[personal profile] jadedmusings
jadedmusings: (Sherlock - Moriarty omgwtf)
If nothing else I can at least say I got to see Lor'themar Theron flip a freaking bench into the fountain at Silvermoon. Of course the Dominance Offensive climax was incredible, and the two last parts of it started in Dalaran and then ended back in Pandaria with Garrosh doing something even I couldn't have predicted. I literally nearly started crying at the computer and had to log off to process what happened because it was the literary equivalent of a gut punch.

And all I can say is that the Horde is so fucked, and we kind of deserve it.

The focus of Dominance Offensive has been Garrosh getting his hands on an ancient Mogu relic known as the Divine Bell. The Horde found it only to have the night elves take it back to Darnassus for "safe keeping," and even Vol'jin sends you, the player, a letter pretty much saying that as much as he doesn't want Garrosh to have it, he'd rather the bell be in Horde rather than Alliance hands. And given the night elves' past of being xenophobic and the way Tyrande Whisperwind is calling for Horde blood...yeah, it's probably not best they have it either.

At any rate, yesterday, I went traipsing into Darnassus to recover the Divine Bell with someone who emphasizes the fact that Jaina must not find out the blood elves/Sunreavers are assisting in recovery of the artifact. Already Rommath has been warning of a repeat of history (as I pointed out earlier) and even those who think Jaina might remain neutral-ish are freaking out at the implications of what will happen.

Naturally, Jaina does figure shit out and today I was greeted with this quest text:



It didn't help that when I went to grab my flight I got a loading screen with an image of the Violet Hold. I believe my exact words were, "This is about to get really, really ugly." And indeed it was. I was met by Grand Magister Rommath, who somehow managed not to scream, "I TOLD YOU SO" over and over.



Jaina calls for the purging of Sunreavers not just from the Kirin Tor, but from Dalaran as a whole, and the Silver Convenent (high elves who did not become Sin'dorei and sided with the Alliance) gleefully join in the slaughter of innocents who had nothing to do with Garrosh's schemes (and possibly knew nothing of what was going on). Rommath makes the astute observation that those Sunreavers are going to likely want to take up swords and join with the Horde after being kicked out of their homes, the exact opposite of what Jaina probably wants.



Rommath says it best: Jaina and the Kirin Tor can no longer claim neutrality. She has Stormwind soldiers inside Dalaran helping to capture and subdue Sunreavers. I was sent to help a few trapped within the Sunreaver's Sanctuary, which included Uda the Beast, the orc innkeeper of the Horde tavern in Dalaran (image is of quest text listing NPCs to rescue). That's right, Silver Convenant members were inside the Horde territory of Dalaran and even keeping the innkeeper from escaping.

Magistrix Vesara said, "Jaina is taking away my home by force? I will remember this," when freed., so I can only imagine the amount of animosity toward Jaina now in Silvermoon can probably be felt all the way in Pandaria.

As for Jaina, while I was wandering around finding everyone that needed to be freed, setting loose captured Dragonhawks, she was yelling:



Absolving herself of all blame while calling for the removal of pretty much every Horde element in Dalaran. Sounds about right for the Alliance. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

When we arrive back in Silvermoon, Lor'themar is waiting and is a but confused until Rommath and Aethas (who you do manage to save) explain things, and explain that many Sunreavers were sent to the Violet Hold. For those unaware, this is what happened to Kael'thas and other sin'dorei in Dalaran back in the day. History is repeating itself, history Jaina herself was part of, so she can't claim she isn't aware of what a big slap in the face this is to the blood elves as a whole.

Anyway, Lor'themar's reaction is perfect.



At that "witch" line, he flipped a bench into the fountain at Silvermoon, which was the point I declared the entire story worth it just for that scene. Also, if I may take a moment to praise the writers for their decision to use "witch" instead of bitch. That Lor'themar pauses and goes with the non-gendered (mostly) insult instead of the gendered slur used against women all the time to silence them when they're supposedly out of line, was a relief and speaks both to his character and the writers for differentiating him from Garrosh (who has called both Sylvanas and Jaina bitch, I guess to prove how bad he is, which is a rant for another time).

Back to the story: Rommath suggests Lor'themar would make a better warchief, to which Lor'themar says, "It may come to that." The way it's phrased, and considering earlier he was talking about removing the blood elves from the Horde, I don't think warchief is a title Lor'themar really wants. Hell, I'm not even sure he really wanted to be anything other than a Farstrider, but circumstances forced him to be the leader his people so desperately needed, and he's doing that, and he's getting angry that it's his people's blood Garrosh is spilling in his foolish pursuit. And with Jaina's actions, he also realizes the Alliance isn't going to want them back and to leave the Horde entirely would put Quel'Thalas in a very precarious position, especially if Sylvanas were to move against him, doubly so if the Alliance took advantage of the fact that the blood elves would receive no assistance from the Horde if attacked. (Remember, this is a population that is only 10% of what it was before the Scourge and Arthas marched through not too many years ago, and they are still recovering in many ways. I know it's hard to believe that consdering it's still the most popular playable race, but it is a culture that was nearly wiped out entirely.)

Adding to this is a letter from the still-recovering Vol'jin:



I must admit, when Vol'jin does meet with Lor'themar, I want to be a fly on the wall. Considering I believe Vol'jin wouldn't hesitate to take the mantle of warchief and Lor'themar's likely reluctance, Lor'themar might wind up throwing his support behind Vol'jin, which would mean the Sunreavers would follow too, most likely.

During this, I became exalted with Dominance Offensive which meant I got to complete the storyline, and here's where it all came together. I returned and was given a quest to go meet with Garrosh who was about to use the Divine Bell. When I arrived in Kun-Lai, I saw Garrosh surrounded by sha and the Divine Bell. Garrosh, of course, thinks he's about to have power, considerable power, and he's going to ignore everything that's been happening with the sha and his men and continue believing he can control the sha despite all evidence to the contrary thus far.

In other words, he's being the Garrosh we came to know and loath in Cataclysm.

Garrosh rang the bell, and while fighting some sha, Anduin Wrynn appeared and it's at that point I noticed my quest objectives included, "Defeat Anduin Wrynn." I couldn't picture how that was going to come to pass because so far he hadn't done anything to provoke an attack from me (and I was firmly on his side in telling Garrosh he's being really fucking stupid), and Anduin even healed me while I had to fend off an sha-controlled Ishi, one of Garrosh's strongest warriors. And there was some rather heart-breaking dialogue from Ishi while I was fighting him:



Read those lines. "We have lost so much, Warchief. Our families, dead. Our friends, lost. Our homeland, gone. How much more must our people suffer? [...] At night, I see the faces of all those I have slain. Where do our spirits go after our bodies lay cold? I fear...death."

The orcs once were peaceful shamanic people in Outland until Ner'zuhl and the Burning Legion corrupted them and changed them into the blood-thirsty, violent race we know today. Outland was nearly destroyed, the planet shattered, and the orcs failed at their invasion of Azeroth, many of them becoming stranded on the planet and then enslaved by the humans until Thrall came into the picture. And ever since then it's been one war after another, and now their warchief is pitting them against the Alliance again, and in his pursuit of power, is sacrificing more and more of them.

While losing control to the sha, even going as far as calling for Alliance genocide, he still manages to reveal the tragedy of the orc race and expresses an emotion probably felt by so many orcs who are now free of the Legion and left to cope with what they've done and what they've become.

Once Ishi was killed, Garrosh and Anduin talked, and Anduin revealed what the Alliance had been up to after learning what Garrosh planned. They found a deus-ex machina Pandaren artifact that effectively neutralized the bell. And then Garrosh killed Anduin.



Garrosh killed Anduin Wrynn, son of Varian Wrynn, king of Stormwind and leader of the Alliance.

Now, when I clicked on Anduin's body, it didn't say "dead" or "corpse" like I normally get, just an empty health and mana bar. A part of me thinks maybe Anduin isn't all the way dead and will be rescued by the Alliance (perhaps Velen or Tyrande will heal him?). Then again, if anything was ever going to get Varian Wrynn off his rational thinking kick he's been on, it would be losing his son and only heir to the throne. It'll be like Tiffin, only a million times worse. At the very least, Anduin is going to be out of the picture for a while.

Maybe I'm naive and should have realized Garrosh and Varian couldn't be in the same place without Garrosh acting and killing the prince, but it was still a surprise, and as I said, one that made me want to start crying in real life. Anduin is a child (only fourteen or fifteen according to the writers despite his tendency to sound much older), one who is decidedly weaker than Garrosh and who stood no chance in a physical match with Garrosh.

And it's not just the Alliance reaction to look for. Baine has met with Anduin before, both human and tauren leaving impressed with one another. Baine at the very least respected Anduin, and Dezco Sunwalker, who you meet Horde-side in Krasarang and then again at the Temple of the White Tiger, was also impressed with Anduin and responds to Anduin's insistence that most Horde members want peace with, "I wonder, have you met our warchief?" When captured, Anduin didn't respond with threats other than to warn that the SI:7 would be looking for him, the same SI:7 he then runs away from so he can pursue peace in his own way. Vol'jin would find no glory in the killing of a child who, again, stood no chance against Garrosh, and he certainly would see how unwise it would be to anger Varian like that. Finally, the August Celestials and the neutral Pandaren have come to know and love Anduin. Surely, they too will have a response for Garrosh.

All in all, this has been an impressive, compelling story, one that certainly blind-sided me in a big way at the end.

All things considered, I don't see how in the hell they're going to draw out waiting until the end of the expansion to take out Garrosh and name a new warchief. Too much has happened, and he's gone way too far now to turn back. The Alliance is going to retaliate, and it's going to be ugly (as it should be).
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Wrathful and Unrepentant Jade

December 2013

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