Tag Archives: ji firepaw

Brand loyalty

eitrigg1

One last quick followup to the whole Pandaren Noodle Festival thing from the other day (where, I’ll have you know, my spicy talbuk noodles went over pretty damn well before D&U-plus-one managed to fall ass-backwards into a new and better form of post-felweed munchie food).

One thing from the festival that I’ve had rattling around in the ol’ noggin ever since then was when Ji was telling us about some Pandaren cooking contest called Iron Chef, and then Mokvar chimed in with the idea of doing our own version called Iron Horde Chef. Among some other possible names he kind of stumbled his way through. Which just goes to show you that Mokvar didn’t have the good sense to recognize the one real winner and latch onto it, which ONCE AGAIN shows you why yours truly is in charge around here.

Anyhow, the point of this isn’t the cooking contest thing, but that idea Mokvar had for a name. Because seriously, how badass does “Iron Horde” sound? IF YOU WERE THINKING “EXTREMELY BADASS, GARROSH,” THEN CONGRATULATIONS, YOU ARE CORRECT. And so, even though Shayari thought she was being funny with her little comment about rebranding, JOKE’S ON YOU, DOELING, because that’s exactly what I went and looked into. BECAUSE HOW AWESOME WOULD THAT SOUND, SERIOUSLY? Had a talk with Eitrigg this afternoon about how a name change would work in the books. And, hey, let me finish it this way, seeing as I’m still in kind of an EPIC VERSEy kind of mood after that last mailbag

 

I took it to my numbers guy and left him really pensive
To wrack his brain and make a try at changes so extensive,
So sweeping, spanning, nationwide, systemic, comprehensive,
That if they ever were applied, the win would be intensive.
I rallied reasons that I scried and argued in defense of
My badass plan, but woe betide: old man’s counteroffensive:
The filing, fees, and forms beside, red tape you can’t make sense of
Reveal the fact, can’t be denied — that shit ain’t inexpensive.

EPIC VERSE!

 

I mean, you wouldn’t think changing over all the stationery and business cards would cost that much, BUT YOU WOULD BE WRONG. And that’s not even figuring in little miss you-know-who’s latest shopping trip.

Dammit, Eitrigg. Guess I better toss a few more Brawler’s Guild invites up on the AH.

More soon.

 

Get a little action in

brawlers1

So, here’s a little epilogue to the whole Pandaren Noodle Festival deal from a couple days ago, which should help demonstrate that where your Warchief is concerned, the mental elevator’s always going to the top floor. And unlike most elevators, it doesn’t have any careless motherfuckers getting themselves killed running off the edge then going plummet-plummet-scream-eek-splat. Although believe you me, if I COULD push a few people right off that elevator, I would. WITH MY MIND.

Anyhow. While Ji Lunchbox was getting things together for his big ol’ panda nom-nom party, I had a brainstorm for how I could kill two birds with one stone. So, number one, I’d been thinking for a while that I really haven’t been getting as much use as I should out of the Ring of Honor. Sure, a few randoms sometimes use the place for their little bitch-slap peen-measuring skirmishes, but really, ever since I had the newly arrived pandas prove themselves against a handful of assorted monsters (NEVER YOU MIND WHY I JUST SO HAPPENED TO HAVE THEM ON HAND), the place has pretty much been sitting there gathering dust. Number two, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this lately, but teenage daughters are damn expensive, and that expense gets magnified when you’re also trying to finagle an off-the-books black-ops underground HEYYYYYY so that’s the thing, teenage daughters, man, expensive stuff and that’s all I have to say about that.

Luckily, your Warchief is one sharp operator, so I came up with a brainstorm to do something about BOTH these situations at once. Plus — what the hell, let’s call this one number THREE — I was even able to do it in a way that cashed in on all that traffic that the Valley of Honor was getting because of PandaFest. SO CHECK IT OUT, motherfuckers, YOU SIGN UP FOR TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE AND YOU WALK AWAY WITH THREE. THREE GODDAMN DEAD BIRDS. That’s right, I give people a little something extra, ’cause that’s how I roll. Everybody wins. Except maybe the birds. Oh well.

So I know what you’re thinking. No, not “Wow, Garrosh, you sure are awesome, and sexy as all fuck, too” — I mean, sure, you’re thinking it, but I’m talking about the other thing: “So what was your genius idea, Garrosh?” EXCELLENT QUESTION, GLAD YOU ASKED.

Well, I realized that we’ve got this perfectly good gladitorial arena right here in Orgrimmar, only there’s no gladitorial combat keeping it in use. So, I decided it was time to do something about that. You’d be surprised how easy it was — a few conferences with some organizers, a couple hours’ worth of logistics, a not-so-gentle nudge for the contractors who’d already been working on remodeling the arena for way too long already, and lo and behold, the BRAWLER’S GUILD was born! A whole fight-on-demand, invitation-only tournament where the best and the badassest can show off their combat prowess against assorted monsters and, you know, whatever other opponents we can get to volunteer against their will.

Now yes, sure, this setup has some operational costs involved, but they’re a lot less than you might figure — some pocket change and random junk to dole out as prizes, plus maybe a few of those mushan beasties from Pandaria to dangle as prizes for the high-end achievers. But here’s the genius of the whole deal: this guild is set up to make BANK. See, first off, I had them make the Brawler’s Guild an invitation-only tournament. Then, we let a handful of those invitations trickle out to people. So now, word starts to get around about this exclusive tourney, and everybody starts getting curious, and everyone wants in but hardly anyone’s getting invited. So when a few more invitations start becoming available, man oh man, just you watch that gold come pouring in.

So I got all this in motion a few weeks ago. Ji’s whole Noodle Festival thing, though, gave me the perfect occasion to unveil it. We were already going to have crowds of people hanging around the Valley of Honor eating, drinking, and being merry, so what better way to cap the day off than to check out some fucking cage matches, right? We even got to reveal the new name that the Ring of Honor will be sporting in light of the new tournament — the Brawl’gar Arena! Pretty damn badass, right? REBRANDING, BITCHES. (Now I just need to get the ball rolling on that idea I had the other day, because seriously, could “Iron Horde” be a MORE badass-sounding name upgrade for us?)

Now, normally, entry into the Brawl’gar Arena would be exclusive to the guild members, but for the grand opening we let folks into the gallery overlooking the arena floor so they could watch the fun. For a minimal admission fee. So folks flocked on in there fresh off of their noodle festivities, the select few invitees put on a hell of a show, and a good time was had by all. Well, except for the peons who got stuck cleaning up the spilled noodles in the gallery. It turns out that half-drunk people don’t have the best table manners. Go figure.

Anyway, that little taste of the gladitorial goodness, combined with that whole sense of exclusivity surrounding access to membership, were all it took to whip up some serious interest in getting in. So, late into the proceedings, a handful of additional invitations just so happened to turn up at the auction house right outside. Bidding is still going on, but you would not BELIEVE how high the going rates have gotten already. If this keeps up, we might run out of zeroes.

Meanwhile, word keeps getting around, and more people keep digging around for invites, money in hand. So go on, get out there and help the cause — talk it up, tell your friends, remind them what fucking losers they are if they don’t get in on this shit. PEER PRESSURE, motherfucker. REMEMBER — the first rule of Brawler’s Guild is DON’T STOP FUCKING TALKING ABOUT BRAWLER’S GUILD.

 

Horde Iron Chef (part 2)

orgrimmar24

[This is usually the part where a writer would try to build in some catch-up exposition for the benefit of anyone who missed the first part, but you know what? Screw it. If you’re here at all, you’re probably on board with the idea of continuity. Nobody’s fault but your own if you’re confused! Moving on!]

 

LIADRIN: I wouldn’t mind trying some of that myself, Warchief.

GARROSH: Coming up.

LIADRIN: Would you like some, Salandria?

SALANDRIA: That’s okay. You can be the guinea pig for now.

While Garrosh serves up a bowl of noodles to Liadrin, Korrina and Kulkesh enter.

RUEKIE: Hi guys!

KORRINA: Hey.

KULKESH: Greetings, Captain. It’s–

Kulkesh trails off as Garrosh turns to them. He and Korrina stare for a moment.

KORRINA: Um.

KULKESH: Uh… that is… hi, sir. It’s… you really did get into the spirit of things, didn’t you, Captain…?

KORRINA: All I’m going to say is, um, you must be incredibly secure in yourself, sir…

GARROSH: Why is EVERYONE reacting like this?

SHAYARI: Would you like the reasons alphabetically, chronologically, or in order of how much they make me want to wear a bucket over my head for the next thousand years or so?

GARROSH: Okay, that’s it — NO NOODLES FOR YOU!

KULKESH: How are you feeling, Gurt?

GURTASH: Not bad. I mean, I’m still a little sore. And I’m still checking in with the healers every couple of days. But I’m pretty much recovered at this point.

KULKESH: Cool. You know, if you hadn’t come around soon, we were going to head over to Blackrock Spire and go dragon hunting ourselves.

KORRINA: Yeah, we were going to go all Wrathion on their asses.

GURTASH: Heh. I appreciate it, guys.

LIADRIN: I’m glad the healers are nearly done with your injuries, Gurtash. If you ever think it might help, I’m happy to cast a Flash of Light or two, although, granted, my areas of expertise are more in the realm of protection than healing.

MOKVAR: Too bad you weren’t with us in the Spire. We probably could have used a tank up there.

SHAYARI: Pip especially.

RUEKIE: Speaking of which, kind of, has anybody seen Mirembe?

KORRINA: She’s around here somewhere. We ran into her at one of the noodle stands.

KULKESH: I don’t know if she was going to stick around, though.

GURTASH: How come?

KORRINA: Oh, something about that Lantresor guy.

KULKESH: I think she ran into him while she was trying some food, and he made some comment about her weight, or something.

KORRINA: “Potbelly,” was it?

KULKESH: Yeah, I think so.

SHAYARI: Oh, spirits, THAT guy.

GURTASH: You know him?

SHAYARI: We’ve talked a couple times since he came to Orgrimmar. He’s a piece of work, let me tell you. Always going on and on about “oh, children of two worlds,” and “oh, we are alike, you and I,” and “you are not alone,” and “you are not alone,” and “ohh — did I mention? — you are not alone,” and I’m like, okay, I get it, I’m not alone, you’re making me wish I was, Professor YANA.

KORRINA: Old people are weird.

SALANDRIA: How old?

LIADRIN: Don’t start.

Ji enters, accompanied by Spazzle and Giska.

GARROSH: Ah, perfect, just the pudgeball I was looking for.

JI: Hello, Garrosh! Everyone!

SPAZZLE: Hey boss.

MOKVAR: Afternoon, Ji. Everything finally set up?

JI: Almost. Not quite. There’s an even better turnout than I’d expected!

SPAZZLE: Which means even more setup for us to do on the fly…

MOKVAR: How did he rope you into this anyway, Spaz?

GARROSH: Yeah, Pea Pod, I would’ve figured he’d have plenty of pandas to call in on this, seeing as, you know, this IS a panda festival.

JI: Oh, many of the Huojin have been busy working on the festival, sir. But they’ve mostly been cooking.

SPAZZLE: Which left plenty more setup work that Ji needed me to lend a hand with. At an hourly rate, anyway.

JI: Wait, you meant that? I thought you were joking!

SPAZZLE: Hey, I’ve got billing rules to follow! I’m in a union, you know!

MOKVAR: I thought it was a cartel.

SPAZZLE: We’re goblins! Same difference!

JI: But we’re friends!

SPAZZLE: Yeah, well, time is money, friend!

GARROSH: So listen, Deep Dish, you have somewhere I can set up? Probably with some space around it, for when people start flocking to get a taste of my stuff here.

Korrina, Gurtash, Kulkesh, and Giska all turn to look at Ruekie.

RUEKIE: <aside> I’m not saying anything!

KORRINA: <aside> You’re sure? You looked like you were about to say something.

RUEKIE: <aside> No no no, I’m keeping my mouth shut from now on! Every time I open my mouth, somebody sticks– hoooooo boy I almost did it again! Whew!

JI: Well, Garrosh… hmm. I still need to set up a few stations, but…

GARROSH: <pointing> What about right over here? Looks like you’ve got a couple spots.

JI: Well, yes, one of those is reserved, but I suppose you can take the other. Do you need a hand setting up?

GARROSH: Pfft, what’s there to set up?

Garrosh drops his pot on the table with a heavy thud.

OH HEY, we’ve got a cooking fire here and everything.

JI: Oh yes, several of the stations have them. Many of our participants are cooking right here on the premises!

GARROSH: Ah, nice, this way I can whip up a little MORE of this stuff, seeing as we’re probably gonna go through it pretty quick, even before we figure in Mokvar’s little pink friend.

MOKVAR: Uh, yeah, sorry about that again.

GARROSH: Actually… here.

Garrosh reaches over to Mokvar and yanks a page from his pack, sending some of his inscription gear spilling to the ground.

MOKVAR: <gathering his belongings> You know you could have just asked.

GARROSH: <scribbling on the page> Yeah, yeah, boo hoo. You two, front and center.

Korrina and Kulkesh go to Garrosh.

KULKESH: Yes, sir!

GARROSH: Giska, you too.

Giska joins them.

I assume you’re done with her now, Lunchbox.

JI: Actually, Warchief, we still–

GARROSH: My trainee, your student, I outrank you, done, boom.

JI: Oh bother…

GARROSH: <handing the paper to Giska> Okay, you three. Zip over to the market by Grommash Hold and pick up the stuff on this list for me.

KULKESH: Yes, sir!

GISKA: <scanning the list> Uh, just one thing, Captain. This looks like a lot — what do we do for money?

GARROSH: You tell the vendors you’re there on orders of the Warchief, and boy this is a nice little shop you’ve got here, and it sure would be a goddamn shame if somebody went and got blood stains all over it.

KORRINA: <clapping once and rubbing her hands together> Talkin’ my language, sir. On it!

GARROSH: Okay. Off with the lot of you.

While Giska, Korrina, and Kulkesh run off, Faranell enters, sporting a jaw that’s conspicuously mismatched with the rest of his face.

LIADRIN: Doctor! Good afternoon. You’re looking… um… well.

MOKVAR: Edwin! It’s good to see… see you… erm… you… Uh, yeah… so I guess we’ve both gone through some changes since last time I saw you, but…

SHAYARI: Difference is, Beardy, your changes get a lot less obvious once you dip into the back of your closet…

FARANELL: Ah, yes, the ideal person to comment on the current state of my appearance.

SHAYARI: Hey, it’s not my fault you don’t know how to duck fast enough, Eddie!

GARROSH: Hey, Doc, you…

Garrosh stares at Faranell a moment.

Okay, so…

Garrosh stares a moment longer.

I know I might end up regretting I asked this, but…

FARANELL: It’s a loaner. I’m just using it while my regular jaw is in the shop.

hordeironchef3

GARROSH: I… see.

MOKVAR: Gotta say, Edwin, you Forsaken have a really weird way of life sometimes.

FARANELL: Fancy that, that a community of reanimated corpses might have certain oddities in their cultural norms.

MOKVAR: Uh… right.

SALANDRIA: Wait, his… his jaw is in the shop? Did I hear that right?

LIADRIN: Yes, Dr. Faranell had a bit of an incident involving his jaw.

FARANELL: Yes, much in the same sense that Theramore had something of an incident involving the Focusing Iris.

SALANDRIA: What happened?

GARROSH: Oh geez, here we go…

FARANELL: Mana bomb.

SALANDRIA: No, not that!

GARROSH: Oh for FUCK’S sake.

SALANDRIA: I know that part! I mean your jaw!

SHAYARI: Cue the QQ. Or, you know, Q^3.

FARANELL: Suffice to say that my freshly harvested and installed jaw suffered some structural damage when I attempted to dissuade my would-be erstwhile apprentice from racing after her newly discovered father to a ruined dragon’s lair.

SHAYARI: And you know, there isn’t one single part of that sentence that would be possible if any of us led normal lives.

FARANELL: And, incidentally, just to put the button on the whole sordid affair, I am still waiting for certain reimbursements to be made.

GARROSH: Oh, for fuck’s sake. I… okay, FINE. After we’re done with the whole noodle thing here, I’ll get your damn gold. Are you fucking HAPPY now?

FARANELL: Beside myself with delirium. Bear in mind, also, that in light of the time that’s passed, certain sums of interest have accrued.

GARROSH: Fucking hell, are you kidding me? INTEREST now?!

SPAZZLE: Hey, don’t look at me. He came up with that on his own.

GARROSH: Please don’t tell me you trudged out here just to be a pain in the ass over this.

FARANELL: Oh hardly.

GARROSH: Yeah, good.

FARANELL: I’m a mage. I can teleport. I didn’t have to trudge at all.

Speaking of trudging, Malkorok returns doing just that, with Garrosh’s extra pot of noodles still in hand.

SHAYARI: Anyhow, I don’t think Eddie popped over to join the party, Pops.

Malkorok approaches Garrosh’s station and drops his pot on the counter.

MALKOROK: <aside> I’ve spoken to the guards who were charged with overseeing this area.

MOKVAR: Well, if I remember right, undead don’t really have that much of a sense of taste, so…

GARROSH: <aside> Good. What did they have to say for themselves?

MALKOROK: <aside> Very little. I’ll speak to their widows tomorrow.

SALANDRIA: Oh wow, you can’t taste anything? That must suck.

GARROSH: <aside> Yeah, send them a ham or something.

FARANELL: Not quite. We Forsaken have a sense of taste, just a muted one. It’s why I typically favor spicy foods, since the stronger flavors are more perceptible.

GARROSH: Huh. Well, in that case, Doc, you’re probably gonna like these. <spoons out a serving from his pot> These ought to have enough of a kick that you should–

Garrosh starts to hand the bowl to Faranell; as he does, Deliana unstealths and grabs it from Garrosh’s hand.

DELIANA: Another helping? Don’t mind if I do!

Deliana stealths again and vanishes.

MALKOROK: What–?!

GARROSH: Um.

MOKVAR: Don’t look at me.

GARROSH: <spinning back to Malkorok> HEY, MALK, IT SURE WOULD BE AWESOME IF WE HAD A LITTLE SECURITY IN THE FUCKING CAPITAL CITY!

MALKOROK: <grumbling> Yes, sir… I’ll be back again…

Malkorok starts to storm off, passing Mokvar.

One day you’ll be called to account for your odious taste in friends, scribe.

MOKVAR: I don’t know where you got the idea we were friends.

Malkorok grumbles more and marches off.

GARROSH: Okay, well, I’ll hook you up with another serving in a second here, Doc…

FARANELL: No need, really. I’m mainly here for work reasons.

GARROSH: Work reasons? How?

MOKVAR: You’ve known him long enough that you should probably know better than to ask that question.

FARANELL: Research, and potential sample collection. I figured that at an event like this, someone was bound to produce something usefully toxic, just by the law of averages.

GARROSH: Ah.

JI: Oh, no, Dr. Edwin, I can assure you everyone here is being very careful with their food.

FARANELL: Yes, I suppose, but one can always hope.

Faranell reaches into his cloak and produces an empty vial.

Now don’t mind me; I’m just going to hover around a bit in case someone — cross fingers — turns green.

MOKVAR: Hmph. Or turns chalky white and drops dead?

FARANELL: Touche.

GARROSH: By the way, Lunchbox, are there any kind of prizes for this shindig? Any judges who’ll be coming around that I should be looking to impress and not at all threaten with physical violence, no not at all?

JI: No, sir, no prizes. The only competition in an event like this is with oneself!

GARROSH: Yeah, I should have figured you pandas would be a little too touchy-feely for a straight-up contest.

JI: Not so! The Noodle Festival is meant to be a day of community and sharing, yes, but there’s a long Pandaren tradition of competitive cooking as well!

MOKVAR: You guys really do take your food seriously, don’t you?

SPAZZLE: You wouldn’t have to ask that if you’d been with us shopping this morning.

LIADRIN: What kind of cooking contests do you have, Ji?

JI: Well, one of our most honored customs is… well, the name doesn’t quite translate precisely, but I suppose the nearest approximation would be… “Iron Chef.” It’s a competition in which challengers are given a secret ingredient without notice and must prepare a gourmet meal with it in a limited window of time.

SPAZZLE: That actually sounds kind of cool.

MOKVAR: Spazz, you live on cheap take-out.

SPAZZLE: I know, but this has a whole mad scientist angle that I can appreciate.

FARANELL: Indeed, not to mention that rushed food preparation leaves ample room for hazardous contaminants to come into play. Not that anyone would wish for such a terrible thing, of course.

JI: Based on how well the festival is being received, perhaps we could adapt the competition for the Horde as well!

MOKVAR: Sort of a Horde Iron Chef? Or… Iron Horde Chef? Or… I don’t know, something like that, I guess.

GARROSH: I don’t know about the contest, but fuck, I LOVE the ring of “Iron Horde” — that sounds fucking BADASS, dude.

SHAYARI: Maybe you should look into rebranding, Pops.

GARROSH: MAYBE I SHOULD.

Dontrag, Utvoch, and Taktani enter, carrying boxes.

Don’t think I won’t get right on that shit and…

Dontrag et al start putting their boxes down at the station next to Garrosh.

And…

UTVOCH: Greetings, Warchief!

GARROSH: <turns to Ji> You’re fucking kidding me, right?

TAKTANI: Ooh everybody’s here! And we get to be next to Mr. Warchief! This is going to be so fun! Yay!

GARROSH: Oh fuck me…

RUEKIE: <aside> Oh, sure, he says that and nobody bats an eye…

DONTRAG: A pleasure to see you as always, your supreme Warchieferousness, sir!

GARROSH: Maybe if I don’t make eye contact they’ll assume I don’t know they’re there…

UTVOCH: Sir?

TAKTANI: Mr. Warchief?

JI: Yes, sir. <turning to Dontrag and Utvoch> Well then, Utvoch… Dontrag…

DONTRAG: I’m Dontrag. He’s Utvoch.

UTVOCH: Oh man. I knew I should have brought the letter…

JI: Oh. Okay. Well, your cooking station is ready. I’m looking forward to finding out what you’re making for us!

DONTRAG: Yeah, so are we.

JI: Pardon?

UTVOCH: Well, we don’t really have a recipe that we’re using.

JI: Oh…?

MOKVAR: Uh oh…

DONTRAG: We don’t know any noodle recipes, so we figured we’d just grab a bunch of ingredients and see what we could come up with on the fly!

GARROSH: Yeah, I don’t see any way that this could go wrong…

FARANELL: Now now, let’s not be hasty. I may be about to hit pay dirt.

TAKTANI: Oh hiiiiii Dr. Zombie!

FARANELL: Oh dear.

TAKTANI: I’m super happy to see you again!

Shayari giggles.

MOKVAR: Wait, she knows Edwin?

LIADRIN: I believe she met him a time or two when I first accompanied Shayari to Orgrimmar.

MOKVAR: And I missed this?

SHAYARI: I might possibly have maybe brought her with me a couple weeks ago when I went to the Undercity for a mage lesson, too. Possibly.

GARROSH: Oh, yeah, piss off the creditor even more.

TAKTANI: It was fun! I like Zombie Town! It’s kind of stinky, but that’s okay — it’s like a big haunted house! BOO! Hee hee!

SHAYARI: Kind of like it’s Hallow’s End all the time, right, Tak?

TAKTANI: I knowwwwww!

FARANELL: Must you encourage her?

GARROSH: Right there with you, Doc…

TAKTANI: Ooh! Ooh! Do you do Hallow’s End costumes in Zombie Town, Dr. Zombie? What are you going to be this year??

FARANELL: Far, far, away, Dark Lady permitting.

TAKTANI: Oh. <scratches her head> I don’t know what that looks like, but I bet it’ll be fun!

SHAYARI: You’ll have to go with me again so you can see, Tak!

TAKTANI: Yay! I get to come visit again! Won’t that be fun, Dr. Zombie?

FARANELL: Oh yes. My heart is utterly overflowing with joy.

TAKTANI: Yay! Hee hee!

FARANELL: Or possibly infectious bile. It’s hard to tell. My heart hasn’t beaten in over a decade, after all.

TAKTANI: <blinks> Huh?

FARANELL: Nothing to trouble yourself over. Just think of my heart as you would, say, your brain.

GARROSH: Lot of that going around with this crew, Doc.

DONTRAG: I don’t get it.

GARROSH: Case in point.

FARANELL: Indeed.

Giska, Korrina, and Kulkesh return with several large packages, which they put down at Garrosh’s station.

KULKESH: Good news, sir — Olvia just got some fresh talbuk steaks in.

GARROSH: <sorting through packages> Good deal. You kids get everything?

KORRINA: I think so, Captain. The vendors kind of fumbled their way through the whole order.

GISKA: Maybe next time don’t start breaking fingers right away?

KORRINA: Maybe next time mofos don’t get lippy.

GARROSH: Yeah, well, here, now that you’ve all earned your keep, have some grub.

Garrosh passes bowls of noodles to Giska, Korrina, and Kulkesh.

GISKA: Thanks, Captain!

KULKESH: Smells good, sir.

LIADRIN: I must say, Garrosh, I’m surprised — these are quite good.

GARROSH: Why is everyone always shocked out of their minds any time they find out I can do something other than punch people and scratch my ass?

MOKVAR: To be fair, you don’t exactly project complexity…

LIADRIN: You said these were a family recipe, Warchief?

GISKA: They’re not bad, Captain.

GARROSH: Kind of. I sort of improvised around something Greatmother used to make back in Nagrand.

LIADRIN: Did she teach you?

GARROSH: Not really, I just — what’s with you, Korrina? Something wrong with your food?

KORRINA: Uh, not really, sir. <poking awkwardly at her noodles with chopsticks> I mean, they look good, and they smell good… I’ll let you know how they taste once I figure out how to use these damn things.

KULKESH: They’re a little awkward at first, yeah, but they’re not so bad once you get used to them.

SHAYARI: <reaching back and adjusting the chopsticks in her hair> Oh, hey, is that what these things are supposed to be for? I was wondering why they were giving them out.

Korrina starts to pick up some noodles with her chopsticks, only to have them slip loose and drop back into her bowl.

KORRINA: Ugh — yeah, this isn’t so bad at all

GISKA: No no, try like this… see, you keep one of them balanced against your thumb, and…

Korrina takes another stab at her food with the chopsticks, but loses her grip, sending one chopstick — and most of the noodles she was picking up — spilling onto the ground.

KORRINA: Dammit! <throws her other chopstick down> Oh hell with it…

Korrina reaches over to Ruekie and snaps one of the ornamental forks off of her shoulder guards, then uses it to pick up some noodles.

RUEKIE: Hey!

KORRINA: There.

RUEKIE: Aw, man

hordeironchef4

DONTRAG: Uh, Ut, what did you put into those?

UTVOCH: Huh? I didn’t put anything. I just cooked the noodles.

DONTRAG: But they’re all gooey or something.

TAKTANI: That was me, Mr. D!

UTVOCH: You added something? What did you put in there?

TAKTANI: Cheese!

DONTRAG: Wait, what? Cheese doesn’t… I mean, how does that even work?

TAKTANI: <blinks> Um… I like cheese!

UTVOCH: You know, this doesn’t smell half bad…

TAKTANI: So noodles are good, and cheese is good, so now they can all be good together!

DONTRAG: Tak, you can’t just… I mean, who puts cheese in noodles?

TAKTANI: I’d take it out if you want, Mr. D, but it’s all melty now!

UTVOCH: It actually smells pretty good…

DONTRAG: Noodles and cheese? Really?

UTVOCH: <eating some of the noodles> Donty, seriously, try some of this…

TAKTANI: Do you like it? Yay!

KULKESH: Hey, you know, that does smell pretty good over there…

While Kulkesh, Korrina, and Giska make their way over to Dontrag and Utvoch’s station, Malkorok returns.

MALKOROK: I’ve put additional patrols around the gates, Warchief. It would of course be easier if so many of these… people… weren’t wandering around, but it should suffice for now.

GARROSH: Yeah, well, we can’t exactly barricade off half the city.

MALKOROK: Yes, sir.

KULKESH: Oh wow, this really does taste good!

GISKA: Noodles and cheese — who would’ve guessed?

Ji leans over Dontrag, Utvoch, and Taktani’s pot while Gurtash, Ruekie, and Salandria gather around.

JI: <sniffing> Ooh, a triumphant culinary experiment, I see! Don’t mind if I try some myself…

Ji reaches over Dontrag’s shoulder and scoops some noodles into his (cartoonishly oversized) bowl.

GARROSH: What the… does that crap even have any damn MEAT in it?

TAKTANI: Oh don’t worry, Mr. Warchief! Nobody had to hurt any poor animals for this!

GARROSH: For fuck’s sake, the murder’s the tastiest part!

MOKVAR: I don’t know, boss, looks like they’re starting to draw a following.

Spazzle eyes the passersby who have started to gather around D&U&T’s station, then leans up to try to peek in their pot.

SPAZZLE: Huh… Uh, Tak?

TAKTANI: Hi, Mr. Goblin!

SPAZZLE: Uh, yeah, hi. So… what kind of cheese did you put in there?

TAKTANI: Oh, nothing fancy, Mr. Goblin. Just regular old cheddar!

SPAZZLE: Huh… that stuff barely costs a few silver…

TAKTANI: We could use another kind if you’d like it more!

SPAZZLE: No, it’s not that, just… Uh, Utvoch? Aren’t those noodles the kind they have in those little packets from Pandaria?

UTVOCH: Oh, yeah, that’s why I got them. They’re crazy cheap — they’re only something like eight copper a pack, so you can get a ton of them and barely spend anything.

SPAZZLE: Yeah, uh, that’s what I thought.

Spazzle looks at the growing line, then thinks a moment.

So… how would you guys feel about a business venture…?

UTVOCH: Uh… maybe?

GARROSH: Okay, fuck it, I have to see what the big fucking deal is with this crap.

Garrosh shoves Utvoch out of the way and scoops some of the noodles and cheese into a bowl.

It doesn’t even SMELL like anything special, I don’t know why there’s people coming out of the damn woodwork to–

Deliana unstealths and lifts the bowl out of Garrosh’s hands.

DELIANA: Oh, you need a taste tester? Sure thing, Garry!

Deliana stealths again and disappears.

GARROSH: <spinning back to Malkorok> WHAT AM I PAYING YOU FOR?!

 

So, you know. That went about as well as anything else I fucking try to do around here. I really might have to look into that “Iron Horde” thing, though. It seriously does sound fucking badass.

More soon.

 

Horde Iron Chef (part 1)

orgrimmar25

So today was kind of a festive day in Orgrimmar. Ever since the pandas came to town, Ji’s been pestering me off and on to let him introduce some of his traditional panda customs. Which struck me as kind of funny, seeing as pretty much any tavern or eatery owner who’s found their stock of food suddenly, totally depleted within like twenty minutes of ol’ Stuffed-With-Fluff waddling in the door has already gotten pretty damn familiar with the only real panda custom I know about. Still, though, Ji keep insisting there were some traditional events in panda custom that he thought would carry over pretty well. I was still kind of on the fence, but then I guess Lunchbox got in Spazzle’s ear about it (not hard to do, really, because LOOK AT THOSE EARS, right?) (HAHA I crack myself up sometimes), and then Spazzle got Boss Mida from the Bilgewater goblins into the loop on it, and then the word “sponsorships” came up, and did I MENTION teenage daughters are fucking expensive?

By the way, if you haven’t gotten your insurance straightened out, you totally should look into it.

Stop looking at me like that, dammit. An orc’s gotta put food on the table. And… apparently… dozens of outfits in the closet. Ugh.

But yeah, NOW we were in business. Like literally.

So the particular tradition in question in this case was this thing called the Pandaren Noodle Festival. Now, anybody who’s been over to Pandaria is probably pretty aware that those pandas love them some noodles. Look over any panda menu and you’re going to find noodles all over the place. And so apparently, in a lot of their villages, once a year they have a big festival where everyone in town whips up their best noodle dishes, usually family recipes or whatever, and everybody samples everybody else’s and sort of spends the day hanging out with music and booze and whatever else. And then everybody puts on like eleven pounds but who the hell even notices because pandas.

Anyhow, though, it sounded like a fun enough time, and with all the crap that’s gone on lately, people could probably use a morale boost, so I let Ji and some of his buddies go ahead and plan a big ol’ outdoor festival down in the Valley of Honor. We cleared out some space and let them set up some tables and kiosks, and I hear tell Deep-Dish has managed to get folks from all over the place to sign on to come contribute some grub. I even got Zaela to send up a few kegs of special dwarven brew that her people collected from some Wildhammer dwarves who apparently stumbled across some sort of mishap where they were caught outside during a storm and were mysteriously chopped up with axes. So, you know, a little more variety for the booze.

It’s been going on for most of the day today, and I have to say it seems like a pretty good time so far. We’ve got people dropping by Orgrimmar from all over to join the party. I’m even going to try to swing by myself once I get one last thing finished up here…

 

Liadrin, with a young blood elf girl in tow, approaches Mokvar, who’s munching on a bowl of noodles at one of the kiosks.

LIADRIN: Hello, Mokvar. It’s been too long.

MOKVAR: Liadrin! It’s good to see you again.

LIADRIN: I’m glad you’re finally back home. Things are smoothed over with Garrosh?

MOKVAR: They’re…a work in progress. But I’m managing. You’re in town for the festival, I’m guessing?

LIADRIN: After a fashion. I’ve actually been visiting Orgrimmar fairly regularly to help with Shayari since she arrived. When my duties in Silvermoon allow, of course.

MOKVAR: Right, so… I mean… is she really… you know… Garrosh’s daughter?

LIADRIN: That’s what all of Dr. Faranell’s tests indicate. If she’s a fraud, she’s a spectacularly effective one.

MOKVAR: How is Edwin, anyway?

LIADRIN: He’s well, so far as one can tell with him. I believe he’s around here some– Ah! Here she comes.

Shayari enters.

Shayari! A pleasure to see you.

SHAYARI: Hey, Liadrin. Beardy.

MOKVAR: Mokvar.

SHAYARI: Whatever.

hordeironchef1

LIADRIN: Shay, I’d like to introduce you to someone. Both of you, actually. This is my daughter, Salandria.

MOKVAR: I didn’t know you had children, Liadrin.

LIADRIN: I adopted Salandria some years ago, in the late stages of the Outland campaign. Initially to begin her training as a paladin, though she’s…currently exploring other career options.

SALANDRIA: In other words, she’s letting me take a year off to work on my music.

LIADRIN: <sighs> We all need some time “find” ourselves, I suppose… I’ve changed classes twice myself over the years, so I’m hardly one to criticize.

MOKVAR: Yeah, right there with you.

LIADRIN: At any rate. Being as Salandria is a bit younger than the other paladin trainees, I thought it might be nice for her to have the chance to make some friends from within her peer group, or close to it. Salandria, this is Mokvar, and Shayari.

SHAYARI: <waving> Hey.

SALANDRIA: Hi.

SHAYARI: Oh, hey, cool guitar!

SALANDRIA: Thanks.

MOKVAR: Do you lug that thing around everywhere? It looks pretty heavy.

SALANDRIA: A little, but you never know when inspiration is going to strike!

LIADRIN: As our neighbors in Silvermoon have become painfully aware…

SALANDRIA: Yeah, yeah, I bet they wouldn’t complain if I was playing… like… I don’t know… the harp or something. I bet that placeholder regent guy plays one of those.

LIADRIN: You mean Regent-Lord Theron.

SHALANDRIA: Yeah, that guy.

SHAYARI: You’ll get along well with Pops if you keep taking shots at Whosy-Whatsy like that.

MOKVAR: Is Garrosh around here?

LIADRIN: I haven’t seen him so far.

SHAYARI: I think he said something about coming by.

MOKVAR: Well, if nothing else, he’s not really one to miss a party, so…

SALANDRIA: Oh, hey, sounds like I really would hit it off with ol’ Garry.

LIADRIN and MOKVAR: No.

SHAYARI: Really, seriously, don’t.

SALANDRIA: Huh?

Gurtash and Ruekie enter, holding noodle bowls, and approach the group.

MOKVAR: Do not call him that.

SHAYARI: For real.

GURTASH: Don’t call who what?

SHAYARI: Pops, “Garry.”

RUEKIE: Oh jeepers, no!

GURTASH: No no no no no, don’t do that!

SALANDRIA: Yeesh, why?

SHAYARI: He does not like it when people call him that. For some reason.

MOKVAR: He’s killed for less.

GURTASH: Like, literally.

SALANDRIA: Huh. Okay…

LIADRIN: And hello, Gurtash. I’m happy to see you’re up and well.

GURTASH: Thanks.

SALANDRIA: What happened to him?

SHAYARI: Pip got himself sliced up by a drakonid. Also, hey Pip.

SALANDRIA: Ouch!

GURTASH: Hey.

SHAYARI: I know, right?

GURTASH: She said, as if she was the one getting cut up…

SALANDRIA: Is that how you got your scar?

Gurtash shifts uneasily.

’Cause it looks kinda fresh.

GURTASH: Uh… yeah.

SHAYARI: You know, that could have gotten even more awkward if the answer had been no.

RUEKIE: It’s really not so bad, Gurtash…

GURTASH: Yeah, I guess.

SALANDRIA: It actually looks kinda badass, Pip.

GURTASH: That’s not my name!

SHAYARI: <snickering>

SALANDRIA: Oh. Um…

RUEKIE: He doesn’t like it when people call him that.

SALANDRIA: So it’s kind of like his “Garry”?

SHAYARI: Other than the fact that no on really takes it seriously in his case, sure.

GURTASH: My name is Gurtash.

SHAYARI: He really does get wound up about it when people call him Pip.

GURTASH: You’re the only one that does.

SHAYARI: Okay. When I call him Pip.

SALANDRIA: Why do you call him that, then?

SHAYARI: Because he gets really wound up about it? I just said! He’s a real pip about it. Oh hey, there we go again.

GURTASH: Anyway… I’m Gurtash.

SALANDRIA: Hi. Salandria.

LIADRIN: Gurtash is one of the Warchief’s military trainees. And this is… I’m sorry, I don’t think I’ve met your friend, Gurtash.

RUEKIE: My name’s Rue’kara. People call me Ruekie, though.

GURTASH: She’s another trainee like me.

LIADRIN: Ah, I see. I don’t think I’ve met any of Garrosh’s warrior proteges other than you, Gurtash.

GURTASH: Well, we’re not all warriors.

RUEKIE: I’m a shaman.

LIADRIN: Oh. I suppose I’d just assumed, since Garrosh is…well, rather emphatically a warrior himself.

GURTASH: A lot of us are, like– oh, hey, there they are over there — like Korrina and Kulkesh–

Gurtash waves to try to catch their attention across the festival grounds.

Nope. No go, they don’t see me. Anyhow, yeah, a lot of us are warriors, but there are a bunch like Ruekie who aren’t.

RUEKIE: Tuekie’s a rogue.

SHAYARI: Wait, who?

RUEKIE: Tuekie, my twin sister.

GURTASH: She’s a trainee, too.

RUEKIE: She just didn’t come with us to Pandaria, so she’s a little behind.

SHAYARI: Wait, your parents named her Tuekie?

RUEKIE: Well, Tue’kara.

SHAYARI: Right, but… after they named you Rue’kara?

RUEKIE: I think she was first by a couple minutes, actually.

SHAYARI: Okay, fine, concurrently, whatever. You’re missing the point.

RUEKIE: No, I get it. <shrugs> My parents are weird.

SALANDRIA: Right there with you.

LIADRIN: Salandria.

MOKVAR: It DOES seem pretty cruel to give twins names that rhyme.

RUEKIE: I know, I know…

SHAYARI: Sorry, Rue…

GURTASH: But yeah, there’s Tuekie, and Tov’osh. And Giska’s a monk, even.

RUEKIE: I think she’s– oh, yeah, there she is, helping the monk trainer set up.

SHAYARI: Her class trainer’s got her doing odd jobs setting up for a noodle festival?

GURTASH: Looks like it.

MOKVAR: I’m surprised Garrosh doesn’t do something like that with you kids.

GURTASH: <holding up sketch pad> Um, hello?

MOKVAR: Okay, point taken. But I mean, with ALL of you.

RUEKIE: Don’t give him ideas!

SALANDRIA: You mean he doesn’t? Huh, maybe I should look into being a warrior if the rock star thing doesn’t work out, what with the all the chores I was getting socked with as a pally-in-training…

LIADRIN: Don’t you get started about your apprenticeship duties again.

SALANDRIA: I’m just saying, I don’t really see what cleaning up after refugees had to do with perfecting my Crusader Strike!

LIADRIN: It was community service!

SALANDRIA: Suuuuuure…

SHAYARI: All I know is, Eddie’s got another thing coming if he starts trying to get me to do that kind of random crap for him.

SALANDRIA: Who’s Eddie?

SHAYARI: He’s my mage trainer. At least when he’s not preoccupied with making snarky comments about everything.

LIADRIN: Salandria, that’s the Dr. Faranell I’ve mentioned.

SALANDRIA: Oh, the dead guy? He’s that Eddie?

MOKVAR: Edwin.

SALANDRIA: Huh?

MOKVAR: He goes by Edwin. You probably don’t want to try calling him Eddie.

SHAYARI: Why? I always do.

LIADRIN: I’m sure “Dr. Faranell” will suffice.

SHAYARI: That’s so formal, though! I prefer Eddie.

SALANDRIA: Yeesh, you guys really like to call people things they don’t like, don’t you?

MOKVAR: You haven’t even met Garrosh yet…

GURTASH: Well, some of us do, yeah.

SHAYARI: Oh, it’ll grow on you, Pip.

MOKVAR: <to Liadrin> Are you sure you want to get her mixed up in all this?

LIADRIN: Completely sure? Hardly. But, better for her to have some contact with a few peers.

RUEKIE: There aren’t other blood elf kids in Silvermoon?

LIADRIN: There are, but… well, not all of them are necessarily the best influences.

MOKVAR: As opposed to the vast improvement you’re seeing here?

SHAYARI: Hey, we’re pretty damn cool, Beardy.

RUEKIE: Yeah!

GURTASH: Wait for it…

SHAYARI: At least the me part of the we.

RUEKIE: Hey!

GURTASH: Boom.

RUEKIE: Oh… Oh, hey, is that a guitar?

SALANDRIA: Yup!

RUEKIE: Do you play?

SHAYARI: No, she just carries it around to trick people.

RUEKIE: Are you good?

SALANDRIA: I’m getting there! That’s what I want to do. Someday I’m gonna open for the Elite Tauren Chieftains.

LIADRIN: Just so long as you keep your Tauren Chieftains ambitions limited to–

SALANDRIA: And marry Sig Nicious!

LIADRIN: Salandria…

SHAYARI: Okay, well, he is kinda cute.

RUEKIE: Which one is he?

MOKVAR: The kinda-cute one, I guess?

SALANDRIA: My future husband, that’s who!

LIADRIN: Salandria, even setting aside how unlikely it is that you would even meet him, you and I both know he’s much too old for you.

SALANDRIA: He is not!

LIADRIN: He’s in his 230s!

SALANDRIA: So? Didn’t you tell me once that you dated that ranger guy when you were younger?

LIADRIN: What about it?

SALANDRIA: So he was a lot older than you! How come that was okay?

LIADRIN: All right, granted, I was half his age. You, on the other hand, are the square root of his age.

SALANDRIA: Oh come on!

Garrosh enters, carrying a large pot and wearing a chef’s hat and apron. Malkorok, carrying another large pot (and looking none to happy about it) enters with him.

hordeironchef2

MOKVAR: Um…

SHAYARI: <shaking her head while facepalming> Oh, Light, just take me now…

LIADRIN: Um… hello, Warchief.

MOKVAR: I mean… do we not give you enough crap already?

GURTASH: Uhh…

GARROSH: Why the fuck are you people staring at me like I just sprouted a second head?

SHAYARI: <muttering> Maybe that one would have enough sense not to leave the house looking like that…

LIADRIN: It’s only that that’s a very… colorful outfit, sir.

MOKVAR: That’s one way to put it.

GARROSH: Hey, look, if I’m gonna cook, I might as well look the part, all right?

MOKVAR: And I mean… are those… are those murloc oven mitts?

GARROSH: THEY WERE A HOUSEWARMING GIFT FROM EITRIGG WHEN I MOVED TO ORGRIMMAR, OKAY?

SHAYARI: Oh Light, it just keeps getting worse…

LIADRIN: <squinting> And… am I not seeing your apron correctly, or is that lettering…?

GARROSH: Oh. Yeah. It was originally one of those aprons that say “Kiss the Chef.”

SHAYARI: <meekly> And it just keeps coming…

LIADRIN: And now…?

GARROSH: Well now I’ve gotten it doctored up around the “Chef” part. With a “War” in front and an I squeezed into the middle.

LIADRIN: I see…

MOKVAR: Wait, you actually sat down and sewed that onto the apron?

SHAYARI: Oh spirits, can’t we just let it go away…?

GARROSH: No, you jackass, I didn’t sit down and sew the damn apron. Who the fuck do you think you’re talking to? I hired some tailors to fix it up for me.

SHAYARI: Wait, wait, hang on. This is important. You went to tailors about this?

GARROSH: Yeah, why?

SHAYARI: As in, tailors who run clothing stores kind of tailors?

GARROSH: Yeah, WHY?

SHAYARI: Okay, listen to me very carefully. Where exactly did you go for this?

GARROSH: Why the fuck does it even matter?

SHAYARI: Because I need to know who’s been made aware of this mana bomb of shame.

GARROSH: Huh. Let me think. I don’t even remember the name of the place…

SHAYARI: <pressing eyes closed and crossing fingers> Please say the goblin slums, please say the goblin slums, please say…

GARROSH: It was some place in Silvermoon, though.

SHAYARI: Oh Light…

LIADRIN: Oh dear. Shay, I hate to say this, but I think I might have had an unwitting hand in this…

SHAYARI: What did you do?!

GARROSH: Why the hell are you acting like me getting an apron is the damn apocalypse or something?

SHAYARI: You stay out of this!

GARROSH: Stay out of– I AM “THIS”!

LIADRIN: I was speaking with Garrosh a while back, and he’d asked me to recommend a tailor, so I pointed him toward a place in the Bazaar.

SHAYARI: Oh spirits save me…

LIADRIN: I didn’t know what he was looking for a tailor for specifically.

SHAYARI: Do you realize what you’ve done?! You didn’t stop and think why he might want a tailor?

LIADRIN: Well, to be fair, look at him. The possibilities are endless.

SHAYARI: Oh Light… which place?

GARROSH: Some “trusted” place, I think.

LIADRIN: Keelan’s Trustworthy Tailoring.

SHAYARI: Oh no… No, no, no, no

GARROSH: They turned it around really quick, gotta say.

LIADRIN: They always do.

GARROSH: Dude did look at me kind of funny when he got the order, though.

SHAYARI: Well, there’s one store I can never show my face in again…

SALANDRIA: Uh, does he always walk around looking like this?

SHAYARI: Oh, yeah, sure, every day Azeroth rotates backwards and the skies turn orange.

SALANDRIA: I’m going to take that as a no.

MOKVAR: Good call.

GARROSH: Look, I don’t care what you people–

Garrosh looks at Mokvar.

Hey, hang on a minute.

He looks Mokvar over again.

So wait, did you go and change up on us AGAIN?

MOKVAR: What do you mean?

GARROSH: I mean, you were a shaman back before you ran off on your damn crazy train mission looking for your crystal doohicky, right?

MOKVAR: Right.

GARROSH: And then you came back and you’d become a warlock again.

RUEKIE: <aside> Ohh, is that what happened with him? Handy recap!

GURTASH: <aside> Ssshhh, I think it’s about to take one of those turns.

MOKVAR: Yeah…?

RUEKIE: <aside> How can you tell?

GURTASH: <aside> I’ve been tagging along for these conversations for a long time now…

GARROSH: Well, look at you. Are you back to being a shaman again now?

MOKVAR: <sighs> No, no…

GARROSH: Because if so, dude, you’ve got some SERIOUS problems with career indecision, let me tell you.

MOKVAR: No, I’m not a shaman again. I’m still a warlock.

GARROSH: So what’s up with the non-warlock-being getup?

MOKVAR: I’m just wearing my other suit! Not everyone has to wear the same thing every day.

SHAYARI: Oh thank Light I’m not the only one who realizes that. There might be hope for you yet, Beardy.

Liadrin leans to look into the pot Garrosh is carrying.

LIADRIN: I take it, sir, that you’ve decided to offer your own… contribution to the festival?

SALANDRIA: You know, that smells pretty good, whatever it is.

MOKVAR: It actually does…

GARROSH: Yeah, I figured what the hell, I might as well get in on it a little.

LIADRIN: Most commendable, sir. What is it, exactly?

GARROSH: I doctored up one of Greatmother’s old recipes and whipped up some spicy talbuk noodles.

LIADRIN: I must admit, sir, I didn’t realize that you cooked.

GARROSH: Garadar chili cook off champion, I’ll have you know.

MOKVAR: Weren’t you actually first runner up?

GARROSH: Not after Grok’nar had that unfortunate incident with the severe head trauma from several large rocks. Which I’m sure they’ll rule was natural causes if they ever find his body.

SHAYARI: I have to admit, he’s actually not a bad cook.

LIADRIN: I see you’re a man of many talents, sir.

GARROSH: You know, it’s funny, you’re not the first blood elf woman to tell me that.

SHAYARI: <cringing> You realize you’re just making my future therapy bills worse…

GARROSH: …this week.

SHAYARI: Welp, there’s two more months right there.

GARROSH: I guess I just need ol’ Lunchbox to get me set up at a station or something.

GURTASH: It looks like he’s getting some more setup done with Giska over there.

RUEKIE: I’ll try to watch for them, sir.

LIADRIN: In the meantime, Garrosh, allow me to introduce my daughter, Salandria. I’m sure, conversely, the Warchief needs no introduction.

GARROSH: Oh, yeah, I remember you mentioning her.

SALANDRIA: Hi, sir. Nice tats.

GARROSH: Huh. Thanks. Traditional Warsong markings.

SALANDRIA: They’re cool. <leaning and looking behind Garrosh> Soooooo, how far down do they go…?

LIADRIN: Salandria, don’t start!

SALANDRIA: I’m just asking!

LIADRIN: You know perfectly well.

SHAYARI: <squeezing eyes closed> Ohhh, spirits, please don’t let this become a thing.

GARROSH: Well, while we’re waiting on Pudge, some of you people might as well dig in for some of the talbuk-noodly goodness.

SALANDRIA: Bah, I still need to get a bowl.

MOKVAR: Here, I’ve got mine.

Mokvar passes a bowl over to Garrosh, who spoons out some noodles.

GARROSH: Yeah, here, try not to get any in your beard for once.

Garrosh holds the bowl out to Mokvar. Before Mokvar can take it, Deliana unstealths and grabs it from Garrosh’s hand.

DELIANA: Thanks! Smells good!

Deliana stealths again and vanishes.

GARROSH: Um.

Garrosh blinks, then turns back to Malkorok.

Seriously, dude, a little fucking SECURITY up in this bitch? Isn’t that kind of your whole fucking JOB?

MALKOROK: Ugh, apologies, Warchief. Although this does illustrate some issues we’ve been… ugh, regardless… <waving to nearby guards, then approaching them> Kor’kron!

GARROSH: Wait, actually…

Garrosh turns back to Mokvar.

How is it, exactly, that your little human friend is SNEAKING INTO ORGRIMMAR?

MOKVAR: Garrosh, you’ve met her. Do you really think I could make her stay away even if I wanted?

GARROSH: Yeah, well, if Malk manages to track her down, you better not hold your breath waiting for her to turn up again. Anyway, in the meantime, you can wait for your helping until she brings back your damn bowl. So… who else is up?

RUEKIE: I’d like to try some, sir!

GARROSH: Yeah, okay. Here.

Garrosh spoons a large portion of noodles into Ruekie’s bowl.

RUEKIE: Oh, wow, sir. You sure know how to give a girl a mouthful!

Everyone stares at Ruekie for a moment.

Oh gosh! I didn’t– I mean– I– I’m gonna stop talking now.

MOKVAR: At least you’ve got noodles.

Deliana unstealths and drops an empty bowl into Mokvar’s hands.

DELIANA: Here you go! Good stuff!

Deliana stealths again and vanishes.

GARROSH: <bellowing over at Malkorok> UH, MALK, ANYTIME YOU AND YOUR PEOPLE WANNA GET YOUR HEADS OUT OF YOUR ASSES WOULD BE TERRIFIC!

SALANDRIA: Is this what it’s usually like with you guys?

SHAYARI: You have no idea.

 

{As it turns out, the Pandaren Noodle Festival brought far more absurdity than I could hope to pack into one post, so our Orgrimmar block party will continue soon, with appearances from even more of our supporting cast. TO BE CONTINUED soon — stay tuned…}

 

Monday mailbag

mail27

We’ve got a bunch of letters to get through this week, and I have a bunch of stuff I need to do today, so let’s get right down to it. And lo and behold, we get to kick things off with everybody’s… um… “favorite” new correspondent of mine…

 

Hail, Warchief!

Okay, consider this to be a sort of test. Of course, my initial shock of your new limitations to these letters was perhaps a little…irrational. It’s just that I have never been confronted with such a shock, not once in all my years! However many of them there are, that is. So allow me to extend my utmost apologies for my over-reaction. Brevity just isn’t a common art form where I live. To be frank, I’m almost strongly advised against it. After all, how do you think we manage to stall our enemies long enough for a little rogue to sneak behind them and twist a knife through their back?

Nonetheless, I have no doubts that this wasn’t a mere act of impatience or annoyance, but as a test against the foes who would inevitably call our bluff and have their OWN rogues sneaking up behind us while we’re speaking. For this, I thank you.

Perhaps you never knew, since I noticed you did not fight the Lich King during his final battle, but I think that the only reason we won was because Arthas was so intent on making us suffer, he just didn’t imagine Highlord Fordring’s faith in the Light to win out! There wasn’t much I could say, what with my being dead. Dark days.

Have any big , bad guys YOU’VE stood against attacked you after 250 words? Or you, them? I must read into this!

Remain faithful, dear Warchief.

–Sarlinia-Grace Starstriker, Argent Crusade.

Um. Actually, Sarlin, the reason I…

<rubs forehead>

You know what? Fuck it. Whatever.

Yeah, you caught me. It was all just a lesson I was trying to teach you, making you limit your letters to 250 words or less. Just a big ol’ lesson about… hmm. Let’s see. FOCUS! There we go. Focus and efficiency. See, sometimes, sure, you need to… um… you know, that thing like you said with the rogues and whatever the hell that was… and sometimes you need to be able to focus in on the task at hand and get shit done, like pronto. Like for instance…

Hang on.

<flipping through book>

I know it’s here somewhere.

<flipping more pages>

So by the way, while I’m looking for this — speaking of rogues, have you ever met Garona? Because now that I think of it, that could be pretty damn entertaining if– oh wait wait wait, here we go. Here.

<opens book flat on desk>

Now we’re in business.

So FOR INSTANCE, like say you had a city taken over by those Scourge that you and your Argent buddies worry so much about, and let’s say the city was being run by some dude calling himself a baron — which would be kinda lame seeing as he could pick any title he wanted but settled for something ordinary like “baron” — and he’s holding someone prisoner, somebody’s wife maybe, and in 45 minutes ol’ baron-boy is gonna execute Ysera.

<squints>

Wait.

<leans closer to book>

Make that Ysida. He’s gonna execute Ysida. Man, Mokvar’s handwriting is some kind of spirits-damned awful, I tell you. But yeah, Ysida, not Ysera. Although, wouldn’t it be way cooler if I was right the first time? Doesn’t that sound kind of awesome, if the guy was gonna try to kill this giant green dragon? Now see, THAT would have made him a legit badass bad guy with some street cred.

Anyway, though, point is, say you need to get to your head-honcho baddie, and you’ve got limited time to do it in, you can’t just sit there taking your sweet time talking everything in the place to death, right? No, you want to get in there, kick some ass, take some names, promptly forget the names because who the fuck cares WHO those losers are, they’re dead now so pfft, then get to baron dude and beat him down before he drops the axe.

I mean, at least, YOU want to do that. From what I can tell, Ysida was a human, so as far as I would be concerned, fuck ’er, let ol’ Baron lop her head off for all I care. Good riddance. BUT YOU GET MY POINT.

Meanwhile, since you bring up Tirion back in ICC, I just gotta say… leave it to T-Ford to be frozen in a giant block of ice… and STILL find a way to break into a damn speech. No wonder Arthas was finally like “Fuck this shit, just kill me already, yeesh.”

Moving on.

 

So I don’t ordinarily do this, but this next letter came in the form of an image, and since it’s kind of visual, I’m going to just reproduce it here:

letter1

Okay, so, this is kind of a weird question, but on the other hand, this is obviously just a thinly veiled excuse to spend a little extra time checking out my, ahem, skintone, and I don’t know if I can blame you for taking a good long look in the “artistic” interests of picking your color pallette, because ENJOY THE VIEW, LADIES.

But, now that you mention it, the fact that you’re all interested in Horde edition crayons makes me feel like we’ve got a potential opportunity on our hands, because MERCHANDISING, BITCHES. Hell, there might even be a market for Warchief’s Command Board goodies — I think Spazzle was toying around the idea of trying to make some WCB action figures or something. Although personally I think that was just his way of angling to be immortalized in plastic. Which is really kind of sad, to be honest. Anyway, though, I might have to look into taking advantage of this market, what with, you know, all of a sudden me having a lot more by way of expenses.

So since you brought up the subject, Quelita, here, straight from… um… well, Gurtash’s unattended art supplies, mostly, and some quick printouts, enjoy a possible sampling:

crayons1

Well, it’s a draft. Any thoughts on swag you guys might be interested in forking over your hard-earned gold for? It’ll be easier handing it over that way than at axepoint. I KID, I KID. Mostly.

 

Greetings, Warchief Hellscream,

After I recovered from reading your highly entertaining reaction to hearing about my potion, your ally Mogor persuaded me to send this sample of the potion. Although I was rather tempted to see you have another flip-out, I believe that’s the word for it, I decided instead that one good turn deserves another and agreed. I have only tested the effects of its standard strain on ogres, and two-headed ones at that, but at his discretion I modified it so that it can work pairs of heads on separate bodies which are very close in personality. It has been used on some ogre “duos”, you might call them, with fair success. I should warn you that it is still partially in the experimental stage, as I cannot account for the full effects of the potion and have never tried it on orcs. I should, but I don’t expect you would listen, and I can imagine you believe that knocking some sense into that bumbling pair of head-cases, Dontrag and Utvoch, is worth any price.  

Kind Regards,

–Draz’Zilb of the Stonemaul Clan

So first of all, you ever notice how people who are like… super creepy evil are always really polite, even when they’re BEING super creepy evil? Don’t know why that came to mind just now. But keep it in mind the next time you need an airtight response to some jackass who’s trying to say I’M evil, because FUCK THAT GUY, THAT’S WHY.

Anyway.

So, listen, Draz’Zilb… and good to hear from you, by the way, nice to see you’re still up and about and vaguely disturbing and everything… but so, I think I might have some bad news for you.

Short version is, I think you may need to give that potion another draft or two before it’s ready for prime time on non-ogre types.

Longer version is… I got your potion and gave it to Dontrag and Utvoch a little while ago. And it sure as hell kicked in quick on them… and apparently helped stop their two little pea-brains from being so disconnected. Which in THIS case, meant that each one of them all of a sudden had partial control over the other one’s LIMBS. So they spent like an hour and a half yanking each other around and each of them experimenting to see if they could make the other walk into a wall or flap his arms like wings or whatever.

Now, look, I can totally see how this potion effect could be handy for your typical two-headed ogres. I can see how having two brains — even if they’re bargain-basement brains — running one body can be confusing as hell, especially if the two heads don’t always agree on what the body should be doing. I get how doing something to firm up bodily control and coordination could be a good thing. And even trying it out here on the braintrust, it was kind of entertaining for the first 20 minutes or so. But after it got past an hour, it was just starting to get annoying, especially with how it didn’t seem to be getting old at all to THEM.

Oh, and don’t even get me started on that 45-minute period when they both thought “DON’T HIT YOURSELF” was the most hysterical thing in the world after 7000 repetitions.

And you know what, Drazzy? That wasn’t even the worst of it. Because your crazy potion really did do the trick, and put their two brains — or, I mean, the two HALVES of the ONE fucking brain that they split between them — in synch with each other… just not the way you were probably shooting for. Because, see, after a little while, apparently they started being able to hear each other’s thoughts, and communicate telepathically. And I know this because of the three or four dozen times when one of them replied out loud to something the other one was thinking… or when one of them said something out loud to the other one, only the other one didn’t say anything out loud in response, but the first one acted like he got an answer… or, get this, when the two of them spent spirits-know-how-long not realizing that the damn mind-reading thing didn’t apply to fucking EVERYONE, so that when I asked them something, they couldn’t just THINK it at me.

Speaking of which, by the way, there seems to be some evidence that the effects of the potion can be dispelled by a severe beating around the head area. Eventually.

So, back to the drawing board, I’m thinking. Keep up the good work, though. And by “good,” I mean “disturbingly yet usefully evil.”

 

Hello Warchief!

I was happy to see Gurtash is alive and recovering in your recent blog post. Give him my regards and well wishes.

I was curious about a book in the hands of the young shaman Ruekie. “Resto for Dummies” correct? Where can I find a copy? It looks like a book I would be interested in reading myself.  I am a rather new shaman myself and wondering if this is something I want to continue training in or return to my monkish roots. This book may help me decide if this is what I want to do.

Are there other books in the series that would be helpful?

Have you written any books yourself?

Books are wonderful! I enjoy seeing shelves full of them!

Sincerely,

–Misqueu Zephyrpaw, Wandering Isle

Hey, Misqueu, thanks for writing. So before somebody else notices this and decides to be an asshole — because you know someone will — let me point out: yes, this letter from Misqueu did come from the Wandering Isle. Now, when I first noticed that, I’ll admit I had kind of a WTF moment about it, seeing as, last I’d heard, all the pandas on the Wandering Isle had either come to Orgrimmar to join the Horde, or stayed behind to go on living in isolation on the island. Okay, there were also the batch of pandas who went to join the Alliance, but they don’t count because FUCK THEM that’s why. Although they DID get to punch Varian in the face as part of the deal, and, you know, as much as I hate the Alliance, I have to admit that’s a pretty sweet perk. I’d seriously be half tempted to try swinging by Stormwind wearing a panda costume just to see if I could cash in on it myself. Again.

But, after my initial what-the-fuckery, I did a little checking on the matter. Which, by the way, took way longer than I would have figured. My first thought was to ask Ji about it, only it turned out some place down by the Drag was having an all-you-can-eat buffet, and hoo boy, when ol’ Pudge heard “all you can eat,” he didn’t just hear a bargain offer, he heard a fucking CHALLENGE. So, he wasn’t available to field questions.

Luckily, I was able to catch Ben-Lin free. Or, well, I MADE her free. I guess she was technically in the middle of one of her counseling sessions with some shellshocked Wrathgate survivor. I’m not too clear on what his deal was, though, seeing as we didn’t have a whole lot of time to chit chat what with him crapping himself and running out when I busted in and yelled that his time was up. I thought Ben-Lin was gonna get all serious-facey about the interruption, too, but then she realized that now the dude was probably going to be on the hook for a bunch more billable hours down the road. So, win-win for everybody.

Anyhow, Ben cleared up the whole Wandering Isle thing for me. Turns out, even after the initial batch of pandas took off from the Wandering Isle, a bunch of Korga Strongmane’s people stayed behind for a while with the other pandas, and told them a bunch about the goings-on in the rest of the world. I guess even though they wanted to keep to themselves on the island, they were still curious about what else is out there, and so, after a while, what do you know, they managed to get themselves set up with the internet. Which, as we all know, is fucking spectacular when it comes to letting people sit back and observe life without having to get un-hermit-ified and actually becoming part of it.

Although, that also raises the minor question of, you know, HOW THE FUCK do you hook up stable internet access ON A GIANT FUCKING TURTLE? Grizzle Gearslip can’t keep my goddamn wireless connection stable in Domination Point, but someone was able to hook up THE SHELL OF A GIANT TURTLE with net access? For real?

Oh, wait, you know what? I’ll bet you anything there were goblins involved. Because, where there’s a will there’s a way, and where there’s the prospect of monthly internet access fees, there’s ALL KINDS of motherfucking will. Apparently it’s just when they happen to be on MY FUCKING PAYROLL that goblins STILL aren’t able to get technical things to fucking well work. GRIZZLE. Fucking hell.

Okay, so. Was there actually a question up there somewhere? OH THAT’S RIGHT. Books.

No, I haven’t written any books. Well, not unless you count all the thrilling adventures, thoughts, and musings I’ve written here on the blog. THAT should count as a book or two, right? I’m just writing it a little at a time. And…having other people transcribe the dialogue for me. And draw illustrations. IT’S CALLED DELEGATING, OKAY?

I’m not sure about the book you saw Ruekie reading, but it IS part of a series. What’s kind of sad is the fact that a lot of the books are bestsellers, and yet just from looking at the titles, you can tell that they’re STILL pretty badly needed. For instance:

 

  • Tanking for Dummies — Make sure you have the current edition, though, because they completely revise it from top to bottom every few months.
  • Getting Out of the Fire for Dummies — 600,000 copies sold. And yet.
  • Trolling for Dummies — Not sure if this one is about the jackassery you usually see in trade chat, or the ins and outs of life on the Echo Isles. Or how to tell the difference, come to think of it.
  • Earth Online Dollarmaking for Dummies — To be honest, I don’t know if this one is legit, or if it’s like one of those seminars you see advertised on late-night live streams that promise to let you in on some big moneymaking secret and then the secret ends up being to charge naive saps like you a fee to hear about some moneymaking secret. (I’ve never fallen for this, by the way. And there are no living witnesses who will say otherwise.)
  • Blogging for Dummies — Because not everyone is a fucking natural like yours truly.
  • Commanding a Ship Without Wrecking It for Dummies — Guess what Nazgrim is getting from me for Winter Veil every year for the rest of his life?
  • Timewalking for Dummies — I haven’t read a page of this book and if anyone brings a copy near me I swear to fuck I will beat them to death with it. Because fuck time travel.

 

I’m sure there are others, but those are the ones I can think of offhand. I might have to think about putting one of my own together, though. Something to share some of my own unique brand of wisdom, insight, and dead sexy kickassery. Hmm. Stay tuned.

But hey, if you’re a fan of books, Misqueu, I’ll tell you who you should have a sit-down with — Faranell down in the Undercity. I hear tell he’s pretty much read all of them. He can probably recite half of them back to you. Really saves space as far as the shelving goes, I figure. You should swing by and ask him about it, actually. He’s in the Apothecarium. Just go to the Undercity and…like… follow the smell. You can’t miss it. I’m sure he’d be glad to talk about… hmm. Actually, knowing Edwin, he probably WOULDN’T be too thrilled to…eh, you know what? Fuck it. Go drop by anyway. What the hell. It should be good for a laugh or two.

Now if you’ll excuse me, this is all reminding me of a couple things I need to go do, so I’m going to wrap this up and try to get back to the mail ASAP (fuck knows I still have enough of it building up…)

More soon.

 

[BONUS mailbag — the Warchief will be responding to his voluminous mail a second time this month! Garrosh’s next mailbag will be Monday, December 21. As always, send your thoughts to the Warchief using the email link in the right sidebar, or using the form below!]

 

The cost of doing business

orgrimmar23

So, some of you might remember the other day when Lantresor of the Blade wrote to me saying – among other things – that he was coming up to Orgrimmar to see about signing on with the Horde. Seemed like a pretty good deal, what with Lantresor being a major badass by all accounts, plus him being pretty much the head honcho of a clan of ogres. Which, yeah, maybe not the deepest thinkers in the world, but for real, have you seen some of the hired help I’ve already got on staff? I have Dontrag and Utvoch on payroll. I’ve got no business throwing stones.

Anyhow, I got Marogg the infantry chef to whip up a welcoming dinner for Lantresor and his crew, but we kind of overshot a little. See, when Lantresor sent his letter, he mentioned forming a new “Burning Skull” ogre clan, and wanting to sign on… then he said he got that Mogor ogre dude to port “us” to what I’m guessing was Ratchet (where, if epic limericks are to be believed, there once was a goblin from)… and that “we” would arrive in Grommash Hold soon.

And see, that’s great and all. Problem was, “us” and “we” didn’t give me much of an idea of how many people “us” and “we” were, and based on everything else Lantresor was saying, as far as I knew, dude was gonna roll up on Orgrimmar with his whole damn ogre clan. And seriously, have you ever tried feeding a bunch of ogres? Pro tip: don’t. Trust me. I’ve been to Brackenwall Village a bunch of times to see Draz’Zilb. You know why the place always looks so run down? Because motherfuckers don’t have time to fix shit when motherfuckers gotta spend their whole day scraping up enough food to cover their daily requirement of 20,000 calories a head. Including a bunch of dudes who’ve got more than one head.

Anyway, point is, I had some indeterminate-sized ogre contingent rolling on into town, and I knew I was going to have to FEED these stupid assholes, because, you know, I’m not going to be fucking RUDE. (Greatmother didn’t raise no ungracious hosts. My heretofore unboxed ears would not survive.) So I had to have Marogg err on the side of safety and crank out enough grub to feed a small army of ogres. Which… let me tell you, that’s not gonna be a fun line item to see in next month’s budget report. I might have to get some slaughterhouses up and running just to offset the dent this puts in the meat supply. Maybe in the Barrens. Seems like we’ve got some spare real estate out there. Anyhow, I digress.

Bottom line, Marogg pulled in a bunch of culinary personnel to help – I even got our ol’ pal Ji Lunchbox and some of his panda buddies chipping in on this – and managed to whip up enough eats to cover our bases. And so, who shows up?

Lantresor and Mogor.

The end. THAT was the fucking “we.” Lantresor and his double-headed, half-brained plus-fucking-one.

FUCKED OVER ONCE AGAIN BY AMBIGUOUS PRONOUN ANTECEDENTS. SEE? SEE? IMPRECISE GRAMMAR CAN COST A SMALL FORTUNE. STAY IN FUCKING SCHOOL, KIDS.

Um. I mean “fucking school” as in… like… you know… just school. Not school for fucking. Because for one thing, I mean, I get enough hate mail as it is, without advocating THAT certificate program. And for another, not for nothing, but it would be kind of a futile teaching exercise. Either you got it or you don’t. Sorry, nerds.

MOVING ON.

Anyway, point is, we massively overshot there, so, you know, if you happen to be in the Orgrimmar neck of the woods, and you like Kickin’ Chimaerok Chops, well, I’ve got leftovers. Like… a LOT of leftovers. Like make-the-week-after-Pilgrim’s-Bounty-look-like-fucking-NOTHING kind of leftovers. And the faster they get eaten, the sooner I can relieve the frost mages I’ve got on duty round the clock keeping the shit from spoiling. And MAN OH MAN, you can practically HEAR Ji high-tailing it over here with a fork and knife in hand, can’t you?

So where was I? Oh. Yeah. Lantresor.

So yeah, the initial meeting went pretty well. I don’t know if either of us knew what to make of the other at first, but after a little while we started exchanging stories about ways we’ve each messed with Jorin Deadeye, and that broke the ice right quick. We still have some odds and ends to work out, but it looks like Lantresor and his crew are going to come on board, which is only going to help shore up defenses on a bunch of different fronts. Plus, Lantresor apparently knows a handful of blademasters from the old Burning Blade clan who are still hiding out in Outland, and he seems pretty confident he could bring them over as well. So, a lot of potential win going on.

The only awkward part has been how Lantresor kept asking about Shayari. And, um, you know… after Khizzara turned on the warning lights on that one, just to be safe, I made sure Shay was out of town when Lantresor was due to arrive. By… well… sending her off on a shopping trip. Which… seemed like a decent enough idea at the time. Until she got home with a fucking kodo carrying the stuff she bought. Including the kodo. This one’s gonna leave a mark, I can tell.

Meanwhile, Lantresor keeps asking after Shay. I may just have to bite the cannonball and try to get Garona over here.

I’m getting too old for this shit.

More soon.

 

Divided Loyalties

org14

Since I’ve been back in Orgrimmar, I’ve been kept so busy most days that I’ve hardly had time to stop, catch my breath, and really get back to the normal, mundane business of everyday life. It hasn’t just been the meetings with Garrosh, or the time spent in Ragefire Chasm with Overseer Elaglo or the Cleft of Shadow with Neeru. (Who hasn’t gotten any less coolly unsettling, by the way.) The biggest time sink has been getting my life back together in tangible terms. I suppose most people never need to worry about the practical ramifications of their own deaths, but believe me, when you’re exiled, then declared dead, getting all of that backtracked and your life out of mothballs is a giant pain. Honestly, I used to chuckle at Garrosh getting all irritable over paperwork and triplicate forms. Never again.

In retrospect, it’s a little ironic that Neeru mentioned the other day how unlikely he thought it would be for me to hide the Nether Prism at my house, where someone could break in and steal it. I don’t know if there’s anyplace in Orgrimmar that would have been MORE secure; at that point, my old place was still sealed up under Kor’kron security orders. Any rogue this side of Garona would have had an easier time stealthing into Orgrimmar than breaking into my place. After returning to town, I ended up spending more time cutting through red tape than anything else – getting my house unlocked, my old stuff pulled from storage and returned, my name removed from death records all over the place… Although, honestly, if the tax office wants to go on thinking I’m dead, I probably won’t complain about that one.

Still, all the time I’ve had to spend getting my life back together, combined with all the time spent meeting with the people I’ve needed to, means that until now I haven’t had much time to get caught up with some of the people I’ve wanted to.

 

JI: Oh… so… are we not having lunch?

SPAZZLE: Uh oh. Here we go…

MOKVAR: Lunch? Well, no, I hadn’t really… Are you hungry?

SPAZZLE: Wow, you really have been away for a long time.

JI: Oh, I wouldn’t want to be a bother.

MOKVAR: Okay. Yeah, sorry, Ji.

JI: It’s just that I suppose I assumed, given the time you said to come over, that we would be having lunch…

MOKVAR: Right. But, no, Ji, I wasn’t thinking lunch. Just that we could sit back and have a few drinks and talk.

JI: Drinks are good!

MOKVAR: Okay, great. So why don’t you guys—

JI: I suppose it’s my mistake. I should have thought to eat earlier.

MOKVAR: Um… would you like me to get you something, Ji?

JI: Oh, I wouldn’t want to be a bother.

MOKVAR: Right. So…

JI: I could swear I smelled something cooking, though.

MOKVAR: Yeah… that’s, um, that’s some clefthoof stew I have simmering for dinner tonight.

SPAZZLE: You realize you’re just digging yourself deeper, right?

JI: Oh, I see… so it’s not ready yet?

MOKVAR: Well… it is, but… I mean, it’s one of those things where it gets better the longer you let it simmer. So I usually let it sit for most of the day, and…

JI: Oh, I’m not picky! It doesn’t have to be perfect.

SPAZZLE: Aaaaaaaand here we go.

MOKVAR: Would… you like some, Ji?

JI: Just a small helping, if you please.

MOKVAR: Um… okay. Why don’t you guys have a seat while I…yeah.

Mokvar retrieves a large pot from the hearth while Spazzle and Ji sit around a circular table.

SPAZZLE: <turning to look at side of his chair> Mokvar, what’s up with these stickers on your stuff?

Mokvar returns and sets a plate on the table before Ji.

MOKVAR: Oh, those? That’s from Kor’kron impoundment.

SPAZZLE: Yikes. How much did they take out of here?

MOKVAR: A lot.

Mokvar scoops a small ladle of stew onto Ji’s plate. Ji leans down to inspect the food a moment, then looks up at Mokvar quizzically.

Is… something wrong?

JI: Well, I did mean a little larger small helping.

MOKVAR: Well maybe it would save time if you just took the whole—

Ji snatches the pot from Mokvar happily.

JI: Thank you, Mokvar!

Ji starts ladling large scoops of stew onto his plate.

MOKVAR: <turning back to Spazzle> Did you want some, too, Spaz?

Ji looks up from the food with an expression of faint concern.

SPAZZLE: No, I’m good.

Ji beams and continues shoveling stew onto his plate.

MOKVAR: Anyway… yeah, they took most of the stuff out of here. Pretty much anything you could carry without needing a second set of hands.

SPAZZLE: Yikes. Your computer, too?

MOKVAR: Oh, man, that was the biggest headache to get back.

SPAZZLE: Did they go through your files? Or could you even tell?

Ji sets down the pot and ties a napkin around his neck.

MOKVAR: I don’t think so. <chuckles> My password lock showed something like five hundred failed attempts to log on.

Ji rubs his paws together, then starts to eat eagerly.

SPAZZLE: Eesh. You know, I’ll bet you anything Malkorok was beating his head against the wall on that one personally.

MOKVAR: Oh no doubt. That’s why I made a point of setting a password he’d never think to try.

SPAZZLE: Oh? What was it?

MOKVAR: “Malkorok.”

SPAZZLE: Ha!

JI: <mouth full of stew> Daff’s fweally thpart, Bokbar.

MOKVAR: Um…thanks. Need any salt, Ji?

JI: <back to eating> Doh tahk yew.

SPAZZLE: That was pretty clever, though. I bet it ticked him off something fierce not being able to crack it.

MOKVAR: I’m half surprised they didn’t bring you in to try to hack in. I’m sure you could have.

SPAZZLE: <shrugs> Who knows. I was probably under suspicion myself by that point. Speaking of which, actually…

Spazzle starts digging through his backpack, then produces a small totem of orcish design.

You gave me this. Back in Everlook. I know you probably don’t need it anymore, or even… well, you know, what with you not being a shaman anymore, but…

Spazzle hands the totem to Mokvar.

I figured it should come back to you either way.

MOKVAR: Thanks.

Mokvar looks at the totem in his hands for a moment, then carries it to the mantle over the hearth and sets it down. Ji looks up at what Mokvar is doing, then turns his attention back to ladling more stew onto his plate.

I don’t figure I’ll have much use for these anymore, yeah. Who knows, though, the way Elaglo and Xorenth are blurring the lines between shamans and warlocks.

SPAZZLE: With the dark shamans, you mean?

MOKVAR: Yeah.

SPAZZLE: What are they doing down there, anyway?

MOKVAR: Mostly working on improving their elemental command spells. They’re pretty much trying to maintain better control of summoned elementals, making it less of an “elements hear my prayer” and more of an “elements do my bidding.”

Mokvar walks back to the table.

SPAZZLE: Like the molten giants at Northwatch.

MOKVAR: Yeah, exactly.

Mokvar looks into the now-empty pot sitting on the table next to Ji, then looks to Ji himself.

All done?

JI: <looks down at his empty plate, then smiles> It was very good, thank you!

MOKVAR: Sure you won’t have any more?

JI: <looks at his plate again, then back up> Is there any more?

MOKVAR: No, there isn’t.

JI: I thought not.

MOKVAR: Yeah. So…

SPAZZLE: For what it’s worth, you’re getting off lighter than I did the last time Ji ate at my place.

MOKVAR: Why? What happened?

JI: Oh bother.

SPAZZLE: He got stuck in the door on his way out.

MOKVAR: You’re…kidding.

JI: It wasn’t my fault!

SPAZZLE: Well it all comes from eating too much.

JI: It all comes from not having front doors big enough!

SPAZZLE: Well, next time, you can host.

JI: I will!

MOKVAR: Well, anyway…

JI: What should I make?

SPAZZLE: Huh?

JI: When you come over.

SPAZZLE: I… we didn’t even really plan it.

JI: Well yes, but I like to plan what I’m cooking in advance!

SPAZZLE: I, um, I’m easy to please.

JI: I might need to go shopping, after all.

SPAZZLE: Really, Ji, you don’t need to make anything special on my account.

MOKVAR: Spaz.

JI: Oh, nonsense. You’re a guest. <thoughtfully> Now, there’s also the Pandaren Noodle Festival to think of…

SPAZZLE: The what?

MOKVAR: Spaz.

JI: Well I wouldn’t want to repeat something being served at the festival and seem lazy, after all…

SPAZZLE: No, really, anything you would make—

JI: You’re sure? I would hate for you to come all that way and not have something you enjoyed.

MOKVAR: Ji, I think what he means is that he’d like to be surprised.

SPAZZLE: Uh…

JI: Oh!

MOKVAR: That’s part of the fun of being a lunch guest…right, Spazzle?

JI: I like surprises!

SPAZZLE: Um… Oh. Yeah! Surprises. Yes sir, nothing more fun than…uh… surprise lunch. Yeah.

JI: Oh, this will be fun. I can try making— oh, oops, I almost spoiled it.

SPAZZLE: No spoilers!

JI: Yes, yes, silly me. I— wait, when are you coming over again?

SPAZZLE: Uh…

MOKVAR: That’s part of the surprise.

JI: <blinks> Oh.

SPAZZLE: Uh, right!

JI: Well I suppose that’s… <tilts head> I should have thought of that. How silly of me.

Mokvar slumps into a chair.

SPAZZLE: So hey, now that you’re working over there with those dark shaman guys, have you been able to find out how Garrosh managed to bring them on board?

MOKVAR: How do you mean?

SPAZZLE: You know, like after he shut them down when they were in Ragefire Chasm before.

JI: They used to be enemies?

SPAZZLE: It was before you got to town, Ji. But yeah. Rumors about them were flying all over the place, but no one ever really got any solid information. All anybody really knows is that we had expeditions going down into Ragefire for a while trying to shut down whatever they were doing.

JI: Oh. So now they’re on our side?

SPAZZLE: Apparently.

MOKVAR: Yeah. About that.

SPAZZLE: Uh oh. It’s never something good when people start like that.

MOKVAR: Yeah.

Mokvar sits quietly for a moment.

SPAZZLE: Oh geez. That bad, huh? What did Garrosh have to offer them to bring them over?

MOKVAR: It’s not that. They were always over.

SPAZZLE: The what you say?

JI: I’m confused.

SPAZZLE: Welcome to Orgrimmar.

MOKVAR: The dark shamans were always Kor’kron operatives. Even in the beginning, when it looked like they were renegades making trouble in RFC. The whole business about them being some rogue shaman group was just a front they were putting up.

SPAZZLE: They— but why?

MOKVAR: Plausible deniability, I guess? In case their dark shamanism angle turned bad? Meanwhile… the expeditions that were sent down there to “clean up” the problem were just… training exercises, pretty much. A way to weed out the weak – on both ends.

SPAZZLE: Wait – so Garrosh knew about this? He planned it?

MOKVAR: Big picture, it was his plan to build a force of dark shamans. How much he knew about the nuts and bolts… I don’t know. I’m guessing at least some of the job of making the trains run on time went to Malkorok, but… I don’t know. I’m still being kept in the dark about a lot of things. I probably know too much as it is. Hell, I probably shouldn’t even be telling you this much.

SPAZZLE: Gee, thanks.

MOKVAR: I don’t mean like that. Hell, Spaz, I wouldn’t…

Mokvar trails off, looking back at the extinguished totem on the mantle, then gestures to it as he turns back to Spazzle.

I wouldn’t have left that with you if I didn’t trust you. I just mean I’ve already dragged you into too much trouble as it is. I don’t want you to be stuck keeping more secrets again now.

SPAZZLE: Uh… yeah… About that…

Spazzle looks around uncomfortably, then stares at the floor for a moment.

<quietly> I’ve been talking to Vol’jin.

MOKVAR: You’ve… been…

SPAZZLE: A lot. For a few months now.

MOKVAR: Uh, Spaz, I know you’re a shaman and talk to ancestral spirits and all…

SPAZZLE: Well, in theory.

MOKVAR: Yeah, well, the point is, I didn’t realize that the spirits in question included trolls for you.

SPAZZLE: No, no, they don’t. I don’t mean I’m… Vol’jin’s alive.

MOKVAR: He— wha— how?

SPAZZLE: I actually blogged about this, you know.

MOKVAR: Yeah, sorry, that must have been during that period when I was sort of preoccupied with not being corpsecamped by spectral assassins.

SPAZZLE: Yeah, well. He’s alive. He’s recovering from injuries still in Pandaria, but he’s alive.

MOKVAR: Okay, so… Vol’jin’s alive, Jaina’s a warmonger, Garrosh has a half-draenei kid – what else did I miss? Is Utvoch dating Magatha? Did Alleria and Turalyon finally turn up? Did Grommash actually not drink the blood—

SPAZZLE: Well now you’re getting ridiculous.

MOKVAR: Well who knows at this point? How is Vol’jin alive? He survived the saurok attack after all?

SPAZZLE: It wasn’t a saurok attack. I mean, there were saurok, but… One of the Kor’kron tried to kill Vol’jin. Nearly did. He left him for dead, and Vol’jin’s had his supporters keeping up the lie that he is dead since then.

MOKVAR: Oh fel… And Garrosh…?

SPAZZLE: Doesn’t know. And he can’t find out.

MOKVAR: So… you mean he…?

SPAZZLE: Yeah.

MOKVAR: You’re sure? I don’t know why I’m even surprised, but… you’re sure?

SPAZZLE: The Kor’kron staged a takeover of the Echo Isles right after word of Vol’jin’s death broke.

MOKVAR: Spirits…

SPAZZLE: They had the place under military occupation until Thrall and a few others overthrew them.

MOKVAR: Does Garrosh know about this? I can’t imagine he does, otherwise – and I can’t believe I’m about to say this – I have to figure he would be in a much worse mood these days.

SPAZZLE: No, he doesn’t. Only a few people do.

MOKVAR: But how? I can see the Vol’jin thing being kept quiet, okay, but how could he not have found out about this?

SPAZZLE: There were still a few Kor’kron who trained under Saurfang, who are loyal to Thrall. Captain Gort, a few others… They’ve been reporting to Orgrimmar and maintaining the appearance that the occupation is still going on.

MOKVAR: Spaz… you have to know where this is heading.

SPAZZLE: <nods> I’ve been trying not to think about it.

MOKVAR: So you haven’t told Garrosh… Are you…?

SPAZZLE: <shakes his head> I haven’t been doing anything for them other than keeping quiet. I told Vol’jin before… I won’t work against him and Thrall, but I won’t betray Garrosh, either.

MOKVAR: You know if he finds out about this…

SPAZZLE: I know.

MOKVAR: Especially after… oh, man, Spaz, I’m sorry I dragged you into my whole mess. Both of you.

JI: You didn’t do anything. You’re a friend. You needed help. <shrugs> Anything else is just distraction.

SPAZZLE: Don’t worry about me, Mokvar. You’ve got enough on your plate as it is.

JI: <perking up> Wait, is there another plate?

SPAZZLE: Figuratively, Ji, figuratively…

VOICE: Well, there is

A whooshing sound is heard, then, in the empty chair next to Mokvar, Deliana unstealths, holding a plate of what appears to be a few leftover bites of stew.

DELIANA: I had to move fast just to get a mouthful for myself before you inhaled it all.

Mokvar eyes a surprised Spazzle and Ji, then shrugs.

MOKVAR: What’s one more layer of compromise at this point, right?

SPAZZLE: Oh…man.

JI: Does Garrosh know she’s—?

MOKVAR: What do you think, Ji?

DELIANA: There aren’t exactly a lot of Alliance-looking types strolling around Orgrimmar unkilled.

JI: Well, that Shayari is a draenei…

DELIANA: Oh, don’t get me started on little miss fancy-hooves.

MOKVAR: You’re just mad because she turned you into a sheep.

DELIANA: Oh, good, annoy your security net. That’s a smart plan.

MOKVAR: I’m just saying.

SPAZZLE: So wait, how long have you been in Orgrimmar?

MOKVAR: Pretty much as long as I have.

DELIANA: I’ve had to sneak in and out a few times, but yeah.

SPAZZLE: What have you been doing?

DELIANA: Mostly giving Mokvar an extra set of eyes that no one knows is there. And some help on stand-by in case something goes bad.

MOKVAR: With everything that’s going on with the shamans, and Neeru, and… hell, I can’t even be sure Malkorok might not still try something at some point.

DELIANA: I can watch his back, and stealth around to check on things. And if nothing else, we know I don’t have anyone I have to answer to.

SPAZZLE: Yeah. You’re lucky that way.

Everyone sits quietly for a moment, looking back and forth between them.

MOKVAR: Well… whatever happens from here on, one way or another, I guess we’re all in it together now.

JI: Weren’t we always?

MOKVAR: You’re a good kid, Ji.

SPAZZLE: So… question is… what side are we on?

Mokvar looks back at Spazzle uneasily, then glances to Deliana. Spazzle exchanges looks with Mokvar and Ji, while Deliana leans forward against the table, drumming her fingers. Ji returns Spazzle’s glance, then turns to Mokvar and Deliana before looking back down at his plate. He considers the last bit of potato for a moment, then nudges the plate away from him and slumps back in his chair.

 

 

Mokvar

 

Spazzle Speaks: Prognosis

orgrimmar22

So hey, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. This seems like as good a time as any. And I guess the main thing to talk about is what’s on everybody’s mind these days: Gurtash.

Like you all probably gathered from the top of Garrosh’s mailbag from the other day, Gurtash made it to the healers okay. Well, not okay, but you know what I mean. Ji and I were able to keep him stable enough after we left Blackrock Spire to get him over to the shamans in the Valley of Wisdom. From that point, we were pretty much relegated to hovering around while the healers did their thing. Better them than me. They ended up working on him nonstop until Garrosh and the others made it back, and they kept at it off and on for a good long while after that.

So, there’s good news and bad news.

The good news is that the healers got Gurtash stabilized. It was dodgy for a while, but Gurtash survived. He’s resting now at a place at the edge of the Drag, just off the Valley of Wisdom, where the healers can check in on him easily enough.

The bad news is that he’s still unconscious, and there’s no telling how long he’ll be that way before he wakes up. If he wakes up. The swipe he took from that spectral assassin did some major damage… the shamans did everything they could to patch him up… but at this point they say it’s pretty much up to Gurtash. Either his body will finish healing on its own and he comes out of it, or…well, he doesn’t. So at this point, there’s not much left for any of us to do other than wait.

Garrosh has been going over to check on him pretty much from the minute he got back to Orgrimmar. When he first got the news about Gurtash’s condition, he…well, he was less than pleased about the…um…insufficient progress. I thought he was going to invoke some kind of loophole or technicality in that whole “if Gurtash dies, so do they” message he gave me for the healers, but he just yelled a while and then stormed off. When I went looking for him a little later, he was hanging around the Kor’kron stables. He’s been going there pretty often the last couple of days, in between checking on Gurtash and doing his usual work over at Grommash Hold. I’m not sure why. From what I can tell, he’s mostly just standing around in the stables, looking at this one wolf, one that a mailbag writer recently donated – Grimjaw, I think he name was. The wolf, I mean. Not the mailbag writer. You can never be sure with orc names, you know? Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure there’s a Sergeant Grimjaw working down at Razor Hill.

Anyway, I’m not sure what that’s about. I guess we all deal with things in our own ways. In the meantime, we’re all just sort of spinning our wheels while we wait. And maybe once in a while manage to go about our normal daily business and convince ourselves it’s still a normal day.

That’s all for now. If you ever need any—

Eh…  Never mind.

Hopefully we’ll have some news soon.

 

A long time coming

blackrock10

Someday, I have to ask the Noz what the deal is with time. How it seems to go faster and slower, and rush right past the good moments, and practically freeze solid in the middle of the worst ones. Like it’s going out of its way to screw us over and force us to spend most of our lives trapped in the middle of the worst parts of them. Fuck time.

Time was dripping along extra slow while Gurtash was dropping to the ground. Slowly enough for the not-so-little drops of blood to hang in the air just waiting for me to notice them. Slow enough for me to be on top of that spectral motherfucker tearing into it before Gurtash had even landed. I’m pretty sure the spook hit the ground first. Rage is the ultimate haste buff.

There was blood on the floor all around him. I don’t know the first thing about healing, but I’ve been on enough battlefields to know not-good a mile off. Ji and Shay were already gathered over Gurtash by the time I was pulling Gorehowl out of Mr. Wraith With the Worst Judgment Ever. Spazzle wasn’t far behind, while Ariok and Mokvar and his pet and his imp made short work of cleaning up the spooks that were left. We all have our jobs to do. Speaking of which:

[Okay, it’s been a little while. Hopefully my hand doesn’t start cramping up. –Mkvr., ed.]

JI: That’s it, keep the pressure there to slow the bleeding…

SPAZZLE: Oh man, I knew I should’ve put some points in Resto…

MOKVAR: It doesn’t work that way anymore.

SPAZZLE: You see how out of touch I am about this stuff?

JI: I think we can stabilize him, but he’s going to need a lot more than any of us can do here.

GARROSH: Shay, get a portal open to Orgrimmar!

SHAYARI: But I’m trying to hold—

GARROSH: Portal. NOW!

SPAZZLE: It’s okay. I’ve got it…

Spazzle rips off part of his sleeve and presses on Gurtash’s chest. Shayari gets up, channels a spell for a moment, then opens a portal.

GARROSH: Is he good to move?

JI: Not really. But moving him probably won’t make him much worse than sitting here waiting to bleed out.

GARROSH: Take him through. You and green stuff go and throw as many heals on him as you can on the way to the for-real for-real healers.

JI: Yes, sir.

Ji carries Gurtash to the portal and vanishes. As Spazzle moves to follow, Garrosh grabs his arm and turns him back.

GARROSH: When you get to the healers, you make sure they understand this comes straight from me: if the kid dies, SO DO THEY.

SPAZZLE: Loud threats of imminent demise. Got it, chief…

Spazzle disappears through the portal.

MOKVAR: Well, if that doesn’t motivate them, nothing—

GARROSH: Dude, what makes YOU think you get off so easy? If the kid doesn’t make it, YOUR head’s on the chopping block as much as anyone’s.

MOKVAR: Um…

GARROSH: You’re the whole fucking reason we’re even HERE. Don’t think for a second I’m going to forget that.

MOKVAR: Um…

DELIANA: You already said that.

MOKVAR: It still applies.

DELIANA: You know, you maybe should have put a soulstone on the little guy…

MOKVAR: Uh, could you not point that out in front of—

DELIANA: Just saying, the life you save could be your own.

MOKVAR: And besides, you know perfectly well I need—

SHAYARI: Maybe you guys could save this for the divorce hearing?

DELIANA: We’re not married!

SHAYARI: Okay, if you say so.

DELIANA: We’re not— Why does everybody keep saying this?

MOKVAR: You’re asking me?

GARROSH: Dude, do you even notice how you two act?

MOKVAR: Don’t you start, too!

GARROSH: Hey, listen, I’d LIKE to believe you wouldn’t go slumming with pink girl here….

DELIANA: What the hell does that mean?

MOKVAR: Really, don’t even try to get into it with him.

GARROSH: At least it’d mean you have more sense than Thrall did back in the day. Not that that’s saying much.

ARIOK: You’re the last one to be criticizing Thrall…

SHAYARI: Not for anything, Lamb Chop, as much as Beardy here’s no prize—

MOKVAR: And thank you for that

SHAYARI: —you still probably would have been better off locking him up while you had the chance. You know, tick tock.

GARROSH: I think I’ve already established my SHUT THE FUCK UP stance with YOU, Ariok…

DELIANA: What the— I only just turned twenty-nine!

SHAYARI: For, what, the fifteenth year in a row?

ARIOK: As far as I can tell, Thrall only ever had one lapse in judgment, and that was—

GARROSH: Motherfucker, go on ahead and finish that sentence if you want to see how far I can toss your ass when I really mean business!

DELIANA: Listen, fancy-hooves—

A low, rumbling laugh interrupts the overlapping exchanges. Everyone looks over to see that the spectral form of Valthalak, while still partially transparent, has grown much more solid.

VALTHALAK: I never forget a face…and you two… Oh, I remember you two. I can’t say I ever expected you to have the courage to show your faces here again… I see your choice of companions hasn’t improved over the years, though – still bickering, still fighting amongst yourselves… I remember that as well…

DELIANA: Do you remember the part where you ended up dead, too?

VALTHALAK: Yes, and look how much that’s gained you. Or have you come all this way to show me how much my agents haven’t tasked you?

GARROSH: Oh geez, he’s really gonna keep talking, isn’t he?

VALTHALAK: You know, I think your choice of friends may even have gotten worse since before. As you say, at least they were strong enough to defeat me… but these new ones… well, if the ease with which the little one fell is any indication…

GARROSH: Oh, now I KNOW you should’ve shut up sooner!

Garrosh leaps at Valthalak, only to have Gorehowl swing right through the spirit.

VALTHALAK: I see this is a bright one. I’m a ghost, you fool.

GARROSH: Yeah, well so were your spectral who’s-his-fucks! How do I know which of these assholes I can hit or not?!

SHAYARI: Pops, could I suggest not trying to argue with the evil noncorporeal dragon?

DELIANA: The spectral assassins have to manifest physically – if they don’t become solid enough for us to kill, they can’t kill us.

MOKVAR: Which also means we have a handy catch on our hands…

Mokvar reaches into a pocket and pulls out the Nether Prism.

While you’re recognizing faces, your lordship… remember this?

Valthalak glares at Mokvar.

It made a neat little prize some years back…

VALTHALAK: Foolish mortal…

SHAYARI: Did the dead guy just call Beardy “mortal”?

VALTHALAK: …you don’t even understand what you hold in your hands – what’s at stake in your arrogant trifling with matters that are beyond you…

MOKVAR: I take that to mean you want this back, then. Well… come and get it.

The only way Valthalak was going to be able to take back his doohicky from Mokvar was to manifest fully, and once he did…well, game on. He threw us off at first – the second he shifted fully into physical form, he hit us all with a shadow volley that knocked us back, and he managed to summon up and handful more of those spectral motherfuckers. Still, Shay and Ariok and Mokvar and what’s-her-face managed to burn them down fast enough. Me, I was more interested in giving big boss dragon dude a proper welcome back to the land of the living, and make it a nice, short stay. By the time everyone else finished off the assassins, I was well on my way to wearing the big guy down. Still, he was no pushover, I’ll give him that much. He could take a beating, especially for someone who was, you know, dead just a few minutes before. It was a long, drawn-out fight, broken up by a whole bunch of those damn shadow volleys of his, but eventually, little by little, we were able to whittle him down, until his movements started taking on that little shaky hitch that only happens when you’re just hanging on.

GARROSH: I’m going to enjoy watching you drop, Valthy!

MOKVAR: No, hold back – don’t kill him!

SHAYARI: Huh?

GARROSH: The fuck— dude, that’s the WHOLE REASON we—

MOKVAR: We can’t kill him!

Mokvar pulls a glowing purple orb from his cloak and starts channeling a spell. A twisting ribbon of glowing purple energy starts to flow from Valthalak to the orb.

VALTHALAK: What! No! You haven’t the power to—

MOKVAR: Ordinarily you’d be right, your lordship, but luckily I came with an upgrade…

Mokvar holds the Nether Prism in his other hand and holds it and the orb close together. The glow from the Prism swells around both itself and the orb, and Valthalak convulses as the flow of energy from him increases.

VALTHALAK: You fool! You don’t know what you— they’re coming, stupid orc, they… AAAARRRRGGGHHH!

The ribbon of energy between Valthalak and Mokvar’s orb breaks, and Valthalak collapses to the ground, motionless. Mokvar stands over him, holding the orb in one hand, the Nether Prism in the other, both still glowing.

SHAYARI: So… did we not stop fast enough?

GARROSH: Looks dead enough to me.

MOKVAR: He’s not dead. Not exactly.

GARROSH: Oh, so you mean he’s approximately dead.

MOKVAR: That’s not a terrible way of saying it, actually.

DELIANA: Valthalak can’t be killed. Not entirely. We thought we killed him once before. Then we had others try again years later. He keeps coming back.

GARROSH: See? SEE? I keep SAYING nobody stays fucking DEAD anymore.

DELIANA: If we’d killed him, he just would have lain dormant for a while, then come back all over again.

MOKVAR: And I’d rather not have to keep going through this for the rest of my life.

SHAYARI: What did you do, then?

Mokvar holds up the shimmering orb.

MOKVAR: Soulstone.

ARIOK: Spirits…

MOKVAR: Technically, Valthalak’s body is dead. But this time, so long as his spirit is contained in here, he can’t manifest again.

SHAYARI: So…what now? Do you…I don’t know, do you destroy the stone?

MOKVAR: Can’t. If I break the soulstone, it’ll just release his spirit. The only way this isn’t just a temporary fix is if I keep him sealed up in here, permanently. So… well… I’m sure there’s somewhere at home I can stash it. Assuming I’ve still got a place to go back to?

GARROSH: Your house is still there. No guarantees that Malkorok didn’t turn it upside down looking for clues when you first disappeared. But yeah, you get to come back, so long as you hold up your end of the deal with your new toy there.

ARIOK: Garrosh, I’ll tell you again, you mustn’t do this – even if you were still considering this insane plan about the sha, surely even you can see the enormity of what this warlock is doing to—

GARROSH: Dude, I am SERIOUSLY getting sick of listening to you bitch.

ARIOK: He’s imprisoning a still-living soul, Garrosh, and—

DELIANA: It’s the only way to stop the monster who’s been trying to kill us for over a decade now!

MOKVAR: Look, Ariok, I can see why it might not sit so well with you, but you’re coming in late on this. You don’t know

ARIOK: Don’t know what happens when we start to treat lives and souls and honor as options to be dispensed with when convenient? I’m starting to think I’m the only one here who does! I came here because that Pandaren claimed his friend was in dire need, but if I’d even suspected that he was setting out to allow the likes of this to—

In a flash of light and puff of smoke, Ariok turns into a sheep.

SHAYARI: Okay, that takes care of that. Is it just me, or does he, like, really seem like somebody who’d be a downer at parties?

GARROSH: Heh. So okay, while you’ve got the hocus-pocus queued up, let’s get another portal to home going.

SHAYARI: Coming up!

MOKVAR: Once we all get back to Orgrimmar—

GARROSH: Yeah, not so fast with the “all” – I’m giving YOU the clear for now, Mokvar, but as for your little human friend here…

Garrosh looks over to find Deliana is gone.

MOKVAR: Rogue.

GARROSH: Great.

Shayari finishes opening a portal to Orgrimmar. She, Garrosh, and Mokvar start to move toward it; just in front of the portal, Mokvar looks back at Ariok-the-sheep.

MOKVAR: So…we’re just leaving him there?

SHAYARI: The polymorph will wear off by itself in a few minutes.

MOKVAR: Okay… What if something jumps him first, though? I mean, the place still isn’t completely empty…

SHAYARI: Then it sucks to be him.

GARROSH: Eggs and omelets.

Garrosh and Shayari turn back toward the portal.

MOKVAR: Huh… she really is your daughter, isn’t she?

Just arriving back in Orgrimmar now. Finally. Heading over to see what the word is on Gurtash. More soon.

 

Scribin’ ain’t easy

blackrock2

C38_Page_1

* For anyone not in the know, Mokvar was long responsible for recording Garrosh’s transcripts, but in his absence, Gurtash took over scribe duty in comic form. With both of them present here in Blackrock Spire, Mokvar and Gurtash turned to a time-honored method for settling dibs.

C38_Page_2

* When Shayari first came to Orgrimmar and met Garrosh, Gurtash’s artwork was…less than steadfast in its commitment to verisimilitude.