Tag Archives: averry

Rumblings in the Nexus…

Um…hello again! Yes, yes, I know it’s been a while. An unconscionably long while. But last week (ish), as I’m sure you’re all aware, the Nexus stirred and unleashed a brand new incarnation of Garrosh on us all, via Heroes of the Storm. And that got me thinking about the woefully silent state that my own version of Garrosh has fallen into over these past months.

So, about that.

The short version — which, knowing myself, I’m sure to turn into a long version — is that I was hit by a pretty severe case of blogging burnout. If you’re content with the TL;DR version, that should pretty much cover you; feel free to skip ahead a few paragraphs. For those interested enough to listen to me elaborate, by all means continue on.

As many of you already know, the Warchief’s Command Board has been around for a long while — coming up on six years now. Some of that time, I’ve been fairly prolific; other times, posts have been fewer and farther between. The thing is, though, there was never a point when I was really “off duty.” Even when I would schedule a “break,” it wasn’t really a break as much as a concession to the fact that I wouldn’t be able to post consistently. But during those times, I would still squeeze as many hours out of my schedule as I could to work on the blog — or be annoyed with myself for failing to find any (or enough). It isn’t an exaggeration at all for me to say that since I started the WCB, any time more than two or three days went by without a new post going up, I was angry at myself — and the longer that gap went on, the angrier with myself I would become. For slacking. For keeping people waiting. For taking so long to do what I should have been able to finish last week. For not extracting 36 hours out of the day, by sheer force of will.

I’m pretty sure I don’t need to tell anyone that that frame of mind isn’t good for anybody. It certainly wasn’t good for me; after five-going-on-six years of nonstop content grinding, the blog that I’d started as a labor of love had turned into a joyless chore that I was only doing out of a sense of obligation. The last couple installments of the Kypari Zar comic ended up being a wake-up call for me. This was a turn in Garrosh’s story that I’d planned out literally years ahead of time. It was the arc I couldn’t help but foreshadow and tease because I was so much looking forward to it. And when the time finally came…it was just another annoying chore I found myself resenting having to grind through.

At which point, the idea finally sunk into my thick skull that I needed to step away from this for a while.

TL;DR people? Still there? It’s safe to come back now.

Anyhow, I hadn’t really planned for my sanity break to be quite as long as it’s been, but it was very necessary. In retrospect, I probably should have posted an update long before now to let everyone know what’s up, and that I’m… you know… still alive and stuff. I can’t say I blame anyone who might have bailed / unlinked / unfollowed in light of the long silence; conversely, I’m grateful to any of you still out there who’ve stuck around and are reading this now.

So, now the good news: the blog is in a lull, yes, but far from done. There will absolutely be more zaniness coming. It’s just a matter of me managing things in such a way that I don’t bring another burnout down on myself. So, going forward, I’m going to try to approach the blog like seasons of a TV show — create a substantial body of content, post it in relatively short succession, then go on a break while I get the next “season” prepped — with said break including some actual break time, and lasting however long I need to have that next stretch of content ready to go. Hopefully, this kind of structure will make things more tolerable for everyone involved… and, hey, that also means a few built-in opportunities for CLIFFHANGERS! (BWAHA!)

So, that’s the plan. I don’t have a date to give you for the Warchief’s glorious return — I don’t want to come right out of the gate with a deadline that will just set me up for another breakdown — but rest assured that that return is coming. Once I get to a point where I can safely project a start date, I’ll make another announcement here. Beyond that, it’ll be ready when it’s ready… but I promise, it is on the way.

Look! See, doodles in progress!

(Yes, I blurred out the word balloons that are on there, because, you know, SPOILERS.)

 

Thank you to everyone who’s stayed with me, and checked in on me, and otherwise been there for encouragement and support. I know I’ve said this many times, but it’s no less true or sincere: all your comments, feedback, tweets, e-mails, and more are always appreciated, probably more than you realize. (Hell, why do you think I’m milking this Garrosh thing so long? Dude’s been dead for years!) (Don’t tell him that.) (Fucking time travel.)

 

Be seeing you (I promise!),

Averry

 

(By the by, if anyone feels like peeking over my shoulder via streaming while I doodle, I’d welcome some occasional company on vent! I’ll make sure I don’t work on anything too spoilery while people are peeking…)

 

Garrosh’s Poetry Challenge returns

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Hello, all! Averry interjecting with a quick announcement that…well…I suppose Garrosh could have covered it himself, but he seems to have his hands full right now. It’s just easier this way.

Anyway! As those of you who’ve taken a cursory look at your calendar may have noticed, today is the first day of April. And as a smaller (but soon to increase!) subset of you are aware, April is National Poetry Month. Now granted, last year I dropped the ball when it came to commemorating the event in the person of one of everyone’s favorite Azerothian poets. (Yes, yes, mea culpa…or, you know, Garrosh culpa. He has a lot of culpa to go around, after all.) This year, though, I’m making sure there will be no such oversights. Besides, the blog has been sorely lacking in EPIC VERSE of late!

For this year’s poetry challenge, I’m dusting off a variety of EPIC VERSE that I slapped together (thanks to your feedback!) the last time Garrosh commemorated National Poetry Month — EPIC VERSE battles! As some of you might recall, ages ago when devilsaurs ruled the Earth, Garrosh unleashed an EPIC VERSE live blog upon an unsuspecting world, which ended up devolving into a rhyming battle between the Warchief and Varian Wrynn. (Because, you see, I actually have no original ideas.) I ended up revisiting the concept again shortly thereafter, and I’ve been wanting to revisit it since then. Well, folks, you’ve dodged that bullet long enough!

So, I’ll be posting a new EPIC VERSE battle EVERY FRIDAY in April — plus one bonus battle on Friday, May 1, because DON’T THINK FOR ONE MINUTE YOU’RE GOING TO GET OUT OF THAT WEEK SO EASILY. The pressure’s not just on me, though, because I’m going to need your help to make this idea work: just like the real Epic Rap Battles, the EPIC VERSE battles will rely on your ideas for matchups! I have a couple of ideas in the works based on suggestions from way back when, but in order to get through the month, I’ll be counting on all of you to offer up suggestions for matchups in your comments. Feel free to play fast and loose with your selections — while blog characters are, of course, welcome candidates, don’t be reluctant to offer up other lore figures who haven’t turned up in the blog in any significant way. Living, dead, retconned beyond recognition… anything goes!

So…start thinking of those ideas, comment away, and as always, thanks for reading and responding and making this whole exercise in lunacy far more fun than it ever should have been. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go find a word that rhymes with orange.

Be seeing you,

Averry

 

Contrary to what you surely believe…

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…I live! Well, I live, as in me, Averry. Garrosh…kinda lives? Only he doesn’t? Except…he still does, here? Until he doesn’t. It’s…it’s complicated. You get the idea.

POINT BEING. I’m still here! While I hadn’t intended to go quiet for so long, it was partly by design that the blog went on an unofficial break during the holidays. My plan was to take a little time off from posting and to use some of that down time to get material prepared for when I was ready to start up again. My hope was that doing so would benefit everyone involved: for readers, fewer long gaps between posts, since updates would be at least partially prepared in advance; and for me, a bit of relief from the constant self-imposed pressure to keep the production line going as quickly as (or maybe even more quickly that) I can. As much as I enjoy writing and drawing the blog, it felt at times last year like I was putting down railroad tracks while the train is coming up behind me — as soon as I would finish a post, as soon as it would go up on the site, my thoughts would immediately go to “Okay, hurry up, get the next one done, get the next one done.” After a while, that can make an otherwise fun experience into something draining. That’s not good for me, but it’s also not good for all of you, who deserve to get the best quality of work I can manage when you come here.

So, I decided to give myself a sabbatical over the holidays, which ended up carrying on for longer than I’d intended. I’ve been keeping busy during that time, though, and have managed to get quite a bit in the pipeline to go live. I don’t want to name specific dates here and now, only because I have a couple more very specific benchmarks that I want to clear before I resume the blog’s storyline, just to make sure I don’t stumble into a new delay. But NEW STUFF is imminent (and we’re talking about a matter of days, not weeks)! So, in the interest of stirring you all up and whetting your appetites, you will soon get to look forward to…

  • Mokvar’s saga concludes!  We’ll be seeing the rest of what befell everyone’s favorite shaman-turned-warlock scribe at the hands of Kanrethad and Jubeka, then how the whole expedition to Blackrock Spire ends.
    demons  (Not without a surprise or two…)
  • Garrosh’s Earth Online guild, <Warchief>, has its first raid night! Listen in on the happenings in guild chat when the 10-man team marches into the notorious Earth Online raid, Black Friday!
  • Remember years ago during Children’s Week, when you escorted that blood elf orphan
    salandria11around the world, and eventually learned she was being adopted by Lady Liadrin? Well, Salandria is a teenager now, and is about to join the ever-expanding supporting cast. (Shayari needs a peer to hang out with, right?)
  • Not to get too far ahead of ourselves, but after dropping the ball during last April’s National Poetry Month, the Warchief has plans for this year. EPIC VERSE on the way…and, throughout the month of April, no shortage of it!
  • Naturally, interspersed through all of this will be more “30 Days” character profiles — and for our next one, you even get a say in who gets spotlighted. Take your pick of supporting characters, and make your voices heard:
  • It’s been far too long since the Warchief dipped into his reader mail, so expect a new mailbag soon — in fact, you should make a point of contributing! E-mail Garrosh at garrosh1337@gmail.com with your thoughts, questions, or general goofiness! And, to make sure the ever-popular mailbags don’t have any more long gaps, I’m committing to a schedule for them going forward: the first Monday of each month, you can look forward to a “Monday mailbag” post. But remember, the quality of Garrosh’s responses hinges on the quality of his mail — so get thinking!
  • Speaking of responding to reader inquiries… mark your calendar! To kick off the “restart” of the blog, Garrosh will be fielding your questions on many and sundry topics, live (sort of) and in person (kind of) this Sunday night (February 15) — in an “ASK GARROSH” LIVE BLOG! Starting at 8:30 PM EST, the Warchief will respond to questions submitted by you, his LOYAL READERS AND MINIONS, on the spot as they come in. You can send your inquiries through e-mail, on Twitter (@GarroshHllscrm), via Garrosh’s page at Ask.fm, or through comments on the live blog page itself. What you shouldn’t do, though, is send them in advance — once the live blog begins, I’ll be (um, I mean, Garrosh will be) responding to questions completely on the fly, sans preparation. Let’s see what I can come up with on the spot, and/or how badly I fall on my face!

I know 2014 was a rather rough and uneven year for WCB. I appreciate all of you hanging in there, and the continued support and friendship I’ve received from many of you. Granted, 2015 is off to something of a belated start, but hopefully I’m in a position to stay on top of things better than I had been. (Very likely, I’ll continue to build occasional posting breaks into the blog to let me get a jump on things again, but I’ll try to be better about letting you all know when those will be.) Garrosh’s adventures continue…and, frankly, I can’t say I’m all that disappointed that drawn-out posting is keeping him alive in the blogosphere well past his in-game expiration date. He’s a character I would never want to live with, but he’s way too fun to live in.

Be seeing you,

Averry

 

Back to Business

Averry stepping in for Garrosh.

So…yeah.  That way-too-long July that I warned about last time? You know, way, way back when I made my last post, back when devilsaurs ruled the earth? Well, the crazy-busy July started kicking my ass in June, which has led to the current (most recent) lull in blog production.

So…sorry. I feel bad that I keep having these dead periods in the blog, and I appreciate all of you who’ve hung in there through my disappearances. I won’t promise that where won’t be any more of them (I know it would be a promise I couldn’t keep, despite best intentions), but I will promise, for what it’s worth, that I’m not going anywhere until I’ve seen the Warchief’s story through to the end. I have a LOT of story still planned, and there’s exactly ZERO chance of me bailing on the blog before I finish telling it. Keep hanging in there with me, and I’ll do my best to make it worthwhile.

Now then, with that said, we have a little business to get to. First and foremost, with my schedule finally becoming a little more human in August, we’ll be’ll be able to pick up our Meta raiding ways soon. I’m planning to resume our regular monthly Flex raid beginning Saturday, August 9. As always, catch me on RealID (Averry#1116) around 8:00 PM EDT to join the party. For anyone new to the raids, we try to hold them each month, on the Saturday that marks the final day of that month’s Darkmoon Faire.

Second of all, a return to a semi-sorta-normal schedule also means that I’m going to be able to resume blogging more regularly. While I haven’t been posting these past few weeks, by the way, don’t think that I haven’t been working on getting blog material lined up for production. In fact, here, witness the heap of posts that are currently written and ready to go! (Yes, I write by hand first, then transcribe and/or draw from there. At least most of the time. For whatever reason — don’t ask me why — I write more easily when I’m doing it on paper rather than at the keyboard.)

drafts

(Right now, by the way, the main limiting factor in posting all this material is the time involved in preparing comics for much of it. The writing is something I can do in small bursts whenever I have a spare ten minutes; the drawing requires much longer blocks of interrupted time. Still, take some comfort in knowing there’s a full pipeline on its way…)

Anyway, the point is, I have a lot of stuff prepared for you, and will have it going into production very shortly — very likely to kick off Meta raid day this Saturday. For anyone who’d like the tiniest of peeks at what’s on the way, I’ve edited the Major Storylines index page for Mokvar’s ongoing story to include the titles of the next several posts…

Also! I’m sure many of you already listen to the Lorewalkers Roundtable podcast (and if you don’t, you should!), which streams every Saturday afternoon at 2:00 PM eastern. I’ve recently started contributing to the show, in the form of letters from Garrosh as he bounces through time with Kairoz. I believe the Lorewalkers have been running the feature under the unofficial title of “Letters from a Fallen Warchief,” though I kind of prefer to think of it as “When in the World is Garrosh Hellscream?” Either way, they’ve been fun to write and even more fun to listen to Lorewalker Sol read in an orc voice. Definitely hop over for a listen! I’m writing them very much in the voice of blog!Garrosh, even if they detail events that the blog hasn’t gotten to. Yet. (If you don’t think I’m planting little details in these letters that I can pick up in future blog posts…well, it’s nice to meet you.)

And also…yes, I’ve seen it. If you know what I’m talking about…well, you know. If you don’t know, I’m not inclined to spoil it for you. But…yeah, stay tuned. I’ve got some work to do.

Be seeing you,

Averry

 

Transmogs for Shay!

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Time for the fashion show at last!  It’s taken me a lot of time to get all the Transmogs for Shay entries sorted out, but I’m finally ready to declare some winners and, more importantly, show off the full gamut of sartorial goodies that many of you have sent my way!

A few preliminaries: Thank you to everyone who submitted entries! It was a lot of fun to pore over your designs (even for someone like me, who has never once transmogged anything, ever) (No, really.) and imagine how they might look on everyone’s new favorite half-draenei girl. Choosing winners was extremely difficult, and honestly, if you wiped my memory and asked me to do it again, I might very well chose different ones — it really was an embarrassment of riches. As such, by the way, I make no guarantees that I won’t dip into more of these outfits if I decide to get ambitious with Shayari’s wardrobe at some point. In fact, I’d say it’s likely that I will. With proper in-blog acknowledgement, of course!

To make the imminent outpouring of fashion more manageable, I’m breaking the outfits down into various categories. Otherwise, the transmogs are listed in the completely arbitrary order that they ended up in the folder I keep for blog images. Apologies if the layout of pictures gets a little messy at times; WordPress doesn’t seem to have the most cooperative editor in the world where these matters are concerned. I’ve included links when available, and tried to link back to the blogs of any other bloggers who submitted entries (please yell at me if I missed you).

And so, with no further ado…on to the transmogs!

 

N.S.F.G. (Not Safe For Gurtash)

Somehow, I knew this category was going to be necessary. Even though one of the contest criteria was that the outfits needed to be something that could be safely entrusted to Gurtash to draw…well…you know what tends to happen with transmog. Still, I’d decided well in advance that I was going to include all the entries here, so let’s see how some of you sick, sick individuals decided to torment our poor, teenage trainee…

Our first questionable submission comes from Sintra E’Drien, and, well…yeah.

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Sintra, don’t say I didn’t warn you if/when Garrosh turns up at your house.

Somehow, I knew someone was going to stick Shay in a bikini. Aliok ended up doing the honors with this number, pointing out rightly that every girl needs a beach outfit, especially with the nice beach near Sen’jin Village. She’s right, of course, but I shudder to imagine what would happen if Gurtash had to draw this…or, for that matter, if Garrosh caught Shayari hanging out with the trolls.

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While Aliok was at it, though, she apparently went to the trouble of working up links for an assortment of items compiled by none other than Bob himself. No, really. Aliok writes that Bob informed her, “Dese be for Gurtash so he being practicing his art skills, hahaHA!” Our first offering, such as it is, is for Noblegarden parties:

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Next up from Bob, Shay sporting a variation of the dress that I’ve come to think of as the Soridormi gown:]

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Next, Bob digs out the Lovely Purple Dress to offer a little “celebrity style“:

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And finally, Bob gives us an option for those Winter Veil parties:

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Um, yeah, thanks, Aliok. Gurtash says thanks, too. Somewhat less sarcastically. (I know, I know. Fucking troll…)

 

DRAENEI WITH A BLUE DRESS ON (Color May Vary)

Now for some of the real entries! First up, a look at the assortment of dresses, gowns, and robes that were submitted. Since Shayari is a mage, and somewhat girly to boot, I figured these would be a key part of her wardrobe.

First up, we have this look from Myriade, who describes the outfit as “Shay Goes Garrosh” (note all the skulls and spikes — her father would be proud!). It’s actually an impressive way of infusing the robe with a bloodthirsty vibe that you wouldn’t normally associate with mages, and definitely suits Shay’s background:

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Next, a set of gowns and dresses from Kaneka. This first one is built around the Gown of Blaumeux; I especially love the choice of matching staff. Honestly, this look would be a serious contender if I weren’t so utterly intimidated by the thought of trying to draw it, because I know my paltry cartooning skills would fail to do it justice.

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Next up from Kaneka, an aerial-themed look built around the Windchaser Robes. Again, great coordination with the staff; maybe a tiny bit N.S.F.G, but whatever, the kid can just deal.

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And one more from Kaneka (I would comment on what it’s based on, but I don’t have a link for this one, just the screenshot):

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Sintra E’Drien, who was a troublemaker a few entries back, returns with something a little more credible here, and provides a pretty classic mage look:

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This outfit from ZugZug, which she describes as “formal attire,” is another outfit that’s maybe possibly slightly N.S.F.G., but I’ll be damned if Shay wouldn’t wear it well:

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This outfit from Ritaba, based on the Flirtation Regalia, comes in two forms, one with a robe and one with a vest; Ritaba notes that she prefers the vest, but I’m a bit partial to the robe version myself. Either way, it’s a terrific, understated look, though it’s another one that I worry might lose something in translation (read: simplification) into comic form.

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Rinike had posted this transmog previously on her eponymous blog (your homework: go look up “eponymous”), but sent these images along for Shayari’s perusal. I’ll always associate this style of wizard hat/mask with early Cataclysm, Shadowfang Keep especially.

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Next up, from Toka, a classic robe that many of us will remember from our Burning Crusade days:

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Khizzara, longstanding WCB conspirator, secret identity of warrior-in-training Korrina, and author of Blog of the Treant, offers her “Spellbinder” look, complete with a myriad of angles and close-ups. The halo is a great touch, I think, even if Shay may be a little too much of a stinker to earn one the conventional way…

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shaymog24c shaymog24d shaymog24e

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From Ayalea, we have the Green Wedding Hanbok. (Just don’t tell Garrosh what the dress is supposed to mean…) (Or, maybe tell him, so he’ll know to run like hell if he ever sees Garona coming at him with one of these on…)

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This simple but elegant robe from Malauch was a difficult cut. I love the look of it, love the simple but effective use of the red and gold to offset the dark gray, but ended up reluctantly leaving it off the final list mainly due to reservations about how well a heavily-black costume would play in comic form.

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Another gown from Malauch, this time drawing on purple and green highlights with a kinda-sorta mock-turtleneck style that you don’t see all that much.

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Matakoa of Sugar & Blood brings us a vaguely priest-like look for Shayari:

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And, finally, from Repgrind (known in-blog as Giska and Wega) of Reputation Grind fame, a very cool-looking robe that also falls into the “I think I would be afraid to try to draw this” category. (Yes, my artistic cowardice is likely to become an ongoing theme.)

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GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE

Before we move on from robes and dresses altogether, I should point out one phenomenon that I noticed while sorting out entries: a few of you have very similar tastes! In particular, there were a handful of entries that all drew on the Astralaan Robe (or a very similar look).

First up, from Kaneka:

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Then, Ayalea had the same idea, minus the shoulders and plus a rose:

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And, this similar from Aliok…notes with a /sigh that this simple but pretty dress looks more like priest than mage gear:

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I really like this look, actually, in all its forms. It occurred to me, though, that if you look at the Astralaan Robe closely, it’s actually very nearly identical to Shayari’s signature blue dress, apart from using a different color palette. As such, as much as I like this look, I felt that it kind of defeats the idea of infusing Shayari’s outfits with some variety. That said…don’t bet against me using this color scheme as a cheap-and-easy way to add a further illusion of variety to Shay’s looks.

 

THE FOOL THAT MOGGED HER PANTS

Sure, dresses and robes are the signature mage look, but Shay also needs some options that use a vest or other top matched with pants. As some of our wisest sages have noted, after all, nothing better shows your taste than what you wear below your waist.

Our first top-and-pants style outfit comes from Beltrine, who notes that if Shayari worries about Garrosh doubting their relation, she might go with this look to drive the connection home (complete with tusks on her shoulders, and a staff that could pass for an axe):

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From ZugZug, her “Ready for Anything” look, which…call me crazy, but if you look at this outfit quickly then turn away, doesn’t it seem like something Michael Jackson might have worn…?

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Another entry from Sintra E’Drien, who clearly loves his wizard hats (and who can blame him?):

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ZugZug brings us “Battle Mage Shayari“, who’s looking pretty damn badass here, especially with that is-it-a-staff-or-is-it-a-tridenty-kinda-axe that she’s wielding:

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Another entry from Toka, who mixes her colors in a way here that makes this outfit look vaguely shaman- or druid-like to me:

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From Rakael (the alter ego of old friend Ruekie), we have a suit with a bit of Spanish flair; Rakael notes that Don Carlos’ Famous Hat would finish the ensemble…if it wouldn’t look rather ridiculous in Shay’s case:

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Aliok describes this outfit as “semi-formal”, with optional helm, gloves, bracers, shoulders, and cloak in the link, though they’re really not needed for the outfit to stand on its own:

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From Ayalea, here’s a possible “work outfit” for Shayari:

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This one is the first of a pair from Malauch, in this case providing an obvious case of an item Shay really should have in her wardrobe somewhere: jeans!

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Meanwhile, his second entry is a really terrific vest combo, one of the tougher cuts of any of the submissions:

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SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

These outfits might never see the light of day (or maybe they might!), but they’re all unified by being very specific looks for very specific situations. Continue on; you’ll get the idea quickly enough.

For instance, in case I ever come up with a story in which our characters go sailing, Toka gives us Pirate Shay:

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Aliok, meanwhile, offers this outfit — which Shay could wear in the event she goes to a rave — with the disclaimer that she doesn’t really expect me to draw it, but just wanted to assault my eyeballs. If my eyeballs are going to get assaulted, I’m taking the rest of you people with me, so here we go:

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In more practical terms, Aliok also picked out some pajamas for Shayari:

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AAAAAAAND THE WINNERS ARE…

And now for the big moment. The winners! As I said earlier, this was a very tough call to make, so in order to make things a little more manageable, I decided to break the three winning entries into three different types of outfit, with the idea being that the whole point of the exercise was to build some variety into Shay’s different looks. So, our winners consist of one dress/robe-type outfit, one pants/vest outfit, and one top/skirt combo. Which leaves us with…

Winner #1: ZugZug, for her “Shay Out and About” combo:

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Now, granted, the top here is more than a little N.S.F.G, but in ways that are easy enough to work around for comic-rendering purposes. More importantly, though, I love the fact that this combination works with a clearly distinct set of top and skirt, as opposed to the full-body robe and vest-and-pants alternatives that comprise almost all the clothie outfits you usually see. Also, with spring approaching, this struck me as a great seasonal outfit (especially for Noblegarden…without turning Shay into a Playorc Bunny). The semi-sorta-handbag offhand is just icing on the cake.

Winner #2: From Sintra E’Drien, the winner of the robe/gown category:

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As I’ve said, people sent in a ton of great dresses, and I doubt that this will be the only one that will find its way into the blog. But of all the options, this is the one that stood out the most to me. Visually interesting without being overly complicated, elegant, just a terrific caster look. Bonus point for affording me a chance to work some purple into Shay’s wardrobe (think in terms of the potential symbolism of blending red and blue).

Winner #3: From Aliok, in the vest-and-pants category, Shayari’s “barfight” attire:

shaymog31a

shaymog31b

A change of pace for Shayari that I just couldn’t resist. The jeans and vest strike just the right balance between cool and casual, and as Aliok pointed out in her submission, the brassy hands (and the overall look) give Shay the look of someone ready to trade blows in some rowdy tavern somewhere. And I don’t think it’ll come as a shock to anyone that Shay has her father’s right hook.

 

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

Remember when I said how hard it was to make these picks? Well, I’m weaseling out of some of the final decision-making, and handing that responsibility off to YOU, the Warchief’s LOYAL READERS AND MINIONS. I’ve decided to add a fourth winner to the contest — to be determined by all of you! Check out the five candidates below, and vote in the poll at the end of this post!

Finalist #1 – Snow Blossom: Our first contender was submitted by Dragonray from Azerothian Life, who even posted the outfit in a blog entry a few weeks ago:

shaymog2

A little more formal than some other looks, but still simple and classy. Bonus points for the off-hand fan, which will fit in especially nicely if Shayari finds her way to a clothier in Pandaria at some point.

Finalist #2 – My Robe and Wizard Hat: From Sintra, this one is a variation of a similar outfit he’d also submitted, but with a color scheme that I thought suited Shayari a bit better (in general, I think reds and blues suit her a little better than greens):

shaymog10a shaymog10b

Besides, you know I had to toss at least one classic wizard hat into the mix.

Finalist #3 – Scarlet Sindorei Robe: From Khizzara, this robe set includes an alternate look using a Replica Magister’s Crown for the head:

shaymog22a shaymog22b shaymog22d

shaymog22e shaymog22f

shaymog22g shaymog22h shaymog22i

shaymog22j shaymog22k shaymog22l

Just a beautiful all-around look, as illustrated by some of the close-up detail shows Khizzara provided.

Finalist #4 – Antiquity: Khizzara wasn’t done yet, though, because she still had this gem” in her pocket:

shaymog23a shaymog23b

shaymog23c shaymog23d

shaymog23f shaymog23g

shaymog23h shaymog23i shaymog23j
In her submission, Kash (a.k.a. Khiz) noted that most of the pieces in the outfit are pretty optional, as the gown itself can stand on its own. I’m inclined to agree; not only does it work perfectly well as an outfit by itself, but it does so with a style and elegance that you don’t see in many other cloth pieces.

Finalist #5 – Indiana Shay: I knew there was going to be at least one more vest/pants combo in here, and after wavering between a few excellent options, the nod finally went to this outfit from Malauch:

shaymog40a

shaymog40b

Cool, stylish, and strikes a nice balance between being adventurous enough for Shayari to wear while crawling through some dungeon and being dressy enough for her to keep on for more professional matters back home. Bonus points for the hat (even though I’m not 100% sure it would make it into cartoon form…but I would try!), which makes me feel like Shay must be a secret Harrison Jones fan.

So, those are our candidates! Now it’s time for you to make your voices heard:

Congratulations to all our winners, and thanks once again to everyone who submitted entries to the contest — the response was far greater than I was expecting, and the quality of submissions across the board made it much, much harder to pick my favorites than I was prepared for. But, it’s not over yet — get voting!

 

[A few final programming notes: A reminder, tomorrow night — Saturday, March 8 — we’ll have having this month’s SoO Meta Raid, starting at approximately 8:00 PM Eastern. As always, everyone is welcome to join in the fun; you can reach me on RealID as Averry#1116. Since Averry is finally, FINALLY on the last stage of his legendary quest, I might try to coerce a few people to hop on a few minutes early to help me fight some Celestials..

More on the way soon, but I’ll toss in a disclaimer now: There are a couple posts coming up that will be very labor intensive to assemble — bear with me while I work on them, and I promise I’ll try to make the wait worthwhile.]

 

Contest! Transmogs for Shay

shayari1

Hi, everyone. Averry here with a reminder and an announcement.

First, the obligatory reminder – tonight at 8:00 PM EST, we’ll be having our second Friends-of-WCB Meta raid of Siege of Orgrimmar. All are welcome to join in (well, unless we fill up…). You can always find me on RealID as Averry#1116.

Now for the real announcement!

I’ve been happy to see that people seem to be embracing the character of Shayari since her debut a few days ago. We’ll be seeing plenty more of her (not in the Gurtash sense), and I’d like her to be a departure from the one conspicuous Warcraft norm: People who, apparently, wear the same outfit every single day. Clearly, Shay is a little more fashionable and stylish than that.

So, to that end, I’m announcing a TRANSMOGS FOR SHAYARI contest! The basic gist: All you transmog fanatics (I know you’re out there!) are invited to put together an outfit for Shay to wear in at least one – likely multiple – upcoming comics.

A few notes and caveats as you consider the possibilities:

  • Shayari is a mage in training, so your transmog should consist solely of items that a clothie can wear.
  • When in doubt, let “Averry/Gurtash actually has to draw this” be your guide – i.e., try to avoid looks that are excessively elaborate or overwrought.
  • Try to have mercy on poor Gurtash. (Translation: Let’s try to keep the poor girl fully dressed!)
  • Alternative for would-be fashion designers: You also have the option of designing your outfit from the ground up! You’re welcome to come up with your own original gear design and draw it up yourself, then submit your sketches. (Please try not to show up my own middling artistic skills too badly.)

Please e-mail your entries to me (garrosh1337@gmail.com) by SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27. If at all possible, try to model your transmogs on a female draenei character, or save them as WoWhead outfits and share the link. (Being able to refer to the outfit on a draenei model will just make it easier for me to translate it into comic form.)

I’ll choose my three favorites, and incorporate them into future comics as opportunity allows over the weeks that follow. In addition to their own personal satisfaction, and boundless blogosphere fame (cough), winners will be able to pick one of the following prizes:

  • A comic-style portrait of your character from Gurtash!
  • An original EPIC VERSE from the Warchief on the topic of your choosing!
  • An in-blog (comic or transcript) cameo for your character – you too can rub elbows with the likes of Faranell, Liadrin, Dontrag and Utvoch, and the DPS! (And hey, who knows? That’s how Taktani got started…)
  • A ride on Mortimer! (Not really.)
  • A hug from Mylune!* (Only possibly.)
  • A highly coveted “Get Out of Conversation with Tirion Free” card.**
  • Something else that we mutually come up with, on the off chance one of us has a brainstorm!

Well, what are you still doing here? Get transmogging! Shayari has a wardrobe to fill!

* The Warchief’s Command Board makes no guarantee that Mylune will not have another episode in mid-embrace. Hug at your own risk.

** May be exchanged for a “Get Out of Conversation with Dontrag and/or Utvoch” card. (Likelihood of Garrosh personally entering the contest has now increased 400%.)

[A quick update — I need to correct an error in this announcement: I listed the deadline for the contest as Saturday, February 27. This is problematic, in that February 27 is not a Saturday. Don’t ask me what happened there. I was probably having another one of my many episodes. At any rate, I figure I may as well err on the side of giving people more time rather than less, so let’s revise the due date to the next Saturday after the 27th, which would be March 1.

I think. Hang on.

<checks calendar all paranoid-like>

Yes, there we go. So, officially: the deadline for the Transmogs for Shay contest is SATURDAY, MARCH 1! Get back to mogging!]

 

Return of the Meta Raid

siegelogo

Hi, folks. Averry here.

I’d originally wanted to save this announcement until after I’d posted the rest of the Paternity story (or, maybe more accurately, “Can of Worms, Part 1: Lid Be Gone!”). The comic is taking longer than I’d planned to finish, though (I had a grade-A “back to the drawing board” moment with the artwork this week) (hey, literally! I didn’t even plan that!) (yes, I do like parentheses, thank you very much), and I want to make sure I give people enough lead time.

So, the point: I’d like to revisit the Friends-of-WCB Meta Raid, and see about turning it into a regular thing!

So, here’s the plan. Readers, bloggers, lurkers, and various and sundry others are invited to a Flex raid of Siege of Orgrimmar, the closing weekend of each Darkmoon Faire. I figure that once a month is often enough to make it a fun ongoing event, without being so frequent that it becomes a burden on people’s schedules. I’d like to shoot for Saturday nights, with Sunday possibly being a backup and/or spillover date if we ever decide to be ambitious and continue on the next night. Same as the original raid, we can plan on starting around 8:00 PM Eastern time, and go until…well…until we fall asleep or get sick of each other.

Since this weekend marks the beginning of February’s Darkmoon Faire, that means we would be shooting for Saturday, February 8 as our next raid night. And then, if all goes well, continue on each month as the faire comes to a close.

Thanks as always for reading, commenting, and generally coming along for the ride. More from the Warchief soon…as soon as Gurtash stops messing up this drawing of…erm…oops. Spoilers. Never mind.

Be seeing you,

Averry

 

Reminder: SoO "Meta" Raid Tonight

siegelogo

Hi everyone — this is just a quick OOC reminder that we’ll be having our friends-of-WCB Siege of Orgrimmar raid (Horde-side) tonight at 8:00 PM EST. Or, as I like to think of it, the “Meta” raid (what else would you call OOC Garrosh killing IC Garrosh?).

We’ll be running the raid on Flex, so if you’re not able to be there for the start of the raid, you’re more than welcome to join us in progress. Many of you have already added me on RealID; for anyone else who might be interested in joining us, feel free to add Battletag Averry#1116. Even if, for whatever reason, you’re not able to participate in the actual raid, you’re still welcome to come join us in raid chat and/or vent. (Once again, I am only too happy to generously dispense invitations to a vent server that isn’t mine.)

Also, seeing as I haven’t done any non-LFR raiding since Deathwing, I will apologize in advance for what will very likely be my profound mediocrity.

On that note…hope to see many of you tonight!

 

Averry

 

Ready Check

siegelogo

Averry here with one last out-of-character item before I disappear behind the curtain again for (I hope) a long, long time.

Back before I went on my recent, unplanned hiatus, I’d written about my interest in setting up a Friends-of-WCB shits-and-giggles raid for Siege of Orgrimmar. Based on the response I got, both in blog comments and in individual messages, it looked like there was a fair bit of interest at the time. Hopefully that’s still the case, because now that life has become somewhat less hectic, I’d very much like to finally get the ball rolling.

So, here’s the pseudo-quasi-plan: I’d like to set up a Horde-side SoO group for next weekend – i.e., the weekend of November 23 and 24. In a perfect world, if we have enough people and the right combination of roles, I’d love to do this as Flex, but if not, we can always go in and take over some poor, unsuspecting LFR. This would be a one-night deal; I don’t have a strong preference for that Saturday or Sunday, so I’d prefer to leave that open and see when people are available. I would be looking to start somewhere in the vicinity of 8:00-9:00 PM EST, and run until…well…until we all get sick of each other, I suppose.

If you’re still interested in coming along, please let me know – either through a comment here, or by contacting me directly – what your availability is and whether you have a preference between Saturday and Sunday. (Also, please be sure to let me know if either day would be possible for you, even if you have a definite preference.) If you haven’t already, feel free to add me on RealID: Averry#1116.

Even if you aren’t able to participate in the raid itself (say your Flex lockout is already committed, or you don’t have a max-level Horde toon*), you’re more than welcome to come join the party, whether that be hanging out in raid chat or popping into vent with us. (Speaking of which, LF generous benefactor with a vent server we can use for the shindig!** I promise this won’t be one of those cases like when you host a party the weekend your parents are away, and a bunch of strangers come over, and they end up wrecking the place, and then they take off and stick you with the mess, and so now you’ve got to clean it all up before Mom and Dad get home or oh boy are you going to be in trouble, which sounds pretty awful and stressful but really isn’t all that bad once you realize you can just cleaning-montage your way over it. Although you never could figure out how the wombat got in the guest bathroom, because who the hell brings a wombat to a party? They’re notoriously bad minglers. So no, it won’t be like that.***)

So, there you have it – clear your (social) (HA!) (raid) calendars!

Be seeing you,

Averry

 

* Although, seriously, you don’t? What’s wrong with you?

** I say “shindig,” because yes, gentle readers, I am old.

*** Disclaimer: It will totally be like that.

 

Cheat Sheet

quillandpaper

As promised in my last post, here’s an overview of the state of the blog. I realize that after two years of accumulated in-jokes and storylines, the Command Board may be a bit disorienting to a newcomer (or, for that matter, to a long-time reader who blinked at the wrong time), so I’ve tried to break this down into a semi-sorta-kinda FAQ. Most of this will be familiar to long-time readers (though I’ve also included a few behind-the-scenes notes that some of you might find interesting), but I hope it’ll explain a few things for new arrivals.

 

I hate Garrosh! Why does Garrosh seem so sympathetic in this blog? Are you one of those Garrosh apologists/fanboys?

Comically enough, I originally started the blog because I really didn’t like Garrosh either, and saw the blog as a way to have a few chuckles mocking him. It wasn’t long, though, before I decided that I would get sick of the outright-mockery approach pretty quickly, so I started branching out. Part of the result was letting blog-Garrosh become (I hope) a bit more multifaceted, while still remaining true to his temperamental self. Including the LOLs.

Ultimately, I don’t set out to justify anything Garrosh does, just to present it in a way that makes sense in light of the character, and if that pushes a black-and-white scenario into some shade of gray, well, that makes for a more interesting story anyway. And, keep in mind, the story here is being told, generally, from Garrosh’s point of view, so I don’t know how that perspective wouldn’t be sympathetic. Everyone is the hero of their own story, after all, and nobody thinks they’re a bad person.

 

Why isn’t there anything here about the siege of Orgrimmar?

What are you talking about? There was a post titled “The siege of Orgrimmar” a good solid year ago – if anything, shouldn’t you be asking why Blizzard is coming so late to the party? (By the way, I didn’t realize until just now that patch 5.4 was released almost exactly on the one-year anniversary of the “Siege or Orgrimmar” post. How awesomely freaky is that?)

Anyway, to give a real answer: Time-wise, the blog has not yet reached the events of patch 5.4. The storyline is currently playing out the midst of 5.2; Lor’themar Theron and Jaina Proudmoore have recently set up shop on the Isle of Thunder, while Vol’jin is still recovering from his injuries at Shado-Pan Monastery.

This time lag between the game and the blog, by the way, is partly by design. I’d always intended the blog to run a bit behind the game; coming into MoP, I realized that if I tried to follow in-game events too closely, I wouldn’t have time to adapt my own ideas to fit Blizzard’s story. There have already been a few instances in which Blizzard’s story has taken a turn that’s forced me to change gears in a way that would have been disastrous if I didn’t have a month or two of lead time. Of course, I’m clearly more than a month or two behind – that’s been a result of various real-life circumstances slowing down my output over the last few months. I’m working on it!

 

So the blog basically retells in-game events, from Garrosh’s point of view?

Yes and no. The blog operates within Blizzard’s continuity (with the aforementioned time delay), but also weaves additional storylines in and around the canonical Blizzard plots. Anything that happens or is stated explicitly in-game is canon, obviously, and the blog is bound by it.* That said, I sometimes like to put other stories around Blizzard’s, to give them context that might change the way those events are perceived. (This was a large part of my motivation for the Timequake story leading into Theramore, or, more recently, the blog events surrounding the Divine Bell / Domination Offensive storyline.)

Also, while the point of view is mostly Garrosh’s, there are some posts that present events from other perspectives. Most notable are the “guest” posts by Spazzle (Garrosh’s tech goblin), which help fill in story details that Garrosh wouldn’t necessarily be privy to. You can always identify a post written by someone other than Garrosh by the color of the text – Spazzle’s posts, for instance, are always written in green text, and almost always include the phrase “Spazzle Speaks” in the title. Also, as a rule of thumb, when Spazzle et al post, Garrosh remains oblivious to anything that might be revealed; the conceit at work here is that Garrosh doesn’t really care what anyone else is writing, so he doesn’t bother reading it.

* The one instance that I’ve flat-out fudged in-game details is the way I’ve chosen to incorporate the events of “A Little Patience.” From the Alliance point of view, that scenario takes place almost immediately after Varian arrives in Pandaria; in the blog, I’ve pushed those events a bit later in the story. This was largely a matter of convenience: I knew that I wanted there to be a military operation in Krasarang in which Garrosh’s trainees went missing, and I realized fairly late in the going that “A Little Patience” lent itself to that story pretty readily. Hopefully those Alliance-side readers out there will be willing to turn a blind eye to my blatant and shameless revision. (Horde bias rears its ugly head again! GRR!)

 

Garrosh has trainees? When did that happen?

Right here! As part of the escalation of the war effort, the Kor’kron started a training program to prepare orc teenagers for eventual military service. When Garrosh learned that Gurtash – an orc boy from the Orgrimmar orphanage whom Garrosh had taken under his wing – had been conscripted, Garrosh volunteered to take Gurtash’s trainee group under his own supervision. (Side note: In my head-canon, Garrosh has a bit of a soft spot for the orphans, being as he is one himself.) The trainees, who have nicknamed themselves the Dead Peons Society (DPS for short) have accompanied Garrosh to Pandaria and joined him on a few adventures. Fairly recently, they went missing after the Horde loss in the “A Little Patience” scenario, and were eventually found by Garrosh, hiding away in an underground system of caves. That’s brought us up to the point where we are now, story-wise: Garrosh and the trainees underground, looking for a way out.

 

Is the entire supporting cast from within the game?

Mostly, but not entirely. I’ve invented a few characters for the blog – Spazzle being the highest-profile – but I’ve tried to keep it limited, and tried to restrict those characters to fairly peripheral positions in the lore. The one glaring exception was the storyline involving Garrosh’s mother, Lakkara, who isn’t mentioned anywhere in the actual lore. It just struck me as odd that there’s no record of who she was, or what happened to her, and besides, in a mythology packed to capacity with father/son relationships, I thought it was about time somebody’s mom got a little screen time.

Otherwise, when a character turns up who doesn’t exist in-game, that character was often inspired by a reader and/or based on someone’s game character. For instance, both Gurtash and Mortimer (Garrosh’s personal wyvern) became blog characters thanks to mailbag letters from Khizzara from Blog of the Treant; Khizzara’s own namesake has made a few appearances as Spazzle’s cousin; doodle-prone kitty druid Taktani became a full-fledged character (and boy, is she ever a character) after making several mailbag contributions; and many of the DPS trainees are modeled on the baby orc alts of friends.

In general, though, if you see a supporting character turn up whose name you don’t recognize, the smartest first guess is that he or she is based on a questgiver or other NPC somewhere in-game. (Wowpedia is your friend!) I deliberately picked a lot of relatively minor NPCs – people like Mokvar, Elder Cloudfall, and Dontrag and Utvoch – to use as supporting characters because I figured their relatively peripheral status gave me more latitude to work with them, give them backstories, etc. After all, what are the odds that Blizzard would actually do something with one of these people to contradict my own concoctions?

(Either way, if you’re not sure who someone is, I’ve also maintained a partial list of supporting players on the About the Blog page, including some of the more pertinent information about them.)

 

Speaking of which – in the SoO raid, Mokvar is a mini-boss! Isn’t he missing? How are you going to deal with that?

First… um, yeah, that whole “no way they’re gonna do something with this guy” really blew up in my face on this one, huh?

And second… So, everyone who thought I was going to lay out this big storyline for Mokvar, and make such a production out of his disappearance…and then have it turn out that he really is dead…step forward.

Didn’t think so.

For those of you unclear on Mokvar’s whole story, which has been unfolding gradually for quite a while, you can check here for a brief overview and links to the relevant posts. Very short version: After becoming the victim of a mysterious attack, Mokvar sets out to track down a powerful relic from his warlock days, with the aid of a human named Deliana (who was Mokvar’s Alliance equivalent in the old dungeon set quests); over the course of his quest, he starts to behave increasingly strangely, culminating in his eventual flight from arrest in Orgrimmar. His whereabouts are now unknown.

Stay tuned. You’ll see where this is going!

 

With Mokvar gone, how are you handling the transcripts?

Prelinimary: The blog contains several transcripts of conversations that Garrosh has engaged in. The premise from the outset has been that Mokvar is (or was) Garrosh’s personal scribe, and records all these conversations for posting. This explains, by the way, a number of occasions when Garrosh mentions summoning Mokvar to an event, or otherwise noting Mokvar’s presence, as a way of leading in to a transcript.

Since Mokvar is off the grid, Garrosh has passed transcription duties to two people: Gurtash, who records his transcripts in the form of comics; and Taktani, a friend of Dontrag and Utvoch and long-time mailbag contributor, who’s started to (and will continue to) write a few transcripts, laden with her own unassuming brand of commentary.

 

What are these guild chat logs that keep cropping up?

Garrosh and several of the supporting characters play an MMORPG called Earth Online – the basic premise being that, to these characters, Azeroth is reality, and our real world is actually the game world of the MMO. Garrosh started his own guild, called <Warchief>, and several familiar faces (including Spazzle, Sylvanas, Lor’themar, Faranell, Garona, and Dontrag and Utvoch) are members. Also worth noting is that Jaina Proudmoore is a member of the guild…although she doesn’t realize (yet?) who her guildmates are in “real life.”

The guild chat logs recreate some of the exchanges that the members of <Warchief> have within their game, usually including regular guild chat, officer chat, and, in some cases, whispers. I make no pretense about the fact that some aspects of these logs are based on my own guild-chat expeiences, especially officer chat. The transcripts are always presented from the point of view of whoever posted them – usually Garrosh, but occasionally Spazzle.

 

Where did this whole thing about lemon squares come from?

Garrosh loves lemon squares. Don’t you?

Real explanation: Very early in the blog, Edenvale of The Gamer’s Fridge posted a recipe for Garrosh Hellscream’s lemon squares, and pointed me to her post with a comment on the Command Board. Since then, it’s become a bit of a running gag – the recipe, according to Garrosh, was his greatmother’s secret family recipe, and he was most perturbed that this random night elf had apparently gotten ahold of it.

 

What does “FYV” mean?

An abbreviation of one of Garrosh’s favorite turns of phrase, of course: “Fuck you, Varian!” Among other things, Garrosh often finds a way to slip that phrase into his EPIC VERSE compositions.

 

Speaking of which, what’s this “EPIC VERSE”? Garrosh writes poetry?

You sound surprised. Garrosh is an orc of many interests. What, do you think he’s some kind of one-note caricature or something?

Okay, fine, game-Garrosh kind of is.

Honestly, I just got a kick out of the obvious dichotomy of Garrosh Hellscream, gruffest of the gruff, also writing poetry on the side. True to form, Garrosh doesn’t view his compositions as just any poetry, so he prefers to call them EPIC VERSE. In caps. Always. It’s sprinkled throughout the blog – almost always in purple text, to stress its epic-ness – and ranges from limericks, to parodies of other famous poems, to reader requests, to epic rap battles.

 

So, that’s as much as I can think to cover. Other gaps can probably be filled in through the Major Storylines page, but if there are questions that anyone still has, in terms of getting caught up or clarified, by all means toss them into a comment and I’ll make sure it’s answered. And so, on that note, I’ll sigh off with the promise – unconditional promise! – that before the week is out, you’ll have the continuation of the actual STORY part of the story! Which left off, as you might recall, right here:

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