The Friday before the launch of Mists of Pandaria, I had the privilege of attending a special RP-PvP event, created by the members of Horde Emissary (H), Ravenwing (H), Theramore Regiment (A) and Kul Tiras (A) on our Moon Guard server.
As the finale to a month-long campaign started by Horde Emissary and Theramore Regiment, the members decided to roleplay a battle in which the Horde, freshly successful in bombing Theramore, are occupying Northwatch Hold, and face Alliance troops intent on reclaiming the area.
I think this was a GREAT way to take advantage of the new lore, create roleplay connections between factions and enjoy some pvp out in the fresh air of the real world (of Azeroth). I look forward to sharing my experience observing and participating (a tiny bit) in this event…
This past summer, the creative Moon Guard roleplay community was busy staging events that tied in to the upcoming MoP release. A series of battles, described to me as “epic,” were organized by a group of Horde and Alliance guilds just before the patch that would launch the Theramore Scenario. In the forums, there are threads for each of several sieges, held at Bloodwreck Bay, Northwatch Hold, Battlescar and Feralas. The thread for the finale, at Theramore, can be found here. I sooo wish that I would have been aware of these events when they were being planned, because both my son and I would have loved to see them live.
Reading through the forums, I gained an even greater respect for the RP community on the realm. The plans seemed well thought out, very detailed and incredibly inclusive. The organizers wanted an event that anyone from the realm could participate in.
Of course I had to check and see if there were any youtube videos of the event, and I was able to find this one, which is at the gates of Theramore City. Pretty cool, right? It would be great to see more. I’d especially love to see video footage of the war camps established before the major battles, and the IC dialogue going on between the characters.
Meanwhile, my friend Dartfall, guild leader for Horde Emissary, was contacted by the guild leader for Theramore Regiment, wondering if Horde Emissary would like an enemy to schedule RP-PvP events with. After some preliminary communication and planning, they were able to get an initial event on the calendar which would fit nicely into their respective storylines, and the upcoming lore developments.
According to Emissary James Dartfall (Dart’s full IC title) “the Horde Emissary had been sent to Dustwallow under orders of the Warchief to aid in building a post to attack Theramore City from”. However, he continued, “We do not agree with the Warchief’s war, and we decided to attempt to meet with Jaina Proudmoore in Theramore City about the peace treaty we once had.”
As Horde Emissary was approaching Theramore to conduct that meeting, however, they were ambushed by Theramore Regiment. Thus began the series of skirmishes they engaged in before the official scenario was released. While the Horde Emissary was able to defeat Theramore Regiment in the first encounter and make it to the city, attempts at peaceful negotiation were thwarted by the Regiment’s guards within the city, and the Emissary ended up fleeing, with Dartfall’s corpse requiring a 5-hour revival ritual…talk about a fun night 🙂
It was such an enjoyable event for everyone that they decided to continue the campaign, and the Regiment proceeded to head north to Darnassus to hop a boat for Stormwind and recruit other Alliance for the battle. The Emissary scouts followed in hot pursuit. On their way north, while headquartered in Thunder Bluff temporarily, they clashed in the Barrens and in the Stonetalon Mountains, where the Emissary lost the battle, but were spared their lives so that they could serve as a message to the Horde leaders regarding Alliance intent. After reporting to leadership, the Emissary was sent back out to stop the Regiment from reaching Stormwind.
The next, and longest, confrontation occurred in Ashenvale, after which the Regiment made for Darkshore and the Emissary discovered them in a cave. Upon defeating them in combat, the Emissary exorted a promise out of the Regiment to give up the campaign. Regiment agreed, but at the last moment, as they were leaving, they yelled out to the Emissary that they were fools, and would soon be running in fear from the might of an Alliance army. After that, the Emissary chased them down until the Regiment reached a night elf settlement and were able to obtain protection.
Hopefully the Horde Emissary learned their lesson: that you can never trust an Alliance, no matter what they say 😛
So they regrouped, and were able to meet up again after Theramore had been taken, when the Regiment returned to reclaim their city and the Hold. The original two guilds both wanted the event to be a big finale, so they each invited another guild to participate, with the Emissary choosing Ravenwing, a Forsaken guild that Dartfall would naturally have a good relationship with, as a Forsaken himself.
Prior to entering battle together, Horde Emissary met ICly with Ravenwing at their home in Fenris Keep to request their assistance. After hours of discussion, there was an agreement that Ravenwing would provide “Forsaken muscle” to the Emissary’s cause. The following night, they rp’d an enormous feast hosted by Ravenwing, and the third night went to battle together.
The Theramore Regiment invited Kul Tiras, which was a good choice because of the connection between Kul Tiras and the Proudmoores.
This is where I jumped on board for a little bit, and it was great fun to watch lore being played out live.
Preparing for the Battle
Prior to the battle, I didn’t have all the detail I just shared. I knew the name of the location from my friend Dart, and had to do a little bit of research to figure out where it was (it was me, after all….completely geographically impaired, and still learning my lore/locations).
I had a full day of real-life activities beforehand. Early that morning, I positioned Gold near the Hold, so as not to be late. At 7pm server, I raced into the office, shouting out to my husband the list of household duties he would need to take over, and prepared to log in. Eeeep! I was SO nervous!
Would this be serious PvP? Would my heals be important? I’m a mediocre dungeon healer, and even worse at PvP, which requires quicker reflexes, so this could be bad…very bad. I was also worried about the roleplay aspect of things. Would they expect brilliant, witty, commentary from me? Oh my, what had I gotten myself into…..
When I logged in, the group was organizing at the location, and Dartfall was coordinating with the opposing team to determine when everyone was ready to go.
The Horde group included Dartfall, Gotraz, Khazgoth, Vellektra, and Waylend (seriously one of the largest Tauren I have ever witnessed in game) from the Horde Emissary, plus quite a bit of Forsaken muscle provided by Cadriel, Cartian, Gabereal, Ixall, Krailor, Lathal, Malluch, Quorthon, Sherrauntot, Traevel and Xais of Ravenwing. From the Alliance side, since I didn’t have the benefit of the raid group list, the names I could catch during battle were Adiar, Annebelle, Fedrilin, Chriswarrior, Dartlic, Dasofar, Scoggle, Thorband and Varlanden.
Hearty battle greetings were shared among the Horde members, and Dartfall gave us our instructions. You may notice that James Dartfall wears the game title of First Sergeant, which is a PvP title from Vanilla WoW…pretty impressive, and hopefully those pvp skills would be useful in the combat. With respect to my role, Dart whispered to me that they would, in fact, be needing some heals. I looked over the group, and seeing that Sherrauntot was identified as a tank, naively inquired if I would focus on healing her. Dartfall reminded me that “This is war. Heal whoever needs it.” and proceeded to lead us into battle. Gulp.
The Epic Battle Begins!
For the first engagement, the Alliance stormed the Hold. The battle lasted roughly 1 minute.
I watched in alarm as Gotraz’s health bars went down nearly instantly, and he perished in the time it took me to summon a single Holy Light (I hadn’t generated enough Holy Power at the moment to give him a Word of Glory, unfortunately.) Traevel followed nearly immediately. I hadn’t noticed that they were both fairly low-level characters before we started, otherwise, I would have applied some special healing measures. Also, this was my first time ever doing anything live in-game with a screen recording going on in the background, and it did make me a bit more laggy….my deepest apologies to Gotraz and Traevel and Note to self: next time don’t get so caught up in the rp dialogue pre-battle that you don’t assess your healing targets properly!)
Otherwise, the Horde group overtook the Alliance . There were many cries of bestial vigor, congratulatory shouts and an order to “gather the corpses!” My son, in the background, after I read that to him, in true Forsaken form, shouted “EAT THE CORPSES!” /chuckle….my son is a far more natural roleplayer than I.
For the second encounter, the Horde Emissary decided to push the Alliance forces further away from the entrance to the Hold, and so we charged toward the inlet and the boats. For this battle, Dartfall asked me to sit out with the heals, to help provide more balance between groups. With confidence from the first win in his voice, Emissary James Dartfall shouted “Charge!”, and the group plunged into the inlet, crossing toward the enemy.
The battle was as quick and furious as the first, with poor Gotraz falling almost immediately. Dartfall took some early hits; being in the lead, he was the initial target. I watched his health with some concern, but he made it through just fine. About halfway into the fight, Khazgoth and Malluch took severe damage, but were able to rally and conclude the fight with their lives intact.
It was nice being able to just watch, but it was also difficult to see healbars declining and not be able to do anything. I have been well conditioned during my time as a holy paladin…dropping health bars send me into a panic.
After this second round, I realized that Traevel had not resurrected yet, and feeling concerned that I hadn’t been doing my job (Gotraz was getting rezzed or reviving before i got to him), I wandered around a bit to find her corpse. I also whispered to her, asking if she wanted to be resurrected.
She indicated that she didn’t know, and I considered ICly assessing her corpse for wounds, etc. I was totally confused, not sure if it was some IC thing I was missing, or I didn’t fully understand the rules of resurrection, or perhaps she might not have heard the initial rules allowing rezzing between skirmishes. But things were moving forward, so I rejoined the group again.
It turns out that Traevel’s death in battle was no accident. A beautiful, young blood elf, she was hoping to die in character, so that she could be raised as an undead, and join the ranks of Ravenwing as one of their own. I learned of this later on, when I was next able to catch up with Dartfall.
In the third battle, which was my last for the evening, due to some other real-life plans, the Horde group was beginning to move up the hill just across from the inlet, toward the north. There was time for some conversation before things started up, and it included both serious and entertaining discussions. Someone complimented Gabereal on his skill in fighting with a mug; a bit later, he managed to pull a chicken from his breastplate and then stuff it back in again before the offensive began. Quorthon voicing his opinion about the “sweet taste of southron flesh”, as he presumably dined on a body of the enemy, was also quite entertaining.
While we surveyed north for an approach, the Alli swept around at the bottom of the hill, somewhat surprising us.
I was still toggled off for pvp, so I scurried around looking for a decent place to watch the action, getting in the way of an enemy player, Varlanden, for a bit. I repositioned myself, then had an incredible vantage point to watch Waylend plow through and crush him…
In this confrontation, Malluch died early on, and Vellektra, Gabereal and Lathal took significant amounts of damage. Gotraz held out for a little bit longer than the first two times, it seems, but died yet again. He remained enthusiastic, though, as he had managed to get a kill in at some point, and there was a low level target on the opposing side.
There was another humorous moment, when Xais’s Tongues addon caused him to yell “MY FURRY IS UNSTOPPABLE…..”
Sherrauntot chastised the fleeing remainder of the Alli, as they raced for the hills…
The next round occurred in the fort, and before this one, my screen recording stopped and my memory is a bit fuzzy, but one thing happened before the end of the battle that was most memorable for me. We were standing, with the enemy fleeing, and I was not really paying that close of attention to my main screen, just watching the chat moreso. I slowly became aware of an enemy paladin standing before me.
He stared me down, too close for comfort, for a good long time. As he turned to head back to his comrades…..he HIT me! We weren’t even in battle, and he hit me! What a perfect end. That single action probably put me more in character than anything else in the entire event. I don’t have the screen recording from that part of the battle, and there were several paladins, so I can’t be sure who it was, but thank you, Angry Mystery Paladin, you made my night!
Wrapping Up and Moving Forward…
At that point, I needed to get going, so I shouted “For the Horde” and took my leave. Later, I caught up with Dartfall, and we were able to exchange some more information about the event. I asked how the rest of it went, and how he felt about it. He indicated that they continued to win the battles, however (and this goes along with the lore pretty well), they were drawn further and further from the Hold, until they turned, and saw Jaina Proudmoore summon a group of water elementals, with which she destroyed every single Horde on the battleships, the ships themselves, and every life in the city and the hold. Dart commented on how this was such a dramatic event, because she was one of the few Alliance leaders who tried to keep peace with the Horde. I agree with him. Jaina is a character that, even with my limited lore knowledge, has always been special to me. I remember watching her in the Ulduar cinematic, and instantly loving her. Her love story with Arthas, of course, is heartbreaking, and while I still haven’t read Tides of War yet, I am guessing that the events of the story are intensely emotional for anyone who knows a little bit about her. I am planning to stock up on tissues beforehand, because just knowing the little bit I know about what happened to Jaina and other characters from this WowInsider post, I’m sure I’ll need them…
From a mechanics standpoint, the way the event was set up, the winner of each skirmish would advance, so if the Alliance had been successful, the Horde Emissary participants would have been within the walls of the City when Jaina took it back. That would have made for some interesting rp direction as well, I think. As it turned out, they simply watched as she claimed it, and then returned to their homes and families to regroup and begin the next chapter of their storyline.
According to Dartfall, there is plenty for the Horde Emissary to look forward to. The guild is leveling nicely, just reaching 24 recently. The members have traveled to Pandaria and are making connections there, and they also plan to work with the Argent Crusade and possibly fight the Scarlet Onslaught in the near future. There are numerous colorful characters in the guild, so I’m sure it will be an interesting journey for them.
I would like to extend a huge thank-you to all the members of the group, for allowing me to attend, and I look forward to running into any one of you in-game in the future! Also, this story was written primarily from the Horde-side perspective, due to my contact with Dartfall, but I’d LOVE to hear from some of the Alliance participants, to get their thoughts.
How have you or your guild celebrated the new lore? Did you create an event around the decimating of Theramore, or are you strictly focused on exploration and adventures in Pandaria? I’m interested in learning more about how players in the realm/game are exploring the creative opportunities that Blizzard has provided for us in this new expansion. So, if you stumble upon this post, please feel free to share below in the comments, contact me in-game via Goldslipper, or via Twitter @BkfstinMG!
Thanks for reading!