Tag Archives: oblique references

Kypari Zar

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FOUR: FATHER TO THE MAN

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* Lok’osh was one of Garrosh’s trainees and an original member of the DPS unit. While on maneuvers in Krasarang Wilds, Lok’osh and the other trainees found themselves trapped in a series of underground caves inhabited by saurok. In one altercation with the saurok, Lok’osh was killed.

** After Garrosh found the trainees and led them to safety, the group laid Lok’osh’s remains to rest here.

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Kypari Zar

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[Well, you can’t say I didn’t warn you! As I said at the end of the Spazzle mailbag, I want to finish Garrosh’s journey to Kypari Zar before I return him to mailbag duty. And since we still have a few chapters of the Kypari Zar story to go, today’s regularly scheduled mailbag is on hold until this comic sequence wraps up. (I’ve used awkward workarounds in the past to let him post mailbags while he was in the middle of other events, but truth be told, I always found them rather inelegant, so I’d rather not resort to them again…) As I indicated last time, the mail will be coming, the first Monday following the completion of the Kypari Zar mini-arc (believe me, you’ll know when that is!).

Until then, all I can do is thank you for your patience with my slow production of late, thank you in advance for your ongoing patience going forward, and promise that I really am working on generating content for the blog as quickly as life will allow! Oh, and hope that you’re finding that content tolerable when it finally does get here… <crosses fingers>

With that said… let me toss out a handy link back to parts one and two, then send you right along to… ]

 

THREE: HAUNTED

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* As longtime readers will remember, Garrosh believed at one point that he had been reunited with his long-lost mother, Lakkara,** only to discover that her apparent return had actually been a ruse perpetrated by Magatha Grimtotem. Magatha used to specially attuned totem to summon Lakkara’s spirit and create the appearance that she had returned, only to stage her apparent death — hauntingly, given the current events at Kypari Zar, by her stepping in to take an attacker’s blow directed at Garrosh.

** I’ve noted this before, but it bears repeating: while Lords of War and the “Hellscream” short story established that Garrosh’s mother’s name was Golka, the blog still acknowledges her as Lakkara. This is partially because the blog arc had already happened by the time Lords of War came along, and I didn’t really want to retcon, and partially because… well, you’ll see. There is A Plan.™ Just trust me for now!

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Monday GUEST mailbag: Spazzle

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

 

Dear Spazzle,

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

My kneecaps thank you,

–Razlak Cro of the Brawlers

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

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

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

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

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

 

Greetings, Mr. Fizzletrinket,

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

Curiously awaiting your reply,

–Iackabod Pimlen, The Undercity.

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

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

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

Get it? Tangent to a circle? Perpendicular? 🙂

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

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

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

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

So also…

Hmm.

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

 

Well met, Spazzle.

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

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

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

Bye.

–Sarlinia-Grace Starstriker, Argent Crusade

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

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

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

Okay!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Hey Spazzle!

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

See ya around, Spazzy

–Razaela Shockboom

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

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

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

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

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

 

Hey, Spaz!

No time for pleasantries.

“A shredder and glaive thrower met,”

Go!

–Valinora Lightshorn, Stormwind City

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

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

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

Just another minute.

Almost there.

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

Okay! Now we’re in business.

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

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

Input: A shredder and glaive thrower met,

Output: [Processing]

[Processing]

[Compilation complete]

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

Epic verse.

[End of line]

Huh.

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

Output:

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

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

Output:

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

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

Output:

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

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

Output:

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

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

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

Output:

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

Epic

ver

se

.

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

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

 

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

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

 

Kypari Zar

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TWO: DESCENT

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30 Days of Character Development #13: Zhi-Zhi

[Periodically, a post will profile one of the blog’s many supporting players. (See the first profile for more details.) Feel free to chime in with recommendations for other characters you’d like to see more about!]

 

zhizhi_profile1Name: Zhi-Zhi

Occupation: Monk trainee, meditation student, part-time errand runner

Race: Hozen

Class: Monk

Age: 7

Group affiliations: Forest Hozen (member), Tian Monastery (student), Horde (de facto ally)

Known relatives: Zho-Zho (father); nine brothers, all named “Zhi”/“Zhi-Zhi,” with slight differences in pronunciation to distinguish them. (Zhi-Zhi was always the quiet one in the family.)

First appearance: “Lines of inquiry” (alternate reality), “I think I can remember your name” (main timeline)

Key posts and plot points:

  • Garrosh’s relationship with Zhi-Zhi has been…complex. The matter of when the two first met depends, in a way, on whom you ask – mainly because their first encounter, from Garrosh’s perspective, never happened. Well, it did, originally. Only now it didn’t. Sort of. (See? Do you SEE why Garrosh is so prone to yelling “FUCKING TIME TRAVEL!”?)
  • So. From Garrosh’s point of view, he first met Zhi-Zhi while temporally displaced into an alternate universe, during the Timequake story arc. In the alternate reality, Zhi-Zhi had been found washed ashore by a scouting expedition led by Legionnaire Nazgrim; when Garrosh first met Zhi-Zhi in “Lines of inquiry,” he was being brought to Grommash Hold to be questioned by that timeline’s Warchief, Dranosh Saurfang. Zhi-Zhi, however, was much more interested in Garrosh, recognizing him at first sight, then evidently correcting himself that Garrosh was “not the one.” When pressed, Zhi-Zhi indicated that he had seen Garrosh in a vision of some kind; later, in the midst of the fall of that timeline’s Orgrimmar in “This is the way the world ends,” Zhi-Zhi told Garrosh that he was “not the one – yet.” This was the last Garrosh saw of Zhi-Zhi in that reality, as the hozen was presumably killed in the invasion of the city.
  • The Zhi-Zhi native to this timeline had a different first encounter with the Warchief. Garrosh encountered Zhi-Zhi while visiting Tian Monastery in “I think I can remember your name,” in which he and Zhi-Zhi immediately recognized each other: Garrosh from his experiences in the other timeline, and Zhi-Zhi from the visions which has had seen in this timeline (just as his alternate-universe counterpart did). Zhi-Zhi and Elder Cloudfall confirmed that they had both seen Garrosh in visions, and that he had a destiny of some significance, though they declined to elaborate much further. Because people who know such things about the future tend to be cryptic that way.
  • zhizhi_profile5Since then, Zhi-Zhi’s appearances have generally coincided with those of Elder Cloudfall, though the hozen did part company with the elder for some weeks to remain at Domination Point while Garrosh was back in Orgrimmar.
  • Here’s a behind-the-scenes detail that many of you already know: Zhi-Zhi’s blog characterization is a blatant, overt, completely unambiguous reference to the Babylon-5 character Zathras. Several of Zhi-Zhi’s lines of dialogue are adapted or outright copied from Zathras, and a number of details in his comic portrayal were designed to draw in some way on Zathras’ appearance. RIP Tim Choate.

In his own words:

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

Zhi-Zhi never knew mother. She died long ago in Valley of the Four Winds, in freak garden hoe accident. Zhi-Zhi’s father say mother died before Zhi-Zhi was born. Zhi-Zhi not sure that sounds right. Something about it doesn’t seem to add up, but then, mathematics not Zhi-Zhi’s skill.

Zhi-Zhi’s father, Zho-Zho, raised Zhi-Zhi and Zhi-Zhi’s nine brothers. Also named Zhi-Zhi. Or Zhi. Depending on whether passed test of strength and proven worth to tribe. Most of us have passed trial and earned name, but Zhi and Zhi haven’t yet. Oh, neither has Zhi.

Father named all his sons Zhi. Father…not very creative. But, he distinguished between brothers by pronouncing name slightly differently for each one. Very subtle differences. Usually very hard to notice. Even for us. Often took many months for us to figure out which pronunciations were different at all. Sometimes, brothers wouldn’t know until Zho-Zho called for one of us, and wrong brother would come. Then, much of time, Zho-Zho would throw sticks at us. Once, Zho-Zho throw sticks at Zhi-Zhi eleven times in one day for getting names wrong. That was right before Zhi-Zhi left to go live at Tian Monastery. Anyway, relationship with father was fine, Zhi-Zhi supposes.

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

zhizhi_profile3Ah, Zhi-Zhi has many scars. Many sparring sessions at monastery. Those were fine, mostly. With other students. Fine. For some reason, though, when newcomers start… um… coming new to Tian, they all want to fight Zhi-Zhi. Many weaponses. Much sharp. Luckily, monks at Tian are very knowledge for the healings, so Zhi-Zhi recover. Still, got very used to being target dummy. For some reason. Many beatings. Many scars. Afraid Zhi-Zhi cannot remember any one of them, individually. Newcomers also often hit Zhi-Zhi in head, you see. Very sad life.

Describe your happiest memory.

Ah! AH! Zhi-Zhi has very fine favorite memory! Wonderful memory. Much happiness. For however, memory has not actually happened yet, so Zhi-Zhi thinkses he perhaps should not talk about it much. Would not want to jinx. Zhi-Zhi very much lookings forward to when memory happens, though!

Who do you trust?

Zhi-Zhi trusts the One.

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

Easy answer for Zhi-Zhi is the comings to Tian Monastery. Monks there, Elder Cloudfall leadings, they taking Zhi-Zhi in, for giving Zhi-Zhi chance to earn place for trainings. Much fightings, but no killings. Make Zhi-Zhi great grooker, without grookin’!

Real answer, howevers, a little later in comings. Zhi-Zhi successful in many fightings, and Elder Cloudfall take interest in training Zhi-Zhi. Teach Zhi-Zhi more than just grookings. Teach about the meditations, and calmings, teach Zhi-Zhi to control energy, teach Zhi-Zhi… what is word? Erm… Ah! Disciplines! Yes! Elder teach disciplines to Zhi-Zhi! Mostly. Zhi-Zhi still work on that some of times. But, Elder show Zhi-Zhi much. Teach Zhi-Zhi much. Give Zhi-Zhi knowledge. Give him focus. Give him vision. Zhi-Zhi grateful.

Is there an animal you equate to yourself?

<scratches head>

Zhi-Zhi not thinking of any animals being close for the lookings. Zhi-Zhi being hozen, not animal, silly wikket! This is strange question, Zhi-Zhi thinks.

zhizhi_profile2What does your bed look like when you wake up? Are the covers off on one side of the bed, are they all curled around a pillow, sprawled everywhere? In what position do you sleep?

Zhi-Zhi not knowings what position Zhi-Zhi sleep in. Zhi-Zhi asleep at time. Also Zhi-Zhi never watched Zhi-Zhi sleep, since Zhi-Zhi not outside of Zhi-Zhi, so much difficultings for the watchings. Except for one time when Zhi-Zhi drank whole pitcher of Gaoquan’s I Know My Redeemer Liveth. Then Zhi-Zhi see self from outside. Outside self, and outside Pandaria. See Azeroth from space, Zhi-Zhi dids. Wikket know there is whole other side of Azeroth no one ever see what for not drinkings the pitcher of I Know My Redeemer Liveth? Zhi-Zhi see! On far side of world, is actually whole other… why you look funny at Zhi-Zhi? Is true! Ah well. Is what Zhi-Zhi saw after drinkings of the pitcher. Also knows what yellow smells like.

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

Zhi-Zhi not mind the cold. Come from long line of mountain climbers. Climb mountains up, up, up. Until slip on snow and fall, fall, fall. Sometimes hit head. Then the blurry times. So, do not mind cold, but not so crazy about snow. Is what Elder Cloudfall calls a conundrum.

Are you an early morning bird or a night owl?

Before Zhi-Zhi comes to monastery, Zhi-Zhi always stay up late, then sleep all afternoon. Normal way for doings in the forest. After joinings at Tian, Zhi-Zhi make needs for the early risings. Up the sun comes, so up the monks come. Very sad. Very unnatural. But, must be part of…ascetic monastic life. Thinking those were Elder Cloudfall’s smart words. Much the better to Elder Cloudfall’s angry words. Which Zhi-Zhi heard oftens when Elder catchings to Zhi-Zhi for nappings. Mostly angry words for the end to nappings, but also partly for the not meanings actually to bite the elder. Much apologizings. Still.

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

Ehh, organizations not Zhi-Zhi’s skill.

Do you have any irrational fears?

Zhi-Zhi doesn’t like standing around near tall structures. At least, ones that were built. Not trees. Zhi-Zhi likes trees. Would be hard life for Zhi-Zhi if Zhi-Zhi didn’t like trees, since Zhi-Zhi grew up in forest! Trees are good, natural tall things good, but things that were built to be tall, those make Zhi-Zhi nervous. Always feel like they might fall on Zhi-Zhi.

What would your cutie mark be?

Not sure of meanings. Question mark, maybe?

zhizhi_profile4If you could time travel, where would you go?

Ah, question is not where Zhi-Zhi would go, but when! For the where, Zhi-Zhi would go where Zhi-Zhi has always gone, and always will go. All of us are havings a path. All our lives, follow the path. Sometimes we are not thinkings of our follows, but we follows it always. Even when we think not. Try to stray from path, sometimes, silly wikket. Think we veerings off it, think that we are with the outsmartings because our brains so big. No, no. Path only turn under our feet, stay with us. Path always there. Follows to us even when we think not to be followings to it. Is chicken and egg type thing, Zhi-Zhi thinkses. Maybe. Zhi-Zhi maybe not so good for the deep thinkings.

Zhi-Zhi not sure about the when for him goings. Maybe not matter. The if for your question not sensical, Zhi-Zhi thinkses. No if for time travel. We all travel in time. Just one direction. Slow. Except when we wish for slower. Then fast. Very sad. Still, we travel. It is the path. Always there. Just not seen. Like part of road, on other side of hill. Not for the seeing, but still there. Always there.

Sometimes, once in a many, maybe get to stand on hill and look to other side. But only a peek. Is fortunate, likelies.

Are you superstitious?

No, no, not super. Just regular stitious, Zhi-Zhi thinkses.

What might your ideal romantic partner be?

Wantses to fix Zhi-Zhi up? Much thanksings! Zhi-Zhi never have much luck with hozen women. Will take all the help Zhi-Zhi can get! Zhi-Zhi not picky. Just want nice, simple hozen girl who be nice to Zhi-Zhi. Not yell at Zhi-Zhi. Or hit Zhi-Zhi. Or run around behind Zhi-Zhi back with one of Zhi-Zhi’s brothers. That not happen to Zhi-Zhi before, but Zhi, hoooo, hook the dook ook, not for getting Zhi-Zhi started about Zhi. Whole dooken can of dook that was, believe Zhi-Zhi.

How do you smell? Do you wear perfume or cologne?

All rights, all rights. Zhi-Zhi gets hint. Will go to river now, take for the bathings. Much apologizings, Zhi-Zhi loses track of time sometimes. Forgets when come the Tuesdays.

 

Previous Profiles:

  1. Spazzle Fizzletrinket
  2. Ben-Lin Cloudstrider
  3. Dontrag and Utvoch
  4. Taktani
  5. Korrina
  6. Mylune
  7. Mokvar
  8. Ruekie
  9. Tirion Fordring
  10. Lady Liadrin
  11. Eitrigg
  12. Elder Cloudfall

 

[Time to mix things up! Or at least give you all the chance to chime in on who our next profile subject will be. So… vote in the poll below and chime in! The supporting character who comes out on top will feature in the next character profile Soon…]

 

 

Monday GUEST mailbag: Shayari

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

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

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

 

Dearest Shayari,

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

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

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

Take care, and be well!

–Sarlinia-Grace Starstriker, Argent Crusade

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

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

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

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

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

 

Dear Shayari,

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

–Tandeleina, Silvermoon City

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

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

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

 

Dear Shayari,

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

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

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

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

Ciao!

–Clarise Sunbow, Kirin Tor

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Hey, Shayari mon!

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

–Bob, Shado-pan Monastery

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

 

 

Hey, Shay!

Here’s an #EpicVerse prompt for you.

“There was a Draenei named Shayari,”

Go, go, go!

–Valinora Lightshorn, Stormwind City

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

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

Hold tight!

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

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

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

 

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

-a.

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

 

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

 

Hello Shayari,

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

–Greztah, Earthen Ring

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

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

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

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

The point is, are you people nuts?

 

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

Bye!

 

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

 

 

Speak the devil’s name

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

So, yeah, let’s try this again.

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

So that was a thing.

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

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

 

From Hellscream’s heart, I stab at thee

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UTVOCH: <also shouting from overboard> But sir!

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

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

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

UTVOCH: <overboard> Sorry sir…

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

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

GARROSH: Oh, geez, THAT whole shit show…

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

MOKVAR: Huh? What am I missing?

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

MOKVAR: I… oh.

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

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

GISKA: You never learned this at all?

KORRINA: No, never got around to training it.

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

KORRINA: Uh, yes, Captain.

GISKA: Of course, sir.

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

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

KORRINA: Huh. Good tip.

GISKA: It helps a lot.

KORRINA: So how does this work?

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

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

So you take one of these and attach it…

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

Like this, see?

KORRINA: Like this?

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

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

GISKA: Apparently.

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

Giska shrugs.

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

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

KORRINA: Okay… so what do we do now?

GISKA: We wait.

KORRINA: Oh.

Korrina looks around.

For how long?

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

KORRINA: Huh.

Korrina looks overboard at her bobber.

Well geez, these fish better hurry up…

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

Giska looks around awkwardly as her fishing line goes taut.

GISKA: Um…

KORRINA: Yeah, definitely not brain food.

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

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

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

KORRINA: You can’t just pull it back?

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

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

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

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

GISKA: Huh. Well…

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

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

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

KULKESH: Okay… just a little farther…

GURTASH: Watch this next step, Ruekie.

KORRINA: She’s not doing any better?

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

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

GISKA: What did I miss?

KULKESH: Well, she—

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

Gurtash and Kulkesh try to steady Ruekie.

GURTASH: Kafa withdrawal…

KULKESH: The galley ran out yesterday.

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

RUEKIE: Seventeen nightmarish hours! Seventeen!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aaaaaahhhhhh paradoxes! Fel with them!

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

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

KORRINA: Uh. Yeah. Okay.

Korrina looks out at the ocean, then to Giska.

So… how long do these fish take?

GISKA: There’s no telling, really.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Korrina’s line tugs a few times.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RUEKIE: What is it?

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

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

GURTASH: Tasty, too!

RUEKIE: <grumbling> Kafa’s still better.

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

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

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

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

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

UTVOCH: Yeah, well it feels like… it…

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

Uh oh…

KULKESH: Hey! Look at that!

RUEKIE: Whoa!

KULKESH: I knew I saw something down there!

GURTASH: What kind of fish is that?

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

GURTASH: You’ve got that thing?

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

Utvoch swims more frantically while looking over at the fin.

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

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

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

GARROSH and DROK: What?

Garrosh and Drok look at each other.

DROK: Wouldn’t that be…?

GARROSH: I’m pretty sure he meant me.

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

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

KULKESH: Korrina caught something, sir!

KORRINA: I think!

RUEKIE: It’s a big one!

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

DONTRAG: <overboard> Uhh Warchief!

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

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

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

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

UTVOCH: <overboard> Honest, Warchief, we—

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

DROK: Ohh, wait a minute… Could it…?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DROK: Aye, sorry, Warchief.

GARROSH: And what do you mean YOU did this?

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

KULKESH: Oh, that one had to hurt…

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

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

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

KULKESH: Is it a whale?

KORRINA: As opposed to?

KULKESH: A big fish, I guess.

KORRINA: How do you tell the difference?

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

RUEKIE: A blowhole?

GURTASH: Oh no. Here we go…

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

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

MOKVAR: Other than the Saurfang thing.

GARROSH: Yeah, other than that.

DROK: Well, sir…

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

UTVOCH: <overboard> Uh, Warchief…!

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

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

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

UTVOCH: <overboard> Sorry sir…

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

RUEKIE: Oh!

Ruekie leans out over the side of the ship.

GARROSH: Rook, what the hell are you doing?

RUEKIE: Looking for the blowhole, sir!

GURTASH: Wait for it…

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

GURTASH: Aaaaand there it is.

MOKVAR: She does this on purpose, right?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KORRINA: That’s just jealousy!

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

Drok continues looking out at the sea without comment.

Uh, Captain?

Drok looks back to Garrosh.

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

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

DROK: Aye, I reckon not, sir.

GARROSH: Right, so—

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

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

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

UTVOCH: <overboard> Please, sir?

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

DONTRAG: <overboard> Yes sir…

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

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

GARROSH: Wait, you know this one specifically?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GISKA: So Captain…

Garrosh looks at her.

Um, Captain Drok, I mean.

Garrosh shrugs.

How do you know about this shark?

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

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

KORRINA: Wha— Oh dammit!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DROK: Aye. On the way home.

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

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

MOKVAR: Spirits.

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

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

KULKESH: <aside> Could be entertaining, though.

GISKA: <aside> True.

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

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

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

DROK: That I did, Warchief.

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

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

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

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

GARROSH: Well, whatever it is, if it—

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

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

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

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

DONTRAG: Warchief?

DROK: Aye, sir!

UTVOCH: Sir?

GARROSH: OPEN FIRE!

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

KORRINA: Guh!

MOKVAR: Dammit, I just dried this suit…

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

KULKESH: Uh…

KORRINA: Uh… Ruek…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MALKOROK: Kor’kron! Maintain fire!

DONTRAG: Wait! Sir!

UTVOCH: Warchief, please!

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

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

UTVOCH: Poor Steve!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DONTRAG: Warchief! We’re sorry, sir!

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

DONTRAG: Dammit, Ut!

GARROSH: SHUT! THE FUCK! UP!

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

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

UTVOCH: My hands are all pruney…

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

 

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

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

 

 

Monday mailbag

mailbag10

You know, for once I’m glad I put off checking on the latest batch of mail. The way it ended up working out, I just had a bunch of it piled up waiting for attention. (NOT UNLIKE MY GROUPIES, but that’s a story for another day) just in time for the trip back to Pandaria. So, the long boat trip wound up giving me the damn time I needed to finally get around to reading your letters and working up some responses. So, let’s get right into it…

 

Warchief Garrosh,

I want to complain about your minions, the kind-of-Orc-twins whose names I didn’t care to remember.

I am a Draenei lady and am deeply worried about their fascination for hooves, or hooftishism as they called it. What if they’re starting a trend? It is annoying enough to deal with the butt fetishists, we don’t need people who will try to lick our hooves on top of that.

Please make sure that they don’t organize meetings to share their passion with their fellows. Think that your daughter too could, one day, be harassed by hooftishists.

Archenon poros,

–Celesti.

Okay, so first of all, Celesti, I’m glad you specified the “kind-of-Orc-twins” part, because if you’d left it at “I have complaints about you minions, whose names I didn’t care enough about to remember,” well, number one, that’d be way too broad to narrow down, and number two, guess what, “minions I don’t care enough about to remember their names” pretty much covers how I feel about a large chunk of my payroll, so, you know, there’s that.

So, yeah. Dontrag and Utvoch. Although… okay, this might be yet another example of the “shit I don’t care enough about to pay attention to” corollary, but I seem to remember hearing somewhere along the line that it’s only one of them who has the weird fascination with hooves. Don’t ask me which one, though. Or which one of them that one is.

But yeah. Those two. Or one of those two. Believe me, this complaint you’re registering is way, way down on the list of reasons why I find them damn annoying. It ranks, I’ll grant you that, but it doesn’t even crack the top five reasons I want to smack them in the head sometimes. And by “sometimes,” I mean three times daily, usually just after meals, with two optional time slots for further smacking in the event I’m having an aggravating day. That is, when I’m not tossing their asses overboard.

Speaking of priorities, actually… Not for nothing, but considering you’re a draenei, I would figure that your biggest complaint about a couple of Horde soldiers wouldn’t be the hoof fetish thing nearly as much as the trying-to-kill-you thing. Where the hell did you even run into those two, that the hoof thing even came up?

Wait. Are you telling me that you crossed paths with these jokers, and they got so preoccupied with their unwholesome hoof thing that they forgot about getting down to some wholesome BLOODSHED?

So yeah. Okay. I think that means it’s time for my 2:00 smacking. Except they’re still kind of preoccupied swimming frantically to keep up with the boat. Guess I’ll just have to above deck and throw stuff at them for the time being.

 

Yo, Warchief,

I’ve been kept up to date with Blackfuse’s time as engineer for the Horde.  I knew he’d be a big help as long as you could get him under control.  With any luck he’ll give you the big badda-boom hardware you need to blast the Alliance back.

Got a sitrep from the Isle of Giants, by the way.  Nazgrim’s got me working on finding some more Zandalari tomes that talk about how to tame and use Dinosaurs.  The good news is, I’ve found some, and the more intelligent beastmasters have been putting them to good use; the bad news is, they’re very hard to find, so most of our progress has been capturing and packaging baby raptors and Devilsaurs to send back to the Orgrimmar beast pens.  The big and mean ones already grown up have been a chore and a half to even talk to without getting munched, but slowly but surely we’re making progress

One last thing: I’ve heard Zandalari whispers of a really big, really mean Devilsaur who puts Oondasta to shame.  I think his name was Thok the Bloodthirsty or something like that.  Sounds like your kind of dinosaur, sir, if you catch my drift.  

Your man on the ground,

–Grottee Metalbeard, Goblin Shaman

Hey Grottee, glad to hear you made it back down to Pandaria without incident. WISH I COULD SAY THE SAME. HE SAID, WHILE TURNING AN ATTENTIVE EAR TOWARD A PORTHOLE TO LISTEN TO THE PLAINTIVE GROANS OF MORONS SWIMMING.

Glad to hear you guys are making progress with the dinos, and that Nazgrim hasn’t gotten any bright ideas about going off script again. Who knows, maybe that jackass red shirt Steve was the only member of Naz’s crew afflicted with that particular level of jackassery, so we’ll have smooth sailing from here on out. HE SAID, AS IF HE HASN’T BEEN WATCHING HIS STAFF OF MENTAL DEFECTIVES GIVE IT THE OL’ COMMUNITY COLLEGE TRY FOR A COUPLE YEARS NOW. Anyhow, as long as things are coming along. At this point I’m just glad we’re making any progress at all, even if it’s slow, considering the way things have been going, I could swear sometimes our fastest speed was reverse.

As for that Oondasta-trumping devilsaur, I think I remember you mentioning something about it once before. I’m pretty sure I included something about it in the notes I left for Nazgrim, but I guess when he decided to run with that cunning plan that led to ol’ shithead Steve’s untimely demise (maybe the one positive to come out of the whole damn affair), his people weren’t able to locate Thog or whatever, so he just went with the devilsaur that was easier to find.

Which raises a question. If this Thunk dino is as big and bad as you’re saying, Grottee, how the hell does it manage to be elusive? I mean, how the fuck does a DEVILSAUR pull off STEALTHY? Is there a goddamn sauropod ROGUE TRAINER down there teaching them to go WHOOSH WHOOSH MOSTLY TRANSPARENT? Do they, like, hold a piece of a shrub in front of themselves in their doofy little front claws with a fucking sign that says “Just a shrub, move along, citizen”? Hell, it’s not even like the Isle of Giants is a big place, from what they tell me — there couldn’t be THAT many places to hide. How the hell does this motherfucker manage to fucking ELUDE everyone?!

 

Hail, Warchief,

My apologies for the difficulties with Golmash last week.  I’m afraid his behaviour caught even me off-guard.  I was afraid that wolf would be the death of me, but instead it seems he was the death of one of your beastmasters.

At any rate, since his dramatic departure from my pens, I have been having strange and frightening dreams.  In them, I am standing at the entrance to my home on a dark night, when a horrifying sight appears before me – a ghostly orc, his face twisted and scarred, his eyes glowing with terrible power.  I hear him speaking to me in a ghastly, croaky voice, but I have no idea what he is saying.  His words sound like Orcish, but mean nothing to me.  The only thing that clearly comes across is that he is angry, as he grabs me by the shirt and shakes me while screaming in his unknown tongue.  

I have no idea what is causing these dreams or what they mean, but they are connected to Golmash somehow.  I just know it.  Whatever comes of this, Warchief, I only hope it happens quickly, for these dreams are stripping my nights of much-needed sleep.  

Your humble servant,

–Ogunaro Wolfrunner, Kennel Master

Hey Ogunaro. Good to hear from you. Even if you’re… you know… dealing with… well… this thing. And… well… um… you know what, O? I’m going to ask you to do me a favor here and just skip the next paragraph. I just remembered I, um, I need to insert some stuff that I meant to include in a previous letter and I, uh, I can’t just scroll up and insert while I’m typing this… um… well, because… because, oh come on, you know me and computers, right? I can’t even remember where the damn delete key is, and here I am on a boat without Spazzle around to fix this crap for me, oh woe is me, and ANYWAY that’s not even the point, the point is, see, that this extra stuff I need to insert has nothing to do with you but I really need to get it written down before I forget, because scatterbrained me, oops, you know how it goes, but I don’t want to bother you with it ’cause I know you already have enough on your plate what with, you know, the thing. So just do me a solid and skip that next paragraph so I don’t need to worry about you, and pick up again right AFTER that, right where it says “MELLIFLUOUS.” So there. Go to it. Skip starting… now.

Okay. So you guys, we need to talk. I didn’t want O listening in on this, because, you know, we — like the you and me “we,” not the Ogunaro and me “we,” and FUCK YOU PRONOUN AMBIGUITY — we have a history, and we’re cool and shit, but I don’t even know what dude’s deal is, you know? And you probably already know where I’m going with this, right? Because I’m starting to get that vibe that our buddy Ogunaro, I mean I like him all and I appreciate the work he does, but I’m starting to get the feeling like he’s one of THOSE guys. You know how I mean? Those guys where there’s ALWAYS fucking SOMETHING, like one goddamn thing after another and after a while you can’t even tell where the real crises are because EVERYTHING gets the ol’ emergency blinker cranked up to fucking eleven. Is it just me? It’s his whole goddamn family, too, near as I can tell. Well, the alive ones, anyway. But who can even say for sure on that one, either, because necromancy, motherfucker. Fingers crossed. So anyway, I just had to say something to you guys because we have a thing, but I’m for real not going to know what to do with this dude if this shit keeps up. Okay. That’s it. Don’t say anything to him. Sshh, here he comes.

MELLIFLUOUS. Which is a goddamn awesome word, by the way. Try it out sometime. And if you get a chance to have Nazgrim say it, you totally have to. He knows how to sell that shit, man. Anyway. Welcome back, O. See, wasn’t that a lot faster and easier and less insulting than having to wade through a bunch of other stuff that you definitely weren’t interested in? Hot damn, good thing I wrote it all down before I forgot, hell I don’t even remember what it was NOW. GOT IN THERE JUST IN THE NICK OF TIME, O. THAT WAS A FUCKING CLOSE ONE.

Anyhow, yeah, O, that’s some freaky shit in that dream. I can’t say I’m much of an expert in making sense of what dreams mean, though. Maybe there’s something to this dream with the ghostly visitor, maybe it’s got something to do with Golmash, maybe not. If it has something to do with the wolf, we’ll figure it out, especially now that we’ve got him secured and under close observation. If not… well, we’ll see. It might be worth getting some feedback from a shaman or two, just the same. And for the time being, just to make sure you can get a little sleep without going bonkers, maybe it’s a good idea to see if you can get something from an apothecary to help you sleep a little deeper. Just don’t take anything from an apothecary with a recently refurbished jaw who’s really sarcastic all the time, because trust me, there’s no telling what he might have slipped into that shit.

 

Dear Warchief,

I am researching the cultures of the Horde, especially naming customs. Most of the Forsaken kept the human names we were born with. A few decided to adopt new names but most of those were pretty grimdark and silly. The less said about them the better.

What naming customs do the Orcs have? Are family names passed through the father? the mother? Does you’re name mean something?

Curiously yours –

–Ickabod Pimlen, The Undercity.

Thanks for writing, Ickabod. Although, whew. “Ickabod Pimlen.” Not to be shitty to you right out the gate, Ickabod, but as long as there was already a thing going where some of the Forsaken picked a new name for themselves, I mean, maybe you should have looked into that. “Pimlen” was already not exactly a winner of a last name, but your parents really decided to top that off by naming you “Ickabod” to boot? Seriously? Yeesh, and people call ME a war criminal…

Anyway, now for your question, Ickabod. Naming customs aren’t consistent across the whole orcish race — like most of our customs and traditions naming varies with the individual clans. For instance, some clans, like the Frostwolves, rarely take on surnames. The Thunderlord clan usually does, on the other hand, and they pass those along generation to generation. Typically, but not always, patrilineally. (THAT’S RIGHT, PATRILINEALLY, MOTHERFUCKER, STOP LOOKING SURPRISED THAT I KNOW FUCKING WORDS.)

With some clans, though, last names are given in recognition of some sort of accomplishment. That’s how it works in the Warsong clan, for instance. My grandfather, Golmash (we’ve been hearing that name a lot lately, huh?), gained the name Hellscream for the battle cry he brought into a long string of victorious battles, and he passed that name on to Grommash, who passed it on to me.

Only, there’s a catch — see, in clans that use these names as a kind of honorific, there can only be one person at a time using it. So back when Golmash was alive, you wouldn’t talk about Golmash Hellscream AND Grom Hellscream. There can only be one Hellscream. That was Golmash, until he died. After that, his oldest child (in this case, his only child) could take on the name. I didn’t start using the full name until after I found out about Grom’s death — if you ran into me in Nagrand back in the day (and for your sake I hope you didn’t, because hoo boy was I an emo piece of work back then), I was just going by Garrosh.

Same thing for the Blackrock clan, by the way. Rend Blackhand was just plain ol’ Rend until daddy Blackhand (did dude ever actually have a NAME name, by the way?) bought it, just like Orgrim Doomhammer didn’t become Doomhammer until after his father Telkar died. Ditto for the Saurfangs, by the way, even though that one got a little muddier. See, while Dranosh was growing up with me in Nagrand, no one really knew what had become of Varok, but it was a pretty wide-held idea that he’d probably died. Dranosh wasn’t really sure what to believe, but he wanted to honor the family name… but he also wasn’t really sure if his old man had actually joined the ancestors. So he kind of half-wayed it and started calling himself “Saurfang the Younger.” After the family got reunited a few years back, we just kind of kept calling them both Saurfang in one way or another, just out of habit. Moot point now, I know. 

Oh and since you asked, my name means “warrior’s heart” in orcish. (I won’t offer to explain what “Dranosh” means, though, because fuck it, I’m pretty sure we’ve all been over that enough times already.)

So THERE. I bet that’s more about orcish names than you ever wanted to know. EXCEPT FOR ICKABOD, WHO ASKED ABOUT IT IN THE FIRST PLACE, SO IF YOU’RE GONNA COMPLAIN TO ANYBODY, DO IT WITH HIM, DAMMIT.

 

Hello again Warcheif!

I apologize for not finding the Command Board sooner, as you know I actually found it by accident. After talking with some friends I found out that they didn’t know about it either. Then I went to Orgrimar to see if I could find an Advertising Department. Unfortunately the guards that seem to know everything, except if something is on level one or two, did not know of this department.

Because of this I volunteer to be your Advertising Department. Here is the first line of merchandise that I came up with: Tabards. Most people wear them, especially those “adventurers” and we know that they will pay near anything if it looks cool. The other day I saw one buy a baby raptor for 100000 gold. Luckily there are less insane groups we can market to as well, shop keepers and flight masters will wear them as well as many military groups, Liadrin has all of us Blood Knights wear ours at all times.

But I can hear many people saying what will be on these tabards. Good thing I thought of that. So far I have ideas for three tabards all with the Warcheif’s Command Board on the back. First we have “Buy our shit, OR BE CRUSHED BENEATH IT!” with a picture of an orc buried under a ton of merchandise. Then there is “Fuck You Varian”, self explanitory. And finally EPIC VERSE with many of your epic verses all over the tabard.

Unfortunately I don’t have an artistic bone in my body and I haven’t found anyone that does so I can’t give you any visuals of the tabards. If you give me the go ahead on this I can get to work on new techniques by next month.

–Glen Bloodblade

Hey, Glen, glad to hear from you again. So, I’m going to excuse you for not following the blog until recently, even though we both know you already should have been following the blog before you found it accidentally. In fact, what the hell is this “accidentally” shit? You should have found it DELIBERATELY, as a result of PURPOSEFULLY SEARCHING for a blog you didn’t know existed. Because you could feel it in your bones, Glen. You could feel it in your bones.

Anyway, I’m going to let that slide. Just don’t do it again. Yes, I just told you not to not find the blog that you’re currently reading, again, which might sound like a weird thing to warn someone not to do, until you stop for a second to consider the crazy-ass world we live in, because FUCKING TIME TRAVEL. All I’m gonna tell you, Glen, is if you see any bronze dragons coming your way, or maybe a blood elf lady in a bikini dress, well, you just get ready to think fast is all I’m going to say.

Anyhow. You know, Glen, you might be on to something. After your last letter, I did some checking around, and the fact of the matter is that we don’t have a department in charge of publicity or advertising or whatever. Which I guess makes sense, since it turns out that the Kor’kron aren’t exactly in the habit of making public announcements about what they’re doing. At least not if they know what’s good for them.

Now, to tell you the truth, I hadn’t really given a lot of thought to advertising the blog. I mean, I always figured people would just find their way to the blog however people do shit like that on the internet. And I remember having a conversation with Faranell once about it maybe going viral. Although, looking back on it now, considering it WAS Faranell, I think I might have severely misunderstood what he was meant. I maybe shouldn’t think about that too much.

But back to your real point. You may be right — it might be a good idea to come up with ways to drive some more traffic to the blog. And here’s the thing — your tabard idea could actually be even more of a winner than you realize, because check it out, it opens the door not only for ADVERTISING, but also… MERCHANDISING. Tabards sound like a great way to start, and they’ll sure as hell get the word around, but who knows how much other stuff we could get into. Hell, even just with the tabards, if we produce a bunch of different versions, do you REALIZE how many compulsive collectors are out there who will go fucking NUTS trying to hunt down every last variation? Dude, I’ve seen it myself — people burning up hours of time and mountains of gold to try to land themselves, say, a scorpid pet that’s a SLIGHTLY different color than the seven scorpid pets they ALREADY FRIGGING HAVE. I can only imagine what some of them would do for the RARE CHASE VARIANT of the Garrosh blog tabard. Wait, did I say “rare”? FUCK THAT SHIT — EPIC!

So, yeah, HELL YEAH, run with this idea, Glen. You have some ideas, go for it, man. And hey, for that matter, I know you said you haven’t got any artistic skills, but AS IT HAPPENS, I may just have an in with some people who DO. Not just in-house, either, if you were thinking of Gurtash — WHO YOU WOULD BE RIGHT TO THINK. OF. — but even among the ranks of my LOYAL READERS AND MINIONS. I’ll bet you anything that there are people among the CLEARLY TALENTED AND DISCRIMINATING CROWD that reads the Warchief’s Command Board who would be ONLY TOO HAPPY to offer their own artsy-fartsy designs for WCB tabards. ESPECIALLY WHEN I ORDER THEM TO AND REMIND THEM THAT I HAVE A TECH GOBLIN HACKER WHO’S ABLE TO TRACE IP’S. WHICH I TOTALLY DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE BUT HE DOES AND THAT’S WHAT COUNTS, OKAY?

 

And on that note, I think it’s time to wrap it up for this mailbag. Keep those letters coming as always. For next time, though, since I’m going to be pretty swamped with stuff in Pandaria, I managed to convince Shayari to hold down the fort again for the next mailbag. So, write in to her, or still write in to me for the next time I’m able to field your letters myself. Either way, write SOMETHING. Ideally MULTIPLE somethings. I WILL BE TAKING DOCUMENTARY ATTENDANCE, MOTHERFUCKERS.

More soon.

 

[PROGRAMMING NOTE: As you can tell from Garrosh’s announcement, the next mailbag will be a guest mailbag with Shayari. However, I also wanted to announce that I’ve decided to take a short break at the end of the month that will affect the upcoming mailbag schedule. As many of you will remember, the last few years I’ve taken a blogging break late in the summer due to a busy work schedule; this year, I’ve decided to move that hiatus up to earlier in the summer and use some of that time to get material in the pipeline.

So, blog hijinks will continue as usual through the end of May, then we’ll be off for a few weeks. Then, on July 11 (since the first Monday in July this year is a holiday, I figured there was no harm in pushing it back for one more week), we’ll be back with Shayari’s guest mailbag, and from there we’ll be off and running.

As always, thanks to everyone for reading, commenting, and contributing!]

 

 

Lyrical leftovers

dontragutvoch5

Did I say that was the LAST dose of reader-prompted poetry-month-honoring EPIC VERSE you were getting treated to? WELL GUESS WHAT, MOTHERFUCKERS, I just took a cursory look at my handy desk calendar, the one where I would note down everybody’s birthday if I actually gave half a fuck, and THE MONTH ISN’T OVER YET. So even though it’s too damn late for you lazy scrubs to send in a poem of your own for the INTERNET FAME AND RECOGNITION YOU DON’T EVEN REMOTELY DESERVE BUT ARE GOING TO WIND UP GETTING ANYWAY BECAUSE THANKS GARROSH, there’s still time to grab one more of these submissions from the pile and treat you to one more of dose of awesome.

Because I’m a giver. And because I underpromise and overdeliver. And also because I’m still stuck on this damn boat heading down to Pandaria and if I don’t find something vaguely productive to do then it’s just a matter of time before SOMEONE on this boat starts to look irresistibly breakable.

So, speaking of people I would relish snapping into a couple hundred very tiny pieces (admittedly, this isn’t exactly an exclusive club), today’s reader poem comes from… <sigh>… spirits help us… Dontrag and Utvoch.

So… you know… not too much else for me to say about that. Let’s get this over with.

 

ONE MEAN, TOO MEAN.
We Mean Hellscream

By Sargeant Dontrag
And Grunt Utvoch

One mean, too mean
Garrosh Hellscream.
We mean you’re mean.
Too mean, we scream.

One mean, too mean.
Not share, no fair.
Don’t care anywhere.
Only care lemon square.

One mean, too mean
Slam door, stomp floor.
Settle score once more.
Nevermore Theramore.

One mean, too mean
One joke, two pokes.
Two blokes, slowpokes.
Two strokes, both croaks.

(Not yet, anyway)

One mean, too mean.
Not green, it seem.
You preen, ladies scream.
Umpteen, it’s obscene.

One mean, too mean.
Even seem little teen.
Figurine mean machine.
Femineene Hellscream.

Umm.

One mean, too mean.
Bell cursed, orcs worst.
Wrynn dispersed, left in hearse.
Got a nurse, death reversed.

Uh.

One mean, too mean.
Poor Steve, we grieve.
We leave before peeve.
Eve receive heave cleave.

Bye.

 

So… I suppose… I mean, I don’t even… Yeah. Fine. So there’s that.

It bears noting, by the way? That poem required two people to write.

Meanwhile, returning to the land of the not-stupid who can scrape together a few rhymes without needing to hold a conference, time for me to offer my… response. Which… yeah. I don’t really see this ending well, but here goes.

 

One herp, two derp.
Lunchtime, slurp burp.
No twirp usurp
Kings of herp-derp.

One herp, two derp.
Birdbrain, my bane.
Their brain: shit stain.
My pain? Explain:

One herp, two derp.
See me at sea.
Trainee runs free;
As for me? Can’t flee.

One herp, two derp.
Their insane word chain.
I complain; migrane;
Profane; bloodstain.

One herp, two derp.
Three smacks (four max).
Rage stacks, bone cracks,
My axe cleaves sacks.

One herp, two derp.
Each goon a buffoon.
Both hewn by noon.
Harpoon: death soon.

One herp, two derp.
Abhorred; need sword.
Kick toward Howling Fjord,
Thrown, soared, overboard.

One herp, two derp.
One blast from mast;
Ship fast; they’ve passed,
Distance vast; peace at last.

BYE MOTHERFUCKING BYE, MOTHERFUCKERS.

 

EPIC VERSE!

 

I mean, not that I should ever be surprised when Dumb and Dumber do something idiotic, but they REALLY didn’t think this one through, seeing as they sent me their… their… verbal equivalent of brain cancer, KNOWING full well they were going to be on a ship with me where there would be very few places to hide or run away.

Oh well. At least they get to practice their swimming now. For the entire rest of the trip. STOP YOUR BITCHING, JACKASSES, SWIMMING IS HEALTHY. Especially when the alternative to swimming is being on a boat with someone who’s liable to fucking MURDER you.

So. That wraps up this edition of Garrosh’s Poetry Challenge for real. Thanks and congrats to everyone who contributed, all that stuff, whatever. I’m sure I’ll be throwing down some more EPIC VERSE soon enough just because. Or EPIC TALES of my EPIC LIFE. Or if you-know-who and you-know-who-else decide to try to crawl back on board, maybe EPIC RECAPS of me giving an EPIC BEATING to a couple EPIC PAINS in my EPIC ASS.

Okay, enough of that crap. Time to go up on deck and… I don’t know… be bored looking at the same view of the ocean I’ve been staring at this whole trip. Or listen to the Wonder Twins bickering about how to do a breaststroke. Or both. Ugh.

Water water everywhere, I think I need a drink.