Tag Archives: mokvar

Monday GUEST mailbag: Spazzle

spazzlemail1

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

 

Dear Spazzle,

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

My kneecaps thank you,

–Razlak Cro of the Brawlers

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

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

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

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

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

 

Greetings, Mr. Fizzletrinket,

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

Curiously awaiting your reply,

–Iackabod Pimlen, The Undercity.

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

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

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

Get it? Tangent to a circle? Perpendicular? 🙂

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

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

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

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

So also…

Hmm.

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

 

Well met, Spazzle.

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

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

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

Bye.

–Sarlinia-Grace Starstriker, Argent Crusade

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

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

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

Okay!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Hey Spazzle!

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

See ya around, Spazzy

–Razaela Shockboom

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

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

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

figures1

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

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

 

Hey, Spaz!

No time for pleasantries.

“A shredder and glaive thrower met,”

Go!

–Valinora Lightshorn, Stormwind City

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

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

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

Just another minute.

Almost there.

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

Okay! Now we’re in business.

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

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

Input: A shredder and glaive thrower met,

Output: [Processing]

[Processing]

[Compilation complete]

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

Epic verse.

[End of line]

Huh.

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

Output:

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

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

Output:

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

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

Output:

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

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

Output:

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

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

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

Output:

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

Epic

ver

se

.

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

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

 

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

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

 

Kypari Zar: Prologue

kyparizar1

[While Shayari, Spazzle, and Mokvar have been busy keeping the blog active with their own activities, Garrosh has been occupied with the start of a fairly important undertaking of his own. As you might recall, when we last left the Warchief…

C47_Page_3

For long-time readers (like really, really long-time!), this is a moment you’ve been anticipating for a while, but for newer arrivals to the blog, a quick recap might be in order. (I know, I know, I try to link back to relevant posts as much as possible, but at some point I should probably stop expecting people to just go back and read years’ worth of my nonsense…)

Not long before the events of Tides of War, Garrosh traveled to the Caverns of Time and, accompanied by Mokvar, Liadrin, Faranell, and (spirits help us) Utvoch, went on a mission that took him to Southshore some ten years in the past — the same time period we players visit during the Escape from Durnholde instance. The adventure in old Southshore had several pieces of fallout (more on that in a moment!), but the most immediately relevant one was the recovery of a shard from a dark crystal that the Knights of the Silver Hand had infused with the Light — a small piece of the same light crystal from which the Ashbringer would eventually be forged.

garroshadalliadrin1Garrosh entrusted the recovered crystal to Lady Liadrin, who rightly deduced that it was part of the remains of a dying naaru. Liadrin persuaded Garrosh to let her return the shard to A’dal in Shattrath; the Warchief accompanied her on the trip. While there, just before leaving, Garrosh received an ominous telepathic message from A’dal: “If you go to Kypari Zar, you will die.”

Garrosh didn’t know what to make of the message, but he soon found himself far too busy to worry about it. In the days leading up to the attack on Theramore, the Warchief discovered another unexpected consequence of his journey to old Hillsbrad: Faranell had accidentally altered the past, creating an alternate timeline that Garrosh found himself being pulled into. While in the other universe, Garrosh encountered the hozen Zhi-Zhi, who addressed him as “the One” and told him — vaguely and, let’s face it, unhelpfully — that he had a “destiny.” Any chance of learning more from Zhi-Zhi was seemingly lost, though, when that timeline’s version of the hozen was killed in the fall of Orgrimmar. (“The what?!” Well see, now I am going to force you to go back and read. Here.)

That all changed after Garrosh traveled to Tian Monastery, where he encountered this timeline’s version of Zhi-Zhi — who, like his alternate-universe counterpart, also recognized Garrosh as “the One.” Zhi-Zhi and Elder Cloudfall explained that they had both seen Garrosh in visions and that he did indeed have an important destiny. They declined to elaborate further, though, until Garrosh returned to the monastery seeking counsel and Elder Cloudfall offered to take the Warchief to a place where his questions might be answered…

C8_Page_01

A string of interruptions prevented Garrosh from taking the elder up on his offer right away, though. And then he was back in Orgrimmar, and all of a sudden he was a father, and then that whole thing with Mokvar, so, you know, who has time for pandas?

Well, guess what — Garrosh has time for pandas, now that he’s made the time, dammit! And that’s where we last left him, flying across the Dread Wastes, chasing down destiny.

And so, on that note, here we go. The end begins tomorrow morning. Stay tuned.]

 

Second Guesses

jadetemplegrounds1

You know, I realize that Garrosh has mentioned this about the pandaren more than a few times, but they really do love to drink. I’m no tea-totaler myself by any stretch of the imagination, but I don’t even approach these folks. I’m not sure how I never noticed it with Ji. I suppose I got distracted by the food. Maybe that was a sort of smokescreen. Only with gravy.

Maybe I should back up.

After my mixed results with the sha yesterday, I traveled over to the Jade Serpent Temple grounds. The Shado-pan are working there to clean up some more of the aftermath of the Serpent’s Heart outbreak. Even though the Sha of Doubt was defeated some time ago, there are still lingering lesser sha that it had spawned still infesting the area. I’m still not exactly sure how that works — whether the defeat of the prime sha means that no new lesser sha can spawn, or if they can spawn but at a slower rate, or for that matter whether the prime sha’s destruction means that the lesser sha will simply die off on their own, like vines withering after the root is dead, so that all the Shado-pan need to do, ultimately, is keep them contained until the inevitable end comes.

I ended up spending a fair bit of time with Elder Sage Tai-Feng. He’s managed to shed some light on the nature of the sha creatures. He’s not certain — nobody appears to be, ultimately — where the sha manifest from, but their essence seems to exist in non-corporeal form before they spawn physically. Strong negative emotions — fear, anger, hatred — can catalyze that emergence. In some cases, the sha takes physical form in a body of its own; in other cases, the sha energy seizes the person who’s giving off the emotions as a host and infests their body.

The sha are drawn to powerful emotions like fear and anger, but they also have a strange symbiotic relationship with them, particularly when the sha are occupying a host. They draw on those emotions to become stronger, but they can also feed them back to others, their host bodies especially. From what Tai-Feng tells me, the sha don’t control people exactly, and they can’t make them do anything against their will. But they can intensify emotions like fear and despair that people are already feeling, so they’re more prone to act on them — even in ways that they might not normally be inclined to. I guess that amounts to pushing you harder into your worst impulses? Not really controlling you, but in a way doing something even worse.

So I think I have a better idea of why things went down the drain as much as they did yesterday. I mean, I’m far from immune to questioning myself, but I don’t usually dive that deep into the self-doubt pool. It’s kind of creepy how it sneaks up on you, though. I’d heard about sha influence before, but I’d always imagined it felt more like something that was forced on you, kind of like a priest’s mind control (not that I’ve had any first-hand experience with that, mind you). This wasn’t at all like that, though; it just slides into your head and feels like something that was already there naturally. And in a way, it was, which makes it that much more disturbing.

Still, it serves me right for not putting two and two together earlier. I mean, the prime sha around here was the Sha of Doubt, after all. I’m kind of embarrassed that I somehow managed to miss something that obvious. Sometimes I think I’ve been hanging around Garrosh too long. (Do not tell him I said that.)

At any rate, that brings us back to the drinking. I had my whole discussion with Tai-Feng over a few drinks… okay, several (it was his idea, I swear!)… then he suggested that I give my experiments another try now that I had a little liquid courage in me. And maybe it was the 15% blood alcohol level, but it seemed like a good idea, especially when the elder sage offered to have a couple of his Shado-pan guards come along to help watch my back, just in case.

I stayed pretty close to the Shado-pan base and tried channeling the powers of the Nether Prism on a few of the sha that were lurking nearby. I can’t say the second round went off without a hitch, but it was definitely an improvement over yesterday. The smallest, weakest sha fell in line fairly easily; the one larger one that I tried my luck on put up more of a fight, but after a little wrangling I was able to control it, too. For a short while, at least. Getting everything to click took a little longer than I would have expected, and the whole process felt shakier, but that probably had something to do with all the booze I still had in my system. (Seriously, have you even tried harnessing fel energies on a full gallon of beer? Stay clear of that Seed of Corruption is all I’m going to tell you.) Still, no breakdown on my end of things like last time, and, maybe more importantly, no smaller sha dinging their way to larger sha. So at least I managed to sidestep some of those problems, even if my head was a little too groggy to be working as crisply as I might like.

So, the overall verdict is that they definitely are susceptible to Nether Prism influence, though I’m pretty sure they’re not demons. Not exactly. There’s some overlap there, and I’m not sure where they do come from if not the Twisting Nether, but then, voidwalkers aren’t demons either, strictly speaking, and the Prism — and fel influence — works on them. As a matter of fact, I noticed that the adjustments I had to make while working on the sha bore a few similarities to the differences in handling the ol’ blueberry.

That is, a voidwalker. That wasn’t supposed to be some kind of weird draenei euphemism for… you know, never mind. I think that might still be the beer talking.

Either way, though, the academic questions about exactly what the sha are can wait for whoever studies that sort of thing. For my purposes, the important thing is that the Nether Prism seems to be working. Not seamlessly, and not easily; it’ll take more practice, and I may need to find some way to augment even the Prism’s influence in order to make it work reliably. But, we’re getting there. If nothing else, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to bring a progress report back to Garrosh that won’t end with me being punched.

I think.

I may want to put some more work in tomorrow just in case, though. You never know when the boss will wake up a little tastier than usual.

Testier! TESTIER! Testier than usual! That was the beer again, I swear! Ugh. Spirits help me, now I think I need to go drink some more just to wash that out of my head.

UGH.

 

Mokvar

 

Shadow Safari

serpentsheart2

After my stopover with Garrosh and Gurtash at the Tavern in the Mists, I made my way to the Terrace of Eternal Spring, which was the location of a pretty major sha infestation not too long ago. As it turns out, it was still long enough ago; there wasn’t much sign left of the outbreak, and the guardians of the terrace already had the place pretty well under control. They weren’t exactly unwelcoming toward me — I doubt they saw much distinction between me and the “newcomers” who’d helped defeat the Sha of Fear — but they also didn’t seem to know what to make of me just showing up. I figured it was probably better for everyone involved if I didn’t have to ask questions.

By this point, I’d parted ways with Garrosh and Gurtash. They had something of their own that they had to tend to with that pandaren elder and his hozen friend, while I had my investigations to conduct in the field. I flew by myself up to the Jade Forest, to an area called Serpent’s Heart near the Temple of the Jade Serpent. From what I’ve heard, there was a major sha outbreak there not long after General Nazgrim and his forces arrived in Pandaria. Evidently, there was a battle at Serpent’s Heart between Horde and Alliance forces that freed one of the major sha, the Sha of Doubt, which had been contained or buried underground. That sha took refuge within the temple but was defeated not too long afterward. Still, all the lesser sha creatures that it had unleashed were still around the area making a mess of the place. The Shado-pan were making steady progress clearing them out from the temple grounds, but their work wasn’t done yet. I was content to leave them to their work for now, and try to do my research around Serpent’s Heart where — hopefully — I could keep out of the way and avoid attention.

I’d been hearing about these sha ever since the first reports started trickling back from Pandaria, but this was my first chance to see them up close. I’m not sure what to make of them. There are definitely greater and lesser sha, but I’m not sure what kind of hierarchy they have, if any. The greater ones seem to be able to create — or summon? or… splinter into? — additional lesser sha, but the lessers aren’t dependent on the greaters for their existence. So these lesser sha at the temple are still up and kicking even after the “main” Sha of Doubt’s been killed.

Or was it? Are they killed? Can they be? Or do they just return to some prior state, where they can be called into being again?

So do they have their own Twisting Nether that way? Are they connected to the Twisting Nether, for that matter?

I suppose that last question takes us back to the bigger question for our purposes: are they demons?

I spent some time around Serpent’s Heart trying to test out the Nether Prism on the sha. With ordinary demons — even fairly powerful ones — the Prism would enable me to control them, much moreso than a warlock’s usual powers would allow. Even for a demon that would normally be beyond my power, the Prism would give me enough of a boost that I could exert some influence over them, even if I couldn’t seize outright control. With these sha, though, it’s not quite so clear-cut. They don’t respond to the Nether Prism the way most demons do, but something about it definitely reaches them; it just takes a lot more focus and effort on my part, sort of like trying to force two puzzle pieces together that almost fit but not quite.

I was able to manage brief control over the weakest of the sha — those little crawlers — but it took a lot of doing. And even that much didn’t last long. I was already uncertain if the experiment was going to work, and once I started feeling my hold slipping, things unraveled quickly. I tried to repeat the process on a few others, but those unraveled faster than the first one. I can’t say it was much of a surprise; after the first attempt went sour, I had a bad feeling about the subsequent ones, and it seemed like they only got stronger the harder I struggled to get a grip on them. Magically speaking, that is.

The weird thing is that when I lost my hold on the third attempt (and believe me, by that point, losing my hold didn’t take long at all) the little sha crawler lashed around for a few seconds, then swelled up into a larger sha. I’m not sure if that’s just part of the gestation of a sha — maybe the smaller ones are just a type of larva stage? — or if something else triggered the transformation. Either way, though, at that point there wasn’t much else to be done. The larger ones were definitely beyond me. I’m not sure yet if it’s because I’m going about it wrong, if my own abilities are too limited, or if these sha are just operating on a completely different wavelength altogether.

The whole time working on them, I couldn’t help feeling like the attempt was doomed to blow up on me. Still, I was able to reach some of them, so there’s something there. I can’t shake the feeling that there’s something familiar about the energy they have about them. I just wish I could put my finger on how.

I’d arrived here planning to try to fly under the radar and conduct my research without drawing any unnecessary attention from the Shado-pan, since that would probably have led to at least a few questions that I’d just as soon avoid answering. I’m starting to think, though, that unnecessary Shado-pan attention might be necessary after all if I’m going to salvage this project. When I offered to help Garrosh control the sha, I really believed that the Nether Prism would give me my means to do it, but now I’m far from sure and getting further by the minute. I think I’m going to have to head to the temple and see what I can learn from the Shado-pan. Maybe there’s some missing piece they can fill in that will pull it all together, but based on the early returns, I have serious doubts.

 

Mokvar

 

Speak the devil’s name

game1

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

So, yeah, let’s try this again.

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

So that was a thing.

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

C46_Page_1

C46_Page_2

C46_Page_3

C46_Page_4

C46_Page_5

C46_Page_6

 

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

 

Ain’t no party like a panda party

pandaparty1

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

SO.

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

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

 

asdfgdsafg

ewr

 

oops sorry i knocked the lapytop[ off the table

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

\ [=dgdsafgsagsafgfr

sda

 

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

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

ouch

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

 

l;kj;;;;;   ; ;; ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

 

A bargain at any price

bmah1

You know, I don’t know what was the bigger surprise — running into King Chin’s brat kid at the Tavern in the Mists, or how fast he was able to clear absolutely 100% out of the area even with that bum leg of his.

You’ll notice, by the way, that I’m not listing “Anduin is ALIVE” in my list of surprises, because seriously, at this point, I don’t know if there are ANY thought-they-were-dead people who could turn up again and have me going “HOLY SHIT, WHAT A SURPRISE!” Because, you know, I might have mentioned this a time or two, but NOBODY FUCKING STAYS DEAD ANYMORE. So, hey, Prince Goody-Two-Shoes wants to shrug off certain doom? Sure, why the fuck now. At this rate, it would only surprise me if… I don’t know, let’s say fucking Illidan… DOESN’T show up again at some point.

Anyhow. Mokvar had some research or whatever that he wanted to do here at the tavern, so I took off to have a look around the area. I didn’t send up going far, though. Turns out there’s another building right next door where this old panda lady, Madam Goya, runs an off-the-books auction house. She had a ton of fairly rare and coveted stuff up for sale. It’s probably better off for me that I don’t know how she GOT all that stuff… but you know what’s REALLY better off for me? That freaking Shayari DOESN’T KNOW ABOUT THIS PLACE, that’s what, because holy crap could she pile up some orders of magnitude fast at these prices.

Still, I DID spot one goody up for sale that I just couldn’t pass up as an impulse buy.

AND SO, HEY! HEY, BOB! ARE YOU READING THIS SHIT? CHECK THIS OUT!

howcaniseeit

CAN YOU FUCKING SEE THE LICH KING’S HORSE NOW, MOTHERFUCKER?!?

 

Trial of the Black Prince

taverninthemists2

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MOKVAR: Mokvar.

WRATHION: <calling downstairs> Mr. Mokvar!

Wrathion turns back to Mokvar.

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

MOKVAR: Just Mokvar.

WRATHION: No family name?

MOKVAR: Do you have one?

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

MOKVAR: Nothing. Just Mokvar.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tong comes upstairs with a tray.

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

MOKVAR: I’m allergic to plums, actually.

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

Tong leaves.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MOKVAR: I figured you meant the Burning Legion.

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

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

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

MOKVAR: Well, apart from the whole deal where—

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

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

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

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

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

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

WRATHION: Who is that? Your wife?

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

Wrathion looks at Mokvar quizzically.

Right… just… never mind.

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

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

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

Wrathion looks at Mokvar quizzically.

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

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

WRATHION: I did.

MOKVAR: Bully for you, then.

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

WRATHION: …oh?

MOKVAR: Just a thought.

WRATHION: A thought inspired by…?

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

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

MOKVAR: Possibly.

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

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

WRATHION: Hmm.

MOKVAR: Which sounds a little familiar now.

WRATHION: Yes, doesn’t it…

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

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

MOKVAR: Hypothetically.

WRATHION: Yes, of course. Hypothetically.

MOKVAR: It was… a personal matter.

WRATHION: Isn’t everything?

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

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

MOKVAR: How does that work?

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

MOKVAR: Preaching to the choir again.

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

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

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

MOKVAR: So I’ve heard.

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

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

Wrathion blinks.

WRATHION: Beg pardon?

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

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

MOKVAR: Like I said, I get around.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mokvar turns and starts to walk away.

Good fortune to you in your endeavors.

WRATHION: And to you in yours, sir.

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

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

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

WRATHION: Should it?

Mokvar shrugs.

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

Mokvar turns back to the door.

Good hunting, your highness.

Mokvar exits.

 

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

 

Mokvar

 

Tavern in the Mists

taverninthemists1

So now that we’re mostly settled in Pandaria again, Mokvar’s ready to start in on his whole sha project, with his… dodgy pink nether region crystal thingy… you know what? Something about that way of saying it sees like it’s just asking for trouble, in a vaguely Ruekie kind of way, so let’s just move on. Point is, he needs to start testing out his warlocky hocus-pocus on the sha, and he says he needs to gather some advance intel about the buggers.

Luckily, Mokvar was able to get a run-down on the sha from Zhi-Zhi back at the base, but he says he wants to get more intel from the people who’ve been dealing with the sha in the field. And plus, I mean, Zhi-Zhi seems pretty eager to be helpful and all, but I can’t rightly blame Mokvar for wanting to get some intelligence from non-Zhi-Zhi sources, because let’s face it, when you spend more than eight seconds talking to ol’ monkey boy, “intelligence” isn’t exactly the first word to come bursting to mind.

So, in other words, he fits right in around here. Just watch him stick around for a while.

Anyhow, back to the point. There’s a major sha outbreak over in the Jade Forest where the pandas have a ton of boots on the ground… well, except that they don’t really wear boots. I don’t think. So… they have… fat furry paws on the ground, and… um… Oh, fucking hell, why do I ever bother trying? SOME PANDAS ARE FIGHTING THEM SOME SHA IS THE POINT, over at the Temple of the Jade Serpent or the Emerald Snake or the Chartreuse fucking Anaconda or WHATEVER the fuck these pandas groove to. And so Mokvar wants to head over there and pick their fuzzy brains and hope Ji Lunchbox is the exception rather than the rule so maybe THESE pandas have something in their brains to pick other than “pass the gravy.”

We’re also making a stop at this tavern near another location where they had a major sha problem until pretty recently. I don’t know if the place has some kind of drink special for warlocks or their wings are really good or something, but Mokvar was REALLY keen on stopping at this place on the way over to the Jade Forest. Some “Tavern in the Mists” place, I guess, and I don’t know if I like the sound of that, seeing as the last time I hung out with Mokvar in a tavern surrounded by mist or steam pools or whatever… hoo boy. At least frigging Garona isn’t around this time.

C45_Page_1

C45_Page_2

C45_Page_3

C45_Page_4

 

Return engagement

dominationpoint7

We just arrived back in Pandaria. Finally. Granted, we couldn’t get here without a heaping pile of stupid washing up on deck during the trip, because, you know, IT’S US, but whatever. At least we got some decent seafood out of the deal. Plus the Wonder Twins are on notice that I’ll put them on patrol IN THE OCEAN around the base if they get on my nerves too much, and when I say that, it’s not just talk. AS IF THERE SHOULD BE ANY DOUBT TO BEGIN WITH.

General Nazgrim has been holding down the fort at Domination Point while I’ve been away, and, you know, since it’s pretty hard to crash a FORT into anything, everything seems to have gone fairly well. Well, unless you count the asshattery with the genius maneuver Nazgrim and some of his people tried pulling up at the Isle of Giants, but I’ll deal with that soon enough. The less we talk about that, the better. Mainly because the less we talk about it, the less I’m reminded of the crashing stupidity of a depressing percentage of my minions, and the less I’m reminded of that, the less I’m going to feel the urge to drive an Unnecessary Ornamental Spike™ through my skull.

spikead-1

Hey, look, 200 gold is 200 gold. You fuckers have to stop clutching your damn pearls over this. COMMERCE, MOTHERFUCKERS.

While we were away, Elder Cloudfall — you know, the old (hence “Elder,” DUH) panda dude who’s been varying degrees of helpful with the cryptic — took off back to his monastery. (I mean, anybody who thought he was just going to sit around Domination Point all that time NOT stuffing his face on familiar panda fare, take a step forward. Then take another step forward. Then keep taking steps forward until you walk into something sharp.) (MIGHT I RECOMMEND AN UNNECESSARY ORNAMENTAL SPIKE™?)

Cloudfall’s crazy-ass monkey friend Zhi-Zhi, though, decided to stick around the base. I guess he knew Tak-Tak or something (no, not Tak — Tak-Tak, and FUCKING HELL don’t make me go through THAT annoying shitpile again), so he figured he felt well enough at home to save himself the trip back to Tian Monastery and just stayed around the base helping out with odd jobs. I mean, I guess he couldn’t be any worse than some of the OTHER jokers I have on payroll.

Actually, is HE on payroll now? Is Nazgrim actually cutting a check to that fucker? How much? What’s the going rate for monkey labor? Can we pay him in bananas or some shit? I need to know these things.

It’s going to take a few days for me to get fully updated from Nazgrim, Blood Guard Gro’tash, the rest of the command and support staff here. Plus I need to get Mokvar acclimated to the place, seeing as he’s new to Pandaria. Also Brolic, a blademaster Lantresor recommended as an addition to my personal guard. He seems like he’ll be a valuable addition, but since he’s still new, I’d just as soon not assign him right off to work with the trainees the way the last batch of blademasters — Burzum, Ishi, and Krimpatul — did when they were here. For the time being, I’m having the DPS kids join Marksman Shokia and Shademaster Kiryn when they go out on patrol. Fairly controlled situation, watchful eye of two of our better operatives down here, plus it’ll give the kids a chance to get some input from kind of a different perspective, seeing as Shokia is a hunter and Kiryn is a rogue. Neither of which is as awesome or glorious as being a warrior, granted, but, hey. More exposure is better than less exposure.

I mean, in terms of training. Not if you’re talking about, say, an ogre and a platekini. In that case, cover that shit up, dammit. People want to eat lunch sometime this week.

More soon.