Durnholde Keep

After Mokvar and Faranell dropped their respective timeline bombs on us, we hashed out how best to juggle things to keep the risks to a minimum.  In the middle of things, Chromie popped in just to…I don’t know…go “gee willickers” a couple times and remind us that Mokvar and Faranell absolutely must not interfere with their former selves, like we didn’t already get that.  And then she blathered on about all the crap that could go wrong with the timestream if they do, and most of it pretty much just came off as “WORDS WORDS WORDS WORDS WORDS WORDS WORDS WORDS WORDS WORDS WORDS WORDS WORDS WORDS WORDS WORDS BAD.”

So yeah, we’ve got to be careful about this, but the way around it seemed pretty obvious.  Mokvar couldn’t run into himself at Durnholde Keep, so okay, he just wouldn’t go.  He stayed back at the inn in Southshore and kept an eye out for Tirion’s people arriving while we went to Durnholde to take care of Thrall.  Meanwhile, Faranell can’t interfere with his old human self, so he came with the rest of us to Durnholde – get him away from Southshore for a little while, minimize the chance for a random run in, and plus this way he could be traveling with the bunch of us at all times so we can all be giving a sort of buffer zone in case Faranell v1.0 turns up.  Liadrin also had a pretty sharp idea, to have a sign/countersign for Faranell, just in case he’s ever separated from us or if anything happens where we need to make sure we’re dealing with the right Faranell.  The way things tend to go for us, it’s probably a good idea not to leave anything to chance.

Side note, I’m not sure if Faranell is worried about running into his younger self, or if seeing Kel’Thuzad and Helcular just threw him or something, but he’s been acting kind of strange since he and Mokvar got back.  A couple times now I’ve caught him just staring at himself in the mirror, touching his face, just seeming all kinds of distracted.  Not sure what to make of that.  Hopefully he’ll be able to keep his head in the game until we finish what we came for.

So anyway, I finally headed out with Faranell, Liadrin, and Utvoch, and we made our way over to Durnholde.  And I’ve got to say, I don’t know WHAT was going on with that defunct Alliance group that was supposed to handle this, that they thought they needed five people to handle this job.  The Noz might have been erring on the side of safety, or maybe those Alliance scrubs really do suck, but no joke, I can’t possibly exaggerate how easily we rolled over those Durnholde guards.  We had to clear out the lower barracks first, where some of the orcs were being held.  And then I guess one of the officers came running in, some dude named Drake, at least that’s what Liadrin tells me.  I wouldn’t have thought there was anything special about the guy myself, what with how he dropped like a rock after one good chop from Gorehowl.

Anyway…at that point we were set to head into the keep proper and get Thrall.  It took a few minutes to hack up the handful of guards on the way in, and then, lo and behold, there was our Warchief-to-be chilling in the basement cell.  And you know, I’ve got to say, you always figure the whole time travel business is pretty straightforward as far as the do’s and don’ts, but you don’t realize how hard it can be to bite your tongue until you’re standing there with a younger version of someone you know.  I had to keep stopping myself from saying things to him, not that half of what I would have to say would make any sense to him coming from my fake-ass human face.

Here’s the other thing, though.  I wasn’t expecting him to be so young.  I mean, I knew how old he was, it’s not hard to take now-Thrall and roll him back ten years in my head.  But even beyond the ten years…he was just so YOUNG.  You could see it.  Even locked in a jail cell, he just seemed so…unburdened.  His eyes looked so much less tired.  I never even realized how much Thrall seems like he’s carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders now, until I saw what he used to be like.  Anyway.

One thing that was still the same, though – past or present, credit where it’s due, Thrall’s kind of a badass any way you cut it.  In fact, I think I liked past-Thrall a little more, just because he seemed a lot more unapologetic about it.  Like for instance, we broke him out of his cell, and he ran up to the keep’s armory to grab some armor and a weapon for himself.  And there was this armorer guy standing watch there, and he started screaming bloody murder when he saw Thrall roll in, and before you could say “open-hand bitch-slap,” well…see for yourselves.

THRALL KEEPS THE PIMP HAND STRONG.

“That’s enough from him” is right, Thrall.  Roll with it, man.  Hell, bottle some of that shit up and send it to yourself ten years from now, you could use it.  True story.

Anyway, the stupid humans sent a bunch more guards to try to stop us on the way out, and we made hilariously short work of them, and then I guess there was some captain that we polished off without me even realizing he was supposed to be someone important because OMG SPLAT.  At that point, Thrall had the bright idea that he wanted to use the captain guy’s horse to high-tail it out of there…even though the horse was barely moving faster than we were on foot.  I mean, seriously, were these the best mounts the humans had available back in the day?  Really?  And meanwhile Thrall was looking absolutely ridiculous sitting on top of this thing, PLUS if he was moving any slower he’d be going backwards, and for real, dude, have you just not learned ghost wolf form yet?  Because even that would have been faster than this reject horse.

Anyhow, you don’t need every last painful detail.  We got Thrall to Tarren Mill, and killed some more humans – always a plus – and then some of those Infinite Dragonflight guys showed up, and we handed them their asses easily enough.  And then out of nowhere this fog rolled in, and – you guessed it – The Noz came pimping in to check on things, and confirmed that the timeline has been secured against the Infinite Dragonflight’s interference, and that’s nice and all, dude, but how about you leave a memo for yourself not to be a frigging douche-tard down the road so we don’t have to waste time stopping your future chronies (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?) from screwing around with things?

Oh and also?  Just have to say – Thrall’s human friend Taretha?  SPITTING IMAGE of Jaina.  Seriously.  Crossbow to my head, I could not tell those two apart.  And you know what?  Draw your own conclusions about her.  I don’t even want to know.

We’re back at the Southshore inn now, and we just need to hold tight until Tirion and Alexandros Mograine and all those people show up.  I’ll keep you posted on what happens.  Or, you know, you can consult the nearest history book.

 

 

[Header image provided by Rioriel from Postcards From Azeroth, reproduced here with permission and many thanks.  Click here to see the souped-up Postcard version!]

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