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Monday mailbag

Posted in Mailbag with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

mail19

So I was finally able to get a decent internet connection going again, long enough to get my mail sorted out, and I figured since I have a decent bunch of letters from you peeps, and I haven’t offered any mailbag love for a while, I might as well do just that.  Because you know me – your Warchief is nothing if not all about the love.

 

Hail, Warchief!

It’s my first weekend back in Silvermoon in I don’t know how long, and man, is the mood different around here these days. Whether you’re going to think that’s good news or bad news depends on how you interpret that.

Remember my first letter? The one where I was basically advocating high treason against the Regent-Lord? A lot of us used to be dissatisfied that he was doing a whole bunch of nothing. The impression around here, at least if you believe the spin from the Silvermoon Star-Tribune, is that the Regent-Lord’s approval numbers are way up since he started getting jiggy with it down in Pandaria. Yes, the Star-Tribune is calling what Lor’themar’s doing down there “decisive leadership” and “proactive management”. And the public seems to be buying it.

Either that, or they’re just glad that he’s somewhere else, and hoping he eats a Mogu hammer somewhere along the way. That’s the other way to look at it.

To be honest, I’m not sure which one I’m buying, yet. That’s something I’ll have to think about when I get back to Pandaria.

–A Concerned Citizen

Hey, ACC.  You know, my first reaction here is that people probably ARE a little happier about Lori because he’s been away.  Problem is, if that were true, you’d think that I would start finding him less annoying since he’s gone BACK to Silvermoon recently.  But…nope.  He high-tailed it out of Pandaria, then promptly made a big ol’ cluster fuck of that whole business with the sha box…and the less said about the sideshow going on in my Earth Online guild, the better.  I suppose it’s still a LITTLE less irritating, but only because I don’t have to listen to him live and in person.  At least until he comes strolling back down here again.

Also, not for nothing, but are you sure the reports in your little dorky newspaper are reliable?  Who’s doing the writing?  It’s amazing what a little propaganda can do for a ruler’s perception.  Or so I’ve heard.

 

Dear Warchief,

I’ve been following some of your interactions with Lord Theron and I was wondering if you limited your observations to him or if you think all Blood Elves are like that.

I’ve been in Pandaria just about since the beginning (but I can’t explain how Anduin got away–that was General Nazgrim’s job, not mine) and have tried to do my part for the Horde.  Also: Pandaren don’t seem to have barbers.  Anywhere.  Not a one on this damn continent.  You should give us credit for coming here anyways even with that sacrifice.

Respectfully,

–Vyrin Dawnstar, Shrine of Two Moons, Pandaria

P.S: If anyone told you about Anduin and the Temple of the Red Crane, I deny it all.  Not me.  Nope.  Must’ve been someone else helping him.  If that hasn’t been brought to your attention yet, please ignore this part.

Hmm…  Well, Vyrin, I guess that depends on what you mean by “all blood elves are like that.”  I mean, like what?  Spindly and break-easy-ish?  Because, well, sorry, but you guys kind of are.  A little too preoccupied with the uber-luxurious hair?  I refer you to your second paragraph.  (By the by, I think the lack of barbers in Pandaria is because the pandas just shed.  Can you imagine the cleanup crews you’d need in Silvermoon if the elves were like that?)  That said, I DON’T think all blood elves are like ol’ Eyepatch in the absolutely-completely-utterly-useless department.  I mean, Lady Liadrin has always struck me as pretty sharp and on top of things, and…um…okay, give me a minute here, I’m sure I can come up with a second example.

Hang on.

Um…

Okay, I’m going to have to get back to you on this, but seriously, I’ve got a…reasonably strong suspicion there’s at least one more I can name.

Also, though, what?  Anduin at the Temple of the Red Crane?  I’ve heard some scouting reports about that Red Crane place, actually.  I may have to do some followup on that place…

 

My Dearest Warchief,

That scar on your lip is so sexy. It makes you look very manly and tough. I’ve been wondering though how you got it. I’m sure there is some extraordinary tale of bravery and valor associated with it. I’d like to hear it.

Your devoted admirer,

–Wega

Hoo boy.  Here we go again with Wega.  So…yeah… For those of you who maybe haven’t noticed, Wega is talking about the scar I have on the right side of my upper lip:

scar

So, okay, I know you’d probably figure I got the scar from some glorious battle, or one of the times I’ve squared off with Varian, or something else like that, but as it turns out, it was really more of a fluke injury.  One night about a year and a half ago, give or take, I was trying to reorganize some of my junk in Grommash Hold, and I was stashing a couple boxes of stuff on a high shelf.  While I was stretching up to reach the shelf, I lost my footing and fell over.  Now, ordinarily that wouldn’t have been a big deal, except it just so happened that Mortimer was there with me, and was curled up on the floor sound asleep.  Until I slipped and fell, and landed right on top of him, and he was so startled that before he knew what was going on, he snapped at me.  And, yeah, got a nice chunk of my lip.

So, that was fun.

Gotta say, though, in a way it was kind of endearing afterward – once Mortimer knew what was going on, he DID act all sad and apologetic, and spent the next few days following me around trying to make nice.  Once again, wyverns are better people than most people.

Now granted, having my lip cut open by wyvern fangs wasn’t exactly fun, but depending on how you look at it, I still don’t think I’ve gotten the worst of it from Mortimer.  That honor probably goes to Malkorok.  A few weeks ago, I was talking to Malkorok while I was getting ready to leave the Sanctum of Two Moons, then walked past him to the landing platform out front.  Mortimer was following along behind me, and just as he was passing Malkorok, Mortimer stopped, lifted one leg up…and fucking peed on him.  Oh man, you should have seen the look on Malky’s face.  Especially when I pointed out, “Dude, considering what that usually signifies for a wyvern, you LITERALLY just got owned.”

Heh.

Hehehe.

<snort>

 

Mr. Garrosh, sir!

I want to thank you for helping us DPS kids and, you know, stuff.

I have a question though.

What happened to all your hair? I saw pictures of you and you had hair at one time, but now you don’t. Do you plan to grow your hair again? How would you wear it?

–Ruekie, Shaman-in-Training, Domination Point

What is this, fucking “Everybody Ask Garrosh to Explain His Personal Appearance Week”?

Oh, wait, hang on, it’s one of the kids.

What is this, blankety-blank “Everybody Ask Garrosh to Explain His Personal Appearance Week”?  You kids – DO NOT read that first part from a couple lines up, YOU UNDERSTAND ME?

Anyway, yeah, Ruekie, I used to have a ponytail, right up through my time in Northrend.  I wore my hair like that going all the way back to when I was a kid.  To tell you the truth, it was pretty much the best of iffy options, as far as something I could do with my hair that would look maybe-sorta decent.  See, while Grom had a really thick, full mane of hair, I guess I must have gotten mine from my mom’s side of the family, because my hair was always fairly coarse and stringy and just…patchy all over my scalp.  Even as a kid, I pretty much had the beginnings of male pattern baldness going.  And really, it shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise that I wouldn’t have that great of a head of hair – you know the old saying, grass doesn’t grow on a busy street.

Anyway, the ponytail was just a way to yank it all together that didn’t look flat-out terrible.  Eventually, when I moved to Orgrimmar, I figured the hell with it and just cut it off.  Which first of all, is much more low-maintenance.  No more spending ten minutes every morning tugging it all together and trying to bind it up and then having the band be too loose so you start feeling it slipping out little by little all morning, or getting that one strand caught halfway through the pull-through and then feeling your roots getting pulled every time you look to one side, or…ugh, yeah, whatever.  Way easier this way.  Not to mention it’s way more practical in battle – it’s one less thing to get caught somewhere, and one less way for an enemy to grab you from behind.

Besides, much better to just embrace the baldness and go with it, rather than try to compensate with something that looks maybe-not-quite-terrible-if-you-squint-a-little.  This way, it just announces to the world, “Yes, I’m bald.  DEAL WITH IT.”  Confidence is very sexy, don’t you think?

(Maybe I shouldn’t have put it that way.  I can hear Wega scribbling out another letter as we speak…)

 

Heya Garrosh,

Cool little web form you have here.  Sometimes those techie goblins do have some good ideas.  (Not often, but sometimes.)

Anywho, my question for you this week is this: If you were to retire from warchiefin’ tomorrow, who would you choose as your successor and why?

Thanks!

–Kaija

You know, Kaija, this is actually a pretty decent question.  For all the good things about the Horde, we don’t really have a clear line of succession.  I mean, obviously if I were going to retire – presumably years down the road when I’m a gray-haired (FIGURE OF SPEECH, RUEKIE, DON’T GET EXCITED) old man basking in the triumphant glow of my many glorious victories – I would be in a position to sit back, think it over, and pick out an appropriate successor as Warchief.  But what if something happens before I have the chance to?  What if I get sick or injured?  What if somebody decides it would be a bright idea to throw me a surprise party for my 70th birthday, and the ol’ ticker finally gives out?  What if – I know this is a long shot, but still – what if I die in battle somehow before we even get to the wrinkly stage?  What then?  WHAT THEN, I ASK YOU?

So, it’s probably not a bad idea to put a little thought into who a good successor would be, and maybe establish that that person is next in line, just in case something happens.

And then, you know, make it very clear to that person that I’ve left the Kor’kron with special instructions to follow in the event that I should die under circumstances that are in any way even remotely fishy.  Such instructions including, but not limited to, the agonizingly slow execution of the successor, their siblings, their friends, their relatives, their next-door neighbors, and anyone who’s ever been seen being polite to them in public.

You know.  Just FYI.

Anyway, we might as well be systematic about this, so I’m going to review some of the likely candidates to follow me as Warchief – and just for shits and giggles, I’m going to group them into suitable categories and even give my best estimate at their odds of getting the nod.  Place your bets now.

 

THE “OH SNAP DID I SAY THAT” DIVISION

VOL’JIN
1,000,000 to 1

Not really an option, because guess what, bitches?  HE’S DEAD.  HAHAHA <snort> that cracks me up more than it probably should.

 

THE “I GUESS I’M OBLIGATED TO AT LEAST MENTION THEM” DIVISION 

JASTOR GALLYWIX
999,995 to 1

I mean…I guess he’s technically leader of the Bilgewater goblins, but… Well, like, does anybody even know where the fuck he IS half the time?  I’m pretty sure the only times I’ve ever seen him were at the meeting of Horde leaders to prepare for the Theramore attack, and the celebration in Orgrimmar afterward.  And, well, with the meeting, I pretty much sent notices to every goblin I could think of and then crossed my fingers hoping that word would reach him.  And at the celebration…yeah, mountains of free food and booze, so of course he was going to show up for that.  Honestly, I don’t get why the guy’s so low-profile.  He had a fucking pleasure palace built in Azshara, and you can’t even find him THERE.  Believe you me, if I ever commissioned the construction of Garrosh’s Pleasure Palace, you could call off the search parties, my ass would be there.

Hmm.  Hang on a second, I need to jot something down on next month’s agenda planner.

 

LOR’THEMAR THERON
500,000 to 1

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA… Yeah, sure, this guy as Warchief.  Do I really even need to elaborate here?  Come on.

 

SYLVANAS WINDRUNNER
200,000 to 1

You know, she would actually be a pretty strong candidate – to her credit, she IS intelligent, charismatic, and competent – if she didn’t creep the living FUCK out of everyone.  Not to mention make you worry that she might then replace that aforementioned living fuck with some kind of weird-ass UNDEAD fuck under her control.

 

BAINE BLOODHOOF
150,000 to 1

He’s a great warrior, he takes good care of his people, and you can practically see Cairne when you look in his eyes (not that that makes me at all awkward, no sir).  He’s also freaking Vol’jin Lite what with the bitching and the moaning and the OMG Garrosh how could you.  Because if there’s one thing you don’t want to stand for, it’s actually GOING TO WAR with the people you are ALLEGEDLY AT WAR WITH.  Last thing the Horde needs is a fucking carebear in charge.  And Thrall me no Thralls – Guy Smiley sat on his hands way too much too.

 

THE “I BET YOU DIDN’T THINK I KNEW ABOUT THIS MEME” DIVISION 

A BASIC CAMPFIRE
5000 to 1

HAHA SEE I BET YOU ASSHOLES DIDN’T THINK I HAD A SENSE OF HUMOR ABOUT THAT SHIT.

 

THE “DIDN’T YOU RETIRE LIKE TWENTY YEARS AGO” DIVISION

DREK’THAR
500 to 1

Chieftain of the Frostwolf clan and friend to Durotan way back in the day.  Lived through the corruption of the orcs, but refused to drink the blood of Mannoroth – granted it was largely because Durotan ordered the Frostwolves not to, but it still shows a certain level of principle AND loyalty to his clan all at the same time.  Greatmother speaks about him just fondly enough to make me feel uncomfortable.  The main down side, other than being blind and spending most of his time getting rolled around in a wheelchair by Captain Galvanger these days, is that since the Cataclysm…well…not to be mean, but let’s face it.  Dude has just gone batshit senile.  And that’s not even getting into the whole thing with him shitting himself.  I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again.  Old age is not kind.

 

EITRIGG
200 to 1

He’s been around for ages, advised both me and Thrall, has watched over Orgrimmar while I’ve been down here in Pandaria, and has always been staunchly devoted to the well-being of the Horde.  If we had some kind of lifetime achievement award to dole out, I would sign him up for it tomorrow, even if he DID get a little grumbly with me over the Theramore thing.  Who didn’t, right?  Shows what those fuckers know.  Anyway.  The point is, though, as much as I like Eitrigg, he’s pretty much one of those guys who’s basically a permanent lieutenant.  You know the ones.  Year after year, they’re always second in command to one general after another, and somewhere along the line, after like the fourth guy gets promoted over them to take command, you realize there’s a reason for it.  Perfectly good at his job, but he’s just never going to be suited for the big chair.

Also, if he were in charge, can you IMAGINE how much time freaking Tirion would probably be spending in Orgrimmar?  Do you really want to subject people to THAT?

 

VAROK SAURFANG
100 to 1

Veteran of two wars.  Served as Thrall’s right hand and as my executive officer in Northrend.  He even served as acting Warchief for a little while, that time when I was off the grid.  At the age of nine zillion, he’s still one of the biggest badasses around.  He doesn’t sleep – he waits.  Death once had a near-Saurfang experience.  Mannoroth became more powerful by drinking HIS blood.  There was going to be a street named after him in Orgrimmar, but the plan was canceled for safety reasons because nobody crosses Saurfang and lives.  When warlocks make someone run away in fear, they pay a royalty to him.  He’s considered an honorary shaman because he commands the element of surprise.  I’m at least 50% sure some of these facts are made up.  But you get the point.

So what’s the case against?  You mean, other than at least two or three occasions that he’s threatened to kill me?  You mean OTHER THAN THAT?  Frankly, he’s a holdover from a Horde that’s a thing of the past – too old, too sentimental, too backward-thinking when we’re trying to move our people forward.  Too willing to extend an olive branch to the Alliance when we need to be smashing them over the head with the whole fucking tree.

Mostly the threatening-to-kill-me thing, though.  I don’t want to tempt fate.  (Along similar lines, by the way, fate doesn’t want to tempt Saurfang.)

 

THE “I MIGHT ACTUALLY CONSIDER PICKING ONE OF YOU PEOPLE” DIVISION 

WARLORD CROMUSH
50 to 1

This one is a dark horse candidate, no question.  But the dude did yeoman’s work in Gilneas when he had the thankless job of keeping Sylvanas marginally under control, he’s run a tight ship in Hillsbrad at a time when the Horde finally secured a firm hold on the region, and he’s been our primary command officer in the Eastern Kingdoms going on a couple years now.  The fact that he’s been able to work with the Forsaken with some measure of success is a major plus – yeah, they’re creepy and sketchy and just plain ol’ EEEESH, but they’re handy to have around.  He probably needs some more grooming for higher things, but he’s worked his way into the conversation for future high-profile assignments.

 

MALKOROK
25 to 1

You know, Malkorok really has most of the bases covered: he’s smart, uncompromising, and relentlessly devoted to the Horde, with a sharp tactical mind and an indisputable ability to get shit done.  He’s reshaped the Kor’kron, tightened up security, and demonstrated he’s one of the people you want fighting beside you on the battlefield.  Down side?  Well, let me put it this way.

About a year ago, some goblins tried to start up a business making wyvern food.  They did all kinds of tests to find a good formula for it as far as ingredients, they did focus groups to give it the most appealing packaging, they launched a huge advertising campaign for it and made sure it was easy to find at all the vendors…and absolutely nobody bought it.  How come?  Because for all the things they had going for them and all the effort they put into packaging it just right…wyverns just didn’t like it.

Draw your own conclusions.

 

GENERAL NAZGRIM
10 to 1

You all know this guy, and have probably worked with him on at least an occasion or two.  And really, if being Warchief was purely a military matter, this would probably be the guy.  He’s an excellent strategist and tactician, he adapts well on the fly, and since he came up through the ranks the old-fashioned way (I remember him serving under me in Northrend as a piddly-ass sergeant…and to put that in perspective, remember, freaking DONTRAG made sergeant), he appreciates what it’s like to be one of the grunts in the trenches and isn’t afraid to get in there and get his hands dirty by their side.  Okay, there was that whole disaster where he shit the bed on security and let Anduin get away, but maybe he can delegate.  But here’s the thing: being Warchief isn’t solely a military job.  It’s also the political head of the Horde, which means that as Warchief, Nazgrim would essentially be steering the ship of state.  And, well…we all know what happens when that guy gets near a ship.

 

WARLORD ZAELA
5 to 1

Leader of the Dragonmaw and a no-kidding-around badass warrior.  She took command of the Dragonmaw clan after helping to overthrow the nutjob “Warchief” Mor’ghor – gotta admire someone who has the stones to take down a corrupted leader for the good of the clan.  She was new to leadership at the time, and I’ll admit I was probably a little tough on her in my assessments early on, but she’s really grown into the role, and she’s been stepping up to work on some more projects for me the last few months.  I’ll also admit I might be swayed by seeing how she went about her business in that other world.  Still a little green, though…I mean, green in the “inexperienced” sense.  Not green in the fel-magic-drinky-drinky-demon-blood-grr-rarr-proud-ancient-culture-down-the-drain-oops sense.  Was that insensitive?  Anyway, she could probably stand to have a few more years working closely under the Warchief before she’s in line for the job herself.  But she’s definitely on the rise.

 

WARLORD BLOODHILT
2 to 1

Bet you didn’t see this one coming, did you?  Just goes to show what an outside-the-box thinker your Warchief is.  Hell, sometimes I’m so far outside the box that I don’t even know where the fuck the box is.  What box, anyway?  Fucking metaphors.

Anyhow, some of you might remember Bloodhilt from the southern Barrens, where he assumed command of our operations after former Warlord (and current zombie sous chef) Gar’dul managed to make a giant mess of things down there.  Bloodhilt cleaned up Gar’dul’s fuck-ups, secured our position in the area, and made it possible for us to make our move on Theramore.  Since then he’s made the trip with us to Pandaria, where he’s been commanding officer at Domination Point.  Just a solid, stand-up officer who’s done nothing but impress from day one.  Any way you cut it, you can get used to seeing his name cropping up, because he’s not going anywhere.

 

So, there’s your breakdown.  On that note, I’m going to call it a day as far as answering the mail goes, but keep those letters coming and I’ll try to answer more of your questions as time allows.  Since Spazzle’s form doohickey worked pretty well for this batch of e-mails, here it is again:

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Memories of dreaming glory

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

nagrandelements

Well, that’s settled.  My mother is alive.

I’ve been staying here in Garadar the last few days.  Luckily Spazzle’s gotten my why-fly (or whatever it’s called) connection working a little more reliably, so I’ve been able to keep up with the blog and post this week’s EPIC VERSE and all of that.  As I mentioned the other day, Greatmother said Lakkara had gone out to visit the other Mag’har in Hellfire Peninsula, so I’ve been hanging out here to see if she would turn up again before I needed to get back to business in Orgrimmar.  Luckily things have been quiet back home lately, so I figured there wouldn’t be anything Eitrigg couldn’t handle while I was away.  Also, yeah, I’m not going to lie, I figured timing-wise this might let me stick Eitrigg with those end-of-month military expenditure reviews.  Fuck I hate paperwork.

Anyway.  It’s been good to spend some time back here, I suppose, although it’s also been giving Greatmother plenty of time to give me her nudge-nudge reminders about Kilrath having a daughter and how she wanted me to meet her and yeah, that’s just what I want, to get paired off with some girl my Greatmother picked out for me.

On the up side, I’ve gotten to spend some time hanging around with Jorin Deadeye, who used to pick on me like nobody’s business when we were kids, and didn’t get a whole lot better when we grew up.  Everything with him was “Nice job your dad did dooming our people,” and “Damn, you’re a mopey, whiny little bitch” (and granted back in those days I WAS pretty emo, and I CAN’T IMAGINE WHY I WOULD HAVE BEEN KIND OF DOWN ON MYSELF AT THE TIME), and going around calling himself the “warchief” of the Bleeding Hollow clan instead of the chieftain.  So I’ve been making a point of just hanging out wherever he’s been pretty regularly, and saying stuff to him like, “So hey, you like my axe?  Yeah?  Well check it, this is Gorehowl, the blade my dad used to FUCKING ONE-SHOT MANNOROTH and lift the blood haze from the orcs, how ’bout that, huh?” and “Hey, Chieftain, remind me, who’s actually Warchief these days?  OH YEAH, SMALL WORLD!”  Cue the comically appropriate Earth Online machinima:

Good times.

But anyway, back to the original point of the post.  Earlier today, Lakkara turned up again.  Greatmother called me up to her dwelling to see her.  I have to admit, even though I knew that the smart thing was to stay skeptical until I could confirm who she was, it was pretty tough not to be shaken up by the first sight of her.  I haven’t seen my mother since I was a little kid, but those last fumes of memory stay with you…and damned if she didn’t look just like my mother, with some extra wrinkles and gray hairs added on.  Older for sure, weakened by the red pox and worn by a hard life, but damned if she didn’t look just like her.

I don’t think I was the only one who was shaken up some.  As soon as I showed up, Lakkara became pretty emotional and teared up…it took her some time to pull herself together.  Greatmother stepped outside so the two of us could have some time alone.  Mostly at first I just let her talk.  She pretty much repeated what she’d said in her letter, filled in a few more details here and there…I held back and tried to give her room to contradict herself, and listened the best I could for any holes in her story.  Nothing I could see.

Then I played my ace in the hole.  There was one time when I was a kid when I woke up burning up with fever from the pox.  But the disease wasn’t the worst part.  In my feverish sleep, I’d been having a nightmare – one of those awful, vivid dreams you wake up from and you’re still not sure if it was a dream, or real, or if you’ve really woken from it or if anything around you is real.  You know the ones?  Those dreams you have as a little kid where even when you wake up you’re still scared the dream will come get you?  Yeah.  One of those.  I had woken up, and my mother came in and sat with me, and we stayed up most of the night talking about the nightmare I’d had and the nightmare we were living and everything else in between that we could think of.

I’ve never talked to anyone else about any of this.

She remembered every detail.  Once I brought it up, she didn’t need any prompting.  No leading questions.  Nothing.  She remembered the night I was talking about, everything we’d talked about.  Most of all she remembered the dream – everything I’d told her, as if it had only been days ago rather than years.  It had stayed with her as much as it had with me.  She said my nightmare had stolen one night’s sleep from me, but dozens from her.  She said I would understand one day when I had a child of my own.

That would have been enough to convince me, but to tell you the truth, by that point I was already being won over.  Never mind what she looked like – she smelled just like my mother.  There are scents that just always stay with you, you know?  And for whatever reason I’ve always had a pretty sharp sense of smell.  Not that that’s always been a positive thing in some parts of Orgrimmar, let me tell you.  Anyway, though…the more time I spent around this woman, the more I noticed it – that smell I can’t really describe but would always recognize when she was close to me, like old parchment and dreaming glories.  Like comfort.  Like home.

It’s her.

I’m going to stay here with her for another day or two, then I’ll be getting set to bring her to see the orcs’ new home.  Obviously she’s never been through the Dark Portal, and I’m kind of looking forward to showing her around Azeroth.  I think she’s going to love Mulgore.

 

 

[Header image provided by Angelya from Revive and Rejuvenate, used here with permission and many thanks.]

Mag’hari house guest

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

Sorry I haven’t been posting the last week.  I’ve been pretty busy here in Orgrimmar, and not even with anything big and momentous like wiping out the Alliance or even the aftermath of Deathwing biting it.  This past week my Greatmother has been visiting from Nagrand, so I was showing her around and just generally keeping her out of trouble.

As it turns out, just getting her out here was a big production all by itself.  I offered to send a mage to port her straight here, but oh no, no way, turns out apparently old people don’t trust mages and their new-fangled portals, no sir, so we had to arrange to get her out to the Dark Portal to come through that way.  By the way, funny how she didn’t want to take a mage portal because those things are dangerous and unreliable, and yet she was totally okay taking the DARK PORTAL which by the way HAS “PORTAL” RIGHT IN ITS NAME TOO, only with dragon heads carved around it and warlocky fel magic buzzing all over it because we all know NOTHING ever went wrong with THAT.

So anyway, we finally got her out to the Dark Portal and through to the Blasted Lands, and then over to Grom’gol to catch the zeppelin up to Orgrimmar.  On the way I hear tell she promised home-knit sweaters to a couple of the Grom’grol guards and one of the goblins on the zeppelin, because, you know, you really need a sweater when it starts getting nippy out there in the tropical jungle.  I bet most of the problems the Darkspear ended up having in Stranglethorn could have been cleared right up if someone had through to crank out a few cardigans.

So we finally got her up here to Orgrimmar, and I have to admit, I was kind of hoping that she would be at least a LITTLE impressed with the place, or with me being Warchief, but oh no.  First thing she comments on is how we’re still under construction even with the Cataclysm happening however many months ago, and how it wasn’t even that big of a cataclysm, not like in her day when Draenor literally got ripped into pieces, and us young ’uns have it so easy thinking a few earthquakes and some tidal waves count as a capital-C definite-article The Cataclysm – and meanwhile they had their settlements rebuilt in a few weeks.  Which, everything else aside, yeah, like I needed another reminder of how those goblins are seriously taking their damn time on the construction work.

Oh wait, hold on, let me correct that.  That wasn’t the first thing she commented on.  No, the FIRST thing she commented on was the ritual tattoos I’ve gotten since the last time she saw me, like “Oh, is this what you kids are doing nowadays?  All these young people running around with their tattoos, calling them ‘ritual’ and acting like that means they’re in touch with the ancestors.  I know my ancestors knew the actual rituals.  You know they’re only going to stretch and sag as you get older, don’t you?  Don’t say I didn’t warn you…”  Oh and then there were the pieces of Mannoroth’s tusks that I wear on my shoulders – “You wear those to work?  For important meetings and everything?”  And when I pointed out how they’re from Mannoroth, who killed my FATHER, and how I’d used parts of the pit lord’s remains to fashion the shoulders and my throne in Grommash Hold, all I got for that was “You don’t think that’s a little tacky?”

Also, as if all that wasn’t fun enough, for the first two days pretty much all I heard about was Thrall and how proud she is of him for saving the world from Deathwing and how great it is that he and Aggra are having a baby and by the way WHEN THE HELL WAS THRALL GOING TO TELL ME ABOUT THAT?!  First the wedding and now this, the FUCK, man?  And anyway, that was all kinds of fun, being reminded on and on about how awesome Thrall is, and how happy she is that she’s finally going to have great-grandchildren.  And then she made some mention about how apparently Kilrath has a daughter around my age that she wants me to meet, and yeah that was all kinds of awkward.  Ugh.

Over the next few days a bunch of the other Horde leaders came by to meet her and pay their respects, which I’ll admit was pretty cool of them, and she seemed to like Baine especially, gave him the whole “nice young man” deal that old ladies love to throw around.  And everyone was nice to her, don’t get me wrong, but like…I mean, I know I can get cranky sometimes, but I really try to watch my mouth around Greatmother.  Not least of all because if she catches me swearing she used to give me a good hard yank by my ponytail, which was one of the main reasons I cut it off eventually, but I’m also not in much of a hurry to find out what she would come up with for Plan B now that it’s gone.  So anyway, I try to rein it in when I’m around her, but I swear the other leaders were making a point of giving me bad news in front of her and just generally saying things to see if they could set me off.  Vol’jin especially.  Meanwhile Greatmother just seemed to get a kick out of everyone.  I don’t think she’s really clear on what the Forsaken actually are, though, what with her calling Sylvanas “that nice elf girl” that seems like she could use some sun.  (More like she could use some SunWELL, am I right?  OH YEAH I WENT THERE.)  I’m thinking it’s just as well that I don’t clear that one up for her.

Anyway, that’s a sampling of my week, and I’m sure I’ll roll out a few more stories about it if you want to hear, maybe toss a few quotable quotes in the Twitter feed or something (#shitmygreatmothersays maybe).  For right now, though, she just left to head back to Nagrand, so if you’ll excuse me, I have a tavern to go visit.

 

 

[Header image provided by Khizzara from Blog of the Treant, used here with permission and many thanks.]

Monday mailbag

Posted in EPIC VERSE, Mailbag with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 8, 2011 by Garrosh Hellscream

Yeah, I know, just barely sneaking this one in under the wire today, but here we go…

 

Hail, Warchief!

Apologies for the belated response. Last week was my on-call week in the Horde Medical Corps, and we had our hands full keeping those boozehounds off Drek’Thar’s lawn. Came out well, though; we had most of the Lok’Tar, they had most of the Ogar.

Unfortunately, that caused me to miss EarthCon. To answer your question, yes, AE is a hybrid spec. You can find it in the Mechanical Engineering tree, but you have to look. Basically, they’re the guys who build and operate everyone’s flying mounts in Earth Online. It’s a nice spec, with a few serious drawbacks. First, there aren’t very many raiding guilds that can really use it. Which leads to the second drawback: if you get booted from one raiding guild, it can take a while to find another one that’ll take you. I’ve done OK with it, but I’m not sure I’d recommend it. It’s kind of like goblin engineering that way, you should stay clear unless you have a burning desire for it (emphasis on “burning”). That said, the teaser trailer for the next patch looks pretty awesome:


For the rest … yeah, we snooze, we lose. Oh well. As I said, Lor’themar’s not a bad fellow, just mostly useless.

–A Concerned Citizen

Haha, I like that – “We had most of the Lok’Tar, they had most of the Ogar,” that’s a good one.  I’ll have to use that sometime.

So the preview video looks pretty cool…also kind of funny how they obviously modeled that rocket on the one that the goblins out at Area 52 have been working on.  See, that’s one thing I really enjoy about Earth Online, how they manage to work in all these little references to things in the real world.

I might have to look at the engineer class at some point.  Right now I’ve mostly been bouncing between the veterinarian I rolled originally, and the teacher class I made a few weeks ago.  I know, I know, it’s just going to take me longer to get to max level if I don’t stick with one toon, but whatever.  Have to say the teacher class seems like a high-skill, high-reward kind of thing.  Most of the time it just feels like this huge uphill battle, but every so often if you manage to play a sequence really well, you get this huge Charisma buff and can convert some of the student hostiles into minions.  Come to think of it, that could be REALLY fun and handy if you could maneuver it just right, and get the buff with a student pack that’s not like the gobliny nerds, but had more of a predisposition toward mischief and violence.  Then you could have a really useful bunch of minions!  I might have to work on that, it could be fun to have a little army at my disposal…

Also, since you brought him up again, let’s try to keep an eye on Lor’themar just the same.  Nice guy or not, there’s something about that guy that doesn’t sit well, and given how things went with the LAST blood elf leader, I’d just as soon be extra careful with him.  Oh and also, if you happen to find any powerful ancient magical weapons, don’t show them off to him.  Bad enough the arcane crackhead is hanging around the Sunwell these days, last thing we need is to dangle more magic candy in front of him.

 

Attn: General Grebo,

Continued thanks for your ongoing good work in Stonetalon.  Your efforts will not be forgotten.  We will be in contact soon with further updates.  Appropriate reimbursement will be forthcoming.

–MGT.

Wait, how did this end up in my e-mail?  Grebo’s dead!  I buried him right next to Krom’gar.  Which is to say, I tossed both their bodies into the same gulch.  Fuckers.

Anyway, though, I guess when he died they closed his e-mail account, so I guess maybe it got auto-forwarded to his commanding officer?  But that would have been Krom’gar, and he’s…ah.  So forwarded again.  Fuck, does this mean I’m going to start getting spammed with all their crap?  I guess I should print this out and send it to his widow, seems like he had some kind of business venture going on on the side.  So on top of everything else he was stirring up in Stonetalon, he was moonlighting to boot.  Awesome.

 

My Dearest Warchief,

I was just eating a cupcake with the most delightful lemon icing and it made me think of you. Would you like to share the other half of it with me?

Your most devoted admirer,

–Wega

Wait, are you hitting on me?  Because first of all, I’m not completely sure from your name if you’re a girl or not, and don’t get me wrong, but I’m not into dudes.  Not that there’s anything wrong—wait, what am I saying, there’s TOTALLY something wrong with…never mind.  (The Kor’kron lawyers are telling me I have to be more careful about saying stuff like that.)  Anyway, second, if you ARE a girl, you’re just going to go making my other mailbag admirers like Uukra jealous.  Although…that could have its benefits, too.

So actually, let me put it this way – LEMON SQUARES OR DEATH?

 

Greetings Garrosh,

Based on all the good things you’ve mentioned, being Warchief sounds like a pretty sweet deal.  How does one go about getting the job?  And hey, it’s been a while since you’ve treated us to your poetry, surely you’ve been working on something!  Can we see?

–Ambitious Near Astranaar

Well, ANA, this is your lucky day.  Two birds with one stone, cue the origin cut-away…

 

Now this is the story all about how
My life got flipped, turned upside down.
And I’d like for you to listen, you won’t be bored.
I’ll tell you how I became the Warchief of the Horde.

In downtown Garadar born and raised,
Fighting ogres is how I spent most of my days.
Fishing with Dranosh every afternoon,
And hunting with Nesingwary ’round Oshu’gun.
When a couple of guys who were flinging some mud
Said Grom hooked the orcs on drinking demon blood.
I spent a few years moping – Greatmother had sass,
She said, “I’m getting Thrall up in here to pull your head out your ass.”

The Warchief rolled in and he showed me the truth:
Mannoroth said “You’re mine,” Grom said “STFU!”
Thrall said, “Stop being emo, you’re gonna go far!”
And I thought yeah man, come on, take me to Orgrimmar!

I pulled up into Durotar, after Northrend I’d hit,
But that’s when all the elements went fucking apeshit.
Thrall went to check it out, that’s when I scored,
And I took up my throne, as Warchief of the Horde.

 

EPIC VERSE!

Cool things about being Warchief

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2011 by Garrosh Hellscream

warchief

I recently had someone suggest that I maybe complain about things too much.  While I personally think this is a gigantic steaming pile of horseshit, I thought I might try making a point of looking at the positive side of things.  So here’s a list of some of my favorite things about being Warchief:

  • You know when you’re running up to the zeppelin tower and you can see the zeppelin is there, and you figure there’s no way you’re going to make it in time but you run up the tower as fast as you can anyway, and against all odds it’s still there when you get to the top of the ramp, only in the time it takes you to get from the stairwell to the end of the landing platform the zeppelin it taking off and gets JUST far enough away that you can’t quite jump on?  Yeah, well, that still happens.  But when the zeppelin comes back again, you can have the pilot executed.
  • When somebody pays the goblin dude on your tundra mammoth for repairs, you get a cut.  A big cut, if Greeny McEasilykilled knows what’s good for him.
  • Even though people seem to be trying to poison you with alarming regularity, you have food tasters to make sure everything you eat is okay.  As an extra bonus, you can hand-pick which Alliance prisoners these food tasters are going to be.  (I usually pick a gnome if possible.  They turn the funniest shade of green just before they croak.)  Most of the time, they’re so damn hungry and overjoyed to be getting anything to eat at all, they never even stop to think that anything is up.  The looks on their faces – the “Oh SHIT, why the fuck didn’t I THINK of this?!” look – in that moment between the poison kicking in and when they drop dead?  Awesome.  Totally worth the price of knowing that there are unknown parties trying to kill you who apparently have access to your food.
  • According to tauren tribal custom, anytime someone in the Valley of Wisdom bakes a pie, you get the first piece.
  • When somebody says, “You’re no Thrall,” you can totally reply, “You’re right, Thrall would never just up and chop off somebody’s foot like that.  Oh, I’m sorry, did I break your concentration?  Pardon me.  Please, let’s resume our critique of my job performance.”
  • Due to a little-known technicality, the furbolgs of Timbermaw Hold recognize you as an Archbishop.
  • If somebody, say, kills your dad, you can carve the dude’s remains into a throne and set it up in your war room.  Think about that.  Every time somebody comes to see you, you’re kicking back sitting on a chair made out of the FUCKING SKULL OF THE LAST GUY THAT REALLY PISSED YOU OFF.
  • Bearer of the ultimate suck-on-it trump card at class reunions.
  • Two words: Kor’kron strippers.
  • As a point of honor, Varian has to welcome into his throne room any diplomatic emissaries you decide to send to Stormwind.  This might not sound so cool, but it gets real awesome real fast when you make the emissaries eat nothing but beans and asparagus for three days leading up to the visit.

Monday mailbag

Posted in EPIC VERSE, Mailbag with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2011 by Garrosh Hellscream

So first of all, thanks to the people who showed their support over my trip to Grom’s monument in Demon Fall Canyon.  Also Spazzle was helpful getting the pictures up on the blog, because for some reason he wasted all kinds of timing learning how to do dorky stuff like that while he was tinkering around with all the weird gadgets those goblins keep piling up in the Valley of Spirits.

As one last tribute to the whole experience, I decided to write something up to commemorate my father’s sacrifice and Thrall’s first trip to Nagrand, when he showed me what had really gone down with Mannoroth.

 

There once was an orc from Nagrand
Who by chance, luckily, was on hand
For the Warchief’s arrival,
With glamors archival,
Fuck you, Varian.
To reveal Grom’s last glorious stand.

 

EPIC VERSE!

 

On to this week’s mail.

 

Greetings, Warchief!

I was just wondering if I’ve unintentionally done something to cause offense among the other Horde leaders.  I’ve noticed that I don’t seem to be receiving summons to any of the summit meetings you hold with the other faction leaders, and for that matter, other than Sylvanas, none of the others have returned any of my messages.

–Lor’themar Theron, Silvermoon City

Wait, who are you again?  Lor’themar?  Isn’t that the dude Orgrim Doomhammer killed at Blackrock Mountain like forever ago?  You’re still alive WTF?  Oh wait a minute – Silvermoon, you must be that blood elf leader.  Didn’t we kill you after you went all crazy and tried to summon Kil’jaeden and shit?  OH HANG ON, you blood elves have a HISTORY of not staying dead, don’t you?  Oh fuck, here we go again, we’ve got another blood elf zombie running around.  Just what we need.  Someone get Saurfang in on this shit before this one goes all Keleseth on us.

 

Hey mon,

You know how much I can be sellin’ dese for?  [Warglaive of Azzinoth] [Warglaive of Azzinoth]

–Bob, Echo Isles

Oh geez, here we go again.  WELCOME TO FIVE YEARS AGO, idiot.  You can’t sell those, moron, because IF you ever got them in the first place, they would have magically bound to you when you took them off Illidan’s corpse, LIKE YOU WERE ONE OF THE ONES WHO KILLED ILLIDAN in the first place!  And who cares about those anyway, seeing as we’ve got bigger and better things to be thinking of at this point, because it’s not FIVE YEARS AGO!  AND BEFORE YOU E-MAIL ME AGAIN, no, you also can’t sell [Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker].

 

Um, dude, seriously?  The poetry blogging thing is totally my deal.  Find your own gimmick, will you?

–Sargeras, Twisting Nether

WHY DON’T YOU COME MAKE ME!  You heard me!  I’m right here, you want to make something of it, come get me!

Yeah, I bet we won’t be hearing from him again.  Not for, like, a few years anyway.

 

Finally, this message arrived in the form of a comment on Spazzle’s post from a few days ago, but I thought it merited a response here:

Dear Warchief,

I am an 8 year old forsaken mage and I have a question for you. Is there honor left in the horde?  My friends (also forsaken) all say that there is no honour, only plague, valkrys and undeath.  Sylvanus says to believe what you see and she saw only darkness when the bad man godfrey killed her. Please tell me the truth, is there honour in the horde? (even for forsaken?)

–Pluton, undead mage

Honor, Pluton.  No matter how dire the battle, never forsake it.

Varok Saurfang taught me that when we served together in Northrend.  His words have never left my thoughts, and I think they’re especially fitting here.  Your people may call themselves the Forsaken, but it’s not really so.  You are not forsaken.  Honor does not forsake us.  We forsake it…and as long as we don’t, it won’t either.

I’ll be honest with you.  I’ve always had my doubts about the undead, and about Sylvanas in particular.  I worry that she has her own agenda.  I wonder how loyal she truly is to the Horde.  Ever since the siege of the Undercity, I’ve had nagging doubts about just how much of Putress’s plan was really going on without her knowing.  There’s a reason why I’m keeping a Kor’kron detachment there.  (And no, Bragor, I’m still not giving you a three-day pass.  Seriously.  You can stop with the damn e-mails.)

But I’ll tell you this, too: If you’re finding yourself worrying about whether there’s honor left for you as a Forsaken, then you already have your answer.

Men without honor do not agonize over losing it.

Sylvanas was right about one thing.  You do have to trust what you see.  I see a Horde made up of races – every one of them – who have endured unspeakable losses, suffered horrifying pain…and carry on, bending but not breaking, holding up their heads the best they can.  I see Thrall and Cairne – every day as if they were still in front of my eyes – fighting through burning ruins to save the children of blood elves they’ll never know.

Yes, we Horde have had our share of dishonorable names.  But for every Gul’dan, we have an Eitrigg.  For every Magatha Grimtotem, there’s a Cairne.  And then there’s my father, Grommash…the worst of us, and the greatest of us.  He was the first to drink Mannoroth’s demon blood and doom the orcs to slavery…and the one to buy back our freedom with his own life.  A reminder for all of us that honor never really leaves us.  It only lays dormant until we reclaim what was always ours.

Even for Sylvanas.  Somewhere inside that…unscrupulous shell, there’s a elven ranger general who stood alone between the Scourge and the fall of her people, and cut down legions of undead before laying down her life.  A spirit so strong that not even the Lich King could break it, so strong that she willed her violated people to the closest semblance of freedom left for them.  If that freedom is a pale imitation of living, then it’s also the last, best gift Windrunner had to give, however paltry it may have been.  If what Sylvanas has become has cost her her soul – if darkness really is all the awaits her – then that should only magnify her sacrifice…because everything she’s become is the price she willingly paid for her people.

I hope someday she can find some piece of what made her one of the greatest of her kind.  I’m just not holding my breath.

 

UGH…that was hard.  HEAD HURTS.  Remind me not to do that again.  And dammit, did I actually just talk myself into respecting Sylvanas?  Crap.

Anyway, I still have to talk about the rest of the Ashenvale stops, plus I’ve got to start getting ready for some more of these inspections.  Dammit, I don’t know why I even bother unpacking.  More soon.