Archive for northwatch hold

And your enemies closer

Posted in Transcripts, Words from a Scribe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2015 by Garrosh Hellscream

cleftofshadow2

Well, time to add “guest” blogging to the list of things I’ve been picking up again for the first time in a long time. I’m not sure how regularly I’ll be able to post like this, or for that matter, how much Garrosh will even let me. From the look of it, he’s had Spazzle tighten up some of the permissions for my login, which is a little ominous, but then again, I don’t know how much I can blame him, in light of everything that’s gone on. It’s probably best just to get on with the task at hand and not worry about it too much. Things will work out the way they need to, eventually.

After I left that, um, somewhat tense meeting in Grommash Hold, I went to look for Overseer Elaglo in Ragefire Chasm. On my way through the Cleft of Shadow, though, I came across a familiar face who seemed more than a little surprised to see me…

 

MOKVAR: <leaning in entrance to hut> Neeru.

Neeru Fireblade looks up from a pile of scrolls.

NEERU: Well now.

Neeru sets a scroll down and leans back in his chair.

I would say you really do get around, but I suspect that would woefully understate the case.

MOKVAR: You have no idea.

NEERU: I think I do. I’d heard you were dead.

MOKVAR: I was. I’m better now.

NEERU: Highly debatable. Still… <eyes Mokvar carefully> I can see why your elemental spirits would finally have had done with you.

Mokvar shrugs. Neeru continues to stare at him with narrowing eyes.

Did you find it?

MOKVAR: <grins faintly> Find what?

NEERU: Don’t be coy with me, dammit. You came to me looking for information about the Prism last time, remember?

MOKVAR: I remember. Your leads checked out.

NEERU: You have it, then.

Mokvar looks back silently.

Oh, fel, stop trying to be cute. You’re not fooling anyone. Where is it?

MOKVAR: Somewhere safe.

NEERU: <narrowing his eyes> You wouldn’t just leave it back at that shack of a house of yours, where any petty thief could make off with it. Even you’re not so great a fool.

MOKVAR: My mother always did say I was fairly bright.

Neeru stands and walks around to Mokvar.

NEERU: You don’t have it on you, though.

MOKVAR: Maybe. Maybe not.

NEERU: You don’t. You’re not nervous at all.

MOKVAR: My threshold is a lot higher than it used to be.

NEERU: You might be fool enough – or arrogant enough – to stroll into the Cleft of Shadow with the Prism on you, but even you couldn’t be oblivious enough to do it without a twinge of anxiety.

MOKVAR: You just make me feel so welcome and at home here.

NEERU: This pocket of Orgrimmar is packed to capacity with warlocks who would happily kill a sibling for the chance to tinker with that relic for even an hour. And you know that. No, you’d at least be worried if you had it on you. So where?

MOKVAR: Like I said, somewhere safe.

NEERU: Dammit, Mokvar, it’s the blasted Nether Prism – there is nowhere safe for—

Neeru straightens.

What was that?

MOKVAR: What was what?

NEERU: I heard something.

Neeru looks around, then turns back to Mokvar.

You didn’t hear that?

MOKVAR: Hear what?

NEERU: There was a sound.

MOKVAR: There are lots of sounds.

NEERU: <narrowing eyes> What are you playing at?

MOKVAR: Me? Nothing. I’m just a guy saying hello on his way to a meeting.

Mokvar turns from the door and gestures behind him.

I can be on my way if you prefer.

NEERU: Hmm.

Neeru looks past Mokvar, following his gesture to the entrance of Ragefire Chasm.

There? What does that fool Hellscream have you doing now?

MOKVAR: Can’t say I know, myself. All I know is that he wants me to help Overseer Elaglo with something. I think Invoker Xorenth is involved too, somehow.

NEERU: Well, Xorenth is working with Elaglo, yes.

MOKVAR: You know him?

NEERU: <nods> He was part of my coven for a good many years. I don’t know if the “Invoker” title is still called for, though.

MOKVAR: Why’s that?

NEERU: You’ll see soon enough. He’s had something of a career change. Not unlike you, actually.

MOKVAR: How do you mean?

NEERU: He seems to have developed more shamanistic interests.

MOKVAR: Hmm. Well, my “career change” was the other way around, then.

NEERU: This time, yes. Who’s to say how long this one will last?

MOKVAR: Hopefully this will be the one that sticks.

NEERU: We can only hope. You can only keep playing both ends against the middle for so long before it ends up blowing up on you.

MOKVAR: I’m not playing anything against anything.

NEERU: Oh come now, Mokvar, you’re naive but not that naive. Of course you are. You went from being a warlock with pretensions of being a shaman to a shaman with delusions of being a warlock. A week with Xorenth laying out totems in front of you and you’ll start thinking maybe you’re clever enough to straddle the two a little more. Sooner or later, though, you’re going to need to figure out what you are and pick a side.

Mokvar and Neeru watch quietly while a team of peons carries several large crates into the cavern.

MOKVAR: Huh. Are they doing construction down there?

NEERU: <nods> It’s been going on for some months. See what you miss when you go all dead on us?

MOKVAR: I suppose there’d be some cleanup to do after those renegade dark shaman were stirring up trouble down there last year.

NEERU: Oh yes. Yes, they certainly caused all sorts of trouble.

MOKVAR: What are you grinning about?

NEERU: Again…you’ll see soon enough.

Mokvar shrugs.

MOKVAR: I should head down and see what this is about.

NEERU: In that case, I’ll let you be about your way. Don’t be a stranger, Mokvar.

MOKVAR: I’m sure I’ll be by again.

NEERU: Oh, and Mokvar?

MOKVAR: Hmm?

NEERU: Put your damned scribe paraphernalia away. People engaged in secretive, clandestine operations are rarely put at ease by strangers carrying note pads.

MOKVAR: Huh. Good point.

 

So…flying sans pen for a little bit. I left Neeru and went down into Ragefire Chasm to look for Overseer Elaglo. When I got there, he was…well…overseeing. Elaglo was hovering over a work crew that was doing some construction, reinforcing the cavern walls and installing what looked like the framework for gates in a couple places. When I approached Elaglo, though, he was cagey about what was going on down there, and clearly wanted to keep me within a very constricted area of the place.

Elaglo brought me to a side chamber of RFC where a group of shaman were practicing some sort of summoning ritual. They were being supervised by Xorenth – clearly no longer an invoker – and after I’d been there for a few minutes, they managed to summon up a small pack of lesser flame hounds, evidently straight from the Firelands. It turned out that that was one of the reasons that the two of them – Xorenth especially – had an interest in me: my recent experience navigating the Firelands, and the fact that I’d somehow managed not to lose my neck in the process. The other reason, which was less of a surprise than it would have been even a few hours earlier, was the fact that I’ve had experience as both a shaman and a warlock. Xorenth seemed intent on developing ways to blend a shaman’s invocation of the elements with a warlock’s powers of dominance and control. He didn’t need to talk very much about the undertaking before I started to see how they – Garrosh – envisioned me and, potentially, the Nether Prism entering into the equation. And it didn’t take long for the entire discussion to summon up memories of the attack on Northwatch Hold last year, when a group of Horde shaman summoned and controlled – briefly and forcibly – a handful of molten giants. Shaman – except dressed in the dark robes typically adopted by warlocks. Dark shaman.

It was a strange conversation. I got the distinct impression we were both testing each other, fencing verbally, each of us trying to see if he could get the other to divulge more information without doing the same himself. I can’t imagine that the training of dark shaman and the practicing of summoning rituals could be the entirety of what’s going on in RFC. Everyone had already seen what happened at Northwatch Hold, after all. The cat was out of the bag as soon as those giants started lumbering about.

I suppose I’ll just have to be patient. Garrosh wanted me working with these two, so I suppose I’ll find out more when I need to. I can’t say it’s not a little unnerving for everyone to suddenly be holding me at arm’s length and keeping me in the dark until they’re sure I can be trusted. But I have fences to mend and promises to keep, and there’s too much at stake for me to get it into my fool head that it’s beneath my dignity to have to prove myself again. I would be naive to expect otherwise. Just a matter of weeks ago, after all, I was an exile, and a wanted fugitive before that; I couldn’t reasonably have expected to walk back into Orgrimmar and just have the run of the place. Stroll around like nothing had ever happened. Welcome home. Open arms. Same old Mokvar, the guy everybody’s known for years. I would have been naive.

I have a feeling this is going to be complicated.

 

Mokvar

The Wizard of Zhan

Posted in Transcripts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

The curtain rises on the admiral’s quarters in Northwatch Hold, where Garrosh is sitting in a chair, slumped over a central table.  Everything appears black-and-white.

After a moment, Garrosh stirs and looks around the room while rubbing his forehead.  Stage lights illuminate the far edges of the stage, alternating sides, showing brief glimpses of Orgrimmar in flames, being overrun by demons.  The sounds of screaming and demonic laughter can be heard, seemingly at a distance.  The lights at the edges of the stage go out.  Garrosh stands, and the background noise stops.

GARROSH:  Malchezaar… They were able to do it because of Malchezaar

 

{UP IN THE NETHER}

GARROSH:

Somewhere up in the nether
In the dark,
There’s a demon “prince,” self-appointed,
Calls himself Malchezaar.

Mortimer wanders in and settles near Garrosh as the song continues.

Somewhere up in the nether
Time did break.
You can kill him while he’s up there
But it just won’t take.

Some day I’ve got to drag him down
Out of that place and go to town
And stop it.
The Legion hid him in the cracks.
Sometimes he’s got my father’s axe;
I hope he drops it.

Somewhere up in the nether
Demons hide.
Prince lurks up in the nether –
It’s long since time he died.

If demons get to be revived
Without a timer,
Why oh why can’t I?

Garrosh walks to a window and looks out.  A stage light illuminates the edge of the stage again, this time revealing the burning ruins of Camp Taurajo.

Garrosh steps back into the room and, slowly at first but with increasing speed and urgency, begins running around the room, knocking over and smashing furniture.  Dizzying music fades in as Garrosh continues; he runs around in circles, destroying everything he can reach.  The stage lights dim until the room itself fades from view and the only thing visible is Garrosh – running in circles, lashing at his invisible surroundings, moving with increasing speed until he starts to blur into a whirlwind of anger.

The lights slowly come up to show that the Northwatch Hold tower has been replaced by the deck of a goblin sky galleon.  The ship is spinning in air, such that the rotation of the ship gradually comes to replace Garrosh’s running; he now stands on the deck as the galleon spins around, tossed in circles by a literal whirlwind.

The lights fade to black while the dizzying music continues – growing louder – then a loud crash is heard.  The stage lights come up again, showing the sky galleon wrecked on the ground amid the ruins of Theramore.  For the first time, the scene is visible in full color.  Garrosh is sprawled out on the ground near the wreckage, unconscious.  Mortimer flies in and approaches.  He prods Garrosh carefully with one paw; Garrosh stirs and starts to get up.

GARROSH:  <rubbing his head with one hand while patting Mortimer with the other>  Yeah, yeah, I’m okay, buddy…

Garrosh turns to the wreckage of the galleon and notices a woman’s legs sticking out from under it.

Huh.  She’s not okay, though, whoever she is.  Was.

Garrosh looks around the ruins, then back to the galleon.  As he turns away, several goblins begin to emerge slowly from behind pieces of the ruins.

Hmm… Mortimer, I don’t think we’re in Northgate anymore…  Looks like Theramore…so…so that would make HER—

SPAZZLE:  <running to the wreckage>  The Witch!  She’s dead!  The Wicked Witch is dead!

More goblins appear and gather closer around the wreckage.

GARROSH:  Hang on, the witch?  You mean like a mage?

SPAZZLE:  Well, it’s kind of a blanket term.

GARROSH:  But is THIS one a mage?

KHIZZARA:  Not anymore!

GARROSH:  Yeah, fine, I get it, she’s dead.  What I’m trying to find out is if she’s—

GIZZIX GRIMEGURGLE:  She’s dead!

DYSLIX SILVERGRUB:  Dead!

KRIXIL SLOGSWITCH:  The Witch is dead!

KHIZZARA:  Woot!

GARROSH:  Fine, fuck it, I’ll check it out myself.

Garrosh takes hold of the edge of the wreckage and, grunting, lifts it a few feet.

UGH!  GROSS!

Garrosh releases the galleon and it crashes back onto the body.  One hand is left flopping limply out from under the wreckage; a glowing blue orb falls out of its palm and rolls across the ground.

Definitely Jaina, though.  Gotta say, not exactly a glorious way to go out.  <chuckles>  Oh well.  Live on your back, die on your back, right?

The blue sphere rolls further.  In a puff of smoke, Liadrin appears in the sphere’s path.  She is wearing the paladin Lightsworn robes and has the wings of Avenging Wrath permanently glowing on her back.  She leans down and picks up the orb.

LIADRIN:  Are you the one who’s slain the Wicked Witch of the East and freed the Mudsprockets?

GARROSH:  What, Jaina?  Yeah, that was me, I guess.

GOBLINS:  Hooray!

GARROSH:  So hang on, who are all you people?

LIADRIN:  I am the Good Witch of the North.  And the Mudsprockets live here in the marsh.

RAZBO RUSTGEAR:  Under the tyrannical reign of the Wicked Witch of the East!

KHIZZARA:  Not anymore!

GOBLINS:  Hooray!

GARROSH:  Jaina had a tyrannical reign?

SPAZZLE:  Well, more like some pretty strict local ordinances on fireworks and explosives.

KHIZZARA:  Not anymore!

GIZZIX GRIMEGURGLE:  Splodey-ville, here we come!

GOBLINS:  Hooray!

GARROSH:  Okay, whatever.  You’re happy she’s dead, I’m happy she’s dead, it’s all cool.  One less thorn in my side, gotta tell you.

 

{WHAM, BAM, THE BITCH IS DEAD}

GARROSH:

Wham!  Bam!  The bitch is dead!

GOBLINS:

Witch?  Which bitch?

GARROSH:

The Proudmoore bitch!
Wham!  Bam!  The Proudmoore bitch is dead!
I landed on her head,
She wished she woulda stood in bed.
Flat splat, the Proudmoore bitch is dead!

GOBLINS:

She won’t stop the goblins now –
Kapow!  Kapow!  Kapow!
So now, let’s open up and blast,
At last!  Let’s rock some rockets!
Wham bam, she got put down,
A new sheriff is in town!
Don’t you frown, the Wicked Witch is dead!

Drazzit Dripvalve approaches wearing a top hat and comically flamboyant ceremonial attire.

DRAZZIT DRIPVALVE:

As Mayor of dear Mudsprocket,
In the shadow of the Witch’s lair,
I welcome you effusively!

GIZZIX GRIMEGURGLE:

But it must be proved conclusively,
To know…

DRAZZIT DRIPVALVE:

To know?

GIZZIX GRIMGURGLE:

That blow…

DRAZZIT DRIPVALVE:

That blow?

GIZZIX GRIMGURGLE:

Has utterly, totally,

KRIXIL SLOGSWITCH:

Not just anecdotally!

RAZBO RUSTGEAR:

Determinately, permanently,

GOBLINS:

Undiminishedly gone and finished her off.

SPAZZLE:

I went ahead and checked her out,
And I can say without a doubt
That she’s not just flatter than most:
She’s totally and truly toast.

DRAZZIT DRIPVALVE:

Then today we’ll fire our rockets!
Celebrating free Mudsprockets!
Now spread the word!  Let none neglect!
The Wicked Witch just got shipwrecked!

GOBLINS:

Wham!  Bam!  The Witch is dead!
Which?  Which Witch?  The Wicked Witch!
Wham!  Bam!  The Wicked Witch is dead!
He landed on her head,
She wished she woulda stood in bed.

GARROSH:

Flat splat, the Proudmoore bitch is dead!

GOBLINS:

She won’t stop the goblins now –
Kapow!  Kapow!  Kapow!
So now, let’s open up and blast,
At last!  Let’s rock some rockets!
Wham bam, she got put down,
A new sheriff is in town!
Don’t you frown, the Wicked Witch is dead!

From above, Magatha Grimtotem swoops in, riding her wind serpent Arikara.  Cackling maniacally, she casts chain lightning down at the Mudsprockets, who scatter and try to take cover.

GARROSH:  What the fuck is SHE doing here?

LIADRIN:  It’s the Wicked Witch of the West!

GARROSH:  How many fucking Wicked Witches do you people HAVE around here?

LIADRIN:  Two—

KHIZZARA:  Not anymore!

LIADRIN:  Well, yes, one now.  But this one is even worse than the Wicked Witch of the East ever was.

GARROSH:  Preaching to the choir, lady.

Magatha unleashes another burst of chain lightning; Garrosh and Liadrin dive out of the way.  Mortimer launches into the air, snarling, and swipes at Arikara.

GARROSH:  Yeah!  Go get ’em, Mortimer!

Mortimer’s strike knocks Magatha off of Arikara and sends her crashing to the ground.  Shrieking, Arikara flies out of view.  Magatha gets up and looks at Jaina’s legs poking out from under the wreckage.  Mortimer returns to the ground, landing next to Garrosh.

MAGATHA:  So it’s true!  She’s dead!  <looking around hurriedly>  Where is it, then?  It must be here!

LIADRIN:  <holding up the blue sphere>  Are you looking for this?

MAGATHA:  The Focusing Iris!  Yes!  Once I combine its power with that of the Doomstone—

LIADRIN:  You’ll do nothing of the kind, crone!

MAGATHA:  You think I fear you, elf?  I’ll take it from you if I have to!

Magatha starts to cast another chain lightning, but is interrupted when Garona – sporting the Fangs of the Father wings – unstealths and stunlocks her.

GARONA:  Not so much, Steak Sauce!

GARROSH:  So, who’s this supposed to be now?

LIADRIN:  She’s the Morally Ambiguous Witch of the South-by-Southeast.

GARONA:  Hey.

GARROSH:  You people have some really weird fucking job titles, gotta say.

LIADRIN:  You slayed the Wicked Witch of the East, so it’s only right that the Focusing Iris should go to you as its caretaker…

Liadrin hands the Iris to Garrosh.

What’s important is that it stays out of the hands of the crone at all cost.

GARROSH:  Yeah, don’t worry, I am all about making her life unpleasant…

Arikara swoops by again, startling Garrosh and Liadrin into taking a few steps back; Magatha breaks out of her stun, jumps back, and puts down an earthbind totem that holds the others in place.

MAGATHA:  I may need to bide my time for now, but the Iris will be mine yet!  And as for you, orc – I’ll get you, my cranky, and your little wyvern, too!

Magatha leaps onto Arikara’s back and takes off.

LIADRIN:  She’ll be back.  I hope you can handle powerful enemies.

GARROSH:  I’ve dealt with worse.  Matter of fact, I was working on one just before I wound up here.

LIADRIN:  What enemy was that?

GARROSH:  A demon called Malchezaar – taking him out wouldn’t even be that big of a deal, but I kind of have to get him out of his lair in order to defeat him.

LIADRIN:  Something you would need powerful magic to do?

GARROSH:  Probably.  Magic not really being my strong suit.

LIADRIN:  I may know whose it is.  You want to talk to the Wizard of Zhan.

GARROSH:  The who now?

LIADRIN:  The Wizard of Zhan!  He’s a wise, mysterious mage who lives in the Dark Tower far away.

GARROSH:  So this guy is pretty powerful?

LIADRIN:  Extremely – they say there’s no end to what he can do.

GARONA:  Let’s not get carried away now.

GARROSH:  You know him?

GARONA:  We’ve met.

GARROSH:  So how do I get to him?

LIADRIN:  The tower of Zhan is far to the east of Dustwallow, in the Pass of Dying Winds.  Luckily for you, the eastward Gold Road will take you straight there.

Liadrin points to the yellow brick road beneath their feet.

GARROSH:  Well that’s convenient.

GARONA:  I can go with you, since I know the Wizard.

LIADRIN:  You should get started – it’s a long trip, especially since you’ll be walking.

GARROSH:  Screw walking, I’ve got my wyvern right here.  I can just hop on and fly along the road.

GARONA:  Great!  I can get on behind you and hold onto you.

GARROSH:  Okay, so walking it is.  Grats on the dodged bullet, Mortimer.

GARONAFine.

LIADRIN:  We’ll see you off!  Good luck on your journey!

GARROSH:  Hey, actually…you said this road leads right to Zhan?

LIADRIN:  Yes, it does.

GARROSH:  Even though there’s an ocean between here and there?  Because we’re kind of on a different continent.

LIADRIN:  Yes, but fortunately the road runs across the Willing Suspension Bridge of Disbelief.

GARROSH:  Huh.  Okay then.  Off we go.

Garrosh, Garona, and Mortimer start to follow the road while the Mudsprockets gather behind them.

 

{OFF TO SEE THE WIZARD}

GOBLINS:

You’re off to see the Wizard,
The guardian Wizard of Zhan.
We hear he’s sage: the mightiest mage
Who ever met mortal man.
If you seek some sorcery for your plan,
The Wizard’s your man, because he can –
He can, he can, he can, he can, he can.
He’ll have it all done before it began!
You’re off to see the Wizard,
The guardian Wizard of Zhan!

The curtains close.

 

{TO BE CONTINUED IN ACT 2}

Turn of the tide

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

Well THIS has been an ugly turn, let me just say.

So as I was saying last time, I wasn’t exactly thrilled that the Alliance were able to squirm out from under their imminent deaths-by-kraken, but I could still deal with that.  Their counteroffensive on Durotar got thoroughly slapped back, they lost a ton of ships, Horde losses were minimal, fine.  Would have been nice if we could have polished them off entirely, but still, worst spin you could put on our side was it was a draw, best spin you could put on theirs is they avoided a total fucking catastrophe.  All good.

But this?  This is going to stick in my craw for a while.

By the way, what the hell is a craw?

Anyway.  I gathered up some troops to bring down to Northwatch Hold, but once we were under way, I took off ahead of everyone and pushed my worg Malak to race down there as fast as she could.  Malkorok, Baine, and Vol’jin kept fairly close behind me (you should have seen Baine’s kodo’s little legs go – would have been kind of endearing if I wasn’t so pissed off at the time).  We ended up well ahead of any of the other soldiers.  And in the end, none of us made it all the way there.

I stopped at a distance once Northwatch was clearly within view.  Malkorok, Baine, and Vol’jin had the good sense to keep their distance while I took it all in.  The Alliance flag was already flying there again, and the place was swarming with water elementals.  More happy deliveries from Jaina.

How the hell did this happen?  We had every tactical advantage.  We had the Alliance on the fucking ROPES, with our foot on their throat.  And now?  Now there wouldn’t even be any point in having our troops continue on – staging an attempt to retake Northwatch would be a suicide mission at this point.

While I was fuming over all this, one of Baine’s Longrunners arrived with even more happy news – Varian was sending his fleet around to break our blockade.  Terrific.  I wasn’t interested in letting an ugly situation turn even uglier, so I sent Malkorok back with orders to have our ships withdraw and return home.  Don’t think for a minute that THAT order didn’t stick in my throat a little.

Baine turned all happy on me at that point.  He thought it meant I was giving up on taking the fight to the Alliance and pushing for the Horde to take its rightful place of dominance.  Well, I straightened him out on that count right quick.  No way in hell am I abandoning this fight – if anything, we’re stepping it up.  More troops, more ships, more weapons, more everything.  The Alliance thinks this is over?  Fuck that.  We’re just getting started.

Baine and Vol’jin didn’t much like the sound of that, and they both did a little more griping before they both turned around and headed home.

And you know something?  I’m getting goddamn sick and tired of listening to those two complain.  All through this latest campaign, I’ve been defending them to Malkorok for meaning well in their own way, and being loyal and great warriors in their own right.  But you know what?  This whole deal where I have to listen to the two of them complain every time I make a decision is getting REAL old REAL fast.  They were DEAD.  Baine was dead.  Vol’jin was dead.  Orgrimmar fucking FELL.  And I’ve had quite enough of this bullshit where I save the fucking world only to have people bitch and moan like ingrates over the way I’ve gone about doing it.

I’ve already sacrificed too much in the name of saving the Horde to let victory escape us now.  I’ve let friends die and enemies live.  I’ve thrown away my own honor doing it, because I had to.  Because it was either my honor, or the survival of the entire Horde – the entire fucking WORLD.  Dranosh Saurfang was a brother to me, but his death was the only way to save the world from flames.  It was the only way, so I killed him.  And I liked him a whole fucking lot more than I like Baine or Vol’jin.

What difference does it make if Orgrimmar burns at the hands of the demons, or the humans?  If the Alliance wins now – if the Horde doesn’t emerge triumphant and strong and in control of its destiny – then Dranosh died for nothing.  Cairne died for nothing.  Taurajo burned for nothing.  ALL of it was for NOTHING.

No.  I won’t have it.  Not while I’m Warchief.  Not on my watch.  We’ve paid too high a price already.

We’re pressing on, fighting on, and we’re not stopping, not slowing, not flinching until we win.  I promise you that, Dranosh.  In your memory.  In your honor.

For the Horde.

Two if by sea

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

Okay, so that didn’t exactly go the way I drew it up on the chalkboard.

Things started off well enough.  When the troll scout showed up with word that Alliance ships were headed to Durotar, I took off with Malkorok for Bladefist Bay and sent word to our own ships — including the ones anchored down at Northwatch Hold — to get back here to help with the defense.  The only boat at Bladefist Bay when I arrived was a goblin ship — you know, that rickety-looking one that ALWAYS seems to be there.  I commandeered it and headed out with Malkorok and a contingent of Kor’kron to meet our ships on the way up from Northwatch.

When we met the other ships — a handful of them, but enough — we could see the Alliance fleet approaching.  That’s when I rolled out the surprise welcoming committee for Varian and his boys, courtesy of my shaman.  From our ships, they started working their magic, and from the depths of the ocean summoned up kraken.  Eight of them, to be exact — vast and hulking and totally, utterly at our command.

The Alliance fleet hardly even knew what hit it.

While the kraken were reducing the enemy ships to flotsam, I decided I wanted to smack a few humans down myself before it was too late, so I pulled my ship alongside one of theirs and jumped over.  After I’d taken down a few of the crew I got an extra treat — this was the royal flagship, and lo and behold, up close and personal and ready to have at it, there was Varian Wrynn.  We traded blows, just enough for me to REALLY start to look forward to finishing him off once and for all (by the way, fuck you, Varian), but then our battle was interrupted by one of the kraken smashing the flagship to splinters.

I swam back to one of our ships and took in the sight.  The kraken were reducing the Alliance fleet to ruins.  Only a handful of their ships remained.  Alliance survivors from the devastated ships were swimming frantically for the few that were still afloat, while many more of their comrades were well on their way to a fitting end as fish food.

It was all coming together right before my eyes.  This was how it would begin.  The death of Varian, the fall of the Alliance, the end of any delusion they might ever have had that they could stand against us.  Four Horde ships against a dozen or more, victorious with barely a scratch.

And then.

I’d rather not even think about it.  But here goes.

I didn’t fully realize what was going on at first.  A blue dragon flew over us — it looked like the one we’d seen and wounded on the way to Theramore, and seemed to be carrying a humanoid.  And then, all of a sudden, dozens — no, hundreds — of water elementals started to emerge from the sea and swarmed over the kraken, wearing them down and, eventually, killing them, one by one.  The dragon continued to fly back and forth, and on one pass, I finally managed to see who it was carrying — Jaina Proudmoore, alive after all.  This was her handiwork.  Just before she moved too far out of view, I managed to make out a small, pulsing, glowing blue sphere in her hands.

The Focusing Iris.

Oh for fuck’s sake.  I mean, come on, Focusing Iris, elementals, can’t fucking ANYONE get their own ideas anymore?

Anyway, I wasn’t about to risk letting the situation at sea get any further out of control.  We’d still essentially neutralized an Alliance offensive that had greatly superior numbers, not to mention put their navy back a good number of ships, so if we needed to pull back at that point to regroup, so be it.  We turned back and made our way to Bladefist Bay, while the few remaining Alliance ships took off as well.  Only problem is, from what we could see, the Alliance ships weren’t sailing due east, like they would if they were planning to head straight back to Stormwind.  They were sailing south.

As soon as we landed, I called together as many soldiers as I could gather quickly, plus Vol’jin and Baine, who’d heard what was going on and had come to meet me at the bay.  We’re heading down to the Barrens to Northwatch Hold.  I’ll update again soon.  I’m starting to think that when I do, I’ll be in a very foul mood.

The fall of Theramore

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

Victory from the jaws of defeat.

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

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

Today was a good day.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

A blood elf.

See if you can guess who writes his checks.

Down came the gates, and in came the Horde.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh, wait.  I do.

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

Goodbye, Theramore.

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

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

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

But it would do.  For a start.

Same as it ever was

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

I was groggy when I woke up, and even after I opened my eyes, it took a few minutes for my head to stop spinning.  Finally my vision cleared up and I found myself sitting in a chair, sprawled forward over a table.  There were papers under my face, and a few of them stuck to it courtesy of a small puddle of drool.

I straightened up in the chair, plucked the clingy pages from my cheek, and looked around the room.  It was the admiral’s quarters in Northwatch Hold, the room I’ve been using the last few days of our stay here.  The drool-smeared papers in my hand, and others spread around the table, were covered with maps of Theramore, lists of troop assignments, armament logistics, the crew manifesto of a goblin air galleon.

I ran my hands over the table to make sure it was really there.  And then my uneasy brain went looking for hallucination in the next most likely place.

Had I imagined it?  The other world, the demons, the Scourge, the fall of Orgrimmar…everything…could it have just been a dream?  It seemed so real, the memories were so vivid…but…

I stood up, gathered more of the papers from the table, and started paging through them — not even reading anything on them, really, just wanting something I could feel in my hands.  As I held the documents over the tabletop and looked at all the words without ever reading any of them, my arm brushed another paper, this one creased and folded, jutting out of my belt.

The military documents spilled around the floor as I grabbed the folded paper and rushed to unfold it.  It was worn and stained with what looked like blood, just a torn-off scrap, not even half a page.  Scrawled across it was the familiar handwriting of the Master Apothecary of Sylvanas’ Royal Society.  Or the man who would become him.

They’re going to turn against you.  Don’t let them.

He really, REALLY never listened.  It’s like some weird matter of principle with him.  I don’t even know if he was really trying to help, offering some begrudging, misguided gesture in parting…or if this was his way of giving me one last middle finger for the things I’d forced him to do.  I don’t know if I could hold either against him.

But that sealed it.  It all happened.  Except that it didn’t, now.

It worked.  We did it.  We saved the world.  It all happened, just the way I remembered it, just the way it was supposed to.

I walked over to the tower window.  I needed some air to clear my head.  I leaned out and looked across the Barrens.  I could see Horde banners below, and a squad of Kor’kron wyvern riders circling past as they patrolled the area.  And as I looked off into the distance, staring at the horizon more than anything, I started to make out wisps of smoke, faint black tendrils reaching up to the sky from old, spiteful fires that refused to go out completely, even after all this time.

Taurajo.

I turned from the window and stepped back into the room.

And then I grabbed one of the chairs arranged around the table and threw it against the wall.  The chair broke into pieces.  I ran over and grabbed them up, one after another, breaking them into smaller pieces and smashing them against the wall again.  And then a second chair.  And a third.  Screaming with each one — AT each one.

I threw them around the room until the chairs were pieces and the pieces were splinters, smashing them against the walls and the floor and each other as if by breaking them enough I could force back the thoughts I couldn’t help thinking.

I ran across the room to a bookcase that stood against one wall and sent it toppling.  Books spilled around the floor.  I lunged down, hunched over, grabbed them by the fistful and hurled them against the walls.  Watched them clatter back to the floor.  It didn’t help.  I grabbed up more of them, pulling them open, ripping them apart at the spines, flinging loose pages around until they fluttered uselessly down around me.

Fluttered like shimmering white wings.

I pounced back on the broken bookcase, yanked out one shelf, flung it across the room.  It clattered to the floor.  It didn’t break.  I wrenched out a second shelf and threw it against the door, leaving a deep gash in the wood.  That one didn’t break, either.  Somehow that only made me angrier, sent me into a rage at its stubbornness, its stupid defiance, refusing to snap.  How DARE it — how dare ANYTHING — and I ran to the door, grabbed up the fallen shelf, and beat it against the wall until it splintered.

It didn’t help.  It wasn’t enough.

The door to the room opened and Malkorok leaned in.  I only heard bits and pieces of whatever he said — something about the noise, and my yelling, and if I was all right.  I spun on him, struck him across the face, then threw him back out of the room and down the stairs before slamming the door, rattling it on its hinges.

Today is not the day to ask me if I’m all right.

I grabbed one of the broken chair pieces and jammed the door shut.  I wasn’t in any mood for interruptions, least of all from the likes of him.

The admiral’s bed — flung over, frame snapped, mattress torn open.  Feathers floating through the air and scattering around the room.  The nightstand next to the bed — lifted over my head and slammed down onto the floor, shattered awkwardly into pieces.  Its single drawer split off awkwardly and spilled letters and trinkets across the floor.  Part of it splintered off as I swung the nightstand down onto the floor and stabbed into my forearm.  I barely felt it.  I didn’t even notice until a spattering of blood started to dribble onto the letters and papers strewn around the floor.

It still wasn’t enough.  It might never be enough.

Go be a hero, he told me.  Go save the world.  I did.  We won.  And all I had to do was kill him.  All I had to do was burn Taurajo.  All I had to do was become the final secret conspirator against our people in time of war, once upon a time.  All I had to do was save traitors, destroy families, forsake all honor in the face of a battle too dire to be won by any other means.

I don’t know how long I can stand to live in this world if these are the choices I have to make to save it.

I was racing around the room in circles, kicking at anything in reach, clawing pictures down off the walls.  Only really half seeing what was around me, just grabbing anything I could, then throwing it or stomping it underfoot or breaking it over one knee.  At some point I found myself spinning in place, roaring madly at nothing, and then threw myself at the table, beating it with both fists, pounding over and over until the wood buckled and the beams split and it all came crashing down and still there I was among the pieces on the floor.

I pulled myself up and looked around the ruins of the room, choking down air in gasps.

This room isn’t big enough.  It isn’t big enough.  Nothing in it is big enough.

I need something bigger.

We march tomorrow.  Theramore burns.

 

 

[Wrathgate (wide shot) image provided by Angelya from Revive and RejuvenateProfessor Putricide, Putress, and Cairne Bloodhoof (living) images provided by Rioriel from Postcards From Azeroth; click the links in this sentence to see the souped-up Postcard versions!  All images used here with permission and many thanks.]

Casualties of war

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

We’re still holding tight at Northwatch Hold…for more reasons than one.  The second phase of the plan is ready to go, not least of all because of some clutch last-minute work by the goblins and blood elves, and all that’s left is for me to give the go-ahead.

Not yet, though.  Waiting a little more could end up helping in a couple ways.  One, it ultimately puts a few pieces in even better position for the Theramore plan.  And two, it gives that much more time for these time tremors to kick in and save us the trouble of even dealing with what’s happening here in the first place.

Not that anyone here actually knows about any of that.  Well, ALMOST no one knows about it, anyway.  Mokvar knows the story with the time flashes, obviously – I haven’t said anything about my own take on them, although it wouldn’t sock me if he’s guessed, after last time.  And Malkorok knows some of what’s coming strategically for Theramore.  Or might be, if I decide to pull the trigger.  He’s been an advocate for it, even while I’ve been on the fence myself.

Baine and Vol’jin, meanwhile, have been getting more and more grumbly.  Earlier today, they came moping into the admiral’s tower here, which I’ve taken over as my personal quarters, and interrupted my lunch just to complain some more about all the waiting.  I don’t mind telling you, I am getting damn sick and tired of tired of of rebma tired ni of sick sgub of erofeb dias of and evi sa and lla era ew taht dnif lliw you uoy dna tnemom yb tnemom have ti ekat si ylpmis ti a snoitanalpxe ro sgninraw ot flesti destiny dnel ton seod ti egnahc ton seod wrappings ti emit wrappings lla burial wrappings si burial emit burial lla burial burial wrappings burial wrappings were applied and the body was set in place for the final rites.  Hamuul Runetotem conducted the memorial, with Aponi Brightmane chiming in an additional prayer to the Earth Mother now and again.

Even looking back, it’s amazing to think of the turnout for the service.  Dranosh, Eitrigg, and I came, obviously.  Varok made the trip to Mulgore all the way from Northrend.  Jaina Proudmoore and – ugh – Varian Wrynn traveled from Theramore.  Same for Anduin.  Genn Greymane.  Muradin Bronzebeard.  Even Tyrande Whisperwind and Malfurion Stormrage (yeah, yeah, I know I usually call him Antlers, but this was a funeral, and even I have my limits) came out from their corner of nowhere to pay their respects.  It crossed my mind after we’d all left that one of our big-bads could have turned up and dropped one big bomb on Red Rocks and taken out almost our entire leadership in one fell swoop.

Varok didn’t stray far from Cairne the whole time.  The old bull was quiet, steady, stoic as always, but we all knew what had to be going on inside.  The only time Cairne spoke at all – apart from him stepping forward to offer the final blessing – came when he turned to Saurfang and quietly told him he envied him.  Not even for the obvious reason, not quite.  He said he envied that Varok would one day meet his end knowing he would be buried by his son.  That is was the proper order of things.  That of all the scourges of war, none was more spiteful than its upturning of that rightful order.

I’ve spent much of the day trying to convince myself that Baine’s death shouldn’t bother me as much as it does.  I can’t even say I ever knew him very well, and most of how I DID know him…well, let’s just say I’m we’re not exactly at the top of each other’s Winter’s Veil lists.  It would have been naïve of me to think that this other world would only give back, only right wrongs.  It would have been naïve to expect that there wouldn’t be new losses.  I couldn’t really have expected otherwise.  Except that I guess I did.

We’re at war.  This is what happens in war.  That men will die is a matter of fact.  WHICH men will die…well, that’s a matter of circumstance.  Baine is a victim of a different set of circumstances.  Are these really any worse?  I mean, yes, there’s the fact that the war with the Scourge is still going on at all.  But there’s always another war.  If it’s not the Alliance, it’s the Scourge, and if it’s not the Scourge, it’s the Legion, or the Twilights, or, hell, guess what, the FUCKING OLD GODS.  That’s how it works.  We beat one big bad, only to have another one dropped on us.  Rinse, repeat, cross your fingers…

Speaking of which, though.  We ended up needing to get back to Orgrimmar shortly after the service.  Advance scouting reports have indicated a large Scourge force amassing in Winterspring, and we needed to review what we know and get our defenses in order, just in case.  Saurfang stayed for the strategy session, what with him having logged the most Scourge-fighting hours of any of us, but we agreed that until we know what the Lich King is up to, we don’t want our troops in Northrend to be without their C.O.

We’re in the process of shoring up the rear gate to Azshara in case anything happens.  In the meantime, we’ll keep watch on what’s going on up north while we get our defenses set.

Seems I’m going from one waiting game to another.  Let’s hope at least one of them breaks well for us.

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