Part 28: Mission 14: Varin's VictoryEpisode 14: The Great Portal or Varin's Victory
: Dammit, Varin, say something!
: This is it. I mean, this is really it, isn't it? We're going to finally rid the land of these vile orcs.
: Alright, ye lot! Onto th' boats! Get movin'!
: But, Gaz... What if he isn't here?
: Varin, we don't have time to think about that. We have to bring this portal down once and for all! Do you even remember what Turalyon asked us to do?
: Dibs on th' big beastie! Er... I s'ppose I'll lead th' attack, then.
: ...Yeah, ya boyos jus' keep chattin' in up.
: We're to clear the path for Khadgar to seal the Dark Portal once and for all. I know, Gaz.
: Then focus! You get your men on those ships and - Son of a bitch! Ruku!
So let's talk about this mission here. It is easily much more difficult than the final mission for the orc side. You don't have a starting base, and thus have to find an appropriate place to stake ground. Since this is Warcraft 2, your goal will be practically laid out for you, so that isn't a big deal. However, you may note that we have to start by ferrying our troops across the see, which means only one thing: beach landing. Everyone who has been playing along on home will be groaning, as they know the pain of these landings. I'll talk more about the difficulty as we progress.
: Fer blood, glory, an' all th' booze we can float in our veins!
: Well, tha's no good. Open fire! Broadside 'em! Thinside 'em while yer at it! Hit all th' damn sides!
The landing is the first hurdle. You have to show off your naval dancing prowess. Since we've been doing this over the past 13 missions, it isn't too difficult. However...
...landing is always gonna be a bitch.
: Tha's it, me lads! Fear no ogre!
: Don't mind me, jus' gonna be firin' this huuuuuge cannon jus' above yer heads!
This looks peaceful, I know, but I assure you that there was many a reset level on this landing.
: Aye! The Hand o' Firefist still burns bright!
: Well, better go pick those two wee lasses up. Heh heh... This'll be over 'afore lunch.
On the swampy remains of the Black Morass...
: Oh, good. Our loyal psychopath sent back transport for us.
: These transports are covered with blood.
: Good! Probably means that Ruku is all finished by now. I'm betting that we spend most of our day waiting for that prissy bitch Khadgar to get here.
: ...Some bad blood between you two?
: He was all, "Look at me, I'm top of the class... again!" Oh, Light and then, "Hey, Ravi-Davi, guess who the council sent to train with Medivh." I'm glad that bastard was nearly aged to death!
: Ravi-Davi? Well, you'll have to put that aside if we're to work with the archmage.
: Glad ye, could join us, "Cap'n."
: Ruku, could you even be bothered to clean up the ogre bodies?
: I kinda like it. It adds an air of mystery!
: Yes, nothing like the enigmatic aura of rotting ogre flesh.
: Exactly! Now, come on. We've still got work ta do.
: You didn't even clear the area?
: Well, yer still th' Cap'n around here. Sorta.
: How kind, Ruku. We've got dangerous ogres surrounding us, and we're not going to let them regroup!
: ...Other way, Varin.
I'll talk about these ogres a little. These are fully upgraded ogre-magi, which means they hit harder than us, can take a beating, and... oh, yeah! Cast Bloodlust whenever they want. Our troops, however, are still the basic units and very scarce, so a bloodlusted ogre can make short work of our unit. There's a reason why I'm not rushing out a barracks to replenish my stock, however.
: I know what I'm doing, Gaz!
: I'll handle the military. You take care of the defenses.
: Alright, Gary! You heard the man. Chop, chop! And Varin, defenses? Really? They're just ogres; Ruku can take care of them easily enough.
: Well, Gaz, a good base starts - By the Light...
: Starts with? Varin? What - Oh, Nether!
: Men, to positions!
: Grrg! Lemme at 'im! Me name is Ruku Firefist, dragon! I am th' slayer o' yer kind!
: Maybe best to leave this one to the guys who can actually reach the damn thing, Ruku.
: ...But... I'mma dragon slayer...
: Hello? Assistance required!
: Where did the orcs hide these forces for so long?
: Don't know. Don't care! Kill them!
: At least I can reach these beasties! Oy!
: He ran away!? What's he doin' tha' fer?
: I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth, Ruku. Gaz, those defenses are even more important now.
: I've already got Gary on it.
: Excellent, now we just need a-
: -keep. Superb work, Gary.
: Y'know, Varin, these ogres ain't so tough. Ye jus' gotta know where ta hit 'em! I recommend th' jimmies.
: Ruku, pull back!
: Wha'? Why?
: The dragon, that's why, you mental deficient. I've got this covered, Varin.
So, you may have noticed what is making this mission so particularly difficult. With your vastly diminished forces you will have to fight a number of dragon assaults. The difficulty of this is compounded when you only have 8 units that can effectively attack the dragons (and two of which are mages, which aren't too helpful). On top of that, you're still building your base, so you won't be seeing replacements any time soon.
The solution, of course, is to make a shit ton of towers.
: Don't you think that's a bit overkill, Gary?
: Oy. Elf-lover...
: Retreat to the towers!
: I've learned ta trust ol' Gary.
: Our ships are drawing undue attention. Ruku, scuttle the transports.
: Ye don't have ta ask me twice!
: Ah, nothin' like blowin' somethin' up ta make ye feel ready ta take on th' world.
: As well, I think it's a good time to start setting up our infrastructure. This is going to be a prolonged siege, men.
: Is that wise, Varin? There are doubtlessly still dragons about.
: We've laid at least fifteen of them low by now. I sincerely doubt that the orcs could muster up any more.
One montage of being proven wrong later...
Never-ending dragon attacks.
: How are they mustering up more!? I need eyes on the field. I'm blind over here.
: Alright, Hand o' Firefist! Ye heard 'im. Scout th' area, ye lot.
And this is all that remains of the once fine army.
: ...Aye, well. Jus' you then.
: Ah, ha! An ogre den!
: Ruku, your man has uncovered something more important...
: Gold. Sweet, precious gold.
: And with richer veins than the one we've been digging out, I'll bet. Ours is nearly exhausted already. Maybe if we didn't spend our money so frivolously...
: We need those towers, Gaz. You're going to have to swallow your pride on this one: Gary was right.
: And with our farmlands coming along, things do seem to be going our way at last.
: Now let's just have a hall erected near the gold mine and prepare to bring these orcs to their knees.
: Varin, you know that isn't going to work.
: The land near the gold mine is completely impossible to build a foundation. We can't dig down or risk collapsing the mine.
: Ugh, I guess we could-
: Run, Gary! Ruuuun!
: More of them? These orcs have kept too many secrets from our scouts!
: Maybe we could focus on the fact that our headquarters is on fire?
: Fall back to the towers!
: We may have some bad news for Khadgar when he and Turalyon arrive.
: Varin, we have some bad news, right now. Those were the last of our troops.
: Tell Gary that we need his most fearless men. We'll need some stout men holding this base up if we want to continue.
At this point in the mission, I believe I had just four peasants. This last map is not kind.
: Now then, I want a perimeter of towers lining this canyon!
: Excellent work, soldier. Now-
: Oh, Light! Well, at least your life has been spared. Gaz, see to it that he gets a seat at the table and-
: No! Run! Run!
: ...Please tell me that was Gary.
: Ahem, permission ta cut in on th' conversation, Cap'n? If ye an' Gruel Fer Brains are done yakkin'...
: ...There's still a damn undead thingy out there what needs smackin'!
: Whoa. Okay, his magic can blow up stone. That is some pretty awesome-
: Pure an utter heretical nonsense. Clearly.
: Maybe if we just wait, he'll go away.
: As much as I hate to admit it, without any troops, that's all we can do.
: Yer both idiots! Ya jus' gotta use yer noggins! Oy, ye sad excuse of a workin' skeletal structure! I can smell yer breath from 'ere! I hear ya undead boys get passed around like a toy back at tha' ogre camps!
: That is unbelievably foul.
: Shut up, Varin. It's working.
: Tha's right! Look at all them holes on ye! I betcha them bones are stained white at this point, if'n ya catch me drift, ye dirty little bonesack!
: Oh, I am saving that one for later.
: Two more men lost.
: Aye, but we got 'im, right?
: He's right, Varin. Their deaths just bought us some breathing room. I've got Gary exploring that mine to the north right now. It appears our veins have dried up here.
: But that mine is extremely dangerous!
: Right. That's why I sent Gary.
: If there's anyone what could do it, it'd be ol' "Nine Lives" Gary.
: Good point, Ruku. I can already see his men returning on the horizon. Good risk, Gaz.
: Buh! Dammit all!
: Now I want that money put directly into our base. Right now, that means...
: ...and food.
: Uh, Varin?
: Yeah, really should have seen that one coming.
: All men, retreat! To the towers!
: Except Gary!
: Yes, except Gar- What the Nether is wrong with you!?
: Never gamble with a peasant. They have nothing to lose.
: Nothing to take, either. What made you think you would get anything from him?
: I have a serious problem, Varin.
: Blah, blah, blah, "I have serious addictions, someone help me, I'm a lil' boy with lil' boy tears." Anyway, Cap'n, maybe we could get some defenses up thar?
: We're already on it.
: Well, ye may wanna hurry up.
: WHAT IS WITH THESE DRAGONS!?
Some time later...
: There, two towers! That has to work.
: Oh, yes, heaven forbid we have to go to three.
: Four if we must!
: We shall turn th' land into towers!
: And even after all of the spending, we can still manage to erect a castle here.
: Oh, goody. We can burn to death in style.
: Ye'd rather burn to death in a hovel? Wizards are stupid, ain't they, Varin?
: And Gaz, you'll be happy to hear that Gary has volunteered some of his funds for a mage tower.
: That's MY money!
: He even gave it such a fittin' name: "Th' Stunted Tower o' Lord Ravigaz"
: Wait, why haven't our mages been practicing this spell!?
: It... well, it has no place on the battlefield. Polymorph is mostly used to humiliate rivals, and on one occasion, silence a street whore who was going to blab to the Kirin Tor.
: Train them. Ruku, I also need you to respect my decision here for a moment.
: ...Not likin' the sound o' this.
: I've asked for Wildhammer reinforcement.
: ...Y'know, I may have been enraged before. May even have pulled a knife on ye, Cap'n -
: Super reassuring.
: -but I learned tha' th' Light is in us all, aye? They took Berka from me, but they can't take th' Light from us! And th' Light inside o' me forgives them.
: Yeah, I have no clue what he's talking about.
: You will! I had the lads erect a chapel!
: Noooooooo! Hymns! Hymns everywhere!
: Gaz, quiet. We can use the Light to gain an advantage.
: The Light sees through all barriers!
: Really wasn't going in that direction. Let's focus on taking this one step at a time, men. First off...
: ...maybe that dragon.
: Well, maybe I should put this spell to work. Will this make you happy, Varin?
So... Polymorph. Generally I avoid this spell like the plague. It costs 200 mana (nearly all of it!) and takes out only one unit. This on top of the fact that I really dislike mages in general, this spell rarely gets any use. However, since you can polymorph dragons into harmless little critters, it does sort of shine on this map.
: Immensely, actually.
: And pop goes the dragon!
: Now more disgusted than pleased.
: Disgusted? Feh! Makes me hungry! One dragon haunch, please!
: Eh, Varin... I have a strange request to ask o' ye.
: Everything that comes out of that mouth is strange. Most of the stuff that goes into it, too, come to think of it.
: Go ahead, Ruku.
: I jus'... I wanna ride with th' Wild'ammers. Jus' this once.
: So you've come to peace with them, now? Well, you can scout out for us. Just remember to report back promptly!
: Aye, aye!
: Heh. This ain't so bad. I s'ppose. Now then... 'ammer throwin', ahoy!
: Nastiest weather, 'round these parts! Better fly low...
: Ach! I knew I shoulda stayed on th' ground! Damn ye feathery beast! Ground! Ground!
Back at base...
: Hours without word from Ruku.
: If we're lucky, he's dead.
: Gaz, I'm sure he's fine.
: I mean, yeah, worst case scenario, but do we really want to think about that? Imagine another night of putting up with that snoring.
: I've got more of the Wildhammer looking for him now. I'm sure he's just enjoying the gryphon.
: AHHHHHH! GROUND! GROUND! This damn beast is tryin' ta kill me!
: If'n I can't find me way off this beast, at least we can crack some skulls while we're up here! Wild'ammer, charge!
...poorly. So let's look at those spells on him. Bloodlust: Doubles both the basic damage and piercing damage of the unit. Haste: Increases the berserker's movement speed (Not a big deal, phew!). Unholy armor: Makes the unit invulnerable. Ah. So here we have a berserker dealing between 26 and 38 damage (since our gryphons have no armor!) with each attack. With our gryphons having only 100 hit points...
: Oy, Wild'ammer! Retreat!
: ...Please don't tell me tha's how ye get off one o' these things.
Back at base...
: Hm, hm.
: Well, this should be fun.
: Really curious on how this is going to turn out.
Well, that's certainly a thing that happened. If you polymorph a unit over a terrain that a critter can't actually exist on, it will just disappear. And, for me, it will apparently leave the remnants of the selection box I had on them.!
: And for the record, I don't drink the ale you serve.
: Oh... who has been drinkin' tha' stuff then?
: Ugh, I can't wait to get back to the Capital where the ale doesn't taste like piss-water. Ruku, I have a job for you and your gryphon.
: Oh, no. No way I'm gettin' back on tha' flyin' deathtrap! I prefer th' regular kind o' deathtrap!
: Then what are we supposed to do about these dragon attacks to the north?
: DRAGON SLAYIN'!
: Ah, I'm sure they're fine! C'mon, lads! We have glory ta earn!
: Hmm... Useless gold! Now then...
: Ah, the glory.
: And vengeance! Ye boyos ain't so bad, y'know? Ye ever hear o' a lass named Berka?
Back at base...
: ...so I leapt off th' boat an' socked the beatie right in th' face. Th' story's as true as the braids on me grandaddie's arse!
: So I take it that the mission was successful, Ruku?
: Oh, aye. I really got a hang fer these birds. Ya jus' gotta know how ta ride 'em. Y'see, we dwarves-
: AHHH! GROUND! GROUND!
: Men, clear out! Back, back!
: Okay, I want to know how the orcs are setting everything on fire. Seriously, that is some crazy fire wind or something.
: That's it. I've had enough of this. We've got to go on the offensive. Ruku?
: Right-o! Lads, heal up and move out!
: Wild'ammers! Firefist! Bring me th' glory ta make me worthy in yer eyes! Charge!
Now would be a good time to talk about the arrangement of this map. The initial landing was clogged with ogre-magi, which we've already tackled. This was the Burning Blade, a nomadic group that offers very little loyalty to the Horde beyond enjoying a good war. To the east of there (which Ruku attempted to assault earlier) is the Black Tooth Grin Clan, which is sporting a number of death knights who are constantly harassing you with magic. Finally, to the north...
...we have the Dragonmaw Clan. As you can guess, these are the guys in charge of the dragons, not just for this map, but for the entire Horde army. Traditionally attacking these guys by air is a failing proposition, but I'm damn persistent.
: Whoop! Whoop! Take tha', ya dirty bastards!
Back at home...
: Varin, we can't be wasting resources like this. At this rate, the orcs are going to outlast us in this siege.
: I sincerely doubt that. We have them backed into a corner.
: Yes, a corner where they have a portal that allows them to pour in from their homeland.
: Oh. Right.
: That and...
: ...our mines have completely run dry.
: Aye, tha's an easily solution. Ye take the orcs' gold! Basic stuff, really.
: Back so soon, Ruku?
: Ah, I'll th' Wild'ammers have their fun. I wanted ta report back with success ta ya lads.
: Well good timing. Get back on that gryphon. You already know what you're doing, so get to it. Secure us a new mine.
: And just to clarify, "secure" does not mean "blow up with high explosives."
: Har, har, har... mages are so funny.
: I mean, let's make fun o' th' dwarf some more. Couldn't hurt!
: Not 'til I fill yer bed with gunpowder and hurl a torch in while yer sleepin'!
: But enough about me. How ya doin' back there, ye purple robed wonder?
: I can't believe Varin told me to come along with you.
: Aye, well, ye heard 'im. We gots ta "get along" better.
: Or I could turn you into a pig and tell Varin you went missing.
: Pfft. These Wild'ammer'll be all over ye before ye can utter another silly word. Now come on! Throw tha' 'ammer!
: Little too busy clinging to this buzzard's feathers to hurl anything more than a curse, Ruku!
: There! Alright, we found a gold mine, now let's get out of here!
: Aye, ye can go tell th' Cap'n. Me an' th' boyos are gonna have some fun with these bastards.
: Suit yourself.
Back at base...
: ...and I'm pretty sure he said something about killing you in your sleep. With fire. But yeah, the mine is pretty much secure.
: I've already got Gary's unit en route.
: Gary has a unit!?
: Well... y'know, sort of.
: By the way, have you seen Ruku?
At the Dragonmaw Clan...
: Whoop! Whoop!
: I'm sure he's off doing something stupid.
: This is th' smartest thing I've done all day!
: I'm sure he's just fine.
: Fine work, boyos!
: Oh, hullo there, Cap'n! And Lord Ravi-Davi.
: Wha- Who told him!?
: Stop sidetracking the conversation, Gaz. Ruku, I want you and the men to prepare the portal for Khadgar. Gaz and I will be running surveillance.
: Varin, ye've given me the greatest gift a human could give a dwarf. The gift of full license to slaughter in the name o' yer king. Wild'ammers, charge!
: Well, that escalated quickly.
: Varin!? Varin? A little help?
: Ah, he's fiiiine.
: We should probably - Gaz! Did you hear that?
: It's going to be okay. We're almost there.
: Just some orcs escaping, Varin. Let them go.
: Gaz, look at their banners. It's him! It's that bastard that bested my father in the First War!
: Oh, fuck. Varin, we don't have time for-
: AFTER THEM!
Escaping through the marshes below...
: Come on, come on! We have to get to the portal!
: What about da humans?
: We should be alright. They're a little too distracted with the death knights.
: Dey closin' in, mon!
: Varin, we're taking damage! This is reckless, we're alone!
: Nice shot. Now keep moving! Vilefeast, keep Nigel out of the mud!
: Hee, hee... me forget which end to drag him by.
: By the ancestors... he's passed out cold. Dammit, Nigel! Wake up! We need you!
: Bloodbelly, he ain't respondin'.
: Bring it around, Gaz. If we know where they're going, they can't escape us.
Back at the Dark Portal...
: Varin, I think that-
: Not now, Gaz. You and Ruku clear the path for Khadgar. I have business to attend to.
: Where's 'e runnin' off ta?
: Ruku, do me a favor and pray to the Light for me.
Atop the crested hills overlooking the portal...
: We're almost out of time. We have to get there before the humans can seal it off for good.
: Blood-mon, it's surrounded by humans.
: We'll never make the portal with them all there. We need a distraction to send them into disarray.
: Already got my target, mon. My sights are on th' scraggly-bearded dwarf. He looks volatile enough ta blow. Go, now! Go!
: This is suicide! They're attacking head on! Vilefeast? Vilefeast!? Dammit, we're so close!
: Chieftain? Chieftain! Chieftain!
: Oh, Netherspit. It's that orc Varin is after. Dammit all!
: Don't think, mage-boy! Jus' blow 'im ta smithereens! Look at wha' tha' troll did ta my face!
: Get da Chief away from dat wizard!
: They've been following us this whole time! I can't shake 'em!
: Burn... burn...
: Where are you, thief!? I saw you land here somewhere!
: Chieftain, please! You have to wake up!
: ...Huh? NETHER! WHAT'S GOING ON!?
: Chieftain! We have to hurry, you were sleeping and we-
: There you are!
LP ENDING CINEMATIC, MUST SEE!
blip.tv, Viddler, or Youtube
Human Ending Cinematic
blip.tv, Viddler, or Youtube