Tag Archives: nazgrim

Invasion incoming

eitrigg

In light of the reports coming in from both Nazgrim and Krog from Pandaria, I decided we need to step up preparations for a full-scale military operation there. Nazgrim’s been holding his own reasonably well under the circumstances…well, he WAS until this last report, anyway, and then…well, you know. Point is, he’s been trying to keep it together down there, but it’s about time we gave our general an honest-to-goodness army to work with.

So, earlier today I held a strategy session to make plans to send a full invasion force to Pandaria. We had the usual suspects there — Eitrigg, Malkorok, Mokvar to take notes. Malkorok had his lieutenant Rak’gor Bloodrazor sit in for the planning. Plus…an extra unexpected attendee, who…well, you’ll see.

Cut to the transcript.

 

GARROSH: First, a status update. The latest from Nazgrim is that he and his people are licking their wounds from a major battle with the Alliance forces down there. They’ve moved from the Jade Forest to a town in the northern mountains while they recover. Most of them, anyway.

EITRIGG: Are Nazgrim and his team all right?

GARROSH: Scratched up but still kicking, from what I gather. Always hard to tell with Nazgrim — he’ll never let on if he’s really hurt. You know him.

MALKOROK: I assume our forces were victorious against the Alliance dogs, as they’re alive to tell the tale?

GARROSH: Not so much. The battle was basically a stalemate.

MALKOROK: You mean to say, Warchief, that that fool Nazgrim failed not only to defeat a depleted Alliance force, but even to go down fighting like an orc? And now he has the audacity to report this disgrace from the comfort of some remote bed while he nurses his wounds like a human?

EITRIGG: Considering what Nazgrim seems to have had to work with…

MALKOROK: And now you defend his incompetence, old man?

GARROSH: Well hey, look, Malkorok. Believe me, I’m all for being tough on the troops and all that, but to be fair, Nazgrim DID lose most of his actual Horde soldiers in the crash of the Hellscream’s Fist.

MALKOROK: And proceeded to offset those losses by recruiting from among the locals, did he not?

GARROSH: Yeah, but look at the locals. I mean, dude, you know how I’m always saying it’s like I’ve got a bunch of trained monkeys working for me? <scans around the room> No offense. But yeah, Nazgrim? LITERALLY had a bunch of trained monkeys to work with.

MALKOROK: What about the Alliance?

GARROSH: What about them?

MALKOROK: The Alliance reportedly took heavy losses and drew support from the natives as well. Who did they have fighting for them?

EITRIGG: <scanning notes> I think Krog included something about this in one of his reports…

GARROSH: Something with a “J,” I think.

MOKVAR: Jinyu.

GARROSH: Yeah, that’s it, jinyu.

MOKVAR: <paging through reports> Which…from the way Krog describes them…would be a race of…sort of…king-size murlocs.

GARROSH: <blinks, then rubs forehead> …The FUCK is Nazgrim doing down there?

MALKOROK: You see?

EITRIGG: Do we know anything else about the battle with the Alliance? I will grant, it doesn’t sound like Nazgrim to flee the battlefield…

GARROSH: Nazgrim’s report was pretty sketchy on the details there. I’ve gotten some extra intel from Krog to fill it out some, though. Looks like the battle between Nazgrim’s monkeys and the Alliance fish men…

Garrosh trails off, then stares into the distance for a moment.

EITRIGG: Warchief?

MOKVAR: Garrosh?

Garrosh shakes his head and pulls his attention back.

GARROSH: Yeah. Sorry. I just heard myself saying that last part and had to take a minute to be sad. Where was I?

MOKVAR: Monkeys versus fish men.

GARROSH: Yeah. Monkeys versus fish men. So according to— I mean seriously, doesn’t that sound like a bad videogame or something?

MOKVAR: Just watch, if Spazzle isn’t coding that already, he will as soon as he reads this.

GARROSH: I know, right?

EITRIGG: Warchief…focus, please.

GARROSH: Yeah, yeah, okay… So… <sighs> …monkeys versus fish men. Which I guess took place at the foot of this huge statue in a place called Serpent’s Heart. From what I can gather, the battle was pretty even, which is kind of depressing  in itself, considering, when it was broken up by the arrival of this giant black monster. Which basically wiped out both sides and left the survivors fucked up and scattered.

MALKOROK: What kind of monster could take out both armies?

GARROSH: From what Krog reported, it…

Vol’jin enters.

Hang on. What are YOU doing here, troll?

VOL’JIN: I heard dere was a meetin’ going’ on, mon. I figured mah invitation musta got lost in da mail.

GARROSH: Uh, yeah, as if I would have sent YOU an invitation for these planning sessions…

VOL’JIN: Ya see now, mon? Ya be tinkin’ a me as such a good friend, I don’ even be needin’ an invitation! Dat’s why everybody loves ya, mon.

GARROSH: <rubbing forehead> What. Do you WANT. Vol’jin?

VOL’JIN: I hear ya be plannin’ an invasion in Pandaria, mon, and I be here ta keep an eye on what ya be doin’.

GARROSH: Keep an eye on me? I don’t answer to you, troll, nor do I have to EXPLAIN myself to you, so if you’re here to make life difficult, you can just head back to your island now.

VOL’JIN: I be da leader of da Darkspear, mon, an’ I got a right ta know what da Horde be doin’.

MALKOROK: You know I can easily take care of—

GARROSH: Not now, Malkorok. <grumbles> Fine. You can sit in, Vol’jin. TRY not to make yourself into too much of a toothache.

VOL’JIN: Oh don’cha be worryin’ ’bout me, mon. Ya won’t even know I be here. It’ll be like I be invisible.

Garrosh stares at Vol’jin for a long moment, then exchanges several pensive glances with Eitrigg and Mokvar. He looks back to Vol’jin again and eyes him for another moment.

GARROSH: Okay, well—

VOL’JIN: Like da Lich King’s horse!

GARROSH: Just SIT DOWN and SHUT UP, Vol’jin.

VOL’JIN: Sure, mon.

Vol’jin takes a seat at the conference table next to Malkorok. Malkorok glances at him and sneers; Vol’jin answers with an exaggerated grin.

GARROSH: So as I was saying, like an hour ago…about the creature at Serpent’s Heart. Apparently it was something the pandas call a “sha” — sort of a demon that feeds off of powerful emotions.

VOL’JIN: <eyes narrow> You don’ say, mon…

MALKOROK: Hmm…interesting… I wonder if our warlocks could influence these sha. If they’re strong enough to take down two armies, they could be a powerful resource if harnessed…

VOL’JIN: Dat be some bad mojo ya talkin’ ’bout, mon.

MALKOROK: I thought you were going to be quiet, troll.

MOKVAR: He’s right, though — these sha don’t sound like something we want to risk meddling with.

EITRIGG: As it stands, I’m already troubled enough by some reports I’ve seen of demonic summoning by some of the initial fleet…

MOKVAR: Wait, seriously?

MALKOROK: You two would have our warlocks not avail themselves of all the power at their disposal for the benefit of the Horde?

MOKVAR: Didn’t “our warlocks” get themselves into enough trouble already “availing” themselves of demonic power?

MALKOROK: Yes, let’s have the scribe lecture us on the proper conduct of warlocks.

MOKVAR: I used to be a warlock.

MALKOROK: Oh, that’s right, you were, weren’t you? Then by all means continue, scribe. Tell us more about the evils of seeking power through demonology.

Mokvar looks back to his notes awkwardly.

GARROSH: Look, the fact is, Nazgrim doesn’t have the people or the resources to establish a strong Horde presence in Pandaria or prevent the Alliance from doing the same. I already have ships being prepared for a large-scale incursion. The southern coast of Pandaria has a few locations that sound like they’d be well-suited for a base. We can scout a specific spot while we finish gathering troops and equipment for the trip.

EITRIGG: Grizzle Gearslip of the Bilgewater goblins says the construction team should have siege engines ready within a week or so.

GARROSH: Well tell me this — when he says “a week or so,” does he mean a WEEK OR SO “week or so,” or is this a maybe-in-your-lifetime “week or so” like when those goblins “week or so”-ed their estimate on rebuilding the Orgrimmar ramparts after the Cataclysm? Which they STILL haven’t finished two years later, by the way.

VOL’JIN: So we be doin’ dis, eh mon? Bringin’ da war to dis new land?

MALKOROK: The war has already been brought, troll. We now bring only victory.

GARROSH: Once the equipment and siege engines are ready, it’s just a matter of lining up troop deployments.

MALKOROK: Most able-bodied adults not otherwise committed to important duties have been conscripted for service, Warchief. Rak’gor and I are in the process of assigning veteran supervisors to the new trainee program as well.

EITRIGG: What trainee program is this? I haven’t heard anything about it.

MALKOROK: Nor would you. It’s a Kor’kron program.

EITRIGG: I didn’t realize the Kor’kron operated in secret now. Has Saurfang adopted some new policy?

MALKOROK: <visibly annoyed> The program…is for recruiting and training of orcish youth for service to the Horde, as per the Warchief’d edict after the Northwatch Hold…events.

EITRIGG: Orcish youth? What age do you mean?

MALKOROK: I shouldn’t need to tell you the traditional age of passage, old man. Fourteen — the age a youth is fit to take a blade for the honor of his clan.

VOL’JIN: By da spirits, mon, dey be children!

MALKOROK: A boy is a man the day he can slay a foe in defense of home and kin, troll. I wouldn’t expect you to understand such things.

VOL’JIN: Yah, mon, I really don’ get out much. Ya know, I don’ get invited to da cool kid parties.

GARROSH: Can’t imagine why.

MALKOROK: Nevertheless…don’t make it out as if the trainees are being handed swords and pushed blindly onto a battlefield — they are being trained and guided by some of our finest warriors. If anything, this is an honor.

GARROSH: Fourteen, though, huh? I thought it was fifteen.

MALKOROK: No, Warchief, fourteen.

GARROSH: Are you certain? I’m pretty sure it was always fifteen back in Nagrand.

MALKOROK: No, sir. I suppose that might have been a regional difference?

GARROSH: Huh, okay. Fourteen, then.

VOL’JIN: I don’ be likin’ da sound a dis, mon. Not one bit a it. Draggin’ our war into other people’s lands, roundin’ up children ta make inta soldiers…

GARROSH: Well imagine my surprise, Vol’jin. Imagine my complete and total SHOCK to see YOU griping and complaining about what I’m doing. You know, I might actually LISTEN to some of these objections of yours if you didn’t object to EVERY SINGLE THING I do.

VOL’JIN: Maybe if ya listened once in a while before ya did dese tings, mon, ya wouldn’t have to listen to people complainin’ after ya did ’em.

MALKOROK: I don’t hear anyone complaining except for you, troll. Other than that simpering tauren you usually have leading you by the nose. I’m half surprised he’s not here as well.

VOL’JIN: I drew da short straw, mon.

GARROSH: All right, enough of this. Both of you quiet down. It’s settled — we’re moving ahead with the Pandaria plan and getting ready for a departure within the next few weeks. And TROLL, get this into your head: this is happening. And I have no intention of listening to you bellyache every step of the way.

VOL’JIN: Don’cha worry ’bout dat, mon. If dere be one ting I know by now, it’s dat you ain’t gonna listen.

GARROSH: Damn right. You’re finally getting it. Okay then… I think that covers everything. I have another meeting I need to get to in the Drag in a few. For now, let’s get things rolling gathering materials and finalizing troop assignments for the invasion. Oh, and Eitrigg?

EITRIGG: Yes, sir?

GARROSH: When we compile the final roster, for the love of the spirits, make sure Dontrag and Utvoch aren’t on the list.

EITRIGG: Yes, sir.

GARROSH: There are going to be enough potential headaches as it is on this mission — the last thing I’m going to need it THOSE two yammering in my ear.

VOL’JIN: Oh, hey, mon…

GARROSH: Oh for fuck’s sake… What now?

VOL’JIN: You talkin’ bout dem two orcs who got to Orgrimmar late after da Theramore raid?

GARROSH: Yeah, you know them?

VOL’JIN: Yah, mon, dey came by da Echo Isles after dat. Dey was getting deyselves all confused, mon.

GARROSH: “Confused” has a short ramp-up time for them.

VOL’JIN: No, but listen, mon — dey was like, “It be de Echo Isles, right? Den how come we can’t hear an echo when we talk?” An’ dey kep’ tryin’ ta yell stuff into da air to see if dey could get an echo!

GARROSH: <chortles> Oh…dude…that’s like the time I was saying something to them about Razorfen Kraul, and they were like, “So do all the quillboar there crawl? We thought they knew how to walk upright. Is it some kind of a rule there?”

VOL’JIN: <laughing> Ya better not let dem go to da Howling Fjord, mon, dey might tink dey’re losing dey hearing ’cause dey don’ hear da howling!

GARROSH: <chuckling> Well hell, you should have seen them the first time they saw Thousand Needles. “Are you sure it’s a thousand of them? I only counted like 60. Did we miss some?”

VOL’JIN: <laughs more> You shoulda told ’em we switched to da metric system, mon.

Garrosh guffaws, leaning against the table. Vol’jin laughs heartily as well and wipes a tear from one eye. After another moment spent laughing, Garrosh and Vol’jin look up at each other and both of their faces fade into uneasy expressions.

GARROSH: <scowls> Fucking troll.

VOL’JIN: <aside, muttering> Don’ blame me, mon, I voted for da basic campfire…

Garrosh and Vol’jin both get up and stomp out of the room in opposite directions.

 

Choose your own adventurer

garrosharpoint

I have some new updates from Pandaria. General Nazgrim reports that he’s making good progress shaping the forest hozen into a viable fighting force, and they’re getting ready to square off against the Alliance forces that have been up to something in the southern part of the Jade Forest. On the down side, Nazgrim’s had one more casualty — Sergeant Garrok was lost during a scouting mission, something involving an old crone in the woods. Not too clear on the details. Still, given my own history with crones, I know how much trouble they can be.

Meanwhile, I have a new update from Krog on his investigations down south. And…yeah, he’s as high maintenance as he was last time, what with needing his hand held for every decision. Seriously, it’s like he’s afraid to make any decision by himself for fear I’m going to do something to him if he makes a wrong call. Like he thinks I have a temper or something. I SHOULD KILL YOU FOR THAT, INSOLENT ROGUE. Heh. See what I did there?

Anyway. I think I’ve come up with a solution for Krog’s constant need for guidance, but first things first — here’s an excerpt from the report he e-mailed me, to give you an idea on where things stand:

found the wreckage of the bladefist reaper and stygian scar off the southern shore. the initial landing force had established a port outpost which has since been neutralized by the alliance — notes that i found indicate they had named the outpost “garrosh’ar point”. on the coast near one of the docks, bodies of several dozen of the ships’ grunts have washed up. several more found floating at sea. all the bodies i inspected were unarmed and riddled full of bullets. based on the condition and placement of the bodies relative to the coast, i believe the crews were attempting to swim to shore from the sinking ships when alliance forces picked them off in the water.

I don’t know why anything surprises me with the Alliance anymore. Unarmed men swimming for their lives, and the humans see fit to mow them down. Remind me again how good and pure and noble they are. And they call us savages.

further along the shore, i also located the wreckage of the original alliance flagship. aboard, found royals banners and the body of a stormwind soldier wearing the trappings of a royal bodyguard. appears likely that among the ship’s crew was a member of the royal family — since we know varian was in stormwind at last check, it would appear that prince anduin is somewhere in pandaria. this confirmed by papers i retrieved from a sole alliance operative i intercepted at nearby hozen camp. uncertain at this point if alliance have recovered the prince or if he is still at large somewhere.

alliance also appears to be making inroads with one of the local tribes of jinyu — fish-like humanoids. kind of what you would get if you crossed a human with a murloc.

Oh good. Two of my very favorite species blended together into one economy pack of fail. I think I’ll be passing many a cold winter night warming my heart with the slow execution of some of these fish people…

indications from garrosh’ar point are that surviving horde forces relocated to nearby fortress called twinspire keep. alliance appear to have made contact with pandren locals in paw’don village in addition to jinyu located at pearlfin village.

Okay, so here’s the part where Krog defaults to his needy-ass self, asking for directions on what to do next. And here’s where my idea comes in, to save myself a few headaches. Now see, personally I already have more than enough decisions to make and enough things to think about, but it occurs to me that maybe all of you — my LOYAL READERS AND MINIONS — might enjoy the chance to take a more hands-on role in guiding some of our efforts in Pandaria. So, here’s your chance. It’s simple enough: what do YOU say Krog should do next?


I’ll give you all a few days to enter your votes, then I’ll send my instructions to Krog, then post an update on whatever he reports. Going forward, every time he checks in with another progress report, I’ll post another poll with options for what Krog should do next. Sounds like fun, right?

So — keep checking back here, chime in to make our puppet dance, help the Horde effort in Pandaria, and be entertained all at once. It’s win-win, and full of win. YOUR WARCHIEF HAS SPOKEN.

 

Pilgrim’s Bounty

pilgrimsbounty

So here’s some funny timing for you — the pandas join the Horde and arrive in Orgrimmar, right? And when do they turn up? Just in time for Pilgrim’s Bounty to kick in. I’m pretty sure I don’t have to tell you how much those pandas love to eat, and what’s more, the Pilgrim’s Bounty feasts consist pretty much entirely of foods the panda’s haven’t seen much of before…so as we speak, Ji Firepaw and his gang and running around hitting up every feast table they can find. They seemed like they were a little wary of Thunder Bluff at first — apparently there’s some offshoot race of tauren down there in Pandaria, so they weren’t so sure what to make of our version, but they seem warming up fast enough. Also, how many offshoot tauren races ARE there? First the taunka and now this? I’m starting to think it was a fucking miracle when Nazgrim had his whole deal in Vashj’ir that he didn’t run into a race of fucking sea cows.

Anyway…hope everyone is having a good Pilgrim’s Bounty. Eat up, rest up, all that good stuff. And watch out for pandas. Seriously. From what I’m hearing, they’re sweeping across the countryside clearing every table they can find. I’m telling you, get your food and then do NOT look away from it. Take your eyes off that second helping of cranberries at your own risk. Don’t blame me if you look back and find a big furry black-and-white face picking its teeth and spouting off something like, “To ask what happened to your turkey is to ask where I came from. I came from somewhere where they recently ran out of turkey. Perhaps there is a better question.”

 

Pandaren excursions

hordefleet

A few updates on the ongoing events in Pandaria.

First and foremost, keep those reports coming. Some of you have posted some information on your reconnaissance in Pandaria in the comments of my original call for intelligence, some have written to me directly – I’m planning to address some of the write-in reports in this Monday’s mailbag, so be sure to get your contributions in pronto. Keep it all coming, especially those letters for this coming week.

Your reports are going to be important while I suss out our tactics in the new territories, especially since our new panda recruits are turning out to be a little less helpful in that regard than I’d hoped. I’d just figured that they could provide a lot of inside information on Pandaria what with, you know, them being freaking PANDAREN, but as it turns out, the pandas who lived on the Wandering Isle were a whole separate bunch who haven’t really had much contact with mainland Pandaria for generations…so other than a few very general cultural insights, they’re as much in the dark as I am. Way to ingratiate yourself to me right off the bat there, Ji.

I’ve gotten a brief update from General Nazgrim. He says he’s making inroads recruiting one of the local hozen tribes to fight on our side. Whatever the fuck a “hozen” is. Still, more troops will only help, especially considering Nazgrim doesn’t have too many of his own people left after the Hellscream’s Fist got turned into the Hellscream’s Flaming Pile of Toothpicks and Corpses. (Or as Shademaster Kiryn would probably call it, “a pit roast waiting to happen.”) I’m still not sure how Nazgrim managed not to notice that the Alliance had an air base down there. He seemed kind of evasive about that whole part of the episode, so I may need to do some following up there.

Speaking of which. Since we’ve got a bunch of questions hanging over the entire situation down there, I decided to get some official sleuthing going. Early yesterday, I dispatched Krog to Pandaria to start investigating what happened to the original Horde fleet, the one that had chased the Alliance flagship down and ran it aground. Krog had been doing some undercover work on a few loose ends in the recent Razor Hill incident, but for time being I’ve pulled him off of that case to send him to Pandaria. I’m having him file regular reports on his progress with the invesitation. Hopefully he’ll be able to find some answers.

And all that sounds fine in theory. One problem: all of Krog’s previous detective work was in pretty familiar territory – Dustwallow Marsh, the Barrens, Razor Hill, etc. Get the dude out of his element, and combine that with me stressing that I want answers and not fuck-ups, and the guy turns into a big worrier who won’t make a move without double checking with me. Should I report to General Nazgrim’s camp or go straight to the last known location of the fleet? he asks me. I tell him to go right for the fleet. Should I send word to Nazgrim at all that I’m there? Don’t worry about Nazgrim’s team, they’ve got their own thing going. Should I search the remains of our ships first or the remains of the port? Dude, surprise me, okay? It’s like I’m at an annoying deli or some shit. Do you want white or wheat? Cheese or no? Mustard, ketchup, or mayo? Mustard, you say? Brown or yellow? Do you want a side of fries with that or onion rings? Or chips? How about a pickle? I JUST WANT A FUCKING SANDWICH before I gnaw my own fucking ARM off, OKAY?

So yeah. Ugh. Updates to follow. Aren’t we all lucky?

 

Word from the field

hellscreamsfist

Pandaria!

I’ve just gotten my first reports back from General Nazgrim, and it turns out that that huge landmass they found in the southern ocean is Pandaria! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT SHIT? I’d heard stories about Pandaria, but I just kind of figured that’s all they were — stories. And sure, Rexxar would swear up and down about the adventures he had with Chen Stormstout, but I mean, come on, you get to that part about all the beer they had, and you’re going to tell me you’re not going to sit there and think, “Ah, so THAT’S why he thinks he did all this shit”?

But no, turns out, it’s all for real. I just received my first report from Nazgrim. Not all the news is good — apparently, by the time Nazgrim arrived with the Hellscream’s Fist, the Alliance had already established a base there and destroyed the port that had been established by OUR initial naval force. On the plus side, Nazgrim and his people took out the Alliance base at Thunder Hold — although Nazgrim seemed pretty sketchy on some of the details — and have secured a portion of the Jade Forest while forging relations with some of the pandaren and another native race called the hozen. On the minus side, before Nazgrim was able to overthrow the Alliance forces, they were able to shoot down the Hellscream’s Fist, killing a large portion of Nazgrim’s troops in the process. Right now he’s working with a team consisting of Sergeant Garrok, marksman Shokia, Shademaster Kiryn, chief engineer Rivett Clutchpop, and a few elite Horde adventurers who’d volunteered for the mission and — as usual — were just too damn tough to wind up killed.

Meanwhile I also have a report from Korga Strongmane. He and a number of our other people were captured by the Alliance during the initial skirmishes in Pandaria. The Alliance sent a gunship to transport the prisoners back to Stormwind, but good ol’ Korga and the others staged an uprising on the airship and wound up crashing it on a nearby island called the Wandering Isle. From what he tells me in his report, he’s won the trust and support of some of the pandaren who live on the island, and he’s arranging for several of them to come to Orgrimmar to pledge themselves to the Horde. NOW we’re in business — if the stories about Pandaria are real, then maybe some of the stories about the pandaren and their crazy-ass martial arts skills are too. This should be fun to see.

Meanwhile, I’m still going to need more information on what’s going on out there, so everybody keep those reports coming. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Alliance are up to no good down there, and I STILL want to find out what happened to Captain Krug and the original fleet.

More details soon.

 

Into the mists

nazgrimgarrosh

Brief update today, but an important one.

I had a meeting this morning with General Nazgrim. He’s been overseeing our naval operations since the whole Northwatch Hold fiasco. He had good news concerning recent victories at sea…and one piece of odd news.

This new land mass Nazgrim reported isn’t on any of our charts. It’s more or less in a region of the Great Sea that our ships wouldn’t have much reason ever to go near. But by all indications, the land mass is huge — not so much an island as a whole freaking CONTINENT. I’m not sure HOW it could have been there all this time without anyone ever noticing it.

Anyway, as the General reported, the Alliance had a ship run aground there, with some of our ships pursuing, and I don’t have to tell you I’m not at all thrilled by the idea of the Alliance making any headway on this new land ahead of us. So I’ve issued new orders to Nazgrim: he’s to assemble an elite force of our best people and take the Hellscream’s Fist, our newest gunship, to this new land and take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that the Horde, not the Alliance, secures a foothold there. A foothold to begin with, that is. Soon to be followed by a giant Horde insignia draped across the whole damn continent.

Here’s where you all come in. By the time you read this, some of you will have already received orders to join General Nazgrim’s forces on the Hellscream’s Fist.  More of you will have the chance to head to the new continent with subsequent detachments we’ll be assembling. Once you’re there, I’m going to need information, and lots of it. Nazgrim is a good man, and thorough, but it never hurts to have a few extra sets of eyes when it comes to recon. So I need all of you to get down there and report back on what you find — bring your discoveries to the General, obviously, but while you’re at it, I want you to be sending updates to me directly as well. Going forward, I’m going to try to devote a part of my mailbags to reviewing your reports from the field.

So what are you waiting for? You heard me. Report to your assignments and get down there. YOUR WARCHIEF NEEDS INTELLIGENCE.

Hmm… I maybe want to rephrase that. Anyway.

FOR THE HORDE!

 

Fashionably late

org5

So after this week’s fiasco, Baine rounded up his braves and went back to Mulgore, and Vol’jin rounded up his trolls and took them back to the Echo Isles, other than the handful who were staying here in Orgrimmar in the Valley of Spirits. Malkorok’s been going around the city working on recruiting and stepping up the production of weapons, armor, and siege engines.

Captain Gharga arrived back home with the Horde fleet, and after a little time for the crews to catch some break time on land, I had General Nazgrim take command of the fleet and take it back out on a sweep across a number of naval targets. Since the Alliance fleet was weakened in the last battle, I want to strike while the iron is hot and keep pressing the battle to them.

Meanwhile, in the middle of all this, who should finally show up in Orgrimmar than everybody’s favorite mental defectives, Dontrag and Utvoch. Check this out. They came strolling on into Orgrimmar today, fresh from Stonetalon or Ashenvale or wherever the fuck they were that I don’t care about, and they were all, “Hey, we heard there was a huge party going on over our big victory! Which way to the feasts?”

Mokvar and Eitrigg stopped me before I beat them both to death.

Jury is still out on whether that was a good or a bad thing.

Ugh.

 

 

[Header image provided by Khizzara from Blog of the Treant, used here with permission and many thanks.]

 

The house always wins

org4

One day into our week of festivities, and the party is already in full swing. Citizens from all over the Horde have been flocking to Orgrimmar to join in the celebration, and the roads have been packed with jubilant people. You can’t walk down a street without passing multiple barbeque pits and makeshift smokehouses, all sporting free food for all. (On a not-exactly-unrelated note, the slums in the Valley of Spirits have been fairly empty – everybody’s made their way over to dip into the free food while it lasts. Yup, it’s a good week to be poor.)

All Horde fighters from the Northwatch/Theramore campaign have been instructed to stay in Durotar for the duration of the festivities, but I also issued personal invitations to many of our soldiers and commanders to remain in Orgrimmar for the feasts and other events. Since Baine and Vol’jin have both been…less than enthused about our triumph, I conveniently neglected to issue invitations to them – let them skulk off to whatever corner they choose and pout over the awful burden of victory for as long as they feel the need, as long as they stay here in Durotar until we’re ready to get back to business.

Meanwhile, I sent invitations out to some of our soldiers who didn’t have the good fortune to join us on our glorious campaign, to at least come to Orgrimmar to partake in the celebration. I figured, for instance, that after all the time he’s spent in the Undercity, Bragor Bloodfist could stand to take a few days to enjoy the clean Durotar air. (Not to mention I’m guessing Sylvanas would probably appreciate a couple days without him, um, peeking around. Maybe dude can go hang with Belgrom Rockmaul for a while. Those two could probably compare creeper notes…) Plus I sent an invite out to Warlord Zaela of the Dragonmaw – figured she hasn’t really gotten to spend a lot of time in Orgrimmar, so why not have her come over to see the place at its most vibrant.

I spent a chunk of the day today over at the Ring of Valor taking in some of the sparring matches that have been going on between some of our best fighters – and you’ll never guess who turned up again over there. Trade Prince Gallywix, back from wherever it is he disappears to, back again now that there’s a lull in the actual fighting. He was buzzing around the arena, placing odds and taking bets on all the fights. I’m not sure how he managed it, but somehow he’d worked out a way to juggle the odds so that no matter what happened, he always came out ahead of the game. He had to bring a pack of goblin assistants to help him lug around all the gold he was raking in.

When he saw me there, he came slithering on over, and then – lucky me – I had the treat of his company for most of the time I was there. One definite highlight, though: before one of the final matches of the day – a real high-power matchup between Zaela and General Nazgrim – Gallywix was feeling pretty high on the horse, so I got him to accept a personal bet with me. Not one of his line-hedging bookie bets, mind you, just him and me, betting straight up, his money on Nazgrim, mine on Zaela. Not that Nazgrim isn’t a hell of a fighter in his own right, but I’ve seen Zaela in action. If I’m planning a military operation and need a field commander, Nazgrim’s my man, no two ways about it – but in a toe-to-toe slugfest? That’s Zaela all the way.

Zaela didn’t let me down. I wound up walking away wearing that fancy-ass top hat that Gallywix always has on. Or, well, always HAD on. Gotta say, this thing’s pretty spiffy. I might have to look into a walking stick to go with it. Or maybe a monocle. What do you think?

 

 

[Header image provided by Khizzara from Blog of the Treant, used here with permission and many thanks.]

 

The siege of Orgrimmar

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This may wind up being all over the place – so much happening that I’m not even sure where to start. I’m going to try to cover as much as I can remember, in as much detail as I can, and I’m having Mokvar edit in what he can, both from his notes at the time and also – probably mostly – his best estimates after the fact. I’m not even sure I should be taking the time to write this all out, but if things go badly from here, I feel like there should be a record somewhere of how it happened.

If you don’t hear any more from me, then this is the story of how the Horde fell.

I guess I should start at the beginning.

 

Our fears based on the scouting reports were justified. The Scourge force in Winterspring, which by all accounts had grown to massive numbers, swept south into Azshara and across the zone unopposed. We had early warnings from patrols that they were on their way, but there wasn’t anyone to slow them down, and as news came in I found myself wondering why the goblins weren’t putting up any resistance. It took me a few minutes to put two and two together and realize that there WERE no goblins in Azshara, because the Bilgewater Cartel in this world had apparently never joined the Horde.

It’s strange how things work in this world. Every time I flash into this timeline from ours, I find myself dropped into the middle of whatever was going on here. I still remember where I was and what I was doing in the original timeline, but within a few seconds, I also remember, more or less, what was happening here – at least enough to get my bearings. And I’ll have these other, scattered memories – or fragments of them. Images, places, little snippets of things that I’ve done and seen here. Just enough to get by. And yet, I wind up drawing a blank on the big picture. I know what’s happening as it’s happening, but I don’t know how it got to be that way.

So I still have these gaps, like with the goblins, or for that matter the Scourge, or the demons – big chunks of altered history that I just have no idea about, and it’s not like there’s been a point when I could ask someone without setting off all kinds of warning lights. “Oh hey, you know these major historical events we’re in the middle of, and that I’ve personally lived through? They’ve kind of slipped my mind. Give me a quick recap?” Best case scenario, they decide Garrosh has finally gone off his rocker.

So funny thing, standing on the rampart over the Orgrimmar rear gate, watching those masses of undead coming over the hills, I couldn’t help getting lost in my head for a minute. Wondering where Spazzle is now.

Zaela directed the main defenses as the Scourge arrived and threw themselves against the gate. The rampart was packed to capacity with catapults and lined with archers. Nazgrim led an entire legion of infantry down to take them on directly, striking quickly then backing off under cover fire from the rampart. Even at the battle of the line at Elrendar, I’d never seen so many Scourge. We killed thousand upon thousand of them, and yet the fields of Azshara teemed with them endlessly.

Dozens of gargoyles and val’kyr flew past our outer defenses and swooped through the streets of the Valley of Honor. The Kor’kron air guard dove in to engage, but even they could only keep up with so many of them at a time. I rushed back inside to help fight off some of the ones close to the ground. As I was hacking up a val’kyr, I heard someone screeching for help behind me – turns out it was that strange monkey-man Zhi-Zhi that Nazgrim had found stranded at sea, being tugged back and forth between a pair of gargoyles. I charged in and cleaved them down.

 

ZHI-ZHI: Ah! Ah! Many thanksings, yes, much appreciations for saving Zhi-Zhi!

GARROSH: What the hell are you even doing back here?

ZHI-ZHI: Zhi-Zhi, uhh, Zhi-Zhi come for fishings of crawdads! Nice pond for fishings! Good for snacks!

GARROSH: Fishing? Dude, did you not notice there’s a major battle going on here?

ZHI-ZHI: Yes! Yes! Less competitions for Zhi-Zhi!

 

At that point Dranosh came running in to direct another infantry battalion to the gate and redeploy the units covering the interior stop points. As he approached us, the ground shook as a deep, rumbling noise echoed around us.

 

DRANOSH: <looking up to the gate> What the hell was that?

GARROSH: I don’t know – did they bring battering rams? Or maybe they’ve got flesh giants at the gate now?

ZHI-ZHI: Oh no…

Zaela runs in from the gate as another rumble shakes the ground.

ZAELA: What’s going on in here?

GARROSH: That’s not coming from the gate?

ZAELA: No, I came to try to see what was causing it.

DRANOSH: Status report back there?

ZAELA: Getting hit hard, Warchief, but we’re holding.

DRANOSH: As long as the gate holds, we can pick them off for as long as they want to keep coming.

Another rumble, lounder, crashes through the air as the ground shakes forcefully. Garrosh stumbles in place briefly before regaining his footing.

GARROSH: What the hell IS that?

ZHI-ZHI: <closing eyes and shaking head> Cracks, cracks, everywhere cracking…closed circle coming…

MOKVAR: I think that came from the Drag – or maybe the Cleft of Shadow?

GARROSH: The Cleft of…there couldn’t be anything going on in Ragefire…?

DRANOSH: Right now I’m not interested in guessing – check it out, Garrosh. Find out what’s going on back there.

GARROSH: On it.

ZAELA: I’m coming too, Overlord.

ZHI-ZHI: <hands on head> From within, it consumes…

 

Zaela, Mokvar, and I ran back to the Drag as quickly as we could. The ground shook beneath us while we ran past one building after another, looking around frantically for any telltale signs. Finally we ran into the Cleft of Shadow. And my rage bar hit overload.

They were standing in a circle – about a dozen warlocks, each standing in a glowing, purple rune, with Neeru Fireblade among them, chanting some sort of incantation. They were all channeling some kind of spell with red-purple ribbons of magic energy flowing from their hands to the middle of their circle, where a swirling disk glowed and shuddered on the ground. The closer we got, the more we could feel the low trembling of the ground under our feet. The warlocks repeated every few words that Neeru said as he continued his chant, and they grew louder each time as if they could feel success looming closer.

The swirling disk pulsed more brightly as we closed on the circle of warlocks. Zaela and I didn’t waste any time worrying about the details of what they were doing – we charged in and started cutting them down. Mokvar threw a hex on Neeru Fireblade to put a stop to his chanting, then helped us take out the rest. But with every warlock we killed, the glowing disk only glowed brighter, and as I cut down the final one, with his last breath he just laughed.

 

WARLOCK: Too late, you fool! He comes! He comes!

The disk glows brighter as the ground shakes with greater force.

GARROSH: What the hell WAS that spell they were casting? Why doesn’t it stop?

MOKVAR: Because the real spell wasn’t coming from this side…

ZAELA: This side? Of what?

MOKVAR: The spell they were casting was a locating beacon…

The ground rumbles loudly. The disk expands and starts to glow bright green. Zaela pulls Garrosh back to keep the edge of the disk from grazing him.

…to set a target position for this. For a portal.

The disk gives off one more bright flash, accompanied by a buckling of the ground underfoot, then settles into a duller, steady pulsing. From the center of the disk, a giant blue man’ari eredar rises up, holding open in one hand a book covered in shimmering arcane runes. About a dozen terrorguards and abyssals rise up from the portal behind him.

GARROSH: Oh…fucking hell…

MOKVAR: Wait, is that…?

GARROSH: I’m thinking so.

ZAELA: Who? Who is he?

The eredar snaps the book closed and waves a hand behind him. Several domguards and shivarra begin to emerge.

GARROSH: Malchezaar.

ZAELA: Wait, Prince Malchezaar?

MOKVAR: Yup.

ZAELAKarazhan Prince Malchezaar?

MOKVAR: Karazhan-in-the-Deadwind-Pass-where-the-demons-were-gathering Prince Malchezaar, yeah. That’s the guy.

ZAELA: Wasn’t he killed?

GARROSH: Over and over. Funny thing about that

 

The first of the demons rushed at us, and Zaela, Mokvar, and I went to work. Malchezaar did that creepy laugh of his – the one that only a few people should ever have heard but way too many have – as dozens more demons came pouring out of the portal. Mokvar kept an Earthquake rolling under the demons while Zaela and I stood side by side and slashed them down as they ran at us.

 

GARROSH: We’ve got to stop them here before they get into the city!

ZAELA: I think you’re underestimating how many of them may be coming, Overlord…

MALCHEZAAR: <chuckling> Yes, yes, Overlord, you do not face Malchezaar alone—

GARROSH: Yeah, yeah, I know, Squid-Face, everybody’s heard it, the legions at your command, shut up!

MALCHEZAAR: Oh, no, orc, not the legions at my command – the Legion at His command!

Another deep, low rumble shudders through the ground, accompanied by an even deeper laugh echoing from the other side of the portal. Slowly, an enormous, clawed red hand rises out of the portal. Several of the demons turn to look, then cackle hideously.

GARROSH: That…couldn’t…

MOKVAR: Oh…oh shit…

Zaela turns to Garrosh and grabs him by his shoulders.

ZAELA: Overlord…go!

Zaela spins away from Garrosh and charges at a nearby doomguard. She leaps up, grabs the doomguard by one horn, and uses her grip to flip over its body while wrenching its neck around and snapping it. Still holding the horn, she flings its entire body into a cluster of succubi, then throws herself into a pack of a dozen felguards while launching into a bladestorm that sends severed limbs flying left and right.

ZAELA: <glares back at Garrosh as several demons converge on her> Garrosh – GO! Warn the Warchief! Kagh!

The giant hand reaches to one side of the portal, dragging a heavy red arm behind it, and presses against the ground as another laugh bellows from beneath.

MALCHEZAAR: Oh yes, do – warn the Warchief, Warchief.

MOKVAR: <looking to Garrosh> Did he—?

GARROSH: Later.

Garrosh pulls at Mokvar’s arm and runs toward the exit of the Cleft of Shadow; Mokvar scoops up the still-hexed Neeru Fireblade and follows. As they rush to the exit, Zaela tears through demons at the portal’s edge, while more emerge by the dozen. Garrosh turns a moment to look back at her before following Mokvar out to the Drag.

GARROSH: Aka’Magosh, Warlord.

Garrosh and Mokvar emerge into the Drag with about twenty demons in pursuit. Horde soldiers on the street turn in surprise at the sight, then run to intercept the demons. Mokvar turns back to face the entrance to the Cleft and holds his hands toward the stone that forms the cavern.

MOKVAR: Spirits of Earth, I know I’m still kind of new at this, so please, please don’t pick today to be finicky with me…

GARROSH: <looking around and grumbling> “Warchief,” he says. This world has seriously got to stop finding new ways to be fucked up…

The stone shakes and begins to crack; the cavern entrance collapses on itself just as another pack of demons near it from the other side. The ground shakes violently as an angry growl rumbles from behind the heap of rock.

GARROSH: That buys us some time, but it won’t hold them forever. We have to get to…ah, here we go…

From the gate to the Valley of Honor, Dranosh and Vol’jin rush in with a squad of Kor’kron. Orcs, trolls, and tauren pour into the drag from either side, running around in confusion as they engage the demons.

VOL’JIN: How da demons get here?!

GARROSH: It was the warlocks – they were helping the Legion open some kind of portal, and—

The ground shakes again, forcefully, and a deep laugh echoes from below.

—and I think the big guy is with them…

The Horde troops finish the last of the demons, but look around anxiously at the sound of the demonic laughter. The boulders blocking the Cleft of Shadow passage begin to buckle and shake.

Dranosh leaps onto a broken siege engine, gestures to the crowd with both arms, and calls out loudly.

DRANOSH: Hear me, sons and daughters of the Horde! We have been betrayed from within our very home, and the Burning Legion comes into our midst! I look among you, and know that this is not a battle you dreamt you would fight today – but the battle is upon us nevertheless, and we will meet it! I look among you now, and see the fear in your eyes – fear for your home, for your family – but I tell you, do NOT fear them! Remember instead – it was your home, your family, that these very demons defiled! These same demons who destroyed our beautiful world, who left your fathers and mothers and sisters and brothers lost or forever scarred! These same demons who today have come – and delivered themselves to the justice they have too long eluded! The Burning Legion comes today, my friends – and I do not fear them! I PITY THEM! Rise up now! Rise up for the moment we prayed would come! For Draenor! For Azeroth! FOR THE HORDE!

 

I’ve heard troops shouting “For the Horde!” more times than I can count. I’ve never heard it as deafening as it was right there – just as the boulders blocking the cavern finally cracked and the demons came rushing out.

The flood of demons was met by a raging wave of green and brown and blue as our soldiers threw themselves against the monsters, crashing into them and pushing them back. Vol’jin called out to a squad of Darkspear shadow hunters, who lined up on the ledge across from the Cleft and rained arrows down onto the oncoming demons, then he ran over to Dranosh.

I started to run past Dranosh to rejoin the fray. He grabbed me as I passed and pulled me to face him. His look was grim and urgent, and his eyes were more terrified than I’d ever seen them. I think a little piece of me died at the sight.

 

DRANOSH: We need to get the civilians out of here, and we need to get them out NOW.

Captain Drok runs into the Drag, leading a squad of troops. Dranosh grabs him by his arm as he passes.

DRANOSH: Drok, I’ll take care of your men – I need you to get up to the Skyway. I want every zeppelin and gunship we have ready to take off and I want them ready ten minutes ago, do you understand?

DROK: Yes, Warchief!

Dranosh runs after Drok’s troops, cleaving down a pair of felguards as he goes. After cutting down a terrorfiend, he looks back over his shoulder at Garrosh, Vol’jin, and Drok.

DRANOSH: You heard me! All of you – GO!

 

Dranosh rushed back into the battle, and Drok ran off to the Skyway elevator. Vol’jin and I split up, him racing to the Valley of Spirits, me to the Valley of Strength. I ran from building to building – through crowds of panicking citizens – ordering them to the Skyway and trying to herd them into some vague semblance of order. Droves of orcs and trolls, blood elves, tauren, even some scattered worgen and gnomes. Humans. I never thought I’d see the day I’d be racing around helping save humans. Desperate times.

I KNEW Orgrimmar needed some kind of emergency alert system.

I followed the crowds up to the Skyway elevator near the entrance to the Drag and tried to keep them moving in as much order as a frightened mob could maintain. All you could hear was the sound of people shouting and screaming and the rising growl of the demons. Every so often, the ground shook again beneath us.

After one tremor, I felt someone jostle me, and I turned to see a human had bumped into me in his rush to the elevator.

A familiar human.

 

FARANELL: Wha— Garrosh?

GARROSH: Hey, Doc, I— DOC! What are you—oh shit, Soridormi said you might

MOKVAR: Doesn’t that mean the timelines are merging?

FARANELL: <looking around panicked> What—what’s going on? What happened to Orgrimmar? I was…I was walking back to my quarters, and there was a flash, and…

GARROSH: Yeah, weird dizzy feeling for just a second?

MOKVAR: It’s the other timeline, Edwin.

GARROSH: Welcome to the end of the world, Doc. You picked a great time to drop in…

MOKVAR: Actually…Garrosh…

A loud crashing sound comes from the back of the city, followed by a rise in the overlapping screams and shouts. The ground shakes again violently.

FARANELL: I don’t understand – all this is happening because of what I did? I mean, the other me?  How—?

GARROSH: Long story, Doc, and I don’t even know all of it. <steadies himself after another tremor> But wait a minute – if you’re here

MOKVAR: Exactly! If he’s here, and we can get him to Soridormi—

GARROSH: —then maybe THIS “you” can actually fix actually fix fix ytilatrom actually fo fix you raef fix namuh eht fix can esab eurt you rieht ta evah have tcartsba ro a detacitsihpos destiny revewoh emit some of fo some snoitagitsevni some lla some some of some of what’s gone wrong and—

Garrosh looks around the Northwatch Hold admiral’s quarters, horrified.

No – no, no, NO, NO, NO!!

Garrosh lashes out, smashing the table in front of him and pummeling a goblin messenger across the room and into the wall.

MALKOROK: Hah!  Indeed, Warchief, nor should you stand for such incompetence! Perhaps you should put an end to his sniveling existence – the Horde can surely afford the loss of one pitiful weakling. Haha!

 

{TO BE CONTINUED…}

 

Lines of inquiry

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A few days ago, Saurfang had sent a courier to me with kind of an irritated letter asking to see me. He had some objections to certain operations going on in Northrend, so I agreed to set aside some time today for him to come down and discuss things in person.

It wasn’t exactly a pleasant meeting.

You’re up, Mokvar.

 

Saurfang enters, accompanied by two Kor’kron guards who aren’t nearly as badass as him.

GARROSH: Morning, Saurfang.

NAZGRIM: Good morning, High Overlord.

SAURFANG: Morning it is, gentlemen, but I’m hardly convinced it is a good one.

GARROSH: Oh great. It’s that bad, huh?

SAURFANG: Indeed, Warchief.

GARROSH: Okay, well, let’s get it out in the open, then. What’s the problem, Saurfang?

SAURFANG: Let me speak plainly, Warchief. Is it your intention to replace me as High Overlord of the Kor’kron Guard?

GARROSH: What? No. Why would I want to do that. You built those troops up from ground level yourself.

SAURFANG: <nodding grimly> Have I, then, been unknowingly relieved of duty as commanding officer of our Northrend forces?

GARROSH: Oh, wait. I think I see where this is going.

SAURFANG: Have I been relieved, Warchief?

GARROSH: Saurfang, if I ever relieve you of duty, you’ll know from the way I pick you up and throw you from a very great height.

MOKVAR: Like to see you try that…

GARROSH: Not the time, Mokvar.

SAURFANG: In that case, Warchief, I am left to assume that I remain in command of our Northrend operations.

GARROSH: <sighs> Yes, Saurfang, you’re still in command.

SAURFANG: And in that case, Warchief, I would be most interested in hearing the explanation for a team of Horde operatives arriving at Warsong Hold claiming to be undertaking a mission, the details of which they were not at liberty to divulge to the command officer under whose jurisdiction they were operating.

NAZGRIM: With all due respect, High Overlord, the men in question are operating under the—

SAURFANG: If I require your thoughts on this matter, General, you may rest assured that I will instruct you to share them.

MOKVAR: Oh man, shit just got real…

GARROSH: Mokvar!

MOKVAR: Sorry, boss.

GARROSH: Here’s the thing, Saurfang.

SAURFANG: Indeed, Warchief, by all means do elucidate me on the thing.

GARROSH: <glares briefly> The men who arrived at Warsong Hold are working on a mission under the supervision of General Nazgrim here, and under my direct sanctions. And since they’re working under my orders, and aren’t Kor’kron operatives, no, they are NOT under your jurisdiction.

SAURFANG: I see. And is there a reason, then, why I am not authorized even to know about this very important mission?

GARROSH: Look, I know you don’t like being kept in kept in in nway kept gnittolbyks in being desiop in eno ni in dont meht nopu dont nwod thgindim fo egakcerw eht lruh ot tub egakcerw shatter otni thgindim lruh ot ton ti htiw thgindim point gniggard tub thgindim drawot ton deraor emit fo ecarllim tsav eht in moor tilpmal in teiuq kept in eht kept edistuo kept elihw kept kept in kept in the dark, Saurfang.

DRANOSH

Is was a necessary – wait, did you just call me “Saurfang”? Since when do you call me “Saurfang”? Saurfang is my dad.

GARROSH

Wait, wasn’t I just…? Oh. Right… Don’t mind me. You’re looking more and more like him all the time.

DRANOSH

Don’t even joke about that.

GARROSH

Anyway, though, you were saying?

DRANOSH

I know you don’t like being kept in the dark, Garrosh, but we didn’t want word leaking out about what we’d uncovered.

GARROSH

Which would be…?

NAZGRIM

On our last sweep around the islands just south of the Maelstrom, we found a…well, a survivor, sir.

VOL’JIN

By da spirits, ya mean ya—

DRANOSH

No, not him, Vol’jin. Unfortunately.

NAZGRIM

He’s…humanoid. That’s pretty much all we can say. Not any species I’ve ever seen before. Everything he had to say on his own just came out as a bunch of rubbish, and I wanted to bring him back here where we could all hear it before I tried to question him any further.

GARROSH

Is there anything particularly suspicious about him that we’re questioning him…

[Garrosh trails off and bristles as he looks across the room and notices – then stares at – MAGATHA GRIMTOTEM.]

VOL’JIN

Garrosh?

GARROSH

What…is she doing here?

MAGATHA

High Overlord? Why would I not be here? The Warchief has always welcomed my counsel on internal Horde matters…

GARROSH

[Bristles for another moment, then shakes his head vigorously.]

Right. Never mind. I’m just… My head’s just somewhere else.

MOKVAR

Somewhere…

DRANOSH

Are you going to be okay for this? If you need a head shrinker, I’m sure Vol’jin could arrange—

GARROSH

I’ll be fine.

NAZGRIM

Shall we bring him in, then?

DRANOSH

We may as well.

[Nazgrim signals to a guard, who steps into an adjoining room. A moment later, two guards enter with a humanoid – smaller in stature than an orc and similar in features to a monkey. The guards flank him on each side and hold his arms loosely while leading him in. His head hangs low.]

NAZGRIM

He calls himself “Zhi-Zhi.” He says he was an initiate at some sort of monastery in a place called the Jade Forest before the Rupturing. Then the land he comes from was devastated by the resulting earthquakes and tidal waves, and wound up being washed onto the island where we found him. Or so he says, from what I could gather.

[The guards lead ZHI-ZHI into the room. When they stop moving, Zhi-Zhi looks up and sees Garrosh. Zhi-Zhi’s eyes widen with a look of surprise.]

ZHI-ZHI

[Stares wide-eyed at Garrosh, reaching with one hand to point at him.]

Ohh…

[Suddenly pulls his hand back and shakes his head.]

Not the one.

GARROSH

The hell?

VOL’JIN

[Eyes narrowing.]

Not da one what, mon?

ZHI-ZHI

[Shakes his head, then points to Garrosh again with a chuckle.]

No, no, not the one.

GARROSH

[Striding up to Zhi-Zhi.]

Not the one WHAT?

NAZGRIM

That’s really just a small sampling of the kind of lunacy he’s been spouting nonstop since we found him.

GARROSH

Not WHAT one?

ZHI-ZHI

Not the one!

GARROSH

[Rearing back and striking Zhi-Zhi with each word.]

What. Does. That. MEAN?

ZHI-ZHI

AAH! Alright, enough, enough! STOP HITTING ZHI-ZHI!

DRANOSH

Garrosh, enough.

GARROSH

I’ll start hitting a whole lot harder if you don’t start talking some sense.

DRANOSH

Zhi-Zhi.

[Zhi-Zhi looks past Garrosh to Dranosh.]

My name is Dranosh.

VOL’JIN

It be meanin’ “Heart of Draenor” in—

DRANOSH

Don’t start, Vol’jin.

VOL’JIN

Sorry, mon.

DRANOSH

[Turns his attention back to Zhi-Zhi.]

I’m the Warchief – the leader – of a people called the Horde. As long as you’re here, you’re under our protection and safe. We want to help you, but first you have to help us understand.

[Zhi-Zhi slowly nods.]

This is Garrosh. You said he’s…“not the one”? Did you think you recognized him from somewhere?

ZHI-ZHI

Yes. No. Yes. Zhi-Zhi… Zhi-Zhi not sure.

DRANOSH

Where did you think you’d recognized him from?

ZHI-ZHI

When Zhi-Zhi first come to Tian, Elder Cloudfall show Zhi-Zhi the place. Show Zhi-Zhi the visions. Zhi-Zhi saw…saw the cracks, looked into the cracks, saw more cracks, more, growing, everywhere cracks, cracks, cracking… Zhi-Zhi tried to warn, but oh, no, nobody listen to poor Zhi-Zhi…

VOL’JIN

Hmm…visions, eh, mon?

GARROSH

Listen, you blathering idiot, what does any of that even mean, and what could it POSSIBLY have to do with do with with tsap do flah with have rehto with eht gnitteg with to fo syaw to gnitnevni ti fo flah tneps eh tey emit saw derrohba shatter dna deraef eh htaed eht dna point mih neewteb doots taht lla emit saw dah nam taht lla dias to dah elcnu to sih have to woh have gnirebmemer have gnikniht have have to have to do with me?

Garrosh does a double take, shaking his head.

SAURFANG: What does it not have to do with you, Garrosh? The secrets, the infighting, the distrust against supposed countrymen – I have seen it before, and I will not stand idly by and let it take root without even the aid of demon blood.

GARROSH: Saurfang, we’re talking about one single mission which, believe me, has more than enough reason for maximum security.

SAURFANG: And a disregard for the chain of command.

GARROSH: Legionnaire Nazgrim doesn’t…wait, Legionnaire? No, General Nazgrim…

MOKVAR: <muttering> Not the one…

Garrosh looks at Mokvar in surprise for a moment, then collects himself.

GARROSH: General Nazgrim is running the operation, and he doesn’t answer to you.

SAURFANG: Indeed he does not, it would seem. And while the good Legionnaire was recently promoted to General, unless he has also received further clandestine promotions all way past High Overlord—

GARROSH: He doesn’t answer to YOU because he answers to ME. Just like these men don’t answer to you because THEY answer to ME. And I am beginning to TIRE of your coming down here to argue jurisdiction and technicalities when it should be abundantly clear EVERYTHING is being done under MY AUTHORITY.

SAURFANG: And by exactly what authority are you holding your other leaders at arm’s length?

GARROSH: I AM YOUR WARCHIEF, SAURFANG!

SAURFANGTHRALL is my Warchief! And you, boy, are warming his seat.

Garrosh glares at Saurfang for a moment.

MOKVAR: Oh shit.

Mokvar and Nazgrim both take a few steps back.

GARROSH: So now it comes out.

SAURFANG: I may have been the first to have said it, Warchief, but I assure you I am far from the first to have thought it.

GARROSH: Saurfang…you’ve been a hero of our people for many years, and because of that I’m going let this one time pass. If you were any other man, I would have killed you right here and now.

SAURFANG: You would have tried.

Mokvar and Nazgrim take a few more steps back.

GARROSH: Go back to your station, old man.

SAURFANG: Indeed, Warchief. I will retire to Northrend. And as I am no longer privy to all that goes on there, I will trust that there is nothing being done that would bring dishonor to our people. And should I learn that that trust has been misplaced…well…as you say, Warchief, we each have but a single free pass, as the saying goes.

Saurfang turns and leaves. Garrosh lets out a frustrated sigh, then eyes Mokvar and Nazgrim.

GARROSH: What are you staring at? We have work to do.

 

So…obviously a lot going on. But honestly I’m in no mood to talk about the Saurfang thing right now.

Besides that, though…I remember. I remember the whole thing now, when I…well…flashed to wherever I was, with Dranosh and that monkey guy and holy fuck Magatha are you fucking kidding me. I really remember it – not all fuzzy and blurry and dream-like. What’s more, I just got to talking with Mokvar. He remembers being there too. Apparently he’s been experiencing the same thing the last couple days. We compared notes a little as far as what we experienced, and it sounds eerily similar to those flashbacks that Faranell was complaining about when we went to see him in Hearthglen.

All of us having these flashes is way too big a coincidence. It all started when we brought Faranell back from the past, so I’m going to arrange to pick Faranell up from Tirion, and then have all of us head down to the Caverns of Time. I think it’s time we went over this with Nozdormu.