Monday, once again, Mailbag

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Citizens of the Horde,

It is time once again for me to respond to the various and sundry missives that have found their way to me since last week.  This time I seem to drawn the attention of some unlikely writers indeed…

 

Salutations and greetings under the Infinitely Holy Light, Varok Saurfang!  It is my hope that, with the recent change in leadership in Orgrimmar, peace talks can at some point resume.  I write to you regarding a terrible danger the seers of the Exodar have seen growing in the heart of the Horde.  I speak not of the abominable Banshee Queen or the legions of unholy warlocks infesting your cities, but of a force very close to the center of the Horde – the (currently missing) Garrosh Hellscream.  Have you seen him lately?  Before he went missing, I mean.  He looks rather terribly like a Fel Orc; I fear he has been suckling at the same festering hellteats from which his father supped.  Please, if you know it, tell me the identity of the Pit Lord whose blood he has been drinking!  The destruction of Hellscream’s demonic master will (once again) liberate the Horde from servitude in the Legion, to the great good of life throughout the Universe.

The Naaru have not forgotten you!

–Eliseth the Argent Champion, The Exodar, Azuremyst Isle

Firstly, having spent considerable time with Warchief Hellscream in Northrend, and being very much aware of his busy schedule since his move to Durotar, I can attest that no such transgressions have taken place as the drinking of demon blood.  Moreover, good Eliseth, I am troubled by your willingness to jump to conclusions based solely on the Warchief’s appearance; his skin tone is well within the range of hues common to Mag’har orcs, particularly those who suffered from the red pox in their youth, and if your comment is in some way a reference to the Warchief’s (well-publicized) cranial idiosyncrasies, I believe Warchief Hellscream himself has addressed this matter on at least one occasion.

Rest assured, therefore, that there is no demonic influence at the heart of the Horde, and, by extension, you need not worry that the Burning Legion has set its eyes once again on Azeroth.  Should the Legion indeed move against this world, you may further take comfort that we orcs will be ready to stand against them in defense of our home, and in so doing will almost certainly provide you and your eredar kin with ample time to pack.  There are, I am sure, plenty of other worlds to which you might relocate while the rest of the “Universe” about which you clearly care so much undertakes to clean up after you.

 

Dear Warchief Saurfang,

Congratulations on your elevation to leadership of the Horde.  I’m sure your peons are thrilled to have a competent commander grinding their faces into the mud of Durotar.  I’m writing to inquire about a specific aspect of foreign policy instituted under the (hopefully) late and unlamented Warchief Hellscream (may his body never be found); specifically, his declaration that “all Kalimdor belongs to the Horde”.  This claim is idiotic, unenforceable, and will serve only to utterly repudiate any overtures of peace you may wish to make.  I advise you to rescind this edict, and withdraw back past the Southfury where you belong.  Or preferably, all the way back to Draenor.  Get off our planet, alien scum!

Sincerely,

Sepharad of the Nightfall

Watcher

Darnassus, Teldrassil

Kalimdor (seriously, it belongs to the Kaldorei)

Azeroth (not your homeworld)

Greetings, Sepharad.  If you will indulge my pedantry for a moment, I would like to elucidate a few linguistic and rhetorical points that you may find beneficial in future endeavors.

Specifically, there is a concept in argument generally referred to as “ethical appeal.”  This notion, contrary to what might be suggested by its nomenclature, does not hinge on one’s “ethical” or moral goodness, but rather on the manifest ethos, or identity, which one presents in one’s interactions.  Thus, for instance, one who presents oneself as gracious and even-handed is likely to prove more persuasive than one who conveys a persona of rudeness and closed-mindedness, by virtue of their relative ethical appeal.

With this in mind, I might suggest in future missives, should you wish to urge policy change from your reader, you may do well not to open, for instance, by insinuating derision for your reader’s entire society and its adopted home; or by openly hoping for the demise of individuals about whose safety you know your readers to be sincerely concerned; or by levying thinly veiled threats, employing racial slurs, or expressing outright hostility toward your audience.  (I would also note, if you truly take such offense at “alien scum” taking up residence on other worlds, you may wish to craft an additional letter to Prophet Velen of your allies the draenei, as his people, if we are to carry out a cursory review of history, have developed something of a pattern of behavior along these lines.)

These are basic concepts of rhetoric, and it saddens me that such an ancient and storied culture as that of the night elves would apparently fail to properly educate its watchers.  Lacking a compelling argument in its support, therefore, I feel I must decline your policy recommendation.

[If at first you don’t succeed, you clearly aren’t Saurfang. –Mkvr., ed.]

With that said, if you will pardon me, a chill has begun to drift into the room, so I believe I shall go now to add a log or two of Ashenvale lumber to the fireplace.

 

Hiya Overlord Saurfang,

What’s up?  Even though we goblins in Ratchet try to keep ourselves neutral to this whole Horde/Alliance thing, I do try to keep an eye on what’s going on in the major cities – especially since I have a few cousins in the Bilgewater Cartel living with you guys in Orgrimmar now.  I noticed your post the other day about Garrosh’s wyvern getting loose, and I thought you’d be want to know about a weird moment we had here on the docks yesterday.  I was hanging around here on the dock, minding my own business, when lo and behold a wyvern flies in and lands just a few yards away, and just sits around by the end of the dock.  He wasn’t doing anything, not really even taking notice of anyone, just sitting there.  The after a while, one of our ships came in from Booty Bay.  The wyvern up and strolled onto the boat, sat himself back down, and just stayed there until the ship headed back out again.

Now, I don’t know if this was Garrosh’s wyvern.  I don’t know what his wyvern looks like, other than, you know, looking like a wyvern, and I can’t say I could really tell one wyvern from another anyway.  But I thought you might want to know about this.

–Wharfmaster Dizzywig, Ratchet

My thanks to you, Wharfmaster.  This is interesting news indeed.  While we cannot be certain that the wyvern you describe is the Warchief’s, its behavior certainly appears peculiar enough to merit investigation.  I will notify our officers in Stranglethorn Vale of this development, and expand our scouting patrols to that region.

 

Greetings, Your Warchieferousness! I hope you’re having an absolutely splendid day. I am not having an absolutely splendid day because I keep bumping my head on the doorways here in the goblin slums. I may be the cutest undead killing machine ever to rise from the battlefields of the Third War, but terrible necromantic power has no effect on goblin architecture. Could you possibly see your way clear to annulling former acting Warchief Hellscream’s edict that all races “not strong enough” to defend Orgrimmar (anyone not a tauren or orc, in Hellscream’s piggy little eyes) be banished from the city? I am an implacable harbinger of icy death, and I’m worth at least two tauren anywhere outside a goblin barbeque. I know no fear! I know no pain! I am totally strong enough to defend Orgrimmar. I want my house back.

Yours,

–Twilight Vanquisher Aimee (Knight of the Ebon Blade, not the cake vendor), Frickin’ Goblin Slums

A pity, Aimee, that you aren’t the Aimee I recall from Northrend.  Many were the evenings that I enjoyed one of her selections with my nightly Mok’nathal tea.  I recall her red velvet cake was especially sumptuous.  You might consider, in fact, looking into baking as a sideline, as I am sure you will find a great many fans should you demonstrate mastery in it; moreover, we find ourselves recently understaffed in Orgrimmar in the area of infantry cooks, so you may well find it a worthwhile avenue for career advancement.

Speaking of which, in a roundabout way, as you are a current resident of the goblin slums, how is the rice situation coming along?  Markedly improved, I would hope.

At any rate, I realize that you are not the Aimee of cakery fame, though, again, I would urge you to consider my thoughts on the matter.  Still, you certainly share a name of delicious connotation.  (Have you considered adopting a pseudonym for combat purposes, incidentally?  Though I do not doubt your martial prowess, I am unsure that “Aimee” strikes adequate fear into the hearts of your foes.  Compare: “Run! Saurfang just cleaved the heads off of the general and his squire!” “Run! Aimee is accessorizing her Lovely Pink Dress!”)

Where were we again?  You will pardon an old man for his tangents.  Ah yes, the goblin slums.

Redistricting is indeed always a controversial issue, Aimee.  I will endeavor to look into the matter, though the allocation of housing space in a high-demand, high-population area such as Orgrimmar is always precarious at best.  In the interim, have you considered investigating real estate options in nearby Razor Hill?  I am told suburban areas within easy commuting distance of the major urban centers often offer surprisingly reasonable rental costs.  (I would suggest Bilgewater Harbor as another nearby option, but I believe you have clearly established your feelings on goblin neighborhoods.)  Or, if you feel your happiness truly depends on residing in the city proper, perhaps the troll architecture of a few blocks north of you would be more suitable?

I will grant I am hardly a real estate expert – many years have passed since I paid off my mortgage on the old Nagrand split-level, and being as I am career military, I have myself always moved from one assigned quarters to the next – but I will attempt to look into matters further to see if anything can be done.

 

That is all the mail I have time to attend to his week; as always I thank you for your correspondence.  I will, of course, continue to keep you posted on our unfolding operations, friends.  Honor go with us all.

 

-Saurfang

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