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

Race:  Pandaren

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.

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