Archive for putress

Same as it ever was

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Taurajo.

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

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

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

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

Fluttered like shimmering white wings.

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

It didn’t help.  It wasn’t enough.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I need something bigger.

We march tomorrow.  Theramore burns.

 

 

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

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The fire in which we burn

Posted in Transcripts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 11, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

Dranosh left with the Windrunner for Theramore.  He brought Dontrag and Utvoch, which, I mean, I know this is really no time for jokes, but…HAHA!  Poor fucker.  Anyway, he’s going to see if he can find Faranell there, or in Thunder Bluff if need be.  One way or another, Mokvar and I will meet him there when we’re done on our end.

We got Mokvar hooked up with a wyvern, and we both flew down from Ashenvale to Tanaris.  Soridormi was there to greet us when we arrived at the Caverns of Time.

 

SORIDORMI:  Overlord.  Or do you still prefer “Warchief” in this reality?  It’s so hard to know what to call certain people.

GARROSH:  Doesn’t matter.  Call me whatever.

SORIDORMI:  Oh?  So if I decide “Roshy” has a nice ring to it…?

GARROSH:  Don’t get clever.

SORIDORMI:  <wry grin>  I’m afraid it’s far too late for that.

GARROSH:  <grumbles>  Fine, whatever.  While you’re being all smug and smart, though, how about this – last time I was here, seems to me you might have, you know, neglected to mention a few minor details about this world.

SORIDORMI:  In fairness, I did tell you all that there were other events that played out differently.

GARROSH:  Which you totally made sound like “I’m just glossing over this since it’s not really that important.”

SORIDORMI:  Did I?  Hardly.  Every moment is important, Garrosh.  But at the time, there was no telling how much longer I had to detail matters further.  We were – if you’ll pardon the expression – working on borrowed time.

GARROSH:  And now?

SORIDORMI:  This timeline has taken…a much firmer hold.

MOKVAR:  The last few times we’ve shifted, our time here has gotten longer, and our time in the original timeline has gotten shorter…

SORIDORMI:  <nods>  This timeline is taking over as the predominant one.  That overwriting of your reality will soon be complete, if it isn’t already.

GARROSH:  Well then, since we’re in like 2% less of a rush now, how about you fill in a few gaps for us.  Starting with, say, why it is that Orgrimmar is overrun right now by the Burning Legion and the Scourge, both of which we had pretty well under control last I checked.

SORIDORMI:  In both cases, everything hinges on certain unexpected events involving the Battle of the Wrathgate.

GARROSH:  Go on…

SORIDORMI:  After the Alliance and Horde set aside their petty conflicts and united against the Lich King, Tirion Fordring’s Argent Crusade was able to assemble a strike force of the greatest champions from both factions.  The team that Fordring would lead into Icecrown Citadel for the final assault would be far mightier even than the one that defeated Arthas in your timeline.

GARROSH:  Okay, so I’m not seeing how that leads to things being WORSE.

SORIDORMI:  It didn’t, at first.  But you’ll recall, in the time leading up to the attack, the Lich King’s chief researcher was not Professor Putricide – Patrick Faranell – but Putress.

Soridormi holds out her hand and summons an image of Rotface and Festergut.

IMAGE OF ROTFACE:  Daddy make toys out of you!  WEEEEEE!

IMAGE OF FESTERGUT:  Dead, dead, dead!  Daddy, I did it!

SORIDORMI:  Putricide’s most formidable creations, while strong, were ultimately…limited.  Undermined by a lingering sentimentality that Putricide would carry into undeath from another life.

She shakes her hand, and the image changes to that of Patrick Faranell.

IMAGE OF PATRICKBetween you, me, and the walls, I’d rather like to have a couple sons… I remember how much Dad seemed to enjoy himself with us.

SORIDORMI:  Putress’ malevolent ingenuity would have no such…humanity to temper it.  He would furnish the Lich King with constructs more monstrous and strains of blight more virulent than anything known to your timeline.

GARROSH:  Um, didn’t I ask you THIS VERY THING about Putress the last time?

SORIDORMI:  You did.  I didn’t give you an answer.

GARROSH:  INDEED YOU DIDN’T.

MOKVAR:  I think we might have distracted her, actually.

GARROSH:  Whose side are you on?

MOKVAR:  I’m on the side of us not standing around bickering over who said what and why.

GARROSH:  Fine.  So Putress invented some powerful shit, boy, don’t know why you never thought of that, Garrosh, go on please.

SORIDORMI:  Strengthened by Putress’ creations, the Lich King would ultimately defeat Fordring’s even mightier strike force.

MOKVAR:  So some of the most powerful heroes against the Scourge, from the Horde and Alliance, were all killed.

SORIDORMI:  <pauses grimly>  It would have been a kindness had they merely been killed.

Soridormi waves her hand, summoning a likeness of the Lich King.

IMAGE OF THE LICH KING:  You trained them well, Fordring.  You delivered the greatest fighting force this world has ever known…right into my hands – exactly as I intended.

MOKVAR:  By the spirits…

GARROSH:  He raised them as his minions…

SORIDORMI:  And then killed Tirion Fordring.  <closes her eyes a moment>  And then raised him

IMAGE OF THE LICH KING:  You could’ve been my greatest champion, Fordring.  A force of darkness that would wash over this world and deliver it into a new age of strife.

SORIDORMI:  …to lead his new army of Deathbringers.

Garrosh and Mokvar exchange troubled looks.

GARROSH:  Okay…  Bad news part one done…  Now what about the demons?

SORIDORMI:  A further consequence of the defeat in Icecrown Citadel…  You may recall, in your time, after the fall of the Lich King, some of his former minions would find for themselves…new allegiances.

Soridormi conjures a shimmering likeness of Sylvanas Windrunner.

IMAGE OF SYLVANAS:  With the death of the Lich King, many of the more intelligent Scourge became…unemployed… They are under my command now…

SORIDORMI:  With the Lich King victorious, the val’kyr would never ally themselves with Sylvanas.  Which would prove…unfortunate for the Forsaken.

Soridormi waves her hand.  Above her palm appears an image of Sylvanas with Lord Godfrey and High Warlord Cromush at the Greymane Wall.

IMAGE OF SYLVANAS:  Soldiers of the Horde!  We are victorious!  Lordaeron is w—

The image of Lord Godfrey draws a pistol and shoots Sylvanas point-blank.  She immediately falls dead on the ground.

IMAGE OF CROMUSH:  What have you done, Godfrey?!

IMAGE OF GODFREY:  Something that should have been done a long time ago, you filthy animal.  Gilneas belongs to me, and so soon will the rest of Lordaeron!

SORIDORMI:  In your timeline, Sylvanas was resurrected by her val’kyr servants.  Here, she had no val’kyr to save her.  Sylvanas Windrunner died – for the second and final time.  In the aftermath of her death, leadership of the Undercity would pass to Sylvanas’ second, her majordomo of several years.

The nathrezim Varimathras.

GARROSH:  Varimathras?  How?  He’s…dead…oh no…

MOKVAR:  <head sinks>  The Wrathgate…

SORIDORMI:  <nods>  Without Putress in the Undercity, Varimathras had no collaborator with whom to conspire against the Banshee Queen.  There was never a coup against Sylvanas.  And without the coup against Sylvanas, Varimathras was never exposed as the traitor he was — his true loyalties to the Burning Legion never revealed.  He carried on unimpeded, not only free to continue his scheming in the Undercity, but eventually becoming its leader.  Much time did not pass before he carried out his master plan…

She waves her hand again, summoning the fiery red likeness of a monstrous eredar.

…and summoned Kil’jaeden the Deceiver into this world.  Bringing with him countless legions of demons from the Twisted Nether.  Bringing with him the Second Fall of Lordaeron.  Most of the Eastern Kingdoms was soon to follow.

GARROSH:  Fucking hell…

MOKVAR:  Soridormi… Edwin is in this world now, we think.  If we can get him here, is there still time to undo all this?

SORIDORMI:  If we can get him back to Southshore, we should be able to reset the timelines with both Edwins at the points they need to be.

GARROSH:  Okay, great, so we’ll just collect him and get him down here and—

SORIDORMI:  Actually getting him to old Southshore, though, is no easy task, and not without problems.

GARROSH:  Dammit, I thought if I said that fast enough we could get out before the “but” kicked in.

MOKVAR:  What’s the problem?

SORIDORMI:  Sending Edwin back to period to which he’s already time-traveled involves crossing his own timeline in ways that no mortal was meant to do.

GARROSH:  Ah…the whole “no double-dipping” thing.

SORIDORMI:  To open a stable time portal for such a repeat incursion will require me to channel immense amounts of power – far more than I can summon up myself.

GARROSH:  What about the Noz?  He’s the head honcho time guy anyway, couldn’t he pull it off?

SORIDORMI:  I am…the most powerful member of the Bronze Flight here.

GARROSH:  How does that work?  I mean I get that you’ve got this secret super time vision and whatever, but no offense, how did you get to be more powerful than Noz?

MOKVAR:  Garrosh…

SORIDORMI:  I’m not.

GARROSH:  So what gives?  Where is he, any…oh…oh no…

SORIDORMI:  <looks down a moment>  For a number of reasons…the final confrontation with Deathwing proved…far more costly in this timeline than in the other.

GARROSH:  I… Wow do I feel like a jackass.

MOKVAR:  This is what it finally took, huh?

GARROSH:  So…we need a power source to tap into, then?

SORIDORMI:  That’s right.

Garrosh stares off to one side, thinking anxiously.

MOKVAR:  Not to bring up bad memories, Soridormi, but I don’t suppose the Dragon Soul is an option?

SORIDORMI:  I would be, yes…

GARROSH:  Okay, so—

SORIDORMI:  Except that it has already been returned to its own time, and retrieving it a second time would involve the type of crossing of timelines that we need the power source for in the first place.

GARROSH:  Okay, seriously, you’ve got to start leading with the “but” part of these answers.

MOKVAR:  What about the spell book that Malchezaar used to bring the demons into Orgrimmar?

SORIDORMI:  <shakes her head>  The Book of Medivh is a powerful source of portal magic, for portals within this reality, but hardly helpful for the kind of temporal manipulation we’re undertaking.

GARROSH:  <staring down, hesitant>  What about…the Focusing Iris?  From the Eye of Eternity?

SORIDORMI:  <nods slowly>  The Focusing Iris would work, yes.  As a dragon relic, in fact, it should lend itself all the more easily to my use.

MOKVAR:  Do we know where it is now?

GARROSH:  The Blue Dragonflight is keeping it in Coldarra.

SORIDORMI:  I will give you my talisman to show to the blues.  They will give you the Iris if they know you’ve been sent by me.  They’ll know I would not ask were the need not dire.

GARROSH:  Okay then.  I think we have a plan.

SORIDORMI:  Indeed, Warchief.

GARROSH:  You know what?  Just call me Garrosh.  People calling me “Warchief” here either gets confusing like with Utvoch earlier, or it’s just creepy like with Malchezaar.

MOKVAR:  We should probably get go—

SORIDORMI:  Wait, Garrosh – Malchezaar saw you, and called you “Warchief”?

GARROSH:  Yeah, why?

SORIDORMI:  <fidgets with her hands nervously>  You need to go.  Now.  Take my talisman and get to Northrend quickly to recover the Focusing Iris.

MOKVAR:  Why?  What is it?

GARROSH:  I’ve really kind of had my fill of flying blind around here.  What’s got you spooked all of a sudden?

SORIDORMI:  The Netherspace where Malchezaar dwelled was a distorted region of time.

GARROSH:  Right, I know.  Time loop, round and round, now he’s dead, now he’s not, boom.  So what?

SORIDORMI:  The Netherspace rests at the intersection of countless times.  Those who dwell there can see into the different realities – bits and pieces, usually, but one never knows.  If Malchezaar knows to call you “Warchief,” he has seen your other world.  And in that case, he may well know enough – or could deduce – how the worlds fit together and how they might be corrected.

MOKVAR:  It would really be nice if there could be some stupid people on the bad guys’ side for a change…

SORIDORMI:  The Burning Legion stands on the brink of a victory on Azeroth that it has coveted for millennia.  If they realize what we’re doing, they will not stand idly by.  We need to act quickly.

GARROSH:  Got it.  Be doing whatever you need to do to get ready, Soridormi.  We’ll be back with Edwin and the Focusing Iris.

SORIDORMI:  I hope so, Garrosh.  Titans watch over you.

 

We winged it double-time to Thunder Bluff.  I’m writing from there now.  Dranosh and the others haven’t arrived yet, but I’ve sent a messenger to Theramore with the barest bare-bones of what we need to do.  I’m guessing he’ll be headed here by nightfall, morning at the latest, and then we can get moving.

Next stop, Northrend.

 

 

[Sylvanas and Kil’jaeden images above provided by Rioriel from Postcards From Azeroth, reproduced here with permission and many thanks.  Click on the links in the previous sentence to see the souped-up Postcards versions!]

Time isn’t after us

Posted in Transcripts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

{Previously on The Warchief’s Command Board…well, here.  Go read it yourself and get caught up.  We don’t have bandwidth for fucking previouslies.}

 

Garrosh looks around again.

GARROSH:  So…much less crowded all of a sudden…

LIADRIN:  Hmm.  Just us three at the Caverns of Time?

SORIDORMI:  <nods>  Your counterparts in this timeline had come here on…related but different business.

GARROSH:  Wait, our COUNTERPARTS?

SORIDORMI:  <nods>  For lack of a better word.

LIADRIN:  Oh, I think I’ve read about this… <looking around again>  I never thought I would experience it first-hand, though…

GARROSH:  Okay, so since everybody seems to understand this but me, could SOMEONE please explain what the fuck is going on?

SORIDORMI:  You’re caught in the backwash of Edwin’s temporal instability.

GARROSH:  Yeah, there’s not one single part of that sentence that was helpful.

SORIDORMI:  The flashes you’ve been experiencing have all corresponded to Faranell’s time shifts.  Every time he’s jumped to another point in his timeline, you have been shifting into…well, here.

LIADRIN:  An alternate timeline.

GARROSH:  So how come the Noz didn’t notice this?  And where is he, anyway?  How come he missed this kinda major part of what’s going on?

SORIDORMI:  Nozdormu can see the disturbances surrounding Edwin’s displacement in time easily enough, but the intermingling of realities occurring in the background is a bit…beyond his perception.

GARROSH:  But it’s not beyond yours?  No offense, but I thought the Noz was the one with the super-uber-heightened time perception.

SORIDORMI:  <sighs, then smiles>  Believe me, I’m not the first woman ever to let her husband go on thinking he was the smart one for the sake of his fragile ego.

Liadrin chuckles briefly.

MOKVAR:  So are we the only ones shifting into this timeline?  Why us?

SORIDORMI:  Yes and no.  You’re not the only ones toggling realities, but you are the only ones who have started to retain your memories of one timeline when you move to the other.  Those of you who were with Edwin in Southshore have been left with a sort of temporal residue that’s making it possible for you to bridge the gaps between realities.

GARROSH:  Okay…I think I’m starting to get this… So in that case…

Mokvar starts chuckling, quickly descending into raucous laughter.

Um, dude, what’s so funny?

MOKVAR:  <still laughing>  No, sorry, I’m just thinking…since this is affecting all of us from Southshore… I’m just imagining Utvoch trying to figure out what the hell is going on…

Mokvar falls into another fit of laughter.  Garrosh thinks for a moment, his eyes widening and a broad grin spreading across his face as he does, then starts laughing as well.

GARROSH:  Oh…oh man…that’s just…ha ha HAA!

LIADRIN:  Um, Garrosh?  Don’t you think we should…?

GARROSH:  <still laughing>  Oh SHIT!

MOKVAR:  <doubled over>  Hahaha…what?

GARROSH:  <starts to lean on Mokvar for support amid chortles>  Can you…can you imagine him trying to explain this shit to Dontrag?

MOKVAROHHHH!  HAHAHA!!

GARROSH:  Can’t you just see them?  “I think I was somewhere else,” “No you weren’t, you were right here,” “Yeah, I was here, but you weren’t,” “I was too here,” “No you weren’t, I was here only it was somewhere else here, and you were gone,” “Are you sure I wasn’t here?” “I think so.” “Huh, I wonder where I went…”

MOKVAR:  <gasping for breath and leaning back against Garrosh>  Stop!  You have to stop!  Hahahaha!

Liadrin turns back to Soridormi and rolls her eyes.

LIADRIN:  Boys will be boys.

Soridormi shrugs and nods.  Garrosh and Mokvar carry on laughing.

SORIDORMI:  Sadly, so will grown men.

LIADRIN:  At any rate… I understand that our connection to Edwin is allowing us to retain our awareness of this timeline, but I’m still not sure why these shifts are happening to us.

SORIDORMI:  It all comes back to Edwin, in more ways than one.

LIADRIN:  His own displacement in time, as Nozdormu was saying, obviously…

GARROSH:  Okay, okay, we’re done now.  <chortle>

SORIDORMI:  That was the start of it, yes.  And then, beyond that…this alternate reality was created when your Edwin caused…certain changes in the past.

LIADRIN:  Oh no.

GARROSH:  What did he do?  In his letter he said he remembered everything he did and said, and he would make sure he repeated it all.

SORIDORMI:  I have little doubt that he did.  And it strikes me as unlikely he even made these changes deliberately, or at least consciously.

GARROSH:  Then what did he change?

Soridormi holds out one hand.  A small, glowing, blue-tinted image of Patrick Faranell appears above her upturned palm.

IMAGE OF PATRICK:  Good news, everyone, I found it!  Just what the doctor ordered!

SORIDORMI:  I believe you’ve met Edwin’s brother, Professor Patrick Faranell.

LIADRIN:  Oh no… I think I know where this is going…

SORIDORMI:  In your original timeline, Patrick was killed during the Scourge invasion of Silvermoon.  In this reality, however, he never went to Silvermoon.  He survived.

GARROSH:  That…sounds like a pretty major crapping all over Edwin’s whole “I won’t change history” pledge.

SORIDORMI:  I doubt he did it deliberately.  Even if he remembered everything he ever said to his brother, repeated it all word for word…don’t underestimate the influence of a simple change of inflection, a tone of voice, a facial expression…  Even if he’d read all his lines, knowing what he knew, Edwin could easily have planted the doubts that would steer his brother away from harm.

GARROSH:  Seriously.  He couldn’t keep himself reined in, knowing how important it was?

SORIDORMI:  Garrosh, could you look a loved one in the face, knowing death was upon them, and be completely certain you wouldn’t let a hint of it into your voice?

GARROSH:  Okay…fair enough.  So, now we have one extra friendly dorky guy wandering around.  So what?

SORIDORMI:  Had he met his end in Silvermoon, Patrick was fated for…a different path.

Soridormi waves her hand, and the image of Patrick Faranell is replaced by a shimmering image of Professor Putricide.

IMAGE OF PUTRICIDE:  Good news, everyone!  I think I perfected a plague that will destroy all life on Azeroth!

GARROSH:  The hell…

SORIDORMI:  Patrick would be risen into undeath, unbeknownst to his brother in Dalaran.  The Lich King would take notice of his keen alchemical mind, and install him – in his new identity of “Professor Putricide” – as his chief alchemist and researcher in Icecrown Citadel.

GARROSH:  Okay…I’m really starting to worry about why this becomes important…

LIADRIN:  Dominoes…

SORIDORMI:  With no Putricide in existence, Arthas’ attention in those early days would turn in a different direction…

Soridormi waves her hand again.  The image of Professor Putricide flickers out and is replaced by the likeness of Grand Apothecary Putress.

IMAGE OF PUTRESS:  Did you think we had forgotten?  Did you think we had forgiven?

SORIDORMI:  I believe you are both familiar with the work of Grand Apothecary Putress, previously of Sylvanas’ Royal Apothecary Society.

LIADRIN:  By the Light…

SORIDORMI:  The Lich King chose Putress for the role that would have gone to Putricide – replacing one master alchemist with another, albeit perhaps a more ruthless one.

GARROSH:  So, what, did Putress come up with some invention for Arthas, or…?

LIADRIN:  Garroh, no… Think…the Wrathgate

GARROSH:  Oh… OH…

MOKVAR:  Oh shit…

SORIDORMI:  <nodding>  With Putress in Icecrown Citadel rather than the Undercity, there was no coup against Sylvanas.  There was no betrayal at the Battle of the Wrathgate.  Dranosh Saurfang survived, as did Bolvar Fordragon.  While the Lich King survived to fight another day, driven back into his fortress, the assault on the Wrathgate was regarded as a great victory – for Alliance and Horde alike.  Bolvar would use that success, along with his newfound friendship with Saurfang the Younger, to persuade Varian Wrynn to reconsider his stance on relations with the Horde.

Soridormi waves her hand again.  Above her upturned palm, a glowing likeness appears of Thrall and Varian Wrynn shaking hands.

The Alliance and Horde would sign the Dalaran Accords some weeks later.  The war between Alliance and Horde was ended.

GARROSH:  <sneers at the image>  Fuck you, Varian.

MOKVAR:  You know that’s not really him, right?

LIADRIN:  Peace between the Horde and the Alliance… All those lives spared at the Wrathgate… And…

Liadrin looks down at the Ashbringer in her hands.

SORIDORMI:  A number of other rather important events have…played out differently.

GARROSH:  Like the fact that with Dranosh still alive, when it came time for Thrall to name an acting Warchief…

Soridormi nods.

And then… Cairne… By the spirits…when Hamuul’s druids were attacked by the Twilight’s Hammer…

MOKVAR:  Cairne wasn’t as quick to think Dranosh was responsible, like he was with you?  So that means…

GARROSH:  There was never a duel.  Cairne…never died.  I never…  He never died.

MOKVAR:  This is all…I don’t even know what to call it.  But, crazy as it all is…why is this timeline mixing with ours at all?

LIADRIN:  Edwin.  It’s all about Edwin…

SORIDORMI:  <nods>  These divergent timelines aren’t uncommon.  There are countless events in your history that have produced alternate realities.  But what’s different here is your friend.  The split in realities was caused by Edwin averting his brother’s death.  But it’s also Edwin who’s become unstuck in time.  He’s spawned an entire universe in which he does not belong; he’s out of time, and time itself wants him back.  It’s pulling him back and forth, and pulling the other reality into ours in the process.  Edwin has become a shatter point in time, and the walls between realities are cracking around him.  Eventually, the other timeline – the one we’re in now – will bleed through into ours.

LIADRIN:  He’ll never even realize any of this is happening, will he?  It’ll just happen while he’s off at other points in time.

SORIDORMI:  Difficult to say.  Though it wouldn’t surprise me if the timelines eventually converge to the point that he begins to remain here with you.

MOKVAR:  Still trying to wrap my head around this…

SORIDORMI:  It is much to absorb, I know.

MOKVAR:  But…what do we do now?

SORIDORMI:  Reality will continue to crack around Edwin until the timelines converge and this one, essentially, replaces ours, unless we can return both Edwins to where they belong and restore the original timeline.

LIADRIN:  I suspect that won’t be quite as simple as running back through the portal to old Hillsbrad.

SORIDORMI:  <shakes her head>  Crossing your own timelines will be a dangerous proposition, and one that will take a tremendous focusing of magic.  There’s much we’ll need to do here to prepare, and even then, there’s the small matter of getting this Edwin here at a point when he isn’t…elsewhere.  Not to mention convincing him of the necessity of going back.

LIADRIN:  I suppose we’ll just need to do what we can we can can erif we eht can do ma can i tub can what em semusnoc what taht erif a si ti regit eht ma i tub em hold selgnam taht regit a si ti revir eht the ma i tub gnola em speews taht line revir a si emit edam ma i we hcihw fo we ecnatsbus what we eht what si what emit what what we what we can to get ready.

NOZDORMU:  Indeed.  Chromormu, go speak with Erozion about a possible return incursion to Hillsbrad.

CHROMIE:  Sure thing, captain.

Chromie teleports out.  Garrosh, Liadrin, and Mokvar exchange uneasy looks both at each other and at Faranell – who likewise looks around uncomfortably.  Soridormi, standing half a step behind Nozdormu, watches them and raises a single finger to her lips.

TIRION:  Dr. Faranell?  Are you all right?  You seem out of sorts suddenly.

FARANELL:  Yeah…um…

EITRIGG:  It happened again, didn’t it?

NOZDORMU:  <narrows his eyes, looking at Faranell grimly>  Yes.  It would appear so.

Faranell nods and sighs.

LIADRIN:  Where were you this time, Edwin?

FARANELL:  It was…a large, sprawling city, built into the mountains of a bright, orange-stoned desert.  There were…orcs and trolls everywhere… Was… It was Orgrimmar, wasn’t it?

MOKVAR:  Sounds like it.

GARROSH:  Well, Doc, I don’t know if you were just in your past, but Orgrimmar is definitely in your future.  You’re coming back with us, where we can watch out for you while we figure this thing out.

TIRION:  A wise choice, mostly likely, my good Warchief.  Upon our return to Hearthglen, I will have Daria make arrangements with the good doctor’s family to have whatever effects he might require transported to Orgrimmar.

GARROSH:  Good deal.  Don’t…um…don’t feel like you need to deliver them personally.  Some plain ol’ couriers will do fine.

TIRION:  If…you say so, Warchief…

NOZDORMU:  In the meantime, I will see about making what preparations we can here.

GARROSH:  Yeah.  Thanks, Noz.

Nozdormu nods solemnly and walks off.

SORIDORMI:  I should go assist Nozdormu.  <looks slowly from Garrosh to Liadrin to Mokvar>  I suspect I will see you all again, in due time.

 

We’re back in Orgrimmar now with Faranell.  I’m going to have him assigned quarters somewhere he can be comfortable — well, as comfortable as a human can be in a city full of orcs — and we can keep an eye on him at all times.  Not sure where we go from here, but I want him close just in case.  Right now I’ve got a lot to think about…

More soon.

 

“Daria’s Pro Tip for Dealing with Tirion #8: Do not wear black mageweave leggings. Ever. Ever.”