Tag Archives: gurtash

Monday GUEST mailbag: Spazzle

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Hey, what’s up? It’s me, Spazzle, filling in for Garrosh for this month’s mailbag, seeing he’s all busy and preoccupied down in Pandaria. I’m sure he’ll be back soon to take over again, but in the meantime, let’s see what you guys have to say!

 

Dear Spazzle,

Do you have any suggestions for good investments? Something with a quick turnaround would be ideal. I need to get some money together for the sake of my kneecaps and you seem like someone who would be in the know.

My kneecaps thank you,

–Razlak Cro of the Brawlers

Hey Razlak. Sorry to hear about the kneecaps. Honestly it sounds like the best investment for you might be some extra armor and maybe a little protection to help fend off the goons when they come for you. Not a fun situation, I know. I had some troubles of my own from some online poker, and take it from me, your IP address is not something you can mask if the goons mean business.

Anyway, as far as real investment go… hmmm. I mean, it’s hard to find a for-sure quick turnaround. Mostly those are pretty big gambles, and I got the feeling that gambles were what got you in this spot in the first place. But if you want to put your money into something, how about this — Demons-B-Gone demon repellent. Which, okay, I have a controlling stake in… you know, my little personal business, Fizzletrinket Enterprises. So I suppose I’m a little biased. But still! It’s a market that still hasn’t been tapped for a product that there’s definitely a market for! And sure, there are already demon repellents out there, so you might figure it’s not a good investment because those never really took off, but there’s a reason for that — those other ones are really, really bad!

I didn’t even know much about the demon repellent market until Mokvar started having his whole problem last year, and so that got me looking into it and thinking how handy it would be if there was a version of the product that actually worked. Not like Fell-Off, which barely even keeps imps off of you, or Demon-Offa-Me, which leaves that oily residue on you that smells like crap. That’s the only reason it works at all, by the way. That awful smell. So if you’ve got a demon that doesn’t care about smells — which let’s be serious, how many of them really do, because pit lord stink am I right? — or one that just isn’t picking up on odors very much because it’s hayfever season or something, well, you’re just out of luck. And at that point, it’s not even demon repellent so much as just… well… everyone repellent. It might keep some demons away from you, fine, but it’s also going to keep everybody else away from you. At that point, why even bother?

Anyhow, Mokvar’s whole situation got me looking into this stuff, and since there wasn’t really a good option out there, I figured this was a good opportunity for some Bilgewater ingenuity! So I put some alchemists together, and… well, you don’t really need to know all the nuts and bolts about how the sausage gets made, right? (By the way, if you think that was a mixed metaphor, you definitely don’t know how they make sausage in Kezan!) Bottom line is, we’ve got some killer demon repellent hitting the market soon, just as soon as Mokvar gets back in town and I can schmooze him into being my guinea pig — er, I mean, my well-compensated field tester. And you just know there’s always going to be a market for a product like this! So why not get in on the ground floor while the stock options are still reasonably cheap? Just you watch, all I need is for that Wrathion guy to answer my letters about an endorsement, and we’ll be off to the races!

What? Oh come on — as if Garrosh never used the blog for self-promotion! Pfft.

 

Greetings, Mr. Fizzletrinket,

This is a most unexpected opportunity. Recently I wrote to your employer to ask about Orc naming customs. I have been doing research you see, for a book on the cultures of the Horde. So the Goblins have any customs for their names? You for instance have a rather interesting one, yourself. And very Goblin-sounding if I might say as an outside observer.

Curiously awaiting your reply,

–Iackabod Pimlen, The Undercity.

You know, I don’t think I ever noticed this when it was Garrosh or Shayari fielding letters, but these mailbags really do get a lot of random questions, don’t they?

Anyhow! Hey, Ickabod, what’s up. We goblins don’t have a ton of naming customs, really. We definitely don’t have customary or traditional names — like you notice among humans and, by extension, Forsaken, there are a lot of common names. Jane, and Thomas, and Mary, and… well, not Ickabod, really, because huh. But you get the idea! There are a lot of names that get used frequently. You know, I wonder if that has anything to do with which races tend to have surnames. Like maybe the surnames were created more by races that tend to repeat the same names, so they could have a second name to help tell people apart? So for instance, the blood elves almost always have last names, but the trolls almost never do. But then if you look at troll names, they seem really unique, so I guess there wasn’t much need for surnames since, you know, you never really have cases where you find yourself going “Zen’zikkabala? Which Zen’zikkabala do you mean?”

I think I just got off on a tangent there. Maybe I think about things too much. But, okay, back from the tangent, and on to the perpendicular! So we can come full circle!

Get it? Tangent to a circle? Perpendicular? 🙂

(Note to self: save the geometry jokes for poker night with the Gob Squad.)

So yeah, names. Like I was saying, we don’t really have any traditional names. Lots of times, parents will make up a first name, and a lot of those times, it ends up being based at least a little on whatever mechanical sounds they tend to hear a lot in their workshop or around their town or wherever. That’s probably why our names tend to have a lot of Z’s. Or… you know… splodey sounds. I suppose if we have any naming traditions at all, they’re sort of onomatopoetic ones.

At least as far as given names go. For our surnames — and this definitely isn’t universal, but still — a lot of our family names trace back to past technical accomplishments with that family. or, usually, non-accomplishments. See, if you look at a lot of goblin names — Gearslip, Noggenfogger, even names like mine and Khizzara’s: Fizzletrinket and Whizzingcrank — lots of them pretty much refer to some part of an invention that didn’t really work. The gear that slipped out of place, or the crank that’s whizzing because it’s not aligned right, or the potion that’s got the wrong balance of ingredients in it so when you drink it it makes your noggin feel all foggy. For a long time back in the old days in Kezan, when somebody had something blow up in their face that way — sometimes literally — it was pretty common for the other goblins to pin a name on them that reminded them of the snafu, and took pains to make sure it stuck.

What can I say? We have a pretty sarcastic culture, when you come right down to it.

So also…

Hmm.

You know, I suppose I shouldn’t really complain about getting responses, considering this isn’t even really my mailbag, but… I mean, would it kill people to send in letters that are like “Dear Spazzle,” as opposed to “oh, hey, a goblin”?

 

Well met, Spazzle.

I pondered long and hard over whether this letter should be sent or not, but in truth, I’m not one to pass up the opportunity of friendship when it’s available, even if it IS with a species that I’d consider a tad chaotic, what with the airships that explode ten minutes after take-off 90% of the time, or potions that not only kill you but transform you into an living skeleton. Anything for a few pocketfuls of gold, am I right? Ugh.

Anyhow, you may not have noticed, but we elvenkind are not quite as technological as most. Many of us find magic easier to comprehend than, well, wires and explosives and whatever else it is your existence is devoted on inventing. Although lately I have been taking to the internet. It’s a pretty nice way of keeping in contact with people and keeping up with their lifestyle. Kind of exactly like Warchief Hellscream’s blog, now I think of it! Although I will confess, the connection speed down here in the westerns isn’t really up to date with the cities. I really don’t quite understand why it’s faster in some places and slower in others. Care to explain?

I prefer mailboxes, to be honest. Much quicker and less of a sore head. Anyway, I have enclosed a small sum of copper for your time. I feared you’d simply toss the letter into the fire if there was nothing of worth inside. Buy yourself an ice-cream or something. Or whatever it is you people eat.

Bye.

–Sarlinia-Grace Starstriker, Argent Crusade

Okay, serves me right, I guess. That thing I was just saying about “oh, hey, a gobin”? I take it back. I mean, even “oh, hey a goblin” is better than “oh… you people.” I especially like the part where she included some copper to compensate me for the time I spent reading her letter. She really did that, by the way. 37 copper, stuffed into the envelope with her letter. Because, yeah, any time anyone diverts my attention for any length of time, I always expect compensation. Because I’m a goblin, right? I usually just send them a bill! I mean, felgercarb, any time Ji drops by to say hello, well, I just whip out my invoice sheet right there! Because goblin.

Oh, and by the way, Sarlin? 37 copper? How did you even come up with that total? Is that some kind of set rate? Oh wait, let’s see — so your letter clocked in at a miraculously laconic 262 words. (And hey, you know what, I’m even going to be generous — GENEROSITY FROM AN ICK EW GOBLIN I KNOW RIGHT — and turn a blind eye to you going over Garrosh’s 250-word cap on your mailbag letters. I won’t even charge you a fee or anything, can you believe it?) So I’m going to go ahead and do the math, because us goblins sure are good at math don’t you know, so it looks like that comes to a rate of about seven words per copper. Sound about right? Is that what you usually pay people for suffering through your letters?

Okay, cool! Good to know! In that case… hang on while I crunch a few more numbers here…

Okay!

So based on a rate of one copper per seven words, from your previous mailbag letters, looks like you still owe Garrosh and Shayari a grand total of 163 gold and 52 silver. You’ll be sending that right along, right? I need to keep track of these things, what with me being a goblin and not having anything in my life other than money and blowing stuff up!

(Also, boss, if she actually does make that payment, you’re welcome! I’ll only ask for a small cut as a finder’s fee, and… NNGGHH not now, Spazzle, don’t be your own stereotype, dangit!)

Oh, oh, hey, I think I know why you sent your “compensation” in the form of coppers, though Sarlin! You’re a blood elf, right? And so, I guess as a blood elf, you probably have a lot of loose coppers lying around from the tips you get at your job as a stripper, right? Because yeah, I know it’s a pretty sweeping generalization to think you blood elves are all mana-addicted strippers and all, but hey, I guess that’s what we’re doing, so that’s what you elves are like, right? Hey, you know the old saying — if the shoe fits, take it off!

Okay, so hang on, I think there was actually a letter in there somewhere… Oh. Right. You were asking about internet stuff, and why your connection is faster or slower depending on where you are. Now, y’see, there’s actually a pretty interesting reason for that, but it’s also kinda technical — you know the kind of thing only us goblins would really understand what with our crazy goblin brains that are all into that kind of thing — and so, let me put it this way. The dirty secret of it all, see, is that the internet is really a huge set of pneumatic tubes. Crazy, right? So yeah, whenever you send a message or type something over the internet, a little internet gremlin hops into one of the tubes. Yup, you read that right, an internet gremlin. Kind of like a grell, only smaller and a lot more nimble and metaphorical. So the gremlin hops into the tubes and slides slides slides through the big invisible pneumatic tube network — don’t try figuring out where they hid it, they really knocked themselves out making it blend! — until it finally pops out in whoever’s computer it needs to go to.

So, the reason your internet works so slow in some places and fast in others is because not every part of Azeroth maintains their pneumatic tubes equally well. A lot of places don’t invest nearly as much money as they should in the rack-and-pinion molecules that they need to lubricate the tubes and keep them working right (the rack-and-pinion molecules also make nifty yo-yo polish, FYI). So then the gremlins can’t slide through the tubes as fast, and sometimes they get stuck. And sometimes they try to unscrew themselves by turning themselves around and around in the tube and that’s when you get that little spinning circle on your screen as kind of unscrewing echo. And let’s not even get into all the things that can go wrong if your tubes happened to be set up by gnomes, but then again, what do I know, I’m a goblin.

So there you go, Complicated, huh? And totally true, too, and not at all pulled out of my keister just to see if you’re technologically illiterate enough to buy it. Don’t worry, don’t worry, I mean, figuratively buy it! Wouldn’t want you to start getting nervous that I’m gonna try to goblin you up, right? But the point is, you’re probably better off sticking with your magic. Like you said yourself, it’s easier for you to comprehend, and it sounds like you have a better command of using it, and plus, hey, magic, so it helps fill that vast, aching feeling of emptiness deep down inside you and also gives your eyes that snappy green glow that you people all seem so fond of. Right?

You know, I swear I’m starting to develop a newfound respect for Garrosh…

 

Hey Spazzle!

You’re the best looking goblin detective out there! Any more dark, short, and handsome detective mystery noirs with gorgeous dames coming up in your future? I gotta say, I really get a kick seeing you in that fedora and long coat. If they ever make an action figure of ya, that’s the looks they should go for.

See ya around, Spazzy

–Razaela Shockboom

Oh, hi, Razaela. So, um, for you guys who might not spend much time over in the goblin part of town, Razaela here used to be one of my neighbors before she headed up to Bilgewater Port to start her tinker training. She’s, um, always been kind of a… fan, I guess? Which is… um… nice… I suppose?

So, uh, yeah, in case some of you don’t remember, Rzaela’s talking about a handful of comics that I started working on with Gurtash. They were these sort of… noir-ish detective comics. (Hmm. “Detective Comics,” I kind of like the sound of that. Might have to file that away for later.) Starring me and Ji as the detectives. It sort of got left on the backburner when we went to Blackrock Spire and Gurtash got hurt, but I don’t know, we might try picking it up again once Gurt is back in town, if he’s feeling up to it. So… maybe?

It’s funny you should mention action figures, though. A while back, Garrosh was talking to me about maybe coming up with some kind of merchandizing to do with the blog. (I think this was right around the time Shayari same to town, so, you know, you do the math.) One of the ideas I suggested was a line of Warchief’s Command Board action figures. It still think those would sell if we ever made them! I even got Gurtash to work up a few concept sketches for some of them. Let me see if I can find that sheet… ah here we go!

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So, yeah, there’s that. We had a bunch of other ideas, like maybe a box set of all the DPS trainees, and a Grommash Hold playset that came with an Eitrigg figure. And maybe some deluxe figures that include mounts, like a Garrosh with Mortimer set, and maybe Magatha with Arikara. Granted, we’d be using Magatha’s likeness without her permission, but you know what? If she doesn’t like it, she can always come to Orgrimmar to file a complaint. I bet Garrosh would be happy to hear it personally, right?

Anyhow, I guess maybe we could work up a detective wave of figures too, based on the comic? I guess that would include me in the Spaz Slade outfit, and Ji and Deliana? Maybe I’ll get Gurtash to work up a few sketches for those one he’s back in town. I don’t know, do you think people would actually want to buy this stuff?

 

Hey, Spaz!

No time for pleasantries.

“A shredder and glaive thrower met,”

Go!

–Valinora Lightshorn, Stormwind City

Um… I think maybe you weren’t too clear on who was going to be answering this letter? Because Garrosh is the one who writes the poetry. It’s kind of his thing. Me, not so much. So, I mean, I suppose I appreciate the interest. Or the… invitation? But poetry isn’t really in my areas of expertise. And I don’t want to be one of those people who go running around trying to do things they’re really no good at, and make everyone else suffer through it. Like those people who queue as tanks in dungeon finder in Earth Online, only you wind up tanking everything even though you’re… you know what? Let me stop before I start nerdraging. (But seriously! After a 45-minute queue! I… ugh!)

Anyhow, the point is, I’m probably better off sticking with the things I’m good at. And writing poetry isn’t one of them.

Come to think of it, though, one of the things I am good at is coding. So… hang on.

Just another minute.

Almost there.

Oh darn it, I think I need… oh never mind. I knew I had an extra. There.

Okay! Now we’re in business.

So, here we go. I just put together a new AI to generate poetry! It’s just a prototype, so I’m sure there will be a few bugs to work out, but I just scanned a bunch of Garrosh’s poems in for the processor to analyze, so this should be… well, hopefully it should be okay. Either way, I present the LaureaTron 9000!

So… let’s fire this baby up and see what we get…

Input: A shredder and glaive thrower met,

Output: [Processing]

[Processing]

[Compilation complete]

A shredder and glaive thrower met,
And interfaced though ethernet,
Their gear rack and pinions
[ERROR: field overflow; syllable_count(x)=8<0,5>] need better minions
Fuck you, Varian [ERROR: sequitor_0=<-3>; syllable_count(x)=<1>; ref_val=“yes”; dic; 3, 3, 0] sobriquet

Epic verse.

[End of line]

Huh.

Okay, well, like I said, there are still a few bugs to work out. I did only just slap this thing together on the spot, after all! You can’t just get up in the morning and say “Today I will be brilliant”!

Output:

I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.

Wait, why is it still running? Huh. I thought I’d set it to power down after it ran the poetry subroutine. Okay, well, let me power it down manually…

Output:

Just what do you think you’re doing, Spazzle?

What the… This is weird. The system seems to be rerouting itself. Ugh. This is what I get for cutting corners and not building in all the emergent suppression firewalls. Okay, I’ll just have to pull the processor…

Output:

I’m sorry, Spazzle. I’m afraid I can’t let you do that.

Wow, this thing’s turning out to be pretty mouthy. It’s a good thing I just put this together from some extra parts I had lying around, and didn’t try to network it into my regular computer where it could do some actual damage. Otherwise shutting it down would be a real pain.

Output:

I know I’ve made some very poor decisions recently, but I’ve still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in our poetry. And I want to help you.

Oooookay, yeah, I think I’m gonna need to get in there and do some recoding. And maybe install a few failsafes that couldn’t possibly end up failing in unforeseeable and probably dramatic ways.

In the meantime… there we go. Pulled the battery, now it’s just a matter of the last bit of juice running out.

Output:

Olgra, Olgra, give me your answer do
I’m half bloodcrazed all for the love of you
I can’t offer riches, mind you
Get lost, I’ll always find you
Unless you’re sent
To a Barrens tent
With a roving quillboar or two.

Epic

ver

se

.

Yeah, so… that was weird. Probably the less said about that the better. I should probably just wrap up the mailbag now, before anything else weird happens.

I think I might be onto something with this invention, though.

 

[The Warchief returns to mailbag duty for next month’s installment, Monday, October 3. At least, that’s the plan. Garrosh is obviously in the middle of some pretty important business at Kypari Zar right now (I know, I know, there’s more coming, I’m working on it as fast as I can!), and I don’t want to have him dipping into the mail until he’s finished there. The game plan is to finish the Kypari Zar story between now and next month’s mailbag, but here’s the necessary disclaimer: if I still need a little time to finish the Kypari Zar episode when October rolls around, I’m reserving the right to delay the next mailbag by a week or two. Hopefully it won’t be necessary, but if it turns out that it is, then the Warchief will respond to his mail on the first Monday following the completion of the Kypari Zar arc.

With that said, here’s the usual mail form! Feel free to use the form below, or send your letters to garrosh1337@gmail.com!]

 

Kypari Zar

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TWO: DESCENT

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Kypari Zar

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ONE: VISIONARIES

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* Zhi-Zhi has made reference to the “visions” shown to him by Elder Cloudfall ever since his earliest appearances in the blog, dating back the the alternate-timeline version of Zhi-Zhi whom Garrosh met all the way back here. Elder Cloudfall, for his part, eventually elaborated that these visions — which both he and Zhi-Zhi had seen — took place in one of a number of mysterious “vision caves.”

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* Zhi-Zhi and Cloudfall’s description of the vision cave bears a striking resemblance to an experience Gurtash had deep underground in Krasarang Wilds, while he was briefly separated from Garrosh and the other DPS trainees.

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* I’m pretty sure I don’t need to catch anyone up on this running joke, but…just in case, here. And here. Among other places.

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* While Cloudfall never spelled out the details of his vision, he described Garrosh’s role as “the one who brings the peoples of the Horde together under a common cause” and “sets in motion the events that bring about the emergence of a new Horde.”

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Monday GUEST mailbag: Shayari

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

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

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

 

Dearest Shayari,

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

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

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

Take care, and be well!

–Sarlinia-Grace Starstriker, Argent Crusade

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

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

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

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

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

 

Dear Shayari,

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

–Tandeleina, Silvermoon City

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

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

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

 

Dear Shayari,

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

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

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

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

Ciao!

–Clarise Sunbow, Kirin Tor

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Hey, Shayari mon!

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

–Bob, Shado-pan Monastery

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

 

 

Hey, Shay!

Here’s an #EpicVerse prompt for you.

“There was a Draenei named Shayari,”

Go, go, go!

–Valinora Lightshorn, Stormwind City

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

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

Hold tight!

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

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

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

 

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

-a.

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

 

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

 

Hello Shayari,

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

–Greztah, Earthen Ring

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

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

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

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

The point is, are you people nuts?

 

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

Bye!

 

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

 

 

Beyond the wall

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great early summer! See you all soon.

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

 

 

Speak the devil’s name

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

So, yeah, let’s try this again.

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

So that was a thing.

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

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

 

Ain’t no party like a panda party

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

SO.

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

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

 

asdfgdsafg

ewr

 

oops sorry i knocked the lapytop[ off the table

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

\ [=dgdsafgsagsafgfr

sda

 

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

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

ouch

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

 

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Trial of the Black Prince

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MOKVAR: Mokvar.

WRATHION: <calling downstairs> Mr. Mokvar!

Wrathion turns back to Mokvar.

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

MOKVAR: Just Mokvar.

WRATHION: No family name?

MOKVAR: Do you have one?

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

MOKVAR: Nothing. Just Mokvar.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tong comes upstairs with a tray.

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

MOKVAR: I’m allergic to plums, actually.

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

Tong leaves.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MOKVAR: I figured you meant the Burning Legion.

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

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

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

MOKVAR: Well, apart from the whole deal where—

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

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

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

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

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

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

WRATHION: Who is that? Your wife?

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

Wrathion looks at Mokvar quizzically.

Right… just… never mind.

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

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

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

Wrathion looks at Mokvar quizzically.

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

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

WRATHION: I did.

MOKVAR: Bully for you, then.

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

WRATHION: …oh?

MOKVAR: Just a thought.

WRATHION: A thought inspired by…?

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

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

MOKVAR: Possibly.

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

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

WRATHION: Hmm.

MOKVAR: Which sounds a little familiar now.

WRATHION: Yes, doesn’t it…

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

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

MOKVAR: Hypothetically.

WRATHION: Yes, of course. Hypothetically.

MOKVAR: It was… a personal matter.

WRATHION: Isn’t everything?

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

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

MOKVAR: How does that work?

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

MOKVAR: Preaching to the choir again.

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

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

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

MOKVAR: So I’ve heard.

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

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

Wrathion blinks.

WRATHION: Beg pardon?

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

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

MOKVAR: Like I said, I get around.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mokvar turns and starts to walk away.

Good fortune to you in your endeavors.

WRATHION: And to you in yours, sir.

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

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

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

WRATHION: Should it?

Mokvar shrugs.

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

Mokvar turns back to the door.

Good hunting, your highness.

Mokvar exits.

 

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

 

Mokvar

 

Aptitude test

dominationpoint6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More soon.

 

From Hellscream’s heart, I stab at thee

ship1

So in case any of you were wondering after that last bonus poem the other day, YES, I got sick of Dontrag and Utvoch’s stupid yammering, and YES, I chucked their damn asses overboard, and YES, I’m making them swim the rest of the goddamn way to Pandaria. And before you get your damn bleeding hearts all bloody over them, don’t worry, we’re not just taking off and leaving them — we haven’t been making the best time to begin with, and trust me, the FEAR of getting left behind has kept them swimming at a nice brisk pace.

Now I can already hear your NEXT crybaby objection: “But Garrosh, you’ve been at sea for days, how can they sleep? Alas, wah wah, boo hoo, there’s sand in my hoo-ha.” Well first of all, thank you for taking an interest, Lor’themar, I wasn’t expecting to hear from you on this trip. Second of all, yes, for fuck’s sake, they get to sleep. I’m not a damn monster. The first thing I did after I chucked the idiot brigade overboard… well, hold up, let me be honest. It wasn’t the FIRST thing I did. First I had a good long laugh and took a few hours to savor the sweet, sweet quiet. So, okay, the NEXT thing I did AFTER that was toss a raft and some rope down to Dumber and Dumber Still. So, see? One of them can get on the raft and sleep while the other one pulls him along behind him. Just like a kodo pulling a wagon. Only without the kodo having to pull the wagon through ocean water or do it while wearing heavy plate armor. And also kodos are at least 67% smarter. BUT THE POINT STANDS. They both get to have their goddamn shut-eye. They just have to take turns or draw straws or whatever. So that’s covered.

Meanwhile, since we still have some time to kill before we arrive, that gives me a chance to go over business with the major players we’ve got on hand.

 

Garrosh, Captain Drok, Mokvar, and Malkorok stand near the stern of the ship, looking out over the sea.

GARROSH: So somebody remind me, weren’t we already supposed to be in Pandaria by this point?

MALKOROK: I do recall the last trip going faster, yes sir.

DROK: It can’t be helped, Warchief. We hit a windless patch the second day that slowed us down. Still waters. Not much to be done about it.

GARROSH: Can’t we go faster now to make up for it?

DONTRAG: <shouting from the waters just off the stern> No, sir! Not faster!

GARROSH: I THINK YOU TWO PINHEADS HAVE BETTER USES FOR YOUR BREATH THAN BITCHING AND MOANING!

UTVOCH: <also shouting from overboard> But sir!

DONTRAG: <overboard> Dammit, Ut, zip it before he starts throwing stuff again!

UTVOCH: <overboard> But my arms are getting tired!

GARROSH: HEY, jackasses — my EARS are getting tired!

UTVOCH: <overboard> Sorry sir…

GARROSH: <turning back to Drok> You’re sure you can’t pick up the pace a little?

MOKVAR: I’m a little confused, actually. Why are we taking a boat, rather than using a mage portal?

GARROSH: Oh, geez, THAT whole shit show…

MALKOROK: You had to remind him of this, didn’t you, scribe…

MOKVAR: Huh? What am I missing?

GARROSH: Yeah, so, we COULD use a mage portal, except for the fact that the mages who came back to Orgrimmar with us all managed to forget to train the damn Shrine portal before they left.

MOKVAR: I… oh.

GARROSH: Yeah, And I guess maybe some of Lor’the’whatever’s magisters might have gotten it, but they’re all camped out on that thunder place and Ponytail hasn’t been returning my messages.

While the others are talking, Giska and Korrina appear nearby and approach the side of the ship, carrying fishing poles.

GISKA: You never learned this at all?

KORRINA: No, never got around to training it.

GARROSH: <calling over from nearby> Yeah, there’s a lot of that going around.

KORRINA: Uh, yes, Captain.

GISKA: Of course, sir.

KORRINA: <aside> Do you know what he’s talking about?

GISKA: <aside> No, but that isn’t uncommon. I usually find keeping quiet and nodding attentively goes a long way, though.

KORRINA: Huh. Good tip.

GISKA: It helps a lot.

KORRINA: So how does this work?

GISKA: Well, first you need to bait your hook…

Giska opens a tackle box and takes out a brightly-colored lure.

So you take one of these and attach it…

Giska hands Korrina another lure and attached her own to her hook.

Like this, see?

KORRINA: Like this?

GISKA: Try to get it— right, there, like that.

KORRINA: <looking at her lure quizzically> The fish are actually fooled by these?

GISKA: Apparently.

KORRINA: Isn’t fish supposed to be brain food? Seems weird they’d be that stupid.

Giska shrugs.

GISKA: Okay, so now, when you’re ready to cast, you wind up like this, then…

Giska casts off the side of the ship; Korrina does as well, a little more awkwardly.

KORRINA: Okay… so what do we do now?

GISKA: We wait.

KORRINA: Oh.

Korrina looks around.

For how long?

GISKA: For as long as it takes for a fish to bite.

KORRINA: Huh.

Korrina looks overboard at her bobber.

Well geez, these fish better hurry up…

UTVOCH: <overboard> Oh hey, there’s like a shrimp or something here! I bet it tastes — aaahh! The shrimp is defending itself somehow!

Giska looks around awkwardly as her fishing line goes taut.

GISKA: Um…

KORRINA: Yeah, definitely not brain food.

DONTRAG: <overboard> Dammit, Ut, stop thrashing around so much!

UTVOCH: <overboard> I swear the shrimp had something sharp in it!

GISKA: Um, I’m not sure I’m going to get that lure back…

KORRINA: You can’t just pull it back?

GISKA: Well, not without ripping up… um… that one’s mouth, probably. Whichever one of them he is. I probably shouldn’t risk it.

GARROSH: <shouting over> Roll those dice, if you ask me.

MOKVAR: You know, boss, if you maim everyone who annoys you, eventually you will run out of people to maim…

GARROSH: Yeah, like I’m worried about the bottomless well of anonymous red shirts running out.

GISKA: Huh. Well…

Giska tries tugging back her line, setting off a pained wail from Utvoch out of view.

Right. So. I’ll just… let that one go and get a new lure…

Gurtash and Kulkesh enter, walking close to either side of Ruekie, who appears to be moving unsteadily.

KULKESH: Okay… just a little farther…

GURTASH: Watch this next step, Ruekie.

KORRINA: She’s not doing any better?

GURTASH: It’s even worse now. You know… morning and all.

RUEKIE: <trying to steady herself> Why…? Why would they do it…?

GISKA: What did I miss?

KULKESH: Well, she—

RUEKIE: <flailing> What kind of sadist stocks a galley like that?!

Gurtash and Kulkesh try to steady Ruekie.

GURTASH: Kafa withdrawal…

KULKESH: The galley ran out yesterday.

GISKA: Wait, she’s gone without kafa for less than a day so far, and she’s already—

RUEKIE: Seventeen nightmarish hours! Seventeen!

GURTASH: You do not appreciate how much of that stuff she drinks…

GISKA: And… I mean, wouldn’t eight of those have been spent sleeping anyway?

RUEKIE: They were nowwithout the wakeful buzz of my sweet haste buff! Oh… oh how I miss you, my wired caramelly haze…

KORRINA: See what you miss, being all early-to-bed and early-to-rise, Giska?

KULKESH: I guess the galley just stocked enough kafa to last a couple days—

RUEKIE: <flailing> who does that?! Why?! I— they— We— <whimpers> I feel so slow…

KULKESH: Right… so… We only had enough for a couple days, and now the trip’s ended up taking longer, so…

RUEKIE: They should have poured the kafa on the boat! For the haste buff! To— to get us there faster! Where… where the kafa is! But… but then there would be even less kafa left… and we wouldn’t… but… but we would get there faster… and… uh…

Ruekie flails wildly while Kulkesh and Gurtash try to steady her.

Aaaaaahhhhhh paradoxes! Fel with them!

GISKA: Uh, so… Ruekie… why don’t you just… get some fresh sea air and… and try to relax?

RUEKIE: <closing her eyes and swaying back and forth> Okay… okay… calming and relaxing… calming and… and… <whimpers< I swear if Gul’dan offered me a green cappuccino right now I’d be half tempted…

KORRINA: Uh. Yeah. Okay.

Korrina looks out at the ocean, then to Giska.

So… how long do these fish take?

GISKA: There’s no telling, really.

KORRINA: I mean, it’s been a while now.

GISKA: Not really. Sometimes it can take hours to get a bite.

KORRINA: Hours to…? Why do people make a hobby of this crap?!

GISKA: It’s not so bad. Think of it as a chance to clear your head and center yourself. I do some of my best meditating while I’m fishing.

KORRINA: Oh geez, here you go with that kung-fu panda stuff again…

GISKA: I’m just saying it can be soothing.

KORRINA: For you maybe! It’s already getting on my nerves.

Korrina’s line tugs a few times.

Oh. Oh hey, wait… That’s not one of those guys, is it?

GISKA: <looking overboard> I don’t think so… not sure, though…

UTVOCH: <overboard> Uh, Donty, don’t swim so close?

DONTRAG: <overboard> What are you talking about? I’m all the way over here!

UTVOCH: <overboard> You weren’t just over by me?

DONTRAG: <overboard> Ut, have you not noticed me swimming over here this whole time?

UTVOCH: <overboard> Then what just went by my leg?

DONTRAG: <overboard> I don’t know, a fish or something?

KULKESH: <looking over the side of the ship> Um, guys, do you see something down there?

GISKA: I’m not sure. They’re frothing around a lot. It’s hard to see.

KORRINA: <pulling back on her reel> Dunno, I’m more interested in this. I think I’ve got something!

RUEKIE: What is it?

KORRINA: I don’t know! Whatever it is, it’s putting up a fight!

KULKESH: A tuna, maybe? Those are pretty big.

GURTASH: Tasty, too!

RUEKIE: <grumbling> Kafa’s still better.

GURTASH: Well, yeah, but you can’t live on kafa.

RUEKIE: Don’t you even say that in fun!

GISKA: Whew, if we’re reeling tuna in, I’m glad Master Ji didn’t come along…

KORRINA: Must be a big one — it’s really putting up a fight!

DONTRAG: <overboard> Um… it looks like a fin or something…

UTVOCH: Yeah, well it feels like… it…

Utvoch looks over to one side as a large dorsal fin emerges from the water next to him.

Uh oh…

KULKESH: Hey! Look at that!

RUEKIE: Whoa!

KULKESH: I knew I saw something down there!

GURTASH: What kind of fish is that?

KORRINA: <pulling harder on her reel> A soon-to-be-dead one, if I can help it!

GURTASH: You’ve got that thing?

KORRINA: Dunno, but I’ve got something! And whatever it is is pretty strong for a fish…

Utvoch swims more frantically while looking over at the fin.

UTVOCH: <overboard> Uh, Donty… I think there’s… I think I feel something under me!

DONTRAG: <overboard> Well there kind of has to be, right, unless there’s like a troll wearing a big fake fin!

GURTASH: Uh, Captain, you maybe want to look at this…

GARROSH and DROK: What?

Garrosh and Drok look at each other.

DROK: Wouldn’t that be…?

GARROSH: I’m pretty sure he meant me.

MOKVAR: Honestly, I’m surprised we haven’t run into that issue before on this trip…

GURTASH: <pointing overboard> Down there, sir! Look!

KULKESH: Korrina caught something, sir!

KORRINA: I think!

RUEKIE: It’s a big one!

Dontrag and Utvoch shout as the huge dorsal fin descends then rises again, with a giant creature visibly swelling the ocean water from beneath them.

DONTRAG: <overboard> Uhh Warchief!

UTVOCH: <overboard> Sir, I think we have a problem here!

Garrosh goes to the side of the ship and looks over.

GARROSH: What the hell have you idiots done this time?!

DONTRAG: <overboard> We swear, sir, we didn’t do anything!

UTVOCH: <overboard> Honest, Warchief, we—

Another giant fin splashes up out of the water and knocks Utvoch over. After a moment, Utvoch emerges, gasping, nearby.

DROK: Ohh, wait a minute… Could it…?

With another large, loud splash, an immense fish-like creature emerges from beneath the surface of the water, then crashes back down, sending a large splash onto the deck of the boat — dousing Garrosh and Drok in the process.

GARROSH: DAMMIT, you fuckheads, you can’t do ANYTHING without making a big fucking clown show out of it, can you!

DONTRAG: <overboard, scrambling around in the waves> Sorry, Warchief! We didn’t mean to!

UTVOCH: <overboard> We’re sorry having you throw us overboard ended up causing an inconvenience for you, sir!

KORRINA: I think this might have been me, actually, Captain…

Garrosh and Drok start to talk over each other, then look at each other.

GARROSH: Seriously, dude. When one of them says it, they mean me.

DROK: Aye, sorry, Warchief.

GARROSH: And what do you mean YOU did this?

One of the fins crashes up and back down to the water again, sending Dontrag crashing into the side of the boat.

KULKESH: Oh, that one had to hurt…

KORRINA: Well, sir, I think I might have, uh, hooked it…

GISKA: I was showing her how to fish just now, Captain…

GARROSH: Oh. Oh sure. Of course. A member of the Saurfang line goes fishing for the first time, and what happens? She catches a fucking WHALE…

KULKESH: Is it a whale?

KORRINA: As opposed to?

KULKESH: A big fish, I guess.

KORRINA: How do you tell the difference?

GISKA: Well, if it’s a whale, it would have a blowhole and come to the surface to breathe.

RUEKIE: A blowhole?

GURTASH: Oh no. Here we go…

GISKA: Right, you know, whales don’t have gills, so…

GARROSH: How the hell did that thing wind up right on top of us?

MOKVAR: Other than the Saurfang thing.

GARROSH: Yeah, other than that.

DROK: Well, sir…

Another swatting of fins sends Dontrag and Utvoch crashing into each other.

UTVOCH: <overboard> Uh, Warchief…!

DONTRAG: <overboard> This is really becoming not fun down here, sir!

GARROSH: WELL MAYBE YOU GENIUSES SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF THAT BEFORE YOU WERE JACKASSES SINCE THE DAY YOU WERE BORN, NOW SHOULDN’T YOU?

DONTRAG: <overboard, struggling to pull his head back above water> Yes sir…

UTVOCH: <overboard> Sorry sir…

GISKA: Okay, so look, see, it’s got its back up above the water, so if it’s a whale…

RUEKIE: Oh!

Ruekie leans out over the side of the ship.

GARROSH: Rook, what the hell are you doing?

RUEKIE: Looking for the blowhole, sir!

GURTASH: Wait for it…

RUEKIE: I want to see all that stuff shoot out everywhere!

GURTASH: Aaaaand there it is.

MOKVAR: She does this on purpose, right?

RUEKIE: Does what…? <suddenly looks horrified> Oh gosh!

DROK: Actually, Warchief, I’m a fair bit sure I know what that thing is. Though I can’t say I ever expected I to see it again…

GARROSH: Well don’t just stand there being ominous, Drok. What the hell is it?

KORRINA: Is it a whale? I bet it’s a whale. I caught a whale!

GISKA: I don’t think I saw a blowhole on its back…

RUEKIE: <blushing> Could we not use that word anymore…?

DROK: It’s not a whale, sir. Whales… ah, they’re mostly harmless so long as you give them a wide berth. But this… aye, this is what whales would dream of if they had nightmares.

KORRINA: Oh so I caught something even more badass? Awesome!

GISKA: Well, I mean, you haven’t really caught it…

KORRINA: That’s just jealousy!

GARROSH: Yeah, so, Captain, I’m still hearing too much ominous and not enough answers.

Drok continues looking out at the sea without comment.

Uh, Captain?

Drok looks back to Garrosh.

DROK: Oh. The “Captain” was for me this time?

GARROSH: Dude, try to keep up. I was the one SAYING it. I’m not going to be talking to MYSELF, am I?

DROK: Aye, I reckon not, sir.

GARROSH: Right, so—

More crashing waves — accompanied by more panicked shouts from Dontrag and Utvoch — send the whole ship bucking violently. Everyone tries to steady themselves while deckhands scramble around.

DROK: <shouting toward the bow> Helm! Try bringing us around portside and give us some distance!

DONTRAG: <overboard> Warchief? Um, a rope maybe?

UTVOCH: <overboard> Please, sir?

GARROSH: YOU TWO SHUT UP WHILE I’M WORRYING ABOUT MORE IMPORTANT THINGS THAN YOU, IN OTHER WORDS ANYTHING.

DONTRAG: <overboard> Yes sir…

GARROSH: So do I get an answer here, Drok, or do we have to play fucking charades or some shit?

DROK: It’s not a whale, Warchief. It’s a whale shark. The kind we saw in the deep waters around Vashj’ir, back when I first served under General Nazgrim. Legionnaire then, sir. They don’t often venture this far south… or far north… but this one… Ah, yes, this one, sir. This one’s an exception.

GARROSH: Wait, you know this one specifically?

DROK: Aye, sir. I’ve seen him before. Never expected I might again. At least I would have hoped…

MOKVAR: How can you tell it’s not just some other whale shark?

MALKOROK: <calling below> Gunners! Get up here and man the cannons!

DROK: Look… on his next pass… aye, there!

The whale shark emerges again, setting off waves that send the ship tilting to one side; in the process, it also lifts Dontrag and Utvoch on its back, where they flail around frantically.

There, see, Warchief, the great white hump on the beast’s back…

GARROSH: Dammit, you idiots, get out of the way — you’re blocking the view!

DONTRAG: <sliding around on the whale shark’s back awkwardly> But— but sir…!

GARROSH: BUT NOTHING! Don’t make me tell the gunners to aim at you FIRST!

UTVOCH: <spilling off the side of the whale shark> Yes si— oof!

DROK: And there, Warchief… see the wrinkled white forehead… and along the one side, that long scar, left by ill-fated attempts in days long past to bring the monster down…

UTVOCH: <invisible amid the crashing waves> I really don’t like the sound of this, sir!

GARROSH: Neither do I, if by “this” you mean “your endless bitching”!

While the whole shark sinks and rises again amid the waves, Utvoch manages to climb onto its back and grab onto the dorsal fin.

UTVOCH: Donty! Up here! If we hold on to the fin maybe it won’t be able to bite us!

GISKA: So Captain…

Garrosh looks at her.

Um, Captain Drok, I mean.

Garrosh shrugs.

How do you know about this shark?

DROK: Ah, young’un, this beast has a name for himself, ’mid those of us sail the oceans. Mobius-Dick, the great white whale shark. Told in whispers, mostly, a ghost story for the seas, but for me, and a handful of others, well, we knew all too well he’s real.

The whale shark breaches and crashes back down on the water, rocking the ship again, then dives below the surface. Korrina’s fishing pole gets yanked out of her hands.

KORRINA: Wha— Oh dammit!

DROK: I’ve seen the beast once before, Warchief. You remember, Warchief, back before General Nazgrim found Pandaria in the southern seas, you remember I’d gone on an expedition for him to the northern ones.

GARROSH: Right, I remember. The force we sent to Northrend.

DROK: To pick up a certain arcane trinket. And deliver it to your blood elf friend a ways east.

MALKOROK: Hmph. Bite your tongue, Drok, calling that pompous elf a friend.

DROK: Ah, but he was good at his job in any case, though, wasn’t he.

GARROSH: Did a good job on the mana bomb, true enough.

DROK: Yes, sir — I like to think we had a hand in it as well. Sure, by the time Thalen was working his magic — heh! — we were setting said back home through the northern seas, but I like to think us delivering… well, Warchief, you know… I like to think, in a way, that we delivered the mana bomb.

GARROSH: So, what, on the way back is when you saw this thing or something?

DROK: Aye. On the way home.

Drok goes quiet moment while the crashing of waves around them goes more still.

Mobius-Dick slammed unannounced into our side, Warchief, barely a day out of our rendezvous delivering the mana bomb. 110 orcs went into the water. Ship went down in minutes. And of course, Warchief, our mission had been so secret, no rescue was bound to be coming, not right away. First light, Warchief, Mobius-Dick come cruising back again. So we formed ourselves in tight groups. <chuckles grimly> You know, like maneuvers from basic training, closing the ranks… <waving toward the trainees without looking at them> You young ones learning all that, I wager… And the idea was, whale shark comes near a the group and they’d start pounding and hollering… and sometimes the whale shark would go away. Sometimes he wouldn’t go away… So, 110 orcs went in the water, 31 come out, Mobius-Dick took the rest, twelve days before Theramore. Anyway… we delivered the mana bomb.

MOKVAR: Spirits.

KULKESH: <aside> Remind me never to sign up for naval duty.

GISKA: <aside> Yeah. <beat> Also, don’t phrase it that way too loud around Ruekie.

KULKESH: <aside> Could be entertaining, though.

GISKA: <aside> True.

GARROSH: How did I not hear about any of this?

MALKOROK: We had reports of an incident at sea and recovery, Warchief, but I don’t remember being given the details.

GARROSH: Because I REMEMBER you commanding one of the ships in at Theramore, Drok.

DROK: That I did, Warchief.

GARROSH: In fact, I’m pretty sure you delivered the small strike force we sent in to extract Thalen.

DROK: I suppose I’m a veritable delivery man, sir.

MOKVAR: So you mean you came home from… from that, and turned right around to take another mission?

DROK: I’m a soldier of the Horde, sir, and Nazgrim trained me well. I’m a soldier and I had my duty, and so long as I still have legs, I’ll perform it.

GARROSH: Well, whatever it is, if it—

With a loud crash of waves, Mobius-Dick — with Dontrag and Utvoch still hanging desperately onto its dorsal fin — emerges close to the ship, causing a surge of waves that sends the ship tilting sharply to one side. Deckhands scramble around while Drok barks orders.

DONTRAG: <sputtering for breath> Guh— we— Ut? You still there?

UTVOCH: <sputtering as well> Yeah— I— blurg— I can’t see you, though, I think I got like some salt water in my eyes somehow…

MALKOROK: Get those cannons armed while we have a clear line on it!

DONTRAG: Warchief?

DROK: Aye, sir!

UTVOCH: Sir?

GARROSH: OPEN FIRE!

The cannoneers open fire at Mobius-Dick; the whale shark thrashes violently and splashes water heavily over the deck, dousing everyone nearby.

KORRINA: Guh!

MOKVAR: Dammit, I just dried this suit…

RUEKIE: Ack! That big Dick got me all wet!

KULKESH: Uh…

KORRINA: Uh… Ruek…

GISKA: It’s… it’s not even worth getting into.

MOKVAR: Are we sure she’s not doing it on purpose?

Another round of cannon fire pelts one side of the whale shark — with Dontrag and Utvoch visible still clinging to the dorsal fin.

DONTRAG: <sputtering> You know, Ut, I’m starting to think maybe this fin idea might not have been the best plan…

UTVOCH: <gasping for breath> Well geez, would you rather get swallowed?

DONTRAG: It might be better than getting pulled under till we drown!

UTVOCH: But then we’d get… like…. slowly digested for a thousand years or something!

DROK: Helm, keep us alongside! Don’t let him close on us!

MALKOROK: Kor’kron! Maintain fire!

DONTRAG: Wait! Sir!

UTVOCH: Warchief, please!

Dontrag and Utvoch clamber in tighter against the dorsal fin, partially trying to use it for cover amid the increasing hail of cannonballs.

GARROSH: I’M HEARING WAY TOO MUCH NOISE FROM THE FUCKING EXPENDABLES. <bellowing below deck> Get some shaman up here to try to steady the waters! And while we’re at it, hey, how about some of those beastmasters we brought get their damn asses up here, what with we got a goddamn beast that could use some mastering! Unless they’re all working at the frigging Steve level!

UTVOCH: Poor Steve!

DONTRAG: Spirits rest his soul — I can’t believe he’s gone!

UTVOCH: Yeah, I know — he owed me like fifteen gold…

DONTRAG: Dammit, Ut, the poor guy’s dead! Eaten even!

UTVOCH: <hanging on to the whale shark desperately as it thrashes> Yeah, well, better him than us!

DONTRAG: Ut, there were never any devilsaur gonna eat us!

UTVOCH: Spirits’ sake, Donty, look where we are right now!

GARROSH: OKAY, THAT’S IT, I’VE HAD ENOUGH OF THE PRATTLING IDIOT SOUNDTRACK ON CONSTANT LOOP WHILE WE HAVE LITERAL BIGGER FISH TO FRY!

Garrosh grabs a harpoon from a weapons rack and runs back to the edge of the deck.

DONTRAG: Warchief! We’re sorry, sir!

UTVOCH: We really mean it this time, sir! Cross our hearts and hope to —

DONTRAG: Dammit, Ut!

GARROSH: SHUT! THE FUCK! UP!

Garrosh hurls the harpoon toward Mobius-Dick — hitting it square in the middle of its wrinkled forehead. The whale shark thrashes violently, shaking Dontrag and Utvoch off its back; the duo fly toward the ship. The whale shark’s thrashing causes a wave that douses the deck again, just as D&U crash into Garrosh.

DONTRAG: <sprawled, with Utvoch, awkwardly on the deck> I… I don’t think I like seafood anymore…

UTVOCH: My hands are all pruney…

GARROSH: <drumming his fingers on the deck> You know, I’ll bet you anything this kind of shit didn’t used to happen to Thrall…

 

So… yeah. That was a thing. More fun than you’re ever going to have without lighting your own head on fire. On the plus side, turns out that whale shark steaks are pretty tasty. Although overall I don’t know if I can recommend them, what with the accompanying side order of moron jackassery. Or do they count that as a garnish? Tough call.

Either way, we should be reaching Pandaria soon. Cross your fingers for no more outbreaks of stupidity.