I’m scheduled to fly back to Kin-Lai Summit in a couple days to check in again with Lor’the’motherfucker’s Reliquary peeps and see how their research is going at the new mogu site. I’m pretty well certain that if we can figure out what happened to this Divine Bell, it could be the thing that finally tips the scales for us against the Alliance. So I’ll give Regent-Lord Cyclops and his crew a few days to prance around up there, then stop in and see how badly they need me to hold their feet to the fire.
In the meantime, I’m taking a little time to have a look around some more of Pandaria, starting with where Nazgrim got the ball rolling a couple months ago, the Jade Forest. I decided to bring Gurtash for the trip, along with blademaster Burzum and Ben-Lin Cloudstrider, who’s seeing mainland Pandaria for the first time and is plenty curious about her homeland-that’s-not.
First stop was Serpent’s Heart, site of that big battle Nazgrim fought between…well…his monkeys and the Alliance’s fish men.
Yeah, I needed a minute there to be sad again.
Anyhow, this was my first look at the handiwork of this “sha” that I keep hearing about…specifically, in this case, the Sha of Doubt, because I guess they all decided to divide up into jurisdictions or whatever. Anyway, pretty creepy stuff, not least of all because even the land itself seems to have been infected by whatever dark energy these sha things generate.
After that, we flew around checking some of the regions to the north, and wound up paying a visit to a place I’d heard of once before, a long time and another world ago…
[A quick OOC note: Garrosh’s adventures at Tian Monastery will be spread out over a series of web comic installments. The comics are a lot of fun to put together, but are also something of a beast time-wise, so please bear with me if the next few posts have longer gaps between them than you may be accustomed to here. Thanks for reading as always!]
So Krog’s latest report from Pandaria came in yesterday. I was planning to post this update last night, but while I was startung to get the post together, I made the mistake of tabbing over to Earth Online, and telling myself I could just talk with the guild a little while I was working. And you know how that goes, right? “I’ll just tab over for a minute” = nothing gets done in the original window ever.
As it turns out, I happened to log on just in time for another Lor’themar hissy fit over people not knowing who he is. So that was fun. I told him to cool it, and he was like “Why don’t you come here and make me?”, and dude didn’t seem to get the fact that e-thugging empty threats doesn’t work so well when the guy you’re mouthing off to knows your home address and had a hunch of mages on staff.
I’m at least 50% sure his face will heal up okay. And even if not, maybe an eyepatch would help toughen up his look anyway.
Anyhow, that’s what was going on yesterday. So now, let’s get caught up with our buddy Krog in Pandaria. You guys voted – by a hair – to send him back to the hozen camp to secure Anduin. When we last left him, he and Shokia were pinned down by an Alliance sniper at Serpent’s Heart. And so…
begging the warchief’s pardon, but while waiting for your further instructions matters reached a point where action was needed.
I mean really, how high-maintenance are some of my minions that they basically say “Sorry I went ahead and did something without your go-ahead when I was getting shot at”?
alliance sniper’s shots were keeping me and shokia pinned down tightly. i stealthed and tried to scout her position but was unable to get a clear read through the greenery. meanwhile sniper was somehow able to make fairly good estimates of my position even while stealthed. eventually used smoke bombs to give myself and shokia cover to withdraw, and made our way north.
good news and bad news upon arrival at horde/hozen camp at grookin hill.
good news: general nazgrim, kiryn, and rivett clutchpop all survived battle at serpent’s heart and have been moved west to pandaren settlement at binan village to recover from injuries.
Okay, well, I already knew that much, seeing as I’d gotten the report on that from Nazgrim himself, but yeah, that is good news. Although he seemed to leave out the whole Anduin thing, which is kind of troubling. Also most of the business about the giant black demon thingy that came out of nowhere and handed him his ass.
bad news: apparently in the confusion of the battle, anduin escaped.
I… He… They…
Sorry. I had to go schedule a one-on-one session with Ben-Lin Cloudstrider to work on methods for dealing with this sudden inexplicable SEETHING FIT OF SOUL-RENDING RAGE that I seem to be experiencing at the moment FOR SOME REASON, which may or may not be related to the likelihood that EVERYONE ON MY PAYROLL IS APPARENTLY COMPLETELY FUCKING INCOMPETENT.
How – HOW, can you please EXPLAIN this to me – can these people POSSIBLY let the fucking PRINCE OF STORMWIND get away “in the confusion”? What the fuck does that even MEAN? What confusion? The battle was a ways away from the camp, so why would there even have been any confusion there? Or was someone actually cosmically stupid enough to think it was a good idea to bring a high-profile captive WITH them to a battle?
I’m seriously going to have to get my ass down there to Pandaria, because this is just too fucking much.
welcome back, warchief – i assume you had to step away for a moment after reading that last bit.
Okay, credit where it’s due. Dude knows me.
hozen unclear on which way anduin may have fled. not surprising; hozen unclear on most things unrelated to feces. likeliest possibilities appear to be westward across the river, which would take anduin toward farming district; and southward, toward alliance encmapment and area where anduin was originally captured.
…he was fussing around in the Jade Forest checking on what was left of the original Horde fleet at Garrosh’ar Point. (By the way, gotta admit, that name really does have a ring to it. Too bad the place wound up getting trashed.) I asked you all to chime in on what Krog should do next — because spirits forbid my investigator should make a decision on his own — and you guys decided that his priority should be tracking down Anduin, who’s apparently on the loose out there in Pandaria. Because he happened to be on one of the Alliance ships cruising around the middle of nowhere in the southern oceans. Because Varian’s really on top of his shit when it comes to watching out for his kid. So for those of you keeping score at home, that makes him a shitty king, a shitty fighter, a shitty strategist, a shitty blogger, a shitty dancer, AND a shitty dad. With shitty hair. Also fuck you, Varian.
I sent the new orders along to Krog a couple days ago. Here are highlights from his latest report from the field:
attempted to find a trail for anduin after his departure from the wreckage of the alliance flagship, but leads were inconclusive in light of heavy activity in the area recently. stealthing through the pearlfin jinyu village revealed little, jinyu numbers seemed depleted as most warriors appear to have been sent elsewhere, but no indication of the prince. also, alliance members appear to have left jinyu village as well.
pandaren of paw’don village remain under alliance influence. i attempted to approach a village guard to make inquiries in support of anduin investigation. greeted poorly. also violently. with equally poor and violent treatment from additional, rapidly arriving guards. for future reference: pandaren not necessarily as cuddly as initial cursory observations would suggest.
after hasty exit from paw’don village, i was indulging in some cathartic venting at the pandaren guards (from safe distance), mainly elaborating on varieties of evisceration i would unleash on them given the chance to open with a good stunlock, when i began to experience odd sensations – unfocused violent urges, fits of anger, coupled with strange sense of mental detachment.
in the midst of these sensations, pandaren local appeared and began channeling a spell of some kind on me – violent impulses abated, and a handful of small black creatures spawned around me only to die immediately. pandaren did not identify himself; too busy complaining about energies being brought by my “fellow strangers” to pandaria; added something about the land living and breathing, whatever that means. wore distinctive hat and scarf (unsure if this looked goofy or cool on him). when pressed for explanation, he directed me to a nearby pavilion, then left, making parting complaint about it being a busy week for him. non-cuddly impression of the pandaren people gaining traction.
i made my way to the pavilion, where i met another pandaren native – THIS one was willing to give a name: lorewalker cho. apparently a historian of some sort. identified black creatures as manifestation of sentient dark energy called sha; added this was a minor manifestation; grew notably withdrawn when pressed on question of what a major manifestation would be like. when questioned for leads on anduin, cho indicated that he’d spoken with others also looking for the prince – presumably alliance – and had helped give them visions to lead them in right direction. i was able to convince him to show me one of these visions; brief vision revealed anduin traveling north with two pandaren, an older male and younger female, before parting ways.
i was able to follow the trail north and found the pandaren female – who was making preparations to bury the older male, her father, who had succumbed to injuries shortly after anduin’s departure. she didn’t have much information, but did provide interesting development: while with anduin, they were intercepted by alliance SI:7 operatives who attempted to take the prince with them. intent on pursuing other interests in pandaria, anduin used mind control on SI:7 agents to elude them.
Okay, I’m going to stop this here for just a second to point something out here. These SI:7 people are supposed to be Varian’s elite team of secret agents or whatever. And these people…the best of the best, the Alliance’s A#1 crack team…got bamboozled by a fourteen-year-old boy.
Can someone please explain to me WHY THE FUCK we haven’t beaten these people yet?
Okay, moving on.
followed anduin’s trail westward. in transit, reached area called serpent’s heart, where a major battle had recently taken place – area littered with large number of hozen and jinyu bodies; ground scarred with surreal black-and-white patterns and dark energy tendrils; several larger versions of the black sha creatures swarming vicinity.
while surveying the area, gunshots broke out, seemingly from two directions. i was grazed by a bullet, which took me out of stealth; initially confused as to how i could have been targeted while effectively invisible. once unstealthed, however, i was pulled behind cover of rocks by horde operative: marksman shokia, who had been engaged in shoot-out with an alliance sniper.
between shots, shokia filled in some details: anduin had been captured by shademaster kiryn and was being held at horde base in hozen village prior to battle between horde and alliance here at serpent’s heart. during battle, enormous sha creature appeared, spawned several lesser sha, and attacked both sides. the primary sha was driven off and most survivors from both armies evacuated from field, but shokia and the alliance sniper were left behind in the confusion. both have been trying to pick each other off from behind cover since.
awaiting further orders.
So, since Krog is apparently still unable to make a call on his own, even when he’s PINNED DOWN IN THE FIELD, I’ll kick it back to you all…