Archive for orphanage

30 Days of Character Development #5: Korrina

Posted in 30 Days of Character Development with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

[Each week, a post will profile one of the blog’s many supporting players.  (See the first profile for more details.)  Feel free to chime in with recommendations for other characters you’d like to see more about.]

 

korrina_profile1Name:  Korrina

Occupation:  Horde military trainee, apprentice blacksmith, part-time ore miner

Race:  Orc

Class:  Warrior (arms)

Age:  15

Group affiliations:  Horde (member), Dead Peons Society (a.k.a. “DPS,” member and resident badass)

Known relativesThura (mother), Broxigar (great-uncle, deceased), Varok Saurfang (great-uncle), Dranosh Saurfang (second cousin, deceased)

First appearance:  “Being a role model is a full-time job” (first mention of trainee group), “Dead Peons Society” (first mention of DPS by name), “Buried treasure” (first full, named appearance)

Key posts and plot points:

  • Garrosh first took on a group of high-aptitude trainees in “Being a role model is a full-time job,” and the group adopted its name in the eponymous “Dead Peons Society” after an…unfortunate incident involving a lazy and excessively fragile peon.  Korrina was part of the group from the beginning, but was not named specifically until the Krasarang Underground arc.
  • Along with many of her fellow DPS trainees, Korrina accompanied the Warchief to Pandaria and continued her training there, in part under the guidance of Mag’har blademasters Krimpatul, Burzum, and Ishi.
  • Korrina and the other trainees joined Krimpatul on an ill-fated mission to secure the Temple of the Red Crane for the Horde, beginning in “Departures.”  In “Fear leads to anger,” Garrosh learned of an Alliance victory at the temple that appeared to claim the lives of the trainees; unknown to the Warchief, Krimpatul led the trainees into hiding in a nearby system of caves, as detailed in “Reports of my demise” parts 1 and 2.
  • C13_3-2At the urging of Elder Cloudfall, Garrosh traveled to the temple grounds to investigate the trainees’ disappearance.  There, after accidentally falling into the underground caverns, he found Korrina and the rest of the DPS, in “Buried treasure.”  This post marked Korrina’s first formal appearance in the blog and the first time she’s referenced by name.  Garrosh and the trainees eventually made their escape from the caves, though not before Korrina demonstrated her badassery on some unsuspecting saurok.  (And she would have put the hurt on Varian, too, if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids Gurtash and Ruekie…)
  • For those keeping score at home, DPS members who have been named thus far are Korrina, Gurtash, Ruekie, Giska, and Kulkesh (our main players in the Krasarang story); Ruekie’s twin sister Tuekie; and Lok’osh, who was killed in the saurok cave.
  • Korrina is based on the baby arms warrior of long-time WCB co-conspirator Khizzara, author of Blog of the Treant.  Many thanks to Khizzara for letting me steal her character, and for her many contributions to her character – including a large portion of the in-character responses that follow!

In his/her own words:

Describe your relationship with your mother or your father.  Was it good?  Bad?  Were you spoiled rotten, ignored?  Do you still get along now, or no?

Well, I don’t know who my dad is.  My mom never talks about him.  I think he was killed in honorable combat like a true orc hero, but his death made mom sad so she doesn’t say much.  She doesn’t talk about my greatparents either.  They probably died in the 2nd or 3rd war?  I’m not sure… I should ask but sooooo awkward!

My mom is pretty cool though.  Good in a fight.  She’s not as famous as some of my relatives, though…

Mom was a pretty good mom, I guess.  She had to go off and fight and stuff when I was small, something about how her axe was super special, and she had to go chop down an important tree or something.

…Okay, I know that sounds lame, but it was harder than it sounds, okay?

Anyway, since my dad is dead, I had to stay in the orphanage while she was gone to war.  That happens to everyone, though, so whatev.  She’s back now but I’M off at war.  I write to her, though, so she won’t worry too much.

C10_2-2What are your most prominent physical features?

My totes awesome purple mohawk!!! And my bulging biceps LOL

Name one scar you have, and tell us where it came from.  If you don’t have any, is there a reason?

Only ONE!!??  I’m a WARRIOR, I’m MADE of scars!  Okay, hmm… Well, most are just nicks and cuts and things, but once, when I was pretty little, I was playing on top of the old bank in Orgrimmar, the one before Warchief Garrosh rebuilt things, and I slipped and fell and landed on the cactus in front of the door!  So all these cactus needles went through my left arm and leg and had to be removed, so I have all these evenly spaced circular scars there.  It looks pretty cool, actually.

How vain are you?  Do you find yourself attractive?

Um… I guess I’m pretty average looking??  I never thought about it much.  Looks aren’t important when you’re usually covered in dirt, sweat, and blood, anyway.

Describe your happiest memory.

This is maybe stupid, but once while mom was away my uncle Varok came to visit me at the Org orphanage — well, I guess he was visiting Warchief Thrall, but he spent a whole day with me.  He showed me some cool fighting moves and bought me ice cream and a little teddy bear (which I still have, shh!) and let me stay up real late while he told me stories.  It was a pretty chilly night (it gets cold in the desert after dark), but I didn’t want him to send me to bed, and orcs are tough, so I didn’t complain.  And it was a really clear night, so he pointed out all the major constellations in the night sky, and we watched the Blue Child come up.

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?  Color?  Song?  Flower?

Strawberry.  Deep purple (like my hair!).  Power of the Horde by the ETC!  Twilight jasmine is pretty, and purple too!

Who do you trust?

I trust my fellow DPS with my life.  And my captain/Warchief Garrosh.  Never go into battle with people you don’t trust.

I also trust my axe, Lizardbane.  (I named it that because it’s great for killing saurok!)

Can you define a turning point in your life?  Multiples are acceptable.

– When my mom went to war and I had to live at the orphanage

– When I started warrior training

– When I went with the DPS to Pandaria

How are you with technology?  Super savvy, or way behind the times?  Letters or e-mail?

I’m not a goblin or a nerd, but yeah, I grew up with computers, so I know some tech stuff.  Letters or email?  LOL it’s not like I’m old and in my 20s or something.  I just text or whatev.  Unless it needs to be more official, and then it depends on how urgent the message is.  Birthday card for Uncle Varok?  Snail mail.  Homework?  E-mail.  And if I really need to send a message, I find that AXE to the FACE works pretty well.

What does your bed look like when you wake up?  Are the covers off on one side of the bed, are they all curled around a pillow, sprawled everywhere?  In what position do you sleep?

I sleep on my side with my hand on Lizardbane.  Usually I wrap the blanket all around myself kinda like a cocoon.  I don’t need a blanket though.  A warrior can sleep anywhere, anytime!

C14_2-2How do you react to temperature changes such as extreme heat and cold?

I endure them without complaint.

Are you an early morning bird or a night owl?

Night owl.  Do NOT talk to me before 10 am unless you want an AXE to the FACE.

Are there any blood relatives that you are particularly close with, besides the immediate ones?  Cousins, uncles, grandfathers, aunts, etc.  Are there any others that you practically consider a blood relative?

I love my Uncle Varok, but I don’t get to see him much.  He’s stationed in Northrend.  This is going to sound dumb, but I want to be as awesome as he is someday.

My cousin Dranosh was a cool guy, but he was way older than me, so I didn’t know him much.  I was sad when he died, though.

I didn’t really meet my uncle Brox.

I guess I’m mostly on my own, but it’s okay because the DPS is like family.

What does you desk/workspace look like?  Are you neat or messy?

I keep my weapons and gear neat and tidy because well-maintained gear is gear that keeps you alive!  Otherwise… well, just… don’t look in my bags, okay?

Do you have any irrational fears?

I fear failing to protect my friends, but that seems pretty rational to me.  I’m also kinda scared of falling off buildings and landing on cactus.  Cactuses.  Cactusi?

C14_2-3What would your cutie mark be?

Your skull with my axe through it for asking something so stupid.

If you could time travel, where would you go?

Knowing the Bronze Dragonflight, it’s probably a matter of WHEN, not IF.  And I doubt I’ll have much choice in the matter of where.  But I guess I’d like to see Draenor… the old Draenor, before it shattered.  When the orc clans were still brown and strong.

What might your ideal romantic partner be?

I’ve never thought about it.  I guess… strong, confident, skilled in combat, smart (no peons please!), tough, loyal, honorable… a real ORC man, you know?

But I dunno, seems like a bad idea to fall in love.  Everyone dies young, so you either lose them, or they lose you, and your kids grow up in the orphanage.

Describe your hands.  Are they small, long, calloused, smooth, stubby?

Why?  That’s kinda creepy.  Do you have some hand fetish or something?

They’re strong and wield a big axe.  Think about that when you ask questions.

What’s your favorite comfort food, favorite vice, favorite outfit, favorite hot drink, favorite time of year, and favorite holiday?

Pulled pork.  Um, what?  I don’t think I have any of those.  My armor.  Hot cocoa!  Autumn.  Brewfest.  Um!  I mean!  WINTER VEIL.  Yes.  Winter Veil.  >.>

How do you smell?  Do you wear perfume or cologne?

Strong hands.  Big axe.  Remember?  Get away from me, you creeper!

Besides, I’m standing right in front of you.  What are you going to ask next, what I’m wearing?  When I’m standing right in front of you?

But come on, I’m a warrior!  I wear plate armor and do vigorous physical activity all day.  I don’t smell of roses.  Idiot.

 

Previous Profiles:

  1. Spazzle Fizzletrinket
  2. Ben-Lin Cloudstrider
  3. Dontrag and Utvoch
  4. Taktani

* * * * *

[A few reminders and announcements!  First and foremost, last call for the Transmogs for Shayari contest – today is the last day to send your entries to garrosh1337@gmail.com.  I’ve already gotten many great outfits, and will be looking forward to seeing a few more before the day is out.

Along those lines, I’m planning to put together a pretty big post next weekend, showing off the wide range of looks that folks have offered for everyone’s favorite half-draenei girl.  (Sorry, Garona.  Don’t come after me.)  In order to give myself room to put that post together, without derailing the blog’s main continuity too much, I’m also going to skip next week’s 30 Days profile.  I’ll have a new profile haphazardly slapped together the following week (or weekend, most likely).  Any requests, as far as whom?

And speaking of next weekend, just a reminder that we’ll be having our next installment of the SoO meta raid.  As always, all are welcome; as always, feel free to add Averry#1116 on RealID to reach me to come join the fun.

And finally, one more item to look forward to next week: It’s mailbag time!  The Warchief is already busy sorting through his mail, but he can always use more.  Use the e-mail address above or the handy form below to submit your thoughts and questions before it’s too late!]

 

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Cheat Sheet

Posted in Words from Behind the Curtain with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

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As promised in my last post, here’s an overview of the state of the blog.  I realize that after two years of accumulated in-jokes and storylines, the Command Board may be a bit disorienting to a newcomer (or, for that matter, to a long-time reader who blinked at the wrong time), so I’ve tried to break this down into a semi-sorta-kinda FAQ.  Most of this will be familiar to long-time readers (though I’ve also included a few behind-the-scenes notes that some of you might find interesting), but I hope it’ll explain a few things for new arrivals.

 

I hate Garrosh!  Why does Garrosh seem so sympathetic in this blog?  Are you one of those Garrosh apologists/fanboys?

Comically enough, I originally started the blog because I really didn’t like Garrosh either, and saw the blog as a way to have a few chuckles mocking him.  It wasn’t long, though, before I decided that I would get sick of the outright-mockery approach pretty quickly, so I started branching out.  Part of the result was letting blog-Garrosh become (I hope) a bit more multifaceted, while still remaining true to his temperamental self.  Including the LOLs.

Ultimately, I don’t set out to justify anything Garrosh does, just to present it in a way that makes sense in light of the character, and if that pushes a black-and-white scenario into some shade of gray, well, that makes for a more interesting story anyway.  And, keep in mind, the story here is being told, generally, from Garrosh’s point of view, so I don’t know how that perspective wouldn’t be sympathetic.  Everyone is the hero of their own story, after all, and nobody thinks they’re a bad person.

 

Why isn’t there anything here about the siege of Orgrimmar?

What are you talking about?  There was a post titled “The siege of Orgrimmar” a good solid year ago – if anything, shouldn’t you be asking why Blizzard is coming so late to the party?  (By the way, I didn’t realize until just now that patch 5.4 was released almost exactly on the one-year anniversary of the “Siege or Orgrimmar” post.  How awesomely freaky is that?)

Anyway, to give a real answer: Time-wise, the blog has not yet reached the events of patch 5.4.  The storyline is currently playing out the midst of 5.2; Lor’themar Theron and Jaina Proudmoore have recently set up shop on the Isle of Thunder, while Vol’jin is still recovering from his injuries at Shado-Pan Monastery.

This time lag between the game and the blog, by the way, is partly by design.  I’d always intended the blog to run a bit behind the game; coming into MoP, I realized that if I tried to follow in-game events too closely, I wouldn’t have time to adapt my own ideas to fit Blizzard’s story.  There have already been a few instances in which Blizzard’s story has taken a turn that’s forced me to change gears in a way that would have been disastrous if I didn’t have a month or two of lead time.  Of course, I’m clearly more than a month or two behind – that’s been a result of various real-life circumstances slowing down my output over the last few months.  I’m working on it!

 

So the blog basically retells in-game events, from Garrosh’s point of view?

Yes and no.  The blog operates within Blizzard’s continuity (with the aforementioned time delay), but also weaves additional storylines in and around the canonical Blizzard plots.  Anything that happens or is stated explicitly in-game is canon, obviously, and the blog is bound by it.*  That said, I sometimes like to put other stories around Blizzard’s, to give them context that might change the way those events are perceived.  (This was a large part of my motivation for the Timequake story leading into Theramore, or, more recently, the blog events surrounding the Divine Bell / Domination Offensive storyline.)

Also, while the point of view is mostly Garrosh’s, there are some posts that present events from other perspectives.  Most notable are the “guest” posts by Spazzle (Garrosh’s tech goblin), which help fill in story details that Garrosh wouldn’t necessarily be privy to.  You can always identify a post written by someone other than Garrosh by the color of the text – Spazzle’s posts, for instance, are always written in green text, and almost always include the phrase “Spazzle Speaks” in the title.  Also, as a rule of thumb, when Spazzle et al post, Garrosh remains oblivious to anything that might be revealed; the conceit at work here is that Garrosh doesn’t really care what anyone else is writing, so he doesn’t bother reading it.

* The one instance that I’ve flat-out fudged in-game details is the way I’ve chosen to incorporate the events of “A Little Patience.”  From the Alliance point of view, that scenario takes place almost immediately after Varian arrives in Pandaria; in the blog, I’ve pushed those events a bit later in the story.  This was largely a matter of convenience: I knew that I wanted there to be a military operation in Krasarang in which Garrosh’s trainees went missing, and I realized fairly late in the going that “A Little Patience” lent itself to that story pretty readily.  Hopefully those Alliance-side readers out there will be willing to turn a blind eye to my blatant and shameless revision.  (Horde bias rears its ugly head again!  GRR!)

 

Garrosh has trainees?  When did that happen?

Right here!  As part of the escalation of the war effort, the Kor’kron started a training program to prepare orc teenagers for eventual military service.  When Garrosh learned that Gurtash – an orc boy from the Orgrimmar orphanage whom Garrosh had taken under his wing – had been conscripted, Garrosh volunteered to take Gurtash’s trainee group under his own supervision.  (Side note: In my head-canon, Garrosh has a bit of a soft spot for the orphans, being as he is one himself.)  The trainees, who have nicknamed themselves the Dead Peons Society (DPS for short) have accompanied Garrosh to Pandaria and joined him on a few adventures.  Fairly recently, they went missing after the Horde loss in the “A Little Patience” scenario, and were eventually found by Garrosh, hiding away in an underground system of caves.  That’s brought us up to the point where we are now, story-wise: Garrosh and the trainees underground, looking for a way out.

 

Is the entire supporting cast from within the game?

Mostly, but not entirely.  I’ve invented a few characters for the blog – Spazzle being the highest-profile – but I’ve tried to keep it limited, and tried to restrict those characters to fairly peripheral positions in the lore.  The one glaring exception was the storyline involving Garrosh’s mother, Lakkara, who isn’t mentioned anywhere in the actual lore.  It just struck me as odd that there’s no record of who she was, or what happened to her, and besides, in a mythology packed to capacity with father/son relationships, I thought it was about time somebody’s mom got a little screen time.

Otherwise, when a character turns up who doesn’t exist in-game, that character was often inspired by a reader and/or based on someone’s game character.  For instance, both Gurtash and Mortimer (Garrosh’s personal wyvern) became blog characters thanks to mailbag letters from Khizzara from Blog of the Treant; Khizzara’s own namesake has made a few appearances as Spazzle’s cousin; doodle-prone kitty druid Taktani became a full-fledged character (and boy, is she ever a character) after making several mailbag contributions; and many of the DPS trainees are modeled on the baby orc alts of friends.

In general, though, if you see a supporting character turn up whose name you don’t recognize, the smartest first guess is that he or she is based on a questgiver or other NPC somewhere in-game.  (Wowpedia is your friend!)  I deliberately picked a lot of relatively minor NPCs – people like Mokvar, Elder Cloudfall, and Dontrag and Utvoch – to use as supporting characters because I figured their relatively peripheral status gave me more latitude to work with them, give them backstories, etc.  After all, what are the odds that Blizzard would actually do something with one of these people to contradict my own concoctions?

(Either way, if you’re not sure who someone is, I’ve also maintained a partial list of supporting players on the About the Blog page, including some of the more pertinent information about them.)

 

Speaking of which – in the SoO raid, Mokvar is a mini-boss!  Isn’t he missing?  How are you going to deal with that?

First… um, yeah, that whole “no way they’re gonna do something with this guy” really blew up in my face on this one, huh?

And second… So, everyone who thought I was going to lay out this big storyline for Mokvar, and make such a production out of his disappearance…and then have it turn out that he really is dead…step forward.

Didn’t think so.

For those of you unclear on Mokvar’s whole story, which has been unfolding gradually for quite a while, you can check here for a brief overview and links to the relevant posts.  Very short version: After becoming the victim of a mysterious attack, Mokvar sets out to track down a powerful relic from his warlock days, with the aid of a human named Deliana (who was Mokvar’s Alliance equivalent in the old dungeon set quests); over the course of his quest, he starts to behave increasingly strangely, culminating in his eventual flight from arrest in Orgrimmar.  His whereabouts are now unknown.

Stay tuned.  You’ll see where this is going!

 

With Mokvar gone, how are you handling the transcripts?

Prelinimary: The blog contains several transcripts of conversations that Garrosh has engaged in.  The premise from the outset has been that Mokvar is (or was) Garrosh’s personal scribe, and records all these conversations for posting.  This explains, by the way, a number of occasions when Garrosh mentions summoning Mokvar to an event, or otherwise noting Mokvar’s presence, as a way of leading in to a transcript.

Since Mokvar is off the grid, Garrosh has passed transcription duties to two people: Gurtash, who records his transcripts in the form of comics; and Taktani, a friend of Dontrag and Utvoch and long-time mailbag contributor, who’s started to (and will continue to) write a few transcripts, laden with her own unassuming brand of commentary.

 

What are these guild chat logs that keep cropping up?

Garrosh and several of the supporting characters play an MMORPG called Earth Online – the basic premise being that, to these characters, Azeroth is reality, and our real world is actually the game world of the MMO.  Garrosh started his own guild, called <Warchief>, and several familiar faces (including Spazzle, Sylvanas, Lor’themar, Faranell, Garona, and Dontrag and Utvoch) are members.  Also worth noting is that Jaina Proudmoore is a member of the guild…although she doesn’t realize (yet?) who her guildmates are in “real life.”

The guild chat logs recreate some of the exchanges that the members of <Warchief> have within their game, usually including regular guild chat, officer chat, and, in some cases, whispers.  I make no pretense about the fact that some aspects of these logs are based on my own guild-chat expeiences, especially officer chat.  The transcripts are always presented from the point of view of whoever posted them – usually Garrosh, but occasionally Spazzle.

 

Where did this whole thing about lemon squares come from?

Garrosh loves lemon squares.  Don’t you?

Real explanation: Very early in the blog, Edenvale of The Gamer’s Fridge posted a recipe for Garrosh Hellscream’s lemon squares, and pointed me to her post with a comment on the Command Board.  Since then, it’s become a bit of a running gag – the recipe, according to Garrosh, was his greatmother’s secret family recipe, and he was most perturbed that this random night elf had apparently gotten ahold of it.

 

What does “FYV” mean?

An abbreviation of one of Garrosh’s favorite turns of phrase, of course: “Fuck you, Varian!”  Among other things, Garrosh often finds a way to slip that phrase into his EPIC VERSE compositions.

 

Speaking of which, what’s this “EPIC VERSE”?  Garrosh writes poetry?

You sound surprised.  Garrosh is an orc of many interests.  What, do you think he’s some kind of one-note caricature or something?

Okay, fine, game-Garrosh kind of is.

Honestly, I just got a kick out of the obvious dichotomy of Garrosh Hellscream, gruffest of the gruff, also writing poetry on the side.  True to form, Garrosh doesn’t view his compositions as just any poetry, so he prefers to call them EPIC VERSE.  In caps.  Always.  It’s sprinkled throughout the blog – almost always in purple text, to stress its epic-ness – and ranges from limericks, to parodies of other famous poems, to reader requests, to epic rap battles.

 

So, that’s as much as I can think to cover.  Other gaps can probably be filled in through the Major Storylines page, but if there are questions that anyone still has, in terms of getting caught up or clarified, by all means toss them into a comment and I’ll make sure it’s answered.  And so, on that note, I’ll sigh off with the promise – unconditional promise! – that before the week is out, you’ll have the continuation of the actual STORY part of the story!  Which left off, as you might recall, right here:

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Don’t blame the healer

Posted in Comics, General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

krasarang3

It took a little doing, but eventually I got the DPS kids to fill in the rest of what had gone down after they’d sealed themselves in the cave.  (I’m not going to stick Gurtash with having to do comic panels for every last word of it when we can just exposition our way over it, because seriously, that would burn through a TON of paper, and there’s only so much Ashenvale lumber on hand.)  (For now.)

Like Gurtash and Giska were saying last time, they encountered saurok – multiple packs of them, actually – and did their best to fight them off while fleeing deeper into the caverns.  By the time the saurok gave up pursuit, the kids were pretty far underground…and one fewer in number.  Lok’osh – another orphan that Gurtash knew from Matron Battlewail’s place – got hacked up pretty badly in the fight, and while the rest of the kids managed to get him out of there with them, his injuries turned out to be too much for him.

He was a good kid.  Quiet, but I guess that comes with being a rogue.  I was maybe going to introduce him to Garona one day, except for the fact that, you know, who needs to be subjected to that, right?  So maybe not.  Anyway, moot point now.  Unfortunately.

I decided to have the kids check our perimeter while I figured out our next move.  There were two ways into the small chamber where they’d set up camp, and I’d just used one of them a short while before, so we knew that one was clear.  So I had the batch of them chain their way down the other passageway to scout as far as they could.  Standard procedure in unfamiliar territory, when you have limited numbers and want to play it conservative – one of them plants themselves in the passage, within sight of me, then the others spread out while going further.  Each one in the chain goes as far as they can while still maintaining line of sight with the person before them.  This way you cover the widest range, without anybody ever being in a position where the cavalry can’t be called in within ten seconds.  Plus it would be giving them something to do to get their minds off Lok’osh and feel like they’re helping.

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Korrina couldn’t get close enough to get a good look – I’m sure she would have tried, if they all weren’t under orders not to try to be a hero – but she was pretty sure she could see shadows moving further down the tunnel, and something seemed to be making some noise.  I rounded the trainees up in the passageway and had them chain behind me while I went down to check it out – not even for the sake of them backing me up, really (spirits help me if I ever wind up needing the kids to save my ass), but mostly so they could call me back if something snuck up behind them.  No surprise to anyone, Gurtash made a point of making himself the last link in the chain to me.  As the passage started to widen into another room, I reminded him to keep me in sight, but also told him in no uncertain terms to stay back, no matter what.  And down I went.

So…yeah, hold on to your hats for this one.

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Children’s Week

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

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Ever since I got that letter from my mother a couple weeks ago, I’ve been thinking a lot about the old days in Nagrand.  Like I’ve mentioned a few times already, I used to keep a journal back then.  About a week ago, before I left for Nagrand, I pulled it out again, and I’ve been paging through now and then.

I don’t know if any of you have had the experience, but it’s funny reading things you wrote so long ago that you don’t even remember writing them.  It’s like this weird ping pong game between “Oh crap, I wrote that? Was I ever really that stupid?” and “Hey, that sounds really smart, who wrote that?”  I know, I know, I shouldn’t be all that surprised by that second one.  Modesty is the burden of the preternaturally awesome.

Anyhow, I’ve been reading through those very first entries in particular.  It wasn’t even really a journal at that point so much as a notebook I used to fill up with all kinds of stuff – drawings, my early half-assed attempts at poems, stories about things that had happened to me or that I just plain invented… I guess Greatmother Geyah and my mother both thought I had this creative side, so they figured they’d give me some notebooks to try to encourage me.

(Side note, you should totally see some of these cartoony little-kid pictures I drew of Jorin Deadeye, with like “POOP HEAD” written in and arrows pointing to him.)

I’ve been coming back to a few passages I’d written about my mom.  Reading me stories (thinking back, that’s probably what got me started writing in the first place, all the nights she read me to sleep), like that rhyming kids’ book Talbuk Luck, kind of an old standard for Draenor kids back then.  She even did this goofy sing-song voice for Tahri the Talbuk – I’d forgotten all about that until I started reading back over this stuff.  Or the time later on when she took me on that long trip on foot out by Oshu’gun, and sat on one of the bluffs to watch Bach’lor running around in the fields with his herd.

The little-kid entries come to a stop all of a sudden, and don’t pick up again until I started writing again in my teens.  And, oh boy, here comes the emo.  But, yeah, the gap.  Kicked in right about the point when she died.  “Died”?  Should I put that in quotation marks now?  Anyway.  Disappeared.  Any desire to look at those notebooks went with her, for a long time.

Yesterday afternoon, Lakkara went out to go exploring Orgrimmar.  I’d been showing her around, but I’m sure a lot of it was just this big blur of information, and she seemed pretty blown away by the place in general.  No surprise – the city is gigantic compared to villages like Garadar that she’s used to, and even Shattrath doesn’t come across quite so vast and, well, overwhelming.  So she wanted to have a little time to just look around at her own pace.  Reasonable enough.

After a while when she hadn’t come back, I figured I’d go have a look around.  As big and sprawling as Orgrimmar is, it’s pretty easy to get turned around even if you know the place, much less if you’re still new to it all.  It took a while, and no small amount of circling around, but I finally tracked her down.  In retrospect, I should have known where she’d be right off, considering what week it is.

I found her in the Orgrimmar orphanage.  It was starting to get dark, and she and Matron Battlewail had the kids gathered around…while she read to them.  Talbuk Luck.  Of course.  She was even doing her goofy Tahri the Talbuk voice, which was cracking this little troll girl up especially.  She read through to the end, this silly sing-song rhyming story, and when she finished, Gurtash hopped up and shouted “Epic verse!”

Nobody noticed me when I first got there, so I just hung back and watched in the doorway, then headed back to Grommash Hold.

Tomorrow I’m sending out new orders to some of our field commanders.  We’ve lost a lot of soldiers over the last year or so – in Vashj’ir, in Twilight Highlands, in Deepholm… Most of the time we recover the bodies and bring them home, give the fallen the burial they deserve.  Sometimes, though, there’s no body found.  People just disappear.  And after a while, they wind up on the rolls of the dead.

Since Deathwing was defeated, things have been relatively quiet on most fronts.  So I think we can spare the personnel to take on a few extra missions.  I’m having the field commanders send out some additional patrols, an extra scouting party here and there, to make another sweep or two in the areas where we’ve taken those losses.  In particular, the places where we’ve had people disappear, presumed dead but never confirmed beyond a doubt.  The ones, especially, who’d left children behind.  Just in case.

I’m not going to advertise it, and I’m sure not going to let them know at the orphanage and risk getting the kids’ hopes up.  Life is hard enough, and cruel enough, which the orphans know better than anyone, without me setting them up for more disappointment.  But who knows.  Maybe there’s still some good news for one or two of them, out there waiting to be brought home.  Doesn’t hurt to have a look.

Every once in a while – not often, but sometimes – life decides to be generous.

More soon.

 

 

[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 January 2, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

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Short break from the ongoing business in Silithus and Ferelas and Dustwallow and wherever the hell I’m going to end up getting stuck going to next, to answer some mail…

 

Dear Garrosh Hellscream, Warchief of the Horde;

I just wanted to thank you for kindly taking the time out of your busy schedule to spread some cheer at the orphanage this Winter’s Veil.  The children were so thrilled to meet Greatfather Winter in person and to receive their new toys.  There is so little excitement in their daily routine, and they have so very few possessions, that this event made a huge impression on them.  Many are still talking about it to this day.

Of course, some of the older children realize that it was not really Greatfather Winter delivering their presents; however, they were quite touched to see that the Warchief himself has not forgotten them, the Horde’s smallest and most vulnerable citizens.  I have informed these older children about the existence of your blog, so you may notice a slight increase in your readership.

Thank you once again, and may you have a very happy New Year.

–Orphan Matron Battlewail.

Some of you might have remembered last week that Eitrigg had gotten me to “volunteer” to play Greatfather Winter at the Orgrimmar orphanage (read: he went ahead and fucking told them I was going to do it without actually asking me, then played the honor-your-commitments and set-an-example-for-keeping-your-word-for-the-kids cards on me).  A lot of you have probably seen this already, but @_Rades over at Orcish Army Knife somehow managed to get a picture of the spectacle too, so that might be worth a peek if you really don’t want to let me get away with any dignity.

Anyway, though… I guess it’s good that the kids felt like someone was looking out for them, even if a lot of them ARE a bunch of snot-nosed little brats.  (And to think Thrall actually wants to be a dad, too… I’ll tell you right now, I am NOT looking forward to playing Uncle Garrosh at those get-togethers.)

 

Dear Warcheif,

My name is Gurtash, and I’m 13 years old.  I live in Orgrimmar at the orphinage.  My mom was sick and died after leaving the enterrnment camps.  My dad died in battle in Northend fighting scorge.  He was very brave and taght me to live with honor.  I am going to be a warrior to like my dad and you.

Matron Battlewhale showwed me your blog it is very good.  I love wyverns and Mortimer is the best!  I seen you fly him before.  My dad said I could have wyvern when I’m older but he died.  Can i help you take care of Mortimer?  I will feed him and brush him and clean his stall and talk to him.  Maybe you could give me some sillver for helping or not that’s ok to.  Let me know ok.  Thanks.

Flying in the sky
Someday I’ll fly as high
Mortimer on the wing
Faster than anything
Loyal to the end
Protecting his friend
So dont start a fight
He will end it right.

EPIC VERSE!

–Gurtash

Uh oh, here we go.  Well, I guess Battlewhale— erm, I mean, Battlewail did warn me.

Wait, this kid’s dad died fighting the Scourge in Northrend?  But that would mean…oh crap.

So, Gurtash, I um…yeah, I’m sorry about your folks, but it’s good to hear you want to be a brave warrior of the Horde like your dad.  Lucky for you we do have some really good trainers here in Orgrimmar, so make sure you listen to them once you’re a little older and you get to go down to the Valley of Trials.  And make sure you eat lots of meat to build your strength.  I know a lot of grownups are going to try pushing the vegetables on you, and they’re fine if you can choke them down, I guess, but trust me on this, you’re going to want a lot of protein for muscle.  Pork, steak, bacon – dude, you cannot possibly get enough bacon – tastes great and great FOR you!  Take it from your Warchief.

Also gotta say, you win points for the epic verse (no caps here because it’s kind of EPIC VERSE! junior edition in this case).  Keep up the poetry, and just remember, don’t let anybody give you any crap about it.  Somewhere along the line, some smartass is probably going to try to make some wisecracks about you writing poetry, but don’t listen to them.  In fact, the best way to handle it is to just let them yammer on, let them take their best shot, and then take YOUR best shot back, ideally by beating the living shit out of them.  I mean the living crap.  I’m not supposed to say “shit” to you, am I, right?  Fuck.  DAMMIT, I did it again!  Forget both of those.  (AND DO NOT TRY ASKING MATRON BATTLEWAIL WHAT THE SECOND ONE MEANS.  THAT IS AN ORDER!!  Whew.)

Anyway, Gurtash, Mortimer DOES take a lot of time and attention, not that I really mind, but a little help on busy days or when I have to be away from Orgrimmar might be handy, come to think of it.  I’ll see about bringing you over to Grommash Hold for a visit and see if we can set something up…just watch the talons until he gets used to you!  Seriously.  Wyverns are cool and all, but until they decide they can trust you, they don’t take any crap from anyone.  If you do a good job with him, who knows, maybe next Winter’s Veil there might be a stray wyvern cub flapping around needing a home.  Who knows?

 

That’s it for today.  Tomorrow I’ll have a more newsy post up, since I know a lot of you are just waiting with bated breath to hear what my brilliant idea is about the Twilights.

Monday mailbag

Posted in Mailbag with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2011 by Garrosh Hellscream

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Remind me not to do the Greatfather Winter thing for the orphanage again.  First of all, nobody tells you how damn uncomfortable that getup is.  Seriously, would it have killed them to find some material to make it from that DIDN’T feel like sandpaper?  And meanwhile…okay, some of the kids were fine.  A lot of them are pretty cute, and I suppose I should be generous what with it being the holidays, and their being orphans, and the fact that a pretty good chunk of them even got to be orphans in the first place because of battles I sent their parents off to fight in, but still!  OMG the SCREAMING from some of these brats!  On and on and on with the screaming and the screeching, and there were two of them who really took the cake, I don’t think they ever stopped going the whole time, till eventually I started calling them Dontrag and Utvoch Jrs. in my head.

Anyway, that’s done, so hopefully it will get Eitrigg off my back about his community service kick for a while.

Now for the mail.  Just one letter this time, but it’s a doozy.

 

To Garrosh Hellscream, Warchief of the Horde:

I wish to congratulate you on behalf of everyone at D.E.H.T.A. on your recent embrace of a healthier – and far more ethical – lifestyle.  I admit, I had nearly given you up as a lost cause, so imagine my surprise and delight upon being informed that you have seen the error of your ways and publicly committed to eliminating meat from your diet!  We at D.E.H.T.A. are all very proud of you.

To show our support of your decision, we have compiled a care package (which you shall find on the kodo caravan accompanying this letter).  It’s nothing too extravagant, just a selection of delicious fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes from every region in Azeroth, a sampler of 25 different types of tofu, as well as several cases of exotic spices.  To further assist you I have also enclosed a complimentary autographed copy of my (now sadly out of print) cookbook Sustenance Without Suffering – 519 Delectable Vegan Recipes Guaranteed to Tickle Your Tongue While Soothing Your Conscience, as well as my (likewise out of print) companion guide From the Field to Your Face – The Complete Buyer’s Guide to Azerothian Agriculture Including Detailed Information About What to Buy, When to Buy it, and From Whom.  (Unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to update the second book post-Cataclysm, so be careful about ordering produce from non-existent locations.)

In addition, we would like to grudgingly commend you for your various initiatives to improve the lot of the poor enslaved Wyvern taxis in your service.  Although true emancipation remains elusive, (and we will never be satisfied until it has been attained!), we have noticed that working conditions are better and rest breaks are more frequent.  Most notably, Mortimer appears content to remain in your service and assures us that your treatment of him has vastly improved.  (We remain skeptical on this point, but there is no arguing with him.  Seriously.  His claws are sharp!)

Finally, I would like to personally extend a metaphorical olive branch and issue an invitation for you to join D.E.H.T.A. for brunch in the Borean Tundra at your convenience.  We have many other agenda items regarding the care of Azeroth’s most vulnerable citizens (the animals) which we would like to discuss with you.  Also, certain rare edible lichens are just coming into season, but sadly they do not ship very well and we could not include them in your care package.  I promise it will be a taste experience you will not soon forget.

Sincerely,

Arch Druid Lathorius, D.E.H.T.A.

Hoo boy.

Okay, so first of all, let me tell you, when he says he’s sending a “care package” of fruits and vegetables and shit, he’s totally downplaying the fucking VOLUME of stuff.  Notice how he slipped in that little mention of a kodo caravan in parentheses there, like it was just a side note?  Yeah.  You would not BELIEVE the size of this fucking caravan.  They started marching on into Orgrimmar, and by the time the chain of them had gotten from the front gate up to Grommash Hold, and started circling around, they weren’t even halfway done.  Eventually while I was watching them come in, I started looking around in the sky for fucking Nozdormu, because I thought there HAD to be some kind of time-loop gag going on.  I swear, the last two kodos in the line probably met for the first time when they were first setting up the caravan, and in the time it took all of them to march into town, those last two kodos got married, had two kids, raised them, sent them to college, welcomed them back, and hooked them up in the family business of carrying fucking arugula to Garrosh, before retiring and wandering off to find the Kodo Graveyard.  THAT FUCKING BIG OF A CARAVAN.

I seriously don’t know what I’m going to do with all this shit.  I’m looking around the war room right now and it looks like a fucking farmer’s market.  The only good thing to come out of this is that now, FINALLY, I have something new to keep Marogg busy with.  I’m having him come in and just go to town, and with any luck he’ll be able to crank out a bunch of new recipes to put on sale, so maybe those Orgrimmar cooking awards might finally be worth something again.  (And I’m going to be WATCHING your ass this time, stupid meddling recipe-stealing tree!)

Of course, none of this even TOUCHES the fact that Lather-on-us has some really…um…iffy reading skills.  If you look back at the mailbag he’s apparently referring to, the letter from Jaina…um…yeah.  Dude needs to train up [Sarcasm Detection], because…

Hold on.  You know what, forget it.  I’m not going to straighten him out.  If he thinks I’ve gone all granola-crunchy, maybe he’ll be a little less of a headache.  No more of the stupid protests and letter-writing campaigns (by the by, when he gets on one of those, let me tell you, that’s a whole OTHER kodo caravan delivering all the other latters…although it’s also kind of sad when you actually look at the letters and it only really looks like there are like four different people’s handwriting, so…).  So yeah.  Let me just let the baby have his bottle, maybe go up to Northrend some weekend and choke down a salad, and make my life a little easier, at least until he figures out what a fucking idiot he is.

 

So, one last mail-related note before we finish up here.  A couple weeks ago I mentioned in a post about Magatha Grimtotem that I had once written to her and explained part of the reason I was (still am) so enraged over her meddling with my duel with Cairne.  I’ve gotten a couple passing inquiries about that, so I thought people might want a peek at what I’d said.  This was the letter I sent her shortly after the duel – she and her Grimtotem stooges were trying to stage a takeover in Thunder Bluff, and for some asinine reason she actually thought I would be GRATEFUL to her for robbing me of my honor, and wrote to me asking for help against Baine’s forces.  And so:

 

Unto Elder Crone Magatha of the Grimtotem,
Acting Warchief of the Horde, Garrosh Hellscream,
Sends his most sincere wishes for a slow and painful death.

It has come to my attention that you have deprived me of a rightful kill.  Cairne Bloodhoof was a hero to the Horde and an honorable member of a usually honorable race.  It is with disgust and anger that I discover you have caused me to bring about his death through accidental treachery.

Such tactics may work well for your renegade, honorless tribe and Alliance scum, but I despise them.  It was my wish to fight Cairne fairly, and win or lose by my own skill or lack of it.  Now I shall never know, and the cry of traitor will dog my steps until such time as I can sport your head on a pike and point to you as the real traitor.

So…no.  I will not be sending any truehearted orcs to fight alongside your treacherous, belly-crawling tribe.  Your victory or your defeat is in the hands of your Earth Mother now.  Either way, I look forward to hearing of your demise.

You are on your own, Magatha, as friendless and disliked as you have ever been.  Perhaps more.  Enjoy your loneliness.

 

So there you have it.

Anyway, we’ll be getting back to business this week.  Mokvar’s got the transcript from Skarr’s interrogation written up, so I’ll be posting that for you all tomorrow, and we’ll have plenty to do this week in the aftermath.

Meanwhile, Mortimer’s still nursing a few injuries from his fight with the Razza last week, so he’s resting upstairs in his pen, and if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go heat up some soup for the furball.  More soon.

Happy Winter’s Veil

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , on December 25, 2011 by Garrosh Hellscream

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Just a quick note to all my loyal Horde citizens to commemorate the holiday season.  A happy Winter’s Veil to all of your!  And as for you Alliance who might see this, as a gift for you to the holidays, here, I pledge NOT to burn your cities to the ground and wipe you all from the face of the world this week.  See?  Whoever said I don’t have holiday spirit.  No promises about next week, though — once the decorated trees come down, you’re all living on borrowed time, and it’s just a question of when I’ll show up in your lands and exterminate your armies and grind your leaders’ skulls to a fine mist and your fields will burn and your children will wail and your mother will bake me pie.

So happy holidays!  Now if you’ll pardon me, Eitrigg somehow roped me into volunteering to play Greatfather Winter for the Orgrimmar orphanage, so I need to go get into costume and head down there and hand out some crap.  See you all soon.