Krom’gar’s shadows

thaldarahruins

I still don’t put a lot of stock in superstitious stories about things that go bump in the night. Turns out, there wasn’t some mysterious spooky stuff going on in Thal’darah Grove like the men were talking about with the whole “Krom’gar’s shadow” thing. I knew there had to be something reasonable and real behind it all, and hey, check it out, hold on to your ass for the surprise incoming – Garrosh was right again. I knew there had to be some kind of sensible explanation. Real as ghosts and goblins.

I just wish it was something other than what it was. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

So I went down to the grove yesterday afternoon to have a look around. Took a hell of an effort to get Mortimer to land there at all – I’m not sure if he just remembered the last time he was there and didn’t want to get too close again, or if something else was spooking him. Either way, he put up a fight before we finally managed to land, and even then, he was pretty antsy the whole time there.

The grove is just eerie to walk around in now. I’m not sure if that’s just based on my own memories of the place… It’s probably hard not to be creeped out by a place where you know you damn near got killed. (Then again, if that’s all it is, I’d probably better figure out a way to get over it, otherwise I’m on pace to run out of places where I WON’T feel creeped out. Thal’darah Grove? Check. Ring of Honor? Check. Twilight Highlands? Double check.) I don’t think it’s just me, though. Most of the debris from Krom’gar bomb has been cleared out, but the land still looks scarred from the explosion. Even with the work that’s been done to re-level the soil for replanting, the terrain just looks skewed, almost as it the ground itself is still trying to pull away from the impact point. At the very center of the impact, the ground still looks scorched.

And then there’s the smell. I don’t even know how to describe it, but it hangs in the air. How many months ago now? And you can still smell it. That stink of burning trees and charred flesh and sulfur and a hint of blood. I can’t think of any time ever in my life when a smell was PALPABLE – you can actually FEEL it on its way into your nose.

Most of all, though, the grove is just hauntingly still. I don’t mean quiet, or tranquil, or uneventful even. I mean STILL. Like the whole place was just frozen. Like the land itself decided it couldn’t bear what we’d allowed to happen here, and time decided it wasn’t going on another step. Nothing moves. Nothing makes a sound. Just endless stillness in an empty landscape under dank, ruined air.

Or maybe I’m letting my imagination run away with me. Who knows.

I looked around the grove for I don’t know how long, and didn’t really find anything noteworthy, other than tons and tons of nothing. I saw some of the attempts at construction D&U had mentioned, that had just crumbled apart, and walked through some of the failed attempts at fields. Nothing really telling, just mode fodder for the eerie heap. But I knew “it’s kinda spooky” really wasn’t any kind of an answer, so I just stayed around and kept watching, wandering in circles, looking around until dusk fell.

Then it started making more sense.

As the grove grew darker, I started spotting dark figures moving in the distance. I wasn’t even sure at first how many – it could have just been one weaving in and out of sight, or many, I wasn’t sure. Like I said, I’m not superstitious, but I’ve got to admit I couldn’t help but think of the name the men had given the weirdness here, and wonder if I was about to run into yet another dead Horde officer come back to haunt me. But the shapes I was seeing were much too big to be an orc, even hopped up from shadow-necro-whatchamafuckery, so I pulled myself together pretty quick and starting making double time around the grove to find out what they were. They were huge and lumbering, moving around slowly, actually lurking more than moving, but in the growing darkness I wasn’t able to get a clear look until I was almost on top of them.

Faceless ones. About a dozen or so, skulking around the place.

I don’t have to tell you I’ve already had way, way, WAY more than enough of all this Twilight Old God tentacle-beasty bullshit, so once I knew what I was dealing with I didn’t waste much time putting Gorehowl to work. As I was cutting through the first couple of those ugly fuckers, I started noticing more movement scattered around the grove. I kept making my way around, hunting down the faceless ones, and I was able to pin down the new shapes that were moving – tentacles, sprouting from the ground, budding out of the earth gradually, a few at a time, like some sick mockery of the fields we’d been trying to plant.

At least we know why the soil had turned bad on us, I suppose. And what had gone wrong with construction, too – while I was making my rounds I spotted a few of the tentacles lashing randomly at some of the half-finished scaffolding in the area. It’s really these tentacles that concern me a lot more than the faceless ones. I hacked down as many of them as I could, but who knows how much good it’ll do. It’s like when you have weeds in your garden – you can go around yanking out the stems all night, but who knows how deep the roots go.

I’d gotten reports of an infestation like this at Stonetalon Peak, tendrils sprouting from some sort of Old God spawn…apparently the infestation runs through more of the mountains than we thought. Granted, these particular beasties seem to be pretty small potatoes – the tentacles died fast enough, and even the faceless ones were a lot weaker than others I’ve run across before. Maybe the Old Gods are weakened some after what happened with Deathwing. Maybe not. Hard to say. Either way, though, I don’t much like the look of this, not least of all because if we have more of these tendrilly freakshows cropping up, it’s not much of a stretch to think there might still be some Twilights up to something too.

I’m going to have to send out some more recon teams to check up on this. Old Gods, Twilights, whatever, I don’t want any of them getting a chance to come up for air. Especially that damned cult. I kind of have an axe to grind with them. And by “grind,” I mean “cleave as deep as possible into each and every one of their skulls.”

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