So, some of you might remember the other day when Lantresor of the Blade wrote to me saying – among other things – that he was coming up to Orgrimmar to see about signing on with the Horde. Seemed like a pretty good deal, what with Lantresor being a major badass by all accounts, plus him being pretty much the head honcho of a clan of ogres. Which, yeah, maybe not the deepest thinkers in the world, but for real, have you seen some of the hired help I’ve already got on staff? I have Dontrag and Utvoch on payroll. I’ve got no business throwing stones.
Anyhow, I got Marogg the infantry chef to whip up a welcoming dinner for Lantresor and his crew, but we kind of overshot a little. See, when Lantresor sent his letter, he mentioned forming a new “Burning Skull” ogre clan, and wanting to sign on… then he said he got that Mogor ogre dude to port “us” to what I’m guessing was Ratchet (where, if epic limericks are to be believed, there once was a goblin from)… and that “we” would arrive in Grommash Hold soon.
And see, that’s great and all. Problem was, “us” and “we” didn’t give me much of an idea of how many people “us” and “we” were, and based on everything else Lantresor was saying, as far as I knew, dude was gonna roll up on Orgrimmar with his whole damn ogre clan. And seriously, have you ever tried feeding a bunch of ogres? Pro tip: don’t. Trust me. I’ve been to Brackenwall Village a bunch of times to see Draz’Zilb. You know why the place always looks so run down? Because motherfuckers don’t have time to fix shit when motherfuckers gotta spend their whole day scraping up enough food to cover their daily requirement of 20,000 calories a head. Including a bunch of dudes who’ve got more than one head.
Anyway, point is, I had some indeterminate-sized ogre contingent rolling on into town, and I knew I was going to have to FEED these stupid assholes, because, you know, I’m not going to be fucking RUDE. (Greatmother didn’t raise no ungracious hosts. My heretofore unboxed ears would not survive.) So I had to have Marogg err on the side of safety and crank out enough grub to feed a small army of ogres. Which… let me tell you, that’s not gonna be a fun line item to see in next month’s budget report. I might have to get some slaughterhouses up and running just to offset the dent this puts in the meat supply. Maybe in the Barrens. Seems like we’ve got some spare real estate out there. Anyhow, I digress.
Bottom line, Marogg pulled in a bunch of culinary personnel to help – I even got our ol’ pal Ji Lunchbox and some of his panda buddies chipping in on this – and managed to whip up enough eats to cover our bases. And so, who shows up?
Lantresor and Mogor.
The end. THAT was the fucking “we.” Lantresor and his double-headed, half-brained plus-fucking-one.
FUCKED OVER ONCE AGAIN BY AMBIGUOUS PRONOUN ANTECEDENTS. SEE? SEE? IMPRECISE GRAMMAR CAN COST A SMALL FORTUNE. STAY IN FUCKING SCHOOL, KIDS.
Um. I mean “fucking school” as in… like… you know… just school. Not school for fucking. Because for one thing, I mean, I get enough hate mail as it is, without advocating THAT certificate program. And for another, not for nothing, but it would be kind of a futile teaching exercise. Either you got it or you don’t. Sorry, nerds.
Anyway, point is, we massively overshot there, so, you know, if you happen to be in the Orgrimmar neck of the woods, and you like Kickin’ Chimaerok Chops, well, I’ve got leftovers. Like… a LOT of leftovers. Like make-the-week-after-Pilgrim’s-Bounty-look-like-fucking-NOTHING kind of leftovers. And the faster they get eaten, the sooner I can relieve the frost mages I’ve got on duty round the clock keeping the shit from spoiling. And MAN OH MAN, you can practically HEAR Ji high-tailing it over here with a fork and knife in hand, can’t you?
So where was I? Oh. Yeah. Lantresor.
So yeah, the initial meeting went pretty well. I don’t know if either of us knew what to make of the other at first, but after a little while we started exchanging stories about ways we’ve each messed with Jorin Deadeye, and that broke the ice right quick. We still have some odds and ends to work out, but it looks like Lantresor and his crew are going to come on board, which is only going to help shore up defenses on a bunch of different fronts. Plus, Lantresor apparently knows a handful of blademasters from the old Burning Blade clan who are still hiding out in Outland, and he seems pretty confident he could bring them over as well. So, a lot of potential win going on.
The only awkward part has been how Lantresor kept asking about Shayari. And, um, you know… after Khizzara turned on the warning lights on that one, just to be safe, I made sure Shay was out of town when Lantresor was due to arrive. By… well… sending her off on a shopping trip. Which… seemed like a decent enough idea at the time. Until she got home with a fucking kodo carrying the stuff she bought. Including the kodo. This one’s gonna leave a mark, I can tell.
Meanwhile, Lantresor keeps asking after Shay. I may just have to bite the cannonball and try to get Garona over here.
Time to dip back into the ol’ mailbag. Let’s see what we’ve got this time around…
Firstly, I thank you for accepting Grimjaw into the Kor’kron fold, and hope he will serve you well; secondly, my apologies for the depressive content of my letters – it was not my intention to “bring the room down”.
Instead, I will share some good news with you: my son has taken to training as a warrior and will be ready to take his Om’riggor – his rite of passage – next year, and my daughter has taken to learning the shamanic arts. I have high hopes for both of them.
Also, there’s something I think you should hear, Warchief. Another of my wolves – Golmash, I call him, after your grandfather, whose legend is known even to me – has a black pelt and a set of eerie green eyes. And I don’t mean in the dark, slimy green of a swamp so much as a strange, otherworldly glare. I didn’t think anything of it the first time I noticed, but since then I’ve been feeling strangely ill-at-ease whenever he looks at me. I did some research into the nature of these eyes and what I’ve found… is both confusing and disturbing.
On one hand, the eye colour is not unique or unnatural (so far as anyone can tell); on the other hand, only one particular wolf dynasty has ever had them, and rarely so. This dynasty, dubbed “moonwolf”, lived in Shadowmoon Valley until the arrival of the Legion and the corruption of the land that ensued, and the last known scion of this lineage was Skychaser, the companion of Ner’zhul. The fate of the fallen Great Shaman is well-known, but no one knows what happened to his wolf.
I have never had any encounter with that particular lineage, and so far as I can tell, Golmash is strictly of Frostwolf and Nagrandeur descent; thus, the cause of his haunting eyes remains a mystery. How should I proceed from here, Warchief? I am loathe to create a problem where there is none, but something in my gut tells me sinister things are afoot.
–Ogunaro Wolfrunner, Kennel Master
Hey again, Ogunaro. Grimjaw’s gotten settled in over at the Kor’kron stables. I’ve been over to have a look at him, and he IS a pretty fine looking wolf. Like I mentioned last time, I’ve got something in mind for him, but it’s going to be a little bit before I get that going. The timing is kind of up in the air for the time being, but hopefully things will fall into place soon. I’ll keep you updated as things go.
As for this mystery wolf of yours (appreciate the shout-out to Golmash, by the way… well, unless it turns out there’s something seriously fishy going on with him, in which case, gee, thanks for dragging my grandfather into it)… that does sound pretty weird. I can’t say I’ve run into any glowy green-eyed wolves myself, and I’ve ridden more than my share over the years. Still, I don’t want to start running around cooking up crazy stories and conspiracy theories, especially when you sound like you’ve got a good sense of the line this wolf came from. So for right now, what I’d recommend is keeping a close watch on him and maybe keep him apart from your other wolves when you’re not able to monitor them. Is there anything strange about his behavior? How does he get along with the other wolves? Or with you, for that matter? Anything you’ve noticed about him that’s different from most wolves, OTHER than the green eyes?
This is definitely worth monitoring, but I don’t want to start panicking straight away. The Ner’zhul connection is creepy as fuck, but I also don’t put a lot of stock in ghost stories. Unless the ghost in question is one of those bankers down at the Undercity, because funny enough, those dudes actually DO come up with some pretty good stock tips. FYI.
Grats on your kids coming along with their training, by the way. Are they working with anyone in the military trainee program, or has it been individual class training so far? I’ve got a bunch of trainees studying under me, but then you probably already knew that if you read the blog. Your son’s coming up on his om’riggor next year, huh? He must be pretty advanced at this point, in that case. I’m hoping some of mine will be ready for the rite before too long, but right now that’s pretty dependent on…well, a bunch of things. No need to belabor ’em with you. I’m sure you know the drill. Next year would be pretty nice, though.
Anyway, I’ll keep you posted on what’s up with Grimjaw. And the other wolf thing.
Well well, Hellscream,
It seems serendipity brought me and your little “trainee” together. But I’ll elaborate on that in a moment. First, let me tell you that Boulderfist purchased our computer equipment from a rather enterprising goblin shaman and obtained our Internet as spoils of war from the Shadow Council. How they can be smart enough to create working Internet here on Outland and yet foolish enough to serve the Burning Legion is beyond me, but then there it is. Now about your trainee…
I was naturally curious when several of my ogres came wandering up the hill to me complaining about an outbreak of headaches. As it happens, they had incurred these headaches from being repeatedly smashed in the face (and other places) with a shield by an eager, cheerful little orc girl with a potbelly worthy of a ogre woman (few of them that there are). How fortunate that she isn’t as good at killing ogres as she thinks; I settled for reproaching my men for being stupid enough to let a orcling child knock the stuffing out of them. Some claim the ordeal has left them dumber – but frankly, dear Hellscream, I doubt that very much, and if it has, it hasn’t made that much difference.
At any rate, even allowing for the fact that she didn’t know about our truce, as I discovered when I caught her lurking around the Laughing Skull Ruins watching that brute of a shaman Mogor pounding a group of fledgling Alliance “heroes” into the ground and confronted her, there is a certain principle about truces that has to be upheld – namely, the principle that you don’t attack the people you have a truce with. So when I learned of this Jorin Blackeye or whatever his name was continuing to send adventurers after my ogres, I decided a response was called-for.
We lured him out of Garadar under the pretense of discussing a peace settlement concerning the village of Halaa with the Kurenai Broken, and there I confronted him about his actions. I had hoped to settle things in a reasonable way, but not only did he spout some nonsense about “no forgiveness” and whatnot, he took the time to pass comment about my Burning Blade heritage before he started to walk away. After that… well, it’s very embarassing. He sort of walked right into my blade. Face-first, no less. And my blade brushed against his one good eye. All completely by accident. How very careless of the both of us.
Anyway, given that he was using that eye for no-good purposes, perhaps it is an acceptable casualty. I hear he has not dared show his face in public since then – with an injury like that, I know I wouldn’t – and that his clan are electing a new leader. Hopefully they’ll be more understanding from now on.
By the way, speaking of Mogor, the brute and I have reached an accord: a permanent end to the fighting between our clans and the merging of Boulderfist and Warmaul into a single clan, as it was long ago, under the name Burning Skull (somehow, Laughing Blade just doesn’t have the same ring to it). We’re interested in signing on with your Horde – I admit, I’m curious about meeting another of my own kind, even if she is very different from me, and the contribution I can offer you seems like a fitting gesture.
Mogor has portalled us to a small goblin harbour in the Barrens. We’ll be in Grommash Hold soon to discuss terms.
–Lantresor of the Blade
Okay, you know what? Not going to lie. Not a whole lot registered other than the part about Jorin getting a little what-for. In the face. Jorin Blackeye indeed. Heh. HeheheHAH. HAHAHAHA. Such a dick.
So wait, did you actually get his eye, or JUST graze him, or what? I get that you did some damage, but eyes are tricky territory, and even a little extra flick of the blade one way or the other could… hmm… you know, come to think of it, probably best not to dwell on it. I’ll probably end up hearing through channels soon enough.
So speaking of trainees, you realize that when Mirembe sees your letter, of all the stuff you brought up, all she’s going to notice is the “potbelly” part, right? I can almost hear the letter landing in my inbox now.
Also, eesh, surprise guests. I better have Marogg whip up some food to greet these people with when they get here. I wonder if he still has any of that Darkspear rice sitting around for his jambalaya. Pretty tasty stuff, actually, as long as the rice wasn’t sitting around trollville for too long, in which case you end up getting this weird dizzy feeling if you eat too much of it.
Hey, uh, Boss?
I was perusing this here blog and I noticed the letter you got from Lantresor. Now, readin’ between the lines here I gotta say… it sounds like that is one lonely half-orc-half-draenei dude lookin’ to get all buddy-buddy with the father of the — *looks around nervously and makes a circuit of the room listening for stealthy swoosh sounds* — youngest and most attractive of the only two lady half-orc-half-draenei girls in the world. Which makes me question his motivations, if you hear what I’m sayin’ and know what I mean.
Not that Shayari can’t handle herself or deal with unwanted attention, but… I’m just sayin’…
Also, not for nothin’, but I hear that Lantresor is a huge complainer. An acquaintance of mine worked with him for a while, and all he ever did was whine, whine, whine. “How long are we going to stay here?” And, “I miss the grassy plains of Nagrand!” Oh boo hoo hoo! Drove everyone else bonkers.
Have a good one!
Oh, PS: I dropped a buncha flowers off for Gurtash. Wish I could do something more, but as a mage I’d probably only make things worse. And as a goblin, I might uh, make him explode. Kinda counterproductive for the healin’.
Yeah, that Lantresor guy is…
Oh FUCKING HELL, SERIOUSLY?
I… he… you mean… HOW THE FUCK OLD IS THAT GUY, ANYWAY?
I’m… suddenly feeling a strange craving for dead ogres.
Wait, that would mean giving Jorin the satisfaction. And not for anything, but I refuse to live in a universe where Jorin Blackeye—erm, I mean Deadeye… is validated.
Fuck. Rock and a hard place.
HANG ON HANG ON HE’S ON HIS WAY HERE TOO, LIKE SOON AND SHIT.
Dammit. If he’s out cruising for half-orc, half-draenei action… maybe I can pull a bait-and-switch on him? I wonder if Garona’s doing anything this week. I could invite her to attend whatever reception I end up stuck holding for these people and really lay it on thick about how much I’d like her to be there and OH SHIT NEVER MIND THAT’S JUST GOING TO GIVE HER IDEAS.
Fucking hell, this parenting shit isn’t as easy as people make it out to be. UGH.
I apologize for disturbing you, when as your loyal subject it should be my duty to relieve your stresses, not add to them, but I have a delicate question for you. (by the way, could you please appoint us Blood Elves a Regent? I got a rude note from someone calling himself “Bob” saying you had named a Lord Invincible to the post, but I’ve never seen him . . . ?)
Anyhow, I . . . met a girl. Cat. Woman. Druid. Ummm, she’s really really beautiful, and she loves it when I pet her, and she purrs when we take naps in the sunlight, and we love to just stare into each others’ eyes when she’s a cat. Not a small cat, a big black panther. But anyways, I met her as part of trying to research help for my . . . not quite alive condition. She’s with the Cenarion Circle, and I guess they had a grudge against orcs for killing Cenarius, only he’s not dead anymore so that’s ok, I hope. We started spending time together, and slaughtering murlocs, and I found out that when we’re together I can feel my heart beating again. Umm . . . is it ok that she’s a Night Elf? We stay at her cave in Moonglade when I’m not on assignment, so she won’t disturb any members of the Horde.
–Sintra E’Drien of Silvermoon.
Ps. Shouldn’t Loktar Ogar mean something more like “My Victory, Their Death!”?
I… Hang on, when did this mailbag turn into the fucking Dating Game?
So hold it, Sintra, are you seriously asking me to sign off on you shacking up with a freaking NIGHT ELF? I mean, I already had ENOUGH of a headache just recently dealing with Mokvar’s human chick, and as far as I can gather SHE’S at least his EX-wife, as opposed to whatever the fuck you have going on that’s just in the early magical bloom of insert-your-greeting-card-bullshit-romantic-cliche-here.
And so, on top of the night elf part, she’s a druid, and from the sound of it you spend most of your time together with her in cat form? And you’re still technically dead… and… I don’t even KNOW what the fuck that is, like now you’re just doing the backstroke around a giant cocktail glass loaded up with some spiritsforsaken concoction of bestiality and (reverse?) necrophilia and disloyalty and furry and OMG. I mean the only part of that whole damn part of it that I can sign off on is the whole “slaughtering murlocs” thing, because let’s face it, who’s not down for good wholesome murloc slaughter? Other than the murlocs, I suppose. But who knows, maybe not. I know if I were a murloc, I would fucking hate me.
Hang on, though.
Jog my memory here, Sintra… aren’t you a blood elf chick? Because if so, and she’s… that might…
No. No. Never mind. Sticking with the dead-murloc-lone-highlight position. The end. Turn the page. Ahem.
I’ll be in my bunk.
[Keep those letter coming! Send e-mail to email@example.com or use the form below. Next mailbag July 6!]
* In case you missed that debacle from MoP beta, here.
[The adventures of Spaz Slade continue tomorrow! Also, a HUGE thank you to Khizzara, who is responsible for the idea of doing a noir comic. (Or, alternatively, if you were rolling your eyes most of the way through this one…um…blame her!)
Time for the fashion show at last! It’s taken me a lot of time to get all the Transmogs for Shay entries sorted out, but I’m finally ready to declare some winners and, more importantly, show off the full gamut of sartorial goodies that many of you have sent my way!
A few preliminaries: Thank you to everyone who submitted entries! It was a lot of fun to pore over your designs (even for someone like me, who has never once transmogged anything, ever) (No, really.) and imagine how they might look on everyone’s new favorite half-draenei girl. Choosing winners was extremely difficulty, and honestly, if you wiped my memory and asked me to do it again, I might very well chose different ones — it really was an embarrassment of riches. As such, by the way, I make no guarantees that I won’t dip into more of these outfits if I decide to get ambitious with Shayari’s wardrobe at some point. In fact, I’d say it’s likely that I will. With proper in-blog acknowledgement, of course!
To make the imminent outpouring of fashion more manageable, I’m breaking the outfits down into various categories. Otherwise, the transmogs are listed in the completely arbitrary order that they ended up in the folder I keep for blog images. Apologies if the layout of pictures gets a little messy at times; WordPress doesn’t seem to have the more cooperative editor in the world where these matters are concerned. I’ve included links when available, and tried to link back to the blogs of any other bloggers who submitted entries (please tell at me if I missed you).
And so, with no further ado…on to the transmogs!
N.S.F.G. (Not Safe For Gurtash)
Somehow, I knew this category was going to be necessary. Even though one of the contest criteria was that the outfits needed to be something that could be safely entrusted to Gurtash to draw…well…you know what tends to happen with transmog. Still, I’d decided well in advance that I was going to include all the entries here, so let’s see how some of you sick, sick individuals decided to torment our poor, teenage trainee…
Sintra, don’t say I didn’t warn you if/when Garrosh turns up at your house.
Somehow, I knew someone was going to stick Shay in a bikini. Aliok ended up doing the honors with this number, pointing out rightly that every girl needs a beach outfit, especially with the nice beach near Sen’jin Village. She’s right, of course, but I shudder to imagine what would happen if Gurtash had to draw this…or, for that matter, if Garrosh caught Shayari hanging out with the trolls.
While Aliok was at it, though, she apparently went to the trouble of working up links for an assortment of items compiled by none other than Bob himself. No, really. Aliok writes that Bob informed her, “Dese be for Gurtash so he being practicing his art skills, hahaHA!” Our first offering, such as it is, is for Noblegarden parties:
Next up from Bob, Shay sporting a variation of the dress that I’ve come to think of as the Soridormi gown:
Next, Bob digs out the Lovely Purple Dress to offer a little “celebrity style“:
Um, yeah, thanks, Aliok. Gurtash says thanks, too. Somewhat less sarcastically. (I know, I know. Fucking troll…)
DRAENEI WITH A BLUE DRESS ON (Color May Vary)
Now for some of the real entries! First up, a look at the assortment of dresses, gowns, and robes that were submitted. Since Shayari is a mage, and somewhat girly to boot, I figured these would be a key part of her wardrobe.
First up, we have this look from Myriade, who describes the outfit as “Shay Goes Garrosh” (note all the skulls and spikes — her father would be proud!). It’s actually an impressive way of infusing the robe with a bloodthirsty vibe that you wouldn’t normally associate with mages, and definitely suits Shay’s background:
Next, a set of gowns and dresses from Kaneka. This first one is built around the Gown of Blaumeux; I especially love the choice of matching staff. Honestly, this look would be a serious contender if I weren’t so utterly intimidated by the thought of trying to draw it, because I know my paltry cartooning skills would fail to do it justice.
Next up from Kaneka, an aerial-themed look built around the Windchaser Robes. Again, great coordination with the staff; maybe a tiny bit N.S.F.G, but whatever, the kid can just deal.
And one more from Kaneka (I would comment on what it’s based on, but I don’t have a link for this one, just the screenshot):
This outfit from ZugZug, which she describes as “formal attire,” is another outfit that’s maybe possibly slightly N.S.F.G., but I’ll be damned if Shay wouldn’t wear it well:
This outfit from Ritaba, based on the Flirtation Regalia, comes in two forms, one with a robe and one with a vest; Ritaba notes that she prefers the vest, but I’m a bit partial to the robe version myself. Either way, it’s a terrific, understated look, though it’s another one that I worry might lose something in translation (read: simplification) into comic form.
Rinike had posted this transmog previously on her eponymous blog (your homework: go look up “eponymous”), but sent these images along for Shayari’s perusal. I’ll always associate this style of wizard hat/mask with early Cataclysm, Shadowfang Keep especially.
Next up, from Toka, a classic robe that many of us will remember from our Burning Crusade days:
Khizzara, longstanding WCB conspirator, secret identity of warrior-in-training Korrina, and author of Blog of the Treant, offers her “Spellbinder” look, complete with a myriad of angles and close-ups. The halo is a great touch, I think, even if Shay may be a little too much of a stinker to earn one the conventional way…
From Ayalea, we have the Green Wedding Hanbok. (Just don’t tell Garrosh what the dress is supposed to mean…) (Or, maybe tell him, so he’ll know to run like hell if he ever sees Garona coming at him with one of these on…)
This simple but elegant robe from Malauch was a difficult cut. I love the look of it, love the simple but effective use of the red and gold to offset the dark gray, but ended up reluctantly leaving it off the final list mainly due to reservations about how well a heavily-black costume would play in comic form.
Another gown from Malauch, this time drawing on purple and green highlights with a kinda-sorta mock-turtleneck style that you don’t see all that much.
Matakoa of Sugar & Blood brings us a vaguely priest-like look for Shayari:
And, finally, from Repgrind (known in-blog as Giska and Wega) of Reputation Grind fame, a very cool-looking robe that also falls into the “I think I would be afraid to try to draw this” category. (Yes, my artistic cowardice is likely to become an ongoing theme.)
GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE
Before we move on from robes and dresses altogether, I should point out one phenomenon that I noticed while sorting out entries: a few of you have very similar tastes! In particular, there were a handful of entries that all drew on the Astralaan Robe (or a very similar look)
First up, from Kaneka:
Then, Ayalea had the same idea, minus the shoulders and plus a rose:
I really like this look, actually, in all its forms. It occurred to me, though, that if you look at the Astralaan Robe closely, it’s actually very nearly identical to Shayari’s signature blue dress, apart from using a different color palette. As such, as much as I like this look, I felt that it kind of defeats the idea of infusing Shayari’s outfits with some variety. That said…don’t bet against me using this color scheme as a cheap-and-easy way to add a further illusion of variety to Shay’s looks.
THE FOOL THAT MOGGED HER PANTS
Sure, dresses and robes are the signature mage look, but Shay also needs some options that use a vest or other top matched with pants. As some of our wisest sages have noted, after all, nothing better shows your taste than what you wear below your waist.
Our first top-and-pants style outfit comes from Beltrine, who notes that if Shayari worries about Garrosh doubting their relation, she might go with this look to drive the connection home (complete with tusks on her shoulders, and a staff that could pass for an axe):
From ZugZug, her “Ready for Anything” look, which…call me crazy, but if you look at this outfit quickly then turn away, doesn’t it seem like something Michael Jackson might have worn…?
Another entry from Sintra E’Drien, who clearly loves his wizard hats (and who can blame him?):
ZugZug brings us “Battle Mage Shayari“, who’s looking pretty damn badass here, especially with that is-it-a-staff-or-is-it-a-tridenty-kinda-axe that she’s wielding:
Another entry from Toka, who mixes her colors in a way here that makes this outfit look vaguely shaman- or druid-like to me:
From Rakael (the alter ego of old friend Ruekie), we have a suit with a bit of Spanish flair; Rakael notes that Don Carlos’ Famous Hat would finish the ensemble…if it wouldn’t look rather ridiculous in Shay’s case:
Aliok describes this outfit as “semi-formal”, with optional helm, gloves, bracers, shoulders, and cloak in the link, though they’re really not needed for the outfit to stand on its own:
From Ayalea, here’s a possible “work outfit” for Shayari:
This one is the first of a pair from Malauch, in this case providing an obvious case of an item Shay really should have in her wardrobe somewhere: jeans!
Meanwhile, his second entry is a really terrific vest combo, one of the tougher cuts of any of the submissions:
These outfits might never see the light of day (or maybe they might!), but they’re all unified by being very specific looks for very specific situations. Continue on; you’ll get the idea quickly enough.
For instance, in case I ever come up with a story in which our characters go sailing, Toka gives us Pirate Shay:
Aliok, meanwhile, offers this outfit — which Shay could wear in the event she goes to a rave — with the disclaimer that she doesn’t really expect me to draw it, but just wanted to assault my eyeballs. If my eyeballs are going to get assaulted, I’m taking the rest of you people with me, so here we go:
In more practical terms, Aliok also picked out some pajamas for Shayari:
AAAAAAAND THE WINNERS ARE…
And now for the big moment. The winners! As I said earlier, this was a very tough call to make, so in order to make things a little more manageable, I decided to break the three winning entries into three different types of outfit, with the idea being that the whole point of the exercise was to build some variety into Shay’s different looks. So, our winners consist of one dress/robe-type outfit, one pants/vest outfit, and one top/skirt combo. Which leaves us with…
Now, granted, the top here is more than a little N.S.F.G, but in ways that are easy enough to work around for comic-rendering purposes. More importantly, though, I love the fact that this combination works with a clearly distinct set of top and skirt, as opposed to the full-body robe and vest-and-pants alternatives that comprise almost all the clothie outfits you usually see. Also, with spring approaching, this struck me as a great seasonal outfit (especially for Noblegarden…without turning Shay into a Playorc Bunny). The semi-sorta-handbag offhand is just icing on the cake.
Winner #2: From Sintra E’Drien, the winner of the robe/gown category:
As I’ve said, people sent in a ton of great dresses, and I doubt that this will be the only one that will find its way into the blog. But of all the options, this is the one that stood out the most to me. Visually interesting without being overly complicated, elegant, just a terrific caster look. Bonus point for affording me a chance to work some purple into Shay’s wardrobe (think in terms of the potential symbolism of blending red and blue).
Winner #3: From Aliok, in the vest-and-pants category, Shayari’s “barfight” attire:
A change of pace for Shayari that I just couldn’t resist. The jeans and vest strike just the right balance between cool and casual, and as Aliok pointed out in her submission, the brassy hands (and the overall look) give Shay the look of someone ready to trade blows in some rowdy tavern somewhere. And I don’t think it’ll come as a shock to anyone that Shay has her father’s right hook.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
Remember when I said how hard it was to make these picks? Well, I’m weaseling out of some of the final decision-making, and handing that responsibility off to YOU, the Warchief’s LOYAL READERS AND MINIONS. I’ve decided to add a fourth winner to the contest — to be determined by all of you! Check out the five candidates below, and vote in the poll at the end of this post!
Finalist #1 – Snow Blossom: Our first contender was submitted by Dragonray from Azerothian Life, who even posted the outfit in a blog entry a few weeks ago:
A little more formal than some other looks, but still simple and classy. Bonus points for the off-hand fan, which will fit in especially nicely if Shayari finds her way to a clothier in Pandaria at some point.
Finalist #2 – My Robe and Wizard Hat: From Sintra, this one is a variation of a similar outfit he’d also submitted, but with a color scheme that I thought suited Shayari a bit better (in general, I think reds and blues suit her a little better than greens):
Besides, you know I had to toss at least one classic wizard hat into the mix.
Finalist #3 – Scarlet Sindorei Robe: From Khizzara, this robe set includes an alternate look using a Replica Magister’s Crown for the head:
Just a beautiful all-around look, as illustrated by some of the close-up detail shows Khizzara provided.
Finalist #4 – Antiquity: Khizzara wasn’t done yet, though, because she still had this gem” in her pocket:
In her submission, Kash (a.k.a. Khiz) noted that most of the pieces in the outfit are pretty optional, as the gown itself can stand on its own. I’m inclined to agree; not only does it work perfectly well as an outfit by itself, but it does so with a style and elegance that you don’t see in many other cloth pieces.
Finalist #5 – Indiana Shay: I knew there was going to be at least one more vest/pants combo in here, and after wavering between a few excellent options, the nod finally went to this outfit from Malauch:
Cool, stylish, and strikes a nice balance between being adventurous enough for Shayari to wear while crawling through some dungeon and being dressy enough for her to keep on for more professional matters back home. Bonus points for the hat (even though I’m not 100% sure it would make it into cartoon form…but I would try!), which makes me feel like Shay must be a secret Harrison Jones fan.
So, those are our candidates! Now it’s time for you to make your voices heard:
Congratulations to all our winners, and thanks once again to everyone who submitted entries to the contest — the response was far greater than I was expecting, and the quality of submissions across the board made it much, much harder to pick my favorites than I was prepared for. But, it’s not over yet — get voting!
[A few final programming notes: A reminder, tomorrow night — Saturday, March 8 — we’ll have having this month’s SoO Meta Raid, starting at approximately 8:00 PM Eastern. As always, everyone is welcome to join in the fun; you can reach me on RealID as Averry#1116. Since Averry is finally, FINALLY on the last stage of his legendary quest, I might try to coerce a few people to hop on a few minutes early to help me fight some Celestials..
More on the way soon, but I’ll toss in a disclaimer now: There are a couple posts coming up that will be very labor intensive to assemble — bear with me while I work on them, and I promise I’ll try to make the wait worthwhile.]
[Each week, a post will profile one of the blog’s many supporting players. (See the first profile for more details.) Feel free to chime in with recommendations for other characters you’d like to see more about.]
Occupation: Horde military trainee, apprentice blacksmith, part-time ore miner
Class: Warrior (arms)
Group affiliations: Horde (member), Dead Peons Society (a.k.a. “DPS,” member and resident badass)
Along with many of her fellow DPS trainees, Korrina accompanied the Warchief to Pandaria and continued her training there, in part under the guidance of Mag’har blademasters Krimpatul, Burzum, and Ishi.
Korrina and the other trainees joined Krimpatul on an ill-fated mission to secure the Temple of the Red Crane for the Horde, beginning in “Departures.” In “Fear leads to anger,” Garrosh learned of an Alliance victory at the temple that appeared to claim the lives of the trainees; unknown to the Warchief, Krimpatul led the trainees into hiding in a nearby system of caves, as detailed in “Reports of my demise” parts 1 and 2.
At the urging of Elder Cloudfall, Garrosh traveled to the temple grounds to investigate the trainees’ disappearance. There, after accidentally falling into the underground caverns, he found Korrina and the rest of the DPS, in “Buried treasure.” This post marked Korrina’s first formal appearance in the blog and the first time she’s referenced by name. Garrosh and the trainees eventually made their escape from the caves, though not before Korrina demonstrated her badassery on some unsuspecting saurok. (And she would have put the hurt on Varian, too, if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids Gurtash and Ruekie…)
For those keeping score at home, DPS members who have been named thus far are Korrina, Gurtash, Ruekie, Giska, and Kulkesh (our main players in the Krasarang story); Ruekie’s twin sister Tuekie; and Lok’osh, who was killed in the saurok cave.
Korrina is based on the baby arms warrior of long-time WCB co-conspirator Khizzara, author of Blog of the Treant. Many thanks to Khizzara for letting me steal her character, and for her many contributions to her character – including a large portion of the in-character responses that follow!
In his/her own words:
Describe your relationship with your mother or your father. Was it good? Bad? Were you spoiled rotten, ignored? Do you still get along now, or no?
Well, I don’t know who my dad is. My mom never talks about him. I think he was killed in honorable combat like a true orc hero, but his death made mom sad so she doesn’t say much. She doesn’t talk about my greatparents either. They probably died in the 2nd or 3rd war? I’m not sure… I should ask but sooooo awkward!
My mom is pretty cool though. Good in a fight. She’s not as famous as some of my relatives, though…
Mom was a pretty good mom, I guess. She had to go off and fight and stuff when I was small, something about how her axe was super special, and she had to go chop down an important tree or something.
…Okay, I know that sounds lame, but it was harder than it sounds, okay?
Anyway, since my dad is dead, I had to stay in the orphanage while she was gone to war. That happens to everyone, though, so whatev. She’s back now but I’M off at war. I write to her, though, so she won’t worry too much.
What are your most prominent physical features?
My totes awesome purple mohawk!!! And my bulging biceps LOL
Name one scar you have, and tell us where it came from. If you don’t have any, is there a reason?
Only ONE!!?? I’m a WARRIOR, I’m MADE of scars! Okay, hmm… Well, most are just nicks and cuts and things, but once, when I was pretty little, I was playing on top of the old bank in Orgrimmar, the one before Warchief Garrosh rebuilt things, and I slipped and fell and landed on the cactus in front of the door! So all these cactus needles went through my left arm and leg and had to be removed, so I have all these evenly spaced circular scars there. It looks pretty cool, actually.
How vain are you? Do you find yourself attractive?
Um… I guess I’m pretty average looking?? I never thought about it much. Looks aren’t important when you’re usually covered in dirt, sweat, and blood, anyway.
Describe your happiest memory.
This is maybe stupid, but once while mom was away my uncle Varok came to visit me at the Org orphanage — well, I guess he was visiting Warchief Thrall, but he spent a whole day with me. He showed me some cool fighting moves and bought me ice cream and a little teddy bear (which I still have, shh!) and let me stay up real late while he told me stories. It was a pretty chilly night (it gets cold in the desert after dark), but I didn’t want him to send me to bed, and orcs are tough, so I didn’t complain. And it was a really clear night, so he pointed out all the major constellations in the night sky, and we watched the Blue Child come up.
What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? Color? Song? Flower?
Strawberry. Deep purple (like my hair!). Power of the Horde by the ETC! Twilight jasmine is pretty, and purple too!
Who do you trust?
I trust my fellow DPS with my life. And my captain/Warchief Garrosh. Never go into battle with people you don’t trust.
I also trust my axe, Lizardbane. (I named it that because it’s great for killing saurok!)
Can you define a turning point in your life? Multiples are acceptable.
– When my mom went to war and I had to live at the orphanage
– When I started warrior training
– When I went with the DPS to Pandaria
How are you with technology? Super savvy, or way behind the times? Letters or e-mail?
I’m not a goblin or a nerd, but yeah, I grew up with computers, so I know some tech stuff. Letters or email? LOL it’s not like I’m old and in my 20s or something. I just text or whatev. Unless it needs to be more official, and then it depends on how urgent the message is. Birthday card for Uncle Varok? Snail mail. Homework? E-mail. And if I really need to send a message, I find that AXE to the FACE works pretty well.
What does your bed look like when you wake up? Are the covers off on one side of the bed, are they all curled around a pillow, sprawled everywhere? In what position do you sleep?
I sleep on my side with my hand on Lizardbane. Usually I wrap the blanket all around myself kinda like a cocoon. I don’t need a blanket though. A warrior can sleep anywhere, anytime!
How do you react to temperature changes such as extreme heat and cold?
I endure them without complaint.
Are you an early morning bird or a night owl?
Night owl. Do NOT talk to me before 10 am unless you want an AXE to the FACE.
Are there any blood relatives that you are particularly close with, besides the immediate ones? Cousins, uncles, grandfathers, aunts, etc. Are there any others that you practically consider a blood relative?
I love my Uncle Varok, but I don’t get to see him much. He’s stationed in Northrend. This is going to sound dumb, but I want to be as awesome as he is someday.
My cousin Dranosh was a cool guy, but he was way older than me, so I didn’t know him much. I was sad when he died, though.
I didn’t really meet my uncle Brox.
I guess I’m mostly on my own, but it’s okay because the DPS is like family.
What does you desk/workspace look like? Are you neat or messy?
I keep my weapons and gear neat and tidy because well-maintained gear is gear that keeps you alive! Otherwise… well, just… don’t look in my bags, okay?
Do you have any irrational fears?
I fear failing to protect my friends, but that seems pretty rational to me. I’m also kinda scared of falling off buildings and landing on cactus. Cactuses. Cactusi?
What would your cutie mark be?
Your skull with my axe through it for asking something so stupid.
If you could time travel, where would you go?
Knowing the Bronze Dragonflight, it’s probably a matter of WHEN, not IF. And I doubt I’ll have much choice in the matter of where. But I guess I’d like to see Draenor… the old Draenor, before it shattered. When the orc clans were still brown and strong.
What might your ideal romantic partner be?
I’ve never thought about it. I guess… strong, confident, skilled in combat, smart (no peons please!), tough, loyal, honorable… a real ORC man, you know?
But I dunno, seems like a bad idea to fall in love. Everyone dies young, so you either lose them, or they lose you, and your kids grow up in the orphanage.
Describe your hands. Are they small, long, calloused, smooth, stubby?
Why? That’s kinda creepy. Do you have some hand fetish or something?
They’re strong and wield a big axe. Think about that when you ask questions.
What’s your favorite comfort food, favorite vice, favorite outfit, favorite hot drink, favorite time of year, and favorite holiday?
Pulled pork. Um, what? I don’t think I have any of those. My armor. Hot cocoa! Autumn. Brewfest. Um! I mean! WINTER VEIL. Yes. Winter Veil. >.>
How do you smell? Do you wear perfume or cologne?
Strong hands. Big axe. Remember? Get away from me, you creeper!
Besides, I’m standing right in front of you. What are you going to ask next, what I’m wearing? When I’m standing right in front of you?
But come on, I’m a warrior! I wear plate armor and do vigorous physical activity all day. I don’t smell of roses. Idiot.
[A few reminders and announcements! First and foremost, last call for the Transmogs for Shayari contest – today is the last day to send your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve already gotten many great outfits, and will be looking forward to seeing a few more before the day is out.
Along those lines, I’m planning to put together a pretty big post next weekend, showing off the wide range of looks that folks have offered for everyone’s favorite half-draenei girl. (Sorry, Garona. Don’t come after me.) In order to give myself room to put that post together, without derailing the blog’s main continuity too much, I’m also going to skip next week’s 30 Days profile. I’ll have a new profile haphazardly slapped together the following week (or weekend, most likely). Any requests, as far as whom?
And speaking of next weekend, just a reminder that we’ll be having our next installment of the SoO meta raid. As always, all are welcome; as always, feel free to add Averry#1116 on RealID to reach me to come join the fun.
And finally, one more item to look forward to next week: It’s mailbag time! The Warchief is already busy sorting through his mail, but he can always use more. Use the e-mail address above or the handy form below to submit your thoughts and questions before it’s too late!]
[A few weeks ago, Rades and Vidyala over at From Draenor With Love came up with a pretty neat use of the “30 Days of Character Development” meme that’s been floating around. Rades and Vid answered a selection of the questions, in character, in a pair of posts that offered a look at their Azerothian namesakes.
I loved this idea, and so, with a grateful nod and salute to Rades and Vid, I’m going to kick off my own variation. My take is going to be spread the original 30 days over 30 weeks, with one post per week. Each post will highlight one of the supporting (or not-so-supporting) characters in the blog. I’ll include a selection of the original 30 questions, answered, a la R&V, in character, plus an assortment of additional information. Those among you who, like me, grew up poring over comic book compendia like the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe may see a definite influence.
In the process, I think I may be able to give a few entertaining tidbits on some familiar faces, provide new readers (and old) an additional shortcut for getting a sense of who’s who, and also compile a sort of “blog bible” of character information (something I’ve been wanting to get around to for a while, for my own reference).
Every week (I hope!), you can expect to see one of these profiles. While it’s possible that they may end up with a set day, I don’t plan to lock it in quite so tightly; much more likely, I’ll use the profiles to fill out the week’s posts without (hopefully) breaking up the main continuity too much. Feel free to chime in with whom you’d like to see featured! (Yes, Repgrind, I know. We’ll get to Faranell eventually, I promise.)]
Name: Spazzle Fizzletrinket
Occupation: Tech consultant to the Warchief, part-time blogger, Earth Online guild leader
Class: Shaman (enhancement)
Group affiliations: Horde (citizen), Bilgewater Cartel (member), Fizzletrinket Technologies (a tech startup that, admittedly, hasn’t been particularly active since the development of the TranslationMaster2000; owner)
Earth Online notes: Current guild leader of <Warchief>, appointed by Garrosh while the Warchief is stuck with an unreliable wireless connection in Pandaria. Also administers <Warchief> guild web site. Main toon MrBadCrumble (class unknown). Had attended three straight EarthCons until missing this past year’s, due to being too busy freaking out over one of his friends being killed (this one didn’t take), charged with treason, banished from the Horde, and killed again (this one evidently did).
Spazzle first introduced Garrosh to online gaming in “Earth Online”, set him up with a wireless network (which Garrosh historically calls “why fly”) in Grommash Hold in “Doing some gaming…”, and brought him along for a trip to EarthCon (at which Genesis Entertainment revealed their plans for the “Land Down Under” expansion) in “EarthCon.”
After Garrosh created the Earth Online guild <Warchief>, Spazzle set him up with an addon to save a record of guild chat in “Welcome to [Warchief]”, the blog’s first guild chat log.
After being banished from the Horde, but before disappearing to locations unknown, Mokvar met with Spazzle in “Spazzle Speaks: Parting Gifts” to entrust him with custody of his recall totem, a shaman relic connected to the Astral Recall spell. While Spazzle was holding the totem, its elemental energy fizzled out – something that would normally only occur as a result of a shaman’s permanent death. This development is first covered in “The Goblin is Always Greener” and further explored in “Spazzle Speaks: Dead End.”
As shown in several of the guild chat logs, Spazzle has become one of Ji Firepaw’s closest friends in the Horde since the disappearance of Mokvar.
In His Own Words:
Describe your relationship with your mother or your father, or both. Was it good? Bad? Were you spoiled rotten, ignored? Do you still get along now, or no?
My father and uncle both died when I was little, in a freak giant-rampaging-robot-gorilla accident. I won’t bore you with the details, we all know how those go. My mom and aunt split a two-family duplex-in-a-box and raised me and my cousin Khizzara together. We weren’t rich, but we weren’t exactly hurting for money after the robot gorilla settlement. So I guess Zzara and I got pretty accustomed to getting the toys we wanted. Maybe spoiled, a little? I didn’t really learn to be too independent until I had to. Mom didn’t make it out of Kezan when the Cataclysm hit.
Who do you trust?
Khizzara – she’s more like a sister to me than a cousin. Mokvar, despite everything. Ji. Thrall. I trust Garrosh and Vol’jin both, in their way, but I think they both have some serious blinders on.
Can you define a turning point in your life? Multiples are acceptable.
Definitely the Cataclysm. I lost my mom, as well as my home back on Kezan. It led to me meeting Thrall, becoming a (fairly crappy) shaman, joining the Horde. And then of course there’s everything that’s come with moving to Orgrimmar and starting to work for Garrosh. So it’s really easy to divide my life into two periods, B.C. (Before Cataclysm) and A.D. (After Deathwing).
How are you with technology? Super savvy, or way behind the times? Letters or e-mail?
Oh man! I’m all about the newest tech. Some days I’ll burn up a whole afternoon, just tinkering around, trying to come up with my own advances. They…usually don’t go completely to spec, but still! I’m generally a lot better with electronics than with machinery – if you’re building a robot, I’m totally the guy to design its brain, but you probably shouldn’t come to me first if you need to install a new arm. E-mail, definitely. My handwriting is pretty terrible because I type so much more than I write by hand.
What’s your desk/workspace look like? Are you neat or messy?
Organized chaos. It looks like a giant mess, with piles of stuff on top of piles of other stuff, but I know what’s in all of the piles.
What would your cutie mark be?
Um… Am I supposed to know what that means?
What’s your favorite comfort food, favorite vice, favorite outfit, favorite hot drink, favorite time of year, and favorite holiday?
The pandaren have these noodles that are really great comfort food, plus they only cost…like…five copper a pack. I don’t know how they turn a profit on them. Favorite vice is probably…I don’t know…wasting waaaaaaaay too much time screwing around on the internet. There isn’t one outfit that I like best, but I’m pretty fond of a bunch of the t-shirts I have. Earl grey tea. Autumn, right when the leaves are starting to turn. Hallow’s End.
If your life were a genre, what would it be?
Definitely a comic book. And that’s even before you figure in the Gurtash factor.
[One last OOC note: The sharp-eyed among you may have noticed that the comic panel excerpted above (featuring Spazzle with Garrosh and Liadrin) doesn’t look familiar. Consider it a preview — Gurtash strikes again in another day or two!]
As promised in my last post, here’s an overview of the state of the blog. I realize that after two years of accumulated in-jokes and storylines, the Command Board may be a bit disorienting to a newcomer (or, for that matter, to a long-time reader who blinked at the wrong time), so I’ve tried to break this down into a semi-sorta-kinda FAQ. Most of this will be familiar to long-time readers (though I’ve also included a few behind-the-scenes notes that some of you might find interesting), but I hope it’ll explain a few things for new arrivals.
I hate Garrosh! Why does Garrosh seem so sympathetic in this blog? Are you one of those Garrosh apologists/fanboys?
Comically enough, I originally started the blog because I really didn’t like Garrosh either, and saw the blog as a way to have a few chuckles mocking him. It wasn’t long, though, before I decided that I would get sick of the outright-mockery approach pretty quickly, so I started branching out. Part of the result was letting blog-Garrosh become (I hope) a bit more multifaceted, while still remaining true to his temperamental self. Including the LOLs.
Ultimately, I don’t set out to justify anything Garrosh does, just to present it in a way that makes sense in light of the character, and if that pushes a black-and-white scenario into some shade of gray, well, that makes for a more interesting story anyway. And, keep in mind, the story here is being told, generally, from Garrosh’s point of view, so I don’t know how that perspective wouldn’t be sympathetic. Everyone is the hero of their own story, after all, and nobody thinks they’re a bad person.
Why isn’t there anything here about the siege of Orgrimmar?
What are you talking about? There was a post titled “The siege of Orgrimmar” a good solid year ago – if anything, shouldn’t you be asking why Blizzard is coming so late to the party? (By the way, I didn’t realize until just now that patch 5.4 was released almost exactly on the one-year anniversary of the “Siege or Orgrimmar” post. How awesomely freaky is that?)
Anyway, to give a real answer: Time-wise, the blog has not yet reached the events of patch 5.4. The storyline is currently playing out the midst of 5.2; Lor’themar Theron and Jaina Proudmoore have recently set up shop on the Isle of Thunder, while Vol’jin is still recovering from his injuries at Shado-Pan Monastery.
This time lag between the game and the blog, by the way, is partly by design. I’d always intended the blog to run a bit behind the game; coming into MoP, I realized that if I tried to follow in-game events too closely, I wouldn’t have time to adapt my own ideas to fit Blizzard’s story. There have already been a few instances in which Blizzard’s story has taken a turn that’s forced me to change gears in a way that would have been disastrous if I didn’t have a month or two of lead time. Of course, I’m clearly more than a month or two behind – that’s been a result of various real-life circumstances slowing down my output over the last few months. I’m working on it!
So the blog basically retells in-game events, from Garrosh’s point of view?
Yes and no. The blog operates within Blizzard’s continuity (with the aforementioned time delay), but also weaves additional storylines in and around the canonical Blizzard plots. Anything that happens or is stated explicitly in-game is canon, obviously, and the blog is bound by it.* That said, I sometimes like to put other stories around Blizzard’s, to give them context that might change the way those events are perceived. (This was a large part of my motivation for the Timequake story leading into Theramore, or, more recently, the blog events surrounding the Divine Bell / Domination Offensive storyline.)
Also, while the point of view is mostly Garrosh’s, there are some posts that present events from other perspectives. Most notable are the “guest” posts by Spazzle (Garrosh’s tech goblin), which help fill in story details that Garrosh wouldn’t necessarily be privy to. You can always identify a post written by someone other than Garrosh by the color of the text – Spazzle’s posts, for instance, are always written in green text, and almost always include the phrase “Spazzle Speaks” in the title. Also, as a rule of thumb, when Spazzle et al post, Garrosh remains oblivious to anything that might be revealed; the conceit at work here is that Garrosh doesn’t really care what anyone else is writing, so he doesn’t bother reading it.
* The one instance that I’ve flat-out fudged in-game details is the way I’ve chosen to incorporate the events of “A Little Patience.” From the Alliance point of view, that scenario takes place almost immediately after Varian arrives in Pandaria; in the blog, I’ve pushed those events a bit later in the story. This was largely a matter of convenience: I knew that I wanted there to be a military operation in Krasarang in which Garrosh’s trainees went missing, and I realized fairly late in the going that “A Little Patience” lent itself to that story pretty readily. Hopefully those Alliance-side readers out there will be willing to turn a blind eye to my blatant and shameless revision. (Horde bias rears its ugly head again! GRR!)
Garrosh has trainees? When did that happen?
Right here! As part of the escalation of the war effort, the Kor’kron started a training program to prepare orc teenagers for eventual military service. When Garrosh learned that Gurtash – an orc boy from the Orgrimmar orphanage whom Garrosh had taken under his wing – had been conscripted, Garrosh volunteered to take Gurtash’s trainee group under his own supervision. (Side note: In my head-canon, Garrosh has a bit of a soft spot for the orphans, being as he is one himself.) The trainees, who have nicknamed themselves the Dead Peons Society (DPS for short) have accompanied Garrosh to Pandaria and joined him on a few adventures. Fairly recently, they went missing after the Horde loss in the “A Little Patience” scenario, and were eventually found by Garrosh, hiding away in an underground system of caves. That’s brought us up to the point where we are now, story-wise: Garrosh and the trainees underground, looking for a way out.
Is the entire supporting cast from within the game?
Mostly, but not entirely. I’ve invented a few characters for the blog – Spazzle being the highest-profile – but I’ve tried to keep it limited, and tried to restrict those characters to fairly peripheral positions in the lore. The one glaring exception was the storyline involving Garrosh’s mother, Lakkara, who isn’t mentioned anywhere in the actual lore. It just struck me as odd that there’s no record of who she was, or what happened to her, and besides, in a mythology packed to capacity with father/son relationships, I thought it was about time somebody’s mom got a little screen time.
Otherwise, when a character turns up who doesn’t exist in-game, that character was often inspired by a reader and/or based on someone’s game character. For instance, both Gurtash and Mortimer (Garrosh’s personal wyvern) became blog characters thanks to mailbag letters from Khizzara from Blog of the Treant; Khizzara’s own namesake has made a few appearances as Spazzle’s cousin; doodle-prone kitty druid Taktani became a full-fledged character (and boy, is she ever a character) after making several mailbag contributions; and many of the DPS trainees are modeled on the baby orc alts of friends.
In general, though, if you see a supporting character turn up whose name you don’t recognize, the smartest first guess is that he or she is based on a questgiver or other NPC somewhere in-game. (Wowpedia is your friend!) I deliberately picked a lot of relatively minor NPCs – people like Mokvar, Elder Cloudfall, and Dontrag and Utvoch – to use as supporting characters because I figured their relatively peripheral status gave me more latitude to work with them, give them backstories, etc. After all, what are the odds that Blizzard would actually do something with one of these people to contradict my own concoctions?
(Either way, if you’re not sure who someone is, I’ve also maintained a partial list of supporting players on the About the Blog page, including some of the more pertinent information about them.)
Speaking of which – in the SoO raid, Mokvar is a mini-boss! Isn’t he missing? How are you going to deal with that?
First… um, yeah, that whole “no way they’re gonna do something with this guy” really blew up in my face on this one, huh?
And second… So, everyone who thought I was going to lay out this big storyline for Mokvar, and make such a production out of his disappearance…and then have it turn out that he really is dead…step forward.
Didn’t think so.
For those of you unclear on Mokvar’s whole story, which has been unfolding gradually for quite a while, you can check here for a brief overview and links to the relevant posts. Very short version: After becoming the victim of a mysterious attack, Mokvar sets out to track down a powerful relic from his warlock days, with the aid of a human named Deliana (who was Mokvar’s Alliance equivalent in the old dungeon set quests); over the course of his quest, he starts to behave increasingly strangely, culminating in his eventual flight from arrest in Orgrimmar. His whereabouts are now unknown.
Stay tuned. You’ll see where this is going!
With Mokvar gone, how are you handling the transcripts?
Prelinimary: The blog contains several transcripts of conversations that Garrosh has engaged in. The premise from the outset has been that Mokvar is (or was) Garrosh’s personal scribe, and records all these conversations for posting. This explains, by the way, a number of occasions when Garrosh mentions summoning Mokvar to an event, or otherwise noting Mokvar’s presence, as a way of leading in to a transcript.
Since Mokvar is off the grid, Garrosh has passed transcription duties to two people: Gurtash, who records his transcripts in the form of comics; and Taktani, a friend of Dontrag and Utvoch and long-time mailbag contributor, who’s started to (and will continue to) write a few transcripts, laden with her own unassuming brand of commentary.
What are these guild chat logs that keep cropping up?
Garrosh and several of the supporting characters play an MMORPG called Earth Online – the basic premise being that, to these characters, Azeroth is reality, and our real world is actually the game world of the MMO. Garrosh started his own guild, called <Warchief>, and several familiar faces (including Spazzle, Sylvanas, Lor’themar, Faranell, Garona, and Dontrag and Utvoch) are members. Also worth noting is that Jaina Proudmoore is a member of the guild…although she doesn’t realize (yet?) who her guildmates are in “real life.”
The guild chat logs recreate some of the exchanges that the members of <Warchief> have within their game, usually including regular guild chat, officer chat, and, in some cases, whispers. I make no pretense about the fact that some aspects of these logs are based on my own guild-chat expeiences, especially officer chat. The transcripts are always presented from the point of view of whoever posted them – usually Garrosh, but occasionally Spazzle.
Where did this whole thing about lemon squares come from?
Garrosh loves lemon squares. Don’t you?
Real explanation: Very early in the blog, Edenvale of The Gamer’s Fridge posted a recipe for Garrosh Hellscream’s lemon squares, and pointed me to her post with a comment on the Command Board. Since then, it’s become a bit of a running gag – the recipe, according to Garrosh, was his greatmother’s secret family recipe, and he was most perturbed that this random night elf had apparently gotten ahold of it.
What does “FYV” mean?
An abbreviation of one of Garrosh’s favorite turns of phrase, of course: “Fuck you, Varian!” Among other things, Garrosh often finds a way to slip that phrase into his EPIC VERSE compositions.
Speaking of which, what’s this “EPIC VERSE”? Garrosh writes poetry?
You sound surprised. Garrosh is an orc of many interests. What, do you think he’s some kind of one-note caricature or something?
Okay, fine, game-Garrosh kind of is.
Honestly, I just got a kick out of the obvious dichotomy of Garrosh Hellscream, gruffest of the gruff, also writing poetry on the side. True to form, Garrosh doesn’t view his compositions as just any poetry, so he prefers to call them EPIC VERSE. In caps. Always. It’s sprinkled throughout the blog – almost always in purple text, to stress its epic-ness – and ranges from limericks, to parodies of other famous poems, to reader requests, to epic rap battles.
So, that’s as much as I can think to cover. Other gaps can probably be filled in through the Major Storylines page, but if there are questions that anyone still has, in terms of getting caught up or clarified, by all means toss them into a comment and I’ll make sure it’s answered. And so, on that note, I’ll sigh off with the promise – unconditional promise! – that before the week is out, you’ll have the continuation of the actual STORY part of the story! Which left off, as you might recall, right here: