We stood, holding our weapons in eager anticipation of the battle to come.
The platform we were on descended further into the depths of the Warchief’s underground stronghold. Seriously, when the hell did he have time to build all this? And how did he keep the lava from flooding it all?
No matter. Speaking of lava…
“Hey Tom, about that lava.”
“I told you, if we flood the evil lair with lava, we don’t get any loot.”
“That’s the thing, man. What loot? All we’re doing is killing our way through soldiers and their siege engines to get to Garrosh. What are we gonna get, a scrap of armor or a sword that didn’t get broken along the way? And if the stuff is all that great we wouldn’t be able to pry it off their smoking dead bodies, now would we? Just saying. Lava, dude. Lava. Why not smoke ‘em since we’ve got ‘em?”
Chrondeath said, “Garrosh has been scouring Pandaria for magic crap, treasure, anything he could get his hands on. And it’s all got to be stashed somewhere. Now, it wasn’t up there, so where do you think it is genius? Somewhere down there are all the treasures of a plundered continent. An entire plundered continent. That’s bigger than a breadbox or a baby’s arm, by the by. And we’re gonna get to it first. Do you finally get it?”
Ooooohhhhh. Oh, all right. Got it.
“So you’re saying it’s gonna be a lot of loot?”
“Sigh. Yes, you idiot, all lying there for the taking. It’ll be easy as cake.”
“I tried baking a cake, but it didn’t turn out right, the bacon was soggy.”
The platform finally arrived at the bottom of the shaft. As we stepped off, I took one last glance upwards to the level far, far overhead. How the hell did he build this so fast? And if he could do this, why not lava traps, spikes, snakes, boiling oil, something.
I mean, a big underground sprawling dungeon and not one single mechanical trap or poisoned chest? No green slime? You’ve got to have green slime! Or purple, whatever. Also, how did all this crap get down here? Through that one elevator shaft?
“Hey guys, do you think they’ve got a freight elevator somewhere that they use for the food deliveries, weapons, city-sized siege engines and stuff? This is kind of a long way to go every time you need to restock on toilet paper.”
“Shush, there are more troops ahead.”
Sure enough, the short tunnel opened up into a vast chamber, filled with patrols of orcs. Some were just standing around and others riding wolves back and forth. In the center of the chamber sat a big Hellscream Annihilator.
Chrondeath whispered to us, “Here’s the plan. We kill all of these orcs, I’ll take over the Annihilator, and we’ll use it to blow up the orcs in the next room.”
“How will we do that? They’re in the next room. It’s a small door. No trajectory.”
“Monstre and Pankration will lure them out, and we’ll lob shells on them at the doorway.”
“… Why would they come out if you’re sitting in an Annihilator waiting to drop explosives on them? And wouldn’t that kill Monstre and Pankration too?”
“It’s okay, you can’t kill your own people. Even with captured enemy siege equipment. We’ve tried. Oh Elune, how we’ve tried, ever since you joined us. But it doesn’t work.”
“Oh, okay. Wierd, how would the Hellscream Annihilator know not to hurt our side when we took it over? That doesn’t make sense. Wait, what do you mean since I’ve joined you?”
“Nothing. Let’s pull.”
We attacked the nearest group, and again we reaped the benefits of the iScream players the orcs were listening to. Despite killing orcs in the same room, nobody else paid us any attention.
In fact, the only other person that noticed us was the current operator of the Annihilator, who opened up on us, forcing us to stay mobile, ducking behind roof supports and watching our feet. Even with the constant rain of explosives, the screams of dying orcs and wolves and the fur flying, we were able to catch each group by surprise.
Before long, we had fought our way into the next chamber, some kind of half-assed training room, with Chron sadly leaving the smoking shell of the destroyed Annihilator behind him.
As we headed for the stairs, we saw a group of orcs trying to control one large mother of a beast, an enlarged orc glowing with purple ooze. Uh oh, purple! Must mean it’s bad! Everyone knows purple is the color of Y’shaarj and also the very coolest jedi.
Which begs the question, will that make Garrosh an orc jedi?
Old god or not, purple or not, the corrupted orc died like all the rest, and we pushed on up through the soldiers until we finally reached Malkorok, standing and waiting for us on a platform.
On a high platform.
And he was glowing with purple ooze.
Uh-huh. *I* see where this is going.
“I got five bucks says someone is getting blown off the platform.”
“I’ll take a piece of that.”
We arrayed ourselves around Malkorok, and I noticed that his right hand and forearm were gone, replaced by a huge honking blade. When the hell did that happen? Did I miss a memo? No matter, if it was important we’d find out about it soon enough.
I looked around at the rest of the group, and while their attention was fixed on Malkorok figuring out where to stand so we were all nicely spread out, I quickly pulled out my engineering tools.
I had a Goblin Glider built into my cloak, but it was so complex it took a long time to reset. I figured, if I got blown up, it might be nice to have a simple easy to reset parachute instead. Something that, oh, I could use every thirty seconds, just in case.
Wow, can you imagine? Get blown up into the sky, only to pop a parachute and float back down safe and sound, shooting all the way! Like a commando or something.
Team Wanda and the Whining Commandos. Hell yes!
Malkorok was saying something to us, and of course the rest of the team were issuing clear instruction on how we were going to take him down, but I was kinda preoccupied tinkering with my cloak, so I didn’t pay too much attention. How hard could it be, anyway?
I mean, let’s face it. Whatever was about to happen would boil down to shooting Malkorok in the face with demon flame while moving my ass out of bad stuff. Right?
So that was when Monstre and Pankration moved in, and things got weird.
Well, weirder than usual.
First thing I noticed was, that purple ooze seemed to be coating everything on the platform, including us. Okay, no worries. I don’t feel any different.
Then I got flung up in the air by some unseen explosion. HAH!
Eat slowly falling comfy parachute, asswipe!
I landed gently to the ground right where I had been standing, continuing to send my flames to burn his butt, as it turned out, because his great horny back was to me.
Then big purple swirlies formed on the floor in a few places. One was very near to me, so I ran away, only to have the entire team start yelling and waving at me, screaming, “Go back! Go back! Stand in the bad, dumbass!”
Wait, what? I don’t stand in the bad, I get out of the bad. I know I ain’t the brightest torch in the sconce but I know enough to get out of the bad.
Then the purple swirlie blew up.
As we ate our meals around the campfire, it was patiently explained to me that if someone did not stand in the purple swirly and eat the explosion, then it would go off in a nice, fat area-wide blast that would hurt everyone. So please, pretty please would I stay in my zone and run to stand in the swirlies nearest me? Please?
Well okay, but you don’t have to be sarcastic about it. Geez.
So we attacked Malkorok again, and this time the purple swirly formed on the ground and I ran into it, and the explosion went off, and my health dropped.
I quickly popped my cookie in my mouth, spitting out the burnt hairs, and watched as my health bar did not fill.
“Umm… Pumpkin….. my health isn’t going up!”
“It won’t, you’re coated in purple slime. You can’t get healed until later. All our healing is doing is giving you an absorption bubble.”
“How does that work?”
So we kept on. Very soon, Malkorok caused the ground to erupt in a cone to one side, and then again in two more areas. I started to run to get into one, but was told no, those are bad to stand in.
Once the floor had blown up in three different areas, Kissinger called out, “Okay, now everyone remember where those three explosions were, he’s about to make all three explode at once with no visual cue, so don’t be standing where they were.”
Wait, what did he say? I was supposed to pay attention and remember where purple dude had blowed up the floor?
So, as we ate our noodles around the campfire, I was informed that, yes, in fact I was supposed to remember where Malkorok was blowing things up so I’d know where not to stand for laters, but just for me, since I was so special, Kissinger would try to take the time out of what he was doing to place a target mark on the floor each time the explosion went off so we could see it easily.
Now I think we had a handle on it. Right? Stand in the small purple stuff, get out of the big purple explosion zones, remember where they were for later when he makes all three go off at once, occasional parachute, and we don’t heal, we bubble.
Then I saw it. Malkorok weakened!
Immediately, Tom called out, “Everyone in, stack. NO NOT YOU BUTT, YOU’RE FILLED WITH DISPLACED ENERGY!”
Funny, I don’t feel sparkly.
I didn’t know why, but I wasn’t sensing a lot of hate in the group for Malkorok, just a desire to get his death over with so we could move on to important things.
But, this is Malkorok! This is the dude that’s been a little weasel from day one, and he was such a weasel we couldn’t tell if Garrosh were really behind things, or if Malkorok was the true evil, and Garrosh merely his dupe.
There it was, though. I think it was because he wasn’t a normal orc anymore. Whatever he may have plotted, he let himself be all pumped full of purple muck, armed with a, well, with an arm, and sent to block a door.
It didn’t scream “number one guy” to any of us. More like, “here, stand here and if anyone comes, whack ‘em.”
Not exactly evil overlord material. Cannon fodder, nothing more. Kinda disappointing.
As Arrakeen sent her axe spinning into Malkorok’s skull, it felt more like pushing an obstacle out of the way than taking out a big fearsome baddie.
Oh, who am I kidding. Watching that scum-sucking purple puddle popper die felt great! I guess I’m just immature enough to enjoy seeing that piece a crap go down for his part in Theramore Island.
Filled with determination, we strode to the door he guarded, determined to push on, us, alone against the might of Orgrimmar!
Plus, you know. Loot.
We pushed through the door and looked upon the hell of war.
A massive chamber was revealed just beyond that door, halls stretching into the distance, ringing to the sounds of cannon and explosions, shouts and screams.
To either side of us, the forces of High-Tinker Mekkatorque streamed in through wide-open gates, raining death and destruction upon the Goblin war machines and shrieking orcs.
As the planes, tanks and gnome engineers streamed past us, freezing, blowing up or turning to squirrels all who stood before them, they were led by the High-Tinker himself, shouting order and smashing orcs as they came.
As we gazed upon the devastation, I said the only thing I could think of to sum up the situation.
“Guess they found the freight elevators.”