Many Questions, No Answers, One Theory
Citizens of the Horde,
The more I consider our current crisis, the more troubled I become. Something is amiss, and I am at present at a loss for what precisely lies behind it.
Upon reflection, I have come to realize that our investigations have uncovered a number of loose ends which have proven most disturbing. Indeed, some of these loose ends were present even before our most recent movements against the Twilight’s Hammer and Grimtotem, but amid the chaotic last days before Warchief Hellscream’s disappearance, it is not difficult to understand how some of them may have escaped our notice.
Let me begin with the most recent wrinkles. Continued interrogation of both the Twilight’s Hammer and Grimtotem captives by Garona Halforcen and Krog, respectively, have confirmed their early testimony: that the search for the phylactery of Cho’gall appears to have been initiated by Magatha Grimtotem, not the Twilight’s Hammer themselves; that the Twilight’s Hammer then targeted Magatha for capture upon learning of the Grimtotem search, whereupon Magatha agreed to aid in the resurrection of Cho’gall; that, according to both sides, no alliance or agreement has been forged between our two groups of adversaries.
While disturbing in and of themselves, these facts give way upon closer examination to far more troubling questions. How is it possible, for one, that Magatha Grimtotem could be aware of the phylactery when by all accounts the Twilight’s Hammer cult itself appears to have been unaware? While it may be that the existence of the phylactery was known by a small, select number of high-ranking cultists, such that the cult en masse would be oblivious, it still strikes me as strange that, once word of Magatha’s undertaking became widespread amongst the cult, such high-ranking members would not have put forth some account within their ranks beyond, it would seem, “Well that’s news to us.”
Furthermore, there is the odd behavior of both the Twilight’s Hammer cult and of Magatha Grimtotem in Thousand Needles. Consider: if Warchief Hellscream was correct in his shrewd deduction that the linguistically spastic ogre Skarr was in fact the living phylactery of Cho’gall, then this would mean that the Twilight cult always had within its grasp the means of reviving its leader. As the Warchief rightly worried, this leaves open the question of why they would not make use of the phylactery, with the likely answer being that something else was yet needed before they could do so. The Warchief’s continued line of thought led him to suspect that perhaps the Doomstone and a collection of tauren artifacts – all collected and delivered to Magatha Grimtotem by the contemptible blood elf Johnny Awesome – comprised the missing piece. Yet, the Twilight’s Hammer already had the Doomstone in their possession before it was stolen by Johnny Awesome, which means that the cult possessed at the outset access to both the phylactery and to a power source which could be used to harness it. Therefore, once again, why would they not have used them?
My only explanation here is that the key pieces to the puzzle may have been the collection of tauren relics which were in the hands of the Grimtotem, and which Johnny Awesome recovered at Magatha’s behest. Another possibility may be that even given the availability of all these resources, perhaps – strange though it may seem – only Magatha possessed the obscure conjuring knowledge to actually make use of them, and so the key to the entire Twilight operation may have been capturing Magatha Grimtotem and gaining her cooperation. While these suppositions are certainly possible, nevertheless, I am far from comfortable with our current understanding of this facet of these events.
Finally, there is the matter of the attacks launched on the fateful day of Warchief Hellscream’s disappearance. We have, on the one hand, nearly simultaneous Twilight raids in Ahn’Qiraj and Bladefist Bay, one driving our people from C’thun’s chamber, the other sinking the Doomhammer and preventing its voyage to Alcaz Island; and on the other, we have the attack of Grimtotem raiders against the cacophonous warriors Dontrag and Utvoch in which Skarr was freed. The problem I have come to realize is twofold: one, in the absence of any alliance between the Twilight’s Hammer and Grimtotem, how do we account for a Twilight’s Hammer attack at Bladefist Bay, whose only rational purpose could have been to facilitate the pending Grimtotem strike at Alcaz Island? The only plausible explanation I can think of for this is that the Grimtotem attack at the island was not actually staged by Grimtotem, but by tauren agents of the Twilight cult under the guise of the Grimtotem – certainly possible in light of the known existence of tauren cultists, and further validated by the (ordinarily suspect) insistence of our Grimtotem prisoners that their clan never set out for the island.
Nevertheless, even supposing this explanation, we are left with a further, more troubling question: given, once again, that no cooperation exists between the Twilight’s Hammer and Grimtotem, how would the cult have become aware of our planned movements on Alcaz Island, if the only information ever in circulation on the matter was a decoy letter that was deliberately allowed to fall into the hands of the Grimtotem? How would they know not only to launch an attack on the island, but to attack us at Bladefist Bay (indicating an awareness not only of the Alcaz operation but of the fact that it was in fact a trap)?
I fear there is something yet in play that runs deeper than we have supposed. Indeed, the only speculation I can offer fails to account for the many loose ends, and should of course be consider cautiously. Still, in the spirit of this forum, I will share the current state of my thoughts.
That Magatha Grimtotem is a traitor to her people – both the Bloodhoof tribe and the tauren race in general – should be news to no one. But I begin to suspect that we have underestimated the depths of betrayal to which the insidious crone might sink.
I believe that Magatha Grimtotem may in fact have betrayed the Grimtotem tribe itself, at the hands of the Twilight’s Hammer.
This theory is purely speculation on my part, and by no means does it account for everything I have raised as a concern. Yet far too many pieces fit in place for me to discount it as the ravings of advancing age. Consider: it was Magatha who put set her Grimtotem tribesman on the search for the phylactery through her underlings Arnak Grimtotem and Isha Gloomaxe, leading them to believe by all accounts that the Twilight’s Hammer were also looking for it, and that the tribe might benefit from finding it first. Yet the cult appears to have been engaged in no such search, and the Grimtotem effort appears to have accomplished nothing save drawing the attention of the Twilight’s Hammer.
The cult then attacks the Grimtotem and captures Magatha. And it is here that I suspect the crone played her hand: through some means, perhaps she had learned of Skarr and of the possibility of Cho’gall return, and presented herself to the cult as the sole person living who would be able to carry out the deed. Note closely the events that would follow: an unwitting Horde adventurer, Johnny Awesome, comes upon Magatha, still ostensibly being held by the Twilight’s Hammer; he is sent by Magatha to collect the tauren relics held by the Grimtotem in Thousand Needles; in the process he is also tasked with killing Arnak Grimtotem and Isha Gloomaxe, very possibly the only other Grimtotem who might have had further knowledge of Magatha’s initial scheme.
I suspect Magatha only ever set her people upon the ogres to catch the cult’s attention, and afford her the chance to go to them under guise of being captured. I believe she offered her help to the Twilight’s Hammer in exchange for something. I do not know what it is, but it was a price great enough to compel her to turn against her own people, steal from them, kill her kin and indeed her very family in order to cover her nefarious tracks. I realize that this theory is far from complete, and still leaves yet unaccounted for no shortage of loose ends. Yet I cannot escape the belief that there lies amid these ramblings some kernel of truth to the crisis before us.
I apologize for the excessive length of this post. I did not have time to craft a shorter one. Strange events are upon us, and the selective culling of ideas is a luxury, sadly, which I cannot afford while wrestling with the many questions and theories that plague my thoughts.
We forge on against the darkness, friends. Honor go with us all.