The Tao of Ji Firepaw
So since that last little…discovery…Liadrin’s been buzzing around Orgrimmar, helping with the relocated refugees. At least as far as the world at large can see. Most of the new arrivals have settled in pretty well. A few are pretty eager for some payback against the Alliance, in fact, so we’ve even gotten a few new recruits out of the deal.
Mostly, though, she’s been helping Shayari get adjusted. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t be too keen on a blood elf taking up the job of teaching someone what it means to be Horde, but I’ve worked with Liadrin enough to know she’s got a pretty good head on her shoulders. Plus Shayari already seems to be on decent enough terms with her, so she’s probably going to be more comfortable with Liadrin than she would with some other random person.
Meanwhile, I had a meeting this morning with Krog, who was reporting on a few investigations he was working on while I was in Pandaria. What he found ended up prompting me to schedule another impromptu meeting this afternoon.
Kicking it over to Tak’s record…
(Yay! I get to be Mr. Warchief’s scribe again! Mr. Warchief looked super serious, so I guess this was a big important meeting. Ms. Ben-Lin Panda Lady was there, and so was Mr. Krog, another orc I don’t know too well. I’m sure he’s nice, though! Mr. Warchief must have a hard job if he needs so many people to help him! I hope I do okay!
Mr. Malkorok came in at the start of the meeting, but he only stayed for a minute. He didn’t look very happy, though. He should smile more! I bet he wouldn’t be so grumpy then. He brought Mr. Goblin and Mr. Ji Panda Man with him. I think maybe their feet were sore, because Mr. Malkorok was carrying them by their collars. That’s nice of him! Maybe he’s starting to be nicer!)
MALKOROK – Here they are, Warchief. Let me know if they cause you any…difficulty. (flinging Spazzle and Ji into the room) I’ll be only too happy to use less of a soft touch to show them out.
(I guess not. He seems so mean sometimes. I don’t understand why. =( )
GARROSH – That’ll be all for now, Malk. I’ll check in with you later.
MALKOROK – Yes, sir. If you’ll excuse me, then, I have a few matters to see to with the provisioners.
(Mr. Malkorok left. Yay!)
SPAZZLE – (rubbing his head) So… um… what’s going on, boss? You know if you wanted to see me, you could have just shot me an IM, or—
GARROSH – Yeah, well, I wanted to make sure you got over here without any extra stops along the way.
JI – Oh. Um… is it a surprise party or something?
(Ooh is it? I love parties! Yay!)
GARROSH – Oh, there’ve been some surprises, all right.
JI – Is there cake?
SPAZZLE – Ji…
GARROSH – But this is no party.
(Oh. =( )
SPAZZLE – So… what’s up, boss?
(Mr. Warchief looked back at Mr. Krog and Ms. Ben-Lin-Lin. Then he turned back and stared at Mr. Goblin and Mr. Ji for a minute. He looked really angry – I wish he wouldn’t get so upset!)
GARROSH – Did you really think I wasn’t going to find out?
SPAZZLE – (blinking) Um…?
JI – I don’t think I underst—
GARROSH – YOU keep quiet, Paddington. I’ll get to you. (turning back to Spazzle) Now then. Back to you.
SPAZZLE – Uh… okay…
GARROSH – See, I’ve had Krog here looking into a few security matters while I’ve been away. And, oh man, did he ever have an earful for me this morning.
SPAZZLE – Oh… So, um… what was Krog… uh… looking into, chie—
GARROSH– Don’t sit there and act like you don’t already know, dammit. Don’t insult my intelligence on top of everything else.
(Mr. Goblin started looking really nervous.)
GARROSH – (pointing to Ji) Now, THIS one I could understand, because seriously, who knows WHAT Stuffed-With-Fluff here is thinking any given day. But YOU? You’re the last one of ANY of these clowns I would have expected to go sneaking around behind my back.
SPAZZLE – I… sneaking around… (eyes going wide) Oh… oh frak…
GARROSH – OH FRAK IS RIGHT, whatever the fuck it means. Did you SERIOUSLY think I wasn’t going to find out you were getting mixed up in this Mokvar business?
SPAZZLE – I swear, boss, I only ever talked to Vol—V—ohl. Oh. Oh! Oh…yeah. The Mokvar business! Right. That’s…that’s what I’ve been doing, all right. Red-handed, yes sir. That is indeed the entirety of my suspect behavior, absolutely. Don’t, um, don’t know what I was thinking, chief! (slapping his own hand repeatedly) Bad! Bad Spazzle!
GARROSH – Dude, seriously, you are so fucking weird sometimes.
(Everyone’s so upset today! It makes me sad. =( )
JI – Garrosh, you shouldn’t be angry with Spazzle. I was the one that—
GARROSH – Believe me, Deep-Dish, there’s PLENTY of blame to go around. From what I can tell, you’ve BOTH been keeping plenty busy. MATTER OF FACT – Krog, you wanna give them the short version before they start getting a case of patchwork memory?
KROG – Yes, sir. (flipping through a note pad) Shortly after Eitrigg banished Mokvar—
GARROSH – Only good move the old prune made while I was away, by the way.
KROG – …Fizzletrinket was observed meeting with Mokvar and the human Deliana in Everlook, Winterspring.
SPAZZLE – Wait, how did you trail me to Everlook?
KROG – I’m a rogue. Work it out.
SPAZZLE – But why were you observing me?
KROG – I observe everyone.
GARROSH – He’s very thorough.
SPAZZLE – But I hadn’t done anything—
GARROSH – Until you did?
KROG – To continue… (flipping through pad again) No unusual behavior observed until some weeks later. A short time after the purge of Dalaran, Fizzletrinket is known to have reached out to Earthen Ring contacts in and around Orgrimmar. Shortly thereafter, Firepaw observed traveling to Earthen Ring outpost in Twilight Highlands. Subsequent investigation indicated Firepaw had approached Earthen Ring elders concerning locating Mokvar.
GARROSH – So. Here’s where one of you starts talking. I don’t really care which one.
(Mr. Goblin and Mr. Ji stared at the floor. Maybe they didn’t hear Mr. Warchief? Oh, or did someone drop something?)
GARROSH – Okay then. How about this. Why weeks of nothing, then all of a sudden you jump into Mokvar mode? Was it a signal? Some message he got to you somehow, maybe something you planned for at your little get-together in Winterspring?
JI – We haven’t heard anything from Mokvar, no…
GARROSH – I know he gave you something, Greenie. Some— what was it, Krog?
KROG – A small parcel, sir. Delivered to Fizzletrinket in Everlook. I wasn’t able to confirm what it was exactly.
GARROSH – Yeah. So…was that part of it? Or is it some other surprise I get to look forward to?
SPAZZLE – It… it was a totem.
GARROSH – Go on.
SPAZZLE – It’s called a recall totem. Shamans attune themselves to them so they can teleport back home with their Astral Recall spell.
GARROSH – And Mokvar was giving it to you because…?
SPAZZLE – So… when this was all over…he could bring himself home.
GARROSH – Oh, so you mean, back home to the place he got himself BANISHED from? And you just went right ahead and helped him set up to pop back into town and do spirits-knows-what he’s planning?
SPAZZLE – It doesn’t really matter at this point…
JI – You don’t know that.
GARROSH – What the hell does that mean?
SPAZZLE – The totem… the totem went out. It fizzled out. The spirit link between Mokvar and the totem was broken, and the only reason that would happen is if Mokvar was dead. Like, for-real dead.
JI – We still can’t be sure.
SPAZZLE – You only say that because you’re not a shaman. You don’t understand.
JI – I say it because I’m not a pessimist.
SPAZZLE – Anyway. That’s…that’s why we were trying to reach the Earthen Ring. To see if there was any way to find out for sure what happened to Mokvar.
GARROSH – You just said he’s dead. What else is there to know?
SPAZZLE – (shrugging) I don’t know.
GARROSH – Huh. Dead. (thinks) Good then. Best news I’ve heard all day.
BEN-LIN – Garrosh, please—
GARROSH – Not now, Ben.
BEN-LIN – If he is indeed gone, there is nothing to be gained from—
GARROSH – Ben, CAN it. So. You two. Why?
SPAZZLE – (staring down) I guess I just wanted to believe there was a reason for all the weird things he was doing.
BEN-LIN – Garrosh, it does not appear there was really any harm in—
GARROSH – DAMMIT, BEN, STOP ACTING LIKE MOKVAR WAS SOME POOR INNOCENT VICTIM! I still don’t understand half the shit he was doing, but I don’t need to. Dealing with some human, with that Neeru Fireblade…most of all cutting some kind of deal with MAGATHA. You haven’t been around that long, Ben, so I don’t expect you to have any idea what that MEANS—
BEN-LIN – I understand your anger, Garrosh. But what Ji and Spazzle have done—
GARROSH – IS THE SAME DAMN THING. (glaring back at Spazzle and Ji) Listen… I can deal with the bitching from Baine. And I can take it from Lorthe’motherfucker, because what else would I expect from him? And I can take it from Sylvanas, because let’s face it, she’s kind of evil anyway. They come with the job. I inherited them. But THEM… Spazzle and Mokvar… I CHOSE them. I fucking LET THEM IN. And now—
BEN-LIN – And now you feel betrayed and angry. I understand.
GARROSH – Is this where you give me one of your speeches about pushing the anger down and burying it, or some shit?
BEN-LIN – Not at all. Your emotions are real and valid. They cannot be contained and ignored, or they will only fester; they must be let out, and dealt with.
GARROSH – Listen, you’re here to help me try to talk sense to Double Stuff over there, not to start fortune cookie-ing on me.
SPAZZLE – Look, chief, I get why you’re mad, and I’m sorry…
JI – I’m not.
GARROSH – (blinking) Excuse me?
BEN-LIN – (facepawing) And here we go.
JI – I’m not sorry. Mokvar is my friend. He’s your friend, too. I don’t know why you’ve chosen to forget that, but I don’t regret trying to help him.
GARROSH – Lunchbox, maybe you just haven’t been paying attention to what the fuck’s been going on, or maybe it all just slipped out of your damn head, what with all the bacon fat you’ve got up there apparently—
SPAZZLE – Whew, and I thought I was in trouble up to a minute ago.
GARROSH – …but I tried to help Mokvar too, when all the weird crap started happening. I tried to PROTECT him – and he thanked me by running around with at least two and maybe three or four of enemies. If he was such a great friend, you want to explain to me why he’d be dealing with the likes of Magatha? Riddle me THAT one, Pudge.
JI – I don’t know.
GARROSH – Yeah, so—
JI – That doesn’t mean he had no reasons for doing what he did. It only means we don’t know what those reasons were. Until I find out, why should I assume the worst?
GARROSH – Because you’ve got an ounce of sense in your head? OH WAIT, APPARENTLY YOU DON’T.
JI – Garrosh, I don’t know all of what Mokvar was doing, but I know he’s a good man. So whatever he’s done, I’m willing to trust it was what he needed to do.
GARROSH – Yeah, well, that’s great, Second-Serving, but you know what? Some of us have to live in fucking REALITY-LAND.
JI – Garrosh—
GARROSH – Seriously, Ben, do you hear this shit?
BEN-LIN – I do.
GARROSH – I don’t know where he gets this crap.
BEN-LIN – We study it, sir.
GARROSH – Yeah, well— what?
BEN-LIN – Consider, Garrosh: I know – well, I suspect – you are already familiar with the Huojin philosophy of action, that challenges are to be faced directly and decisively.
GARROSH – Yeah, I remember one of you people yammering about that when you first got here.
JI – That was me.
GARROSH – It was?
JI – Yes, sir. Right before you made us fight an arena full of monsters.
GARROSH – Ah. Well then.
BEN-LIN – And while we hold to this ideal of decisive action, Garrosh, another key component for us is that those actions be based upon the world as it is, not as the world as we might wish it to be.
JI – Otherwise, you expend your energy trying to force square pegs into round holes, then raging at the pegs for not fitting.
BEN-LIN – It is a point I have tried to make with you before, Garrosh. Much of your anger, I feel, stems from insisting of the world, “This is not supposed to be happening this way,” then attempting to force it to happen some other way.
GARROSH – Funny, I feel pretty sure it stems from the fact that I’m surrounded by TRAITORS AND FUCKING MORONS.
KROG – Um…
GARROSH – Not you, K.
BEN-LIN – “Traitors and morons,” as you put it—
GARROSH – FUCKING morons. Not just garden variety.
BEN-LIN – …being a perception, you see, grounded on the insistence that those people’s choices and intellects should be something other than they are.
GARROSH – I… erm… what the FUCK does any of this have to do with fucking ANYTHING? I don’t even know what we’re fucking TALKING about!
JI – It’s not that complicated, Garrosh. Things happen in the right way, at the right time – when you let them, rather than struggling against them. Mokvar needed to act. So he followed the path that the world placed before him. Just as I, faced with a friend in danger, acted by following the path that was available to me.
BEN-LIN – According to Huojin, the greatest wrong would be not to act.
GARROSH – Oh for fuck’s sake… Well, whatever, Heaping-Helping, your “paths” or whatever have reached a dead end.
JI – Actually, I’d wanted to ask you, I was thinking—
GARROSH – Well DON’T. DON’T think. Just do what you’re fucking told for once. Starting with parking yourself at home and staying there. (turning to Krog) Krog – escort Stay-Puft here back to his house, and make sure he stays there. I’ll have a guard sent over to keep an eye on the door.
KROG – Yes, sir.
GARROSH – Consider yourself under house arrest until I decide what to do with you.
JI – But I think there still might be a—
GARROSH – THERE’S NOT. THE END. Now GO.
JI – If you say so, Garrosh. Time will tell, I suppose…
(Mr. Krog left with Mr. Ji. I’m confused. Everybody seems so upset and nervous and they’re yelling and arguing and nobody seems to be getting along even though we’re all friends and I don’t understand why. It gives me sad kitty face. =( )
SPAZZLE – Really, chief, try not to be too hard on him. He’s just been worried since Mokvar disappeared, and—
GARROSH – Why are you talking like you’re off the hook now yourself?
SPAZZLE – Um…
GARROSH – You can count yourself lucky that, far as I can see, you’ve mostly just been the messenger in all this. And BOTH of you are lucky Mokvar’s gone to the big rez timer in the sky, otherwise I wouldn’t be nearly so generous with either one of you. But you, Short Stack, you can consider yourself under house arrest too while I cool down. Just so happens, I’m not so worried about you trying to skip town before I post the guard.
SPAZZLE – Uh…yeah, okay, chief… I guess I can keep myself busy online for a while, while you…you know…think things over.
GARROSH – I mean, seriously, with all the time you spend on Earth Online, you’ve practically been on self-imposed house arrest almost the whole time I’ve known you. You’ll live.
BEN-LIN – I think it is wise that you are not rushing to a decision with angry, Garrosh.
GARROSH – Yeah, whatever, Ben. Anyway, Spazzle, you get your tail back home pronto. I need to go track down Faranell and see if he’s finished those tests on Shayari yet.
BEN-LIN – Shayari?
SPAZZLE – Yeah, she’s… (stopping himself, looking to Garrosh) Um, that is…
GARROSH – (shrugging) Whatever, I’d end up telling her anyway. Shayari’s my daughter. We think.
BEN-LIN – Your… you have a daughter, Garrosh?
SPAZZLE – It’s okay if you need to sit down. I did at first.
GARROSH – Yeah, we think so. Faranell’s doing his tests now, but her story seems to check out.
BEN-LIN – I see. (thinking) Well then. I will clear my schedule for the next week.
GARROSH – Turns out, she was born back in Nagrand when I was like eighteen, only I never knew about her until just a few days ago.
BEN-LIN – So…you have a long-lost, newfound…teenage daughter?
GARROSH – Yeah.
BEN-LIN – Very well. The next two weeks.
SPAZZLE – You haven’t heard the best part yet.
BEN-LIN – Oh dear.
GARROSH – Uh, yeah, she’s…kind of…well, her mother was draenei. Shayari was living with the Alliance in Dalaran until, you know, the shit hit the fan and Jaina kicked her out…
BEN-LIN – A month. One month, but that is as far as I can go.
GARROSH – Anyhow. I need to go find the doc. Might as well get this confirmed, as if there’s any doubt left at this point, what with how Mortimer is doting over her. I’ll expect you back at your house before the guard gets there. Don’t make me come looking for you, Greenie.
(Mr. Warchief left, still grumbling a little.)
BEN-LIN – A daughter… why that is… How old did you say she is?
SPAZZLE – Seventeen, I think.
BEN-LIN – Goodness, that is…that is simply remarkable! And he had no idea until now?
SPAZZLE – You wouldn’t ask that if you’d seen the shade of gray he turned when he found out.
BEN-LIN – My word… This is astounding! Garrosh reunited with an unknown daughter, from across faction lines! I scarcely have words for it!
SPAZZLE – Huh. You know, not for anything, but you seem really jazzed about this.
BEN-LIN – Are you kidding? (beaming) This is going to put my grandchildren through college.
[A quick update on the Transmogs for Shayari contest! First of all, thank you to the many readers who have already sent in outfits for Shay – they’ve been great so far, so keep them coming! I just wanted to correct an error that I noticed in the original announcement: I had listed the deadline for the contest as Saturday, February 27. This is problematic, in that February 27 is not a Saturday. Don’t ask me what happened there. I was probably having another one of my many episodes. At any rate, I figure I may as well err on the side of giving people more time rather than less, so let’s revise the due date to the next Saturday after the 27th, which would be March 1.
I think. Hang on.
<checks calendar all paranoid-like>
Yes, there we go. So, officially: the deadline for the Transmogs for Shay contest is SATURDAY, MARCH 1! Get thee to mogging!]