Archive for a’dal

Moments of transition

Posted in Comics, Transcripts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

cloudfall1

After the last straw that was Garona’s report the other day, I decided that enough was enough.  I’d spent enough time flying half blind though everything and not calling in every possible resource.  So today I took a trip back to Tian Monastery to get some answers out of that Elder Cloudfall guy about this “destiny” I’m supposed to have.  This time I wasn’t taking no for an answer – if I had to beat some answers out of his cryptic panda ass, so be it.

I brought Ben-Lin along for the trip, since I figured she seemed to get along well enough with Cloudfall the last time, and maybe having her in tow might make it a little easier to bring him around.  I also brought Taktani, to take her first crack at transcribing…and Gurtash, too…you know, just in case.

Luckily, this time, Cloudfall was out strolling around the grounds when we arrived, so we didn’t have to waste time tracking him down.  So…over to Tak…

 

(We landed at the monastery place and everybody got all excited to see a pudgy fuzzy panda man going for a walk.)

GARROSH – It’s Elder Cloudfall!  Yay!

GURTASH – Yay!

BEN-LIN – Yay!

TAKTANI – I don’t know who that is, but yay too!

CLOUDFALL – Hi, Mr. Warchief!  It’s really good to see you again because I guess we’ve met before, only Tak wasn’t there for that.  But I bet it was fun!

GARROSH – It was!

BEN-LIN – Lots of fun!

CLOUDFALL – Oh that’s good!  I’m so glad I didn’t miss it!

TAKTANI – Aw, I guess I did miss it!  I’m sorry I wasn’t there too!

CLOUDFALL – Me too!

GURTASH – Me too too!

BEN-LIN – But you’re here now, Tak!

TAKTANI – Yay!

GARROSH – Yay!

CLOUDFALL – Yay!

GARROSH – Well I’m sure super happy to see you again, Mr. Panda!  Hold on a minute, I have to talk to Tak!

(So that’s when Mr. Warchief asked to look at my transcript to see how I was doing do far, and he got really mad for some reason and yelled at me, and I’m not going to write those things down because I don’t want to make Mr. Warchief look mean and then people might not like him as much.  But he told me I should just try to write down exactly what everyone says, word for word, and not – oh here, I can just show you!)

GARROSH – So, yeah, Tak, you should just try to write down exactly what everyone says, word for word, and not do these…embellishments or translations into Tak-speak or whatever, okay?

(See?  So I guess I’ll try to do that because I don’t want Mr. Warchief to get mad again, especially after some of the things he said he was going to do, they sound like they would hurt.  But I don’t want you to think Mr. Warchief is mean!  He probably just didn’t sleep too well and that’s why he’s grumpy.  Maybe he needs a new bed because he maybe doesn’t sleep well a lot.  Anyway I guess being a scribe is really serious so I’d better try to concentrate.)

CLOUDFALL – It’s a pleasure to welcome you once again to Tian.  Lady Cloudstrider, and Gurtash, I believe?

BEN-LIN – The pleasure is mine, Elder.

GURTASH – Oh wow, you remember me?

CLOUDFALL – Indeed!  I never forget a face, or a name.

GARROSH – Oh great, another guy with an uber-memory.  Nothing ever goes wrong with those guys.

(I didn’t understand what that meant but Mr. Warchief gave me a mean look when he saw I was going to ask something.  Maybe Mr. D and Mr. U can explain later.)

CLOUDFALL – One face is unfamiliar to me, however, Warchief Garrosh.  Tell me, who is your feline friend?

GARROSH – Oh…yeah.  Her.  This is Taktani.  She’s helping spot Gurtash a little as my scribe and record-keeper.

TAKTANI – Hi, Mr. Panda!  It’s nice to meet you!  You can call me Tak!  Or Tak-Tak, if that’s the way—

GARROSH – Don’t get started on that shit again.

TAKTANI – But Mr. Warchief, I just—

GARROSH – Anyway, she’s kind of in her trial period.  Her really, really tenuous trial period.

CLOUDFALL – Ah, well, I’m sure she’ll perform admirably.

GARROSH – That’s because this is your first time meeting her.

( 😦 )

CLOUDFALL – In any case, I should provide an introduction in kind.  You all remember our hozen friend, I’m sure.

(Oh I forgot to mention there was a monkey man, like the one at our fort, walking with Mr. Panda!)

CLOUDFALL – Taktani, allow me to introduce Zhi-Zhi.

ZHI-ZHI – Much pleasings to be making your acquaintances.

TAKTANI – Your name is Zhi-Zhi, Mr. Monkey?

ZHI-ZHI – The emphasizings should be on the first syllable, but yes.

TAKTANI – So we do say everyone’s name twice here!

BEN-LIN – No, Taktani, we say people’s names normally here.  It is simply a naming tradition among some of the hozen.

TAKTANI – Oh, I think that’s what Mr. D and Mr. U were telling me before.

GARROSH – I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but yeah, Dontrag and Utvoch were right.  So…congratulations, universe.  You win again.

BEN-LIN – Oh, is that who “Mr. D and Mr. U” are?

GARROSH – Yeah, Ben.  You’ve met them?

BEN-LIN – Briefly, yes.  I only was able to speak with them for a short time before I needed to go due to the mysterious onset of a terrible headache.

TAKTANI – I’m sorry you didn’t feel good.  Are you better now, Ms. Ben-Lin-Lin?

BEN-LIN – I am, thank you.

TAKTANI – Or is it Ms. Ben-Ben-Lin?

BEN-LIN – Although I believe it may be returning.

GARROSH – Tak, just zip it and try to focus on the scribing, okay?

TAKTANI – Okay, Mr. War-war-chief-chief.  Chief.

GARROSH – THAT’S NOT HOW NAMES WORK HERE.

BEN-LIN – It is a curious thing, Garrosh: there are times when I would swear that you are, in fact, heroically even-tempered.

GURTASH(leans over to me)  Make sure you get that down.

CLOUDFALL – Zhi-Zhi, while our guests are here, why don’t you take Gurtash’s mount to the stable.  Do you have your wyvern with you as well, Warchief Garrosh?

GARROSH – Mortimer?  No, not here with us.

(Elder Cloudfall waved to Mr. Zhi, and Mr. Zhi led Gurtash’s wyvern away.)

CLOUDFALL – I’m surprised, Warchief.  You seemed rather attached to the animal; I would have thought you would bring him with you.

GARROSH – Well, I rode him out here for the trip.  But there was a pond with some cranes nearby and so I figured I’d let him go do some hunting for lunch while we were here.

CLOUDFALL – Oh…Warchief Garrosh, I’m not sure if that was wise.  The Jade Forest is full of predators.

GARROSH – And?

CLOUDFALL – Well…are you not worried that your wyvern will be harmed?

(Mr. Warchief and Gurtash turned and looked at each other for a minute, and then they both burst out laughing really hard.  Mr. Warchief laughed so hard he had to lean on Gurtash and I think he even cried a little.)

GARROSH – Yeah, we…we better go find him.

GURTASH(barely getting the words out between laughs)  He might be in trouble, Captain!

GARROSH – From all those predators!

CLOUDFALL – Warchief Garrosh?

GARROSH – I love you pandas.  Don’t ever change.

CLOUDFALL – Ah.  Well then…to what do I owe the pleasure of your visit today?

GARROSH – Yeah, right, down to business.  It’s pretty simple, Elder.  We all know you and monkey boy have seen something about my future in those…whatever…vision caves or whatever you called them.  Last time I was here, I let you squirm out being all cryptic and evasive, but I need answers, and this time around you’re going to give them to me.

CLOUDFALL – Warchief Garrosh, surely you cannot expect me to lay out your future for you.  Nothing has changed since—

GARROSH – Listen, Lunchbox, last time you told me that when I was “ready,” we would meet again.  Well check it out, here we are, meeting again, and believe me, I’m ready as all fuck.

CLOUDFALL – You may be ready to hear, Warchief, but I still question whether you are ready to meet the fate before you.

GARROSH – How about you let ME worry about that, Deep-Dish?  Tell me what you’ve seen, for starters, and we’ll take it from there.

CLOUDFALL – It’s not as simple as you would presume.  You don’t understand the nature of the visions.

GARROSH – Illuminate me.

(Mr. Cloudfall just stared at Mr. Warchief all serious for a minute.  I hope he’s not getting a headache too!)

CLOUDFALL – Let me try to explain this, Warchief Garrosh.  The visions I spoke of provide a piece of the future, but they do not spell out events step by step.  They are fragments – as if you were to look at a painting, but only see the reds and yellows, but not the blues or greens.  They are pieces without context.

GARROSH – “Context”?  Are you serious?  You’re going to stonewall me over fucking CONTEXT?

CLOUDFALL – Warchief Garrosh, context is the solitary line that separates an act of barbarism from an act of kindness.  Even were I of a mind to tell you—

GARROSH – Listen to me.  You only just met us, so I don’t expect you to understand what’s at stake here.  So yeah, you know what?  Context.  So let me explain this to you.  You want to dance around what the future holds?  My people are in the middle of a war to DETERMINE their future.  And you do NOT want to know what I’ve already sacrificed trying to secure.  And meanwhile, I’ve got the people who are supposedly on MY side in all this running around behind my back, undermining me at every turn, cutting deals with my worst fucking enemies for what reasons I can’t even guess.  I NEED TO KNOW what the fuck is going on with all this.

CLOUDFALL(sighs)  To know anyone’s fate is a dangerous prospect, but to know one’s own

GARROSH – Are you worried about spoilers, Gramps?  Well, here, maybe this will help – I’ve already been spoiled.  I’ve already had one person take a peek into my future and come back with a report.  He told me “they” were going to turn against me.  And now it looks like he was right, only maybe he wasn’t.  I don’t fucking KNOW.  And I’m trying to look out for an entire fucking CIVILIZATION, and THESE are the things I’m having to spend my time thinking about.

(Mr. Panda got very quiet and mostly just looked at the ground.  I think maybe he didn’t want to make Mr. Warchief any more upset.  Or maybe he was sad to hear lots of people are being mean to Mr. Warchief.  That’s not very nice even if he does get grumpy sometimes.)

GARROSH – Listen, I get that you’re worried about giving away too much, or telling me things that I’m not going to be able to make sense of.  But there’s got to be some chunk of it that I can latch on to.  Give me SOMETHING.

CLOUDFALL – I wasn’t lying when I said that the visions were mere fragments.  Incomplete – not least of all because the events surrounding them are still in motion, still in flux…

GARROSH – How about this, then.  You and monkey boy both said I have a destiny.  The first time I met Chimps, he kept calling me “the one.”  Let’s start there.  What the fuck was he talking about?

(The Elder man got quiet again and rubbed his chin while he stared down for a minute.)

CLOUDFALL – You…are the one who brings the peoples of the Horde together under a common cause.  The one who sets in motion the events that bring about the emergence of a new Horde, a rebirth…

(Mr. Warchief looked all happy and proud.  I don’t blame him!  He’s going to be a hero!  Yay!)

GARROSH – Okay, so, why in the FUCK would you not want to tell me THAT future?

CLOUDFALL – Because you don’t know how you get there.

(Uh oh, Mr. Warchief got all serious again and looked at Mr. Panda all impatient.)

GARROSH – And…?

CLOUDFALL – And neither do I.

GARROSH – You’re about to get cryptic on me again, aren’t you?

CLOUDFALL – I’ve seen the reds and the yellows of your future, Warchief Garrosh, and I know that you stand upon a fulcrum: the choices you will make in the days ahead will determine how your destiny takes shape.  For now, I do not know the shape of that future or where it will take you.  I know only that it is born in pain.

GARROSH – Yep, I called that one.

CLOUDFALL – Warchief Garrosh?

GARROSH – Whatever.  The important thing is, as long as I know the Horde comes out strong on the other side of this, I’m ready to deal with whatever pain it takes to get there.

CLOUDFALL – No.

GARROSH – What?

CLOUDFALL – I wasn’t lying about that last time, either.  You’re not ready for what’s coming.  (pauses, thinking)  But…I think I can help you.  If you’re willing to face the shadows I once told you weighed upon your steps.

GARROSH – If I say yes, will there be a point where this doubletalk of yours starts to make sense?

CLOUDFALL – It may.  And if it doesn’t, you’ll be no worse off than you are now, I suspect.

GARROSH – I’m all ears.

CLOUDFALL – This is not something I can tell you, but a journey I believe I can guide you on.  There is a place, far from here, where you may be able to see for yourself, and begin to face your destiny.

GARROSH – Man, you pandas really do love to lay it on thick, don’t you?  You’re on, though.  Where to?

C8_Page_01* Garrosh received this message from A’dal here, while accompanying Liadrin to Shattrath.

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Let’s do the time warp again

Posted in General, Transcripts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

It was late when we arrived in Dalaran.  After the bunch of us got off the Windrunner, Dranosh ordered Drok to take his crew and report to Bolvar and the Argent Vanguard to help however much he could.  As the ship made its departure, we got going to the Violet Citadel.

On the way, we passed through the center of the city.  It was an eerie sight for me.  In the middle of town, on the spot where there should have been the monument to the defeat of the Lich King, there’s a memorial honoring Tirion and the heroes who were lost with him in Icecrown Citadel.  Liadrin stopped for a minute and offered a prayer for the fallen.  Jaina.  Dontrag and Utvoch.  Saurfang.

A gnome was making his way around the city lighting all the lampposts when we arrived at the Violet Citadel.  Rhonin was waiting for our arrival and was pacing around in the main hall like a restless animal.  Liadrin started to break the news to him about Jaina, but Rhonin cut her off.  I think he already knew, as soon as he saw us walk in without her.

He took us upstairs, where he summoned a portal for us to the Caverns of Time.

 

 

People get so used to taking mage portals that before long they forget how disorienting they are at first.  You’re in one place, then there’s a flash of light, and for half a second you’re nowhere.  You feel this dizzying whoosh run through your whole body and you feel like you’re falling, and then all of a sudden you’re somewhere different.  New sights, new sounds, new everything.  After you’ve done it a few times, you learn to roll with it and regain your sense of direction quickly, but every so often, when you first arrive in a new place, something happens to throw you out of your routine and reminds you just how unsettling it can be.

The ground shook violently under our feet as we arrived at the Caverns of Time.  Not even just the ground – the walls, the ceiling, somehow even the air seemed to shudder around us.  Bronze dragons were racing around, and bunches of drakonids ran up the ramp toward the surface.  Anachronos was rumbling around, barking orders, rallying the cavern’s defenders.  I don’t think I’d ever seen him so animated.  After a minute, he spread his enormous wings and flew up the winding passageway with a handful of bronze drakes close behind.

In the middle of the chaos, Chromie teleported in right on top of us, talking a million miles an hour, and finally ushered us back to Soridormi, near the Hillsbrad portal, before teleporting away again.

 

SORIDORMI:  Thank the Titans you’ve made it.  We don’t have much time.

GARROSH:  Do I even want to ask?

SORIDORMI:  The Legion must have pieced together what we might try to do, as I’d feared.  They started their attack some hours ago.  We’ve been holding them back, but the battle has been a costly one.

The entire cavern quakes as shouts echo from the surface passageway.

DRANOSH:  Well, we brought you a present.

Dranosh steps back and gestures to Faranell, who is holding the Focusing Iris.

FARANELL:  <handing the Iris to Soridormi>  Will you be able to do it?

SORIDORMI:  <nods>  It will take me a few minutes to open the portal and stabilize it, but I can get you back to Southshore, yes.

DRANOSH:  Wait, Southshore?  What’s in Southshore?

LIADRIN:  A very long story

GARROSH:  Well now for the 50,000 gold question – what do we do when we’re back there?

MOKVAR:  Please don’t tell me we have to go in and kidnap old-Edwin and switch him with young-Edwin but also do something with original-young-Edwin while we’re at it to make sure old-us don’t still grab original-young-Edwin by mistake, because, I mean, not enough aspirin in the world.

LIADRIN:  Not to mention we would have to do something about the chameleon shard attunement in that case, if this Edwin doesn’t end up tending to it…

DRANOSH:  Is there a reason why everyone but me seems to know what’s going on wherever it is we’re going?

LIADRIN:  Honestly?  Because everyone but you was there the first time.

GARROSH:  We were all there before, Dranosh – the four of us, in old Southshore, about ten years ago.  That’s how all of this started.  That’s why the Legion and the Scourge are winning now.

LIADRIN:  None of this was ever supposed to happen.  It’s only happened this way because events in the past were altered, and have snowballed into what’s happening now.

DRANOSH:  <blinking>  Okay, I think I need a second here…

GARROSH:  While you’re doing that… Sori?  What’s the plan here?

SORIDORMI:  I can get you to Hillsbrad the morning of the last day you were there.  That’s when the disruption began.  And ultimately, this rests on Edwin.

FARANELL:  Oh great…

SORIDORMI:  You’re right, Mokvar; trying to switch off versions of Edwin would be far too complicated and leave too much room for something else to go wrong…

The cavern shudders again, more violently.

GARROSH:  Okay, this is sounding like we’re going for the simple approach.  I’m a big fan of the simple approach.

SORIDORMI:  Ordinarily, the one thing one must never do when traveling in time is to interact with oneself.  In this case, though, that’s exactly what Edwin will need to do: force a crossing of timelines between both – or rather, all – versions of himself present in that time.  If Edwin can make physical contact with both iterations of himself at once, it should short out the crossed lines and snap each version back to where he’s supposed to be.

LIADRIN:  That last morning – that was when future-Edwin broke past-Edwin out of Mokvar’s hex.

MOKVAR:  There’s our window.  They’ll both be within a few feet of each other.

SORIDORMI:  If he can do it, the shorting out should trigger both realities into resetting themselves and separating.

GARROSH:  You get all that, Doc?  Today’s your turn to save the world…

The ground shakes once again, and the cavern walls around the surface passage buckle.  A handful of bronze dragons rush down into the cavern, with a swarm of demons close behind.  Behind the initial wave of demon shock troops, Varimathras and Prince Malchezaar descend into the cavern.

CHROMIE:  <calling out while circling around the cavern in dragon form>  They’ve breached the cavern!  Fall back and regroup!  We have to hold them!

LIADRIN:  Soridormi, do you need all of us to go back?

SORIDORMI:  Edwin is the only one who has to go.

DRANOSH:  <to Liadrin>  I think that’s our cue for one last battle of the line.

Liadrin nods, draws the Ashbringer, and runs into a pack of terrorfiends, tearing through then with one spinning swipe of the blade.

<to Garrosh>  This was your mission from the get-go, Overlord.  Go see it through, and I’ll talk to you when it’s over.

Dranosh starts to turn to join the battle.

GARROSH:  Dranosh!

Dranosh looks back.  Garrosh looks at him in silence for a moment.

…Give them hell.

DRANOSH:  <smirks>  I don’t really think they’re running short.  <starts running toward the demons>  Now go be a hero – that’s an order!

Dranosh leaps into a group of felguards and bursts into a Bladestorm.

GARROSH:  You’re the boss.  Lok’tar, Warchief…

FARANELL:  Soridormi… I’ll try my best at this, but even if it works…

Soridormi nods to Faranell and starts to channel a spell through the Focusing Iris into the time portal.

Well…Garrosh said that…the other me may have thrown off the timeline without even meaning to, just because of what he knew.  But now me…I’ve seen so much, how do we know I won’t disrupt history all over again?

Soridormi reaches into a belt pouch and tosses a small tuber to Faranell.

SORIDORMI:  This is a Nepenthe Root.  Is grows only here in the Caverns of Time.  Eat it once you’re through the time portal; it will take an hour or two to take effect.  The root is a powerful purifier on the mind – its effects will ripple through your entire timeline, purging any memories out of synch with their natural timeframe.

GARROSH:  It’s not going to oops-mindwipe him completely, is it?

SORIDORMI:  No…the worst side effect he might experience would manifest itself as sporadic and random lapses of memory.

 

The demons continued flooding into the cavern while Dranosh, Liadrin, and the dragons fought to hold them at bay.  A group of doomguards managed to get all the way back to the Hillsbrad portal with us.  Mokvar, Edwin, and I managed to fight them off while Soridormi continued channeling her spell.  Once they were dead, Mokvar pushed his notes into my hands and said to take care of Edwin while he helped the rest with the demons, and ran off into the fight.

I looked past Mokvar as he ran into the fray and saw Dranosh going toe-to-toe with Varimathras, then leaping up and sending a Mortal Strike tearing straight into the dreadlord’s throat.  One more swing and he had Varimathras’ head off altogether.  He caught it, spun around, and sent it flying at Malchezaar — pointed so that the dreadlord’s horns pierced straight through Malchezaar’s eyes.

The portal glowed brighter as Soridormi poured more magic into it.  Then the ground shuddered again, and large chunks of the stone around the surface passage broke away.  With a demonic laugh announcing his arrival, Kil’jaeden, Lord of the Burning Legion, stepped down into the Caverns of Time and started walking directly toward us.

Liadrin tore through at least twenty demons with one of her Divine Storms, and ran between Kil’jaeden and us.  The demon lord extended his hand toward her, palm extended, and released a torrent of shadow magic.  Liadrin held the Ashbringer over her head and projected a shimmering shield of holy magic around herself.  The two stood there, facing each other down – Kil’jaeden kept pouring more power into his shadow torrent, Liadrin kept drawing on the Light and the power of the Ashbringer to hold it back.  As she exerted herself more and more, a gleaming white light shone out of the Ashbringer and around her whole body – and after a moment, just as Soridormi called out to us that the time portal was ready, the glowing, pulsing light surrounding Liadrin sharpened into the shape of a naaru.

Liadrin looked back at us.  Her eyes were white and glowing.  For all the fighting and screaming and magic eruptions, I should never have been able to make out an individual voice, but just for a moment I could hear hers – in my head.  It was accompanied by a musical chiming, and echoed by a second voice, one I’d heard but not quite heard once before…the voice of A’dal.

We can’t hold him forever.  GO!

I grabbed Edwin’s arm and pulled him through the portal as the ground shook and the walls quaked.  The Caverns of Time disappeared in a dizzying rush of light, and the sounds of battle ringing in my ears faded into a memory of the future as I felt myself sliding back into the past.

I’ll see you on the other side.

Dying of the light

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

I haven’t talked about this much, but ever since Cromush and his people recovered that light crystal fragment from Southshore a few weeks ago, I’ve been in contact with Liadrin about it.  At first I let her hold it for safekeeping, since she was there from the get-go, and she seemed to have a better handle on what it was and what it can do than any of the rest of us.  Since then, she’s kept it with her up in Quel’thalas.

Not long after I handed it off to her, she brought it with her on one of her trips up to the Sunwell, so she could compare it with the holy energy radiating from the Sunwell ever since it was reignited by M’uru’s spark.  She says the two have basically the same feel, only that the fragment isn’t as potent.  Liadrin is pretty much convinced that the original dark crystal was the spark of a dying naaru, which the Knights of the Silver Hand partially restored by pouring holy magic into it.  Which means, now, that she believes the fragment she’s holding is a piece of a naaru’s soul.

Liadrin contacted me earlier this week and said she thinks that rather than holding the fragment, we should return it to the naaru, since it’s basically the spiritual remains of one of their own.  At first I wasn’t so sure about this – considering what we’d seen these crystals do, they could be incredibly useful against the Scourge or any other undead threats that might come along.  But then I got to thinking about what she says the fragment actually is – and, more importantly, thinking about the reason I was hesitant to give it up: basically I’d be saying we should hold the spirit of a once-living being captive, to leverage as a weapon against our enemies, rather than letting its kin lay it to rest, or do whatever they do with their dead.

I’ve been on the other side of that scenario.  Not long ago.  And I may be a lot of things, but I outright refuse to become THAT.

So, I ended up agreeing to her suggestion.  Liadrin said the best option was to bring the fragment to A’dal himself, and she invited me to go with her for the trip.  So yesterday morning I met up with her and had one of our mages portal us directly to Shattrath.

It wasn’t the first time I’d been to Shat, obviously, but usually when I’d gone there, I’d passed through fairly quickly.  I never really stopped in at the Terrace of Light or met A’dal before.  Liadrin took it as an occasion to give me a proper introduction – I think she kind of enjoyed showing off the fact that she on semi-kinda-sorta-friendly terms with our big glowy friend Captain Chandelier – and play up what a valuable “ally of the Light” I’d become, whatever the hell that means.

Liadrin did most of the talking.  She approached A’dal, got out the crystal fragment, and started giving the short version of where we’d gotten it.  Every so often she would pause for a minute, then go on talking some more.  Seemed like she was having a conversation, only I was hearing just one side of it.  She’d warned me beforehand that A’dal communicates through telepathy rather through actual audible sound, so I understood what was going on, but knowing in advance didn’t stop it from being a little unnerving to watch.

Still, watching it wasn’t nearly as unnerving as EXPERIENCING it.  After Liadrin ran through the story of what happened to us in old Southshore, I started to…well, “hear” isn’t the right word exactly, but I don’t really have a better one.  So…I started to hear this echoing, musical chiming in my head, strange and soothing all at once.  Then a calm voice forming words – except, as an echo, almost.  It was like I THOUGHT of the words myself, as if I were reading them, only without there actually being a book there to read, and then AFTER I already had the words in my mind, just by half a second, THEN the voice would echo them, flowing through my thoughts like a river.

Like I said, Liadrin had warned me about this, but no amount of warning could really prepare you for what it’s like.  I wonder if anyone ever really gets used to it.  A’dal echoed some words of thanks into my head, and a few other comments about it being good that I finally came to meet him, that he’d been aware of my passing my passing passing gnas my eh passing aware emit passing ot edo passing of latrommi na of emit ot edo na ni secalp rieht ot sevlesmeht hcatta youre ot welf dna sdrow elbahsirepmi etihw drah meht gnikam sih the tuohtiw enalp a morf sgnivahs ekil sllehs ekil llef spil boss sih morf dna mih revo sehcir sti deruop ksuh sti tilps emit drow stone eht aizer stone dias cracking stone emit cracking si cracking ti cracking cracking stone cracking stone while the floor shook under us.  Shatari guards raced across the Terrace to hold the breach, only to have half their number immediately taken out by a shadow volley.  As they fell, a demonic laugh echoed through the chamber – another thunderous crack, and an enormous chunk of the wall crumbled away.

From the other side of the fallen wall, Doom Lord Kazzak stepped into the Terrace.  As he took his first step in, he lashed the Warblade of Archimonde through a dozen more Sha’tari guardians, slaying them immediately, and he let out another laugh as he fed off their deaths to swell up that much larger.  Dozens of doomguards and man’ari rushed into the Temple from behind Kazzak.  Beyond the walls all I could see was smoke and flame.  Screaming voices came from every direction.

Liadrin tore through a wave of demons with a Divine Storm – barely even taking notice of them as she plowed through – and I took down a few myself with a whirlwind while we both closed in on Kazzak.  He deflected a few of our blows with his blade, while some of them glanced off his legs without seeming to hurt him much.  All the while I could hear a sound, higher and higher pitched, bubbling up in my mind, flowing and piercing all at once, coming from everywhere and nowhere.  I took another swing at Kazzak, then looked over my shoulder.

A’dal was turning to face the Doom Lord.  All the times I’d been here, I’d never seen him move before.  But there he was, turning, rising, floating toward the fight, that white glow around him growing larger and brighter.  And then that musical, liquid voice echoing my thoughts back at me.

It is not your time.  Go.  Now.  Leave this place, and never return.

A blinding flash of white and yellow swelled out from A’dal and burst over part of Kazzak’s body.  The demon lord recoiled, and you could see half the flesh from one arm and shoulder and part of his face had been burned away by the holy light.  Kazzak bellowed angrily and lashed his blade into A’dal.  The naaru lurched back and you could hear a harsh crystalline chiming from his body – then he straightened himself and unleashed another blinding burst of white light around himself and Kazzak, this time leaving most of the demon’s body burned and scarred, muscle and sinew exposed.

Kazzak reared back and screamed out in pain, letting loose another shadow volley that knocked me back and left another dozen or so Sha’tari troops lifeless on the ground.  Kazzak burst into that booming laugh as he fed off the souls of the fallen.  He swelled up larger again, some of his wounds regenerating, and, growling angrily, he lunged at A’dal, tearing his Warblade through the heart of his crystalline shape – which shook, buckled, and finally…cracked.

The screaming in my mind was the most awful thing I’ve never heard.

The shattered pieces of A’dal spun in place, pulsing, as he started to glow even brighter.  Liadrin rushed to his side while Kazzak stepped back, shielding his eyes with his arm.  Finally the white glow erupted as broken crystal fragments split and scattered around the temple, strewn in every direction in the wake of a shimmering white shockwave that knocked Liadrin and me back.

I pulled myself together and ran over to check on her.  She was sprawled out on her back, eyes wide with shock.  Before I could offer my hand, she’d pulled herself up, staring across the room at Kazzak while muttering “He…he…”  She steadied herself, tightened her grip on the Ashbringer, then screamed out as she charged at the Doom Lord, her back glowing with holy wings while her eyes glowed with murderous rage murderous rage rage sllaf murderous emit rage glowed tnemides rage emos htiw rage with yvaeh ssalg with a morf sllaf pord a sa tniop a ot srepat youre emit tnadnep semoceb yaddim ta dleif a sa daerpsediw si hcihw the emit thgil gnicnad a htiw derevoc erutsap ynnus a si boss hcihw emit tniop a ot gnirepat emit si gnillaf pord siht htuoy ym gnisol htiw od ot gnihton times sah ton times si trying times gnillaf trying pord trying siht trying trying times trying times, he said, he had hope that I would see them through.  I wasn’t sure what to say back – can’t say I’d ever had an actual conversation with my own head before – so I just sort of nodded and thanked him, and by this point Liadrin looked to be ready to go, so we gave the big guy a last respectful bow and turned to leave.

As we were about to exit the Terrace, I heard – felt? – that chiming, flowing sound swelling up in my thoughts again.  It was A’dal offering a final thought, calling me by name as if it could be anyone else’s head he was reaching into.  One last sentence came echoing back to me, then silence.

If you go to Kypari Zar, you will die.

I have no idea what that was supposed to mean.  That is, other than the obvious.  I get the dying part.  But I’ve got no idea what the hell “Kypari Zar” is, or why I would go there, or how I’m supposed to make sure I don’t.  Mostly, though, I’m really starting to get sick of people being all fucking cryptic.

I started to ask Liadrin about it, but she stopped me and said what A’dal chooses to share with anyone is for that person alone.  Fat lot of good that does me, right?  Oh well.  Not going to lose sleep over it now.  I’ll burn that bridge when I come to it.

More soon.