Part 21: Mission 7: By The Light That Took ForeverEpisode 7: Grim Batol or By The Light that Took Forever
: And Lord Proudmoore's scouts were sure of this?
: They'd better be. We're not in good standing since Tol Barad was retaken. Stopping whatever the orcs are working on beneath Grim Batol could put us back in Lothar's good graces.
: Yes, I certainly wouldn't want another week of guard duty. And if Cho'Gall really was down here, there's bound to be something important.
: All th' same ta me, s'long as I'm gettin' paid.
: Better to be paid for cracking skulls, though, don't you agree?
: Sometimes, ya jus' make sense, ya know that, lad?
: What should we do with the transports, Varin? They stand out quite a bit. Probably best to scuttle them before any orc spots them from afar.
: It's a little premature for that; there's still so much ground to cover, and the boats may prove useful once more. Until then, let's see what's going on down here.
: Well, looks like the scouts were right. Good thing that Terenas won't notice such a large detachment of his troops missing... we may just need them.
: And we've officially alerted the creatures down here. I don't like playing these games. This is not the war my father fought: out in the open, straight combat... none of this sneaking around and hiding from sight.
: Aye, in me clanhall, no one's even allowed ta play hide n' seek.
: ...that's a little off-topic. Sounds like a pretty austere life.
: Nay! We had tons o' games: Rock fight, fer example. Ya take turns hittin' each otha' with rocks. First one ta stop movin' loses.
: Well, I guess I can't blame you for your brain damage, then, can I?
: Hold on. Looks like the orcs set up a small camp here. No, wait...
: What is this...?
: A gift!
My first commentary on this level is that I both love and hate it. It has this nice fun little beginning area that you're seeing here. Alliance forces breaking through Horde lines and stealing their catapults. This is actually an amazing turn for Blizzard who were mostly just playing around in the basic "make base, blow other base up" formula. The rest of this level, however, is god awful, which you'll see soon.
: Does anyone here actually know how to use one of these?
: Gwahaha, do I know how ta use a catapult? Tha's a good one.
: I never realized that orcish catapults were so... mechanized.
: Well it's a damn good thing, I think there's some movement up ahead. Be ready with that catapult, Ruku!
: I'm never not ready, lad! Har, har!
: More walls? I can't believe the orcs would have left more siege engines here...
: You're disappointed that the orcs did something stupid? Come now, Varin, you shouldn't be disappointed or surprised.
: Aye, but how're we ta get tha' catapults ta Grim Batol?
: We can't be far now. It's worth slowing us down if we can bring them to bear against the orcs.
: We should be close, at least. It couldn't be a-
: Dead end.
: Shall I have the transports brought around, then?
: Ugh, I suppose so. This entire excursion has become exhausting. Send them one at a time... I don't want there to be any funny business along the stream here. We don't need an ambush taking both of our ships.
: You worry too much, Captain. Our men have already set foot upon ground, but the land is too infirm to begin construction.
: Who'd ye piss off, Cap'n?
: Just load up and prepare to march inland. The orcs must have a base that we can take control of.
: Alright, it looks like everyone is here. I want the soldiers in front with the elves providing covering fire. Ruku, keep the catapults on standby. I don't want any more friendly fire accidents.
: But he-
: I know he was a dick. That doesn't excuse what happened. Hmmm? Looks like there's a body up ahead. Soldier, go examine that; make sure it isn't a trap.
: Well, on the bright side, we know where the orcs are.
: Orcs!? Orrrrcccs!?
: Calm down, Ruku! We can't be this reckless! All men to the front!
: Nah, I'm jus' kiddin' with ye. Jus' wanted to use this thing already.
: Looks like we're a little invested now. Keep up a barrage of fire to keep the orcs from advancing. We'll secure this area before moving forward.
: Looks pretty secure ta me. Moving forward then?
: It was a standin' structure! I couldn't stand fer tha'!
: ...I'll ignore this for now. Remember that it's my lord that pays you. Send forth a scout. We don't want to run into any more ambushes.
Pictured here: The last moments of this poor man's life.
: Well... looks like ya need me catapults now.
: Just don't get us killed, mercenary.
: Yer still alive now, ain't ya?
: Lemme just draw 'em out a lil'...
: Emphasis on don't get us killed.
: You know, for a dwarf, he surprisingly knows what he's doing.
: Shame that I can't threaten him with a demotion. Alright, men! Stay alert! We're taking this camp!
: Really putting everyone to work, eh, Varin?
: We all pull our own weight.
: Alright, we're in a perfect spot to base our attacks. The rest of the orcs are here somewhere. Our job is to get in and cripple their naval capabilities and return. So let's get started staking off land!
THIS is what makes this mission such a pain in the ass. You spent half of your time getting this little ball of ground units together to plow through enemy lines, and then you have to switch gears to a naval fight. This wouldn't be so bad if you killed off all of your forces and started anew, but Captain Varin has a clean soul. So I begin the uphill process of making farms to feed this massive force.
: This could be a while.
: We're going to starve before the orcs find us...
: Come now, Gaz-
: Lord Ravigaz.
: -if you just take your mind off it, I'm sure it will be done in no time.
: I'd rather fall into a magically induced coma. As a matter of fact, I think I will.
Several days later...
: Alright, how are things coming along?
: Oh, boy... so much has changed.
: We have enough food for everyone!
: I think we can even expand our operations to a nearby forest.
: Days. I was out for days and this is as far as you've gotten? A lumber mill!?
: ...We've almost built a barracks.
: Please tell me that Ruku died of boredom.
: Nice try, ye scrawny excuse fer a toothpick. I've been workin' on a lil' somethin' I took from yer "castles" not to long ago. Speakin' o' which, looks like yer boys started makin' a shipyard ta move against the orcs.
: I like to think that somewhere all of the "G"'s you've abandoned have formed a society free from "everythin' tryin' ta get rid o' them."
: I don't quite follow, lad. Whats tha' got ta do with anythin'?
All this by the way? Yeah, it took forever. It felt like hours. In the space of the construction, I felt lives come into existence, wither, and die alone. I saw a child enter kindergarten, and leave high school an abused man. I wept upon the destruction of the earth in the space of these buildings being made. I may have also made a sandwich.
: Alright, we've got our first ship. Ruku, I want you to scout out the area. Keep an eye open for destroyers.
: No can do, Cap'n. I'm cookin' up a lil' somethin' special.
: Fine, I'm certain that word hasn't gotten out about our arrival anyway.
: Or not. What just attacked our men?
: Those are some pretty suspicious looking catapults.
: We missed some of the locals! Open fire!
: I'm getting tired of not knowing the situation. Send one of the gnomes to my quarters; I have a proposition for him.
: Of course there's nothing conspicuous about a shriveled old gnome riding along a flying bicycle. The orcs will never know we're here, Varin.
: It's my only option at this point. The seas can't be safe if the orcs are preparing their naval forces here.
: Nothing that we can't take care of, Captain. You're just worrying a little too much.
: I'll send some of the crew out to break through. We'll be finished this job before morning tomorrow.
: Damn! We're going to need back-up!
: Back-up? Ruku, what was that you're project you were working on?
: It's finished, Cap'n.
The battleship. The naval siege weapon: hard hitting, slow moving, and a goddamned tank. Most attacks barely even scratch it, including destroyers. And the damage? 50-130 base. That pretty much destroys everything. Since you fine folks don't have to privilege to see these actually moving around in combat, then you don't see the drawback in their awful mobility. It's like trying to steer a turtle through honey.
: Light be damned, what is that!?
: That is mine. You can get one when you make one. Now out of my way!
: Hold on, Ruku. Let's wait to hear from the gnome before we do anything reckless.
: But reckless is my middle name!
: Y'know, I'd almost believe that.
: Well, ye should! It literally is my middle name!
: Ruku Reckless Firefist?
: Tha' Second.
: Woah! By the Light! What is that!?
: ...That... That...
: THAT IS MY BOAT!
: Ruku! Calm down!
: Varin! Tha's my boat! My design! The damned orcs stole it! Stole my ideas!
: Why don't you go teach them how wrong it is to steal, Ruku? Take the battleship and a few others... get your ideas back.
: Yeah... yeah... tha's a good idea...
: Uh, Varin, are you sure that's a good idea?
: Of course. What could go wrong?
: It's like you don't hear yourself speak.
: Alright, you damned orcs! My name is Ruku Reckless Firefist Tha Second! And this...
: ...is what a real ship looks like!
: Small fries... Oh, ho?
: Ye're tangling with the wrong dwarf, buddy.
: Ye can't even build the damn thing properly!
: Let's make sure you can't ruin my good name any further with yer shoddy craftsmanship.
Back at base...
: I think that should have been enough time for Ruku to punch through. Let's send in the ground forces.
: Already deploying. Let's make sure that the orcs can't set foot to a boat for a long while.
: There's something poetic about being destroyed by your own creation.
: Up ahead, more refineries. We just need to his those and get out of here.
: And allow the orcs to live a day longer? I think not. Have the entire base razed to the ground.
That's the name of the game with this mission. You only have to destroy the refineries, that's pretty much what the battleships are for. But if you're going to do something, you're going to do it right.
: There's not much resistance. I'm surprised.
: Not much resistance? We had to slaughter an entire army and base on our way here!
: Aye, not much resistance.
Have I mentioned that the battleships act as awesome sea catapults?
: Bring the men forward. Have these buildings searched.
: Nothing of interest, Captain. There are some side tunnels to the caverns that we could search-
: No, I'm sure there's nothing. Let's just take out the last of these refineries and get back home.
: By the Light that took forever.
: Does anyone else smell burning? Like brimstone?