Category Archives: General

A deal is a deal

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Well, the good news is that I DID still have my warranty papers from Gazlowe, from when his people worked construction on the new, (seemingly) improved, post-Cataclysm Orgrimmar. The bad news is that the warranty also included a whole mess of fine print. Like a Tirion-esque volume of text, only micro-sized. And let me tell you, there is no fine print like goblin fine print — I don’t know what gadget they used to shrink that printing down so small, but from the look of it, someone must have typed up the laundry list of disclaimers and conditions, highlighted all, set the font size to ONE FUCKING POINT, then zapped the whole damn page with some kind of crazy-ass Micro-Zoom TeenC WeenC Shrink Ray for good measure. And you might read that and try to laugh it off, but when I got Spazzle over here to look at this thing and made the same comment to HIM, he was all “Hang on, who told you about the TeenC WeenC ray?!” So there you go.

Anyway, finding the paperwork didn’t do me a fat lot of good. I tried setting up a face-to-face with Gazlowe about this shit, because I figured I wanted this crap settled before I leave town again, some kind of make-good new construction or whatever, but apparently dude couldn’t even be bothered to show up personally. He sent some other joker named Rezlak to pop in on his behalf, because apparently the trip from Ratchet all the damn way to Orgrimmar would just be too much on his bunions or whatever. And evidently the verdict was that the massive construction project his people got paid for wasn’t under warranty because of like nine random technicalities buried in the fine print, like I didn’t use the right color quill when I signed the contract or the sandwich he had for lunch last Thursday didn’t have fucking mustard on it. Or something.

Now, mind you, as anyone (who has a genuine desire to keep breathing) will tell you, I’m not an unreasonable person… so I tried to make Rezlak a counterproposal to see what he’d have to say about it, but seeing as the counterproposal pretty much consisted of me punching him in the mouth, all he really had to say about it was “ouch.”

Gee, I sure do hope his fillings were still under warranty.

 

Quality workmanship

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So, after the minor calamity of getting Golmash over to the Kor’kron stables, things have gone mostly without incident. You’ll notice I said MOSTLY without incident, not COMPLETELY without incident, because in what upside-down topsy-turvy reality would THAT ever happen? It turned out that the Kor’kron stablemasters had either overestimated the sturdiness of their enclosures, or underestimated the sturdiness of Golmash’s muscles, because when the two collided, hoo boy, things did not go well for the evidently substandard wooden planks.

And I mean, not for nothing, but wasn’t it bad enough that the goblin contractors took like two years to finish the reconstruction job in Orgrimmar after the Cataclysm? Did they have to do a shoddy job of it, too? You would THINK that for all the time spent on it, they would at least, you know, use actual wooden planks and not bundles of straw or some shit, but oh no. Serves me right for not looking into it more before I signed the contract, but I WAS only Warchief for a little while at the time. Crazy me, I just figured I could go ahead and trust Thrall’s guy to do a good job without taking any other bids. Sure, I figured, Thrall must know what he’s talking about with this Gazlowe dude. Sure, I figured, Thrall wouldn’t steer me wrong with a bad referral. Then again, considering this is the same guy who gave me referrals for three advisors who would help me as Warchief, and two of those threatened to kill me within 48 hours of me taking the job, well, I guess you could say the handwriting was on the wall about how much stock I should have put in THAT guy’s recommendations. (It’s a damn good thing I didn’t take him up on his offer to go on a blind double date with him and Aggra that one time, right? I shudder to imagine…)

Where was I? I think I got off on a tangent there. (I’ll tell you, one handy thing about this whole computer thing — other than the way they keep hiding the delete key on me — is that you can look back at what you were saying. I WISH I could scroll back up to double check things in actual conversations. Not least of all so I can check what someone else was saying when I wasn’t paying attention because who gives a fuck. That or when I need to double check to see if I just said what I think I just said because what D and/or U and/or [Insert Random Pinhead Minion of Choice Here] said in response doesn’t make the slightest damn bit of sense in context.)

Okay, I think I just did it again. BUT GETTING BACK TO THE POINT. Which was, shoddy workmanship in the stables, leading to a rather temperamental glowy-eyed wolf running around, which led to lots of chaos until we got that shit locked down. Luckily, wolf dude didn’t get at any of the other wolves or kodos before we got him back under wraps again. The only real damage done was this one peon that was closest to the pen when Golmash get loose, who wound up getting himself mostly eaten. Which kinda sucks, but oh well. I’ll send his widow a ham.

Point is, we need to take a major look at the strength of our enclosures. Granted, most of our mounts aren’t going to cause as much trouble as Golmash, but you have to wonder how many OTHER structures we’ve got that are just a little unexpected stress away from snapping on us. I’ve got one more meeting coming up with Blackfuse before I had back down to Pandaria, so I may see about getting him working on a few things between then and now.

Meanwhile, I need to see if I still have the paperwork for my damn warranty from Gazlowe somewhere. Goddamn corner cutting. I’m half tempted to toss that fucker in a pen with Golmash with only one of the barrier his people assembled to separate them, and see how much faith he’s got in his goddamn product THEN.

 

#500 GIANT-SIZED (not really) ANNIVERSARY (kind of) SPECIAL

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Okay, people, I know we’ve got a hell of a lot going on these days on a whole bunch of fronts, but let’s get our damn priorities straight and take a moment to APPRECIATE THE GODDAMN AWESOMENESS OF ME.

Why, you ask? AS IF YOU NEED A REASON. But okay, fine, be that way. Even though you should already be in a constant state of awe over your Warchief, today marks an EXTRA SPECIAL awesome, awe-inspiring, awful… wait. I think I just took a wrong turn there.

IT’S A SPECIAL GODDAMN OCCASION IS WHAT I’M SAYING.

Reason being, the post you see before you marks the 500th BLOG POST here on the Warchief’s Command Board. That’s right, bitches, 500 posts — that’s FIVE ZERO ZERO. Go ahead and count ’em. I KNOW YOU WON’T.

But that’s where we are, people — 500 installments of EVERYBODY’S FAVORITE BLOG EVER. And riddle me this: have you read them all?

Yeah, me neither.

I mean, there were a bunch in there by guest posters like Spazzle and Mokvar, and I like those guys and everything, but not enough to actually give a shit about what they have to say about… like… anything. But whatever — like trees falling in the forest with no one there to hear them, those guests posts still… um… make a… sound when they…crash the server and… um… that is…

OKAY, THAT ONE GOT AWAY FROM ME A LITTLE, TOO. I MAY OR MAY NOT BE WORKING ON A COUPLE DRINKS, OKAY, SO STFU.

Anyhow. I’d like to thank all my loyal readers, and say that I couldn’t have done it without you. I’d LIKE to say that, but I can’t, because I totally could have. Let’s be real, scrubs, I’m the awesome one here, not you. THERE’S A REASON WHY YOU’RE READING MY BLOG AND NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND, NOW ISN’T THERE?

But still, the occasion calls for something special, so in keeping with this month’s theme — I DO have a Poetry Challenge in progress, after all — I figured I’d take a look back at a 500-stack of EPIC the only proper way EPIC gets done:

 

That “LOK’TAR OGAR!” that I blogged for a starter;
I met D&U, but my wyvern’s way smarter;
Krom’gar dropped a bomb, but I dropped his ass harder;
         EO gaming, “why fly” malaprop.
Twilights on a mission for that Cho’gall demon;
Ogres versus Grimtotem, and Magatha schemin’;
Johnny Awesome, beat it; Garona, keep dreamin’;
         Saurfang took a turn watching the shop.

That time I went AWOL, then I was recovered;
Grabby Mylune hugged me till I damn near smothered;
Garadar reunion with my long-lost mother;
         Year one challenge, rhymes of locks in socks.
Mom was just a cruel trick Magatha unraveled;
Trouble for Forsaken; Tirion’s endless babble;
Head to old Southshore thanks to FUCKING TIME TRAVEL;
         Human Faranell’s a paradox.

Psycho!Mylune rampaged, eyes more wild than dewy;
Edwin fucked the past up; all the timelines went screwy;
We straightened them out; Theramore went kablooey;
         Went to Karazhan to spin some tunes.
Pandas showed up teaching how anger is managed;
Got myself some trainees: DPS advantage;
Someone ganked Mokvar; he ankhed and wound up bandaged;
         Rolled up on Pandaria with my goons.

Gurtash started drawing; Vol’jin stopped his breathing;
Cloudfall spoke of destiny and got me near believing;
Mokvar met Magatha, that one had me seething;
         He went off the grid — he’d best run far.
Lor’the’whatsit’s bitching still; I got pounced by Tak;
Snagged the Divine Bell; that’s when Jaina blew her stack;
DPS got lost, but I (mostly) got them back;
         Meet my daughter, Shay. (Have a cigar.)

Shay’s mage class was hard, her sucker punch was hardest;
Mokvar reappeared with green fire from the Black Harvest;
Gurtash got blindsided, we were down an artist;
        Made an offer Blackfuse can’t refuse.
Green-eyed wolf named Golmash acting pretty fishy;
Gurtash still needs training not to be so squishy;
Utvoch got promoted, but I kinda wish he
         And Dontrag weren’t always so confused.

EPIC VERSE and lemon squares, endless reader mail;
Ruekie getting ruekied; eternal minion fail;
Mortimer’s a badass; Shayari’s hunting sales;
         Earth Online guild chat is always strange.
FYV; #LadiesLoveMe, ’cause they’re not slumming;
Trolls are always trolling, dumbasses are dumbing;
500 down so far, a thousand more coming!
         Okay, maybe. Times could always change.

 

EPIC VERSE!

 

Keep checking in, people. The EPIC DROPS are only just warming up.

LOK’TAR!

 

Worg in sheep’s clothing

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Mokvar’s been keeping me posted on his research into the Golmash situation, and needless to say I don’t like the sound of this one bit. I finally decided it was time for me to go over to have a look at this wolf personally. Mokvar came with, since he’s already deep into the situation, plus Shayari decided she was going to tag along, mainly because I think she heard me talking about going over to the Hunter’s Hall and got the idea in her head that maybe it was like a petting zoo or some shit. Granted, it’s not like she’s got any part in this business, but I’ve already learned how little good it goes to try to get her to stay put when she’s got her mind set on going somewhere. (I really was hoping that would skip a generation.)

So the bunch of us headed over to the Hunter’s Hall this morning. That also marks the first time I’ve gotten to have a little face time with Ogunaro Wolfrunner, after having had a fair bit of contact with him through his mailbag letters. Good guy, make no mistake, but yeah, Mokvar wasn’t kidding, dude could not be more earnest if he tried. I can see why his kid grew up seriously needing to unclench a little. Speaking of whom, Corkrok passed his om’riggor since last we heard. Good on him. No surprise, of course — he seemed plenty driven. I can already tell he’s going to be a regular laugh riot for Overlord Runthak, though, when the kid hitches on with his trainee unit.

Anyhow, on to the main event.

So the plan was twofold — one, for me to have a look for myself at this wolf and see what the hubbub is about, between Ogunaro’s reports and Mokvar’s creeped-out investigations and his suspicion there might actually be someone in there. And two, to move Golmash over to a special pen I’ve had set up at the Kor’kron stables, where he can be kept isolated and under close observation, as opposed to the general stables we have open to the public at the Hunter’s Hall.

Part one went smoothly enough, even if it was disturbing. As per my orders, Ogunaro had Golmash isolated from the other wolves. I’d heard plenty about him, but this was my first time seeing him with my own eyes. Ogunaro and Mokvar weren’t kidding about how creepy this wolf is. On paper, I wouldn’t have figured that the green glow in his eyes would be as unnerving as it is, but the more you watch him, the more disturbing it seems. It doesn’t even jump right out at you — you can miss it if you aren’t really watching, but once you notice it, it’s like you can’t look away. Green and glowing, with that dull haze that somehow manages to glow and look dead at the same time. I wouldn’t have thought that combination was possible. (Then again, D&U manage to keep themselves alive while, you know, being D&U, so that probably shows all you need to know about seeming contradictions. If you don’t have a taste for paradox, you better not try taking life straight.)

It’s a weird coincidence that Ogunaro decided to name the wolf after my grandfather, the first to carry the name Hellscream. Golmash (the original, not the four-legged knockoff) died in the jaws of a giant gronn — but not before he drove Gorehowl into the giant’s skill to bring it down with him. I almost hate to admit it, but if it wasn’t for this whole creepy fel-tinged level to what’s going on, I would even think the name was fitting — one look and you get the feeling that if Gruul tried to swallow this wolf, he’d probably claw his way right out of Gruul’s mouth, up through his eye, and probably rip out his brain while he was at it.

So that was part one.

Part two ended up being more complicated than I was counting on. We already had a couple Kor’kron beastmasters on hand at Ogunaro’s place, keeping an eye on Golmash, and I had a couple other sent over to meet us when I went to pay my visit. Plus I made a point of putting extra guards around the Valley of Honor, and cleared a route from the Hunter’s Hall to the Kor’kron stables. So you would THINK that would be enough to handle the damn mutt.

YOU WOULD BE WRONG.

We might have had plans to transport Golmash over to the location, but Golmash had no such plans to go anywhere, and evidently when the best-laid plans of worgs and orcs run into each other, what oft goes awry is any delusion I might have had of getting things done quickly so I can grab an early lunch. Because that just would have been too fucking convenient.

According to Ogunaro, Golmash had been kind of ornery when he moved him into his current pen as per my instructions, but the wolf ultimately went along with it. Apparently, though, the furball was getting crankier by the day. The Kor’kron beastmasters tried to maneuver him along the exit path we’d planned, but Golmash was having none of it. At one point, two of the beastmasters tried to direct Golmash along with training prods, but even that wound up being a bad idea — he lunged right past the prods and onto one of the beastmasters. And I mean, I guess he probably didn’t NEED that arm, strictly speaking — it was just his left, after all — but it still has to be a drag being short one. Unless he came from the Shattered Hand clan, in which case, you know, either overdue or ironic, depending on how you look at it. He still fared better, though, than another one of the beastmasters who tried to help pull Golmash off him, because… well, the less said about that the better. The word “entrails” comes to mind.

So right about then, I was having one of my need-better-minions moments, what with multiple supposed “beastmasters” not exactly fully specced into actual beast mastery, and one of them apparently not having put any points into survival, either. Or I WOULD have been having one of those moments if it weren’t for the fact that I was busy dealing with a suddenly highly agitated, seemingly fel-compromised worg that may or may not be carrying some heretofore unknown spiritual cargo that makes KILLING him a non-starter even if DON’T TEMPT ME, while finding myself short one-and-a-quarter beastmasters, with Ogunaro running around the place swapping out his 3/3 Enhanced Earnestness to respec deep into Freakout while he tried to keep the surrounding pens under control, what with Golmash’s antics having gotten a whole bunch of the OTHER nearby stabled animals all riled up and agitated. And granted, this wouldn’t be the first time I’ve found myself in a minion-related situation that I would compare to being a zoo, but come the fuck ON, universe, this is making it a little on-the-nose even for me.

So it was right around this point, when I was finally coming to the realization that yelling at the gaggle of panicking fuckers to pull their heads out of their asses and HANDLE it, that Shayari of all people actually had the presence of mind to pop a rapid-fire polymorph on Golmash. Which was pretty clutch, I’ve gotta say. Must be the Hellscream blood. (I even said something to her to that effect, but that just got her curious about family history and asking questions about Grom, but I managed to sidestep THAT long story by promising to tell her about it once we weren’t hip-deep in stupidity. I figure that oughta buy me at least a month or two.)

Anyhow, at THAT point, getting the wolf moved was a fairly simple task, since even those beastmasters — whose job title I’m seriously beginning to reconsider on grounds of irony — managed not to have too much trouble transporting a fucking sheep a little ways across town. And if the lot of them felt kind of embarrassed strolling through Orgrimmar in their badass Kor’kron armor and toting heavy-duty don’t-fuck-with-me weaponry while providing armed escort to a fucking SHEEP, well you know what? GOOD. Maybe next time, if they want to stroll around looking all hardcore, they should maybe figure out a way to STAY ON TOP OF THE HARDCORE-TYPE ASSIGNMENTS.

Ugh.

So. Wolf is under wraps in a controlled environment, is what I’m saying.

Or so I’d like to think. But, you know, based on recent field results, who knows. I’ll say this, all these trainees we’ve got coming up through the ranks are going to have all fucking kinds of room for career advancement right quick. Now if you’ll excuse me, in the meantime, I think I need to go put a “Jobs Available” post on Kragslist.

More soon.

 

Identity crisis

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So, I got a comment from Khizzara on that last mailbag that kind of got me thinking. See, she looked at the picture Sarlin sent with her letter about running into Dontrag and Utvoch in Ashenvale, and how it looks like they have their names floating over their heads, which they actually DON’T and it just looked that way because Sarlin did some kind of thingy-whatsy with the picture after the fact. Which is kind of a dumb thing not to recognize right off, especially from someone like Khizzara who’s supposed to be a mage and smart and stuff, but maybe her int buff isn’t working or some shit. Or maybe Spazzle just got the brains in the family. Whatever.

Anyhow, though, that comment got me thinking about how handy it would be if those two DID have their names hovering over their heads, because let’s face it, Khizzara DOES have a point about how nobody can tell the Wonder Twins apart. And granted, in my case, that’s at least partly due to me not really giving a shit, but still. It’ll save at least a couple headaches.

I figured I’d see about getting some actual return on my investment in all these mage lessons Shayari’s been getting from Faranell over in the Undercity, so I gave her a new project to work on: casting a glamor spell (she liked the sound of that a lot more before I spelled out what I meant) on Dontrag and Utvoch that actually WOULD make their names float over their heads. Turns out, that kind of a spell wasn’t even all that complicated to put together.

Hold your horses. You know what usually happens around here when something looks like smooth sailing.

So Shay tried her spell out yesterday, and at first everything seemed to be going fine. “Dontrag” hovering over Dontrag (I think), “Utvoch” hovering over Utvoch (I believe), and, so far as the spell was to be believed, 70% less confusion about which of those idiots was which, and a residual 30% reduction in how much I needed to smack them around. Which I know is a lot less than the 70%, but come on, they’re still dumb and annoying, right? NO JURY WOULD CONVICT ME.

So that seemed to be going fine. But then, after a little while, the spell started going haywire. As in, it kept putting the names over Dumb and Dumber’s heads, but it started switching them around — putting “Dontrag” over Utvoch and “Utvoch” over Dontrag. Now, mind you, I didn’t really notice this myself right away, largely because recognizing the problem would require me to care enough about which of them is which, and I mean, if I could just LOOK at those two and know who was D and who was U, I wouldn’t NEED the damn glamor in the first place, right? But at one point while Shay was tinkering with the spell, Taktani bounced by, and don’t ask me how but she always seems to be able to keep those two idiots straight. I don’t know, she’s a cat most of the time, so maybe her kitty-sense tingles or something. Point is, the names started switching around. Why, I don’t know. Maybe Shay forgot to cross some T’s and dot some I’s setting up the spell. Maybe the sheer AURA OF FAILURE that surrounds those two is so potent that it even makes magic break down after a while. Maybe they’re just so damn indistinguishable that even the UNIVERSE ITSELF gets confused eventually, magic or no. Don’t ask me, I just work here.

Thing is, that wasn’t even the worst of it. Because, see, obviously the glamor was visible to EVERYONE, right? So the Wonder Twins themselves could read each other’s arcane name tags, but then, when the spell started going wonky and mixing them up, THE IDIOTS THEMSELVES started getting all distressed and confused and thinking THEY had it wrong, and maybe they weren’t really who they thought they were. And this led to like an hour and a half of Dontrag worrying that he might actually be Utvoch, and Utvoch getting an ulcer thinking he’s been living a lie when he should have been Dontrag, until finally I had to bonk their damn heads together to shut them up because who needs to to listen to that shit.

So while they were out cold, I had Shay lift the damn spell. It’s just not fucking worth it if it’s not even going to work half the time, and just gives those two one more thing to yammer about. Hell, who the fuck would have guessed that one little would-be hocus-pocus convenience would result in a pair of blithering mental defectives having a full-on existential crisis?

So yeah. Back to the drawing board. Moving on.

More soon.

 

Garrosh’s Poetry Challenge IV

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Okay, people, it’s that time of year — National Poetry Month — when yours truly regales the world by demonstrating yet again my mind-blowing, life-altering, pants-soiling talent in the field of dropping a killer rhyme. That can only mean one thing: a brand spanking new edition of GARROSH’S POETRY CHALLENGE, complete with brand spanking new EPIC VERSE, coming soon to a blog near you. Which is to say, THIS blog. BECAUSE WHAT OTHER BLOG WOULD YOU WASTE YOUR FUCKING TIME BEING NEAR?

This time around, I’m adding a new wrinkle to the challenge — and issuing a challenge to YOU, my LOYAL READERS AND MINIONS, to step up and contribute to the cause as well. Because let’s face it, where EPIC VERSE is concerned, there are way too many GODDAMN FREELOADERS out there, so it’s about damn time you people GOT OFF YOUR LAZY ASSES AND EARNED YOUR DAMN KEEP.

SO. WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN IS—

HOLD UP.

HANG ON. I THINK THE FUCKING CAPS LOCK ON THIS THING IS BROKEN. FOR FUCK’S SAKE. LET ME GO GRAB SPAZZLE AND SEE IF HE CAN FIX IT. WHICH HE’D BETTER, BECAUSE OTHERWISE THE ONLY WAY I’M GOING TO BE ABLE TO EMPHASIZE MY POINTS IS WITH BOLD FACE OR ITALICS AND REALLY, THAT ON TOP OF ALL CAPS IS JUST FUCKNG OVERKILL.

SO OKAY. I’LL BE RIGHT BACK. SIT TIGHT AND DON’T GO ANYWHERE.

Okay, so now that that’s fixed, where was I? OH THAT’S RIGHT.

Hang on.

Testing.

Okay. We’re good.

CARRYING ON. So as I was saying, for THIS year’s poetry challenge, I’m going to put you people to work, because I figured, fuck, why should I be the only one who does something to honor the occasion?

So here’s the deal: Every Monday in April, you jokers are invited — read: REQUIRED — to cook up your very own EPIC VERSE in honor of National Poetry Month. (Or, you know, let’s face it, for most of you third-stringers, it’s probably something more like Uncommon Verse.) You can write about any topic you want, you can make it as long or as short as you want, you can bask in the magical glow of total creative freedom to your heart’s content. The only string attached is that it has to be an ORIGINAL poem — it can’t be something you’ve posted elsewhere, and OBVIOUSLY you can’t go steal someone ELSE’S poem, because there’s nothing more fucking pathetic than ripping off someone else’s intellectual property to make yourself look creative. (Cough.)

Submit your (ahem) masterpieces to me by the end of the day each Monday in April, either through email (link at the top of the right sidebar) or using the form at the bottom of this post.

Then, every Thursday, I’ll pick the best of the week’s submissions, put it up on the blog in a new post, and — most importantly, let’s be honest — offer my own EPIC VERSE response. Maybe I’ll write an original poem on the same topic. Maybe I’ll continue the story you started. Maybe I’ll take some facet of your poem as a jumping-off point. Maybe I’ll come up with something else entirely. THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS. One way or another, though, I’ll write something that plays off of your original, and I’ll try to emulate the form you used for your poem (limerick, sonnet, whatever) while I’m at it. I’ll even try not to embarrass you by blowing you out of the water too badly, but no hard promises on that one, because really.

And hey, if I get more than one poem I really like submitted in a given week, maybe you’ll get a bonus post or two. WHO’S TO SAY? THERE’S YOUR INCENTIVE TO BE PROLIFIC, MOTHERFUCKERS.

And as an added incentive — as if being immortalized forever on the internet in indelible pixels wasn’t fucking enough — anyone who manages to overcome their own crippling mediocrity to actually IMPRESS me with a submission that goes above and beyond the call of duty gets to go home with a pet of their choosing, stolen right out from under the nose of Breanni the pet vendor. (Yes, I know she’s in Dalaran. Yes, I know my people aren’t exactly welcome there these days. I HAVE MY WAYS, OKAY?)

So, what the fuck are you waiting for? Get writing! YOUR WARCHIEF AWAITS YOUR LYRICAL ATTEMPTS AT ADEQUACY.

 

Submit your masterpiece! First deadline is Monday, April 4.

 

This is gonna hurt…

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…but I guess I might as well just pull the bandage off instead of picking at it.

Maybe. Ugh.

So, okay. After the way things went down with Gurtash, and the braintrust tailing him, Eitrigg had one of those rare moments when he had an idea I actually agreed with. Eventually. Begrudgingly.

So, yeah, let’s get this over with.

In light of his — hold the presses — good work the other day, and stepping up to make the save with Gurtash… I’ve decided… been persuaded… to give Scout Utvoch… a promotion.

To Grunt.

Which probably isn’t even as big a deal as it might sound, seeing as Scout is the entry-level Horde military rank, and Utvoch’s been a scout for like eleven years. Which is sort of the military equivalent of repeating your freshman in high school until you’re 27. Although if you happen to be THIS hypothetical freshman, it… never mind. TRYING TO STAY POSITIVE.

ANYWAY, point is, I guess this is maybe overdue anyway.

Maybe.

You know, if you overlook the crashing incompetence.

BUT I GUESS TODAY ISN’T THE DAY TO GET INTO THAT.

So, yeah, grats, Utvoch.

Fuck. Now I have to figure out which one of the Wonder Twins he is.

 

Adult supervision recommended

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I mentioned last time about how I had an idea about Gurtash and his… well, let’s be generous and call it “shaky” progress with his warrioring, and how he seemed like he was tensing up under the pressure he was putting on himself. Granted, the pressure he’ll wind up being under in actual combat situation — you know, “fuck up and die” type pressure — is probably going to be a whole lot more than whatever he’s got going on upstairs, but still. One step at a time. There’s only so much I can help him until I get him out of his own head.

So anyhow, I got the idea that what Gurtash really needed was to put up a win for himself without me or Lantresor hovering over him. Something simple where he gets a nice, easy fight with nothing to worry about OTHER than the fight, then come out on top, boost his confidence, and maybe get the damn monkey off his back.

I mean, figuratively speaking. I’m pretty sure we didn’t have any hozen stowing away with us on the trip back from Pandaria.

So, earlier today, when he was taking Grimjaw out for another spin to practice his riding, I gave Gurtash an extra little errand to tend to. While he was making the rounds in Durotar, I told him to keep an eye out for a good-sized boar, then kill it and bring it home. There’s no shortage of wild boars a ways south of Orgrimmar, but none of them are especially big or dangerous. So, we’re looking at a real fish-in-barrel situation. Easy kill, nobody peeking over his shoulder that he needs to concern himself with, then, as an added perk, he gets to head home to Orgrimmar and have a dinner made from his own kill. Nothing tastes better.

Well, some things do. But not when your own kill just so happens to be made of pork chops and bacon. See how I stack the deck?

Still, I did want to get an idea of how the kid managed, even if the win was a foregone conclusion. So I arranged to have a scout and a notetaker follow at a distance to keep an eye on how the kid was doing, then report to me.

And, okay, you got me. When I say “a scout” and “a notetaker,” I’m also using this as an excuse to… you know… give Taktani and Utvoch something to do that doesn’t involve them being in my hair all afternoon. Metaphorically. I figured Tak would be only too happy (“too happy” is sort of her default setting, isn’t it?) to jump at a new scribing assignment, and seeing as Utvoch’s actual RANK is “Scout,” a literal scouting job might actually be something he can handle. Then again, that’s what I thought about him and Dontrag using their cashier characters for actual cashier duty on Earth Online that time, and we all know how that worked out. But I’m trying not to think about that. It’s not good for my blood pressure.

Anyway, though, speaking of Utvoch’s other half, I also let Dontrag tag along on this assignment. Mostly because sending just ONE of them would require me to remember which one of them is which, and fuck if I know. So… Dontrag, Utvoch, and Tak. A real braintrust going on this job. Thank goodness it’s an easy babysitting assignment.

Tak notes incoming. (Spirits help us all.)

 

(YAY! Mr. Warchief gave me a MISSION! It sounds super important, too! I’m supposed to watch Mr. Gurtash while he goes on HIS mission, only I’m not supposed to let him see me! So I have to be super sneaky! SSSSHHHHH! It’s like I’m a SPY! Maybe I should try to stealth so I can sneak around in the shadows! I AM SHADOW CAT! Hee hee! Only I guess I really shouldn’t stealth, since Mr. D and Mr. U are supposed to come with me — Yay! — and then I might sneak along to watch Mr. Gurtash and then I’ll try to talk to Mr. D and Mr. U, but they won’t be there because they didn’t see me move, and then everyone would be confused and sad. So I guess maybe I shouldn’t do that. Again.

(Mr. Gurtash rode around for a while on his wolfie. His wolfie looks nice, all cute and furry. Mr. D and Mr. U have wolfies, too. I wonder what their names are! I should ask them! I mean ask Mr. D and Mr. U, not ask the wolfies. They probably don’t speak Common or Taur-ahe. Maybe they speak Orcish? They probably only speak wolfie. I bet that would be a fun language to learn! AWOOO!

(I like Mr. D and Mr. U’s wolfies, but they’re not as cute as Mr. Gurtash’s — don’t tell them I said that, though! If you know how to speak wolfie, I mean. I don’t want them to be sad! — but then I guess Mr. Gurtash’s wolfie is still kind of a wolf puppy, and Mr. D and Mr. U’s wolves are all grown up and not as fuzzy.

(Maybe I can get a wolfie friend, too! I guess it would have to be a big wolfie to carry me if I’m in tauren form? We usually ride kodos, and kodos are super nice too but they’re not furry like wolves. Maybe I could just have a wolfie friend who’ll let me ride on his back as a cat? I’m a little smaller that way so maybe that would be lighter for the wolfie. Ooh and since wolfies are kind of like puppies, it would be like a kitty riding a doggy! Dogs and cats living together! Crazy! Hee hee!

(I flew around as a bird most of the time we were following Mr. Gurtash. Mr. D and Mr. U followed on their wolfies from farther away. So I watched Mr. Gurtash from way up high — WHOOSH! hee hee! — and Mr. D and Mr. U watched me. Then Mr. Gurtash rode his wolfie around the rocky place near Razor Hill. Mr. D and Mr. U rode through the town. I circled past it. It looked like there were lots of guards there. It must be very safe! That must be why Mr. Warchief wanted Mr. Gurtash to go on his mission near here.

(After Mr. Gurtash got off his wolfie, I landed near some rocks on the cliffs above him. I could look down at Mr. Gurtash and even hide behind the rocks if he looked this way! Hee hee — being sneaky is fun!

(Mr. D and Mr. U caught up so they could watch Mr. Gurtash too. It took them a little while to climb up to where I was. I forget sometimes that they can’t fly too! It’s a good thing I picked a perch with big rocks — Mr. D and Mr. U need bigger rocks to hide behind than I do! So we stayed there and watched Mr. Gurtash for a little while.)

UTVOCH – Is it clear to look again?

DONTRAG – I think so. He’s got his back to us.

(Mr. U came out from behind the rocks and watched Mr. Gurtash with me and Mr. D again. Mr. Gurtash was fighting a big piggy.)

TAKTANI – Is he doing good?

UTVOCH – He seems okay.

DONTRAG – He’s not going to lose or anything, but he’s handling his axe kind of awkward.

UTVOCH – Was he going for a rend there?

DONTRAG – I’m not sure.

TAKTANI – What’s that?

DONTRAG – Rend? A warrior ability.

UTVOCH – Or a warrior.

DONTRAG – Well, yeah, him too.

TAKTANI – Is he a friend of yours? Maybe I can meet him!

UTVOCH – No, he’s dead now.

TAKTANI – Oh. I’m sorry! =(

UTVOCH – Don’t be. He was kind of a jerk.

DONTRAG – Yeah, really.

UTVOCH – But rend is kind of like rake for you, Tak.

TAKTANI – Ohh!

DONTRAG – Since when do you know druid abilities?

UTVOCH – Donty, I know lots of stuff you don’t know about.

DONTRAG – Whatever you need to tell yourself, Ut.

TAKTANI – The piggy must be really strong. He’s been fighting Mr. Gurtash for a long time!

UTVOCH – That’s mostly because the trainee’s taking a while to wear it down.

DONTRAG – Yeah.

UTVOCH – He looks like he’s a little steadier now than he was.

DONTRAG – Yeah. He’ll kill it, but it’s just taking him a while.

TAKTANI – So he’s winning?

UTVOCH – I guess you could say that.

TAKTANI – Yay! I get to give Mr. Warchief a good report!

DONTRAG – Well, maybe not that good.

UTVOCH – Okay at least.

TAKTANI – This is fun! We should be spies together more!

DONTRAG – Maybe the Warchief will want to send us on more jobs like this if we do a good job?

UTVOCH – Maybe for his other trainees?

DONTRAG – I guess. Wouldn’t it make more sense to spy on the Alliance, though?

TAKTANI – Why?

DONTRAG – Well, because Gurt… Gurtak?

TAKTANI – Mr. Gurtash! I think. (checking my notes) Yes! Mr. Gurtash!

DONTRAG – Okay, so, Gurtash is one of us.

TAKTANI – Yay!

DONTRAG – And the Alliance is the enemy.

TAKTANI – Oh… Why?

DONTRAG – Well, uh, we’re kind of at war with them.

TAKTANI(blinking) We are?

DONTRAG – Uh, yeah… you didn’t… I mean, nobody told you?

TAKTANI(shaking head) Nuh uh!

DONTRAG – Oh. Well, um, yeah, we’re at war with the Alliance.

TAKTANI – That doesn’t sound very nice.

DONTRAG – Well, uh… I guess it’s not. But… but there’s honor and glory!

TAKTANI – Ooh that sounds fun! How?!

DONTRAG – From killing enemies of the Horde!

TAKTANI – Killing— that doesn’t sound nice either!

DONTRAG – Well… I guess if… It’s what you do in a war, though! You kill your enemies. And we’re at war with the Alliance.

TAKTANI – Oh. (thinking) Why?

DONTRAG – Because… um… well I guess we just kind of are?

TAKTANI – But that doesn’t sound very nice!

DONTRAG – Well, uh… yeah, I guess. But we’ve kind of always been at war with them.

TAKTANI(blinking) Like for always always?

DONTRAG – Uh. Well, as far back as I can remember, anyway. Like since before I was born.

TAKTANI – But… but why does everyone want to be fighting? Isn’t it better to be friends?

DONTRAG – Well I guess so, but they don’t like us… you know, the humans and the dwarves and the night elves–

TAKTANI – I thought the elfies were our friends!

DONTRAG – No, those are the blood elves. I think.

TAKTANI – There are different elfies?

DONTRAG – I’m pretty sure, yeah.

TAKTANI – But why?

DONTRAG – I don’t know, I think some of them left because magic or something, and then those elves became the blood elves, like after the undead killed most of them–

TAKTANI – Like Dr. Zombie?!

DONTRAG – No, uh, those were different undead. Sort of. Like I think they all started out as the same undead, and then some of them broke away, and those ones are our undead.

TAKTANI – So there are different zombies too?!

DONTRAG – Yeah, right, so… so there’s our undead, and then there’s the bad undead. Well, um, more bad.

TAKTANI – This is so confusing!

DONTRAG – Yeah, I know. I’m kind of losing track of it a little myself.

TAKTANI – So are the bad zombies with the Alliance?

DONTRAG – No, they’re… they’re off doing their own stuff. Eating brains or whatever.

TAKTANI – Oh.

DONTRAG – But the night elves are.

TAKTANI – They are?

DONTRAG – Yeah.

TAKTANI – But you said the Alliance want to hurt us!

DONTRAG – Well, yeah, they do.

TAKTANI – But I see night elves all the time in Moonglade and they don’t try to hurt me!

DONTRAG – Well… but those are druids, right?

TAKTANI – I think?

DONTRAG – Yeah, I think that’s different.

TAKTANI(blinks) I don’t understand.

DONTRAG – I mean, I guess druids kind of have their own thing. I think. But mostly the elves don’t like us.

TAKTANI – I don’t understand why we all can’t just be friends!

DONTRAG – I guess. I mean, the humans did kind of put us all in prison camps.

TAKTANI – What?! Who?

DONTRAG – All the orcs, pretty much.

TAKTANI – That’s so mean! Why would they do that to the orcies?

DONTRAG – I guess they were kind of mad about how we invaded from another world and… like… destroyed Stormwind and stuff.

TAKTANI – What?! Why would you do that?!

DONTRAG – Uh, dunno.

UTVOCH – Uh, guys?

DONTRAG – I think it was Garrosh’s dad’s idea or something.

TAKTANI – I don’t think I like these stories.

UTVOCH – Guys? Down here…

(Oops! I guess I got kind of distracted talking to Mr. D! It’s a good thing Mr. U was smart and kept watching Mr. Gurtash while we were talking! I guess Mr. Gurtash did okay with the big piggy he was fighting, but while he was doing that, some mean piggy men saw him and came over to try to hurt him! I remember there were piggy quillboar people like them in Mulgore, too, and they always used to cause trouble for everybody. I didn’t know they come here and try to hurt the orcies, too! OMG are they part of the Alliance too?!

(Oops I got distracted again! Mean silly quillies! But the mean quilly men were trying to hurt Mr. Gurtash — Boo! — and he tried to protect himself but there were three of them and only one of him. And Mr. D and I were busy talking about the war that I still don’t like and it seems really bad and not fun. But Mr. U was still watching and saw what was happening so he ran down to help Mr. Gurtash fight them. Once he was there helping, it didn’t take very long for them to win. At least, I think. Did I mention Mr. D and I weren’t really watching? Oops! But Mr. U won! Yay! He must be very strong to beat all the mean quillies all quick. I’m glad he’s on our side.

(I still don’t like how we have a war, though. It makes me sad. But Mr. Warchief is smart and I bet he’ll think of a way to make it stop!)

 

So, that’s it for Tak’s report. Actually, strictly speaking, there was three or four more pages of it, but those mostly consisted of pictures of butterflies and some of Tak’s highly nuanced views on ice cream and sugar cookies. So I figure I don’t need to subject everyone to that.

So… maybe not a flying-colors success for this plan. At least the kid had some backup. I mean, I’ve seen the scouting reports on those quillboar near Razor Hill. One of the reasons we’ve mostly left them alone is that they’re actually pretty weak and don’t pose any real threat to the town (Yeah, yeah, I know, some of you might have been told otherwise while you were working your way through Razor Hill on training assignments, but that’s just a little white lie to keep the busyworkers busy). Weak enough that even as a trainee, Gurtash shouldn’t have had that much trouble taking three of them — maybe even four — all by his lonesome.

So… more work to do. Back to the drawing board. I’ll come up with something.

More soon.

 

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

 

Learner’s permit

durotar1

The last few days, I’ve been putting in some extra work with Gurtash on his melee skills. I even got Lantresor to come in, like I was thinking about the other day, but even that didn’t seem to move the needle very much. (Ol’ Lantresor was doing a pretty damn good job with the mentoring, though, even if the end results weren’t there. I might have to see about bringing him in to talk to the other trainees.)

It’s a weird thing, though. It’s not like the kid is uncoordinated… well, it’s not like he’s RIDICULOUSLY uncoordinated. Or just flat-out inept. He moves well, he’s got good hand-eye coordination, but any time he tries sparring, within a few moves he ends up backed into a corner, like he’s playing catch-up. It’s as if he gets caught up too much in his own head and can’t keep up with the fight.

I’m starting to think the kid’s just putting too much pressure on himself when he knows he’s being observed. Like, he knows Lantresor and I are watching his moves, so he gets so focused on putting on a good show for US and not making any mistakes, he winds up not paying enough attention to what he’s DOING. You know how it goes — anytime you get all caught up in not doing anything wrong, you just wind up tensing up so much that you make mistakes you never would ordinarily. Anyhow, that’s what I think might be going on with Gurtash. It’s dumb, I know, seeing as the whole point of the exercise was for Lantresor and I to HELP him, but that’s kids for you.

Anyway, while Gurtash’s combat development has been kind of stuck in neutral, he HAS been making some pretty steady progress on a different learning curve. Ever since I showed him Grimjaw — that young wolf that Ogunaro Wolfrunner donated for Horde service — he’s been heading over to the stables every chance he’s gotten to see the little furball. The two of them seemed to bond pretty quickly, so I went ahead and set Gurtash up to start his riding training with Kildar over at the Hunters’ Hall. He’s been working on it for the last few days and seems to be taking to it pretty quickly. As it happens, that also means the kid’s been able to see Ogunaro himself while he’s been over there, and let him see that Grimjaw’s doing well.

From what I can gather, the riding training is coming along well enough. No major snafus, at least. Gurtash has been taking Grimjaw for short practice rides around Orgrimmar when Kildan and the Kor’kron stable masters have had a free window to clear it. Sometimes a pass around Durotar when there’s time for a prolonged run. Seems to be good for the kid. Takes his mind off his other training problems and anything else he’s been carrying around lately.

As for those other training issues, I think I’ve got an idea. Stay tuned.

 

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

 

Brand loyalty

eitrigg1

One last quick followup to the whole Pandaren Noodle Festival thing from the other day (where, I’ll have you know, my spicy talbuk noodles went over pretty damn well before D&U-plus-one managed to fall ass-backwards into a new and better form of post-felweed munchie food).

One thing from the festival that I’ve had rattling around in the ol’ noggin ever since then was when Ji was telling us about some Pandaren cooking contest called Iron Chef, and then Mokvar chimed in with the idea of doing our own version called Iron Horde Chef. Among some other possible names he kind of stumbled his way through. Which just goes to show you that Mokvar didn’t have the good sense to recognize the one real winner and latch onto it, which ONCE AGAIN shows you why yours truly is in charge around here.

Anyhow, the point of this isn’t the cooking contest thing, but that idea Mokvar had for a name. Because seriously, how badass does “Iron Horde” sound? IF YOU WERE THINKING “EXTREMELY BADASS, GARROSH,” THEN CONGRATULATIONS, YOU ARE CORRECT. And so, even though Shayari thought she was being funny with her little comment about rebranding, JOKE’S ON YOU, DOELING, because that’s exactly what I went and looked into. BECAUSE HOW AWESOME WOULD THAT SOUND, SERIOUSLY? Had a talk with Eitrigg this afternoon about how a name change would work in the books. And, hey, let me finish it this way, seeing as I’m still in kind of an EPIC VERSEy kind of mood after that last mailbag

 

I took it to my numbers guy and left him really pensive
To wrack his brain and make a try at changes so extensive,
So sweeping, spanning, nationwide, systemic, comprehensive,
That if they ever were applied, the win would be intensive.
I rallied reasons that I scried and argued in defense of
My badass plan, but woe betide: old man’s counteroffensive:
The filing, fees, and forms beside, red tape you can’t make sense of
Reveal the fact, can’t be denied — that shit ain’t inexpensive.

EPIC VERSE!

 

I mean, you wouldn’t think changing over all the stationery and business cards would cost that much, BUT YOU WOULD BE WRONG. And that’s not even figuring in little miss you-know-who’s latest shopping trip.

Dammit, Eitrigg. Guess I better toss a few more Brawler’s Guild invites up on the AH.

More soon.