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The fall of Theramore

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

Victory from the jaws of defeat.

Or, no, that’s not quite accurate.  Defeat was never really in the picture.  This was more victory from under the guide of defeat.

That much sweeter, in a way.  Let the humans think they’d won, right up to the moment that their doom became inescapable.  The moment they realized it was upon them, and had nothing left to do but stand there helplessly and watch it come.

Today was a good day.

 

After we left Northwatch Hold, we marched south and made short work of Fort Triumph.  I couldn’t help chuckling at the irony of the name while we annihilated what passed for its defenses.  I think our soldiers were so eager for battle after the long wait at Northwatch that they threw themselves with ever great ferocity into the fight once it finally came.

The long wait at Northwatch.  To them – what? – six days?

They’ll never know how long their Warchief had been waiting for this moment.

We continued on our way into Dustwallow Marsh and divided our forces at the fork in the road.  Half of our troops traveled north with me, while half went east with Malkorok.  We would meet at Theramore and strike both its gates at the same time.  As my half of the army made its way north, we added reinforcements from Brackenwall Village – Krog and Draz’Zilb among them – then continued on our way toward Theramore.

My contingent was the first to reach the city.  Jaina had recruited aid from the Kirin Tor to help strengthen the city’s defenses against our battering rams and siege engines.  It was a wise decision on her part.  Pity I’d been counting on it.  Me and…what’s his name, the blood elf guy.  I can never remember.  I should probably work on that, seeing as he really stepped up to the plate with more than one part of this plan.

See, Jaina had called in mages from the Kirin Tor to help hold the Theramore gates against our attack.  A powerful mage could reinforce a gate for a good long time against our siege.  As it happened, though, one of those crucial, city-saving mages was a guy by the name of Thalen Songweaver.

A blood elf.

See if you can guess who writes his checks.

Down came the gates, and in came the Horde.

Malkorok’s forces joined ours in the midst of it all, and Captain Drok and the rest of the Horde fleet hit the harbor.  Our troops flooded into Theramore, laying waste to its defenders.  Jaina and her wizard friends did a decent job of chipping away at our numbers from above, but on the ground, none of the Theramore soldiers could hold their own against our assault.

Everything was going perfectly until Jaina’s new blue dragon friend turned up and started dropping boulders and trees over the broken gate.  Kalecgos… I remember meeting him, once, just after Deathwing’s defeat.  Apparently mortality’s left him pretty damn bored these days, because now he had nothing better to do than meddle in battles that were none of his concern.  Problem was – as Baine and Vol’jin were only too quick to point out – at the rate the big lizard was going, he would shore up the opening right quick, and seal us all inside.  At that point, closed in without any further reinforcements from outside, it would just be a matter of time before the mages picked us off.

So, I ordered our forces to fall back.  We cleared out of the city and retreated to the north and west.  We all regrouped just west of the bridge over Dustwallow Bay, overlooking Theramore.  Baine was less than thrilled about how things had gone.  Can’t really blame him, though, considering he wasn’t seeing the big picture.  The foolish tauren thought the siege was all there was to this attack.  For all he could see, this was a loss.

But see, here’s the thing.  When you fight me, there’s never just one piece to the plan I throw at you.  Sure, it would have been nice if the siege had gone perfectly.  But that’s the beauty of it all.  It didn’t have to.

Welcome to fighting Garrosh Hellscream, Theramore.  Evern when I lose, I win.

Sure, you fought off the attack on your gates…  And kept yourselves busy while Drok slipped into the harbor and dropped off a small, elite strike team, who crippled your aerial defenses and recovered our agent Thalen Songweaver.

And sure, you managed to secure that north gate again…  And sealed yourselves in, within the city walls.  With some of the Alliance’s greatest generals, who’d come to aid in the defense.  Closed in together.  Nice and compact.  All in one place.

Boy, it sure would suck for you if I had, say, a giant bomb I could drop on you right now.

Oh, wait.  I do.

Goblin sky galleon.  Blood elf mana bomb.  And the immeasurable power of a handy little relic called the Focusing Iris.

Goodbye, Theramore.

The troops cheered around me as I pointed to our victory and the sky glowed white and purple with the aftershocks of the mana explosion.  Louder and louder, raucous voices all around me.  Some stared in shock, confusion, maybe even…misguided disapproval.  No matter.  Give them time.  They’ll come around.  Eventually, victory wins everyone over.  And we won.

I turned and looked over the bay, holding Gorehowl over my head, taking in the sight of our triumph, of the mark we had left on this world, never to be forgotten.

Deep down, in some tiny, hollow corner, I knew it still wasn’t quite enough.

But it would do.  For a start.

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Let’s do the time warp again

Posted in General, Transcripts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

It was late when we arrived in Dalaran.  After the bunch of us got off the Windrunner, Dranosh ordered Drok to take his crew and report to Bolvar and the Argent Vanguard to help however much he could.  As the ship made its departure, we got going to the Violet Citadel.

On the way, we passed through the center of the city.  It was an eerie sight for me.  In the middle of town, on the spot where there should have been the monument to the defeat of the Lich King, there’s a memorial honoring Tirion and the heroes who were lost with him in Icecrown Citadel.  Liadrin stopped for a minute and offered a prayer for the fallen.  Jaina.  Dontrag and Utvoch.  Saurfang.

A gnome was making his way around the city lighting all the lampposts when we arrived at the Violet Citadel.  Rhonin was waiting for our arrival and was pacing around in the main hall like a restless animal.  Liadrin started to break the news to him about Jaina, but Rhonin cut her off.  I think he already knew, as soon as he saw us walk in without her.

He took us upstairs, where he summoned a portal for us to the Caverns of Time.

 

 

People get so used to taking mage portals that before long they forget how disorienting they are at first.  You’re in one place, then there’s a flash of light, and for half a second you’re nowhere.  You feel this dizzying whoosh run through your whole body and you feel like you’re falling, and then all of a sudden you’re somewhere different.  New sights, new sounds, new everything.  After you’ve done it a few times, you learn to roll with it and regain your sense of direction quickly, but every so often, when you first arrive in a new place, something happens to throw you out of your routine and reminds you just how unsettling it can be.

The ground shook violently under our feet as we arrived at the Caverns of Time.  Not even just the ground – the walls, the ceiling, somehow even the air seemed to shudder around us.  Bronze dragons were racing around, and bunches of drakonids ran up the ramp toward the surface.  Anachronos was rumbling around, barking orders, rallying the cavern’s defenders.  I don’t think I’d ever seen him so animated.  After a minute, he spread his enormous wings and flew up the winding passageway with a handful of bronze drakes close behind.

In the middle of the chaos, Chromie teleported in right on top of us, talking a million miles an hour, and finally ushered us back to Soridormi, near the Hillsbrad portal, before teleporting away again.

 

SORIDORMI:  Thank the Titans you’ve made it.  We don’t have much time.

GARROSH:  Do I even want to ask?

SORIDORMI:  The Legion must have pieced together what we might try to do, as I’d feared.  They started their attack some hours ago.  We’ve been holding them back, but the battle has been a costly one.

The entire cavern quakes as shouts echo from the surface passageway.

DRANOSH:  Well, we brought you a present.

Dranosh steps back and gestures to Faranell, who is holding the Focusing Iris.

FARANELL:  <handing the Iris to Soridormi>  Will you be able to do it?

SORIDORMI:  <nods>  It will take me a few minutes to open the portal and stabilize it, but I can get you back to Southshore, yes.

DRANOSH:  Wait, Southshore?  What’s in Southshore?

LIADRIN:  A very long story

GARROSH:  Well now for the 50,000 gold question – what do we do when we’re back there?

MOKVAR:  Please don’t tell me we have to go in and kidnap old-Edwin and switch him with young-Edwin but also do something with original-young-Edwin while we’re at it to make sure old-us don’t still grab original-young-Edwin by mistake, because, I mean, not enough aspirin in the world.

LIADRIN:  Not to mention we would have to do something about the chameleon shard attunement in that case, if this Edwin doesn’t end up tending to it…

DRANOSH:  Is there a reason why everyone but me seems to know what’s going on wherever it is we’re going?

LIADRIN:  Honestly?  Because everyone but you was there the first time.

GARROSH:  We were all there before, Dranosh – the four of us, in old Southshore, about ten years ago.  That’s how all of this started.  That’s why the Legion and the Scourge are winning now.

LIADRIN:  None of this was ever supposed to happen.  It’s only happened this way because events in the past were altered, and have snowballed into what’s happening now.

DRANOSH:  <blinking>  Okay, I think I need a second here…

GARROSH:  While you’re doing that… Sori?  What’s the plan here?

SORIDORMI:  I can get you to Hillsbrad the morning of the last day you were there.  That’s when the disruption began.  And ultimately, this rests on Edwin.

FARANELL:  Oh great…

SORIDORMI:  You’re right, Mokvar; trying to switch off versions of Edwin would be far too complicated and leave too much room for something else to go wrong…

The cavern shudders again, more violently.

GARROSH:  Okay, this is sounding like we’re going for the simple approach.  I’m a big fan of the simple approach.

SORIDORMI:  Ordinarily, the one thing one must never do when traveling in time is to interact with oneself.  In this case, though, that’s exactly what Edwin will need to do: force a crossing of timelines between both – or rather, all – versions of himself present in that time.  If Edwin can make physical contact with both iterations of himself at once, it should short out the crossed lines and snap each version back to where he’s supposed to be.

LIADRIN:  That last morning – that was when future-Edwin broke past-Edwin out of Mokvar’s hex.

MOKVAR:  There’s our window.  They’ll both be within a few feet of each other.

SORIDORMI:  If he can do it, the shorting out should trigger both realities into resetting themselves and separating.

GARROSH:  You get all that, Doc?  Today’s your turn to save the world…

The ground shakes once again, and the cavern walls around the surface passage buckle.  A handful of bronze dragons rush down into the cavern, with a swarm of demons close behind.  Behind the initial wave of demon shock troops, Varimathras and Prince Malchezaar descend into the cavern.

CHROMIE:  <calling out while circling around the cavern in dragon form>  They’ve breached the cavern!  Fall back and regroup!  We have to hold them!

LIADRIN:  Soridormi, do you need all of us to go back?

SORIDORMI:  Edwin is the only one who has to go.

DRANOSH:  <to Liadrin>  I think that’s our cue for one last battle of the line.

Liadrin nods, draws the Ashbringer, and runs into a pack of terrorfiends, tearing through then with one spinning swipe of the blade.

<to Garrosh>  This was your mission from the get-go, Overlord.  Go see it through, and I’ll talk to you when it’s over.

Dranosh starts to turn to join the battle.

GARROSH:  Dranosh!

Dranosh looks back.  Garrosh looks at him in silence for a moment.

…Give them hell.

DRANOSH:  <smirks>  I don’t really think they’re running short.  <starts running toward the demons>  Now go be a hero – that’s an order!

Dranosh leaps into a group of felguards and bursts into a Bladestorm.

GARROSH:  You’re the boss.  Lok’tar, Warchief…

FARANELL:  Soridormi… I’ll try my best at this, but even if it works…

Soridormi nods to Faranell and starts to channel a spell through the Focusing Iris into the time portal.

Well…Garrosh said that…the other me may have thrown off the timeline without even meaning to, just because of what he knew.  But now me…I’ve seen so much, how do we know I won’t disrupt history all over again?

Soridormi reaches into a belt pouch and tosses a small tuber to Faranell.

SORIDORMI:  This is a Nepenthe Root.  Is grows only here in the Caverns of Time.  Eat it once you’re through the time portal; it will take an hour or two to take effect.  The root is a powerful purifier on the mind – its effects will ripple through your entire timeline, purging any memories out of synch with their natural timeframe.

GARROSH:  It’s not going to oops-mindwipe him completely, is it?

SORIDORMI:  No…the worst side effect he might experience would manifest itself as sporadic and random lapses of memory.

 

The demons continued flooding into the cavern while Dranosh, Liadrin, and the dragons fought to hold them at bay.  A group of doomguards managed to get all the way back to the Hillsbrad portal with us.  Mokvar, Edwin, and I managed to fight them off while Soridormi continued channeling her spell.  Once they were dead, Mokvar pushed his notes into my hands and said to take care of Edwin while he helped the rest with the demons, and ran off into the fight.

I looked past Mokvar as he ran into the fray and saw Dranosh going toe-to-toe with Varimathras, then leaping up and sending a Mortal Strike tearing straight into the dreadlord’s throat.  One more swing and he had Varimathras’ head off altogether.  He caught it, spun around, and sent it flying at Malchezaar — pointed so that the dreadlord’s horns pierced straight through Malchezaar’s eyes.

The portal glowed brighter as Soridormi poured more magic into it.  Then the ground shuddered again, and large chunks of the stone around the surface passage broke away.  With a demonic laugh announcing his arrival, Kil’jaeden, Lord of the Burning Legion, stepped down into the Caverns of Time and started walking directly toward us.

Liadrin tore through at least twenty demons with one of her Divine Storms, and ran between Kil’jaeden and us.  The demon lord extended his hand toward her, palm extended, and released a torrent of shadow magic.  Liadrin held the Ashbringer over her head and projected a shimmering shield of holy magic around herself.  The two stood there, facing each other down – Kil’jaeden kept pouring more power into his shadow torrent, Liadrin kept drawing on the Light and the power of the Ashbringer to hold it back.  As she exerted herself more and more, a gleaming white light shone out of the Ashbringer and around her whole body – and after a moment, just as Soridormi called out to us that the time portal was ready, the glowing, pulsing light surrounding Liadrin sharpened into the shape of a naaru.

Liadrin looked back at us.  Her eyes were white and glowing.  For all the fighting and screaming and magic eruptions, I should never have been able to make out an individual voice, but just for a moment I could hear hers – in my head.  It was accompanied by a musical chiming, and echoed by a second voice, one I’d heard but not quite heard once before…the voice of A’dal.

We can’t hold him forever.  GO!

I grabbed Edwin’s arm and pulled him through the portal as the ground shook and the walls quaked.  The Caverns of Time disappeared in a dizzying rush of light, and the sounds of battle ringing in my ears faded into a memory of the future as I felt myself sliding back into the past.

I’ll see you on the other side.

Wrath of the Lich King

Posted in General, Transcripts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

Show time.

The group assembled today on the Windrunner: me, both Saurfangs, Liadrin, Edwin, Jaina, Mokvar, Dontrag, and Utvoch.  I figured the way the Scourge have swarmed through practically all of Northrend, I’d just as soon not leave anything to chance, which is why we brought so much heavy-artillery personnel.  Drok and his crew had the ship ready to go, and we set off for the Nexus in Coldarra.  Once we had the Focusing Iris, we’d head straight for Dalaran, where Jaina’s Kirin Tor friends would be ready to port us straight to the Caverns of Time.

We arrived at the Nexus and docked the ship on one of the upper ring platforms that was equipped with a teleportation orb.  One problem: the platform was swarming with Scourge – all the platforms were.  Vargul and skeletons mostly, with a couple necromancer types lurking around the back.

I’ll tell you, Mokvar was right the other day.  This really wasn’t fair.

Between me whirlwinding through skeletons by the bushel, Liadrin Diving Storming her way right through the heart of them, Jaina flame-roasting undead in bunches, and – yup – Saurfangs Young and Old cleaving down everything in sight, it didn’t take us long to clear a path to the teleportation orb.  The only down side was that those necromancers kept summoning more undead, and every so often a proto-drake would fly by and drop another damn vrykul to help keep the influx coming.

 

GARROSH:  They’re not getting anywhere, but neither are we if we just stay up here all day killing these fuckers…

The necromancers cast another summoning spell, and some hundred new skeletons appear on the platform.

LIADRIN:  <slashing by one of the vargul>  We don’t all need to be up here – you go, I’ll stay and protect the ship.

GARROSH:  You sure?  There’s still an awful lot of them.

Liadrin rushes into a cluster of vargul, dropping them all with another spinning Divine Storm.  As she finishes her follow-through, she lands on one knee, slamming the Ashbringer down onto the platform floor; a shimmering flash of yellow-white light bursts from the Ashbringer and shoots out in a horizontal shockwave in all directions.  The light rips through the skeletons and sends them spilling onto the floor, burning with holy fire.  Still on one knee, Liadrin tilts her head up at Garrosh.

LIADRIN:  I’m not worried.

Jaina runs to a clear area near the gunship and starts channeling a spell.  A glowing blue runic circle begins to appear on the floor beneath her.

JAINA:  I’m placing a portal marker here.  Once we have the Focusing Iris, I’ll be able to teleport us directly back.

Several more vargul drop onto the platform.  While Liadrin engages them, several val’kyr and gargoyles descend down over the Windrunner.

SAURFANG:  <rushing back to the gunship and cleaving through gargoyles>  I’ll stay back as well to help guard the ship.

MOKVAR:  Well now you’re just running up the score on them.

SAURFANG:  The rest of you – go!

DRANOSH:  You all heard the man.  Let’s get moving.

 

We took the teleportation orb into the Nexus.  The sight that greeted us froze us all in our tracks.  Around the circular room and down every hall, the ground was littered with the lifeless bodies of blue dragons.  We all just stared for a minute while the sight sunk in.  I think it hit Jaina the hardest, what with her probably having had some dealings with the blues over the years.  She knelt down over one of the dead dragons and put a hand over its face.

 

JAINA:  This… I know her.  This is… Her name is…was Kirygosa.  She was a daughter of Malygos…

UTVOCH:  Wait, when you said there were going to be a lot of dragons here, I thought you meant they were going to be alive.

GARROSH:  …Seriously?

FARANELL:  That’s got to be an act, right?  I mean he can’t possibly really be that stupid.

MOKVAR:  Dontrag and Utvoch: raising the bar on lowering the bar, since the dawn of time.

DONTRAG:  Hey, I didn’t say anything!

GARROSH:  Yet.

DRANOSH:  <surveying the halls>  Most of the…  <glances back at Jaina, then lowers his voice slightly>  …most of the blood seems fresh.  Whoever did this did it fairly recently.

GARROSH:  Probably still nearby.

Jaina stands slowly, still looking down at the bodies.

JAINA:  Kalecgos considered her one of his dearest friends…

DRANOSH:  The next time you see him, you can tell him all about the world of pain we brought down on the ones who did this to her.

GARROSH:  It has to be the Scourge, based on upstairs.  Not sure why they’d be coming after the blue dragons, though.

JAINA:  At this point, they’re one of the only major powers left between them and all of Northrend…  It was only a matter of time before they struck here.

GARROSH:  That’s the thing, though – yeah, they have the Horde and Alliance on the ropes, but why wouldn’t they finish them off first, THEN take on the dragons?  The Lich King has to know he’s got the upper hand.  Why divide his efforts?

DRANOSH:  Maybe he wants to finish both off quickly?

GARROSH:  All the time we were up here fighting him, did you ever know Arthas to be impatient?

JAINA:  He’s not.  Anymore.

DRANOSH:  <shrugs>  Either way.  I am the impatient type – let’s go find that Focusing Iris and let it be finished.

 

We made our way deeper into the Nexus, finding more slain dragons all the way.  As we worked our way down a long, descending passageway, we could hear sounds of combat, and reptilian cries of pain.  I ordered Dontrag and Utvoch to make sure they kept Edwin safe under pain of so-much-worse-than-death-your-admittedly-limited-brains-would-melt-just-trying-to-imagine-it.  The bottom of the passage was dark and filled with shadows.  As the floor leveled out from the end of our descent, we turned a corner and came to a doorway.

The room was large and circular, with crystalline patterns in the walls and floor, like so many of the other rooms here.  In the center of the room, hovering in the air of its own accord, was the Focusing Iris – an enormous blue orb, glowing with arcane power.  On the far side of the room, four humanoids – a human, a tauren, and a pair of dwarves – all wearing armor like that of a death knight, stood over bodies of blue dragons.  More bodies filled the room, and the air reeked with the smell of draconic blood.  Two more death knights, a draenei and a troll, flanked the doorway on either side, and as we came around the corner they called out a warning.

And as the sentries cried out, in the center of the room, out from behind the Focusing Iris stepped Tirion Fordring.  Covered in spiked black armor, wielding a runeblade, eyes glowing a deathly pale blue.  I’ll tell you, I was never crazy about Tirion, but this was still horrible to see.  Even Tirion deserved better than this.

 

TIRION:  <grinning broadly>  Ah, how serendipitous!  It appears fate has set us all upon a parallel venture, and I find myself reunited with personages of no small familiarity.  I greet you all, good orcs and humans, and welcome you to the curtain’s rise on the final act of this grand endeavor!

GARROSH:  By the spirits…

Tirion gestures to his minions.

DRANOSH:  What?

Tirion’s Deathbringers rush at the group, blades poised.

GARROSH:  He still loves to talk.

Jaina casts a Cone of Cold that slows the death knights’ approach.

DRANOSH:  <shrugs>  Time to do what we do.  Lok’tar!

GARROSH:  For the Horde!

DONTRAG and UTVOCH:  For the Horde!

MOKVAR:  For the Horde!

JAINA:  Um, actually…

Jaina exchanges a shrug with Faranell.

Okay.  Whatever.

Garrosh, Dranosh, Dontrag, and Utvoch rush forward to engage the Deathbringers, and the two groups battle back and forth, with Tirion lurking by the Focusing Iris, watching and taunting.

TIRION:  Good, my glorious vassals, unleash your fury and show these intruders the fate that awaits those who would interfere with the work of our dread lord the Lich King!  Woe be to any who stand against us!  Their ruined bodies shall be the latest paving the way to our inevitable dominion over this world!

GARROSH:  <exchanging blows with the tauren>  The hell are you even HERE for, Tirion?  What do you fuckers even want with the Focusing Iris?

TIRION:  Well could I ask you the same, young Hellscream!  But as it will profit you naught, I will tell you, so that you might meet your end knowing the full scope of your failure, and indeed the hand you and your ilk have had in bringing forth this very hour!

DRANOSH:  <aside>  That’s it, get him monologuing…

GARROSH:  <aside>  He’s going to be monologuing anyway, might as well get him going on something useful maybe…

Dranosh and Garrosh continue pushing back the tauren and human.  Dontrag and Utvoch spar with the two dwarves, aided by chain lightning from Mokvar, while Jaina launches a seething fireball that incinerates the troll.

TIRION:  Did you truly believe your ill-fated ploy to deny the Lich King your precious Sunwell would go unanswered?  That the master of the Scourge would be halted by your sad, trifling magician’s tricks?  You merely delayed the inevitable; and now, with the Focusing Iris in hand, the Lich King’s mightiest seers will shatter the meddlesome bubble conjured by that poor, doomed, suddenly so very solitary dragon Kalecgos—

Jaina lets loose another pair of fireballs, finishing the dwarven death knights fighting Dontrag and Utvoch.

JAINA:  Kalcgos’ flight had no part in this war, Tirion!  The old you – the real you – he would be sickened to see what you’ve done to these innocents!

TIRION:  Oh, Lady Proudmoore, do not be so naïve as to think the blues innocent – or yourself.  It was Kalecgos who chose to throw in his lot with your kind and aid in your foolish charade at the Sunwell, and all of you who interfered in the Scourge’s march.  The Lich King was content to leave these pitiable lizards be – for now.  It was you who forced his hand, you who altered his plans, you who made the Focusing Iris a necessary implement—

DRANOSHSpirits, he likes to talk…

GARROSH:  Dude, you have NO IDEA.

TIRION:  —and you, all of you, who helped bring this fate upon the Blue Dragonflight today!  From their blood shall flow the coming of a new age for this world!  From their deaths shall be forged a new future, bathed in carnage!

JAINA:  <gathering a fiery glow in her hands>  You want carnage?  Arthas will have more blood than he ever bargained for!

Jaina unleashes a massive fireball that tears through the draenei death knight and badly burns the tauren and human – whom Dranosh and Garrosh quickly finish off – and hurls Tirion back against the far wall.

DRANOSH:  Remind me not to piss her off.

GARROSH:  No shit, right?

Tirion pulls himself up and faces the group.

TIRION:  You all shall pay dearly for—

DRANOSH:  <charging in and knocking Tirion a few steps back>  Pro tip, Tirion – when your boys are taking it on the chin, might be a good idea to stop running your mouth for a minute and help them out.

Garrosh joins in, and Tirion begins scrambling to deflect both orcs’ blows.

TIRION:  You think I fear you, boy?  Through the Lich King I have seen power the likes of which you cannot comprehend!  By his will I have cast off death itself, and risen anew, ascended, greater than I might ever have dreamed in my former, paltry, limited existence!  You do not know what you trifle with, you—

As Dranosh and Garrosh unleash a flurry of blows from both sides, Jaina singes Tirion with a surge of flame, then freezes him in place with a frost nova, throwing off his footing.

GARROSH:  Tirion…

Garrosh locks one of his axes in a parry with Tirion, then drops his second axe from his free hand and swings his fist under the runeblade and into Tirion’s gut.

Shut.

Garrosh breaks the parry, forcing Tirion’s blade hand to swing to one side, where Dranosh hacks it away at the wrist.

The fuck.

Garrosh and Dranosh bring their axes down from either side, slamming vicious into the base of Tirion’s neck.

UP!

Tirion slumps lifeless to the floor.

JAINA:  <looking down sadly at the body>  You have been missed, old friend.  May your spirit finally find its rest now.

MOKVAR:  Okay, let’s get what we came for and go.

JAINA:  Let me get it into a more manageable form…

Jaina holds her hands out to the Focusing Iris and begins channeling beams of arcane magic into it.  Slowly, the Focusing Iris shrinks until it has been reduced to a shimmering blue sphere about a foot in diameter, hovering in the air.

There…now we just need to—

Jaina is interrupted by a shadowy, purple tendril of magic that lashes out at her from the doorway and yanks her back toward it.  Her body flies backward through the air and – with a hideous slicing sound – into a blade held out from the dark hallway:

Frostmourne.

As Dranosh steps in to catch the falling Focusing Iris, the Lich King strides into the room, Jaina’s body still impaled on the runebalde.

LICH KING:  Impressive…

The Lich King shakes Frostmourne, dropping Jaina’s body to the ground.

Most impressive.

UTVOCH:  Okay, this isn’t so bad, there’s just one of him against all of us…

The Lich King drives Frostmourne’s blade into the floor, releasing a shockwave that knocks the group back against the far wall of the room.  As they recover, the Lich King hold Frostmourne aloft and begins channeling a spell.

LICH KING:  Now then…a further test…

Crackling purple energy shoots out of Frostmourne in all directions.  Slowly, the dozens of dragon corpses around the room begin to rise, eyes glowing a dull blue, bodies withered and gaunt.

GARROSH:  Oh…shit…

DONTRAG:  You really have to keep your mouth shut, Ut.

The nearest few reanimated dragons rush at them.  Garrosh, Dontrag, and Utvoch step in to intercept them and start to fight them back, with Mokvar and Faranell casting spells at them from behind.

The Lich King continues channeling.  After a few seconds, Jaina’s body rises from the floor; her hair has turned white save for a single blonde streak, and her eyes shimmer with a lifeless blue glow.  She looks around the room, then faces the Lich King.

JAINA:  A-Arthas…?

LICH KING:  I have missed you…my Queen.

Jaina grins hideously, turns, and unleashes an enormous fireball that incinerates two of the dragons on its way toward Faranell.

DONTRAG:  Doc!

UTVOCH:  Look out!

Dontrag lunges at Faranell while Utvoch rushes in from the opposite side.  Dontrag shoves Faranell out of the fireball’s path, just before the flames reduce both him and Utvoch to smoldering heaps of ash.

DRANOSH:  Edwin!  Jaina was our ride out.  That’s your job now – port us out of here, and fast!

FARANELL:  But— I’m not that powerful a mage!

Dranosh shoves the Focusing Iris into Faranell’s hands; a bluish white glow shimmers over his body.

DRANOSH:  You are now.  Fire it up!

Garrosh and Mokvar – both fighting dragons – back up toward Dranosh and Faranell.  Faranell closes his eyes, mutters an incantation, and teleports the group away in a blinding flash.

 

We reappeared up on the ring platform where we’d docked – a few yards off from Jaina’s targeting rune, but hey, I’m not going to nitpick over a clutch save from Edwin.  When we appeared, we were greeted by the sight of an enormous pile of Scourge corpses that formed a hill leading up to the Windrunner.  Dozens of vargul, hundreds of ghouls and skeletons, val’kyr, geists, a couple frost wyrms…and sitting on top of the pile were Liadrin and Saurfang, taking turns drinking from a waterskin.

 

LIADRIN:  <looks up at them>  What kept you?

DRANOSH:  We had guests.

GARROSH:  Come on, everyone get on the ship.

SAURFANG:  Where are the others?  Lady Proudmoore, and the…cerebrally inexpansive duo?

GARROSH:  They didn’t make it.

SAURFANG:  What happened?

DRANOSH:  Arthas is here.

LIADRIN:  By the Light… Get on board, and quickly!

GARROSH:  What happened to you not being worried?

LIADRIN:  I wasn’t.

DRANOSH:  Fire it up, Captain!  Top speed to Dalaran!

The group boards the Windrunner, which disembarks from the platform.  After a moment, the ship shakes and creaks, then begins to slide slowly backwards.

DRANOSH:  Um, Drok?  I don’t think I said anything about reverse.

DROK:  We’re still on full ahead, sir, I don’t—

GARROSH:  Uh, I think you guys might want to have a look at this…

They turn to look back at the ring platform, where the Lich King now stands, channeling a dark purple band of energy from his hand that grips the gunship, and using it to slowly tug the ship back toward the Nexus.

MOKVAR:  He’s— he’s death-gripping the ship!  How is he death-gripping the whole ship?!

DRANOSH:  Drok, this would be a good time to give the engines a little extra – we’ve got to get out of here!

DROK:  I’m giving them everything she’s got, sir!  I can’t change the laws of physics!

Saurfang stands at the railing, watching as the Lich King slowly drags the gunship back toward him.  Saurfang looks back at Dranosh, then to Garrosh.

SAURFANG:  He’s looked out for you since you were children.

Garrosh gives a quizzical look, then nods.

Look out for him now.

Saurfang turns and launches himself off the deck, toward the platform below.

FOR THE HORDE!

Saurfang barrels into the Lich King and they both crash onto the floor.  With the Lich King’s death grip broken, the gunship lurches forward again and starts to pull away from the Nexus.

DRANOSHFather!  No!

Garrosh intercepts Dranosh as he rushes to the edge of the ship and pulls him back.

GARROSH:  Get us OUT of here, Captain!

DRANOSH:  <spinning back toward Drok, still in Garrosh’s grip>  No!  Turn us around, Drok, we have to—

Garrosh spins Dranosh back to face him.

GARROSHYou know what he’s doing!  DON’T LET IT BE FOR NOTHING!

Dranosh stops struggling.  Garrosh releases him, and as the gunship continues its escape, he walks to the railing and looks down at the platform, where the Lich King knocks Saurfang away from him.

LICH KING:  Foolish old orc!  You dare stand against me?  Do you know how many of your kind I’ve slain?

SAURFANG:  You…murdered…children.  <draws his axe>  You answer to Saurfang now!

Saurfang charges the Lich King furiously, cleaving and slashing with his axe.  The Lich King parries with Frostmourne, and the two grapple back and forth as the platform shrinks from view.

 

I’m writing from the Windrunner now.  We should reach Dalaran soon.  I’ll update again when I can, if the news is good.  If it isn’t, I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be here to keep updating.

In the meantime, we continue on our way to Dalaran.

In silence.

 

 

[Header image of the Nexus provided by regular reader and commenter ZugZug.  Gunship image provided by Rioriel from Postcards From Azeroth; click here to see the souped-up Postcard version!  Both images used with permission and many thanks.]

The parting of ways

Posted in General, Transcripts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

Dranosh and the others arrived with the Windrunner this morning, along with a surprise – Jaina Proudmoore.  The message I’d sent to Dranosh in Theramore said there’s a chance to fix things but we need to get the Focusing Iris from Northrend, and when Jaina heard that part, she volunteered – check that, insisted – she join the party.  Imagine my delight.  Still, the enemy of my enemy, I guess.

So far this morning, we’ve had an uncharacteristic run of mostly good news.  Based on the head counts, most of the civilians got out of Orgrimmar in time.  Military losses were heavy – in addition to Vol’jin and Zaela, it turns out Nazgrim didn’t make it out – but still not as disastrous as they could have been.  Dranosh brought the remaining civilians – Horde and Theramore alike – with him along with a few support officers.  Thunder Bluff is further from the combat zone, it’s separated by natural barriers, and its position on these mesas makes it easier to defend.  There really isn’t anywhere SAFE to tuck away the civilians anymore, but this is the safest of unsafe options.

The better news is that a couple hours into scouring the city this morning, Utvoch earned his keep and spotted Edwin over on the Spirit Rise.  He’s spooked as all hell, no surprise – he got dropped into this world just in time for the attack on Orgrimmar, without warning or context or any friends from the Caverns of Time to help make sense of it for him.  I’ll try to start filling in some of the blanks for him on the way to Northrend.  Gotta, say, I’m not looking forward to explaining how his brother fits into all this.

Other than loading up the Windrunner with a few supplies, there’s just one piece of business to tend to.

 

CAIRNE:  I understand the honor you show me today, Warchief, and I will strive to be worthy of it.  As I have watched over the tauren, so too will I watch over the people of the Horde.

DRANOSH:  I’m hopeful that we’ll return soon successfully.  But if we don’t, I need to be sure that our people will be left in good hands.  Now they will.  May the spirits guide you, Cairne.  Let everything you do be done for the Horde.

Dranosh salutes Cairne.  Cairne responds in kind.

They’re yours now, Warchief Bloodhoof.  Lead them well.  Aka’Magosh – for the Horde!

CAIRNE:  For the Horde.

ALL ASSEMBLED:  For the Horde!

DRANOSH:  <clasping Cairne’s hand>  I hate to abdicate and run, but I have a few last preparations to make before we go.

CAIRNE:  I understand, Warchief.

DRANOSH:  <grins and walks away>  Call me Dranosh.

Dranosh walks off.  Garrosh approaches Cairne.

GARROSH:  I should probably go help him in a minute.

CAIRNE:  You have important work ahead of you, I know.

GARROSH:  <glancing around and nodding>  So many things that aren’t what they should be.

CAIRNE:  Overlord, if I may offer a word of counsel?

Garrosh nods.

Do not trouble yourself so deeply over what should be.  It is something I have noticed in you, Garrosh – your readiness to point to what should be, and recoil against the world for failing to be so.  As if it has wronged you.  It is, I suspect, the source of so much of your anger, your impatience, your…

GARROSH:  <faintly grinning>  Are you saying I have a temper?

CAIRNE:  You’ve heard this before?

Garrosh chuckles.

I merely mean to say, Garrosh, that there is little to be gained in fretting away one’s life with should be.  “I should be higher rank by now.”  “This land should be ours.”  “He should agree.”  “She should love me.”  There is no should be; there is only is.  And there is no deeper well of discontent, no darker shadow to impoverish our lives as they are, then a misguided sense of should be to nag at us by false compare.  “Should be”: so simple a phrase to nourish so many agonies of the spirit.

Cairne hesitates a moment, then tilts his head with the hint of a smile.

Pardon me, I prattle on.  You’ll forgive an old man his ramblings.

GARROSH:  You wear it a lot better than Tirion ever did.  <pauses, then grins sadly>  I think I should have listened to you more.

CAIRNE:  There you go again.  <smiles>  But you are listening now.

GARROSH:  Well, hopefully you’ll let one more “should be” slide.  <looks up at Cairne a moment, then offers his hand>  Dranosh made the right choice.  You should be Warchief.

CAIRNE:  <gripping the hand>  And so I am.  In this, for once, you need not torment yourself, my young friend.

Garrosh looks around briefly.

GARROSH:  I don’t know if we’ll be back here again.

CAIRNE:  Nonsense.  I have every confidence you will be successful, Garrosh.

GARROSH:  <looks at Cairne uncomfortably>  Still.  Just in case.  <stares at him a moment more>  I don’t think I’ve told you that I admire you.  If you don’t see me again…know that honor and respect for you went with me to the end of my days.

CAIRNE:  <nods slowly>  May they be many, Overlord.  And thank you.

 

I left Cairne and made my way over to the docking station on the Spirit Rise to meet Dranosh.  When I got there, he was standing on the edge of the rise, overlooking western Mulgore, and in the middle of a rather pointed discussion with…ahem…a familiar face.

 

DRANOSH:  I understand your concerns, General, but I’m confident in Warlord Cromush’s forces at the new front.

KROM’GAR:  I simply don’t see the wisdom of taking one of our newer gunships out of the fight in order to go on – I’m sorry – some fool’s errand in Northrend.

DRANOSH:  Overlord Hellscream assures me—

KROM’GAR:  Overlord Hellscream, as far as we know, may simply be putting as much distance as possible between himself and death by inventing some secret mission to fly off to!

DRANOSH:  I’m going as well, Krom’gar.  Are you going to accuse me of cowardice, too?

KROM’GAR:  Begging your pardon, sir, but—

DRANOSH:  Let me be frank, General.  With the state of affairs in Kalimdor, one more gunship will not make much difference here.  But one gunship in Northrend might be able to put an end to this mess before it’s even started.

KROM’GAR:  But how, sir?  Why do you even believe—

As Dranosh and Krom’gar talk, Garrosh walks over to them.  Before Krom’gar can finish his sentence, Garrosh steps up next to him and casually shoves him off the edge of the rise, sending him plummeting to the ground far below.

GARROSH:  Don’t listen to that guy.  He’s a dick.

DRANOSH:  <blinks a moment and glances over the edge>  Wow, you really don’t like him, do you?

GARROSH:  Let’s just say we have some history.  Or did.

DRANOSH:  Lucky for you I was considering the same thing when he started calling you a coward.

Garrosh looks over at the Windrunner being loaded with supplies.

GARROSH:  You know…this mission we’re going on…  I know I haven’t exactly been open about a lot of the details.  I’m figuring based on where I had to go for information that you can guess some of the reason why.  And yeah, there are some details going on here that I really can’t tell you, but you have to understand—

DRANOSH:  How long have you known me?

GARROSH:  Huh?

DRANOSH:  Since we were, what, six?  How many times has one of us saved the other’s neck?  You’re telling me we need to do this.  You think I need more than that?  It’s getting done, period.  You don’t need to sell me, Garrosh.  I trust you with my life.

 

I’m going to skip over the part where I looked over the edge for a second and wondered if Krom’gar could use some company in splat-land.

Oh, but also, speaking of Krom’gar, it bears repeating:

Anyway.  Here’s the plan from this point: we’re taking off for Northrend within the hour, and will rendezvous with Liadrin and the rest of our people at the Argent Vanguard.  We’re keeping the group relatively small – me, Dranosh, Mokvar.  Edwin.  Captain Drok, obviously, since the Windrunner is his ship, plus a minimal crew to operate it.  Dontrag, Utvoch…Jaina…you’ll notice who I just lumped together there.  Jaina’s put her Kirin Tor friends on notice, so once we get the Focusing Iris from Coldarra, we’ll high-tail it to Dalaran, where they’ll be able to port us directly to the Caverns of Time.  From there, with any luck, it’ll be a short trip to Normal-ville.

Time for me to get on board.  More updates soon.

 

 

[Header image of Thunder Bluff provided by Angelya from Revive and Rejuvenate.  “Dismissed” image provided by Rades from Orcish Army Knife.  Both images used here with permission and many thanks.]

The last Warchief

Posted in General, Transcripts with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 8, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

Dranosh kept staring down at the ruins of Orgrimmar as we circled high above the city.  We were too far to hear anything other than the faintest sounds of the demons and undead, but the fires were unmistakable even from here.

I finally went over and stood next to him.  He didn’t look away from the sight below.  We stood there in silence for a few minutes.

 

DRANOSH:  Do you remember the first time you saw Orgrimmar?

GARROSH:  <nods>  Thrall brought me, not that long after he came to Garadar.

DRANOSH:  My father took me.  He was so excited to show me the new home the orcs had built.  So proud to introduce me around – every grunt, every merchant, everyone.  I remember thinking how every last person in the city seemed to know him.

GARROSH:  Well, he IS Saurfang.

DRANOSH:  <nods, then pauses>  Maybe Thrall should have chosen him.  Or Cairne.  Or…Vol’jin.  <shrugs>  Or you, for that matter.

GARROSH:  I thought you said I’d be terrible at it.

DRANOSH:  Have you looked down there?  At what I’ve led us to?  I don’t think you would have done much worse.

GARROSH:  <staring down>  This…this wasn’t your fault.  You’ve been a good Warchief.

DRANOSH:  Then why am I in danger of becoming the last one?

 

Remember when I said this timeline was the better one?  Well, as long as time is getting screwed with anyway, let’s go back and erase that I’d ever said that.  Orgrimmar was bad enough…but now Dranosh…

At least the Wrathgate killed him quickly.  Not one little piece at a time.

We stood there silently for I’m not sure how long, until Dranosh finally turned around and gave Drok the order to set us on our way to Theramore.  As we started to pull away, Dranosh took one more look down at the burning shell of Orgrimmar.

 

DRANOSH:  I still don’t understand how this happened…

MOKVAR:  Warchief?  I think I might have at least a few answers for us…

Mokvar pulls a frog from until his cloak and dangles it by one leg.

GARROSH:  Is that…?

MOKVARNeeru Fireblade.  I’ve been keeping him hexed.  I figure he may be able to fill in a few gaps if we want to pop him.

DRANOSH:  Is this the one who did this?

GARROSH:  Not alone.  But he was the ringleader of those warlocks in the Cleft of Shadow, anyway…

DRANOSH:  <visibly fuming>  Oh… Oh, bring him out.  I want to talk to this one…

Mokvar nods and drops the frog on the deck, then zaps it with a frost shock to break the hex.  Before Neeru Fireblade can react in his restored orc form, Dranosh grabs him by his robes and shoves him back against the railing.

DRANOSH:  Oh hello, Neeru, so glad you made it out in one piece…

Neeru struggles against Dranosh’s grip, but Dranosh only shoves him back harder.

It would have been such a shame if you’d gotten yourself killed back there and cost me the chance to do the honors myself.

Neeru looks around at the gunship, then grins and chuckles cruelly.

NEERU:  Based on our surroundings, I assume the day goes badly, eh, Warchief?

GARROSH:  Not nearly as badly as it’s about to go for you if you don’t talk.

DRANOSH:  I’ve got a lot of questions, Neeru, but here’s the main one – why?

NEERU:  <laughing>  Why?  Why would I work against my enemy?  Are you really that naïve, boy?

DRANOSH:  How is the Horde your enemy?  You’ve been a citizen of Orgrimmar for years!

NEERU:  And a warlock of the Burning Blade for longer!  That shaman who came before you wanted to believe so badly that some of us might yet be redeemed that he gave us haven in his precious capital.  Even when his agents told him my loyalties might be…conflicted…the trusting fool still left me there in my tent to go about my business unimpeded.

GARROSH:  Wow, seriously?

MOKVAR:  You didn’t know about this?

GARROSH:  Would have been nice if he’d left me a fucking note about it or something…

NEERU:  <chuckling>  Allegiance to the Shadow Council is not foresworn so readily.

DRANOSH:  So you’ve been sitting there all these years plotting this?

NEERU:  This specifically?  No, no, boy.  Simply…watching for moments of opportunity.  And the Scourge attack on Orgrimmar proved a superb one.

GARROSH:  While we were busy watching the rear gate, there was nobody to keep an eye on you bastards in the Cleft.

DRANOSH:  Is that what the demons were doing in the Deadwind Pass?  Gathering for your go-ahead?

NEERU:  Our go-ahead, and more importantly our beacon to target their portal.  The Legion also happened to have, in the Deadwind Pass, some ideal resources for a surprise attack such as this.

GARROSH:  Malchezaar, in Karazhan.

NEERU:  Holder of one of the most powerful sources of portal magic in this world – the Book of Medivh.

DRANOSH:  Hold on – I’ve heard of Malchezaar, but I thought he was dead.

MOKVAR:  He was.

GARROSHRepeatedly.

MOKVAR:  Didn’t take.

DRANOSH:  Excuse me?

NEERU:  <chuckling>  Your mind is so comically linear.

GARROSH:  Malchezaar hung out in the highest level of Karazhan, where it pokes through into this whole other dimension.

MOKVAR:  Netherspace.

GARROSH:  Time doesn’t work the same way up there…it’s like it’s locked in this infinite loop.  So people went up there and killed him, yeah, and then a few days later the loop would reset, and he’d be there alive again.

MOKVAR:  And then someone else would kill him, and in a few days the loop would reset again.

GARROSH:  On and on endlessly.

DRANOSH:  And he just stayed there to die over and over?  Why would anyone do that?  Why wouldn’t he just leave?

NEERU:  Because so long as he was there, he could never truly die, you fool.  No matter how many deaths he might endure – hundreds, perhaps – the Netherspace would always restore him.  The perfect hiding place for the Legion to stash away a key weapon for safekeeping, until the time would come that he would be needed.

DRANOSH:  So today the demons cracked Malchezaar out of storage to bring them here…

NEERU:  <smirks at Garrosh and chuckles>  I wish you could have seen the look on your face when—

DRANOSH:  <shaking Neeru violently>  I would be a little more worried about the look on you face when I cut off your head and stick it on a pike, Fireblade!

NEERU:  Do you wish to, Warchief?  Then by all means.  I had no delusions that I would escape this endeavor alive.  But I believe.  Don’t you see?  It doesn’t matter if you kill me.  I’ve lived long enough to see Orgrimmar burn.

Dranosh loosens his grip on Neeru and stares over the warlock’s shoulder at Orgrimmar.

DRANOSH:  You’re forgetting something, Neeru.

Neeru arches an eyebrow quizzically.

Orgrimmar is behind you.

Dranosh draws his sword and runs it through Neeru.

You haven’t seen anything.

Neeru seizes up, then goes limp on the sword.  Dranosh extends his blade over the deck railing, then shakes off the body, letting it plummet to the rocks below.

GARROSH:  <spitting over the side>  Dismissed.

Dranosh stands at the railing, looking down, then looks back at Orgrimmar.

DRANOSH:  I should have caught what they were doing.  This should never have happened.

Garrosh stands next to Dranosh.

GARROSH:  You’re part right.  This shouldn’t ever have happened.  <looks at Mokvar, then back>  What if we could fix it?

DRANOSH:  Yeah, sure, we’ll just rewind time and take it all back.

MOKVAR:  Not exactly.

GARROSH:  Look…what I have in mind isn’t a sure thing by any means, and I’m not even sure exactly how to do it myself.  But I think I can find out.  And if it works…well, things won’t be perfect.  Like, at all.  But the demons won’t be running roughshod over the world, and the Scourge will be under control.

DRANOSH:  Sounds pretty perfect to me.  You sure you haven’t been dipping into the felweed again?

GARROSH:  I’m serious.  It won’t be easy, even if we can do it at all.  And…I don’t know if we’ll all make it through alive.  In fact…I’m pretty sure we won’t.

DRANOSH:  But Orgrimmar, our people – they do?

GARROSH:  I think so, yeah.  If what I’m thinking works.

DRANOSH:  <nods slowly>  If that ends up being the cost… A mediocre Warchief is a small price to pay for the survival of the Horde, don’t you think?

GARROSH:  I don’t know.  I’ve only seen great ones.

DRANOSH:  What do we do?

GARROSH:  First I need information.  <thinks for a minute>  And before we get too far along to Theramore, I need to make a quick side a trip to Ashenvale.

DRANOSH:  What’s in Ashenvale?

GARROSH:  An old friend.

 

Oh yeah. Shit just got real.

This is the way the world ends

Posted in General, Transcripts with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

{Picking up from last time…}

 

Garrosh and Mokvar look around the room nervously while the goblin messenger slowly pulls himself up.

MALKOROK:  <snickering at the goblin>  Do you see, you simpering worm?  Do you see what your failure brings you?

GOBLIN:  <steadies himself, rubbing one shoulder in pain>  I’m…I’m sorry, sir.  I swear the crew is working tirelessly to correct the problem and have the galleon ready to embark as planned…

MALKOROK:  <shoving the goblin from behind>  See to it that they do, rodent!  If you come to the Warchief bearing bad news again, rest assured you’ll have far worse than bruises to show for it!

MOKVAR:  Hey, enough, leave the little guy alone.

MALKOROK:  <sneers>  Stay out of matters that are none of your concern, scribe.  Assuming you’re capable of such a thing.

GARROSH:  Malkorok, that’ll do.  I think the courier gets the point.

MALKOROK:  As you wish, Warchief.

GARROSH:  <to the goblin>  You have your answer.  Go deliver it.

GOBLIN:  Yes sir…

The goblin rushes out.

MALKOROK:  I do not like having to rely on these sniveling—

GARROSH:  Really not the day, Malkorok.

MALKOROK:  If you insist.  I still question the wisdom of your…predecessor choosing to bring these Bilgewater rats into the Horde.

MOKVAR:  Yeah, well, I question the wisdom of wisdom of of era wisdom uoy of question suounet of erom eht of the won raised fo esnes ruoy in reworran eht tub front anosrep ruoy dilos of erom eht htdiwdnab ruoy my rekciht eht erutuf eht ni eyes dna tsap eht ni the llewd bringing the uoy bringing erom bringing eht bringing bringing the bringing the likes of you into the inner…oh…

Garrosh and Mokvar look around again, finding themselves at the entrance to the Drag.  Horde troops rush around, fighting demons, while civilians continue to flock to the elevators.

GARROSH:  <looking around frantically>  Edwin – do you see Edwin anywhere?

MOKVAR:  Nowhere I can see.

GARROSH:  Goddammit…

MOKVAR:  He was headed up to the Skyway, so hopefully he made it out…

GARROSH:  Let’s hope.  Well, we can keep an eye out, but either way, let’s make sure the others get out, too…

 

We ran through the Drag, past scores of demons being fought by Horde soldiers, weaving between heaps of bodies of demons and Horde alike.  We helped the soldiers kill a few of the monsters as we made our way toward our main destination: the orphanage.

When we got there – and cut down a trio of shivarra on the way – we found Vol’jin had had the same idea, and was slaying demons as he cleared a path for himself from the opposite side.  We converged at the door to the orphanage, and Vol’jin waved us inside while he squared himself to cover the entrance.

Mokvar and I ran in.  There was no sign of Matron Battlewail anywhere, and the kids were half running around in a panic, half hiding behind or under anything they could find.  We ushered them out as quickly as we could – I tried to look for Gurtash, but he wasn’t anywhere I could see – and as we came back outside, we found Vol’jin fending off a new batch of wrathguards being rallied by the doomguard Highlord Kruul.

I stepped in to help Vol’jin push Kruul back while Mokvar covered the orphans.  In the chaos, I spotted Thathung and Wabang — reluctant grunts in the other world, auctioneers in this one — rushing past, and I broke away to flag them down.  Mokvar herded the kids over closer while I told Thathung and Wabang to get them up to the zeppelin towers.  I was so focused on getting the orphans taken care of that I didn’t even notice Kruul lunging in behind me with his sword poised.

 

VOL’JIN:  Garrosh!  Look out, mon!

Vol’jin dives at Garrosh, pushing him away – and taking Kruul’s blade through his back.

Garrosh pulls himself up as Vol’jin spills onto the ground next to him, and, roaring angrily, Garrosh launches himself at Kruul, slashing at him furiously with both axes.  Kruul deflects the first several attacks, then starts to have trouble keeping up with Garrosh’s flurry of blows, until finally Garrosh chops off the demon’s hand at the wrist, leaving his sword to rattle away uselessly.  With one more angry shout, Garrosh lashes at Kruul, tearing his axe across the demon’s head, slicing away its top half just below the eyes.

As Kruul falls lifeless to the ground, Garrosh spins around and runs back to Vol’jin.

GARROSH:  Okay…okay, troll, now we just get you patched up, and…

Garrosh looks at Mokvar, who shakes his head.

Come on, he was just some pansy-ass demon, you’re not going out because of some punk like him, right?

Vol’jin cringes, then rolls to look up at Garrosh.

That’s right, there you go – unbreakable, right, troll?

VOL’JIN:  <halting>  Garrosh…mon…I seen…seen…you…  <seizes up and coughs, then grins faintly>  Wish…wish I was invincible…den…he would never a seen me…mon…

Vol’jin lets out a breath, then goes limp on the ground.

The entire city shudders, and chunks of the upper level buckle.  Pieces of stone and architecture break off and crumble.  Dranosh rushes in from the Valley of Honor with a handful of soldiers.

DRANOSH:  <shouting in all directions>  Fall back to the zeppelins!  All forces fall back!

GARROSH:  Let me guess, it’s getting worse.

DRANOSH:  The Scourge are getting through.  The shamans managed to bring down some of the cliffsides as a barricade, but it’s just buying us some time… <looks down at Vol’jin>  Is he…?

Garrosh nods.

This is a nightmare….

GARROSH:  Nah, now we just sic the Scourge and Legion on each other and kill two birds.

DRANOSH:  <smirks half-heartedly>  Yeah, we’ve got them right where we want them now.

GARROSH:  <scans around>  You want me to help finish calling the evacuation?

DRANOSH:  No…I’ll do it.  I’m the Warchief, if anyone has to call the retreat…

GARROSH:  We’ll hit the Valley of Wisdom and make sure it’s clear.  Everyone else seems to be on their way.

DRANOSH:  I’ll see you up at the airships.

GARROSH:  If we’re late, don’t wait for us.

DRANOSH:  Like I would.

GARROSH:  Lok’tar ogar, Warchief.

DRANOSH:  I don’t like those options today.

GARROSH:  Be careful.

DRANOSH:  And you.

 

We split up, and Mokvar and I made our way through the smoke and the fighting and the toppling buildings into the Valley of Wisdom.  Most of the tauren had already cleared out.  Mokvar and I made short work of some imps that were setting the teepees ablaze, then ushered the last of the tauren civilians up toward the Skyway.

Another tremor shook the walls of the valley, and large chunks of rock splintered off and came crashing down onto the tauren structures, crushing two of the buildings and sending the largest totem toppling to the ground.  As the totem landed, I heard a pained, bestial shriek, and circled around to check.

Zhi-Zhi, that crazy-ass monkey-boy, was pinned under the fallen totem.

 

GARROSH:  <rushing over and gripping the totem>  Mokvar, give me a hand with this.

ZHI-ZHI:  No!  No, you go!  No stay for Zhi-Zhi!

GARROSH:  <struggling to move the totem>  Don’t…ugh…don’t worry, Hairy Grammar Boy, we’re not…nngh…not staying for anyone, least of all your scrawny ass…uggghh…we’re just getting this off you and we’ll all be on our way.

Garrosh and Mokvar continue working on the totem, but it barely moves.

MOKVAR:  Dammit, what did they carve this thing out of, lead?

GARROSH:  It’s made of solidified inconvenience, just like every other damn thing in our lives right now…

ZHI-ZHI:  No!  You go!  Listen, listen to Zhi-Zhi!  Must go!

GARROSH:  Nnnngh…don’t…don’t know what you’re so worried about me, Spanks.  I thought you said I’m NOT “the one”…

ZHI-ZHI:  Yes!  No!  Not the one!  Yet!

Another tremor sends more stone crumbling down around the sides of the valley.

MOKVAR:  Garrosh, hate to say this…

ZHI-ZHI:  Must go!  Go now!

GARROSH:  You shut up, chimp, we’ll have this in just a second…

ZHI-ZHI:  Listen!  Listen to Zhi-Zhi!  <stares up wide-eyed>  You…have…a destiny!

MOKVAR:  Garrosh…

GARROSH:  We’re not fucking leaving him!  He KNOWS something, Mokvar!

MOKVAR:  So do we, Garrosh!  And if we don’t make it out, it dies with us!

ZHI-ZHI:  Go now!  Please!  Go for Zhi-Zhi!

Garrosh lets out a disgusted sigh and nods, then follows Mokvar out of the valley – looking back over his shoulder at Zhi-Zhi every few steps.

 

We had to fight our way through droves of felguards and terrorfiends to get to the elevator, but we finally managed to reach the Skyway.  The last of the zeppelins was departing as we arrived, and Dranosh was standing by with Drok on the Windrunner.  The entire Skyway was shaking as we got on board, and the gunship pulled away.  As we passed over the city, we could see the Scourge starting to pour into the Valley of Honor.  The rest of the city was swarming with demons.  Every kind you could imagine.

We’ve been circling over Orgrimmar at a safe distance — or as close as you can get to safe, under the circumstances — for nearly an hour now, watching the demons and undead fighting in our streets and tearing down our buildings.  Dranosh hasn’t had much to say.  He’s just been standing at the edge of the ship, looking down, watching everything and nothing in particular.

We won’t know for sure how bad our losses are until the ships all reach their destinations and we have a chance to do a head count.  Eitrigg went with the civilians to Thunder Bluff.  Most of the military personnel are on their way to paying a surprise visit to Theramore.

Meanwhile, we stay here, circling around the clouds, waiting for Dranosh to come back from wherever he’s gone inside his head.

The siege of Orgrimmar

Posted in General, Transcripts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

This may wind up being all over the place – so much happening that I’m not even sure where to start.  I’m going to try to cover as much as I can remember, in as much detail as I can, and I’m having Mokvar edit in what he can, both from his notes at the time and also – probably mostly – his best estimates after the fact.  I’m not even sure I should be taking the time to write this all out, but if things go badly from here, I feel like there should be a record somewhere of how it happened.

If you don’t hear any more from me, then this is the story of how the Horde fell.

I guess I should start at the beginning.

 

Our fears based on the scouting reports were justified.  The Scourge force in Winterspring, which by all accounts had grown to massive numbers, swept south into Azshara and across the zone unopposed.  We had early warnings from patrols that they were on their way, but there wasn’t anyone to slow them down, and as news came in I found myself wondering why the goblins weren’t putting up any resistance.  It took me a few minutes to put two and two together and realize that there WERE no goblins in Azshara, because the Bilgewater Cartel in this world had apparently never joined the Horde.

It’s strange how things work in this world.  Every time I flash into this timeline from ours, I find myself dropped into the middle of whatever was going on here.  I still remember where I was and what I was doing in the original timeline, but within a few seconds, I also remember, more or less, what was happening here – at least enough to get my bearings.  And I’ll have these other, scattered memories – or fragments of them.  Images, places, little snippets of things that I’ve done and seen here.  Just enough to get by.  And yet, I wind up drawing a blank on the big picture.  I know what’s happening as it’s happening, but I don’t know how it got to be that way.

So I still have these gaps, like with the goblins, or for that matter the Scourge, or the demons – big chunks of altered history that I just have no idea about, and it’s not like there’s been a point when I could ask someone without setting off all kinds of warning lights.  “Oh hey, you know these major historical events we’re in the middle of, and that I’ve personally lived through?  They’ve kind of slipped my mind.  Give me a quick recap?”  Best case scenario, they decide Garrosh has finally gone off his rocker.

So funny thing, standing on the rampart over the Orgrimmar rear gate, watching those masses of undead coming over the hills, I couldn’t help getting lost in my head for a minute.  Wondering where Spazzle is now.

Zaela directed the main defenses as the Scourge arrived and threw themselves against the gate.  The rampart was packed to capacity with catapults and lined with archers.  Nazgrim led an entire legion of infantry down to take them on directly, striking quickly then backing off under cover fire from the rampart.  Even at the battle of the line at Elrendar, I’d never seen so many Scourge.  We killed thousand upon thousand of them, and yet the fields of Azshara teemed with them endlessly.

Dozens of gargoyles and val’kyr flew past our outer defenses and swooped through the streets of the Valley of Honor.  The Kor’kron air guard dove in to engage, but even they could only keep up with so many of them at a time.  I rushed back inside to help fight off some of the ones close to the ground.  As I was hacking up a val’kyr, I heard someone screeching for help behind me – turns out it was that strange monkey-man Zhi-Zhi that Nazgrim had found stranded at sea, being tugged back and forth between a pair of gargoyles.  I charged in and cleaved them down.

 

ZHI-ZHI:  Ah!  Ah!  Many thanksings, yes, much appreciations for saving Zhi-Zhi!

GARROSH:  What the hell are you even doing back here?

ZHI-ZHI:  Zhi-Zhi, uhh, Zhi-Zhi come for fishings of crawdads!  Nice pond for fishings!  Good for snacks!

GARROSH:  Fishing?  Dude, did you not notice there’s a major battle going on here?

ZHI-ZHI:  Yes!  Yes!  Less competitions for Zhi-Zhi!

 

At that point Dranosh came running in to direct another infantry battalion to the gate and redeploy the units covering the interior stop points.  As he approached us, the ground shook as a deep, rumbling noise echoed around us.

 

DRANOSH:  <looking up to the gate>  What the hell was that?

GARROSH:  I don’t know – did they bring battering rams?  Or maybe they’ve got flesh giants at the gate now?

ZHI-ZHI:  Oh no…

Zaela runs in from the gate as another rumble shakes the ground.

ZAELA:  What’s going on in here?

GARROSH:  That’s not coming from the gate?

ZAELA:  No, I came to try to see what was causing it.

DRANOSH:  Status report back there?

ZAELA:  Getting hit hard, Warchief, but we’re holding.

DRANOSH:  As long as the gate holds, we can pick them off for as long as they want to keep coming.

Another rumble, lounder, crashes through the air as the ground shakes forcefully.  Garrosh stumbles in place briefly before regaining his footing.

GARROSH:  What the hell IS that?

ZHI-ZHI:  <closing eyes and shaking head>  Cracks, cracks, everywhere cracking…closed circle coming…

MOKVAR:  I think that came from the Drag – or maybe the Cleft of Shadow?

GARROSH:  The Cleft of…there couldn’t be anything going on in Ragefire…?

DRANOSH:  Right now I’m not interested in guessing – check it out, Garrosh.  Find out what’s going on back there.

GARROSH:  On it.

ZAELA:  I’m coming too, Overlord.

ZHI-ZHI:  <hands on head>  From within, it consumes…

 

Zaela, Mokvar, and I ran back to the Drag as quickly as we could.  The ground shook beneath us while we ran past one building after another, looking around frantically for any telltale signs.  Finally we ran into the Cleft of Shadow.  And my rage bar hit overload.

They were standing in a circle – about a dozen warlocks, each standing in a glowing, purple rune, with Neeru Fireblade among them, chanting some sort of incantation.  They were all channeling some kind of spell with red-purple ribbons of magic energy flowing from their hands to the middle of their circle, where a swirling disk glowed and shuddered on the ground.  The closer we got, the more we could feel the low trembling of the ground under our feet.  The warlocks repeated every few words that Neeru said as he continued his chant, and they grew louder each time as if they could feel success looming closer.

The swirling disk pulsed more brightly as we closed on the circle of warlocks.  Zaela and I didn’t waste any time worrying about the details of what they were doing – we charged in and started cutting them down.  Mokvar threw a hex on Neeru Fireblade to put a stop to his chanting, then helped us take out the rest.  But with every warlock we killed, the glowing disk only glowed brighter, and as I cut down the final one, with his last breath he just laughed.

 

WARLOCK:  Too late, you fool!  He comes!  He comes!

The disk glows brighter as the ground shakes with greater force.

GARROSH:  What the hell WAS that spell they were casting?  Why doesn’t it stop?

MOKVAR:  Because the real spell wasn’t coming from this side…

ZAELA:  This side?  Of what?

MOKVAR:  The spell they were casting was a locating beacon…

The ground rumbles loudly.  The disk expands and starts to glow bright green.  Zaela pulls Garrosh back to keep the edge of the disk from grazing him.

…to set a target position for this.  For a portal.

The disk gives off one more bright flash, accompanied by a buckling of the ground underfoot, then settles into a duller, steady pulsing.  From the center of the disk, a giant blue man’ari eredar rises up, holding open in one hand a book covered in shimmering arcane runes.  About a dozen terrorguards and abyssals rise up from the portal behind him.

GARROSH:  Oh…fucking hell…

MOKVAR:  Wait, is that…?

GARROSH:  I’m thinking so.

ZAELA:  Who?  Who is he?

The eredar snaps the book closed and waves a hand behind him.  Several domguards and shivarra begin to emerge.

GARROSH:  Malchezaar.

ZAELA:  Wait, Prince Malchezaar?

MOKVAR:  Yup.

ZAELAKarazhan Prince Malchezaar?

MOKVAR:  Karazhan-in-the-Deadwind-Pass-where-the-demons-were-gathering Prince Malchezaar, yeah.  That’s the guy.

ZAELA:  Wasn’t he killed?

GARROSH:  Over and over.  Funny thing about that

 

The first of the demons rushed at us, and Zaela, Mokvar, and I went to work.  Malchezaar did that creepy laugh of his – the one that only a few people should ever have heard but way too many have – as dozens more demons came pouring out of the portal.  Mokvar kept an Earthquake rolling under the demons while Zaela and I stood side by side and slashed them down as they ran at us.

 

GARROSH:  We’ve got to stop them here before they get into the city!

ZAELA:  I think you’re underestimating how many of them may be coming, Overlord…

MALCHEZAAR:  <chuckling>  Yes, yes, Overlord, you do not face Malchezaar alone—

GARROSH:  Yeah, yeah, I know, Squid-Face, everybody’s heard it, the legions at your command, shut up!

MALCHEZAAR:  Oh, no, orc, not the legions at my command – the Legion at His command!

Another deep, low rumble shudders through the ground, accompanied by an even deeper laugh echoing from the other side of the portal.  Slowly, an enormous, clawed red hand rises out of the portal.  Several of the demons turn to look, then cackle hideously.

GARROSH:  That…couldn’t…

MOKVAR:  Oh…oh shit…

Zaela turns to Garrosh and grabs him by his shoulders.

ZAELA:  Overlord…go!

Zaela spins away from Garrosh and charges at a nearby doomguard.  She leaps up, grabs the doomguard by one horn, and uses her grip to flip over its body while wrenching its neck around and snapping it.  Still holding the horn, she flings its entire body into a cluster of succubi, then throws herself into a pack of a dozen felguards while launching into a bladestorm that sends severed limbs flying left and right.

ZAELA:  <glares back at Garrosh as several demons converge on her>  Garrosh – GO!  Warn the Warchief!  Kagh!

The giant hand reaches to one side of the portal, dragging a heavy red arm behind it, and presses against the ground as another laugh bellows from beneath.

MALCHEZAAR:  Oh yes, do – warn the Warchief, Warchief.

MOKVAR:  <looking to Garrosh>  Did he—?

GARROSH:  Later.

Garrosh pulls at Mokvar’s arm and runs toward the exit of the Cleft of Shadow; Mokvar scoops up the still-hexed Neeru Fireblade and follows.  As they rush to the exit, Zaela tears through demons at the portal’s edge, while more emerge by the dozen.  Garrosh turns a moment to look back at her before following Mokvar out to the Drag.

GARROSH:  Aka’Magosh, Warlord.

Garrosh and Mokvar emerge into the Drag with about twenty demons in pursuit.  Horde soldiers on the street turn in surprise at the sight, then run to intercept the demons.  Mokvar turns back to face the entrance to the Cleft and holds his hands toward the stone that forms the cavern.

MOKVAR:  Spirits of Earth, I know I’m still kind of new at this, so please, please don’t pick today to be finicky with me…

GARROSH:  <looking around and grumbling>  “Warchief,” he says.  This world has seriously got to stop finding new ways to be fucked up…

The stone shakes and begins to crack; the cavern entrance collapses on itself just as another pack of demons near it from the other side.  The ground shakes violently as an angry growl rumbles from behind the heap of rock.

GARROSH:  That buys us some time, but it won’t hold them forever.  We have to get to…ah, here we go…

From the gate to the Valley of Honor, Dranosh and Vol’jin rush in with a squad of Kor’kron.  Orcs, trolls, and tauren pour into the drag from either side, running around in confusion as they engage the demons.

VOL’JIN:  How da demons get here?!

GARROSH:  It was the walocks – they were helping the Legion open some kind of portal, and—

The ground shakes again, forcefully, and a deep laugh echoes from below.

—and I think the big guy is with them…

The Horde troops finish the last of the demons, but look around anxiously at the sound of the demonic laughter.  The boulders blocking the Cleft of Shadows passage begin to buckle and shake.

Dranosh leaps onto a broken siege engine, gestures to the crowd with both arms, and calls out loudly.

DRANOSH:  Hear me, sons and daughters of the Horde!  We have been betrayed from within our very home, and the Burning Legion comes into our midst!  I look among you, and know that this is not a battle you dreamt you would fight today – but the battle is upon us nevertheless, and we will meet it!  I look among you now, and see the fear in your eyes – fear for your home, for your family – but I tell you, do NOT fear them!  Remember instead – it was your home, your family, that these very demons defiled!  These same demons who destroyed our beautiful world, who left your fathers and mothers and sisters and brothers lost or forever scarred!  These same demons who today have come – and delivered themselves to the justice they have too long eluded!  The Burning Legion comes today, my friends – and I do not fear them!  I PITY THEM!  Rise up now!  Rise up for the moment we prayed would come!  For Draenor!  For Azeroth!  FOR THE HORDE!

 

I’ve heard troops shouting “For the Horde!” more times than I can count.  I’ve never heard it as deafening as it was right there – just as the boulders blocking the cavern finally cracked and the demons came rushing out.

The flood of demons was met by a raging wave of green and brown and blue as our soldiers threw themselves against the monsters, crashing into them and pushing them back.  Vol’jin called out to a squad of Darkspear shadow hunters, who lined up on the ledge across from the Cleft and rained arrows down onto the oncoming demons, then he ran over to Dranosh.

I started to run past Dranosh to rejoin the fray.  He grabbed me as I passed and pulled me to face him.  His look was grim and urgent, and his eyes were more terrified than I’d ever seen them.  I think a little piece of me died at the sight.

 

DRANOSH:  We need to get the civilians out of here, and we need to get them out NOW.

Captain Drok runs into the Drag, leading a squad of troops.  Dranosh grabs him by his arm as he passes.

DRANOSH:  Drok, I’ll take care of your men – I need you to get up to the Skyway.  I want every zeppelin and gunship we have ready to take off and I want them ready ten minutes ago, do you understand?

DROK:  Yes, Warchief!

Dranosh runs after Drok’s troops, cleaving down a pair of felguards as he goes.  After cutting down a terrorfiend, he looks back over his shoulder at Garrosh, Vol’jin, and Drok.

DRANOSH:  You heard me!  All of you – GO!

 

Dranosh rushed back into the battle, and Drok ran off to the Skyway elevator.  Vol’jin and I split up, him racing to the Valley of Spirits, me to the Valley of Strength.  I ran from building to building – through crowds of panicking citizens – ordering them to the Skyway and trying to herd them into some vague semblance of order.  Droves of orcs and trolls, blood elves, tauren, even some scattered worgen and gnomes.  Humans.  I never thought I’d see the day I’d be racing around helping save humans.  Desperate times.

I KNEW Orgrimmar needed some kind of emergency alert system.

I followed the crowds up to the Skyway elevator near the entrance to the Drag and tried to keep them moving in as much order as a frightened mob could maintain.  All you could hear was the sound of people shouting and screaming and the rising growl of the demons.  Every so often, the ground shook again beneath us.

After one tremor, I felt someone jostle me, and I turned to see a human had bumped into me in his rush to the elevator.

A familiar human.

 

FARANELL:  Wha— Garrosh?

GARROSH:  Hey, Doc, I— DOC!  What are you—oh shit, Soridormi said you might

MOKVAR:  Doesn’t that mean the timelines are merging?

FARANELL:  <looking around panicked>  What—what’s going on?  What happened to Orgrimmar?  I was…I was walking back to my quarters, and there was a flash, and…

GARROSH:  Yeah, weird dizzy feeling for just a second?

MOKVAR:  It’s the other timeline, Edwin.

GARROSH:  Welcome to the end of the world, Doc.  You picked a great time to drop in…

MOKVAR:  Actually…Garrosh…

A loud crashing sound comes from the back of the city, followed by a rise in the overlapping screams and shouts.  The ground shakes again violently.

FARANELL:  I don’t understand – all this is happening because of what I did?  I mean, the other me?  How—?

GARROSH:  Long story, Doc, and I don’t even know all of it.  <steadies himself after another tremor>  But wait a minute – if you’re here

MOKVAR:  Exactly!  If he’s here, and we can get him to Soridormi—

GARROSH:  —then maybe THIS “you” can actually fix actually fix fix ytilatrom actually fo fix you raef fix namuh eht fix can esab eurt you rieht ta evah have tcartsba ro a detacitsihpos destiny revewoh emit some of fo some snoitagitsevni some lla some some of some of what’s gone wrong and—

Garrosh looks around the Northwatch Hold admiral’s quarters, horrified.

No – no, no, NO, NO, NO!!

Garrosh lashes out, smashing the table in front of him and pummeling a goblin messenger across the room and into the wall.

MALKOROK:  Hah!  Indeed, Warchief, nor should you stand for such incompetence!  Perhaps you should put an end to his sniveling existence – the Horde can surely afford the loss of one pitiful weakling.  Haha!

 

{TO BE CONTINUED}