Archive for ancestral grounds

Ancestral Grounds

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

Writing from Garadar.  I’m going to stay in Outland another day or two, maybe pay a few visits to some familiar faces while I’m here.  Today I mostly needed some time to myself.

I went to the Ancestral Grounds this morning.  I flew around the western mountains for a while, and eventually, after some looking, I finally spotted a small cave with the remains of a makeshift hut just outside.  When I went inside, I found a few dusty boxes of supplies, some cooking gear, a few other little odds and ends…  To one side there was a fairly heavy chest that looked like it hadn’t been opened in years.  Until today, anyway.  Nothing shocking inside, just tidy folded stacks of clothes.  They smelled like old parchment and dreaming glories.

Against the back wall of the cave, laid out on a sturdy but uneven table, there was the body of an orc woman.  She was covered from head to foot in the ceremonial wrappings that are used in tauren custom.  I guess even Magatha has a line or two she wouldn’t cross when it comes to respecting the remains of the dead.

And laying beside the table, discarded and inactive, I found a tauren totem.  It had the same configuration, the same Grimtotem markings as the shadebind totem I’d found in Hyjal when I had my run-in with Krom’gar’s ghost.  I’ll be keeping it with me this time.  Not that there’s much left for anyone to do with it.

I carried Lakkara’s remains down to the Ancestral Grounds and buried her in a vacant spot, just across from where they’d buried Dranosh Saurfang.  I think she would have liked it there.  She always used to try to keep an eye on him.  She probably would have been a little sad to see him there with her already, but not surprised.  He was always showing up for things early.

After I’d finished, I sat near the grave and looked down from the hillside.  I stayed there a while, looking out toward Oshu’gun, and watched Banthar – herd mother for half a lifetime now – wander with her pack across the Spirit Fields.

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Spazzle Speaks: Mailbag Request

Posted in Mailbag, Spazzle Speaks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

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Hey, what’s up?

Spazzle here again.  Just wanted to chime in and give everybody an update, and also make a request.  Garrosh has been getting back to normal again the last few days.  (Well, about as normal as things get for him.)  (I probably should have known better than to say that.  He does read this sometimes.)  But he’s still taking everything pretty hard.  I can’t really blame him; I can’t imagine what it must be like to find your long-lost mom again, then lose her, then… <sigh>  Anyway, he left last night to go back to Nagrand for a few days.  He’s staying in contact with us here in Orgrimmar, but some time out there will probably do him good.

I have a request for everybody for when he gets back again.  Garrosh has been so busy dealing with everything else lately that he really hasn’t had much of a chance to check on his mail.  I think maybe having some letters to respond to might help him get his mind off of everything else that’s been going on, and let him get back in a more comfortable space.  So if you guys could be sending him some mail, maybe a few random Warchief-ish questions like the old days, I think it might do him some good.

Or, maybe even better, you could take a different approach to helping him via the mail.  Maybe a show of solidarity.  If you happen to find yourself near Demon Fall Canyon in Ashenvale, or the Ancestral Grounds in Nagrand, maybe take a minute to stop and pay your respects?  To Grom, or Lakkara, or both…and Garrosh by extension.  If you include a picture of yourself there in your note to the Warchief, that could be nice for him to see, to know he’s not going it alone.  Maybe even toss the picture up on your own blog if you have one, since I know Garrosh reads around quite a bit, even if he usually stays a lurker.

If you ever need anything,

Spazzle

Not quite Monday, not quite mailbag

Posted in General, Mailbag with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

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(Or, for the math nerds out there, NotQuite(Monday + Mailbag).  I don’t really understand what that means.  Spazzle said it would go over like gangbusters, though.)

The Grimtotem warrior that Nazgrim was holding in Brackenwall Village was delivered to Orgrimmar.  As it turns out, she was a messenger.  She had wanted to be brought to Orgrimmar in order to deliver a letter – to me personally.

On a side note, just before she arrived here, some of our soldiers captured a SECOND Grimtotem sneaking around the Dranosh’ar Blockade.  This one’s being pretty tight-lipped about what he was doing there, so I’m guessing that one wasn’t another messenger.  So I’m not sure what to make of that.

For now, though, it’s that first one that’s the bigger deal, because the message she was delivering…well, here, see for yourself.

 

Dearest Warchief Hellscream,

I hope this letter finds you well.  Actually, let us not put up false pretenses; I don’t at all hope it finds you well, and further, I know that it will not.

Word has reached me of the terrible tragedy you have recently suffered, concerning the loss of your dear mother Lakkara.  I believe I have some information concerning her loss that will be of interest to you.  Indeed, you may even take some solace in this knowledge – you see, my good Garrosh, you have not truly lost her at all.  That would require you to have ever truly had her back.

Allow me to share with you a most curious tale.

After my recent, shall we say, difficulties with many of my Grimtotem kin, I decided to retire temporarily through the Dark Portal to Outland – a remarkable spectacle at first sight, I must say.  I do so love what your fellow orcs have done with the place.  My handful of followers and I found the region of Nagrand by far the most hospitable – I will thank you for forgoing any obvious remarks concerning the ready availability of grass – and so we took up temporary residence in its outlying territories, near to your Mag’har kin’s Ancestral Grounds.

It was there that a most interesting thing took place.  While foraging in the nearby hills, my associates happened upon a small, secluded cave in the mountainside.  Inside, they found the body of an orcish woman who appeared to have died some years prior.  Ever a student of spiritual custom, I found myself curious as to how the woman had come to be there, and why the Mag’har, usually so diligent in matters of honoring their dead, would have left her remains to go unburied in some remote cave.  And so, I and my colleagues undertook some cautious investigations.

I will not trouble you with the details of our methods; suffice to say, in short order, we found to our amazement that we had discovered the remains of Lakkara, mate of the great Grommash Hellscream, last victim of the pernicious red pox that once ravaged the orcs.

Ordinarily, I would be loathe to disturb the fallen ancestors of any people.  But, as I am sure you will understand, I am equally loathe to pass up a glowing opportunity.

You may recall, several weeks ago, investigating a Twilight’s Hammer cabal in Hyjal, resulting in some rather troubling visions courtesy of a conveniently placed shadebind totem.  In a stroke of good fortune for me, and short-sightedness for you (both of which, I must say, I was rather counting on), you neglected in your rattled state to collect the offending totem.  This made it possible for one of my associates to do so shortly thereafter – the totem, by this point, having attuned itself to you, my good Warchief, for purposes of binding to itself a few select spirits intimately linked to your soul.  One crucial one in particular.

From there, it was a simple matter to summon forth Lakkara’s spirit and prepare her for her “return.”  With the spiritbinding of her dear son to draw upon, and her actual body on hand, the other necessary manipulations were laborious but hardly difficult.  A few selective blurrings of memories…the instilling of a few small additional ones…minor tinkering around the edges of the shadow of her mind: all trivial undertakings, really, once the real work of invocation was done.  All the more trivial given how readily she took to them – only too happy to imagine that she had watched her son’s growth in life rather than from the beyond.

The entire process she would perceive – with some subtle nudging – as our careful ministration of her illness.  (Not entirely an untruth, I might add.)  And the fact of her past contagion would ensure that she would not allow anyone close enough to touch her, and thus discover her noncorporeal state.

And so, with that, it was simply a matter of placing a few totems to summon her into sustained phantasmal being and set her on her way to Garadar.  Greatmother Geyah was, of course, the real test, but I hardly had any doubts that my Lakkara would pass inspection – my Lakkara was, after all, the real Lakkara.  Or what remained of her spirit, more or less.

It was only a matter of time before she would seek out her dear boy.

Of course, your time together would, as you already know, be short-lived.  The elder crone giveth, and the elder crone taketh away.  In this case, the instrument of her removal would likewise come via shadebind – in this case, your former underling Gerbo, who, you may be surprised to learn, was from time to time of assistance to me in his days in Stonetalon.  For a price, of course, but he was, quite frankly, something of a bargain as such matters go.  At any rate, given our previous…association, and his own lingering distaste for his former Warchief, he was only too amenable to lending his aid one last time in death.

It takes a ghost to slay a ghost, after all.

You might well ask, at this point, why I would take the trouble to construct so elaborate a charade.  Why would I invest such time and effort to conjure up the illusion of Lakkara, only to dispel it once again, all for no apparent, tangible gain.

You might well ask, but I suspect you need not.  For illusory though she may have been, to you, dear Garrosh, she was real.  And there is no agony quite so sharp as that of rescinded hope, is there, Warchief?

I will admit, my earlier efforts against you in the Bastion of Twilight were misguided.  Then, I had sought to take my revenge by killing you.  A foolish, short-sighted goal, I realize now.  A terrible mistake whose failure, though grating at the time, has proven to be a blessing in disguise.

You see, I no longer have any desire to kill you.  I’ve hurt you.  And I intend to go on hurting you.

Enjoy your empty nest, dear Warchief.  You will hear from me again.

–Magatha Grimtotem

 

Excuse me.  I…think I need to step away from the computer for a minute.

Okay.

So.

I know a lot of you have been reading this blog for a while, and you probably already have an idea what to expect at this point.  So you’re probably going to be a little surprised here.

See, ordinarily this would be the point where I start yelling, and going into all caps, and screaming bloody murder, and ranting on and on about how brutally I’m going to murder Magatha, and on and on, and filling up a couple paragraphs with how Magatha’s going to die, she’s going to die, oh holy crap she is so.  Totally.  Going.  To die.

I’m not going to do that now.

See how calm I’m staying?  Keeping it together, no yelling, not raising my voice even a little.

Want to know why?

You know that level of anger where it’s not burning up inside you, not even because it’s burned itself out – because that would imply it’s run its course and is done with – but because it’s gone so far beyond that burning, fiery, jump-up-and-down, stomp-your-feet kind of angry?  That anger where the screaming and venting is just wasted energy, and you’re not going to waste any of that energy that you could save up to erase whoever or whatever it was that pushed you that far?  You know that kind of angry?

I am so utterly beyond that right now.

So all I’m going to say is this.

You don’t have to worry about my rage, Magatha.  I usually make a pretty big show of using up my rage.  But rage is just anger that’s burned up and channeled into something else, expended as quickly as it comes.  Rage is nothing.  But anger that’s contained, even cultivated?  That’s like a wine.  It grows deeper, and richer, and ferments into something greater.  It grows more potent.  It grows creative.

Anger is the mother of invention.  And it has an infinite, indelible memory.

So don’t worry about me ranting on and on and how you’re going to die, Magatha.  I know it’s what you’re expecting from me, but not this time.  That’s a promise.

You’re not going to die, Magatha.

You’re going to beg to.

And when you do, I’m going to be completely, utterly, hideously…calm.

Monday Mailbag

Posted in Mailbag with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

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Don’t forget to make your last-minute suggestions for Garrosh’s Poetry Challenge this week!  The last installment was the Sylvanas poem from Friday, so be sure to put your ideas in the comments there.  In the meantime, let’s have a look at this week’s mail…

 

Dear Warchief,

Since you’ve shown an interest in this week’s Noblegarden activities, I thought you might want to know about some rather…strange events going on around them.  Down here in Bloodhoof Village, many of us have been engaging in the traditional egg hunts.  As you probably already know, some of those eggs are magical, and when gathered they spawn several bunnies.  So fairly early on in the holiday season, the village ends up being filled with dozens of these little rabbits, hopping around all over the place and going about their business.

That much is fine, it’s part of the holiday and we don’t mind the rabbits at all.  The problem is that this year, we’re having an extra, unexpected guest whom we weren’t expecting.  A few days into Noblegarden, the forest nymph Mylune, whom I think you’ve met, showed up unannounced and…well…just started going nuts.  Not violent nuts or anything, she just saw all the bunnies and flipped.  She’s been scampering around the village hugging as many rabbits as she can herd together, talking baby talk to them, and squealing on and on every time she sees more of them.

She’s not bothering anyone, really, just minding her own bunny-hugging business, and I can’t say she’s doing any harm.  We tauren generally are on good terms with the dryads, so I don’t think we’re going to have any real trouble with her.  It’s just…really weird.  So I thought you might want to know what was happening.

–Maur Raincaller, Bloodhoof Village

Huh.  Well, Maur, as long as she’s not actually causing any real problems, this might be one that we just let sit.  Not to stick you guys with her charming company down there in Bloodhoof Village, but honestly?  After last time, I’m not going anywhere near that chick.  You should be fine, the holiday’s over now so she’ll probably go home soon enough, just make sure your newbie druids down there don’t try shifting into animal forms while she’s around.  And you might want to tell any hunters you’ve got to keep their distance if they have pets.  Oh and also, it might be a little inconvenient, I know, but you might want to give your windrider master a day or two off and just close down the flight path.  I know from experience the wyverns probably aren’t going to get a lot done while she’s around, and your flight master will probably appreciate being spared the headaches.  And possible bosom-clasp bruises.

 

Hey mon,

How come people always be makin’ a big deal about dese death knights?  I be pwnin’ dem down here in de Echo Isles ever since dey started seein’ dey trainers here.

–Bob, Echo Isles

Um, okay, first of all, idiot, there ARE no death knight trainers in the Echo Isles.  There aren’t any baby death knights running around the junior league training areas like Echo Isles or Razor Hill or whatever.  Because – NEWS FLASH, dimwit – all the death knights in the Horde are former Knights of the Ebon Blade, who were turned into death knights by Arthas back in the day, so the ONLY place they can train is in their own damn floaty city out in the Eastern Plaguelands.  Which you would KNOW if you didn’t have your head jammed so far up your ass that you don’t have any fucking idea what’s going on AROUND you.

Which brings me to my next point.  Dude, what the fuck is up with you?  Seriously.  Every few weeks I get some letter from you where you’re asking about some shit that absolutely anybody with a brain already knows, and half the time you’ve got something cringe-inducingly WRONG, so like, really, what’s your deal?  Did you just get dropped on your head like eight thousand times?  Did you, Dontrag, and Utvoch draw straws to see who got how much of the one brain you’ve got between you all, only you wound up with nothing because you lost focus and stuck your straws in your nose and started cracking yourself up making walrus noises?  Or did you put on a bear suit for who the fuck knows what reason, then made the bad decision to drop by Hyjal, and next thing you knew that aforementioned prancy head case Mylune ran up and started squeezing you till she literally made you shit your brain right out?  Because I’m really trying to figure you out, and I’m not coming up with much of anything other than something like that.

I tell you, I give Vol’jin a lot of crap, but spirits help him if this is the kind of wall-to-wall hired help he’s got to choose from down there.

 

Dear Garrosh,

I’m not quite sure how to begin, or even if you would want to hear from me.  I’m sorry that I haven’t tried to contact you until now.  I hope that in the end you’ll understand why.

When the red pox tore through our people in Nagrand, you and I were both afflicted, like most of the rest of the Mag’har.  It was probably so long ago that you barely even remember it, if you do at all.  I remember it well.  I remember how sick you became.  But I knew you would make it through.  Even then, you were strong.  You were always so strong.

Eventually the healers of Garadar began to cure our people of the red pox.  Bit by bit, our little forgotten village began to recover.  My symptoms, though, continued undiminished, no matter what our shamans did.  Worse yet, in a few cases, those who had been cured found themselves reinfected after being around me, only this time with symptoms that were far more severe, and resisted all attempts at treatment.  Almost without exception, they died.

I, on the other hand, lived on, suffering but alive, as if the pox and I were locked in a stalemate: me too strong to die, the disease too strong to fade.  The shamans decided that somehow I had become a carrier for a far more virulent strain of that hateful disease.

In time, Garadar recovered, and I was the only one left, with no end to the pox in sight.  More and more, those who came close to me found themselves infected.  And more and more quickly, those who fell infected would die.

In time I decided that I could not remain a burden to our people.  I exiled myself from the Mag’har, taking up shelter in a small hovel hidden away in the mountains near the Ancestral Grounds.  When time and illness finally took me, I thought, at least I would be close to our sacred place.  Perhaps the spirits would help guide me to the next life.

I disappeared quietly one night.  At my urging, Greatmother Geyah told the village that the pox had finally taken me.  In the eyes of Garadar, I had died.  Only a handful of the elders knew the truth.

Years passed.  The pox carried on unabated.  So did I.  All the while, I watched from afar as best I could.  I watched as the demons’ hold on our once-beautiful world waned.  I watched as the Mag’har slowly regathered themselves.  And I watched you, Garrosh.  I watched you grow up, strong as you always were, a man before your years, denied the luxury of a childhood.  And I watched you live in a self-made purgatory forged of your father’s sins.

It broke my heart.

Years more passed, and you left Draenor to pursue a new life.  A better life, I prayed.

Then, not long ago, a group of healers found me in my mountain refuge.  I did not know them, and their garments were of a make unfamiliar to me.  They were not of the Mag’har, some not even orcs.  I do not know how they knew to find me, but they claimed to have new medicines from the world the orcs had taken up as their new home.  While they could not offer a cure, they claimed they could contain the pox enough to prevent its spread.  Under their treatment, the disease would no longer be airborne, only contagious by contact.  A small comfort, but now at least, they said, the pain of the disease need not be compounded by the misery of solitude.

In time, I decided to risk revealing myself.  I returned to Garadar, to the welcoming embrace of Greatmother Geyah.

In the days since my return, she has updated me on much that has transpired in my absence.  The war, the internment, the demise of Mannoroth and the lifting of the blood haze.  But most of all she told me of you.  Strong and proud.  A hero of a faraway war, fought against the icy talons of death itself.  A leader of men, and now, Warchief of our people.

I do not wish anything from you, Garrosh.  I have decided to reach out to you now only that you might finally know the truth, and know that I am so very, very proud of you.  Do honor to our people and lead them well.  As I always have, in this life or the next, I will be watching over you.

Love always, my Garrosh,

–Lakkara, Nagrand

Um…

<blink>

<stare>

…Mom?