Tag Archives: camp taurajo

30 Days of Character Development #8: Ruekie

[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!]

 

Name: Rue’kara (“Ruekie”)ruekie_profile1

Occupation: Horde military trainee

Race: Orc

Class: Shaman (elemental)

Age: 15

Group affiliations: Horde (citizen), Dead Peons Society (a.k.a. “DPS,” member)

Known relatives: Norok (father), Ba’laka (mother), Tue’kara (“Tuekie,” twin sister), Gru’vak (younger brother), Shayis Steelfury (aunt), Saru Steelfury (uncle), Sumi (cousin), Tumi (cousin)

Earth Online notes: Ruekie does not play Earth Online. (She might be scandalized by trade chat if she did.)

First appearance: “Dead Peons Society” (first appearance of the DPS as a group), “Underground farmer’s market” (first named appearance)

Key posts and plot points:

  • Ruekie and her sister, Tuekie, were among the group of “high aptitude” trainees whom Garrosh took under his direct supervision in “Being a role model is a full-time job” and who embraced the group nickname of “Dead Peons Society,” or DPS, in the eponymous post. When Garrosh left Orgrimmar to join the Horde’s forces in Pandaria, he brought most of the trainees with him, including Ruekie. (For one reason or another, a handful of the trainees stayed behind in Durotar, including Ruekie’s sister, rogue trainee Tuekie.
  • Ruekie’s first named appearance in “Underground farmer’s market,” in which Garrosh found an Earth Online dollar-farming operation in Pandaria. Ruekie had the relatively merciful idea of stopping the operation by pointing out to the young dollar farmers that Horde trainees were paid an allowance considerably greater than their modest pay, and, well, that was the end of that.
  • In “Departures,” Ruekie joined the rest of the DPS in Pandaria on what was meant to be a routine operation at the Temple of the Red Crane. That was before A Little Patience happened, though, and Alliance forces routed the Horde troops at the temple. Ruekie and the rest of the DPS fled to a nearby system of caves, here Garrosh would eventually find them.
  • The trainees’ underground episode in Krasarang provided a few major Ruekie moments: Before Garrosh arrived, the DPS had encountered saurok in the cave, and during the ensuing battle,
    ruekie_profile4fellow trainee Lok’osh was killed; after Garrosh found the surviving trainees, an agonized Ruekie confided in the Warchief about her unsuccessful attempt to heal Lok’osh…leading to a rare “Garrosh has a soul” moment (“Don’t blame the healer”). Later, during the group’s escape from the saurok caves, Ruekie’s command of the elements played a key role in bailing the Warchief out of a precarious position (“Exit strategy”).
  • Ruekie, as a shaman, has always been a devoted admirer of Thrall. (As opposed to her more hawkish sister, Tuekie, who is an avid Garrosh fan. Perhaps a bit too much. Like, Garona-esque too much.) In light of her relatively positive interactions with Garrosh during the Krasarang adventure, it’s anyone’s guess who she would side with now. You know, in the unlikely event that those two should come into conflict somehow.
  • Ruekie maintains a Twitter presence at @RuekieShaman. Her Twitter voice is provided by long-time reader and commenter Rakael, whose in-game character Ruekie is the basis for her in-blog namesake. Many thanks to Rakael for generously allowing me to steal her orc alt baby for my own nefarious purposes here, and for her ongoing contributions to Ruekie’s character (many of which appear in this very profile).

In her 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?

ruekie_profile3My parents…well, I can’t say we had a bad relationship, I guess, but they were pretty much just there and not much else. After the orcs moved to Kalimdor, my family didn’t settle in Durotar. Instead, they moved to Camp Taurajo in the Barrens, which is where they raised Tuekie and me. They never really taught us about orcish ways or customs. Most of the time they were too busy dipping into the felweed brownies or whatever. So Tuekie and I ended up spending most of our time with the tauren. Tuekie was more outgoing, more of an explorer, connected with other orcs more easily when they passed through the camp. I kept to myself a lot more. Living with the tauren is what got me started studying the elements.

How vain are you? Do you find yourself attractive?

I…um, me? Do I…well, not really, I guess. I’m just me. Um… <blush>

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

Tigule and Foror’s Temple of Caramel-bor! Brown (I know, not super exciting, but it’s soothing and reminds me of the earth). Lakota’mani Girls (it’s a fun tauren festival song…people don’t seem to realize, but those tauren know how to throw a party!). Marsh lilies.

Who do you trust?

I completely trust my teammates. They’re really the first orcs I’ve hung around with on any kind of regular basis where I feel at home. I’ll always admire Thrall as a shaman and for everything he did after the Cataclysm. I didn’t really know what to expect from Garrosh when we started training with him, but he’s really done a lot to try to help us and take care of us. Even me, when I really needed it.

Can you define a turning point in your life? Multiples are acceptable.

I was too young to remember the internment – Tuekie and I were barely born when the orcs fled to Kalimdor – so that change in our lives didn’t really register. The thing that really shook up everything was when Camp Taurajo was destroyed. Afterward, we moved to Durotar and settled in well enough, but the memory of fleeing across the Barrens – not knowing where we were going, looking around wondering if Alliance were about to come for us, still smelling the smoke from the village – will stick with me for as long as I live. Camp T was the closest thing to a home I ever knew. Spirits keep you, Omusa.

ruekie_profile2Is there an animal you equate to yourself?

A wolf! Spirit puppy FTW! Awooo!

What does your bed look like when you wake up? Are the covers off on one side of the bed, are they all curled around a pillow, sprawled everywhere? In what position do you sleep?

The covers are usually off to the side even before I go to sleep  I get too hot with them most of the time. I sleep in kind of a weird position…it’s sort of hard to describe, actually. Maybe it would be better for you to see it for yourself? … Why are you looking at me like that? I just said… <eyes go wide> Oh jeepers! I, um, no, I didn’t mean— that is— I’m not— Next question, please! <blush>

How do you react to temperature changes such as extreme heat and cold?

I usually react by going “Oh dang!” because I just got tongue-tied and messed up the incantation for one of my fire or frost spells.

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’m pretty close with my cousins, Sumi and Tumi. They’re twins, too, by the way. I guess it runs in the family. Their mom – Shayis Steelfury – and my mom are sisters. They all work down in the Valley of Honor. Pretty much the only time I would come to Orgrimmar when I was little was when we would visit that side of the family. My mom mostly tried to keep in touch with her relatives. Father was pretty meh about it, though.

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

It’s not really messy, but I feel like I’m always losing things just the same. Like I’ll finish with something, and just put it down wherever I am, instead of things having a place where I’ll know to find them.

Are you superstitious?ruekie_garona

Well, I mean, I talk to ancestral and elemental spirits, so I guess I’m kind of superstitious professionally.

What might your ideal romantic partner be?

Oh, I, um… Well, that would… You know what? I…yeah, I don’t really talk about that with…who are you, anyway? So that’s, um, that’s between me and my diary. Which I keep hidden! So don’t, like…you know… <blush>

What’s your favorite comfort food, favorite vice, favorite outfit, favorite hot drink, favorite time of year, and favorite holiday?

I love herbed mushroom salad. (They grow some really great mushrooms in Feralas.) Um, people have favorite vices? Why? Wouldn’t they rather be nice? Anyway. Um, my favorite outfit is probably my training uniform – it makes me feel like I’m on my way to being a real shaman! There’s this Pandaren drink called kafa that I really like, even if it makes me kinda hyper. Holiday…probably a toss-up between Hallow’s End and Winter Veil! Candy and presents!

 

Previous Profiles:

  1. Spazzle Fizzletrinket
  2. Ben-Lin Cloudstrider
  3. Dontrag and Utvoch
  4. Taktani
  5. Korrina
  6. Mylune
  7. Mokvar

 

dps1

On the last night before the patch, trainees Giska, Korrina, Ruekie, and Kulkesh pay a final visit to their mentor. (Presumably, Gurtash was stuck taking the picture.)

 

Same as it ever was

northwatch3

I was groggy when I woke up, and even after I opened my eyes, it took a few minutes for my head to stop spinning. Finally my vision cleared up and I found myself sitting in a chair, sprawled forward over a table. There were papers under my face, and a few of them stuck to it courtesy of a small puddle of drool.

I straightened up in the chair, plucked the clingy pages from my cheek, and looked around the room. It was the admiral’s quarters in Northwatch Hold, the room I’ve been using the last few days of our stay here. The drool-smeared papers in my hand, and others spread around the table, were covered with maps of Theramore, lists of troop assignments, armament logistics, the crew manifesto of a goblin air galleon.

I ran my hands over the table to make sure it was really there. And then my uneasy brain went looking for hallucination in the next most likely place.

Had I imagined it? The other world, the demons, the Scourge, the fall of Orgrimmar…everything…could it have just been a dream? It seemed so real, the memories were so vivid…but…

I stood up, gathered more of the papers from the table, and started paging through them — not even reading anything on them, really, just wanting something I could feel in my hands. As I held the documents over the tabletop and looked at all the words without ever reading any of them, my arm brushed another paper, this one creased and folded, jutting out of my belt.

The military documents spilled around the floor as I grabbed the folded paper and rushed to unfold it. It was worn and stained with what looked like blood, just a torn-off scrap, not even half a page. Scrawled across it was the familiar handwriting of the Master Apothecary of Sylvanas’ Royal Society. Or the man who would become him.

They’re going to turn against you. Don’t let them.

He really, REALLY never listened. It’s like some weird matter of principle with him. I don’t even know if he was really trying to help, offering some begrudging, misguided gesture in parting…or if this was his way of giving me one last middle finger for the things I’d forced him to do. I don’t know if I could hold either against him.

But that sealed it. It all happened. Except that it didn’t, now.

It worked. We did it. We saved the world. It all happened, just the way I remembered it, just the way it was supposed to.

I walked over to the tower window. I needed some air to clear my head. I leaned out and looked across the Barrens. I could see Horde banners below, and a squad of Kor’kron wyvern riders circling past as they patrolled the area. And as I looked off into the distance, staring at the horizon more than anything, I started to make out wisps of smoke, faint black tendrils reaching up to the sky from old, spiteful fires that refused to go out completely, even after all this time.

Taurajo.

camptaurajo

I turned from the window and stepped back into the room.

And then I grabbed one of the chairs arranged around the table and threw it against the wall. The chair broke into pieces. I ran over and grabbed them up, one after another, breaking them into smaller pieces and smashing them against the wall again. And then a second chair. And a third. Screaming with each one — AT each one.

I threw them around the room until the chairs were pieces and the pieces were splinters, smashing them against the walls and the floor and each other as if by breaking them enough I could force back the thoughts I couldn’t help thinking.

putricide

putress2

I ran across the room to a bookcase that stood against one wall and sent it toppling. Books spilled around the floor. I lunged down, hunched over, grabbed them by the fistful and hurled them against the walls. Watched them clatter back to the floor. It didn’t help. I grabbed up more of them, pulling them open, ripping them apart at the spines, flinging loose pages around until they fluttered uselessly down around me.

Fluttered like shimmering white wings.

sylvanasvalkyr

I pounced back on the broken bookcase, yanked out one shelf, flung it across the room. It clattered to the floor. It didn’t break. I wrenched out a second shelf and threw it against the door, leaving a deep gash in the wood. That one didn’t break, either. Somehow that only made me angrier, sent me into a rage at its stubbornness, its stupid defiance, refusing to snap. How DARE it — how dare ANYTHING — and I ran to the door, grabbed up the fallen shelf, and beat it against the wall until it splintered.

It didn’t help. It wasn’t enough.

magatha

grebocliffwalkers

The door to the room opened and Malkorok leaned in. I only heard bits and pieces of whatever he said — something about the noise, and my yelling, and if I was all right. I spun on him, struck him across the face, then threw him back out of the room and down the stairs before slamming the door, rattling it on its hinges.

Today is not the day to ask me if I’m all right.

I grabbed one of the broken chair pieces and jammed the door shut. I wasn’t in any mood for interruptions, least of all from the likes of him.

wrathgate

alextraszawrath

The admiral’s bed — flung over, frame snapped, mattress torn open. Feathers floating through the air and scattering around the room. The nightstand next to the bed — lifted over my head and slammed down onto the floor, shattered awkwardly into pieces. Its single drawer split off awkwardly and spilled letters and trinkets across the floor. Part of it splintered off as I swung the nightstand down onto the floor and stabbed into my forearm. I barely felt it. I didn’t even notice until a spattering of blood started to dribble onto the letters and papers strewn around the floor.

cairnebloodhoof

cairneburial

It still wasn’t enough. It might never be enough.

Go be a hero, he told me. Go save the world. I did. We won. And all I had to do was kill him. All I had to do was burn Taurajo. All I had to do was become the final secret conspirator against our people in time of war, once upon a time. All I had to do was save traitors, destroy families, forsake all honor in the face of a battle too dire to be won any other way.

dranosh2

deathbringer

varokdranosh

I don’t know how long I can stand to live in this world if these are the choices I have to make to save it.

I was racing around the room in circles, kicking at anything in reach, clawing pictures down off the walls. Only really half seeing what was around me, just grabbing anything I could, then throwing it or stomping it underfoot or breaking it over one knee. At some point I found myself spinning in place, roaring madly at nothing, and then threw myself at the table, beating it with both fists, pounding over and over until the wood buckled and the beams split and it all came crashing down and still there I was among the pieces on the floor.

I pulled myself up and looked around the ruins of the room, choking down air in gasps.

This room isn’t big enough. It isn’t big enough. Nothing in it is big enough.

I need something bigger.

We march tomorrow. Theramore burns.

 

 

[Wrathgate (wide shot) image provided by Angelya from Revive and RejuvenateProfessor Putricide, Putress, and Cairne Bloodhoof (living) images provided by Rioriel from Postcards From Azeroth; click the links in this sentence to see the souped-up Postcard versions! All images used here with permission and many thanks.]

 

What goes around

northwatch2

It’s been four days since the Razing of Northwatch Hold. We’ve been camped here at the base without a sign of Alliance retaliation. I’ve been mulling over a few possibilities that are still in play for the next step, and giving our troops time to rest and build up their anticipation for the next battle. Apparently, though, the down time has just given some of the higher-ups time to stir up trouble for themselves. You know what they say about idle hands.

Malkorok came to me claiming that a batch of the other leaders were planning to gather to talk mutiny. I didn’t put much stock in it at first. It’s no secret that Vol’jin and Baine aren’t crazy about my plan, but in the end, they’re loyal to the Horde. Malkorok is dedicated to his job, and good at it, but sometimes I think he gets a little overzealous looking for conspiracies and enemies behind every shadow. Maybe it just comes from all that time in the Blackrock clan under Rend. Anyway, this sounded like one of those overzealous times.

At least that’s what I thought.

Today, Zixx Grindgear – one of the goblin zeppelin captains – came to see me. Malkorok wasn’t going to let him in originally, but the little guy managed to convince him he had some news I needed to hear. When Malkorok brought him to see me, Grindgear claimed that Hamuul Runetotem had asked him to attend a meeting with Baine and others to discuss their…“concerns” about the mission. At this point, it was too much to brush off, so I told Grindgear to go ahead and attend the meeting. Malkorok and I wouldn’t be far behind him.

When we left to check up on this meeting – along with a detachment of Kor’kron I was hoping I wouldn’t need – I decided to bring Mokvar along as well, to keep a record or whatever we found.

What we found made my blood boil.

 

Garrosh, Malkorok, and Mokvar approach the tree where several Horde figures have gathered around a campfire: Baine Bloodhoof, Vol’jin, Hamuul Runetotem, Frandis Farley, Kelantir Bloodblade, Captain Zixx Grindgear, first mate Blar Xyzzik, Margolag. Garrosh et al listen from the nearby bushes as the meeting carries on.

BAINE: …our purpose here tonight is not to lead an insurrection, but to discuss what he has done up until this point and the wisdom – or lack thereof – of his choices.

FRANDIS: I serve the Horde. But it seems the Horde does not serve me, or my lady. We were once human; I myself once lived in the very city of Stormwind, which is certain to come beating down on us at any moment. The Alliance is surely aware of what has happened by now, and I think Lady Jaina too wise a leader not to know that Theramore could be next in line to fall. Yet knowing all this, Lady Sylvanas agreed to send aid to the endeavor. But to what end? We are gathered! The Horde has food, supplies, and for those of you whose blood still flows in your veins, I know that blood burns hot for battle. Why is he waiting? Each day that passes, his troops become more uncertain. This is not wisdom. This is simply…irresponsibility.

KELANTIR: I agree with Captain Farley. His lands and ours are vulnerable if the humans decide to retaliate there instead of sending ships to Theramore. The swifter the strike, the swifter the reward. I cannot comprehend why Garrosh delays. More time serves our enemies and harms us.

BLAR: I don’t know why he did this in the first place. Trade Prince Gallywix might see coffers overflowing with gold, but all I see are goblins being used as cannon fodder for no real profit.

VOL’JIN: You all know da trolls be a proud an’ ancient people. We joined da Horde because Sen’jin had a vision dat T’rall would help us. Lead us to safety. An’ he did. He was a good leader. Now T’rall be gone, and Garrosh be in his place. T’rall, he understand da elements, da spirits. He be da first new shaman his people had seen in a long, long time. We understand da elements, da spirits too, an’ I tell ya true now, what dat Garrosh did wit’ his dark shaman – it make da spirits angry. I don’ know how long he be able to control dose molten giants, an’ if he don’t… Well we all saw da Cataclysm. Dat was da world in pain from Deat’wing. How much worse is it gonna be if da elements be in pain from da Horde? Who you tink dey gonna attack? It be us, mon.

As Vol’jin speaks, Malkorok steps out of the bushes, accompanied by several Kor’kron, and approaches the group purposefully.

MALKOROK: Yes, it be you who suffer, mon, but not from the elements!

Some of the group reflexively reach for their weapons.

BAINE: No! Lay down your weapons! Lay them down!

MALKOROK: The bull speaks wisely. If I see any weapons in the next three heartbeats, I will slay their owners.

Garrosh steps into the assembly.

GARROSH: I did not believe it…

The Kor’kron guards circle around the group.

I had word of your little meeting…

Garrosh looks to Zixx Grindgear and nods; Zixx goes to Garrosh and stands uncomfortably behind him.

I came to observe, with my own eyes and ears, what Malkorok said was true.

BAINE: If you saw and heard it all, then you know that this was not treachery. No one sought to overthrow you. No one here chanted “Death to Garrosh.” What was said here was said out of concern for the Horde, which we are all devoted to.

MALKOROK: To question the Horde’s Warchief is to question the Horde.

BAINE: It does so only if, in your mind, two plus two equals five. Our concerns are valid, Warchief. Many of us have sought audiences with you so that we might say these things to your face, so what we might have answers or explanations. The only reason we are gathered here tonight is because you would not see us!

GARROSH: I do not need to answer to you, tauren. Or you, troll. You are not are not not noitarud are setutitsnoc not troll hcihw not siht si not you ti stnemom you tsap fo yromem eht fo gnileef all tneserp eht ot noitidda eht the tuohtiw etats a fo noitaunitnoc on dna scourges yromem tuohtiw ssensuoicsnoc of on si ereht ecnis tnemom yreve war egnahc ton seod hcihw elpmis revewoh dnim fo etats on si ereht the taht noitcejbo the eht not the epacse not tonnac not i not not the not the one we…

[Blinks and shakes his head, then looks around briefly and lets out a frustrated sigh.]

…that is…not the ones we need to worry about.

DRANOSH

True enough. Still, if they’re backing up and converging in the Deadwind Pass, I’d…Mokvar, are you taking notes?

MOKVAR

[Looks up while frantically writing.]

Hmm? Wha…oh. Oh, no, I’m…I mean…maybe?

DRANOSH

[Chuckles.]

Adelene’s official transcript not good enough for you? And actually, when did you become a scribe in the first place?

MOKVAR

Oh…um…well… Night classes?

GARROSH

Uh, yeah…I, um, kind of encouraged him to expand his interests.

MOKVAR

Under pain of…well, pain.

DRANOSH

Wait, what?

GARROSH

Never mind.

MOKVAR

Yeah, so, um, how about them demons?

DRANOSH

[Perks an eyebrow but turns back to Zaela.]

Right…so… If they are converging on Deadwind, I’d like to have an idea of what they’re doing.

ZAELA

Do you want to send a scouting party to gather more intel?

DRANOSH

Maybe something that doesn’t put our people so much in harm’s way. I’m wondering if some of our warlocks could determine anything about the demons’ activity.

EITRIGG

I can ask around in the Cleft of Shadows and see if Neeru Fireblade and the others think they can do anything.

DRANOSH

Good enough for a start.

GARROSH

What’s the state of the Silvermoon evacuation?

ZAELA

The last few gunships should be leaving by the end of the day.

EITRIGG

We’re sure the magic barrier around Quel’Danas will hold?

DRANOSH

It should. Those incantations patched together the strongest warding magics the Sha’tari, Argent Crusade, and Kirin Tor have to offer.

MAGATHA

Basically, if they don’t hold, there likely wasn’t anything we could have set in place that would.

ZAELA

Once the last of the Silvermoon contingent gets here, we can redeploy as need be around Kalimdor or Northrend.

GARROSH

By the way, speaking of which, who was that guy leading the blood elf regiments at Elrendar? That guy was pretty badass – I saw him make short work of a TON of those Scourge.

DRANOSH

You mean Lor’themar?

GARROSH

Is that his name? Sounds familiar. Who is he?

DRANOSH

Um, he’s Regent-Lord of Quel’thalas.

GARROSH

…Oh?

MOKVAR

Yeah, uh, leader of the blood elves?

GARROSH

Oh, don’t YOU start acting like you always remember—

MOKVAR

Ahem.

GARROSH

Uh, yeah, never mind. Anyway, that guy bears watching for other missions, is all I’m saying.

ZAELA

You’ll have the chance to work with him again soon enough. He and Liadrin will be arriving on the last gunship, once they’ve seen that the last of the evacuees are out.

DRANOSH

I assume Lady Liadrin will want to rejoin the other Argent forces in Northrend.

ZAELA

I would think so.

EITRIGG

We’ve also had a request from Lady Proudmoore for supplementary forces to be sent to Theramore.

GARROSH

[Bristles briefly.]

Might…uh…that might be a good spot for some of the incoming Silvermoon troops…

DRANOSH

Agreed.

MAGATHA

Perhaps a combined detachment of some of the incoming blood elves and a platoon or two of our troops from somewhere like Feralas?

GARROSH

[Glaring at Magatha.]

Since when are you an expert on troop deployment?

MAGATHA

I’m not, certainly. I merely suppose it might be beneficial to send support from multiple quarters of the Horde.

EITRIGG

It would be a positive gesture diplomatically…

MAGATHA

And I only suggest Feralas because, at present, there’s very little activity there, so we could likely spare the personnel.

GARROSH

I’d just as soon not weaken any of our stable positions is all, though.

DRANOSH

It’s worth considering, but I would agree with Garrosh – if we’re going to divert any Kalimdor units, it might be a better plan to send a regiment or two from Camp Taurajo.

[Garrosh glances to Mokvar, smiling faintly.]

Speaking of which, Garrosh, while we’re talking about sending support to Theramore, I want to get your opinion. I’ve been thinking it would be a good idea to deploy a standing officer for our forces in Theramore, to provide military advice and represent the Horde in command decisions.

GARROSH

Makes sense.

DRANOSH

I’m considering General Krom’gar. You’ve worked with him before, haven’t you? What do you think?

GARROSH

[Glances uneasily at Mokvar.]

Oh… Umm…

DRANOSH

Is something wrong?

GARROSH

Well…to tell the truth… Krom’gar’s a good soldier and all, but…I’m not sure he’s someone I would want to point to and say “This guy represents the Horde.” I guess you might say he has some…temperament issues.

DRANOSH

[Smirking.]

Pot, kettle?

GARROSH

[Grinning.]

Hey, you asked.

DRANOSH

Hmm.  Well I’ll have a look at a few other options. In the meantime…do we have any other business, Warlord?

ZAELA

That covers all the scouting reports, Warchief.

DRANOSH

In that case, I think that’s meeting adjourned.

[Eitrigg and Zaela start gathering documents from the conference table.]

MAGATHA

Warchief, a minor question if I may?

DRANOSH

What is it, Magatha?

MAGATHA

As we’re done here, might I make use of the war room for a brief meeting with General Grebo?

[Garrosh bristles at the name and glares at Magatha.]

I have an appointment with him momentarily, and, not knowing how long our meeting would run today, asked him to meet me here.

DRANOSH

That’s fine, Magatha. I need to make a few stops around Orgrimmar anyway.

[Grins as he walks to the door.]

No crazy parties while I’m out.

MAGATHA

Thank you, Warchief. Good day.

Dranosh’s scribe’s record stops here, so time to kick it back over to Mokvar…

Dranosh exits the Grommash Hold war room, accompanied by Eitrigg and scribe Adelene Sunlace. Warlord Zaela follows close behind.

GARROSH: <calling after the others> You all go on, I’ll catch up in a minute. I just need to talk to Mokvar about something for a minute.

MAGATHA:  I can go if you wish, Overlord. Would you prefer privacy?

Magatha begins to walk past Garrosh, heading toward the door.

GARROSH: Actually, some privacy would definitely be a good thing.

As Magatha passes, Garrosh suddenly strikes her with his fist, knocking her to the ground. She cries out as she falls, then looks around in confusion.

MAGATHA: What— Overlord, what is it?

Garrosh grabs her by her cloak and flings her across the room, away from the door.

GARROSH: What is it? Oh, oh, Magatha, I wouldn’t even know where to start…

Garrosh walks past Magatha – striking her down again as he passes – and toward the platform on which the Warchief’s chair stands.

GARROSH: <looking to Mokvar from the Warchief’s seat> Only a couple things badly out of place in this world, wouldn’t you say?

Garrosh reaches above the Warchief’s seat and pulls Gorehowl from the wall, where it hangs on display in honor of Grom Hellscream. Garrosh turns and walks back toward Magatha, wielding the axe.

MAGATHA: Overlord! Garrosh! You mustn’t! I— I— I haven’t done anything!

GARROSH: And you never will.

Garrosh swings Gorehowl down furiously, slashing Magatha’s head from her body.

MOKVAR: Garrosh…you…

GARROSH: Is this the part where you try to tell me this one was innocent? Really?

MOKVAR: No… I mean… I just…

Footsteps come from the entrance to the war room. Seconds later, General Grebo enters and immediately gawks at the sight of Magatha’s headless body across the room.

GREBO: <running over to the body> What— what happened here? What have you done?

GARROSH: It’s funny you should ask, Grebo…

Garrosh eyes Grebo for a moment, then walks up to him and pushes Gorehowl into his hands.

What we’ve done…is hear a commotion in here, then come back to find you standing over what’s left of Magatha Grimtotem with the bloody axe still in your hands. <looks back at Mokvar> Isn’t that right, Mokvar?

GREBO: Wh-what?!

GARROSH: Isn’t it, Mokvar?

MOKVAR: <nods slowly> That’s the way I remember it.

GREBO: But…I…Overlord, you…

GARROSH: And to think…you just helped yourself to Gorehowl to use as the murder weapon…

Garrosh stands eye to eye with Grebo, tapping on Gorehowl with one finger.

That axe belonged to my father, you know. Did you know that, Grebo?

GREBO: <looking back and forth, panicked, between Garrosh, Mokvar, and Gorehowl> But I…sir, you just…I don’t…

GARROSH: And I’ll be DAMNED before I let someone stroll in and tarnish my family’s honor like that, Grebo.

Garrosh grabs Gorehowl and yanks it back out of Grebo’s hands.

My mother taught me that.

GREBO: Garrosh…Overlord…you can’t possibly be serious—

MOKVAR: Is he resisting arrest? Sounds to me like he’s maybe resisting arrest.

GARROSH: You know, I think you may be right. <to Grebo> Please resist arrest. Please.

 

On the down side, Grebo didn’t put up much more of an argument. Probably because he was too baffled to come up with much more to say, but whatever. I don’t need to know the details from this world. The fact that he had SOMETHING going on with Magatha, considering he was on the take in our reality, is all I needed to hear.

We handed him over to Dranosh traight away. I thought at least THEN he would have tried to put up an argument, but no. HE just kept quiet – resigned. I suppose I can’t blame him. He knew as well as I did – Dranosh didn’t need to hear any more than the account Mokvar and I gave him. What chance was there he would ever listen to the likes of Grebo over me?

It didn’t take long to be settled. Dranosh sentenced Grebo sentenced Grebo Grebo ytienatnatsni sentenced ylno grebo settled tub grebo noitarud on grebo dranosh eb dluow dranosh ereht tneserp eht otni tsap eht fo lavivrus siht tuohtiw all redlo worg ew sa su dniheb gard ew daol reivaeh llits dna reivaeh eht the ytilauq fo egnahc launitnoc sti yb gniwohs yldnuoforp scourges erom ro tsap eht fo egami gniworg ylsselesaec eht mrof tcnitsid of a ni ti nihtiw gniniatnoc rehtie tneserp eht tneserp war eht otni tsap eht sgnolorp hcihw yromem a fo two efil suounitnoc two eht phase two si phase noitarud phase renni phase phase two phase two is ready to go, on my go-ahead. We should be poised for a great victory, and all the while all I hear are complaints and objections. One outburst of dissent after another, keeping Malkorok a dozen times busier than I ever thought he would need to be.

And you know, here’s the thing. I never asked for this job. Thrall appointed me as Warchief in his place because he thought I represented the best option for the Horde, and since then I’ve done everything I could think to do to secure our future and assure our rightful place in the world – in a position of strength. People forget that ever since the Burning Legion came to Draenor, our people have gone from one brand of slavery to another – to the demons, to the blood haze, to the humans. Never again. I’ve tried to guarantee that our people would never again call someone or something else master. If the humans and elves need to be put in their place in the process, so be it. If the humans end up paying for some of what they’ve done to our kind, all the better.

And yet all I hear, over and over, are the objections. Try to secure our place in Kalimdor, and it’s “Garrosh, you mustn’t!” Go to war with the ENEMY WE ARE SUPPOSEDLY AT WAR WITH, and hear nothing but “Oh Garrosh, how could you?” You know, maybe Dranosh was on to something in that other world. As much as it sickens me to imagine working with the humans – “Sure, you held our fathers in internment camps and almost broke our entire civilization, but sure, no hard feelings!” – maybe it’s just less of a damn headache.

And you know what? Who’s to say that this timeline – the world we’re in now – is the one that was supposed to happen?

All I know is that I look around in that world, and see people still alive who deserve to be, and people dead who deserve the same. Dranosh and Cairne, and Patrick Faranell and the family he should have had the chance to have. Magatha. Grebo. No goddamn war for everyone to bitch and moan about, and someone else in this job to listen to the bitching rather than me. Someone BETTER at it than me.

But this world, the one that’s supposed to be the right one? Everything is backwards. Upside down. Nothing is the way it should be. So you know what? Bring on the other world. Let it bleed on in. Soridormi said Faranell’s become a shatter point in time? Then bring him here so I can kick the cracks and make them crack faster. Sure, we’ll have to find something to do for Faranell. We can’t leave him doomed to spend forever bouncing around in time. But we WILL find something. We always do – we find ourselves in these situations, and agonize and torment ourselves until we find that magic escape clause. We’ll save him somehow.

But this world we’re in now – this one is the nightmare. A little longer, and we’ll all finally be able to wake up.

And all I have to do is sit here and do nothing.

 

Readying for war

greatgate

Preparations are going well for our moves against the Alliance. I’ve issued orders to the various leaders for troop assignments and gotten confirmation back. Begrudging confirmations in most cases, but confirmations nonetheless. Strangely enough, the only one who seems even remotely jazzed about us going on the offensive is Gallywix, although I suppose it might just be that EVERYTHING seems more exciting when you’ve been hiding in a cave or at the bottom of the ocean or wherever the fuck he’s been all this time.

Granted, I’m pretty sure he’s only enthused because his cartel is getting paid and because he figures taking over Kalimdor will mean a stranglehold on trade. And I’ll be the first one to admit that I was lukewarm at best about the goblins joining the Horde in the first place. Part of that was Thrall sending that representative from the Lost Isles with a letter telling me to admit them into the Horde – like, dude, knock it off with the backseat Warchiefing, okay? I mean I know I was still new at the job and it was a whole “acting Warchief” deal, but come on. Plus it really didn’t help matters that after he told me to admit the goblins, he decided to be cute and finish the letter with “And yes, I would like fries with that.”

Anyway, though, Gallywix and his people are turning out to be useful as far as getting siege engines built, along with another heavy combat transport or two that may come in handy for a possible part of the Theramore plan. So at least they’re good for something.

If nothing else, it’s good to finally get this plan back off the backburner again. I know it’s been a while since I’ve mentioned moving on Theramore, and some of you were probably starting to wonder if I’d just dropped it. Never was the case. I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t rushing into a bad game plan out of anger and setting us all up for the whole thing to blow up in our faces. That and realizing there were a few parts of the original plan that probably weren’t that great an idea. And then we had that whole anti-plague business start up in Southshore, and off we went to the Caverns of Time…and yeah. Anyway, now we’re all back – well, at least until the next time the timeline decides to go all KAPOW on us again, but there’s no sense sitting around picking our noses waiting on that to happen. And everything’s ready to go.

When he had the big council meeting in Grommash Hold the other day, Baine and Vol’jin in particular were fairly grumpy about what I had planned. With Vol’jin I can kind of understand, seeing as he pretty much just likes to be a pain in the ass. But I’m not too crazy about this whole vibe I’ve been getting from lots of people since I’ve been Warchief, this whole “Hold on, hold on, I know we’re at war with the Alliance and everything, but OMG we can’t actually ATTACK them like WTF!” deal some people seem to have going on. Uh, yeah, fuckers, that’s what you fucking DO.

So when I issued marching orders for the first step of our attack plan, I tried to build in a little reminder of what’s actually going on for Baine and Vol’jin. Baine is going to gather his forces at the Great Gate in Mulgore. Vol’jin, likewise, is rounding up his trolls from the Echo Isles and take them to Mulgore to join forces with Baine. Granted, that’s a long trip for them, but it should pay off in a few ways. One, those scrawny-ass trolls could probably use the exercise. Two, it helps give the tauren some backup for any fighting they get into as they cross the southern Barrens. And three, it means that on their way to Northwatch Hold, Baine and Vol’jin will both be leading their people right by what’s left of Camp Taurajo.

I hope they march slowly. Let them take a good long look and remember what these humans they’re so eager to keep the peace with have done to us.

I’ve got to make a few stops around Orgrimmar to make some final preparations. With any luck, by the end of the day we’ll be ready to start our march from here.

More updates soon.

 

Camp Taurajo

taurajo

Just arrived at Desolation Hold. I’ll be meeting with Warlord Bloodhilt shortly, but first I need to take an hour or two for myself to let off some steam. It would have been really nice if this first inspection trip after Stonetalon could have gotten off to a good start, but then again I probably just have myself to blame this time.

I should have known better than to start off by going to the ruins of Camp Taurajo.

Of all the things that gall me about the humans, today reminds me of the one I hate the most: their arrogance. Their condescension. Their unrelenting, unmitigated, insufferable smug superiority. All wrapped up with their limitless, guiltless capacity to pat themselves on the back even while they stab you in yours. Worse than a whole race of rogues, they are.

They call us savages.

US.

Look around what’s left of that village and tell me who the savages are. Where is YOUR demon blood, humans? Who is YOUR Mannoroth? We orcs embraced a madness for a time, it’s true, and sold our souls for foolish, fleeting promises of power. What did you sell YOURS for? It looks like given half a chance, you couldn’t give them away fast enough.

And they call US the savages.

The sight of the burning buildings is nothing. It’s the smell of the burning bodies – smoking remains of tauren everywhere. You can’t escape that smell. I’m never going to a steak house again as long as I live. And even then I don’t know what’s worse, the ones that burned, or the ones I can still see – stretched out on the ground, clearly fleeing. Civilians. Children. Those who hung back trying to buy the others time. That’s what their flight master was doing. Omusa Thunderhorn – I knew him. Holding the line on the western edge of the village. His two wyverns fighting and falling beside him…it really is a trait they all share, isn’t it, that loyalty? Mortimer sat by the bodies for a while before I could get him to move. I’d never thought the beasts could grieve. Shows what I know.

There were human looters still lurking about when I arrived. Because there really is no final insult great enough for these humans, is there? They swarmed the place like ants. It seemed as if around every corner there were two more. I was supposed to be passing through to survey the site for just a few minutes. I ended up staying for over an hour, just to make sure there wasn’t a single one of the vermin left living. It’s a pity these humans die so easily, or I might have a feeling of satisfaction.

And then there’s the human behind all this. A general named Hawthorne. Horde agents tracked him down and slaughtered him for his crime – I don’t know whether to give them medals or resent them for depriving me of the chance to do it myself. But you know what?  Just as well. Death was too good for him…death was a tiny fragment of what he deserved…death is what he got. A clean death, a quick death, a body returned to his people for whatever burial human custom requires.

And we’re the savages.

They’ll pay for this. I’ll tell you that much. There are whole generations of humans still unborn who will live to curse what’s happened here.

They have no idea what savagery is.

They will learn.

 

 

[Header image provided by regular reader and commenter Eravia, used here with permission and many thanks.]