Patch 4.2.0 has introduced some new things for us to do in the Cataclysm game and has give rise to much speculation particularly on the Horde side. A new quest chain has us spending time with Thrall in a series of tasks to free him from durance vile and reunited with his affianced Aggra. Horde players are now worrying that this means that our much loved former Warchief will not be returning to guide and lead us and that we are going to be stuck with Garrosh Hellscream indefinitely.
The adventure begins on Mount Hyjal where you are summoned to a meeting with some of the most renowned world leaders. Whilst in earnest discussion regarding a ritual designed for the future salvation of the world we are interrupted by an incursion of Druids of the Flame. These evil twisted husks of former life giving druids have been perverted beyond all redemption by the elemental Lord Ragnaros. They have been charged with the task of removing the whole threat that Thrall encapsulates from the field of battle and so turn the elements that he previously so masterfully commanded against him. They rip his soul into four pieces and scatter them throughout the elemental planes.
Aggra refuses to accept that her beloved Go'el is forever lost and so beseeches us to assist her in the reclamation of his sundered soul.
Your task if you chose to accept it... begins in the Plane Of Air as you battle with numerous air elementals and Aggra battles with Thrall insecurities regarding balancing his life as a Warchief and his life as a World Shaman. His agonised cries pierce your heart as you battle to free him from durance vile...
"I have... failed the horde... as Warchief.
Garrosh... will lead it to ruin... my people to ruin.
Cairne my brother... why did I not listen?
Despite many people claiming that Thrall will not return to lead the Horde, because of his new duties as World Shaman, it becomes increasingly apparent as we travel on through the elemental planes that Thrall is a true Orc and a true Warchief.
On the elemental plane of water we see Thrall again bombarded with emotions he struggles to control, this time it is desire. In this underwater world we discover that Thrall greatest desires lie in having a family and peace with his enemies. This much disgruntles many people who believe that an Orc should always desire war, but left others thinking that in the time of so many troubles in Azeroth the title of Warchief needs to be re-examined.
After this rather soppy (or sopping) scene, we move on to the actually rather amusing earth plane! In this zone players and Aggra must speak to Therazane the StoneMother who has always been a personal favourite due to her complete lack of respect and tolerance for any playing characters. She declaims that although it is against her better judgement to let another not rock humanoid into her domain, she understands the powers of love and the player and Aggra proceed to follow Thrall and discover him as a giant stone statue. This is a trial of patience particularly for Aggra as Thrall refuses to act in either his or her defence despite the seemingly "overwhelming" number of earth elementals attacking! This causes me much amusement as when I was completing this quest the huge amount of players that were also there meant there were actually no earth elementals left standing. Thrall's one recurring line through this scene is " We are Patient", causing Aggra distress and eventually annoyance. Two of her lines include "He did not just say that!" and "Don't tell me to be patient, you green-skinned...". Eventually, however, the power of true love prevails and Thrall wakes up with a kick-ass kablammy that flattens everything in sight and really shows how he got the name Earthbinder. Thrall and Aggra are briefly reunited, before Thrall is once again whisked of to the final elemental plane - Fire.
Anybody that says Thrall is not a true Orc has not seen him in this zone. The home of Ragnaros is also the home of Thrall's well hidden anger. Whilst players run around like headless chickens trying to defend various totems this anger is all that defends players from Ragnaros' complete fury. It is here Aggra tries to calm Thrall as he screams his rage to a burning sky. Famous lines from this time include:
"GUL'DAN! IF I MUST BURN MY WAY ACROSS THE AFTERLIFE, I WILL FIND YOU IN WHATEVER HELL YOU'VE HIDDEN!"
"KING VARIAN...YOU WISH TO HAVE WAR UPON MY PEOPLE? YOU WILL HAVE YOUR WAR, HUMAN!" "GARROSH...Garrosh...CAIRNE WAS MY BROTHER!!!!!!!".
As you might be able to gather from this, it is highly likely that the future will hold a lot of ass-whupping for Garrosh the half ogre and Varian the Psycho-King. However, the totems and Aggra's calm reasoning helps bring him back down to earth, or Azeroth, and he thanks the player. Now restored, it is believed that he will continue his ass-kicking, name-taking and world saving as leader of the Horde very soon. We here at Cataclysm Journeys support him fully and would like to say Garrosh's assassins are already in place!