Monday, August 16, 2010

The Horde and its Politics

There seems to be an awful lot of horde tricksiness afoot and I'm not quite sure entirely what to make of it yet. But I'm kinda a lore nerd so it's pretty fascinating This is a Spoiler heavy entry. Feel free to skip if if you don't want to know! But you'll have to follow the break to learn more!

In the Stonetalon Mountains, there is a significant Horde quest series involving a very large bomb that was made in Ashenvale and is sent to the mountains to be dropped onto something important. After a bit, it turns out that the target is going to be a large tree where the Night Elves are working on their own "weapon of mass destruction." (Thank you, intrusions from the Iraq War. I bet you can see where this is going already).

When you show up with the payload, the local Tauren chieftain is arguing with the Orc general, that the tree is a school for druids, used by both Nelves and Tauren. He has dispatched his son to bring back some proof of this fact. You head down into the valley to meet up with the son, but when you find him, he is surrounded by numerous dead Nelves and dead himself. But it's not right: clearly the bodies were dragged to this location and when you pry a scrap from the Tauren's cold dead fingers, he has got the insignia of the General back at camp there in his deathgrip. (incidentally, this WMD site is full of "Young Druids" running around in a panic. There is nothing even a lil threatening to you)

Reporting back to base, you tell the chieftain and his wife of their son's death, they demand justice and calls out the orc general, who admits to doing what he did because everybody else but him is so damn weak. He attacks you and the chief and his wife, but is put down.

The chieftain's wife begs you to intercede on their behalf with the local orc overlord who she is sure will be coming to slaughter her people in return for having killed the general. Of course you jump on a flight path to do just that.

The overlord is having none of it, however. He tells you to meet him back at the Tauren camp. By the time you have arrived, everything is on fire, the chieftain's wife is dead, and the chief bound and at the mercy of the overlord. You follow through and receive a quest in which you are to "Find out what it means to be Horde."

The Overlord dispatches his bomb. It is dropped and the pretty Nelf tree in question is reduced to a crater. The overlord drives his point home that this is strength.

And then a portal opens and out steps Warchief Garrosh Hellscream. He berates the general for having killed innocents and cites a lesson taught to him in Northrend that strength means never abandoning honor, as the overlord has done. He grabs the overlord by the neck and throws him over the cliff.

(that bit right there was really very cool).

So. There are a couple of points here:

The general who committed the murder against the chieftain's son was a Maghari orc, brown skin, from Outland, just like Garrosh himself. (and unlike the green skin orcs of Azeroth). I have been smelling some Orcish tension surrounding Garrosh's rise to power and the fact that the general was Maghari (about the only other Maghari I have noticed) seemed to resound heavily to me that Garrosh is bringing in his own people who are not as up on this whole "honor" thing that Thrall has been teaching for years.

The overlord, however, was a green skin. And it is the green skin that Garrosh comes along and throws over the cliff. So, that kinda muddles my brown skin/green skin tension thing. Plus, I dunno that making this strictly about the color of an orc's skin is a very nice story element.

Second, this is the first time I have ever witnessed any indication of Garrosh doing something decent. As, um, decent as throwing somebody over a cliff can be. Citing the lessons he learned in Northrend, he refers to whom could only be Saurfang the Elder. For the first time, it is hard to completely hate Garrosh Hellscream.

On a separate, but related note: The Stonetalon Mtns are awesome now. The geography has radically opened up, and they have worked a lot more paths up into the mountains so that it is a very vertical space now. Looks great! This quest series also makes for a really fun adventure. I hope the Alliance has as much reason to visit as the Horde.

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