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Ironman Challenge: Level 20 achieved.

Ironkerion at level 20

Ironkerion has a magic demon pony. devil-bro-hooves yo!

So I got a chance to work on Ironkerion this past weekend and push his way all the way through Silverpine Forest and up to level 21.  I must say that compared to things I’ve been hearing from my fellow challenger over at The Tome of the Ancient I’m thinking that a warlock has been definitely a boon to Ironkerion’s success.  After completing the Tirisfal quest line to completion (though the final quest with Ms. Voss bugged out on me and I got disconnected. Quest still got completed, but the paternal slaughter? Definitely missed.), I ventured down south into the Silverpine Forest to meet up with the Banshee Queen.

I’ve done the Silverpine questline in whole about 3 times now and I must say, it really does quite a bit in terms of making the Forsaken seem justified in their actions.  Granted, most of Hillsbrad undoes that, but I find myself hard pressed to find a reason that the Alliance should have a stake in Lordaeron.  Oh I’m sure there are reasons.  They always have reasons, but when lined up to the Forsaken’s reasons… eh, I’ve got to agree with the forsaken.  However, in regards to Gilneas – Gilneas is not part of Lordaeron.  Heck, neither is Hillsbrad, Alterac, or Arathor for that matter.  They were part of the Alliance of Lordaeron, but that’s like saying every country in the United Nations is part of America because their club house is in New York.  If Sylvanas is referring to the entire continent of Lordaeron… then no, sorry, that doesn’t belong to the Forsaken by default.  In fact, I’m sure your Sin’dorei relatives would probably take issue with that statement too, since Quel’thalas is part of the continent of Lordaeron.  However, since the fall of the Seven Kingdoms between the scourge and the Third War (and that little incident with Deathwing probably didn’t help matters), the entire continent has been more or less a state of nature.  In fact the only reason Gilneas and Kul Tiras survived was due to their seperationist tendencies, and now that they wall is open… sorry Greymane, a new challenger has appeared.

Ironkerion Covers for Ironmary

Because I promised to try to smooth things out...

Questing in Silverpine on Ironkerion wasn’t really that difficult until the end.  Once you get to the point where you are sent into Gilneas to assist the front lines, that’s when things started to get a little hairy.  My voidwalker, while easily keeping threat, didn’t have the health to stand up to two 7th Legion soldiers at once.  I died many times attempting to penetrate Gilneas City and peer through its ridiculously oversized telescope.  I was able to kill the completely optional elite Ettin that wandered the Gilnean countryside though.  I simply dotted him with everything I could and health funneled my blueberry.  When the blueberry eventually died, it was just a matter of fearing the ettin away long enough to soul burn summon another voidwalker for immediate disposal (They hate me soooo much. I just know it.)  Using this process, I eventually killed the ettin and claimed the start-a-quest item he drops for a fabulous new ring that I sold to some random forsaken vendor (I can only imagine that they find this mildly insulting.  I’m wearing whites and vendor trash and keep selling all the nice rewards they give me.  And yet I’m still revered with them.)

The Original Wolfoids from Penny Arcade

That was my reaction as well.

The other place that was tricky was penetrating the Kirin Tor bubble (oh god that sounds dirty).  While the elementals that patrol the non-phased bubble, and the mages around the crater, were spaced out far enough that there weren’t issues, the phased bubble was a pink, sparkley death trap of doom.  The mages were so packed in places, I was pulling 2-3 at every turn and I will not hesitate to tell you I died a few times trying to get out of their town hall.  Once I reached the witchaloks, it was much easier.  They summoned wolfoids but luckily I was prepared because I read ‘Lord of the God-Kings‘ before venturing into mage territory.  Did I have three wand-claws bursting from each of my hands? No. I am a warlock. I have warlock stuff.  Warlock stuff instantly beats any mage stuff.  The internet told me so.  However, I did jack one of their dresses.

Those were the two biggest problem areas really.  Other than that the mobs were sparse enough that I only had one at a time on my voidwalker, and if they hit too hard I could always funnel him up.  Ironkerion himself can’t take too many hits.  Maybe 10 direct smacks and he’s down.  Thank the nether that I have a tank-in-a-box.

Oh, also this:

Double Lord Godfrey

Double Lord Godfrey! What does this MEAN?!

Next up: Hillsbrad.  I try to not murder Johnny Awesome, and attempt to justify playing a forsaken some more.  Wish Ironkerion luck!

Drama Belongs to the Forsaken!

Image by Daily Blink. Click to see the full sized version at TheDailyBlink.comIf there is one thing that’s got the Alliance and the Horde talking during Cataclysm it has to be the Forsaken.  The verdict is more or less in on some of the other major shake ups: No one likes Garrosh, everyone tolerates Variann, and no one is happy about losing Cairne.  The Forsaken on the other hand are still a constant debate.  Have they gone evil?  Will Sylvanas be the next Kael’thas?  Do the ends justify the means?  All very good questions on how this whole situation is shaking down.

I just finished all the Lordaeron quests (Tirisfal/Silverpine/Hillsbrad/Plaguelands) and I have to say – Sylvanas doesn’t really strike me as “evil”.  Disobedient and delusional maybe. But certainly not evil.  The big thing here is that Sylvanas quite clearly adheres the motto “the end justifies the means” and is quite open to any and all solutions to get the job done.  Including using the New Plague to ensure victory, and employing the Lich King’s creations to help repopulate your dwindling armies – because let’s be honest here. The Forsaken are not a “race,” they are the Banshee Queen’s private army.  They’re raised in service to Sylvanas, they cannot reproduce and they eventually all succumb to becoming mindless zombies.  The ONLY reason Sylvanas has a reason to continue to raise more from the dead is to pad out the numbers of bodies she can hurl at her opponents.  She is a brutal tactician who we have seen several times over has no issue disposing of even her closest allies if they stand in her way or betray her.

Which is why I think that Sylvanas isn’t lying to the orphan during the Children Week quest.  While she make think that Garrosh is an idiot, She – like Vol’jin – has no reason to betray the Horde. Or at least not yet.  Garrosh called her out on using the Val’kyr but did not forbid it and while he did forbid the use of the New Plague, no one has stepped up to call her out and showering Gilneas and Southshore with the stuff (Despite speculation that Garrosh knows it’s happening).  I think the big line that is preventing the Forsaken from splintering from the Horde is that the Horde is fully willing to give control of Lordaeron to the Forsaken and the Banshee Queen. Which is only that they apparently want at this point. Granted, it’s easy to speculate where the lust of power can lead Sylvanas and her people, but at least she didn’t succumb to worthlessness after claiming her vengeance like Maiev (who for all we know is still sitting on Illidan’s rotting corpse to make sure it doesn’t run off.)

Still the choices she’s making are not the smartest ones.  Breaking orders, making pacts with creatures created by your enemies (Especially foolish considering how many demon lords have stabbed her in the back), and forceful purging your subordinates of emotion are historically all things that in good drama tend to come back to bite you in the end.  I think the big turning point in the entire story of the Forsaken in Cataclysm will be the fate of Koltira Deathweaver.

Koltira is an example of one of my tropes in fiction – the noble dark knight. He knows he serves the Horde, but has respect for his Alliance opponent.  He believes in strategy and mercy over brute force and savagery.  He is level-headed, neither quick to anger nor impatient.  This unfortunately makes him less useful in the eyes of Sylvanas Windrunner.  So after claiming Andorhal for the Horde, Koltira is hauled off to “beneath the Undercity” to essentially be reprogrammed to be more in line with Sylvanas’ wishes. Namely, purging him of all those problematic emotions and turning him into the perfect, loyal, tactical, killing machine for the Forsaken.

The problem with that plan however may be the fact that without those pesky emotions that Sylvanas wants beaten out of poor Koltira, his priorities may be shifted along with it.  Naïve and sympathetic concepts like “loyalty” may not mean much to New Koltira, and now Sylvanas has two unpredictable elements that formerly served the Lich King in her employ.  Honestly, I think Koltira and the Val’kyr stand a good chance of betraying Sylvanas and putting her in a rather rough situation.  She has full force put her blind faith in the power of the Val’kyr and she has probably turned one of her best assets into an emotionless harbinger of death.  Considering Blizz was eager to tease the plotline that resulted in Zul’Gurub returning as a 5-man in the new low-level Stranglethorn Vale quests, I think it’s well within the possibility to see Koltira and the Val’kyr becoming a new heroic dungeon in the future.

After all that, Sylvanas might start reconsidering some of her bold choices since returning from Northrend.  That’s my guess anyway.

Warchief Election: Sticks and Bones

Welcome one and all to our penultimate debate for the season!  That’s right folks, we have two showdowns of verbal mastery left and then it’s time to cast those votes and we’ll see who will be the new warchief!  Tonight we have two of our front runners, the Dark Lady Sylvanas Windrunner and the cooking sensation Basic Campfire!  These two were fiercely battling in the polls, and we’ve all been looking forward to this debate.

However, since we fired Executus last time, we needed a new translator for Firespeak, so we decided to preform a horrific ritual and resurrected Hydross the Unstable…  what? He’s bilingual. Anyway, this debate is sponsored by…  /sigh…   The Nefarian Academy of Draconic Genetic Engineering And Evil Liberal Arts.  This is starting to get ridiculous.  Let’s get on with it this, so I can get paid and then use said currency to get completely drunk so I can forget this all…

QUESTION: You are both ‘outsiders’ in your own right to the Horde, what do you think your unique view can bring to the position of Warchief?

BASIC CAMPFIRE <Translated from FireSpeak>: <An outsider as in the context that we are not orcs?>

Yes.

BASIC CAMPFIRE: <What about Richard Knaak?>

I don’t think any cares if Richard is an outsider or not.

BASIC CAMPFIRE: <But…>

SYLVANAS: No. One. Cares.  Answer the question, Sticks.

BASIC CAMPFIRE: <Very well. I would say that my ‘position’ has allowed me to brew a perspective of sympathy for the common man.  I think that being able to relate to the downtrodden and hungry common folk.  After all, it is the warchief that cooks for them, not the other way around. It’s taught me to boil compassion and – >

SYLVANAS: Are you really going to keep this pun charade going? It’s not even amusing any more.  More pitiful really.

BASIC CAMPFIRE: <Look, I’m a talking pile of burning logs that has nothing going for it except for a moderate pacifist political philosophy, a bunch of cheap cooking puns and the fact that I’m not Garrosh.  Give me a break.  What I know is that being a pile of flaming sticks and doing nothing will probably be less destructive to the Horde than whatever you or Hellscream will come up with.  I’m not up at the podium openly expressing my desire for bloodshed.  How is that for an outsider perspective?  And what do you have that makes you so special as an outsider anyway, Ms. Windrunner?>

SYLVANAS: Hate and fear.  Both are important to understand vividly if one is to control a group the size of the Horde over three continents.  Fear keeps our enemies off our lands.  Fear keeps prisoners from rising up and killing the guards.  Fear prevents betrayal.  Varimathras did not fear me, that should have been a warning.  I’ve learned the value of fear now. We must also know hate in order to ensure that we are hating our enemies and not each other.  Take a look at the situation between the Tauren and the Forsaken.  They hate us.  I know it. My people know it.  But we don’t return it.  We understand that our hatred is best served in other ways, namely our ongoing feud with those Scarlet morons.

BASIC CAMPFIRE: <I’m sure the Windsong family would find your sentiment quite hollow. Or do you routinely poison people you don’t hate?>

SYLVANAS: Thersa Windsong was dying when she came to the Undercity, nothing she had found could cure her. We tried. We failed.  I suppose you’d see many a surgeon hanged with that sense of morality, Campfire.

QUESTION: The Warchief is required to some times make unpopular decisions, what can you say that shows the voters you can be willing to make those decisions and deal with the consequences?

SYLVANAS: While it seems almost every decision I’ve made could be viewed as an unpopular one in some member of the Horde’s eyes, I would say one that epitomized my career – and that turned out well, I suppose – would be supporting the Sin’dorei’s admittance into the Horde.  A controversial decision, what with their reliance on fel magic for sustenance at the time.  However, the Forsaken stood by the Blood Elves and for it we have a strong ally that has proven on more than one occassion that they are an asset to the Horde.  Despite doubting glances from both orcs and tauren, I reinforced the Sin’dorei’s forces in the ghostlands with my own soldiers.  Aiding them in reclaiming the lost regions of Quel’Thalas from the Scourge and dealing a blow against the Lich King’s hold in the Dead Scar.  Top that, logs.

BASIC CAMPFIRE: <Is it that hard for you to simply acknowledge me with the minimal amount of respect?  To use my name instead of calling me sticks or logs?  I am another candidate in this running, you know.>

SYLVANAS: Considering that some of the other candidates are the man-child Garrosh and a man who writes fantasy fiction, it’s not exactly something that’s going to garner any respect from me.  Or is being a candidate your ‘unpopular decision’?

BASIC CAMPFIRE: <Very well, but I refuse to sink to your level, Windrunner.  As a campfire, I often make decisions that are unpopular: I wane, I lose heat, I go out in the middle of the night leaving you without warmth.  These actions have taught me how frail people can be.  They have shown me that even the smallest choice – to rest, to push myself too hard and fall behind, to lose sight of the goal – can have devastating consequences.  We must always think before we act.>

SYLVANAS: So those were choices?  You actively chose to do those things?

BASIC CAMPFIRE: <Well… sort of… yes…  or when the wind was too harsh or it got wet…  or…  regardless, it has been very insightful to how one SHOULD be making decisions.  After all, the Sin’dorei with or without your support still fell to Kael’thas’ deception did they not?  Where was your unpopular decision to aid the elves now that many had succumbed to the demonic energy the other members of the Horde were worried about?>

SYLVANAS: The Forsaken were fully devoted to the offensive at the Sunwell.  Many of our greatest champions went and pledged themselves to the cause.  I do not recall many burning twigs assaulting the enemy forces there however.  Or was allowing the Burning Legion to seize the Sunwell part of your brilliant outsider knowledge?

BASIC CAMPFIRE: <You are testing my patient, Windrunner.>

SYLVANAS: You’ve already lost mine.

Umm…  Okay, getting a bit tense in here. QUESTION: There is an old saying that states “Nothing ventured, Nothing gained” what are you willing to risk for the Horde and how much would you need to gain in order to be willing to push that limit?

BASIC CAMPFIRE: <The only sensible answer to the question would be ‘Only what must be risked’ and ‘Only when necessary’ but I suppose you want something more specific to titilate your readers into controversial and angry discussions?>

Well, that would be NICE. We haven’t had a good flame war in the comment section since…   Okay, we’ve never had a flame war in the comment section.  But I would still love to see it.  I got a bag of now extremely stale popcorn set aside for the moment.  Please continue.

BASIC CAMPFIRE: <I would never risk the safety of the women and children of the Horde.  I would go as far to say that only those who have chosen to fight will be risked, because they have actively consented to be risked.  The only time I would ever break this vow is in the face of complete possible annihilation.  But no battle, no war, not even invasion would cause me to risk those who have not actively chosen to be put in harms way.>

SYLVANAS: You may find annihilation to be sooner than later if Wrynn has his way.  That man sees every horde an abomination, and wants them six feet under in the quickest possible way.

BASIC CAMPFIRE: <Why am I not surprised that you take issue with Wrynn?  Still a bit sore after he vowed to reclaim the human territory you seized from them? Negotiation is the key to victory for all of Azeroth, and assumptions are the enemy of negotiation.  It’s like putting chicken gravy on a salad, you just don’t do it.>

SYLVANAS: That’s possibly the dumbest thing I’ve heard you say yet, Twigs.  And I’m not referring to putting gravy on the salad.

BASIC CAMPFIRE: <What would you risk, Windrunner?  Everything?  Down to the last crying baby?>

SYLVANAS: Yes.

BASIC CAMPFIRE: <What?!>

SYLVANAS: Not without reason, you short sighted lump of fuel.  Such sacrifices would not be meaningless and I am nothing if not someone who plans ahead.  If everything I have been working on comes to fruition, the Horde will no longer have a need to fear death.  Who wouldn’t elect me warchief knowing that there may be immortality to be gained?

BASIC CAMPFIRE: <I don’t know.  How about anyone who has heard such empty promises from demons, old gods, or the cult of the damned?  You’ve gone mad, Sylvanas.  I can see why the good people of the Horde would be willing to elect a humble and honored campfire to the position over people like you.>

SYLVANAS: Then it will be their loss for it, Campfire.  When you crackle and burn as the Alliance razes our cities the ground, we will see where the Horde’s true feelings lie.

Umm…  wow.   There you have it folks.  I was kinda hoping for a few more Ha Ha’s there at the end, but damn.  I guess there’s a sense of finality in the air as we come to the end of the debate season.  I’m already nervous for next time when we see Garrosh Hellscream and Thrall take to the podiums.

Of course I’d like to thank Hydross the Unstable and Bilingual for providing tonights translation and not screwing it up.  And of course, tonight’s debate was brought to by the Nefarian something or other blah blah.  Why do the bad guys keep sponsoring the debates?  Would it kill us to get a good guy sponsor?  Anyway, see you next time folks!

Warchief Election: Warriors Gonna War

Hello everyone and welcome back to yet another exciting Warchief Election Debate! Last time we got some pretty awesome ratings thanks to the good people over WoW Insider (We promise not to say anything bad about you for like, six weeks.  I know we haven’t ever said anything about you before either, but this is like a guarantee.  Which is even better right?). Anyway, this week we’ve got a doozy.  It’s the polar opposite of last time – we’ve got two war minded candidates tonight and they look ready to kill, which means it HAS to be more interesting than two pacifists ‘duking’ it out for who doesn’t want to hurt more people.

As always, we have the Son of Hellscream himself, the slayer of…  (Um… Garrosh…  have you actually killed anything?  Uh huh.  What’s that?  Hmm.. okay.) The slayer of depression, the destroyer of da blues, Garrosh Hellscream! And also we have the privilege, nay the pleasure, of welcoming back the Dark Lady, Sylvanas Windrunner, queen of the forsaken and crusher of giant ice walls.  Tonight’s debate is brought to you by The Enterprise Company…  seriously?  I was just joking last time! Do they think this is going to work?  Oh well, “Enterprise Company.  Your source for everything the Venture Company has, only you can buy it from us because we’re totally not evil and totally not the Venture Company”  Can we just get on with the stinking debates?

QUESTION: Both of tonight’s candidates…

RICHARD KNAAK: I’m still here, a**hole.

Sorry Richard, totally forgot you were there… again.  Ahem.  Again the majority of our candidates tonight are in favor of war with the Alliance.  So the first question this evening is why do you think war is the best possible option as well as why your strategic plans are better than your opponents?

GARROSH: The Alliance is a threat to the Horde.  That’s all they are ever going to be.  No matter what we do, they will continue to see us as beasts and monsters that serve no other purpose but to killed off or kicked out until we no longer dwell in “their world.”  I think the fact that they still feel that way after everything our current warchief has done is proof enough that they want nothing else but to see us dead.  The best defense is a good offense.  We need to strike out and stake our claim in this world if we are ever going to have anything.  You think that those noble souls doing battle in Warsong Gulch are just playing around with a flag?

RICHARD KNAAK: Yes.

GARROSH: No! They are battling for the resources and control of the territory that those resources reside on for the Horde!  We need that lumber for the houses that our young sleep in!  We need it to defend our walls, and our loved ones! And the only way we will ever lay claim to the resources we need to survive is to take them from those who will not willingly give them.  So we fight the Alliance, not because we are blood shedding beasts but because we wish to survive!  I will not lay down my honor and roll over to die as a coward in some ditch while the Alliance takes everything from us. My father did not die so the Horde could live on their knees.  He died so we could be free people! Free from the bloodlust, the demons, our pasts, and the Alliance!

RICHARD KNAAK: Yes but like when I created Rhonin, I thought-

SYLVANAS: Surprisingly, I actually agree with Garrosh.  War with the Alliance is necessary if for no other reason than self-preservation.  Anyone who argues against self-preservation is an illogical idiot than deserves the fate that awaits them.  However, I don’t agree with Garrosh’s idea of brute strength beating down the doors of the Alliance and saying ‘gimme.’  No, to best the Alliance we are better off using subtlety.  A precise strike can do far more damage than constantly bludgeoning something over the head repeatedly.  That’s why I founded the Royal Apothecary Society.

GARROSH:  And didn’t that turn out peachy?

SYLVANAS: Quiet, you lap dog of Thrall.  ‘Everything our current warchief has done’?  Ha! Does he read you bed time stories now that daddy is dead?

GARROSH:  Hold your tongue, banshee.

SYLVANAS: You are in no place to order me, Hellscream.  The Society was founded with the idea of finding a way to efficiently and secretly eliminate our enemies without needing to lift anything more than a finger to push the button.  I see now that leaving Putress and Varimathras unsupervised was a mistake, one I don’t plan to make again.  But efficiency means less deaths for the Horde, more deaths for the Alliance and anything we can need can be at our disposal with a simple flick of the wrist and drop of well designed slime.

GARROSH:  There is no honor in that!  Honor comes from defeating your enemies head on and in a glorious battle!

RICHARD KNAAK: …kind of an outsider that could unite everyone under a single cause, be it horde or alliance or even humans and elves. Heck it was almost like I invented Robin Hood…

SYLVANAS: Your outdated senses of honor are useless here.  This is no time for wasting lives.

GARROSH: Like you have a life to waste.

RICHARD KNAAK: …And when Vereesa saw him for the first time, oh ho ho, there’s no avoiding a couple of half-elf kids at that point.

SYLVANAS: What. did. you. just. say.  ABOUT MY LITTLE SISTER?

RICHARD KNAAK: Nothing!

QUESTION: Having engaged in some rather questionable actions in the past, it has made some voters uneasy about putting you in charge of the Horde.  What can you say to defend your past actions and why should voters trust you?

GARROSH:  I admit that my actions in Northrend were… extreme.  But extreme actions is what the situation called for.  We faced two enemies in that frozen hell, one thought of us as nothing more than household vermin and the Scourge feared nothing, not even death.  There is no ‘merciful’ tactic against enemies like that.  You must not hesitate or else you give them the chance to take you by surprise.  Look at that pathetic human’s tournament in Icecrown! He left the doors right open for the Lich King to enter and doom us all and then acted surprised when he did just that.  That is the kind of weakness the Horde cannot afford anymore.  If that means we are brutal, then we shall be brutal.  If the humans want to hate us, then we will just have to make them fear us instead.  That is why I did what I had to in Northrend.  I regret nothing. My only sorrow is for those who judge me less for doing what had to be done to ensure the livelihood of the Horde.

SYLVANAS:  I will admit that trusting Varimathras was a mistake.  One of only a few that I will ever commit.  I know that now the only one worth trusting is myself.  That is why I chose to run for warchief.  To leave it in the hands of a half-cocked buffoon like Garrosh is too dangerous, Thrall is just leading us down a path of becoming slaves or getting killed, and I don’t even know what people are thinking to put a pile of sticks on the throne.  What are they expecting it to do when the Alliance marches through the gates of Orgrimmar?  Make a stew and hope they just leave because now they are full?  The Alliance is not a stray dog.  It will not love you just because you gave it some scraps.  If we are going to get things done, we need someone who knows from hard earned experience that you can’t trust anyone but yourself to do it right.

GARROSH: What about that plague that just happened to kill both living and undead targets?

SYLVANAS: A lack of oversight can cause many a malicious act to occur when one is not looking.  I can assure you that the new plague was designed solely for the purpose of destroying the Lich King and his forces.  Anything else is a product of Putress’ involvement.

GARROSH:  I smell fear, Windrunner.

SYLVANAS: And I smell Orc B.O.  Could you please go back to YOUR podium?

Well, I think we’ve heard just about enough of that for tonight.  I’d like to-

RICHARD KNAAK: One damn moment, you’ve drug me to these infernal debates twice, TWICE, now and not only have I been ridiculed and made a fool of but I have not once been given a chance to voice my opinion or present myself fairly to the voters.

Oh?  You think we’ve kept you down some how?  Okay, Richard, I’ll ask you a question.  Just you.  How about that?

RICHARD KNAAK: Excellent.  I have prepared a question just for this ocassion.

Wait… that’s not…  Oh fine! Give me that damn card.

RICHARD’S AWESOME QUESTION: Richard, what is your fantastic take on the issues?  How amazingly easily would it be for you to fix all of the Horde’s problems?  Are you really as awesome as they say, or are you awesome-er?

RICHARD KNAAK: Well, thank you for such a flattering question, I think first and foremost that –

Well, what do you know, that’s all we have time for tonight.

RICHARD KNAAK: WHAT?!

I’d like to thank our sponsors at… ugh…  Enterprise Company, “Strip mining your land in totally nice, safe ways cause we’re totally not the Venture Co.”  And thank you for tuning in!

RICHARD KNAAK: I will sue you, Vrykerion!

Next time we’ll have Basic Campfire chatting toe to toe with the Banshee Queen, Lady Sylvanas Windrunner.

RICHARD KNAAK: All of you can burn in hell!

Until next time folks! This is Vrykerion, saying take care of yourself and your main tank. (Can we turn Richard’s mic off?  Thanks.  He was really… WHOA! RICHARD! PUT THAT DOWN! PUT THAT–)

The Ultimate Showdown: Thrall vs. Sylvanas

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the one of the most anticipated events in the Warchief debates.  Sylvanas Windrunner, the Banshee Queen of the Forsaken, ruler of the Undercity, and a former Ranger General of Silvermoon, going up against the current Warchief,  he united the new Horde, was the chosen successor of Orgrim Doomhammer himself, and the orc with no last name: Thrall.

They’ve come here tonight to lay the issues on the line and engage in verbal combat for the coveted title of warchief. Like every night on the campaign trail, this can make or break a candidate for many.  Since we have a number of questions to get through and very little time (the Sen’jin Headhunters are playing the Undercity Grave Diggers after this), candidates to your podiums please…   and LET’S GET READY TO DEEEEEBAAAATE!

Question 1: Some have said that a Fourth War may be on the horizon between the Alliance and the Horde, would you agree with this idea? What would you say to ease the minds of the people or rally them for the coming battle?

THRALL: There are many who would sensationalized the actions of the Horde and Alliance and would view us heading towards each other in a devastating collision.  However, these situations are isolated and blown out of proportion by many.  For instance, the situation in Icecrown has led to a number of bouts of combat between the Horde and the Alliance, but it has actually been mostly a territorial dispute and a pointless one at that.  That is why I pledged my support to Tirion Fordring for his efforts to unite us to a common goal.  The risk of war, in my opinion, is overblown.

SYLVANAS: You’re blind, Thrall.  You always have been.  You trusted that Proudmoore would uphold the truce in Kalimdor, yet Kul Tiras’ forces stand defiantly in your own yard.  You trusted Garrosh to handle the situation in Northrend, and he has done nothing more than senselessly slaughter anything without a horde tabard on its chest.  You would tell yourself that this battle isn’t coming, but the dogs of war are closing in around you, Warchief.  Your attitude of frivolous optimism has all but sealed the Horde’s fate.  That is why we can no longer put our trust in those who could turn at a moments notice.  Unlike you, I learned my lesson from the Battle of the Undercity.  No more Putresses, no more Varimathrases and no more Proudmoores.

THRALL: So you would condemn the innocent simply because…

SYLVANAS: Because of what, Thrall?  Because they serve the Alliance?  Those who wanted you dead on the spot back in my throne room?  The blood elves are our allies, the tauren are our allies, the Alliance are NOT. So yes, Thrall, I would condemn the innocent just because they are my enemy.  That is what it means to be enemies. It means I draw the line when it comes to bedding with the enemy.

THRALL: I will not stand for such insinuations!

SYLVANAS: Why?  Are you still sore because she calls Wrynn “Her King” instead of you?

THRALL: Enough! Casting me as a villain will not help your argument any, Sylvanas.  Need I remind you that my trust goes both ways.  Was it not I that trusted your word that the Undercity was taken by a coup? Did I not urge the tauren to trust the Forsaken enough to bring them into the Horde?

SYLVANAS: You think that exonerates you from allowing our defenses to lapse and creating discord amongst your people?  There is a reason they are willing to elect a burning pile of logs instead of you or Garrosh, Thrall. The war is coming, Warchief.

THRALL: I can’t tell if I’m listening to the words of the Banshee Queen or Garrosh! If war is coming, our actions should be to quickly diffuse it instead of ramping up our armaments and encourage the conflict.  If peace can not be established, then there will always be a war coming.  A fifth war, and a sixth war, until either side is completely dead and gone.  And regardless of what you think of the Alliance or the living, Sylvanas, if either faction is wiped from the face of Azeroth, the world will be lesser for it.

Question 2: After the Battle for the Undercity, the Kor’kron guard have taken up duties in the Undercity. This has raised a lot of concerns about personal freedoms and individual autonomy of the factions of the Horde.  What is your stance on sacrificing for the greater cause?

SYLVANAS: The Kor’kron have been an insult to the halls of the Undercity.  There was no need for them there, as the Undercity’s guards had handled everything fine up until.  The arrival of the Kor’kron forces have done nothing more than made the forsaken prisoners in their own city.  Does it call into question how autonomous each race of the Horde is? Absolutely.  When the forsaken aided the sin’dorei in their attempts to reclaim the Ghostlands, we did not set up camp in Silvermoon.  We did not replace their guards.  We did not exert control.  So what the orcs are doing in the Undercity is beyond uncalled for.  It’s almost worse than the crime we are apparently being punished for.

THRALL: Sylvanas, I am shocked.  This is the first I am hearing of this from you. I stationed the Kor’kron there for the safety of the forsaken.  I thought it best after King Wrynn’s declaration of wanting to seize the city back that there would reason enough to reinforce the Undercity.  At no point did Bragor attempt to refuse your right as Queen.  At no point did I say that you were not free to govern your people how you saw fit.  There is no loss of freedom to be found.  Simply helping our friends remain safe.  I think these thoughts of replacing you are simply that – thoughts.

SYLVANAS: Safe, Thrall? For years, the forsaken have held off the Scarlet Crusade from the east and the Alliance from the south.  Not once during the attacks of Tarren Mill did you raise your voice about safety.  You never batted an eye when the Scarlet Crusade began to fortify their monastery and started lynching my people from the trees!  The only time you ever cared about the safety of the forsaken or the security of the Undercity is after an attempted coup from within.  So I find it hard to chock it up to simple ‘paranoia’ when I see your personal guard watching my people closer than the doors to the city.  As for the question of sacrificing for the greater cause, I think it entirely depends on what we are sacrificing.  Our autonomy as individual races being united as a Horde is what sets us apart from the Alliance, who are just that, an Alliance.  They all have equal say in their little band except for Varian who sits at the head of the whole beast and does all the barking.  No one sees the blood elves or tauren do something and instantly thinks that’s the actions of the entire Horde.

THRALL: If we are not united, then we are nothing but Horde in name.  Even the Old Horde had united together towards a common goal.  While yes, that goal was war, they did sacrifice some of their clan’s autonomy to do it.  When Doomhammer made me the warchief of the New Horde, I did what I could to abolish those old mentalities of divided clans.  I don’t see why the same would not work amongst the different races.

SYLVANAS: So you suppose we just mimic the Alliance, with you as the barking head?  Or are you suggesting the racial leaders found some Shadow Council of our own and rule the Horde?

THRALL: Your putting words in my mouth.  I’m simply saying that if it serves the greater good and betters the Horde, we should consider it.  I wouldn’t remove anything from the table unless I was sure that we could do without.

Question 3: What do you think is the greatest weakness the Horde has at the moment?

THRALL: We are a young lot.  We don’t have much of the wisdom that many of the elders possess.  I can only wish that I can understand as much as Drek’thar or Cairne when I reach their age.  I wholeheartedly think that our youth is our greatest weakness.  We are bold headed and closed minded because of it.  If you look at most of the problems the Horde face, and issues people have with much of the Horde’s leadership stem from the fact that their mindset and viewpoint is that of youth.

SYLVANAS: How fortunate that a young pup like you is exempt from the follies of youth.  Who exactly are you talking about with that statement?  Both I and the council that leads the Blood Elves are well over 100 years old and you defend the wisdom of Bloodhoof, so who I wonder could you be talking about?

THRALL: Age is more than just the years one has walked on the earth, Sylvanas.

SYLVANAS: Fine, keep your greeting card messages.  But in my opinion, the greatest weakness of the Horde is the inability to act decisively.  We either rush into things weapons drawn like your pathetic apprentice, Garrosh, or we sit and deliberate and talk until we are all doomed by indecision.  When the Undercity fell, we identified the problem and we acted to remove it.  It was a success.  The fact that something that efficient doesn’t happen more often is the greatest weakness of the Horde.

Question 4: Our final question of the evening comes from Brigwyn.  He asks: Dwarves or Humans, who do you trust more and why?

SYLVANAS: Dwarves.  Definitely dwarves.  Humans are swollen with pride and love for themselves.  They think themselves superior to others for no reason.  Dwarves, in my experience, are relatively realistic in their views of themselves.  They were divided during a war, not by racial lines or other petty reasons, but by political ideologies.  As someone who broke away from a tyrannical faction out of ‘ideological reasons’ I can respect that decision, even if they serve the Alliance.

THRALL: You’ve let a few humans cloud your judgement of all of them, Sylvanas.

SYLVANAS: I could say the same for you, Warchief.

THRALL: On the contrary, don’t forget that I was raised by humans.  I have seen with my own two eyes that humans are amazingly diverse in any way you can be different.  Even within their own ‘clans’ they have many different people with different view points.  Almost as if every person was their own ‘clan.’  And yet they still all work together towards a goal.  It’s amazing really.  When I was discussing the differences between arcane magic and shamanism with Jaina…

SYLVANAS: I’ve had enough of this, Thrall.  What is the deal with you and Jaina?

THRALL: What?  What do you mean?

SYLVANAS: Don’t try to avoid the issue.  You know what everyone says about you and Jaina, I even got the better of your temper earlier by mentioning that little human witch.  So what exactly is your relationship with her?

THRALL: Fine.  If you must know.  Jaina and I are-

Oh, so sorry there Thrall, but we’ve run out of time for this debate.  The game is just starting and I know the Dark Lady doesn’t ever miss a game when the Grave Diggers are playing.  However I think we’ve answered a lot of questions that people may have had. Next time we’ve got Richard Knaak, Basic Campfire, and Thrall squaring off in a three way debate that will show us once and for all who has the humanitarian skills to pull of being Warchief.  The incumbent warchief or a pile of logs that have been set on fire (and maybe Knaak will say something we can all laugh at). Keep it here at Oddcraft.net for all your Warchief Election coverage!

Warchief Election: A New Challenger Appears

Well, I mentioned earlier this week that we had received some announcements for the new Warchief candidate that had decided to squeeze into Deathwing’s old spot (He’s still sending us emails. Nonsensical trash like “The Barrens shall burn in my wake!” or “Not even Southshore shall be spared my wrath!” and some such), but we were discussing the best way to announce it.  Well, when we got a look at the campaign ad, that issue was quickly resolved.  So here it is ladies and gentlemen, squeaking in just before debate season starts, your new fifth candidate for Warchief:

That’s right, Horde.  The Banshee Queen is on the scene.  I wasn’t kidding when I said that Basic Campfire and Thrall had better watch out, because the Queen of the Dead is packing some major support.  Until now there hadn’t been a candidate that the Forsaken had truly backed. Oh sure, some of them liked Thrall and others really enjoyed Basic Campfire’s easy to get behind platform, but all bets are off when Sylvanas Windrunner throws her hat in the ring. Even a large number of Blood Elves have decided to support Windrunner as the new warchief.

The Dark Lady is a hard candidate to follow, she’s proven her chops against both the Alliance and the Scourge, not to mention her dedication to the Horde by accepting the help of Thrall to recapture the Undercity from insurgents that she could have easily joined up with.  Her Royal Apothecary Society has created some of the most potent biological weapons ever seen, and the Alliance has seen that she doesn’t mind testing them on live subjects.

While some detractors have mentioned that using weapons like the New Plague as a deterrent could have troublesome repercussions, some do admit that it’s better than the policy of open war that Garrosh has been advocating.  The tauren have been especially out spoken against the announcement of Windrunner’s candidacy, seeing forsaken leadership as one step closer to a possible ‘Lich King’ scenario.  Lady Sylvanas dismissed such complaints, “The Lich King is dead but we are still here.  If that’s not proof enough that we’re not in league with Scourge, I don’t know what is.”

I don’t think I need to express how much of a game changer the appearance of Lady Windrunner is in this election.  With legions of voters including the forsaken, the sin’dorei, and many female voters openly expressing their support for this new candidate, we should expect even more heated debates coming this next week.  For those of you out there who wish to support Lady Sylvanas Windrunner as a candidate, her team was kind enough to do up a new button for everyone.  They’ve made some of their own changes to it:

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