Archive for forsaken

Where did all the words go?

Posted in Transcripts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

We arrived in Hearthglen this morning and were ushered up to meet with Tirion Fordring in Mardenholde Keep, which as I’m sure you can imagine was an exercise in joy for me.  Luckily I at least managed to come prepared this time, with company and an exit strategy.  Part of the company, by the way, being Mokvar, so if you’ve been reading the blog for any length of time, you know what’s coming up…

 

Garrosh, Mokvar, and Master Apothecary Faranell are escorted into the Highlord’s command room by the night elf Daria L’Rayne.

DARIA:  Highlord Fordring, the Horde delegation has arrived to see you.

TIRION:  So I see, so I see indeed, good Daria, and great thanks to you for so kindly seeing them in.  Truly is it by the aid of such as yourself that great alliances are forged, and great deeds are brought to fruition!

DARIA:  Okay…yes, sir.  Thank you…I think.

TIRION:  And rightly do you think!  As right and just are the thoughts of all those gathered here under the banner of peace, in this hopeful age ushered forth in the wake of the Lich King’s demise!  For surely what challenge might not we surmount, having proven in the icy wastes that we can come together before a common foe, and unite in our resolve to forge a brighter world!  None indeed!  Would you not agree, noble elf?

DARIA:  Um…so, you have visitors, sir.

GARROSH:  Sup, Tirion.

DARIA:  Good luck, Warchief.

Daria makes a very, very speedy exit from the chamber.

TIRION:  Warchief Hellscream!

GARROSH:  Here we go.

TIRION:  A pleasure it is to see you once again, old friend!  Too many winters have passed since last we spoke face to face, since those noble days in Icecrown when we stood together against the Scourge, and oversaw the fall of Arthas and the delivery of justice upon the hated Lich King!  Human and orc united in unwavering defense of home and hearth, brought together in a far-off land to lay waste to an odious common foe – what valiant days those were!  Ones which, I see, have served not only as testament to your courage, but as proof positive to your people of your leadership, a validation of your rightful rise within the ranks of the Horde, which I see has brought you in the intervening time to the highest of stations, Warchief of your people, as great a tribute as your comrade Thrall might verily bestow.

FARANELL:  So, in other words, hello.

GARROSH:  Yeah.  Hey.

MOKVAR:  Afternoon, Highlord.

TIRION:  And I see, good Warchief, you have deemed fit to bring noble counsel with you for your visit – no doubt picked from the most esteemed of your sage advisors.  And moreover, I see, spanning even beyond your own kin into the ranks of the Forsaken, whom – I will assure you, assure you most firmly indeed – shall find no animosity within these walls.  For regardless of the fervor of our struggle to subdue the spiteful reach of the Lich King’s hated Scourge, far be it from me to presume ill intent from those whose only crime is to have fallen victim to the Scourge’s curse of undeath, for well I know, your will restored under the care of your Banshee Queen, your capacity for heroism knows no more bounds than any in our world, as proven by those Forsaken who fought and, yea, fell beside me in the battlefields of Northrend.  For just as fate has shown that humans may prove as vile as the blackest Scourge, just so might orc or undead prove more noble than any king, most revered!  And so it is with an open hand and generous heart I greet you, good sir.

MOKVAR:  Wow, really?

GARROSH:  I told you.

FARANELL:  So, in other words, also hello.

TIRION:  And might I ask, my Forsaken friend, whom have I the pleasure to meet this good day?  The beginning of a great friendship, forged in amity and fellowship, no doubt.  Lend me your hand, good sir, that we might pledge unto each other’s goodly aid.

Tirion grabs Faranell’s hand and starts to shake it just a bit too enthusiastically.

FARANELL:  Um…you know what?  It’s okay, I’m just some guy.  No need to trouble yourself.

GARROSH:  Ohhhhhhh no, you don’t get off that easy, Skin’n’Bones.

FARANELL:  Crap.

GARROSH:  So yeah, Tirion, this is Master Apothecary Faranell, head of Sylvanas’ Royal Apothecary Society.  And I think you’ve met Mokvar?

TIRION:  Indeed, indeed, I remember him well, and good day to you, noble Mokvar.  Though I will confess, remember you well though I do, fondly and with reverence, it saddens me that I cannot yet lay claim to knowing you so half as well as I might wish.  A regrettable condition I am sure our efforts here today shall surely change, and lay the foundation of a friendship – nay, a kinship, for we who strive together for the good of Azeroth, I dare suggest, are nothing if not kin, a family brought together by devotion to all we mutually hold dear – that time and trial shall validate as stuff of legend.

FARANELL:  So, in other words, yes.

GARROSH:  Right, okay.  So what I wanted to—

TIRION:  And so, good Mokvar, I welcome you with open arms to Hearthglen, and look forward to the progress of our blossoming acquaintance.  Though I will confess, great Warchief, it does bring a faint sadness to see you have chosen not to bring the noble Eitrigg with you today, as far too many a year have passed since I’ve cast eyes upon my orcish friend, to whom, I’m sure you are aware, I owe a debt of honor.  It was Eitrigg, after all – I shall take a moment to clarify for the sake of your colleagues here who may not know the tale, I am sure you shall not begrudge a momentary digression—

GARROSH:  What the hell, at this point.

TIRION:  —whom I encountered an age ago in the northern reaches of old Lordaeron, dwelling in an abandoned tower.  Unaware as yet of the nobility of your eventual lieutenant, and predisposed – misguided – ill toward any of orcish kind, I engaged Eitrigg in battle, a furious melee joined between two worthy combatants, in which neither would give quarter nor long hold the upper hand.  Truly our contest was one for the bards, as we traded blow upon blow, gaining and ceding ground, victory dangling precariously just beyond the grasp of us both.

FARANELL:  Huh.  Were you killed?

GARROSH:  <chortle>

TIRION:  Fitting you should ask, good Faranell, for though I suspect a jesting tone, your words recall a harrowing turn in the battle in question!  For deep into our duel – and long indeed did we take arms, so long into the night! – the aging tower that formed our battlefield, weakened and cracked in the wake of our combat, began to crumble, and a heap of stone and mortar, breaking forth, came crashing down upon me.  Consciousness abandoned me as I fell beneath the rubble, broken and bleeding, left to the mercy of my adversary, and further: injured enough that, lacking prompt medical aid, no adversary would be needed to bring my life to end.  Hours passed, and in time I awoke to find myself in my own familiar bed—

FARANELL:  Oh, so it was a dream?

TIRION:  A dream, my good fellow?  Perhaps!  Perhaps indeed the realization of one—the dream of orc and human fellowship, which the truth of the tale would prove!  The birth of the greater dream of encompassing peace and camaraderie between our peoples which even yet eludes our hopeful grasp!  Truly state, truly stated, my friend; you have, I think, anticipated the epiphany that would light upon my bedridden thoughts!

FARANELL:  Actually, what I meant—

GARROSH:  Dude, just let it slide.  Tick tock.

FARANELL:  Ah.  Yeah.

TIRION:  For once consciousness had returned to me, and friend and family came to check upon my health, I learned from them the circumstances of my discovery: some days prior, they had found me, wounded and unconscious, tied to my loyal steed and sent trotting back toward home.  Only one explanation would make sense: that the orc whom I had presumed an agent of evil had, in fact, saved me from a solitary death, and taken pains to return me in my need to friendly hands.  Later would I seek out the orc – the sage and noble Eitrigg – and thus began the friendship that would span so many years.  And yet, far too many of those years have slipped away like sand through our oblivious fingers since I have had the pleasure of seeing my dear friend face to face.  And so, good Warchief, while I have no doubt your reasons were wise, it saddens me indeed that you have opted not to bring him here today.  Upon your return to Orgrimmar, then, I would entreat – nay, implore! you pass my greetings and highest blessings to your dear advisor, and endeavor to ensure he know, though separated by days and distance, the thoughts of Tirion Fordring are with him, as are the shining memories of our kinship, which even now live on in my heart as though mere moments old.

FARANELL:  So, in other words, say hi to Eitrigg.

MOKVAR:  Check.

GARROSH:  Okay, yeah, I’ll do that.  So anyway, Tirion…

TIRION:  Indeed, gentlemen, indeed, I know you’ve business to attend here in New Hearthglen.  Shall we take our seats and begin our discussions?

GARROSH:  Yeah, I think I’m going to need to sit down before too long here.

Tirion – still talking – leads them over to the nearby conference table.

TIRION:  Indeed, indeed, then certainly, my good fellows, make your way thusly, and relieve your weary feet presently.  I will apologize for the rudimentary caliber of my furnishings here: surely not the quality and comfort one of high station might come to expect in diplomatic parlay—

GARROSH:  No, it’s—

TIRION:  —but  these chairs were gifted to me by the workmen of the nearby lumber mill, and product of their very labor, crafted with painstaking care albeit limited material for embellishment, and so a certain humble pride compels me to retain them, even realizing that there are far beneath the standard of luxury as might befit ambassadors and heads of state.

GARROSH:  Dude, seriously, it’s cool.  I grew up in a hut made of sticks and fucking mud, believe me, I’m okay with B-grade fucking chairs.

FARANELL:  My skin is tattered and falling off around every joint in my body.  A lack of seat cushions is way, way down on my list of discomforts.

TIRION:  Now, good gentlemen, as we are now more properly seated, what boon may I grant to you on this fine day?  Know, surely, that the hand of Tirion Fordring stands ever ready to lend its aid—

GARROSH:  Much appreciated, Tirion.  So—

TIRION:  —for surely, just as our glorious victory in Northrend could never have come to fruition without the united efforts of Horde and Alliance, Argent Dawn and Silver Hand, Ebon Blade, and more—

GARROSH:  Ah.  You weren’t done.

TIRION:  —just so, I know full well, might enterprises of great pitch and moment, upon which might hang the very future of our kind, just so might these endeavors languish fruitless save for the will of good men such as ourselves, to stand together despite those petty differences that might divide us.

GARROSH:  Um, yeah.  Cool.

TIRION:  And so, gentlemen, how might I be of aid?

Garrosh, Mokvar, and Faranell sit quietly a moment, watching Tirion.

GARROSH:  That was it, right?

TIRION:  You confuse me, Warchief Hellscream.  That was what, exactly?

MOKVAR:  Just go.

GARROSH:  Yeah, never mind, not important.  So here’s the thing.

FARANELL:  Don’t pause too much between sentences.

GARROSH:  We’ve got a situation down in Southshore.  Somehow or other the Forsaken there managed to set off some kind of magical effect that’s neutralizing their undeath and killing them all.

FARANELL:  It seems to be functioning, basically, as a reversal of the plague of undeath, and dissipating the necrotic effects that reanimated my people.

GARROSH:  It’s more or less contained right now, but it’s going to spread, so we’re trying to find out exactly what it is and how it got there, and since we’ve heard that some of your Silver Hand people were down there at one point and you’ve always had an interest in the Scourge, we were thinking you might be able to fill in some blanks.

TIRION:  Ah, interesting, interesting.  I do recall a time when I did journey to the scenic port of Southshore, in answer to a summons from Highlord Alexandros Mograine to confer, indeed, upon the emergence of the Scourge.  Even then, Mograine knew the threat the undead – forgive me, friend Faranell, I mean, of course, to say the Scourge – would pose to this world, even though in those days, unbeknownst to us all, their true menace was truly in its infancy.  You see, these were the days before the fall of Arthas and of Lordaeron—

GARROSH:  Right, we know.

TIRION: —when the Scourge, then commanded by the nefarious orc warlock Ner’zhul, was merely a pawn of the dreaded Burning Legion.  The legion, you see, led by the monstrous Kil’jaeden, had decided that their prior attempts to invade Azeroth had been doomed by the infighting and divisiveness within their orcish armies.  Folly indeed, as I am sure you will agree, to suppose that their failure rested in the orcs, when rather they were doomed from the outset to fall to the courageous defense put forth by the steadfast people of our world!

Garrosh shrugs and opens a backpack, which he had set down on the table.

Nevertheless, the Legion under Kil’jaeden’s vile judgment took upon themselves to build a new fighting force, one united by a single mind, and so the warlock Ner’zhul was remade as the odious Lich King and cast, trapped in an icy block, into our world, in the icy wastes of Northrend.  There he began to build his forces, slaying all within his reach and raising them as mindless undead, bound only to his will.  Gradually he built his forces and would send them forth to wreak havoc in the Eastern Kingdoms.  But even in those early days, while the undead legions were still only beginning to stir and their hateful sweep through Northrend was merely the start of their rise—

Garrosh removes several wrapped sandwiches from the pack and begins handing them out.

GARROSH:  You wanted the pastrami, right?

MOKVAR:  Yeah, please.

TIRION:  —even then, noble Alexandros had the vision and foresight to perceive the threat they would soon pose to our world.  Though I wonder at times if truly he could have anticipated that which they would become, the true extent of their evil, let loose over time when the scheming mind of the Lich King would turn upon its masters and break away, freeing the Scourge from its demonic shackles such that it might stand alone in its pernicious pursuit of dominion over the world of the living.  Indeed, how could he?  Who, in their worst imaginings, would dream of what would befall Lordaeron?  What mind could in its darkest hours imagine that the very king’s blessed son would fall to darkness and turn upon all those whom once he loved, slay his own father, and forego his presumptive kingship with another, darker one, one which would bring him to the Frozen Throne in Ner’zhul’s stead?

Meanwhile, Garrosh et al are eating.

FARANELL:  Did you bring any mustard?

GARROSH:  Yeah, you need spicy brown or yellow?

FARANELL:  Spicy.

GARROSH:  Here you go.

FARANELL:  Thanks.

TIRION:  Nevertheless, Alexandros rightly foresaw the threat the Scourge would pose to our world, and called upon we Knights of the Silver Hand to gather in secret in the town of Southshore in order that we might lay plans to defend our homelands.  I journeyed to Hillsbrad with two of my closest allies – Brigitte Abbendis, daughter of the High General, and Isilien, both of whom, sadly, would one day turn their backs upon our cause in order, like my own son Talaen, to embrace the madness of the Scarlett Crusade.  Alas, it seems that madness would consume many in the aftermath of the Scourge’s invasion, and the outbreak of the plague that would leave a kingdom in ruin.  Even my dear uncle Lucius, a longtime resident of the rural outskirts of old Andorhal, would find his grip on reality slipping in his later years, admittedly by no connection to the Scourge invasion – so far as we know.  But indeed, in his later days he found himself immured in the fantasy that he was, in fact, the late Llane Wrynn – hardly late in his eyes, of course – the dear fallen king of Stormwind, and father of its current ruler, King Varian.  His wife my aunt and several of my cousins would attempt to appeal to whatever reason might still have lingered beneath the delusions, but to no avail: the dementia had taken hold far too deeply, and Uncle Lucius would spend his days allowing his delusion to lead him off on one misadventure after another, until he finally settled into the final stage of his madness, sparked by blue paint and a spatula.  But I fear I digress, gentlemen, and far be it from me to waste all of our precious time on capricious reminiscence.

Everyone continues eating as a moment of silence passes.

GARROSH:  <looking up, surprised>  Oh.  You were done?

TIRION:  <blinks, surprised>  Warchief Hellscream?

GARROSH:  Um, yeah, okay, I guess I must have zoned out there for a minute.

FARANELL:  I think there was something in there about a meeting in Southshore.

MOKVAR:  <skimming back over notes>  Yeah, I have him down for a meeting about ten years ago, with Alexandros Mograine, Isilien, and Abbendis.

GARROSH:  Man, you really are committed to the job, Mokvar.  Props.

MOKVAR:  Eh, beats being unemployed.

GARROSH:  Okay, so for one thing, was that it for that meeting, or were there any other people there that we should know about?

TIRION:  Those were the principals from my perspective, Warchief; Alexandros having called the meeting, and Isilien and Abbendis having accompanied me in my journey to Southshore.  If memory serves, the Highlord’s lieutenants Fairbanks and Arcanist Doan were present as well.

FARANELL:  Whew.  Things didn’t exactly end well for a single one of those people.  Not liking your odds there, Tirion.

GARROSH:  So what was the meeting about?

TIRION:  As I had begun to say a moment ago, Warchief Hellscream, the meeting was born of Highlord Mograine’s wise anticipation of the threat the rising Scourge might pose to our world; he called us together to begin to make preparations to defend our homelands against the inevitable assault of the undead.

FARANELL:  What kind of preparations?

TIRION:  To gather our forces; to train in earnest in anticipation of the battle to come; to ready friends, family, and rulers alike for the possibilities of what awaited us.  A forthright effort to increase our awareness, mainly, and to dispel whatever complacency might dull our eventual readiness…  As well as…well, there was one further outcome…

GARROSH:  Which…would be?

TIRION:  <pauses>  At the time we all were sworn never again to speak of it.  But that, I suppose, was a long time ago, and much has changed since then…

GARROSH:  Huh, that must have been rough.

TIRION:  Begging your pardon, Warchief?

GARROSH:  I’m just trying to imagine you sworn not to talk about something.

MOKVAR:  <mutters, chuckling>  That one’s…getting…the nice printing…

TIRION:  I suppose the time has passed for this one secret, at least.  Alexandros…also showed us an item he had held in secret for a decade by that time.  A dark crystal, black as the void, a focus of hideous, destructive power…a living embodiment of shadows.  Alexandros believed that the existence of such an object, a manifestation of darkness, implied the possibility of its opposite: a manifestation of light, which he believed might prove the ultimate weapon against the undead.  He was soon proven right, though not in the manner he would have supposed…

FARANELL:  Starting to tick a few boxes here…

GARROSH:  So what does that mean?  Did you guys find the matching light crystal or something?

TIRION:  No, Warchief Hellscream.  We did not find it.  Without even setting out to, and very much to our surprise, we created it.

FARANELL:  I think I see where this is going…

TIRION:  Some of our group doubted Alexandros’ faith in the crystal’s importance, and attempted to destroy it through the powers of the light.  The crystal, however, merely absorbed whatever holy magic was cast upon it – spell after spell, we poured our power into it, until the dark crystal transformed into its own radiant counterpart.

GARROSH:  Oh shit.

FARANELL:  Where did the dark crystal come from in the first place?

TIRION:  From Outland, originally…

MOKVAR:  Please don’t tell me you got it from the arakkoa…

GARROSH:  Huh?

FARANELL:  The what?

TIRION:  We never learned where in Draenor the crystal had originated.  We only knew it was carried by an orcish warlock, a lieutenant to Orgrim Doomhammer, during the assault on Blackrock Spire during the Second War.  Alexandros took the crystal from the fallen orc’s body and kept it hidden.

GARROSH:  So what happened to it?  Did you end up using it for some kind of weapon?

Tirion brandishes the Ashbringer and stares at it a moment.

TIRION:  Aye.

GARROSH:  Oh shit again.

FARANELL:  Um, I’m going to step back a little, if it’s all the same to you guys.

GARROSH:  So that’s what you were doing in Southshore?  Forging the Ashbringer?

TIRION:  No, Warchief, the blade was not forged that day.  Our meeting in Southshore merely laid the groundwork.  It was only some time later that Alexandros and Fairbanks brought the crystal to Ironforge, where King Magni Bronzebeard himself forged the sword.

GARROSH:  And in between, what happened to the crystal?  You kept it under lock and key, or hid it somewhere, or what?

TIRION:  The crystal remained in Alexandros’ possession until he decided the time was right for the Ashbringer to be made.  From that day in Southshore, its locked chest was ever in his keep.

FARANELL:  And that was it?  The dark crystal was converted to light, you sealed it up, and Mograine held onto it until Ironforge?

TIRION:  Indeed, my friend.

FARANELL:  Hmm…that leaves us without a lot to go on, unless the sword itself was unaccounted for at some point.

TIRION:  <shakes head>  Nay, the Ashbringer’s succession is known, and before its forging the crystal was indeed never… Wait…

GARROSH:  Uh oh, here it comes.

MOKVAR:  We’re going to have to go kill something, aren’t we?

TIRION:  Now that I set my thoughts to it… I do recall, just after the crystal’s transformation, Isilien and Doan both grew intrigued by the object, an intellectual curiosity, it struck me, as to the crystal’s nature.  I believe Alexandros granted them some leave to examine it while at the inn, though I’m certain he would never have allowed it to leave the premises.

GARROSH:  Okay, so in that case we just have to track down Isilien and Doan—

MOKVAR:  Dead.

FARANELL:  And dead.

GARROSH:  —and of course they’re both dead, because nothing is ever fucking easy.

TIRION:  And as for the integrity of the Ashbringer’s line, I can assure you it has never fallen into the wrong hands – or rather, hands who might have used it for such purposes as concern you here.  For most of its existence, the Ashbringer was carried by Alexandros himself – indeed, he came to be known as the Ashbringer – as he waged battle gloriously against the Scourge in its early days.  Even after the dreadlord Balnazzar corrupted Alexandros’ own son Renault, driving the lad to slay his own father, the blade would soon be restored to its original bearer, as the lich Kel’Thuzad would soon after raise Alexandros’ to undeath as a death knight of the Lich King – a truly horrid end for one such as Mograine, a mockery of all he had fought for in life…

MOKVAR:  So, we good here?

TIRION:  …The blade itself recoiled against the treachery of Renault, and became twisted into a corrupted form, one in which it would remain for years hence.  During that time, as you may well have heard – and indeed, I can attest, the whispers speak truly – the corrupted blade remained in Alexandros’ risen hands, as he served the Lich King in Naxxramas, leader of the Four Horsemen.

GARROSH:  Yeah, I think so.

FARANELL:  I don’t think he’s going to have anything else for us.

TIRION:  It was in that time, however, that Mograine’s younger son, Darion, unable to bear the knowledge of what had become of his father, unwilling to see so great a man’s legacy besmirched by his actions in death, gathered a party from among the Argent Dawn and led a mission into the dread necropolis.  Therein, reluctantly, the son slew the father, and thereby laid his father’s weary spirit to rest – but at a terrible, terrible price.

GARROSH:  Okay.  Cue Operation Bait-n-Switch.

TIRION:  Darion, indeed, would take up the blade – as well as his father’s place in servitude to Arthas.  He would carry the Ashbringer in its corrupted form until passing it to me during the great Battle of Light’s Hope.  I am, of course, simplifying the tale in the interests of time; you will, I hope, forgive my occasional reductive glossings…

Garrosh and Faranell start to gather their belongings while Mokvar walks over to the doorway.

MOKVAR:  Sergeant Pain and Scout Suffering, you’re up!

TIRION:  While I commend you gentlemen for your impulse toward cleanliness, I assure you, there’s hardly a need to take pains gathering your belongings at this early juncture.  I’m sure our discussions will allow ample time for a less rushed approach to…

Dontrag and Utvoch enter.

GARROSH:  Okay, so, Tirion, quick introductions.

TIRION:  Ah, I see you have summoned further aides to supplement our discussions – I must commend you, Warchief Hellscream, on your insistence on thoroughness in these deliberations.  Though, again, I note that I find myself again presented with two additional members of your kin who are, regrettably, not Eitrigg…but I am sure these fine gentlemen will prove invaluable to our efforts.

FARANELL:  In a manner of speaking.

DONTRAG:  Greeting, Warchief.

UTVOCH:  Good day to you, sir!

GARROSH:  Sup guys.  So anyway, yeah, Tirion, this is Scout Utvoch, and the spikey-haired dude is Sergeant Dontrag.

UTVOCH:  Um, actually, sir, I’m Utvoch.

GARROSH:  Isn’t that what I just said?

DONTRAG:  No sir.  You said I was Utvoch.

GARROSH:  I did?

UTVOCH:  Yes, sir.  You said Dontrag was the spikey-haired one, and that’s me, when Dontrag is actually the one who’s bald, mostly.

DONTRAG:  Bad genes, sir.

UTVOCH:  At least you stopped trying to do the comb-over.

DONTRAG:  Well you could have told me how ridiculous it looked.

UTVOCH:  Huh?  I did, like a dozen times.

TIRION:  Ah, I recall having that very discussion with Doan on more than one occasion.

DONTRAG:  Yeah, that year in the Barrens wasn’t really a pretty time for me.

GARROSH:  So yeah, anyway, you two, this is Tirion Fordring.

TIRION:  A great honor to make your acquaintance, good sirs.

DONTRAG:  Hey.

UTVOCH:  So wait, weren’t you killed in Northrend?

DONTRAG:  How could he have been killed, he’s right here.

TIRION:  <chuckles>  No, no, my friend, though I will admit a harrowing time or two, I can assure you I returned from the frozen north very much alive.

UTVOCH:  How come I thought they said some Fordring died up there?

DONTRAG:  Maybe it’s another Fordring?

UTVOCH:  Did you have a cousin up there too?

DONTRAG:  Or maybe like one of his kids or something?

UTVOCH:  Oh crap, did you have a kid get killed?  I’m sorry I brought it up then.

DONTRAG:  I think you’re right, though, I remember hearing about a Ford-something dying up there too.

GARROSH:  Um, are you guys thinking of Fordragon?

DONTRAG:  Yeah, actually, it might be.

UTVOCH:  I think so, yeah, one or the other.

DONTRAG:  Definitely some kind of name like that.

UTVOCH:  So yeah, was it Fordring or Fordragon that got killed in Northrend?

TIRION:  Actually neith—erm, that is…Fordragon.  Yes.  It’s Bolvar Fordragon that you’re thinking of.  Who died.  In Northrend.  That’s what you were thinking of.

UTVOCH:  Oh okay.

DONTRAG:  Was he a friend of yours?

UTVOCH:  Oh yeah, because if their names sound alike I guess that means they must know each other because that’s how things work, right?

DONTRAG:  Oh shut up, stupid.

UTVOCH:  You shut up.

TIRION:  Actually I did know him quite well; Bolvar and I were friends of many years, like brothers, in fact…

UTVOCH:  Oh man, I guess things DO work like that, I’ll be damned.  That’s messed up.

DONTRAG:  I’m sorry your friend died then, sir.

TIRION:  As am I, my good orc.  But I am, alas, no stranger to tragedy.  Why I was just moments ago relating to your comrades here the doleful tale of my dear Uncle Lucius, who dwelled for many years near Andorhal before madness touched him and he grew obsessed with the delusion that he was, in fact, King Llane.

Garrosh, Mokvar, and Faranell exchange glances and nods.

UTVOCH:  Good thing he never met Garona, that might have been weird.

TIRION:  His life from that point on was weird enough, I assure you, between his endless wanderings, parcheesi board ever in hand, and his final preoccupation racing through Tirisfal, chasing bats with a spatula.

DONTRAG:  Well, at least bats make sort of decent eating, if you use the right breading…

TIRION:  A delicacy I cannot claim to have the pleasure of sampling, though I have no doubt the proper hands could produce culinary marvels.  But no, dear Uncle Lucius’ tastes were far more mundane, as he was perfectly content to treat each meal as a simple breakfast of bacon and toast – provided he could acquire a suitable marmalade to accompany it, as he was something of stickler in such matters.  Raspberry ideally…

GARROSH:  Aight, T-Ford, Imma bounce.  Peace!

DONTRAG:  So what’s the difference between marmalade and jam, anyway?

TIRION:  Curious you should ask, as there is, as it happens, an interesting tale behind the distinction…

Garrosh, Mokvar, and Faranell make a hasty exit through the doorway.

 

Also, note to Eitrigg:  Dude, was he always like this?  How the fuck could you stand it?  Fucking hell, I wasn’t even there for that long and I already feel like I need a day off.

 

“Daria’s Pro Tip for Dealing with Tirion #11: If he asks you if you want to hear a story, say yes. He’s going to tell you either way, but if you say no, he’ll just take longer getting to it. Think of it as steering into the skid, only with the skid being a tedious barrage of words.”

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Spare the rod, spoil the Helcular

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

So Helcular wasn’t exactly the most help in the world.  I’m not sure if he’s just been sort of batshit ever since he was raised as undead from the Southshore graveyard a few years back, or if he was always kind of unstable, or what, but dude could not stay on topic for all his flipping out and panicking about what had happened down at the ruins.  To be fair, I suppose being at ground zero of some freakish anti-necromantic explosion that took out most of your team, and just barely escaping from having the unlife sucked clean out of you yourself, well, I guess I can see how that might freak you out.  And Helcular being a mage, and kind of a bookish one at that, I can see how he might not exactly be the battle-tested kind of guy who deals with adversity well.

But DUDE, I can’t POSSIBLY overstate how much he was spazzing out over everything.  Could not keep him on topic for more than thirty seconds at a time, so I spent practically the whole conversation having to slap him around to try to get him back on track.  Now granted, I probably didn’t help matters when Kaal arrived with an update from Southshore, and I let him give his report in front of Helcular.  Turns out, those shimmery purple lines are still expanding outward – slowly enough that you can’t notice it with the naked eye, but still moving and stretching little by little, apparently gravitating toward other centers of necromantic energy.  As in, places where there are lots of undead.  So eventually – slowly, but eventually – this thing is going to spread.

Which as you can imagine, is just what panicky jittery Captain Freak-Out Hercular needed to hear, and yeah, a few more beatings ensued to get him to stop fluttering about.  Eventually, after enough enforced focus to make my frigging hands sore, I was able to drag this much out of him: Helcular used to live in Southshore, where he knew Kel’Thuzad back in his pre-lich days, and had studied necromancy under him.  Because nothing could go wrong there, as we all know.  But he couldn’t think of anything they could have done that could have had a hand in what’s happened – the training and practice he did in the vicinity of the town was all small-potatoes stuff, and from what he could remember, Kel’Thuzad kept his distance whenever he was doing anything major.  He did remember one point some years back, though, when a bunch of people from the Knights of the Silver Hand were hanging around the town.  They were being pretty hush-hush, but were still attracting enough attention that he could remember strangers turning up in the town and lurking around snooping on them…so there’s a fair chance they were up to something.  And considering how those paladins wound up taking an interest in the Scourge, it sounds like there’s at least enough of a possible link to be worth following up on.

And again, let me just stress that pretty much every sentence of that was spread out over two of three smackings and a frustrated “Man, will you PLEASE try to pull yourself the fuck TOGETHER?”

Anyway, though, we’ve got another lead to follow, even though I’m not exactly thrilled where it’s leading.  But, I’ve already had Eitrigg send a message up to Hearthglen in the Western Plaguelands, and I’m getting ready to head north.  Not going to lie to you, I’m not looking forward to this at all, but it’s our best in with the Silver Hand, so I guess I’m going to need to go have a sit-down with Tirion Fordring.

Ruins of Southshore

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

Okay, so remember what I was saying about the Undercity smelling bad?  Well I would happily spruce up the aroma of Grommash Hold with some Undercity potpourri before I took too many deep breaths around Southshore the way it is right now.  Holy shit, it’s like somebody went down to the Apothecarium, put together an olfactory mix tape of their greatest hits, distilled in into some kind of glowing green porridge with a side of asparagus, force-fed eighty tons of the shit to a gang of syphilitic ettins, then locked them all in a closet for three days and let them fart it all out.  Like THAT bad.  That’s what it’s like down here.  I seriously think this is what atrocity must smell like.  A piquant blend of genocide and child abuse.

I knew Sylvanas’ people had used Southshore as a test site when I gave them the go-ahead to start up their plague research again, but even I wasn’t prepared for the sheer scope of what they had going on here.  It isn’t even a town anymore so much a slimy green puddle, with these living goop thingamajigs squirming around the place.  It’s actually kind of scary to imagine they were able to crank all this out so quickly in the window I’d left them to resume work.  I can only figure some of the apothecaries were so fired up to be able to get back to it that they really threw themselves into it in a huge flurry of activity right off the bat.

Anyway, the bunch of us – myself, Drok, Cromush, Mokvar, and a handful of warlocks and alchemists who came with – spent some hours scouring over the place looking for any clues about where the anti-plague effect had come from.  It wasn’t until some of the locks (who, by the way, actually aren’t big fans of socks – apparently we’ve got a bunch of hippie sandal-wearing warlocks these days…terrific) tried some kind of incantation spell that we started getting somewhere.  They were able to make these shimmery purple ribbons visible around the town, almost like hazy purple flames.  Kaal Soulreaper, one of our locks, explained to me that the haze was made up of the traces of a potent magic effect, which you could see spreading and scattering all around the town – most likely, he said, leaving those purple traces along the paths the effect took bouncing from one undead to the next.  So what we were looking at was the hazy footprints of their deaths.  Or re-deaths.  Or whatever.

So, tracing back to where the haze was at its most dense was the most likely way to get to the starting point.  That brought us to the old town inn – specifically, underground, beneath the cellar.  From somewhere down there, all the purple ribbons came spreading out, up through the cellar and out of the ground along the outer walls of the building.  Whatever it was exactly, it looks like it detonated there.  And according to the warlocks’ best guess, the haze will continue holding the “contagion” until it dissipates.  As for how long that will take, they ballparked it somewhere between hours and centuries.  So, lots of help there.  Really, guys, I appreciate the info so far, but couldn’t you give me a LITTLE better idea of when it’s going to be safe for the Forsaken to come back down here?  Is it tomorrow or the end of time, or what?

The next question that comes to mind is, you know, how the fuck this magic doohickey got there.  And since we have a fairly powerful magic-user on staff who actually has a pretty long history with Southshore, I’m thinking it’s time I had some face time with our man Helcular.  He had been supervising things in Southshore before everything went kablooey, at which point he was evacuated to Tarren Mill with as many other Forsaken as they could pull out in time.  I’m having Cromush and Drok continue the work down here in Southshore while I fly up to see him.  More soon.

The Apothecarium

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

apothecarium

While Drok was making his way down to Southshore, Mokvar, Nazgrim, and I got the grand tour of the Apothecarium from Sylvanas and Faranell.  Overseer Kraggosh was there as well, finishing up his lunch break.  Basically a working lunch where he just camped out on one of the work benches, since he couldn’t really spare any extra people to stand watch in his absence, what with everything going on.  Gotta say, watching him munch away left me kind of boggled, because first of all, as bad as the Undercity smells in general, the APOTHECARIUM?  Where they keep all the extra toxic chemicals and plaguey shit?  Rancid stench squared.  So how he could possibly choke food down and keep it down is beyond me.  And second of all?  His lunch of choice?  Steak melt with three kinds of cheese and extra bacon.  Kraggosh, Kraggosh, you seriously don’t want to live to see your daughter start school, do you?  Come on, man.

The apothecaries looked to be carrying on their research as usual in the main chamber, but they’d set up a side room – the one they usually used to hold, ahem, Alliance test volunteers – as an area to work on bodies that had been affected by the anti-plague.  Some mages were channeling a containment field to make sure nothing spread out of the room, and Dr. Halsey and Apothecary Zinge from the Royal Apothecary Society were inside decked out in those weird full-body gas mask hazard suits the Forsaken have.

Further updates from Faranell’s research:  Whatever this thing is, it only seems to have any effect on undead.  They ran tests exposing some of the Alliance prisoners to it, and it doesn’t seem to do anything to humans, dwarves, or even worgen.  Just registered a big ol’ nothing.  What’s more, even though the effect spreads very easily if other Forsaken get close to an affected body, every test they’ve run here indicates it’s not chemical or biological in nature.  So even though we’ve been talking about it being “contagious,” that’s not really accurate.  Hell, on that basis, I probably shouldn’t keep calling it an “anti-plague,” seeing as it’s not really a plague at all, except that you pretty much don’t get any more “ANTI” anything than not being that thing at all, so I guess as it turns out, the “anti-plague” name is pretty damn accurate, so take THAT and FUCK OFF, smart guy.  Plus “anti-plague” sounds a lot cooler than “that weird shit what’s happening to the zombies.”

Anyway, though, it’s not biological or chemical in nature – it’s some kind of self-propagating magical effect.  So we’ve also gotten a few warlocks down here to help with the research as well – orcs and blood elves, since we don’t have to worry about them being exposed.  Best they can tell, it’s a strange balance of shadow and holy magic, held in some kind of…I don’t know…something about a matrix and counterbalances and some fucking…polarity of the neutron flow or some shit.  Point is, it seems to have reacted to the traces of shadow magic that woven into the Forsaken plague – the part of the plague that makes its victims rise as undead afterward – and generated this effect that causes that same shadow magic to be purged off anything it hits.  So the necrotic effects that make undead undead get dispelled right off.  Which is way beyond anything even a top-flight priest or paladin could do.

Whatever it is, exactly, it all got started when Sylvanas’ people were working on their green goop down in Southshore, so I’m thinking if we’re going to get any answers, it’s time for a bunch of us still-living peeps to take a trip down there.

Arrival at the Undercity

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

I’ll say this for Sylvanas, she’s a gracious hostess.  I arrived in Tirisfal Glades this morning by zeppelin (along with Mokvar, General Nazgrim and his attaché Captain Drok, and a few other support people), and Sylvanas rolled out the welcome wagon.  Mounted Forsaken royal guards lining the path up to the ruins of Lordaeron, full banquet arranged to welcome us, VIP quarters, the whole nine yards.  She definitely knows how to treat guests.

On the down side, HOLY SHIT does this place smell.

No, I mean seriously.

At one point while Sylvanas was showing us around, I said to Mokvar, “Fuck, did something die in here?”  And it was one of those deals where right as soon as you say something, you realize what a bad idea it was, and Mokvar gave me the big wide “Seriously?” eyes, right as Sylvanas was starting to give me one of those uncomfortable “I’m not going to call you on it but you and I both know what you just said” looks, and yeah.

But still, fucking hell.  Cannot possibly overstate the stink.  Then again, I suppose that’s what you get when you build an entire city in a fucking sewer.

This also gave me the chance to check in with Bragor Bloodfist face to face for the first time in ages.  Worth noting, by the way – even though he knew we were coming in today, for some odd reason he couldn’t be bothered to get his ass out to the front gates to welcome us with Sylvanas and, you know, the half-dozen other semi-quasi-dignitaries she brought with her.  Which you would think he might make a point of doing, what with (a) it being his JOB to keep an eye on things and (b) it being his BOSS showing up.  Anyway, our face time also gave me the chance to have one of the mages on hand cast a glowy shimmery glamour effect around Sylvanas’ head, point it out to Bragor, then smack him around a few times while making the point, “Her eyes are up THERE, fuckwit.”  I seriously need to scrape up some better lackeys.  Taking applications now.

We’re stopping by the Apothecarium (They actually call it that?  Is that even a fucking word?) this afternoon to meet with Faranell and the rest of his people and see where things stand on their research.  While that’s going on, Nazgrim is sending Drok down to Southshore to coordinate with Warlord Cromush and check on the state of things down there.  More updates soon.

 

 

[Header image provided by regular reader and commenter ZugZug, used here with permission and many thanks.]

So much for the Frostwolves

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

Cromush has moved down to Southshore with some of his people, and has started trying to get the worgen back under control.  Meanwhile I tried contacting Drek’Thar this morning to see if I could convince him to send some Frostwolf assistance down there.  Granted, the last time somebody tried calling on him for aid, it didn’t especially go well, but I thought maybe the current situation might persuade him to reconsider.

So…yeah, so much for that idea.  I tried making my case for sending some help, and he launched into this big epic speech about the honor of the Horde and the atrocities of the Forsaken, and how what’s happening to them now is just comeuppance for the crimes they’ve committed against all decency, and how he’d be damned before he so much as lifted a finger to help breathe life back into the rightfully dying embers of their misbegotten existence, and it was all really powerful and moving and badass.  And then he shit himself.  Man, old age is not kind.

At that point he got into this yelling, screaming argument with somebody who wasn’t even there, something about whether or not they’d stolen the last of the boar kabobs and given them to the man in the hat, and then he yelled at Galvanger to wheel him back to his room because it was time for his stories.  And seriously, I really truly hope I die gloriously in battle at some point in the relatively near future, because I positively do NOT want to roll the dice on growing old.

Meanwhile, Sylvanas has been doing some more testing on the undead who’ve been…well…re-deaded? by the anti-plague thing.  Her latest effort has been seeing if her Val’kyr lackeys can re-reanimate one of the bodies.  No go there.  Seems that whatever this anti-plague does, it not only purges the body of necrotic effects, but actually immunizes it against any more afterward.  So no going all Ner’zhul on them.

So…still working on it.  In order to help with the process, I’m going to make a trip to the Undercity with a few other key people.  Hopefully between the bunch of us we’ll be able to come up with something.

 

 

[Header image provided by Rioriel from Postcards From Azeroth, reproduced here with permission and many thanks.  Click here to see the souped-up Postcard version!]

Death of the dead

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

brill1

I swear it’s just one damn thing after another around here.  I guess when you’re Warchief there really is no rest for the awesome.  I hadn’t even finished unpacking from my trip to Nagrand, when Sylvanas gives me the latest news from her neck of the woods, and it’s a doozey.

Just before I had left for Outland, Sylvanas’ people – or whatever the hell you want to call them – started running into some problems down in Hillsbrad.  According to her, they started experimenting with some new strains of plague down there based on my orders…you know, when I was fuming and kind of, well, crazy.  Anyway.  While they were at it, though, and running some tests in Southshore, seems they set something off.  Not like a bomb, that is, but for lack of a better word to describe it, it’s like they triggered some kind of anti-plague.

You know that thing in physics about how for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction?  Yeah, me neither, because I wasn’t a fucking science nerd in school, but still.  From the way Sylvanas tells it, it’s like this thing that hit them in Southshore was the equal and opposite reaction to their plague.  Any Forsaken who were in the vicinity of the experiments got slapped back by it and…well…anti-infected.  That is, it swept through those Forsaken and basically neutralized the necromantic magic that had reanimated them in the first place.  So those undead got the “un” slapped clean out of them, and dropped right then and there, restored back to the forms of their original, pre-risen human and blood elf bodies.  What’s more, the anti-plague has started spreading through Southshore just like a plain ol’ regular plague, which is turning the place into a growing pile of Forsaken corpses that aren’t even recognizably Forsaken anymore.

I’m having High Warlord Cromush send as many of his troops as he can spare down from Tarren Mill to try to secure the area while we work on figuring out what’s going on.  In the meantime I’ll be trying to coordinate with Sylvanas’ apothecaries to figure this out.  I’m guessing this might be the kind of thing some of the goblins especially might be able to sink their tinker-happy teeth into.  As far as the Forsaken are concerned, Southshore is now a quarantined area.

And I know what you’re probably thinking, why am I going to knock myself out to keep this thing from taking out the undead?  It’s not like I’ve ever been much of a fan of them, right?  Well, for one, if you take the Forsaken out of the equation all of a sudden, now you’ve got a huge void in Horde forces in Eastern Kingdoms without orcs or tauren in place to maintain our holdings.  Hell, as it stands now, even with this thing just taking out a chunk of the undead in Southshore, we’ve got worgen swarming in trying to make their move on the place already.  Can you imagine what happens if it spreads up through Silverpine into fucking Tirisfal Glades?  What do you think the Alliance will do if they catch wind that the Forsaken are weakened and Lordaeron is vulnerable?

So that’s one thing, the tactical side of it.  And then there’s this: it’s my fault this is happening.  Whatever this thing is, Sylvanas’ people set it off after I ordered her to start up her plague research again.  I gave the order, she got her apothecaries going in Southshore, kaboom.  By the time I came to my senses and ordered her to put a stop to it, it was already too late – news of the anti-plague was already on the way.  If I hadn’t given them the go-ahead, there wouldn’t have been any plaguey business going on down there in the first place, and none of this would have happened.  I basically ordered Sylvanas’ people to their (un)deaths without even knowing I was doing it.  So I think I owe her on this one.

Updates to follow.  I have a few meetings to get to today concerning all of this.  I’ll keep you all posted on where this goes.