The curtain rises on the exterior of Karazhan. Garrosh et al approach the front gate.
GARROSH: Okay, so this is the place…
FARANELL: Weren’t we just here not too long ago?
Garrosh knocks on the door. A window on the door slides open, and Berhold the doorman sticks his head out.
BERTHOLD: Who goes there? What business do you have at the master’s Dark Tower?
GARROSH: We’ve come to see the Wizard.
DONTRAG: The guardian Wizard of Zhan!
UTVOCH: We hear he’s sage—
Garrosh smacks Utvoch.
GARROSH: Now don’t you get started with that shit again!
BERTHOLD: The Wizard? You can’t see the Wizard! No one sees the Wizard!
GARONA: Here’s where I grease the wheels… You remember me, don’t you, Berthold?
BERTHOLD: <leans out a bit more, squinting> Hmm, well…oh…oh goodness…lady Garona? Is it really you?
GARONA: It’s good to see you again, Berthold. Could you please go in and tell the Wizard it’s me?
BERTHOLD: Well, um, of course, m’lady. I’ll just be a moment.
Berthold disappears inside and the window closes.
GARONA: <grinning smugly> See? Now we just wait a minute or two, and then they’ll roll out the welcome mat.
GARROSH: How do you know this guy, anyway?
GARONA: I guess you could say we had sort of a thing back in the day.
GARROSH: Suddenly this Wizard’s judgment is seeming a little suspect.
GARONA: What’s that supposed to mean?
Just in front of the door, a heavy portcullis suddenly comes crashing down.
FARANELL: Um, unless welcome mats have been radically redesigned lately…
GARONA: Hang on.
Garona raps on the door angrily. The window opens and Berthold looks out again.
GARONA: Didn’t you tell him it was me?
Berthold slams the window shut.
GARONA: Well I…I…
GARROSH: Okay, so I stand corrected on this Wizard guy.
MOKVAR: Well now we have a minor problem about getting in to see him.
GARROSH: Anyone else have any bright ideas?
FARANELL: Garrosh, let me see that Focusing Iris?
GARROSH: You’re not going to try to blow up the gate and get us all killed or something, are you?
FARANELL: Not all of us.
FARANELL: But really, let me see it. I think I know how to appeal to him.
GARROSH: <handing the Focusing Iris to Faranell> You think you can get us in, run with it, man.
Faranell knocks on the door; the window opens, and Berthold looks out.
BERTHOLD: Are you all still here?
FARANELL: Yeah, so listen—
BERTHOLD: Good heavens, what happened to you? You look like death warmed over!
FARANELL: Yeah, yeah, I’m undead. So anyway—
BERTHOLD: Undead? That must be a horrible fate.
FARANELL: Yeah, well, take a good long look at the future, smart guy. Are you done interrupting me now? Yeah? Good. So, check this out. I know your boss isn’t in much of a hurry to be reunited with little miss sunshine over here, but I think he’d be very interested in getting a peek at this.
Faranell holds up the Focusing Iris.
You go on back inside and tell him that the bearer of the Focusing Iris is here, and might be persuaded to let him check out the number one item on every magic user’s Winter’s Veil list, okay?
BERTHOLD: Huh…if you say so, sir…
Berthold disappears inside.
MOKVAR: You think he’s going to go for it?
FARANELL: Trust me, I know how to appeal to another mage.
GARROSH: Let’s hope.
Accompanied by the sound of rattling chains, the portcullis rises back up, and the door swings open.
FARANELL: And there we go.
GARROSH: Nice job, Doc. Now we’re in business. Let’s go finish this…
The group walks through the gate.
Blackout. Garrosh and the others enter a large chamber filled with relics, vials, and other magic paraphernalia. Tapestries and ornate curtains decorate those portions of the walls not covered with tall bookshelves.
GARROSH: Huh… Well this looks like the kind of place a wizard would hang out, but where is he?
A booming voice echoes through the room.
VOICE: You have come to seek an audience with the great and powerful Wizard of Zhan?
GARONA: Oh boy, here he goes.
GARROSH: <looking around> Uh, yeah, we do, if he can bother dragging his butt out here so we can actually see him.
VOICE: You dare presume to speak to the great Wizard with such familiarity, mortal? You shall count yourself fortunate that the Wizard does not smite you where you stand!
UTVOCH: Wait, he’s a priest? I thought he was a mage.
MOKVAR: Is he always like this?
GARONA: Oh you have no idea. All the time with the talking about himself in the third person.
In the middle of the room, a towering, semi-transparent avatar of Medivh appears.
MEDIVH: The Wizard of Zhan has been informed that one among you carries the storied Focusing Iris! It is for this reason alone that you have been permitted into this sanctified chamber!
GARONA: Oh, and there he is, finally. And thank you, dear, for that very warm welcome.
MEDIVH: <looks at Garona> Oh. Delightful.
GARONA: Oh, really? You want to know what else is delightful? Being a single mom trying to give her son a good life when the kid’s high-and-mighty richer-than-Aman’thul dad for some reason can’t be bothered to mail off a child support payment!
MEDIVH: The great and powerful Wizard of Zhan does not have time to trifle with these petty—
GARONA: Oh, sure, when it’s something I want to talk about…
GARROSH: So listen, Your Wizardry, we have the Focusing Iris—
MEDIVH: Indeed, hence you are here in my chamber, and not cast out to the ogres! I will be most interested to examine the relic, and—
GARROSH: Yeah, well, here’s the thing, chief – before we let you go poking around with the shiny, we have a few things of our own that we could use a hand with.
MEDIVH: You dare dictate terms to the great and mighty Wizard!
GARONA: Oh man, he’s really in form today…
FARANELL: If you’d rather not be bothered we can just be along our way.
MEDIVH: <chuckles> You mortals have daring, I’ll grant you that much.
Medivh looks around the group, eyeing them carefully.
I will hear your requests.
GARONA: Hold the presses, he just called himself “I.”
MEDIVH: And you would do well to still her tongue.
GARROSH: Been working on that for months, chief. No luck so far.
MEDIVH: At any rate – present your entreaties, but remember the Wizard makes no promises.
GARROSH: We each have something we’re after, Wiz. In my case, I’m trying to find a way to summon Prince Malchezaar down from the Netherspace, so I can put him in the ground before the Burning Legion can pull him out of mothballs to stir up trouble for my people.
MEDIVH: Ah, yes, the irksome demon who’s tucked himself away in the upper levels. You intrigue me, mortal; I must say it would be no small pleasure to have that particular infestation removed from this place…
GARROSH: Okay, so far so good. Meanwhile…well…the rest of the requests are a little more personalized.
DONTRAG: Shall we present our case to the great and metallurgical Wizard, sir, and—
GARROSH: <smacking Dontrag> For spirits’ sake, no.
MOKVAR: Dontrag and Utvoch here would like some brains.
UTVOCH: Indeed, sir!
DONTRAG: <rubbing his head> So as not to have our current ones beaten out quite so often, sir.
GARROSH: And for real, anything you could do on that count, I mean, I can’t possibly overstate how much of a quality of life improvement that could be for everyone involved.
MOKVAR: As for the rest of us… A heart for me.
GARROSH: Because apparently he’s still moping over his ex-wife or something.
GARONA: Could you be any more insensitive?
FARANELL: And some guts for me.
UTVOCH: I still don’t really think you need—
MEDIVH: Enough of your insipid prattling, insects!
GARROSH: Yelling doesn’t do much good with this crowd, Wiz. Don’t think I haven’t tried.
MEDIVH: The great and powerful Wizard of Zhan has heard your requests, and in light of the possibility of studying the Focusing Iris, has deemed them acceptable.
GARROSH: Awesome, Wiz.
FARANELL: See, I told you the Iris was our ticket in.
MOKVAR: So is there a spell or an incantation you have to do on us, or…?
MEDIVH: Silence, mortals! I have not yet finished! I will grant your requests, but first I require you to perform a task on my behalf!
MOKVAR: Uh oh.
DONTRAG: I knew there was going to be a catch…
MOKVAR: We’re going to have to kill something, aren’t we?
GARROSH: So hang on, when you say we have to do a task for you, is this a for real task, or one of those busywork kind of tasks, because you’re talking to an old pro at doling out those…
FARANELL: Personally I think the whole getting-to-work-on-the-Iris thing should be enough of a trade-off on our part, but…
MEDIVH: Bleat at me no longer, fools!
FARANELL: That was kind of a good one, actually.
MEDIVH: Before the mighty and magnanimous Wizard grants your request, he demands that you return to him another magic relic of great power: you are to slay the Wicked Witch of the West, and recover from her the Doomstone.
GARROSH: Hang on, the Wicked Witch of the West? That’s Magatha, isn’t it?
GARROSH: So we get what we came for, AND I get to kill Magatha?
FARANELL: Didn’t you already kill her in the other timeline?
GARROSH: Trust me, dude, it never gets old.
MEDIVH: You shall venture to the odious lair of the Wicked Witch, where you shall slay her and return with the powerful Doomstone. You must not shy away from this task, for if you fail to carry out this duty—
GARROSH: Dude, it’s cool, done and done.
MEDIVH: Excellent! Be warned, however, the lair of the Wicked Witch of the West shall not be breached easily. It lies in the Mountains of Twilight, in the dread Bastion of the Dying Day. The journey shall be long and arduous, and you will find many trials between here and—
FARANELL: <holding up the Focusing Iris and channeling a spell> Yeah, stoke that noise. Portal to BoT coming up!
Faranell completes the spell and teleports the group away, other than Garona.
MEDIVH: <sighs> Mortals.
Blackout. In an inner chamber of the Bastion of Twilight, Magatha peers into an Eye of Twilight. Beside her hunches Zhi-Zhi, dressed in armor and sporting bat-like wings on his back; around the room similar winged monkey creatures scurry.
MAGATHA: The visions have grown cloudy…they may have reached Karazhan, but no matter – soon enough we’ll find them, and the Focusing Iris will be—
In a flash of light, Garrosh et all appear in the middle of the room. The group appears briefly disoriented as they look around.
FARANELL: Okay, here we are!
MOKVAR: <looking around> Are…are those flying monkeys?
MAGATHA: Well then! All the better! No need to go out hunting for them – the fools have delivered themselves right into my very lair!
ZHI-ZHI: Now! Now we get them, your Witchy-wooken-ness ma’am! Hozen do good and get the dookin’—
MAGATHA: <smacking Zhi-Zhi> Shut up, you insipid preliterate orang utan! Get them!
ZHI-ZHI: Ahhh! Stop hitting Zhi-Zhi!
DONTRAG: I know the feeling, ape guy…
ZHI-ZHI: Get them! Get them!
More monkeys swarm into the room and start running to surround Garrosh’s group, which backs up toward stage right. Magatha runs back and forth in the background, overlooking the scene. Arikara flies in and swoops back and forth above them.
GARROSH: That’s…a whole lot of monkeys.
FARANELL: Plus that wind serpent…
Mortimer leaps into the air and barrels into Arikara with a snarl, knocking them both offstage to the left.
GARROSH: Yeah, I’m not so worried about the wind serpent.
The monkeys descend in bunches, attacking the group.
The chimp brigade, on the other hand…
The Horde group starts to fight off the monkeys; they cut the monkeys down easily enough, but by sheer force of numbers, Magatha’s attackers push Garrosh et al further back.
Magatha descends and begins shooting chain lightning.
MAGATHA: Hahaha! You fools made my work that much easier! Now the Focusing Iris will be mine, and—
Faranell runs up to Magatha and splashes her from a bucket.
AAAHH!! I’m melting! I’m melting! AAAAHHH!!!
Screaming all the way, Magatha melts into a sizzling brown puddle on the floor.
GARROSH: Um, hang on a second. She melted? Fucking WATER killed her?
FARANELL: No. That wasn’t water.
MOKVAR: What was it, then?
FARANELL: Acidic plague.
GARROSH: You walk around with a bucket of acidic plague?
FARANELL: Do you not know what I do for a living?
ZHI-ZHI: The Wicked Witch – she’s dead! You killed her!
MOKVAR: Uh oh. Bracing for pissed-off monkeys.
ZHI-ZHI: She’s dead! She’s dead! Hozen are free! Free of the Witch!
Zhi-Zhi starts jumping up and down jubilantly, with the other monkeys following his lead in short order. Mortimer wanders in and sits, munching on a wind serpent wing.
DONTRAG: I guess this is good?
MOKVAR: As long as they don’t start fliging poop around, I think we’re okay.
ZHI-ZHI: No more beatings from Wicked Witch! We friends now! Friends of the hozen!
Faranell prods Magatha’s remains, rummaging through the remains of her cloak.
MOKVAR: Be careful there, Edwin – are you sure you should be poking around in that stuff?
FARANELL: <continues rummaging> Oh, yes, you’re right, I’d better be careful not to touch any of the plague, or else my flesh might decompose and I might die and OH WAIT.
Faranell pulls a polished gray stone from Magatha’s cloak and tosses it to Garrosh.
Here we go. Mission accomplished.
ZHI-ZHI: Yes! You take Doomstone – reward for killing Wicked Witch! And hozen will follow you now!
GARROSH: Don’t I know you from somewhere?
ZHI-ZHI: <scratching his head> Ever been to Tian Monastery?
GARROSH: Never heard of it.
MOKVAR: Well, other than that one time.
ZHI-ZHI: <still scratching his head> Dunno then…
GARROSH: <shrugs> Whatever.
FARANELL: Portal back to the Wizard?
GARROSH: Yeah, let’s get a move on.
ZHI-ZHI: Hozen come too! Follow new leader! Leader who free hozen!
GARROSH: Uh, yeah, dude, listen, I’ve already got my quota filled on preliterate knuckle-dragging lackeys, okay?
DONTRAG: Sorry, sir.
FARANELL: Okay, gentlemen, here we go…
Faranell casts a portal spell and teleports the group away. Zhi-Zhi remains with the other winged monkeys; he looks around dejectedly, then sneers at the spot where Garrosh had been standing.
ZHI-ZHI: Still not the one!
Blackout. In the Wizard of Zhan’s chamber, Garrosh et al port in, joining Medivh, Garona, and Liadrin.
MEDIVH: Ah, you’ve returned! The mighty but restless Wizard of Zhan is both pleased and not inconsiderably relieved at your timely return!
MOKVAR: You were worried about us?
MEDIVH: Not especially. But since your departure, your…colleague has scarcely shut up.
GARONA: Well sue me for thinking you might want to catch up a little. It’s not like we have a kid together or anything.
GARROSH: <looking to Liadrin> And hang on, what are YOU doing here?
LIADRIN: You think I would miss this floor show?
GARROSH: Well you know, if you were going to come here anyway, you could have maybe stayed with us and used some of your magic to help move things along.
LIADRIN: And then what would you have learned?
GARROSH: I didn’t learn a damn thing as it is, other than “Watch where you step around monkeys” and “Don’t get too close if you see a walking corpse with a bucket”!
FARANELL: You know I’m standing right here.
LIADRIN: Two valuable life lessons.
GARROSH: …I seriously need some new friends.
MEDIVH: At any rate.
GARROSH: Yeah, PLEASE get us back to business.
MEDIVH: You have brought the Doomstone, as I instructed?
GARROSH: <holds up the Doomstone> Got it right here.
MEDIVH: Excellent. Now you shall hand over the relic, and—
GARROSH: Not so fast, translucent boy. First you give us what we came here for, THEN we’ll give you the doohicky.
MEDIVH: You dare try to dictate terms to the great and powerful Wizard of Zhan, mortal? I should liquidate you for your presumption alone!
Mortimer, who has been sniffing around the various tapestries that cover parts of the walls, tugs back one curtain to reveal a control panel covered with elaborate levers, buttons, and monitors, manned by a Forsaken male dressed in warrior’s plate.
GARROSH: Uh, who’s that?
The Forsaken man speaks into a microphone on the control panel, and his words are echoed by Medivh.
AVERRY and MEDIVH: Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!
FARANELL: Well that’s…odd.
GARROSH: The hell?
GARONA: I don’t even want to think about the implications of this for me.
AVERRY and MEDIVH: Silence, you foolish mortals! Pay him no mind!
GARROSH: Dude, we can see you’re the one doing the talking.
UTVOCH: I’m confused.
FARANELL: Imagine our astonishment.
Averry looks back at the others and hurriedly pulls the curtain closed again.
GARROSH: Now then, insects, you will disregard the man behind the— Oh. Oops. Wrong button.
MEDIVH: That’s better. Now then, insects, you will disregard the man behind the curtain, and put him out of mind!
ALL: What man behind the curtain whom we certainly don’t remember seeing?
MEDIVH: Much better.
GARROSH: Look, can we just get what we came here for so we can get this whole freak show over with?
LIADRIN: It probably would be just as easy to do it this way, Guardian.
MEDIVH: <sighs> Very well. Have your companions step forward…
Mokvar, Faranell, Dontrag, and Utvoch step closer to Medivh. Medivh looks to Faranell.
First you, my fellow – albeit preposterously less mighty – mage.
FARANELL: Can’t anyone be one of the best at their class without being an elitist jerk about it?
MEDIVH: You came, as I recall, seeking guts – and yet I daresay you suffer from disorganized thinking. To flee from danger is, in many cases, not cowardice, but wisdom. Indeed, in my day I have known many a soul called a hero, who carried out great deeds of valiance, and they had no more courage than—
FARANELL: No, no, you’re taking this too metaphorically.
FARANELL: I don’t need guts because I think I’m a coward. Look at me. Half my internal organs are missing. I have no guts, literally.
MEDIVH: Huh. You know, you’re shedding new light on some complaints I’ve been getting from Moroes…
FARANELL: How about I put you down for an “I’ll get back to you” and keep the line moving.
Medivh shrugs and turns to Mokvar.
MEDIVH: As for you, my good orc… Your trouble is another misperception of your situation – not the lack of heart, but a damaged one. To that end, I give you this remedy, for your ears and your ears alone:
Medivh leans closer to Mokvar.
<aside> She is still out there, alive, and she is looking for you.
Mokvar makes a surprised expression, then nods and steps away. Medivh turns to Dontrag and Utvoch.
Now then…you two.
DONTRAG: Yes, sir, your high and mighty Wizardariousness, sir.
UTVOCH: Very much honored to bask in your presence and await your magnaminious blessings, sir.
MEDIVH: Hmm… Yeah. Right. Sorry. You can’t fix stupid.
GARROSH: <sighs> Gotta say, we’re not getting a whole lot of return on our investment so far.
MEDIVH: Now for your request, other-orc. You say you seek the demon Malchezaar, and the means to draw him out of his hiding place…
GARROSH: Right. Please don’t tell me this is another one of those “Oops, I can’t really do that one” things for you.
MEDIVH: The great and powerful Wizard of Zhan can do anything, mortal!
FARANELL: Other than listen to himself for like the last three minutes.
MEDIVH: But, as it happens, in this case the Wizard does not need to!
GARROSH: <sighs> Don’t tell me you’re going to get all cryptic on me now.
LIADRIN: What I think the Wizard means, Garrosh, is that you have the means now to do it yourself.
GARROSH: The what now?
Liadrin points to the Doomstone in Garrosh’s hands.
Huh… This thing can do it? How?
LIADRIN: You need only charge it with the Focusing Iris, and you’ll see.
GARROSH: Huh. Well, you heard her, Edwin. Let’s see what this thing does.
Faranell takes out the Focusing Iris and starts to channel arcane power through it and into the Doomstone. The Doomstone starts to glow, then expand, growing into a heavy gray slab of rock with a single runic symbol etched into it.
LIADRIN: Now all you need to is touch your hand to it and say “Come click on the stone.”
Garrosh gives a quizzical look, then shrugs and puts his hand on the stone.
GARROSH: Come click on the stone.
LIADRIN: That’s it…go on…
GARROSH: Come click on the stone… Come click on the stone… Come click on the stone…
As he repeats the phrase, Faranall and Mokvar approach and touch the stone as well. The stage lights dim as Medivh’s chamber fades away, and the only things left visible are Garrosh and the stone. A bright light flashes around the stone, and Prince Malchezaar appears.
MALCHEZAAR: <looks around bewildered> What? How—?
GARROSH: Well hey, now we’re in business.
MALCHEZAAR: You! You dare?
GARROSH: Yeah, so, we haven’t really properly met or anything, princy, so let me fill you in – I dare. Like, professionally.
MALCHEZAAR: Madness has brought you here, orc! Now I shall be your undoing!
GARROSH: Seriously, do you bad guys all take a class on these stock threats? Because—
Garrosh reaches to his back to draw Gorehowl, only to find it’s disappeared from its usual place.
Wha— Oh for fuck’s sake, seriously? Again, now?
Laughing menacingly, Malchezaar draws Gorehowl and brandishes it.
MALCHEZAAR: Ha! Have you misplaced this, fool? I remember fondly the day I recovered it from Demon’s Fall!
GARROSH: Ugh, fine, we’ll do this the street-brawl way…
Garrosh rushes at Malchezaar and grapples with him, gripping Gorehowl by its haft when Malchezaar tries to swing it at him.
MALCHEZAAR: Flee now while you can, orc! You do not face Malchezaar alone—
GARROSH: Yeah, yeah, we all know the spiel, squid-face – but you know something? You’re right. I DON’T face Malchezaar alone…
The stage lights come back on, illuminating the normal, minimally dressed stage of the Opera House – with Faranell, Liadrin, Mokvar, Garona, Dontrag, and Utvoch in a semicircle behind Garrosh and Malchezaar.
Say hello to the legion at my command! SHOW TIME FOR REAL, kids!
MOKVAR: Liking our odds a lot better this time…
While Faranell and Mokvar stand back, casting fireballs and lightning bursts respectively, Liadrin, Garona, Dontrag, and Utvoch run in to engage Malchezaar at melee range. Malchezaar staggers back and forth under the onslaught of the group, still grappling with Garrosh over their hold on Gorehowl, until Garrosh twists it out of Malchezaar’s grip, leaps up, and cleaves through the demon’s neck, severing his head. Malchezaar’s body slumps to the floor, and the spectral audience bursts into applause.
GARROSH: Wham, bam, the bitch is dead. Bitch.
As the audience continues their applause, Barnes walks to center stage.
BARNES: A splendid finale for a most varied and entertaining evening of theater! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you tonight’s troupe of performers, here for the first and only time for your enjoyment!
The applause rises; Barnes walks back offstage.
MOKVAR: Well that takes care of that.
DONTRAG: We’re done here now, right?
LIADRIN: That should do it, yes…
FARANELL: <standing over Malchezaar’s body somberly> At least now he can stop coming back to die over and over…
MOKVAR: Oh, yeah…I guess you were in your own kind of time loop, weren’t you, Edwin…
LIADRIN: But…Edwin, it would have been a stable loop with you, wouldn’t it? Just one set of events repeating infinitely?
FARANELL: That’s what I’d figured it was going to be…
GARROSH: Wait, what? What do you mean, a stable loop?
FARANELL: When I stayed in old Southshore, and replaced myself. I’d figured I would live through my life like I remembered it, then get to the point where we traveled to the past, and go back with you again, then the events would be complete. And then it would be done, and the cycle would just keep spinning itself.
LIADRIN: That isn’t what happened for you?
FARANELL: <shaking head slowly> It didn’t just repeat. I would live through to our mission to the past, and replace myself again, and pick up my life in the past…and yeah, the loop would keep repeating, but every cycle through, I had to live it through again, and repeat my part of it again, and…
LIADRIN: Oh…oh no…
FARANELL: …and die again. And be raised again.
MOKVAR: Holy crap…
UTVOCH: Wait, I’m confused, what’s he—
GARROSH: Just this once, will you please SHUT THE FUCK UP?
FARANELL: And so yeah, every time around, I had to live out that repetition fresh. I can still remember every loop, individually…
LIADRIN: Edwin… I’m not sure if I even really want to know, but…how many times did you…go around?
FARANELL: By the time you…I…reset the timelines and broke me out…? 2,734.
LIADRIN: By the Light… You…relived your own death…?
Faranell nods, still staring at Malchezaar.
MOKVAR: Edwin, listen—
FARANELL: Doesn’t really matter at this point. <turns back to the others> Come on. We’re done here. Portal to Orgrimmar coming up.
Faranell summons a portal, and one by one the rest of the group disappears through it.
There’s no place like home…
Faranell ports out. The curtain closes.
Archive for berthold
Now that things have quieted down around here – granted, not quite as successfully as I might have liked – I’m finally getting around to a bit of business I’ve had in the back of my mind ever since that whole mess with the overlapping timelines. See, if you remember, one of the reasons the Burning Legion was able to take out Orgrimmar so easily was that they had Prince Malchezaar tucked away in Karazhan, in that time-loopy Netherspace, so they could crack him out whenever they needed him and have him use one of Medivh’s old spellbooks to port them right in on top of us. Which, if you remember, wasn’t exactly a fun time for the good guys.
Now granted, that timeline never happened for us now, but one thing that’s come out of it is that NOW, I know what Malchezaar is actually doing up there in Karazhan – basically sitting there in storage, on a permanent death-then-respawn loop, until the Legion turns up and needs him. Which, by the way, I’ve got to say, as much as I hate the demons, that’s a job that has to take some stones to sign up for. Assuming Malchezaar had any choice in the matter. But can you imagine that? Committing yourself to dying over and over, just to come back and die some more? Can you imagine how much someone would have to believe in the cause to go along with something like that, and stick to it even after X number of go-rounds?
Anyway, point is, now I know what Malchezaar is doing there, and just importantly, I’ve seen first-hand the threat he could pose to the Horde. So I think it’s high time we made it our business to neutralize that threat. The one trick, though, is that we can’t just go up to the Netherspace where Malchezaar is hiding and kill him there – then he would just pop back up again as soon as the time loop resets. Nothing accomplished there. So we’ve got to find a way to get him down from there first.
And before you go suggesting one of us should go up there, shoot him, then take off down the stairs so he’ll chase us till he’s out of the Netherspace…come on. Malchezaar’s a poncy fucker, sure, but he’s not a damn idiot. He knows that as long as he’s up there he’s safe, and as soon as he leaves he’s vulnerable. So I’ve got to figure he’d be smart enough to leash back to his home base as soon as he sees what we’re doing. So we’ll have to come up with another way to yank him down from there.
But, bottom line – we’re going to Karazhan.
Since part of the mission is going to be finding or improvising a way to get Malchezaar down from the Netherspace, and it’s hard to say just what we’ll be up against in the process, I’m bringing a decent team with me. And since the mission is largely based on what we learned in that other timeline, I’m first and foremost bringing the people who’ll remember that timeline with me: Mokvar, Liadrin, Faranell, and Utvoch.
Side note, speaking of which: I’ve talked to Mokvar and Liadrin since the whole time fiasco, and from what I gather, those of us who had gone on the original Southshore mission – the ones who were still aware of our original timeline when we started shifting into the other one – can still remember everything that happened with the two realities. Mokvar remembers shifting back and forth with me. Liadrin remembers becoming leader of the Argent Crusade and bearer of the Ashbringer. Etc., etc. Other than us, no one seems to remember anything strange happening – it’s as if the second timeline never existed for them. Which, in a way, it didn’t, now.
I’m not exactly sure what Edwin’s perception of everything would be at this point, what with him being in kind of a unique position. I’ll have to remember to ask him about that before we finish up with this.
Anyway, that’s the bulk of the group. Since Utvoch is coming, I’m also letting him bring Dontrag along, because (a) Dontrag whined enough about not getting to come along last time, (b) the two of them are hard enough to separate under the best of circumstances, and (c) bringing one of them but not the other would require someone to figure out which of them is which, and let’s face it, that’s a crap shoot most of the time any way you cut it.
I’m also having Garona come with us, since she spent a fair amount of time in Karazhan back in the day, not to mention she had kind of an in with Medivh. Or should I said, Medivh had…you know what? Never mind. She might read this, and I don’t need the headaches.
Meanwhile, while we’re off doing our thing in Karazhan, I’m leaving Malkorok to oversee the ongoing preparations for battle with the Alliance. That and pay a little visit to Neeru Fireblade in the Cleft of Shadow. Related loose ends.
So, I contacted everyone, and we all met up this morning in Stonard, then flew over to Karazhan. When we first arrived, we found a roost for gryphons outside the upper tower, and we were going to leave our mounts there until we realized, hey, there’s actually no way to get DOWN from there once the mounts are settled, and also, who the hell sets up of flight point like that, seriously?
FARANELL: Well, Medivh was probably thinking, if you can’t get down easily enough with Slow Fall, that’s your own fault for not having the good sense to be a mage.
Oh, shut up, Doc. Of course Mokvar never misses a word of the smartassing when it happens.
Anyway, Garona remembered that there were stables just inside the gate, so we brought our mounts in with us to stash there. While everyone was getting their wyverns and bats and (ugh) dragonhawks secured, Mortimer went sniffing around the stables – he doesn’t take too well to being strapped down anyplace, but he’s good enough about staying where he’s supposed to be that I usually let him wander. While he was poking around, he found this ghostly horse in the back area – all spooky-looking with glowing eyes and flaming hooves. The two of them took a couple minutes to check each other out, and then each of them seemed to decide that the other was okay. When I came around to check on them, the horse apparently took a liking to me and started following me around until we strapped it into one of the pens. So, yeah, another mount to add to the collection. Whoopee.
Once we were done in the stables, we came back out to the foyer, where we found Berthold, Medivh’s old doorman, standing by the main stairway. Or, well, the GHOST of Berthold. Man, I don’t know what kind of contract some of these servants had with Medivh, but it must have been a doozy – they don’t even get to check out when they fucking DIE. These people really should have joined a union or something.
Anyway, Berthold managed to get us going in a possible right direction…
BERTHOLD: Ah, excellent! Greetings, all! The master hasn’t had guests in so terribly long!
FARANELL: Do you think that maybe that could be because he’s dead?
GARROSH: Heh. You’ve got a point, Doc.
MOKVAR: To be fair, so is this guy.
BERTHOLD: Goodness…could it be…Garona?
GARONA: Hey, Berthold. Long time no see.
GARROSH: Oh, that’s right, you would have known this guy from way back when…
BERTHOLD: I remember your son coming here not so long ago, Garona… But surely, he couldn’t really be your son! You couldn’t be old enough to be the mother of a boy his age.
GARONA: I see you’re a flatterer as always, Berthold.
BERTHOLD: I only speak the truth, my lady. Time has stood still for you.
GARONA: What’s that supposed to mean?
GARROSH: Never mind. Forget it.
GARONA: Just because I have a grown son doesn’t mean I’m ancient, you know!
MOKVAR: Oh boy, here we go again.
GARONA: It’s always the same with you, isn’t it? If a woman isn’t jailbait…
GARROSH: Remind me again how old you were when you paired off with old graybeard Medivh?
GARONA: …What does that have to do with anything?
GARROSH: Well hey, if I’m going to take crap about liking ’em young, I’m just wondering how far into the shallow end of the pool Mr. Last Guardian was dipping.
GARONA: Fine – I happened to have a thing for older men at the time, okay? Are you happy now?
GARROSH: Uh huh. And how much older are we talking?
GARONA: I don’t see how that’s important!
GARROSH: Hey, doorman dude.
BERTHOLD: Yes sir?
GARROSH: How long HAS it been since you’ve seen little miss charm school here?
BERTHOLD: Well, sir…
GARONA: You don’t have to answer that, Berthold.
GARROSH: GO ON.
BERTHOLD: About…twenty-five years, sir? Give or take?
GARROSH: Uh huh. And by your best count, how old was Medivh at the time?
BERTHOLD: About fifty, sir. As best as I can figure.
GARROSH: <smirking at Garona victoriously> Oh yeah. He loved you for your mind, I’m sure.
LIADRIN: Don’t listen to him, Garona. I think you look lovely.
GARONA: Oh you stay out of this, twiggy.
LIADRIN: I… <blinks> Okay, then…
FARANELL: That moment when you realize Garrosh may actually possess preternatural patience.
DONTRAG: Begging your pardon, Warchief?
FARANELL: Case in point.
GARROSH: Yes, Utvoch? I assume this is… <sighs> …important?
DONTRAG: Um, well, I’m actually Dontrag, sir.
UTVOCH: I’m Utv—
GARROSH: Both of you.
DONTRAG and UTVOCH: Yes sir?
GARROSH: How long have I known you?
MOKVAR: I’m assuming you want something more specific than “too long.”
DONTRAG: About a year now, sir?
GARROSH: And in the past year, can you tell me one thing I’ve done or said that suggested to you that I gave so much as half a shit which of you is which?
UTVOCH: No, sir.
DONTRAG: Not really, sir.
GARROSH: Okay then. So what were you going to ask, Utvoch?
DONTRAG: But I’m Dontr—OWW!!
GARROSH: Half a shit, not given. The question.
DONTRAG: <rubbing his head> Uh, well…it wasn’t anything important, sir.
GARROSH: Yeah, like I couldn’t have guessed that from the get-go. Moving on.
GARONA: You’re so mean sometimes.
GARROSH: You want to see mean, grandma?
GARONA: I don’t know why I keep trying to help—
LIADRIN: Not to interrupt…but might we try to focus on what we came here for?
GARROSH: Yeah, good point. So…
GARONA: Oh sure, listen to her.
GARROSH: MOVING ON.
FARANELL: I really should have brought popcorn.
GARROSH: Okay, so Berthold, you’ve been watching the door here for how long?
BERTHOLD: Oh goodness, sir, longer than I can remember. Ages.
GARROSH: So you were here when Malchezaar and the other demons arrived some years back.
BERTHOLD: Yes, sir. Malchezaar, Illhoof, a few others.
MOKVAR: Um, just thinking out loud here, but if you’re the doorman, wouldn’t it be your job to, say, not let those guys in?
BERTHOLD: Well, I suppose, sir…in theory…but, well…I am a ghost.
BERTHOLD: Well…I couldn’t really do much to stop them, what with my being noncorporeal and all.
GARROSH: Uh, what about like the zillion and five ghosts that I’ve had attack me in places like this?
FARANELL: Speaking from personal experience, I’ve never let being dead stop me from smacking someone down if need be.
FARANELL: I mean, that’s just about standards.
BERTHOLD: I…well…um, I don’t know what to tell you, sir…
GARROSH: Okay, first, we’ll just update your title from “doorman” to “doormat” and move on. So when you’re not doing a bang-up job on house security, what DO you do?
BERTHOLD: Well, mostly I port people to the upper levels of the tower, sir.
MOKVAR: Sounds like an exciting life.
LIADRIN: Hmm, Berthold?
BERTHOLD: Yes, ma’am?
LIADRIN: Since you have the ability to use porting magic, is there any chance you could do the reverse? Summon someone from elsewhere in the tower to here?
BERTHOLD: I’m afraid not, ma’am. I’m not sure anyone but the master possessed that kind of power over the premises here, at least not without special enhancements.
GARROSH: Enhancements, like what?
BERTHOLD: Well, for instance, sir, I believe there was a summoning circle off of one of the libraries that Illhoof used to use…
MOKVAR: Probably only good for pulling demons from the Twisted Nether…
BERTHOLD: …or there’s the Opera House, where the performers can summon…well, all manner of things, from what I hear. Glamours mostly, I suppose, but one never knows with those theater types.
GARROSH: Huh. What do you magic types think?
FARANELL: Hard to say without seeing what they have going on there.
MOKVAR: Sounds like it’s mostly smoke and mirrors, really, but I’m not sure what else to suggest.
GARONA: Medivh might have had some relics in the upper chambers that we could use, but I’m not sure, and we’d have to go past the Opera House regardless…
GARROSH: Okay, sounds like we have something to go check on, anyway.
BERTHOLD: Very good, sir. When you go, please do give my best to Barnes, the stage manager. It’s been ages since I’ve seen him.
GARROSH: Huh. Not for anything, but if you’re, like, Mr. Portal Guy, why couldn’t you port yourself up there to pay him a visit?
BERTHOLD: I…goodness…now that you mention it, sir, I don’t see why not…
GARROSH: Yeah, see?
BERTHOLD: Why…I could portal myself…anywhere in the castle… <eyes widening> Ghost concubines, here I come!
Berthold waves his hand and teleports away.
MOKVAR: He could have at least offered to send us to the Opera House first.
GARONA: You men are all alike. Even when you’re dead.
Okay, so, kind of a surprise ending there, but at least we’ve got a possible lead or two. We’re making our way to the Opera House now, so with any luck we’ll dig up something useful. If not, well, we’ve got a giant creepy haunted castle full of stuff to go rifling through. Sounds like a recipe for success to me.