30 Days of Character Development #7: Mokvar
[Periodically, a post will profile one of the blog’s many supporting players. (See the first profile for more details.) Feel free to chime in with recommendations for other characters you’d like to see more about.]
Occupation: Scribe; former advisor to the Warchief; former mercenary; currently between gigs, as it were.
Class: Warlock (currently and formerly), shaman (formerly)
Group affiliations: Horde (former citizen, currently banished), Earthen Ring (former member), Veiled Blade (former member)
Known relatives: Drulla (mother, deceased), Vokmar (father, deceased), ex-wife (heretofore unnamed)
Earth Online notes: Founding member and officer of Garrosh’s guild <Warchief>; presumably demoted from officer status since falling out of good graces with Garrosh, though it’s currently unclear if he’s actually been demoted or gkicked. Main toon is Bartleby (class unknown); has at least one alt, LamontCranston (not a member of <Warchief> and unknown by most of the guild, possibly all but Spazzle).
- Garrosh first mentioned Mokvar in the very early days of the blog, during an inspection trip to Ashenvale. After completing an aerial bombing run over Astralaan, the Warchief was most irate that Mokvar wasn’t able to adequately sketch him walking away from the resulting explosions; Garrosh ordered Mokvar back to Orgrimmar to train up inscription under pain of, well, pain. (Interestingly, the job of keeping visual records of some of Garrosh’s expolits would eventually fall to Gurtash in the form of his comics.)
- Mokvar would return a few weeks later in “Underneath the bunker” to record the first of many transcripts of the Warchief’s dealings. (Also of note is that this transcript marked the first appearance of Dontrag and Utvoch.) From that point on, Mokvar would frequently accompany the Warchief in his adventures, recording Garrosh’s discussions with such luminaries as Tirion Fordring (“Where did all the words go?”), Mylune (not once but twice), Garona and Johnny Awesome (“Awesome job, Mokvar”).
- Mokvar traveled back in time to old Hillsbrad with Garrosh, Liadrin, Faranell, and Utvoch in an attempt to trace the origin of a magic “anti-plague” that was devastating the Forsaken (The Anti-Plague of Southshore). While there, Faranell switched places with a past version of himself and inadvertently set off a series of events that would eventually cause massive disruptions to the timeline (Timequake). In the ensuing chaos, Mokvar was one of the only people to be aware of the changes that had occurred, and helped the Warchief reset history to its proper course. To this day, Mokvar remains one of the only people – along with Garrosh, Liadrin, and Faranell – who remembers the events that transpired in the other timeline. (Okay, yes, Utvoch remembers, too…but would you really bet your next paycheck on him understanding any of it?)
- Just before Garrosh left for Pandaria, Mokvar was attacked and killed under mysterious circumstances (“Death of the author”), though his death was made temporary by his ability to ankh as a shaman. This brush with death marked the beginning of the Mokvar saga that continues to this day; a detailed, post-by-post account can be found here, but here’s the semi-sorta-short version: In his mercenary days before coming to Orgrimmar, when he was a member of the Veiled Blade, Mokvar had acquired, then disposed of, a powerful warlock relic called the Nether Prism; now, years later, the Prism’s prior owner (the drakonid lord Valthalak) has sent spectral assassins after Mokvar in an effort to recover his prize. Mokvar reunited with old mercenary friend Deliana to try to recover the Prism, then launched into a run of suspicious, erratic behavior – traveling to Ironforge under diplomatic cover, then being charged with the murder of one of its citizens; turning for aid to Neeru Fireblade, then, even more damningly, Magatha Grimtotem; breaking out of Orgrimmar while under arrest, leading to his eventual banishment from the Horde.
- After Mokvar disappeared from Orgrimmar, he remained off the grid for several months, save for elemental indications to fellow shaman Spazzle that he may have met his final demise. Ji Firepaw, however, wasn’t willing to give up hope for Mokvar’s survival (and rightly so – did anyone really think that I was not only going to kill off Mokvar, but do so off-screen? Really?), and continued investigating Mokvar’s whereabouts. Ji’s search eventually led him to Blackrock Spire, where Mokvar made his dramatic, fel-infused return in “The scouring of the Spire.”
- True story: I originally introduced Mokvar not even as a real character, but as a plot device to justify inclusion of the transcripts. I realized early on that I wanted to include dialogue in the blog, but I didn’t feel like it would fit stylistically to have Garrosh writing it out as it would appear in a novel – one thing I try to maintain (with ranging degrees of success) is the appearance that Garrosh really is writing everything in the blog, as a blog, rather than a short-story-but-we’ll-call-it-a-blog-even-though-we-know-it’s-really-not-wink-wink. Mokvar as a scribe provided an excuse to include that extra material. Another true story: When I was first choosing Garrosh’s scribe, I pretty much went into Grommash Hold and semi-randomly picked someone who looked like he didn’t have much else to do. Who knew?
- For the fashion/transmog-minded among you: Mokvar’s warlock attire is roughly based on the Tier 9 warlock set.
- Mokvar’s Earth Online character, Bartleby, is a reference to the title character in Herman Melville’s short story “Bartleby the Scrivener.” (Scrivener = scribe!) Mokvar likewise references the story on a few occasions when repeats Bartleby’s signature line, “I would prefer not to.”
- For anyone who hasn’t pieced it together by this point: Mokvar’s close connection to Deliana is based on their parallel in-game roles. Pre-Cataclysm, Mokvar (in Orgrimmar) and Deliana (in Ironforge) were the questgivers who sent adventurers on the (very long and painful) quest chains to upgrade the old “Tier 0.5” dungeon sets. The two characters offered essentially the same quests, which provided the basis for much of the in-blog backstory about Lord Valthalak. (Valthalak’s spirit was the end boss for that quest chain, by the way, and for anyone who missed it during vanilla, fighting him at level was a NIGHTMARE.)
In his own words:
In there one event or happening you would like to erase from your past? Why?
My last job with the Veiled Blade, when we went into Blackrock Spire to collect Valthalak’s goodies. It turned out to be nothing but trouble, and cost most of us our lives – all of us, in fact, other than me and Deliana. (And strictly speaking, it cost me my life, too; it just didn’t stick. So, congratulations to Deliana for being the last one left standing. Was anyone running a pool?)
What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? Color? Song? Flower?
Tigule and Foror’s Lok’tar S’more-gar. Cerulean blue. The Lokvad’nod Broxigari. Any daisies I’m not pushing up.
Who do you trust?
After everything we’ve been through, I trust Deliana with my life. The same goes for Ji and Spazzle. I trust Thrall and Eitrigg implicitly, and I’ll probably always be grateful to Thrall for giving me a safe haven all those years ago. I trust Liadrin for her judgment, Saurfang for general badassery, and Garrosh…well, I trust Garrosh to be Garrosh.
I’m no Spazzle, but I’m good enough with technology to get by. I’m not really what you would call tech literate in the broad sense, but I do okay with specific tasks on specific devices; once I learn how to do something, I’m usually fine, but then I don’t like to stray too far from what I know, even if something new and better comes along. I still prefer to write by hand, but I usually end up having to type things out – people are always complaining about my handwriting.
How do you react to temperature changes such as extreme heat and cold?
Heat doesn’t bother me at all. I hardly even notice it. Cold, on the other hand… spirits, I hate the cold. You could not have paid me enough money to go to Northrend.
Are you an early morning bird or a night owl?
Neither, really. I have pretty strange sleep habits: I usually tend to sleep for 2-3 hours at a time, scattered around random times in the day. It’s a holdover from my mercenary days, when we would often have to be on the move on short notice; I developed the ability to sneak in what sleep I could when I could, and it’s stayed with me. So now you’re equally likely to catch me awake at some odd hour in the middle of the night, or asleep in the middle of the day. It’s the main reason why I don’t like surprise visitors. That and the recent habit that surprise visitors have been getting into of trying to kill me.
What’s your preferred means of travel?
On wolfback. I like feeling my feet on the ground…or at least my wolf’s feet, indirectly. If I have to fly, I’d rather take a zeppelin or gunship. I’ve never gotten completely comfortable on a wyvern (although I still prefer them to bats or dragonhawks or…well, I don’t know how people manage to keep their balance on those carpets). I’ll fly on one if I need to, and I have lots of times – it just makes me uneasy while I’m up there.
If you could time travel, where would you go?
Don’t even joke about that.
Are you superstitious?
I definitely believe that there’s something out there that’s either looking out for me, or has it in for me. I’m still not sure which. Check back with me again another time. Unless I’m dead, in which case we probably have our answer.
What might your ideal romantic partner be?
Someone calm, grounded. Stable. Not prone to emotional swings or extreme highs and lows. Someone who’s figured themselves out, gotten comfortable with themselves, grown out of the drama and the need for everything to be a thrill ride.
If your life were a genre, what would it be?
Pretty definitely something in the action/adventure area, or at least a suspense thriller. Be careful what you wish for, I suppose. Sometimes I think I should have listened to my mother and been a banker instead. When I was younger, I couldn’t wait to go out into the world and have adventures. Thirty years of adventures later, I think I’ve had more than enough excitement. I’d love to be bored. I’d love to settle down comfortably in a quiet corner of Orgrimmar once we get to the other side of all this, and age into some old man who everyone considers pretty dull and uninteresting, except for every so often when he rattles off another one of his crazy stories — which most of the kids probably won’t believe really happened anyway. I think I’ll enjoy that.