Archive for silithus

Monday mailbag

Posted in Mailbag with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

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Well it looks like we’re finally back to mail that’s just for ME, now that the bottomless pile of Saurfang fan mail is out of the way.  So, let’s get right to it…

 

Hail, Warchief!

This is an open letter to the Archdruids Malfurion Stormrage and Lathorius. It involves the former’s recent mistreatment of a Flameward Hippogryph.

I don’t really have a “day job” as such. I do odd jobs for people like the Dragonmaw Clan, the Protectors of Hyjal, and I’m good enough to earn a fairly decent living at it. Lately, that’s involved a fair bit of time on the Molten Front. Archdruid Stormrage recently saw fit to reward my service with a gift of sorts. Anyway, I get home to my Silvermoon pad one day, and there’s a package waiting for me. I said “package”, it was actually more like a crate, with air holes in it. The postmarks read, “Mount Hyjal”, then “Darnassus”, then “Ratchet”, then “Booty Bay”, and finally, “Silvermoon”. Goblin Post, Fourth Rate. It was at this point that I noticed a whimpering coming from inside the crate.

Now, this is going to sound damned odd coming from a man who joined up with the Blood Knights back when the first lesson on the syllabus was “How To Punch A Captive Naaru In The Jumblies”, but…

Stormrage, you sick bastard, WHAT THE HELL, MAN?!? What on Azeroth possessed you to decide that this was a good idea? Surely, you could have sent it Express. Or, you probably know a mage or two. Or, left a note that I could pick him up next time I was over by Nordrassil. But Goblin Post? Fourth Rate? That’s just WRONG.

Then again, I have no idea why I’m surprised. What else would you expect of a man who’d stand by examining his fingernails while forty Horde raiders curb-stomp his wife?

For what it’s worth, Ted’s doing great. (I named him for Tederastrasz, a dragon I met over in Twilight Highlands.) I don’t normally like to ride animals. I usually prefer the throaty roar of a pair of Yoyodyne-Gadgetzan turboprops and the rhythmic thump of a well-balanced rotor shaft. And the occasional autorotative descent into hostile territory? Just part of the spice that makes life worth living. But now I feel obliged to take Ted out for as much fresh air and sunshine as possible, and I have to say, I’m growing fond of his company. He still flinches a bit when he sees a crate, but he’s just about gotten over that.

Anyway, Lathorius? Your shan’do Stormrage could use a stern talking-to.

–A Concerned Citizen

Good to hear from you as always, ACC.  Gotta say, that really is pretty sick, not to mention pretty surprising, considering how old Antlers McBeardyface likes to play himself up as like Grand Master Nature Boy Ultra.  I mean, listen, I’m not going to lie to you.  It’s no secret that I’m not above a little tough love when it comes to Horde mounts, for purposes of promoting discipline and the kind of toughness that the military life calls for.  But I can also tell you, in no uncertain terms, every one of our worgs, kodos, wyverns, whatever, gets three squares a day, plenty of water, and at least enough room to stretch its legs and move around some.  Not to mention that when they finally come up for retirement, they get an enormous feast before we slice them up into chops.

But yeah, taking an animal like that and shipping it around by slow mail in a crate?  That’s just sick.  Especially when you consider how much care those goblins DON’T take to observe the “Handle With Care” labels.  Dude, you should have SEEN the shape my Champions of the Horde commemorative plates were in by the time they got to me, and those were even shipped THIRD class.  I’m still looking for all the pieces of Rexxar.  I don’t even want to THINK of what the fourth rate treatment would be.

Hopefully Lather-on-us will get right on this.  He’d BETTER, actually, considering how quick he always is to get on my ass for something way less than this.  All I’m gonna say is if he lets this thing slide with Antlers, I better not be getting another protest in my front yard the next time I order the veal.

Personally, if it were ME, I’d probably suggest keeping an eye on old Antlers until the next time he goes More Than Meets the Eye into one of his kajillion animal forms, then throw a net on him, shuffle him off into a nice tight crate, then ship him Super Slow Take Your Effing Time rate to his priestess chick.  (Bonus points if she’s not able to sign for the package because she’s too busy getting curb-stomped at the time.)

Anyway, ACC, I’m glad you’re having a good time with Ted.  Rescue mounts can have their quirks, no question about it, but over time it does get better, once they’ve had time to realize that they’re safe now.  And remember, yeah, those roflcopters are cool and all, but a roflcopter can’t love.

By the same token, a roflcopter can’t get explosive diarrhea all over your new monogrammted sheets that your Greatmother sent you for your birthday.  But life’s all about trade-offs, right?

 

Warchief Hellscream –

Being that you are easier to contact than your predecessor, I thought this an appropriate time to place my thoughts, as it were, upon your plate. In particular, I wish to discuss your support for our efforts in Silithus.

While I realise that Kalimdor is a large continent and that Silithus is perhaps the most inhospitable and inaccessible area thereon, it remains a hotbed of activity for the Twilight’s Hammer cult. You yourself have seen this most recently, and I have had it impressed upon me that your recent requests for the stepping up of border patrols are vital to your present plans to deal with the Hammer. And so my druids and I will do all that we can, but… we are stretched thin.

In the time since the defeat of C’Thun, the flow of adventurers to this barren land has slowed to a trickle, and yet the Hammer becomes ever heavier, poised above these shifting sands. Why, I recently discovered that visitors to my command have of late been greeted by a representative of the Horde, who offers free magical transportation in order that your supporters might fight in some meaningless skirmish in a swamp on the other side of the world! Why can this service not be provided in order to send more aid to us in our time of need?

The sands of Silithus have seen much, but they are unique in Azeroth and still have much to offer to the brave. With the Cenarion druids largely occupied by certain troubles in Hyjal, I cannot even request aid from them. I am honour-bound to this post, and cannot abandon it. I am told that you value honour deeply. Will you then aid us?

–Commander Mar’alith, Silithus

Hey, Mar’alith, good to hear from you again.  Also thanks for your help keeping the Twilight’s Hammer contained recently.

From the looks of it, your letter actually came in right about the same time I went out of commission for a little while, so hopefully in the intervening time things have gotten a little better.  From what Saurfang tells me, while he was minding the shop, he came by with a few thousand friends and did a fair bit of Twilight smacking, so hopefully that put a dent in the problem.  Still, I know those cultists can be like roaches – no matter how many you kill, there always seems to be tons more of them.  (And you know, you wouldn’t really expect there to be THAT many crazy despairing suicidal lunatics ready to sign on to help destroy the world, would you?  I mean, even if you assume the cult has a frigging amazing recruiting division, would you really figure they’d be able to drum up thousands upon thousands of these people like they do?  Kind of makes you wonder about the world’s collective parenting skills, that we’ve got THAT many people turning out THAT damaged.)

I’ll try to do what I can for you, Mar’alith.  As it stands, I put an announcement on all the command boards in Orgrimmar and Thunder Bluff encouraging adventurers to head your way and help out, but apparently that hasn’t been having much of an effect.  I’ll double check the boards to make sure the notices are visible enough – with my luck, the announcements got covered by someone’s ad for a futon for sale or guitar lessons or something, with the little straggly rip-off pieces at the bottom with the contact info.

Thing is, though, I’m not sure there’s a whole lot we can do to get people to head down to Silithus voluntarily.  Sure, there’s the portal transport thing you mentioned, but when you come right down to it, it’s not like getting to Silithus is much more of a nuisance than traveling to Tanaris or Un’goro Crater or, hell, even Felwood.  I’m not going to lie to you, Mar’alith, your place down there is just plain creepy.  Lots of people get a bad case of the skitters just running a few errands around the Writhing Deep or the Slithering Scar – and Silithus is like one giant Slithering Scar turned up to eleven.  People go there and then spend the next two weeks scratching because they keep imagining things crawling on them.  Combine that with the fact that, let’s face it, it’s not exactly a treat for the eyes down there either, and come on…how many people do you really think we’re going to get down there rather than, say, walking in a Winterspring wonderland?  I mean, hell, by the time most of our adventurers are strong enough to be much help to you down there, they’re usually all fired up to push righ on past Silithus and head out to Thrallmar in Outland.  Seriously, have you ever BEEN to Hellfire Peninsula?  Do you really understand the magnitude of people basically being like “Yay, Hellfire Peninsula!” rather than sticking around Silithus?

I’m open to ideas, but I’m thinking that pot’s going to have to be WAY sweeter before we see a whole lot of improvement…

 

Hey mon,

Can anybody be explainin’ what “Dranosh” means?

–Bob, Echo Isles

No no no no, dude, you’ve gotta know better than to ask about that shit, all you’re going to do is open up a—

If you will pardon the interruption, Warchief, I believe I can field this inquiry.  I suspect our elocutionarily eccentric correspondent is asking about the roots of the name of my dear, departed son.

Oh fuck, here we go.  Again.

If you will allow me.  Ahem.

We named him Dranosh.  It means “Heart of Draenor” in orcish.

Okay, well that answers that question.  Thanks for clearing that up, Saurfang, now we can—

I would not let the warlocks take him.  My boy would be safe, hidden away by the elders of Garadar.

I made a promise to his mother before she died; that I would cross the Dark Portal alone – whether I lived or died, my son would be safe.  Untainted…

Yeah, okay, terrific, that worked out just fantastic for all involved.  Hey, hang on a second, how did you even get in here anyway?  The fuck is this?  You said when you gave the keys back you were just going to head back up to Northrend and not interfere with the goings-on back here with me.

Today, I fulfill that promise.

I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE.  But I’m serious, how the hell are you even doing this?  SPAZZLE!

Yeah, chief?  What’s up?

I’ll TELL you what’s up, tech guy – Saurfang’s in here screwing around with the blog.  I thought you had some kind of fucking security on this shit.

Huh, that’s weird.  I’m not sure how he’d be able to—

I meant no offense, Warchief.  It merely seemed the inquiry lent itself to an account of my own personal experience, and I felt as such it might be a boon to you…

Yes, Garrosh, he was only trying to help.

Hang on, wait a minute, who the fuck is THIS now?

Do you not recognize me, Warchief?  You wound me.  Lady Sylvanas Windrunner, at your service as always.

SYLVANAS?!

A pleasure to see you again, Dark Lady.

Hold on, you know her now?

And you as well, High Overlord.  Congratulations once again on your successful albeit short-lived stewardship of the Horde.  I was most gratified that the other Horde leaders were so quick to agree with my suggestion that you would be an ideal interim Warchief.

As I am gratified by the faith you all showed in me, Dark Lady.

Where do you know HER from?

Do you not recall, Warchief?  I too served in Northrend during our triumphant campaign against the Lich King.  I had occasion to meet Overlord Saurfang in the late stages of our campaign.

Ohhh, that’s right, you WERE up there, weren’t you?  See, I forgot about that, seeing as Saurfang and I were spending most of our time on the whole successfully-taking-down-Arthas operation, as opposed to how you were mostly concentrating on the sneak-in-the-side-door-then-run-from-Arthas-like-a-little-girl wing.

Again you wound me, Warchief.

And hold on, how the fuck are YOU in here too?

In the blog?  I hacked admin.

You what now?

You what now?

That’s what I said, only less green.

Just as I said.  I hacked admin.  ^_^

Oh man, hold on, I need to go check the IP’s again…

You hacked your way onto the blog?  The fuck?

I’m not sure why you should be so shocked, Warchief.  I’ve done this many times before.  Not on your blog specifically, of course, but…

Haha, this is awesome.

Oh for FUCK’s sake, who’s THIS now?

What, you don’t recognize me either, filthy orc?

Oh crap, I can tell this is going to mean all kinds of overtime.  I was just getting my rotation down on Earth Online, too…

WHO IS THIS?

Varian Wrynn, King of Stormwind, you brainless half-wit!

OMG WTF

Yeaahhh, this is gonna mean a whole big system overhaul… So much for me trying to save some money on firewalls…

You seriously think I don’t keep an eye on you and your Horde devils?

Fuck you, Varian.

Indeed, Dark Lady!

Stay out of this, witch!

Wait, what?  I didn’t say that.

Who did, then?

That was me.

Why was it purple, then?  I’m using the purple.

For fuck’s sake, do you not READ the blog?

He’s got a point there.

My text ALWAYS goes purple when I say “Fuck you, Varian.”  SEE?  It’s like a running thing, I’ve been doing it for months!

But I’m using the purple now.  It’s my color.  Would it have been so bad not to use purple just this once, for the sake of not confusing people needlessly?

Hold on, are you actually bitching that my choice of text color isn’t showing adequate consideration FOR THE PEOPLE WHO ARE SOMEHOW HACKING THEIR WAY INTO MY BLOG EDITOR?

He’s kind of got you there, too.

Not the editor.  I hacked admin.  We’ve been over this.

I seriously never get tired of watching you vile creatures fight amongst yourselves.

You would be wise to watch yourself, King Varian.

I would expect at least a little courtesy from you, Saurfang, from one father to another.

I have already addressed this with you, Highness.  I will not stand by while the Horde is insulted, however much I may appreciate the kindness you once showed to me over my son.

Dranosh, wasn’t it?

Indeed.

Is that a family name or something?

OH FUCK NOT AGAIN

Not as such.  It means “Heart of Draenor” in orcish.

Ask him about the warlocks.

WHOSE FUCKING SIDE ARE YOU ON?!

What about the warlocks?

DAMMIT SYLVANAS!

I would not let the warlocks take him.  My boy would be safe, hidden away by the elders of Garadar.

WE’VE ALREADY BEEN THROUGH THIS LIKE EIGHT TIMES

Apologies, Warchief, but…it’s just so easy!

Still not as easy as everybody on the whole fucking internet breaking into my BLOG, though, apparently!

I know, I know, I’m already changing my sign-up status for the alt raid this weekend… <sigh>

Look at it this way, Saurfang: your son died honorably for an honorable cause, far better than most of your kind.  At least this way he can be spared a far worse end when your empire of villainy falls to the Alliance.

Also, I like to talk really tough because I think that way no one will suspect what a small penis I have.

Oh and I have trouble getting it up ever since Benedictus bad-touched me in the confessional booth when I was an altar boy.

WHAT THE HELL I DIDN’T SAY THAT

It certainly looks like you did.  <guffaw>

I have it on fairly good authority that’s a true story, too.

I DID NOT SAY ANY SUCH THING YOU DEVILS!

Oh did I mention how I couldn’t perform at all until Tiffy-Wiffy took me home and played dress-up for me?

OMG YOU LEAVE TIFFIN OUT OF THIS!!!

<giggle>

Oh hey YOU’RE making him say that?

You are?  How, Dark Lady?

Admin.  ^_^

SEE?  SEE?  I’VE ALWAYS SAID YOU HORDE ARE EVIL!

Behind closed doors I like to wear dresses!

DAMN YOU, SYLVANAS!  THE HELL WITH YOU ALL, I’M LOGGING OFF!

Hee!  ^_^

Okay, you know what, that was totally worth it.

Indeed it was an amusing diversion, albeit immature; but I suppose you young folk need find your pleasures in your own way.  And with that, Warchief, I believe I shall take my leave.

From the blog you mysteriously popped into through some means I still don’t know what the fuck they were?  Yeah, okay.

A good day to you, Warchief.  Honor go with us all.

Gotta admit, much as I’m still pretty pissed that you were able to hack in here so easily like that—

I know, I know, I’m clearing out next week too…

—what you did to Varian there was pretty awesome.  You might not be so bad after all, Sylvanas.

Thank you, dear Warchief.  While I’m here, incidentally, might we take a moment to review my concerns about the conduct of Captain Bloodfist?

Not right now, Sylvanas.  It’s been a long day, okay?  We can get into it another time soon.

As you wish, Warchief.  In that case, I’ll leave you to your mailbag and return to my work here in the Undercity.

Yeah, you do that, Sylvanas.  Luckily, that was the last letter for this week, and it’s probably a good thing too, since I don’t know if I’m in a mood to deal with any more weirdness in one day.  So I think it’s time to wrap this up for today.  I’ll post again soon, everyone.

Also don’t forget I don’t really have the faintest idea what I’m doing, and the Horde probably would have been better off staying under Saurfang.  But at least I’m easily influenced.

~_^

Going Rogue

Posted in From the Desk of Saurfang with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

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Citizens of the Horde,

A peculiar turn of events has taken place in Ahn’Qiraj.  I have just received word from Krug Skullsplit that the impulsive rogue Garona Halforcen has left him in sole charge of our Twilight captives and departed from Silithus.  According to Commander Skullsplit, Garona completed the interrogation of the last of the prisoners – the majority of whom, to her credit, have survived the process – then took off suddenly without explanation, save a rushed indication that she would be in contact with further updates shortly.  As Garona has proven in the past to be a valuable operative, it is my hope that this erratic behavior is well justified and that she will take pains to explain herself soon.

Meanwhile, on the topic of Horde operatives whose work has proven valuable, the prestidigitous ogre Draz’Zilb appealed to me earlier today for permission to undertake his own questioning of our Grimtotem captives, given his expressed prior success in extracting information from members of the tribe.  His suggestion was that he could likely verify the repeated Grimtotem claim that they were uninvolved in and unaware of the aggressions that occurred at Bladefist Bay and, more importantly, Alcaz Island.  I agreed to the ogre’s request, with, as it turns out, mixed results.

On the positive side, we now have fairly reliable confirmation of our original Grimtotem testimony.  None of the Grimtotem tribesmen had any awareness of any of the aforementioned Twilight’s Hammer activity; and the extent of their involvement in the events on Alcaz Island was the sending of a scouting party to the island well before catastrophe struck – scouts who, furthermore, have not been heard from since.  Draz’Zilb’s methods leave me highly…dubious…that this final testimony would be false.  It is, however, these very methods that leave me less than entirely satisfied with this entire undertaking.  Prior to today, I was only aware of the fact of the ogre’s assistance in previous interrogations, and, absent any further, troubling information, I was content to let him proceed with his proposal.  However, upon arriving to observe the questioning in person, I was most thoroughly disturbed by the spectacle that greeted me; by this point, three Grimtotem captives had already died to Draz’Zilb’s particular interrogation “techniques,” and I was quite uninterested in having a fourth life placed indirectly on my conscience.  Let me make no mistake: that we will kill during times of conflict is a matter of necessity; how we will kill is a matter of choice.  And I will not permit such unscrupulous undertakings to tain the honor of the Horde.  No matter how dire the battle, we must never forsake it.

As such, I have relieved Draz’Zilb of his support duties and dispatched him back to Brackenwall Village, where, I am sure, the venerable ogre chief Tharg will tend to him appropriately.  Meanwhile, in light of this confirmation of Grimtotem innocence – a term I use here in its more relative and situationally specific sense – I have begun to make plans to release many of our prisoners, provided a number of containment measures around their various settlements to ensure their ongoing good citizenship.

Once again the old adage proves true, friends: never trust an ogre not to be two-faced when he has two heads.  Honor go with us all.

 

-Saurfang

Many Questions, No Answers, One Theory

Posted in From the Desk of Saurfang with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

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Citizens of the Horde,

The more I consider our current crisis, the more troubled I become.  Something is amiss, and I am at present at a loss for what precisely lies behind it.

Upon reflection, I have come to realize that our investigations have uncovered a number of loose ends which have proven most disturbing.  Indeed, some of these loose ends were present even before our most recent movements against the Twilight’s Hammer and Grimtotem, but amid the chaotic last days before Warchief Hellscream’s disappearance, it is not difficult to understand how some of them may have escaped our notice.

Let me begin with the most recent wrinkles.  Continued interrogation of both the Twilight’s Hammer and Grimtotem captives by Garona Halforcen and Krog, respectively, have confirmed their early testimony: that the search for the phylactery of Cho’gall appears to have been initiated by Magatha Grimtotem, not the Twilight’s Hammer themselves; that the Twilight’s Hammer then targeted Magatha for capture upon learning of the Grimtotem search, whereupon Magatha agreed to aid in the resurrection of Cho’gall; that, according to both sides, no alliance or agreement has been forged between our two groups of adversaries.

While disturbing in and of themselves, these facts give way upon closer examination to far more troubling questions.  How is it possible, for one, that Magatha Grimtotem could be aware of the phylactery when by all accounts the Twilight’s Hammer cult itself appears to have been unaware?  While it may be that the existence of the phylactery was known by a small, select number of high-ranking cultists, such that the cult en masse would be oblivious, it still strikes me as strange that, once word of Magatha’s undertaking became widespread amongst the cult, such high-ranking members would not have put forth some account within their ranks beyond, it would seem, “Well that’s news to us.”

Furthermore, there is the odd behavior of both the Twilight’s Hammer cult and of Magatha Grimtotem in Thousand Needles.  Consider: if Warchief Hellscream was correct in his shrewd deduction that the linguistically spastic ogre Skarr was in fact the living phylactery of Cho’gall, then this would mean that the Twilight cult always had within its grasp the means of reviving its leader.  As the Warchief rightly worried, this leaves open the question of why they would not make use of the phylactery, with the likely answer being that something else was yet needed before they could do so.  The Warchief’s continued line of thought led him to suspect that perhaps the Doomstone and a collection of tauren artifacts – all collected and delivered to Magatha Grimtotem by the contemptible blood elf Johnny Awesome – comprised the missing piece.  Yet, the Twilight’s Hammer already had the Doomstone in their possession before it was stolen by Johnny Awesome, which means that the cult possessed at the outset access to both the phylactery and to a power source which could be used to harness it.  Therefore, once again, why would they not have used them?

My only explanation here is that the key pieces to the puzzle may have been the collection of tauren relics which were in the hands of the Grimtotem, and which Johnny Awesome recovered at Magatha’s behest.  Another possibility may be that even given the availability of all these resources, perhaps – strange though it may seem – only Magatha possessed the obscure conjuring knowledge to actually make use of them, and so the key to the entire Twilight operation may have been capturing Magatha Grimtotem and gaining her cooperation.  While these suppositions are certainly possible, nevertheless, I am far from comfortable with our current understanding of this facet of these events.

Finally, there is the matter of the attacks launched on the fateful day of Warchief Hellscream’s disappearance.  We have, on the one hand, nearly simultaneous Twilight raids in Ahn’Qiraj and Bladefist Bay, one driving our people from C’thun’s chamber, the other sinking the Doomhammer and preventing its voyage to Alcaz Island; and on the other, we have the attack of Grimtotem raiders against the cacophonous warriors Dontrag and Utvoch in which Skarr was freed.  The problem I have come to realize is twofold: one, in the absence of any alliance between the Twilight’s Hammer and Grimtotem, how do we account for a Twilight’s Hammer attack at Bladefist Bay, whose only rational purpose could have been to facilitate the pending Grimtotem strike at Alcaz Island?  The only plausible explanation I can think of for this is that the Grimtotem attack at the island was not actually staged by Grimtotem, but by tauren agents of the Twilight cult under the guise of the Grimtotem – certainly possible in light of the known existence of tauren cultists, and further validated by the (ordinarily suspect) insistence of our Grimtotem prisoners that their clan never set out for the island.

Nevertheless, even supposing this explanation, we are left with a further, more troubling question: given, once again, that no cooperation exists between the Twilight’s Hammer and Grimtotem, how would the cult have become aware of our planned movements on Alcaz Island, if the only information ever in circulation on the matter was a decoy letter that was deliberately allowed to fall into the hands of the Grimtotem?  How would they know not only to launch an attack on the island, but to attack us at Bladefist Bay (indicating an awareness not only of the Alcaz operation but of the fact that it was in fact a trap)?

I fear there is something yet in play that runs deeper than we have supposed.  Indeed, the only speculation I can offer fails to account for the many loose ends, and should of course be consider cautiously.  Still, in the spirit of this forum, I will share the current state of my thoughts.

That Magatha Grimtotem is a traitor to her people – both the Bloodhoof tribe and the tauren race in general – should be news to no one.  But I begin to suspect that we have underestimated the depths of betrayal to which the insidious crone might sink.

I believe that Magatha Grimtotem may in fact have betrayed the Grimtotem tribe itself, at the hands of the Twilight’s Hammer.

This theory is purely speculation on my part, and by no means does it account for everything I have raised as a concern.  Yet far too many pieces fit in place for me to discount it as the ravings of advancing age.  Consider: it was Magatha who put set her Grimtotem tribesman on the search for the phylactery through her underlings Arnak Grimtotem and Isha Gloomaxe, leading them to believe by all accounts that the Twilight’s Hammer were also looking for it, and that the tribe might benefit from finding it first.  Yet the cult appears to have been engaged in no such search, and the Grimtotem effort appears to have accomplished nothing save drawing the attention of the Twilight’s Hammer.

The cult then attacks the Grimtotem and captures Magatha.  And it is here that I suspect the crone played her hand: through some means, perhaps she had learned of Skarr and of the possibility of Cho’gall return, and presented herself to the cult as the sole person living who would be able to carry out the deed.  Note closely the events that would follow: an unwitting Horde adventurer, Johnny Awesome, comes upon Magatha, still ostensibly being held by the Twilight’s Hammer; he is sent by Magatha to collect the tauren relics held by the Grimtotem in Thousand Needles; in the process he is also tasked with killing Arnak Grimtotem and Isha Gloomaxe, very possibly the only other Grimtotem who might have had further knowledge of Magatha’s initial scheme.

I suspect Magatha only ever set her people upon the ogres to catch the cult’s attention, and afford her the chance to go to them under guise of being captured.  I believe she offered her help to the Twilight’s Hammer in exchange for something.  I do not know what it is, but it was a price great enough to compel her to turn against her own people, steal from them, kill her kin and indeed her very family in order to cover her nefarious tracks.  I realize that this theory is far from complete, and still leaves yet unaccounted for no shortage of loose ends.  Yet I cannot escape the belief that there lies amid these ramblings some kernel of truth to the crisis before us.

I apologize for the excessive length of this post.  I did not have time to craft a shorter one.  Strange events are upon us, and the selective culling of ideas is a luxury, sadly, which I cannot afford while wrestling with the many questions and theories that plague my thoughts.

We forge on against the darkness, friends.  Honor go with us all.

 

-Saurfang

Flown the Coop, as the Saying Goes

Posted in From the Desk of Saurfang with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

orgrimmar16

Citizens of the Horde,

Interrogation of our various captives carries on, and begins to yield fruit, albeit gradually.  Just this morning, the perspicacious rogue Krog reported to me personally to provide updates on his ongoing questioning of those Grimtotem who were apprehended during out recent operations out of Brackenwall Village.  A good man, that Krog, and thorough.

His questioning confirms what we already knew of the Grimtotem situation – that they had, under the direction of Magatha Grimtotem through her lieutenants Arnak Grimtotem and Isha Gloomaxe, begun to search for the now-infamous phylactery of Cho’gall, so as to strike a bargain with the Twilight’s Hammer cult – while further indicating that thus far, no agreements or alliances had been forged between the two groups.  Indeed, shortly after the nefarious tauren clan began their hunt, the Twilight’s Hammer stepped up their activities in Thousand Needles, resulting in the Twilight capture of several Grimtotem, most notably Magatha…who, as you are already well aware, was subsequently freed through unwitting (nay, witless) Horde assistance.

Nevertheless, I find the timing of these events to be hardly coincidental, and I suspect that the Twilight cult undertook a pointed effort to capture Magatha upon discovering that she and her kin were endeavoring to complicate the cult’s efforts to resurrect the odious ogre Cho’gall.

That relations between the Grimtotem and the Twilight’s Hammer are, to say the least, unfriendly is confirmed by early reports from Garona Halforcen in Silithus.  While Garona finds herself still early in her interrogation of our Twilight prisoners (a process which, I hope, will not be slowed too greatly by the temptation to relish the process), she has been able to confirm a reciprocal disdain for the Grimtotem on behalf of the Twilight’s Hammer cultists.

Meanwhile, I have recruited the aid of the resourceful ogre seer Draz’Zilb of Brackenwall Village, who has already been of assistance in these events to both Krog and to Warchief Hellscream, in the hopes that we might glean some additional information through more mystical means.  Draz’Zilb has theorized that, given the powerful magics involved in the phylactery containment of Cho’gall’s spirit, as well as in its possible release, it may be possible to conduct a divination of sorts through any living beings who were in close proximity to the ogre Skarr when, or if, these necromantic powers were tapped.  This afternoon Draz’Zilb joined me in Orgrimmar to attempt such a divination, to see if any traces of recent spellcasting or magical aftershocks might be discerned through the three entities we know to have been present with Skarr on Alcaz Island (excepting, of course, Warchief Hellscream): the externally monologuing soldiers Dontrag and Utvoch, and the Warchief’s personal wyvern.

Draz’Zilb began his divination with the wyvern, which has finally recovered from its injuries on the island.  (I will hasten to note for those D.E.H.T.A.-friendly among you, incidentally, that I was assured that no harm would come to the wyvern as a result of these magics; I am moreover informed that the Warchief had developed quite a fondness for the animal, and having enjoyed the compansionship of numerous pet worgs in my youth, I am not unsympathetic.)  Draz’Zilb detected signs from the wyvern’s residual magic aura that it had indeed been exposed to a magic outburst of some sort; however, the wyvern appeared uneasy throughout the divination process, and while it was still in its early stages, the process was interrupted by the arrival of Dontrag and Utvoch, which served only to further agitate the animal.  Before our handlers could calm the increasingly emotional beast, it managed to slip from its restraints and fly off.

I have sent a scouting detail to patrol Durotar and its surrounding areas to locate the wyvern, but its whereabouts are currently unknown.  I must admit, given our current situation I cannot say that the recovery of the animal can afford to rank as a high priority, though it would indeed pain me upon the Warchief’s return to have to report that we had lost it in his absence.

I shall continue to keep you updated as events continue to unfold, friends.  Honor go with us all.

 

-Saurfang

Victory in Silithus

Posted in From the Desk of Saurfang with tags , , , , , , on February 1, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

Citizens of the Horde,

It is my pleasure to report that the Twilight presence in the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj has been defeated.

Horde forces began their entry into the ruins early yesterday, and began a systematic march through the underground passageways.  Though the Twilight’s Hammer gave moderate resistance, their energy appeared to wane after the first several waves of their defenses proved little match for the steady march of our superior numbers.  By dusk we had made our way into the innermost sanctum of the temple; the chamber of C’thun is now under Horde control, and a great many of the agents of the Twilight’s Hammer have been captured.

I will add, with all due modesty, that while leading the incursion I took no small measure of amusement at the fact that a great many of the Twilight adversaries who chose to spar with me directly did so by attacking me frontally in pairs.  While I generally welcome the opportunity to cleave in battle, it is rare indeed for enemies to line up so readily to facilitate my doing so.

I have returned to Orgrimmar to continue supervising our ongoing efforts throughout Kalimdor.  In my absence, I have left the antilaconic rogue Garona Halforcen in charge of the interrogation of our numerous Twilight prisoners.  After her previous experiences with the Twilight’s Hammer in Ahn’Qiraj, she appeared highly receptive to the opportunity to have words with them again now, and in light of the present situation, I have given her quite…broad authority in extracting information from our captives.

I am hopeful that our search for our Warchief will progress swiftly from this stage, friends.  Honor go with us all.

 

-Saurfang

 

 

[Header image provided by Rioriel from Postcards From Azeroth, reproduced here with permission and many thanks.  Click here to see the souped-up Postcard version!]

Monday, so I am told, Mailbag

Posted in From the Desk of Saurfang, Mailbag with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

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Citizens of the Horde,

I am an orc of my word; some days ago I invited you to write to me with your thoughts and inquiries, and promised I would answer them as is customary in this space.  Today I fulfill that promise.

I write to you from our outpost in Silithus, as I prepare to begin our movement into Ahn’Qiraj.  Perhaps this exercise will be helpful in clearing my thoughts before the coming battle.  Let us begin.

 

Dear Overlord Saurfang,

Have you read any good books lately?

–Tarrful, Orgrimmar

Sadly, my hectic schedule as acting Warchief does not allow me the leisure time to pursue recreational reading.  Fortunately, I do make a point of conducting regular briefing sessions to ensure I am kept abreast of important and relevant information, to ensure that the absence of reading time has not caused me to miss something of import.

[Saurfang doesn’t read books.  He stares them down until they give him the information he wants. –Mkvr., ed.]

 

Warchief Saurfang:

Do you play Earth Online too?  If so, what server are you on?  What class do you play?

–Kalaban, Undercity

I’m afraid I don’t know what this “Earth Online” is that you speak of.  By context, I would surmise it is some sort of diversion or recreational activity involving the internet.  Sadly, my schedule already calls for me to spend too much time safeguarding the future of the Horde and saving the world from annihilation for me to invest much leisure time in such matters.  Also, I am an adult.

 

Hey Saurfang,

If Thrall and Garrosh ever finished that duel they started back before the Northrend campaign, who do you think would win?

–Kulkesh, Razor Hill

I could not even venture a guess as to the outcome of a battle between two such mighty combatants; and moreover, I can only hope that such a wasteful conflict might never occur.

[If Thrall ever dueled Garrosh to completion, the winner would be Saurfang. –Mkvr., ed.]

I must say, I was expecting these inquiries to revolve around matters of greater weight and import.  Nevertheless, we carry on.

 

Acting Warchief Saurfang,

When the orcs began dabbling in necromancy, did you ever consider becoming a Warlock?  I know you’re a pretty badass Warrior and all, but did you ever think it might be fun to have demon minions and dot people up?

–Davan Shadowspring, Silvermoon City

There was never a point when I was tempted to indulge in the fel magics of the warlocks.  Indeed, I suspected even then that no good would come of my people’s dabbling in shadow magic.  Moreover, I fail even to see the appeal of such practices; I find it much more honorable and rewarding to confront my enemy face-to-face in combat and best him hand-to-hand, rather than standing at a distance and resorting to trickery.  There is a certain gravity and satisfaction to be found in feeling the weight and heft of a solid, reliable blade in one’s hands.  And besides, I can assure you, if one is sufficiently proficient in the martial arts, one does not need a precarious spell to make one’s foes flee in fear.

[Damn, Saurfang almost beat me to the punch on this one: Every time a warlock makes someone run away in fear, he pays a royalty to Saurfang.  –Mkvr., ed.]

 

Warchief Saurfang:

I’m glad to see someone in charge again in Orgrimmar who’s at least somewhat respectable.  I would wish you well in your efforts, except that in this case that would probably entail you actually finding Garrosh, and honestly that would end up leading to more trouble than it would be worth.  So, here’s wishing you a mixed bag that keeps you in your current position for a while.

–King Varian Wrynn, Stormwind

P.S.  Sorry to hear your men were stuck in those underground tunnels on Alcaz Island.  Those things are creepy as hell.  For years, I had these bizarre recurring nightmares that I was stuck down there, and barely even knew myself.  Freaky stuff…

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While I remain thankful to you, King Varian, for the kindness you showed me in light of the loss of my son, I nevertheless cannot let such denigrations against our Warchief go unanswered.  I may remind you, however much good will may exist between you and I personally, I am first and foremost unwaveringly loyal to the Horde, and Warchief Hellscream is its rightful leader.  I am myself, indeed, merely a part of which the Horde is a larger whole; and you may no more speak ill of our leader with impunity from me than you might strike one’s face and not expect the hand to respond in kind.  And so, as Warchief Hellscream might comment in his own inimitable manner, I would take this occasion to invite you, King Varian, to engage in an act of self-copulation.

 

Hey mon,

If da Lich King’s horse be Invincible, how come I be seein’ it?

–Bob, Echo Isles

Vol’jin, I don’t know what it is that you’re trying to accomplish, or why you’ve chosen to adopt this puerile façade, but I would ask of you, please, recall your station.  We are leaders of the Horde, and as such it is incumbent upon us to conduct ourselves with a modicum of maturity.

 

Dear Saurfang,

I know the Dragon Aspects have a lot on their plate these days, but considering the interest they have in Twilight’s Hammer activities, and the resources and information they have access to, have you considered reaching out to them for support in the search for Garrosh?  Maybe have Thrall speak to them on your behalf?

–Zhurzigg, Orgrimmar

While it would indeed pain me to impose upon the hectic schedule of the Aspects, my time in Northrend did afford me the opportunity to develop a certain rapport with the Wyrmrest Accord.  As a result, I was recently able to arrange a meeting with Nozdormu at the Caverns of Time.  My original intention was to travel to Tanaris on the way to Silithus, but initial preparations detained me in Orgrimmar unexpectedly; fortunately Nozdormu was most gracious over my tardiness (in retrospect, I wonder if he knew in advance that I would be late, all things considered), and welcomed me for our discussion nonetheless.

[Time waits for no man.  Unless that man is Saurfang. –Mkvr., ed.]

Sadly, Nozdormu was able to uncover no leads that might help us pinpoint the location of the Warchief.  His ability to delve into past events is, in fact, somewhat compromised by current activities of the Infinite Dragonflight, which is impeding the Aspects’ plan to retrieve the powerful Dragon Soul artifact from the past.

(As an aside, I must admit I would be tempted myself to volunteer for this mission, as it would entail the opportunity to witness first-hand some of the events of the War of the Ancients, in which my dear brother Broxigar had participated.)

[Contrary to popular belief, the Sundering did not happen because of the collapse of the Well of Eternity.  The landmasses of the world heard that Saurfang was at the Well, and so the continents split apart in different directions to try to get as far away as possible.  As it turns out, the Saurfang present at the Well was Broxigar, not Varok, but you can hardly blame the continents for erring on the side of safety. –Mkvr., ed.]

Nozdormu does still have the power to access the future, but this would appear to have limited usefulness for our purposes.  He did suggest at one point that he might move us forward in time to such a point as Warchief Hellscream has been recovered, and then acquire from our future selves the relevant information as to how and where.  This, however, struck me as a rather dubious solution; as I explained to the Aspect, in such a circular approach to problem-solving, the actual answers and information would not seem to actually come from anywhere, but rather be produced of whole cloth out of nothing.  Nozdormu’s only response was to roll his eyes and, waving a hand about, mutter “Wibbly wobbly, timey whimey.”

The ways of the Aspects truly are a mystery.

 

One final note in closing:  The one aspect of responding to your mail in this format that I do not particularly like is its relatively impersonal nature.  Indeed, I wish to apologize to those of you who have written to me directly for not having replied directly in kind.  When attempting to log into my “e-mail account,” the machine demanded I provide a password; apparently the device did not find the resulting cleave to be sufficient proof of my identity.

[When Saurfang…oh, wait, he’s already got this one covered.  Good deal, boss. –Mkvr., ed.]

By all means, continue to write to me, friends.  Honor go with us all.

 

-Saurfang

The Loop Closes

Posted in From the Desk of Saurfang with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

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Citizens of the Horde,

I am pleased to report that our movements against the Grimtotem clan proceed well.

Overlord Cliffwalker, who had already brought the Grimtotem in Stonetalon Mountains well under control, has effectively tightened our grip on their encampments; likewise, the two major Grimtotem outposts in Dustwallow Marsh offered little resistance to our forces.  Many of them, it would appear, have fled south to Thousand Needles, and many of those who remained readily surrendered when Horde forces arrived and provided first-hand illustration of, shall we say, the Grimtotem’s mathematically untenable situation.

[When you fight Saurfang, Saurfang always has you outnumbered.  Even if Saurfang is alone, he has you outnumbered. –Mkvr., ed.]

As we have several Grimtotem captives on hand, I have placed the tenacious rogue Krog in charge of their interrogation, with the aid of the obsequious duo Dontrag and Utvoch.  I anticipate useful information forthcoming; in the meantime, our forces will continue on to Thousand Needles and Feralas, where they will continue to put pressure on the remaining Grimtotem outposts.

While our field commanders undertake these operations, I will be traveling to Silithus, where I will personally take command of our troops for the beginning of our strike on the Twilight’s Hammer forces in Ahn’Qiraj.

The tide turns in our favor, friends.  Honor go with us all.

 

-Saurfang

From the Desk of Saurfang

Posted in From the Desk of Saurfang with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

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Greetings, citizens of the Horde.

My name is Varok Saurfang, and it is with the greatest humility and utmost solemnity that I have agreed, in this time of crisis, to assume temporarily the mantle of acting Warchief.  I did not seek this office, nor have I ever craved political power or influence; I am, at heart, a soldier, and have never wished anything more than to serve the Horde in whatever manner required.  As it happens on this day, the collective leadership of the Horde has called upon me to shoulder the burden of leadership, and I am both honored and humbled by their decision to place this trust with me.

As I have all of my life, and shall for whatever days remain, I undertake this task with the full dedication of my very being for the good of the Horde, and I pray that I may serve you well.

The noble Eitrigg has informed me that Warchief Hellscream frequently employed this electronic forum – a “blog,” as I believe it is called – to communicate directly with his citizens, to update them on important happenings, to inform and inspire.  It is a tribute to his leadership that he would so value you, his people, as to endeavor so steadfastly to keep you aware of important matters in this way, and as I assume the office of Warchief, I have decided to honor his custom by writing to you here in his stead.

I will readily admit that I am far from conversant in these new computerized venues – you will forgive an aging orc for falling behind the march of technological progress – and so I am sure my use of this forum will be but a pale imitation of Warchief Hellscream’s.  Fortunately, my advisor Mokvar has offered his aid in transcribing my messages to post here (again, I show my age, as a quill and paper are far more comfortable to my hands than these newer and, I am sure, more efficient machines), and the delightfully precocious goblin Spazzle Fizzletrinket, whom I have just today had the pleasure of meeting, has assured me of his aid in the general maintenance of the blog.  I can only hope you will forgive the missteps of my inexperience, and forgive as well what will surely be my failure to adequately recreate the eloquence and inspiration to which you have doubtlessly grown accustomed in these pages.

I have had the honor of fighting alongside many of you in recent years during our victorious campaign in Northrend; and some fewer among you fought by my side previously in Silithus as part of the Might of Kalimdor in the Ahn’Qiraj War Effort.  Throughout our past efforts, you have done honor to the Horde with your strength, your resolve, your dedication to our people; and while in these past battles I have held a rank that would denote me as “superior officer,” time and again your heroism belied any such titles that would designate me superior.  It is my honor now to stand shoulder to shoulder with you once again as we face an uncertain future.

Yet it is an honor I would happily relinquish: all that I have achieved, and all that I have attained, I would gladly give, were it not necessary for me or anyone to stand in Warchief Hellscream’s place now.  Alas, we do not live in better times, and it falls to me to deliver unwanted news.  I will not sugar-coat, nor will I equivocate, for you, the people of the Horde, deserve to know the full truth.

The rumors that you have heard are true.  Warchief Garrosh Hellscream has gone missing.

In the days ahead I will spell out the current situation in further detail, and keep you updated on the current state of our investigations; for the moment, a brief overview will suffice.

As you are surely aware, Warchief Hellscream and an inner circle of elite advisors have been engaged in thwarting an attempt by the Twilight’s Hammer to resurrect the odious ogre mage Cho’gall.  In the aftermath of the Twilight attacks on the Doomhammer and the Kor’kron contingent in Ahn’Qiraj, the Warchief bravely traveled ahead to Alcaz Island, in the hopes of intervening in what he believed to be a Twilight plot.  It was at that point that contact with the Warchief was lost. 

At the present time we do not know where he is or whether he has fallen into hostile hands.  Indeed, we do not at present know whether the Warchief is still alive, though I remain hopeful, as, I am sure, do you all.  We can reasonably rule out Alcaz Island itself as the Warchief’s location; some hours after Warchief Hellscream departed for the island, Horde forces arrived there as well, and upon discovering that the Warchief was nowhere to be found, undertook an exhaustive search of the entire island.  There was no sign of him, though there were numerous leads gathered as to his possible whereabouts, which I will share with you in the due course of our ongoing investigation.

In the meantime, I have taken steps to buttress the other front of our current conflict, that of the ruins of Ahn’Qiraj.  As you are aware, the loquacious rogue Garona Halforcen, engaged in a cunning ruse to entrap Twilight agents in the temple ruins, fell victim herself to a Twilight ambush, and was forced to withdraw in the face of superior numbers.  In the resulting chaos, agents of the Twilight’s Hammer were able to secure the inner sanctum of C’thun, a chamber suspected to be instrumental in their vile resurrection plot.

Let me make no mistake: I hold within me no patience or forgiveness for those who would strike against the Horde, less still for those who would do so through trickery.  As such, I have deployed to Silithus the fourth, fifth, and seventh legions of the Kor’kron High Guard – the fourth having served under my command in the final stages of the Icecrown campaign – to converge upon the ruins and secure it.  I have meanwhile assigned an air patrol of two hundred windrider skyguards to circle the zone and assure that no stray enemies might escape the area.

The Twilight’s Hammer wished to make the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj theirs.  I hope they find it comfortable, for not a single one of their number will set eyes upon another place for the rest of their increasingly short days.

And while the siege of Silithus unfolds, we will redouble our efforts here to locate our missing Warchief.  Once again, I shall take pains to keep you, our loyal citizens, abreast of ongoing developments, and may well call upon your aid in gathering information.  The disappearance of Garrosh Hellscream is more than a crisis for our people; it is an attack and an affront to the Horde itself.  Whatever parties have taken it upon themselves to act against our leader have likewise courted the outrage of every one of our people, and in so doing they have made a terrible, critical error: they have struck against the Horde, but left it still living to strike back.

You may, indeed, even find it within yourselves to admire their daring.  You would be wise to admire it from afar.

They will be found.  They will be caught.  Our Warchief will be returned to safety, and as for the fate that awaits his attackers…I will not elaborate on it here.  Solider though I am, I also pride myself a gentleman, and I would not discuss such details openly here where young eyes might see them.  I could not bear to think that I had robbed an innocent child of restful sleep for the nightmares such words might inspire.

Lok’tar ogar, friends.  Honor go with us all.

 

-Saurfang

Something’s up

Posted in Spazzle Speaks with tags , , , , , , , on January 15, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

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Hi everyone.  Spazzle again.

I’m still not having much luck getting anyone in the know to talk to me.  You’d think it would count for something that I’m Garrosh’s friend (wow, did I just say that?), but I guess whatever is happening is classified enough that they’re not talking about it with anyone who isn’t in a pretty high position of authority.

But I definitely know that Eitrigg held his meeting earlier today.  He and the other Horde leaders sealed themselves off in Grommash Hold for most of the day.  Between comparing notes on what happened in Silithus and Dustwallow Marsh, and looking for Garrosh, and figuring out what to do next, there must have been a whole lot for them to talk about.  Just a few hours ago the meeting seemed to wrap up, and a bunch of us saw them all gathered in front of the hold with Garona and Krog and a few others, still talking about something pretty intently.

I don’t know for sure what ended up being decided, but I do know that right after the meeting, there was an envoy sent out with armed guards on the next zeppelin going up to the Borean Tundra.  And the way I figure, well…if you had something major going on with servants of the Old Gods in Silithus, who would you want in charge?

 

 

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

Not good

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2012 by Garrosh Hellscream

Dontrag and Utvoch are supposed to bring Skarr to Alcaz Island to set our trap for Magatha in a short while.  The plan was to time things so that our forces take off from Bladefist Bay on the Doomhammer with JUST enough time to be there slightly ahead of them, then watch for Grimtotem activity.  We’d probably have to improvise on the fly some, depending on how Magatha and company were tackling things, but considering the element of surprise we’d have going for us, and the superior numbers we’d be bringing, it would be fairly easy to adapt to whatever we encountered.

That was the plan.

We just had a major monkey wrench thrown into it.

Less than two hours ago, a Twilight raiding party attacked Bladefist Bay.  The Kor’kron forces on hand fought them for a while, and ended up defeating them fairly handily…except that it seems like winning the fight wasn’t really the point of the attack.  In fact, a big chunk of their forces were out of commission before the fight even really got rolling.  Several of the Twilights were carrying saronite bombs.  In the initial charge, they rushed the Doomhammer, boarded the ship, and set them off – killing themselves in the process.  The other Twilight attackers really seemed to be there just to provide enough cover to make sure enough of the bombers got to the ship, and by the time we could had the situation under control, the Doomhammer was badly damaged.

It’s taking on water and going down in the bay as we speak.  No chance of her making any trips to Alcaz Island, now or likely ever.

I really, REALLY don’t like the timing of this.  Something’s going on, and it’s pretty damn hard to shake the idea that the Twilights know a hell of a lot more than they should.  There’s absolutely no reason for them to specifically target the Doomhammer unless they’re trying to keep it from casting off.  A random attack wouldn’t be so specific about taking out the ship, and besides, batshit though they are, the Twilights don’t do random.

We’re going to have to improvise something, and fast – Skarr should be on the move soon, and there isn’t enough time to get a messenger down to Dustwallow in time to have them delay the operation.  One way or another, we’re committed.

Speaking of messengers, though, I’ve just had a courier arrive with a letter from Garona in Silithus.  I’ll update shortly once I’ve had a chance to read it.  Hopefully it’s good news.  We could use some at this point.