Picking up where we left off last time…
Archive for divine bell
As promised in my last post, here’s an overview of the state of the blog. I realize that after two years of accumulated in-jokes and storylines, the Command Board may be a bit disorienting to a newcomer (or, for that matter, to a long-time reader who blinked at the wrong time), so I’ve tried to break this down into a semi-sorta-kinda FAQ. Most of this will be familiar to long-time readers (though I’ve also included a few behind-the-scenes notes that some of you might find interesting), but I hope it’ll explain a few things for new arrivals.
I hate Garrosh! Why does Garrosh seem so sympathetic in this blog? Are you one of those Garrosh apologists/fanboys?
Comically enough, I originally started the blog because I really didn’t like Garrosh either, and saw the blog as a way to have a few chuckles mocking him. It wasn’t long, though, before I decided that I would get sick of the outright-mockery approach pretty quickly, so I started branching out. Part of the result was letting blog-Garrosh become (I hope) a bit more multifaceted, while still remaining true to his temperamental self. Including the LOLs.
Ultimately, I don’t set out to justify anything Garrosh does, just to present it in a way that makes sense in light of the character, and if that pushes a black-and-white scenario into some shade of gray, well, that makes for a more interesting story anyway. And, keep in mind, the story here is being told, generally, from Garrosh’s point of view, so I don’t know how that perspective wouldn’t be sympathetic. Everyone is the hero of their own story, after all, and nobody thinks they’re a bad person.
Why isn’t there anything here about the siege of Orgrimmar?
What are you talking about? There was a post titled “The siege of Orgrimmar” a good solid year ago – if anything, shouldn’t you be asking why Blizzard is coming so late to the party? (By the way, I didn’t realize until just now that patch 5.4 was released almost exactly on the one-year anniversary of the “Siege or Orgrimmar” post. How awesomely freaky is that?)
Anyway, to give a real answer: Time-wise, the blog has not yet reached the events of patch 5.4. The storyline is currently playing out the midst of 5.2; Lor’themar Theron and Jaina Proudmoore have recently set up shop on the Isle of Thunder, while Vol’jin is still recovering from his injuries at Shado-Pan Monastery.
This time lag between the game and the blog, by the way, is partly by design. I’d always intended the blog to run a bit behind the game; coming into MoP, I realized that if I tried to follow in-game events too closely, I wouldn’t have time to adapt my own ideas to fit Blizzard’s story. There have already been a few instances in which Blizzard’s story has taken a turn that’s forced me to change gears in a way that would have been disastrous if I didn’t have a month or two of lead time. Of course, I’m clearly more than a month or two behind – that’s been a result of various real-life circumstances slowing down my output over the last few months. I’m working on it!
So the blog basically retells in-game events, from Garrosh’s point of view?
Yes and no. The blog operates within Blizzard’s continuity (with the aforementioned time delay), but also weaves additional storylines in and around the canonical Blizzard plots. Anything that happens or is stated explicitly in-game is canon, obviously, and the blog is bound by it.* That said, I sometimes like to put other stories around Blizzard’s, to give them context that might change the way those events are perceived. (This was a large part of my motivation for the Timequake story leading into Theramore, or, more recently, the blog events surrounding the Divine Bell / Domination Offensive storyline.)
Also, while the point of view is mostly Garrosh’s, there are some posts that present events from other perspectives. Most notable are the “guest” posts by Spazzle (Garrosh’s tech goblin), which help fill in story details that Garrosh wouldn’t necessarily be privy to. You can always identify a post written by someone other than Garrosh by the color of the text – Spazzle’s posts, for instance, are always written in green text, and almost always include the phrase “Spazzle Speaks” in the title. Also, as a rule of thumb, when Spazzle et al post, Garrosh remains oblivious to anything that might be revealed; the conceit at work here is that Garrosh doesn’t really care what anyone else is writing, so he doesn’t bother reading it.
* The one instance that I’ve flat-out fudged in-game details is the way I’ve chosen to incorporate the events of “A Little Patience.” From the Alliance point of view, that scenario takes place almost immediately after Varian arrives in Pandaria; in the blog, I’ve pushed those events a bit later in the story. This was largely a matter of convenience: I knew that I wanted there to be a military operation in Krasarang in which Garrosh’s trainees went missing, and I realized fairly late in the going that “A Little Patience” lent itself to that story pretty readily. Hopefully those Alliance-side readers out there will be willing to turn a blind eye to my blatant and shameless revision. (Horde bias rears its ugly head again! GRR!)
Garrosh has trainees? When did that happen?
Right here! As part of the escalation of the war effort, the Kor’kron started a training program to prepare orc teenagers for eventual military service. When Garrosh learned that Gurtash – an orc boy from the Orgrimmar orphanage whom Garrosh had taken under his wing – had been conscripted, Garrosh volunteered to take Gurtash’s trainee group under his own supervision. (Side note: In my head-canon, Garrosh has a bit of a soft spot for the orphans, being as he is one himself.) The trainees, who have nicknamed themselves the Dead Peons Society (DPS for short) have accompanied Garrosh to Pandaria and joined him on a few adventures. Fairly recently, they went missing after the Horde loss in the “A Little Patience” scenario, and were eventually found by Garrosh, hiding away in an underground system of caves. That’s brought us up to the point where we are now, story-wise: Garrosh and the trainees underground, looking for a way out.
Is the entire supporting cast from within the game?
Mostly, but not entirely. I’ve invented a few characters for the blog – Spazzle being the highest-profile – but I’ve tried to keep it limited, and tried to restrict those characters to fairly peripheral positions in the lore. The one glaring exception was the storyline involving Garrosh’s mother, Lakkara, who isn’t mentioned anywhere in the actual lore. It just struck me as odd that there’s no record of who she was, or what happened to her, and besides, in a mythology packed to capacity with father/son relationships, I thought it was about time somebody’s mom got a little screen time.
Otherwise, when a character turns up who doesn’t exist in-game, that character was often inspired by a reader and/or based on someone’s game character. For instance, both Gurtash and Mortimer (Garrosh’s personal wyvern) became blog characters thanks to mailbag letters from Khizzara from Blog of the Treant; Khizzara’s own namesake has made a few appearances as Spazzle’s cousin; doodle-prone kitty druid Taktani became a full-fledged character (and boy, is she ever a character) after making several mailbag contributions; and many of the DPS trainees are modeled on the baby orc alts of friends.
In general, though, if you see a supporting character turn up whose name you don’t recognize, the smartest first guess is that he or she is based on a questgiver or other NPC somewhere in-game. (Wowpedia is your friend!) I deliberately picked a lot of relatively minor NPCs – people like Mokvar, Elder Cloudfall, and Dontrag and Utvoch – to use as supporting characters because I figured their relatively peripheral status gave me more latitude to work with them, give them backstories, etc. After all, what are the odds that Blizzard would actually do something with one of these people to contradict my own concoctions?
(Either way, if you’re not sure who someone is, I’ve also maintained a partial list of supporting players on the About the Blog page, including some of the more pertinent information about them.)
Speaking of which – in the SoO raid, Mokvar is a mini-boss! Isn’t he missing? How are you going to deal with that?
First… um, yeah, that whole “no way they’re gonna do something with this guy” really blew up in my face on this one, huh?
And second… So, everyone who thought I was going to lay out this big storyline for Mokvar, and make such a production out of his disappearance…and then have it turn out that he really is dead…step forward.
Didn’t think so.
For those of you unclear on Mokvar’s whole story, which has been unfolding gradually for quite a while, you can check here for a brief overview and links to the relevant posts. Very short version: After becoming the victim of a mysterious attack, Mokvar sets out to track down a powerful relic from his warlock days, with the aid of a human named Deliana (who was Mokvar’s Alliance equivalent in the old dungeon set quests); over the course of his quest, he starts to behave increasingly strangely, culminating in his eventual flight from arrest in Orgrimmar. His whereabouts are now unknown.
Stay tuned. You’ll see where this is going!
With Mokvar gone, how are you handling the transcripts?
Prelinimary: The blog contains several transcripts of conversations that Garrosh has engaged in. The premise from the outset has been that Mokvar is (or was) Garrosh’s personal scribe, and records all these conversations for posting. This explains, by the way, a number of occasions when Garrosh mentions summoning Mokvar to an event, or otherwise noting Mokvar’s presence, as a way of leading in to a transcript.
Since Mokvar is off the grid, Garrosh has passed transcription duties to two people: Gurtash, who records his transcripts in the form of comics; and Taktani, a friend of Dontrag and Utvoch and long-time mailbag contributor, who’s started to (and will continue to) write a few transcripts, laden with her own unassuming brand of commentary.
What are these guild chat logs that keep cropping up?
Garrosh and several of the supporting characters play an MMORPG called Earth Online – the basic premise being that, to these characters, Azeroth is reality, and our real world is actually the game world of the MMO. Garrosh started his own guild, called <Warchief>, and several familiar faces (including Spazzle, Sylvanas, Lor’themar, Faranell, Garona, and Dontrag and Utvoch) are members. Also worth noting is that Jaina Proudmoore is a member of the guild…although she doesn’t realize (yet?) who her guildmates are in “real life.”
The guild chat logs recreate some of the exchanges that the members of <Warchief> have within their game, usually including regular guild chat, officer chat, and, in some cases, whispers. I make no pretense about the fact that some aspects of these logs are based on my own guild-chat expeiences, especially officer chat. The transcripts are always presented from the point of view of whoever posted them – usually Garrosh, but occasionally Spazzle.
Where did this whole thing about lemon squares come from?
Garrosh loves lemon squares. Don’t you?
Real explanation: Very early in the blog, Edenvale of The Gamer’s Fridge posted a recipe for Garrosh Hellscream’s lemon squares, and pointed me to her post with a comment on the Command Board. Since then, it’s become a bit of a running gag – the recipe, according to Garrosh, was his greatmother’s secret family recipe, and he was most perturbed that this random night elf had apparently gotten ahold of it.
What does “FYV” mean?
An abbreviation of one of Garrosh’s favorite turns of phrase, of course: “Fuck you, Varian!” Among other things, Garrosh often finds a way to slip that phrase into his EPIC VERSE compositions.
Speaking of which, what’s this “EPIC VERSE”? Garrosh writes poetry?
You sound surprised. Garrosh is an orc of many interests. What, do you think he’s some kind of one-note caricature or something?
Okay, fine, game-Garrosh kind of is.
Honestly, I just got a kick out of the obvious dichotomy of Garrosh Hellscream, gruffest of the gruff, also writing poetry on the side. True to form, Garrosh doesn’t view his compositions as just any poetry, so he prefers to call them EPIC VERSE. In caps. Always. It’s sprinkled throughout the blog – almost always in purple text, to stress its epic-ness – and ranges from limericks, to parodies of other famous poems, to reader requests, to epic rap battles.
So, that’s as much as I can think to cover. Other gaps can probably be filled in through the Major Storylines page, but if there are questions that anyone still has, in terms of getting caught up or clarified, by all means toss them into a comment and I’ll make sure it’s answered. And so, on that note, I’ll sigh off with the promise – unconditional promise! – that before the week is out, you’ll have the continuation of the actual STORY part of the story! Which left off, as you might recall, right here:
After the disaster with the Divine Bell, I spent a couple days channeling old-Nagrand-Garrosh – brooding and moping in my quarters here at Domination Point. Other than occasional tactical reports from General Nazgrim, most people had the good sense to leave me to myself. Hell, even Dontrag and Utvoch managed to keep their yaps shut for a couple days. This may or may not be related to me slapping them around several times when I first got back to the base.
The time to myself gave me the chance to think more about where to go from here. After what went down at the Emperor’s Reach, it’s painfully obvious that I need to start taking matters into my own hands. Trouble is, in practical terms, I’m not sure what that actually ENTAILS. So, one step at a time: Time to act one the one avenue I have open to me, and worry about what comes next when I get there. Elder Cloudfall told me he could help prepare me for my destiny, or however he fortune-cookied it, so it’s time to take him up on the offer.
Granted, I’m not exactly thrilled about what little I’ve heard about that Kypari Zar place, so a few more answers might be nice. Any bets on whether I’ll actually get them?
Anyway, I had some trouble tracking down Cloudfall at first. He wasn’t anywhere on the base, and Ben-Lin didn’t know where he’d wandered off to. Finally, Jorn Skyseer told me he’d been talking with Cloudfall about some of the areas nearby that our hunting parties have been hitting up, and he pointed me toward the island to the east. The one where the trainees used to go crane hunting when we first set up shop here in Pandaria.
I flew over to the island, with Taktani in tow. Cloudfall was sitting on a rock along the shore. He and Zhi-Zhi were sitting back to back in one of those meditation poses that look like they would hurt your legs like hell, eyes closed, off in their own little world.
GARROSH – Hey, Gramps.
(Mr. Elder Panda man and his money friend just keep sitting on the rock and being quiet.)
GARROSH – Elder?
(Elder Panda still doesn’t respond.)
GARROSH – Hello? Chimps? Anybody home?
(Mr. Monkey didn’t answer either. I hope his ears are okay!)
GARROSH – (tapping Zhi-Zhi on the shoulder) Hey, Banana Boy!
ZHI-ZHI – (jumping, startled) AAAH! Oh…oh, the One! Much apologizing, Zhi-Zhi did not see you, was thinking great thoughts.
GARROSH – Uh, yeah, whatever. So listen, I… Hang on. (turning to me) Tak?
TAKTANI – Hi!
(Mr. Warchief kind of stared at me for a minute. Maybe he forgot what he was going to say?)
GARROSH – Yeah, hi. So now that we’ve met, is there a reason why you’re not, y’know, writing anything down?
TAKTANI – Oh! I’m sorry, Mr. Warchief. I forgot to bring my paper.
GARROSH – You…forgot.
TAKTANI – I left it back in my room!
GARROSH – You realize that’s the ENTIRE reason I bring you places, right?
TAKTANI – Don’t be mad! I’m sorry!
(Mr. Warchief rubbed his eyes and forehead for a minute. I think maybe his eyes were sore because of how sunny it was. I should give him some sunglasses for his birthday! Does anyone know when his birthday is?)
GARROSH – (still rubbing his eyes) Of all your crimes, Mokvar, this may be the most grating…
TAKTANI – I don’t understand, Mr. Warchief.
GARROSH – Never mind. Okay, look, Tak, you’re not off the hook yet. You just made some extra homework for yourself.
TAKTANI – But I’m not in school, Mr. Warchief!
GARROSH – Yeah, well, maybe this will teach you lesson #1: Don’t forget the tools of your damn trade!
TAKTANI – I’m sorry! :(
GARROSH – So…here’s what you’re going to do. Most of the sand around here looks pretty wet. So YOU, little miss Swiss Cheese Brain, can just sit yourself down and write your notes in the sand, and then come back with your paper and copy it later.
TAKTANI – Ooh, that sounds fun!
GARROSH – BEFORE THE DAMN TIDE COMES IN. (sighs) Okay. So. Back to you, monkey boy. What’s up with Old Man Furball here? Is he off in some weird panda brain-freeze zone or something?
(While Mr. Warchief was talking, I started writing everything in the sand like he said, like this and this and this and YAY this is fun! Oh and I did like he said and came back later to copy it all down and I even brought Mr. D and Mr. U to help check my spelling, because they’re smart and nice. And SEE, Mr. Warchief, I got it all done just like you said! Oh oh oh but while I was writing it out, there was a seagull flying around, and it pooped on the first page. I hope you notice it’s there before you touch it.)
ZHI-ZHI – Ah, ah, yes, Elder Cloudfall is in deep meditation. Much more focused than Zhi-Zhi. As matter of fact, Elder has been teaching Zhi-Zhi meditation techniques, teaching to block out everything around Zhi-Zhi. Will help to center Zhi-Zhi.
GARROSH – So you can think more great thoughts.
ZHI-ZHI – Ahh! You are understanding!
GARROSH – So how long does it usually take for Captain Comatose to come back out of these—
CLOUDFALL – (not moving, eyes still closed) I can hear you, Warchief Garrosh.
ZHI-ZHI – Elder!
GARROSH – So, Gramps, if you could hear me, any particular reason you didn’t answer me before?
CLOUDFALL – (continuing to keep his eyes closed) I was in the midst of pursuing a line of thought. I felt it more pressing that I complete it.
GARROSH – Isn’t it kind of rude to just ignore people when they talk to you?
CLOUDFALL – Is it not rude to interrupt people who are clearly meditating?
ZHI-ZHI – But, erm, Elder, you are hearings all the transpiringses…um…were we not practicing our deep meditation exercises?
CLOUDFALL – I have been practicing these techniques since before your great grandmother was born, Zhi-Zhi.
GARROSH – So anyway, now that you’re done with that—
CLOUDFALL – I’m not.
GARROSH – You’re what?
CLOUDFALL – As I said, Warchief Garrosh, I have been availing myself of the peace and solitude of the beach to think.
GARROSH – Um, okay?
CLOUDFALL – I’m not finished.
(Mr. Panda Elder still hadn’t opened his eyes, and now he settled back into place more.)
GARROSH – Hang on, you’re seriously going to blow me off so you can fucking go back to…whatever, going over your grocery list or backtracking to wherever you left your keys, or whatever the fuck you’re doing?
(Mr. Panda didn’t say anything.)
GARROSH – (to Zhi-Zhi) Is he for real?
ZHI-ZHI – (shrugs and waves one hand) Is easier not trying to argue, truths to telling.
CLOUDFALL – There. (opens his eyes, stands, and turns to Garrosh) Now I am finished.
GARROSH – Well yay.
TAKTANI – Yay!
GARROSH – DON’T START.
TAKTANI – Oh. :(
GARROSH – So do you mind telling me what was so important that it couldn’t wait?
(Mr. Panda man looked around the beach a few times.)
CLOUDFALL – Your pupil, Gurtash, and his peers. I understand they used to come here on occasion.
GARROSH – Oh. Yeah. They used to go hunting here.
CLOUDFALL – (nods) This is a sacred place, you know. The Cradle of Chi-Ji, the Great Crane.
GARROSH – Look, if you’re going to start complaining that they came here to—
CLOUDFALL – You misunderstand me, Warchief Garrosh. I did not come here to pass judgment. I came merely to visit a place of some import to the youths, away from the bustle of your fortifications, and allow them to enter my thoughts.
GARROSH – Ah. Yeah. They’ve been in mine a lot lately, too.
CLOUDFALL – Indeed.
(Mr. Warchief got kind of quiet and Mr. Panda man stayed quiet for a minute too and watched him.)
CLOUDFALL – In any case, I’m sure you did not seek me out to revisit such things. How may I be of help to you?
GARROSH – By doing what you came here for in the first place. You said you could help me get ready for this great destiny of mine.
CLOUDFALL – Indeed. Or rather, I believe I can help you to meet it. Whether it will prove to be great or not will be very much up to you.
GARROSH – Well, either way, you said that this Kypari Zar place is where he need to go to get started. So, whenever you’re ready to go, let’s go.
CLOUDFALL – I also told you that you carry many shadows with you.
GARROSH – Kind of the point of us going to that Zar place, right?
CLOUDFALL – Indeed. But you carry more now. Perhaps needlessly.
GARROSH – (sighs) Can you bottom-line this, maybe, or are you going to do a whole speech again?
ZHI-ZHI – (waving his hand) Really much easier not to tryings with the arguings.
CLOUDFALL – (pointing northward) The temple to the north. That is where the…calamity occurred?
GARROSH – Yeah, don’t remind me.
CLOUDFALL – Have you gone there since then?
GARROSH – No.
CLOUDFALL – You should.
GARROSH – Look, Gramps, I get that you’re probably going for some kind of hippie closure crap here, but if you think it’s actually going to IMPROVE my mood to go up there and find a bunch of—
CLOUDFALL – Warchief Garrosh, no facts that you find there will be so damaging to the soul as the nightmares your mind has conjured in their absence.
GARROSH – (looking north) Yeah, maybe.
CLOUDFALL – And in the process, you may allow yourself the opportunity to bring one lesser shadow with you on our journey.
GARROSH – (sighs) You’re just going to stonewall me until I go, aren’t you?
ZHI-ZHI – Really not worth tryings to—
GARROSH – (slapping Zhi-Zhi) Shut it, Spanks.
CLOUDFALL – Kypari Zar will still be there when you are done.
GARROSH – (turns and starts to walk toward Mortimer) Yeah, fine. I’ll drop little miss Happy Kitty here off at the base, and get a couple things squared away, then… (stops, then looks back at Cloudfall) You know, I’ve heard of that Kypari Zar place before.
CLOUDFALL – (perks an eyebrow) Oh?
GARROSH – Last year. I didn’t even know what “Kypari Zar” was. But someone in…high places…told me if I went there, I would die.
CLOUDFALL – (nods slowly) You may. In fact, you will.
GARROSH – Not the best sales pitch, Gramps.
CLOUDFALL – You will die if you go there. But then, you will die if you do not. Just as I will die if I take you, and I will die if I do not. That we will die is assured, Warchief Garrosh. The only question is how, and when, and why.
GARROSH – That’s a cop-out and you know it.
CLOUDFALL – I know no such thing.
GARROSH – (shrugs and climbs onto Mortimer) Well, whatever. I’ve got enough on my mind these days, what’s one more thing, right?
CLOUDFALL – If I might make a suggestion, Warchief Garrosh. A great many years ago, a former mentor offered me certain words of solace. A phrase of great power and wisdom, and consolation to the soul in times of need.
GARROSH – What’s that?
CLOUDFALL – Have a drink. Next one’s on me.
Not the worst idea in the world, actually. I might head downstairs and see what we have on tap. Meanwhile, I’m going to put a couple things in order here at the base, then take Mortimer back out for a flight over to the Temple of the Red Crane. For better or worse.
Well THAT was a big whole production to go through for not much of anything.
Last night, I gathered a select group of Horde personnel at the Emperor’s Reach – an ancient, abandoned mogu structure that we found in Kun-Lai – to finally tap into the power of the Divine Bell. Malkorok brough a battalion of Kor’kron troops to oversee the proceedings, including some who were hand-picked to have the honor of being the first to be gifted with new power. The best of the best. Juggernauts.
Blademaster Ishi was on hand as well, along with a few other select Horde heroes from the Pandaren campaign, and once everyone was gathered and ready, I took up the hammer…mallet…um…weird-looking club doohicky? Look, for honest, I’m not sure WHAT that thing was supposed to be. But it was better suited for ringing a bell than Gorehowl would have been, so whatever. Point is, I cracked out that bad boy, and for the first time in who-knows-how-long, the Divine Bell rang.
And so marks the last point in the evening that things went to plan.
As the Bell rang, we could see the dark, shadowy outlines of bizarre, twisted creatures appearing on the platform. Transparent and shifting, but just enough to know they were there. So THAT’S what these sha look like. Up to this point, I’d only seen them in bits and pieces – claws mostly – when they’d partly seized onto other people.
Yes, I said “partly.” I wouldn’t have thought that what happened to Burzum was only partial corruption by the sha. Little did I know. Because now, I was treated to a front-row seat as, one by one, the sha descended onto our Kor’kron juggernauts…and transformed them into sha themselves. They were horrible to behold – I can see why the pandas and even Tak-Tak yammer on about steering clear of them. I tried to urge the Kor’kron on and encourage them to seize control of the sha energy coursing through them, but no such luck. They couldn’t. They lost themselves to it. And in the end there was nothing to be done but for the Horde champions on hand to slay the Kor’kron-turned-sha before they ran out of control.
Clearly, Malkorok had overestimated the mental toughness of that first batch of Kor’kron. I was just about to let Ishi show the rest of the bunch how a true veteran of the Mag’har does it, when I was interrupted by a surprise visitor.
Want to know who?
YOU WILL NOT FUCKING BELIEVE THIS SHIT.
Yes, THAT Anduin.
Anduin Wrynn, Prince of Stormwind.
Anduin fucking Wrynn, Prince of Stormwind, former prisoner of General Nazgrim until who the fuck even knows what happened I mean WTF, and newest volunteer to be a speechifying hemorrhoid on my curvy brown ass, because, hey, why not give fucking EVERYONE a turn at this point, right?
So, yeah, fucking ANDUIN comes strolling on up like it’s something to do – props, by the way, to my alleged BODYGUARD Malkorok for the crack security job there – and starts yapping away about the dangers of the Bell, and Garrosh-you-mustn’t. You know, the ol’ Baine-Vol’jin standard. Same tune, different verse.
Worked just about as well for him. I shrugged him off and rang the Bell again, and this time, the sha magic descended onto Ishi. Unlike the initial Kor’kron, he actually put up a fight and resisted…for a moment, anyway. Then, after a minute, he was altered into a sha as well. Except in his case, even with his body gone, his voice remained.
His voice, but not his words.
While our champions fought to subdue him, Ishi started spewing out words consumed by fear and rage and despair. No sign remaining of the strong, brave orc I knew, despite my urging for him to retake control.
In the end, there was nothing left – again – but for our champions to put him to rest. But of all his rantings before he fell, there was one that kept echoing in my thoughts.
Why should we be slaves to honor, when we could slaughter the children of our enemies while they sleep? My blade thirsts for Alliance blood!
Control your anger, I told him. There is killing, and then there is murder, I told him. We’re not the ones who murder innocents. We’re no the ones who kill children, confused and far from home. Left to rot in a festering swamp. Baited into a coward’s trap, tricked into an early death by a vainglorious king…
And then I looked up to find the presumptuous whelp of Varian Wrynn yipping at me.
He was fourteen years old.
Among the orcs, that made him a man.
The human brat used some mallet to crack and silence the Divine Bell, and I was far past my threshold for patience. I swung my hammer at him. He ducked out of the way, and the blow slammed into the Bell, which was already cracking apart. The Bell shattered, and the pieces crumbled onto the whelp, burying him under a massive heap of metal and stone. I could hear him cry out as his bones snapped. Then silence.
Good. Let Varian have a taste of true suffering.
It’s back to the drawing board for us. For now. I’d underestimated the effort it would take to master this sha power. Ishi and the others were too weak-willed, and they failed me as a result.
This is what I get for not taking matters into my own hands.
When the time comes, soon, I won’t repeat their failure. And I won’t repeat the mistake of delegating our fate to lesser orcs. Too much depends on it. Too high a price already. The Horde will pervail, strong, proud, united in purpose – a rebirth of glory. And it all depends on me to lead the way. It’s ALWAYS depended on me. I see that now.
I won’t fail. I CAN’T fail.
I have a destiny.
I’m the One.
So I think the internet has decided it doesn’t want me playing Earth Online for the time being. Spazzle was right – this is what I get for trusting Grizzle Gearslip to set up a stable network. Remind me to stick with construction and excavation projects for him from now on.
Probably just as well. I have more important things to be focusing on right now.
First and foremost in the “more important things” file: We’re back in business on the Divine Bell front – and then some. Courtesy, believe it or not, of some clutch work from one of the blood elves. I know, right? I won’t hold it against you if you need to go back and read that again to make sure you got it right. Anyway – Fanlyr Silverthorn was able to work some Kirin Tor mojo to sneak a Horde operative into Darnassus, where the Divine Bell was being held, then teleported it out to Silvermoon. That’s right, the night elves worked so hard to get to the Bell before us, tucked it away deep in the heart of their capital city…for like fifteen minutes, before they had it swiped right out from under them. Oh man, would I love to have seen the looks on their faces when they figured out what happened.
Of course, you would think that this would come across as GOOD news to anyone on the Horde side of the fence, but spirits forbid I should ever have a conversation with Lor’themotherfucker that didn’t involve him crying and moaning and wetting his panties over something. And let me tell you, he was in fine form this time around. I could barely even figure out what the fuck he was bitching about, something about his people being put in harm’s way or some such (as if people never, EVER get put in harm’s way in the middle of, you know, A FUCKING WAR), and Jaina being pissed off about something (as if THAT’S ever a bad thing). Seriously, I don’t know what hair he’s got up his ass, but enough is enough. Calm down already. Don’t flip a bench, Lori.
Anyway, I’m having the Divine Bell transported to Pandaria pronto so we can get to work. We found another ancient mogu structure in Kun-Lai that should make for a good site to conduct the first of what should be many glorious uses of the Bell. I’m having Malkorok hand-pick some of the very best of his Kor’kron to stand guard and participate in the proceedings. I’m also having Ishi head up that way to supervise the setup of the Bell and help me with the first trial. Hopefully, after Burzum went all sha-batty on us, and Krimpatul went MIA with the rest of the…casualties…at the Temple of the Red Crane, and Ishi himself got beaten to the Divine Bell by the damn night elves, well, hopefully I’ll have a blademaster finally do my Mag’har proud and help put a win on the board for us.
Once we tap into the power of the Bell – and by extension, the power of this “sha” magic – we’ll wield a power unlike anything either side has seen in this war. And unlike the mogu, we won’t be leaving our enemies any room to rise up against us. Never again.
So, a couple hundred dead Lion’s Landing troops later, and I’m still not feeling a hell of a lot better.
After the news came in from the Temple of the Red Crane about the Alliance attack, I sent Garona with a small stealth team to see if they could assess the damage. When she got back last night, she reported that there was a limit to how close they could get, but from what she could tell, the losses were as bad as we’d thought. Apparently the Alliance set up traps around the perimeter of the temple, then baited our troops right into them. Honorable human tactics at their finest. Anyway, at that point, the way was clear for them to move in and finish off the rest of our forces.
Still too soon to get any kind of solid count on casualties, or, for that matter, if there were any prisoners taken. But so far, the only people accounted for as alive are the runners that Scargash sent to Domination Point near the end.
Ben-Lin spent a big chunk of the day yesterday trying to persuade me to come have a sit-down with her. And Cloudfall – who still doesn’t even really know his way around the base in the first place – popped in once or twice to try to fortune-cookie his way through some business about the serenity to accept those things that can’t be changed, or some shit like that, and then some other crap about anger often being an “outward projection of inner recrimination,” and you know what? I’m not in a mood to listen to those two right now. I’m not interested in calming the fuck down. I’m way past that. And you know what else, Elder? I don’t need you waddling around in philosophical circles about centering myself and understanding who I’m really mad at.
I KNOW who I’m mad at. But I can only KILL the damn humans.
I’ll take my comforts where I can get them, thanks.
I should have known better – for one thing – than to treat that temple as an easy-pickings mission and send a small force. Send a bunch of…just a small force. No overwhelming numbers. No heavy armaments. Which was stupid. At this point, I shouldn’t be leaving ANYTHING to chance, pulling ANY punches, holding back ANYTHING. If we’re going to do something at all, we need to be going all out. Every operation, the goal shouldn’t be to win, period – it should be to win, EMPHATICALLY. I said the other day that I need to start going at this war with both barrels, and look at me, right off the bat trying to half ass the operation at the temple. And spirits know how many good people died because of it.
Because of me.
Because of those smirking, pink-skinned, two-legged rodents that I’ve allowed to continue infesting this world. Because of them, I have the blood of children on my hands. But it’ll be replaced by other blood soon enough, mark my words. Human blood. But not children. Because I’m not just stronger than them. I’m BETTER than them. So they call us savages all they want — I won’t be sinking to their level. No, no children. But their parents? Oh, oh, their parents.
I hope the Stormwind orphanage has lots of room.
I have a few ideas for how we can still turn this around, starting with the damned Divine Bell situation. Involving a certain ace we still have in the hole. But better not to elaborate on that too much until I’ve after put a few things in motion. More updates soon.
Well, Elder Cloudfall arrived at Domination Point today – with monkey boy Zhi-Zhi in tow, no less – just in time to get treated to one of the very cheeriest of my cheerful moods. Because no sooner was he on the premises than messengers arrived with a no-kidding-around one-two punch of suck.
So for starters, Ishi and his team of Kor’kron reached that mogu tomb that our scouts located, and were able to confirm that it IS the place that Shan Kien told us about…and then let a team of night elf Sentinels get in there FIRST. Because SURE, WHY THE FUCK NOT, with the way this week has been going, right? For fuck’s sake, how did the night elves even fucking KNOW about the tomb? And they manage to get there AHEAD of us to boot?
Oh, but hey, don’t worry, because even though the night elves got the jump on us, Ishi and his people fought their way into the tomb and hacked their way through the elves, until they reached the Dentinel leader right on top of the Divine Bell…just in time to watch her SNAP IT UP AND HOP THROUGH A FUCKING PORTAL TO DARNASSUS. DON’T MY MINIONS HAVE THE MOST SPECTATCULAR FUCKING TIMING?
Awesome. JUST FUCKING AWESOME.
Oh, oh, but hang on, we’re not done with the parade of fantastic news yet.
As if losing the Divine Bell wasn’t bad enough…you know how I’d sent a detachment with Commander Scargash to that panda temple to set up an early-warning outpost for Alliance activity? Well, they didn’t need to show much patience waiting for some Alliance activity to monitor, because as it turns out, they were attacked this morning by an Alliance force – led by Varian him-fucking-self. Because apparently dude has nothing better to do with his time. Based on the initial reports, losses for our side were near-total. Including the Commander. And very well also included…never mind. I’m not letting myself think about it until we’ve had a chance to send some scouts to confirm. But based on everything we have to go on at this point, it looks pretty damn bad.
I swear, if another messenger comes in here today with anything remotely resembling bad news, they’d better finish by naming their next of kin, because I would NOT want their life expectancy.
So now I get to spend the day with nothing to think about other than an assortment of things I DON’T want to think about. Like how Varian fucking rolled on in and cost us I don’t know HOW many good people. And how the Divine Bell — the key to my plans to tip the balance of power in this war – is now in the hands of our enemies. And spirits know WHAT Varian’s going to do once he gets HIS grubby paws on it. As if he hasn’t fucking done enough ALREADY.
Spirits save him when I finally get him in my sights again. They were KIDS, dammit, and…
No. Never mind. I can’t even.
So Cloudfall, meanwhile, HE can just cool his jets about this Kypari field trip of his. Right now I have bigger fish to fry than wandering off to the Land of Vague and Ominous. Much less when I’ve got other sources telling me there’s more bad news there for me to boot. We’ve already lost enough good people this week, thanks. I don’t think we need more volunteers. So he and his monkey sidekick can kick back and enjoy a little Horde hospitality until we’ve gotten a handle on things. Ben-Lin probably won’t mind keeping Cloudfall company for a couple days anyway, and as for Zhi-Zhi, hell, goofball that he is, I’ll bet the kids will really get a kick—
I really need to start remembering where that fucking delete key is.
I need to go. I think there’s a patrol leaving in a minute to do a sweep for Alliance intruders.
I need to go with them.
I need to kill something.