Return pilgrimage to Hearthglen
After Tirion’s aide Daria sent me that letter the other day, I arranged to take a trip back over to Hearthglen to see what we can do to help Faranell with whatever problems he’s having adjusting. I brought Mokvar with me for note-taking purposes – and had to listen to him complain about all the zeppelin miles I’ve had him logging lately for my troubles – and also sent a message up to Liadrin in Silvermoon that Faranell’s having some issues and we’ll keep her posted on what we end up doing.
I ended up being delayed in Orgrimmar a little, getting Nazgrim and Drok set up on a few recon missions we need tended to, but after that we finally caught our zeppelin to the Undercity. We arrived in Hearthglen this afternoon and got escorted straight up to Mardenholde Keep. Tirion was there, obviously, and joining us at the conference table upstairs was the man of the hour himself, Faranell.
TIRION: Again I’d like to thank you gentlemen for coming to meet with us. It truly is a testament to your dedication to your people that even now, after a change that leaves your colleague adrift on the opposite side of what has, in many quarters, grown to be a contentious racial divide, even now you rush to the side of your comrade at the first word of his difficulties. And doubtless, with such friendship to rally to his side—
GARROSH: Seriously, dude, I’ve been in town like ten minutes and you’re already on round three of this speech. Can we just get on with it already?
TIRION: As you wish, Warchief.
GARROSH: Thank the spirits.
TIRION: In that case, I suppose this would be the time to defer to our friend Dr. Faranell. I felt under the circumstances it might be best to include him in our deliberations, such that he might provide a first-hand account of his difficulties.
GARROSH: So Doc, Tirion says you’ve been seeing things? Visions, maybe?
FARANELL: That’s just it, though. I’m not “seeing things” as if they were just appearing around me.
TIRION: This, you see, Warchief, is the line of discussion that prompted me to contact you on the matter at hand. Please do go on, Doctor.
FARANELL: Well, for instance, the first time it happened, I was walking down toward the front gates… I distinctly remember looking over at the mill…and then I felt dizzy for a few seconds. I looked around again, and it was as if I were in Dalaran, in my old study there.
GARROSH: Still sounds like a hallucination, just on a bigger scale – maybe one of the buildings you were walking by reminded you of Dalaran, or…?
FARANELL: <shakes his head> It wasn’t just the place, though. I was in my study, sitting in my old chair, and Kel’Thuzad was there. He was talking about some…new types of spells he’d been trying out. After the first few words, I recognized what he was saying – it was a conversation we’d had about a year ago. Well…it used to be a year ago…
GARROSH: Hmm. So it was a flashback.
MOKVAR: Makes sense that he might have them, really. <nods at Faranell> That you would have them, I mean. Sorry, Edwin…
FARANELL: <shrugs> It’s fine. I’m starting to get used to people talking about me as if I’m not in the room.
MOKVAR: Anyway, though. I’m not surprised that you’re flashing back to some of your memories from before, strange as everything here must be for you now…
FARANELL: But that’s the thing. It wasn’t just a memory.
GARROSH: How do you mean?
FARANELL: I wasn’t just watching myself having this conversation I’d had before. I was watching Kel’Thuzad talk, and then after a minute, he looked at me, and I must have had a strange look on my face, because I said I looked confused and asked if I was all right. And that definitely wasn’t something that happened originally.
GARROSH: So the memory was your starting point, and then you started interacting with it. Sort of like a dream.
FARANELL: Maybe. I don’t know. It all seemed so real. And every detail seemed exactly right.
GARROSH: Well you do have that super-memory. Makes sense that you’d fill in the details really well.
TIRION: It does, indeed, makes sense that one blessed with such a memory – eidetic, I believe, if I recall the terminology correctly – would likewise be, conversely, cursed in such a circumstance as this with hallucinations of an enhanced degree of verisimilitude, such that one might indeed have difficulty distinguishing the illusion from reality.
GARROSH: Yeah, T-Ford, that’s what I just said, only with like half the words.
MOKVAR: Edwin, you said that was the first time it happened. How long ago was that?
FARANELL: Almost two weeks now.
GARROSH: How many more times has it happened since then?
FARANELL: Three more.
GARROSH: What did you see then?
FARANELL: Once, it was just after I’d arrived at the inn in Southshore…that last time I was there.
MOKVAR: I can see how your thoughts might go there, especially early on…
FARANELL: Another time, it was three years ago, at my brother’s wedding. In the middle of making my toast, of all things… I was standing there with everyone staring at me, like I’d just stopped in mid-sentence…
GARROSH: Okay…so flashing back to fairly major events in your life. I mean, it must suck for you to be going through it, but it does kind of add up, considering…
FARANELL: You would think that’s what it is, yes, but here’s the problem. The third time wasn’t something I remember happening at all.
GARROSH: What was the third one?
TIRION: This is, you will find, the most troubling of the set…
FARANELL: I was back in Brill. The town was being attacked. Ghouls, skeletons, zombies…every kind of undead you can think of. I was with a few other townspeople, trying to help fight them off…but they kept coming, and…I think I died.
FARANELL: I don’t know. But…it felt like dying. <shrugs> Not that I’ve ever died before, to know.
Garrosh, Mokvar, and Tirion exchange looks. Faranell watches them grimly.
FARANELL: It’s how I died, isn’t it?
Garrosh looks to Tirion for a moment, then back to Faranell.
FARANELL: Not me me, obviously. But…the other me. The one you knew. That…became one of them. It’s how he died.
GARROSH: The thing of it is…I don’t know. It sounds like it could have been, but I don’t know.
FARANELL: He was killed by the Scourge, wasn’t he?
TIRION: Aye. As were many – far too many – some years ago.
GARROSH: But I don’t know the details. Did he…well, the other you. What did he tell you in the letter he wrote you? About how he died.
FARANELL: Not very much. Just that he was killed when the Scourge swept through Lordaeron, and was raised as undead not long afterward.
TIRION: I would imagine the undead incarnation of Dr. Faranell would have seen little purpose in filling out the details of such an event, insofar as he would have envisioned his younger self as being safely relocated to a time well removed from such events. If anything, he likely would hardly have wished to revisit the experience himself…
GARROSH: And so that’s the problem, at least for us here.
MOKVAR: <nods> Right. We don’t have anything to compare this to. So what you saw, Edwin, could have been how the other version of you died…or it could just be hw you imagine he would have died.
GARROSH: And the shitty part of it is there’s really no way for us to check on something like that, so we might just have to have to have have neewteb to ni have just stneve have eht lla have to ot stisiv to modnar syap dna syas eh semit ynam htaed if dna htrib sih nees sah eh you eerht ytxis neetenin ni flesmih dnif go ot rood taht hguorht kcab enog to sah eh eno ytrof neetenin ni kypari eno rehtona tuo emoc dna evif zar ytfif neetenin ni rood a hguorht you deklaw sah eh yad gniddew sih will no denekawa dna rewodiw elines a die peels ot enog sah yllib emit lines ni kcutsnu lines emoc supply lines sah supply mirglip supply yllib supply supply lines supply lines, so getting ammunition OUT here in much quantity is going to be a problem.
MOKVAR: Just based on our trip up here, I’d say that’s only going to get more difficult.
LIADRIN: I’m only too aware.
GARROSH: I don’t think you are, though.
LIADRIN: What do you mean?
GARROSH: We passed Andorhal on the way here. Tirion’s arrived.
LIADRIN: By the light…
GARROSH: <nods> I lost eight Kor’kron just in passing, and had them raised right in front of my eyes.
LIADRIN: <sighs> We were already getting pinned in badly enough here, without coming under siege by an enemy who knows our defenses and capabilities better than we know ourselves… Daria?
DARIA: Yes, ma’am?
LIADRIN: Have a messenger sent to Lord Tyrosus at Light’s Hope to ask for aid…
DARIA: Yes, my Lady.
Daria runs out.
GARROSH: Also…I think it might be time for us to start considering the backup plan you’d suggested. If we can get some kind of improvised docking structure up, I should be able to get a gunship here to evacuate Hearthglen, and from there you and I can make the make the the meht make stseretni the i taht the tnemom yna the can ta kool can nac yeht dna era stnemom eht if lla tnenamrep woh ees you nac yeht ecnatsni rof go sniatnuom ykcor eht fo to hcterts a ta kool kypari nac ew yaw eht zar tsuj stnemom tnereffid eht you lla ta kool nac will snairodamaflart eht tsixe lliw die syawla detsixe evah syawla to erutuf dna to tneserp have to tsap have stnemom have lla have have to have to wait and see on any other cases, if they happen, and… Edwin? Are you okay?
Faranell looks around the room, disoriented and visibly shaken, then lets out a sigh.
TIRION: Dr. Faranell?
FARANELL: It happened again…
GARROSH: Just now?
TIRION: What did you see this time, Doctor?
FARANELL: I was…in a wooded area. Dark, dreary…not sure where, exactly… There were orcs with me, fighting beside me…
GARROSH: Fighting what?
FARANELL: A group of… <pauses a moment as if searching for a word> …tauren, I think?
GARROSH: It must have been a pretty quick fight. You were talking not even a minute ago.
FARANELL: No… That is, I wasn’t there long, but…it was at least a good five minutes.
GARROSH: It couldn’t have been.
TIRION: Dr. Faranell, I can assure you, you were engaged in this very conversation with is until mere seconds ago. There most certainly was not a window of some minutes during which you could have perceived the events you describe.
MOKVAR: I remember reading once that dreams happen in a sort of condensed time…
GARROSH: How’s that?
MOKVAR: Just that when you have a dream, if it seems like ten minutes pass in the dream, it’s really only taking your brain a few seconds to experience it. It just seems longer to you.
GARROSH: Holy shit, that’s freaky.
MOKVAR: Strange but true.
TIRION: That would lend credence to our suspicion that the good doctor is suffering from a terrible affliction of the imagination…
FARANELL: No, I’m telling you, I was there.
GARROSH: Edwin, you were right here with us the whole time.
FARANELL: I wasn’t imagining it. It was happening.
GARROSH: Okay, okay. Fine. Maybe so. So much weird shit seems to happen to us, what’s one more thing.
TIRION: It would appear indeed, gentlemen, that oddities do gravitate toward you. A phenomenon to which I cannot say I find myself impervious, for if you recall—
GARROSH: I’d really rather not, T-Ford.
TIRION: Oh. As you prefer, Warchief…
GARROSH: Anyway… I suppose this is all we’re going to work out in one sitting. We should probably let you get back home.
TIRION: Miss L’Rayne?
DARIA: Yes, Highlord?
TIRION: Is the good doctor’s family still here?
DARIA: Yes, sir. His brother is waiting for him downstairs.
TIRION: Excellent. If you would be so kind, please escort the doctor down.
MOKVAR: Hang in there, Edwin.
GARROSH: Don’t worry, Doc. We’ll get this figured out yet.
Faranell nods to them glumly. Daria leads him out of the room. Garrosh, Mokvar, and Tirion sit quietly for a moment.
GARROSH: So what do we think’s really going on with him?
MOKVAR: I’ve got nothing.
TIRION: I too am at a loss for words, Warchief.
GARROSH: You know, under different circumstances, that sentence would have been fucking spectacular, but…
TIRION: I suppose I might venture, however…
GARROSH: Oh. Here we go. That didn’t last long.
TIRION: …though I cannot offer any helpful conjecture on the good doctor’s current, troubling condition—
GARROSH: Oh so he doesn’t have anything helpful to say. Watch him keep talking anyway.
TIRION: —I would, whoever, hasten to commend you gentlemen on the camaraderie and fellowship that has compelled you to journey once again to our fine sanctuary, in hopes of aiding a friend whom in a very real sense you do not truly know. It is steadfast commitment to honor, not unlike that demonstrated by your noble kinsman Eitrigg, without whose aid I likely would not be with us here today – have I told you the tale, as an aside? I do not recall if ever I have regaled you with that episode from years gone past.
GARROSH: Listen, I brought Dontrag and Utvoch with me again. Don’t make me use them.
So…that’s where we stand. A whole lot of nothing, and maybe an ounce or two more of YEEEESH. For right now we’re just going to have to keep an eye or twelve on Faranell and see if anything else happens. Let’s hope not. But then again, I know our luck.