Archive for dark portal

Pursuing the Black Harvest

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






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

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

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


Not quite Monday, not quite mailbag

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


(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.



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.

Visiting Dreadmaul Hold

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream


So the other day I asked for suggestions for inspection stops in the Eastern Kingdoms.  The suggestions pretty much clustered – a lot of recommendations for the northern regions like Hillsbrad, Tirisfal, and the Plaguelands, and then some others for our southern outposts in the Blasted Lands and the Swamp of Sorrows.  For the time being I’m going to table the northern settlements.  For one thing, hitting all the outposts will definitely take more time than I can spare in one chunk, and also, more importantly, after this past week’s mailbag, I have some business I need to go check on in Outland, so I figure it would just make more sense to deal with the southern outposts on my way to and from the Dark Portal.

I took a mage portal down to the Dark Portal and flew up to Dreadmaul Hold.  Things are fairly well under control there, still some skirmishes with the Dreadmaul ogres but nowhere near as much as there had been when we first retook the outpost and kicked the ogres out.  But you were right, A Concerned Citizen, Warmatron Okrilla is getting a little carried away down there, first and foremost with the ogres.  Look, everybody knows I’m not exactly warm and fuzzy, and I’m not one to back away from a good war when somebody wants to go at it with me.  But that doesn’t mean you don’t try to maintain SOME sense of honor while you’re fighting your war.  And this?  Taking Dreadmaul ogres captive and forcing them to be your slave labor?  That’s just not cool.  That’s the kind of shit that the Scourge did up in Northrend, or the Twilights in all the places they cropped up in like roaches.  You don’t do that with your prisoners, with maybe the possible exception of Alliance prisoners if you happen to need a food taster…and even THAT’S not hard labor, unless maybe the food is really badly undercooked, I guess.  (And in that case the cook knows he’s going to be taken out by the rear gate and beaten around some, so we know THAT problem won’t be coming up again, will it now, Marogg?)

What’s more, I was also getting reports that Okrilla wasn’t allowing non-orcs into the outpost at all.  Turns out that was kind of an exaggeration, other Horde races are free to go there, but from what I saw when I was there, any tauren or trolls or whatever that happen by definitely get a lot cooler reception than orcs.  And so…again…I’m all for orc pride.  Totally down with that.  And yeah, I might have gotten a complaint or two about my decision to restrict Orgrimmar’s main residential areas to orcs and tauren, but here’s the difference.  That was a tactical decision about the defense of the city.  Yeah, bitch all you want about the undead or blood elves not having their own houses there anymore or whatever, but I’m still not trying to stop them from COMING to the fucking city.  Some blood elf wants to come in and do some business, see a trainer, use the portals, pick up a few assignments for jobs in the outlying zones, just hang out with some friends, whatever, great, have at it.  Unless he’s Johnny Awesome.  Then, fuck him.  But anyway.

So I ended up sitting Okrilla down and giving her a talking to about all this.  Like I said, I totally get the orc pride, and on a related note even being a little territorial about Dreadmaul Hold.  After all, it WAS our city back when it was founded as Rockard.  But I laid it out in no uncertain terms that I don’t want to be hearing about any more racial problems, because at the rate she was going it was just a matter of time before she started giving orcs and non-orcs separate vendors and flight masters and whatever else.  And as for the ogres, she wants to take prisoners, fine, take prisoners and hold them, or use them as bargaining chips to get the rest of the Dreadmaul to back down, or interrogate them for information, do what you need to do, but we’re not going to be doing any more slavery.  Hell, we orcs were kept as slave labor by the humans at one point, so if you’re going to get hung up on orc pride, then it should be a point of that pride to fucking be better than that shit.  Besides, we have ogres working with us, and the last thing I need is Draz’Zilb getting all bitchy with me.

So, there you go, that’s my day.  Freed the slaves and cut off separate-but-equal at the pass.  Go me.

I’m heading back down to the Dark Portal (and I am TOTALLY going to check on the naga and murlocs that ACC mentioned while I’m down that way).  I’ll write more from Outland once I get there.

Mag’hari house guest

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

Sorry I haven’t been posting the last week.  I’ve been pretty busy here in Orgrimmar, and not even with anything big and momentous like wiping out the Alliance or even the aftermath of Deathwing biting it.  This past week my Greatmother has been visiting from Nagrand, so I was showing her around and just generally keeping her out of trouble.

As it turns out, just getting her out here was a big production all by itself.  I offered to send a mage to port her straight here, but oh no, no way, turns out apparently old people don’t trust mages and their new-fangled portals, no sir, so we had to arrange to get her out to the Dark Portal to come through that way.  By the way, funny how she didn’t want to take a mage portal because those things are dangerous and unreliable, and yet she was totally okay taking the DARK PORTAL which by the way HAS “PORTAL” RIGHT IN ITS NAME TOO, only with dragon heads carved around it and warlocky fel magic buzzing all over it because we all know NOTHING ever went wrong with THAT.

So anyway, we finally got her out to the Dark Portal and through to the Blasted Lands, and then over to Grom’gol to catch the zeppelin up to Orgrimmar.  On the way I hear tell she promised home-knit sweaters to a couple of the Grom’grol guards and one of the goblins on the zeppelin, because, you know, you really need a sweater when it starts getting nippy out there in the tropical jungle.  I bet most of the problems the Darkspear ended up having in Stranglethorn could have been cleared right up if someone had through to crank out a few cardigans.

So we finally got her up here to Orgrimmar, and I have to admit, I was kind of hoping that she would be at least a LITTLE impressed with the place, or with me being Warchief, but oh no.  First thing she comments on is how we’re still under construction even with the Cataclysm happening however many months ago, and how it wasn’t even that big of a cataclysm, not like in her day when Draenor literally got ripped into pieces, and us young ’uns have it so easy thinking a few earthquakes and some tidal waves count as a capital-C definite-article The Cataclysm – and meanwhile they had their settlements rebuilt in a few weeks.  Which, everything else aside, yeah, like I needed another reminder of how those goblins are seriously taking their damn time on the construction work.

Oh wait, hold on, let me correct that.  That wasn’t the first thing she commented on.  No, the FIRST thing she commented on was the ritual tattoos I’ve gotten since the last time she saw me, like “Oh, is this what you kids are doing nowadays?  All these young people running around with their tattoos, calling them ‘ritual’ and acting like that means they’re in touch with the ancestors.  I know my ancestors knew the actual rituals.  You know they’re only going to stretch and sag as you get older, don’t you?  Don’t say I didn’t warn you…”  Oh and then there were the pieces of Mannoroth’s tusks that I wear on my shoulders – “You wear those to work?  For important meetings and everything?”  And when I pointed out how they’re from Mannoroth, who killed my FATHER, and how I’d used parts of the pit lord’s remains to fashion the shoulders and my throne in Grommash Hold, all I got for that was “You don’t think that’s a little tacky?”

Also, as if all that wasn’t fun enough, for the first two days pretty much all I heard about was Thrall and how proud she is of him for saving the world from Deathwing and how great it is that he and Aggra are having a baby and by the way WHEN THE HELL WAS THRALL GOING TO TELL ME ABOUT THAT?!  First the wedding and now this, the FUCK, man?  And anyway, that was all kinds of fun, being reminded on and on about how awesome Thrall is, and how happy she is that she’s finally going to have great-grandchildren.  And then she made some mention about how apparently Kilrath has a daughter around my age that she wants me to meet, and yeah that was all kinds of awkward.  Ugh.

Over the next few days a bunch of the other Horde leaders came by to meet her and pay their respects, which I’ll admit was pretty cool of them, and she seemed to like Baine especially, gave him the whole “nice young man” deal that old ladies love to throw around.  And everyone was nice to her, don’t get me wrong, but like…I mean, I know I can get cranky sometimes, but I really try to watch my mouth around Greatmother.  Not least of all because if she catches me swearing she used to give me a good hard yank by my ponytail, which was one of the main reasons I cut it off eventually, but I’m also not in much of a hurry to find out what she would come up with for Plan B now that it’s gone.  So anyway, I try to rein it in when I’m around her, but I swear the other leaders were making a point of giving me bad news in front of her and just generally saying things to see if they could set me off.  Vol’jin especially.  Meanwhile Greatmother just seemed to get a kick out of everyone.  I don’t think she’s really clear on what the Forsaken actually are, though, what with her calling Sylvanas “that nice elf girl” that seems like she could use some sun.  (More like she could use some SunWELL, am I right?  OH YEAH I WENT THERE.)  I’m thinking it’s just as well that I don’t clear that one up for her.

Anyway, that’s a sampling of my week, and I’m sure I’ll roll out a few more stories about it if you want to hear, maybe toss a few quotable quotes in the Twitter feed or something (#shitmygreatmothersays maybe).  For right now, though, she just left to head back to Nagrand, so if you’ll excuse me, I have a tavern to go visit.



[Header image provided by Khizzara from Blog of the Treant, used here with permission and many thanks.]