Tag Archives: soridormi

Remembered

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* Lok’osh was one of the DPS trainees until he was killed by saurok.  Garrosh learned of his death here.

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* After falling from a ledge in the caves, Gurtash woke to find he’d injured his hand.

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* Elder Cloudfall gave Garrosh this speech (among other bits of cryptic goodness) when the Warchief first visited Tian Monastery.

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The Roshy Horror Picture Show

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Barnes walks back offstage following his introduction, as the ghostly audience applauds.

BARNES: Go no now, they’re waiting for you!

GARROSH: Um, the FUCK you say?

MOKVAR: Do you mean we’re supposed to…?

BARNES: As I said, your tale sounds like an intriguing one…

FARANELL: Ugh, I always hated school plays…

GARROSH: Yeah, fine, but…

BARNES: And if you want my help with your Malchezaar problem, you’re just going to have to help me with tonight’s audience!

GARROSH: You can’t seriously—

BARNES: Now don’t worry, the magic of the Opera House will help you along as you go.

GARROSH: But we—

BARNES: Now go on! There they are now, entertain them!

GARROSH: Ugh. Fine.

Garrosh sighs and reluctantly trudges out on stage, followed by the rest of the group. The audience applauds their arrival.

GARONA: <scanning the applauding crowd> I could get used to this, actually…

MOKVAR: So, uh, what are we supposed to do?

GARROSH: Beats me…

BARNES: <echoing from offstage> Oh, all right, I can see you have a touch of stage fright, so I’ll help get you started…

Music begins to play as an enormous, disembodied spectral mouth appears at the back of the stage and slowly floats forward.

GARROSH: <jumping away from the mouth as it moves up> The FUCK?!

 

{DEMON HUNTERS TRIPLE FEATURE}

PROLOGUE (a.k.a. THE LIPS):

Some adventurers came; they were not seeking fame,
But our audience would rejoice.
They knew axes and runes, not so much spinning tunes,
But our magic here would give them a voice.

They came on a quest, ventured seeking to best
A demon that they call Malchezaar.
But their prey they can’t face, while he’s in Netherspace;
Why they seek him, well that’s quite bizarre.

Demon hunters triple feature:
Spectral patrons will fill the bleachers.
Here one night only: Hordies singing!
Improv performances, they’ll be winging.
Oh oh oh oh oh,
At the late night triple feature opera show.

It’s a perilous tale! Will our heroes prevail
As they journey the pathways of time?
At a dragon’s behest, everyone was impressed,
Though “Nozdormu” is a real bitch to rhyme.

But as they went along, something went wrong,
You’ll see, just wait for the surprise!
For they found themselves trapped as the worlds overlapped –
Watch it unfold now in front of your eyes!

Demon hunters triple feature:
Spectral patrons will fill the bleachers.
Here one night only: Hordies singing!
Improv performances, they’ll be winging.
Oh oh oh oh oh,
At the late night triple feature opera show.
The stars will glow,
Oh oh oh oh,
At the late night triple feature opera show.
An hour or so,
Oh oh oh oh,
At the late night triple feature opera show.
So here we go,
Oh oh oh oh,
At the late night triple feature opera show.

The ghostly mouth fades away. Garrosh and the others look back and forth awkwardly among themselves as the audience starts to murmur.

GARROSH: Yeah…so…

MOKVAR: What now?

BARNES: <offstage> You folks really aren’t used to performing, are you?

GARROSH: Yeah, how about I drop you into a battlefield with no prepping and see how YOU do, spooks.

BARNES: <sighs> Well, how did everything begin with this adventure of yours?

GARROSH: Well, Sylvanas reported this whole—

BARNES: Don’t tell me, tell them!

GARROSH: Oh. <turns to face the audience> Uh…yeah, so, Sylvanas came to me with this problem…

A ghostly likeness of Sylvanas Windrunner walks onstage and approaches Garrosh.

…and…well holy crap, look at that…

Music starts to swell again. Garrosh looks around in confusion.

SYLVANAS: Hail, Warchief!

GARROSH: Um…okay…

SYLVANAS: I’ve got something to ask…

GARROSH: Uh…yeah?

SYLVANAS:

…of your leadership, in which we bask.
But now, I fear, I must beg a task.

GARROSH: This is…kinda weird…

 

{OH GOSH, GARROSH}

SYLVANAS:

We need your help now, son of Grommash!

LIADRIN and MOKVAR: <together, flatly>

          (Garrosh.)

SYLVANAS:

You’re leading the Horde with such panache.
          (Garrosh.)
That Theramore thing, we’ll just whitewash.
          (Garrosh.)
So I need to tell you now,
Oh gosh, Garrosh,
We need you.

The problem we have I know you’ll squash.
          (Garrosh.)
Whoever’s behind it, you will quash.
          (Garrosh.)
If you pull this off, Aka’Magosh!
          (Garrosh.)
So I need to tell you now,
Oh gosh, Garrosh,
We need you.

There is something killing the Forsaken
In Southshore – details are still vague.
Something magic, if I’m not mistaken.
Oh, but don’t fret, we weren’t making plague.

Nope. No way. <glances around furtively>

GARROSH:

I asked for a contact; you said him.
          (Edwin.)
This Faranell guy, with the dead grin.
          (Edwin.)
Your Banshee Queen, she’s been beggin’.
          (Edwin.)
So let’s get to work now, Doc,
Come in, Edwin,
I’ll save you.

So, Edwin…

FARANELL:

Yeah? <looking disturbed to find himself singing> Oh gosh…

GARROSH:

Where to begin?

FARANELL:

Well…Garrosh…

GARROSH:

What to do?

One side of the stage fades into the likeness of old Southshore, while the other side takes on that of the Caverns of Time.

FARANELL:

We’re kind of screwed.
Here is what we’ve got to do…

We’ll travel in time – really, no josh –
          (Garrosh.)
To trace back this anti-plague death slosh.
          (Garrosh.)
Once it’s found, I’ll put the kibosh.
          (Garrosh.)
That covers it, I think, so
Oh gosh, Garrosh,
Time we flew.

Oh gosh, Garrosh…

GARROSH:

Edwin, no chin.

FARANELL:

Hey! Gosh, Garrosh.

GARROSH and FARANELL: <looking increasingly uneasy with all of this>

Wow, that blew.

GARONA: So, hold on, how did you all know to…you know…sing that?

GARROSH: I just kind of DID…

FARANELL: That was…weird…

BARNES: <offstage> As I said, the Opera House glamours will help you along — now keep it going, you’re on a roll!

GARROSH: My dad never had to do any shit like this to kill fucking Mannoroth…

MOKVAR: Okay, so next…

LIADRIN: <turning to the audience> The mission to save the Forsaken in the past was a success…

The scenery on one side of the stage morphs from the appearance of Southshore to that of Orgrimmar.

…but when we returned, we found that the past had been altered…

GARONA: <looking around> Oh wow, this is freaky…

Around them, Orgrimmar flickers between its normal appearance and one torn by battle, with demons and Scourge running about.

MOKVAR: You should have been there when it was actually happening.

GARROSH: Right, so at that point…

Music begins to resonate through the hall.

DONTRAG: Uh, I think it’s starting again…

FARANELL: Aren’t we lucky…

 

{TIME WARP}

GARROSH:

Noz has spoken
Time is broken,
All thanks to Faranell.
Now what’s left for me?

LIADRIN:

Ask Soridormi.

MOKVAR:

Timelines have gone to hell.

FARANELL:

I remember
Being in Southshore
Up till that moment when
The blackness consumed me…

GARROSH:

Now this future will doom me!

ALL:

Let’s do the time warp again!
Let’s do the time warp again!

FARANELL:

I took a turn to the left.

ALL:

It should have been to the right!

FARANELL:

Bad news, everyone!

ALL:

No Putricide in sight!
And now the surging Scourge
Invade us from Northrend.
Let’s do the time warp again!
Let’s do the time warp again!

LIADRIN:

It’s intriguing.

UTVOCH:

But mentally fatiguing…

LIADRIN:

With the demons blitzkrieging
We need a plan.

GARROSH: <rushing in with Focusing Iris in hand>

Hey now, get out of my way!
We’re gonna fix up the timeways.
Hit the old Hillsbrad highways,
Back where it all began.

FARANELL:

Now I’m feeling regretful…

MOKVAR:

Wait till you get forgetful:
Those gaps in memory now and then.

GARROSH:

I see demons invadin’!

LIADRIN:  <drawing the Ashbringer>

I got dibs on Kil’jaeden!

ALL:

Let’s do the time warp again!
Let’s do the time warp again!

FARANELL:

Well I was running down the street
Toward the Southshore inn,
Had to tag myselves “it”
Much to my chagrin.
She’d told me the plan
And she seemed strong and wise;
She had a blood elf’s shape
And a dragon’s eyes.
I pounced myself and I felt displaced –
Time convulsing, snapping back in place.

ALL:

Let’s do the time warp again!
Let’s do the time warp again!

FARANELL:

I took a turn to the left.

ALL:

It should have been to the right!

FARANELL:

Bad news, everyone!

ALL:

The Legion joins the fight!
The fall of Orgrimmar –
It wasn’t if, but when.
Let’s do the time warp again!
Let’s do the time warp again!

Let’s do the time warp again!
Let’s do the time warp again!

FARANELL:

I took a turn to the left.

ALL:

It should have been to the right!

FARANELL:

Bad news, everyone!

ALL:

There’s nothing here that’s right!
We’ve got to fix this mess,
So turn the years back ten.
Let’s do the time warp again!
Let’s do the time warp again!

Everyone collapses onto the floor for a moment as the lights dim, the surrounding scenery fades, and a dark curtain slides in close behind them. After a few seconds, they begin to rise to their feet.

DONTRAG: So wait, all that really happened?

UTVOCH: What have I been trying to tell you?

DONTRAG: Why don’t I remember any of it?

UTVOCH: Donty, the stuff you don’t remember we could just about crowbar into Razorwind Canyon.

GARROSH: Enough, you two!

LIADRIN: But, that pretty much covers everything important, doesn’t it?

A rhythmic bass line and drum beat can be heard in the background.

FARANELL: More or less.

GARONA: Why am I still hearing music, then?

GARROSH: Yeah, good question, shouldn’t it be show over at this point?

BARNES: <offstage> You’ll have to forgive me — while I was drawing on your memories for the show so far, well…there was just too much other great material to pass up!

MOKVAR: Oh no…

GARROSH: Oh crap, what have you people been remembering now?

A heavy guitar chord echoes through the hall as the dark curtain parts, and, from just behind Garrosh, Lor’themar Theron struts on stage, dressed in a full Black Mageweave set. (And no, not the male version.)

GARROSH: The FUCK?

 

{E-TRANSVESTITE}

LOR’THEMAR:

Greetings, orc-kind!
Hope you don’t mind
My dropping in for a call.
It’s always quite the same:
You forget my name –
I never once called you Thrall.

Don’t get freaked out
By the way I look;
Don’t rush to judgments too early.
I’m not much of a man
In the daytime sun,
But online I’m one popular girly.

I’m just an e-transvestite
From trade chat channel,
Playing Earth Online.

Could you show me around?
Maybe help get this mob down?
Think you could spare me a dollar?
Or is your interest waning
In more dungeon chaining?
If you change your mind, give me a holler.

GARROSH:

Um, listen, dude,
I don’t mean to be rude.
I don’t want you throwing a fit.
You do your thing, fine,
Just…do it online.
No one needs to look at that shit.

LOR’THEMAR:

So you don’t like the sight?
Well now, you just might
Have met, in your times epicurean,
One hot sexy avatar,
Says she’s from Astranaar –
That night elf’s real name might be Malfurion.

I’m just an e-transvestite
From trade chat channel,
Playing Earth Online.

Why don’t you free up your mind?
You won’t be maligned.
Just try to enjoy the eye candy.
I mean nothing malicious
In looking so delicious –
But trusting noobs really are handy.

I’m just an e-transvestite
From trade chat channel,
Playing Earth Online.

Hey! Hey!

I’m just an e-transvestite
From trade chat channel,
Playing Earth Online.

So, log on to play,
And look with dismay
At those female toons you’ve been observing.
But you’ve got those blinders
While in Dungeon Finder,
So I’ll dispel the veil…but not your perving!

As he delivers the last line, the curtain closes in front of him. The audience bursts into raucous applause.

GARROSH: Okay, what in the holy FUCK was THAT?

MOKVAR: Well, you did call him out for playing a female toon…

GARROSH: And also, THAT gets the ovation?

FARANELL: Personally, I thought my bridge was pretty good.

GARROSH: And a whole lot less discomforting…

Barnes walks out on stage with them.

BARNES: A hand for our performers, ladies and gentlemen!

The audience applauds more.

GARROSH: Okay, so we’re good now, right, spooks? Ready to set us up with this mystery in of yours?

BARNES: All in good time, sir.

GARROSH: Wait, what the fuck is THAT supposed to mean?

BARNES: <grinning> Well as I said, sir, while I was casting the glamours, I took the liberty of poking around in some of your memories…and I’m afraid you all have far too much wonderful story material for me not to avail myself of the opportunity.

GARROSH: Um…WHAT?

BARNES: And we do still have another show to tend to after the intermission. You and your friends are welcome, of course, to take the opportunity to rest and refresh yourselves…

GARROSH: Intermission? What intermission?

BARNES: This one, sir. We’ll resume with a new tale soon.

The curtain closes to mounting applause.

 

Let’s do the time warp again

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It was late when we arrived in Dalaran. After the bunch of us got off the Windrunner, Dranosh ordered Drok to take his crew and report to Bolvar and the Argent Vanguard to help however much he could. As the ship made its departure, we got going to the Violet Citadel.

On the way, we passed through the center of the city. It was an eerie sight for me. In the middle of town, on the spot where there should have been the monument to the defeat of the Lich King, there’s a memorial honoring Tirion and the heroes who were lost with him in Icecrown Citadel. Liadrin stopped for a minute and offered a prayer for the fallen. Jaina. Dontrag and Utvoch. Saurfang.

A gnome was making his way around the city lighting all the lampposts when we arrived at the Violet Citadel. Rhonin was waiting for our arrival and was pacing around in the main hall like a restless animal. Liadrin started to break the news to him about Jaina, but Rhonin cut her off. I think he already knew, as soon as he saw us walk in without her.

He took us upstairs, where he summoned a portal for us to the Caverns of Time.

 

 

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People get so used to taking mage portals that before long they forget how disorienting they are at first. You’re in one place, then there’s a flash of light, and for half a second you’re nowhere. You feel this dizzying whoosh run through your whole body and you feel like you’re falling, and then all of a sudden you’re somewhere different. New sights, new sounds, new everything. After you’ve done it a few times, you learn to roll with it and regain your sense of direction quickly, but every so often, when you first arrive in a new place, something happens to throw you out of your routine and reminds you just how unsettling it can be.

The ground shook violently under our feet as we arrived at the Caverns of Time. Not even just the ground – the walls, the ceiling, somehow even the air seemed to shudder around us. Bronze dragons were racing around, and bunches of drakonids ran up the ramp toward the surface. Anachronos was rumbling around, barking orders, rallying the cavern’s defenders. I don’t think I’d ever seen him so animated. After a minute, he spread his enormous wings and flew up the winding passageway with a handful of bronze drakes close behind.

In the middle of the chaos, Chromie teleported in right on top of us, talking a million miles an hour, and finally ushered us back to Soridormi, near the Hillsbrad portal, before teleporting away again.

 

SORIDORMI: Thank the Titans you’ve made it. We don’t have much time.

GARROSH: Do I even want to ask?

SORIDORMI: The Legion must have pieced together what we might try to do, as I’d feared. They started their attack some hours ago. We’ve been holding them back, but the battle has been a costly one.

The entire cavern quakes as shouts echo from the surface passageway.

DRANOSH: Well, we brought you a present.

Dranosh steps back and gestures to Faranell, who is holding the Focusing Iris.

FARANELL: <handing the Iris to Soridormi> Will you be able to do it?

SORIDORMI: <nods> It will take me a few minutes to open the portal and stabilize it, but I can get you back to Southshore, yes.

DRANOSH: Wait, Southshore? What’s in Southshore?

LIADRIN: A very long story

GARROSH: Well now for the 50,000 gold question – what do we do when we’re back there?

MOKVAR: Please don’t tell me we have to go in and kidnap old-Edwin and switch him with young-Edwin but also do something with original-young-Edwin while we’re at it to make sure old-us don’t still grab original-young-Edwin by mistake, because, I mean, not enough aspirin in the world.

LIADRIN: Not to mention we would have to do something about the chameleon shard attunement in that case, if this Edwin doesn’t end up tending to it…

DRANOSH: Is there a reason why everyone but me seems to know what’s going on wherever it is we’re going?

LIADRIN: Honestly? Because everyone but you was there the first time.

GARROSH: We were all there before, Dranosh – the four of us, in old Southshore, about ten years ago. That’s how all of this started. That’s why the Legion and the Scourge are winning now.

LIADRIN: None of this was ever supposed to happen. It’s only happened this way because events in the past were altered, and have snowballed into what’s happening now.

DRANOSH: <blinking> Okay, I think I need a second here…

GARROSH: While you’re doing that… Sori? What’s the plan here?

SORIDORMI: I can get you to Hillsbrad the morning of the last day you were there. That’s when the disruption began. And ultimately, this rests on Edwin.

FARANELL: Oh great…

SORIDORMI: You’re right, Mokvar; trying to switch off versions of Edwin would be far too complicated and leave too much room for something else to go wrong…

The cavern shudders again, more violently.

GARROSH: Okay, this is sounding like we’re going for the simple approach. I’m a big fan of the simple approach.

SORIDORMI: Ordinarily, the one thing one must never do when traveling in time is to interact with oneself. In this case, though, that’s exactly what Edwin will need to do: force a crossing of timelines between both – or rather, all – versions of himself present in that time. If Edwin can make physical contact with both iterations of himself at once, it should short out the crossed lines and snap each version back to where he’s supposed to be.

LIADRIN: That last morning – that was when future-Edwin broke past-Edwin out of Mokvar’s hex.

MOKVAR: There’s our window. They’ll both be within a few feet of each other.

SORIDORMI: If he can do it, the shorting out should trigger both realities into resetting themselves and separating.

GARROSH: You get all that, Doc? Today’s your turn to save the world…

The ground shakes once again, and the cavern walls around the surface passage buckle. A handful of bronze dragons rush down into the cavern, with a swarm of demons close behind. Behind the initial wave of demon shock troops, Varimathras and Prince Malchezaar descend into the cavern.

CHROMIE: <calling out while circling around the cavern in dragon form> They’ve breached the cavern! Fall back and regroup! We have to hold them!

LIADRIN: Soridormi, do you need all of us to go back?

SORIDORMI: Edwin is the only one who has to go.

DRANOSH: <to Liadrin> I think that’s our cue for one last battle of the line.

Liadrin nods, draws the Ashbringer, and runs into a pack of terrorfiends, tearing through then with one spinning swipe of the blade.

<to Garrosh> This was your mission from the get-go, Overlord. Go see it through, and I’ll talk to you when it’s over.

Dranosh starts to turn to join the battle.

GARROSH: Dranosh!

Dranosh looks back. Garrosh looks at him in silence for a moment.

…Give them hell.

DRANOSH: <smirks> I don’t really think they’re running short. <starts running toward the demons> Now go be a hero – that’s an order!

Dranosh leaps into a group of felguards and bursts into a Bladestorm.

GARROSH: You’re the boss. Lok’tar, Warchief…

FARANELL: Soridormi… I’ll try my best at this, but even if it works…

Soridormi nods to Faranell and starts to channel a spell through the Focusing Iris into the time portal.

Well…Garrosh said that…the other me may have thrown off the timeline without even meaning to, just because of what he knew. But now me…I’ve seen so much, how do we know I won’t disrupt history all over again?

Soridormi reaches into a belt pouch and tosses a small tuber to Faranell.

SORIDORMI: This is a Nepenthe Root. Is grows only here in the Caverns of Time. Eat it once you’re through the time portal; it will take an hour or two to take effect. The root is a powerful purifier on the mind – its effects will ripple through your entire timeline, purging any memories out of synch with their natural timeframe.

GARROSH: It’s not going to oops-mindwipe him completely, is it?

SORIDORMI: No…the worst side effect he might experience would manifest itself as sporadic and random lapses of memory.

 

The demons continued flooding into the cavern while Dranosh, Liadrin, and the dragons fought to hold them at bay. A group of doomguards managed to get all the way back to the Hillsbrad portal with us. Mokvar, Edwin, and I managed to fight them off while Soridormi continued channeling her spell. Once they were dead, Mokvar pushed his notes into my hands and said to take care of Edwin while he helped the rest with the demons, and ran off into the fight.

I looked past Mokvar as he ran into the fray and saw Dranosh going toe-to-toe with Varimathras, then leaping up and sending a Mortal Strike tearing straight into the dreadlord’s throat. One more swing and he had Varimathras’ head off altogether. He caught it, spun around, and sent it flying at Malchezaar — pointed so that the dreadlord’s horns pierced straight through Malchezaar’s eyes.

The portal glowed brighter as Soridormi poured more magic into it. Then the ground shuddered again, and large chunks of the stone around the surface passage broke away. With a demonic laugh announcing his arrival, Kil’jaeden, Lord of the Burning Legion, stepped down into the Caverns of Time and started walking directly toward us.

Liadrin tore through at least twenty demons with one of her Divine Storms, and ran between Kil’jaeden and us. The demon lord extended his hand toward her, palm extended, and released a torrent of shadow magic. Liadrin held the Ashbringer over her head and projected a shimmering shield of holy magic around herself. The two stood there, facing each other down – Kil’jaeden kept pouring more power into his shadow torrent, Liadrin kept drawing on the Light and the power of the Ashbringer to hold it back. As she exerted herself more and more, a gleaming white light shone out of the Ashbringer and around her whole body – and after a moment, just as Soridormi called out to us that the time portal was ready, the glowing, pulsing light surrounding Liadrin sharpened into the shape of a naaru.

Liadrin looked back at us. Her eyes were white and glowing. For all the fighting and screaming and magic eruptions, I should never have been able to make out an individual voice, but just for a moment I could hear hers – in my head. It was accompanied by a musical chiming, and echoed by a second voice, one I’d heard but not quite heard once before…the voice of A’dal.

We can’t hold him forever.  GO!

I grabbed Edwin’s arm and pulled him through the portal as the ground shook and the walls quaked. The Caverns of Time disappeared in a dizzying rush of light, and the sounds of battle ringing in my ears faded into a memory of the future as I felt myself sliding back into the past.

I’ll see you on the other side.

 

The fire in which we burn

cavernsoftime2

Dranosh left with the Windrunner for Theramore. He brought Dontrag and Utvoch, which, I mean, I know this is really no time for jokes, but…HAHA! Poor fucker. Anyway, he’s going to see if he can find Faranell there, or in Thunder Bluff if need be. One way or another, Mokvar and I will meet him there when we’re done on our end.

We got Mokvar hooked up with a wyvern, and we both flew down from Ashenvale to Tanaris. Soridormi was there to greet us when we arrived at the Caverns of Time.

 

SORIDORMI: Overlord. Or do you still prefer “Warchief” in this reality? It’s so hard to know what to call certain people.

GARROSH: Doesn’t matter. Call me whatever.

SORIDORMI: Oh? So if I decide “Roshy” has a nice ring to it…?

GARROSH: Don’t get clever.

SORIDORMI: <wry grin> I’m afraid it’s far too late for that.

GARROSH: <grumbles> Fine, whatever. While you’re being all smug and smart, though, how about this – last time I was here, seems to me you might have, you know, neglected to mention a few minor details about this world.

SORIDORMI: In fairness, I did tell you all that there were other events that played out differently.

GARROSH: Which you totally made sound like “I’m just glossing over this since it’s not really that important.”

SORIDORMI: Did I? Hardly. Every moment is important, Garrosh. But at the time, there was no telling how much longer I had to detail matters further. We were – if you’ll pardon the expression – working on borrowed time.

GARROSH: And now?

SORIDORMI: This timeline has taken…a much firmer hold.

MOKVAR: The last few times we’ve shifted, our time here has gotten longer, and our time in the original timeline has gotten shorter…

SORIDORMI: <nods> This timeline is taking over as the predominant one. That overwriting of your reality will soon be complete, if it isn’t already.

GARROSH: Well then, since we’re in like 2% less of a rush now, how about you fill in a few gaps for us. Starting with, say, why it is that Orgrimmar is overrun right now by the Burning Legion and the Scourge, both of which we had pretty well under control last I checked.

SORIDORMI: In both cases, everything hinges on certain unexpected events involving the Battle of the Wrathgate.

GARROSH: Go on…

SORIDORMI: After the Alliance and Horde set aside their petty conflicts and united against the Lich King, Tirion Fordring’s Argent Crusade was able to assemble a strike force of the greatest champions from both factions. The team that Fordring would lead into Icecrown Citadel for the final assault would be far mightier even than the one that defeated Arthas in your timeline.

GARROSH: Okay, so I’m not seeing how that leads to things being WORSE.

SORIDORMI: It didn’t, at first. But you’ll recall, in the time leading up to the attack, the Lich King’s chief researcher was not Professor Putricide – Patrick Faranell – but Putress.

Soridormi holds out her hand and summons an image of Rotface and Festergut.

IMAGE OF ROTFACE: Daddy make toys out of you! WEEEEEE!

IMAGE OF FESTERGUT: Dead, dead, dead! Daddy, I did it!

SORIDORMI: Putricide’s most formidable creations, while strong, were ultimately…limited. Undermined by a lingering sentimentality that Putricide would carry into undeath from another life.

She shakes her hand, and the image changes to that of Patrick Faranell.

IMAGE OF PATRICKBetween you, me, and the walls, I’d rather like to have a couple sons… I remember how much Dad seemed to enjoy himself with us.

SORIDORMI: Putress’ malevolent ingenuity would have no such…humanity to temper it. He would furnish the Lich King with constructs more monstrous and strains of blight more virulent than anything known to your timeline.

GARROSH: Um, didn’t I ask you THIS VERY THING about Putress the last time?

SORIDORMI: You did. I didn’t give you an answer.

GARROSH: INDEED YOU DIDN’T.

MOKVAR: I think we might have distracted her, actually.

GARROSH: Whose side are you on?

MOKVAR: I’m on the side of us not standing around bickering over who said what and why.

GARROSH: Fine. So Putress invented some powerful shit, boy, don’t know why you never thought of that, Garrosh, go on please.

SORIDORMI: Strengthened by Putress’ creations, the Lich King would ultimately defeat Fordring’s even mightier strike force.

MOKVAR: So some of the most powerful heroes against the Scourge, from the Horde and Alliance, were all killed.

SORIDORMI: <pauses grimly> It would have been a kindness had they merely been killed.

Soridormi waves her hand, summoning a likeness of the Lich King.

lichking

IMAGE OF THE LICH KING: You trained them well, Fordring. You delivered the greatest fighting force this world has ever known…right into my hands – exactly as I intended.

MOKVAR: By the spirits…

GARROSH: He raised them as his minions…

SORIDORMI: And then killed Tirion Fordring. <closes her eyes a moment> And then raised him

IMAGE OF THE LICH KING: You could’ve been my greatest champion, Fordring. A force of darkness that would wash over this world and deliver it into a new age of strife.

SORIDORMI: …to lead his new army of Deathbringers.

Garrosh and Mokvar exchange troubled looks.

GARROSH: Okay… Bad news part one done… Now what about the demons?

SORIDORMI: A further consequence of the defeat in Icecrown Citadel… You may recall, in your time, after the fall of the Lich King, some of his former minions would find for themselves…new allegiances.

Soridormi conjures a shimmering likeness of Sylvanas Windrunner.

IMAGE OF SYLVANAS: With the death of the Lich King, many of the more intelligent Scourge became…unemployed… They are under my command now…

SORIDORMI: With the Lich King victorious, the val’kyr would never ally themselves with Sylvanas. Which would prove…unfortunate for the Forsaken.

Soridormi waves her hand. Above her palm appears an image of Sylvanas with Lord Godfrey and High Warlord Cromush at the Greymane Wall.

IMAGE OF SYLVANAS: Soldiers of the Horde! We are victorious! Lordaeron is w—

The image of Lord Godfrey draws a pistol and shoots Sylvanas point-blank. She immediately falls dead on the ground.

sylvanasfallen

IMAGE OF CROMUSH: What have you done, Godfrey?!

IMAGE OF GODFREY: Something that should have been done a long time ago, you filthy animal. Gilneas belongs to me, and so soon will the rest of Lordaeron!

SORIDORMI: In your timeline, Sylvanas was resurrected by her val’kyr servants. Here, she had no val’kyr to save her. Sylvanas Windrunner died – for the second and final time. In the aftermath of her death, leadership of the Undercity would pass to Sylvanas’ second, her majordomo of several years.

varimathras

The nathrezim Varimathras.

GARROSH: Varimathras? How? He’s…dead…oh no…

MOKVAR: <head sinks> The Wrathgate…

SORIDORMI: <nods> Without Putress in the Undercity, Varimathras had no collaborator with whom to conspire against the Banshee Queen. There was never a coup against Sylvanas. And without the coup against Sylvanas, Varimathras was never exposed as the traitor he was — his true loyalties to the Burning Legion never revealed. He carried on unimpeded, not only free to continue his scheming in the Undercity, but eventually becoming its leader. Much time did not pass before he carried out his master plan…

She waves her hand again, summoning the fiery red likeness of a monstrous eredar.

kiljaeden

…and summoned Kil’jaeden the Deceiver into this world. Bringing with him countless legions of demons from the Twisted Nether. Bringing with him the Second Fall of Lordaeron. Most of the Eastern Kingdoms was soon to follow.

GARROSH: Fucking hell…

MOKVAR: Soridormi… Edwin is in this world now, we think. If we can get him here, is there still time to undo all this?

SORIDORMI: If we can get him back to Southshore, we should be able to reset the timelines with both Edwins at the points they need to be.

GARROSH: Okay, great, so we’ll just collect him and get him down here and—

SORIDORMI: Actually getting him to old Southshore, though, is no easy task, and not without problems.

GARROSH: Dammit, I thought if I said that fast enough we could get out before the “but” kicked in.

MOKVAR: What’s the problem?

SORIDORMI: Sending Edwin back to period to which he’s already time-traveled involves crossing his own timeline in ways that no mortal was meant to do.

GARROSH: Ah…the whole “no double-dipping” thing.

SORIDORMI: To open a stable time portal for such a repeat incursion will require me to channel immense amounts of power – far more than I can summon up myself.

GARROSH: What about the Noz? He’s the head honcho time guy anyway, couldn’t he pull it off?

SORIDORMI: I am…the most powerful member of the Bronze Flight here.

GARROSH: How does that work? I mean I get that you’ve got this secret super time vision and whatever, but no offense, how did you get to be more powerful than Noz?

MOKVAR: Garrosh…

SORIDORMI: I’m not.

GARROSH: So what gives? Where is he, any…oh…oh no…

SORIDORMI: <looks down a moment> For a number of reasons…the final confrontation with Deathwing proved…far more costly in this timeline than in the other.

GARROSH: I… Wow do I feel like a jackass.

MOKVAR: This is what it finally took, huh?

GARROSH: So…we need a power source to tap into, then?

SORIDORMI: That’s right.

Garrosh stares off to one side, thinking anxiously.

MOKVAR: Not to bring up bad memories, Soridormi, but I don’t suppose the Dragon Soul is an option?

SORIDORMI: I would be, yes…

GARROSH: Okay, so—

SORIDORMI: Except that it has already been returned to its own time, and retrieving it a second time would involve the type of crossing of timelines that we need the power source for in the first place.

GARROSH: Okay, seriously, you’ve got to start leading with the “but” part of these answers.

MOKVAR: What about the spell book that Malchezaar used to bring the demons into Orgrimmar?

SORIDORMI: <shakes her head> The Book of Medivh is a powerful source of portal magic, for portals within this reality, but hardly helpful for the kind of temporal manipulation we’re undertaking.

GARROSH: <staring down, hesitant> What about…the Focusing Iris? From the Eye of Eternity?

SORIDORMI: <nods slowly> The Focusing Iris would work, yes. As a dragon relic, in fact, it should lend itself all the more easily to my use.

MOKVAR: Do we know where it is now?

GARROSH: The Blue Dragonflight is keeping it in Coldarra.

SORIDORMI: I will give you my talisman to show to the blues. They will give you the Iris if they know you’ve been sent by me. They’ll know I would not ask were the need not dire.

GARROSH: Okay then. I think we have a plan.

SORIDORMI: Indeed, Warchief.

GARROSH: You know what? Just call me Garrosh. People calling me “Warchief” here either gets confusing like with Utvoch earlier, or it’s just creepy like with Malchezaar.

MOKVAR: We should probably get go—

SORIDORMI: Wait, Garrosh – Malchezaar saw you, and called you “Warchief”?

GARROSH: Yeah, why?

SORIDORMI: <fidgets with her hands nervously> You need to go. Now. Take my talisman and get to Northrend quickly to recover the Focusing Iris.

MOKVAR: Why? What is it?

GARROSH: I’ve really kind of had my fill of flying blind around here. What’s got you spooked all of a sudden?

SORIDORMI: The Netherspace where Malchezaar dwelled was a distorted region of time.

GARROSH: Right, I know. Time loop, round and round, now he’s dead, now he’s not, boom. So what?

SORIDORMI: The Netherspace rests at the intersection of countless times. Those who dwell there can see into the different realities – bits and pieces, usually, but one never knows. If Malchezaar knows to call you “Warchief,” he has seen your other world. And in that case, he may well know enough – or could deduce – how the worlds fit together and how they might be corrected.

MOKVAR: It would really be nice if there could be some stupid people on the bad guys’ side for a change…

SORIDORMI: The Burning Legion stands on the brink of a victory on Azeroth that it has coveted for millennia. If they realize what we’re doing, they will not stand idly by. We need to act quickly.

GARROSH: Got it. Be doing whatever you need to do to get ready, Soridormi. We’ll be back with Edwin and the Focusing Iris.

SORIDORMI: I hope so, Garrosh. Titans watch over you.

 

We winged it double-time to Thunder Bluff. I’m writing from there now. Dranosh and the others haven’t arrived yet, but I’ve sent a messenger to Theramore with the barest bare-bones of what we need to do. I’m guessing he’ll be headed here by nightfall, morning at the latest, and then we can get moving.

Next stop, Northrend.

 

 

[Sylvanas and Kil’jaeden images above provided by Rioriel from Postcards From Azeroth, reproduced here with permission and many thanks. Click on the links in the previous sentence to see the souped-up Postcards versions!]

 

Time isn’t after us

soridormi

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

 

Garrosh looks around again.

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

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

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

GARROSH: Wait, our COUNTERPARTS?

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

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

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

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

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

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

LIADRIN: An alternate timeline.

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

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

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

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

Liadrin chuckles briefly.

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

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

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

Mokvar starts chuckling, quickly descending into raucous laughter.

Um, dude, what’s so funny?

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

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

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

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

GARROSH: <still laughing> Oh SHIT!

MOKVAR: <doubled over> Hahaha…what?

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

MOKVAROHHHH! HAHAHA!!

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

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

Liadrin turns back to Soridormi and rolls her eyes.

LIADRIN: Boys will be boys.

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

SORIDORMI: Sadly, so will grown men.

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

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

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

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

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

LIADRIN: Oh no.

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

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

GARROSH: Then what did he change?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GARROSH: The hell…

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

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

LIADRIN: Dominoes…

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

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

putress

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

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

LIADRIN: By the Light…

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

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

LIADRIN: Garroh, no… Think…the Wrathgate

GARROSH: Oh… OH…

MOKVAR: Oh shit…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Liadrin looks down at the Ashbringer in her hands.

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

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

Soridormi nods.

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

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

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

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

LIADRIN: Edwin. It’s all about Edwin…

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

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

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

MOKVAR: Still trying to wrap my head around this…

SORIDORMI: It is much to absorb, I know.

MOKVAR: But…what do we do now?

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

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

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

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

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

CHROMIE: Sure thing, captain.

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

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

FARANELL: Yeah…um…

EITRIGG: It happened again, didn’t it?

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

Faranell nods and sighs.

LIADRIN: Where were you this time, Edwin?

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

MOKVAR: Sounds like it.

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

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

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

TIRION: If…you say so, Warchief…

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

GARROSH: Yeah. Thanks, Noz.

Nozdormu nods solemnly and walks off.

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

 

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

More soon.

 

daria

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

 

Time isn’t holding us

cavernsoftime

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

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

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

 

SORIDORMI: Greetings once again, Warchief.

GARROSH: Sori. You already know Mokvar here.

Soridormi nods politely to Mokvar.

MOKVAR: Ma’am.

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

EITRIGG: Lady Soridormi.

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

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

GARROSH: Just let it slide, Eitrigg.

MOKVAR: Uh oh. Fog alert.

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

EITRIGG: Iiiissss aaaannnnyyyyoooonnnneeee eeeellllsssseeee nnnnoooottttiiiicccciiiinnnngggg…?

MOKVAR: Yyyyyoooouuuu ggggeeeetttt uuuusssseeeedddd ttttoooo iiiitttt.

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

NOZDORMU: Warchief.

GARROSH: Noz.

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

MOKVAR: Every. Single. Time.

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

GARROSH: You could say that.

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

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

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

GARROSH: Tirion, Liadrin.

MOKVAR: Hey Edwin.

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

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

TIRION: Timeless One?

NOZDORMU: Never mind.

EITRIGG: Tirion!

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

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

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

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

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

NOZDORMU: Well, that was slightly less painful.

MOKVAR: Did you just fast-forward him?

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

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

GARROSH: Dammit.

MOKVAR: Nice try, boss.

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

TIRION: Well now, ladies and gentlemen…

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

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

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

NODORMU: Oh…oh, that’s not good…

GARROSH: Oh boy…

FARANELL: What’s wrong?

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

FARANELL: Um, okay…

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

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

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

FARANELL: Because I’m not from this time…

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

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

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

NOZDORMU: It’s not so simple with him.

GARROSH: That was simple?

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

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

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

NOZDORMU: Unstuck in time, yes.

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

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

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

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

NOZDORMU: Warchief, what did you do yesterday?

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

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

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

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

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

GARROSH: I…well, no.

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

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

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

NOZDORMU: That…I’m not as sure of.

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

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

Chromie teleports in next to Nozdormu.

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

FARANELL: Cut off from my own future.

LIADRIN: Unstuck in time.

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

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

FARANELL: We’re aware, yes.

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

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

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

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

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

 

{TO BE CONTINUED…}

 

Past imperfect

southshore1

So we finally have things in motion to find out just what Isilien and Doan wind up doing with the light crystal. We’re hoping we can stay close to whatever we’re doing, and then get a read on whatever kind of magic they end up using the create the anti-plague effect. To that end, we brought a special magic component – something called a chameleon shard. When it’s put in close proximity to a magically-charged object or field, it attunes itself to it and basically recreates the magic properties inside its own…crystalline…matrix, I think it is? Anyway, point is, it sucks up a carbon copy of the magic close to it and locks it up so we can take it with us without it going kablooey, and once we have THAT done at the original, untriggered source of this thing, we should be able to use it to create a counter-effect.

Which leads us to the latest meeting of the minds from this morning…

 

MOKVAR: So what’s the game plan for tonight?

GARROSH: Isilien said we should pay him a visit after dark tonight. By that point, with any luck, he’ll have finished whatever he’s been working on with Doan, and we can get a look at the end results.

MOKVAR: What if it’s still a work in progress?

GARROSH: Well, then I guess we get to follow the ongoing work.

FARANELL: That could end up being helpful in itself. Depending on just what they’re doing, watching them actually formulating it might make it easier to determine a way to counter it.

MOKVAR: One thing, though. If you’re there, and they’re still working on it, won’t they want you guys to help them with it?

GARROSH: Probably.

MOKVAR: Won’t that be a problem? I mean, I’m guessing we weren’t supposed to create the problem we came back in time to try to solve.

LIADRIN: Maybe. Maybe not. For all we know, we were always part of the creation of this thing.

GARROSH: Either way, we can try to keep our help to a minimum, at least.

LIADRIN: It shouldn’t be terribly difficult to create the appearance of helping without interfering too much. Just listen to what they’re already thinking, then nudge them further in that direction without really feeding them any ideas they wouldn’t have come to regardless.

GARROSH: Also, Mokvar, I’m going to have you stay back for this one. You and Utvoch wait here in the room, or hang out downstairs if it looks clear, but I’m just going to go with Liadrin and Faranell, since they’re the ones who really need to check on this thing up close.

MOKVAR: Whatever you say, chief.

LIADRIN: Is there anything else we need to have in place before we go?

GARROSH: The only other thing is having the chameleon shard ready, in case they manage to get their little doohickey completely done tonight.

FARANELL: You’ve been holding it, haven’t you, Utvoch? I should probably give it a few arcane charges before we go, to have it warmed up just in case.

UTVOCH: Yeah, I’ve got it here.

Utvoch sets down his pack and starts digging through it.

MOKVAR: Say, Garrosh, I just realized, are you sure you don’t want me coming tonight to take notes?

GARROSH: <shakes head> Isilien was already less than thrilled about bringing in more people, and Doan didn’t seem like he’s going to be very friendly. I don’t want to push my luck inviting more people than necessary to the party, much less setting off any bells by having someone hanging around writing down everything everyone says.

MOKVAR: Yeah, true. I was just thinking this might be the part of the trip where we’d especially like to keep a record of things.

LIADRIN: I can always write it up after we’re done, as well. I do agree it’s to our benefit to record as much of this as possible, especially in case we need to keep our stories straight for timeline purposes.

FARANELL: I can help with that when you’re working on it. I have an eidetic memory, so I should be able to cover most of what ends up being said.

UTVOCH: <still rifling around in his pack> Wait, you dead what?

FARANELL: No, eidetic.

LIADRIN: It means a photographic memory.

UTVOCH: Oh. What’s photographic?

GARROSH: Hold on. You have an eidetic memory?

FARANELL: Yeah. I was tested for it as a kid and everything. <chuckles> Only reason Patrick didn’t wind up three grades ahead of me.

GARROSH: So can I ask you something?

FARANELL: Yes?

GARROSH: If you’re supposed to have this uber-memory, how come you’re always forgetting shit?

MOKVAR: You do seem pretty forgetful sometimes.

FARANELL: I don’t know why people keep saying that.

GARROSH: Because it’s true?

FARANELL: I’ll have you know, I can recite back to you every book I’ve read in the last five years.

LIADRIN: Well, it might just be that he has excellent recall of specific sights and sounds, or language? But broader events slip his memory sometimes?

FARANELL: “Our first day went as well as one can expect first days to go. Most of our time was preoccupied with making the necessary arrangements to establish a base camp. I located an ideal setting by a freshwater river inlet. Judging by the old, abandoned docks nearby, this site was inhabited sometime ago. As for the original inhabitants, only time can tell that tale.” Just saying.

GARROSH: Okay, fine, you have a perfect memory except for when you don’t. Go ahead and help Liadrin with the recordkeeping if it makes you happy.

UTVOCH: So, um, guys? I think we have a problem.

MOKVAR: Oh no.

FARANELL: Here we go.

GARROSH: What is it?

UTVOCH: Well, um…I don’t think the shard is here.

LIADRIN: That’s kind of bad.

GARROSH: What. Do you mean. The shard. Isn’t HERE?

UTVOCH: I don’t know, I was keeping it in my pack, only it’s not here now…

FARANELL: Let me see that.

Faranell grabs the pack from Utvoch and starts sifting through its contents, tossing assorted pieces of junk onto the floor.

GARROSH: Fucking hell, Utvoch, you had ONE FUCKING JOB on this trip…

FARANELL: Nope…nope… No – for goodness’ sake, man, how many comic books do you need?

LIADRIN: Could someone have gotten to it while you were away from the room or some such?

UTVOCH: No, it’s been in that pack since we got here, and I’ve kept the pack with me the entire time.

MOKVAR: You’re sure you didn’t leave it alone around someone?

UTVOCH: Of course I didn’t, what do you think I’m stupid or something?

Everyone looks around at each other for a moment.

GARROSH: You know what? Any other time that would have been really funny, but right now I’m not in the fucking mood.

FARANELL: <handing the pack brusquely back to Utvoch> Well, that settles it. It’s definitely not here.

UTVOCH: <looking through pack again> Hey, I had a Nutterbar in here that’s gone, too.

MOKVAR: Utvoch, nobody cares about your stupid candy bar.

GARROSH: Hang on.

LIADRIN: Oh no.

GARROSH: Utvoch, you’re SURE you’ve kept that pack with you the whole time we’ve been in Southshore?

UTVOCH: Positive.

GARROSH: <rubbing his head> Yeah… So…

FARANELL: Oh…no.

GARROSH: Shiny, gimmicky-looking crystal, AND a candy bar missing, AND he’s been spending almost all his time doing what…?

LIADRIN: <sighs> By the Light, Utvoch…

UTVOCH: Spending all my time…? Oh CRAP, you think the kid took it?

GARROSH: Tirion’s brat is the only person you’ve been around for any length of time since we’ve been here. Unless you think THRALL made off with it?

UTVOCH: Do you think Thrall would have taken—OWW!

MOKVAR: Hey, um, why is there all this smoke in here all of sudden?

GARROSH: Of COURSE Thrall wouldn’t have taken it!

LIADRIN: There isn’t something burning, is there?

FARANELL: No, this isn’t ffrroomm aa ffiirree.

MOKVAR: Wwhhyy aarree yyoouu ttaallkkiinngg ssoo ssllooww—oohh, nneevveerr mmiinndd…

GARROSH: OOhh bbooyyy. HHHeeerrreee wwweee gggooo aaagggaaaiiinnn….

The smoke thickens as Soridormi and Chromie teleport into the room, flanking the door. A few seconds later, Nozdormu strolls pimps [Word choice revised at the Warchief’s insistence. –Mkvr., ed.] into the room in slow motion.

NOZDORMU: Greetings, Warchief.

CHROMIE: Hiya, guys!

GARROSH: Hey— <waves his hand around in front of his face for a moment to see if it’s moving at normal speed> Okay, that’s better. Hey Noz.

MOKVAR: Is that really necessary?

NOZDORMU: Is what really necessary?

Soridormi, standing behind Nozdormu, shakes her head vigorously while waving one hand side to side.

MOKVAR: Never mind.

CHROMIE: <giggles>

GARROSH: So I’m guessing this isn’t just a social call.

NOZDORMU: Indeed, Warchief.

SORIDORMI: We’re concerned that something may be amiss with your mission.

FARANELL: Oh, you have no idea.

NOZDORMU: I’ve detected a disturbance in the timeline, located roughly around this point. At this stage it’s difficult for me to pinpoint its origin exactly; whatever the key events are, I suspect they’re still in their early stages of unfolding, and without my Aspect powers I find my ability to see through the cracks in the timeline more limited than they were. Nevertheless, something in the proper progression of these events has been disrupted.

MOKVAR: Yeah, um…

GARROSH: About that.

FARANELL: Really? So we traveled back ten years, got a bunch of Alliance from the future killed in the past, there’s two copies of me running around within like ten yards of each other, we’ve dropped a highly sensitive and powerful magical attunement device into the hands of a kid who’s going to grow up to be a xenophobic nutjob—

CHROMIE: You really want to get that back pronto, by the way.

FARANELL: —and  now you’re telling us that something has been disrupted in the timeline? Imagine my astonishment.

NOZDORMU: You know, it’s not too late for me to skip back about thirty years and arrange for a certain someone never to have been born.

GARROSH: At the rate this is going, could you get me too on the way back?

MOKVAR: Wouldn’t it be better just to erase Utvoch?

GARROSH: You know what? Good call. Let’s go with that instead.

UTVOCH: Wait, what? He’s going to do what to me?

GARROSH: Shouldn’t you be busy right now THINKING ABOUT WHAT YOU’VE DONE?

UTVOCH: Sorry, sir.

NOZDORMU: At…any rate.

SORIDORMI: I wish we could give you more specific information, but unfortunately…

NOZDORMU: All I can really tell you is that something is amiss, but still very much in flux. You need to take extreme care not to cause any further disturbances in the events of this time, and get back to your own time as quickly as possible.

FARANELL: So, in other words, don’t mess up. Thanks, that helps a lot.

NOZDORMU: Or I could fast-forward you up to the day of your death. That could work too, you know.

FARANELL: Already been there, actually.

NOZDORMU: Would you like a return trip?

SORIDORMI: <giving Nozdormu a gentle tug on the shoulder> We…know this is a hectic and confusing time for you all. We simply mean to impress upon you the importance of the utmost caution.

GARROSH: Believe me, nobody wants to find the source of that anti-plague thing and get out of here without a fuss more than me.

LIADRIN: And by the looks of it, I’d say we’re not far off.

UTVOCH: Can I ask a stupid question?

GARROSH: Like nobody I’ve ever met.

UTVOCH: Huh?

GARROSH: Never mind. Ask.

UTVOCH: Well okay, you guys are going to try to see what caused that thing that’s killing the undead, right?

GARROSH: Only a week in and you’ve already pieced that together, huh? You’re getting sharp on me.

FARANELL: In other words, yes.

UTVOCH: Well then, begging your pardon, Warchief, not to question your great and imperious judgment, but while we’re here, couldn’t we just stop those guys from doing it in the first place?

LIADRIN, NOZDORMU, and SORIDORMI: <overlapping> No.

UTVOCH: Oh. Why not?

LIADRIN: Paradoxes.

UTVOCH: Wait, parrot oxes? You mean we’ll create some weird new animal or something?

CHROMIE: Oi, this one’s a shitake mushroom for brains…

UTVOCH: Actually, you know, parrot oxes could be kind of cool…

LIADRIN: No. Paradoxes. If we prevent the anti-plague from being created in the past, when we get to the future, the anti-plague won’t exist, but then there won’t be a reason for us to come to the past anymore, so we won’t, so then the anti-plague will be created, and so forth, in an endless self-canceling loop.

CHROMIE: See, see, I told you I liked her!

UTVOCH: …So you could have the parrot oxes plowing the fields, but while they’re doing that they could talk, and that would probably make the work go faster since I bet working in the fields for hours gets pretty boring, and—

Utvoch finds himself unable to finish his sentence, as his train of thought is interrupted by his unplanned transformation into a sheep.

FARANELL: Okay. That’s enough from him.

LIADRIN: Ha! You polymorphed him?

GARROSH: Dude, that’s…that’s just…I don’t even have a word for how much awesome that is.

UTVOCH: <bleats>

MOKVAR: Hmm, you know, that’s giving me an idea…

NOZDORMU: At this point I suppose we should leave you to your work…

CHROMIE: You definitely want to work on getting that shard thingy back fast.

LIADRIN: I would imagine Tirion would be a fairly strict father. I suppose if we told him we think his son might have stolen something, he would—

GARROSH: Maybe make the kid give it back, yeah, and maybe ask “Oh, so what is this thing my kid swiped? Oh, a magical shard, what for?” And maybe ask Doan about it, who almost definitely is going to know his chameleon shards. And maybe Tirion gets curious about what these people hanging out with Isilien have one of THOSE for…

LIADRIN: Hmm, true, probably too risky, I suppose…

CHROMIE: Oh feldercarb, you people need to stop dancing around it! Just grab the kid and steal it back! What’s he going to do, stop you? He’s a kid!

UTVOCH: <bleats>

FARANELL: Well, to be fair, he could call his fairly powerful, well-connected paladin dad, who we absolutely can’t harm while we’re here, so…

CHROMIE: Fine, fine, so you just keep him incapacitated while you steal it! You can…well jiminy, Faranell could sheep him just like Utvoch…

UTVOCH: <bleats>

CHROMIE: Or you could hex him, or, I don’t care, Throwdown or Repentance, or… flipping flux capacitor, you’ve got a room full of crowd control here, do you really need me drawing a diagram for you guys?

GARROSH: Wow, you’ve REALLY got a yen for us to mug this kid, don’t you?

CHROMIE: Hey, do you want your thingymabob back or not?

MOKVAR: Actually, along those lines, I was thinking… Since you all have powers over time, would it be possible for you to give one of us…well, a buff, I suppose. To prolong the duration of a spell like polymorph?

CHROMIE: Huh… What do you think, skipper?

NOZDORMU: It would be simple enough, though such an enhancement would have to have a very limited number of charges…

FARANELL: You’re thinking you’d want me to hit Taelan with a super-polymorph?

MOKVAR: Actually I was thinking more of my hex. What I had in mind—

The door to the room swings open and Kelly the innkeeper barges in.

KELLY: Hey, what’s going on up here? I’m hearing all kinds of noise down in the… <looks down at Utvoch the sheep> …lobby…

GARROSH: Oh, hey, um…

LIADRIN: There’s…a very simple explanation for that.

FARANELL: Yes, there is, although regrettably it reflects rather poorly on all of us…

UTVOCH: <bleats>

KELLY: What the blazes are you people doing with a sheep up here? We don’t… <glances over and notices Nozdormu and Soridormi> …High elves? Gracious, we haven’t seen high elves in Southshore in I don’t know how long. I didn’t think you went slumming far beyond Dalaran…

SORIDORMI: Yes, well…

GARROSH: Um, yeah, I can explain them, too.

NOZDORMU: You can?

SORIDORMI: He can.

NOZDORMU: I hope so.

KELLY: I’m listening.

GARROSH: Look… Mr. Kelly… I’m going to level with you. Clearly you, um, you’re an observant guy, so you must be aware that there’s a lot of strange business going on around here these days.

KELLY: Mostly since you lot turned up, yes.

GARROSH: Right. Well. Um, yes, that’s why we’re here, you see. My people and I are…um…special investigators sent by the king. We have a…a number of leads concerning some suspicious activities leading us to Southshore, and me and my fellow royal investigators are here to…um…investigate. Royally.

FARANELL: <aside to Garrosh> Smooth.

KELLY: The king sent… Wait, which king?

GARROSH: Which king? Oh, well… <aside to Liadrin> Who’s the king now?

LIADRIN: <aside> Of which kingdom?

GARROSH: <aside, hissing> Just GIVE ME A FUCKING NAME!

LIADRIN: Terenas!

GARROSH: Terenas! Yes, yes, good old King Terenas!

KELLY: Ahh, all right, so you’re sent from here in Lordaeron. For a minute, as strange as you were acting, I thought you might have been sent from Stormwind or some such damn thing.

GARROSH: Oh no, no, we’re definitely looking out for dear old Lordaeron.

KELLY: A good thing, too, as I was going to have words for you if you said you’d been sent by that hot-headed damn brat of a king they have down there!

GARROSH: Wait, brat…? You mean Varian?

KELLY: Yessir! Fuck that Varian, if you ladies will pardon my language!

GARROSH: Oh HELL yes! I KNEW I liked you, Kelly! I’ll be sure to give a fine report on you to good old Tyranus.

LIADRIN: Terenas.

GARROSH: Whoever the fuck he is!

KELLY: Well hold on now.

GARROSH: Hmm?

KELLY: First of all, you say you’re royal investigators, and that sounds all well and good, but how do I know you’re telling the truth?

GARROSH: I…have an honest face?

KELLY: Lots of liars do! If you’re really sent by the king, you surely must have sort of papers to prove you are who you say you are.

GARROSH: Oh. Right. Where did I put those…um…

Nozdormu and Soridormi exchange a look, Soridormi nods, and Nozdormu sighs briefly.

NOZDORMU: Did you forget…Inspector? You asked me to hold your royal orders.

GARROSH: I did?

NOZDORMU: <glaring> I don’t know, did you?

GARROSH: OH RIGHT. I did. Yes. You have the documents on you, then?

NOZDORMU: <handing Garrosh some papers> Here you are, Inspector.

GARROSH: Uh, but these are blank—

SORIDORMI: I’m sure, Inspector, if you let good Mr. Kelly here review the documents, he’ll find everything is in order…

GARROSH: Right, right, sure…

Garrosh hands the papers to Kelly, who flips through them for a moment.

KELLY: Well, you’re right…I would know Terenas’ seal anywhere… I suppose you are who you say…

GARROSH: Hell yes! Now if you’ll excuse us, Mr. Kelly—

KELLY: <turning to face Nozdormu, Soridormi, and Chromie> I’m still curious what business high elves have with this investigation of yours, though, Inspector. And…a gnome?

CHROMIE: Hiya!

GARROSH: Ah. Right, well, you see, Mr. Kelly, these are special undercover agents, on loan from Silvermoon and…someplace where there are gnomes. Regrettably. Anyway, these are my top operatives – The Legs, The Noz, and Mrs. Robbin’-Son.

CHROMIE: I hate you.

GARROSH: No you don’t.

KELLY: Huh. I see. Well I suppose that explains that—

Behind Kelly’s back, Utvoch’s polymorph wears off and he poofs back into his human appearance.

UTVOCH: The hell was—

Liadrin slaps a hand over Utvoch’s mouth, and she and Faranell pull him back to stand with them.

LIADRIN: Ssshhh!!

KELLY: —but you still haven’t accounted for having a damned sheep in your room!

LIADRIN: What sheep?

FARANELL: I don’t see a sheep.

UTVOCH: Did you guys not see—OWW!!

KELLY: <looking around> It was right here when I first came in.

GARROSH: Are you sure?

MOKVAR: I don’t remember there being a sheep in here.

FARANELL: I’m pretty sure I would have noticed if there were a sheep in my room.

GARROSH: I wouldn’t be much of an inspector if I’d missed something like that.

LIADRIN: Certainly not one of the king’s select agents.

GARROSH: Yep yep. Right hand man of King Terribad, that’s me.

LIADRIN: Actually, it’s Tere—

GARROSH: It’s what his friends call him.

LIADRIN: Of course.

KELLY: Hmm… Well… It must be gone now. Though I haven’t a notion of where it could have gone. I know there was something up here making noises!

LIADRIN: Mr. Kelly, perhaps you should get some rest. I’m concerned that you may be working too hard and starting to imagine things.

KELLY: I’m not imagining things, missy. I’m sure I heard a sheep up in this—

Kelly finds himself unable to finish his sentence, as his assertion is interrupted by his transformation into a sheep.

GARROSH: Well I’ll be damned. He’s right.

LIADRIN: Faranell!

FARANELL: Did you have a way in mind to get him to leave? That didn’t also involve gallons of delightful irony?

GARROSH: Okay, okay, Utvoch, you herd the innkeeper on downstairs real quick, and then we can get back to business.

UTVOCH: Yes, sir.

NOZDORMU: And, for my part, I believe the time has come for me to make my exit. Before I’m forced to witness any more absurdity that I can never unwitness.

GARROSH: Later, Noz.

SORIDORMI: <aside> I don’t know why it surprises you, of all people.

NOZDORMU: <aside> It’s not that it surprises me, it’s just… Ugh, that one in particular.

SORIDORMI: <aside> Well don’t blame me. I didn’t have to find a nice Mag’har girl to get to coincidentally cross paths with Grom…

NOZDORMU: <aside> I know, I know, I thought it would calm him down a bit.

SORIDORMI: <aside> And how did that work out?

 

So anyway…as much as I’d like to invest some more time in beating some sense (or unconsciousness) into Utvoch, that’s going to have to wait for now. Mokvar seems to have some kind of brainstorm for something we can do, and we’re starting to run short on time, so we’ve got to get things rolling. More soon.

 

kelly

“Why do I have a sudden craving for dandelions?”