In light of the reports coming in from both Nazgrim and Krog from Pandaria, I decided we need to step up preparations for a full-scale military operation there. Nazgrim’s been holding his own reasonably well under the circumstances…well, he WAS until this last report, anyway, and then…well, you know. Point is, he’s been trying to keep it together down there, but it’s about time we gave our general an honest-to-goodness army to work with.
So, earlier today I held a strategy session to make plans to send a full invasion force to Pandaria. We had the usual suspects there — Eitrigg, Malkorok, Mokvar to take notes. Malkorok had his lieutenant Rak’gor Bloodrazor sit in for the planning. Plus…an extra unexpected attendee, who…well, you’ll see.
Cut to the transcript.
GARROSH: First, a status update. The latest from Nazgrim is that he and his people are licking their wounds from a major battle with the Alliance forces down there. They’ve moved from the Jade Forest to a town in the northern mountains while they recover. Most of them, anyway.
EITRIGG: Are Nazgrim and his team all right?
GARROSH: Scratched up but still kicking, from what I gather. Always hard to tell with Nazgrim — he’ll never let on if he’s really hurt. You know him.
MALKOROK: I assume our forces were victorious against the Alliance dogs, as they’re alive to tell the tale?
GARROSH: Not so much. The battle was basically a stalemate.
MALKOROK: You mean to say, Warchief, that that fool Nazgrim failed not only to defeat a depleted Alliance force, but even to go down fighting like an orc? And now he has the audacity to report this disgrace from the comfort of some remote bed while he nurses his wounds like a human?
EITRIGG: Considering what Nazgrim seems to have had to work with…
MALKOROK: And now you defend his incompetence, old man?
GARROSH: Well hey, look, Malkorok. Believe me, I’m all for being tough on the troops and all that, but to be fair, Nazgrim DID lose most of his actual Horde soldiers in the crash of the Hellscream’s Fist.
MALKOROK: And proceeded to offset those losses by recruiting from among the locals, did he not?
GARROSH: Yeah, but look at the locals. I mean, dude, you know how I’m always saying it’s like I’ve got a bunch of trained monkeys working for me? <scans around the room> No offense. But yeah, Nazgrim? LITERALLY had a bunch of trained monkeys to work with.
MALKOROK: What about the Alliance?
GARROSH: What about them?
MALKOROK: The Alliance reportedly took heavy losses and drew support from the natives as well. Who did they have fighting for them?
EITRIGG: <scanning notes> I think Krog included something about this in one of his reports…
GARROSH: Something with a “J,” I think.
GARROSH: Yeah, that’s it, jinyu.
MOKVAR: <paging through reports> Which…from the way Krog describes them…would be a race of…sort of…king-size murlocs.
GARROSH: <blinks, then rubs forehead> …The FUCK is Nazgrim doing down there?
MALKOROK: You see?
EITRIGG: Do we know anything else about the battle with the Alliance? I will grant, it doesn’t sound like Nazgrim to flee the battlefield…
GARROSH: Nazgrim’s report was pretty sketchy on the details there. I’ve gotten some extra intel from Krog to fill it out some, though. Looks like the battle between Nazgrim’s monkeys and the Alliance fish men…
Garrosh trails off, then stares into the distance for a moment.
Garrosh shakes his head and pulls his attention back.
GARROSH: Yeah. Sorry. I just heard myself saying that last part and had to take a minute to be sad. Where was I?
MOKVAR: Monkeys versus fish men.
GARROSH: Yeah. Monkeys versus fish men. So according to— I mean seriously, doesn’t that sound like a bad videogame or something?
MOKVAR: Just watch, if Spazzle isn’t coding that already, he will as soon as he reads this.
GARROSH: I know, right?
EITRIGG: Warchief…focus, please.
GARROSH: Yeah, yeah, okay… So… <sighs> …monkeys versus fish men. Which I guess took place at the foot of this huge statue in a place called Serpent’s Heart. From what I can gather, the battle was pretty even, which is kind of depressing in itself, considering, when it was broken up by the arrival of this giant black monster. Which basically wiped out both sides and left the survivors fucked up and scattrered.
MALKOROK: What kind of monster could take out both armies?
GARROSH: From what Krog reported, it…
Hang on. What are YOU doing here, troll?
VOL’JIN: I heard dere was a meetin’ going’ on, mon. I figured mah invitation musta got lost in da mail.
GARROSH: Uh, yeah, as if I would have sent YOU an invitation for these planning sessions…
VOL’JIN: Ya see now, mon? Ya be tinkin’ a me as such a good friend, I don’ even be needin’ an invitation! Dat’s why everybody loves ya, mon.
GARROSH: <rubbing forehead> What. Do you WANT. Vol’jin?
VOL’JIN: I hear ya be plannin’ an invasion in Pandaria, mon, and I be here ta keep an eye on what ya be doin’.
GARROSH: Keep an eye on me? I don’t answer to you, troll, nor do I have to EXPLAIN myself to you, so if you’re here to make life difficult, you can just head back to your island now.
VOL’JIN: I be da leader of da Darkspear, mon, an’ I got a right ta know what da Horde be doin’.
MALKOROK: You know I can easily take care of—
GARROSH: Not now, Malkorok. <grumbles> Fine. You can sit in, Vol’jin. TRY not to make yourself into too much of a toothache.
VOL’JIN: Oh don’cha be worryin’ ’bout me, mon. Ya won’t even know I be here. It’ll be like I be invisible.
Garrosh stares at Vol’jin for a long moment, then exchanges several pensive glances with Eitrigg and Mokvar. He looks back to Vol’jin again and eyes him for another moment.
GARROSH: Okay, well—
VOL’JIN: Like da Lich King’s horse!
GARROSH: Just SIT DOWN and SHUT UP, Vol’jin.
VOL’JIN: Sure, mon.
Vol’jin takes a seat at the conference table next to Malkorok. Malkorok glances at him and sneers; Vol’jin answers with an exaggerated grin.
GARROSH: So as I was saying, like an hour ago…about the creature at Serpent’s Heart. Apparently it was something the pandas call a “sha” — sort of a demon that feeds off of powerful emotions.
VOL’JIN: <eyes narrow> You don’ say, mon…
MALKOROK: Hmm…interesting… I wonder if our warlocks could influence these sha. If they’re strong enough to take down two armies, they could be a powerful resource if harnessed…
VOL’JIN: Dat be some bad mojo ya talkin’ ’bout, mon.
MALKOROK: I thought you were going to be quiet, troll.
MOKVAR: He’s right, though — these sha don’t sound like something we want to risk meddling with.
EITRIGG: As it stands, I’m already troubled enough by some reports I’ve seen of demonic summoning by some of the initial fleet…
MOKVAR: Wait, seriously?
MALKOROK: You two would have our warlocks not avail themselves of all the power at their disposal for the benefit of the Horde?
MOKVAR: Didn’t “our warlocks” get themselves into enough trouble already “availing” themselves of demonic power?
MALKOROK: Yes, let’s have the scribe lecture us on the proper conduct of warlocks.
MOKVAR: I used to be a warlock.
MALKOROK: Oh, that’s right, you were, weren’t you? Then by all means continue, scribe. Tell us more about the evils of seeking power through demonology.
Mokvar looks back to his notes awkwardly.
GARROSH: Look, the fact is, Nazgrim doesn’t have the people or the resources to establish a strong Horde presence in Pandaria or prevent the Alliance from doing the same. I already have ships being prepared for a large-scale incursion. The southern coast of Pandaria has a few locations that sound like they’d be well-suited for a base. We can scout a specific spot while we finish gathering troops and equipment for the trip.
EITRIGG: Grizzle Gearslip of the Bilgewater goblins says the construction team should have siege engines ready within a week or so.
GARROSH: Well tell me this — when he says “a week or so,” does he mean a WEEK OR SO “week or so,” or is this a maybe-in-your-lifetime “week or so” like when those goblins “week or so”-ed their estimate on rebuilding the Orgrimmar ramparts after the Cataclysm? Which they STILL haven’t finished two years later, by the way.
VOL’JIN: So we be doin’ dis, eh mon? Bringin’ da war to dis new land?
MALKOROK: The war has already been brought, troll. We now bring only victory.
GARROSH: Once the equipment and siege engines are ready, it’s just a matter of lining up troop deployments.
MALKOROK: Most able-bodied adults not otherwise committed to important duties have been conscripted for service, Warchief. Rak’gor and I are in the process of assigning veteran supervisors to the new trainee program as well.
EITRIGG: What trainee program is this? I haven’t heard anything about it.
MALKOROK: Nor would you. It’s a Kor’kron program.
EITRIGG: I didn’t realize the Kor’kron operated in secret now. Has Saurfang adopted some new policy?
MALKOROK: <visibly annoyed> The program…is for recruiting and training of orcish youth for service to the Horde, as per the Warchief’d edict after the Northwatch Hold…events.
EITRIGG: Orcish youth? What age do you mean?
MALKOROK: I shouldn’t need to tell you the traditional age of passage, old man. Fourteen — the age a youth is fit to take a blade for the honor of his clan.
VOL’JIN: By da spirits, mon, dey be children!
MALKOROK: A boy is a man the day he can slay a foe in defense of home and kin, troll. I wouldn’t expect you to understand such things.
VOL’JIN: Yah, mon, I really don’ get out much. Ya know, I don’ get invited to da cool kid parties.
GARROSH: Can’t imagine why.
MALKOROK: Nevertheless…don’t make it out as if the trainees are being handed swords and pushed blindly onto a battlefield — they are being trained and guided by some of our finest warriors. If anything, this is an honor.
GARROSH: Fourteen, though, huh? I thought it was fifteen.
MALKOROK: No, Warchief, fourteen.
GARROSH: Are you certain? I’m pretty sure it was always fifteen back in Nagrand.
MALKOROK: No, sir. I suppose that might have been a regional difference?
GARROSH: Huh, okay. Fourteen, then.
VOL’JIN: I don’ be likin’ da sound a dis, mon. Not one bit a it. Draggin’ our war into other people’s lands, roundin’ up children ta make inta soldiers…
GARROSH: Well imagine my surprise, Vol’jin. Imagine my complete and total SHOCK to see YOU griping and complaining about what I’m doing. You know, I might actually LISTEN to some of these objections of yours if you didn’t object to EVERY SINGLE THING I do.
VOL’JIN: Maybe if ya listened once in a while before ya did dese tings, mon, ya wouldn’t have to listen to people complainin’ after ya did ‘em.
MALKOROK: I don’t hear anyone complaining except for you, troll. Other than that simpering tauren you usually have leading you by the nose. I’m half surprised he’s not here as well.
VOL’JIN: I drew da short straw, mon.
GARROSH: All right, enough of this. Both of you quiet down. It’s settled — we’re moving ahead with the Pandaria plan and getting ready for a departure within the next few weeks. And TROLL, get this into your head: this is happening. And I have no intention of listening to you bellyache every step of the way.
VOL’JIN: Don’cha worry ’bout dat, mon. If dere be one ting I know by now, it’s dat you ain’t gonna listen.
GARROSH: Damn right. You’re finally getting it. Okay then… I think that covers everything. I have another meeting I need to get to in the Drag in a few. For now, let’s get things rolling gathering materials and finalizing troop assignments for the invasion. Oh, and Eitrigg?
EITRIGG: Yes, sir?
GARROSH: When we compile the final roster, for the love of the spirits, make sure Dontrag and Utvoch aren’t on the list.
EITRIGG: Yes, sir.
GARROSH: There are going to be enough potential headaches as it is on this mission — the last thing I’m going to need it THOSE two yammering in my ear.
VOL’JIN: Oh, hey, mon…
GARROSH: Oh for fuck’s sake… What now?
VOL’JIN: You talkin’ bout dem two orcs who got to Orgrimmar late after da Theramore raid?
GARROSH: Yeah, you know them?
VOL’JIN: Yah, mon, dey came by da Echo Isles after dat. Dey was getting deyselves all confused, mon.
GARROSH: “Confused” has a short ramp-up time for them.
VOL’JIN: No, but listen, mon — dey was like, “It be de Echo Isles, right? Den how come we can’t hear an echo when we talk?” An’ dey kep’ tryin’ ta yell stuff into da air to see if dey could get an echo!
GARROSH: <chortles> Oh…dude…that’s like the time I was saying something to them about Razorfen Kraul, and they were like, “So do all the quillboar there crawl? We thought they knew how to walk upright. Is it some kind of a rule there?”
VOL’JIN: <laughing> Ya better not let dem go to da Howling Fjord, mon, dey might tink dey’re losing dey hearing ’cause dey don’ hear da howling!
GARROSH: <chuckling> Well hell, you should have seen them the first time they saw Thousand Needles. “Are you sure it’s a thousand of them? I only counted like 60. Did we miss some?”
VOL’JIN: <laughs more> You shoulda told ’em we switched to da metric system, mon.
Garrosh guffaws, leaning against the table. Vol’jin laughs heartily as well and wipes a tear from one eye. After another moment spent laughing, Garrosh and Vol’jin look up at each other and both of their faces fade into uneasy expressions.
GARROSH: <scowls> Fucking troll.
VOL’JIN: <aside, muttering> Don’ blame me, mon, I voted for da basic campfire…
Garrosh and Vol’jin both get up and stomp out of the room in opposite directions.