Archive for ahn’qiraj

Live Blog: Storming the Bastion

Posted in From the Desk of Saurfang with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

Citizens of the Horde,

I write to you today from our staging ground at the Twilight Citadel.  As you are no doubt aware, as I write these words to you, we are about to launch our incursion into the Bastion of Twilight; once underway, my chirographically proficient aide Mokvar will continue to update this space to keep you all informed of our progress – a process I am told is generally referred to as “live blogging.”  Before passing full control of our communication over to Mokvar, I am taking the liberty here of offering these opening remarks to set the stage, as it were.

I arrived at Twilight Highlands with several Kor’kron detachments late last night, and immediately prepared our forces to move on the Bastion of Twilight.  Zaela offered Dragonmaw support for our operation, even volunteering to accompany us herself; I cordially declined the offer – I believe my exact words were “I think you’ve done enough already, thank you” – and suggested that Zaela and her troops instead stake out the Twilight Citadel perimeter, a baby-steps measure of safeguarding from which she might benefit from practice.

[Never send a Dragonmaw to do a Saurfang’s job.  –Mkvr., ed.]

 

It’s over to me now, by the way, so I guess I don’t really need the usual brackets.  Mokvar here.  I’ll try to keep posting these quickly.  It’s going to depend on what’s going on at the time, obviously, but I’ll try to stay on task.  Hopefully this will go well.

Keep refreshing this page to update – I’ll be continually adding to the post as we go along.

 

8:02 PM – Zoning into the Bastion now.  We’ll see how this goes…

 

8:05 PM – All troops are inside.  Already a bit pecular — there are corpses of a couple of cultists here by the entrance.  They don’t seem like they’ve been dead for very long.  We’re moving in further into the major chamber.

8:08 PM – Well that explains that.  In the big room just inside the Bastion, there were two more dead cultists, then on the far end of the room yet another one dead, along with one live Twilight cultist — in the middle of combat with Garona. She seemed like she was doing fine by herself, but Saurfang and the closest batch of Kor’kron jumped in to help finish the cultist off.  It bears noting — he got the most hilarious look of “Oh, come ON” on his face just before they dropped him.

 

8:10 PM – Also, I just have to ask: don’t these guards look around at all?  That is, sure, the cultists that Garona attacked before we got here were stationed in pairs, but they were also all within eyeshot of each other.  Isn’t it kind of strange that each pair pretty much stood around keeping to themselves while Garona was killing their friends at the other end of the room?  Just sayin’.

 

8:14 PM – Garona says she stealthed ahead to check out more of the Bastion before we got here.  According to her, most of the cultists that are here seem to be clustered near Cho’gall’s old command room — the Throne of the Apocalypse.  She says there were enough there packed close enough together that she didn’t want to risk stealthing in any further.  There weren’t many Twilight’s Hammer people elsewhere in the place, other than these groups of guards near the entrance, so she decided to come back here first to make sure she’d cleared an escape path for herself just in case.

 

8:16 PM – Moving on further now with Garona on board.

 

8:17 PM – Hang on, AFK – combat!!

 

8:20 PM – Sorry, back.

We were about to head down the next hallway, but a portal opened up near the entrance, and about a dozen Twilight cultists came through and came running up on us from behind.  Contrary to what you might think, crazed apocalyptic world-destroying lunatics don’t have the basic manners to lay off the guy in the back who’s just trying to mind his own business and write.

Anyway, Saurfang and the other made pretty short work of them just the same.  I think we’re clear now. 

 

8:21 PM – Spoke too soon.  Another wave coming through the portal!  Stand by.

 

8:22 PM – Seriously, why do these Twilight people always insist on coming at Saurfang in twos?  After all this time, does the word “CLEAVE” really not ring any bells to these people?

 

8:25 PM – Give up your futile struggle, doomed fools!  All is but chaos and darkness!  The Hour of Twilight shall fall, and the sun shall set on your mortal realm!  Accept the inevitable and embrace the end as we have!

 

8:27 PM – Yikes, sorry!  one of those damn cultists freaking mind-controlled me for a minute there!

Funny he would make me write that, though, rather than, say, try to stab somebody.  Then again, I guess even these cultists need an outlet sometimes.  That and they’re insane.

 

8:29 PM – Cultists taken out.  We’ve only lost two Kor’kron so far, so we’re handling them pretty well.  Still, we’re going to hold position here and watch that portal.  That’s two waves of cultists that have come through, so we don’t want to move on right off and be taken by surprise.

 

8:33 PM – Nothing coming from the portal so far.  Saurfang has decided to leave a group here to stand guard while the rest of us use the portal and see what’s going on on the other end, wherever it is.

Saurfang’s also making a big point of us all going through together, and how he doesn’t want to go through, find himself in a room with a hundred cultists, look around, and see he’s all by himself.

I asked if he was worried he would be overwhelmed.

He said no, he just figures that that would give him a huge head start on the scoreboard and he wants to play fair by the rest of us.

Damn I love Saurfang.

 

8:41 PM – We’ve just gone through the portal, and this is a little eerie.  The portal took us all the way to the heart of the Bastion — straight to Cho’gall’s old command room, the Throne of the Apocalypse.  Based on the waves of cultists that were coming through the portal just a few minutes ago, I was expecting us to be swimming in them when we came out on this side, but strangely enough, the throne room is empty.

Empty, and a mess.  The place is still in tatters from Cho’gall’s last battle here.  The huge hole in the floor, leading down to Sinestra’s lair in the Twilight Caverns below, is still there and visible, but it’s been more or less covered by a series of wooden planks and platforms.  All around the room there are different pieces of conjuring paraphenalia, much like the junk the Twilight’s Hammer had down in Ahn’Qiraj, only here it looks to be strewn all over the place, some of it broken.  In the middle of the room there’s a heavy wooden prisoner’s scaffold — broken as well, nearly cracked into splinters in some spots.  There look to be broken chains laying around it on the ground as well.

The biggest eye-catcher, though, is the fact that the room is littered with bodies — cultists of all races, several ettin, a handful of ogres.  Most of the bodies look to be recently dead, many of them still seeping blood across the floor.

We’ve only just had enough time to take all this in, and now we’re hearing some commotion going on a ways down the hall, heading back out from the throne room.  We’re on our way out now.  Stand by.

 

8:44 PM – Just made our way through the Sanctum of the Ascended.  Three more dead ettin here, and no shortage of blodd spattered all around.  We’re still hearing noise from further out, but it sounds like we’re getting closer.

Saurfang and Garona are picking up the pace and growing visibly fired up by all this, and I can’t really blame them, considering the short list of candidates who could have a hand in this much damage…

 

8:46 PM – Heading down into the Twilight Enclave now — this is definitely where the noise is coming from.

 

8:50 PM – HOLY CRAP, they have a gronn!!  (By the way, weren’t there only supposed to be a handful of gronn in existence?  How do these Twilight Highlands cultists keep digging up extras?)  Anyway, this one is pretty much as big as a gronn could get and still fit in here.  It’s blocking the view of the far exit, and it’s got a gang of cultists swarming around it — not swarming like they’re attacking the gronn, but swarming like they’re all on the same side against a shared target, in the doorway.

 

8:53 PM – Okay, time to settle your bets on this one — it’s Garrosh!

Also worth noting that we were finally able to see him in the doorway because he just bladestormed down like half a dozen of the cultists.

And, with a patented “You answer to Saurfang now!” from the overlord, here we go!

 

8:56 PM – Well, here we were going to go.  Just as we were starting to charge in, we suddenly found ourselves rooted in place by some kind of slowing field, then guess who comes swooping in on that freaky wind serpent of hers?  Magatha Grimtotem herself!  (Nerf earthbind totems!)

 

8:59 PM – A large chunk of the cultists broke off to attack our group.  Including, you guessed it, two who ran right at Saurfang.  Together.  Why, seriously, why?

Meanwhile, Magatha’s landed and taken out a glowing, pulsating orb — is that the Doomstone?  She’s chanting something and the orb is glowing brighter.

 

9:02 PM – …Only nobody really noticed that Garona was unaccounted for, and she just popped out of stealth behind Magatha!  Stunlock!  And pissed-off stunlock too, from the looks of it!  Ha!  (Nerf rogues!)

 

9:04 PM – Another bladestorm from Garrosh, and now it’s just down to him and the gronn.  The only other cultists left are the ones busy fighting the Kor’kron…and they could probably be holding their own okay if it weren’t for the old guy cleaving his way through them.

 

9:05 PM – Crap.  Saurfang managed to close in on the gronn to help Garrosh, but the gronn must have heard him coming because it just turned around and hit him with some kind of shockwave effect, which did a knockback on Saurfang and threw straight back into Garona.

 

9:09 PM – Okay, mixed bag here.

The good: Throwing down that shockwave distracted the gronn just enough that Garrosh was able to get a few good hits in on him, and by the time it got its bearing back, it was short…um…an arm.

Now — YEAH! — short a head!

The bad: Saurfang getting flung into Garona kept her from doing her stun-lock thing, so now Magatha is back up and remounted on her blasted wind serpent.

 

9:13 PM – With the gronn dead and the cultists pretty well under control, Magatha tried flying out the doorway away from us — as she swooped by, though, Garrosh managed to leap up and catch the wind serpent’s tail.  Magath kept going and she’s carrying him with her away from the Enclave.  Saurfang and Garona have collected themselves and the bunch of us who aren’t locked down the remaining cultists are heading up after them.

 

9:20 PM – We’ve made it back up to Wyrmbreaker’s Rookery.  Magatha’s wind serpent is zig-zagging around, and it looks kind of shaky so maybe Garrosh has gotten in a few good swings on it while he’s been holding on.  Still, though, between the wind serpent thrashing around and Magatha letting loose some lightning bolts, they just managed to shake Garrosh loose and dropped him on the rookery balcony, overlooking the Highlands.

Magatha pulled away with the wind serpent, but then she just stopped and pulled the Doomstone out again.  I couldn’t hear from here, but she started saying something, maybe another one of her chants, and the stone started glowing insanely brightly in rapid pulses.  Then she hit Garrosh with one more lightning bolt — looks like he just shook that one off mostly — and threw the Doomstone down on the balcony.  It gave off an energy burst when it landed that pushed Garrosh back a few feet.  It’s pulsing faster and brighter now, and giving out a humming that’s getting louder by the second.

 

9:24 PM – Crap, I think Magatha just overcharged the Doomstone!  The pulsing is more like a strobe effect now, and the buzzing noise is going right through my ears.  Magatha’s flown off from the overlook on her wind serpent, but right now I think we’ve got bigger things to worry about — Saurfang just grabbed Garona to pull her back and shoved everyone back from balcony.

 

9:25 PM – Yep, it’s gonna blow!  If I’m still too close give my internet router to Spazzle…

 

9:26 PM – Garrosh jumped!  He just jumped off the balcony to get clear of the blast!

 

9:30 PM – OW, my ears.  And my eyes, too, for that matter.  Wow that was explosion was sensory overload… Going to need a minute to steady myself here…

The explosion pretty much took out the entire balcony…there are chunks of the floor and walls still crumbling and breaking loose…cracks all around the room are going to make the place pretty unstable to move around in.

Saurfang just did a quick head count to make sure the bunch of us were okay.  Garona’s already making her way over toward the ledge to see if there was anything down below for Garrosh to have grabbed on to…

 

9:34 PM – HA!  The wyvern!  Garrosh just came floating on up into view on his wyvern!  It must have been flying around the Bastion and caught him when he jumped off!  See, see, I told him it was a good-looking animal back in Ashenvale, but does anyone listen to me?  Nooo.

Um, I mean, yeah!  Garrosh is safe!

 

9:40 PM – Whew…. Okay, so we’ve gotten the cultists cleaned up, and Garrosh had landed and rejoined us (not too close to the cracked and unstable falling-apart room, mind you).  Saurfang’s in the process of surveying the troops, but just eyeballing it I’d say our casualties were relatively light.  Granted we lost Magatha, and there are still some gaps to fill in about what was going on here, but Garrosh and Saurfang and the rest can worry about that afterward.  For now we’re just concentrating on gathering up and getting ready to bring everyone back home to Orgrimmar.

Stand by a minute, I think Saurfang’s going to want to wrap things up here before we head out.

Also I need to go find some aspirin.

Also Spazzle had better not have made off with my router.

 

Victory is ours, friends!  And so, with Warchief Hellscream returned to us safely, the time has come for me to relinquish the mantle of leadership and return to my post in Northrend.  I wish to thank you all for your support and your courage, and also for continuing to read this space which I have maintained for the Warchief as best I could.  I trust Warchief Hellscream will resume his communication with you in short order, and I am sure he will look forward to hearing from you, his people, as much as you will no doubt look forward to once again benefiting from his sage words.

And with that, people of the Horde, I sign my final note to you.  It has, as always, been an honor to serve with you.

Lok’tar ogar, friends.  Honor go with you all.

 

-Saurfang

Going Rogue

Posted in From the Desk of Saurfang with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

aq1

Citizens of the Horde,

A peculiar turn of events has taken place in Ahn’Qiraj.  I have just received word from Krug Skullsplit that the impulsive rogue Garona Halforcen has left him in sole charge of our Twilight captives and departed from Silithus.  According to Commander Skullsplit, Garona completed the interrogation of the last of the prisoners – the majority of whom, to her credit, have survived the process – then took off suddenly without explanation, save a rushed indication that she would be in contact with further updates shortly.  As Garona has proven in the past to be a valuable operative, it is my hope that this erratic behavior is well justified and that she will take pains to explain herself soon.

Meanwhile, on the topic of Horde operatives whose work has proven valuable, the prestidigitous ogre Draz’Zilb appealed to me earlier today for permission to undertake his own questioning of our Grimtotem captives, given his expressed prior success in extracting information from members of the tribe.  His suggestion was that he could likely verify the repeated Grimtotem claim that they were uninvolved in and unaware of the aggressions that occurred at Bladefist Bay and, more importantly, Alcaz Island.  I agreed to the ogre’s request, with, as it turns out, mixed results.

On the positive side, we now have fairly reliable confirmation of our original Grimtotem testimony.  None of the Grimtotem tribesmen had any awareness of any of the aforementioned Twilight’s Hammer activity; and the extent of their involvement in the events on Alcaz Island was the sending of a scouting party to the island well before catastrophe struck – scouts who, furthermore, have not been heard from since.  Draz’Zilb’s methods leave me highly…dubious…that this final testimony would be false.  It is, however, these very methods that leave me less than entirely satisfied with this entire undertaking.  Prior to today, I was only aware of the fact of the ogre’s assistance in previous interrogations, and, absent any further, troubling information, I was content to let him proceed with his proposal.  However, upon arriving to observe the questioning in person, I was most thoroughly disturbed by the spectacle that greeted me; by this point, three Grimtotem captives had already died to Draz’Zilb’s particular interrogation “techniques,” and I was quite uninterested in having a fourth life placed indirectly on my conscience.  Let me make no mistake: that we will kill during times of conflict is a matter of necessity; how we will kill is a matter of choice.  And I will not permit such unscrupulous undertakings to tain the honor of the Horde.  No matter how dire the battle, we must never forsake it.

As such, I have relieved Draz’Zilb of his support duties and dispatched him back to Brackenwall Village, where, I am sure, the venerable ogre chief Tharg will tend to him appropriately.  Meanwhile, in light of this confirmation of Grimtotem innocence – a term I use here in its more relative and situationally specific sense – I have begun to make plans to release many of our prisoners, provided a number of containment measures around their various settlements to ensure their ongoing good citizenship.

Once again the old adage proves true, friends: never trust an ogre not to be two-faced when he has two heads.  Honor go with us all.

 

-Saurfang

Many Questions, No Answers, One Theory

Posted in From the Desk of Saurfang with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

alcaz2

Citizens of the Horde,

The more I consider our current crisis, the more troubled I become.  Something is amiss, and I am at present at a loss for what precisely lies behind it.

Upon reflection, I have come to realize that our investigations have uncovered a number of loose ends which have proven most disturbing.  Indeed, some of these loose ends were present even before our most recent movements against the Twilight’s Hammer and Grimtotem, but amid the chaotic last days before Warchief Hellscream’s disappearance, it is not difficult to understand how some of them may have escaped our notice.

Let me begin with the most recent wrinkles.  Continued interrogation of both the Twilight’s Hammer and Grimtotem captives by Garona Halforcen and Krog, respectively, have confirmed their early testimony: that the search for the phylactery of Cho’gall appears to have been initiated by Magatha Grimtotem, not the Twilight’s Hammer themselves; that the Twilight’s Hammer then targeted Magatha for capture upon learning of the Grimtotem search, whereupon Magatha agreed to aid in the resurrection of Cho’gall; that, according to both sides, no alliance or agreement has been forged between our two groups of adversaries.

While disturbing in and of themselves, these facts give way upon closer examination to far more troubling questions.  How is it possible, for one, that Magatha Grimtotem could be aware of the phylactery when by all accounts the Twilight’s Hammer cult itself appears to have been unaware?  While it may be that the existence of the phylactery was known by a small, select number of high-ranking cultists, such that the cult en masse would be oblivious, it still strikes me as strange that, once word of Magatha’s undertaking became widespread amongst the cult, such high-ranking members would not have put forth some account within their ranks beyond, it would seem, “Well that’s news to us.”

Furthermore, there is the odd behavior of both the Twilight’s Hammer cult and of Magatha Grimtotem in Thousand Needles.  Consider: if Warchief Hellscream was correct in his shrewd deduction that the linguistically spastic ogre Skarr was in fact the living phylactery of Cho’gall, then this would mean that the Twilight cult always had within its grasp the means of reviving its leader.  As the Warchief rightly worried, this leaves open the question of why they would not make use of the phylactery, with the likely answer being that something else was yet needed before they could do so.  The Warchief’s continued line of thought led him to suspect that perhaps the Doomstone and a collection of tauren artifacts – all collected and delivered to Magatha Grimtotem by the contemptible blood elf Johnny Awesome – comprised the missing piece.  Yet, the Twilight’s Hammer already had the Doomstone in their possession before it was stolen by Johnny Awesome, which means that the cult possessed at the outset access to both the phylactery and to a power source which could be used to harness it.  Therefore, once again, why would they not have used them?

My only explanation here is that the key pieces to the puzzle may have been the collection of tauren relics which were in the hands of the Grimtotem, and which Johnny Awesome recovered at Magatha’s behest.  Another possibility may be that even given the availability of all these resources, perhaps – strange though it may seem – only Magatha possessed the obscure conjuring knowledge to actually make use of them, and so the key to the entire Twilight operation may have been capturing Magatha Grimtotem and gaining her cooperation.  While these suppositions are certainly possible, nevertheless, I am far from comfortable with our current understanding of this facet of these events.

Finally, there is the matter of the attacks launched on the fateful day of Warchief Hellscream’s disappearance.  We have, on the one hand, nearly simultaneous Twilight raids in Ahn’Qiraj and Bladefist Bay, one driving our people from C’thun’s chamber, the other sinking the Doomhammer and preventing its voyage to Alcaz Island; and on the other, we have the attack of Grimtotem raiders against the cacophonous warriors Dontrag and Utvoch in which Skarr was freed.  The problem I have come to realize is twofold: one, in the absence of any alliance between the Twilight’s Hammer and Grimtotem, how do we account for a Twilight’s Hammer attack at Bladefist Bay, whose only rational purpose could have been to facilitate the pending Grimtotem strike at Alcaz Island?  The only plausible explanation I can think of for this is that the Grimtotem attack at the island was not actually staged by Grimtotem, but by tauren agents of the Twilight cult under the guise of the Grimtotem – certainly possible in light of the known existence of tauren cultists, and further validated by the (ordinarily suspect) insistence of our Grimtotem prisoners that their clan never set out for the island.

Nevertheless, even supposing this explanation, we are left with a further, more troubling question: given, once again, that no cooperation exists between the Twilight’s Hammer and Grimtotem, how would the cult have become aware of our planned movements on Alcaz Island, if the only information ever in circulation on the matter was a decoy letter that was deliberately allowed to fall into the hands of the Grimtotem?  How would they know not only to launch an attack on the island, but to attack us at Bladefist Bay (indicating an awareness not only of the Alcaz operation but of the fact that it was in fact a trap)?

I fear there is something yet in play that runs deeper than we have supposed.  Indeed, the only speculation I can offer fails to account for the many loose ends, and should of course be consider cautiously.  Still, in the spirit of this forum, I will share the current state of my thoughts.

That Magatha Grimtotem is a traitor to her people – both the Bloodhoof tribe and the tauren race in general – should be news to no one.  But I begin to suspect that we have underestimated the depths of betrayal to which the insidious crone might sink.

I believe that Magatha Grimtotem may in fact have betrayed the Grimtotem tribe itself, at the hands of the Twilight’s Hammer.

This theory is purely speculation on my part, and by no means does it account for everything I have raised as a concern.  Yet far too many pieces fit in place for me to discount it as the ravings of advancing age.  Consider: it was Magatha who put set her Grimtotem tribesman on the search for the phylactery through her underlings Arnak Grimtotem and Isha Gloomaxe, leading them to believe by all accounts that the Twilight’s Hammer were also looking for it, and that the tribe might benefit from finding it first.  Yet the cult appears to have been engaged in no such search, and the Grimtotem effort appears to have accomplished nothing save drawing the attention of the Twilight’s Hammer.

The cult then attacks the Grimtotem and captures Magatha.  And it is here that I suspect the crone played her hand: through some means, perhaps she had learned of Skarr and of the possibility of Cho’gall return, and presented herself to the cult as the sole person living who would be able to carry out the deed.  Note closely the events that would follow: an unwitting Horde adventurer, Johnny Awesome, comes upon Magatha, still ostensibly being held by the Twilight’s Hammer; he is sent by Magatha to collect the tauren relics held by the Grimtotem in Thousand Needles; in the process he is also tasked with killing Arnak Grimtotem and Isha Gloomaxe, very possibly the only other Grimtotem who might have had further knowledge of Magatha’s initial scheme.

I suspect Magatha only ever set her people upon the ogres to catch the cult’s attention, and afford her the chance to go to them under guise of being captured.  I believe she offered her help to the Twilight’s Hammer in exchange for something.  I do not know what it is, but it was a price great enough to compel her to turn against her own people, steal from them, kill her kin and indeed her very family in order to cover her nefarious tracks.  I realize that this theory is far from complete, and still leaves yet unaccounted for no shortage of loose ends.  Yet I cannot escape the belief that there lies amid these ramblings some kernel of truth to the crisis before us.

I apologize for the excessive length of this post.  I did not have time to craft a shorter one.  Strange events are upon us, and the selective culling of ideas is a luxury, sadly, which I cannot afford while wrestling with the many questions and theories that plague my thoughts.

We forge on against the darkness, friends.  Honor go with us all.

 

-Saurfang

Flown the Coop, as the Saying Goes

Posted in From the Desk of Saurfang with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

orgrimmar16

Citizens of the Horde,

Interrogation of our various captives carries on, and begins to yield fruit, albeit gradually.  Just this morning, the perspicacious rogue Krog reported to me personally to provide updates on his ongoing questioning of those Grimtotem who were apprehended during out recent operations out of Brackenwall Village.  A good man, that Krog, and thorough.

His questioning confirms what we already knew of the Grimtotem situation – that they had, under the direction of Magatha Grimtotem through her lieutenants Arnak Grimtotem and Isha Gloomaxe, begun to search for the now-infamous phylactery of Cho’gall, so as to strike a bargain with the Twilight’s Hammer cult – while further indicating that thus far, no agreements or alliances had been forged between the two groups.  Indeed, shortly after the nefarious tauren clan began their hunt, the Twilight’s Hammer stepped up their activities in Thousand Needles, resulting in the Twilight capture of several Grimtotem, most notably Magatha…who, as you are already well aware, was subsequently freed through unwitting (nay, witless) Horde assistance.

Nevertheless, I find the timing of these events to be hardly coincidental, and I suspect that the Twilight cult undertook a pointed effort to capture Magatha upon discovering that she and her kin were endeavoring to complicate the cult’s efforts to resurrect the odious ogre Cho’gall.

That relations between the Grimtotem and the Twilight’s Hammer are, to say the least, unfriendly is confirmed by early reports from Garona Halforcen in Silithus.  While Garona finds herself still early in her interrogation of our Twilight prisoners (a process which, I hope, will not be slowed too greatly by the temptation to relish the process), she has been able to confirm a reciprocal disdain for the Grimtotem on behalf of the Twilight’s Hammer cultists.

Meanwhile, I have recruited the aid of the resourceful ogre seer Draz’Zilb of Brackenwall Village, who has already been of assistance in these events to both Krog and to Warchief Hellscream, in the hopes that we might glean some additional information through more mystical means.  Draz’Zilb has theorized that, given the powerful magics involved in the phylactery containment of Cho’gall’s spirit, as well as in its possible release, it may be possible to conduct a divination of sorts through any living beings who were in close proximity to the ogre Skarr when, or if, these necromantic powers were tapped.  This afternoon Draz’Zilb joined me in Orgrimmar to attempt such a divination, to see if any traces of recent spellcasting or magical aftershocks might be discerned through the three entities we know to have been present with Skarr on Alcaz Island (excepting, of course, Warchief Hellscream): the externally monologuing soldiers Dontrag and Utvoch, and the Warchief’s personal wyvern.

Draz’Zilb began his divination with the wyvern, which has finally recovered from its injuries on the island.  (I will hasten to note for those D.E.H.T.A.-friendly among you, incidentally, that I was assured that no harm would come to the wyvern as a result of these magics; I am moreover informed that the Warchief had developed quite a fondness for the animal, and having enjoyed the compansionship of numerous pet worgs in my youth, I am not unsympathetic.)  Draz’Zilb detected signs from the wyvern’s residual magic aura that it had indeed been exposed to a magic outburst of some sort; however, the wyvern appeared uneasy throughout the divination process, and while it was still in its early stages, the process was interrupted by the arrival of Dontrag and Utvoch, which served only to further agitate the animal.  Before our handlers could calm the increasingly emotional beast, it managed to slip from its restraints and fly off.

I have sent a scouting detail to patrol Durotar and its surrounding areas to locate the wyvern, but its whereabouts are currently unknown.  I must admit, given our current situation I cannot say that the recovery of the animal can afford to rank as a high priority, though it would indeed pain me upon the Warchief’s return to have to report that we had lost it in his absence.

I shall continue to keep you updated as events continue to unfold, friends.  Honor go with us all.

 

-Saurfang

Victory in Silithus

Posted in From the Desk of Saurfang with tags , , , , , , on February 1, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

Citizens of the Horde,

It is my pleasure to report that the Twilight presence in the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj has been defeated.

Horde forces began their entry into the ruins early yesterday, and began a systematic march through the underground passageways.  Though the Twilight’s Hammer gave moderate resistance, their energy appeared to wane after the first several waves of their defenses proved little match for the steady march of our superior numbers.  By dusk we had made our way into the innermost sanctum of the temple; the chamber of C’thun is now under Horde control, and a great many of the agents of the Twilight’s Hammer have been captured.

I will add, with all due modesty, that while leading the incursion I took no small measure of amusement at the fact that a great many of the Twilight adversaries who chose to spar with me directly did so by attacking me frontally in pairs.  While I generally welcome the opportunity to cleave in battle, it is rare indeed for enemies to line up so readily to facilitate my doing so.

I have returned to Orgrimmar to continue supervising our ongoing efforts throughout Kalimdor.  In my absence, I have left the antilaconic rogue Garona Halforcen in charge of the interrogation of our numerous Twilight prisoners.  After her previous experiences with the Twilight’s Hammer in Ahn’Qiraj, she appeared highly receptive to the opportunity to have words with them again now, and in light of the present situation, I have given her quite…broad authority in extracting information from our captives.

I am hopeful that our search for our Warchief will progress swiftly from this stage, friends.  Honor go with us all.

 

-Saurfang

 

 

[Header image provided by Rioriel from Postcards From Azeroth, reproduced here with permission and many thanks.  Click here to see the souped-up Postcard version!]

Monday, so I am told, Mailbag

Posted in From the Desk of Saurfang, Mailbag with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

mail11

Citizens of the Horde,

I am an orc of my word; some days ago I invited you to write to me with your thoughts and inquiries, and promised I would answer them as is customary in this space.  Today I fulfill that promise.

I write to you from our outpost in Silithus, as I prepare to begin our movement into Ahn’Qiraj.  Perhaps this exercise will be helpful in clearing my thoughts before the coming battle.  Let us begin.

 

Dear Overlord Saurfang,

Have you read any good books lately?

–Tarrful, Orgrimmar

Sadly, my hectic schedule as acting Warchief does not allow me the leisure time to pursue recreational reading.  Fortunately, I do make a point of conducting regular briefing sessions to ensure I am kept abreast of important and relevant information, to ensure that the absence of reading time has not caused me to miss something of import.

[Saurfang doesn’t read books.  He stares them down until they give him the information he wants. –Mkvr., ed.]

 

Warchief Saurfang:

Do you play Earth Online too?  If so, what server are you on?  What class do you play?

–Kalaban, Undercity

I’m afraid I don’t know what this “Earth Online” is that you speak of.  By context, I would surmise it is some sort of diversion or recreational activity involving the internet.  Sadly, my schedule already calls for me to spend too much time safeguarding the future of the Horde and saving the world from annihilation for me to invest much leisure time in such matters.  Also, I am an adult.

 

Hey Saurfang,

If Thrall and Garrosh ever finished that duel they started back before the Northrend campaign, who do you think would win?

–Kulkesh, Razor Hill

I could not even venture a guess as to the outcome of a battle between two such mighty combatants; and moreover, I can only hope that such a wasteful conflict might never occur.

[If Thrall ever dueled Garrosh to completion, the winner would be Saurfang. –Mkvr., ed.]

I must say, I was expecting these inquiries to revolve around matters of greater weight and import.  Nevertheless, we carry on.

 

Acting Warchief Saurfang,

When the orcs began dabbling in necromancy, did you ever consider becoming a Warlock?  I know you’re a pretty badass Warrior and all, but did you ever think it might be fun to have demon minions and dot people up?

–Davan Shadowspring, Silvermoon City

There was never a point when I was tempted to indulge in the fel magics of the warlocks.  Indeed, I suspected even then that no good would come of my people’s dabbling in shadow magic.  Moreover, I fail even to see the appeal of such practices; I find it much more honorable and rewarding to confront my enemy face-to-face in combat and best him hand-to-hand, rather than standing at a distance and resorting to trickery.  There is a certain gravity and satisfaction to be found in feeling the weight and heft of a solid, reliable blade in one’s hands.  And besides, I can assure you, if one is sufficiently proficient in the martial arts, one does not need a precarious spell to make one’s foes flee in fear.

[Damn, Saurfang almost beat me to the punch on this one: Every time a warlock makes someone run away in fear, he pays a royalty to Saurfang.  –Mkvr., ed.]

 

Warchief Saurfang:

I’m glad to see someone in charge again in Orgrimmar who’s at least somewhat respectable.  I would wish you well in your efforts, except that in this case that would probably entail you actually finding Garrosh, and honestly that would end up leading to more trouble than it would be worth.  So, here’s wishing you a mixed bag that keeps you in your current position for a while.

–King Varian Wrynn, Stormwind

P.S.  Sorry to hear your men were stuck in those underground tunnels on Alcaz Island.  Those things are creepy as hell.  For years, I had these bizarre recurring nightmares that I was stuck down there, and barely even knew myself.  Freaky stuff…

Image

While I remain thankful to you, King Varian, for the kindness you showed me in light of the loss of my son, I nevertheless cannot let such denigrations against our Warchief go unanswered.  I may remind you, however much good will may exist between you and I personally, I am first and foremost unwaveringly loyal to the Horde, and Warchief Hellscream is its rightful leader.  I am myself, indeed, merely a part of which the Horde is a larger whole; and you may no more speak ill of our leader with impunity from me than you might strike one’s face and not expect the hand to respond in kind.  And so, as Warchief Hellscream might comment in his own inimitable manner, I would take this occasion to invite you, King Varian, to engage in an act of self-copulation.

 

Hey mon,

If da Lich King’s horse be Invincible, how come I be seein’ it?

–Bob, Echo Isles

Vol’jin, I don’t know what it is that you’re trying to accomplish, or why you’ve chosen to adopt this puerile façade, but I would ask of you, please, recall your station.  We are leaders of the Horde, and as such it is incumbent upon us to conduct ourselves with a modicum of maturity.

 

Dear Saurfang,

I know the Dragon Aspects have a lot on their plate these days, but considering the interest they have in Twilight’s Hammer activities, and the resources and information they have access to, have you considered reaching out to them for support in the search for Garrosh?  Maybe have Thrall speak to them on your behalf?

–Zhurzigg, Orgrimmar

While it would indeed pain me to impose upon the hectic schedule of the Aspects, my time in Northrend did afford me the opportunity to develop a certain rapport with the Wyrmrest Accord.  As a result, I was recently able to arrange a meeting with Nozdormu at the Caverns of Time.  My original intention was to travel to Tanaris on the way to Silithus, but initial preparations detained me in Orgrimmar unexpectedly; fortunately Nozdormu was most gracious over my tardiness (in retrospect, I wonder if he knew in advance that I would be late, all things considered), and welcomed me for our discussion nonetheless.

[Time waits for no man.  Unless that man is Saurfang. –Mkvr., ed.]

Sadly, Nozdormu was able to uncover no leads that might help us pinpoint the location of the Warchief.  His ability to delve into past events is, in fact, somewhat compromised by current activities of the Infinite Dragonflight, which is impeding the Aspects’ plan to retrieve the powerful Dragon Soul artifact from the past.

(As an aside, I must admit I would be tempted myself to volunteer for this mission, as it would entail the opportunity to witness first-hand some of the events of the War of the Ancients, in which my dear brother Broxigar had participated.)

[Contrary to popular belief, the Sundering did not happen because of the collapse of the Well of Eternity.  The landmasses of the world heard that Saurfang was at the Well, and so the continents split apart in different directions to try to get as far away as possible.  As it turns out, the Saurfang present at the Well was Broxigar, not Varok, but you can hardly blame the continents for erring on the side of safety. –Mkvr., ed.]

Nozdormu does still have the power to access the future, but this would appear to have limited usefulness for our purposes.  He did suggest at one point that he might move us forward in time to such a point as Warchief Hellscream has been recovered, and then acquire from our future selves the relevant information as to how and where.  This, however, struck me as a rather dubious solution; as I explained to the Aspect, in such a circular approach to problem-solving, the actual answers and information would not seem to actually come from anywhere, but rather be produced of whole cloth out of nothing.  Nozdormu’s only response was to roll his eyes and, waving a hand about, mutter “Wibbly wobbly, timey whimey.”

The ways of the Aspects truly are a mystery.

 

One final note in closing:  The one aspect of responding to your mail in this format that I do not particularly like is its relatively impersonal nature.  Indeed, I wish to apologize to those of you who have written to me directly for not having replied directly in kind.  When attempting to log into my “e-mail account,” the machine demanded I provide a password; apparently the device did not find the resulting cleave to be sufficient proof of my identity.

[When Saurfang…oh, wait, he’s already got this one covered.  Good deal, boss. –Mkvr., ed.]

By all means, continue to write to me, friends.  Honor go with us all.

 

-Saurfang

The Loop Closes

Posted in From the Desk of Saurfang with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

grimtotem2

Citizens of the Horde,

I am pleased to report that our movements against the Grimtotem clan proceed well.

Overlord Cliffwalker, who had already brought the Grimtotem in Stonetalon Mountains well under control, has effectively tightened our grip on their encampments; likewise, the two major Grimtotem outposts in Dustwallow Marsh offered little resistance to our forces.  Many of them, it would appear, have fled south to Thousand Needles, and many of those who remained readily surrendered when Horde forces arrived and provided first-hand illustration of, shall we say, the Grimtotem’s mathematically untenable situation.

[When you fight Saurfang, Saurfang always has you outnumbered.  Even if Saurfang is alone, he has you outnumbered. –Mkvr., ed.]

As we have several Grimtotem captives on hand, I have placed the tenacious rogue Krog in charge of their interrogation, with the aid of the obsequious duo Dontrag and Utvoch.  I anticipate useful information forthcoming; in the meantime, our forces will continue on to Thousand Needles and Feralas, where they will continue to put pressure on the remaining Grimtotem outposts.

While our field commanders undertake these operations, I will be traveling to Silithus, where I will personally take command of our troops for the beginning of our strike on the Twilight’s Hammer forces in Ahn’Qiraj.

The tide turns in our favor, friends.  Honor go with us all.

 

-Saurfang

Pertaining to Incursions against the Twilight’s Hammer and Grimtotem

Posted in From the Desk of Saurfang with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

Citizens of the Horde,

It is a well-known aphorism that it is unwise to fight a war on two fronts.  While I generally hold to the wisdom of this proverb, we find ourselves in a situation now where conflict has been forced upon us from multiple directions, and appropriate response on multiple fronts is indeed called for.  I am reluctant to overextend our forces in such a tumultuous time as now, but circumstance dictates quick and decisive action in a number of directions.

Our forces have successfully mobilized in Silithus and have surrounded all points of entry to the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj.  Garona Halforcen has returned to the zone and is coordinating the positioning of our troops with aid from the arenaceous field commander Krug Skullsplit.  In the process of moving our forces into position, several of our battalions passed through regions marked by various Twilight encampments; these nefarious outposts are now, one might say, severely understaffed.  Now that we can be confident that no Twilight forces will be able to escape Silithus, we have begun laying plans to send forces into the temple to put an end to the Twilight threat altogether.

Meanwhile, we have the Grimtotem to deal with.  While Magatha Grimtotem has not been seen since her flight from Thousand Needles – an escape facilitated, I am told, by the ignominious blood elf Johnny Awesome – the testimony of Dontrag and Utvoch confirms the Grimtotem presence on Alcaz Island just prior to Warchief Hellscream’s disappearance.  We are therefore undertaking a systematic sweep of all known Grimtotem settlements, both to investigate for further possible clues to the Warchief’s whereabouts, and also to demonstrate through appropriate force the severity of the actions that have been taken by their tribe against the people of the Horde.

I have sent the adumbral investigator Krog back to Brackenwall Village in Dustwallow Marsh, where, together with Nazeer Bloodpike and the ogre chieftain Tharg, he will arrange a series of strikes against the Grimtotem of Blackhoof Village and Direhorn Post.  Meanwhile, I have authorized Overlord Chieftain Cliffwalker of Stonetalon Mountains to escalate his already highly effective activity against the Grimtotem in that region.  Our actual military activities will focus on these areas while Horde forces in Feralas and Thousand Needles begin to make preparations to begin strikes there as well; as the outlying regions are secured, we will redirect forces to further support the newer operations in neighboring zones.

To any Grimtotem who might see this – I know not how adept the Grimtotem as a people may be in the ways of the internet – I would offer this counsel: surrender and offer full cooperation to Horde forces when they arrive.  It will save all of us time; it will save you, most certainly, a great deal of suffering.

It has been suggested to me that it may be unwise for me to speak directly to the Grimtotem in such a fashion here, or, indeed, to lay out our plans where hostile eyes might see them.  Foreknowledge of our activities, so the reasoning goes, will only enable the Grimtotem to prepare and counter our actions.  To this I would respond from the experience of many battles: foreknowledge of a threat only affects the outcome where the threat itself was marginal to begin with.  If you look out your window and see a fiery meteor the size of Coldarra hurtling down toward you, rest assured that your knowledge of its coming will not in any way empower you to prevent your house from shortly being replaced by a burning crater.

I will continue to keep you abreast of developing news, friends.  Honor go with us all.

 

-Saurfang

 

 

[Header image provided by Angelya from Revive and Rejuvenate, used here with permission and many thanks.]

From the Desk of Saurfang

Posted in From the Desk of Saurfang with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

saurfang4

Greetings, citizens of the Horde.

My name is Varok Saurfang, and it is with the greatest humility and utmost solemnity that I have agreed, in this time of crisis, to assume temporarily the mantle of acting Warchief.  I did not seek this office, nor have I ever craved political power or influence; I am, at heart, a soldier, and have never wished anything more than to serve the Horde in whatever manner required.  As it happens on this day, the collective leadership of the Horde has called upon me to shoulder the burden of leadership, and I am both honored and humbled by their decision to place this trust with me.

As I have all of my life, and shall for whatever days remain, I undertake this task with the full dedication of my very being for the good of the Horde, and I pray that I may serve you well.

The noble Eitrigg has informed me that Warchief Hellscream frequently employed this electronic forum – a “blog,” as I believe it is called – to communicate directly with his citizens, to update them on important happenings, to inform and inspire.  It is a tribute to his leadership that he would so value you, his people, as to endeavor so steadfastly to keep you aware of important matters in this way, and as I assume the office of Warchief, I have decided to honor his custom by writing to you here in his stead.

I will readily admit that I am far from conversant in these new computerized venues – you will forgive an aging orc for falling behind the march of technological progress – and so I am sure my use of this forum will be but a pale imitation of Warchief Hellscream’s.  Fortunately, my advisor Mokvar has offered his aid in transcribing my messages to post here (again, I show my age, as a quill and paper are far more comfortable to my hands than these newer and, I am sure, more efficient machines), and the delightfully precocious goblin Spazzle Fizzletrinket, whom I have just today had the pleasure of meeting, has assured me of his aid in the general maintenance of the blog.  I can only hope you will forgive the missteps of my inexperience, and forgive as well what will surely be my failure to adequately recreate the eloquence and inspiration to which you have doubtlessly grown accustomed in these pages.

I have had the honor of fighting alongside many of you in recent years during our victorious campaign in Northrend; and some fewer among you fought by my side previously in Silithus as part of the Might of Kalimdor in the Ahn’Qiraj War Effort.  Throughout our past efforts, you have done honor to the Horde with your strength, your resolve, your dedication to our people; and while in these past battles I have held a rank that would denote me as “superior officer,” time and again your heroism belied any such titles that would designate me superior.  It is my honor now to stand shoulder to shoulder with you once again as we face an uncertain future.

Yet it is an honor I would happily relinquish: all that I have achieved, and all that I have attained, I would gladly give, were it not necessary for me or anyone to stand in Warchief Hellscream’s place now.  Alas, we do not live in better times, and it falls to me to deliver unwanted news.  I will not sugar-coat, nor will I equivocate, for you, the people of the Horde, deserve to know the full truth.

The rumors that you have heard are true.  Warchief Garrosh Hellscream has gone missing.

In the days ahead I will spell out the current situation in further detail, and keep you updated on the current state of our investigations; for the moment, a brief overview will suffice.

As you are surely aware, Warchief Hellscream and an inner circle of elite advisors have been engaged in thwarting an attempt by the Twilight’s Hammer to resurrect the odious ogre mage Cho’gall.  In the aftermath of the Twilight attacks on the Doomhammer and the Kor’kron contingent in Ahn’Qiraj, the Warchief bravely traveled ahead to Alcaz Island, in the hopes of intervening in what he believed to be a Twilight plot.  It was at that point that contact with the Warchief was lost. 

At the present time we do not know where he is or whether he has fallen into hostile hands.  Indeed, we do not at present know whether the Warchief is still alive, though I remain hopeful, as, I am sure, do you all.  We can reasonably rule out Alcaz Island itself as the Warchief’s location; some hours after Warchief Hellscream departed for the island, Horde forces arrived there as well, and upon discovering that the Warchief was nowhere to be found, undertook an exhaustive search of the entire island.  There was no sign of him, though there were numerous leads gathered as to his possible whereabouts, which I will share with you in the due course of our ongoing investigation.

In the meantime, I have taken steps to buttress the other front of our current conflict, that of the ruins of Ahn’Qiraj.  As you are aware, the loquacious rogue Garona Halforcen, engaged in a cunning ruse to entrap Twilight agents in the temple ruins, fell victim herself to a Twilight ambush, and was forced to withdraw in the face of superior numbers.  In the resulting chaos, agents of the Twilight’s Hammer were able to secure the inner sanctum of C’thun, a chamber suspected to be instrumental in their vile resurrection plot.

Let me make no mistake: I hold within me no patience or forgiveness for those who would strike against the Horde, less still for those who would do so through trickery.  As such, I have deployed to Silithus the fourth, fifth, and seventh legions of the Kor’kron High Guard – the fourth having served under my command in the final stages of the Icecrown campaign – to converge upon the ruins and secure it.  I have meanwhile assigned an air patrol of two hundred windrider skyguards to circle the zone and assure that no stray enemies might escape the area.

The Twilight’s Hammer wished to make the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj theirs.  I hope they find it comfortable, for not a single one of their number will set eyes upon another place for the rest of their increasingly short days.

And while the siege of Silithus unfolds, we will redouble our efforts here to locate our missing Warchief.  Once again, I shall take pains to keep you, our loyal citizens, abreast of ongoing developments, and may well call upon your aid in gathering information.  The disappearance of Garrosh Hellscream is more than a crisis for our people; it is an attack and an affront to the Horde itself.  Whatever parties have taken it upon themselves to act against our leader have likewise courted the outrage of every one of our people, and in so doing they have made a terrible, critical error: they have struck against the Horde, but left it still living to strike back.

You may, indeed, even find it within yourselves to admire their daring.  You would be wise to admire it from afar.

They will be found.  They will be caught.  Our Warchief will be returned to safety, and as for the fate that awaits his attackers…I will not elaborate on it here.  Solider though I am, I also pride myself a gentleman, and I would not discuss such details openly here where young eyes might see them.  I could not bear to think that I had robbed an innocent child of restful sleep for the nightmares such words might inspire.

Lok’tar ogar, friends.  Honor go with us all.

 

-Saurfang

When things turn bad they don’t @!$# around

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

Writing this up as quickly as possible while Mortimer is being prepped for flight.  I don’t have much time to spell everything out so I’m leaving the relevant documents with Mokvar and authorizing him to edit this post as needed to include enough info for this to make sense to you all.

Garona’s message from Silithus was bad news.

 

Garrosh:

Major trouble in Silithus.  Were setting final fortifications in AQ when were attacked by large Twilight’s Hammer force.  Humans, ogres, several silithid.  Many more TH than intelligence indicated were even in Silithus; bypassed periphery guards into inner passageways; possibly hiding in nearby silithid hives and tunneled in?

Vastly outnumbered.  As soon as combat started turning against us, made sure we destroyed all conjuring equipment left by TH in C’thun’s chamber.

Retreat necessary; far too many of them.

Tried to bring TH captives with us while escaping.  One captive killed in crossfire.  Second has been making cryptic taunts.  Evasive about whether TH are fighting their way in to use phylactery.  “You don’t think we’d keep such a sacred vessel ON us, do you?” and “So easy to get you with half-truths when you always focus on the wrong half” or words to that effect.

Regrouping at Orgrimmar Legion Camp.  Krug Skullsplit offering troop support for counter-offensive.  More forces needed for much prospect of success.

Courier carrying this note can fill in details as needed.

–Garona.

 

Between this and the Twilight strike at Bladefist Bay, I have a really bad feeling about this.  Somehow they knew.  They knew we were in Ahn’Qiraj, they knew we were preparing to move forces from Durotar.  Not sure how much they know on both fronts, but it stands to reason if they knew we were sending the Doomhammer out, they probably know we have something brewing at Alcaz, and that we’re springing a trap.

And the more I think of it…nearly everything we know about all of this has been coming from Twilight informants.

Spirits help us.  I think we’ve been played.

 

–Why have those cultists running around looking for something when they already knew where is was?

–Why are you having our people in Dustwallow carry on like the ogres there might still be holding the phylactery? … It’s just a way to keep the Grimtotem busy looking for it, keep them one move behind…

–Just a big misdirect.

–Mmhmm.

–Should I be worried that this cult and I seem to think so much alike?

 

I don’t think the phylactery was ever in Silithus.  I think that was one more giant misdirect in a string of misdirects.  They wanted us busy chasing our tails in Silithus.  They wanted us to think we’d gotten one move ahead of them, setting a trap to lure in the phylactery while they’re moving it around the zone – the more I think of it, if they had the damn thing, and they had that many forces in Silithus, why keep it moving and exposed while they set up?  Why wouldn’t they just bring everyone into the temple and set up while all their forces stand guard and the phylactery is safe in hand on-site?  Why would they even need the business with the signal?

So now the question is, where is it, and why go to the trouble of having us orchestrate this huge trap on our end?  If they’re playing games with us like this, they must know where the phylactery is, so why aren’t they just using it?  Do they not have it still?  Do they need something else before they actually CAN use it?  They must be after something.

 

Preserved, yes, kept for the masters, held for them, alive, alive, need Skarr alive, all of us alive until we all die, die for the masters, die in glory, die in flame…

 

They…need Skarr.  Alive.

And he was being chased by the Grimtotem.  And us, for that matter.  Only they had to know that WE wouldn’t kill him as long as we thought he knew something we needed.  So…they let us get him?  For safekeeping?  But that still doesn’t make sense – why not move HIM down to Silithus and keep him under guard with this giant fucking army they apparently have?  There’s something missing here.  There’s something else they’re still after, otherwise it makes no sense to be playing this bait-and-switch game they have going.

 

So easy to get you with half-truths when you keep focusing on the wrong half.

 

And besides, Skarr didn’t even actually HAVE the phylactery.  He had nothing in his camp, he had nothing on him, if he KNEW anything he wasn’t letting on…but he sure as hell THOUGHT he was playing some important role in it all, carrying out some important duty that Cho’gall trusted him with.

 

Cho’gall notice Skarr.  Cho’gall remember.  Keep in mind, keep in mind…

 

Hell, he was such a devoted crazy-ass follower of Cho’gall he even fucking TALKED like him half the time.

Wait a minute.

Wait…a minute.

 

Burn and drown and crush and suffocate.

 

Fuck.

FUCK.

Skarr was a believer.  So he gave himself over to the cause – completely.

 

Apparently that’s the trade-off for this kind of ritual – restoring somebody’s spirit from a non-living vessel doesn’t take a whole lot of magical energy, but it does need something attuned to that particular spirit in order to focus the spell properly, as opposed to living vessels, which I guess actually keep the essence better preserved but require an immense amount of power to unlock.

 

He gave himself over by helping them preserve their leader the safest way possible.

Skarr IS the phylactery.

FUCK.

But…to release Cho’gall’s spirit from a living vessel, according to what Draz’Zilb said… they can’t just up and do that.  They need an immense amount of magical power.

Like…say…a collection of ancient tauren artifacts, and the Doomstone.

Which are in the hands of Magatha.

Who we’re luring to the damn island.

With Skarr.

Fuck fuck fuck FUCK.

Skarr was the key all along.  We fucking had it in our hands and we didn’t even realize it.  How did nobody see this?  How did everybody fucking miss this?  Me included!  He was a fucking time bomb right there in our midst the whole time…

 

Tick, tock, tick, tock…

 

…and all they needed was for us to be chumps and pick a spot to plant the bomb and light the fuse for them.

I’m about to take off.  By this point Dontrag and Utvoch must have reached Alcaz Island with Skarr.  No telling how soon the Grimtotem will get there.  Or the Twilights.  No time now to get another ship ready to go – I need to fly down myself and do what I can to get this under control before everything goes to hell.

I’ll talk to you when I talk to you.  Luck to us all.