Contrary to what you surely believe…

Posted in Words from Behind the Curtain with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2015 by Garrosh Hellscream

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…I live!  Well, I live, as in me, Averry.  Garrosh…kinda lives?  Only he doesn’t?  Except…he still does, here?  Until he doesn’t.  It’s…it’s complicated.  You get the idea.

POINT BEING.  I’m still here!  While I hadn’t intended to go quiet for so long, it was partly by design that the blog went on an unofficial break during the holidays.  My plan was to take a little time off from posting and to use some of that down time to get material prepared for when I was ready to start up again.  My hope was that doing so would benefit everyone involved: for readers, fewer long gaps between posts, since updates would be at least partially prepared in advance; and for me, a bit of relief from the constant self-imposed pressure to keep the production line going as quickly as (or maybe even more quickly that) I can.  As much as I enjoy writing and drawing the blog, it felt at times last year like I was putting down railroad tracks while the train is coming up behind me — as soon as I would finish a post, as soon as it would go up on the site, my thoughts would immediately go to “Okay, hurry up, get the next one done, get the next one done.”  After a while, that can make an otherwise fun experience into something draining.  That’s not good for me, but it’s also not good for all of you, who deserve to get the best quality of work I can manage when you come here.

So, I decided to give myself a sabbatical over the holidays, which ended up carrying on for longer than I’d intended.  I’ve been keeping busy during that time, though, and have managed to get quite a bit in the pipeline to go live.  I don’t want to name specific dates here and now, only because I have a couple more very specific benchmarks that I want to clear before I resume the blog’s storyline, just to make sure I don’t stumble into a new delay.  But NEW STUFF is imminent (and we’re talking about a matter of days, not weeks)!  So, in the interest of stirring you all up and whetting your appetites, you will soon get to look forward to…

  • Mokvar’s saga concludes!  We’ll be seeing the rest of what befell everyone’s favorite shaman-turned-warlock scribe at the hands of Kanrethad and Jubeka, then how the whole expedition to Blackrock Spire ends.demons  (Not without a surprise or two…)
  • Garrosh’s Earth Online guild, <Warchief>, has its first raid night!  Listen in on the happenings in guild chat when the 10-man team marches into the notorious Earth Online raid, Black Friday!
  • Remember years ago during Children’s Week, when you escorted that blood elf orphan salandria1around the world, and eventually learned she was being adopted by Lady Liadrin?  Well, Salandria is a teenager now, and is about to join the ever-expanding supporting cast.  (Shayari needs a peer to hang out with, right?)
  • Not to get too far ahead of ourselves, but after dropping the ball during last April’s National Poetry Month, the Warchief has plans for this year.  EPIC VERSE on the way…and, throughout the month of April, no shortage of it!
  • Naturally, interspersed through all of this will be more “30 Days” character profiles — and for our next one, you even get a say in who gets spotlighted.  Take your pick of supporting characters, and make your voices heard:
  • It’s been far too long since the Warchief dipped into his reader mail, so expect a new mailbag soon — in fact, you should make a point of contributing!  E-mail Garrosh at garrosh1337@gmail.com with your thoughts, questions, or general goofiness!  And, to make sure the ever-popular mailbags don’t have any more long gaps, I’m committing to a schedule for them going forward: the first Monday of each month, you can look forward to a “Monday mailbag” post.  But remember, the quality of Garrosh’s responses hinges on the quality of his mail — so get thinking!
  • Speaking of responding to reader inquiries… mark your calendar!  To kick off the “restart” of the blog, Garrosh will be fielding your questions on many and sundry topics, live (sort of) and in person (kind of) this Sunday night (February 15) — in an “ASK GARROSH” LIVE BLOG!  Starting at 8:30 PM EST, the Warchief will respond to questions submitted by you, his LOYAL READERS AND MINIONS, on the spot as they come in.  You can send your inquiries through e-mail, on Twitter (@GarroshHllscrm), via Garrosh’s page at Ask.fm, or through comments on the live blog page itself.  What you shouldn’t do, though, is send them in advance — once the live blog begins, I’ll be (um, I mean, Garrosh will be) responding to questions completely on the fly, sans preparation.  Let’s see what I can come up with on the spot, and/or how badly I fall on my face!

I know 2014 was a rather rough and uneven year for WCB.  I appreciate all of you hanging in there, and the continued support and friendship I’ve received from many of you.  Granted, 2015 is off to something of a belated start, but hopefully I’m in a position to stay on top of things better than I had been.  (Very likely, I’ll continue to build occasional posting breaks into the blog to let me get a jump on things again, but I’ll try to be better about letting you all know when those will be.)  Garrosh’s adventures continue…and, frankly, I can’t say I’m all that disappointed that drawn-out posting is keeping him alive in the blogosphere well past his in-game expiration date.  He’s a character I would never want to live with, but he’s way too fun to live in.

Be seeing you,

Averry

Times change

Posted in Comics with tags , , , , , , on November 24, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

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[To commemorate the release of Warlords of Draenor, we’re going to take a timey-whimey side trip from normal blog continuity* to check in on what Garrosh and his newfound buddy Kairoz got up to after skipping out on the trial in War Crimes.  As it happens, Garrosh and Kairoz didn’t take the direct route to Draenor — which those of you who listen to the Lorewalkers Roundtable podcast already know, courtesy of a number of letters Garrosh has sent in concerning his ongoing adventures across the space-time continuum.  I had actually intended to have this post up for the first day of WoD, but evidently those release-day technical issues were so pervasive that even the blog ended up being stuck in queue.  So it goes.]

[*For any newcomers: The blog is currently unfolding within the timeframe of Patch 5.2.  Think of it as comic book time.  If Aunt May can be an 80-year-old woman for 40 years, I can take my sweet time cranking out the silly.]

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30 Days of Character Development #8: Ruekie

Posted in 30 Days of Character Development with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

[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!]

 

Name:  Rue’kara (“Ruekie”)ruekie_profile1

Occupation:  Horde military trainee

Race:  Orc

Class:  Shaman (elemental)

Age:  15

Group affiliations:  Horde (citizen), Dead Peons Society (a.k.a. “DPS,” member)

Known relatives:  Norok (father), Ba’laka (mother), Tue’kara (“Tuekie,” twin sister), Gru’vak (younger brother), Shayis Steelfury (aunt), Saru Steelfury (uncle), Sumi (cousin), Tumi (cousin)

Earth Online notes:  Ruekie does not play Earth Online.  (She might be scandalized by trade chat if she did.)

First appearance:  “Dead Peons Society” (first appearance of the DPS as a group), “Underground farmer’s market” (first named appearance)

Key posts and plot points:

  • Ruekie and her sister, Tuekie, were among the group of “high aptitude” trainees whom Garrosh took under his direct supervision in “Being a role model is a full-time job” and who embraced the group nickname of “Dead Peons Society,” or DPS, in the eponymous post.  When Garrosh left Orgrimmar to join the Horde’s forces in Pandaria, he brought most of the trainees with him, including Ruekie.  (For one reason or another, a handful of the trainees stayed behind in Durotar, including Ruekie’s sister, rogue trainee Tuekie.)
  • Ruekie’s first named appearance in “Underground farmer’s market,” in which Garrosh found an Earth Online dollar-farming operation in Pandaria.  Ruekie had the relatively merciful idea of stopping the operation by pointing out to the young dollar farmers that Horde trainees were paid an allowance considerably greater than their modest pay, and, well, that was the end of that.
  • In “Departures,” Ruekie joined the rest of the DPS in Pandaria on what was meant to be a routine operation at the Temple of the Red Crane.  That was before A Little Patience happened, though, and Alliance forces routed the Horde troops at the temple. Ruekie and the rest of the DPS fled to a nearby system of caves, here Garrosh would eventually find them.
  • The trainees’ underground episode in Krasarang provided a few major Ruekie moments: Before Garrosh arrived, the DPS had encountered saurok in the cave, and during the ensuing battle, ruekie_profile4fellow trainee Lok’osh was killed; after Garrosh found the surviving trainees, an agonized Ruekie confided in the Warchief about her unsuccessful attempt to heal Lok’osh…leading to a rare “Garrosh has a soul” moment (“Don’t blame the healer”).  Later, during the group’s escape from the saurok caves, Ruekie’s command of the elements played a key role in bailing the Warchief out of a precarious position (“Exit strategy”).
  • Ruekie, as a shaman, has always been a devoted admirer of Thrall.  (As opposed to her more hawkish sister, Tuekie, who is an avid Garrosh fan. Perhaps a bit too much. Like, Garona-esque too much.)  In light of her relatively positive interactions with Garrosh during the Krasarang adventure, it’s anyone’s guess who she would side with now.  You know, in the unlikely event that those two should come into conflict somehow.
  • Ruekie maintains a Twitter presence at @RuekieShaman.  Her Twitter voice is provided by long-time reader and commenter Rakael, whose in-game character Ruekie is the basis for her in-blog namesake.  Many thanks to Rakael for generously allowing me to steal her orc alt baby for my own nefarious purposes here, and for her ongoing contributions to Ruekie’s character (many of which appear in this very profile).

In her own words:

Describe your relationship with your mother or your father.  Was it good?  Bad?  Were you spoiled rotten, ignored?  Do you still get along now, or no?

My parents…well, I can’t say we had a bad relationship, I guess, but they were pretty much just there and not much else.  After the orcs moved to Kalimdor, my family didn’t settle in Durotar.  Instead, ruekie_profile3they moved to Camp Taurajo in the Barrens, which is where they raised Tuekie and me.  They never really taught us about orcish ways or customs.  Most of the time they were too busy dipping into the felweed brownies or whatever.  So Tuekie and I ended up spending most of our time with the tauren.  Tuekie was more outgoing, more of an explorer, connected with other orcs more easily when they passed through the camp.  I kept to myself a lot more.  Living with the tauren is what got me started studying the elements.

How vain are you?  Do you find yourself attractive?

I…um, me?  Do I…well, not really, I guess.  I’m just me.  Um…  <blush>

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?  Color?  Song?  Flower?

Tigule and Foror’s Temple of Caramel-bor!  Brown (I know, not super exciting, but it’s soothing and reminds me of the earth).  Lakota’mani Girls (it’s a fun tauren festival song…people don’t seem to realize, but those tauren know how to throw a party!).  Marsh lilies.

Who do you trust?

I completely trust my teammates.  They’re really the first orcs I’ve hung around with on any kind of regular basis where I feel at home.  I’ll always admire Thrall as a shaman and for everything he did after the Cataclysm.  I didn’t really know what to expect from Garrosh when we started training with him, but he’s really done a lot to try to help us and take care of us.  Even me, when I really needed it.

Can you define a turning point in your life?  Multiples are acceptable.

I was too young to remember the internment – Tuekie and I were barely born when the orcs fled to Kalimdor – so that change in our lives didn’t really register.  The thing that really shook up everything was when Camp Taurajo was destroyed.  Afterward, we moved to Durotar and settled in well enough, but the memory of fleeing across the Barrens – not knowing where we were going, looking around wondering if Alliance were about to come for us, still smelling the smoke from the village – will stick with me for as long as I live.  Camp T was the closest thing to a home I ever knew.  Spirits keep you, Omusa.

ruekie_profile2Is there an animal you equate to yourself?

A wolf!  Spirit puppy FTW!  Awooo!

What does your bed look like when you wake up?  Are the covers off on one side of the bed, are they all curled around a pillow, sprawled everywhere?  In what position do you sleep?

The covers are usually off to the side even before I go to sleep.  I get too hot with them most of the time.  I sleep in kind of a weird position…it’s sort of hard to describe, actually.  Maybe it would be better for you to see it for yourself?  …  Why are you looking at me like that?  I just said…  <eyes go wide>  Oh jeepers!  I, um, no, I didn’t mean— that is— I’m not— Next question, please!  <blush>

How do you react to temperature changes such as extreme heat and cold?

I usually react by going “Oh dang!” because I just got tongue-tied and messed up the incantation for one of my fire or frost spells.

Are there any blood relatives that you are particularly close with, besides the immediate ones?  Cousins, uncles, grandfathers, aunts, etc.  Are there any others that you practically consider a blood relative?

I’m pretty close with my cousins, Sumi and Tumi.  They’re twins, too, by the way.  I guess it runs in the family.  Their mom – Shayis Steelfury – and my mom are sisters.  They all work down in the Valley of Honor.  Pretty much the only time I would come to Orgrimmar when I was little was when we would visit that side of the family.  My mom mostly tried to keep in touch with her relatives.  Father was pretty meh about it, though.

What does you desk/workspace look like?  Are you neat or messy?

It’s not really messy, but I feel like I’m always losing things just the same.  Like I’ll finish with something, and just put it down wherever I am, instead of things having a place where I’ll know to find them.

ruekie_garonaAre you superstitious?

Well, I mean, I talk to ancestral and elemental spirits, so I guess I’m kind of superstitious professionally.

What might your ideal romantic partner be?

Oh, I, um… Well, that would… You know what?  I…yeah, I don’t really talk about that with…who are you, anyway?  So that’s, um, that’s between me and my diary.  Which I keep hidden!  So don’t, like…you know… <blush>

What’s your favorite comfort food, favorite vice, favorite outfit, favorite hot drink, favorite time of year, and favorite holiday?

I love herbed mushroom salad.  (They grow some really great mushrooms in Feralas.)  Um, people have favorite vices?  Why?  Wouldn’t they rather be nice?  Anyway.  Um, my favorite outfit is probably my training uniform – it makes me feel like I’m on my way to being a real shaman!  There’s this Pandaren drink called kafa that I really like, even if it makes me kinda hyper.  Holiday…probably a toss-up between Hallow’s End and Winter Veil!  Candy and presents!

 

Previous Profiles:

  1. Spazzle Fizzletrinket
  2. Ben-Lin Cloudstrider
  3. Dontrag and Utvoch
  4. Taktani
  5. Korrina
  6. Mylune
  7. Mokvar

 

On the last night before the patch, trainees Giska, Korrina, Kulkesh, and Ruekie pay a final visit to their mentor. (Presumably, Gurtash was stuck taking the picture.)

On the last night before the patch, trainees Giska, Korrina, Ruekie, and Kulkesh pay a final visit to their mentor.
(Presumably, Gurtash was stuck taking the picture.)

Pursuing the Black Harvest

Posted in Comics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

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 CONTINUED SOON…

*   *   *

[Two quick notes!  First, after more than a little cajoling from certain individuals who know who they are, I’ve set up a DeviantArt account under the GarroshHllscream name (same as the Garrosh Twitter, just sans the @).  Think of it as Gurtash’s sketchbook — I’ll likely use it to toss up various odds and ends: character sketches, requests (want to see your character Gurtash-style?), work-in-progress glimpses of upcoming comics (perhaps as reassurance that something is in the works when I have a lull), and whatever else might come to mind.  Don’t worry, I realize that I’m posting content to the blog at a slower pace than I would like, so I don’t intend to let myself become overly distracted by the new toy; the DA account will serve to complement the blog, not compete with it.  Hopefully folks will enjoy having the occasional peek at what Gurtash is working on.

That said, I’m getting the page started with a holiday rendition of one of our trainees — Ruekie, decked out in her Hallow’s End costume.  I’d planned costumes for the other trainees, and may still try to get one or two of them done before the day is out.  Time will tell!

Meanwhile, we’re coming down to the last few days before the final meta raid weekend prior to the release of Warlords of Draenor!  I just wanted to remind folks that we’ll be planning to do something — hopefully one last Siege of Orgrimmar — on Saturday, November 8.  Mark your calendars!  With the imminent release of the new expansion, this will likely be the last meta raid proper that we’ll be doing for quite a while, though we might still carry on with other random shenanigans in the future…]

Out of the frying pan, into the Firelands

Posted in Comics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

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* Mokvar pulled a sneaky bait-and-switch with Ji to keep Mylune from…detaining him at the Sanctuary of Malorne.

** Neeru Fireblade pointed Mokvar in the direction of the Council of the Black Harvest, and Ritssyn specifically, here.  As the green fire veterans among you may recall, Ritssyn and Zinnin were dispatched to the Firelands by Kanrethad Ebonlocke.

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* As Mokvar has detailed, the Nether Prism is a warlock relic which he had acquired years ago in Blackrock Spire; when its powers proved stronger than he could handle, he passed the prism off to the imp Vi’el, a collector or rare magic items, in Darkwhisper Gorge.  When Mokvar and Deliana returned to Winterspring to try to recover the Prism, however, they found Vi’el had been killed and the Prism was nowhere to be found.

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Tweeting dryad, bleating crone

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

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So, a quick aside.

Not to derail this whole thing that’s going on with Mokvar and Blackrock Spire, but after last time, with that little cameo we have from Little Miss Crazy-Nymph up in Hyjal, hoo boy, did the shit ever hit the fan on Twitter.  It started innocently enough with a comment from reader and frequent commenter Shen Wei Pureblossom, and… um… things went downhill fast.  Including appearances from a bunch of familiar faces.

And…well…here:

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Heh.  Hehehe HA!

I tell you, Magatha getting fucked with never, ever gets old.

Resuming our regularly scheduled…stuff…soon.

 

 

[A huge thank you to @ShadoPanShammy, @Mylune_, @Ji_Firepaw, @Wyvern_Mortimer (yes, really), and @M_Grimtotem — all of whom you should follow, by the way — both for providing the enormous entertainment that was this exchange, and for allowing me to reproduce it here.  More Twitter lunacy to follow in short order, I’m sure.]

 

In which Ji has kind of a rough week

Posted in Comics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

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* Spazzle spilled the beans (well, most of them) about Mokvar here, after Krog reported on Spazzle’s clandestine meeting with Mokvar in Winterspring.

** While being held in Orgrimmar, Mokvar and Deliana carried out an escape plan when Ji let himself be knocked out to distract the Kor’kron guards.  Spazzle reported on all this (to you folks at home, not to Garrosh…yet) here and here.

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* Garona revealed to Mokvar that she was shadowing him early on, when she intervened to protect him during an attack by spectral assassins.

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* That would be the aforementioned clandestine meeting with Spazzle.

** Oh, Mylune.  Garrosh crossed paths with everyone’s favorite bunny-hugger at the Sanctuary of Malorne in a rather memorable encounter here.  And, what the hey, might as well link back to the other times he’s run into her, in Mulgore and at an ill-fated anger management seminar (for the uninitiated among you: yes, really).

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