Spazzle Speaks: Public Relations

bossmida2

What’s up?

Okay, maybe that’s just force of habit. I should probably know better than to ask what’s up — there’s probably way too much up nowadays. I guess that’s what I get for knowing more about what’s going on than most people, and trying to… you know… keep a lid on everything. Not letting these people over here know what those people over there are doing, and vice versa, and… and… yeesh, believe me, it’s a headache.

I haven’t seen Vol’jin on Earth Online or heard anything from him for a few days, so I guess he’s probably busy with whatever he has going on in Pandaria, and maybe ready to finally leave the monastery where he’s been staying. That’s good for him, for sure, but it’s maybe not so great for me. I mean, once he’s back on the grid, I have to figure he and Thrall will stop operating in secret, and once word starts getting around about what’s really going on… well… it’s not going to be a whole lot of fun for me.

And that’s even assuming Vol’jin doesn’t manage to reappear with something more dramatic and… well… dangerous than even I’m thinking. I almost wish he were still turning up online and telling me more than I even really want to know about what’s up. At least then I’d have some idea and could brace myself. This whole being left in the dark thing is just nervewracking.

Still, I’d like to avoid the real disaster outcomes if I can. I’ve been thinking maybe if Garrosh could still smooth things over with people, we could still avoid something really ugly. Yeah, yeah, I know, I’m talking about Garrosh, but the thing is, you guys aren’t around him all the time like me and Mokvar. I mean, sure, he’s kind of rough around the edges. Well… maybe not rough so much as jagged. Or serrated. With barbed wire and totally unnecessary spikes. I get it. I do. But underneath it all I still think he means well. I mean, unless you’re human. Or maybe draenei, what with the whole lead-the-Legion-to-Outland thing. And I guess he’s not too crazy about trolls, either, but… Well you get what I mean! I never said he was an angel or anything.

I thought maybe if Garrosh could work a little on his public image, he might have a chance to keep things here at home from bubbling over. So I had a talk with Boss Mida about maybe helping him a little with his PR. She’s a real pro at polishing people’s public perception — it’s no coincidence that she rose from being a generic mid-level assistant to where she is now incredibly quickly, and believe it or not, she’s the biggest reason why most people view Gallywix as just generally kind of shifty, as opposed to the full-on reptile he really is. (Does he read the blog, actually? I hope not.) There’s a lot of Mida-directed spin control there, believe me. So I’m going to see what Mida can come up with to help Garrosh with his image or at least maybe coach him a little on how to, you know, have a conversation without antagonizing people. As much. I figure throwing fewer punches in professional settings might be a good start. Maybe he’ll listen if that’s coming from a pro like Mida. He sure as shoot didn’t listen when I tried to. I still have the bruises to prove it.

Mida says she’ll need to talk to the big guy himself before she can work up a full game plan, but I tried to at least get things started. She had a bunch of questions about Garrosh and how he tends to operate — she only really had dealings with him right before he left for Pandaria, with the whole construction deal, and even that was most done through go-betweens — so I tried to answer as many of her questions and fill in as much as I could.

That’s when she tripled her preliminary price estimate. Hoo boy.

What? You didn’t think this was going to be a free service, did you?

Monday GUEST mailbag: Shayari

shayari_mailbag1

Hi again, everyone. It’s yours truly, Shayari, filling in for Pops for one of his mailbag thingies. I’m not sure how he talked me into doing this again, to be honest. I think he caught me while I was paying attention to something else, then got a “yeah, uh huh” from me before I realized what he was asking. To be fair, I got him for a couple shopping trips the same way. Before he got wise, anyway. Oh well.

So ol’ Garry wanted me to mind the fort letter-answering-wise, since apparently he’s going to be pretty busy in Pandaria, and I guess so many people write in for this that he didn’t feel like it could just wait. Which I totally don’t get. Do that many people actually read this thing? I can’t imagine it could be more than, like, a dozen. Two dozen tops.

But, hey, a promise is a promise, so here we go.

 

Dearest Shayari,

My goodness, it’s been rather a long time since I had the luxury of being able to converse with you! Certainly not without the eager interruptions of friends and family. Not that I can complain, of course. I love conversation! And if anything, I have Korrina to thank for letting me know that YOU were taking over the next mailbag. I’d completely forgotten to go through your dad’s last mailbag. All this travelling has left me too exhausted to even read! Then again, it’s often worth it when you visit all these fabulous ethnic places and meet all kinds of bizarre new people. I wonder if you’ve ever heard of this gnome called Brazie Getz? His entire marketing campaign is on Deathbringer’s Rise in Icecrown. He’s a weird, weird guy. Don’t ever talk to him.

Anywho, I think I’d better rush to the point. I’m still travelling, of course – matter of fact, the only place I haven’t been to visit yet is Pandaria, so that’s likely next on my list! – and I found myself growing more and more curious with regards to the mailboxes of Azeroth. That is, every time I dropped a letter into a mailbox, it simply vanished! And would you believe it or not, but half the time, the correspondent’s response would appear before me a mere five minutes later.

I’m only assuming that this is a rather common stretch of magic, but as I’m not a mage, I don’t know how it works. So I ask you, Shayari, do you know what school of magic is responsible for this faster-than-Light-itself speed of delivery of mail in these boxes?

Take care, and be well!

–Sarlinia-Grace Starstriker, Argent Crusade

Oh… uh, hey, Sarlin. Nice to… hear from you again. So… Korrina told you I was fielding letters for this mailbag? I’ll, uh… I’ll have to… thank her for that. Maybe thank her repeatedly. Over a span of several slow, torturous thankful days.

Or, well, I would, if I knew which one she was. She’s one of Pip’s friends, right? The ones who are always running around in the garish hand-me-down gear? She’s not the one that’s always putting her foot in her mouth, is she?

Either way… well… here you are. At least you toned it down a little this time around, though. Or… well, wait, you did tone it down, right? I’m not just missing a few pages? Because if I am, I mean, don’t feel like you need to correct that and send me a new copy or anything. You know, I’m already answering the letter now, so it’s not like there’s anything to gain at this point. Water under the bridge. That I should probably burn before it’s too late.

But, hey, speaking of sending things through the mail, that’s a question I can actually answer! You’re totally right, Sarlin — those mailboxes do use magic to make their insta-deliveries. Well, most of them do. There are still places that use old-timey mailboxes, where somebody has to go around and physically pick up the letters and stuff, but there are only a few of those left. So the magic they use for those things is arcane. The way it works — this is actually pretty weird but cool — is that all those mailboxes are sort of permanent mini-portals. You drop something in the mailbox, and poof! it goes through the portal and pops into the sorting room at the central post office. Which… well, I don’t exactly know where that is, or who runs it, although whoever it is they must have a massively fun life considering how they seem like they’re constantly on the job. But then they sort through the letters, or packages, or whatever, and send them back through another mini-portal, and double poof! they pop back out to whatever other mailbox you need to use to pick the delivery up. Pretty neat, huh?

I meant that last question rhetorically, by the way. No need to write back again, Sarlin. I mean, I figure you’re already busy enough doing whatever it is that you do. (Spirits help me, why am I talking about this like I’m going to be getting these again? Focus, Shay, focus!)

 

Dear Shayari,

Are you still taking mage lessons from our dear Mr Faranell? I am curious, what is he like as a teacher? Have you smoothed things over with him after, well, you know?

–Tandeleina, Silvermoon City

Well for one thing, let me tell you, you won’t win any points with Eddie by calling him “Mr. Faranell.” He likes that even less than he likes me calling him Eddie. I’ve seen it. One of those Kor’kron guys called him that and he got all pissy about it, “I didn’t spend a zillion years in mad scientist school or whatever so you could call me ‘mister,’ ” blah blah. Then he turned the Kor’kron guy into a sewer rat. Granted, it was just a polymorph variation. Fun fact, by the way: it turns out that being swallowed whole by a giant spider doesn’t break the polymorph. Who knew?

But yeah, I’m still working on my magic with Eddie. Pops had me stay in Orgrimmar while he’s in Pandaria so I can keep up with my apprenticeship. I’d like to see Pandaria at some point, though. I’ve heard it’s beautiful there. Pops promised I’ll get to see it eventually, so I guess we’ll see.

Anyhow, Eddie’s fine as a teacher, I guess. He’s definitely really smart. He’s just very… dry. I mean personality dry. It makes him hard to read sometimes. Like for instance, I’ll cast a spell, and he’ll say it went well, only because it’s him I’m never sure if I really did a good job or if I screwed it up and he’s being ironic. So, I don’t know, it’s been okay?

 

Dear Shayari,

Hello Shayari! My name is Clarise! I mean, my full name is Ceresella-Sareyn Sunbow but that’s like way long, and kind of a tongue twister, so I’ve shortened it to Clarise, although my sister thinks that’s a little common. Whatever. I think it’s totes adorbs. Anyways. HEY! I’m a mage apprentice too! Would you look at that, we have mutual interests! YAY! But you’re probably like waaaaay better at the kapowing than I am. I’m fourteen so I’m pretty amateur-ish at this whole pew-pew business. I can’t even polymorph properly yet! Like, I tried it once (on some idiot that was yammering on about how fire was the superior style of magic and arcane would rightfully bow at its feet one day and I just got so annoyed so POOF! Sheep he was) and it sort of lasted for about three hours. OOPS!

Anyway, so, I heard you study in the Undercity. I heard this really cool story from my sister once about there being somebody who does facials and haircuts there. Have you ever got one there? I bet they do AWESOME facials. I bet they use really frothy soap and stuff and warm water that almost feels like you’re being bathed in the physical form of perfection. Do the Forsaken have a nice sense of fashion? I like bright colours best. I specially like bright red and gold. Although leather’s pretty hip, too. Leather jackets with pink-dyed fur hoods? I would literally sell my little soul for one of those.

Coffee! Is there coffee in the Undercity!? Please tell me there’s coffee! There has to be! I would literally DIE in a place where there was no coffee. Can you imagine that? Can you imagine waking up for three hours of study in a boring room that’s way hot so it only makes you sleepier without a cup of coffee? I would just die. How many cups of coffee do you have a day? I don’t count but I think this is my twelfth. Now, that IS the physical form of perfection. In a cup!

Anyways, big fan! Can’t believe your dad responded to my first letter! MEGA FLAIL!

Ciao!

–Clarise Sunbow, Kirin Tor

So first of all, what the hell is a “ciao”? It had better not be some cool new expression that I’m behind the curve on, because you know how that goes. You start losing track of new and current expressions, then you start walking around wearing last season’s clothes, and then the next thing you know you’re thirty and it’s a quick downhill slide into sadness. Obviously, I can’t let that happen.

Oh, who am I kidding? We all know I’m not going to be out of the loop on anything cool. I am the loop on anything cool. This Clarise girl’s just talking the crazy talk.

So anyway, hi Clarise. You seem kind of weird, but you say you’re a fan of mine, so I guess you have that going for you. Wait, I have fans? Score! Eh, what am I saying? It figures I would have fans if Pops has been talking about me here on his blog. Wait, has he been talking about me here? What’s he been saying? Do I need to start working damage control?

So, um, yeah… hi, Clarise! It’s nice to hear from another mage, at least one who’s alive and not decomposing or anything. Or mordantly derisive toward everything in sight for no apparent reason. I haven’t had the chance to meet too many since the whole Jaina-schizo-Dalaran-be-gone thing. Used to hang out with nothing but mages, though. Not so much now. Seems like half the people I know are warriors. Or shamans. And I can hardly take three steps without tripping over a rogue. Which is weird considering you would think their whole deal is not being tripped over what with the sneaky. Anyway, Clarise, it’s nice to hear from another non-corpse magic user, and I’ll even let your whole arcane/fire thing slide, even though I’m a fire mage myself. You’ll come to your senses eventually. You’re right, though, polymorph is way cool.

The Undercity is… different. Not even… well, I was going to say not bad different, but… I mean, kind of yeah. I get the definite sense you’ve never actually been there. You’d probably find it, um, surprising. Probably not your cup of tea if you like bright colors. They don’t really have any. Well, other than the bright green glowing slime that’s… well… pretty much everywhere. So there’s that, at least. Otherwise, though, you’re pretty much looking at drab lifeless gray and drab lifeless purple and loads and loads of black. You wouldn’t think there could be different shades of black, right? Well you would be wrong! Don’t ask me how, but the Forsaken manage to have more shades of black than they have primary colors. Like you look around their stores and wonder “How much more black could there be?” and the answer is “None, none more black.” So I’m not sure the Undercity would really be your style.

And… I’m not even going to go near the thing about the facials. I’m pretty sure your sister was just trolling you. I mean, I suppose it’s possible that the Forsaken have salons there (would they need to get their hair cut, though? does your hair actually grow when you’re a dead person?), but I can’t imagine they’d be worried about cleansing pores nearly as much as necrosis and maggots. And if, you know, ew, I agree with you.

 

Hey, Shayari mon!

I got a question for ya! If da Lich King’s horse be Invincible, how come I be seein’ it, mon?

–Bob, Shado-pan Monastery

I don’t know, Bobby, I guess lack of sex causes enhanced eyesight? So, you know, keep up the good work with the total physical and personal unattractiveness — you’ll be rocking the full-on x-ray vision in no time!

 

 

Hey, Shay!

Here’s an #EpicVerse prompt for you.

“There was a Draenei named Shayari,”

Go, go, go!

–Valinora Lightshorn, Stormwind City

So… I’m really not sure what to make of this. I mean, I get that the “epic verse” thing is a reference to the weird poetry Pops likes to write, and how he can’t just call it “poetry” like a normal person, but has to play it up with the whole “epic verse!” thing. Which, by the way, he literally yells out loud when he finishes writing one. He’ll be sitting there working on something, and I’m not even paying attention to what he’s doing because whatever, and then all of a sudden he slams his quill down on the desk and yells “epic verse!” at like nine thousand decibels. Which is pretty startling, really. Also kind of weird, since he does it every time he thinks he’s finished. And he’ll go back and revise one line, and slam his quill down again, and yell “epic verse!” again… and then he’ll look back at it and change one word again and go through the whole slammy yelly thing again. He’s so weird, I can’t even.

So I get what the #EpicVerse part of your letter is talking about, but… I’m not sure what you’re looking for. Is this some kind of running thing in Pops’ blog? Actually, hang on, I’m going to check with greeny goblin nerd guy about this.

Hold tight!

Oh, okay. So the gob-geek guy, Spackle or whatever, says that apparently you have this ongoing thing in Pops’ mailbags, where you send him an opening line for one of his poems and then he writes the rest? Is that a thing? Does he do that? So wait, does that mean you’ve been partly responsible for all the yelling at his desk and the startling and stuff? It really scares my bird when he does that, I’ll have you know.

Only, see, here’s the thing. Garrosh is really the poet in the family. And boy, I bet there are tons of people who never thought they’d read that sentence, huh? But the point is that I’ve never been much of a writer, so maybe you should just stick to hitting Pops with these poetry requests, since I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to come up with anything all that good, mostly probably because the whole thing seems kind of weird.

Except I guess Pops will end up seeing this when he gets back from Pandaria (I mean he DOES read this stuff that me and Spackle and whoever else writes on here, right? and by the way, Pops, nice job outsourcing your own hobby, I mean could you be any more lazy? come on), and I guess if he sees me admitting I wouldn’t be good at doing something he thinks he’s good at, there’ll be no living with him. I mean have you seen him? There’s almost no living with him now. I don’t even want to think about how out of control his ego will be in a couple weeks if I go ahead and feed it. So okay, let me try this, but I’m not making any promises.

 

There was a Draenei named Shayari,
Actually half Kurenai, half Mag’hari,
Who lived in Nagrand where it’s starry,
And went on a wildlife safari,
While Pops is busy in Pandari

-a.

And maybe something about the Sha’tari,
And had calamari and Londo Mollari,

 

and okay I don’t think this is going anywhere. I’m just making up words at this point. Oh well. I tried.

 

Hello Shayari,

Do you play Earth Online? What class do you play? If you don’t play do you think you might give it a try some day?

–Greztah, Earthen Ring

So, okay, first of all, no. I keep getting asked this, so no, no, no. I’m not interested in getting into your weird virtual reality game. I don’t need my reality to be virtual. Reality reality is working out just fine for me.

And also, what is it with you guys and this game? It’s bad enough I had to find out Pops is a closet nerd with this game of his. But it seems like half the jokers around here play it, too. Fel, when I went to ask that Spackle guy about the poetry thing a minute ago, even he tried making a sales pitch on me, like for some kind of referral thing. I guess if he got me to sign up he could have gotten some kind of… I don’t even know what. A make-believe vehicle in the game that he would have to buy with real money otherwise? Is that something they make you do in this game? Fork over real money to buy make-believe things? Because if so…

Okay, people, let’s have some real talk here.

Because, look, speaking as someone who takes her shopping seriously… shopping with real money for imaginary stuff? That’s crazy talk. If I’m going to buy something, I’m for sure going to walk out of that store carrying something with actual physical substance to it. Otherwise, they’re not getting my money. Well, technically, they wouldn’t be getting my money, they’d be getting Pops’ money. But you get the idea.

The point is, are you people nuts?

 

So I guess that’s about as good a note as any to end on. Especially since that was the last letter. I’m not sure how much longer Garry is going to need before he’s back to doing this himself, but I think I might just pass it off to that Spackle guy if Pops needs things covered for a while more. Not that I don’t like hearing from everyone. Just that I have kind of a yearly weirdness quota, and just plain day-to-day life fills up that bar pretty quick as it is.

Bye!

 

[And so we’re back! As I announced before the break, our next mailbag will be Monday, September 5. I’m making one revision to the plan, though: rather than that installment being Garrosh’s return to mailbag duties, we’ve going to have one more guest mailbag — this time, from everyone’s favorite goblin tech guru, Spazzle! This is essentially me heading my bets — the Warchief is going to have a lot going on at Kypari Zar, which will involve a lot drawing that I’ll need to get done over several posts, so I wanted to make sure I’ll have time to get all that done without Garrosh seemingly having to stop in the middle of it to answer his mail. Plus, I’ve wanted to do a Spazzle mailbag for a while! (Who knows, maybe Mokvar will get one one day, too…) Garrosh will be back answering his accumulated mail for October’s mailbag (October 3, for those of you keeping score at home). As always, send your letters via email (link in the upper right sidebar) or using the form below.]

 

Beyond the wall

serpentspine1

C47_Page_1

C47_Page_2

C47_Page_3kypari

 

[And so, now that I’ve teased you all with a plot point I’ve been ham-fistedly foreshadowing literally for years… BREAK TIME! As I noted at the end of the last mailbag, I’m going to be taking a blogging break for a few weeks, partly to work on getting a jump on the next stretch of posts, and partly to steel myself for what’s always a pretty busy summer work schedule. With that in mind, here are a few notes and dates for those of you who are already chomping at the bit for more Garroshy goodness (“Dammit, Averry, you only JUST got back to blogging consistently again!”)…

The blog will return to action on Monday, July 18, with a guest mailbag from Shayari. (I know I originally said July 11, but I decided to push it back one week for work reasons.) I’ve already received a few letters for her mailbag; keep ’em coming so she has plenty to respond to!

Also, since Shay’s guest mailbag will take us toward mid-July already, and Garrosh will be pretty busy when the blog returns to action, Shayari’s post will cover us, mailbag-wise, through August. Garrosh will be back for a mailbag of his own on Monday, September 5. By all means, be getting those letters in, or at least be mulling over what kinds of lunacy you might want to send his way as the fall draws closer.

In the intervening time, I’ll still be responding to blog comments and messages, and of course I’ll still be engaged in my usual Twitter shenanigans.

As always, thanks to everyone for reading, writing, commenting, tweeting, breathing, and, y’know, just plain being you. Look at me trying to be nice. (It only burns a little.)

Have a great early summer! See you all soon.

(Metaphorically. I can’t really see you. OR CAN I?)]

 

Speak the devil’s name

game1

Ugh. Okay, I can tell that THIS headache is gonna stick with me for a while. Something told me I shouldn’t have had that third pitcher of I Know My Redeemer Liveth…

So, yeah, let’s try this again.

Short version, ’cause who needs to go through all that again — we left Mokvar at the Tavern of the Mists to do his thing and get rolling on his sha research, and then Gurtash and I flew up to Tian Monastery with Zhi-Zhi to collect Elder Cloudfall and bring him back to the base, and then we got there and everything is kind of a big blur from that point, and next thing I knew it was two days later and holy shit I know I say this a lot but seriously, people, literally HEAD fucking HURTS.

So that was a thing.

Anyhow, other than the part where I’ve swallowed my weight in aspirin the last 24 hours, everything is back under control now. Cloudfall’s come back to Domination Point with us, and we’ll be getting back to some overdue business in short order. Meanwhile, since things were all hectic around here the LAST time Old Man Furball came to call, I’ve been showing him around the place and introducing him to some of the major players he hasn’t met yet. Which, come to think of it, WOULD include Mokvar, seeing as he was off doing his own thing the last time Cloudfall was around, but now he’s off doing his own (different) thing AGAIN, so so much for that. And, of course, since Mokvar isn’t on hand for a few days, that means I’ve got Gurtash picking up the slack for me…

C46_Page_1

C46_Page_2

C46_Page_3

C46_Page_4

C46_Page_5

C46_Page_6

 

[Okay, I said I was taking a few weeks off starting in June, but I ended up needing a little longer than I’d planned to finish up a few final posts before that. One more installment to go, then a few weeks’ blogging break. Stay tuned!]

30 Days of Character Development #12: Elder Cloudfall

[Periodically, a post will profile one of the blog’s many supporting players. (See the first profile for more details.) Feel free to chime in with recommendations for other characters you’d like to see more about!]

 

cloudfall_profile1Name: High Elder Cloudfall

Occupation: Master of Tian Monastery, monk trainer, former farmer, former carpenter, former fisherman, former shopkeeper, former basket weaver, former brewery security guard, former fur trader, former Shado-pan habidasher, former part-time elbow masseuse, former apprentice calligrapher, former substitute dog trainer

Race: Pandaren

Class: Monk

Age: 71

Group affiliations: Tian Monastery (high elder), Shado-pan (advisor, former employee)

Known relatives: None

First appearance: “Getting around with the Shado-pan

Key posts and plot points:

  • Garrosh met Elder Cloudfall during his first visit to Tian Monastery in “Getting around with the Shado-pan.” As he explained to Garrosh in “The geometry of shadows,” he had previously seen a vision of Garrosh that provided some hints about the destiny that awaited him. Cloudfall explained that both he and the hozen Zhi-Zhi had seen these visions of Garrosh at a mystical location that he described as a “vision cave,” where glimpses of the future could be seen. (It was these visions that prompted Zhi-Zhi to refer to Garrosh as “the One” upon first seeing him — both in our main timeline, and in the alternate one that appeared in the Timequake arc.)
  • When Garrosh returned to Tian in “Moments of transition,” Cloudfall indicated that, according to his visions, Garrosh is “the one” who would usher in a rebirth of sorts for the Horde and unify its peoples behind a common purpose, though he was also quick to point out that, devoid of context, the glimmers of the future contained in the visions provided an incomplete and possibly unreliable picture.
  • Cloudfall also offered to take Garrosh to a place where he might be able to garner some helpful insights on the “destiny” that awaits him — Kypari Zar, a name that Garrosh had heard before the Pandaria campaign had even begun, when, while visiting Shattrath with Lady Liadrin in “Dying of the light,” Garrosh received the telepathic warning from A’dal, “If you go to Kypari Zar, you will die.”

cloudfall_profile3In his own words:

Describe your relationship with your mother or your father. Was it good? Bad? Were you spoiled rotten, ignored? Do you still get along now, or no?

My father, sadly, passed while I was still a cub. A regrettable cooking mishap involving a blowfish. My relationship with my mother was an interesting one — she was always helpful and supportive, but I cannot say we were particularly close. That is not to say that there were conflicts or tensions between us. Rather, her way of showing support was granting me a wide berth to find my own way in life. As a result, I spent many years wandering from one place to another, and drifted between a great many careers before finally — gradually — settling into the monastic life. In so doing, my mother taught me perhaps the greatest of life lessons, without speaking a word.

Name one scar you have, and tell us where it came from. If you don’t have any, is there a reason?

Alas, scars are difficult to identify under a layer of fur. On a more fortuitous note, fur also does a more than passable job of obscuring most wrinkles.

How vain are you? Do you find yourself attractive?

Now now, let’s not rush to hasty conclusions about my character on the basis of that comment about the wrinkles. At least I’m not one of the elder pandaren you will see on occasion who go to the trouble of dyeing their graying fur a darker shade. It is, in fact, a fairly laborious process, or so I’m told, especially around the eyes, and it’s very easy to leave patches uncovered that can prove quite telling. (Do not think you are fooling anyone, Lord Zhu.)

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? Color? Song? Flower?

Cinnamon rum. (They make a variety at the Drunken Hozen in Dawn’s Blossom that you simply must try. I have also heard good things about the Tigule and Foror ice cream that you have in your lands. I may have to try some one day.) Deep red. My favorite song is an old childhood favorite, Hero’s Hidden Face, about perseverance in the face of adversity. (And magic. As I child, I needed the magic to make it go down smoothly. I was not one for more contemplative themes as a cub.) Poppies of any description.

cloudfall_profile4Who do you trust?

I trust all I encounter to be true to their innermost selves, so long as deceit does not prey upon them. And if I prove in error in my assessments, the fault lies not in them, but in my own misguided trust in my powers of judgment.

Are you an early morning bird or a night owl?

Both, in a way. I typically stay up quite late at night, but also rise at dawn. I compensate for the seeming lack of sleep by napping for a few hours in the late afternoon. While not conventional, I’ve found that I am most productive and energetic with two shorter periods of sleep than with one longer one.

Are there any blood relatives that you are particularly close with, besides the immediate ones? Cousins, uncles, grandfathers, aunts, etc. Are there any others that you practically consider a blood relative?

I am an only child, and while I had several aunts and uncles, they, like my parents, have all long since passed away. While I no longer have any blood relations as such, my colleagues at Tian Monastery have become like family to me, and I have come to think of my students there, many though they are, as my children of sorts.

What does your desk/workspace look like? Are you neat or messy?

One of the benefits of being the High Elder is that it affords one the option of delegating most desk work to less senior personnel.

Are you a good cook? What’s your favorite recipe?

Ah, you need not be coy, my friend. Clearly someone has told you about my famous green curry fish. No surprise, as it always proved popular on those occasions when I would prepare it as a surprise dinner for the monastery. The recipe has been in my family for three generations, and includes a few departures from the traditional green curry recipe that sets it quite apart. I’ll be only too happy to make some for you after our chat — don’t think for a moment, however, that you will bait me into giving away those secret ingredients!

cloudfall_profile2What’s your preferred means of travel?

By necessity, I restrict my air travel to kite. I would very much have liked to master the art of cloud serpent riding — and, indeed, I raised a hatchling as my pet and companion when I was a much younger man — but sadly, I have never had a feel for it. Nevertheless, my efforts provided me with the companionship of Jinjo for many years. I still visit his resting place near the Shrine of Fellowship once each year on the anniversary of his hatching.

Are you superstitious?

How do we define “superstitious”? Very often, I find that “superstition” is used to refer to a belief in the possibility of something we do not know, rather than a strident adherence only to those things we have confirmed. “I do not know” is the beginning of all wisdom.

What might your ideal romantic partner be?

Oh, my friend, I am an old man now, and well past the interests in romance that fluttered through my thoughts in youth. I appreciate your admiration, but I must inform you that it isn’t going to happen.

Describe your hands. Are they small, long, calloused, smooth, stubby?

Covered with fur. And… slightly pudgy, I suppose. There are benefits to being High Elder, you see — first in line for the nightly buffet!

 

Previous Profiles:

  1. Spazzle Fizzletrinket
  2. Ben-Lin Cloudstrider
  3. Dontrag and Utvoch
  4. Taktani
  5. Korrina
  6. Mylune
  7. Mokvar
  8. Ruekie
  9. Tirion Fordring
  10. Lady Liadrin
  11. Eitrigg

Ain’t no party like a panda party

pandaparty1

HAHAHAHAHAHA OMG yuo guys should tottlay be here for this! hahahlike Gurtahs tries to tell me i shouldnt try to post something righth now buyt I’m having such a good time and I can’t cheat you guys out of being a part of it right NO I SHOULDN’T

SO.

um… what was I going to saohoh OH now i rmemebr yeah so. SO. SO we left the Taver n in the Mists and yoiu know while we were there i was wondering if maybe i should have grabbed sometghing to drink since you know its a tavern and everything and you know my life when do i NOT need a drink haha, but OMG AM I GLAD I DIDN’T cuz iuts way better i saved roiom for when we got here. OK OK let me keep to the point though. SO. So Mokvar stayhed wherever he was going to do like Mokvar things or whatever and so me and Giurtash left to fly up to Tian Monastery to find ELder cloudfall, you remember that panda guy who was gonna help me excep for how he was always all vague and criptic not helpfcul like but whjateverf, itsd all cool HAHAHA i don’t know why i used to worry about that shit.

so like we got up here and its not lke we planned it this way but wow our timing couldnt be better cuz like they were in the middle of having this awesome party with like food and drinks and drinks and OMG did i mention they had beer? like so so much beer, i knew the pandas were all big on brwewing and shit but i had no idea they had this many blends — fucking AWESOME dude and they kep giving me samples to try uit all and at first i was like in a hurry to get Cloudfall to get his stuff together and comew with us back to the base but then i figurfed whatever as long as I’m herfe so i trjed some and then a few more and after about twenty varieties i kinda lost track but i figured i shouldnt be rude to the pandas that brewed the other oneds so whatever i finished the bunch. I mean not finished like i drank all of it and no more left for anyone else cuz that would be fucknig rude dude  you know cuz like ok i mean i guess i can be kinujdc of an asshole sometimes but i’m never fucking rude okay so FUCK YOU FOR SAYING IT SHIT FACE HAHAHAHAHAA

 

asdfgdsafg

ewr

 

oops sorry i knocked the lapytop[ off the table

SO/ yea we hung ouit a while at the parthy and hads ome grub and a couple drinks okay maybe a gfwe more than that but IT’S A PARTY OKAY, okay well I had some drinks but not Gurtash since he’s a kid and stuff plus I was goona need sxomeone who could fly in a straight line if i had one too many, which I DID NOT, I DID NOT HAVE ONE TOO MANY, I HAD SIXTEEN TOO MANY THANK YOU VERY MUCH LOL. Buut dude some of the stuff they have here is pretty damn good OH HEY DID YOU THAT PANDAS MAKE THEIR OWN BEER. DID YOU KNOW THAT SHIT CAUSE I .. um. did I? I think i might have known somerthingf but it’s kinda fuzzy now. BUT OMG BEER. And some ale and plum wine and then Gaoquan had this mixed drink he said was called I Know My Redeemer Liveth. And I let Grtash have a taste if a couple but not enough to get in the way of him being like designated flyer or something, although lets face it , when he goes out with Mortimer its really morer like Mortimer’s flying HIM but pffft he doest have to know that , hes a goiod kid so let him have his fun just HOLY SHIT he needs to learn how to swing an axe. Um not at me. ok ok not at you eitrher. Who are you agaizdsf

\ [=dgdsafgsagsafgfr

sda

 

FUCK sorry knocked the laptop opver again. You knwo what i’m just going to strretch iutr here on the floor and tyope here and just leave the laptop here since it’s here now and this way i cany knock ity over any more cuz him down here and it’ll just stay here okay so here. HERE. oh wow the screen looks kind freaky from tghis angle i wonder if this is whaty it looks like to squirrels when they use the computer. ANd yeah yea i knoiw what you’re thinking, why would squirrels use computers, they dont need computers what with theyt have fur and a lack of opooposable thumbs. AND THE JOKES ON YOU MOTHER FUCKER cuz you know what squirrels use the comuter for? you know what they do? they send emails saying HOLY SHIT MYLUNE IS CHASING US TRYING TO HUG US AGAIN EITHER HUG US OR KILL US NOBODY KNOWS FOR SURE WE CANT TAKE THE RISK HELP HELP SEND HELP HAAAAAAAAAL;P

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA she’s batshit like really.laiSUYdfghj,bdmnskhjSA:Ikq.ashjvdbhv.L

ouch

ok don’t ask me how i did that but somehow i tripped onto the keyboard even though i was already lying flat on the floor. i think one of my tusks might have cracked ths screen too. not totally Sure though cuase everything keeps swaying back and forth so its kinda hard to focus and plus it looks like there’s two of them. OH HEY BONUS LAPTOP FOR ME, WHER DID THAT COME FROM. AWESOME. HAHAHA

 

l;kj;;;;;   ; ;; ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

A bargain at any price

bmah1

You know, I don’t know what was the bigger surprise — running into King Chin’s brat kid at the Tavern in the Mists, or how fast he was able to clear absolutely 100% out of the area even with that bum leg of his.

You’ll notice, by the way, that I’m not listing “Anduin is ALIVE” in my list of surprises, because seriously, at this point, I don’t know if there are ANY thought-they-were-dead people who could turn up again and have me going “HOLY SHIT, WHAT A SURPRISE!” Because, you know, I might have mentioned this a time or two, but NOBODY FUCKING STAYS DEAD ANYMORE. So, hey, Prince Goody-Two-Shoes wants to shrug off certain doom? Sure, why the fuck now. At this rate, it would only surprise me if… I don’t know, let’s say fucking Illidan… DOESN’T show up again at some point.

Anyhow. Mokvar had some research or whatever that he wanted to do here at the tavern, so I took off to have a look around the area. I didn’t send up going far, though. Turns out there’s another building right next door where this old panda lady, Madam Goya, runs an off-the-books auction house. She had a ton of fairly rare and coveted stuff up for sale. It’s probably better off for me that I don’t know how she GOT all that stuff… but you know what’s REALLY better off for me? That freaking Shayari DOESN’T KNOW ABOUT THIS PLACE, that’s what, because holy crap could she pile up some orders of magnitude fast at these prices.

Still, I DID spot one goody up for sale that I just couldn’t pass up as an impulse buy.

AND SO, HEY! HEY, BOB! ARE YOU READING THIS SHIT? CHECK THIS OUT!

howcaniseeit

CAN YOU FUCKING SEE THE LICH KING’S HORSE NOW, MOTHERFUCKER?!?

Trial of the Black Prince

taverninthemists2

You know, it’s a funny thing about spending a lot of time around Garrosh. After a while, the particular brand of blinders through which he looks at the world becomes oddly endearing. Case in point, that last bit Gurtash drew up. I have to admit, I actually sort of missed it while I was off the grid for a while.

Stopping at the Tavern of the Mists was my idea. Garrosh didn’t really have any business of his own there — unless you count inspiring Anduin Wrynn to regain mobility ahead of schedule — so he decided to go take a look around the area. Gurtash grabbed a drink from Tong downstairs (um, nonalcoholic hopefully, but I didn’t think to watch) and went out behind the tavern to rest by the steam pool.

That left me to have a little one-to-one time with the real reason I’d wanted to stop here on the way through.

 

WRATHION: I don’t believe I know you, friend. Is there something I can help you with?

MOKVAR: There might be. It’s why I came here looking for you.

WRATHION: Interesting. Ordinarily, people only come to seek me out when I send for them.

MOKVAR: Well, do that enough times and I suppose word will tend to get around.

WRATHION: Well then. Clearly I’ve been overestimating people’s sense of discretion.

MOKVAR: Don’t feel too bad. I make a point of having several ears to the ground.

WRATHION: We should get along well, in that case. Or not at all. It can be so hard to predict which way that will go.

MOKVAR: Let’s be optimistic and say option 1.

WRATHION: Indeed. In any case, you are here and I am being rude. <calling downstairs> Tong! A drink, please, for my new friend, mister… ah, I don’t believe I got your name.

MOKVAR: Mokvar.

WRATHION: <calling downstairs> Mr. Mokvar!

Wrathion turns back to Mokvar.

I suppose he doesn’t really need to know your name to serve you drinks, but I did start to tell him, and I would hate for the old fellow to feel I’d left him hanging. Is it Mr. Mokvar, by the way? Or Mokvar something?

MOKVAR: Just Mokvar.

WRATHION: No family name?

MOKVAR: Do you have one?

WRATHION: Fair point. Although advertising my particular family probably resides somewhere between unnecessary and inadvisable. At any rate, I was just curious. “Mok-var.” Does it mean anything?

MOKVAR: Nothing. Just Mokvar.

WRATHION: No? Don’t orcish names usually mean things? “Death of” this and “victory to” that and honor blood glory and such?

MOKVAR: Not everyone’s. Some, yes, like the Warchief’s, for instance.

WRATHION: Yes, I had assumed it meant something subtle like “Scream from Hell.”

MOKVAR: Well, I was talking more about the “Garrosh” part, but sure. Anyway, the point is, in my case it’s just a name.

WRATHION: Ah. Well, that’s less colorful.

MOKVAR: I’ll try to be more entertaining next time.

WRATHION: I would appreciate that. Ah, here we are.

Tong comes upstairs with a tray.

Our drink! Here you are, Mr. Mokvar. I hope you enjoy plum wine.

MOKVAR: I’m allergic to plums, actually.

WRATHION: Ah well. More for me, then! Thank you, Tong.

Tong leaves.

In any case — you have no wine, you have no last name, you’re not terribly entertaining, but here you are. What brings you out to my little sanctuary in the hills?

MOKVAR: Reputation. I’ve heard you’ve been recruiting help for a… well, let’s call it a project of some kind.

WRATHION: You might say that. I prefer to think of it as safeguarding the long-term safety of our world. You might even call it a family business of sorts.

MOKVAR: Well, other than the part where your father lost his mind and tried to destroy the world.

WRATHION: Well yes, there’s that, but who doesn’t get a little cranky in their old age?

MOKVAR: Hopefully you’re young enough that we don’t need to worry about that with you for a while.

WRATHION: One would hope. I do so love to keep people guessing, though!

MOKVAR: I guess I’m less of a daredevil. I like knowing these things for sure. For instance, this looming threat you seem so keen on protecting the world from.

WRATHION: Granted, I don’t really know you, Mr. Mokvar, but unless I’m wildly off in my estimate, you’re old enough that you shouldn’t need me to spell out that threat for you.

MOKVAR: I figured you meant the Burning Legion.

WRATHION: There you go. You’ve answered your own question.

MOKVAR: I’m not so interested in it being the Legion in general — you’re right, it’s common sense to figure they’ll strike again, sooner or later — but I’m more interested in the details. For instance… are you just making some “sooner or later” guess that any of us might, or do you know something more about what’s coming?

WRATHION: Well, I hate to show my hand too much. But suffice to say that as convenient as it would be to possess detailed foreknowledge of the Legion’s plans, I have to settle for something less precise. You might think of it as an inherited trait. My flight was charged with the protection of this world, after all. It stands to reason we might be imbued with an innate sensitivity to looming threats, particularly of a demonic nature.

MOKVAR: Well, apart from the whole deal where—

WRATHION: Yes, yes, I know, the business with the rar-rar-crazy and trying to destroy everything. I know. The flight lost the script for a while there. There’s no need to keep bringing it up. You don’t see me dragging the discussion back to your people’s somewhat checkered history in certain similar matters, do you?

MOKVAR: Wow, you’re sensitive about this, aren’t you?

WRATHION: You would be too if your every conversation were a time bomb ticking down to the inevitable Neltharion-splosion. You would think that after all the time and effort I spent tracking down and exterminating the rest of the black flight, people would see fit to stop lumping me in with them, but oh no.

MOKVAR: Well, technically, didn’t you recruit rogues to—

WRATHION: It’s called delegating, my friend! Goodness, do you spend all your conversations nitpicking like this? You must be a joy at parties.

MOKVAR: Deliana tells me that all the time, too.

WRATHION: Who is that? Your wife?

MOKVARNo, she’s not my — ugh, why does everyone always think that…?

Wrathion looks at Mokvar quizzically.

Right… just… never mind.

WRATHION: Indeed… Well, in any case. My sensitivity to the threat facing this world is a holdover from that ancestry. It may well have surfaced in me purely because I’m the only untainted black dragon to have come along in an age.

MOKVAR: Are you sure this… “dragon sense” of yours is something specific to untainted black dragons?

WRATHION: There’s no way to know for sure, now is there? I am the only black dragon left alive, untainted or otherwise, so I suppose there’s no alternative for comparison.

Wrathion looks at Mokvar quizzically.

Why? That’s a rather… odd question to be a random inquiry.

MOKVAR: Just because there aren’t any black dragons living in this world — assuming you definitely got them all—

WRATHION: I did.

MOKVAR: Bully for you, then.

—doesn’t mean there aren’t any black dragons, at all. For instance, the not-quite-living variety.

WRATHION: …oh?

MOKVAR: Just a thought.

WRATHION: A thought inspired by…?

MOKVAR: Remember what you were saying before about not showing your hand too much? We’re rather alike that way.

WRATHION: Still, I think I can guess at a few cards. Evidently, there are some remnants of my kin stumbling around in some state of…undeath?

MOKVAR: Possibly.

WRATHION: Hmm. You would think that killing a dragon once would have been enough.

MOKVAR: Believe me, son, you’re preaching to the choir on that one. The gist of it, though, is that it looks like something may have woken some of your former family up from their nap. And the lead that first sent me stumbling in their direction involved some vague portents about “something coming.”

WRATHION: Hmm.

MOKVAR: Which sounds a little familiar now.

WRATHION: Yes, doesn’t it…

Wrathion glances behind him to his bodyguards, Left and Right, and makes a brief gesture.

And… what, pray tell, was it that sent you poking around… well, wherever you were poking around.

MOKVAR: Hypothetically.

WRATHION: Yes, of course. Hypothetically.

MOKVAR: It was… a personal matter.

WRATHION: Isn’t everything?

MOKVAR: Probably. But it does make me wonder what might have happened to stir up the Black Dragonflight even in death.

WRATHION: I don’t know. I can’t say I’m privy to the details of what’s putting the Legion in motion — or what will. It might not even have begun yet.

MOKVAR: How does that work?

WRATHION: Oh, one of the interesting things about precognition is that it can sometimes make one aware of an effect before the cause even takes place. Isn’t time fascinating?

MOKVAR: Preaching to the choir again.

WRATHION: All I can say, my friend, is that events are in motion that threaten to bring the Legion down upon us. And my every instinct calls for me to ensure Azeroth is ready to face them.

MOKVAR: That’s what I hear you’ve been telling people.

WRATHION: You don’t need to sound so conspiratorial about it! I’ll have you know, I’ve been working with some of your own kinsmen to that end.

MOKVAR: So I’ve heard.

WRATHION: You can rest assured, of course, that in the conflict we find ourselves embroiled in, my loyalties lie with your H—

MOKVAR: You don’t have to go through your usual song and dance with me.

Wrathion blinks.

WRATHION: Beg pardon?

MOKVAR: I know you’ve been recruiting people from the Horde and the Alliance. You don’t have to go through your usual pretense of professing your loyalty to whichever side you happen to be talking to at the time.

WRATHION: Er… I… that is… <laughing nervously> Mokvar, my friend, I haven’t an idea what you… that is… You, um… You know about that, eh?

MOKVAR: Like I said, I get around.

WRATHION: Apparently so much so that you’re privy to fairly private discussions across faction lines!

MOKVAR: Let’s just say I have a few useful contacts.

WRATHION: I see that. Nevertheless, what you don’t realize—

MOKVAR: Look, I’m not all that interested in what your endgame in all this is.

WRATHION: I… oh. You don’t? Because I had this whole speech ready on the off chance the situation ever came up, and—

MOKVAR: I assume it’s some type of deal where you think you’re serving some greater good, and playing both sides against each other is a means to that end that you think is justified.

WRATHION: Well… yes, I suppose that’s more or less… um… Are you sure you don’t want to hear the speech?

MOKVAR: And whatever the finer details of it are, they don’t really matter much to me, not least of all because whatever you have going on, you’re just pushing people harder into faction conflicts they were already fighting anyway.

WRATHION: …because it included a few turns of phrase I’m actually rather proud of.

MOKVAR: Could you let it go with the speech already? Believe me, I’ve already had to transcribe enough monologuing for one lifetime.

WRATHION: Oh fine. It’s your loss, though. There were motifs and everything.

MOKVAR: Well whatever the plan is, motifs and all, if you’re smart you’ll rethink it before you get any deeper than you already are.

WRATHION: Oh? And why is that? Are you threatening me?

Left and Right take a step forward, raising their crossbows.

I hope you’re not trying to threaten me. Tong gets so very cross when people make a mess of his place.

MOKVAR: You’re not hearing me. I’m not saying to rethink what you’re doing or else. I’m saying rethink it, because if you do, and you’re smart, you’ll realize you’re getting yourself into the middle of something you don’t want to meddle with.

WRATHION: The only thing I’m trying to do, my friend, is bring an end to this destructive conflict as quickly as possible. Or perhaps you’d prefer to continue watching the Horde and Alliance whittle away at each other while the house burns around them?

MOKVAR: And what I’m trying to explain is that you’re trying to tame a crazed worg. You think you can insert yourself into the Horde-Alliance war and bring it to heel, but you can’t. This is bigger than you. It isn’t subject to your whims.

WRATHION: You seem far too willing to resign yourself to the whims of chance.

MOKVAR: I’m willing to accept that chance’s whims have a lot more sway than ours. But, fine. If you don’t believe me, don’t believe me. Don’t say nobody warned you, though, if you keep meddling in things that are larger than any of us and you end up being bitten by it.

WRATHION: Mokvar, my good fellow, I’ve been enjoying your company, but don’t presume to lecture me. I am the last of the Black Dragonflight, chosen by the makers to safeguard the world. I see things you couldn’t imagine, and know things that would set your… pedestrian mind ablaze.

Mokvar looks thoughtfully into the distance for a moment, then nods.

MOKVAR: In that case, Black Prince, I suppose I’ll take my leave.

Mokvar turns and starts to walk away.

Good fortune to you in your endeavors.

WRATHION: And to you in yours, sir.

Mokvar reaches the door, then stops and looks back over his shoulder.

MOKVAR: A propos of nothing… does the name “Sabellian” mean anything to you?

Wrathion narrows his eyes and peers at Mokvar for several seconds.

WRATHION: Should it?

Mokvar shrugs.

MOKVAR: Probably not. Just something I heard somewhere. You seem like a knowledgeable guy. I figured I’d ask. I’m sure it’s nothing.

Mokvar turns back to the door.

Good hunting, your highness.

Mokvar exits.

 

Not sure if I made things better or worse there. I suppose we’ll see. Plenty of time still to worry about that. Hopefully. In the meantime, I have more research to do.

 

Mokvar

Tavern in the Mists

taverninthemists1

So now that we’re mostly settled in Pandaria again, Mokvar’s ready to start in on his whole sha project, with his… dodgy pink nether region crystal thingy… you know what? Something about that way of saying it sees like it’s just asking for trouble, in a vaguely Ruekie kind of way, so let’s just move on. Point is, he needs to start testing out his warlocky hocus-pocus on the sha, and he says he needs to gather some advance intel about the buggers.

Luckily, Mokvar was able to get a run-down on the sha from Zhi-Zhi back at the base, but he says he wants to get more intel from the people who’ve been dealing with the sha in the field. And plus, I mean, Zhi-Zhi seems pretty eager to be helpful and all, but I can’t rightly blame Mokvar for wanting to get some intelligence from non-Zhi-Zhi sources, because let’s face it, when you spend more than eight seconds talking to ol’ monkey boy, “intelligence” isn’t exactly the first word to come bursting to mind.

So, in other words, he fits right in around here. Just watch him stick around for a while.

Anyhow, back to the point. There’s a major sha outbreak over in the Jade Forest where the pandas have a ton of boots on the ground… well, except that they don’t really wear boots. I don’t think. So… they have… fat furry paws on the ground, and… um… Oh, fucking hell, why do I ever bother trying? SOME PANDAS ARE FIGHTING THEM SOME SHA IS THE POINT, over at the Temple of the Jade Serpent or the Emerald Snake or the Chartreuse fucking Anaconda or WHATEVER the fuck these pandas groove to. And so Mokvar wants to head over there and pick their fuzzy brains and hope Ji Lunchbox is the exception rather than the rule so maybe THESE pandas have something in their brains to pick other than “pass the gravy.”

We’re also making a stop at this tavern near another location where they had a major sha problem until pretty recently. I don’t know if the place has some kind of drink special for warlocks or their wings are really good or something, but Mokvar was REALLY keen on stopping at this place on the way over to the Jade Forest. Some “Tavern in the Mists” place, I guess, and I don’t know if I like the sound of that, seeing as the last time I hung out with Mokvar in a tavern surrounded by mist or steam pools or whatever… hoo boy. At least frigging Garona isn’t around this time.

C45_Page_1

C45_Page_2

C45_Page_3

C45_Page_4

Aptitude test

dominationpoint6

Since we’ve been back in Pandaria, the trainees have been putting in a fair amount of time with Shokia while I’ve been busy. At first, Shademaster Kiryn was helping take the kids on patrols, but she wasn’t exactly enthused about working with them. I guess she isn’t a people person like I am. Shokia, on the other hand, was all in. She volunteered to take them out more. Nothing major, mind you. Patrols, scouting trips, assorted odd jobs in the neighborhood of the base. Nothing you’d call heavy lifting. Just enough to keep the kids in practice and let them flex their muscles a little.

She gets it. Shokia remembers where her duty lies. Her real duty, not just her job description. She understands serving the Horde isn’t just what you do while you’re punching the clock. It’s what you ARE. She looks at those kids and she doesn’t just see the kids. She sees her mother and her grandfather and the next ten generations of orcs that’ll come after them. It’s the dedication you see in the truest orcs there are. Shokia and Nazgrim. Fallen like Bloodhilt and Krimpatul. It’s not about the job. It’s about the whole line. Not work. Duty.

Shokia’s been giving me quick reports now and again on the trainees. Mostly she’s just been confirming what I’ve already seen from them. Korrina’s high ceiling but tendency to be reckless. Giska’s contrasting discipline. Kulkesh’s nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic. All of them coming along.

The commentary that’s been sticking out, though has been Shokia’s take on Gurtash. She’s noted the same hesitance and awkwardness I’ve been seeing from him in combat. But she’s been more struck by his… I forget how she put it… his sense of space, I suppose. And while the kid’s always had a pretty good eye, Shokia thinks that he’s got particularly good aim on his Heroic Throws — so much so that she’s wondering if he might actually be better suited to fighting at range. So the end result is that she’d like permission to try giving Gurtash a really basic intro hunter lesson, and see if he takes to it.

I’ve got mixed feelings about the idea, to be honest. I mean, Gurtash already has a foot in the door — admittedly, a clumsy, awkward foot — to the bottomless pit of awesome that is being a warrior. Which he’s SAID he’s wanted to be ever since he wrote me that very first mailbag letter forever ago. And yeah, he might have an easier time as a hunter, but… I mean… from what I hear people saying about “huntards,” it sounds like that’s maybe the point. Mind you, I don’t know, so don’t all you huntards– erm, hunters — go getting your panties all in a bunch. This is just what I’m told.

On the other hand, facts are facts — the kid’s been having a rough go of it as a warrior so far. And maybe his skills DO translate better to a crossbow, or a… slingshot… or a… fucking explosive frisbee… DON’T GIVE ME A LOOK, I don’t know what the fuck they use. THEY JUST SPENT LIKE FIVE YEARS TELLING US EVERYTHING IS A HUNTER WEAPON, okay? It’s their OWN DAMN FAULT nobody knows what they actually fucking use. Also BESIDE THE POINT, because the ACTUAL point is that the goddamn hunters could use a little handheld catapult that throws frogs suffering from severe flatulence at you for all I care, because early returns on the kid say the fight-with-an-axe thing maybe ain’t happening. Or maybe it still is. I don’t know. Work in progress.

Anyhow, it’s only an intro lesson, I suppose. Nothing really binding. We can see how the kid does and go from there.

More soon.