Tag Archives: daria l’rayne

30 Days of Character Development #9: Tirion Fordring

[Periodically — granted, that’s been a long period in this case — 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! I promise the next one will come along with much less delay than this one…]

 

Name: Tirion Rutherford Alouicious Wulfric Fordring IV

tirion_profile1Occupation: Supreme Commander of the Argent Crusade, Highlord of the Silver Hand, co-leader of the Ashen Verdict, lord of Mardenholde Keep, governor of Hearthglen

Race: Human

Class: Paladin

Age: 59

Group affiliations: Argent Crusade (leader), Knights of the Silver Hand (founding member and highlord), Ashen Verdict (co-leader), Hearthglen (former and current governor), Kingdom of Lordaeron (former citizen), Alliance of Lordaeron (former member)

Known relatives: Karandra Fordring (wife, deceased), Taelan Fordring (son, deceased), Devlin Fordring (father, deceased), Talya Fordring (mother, deceased), Lucius Fordring (uncle, deceased), Tirion Fordring III (grandfather, deceased) (Apparent survival tip: Don’t be related to Tirion Fordring.)

Earth Online notes: Tirion Fordring doesn’t play Earth Online, as far as anyone knows. (And you know it wouldn’t be even remotely difficult to pick him out if he ever turned up online…)

First appearance: “Monday mailbag” (first mention and anecdote), “Where did all the words go?” (first transcript appearance)

Key posts and plot points:

  • Tirion Fordring, obviously, is a major lore character whose backstory is long and voluminous (fittingly enough, eh?). We’ll only be touching on plot points here that are immediately relevant to his blog appearances; those interested in a broader look at Highlord Paragraph’s history should check out his entry on Wowpedia.
  • Tirion, as it turns out, had a hand in some of the…ahem…cranial oddities of Garrosh’s Cataclysm-era model. When asked by a mailbag reader about his unusually small head, Garrosh related that he accidentally squeezed his own head down to its smaller size while trying to cover his ears to block out Tirion’s endless droning in Icecrown Citadel.
  • Tirion’s first major appearance in the blog occurred early in the Anti-Plague of Southshore arc, in which he set Garrosh on the trail that would eventually lead him to old Southshore by relating the story of the mysterious crystal that the Knights of the Silver Hand used to forge the Ashbringer. (The blog version of the Ashbringer story, incidentally, blog-canonically confirms a longstanding fan theory: that the crystal from which the Ashbringer was forged was actually the remains of a dying Naaru.) He later gave the human incarnation of Edwin Faranell a home in Hearthglen (until everything started to go all wibbly whimey splodey).
  • In the subsequent Timequake storyline, Garrosh found himself drawn into an alternate timeline in which Tirion died in Icecrown Citadel and was raised as the first of the Lich King’s new Deathbringers. In this timeline, the Ashbringer had passed to Lady Liadrin, who had assumed leadership of the Argent Crusade after Tirion’s death.
  • Argent Confessor Paletress, as depicted in “Argent Gossip Girl,” suggests that to those who work with him closely on a daily basis, Tirion may be more temperamental, lewd, and alcohol-driven than his outer persona might suggest.
  • Tirion made a memorable appearance in Orgrimmar in “Anger Management,” in which, “sponsored” by Eitrigg, Tirion attended the anger management class conducted by Ben-Lin Cloudstrider. Evidently, Tirion gets rather angry when drunk. There was some indication that Eitrigg has been laboring with mixed success to steer his friend away from his worse inclinations. Poor Eitrigg.
  • Tirion’s appearances in the blog are often accompanied by cameos from Daria L’Rayne, one of his aides in Mardenholde Keep. As a coda to a number of these posts, the long-suffering Daria offers words of wisdom in the form of Daria’s Pro Tips for Dealing with Tirion. Pro tips enumerated thus far have been:
    • #8: Do not wear black mageweave leggings. Ever. Ever.
    • #11: If he asks you if you want to hear a story, say yes. He’s going to tell you either way, but if you say no, he’ll just take longer getting to it. Think of it as steering into the skid, only with the skid being a tedious barrage of words.
    • #14: Never make eye contact. Eye contact makes him assume you’re interested, and increases word output by 25%.
  • Let’s establish some bonus blog canon for the first time: Tirion shares a birthday with our very own Warchief. Specifically, December 17. (Backstory: While working on a timeline of blog and canonical lore events — which will be added to the When Is This? page as soon as I finish getting a table set up and formatted — I noticed that Garrosh mentioned being 34 years old in one post that, in the world of the blog, would have taken place in November, then later noted that he was 35 years old in a post that took place in February. This meant that Garrosh’s birthday would probably be either in December or January, and since my own birthday falls on December 17, I figured, what the hell, I’ll give Garrosh that birthdate too. Shortly thereafter, an Ask.fm question prompted me to do a little research on famous people who shared my birthday. One notable I discovered who was born on December 17 was actor Bernard Hill, who, in addition to playing Theoden in the Lord of the Rings movies (dock yourself 20 nerd points if you needed me to tell you that), is also the in-game voice actor for one Tirion Fordring. And from there…well, really, those last couple dots just connect themselves.)
  • Thanks to regular commenter (and unofficial blog historian) Shen Wei, Tirion Fordring has a presence on Twitter as @HighlordFordrin. Yes, you read that right. Tirion on Twitter. The 140-character-limit jokes practically write themselves.

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In his own words:

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

Greetings and good day, my friend! A pleasure to have your company this fine afternoon in Heathglen! Far too few visitors have graced these halls in recent days — not always so, I assure you! There was once a time — not long ago, in fact, but soon after I made my return from Northrend to take my place once again in Mardenholde Keep — when travelers would frequent Hearthglen, and these halls would sing with the raucous voices of fellowship! But strangely, my friend, most strangely, those voices have of late grown fewer and less frequent, as these past few years, for reasons unknown surely to any but the sagest seers, fewer and fewer visitors have found their way to these gates. Do not misunderstand me, of course, good pilgrim; a regular stream of adventurers still make their way here — often at the behest of my friend and colleague Nathaniel Dumah — drawn in equal measure from the peoples of the Alliance and Horde alike, offering their most-welcome aid to our noble efforts here. Nevertheless, their numbers grow few, and often transient, arriving in haste and departing just as swiftly, caught up, no doubt, in the rush and tumult to which youthful fervor is predisposed; and so our halls grow strangely quiet, our streets peculiarly empty of the visitors who once passed routinely within these walls. Surely not, however, for the lack of a warm welcome to be found here in Hearthglen, I assure you, my friend! To which you yourself, I hope, might attest! And even not, dear visitor, you may rest assured that I will endeavor personally to amend such failings before your time here as my guest has come to a close. A time, I can only hope, that will not run its course too quickly!

But now, I fear, I may have gone briefly astray of your original inquiry. But you will, I trust, forgive me my preamble, born as it was of the enthusiasm of a delighted host! Now then, to your question! What was our topic again, my friend?

Oh. Um… your relationship with your mother and father?

Ah yes! I recall it now! So you care to hear of the Fordring line that came before me! Quite the yarn to be spun, I can assure you, my friend, as the Fordrings, I will have you know, were present among the earliest of settlers to make their way north from the kingdom Arathor to lay the foundation of what would in time become Lordaeron. My kin arose from humble beginnings, as did many noble houses of their day, but thus began the story of a family line which, if you will forgive the brief immodesty of familial pride, may now lay claim to a legacy to rival those of some of the most celebrated houses on our time. Alas, my friend, it is a legacy that now nears its end, as — with the tragic passing of my beloved, departed son Taelan — I now stand as the last of the line of Fordrings. I do not ask your pity, though, good sir. All great stories must of necessity find their end — and I assure you I have every hope that my own chapter is yet far from its final pages! Regardless, I know you are not here to hear of endings, and no endings will you be forced upon you! Beginnings, then! The beginning of our tale, of the House of Fordring, a story — nay, a saga! — that now spans well past a thousand years! A thousand years, my friend! Can you fathom it? Such spans of time must tax the imagination of even the greatest of mortal minds, at least among we races who are so short-lived. Surely to the night elves — my esteemed aide Miss L’Rayne proudly among their number — this millennium-long expanse might seem as fleeting as a summer afternoon, and yet, to we more mortal beings? An endless expanse, long enough to encompass the rise and fall of empires and string together generations by the dozen. And so allow me to grace you, as per your inquiry, some small sampling of those generations: the line of Fordrings as they reach out across a thousand years! Again I ask you, my friend, can you imagine it? A thousand years of Fordring!

I think I’m beginning to understand what that would be like.

Hah! Indeed! Then yours is a keener intellect than mine, my friend! Often have I pondered the vastness of history, and equally often have I found my mind incommensurate to the task of grasping its enormity. But then, I labor under no delusions: I am an educated man, good fellow, but I do not presume to count myself among the great thinkers of our day. Perhaps history will count you among them, eh? Perhaps so! It would not surprise me in the least, noble scholar, for I see in you the quiet focus that oft accompanies great minds: you speak little, and think much! Is it not so? Indeed, I count myself fortunate to have found myself, by serendipity, in the company of many such minds.

And so, let us begin, let us not? The day grows short, and we have centuries of history to discuss! And so, to the beginning, and the mighty realm of Arathor!

Actually, this question was really just about your parents.

Ah! I see, I see — and here you prove me right, my friend! The focused mind of the scholar you do indeed possess, training with marksman-like precision upon the key object of your inquiry! It is a discipline of mind that serves you well in your studies, my friend; I myself would make a path through libraries and symposia that would surely prove more discursive. A credit to you! Yet if you would indulge an old man his musings, might I urge you in your pursuits to be wary of too great a focus, a narrowing of vision so intent as to cause all the world around you to fall away. My own dear uncle Lucius, I’ll have you know, fell victim to just such proclivities; he was a scholar in his own right, in his day, though he fell victim to misfortune ere he could complete such research as might be remembered. He, too, was ever focused on his studies: toiling night and day over tomes and scrolls; scrying into the records of the past in tireless search for hidden clues to unfathomable puzzles; never wavering, never relenting, until, at last, from too long reading and too short sleeping, my poor, dear uncle finally lost his grasp on reality, and spent his remaining days rambling through the world chasing bats and railing against windmills. His is, indeed, a tragic but fascinating tale in its own right, one which I suspect you may well find instructive. I recall all too well the final days of our interaction, when he lived near Andorhal, not far from this very place.

I’tirionprofile3m sure that’s fascinating and all, but… your parents.

Hah! Well played, good sir, well played! You catch an old man once again in his departures into memory. For such is the burden of so long life, is it not, my friend? The ease with which one may yield to the temptation of memory, to wander wistfully back to revisit a life well-lived. Ah, but I forget myself now, for I see your eyes yet glimmer with the brightness of youth, though I suspect I may yet catch as well the momentary, ephemeral shadow of hardship. Such is the burden for us all, is it not, my friend, all of us who have lived through the mounting troubles of our troubled age? Dark days, my noble scholar. Yet hope endures for a world we might yet build.

In any case, your question deserves an answer. Let me turn now, at last, to the crux.

Oh thank goodness.

My parents were modest in means but noble in mien. As I have alluded to, our family had been among the earliest of Arathi settlers to undertake the sojourn north into the land that would come be known as Lordaeron — ah, fear not, my friend; I see the shadow of vexation fall over your eyes, but I assure you no harm befell them during the trek, and while the details of their travels could spin into many a captivating a yarn in their own right, I must surely for not stay the course with the matter at hand. You shall not lure me into digression, my friend, so for now you must need content yourself with noting down points for subsequent inquiry! I commend you, though, for your obvious fascination — ah, your curiosity recommends you, good sir.

Now where was I? Oh yes! My parents were the most recent of tradesmen and craftsmen in the Fordring line — occasionally taking arms in defense of the kingdom, but, while serving with honor and distinction, never garnering acclaim for heroic deeds of particular note. Nevertheless, we were an honored family, respected, and while never affluent, my parents never wanted for the necessities, nor indeed some modest few of the pleasantries, of life. Just so, I cannot say I knew want as a child, though in retrospect I likewise cannot say I was showered with material things — the world, it seemed, furnished me with toys and diversions enough, without my needing to pester my parents to secure me others from the local shops. That, I suppose, was an austerity of nature instilled in me by my mother, Talya, who I recall would often remark on the misguided avarices that often plagued the ambitious: that the sense of one’s own happiness oft would rise from comparison between the measure of what one has, against what one wants; and that far too many of us err in thinking that the key to their contentment lies in maximizing the former, when in truth the key is minimizing the latter.

Clearly, of course, good fellow, I did not fully apprehend the wisdom of my mother’s words — hardly was I a deep thinker as a child. Indeed, one might yet argue, hardly am I one now! Hah! I see the look in your eyes, my friend, and know that I have beaten you to the jest! Hah again, I say! Well played again, sir!

Where was I?

Well, I think that pretty much covered–

Ah yes! My parents! And so, my dear, departed mother instilled in my a modesty of want that, I am sure, forestalled in me any sense of limitation in our means. My father, meanwhile, the late sir Delvin Fordring, took pains to teach me of duty and honor, and the kinship of all mortal souls. It was he who instilled in me an understanding of the fine line that separates even the most fortunate from the least, and the resulting shared duty that unites us all in turn. For we are all our brother’s keeper, are we not, my friend? And just so, under my father’s influence — aside perhaps from the earliest of youthful misjudgments, which, I assure you, Father was only too quick to correct, with no small degree of sternness — even before I had reached my teenage years, more than one would-be schoolyard bully had found his nose bloodied at my still-growing hands. I recall, indeed, on more occasion than one, returning home bearing on my own person the unmistakable marks of scuffle; to which Father’s only inquiry would be “Whose bruises would they have been, if not yours?”; to which — provided my truthful response: one smaller, one weaker, one set upon by an assailant against whom they could pose no defense — his only judgment would be “Then wear them well.” It would be the sense of duty and compassion instilled in me by both my parents in kind that would send me, soon enough, into service in the defense of Lordaeron. Would that they were still with us, to witness the world that yet we — I — strive to build in their memory, in their honor, a lasting tribute to their guidance.

So… Are you…finished?

My friend? Did I omit some salient detail you had hoped to glean from my youth? By all means, sir, if you feel some facet remains overlooked in my haste to expedite the tale–

No, no, that’s fine. I should probably get to the next question.

By all means! The night is young, and I am, of course, at your disposal, my friend, for however long I might be of aid to you!

Right… I kind of figured. Okay, so…next question:

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

I am a veteran of many battles of many wars, my friend — too many, indeed, for who but a fool or a monster would wish upon this world further bloodshed, when far too great a toll in lives has been paid, sacrificed upon the ill-begotten altar of all our foolish vanity? Who would seek such a thing? None, I tell you, good scholar — at least none that I should ever wish to find in my company. Not a problem we find here now between us, though, eh, my friend? None indeed! For I look into your eyes and know that we are two of a kind, bound in fellowship by our shared desire for the prosperity of our world, and the final attainment of that precious peace that has long — too long — eluded us.

Now, my friend, as to your question: scars, you ask! Scars indeed, good author, for after all the many days that I have spent awash in the conflicts of our age, many are the marks upon my person that I have taken with me as trophies, mementos of time spent amid the sober work of battle. I see that you, too, bear such trophies — you have seen a battle or two in your day as well, eh, my friend? A shame that fate has deemed it necessary, and yet an honor to know what such valiant souls as yourself yet walk among us.

tirionprofile2Okay. So we’ll put you down for “several scars but no particular stories”–

I beg to differ, good sir! No stories? No stories indeed! Ah, you have a fine sense of humor about you, and, rest assured, I appreciate your kind effort to spare an old man the need to delve into memories that, I suspect, you fear may be too painful to recount. Rest assured, though, my friend, after the horrors I have beheld in my day, a mere jaunt down the dusty halls of memory shall offer no such deterrent! A tale you requested, my good fellow, and so a tale you shall have!

Oh no…

Ah, it was a dark time, my friend. Dark indeed, and perilous, though I suspect I need not remind you — all too well do all remember the shadow that stretched its hand across two worlds, in the days of the Second War. When the demons’ poison coursed through the veins of the orcs — even those of my dear friend Eitrigg, as honorable a man as ever I might hope to know — whose acquaintance, perhaps, we share, my friend? but again I digress — yes, when the demons’ curse poisoned the orcish race and set them on their ill-fated rampage across their world and ours, when the Horde of old twice swept across Lordaeron, laying waste to all they met. We fought them, my friend; we nearly fell, on more occasions than one, as we struggled to hold them back, until finally we drove them back to their stronghold at Blackrock Mountain, and there, on the mountainside, we matched blades with our enemy one final time for the fate of our world.

I was there, my friend. I fought at Blackrock Spire, and saw such sights as I dare not repeat — indeed, such horrors as I might pray to wipe clean from my own aging recollection. For such are the horrors of war, are they not? The loss of life, the suffering uncountable, the nightmares forever seeded. The waste. Would that we might never see its like again, my friend; we speak at times of the glory of battle, but one need only sample its acrid taste once to understand such glimmer only exists in the imaginings of those not forced into war’s midst.

Right, so, war is bad.

Bad! Bad, you say, sir? Such understatement! I should hope a scholar of such obvious attainment should command words more fitting, for hardly does “bad” even suffice! And yet, sir — yet! — I would not wish words further from you, lest they should conjure more acutely recollection of such evils in their fullest form! For surely, all who partook in those dark days, those grisly hours of battle, spent many a year thereafter scarcely able to sleep soundly, for all the restless nights that dreadful dreams must have forced upon them. Even I, who was no stranger to battle even ere those times, was not immune to such things, and recall uneasily the weeks and months that followed, left alone to grapple with the haunting knowledge of what I had beheld.

Well, I don’t want to bring up bad memories for you, so–

The sky was angry that day, my friend! Angry and dark, overcast with portentous clouds, the air heavy with mist and dank with the stench of carnage.

Or not. Okay.

For hours — so many countless, unrelenting hours, my friend — we battled on the slopes of Blackrock Mountain, clawing our way, inch by inch, ever closer to the enemy’s stronghold. Do I say hours? They seemed as days, or weeks; nay, time itself lost near all meaning as the toil of battle weighed down upon us. And yet we did not tire, sir! Despite the wounds and blows, despite the ever-mounting aching of limbs taxed far beyond their limits, even still we pressed on, fought on, for we knew all too well what hung in the balance!

As the dark cloud gathered overhead, we marched upon Blackrock and fought our way past wave upon wave of enemy troops. There with us fought the great Alexandros Mograine, eventual bearer of the Ashbringer, the holy blade which even now I wield in his memory and honor — would that he were still with us, my friend, and not felled in the years that would follow by the vilest act of treachery. But that is a story for another day, sir — indeed, for another day, and you shall not sway me to digress from the tale at hand! Try though you might, you shall not delay me from the true object of my narrative!

Trust me, I won’t try.

As well you should not, my friend! For it is your very question that set me on this path, and you shall now lead me astray before I have forged on to a proper answer! I owe you no less, as my honored guest!

Now where was I? Oh yes!

While Alexandros rallied our troops to buttress our western flank, he briefly dropped his guard and left his back vulnerable to the attack of a charging ogre. Before the vile creature could land his blow, however, I interceded, blindsiding the ogre in turn and felling him with a piercing strike through the back of his neck. The ogre collapsed to the ground, and Alexandros and I exchanged words of camaraderie as he rode off to resume his efforts at the flank — but as he departed, and I called forth some few final words of encouragement, I found myself falling prey to the self-same error that nearly claimed the life of my friend. For I, as well, had failed to maintain proper vigilance, and a second ogre — perhaps a friend of the one whose life even still bled forth onto the field of battle — bore down upon me from behind. Surely, though, the Light was watching over me, as the ogre landed a blow that wounded but did not kill: his bulky club caught my back, just at the shoulder, with one spike digging deep into flesh. I managed to gather myself and engage my monstrous attacker, and with no small difficulty, smote his ruin upon the mountainside. Nevertheless, his blow had left its mark; my left shoulder carries a deep scar even to this day, and now and again, even to this day, I occasionally feel the lingering effect of the injury, as two fingers of that hand will sometimes lose sensation. A small price to pay, nevertheless, for the safety of our people, our homes — one that I would gladly pay again, with interest, should circumstance ever demand it.

Okay. Well, I think that covers everything…

Indeed, my friend? But surely there was more you wished to ask. Why, even now I see you still have several pages of your notes right there — questions, doubtless, for our continued interview. Hardly would I rush you through your efforts, or, worse still, force you to curtail the inquiries you’ve traveled so far to pursue! We shall have no such incivility here, good sir! I would never forgive myself such a misstep.

No, that’s really okay. Those notes are for something else.

Ah, I see — forever juggling projects, isn’t it just the way, my friend? The burdens of necessity, no doubt; I know myself that I can scarcely find the time to give my many varied tasks the time they’re due — oftentimes I’ve scarcely completed dictating my daily correspondence when it seems at though the whole of the day has begun to slip away. Ah, world enough and time!

Right. So… do you happen to know where Daria went? I think she said something about getting a drink at a tavern.

 

Previous Profiles:

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

 

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Daria’s Pro Tip for Dealing with Tirion #3: Beer is your friend. It’s your very, very best friend.

 

 

Monday mailbag

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Okay, time to dip into the ol’ mailbag. You all know how this works, so here we go…

 

Dear Warchief,

Thank you so much for your generous response. Lyssa was so happy that she got a little frisky, which always makes me happy, you know what I mean. 😉 (She is a cat most of the time, after all.) I sympathize with your frustrations due to expenditures- having been a mother myself once (back when I was still “alive”, though not anymore, may the Goddess curse that human Arthas), I know all about the kinds of bills teens can ring up. (You really do need huge heaping mounds of gold. Like, a dragon’s hoard worth.)

In appreciation, please find enclosed your very own PMS device. It is soft and fluffy and purrs very convincingly, and it may prove a distraction for Shayari as well, if she likes kittens. (Especially if it is wearing a bow or ribbons.)

PMS? That stands for Personal Mylune Survival device. Why? What did you think it meant?

In any event, having been told that the idiot human Varian sometimes reads these letters and your responses, I have a message for him.

Varian- Fuck you! You are a moron- when a ten-thousand year old-plus matriarch (that means ruler) of an entire race of people (two, if you count my ancestors) nods and asks you to tell her what to do, she is NOT SERIOUS, she is MOCKING YOU. Do you really think that you have seen more combat, acquired more experience, discovered more tactics, and learned more strategy than her in all her years? She even only tolerates Malfurion (on the rare occasions when he stops napping) because his furry bear feet keep her toes warm- she has plenty of other options in a nation where the men usually and regularly go into comas for centuries.

From TWO Elven nations: FUCK YOU, VARIAN! (Also, I think Mylune would be a perfect wife for you. Or maybe Magatha.)

(Apologies to you, Dear Warchief, I’ll try to keep it shorter next time, if there is one)

–Sintra E’Drien (and her mate Lyssa Nightblossom)

ps. Thalassian Brandy tastes very good. 😉

Hey again, Sintra. Okay, so you know what? There were a bunch of things in this letter that I was going to respond to, but they all kind of got lost in this big blur of FUCK YOU, VARIAN. Especially the part about Tyrande Who’s-Her-Whisper actually mocking ol’ King Ponytail when he thinks he’s being all badass and shit. And the part about him being a moron. And the part about him getting paired off with Mylune. Mind you, if miracles of entertainment happened and Varian DID get himself hitched to Mylune, we’d have to make sure that nobody hooked him up with one of those PMS devices, because we can’t rob ourselves of the hilarity by letting Varian distract her with something small and furry. Plus, trust me, I’ve met Varian — dude has enough PMS all by himself, without anybody sending him the anti-Mylune device.

Although, this does occur to me, there might be a market in developing a line of anti-whoever gear. Like the Mylune one is a no-brainer — make something small and furry that makes cutesy purring noises, then when you see Mylune, toss it one direction and get your ass moving in another. Golden. But you could totally market a bunch of these. Like you could build an anti-Tirion device that’s like a mannequin with a face that looks all interested, that plays a recording of someone going “Tell me more! I want to hear all about it!” Or you could do an anti-Velen device that’s just a big sign that says “Burning Legion invading — planetary exit this way!” Or you could do an anti-Magatha device that basically consists of Gorehowl chopping her into little tiny pieces because fuck her.

Obviously, I’m just spitballing here.

Oh, and also: agreed on the Thalassian Brandy.

 

Greetings, Warchief, and Light’s blessing to you!

As that last letter caused quite a stir, what with a possible war on my hands, as well as having to use an ink substitute (it’s scorpion poison, so don’t lick it!) I’m afraid that I cannot convey quite as much information onto you as I would like. But, as literal a lady as I may be, I have picked up the hints and I have no doubt that this is exceptionally great news to you! Nonetheless, I still have time to explain the situation before I begin.

I have my ways and means regarding paper, the first being the nearby logging camp. Did you know that place was infested with spiders quite a bit, recently? Now, I am a woman of few fears, and I am hesitant to say that spiders are among those few fears. They just have too many legs. The natives of Azeroth have proven that only two is necessary! Not to mention they have no real function other than devour more threatening prey, but even so, that’s disgusting and they are as good as abberations to me. Nonetheless, the spiders have been vanquished and our lumber is safe again! Not that it never was, of course. I simply no longer fear strolling down and requesting more wood for paper! Since the Kal’dorei have no authorities over the wood in the Western Plaguelands, I think I shouldn’t have to worry too much about a war. As a precaution, I asked both my lovely Anaria Moonseeker and Miss L’Rayne why the forests were so sacred to them. They both laughed and I never really got my answer. Of course, we were all after a few cups at the time, so I might try approaching them again when we’re sober. Nothing against my fellow Crusader or my sweet lady, not to mention the woman who raised me, but Night Elves are a peculiar people. Mind you, if they started ravaging Eversong Woods, I’d be miffed. I also am aware that this may draw the Night Elves’ attention back to yourself, but I’m sure you have the means to deal with it. After all, there are several Horde leaders but only one Warchief!

As for the scorpion poison, well, there are ways of compressing that to make it more visible on paper. It’s the same colour as the ink that I used before, thanks to a solution Anaria prepared, but it can still be toxic if you were to eat it. Since I’ve used it quite finely, you may simply experience some disorientation or sickness, but I don’t see that that being a problem, unless you eat paper. I just thought I’d let you in on that, in case you DID eat paper. Who am I to judge the Warchief’s culinary preferences? This piece of paper would be better off being tucked away and not eaten. I still have a fine stock of that scorpion poison, so now it’s only a matter of keeping the lumber mill going! I thought that this would be sufficient as a substitute for the ink that is slowly becoming less obtainable. I hope that the lovely young shaman Rue’kara can get her stationaries back soon! How unfortunate that her own letters are limited to such a pulp. She probably has so much to say, poor child. Anyhow! That’s that, and all problems solved!

It would seem a certain metal-beared goblin had quite a bit to say regarding my letters to you, sir. I, for one, am irate, but the ways of the Light have taught me that anger and resentment will only lead to a manifestation of regret and ever-building hatred, so I will bury the hatchet for now and try not to reference said goblin while the Light grants me the strength to repress such hatred. While this anger is still surging mightily, I have to agree on one point that he made; I haven’t really been of much help, have I?

Well, even though I was not present, I know of your visits to Hearthglen through the town chatter, even though I was oblivious of the events that were taking place. See, I was travelling at the time, which I tend to do every few months or so, and when I came back, I did notice a sort of difference. A kind of hush, as though I’d just arrived after a tragic event had taken place. I felt inclined to ask the Highlord, and I did, but even he was at a loss for words, and that is truly saying something. I mean, really. Time travel is…something I am somewhat familiar with. That being said, I know of a bronze dragon, although the identity is to be kept secret for her sake. I haven’t actually travelled backwards through time, nor forwards, but I visited the Caverns of Time, and I saw some of the rifts here and there pulling and tugging, as though the place felt a turn when I entered it. Somehow, I feel slightly connected to it. It’s a sensation that I cannot describe well, but there’s a familiarity about it that I am trying to make sense of, as though I’d been there before. Maybe an alternate me? Wow, I wonder what she does for a living. My bronze friend gave me a little information on how time works, and how she’s travelled on it previously, but as you may have learned, bronze dragons are as cryptic as any old soothsayer or rambling prophet, (which is extremely annoying since they might actually have ANSWERS for us, whereas prophets just ramble on and on and on…) and since I can’t get any answers from her regarding that particular feeling, I have dropped the matter entirely and haven’t been there since. Still, I’ve never stopped wondering…

While this is irrelevant to what you and this doctor Faranell you mentioned had to experience, I simply want to extend a warning, given everything I have learned thus far through my readings of history. The Old Gods corrupted one Aspect, Deathwing, but he was not the only one that was used to their advantage. The Old Gods want nothing more than to see our world in endless agony, and so they invaded Nozdormu’s realm and succeeded in opening a rift in time, so that they could alter the events of the War of the Ancients and give the dark lord, Sargeras, a fresh attempt to enter the world. If not for the efforts of Malfurion Stormrage, these cursed entities would have succeeded, and Azeroth would have been lost to madness. The Bronze Dragonflight are a mighty race, sir, but we all have our weaknesses, even Nozdormu himself. Had he suspected such a travesty, he surely would have prevented it.

We know that there are multiple timelines out there, and we know that, without the assistance of the Bronze Dragonflight, the events of the entwined timeways wouldn’t have been resolved. Be wary, good sir. You must place your trust in those you know can be trusted, and no-one else. If the Bronze Dragonflight fell to the same corruption as Neltharion, our world would be undone as you know it. After all, Algalon had already decided that it wasn’t worth saving. Let us prove him wrong. Let us protect Azeroth as best we can.

With regards to being of any use to you, I’d merely have you know that I do not plan on leaving Hearthglen for quite some time, so should you decide to make a visit in the meantime, know that I shall stand at your service and grant you the hospitality which you seek. It’s the least I can do. Thank you for your time.

P.S Did you really get a Zandaliri troll to perform a lapdance for you? How much did it cost?

Go in peace, good sir.

–Sarlinia-Grace Starstriker, Argent Crusade

Hoo boy. Here we go.

Hello again, Sarlin. Nice to…hear from you. Again.

As that last letter caused quite a stir,

As in, people stirring up poisonous drinks to kill themselves with.

what with a possible war on my hands,

Well, you know, the many, many trees you’ve wiped out to make paper were only going to take so much.

as well as having to use an ink substitute (it’s scorpion poison, so don’t lick it!)

I really wonder what you think I do with my time that you felt this warning was necessary.

I’m afraid that I cannot convey quite as much information onto you as I would like.

Oh thank the spirits. Maybe we’ll manage to be in and out of here in less than a month.

Nonetheless, I still have time to explain the situation before I begin.

Well, so much for that idea. Here we go, kids. Grab a drink, and maybe a snack, and maybe the next two or three days’ meals, and strap in.

Did you know that place was infested with spiders quite a bit, recently? Now, I am a woman of few fears, and I am hesitant to say that spiders are among those few fears. They just have too many legs. The natives of Azeroth have proven that only two is necessary!

Dude, I fucking hate spiders. They’re all gross and crawly and, like you said, they have way more legs than any self-respecting person should ever have, and let’s not even get started on the eyes. I fucking hate things with creepy extra eyes. Plus there was that time up in Stonetalon when the head troll dude in Malaka’jin told me there was some Queen Silith who wanted to meet with me, only GUESS WHAT, turns out she was this GIANT FUCKING SPIDER. LONG LIVE THE FUCKING QUEEN. Except for the part where I killed her.

As a precaution, I asked both my lovely Anaria Moonseeker and Miss L’Rayne why the forests were so sacred to them. They both laughed and I never really got my answer.

It’s the glitter. Night elves love them some glitter, and the trees in their forests leak the stuff like sap. Someday I want to find out just what the fuck is the deal with that, like what kind of trees ooze fucking GLITTER out of their bark, and why they only seem to grow around nigh elves.

I mean, I’m pretty sure Thalassian Brandy would like to know. She could have a personal supply of the stuff right there on hand.

As for the scorpion poison, well, there are ways of compressing that to make it more visible on paper. It’s the same colour as the ink that I used before, thanks to a solution Anaria prepared, but it can still be toxic if you were to eat it. Since I’ve used it quite finely, you may simply experience some disorientation or sickness, but I don’t see that that being a problem, unless you eat paper.

Wait… disorientation? You mean to say you can be HIGH on this shit? No wonder there are always so many trolls always hanging around the inscription place in the Drag.

I hope that the lovely young shaman Rue’kara can get her stationaries back soon! How unfortunate that her own letters are limited to such a pulp. She probably has so much to say, poor child.

Yeah, you know what? I think you’ve got the “so much to say” pretty well covered. Let’s not drag Ruekie into this.

It would seem a certain metal-beared goblin had quite a bit to say

Hi, pot. This is Sarlin. You’re black.

I, for one, am irate, but the ways of the Light have taught me that anger and resentment will only lead to a manifestation of regret and ever-building hatred,

The next time you two chat, could you ask the Light what the fuck it’s talking about?

I have to agree on one point that he made; I haven’t really been of much help, have I?

Oh geez, why do I get the feeling she’s about to start Dontragging? Like, even more?

I was travelling at the time, which I tend to do every few months or so, and when I came back, I did notice a sort of difference. A kind of hush, as though I’d just arrived after a tragic event had taken place. I felt inclined to ask the Highlord, and I did, but even he was at a loss for words, and that is truly saying something. I mean, really.

STOP THE FUCKING PRESSES, SHOCKING NEWS WITH AN IRONIC LOOK-WHO’S-TALKING CHASER

I haven’t actually travelled backwards through time, nor forwards, but I visited the Caverns of Time, and I saw some of the rifts here and there pulling and tugging, as though the place felt a turn when I entered it. Somehow, I feel slightly connected to it. It’s a sensation that I cannot describe well, but there’s a familiarity about it that I am trying to make sense of, as though I’d been there before. Maybe an alternate me? Wow, I wonder what she does for a living.

I’ll bet you anything she’s not a mime.

We know that there are multiple timelines out there, and we know that, without the assistance of the Bronze Dragonflight, the events of the entwined timeways wouldn’t have been resolved. Be wary, good sir.

Dude, are you seriously giving ME a speech on not getting mixed up in timeline fuck-uppery? Hey, I’ve got an idea, how about I get Faranell in here and you can give him a whole speech about making sure he doesn’t get himself unstuck in time for like a zillion years. Earth Online says hello:

wonka

With regards to being of any use to you, I’d merely have you know that I do not plan on leaving Hearthglen for quite some time,

Well at least I know where not to go for the next month or two.

Thank you for your time.

Well you fucking well burned up enough of it.

Speaking of which. When you write back — BECAUSE I KNOW YOU WILL — you are officially getting the modified Twitter treatment. Are you reading carefully? Go grab some of your not-for-snack-time paper and scorpion ink, and write this down: YOU ARE OFFICIALLY ON A 250-WORD LIMIT FOR ALL FUTURE LETTERS. Or, what the hell, if you want to go OVER 250 words, whatever, knock yourself out, but I am going to STOP READING at word #250. Are we clear on this? Are we good? Okay? Good.

Fucking hell. I don’t get paid enough for this job. I really don’t.

 

Most Honored Warchief,

Greetings once again Warchief Hellscream. I come bearing ill tidings from Towlong Steppes. I was out leading some of your Horde adventurers through and giving them a Lay of the land while on the way for clean up duty on the Isle of Thunder. Along the way, we passed by a giant eel, G’nathus. The undead warrior and orc shaman decided that it might be a bit of fun to go and test themselves against such a creature. I agreed, if only to keep them alive against such a beast. At first, it seemed to go very well. The warrior took electrocution like nothing I had ever seen before! Then a squid came from nowhere and decided to see if my totems were filled with beer (they’re keg-shaped, you see)! That sadly broke all my concentration and we were forced to flee, but not without some injuries. The poor shaman was smacked around, almost worse than the warrior! Thank the Celestials for ahnks, by the way!

Before this old man babbles for too much longer, I must regretfully inform you that the Shado-Pan has decided to bill the Horde for the loss of precious reagents and my totems. Not that I require the financial compensation, but Lord Zhu insists! Really! He started going on about the outsiders bringing ruin to our land again. It is a very…tiring speech.

Regretfully yours,

–Shen Wei Pureblossom

You do not get to talk about “tiring speeches” immediately after Sarlin’s letter.

That said… Hang on, you mean I’m getting stuck with ANOTHER bill? Is this how things work for that panda-Tirion Zhu guy? Something happens that you don’t like, so you ring up an itemized list to send along to whoever you can? Not to mention, I just finished LOOKING OVER the aforementioned itemized list, and are you fucking KIDDING me? What are your totems fucking MADE of, diamonds?! I thought they were listing the price in coppers when I saw that shit. What the fuck is the exchange rate down there? Does 500 gold mean something different to you people than it does up here? Did you fucking switch to the metric system or some shit? WTF?!

And let’s not even get STARTED on the reagents! I’m going over this list, and there is LITERALLY nothing on here that I can’t walk over to the Valley of Wisdom and buy for pocket change. DON’T BELIEVE ME, COME ON BY. DISCOUNT ANKHS ON ME.

Actually.

Hang on.

It just occurred to me — if this invoice of yours even REMOTELY resembles the actual prices of reagents down there in Pandaria, and it’s not just Zhu’s-his-face gouging me with like an 8000% markup, this might be an opportunity to put a dent in the ol’ Shayari-induced cash flow problem. Because if I can buy this shit HERE for like 20 silver a pop, then bring it on down to Pandaria and sell it to you pandas for a hundred times that, and STILL be way below Scarf Boy’s asking price… Hmm…

Spirits help me, I’m starting to think like a goblin. CONGRATULATIONS, UNIVERSE, YOU WIN AGAIN.

Meanwhile… you mean to say, you were going about your business, and a fucking SQUID came swimming over just to try to dip into your keg totems? What kind of a fucking dumbass squid is that? Is it some kind of Dontrag squid? Because that seems like something he would do. Or Utvoch. Whichever one of them it is. Maybe the other one was the eel or something. Eelvoch, maybe. Ellvoch and Dontrag-the-Squid. Why the fuck not. Seems to match up brainpower-wise.

 

Hey, Garry.

I’m Valinora. Don’t ask any questions. I’m here for one thing and one thing only; EPIC VERSE.

I had a scroll through the mailbags and I saw a little introduction suggested by one of your readers. Hope you don’t mind if I do the same. By the way, you OWNED Varian. I dare you to go up against Thrall next time. Hate that guy. He didn’t steal anybody’s bacon, he stole all their pigs, forced them to make the bacon and then claimed to have made it himself. Ugh.

Anyway. A topic that I’m sure you’ll have no hesitation with, given your…knowledge of felweed.

“By now, he had one joint too many,”

Go!

–Valinora “Lightshorn”, Stormwind City.

Oh, hey, check it — somebody who gets right to the point. It’s like you’re the anti-Sarlin or something. First off, though:

notgarry2

Now granted, you didn’t exactly endear yourself to me with the Garry thing (and I mean, seriously, people, isn’t it getting old at this point? Even the basic campfire joke fizzled out faster than this) (Get it? Campfire? Fizzled out? BA DUM BUM), and plus there’s the small matter that you appear to be HUMAN. On the other hand, you DID get to the point of your letter before wiping out enough trees to render hundreds of poor disadvantaged night elf strippers glitterless, and then you topped that off by having the good sense to know a good ol’ EPIC VERSE thrashing of King Vajayjay when you see it. Additional kudos for getting a good jab in at Thrall, because man oh man has HE been on a one-way trip to Insufferable City. Dude might as well take his vainglorious ass over to the vaingloryhole and fucking blow himself there, at the rate he’s going.

Anyway, you got to the point, you delivered a good burn on EACH side of the faction divide, and what the hell, I’m not one to pass up a chance to lay down a little EPIC VERSE. So here we go. YOU ASK, GARROSH DELIVERS.

By now, he had one joint too many.
(Point of fact, he’d gone over by twenty.)
Came down with giggle fits,
Would have lost all his wits,
If to start with he’d even had any.

In his stupor he thought he’d go swimming,
With a head that with felweed was brimming;
So he and his buddy —
Whose mind, too, was muddy —
Jumped in while their dimwits were dimming.

So in their felweed-fueled delusion,
They swam off to sea in seclusion;
They went round and round,
And when they were found,
They managed to cause more confusion:

I don’t know how much felweed they did,
But one moron thought he was a squid,
While his buddy, with zeal,
Thought that he was an eel,
While around in the waters they slid.

So when they encountered bystanders,
They thought that they’d caught a gander
Of a beer-party kegger,
So up like a beggar,
The stupid squid chose to meander.

He made a big mess seeking brew,
Now I’m stuck with the bill for those two.
I’m pissed off, but whatever —
You know you can’t ever
Spell “dumbass” without D and U.

You asked for some rhymes, so I wrote ’em,
About morons who smashed up some totems.
They’re going to need hearses —
At least some good nurses,
’Cause they’re gonna get stabbed in their scrotums.

EPIC VERSE!

 

Okay, that’s going to do it for this time. As always, keep those letters coming!

 

[Next mailbag December 7! E-mail the Warchief using the link at the top of the right sidebar, or use the handy form below:]

 

Monday GUEST mailbag: Shayari

shaymailbag

Okay, so as I promised, since everybody’s been all curious about Shayari, today’s your chance to hear from her directly. Let me kick it over to her and see what you people have come up with. And whether I’m going to have to go out and crack a few skulls later.

 

Hi everyone! I’m still not sure how Pops convinced me to do this. This whole blog thing seems kind of lame to me, but I guess it couldn’t be any worse than Twitter.

Let’s see what everyone has to say!

 

Dear Warchief’s Daughter:

I have hesitated long to write this, since it may seem presumptuous of me, but I ask you to take it that I mean this with the greatest respect.

You can certainly deal with undesired advances (being your father’s daughter), I would simply caution you in response to desired advances. It is not my business, nor do I especially desire to know with whom you might choose to be intimate, but you may trust this- intimacy is dangerous, and one who desires yours may be a deceiver, a flatterer, or one seeking to take advantage of you for your father’s sake.

It happened to me (long ago), and I would not see it happen to you if I can spare you such pain.

Also, I know it may be natural to want to rebel against your father, but he does care for you, and as Warchief, he is in a delicate position. He must balance many competing burdens, and anything you (and we who follow him) can do to reduce those burdens will only help him.

My apologies for the lengthy missive, and I offer you such friendship as I can, and whatever help or advice as you may want (even none, if I seem too much like a meddling old aunt).

–Sintra E’Drien (and her mate Lyssa Nightblossom)

Ps. If you ever happen to visit Nagrand, you might wish to consider visiting Garrosh’s Greatmother- I understand she makes delicious lemon-squares.

So, hang on a second… I don’t even know who you are, and you’re… um… did you really just come out of nowhere and start giving me advice about who I hook up with?

Who are you again?

And I mean, okay, yeah, Greatmother Geyah’s lemon squares, I get it, I know, I’ve heard about the lemon squares, I’ve been in Orgrimmar a few months and for real, spirits help me, every day with the lemon squares. To hear Pops talk about them, I should maybe go hook up with a tray of them, because, you know. I’ll have what he’s having. So I get it. The lemon squares. Even though lime would totally be better, but sure, you go, Greatmom Geyah. Or I guess Great-Greatmom Geyah, in my case? Except I guess she’s not even Pops’ actual greatmother, so I’m not even really related to her, so it doesn’t really matter what call her, so whatevs.

Who are you again? For real.

I mean, trust me, when Pops reads this letter, I’m pretty sure that’s going to push the ol’ enrage timer a lot more than anything I do, and that’s really kind of saying something, because some days I actually work on it. There are diagrams and everything. (I can’t help it — he just gets so wound up! It’s a real hoot sometimes.)

 

Dear Shayari,

I tried asking your father this recently, but I didn’t expect to get the chance to ask you directly! You always seem so fashionable, what are your favorite places to shop? Anywhere you would recommend?

–Tandeleina, Silvermoon City

P.S. What’s the real story on your father’s love life? Any juicy details you can share? He’s usually pretty vague and evasive about it. You must know the real scoop! Inquiring minds want to know!

Okay, for real, are all these letters going to be about who’s doing who? Because I did not sign up for this. If I wanted a non-stop parade of gross and creepy questions that I can never un-read, I would get an Ask.fm account.

Plus it’s not like Pops gives me updates on whatever groupie he’s doing whatever with, which is probably just as well, because ew. Not enough therapy in the world. The last thing I need to think of is old people doing it. How am I supposed to eat dinner with that in my head? Ew and double ew.

But, as far as the shopping goes, now you’re talking my language! My favorite shop by far was Threads of Fate back in Dalaran. I used to have a little part-time job helping tend the shop on weekends, mostly so I could get the employee discount, and believe me, I used that perk up. When I realized I needed to get out of town, I definitely made a point of packing up as many ToF things as I could right off. It’s pretty much off limits now, though. Obviously. Screw Jaina.

It’s funny you’re asking about this, actually, since you live in Silvermoon. That’s probably my favorite place to go now! There are a couple good shops in the Bazaar: Silvermoon Finery and Keelen’s Trustworthy Tailoring. Finery is the more upscale place. Pricey but really good stuff. Keelen’s has good clothes too (even if the name of the place is kind of lame), not as fancy, but you can find some really nice stuff there, too. Also much less expensive. Like really inexpensive. I’m not sure how they manage that, to be honest.

Oh, and there’s also Kodohide Leatherworkers down in the Drag in Orgrimmar. For leather goods, obviously. They have some pretty cool jackets and bags and a couple other things I won’t get into here because Pops is probably going to read it and why invite the yelling.

 

Blood and Thunder Shayari,

My name is Mirembe. I’m one of your dad’s trainees (I’m the one who’s never around, if that helps) and proud meat shield warrior! Anyway, onto my question, since if you’re anything like your dad, you don’t like long letters.

When I was hanging around Nagrand, killing ogres on Lazyeye’s command (Sorry Mr. Lantressor!), I ran into Drae Drann *all spelling attempts have been scribbled out hastily* Space Goat guy in a cage in Mr. Lantressor’s camp. At least, I think he was a Space Goat. He was kinda lumpy and tentacle-y, but in all the wrong places. I couldn’t understand what he was saying, but he was kinda really dumb! I may have smacked him with my shield to shut him up, but I think I smacked him a little too hard because he fell down. Who was that guy, anyway?

Aka’mogash,

–Mirembe

PS: If you’re in Orgrimmar, please please PLEASE let me know how Gurtash is doing! I heard about what happened in Blackrock Spire and I’ve been worrying myself sick over him, and the energy-bandage dudes keep telling me it’s because I’m fleshy. 🙁

Oh, hey, one of Pip’s friends. He’s doing…well, okay, I guess. I’m not a healer or anything. No real news. He’s still out cold and resting over near the tauren part of town. So I guess he’s stable, there haven’t been any new problems, just…not awake. I know Pops has been going over to check on him, and I’ve popped over a couple times, and there have been some others going over. So he’s not suffering from a lack of eyes on him. I guess we just have to wait it out and see.

How were things back in Nagrand? I haven’t been back there for a few years, but I grew up in Telaar. Have you visited there? Come to think of it, I guess you probably wouldn’t have been too welcome if you’re an orc. I mean, I’m half-orc and they didn’t always seem to thrilled too have me around, so…

But so, this lumpy draenei guy. That would be one of the Broken, by the way, one of the draenei who were all…physically screwed up when the planet went kablooey — most of the people in Telaar were Broken, along with a handful of garden variety draenei. So I guess this guy would have been one of them. I guess he could have been one of the Windyreed Lost Ones, too, but I don’t see why one of them would have been in a cage over in… oh. Oh! OH! I think I know who that was! You met Corki!

And damn, I’m sorry! You met Corki!

I mean, Corki’s a really sweet kid, but, spirits help me, he’s dense. Like not even just your plain old regular dense. Just… just… Let me put it this way. You know those Dontvoch and Untrag guys, or whoever? I’m pretty sure they could outsmart Corki. Like, either of them, individually, without even getting the benefit of rubbing their bumpy heads together to activate their Wonder Twins joint mind or whatever. I’m actually glad Corki’s okay, more or less, and not, like, dead from walking off the side of one of the cliffs around Telaar because he saw a butterfly or something.

I’m not surprised Corki’s still getting himself captured by ogres. It used to happen, like, every few weeks as long as I can remember. It was almost like a hobby for him. I felt so bad for his dad, Arechron — he would keep getting these ransom notes from the ogres and get stuck having to pay gold to get Corki back, and then a few days later Corki would up and get caught again. I know Pops complains sometimes about how expensive I can be, but that’s nothing compared to how much Corki cost poor Arechron in ransom fees.

 

Lok’tar, Daughter of Hellscream,

I would know: what is your favourite beast? If you wish to find one in the wilds, I believe the Mok’Nathal of the Blade’s Edge Mountains would be able to help you. You’d have to earn their respect first, though, and that wouldn’t be easy; believe me, I know.  

Strength and Honour,

–Rexxar, Beastmaster and Champion of the Horde

Hi Rexxar! I’m pretty sure we’ve never met, but I remember hearing about you during the last months before I moved to Dalaran. Even though they steered clear of you, what with you being Horde and all, the hunters back in Telaar used to talk about you with a lot of respect. Way more than they had for that Nesingwary guy. I don’t think they ever really knew what to make of him. Anyway, say hi to Misha for me! I hear she’s a cutie. As 600-pound fur-bearing instruments of death go.

You know, I’m not sure what my favorite animal would be. I used to ride talbuks once in a while when I was younger, and they’re pretty, but not exactly snuggly. Since I’ve been in Orgrimmar, wyverns and worgs have grown on me a lot, actually. A worg could be pretty cool. Or a wyvern, but I almost feel like I already have one, with the way Mortimer follows me around sometimes.

I’ve always liked birds a lot, though. When I was a little girl, we found a baby windroc that had fallen from its mother’s nest. I took care of it for a while until it was strong enough to go back into the wild. And I have a pretty cool bird now, too! He’s a hyacinth macaw. I named him Kalec, because he’s flappy and blue and he parrots back whatever I say to him! I know that won’t mean much to you, but trust me, it’s going to go over like gangbusters with the Sunreavers.

So I guess I’m not sure. Keeping my options open for now, I guess?

 

Dear Shayari,

What’s it like to have a complete loser for a dad?

–Varian Wrynn, Stormwind

Oh, hi, Varry. I think you might have sent this letter to the wrong place. Don’t worry, though, I’ll make sure it gets forwarded to Anduin.

 

Hey mon!

6 − 6 × 6 = 0

Discuss!

–Bob, Shado-pan Monastery

No, no, Bobby, I think you got your equation mixed up. Here, let me fix it for you:

(your penis size) + (your IQ) × (number of times you’ve satisfied a woman) = 0

There! I hope that clears things up. Don’t be embarrassed, math is hard.

 

Greetings, Shayari!

What a privilege it is to be able to contact you directly! I was sure I showed great enthusiasm in my letter to your father, and that our paths would cross one day, but I never did anticipate it leading to this, especially so quickly! I am honoured to have this opportunity, daughter of Hellscream.

Introductions! My name is Sarlinia-Grace Starstriker or, as I previously stated, Sarlin. I currently live at Hearthglen in the Western Plaguelands and, you’ll be pleased to hear, that the place has thrived with magic becoming less feared and more valuable! Not that it’s an invitation, of course. Merely a point that portals are always available at my beck and call, for a generous fee. I’ll be quite honest, while the Argent Crusade has the righteous reputation as the noble and faithful saviours of Azeroth we are, there hasn’t been a lot happening here lately. We normally just lounge around, chatting, drinking, fixing armour, staring at our weapons and keeping an eye on the towers. Although, rest assured, there’s always guards at the front gates and patrolling the Plaguelands, just in case we, you know, get run over by gnolls or something. Funny story, there were gnoll necromancers here some time back, and one of the magi (Lisp, I think his name was?) was actually providing them with tools to raise the dead. Now, he was thwarted by a certain orc warrior not long ago, and was rewarded by Highlord Fordring. Still, I feel like I was the ONLY one out of everybody in the Argent Crusade who was still sober enough to ask herself the question: “Why the fuck is he giving necromancy tools to GNOLLS!?” Gee, what next? Will murlocs start joining the Burning Legion? So, that’s the general idea of how things are being run these days. I won’t argue with the drinking. Sometimes, you really need it, too. Miss Daria L’Rayne is quite a fabulous partner to drink with, too. Although she has been drinking a lot lately. And when I see her, she seems exhausted. In fact, most of the time, when I go to talk to her, she puts her hand up over her ears and begs me to stop, and when I try to ask her what’s bothering her, she collapses in a heap, sobbing. Very unusual behaviour! I just can’t get to the bottom of why she would be so miserable and yet not be willing to talk about it. And, come to think of it, I don’t really see her sober at all anymore. Although, she is Tirion’s advisor and I don’t get to see her much for that reason. I guess it’s a full time job. I hope she’s alright.

Anyway, that’s beside the point. No, I mentioned a few things to your father on the topic of you, ah, fitting in. I can relate in more ways than one. I may be a Blood Elf, but I was raised by a Night Elf in Teldrassil. Sadly, like you, I was banished from the lush forests and placed into neutral territory. My dear Kal’dorei mother fell in battle not two years later, and I was brought back the Horde, left wandering foreign soil, confronting alien races and wondering where those weary, young feet would take me, if they could bear my weight. I know how it is, trying to find your own place. And, as you may have learned, Blood Elves are not exactly taken seriously by many of the other racial leaders. This is mostly down to our prissy regent-lord, Lor’Themar Theron. You know, ponytail, braid. Not a SINGLE hair out of place. That’s probably how he lost an eye, come to think of it. He was too busy fixing his hair to realize that there was a fucking invasion happening. Rest assured, many of the other Sin’dorei are more attributing, in more ways than one. We’re strong, lithe, quick on our feet, faithful and exceptionally skilled in magic. That is, if we know how to control our thirsts for it. But anyhow, I digress.

No, I just wondered of your exploits since you met your father and became Horde-affiliated. How you’ve been settling in. What troubles you’ve faced. Coming from Dalaran and being landed into dusty old Orgrimmar can’t have been fun, huh? Have you ever been to Silvermoon City? It’s so wonderful, here! I remember Liadrin used to spend most of her time in Farstrider Square, training the Blood Knights. She’s nice. And hey, the Tauren Chieftains are here, too! Which, really, I don’t care much for them. Personally, that Sig Nicious guy has more arm hair than he does brains, but who cares! They’re famous! And aside that, there’s a lush, golden forest out there as well.

Or, if you wanted to feel more at home, there’s always Mulgore. I find that it’s quite similar to Nagrand, in many ways. Although, be wary of the mountains. There are rumours of oversized cannibal critters with guns, chainsaws and the like up there. Probably just a story to keep young whippersnappers like US in our place. Pfft. Like I’m afraid of a rabbit with a gun. Still. They have been said to absorb sanity, which makes me wonder if they’re, you know, actually Old Gods in disguise. When in doubt, blame the Old Gods, amirite?

Hey, if you ever, like, wanted to hang out, just let me know! Trust me, I’m a lot more fun in person. I mean, not to soak up in sterotypes, but I can do AMAZING hairstyles. Oh, and my fashion sense? FABULOUS. I even made earrings with the Argent Crusade icon on them, just so everyone knows to withdraw the swords when I decide to stroll through the likes of Ironforge or whatever. That way, I don’t have a tabard flapping around and I can still look pretty good. Oh, and guess what I have! I met a bronze dragon a while ago (babbling idiot, kept talking about how we were all doomed by demons and shit like that) who handed me this package before departing. It’s called a S.E.L.F.I.E camera. You can take these things called “selfies” with it! Oh, and mine’s got a diamond on it, too. Or is it a cubic zirconia? Anyway.

I just have one last question. I, uh, spilled my inkwell. Ignore the smudges. How are you getting along with your father?

May the Light protect you, good magus, and all you hold most dear to you. I eagerly await your response.

–Sarlin

Wow.

Um.

Hang on, I’m going to grab some kafa and try to get through that again. I’m pretty sure I zoned out at some point on the first try. Somewhere around the part where oh my Light.

So, stand by.

 

Okay, here we go again with a little liquid fortitude. PSL FTW, right? (Honestly, if I’d known the Horde had Starbulls, I probably would have bailed on the Silver Covenant years ago.)

 

So… wow, Sarlin. That’s…that’s impressive. Yeah, I can’t imagine why that Daria girl drinks so much. She might have a problem and someone should probably try talking to her about and a propos of nothing does anyone know how diligent the bartenders are at the Broken Tusk about checking IDs? Just a random thought. Don’t mind me.

I guess I’ve been getting along with Pops pretty okay. It was kind of weird and awkward at first. He didn’t really come to see me a lot when I first got to Orgrimmar — that is, after he met me. When I first got to Orgrimmar, he wasn’t around, because he was off in Pandaria on business. I mostly spent time with Liadrin then. You’re right, she’s pretty cool. But then after Garry came back and Liadrin introduced me, I think he was mostly pretty shocked. I don’t think he really believed I was his daughter at first, and then he wanted to send me off to study at the Undercity. And I guess I get it, it was probably a lot to get dropped on him, and maybe he just needed some time to get used to the idea. Still, after the way things happened in Dalaran, I suppose I was kind of hoping he’d give me this big welcome and take me in like the people there never really did. Or the people back in Telaar, even. They didn’t really talk about me being half orc, but you could always kind of tell…well… yeah, anyway. So I guess the point is that I probably had this whole dream scenario in my head. Which was probably silly of me. You know, setting up for more disappointment.

Things have been better, though. I’m settled in again here in Orgrimmar, and just porting over to the UC for lessons. Pops cleared out a room upstairs in Grommash Hold for me to have, with this little balcony that overlooks the Valley of Strength. Oh and here’s the thing, about whether it’s been hard moving to Orgrimmar — I don’t really mind it. You have to remember, I grew up in Telaar, which is really just a poor village built around what’s left of some old draenei buildings. So it’s not like I was used to having luxurious surroundings. Don’t get me wrong, Dalaran was amazing, and I love Silvermoon, but Orgrimmar hasn’t been bad. It’s dustier than Nagrand, yeah, but it’s still sort of…familiar, I guess. Eventually it might even start to feel like home.

It could still seriously use a few coats of paint, though. And don’t even ask me what’s up with all the spikes all over everything, because really.

 

Hello, young Shayari,

I am Lantresor of the Blade, chieftain of the Burning Skull Ogre Clan and formerly part of the Burning Blade Orc Clan. Like you, I am the child of a draenei and an orc, but my parentage is in the reverse — my mother was the orc, my father the draenei. My question is this: do you know anything about my father? I myself know only that his name was D’Kaan, he was a hunter of sorts, he lived in the village of Telaar, just like you, and he was dead by the time I passed the tests to become a Blademaster. I have had no luck seeking information elsewhere.  

Also, there’s something I’ve been meaning to say to you – I assure you that I know and understand many of the things you have gone through, having experienced them myself. Be brave, child of two worlds; you are not alone.  

–Lantresor of the Blade

P.S. Whatever you may have heard to the contrary, I am not trying to pursuing you romantically! Even if I was interested, I would know better than to seek a relationship with a mage – too much potential to become scorched earth, I say.

I know, Lanny, I’m too hot for a lot of people to handle. It’s okay.

I remember hearing about you back in Telaar. I picked up the fact that there had been other half-draenei-half-orcs, but it wasn’t something anyone liked to talk about, or even acknowledge if they could help it. Your name came up a couple times. Mostly fearfully. I don’t know what you did to put the fear of the spirits into those people, but I’ll tell you, whatever it was, it worked. I don’t know if I know much about your father, although his name does sound familiar. I think it might have come up in passing when Arechron would talk about some of the weird plant-based life, like the sporelings, that developed in Zangarmarsh after the world shattered. He would talk about these other…well… plant people, basically, that used to exist. Botanical something-or-other, maybe? Anyway, Arechron would sometimes talk about the rangari hunters who used to fight them, and how if any of the hunters survived the shattering they would probably take an interest in what’s happened in Zangar. That’s when I think he would have mentioned D’Kaan, along with a few other hunter people like him.

I don’t know how much that helps. I hope you can find out more about him, though. I know what it’s like not to know much about your family. I’m still trying to find things out myself. I’m still getting to know my dad, obviously, and I get the sense that there’s a whole bunch of other family history I’m still not in on.

 

Speaking of family history, does Pops usually get stuck answering so much of this stuff? Like on a regular basis? No wonder he gets cranky with people sometimes.

Well, anyway, thanks for writing in, everyone, even if a lot of you seem kinda weird. I guess this is where I should wrap this up.

 

And I guess this is where I should start looking up addresses for people who need a personal talking to.

More soon.

 

[Obligatory reminder: The Warchief’s next mailbag is coming up in two weeks, on Monday, October 5. Send in your letters either by e-mail (link at the top of the right sidebar!) or using the form below. Possible other guest mailbags in the future — time will tell!]

 

Time isn’t after us

soridormi

{Previously on The Warchief’s Command Board…well, here. Go read it yourself and get caught up. We don’t have bandwidth for fucking previouslies.}

 

Garrosh looks around again.

GARROSH: So…much less crowded all of a sudden…

LIADRIN: Hmm. Just us three at the Caverns of Time?

SORIDORMI: <nods> Your counterparts in this timeline had come here on…related but different business.

GARROSH: Wait, our COUNTERPARTS?

SORIDORMI: <nods> For lack of a better word.

LIADRIN: Oh, I think I’ve read about this… <looking around again> I never thought I would experience it first-hand, though…

GARROSH: Okay, so since everybody seems to understand this but me, could SOMEONE please explain what the fuck is going on?

SORIDORMI: You’re caught in the backwash of Edwin’s temporal instability.

GARROSH: Yeah, there’s not one single part of that sentence that was helpful.

SORIDORMI: The flashes you’ve been experiencing have all corresponded to Faranell’s time shifts. Every time he’s jumped to another point in his timeline, you have been shifting into…well, here.

LIADRIN: An alternate timeline.

GARROSH: So how come the Noz didn’t notice this? And where is he, anyway? How come he missed this kinda major part of what’s going on?

SORIDORMI: Nozdormu can see the disturbances surrounding Edwin’s displacement in time easily enough, but the intermingling of realities occurring in the background is a bit…beyond his perception.

GARROSH: But it’s not beyond yours? No offense, but I thought the Noz was the one with the super-uber-heightened time perception.

SORIDORMI: <sighs, then smiles> Believe me, I’m not the first woman ever to let her husband go on thinking he was the smart one for the sake of his fragile ego.

Liadrin chuckles briefly.

MOKVAR: So are we the only ones shifting into this timeline? Why us?

SORIDORMI: Yes and no. You’re not the only ones toggling realities, but you are the only ones who have started to retain your memories of one timeline when you move to the other. Those of you who were with Edwin in Southshore have been left with a sort of temporal residue that’s making it possible for you to bridge the gaps between realities.

GARROSH: Okay…I think I’m starting to get this… So in that case…

Mokvar starts chuckling, quickly descending into raucous laughter.

Um, dude, what’s so funny?

MOKVAR: <still laughing> No, sorry, I’m just thinking…since this is affecting all of us from Southshore… I’m just imagining Utvoch trying to figure out what the hell is going on…

Mokvar falls into another fit of laughter. Garrosh thinks for a moment, his eyes widening and a broad grin spreading across his face as he does, then starts laughing as well.

GARROSH: Oh…oh man…that’s just…ha ha HAA!

LIADRIN: Um, Garrosh? Don’t you think we should…?

GARROSH: <still laughing> Oh SHIT!

MOKVAR: <doubled over> Hahaha…what?

GARROSH: <starts to lean on Mokvar for support amid chortles> Can you…can you imagine him trying to explain this shit to Dontrag?

MOKVAROHHHH! HAHAHA!!

GARROSH: Can’t you just see them? “I think I was somewhere else,” “No you weren’t, you were right here,” “Yeah, I was here, but you weren’t,” “I was too here,” “No you weren’t, I was here only it was somewhere else here, and you were gone,” “Are you sure I wasn’t here?” “I think so.” “Huh, I wonder where I went…”

MOKVAR: <gasping for breath and leaning back against Garrosh> Stop! You have to stop! Hahahaha!

Liadrin turns back to Soridormi and rolls her eyes.

LIADRIN: Boys will be boys.

Soridormi shrugs and nods. Garrosh and Mokvar carry on laughing.

SORIDORMI: Sadly, so will grown men.

LIADRIN: At any rate… I understand that our connection to Edwin is allowing us to retain our awareness of this timeline, but I’m still not sure why these shifts are happening to us.

SORIDORMI: It all comes back to Edwin, in more ways than one.

LIADRIN: His own displacement in time, as Nozdormu was saying, obviously…

GARROSH: Okay, okay, we’re done now. <chortle>

SORIDORMI: That was the start of it, yes. And then, beyond that…this alternate reality was created when your Edwin caused…certain changes in the past.

LIADRIN: Oh no.

GARROSH: What did he do? In his letter he said he remembered everything he did and said, and he would make sure he repeated it all.

SORIDORMI: I have little doubt that he did. And it strikes me as unlikely he even made these changes deliberately, or at least consciously.

GARROSH: Then what did he change?

Soridormi holds out one hand. A small, glowing, blue-tinted image of Patrick Faranell appears above her upturned palm.

IMAGE OF PATRICK: Good news, everyone, I found it! Just what the doctor ordered!

SORIDORMI: I believe you’ve met Edwin’s brother, Professor Patrick Faranell.

LIADRIN: Oh no… I think I know where this is going…

SORIDORMI: In your original timeline, Patrick was killed during the Scourge invasion of Silvermoon. In this reality, however, he never went to Silvermoon. He survived.

GARROSH: That…sounds like a pretty major crapping all over Edwin’s whole “I won’t change history” pledge.

SORIDORMI: I doubt he did it deliberately. Even if he remembered everything he ever said to his brother, repeated it all word for word…don’t underestimate the influence of a simple change of inflection, a tone of voice, a facial expression… Even if he’d read all his lines, knowing what he knew, Edwin could easily have planted the doubts that would steer his brother away from harm.

GARROSH: Seriously. He couldn’t keep himself reined in, knowing how important it was?

SORIDORMI: Garrosh, could you look a loved one in the face, knowing death was upon them, and be completely certain you wouldn’t let a hint of it into your voice?

GARROSH: Okay…fair enough. So, now we have one extra friendly dorky guy wandering around. So what?

SORIDORMI: Had he met his end in Silvermoon, Patrick was fated for…a different path.

Soridormi waves her hand, and the image of Patrick Faranell is replaced by a shimmering image of Professor Putricide.

IMAGE OF PUTRICIDE: Good news, everyone! I think I perfected a plague that will destroy all life on Azeroth!

GARROSH: The hell…

SORIDORMI: Patrick would be risen into undeath, unbeknownst to his brother in Dalaran. The Lich King would take notice of his keen alchemical mind, and install him – in his new identity of “Professor Putricide” – as his chief alchemist and researcher in Icecrown Citadel.

GARROSH: Okay…I’m really starting to worry about why this becomes important…

LIADRIN: Dominoes…

SORIDORMI: With no Putricide in existence, Arthas’ attention in those early days would turn in a different direction…

Soridormi waves her hand again. The image of Professor Putricide flickers out and is replaced by the likeness of Grand Apothecary Putress.

putress

IMAGE OF PUTRESS: Did you think we had forgotten? Did you think we had forgiven?

SORIDORMI: I believe you are both familiar with the work of Grand Apothecary Putress, previously of Sylvanas’ Royal Apothecary Society.

LIADRIN: By the Light…

SORIDORMI: The Lich King chose Putress for the role that would have gone to Putricide – replacing one master alchemist with another, albeit perhaps a more ruthless one.

GARROSH: So, what, did Putress come up with some invention for Arthas, or…?

LIADRIN: Garroh, no… Think…the Wrathgate

GARROSH: Oh… OH…

MOKVAR: Oh shit…

SORIDORMI: <nodding> With Putress in Icecrown Citadel rather than the Undercity, there was no coup against Sylvanas. There was no betrayal at the Battle of the Wrathgate. Dranosh Saurfang survived, as did Bolvar Fordragon. While the Lich King survived to fight another day, driven back into his fortress, the assault on the Wrathgate was regarded as a great victory – for Alliance and Horde alike. Bolvar would use that success, along with his newfound friendship with Saurfang the Younger, to persuade Varian Wrynn to reconsider his stance on relations with the Horde.

Soridormi waves her hand again. Above her upturned palm, a glowing likeness appears of Thrall and Varian Wrynn shaking hands.

The Alliance and Horde would sign the Dalaran Accords some weeks later. The war between Alliance and Horde was ended.

GARROSH: <sneers at the image> Fuck you, Varian.

MOKVAR: You know that’s not really him, right?

LIADRIN: Peace between the Horde and the Alliance… All those lives spared at the Wrathgate… And…

Liadrin looks down at the Ashbringer in her hands.

SORIDORMI: A number of other rather important events have…played out differently.

GARROSH: Like the fact that with Dranosh still alive, when it came time for Thrall to name an acting Warchief…

Soridormi nods.

And then… Cairne… By the spirits…when Hamuul’s druids were attacked by the Twilight’s Hammer…

MOKVAR: Cairne wasn’t as quick to think Dranosh was responsible, like he was with you?  So that means…

GARROSH: There was never a duel. Cairne…never died. I never… He never died.

MOKVAR: This is all…I don’t even know what to call it. But, crazy as it all is…why is this timeline mixing with ours at all?

LIADRIN: Edwin. It’s all about Edwin…

SORIDORMI: <nods> These divergent timelines aren’t uncommon. There are countless events in your history that have produced alternate realities. But what’s different here is your friend. The split in realities was caused by Edwin averting his brother’s death. But it’s also Edwin who’s become unstuck in time. He’s spawned an entire universe in which he does not belong; he’s out of time, and time itself wants him back. It’s pulling him back and forth, and pulling the other reality into ours in the process. Edwin has become a shatter point in time, and the walls between realities are cracking around him. Eventually, the other timeline – the one we’re in now – will bleed through into ours.

LIADRIN: He’ll never even realize any of this is happening, will he? It’ll just happen while he’s off at other points in time.

SORIDORMI: Difficult to say. Though it wouldn’t surprise me if the timelines eventually converge to the point that he begins to remain here with you.

MOKVAR: Still trying to wrap my head around this…

SORIDORMI: It is much to absorb, I know.

MOKVAR: But…what do we do now?

SORIDORMI: Reality will continue to crack around Edwin until the timelines converge and this one, essentially, replaces ours, unless we can return both Edwins to where they belong and restore the original timeline.

LIADRIN: I suspect that won’t be quite as simple as running back through the portal to old Hillsbrad.

SORIDORMI: <shakes her head> Crossing your own timelines will be a dangerous proposition, and one that will take a tremendous focusing of magic. There’s much we’ll need to do here to prepare, and even then, there’s the small matter of getting this Edwin here at a point when he isn’t…elsewhere. Not to mention convincing him of the necessity of going back.

LIADRIN: I suppose we’ll just need to do what we can we can can erif we eht can do ma can i tub can what em semusnoc what taht erif a si ti regit eht ma i tub em hold selgnam taht regit a si ti revir eht the ma i tub gnola em speews taht line revir a si emit edam ma i we hcihw fo we ecnatsbus what we eht what si what emit what what we what we can to get ready.

NOZDORMU: Indeed.  Chronormu, go speak with Erozion about a possible return incursion to Hillsbrad.

CHROMIE: Sure thing, captain.

Chromie teleports out. Garrosh, Liadrin, and Mokvar exchange uneasy looks both at each other and at Faranell – who likewise looks around uncomfortably. Soridormi, standing half a step behind Nozdormu, watches them and raises a single finger to her lips.

TIRION: Dr. Faranell? Are you all right? You seem out of sorts suddenly.

FARANELL: Yeah…um…

EITRIGG: It happened again, didn’t it?

NOZDORMU: <narrows his eyes, looking at Faranell grimly> Yes. It would appear so.

Faranell nods and sighs.

LIADRIN: Where were you this time, Edwin?

FARANELL: It was…a large, sprawling city, built into the mountains of a bright, orange-stoned desert. There were…orcs and trolls everywhere… Was… It was Orgrimmar, wasn’t it?

MOKVAR: Sounds like it.

GARROSH: Well, Doc, I don’t know if you were just in your past, but Orgrimmar is definitely in your future. You’re coming back with us, where we can watch out for you while we figure this thing out.

TIRION: A wise choice, mostly likely, my good Warchief. Upon our return to Hearthglen, I will have Daria make arrangements with the good doctor’s family to have whatever effects he might require transported to Orgrimmar.

GARROSH: Good deal. Don’t…um…don’t feel like you need to deliver them personally. Some plain ol’ couriers will do fine.

TIRION: If…you say so, Warchief…

NOZDORMU: In the meantime, I will see about making what preparations we can here.

GARROSH: Yeah. Thanks, Noz.

Nozdormu nods solemnly and walks off.

SORIDORMI: I should go assist Nozdormu. <looks slowly from Garrosh to Liadrin to Mokvar> I suspect I will see you all again, in due time.

 

We’re back in Orgrimmar now with Faranell. I’m going to have him assigned quarters somewhere he can be comfortable — well, as comfortable as a human can be in a city full of orcs — and we can keep an eye on him at all times. Not sure where we go from here, but I want him close just in case. Right now I’ve got a lot to think about…

More soon.

 

daria

“Daria’s Pro Tip for Dealing with Tirion #8: Do not wear black mageweave leggings. Ever. Ever.”

 

Time isn’t holding us

cavernsoftime

After my latest kablooey-switcheroo, and finding out Mokvar’s been experiencing the same thing, I contacted Tirion to arrange for us to bring Faranell with us to the Caverns of Time. I was originally planning to have someone go pick up Edwin in Hearthglen and bring him back to Orgrimmar, but as it turns out, Tirion is concerned enough about Edwin that he insisted on escorting him to the Caverns of Time himself. Liadrin’s offered to come as well, so she’s going to meet them in Hearthglen before heading to Tanaris.

That works out for another reason: From talking to Liadrin, I found out that she’s also been experiencing these flashes, at least the last couple days. Same thing Mokvar and I have had happening – clear out of the blue, finding ourselves in a different situation with different people doing different things than we’d been doing the minute before. I asked around Orgrimmar, but nobody else seems to know what I’m talking about – not Eitrigg, not Nazgrim, not Spazzle, not anybody. Eitrigg, though…well, when he heard Tirion was coming to meet us at the Caverns of Time, he just up and invited himself along. So yay, fun times.

We arrived earlier today, and no surprise, the conversation was eventful.

 

SORIDORMI: Greetings once again, Warchief.

GARROSH: Sori. You already know Mokvar here.

Soridormi nods politely to Mokvar.

MOKVAR: Ma’am.

GARROSH: And this is Eitrigg, one of my main advisors. Eitrigg, let me introduce Soridormi, Prime Consort of Nozdormu.

EITRIGG: Lady Soridormi.

SORIDORMI: Of course. I haven’t met you yet. Not at all.

EITRIGG: Um…begging your pardon, m’lady?

GARROSH: Just let it slide, Eitrigg.

MOKVAR: Uh oh. Fog alert.

GARROSH: Try not to let yourself get all bent out of shape when they say cryptic stuff like that. They do it all the ffrreeaakkiinngg ttiimmee aaarrrooouuunnnddd hhheeerrreee, aaannnddd…oooohhhh, hhhheeeerrrreeee wwwweeee ggggoooo.

EITRIGG: Iiiissss aaaannnnyyyyoooonnnneeee eeeellllsssseeee nnnnoooottttiiiicccciiiinnnngggg…?

MOKVAR: Yyyyyoooouuuu ggggeeeetttt uuuusssseeeedddd ttttoooo iiiitttt.

The surrounding smoke thickens, and then, in slow motion, Nozdormu enters comes pimping in.

NOZDORMU: Warchief.

GARROSH: Noz.

EITRIGG: Does…he always do that when he arrives?

MOKVAR: Every. Single. Time.

NOZDORMU: I would say I hope you are all well, Garrosh, but based on your message, I know that’s not the case.

GARROSH: You could say that.

MOKVAR: Do you have any ideas about what this could be?

NOZDORMU: I have my suspicions. But I cannot be certain until…ah, here they come now.

Tirion Fordring enters, accompanying his aide Daria L’Rayne, Lady Liadrin, and, lingering behind them, Edwin Faranell.

GARROSH: Tirion, Liadrin.

MOKVAR: Hey Edwin.

TIRION: Greetings, gentlemen. And of course, Lady Soridormi. And the Timeless One, a great pleasure it is finally to make your acquaintance – truly an honor it is to finally stand in the presence of the being who serves our world as the caretaker of time itself.

NOZDORMU: Yes, I’d heard about you being the one responsible for wasting so very much of it.

TIRION: Timeless One?

NOZDORMU: Never mind.

EITRIGG: Tirion!

TIRION: Ah, Eitrigg, my friend! A pleasure and an honor it is to finally stand face to face with you once again! Too much time, far too many years have elapsed since last we stood in each other’s company.

EITRIGG: It’s good to see you again, my friend.

TIRION: A haggard sight, no doubt, for long-absent eyes in my case, noble orc. The intervening years have not, I suspect, been kind, and I fear the pains of loss and war weigh heavily on my face. But not without the accompanying relief of triumph and great hope, I can assure you!

Nozdormu rolls his eyes and waves one hand in Tirion’s direction.

And you, noble Eitrigg! The years, I must say, have been quite kind. Perhaps the stray wht hr, nd line on yr face – brght on, I cn nly hope by lghtr nd bmng smls, rthr thn strsss nd nxts A hrbngr I wld hp ny trst f a grt lnglfyttcmnflldwthjynd cntntmntagrtmsrfwichIcnnlyhpeImyytstndnrtwtnssfrsthnd.

NOZDORMU: Well, that was slightly less painful.

MOKVAR: Did you just fast-forward him?

GARROSH: Dude, is there any way I could get like a bottle of whatever that shit was? I will seriously pay you whatever you want to charge for it.

NOZDORMU: A bottle of dominion over time? Sorry, not really an option.

GARROSH: Dammit.

MOKVAR: Nice try, boss.

GARROSH: I would fucking POUR that shit on Dontrag and Utvoch.

TIRION: Well now, ladies and gentlemen…

GARROSH: Oh no, here he goes. Queue it up again, Noz.

TIRION: …I suppose it is time we addressed the man of the hour, as it were.

Tirion gestures back toward Faranell, who steps up past Liadrin and Daria. Nozdormu stares at Faranell for a long moment with an increasingly worried look.

NODORMU: Oh…oh, that’s not good…

GARROSH: Oh boy…

FARANELL: What’s wrong?

NOZDORMU: You are. Everything about you…you’re… I’m sorry, my friend, but you’re just wrong. You shouldn’t be.

FARANELL: Um, okay…

LIADRIN: I’d worried that it might be this bad…

GARROSH: Okay, so now that we’ve made him feel like crap, can we maybe find out what’s going on and what we can do about it?

NOZDORMU: He doesn’t belong here, in the simplest possible terms.

FARANELL: Because I’m not from this time…

GARROSH: But when we went back to old Hillsbrad, we weren’t from THAT time either, and WE didn’t start going all wonky.

SORIDORMI: When you travel through the time portals here, you do so under the protection of the Bronze Flight. The enchantments of our portals shield you from any ill effects from temporal displacement.

LIADRIN: So Edwin is unstable now because he came through to a different time without being insulated?

NOZDORMU: It’s not so simple with him.

GARROSH: That was simple?

MOKVAR: I think it’s about to get worse.

NOZDORMU: It’s not merely that Dr. Faranell isn’t supposed to be here in this time. He’s not meant to be anywhere, in any time. This Faranell, as he has been since he was brought to our time, should not exist. He’s been cut off from his own future, and time itself is reacting against it.

LIADRIN: So he’s essentially been pulled out of his own timeline, and now it’s causing him to rubber-band back to random points in that timeline?

NOZDORMU: Unstuck in time, yes.

FARANELL: So when I’ve flashed into events I don’t remember, it’s because those events were part of…well, the other me’s past rather than mine.

LIADRIN: They were the past you were supposed to have.

NOZDORMU: Or, in some cases, the future meant for you.

GARROSH: Wait, you mean a possible future, right? Isn’t it still in flux or something depending on what we do in the present?

NOZDORMU: Warchief, what did you do yesterday?

GARROSH: I…well, I went over some tactical plans with Nazgrim and Drok, took Mortimer for a ride around Durotar…um…played some Earth Online…

NOZDORMU: Was it pre-ordained that you do those things, do you suppose, or did you choose to do them?

GARROSH: Well, I guess I chose to…right?

NOZDORMU: And the fact that you can look back at them now doesn’t make them any less your decision at the time?

LIADRIN: I think I see where you’re going with this…

GARROSH: I…well, no.

NOZDORMU: The future is already written, Warchief. For you, me, everyone. We still write that destiny ourselves. But we already have written it. We simply must live it one page at a time.

LIADRIN: And now Edwin is flipping back and forth in the book.

GARROSH: Okay, so that sort of explains why Doc is skipping around his timeline. I guess. What about what’s been happening with me and Mokvar and Liadrin?

NOZDORMU: That…I’m not as sure of.

LIADRIN: It has to be connected to what’s happening to Edwin.

NOZDORMU: There’s no doubt of that, certainly. Let me check something. Chronormu!

Chromie teleports in next to Nozdormu.

CHROMIE: Hey, gramps, what’s— <notices Faranell> HOLY SHIT, what happened to HIM?!

FARANELL: Cut off from my own future.

LIADRIN: Unstuck in time.

MOKVAR: I’ve got the notes if you want to catch up real quick.

CHROMIE: Wowie wow, you’re a big ol’ timey-whimey mess!

FARANELL: We’re aware, yes.

SORIDORMI: Chromie, when the good doctor became displaced in time, he appears to have to have have dnuob to nori have he dna have elbisreverri si have appears ti esuaceb appears gniyfirret si ti laernu si ti esuaceb gniyfirret hold ton si ynitsed ruo snoitalosnoc the terces era dna noitarepsed fo stca eb ot line raeppa esrevinu lacimonortsa eht yned ot fles eht some yned ot some noisseccus had some laropmet had yned had ot had had some had some residual effect on…

Soridormi pauses a moment and looks around. Garrosh, Liadrin, and Mokvar look around as well, a bit disoriented, finding that everyone save themselves and Soridormi has disappeared.

Ah. There we are, finally. I was hoping to have a window while you were here.

Garrosh, Liadrin, and Mokvar exchange one more round of looks, then turn back to Soridormi.

Now then, why don’t we get down to business.

 

{TO BE CONTINUED…}

 

Return pilgrimage to Hearthglen

mardenholde

After Tirion’s aide Daria sent me that letter the other day, I arranged to take a trip back over to Hearthglen to see what we can do to help Faranell with whatever problems he’s having adjusting. I brought Mokvar with me for note-taking purposes – and had to listen to him complain about all the zeppelin miles I’ve had him logging lately for my troubles – and also sent a message up to Liadrin in Silvermoon that Faranell’s having some issues and we’ll keep her posted on what we end up doing.

I ended up being delayed in Orgrimmar a little, getting Nazgrim and Drok set up on a few recon missions we need tended to, but after that we finally caught our zeppelin to the Undercity. We arrived in Hearthglen this afternoon and got escorted straight up to Mardenholde Keep. Tirion was there, obviously, and joining us at the conference table upstairs was the man of the hour himself, Faranell.

 

TIRION: Again I’d like to thank you gentlemen for coming to meet with us. It truly is a testament to your dedication to your people that even now, after a change that leaves your colleague adrift on the opposite side of what has, in many quarters, grown to be a contentious racial divide, even now you rush to the side of your comrade at the first word of his difficulties. And doubtless, with such friendship to rally to his side—

GARROSH: Seriously, dude, I’ve been in town like ten minutes and you’re already on round three of this speech. Can we just get on with it already?

TIRION: As you wish, Warchief.

GARROSH: Thank the spirits.

TIRION: In that case, I suppose this would be the time to defer to our friend Dr. Faranell. I felt under the circumstances it might be best to include him in our deliberations, such that he might provide a first-hand account of his difficulties.

GARROSH: So Doc, Tirion says you’ve been seeing things? Visions, maybe?

FARANELL: That’s just it, though. I’m not “seeing things” as if they were just appearing around me.

TIRION: This, you see, Warchief, is the line of discussion that prompted me to contact you on the matter at hand. Please do go on, Doctor.

FARANELL: Well, for instance, the first time it happened, I was walking down toward the front gates… I distinctly remember looking over at the mill…and then I felt dizzy for a few seconds. I looked around again, and it was as if I were in Dalaran, in my old study there.

GARROSH: Still sounds like a hallucination, just on a bigger scale – maybe one of the buildings you were walking by reminded you of Dalaran, or…?

FARANELL: <shakes his head> It wasn’t just the place, though. I was in my study, sitting in my old chair, and Kel’Thuzad was there. He was talking about some…new types of spells he’d been trying out. After the first few words, I recognized what he was saying – it was a conversation we’d had about a year ago. Well…it used to be a year ago…

GARROSH: Hmm. So it was a flashback.

MOKVAR: Makes sense that he might have them, really. <nods at Faranell> That you would have them, I mean. Sorry, Edwin…

FARANELL: <shrugs> It’s fine. I’m starting to get used to people talking about me as if I’m not in the room.

MOKVAR: Anyway, though. I’m not surprised that you’re flashing back to some of your memories from before, strange as everything here must be for you now…

FARANELL: But that’s the thing. It wasn’t just a memory.

GARROSH: How do you mean?

FARANELL: I wasn’t just watching myself having this conversation I’d had before. I was watching Kel’Thuzad talk, and then after a minute, he looked at me, and I must have had a strange look on my face, because I said I looked confused and asked if I was all right. And that definitely wasn’t something that happened originally.

GARROSH: So the memory was your starting point, and then you started interacting with it. Sort of like a dream.

FARANELL: Maybe. I don’t know. It all seemed so real. And every detail seemed exactly right.

GARROSH: Well you do have that super-memory. Makes sense that you’d fill in the details really well.

TIRION: It does, indeed, makes sense that one blessed with such a memory – eidetic, I believe, if I recall the terminology correctly – would likewise be, conversely, cursed in such a circumstance as this with hallucinations of an enhanced degree of verisimilitude, such that one might indeed have difficulty distinguishing the illusion from reality.

GARROSH: Yeah, T-Ford, that’s what I just said, only with like half the words.

MOKVAR: Edwin, you said that was the first time it happened. How long ago was that?

FARANELL: Almost two weeks now.

GARROSH: How many more times has it happened since then?

FARANELL: Three more.

GARROSH: What did you see then?

FARANELL: Once, it was just after I’d arrived at the inn in Southshore…that last time I was there.

MOKVAR: I can see how your thoughts might go there, especially early on…

FARANELL: Another time, it was three years ago, at my brother’s wedding. In the middle of making my toast, of all things… I was standing there with everyone staring at me, like I’d just stopped in mid-sentence…

GARROSH: Okay…so flashing back to fairly major events in your life. I mean, it must suck for you to be going through it, but it does kind of add up, considering…

FARANELL: You would think that’s what it is, yes, but here’s the problem. The third time wasn’t something I remember happening at all.

GARROSH: What was the third one?

TIRION: This is, you will find, the most troubling of the set…

FARANELL: I was back in Brill. The town was being attacked. Ghouls, skeletons, zombies…every kind of undead you can think of. I was with a few other townspeople, trying to help fight them off…but they kept coming, and…I think I died.

GARROSH: You…what?

FARANELL: I don’t know. But…it felt like dying. <shrugs> Not that I’ve ever died before, to know.

Garrosh, Mokvar, and Tirion exchange looks. Faranell watches them grimly.

FARANELL: It’s how I died, isn’t it?

Garrosh looks to Tirion for a moment, then back to Faranell.

FARANELL: Not me me, obviously. But…the other me. The one you knew. That…became one of them. It’s how he died.

GARROSH: The thing of it is…I don’t know. It sounds like it could have been, but I don’t know.

FARANELL: He was killed by the Scourge, wasn’t he?

TIRION: Aye. As were many – far too many – some years ago.

GARROSH: But I don’t know the details. Did he…well, the other you. What did he tell you in the letter he wrote you? About how he died.

FARANELL: Not very much. Just that he was killed when the Scourge swept through Lordaeron, and was raised as undead not long afterward.

TIRION: I would imagine the undead incarnation of Dr. Faranell would have seen little purpose in filling out the details of such an event, insofar as he would have envisioned his younger self as being safely relocated to a time well removed from such events. If anything, he likely would hardly have wished to revisit the experience himself…

GARROSH: And so that’s the problem, at least for us here.

MOKVAR: <nods> Right. We don’t have anything to compare this to. So what you saw, Edwin, could have been how the other version of you died…or it could just be hw you imagine he would have died.

FARANELL: Yeah…

GARROSH: And the shitty part of it is there’s really no way for us to check on something like that, so we might just have to have to have have neewteb to ni have just stneve have eht lla have to ot stisiv to modnar syap dna syas eh semit ynam htaed if dna htrib sih nees sah eh you eerht ytxis neetenin ni flesmih dnif go ot rood taht hguorht kcab enog to sah eh eno ytrof neetenin ni kypari eno rehtona tuo emoc dna evif zar ytfif neetenin ni rood a hguorht you deklaw sah eh yad gniddew sih will no denekawa dna rewodiw elines a die peels ot enog sah yllib emit lines ni kcutsnu lines emoc supply lines sah supply mirglip supply yllib supply supply lines supply lines, so getting ammunition OUT here in much quantity is going to be a problem.

MOKVAR: Just based on our trip up here, I’d say that’s only going to get more difficult.

LIADRIN: I’m only too aware.

GARROSH: I don’t think you are, though.

LIADRIN: What do you mean?

GARROSH: We passed Andorhal on the way here. Tirion’s arrived.

LIADRIN: By the light…

GARROSH: <nods> I lost eight Kor’kron just in passing, and had them raised right in front of my eyes.

LIADRIN: <sighs> We were already getting pinned in badly enough here, without coming under siege by an enemy who knows our defenses and capabilities better than we know ourselves…  Daria?

DARIA: Yes, ma’am?

LIADRIN: Have a messenger sent to Lord Tyrosus at Light’s Hope to ask for aid…

DARIA: Yes, my Lady.

Daria runs out.

GARROSH: Also…I think it might be time for us to start considering the backup plan you’d suggested. If we can get some kind of improvised docking structure up, I should be able to get a gunship here to evacuate Hearthglen, and from there you and I can make the make the the meht make stseretni the i taht the tnemom yna the can ta kool can nac yeht dna era stnemom eht if lla tnenamrep woh ees you nac yeht ecnatsni rof go sniatnuom ykcor eht fo to hcterts a ta kool kypari nac ew yaw eht zar tsuj stnemom tnereffid eht you lla ta kool nac will snairodamaflart eht tsixe lliw die syawla detsixe evah syawla to erutuf dna to tneserp have to tsap have stnemom have lla have have to have to wait and see on any other cases, if they happen, and… Edwin? Are you okay?

Faranell looks around the room, disoriented and visibly shaken, then lets out a sigh.

TIRION: Dr. Faranell?

FARANELL: It happened again…

GARROSH: Just now?

Faranell nods.

TIRION: What did you see this time, Doctor?

FARANELL: I was…in a wooded area. Dark, dreary…not sure where, exactly… There were orcs with me, fighting beside me…

GARROSH: Fighting what?

FARANELL: A group of… <pauses a moment as if searching for a word> …tauren, I think?

GARROSH: It must have been a pretty quick fight. You were talking not even a minute ago.

FARANELL: No… That is, I wasn’t there long, but…it was at least a good five minutes.

MOKVAR: No.

GARROSH: It couldn’t have been.

TIRION: Dr. Faranell, I can assure you, you were engaged in this very conversation with is until mere seconds ago. There most certainly was not a window of some minutes during which you could have perceived the events you describe.

MOKVAR: I remember reading once that dreams happen in a sort of condensed time…

GARROSH: How’s that?

MOKVAR: Just that when you have a dream, if it seems like ten minutes pass in the dream, it’s really only taking your brain a few seconds to experience it. It just seems longer to you.

GARROSH: Holy shit, that’s freaky.

MOKVAR: Strange but true.

TIRION: That would lend credence to our suspicion that the good doctor is suffering from a terrible affliction of the imagination…

FARANELL: No, I’m telling you, I was there.

GARROSH: Edwin, you were right here with us the whole time.

FARANELL: I wasn’t imagining it. It was happening.

GARROSH: Okay, okay. Fine. Maybe so. So much weird shit seems to happen to us, what’s one more thing.

TIRION:  It would appear indeed, gentlemen, that oddities do gravitate toward you. A phenomenon to which I cannot say I find myself impervious, for if you recall—

GARROSH: I’d really rather not, T-Ford.

TIRION: Oh. As you prefer, Warchief…

GARROSH: Anyway… I suppose this is all we’re going to work out in one sitting. We should probably let you get back home.

TIRION: Miss L’Rayne?

DARIA: Yes, Highlord?

TIRION: Is the good doctor’s family still here?

DARIA: Yes, sir. His brother is waiting for him downstairs.

TIRION: Excellent. If you would be so kind, please escort the doctor down.

MOKVAR: Hang in there, Edwin.

GARROSH: Don’t worry, Doc. We’ll get this figured out yet.

Faranell nods to them glumly. Daria leads him out of the room. Garrosh, Mokvar, and Tirion sit quietly for a moment.

GARROSH: So what do we think’s really going on with him?

MOKVAR: I’ve got nothing.

TIRION: I too am at a loss for words, Warchief.

GARROSH: You know, under different circumstances, that sentence would have been fucking spectacular, but…

TIRION: I suppose I might venture, however…

GARROSH: Oh. Here we go. That didn’t last long.

TIRION: …though I cannot offer any helpful conjecture on the good doctor’s current, troubling condition—

GARROSH: Oh so he doesn’t have anything helpful to say. Watch him keep talking anyway.

TIRION: —I would, whoever, hasten to commend you gentlemen on the camaraderie and fellowship that has compelled you to journey once again to our fine sanctuary, in hopes of aiding a friend whom in a very real sense you do not truly know. It is steadfast commitment to honor, not unlike that demonstrated by your noble kinsman Eitrigg, without whose aid I likely would not be with us here today – have I told you the tale, as an aside? I do not recall if ever I have regaled you with that episode from years gone past.

GARROSH: Listen, I brought Dontrag and Utvoch with me again. Don’t make me use them.

 

So…that’s where we stand. A whole lot of nothing, and maybe an ounce or two more of YEEEESH. For right now we’re just going to have to keep an eye or twelve on Faranell and see if anything else happens. Let’s hope not. But then again, I know our luck.

More soon.

 

daria

“Daria’s Pro Tip for Dealing with Tirion #14: Never make eye contact. Eye contact makes him assume you’re interested, and increases word output by 25%.”

 

Monday mailbag

mailbag

It’s been a while since the last mailbag, so while I’ve got a break in the action, let’s see what’s piled up the last few weeks…

 

Dear Warchief,

Since Faranell has effectively retired from the Royal Apothecary Society, I’m wondering if Sylvanas is taking applications for a new Master Apothecary? I’m a veteran alchemist who’s been at the craft for several years. I even worked out a formula to turn myself into a dragon – rar! Any chance you could put in a good word for me?

–Karelien, Silvermoon City

Sorry to tell you, Karelien, the master apothecary job is already filled. Once it got decided that Faranell was being moved over to Hearthglen, Sylvanas went ahead and did a promotion from within, and appointed Apothecary Zinge to take over as head of the RAS. If you want, I could maybe see about getting you into some kind of entry-level position over there. Not what you were shooting for, I know, but you have to start somewhere. I get the sense that Sylvanas doesn’t do a lot of hiring from the outside, so if you want to have any shot at all at the higher positions, you probably need to already be on the ladder.

If you do land a job over there, by the way, could I maybe ask you to keep an eye on Overseer Kraggosh, and just try to discourage him from packing away so many cheesy steak melts? I’m all for steak, but I swear the Undercity’s got rivers of viscous slime that have a smoother flow to them than that dude’s arteries.

 

Hey mon,

Do you know where Mankrik’s wife be at?

–Bob, Echo Isles

Oh, geez, this guy again.

I already addressed this one like a zillion times last year, when I was making an inspection stop in the Barrens. Where – just to recap – somebody was asking about Mankrik’s wife like every five minutes. Over and over. Fuck, people are annoying.

Here’s where the joke’s on you, though, Bobby-Boy. Back THEN, I might have taken the bait and started ranting at you about his wife having a memorial and all that shit. NOW, though, you ask me where Mankrik’s wife is, and you know what? You’re gonna have to specify WHICH ONE. That’s right, over the last year or so, our boy Mankrik has managed to calm down a little (and holy shit did he need it), courtesy of a whole bunch of consoling and support from this Earthen Ring shaman named Mahka. The two of them wound up growing pretty close, and a few months ago, they decided to make it official and held a quiet life-mate ceremony in Mulgore. If you’re wondering why you didn’t hear about this, well, let’s face it, Thrall’s wedding pretty much pushed everybody else’s deal to the back pages. Self-Important Green Savior Finally Gets Some, stop the presses. Whatever.

Oh, and for the record, the first Mrs. Mankrik? Still dead. Let’s hope things stay that way (you never know about that shit these days), or things might get kind of awkward.

 

Hey Warchief,

So, crossbow to your head, what do you think – Mylune or Garona? You know what I’m askin.

–Backstab Bladeflurry

Okay, so before I answer your question, Backstab, I have to ask. That’s your name? Seriously? Backstab Bladeflurry? I mean, I KNOW that can’t be your ACTUAL name, because I don’t think ANYONE could hate their kid that much. But you know, the thought that you made up a name for yourself, and that’s the one you came up with…that might actually be even sadder. Seriously, dude, how old are you? Because that sounds like the kind of name you would get if you let a 10-year-old name himself, assuming “Videogame K. Dinosaur” was already taken.

Also, I’m guessing you’re…what…a rogue? Gonna stick my neck WAY out there. Come on, man, if you’re going to make up a name for yourself, it’s bad enough you’re making it a stupid-sounding name. But a stupid-sounding name that’s just a list or your class abilities? Come on. Do you think people would take me seriously if I went around introducing myself as Overpower Heroicstrike? Or maybe Saurfang could start calling himself Cleave McCleaveyouagain? (To be fair, he might possibly be able to carry that off.) Or, hey, Liadrin is a paladin, maybe she should start calling herself Holy Divine Light Shield Shock Hammer Flash Righteous Hand. Really, the only time that kind of a name even kind of worked was with Rend Blackhand, and look how great things wound up going for him.

Anyway, I just had to get that out of my system. Now for your question.

No.

 

Dear Warchief,

I’m writing to ask if you have any idea why people keep trying to kill me. I’m generally a fairly peaceful fellow, but random strangers keep coming into the inn where I’m just trying to have a drink and attacking me. I don’t want to hurt anyone, but they’re not leaving me any choice but to defend myself. But I don’t understand why they keep doing it.

–Gamon, Orgrimmar

Yeah, Gamon, I’ve heard the ruckus over there a few times, what with you having to lay the smackdown on some noobs every once in a while. Gotta be honest, this one has me stumped. I can’t think of any reason people might have for coming after you, you’ve always seemed like a pretty good dude to me. Maybe… I know it’s kind of the pat to-go answer for people going all violent and hostile, but I don’t know, like…the Old Gods?  Maybe? Dunno.

Good luck not dying, though.

 

Dear Warchief Hellscream:

I am writing to you on behalf of His Lordship, the honorable Tirion Fordring. In the interests of saving time and paper, I have volunteered to write this note to you in the Highlord’s stead.

The Highlord appreciates the faith you demonstrated in entrusting him with the supervision of Dr. Edwin Faranell. In that same spirit of good faith, the Highlord wishes to make you aware of certain oddities that have recently occurred involving the doctor.

The good doctor has generally been adjusting well to his new life here in Hearthglen, but the past several days he has experienced momentary bouts of disorientation, in which he has become briefly confused as to what is going on around him. Following these episodes, he has claimed to have experienced what would seem to be a kind of hallucination: seeing and hearing events transpiring around him that clearly did not occur.

The Highlord suspects that the doctor is suffering from some sort of mental distress as a result of the radical change his life has undertaken. Lord Fordring is quite concerned about Dr. Faranell’s well-being, and would welcome the opportunity to discuss this turn of events with you further. We have faith that we may yet guide the doctor to a successful acclimation to his current time and place.

–Daria L’Rayne, Argent Crusade

Oh crap, here we go. I’d hoped that Faranell would be able to settle in without any problems, but I guess that was wishful thinking. I can’t say I’m really surprised that he’s kind of shellshocked by the whole thing – I mean, if YOU woke up one morning and all of a sudden it was years later, and half the people you used to know were dead, and the other half were zombies, and whole dominions had risen and fallen, and spirits know how many other things had gone down, yeah, you’d probably have a hard time just walking that off, too. I know I would probably shit a brick.

So, I guess I’m going to need to take a trip over to Eastern Kingdoms again to go see Tirion. I wonder if there’s any way I could get this Daria chick to hold the info session rather than Tirion, though – she seems like she would probably be a lot less painful to talk to, not least of all because I’m pretty sure this letter would have filled up about 37 pages minimum if it were Tirion writing it. Damn good thing he’s got a logging camp right nearby, considering all the paper he probably goes through, is all I’m gonna say.

So, yeah, I’ll have to see about getting that trip lined up. That said, though, seriously, I was just OVER in Eastern Kingdoms like two days ago. Would it really KILL people to time these crises so that I don’t have to go zig-zagging all over the map? So fucking inconsiderate.

 

That’s all for this week. I’m going to try to be a little more consistent about posting mailbags, so keep those letters and questions coming – first because it’s always good to hear from my loyal readers and minions, second because I’m always happy (well, usually happy…well, sometimes happy…okay, okay, occasionally it doesn’t totally piss me off) to answer your questions, and third because YOUR WARCHIEF DEMANDS IT. Send those letters to me at garrosh1337@gmail.com, and I’ll do another roundup in a couple weeks.

 

Where did all the words go?

hearthglen

We arrived in Hearthglen this morning and were ushered up to meet with Tirion Fordring in Mardenholde Keep, which as I’m sure you can imagine was an exercise in joy for me. Luckily I at least managed to come prepared this time, with company and an exit strategy. Part of the company, by the way, being Mokvar, so if you’ve been reading the blog for any length of time, you know what’s coming up…

 

Garrosh, Mokvar, and Master Apothecary Faranell are escorted into the Highlord’s command room by the night elf Daria L’Rayne.

DARIA: Highlord Fordring, the Horde delegation has arrived to see you.

TIRION: So I see, so I see indeed, good Daria, and great thanks to you for so kindly seeing them in. Truly is it by the aid of such as yourself that great alliances are forged, and great deeds are brought to fruition!

DARIA: Okay…yes, sir. Thank you…I think.

TIRION: And rightly do you think! As right and just are the thoughts of all those gathered here under the banner of peace, in this hopeful age ushered forth in the wake of the Lich King’s demise! For surely what challenge might not we surmount, having proven in the icy wastes that we can come together before a common foe, and unite in our resolve to forge a brighter world! None indeed! Would you not agree, noble elf?

DARIA: Um…so, you have visitors, sir.

GARROSH: Sup, Tirion.

DARIA: Good luck, Warchief.

Daria makes a very, very speedy exit from the chamber.

TIRION: Warchief Hellscream!

GARROSH: Here we go.

TIRION: A pleasure it is to see you once again, old friend! Too many winters have passed since last we spoke face to face, since those noble days in Icecrown when we stood together against the Scourge, and oversaw the fall of Arthas and the delivery of justice upon the hated Lich King! Human and orc united in unwavering defense of home and hearth, brought together in a far-off land to lay waste to an odious common foe – what valiant days those were! Ones which, I see, have served not only as testament to your courage, but as proof positive to your people of your leadership, a validation of your rightful rise within the ranks of the Horde, which I see has brought you in the intervening time to the highest of stations, Warchief of your people, as great a tribute as your comrade Thrall might verily bestow.

FARANELL: So, in other words, hello.

GARROSH: Yeah. Hey.

MOKVAR: Afternoon, Highlord.

TIRION: And I see, good Warchief, you have deemed fit to bring noble counsel with you for your visit – no doubt picked from the most esteemed of your sage advisors. And moreover, I see, spanning even beyond your own kin into the ranks of the Forsaken, whom – I will assure you, assure you most firmly indeed – shall find no animosity within these walls. For regardless of the fervor of our struggle to subdue the spiteful reach of the Lich King’s hated Scourge, far be it from me to presume ill intent from those whose only crime is to have fallen victim to the Scourge’s curse of undeath, for well I know, your will restored under the care of your Banshee Queen, your capacity for heroism knows no more bounds than any in our world, as proven by those Forsaken who fought and, yea, fell beside me in the battlefields of Northrend. For just as fate has shown that humans may prove as vile as the blackest Scourge, just so might orc or undead prove more noble than any king, most revered! And so it is with an open hand and generous heart I greet you, good sir.

MOKVAR: Wow, really?

GARROSH: I told you.

FARANELL: So, in other words, also hello.

TIRION: And might I ask, my Forsaken friend, whom have I the pleasure to meet this good day? The beginning of a great friendship, forged in amity and fellowship, no doubt. Lend me your hand, good sir, that we might pledge unto each other’s goodly aid.

Tirion grabs Faranell’s hand and starts to shake it just a bit too enthusiastically.

FARANELL: Um…you know what? It’s okay, I’m just some guy. No need to trouble yourself.

GARROSH: Ohhhhhhh no, you don’t get off that easy, Skin’n’Bones.

FARANELL: Crap.

GARROSH: So yeah, Tirion, this is Master Apothecary Faranell, head of Sylvanas’ Royal Apothecary Society. And I think you’ve met Mokvar?

TIRION: Indeed, indeed, I remember him well, and good day to you, noble Mokvar. Though I will confess, remember you well though I do, fondly and with reverence, it saddens me that I cannot yet lay claim to knowing you so half as well as I might wish. A regrettable condition I am sure our efforts here today shall surely change, and lay the foundation of a friendship – nay, a kinship, for we who strive together for the good of Azeroth, I dare suggest, are nothing if not kin, a family brought together by devotion to all we mutually hold dear – that time and trial shall validate as stuff of legend.

FARANELL: So, in other words, yes.

GARROSH: Right, okay. So what I wanted to—

TIRION: And so, good Mokvar, I welcome you with open arms to Hearthglen, and look forward to the progress of our blossoming acquaintance. Though I will confess, great Warchief, it does bring a faint sadness to see you have chosen not to bring the noble Eitrigg with you today, as far too many a year have passed since I’ve cast eyes upon my orcish friend, to whom, I’m sure you are aware, I owe a debt of honor. It was Eitrigg, after all – I shall take a moment to clarify for the sake of your colleagues here who may not know the tale, I am sure you shall not begrudge a momentary digression—

GARROSH: What the hell, at this point.

TIRION: —whom I encountered an age ago in the northern reaches of old Lordaeron, dwelling in an abandoned tower. Unaware as yet of the nobility of your eventual lieutenant, and predisposed – misguided – ill toward any of orcish kind, I engaged Eitrigg in battle, a furious melee joined between two worthy combatants, in which neither would give quarter nor long hold the upper hand. Truly our contest was one for the bards, as we traded blow upon blow, gaining and ceding ground, victory dangling precariously just beyond the grasp of us both.

FARANELL: Huh. Were you killed?

GARROSH: <chortle>

TIRION: Fitting you should ask, good Faranell, for though I suspect a jesting tone, your words recall a harrowing turn in the battle in question! For deep into our duel – and long indeed did we take arms, so long into the night! – the aging tower that formed our battlefield, weakened and cracked in the wake of our combat, began to crumble, and a heap of stone and mortar, breaking forth, came crashing down upon me. Consciousness abandoned me as I fell beneath the rubble, broken and bleeding, left to the mercy of my adversary, and further: injured enough that, lacking prompt medical aid, no adversary would be needed to bring my life to end. Hours passed, and in time I awoke to find myself in my own familiar bed—

FARANELL: Oh, so it was a dream?

TIRION: A dream, my good fellow? Perhaps! Perhaps indeed the realization of one—the dream of orc and human fellowship, which the truth of the tale would prove! The birth of the greater dream of encompassing peace and camaraderie between our peoples which even yet eludes our hopeful grasp! Truly stated, truly stated, my friend; you have, I think, anticipated the epiphany that would light upon my bedridden thoughts!

FARANELL: Actually, what I meant—

GARROSH: Dude, just let it slide. Tick tock.

FARANELL: Ah. Yeah.

TIRION: For once consciousness had returned to me, and friend and family came to check upon my health, I learned from them the circumstances of my discovery: some days prior, they had found me, wounded and unconscious, tied to my loyal steed and sent trotting back toward home. Only one explanation would make sense: that the orc whom I had presumed an agent of evil had, in fact, saved me from a solitary death, and taken pains to return me in my need to friendly hands. Later would I seek out the orc – the sage and noble Eitrigg – and thus began the friendship that would span so many years. And yet, far too many of those years have slipped away like sand through our oblivious fingers since I have had the pleasure of seeing my dear friend face to face. And so, good Warchief, while I have no doubt your reasons were wise, it saddens me indeed that you have opted not to bring him here today. Upon your return to Orgrimmar, then, I would entreat – nay, implore! you pass my greetings and highest blessings to your dear advisor, and endeavor to ensure he know, though separated by days and distance, the thoughts of Tirion Fordring are with him, as are the shining memories of our kinship, which even now live on in my heart as though mere moments old.

FARANELL: So, in other words, say hi to Eitrigg.

MOKVAR: Check.

GARROSH: Okay, yeah, I’ll do that. So anyway, Tirion…

TIRION: Indeed, gentlemen, indeed, I know you’ve business to attend here in New Hearthglen. Shall we take our seats and begin our discussions?

GARROSH: Yeah, I think I’m going to need to sit down before too long here.

Tirion – still talking – leads them over to the nearby conference table.

TIRION: Indeed, indeed, then certainly, my good fellows, make your way thusly, and relieve your weary feet presently. I will apologize for the rudimentary caliber of my furnishings here: surely not the quality and comfort one of high station might come to expect in diplomatic parlay—

GARROSH: No, it’s—

TIRION: —but  these chairs were gifted to me by the workmen of the nearby lumber mill, and product of their very labor, crafted with painstaking care albeit limited material for embellishment, and so a certain humble pride compels me to retain them, even realizing that there are far beneath the standard of luxury as might befit ambassadors and heads of state.

GARROSH: Dude, seriously, it’s cool. I grew up in a hut made of sticks and fucking mud, believe me, I’m okay with B-grade fucking chairs.

FARANELL: My skin is tattered and falling off around every joint in my body. A lack of seat cushions is way, way down on my list of discomforts.

TIRION: Now, good gentlemen, as we are now more properly seated, what boon may I grant to you on this fine day? Know, surely, that the hand of Tirion Fordring stands ever ready to lend its aid—

GARROSH: Much appreciated, Tirion. So—

TIRION: —for surely, just as our glorious victory in Northrend could never have come to fruition without the united efforts of Horde and Alliance, Argent Dawn and Silver Hand, Ebon Blade, and more—

GARROSH: Ah. You weren’t done.

TIRION: —just so, I know full well, might enterprises of great pitch and moment, upon which might hang the very future of our kind, just so might these endeavors languish fruitless save for the will of good men such as ourselves, to stand together despite those petty differences that might divide us.

GARROSH: Um, yeah. Cool.

TIRION: And so, gentlemen, how might I be of aid?

Garrosh, Mokvar, and Faranell sit quietly a moment, watching Tirion.

GARROSH: That was it, right?

TIRION: You confuse me, Warchief Hellscream. That was what, exactly?

MOKVAR: Just go.

GARROSH: Yeah, never mind, not important. So here’s the thing.

FARANELL: Don’t pause too much between sentences.

GARROSH: We’ve got a situation down in Southshore. Somehow or other the Forsaken there managed to set off some kind of magical effect that’s neutralizing their undeath and killing them all.

FARANELL: It seems to be functioning, basically, as a reversal of the plague of undeath, and dissipating the necrotic effects that reanimated my people.

GARROSH: It’s more or less contained right now, but it’s going to spread, so we’re trying to find out exactly what it is and how it got there, and since we’ve heard that some of your Silver Hand people were down there at one point and you’ve always had an interest in the Scourge, we were thinking you might be able to fill in some blanks.

TIRION: Ah, interesting, interesting. I do recall a time when I did journey to the scenic port of Southshore, in answer to a summons from Highlord Alexandros Mograine to confer, indeed, upon the emergence of the Scourge. Even then, Mograine knew the threat the undead – forgive me, friend Faranell, I mean, of course, to say the Scourge – would pose to this world, even though in those days, unbeknownst to us all, their true menace was truly in its infancy. You see, these were the days before the fall of Arthas and of Lordaeron—

GARROSH: Right, we know.

TIRION: —when the Scourge, then commanded by the nefarious orc warlock Ner’zhul, was merely a pawn of the dreaded Burning Legion. The Legion, you see, led by the monstrous Kil’jaeden, had decided that their prior attempts to invade Azeroth had been doomed by the infighting and divisiveness within their orcish armies. Folly indeed, as I am sure you will agree, to suppose that their failure rested in the orcs, when rather they were doomed from the outset to fall to the courageous defense put forth by the steadfast people of our world!

Garrosh shrugs and opens a backpack, which he had set down on the table.

Nevertheless, the Legion under Kil’jaeden’s vile judgment took upon themselves to build a new fighting force, one united by a single mind, and so the warlock Ner’zhul was remade as the odious Lich King and cast, trapped in an icy block, into our world, in the icy wastes of Northrend. There he began to build his forces, slaying all within his reach and raising them as mindless undead, bound only to his will. Gradually he built his forces and would send them forth to wreak havoc in the Eastern Kingdoms. But even in those early days, while the undead legions were still only beginning to stir and their hateful sweep through Northrend was merely the start of their rise—

Garrosh removes several wrapped sandwiches from the pack and begins handing them out.

GARROSH: You wanted the pastrami, right?

MOKVAR: Yeah, please.

TIRION: —even then, noble Alexandros had the vision and foresight to perceive the threat they would soon pose to our world. Though I wonder at times if truly he could have anticipated that which they would become, the true extent of their evil, let loose over time when the scheming mind of the Lich King would turn upon its masters and break away, freeing the Scourge from its demonic shackles such that it might stand alone in its pernicious pursuit of dominion over the world of the living. Indeed, how could he? Who, in their worst imaginings, would dream of what would befall Lordaeron? What mind could in its darkest hours imagine that the very king’s blessed son would fall to darkness and turn upon all those whom once he loved, slay his own father, and forego his presumptive kingship with another, darker one, one which would bring him to the Frozen Throne in Ner’zhul’s stead?

Meanwhile, Garrosh et al are eating.

FARANELL: Did you bring any mustard?

GARROSH: Yeah, you need spicy brown or yellow?

FARANELL: Spicy.

GARROSH: Here you go.

FARANELL: Thanks.

TIRION: Nevertheless, Alexandros rightly foresaw the threat the Scourge would pose to our world, and called upon we Knights of the Silver Hand to gather in secret in the town of Southshore in order that we might lay plans to defend our homelands. I journeyed to Hillsbrad with two of my closest allies – Brigitte Abbendis, daughter of the High General, and Isilien, both of whom, sadly, would one day turn their backs upon our cause in order, like my own son Talaen, to embrace the madness of the Scarlett Crusade. Alas, it seems that madness would consume many in the aftermath of the Scourge’s invasion, and the outbreak of the plague that would leave a kingdom in ruin. Even my dear uncle Lucius, a longtime resident of the rural outskirts of old Andorhal, would find his grip on reality slipping in his later years, admittedly by no connection to the Scourge invasion – so far as we know. But indeed, in his later days he found himself immured in the fantasy that he was, in fact, the late Llane Wrynn – hardly late in his eyes, of course – the dear fallen king of Stormwind, and father of its current ruler, King Varian. His wife my aunt and several of my cousins would attempt to appeal to whatever reason might still have lingered beneath the delusions, but to no avail: the dementia had taken hold far too deeply, and Uncle Lucius would spend his days allowing his delusion to lead him off on one misadventure after another, until he finally settled into the final stage of his madness, sparked by blue paint and a spatula. But I fear I digress, gentlemen, and far be it from me to waste all of our precious time on capricious reminiscence.

Everyone continues eating as a moment of silence passes.

GARROSH: <looking up, surprised> Oh. You were done?

TIRION: <blinks, surprised> Warchief Hellscream?

GARROSH: Um, yeah, okay, I guess I must have zoned out there for a minute.

FARANELL: I think there was something in there about a meeting in Southshore.

MOKVAR: <skimming back over notes> Yeah, I have him down for a meeting about ten years ago, with Alexandros Mograine, Isilien, and Abbendis.

GARROSH: Man, you really are committed to the job, Mokvar. Props.

MOKVAR: Eh, beats being unemployed.

GARROSH: Okay, so for one thing, was that it for that meeting, or were there any other people there that we should know about?

TIRION: Those were the principals from my perspective, Warchief; Alexandros having called the meeting, and Isilien and Abbendis having accompanied me in my journey to Southshore. If memory serves, the Highlord’s lieutenants Fairbanks and Arcanist Doan were present as well.

FARANELL: Whew. Things didn’t exactly end well for a single one of those people. Not liking your odds there, Tirion.

GARROSH: So what was the meeting about?

TIRION: As I had begun to say a moment ago, Warchief Hellscream, the meeting was born of Highlord Mograine’s wise anticipation of the threat the rising Scourge might pose to our world; he called us together to begin to make preparations to defend our homelands against the inevitable assault of the undead.

FARANELL: What kind of preparations?

TIRION: To gather our forces; to train in earnest in anticipation of the battle to come; to ready friends, family, and rulers alike for the possibilities of what awaited us. A forthright effort to increase our awareness, mainly, and to dispel whatever complacency might dull our eventual readiness… As well as…well, there was one further outcome…

GARROSH: Which…would be?

TIRION: <pauses> At the time we all were sworn never again to speak of it. But that, I suppose, was a long time ago, and much has changed since then…

GARROSH: Huh, that must have been rough.

TIRION: Begging your pardon, Warchief?

GARROSH: I’m just trying to imagine you sworn not to talk about something.

MOKVAR: <mutters, chuckling> That one’s…getting…the nice printing…

TIRION: I suppose the time has passed for this one secret, at least. Alexandros…also showed us an item he had held in secret for a decade by that time. A dark crystal, black as the void, a focus of hideous, destructive power…a living embodiment of shadows. Alexandros believed that the existence of such an object, a manifestation of darkness, implied the possibility of its opposite: a manifestation of light, which he believed might prove the ultimate weapon against the undead. He was soon proven right, though not in the manner he would have supposed…

FARANELL: Starting to tick a few boxes here…

GARROSH: So what does that mean? Did you guys find the matching light crystal or something?

TIRION: No, Warchief Hellscream. We did not find it. Without even setting out to, and very much to our surprise, we created it.

FARANELL: I think I see where this is going…

TIRION: Some of our group doubted Alexandros’ faith in the crystal’s importance, and attempted to destroy it through the powers of the light. The crystal, however, merely absorbed whatever holy magic was cast upon it – spell after spell, we poured our power into it, until the dark crystal transformed into its own radiant counterpart.

GARROSH: Oh shit.

FARANELL: Where did the dark crystal come from in the first place?

TIRION: From Outland, originally…

MOKVAR: Please don’t tell me you got it from the arakkoa…

GARROSH: Huh?

FARANELL: The what?

TIRION: We never learned where in Draenor the crystal had originated. We only knew it was carried by an orcish warlock, a lieutenant to Orgrim Doomhammer, during the assault on Blackrock Spire during the Second War. Alexandros took the crystal from the fallen orc’s body and kept it hidden.

GARROSH: So what happened to it? Did you end up using it for some kind of weapon?

Tirion brandishes the Ashbringer and stares at it a moment.

TIRION: Aye.

GARROSH: Oh shit again.

FARANELL: Um, I’m going to step back a little, if it’s all the same to you guys.

GARROSH: So that’s what you were doing in Southshore? Forging the Ashbringer?

TIRION: No, Warchief, the blade was not forged that day. Our meeting in Southshore merely laid the groundwork. It was only some time later that Alexandros and Fairbanks brought the crystal to Ironforge, where King Magni Bronzebeard himself forged the sword.

GARROSH: And in between, what happened to the crystal? You kept it under lock and key, or hid it somewhere, or what?

TIRION: The crystal remained in Alexandros’ possession until he decided the time was right for the Ashbringer to be made. From that day in Southshore, its locked chest was ever in his keep.

FARANELL: And that was it? The dark crystal was converted to light, you sealed it up, and Mograine held onto it until Ironforge?

TIRION: Indeed, my friend.

FARANELL: Hmm…that leaves us without a lot to go on, unless the sword itself was unaccounted for at some point.

TIRION: <shakes head> Nay, the Ashbringer’s succession is known, and before its forging the crystal was indeed never… Wait…

GARROSH: Uh oh, here it comes.

MOKVAR: We’re going to have to go kill something, aren’t we?

TIRION: Now that I set my thoughts to it… I do recall, just after the crystal’s transformation, Isilien and Doan both grew intrigued by the object, an intellectual curiosity, it struck me, as to the crystal’s nature. I believe Alexandros granted them some leave to examine it while at the inn, though I’m certain he would never have allowed it to leave the premises.

GARROSH: Okay, so in that case we just have to track down Isilien and Doan—

MOKVAR: Dead.

FARANELL: And dead.

GARROSH: —and of course they’re both dead, because nothing is ever fucking easy.

TIRION: And as for the integrity of the Ashbringer’s line, I can assure you it has never fallen into the wrong hands – or rather, hands who might have used it for such purposes as concern you here. For most of its existence, the Ashbringer was carried by Alexandros himself – indeed, he came to be known as the Ashbringer – as he waged battle gloriously against the Scourge in its early days. Even after the dreadlord Balnazzar corrupted Alexandros’ own son Renault, driving the lad to slay his own father, the blade would soon be restored to its original bearer, as the lich Kel’Thuzad would soon after raise Alexandros’ to undeath as a death knight of the Lich King – a truly horrid end for one such as Mograine, a mockery of all he had fought for in life…

MOKVAR: So, we good here?

TIRION: …The blade itself recoiled against the treachery of Renault, and became twisted into a corrupted form, one in which it would remain for years hence. During that time, as you may well have heard – and indeed, I can attest, the whispers speak truly – the corrupted blade remained in Alexandros’ risen hands, as he served the Lich King in Naxxramas, leader of the Four Horsemen.

GARROSH: Yeah, I think so.

FARANELL: I don’t think he’s going to have anything else for us.

TIRION: It was in that time, however, that Mograine’s younger son, Darion, unable to bear the knowledge of what had become of his father, unwilling to see so great a man’s legacy besmirched by his actions in death, gathered a party from among the Argent Dawn and led a mission into the dread necropolis. Therein, reluctantly, the son slew the father, and thereby laid his father’s weary spirit to rest – but at a terrible, terrible price.

GARROSH: Okay. Cue Operation Bait-n-Switch.

TIRION: Darion, indeed, would take up the blade – as well as his father’s place in servitude to Arthas. He would carry the Ashbringer in its corrupted form until passing it to me during the great Battle of Light’s Hope. I am, of course, simplifying the tale in the interests of time; you will, I hope, forgive my occasional reductive glossings…

Garrosh and Faranell start to gather their belongings while Mokvar walks over to the doorway.

MOKVAR: Sergeant Pain and Scout Suffering, you’re up!

TIRION: While I commend you gentlemen for your impulse toward cleanliness, I assure you, there’s hardly a need to take pains gathering your belongings at this early juncture. I’m sure our discussions will allow ample time for a less rushed approach to…

Dontrag and Utvoch enter.

GARROSH: Okay, so, Tirion, quick introductions.

TIRION: Ah, I see you have summoned further aides to supplement our discussions – I must commend you, Warchief Hellscream, on your insistence on thoroughness in these deliberations. Though, again, I note that I find myself again presented with two additional members of your kin who are, regrettably, not Eitrigg…but I am sure these fine gentlemen will prove invaluable to our efforts.

FARANELL: In a manner of speaking.

DONTRAG: Greeting, Warchief.

UTVOCH: Good day to you, sir!

GARROSH: Sup guys. So anyway, yeah, Tirion, this is Scout Utvoch, and the spikey-haired dude is Sergeant Dontrag.

UTVOCH: Um, actually, sir, I’m Utvoch.

GARROSH: Isn’t that what I just said?

DONTRAG: No sir. You said I was Utvoch.

GARROSH: I did?

UTVOCH: Yes, sir. You said Dontrag was the spikey-haired one, and that’s me, when Dontrag is actually the one who’s bald, mostly.

DONTRAG: Bad genes, sir.

UTVOCH: At least you stopped trying to do the comb-over.

DONTRAG: Well you could have told me how ridiculous it looked.

UTVOCH: Huh? I did, like a dozen times.

TIRION: Ah, I recall having that very discussion with Doan on more than one occasion.

DONTRAG: Yeah, that year in the Barrens wasn’t really a pretty time for me.

GARROSH: So yeah, anyway, you two, this is Tirion Fordring.

TIRION: A great honor to make your acquaintance, good sirs.

DONTRAG: Hey.

UTVOCH: So wait, weren’t you killed in Northrend?

DONTRAG: How could he have been killed, he’s right here.

TIRION: <chuckles> No, no, my friend, though I will admit a harrowing time or two, I can assure you I returned from the frozen north very much alive.

UTVOCH: How come I thought they said some Fordring died up there?

DONTRAG: Maybe it’s another Fordring?

UTVOCH: Did you have a cousin up there too?

DONTRAG: Or maybe like one of his kids or something?

UTVOCH: Oh crap, did you have a kid get killed? I’m sorry I brought it up then.

DONTRAG: I think you’re right, though, I remember hearing about a Ford-something dying up there too.

GARROSH: Um, are you guys thinking of Fordragon?

DONTRAG: Yeah, actually, it might be.

UTVOCH: I think so, yeah, one or the other.

DONTRAG: Definitely some kind of name like that.

UTVOCH: So yeah, was it Fordring or Fordragon that got killed in Northrend?

TIRION: Actually neith—erm, that is…Fordragon. Yes. It’s Bolvar Fordragon that you’re thinking of. Who died. In Northrend. That’s what you were thinking of.

UTVOCH: Oh okay.

DONTRAG: Was he a friend of yours?

UTVOCH: Oh yeah, because if their names sound alike I guess that means they must know each other because that’s how things work, right?

DONTRAG: Oh shut up, stupid.

UTVOCH: You shut up.

TIRION: Actually I did know him quite well; Bolvar and I were friends of many years, like brothers, in fact…

UTVOCH: Oh man, I guess things DO work like that, I’ll be damned. That’s messed up.

DONTRAG: I’m sorry your friend died then, sir.

TIRION: As am I, my good orc. But I am, alas, no stranger to tragedy. Why I was just moments ago relating to your comrades here the doleful tale of my dear Uncle Lucius, who dwelled for many years near Andorhal before madness touched him and he grew obsessed with the delusion that he was, in fact, King Llane.

Garrosh, Mokvar, and Faranell exchange glances and nods.

UTVOCH: Good thing he never met Garona, that might have been weird.

TIRION: His life from that point on was weird enough, I assure you, between his endless wanderings, parcheesi board ever in hand, and his final preoccupation racing through Tirisfal, chasing bats with a spatula.

DONTRAG: Well, at least bats make sort of decent eating, if you use the right breading…

TIRION: A delicacy I cannot claim to have the pleasure of sampling, though I have no doubt the proper hands could produce culinary marvels. But no, dear Uncle Lucius’ tastes were far more mundane, as he was perfectly content to treat each meal as a simple breakfast of bacon and toast – provided he could acquire a suitable marmalade to accompany it, as he was something of stickler in such matters. Raspberry ideally…

GARROSH: Aight, T-Ford, Imma bounce. Peace!

DONTRAG: So what’s the difference between marmalade and jam, anyway?

TIRION: Curious you should ask, as there is, as it happens, an interesting tale behind the distinction…

Garrosh, Mokvar, and Faranell make a hasty exit through the doorway.

 

Also, note to Eitrigg: Dude, was he always like this? How the fuck could you stand it? Fucking hell, I wasn’t even there for that long and I already feel like I need a day off.

 

daria

“Daria’s Pro Tip for Dealing with Tirion #11: If he asks you if you want to hear a story, say yes. He’s going to tell you either way, but if you say no, he’ll just take longer getting to it. Think of it as steering into the skid, only with the skid being a tedious barrage of words.”