Getting the Band Back Together: The Return of Kel’thuzad – Part 3 FINAL

Sing Sweet Blightingale

Part 1Part 2

“I’m not waiting one more minute.” Arthas had very little patient for Sylvanas.  Obviously she new that and was testing them. He and Kel’thuzad had been sitting in the reception area for almost half an hour, but Kel’thuzad was not about to let a tantrum ruin his plans.

“Have you forgotten your own immortality?  This wait is nothing to us.”  Arthas was unmoved and stood to storm out.  As he did, the door cracked open and the head of Nathanos Blightcaller leaned in.  “The Dark Lady will see you now.”

Kel had intended to go in first but Arthas marched in ahead of him.  Sylvanas was not at her desk, she was standing at the window looking out over the ruins of Lordaeron.

“How are your ruins?” Arthas quipped before anyone else could make a proper greeting.

Sylvanas looked back over her shoulder with a scowl on her face.  “Ruins are a classic Arthas.  They were good enough to build your career on.  Where would you be if it wasn’t for this.” She motioned to the crumbling buildings outside the window. “But certainly you didn’t come here to take shots at your own legacy.  What do you want.”  She walked back to her desk and sat down eyes narrowed.  No attempt made to hide the disgust on her face.

“We’ve come to put the band back together for a reunion tour.  No new songs, we all continue to work on our side projects, just on the road performing for our adoring fans.” Kel had seen an opening and cut Arthas off. talking as fast as he could and still seem natural.

“Side Projects!? I run an entire label now.  I’m trying to promote over half a dozen bands right now.  I don’t have time to run all over Azeroth trying to recapture YOUR good old days.”

“You’ve got the passion Sylvanas.  You’re a performer at heart. I know you do a joint track with every new artist you sign.” Kel’thuzad implored her.

“It’s called branding.  I’m busting my ass building recognition. I have REAL responsibilities. I have no time for a nostalgia tour with a couple asshole I can BARELY stand to be in the same room with!”  She’d stood up now, hands slammed down on the desk.

He has known that this would be difficult, but she was being more resistant than he had expected.  “Sylvanas, I know you’ve got a lot going on here, but we’ve so much history, so much more in common.  Who outside this room understands the burden of our…”

“YOU DARE SPEAK TO ME ABOUT BURDEN!” She screamed.  Arthas and Kel’thuzad both put their hands up in front of their faces.  She finished her words, but the screaming did not let up, it intensified.  The two Scourge lords were pushed backwards out of the room by the percussive force of her banshee wail.  Nathanos closed the door behind them.

Failure. Everything up to this point had gone exactly as he had planned.  Kel’thuzad was sure that he could agree Sylvanas to at least consider the idea, that he could buy more time to convince her, and get her truly back on board.  It was apparent now her resentment had spent all these years festering and had bloated in to an unsurmountable obstacle.  Lost in thought, suddenly he was snapped back to reality as Arthas hand clapped down on his shoulder.  He looked up annoyed that Arthas had been so openly hostile when they first went in, souring their chances. Kel’s eyes narrowed.  “We needed our lead female singer.”

“I told you Sylvanas would never be on board Kel.  I’ve made some other arrangements for our female lead.”

“Oh?” Kel was cautious and curious.

“Yea,” Arthas smirked.  “Two birds with one stone, a female lead singer, and a replacement Dreadlord.”

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Getting the Band Back Together: The Return of Kel’thuzad – Part 2

Fresh Meat

( Part 1 – Mind, Body, and Soul )

Kel’thuzad emerged from the death gate, Arthas and Anub’arak close behind.  “Gentlemen, welcome to Darkshire.”

“Dar’ksheer?” Anub’arak try to pronounce the word.

“Dark-Shire” Arthas corrected him.  “A boondock thousands of miles away from any undead of note, they are not even Scourge.  What are we doing here Kel?”

“We are escaping the mainstream, looking for a fresh face with a new perspective.  No offence, you are both royalty, and it’s always hurt our image with the common ghoul.  We’re going to need a more down to earth ‘everyman’ to broaden our fan base.”

They could hear the music coming from the hole in the wall they were approaching.  It was literally a hole in the wall of a partially collapsed Alliance barracks.  Arthas felt strange as they walked in.  No one recognized them.  He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been able to go anywhere without a entourage of ghouls to fight off acolytes desperate for autographs.  Here no one bothered giving much more than a second glance.  Anub’arak was getting some strange looks, but rather than being mobbed, the crowd was giving them space.

“This place is a little dated isn’t it?” Arthas was clearly displeased.  “The ‘ruins’ look is a little last decade.”

“Ignore the decor, Arthas, listen to the music.” as they approached Kel motioned towards the stage.  There were a couple ghouls playing guitar, an armored skeleton on keyboard, an abomination on drums, and a banshee singing lead.  It was a cover of one of their songs.

“Pitiful” Anub’arak finally said.  “These creatures do not match our talents.”

“Agreed” Arthas added.  “That keyboard solo was garbage.  He can not replace Mal’ganis.”

“We aren’t here for the keyboardist.” Kel’thuzad replied.  He then turned to face Anub’arak, “You spin now yes?  You’re no longer drumming.”

“Yes. I enjoy it more than the sticks.” Anub’arak responded. He turned to look at the abomination at the drum kit.  “I would like to continue with my current set up, but out old songs require a drummer, and I will not stand for to our beats be mangled by an abomination. It will not be able to keep up with…” as the Crypt lord spoke the band paused, and the Abomination launched into an epic drum solo.  It was tight and fast, a masterful execution that got the nerubian to change his tune, “How is such a thing possible?’

Kel’thuzad explained, “You see Stitches up there is not like the mass produced abominations we have up north.  He’s all hand crafted and painstakingly imbued with the most perverse mixture of love and loathing you’ll ever find.  His creator and manager, Abercrombie, is over there, left of the stage.  The rest of the band has a separate manager, but Abercrombie keeps a tight leash on his unique creation.  He’s the one we will have to negotiate with.”

“Very well”  Arthas strolled up to Abercrombie at the side of the stage and leaned in.  “We like your drummer, we want to offer him a place with our band.”

The old hermit twisted his face up.  “I get a full manager’s cut.  Anywhere he goes I go.  He doesn’t do anything without my say so.”

“Very well”  Arthas casually pulled out Frostmorne and plunged it into the old man’s heart.  The music stopped dead, and the room fell silent save of the screeching sound of the man’s soul being pulled into Frostmorne.  Arthas pulled the sword out and pointed it at Stitches.  “You.  I have the soul of you master and creator bound to me.  You will do as I bid.  I am your manager now.”

“Cool” said Stitches. “What we do?”

Part 3

NewMeat

 

Getting the Band Back Together: The Return of Kel’thuzad – Part 1

Mind, Body, and Soul

Arthas and Anub’arak were lounging backstage of the Nexus.  Arthas, feet up on the table tuning his guitar.  Anub’arak flipping though the Battle Records in his Flight case.

As Arthas ran though some warm-up cords, he noticed the air was cooler than normal, and there was a smell in the air, iron maybe?  At the same time, Anub’arak noticed and they both looked towards the green room door that had just opened.

In the doorway stood a familiar figure they hadn’t seen in years. For a what felt like an eternity there was silence.  Finally, Arthas spoke.  “Kel’thuzad?  You damned skeletal son of a lich.  You gotta lotta nerve showing your face around here.” Athas had risen from the couch and moved over to the floating figure.  Kel’thuzad betrayed no emotion as Arthas slammed his hand down on his shoulder.  Arthas face broke into a smile. and he pulled Kel in for a hug.

“Always the sentimental one.”  Kel responded dryly as Arthas released his grip.

“What is the reason for your return, lich?” Anub’arak asked.  Despite his eerie and alien vocal tones, the suspicion in his voice was clear.

“I am here to get the band back together.” Kel’thuzad extended his massive hands in a friendly gesture as he said the words.

Anub’arak scoffed, “YOU abandoned US for your solo career. It is your fault everyone thinks you are a one hit wonder. Now that you can not replicate your success, you return?”

Arthas smirked, “I hear you play ‘Naxxramas’ TWICE at your concerts.”

Kel waved them both off dismissively, “I’m not here about the past, I want to discuss our future. We need a reunion tour! I wanted to discuss terms with you both.  I hear that Ner’zul is no longer managing you?  I think I recall warning you against trying to be manager and star, didn’t I Arthas?”

“You said, ‘Don’t put on too many hats.’, but I have been managing things very well since then.  That’s not something I plan on giving up.  If you are going to work with us again, that’s how it’s going to stay.”  Arthas had dropped the friendly pretence.  Emotion in the room was raw despite the years that had passed for it to cool down.

“Of course.” was Kel’thuzad’s reply.  “I don’t want to shake up what you’ve got going on, I just want to be a part of it again.  A reunion tour would do us all a world of good.”

Arthas’ severe expression melted into a more pleasant one.  He almost smiled again.  “I’ll have a contract written up.  We can start working on tour schedules…”

“AS soon as we get the others.” Kel interjected.  Both Arthas hand Anub’arak’s faces froze in astonishment.

“But… Malganis is dead.” Anub’arak stated, although it could have been a question.

“And Sylvanas…”  Arthas threw his hands up.  He didn’t need to explain.  “She would never.”

Kel’thuzad leaned in towards the two of them.  His calm demeanor started to crack.  Slowly he curled his hands in to fists. “When I said I wanted to get the band back, I meant the WHOLE band.”

Part 2Part 3

Rocking Arthas

Heroes of the Storm – Hero Announcements

Disclaimer:  This is not about Mekkatorque*.

Garrosh is imminent!  Back when he was announced, there were grumblings on Twitter from people saying “Oh no, not another orc.  Enough orcs already!”  It is something that I myself was guilty of.  There were also other voices, people who had been waiting on Garrosh for a LONG time.

The list below is from a video that was put up in 2011.  Now, if you are a player that is really excited about any of the names circled in red, you’ve been waiting for 6 years for the hero they teased to be released.  That sucks.  It would have been far better if none of these heroes had been teased.  Each one being a complete surprise.

Every hero announcement, no matter how cool it is, is immediately deflated by the fact that it’s not the one hero you wanted.  And while that’s a natural part of the cycle for Heroes of the Storm.  It extra sucks when they’ve teased the hero you want and they never seem to come.

It’s weird because when a hero from a franchise I don’t play get’s announced I’m indifferent, but when a hero from ‘my’ game gets released, that is when I get disappointed.  I know it’s a game, and more heroes are always coming.  I love HotS and enjoy playing it with the characters that are there, (Leper Chromie FTW).

Oh well, the genie is out of the bottle now.  I need to go update the list now.  Put a Check mark on Garrosh and I guess on Ghost Kerrigan as well?

HotS2011

*Mekkatorque is in the category of heroes I am discussing, but the reasoning applies to all of them.

Jastor Gallywix for Heroes of the Storm*

Goblin Alchemist in Warcraft 2Goblin Alchemy in Warcraft is somewhat underdeveloped.  This is strange because from the very beginning goblins were alchemist.  In Warcraft 2 when goblins were introduced, their units were produced at, or dependant on, the Goblin Alchemist building.  This tradition was continued in Warcraft 3 with the Goblin Alchemist hero. Goblins even get a bonus to alchemy in World of Warcraft from their racial trait, Better Living Through Chemistry.  So where are the goblin alchemist characters and heroes?

alchemist

Gallywix could offer an opportunity to take goblins back to these roots. There are many firmly established goblin engineers, most notably Gazlowe. Having a strong goblin alchemist hero would diversify the gobin kit and differentiate them from gnomes more. Putting the Bildgewater Cartel and Undercitry in competition could create some interesting tension in the Horde as the two faction both try to corner the market. Expanding into this industry would even be the natural next step and goblins. They already hold a strong monopoly on engineering, but that market is split between Bildgewater and Steamweedle.  Gallywix knows enough to diversify his portfolio of investments.

GallywixGoblinAlchemist2First things first, Gallywix needs to ditch the gnome spidertank.  If he is going to be cast as an alchemist, he should have a mount created through alchemy, such as a hobgoblin.  The entire hobgoblin race is created by chemical alteration and would be a good first step in taking his character that direction.  Seeing Jastor being carried around in a sedan chair by a hobgoblin would really set him apart visually and emphasize the tone for his character. There is also a goblin that rides a hobgoblin in World of Warcraft, Helix Gearbreaker.  Helix would be a great source of inspiration for Gallywix’s move set, especially the jumping on heads bit.  He would be like a reverse Abathur, jump onto enemies from head to head leaving debuffs and explosives in his wake.  It’s mentioned that Jastor used to be a street fighter when he was younger, and he’s even seen doing the head jumping move in the short story, “The Blank Scroll“.

I there is a lot of room in the alchemist kit for healing, buffs, debuffs, splash damage and more.  having Trade Prince Gallywix come to the Nexus in the form of a goblin alchemist would be a welcome addition.

*As soon as he gets his s#!+ together in World of Warcraft.

 

Why Wait? Mekkatorque in Heroes of the Storm

We know that Blizzard has planned to put Mekkatorque in Heroes of the Storm for a long time (Since 2011 at least) so why wait?  My first thought was that they wanted to wait until the HotS meta was in a certain place for some reason.

But does it make sense to hold a hero until either a counter hero, or until a certain map has been released first?  Any new hero that is added needs to function on all the existing maps without breaking them, and will need to be countered by multiple heroes that already exist.

It could be they are waiting for Mekkatorque to do something in World of Warcraft.  We’ve seen Mekkatorque in his new battle suit.  I wonder if he has some kind of upcoming scene where they will show him doing things that they want to bring in to HotS, but they don’t want to spoil what’s going to happen for World of Warcraft players.  Admittedly, that’s a reach, and might be 100% wishful thinking, but the idea of it makes me excited for BOTH games.

Maybe they want to make him a multi-class character, but that he got too complicated.  Now they are watching how Varian does.  Working kinks out of the multi-class concept with a straight forward character before trying a more complicated one.  As a bonus, they get to test the waters for how multi-class characters are received, and get us the player familiar with the basics of how the system work before adding a layer of complexity on top of it.

Of course, this is all assuming that Mekkatorque hasn’t been scrapped in favor of Chromie.  I highly suspect that the HotS team would like a character that represents each race and class from WoW and that Chromie ticks the ‘gnome’ box.  Datamining had shown Mekkatorque with a ‘tar barrel’ attack that might have turned in to Chromie’s Slowing Sands.  Chromie also has the Gnomeregan score as her theme music instead of the Caverns of Time music.  Doesn’t leave a lot for future gnomes.

The worst part is I can’t just say “we’ll see” because if Mekkatorque is never released, we could speculate forever.  On top of that he could get scrapped, and then picked back up later for a completely different concept.  HotS is so random I am completely unable to guess what character might be coming next.

The bet with @Arakkoa

I actually hope I lose, lol.  I do WANT to see Mekkatorque added to the game (It makes it for more likely that I will be added!).  And the fervent fandom that has grown around Pepe has stopped making sense to me.

Plus, with a real life, work and kids, I have not drawn anything in a while.  It’s be nice to HAVE TO draw something so that I actually do it.

ArakoaI’ve asked @Arakkoa before what distinguishing characteristics Verroak has, but I all remember him saying was “He’s real old”

Come on Verroak!  Lets have it!  Beak shape?  Plumage style?  Plumage pattern/color?  Moles frekles?  A feather that breaks the pattern? Cracked beak? eye color? Extra hunch, Light Hunch?

When other Arakkoa describe Verroak, what do they say?  “Oh you know Verroak, he the one with the __________.”