or translations into Tak-speak or whatever, okay?

(See?  So I guess I’ll try to do that because I don’t want Mr. Warchief to get mad again, especially after some of the things he said he was going to do, they sound like they would hurt.  But I don’t want you to think Mr. Warchief is mean!  He probably just didn’t sleep too well and that’s why he’s grumpy.  Maybe he needs a new bed because he maybe doesn’t sleep well a lot.  Anyway I guess being a scribe is really serious so I’d better try to concentrate.)

CLOUDFALL – It’s a pleasure to welcome you once again to Tian.  Lady Cloudstrider, and Gurtash, I believe?

BEN-LIN – The pleasure is mine, Elder.

GURTASH – Oh wow, you remember me?

CLOUDFALL – Indeed!  I never forget a face, or a name.

GARROSH – Oh great, another guy with an uber-memory.  Nothing ever goes wrong with those guys.

(I didn’t understand what that meant but Mr. Warchief gave me a mean look when he saw I was going to ask something.  Maybe Mr. D and Mr. U can explain later.)

CLOUDFALL – One face is unfamiliar to me, however, Warchief Garrosh.  Tell me, who is your feline friend?

GARROSH – Oh…yeah.  Her.  This is Taktani.  She’s helping spot Gurtash a little as my scribe and record-keeper.

TAKTANI – Hi, Mr. Panda!  It’s nice to meet you!  You can call me Tak!  Or Tak-Tak, if that’s the way—

GARROSH – Don’t get started on that shit again.

TAKTANI – But Mr. Warchief, I just—

GARROSH – Anyway, she’s kind of in her trial period.  Her really, really tenuous trial period.

CLOUDFALL – Ah, well, I’m sure she’ll perform admirably.

GARROSH – That’s because this is your first time meeting her.

( :( )

CLOUDFALL – In any case, I should provide an introduction in kind.  You all remember our hozen friend, I’m sure.

(Oh I forgot to mention there was a monkey man, like the one at our fort, walking with Mr. Panda!)

CLOUDFALL – Taktani, allow me to introduce Zhi-Zhi.

ZHI-ZHI – Much pleasings to be making your acquaintances.

TAKTANI – Your name is Zhi-Zhi, Mr. Monkey?

ZHI-ZHI – The emphasizings should be on the first syllable, but yes.

TAKTANI – So we do say everyone’s name twice here!

BEN-LIN – No, Taktani, we say people’s names normally here.  It is simply a naming tradition among some of the hozen.

TAKTANI – Oh, I think that’s what Mr. D and Mr. U were telling me before.

GARROSH – I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but yeah, Dontrag and Utvoch were right.  So…congratulations, universe.  You win again.

BEN-LIN – Oh, is that who “Mr. D and Mr. U” are?

GARROSH – Yeah, Ben.  You’ve met them?

BEN-LIN – Briefly, yes.  I only was able to speak with them for a short time before I needed to go due to the mysterious onset of a terrible headache.

TAKTANI – I’m sorry you didn’t feel good.  Are you better now, Ms. Ben-Lin-Lin?

BEN-LIN – I am, thank you.

TAKTANI – Or is it Ms. Ben-Ben-Lin?

BEN-LIN – Although I believe it may be returning.

GARROSH – Tak, just zip it and try to focus on the scribing, okay?

TAKTANI – Okay, Mr. War-war-chief-chief.  Chief.

GARROSH – THAT’S NOT HOW NAMES WORK HERE.

BEN-LIN – It is a curious thing, Garrosh: there are times when I would swear that you are, in fact, heroically even-tempered.

GURTASH(leans over to me)  Make sure you get that down.

CLOUDFALL – Zhi-Zhi, while our guests are here, why don’t you take Gurtash’s mount to the stable.  Do you have your wyvern with you as well, Warchief Garrosh?

GARROSH – Mortimer?  No, not here with us.

(Elder Cloudfall waved to Mr. Zhi, and Mr. Zhi led Gurtash’s wyvern away.)

CLOUDFALL – I’m surprised, Warchief.  You seemed rather attached to the animal; I would have thought you would bring him with you.

GARROSH – Well, I rode him out here for the trip.  But there was a pond with some cranes nearby and so I figured I’d let him go do some hunting for lunch while we were here.

CLOUDFALL – Oh…Warchief Garrosh, I’m not sure if that was wise.  The Jade Forest is full of predators.

GARROSH – And?

CLOUDFALL – Well…are you not worried that your wyvern will be harmed?

(Mr. Warchief and Gurtash turned and looked at each other for a minute, and then they both burst out laughing really hard.  Mr. Warchief laughed so hard he had to lean on Gurtash and I think he even cried a little.)

GARROSH – Yeah, we…we better go find him.

GURTASH(barely getting the words out between laughs)  He might be in trouble, Captain!

GARROSH – From all those predators!

CLOUDFALL – Warchief Garrosh?

GARROSH – I love you pandas.  Don’t ever change.

CLOUDFALL – Ah.  Well then…to what do I owe the pleasure of your visit today?

GARROSH – Yeah, right, down to business.  It’s pretty simple, Elder.  We all know you and monkey boy have seen something about my future in those…whatever…vision caves or whatever you called them.  Last time I was here, I let you squirm out being all cryptic and evasive, but I need answers, and this time around you’re going to give them to me.

CLOUDFALL – Warchief Garrosh, surely you cannot expect me to lay out your future for you.  Nothing has changed since—

GARROSH – Listen, Lunchbox, last time you told me that when I was “ready,” we would meet again.  Well check it out, here we are, meeting again, and believe me, I’m ready as all fuck.

CLOUDFALL – You may be ready to hear, Warchief, but I still question whether you are ready to meet the fate before you.

GARROSH – How about you let ME worry about that, Deep-Dish?  Tell me what you’ve seen, for starters, and we’ll take it from there.

CLOUDFALL – It’s not as simple as you would presume.  You don’t understand the nature of the visions.

GARROSH – Illuminate me.

(Mr. Cloudfall just stared at Mr. Warchief all serious for a minute.  I hope he’s not getting a headache too!)

CLOUDFALL – Let me try to explain this, Warchief Garrosh.  The visions I spoke of provide a piece of the future, but they do not spell out events step by step.  They are fragments – as if you were to look at a painting, but only see the reds and yellows, but not the blues or greens.  They are pieces without context.

GARROSH – “Context”?  Are you serious?  You’re going to stonewall me over fucking CONTEXT?

CLOUDFALL – Warchief Garrosh, context is the solitary line that separates an act of barbarism from an act of kindness.  Even were I of a mind to tell you—

GARROSH – Listen to me.  You only just met us, so I don’t expect you to understand what’s at stake here.  So yeah, you know what?  Context.  So let me explain this to you.  You want to dance around what the future holds?  My people are in the middle of a war to DETERMINE their future.  And you do NOT want to know what I’ve already sacrificed trying to secure.  And meanwhile, I’ve got the people who are supposedly on MY side in all this running around behind my back, undermining me at every turn, cutting deals with my worst fucking enemies for what reasons I can’t even guess.  I NEED TO KNOW what the fuck is going on with all this.

CLOUDFALL(sighs)  To know anyone’s fate is a dangerous prospect, but to know one’s own

GARROSH – Are you worried about spoilers, Gramps?  Well, here, maybe this will help – I’ve already been spoiled.  I’ve already had one person take a peek into my future and come back with a report.  He told me “they” were going to turn against me.  And now it looks like he was right, only maybe he wasn’t.  I don’t fucking KNOW.  And I’m trying to look out for an entire fucking CIVILIZATION, and THESE are the things I’m having to spend my time thinking about.

(Mr. Panda got very quiet and mostly just looked at the ground.  I think maybe he didn’t want to make Mr. Warchief any more upset.  Or maybe he was sad to hear lots of people are being mean to Mr. Warchief.  That’s not very nice even if he does get grumpy sometimes.)

GARROSH – Listen, I get that you’re worried about giving away too much, or telling me things that I’m not going to be able to make sense of.  But there’s got to be some chunk of it that I can latch on to.  Give me SOMETHING.

CLOUDFALL – I wasn’t lying when I said that the visions were mere fragments.  Incomplete – not least of all because the events surrounding them are still in motion, still in flux…

GARROSH – How about this, then.  You and monkey boy both said I have a destiny.  The first time I met Chimps, he kept calling me “the one.”  Let’s start there.  What the fuck was he talking about?

(The Elder man got quiet again and rubbed his chin while he stared down for a minute.)

CLOUDFALL – You…are the one who brings the peoples of the Horde together under a common cause.  The one who sets in motion the events that bring about the emergence of a new Horde, a rebirth…

(Mr. Warchief looked all happy and proud.  I don’t blame him!  He’s going to be a hero!  Yay!)

GARROSH – Okay, so, why in the FUCK would you not want to tell me THAT future?

CLOUDFALL – Because you don’t know how you get there.

(Uh oh, Mr. Warchief got all serious again and looked at Mr. Panda all impatient.)

GARROSH – And…?

CLOUDFALL – And neither do I.

GARROSH – You’re about to get cryptic on me again, aren’t you?

CLOUDFALL – I’ve seen the reds and the yellows of your future, Warchief Garrosh, and I know that you stand upon a fulcrum: the choices you will make in the days ahead will determine how your destiny takes shape.  For now, I do not know the shape of that future or where it will take you.  I know only that it is born in pain.

GARROSH – Yep, I called that one.

CLOUDFALL – Warchief Garrosh?

GARROSH – Whatever.  The important thing is, as long as I know the Horde comes out strong on the other side of this, I’m ready to deal with whatever pain it takes to get there.

CLOUDFALL – No.

GARROSH – What?

CLOUDFALL – I wasn’t lying about that last time, either.  You’re not ready for what’s coming.  (pauses, thinking)  But…I think I can help you.  If you’re willing to face the shadows I once told you weighed upon your steps.

GARROSH – If I say yes, will there be a point where this doubletalk of yours starts to make sense?

CLOUDFALL – It may.  And if it doesn’t, you’ll be no worse off than you are now, I suspect.

GARROSH – I’m all ears.

CLOUDFALL – This is not something I can tell you, but a journey I believe I can guide you on.  There is a place, far from here, where you may be able to see for yourself, and begin to face your destiny.

GARROSH – Man, you pandas really do love to lay it on thick, don’t you?  You’re on, though.  Where to?

C8_Page_01* Garrosh received this message from A’dal here, while accompanying Liadrin to Shattrath.

The geometry of shadows

Posted in Comics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

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Okay, so, Gurtash finally managed to finish up the last part of this record from Tian Monastery.  Just in the nick of time, too, seeing as apparently Regent-Lord Hair-Care and his people have found something up north, which means I should probably get up there before something jumps out and goes “BOO!” and they all wet themselves again and spend the next three months crying to me about the pee stains in their panties.  Fucking blood elves.

Anyway, when we left off last time, we’d just gotten a visit from that Taran Zhu guy, which…well, the less said about that the better, I guess.  Because dude, seriously.  Moving on…

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Credit where it’s due, Gurtash puts in the effort on these things, but man, he goes through a lot of paper.  You should seriously see the stacks of sketches I’ve got piling up in my war room at Domination Point.  I’m thinking I might have to find something to do with this stuff before it totally takes over…anybody have any interest in some drawings?  Better the mailbox than the fireplace, I suppose.

Anyway, that’s it for now.  Back soon with updates on whatever Lor’themotherfucker’s found in the mountains.

Getting around with the Shado-Pan

Posted in Comics with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

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So, when last we left off, Ben-Lin had just…um…politely convinced me to lay off beating the monkey.

I can’t put my finger on it, but something about that is reminding me of a talking-to Greatmother gave me about 20 years ago.

Anyway, continuing on.

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* That would be this occasion, even though this particular Zhi-Zhi wouldn’t remember it.

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* Like here…or here.

 

Continued soon, or at least as “soon” as Gurtash can crank out some more of what happened.  Gotta say, if nothing else, I’m starting to miss the time-efficiency of Mokvar’s transcripts.  Oh well…

Shock the monkey

Posted in Comics with tags , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

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So, picking up where we left off in the last installment

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* Garrosh first met Zhi-Zhi here, then crossed paths again here and here.

** These events all took place in an alternate timeline, which…you know what, here.  Just re-read it, it’ll be easier.

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Continued as soon as the kid can scribble out some more crap.

I think I can remember your name

Posted in Comics, General with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

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I’m scheduled to fly back to Kin-Lai Summit in a couple days to check in again with Lor’the’motherfucker’s Reliquary peeps and see how their research is going at the new mogu site.  I’m pretty well certain that if we can figure out what happened to this Divine Bell, it could be the thing that finally tips the scales for us against the Alliance.  So I’ll give Regent-Lord Cyclops and his crew a few days to prance around up there, then stop in and see how badly they need me to hold their feet to the fire.

In the meantime, I’m taking a little time to have a look around some more of Pandaria, starting with where Nazgrim got the ball rolling a couple months ago, the Jade Forest.  I decided to bring Gurtash for the trip, along with blademaster Burzum and Ben-Lin Cloudstrider, who’s seeing mainland Pandaria for the first time and is plenty curious about her homeland-that’s-not.

First stop was Serpent’s Heart, site of that big battle Nazgrim fought between…well…his monkeys and the Alliance’s fish men.

Yeah, I needed a minute there to be sad again.

Anyhow, this was my first look at the handiwork of this “sha” that I keep hearing about…specifically, in this case, the Sha of Doubt, because I guess they all decided to divide up into jurisdictions or whatever.  Anyway, pretty creepy stuff, not least of all because even the land itself seems to have been infected by whatever dark energy these sha things generate.

After that, we flew around checking some of the regions to the north, and wound up paying a visit to a place I’d heard of once before, a long time and another world ago…

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* Tian Monastery was mentioned to Garrosh here, in an alternate timeline.

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* Like this?

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[A quick OOC note: Garrosh's adventures at Tian Monastery will be spread out over a series of web comic installments.  The comics are a lot of fun to put together, but are also something of a beast time-wise, so please bear with me if the next few posts have longer gaps between them than you may be accustomed to here.  Thanks for reading as always!]

Krasarang reunions

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

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Construction is coming along quickly here at Domination Point.  That’s what we’re calling the new outpost, by the way – pretty badass, right?  Thought of it myself.  Anyway, we’re making good progress getting the place built.  Warlord Zaela sent some of her Dragonmaw construction crew with us, and as any of you who were there will remember, a couple years ago when the Dragonmaw joined the Horde, they got Dragonmaw Port rebuilt FAST.  As opposed to, say, the goblin contractors who STILL haven’t quite finished the job in Orgrimmar.  Which is really pretty ridiculous at this point.  I mean, can you imagine how embarrassing it’s going to be if Orgrimmar comes under siege, and we STILL haven’t finished fixing the place from the LAST major problem?

So that’s coming along.  While we work on getting the base built and securing the area, I’ve also been keeping Gurtash and the rest of the DPS busy gathering food.  Turns out there’s an island close by that’s practically swarming with these huge cranes that have enough breast meat on them to feed half a regiment.  They’re a little big for the kids, but it’s been good practice for them working as a team.  Also, as part of the Pandaria landing team, I’d brought three of the Mag’har’s best blademasters from Nagrand: Ishi, Burzum, and Krimpatul.  So I’ve been having the three of them take turns going out with the DPS when they go hunting, just to keep an eye on them.  The kids seem to be hitting it off with Krimp especially.  He’s got the gruff lovable mentor thing going for him.  Kind of like me.

In other news, General Nazgrim and his team arrived here today.  Which was a good thing – one, because Nazgrim is always good in a fight, but two, because that gave me a chance to ask some pointed questions based on Krog’s reports on a certain former captive of theirs.

Case in point: How exactly Nazgrim and his crew managed to turn this:

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…into this:

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The extent of Nazgrim’s response pretty much consisted of “Oh, so, um, you heard about that, huh?”

One other part of Nazgrim’s arrival, though – along with his regular crew like Kiryn and Shokia, he also brought one of those monkey people he’d recruited back in the Jade Forest, a hozen named Tak-Tak who’s going to be helping our flightmaster Kromthar.  And here’s the thing.  This was the first time I’d met a hozen…only it wasn’t.  Some of you might remember – a few months ago, when time was going all wonky and I was flashing into that alternate reality, I met a monkey-like creature, name of Zhi-Zhi.  Who’d been found washed ashore after the destruction of his home in the southern islands.  It was the first time I’d ever seen a creature like him…but he seemed to know a thing or two about me.

And so THAT was the first time I ever met a hozen – only now, those events never happened.  Except I still remember them.  FUCKING TIME TRAVEL.  Head hurts.

So after Nazgrim introduced me to Tak-Tak, I pulled Monkey Boy aside and tried picking his tiny little brain some.  He said most of the mountain hozen up north were pretty hostile, same for the hozen on the islands to the east of here.  According to him, the only hozen who’ve managed to shill at all – and from what I can tell, “chill” would be a VERY relative term – would be the forest hozen where he’d come from.  Most of those, he says, have stayed in villages like Grookin Hill, but some individuals have gone off to live with the pandaren in one place or another.  He rattled off a few places some of them had gone, and most of the names blurred together, but then one stuck out – a place in the Jade Forest called the Tian Monastery.  That one rang a tiny little bell.  When we get a little breathing room, I may need to pay them a visit over that way.

Anyhow, back to work.  I’ll keep you posted on news as it happens, assuming my internet stays up.

The Wizard of Zhan, Act 3

Posted in Transcripts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

The curtain rises on the exterior of Karazhan.  Garrosh et al approach the front gate.

GARROSH:  Okay, so this is the place…

FARANELL:  Weren’t we just here not too long ago?

Garrosh knocks on the door.  A window on the door slides open, and Berhold the doorman sticks his head out.

BERTHOLD:  Who goes there?  What business do you have at the master’s Dark Tower?

GARROSH:  We’ve come to see the Wizard.

DONTRAG:  The guardian Wizard of Zhan!

UTVOCH:  We hear he’s sage—

Garrosh smacks Utvoch.

GARROSH:  Now don’t you get started with that shit again!

BERTHOLD:  The Wizard?  You can’t see the Wizard!  No one sees the Wizard!

GARONA:  Here’s where I grease the wheels…  You remember me, don’t you, Berthold?

BERTHOLD:  <leans out a bit more, squinting>  Hmm, well…oh…oh goodness…lady Garona?  Is it really you?

GARONA:  It’s good to see you again, Berthold.  Could you please go in and tell the Wizard it’s me?

BERTHOLD:  Well, um, of course, m’lady.  I’ll just be a moment.

Berthold disappears inside and the window closes.

GARONA:  <grinning smugly>  See?  Now we just wait a minute or two, and then they’ll roll out the welcome mat.

GARROSH:  How do you know this guy, anyway?

GARONA:  I guess you could say we had sort of a thing back in the day.

GARROSH:  Suddenly this Wizard’s judgment is seeming a little suspect.

GARONA:  What’s that supposed to mean?

Just in front of the door, a heavy portcullis suddenly comes crashing down.

FARANELL:  Um, unless welcome mats have been radically redesigned lately…

GARONA:  Hang on.

Garona raps on the door angrily.  The window opens and Berthold looks out again.

BERTHOLD:  Yes?

GARONA:  Didn’t you tell him it was me?

BERTHOLD:  Yes!

Berthold slams the window shut.

GARONA:  Well I…I…

GARROSH:  Okay, so I stand corrected on this Wizard guy.

MOKVAR:  Well now we have a minor problem about getting in to see him.

GARROSH:  Anyone else have any bright ideas?

FARANELL:  Garrosh, let me see that Focusing Iris?

GARROSH:  You’re not going to try to blow up the gate and get us all killed or something, are you?

FARANELL:  Not all of us.

MOKVAR:  Reassuring.

FARANELL:  But really, let me see it.  I think I know how to appeal to him.

GARROSH:  <handing the Focusing Iris to Faranell>  You think you can get us in, run with it, man.

Faranell knocks on the door; the window opens, and Berthold looks out.

BERTHOLD:  Are you all still here?

FARANELL:  Yeah, so listen—

BERTHOLD:  Good heavens, what happened to you?  You look like death warmed over!

FARANELL:  Yeah, yeah, I’m undead.  So anyway—

BERTHOLD:  Undead?  That must be a horrible fate.

FARANELL:  Yeah, well, take a good long look at the future, smart guy.  Are you done interrupting me now?  Yeah?  Good.  So, check this out.  I know your boss isn’t in much of a hurry to be reunited with little miss sunshine over here, but I think he’d be very interested in getting a peek at this.

Faranell holds up the Focusing Iris.

You go on back inside and tell him that the bearer of the Focusing Iris is here, and might be persuaded to let him check out the number one item on every magic user’s Winter’s Veil list, okay?

BERTHOLD:  Huh…if you say so, sir…

Berthold disappears inside.

MOKVAR:  You think he’s going to go for it?

FARANELL:  Trust me, I know how to appeal to another mage.

GARROSH:  Let’s hope.

Accompanied by the sound of rattling chains, the portcullis rises back up, and the door swings open.

FARANELL:  And there we go.

GARROSH:  Nice job, Doc.  Now we’re in business.  Let’s go finish this…

The group walks through the gate.

Blackout.  Garrosh and the others enter a large chamber filled with relics, vials, and other magic paraphernalia.  Tapestries and ornate curtains decorate those portions of the walls not covered with tall bookshelves.

GARROSH:  Huh…  Well this looks like the kind of place a wizard would hang out, but where is he?

A booming voice echoes through the room.

VOICE:  You have come to seek an audience with the great and powerful Wizard of Zhan?

GARONA:  Oh boy, here he goes.

GARROSH:  <looking around>  Uh, yeah, we do, if he can bother dragging his butt out here so we can actually see him.

VOICE:  You dare presume to speak to the great Wizard with such familiarity, mortal?  You shall count yourself fortunate that the Wizard does not smite you where you stand!

UTVOCH:  Wait, he’s a priest?  I thought he was a mage.

MOKVAR:  Is he always like this?

GARONA:  Oh you have no idea.  All the time with the talking about himself in the third person.

In the middle of the room, a towering, semi-transparent avatar of Medivh appears.

MEDIVH:  The Wizard of Zhan has been informed that one among you carries the storied Focusing Iris!  It is for this reason alone that you have been permitted into this sanctified chamber!

GARONA:  Oh, and there he is, finally.  And thank you, dear, for that very warm welcome.

MEDIVH:  <looks at Garona>  Oh.  Delightful.

GARONA:  Oh, really?  You want to know what else is delightful?  Being a single mom trying to give her son a good life when the kid’s high-and-mighty richer-than-Aman’thul dad for some reason can’t be bothered to mail off a child support payment!

MEDIVH:  The great and powerful Wizard of Zhan does not have time to trifle with these petty—

GARONA:  Oh, sure, when it’s something I want to talk about…

GARROSH:  So listen, Your Wizardry, we have the Focusing Iris—

MEDIVH:  Indeed, hence you are here in my chamber, and not cast out to the ogres!  I will be most interested to examine the relic, and—

GARROSH:  Yeah, well, here’s the thing, chief – before we let you go poking around with the shiny, we have a few things of our own that we could use a hand with.

MEDIVH:  You dare dictate terms to the great and mighty Wizard!

GARONA:  Oh man, he’s really in form today…

FARANELL:  If you’d rather not be bothered we can just be along our way.

MEDIVH:  <chuckles>  You mortals have daring, I’ll grant you that much.

Medivh looks around the group, eyeing them carefully.

I will hear your requests.

GARONA:  Hold the presses, he just called himself “I.”

MEDIVHAnd you would do well to still her tongue.

GARROSH:  Been working on that for months, chief.  No luck so far.

MEDIVH:  At any rate – present your entreaties, but remember the Wizard makes no promises.

GARROSH:  We each have something we’re after, Wiz.  In my case, I’m trying to find a way to summon Prince Malchezaar down from the Netherspace, so I can put him in the ground before the Burning Legion can pull him out of mothballs to stir up trouble for my people.

MEDIVH:  Ah, yes, the irksome demon who’s tucked himself away in the upper levels.  You intrigue me, mortal; I must say it would be no small pleasure to have that particular infestation removed from this place…

GARROSH:  Okay, so far so good.  Meanwhile…well…the rest of the requests are a little more personalized.

DONTRAG:  Shall we present our case to the great and metallurgical Wizard, sir, and—

GARROSH:  <smacking Dontrag>  For spirits’ sake, no.

MOKVAR:  Dontrag and Utvoch here would like some brains.

UTVOCH:  Indeed, sir!

DONTRAG:  <rubbing his head>  So as not to have our current ones beaten out quite so often, sir.

GARROSH:  And for real, anything you could do on that count, I mean, I can’t possibly overstate how much of a quality of life improvement that could be for everyone involved.

MOKVAR:  As for the rest of us… A heart for me.

GARROSH:  Because apparently he’s still moping over his ex-wife or something.

GARONA:  Could you be any more insensitive?

FARANELL:  And some guts for me.

UTVOCH:  I still don’t really think you need—

MEDIVHEnough of your insipid prattling, insects!

GARROSH:  Yelling doesn’t do much good with this crowd, Wiz.  Don’t think I haven’t tried.

MEDIVH:  The great and powerful Wizard of Zhan has heard your requests, and in light of the possibility of studying the Focusing Iris, has deemed them acceptable.

GARROSH:  Awesome, Wiz.

FARANELL:  See, I told you the Iris was our ticket in.

MOKVAR:  So is there a spell or an incantation you have to do on us, or…?

MEDIVHSilence, mortals!  I have not yet finished!  I will grant your requests, but first I require you to perform a task on my behalf!

MOKVAR:  Uh oh.

DONTRAG:  I knew there was going to be a catch…

MOKVAR:  We’re going to have to kill something, aren’t we?

GARROSH:  So hang on, when you say we have to do a task for you, is this a for real task, or one of those busywork kind of tasks, because you’re talking to an old pro at doling out those…

FARANELL:  Personally I think the whole getting-to-work-on-the-Iris thing should be enough of a trade-off on our part, but…

MEDIVHBleat at me no longer, fools!

MOKVAR:  …Ouch.

FARANELL:  That was kind of a good one, actually.

MEDIVH:  Before the mighty and magnanimous Wizard grants your request, he demands that you return to him another magic relic of great power: you are to slay the Wicked Witch of the West, and recover from her the Doomstone.

GARROSH:  Hang on, the Wicked Witch of the West?  That’s Magatha, isn’t it?

GARONA:  Yeah.

GARROSH:  So we get what we came for, AND I get to kill Magatha?

FARANELL:  Didn’t you already kill her in the other timeline?

GARROSH:  Trust me, dude, it never gets old.

MEDIVH:  You shall venture to the odious lair of the Wicked Witch, where you shall slay her and return with the powerful Doomstone.  You must not shy away from this task, for if you fail to carry out this duty—

GARROSH:  Dude, it’s cool, done and done.

MEDIVH:  Excellent!  Be warned, however, the lair of the Wicked Witch of the West shall not be breached easily.  It lies in the Mountains of Twilight, in the dread Bastion of the Dying Day.  The journey shall be long and arduous, and you will find many trials between here and—

FARANELL:  <holding up the Focusing Iris and channeling a spell>  Yeah, stoke that noise.  Portal to BoT coming up!

Faranell completes the spell and teleports the group away, other than Garona.

MEDIVH:  <sighs>  Mortals.

Blackout.  In an inner chamber of the Bastion of Twilight, Magatha peers into an Eye of Twilight.  Beside her hunches Zhi-Zhi, dressed in armor and sporting bat-like wings on his back; around the room similar winged monkey creatures scurry.

MAGATHA:  The visions have grown cloudy…they may have reached Karazhan, but no matter – soon enough we’ll find them, and the Focusing Iris will be—

In a flash of light, Garrosh et all appear in the middle of the room.  The group appears briefly disoriented as they look around.

FARANELL:  Okay, here we are!

MOKVAR:  <looking around>  Are…are those flying monkeys?

MAGATHA:  Well then!  All the better!  No need to go out hunting for them – the fools have delivered themselves right into my very lair!

ZHI-ZHI:  Now!  Now we get them, your Witchy-wooken-ness ma’am!  Hozen do good and get the dookin’—

MAGATHA:  <smacking Zhi-Zhi>  Shut up, you insipid preliterate orang utan!  Get them!

ZHI-ZHIAhhh!  Stop hitting Zhi-Zhi!

DONTRAG:  I know the feeling, ape guy…

ZHI-ZHI:  Get them!  Get them!

More monkeys swarm into the room and start running to surround Garrosh’s group, which backs up toward stage right.  Magatha runs back and forth in the background, overlooking the scene.  Arikara flies in and swoops back and forth above them.

GARROSH:  That’s…a whole lot of monkeys.

FARANELL:  Plus that wind serpent…

Mortimer leaps into the air and barrels into Arikara with a snarl, knocking them both offstage to the left.

GARROSH:  Yeah, I’m not so worried about the wind serpent.

The monkeys descend in bunches, attacking the group.

The chimp brigade, on the other hand…

The Horde group starts to fight off the monkeys; they cut the monkeys down easily enough, but by sheer force of numbers, Magatha’s attackers push Garrosh et al further back.

Magatha descends and begins shooting chain lightning.

MAGATHA:  Hahaha!  You fools made my work that much easier!  Now the Focusing Iris will be mine, and—

Faranell runs up to Magatha and splashes her from a bucket.

AAAHH!!  I’m melting!  I’m melting!  AAAAHHH!!!

Screaming all the way, Magatha melts into a sizzling brown puddle on the floor.

GARROSH:  Um, hang on a second.  She melted?  Fucking WATER killed her?

FARANELL:  No.  That wasn’t water.

MOKVAR:  What was it, then?

FARANELL:  Acidic plague.

GARROSH:  You walk around with a bucket of acidic plague?

FARANELL:  Do you not know what I do for a living?

ZHI-ZHI:  The Wicked Witch – she’s dead!  You killed her!

MOKVAR:  Uh oh.  Bracing for pissed-off monkeys.

ZHI-ZHI:  She’s dead!  She’s dead!  Hozen are free!  Free of the Witch!

Zhi-Zhi starts jumping up and down jubilantly, with the other monkeys following his lead in short order.  Mortimer wanders in and sits, munching on a wind serpent wing.

DONTRAG:  I guess this is good?

MOKVAR:  As long as they don’t start fliging poop around, I think we’re okay.

ZHI-ZHI:  No more beatings from Wicked Witch!  We friends now!  Friends of the hozen!

Faranell prods Magatha’s remains, rummaging through the remains of her cloak.

MOKVAR:  Be careful there, Edwin – are you sure you should be poking around in that stuff?

FARANELL:  <continues rummaging>  Oh, yes, you’re right, I’d better be careful not to touch any of the plague, or else my flesh might decompose and I might die and OH WAIT.

Faranell pulls a polished gray stone from Magatha’s cloak and tosses it to Garrosh.

Here we go.  Mission accomplished.

ZHI-ZHI:  Yes!  You take Doomstone – reward for killing Wicked Witch!  And hozen will follow you now!

GARROSH:  Don’t I know you from somewhere?

ZHI-ZHI:  <scratching his head>  Ever been to Tian Monastery?

GARROSH:  Never heard of it.

MOKVAR:  Well, other than that one time.

ZHI-ZHI:  <still scratching his head>  Dunno then…

GARROSH:  <shrugs>  Whatever.

FARANELL:  Portal back to the Wizard?

GARROSH:  Yeah, let’s get a move on.

ZHI-ZHI:  Hozen come too!  Follow new leader!  Leader who free hozen!

GARROSH:  Uh, yeah, dude, listen, I’ve already got my quota filled on preliterate knuckle-dragging lackeys, okay?

DONTRAG:  Sorry, sir.

FARANELL:  Okay, gentlemen, here we go…

Faranell casts a portal spell and teleports the group away.  Zhi-Zhi remains with the other winged monkeys; he looks around dejectedly, then sneers at the spot where Garrosh had been standing.

ZHI-ZHIStill not the one!

Blackout.  In the Wizard of Zhan’s chamber, Garrosh et al port in, joining Medivh, Garona, and Liadrin.

MEDIVH:  Ah, you’ve returned!  The mighty but restless Wizard of Zhan is both pleased and not inconsiderably relieved at your timely return!

MOKVAR:  You were worried about us?

MEDIVH:  Not especially.  But since your departure, your…colleague has scarcely shut up.

GARONA:  Well sue me for thinking you might want to catch up a little.  It’s not like we have a kid together or anything.

GARROSH:  <looking to Liadrin>  And hang on, what are YOU doing here?

LIADRIN:  You think I would miss this floor show?

GARROSH:  Well you know, if you were going to come here anyway, you could have maybe stayed with us and used some of your magic to help move things along.

LIADRIN:  And then what would you have learned?

GARROSH:  I didn’t learn a damn thing as it is, other than “Watch where you step around monkeys” and “Don’t get too close if you see a walking corpse with a bucket”!

FARANELL:  You know I’m standing right here.

LIADRIN:  Two valuable life lessons.

GARROSH:  …I seriously need some new friends.

MEDIVHAt any rate.

GARROSH:  Yeah, PLEASE get us back to business.

MEDIVH:  You have brought the Doomstone, as I instructed?

GARROSH:  <holds up the Doomstone>  Got it right here.

MEDIVH:  Excellent.  Now you shall hand over the relic, and—

GARROSH:  Not so fast, translucent boy.  First you give us what we came here for, THEN we’ll give you the doohicky.

MEDIVH:  You dare try to dictate terms to the great and powerful Wizard of Zhan, mortal?  I should liquidate you for your presumption alone!

Mortimer, who has been sniffing around the various tapestries that cover parts of the walls, tugs back one curtain to reveal a control panel covered with elaborate levers, buttons, and monitors, manned by a Forsaken male dressed in warrior’s plate.

GARROSH:  Uh, who’s that?

The Forsaken man speaks into a microphone on the control panel, and his words are echoed by Medivh.

AVERRY and MEDIVH:  Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!

FARANELL:  Well that’s…odd.

GARROSH:  The hell?

GARONA:  I don’t even want to think about the implications of this for me.

AVERRY and MEDIVH:  Silence, you foolish mortals!  Pay him no mind!

GARROSH:  Dude, we can see you’re the one doing the talking.

UTVOCH:  I’m confused.

FARANELL:  Imagine our astonishment.

Averry looks back at the others and hurriedly pulls the curtain closed again.

GARROSH:  Now then, insects, you will disregard the man behind the— Oh.  Oops.  Wrong button.

MEDIVH:  That’s better.  Now then, insects, you will disregard the man behind the curtain, and put him out of mind!

ALL:  What man behind the curtain whom we certainly don’t remember seeing?

MEDIVH:  Much better.

GARROSH:  Look, can we just get what we came here for so we can get this whole freak show over with?

LIADRIN:  It probably would be just as easy to do it this way, Guardian.

MEDIVH:  <sighs>  Very well.  Have your companions step forward…

Mokvar, Faranell, Dontrag, and Utvoch step closer to Medivh.  Medivh looks to Faranell.

First you, my fellow – albeit preposterously less mighty – mage.

FARANELL:  Can’t anyone be one of the best at their class without being an elitist jerk about it?

MEDIVH:  You came, as I recall, seeking guts – and yet I daresay you suffer from disorganized thinking.  To flee from danger is, in many cases, not cowardice, but wisdom.  Indeed, in my day I have known many a soul called a hero, who carried out great deeds of valiance, and they had no more courage than—

FARANELL:  No, no, you’re taking this too metaphorically.

MEDIVH:  Pardon?

FARANELL:  I don’t need guts because I think I’m a coward.  Look at me.  Half my internal organs are missing.  I have no guts, literally.

MEDIVH:  Huh.  You know, you’re shedding new light on some complaints I’ve been getting from Moroes…

FARANELL:  How about I put you down for an “I’ll get back to you” and keep the line moving.

Medivh shrugs and turns to Mokvar.

MEDIVH:  As for you, my good orc… Your trouble is another misperception of your situation – not the lack of heart, but a damaged one.  To that end, I give you this remedy, for your ears and your ears alone:

Medivh leans closer to Mokvar.

<aside>  She is still out there, alive, and she is looking for you.

Mokvar makes a surprised expression, then nods and steps away.  Medivh turns to Dontrag and Utvoch.

Now then…you two.

DONTRAG:  Yes, sir, your high and mighty Wizardariousness, sir.

UTVOCH:  Very much honored to bask in your presence and await your magnaminious blessings, sir.

MEDIVH:  Hmm…  Yeah.  Right.  Sorry.  You can’t fix stupid.

DONTRAG:  Oh.

UTVOCH:  Um…okay…

GARROSH:  <sighs>  Gotta say, we’re not getting a whole lot of return on our investment so far.

MEDIVH:  Now for your request, other-orc.  You say you seek the demon Malchezaar, and the means to draw him out of his hiding place…

GARROSH:  Right.  Please don’t tell me this is another one of those “Oops, I can’t really do that one” things for you.

MEDIVH:  The great and powerful Wizard of Zhan can do anything, mortal!

FARANELL:  Other than listen to himself for like the last three minutes.

MEDIVH:  But, as it happens, in this case the Wizard does not need to!

GARROSH:  <sighs>  Don’t tell me you’re going to get all cryptic on me now.

LIADRIN:  What I think the Wizard means, Garrosh, is that you have the means now to do it yourself.

GARROSH:  The what now?

Liadrin points to the Doomstone in Garrosh’s hands.

Huh… This thing can do it?  How?

LIADRIN:  You need only charge it with the Focusing Iris, and you’ll see.

GARROSH:  Huh.  Well, you heard her, Edwin.  Let’s see what this thing does.

Faranell takes out the Focusing Iris and starts to channel arcane power through it and into the Doomstone.  The Doomstone starts to glow, then expand, growing into a heavy gray slab of rock with a single runic symbol etched into it.

LIADRIN:  Now all you need to is touch your hand to it and say “Come click on the stone.”

Garrosh gives a quizzical look, then shrugs and puts his hand on the stone.

GARROSH:  Come click on the stone.

LIADRIN:  That’s it…go on…

GARROSH:  Come click on the stone… Come click on the stone… Come click on the stone…

As he repeats the phrase, Faranall and Mokvar approach and touch the stone as well.  The stage lights dim as Medivh’s chamber fades away, and the only things left visible are Garrosh and the stone.  A bright light flashes around the stone, and Prince Malchezaar appears.

MALCHEZAAR:  <looks around bewildered>  What?  How—?

GARROSH:  Well hey, now we’re in business.

MALCHEZAARYou!  You dare?

GARROSH:  Yeah, so, we haven’t really properly met or anything, princy, so let me fill you in – I dare.  Like, professionally.

MALCHEZAAR:  Madness has brought you here, orc!  Now I shall be your undoing!

GARROSH:  Seriously, do you bad guys all take a class on these stock threats?  Because—

Garrosh reaches to his back to draw Gorehowl, only to find it’s disappeared from its usual place.

Wha— Oh for fuck’s sake, seriously?  Again, now?

Laughing menacingly, Malchezaar draws Gorehowl and brandishes it.

MALCHEZAAR:  Ha!  Have you misplaced this, fool?  I remember fondly the day I recovered it from Demon’s Fall!

GARROSH:  Ugh, fine, we’ll do this the street-brawl way…

Garrosh rushes at Malchezaar and grapples with him, gripping Gorehowl by its haft when Malchezaar tries to swing it at him.

MALCHEZAAR:  Flee now while you can, orc!  You do not face Malchezaar alone—

GARROSH:  Yeah, yeah, we all know the spiel, squid-face – but you know something?  You’re right.  I DON’T face Malchezaar alone…

The stage lights come back on, illuminating the normal, minimally dressed stage of the Opera House – with Faranell, Liadrin, Mokvar, Garona, Dontrag, and Utvoch in a semicircle behind Garrosh and Malchezaar.

Say hello to the legion at my command!  SHOW TIME FOR REAL, kids!

MOKVAR:  Liking our odds a lot better this time

While Faranell and Mokvar stand back, casting fireballs and lightning bursts respectively, Liadrin, Garona, Dontrag, and Utvoch run in to engage Malchezaar at melee range.  Malchezaar staggers back and forth under the onslaught of the group, still grappling with Garrosh over their hold on Gorehowl, until Garrosh twists it out of Malchezaar’s grip, leaps up, and cleaves through the demon’s neck, severing his head.  Malchezaar’s body slumps to the floor, and the spectral audience bursts into applause.

GARROSH:  Wham, bam, the bitch is dead.  Bitch.

As the audience continues their applause, Barnes walks to center stage.

BARNES:  A splendid finale for a most varied and entertaining evening of theater!  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you tonight’s troupe of performers, here for the first and only time for your enjoyment!

The applause rises; Barnes walks back offstage.

MOKVAR:  Well that takes care of that.

DONTRAG:  We’re done here now, right?

LIADRIN:  That should do it, yes…

FARANELL:  <standing over Malchezaar’s body somberly>  At least now he can stop coming back to die over and over…

MOKVAR:  Oh, yeah…I guess you were in your own kind of time loop, weren’t you, Edwin…

LIADRIN:  But…Edwin, it would have been a stable loop with you, wouldn’t it?  Just one set of events repeating infinitely?

FARANELL:  That’s what I’d figured it was going to be…

GARROSH:  Wait, what?  What do you mean, a stable loop?

FARANELL:  When I stayed in old Southshore, and replaced myself.  I’d figured I would live through my life like I remembered it, then get to the point where we traveled to the past, and go back with you again, then the events would be complete.  And then it would be done, and the cycle would just keep spinning itself.

LIADRIN:  That isn’t what happened for you?

FARANELL:  <shaking head slowly>  It didn’t just repeat.  I would live through to our mission to the past, and replace myself again, and pick up my life in the past…and yeah, the loop would keep repeating, but every cycle through, I had to live it through again, and repeat my part of it again, and…

GARROSH:  And…?

LIADRIN:  Oh…oh no…

FARANELL:  …and die again.  And be raised again.

MOKVAR:  Holy crap…

UTVOCH:  Wait, I’m confused, what’s he—

GARROSH:  Just this once, will you please SHUT THE FUCK UP?

FARANELL:  And so yeah, every time around, I had to live out that repetition fresh.  I can still remember every loop, individually…

LIADRIN:  Edwin… I’m not sure if I even really want to know, but…how many times did you…go around?

FARANELL:  By the time you…I…reset the timelines and broke me out…?  2,734.

LIADRIN:  By the Light…  You…relived your own death…?

Faranell nods, still staring at Malchezaar.

MOKVAR:  Edwin, listen—

FARANELL:  Doesn’t really matter at this point.  <turns back to the others>  Come on.  We’re done here.  Portal to Orgrimmar coming up.

Faranell summons a portal, and one by one the rest of the group disappears through it.

There’s no place like home…

Faranell ports out.  The curtain closes.

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