For whom the bell tolls
Well THAT was a big whole production to go through for not much of anything.
Last night, I gathered a select group of Horde personnel at the Emperor’s Reach – an ancient, abandoned mogu structure that we found in Kun-Lai – to finally tap into the power of the Divine Bell. Malkorok brough a battalion of Kor’kron troops to oversee the proceedings, including some who were hand-picked to have the honor of being the first to be gifted with new power. The best of the best. Juggernauts.
Blademaster Ishi was on hand as well, along with a few other select Horde heroes from the Pandaren campaign, and once everyone was gathered and ready, I took up the hammer…mallet…um…weird-looking club doohicky? Look, for honest, I’m not sure WHAT that thing was supposed to be. But it was better suited for ringing a bell than Gorehowl would have been, so whatever. Point is, I cracked out that bad boy, and for the first time in who-knows-how-long, the Divine Bell rang.
And so marks the last point in the evening that things went to plan.
As the Bell rang, we could see the dark, shadowy outlines of bizarre, twisted creatures appearing on the platform. Transparent and shifting, but just enough to know they were there. So THAT’S what these sha look like. Up to this point, I’d only seen them in bits and pieces – claws mostly – when they’d partly seized onto other people.
Yes, I said “partly.” I wouldn’t have thought that what happened to Burzum was only partial corruption by the sha. Little did I know. Because now, I was treated to a front-row seat as, one by one, the sha descended onto our Kor’kron juggernauts…and transformed them into sha themselves. They were horrible to behold – I can see why the pandas and even Tak-Tak yammer on about steering clear of them. I tried to urge the Kor’kron on and encourage them to seize control of the sha energy coursing through them, but no such luck. They couldn’t. They lost themselves to it. And in the end there was nothing to be done but for the Horde champions on hand to slay the Kor’kron-turned-sha before they ran out of control.
Clearly, Malkorok had overestimated the mental toughness of that first batch of Kor’kron. I was just about to let Ishi show the rest of the bunch how a true veteran of the Mag’har does it, when I was interrupted by a surprise visitor.
Want to know who?
YOU WILL NOT FUCKING BELIEVE THIS SHIT.
Yes, THAT Anduin.
Anduin Wrynn, Prince of Stormwind.
Anduin fucking Wrynn, Prince of Stormwind, former prisoner of General Nazgrim until who the fuck even knows what happened I mean WTF, and newest volunteer to be a speechifying hemorrhoid on my curvy brown ass, because, hey, why not give fucking EVERYONE a turn at this point, right?
So, yeah, fucking ANDUIN comes strolling on up like it’s something to do – props, by the way, to my alleged BODYGUARD Malkorok for the crack security job there – and starts yapping away about the dangers of the Bell, and Garrosh-you-mustn’t. You know, the ol’ Baine-Vol’jin standard. Same tune, different verse.
Worked just about as well for him. I shrugged him off and rang the Bell again, and this time, the sha magic descended onto Ishi. Unlike the initial Kor’kron, he actually put up a fight and resisted…for a moment, anyway. Then, after a minute, he was altered into a sha as well. Except in his case, even with his body gone, his voice remained.
His voice, but not his words.
While our champions fought to subdue him, Ishi started spewing out words consumed by fear and rage and despair. No sign remaining of the strong, brave orc I knew, despite my urging for him to retake control.
In the end, there was nothing left – again – but for our champions to put him to rest. But of all his rantings before he fell, there was one that kept echoing in my thoughts.
Why should we be slaves to honor, when we could slaughter the children of our enemies while they sleep? My blade thirsts for Alliance blood!
Control your anger, I told him. There is killing, and then there is murder, I told him. We’re not the ones who murder innocents. We’re no the ones who kill children, confused and far from home. Left to rot in a festering swamp. Baited into a coward’s trap, tricked into an early death by a vainglorious king…
And then I looked up to find the presumptuous whelp of Varian Wrynn yipping at me.
He was fourteen years old.
Among the orcs, that made him a man.
The human brat used some mallet to crack and silence the Divine Bell, and I was far past my threshold for patience. I swung my hammer at him. He ducked out of the way, and the blow slammed into the Bell, which was already cracking apart. The Bell shattered, and the pieces crumbled onto the whelp, burying him under a massive heap of metal and stone. I could hear him cry out as his bones snapped. Then silence.
Good. Let Varian have a taste of true suffering.
It’s back to the drawing board for us. For now. I’d underestimated the effort it would take to master this sha power. Ishi and the others were too weak-willed, and they failed me as a result.
This is what I get for not taking matters into my own hands.
When the time comes, soon, I won’t repeat their failure. And I won’t repeat the mistake of delegating our fate to lesser orcs. Too much depends on it. Too high a price already. The Horde will pervail, strong, proud, united in purpose – a rebirth of glory. And it all depends on me to lead the way. It’s ALWAYS depended on me. I see that now.
I won’t fail. I CAN’T fail.
I have a destiny.
I’m the One.