(Or, for the math nerds out there, NotQuite(Monday + Mailbag). I don’t really understand what that means. Spazzle said it would go over like gangbusters, though.)
The Grimtotem warrior that Nazgrim was holding in Brackenwall Village was delivered to Orgrimmar. As it turns out, she was a messenger. She had wanted to be brought to Orgrimmar in order to deliver a letter – to me personally.
On a side note, just before she arrived here, some of our soldiers captured a SECOND Grimtotem sneaking around the Dranosh’ar Blockade. This one’s being pretty tight-lipped about what he was doing there, so I’m guessing that one wasn’t another messenger. So I’m not sure what to make of that.
For now, though, it’s that first one that’s the bigger deal, because the message she was delivering…well, here, see for yourself.
Dearest Warchief Hellscream,
I hope this letter finds you well. Actually, let us not put up false pretenses; I don’t at all hope it finds you well, and further, I know that it will not.
Word has reached me of the terrible tragedy you have recently suffered, concerning the loss of your dear mother Lakkara. I believe I have some information concerning her loss that will be of interest to you. Indeed, you may even take some solace in this knowledge – you see, my good Garrosh, you have not truly lost her at all. That would require you to have ever truly had her back.
Allow me to share with you a most curious tale.
After my recent, shall we say, difficulties with many of my Grimtotem kin, I decided to retire temporarily through the Dark Portal to Outland – a remarkable spectacle at first sight, I must say. I do so love what your fellow orcs have done with the place. My handful of followers and I found the region of Nagrand by far the most hospitable – I will thank you for forgoing any obvious remarks concerning the ready availability of grass – and so we took up temporary residence in its outlying territories, near to your Mag’har kin’s Ancestral Grounds.
It was there that a most interesting thing took place. While foraging in the nearby hills, my associates happened upon a small, secluded cave in the mountainside. Inside, they found the body of an orcish woman who appeared to have died some years prior. Ever a student of spiritual custom, I found myself curious as to how the woman had come to be there, and why the Mag’har, usually so diligent in matters of honoring their dead, would have left her remains to go unburied in some remote cave. And so, I and my colleagues undertook some cautious investigations.
I will not trouble you with the details of our methods; suffice to say, in short order, we found to our amazement that we had discovered the remains of Lakkara, mate of the great Grommash Hellscream, last victim of the pernicious red pox that once ravaged the orcs.
Ordinarily, I would be loathe to disturb the fallen ancestors of any people. But, as I am sure you will understand, I am equally loathe to pass up a glowing opportunity.
You may recall, several weeks ago, investigating a Twilight’s Hammer cabal in Hyjal, resulting in some rather troubling visions courtesy of a conveniently placed shadebind totem. In a stroke of good fortune for me, and short-sightedness for you (both of which, I must say, I was rather counting on), you neglected in your rattled state to collect the offending totem. This made it possible for one of my associates to do so shortly thereafter – the totem, by this point, having attuned itself to you, my good Warchief, for purposes of binding to itself a few select spirits intimately linked to your soul. One crucial one in particular.
From there, it was a simple matter to summon forth Lakkara’s spirit and prepare her for her “return.” With the spiritbinding of her dear son to draw upon, and her actual body on hand, the other necessary manipulations were laborious but hardly difficult. A few selective blurrings of memories…the instilling of a few small additional ones…minor tinkering around the edges of the shadow of her mind: all trivial undertakings, really, once the real work of invocation was done. All the more trivial given how readily she took to them – only too happy to imagine that she had watched her son’s growth in life rather than from the beyond.
The entire process she would perceive – with some subtle nudging – as our careful ministration of her illness. (Not entirely an untruth, I might add.) And the fact of her past contagion would ensure that she would not allow anyone close enough to touch her, and thus discover her noncorporeal state.
And so, with that, it was simply a matter of placing a few totems to summon her into sustained phantasmal being and set her on her way to Garadar. Greatmother Geyah was, of course, the real test, but I hardly had any doubts that my Lakkara would pass inspection – my Lakkara was, after all, the real Lakkara. Or what remained of her spirit, more or less.
It was only a matter of time before she would seek out her dear boy.
Of course, your time together would, as you already know, be short-lived. The elder crone giveth, and the elder crone taketh away. In this case, the instrument of her removal would likewise come via shadebind – in this case, your former underling Gerbo, who, you may be surprised to learn, was from time to time of assistance to me in his days in Stonetalon. For a price, of course, but he was, quite frankly, something of a bargain as such matters go. At any rate, given our previous…association, and his own lingering distaste for his former Warchief, he was only too amenable to lending his aid one last time in death.
It takes a ghost to slay a ghost, after all.
You might well ask, at this point, why I would take the trouble to construct so elaborate a charade. Why would I invest such time and effort to conjure up the illusion of Lakkara, only to dispel it once again, all for no apparent, tangible gain.
You might well ask, but I suspect you need not. For illusory though she may have been, to you, dear Garrosh, she was real. And there is no agony quite so sharp as that of rescinded hope, is there, Warchief?
I will admit, my earlier efforts against you in the Bastion of Twilight were misguided. Then, I had sought to take my revenge by killing you. A foolish, short-sighted goal, I realize now. A terrible mistake whose failure, though grating at the time, has proven to be a blessing in disguise.
You see, I no longer have any desire to kill you. I’ve hurt you. And I intend to go on hurting you.
Enjoy your empty nest, dear Warchief. You will hear from me again.
Excuse me. I…think I need to step away from the computer for a minute.
I know a lot of you have been reading this blog for a while, and you probably already have an idea what to expect at this point. So you’re probably going to be a little surprised here.
See, ordinarily this would be the point where I start yelling, and going into all caps, and screaming bloody murder, and ranting on and on about how brutally I’m going to murder Magatha, and on and on, and filling up a couple paragraphs with how Magatha’s going to die, she’s going to die, oh holy crap she is so. Totally. Going. To die.
I’m not going to do that now.
See how calm I’m staying? Keeping it together, no yelling, not raising my voice even a little.
Want to know why?
You know that level of anger where it’s not burning up inside you, not even because it’s burned itself out – because that would imply it’s run its course and is done with – but because it’s gone so far beyond that burning, fiery, jump-up-and-down, stomp-your-feet kind of angry? That anger where the screaming and venting is just wasted energy, and you’re not going to waste any of that energy that you could save up to erase whoever or whatever it was that pushed you that far? You know that kind of angry?
I am so utterly beyond that right now.
So all I’m going to say is this.
You don’t have to worry about my rage, Magatha. I usually make a pretty big show of using up my rage. But rage is just anger that’s burned up and channeled into something else, expended as quickly as it comes. Rage is nothing. But anger that’s contained, even cultivated? That’s like a wine. It grows deeper, and richer, and ferments into something greater. It grows more potent. It grows creative.
Anger is the mother of invention. And it has an infinite, indelible memory.
So don’t worry about me ranting on and on and how you’re going to die, Magatha. I know it’s what you’re expecting from me, but not this time. That’s a promise.
You’re not going to die, Magatha.
You’re going to beg to.
And when you do, I’m going to be completely, utterly, hideously…calm.