Filling in the gaps
Okay, I was planning on writing this a lot earlier, but I ended up sleeping WAY late that first night back in Orgrimmar, which had me up late last night, and blah blah, up-late-sleeping-in domino effect. Any of you who’ve gotten into a late-nighter groove on Earth Online know the drill. Anyway, I’m back in Grommash Hold finally and settled in, and HOLY SHIT it’s good to be able to crash in my own bed again.
So I’m figuring you’re all probably wondering what was going on on my end of things since the last time I posted. Saurfang and Garona have been giving me the run-down about their side, but I’m still in the process of getting caught up on what Saurfang was posting here while I was out of it. Anyway, let me try to fill in what I can and maybe fill some gaps for you guys.
Last time you heard from me I was flying down to Alcaz Island. When I got to the island, Dontrag and Utvoch were still just chilling at one of those naga conjuring rune circles with Skarr, and so I figured I’d gotten there in time to get a jump on things. Before I could get my bearings, though, a gang of tauren led by Magatha Grimtotem showed up and attacked. At the time I assumed they were Grimtotem, but from the sound of things now, they must have been Twilights and just happened to be tauren. Probably hand-picked, actually, so they could seem like they were Grimtotem. Maybe. Anyhow, they attacked, and somehow or other Skarr managed to get loose not long after. Magatha was hanging back some and I could hear her chanting something, but I was a little too focused on the couple dozen dudes I had beating on me at the time, so I wasn’t really paying too much attention to it.
What happened next is still pretty fuzzy. All of a sudden there was a blinding flash, and I remember being thrown back a long ways. I think I hit my head on a tree or rock as I was falling back, but before I passed out I remember seeing a lot of the other tauren and maybe D&U getting thrown around by the blast. I don’t remember seeing Skarr from that point – I think he was the explosion. Looking back on it based on what Saurfang’s told me, I guess he must have been walking around with some kind of explosive enchantment, and Magatha detonated him when she arrived. So he really was a time bomb, just a lot more literal than I was figuring.
And for that matter…turns out I was right, just not for the right reasons. I thought Skarr was the phylactery, and we’d gotten baited into a trap bringing him out in the open. Well, we got baited into a trap, all right. But Skarr wasn’t the phylactery. He never was. He was the bait.
The next several…days, I guess? I’m not sure…were a blur. All I can remember is bits and pieces. Being picked up and dragged around, sounds of the ocean, grunting from ogres and ettin…that sulphury smell from the incense that the Twilights always seem to have burning all over the place. Purplish walls. I don’t know how long I was out before I finally came around for good. Even then I felt pretty groggy, so I’m figuring the fuckers were using some kind of magical mojo on me to keep me subdued.
When I finally came around, I was in the Bastion of Twilight. Magatha was running the show. Which, considering the place was obviously overrun by Twilights and not Grimtotem, didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. But man, was she ever proud of herself for having me under wraps. I had a few choice words for her…okay, you know me better than that, I had a few choice paragraphs for her…but after I got the initial outrage out of my system (which granted took a while), I managed to get her monologuing. Thank goodness for villains who can’t fight the urge to run their mouths, that’s all I’m going to say.
So come to find out, Magatha cooked up the story about the phylactery and fed it to the other Grimtotem through Arnak Grimtotem and Isha Gloomaxe, had her people running around making trouble for the ogres under the pretense of finding it, knowing that sooner or later word would get back to the Twilights and they would be all “WTF there’s no phylactery, is this bitch crazy?” Which okay, she is, but whatever. Arnak and Isha were the only other Grimtotem who ever knew the real story, or part of it, anyway – there was no phylactery, it was just Magatha’s way to get the Twilight’s Hammer’s attention and bait them into coming for her. Which they did, in Thousand Needles. And when they raided the Grimtotem and captured Magatha to interrogate her, they were really doing exactly what she wanted.
Once she was the Twilights’ “prisoner,” that put Magatha in a position to make them an offer they couldn’t refuse. Sure, there wasn’t any phylactery, but she HAD found a way they could revive Cho’gall, and she was ready to make them a deal. All she needed was the Doomstone, which the Twilights already had, that collection of tauren relics, which the Grimtotem already had, and a new body for Cho’gall spirit to set up shop in.
On the drawing board, that was going to be Skarr – THAT was his special duty, the job Cho’gall had in mind for him. Somehow or other Cho’gall knew it could be possible to bring him back in a new body if need be, and had Skarr in mind to be the one, which a handful of those Gordunni ogres were aware of even if Cho’gall didn’t spread word around among the cult in general. Who knows, maybe one of Magatha’s tribesmen in Feralas got wind of this from the ogres somehow, and that’s what got the call rolling on this idea in the first place. Anyway…
The only thing that was missing was Magatha’s end of the deal. I’ll give her this much, she’s no idiot, and she knew better than to trust the Twilights to hold up their end of the bargain if she went ahead and gave them Cho’gall up front. So that was her one ace in the hole: she was the only one they knew of who could do it, and they weren’t getting any resurrection until she’d gotten her payoff. As far as the other Grimtotem were concerned, the payoff was help in regaining power, retaking the Grimtotem’s lost territory…but in reality, Magatha knew that was a lost cause. For now anyway. The Grimtotem were reduced to bands of renegades, they were banished from tauren society and cast out of the Horde, they couldn’t even get the Alliance to give them the time of day…there was too much lost and too many enemies stacked against them for them to hold on very long even IF the Twilights helped them regain a foothold. Better to let the Twilights get Cho’gall back, and let the world burn. At least her enemies would burn with it.
But what she wanted was to be sure one enemy in particular would be the first to go down.
Remember that letter I wrote to Magatha, when she asked me for help in her coup in Thunder Bluff, and I told her where she could stick it?
Yeah. Guess who.
That’s when they started letting information about all of this start reaching us, to set off their plan to lure me out. Eventually when we went after Skarr, they started putting the pieces in place for a backup plan that would let them kill two birds with one stone – let us get Skarr, feed us more information through him, then set me up to be captured…and then put me into the Skarr role as Cho’gall’s future place of residence. A live Cho’gall and a dead Garrosh all in one fell swoop. Cho’gall’s revived spirit would take over, my soul would be burned up by the restoration – “consumed by the fires of resurrection” as she put it – and my body would be corrupted into something more “suitable” for him. Fun stuff.
Eventually they even had good luck on their side. In my stupidity, I sent that fucker Johnny Awesome to Thousand Needles, where the Twilights were still holding Magatha in “protective custody,” which gave her an opening to round up all the magical doohickeys she needed and cover her tracks all at the same time. I mean, think of it – at this point she was ALREADY basically screwing over her own tribe for the sake of helping the Twilights burn the world down. So now rather than having to come up with another cover story to keep leading the other Grimtotem on, she just sent Johnny Awesome to round up the stuff she needed from them, then got him to KILL Arnak and Isha, the only Grimtotem who knew anything at all about what Magatha was really up to in the first place. And then he comes back, “steals” the Doomstone for her, and sends her off on her way, so as far as anyone can tell, she’s just ESCAPED the Twilights rather than working with them.
Gotta admit, this is all so sly and sneaky I’d actually be kind of impressed, if it wasn’t all so totally revolting.
Anyway…you can probably see how everything played out from there, the trap-within-a-trap at Alcaz Island, and all the rest. Which brings us back to me being held in the Bastion of Twilight.
Eventually a couple of ettin dragged me out of my cell and set me up in a scaffold in the middle of Cho’gall’s old throne room. Still a little groggy from whatever spells they’d been casting on me, but I guess they needed me conscious for the big pay-off. Either that or Magatha wanted me awake so I could feel every last bit of it. Probably both. The scaffolding actually didn’t feel THAT tight, and the wood seemed to have a little give to it, but I wasn’t sure how much time I was going to have to struggle with it at that point.
Anyway, Magatha stood up beside me with the Doomstone in hand, tauren relics set up all around us, and started doing some incantations that who the fuck knows what they meant. Apparently the ritual called for some kind of ritual bloodletting (blood is life or some shit like that), and since Magatha wasn’t exactly one to turn up a chance to rub some salt in the would, she had the cultists bring her Gorehowl – she was going to spill my blood with my own axe. And then, just to add insult to injury…wait, no, she was already adding insult to injury…to add extra insult to insult and injury, she decides she has to get her last jab in, and says something along the lines of, “Fitting, isn’t it, a little loosed blood sets you on your way to becoming a monster that will lay waste to your world…like father, like son, eh, Hellscream?”
And I’m not going to lie to you – THAT? That pissed me. The fuck. OFF.
And seriously, when you’re trying to finish an old-school warrior, Magatha, what’s the one thing you never want to fucking do? Yeah. Feed him extra free rage.
Pummeled tauren bitch crone, flying across the room. Gorehowl back in the right hands, and a whole room full of Twilights running in to take a number at the deli counter OF MOTHERFUCKING PAIN.
Just so happens, as I was starting to fight my way back out, Saurfang and the rest were making their way in. I think they might have run into a couple batches of cultists that Magatha sent back out to the exit to secure the way out while I was on the move. Kinda wish I’d been there to see the looks on their faces when they came out of the portal, actually. “Okay, guys, we’ll just lock this down and WHERE THE FUCK DID THIS OTHER ARMY COME FROM **CLEAVE**”
So…I think that covers everything. I probably missed a few details here and there, but fuck, this was long enough already, no need to go piling on more. Anyway I can try to answer any left over questions you guys might have. Otherwise, it’s going to be good to get back to semi-normal life, answer my mail, all that good stuff. I’ll write more soon, about some less apocalypsey stuff.
I’ll say this much, though. Magatha’s day is coming. I can take some comfort in knowing that now she’s probably an even greater outcast, even more alone, than she’s ever been, now that she’s not only an exile from the tauren, but she’s even betrayed the one remaining tribe that would have had her. But this? Just wait till I finally get my hands on her, and get a chance to crush her under my heel. CRUSH her. See if the elements protect her then. Crush and burn and drown and suffocate. ‘Tis a little dream I have.
More soon. And also, um…yeah. Thanks for coming after me.