Archive for pandaren

The Tao of Ji Firepaw

Posted in General, Transcripts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

orgrimmar4

So since that last little…discovery…Liadrin’s been buzzing around Orgrimmar, helping with the relocated refugees.  At least as far as the world at large can see.  Most of the new arrivals have settled in pretty well.  A few are pretty eager for some payback against the Alliance, in fact, so we’ve even gotten a few new recruits out of the deal.

Mostly, though, she’s been helping Shayari get adjusted.  Ordinarily, I wouldn’t be too keen on a blood elf taking up the job of teaching someone what it means to be Horde, but I’ve worked with Liadrin enough to know she’s got a pretty good head on her shoulders.  Plus Shayari already seems to be on decent enough terms with her, so she’s probably going to be more comfortable with Liadrin than she would with some other random person.

Meanwhile, I had a meeting this morning with Krog, who was reporting on a few investigations he was working on while I was in Pandaria.  What he found ended up prompting me to schedule another impromptu meeting this afternoon.

Kicking it over to Tak’s record…

 

(Yay!  I get to be Mr. Warchief’s scribe again!  Mr. Warchief looked super serious, so I guess this was a big important meeting.  Ms. Ben-Lin Panda Lady was there, and so was Mr. Krog, another orc I don’t know too well.  I’m sure he’s nice, though!  Mr. Warchief must have a hard job if he needs so many people to help him!  I hope I do okay!

Mr. Malkorok came in at the start of the meeting, but he only stayed for a minute.  He didn’t look very happy, though.  He should smile more!  I bet he wouldn’t be so grumpy then.  He brought Mr. Goblin and Mr. Ji Panda Man with him.  I think maybe their feet were sore, because Mr. Malkorok was carrying them by their collars.  That’s nice of him!  Maybe he’s starting to be nicer!)

MALKOROK – Here they are, Warchief.  Let me know if they cause you any…difficulty.  (flinging Spazzle and Ji into the room)  I’ll be only too happy to use less of a soft touch to show them out.

(I guess not.  He seems so mean sometimes.  I don’t understand why.  =(  )

GARROSH – That’ll be all for now, Malk.  I’ll check in with you later.

MALKOROK – Yes, sir.  If you’ll excuse me, then, I have a few matters to see to with the provisioners.

(Mr. Malkorok left.  Yay!)

SPAZZLE(rubbing his head)  So… um… what’s going on, boss?  You know if you wanted to see me, you could have just shot me an IM, or—

GARROSH – Yeah, well, I wanted to make sure you got over here without any extra stops along the way.

JI – Oh.  Um… is it a surprise party or something?

(Ooh is it?  I love parties!  Yay!)

GARROSH – Oh, there’ve been some surprises, all right.

JI – Is there cake?

SPAZZLE – Ji…

GARROSH – But this is no party.

(Oh.  =(  )

SPAZZLE – So… what’s up, boss?

(Mr. Warchief looked back at Mr. Krog and Ms. Ben-Lin-Lin.  Then he turned back and stared at Mr. Goblin and Mr. Ji for a minute.  He looked really angry – I wish he wouldn’t get so upset!)

GARROSH – Did you really think I wasn’t going to find out?

SPAZZLE(blinking)  Um…?

JI – I don’t think I underst—

GARROSH – YOU keep quiet, Paddington.  I’ll get to you.  (turning back to Spazzle)  Now then.  Back to you.

SPAZZLE – Uh… okay…

GARROSH – See, I’ve had Krog here looking into a few security matters while I’ve been away.  And, oh man, did he ever have an earful for me this morning.

SPAZZLE – Oh…  So, um… what was Krog… uh… looking into, chie—

GARROSH- Don’t sit there and act like you don’t already know, dammit.  Don’t insult my intelligence on top of everything else.

(Mr. Goblin started looking really nervous.)

GARROSH(pointing to Ji)  Now, THIS one I could understand, because seriously, who knows WHAT Stuffed-With-Fluff here is thinking any given day.  But YOU?  You’re the last one of ANY of these clowns I would have expected to go sneaking around behind my back.

SPAZZLE – I… sneaking around…  (eyes going wide)  Oh… oh frak

GARROSH – OH FRAK IS RIGHT, whatever the fuck it means.  Did you SERIOUSLY think I wasn’t going to find out you were getting mixed up in this Mokvar business?

SPAZZLE – I swear, boss, I only ever talked to Vol—V—ohlOh.  Oh!  Oh…yeah.  The Mokvar business!  Right.  That’s…that’s what I’ve been doing, all right.  Red-handed, yes sir.  That is indeed the entirety of my suspect behavior, absolutely.  Don’t, um, don’t know what I was thinking, chief!  (slapping his own hand repeatedly)  Bad!  Bad Spazzle!

GARROSH – Dude, seriously, you are so fucking weird sometimes.

(Everyone’s so upset today!  It makes me sad.  =(  )

JI – Garrosh, you shouldn’t be angry with Spazzle.  I was the one that—

GARROSH – Believe me, Deep-Dish, there’s PLENTY of blame to go around.  From what I can tell, you’ve BOTH been keeping plenty busy.  MATTER OF FACT – Krog, you wanna give them the short version before they start getting a case of patchwork memory?

KROG – Yes, sir.  (flipping through a note pad)  Shortly after Eitrigg banished Mokvar

GARROSH – Only good move the old prune made while I was away, by the way.

KROG – …Fizzletrinket was observed meeting with Mokvar and the human Deliana in Everlook, Winterspring.

SPAZZLE – Wait, how did you trail me to Everlook?

KROG – I’m a rogue.  Work it out.

SPAZZLE – But why were you observing me?

KROG – I observe everyone.

GARROSH – He’s very thorough.

SPAZZLE – But I hadn’t done anything—

GARROSH – Until you did?

KROG – To continue…  (flipping through pad again)  No unusual behavior observed until some weeks later.  A short time after the purge of Dalaran, Fizzletrinket is known to have reached out to Earthen Ring contacts in and around Orgrimmar.  Shortly thereafter, Firepaw observed traveling to Earthen Ring outpost in Twilight Highlands.  Subsequent investigation indicated Firepaw had approached Earthen Ring elders concerning locating Mokvar.

GARROSH – So.  Here’s where one of you starts talking.  I don’t really care which one.

(Mr. Goblin and Mr. Ji stared at the floor.  Maybe they didn’t hear Mr. Warchief?  Oh, or did someone drop something?)

GARROSH – Okay then.  How about this.  Why weeks of nothing, then all of a sudden you jump into Mokvar mode?  Was it a signal?  Some message he got to you somehow, maybe something you planned for at your little get-together in Winterspring?

JI – We haven’t heard anything from Mokvar, no…

GARROSH – I know he gave you something, Greenie.  Some— what was it, Krog?

KROG – A small parcel, sir.  Delivered to Fizzletrinket in Everlook.  I wasn’t able to confirm what it was exactly.

GARROSH – Yeah.  So…was that part of it?  Or is it some other surprise I get to look forward to?

SPAZZLE – It… it was a totem.

GARROSH – Go on.

SPAZZLE – It’s called a recall totem.  Shamans attune themselves to them so they can teleport back home with their Astral Recall spell.

GARROSH – And Mokvar was giving it to you because…?

SPAZZLE – So… when this was all over…he could bring himself home.

GARROSH – Oh, so you mean, back home to the place he got himself BANISHED from?  And you just went right ahead and helped him set up to pop back into town and do spirits-knows-what he’s planning?

SPAZZLE – It doesn’t really matter at this point…

JI – You don’t know that.

GARROSH – What the hell does that mean?

SPAZZLE – The totem… the totem went out.  It fizzled out.  The spirit link between Mokvar and the totem was broken, and the only reason that would happen is if Mokvar was dead.  Like, for-real dead.

JI – We still can’t be sure.

SPAZZLE – You only say that because you’re not a shaman.  You don’t understand.

JI – I say it because I’m not a pessimist.

SPAZZLE – Anyway.  That’s…that’s why we were trying to reach the Earthen Ring.  To see if there was any way to find out for sure what happened to Mokvar.

GARROSH – You just said he’s dead.  What else is there to know?

SPAZZLE(shrugging)  I don’t know.

GARROSH – Huh.  Dead.  (thinks)  Good then.  Best news I’ve heard all day.

BEN-LIN – Garrosh, please—

GARROSH – Not now, Ben.

BEN-LIN – If he is indeed gone, there is nothing to be gained from—

GARROSH – Ben, CAN it.  So.  You two.  Why?

SPAZZLE(staring down)  I guess I just wanted to believe there was a reason for all the weird things he was doing.

BEN-LIN – Garrosh, it does not appear there was really any harm in—

GARROSH – DAMMIT, BEN, STOP ACTING LIKE MOKVAR WAS SOME POOR INNOCENT VICTIM!  I still don’t understand half the shit he was doing, but I don’t need to.  Dealing with some human, with that Neeru Fireblade…most of all cutting some kind of deal with MAGATHA.  You haven’t been around that long, Ben, so I don’t expect you to have any idea what that MEANS—

BEN-LIN – I understand your anger, Garrosh.  But what Ji and Spazzle have done—

GARROSH – IS THE SAME DAMN THING.  (glaring back at Spazzle and Ji)  Listen… I can deal with the bitching from Baine.  And I can take it from Lorthe’motherfucker, because what else would I expect from him?  And I can take it from Sylvanas, because let’s face it, she’s kind of evil anyway.  They come with the job.  I inherited them.  But THEM… Spazzle and Mokvar… I CHOSE them.  I fucking LET THEM IN.  And now—

BEN-LIN – And now you feel betrayed and angry.  I understand.

GARROSH – Is this where you give me one of your speeches about pushing the anger down and burying it, or some shit?

BEN-LIN – Not at all.  Your emotions are real and valid.  They cannot be contained and ignored, or they will only fester; they must be let out, and dealt with.

GARROSH – Listen, you’re here to help me try to talk sense to Double Stuff over there, not to start fortune cookie-ing on me.

SPAZZLE – Look, chief, I get why you’re mad, and I’m sorry…

JI – I’m not.

GARROSH(blinking)  Excuse me?

BEN-LIN(facepawing)  And here we go.

JI – I’m not sorry.  Mokvar is my friend.  He’s your friend, too.  I don’t know why you’ve chosen to forget that, but I don’t regret trying to help him.

GARROSH – Lunchbox, maybe you just haven’t been paying attention to what the fuck’s been going on, or maybe it all just slipped out of your damn head, what with all the bacon fat you’ve got up there apparently—

SPAZZLE – Whew, and I thought I was in trouble up to a minute ago.

GARROSH – …but I tried to help Mokvar too, when all the weird crap started happening.  I tried to PROTECT him – and he thanked me by running around with at least two and maybe three or four of enemies.  If he was such a great friend, you want to explain to me why he’d be dealing with the likes of Magatha?  Riddle me THAT one, Pudge.

JI – I don’t know.

GARROSH – Yeah, so—

JI – That doesn’t mean he had no reasons for doing what he did.  It only means we don’t know what those reasons were.  Until I find out, why should I assume the worst?

GARROSH – Because you’ve got an ounce of sense in your head?  OH WAIT, APPARENTLY YOU DON’T.

JI – Garrosh, I don’t know all of what Mokvar was doing, but I know he’s a good man.  So whatever he’s done, I’m willing to trust it was what he needed to do.

GARROSH – Yeah, well, that’s great, Second-Serving, but you know what?  Some of us have to live in fucking REALITY-LAND.

JI – Garrosh—

GARROSH – Seriously, Ben, do you hear this shit?

BEN-LIN – I do.

GARROSH – I don’t know where he gets this crap.

BEN-LIN – We study it, sir.

GARROSH – Yeah, well— what?

BEN-LIN – Consider, Garrosh: I know – well, I suspect – you are already familiar with the Huojin philosophy of action, that challenges are to be faced directly and decisively.

GARROSH – Yeah, I remember one of you people yammering about that when you first got here.

JI – That was me.

GARROSH – It was?

JI – Yes, sir.  Right before you made us fight an arena full of monsters.

GARROSH – Ah.  Well then.

BEN-LIN – And while we hold to this ideal of decisive action, Garrosh, another key component for us is that those actions be based upon the world as it is, not as the world as we might wish it to be.

JI – Otherwise, you expend your energy trying to force square pegs into round holes, then raging at the pegs for not fitting.

BEN-LIN – It is a point I have tried to make with you before, Garrosh.  Much of your anger, I feel, stems from insisting of the world, “This is not supposed to be happening this way,” then attempting to force it to happen some other way.

GARROSH – Funny, I feel pretty sure it stems from the fact that I’m surrounded by TRAITORS AND FUCKING MORONS.

KROG – Um…

GARROSH – Not you, K.

BEN-LIN – “Traitors and morons,” as you put it—

GARROSH – FUCKING morons.  Not just garden variety.

BEN-LIN – …being a perception, you see, grounded on the insistence that those people’s choices and intellects should be something other than they are.

GARROSH – I… erm… what the FUCK does any of this have to do with fucking ANYTHING?  I don’t even know what we’re fucking TALKING about!

JI – It’s not that complicated, Garrosh.  Things happen in the right way, at the right time – when you let them, rather than struggling against them.  Mokvar needed to act.  So he followed the path that the world placed before him.  Just as I, faced with a friend in danger, acted by following the path that was available to me.

BEN-LIN – According to Huojin, the greatest wrong would be not to act.

GARROSH – Oh for fuck’s sake… Well, whatever, Heaping-Helping, your “paths” or whatever have reached a dead end.

JI – Actually, I’d wanted to ask you, I was thinking—

GARROSH – Well DON’T.  DON’T think.  Just do what you’re fucking told for once.  Starting with parking yourself at home and staying there.  (turning to Krog)  Krog – escort Stay-Puft here back to his house, and make sure he stays there.  I’ll have a guard sent over to keep an eye on the door.

KROG – Yes, sir.

GARROSH – Consider yourself under house arrest until I decide what to do with you.

JI – But I think there still might be a—

GARROSH – THERE’S NOT.  THE END.  Now GO.

JI – If you say so, Garrosh.  Time will tell, I suppose…

(Mr. Krog left with Mr. Ji.  I’m confused.  Everybody seems so upset and nervous and they’re yelling and arguing and nobody seems to be getting along even though we’re all friends and I don’t understand why.  It gives me sad kitty face.  =(  )

SPAZZLE – Really, chief, try not to be too hard on him.  He’s just been worried since Mokvar disappeared, and—

GARROSH – Why are you talking like you’re off the hook now yourself?

SPAZZLE – Um…

GARROSH – You can count yourself lucky that, far as I can see, you’ve mostly just been the messenger in all this.  And BOTH of you are lucky Mokvar’s gone to the big rez timer in the sky, otherwise I wouldn’t be nearly so generous with either one of you.  But you, Short Stack, you can consider yourself under house arrest too while I cool down.  Just so happens, I’m not so worried about you trying to skip town before I post the guard.

SPAZZLE – Uh…yeah, okay, chief… I guess I can keep myself busy online for a while, while you…you know…think things over.

GARROSH – I mean, seriously, with all the time you spend on Earth Online, you’ve practically been on self-imposed house arrest almost the whole time I’ve known you.  You’ll live.

BEN-LIN – I think it is wise that you are not rushing to a decision with angry, Garrosh.

GARROSH – Yeah, whatever, Ben.  Anyway, Spazzle, you get your tail back home pronto.  I need to go track down Faranell and see if he’s finished those tests on Shayari yet.

BEN-LIN – Shayari?

SPAZZLE – Yeah, she’s…  (stopping himself, looking to Garrosh)  Um, that is…

GARROSH(shrugging)  Whatever, I’d end up telling her anyway.  Shayari’s my daughter.  We think.

BEN-LIN – Your… you have a daughter, Garrosh?

SPAZZLE – It’s okay if you need to sit down.  I did at first.

GARROSH – Yeah, we think so.  Faranell’s doing his tests now, but her story seems to check out.

BEN-LIN – I see.  (thinking)  Well then.  I will clear my schedule for the next week.

GARROSH – Turns out, she was born back in Nagrand when I was like eighteen, only I never knew about her until just a few days ago.

BEN-LIN – So…you have a long-lost, newfound…teenage daughter?

GARROSH – Yeah.

BEN-LIN – Very well.  The next two weeks.

SPAZZLE – You haven’t heard the best part yet.

BEN-LIN – Oh dear.

GARROSH – Uh, yeah, she’s…kind of…well, her mother was draenei.  Shayari was living with the Alliance in Dalaran until, you know, the shit hit the fan and Jaina kicked her out…

BEN-LIN – A month.  One month, but that is as far as I can go.

GARROSH – Anyhow.  I need to go find the doc.  Might as well get this confirmed, as if there’s any doubt left at this point, what with how Mortimer is doting over her.  I’ll expect you back at your house before the guard gets there.  Don’t make me come looking for you, Greenie.

(Mr. Warchief left, still grumbling a little.)

BEN-LIN – A daughter… why that is… How old did you say she is?

SPAZZLE – Seventeen, I think.

BEN-LIN – Goodness, that is…that is simply remarkable!  And he had no idea until now?

SPAZZLE – You wouldn’t ask that if you’d seen the shade of gray he turned when he found out.

BEN-LIN – My word… This is astounding!  Garrosh reunited with an unknown daughter, from across faction lines!  I scarcely have words for it!

SPAZZLE – Huh.  You know, not for anything, but you seem really jazzed about this.

BEN-LIN – Are you kidding?  (beaming)  This is going to put my grandchildren through college.

 

 

[A quick update on the Transmogs for Shayari contest!  First of all, thank you to the many readers who have already sent in outfits for Shay – they’ve been great so far, so keep them coming!  I just wanted to correct an error that I noticed in the original announcement: I had listed the deadline for the contest as Saturday, February 27.  This is problematic, in that February 27 is not a Saturday.  Don’t ask me what happened there.  I was probably having another one of my many episodes.  At any rate, I figure I may as well err on the side of giving people more time rather than less, so let’s revise the due date to the next Saturday after the 27th, which would be March 1.

I think.  Hang on.

<checks calendar all paranoid-like>

Yes, there we go.  So, officially: the deadline for the Transmogs for Shay contest is SATURDAY, MARCH 1!  Get thee to mogging!]

30 Days of Character Development #2: Ben-Lin

Posted in 30 Days of Character Development with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 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.]

 

benlin_profileName:  Ben-Lin Cloudstrider

Occupation:  Counselor, specializing in meditation and stress/anger management

Age:  57

Class:  Monk (retired)

Group affiliations:  Horde (member), Huojin Pandaren (member), Shang Xi’s Academy (former student)

Known relatives:  Ting Cloudstrider (daughter), Dewei Cloudstrider (son), Kenji Cloudstrider (husband, deceased)

First appearance:  “Anger management

Key posts and plot points:

  • Ben-Lin met Garrosh – along with many other blog notables – while conducting an anger management seminar in the fittingly titled “Anger management.”  The session proved…less than productive.  Since then, she has continued to meet with Garrosh in an attempt to teach him to better control his temper.  (Admittedly, visible results have been questionable at best, but let’s be fair – she had the deck stacked pretty heavily against her.)
  • Traveled with the Horde expedition to Pandaria and accompanied Garrosh on his first trip to Tian Monastery (“I think I can remember your name”, “Shock the monkey”, “Getting around with the Shado-pan”, and “The geometry of shadows”), where the Warchief first encountered Elder Couldfall.  She also joined Garrosh on a follow-up journey to Tian to recruit Elder Cloudfall’s aid in “Moments of transition.”
  • Worth noting is that Ben-Lin appears to be one of the only people capable of making Garrosh stop and listen with any regularity (such as “ordering” him back to bed while he was sick with the Pandaren flu in “A sniffly Warchief is a cranky Warchief”).  Evidently, the Warchief has trouble holding his ground with greatmotherly women.
  • A few behind-the-scenes notes for those who might be interested: Ben-Lin is a veritable walking bundle of science-fiction referentiality.  The name “Ben-Lin” is a deliberate nod toward another even-tempered mentor figure – and, in fact, the name was largely chosen specifically to set up this joke:
    ben_panelHer last name, “Cloudstrider,” was likewise meant to parallel “Skywalker.”  (Also worth noting – the names of the two pandaren who have become mentors of sorts for Garrosh: Cloudstrider and Cloudfall.)  And, lest the Babylon-5 fans among you feel neglected (I know you’re out there!) – Ben-Lin’s outfit and, to a lesser extent, speech patterns were designed to be reminiscent of the B5 character Delenn.

In her own words:

What is your most prominent physical feature?

I have been told that my eyes are fairly distinctive.  They are violet, which is highly uncommon among pandaren, and held by many among our people to be a sign of inner balance.  This was pointed out to me many times as a small child, though my parents would likely have held me as a counterexample at the time.

Describe your happiest memory.

Ironically, the passing of my husband Kenzi.  This is not to say that I wished his death, or that I do not miss him dearly.  He was some years older than me, and had been in poor health in his final months.  The night he died – he knew the end was close – we sat and reflected on our life together.  There was no sadness or regret.  Each memory served only to remind us how much more this life had given us than we could ever fairly have asked.  He held my paw, and thanked me for making him young, then passed away peacefully.  I did not feel grief.  I felt – and continue to feel – grateful.

Is there one event or happening you would like to erase from your past?  Why?

No.  I believe that every step of our journey is a part of what makes us who we are.  I have had misfortunes and hurts, as do we all, but they have all left remainder that has helped to shape me.  Without any one of them, I do not know who I would have become.

C3_4-5Can you define a turning point in your life?  Multiples are acceptable.

There are two: my coming to Shang Xi’s Academy, and my departure from the Wandering Isle to begin a new life among the Horde.  Each marked the beginning of a new adventure.  The first began in my youth and opened a world to me of learning, friendship, love, enlightenment – all of which are, of course, different words seeking vainly to express the same thing.  I look forward to discovering where the second will take me.

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

I am almost comically inept with most machinery.  Much of it is new to me; having lived almost my entire life on the Wandering Isle, I was not in a position to keep up with the latest inventions.  This is likely for the best.  Given my poor skill level, exposure to the latest technologies would only have provided me with new and better ways to embarrass myself.  Letters, most certainly.  I do not have the e-mail.  To this day, I know the internet only by reputation.  (That reputation does not, by and large, inspire me to investigate further.)

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?

My bed tends to be relatively tidy, and I make it each morning after rising.  I sleep on my back; I am a very deep sleeper, and usually do not stir very much during the night.

Are you an early morning bird or a night owl?

An early morning bird.  I wake each morning just before dawn.  Wherever I live, I always take care to have a window that faces east, so that I may watch the sun rise.

Are you a good cook?  What is your favorite recipe?

I cannot say that I am an expert cook, but I am told that my wildfowl ginseng soup is quite good.  I wish I could have inherited my father’s skill with the steamer; I often miss his steamed crab surprise.  I have tried many times to recreate it.  The result often tries even my discipline over my temper.

C4_2-1What’s your preferred means of travel?

I prefer to travel by foot when possible.  If not, I am adequately proficient in the use of Pandaren kites.  I prefer not to employ animal mounts, as I suspect they have destinations of their own that they would prefer over mine.

Do you have any irrational fears?

Is there any other kind?

What might your ideal romantic partner be?

My years of study and meditation tell me that it is unwise to cling to some imagined ideal; such perfect fantasies serve only to impoverish our appreciation of the reality before us, beautiful often precisely for its flaws.

My heart, however, tells me: Kenji.  Again, I am grateful.

Are you superstitious?

I am a mother of three.  Hardly can one say that, without having spent many hours with crossed fingers.

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

Though my sense of smell, I would venture, is unremarkable, I do have a sensitive nose, which most perfumes tend to irritate.  My one compensation is that I often let snow lilies soak in the water before washing my fur.

 

[OOC note: Running a little behind on posts after a bit of a trying week.  Luckily, there’s a lot in the pipeline, so we should have some relatively rapid-fire posting this week, including, yes, the follow-up to that last little freakout-inspiring nugget.  Also stay tuned for news and announcements concerning the return of the Friends-of-WCB meta raid!]

Buried treasure

Posted in Comics, Mailbag with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

cranetemple1

A couple days ago, I finally took Elder Cloudfall’s advice and flew over to the Temple of the Red Crane to check on the aftermath of the Alliance offensive there.  I’m back at Domination Point now.

So…this is probably going to be kind of a long story.  Bear with me.

cranetemple2

I got up extra early to make the trip over.  I didn’t bring anyone else along – just Mortimer and me.  I didn’t want any extra people making noise and drawing extra attention, and besides, depending on what I found there, I figured I might prefer to be by myself anyway.

I could see the remains of uniformed orc bodies scattered around the outskirts of the temple grounds, but I wasn’t able to get close enough for a better look right away.  The place was crawling with Alliance patrols.  Strange, seeing as the temple itself looked like it was back in the hands of the pandas, so it’s not like the humans were keeping watch over their own outpost.

I took a pass around to size up the deployment of patrols.  They were circling around the temple, but also ranging to the north and east, where the temple grounds gave way to swampland.  A little ways into the wilds there were some mogu ruins spread out over some hills.  A pair of humans looked like they were standing guard outside what used to be the entrance to a cave in the hillside – used to be, until it had been sealed with rocks.  Probably a cave-in.  Not sure what the point would have been of posting guards, but who knows what these humans are thinking.

I flew further up into the surrounding hills.  More patrols.  Mostly circling around a handful of cracks in the ground and rock face.  It took me a few minutes, but it finally hit me that the cracks would have led down into the same caverns as the cave entrance.  Probably, anyway.  I was never too great with spatial relations that didn’t involve swinging an axe.  Anyway, whatever was in there, the Alliance were keeping all possible points of entry locked down.  Maybe even sealed the cave themselves, who knows.

Whatever it was, if it was important enough for all this attention, I figured it was worth checking out.  So I landed by one of the cracks.  Now, granted, there were a bunch of Alliance soldiers patrolling around there, but, you know…to make a short story shorter, hi, how are ya, chop chop, dead dead, moving on.

I set a grappling hook in the rocks and lowered myself down into one of the cracks.  The opening was narrower than I was expecting, and went down further – I think each of the cracks opened into a different point in a series of tunnels, as opposed to one big cave like I was thinking originally.

Now for the fun part.  While I was still lowering myself down, guess what?  My rope snapped.  Maybe I really HAVE been putting on some weight lately.  To be fair, the Shrine of Two Moons really does have some kickass food.  So anyway, down I dropped.  Don’t you worry, though, because my fall was cushioned by a big ol’ pile of ROCKS.  Awesome, huh?

After I took a minute to thank life for chiming in with another installment of Hey Everybody, Let’s Piss Off Garrosh: The Home Game, I started exploring.  At first, the caverns seemed to have been built by someone, with walls and floors made up of stonemasonry.  Pretty soon, though, gaping holes in the walls gave way to a system of natural tunnels that wound around deeply and grew wider, mostly, the further they descended from the surface.  Looked like side passages splintered off pretty regularly, but I tried to stay with the widest path.  I figured that would make it easier to retrace my steps if I needed to.

Eventually, after I’d made my way deep underground, the jagged walls all started to blur together, and I started to worry that I was starting to travel in circles.  I was about to try retracing my steps when I happened to look down a side passage, and saw flickering light in the distance.  I made my way closer, turned a corner, and then…well…

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

C9_Page_01

Monday mailbag

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

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

 

Hail, Warchief!

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

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

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

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

–A Concerned Citizen

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

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

 

Dear Warchief,

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

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

Respectfully,

–Vyrin Dawnstar, Shrine of Two Moons, Pandaria

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

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

Hang on.

Um…

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

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

 

My Dearest Warchief,

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

Your devoted admirer,

–Wega

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

scar

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

So, that was fun.

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

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

Heh.

Hehehe.

<snort>

 

Mr. Garrosh, sir!

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

I have a question though.

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

–Ruekie, Shaman-in-Training, Domination Point

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Heya Garrosh,

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

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

Thanks!

–Kaija

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

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

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

You know.  Just FYI.

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

 

THE “OH SNAP DID I SAY THAT” DIVISION

VOL’JIN
1,000,000 to 1

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

 

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

JASTOR GALLYWIX
999,995 to 1

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

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

 

LOR’THEMAR THERON
500,000 to 1

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

 

SYLVANAS WINDRUNNER
200,000 to 1

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

 

BAINE BLOODHOOF
150,000 to 1

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

 

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

A BASIC CAMPFIRE
5000 to 1

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

 

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

DREK’THAR
500 to 1

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

 

EITRIGG
200 to 1

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

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

 

VAROK SAURFANG
100 to 1

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

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

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

 

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

WARLORD CROMUSH
50 to 1

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

 

MALKOROK
25 to 1

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

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

Draw your own conclusions.

 

GENERAL NAZGRIM
10 to 1

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

 

WARLORD ZAELA
5 to 1

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

 

WARLORD BLOODHILT
2 to 1

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

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

 

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

Spazzle Speaks: Refugee

Posted in Spazzle Speaks with tags , , , , , , on March 16, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

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I swear the Mokvar situation keeps getting more unreal.  Latest news: Mokvar and Deliana have escaped, and right now nobody knows where they are.

It gets extra weird when you hear how it happened.  Ji Firepaw went to visit Mokvar at his house.  After he’d been inside a few minutes, the guards standing watch outside heard noises and went in to check.  They found Mokvar and Deliana standing over Ji – who was unconscious on the floor.  As soon as the guards were inside, Mokvar hexed one of them.  We’re not sure what happened to the other guard – she just reports blacking out for a few minutes, and when she came to, Mokvar and Deliana were both gone.

Ji wasn’t hurt badly.  He’s a little black and blue from taking one good blow on the head, but it’s nothing that won’t heal up quickly enough.  He says he was just going to visit Mokvar and bring him a few things – some snacks, I guess, since among the pandaren one of the highest displays of friendship is the gift of food – but once he was there, Mokvar and Deliana suddenly turned on him.

I know.  It doesn’t make much sense to me, either.

Eitrigg was already at his wit’s end over Mokvar, and when word got to him about this…well, let’s just say I’m glad I wasn’t actually there.  Rumor is that this latest piece of news made him go positively Garrosh.  And here’s the other thing – I can understand why Eitrigg would be angry, obviously, but I still wouldn’t have expected him to respond the way he has.  I would have figured he’d send out search teams to hunt down Mokvar, put a bounty on his capture…maybe even issue a declaration that he’s a criminal at large and wanted for crimes against the Horde.  As it turns out, as of this morning, all of those options have been bypassed in favor for the one last step that – in orc culture, anyway – pretty much the worst penalty possible.

By order of Eitrigg, under the authority granted him by the Warchief in absentia, Mokvar has been banished from the Horde.

 

 

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

A Shado-Pan of a doubt

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 6, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

shadopan1

So, based on the early returns, this sha energy and I are going to have a real love/hate relationship.

Let me explain.

While Burzum and Krimpatul were doing their respective investigating, I went back up to Kun-Lai Summit to do a little more checking around.  Ponytail and his blood elves had cleared out of the Valley of Emperors, and by the looks of it, the mogu who had been up there had decided not to take their chances coming back after the grade-A ass-kicking I’d given them.  Which, by the way, makes the mogu smarter than at least half the enemies I’ve run into over the years.

I flew around the mountains for a little while to see if I could spot any more mogu activity, but didn’t have a whole lot of luck, so I decided while I was in the neighborhood to check in at that monastery I’d heard about – the Shado-Pan Monastery, I think it’s called.  I figured the monks there might have something they could tell me about the mogu, or the sha, or, hell, even just give me some idea why that Cloudfall guy at Tian Monastery felt the need to be so damn cryptic.

Problem is, all of that assumed the monks would actually, you know, TALK to me.  When I got there, though, I could barely get anyone to answer the damn door.  I knocked away for a while, and at first some fat panda dude poked his head out and asked who I was…but then after I told him, he just slammed the door shut again.  After that, they just let me knock away all I wanted, and the only answer I got was one time when someone behind the door yelled “We don’t want any,” and this other time when I guess they decided to get cute, and one of them did a bad troll voice like “Dere nobody home, mon” – which, I can HEAR you TALKING, idiot, so there obviously IS somebody home.

Fucking pandas.

Eventually, Burzum and Krimpatul arrived, and we set up camp near the monastery to compare notes.  Krimp reported that the sha outbreak around the Temple of the Red Crane was mostly gone, other than some stray animals in the area that had been affected, but that those animals seemed a good bit stronger than the garden variety.  Seems like they were able to be infused with sha energy just from proximity to the manifestation there, which tells me that it shouldn’t be that difficult to tap infuse some of our soldiers with that power, assuming we can find a sha source to draw on.  THAT’s going to be the tricky part, I’m guessing – finding a source – since it’s not like we can reliably just summon these sha things up out of thin air.

Burzum, on the other hand, gave a whole breakdown of the pandas fighting an ongoing sha outbreak near the Temple of the Jade Serpent.  (By the by, don’t ask me why these pandas seem so obsessed with naming everything after rainbow-colored animals.  Can the Temple of the Mauve Meerkat be far behind?)  The sha down there were still much more active, and according to Burzum, the pandas there deliberately took steps to AVOID being affected by the sha energy.  Because, I don’t know, I guess they feel like a dose of extra power might take the edge off their signature bouncy goofiness.  Don’t ask me.

Whatever they’re thinking down there, though, it seemed like Burzum had gone native on us some, because while he was talking about it, he got really insistent about not thinking it was such a hot idea to try to tap into this sha energy.  He seemed to get really stressed out over it, actually, to the point that I could even see him going a little pale in the face.  I managed to calm him down some, but he still seemed more than a little antsy.

At that point, I gave the blademasters the rundown of the warm welcome I’d gotten at the monastery.  Burzum wanted to try talking to them himself, and I figured what the hell, if he wanted to try beating his head against the wall, let him knock himself out.  So he went over and knocked on the door, and one of the pandas stuck his head out to see who it was…and I’ll be damned, they let the fucker in!

So Burzum was in there for a little while, and I figured eventually he’d be back to bring me and Krimp inside with him – you know, after he’d finished buttering up whatever antisocial panda had had the bright idea to lock me out.  After a while, sure enough, Burzum came out again, but instead of showing us the way in, he let the pandas shut themselves up in there again while he came staggering back to us looking more upset than ever.  And I’m talking SERIOUSLY shaken – I don’t know what those pandas said to him, but dude was beyond just pale at the point and was looking out-and-out GRAY.

That’s when he started yammering a bunch of incoherent nonsense – “Is this what we’ve come to?” this, and “losing our way” that, and all the while getting more and more visibly upset.  Krimpatul and I tried to talk him down from the crazy, but Burzum wasn’t having it.  He kept ranting on and on, until finally the ranting gave way to flat-out growling, and the next thing you knew, Bruzum’s arms started to morph into these tendrilly black claws and his whole body seemed to exude shadows.

And that’s when he attacked us.

I’ll say this for that sha stuff – because obviously that’s what had to be coursing through Burzum’s system – it really is no joke.  I’ve sparred with all the blademasters a bunch of times, so I know their strength, but this was way beyond the normal Burzum scale.  It took Krimp and I everything we could muster to keep the upper hand, and even then we were only barely able to hold him off most of the time.

Eventually, though, Krimpatul got in a few solid blows to disorient Burzum, at which point I hacked off one of those creepy-ass claws at the elbow.  That turned the tide in our favor for good.  I made one last attempt to talk Burzum down, but he was long gone by that point.  So Krimpatul and I finished him off.  As he fell, he muttered something about “should have remained in Garadar,” and the rest was silence.

I’d just as soon spare Burzum’s memory from people seeing the state he was in at the end.  He was a good man, and whatever came over him in those final moments, I’m certain his spirit will find its way to those of the honored ancestors, even if he’d fallen far from home.  Krimpatul and I found a quiet spot in the mountains nearby and laid Burzum’s body to rest.

Except for that severed claw.  That’s coming with me back to the Sanctum of Two Moons so the braintrust can give it a good going over.

Rest well, Burzum.  Spirits willing, we’ll make sure you didn’t die in vain.

Monday mailbag

Posted in Mailbag with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 4, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

mail18

Before I really get rolling with my investigations in Kun-Lai summit, I figured I’d make a pit stop and check on the mail.  Here’s what we have this time around…

 

Dear Warchief,

I haven’t had the chance to get out to Pandaria yet, but I look forward to joining the war effort soon.  In the meantime, I’m curious, what’s your take on all that Pandaren beer I’ve been hearing so much about?

–Kalaban, Undercity

Thanks for writing, Kalaban.  Gotta say, I’ve been dipping into the local panda brews quite a bit since I’ve been out here (Can you blame me?  Have you SEEN the cast of characters I’ve got surrounding me?), and they’re not bad at all.  It’s really pretty hard for me to give much more of a review than that, because if there’s one thing panda beers have going for them, it’s VARIETY.  They’ve got these lighter, thinner ones that personally I think are almost like drinking water (I’m gonna bet those are pretty popular with the blood elves), all the way up to some serious, heavy-duty, knock-you-on-your-ass brews.  Plus everything in between, including all kinds of flavor varieties.  I guess that’s what happens when half the population seems to work in the brewing industry in one way or another.

And really, quality-wise you can’t complain about any of it.  The ones that are so-so are still totally drinkable.  And the ones that are GOOD?  Man.  They make half the stuff you get during Brewfest seem like you’re drinking carbonated kodo piss.  Speaking of which, I’m almost afraid to imagine what’s going to happen when the pandas get their first look at Brewfest next year, because holy shit.

That’s the other thing you notice about the pandas, I’ve got to say.  Dipping into the beer is so much a part of their culture that you don’t even realize that almost the entire population has a constant, low-level buzz going.  And the funny thing is, yeah, sure, they enjoy drinking and all, but they manage to stay really chill about it, like you never see any angry drunks anywhere (take notes, Tirion).  But it’s also like a cultural expectation that they stay vaguely buzzed even beyond the sheer fun of knocking a few back.  Which, by the way, makes me worry about General Nazgrim going native on us – you may have noticed, dude has this nasty habit of boarding ships and then winding up smashing them to bits, and I’m thinking that trend won’t be helped if he starts getting into the habit of boozing it up to boot.  Not to mention, he’s a general and needs to stay combat-ready.  Can’t have him getting a beer belly on us.

 

Hail Mighty Warchief!

Someone is going around posting this…uhhh….manipulated image of you.  It’s a travesty and demoralizing to the horde! This cannot keep going! I find too many who are laughing at this.

garroshfatbelly

The fool cryptically added FYG and sign it J. I am not sure what that means, but it can’t be nice. Fattening Your Gut? Fondly Yours Garona? (bitch!) F..ff..ffffffuucc…. ooooooh……OH. OOOOHHH! O.O

SIR, THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS! I WILL HUNT DOWN THIS…THIS…LESS THAN A PEON WORTHLESS SCUM, SLIT HIS THROAT, AND MAKE A NECKLACE FROM HIS TEETH AS A GIFT TO YOU!

I WILL NOT STAND HAVING SOMEONE MAKE YOU LOOK FATTER THAN JI!

I WILL HUNT DOWN AND KILL EVERY PERSON WHO’S NAME STARTS WITH THE LETTER J STARTING WITH THAT FREAKING BLONDIE BOY JOHNNY AWESOME!

(Like the caps? Me too.)

After all the J’s are dead, their heads hanging of the gates of Ogrimmar,  and the streets flowing with their blood…can we like, go out? I think you’re so cute…even if you have a little bit of a belly. (You may want to take it easy on the pancakes and lemon squares, sir.)

Forever in my Heart,

–Tuekie, Rogue Trainee, Ogrimmar

PS: I’m older than I look. Ok?

Okay, so first of all, just so everybody knows, Tuekie here is one of the Dead Peons Society trainees that I’ve been working with the last few months, part of that whole group Gurtash is in.  She’s actually the twin sister of Ruekie, a shaman trainee I think I’ve mentioned once before.

And yes, I know.  Somebody had twins and named them Ruekie and Tuekie.  And yes, I agree.  Death is too good for some parents.  (Granted, “Ruekie” and “Tuekie” are nicknames, and their original, given names – Rue’kara and Tue’kara – are a little better, but still, come on.  You don’t give your twins names that fucking rhyme.)

Anywhow.  Tuekie here was part of the original group with her sister, but we ended up having her stay back in Orgrimmar rather than join us for the trip to Pandaria, in no small part because…yeah.  As you might have noticed…just a little tiny bit TOO fond of her mentor.  So between the fact that in Pandaria I wouldn’t have the ability to send her back to her parents at the end of the day, and the fact that, as a rogue, who KNOWS what she could get up to sneaking around all invisible and shit…yeah, better to let her stay with mom and dad.  FYI, there were a couple other trainees who ended up needing to stay back in Orgrimmar for one reason or another, so they’re still continuing their training back there while the other eight trainees are down here with me.

Oh and also, Teukie?  “I’m older than I look”?  Um, I KNOW how old you are.  You’re freaking fourteen.  I’m thirty-four, and you’re fourteen, and I haven’t hooked up with a teenager since I WAS a teenager, and the less said about that draenei girl in Nagrand the better, seeing as I don’t want Greatmother coming down here and boxing my ears.  So will you give it a rest already because it isn’t going to happen, okay?

Seriously, do other teachers have to deal with this shit?  Don’t stand so close to me.

Now as for the OTHER important part of this letter…

OMG WTF IS THAT SHIT?!?!

Okay…so…this is where I am TOTALLY on board with Teukie, because whoever is behind THAT thing…I…it…just…HOLY FUCKING HELL.  “F.Y.G.” OMG

Okay.  Okay…calming down…deep breaths…let’s look at this thing rationally.

So…we know we’re looking for someone whose name starts with a J.  (By the way, I’m not sure if Johnny Awesome is really going to be our prime suspect here, but you know what?  Go kill him anyway.  Fucker.)

Also, based on…the product…it’s probably a safe bet that this is someone who really, really doesn’t like yours truly.  So, right there, that narrows the field down A LOT, right?

Add to that the fact that that image is clearly using an Earth Online character model.  So we’re dealing with someone who probably plays EO, or at least is familiar enough with the game that they would think to dip into it for the image.

So…J’s…  Ji Firepaw couldn’t be it – yeah, he plays EO a little, but he’s pretty clueless in-game and I don’t see him being able to do that kind of image manipulation.  Jorn Skyseer at Domination Point is out – he isn’t a gamer at all, and I’ve always gotten along pretty well with him.  Jorin Deadeye?  Hmm…I don’t THINK he plays EO, but let’s maybe not cross him off the list just yet.

There have to be other options, though.  Think, Garrosh, think…someone who doesn’t like you, whose name starts with J…plays Earth Online…

Oh.

OH.

THAT FUCKING BITCH?!?!!

Ohhhhh man is she in for it.  Let’s see how funny she thinks it is when I march down there and blow up her whole damn—OH WAIT, I TOTALLY ALREADY DID.  So you know what?  If this is her idea of revenge, if the worst thing she can come up with to get back at the Horde is to doctor up some sad little picture to send around the internet, hey, knock yourself out, Jaina.  Have fun.  Pretty fucking sad, when you think of it.  Also pretty ironic that she’s making pictures of ME to put on the internet – seriously, lady, you want to go over some of the image searches for YOU that come up in my Google hits on a daily basis?

 

Dear Warchief Garrosh,

I just recently found your blog and just caught up on all of your postings. It’s been nice to see the more orcish side of such a larger than life leader. Plus, your lemon squares are truly a gift from the Light! Even though I am Forsaken, those lemon squares manage to bring life back to my taste buds.

I wanted to share a story I thought you might enjoy. I was searching for news on the events happening in Pandaria, and I came across a picture of Lor’themar Theron. I showed my husband (a blood elf paladin) the picture, and his response was “Who is the guy with the eyepatch?” I couldn’t help but laugh. Don’t tell Lor’themar, I’d hate for him to get angry at me. I’d rather not have him glaring at me when I join up with the Reliquary in Pandaria.

Fare well in Pandaria, Warchief.

–Beshara Dawnblaze, Forsaken priestess of the Shadow and Light

Thanks for writing, Beshara.  I’m not gonna lie.  I LOL’ed reading that.  I’m still kinda sitting here chortling, because…hehe…

“Who’s the guy with the eyepatch?”

“What, you mean Eyepatch?”

“That can’t really be his name, can it?  People must call him something else, right?”

“Ponytail, maybe?”

“That’s not really a name, either.”

“Hair-Care?  Cyclops?”

“I don’t think he would really answer to those, would he?”

“Well then I’m out.”

So, also, see?  SEE?  NOBODY knows the dude’s name, not even his own people.  It’s not just me, and it’s not just the Earth Online gang.  Other that Sylvanas, who seems to be able to remember him for some reason.  Maybe it’s an undead thing.  As far as those of us among the living go, though, I swear it’s like the guy has some crazy psychic field around him that makes everyone forget him as soon as they look away.

Anyway, I’ll look forward to meeting you when you get down here, Beshara.  Tell you when, when you see me in person, if you want to crack me up right out of the gate?  Just walk up and say “Eyepatch.”

 

Hey mon,

I got a surprise for ya, mon!  Dat letter ya got from Tandeleina in ya last mailbag?  She was right, mon!  I am Vol’jin!  She figured it out, mon!  I’m up an’ kickin’ an’ still on da loose!  Ya bettah watch ya back, mon, ’cause I be comin’ for ya!

–Bob, Shado-Pan Mon Echo Isles

Okay, seriously, dude, do you think I haven’t figured out your MO yet?  Come on.  This jackass keeps writing to me, and more often than not he just comes up with some crazy ridiculous bullshit to yank my chain and jerk me around.  And you know what?  I’m man enough to admit a lot of the time he’s gotten me to bite.  He’ll write some load of crap, and I’ll take the bait, and rant at him about it for a while, and meanwhile I’m sure he’s kicking back in troll-land laughing his ass off because trolls think positively EVERYTHING is fucking hilarious because felweed.

Well guess what.  You’re not getting me this time, Bobbo.  Yeah, you’re Vol’jin.  Sure you are.  Absolutely.  You somehow miraculously survived the attack in the saurok cave, and you’ve gone off in hiding to heal up, and meanwhile you’ve been putting this WHOLE GIANT CONSPIRACY together behind my back, I’m sure, and recruiting people to help you, and biding your time before The Glorious Revolution where you overthrow me or some shit.

Yeah, sure.  That’s real fucking likely.

Probably.

Where did I put that note from AlternateTimeline!Faranell again…?

Sha hunting

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

templeofjadeserpent

I’m giving the blood elves a few days to see if they can get anywhere with Shan Kien — that’s the name of that mogu dude we captured in the Valley of Emperors — but in the meantime I’m going to try to explore other avenues.  From what I’ve been able to gather, the mogu’s Divine Bell artifact was able to focus and infuse the power of what the pandas call sha.  Basically dark power come alive, sparked by emotions like anger or fear.  And even though this Divine Bell sounds like it’s the key to harnessing this sha power to the fullest, that doesn’t mean we can’t do a little testing at the source.

After we’d finished our visit to Tian Monastery the other day, Burzum had stayed behind to see if he could learn a few new tricks from the pandas.  I had Gurtash stay with him, and after I’d left for the Sanctum of Two Moons, I had the rest of the DPS kids brought over to do a little hand-to-hand combat training.  Now, personally I’m not so big on the fancy martial arts moves — I’m a much bigger fan of just pummeling your opponents to death when you’re not hacking them into little pieces with an axe.  But then, that’s ME.  Seeing as I’m 300 lbs. of rock-solid awesome and not some skinny fourteen-year-old, I don’t really NEED a whole lot of bells and whistles in my asskicking toolkit.  But I figure it might be good for the kids to see if there’s anything useful they can pick up from the pandas.

Also, side note, since I forgot to mention this before — on the way back from Tian, I made a stop at this place nearby called the Arboretum, where they train cloud serpents for some big race.  It took some doing, but I managed to talk them into letting me participate in the race even though I didn’t have my own cloud serpent.  I will neither confirm nor deny that “talking them into” this involved slapping a few pandas around.  Anyway, the race was pretty fun, and you seriously should have seen the looks on the other riders’ faces — and their cloud serpents, for that matter — when Mortimer left them all in the dust.  I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: wyvern > all.

Anyhow, I digress.

Getting back to the actual business at hand, I’m having Burzum head down to a temple in that neck of the woods that’s been hit by a pretty major sha infestation.  Temple of the Jade something-or-other, which really doesn’t help narrow it down much, seeing as it’s in a region called the Jade Forest, and half the stuff around there is called the Jade Whatever-Whatever.  Lesson: them pandas sure do love them some jade.

Meanwhile, I’m assigning Krimpatul to investigate another temple not far from our base at Domination Point, a little ways to the north.  I hear tell there was a major sha outbreak there until pretty recently, so he might be able to learn something there.  While they’re both doing their thing, I’m going to do some extra checking around in the northern mountains, and then the two blademasters will meet me there to compare notes.  I hear tell there’s another major monastery in the northwest part of Kun-Lai Summit, so it might be worth convening there and seeing what the monks have to tell us.

More soon.

When we last left Krog…

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

twinspirekeep

I have Krog’s latest report from Pandaria, and considering I’m going to be on my way there sooner rather than later, this intel he’s gathering is going to start becoming pretty damn important.  Before I get to that, though, let me address a couple other items quickly, since everybody seems to have been having a low-grade freak-out the last couple days.  Specifically, about Mokvar.

So before everyone starts rolling out their full-on crazy over this, yes, Mokvar is okay.  A little banged up, yeah, but he’ll be fine.  I’m just giving him a little time to rest up and get his head together before I have him back on the job, seeing as I figure it must do a number on you when, y’know, you die and shit.  I’ve got a regular guard keeping watch on his place, and I know Ji Firepaw has been dropping by regularly to check on him.  He’ll be fine as long as everybody doesn’t start coming on like gangbusters, so please put your panties back on and try to calm the fuck down.

I’ve got Malkorok looking into this business.  I don’t much like the fact that something like this went down, not least of all because it means somebody was able to get into Orgrimmar and target one of my aides.  I’ve seen a few other reports the last few days about a shadowy figure or something being seen sneaking around the city, which doesn’t exactly make me bubble over with good feelings about security around here.  Frankly, if Krog weren’t down there in Pandaria, I would probably have him do some extra sleuthing up here.  I may have to look into a few investigative options as it is.

Anyway, speaking of Krog, let’s get back to the man himself.  You all voted to have him get back to business and check on whatever happened with the original landing party out of Garrosh’ar Point.  (Man, I still really do like the ring of that name.)  So, with no further ado…

 

shokia accompanied me from grookin hill and we made our way south.  en route we passed a cottage that shokia says had been occupied by a ‘jade witch’ who had turned sergeant garrok into a jade statue; eventually garrok was restored and brought back to grookin hill to recover.

 

Huh.  Now that’s some weird business, turning living people into minerals and back…might want to look into that later.  Could be handy in a few different ways…

 

also en route passed pandaren settlement at paw’don village.  village had formed ties with alliance; passed a bit too close; these pandaren markedly less friendly than the wandering isle lot.

 

Now that I think of it, these pandas might possibly have been crankier than the Wandering Isle pandas because they were mad about not getting to go on the turtle ride…

 

horde forces had withdrawn to nearby fortress called twinspire keep; find attached schematic outlining fortress layout and grounds.  upon arrival, discovered remaining landing party had been killed by alliance aerial attack.

 

Side note here before I get too pissed off about the good people we lost there – from the looks of it, this Twinspire Keep place is pretty much identical to Thunder Hold, the base that the initial Alliance force had taken over, the one Nazgrim and his people took out when they first arrived.  And… I mean… what are the odds of that? The first wave of each side’s troops set up shop in identical fortresses, only to be neutralized by the SECOND wave of the OTHER side’s forces, with a soon-to-be-friendly panda village right neaby?  Seriously, is that freaky coincidental or what?

 

no survivors, by all indications.  shokia and i took a few hours to tend to the bodies; alliance had left them to rot on the ground.

 

Of course they did.  Because they’re so pure and noble and honorable.  And they call us savages.

 

was able to identify bodies of commander dalgan and bellandra felstorm.  also appears that warlocks had summoned demonic beholder, body of which was also found.  note: burnt rotting demon corpses smell very, very bad.

inside keep, found body of warlock ga’trul along with his journal; will hold for your inspection at next opportunity.  while body was identifiable, also appeared to have been corrupted somehow; entire body had taken on dark gray hue, hands and arms had morphed into claws, further deformations of body.  inconsistent with metamorphoses usually observed with warlocks.

gist of journal: ga’trul assumed command of fleet after captain krug was killed during initial engagement with alliance.  ga’trul seemed to grow increasingly hostile and paranoid during time in keep.  then again, he ended up being killed, so maybe not so paranoid.  he attempted to barter with paw’don pandaren without success; took forsaken suggestion to abduct pandaren cubs to use as bargaining chips; eventually there appears to have been a sharp rift between orc and forsaken forces within the keep.

 

Okay, so…wait, what?  The what happened?  The what times like five?  They had a frigging insurrection within the group?  How the hell did that happen?

 

shokia has expressed intention to return north to check on garrok and rejoin nazgrim and others.  awaiting further instructions.

 

Which leads us to our two main leads we could have Krog follow up on: that surprise expedition that Baine had sent to Pandaria, or the creepy-ass similarity between Ga’trul’s body and these sha creatures.  Or, hell, I’ll toss another option into the mix, since I was just talking about this a few paragraphs up…

 

Best-laid plans

Posted in General, Transcripts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

org7

So I’ve been working with my trainees the last couple days, and other than the fact that by and large they have the attention span of a gnat on caffeine, and the fact that they seem to find every random thing hilarious, especially if you try to get them to STOP finding it hilarious, because when you try to get them to take something seriously for a change boy oh boy that REALLY brings on the LOL’s, and…what was I talking about?  I swear I should try to edit some of these things when I write them.  That is, if Spazzle can ever get his twitchy green ass around to showing me where the damn delete key is again.

Okay, so take two.  The trainees.  Once you get past all the crap that makes fourteen year olds annoying, which granted is a lot, they’re actually pretty good.  I mean you can definitely see the makings of some pretty decent warriors among the bunch of them.  Gurtash included, obviously, but then he does have kind of an unfair edge, what with me already having been showing him a few tricks.  I’ll keep you all posted on how this whole thing goes.

In the meantime, we had another planning session for Pandaria today.  We’re getting close to being ready to go…

 

EITRIGG:  Preparations are going to schedule, Warchief.  The fleet is now fully assembled at Bladefist Bay, and Grizzle Gearslip assures me that the last of the siege engines will be ready within a few days.

MALKOROK:  I would recommend keeping the fleet on rotating patrols until we’re ready to depart, Warchief.  If we keep the entire fleet docked, and the Alliance launches an attack…

GARROSH:  Good call.  I assume you can work out a rotation with Drok and the other captains?

MALKOROK:  I’ll see to the arrangements, Warchief.

GARROSH:  Good.  One other question.

MALKOROK:  Yes, sir?

GARROSH:  Who the hell are these people?

Garrosh points to two other orcs sitting around Malkorok at the conference table.

MALKOROK:  Sir?  You’ve already met Rak’gor Bloodrazor here; he was at our last strategy session.

GARROSH:  Oh, yeah, I remember him now.  Who’s the other guy?

MALKOROK:  Another one of my lieutenants, sir.  This is Gul’tar – former apprentice of Ga’trul, in fact, from the initial Pandaia landing force.

EITRIGG:  Did we ever find out exactly what happened with them, incidentally?

GARROSH:  Not much other than being pretty well wiped out by the second wave of Alliance forces.

MALKOROK:  You mean the ones that had to recruit the local fish men to fill out their ranks?

GARROSH:  <sighs>  Yes.

EITRIGG:  Speaking of which, as well, since we’re drawing close to being ready, we might want to gather as much information as possible on the land and its peoples.

MALKOROK:  I would imagine that may be a rare instance when those…preposterous new pandaren arrivals might prove useful.

GARROSH:  You’ve been getting pretty close to Ji since he started playing EO, haven’t you, Mokvar?  Pick up anything useful from him?

MOKVAR:  Not really.  Here’s the thing – Ji and all his people came from a place called the Wandering Isle, which isn’t actually part of Pandaria proper.

EITRIGG:  It’s an island nearby, though, isn’t it?

MOKVAR:  Well, sometimes.

EITRIGG:  Sometimes?

MOKVAR:  It’s technically not an island.

EITRIGG:  What is it, then?

GARROSH:  Hold on to your ass for this one…

MOKVAR:  It’s a giant turtle.

MALKOROK:  …What?

MOKVAR:  The Wandering Isle is a giant turtle that swims around the ocean – usually near Pandaria, but not always.  The pandaren that live there basically built a whole civilization on its back.  A lot of them don’t even know the truth about the “island.”

MALKOROK:  <grumbling>  Warchief… I suspect your…scribe here may be providing faulty intelligence.

GARROSH:  No, I got this same story about the Wandering Islse from Ji.

MALKOROK:  This would be the same pandaren who appears to be forever getting himself stuck in tight openings in the pursuit of food?

EITRIGG:  So I assume that since the Huojin live separately from the Pandaren mainland…?

MOKVAR:  They haven’t had any contact with the place in generations.  No help there as far as providing useful information.

GARROSH:  I guess we’ll have to get by on what we’re able to learn from Nazgrim and Krog, then.

MOKVAR:  While I’m thinking of it, though, Ji was asking me earlier about what’s going on in Ragefire Chasm.  I guess he had a few of his people go down there—

MALKOROK:  Is this really important enough to interrupt our planning, scribe?  You can’t seriously think the confusion of those perpetually confused bear people is more relevant than the imminent invasion.

MOKVAR:  I was just wondering—

MALKOROK:  Wonder all you want, scribe, just do it quietly.  Now then…

Vol’jin enters.

VOL’JIN:  Hey, mon, sorry I be late ta da meetin’!

GARROSH:  Oh fucking hell, who told him about the meeting THIS time?

VOL’JIN:  Was I not supposed ta know, mon?

GARROSH:  Not exactly.

VOL’JIN:  Oh, was ya plannin’ a surprise party for me, mon?  Is dere cake?

GARROSH:  <rubbing his forehead>  No, we’re not throwing you a surprise…you know what, fuck it, just sit down, Vol’jin.

VOL’JIN:  Tank ya, Warchief.

Vol’jin walks over to Malkorok at the table and turns to Gul’tar.

Ya be in ma seat, mon.

GUL’TAR:  I…what?

VOL’JIN:  Dat seat, mon.  Dat’s where I always sit.  Ya be in ma spot, mon.

GARROSH:  Vol’jin, does it actually matter?

VOL’JIN:  Ya, mon!  I’m a creature of habit, an’ I be feelin’ all outta sorts if I don’ sit in ma normal place!  Besides…

Vol’jin claps Malkorok on the shoulder jovially; Malkorok jumps in surprise, then glares up at Vol’jin.

…Malkorok an’ me tight now, an’ I be missin’ ma buddy if I sit somewhere else!

GUL’TAR:  <grumbles and turns to Malkorok>  I’ll just move, sir.  I would…hate to occupy the troll’s place.

Gul’tar moves over one seat.  Vol’jin sits next to Malkorok.  Malkorok stares at him icily for a moment; Vol’jin replies with an exaggerated grin.

GARROSH:  So…back to business.  What’s our latest from General Nazgrim?

EITRIGG:  He and his team have recovered from their injuries and indicate they’re making inroads with some of the pandaren in the northern mountains.

VOL’JIN:  Dey all make it t’rough okay?

EITRIGG:  Shademaster Kiryn and Rivett Clutchpop made it fine.  It seems their marksman, Shokia, is unaccounted for.

GARROSH:  I wouldn’t worry too much about her

EITRIGG:  Nazgrim reports the northern pandaren are in conflict with a tauren offshoot race.  He doesn’t make it sound like too dire a situation, though.

GARROSH:  Not something we need to worry much about, anyway, if this is going on in the northern regions.  We’ll be coming in along the southern coast.

MALKOROK:  Do we have any operatives scouting the south for us, then?

EITRIGG:  Just a number of volunteers who’ve been making their way around the continent of their own accord and checking in when they can.

VOL’JIN:  I tink dere was a group of Baine’s people doin’ some explorin’ in da sout’ too, mon.

MALKOROK:  What?  Bloodhoof sent his own expedition to Pandaria?

VOL’JIN:  Ya, mon.  Sunwalker Dezco was leadin’ it.

MALKOROK:  And why, I wonder, would he presume to send his own detachment without clearing it with Orgrimmar?

VOL’JIN:  I didn’t know da tauren had to ask permission ta do tings.

MALKOROK:  A loyal member of the Horde should be clearing obvious military operations with their Warchief, troll.

GARROSH:  Do you want to explain why Baine apparently saw fit to tell YOU about this expedition and not ME?

VOL’JIN:  <beaming>  I’m a people person, mon!

MALKOROK:  At best, this stinks of insubordination, Warchief.  And potentially disloyalty of a far worse kind.  How do we know they’re not conspiring for their own purposes?

EITRIGG:  You cannot seriously think the tauren would be engaged in something illicit?

MALKOROK:  I do not trust that Baine or the rest of his ilk.  He’s put himself at odds with the Warchief too many times already.

VOL’JIN:  Ya tink he’s disloyal, mon?  I been speakin’ my mind to Garrosh, too – ya be tinkin’ I’m a traitor?

GARROSH:  Not a traitor, Vol’jin, but I’ll tell you in no uncertain terms, the two of you HAVE been a grade-A pain in the ass the last few months.

MALKOROK:  As far as I’m concerned, you could very well be conspiring with him on whatever he’s up to.  Don’t think I’m not keeping an eye on you, troll.

VOL’JIN:  Oh, don’cha be worryin’, mon.  If I was ever workin’ against ya in secret, you’d know.

GARROSH:  I…  <rubs forehead>  That…doesn’t even make sense, you stupid troll.  By definition

VOL’JIN:  Besides, mon, ya don’ have ta be worryin’ about Dezco an’ his people.  He even has one a da orcs wit him.

EITRIGG:  Who?

VOL’JIN:  Kor Bloodtusk, I tink ’is name was.

MALKOROK:  A weak-minded puppet, most likely, lured over to that tauren’s misguided way of thinking.

MOKVAR:  I have to say, actually—

MALKOROK:  <glares>  What do you want, scribe?

Mokvar looks down.

Now then—

MOKVAR:  <turning back to Malkorok>  What I want?  I want to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike.

Behind Malkorok, Vol’jin beams and high-fives the air in Mokvar’s direction.

Or were you looking for something a little less big-picture?

MALKOROK:  <glaring>  Count yourself lucky, scribe, that you’re in the Warchief’s good graces…

MOKVAR:  Yeah, because you would never—

EITRIGGGentlemen.

GARROSH:  Yeah, guys, enough.  Cool your jets, both of you, we don’t have time for this crap.

MALKOROK:  Of course, Warchief…

GARROSH:  So, Vol’jin, now that everybody’s gotten all riled up over the tauren expedition, have we heard anything from them that would actually be USEFUL?

VOL’JIN:  Da one ting I heard was dere be a lotta old ruins from an older race, dat ruled before da pandaren.  I don’ know anyt’ing about ’em, but from da ruins it sounds like dey was everywhere.

EITRIGG:  Hmm.  Possibly worth assigning a team from the Reliquary to join the expedition to look into?

GARROSH:  Yeah, maybe.  This is a military operation, not an archaeology dig, but calling in some of the blood elves on this might help smooth things over with ol’ what’s-his-name.  Captain Peroxide.

MOKVAR:  How’s his eye doing, by the way?

GARROSH:  Don’t ask.

MOKVAR:  Ah.

GARROSH:  Anyway…  I think that covers everything for today, doesn’t it, Eitrigg?

EITRIGG:  Yes, sir.  I don’t think there was anything else on the agenda.

VOL’JIN:  Good party as always, mon.  Next one at my place!

MOKVAR:  If we’re done here, I’m going to head over to the Valley of Honor.  I need to catch up with Ji about a couple things.

GARROSH:  Good, keep him out of trouble for a few hours.

MALKOROK:  If you’ll excuse me then, Warchief, Rak’gor and I have a few arrangements to make ourselves.

VOL’JIN:  Don’ forget ta pick up da cake dis time, mon.

Malkorok blinks at Vol’jin, then shakes his head as he leaves, grumbling, with Rak’gor and Gul’tar.

<chuckling to himself>  Never gets old, mon, never gets old…

 

 

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

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